Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dog Lovin' - Benefits Of Massage For Dogs

Dog massage illustration by Amanda Olson for Life+Dog

I have an amazing massage therapist, Guto, who does wonders for my neck and shoulders.  Lily loves Guto and always lies on the table with me while I'm getting a massage, patiently waiting for Guto to finish and give her one.  It's the funniest thing and she periodically kisses Guto's hands while he's massaging me, as if to say "my turn!"

dog getting a massage
Guto giving Lily her massage

I try to massage both Indigo and Lily regularly and love the above infographic from Life+Dog which gives great instructions on massage points.  Some of the benefits of massaging your dog include:
  • Improves circulation by opening up blood vessels
  • Reduces stress and relaxes your dog
  • Enhances bonding between you and your dog
  • Increases flexibility
  • Can relieve pain
  • Helps maintain and develop muscle tone
  • Helps relieve joint discomfort and stiffness
  • Helps release toxins from the system
Be sure to visit Life+Dog to see their more detailed instructions on how to give your dog a massage!

Guto giving Lily a massage
Happy Dog Lovin' & Dog Massagin'!

Info graphic via:  Life+Dog, by Amy Olson

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sweet Indulgences - Naturally Sweet Flavored Ice Cubes

flavored ice cube recipes by Stephanie Lynn, Soma water carafe

I just received my first Soma water filter replacement and included in the package was a wonderful recipe for Blueberry & Blackberry Ice Cubes. Love this idea!

I absolute love using my Soma water filter carafe and can't wait to fill it with these sweet gems.  The recipe is by Stephanie Lynn and can be viewed on her wonderful blog, By Stephanie Lynn.  Additional recipes include:

Strawberry & Basil Flavored Ice Cubes
Pomegranate Flavored Ice Cubes
Pineapple & Strawberry Flavored Ice Cubes
Lemon & Mint Flavored Ice Cubes

For more infused water and ice cube ideas, follow Soma's Best Water Recipes board on Pinterest.  Enjoy!

Have a sweet day!

Be sure to check out my previous post on the Soma Water Carafe.

Images via:  Stephanie Lynn

Please note this is not a paid advertisement, nor am I receiving any compensation for this post.  I am simply sharing a fantastic product that I love and can't keep to myself!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Inspiration - Motivation From Tim Fargo

inspirational quote from Tim Fargo by Bella Bella Vita

I love this quote from Tim Fargo, author of Alphabet Success - Keeping It Simple. My Secrets To Success.  Great motivation to start those goals on my list that I haven't gotten to yet!

Tim has a great inspirational blog called Alphabet Success that is worth checking out.  Thanks for the inpsiration Tim!

Have an inspired week and keep starting 'til the starting sticks!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pinterest - My Favorites This Week

Lexi - illustration watercolor by Inslee Haynes
Dog Lovin'  - "Lexi" by Inslee Haynes

gluten free strawberry cupcakes
Sweet Indulgences - Strawberry Cupcakes

Dog Lovin' - Cutie, Cutie, Cutie!

Quinoa & Kale patties from Yummy Supper
Culinary Pleasures - Quinoa & Kale Patties from Yummy Supper
click here for recipe

Happy Weekend & Happy Pinning!

follow me on pinterest

Friday, April 25, 2014

In The Kitchen - How To Make Great Pizza Dough

Green and White pizza from Roberta's in Bushwick; photo by Melina Hammer for The New York Times
Green & White Pizza from Roberta's Pizza

Oh how I love to make pizza!  I'm always on the look-out for new dough recipes and different techniques because, let's face it, a great pizza is ALL about the dough!  A recent NY Times article, A Little Pizza Homework , is the best I've read yet on dough making techniques.  

Writer Sam Silton interviews pizza chef Anthony Falco of Roberta's in Brooklyn and he shares his secrets to making a great dough. Wonderful article and I can't wait to try Anthony's dough recipe!

To read the full article, click here.


wood fire pizza oven - Roberta's pizza in brookly
Roberta's Wood-Fired Pizza Oven 

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Illustrator Inslee Haynes

puppies and scallops and flowers illustration by Inslee Haynes

I came across this delightful illustration by artist Inslee Haynes on Pinterest and immediately searched for more of her work.  I discovered she has a wonderful website and a blog of her own, The Sketchbook, with many more lovely illustrations.

Inslee has a shop on her website where you can purchase prints and originals, calendars, stationery, note cards, and holiday cards.  She also does commission work by request.  Be sure to visit Inslee's blog to see more of her delightful illustrations.  I'm sure you'll be glad you did!

Thank you for inspiring me today Inslee!

Easter Bonnets by Inslee Haynes

illustration by Inslee Haynes

illustration by Inslee Haynes

Have an inspired day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dog Lovin' - Favorite Homemade Dog Treats - Pumpkin Oatmeal

Indigo & Lily - best dog buddies - Bella Bella Vita

Since this week is the one year anniversary of Bella Bella Vita, I wanted to share the link to my most popular Dog Lovin' post - my recipe for  Pumpkin Oatmeal Dog Treats.  They're gluten-free, super healthy and easy to make.  Indigo & Lily love them!

