Tag Archives: gifts

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 😉 (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 – right there in the mall – when Ninja bought Cheddar for me 🙂

How can you add some play to your day too?


Look what I got!


Yesterday I was given a truly thoughtful gift. If you want to know anything about me, know that I love gifts. Big or small, free or fancy, I love them all 😀 I love giving them and I love getting them, and nothing beats a gift that’s both personalised and handmade!

A very thoughtful gift

A very thoughtful gift

A colleague of mine, Elise, does pottery and has recently discovered the cuteness of ratties (through wild rats invading her kitchen and all my blog posts of pet rats). Look at this beautiful ratty teapot she made for me!

'Robert the Rat' teapot

‘Robert the Rat’ teapot

It’s named ‘Robert the Rat’ after her nickname for one of the cheeky wild rats that moved into her kitchen. Elise has a real heart for animals and it took weeks before Robert and his family were kindly and humanely removed to their rightful place outside the house. During that time Elise came to appreciate the lively little vermin for their better side 😉

Rat detail on the teapot

Rat detail on the teapot

This has to be one of the coolest gifts ever. Not only is it a cheerful sunshine yellow; it’s also only the second time a friend has acknowledged my love for these critters with a gift (the other was a pink mouse-and-bunny-themed receiver blanket given to me by my best friend when we got our girl rats; she searched everywhere to find a baby blanket that didn’t have predators on it!)

Rat-themed teapot

Rat-themed teapot

I think this counts towards Goal #53 on my new list, don’t you? :mrgreen:

Thank you Elise!

Christmas in July Part 2


The Christmas in July gifts for me and Flea finally arrived in the post! I raced home from the post office to unwrap the box… with Flea’s help 😉

Our Secret Santa (SS) was very generous!!!

Christmas in July 2013

Christmas in July 2013

Inside the box we found…

  • two small boxes (a pink one and a blue one, for Flea and the new boys respectively) filled with all manner of tasty ratty treats: mini Marie biscuits, choc-coated sunflower seeds, yoghurt drops and rooibos biscuits
  • three cute rat-themed decals
  • the Ratatouille movie DVD (which we’ve never watched before, shame on us!)
  • a fleecy tunnel for the rat cage
  • and a stunning necklace for me!
Flea tastes her first-ever yogi

Flea tastes her first-ever yogi

My gorgeous new necklace

My gorgeous new necklace

Rat treats in a jar with a ratty decal

Rat treats in a jar with a ratty decal

That was the best fun I’ve had in the middle of winter in a long time :mrgreen:

Count me in for next year’s one!

Christmas in July


Our lovely South African rat club has organised a ‘Christmas in July’ gift swap for rat lovers across South Africa. This is the first year I’ve taken part, and it’s been a lot of fun. So far I have posted off my gift box to my Secret Santa (SS), and am waiting eagerly to receive the one destined for me :mrgreen:

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the gifts I got for my SS… my choices were obviously based on her preferences…

Xmas in July 1

Ratty Christmas card and rat/cat beanie

Xmas in July 2

Ratty crackers (filled with banana chips), choc-covered sunflower seeds, mouse-themed notepad and giraffe fridge magnet

Xmas in July 4

Giraffe pic, bunny keychain, Wine Gums, purple-and-grey phone charm, coin purse and facecloth

I love giving and receiving gifts, so an idea like this is perfect for me 🙂 Can’t wait to see what my SS comes up with for my parcel!

Goal #43 – Just in time for Christmas


As Christmas has rolled around (just saying that makes me think of the rolling around we’re likely to do after Christmas… all those festive feasts!), I’ve found an opportunity to accomplish another of the goals on my list. This time it was #43: Give someone a handmade gift. I’ve baked several batches of my favourite ginger biscuits and packaged them like this:


I popped packets of 10 biscuits, tied with tinsel (or ribbon), inside small brown paper bags. Then, using mini wooden pegs from a craft shop, I pegged a pretty teabag (from Pukka) onto the bag.

Homemade Christmas gifts

As a final touch, I decorated the pegs with small silver charms of teabags, teapots and teacups:


I’ve given these to quite a few friends I’ve seen so far, and plan on making a few more batches tomorrow in time for handing out on Christmas day. Homemade treats are such a cost-effective way of giving gifts, and the extra touches with the presentation have drawn as many exclamations of ‘Oh, wow!’ as the biscuits themselves!