Momma Told Me: February 2018

Blog Archive

Easy Asian Inspired Meal Solutions + Miyabi Japanese Onion Soup Recipe

This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Simple any-night Asian-inspired meal solutions and recipes with #LingLingAsianFood. #LL #IC #AD
I could never be a TV Dinner person-

I get bored with the 'same ol', same ol'' quite quickly, and I require a constant varying of textures, flavor profiles, and ingredients to keep me interested. If I had my druthers I'd be dining out every night, eating my way through every restaurant from the local hole-in-the wall gems to the fine dining restaurants on Main St.

But let's be real- I simply don't have the time or money for that. Instead I am constantly looking for innovative meal solutions I can incorporate into our family's nightly meals. Flavorful, authentic, cuisine I can easily prepare while trying out a new side dish recipe, or something I can serve alongside a family favorite. For me Ling Ling Asian cuisine has not only been an invaluable secret weapon, it's a brand that's been in my family's freezer for generations.
Simple any-night Asian-inspired meal solutions and recipes with #LingLingAsianFood. #LL #IC #AD
Last month I shared with you my fond memories of Chinese New Year celebrations  at the neighbors, growing up. It was there my mother was first introduced to the Ling Ling brand as her best friend, and our neighbor, divulged the brand's pot-stickers as the very same ones she served to her Mandarin family every year at their big Chinese New Year celebrations. At an event where preparations were made weeks in advance, and hours upon hours were spent slaving in the kitchen making every dish lovingly from scratch it was the only "short cut" she deemed worthy of her celebration table.

Ever since then we've had Ling Ling pot-stickers in our freezer year-round. Those deliciously stuffed dumplings offered an extra treat alongside Momma's own version of fried rice. In fact, you could say I rather looked forward to our family dinners when I saw that yellow bag on the counter!
We enjoy many styles of cuisine in our home today, though I'm far from a professional chef. I particularly love experimenting with Thai, Cantonese, and Japanese dishes- though I find main entrees a bit hard to master with all the spices. For now I generally stick to pressure cooker inspired dishes like General Tsaos or Green Chicken Curry; though a great Asian meal truly does require more than one course.

I was very excited last year when I stumbled upon Ling Ling Fried Rice varieties at my local VONS grocer. Right above our favorite all natural Ling Ling Potstickers were several varieties of Ling Ling Fried Rice inspired by Asian recipes from around the globe. I can honestly say we've tried them all, and they are all delicious thanks to their unique recipes and cooking process that coats and cooks each grain of rice in flavor prior to being packaged and heading to your local grocer.
With hearty varieties such as Ling Ling Bibimbap Beef and Ling Ling Yakatori Chicken Fried Rice I can find a little extra time to try a new recipe. With the weather being as cold as it has been lately a warm broth soup has been a must for our table. Did you know that most Asian cultures consume hot tea and soup with their main meal of the day as it aids in digestion; hot liquids prepare the stomach for more efficient processing of the meal to come!
Whenever we go out to eat Asian cuisine, of nearly any kind, a soup is always served. With Japanese and Chinese traditional 'American' restaurants you'll often see a Miso Broth Soup with green onions and tofu. It's a simple broth with uncomplicated flavors that acts a wonderful palette cleanse in preparation of the meal to come. Japanese Miyabi Onion soup has similar properties but a little more bitterness thanks to the steeping of onions. It's as simple as boiling all of the ingredients over an open flame for 25 minutes, then straining the broth into a few bowls and adding a dash of fried onion, green onions, and mushrooms.
I love this Miyabi Japanese Onion Soup recipe especially because I can easily set it and forget it on the stove while I cook our Ling Ling Fried Rice in the wok. While Ling Ling Fried Rice varieties have microwave preparation instructions for convenience they only take about 20 minutes on the stove, and the extra little 'crisp' you get from the finishing of the rice in an oiled pan is truly worth the little extra effort. The Yakatori Chicken variety is also full of delicious textures and flavors such as carrots, lima beans, peppers, and generous chunks of flavor coated, seared, chicken. It just might beat our local Chinese restaurant- it's that good.

