Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rats 101: What is a Rattery

Many people are used to seeing rats for sale in pet stores and while a lot of people choose places like this to get their rats and other small animals from, I don't because you run the risk of getting an animal from a back yard breeder or mill type breeder that sells to pet shops. A rattery is usually run out of a persons home and simply put, is a room where a person breeds rats and raises them until they find suitable homes for the babies.

How To Find A Rattery
A lot of times a person will list their rattery or rat rescue site in rat forums. It's a good idea to join a few rat forums on places like Facebook and ask people who have already adopted rats from ratteries where they found them and how they liked them.

The North American Rat Registry also has a huge list of ratteries and a database with information on rat lines, siblings, ancestors as well as birth and death dates, which will give you a more complete look into a rats family history.

How To Select A Rattery
Some ratteries have a lot of rules about not touching any of the rats and the only way you can pick one is by seeing pictures of it. Some people won't even let you in their home when you come to pick up your rats. While I can understand the need to be careful so their rats don't pick up mites or other diseases from people who might carry things in on their clothing or hands, I will not adopt from a person who runs a rattery that won't let me interact with the rats and see where they are living.

Being so secretive makes me believe they have something to hide. They could be a backyard breeder that really has no idea how to raise healthy babies or they could have hundreds of babies in their rattery in bad living conditions. Unless they will let you see where the rats are living, you have no idea about their living conditions or how many baby rats they have.

A good rattery will let you see pictures of the babies so you get an idea of what they look like but will also let you interact with the rats so you get an idea of temperament and personality. I pick my rats for their personality and temperament. I like happy, excited to see me rats. Not shy, scared rats that try to run away from me when I try to pet them. You should be able to tell if the babies have been socialized, meaning they have been handled and played with and are not scared of human hands and try to run away from you.

If the person running the rattery you choose won't let you interact with the rats, see where they live or the rats act like they are unsocialized, you should turn right around and leave. They either have something to hide or because they are so cautious and paranoid you're not going to get a rat with the personality you might want because you weren't able to interact with any of them to find the perfect one for you.

Friday, January 30, 2015

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.
Did you know you can sign up at Tomoson and get free products too.

This week I received:
3 books that I won.
A coupon for a free 12 pack of coke from My Coke Rewards.
3 Samples of Acne Cleansing Wipes.

Did you received anything free this week?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: Petunia Skincare 1.0mm Derma Roller, Eye Serum and Anti-aging Serum

I've never used a Derma Roller before I was given this one to try out. So I read the directions really well and it said to roll over the affected area with steady pressure in all 4 directions for 10 times. Then apply the serum you want to absorb more quickly because using this product will help the serum you use absorb more quickly. So I followed the directions and found this derma roller to be a little harsh. It is not for someone with really sensitive skin and will leave you skin a little irritated and red. It's best to use this at night, apply the serum right before bed. The redness will be gone by morning. I used the serum with and without this derma roller and saw no real difference in how the serum worked.

I found the eye serum to be a nice light serum that didn't irritate my skin at all. While I didn't see any puffiness diminish in the week that I used it, I did feel smoother skin in the places that the eye serum was used. It says it helps with puffy eyes, dark circles and swollen eyes. I don't have any of those problems to begin with so I didn't see it work in that way. I will say that the description on Amazon says it is never tested on animals and cruelty free and I really loved that about this eye serum. 

The anti aging serum was used on my forehead and around where I have fine lines around my eyes. I really don't have a lot of fine lines yet but there are a few on my forehead. In the week that I used this anti aging serum I did see the fine lines on my forehead seem to reduce or look less noticeable. This said that it was also good for uneven skin tone which I do have in places. But I didn't see any noticeable changes in that area after using this serum for a week. 

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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Home Made Rat Toys


So you have a new rat and want to know what toys to get? Well some of the best rat toys are the ones that you make yourself.

Cardboard Tube Treat Holder
The easiest thing to make is this treat holder. All you need is a toilet paper tube, fold in one side and fill it with a few pieces of fruit, veggies, or any other treat your rat likes. Then fold the other side in and give it to your rat. They will have loads of fun trying to get to the treats inside the tube.

Paper Towel Box
Rats love to play under paper towels. If you put a few paper towels into a tissue box and cut a hole in the side so they can stick their heads out as well as get inside without jumping on top of it, they will jump around inside that box like they were kittens all the while playing 'chase the paper towel'. It is the cutest thing to watch and they will love it.

I bet you didn't know that rats love to fish, did you? Well, neither did I until I had a coffee cup filled with ice and Pepsi and my rat, Dusty stuck his nose right down in the cup and pulled out an ice cube and ran away with it.

He looked very happy and came back a few seconds later to fish another ice cube out of my cup. So I tried other things in a cup of water. I put strawberries in a cup of water and he stuck his nose right in and pulled them out as well.

Try putting different veggies or pieces of fruit your rat likes into a bowl of water. They will stick their entire face down into that water to grab the treat, only to come back for more.

Paper Bag
Believe it or not, a simple paper bag will give you and your rat hours of play time. Rats love to hide and get into and under things. That coupled with the noises the paper bag will make as they walk into it, will make them want to jump on it, drag it around and tear it into shreds. Even if your rat doesn't chew it to death, you should use a new bag the next time you play as most rats will have urinated in the bag while playing.

