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Black Cats are For Witches

black cats cartoon

 

Black cats are for witches.

And by witches, I mean “women.”

Or “financially independent persons.”

Or “someone who is married with no children.”

Or “someone who is married with many children.”

Or “someone who has a birthmark.”

Or, well… I think you get it. The list of reasons that would classify someone as a witch (in 1692, at least) are just about as bogus as the belief that black cats bring bad luck or that they’re somehow connected to witchcraft or devil-worship.

The truth is, black cats are the same as grey cats, orange cats, calico cats, tabby cats and even bald cats. Cats are cats. Sadly though, a lot of people let their superstitious sides take over, causing them to shy away from black cats (and black dogs, too) when choosing a new pet. It’s called Black Dog (or Cat) Syndrome and it’s a real thing.

And a serious thing.

A life or death thing. Black dogs and cats are often the longest residents in shelters and rescue groups which means — yep, you guessed it — they’re usually the first to be euthanized to make space. All because of the color of their fur. Come on, people, are we really still thinking with such narrow-mindedness in today’s day in age? I don’t get it.

Black cats make great pets. I have one of my own and while I admit I’ve been completely and utterly spellbound by her beauty, feisty personality and silky fur, she has not cast any evil upon me. Well, you know… Not anything above and beyond the usual jerkiness that felines tend to exude.

So, here’s a challenge for you all. The next time you’re looking to add a new furry member to the family, go to your local animal shelter and ask to see the black cats first. Or the black dogs. I dare you not to fall in love with one of them.

Oh, but Halloween is next week, so you’d better wait until mid-November since shelters are leery to adopt out black cats too close to Halloween since apparently, some sickos try to adopt black cats near Halloween and then torture them or use them in ritual sacrifices. Nice, huh? I can’t stand people, most of the time sometimes!

black cat auditions

 

Who has loved a black cat?! Tell me about him/her!


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Pumpkin Spice Dip

pumpkin spice dip

I have two words for you: Pumpkin. Spice.

They’re slapped on just about everything this time of year, aren’t they? Beer. Coffee. Gum. Lip gloss. Pringles (gag!!). (Non-veg) burgers (double-gag!!). Candles. Dog treats.

Something about that combination of creamy, tangy pumpkin and warm, robust spices just screams “AUTUMN IS HERE!!!” and puts everyone in a better mood while giving them the warm fuzzies inside. Okay, so maybe those last two are pushing the boundaries of wishful thinking, but you get my point, right? Fall just wouldn’t be fall without a little bit of pumpkin spice.

I hosted a small dinner party on Sunday evening and decided to jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon with a dessert dip that was inspired by my walk past a display of spiced wafers. The black and orange boxes spoke to me and that was it — pumpkin spice dip it would be!

This dip is just the right amount of sweet and spicy, but not so much so that you can’t taste the star of the show — the pumpkin. And perhaps the best part: it takes literally seconds to prepare!

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • 1 16-oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 4 oz. vegan cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice

To prepare:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. (I went the lazy route and whizzed it around it my Vitamix a few times).
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
  3. Serve with spiced wafers or cinnamon pita chips.

That’s all there is to it! This dip will satisfy your pumpkin spice craving and is super quick and easy to throw together in a pinch for a last-minute, festive get-together.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Pumpkin spice freaks (and I mean that lovingly, of course!), what are your favorite pumpkin spice things


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Turn an Old Yoga Mat Into Useful Stuff!

When I started my yoga journey a little over a year ago, I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on expensive equipment because, truthfully, I wasn’t sure I’d really stick with it. I thought that yoga, like my attempts at jewelry-making, running, scrapbooking and a few other hastily chosen activities would be short-lived. Luckily for me (in more ways than one!), it wasn’t and a few months ago, I decided to replace my $5, stinky and falling-apart mat from Five Below with a slightly more sophisticated and durable version. I was about to toss the old mat in the dumpster, but my inner hoarder DIYer stopped me in my tracks.

‘I could make something with this, certainly, instead of sending it to a landfill!,’ I thought, and after a few moments of contemplation, decided to turn it into backing for some throw rugs and pet items that had constantly been slipping and sliding across our laminate floors. So I grabbed my scissors and got to work and soon turned this:

 

Sad, old, stinky yoga mat. (Hello, Sally!)

Sad, old, stinky yoga mat. (Hello, Sally!)

Into this:

 

Useful stuff! (Hi, Checkers!)

Useful stuff! (Hi, Checkers!)

And by “this,” I mean two backings for throw rugs, one for a cat bed and two for cat food mats. (And a little left over for future use.) Score!

All of this literally took me seconds to do. No measuring, no fuss and no glueing required. I eyeballed measurements for everything, made a few cuts and laid the ex-yoga mat underneath the throw rug, cat bed, etc. It’s as easy as that! And a whole lot cheaper than doling out some moolah for a  commercially-made product.

But, don’t you for a second think that your old yoga buddy has to be destined to serve as backing for a throw rug. No way! There are tons of other ideas for what you can do with a used-up yoga mat. Check out this post (and this one, too) for some super cool suggestions for giving your beloved pal another valuable purpose.

Namaste.

Fellow yogis and yoginis, have you ever DIY-ed something from an old yoga mat? 