If you haven't tried Ling Ling Fried Rice yet, or perhaps would like to try a variety new to you, take advantage of this limited time printable coupon for $2 off your Ling Ling entree or appetizer of 20oz or more. (You'll also find a store locator at this link.)
My mother taught me to never feel guilty about taking short cuts in the kitchen when the short cuts taste just as delicious as the long route. Ling Ling Asian cuisine is proof that you can save time and still enjoy authentic Asian flavors straight from your kitchen. Now if only I could finally master how to properly fold a Spring Roll I'd be on my way to truly earning a chef's vest!
There are many great ways to integrate Ling Ling products into your family's meal lineup with 5 delicious varieties of Fried Rice, delicious authentic all natural Potstickers, and New Ling Ling Noodle varieties. Feel free to grab our time-saving recipes for Sesame Cucumber Salad and Pressure Cooker Kung Pao Chicken by clicking the photo above, or visiting our Chinese New Year's post. You can also enter to win 1 of 5 $100 Walmart gift card prizes, to enjoy your own Asian-inspired meal at home, when you enter the giveaway, below (now through March 6th, 2018).

Tell me, what type of cuisine does your family love, that you wish you could master?

I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5)  

Ling Ling Asian Kitchen Giveaway (Phase 3)

This Japanese Miyabi Onion Soup recipe preapres in just 25 minutes on the stove!Simple any-night Asian-inspired meal solutions and recipes with #LingLingAsianFood. #LL #IC #AD
Miyabi Onion Soup
****Click here for printable Japanese Miyabi Soup Recipe

Affordable Ways To Celebrate Easter With Pets: $5 D.I.Y Teepee, $3 Dog Toys, + More!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #99YourEaster #DoingThe99 #CollectiveBias
Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
Momma Told Me: Why spend more when you can spend less?

If you've been reading Momma Told Me for a while then you know all about Momma's frugal side. How all of my clothing growing up was from the second hand store, every Summer I'd practice mathematics calculating coupon and sale prices, and that the large majority of our gifts were often handmade. The older I grew, the more I'd contemplate this need to save when our family had no seeming need to be quite so frugal. After all we lived in a nice home with new electronics, and our kitchen had the fanciest gadgets and gizmos. That's not to say my father didn't work hard, and very long hours, to support our family- but we surely were not living meal to meal.

The holidays were where I always seemed to feel this frugality the most. If I wanted to have a My Little Pony birthday party it would instead have to be a 'My Friend Pony' party because Momma wasn't about to pay triple the price for the same cartoon horses, just with different names. One holiday season, as I clung to one of the hottest toys of the season, full on melt-down mid-store, I at last let out a scream of frustration, "Why can't we buy the 'good stuff'? It's not like we're poor!" Naturally, being the sort of parent she was, Momma shut the tantrum down promptly, pulling the item from my hand and slapping my wrist as she answered rather calmly, "Because, daughter, you can buy the same exact thing, with a different name, for half the price. Why spend more, when you can spend less?"
Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
Naturally that was the beginning of my own monetary awakening. I remember suddenly becoming fascinated by the concept of 'after market,' 'off brand' and even 'overstock' merchandise. Instead of gift cards for major retailers I'd ask instead for cash whenever my birthday came around so I could buy exactly what I wanted, at the best price.

