Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Raturday!

Welcome to a new weekly blog post I'm calling, Raturday! I've seen Caturday and while that's really cute, I think the rats needs some photo time so everyone can see how cute these little animals are. I've gotten permission from Rat Logic's fb page to share their pictures on my blog. So get ready to smile because these are cute. 

*click pictures to enlarge*

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: Private Selection Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Salsa and Select Blend Nuts

This week I received a Bzzkit from BzzAgent with all kinds of Private Selection goodies in it. This is what it looked like when I opened the box. 

Inside the box was an assortment of coupons including coupons for free products like Private Selection pie, bacon and frozen fruit. I also received a bag of Private Selection Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Private Selection Salsa and Private Selection Mixed Nuts. 

Hubby and I dug into the tortillas and salsa right away. *can't really expect us to wait until after dinner, right?* 

Now this is my first time trying Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and I have to say I was a skeptic but they were actually quite tasty. I've had the salsa before so I already knew I would like it. I like the Private Selection Salsa because it has a great flavor, a lot of chunky vegetables and isn't so hot and spicy that I can't eat it. It has a great mild flavor to it and for someone who doesn't eat a lot of spicy foods, that's a plus for me. 

We also opened the Private Selection Select Blend Nuts *you know, because the can was sitting there mocking us and we pretty much had to because the temptation became too much for us* and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the mix of nuts was a good one. There were cashews, pecans and macadamia nuts in this canister. 

Not only were there a great selection of nuts in the can but they tasted very fresh. They didn't have too much salt on them and they had a great flavor. I would definitely recommend all of these products to you to try for yourself. 

I received these Products from BzzAgent. Have you signed up with them yet? No, well what are you waiting for? You could be getting free products to try at home just like I do. Just click here and sign up for an account, it's simple and easy to do and all you have to do is share your thoughts, write a review and share on social media about the products you receive from them. 

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to try at home from in exchange for my truthful review. I was in no other way compensated for my honest review. All thoughts and ideas expressed are my own.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: Cassani Fogless Shower Mirror

 *This is what the box looked like when I got it.*

Ken painted our bathroom a really nice light green color not too long ago and I've slowly been upgrading things in the bathroom to make it look better. I even painted the frame around my little flower pot a light green to match the new look and bought a new green rug.

So I'm always looking for new things to put in the bathroom to spruce it up a bit more. So when I got the chance to get this Cassani Fogless Shower Mirror for free to try at home, I jumped at the chance. I've never had a mirror in the shower before and why would I when it would just fog up and I wouldn't be able to use it, right?

So when I read that this one was fogless and shatterproof, I really wanted to try it out. I used to have a handheld mirror but it got dropped and broke some time ago so this is a great replacement for that.

This mirror was easy to install in the shower and nice to have around not only for hubby who can now keep his razor in the shower instead of on my perfume shelf but once the mirror is installed, it's going to stay in place. It came with adhesive holder that all you have to do is clean off the area of the wall you are going to stick it to and then place the backing on the wall and hang the mirror. Much better and safer than those suction cup holders that never stay where you want them.
*This is the mirror, mirror holder and razor holder*

I like it because I can also use it to see what I'm doing when I use a face wash or scrub on my face while showering.

If you would like to buy this product, you can do so here.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Weekly Rat Facts: Accessories and Toys

While it's important to give you rat some toys for their cage, it's just as important not to put so many toys and accessories into the cage that they have no room to move around. The best thing to do is to put a couple of small toys in the cage and see which ones they will actually play with, then once a week when you clean out the cage take the toys they don't play with out, and replace it with another.

This will keep your rat happy as well as give them something to do when you aren't playing with them. Keeping your rat mentally stimulated will keep them happy and therefore healthier. Keep in mind you don't have to spend loads of money on cage accessories and toys. Hand made toys can be just as effective as the store bought ones.

The most important accessory and the first thing you should get for your rat's cage is a nesting box for sleeping. Rats sleep a lot and having a safe, secure place to sleep will make them happy. Rats like to hide inside something while sleeping and there are several store bought things you can get that your rat will love. Things like log cabins, houses made from wood, and plastic igloos are just a few.

Make sure to look at other animal accessories, like ferret, chinchilla, guinea pig and even birds will have nesting houses, toys and accessories that you can use for your rat. Once you have the nesting house you will need to add some nesting material, such as extra bedding, shredded paper towels, and even torn pieces of paper are appropriate. Never use wood shavings as bedding or nesting material. Soft bedding made of paper products, such as Care Fresh works best. You will have to clear out and clean the nesting box material more than once a week if your animals are urinating in the nesting box. Rats like their environment to be kept clean.

