Miss A Columnist

Lisa Beth Miller is the Entertaining & Weddings Editor for Miss A. She has been involved in the wedding industry for several years. Lisa is a bridal consultant and director of marketing and public relations for Blush Bridal Boutique and an event designer at Main Street Weddings, both local wedding businesses. In this capacity, Lisa writes the blog, website copy, and promotional materials for these businesses and assists with event planning. She was formerly a bridal consultant and did marketing and public relations work for A Formal Affair Bridal and Formalwear Boutique and was the creator of their Bridal University workshops. Additionally, Lisa teaches English, journalism, and photojournalism classes at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia. She advises the school's award-winning publications, Talon yearbook and Patriot Press newspaper. As junior class sponsor, she also assists in planning Liberty's prom. Lisa has written several published articles. These include an article about advising student publications for Accents (Southern Interscholastic Press Association’s journal),an article about the royal wedding for Northern Virginia Magazine, an article about local proms for Warrenton Lifestyle magazine, and four stories about wedding planning and wedding fashion for the 2012 Northern Virginia Bridal Guide. Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in English and journalism education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a graduate degree in education and library science from Longwood University.

Starter Baby Shower Party For Your Pet

As described in New York magazine’s The Cut article, “The Parties We Should Be Having Instead of Weddings,” an exploration of modern celebrations in adult life, it’s no surprise that the traditions and rites of passage people celebrate today are still evolving. Instead of baby showers, couples are taking the plunge and getting a pet, and instead, having “Starter Baby Shower” parties for their pets, rather then a child.

Photo credit: healthydogworld.com

Photo Credit: healthydogworld.com

Starter baby registries are a common trend of new age families; pets are filling the gap between single-dom and marriage/families with pooch parties and couples asking for chew toys and pee pads rather than diapers and formula. Within the first year of owning a new pet, costs can range upwards of $2,000 annually. To prepare for a new four-legged family-member, couples celebrate with a party to request the same type of items they might when expecting a child.

With universal gift registry websites like MyRegistry.com, couples have the ability to register for everything from pet medication to pet play-pens and toys.

For a true starter baby shower experience, be sure to provide pet-friendly snacks that reflect the occasion! Here is a recipe for Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Cake from Dog Treat Kitchen.com. Yes, this is cake for dogs to actually eat. Do not try this with cats; they will laugh at you!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup molasses, blackstrap
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. In a stand mixer bowl, add the canola oil, applesauce and molasses.
  3. On low-medium speed, thoroughly combine.
  4. Add the peanut butter, and mix until combined.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, until all combined.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
  7. Using the lowest setting, or the stir setting on your mixer, slowly add the dry ingredients.
  8. In a small bowl, mash the bananas.
  9. Take the mixing bowl off the stand. Fold in the mashed bananas, making sure they are well incorporated.
  10. Using a baking spray with flour, generously spray each 8 inch pan.
  11. Divide the batter between both pans.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Rotate the pans on the racks half way through the baking time.
  13. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  14. Remove the cakes from the pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Storing - This dog cake recipe will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Freeze the cakes for up to 3 months. If you choose to freeze the cakes, wrap each one individually with plastic wrap. Then wrap each one with heavy duty aluminum foil. Then place each one in a labeled freezer bag. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will keep the dog cakes delicate texture fresh longer.

Yield - Two 8 inch round cakes. Be sure to portion the cake (or just make smaller cupcakes) if you are making these for small dogs or puppies!

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