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

Follow The Mountain on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagramBlogOnline Store

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.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Purrrrrple Rain #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Like so much of the world, we were shocked to hear the news of Prince's passing. How many more legendary musicians are we going to lose this year?

While Merle Haggard's recent passing hit us on a more personal level, it's incredibly sad that Prince died so young.

This is our tribute to an amazing talent.

Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop

Friday, April 22, 2016

8 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Cat

Meows from Mudpie and Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Here are some ideas on how to "go green" with your kitty...

1) Most cats love canned food. (Notice I said "most"...ahem) Recycle the cans!

2) Reuse plastic bags by lining them inside a small pail and keeping it next to your litter boxes. Scoop clumps into the bag, cover it and toss bag when full.

3) Cut back on the number of plastic bags you get by bringing reusable totes for trips to the pet store.

4) Make a puzzle feeder out of plastic soda or water bottles. Cut a few small holes into the side of the bottle and insert treats or catnip. If you go through a lot of bottles consider making a bunch to enrich the lives of shelter cats!

5) Make fun cat toys out of toilet paper rolls, plastic milk container rings and crumpled up paper

6) Turn all those cardboard boxes from Amazon Prime into an adorable scratching pad or play house.

7) Choose environmentally friendly kitty litters such as Weruva's sustainably sourced All-Natural Hinoki Wood & Green Tea Cat Litter and Garfield's new biodegradable and flushable litter.

8) It's time for spring cleaning! Donate extra towels, blankets, etc. to your local shelter.

Bonus Idea:

Adopt. Is there anything better than a recycled pet? We don't think so!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Give Mom the Gift of Cat Books This Mother's Day (w/Giveaway!)

If Mom loves to read we have a few suggestions for the purr-fect books to add to her cat library!

From the publisher: Cats have a way of walking into our lives and making themselves right at home. No cat lover can imagine life without a feline presence - even if it is only as fleeting as the occasional conversation with a neighbourhood stray. Meow: A book of happiness for cat lovers is a compendium of delightful quotes that capture the essence of this fascination. Some are by famous people (Mark Twain, Jean Cocteau, Ernest Hemingway), others not; some are philosophical, others light-hearted - all are memorable. Accompanied by beautiful photography, and presented in a high-quality gift format, this is a collection of quotes to treasure.

Tortie Shorties Review: One of the most beautiful collections of feline photography you are likely to find, accompanied by quotes that celebrate the most perfect animal ever created. Subtitled "a book of happiness for cat lovers," every time I comb through it's pages my heart sings.

Ami Ami Kittens: Seriously Cute Crochet! by Mitsuki Hoshi

From the publisher: Amigurumi, which translates to knitted stuffed toy in Japanese, is the art of crocheting cute stuffed animals with large heads and small bodies. Ami Ami Kittens is packed with projects for all crochet lovers offering them directions and inspiration for creating a range of fun and irresistible yarn kittens. Detailed, easy-to-follow instructions, illustrations, and enchanting color photographs teach them how to create these super adorable felines of various breeds and types, including Tabby, Pointed, Black/White Solid, Black and White, Calico, Scottish Fold, Siamese, Russian Blue, Munchkin, Maine Coon, British Shorthair, and American Shorthair. Here, too, are instructions for transforming them into key chains, finger puppets, and magnets.

Ami Ami Kittens covers a wide range of techniques, from basic crochet skills perfect for beginners to more challenging patterns for experts, and offers spiral methods to ensure that the stuffing stays inside the finished piece. Filled with pretty, fun, and irresistibly adorable young cats, Ami Ami Kittens provides hours of fun for every knitter—and cat lovers, too.

Tortie Shorties Review: I am the least crafty person you will ever meet but this book has me wanting to learn how to crochet!!! It contains the absolute cutest pictures I have ever seen (that don't include real live cats)! Each crocheted kitten is unique and so life-like you forget they're made out of yarn. The miniature scenes created for the crafty kitties bring each picture to life even more. Even if you don't crochet you will never tire of looking at the adorable images. Now I wonder if the author has an online store...

