On Friday our beautiful boys turned one year old. Hard to believe they’ve gone from tiny, hairless bubs to fat, fluffy adult rats so quickly. To celebrate I decided to act like the crazy rat lady I am and throw them a little party!
From me and my four furries, Happy World Rat Day everyone! 😀
To celebrate the joy of owning rats, I’ll be treating Moon, Knight, Mishka and Vodka to some salmon today. That’s always fun 🙂
I also want to take a moment to say that you’ll probably be hearing less from me for a while, or at least between now and the end of May. Ninja and I are in the process of moving house, and as everyone who’s done it knows – it’s chaos!
If I do get a chance to shoot off some quick posts I will, but otherwise please bear with me as I make this transition. I’m sure once it’s all behind us and we’ve settled in, I’ll have plenty new stories and pictures to share. Besides, many of the goals I’ve set for myself can only really come alive once we’re in our new home, so that should kick off an exciting new season for us!
Until then, keep well and keep smiling 🙂
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
~ Anthony J. D’Angelo ~
Note: In case you missed my previous posts relating to this new list of goals, you might like to first stop by here, here and here 🙂 Goals 1 through 47 are adapted from my previous list, and goals 48 through 101 are the most recent additions. Where I’ve been working on an old goal but haven’t quite finished it yet, you’ll see the weird numbers reflect where I’m at today as I begin the new list (applies to goals 6, 9, 12, 16, 23, 26, 27, 30, 33, 34, 36, 40 and 47).
Enjoy! And let me know your thoughts…
101 things in 1001 days
From 21 March 2014 to 16 December 2016
1. Read through the Bible in a year
2. Knit a couch throw with natural yarn
3. Get to my goal weight and/or goal size and maintain
4. Finish our wedding scrapbook
5. Go on 3 hikes
6. Go on 2 motorcycle rides
7. Work through Love Dare again
8. Get a pretty girly camera bag
9. Paint 4 artworks on canvas
10. Assemble an emergency kit
11. Visit a cave
12. Make a list of 48 things I’m grateful for
13. Complete a 1 000+ piece puzzle
14. Go on a rollercoaster
15. Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art or home decor
16. Read 73 books and keep a list of them
17. Make a custom recipe book
18. Visit 5 different museums and/or monuments
19. Have a sleepover party
20. Go for a bicycle ride
21. Take 101 (poster-worthy) photos of my new pet rats
22. Grow a plant from a seed
23. Invite 5 different friends/couples over for a visit
24. Try 5 new cocktails
25. Write a letter to my favourite author
26. Apply henna 3 different times
27. Get 7 more hat badges
28. Navigate a maze
29. Use up a sheet of temporary tattoos
30. Write a list of 25 things I’ve already achieved in this lifetime
31. Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find
32. Take part in a colour run
33. Eat at 2 new restaurants
34. Take 10 photos of 10 different birds
35. Go to Gold Reef City
36. Celebrate 3 obscure holidays
37. Make a time capsule
38. Visit a bird of prey centre
39. Revisit our wedding venue
40. Watch 6 movies I’ve never seen starting with K, N, Q, U, X and Y
41. Read Pilgrim’s Progress in the old English
42. Revamp my lingerie collection
43. Enjoy another spa day with my best friend
44. Photograph 10 old buildings in South Africa
45. Play the lotto with numbers from a fortune cookie
46. Put away R10 for each completed task
47. Write 4 letters to 4 people who changed my life
48. Buy 5 music CDs for my collection
49. Throw a housewarming party
50. Plan my 30th birthday party
51. Buy 3 more legit Bollywood movies
52. Complete a one-month photo challenge
53. Celebrate our 10-year dating anni in a special way
54. Get a good pocket/handbag camera
55. Interact with a raptor
56. Make a classic ‘Sunday roast’ meal
57. Get 5 new movies for my collection
58. Ride in a hot air balloon
59. Donate blood
60. Do 5 random acts of kindness
61. Find 5 inspiring new blogs to follow
62. Investigate becoming an organ donor
63. Plant a tree
64. Plant a vegetable garden
65. Go to the Lion Park
66. Host a Christmas gathering
67. Go to a theatre show
68. Visit an animal sanctuary
69. Go berry picking at Just Darling farm
70. Visit Lindfield Victorian House
