Balance by bistroMD: Healthy Meals Delivered To Your Door (Because Pet Parents Should Eat Well Too!)

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Ever feel like you take better care of your fur kids than you do of yourself? You’re not alone! Whether you are too busy, or just tired of adulting, home food delivery has become a popular alternative to cooking. Woof Woof Papa and I love to cook but often get tired of meal planning, shopping and the prep-work that goes into making healthy meals. And our schedules mean that we don’t always have time to cook and eat at the same time. Sometimes it just seems easier to grab takeout or order delivery, and that isn’t the healthiest or most economical way to eat.

We were recently invited to try the meals from Balance by bistroMD. It’s the first meal delivery service to offer chef-prepared meals a-la-carte, without the constraint of minimums, memberships, or recurring orders. The top-rated diet delivery and weight loss program, bistroMD, created this subscription-free service to provide healthy meals with convenience and flexibility.

Balance by bistroMD fits health-conscious lifestyles, whether you’re trying to lose weight, adhere to a specialty diet such as gluten free, or just want to eat healthy without the struggle. When we went to their website to place our first order, we were impressed with the wide variety of over 100 meals and snacks available, and prices start at just $5.95.

The ordering process is super easy…the only hard part was deciding which meals to get, because they all looked so good! To narrow down the choices, you can filter meals by diet type, including Low Sodium, Heart Healthy, Gluten Free, Diabetic Meals and other options. We ordered a few breakfast items, because we are trying to do better at not skipping breakfast. And we also ordered a variety of lunches and dinners, too. Everything arrived within a few days, shipped in an insulated cooler packed with dry ice. Even though the box sat out on our porch in the South Florida heat for most of the morning, all the meals were still frozen when I unpacked everything.

In addition to doing the cooking and delivering your meals straight to your door, the folks at Balance by bistroMD also send the instructions and info you need to make the most of your food delivery. For example, although you can microwave the meals straight from the freezer, they recommend you move your upcoming day of meals to the fridge the night before to thaw for more even reheating. They also suggest that you place your entree on a plate because visualization is an important part of dining.

This was my attempt to plate the Ham and Cheese Frittata. It came with a side of peaches with a tasty whole grain granola crumble. I added avocado slices because I cannot go a day without eating avocado! Although I can see the logic in their suggestion to plate the meals to make the dining experience more enjoyable, most times we opted for convenience over aesthetics, and just ate our meals straight out of the BPA-free microwavable trays they came in. Less dishes to wash!

Overall, we were impressed with our order and happy to have a week of no meal planning or prep. The nice thing about the service is that there is no commitment or subscription required. You can order when you feel like you need a break from cooking, or need a little extra help with eating healthy. It’s also a thoughtful gift for a friend or family member, and would be great as a Housewarming present or Mother’s Day gift, too!

Balance by bistroMD Coupon Code

Right now is a great time to try it because you can get 20% OFF with Balance by bistroMD coupon code: SAVE20 at checkout. You also get Free Shipping on orders of $99+. Head on over to balance.bistromd.com to learn more about how it works and try it for yourself. Less time spent cooking means more time (and energy) to play with the fur kids!

Tips, Kits and Tools To Make Your Own Dog Treats

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Tips, Tricks and Tools for DIY Dog Treats

Every want to learn how to make your own dog treats? Whether you are concerned about controlling the ingredients, looking for more frugal alternatives to store-bought treats, or just like to make stuff, here are several fun deals on cookbooks, tools and kits we’ve rounded up to help you get started on making your own DIY dog treats:

Make Your Own Dog Treats:

Be sure to visit Coupaw.com for more great Pet DIY plus Home Goods and Gifts for Pet Lovers!

How To Make Your Own Cookbook for Fun and Profit

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How to make a cookbook

Ever thought of putting your favorite recipes into a beautiful book you can give as a gift or pass down the generations? Maybe you’re famous for your pet treats and you’ve always thought about creating your own cookbook to sell or give to friends and family, but never knew how to get started!

Blurb is a company that lets anyone create beautiful books from their favorite content, and get those books shipped in any quantity (even just one copy). Not a designer? That’s OK, Blurb’s free BookSmart software is an easy route to a great cookbook.