Veggie Shish-ka-bobs
Rats love vegetables and will eat just about anything you give to them. An easy thing to make for them is this shish-ka-bob, made from vegetables. Take a head of fresh broccoli and cut off the large hard stems from the middle. Cut the hard outer peel from the stem, then cut into square strips and add small pieces of other vegetables to the stick of broccoli. You may need to cut small holes into the vegetables before adding them to the broccoli stick. Give it to your rat and watch him happily eat it. Make sure to remove any remaining fresh food from your rat's cage at the end of the day so it doesn't spoil.

So there you have several easy and cheap ideas for rat toys. Rats love to have new and exciting things in their life and it will also keep them happy and a happy rat is a healthy rat.

Don't be upset if your little ratty doesn't like all the toys you buy or make for them. Rats can be picky and love the simplest things. Make sure to give them plenty of time outside the cage with you and plenty of time playing. Have fun with your little pet.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: Auto Glass Breaker and Seat Belt Cutter

I don't have a car right now but hubby does ride in them and I thought that having a 5 in 1 tool like this one would be great to have around no just for emergencies in a car but for emergencies at home. This auto glass breaker and seat belt cutter also has a flashlight and emergency beacon so rescuers can find you if they see it and are trying to find you. 

I have an emergency kit at home and like finding new things to add to it. The power went out in my neighborhood several times last year and having flashlights and other emergency products in my kit makes me feel prepared in case of a more dangerous emergency like an earthquake. 

This is a great tool to have and it came with 2 emergency mylar blankets which can help keep you from suffering hypothermia in the cold.

We popped in some batteries to check it out and everything works on it. Ken even used the seat belt cutter to cut some old fabric in half to see how sharp it was and it's pretty darn sharp. This is a great product to keep in an emergency kit or your car. 

This is the first window breaker tool that I've ever owned and my husband was thrilled that it also had a seat belt cutter along with it. Both of those things are must haves for anyone who owns a car because you just never know when you're going to need them.

If you'd like to order one of these Auto Glass Breaker's, you can do so here.

I give this product 5 out of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this item for free or at a deep discount in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, January 26, 2015

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, January 25, 2015

Review: Microfiber Cleaning Duster

I've been needing some kind of feather duster to dust off my book shelves. I used to use Swiffer Dusters but they are a bit on the expensive side and some of them use Febreze as an added scent to make them smell good and I don't like the scents they use now. 

So I was looking for a new feather type duster to use on my book shelves to keep them dust free. This Microfiber Cleaning Duster is perfect for what I want to use it for. I don't have to use any oily sprays that will ruin my books and it picks up the dust really well. it's big enough to reach in the back of the book shelf to get in those hard to reach places and best of all it's washable! No more wasting money on refills for other dusters. 

I have a dog and two rats so we get a moderate amount of animal hair and dust on flat surfaces. This duster picks up the dog and rat hair really easily and doesn't let it go until I throw it in the washer and wash it. It kept its shape really well after washing, which was one of the big reasons for such a high rating. I don't want to have a new duster fall apart right after the first wash and this one didn't. 

If this sounds good to you and you'd like to purchase one for yourself, you can do so here

I give this Microfiber Cleaning Duster 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free or at a deep discount in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: Hunter By Night by Elisabeth Staab

Book Blurb...

She wants out

Party girl Alexia Blackburn is only hanging around the vampire compound until her best friend—the queen—has her baby. After that, nothing is going to stop Alexia from getting back to daylight, safety, and feeling like a normal human being. But leaving the vampire world has one big catch...

He needs her to stay

Head of vampire security Lee Goram has hated and distrusted humans for centuries. Feeding on vampire blood has kept him strong...but now it's killing him—and he's horrified to discover that Alexia may hold the key to his cure. He'd rather die defending his king than admit his weakness, but time is running out for the great vampire warrior...

My Review...

Alexia found herself living at an estate full of vampires, not liking finding herself alone and lonely she sneaks out a few times but gets caught by Lee one time on her way back in. He's furious with her because there are troubles brewing that she doesn't know about and is afraid she could inadvertently get caught in the cross fire. 

Lee doesn't like humans because of the way his family was killed and because he's lived for so long he's been around to see what humans will do once they find out about vampires. But he can't help but feel a strong pull in Alexia's way. 

I want to start out by saying that this is book 3 in the Chronicles on Yavn series and this is the first book I've read so far. I won this book in a blog contest and decided to read it even though I hadn't read the other books in the series. 

I loved how snarky Alexia is, her sarcastic attitude towards Lee and his tough guy attitude at the remarks she makes was so much fun to read. Staab has a great sense of humor and it definitely shows in this book. Some of the things that Alexia says are just too funny for words. 

Of course while their romance is heating up there's a cra-cra, extremely evil, back from the dead guy  on the loose who could bring about the next plague epidemic. Their home is under attack and it could be an inside job. 

While this book can be read as a stand alone, I think it would probably make more sense if the 2 previous books were read first. There are several secondary characters in this book that I came to like and want to know more about so I'll be reading the other books in this series to see how they all fit in and got to the point where I found them in this book. 

I particularly liked Theresa and Xander. Xander finds Theresa in the hospital waiting for someone to get a blood sample from her baby, who just happens to be a vampire. Yep, this book has baby vampires. Tiny baby vampire fangs and all that. How cute is that? Theresa is a widow and so is Xander, they find a spark of fire between them while bunking down in a safe place and waiting for the trouble back home to quiet down. 

I love paranormal romance, especially when vampires are involved. If you do too, then you'll like this book. 

I give this book 4 stars. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

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.
Did you know you can sign up at Tomoson and Crowdtap and get free products too?