Of course, today, being money smart doesn't mean you have to make compromises. In fact, smart shoppers can save plenty over retail pricing on name brands and products they use every day when they make smart retailer choices. That's exactly why I'm a 99er. Not only are there several 99 Cents Only Stores in my hometown, but their wide range of inventory covers everything from fresh produce to bedding and pet supplies. Even better, their stock is always changing as new items hit the shelves, so I know I'm in for some amazingly fun shopping whenever I visit!
Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
With this being our first year in our house (rather than a condo), I'm extremely excited about the prospect of decorating for, and celebrating, each of the year's holidays. Easter is no exception, and I know I can stretch my budget on everything from delicious treats to adorable decor, and even gifts when I shop my local 99 Cents Only Store. With an entire aisle dedicated to Easter, I practically feel like a kid in a candy store loading up my cart! While I won't be planning any parties for the Spring holiday this year, I've decided to celebrate everything rainbow egg and bunnies with my furry family- the pets. As always, the holidays also bring plenty of yummy treats for the humans, many of which you'll also find at the 99. Be sure to check out The Goody Pet's article "Top 27 Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs" before planning your next big holiday event!
Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
I remember when I first brought Truffles, our cat, home as a kitten it was just over a week before Easter. At the time I was renting a room out to a woman with a young child and there were little plastic eggs strewn all over the house from the little one's play time. Truffles, being the kitten she was, instantly took to swatting them here and there- and even hiding them under pretty much everything in the house. Ever since I've made a point to go shopping for 'the cat's' Easter eggs each year during this holiday. To say that I was overwhelmed by the selection at my local 99 would be an understatement. There were well over 30 styles of Easter eggs to shop from; emoji faces, sheep, carrot shaped, and even jumbo eggs!
Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
I went way overboard, for someone shopping for their pets, and spent a whopping $30. I'm a bit embarrassed, really, because I bought way more than we needed- but I just had to have a variety of Easter eggs and baskets to choose from when building my Easter baskets for the pets. It's not the end of the world, really, because the leftovers will go into little treats and surprises for the kids at the daycare- 99 Cents Only Stores are a life-saver when it comes to celebrating the holidays with 10 children!
$2 D.I.Y. Tennis Ball Octopus Dog Toy- Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
While I love snagging my Cadbury Eggs and Reeses Eggs from the 99, sometimes the real fun in holiday shopping at the 99 is D.I.Y inspiration. I found plenty of Spring prints and themed items on my shopping trip I found I could easily transform into special handmade pet toys to help fill my unique Easter baskets.

In the pet aisle I found a 3 pack of tennis balls for $.99, and in the baby supply department I found a 2-pack of swaddle cloths for $1.99. With these, and a pair of scissors, I was able to make a Springtime version of one of Nora's favorite handmade toys. We like to call this a 'rope octopus,' but you can call it whatever you want. Assemble it by doing the following:

1. Lay your swaddle cloth out, print side down, and place a tennis ball in the middle.

2. Cut diagonally from each corner into the center (towards the ball), leaving about 1" uncut fabric to the tennis ball.

3. Take 2 diagonal corners and tie them across the top of the tennis ball. Repeat with the remaining corners.

4. You should have 4 sectioned corners of fabric. Starting with 1 corner cut the fabric into 6 even width strips. Your lengths will not be the same, this is fine, you can trim when you are done braiding. Be careful with your cuts not to overlap and cut any fabric off.

5. Take 3 of the fabric strips and braid until you've reached the end of the shortest strip, tie a knot and trim any excess, leaving at least 1" of fabric from your securing knot.

6. Repeat with the remaining 3 strips.

Repeat steps 4-6 until all corners are braided with 2 braids each for a total of 8 braids. Don't worry if your braids are different thicknesses or lengths- your dog will enjoy playing with each end uniquely!
$2 D.I.Y. Tennis Ball Octopus Dog Toy- Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
If you have a larger breed dog then you may wish to make thicker braids by doubling up each length of fabric, or by using a fleece fabric braid to add thickness. Nora is a small breed dog, but she absolutely loves 'tearing' into these 'octopus' style braided toys and plays for hours with them on their own. Best of all, you can recycle the tennis ball inside if the fabric ever becomes torn or too dirty!
For those looking for an even simpler DIY dog toy- look no further than the classic 'Tennis Ball Sock.' We found some adorable pairs of Easter socks perfect for our Easter basket. Because socks come in pairs of 2, and the tennis balls came in packs of 3, we made 2 toys for just $2, with a tennis ball to spare! It's as easy as placing a tennis ball in your favorite festive sock and tying it off with a knot. Viola! You'll find similar Easter toys at the local pet store for up to 5X as much!
$2 D.I.Y. Tennis Ball Sock Dog Toy- Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
I cannot get over how adorable my 1 minute tennis ball sock toy chickadee looks next to Nora's Easter basket. And how about those 'poo emoji' themed Easter eggs? Aren't those perfect for any posh pup? In addition to her handmade toys we also added some dog toys we found in the 99's pet aisle, a few rawhide style treats, and a new blanket (just $2 hanging on the wall with the baby gear).
Make 3 of these Cat Wands for $3! $2 D.I.Y. Tennis Ball Octopus Dog Toy- Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
Naturally we didn't forget about Truffles, the cat- it just so happens my local 99 had their spring gardening supplies set up on the other half of the Easter aisle. In a stroke of genius I spotted some tomato plant cages for $.99 I could easily transform into some amazing cat DIY staples! In fact, there happened to be multiple sizes of tomato plant cages and the small size prided 3 poles that were the perfect length for a cat wand! After cutting (regular scissors work fine) off the lightweight plastic clips holding the round cage guides in place I discovered that the plastic caps on either end of the support poles actually popped on and off with a little effort.