71. See a movie at Rosebank’s Ster Kinekor Cinema Prestige
72. Have a ‘pretty boudoir’ photoshoot for Ninja
73. Hire an old car and go for a drive
74. Celebrate Raksha Bandhan in some way
75. Do a SCAD dive
76. Try 5 different natural foods from Organic Emporium
77. Get new running shoes
78. Get glasses frames that suit me better
79. Make or buy 2 decor items for the bathroom
80. Make or buy 2 decor items for the bedroom
81. Make or buy 2 decor items for the lounge
82. Make or buy 2 decor items for the kitchen
83. Get more potted plants
84. Upgrade our medical aid plan
85. Hire or buy another camera lens
86. Pay off our building loan
87. Make my own vanilla extract
88. Visit an organic/farmers’ market
89. Get a new set of bed linen
90. Make my own air freshener
91. Make my own potpourri sachets
92. Make my own jelly sweets
93. Make 5 new desserts
94. Create a photo album of all our pets
95. Cook homemade soup in winter
96. Define my own smart fashion style
97. Define my own casual fashion style
98. Buy 3 completely new smart outfits
99. Buy 3 completely new casual outfits
100. Revamp my jewellery collection
101. Take at least one mini-break away with Ninja
I’m revolting against the beauty products I’ve been using up to now.
Thanks to recent chats with a good friend and hours of research about the junk that I’ve been slathering on my skin all these years, I’m making some drastic changes to my skincare and haircare products.
I’m tired of paying good money to buy lotions and potions containing dozens of ingredients that can actually harm my body. Often these products have also harmed a few lab animals before they got to me, and will harm the environment again after I’m done with them.
Some of these ingredients I can’t even pronounce! And it’s not just my cosmetics – it goes for food too. But for now I’m starting on a healthier path by making changes to my beauty products first.
I can’t believe I left it so long before I began questioning what goes into the things I buy. But thanks to a tip-off from my savvy friend, I discovered a wonderful solution: Faithful to Nature. Here’s a South African online store that sells a phenomenal range of natural, organic, eco-friendly and cruelty-free products. From healthy foodstuffs to natural skincare and everything in between, Faithful to Nature has made it a breeze for me to begin changing over to a greener lifestyle.
I placed my first order with them last week, and it arrived in record time. In each package the FtN team includes a few samples of other natural products you might like to try… and I just love that. Unwrapping all the goodies felt like my birthday! I was super impressed with FtN’s friendly and efficient service – so much so that I spent the next few days browsing their site again, and placed my next order shortly after!
One of the best products I tried in my first order was the Credé coconut oil. Mmmm… never did I imagine that I could walk around smelling like my favourite cocktail! Coconut oil (CO) is often in the green news these days, with health gurus lauding its use in cooking and as a natural beauty product.
Now my poor Ninja was so put off by the coconut everything that we ate when I was doing the 21-day sugar detox, that I haven’t risked adding this oil to our meals (as yet)! But as a moisturiser and a conditioner it has no equal. I used it as a hair mask overnight (be sure to cover your pillow with an old towel if you try it) and it helped revive my poor overworked hair.
I’ve also been using it daily as a marvellous moisturiser for my skin. (My ratties are quite delighted that I taste so good these days; in the pic above Voddy and Teddy are licking off all my CO handcream!) Next I plan to test the theory that coconut oil is even great for shaving. I’m so stoked about this product. It’s easily and quickly replaced my previous chemical body lotions.
Anyway, so that’s a little snippet of what I’ve been up to of late. I’m excited about changing over to healthier choices, and glad that the Faithful to Nature team has worked so hard to make affordable and varied options available. I still have a long way to go with this journey, but you can be sure I’ll be sending you postcards of my progress 🙂
This is how I start every day: with a view of four furry backsides radiating happiness around the breakfast platter.