From the publisher: Catnap often. You can never be too fluffy or have too many treats. Despite the rumor, it is okay to be curious! A Cat Taught Me That is filled with humorous advice and the wisdom of elder cats that includes information on how to get more out of life, and how to avoid common pitfalls along the way. Cat lovers will enjoy the adorable photographs and cute illustrations throughout. Celebrity cat 'Awesome Louie' provides insight with his sage advice in his "Mewsings" column. Short essays from the cat-lady author will bring smiles to the faces of readers when they learn that "Not All That Glitters is Gold" and “To Be Kissed By a Cat” can have unintended consequences.

Tortie Shorties Review: Twitter star and blogging kitty Awesome Louie is the star of this adorable book of feline wisdom told through his "mewsings" and short essays from his human, author Charlotte Gerber. Anyone who has ever lived with a cat knows there is much to be learned from them and Louie is a very insightful kitty indeed. Adorable illustrations by the author's daughter make this book an extra special mother/daughter project!


Thanks to the authors and publishers one lucky person in the US is going to win a set of all three cat books to give to Mom on Mother's Day...or to keep for themselves!

Four additional winners will receive copies of A Cat Taught Me That. This portion of the giveaway is open to everyone outside the US will receive an ebook copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tummy Time!

Meows from Mudpie!

I'm not a kitty who shows her tummy very often, and even when I do it's typically a fleeting glance.

Today I thought I might treat you to a peep show.

Are you ready???

Better look quick!

That's all you get...hope you enjoyed the show!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Chewy Delivers Healthy Indulgences #ChewyInfluencer

Meows from Mudpie!

In her never-ending quest to find more wet food that I might like Mommy took the liberty of choosing what I was going to review this month for

I thought we lived in a democracy, Mommy!

Yes, I've been listening to the news and have learned that our vote doesn't mean as much as we thought it did. But that's not a rant for a cat blog...

Anyways, she chose the Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels Turkey & Chicken Recipe which provides a convenient way to keep your cat hydrated while satisfying even the most refined feline palate. (Mommy says with me it's more like a "picky palate" but I prefer saying that I have very refined tastes...)

Key Benefits:
  • Tasty bits of chicken and turkey in a rich sauce
  • Provides essential vitamins and minerals
  • Promotes skin and coat health with omega 3 fatty acids
  • Cranberries and blueberries help support your cat’s urinary tract
  • Sweet potatoes and carrots provide natural antioxidants
  • Made without grains, a common allergy trigger
  • No wheat, wheat gluten, corn, soy or artificial colors or flavors

When Mommy opened the pouch she knew I was going to pull my usual trick and just lick the gravy so she took a fork and mashed up the meaty morsels. She appreciated how easy it was to smoosh together; the consistency wasn't rubbery at all like so many pouches we've seen. Apparently it worked too because although I still preferred to lick the gravy I ate more of the meat than I usually do! Maybe I can talk Mommy into getting me my very own food processor to puree my food even more! (Teehee...)

Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels are available in 6 varieties: chicken & chicken liver, turkey & duck, chicken & turkey, salmon & tuna, chicken & salmon, and plain tuna. They are currently on sale at for $22.57 for a case of 24 pouches.

Disclaimer: This food was sent to us for free by as part of their Blogger Outreach Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

We're excited to be linking up with the Blog Hop hosted by our good friends Oz the Terrier and Sugar the Golden Retriever.

Monday, April 18, 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: A sinister phone call in the middle of the night throws tearoom owner, Gemma Rose, straight into the heart of a new murder mystery--this time with her friend, Seth, arrested as the key suspect! The grisly killing in the cloisters of an old Oxford college points to a bitter feud within the University--but Gemma finds unexpected clues popping up in her tiny Cotswolds village.

Meanwhile, her love life is in turmoil as Gemma struggles to decide between eminent doctor, Lincoln Green, and sexy CID detective, Devlin O'Connor... whilst her quaint English tearoom is in hot water as she struggles to find a new baking chef.

With her exasperating mother and her mischievous little tabby cat, Muesli, driving her nutty as a fruitcake--and the nosy Old Biddies at her heels--Gemma must crack her toughest case yet if she is to save her friend from a life behind bars.

Tortie Shorties Review: I tore through this delicious little mystery so fast that my Kindle is still smoking! 

