Grain-Free Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats

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grain-free-pumpkin-apple-dog-treats

Happy Friday! This weekend is our first wedding anniversary! I cannot believe how fast a year has gone by! A year ago I was preparing for a walk down the aisle, stressing over wedding decor, and day dreaming about our first year of marriage. It is now in the books.

This year brought many things! A wedding themed Christmas Tree, our first loss with our miscarriage in August, a vacation to Hawaii and Washington, and our newest family member, our rescued pup Brielle!

Grain free pumpkin apple dog treats!
Grain free pumpkin apple dog treats!

She has come such a long way since we first brought her home from the shelter in May! She is celebrating her 4 month adoption-versary on the same day as our wedding anniversary! Cheers to the Panza family!

Grain free pumpkin apple dog treats!

The best way to celebrate Brielle and the beginning of fall, Pumpkin Apple dog treats or PUP-kin Apple Dog Treats! These are homemade dog treats that are grain-free and made in your own kitchen. We have been working on solving Brielle’s itching addiction and we are almost positive she has an allergy to grain. We only give her grain-free food and treats to minimize her itching.

These treats are perfect to share with your pup’s puppy pals and a great way to control the ingredients your dog is consuming! Quick, easy, and Brielle LOVES them! Lots of tail wags for Pup-kin Apple dog treats!

Pin this recipe to make as a gift to take on Thanksgiving to the hostess who loves her pup or you can share these treats with your pals at the dog park! I love to call them Pup-kin Apple Dog Treats!

Pumpkin Apple Grain Free Dog Treats

 

Grain free pumpkin apple dog treats!

pup-kin-apple-dog-treats

 

Grain Free Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats
Print Recipe
Grain free, homemade dog treats perfect for your little pooch! Limited ingredient dog treats1
Servings
50 Cookies
Servings
50 Cookies
Grain Free Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats
Print Recipe
Grain free, homemade dog treats perfect for your little pooch! Limited ingredient dog treats1
Servings
50 Cookies
Servings
50 Cookies
Ingredients
Servings: Cookies
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients until mixed completely.
  3. With the dough, make balls the size of a nickle. Using a fork, press down the dough making a cross hatch on the top of the cookie. (similar to how you make peanut butter cookies). You can also roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to create fun shapes.
  4. Bake cookies for 25 minutes and completely cool before giving to your dog. Dog cookies should be refrigerated because there are no preservatives in the treat! Half the recipe for less treats or share with your pooches favorite puppy pals.
    Grain free pumpkin apple dog treats!
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Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites

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Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites
Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites – www.PanzaAvenue.com

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall and the first day kicking off the beginning of my blog relaunch! *crowd roars!!* I have been working on narrowing down the types of things I want to share through my blog. I thought about workouts, DIYs for around the house, fashion, beauty, etc. While I have a love and passion for each one of those things, I found that my true passions are 1.) being a Christian wife, 2.) health and nutrition, 3.) being a dog mom.

Each time I sat down to write a blog post that I was passionate about, it linked back to one of those three things. A healthy recipe, fell right in to health and nutrition. Ideas for celebrating a first anniversary, fell in to being a wife. A playlist of music that is encouraging and uplifting, being a Christian woman. Ideas to save money on healthier dog treats, being a dog mom AND being a frugal wife. Each one relating back to one of my three passions.

I decided to kick off the fall season with a series of healthy pumpkin flavored or inspired recipes! A healthy pumpkin spice latte, grain free pumpkin apple dog treats, and today’s recipe, pumpkin pie energy balls. This week I will be sharing grain-free pumpkin apple dog treats and late next week a fun festive way to bring a pumpkin theme to your dinner plate!

These Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites were a hit in our house this week! I love that the cashew butter & walnuts give a great serving of healthy fats! The pumpkin and the pumpkin pie spice give these bites the perfect fall flavor without all of the sugar like some of the most popular pumpkin treats out right now!

These bites are perfect to store in the refrigerator for a grab and go snack! 

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Don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends or pin it to your Pinterest board. I am looking forward to the next few months! I have been planning great content, recipes, ideas, and more to share with my readers! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites
No Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Balls
Print Recipe
Servings
15 balls
Servings
15 balls
Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites
No Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Balls
Print Recipe
Servings
15 balls
Servings
15 balls
Ingredients
Servings: balls
Instructions
  1. - Add all ingredients in to a mixing bowl.
  2. Fold the ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl, using a large spoon until well mixed. Cover bowl and put in the fridge for 45 minutes.
  3. Using a cookie dough scoop or a spoon, roll the mixture in to balls about the size of a golf ball. Store the balls in the fridge in an air tight container.
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Waiting

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I started my blog as an opportunity to share my journey growing in to my new role as a wife early this year. The goal was to always be transparent, share the blessings and the struggles in hopes of inspiring people along the way. I have always connected to women who are upfront with how they got to where they are. I have always admired women who are honest, made me feel like we were life long gal-pals, even if I was reading their blog from my couch thousands of miles away.