Getting toys for your rat's cage is essential and will give your rat as well as you hours of fun. They will have fun playing and you'll have fun watching them play. Some but not all rats will like the wheel. Make sure to get a solid metal wheel with no wires. Rats can catch their tails in between the wires of some wheels and get injured.

Making treat boxes is another fun way for rats to play. Just take an empty toilet paper tube, put some treats inside it like nuts, fresh veggies or small dog biscuits and fold up the sides. You rat will love to tear the tube apart and get to the treat inside. There are also treat boxes in most pet stores that have a wide variety of treats in them. Store bought toys like wood chews, treat sticks, exercise balls, and plastic tubes are just some things you can get.

Hanging bird toys are another great thing you can put into your rat cage. Just hang the bird toy from the top and let it hang down, you rat won't be able to stop himself from chewing and tugging on it. Make sure you have a sturdy food bowl and give them plenty of food. They like to munch several times a day. A water bottle is a necessity; make sure your rat has a clean supply of water every day. Putting water in a free standing bowl is not a good idea as they will tip it over and get their bedding wet. Hard plastic or glass water bottles are the best to get. Rats like to chew so if you get a soft plastic water bottle you may find holes in it soon after you put it in the cage.

No matter how many toys you give your rat, make sure they get plenty of attention and playtime out of the cage with you. Rats are social animals and love to have time out of their cage, hanging around their humans, riding on your shoulder and getting bits of your food.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a 'Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things. So I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.

  You can find links to samples like these at Hey It's Free and Freebie Shark.

This week I received:

Nivea Lotion
Garnier 5 Second Blur
Garnier Anti Age Skin Corrector
Fructis Marvelous Oil
Waleda Skin Food
Garnier Clean Nourishing Skin Oil

I also cashed out some points on Chatabout and turned them into a $5 Amazon gift card.

Did you receive any freebies this week?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Digging Box For Rats

First of all you may be asking yourself, what is a digging box? Well that's easy, a digging box is a box filled with sterile potting soil that you let your rat dig in. You can plant grass and let them eat it, or just leave it as soil and hide treats in the soil for your rats to dig and find.

You may never have heard of giving your rat a box of soil to dig in, but wild rats dig and forage for food. Giving them a box full of soil is a great way to let them indulge in a behavior they will find quite natural.

So how do you create a digging box? It's very easy, just get a plastic box, such as a Tupperware or kitty litter box and fill it half way to the top with a bag of sterile potting soil. It is very important to make sure the soil you use has no additives or fertilizers as this may make your rat sick. You can add grass seed to grow grass or grow oat grass, wheat grass or just add bird seed as a treat. Adding a handful of rat food into the soil will be fun to watch your rat digging to find the food as well you may see some of the seeds sprouting, making a little ratty garden for your pet to devour.

Water the soil just enough to grow your grass, but don't let the soil grow mold or fungus. This will harm your rat. You can partially bury plastic tubing large enough for your rat to crawl through into the soil, as well as burying assorted rocks, treats, and toys.

You may want to put a smooth rock on top of the soil for the rats to sit on at first if they don't seem to like the soil, this will also give them a starting point to start their digging as rats like to dig underneath things.

The digging box should not be used to house your rat, you will need to have a rat cage to let them sleep and live, but having a digging box will be a fun thing for your rat to look forward to. If you make a digging box and your rat is scared being in it, don't force the issue. The best thing to do is to leave it out where they can get to it themselves while they are playing on the couch or floor. Leaving it up to them to find the box and find out it can be fun may take time but its well worth the effort.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Difference Between Manga and Anime

One of the biggest trends in the past few years has been Anime. So many cartoons you see on television these days are of this style. Recently I've seen these huge comic books as well. I wasn't sure what they were and started looking through one, I was told by the comic book store owner they are called Graphic Novels, also know as Manga.

What is Manga?

Manga is just a Japanese word used  to say comics. In America it is a term used to cover all comic books and Graphic Novels that were made in Japan. Book length comics are very common to find here in the U.S and are often labeled Manga. Manga stories are known for having ongoing story lines as well as more than one volume. Their stories are often an existence unto themselves. They way they unfold and are told makes the characters seem real.

