Day: January 31, 2013

Puppy love this Valentine’s

We are so goo goo ga ga over our dog, Marshall, that I decided he just had to pass out love notes and Valentine’s gifts to all of his friends. You see, Marshall, aka Bugsy, is quite the man about town. He’s a bit of a casanova and extremely confident- at one year old no less! Most mornings Mon-Fri, he heads to the local doggie park for a major romp with all of his best buds. My husband typically takes him Mon-Weds and these days, I join Thur and Fridays. I love the family time!

Bugsy gets along with all of the dogs, loves playing tug o’war and zippin’ all around in circles with the big and small pups. He’s never been shy around dogs and loves trying to run with all his might after the super agile big guys.

Marshall and I discussed how he wants to spend his Valentine’s this year and he told me he wanted to give out personalized Valentine notes and also homemade puppy cookies.  No problem Bugsy boo. His Valentine’s are so sweet and tell each pup how much fun he has with them at the park and if he/she will be his special Valentine? 544168_default_1These are the cards we picked out at Papyrus…..San Mateo-20130130-00858Marshall reading one of his love notes to bestie, Meatball aka meatie. 

I found a great recipe online for homemade peanut butter and bacon cookies. I headed to Sur La Table to get the perfect cookie cutter shapes (a German Shepard and a bone!) and party bags,  then the market to get all the ingredients. Marshall was barking like a maniac in the kitchen for the two hours I was cooking the bacon, rolling the dough, and placing the yummy treats in the oven. He couldn’t control himself and pounced on me any number of times for food. The ultimate test was him running off with one of the cookies and hiding underneath the dining room table to sample it. He ended up eating 4 cookies…I hope he doesn’t get sick from all of the tasty treats!  San Mateo-20130130-00820

Skippy creamy peanut butter works great with this recipe. Don’t use crunchy. San Mateo-20130130-00822Frying the bacon….San Mateo-20130130-00824Chopping the bacon….Dog-Treats-Recipe_thumbThe basic ingredients that make these treats so yummySan Mateo-20130130-00821Shredding the carrots in my mini cuisinart. This mini version is such a fantastic addition to the kitchen…San Mateo-20130130-00826Using the larger cuisinart to process the rolled oats into a fine flour-like powderSan Mateo-20130130-00828Take a good size dough ball, plop on the wax paper on your kitchen counter. Use a rolling pin and roll the dough gently (north, east, south, west) until around 1/4 inch thick. Use any fun cookie cutter and press through the dough. Gently remove the excess around and place the shapes onto your cookie sheet.

Mr. lover boy will be handing out each love letter and cookie package to his best buds tomorrow. Although he prefers the ladies, he said he felt manly  enough to hand some out to the boys too. 😉 San Mateo-20130130-00847The end product. So adorable and a good size treat! San Mateo-20130130-00846Marshall sampling his third cookie….San Mateo-20130130-00850Begging for more….I don’t think he understands the concept of giving away treats to his friends quite yet.San Mateo-20130130-00853The sweetest gift for his friends. Little polkadot cellophane bags from Sur la Table holding 3 cookies each and accented with a red ribbon!

Homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats

Makes 15-20 treats


1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon honey

1 large egg

1/2 cup water

1 carrot, shredded

2-3 pieces cooked bacon, chopped

1 cup oat flour or 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, processed until floury

1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, honey, egg, water, carrot and bacon and stir until well blended. Add both flours to wet mixture to form dough.

Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or lightly floured work surface to 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out with a dog bone shaped cookie cutter, or your desired shape (I did a German Shepard and bone). Place treats 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a sealed container or re-sealable plastic bag for up to one week, or freeze.

Note, I doubled the recipe. I also rolled the dough on wax paper that I taped to the kitchen counter for stability. I didn’t have parchment paper so I lightly (very lightly) buttered the baking sheet so the cookies wouldn’t stick. I used high quality bacon without bad chemicals and non-smoked, and used rolled oats, processed until floury versus the oat flour. I also under baked the treats, cooking for a total of around 20 minutes. Yum. And yes, I had a tiny bite. Not bad for a dog treat! Maybe I was just hungry….