This week I received:
An Auto Glass Window Breaker and Seatbelt Cutter and two Thermal Blankets
Eye Serum
Anti Aging skin serum
Make Up Brush Set
Bike Light Kit
Derma e Firming Moisturizer
Derma e Dark Circle Eye Cream
Neocell Biotin Bursts chews
beauty Infusion refreshing collagen drink mix
Loreal Color Vibrancy Shampoo, Conditioner and Shock Treatment
Microfiber Duster

It was a good week for me, what about you? Did you receive any freebies or free products?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: Rechargeable Bike Light Set

I recently bought my husband a bicycle for Christmas because he had been wanting one for a while and he needed bike lights for it so I was so excited to be able to get him this set.

Ken really liked this front and back light set because not only is the front light super bright but the back light has several modes including flash and steady. I really liked this flashlight because it's brighter than any other flashlight that I have in my house and I have several of them.

The flashlight detaches easily so it doubles as a front light as well as a take with you flashlight and it's bright enough that you will be able to see whatever it is that you are looking for even in the darkest of places. I really like that the light is rechargeable but you can also use AAA batteries if you want to.

My husband is so happy with his new bike light, he's been showing it off to all his friends. 

If you'd like to buy this bicycle light kit for yourself, you can do so here.

I give this bike light kit 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received this item for free or at a deep discount in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Petunia Skincare - Professional 12 Set Makeup Brush Kit With Travel Pouch

It's been years since I bought myself new make up brushes. Years...

So I was so excited when given the chance to try these for free and review them. I love this set. Look at all those beautiful brushes. 

To tell you the truth, there are a couple of brushes here that I've never had before. I had to look up what they were used for. I didn't know there was such a thing as a foundation brush but there is and now I have one and even though it will take a little time to get used to using it, I will be using it. Better than using my finger tips like I used to. 

This brush set comes with a nice pouch to keep all the brushes in one place and in good shape. The only thing I didn't care for was the smell of the pouch. It had a strong nail polish like odor to it. But hopefully that will fade over time. 

The other thing I really liked about these brushes is they were not tested on animals. Petunia Skincare is cruelty free and not tested on animals.

If you like this brush set and pouch, you can buy your own set here.

I give this make up brush set 4 out of 5 stars.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Ruthless Perfection by Susie Warren

Book blurb:
A filmmaker wanting to honor her family’s legacy approaches a reclusive billionaire for help...

 Isabel Neri’s innocence captures the attention of a well-known Italian marble mogul, Marc Santoro, when she approaches him against her family’s wishes. Wanting to honor her disgraced grandfather, Isabel needs Marc’s permission to produce a film about the Carrara marble industry. 

Faced with honoring an old family obligation, Marc allows Isabel to travel to Italy with him but seeks to limit her exposure to his family’s tragic past. Isabel discovers the untold story and challenges Marc to reveal the truth. She is forced to expose her own secret as their desire sparks out of control.

My review: 

Some of this story takes place in Italy where Marc has a marble quarry and I really liked getting a look into that business and setting. I haven't read many books set in Italy so this was a treat for me. 

Isabel wants to produce a film but she has to go against her families wishes in order to do what she wants to do. Going against one's family isn't an easy thing to do but she is determined. 

These two characters make easy work of denying the feelings brewing between them as well as to themselves. Marc holds a secret and wants to no one to know about it and so is reluctant to help Isabel with her film of the marble business. She wants to make the film in honor of her grandfather even though her family isn't behind her in her venture. Isabel, being the innocent that she is doesn't want a sexual relationship but these two are drawn to each other even though Marc isn't looking for a permanent relationship at the moment. 

This was a quick, passionate, fun read and I found the characters likable and the setting to be interesting.  If you're in the mood for a nice contemporary romance, then you might like this one. 

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Taken By The Huntsman by Mistral Dawn

Book Description:
Discarded and ignored by those around her for most of her life, Cassie is a lonely human woman struggling to find her place in the world and meaning in her life. Cadeyrn is the Erlking, the leader of the Wild Hunt, a hundreds of thousands of years old Fae who has always known his purpose. He has spent his entire long existence tracking the criminals of Fairie and punishing them for their crimes. 

While hunting for the murderer of a child who has escaped to Earth Cadeyrn comes across Cassie and realizes that she is the one that the great mother goddess has designated as his soul mate. He kidnaps her and takes her to his fortress in Fairie to protect her from his many enemies. 

He knows she will be angry and that he'll have to work to earn her trust, but he finds his task to be even more challenging than he had thought it would be due to Cassie's difficulty in opening her heart. 

Will Cadeyrn be able to convince Cassie that the bond between them is real and earn her love?

My Review:
I don't read a lot of fantasy romance or romance with a fae theme but I'm glad I went with my gut with this one and decided to get it to read. 

Cassie just wants to help others and she thought she found a way to do that with her recent job but her boss let her know that she isn't there to help others. No, she's there to get the people calling, on and off the phone as fast as possible without making them mad. Not really what she was wanting to do, so we find out that Cassie is a very caring person right from the very beginning of the book. 

Cadeyrn is the Erlking and leader of the wild hunt. He's very old but doesn't look it and has waited hundreds of thousands of years to find his destined mate. So when he spots Cassie and just knows that she is his destined mate, he does the only thing he can to keep her safe. He kidnaps her and brings her to his home in Fairie. 