What’s the best way to get started? Holding off a bit. It’s tempting to want to dive right in, but thinking a bit and getting organized is worth it in the end. Make the most of your time by dividing each step into chunks so you can tackle them at different points in your book-making process.

And here we go:

1. Organize: Gather your recipes and do a process of elimination. Once you’ve narrowed your favorites down, you can gather accompanying images—just make sure you’re giving the recipe and image files the same name to make it easier when it’s time to upload. Keep everything in one folder on your computer.

2. Flow it: Next, determine how you want your cookbook story to flow. Do you want to sort your recipes by age, popularity, or even something else? Once you’ve determined the order, you’ll have done the bulk of your creative decision-making.

3. Get the tool: Download our free book-making tool, BookSmart, choose your book size (Standard Portrait and Standard Landscape are the most popular for cookbooks) and input your title and author name. Then choose “Cookbook” as your starting point — this will give you the best layouts for the job. Then pick a source for your images — from iPhoto, your computer, even Flickr or Picasa. Lastly, choose a theme. Now you’re ready to put together your cookbook.

4. Lay it out: This is where the real book-making comes in. BookSmart will provide you with 20 pages in our standard recipe layout, but you’ll find plenty of alternate layouts in the “Choose page layout” panel on the upper left. You can also add additional pages ­­— including photo pages — by clicking “Add Pages” in the top toolbar.

5. Just add copy: Our layouts provide space for stories, introductions, and those all-important ingredients and directions. Paste in your copy and you’re golden. Then garnish with photos. Don’t forget to run BookSmart’s spell check feature.

6. Preview and review: Click “Review book” and go through page by page. If you’re not a natural-born proofreader, ask a friend to take a second look.

7. Order: Make any last minute edits, click “Order,” and follow the prompts to checkout. Remember to order extra copies for friends and family—or sell it in our Bookstore. Order now and save 15% on all print book orders through April 30th with code TAKE15%.

Giveaway: WIN a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer ($350 ARV)

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KitchenAid Green

WIN a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer!

To thank all our paw-tastic fans and readers, we’ve teamed up with a fabulous group of bloggers to bring you this amazing giveaway. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a KitchenAid Mixer, now is your chance! One lucky person will win a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer, valued at $350.


Easily make your favorite cakes and multiple batches of cookie dough with the 5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl with comfortable handle. And think of all the yummy pupcakes and dog biscuits you’ll be able to make, too! Can’t forget to bake some treats for the fur kids!

With 10 speeds, the stand mixer will quickly become your kitchen’s culinary center as you mix, knead and whip ingredients with ease. And for even more versatility, the power hub fits optional attachments from food grinders to pasta makers and more.

[View Full Product Details at Amazon]


Enter to win a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.

Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.

One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.

Winner to select their color of choice. Color options based on availability.

Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on March 4th, 2014.

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Dog-Gone Good Cuisine: Recipes for You AND Your Dog (Book Review)

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dog-gone good cuisine

If you’ve ever thought about cooking a meal to share with your pooch but didn’t know where to start, or worry about what foods are healthy, then you’ll want to check out this new cookbook hitting the store shelves (and Amazon) this week! In Dog-Gone Good Cuisine certified nutritionist and chef Gayle Pruitt demonstrates how to cook healthy and delicious dishes for dogs and humans alike. She’s included over 100 corn, sugar, soy, and gluten free recipes, for mouthwatering meals you can make for your family AND fur kids, too!

This is NOT a cookbook of how to make plain-old dog food or your typical dog treats. This is food that will make your mouth water! Since receiving our review copy and checking it out, some of the recipes I’ve bookmarked already include:

  • Minty Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Salmon Florentine
  • Pears with Raspberry Sauce
  • Cream of Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

How fun would it be to throw a dinner party for your favorite furry pals and their humans at the same time!?! I love that this book not only includes loads of great recipes, but also that the author shares info on cooking techniques, a list of herbs and spices that are safe for dogs, and other helpful tips and resources. There’s also a section on canine-only raw food and making your own jerky. That caught my eye because of all the concerns over the safety of some of the commercially produced pet jerky. What a great way to save money and feel good about what you’re giving your dog by making it yourself! You’ll also find several special juicing recipes for different health conditions.

Dog-Gone Good Cuisine is available in bookstores and at Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle editions.