Tag Archives: cheddar

Goal 53: Get more rat merch


You know, of course, that my beady little eyes are always hunting for any cute rat-themed merchandise ūüôā Well, recently I’ve added two great finds to my ratty¬†collection, which have¬†helped me reach my Goal #53¬†(that’s in addition to my beautiful rat teapot and Cheddar soft toy). I don’t foresee an end to this collection, but I think I can happily cross off the goal from my list¬†now.

First, I discovered that despite what I think of Halloween, the supposedly scary day can be useful for bring ratties onto the shelves! I unearthed this black plastic rat in the shops as a leftover from Halloween:

painted rat toy 1

It’s really quite pathetic how they tried to make him all beastly, as though you’d ever find a real¬†black rat with red eyes!

painted rat toy 2

I took pity on the poor critter and brought him home. After a good coat of gesso to prime him nicely…

painted rat toy 3

… I painted him to look like Mishka!

painted rat toy 4

What a difference! It just goes to show: put a fancy coat and a¬†cute face¬†on a rat, and¬†suddenly it’s no longer a horrible scary monster ūüėČ

painted rat toy 5

I still have a bit of work to do to finish off the details on his face and tail, but I have already painted a white spot on the back of his head, just like Mishka’s:

painted rat toy 6

(I call that Mishka’s ‘kissy spot’ because when he hangs his head over a ledge or comes within my reach, that’s the spot I kiss to bits!)

I named this plastic rat Loki, because he was meant to be the dark bad guy, but¬†throw in¬†a bit of shape shifting he’s actually just funny! lol :mrgreen:

The other item I snatched up was this wonderful metal coat hook:

rat themed hanger 1

Isn’t that perfect?! I found it at Kamers vol geskenke in Pretoria, but you could swear it was made for me.

The whole¬†contraption fits over a standard door, with the¬†ratties’ tails forming the hooks:

rat themed hanger 2

Call me simple, but this stuff just¬†makes me really, really happy! ūüėÄ

Cheddar: how to stay young


Have I discovered that cheddar cheese is the secret elixir of eternal youth? Alas, no (how I wish!).

But receiving Cheddar the Rat as a gift from my wonderful husband did make me think about what keeps¬†us young at heart…

Here’s Cheddar:

Rat soft toy

Rat soft toy

Cheddar is a soft toy character from the ‘My Blue Nose Friends‘ series,¬†related¬†to the¬†ubiquitous¬†‘Tatty Teddy’ or ‘Me to You’¬†brand. Cheddar is supposedly a female field mouse, but if you ask me it’s a male ratty ūüėČ (The¬†Blue Nose¬†series does include a ratty, Scraps, but his buck teeth bother me somewhat… I think my blue mousie is way cuter!)

Anyway, so what does this plush toy have to do with defying old age and staying youthful?

Well, it struck me as pretty cool that at my age,¬†Ninja could get me a gift such as this, knowing I’d be happier with that than with something fancy or ‘grown-up’.

Sure there’s a time¬†to be mature and behave properly. There’s a place for serious¬†occasions and¬†adult gifts.¬†But I’d rather be fun than fancy, and¬†in my opinion playfulness is a big factor in keeping people young.

Besides,¬†I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Have you heard of Stephen Jepson? He’s an old man on a mission to stay young, and his key to success is creative play. If you have a moment (and even if you don’t), take a look at his website: Never Leave the Playground. How’s that for a healthy dose of inspiration?

So I may be well on my way to 30 and¬†have plenty of¬†real-world responsibilities to face each day, but most of the time I’m still just¬†a happy little kid clutching my stuffed toy ratty and bouncing around with glee. Which is what I did ‚Äď right there¬†in the mall ‚Ästwhen Ninja bought Cheddar for me ūüôā

How can you add some play to your day too?


Have you ever…


…tried these toppings on your bread or toast?


Tasty toppings

This is my lunch: two slices of wholewheat bread with two interesting toppings. The first slice is covered in mashed up avocado pear and sprinkled with salt. Avo is one of my all-time favourites: I enjoy it plain (it complements curries quite nicely), salted (as described above) or mashed into a zesty dessert with sugar and lemon juice. Yum!

The second slice of bread is topped with cheddar cheese and celery sticks. It’s a delicious combo that my mom introduced to our plates¬†when I was young. Somehow the tangy cheddar and crunchy celery work really¬†well together.

Since my mom has been baking her own bread for decades, our family ate a lot of bread ‚Äď which of course led to lots of experimenting with different toppings. Here’s a list of a few of the most creative ones¬†I’ve tried over the years. (Warning: not all are healthy, and some are an acquired taste!)

  • Thinly spread mayonnaise sprinkled with mixed herbs
  • Chutney and cheese
  • Banana and cheese
  • Marmite (a salty yeast spread) and cheese
  • Apricot jam and cheese (yes, I really like cheese!)
  • Chutney and lettuce
  • Fruit mince (it’s especially amazing on crispy toast)
  • Cottage cheese and bell peppers
  • Strawberry jam and cream
  • Sardines with lemon juice
  • Honey (best on toast)
  • Cottage cheese and cucumber
  • Pastrami and gherkins
  • Grated apple and spices (on toast, baked in the oven)

Have you ever tried any of those? What’s your favourite topping for bread or¬†toast?