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Three Things: October

october three I know, I know. It’s October 6 — I’m a little late getting this post up. But in my defense, we had a health scare in our family last week and things have been a bit hectic around here lately, to say the least. I’m just now getting around to mapping out my goals for October. Here they are:

  1. Make a decent dent in my Christmas shopping
  2. Use the art supplies I bought for myself more than six months ago
  3. Start training for my first Tough Mudder (which will be sometime next year)

And if you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember my goals from last month:

  1. Attend at least two fall festivals
  2. Plan our meals each week
  3. Start a gratitude journal

I didn’t get to any festivals or have much luck with planning out meals in advance. My schedule was not very conducive for either of those things last month, unfortunately. I did, however, start a gratitude journal. I didn’t journal every day and I didn’t even do it in an actual journal (I used the “Notes” app on my phone), but I do have a record that I would eventually like to transfer into an actual journal (I have my eye on this one — I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin!). It’s a start, and it’s something I’m definitely going to try to keep doing. I really enjoyed going back and reading the things I had written previously.

Happy October, everyone! This is one of my very favorite months, so I’m hoping we get good news this week and can get back to enjoying this time of the year! If you’re also “Three Thing-ing,” what goals are on your agenda for this month?


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Dream House Dreamin’

house drawing

My apologies for being so quiet this week… I’ve been hanging out in dreamland lately! Lots going on around here, including a possible move!

Ahhh!

There are a lot of pieces that need to fall into place for this to work for us — and we’re really only at the beginning stages — but I can’t help myself from thinking about it pretty much all the time!

We’ve got our eyes on a few places and each of them are wonderful in their own right and have great amenities to offer, but none of them are quite what I’d consider my dream home. I’m not sure if my dream home is even out there. If it is, I haven’t come across it yet and even if I did, I’m sure it would be wayyyyy out of our budget range anyway! I guess that’s why they call it a “dream” home, though, right? Because it only exists in your dreams?

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling. Here’s a list of stuff that would be included in my dream home:

  • cathedral ceilings with exposed-wood beams
  • a huge, stone front, wood-burning fireplace
  • at least three bathrooms
  • a bidet (gross… just kidding!!)
  • a reading nook
  • a big bay window
  • a sun room/porch with a spectacular view of the yard
  • a huge kitchen
  • a library with built-in bookshelves (and one of those ladders that rolls along the shelves!)
  • a finished basement (with enough space for me to have a yoga corner)
  • an art/craft studio
  • a wrap-around porch
  • a walk-in pantry
  • a room for the dogs
  • a “man room” for Ant
  • an in-ground pool
  • a red barn
  • a huge pasture with a pond or a stream
  • a spacious garden
  • a long, winding driveway
  • an old-fashioned lamppost
  • a workshop for Ant
  • lots of trees, including at least one weeping willow
  • white picket fences surrounding our property

That’s not asking for too much, is it?

Oh well… a girl can dream, can’t she?! :)

 

What things would be included in your dream home?


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Apple Pie Crescents

Fall may not have made its official arrival just yet, but around our house, it sure has! Decorations are going up, pumpkin candles are burning and the itch to bake delicious goodies has hit. If you’ve got the urge, too, give these ridiculously easy apple pie crescents a try! They’re super yummy and will give you a quick fix of fabulous fall flavors and aromas.

crescent

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough (check the label for veganness — I used a generic store brand)
  • 1 large apple, cut into 16 wedges
  • 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

To prepare:

  1. Preheat oven according to dough package directions.
  2. Unroll crescents and place 2 wedges of apple on each of the wider ends of the crescent triangles.
  3. Place a small dab of Earth Balance on top of each of the apples.
  4. Mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and sprinkle some along length of the crescents, reserving a bit of the mixture.
  5. Roll up crescents and sprinkle remaining sugar mixture on the top.
  6. Bake as directed (you may need to add a few minutes), until crescents are golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy!

crescents

Mmmmm…

Who else is a fall fanatic like me?! What’s your favorite thing about this glorious season?


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Lessons in Balance: A Dog’s Reflections on Life: A Review

Most girls get excited when they get a new purse, new makeup or new shoes.

And then there’s me.

scout book

I get excited for new books.

Especially ones that feature an awesome and adorable pit bull who has a super-cool talent of balancing stuff on his head.

Lessons In Balance: A Dog’s Reflections on Life is a pictoral anecdote about Scout, a rescued pit bull who lives in Ontario with his mom, Jen, and is famous for his balancing abilities.

What started out as a simple blog to share Scout’s uncanny talent with the world, has turned a once neglected, brown pit bull into a spokesperson (er… spokesdog) for animal rescue. And best of all, Scout is a shining ambassador for his breed. Where he lives, BSL (breed-specific legislation) is in effect and he is required to wear a muzzle when he leaves his home even though he has no bite history. He and his mom are fighting hard to try to change the way pit bulls are (mis)understood and ban laws that discriminate against specific dog breeds.

This little book, which is perfect as a coffee table piece, contains a collection of photos of some of Scout’s best-balanced stuff, along with some pretty poignant life advice straight from the horse’s dog’s mouth. It’s wonderful, but I wish there were more pages! 110 pages of Scout just aren’t enough!

Buy this book for yourself, buy this book for your dog-loving friend, just buy this book!! You’ll love it, it’ll bring a smile to your face and Scout and his pals will get a little back from its purchase.

scout baseball

LessonsInBalance_txt.indd

If you want more of Scout, make sure to follow him on all of his social media accounts! He’s on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Scout is also in the running for The Barkies award, in the category of “Best Dog Website.” Vote to help him take the title!!

Do you know about Scout? Have you read his book?

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