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How To Update Your Cat's Furniture (Successfully)

Truffles received product from Smiling Paws Pets for her consideration in the aiding of this article; regardless, all content, opinions, and photos contained below remain genuine to that of the cat and writer.
Simple tips to help transition your home into a more stylish pet furniture space. #AD
Anyone who's ever been owned by a cat knows that sharing a space with a feline can be a real challenge.

As humans we're limited to the space we can claim, and therefor out furnishings are generally limited to floor space. Cats, however, understand the only limit to where they can lounge, is where they will fit. (And, even then, there are some times where this rule goes out the window.)

If your brand new laptop is warm and smooth, it's the perfect napping spot- even better if the hard drive is humming with gentle vibrations and the keyboard is exposed offering a memory-foam like experience. If that cake carrier you just pulled out for your baking project is open and in jumping height, score- brand new cat bed. And when you've just spend several hours carefully organizing your holiday figurines for seasonal display on the mantle- it's suddenly the best view in the house.
You can't blame indoor cats, really- your home is the extent of their universe and it's only natural to want to scale and explore it as much as possible over time. And, it's not like you bothered learning to speak cat, so don't expect them to understand the finer points of English instructions such as "I just spend $2k on this new computer, please don't sit on it," or "It's hard to sleep when you're giving yourself an oral bath 4 inches from my face at night."

Yes, living in a cat's world can seem complicated at times but there are ways you can slowly begin to regain some of their space as your own again. Start by selectively integrating a few key pieces of pet furniture into inconspicuous places around their home. Since most felines are quite picky convertible furniture such as the 2-In-1 Cat Cube and Bed from Smiling Paws Pets is the perfect secret weapon to lure your cat away from their favorite hiding spot in your laundry basket/suitcase/kitchen cupboard.
https://smilingpawspets.com/
https://smilingpawspets.com/
When I first saw the 2-In-1 Cat Cube and Bed I thought, 'Genius! A soft warm, box! May cat is going to love this!' and promptly unpacked it and presented it to Truffles.

As a special thanks Truffles promptly returned the gesture by ignoring it entirely for several days. Well, not quite ignore it- she actually spent a fair amount of time lounging in the sun, on the floor and couch around the Cat Cube, perhaps purely to taunt me.

Whatever the reason, I decided the bed had been in 'her' territory long enough to be unassuming and have gathered some of her environment's natural scent. Taking advantage of the smart '2-In'1' feature of this unique bed I pulled the plush inner pillow out, smashed the top into the bottom and 'Viola!' instant open air car bed. I quickly tossed the pillow in the middle of the bed, and scurried away before the cat was any wiser.
Jackpot!  

The very next time I walked past my living room the 2-In-1 Cat Cube from Smiling Paws Pets had been definitely claimed by my feline housemate. In fact, Truffles seemed so content with her new property discovery that she refused to move for any of the traditional 'cat calls' such as rustling bags, the refrigerator opening, or a window being opened.
The 2-In-1 Cat Cube and Bed from Smiling Paws Pets works as an open air traditional pet bed, or a soft, wam, box for your cat to lounge in. #AD
Needless to say I was ecstatic the stylish denim pet bed was at last fulfilling it's intended purpose as cat furniture rather than simply decor. Thanks to it's sturdy material this bed is entirely machine washable, and the luxury sherpa pillow offers a warm and comfortable napping experience that surely is steps above my laptop keyboard.
The 2-In-1 Cat Cube and Bed from Smiling Paws Pets works as an open air traditional pet bed, or a soft, wam, box for your cat to lounge in. #AD
I wanted to convert the bed back into a cube, because I was certain Truffles would enjoy 'cube mode' even more than traditional bed mode- but left the bed as it was for several days to accumulate more of that 'cat ownership scent' that would help it seem less foreign once converted. I did, however, decide once I flipped the bed back into a cube again I would pull the sherpa pillow out to allow our 9lb cat more room to comfortably stretch and 'nest' inside.
http://www.mommatoldmeblog.com/2016/02/cat-scratcher.html
Acclimating a cat to new furniture is a process that should be done over several days, if not weeks- remember that a cat's world is relatively small and any change can seem quite big. Cats, by nature, are curious but not necessarily quick to trust. And the less fuss you express over a change the quicker they will be able to accept it on their own, as something that is normal.

While you wait for your cat to acclimate to their new bed you might want to upgrade your home decor with a stylish DIY such as our Cat Scratcher Vase tutorial. Integrating cat friendly features into existing home decor is a great way to compromise a pro-feline environment with human design flair.
I wish I could say the exact moment things turned in Truffles mind- but in all honesty how I discovered she'd 'claimed' the cube as her own was on accident. In fact I spent a good portion of time tearing up the house looking for her before thinking to look in the pet bed I'd actually bought FOR her. As they say, the rest is history, folks.

Truffles loves her 2-In-1 Cat Cube And Bed from Smiling Paws Pets so much she wakes up every morning and migrates from the foot of my bed directly to the cube. Aside from a few hours of sun bathing in the afternoon, and some loud conversations with the local birds at sunset, she spends the majority of her day curled up content in the cube.