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Nick and I have been married almost a year. A moment and blessing I will never take for granted. Leading up to engagement, everyone wanted to know when we would get married. After we were engaged, everyone wanted to know when the wedding would be. Beginning the night of our wedding, the questions about when we would start a family started to come. Although sometimes frustrating, it is always to be expected.

You imagine announcing your news of pregnancy very similar to the pictures you see on Pinterest. “We are expecting!!”… “Brielle is going to be a big sister!!” I have a whole Pinterest board full of those day dreams, “How and when am I going to share this on Pinterest?” But God had other plans for us, for now.

We found out we were expecting on July 2nd. A March 2017 arrival date. An overwhelming emotion seeing 2 pink lines, as I am sure any mother would tell you. Who am I going to tell? When do I tell my Mom? You try your hardest to not blow up Pinterest, because you know, there is always a chance this isn’t God’s timing. I quickly called the doctor, scheduled appointments, and in we went July 7th for a “confirmation appointment”. Which really is just a series of questions, a ton of blood work, and another pregnancy test in the office with more double pink lines.

Waiting… more waiting… and trying to not blurt out the news to everyone I encountered.

Our 8 week appointment took forever to come. Our first ultrasound was scheduled July 28th. I waited what felt like FOREVER. I will spare the details of where we parked, how long we waited, what I ate, etc. There was excitement, there was emotion, and I couldn’t wait to have a selfie of my little one. 

The Doctor started the ultrasound, but it wasn’t as I had dreamed all the weeks leading up to that day. I knew as soon as she flipped that screen around, something was wrong. She started to stumble over her words a little, I think even she was surprised. We had just talked about how healthy I was, no medications, no preexisting conditions. You know, all of those things I feel I work very hard for. It’s easy to think you’re in control of everything, but we cannot forget everything is in His timing. Her delivery was a little choppy, “O, okay, Anna. Well, you see, there on the screen is a sac, but there is no baby… it’s okay. let’s keep checking!” She placed her hand on my knee to comfort me and continued to give me an ultrasound tour of my body. “There is your bladder…..” and then she centered the camera again, “there is the sac.” Empty.

She began to explain to me what could be going on.  I am sure I had zombie face, deer in headlights, because she went and got Nick. She began to explain to us both that this could be one of three things. The positive, maybe it’s just too early to see anything and I am 2 weeks off on my calculations of my last period. The second, this could be a Blighted Ovum (later put in simple terms a missed miscarriage). The body stopped reproducing the baby because something went wrong, but the rest of the body hasn’t caught on and naturally miscarried. The third and worst, the baby is growing outside of the sac, possibly in your tubes. To know for sure we would need to do a series of blood work every other day to watch my pregnancy hormones and go back in a week for another ultrasound. 

using Proverbs31 during the time of miscarriage

I prayed and prayed for option #1, I am just too early. I had seen a woman post on Facebook months ago that this EXACT thing happened to her and 36 hours later there was a baby with a heartbeat. I prayed! The blood work levels started to come in though over the next few days, revealing only a tiny increase in HCG levels. Waiting that week for an ultrasound was long, still experiencing pregnancy symptoms, watching my HCG levels just come to an abrupt stop.

Fast forward, August 4th would be the big day for my next ultrasound. With my blood work not being encouraging, I expected the news we got. There was no progression. Still a sac, still no baby. My tubes looked clear, the only positive news we got that day. BUT! They wanted to wait another week before diagnosing me formally with a missed miscarriage.

The RN, who got to be the deliverer of bad news, explained missed miscarriage. The baby stopped developing, most likely a chromosome issue, but the rest of the body hasn’t caught on to naturally miscarry. They have assured us, this was nothing we did wrong, nothing we could have stopped, it happens. 1:4 women experience miscarriage of some kind, it’s just something we don’t really talk about it. Most women go on to have healthy pregnancies after a miscarriage.

So this is where we sit today. Blood work showed again a 6% increase in levels over 3 days, which should have been 75%. Waiting is hard, it’s like slow torture. I have morning sickness symptoms, vivid crazy dreams, thoughts about what’s ahead, and emotional pain. There is a lot of praying, asking God to make sense of all of this, mixed with trying not to worry.

In the mix of all of this, I experienced my first “you guys need to start trying to have kids!” from someone, too. A statement we hear often as couple, but it never hit as hard as it did that day. I have always been surprised, okay maybe a little irritated by the “should” and the “need to” opinions we receive from other people about starting a family. This time was much different of course. Quietly holding back tears and just trying to not make the other person feel awkward, “yep, we will soon!”