Cadeyrn is on the hunt for a fae that killed a child so he can't stop to take his time with Cassie right now. So he puts a sleep spell on her and hopes that she will sleep until he can come back to explain why he felt the need to bring her to his home in order to keep her safe. Right away we find out that Cassie is in danger from Cadeyrn's enemies and he had a good reason to make sure she is safe but she is kidnapped by one of his enemies and subsequently rescued by an interesting character. 

I really liked how Cassie took all of her new surroundings so well. Some of the people she met would have scared most anyone who came face to face with them but she handled it all pretty well. 

Cadeyrn had me on his side as soon as he went to Cassie's home and gathered her belongings as well as her cat and brought them back to his home so she would feel more comfortable. He is such a perfect hero. He wanted nothing more than to give her whatever she wanted and when they finally got together and he brought about the idea of a little D/s fun as well as a little bondage...well he won me over for sure. I have nothing at all bad to say about this hero. 

The author did a fantastic job of giving us enough back story, history and a look around Fairie that I was easily able to follow the story and it made sense to me. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and even more surprised after reading it to find out that this is the author's very first book. 

My only complaint is that the beginning of the book was a little slow to start but it picked up quickly and I had no problem reading this book in one sitting as it kept my attention the rest of the way through. I also have to make a mention of this terrific cover. It fits this book perfectly and I love that Cassie's cat is prominent because he was a large part of the story and I loved that. 

If you like fairies, fae, goblins, harpies, a fantastic romance with a little D/s thrown in for fun then this is a book for you. 

If this sounds good to you and you'd like to read it for yourself, you can purchase it here

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

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, January 18, 2015

How To Treat Bumblefoot


Bumblefoot is usually caused by prolonged exposure and pressure from walking on a wire cage floor and can be very painful for your pet rat. You can tell if your pet rat has Bumblefoot by looking at the bottom of their feet. If you see small bumps, sores or what look like calluses on the bottom of their feet, they most likely have bumblefoot. These bumps can get large and can bleed, leaving the door open for infection.

How To Prevent Bumblefoot in Pet Rats
The easiest thing you can do to prevent bumblefoot from ever happening is when you go to buy the cage. Buying a cage without a wire bottom will help keep bumblefoot away from your pet rats. The best cages are large ferret cages or large cages made specifically for rats where they have plenty of room to walk, hide, sleep, eat, and play.

How to Treat Bumblefoot in Pet Rats
If you have nothing but a wire bottom cage and cannot remove the wire bottom. Don't worry, you can make it more comfortable for your pet rat to walk on by using baby blankets, fleece blankets that cover the entire wire bottom or by adding a shallow plastic tray that fits the entire bottom.

Using a large piece of fleece or a fleece blanket that is at least an inch thick will work best because it can be folded and secured to the bottom of the cage and taken out to be washed every few days. Getting several fleece blankets and having them in hand will help keep the laundry down to once a week.

If your pet rat already had bumblefoot, the best thing you can do is take them to a veterinarian's office right away. The area can easily get infected and your vet may need to give you antibiotics to treat your rat with. If the bumblefoot is very big the vet may have to cut a small portion of it out before sending your pet at home to heal.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hiring A Pet Sitter


No matter what kind of pet or pets you have, it's important to get someone who will know how to take care of the type of animals you have. While it might be easier to leave your pets with the next door neighbor or the kid down the street, you should think about your animals well being and make sure you find someone who will be able to handle an emergency situation if one arises.

For animals like dogs, cats and birds there are kennels that have very good services and well trained people to look after your pets. If you don't know the best kennels to take your pets to, you can always ask the local humane society or if you are involved in online forums for your particular pet, you could ask there. Or you can hire a family member or family friend to take care of your pet while you are gone.

For exotic animals like, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and gerbils there are local and online rescue sites that cater to individual animal species. A rat rescue would be the ideal place to get information on rat sitters just as a hamster rescue would be to find ideal hamster sitters and so on.

If you decide to have neighbors or family members watching your animals, always make sure to have a check list with veterinarians phone numbers, an emergency phone number to contact you as well as any important information such as medications, allergies, foods to avoid etc. Ask the pet sitter if they are willing to take the pet to a veterinarians office if they become sick and if the answer is no, find another sitter.

Make sure to go over the check list with the pet sitter before you leave and ask questions to make sure they understand what to do in case of an emergency or how to give medications and how to feed and care for the animal.

You should make sure to provide all necessary supplies such as food, treats, leashes, bedding, medicine, toys, extra water bottles (in case your rat or hamster chews through one) and any other supplies you want the sitter to use.

In the case of dogs, make sure to tell them how often they should be walking them and feeding them. For cats, let them know how often to clean the litter box and for small animals such as rats, hamsters and gerbils let the sitter know how often to clean the cage, supply food and change the water.

If you cannot find someone who is knowledgeable about your particular type of pet and are going to be leaving your animal with someone inexperienced with your animals, be sure to show them the basics before you leave. How to care for your pet including things like cleaning up after dogs on a walk, cleaning cages, preparing food, giving medicine, how to handle small animals and refill a water bottle and put it back in the right place.

Finding someone who isn't afraid of your animals is a very necessary part of finding a great pet sitter as well. You wouldn't want someone who is afraid of cats watching your kitty for a week while you are gone or someone afraid to handle your rats or hamsters while they are in their care. Always have them pet, pick up or handle the pet they are going to watch. If it looks like they are afraid or wanting to avoid contact you should find someone else.

When you do find a good pet sitter, you can leave them in their care with out being stressed out or having your animals stressed out.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Freebie Friday!

*click picture to enlarge*

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.