The Graphic novels as they are written in Japan, may have nudity, sex, and some obscenities. When we get them here, a lot of time they have been "Americanized", that is to say they have been cleaned up a bit. Now not all Manga has been cleaned of the sex and nudity. Go into any comic book store and you will find a plethora of comic books, Manga and Graphic novels with more nudity and sex in them than the Hustler magazine your dad had under his mattress.

What is Anime?

Anime is a word used to describe Japanese animation. I'm sure you've seen Anime on T.V., maybe watched Pokemon or Naruto with your kids. Those are Anime. Hamtaro was one of my favorite Anime Cartoons to watch with my daughter. Yes, before you ask, it was about Hamsters. Imagine that.

So, you might be thinking this sounds interesting to me. I think I'll go find a Comic Book Store and take a look, maybe buy a few for my kid. Before you do, you should know there are a lot of Pornographic Manga Graphic Novels out there. So make sure you look through the Comic Book before giving to little jimmy, or he might come back asking you what 'That" is.

If you do start reading Manga or watching Anime, there are a whole slew of terms you may be bombarded with that you've never heard before. These are just a few and I hope they help you get started.

Cosplay- Refers to a person who dresses up like their favorite character. Sometimes you will see them at Anime Conventions.

Arigato- Means Thank you in Japanese.

Bishonen- Refers to a Beautiful young boy, sometimes refers to an Anime or Manga character that is drawn almost female but still has male body parts. Characters are sometimes drawn to look delicate, with long limbs, smooth face, long eye lashes and slender eyes.

Face Fault- Is an exaggeration of facial expressions, also sometimes accompanied with falling to the ground.

Fanfic- Refers to a work of Fiction written by a fan of Anime or Manga and based on a popular title.

Sensei- used to refer to a Professor or Teacher.

Sweat Drop- Refers to a large bead of sweat on the heads of an Anime Character. This is common in Anime and it is supposed to help show the character is exasperated.

OAV/OVA- This means Original Animation Video and Original Video Animation. Both terms used in Japan to describe animation that was released directly to video. It was not on television or in the theaters first before release to a video. OAV is not usually used anymore because it was sometimes associated with Original Adult Video, so they mostly use OVA now.

Harem Anime- Usually refers to a nerdy male character who after having no luck with women suddenly finds themselves with several women throwing themselves at him. Thus, he has a harem of woman. Sometimes the roles are reversed and Women will have a harem of men.

Hentai- Anime that usually has Pornography in it, or its whole story line is Pornography in anime form.

Ecchi- Ecchi is a way to say "perverted" in Japanese. Hentai and Ecchi are closely related but while Hentai will have Porn, Ecchi is a bit more subdued with more sexual humor than actual sex.

Fan service- Pictures or scenes made for the sole purpose of exciting or titillating the person watching. Things like boob shots, ass shots ect...Sometimes it also refers to large explosions or car crashes. Things that make you want to watch.

Otaku- Is the extremely negative word meaning someone who has no life and spends all their time playing video games, watching Anime, reading Manga, surfing the internet. Someone who devotes all their time to a hobby to the point of not leaving their house, thus not having a life.

Baka- Means Foolish, stupid or idiot.

Fan art- Simply means Anime art drawn by a fan.

Glomp- is used to describe a strong hug in an Anime scene.

These are just some of the terms used in Manga and Anime, I hope they have helped you learn a few things you didn't know before reading this article.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

What to Do If Your Hamster Gives Birth and Then Dies

My daughter with 4 of the baby hamsters we had.

One of the sweetest things you will ever see is a mother hamster and her newborn babies (pups). Hamster pups are born hairless, vulnerable and with their eyes closed. They rely on their mother for everything, including warmth, food, and safety. If the mother hamster dies suddenly before the pups are weaned, there is a chance they will die too.

If the pups are at least 10 days old they have a better chance of making it, but if they are only a day or two old they might not make it no matter how much you try or what you do. If you have another hamster (of the same breed) who has recently given birth, you can try to introduce the pups to the surrogate mother. Before putting the pups into the new mother's cage you must first wash the smell of their birth mother off of them. You have to be extra careful when doing this while making sure all the original scent is gone. First thing you need to do is gather a handful of the surrogate mothers bedding, close to her own pups nest and set it aside in a shoe box. You want the bedding material to smell like her babies.