Sometimes the strongest among us are those who smile through silent pain and win battles nobody knows about

We sit, we pray, we wait, we hope for the best. Opening up about this journey was a tough decision. I have prayed over it for a week and here I am taking the plunge Friday morning, writing. Sharing personally with some women, I have received some incredible support AND I have been surprised by the women that say “I went through the same exact thing before I had (insert their child’s name here!)” HOPE! Pure hope and feeling understood. I pray to God I can give that same hope to the next woman who feels this pain.

We are praying for a positive journey. The most incredible thing said to me this last week was from another mom. She said, “Anna, God has a baby for you!! I know this is difficult and hard to understand, but trust that God has such a huge plan for your life and something great will come out of this crazy time.” That’s what keeps my feet moving. Sometimes we don’t understand in the moment why God chose us for the struggle, but we rest on knowing He has a plan and He is good.

I choose to continue to pray for strength and comfort. I choose to continue to pray for positive people to encourage me. I choose to pray to love those who tend to stick their foot in their mouths, whether they know or not.

We choose to pray for peace. We pray that the same incredible grace that’s been extended to us when we feel hurt, be also extended to our family during this time, too.

I choose to be transparent, not for sympathy, but for prayers and to help other women know they aren’t alone. I choose to be the one who opens up about being a part of this 1:4 statistic we face in the world to ignite a feeling of support.

Do not lose hope quotes for encouragement

There’s no true way of knowing what the future holds, but we have such assurance knowing there is a plan. Life is a journey, trials present themselves in various ways. For some people, it is miscarriage or trouble starting a family. For others it is health scares, accidents, or financial burden. There is no one trial greater than the other. It truly is just all a part of a greater plan that sometimes, we don’t understand.

Right now, praying through the waiting. 

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What a “joke” taught me about my worth!

Proverbs31.25
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I’m currently starting to write this blog post from a spin bike at the gym. It’s 3:00pm in the afternoon and way outside my routine. Normally, if only make my way to the gym around 6 in the morning. Before work, before the rush of gym goers, & with enough hours in the day to allow my pre-workout to burn off.

So why am I here and WHY am I writing this post? Well, because I have a lot of heartache about the reason why I’m here at 3:00PM. In no way do I regret being here. In fact, I’m happy I’m here because I truly is one step closer to my goals. However, like everyone else, I’m sometimes motivated by things that don’t deserve my energy. It’s necessary to acknowledge that I am here not because I WANT to, but because I feel obligated to.

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I’m pretty open about preaching women empowerment and self development. It’s my main purpose in life, to empower other women to find the beauty in themselves and live life with intention.

I’m here today, later than usual because of an insecurity someone brought up in me yesterday by telling me “Woah, you better get to the gym!”. Insecurity central, right? A little history, if you haven’t read, last week we adopted a new dog. Basically we adopted a new routine. Leading up to last week, I’ve found myself lost in personal development in the morning. Strengthening my faith, reading books, enjoying some time to reflect. I will admit, my gym attendance has been anything but consistent, but some days I become lost in reading. Before I know it, it’s time to get ready for work and the gym doesn’t fit my schedule that day. My inner mean girl has done a lot of negative self talk about “you should be at the gym? You have failed.”

Yesterday I was told, after a reference to my bottom, that I better get to the gym. Another woman told me this and I’ll tell you the last 24 hours have left me in a tailspin. Why?!

Well, because I’ve already beat myself up a little for the lack of consistently getting to the gym. I didn’t need another critic, my inner mean girl does enough of that for me. Why did it bother me so much, is the real question? Welp, because it immediately surfaced that “I’m not good enough” inner mean girl. I’m finding my balance and while I haven’t totally mastered it yet, I was comfortable with the give and take. Until yesterday!

Energy

There’s a reason I write this post from a spin bike in the gym. The reason is to ask YOU a question I’m having to ask myself, who decides your worth?! Words have the power of life or death, remember that before you answer this question.

Really… Who are we allowing to take so much energy from us based on their negativity and judgment? Let’s take the passive route. Maybe let’s call it a “harmless joke”. We tend to do that a lot in our current culture, brush off the adult mean girl words as “just a joke”. Ever been there? Ever heard someone justify their negativity as a “joke”. That “joke” can sometimes impact our whole day… Our whole week… Our whole lives! WORDS create a cycle of insecurity, self doubt, unhealthy obsession, hurt, you name it, WORDS can cause more harm if used irresponsibly.

WORDS can also leave us empowered, inspired, motivated, and change lives. WORDS, when used responsibly can give LIFE!!