Valentine’s Date Scenario II: Adventurous and Quirky

hope you enjoyed the outfits our friends at Tog + Porter put together for my ‘Over the Moon For You’ date.  This next date I gave them is for a very different couple, dating scenario and relationship status. This young couple is on their second date, so while booking a date on Valentine’s definitely indicates a strong mutual interest, it’s best they keep things light and fun. Adventurous_Quirky

He takes his match to the House of Air trampoline park in San Francisco for some jumping around for this Valentine’s Day. Her hearts aflutter with the date invitation, but what does a girl wear for something so sporty and active? He suggests cocktails and sushi in Cow Hollow to follow. She wants to be perceived as low maintenance and wants the transition from bouncing around at the park into dinner date to be smooth sailing.

They are in the early stages of dating, so she isn’t at the comfort level of fully being herself and “requiring” 20 minutes to freshen up back at his pad post park romp. She knows he will probably be in a freshly washed hoodie and jeans but doesn’t want to dress like a nerd too. One drink leads to two, two to three and tummies full with delicious sushi.

She makes a bold move inviting him to her home for date three to cook together. She’s never been one to “ask a guy out” but it’s 2013 and for her, there are no “rules.” He accepts and leans over for a kiss! She loves how quirky he is and he loves how confident she is. He tells her he thinks her outfit is super cute and was impressed how low maintenance she is compared to other girls. She nods and grins.

Before they can help find the perfect outfit for this young lady, the stylists at Tog + Porter said they would need a little more info about her. They wanted answers to all the questions they’d ask in one of their face-to-face Skype style consults. What’s a normal day look like for her? What’s her budget? Style goals? Of course, I would know all of this about any of my clients, so I rattled off a plausible profile.

She’s in marketing by day and typically opts for casual skirts, trousers and day dresses. Her budget is more J Crew than Neiman Marcus and up to this point, she has relied on her mom to take her out shopping for a lot of her wardrobe since her salary is rather modest.

Her date is a super lax “Silicon Valley geek” coder type who opts for Zuck-like hoodies, jeans, and flip flops pretty much every time she has ever seen him. He’s cute but she never thought she’d be so into a guy so laid back in his style. She needs to look cute yet super comfortable doing her lemon drops and channeling her ‘perfect 10′ Nadia Comaneci moves.Adventurous_Quirky_Option 1

Flying high doesn’t mean you have to leave cute and flirtatious at home. We love the feminine fit and flare of this adorable peplum jersey top paired with easy and memorable red straight leg pants and notice-me shoes. Since we know this client is budget conscience, we’ve broken down the total cost of the look: Peplum Top: $59, Maria Pants: $98, Sam Edelman Flats: $105, Bijouterie Bracelet: $25, BCBG Handbag: $98. Total cost: $385.

This second look is more relaxed in an effortlessly sexy kind of way. It’s based around an off-the-shoulder tunic sweater in a breathtaking hue paired with dark skinnies and an easy on and off bootie, topped off with a touch of glam. Wearing a tank or cami underneath is a good idea, just in case you break a sweat doing toe-touches. And even if the tunic never comes off, a peek of lace never hurts.Adventurous_Quirky_Option2


Again, they’ve broken down the cost of each item like they would in any T+P shipment: Wide Neck Tunic Sweater: $79, Multi Stone Necklace: $39, Paige Skyline Straight Skinnies: $169, Lace Cami $23, Dolce Vita Ankle boot: $159. Total Cost: $469.

Like what you see? Let the stylists at Tog + Porter help you look your best for any occasion. If you want help with your Valentine’s Day outfit, be sure and sign up ASAP as time is running out. Similarly, if you are a guy who wants to totally outsource your dating, ping me. I’m happy to be your romantic concierge 

Still struggling on what to do for Valentine’s? Did you read Date Scenario I for a classic night out on the town? Also, stay tuned for Date Scenario III: My House for Dinner. Coming Soon!