Dog-Friendly Restaurants

Hello and welcome back to my blog!

Recently, I have been entirely too interested in Cat Cafes, which have been very popular in Asia. And it got me thinking; are there any local restaurants that welcome dogs and pets with open arms? Well, lucky for us, Dallas appears to be a hotspot for all sorts of dog-friendly restaurants and many appear to have great reviews and ratings!

Dream Cafe –  This Cafe had the highest and the most number of reviews but also appeared to be the most popular. It appears that they have multiple locations including Addison and Dallas, however they only appear to be open from 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The reviews that other dog owners have left are all positive and the staff seems to be wonderful and kind so go and check them out!

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T, Emily. Dream Eggs Benedict with Hash Browns. Digital image. The Dream Cafe. Yelp, 16 Feb. 2014. Web. 23 May 2017.

Katy Ice House – This restaurant appears to be very unique because it is a Austin-style bar garden and restaurant that is friendly to dogs and does barbeques (sounds like the American dream right?) They appear to be very popular during the NFL seasons and according to reviews often have many dogs there at a time.

 

Check out their photo gallery here!

The Londoner – Now I have actually been to this restaurant before, and I must say I was highly impressed. As a person who was born and raised in London for 5 years, the food that they served, lived up to their claims and was delicious! In fact, they came in very large portions and were well worth the price. As for their treatment towards dogs, we actually didn’t bring Timmy with us the time that we went, but we watched the staff bring bowls of water and treats to other people who had brought their dogs. The only critique that I would make about this place is that it smells highly of smoke… I could not tell if it was from the burning of wood or cigarettes but either way it was not unbearable and I would 10/10 recommend this restaurant.

Check out some delicious food pictures here!

 

Now one of the common trends that I have noticed in most of these dog-friendly places is that they all serve alcohol or are a pub of some sort (minus The Dream Cafe). However, these places all still seem to be family-friendly and provide some sort of patio for your dog! If you are interested in a real pub that is especially dog-friendly, go check out the Uptown Pub! But for now, please enjoy these sweet pictures of these pups and some delicious food!4533898556.png27504783974.png7989622178.png6520848409.png543220605.png

 

Smile big,

From Sammy

Stages of Separation

Hello and welcome back to my blog!    I’m currently sitting in a hotel room, several miles away from the United States-Mexican border, with no wifi at 11:36 PM. And because this blog clearly isn’t off to the best start, I decided to address an experience that I feel all pet owners go through. I have decided to address the five stages of separation that I personally feel everytime I leave Timmy at home.


Refusal – This stage was the most prominent the first week I got Timmy because he would always cry when we left and my parents had to practically DRAG me out of the house.
Guilt- Often after being dragged out of the house I am left with an intense burden of guilt and for the first few weeks of adopting Timmy I felt so guilty leaving him at home by himself as a puppy.


Sadness- This feeling is always the most prominent for me, especially now that I’ve had Timmy for about a year. This emotion always appears as a sinking pit in my stomach and makes me feel like Timmy deserves better and that I should’ve been a better mother :(((


Loneliness- This stage could be described as the worst and most heartbreaking one because when someone describes where their home is, they say their home is where their heart is, and for me, my heart is with Timmy and to leave him behind gives me a overwhelming rush of loneliness.
Reluctant Acceptance- I say reluctant because I definitely don’t want to accept being away from Timmy but I have to because I know it will not do me or him any good to worry and fret over it, especially because I know this is something that I will go through everyday as I leave for school.


​The saying is that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I believe that that is truly the case. Because although I might hate leaving Timmy on any occasion whatsoever, seeing him again after a long day and his complete and pure happiness at seeing me may all be worth the wait. I always take in mind that even if I might be having a bad day, the idea of having Timmy greet me when I get home is more than enough to get me through the rest of the day. So here is a picture of Timmy to brighten up the rest of your day. I hope you enjoy!

Smile big,

Love Sammy

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Hello and welcome back to my blog!

NOTE: This is NOT a recipe for dogs. I repeat do NOT make this for your dog.

To begin with, I have had an obsession with baking for the past few months (I swear it’s a phase mom) and have been making banana bread and the sorts religiously for the past few weeks hehe…. So yesterday I decided to switch it up and try something I have never done before, and that was to make some zucchini bread. I wanted to try this recipe out because everything zucchini used to be all the rage and everyone wanted to make it because it was relatively healthy. After researching on the internet for different variations of the recipe I found one that seemed extremely healthy and delicious .