This week was a slow one for freebies but I did manage to cash out my Springboard America account for a $50 Amazon gift card. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ailments in Older Male Rats

*Jasper and Hades*

The older a pet rat gets, the more ailments they can have and the more help they may need from you. Unfortunately with age comes reduced mobility, reduced energy and muscle weakness.


Male rats are fastidious groomers and if you watch them they will sit up and bend completely over so they can groom their genital area and tail. When rats start to age, they may not groom as well as they had been which can lead to problems that you the owner may have to intervene and help with.

If you watch your older male rat trying to bend over and clean his genital area and he's having a hard time doing it, he may develop something called Sheath Plugs. Sheath Plugs are a build up of oils, urine and a waxy substance that your rat would usually clean himself. It can clog the sheath and cause pain, bladder infections and problems urinating.

You should check your rat each week for abnormal lumps and bumps all over his body. You should also check your male rats genital area to see if there are any lumps where the penile sheath is, you will need to remove the sheath plug for your rat if you find he has one. To do this you may need someone to help you hold your rat on his back. I found giving my rat a small treat to eat helps him ignore what I'm doing down there.

The easiest way to remove a sheath plug is to have someone else help hold your rat on his back. You should be down by his tail, put both your hands underneath him and use your thumbs to gently press down on either side of his sheath. You will need to roll the sheath down until you see the sheath plug which will look like a milky white piece of wax, and remove it.

If you don't feel like you can do this yourself, you can take your pet rat to a veterinarian who can show you how to do it correctly.

Hind Leg Paralysis
Some rats will become paralyzed in their back legs as they get older. I've had several male rats with this condition. They can still live very happy lives but you will have to help them groom themselves each day by wiping their bellies with a damp cloth several times a day so they don't get a rash from any urine they get on their belly.

How To Prepare The Cage For An Older Rat
Older rats have a harder time getting around so all ladders and upper levels should be take out of the cage so they don't fall and hurt themselves. Lower the water bottle and make sure any food dishes are lower to the ground so he can reach them.

Older rats become more cuddly and want to spend more time with their humans outside the cage. This is usually the time that rat owners bond even more closely with their pets because they become big squishy cuddle rats who love to be held and petted. They also have no problems sharing your food while they are out with you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why Gerbils Are So Jumpy

*My past Gerbils, Honey and Spirit*

Gerbils are curious, friendly and active rodents. They are social and quite affectionate and should be housed as pairs. They are quite entertaining to watch run and jump from one end of their cage to another. They are also very jumpy, nervous and don't like to be handled much. Very rarely will a gerbil let you sit and hold them long enough to be petted.


The first step to a less jumpy gerbil is socializing them. Starting from a very early age, they should be handled often so they are used to being picked up and are not afraid of a human hand.

Older gerbils can also be socialized, but it will take time and patience. Start by putting your hand inside the gerbils' cage and letting the gerbil smell and jump on your hand without moving.

Then you can try to feed him different food from your hand, like sunflower seeds, pieces of fruit or dry cereal. Eventually the gerbil will see your hand as a treat bringer and will look forward to it coming inside the cage. The gerbil may even sit in your hand and eat his treat. You can try to pick the gerbil up at this point, but if he runs off start over again.

I found it easier to pick the whole cage up and place it on the couch and open the door to the cage. Gerbils are inquisitive and curious and won't be able to stop themselves from coming out of their cage for a few minutes. Do this for several days and give them treats while they are out jumping around on the couch and they will come to know that it's time to come out and play when you move their cage to the couch.

Gerbil noises

You may hear several different noises from your gerbils. Gerbils will thump their hind legs when they are happy, angry, or scared. It's hard to tell what they are feeling but if you hear them thumping their hind legs in the middle of the night and there were no loud noises around to scare them, they are probably telling you and their cage mate they are happy.

If you have a male and a female in the same cage and hear thumping coming from the cage, this usually means the one thumping is sexually excited.

Gerbils love to dig tunnels in their bedding and dig in the corners. You may hear the gerbil's nails scratching the corners as they dig. As long as you give them an exercise wheel, toys and a big cage with enough bedding to burrow into, they will be happy.

Baby gerbils will make high pitched squeals and chirping noises, this is how they call their mother's to them.

You may hear squeaking coming from the gerbil cage if the pair of gerbils are fighting for dominance or just having a squabble. Most times these squabbles are nothing to worry about, but if they fight and you find blood or bites on the gerbils, it might be time to move one to another cage.

While your gerbil may not let you hold them for very long, they do enjoy coming out to run around on the couch and if you sit still on the couch they might even jump all over you as well. The two gerbils I had would run from one end of the couch to the other and if I sat on one end of the couch they would come and sit on my shoulder.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: On Wicked Ground by Sharon Kay

The lost memories of a thief…
The first twelve years of Alina’s life are a black void. An accomplished thief, she uses her cloaking ability to pick pockets as well as stage elaborate heists. Digging deeper into her past sets off a chain of events that puts her, and the family she has just discovered, in the sights of their worst enemy.

…and the scarred heart of a guardian…
In secret, Lash Watcher Caine plots vengeance for the destruction of everything he loved. Branded by loss, he longs to find his one true mate, knowing that only with her will his heart fully heal. When his brief meeting with Alina is interrupted by her elaborate evade-and-escape plan, he knows there is more to her than meets his watchful eyes. But nothing can prepare him for the lethal power of her mind.

