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happy birthday, neva

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Recipe: doggy birthday cake

This weekend, we celebrated Neva’s first birthday! Can you believe it? She’s now one year old. Such a big girl compared to that silly little puppy pup she once was. Neva has learned so much since we brought her into our home. She still has a lot more to learn, but we’re so proud of how far she’s come.


the little munchkin seeing snow for the first time



Neva has had a lot of time on snow in the ten months we’ve had her, and every single time she acts like it is the very best thing ever. How could I not love this girl? I guess this is why I love dogs in general – they have this undying genuine enthusiasm for living. Jeremy and I decided that we’d take Neva on a nice backcountry ski for her special day. She got lots of snacks on the way up and tons of running on the way down.

neva wagged the whole way up

waiting patiently for more treats

skiing out with a view east toward the flats (great plains)

sufficiently tuckered out that she had fallen asleep on the ski boots



After all of that exercise, we made sure Neva replenished those calories lost and then some. She partook of some raw beef (her favorite) and sampled a couple of strawberries (she likes those) and she had cake. Yes! She had birthday cake! I had done some quick research a few days earlier to make a nice dog-friendly cake for our puppity pup. It is mildly sweet (from applesauce and banana) and tastes like a bland, fluffy quick bread to us humans, but Neva LOVES it! Of course, Neva is a lab, so she loves pretty much anything. The recipe is simple and quick. The best part is that it is pretty well-behaved even at my elevation. Winner.

cream cheese, baking powder, egg, peanut butter, whole wheat flour, coconut oil, applesauce, banana



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neva loves santa

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Merry Christmas from everyone at the House of Butter! We are taking a short break from recipes to celebrate this most festive time of the year – the start of WINTER!!! By the good grace of Ullr, Crested Butte has received a couple of feet of much needed snow this week. So you probably know what we’ve been up to the last several days.


jeremy gets some first tracks on the mountain

powder is such fun

don’t forget skate skiing on the nordic trails!

sun snow – the best combination



Although we don’t exchange gifts for Christmas, Neva has been the recipient of a number of presents from various friends this year (toys and food). What a lucky little girl! And since it *is* a holiday, I plated something special for our pup. I guess she made Santa’s good list? Since Neva went through this last time over Thanksgiving, she had a feeling that plate of raw beef on the coffee table was for her.

cubed steak with parsley and an apple bacon cheddar dog treat

neva was so excited, she couldn’t even look at her food



It took a lot of coaxing to get Neva to sit still in front of her plate. It was just so tempting that she had to get up and run away from it, but then she’d turn around and stare at the food from afar. When we finally gave the release word, we were both surprised that she lunged for the parsley first. However, she wasn’t eating it, she was picking it up and tossing it aside!

going for the parsley

and proceeding to eat everything BUT the parsley



We all hope your holidays are more “beef” than “parsley” or whatever you desire. Merry Christmas, everyone! xoxo

for a lifetime

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Recipe: homemade dog paw wax

Today is my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I’d say that is a pretty impressive accomplishment for any time in history, but especially now. Jeremy and I will be heading out to celebrate with them in the spring since the week before Christmas is a pretty terrible time to travel or do anything for that matter. I scanned a few photos from the early years of their courtship and marriage, because it’s fascinating and touching to look back on those days. Another place, another time. My parents were younger than I am now in all of these photographs. I’m glad they made it to 50 years and I hope they log more years to come. Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad. I love you.


i think this was college – ah, young love

early 70s (i’m the little fat one being held)

a day at the beach (probably winter)



When Jeremy and I agreed to bring Kaweah into our family, all I could think was, “We’re getting a puppy!” She was my first dog and I had no idea what to expect. There were some things we did right and some things we did wrong. We learned as we went and I discovered that loving that dog – my sweet Kaweah – for all of her 15-plus years was one of the best things to have happened to me in my life. Once we decided to make Neva a part of our household, I didn’t dwell too much on her puppyhood (aside from the sleep-deprivation and training), but focused my sights on her doghood. After all, she’s only a puppy for a blink of an eye, but she’ll be a (good?) dog for her lifetime. The puppy stage was the time to introduce her to life as a Colorado mountain dog. We have mapped it all out for her: hiking, trail running, skiing, SUPing, swimming, backpacking, maybe even mountain biking. Kaweah is our reference point and Neva seems to be following right in her footsteps and then some.

But Kaweah learned the Colorado mountain dog life as a strong and athletic adult. Neva is still developing into her adult stage. So when we took her ski touring in a foot of powder a few months back, I was surprised that she experienced some trouble with her paws in the snow. I’m still unclear if it was from ice balling under her paws or if the snow was just too cold for her footies. Whatever it was, this was new for us because Kaweah never had these problems out west. Of course dogs like Banjo with longer hair between their footpads are practically guaranteed to get ice balls forming underfoot on powder days which can be painful. Erin (Banjo’s person) uses a combination of dog booties and Musher’s Secret (dog paw wax) to protect Banjo’s paws. I got Neva a couple sets of dog booties, but stopped short of buying Musher’s Secret because it’s spendy. That’s when I looked into making it myself and you know what? It’s not only cheaper to make it yourself, but it is ridiculously easy. First, you need to find a place that supplies what you’ll need.


rebecca’s herbal apothecary in boulder is awesome



There are plenty of great online stores where you can source the ingredients, but I wanted to keep my business local if possible. Thankfully, Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary makes that possible. They have a physical shop in Boulder and an online store for orders to ship. The store carries a wide selection of butters, salts, oils, teas, waxes, herbs, and so much more. I went in finding everything I needed as well as getting some great advice on shea butters and making sure the ingredients were safe for ingestion in case Neva decided to lick it off her paws.

all you need: olive oil, shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil

cutting up the beeswax



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