CRISTINA SHAH http://cristinashah.com An Eclectic Lifestyle Blog Sun, 23 Apr 2017 23:44:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 https://i1.wp.com/cristinashah.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/cropped-ETSYLOGO.jpg?fit=32%2C32 CRISTINA SHAH http://cristinashah.com 32 32 113131012 Healthy and Easy DIY 3-Ingredient Dog Treats http://cristinashah.com/diy-healthy-easy-dog-treats/ http://cristinashah.com/diy-healthy-easy-dog-treats/#respond Sun, 23 Apr 2017 19:58:17 +0000 http://cristinashah.com/?p=123 One thing I love about dogs is that they are SO easy to please. Is there really anything you can […]

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One thing I love about dogs is that they are SO easy to please. Is there really anything you can drop on the ground that resembles food that a dog won’t at least try to scarf down before you can yell “Hey dumby that’s cabbage you’re not even gonna like – ope never mind”…? Now this is, obviously, not always a good thing so it is helpful to keep some healthy snacks and treats on hand, and what could be easier than 3 ingredients?

Wednesday was my yellow/red lab pup Nala’s second birthday. That’s right, 2 years of hardcore snuggling and then eating my shoes the second I walk out the door. God I love her. What better way to celebrate my little Hurricane Nala than to make her some yummy healthy birthday treats? By far, Nala’s favorite day-to-day healthy treats are carrots, (I literally buy bags each week just for her) but for her birthday I figured why not mix some of the other goodies she loves; peanut butter, bananas, and coconut oil! Hop on down to the bottom of this post to read some benefits that come from these ingredients.

Sous Chef

Cooking for your dogs is a thousand times easier than cooking for a human. Seriously there really isn’t much you can do wrong (Did I mention most dogs will eat almost anything?) So as far as exact portions and mixing to a certain consistency, there really is no wrong answer! Above you’ll see my little sous-chef herself.

Personally, I used a 1 to 1 ratio of a couple heaping spoon fulls each of peanut butter and coconut oil and mixed them with one banana. I already had a couple silicone molds from Ikea, but you can purchase some similar ones here from Amazon! (Side note: Are you using smile.amazon.com rather than the regular site? I sure hope so!) And yes, I am aware the fish mold doesn’t really make sense with dog treats but I’ll use what I have. If you don’t have silicone molds, don’t worry just keep reading!

Grab your desired amount of coconut oil and zap it in the microwave for a few seconds. Gather your ingredients in a bowl, grab a spoon or fork and mash away. (If you’re fancy use your blender or food processor or whatever) I personally wanted to leave some banana chunks as a fun little chewy surprise for the dogs. Again, do they really care? I know some people choose to add honey and cinnamon which is totally up to you. Me, I know my dogs will swallow these in one bite so it’d be a waste anyway but to each their own!

Grab a spoon and start to fill your molds. It’s ok if they overflow a bit like mine. If you don’t have molds, just grab a baking sheet, cover it with some parchment paper and start to spoon some chunks out. If you’re doing it this way and the consistency is a bit runny, go ahead and play with your ingredients a bit till your mounds are just right.

Put your molds (or baking sheet) in the freezer and be a good human by letting your pup lick the bowl/spoon. Reassure them they are perfect wonderful baby angels and that their treats will be ready in just a couple hours! (Honestly, go ahead and enjoy one of your dog’s new treats with them cause they’re actually pretty darn good for us humans too)

healthy easy dog treats

If you’re wondering, all three of our dogs LOVED these! Here are Charlie and Nala waiting ever-so-patiently while I try to get the perfect cutesy-blogger photo.

 

Recipe for Healthy 3-Ingredient Dog Treats

Ingredients: Remember, you can’t go wrong here!
  • I used a 1:1 ratio of Coconut Oil to Peanut Butter (I used 2 heaping spoons of each)
  • 1 Banana
  • Optional: Cinnamon to taste
  • Optional: Honey to taste
Instructions:
  1. Warm coconut oil to mixable consistency (about 15 seconds for me)
  2. Mash ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Spoon mixture into your molds or onto your parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Freeze for a couple of hours.
  5. Enjoy! I mean… let your dogs enjoy! 😉

 

Healthy Ingredient Benefits

  • Peanut butter (raw) is a great source of protein and healthy fats for your pup, as well as a great source of Vitamins B and E. Make sure to check your labels! Stay away from light or sugar-free peanut butter with artificial sweeteners, as some can be harmful for your dog.
  • Coconut Oil is a superfood for both you and your fur babies! This one here has TONS of benefits so I won’t name them all. In short, it helps aid your dog’s digestion, protects from illness, reduces allergic reactions and helps improve their skin and coat.
  • Bananas are a great source of potassium, Vitamins B and C, Fiber, and Copper. Keep in mind though that bananas do contain natural sugars so try to feed them to your dogs in moderation and not as an every day staple.

