Friday, April 29, 2016

Unboxing March's CatLadyBox

Featured Cat Lady Artist Jamie Shelman: This is a spring-themed box and the adorable art card is titled "Spring Revelry". Don't those kitties look happy tiptoeing through the tulips?

Spring Kitten Tote Bag by Tiniest Tiger (CatLadyBox Exclusive): Last summer I got the purple/pink Spring Kitten Tote and I use it frequently as a purse since I carry so much with me everywhere I go. I'm crazy about this dark charcoal/Peach Echo color combination. Peach Echo is one of Pantone's spring colors of the year (don't feel bad if you have to Google what that means...I did too!) and I love how the CatLadyBox logo is etched into the soft lining of the bag.

Colorful Spectra Cat Umbrella (CatLadyBox Exclusive): Based on artist Asra Rae's painting "Spectra Carpet," this umbrella is a work of art, sure to brighten up any cloudy day. Our April has been very dry but earlier this week I was able to use my new umbrella for the first time...when it snowed. Nearly 70 degrees on Christmas Eve but we got 2" of snow on April 26th. Great job, Mother Nature. 

And for Miss Mudpie:

Hermie Worm by Loopies: Mudpie's favorite kind of toy is little stuffies so this one gets batted around the house on a regular basis. And for a worm he's pretty darn cute ;)

Eco Stacks by Hauspanther: Made of stacked pieces of cardboard this toy is eco-friendly and purr-fect for cardboard-loving kitties. Since it's not stuffed Mudpie hasn't really gravitated towards it (yet, anyways) but I think it's really cleverly designed.

Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

Disclosure: I'm not being compensated in any way for this review. I am a proud CatLadyBox subscriber!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Mommy here!

I'm not going to lie. One of the (many) perks of blogging is getting free stuff. While receiving product compensation isn't going to pay the bills, I figure if it's something I was going to buy in the first place (like books or cat treats) I'm still at least saving money in the long run.

Then there's high-end items like the SkratchKabin we were able to review. Mudpie can't imagine life without it.

Through various campaigns and review requests we receive quite a bit of cat food. It's a widely known fact around here that Mudpie is the world's fussiest eater (anyone want to challenge me?) and anything I find that she agrees to eat once every 3 weeks is considered a success. Even when she likes something, as an only child there's only so much she can eat, so we typically keep half of what we receive and set aside the rest to donate to our favorite shelters. By last week we had accumulated enough that it was time to pack things up and make some deliveries.

On Tuesday Franklin County Animal Rescue (Tara and Truffles' alma mater) posted this picture on their Facebook page with the message, "Thank you Melissa & Mudpie...kitties love your gifts!!"

So the lesson of my story is that while money is great, helping homeless kitties is truly priceless. Seeing the precious babies that received our donation has been the highlight of my week, and it's all because of our little blog.

What's put a smile on your face this week?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shopping with Mudpie

Meows from Mudpie! Today we're joining Bacon the Pig and Fozziemum for their fun blog hop called “Shopping Around the World" where we're asked to price items in our area in order to find out what different things cost in various parts of the world.

This month the theme is sammies, and since Mommy eats as little meat as possible and never met a black bean she didn't like, she decided to try the Pioneer Woman's Black Bean Burger recipe (with a few adaptations). Here's the ingredient list and what each item cost:

14.5 ounce can of black beans $0.99
1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs $1.00
1/2 cup of shredded cheese (3 packages/$5.00)
1 egg
1 teaspoon chili powder $1.00
Hamburger buns
Lettuce (we used Romaine hearts, package of 3 for $2.50)
Roma tomatoes $1.99/pound
Hummus (we used the new Heluva Good Roasted Red Pepper hummus, $1.99 with a $1 off coupon)

Drain and rinse the black beans, then mash them up with a fork. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, chili powder, and shredded cheese. Stir until everything is combined.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and form the bean mixture into patties. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until the burgers are heated through.

Spread hamburger buns with hummus, then place the patties on the buns. Top with lettuce and tomato, then pop on the lids!

Mommy says these burgers were amazing and she will definitely be making them again soon.

That was fun! Do you think I might have a future as a food blogger or should I stick to kitty stuff???

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Getting Ready for Summer with T-shirts from The Mountain (w/Giveaway)

One of my favorite ways to show my fanaticism for felines is through my vast collection of cat t-shirts. Throughout the summer months (and during spring and fall paired with a long-sleeve shirt) I live in t-shirts, and truth be told I could probably go several months without wearing the same shirt twice.

Tees that are sure to receive compliments when I'm out and about are from one of my favorite brands, The Mountain®, so when I was asked if I'd like to check out some of their new designs it was like Christmas came early!