More recently I managed to sneak the sherpa 'pillow' into the bottom, and she seems to have found the upgrade quite agreeable.
https://smilingpawspets.com/
Balancing style while sharing a home with a cat can seem tricky.

No matter how awesome the furniture is you buy for your cat there will always be those days where your arm, while typing- or the empty fruit bowl on the dining table just seems more logical. Shop stylish and smart multi-purpose pet innovations online with Smiling Paws Pets (they have stuff for dogs, too!) and give your cat plenty of time to decide they brought their new favorite bed/toy/accessory into the home, not you. For more smart pet innovations for your home follow Smiling Paws Pets on Instagram and Facebook- look for their new Litter Trapper Mat to be back in stock soon!

National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day- Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcake Recipe

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes- A Decadent Moist Devil's Food Cake infused with Tart Cherry Juice, topped with a Creamy Tart Cherry Buttercream Frosting, and Drizzled with a Rich Chocolate Ganache.
Momma Told Me: You never know what's in store.


Today is the first day in weeks where I've taken a deep breath and felt entirely myself. After weeks of fighting this season's flu, and a few tumultuous days of work and social affairs, I've emerged to that 'New Year's shine' everyone is so buzzing about. I'll admit, I have not been myself these past few weeks; and that did make the holidays rough- but here I am fresh and once again invigorated for all that lies ahead. In fact, we're kicking off 2016 with our first installment of a new blog series covering entirely random, picked at whim, 'National Day of Celebration' posts. Every week in 2016 you can tune into Momma Told Me for a unique recipe or project celebrating something completely arbitrary based on a little known National holiday.
While I so very much wanted to make some Wookiee Cream Puffs for National Science Fiction Day and National Cream Puff Day (January 2, 2016) I only just recovered in time for today's post. It's my hope, as we move through the year, that I will get the scheduling in order enough to share these fun recipes and crafts with you days, if not a week, in advance of the holiday so that you can follow along and celebrate too. I'm a little late to the celebration this week- but these Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes will taste just as good any other day of the year as well.
I thought National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day (January 3rd, 2016) was a great fit for this week's feature because they are often associated with seasonal gifting. That is, you see them emerge on shelves early November for the holiday season, and find them appearing in heart shaped boxes come February. Now, there is some debate over what qualifies as a Chocolate Covered Cherry- most argue that cherries simply dipped in chocolate so not count, but we won't fault you for celebrating that if you wish.
Yes, the 'real' chocolate covered cherries are actually a liquor style confection that is actually quite impressive to make. The technique for making such a candy with the perfectly liquid center, and sweet Maraschino core is actually rather frustrating- Believe me, I'll show you some time, I promise. The first Chocolate Covered Cherries, however, were introduced to the modern world in 1929 by Cella's Confections in New York. And the original recipe is still very much alive and in production 85 years later, surprisingly by Tootsie Roll.
When it comes to chocolate covered cherries, themselves, you either love them or hate them. I, personally don't care for liquid, or cream, center chocolates and find the Maraschino cherries featured inside this confection are too syrup sweet for my tastes. But the combination of chocolate and cherry? A classic winner without a doubt. Black Cherry Chip ice cream remains one of my all time favorite 31 Flavors varieties. There's something about the tart bite of real cherry juice that plays up the bittersweet notes of cacao that I find intoxicating.
So, I offer you this Chocolate Covered Cherry cupcake recipe, which reminds me of my Cherry Cola Cupcake recipe- but has an entirely different flavor and sophistication. The secret's in the real Organic tart cherry juice, reduced down to a syrup for a heavenly buttercream frosting that's every bit as surprising as the center of a real chocolate covered cherry. Of course, we added some cherry to the cupcakes as well- but it didn't quite draw out as much beautiful color as I'd liked. In the interest of cutting back on artificial colors, we kept this recipe au-natural.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes- A Decadent Moist Devil's Food Cake infused with Tart Cherry Juice, topped with a Creamy Tart Cherry Buttercream Frosting, and Drizzled with a Rich Chocolate Ganache.
If a decadent dark chocolate devil's food cherry infused cupcake topped with a mountain of tart cherry buttercream frosting isn't enough we've added a cherry on top (quite literally) with a simple semi-sweet ganache and stemmed Maraschino cherry. I'd made this recipe prior with a  liquor sponge style base- but find this alcohol free variation is just as moist and actually draws the cherry flavor out more than the original.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes- A Decadent Moist Devil's Food Cake infused with Tart Cherry Juice, topped with a Creamy Tart Cherry Buttercream Frosting, and Drizzled with a Rich Chocolate Ganache.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes- A Decadent Moist Devil's Food Cake infused with Tart Cherry Juice, topped with a Creamy Tart Cherry Buttercream Frosting, and Drizzled with a Rich Chocolate Ganache.
Does the world really need a Chocolate Covered Cherry day? No- but all of those boxes of cordial cherries sitting on holiday clearance shelves might argue yes. For now, I'm content enjoying the celebration with a foil wrapped and some chocolate crumbs. This would be a wonderful Valentine's recipe *hint, hint* but really, it's just a deliciously fun way to dress up a classic devil's food cake. You can even use the boxed cake mix as a base- I'm not telling! Now dish- Do you like chocolate covered cherries or are you more of a chocolate dipped cherry fan?