…collide at the fault line of destiny.
A brilliant villain with a vicious and loyal army behind her can only be stopped by one force: the combined power of four women who command the elements. Alina, with her newly-discovered affinity to the earth, becomes the linchpin to halting the desecration of their world. Thrown into a battle plan and a new family, she finds joy in in the quiet strength of Caine’s arms. But when the secrets to her past are revealed, she learns a terrible price has been paid in advance. The very magic that allowed her to live to fulfill a prophecy will forever deny her heart’s deepest wish.

I am a guest reviewer over at I Smell Sheep today, where you can find my review of this book. I would love it if you took a minute and read my review and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. 

Why Does My Rat Smell like Warm Corn Tortillas


All animals have a distinct scent associated with them. While some are nice and others like skunks are not, rats have mainly just a natural scent. But on occasion rats will have a different scent you may not be ready for.

Male Rats
Male rats will have a nice earthy scent to them if their cage is cleaned at least once a week. But sometimes you may have a rat that smells like warm corn tortillas or corn chips. You may think he got out of his cage and raided the chip bags but this is perfectly normal for him to have a warm tortilla scent.

I had 2 male rats that smelled like warm corn tortillas all the time. The warm tortilla smell seems to happen a lot more often after they have all been curled up together and are warmed by each others bodies or after they have given themselves a good grooming.

Female Rats
Believe it or not female rats do not smell like corn tortillas, I had a female rat that smelled slightly like grape soda. I know it seems wholly unlikely that a rodent could smell like grape soda but mine did. A friend of mine had a female rat and she said her rat also smelled like grape soda. When it came time for a check up, my veterinarian told me that yes indeed rats sometimes will have the scent of corn tortillas, corn chips or grape soda and it's totally normal.

I like both male and female rats and even though males tend to get larger and lazier and a bit more laid back than females, both are great pets. That stereotyping doesn't always ring true either, I had a female rat that was every bit as lazy, laid back and friendly as all the other males I've had so it really just depends on the rat since they all have their own little personalities.

If your rats smell bad, then that is a good indication that you need to clean their cage more often. Rats will pick one corner of their cage to use as a toilet and you can keep the cage smelling better in between cleanings by spot cleaning the 'toilet' everyday. Some rats will urine mark or scent mark their territory, so be sure to watch your rats when they are out of their cage at play time.

Monday, January 12, 2015

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*

*Yes, that's Ken and Scribbles. I made a meme" lol 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Which Hamster Breed is Right for Me?

*Chance* Roborovski Hamster

I've had several different breeds of hamsters and they all have different personalities and needs. What type of hamster to get depends greatly on what type of personality, size and how many you want to keep at a time.

Syrian aka Teddy Bear Hamsters- They are the most popular of the hamster breeds and are the largest. They can get anywhere from 4-6 inches long and live anywhere from 2-4 years. They are nocturnal so they make good pets for night owls since they will sleep all day and only come out at night. They are also solitary animals, meaning after they are weaned around 10 weeks of age, they should be kept in a cage by themselves. Syrian hamsters have been known to fight to the death if kept in the same cage together. These hamsters come in a variety of colors and hair lengths.

Roborovski Hamsters- These are the smallest breed of hamster measuring only 2-2 1/2 inches long. While they are nocturnal they will also come out and play during the day when they are young because they have so much energy and are always running around, which makes them a lot of fun to watch. They are small, active and fast and don't like being handled all that much. They don't sit still to be petted so if you are looking for a lap hamster that you want to cuddle and pet, this is not the hamster for you. This hamster is mostly for watching and playing with in a very controlled environment. If you take this hamster out of its cage, you should do so in a room that has been completely hamster proofed and has no or very little furniture that the hamster can hide under or in because once they run, they are very hard to catch. They are social animals meaning you can keep them in pairs or if your cage is big enough, a group as long as they have been introduced at a young age and don't fight. These tiny hamsters have a life span of 3-4 years which is longer than most other hamsters. These hamsters are sandy brown with white stomachs.

Chinese Dwarf Hamsters- These hamsters are also known as striped hamsters because of the black stripe of fur down their spines. Some people say they should be kept as solitary animals but I've had 7 of these hamsters and kept all the males in one cage and females in another without any major problems. The two girls did fight a bit but no blood was shed so it wasn't bad fighting. I watched them all cuddle together, sleep together and eat together. So it depends on the hamsters as to whether they will be happy in a group setting or alone. They are mostly social with people but sometimes they can be bitey. I had one that bit me to matter what I did. They generally live to be around 2 years old and are about 4 inches long.

I've had all three of these breeds of hamster and like all of them. The Roborovski are hard to handle but fun to watch. The Chinese Dwarf hamsters are fun to handle but rarely settle down long enough to be petted or cuddled and the Syrian hamsters are bigger, more social, cuddly and are easier to handle. No matter what hamster you decide to get, they should have a large enough cage to burrow in, have a separate place to sleep, eat, potty and play. They should have a wheel, tubes and space pod to sleep in. Hamster cages are a lot of fun because you can get so many add ons for them including locking tubes, add on pods, tubes that let you hook more than one cage together and play areas. The more space you give your hamster, the happier they will be.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Caring For An Older Rat


Rats are great pets to have, but because of their short life span anyone thinking of adopting a pet rat should know how to care for an elderly or sick rat.

Life Span
Most rats will live anywhere between 2-3 years although I have had the occasional pet rat that lived for 4 years with extra care. But because they have such short life spans you need to keep in mind when they get to be 2 years old they are middle aged and might slow down. At age 3 they are getting to be senior citizens and may need some extra care and more TLC. I've found that older rats like to be around their humans a lot more and just cuddle, they really like to be next to you or just sit in your lap and nap.