Of course though, when I went out to buy the long list of ingredients I realized I had forgotten some pretty crucial ingredients so I ended up looking for a simpler recipe. Which is how I stumbled upon a recipe by Myrecipe.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cups of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of applesauce (I didn’t have this ahaha)
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup of shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
  • ½ cup of chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray (this is just to grease the pan, you can also use butter or cooking oil)

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Now. At first glance, I know it seems like a lot, but trust me most of these items you will probably already have in your household, and don’t stress if you don’t have certain things, because I’ve learned that most items in recipes can be replaced by others.

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350

To begin with, I grated the zucchinis (2 mini zucchinis) with a grater, and if you don’t have one I would recommend getting one because a lot of recipes actually involve them, and they are just a very handy item to have around. After you have done this it’s OPTIONAL to strain them, I didn’t and there wasn’t much of a difference sooooo it’s completely your choice.

So guys, because I forgot the applesauce I actually ended up making my own and it was pretty easy, I would recommend skinning one apple first and chopping it into small bite-size pieces.Then fill a pot with about a cup of water or until the apples have enough so they won’t burn. Then just let the water boil and occasionally check on the apples until they’re soft enough to mash with a fork. While you’re waiting you can work on the other ingredients!

NOTE: Next time I might end up substituting bananas for apples simply because there were still some chunks of apple inside the bread.

As I was waiting (like usual) I dumped all the other ingredients in a bowl and mixed them (minus the chocolate chips and “applesauce” I added that at the end)

NOTE: I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose because I’ve realized that it makes me feel more healthy :), I also added only a ½ cup of sugar because again, I was trying to be healthy and surprisingly, it turned fine because of the chocolate chips in it.

After I mashed the apples I waited for them to cool before dumping them in (so they won’t cook the eggs) and mixed everything together.

I then poured it into the greased cake pan and set it in the oven for an hour while covering it in foil for the first 50 minutes.

As this happened I took Timmy on a much deserved walk and ended up running to make it back home in time to rotate the bread in the oven hehe…

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A very sleepy Timmy

Although this recipe was a random one I had found, I recommend using ones by Allrecipe, because not only is the list of ingredients short, simple, and turns out delicious but you are also able to order the ingredients from the website.

However I really did enjoy this recipe because of how rich and soft the bread was, without being overly rich or adding too many processed ingredients. I hope you enjoy making this recipe to treat yourself with, because dogs aren’t the only ones who deserve something nice every once in awhile!

 

A cute doggie I met while volunteering

Smile big,

Love Sammy

P.S. random thought: what makes banana bread or zucchini bread classify as bread?? Wouldn’t it be more suited for the cake category???

Comment down below on what I should make next if you have any suggestions!

Stress and Pets

Hi friends and welcome back to the most stressful week for most high schoolers. AP testing week.

As it is, high schoolers are stressed enough as it is apparently averaging as a 5.8 out of a 10 point scale (adults are 5.1), and with all the AP exams it really is the most difficult week to get through. However, it has been scientifically proven that dogs (and pets in general) are able to decrease these levels of stress. So here are 5 ways that dogs and other pets can help you survive the “best week of your life.” Enjoy!

 

  1. Lower blood pressure? Check! – Did you know that dogs lower a stress-causing hormone called Cortisol? Well now you do! According to a study, when people took care of dogs for three months their stress levels dropped significantly and they had a lower blood pressure. In fact…..5170590074.png
  2. Sniffling be gone – You’re in luck if you were able to grow up around. Why? Other than because ITS A DOG FOR GOODNESS SAKE, according to several studies referenced by Harvard, if you grow up with a dog in your house, you grow up with a reduced rate of asthma and allergies AND HOW COOL IS THAT? (especially now that it’s also allergy season you won’t be sniffling during your test)3817361645.png
  3. Endorphins! – Did you know that pet owners have also been found to get more exercise on average than most people? Mostly because I feel like your dog can guilt-trip you… In fact I often find Timmy staring longingly at his leash and whining before turning back to give me a pointed look…. (Sometimes I swear he acts like a human). And YES, it can be tough to pry yourself off the couch but ultimately it’s worth it because your dog will be pleased to no end, and most importantly you will feel great afterwards because of the endorphins!10025030825.png
  4. Dentists… *shudder* – Ever wonder why so many dentist offices and doctors keep an aquarium in the waiting room? Well apparently, pets (yes, even fish) have been shown to decrease our reactions to stressful situations. In fact, pets have been actually been more calming than your significant other which I feel like is highly possible since I often feel like whenever I do dumb things, Timmy is the only one who doesn’t judge me… (Even my bird, Koko, judges me)
    This is Koko!
  5. Fish are important – Am I the only person who has ever thought that fish were the most boring pet to own….? Not that I have anything against fish, I love them but I’ve never loved owning them. BUT if you own a fish then guess what? Just watching fish swim can lower your blood pressure AND can even prevent loneliness.