Wet a paper towel with warm water and sponge the pups off one by one. When they are cleaned of their original scent, gently place them into the surrogate mothers bedding you gathered up. Because you stimulated them while bathing, they should be wriggling around when you set them into the bedding. This will help get the new scent on them and aid in the new mother accepting them into her nest.

Place the surrogate mothers cage in a quiet place and tempt her out of her nest with her favorite treat. Try to keep the mother busy at one end of the cage, if she starts to run right back to her nest with her treat, gently block her way unless she starts getting upset. If she is easily handled and lets you take her out of the cage while she eats her treat, that would be best.

While mom is eating her treat, gently scoop up the pups and bedding and place the pups and bedding into the surrogate mothers nest and let the new pups wriggle around with the other babies. Try not to get your human smell on the pups or the bedding if you can help it, wearing gloves can help with this. The goal is for the new babies to end up smelling just like the babies that were originally in the nest.

Place the mother back into the cage and let her go to her nest. Do not bother her or the cage again for at least a day. If this works, the next time you look into the cage all the babies will be squirming around the mother. If she rejects the orphans, she may wind up eating them. This is normal hamster behavior and is to be expected even with her own brood of babies if she detects they are sick or she gets upset or nervous.

Things are quite different if you find yourself having to hand raise the orphaned pups yourself. If the mother has died, you need to remove her from the cage and dispose of the body. Most hamster lovers find that burying their beloved pets helps with the grieving process.

The pups will be cold since they no longer have their mothers' warmth. You will need to get them warm as soon as possible by placing them in a warm room in a shoe box or something similar, filled with shredded toilet paper or paper towels, until you clean out their cage.

Clean and dry their cage really well and then place them back inside along with the shredded bedding. Get a heating pad and place a towel on top of it, now sit the cage on top of that and set the heating pad to the lowest setting. This will help keep the pups warm without allowing them to get overheated from the heating pad.

Newborn pups need to be fed every hour for the first 10 days. Then every two hours until they are 15 days old and every three hours until they are approximately 20 days old. There are several types of milk you can feed to hamsters. You can get kitten formula from a veterinarian or pet store, baby formula or even a mix of equal parts evaporated milk and warm water.

Newborn pups need between two and three drops of formula every hour. Feeding the pups with an eye dropper is the easiest, but while you want them to drink the formula you also have to make sure they don't inhale it into their lungs. Do not force the formula into their mouths; let them slowly lick it off the eye dropper. After each feeding you will need to stimulate each pup to urinate and defecate the same way the mother would do if she were around. The easiest way to do this is to rub the genital and anal area with a soft, warm, moist cloth or you can also use a wet Q-tip. If you don't do this the pups are likely to urinary and bowel problems or obstructions and die.

When they are walking around a little you can fill the water bottle up with a mixture of one half children's pedialyte and one half water. The pedialyte will help them from getting dehydrated. Make sure to keep their food dish full of normal food. Bread soaked with milk is another thing they will eat, just put it on a small lid and remove it and wash the lid every couple of hours. You can also add small amounts of boiled egg, vegetables, apples, canned dog food and wheat germ. Eat day you will need to remove any uneaten soft foods. If you let the foods stay too long they will spoil and can cause death to the hamsters. When the hamsters are about 20 days old, they should be weaned enough that you can stop feeding them the formula.

Although you may have done everything right and taken the time to feed, love and care for the pups over days or even weeks, there is still a chance they may not make it. No matter what happens you should be proud of yourself for trying.

Monday, September 08, 2014

The Bouqs Ambassador Program


After seeing my original post they contacted me and offered me a free Bouqs bouguet to review on my blog. So you'll see a review from me about their flowers in the coming weeks. :)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

How to Care for an Older Hamster

*Chance lived to be 4 years old*

Most Teddy Bear Hamsters (syrians) live between two and three years. While Chinese Dwarf Hamsters live between one and a half to three years. But like people each hamster is an individual and can live for less time or more time, depending on the care and the health of the hamster. If you buy a hamster at a Pet Store or breeder you should always ask how old it is so you will know. Keeping track of your pets age will help you to determine what's wrong and why he may be acting certain ways as he gets older.

An older hamster will often times have bald spots, be less lively and not want to run around as much, and might not clean themselves as much as they did when they were younger. Therefore their fur may look unclean, but that does not mean you should give them a bath. Bathing your hamster should be a last resort as they can become chilled and get sick and it can be stressful for them. If they do get dirty you can wet a paper towel and clean off the dirty part. Most hamsters will then clean themselves where you got them wet.