 

 

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Goodbye Boring Job, Hello Happiness. http://cristinashah.com/goodbye-boring-job-hello-happiness/ http://cristinashah.com/goodbye-boring-job-hello-happiness/#respond Sat, 24 Sep 2016 01:24:40 +0000 http://cristinashah.com/?p=20 “Monotonous. Boring. Autopilot. Tedious. Stagnant.” These would’ve been my choice words if you asked me to describe my work days, […]

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“Monotonous. Boring. Autopilot. Tedious. Stagnant.” These would’ve been my choice words if you asked me to describe my work days, or just the way I felt in general during my 3 years with the state. Complain about any boring job, though, and there’s always someone who “has it worse.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard the words “Who DOESN’T hate their job?”

Except here’s the thing we need to realize… those people have nothing to do with me, or you. We don’t owe them anything because they’re too scared and indifferent to make a change. Just because someone else is fine wasting 70% of their life being unhappy (I made up that statistic, I don’t really know how much time people on average spend working) doesn’t mean you and I are required to feel the same.

Sunset Last Day at Boring JobMy Personal Experience at a Boring Job

When I was a kid I didn’t daydream about staring at a computer talking to people about their taxes for 9 hours a day in order to EVENTUALLY (like when I retire) be financially secure. If you’re anything like me, you still dream of living to your full potential and personally, I wasn’t living at all while I was at my boring state job, it was quite the contrary.

3 years after landing the glorified California state job that everyone else seems to dream of, I had somehow totally lost track of my original plan to become a graphic designer and kept listening to everyone else’s incredibly loud opinions. “Benefits! Paid Time Off! Pot Lucks!” Ok yeah, that all sounded great, but you see, I am a 100% right brained, artsy weirdo who is constantly singing out loud, needs to feel inspired and entertained, and my sense of humor comes directly from having every South Park episode in existence memorized. Let’s be real, most jobs within the state don’t cater to that kind of person.

Fast forward 3 years, and I somehow became a Lead in the call center of our state tax agency. “How the heck did I get here?” was quite literally a question I asked
myself about 38 times a day. The answer was simple: I needed to pay my bills. I was beyond unhappy, and it showed. “What do you do?” was a question I LITERALLY DREADED HEARING. It would make my heart sink because I hated the answer.

I can not begin to describe how awful it feels to lose hope and to begin to lose yourself; to walk around every day for year after year on auto pilot because you just know deep down that, although others would love to be in your position, you’re just not where YOU are supposed to be. I would think to myself that I felt like I was operating at only 25% Cristina. It was hard to remember what it felt like to be happy or excited. I had a genuine laugh maybe once a week if at all. (In hindsight, God bless my boyfriend, family and friends for sticking around, personality-wise I pretty much resembled an uncooked potato.)

What Suddenly Clicked?

I am an artist, but I hadn’t drawn or painted in years. I would insta-stalk disney artists, bloggers, and other designers dreaming of living their life as if it was some fairy tale, until one day it dawned on me that it isn’t a fairy tale, it’s an actual thing that can happen to actual people so long as they put work into their dream… What the heck was holding me back from quitting my job and working for myself full time as an artist and a blogger?

Oh yeah, my bills…

and I mean.. either way, who quits their high-paying, secure state job when they have a house to pay for?

Someone who decides that in this case “taking the leap” would mean selling my house and using the profit to pay off all my debt, quitting my job and starting from scratch.

Goodbye Boring Job Pot Luck

 

It all happened with such perfect timing, and I thank that still, small voice for telling me I CAN. To have faith in myself and more importantly in His plan for me. Whether I’ll be able to do this or whether I fail and end up somewhere else, I can say with 100% certainty that this was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life and I haven’t felt this happy in almost 4 years. I’m back to singing and laughing and keep catching myself smiling for no reason. In a matter of 2 days I’ve had three separate friends/family members say I seem like a completely different person.

“Happier and younger.”

I’ll take that over eventual financial security any day.

In a Nutshell

There is absolutely nothing in this world, not money, not security, NOTHING worth losing your sense of self for. If anything in your life is making you feel that way then you need to take the leap and make a change. I’m not saying by any means that it will be easy. It will be difficult, people will doubt you and that’s where your faith in yourself steps in. Regardless of how scary that leap/change may seem, it is never too late to follow your dreams. It is never too late to take control of your own life. Regardless of whatever it is holding you back, stop telling yourself it’s too late to start over or try again. 

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