The third installment of the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries finds Gemma attempting to clear her old college friend Seth's name after he's accused of murdering a professor he had been arguing with over the construction of a housing project for the homeless. In addition to hunting down the real killer Gemma is faced with making a decision between the two men in her life, sexy detective Devlin and the doctor her mother is trying to set her up with it. Her mother has her stressed out as well over her latest online obsession: travel sites which has her planning dangerous trips with her best friend. Plus she has to get serious about hiring a new baker for the tearoom.

Gemma's elderly friends the Old Biddies team up to help with the sleuthing and end up way in over their heads leading to a heart-pounding capture of the killer. She makes new friends too in the form of a down on his luck man and his sweet dog. And once again her precious tabby Muesli gets into plenty of mischief while also making it perfectly which of Gemma's romantic interests gets her paw of approval!

If you're a cat lover or a fan of British mysteries, you absolutely must read this series. Each can be read as a standalone but why not treat yourself to all 3 books and go on a Cotswolds vacation this summer through the pages of a book!

From the publisher: Misfortune blows into North Carolina’s Outer Banks when a dead body in a boat on the shore leaves local librarian Lucy Richardson racing to solve a strange new mystery....

After a successful party at Bodie Island’s Lighthouse Library, librarian Lucy Richardson is ready to curl up with her cat, Charles, and a good book. But her R and R is cut short when she notices some mysterious lights leading a small boat to crash into the coast.

The two shipwrecked seafarers survive the ordeal—but one of them shows up dead ashore a few days later. Lucy finds herself again roped into a murder investigation and navigating a sea of suspects, all of whom had motives to deep-six the deceased. And this time, she has a sinking feeling that finding the real killer won’t be so easy...

Tortie Shorties Review: Lucy's life as a librarian in a historic lighthouse where she also gets to live would be darned near perfect if not for the nasty habit she's made out of finding dead bodies on the premises!

In this third installment of the Lighthouse Library mystery series Lucy witnesses a small boat almost run around during a storm thanks to strange lights on shore. At the next book club meeting she meets the couple that were rescued, William Williamson and his much younger girlfriend Marlene. When he's found dead shortly after Lucy's good friend Stephanie (who's in town caring for her mother who was recently in a terrible car accident) is the main suspect thanks to her shocking connection to the victim. Twists and turns abound and while I had my suspicions I was kept guessing until the very end.

The book club in Reading Up a Storm is reading Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson so a lot of the story revolves around ship wrecks and ghosts which is wonderfully creepy. Lucy's love life is also front and center as is her relationship with her delightful co-workers at the library. And last but certainly not least there's Charlie the library cat who has a visceral reaction to the killer long before Lucy suspects a thing!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dreaming on a Starry Night #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Today our Caturday Art project was done using the Dreamscope app for the first time. We love how it turned out!

Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Cats of Project Hope #BtC4A

Have you ever stopped to wonder why one cat will come into the shelter and get adopted within days, while others get passed by for months or even longer? From what I can tell by Mudpie's adoption paperwork she was in a western New York shelter for 6 months before being transferred here to Vermont!

Every cat deserves a second chance, a place to call home and someone to love them, so Franklin County Animal Rescue of St Albans, Vermont (Tara and Truffles' alma mater) has instituted a No Fee Adoption program (regular application process applies) called Project Hope to help their adoptable animals who have been waiting far too long for their forever homes.

Many wonderful cats have already been adopted thanks to Project Hope. These are the sweet babies who are still waiting...

Information on these cats and many others can be found here.

Even if adopting isn't a possibility, donations are greatly appreciated to help offset the cost of caring for these beautiful cats, patiently waiting for their forever homes.

The kitties thank you!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Cat Moms

Meows from Mudpie!

We're just a few short weeks away from one of the most important days of the year...Mother's Day!

Since this is my very first Mother's Day with Mommy I've been doing some browsing online in search of the purr-fect gift for her and I decided to share some of my favorite finds with my kitty friends!

(In full disclosure, some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you buy something after clicking on them. More moolah for Mommy's gift!)

1) CatLadyBox Subscription (Order within the next week to get the Cat Mom's Day box!!!)

5)  Here Kitty Kitty Board Game (Because what Mom really wants is quality family time...put those electronic gadgets away and play a fun cat-themed game together!)

Do any of these items catch your eye? Is there anything in particular you're hoping to receive for Mother's Day?