Many Dwarf hamsters may bite or nip when they are younger and then mellow out as they get older. Sometimes if a hamster lives long past what is considered normal you may have to take special care of it. Some hamsters as they get older have a hard time chewing the seed mixture. This also means they can no longer bite. My hamster still tried to bite me when I handled him but he just had no strength to do so. I have had several hamsters that when they reached an age of three or more were not able to break through the sunflower seed shells or any other hard seeds and would have died of starvation. My Vet told me I could give him canned dog or cat food, baby food and any soft foods that I eat.

The Dwarf hamster I had was four years old and didn't like the cat food, but loved Mighty Dog canned Dog Food. I also fed him soft human foods. For six months I took him out of his cage at least six times a day and fed him. You could feed your hamster right in the cage but it's easier to take them out and let them take what they want, pouch a little for later and have some out with you. That way their cage won't have old food spoiling in it either. I always left him a little food in the cage to snack on if he got hungry though and just cleaned it out and put more in several times a day that way none of it spoiled.

With an older hamster you should also move them to a single story cage and make sure the water bottle in down low enough so that they don't have to climb to get a drink. In a large cage that has tubes to climb in, an older hamster may not have the strength to climb in order to reach the water bottle. They may also fall down the tubes and hurt themselves because as they get older they lose a lot of their strength. So it's best to remove all tubes and just have one level in the cage with a couple of small houses for him to hide and sleep in.

You may have to take your older hamster to the Veterinarian's office and have him put to sleep if it looks like he is too weak to walk around or eat anything or seems like he is in pain. I took Chance to the Vet's office twice the year this picture was taken, but she told me as long as he is still eating, can walk around and seems healthy there's no need to euthanize. But it is a huge undertaking and not one to be taken lightly. I had Chance with me pretty much all the time and for 6 months he required a lot of care, which I was happy to do. 

 When deciding whether or not to buy a small pet you should consider what you would do if a hamster you bought needed this type of care when they got older. Are you willing to put this type of time into taking care of your hamster? If the answer is no, then maybe you shouldn't get one.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Weekly Rat Facts: Noises

Rats are social animals and like to be around humans and other rats. Children under the age of 10 should be supervised when handling and caring for their pet rats, as rats are somewhat fragile creatures and can be hurt easily. Many rats will sit and groom their human companions, giving you kisses (licks) and gentle nibbles. This is a way to show you that they like you and have accepted you as a part of their family.

Rats do make noises, they will chatter their teeth when you are holding and petting them. This is called bruxing. They will do this when they are happy or content. It's much like when a cat purrs, you know they are happy.

Rats will also make squeaking noises if they have a cage mate and are play wrestling. Most times they will play wrestle at night after all the humans are in bed and the room they are in is quiet. If one of the rats gets a little rougher than the other one likes they will make a high pitched squeaking noise to let the other rat know they are being too rough.

Rats will also squeak if they are scared. The best way to make sure you don't scare your pet rat is to talk to them as you open cage. That way they know you are there and are less likely to get scared and bite you. Most rats are friendly and won't bite, but there is an exception to that rule. Just make sure not to scare them or let small children squeeze them tightly when they hold them so the chances of getting bitten by a rat are very small.

Although Rats will make chirping, squeaking and teeth gnashing noises, if the sounds you are hearing are made when they are breathing or you think their breathing is labored or sounds crackly, you need to take them to a Veterinarian right away. This could be the first signs of an upper respiratory problem and without Veterinary care they can die from this rather fast.

The Veterinarian you seek out will have to be familiar with Exotic pets. Rats, hamsters as well as other small animals are all considered Exotic pets and a Veterinarian familiar with exotic pets will be more helpful than one that is not.

Rats will also sneeze. If you are using the wrong bedding, for instance one that has a lot of dust in it or one that your rat is allergic to, your rat might start sneezing. If you hear your rat sneezing, or when they sneeze there is a yellow mucous getting sprayed from his nostrils, he probably has an upper respiratory problem and will need antibiotics from a Veterinarian before he will get better. Pine or cedar bedding is sold for Rats and Hamsters, but is not good for their health. This type of bedding is notorious for causing breathing problems in small animals. Most people who keep rats will tell you to get Care Fresh Bedding but I use fleece blankets.