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And there you go, five more even better reasons to convince your parents to let you have a pet! Remember during finals week to not cram, get more sleep, eat healthy, AND PLAY WITH LOTS OF PUPPIES, and so before we go here are some pictures of cute puppies to keep you company!

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Smile big,

Love Sammy

The Long Awaited Bacon Bark

Hi guys and welcome back to my blog!

*sigh* Today is the day I finally accomplish what I have wanted to do since the beginning of this blog. After all this time, I have finally gotten my hands on the prized and valued ingredients (not to mention time) for this recipe. I wanted to do this recipe so bad because of the similarity between the blog name and the recipe name hehe (‘Bake and Bark’ and ‘Bacon Bark’ get it???) In all honesty, I’m very excited for this blog post and I can’t wait to share it with you! As always, I will give you the original ingredients which may or may not contain some personal changes that I will include as we continue on.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ cups of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 4 tablespoons bacon fat
  • ¼ cup bacon, crumbled
  • 2 ¾ – 3 cups Oat Flour

 

*NOTE: One of my biggest concerns (along with several other dog owners) was the use of the bacon fat in the treats, which can be harmful to dogs if they eat too much of it. But as the creator of the recipe explains it, it should create 24 treats which would leave the treats at ⅓ tablespoons per treat, which is fine for dogs. Of course everything is better in moderation right? However I do recommend only giving these treats to your fur baby on special occasions and you store them in the freezer in the meantime. 🙂

 

I don’t believe I will end up with a lot of bacon fat to work with anyways so I predict that I will only end up with 2 tablespoons.

STEP 1: PRESET THE OVEN TO 350 degrees

STEP 2: First what I did was fry up the bacon (I bought Oscar Mayer’s low sodium thin-cut bacon), when doing this I learned the hard way that bacon grease will attack you if you’re not careful and so I spent the majority of this time leaning at least a foot away from the pan.

*NOTE: I actually ended up frying 3 slices of bacon which actually gave me 2 ¾ tablespoons of bacon grease

STEP 3: After frying up the bacon I set them onto a plate lined with some paper towels     to absorb the excess oil and poured the oil from the pan into a bowl.

STEP 4: After the bacon was cool I chopped it up into tiny bits and then proceeded to dump it into the bowl along with the other ingredients and mixed it, per my usual tradition.

*NOTE: I actually used 3 ¼ cups of whole wheat flour because I found the 3 cups of flour was not enough because the dough was still rather sticky

STEP 5: After rolling the dough out I cut it into 24 pieces, but I found that I actually had a lot more dough than I previously thought so the bark looks more like a branch now (get it hehe??)

STEP 6: So, I ended up baking the treats in two different ovens simply to test the time needed, for a smaller toaster oven it took approximately 30-35 minutes per the instructions, but the larger oven (it’s part of the house) definitely took a LOT more time than 35 minutes. So of course, when you test out this recipe make sure you watch your bacon bark because every oven is different.

I had a lot of fun making this recipe and Timmy as usual had a lot of fun “helping” me clean up (more like sprawling out in the middle of the walkway and occasionally tripping me). I hope you guys try out this recipe for your dogs (or yourself hehe… I tried one… it’s not weird… shhhhh… Honestly, it just tastes like bread… with bacon in it) ALSO these treats will rise a little in the oven so also make sure you take that into account.  As always tune in again on Friday for a (maybe) another fun recipe!


​(I kind of have an excess of dog treats now, soooo if anybody wants some, leave a comment down below and I’ll try to deliver some)

Smile big,

Love Sammy

Update: So the ones in the big oven look beautiful because the heat was super even BUT it actually took almost an hour to bake them…. So there’s clearly a trade-off there…

P.S. Make sure to check out Operation Kindness as always to look for the dog of your dreams!

