Saturday, November 28, 2015

Caturday Art: Ready for Christmas

Mommy here!

With Thanksgiving behind us all eyes are finally turning to Christmas. Truthfully, I'm ready for Christmas the day after Halloween, but I know many people don't like to even think about it until Black Friday.

Since I've been slowly decorating for the past couple weeks it's been a pretty quite and lazy weekend here at our house. Any Black Friday shopping was done online. I refuse to become a part of that craziness. I actually splurged a bit on myself, buying some things I've had my eye on for awhile, and a few things for Mudpie too, of course.

We created our Caturday Art Christmas ornament today using PhotoFaceFun, but these are real, my "Trio of Torties". Mudpie just got her ornament this week!

Have you gotten any good deals this weekend, or did you stay home and decorate?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Morris the Cat Paws It Forward #MorrisFeeds

Hey Mochas, Mysteries & Meows readers! Morris the Cat, from 9Lives cat food, here. (You may have thought that a cat's only computer skills involve laying on the keyboard while others are trying to use it, but in fact, we are very tech savvy.)

For those of you who don't know me, I've starred in over fifty 9Lives cat food commercials, am an advo-cat for kitty rescue, and was even crowned one of Advertising's Greatest Icons by the Museum of Broadcast Communications. (But I must say, I took issue with this honor. I didn't know I was advertising all those years... I just really love 9Lives!)

In case you couldn't guess, I'm purr-ty much an expert when it comes to eating, and that's the subject of my next venture. I know we just had Thanksgiving and you may have promised yourself you were never going to eat again. But trust me, your appetite will come around like a good old friend and when it does, I want you to be ready!

I also thought since we just had a day to give thanks, we should now take a moment to give back. After all, December 1st is Giving Tuesday, a day people all around the world have dedicated to affecting 'pawsitive' change. Lucky for you, giving back is as easy as using your opposable thumbs. With those two bad boys – and the rest of your fingers – you can help feed a kitty in need. Watch this video to find out how. (Spoiler Alert: It's totally FREE!)

I don't know about you but all this meowing about food has gotten me hungry.

I've made it my mission to help cats and humans eat well – and by extension – live well. (I've often said the key to life can be found in your food dish.) With that in mind, I invite you to check out my Official Guide to Eating, Munching, Snacking & More. If you've ever caught yourself inhaling your food between errands or carting your human kittens around... or if you mindlessly shovel in your dinner while catching up on the latest episode of "Meownton Abbey" or "Silicon Alleycat"... then this guide is for you!

In it, you'll learn how to eat like the true foodie you were meant to be. On my site, you can also enter to win a customized drivable cooler, so if you do have to eat on the go, you can do so in style. And don't forget to tweet #MorrisFeeds to give hungry kitties the gift of a tasty, hearty 9Lives meal.

On that note, my stomach is starting to rumble. What's on the menu tonight, you ask? 9Lives Lean & Tasty and a side of Meaty Paté with Real Chicken. For a beverage I'll be enjoying some delicious tap water. How about you?

Disclosure: I am being compensated with Morris swag in exchange for this blog post. I have loved Morris since I was a little girl!

Black Friday Book Bonanza

Black Friday Book Bonanza

Meows from Mudpie, and Happy Black Friday morning!!!

You're not going shopping today, are you? We're sure not! As a matter of fact as you're reading this Mommy and I are most likely still lounging in our bed nursing a turkey hangover!

Don’t go out and brave the crowds; get cozy with us in your jammies and enter to win some new-to-you books!


Welcome to the 5th annual Black Friday Book Bonanza, hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Jennifer at Bookshelfery!

Here's the box of books we're giving away to one lucky reader in the US...simply fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter and good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And check out the linky list below for many more chances to win some great prizes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: The Silence of the Chihuahuas by Waverly Curtis

From the publisher: Pepe, aspiring P.I. Geri Sullivan’s muy clever Chihuahua, has stopped talking. But why now, with Geri’s best friend Brad missing and her ditzy sister in grave danger? Geri’s lost without Pepe’s dogged detective work, especially when a client of Brad’s expires under very murky circumstances.

Luckily, Pepe turns out to be an excelente blogger, and his nose for clues soon has the detective duo chasing down leads. But they’ll have to put a bite on crime quickly, because danger’s afoot – and it’s making tracks in their direction . . .

Last year at Christmas I read a short story featuring Pepe, star of the Barking Detective mystery series, and I fell a little bit in love with the feisty little chihuahua. After reading The Silence of the Chihuahuas, the fifth full-length book in the series, he's completely stolen my heart.

Geri is devastated that Pepe has suddenly stopped talking to her. The truth is, Pepe is worried that Geri's friends think she's nuts and are suggesting that she seek psychiatric help. He decides to start writing a blog in order to communicate with her, but Geri remains oblivious to his plans. Then her best friend Brad goes missing, his partner hasn't reported it, and his difficult client Mrs. Fairchild is found murdered in her kitchen. On top of all that, Geri receives a strange phone call from her estranged sister who claims someone is trying to kill her. Caller ID says the call came from Forest Glen Clinic, a treatment center for additions and psychiatric illnesses. Geri figures that since everyone has been insinuating that she find a quiet place away from Pepe to get her brain back in order, a rest at Forest Glen Clinic might be just what she needs...