Based in my neighboring state of New Hampshire, The Mountain has been a bold player in the t-shirt game for over two decades, appealing to anyone who wants to make a statement or simply just have fun with fashion. While my focus is on their huge variety of cat shirts, The Mountain also carries dog, horse, even wildlife designs. There's something for every animal lover to proudly wear their passion for pets!

Here's a peek at what's inside my closet...

I can't begin to say how much I adore Lisa Parker's designs. These two shirts are Bewitched and Midnight Vigil.

Another Lisa Parker design, The Witching Hour (I also have a clock with this image...the cat's face makes me think so much of Truffles) and Fall Kitty.

From the Dean Russo collection, with proceeds going to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Abyssinian and Watchful Cat.

You can only imagine how much I love The Mountain's Politicats collection. I chose Grumpy for President and Trumpy Cat, but Clinton Kitten and Bernie Cat are also available.

I was able to add still more to my Grumpy Cat collection with Red Grumpy Christmas and Grumpenezer Scrooge (as a Christmas Carol fanatic, this just might be my very favorite shirt of all).

And last but certainly not least, Cat's Cradle.

Yikes, now that I see my collection all in one place it almost looks like I'm obsessed or something. Maybe I am...these shirts are truly special and I will be wearing them for many years to come.

The Mountain uses only environmentally friendly water-based inks and dyes to create their vibrant colors. Their unique printing process actually pulls the dye color out of the shirt and leaves the ink color behind, essentially dyeing the cotton with the ink. (Look at the detail close up...just incredible!) The American made shirts are uber-comfortable, super soft and a total attention grabber!

Have I whet your appetite to add one (or more) of these amazing shirts to your wardrobe? Or maybe you're like me and have been a fan of The Mountain for years? One lucky reader in the US is going to win a t-shirt of their choice from The Mountain! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below and good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclaimer: We received product compensation in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: The entire town of Cranberry Cove is popping with excitement. Monica Albertson is baking cranberry goodies by the dozen and shopkeepers are decking out their storefronts for the first annual Winter Walk—an event dreamed up by the mayor to bring visitors to the town during a normally dead time of year.

But it’s the mayor who turns up dead during the grand opening ceremony, his lifeless body making its entrance in a horse-drawn sleigh. Monica’s mother and stepmother quickly become the prime suspects when it’s discovered that the mayor was dating both of them, and to make things worse, her half brother Jeff uncovers a clue buried near one of the bogs on Sassamanash Farm. Now it’s up to Monica to find out who really put the mayor on ice.

Tortie Shorties Review: Monica finds herself embroiled in another mystery when the mayor is found dead in a horse-drawn sleigh during the opening ceremony of the first annual Winter Walk. Both her visiting mother and new-found friend/stepmother are prime suspects because they were unknowingly dating the man at the same time, but the murder weapon came from the local "witch's" shop. Then a critical piece of evidence is found at Sassamanash Farm, plunging her family even more into dangerous territory. I picked up on clues that led to the killer half-way through the book, but the motive was unclear to me until Monica was able to uncover it.

I loved meeting Monica's mother Nancy and enjoyed their interactions together and with stepmom Gina. The descriptions of the meals prepared in Monica's little cottage had my mouth watering, plus every important discussion at the dining room table included the requisite cup of tea. And sweet kitten Mittens is the purr-fect addition to Monica's little world.

This book just oozes cozy from start to finish. I savored every moment and only wish Sassamanash Farm was a real place that I could visit!

From the publisher: With her new business venture - a service to recover missing pets called Pet Recovery Center up and running, Penny Clark is ready to investigate when she learns Winston, a prized poodle, has been dognapped. Nevermind that the body of Kevin Throop was also discovered at the family apple orchard. She has a job to do!

Things would be a lot easier if Penny didn't have to play referee to her divorced grandparents, but she had agreed to take her grandfather in when he'd been forced to leave the rustic cabin he'd been living in. She would just have to make the best of it.

Going against the strict orders of Sheriff Nathan Bradley, who was once her high school sweetheart, and with her partner, Holly, at the helm of the Pet Recovery Center bus (and her divorced grandparents along for the ride) Penny's Pet Recovery Center tackles their first case -- to find the missing poodle -- but what she uncovers is murder...and a whole lot more.

Tortie Shorties Review: While I love the concept of this mystery series I was left slightly disappointed by it. There seemed to be too much going on with a large cast of characters for such a short book. Since I'm typically drawn to the elderly characters in my cozies, I was excited to see Penny's grandparents playing such a large role in the story, but through the first half of the book their bickering got to be a bit much. Still, I'm eager to see if they're reconciling so I'll pick up the next book in the series with hopes that I enjoy it more.