The True and Proper Guide to Happiness

Hello friends, and welcome back to today’s blog!
As a fairly new dog owner, I must say that I still have a longggg way to go before I can say I truly understand everything about Timmy. However there is one thing that I do know, and it’s how to make him happy.

If you’re a dog owner then I’m sure you can relate, and even if you aren’t, I’m sure you have experienced the intense amount of joy and love that fills your heart watching a dog simply be, well, a dog.

You might be thinking “well this blog has a rather misleading title” or “where in the world is she going with this?” But let me tell you, I mean exactly what I meant when I named this blog. For me, nothing makes me feel more overjoyed than seeing Timmy happy and because of this, my guide to happiness consists of the 5 things that make him happy.

1. ANIMALS ANIMALS ANIMALS!!! – There is nothing Timmy loves in the world more (besides me hehe) than other animals. In fact, he loves our bird Koko so much he tries to lick her, and as I’m sure you can infer, she doesn’t enjoy it nearly as much as him…

(me writing the blog)
2. Attention – I can thoroughly admit that Timmy is somewhat of an attention bug. He’s so much so, that when someone else gets a hug he will wriggle himself into the middle of it and wag his tail in pure happiness. ​

​3. Food – Now, this is one that I’m sure most people can relate to. Also, please let me know in the comments if your dog does this as well, but when I’m eating Timmy will come over, lay his head in my lap, and watch me eat while wagging his tail hopefully. I mean, eventually I have to give in right…..?


4. Baths – Actually, Timmy hates baths and he always looks so sad it makes me feel guilty. But that’s not what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the moment after he’s taken a bath and he reacts like he’s been released from prison after 20 long years.

5. Sleep – This is one I completely and entirely relate with. And although this may sound selfish, I enjoy seeing Timmy do this the most, simply because he looks so peaceful and happy when he’s taking a nap.


Now don’t get me wrong, just having Timmy in my life makes me so grateful and ecstatic. And I truly believe that without him, I probably would not have entirely survived my freshman year of high school. I hope you guys all find the opportunity to spend some time with a dog and just observe the way they live life carefree and lovingly. Remember to tune in again next Wednesday!

Smile big,

Love Sammy

P.S. Make sure to check out Operation Kindness as always to look for the dog of your dreams!

Simple Af Peanut Butter Cups

Hello friends, and welcome back to today’s blog!

 

     For today’s recipe I wanted to try something that would take only a few minutes from simple ingredients most people can find in their house. And also ones that are easy for teens, that have neither the time or a car and go out to buy ingredients only to get halfway through the recipe before realizing they forgot something.

 

    I discovered this recipe for dog treats after looking up recipes that could be made out of bananas, something which most people have in their households. I loved this recipe because not only did it not take more than 5 minutes to put together the ingredients, but I was also able to turn my attention to other things (like my endless pile of homework).

Check out this recipe here, and you’ll for sure be rewarded with cute pictures of corgis and treats.

Per usual, I changed up the recipe enough to put my own twist on it. So instead of making another round of dog biscuits, I decided to create a doggie version of peanut butter cups. And when I say this recipe is easy, trust me, because it’s coming from someone who will sleep with the lights on because they’re too lazy to get up and turn it off.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of old fashioned oats (or more)
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup of peanut butter
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil, melted

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And that’s it. A grand total of FOUR ingredients, that’s how simple this recipe is.

Now, when it came to preparing the ingredients, all you really have to do is:

  1. PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Melt the coconut oil
  3. Mash the bananas
  4. Beat the eggs

And because nobody got time to mix each ingredient individually, THROW THEM ALL IN A BOWL and stir to your heart’s content. When you have thoroughly worn out your arm and attention span, go ahead and add those remaining three cups of oats and fold it in.

Now comes the “hard” part aka the most “time-consuming”. I say that because it literally takes less than a minute to do the following:

  1. Line your cupcake tins with cupcake paper
  2. FILL THEM UP

This recipe ultimately gave me 9, 2-inch muffins, and 5, 4-inch muffins, and because of the sheer sizes of the muffins, the small ones took about 20 minutes to bake, whereas the bigger ones took 30 minutes.

REMEMBER this all depends on the strength of your oven, so I would check every 10 minutes and look for the top of the muffins to turn golden brown.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as Timmy and I did, and remember to check back in a few days for another post!

Smile big,

Love Sammy


(waiting for treats like)

P.S. Make sure to check out Operation Kindness as always to look for the dog of your dreams!