I want to point out what it means to be empowering… What it means to be a part of a movement our world desperately needs! It means, lifting people up! Lifting people up with positive reinforcement, not snarky”jokes” or negative, passive comments. It means empowering other women to continue on the quest to finding their best selves.

So I ask again, who decides your worth?! I’m thinking as I write… God and I decide my worth FIRST! My God created me in HIS image. He doesn’t look and me and say “Wow, Anna, booty is getting a little deflated! Better up the squats and protein!” He looks at me and says, ” My Daughter, I’m so proud you’re working to become a more faithful, empowered you!”.

5 Daily Reminders
I’ve been HERE before, guys! I’ve spent months… Maybe even years KILLING myself in the gym to create an image that was acceptable to someone else. Former perfectionist. I’ve given up sleep, become obsessive over an “ideal body”… An idea body defined by someone else. I have sought out validation from other humans almost my entire life. Smart enough, fit enough, strong enough, liked enough. I have been there! When really, God is who decides my “enough”, it’s up to me to live His purpose for my life.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love the gym, exercise, or having confidence in my physique. What I’m saying is, I LOVE self acceptance. I LOVE women who can make a decision about what is more important at any given moment. Some days reading a book is more important than a calorie burned. Sometimes a cupcake with a friend, is more important than worrying about what it will do to my butt. Some days, finding your own balance means learning a new routine. I’m here to say, stand up against the adult bullying and instead build one another up.

Proverbs31.25

Be supportive. In our world, we need MORE women to lock arms together and fight for discovery, not destruction. Who CARES what YOU think I look like in pants… We’ve become so concerned about what “she” looks like in pants or that top… Or what “she” should or shouldn’t be wearing on her vacation… Or what “she” decides to do as a career goal. Be the change and stop the criticism. Cheer her on! Use words responsibly. You don’t have to understand it. You might not even believe in it… But we need to shift our thoughts and words to say “you go, sister! You dream as big as you want! You be who God has called you to be! Let’s change the world!”

22 min on a spin bike and a whole lot of my heart left lying on this blog post! Be the change you wish to see in the world, Sister! Life is too short to judge and criticize. Let’s empower one another and support one another! Amen?!
Xo, AP

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Summer Fling:: Guest Post, Glitter It Gold

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I have asked Amanda from GlitterItGold to share a post this week with you all. Amanda is sharing a summer cocktail using my favorite, grapefruit! Take it away, Amanda!

Hey there! I’m Amanda from over at GlitterItGold. Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite summery cocktails. I’m calling it the Summer Fling because Grapefruit, St. Germaine and Gin Cocktail is a mouthful. I never used to be a gin lover until recently. No two gins are the same, so if you don’t think you like gin, just keep sampling new brands because you never know if you’ll find one you will like. The gin that changed my mind was Martin Millers, but I also love Hendricks. If any of you are gin lovers and have a brand you love please tag me in the comments so I can try it! AmandaGlitterItGold4
This particular cocktail uses Hendricks because it is made using rose petals, cucumber, and elderflower for an extra floral taste. This cocktail is floral and herby, yet spirit forward and still light. It gets its sweetness from St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, one of my absolute favorites. If you haven’t tried it, please buy a bottle, I promise you will want to put it in everything. I had three different cocktails I was debating sharing with you and two of the three have St. Germaine. I settled on this one because it is easy to make and the ingredients are not hard to find. If you like your cocktails a little sweeter you could easily add some simple syrup, or increase the St. Germaine. If you like your drinks not so strong just top with a little extra soda water.AmandaGlitterItGold3
Let’s talk about bitters. If you haven’t used them before I urge you to invest in a bottle of it. It helps to balance and round out the flavors in a cocktail, it’s like the umami quotient but for cocktails. Start with Angostura bitters, the most common, and branch out from there. I used Cardamom bitters in this cocktail to add to the herbal quality, but aromatic bitters would also be great.
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This cocktail is perfect for summer, and has a fancy, refined flavor that will impress your guests but lacks the sugar and artificial flavors of many other summertime beverage options so it won’t mess up the healthy diet and workout program Anna has you on. You could even make a large pitcher of it and just add the soda water after pouring for summer brunch or barbeques, or Father’s Day Weekend!

Recipe:

2 oz Hendricks gin

1 ½ oz St. Germaine

3 dashes Cardamom bitters

2 oz Grapefruit juice

Splash of Soda Water (about 1-2 ounces depending on your preference)

2-3” Grapefruit peel for garnish

Directions:

In a shaker or mixing cup place add all ingredients except the soda water and garnish. Stir or shake and pour into serving glass and garnish with grapefruit peel, twisting it over the top of the cup to release oil and aroma of the peel.

Don’t forget to follow Amanda over at GlitterItGold or if you are an Insta fan like me, you can find her @GlitterItGold!

Until next time!

xo, AP

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