Adjustments to the Cage
As your rat gets older you may have to make a few adjustments to their cage so they can more easily get to things like their food dish and water bottle. Covering any slippery surfaces with fleece and taking out any upper levels when they start having a hard time walking around will make it easier for your aging rat and will minimize any falls they could have on a second shelf or stairs. Providing extra ground level beds and places to hide out will make it more comfortable for your rat.

When to talk to a Veterinarian
As with any older animal, there may be health reasons that they need to be taken to a vet's office. If they seem to be in pain, cannot walk on their own, stop eating or drinking or grooming themselves, it may be time to take your elderly rat to the vet's office and see what the vet can do to help your pet have a happy few more days or make the choice to humanely euthanize them.

What Illnesses to Look For
Rats can have certain illnesses just like humans can. Some to be on the look out for are Tumors, mites, upper respiratory infection and broken bones.

Tumors can usually be felt on your rat and as soon as you spot one you should make an appointment with your vet. They can sometimes be taken out if caught early and your rat may live a long healthy life, but rats can get very sick very quickly, so waiting is not a good idea.

If you hear or see your rat sneezing a lot, having trouble breathing or making wheezing noises while breathing that is a good sign that your rat may have an upper respiratory infection which if caught early can usually be cleared up with antibiotics.

Mites can sometimes get on your pets and there are sprays and baths that you can buy in most pet stores or you can take your rats to a vet and get something from them, but make sure if you spot small bugs on your rat that you do something or else they may loose all their hair from all the scratching they will do because of the mites.

Broken bones can result from falls, even short falls from upper shelves in their cage. If your rat looks like its having a hard time walking or is squeaking when you pick him up, you should take him to a Vet's office right away because he could be in pain.

As a rat owner you will face these choices as well others that may be very hard to make at the time, but I can tell you whole heart-idly that they are well worth it and you will not find a more loving animal to have as a pet.

Friday, January 09, 2015

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.
Did you know you can sign up at Tomoson and Crowdtap and get free products too?

This week I received a bag of Brookside Crunchy Clusters from Crowdtap
A sample or Loreal shampoo and Conditioner
And I won a book  Home is Where The Heat Is by Amelia James

Did you win anything or get anything free this week?

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Review: Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters

I received a free bag of these for testing purposes from crowdtap and I have to say they really are quite tasty. This is what the bag looked like when I opened the box. 

I've only tried one of the other flavors of this candy/snack and I really liked it. These are little crunchy clusters with a mix of berries in them. 

I think these would go good on ice cream, yogurt or just by themselves as a snack. 

Disclaimer: I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Review: Owned by M. Never *Review May Contain Some Spoilers*

Book Description taken from Amazon:
"I like you collared, baby. I like you naked, I like you mine.” 

Ellie Stevens has lusted over Kayne Roberts since he first walked into the import/export company she works for a little over a year ago. As Expo’s most important client, Ellie has always kept a safe distance from the man with the majestic blue eyes - until temptation finally gets the better of her. Impulsively, Ellie invites Kayne to one of Expo's infamous company parties her flamboyant boss is notorious for throwing. Unbeknownst to Ellie, the god in the Armani suit isn’t just the suave entrepreneur he portrays himself to be. Underneath the professional exterior is a man with a secret life, dark desires, and nefarious contacts. 

In a hidden corner of a trendy New York City lounge, the spark kindling between the two of them ignites. Unable to resist the sinful attraction, Ellie agrees to leave with Kayne, believing she is finally bedding the man of her dreams. Little does she know when she walks out the door, she’s about to be Owned. 

Owned is a dark erotic romance. Please pay close attention to the use of the words dark, erotic, and romance. It has intense sexual situations, a Master/slave relationship, mild abuse, and some violence. Reader discretion is advised.

My Review: 
I usually like dark, erotic romance and even like the use of BDSM sometimes when it's done right. I like plot twists that I don't see all the time in books. I even like it when things get taken right to the edge of being too much but there has to be a reason for all these things and it has to make sense. 

Ellie is a naive, sweet woman who thinks she's met the man of her dreams and after talking with him for just a bit, decides to leave with him. She has no idea that Kanye has set in motion things that will forever change her life. 

Kanye is more than meets the eye but deep down the man is very alpha, very dominant and most likely a sadist. 

Ellie is kidnapped and made to live the life of a sex slave but there are things that Kanye is keeping from her that would make her predicament make more sense if he had just told her. He says that there's a reason he didn't tell her but for me this reason just doesn't ring true because he could have showed her how to act, how to make it convincing. Plus the fact that he took so much enjoyment from causing her pain when he knew that he really didn't need to take things as far as he did, made him look like a jerk. He was extremely hard on a girl he knew to be a novice to the BDSM world and he didn't seem to care that he was freaking her out. He kept saying that he was doing all of these things to 'protect her' but there were so many other routes he could have taken that wouldn't have been so extreme on her. I just found some plot holes where they shouldn't have been and that made the book fall very flat for me. 

Making a story believable so that a reader isn't thinking, "Heh, yeah that just doesn't make sense or ring true at all." is a big thing for me. When I'm shaking my head while reading and trying to figure out why the story isn't flowing for me, then I know that something is wrong. 

I can totally see where the author wanted to go with this story and how the author thought this twist in the story would make sense to the reader but for me it just didn't. There were too many other things that could have been done and I was thinking of all of them after I finished the book. 