Using some ribbon I'd found in the Easter aisle and a cat toy from the pet aisle I actually tied the ribbon to the toy and fed 2" of the opposite end of the ribbon into the hollow pole. With a quick 'pop' I snapped the cap back in place and had an instant cat wand! Naturally one could duct tape or glue the cap on if they were concerned about cat's chewing or playing rough, and handmade 'lure' toys could be made out of multiple ribbons, pom poms, or more!
D.I.Y Cat Wand
I won't lie- Since each tomato cage makes 3 cat wands I plan on playing with a bunch of different 'lures'. We'll have a whole umbrella stand full of handmade cat wands soon enough. Truffles might be a 'senior' cat at 7, but she's still just as fascinated with ribbons and wands as ever! I originally put my completed wand in her Easter basket and had to hide it in the broom closet after finding it in the middle of the living room floor for the 3rd time. Some kids just can't wait for the holiday to unpack their goodies!
$5 No Skill Needed Kitty Teepee- Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD$5 No Skill Needed Kitty Teepee- Great for small dogs or kids' dolls! Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
To complete my Easter display I knew I wanted to make a kitty teepee at long last. I'd seen hundreds on Pinterest and, for a while, before finding the tomato cages I'd pondered using the poles from some yard rakes to accomplish this. At 3 rakes for $.1.99 a piece I'd be hard pressed to find my materials much cheaper elsewhere, but the large tomato cage was just $.99. Even better the tomato cage naturally formed a teepee like structure when I manipulated it's posts- perfect for someone structurally challenged, like me.
$5 No Skill Needed Kitty Teepee- Great for small dogs or kids' dolls! Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
If you've ever wanted to make your pet a teepee but found the concept of a free standing structure intimidating, this is your teepee. Head to your local 99 Cents Only Store and purchase a large tomato plant cage, fleece blanket, polypropylene rope (or any type of heavy duty string/rope), and some ribbon and make this teepee for just $5 in 5 minutes.

It's as easy as cutting the lowest supporting rung off (the plastic clips will snip easily with basic scissors), manipulating the top ring at an angle into the middle ring, and evening your posts to the same height at the top. Once you've got your tomato cage in a general shape go ahead and take your rope/cord/string and tie it around the 3 posts at the top. Use your excess string/rope/cord to weave in and out, and around the top posts multiple times until the structure holds on it's own. You should be able to adjust the length of the posts with a little force as needed.

Next drape your blanket over the structure and cut 2 horizontal slits approximately 1" from the edge, and 6" down from the top of your teepee. Run your ribbon of choice through it and tie in a bow to secure the teepee's fabric. Repeat about 6" down from the first bow. Place a pet bed inside, or leave as is for young children to use with dolls and such.

Scroll to the bottom of this post to grab the PINterest strip!
While any of these D.I.Y ideas can be used to make special gifts for your pets during any time of the year I especially love that I can afford holiday themed toys without the prices of seasonal merchandise. I made all of these awesome Spring and Easter themed pet toys for the cost of one small sized pink squirrel with an Easter egg squeaker at my local pet store. I've listed all the supplies I used to prepare for a magical Easter with my pets above, and every single thing I used was purchased at my local 99 Cents Only Stores. I even nabbed new bedding for the dog with a $5.99 comforter score!
Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD
Don't wait to head into your local 99 Cents Only Store to shop for Easter- the seasonal aisle is full now, and be sure to visit again before the holiday as new products are always being added. I know I'll be heading in a few times to keep collecting items for Easter baskets for the daycare kids, and my bowling league. Sure, it may seem a bit over the top to be 'that person' who always has something small to give everyone in celebration of a holiday, but I rather enjoy being able to afford that, thanks to the 99. Don't have any fur children like me? Just think how adorable an Easter basket would be tucked into one of those DIY teepees for a young girl or boy on Easter morning! Still need more inspiration to 99? Check out this fun video and follow the brand on Instagram!