What Daughter Says: Life may be like a box of chocolates, but these cupcakes never disappoint!


Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes- A Decadent Moist Devil's Food Cake infused with Tart Cherry Juice, topped with a Creamy Tart Cherry Buttercream Frosting, and Drizzled with a Rich Chocolate Ganache.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes
***Click here for printable Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes recipe.

Spiced Rum Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
Momma Told Me: Temptation takes many forms.

As colorful and crazy as I get, my closest friends will tell you I'm also the square peg at a party. I simply find it more entertaining to watch others 'indulge' than to partake in the libations. I'll have A drink at maybe 4 or 5 social events throughout the year, and even then I find myself thinking the calories would have been more enjoyed as an extra round of appetizers or a second dessert. So, rounding out this week's 'Day of' celebration is National Hot Buttered Rum Day, yet another national fun day that seems slightly late and off season.
Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
For those who have never heard of hot buttered rum before, this delightful beverage dates back to early colonial days when the export of molasses from Jamaica became increasingly popular. In the 1650's New England residents began adding distilled rum to hot beverages such as toddies and nogs, resulting in the creation of festive libations like eggnog and hot buttered rum. Hot Buttered Rum, in particular, was especially popular in the Winter months for it's warming 'kick' the rich and hearty blend of buttered rum batter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and dark rum provides. You can make a poor man's version of drink at home by combining 2 cups water, 1/4 C unsalted butter, 1/4 C dark brown sugar, 1 TSP ground cinnamon, 1/2 TSP ground nutmeg, 1/4 TSP ground cloves, a pinch of salt and 3/4 C dark rum over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Today's Hot Buttered Rum recipe features many of the same ingredients in both the dough and filling, though it can be made without the rum, substituting rum flavoring or extract, if desired. Confession time- I've only tried a Hot Buttered Rum drink once- but it was a flavor, and textural experience that has stuck with me. It reminded me of fresh cinnamon rolls on a Saturday morning- so these Spiced Rum Cinnamon Rolls are truly the perfect work around to enjoying this national holiday without the guilt this Sunday.
Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
I'd never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before- It's usually something I do on a whim by popping open a blue Pillsbury can and peeling pre-made rolls apart before tossing them on a baking sheet. But let me tell you- there is no comparison for homemade, flaky, all the frosting you desire, gooey, sticky, cinnamon rolls. And these rolls have just the right 'extra' kick of rich nutmeg and clove flavor with a generous rum essence to delight everyone from the lightweights to boozy friends. Just keep in mind, if you choose to go the rum route for flavoring (and the spiced rum route IS a delicious route) the icing has rum in it too, which will not be baked off, as it is added after the baking process.
Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
Of course it was ever so hard not to sing 'hot cross buns' or 'A pirate's life for me' as I was whipping these bad boys up. Maybe it was the Kraken Black Spiced Rum watching over me, or the delicious aromas wafting up from the work bench. Cinnamon rolls are really one of the baking skill staples- and this no rise dough is easy to make and bake. Just pack your rolls loosely so they can expand into each other and you will avoid any doughy spots near the center of your batch. Of course, if you like your rolls extra sticky and a little doughy you can certainly bake them just a touch less- there's no egg, and they will reheat perfectly in the microwave!
Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
The spiced icing for these cinnamon rolls reminded me of a peppered gravy, thick and sticky. I found the recipe yielded more than enough to pour over the bath in pan, and even offer as a dip when served individually. If you're making these in advance be sure to frost them before refrigerating as they will help maintain moisture and keep them fresh and fluffy when re-heating.
Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
So I won't exactly be enjoying a Hot Buttered Rum drink for the holiday this Sunday- but I will be enjoying one of these delicious spiced rum rolls with a tall cup of my favorite coffee. I already brought a batch to the alley this past Thursday, served in quarters with serving toothpicks, and they disappeared so fast I actually had complaints for not bringing more! Not convinced Hot Buttered Rum Day warrants it's own celebration? Just argue you're celebrating our nation's history and toss out a few facts about the colonial spice trade. One bite in, anyone will forget why they were arguing. After all, who doesn't love a fresh cinnamon roll?

What Daughter Says: While some may be sipping this delicious beverage, I'll be quite content celebrating with a fork full of a different temptation- sugar!


Hot Buttered Rum Cinnamon Rolls- AKA Spiced Rum Rolls, Use a dark spiced rum or substitute with rum flavoring and extract. National #HotButteredRumDay is January 17
Spiced Rum Cinnamon Rolls
***Click here for printable Spiced Rum Cinnamon Rolls recipe.