Before I’ve rubbed the sleep from my eyes, usually before I’ve greeted my still-dozing Ninja, and long before I’ve started cooking my own breakfast, I – dutiful rat-slave that I am – obey the following silent-but-deafening hints:
So I blow them a sleepy kiss and slop off to the kitchen to mix up baby porridge with their flavour of the day. The flavour may be Ensure (a healthy meal-replacement powder), a dash of cinnamon, a tiny sprinkling of cocoa powder, a squeeze of honey or if they’re really lucky, a spoon of coconut milk.
Then I make the ‘click’ sound for my little Pavlov’s ratties and they leap into action, arranging themselves around the plate with their backs to me: ‘Thanks Mom, we’ll take it from here.”
When we treated our boys to leftover prawns, I got a few shots of Mishka’s mad method of eating the seafood without holding it in his hands:
Hehehe. Ah man this rat melts my heart! 🙂
Our rats are on a see-food diet: if they see food, they eat it! On occasion, that diet includes actual seafood too 🙂
I’ve mentioned before how much they enjoy salmon, and the other day we treated them to something even more decadent: prawns! Or, to be more accurate, the leftovers of Ninja’s prawn dinner. We washed off most of the lemon butter sauce, but Ninja left a little meat in the shells for the boys.
We started by waving the bowl of prawns in front of the cage to tantalise our pets (who looked ready to leap into the bowl!):
Of course they each grabbed a piece as soon as they could…
… and scurried off to their separate corners to chow down 🙂
It was an absolute feast, and so quiet in the cage except for the sounds of contented nibbling. Afterwards I collected a handful of squeaky-clean, transparent shells.
Here are the before and after shots:
You know, if you’d told me a few years ago that I would one day be happy to wash a pile of cold, half-eaten prawns and feed them to a mischief of ravenous rats, I would have thought you mad.
Now you can be the ones to think me mad, how’s that?! 🙂
Remember when two of our little lads won first place in categories in our rat club’s online show?
Well, their prizes and ribbons have arrived:
So proud of our cuties! I hope we’ll be able to enter them (and Voddy and Teddy) in many other rat club shows during their time with us 🙂
Remember these little guys?
Well, six months later they’ve grown into four very handsome young adults:
‘Moonymoonymoonbeam…!’ I call out, and there comes a blazing streak of black and white dashing towards me 😀 Moon is the littlest boy in our bunch, but weighing 440 g is still decent for a male rat. In the four months he’s been with us he’s earned lots of random nicknames, including ‘Opposite Rat’ (for always being awake when the others are sleeping) and ‘Pliable’ (for accepting pretty much whatever cuddling you subject him to). He’s my second favourite ratty 🙂
Oh dear, poor Voddy! We have a bit of a tumultuous relationship, he and I, because I get fed up with his senseless biting of my Mishka’s ears He still picks on Mishka daily (his favourite time to strike is when the helpless dumbo is sleeping), but when he’s not being divisive he’s a really cute rat. He’s also very smart and the quickest to learn the few tricks we’ve tried teaching him. Ninja has a special place in his heart for this rat; we often joke that we should swap so I can call Moon mine and he can have Vodka! But of course they all belong to both of us 🙂 Vodka is our second biggest rat, weighing 500 g.
Ah Knight, the little gentleman 🙂 The pose in the pic above is typical of Knight’s polite, if-you-don’t-mind-I’ll-have-that-tidbit-now kind of attitude. He weighs 480 g at the moment, and feels so solid and well muscled in our hands. If you think you can resist the cuteness of a black rat, it all changes when those adorable white socks are clinging on the cage bars and begging for a run! Sometimes we still call him Tiny Tot even though he isn’t anymore, and I also call him our little Black Roof Rat 🙂
Awww Meeeeeshka! He weighs 520 g now and has carved out a cosy nest for himself in the middle of my heart 😀 He seems to slowly be outgrowing his reticence during free runs, but occasionally we do still see him peering cautiously around a corner as in the pic above 🙂 His attitude in the cage with his brothers is gentle, though he enjoys a good scuffle like the rest of them – and his policy for dealing with upstarts is simply to sit on them!