Kanye starts out looking like a bad guy then we find out that he's supposed to be the good guy or hero of the story but can he really be called a hero when he took enjoyment from keeping Ellie *the girl he's trying to protect* captive and taking her against her will? Doesn't that kinda make him the bad guy? He even says that having sex with her is better because she's not a willing participant. 

Then after all is done, the fact that Kanye thinks that Ellie is going to forgive him because he tells her the truth of what was going on....made absolutely no sense at all. I mean, really? I could have told you that wasn't going to go well. Kidnap a woman, make her family believe she's dead, hurt or never going to be seen again and torture, hurt and degrade her and think she's going to say, "Oh you had a good reason? Well okay then, all is forgiven." Yeah, not gonna happen. 

This is described as an "erotic romance" in the description. Well for me personally I like my romance books to end with an HEA *Happily Ever After* if a romance book doesn't have an HEA, can it really be called a romance? Not by me. 

If all of the reasons I listed aren't enough to stop you from reading this book...there's one more. It has a cliffhanger ending! There's really nothing I despise more than a cliffhanger ending in a book. Not that it would have made much difference in my rating but I really need authors to know that they need to stop doing that, readers don't like it. We want a beginning, middle and an ending...not a cliffhanger. Thankfully I got this book when it was free on Amazon because I would have been really mad if I had paid for this one.

I regretfully give this book 2 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Using Fleece as Bedding in Rat Cages

If you've had small animals as pets, you've probably seen different types of materials sold as bedding in pet stores. With so many different choices, it can be hard to make an informed decision but more and more people who keep rats as pets are using fleece blankets or materials to use as liners and bedding in their rat cages.

Why Fleece
I used to use cedar or pine bedding for my gerbils, mice, hamsters and rats until a veterinarian told me that the dust from that type of bedding can cause allergies, upper respiratory problems and the phenols found in some wood shavings, especially pine can cause respiratory distress.

Fleece cuts down on the dust, is soft for rats to walk on and lay on and it saves you money because it's reusable. It's also absorbent and can easily be changed out for clean fleece when it starts to smell, which depending on the number of rats you have would be once a week. Fleece also comes in a variety of colors and patterns that make the cage look nice and you can pick patterns to match the different seasons and holidays.

I also use cotton baby blankets for the shelves and different smaller levels in my rats cages and use binder clips to fasten the baby blankets to the shelves. I also use the cotton baby blankets inside the rat houses and beds so they have something to burrow under and into and snuggle with when they are sleeping.

Care and Maintenance of Fleece
I buy fleece throws that I find in most stores for around $3 a piece so they are cheap enough to throw away if my rats chew holes in them, which they do quite often. I use scent free liquid laundry detergent when washing my fleece blankets because strong smells can cause rats to sneeze and create excess porphyrin and they can also be allergic to some of the chemicals used to make laundry detergent smell good. I started using scent free detergent after my own rats showed signs of allergies to the strong odors in the laundry detergent I was using.

If the fleece still has a urine smell after washing you can use 1 cup of distilled white vinegar in with the detergent and that will cut down the urine smell if detergent and washing alone doesn't work.

People in the rat community are very knowledgeable and when I asked how to get the urine smell out of fleece. Sandra Sneed from Dunedin, Florida said, "Vinegar is so acidic that it destroys organic molecules, including the ones responsible for pee smell (in everything! It's GREAT). Strong enough to react with lots of them without losing strength, but weak enough that it doesn't damage fabric, carpet and such."

My rats, especially my younger rats will chew holes in the fleece quite often and if this happens to you, I don't recommend sewing the hole up because they will probably chew that as well and can choke on the thread. Just replace the fleece or cut it to fit the smaller shelves and levels.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Review: Unbound by Sara Humphreys

Blurb taken from Amazon:

The forces that bind them can also tear them apart...

Zachary McKenna is a warrior shapeshifter from the Lion Clan, trying to catch a break in the sun and surf of Mexico. Mai Tais and scantily clad beach beauties are just what he needs after his last battle. But the fun doesn't last long before a beautiful young woman is mugged on his doorstep and Zach is pulled right back into the fray.

Zach has no idea of the danger Annabelle has unwittingly brought to his doorstep, until he discovers that losing her will almost certainly destroy him...

My Review: 

Zachary is a lion shapeshifter and is in real need of a bit of a vacation after the last battle against the Caedo where he got shot and injured and still has the pain in his shoulder to prove it. He knows he only has 5 years to find his mate before he loses his Amoveo abilities forever and will live as a normal human being but he doesn't know how to go about finding his mate. 

Annabelle sometimes had visions when she touched something of a person's, visions that totally horrified her at times. Annabelle has a secret, one that could hurt Zachary and neither one of them understand how her family and her secret could bring so much danger to him and his family. 

I've loved the Amoveo books since reading the first one and this one just adds to that love. It's all about Zachary and Annabelle in this one. While a couple of the other Amoveo from previous books do make a short appearance we aren't besieged by other characters or many secondary characters that take us away from the main story and  I really liked that. 

Like most Amoveo, Zachary is pretty much an alpha through and through, he is a swoon worthy male and that's for sure. I mean the man can shift into a lion! How is that not awesome? I loved this novella and the entire series and cannot wait to see what else Sara Humphreys brings to us. 

This novella will be released on January 6th 2015.

If you have liked the other books in the Amoveo Legend series then you'll want to get this one also. You can find it at Amazon

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy by the author in exchange for my honest review.