Wednesday's Dog Lovin' posts have been the most enjoyable for me to write ... I've loved sharing pics of my pups and connecting with many dog lovers and charities.  Thank you to everyone who visits on Dog Lovin' days!

Indigo & Lily - best dog buddies - Bella Bella Vita
Indigo & Lily snugglin'

Be sure to check out my other dog treat recipes ... they'll be more to come!
Happy Dog Lovin'!

The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sweet Indulgences - Pineapple Carrot Coconut Bars {Gluten-Free}

Pineapple Carrot Coconut Bars recipe, gluten-free, Bella Bella Vita

Today marks the one year anniversary for Bella Bella Vita and I am so very grateful to everyone who has followed my blog and continued to read my posts.  It's been a labor of love and I thank you for all of your comments, emails and encouragement over the year!

Bella Bella Vita has been a wonderful journey and has brought so much joy into my life.  It's been an amazing creative outlet and a much needed distraction from my daily Lupus challenges.  I love sharing the things that are close to my heart (Inspiration, Sweet Indulgences, Dog Lovin', Artist Spotlight, In The Kitchen & Pinterest Favorites) and have enjoyed connecting with others who share the same passions.

Sharing a new snack recipe I created today ... my 1st experiment with "energy" bars.  I hope you enjoy!

Pineapple Carrot Coconut Bars recipe, gluten-free, Bella Bella Vita

Pineapple Carrot Coconut Bars {Gluten- Free}

Recipe by Laura Ashman Jolna

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Total time: 17 min
Yield: 24 treats

  • 1-1/2 cup oat flour, gluten-free
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed pineapple (ripe)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup lite coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp Truvia sweetner
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • shredded coconut for topping (approx 2 Tbsp)
Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

Mix all dry ingredients (oat flour thru salt) together in a medium bowl with a whisk.

Using a Kitchenaid mixer or hand mixer, combine pineapple, carrots, coconut milk, honey, Truvia, & egg white; mix well.   

Add oat flour mixture to wet mixture a little at a time and mix until blended.  Stir in raisins.

Refrigerate dough for at least 15 minutes.

Spread into square 9"x9" baking pan coated with canola spray.

Bake 25 minutes.  Cool on wire rack and then cut into bars.  Enjoy!

I use Bob's Red Mill for the oat flour and flaxseed meal. I buy it at my local health food store, but you can also buy them at
I've also been buying regular oats and grinding them myself in my cuisinart.  I like this method as well because I can control the fineness or coarseness of the oat flour.

If you have the Paprika recipe app and would like to download any of these recipes, please email me and I'll send it to you in the correct format.

Have a sweet day!

*  This lovely bird plate is from Vietri and is a treasured gift from my sister-in-law.  Thanks again Gale!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Inspiration - Wisdom From Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins quote; Bella Bella Vita image

Powerful inspiration from Tony Robbins that resonates with me today as tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Bella Bella Vita.  I had many fears when I started this blog and it has been an amazing year filled with abundance.  I am so very grateful!

Wishing you an inspired week!

p.s.  A big thank you to my sis Donna for the beautiful roses from her garden that are pictured today.  They're exquisite!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pinterest - My Favorites This Week

westie puppy
Dog Lovin' - Westie pup lovin'

spring veggie & lemon moroccan chicken skewers from Half Baked Harvest
Culinary Pleasures - Spring Veggie & Lemon Moroccan Chicken Skewers
click here for recipe

Flower Love - Beautiful ranunculus bouquet

Easter peeps wreath
Sweet Indulgences - DIY Peeps wreath for Easter

Happy Weekend & Happy Pinning!

follow me on pinterest

Friday, April 18, 2014

In The Kitchen - Ina Garten's Greek Lamb Chops With Yogurt Mint Sauce

Greek lamb chops with Yogurt Mint sauce from Ina Garten

I love this recipe for Greek Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce from Ina Garten.  It's the perfect Easter main course and is so flavorful.  I'm a big fan of the yogurt dipping sauce as well.  Click here for the recipe.

Another favorite lamb chop marinade of mine is from Cooking Light . This marinade is so flavorful that I guarantee you will lick the bones!

Wishing you a Happy Easter!

If you have the Paprika recipe app and would like to download either of these recipes, please email me and I'll send it to you in the correct format.

Buon Apetito!  

Image via:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Kari Herer's Flora & Illustrations

ostrich and flowers photography by kari herer

Photographer Kari Herer's floral and illustration series is so delightful!  I love her artistic and whimsical approach and her creativity.  Kari has a deep love of nature and has been interested in photography since she was a young girl.  Her fine arts and design experience enhance her photographic style.

Kari's work is featured on both her website and in her Etsy shop.  Be sure to visit both to see more of her wonderful photography.  I'm sure you'll be glad you did!

Thank you for inspiring me today Kari!

rabbit floral photography by kari herer

horse and flowers by kari herer

fox and flowers photography by kari herer

fox and flower photography by kari herer

Have an inspired day!

Images via:  Etsy

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