I’m very pleased with the progress our boys have made. They’ve all been neutered and Vodka and Knight recovered from the infections they got from the ops. They’ve all gained weight at a good rate and so far they’ve had no respiratory issues. At six months they’re officially mature, and it’s hard to believe they’ve already experienced about one quarter to one fifth of their expected lifetime.
Looking ahead, I hope that we can start taking one or two of them on short trips with us, as I’ve heard many rat owners do successfully. I also plan to add vitamins to their diet this year, and to keep up the regular clipping of their nails (that’s always fun!). As you know, Moon and Knight won prizes in our rat club’s first online rat show last year. In 2014 the club is hoping to host their first live show, and I’d really love to enter our boys in that competition if possible 🙂
And now enough blogging about the bubs… time for me to go clean their cage and give them that free run they’re begging for!
This may not be true to the Chinese zodiac, but 2013 has certainly been ‘the year of the rat’ for me! I laid to rest two beautiful girls (Coffee and Flea) and got four handsome new boys to fill our home.
My understanding of these sweet fancy rat pets has deepened over the last year, and my love for them has grown. And you, my dear readers, have borne the brunt of my strange obsession!
I’m sure you didn’t expect the Sunshine Scrapbook to turn into such a rodentcentric blog; neither did I. But this small spot on the web is where I share all the bright, beautiful, sweet and fluffy things that bring joy to my life – and rats just happen to tick all of those boxes 🙂
For a bit of fun as 2013 comes to an end, here are 13 famous rats you may or may not know… How many of them can you name?
Did you get them all? Check your answers below:
#13 – This is a Banksy rat, one of many clever rodents painted by British graffiti artist Banksy. (Photo credit: Unknown/Banksy)
#12 – I don’t know its name, but that’s an Ellen van Deelen rat, of course! If you want an overload of ratty cuteness that can’t be matched, google the excellent photography of Ellen van Deelen. I bet every rat owner wishes they could take such amazing pics of their bubs… (Photo credit: Ellen van Deelen)
#11 – The 11th rat on my list is Hector, a dapper little astronaut sent into space by the French in 1961. (Photo credit: RedScharlach.tumblr/Original unknown)
#10 – This guy won’t make much sense unless you’ve watched the kiddies’ TV show Bananas in Pyjamas. That’s Rat-In-A-Hat. (Photo credit: Bananas in Pyjamas wikia)
#9 – Now this face you must know! Arguably one of the most famous fictional rats around: Templeton from Charlotte’s Web. (Photo credit: Paramount Pictures)
#8 – Yup, that’s a gathering of rats at the Karni Mata temple in India, where tens of thousands of so-called kabbas rats are fed and venerated and allowed to run rampant. Gross, gross, gross. And that’s coming from a rat lover! (Photo credit: Wikimedia)
#7 – The artwork is so distinctive, I’m sure you knew that that fat rat is Beatrix Potter’s Samuel Whiskers 🙂 (Photo credit: Beatrix Potter)
#6 – Booger the dog and Kitty the cat wouldn’t have been the hit they were if they hadn’t been topped by Mousie the rat (admittedly, there were several different Mousies over time). This famous trio or animal pyramid was the brilliant idea of a man named Greg Pike. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
#5 – It’s Ratbert, of course. Ratbert the Consultant, co-worker with Dilbert, Catbert and Dogbert. Hehehe 🙂 (Photo credit: Dilbert wikia)
#4 – His jacket probably gave it away if you didn’t know which rat this was: it’s Rizzo from the Muppets. OK, so I learnt that from Google myself… I’ve never watched a Muppets show in my life! (Photo credit: Muppet wikia)
#3 – The only wise and feisty rat sensei out there: Splinter from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#2 – If you think a rat can’t change the world, think again. HeroRATs are trained to do life-saving work such as landmine detection and tubercolosis detection. (Photo credit: APOPO/Wikimedia Commons)
#1 – Oops, I cheated: #1 is actually four rats – my very own fantastic four 😉
Have a happy New Year everyone! See you in 2014!