Yes, there's a lot going on here, but it's such a fun and madcap adventure that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. We all wonder what's going on inside our pet's heads, and Pepe's observations are spot-on. If he really were a blogger, I'd be his first subscriber!

In real life, Pepe is an eight-year old Chihuahua, adopted by Waverly’s daughter Shaw, when he was a puppy. He likes stuffed toys, especially if they squeak. He hates the rain, which is unfortunate since he lives in Seattle. Like his namesake character, he hates being dressed up and thinks he is much bigger than he is. Unlike his namesake, he has a sweet disposition and doesn’t talk much, but he does have his own Facebook page and website.

Purchase Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

4 Invaluable Resources for Managing Feline Diabetes

Whether your cat has just been diagnosed with diabetes or you've been managing your pet's disease for years, there is always more to learn in order to improve the quality of life for both the pet AND the owner. November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month, so I figured it was the perfect time to put together a list of the most helpful resources I've found to take away some of the fear and confusion surrounding this very complicated disease.

The day Angel Tara was diagnosed with feline diabetes was one of the most overwhelmingly terrifying days of my life. Could I handle her treatment on my own? What choice did I have?

Since it was a recurring urinary tract infection that led to the diagnosis, Tara had to spend most of a weekend at the emergency vet on fluids, antibiotics, and to start an insulin regimen. I had those hours alone to let the whole situation sink in. When I picked her up Sunday night I was shown how to give insulin shots and we were sent home to our "new normal". Over the coming days, weeks, months, and ultimately two years, she was the best little patient ever and received her testing and shots like a trooper.

And you know what I discovered? It wasn't the end of the world. Managing Tara's diabetes wasn't "easy", but it was certainly do-able. My research-oriented mind immediately kicked into gear and I started seeking out everything I could get my hands on about feline diabetes.

There is a wealth of information in books and on the web; these are the resources that worked the best for me:

1) Feline Diabetes Message Board This message board was a life saver. There is always someone online there, even in the middle of the night, to help you through a difficult time. It's a true community, a reminder that you're not alone, because everyone there is going through the same thing you are.

2) Sugarbabies - A Holistic Guide to Caring for Your Diabetic Pet This ebook covers everything from understanding what the disease process involves, through the ensuing medical tests, to treatments, diet, exercise and emergency care. Most importantly, it's written in an easy to understand, user-friendly manner. I combed through this book so much that if it had been an actual print book it would have been dog-eared and falling apart at the seams!

3) YouTube video: How to Test Your Diabetic Cat's Blood Sugar at Home Learning how to give an insulin shot is one thing, testing your cat at home is another, but it's extremely important to do because stress effects blood sugar levels, and what's more stressful for your cat than a trip to the vet for a blood test? I watched this video over and over and over again before attempting it for the first time...and once again, Tara couldn't have made it any easier on me.

4) Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM Diet is one of the most important factors in regulating feline diabetes. For some cats, remission is achieved with diet change alone. A print out of these food charts had a permanent place in my purse and were pulled out at each and every visit to PetSmart. Thankfully Tara was a fantastic eater and loved trying new things, so changing her diet didn't prove to be difficult at all.

Have you ever done your own research on a pet's medical condition as a supplement to veterinary care?

Please remember that these resources are no replacement for veterinary advice and care. Diabetes is a very serious disease that must be diagnosed and managed by a veterinarian.

Photo Credit: depositphotos/ben44

Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: White Colander Crime by Victoria Hamilton

From the publisher: In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Mallets Intended, the Heritage Society is re-creating a perfect Victorian Christmas—until good tidings go bad...

Queensville has great expectations for their Dickens Days festival. A tourist-trade boon boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter.

Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries—and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie’s beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie’s not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she’s going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas—especially with the real killer ready to kill again.

I've been looking forward to a Vintage Kitchen mystery set during Dickens Days since the very first book, and my wish finally came true!!!

In this fifth book in the series, Jaymie is making preparations for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor, where she will be working at the manor's vintage kitchen, which she's been busy restoring. Tragically, at the end of the evening, Shelby Fretter is found badly beaten in the town handyman's workshop, and later dies. The Fretter family makes regular appearances in the police blotter, so there's no lack of suspects, but it's Cody Wainwright, son of Jaymie's editor Nan at the newspaper who is arrested. Jaymie herself had witnessed a violent altercation between the two just days before, and Shelby's journal all but seals his fate. 

Nan asks Jaymie to clear her son, and the investigation ends up discovering that Shelby's life was filled with secrets and lies. She also uncovers evidence that the murder may be related to the disappearance of another local girl, Natalie. Many twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end, wondering how so many loose ends would end up coming together.

The Vintage Kitchen Mystery series has been a favorite of mine from the beginning particularly for the fact that I see so much of myself in Jaymie Leighton. She's an old-fashioned girl living in a modern world, content to live her own life in spite of judgments from others, and dotes on her beloved rescue pets. She's been in a love triangle of sorts with multi-millionaire software computer mogul Daniel and Detective Zach, but they are both out of the picture now and her new love interest is Christmas tree farmer Jakob, who also has an adorable young daughter. Jakob is just perfect for Jaymie and I can't wait to watch this relationship continue to play out.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, November 27th for your chance to win a copy of White Colander Crime. (US entries only, please.)

Full Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review by the publisher free of charge, but all opinions in this review are my own.