What Daughter Says: Why spend more when you can spend less, indeed! My local 99 Cents Only Stores have my favorite brands, and new discoveries, at prices that make it fun to shop again!

$5 No Skill Needed Kitty Teepee- Great for small dogs or kids' dolls! Celebrate Easter with your pets with you shop at 99 Cents Only Stores. Shop adorable Easter baskets and decor, and grab supplies for affordable D.I.Y pet toys! #99YourEaster #DoThe99 #DoingThe99 #AD

Modernize Your Laundry Room With LG's TwinWash System At Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free
Growing up my family was what I'd consider early adopters in the home appliance and technology field. My father was hand building home PCs before I was even born, we had each new generation of home gaming system at my father's insistence, we'd make a monthly trip to the DAK store to invest in the greatest new kitchen gadget, and our living room television likely put off more heat than our actual central heating system.

So, when big names such as LG began breaking out into the home appliance scene a few years ago it was no surprise my father messaged me excited to show off his new LG fridge. I'll admit, I wasn't sure what to expect from a refrigerator bearing the same branding logo as my first cell phone, but I was blown away by all of the modern features seamlessly integrated through smart technology choices. I've since become less intimidated by technology in the home appliance space, and more-so envious.
As I build my dream home wish list, and work through upgrading our own home appliances one by one, the LG TwinWash system definitely caught my eye the last time I was wandering Best Buy's showroom. Not only do the LG TwinWash systems have top OR front loading washers paired with the choice of gas or electric dryers, their thoughtful innovation of a Sidekick Pedestal washer means I can be even more fluid in my day to day laundry needs. That blanket the potty-training puppy loves and had an accident on? It no longer has to wait for the next load of laundry, or be hand washed. Having a Sidekick washer means I can tackle small loads on the spot without the time, hassle, or waste of running a full load.

But the LG TwinWash system also tackles the BIG jobs, like bedding and Winter clothes, thanks to the full capacity wash system that can also run simultaneously with the Sidekick. Being about to choose between the two, or run both, really helps fuel the energy efficiency of these models, and the sleek interface design is just a cherry on top with the LG brand name.

Of course if you're looking for the full laundry room overhaul you'll definitely want to consider adding on the Styler Steam Clothing Care System, which helps keep your more delicate clothes looking their best, even when pressed (pun intended) on time.
Now through April 25th, 2018 when you shop for an LG TwinWash system at Best Buy you'll not only get amazing specialty service on the floor in store you'll save up to $500 off. Last year we brought our kitchen into the modern age- our laundry room is definitely on track to receive an overhaul with smart LG laundry solutions like the TwinWash system. I spend a legit chunk of my life hand cleaning small loads and delicate pieces the Pedestal Washer could easily tackle for me- so I can get back to the important things, like living life to it's fullest and making more dirty laundry memories!

Cat-Toe Shoes + The Importance Of Compromise In A Cat-Human Slave Relationship

Even when I make cat-toe flats and provide her with a real grass indoor lounge.
Momma Told Me: Compromise is key to any healthy relationship.

There comes a point in every cat-human slave relationship that you find yourself simply falling into a slump.  Wake up, feed cat. Scoop litter box. Pet cat. Slowly back away as cat makes it known they're done with you. Open window for cat. Pick up cat toys. Feed cat dinner. Scoop cat box. Attempt to pet cat again. Ignore rude feline slang and remind yourself they still love you. Go to bed. Wake up to cat on face. Do it all again.

It's no-one's fault, really. Light any long-term relationship it's bound to have it's ups and downs. But, unless your cat's making $1000's of dollars selling cereal on Instagram (yes, that's a thing) you might want to remind yourself who exactly wears the pants. Literally. Unless your cat is some sort of special pants wearing cat, in which case you're simply out of luck.
For a while, last year, Truffles and I had settled into an Eb and flow that was teetering on the edge of complacency. Our relationship was dull. I wanted nice, pretty, things, and all she wanted to do was lay around in the (dirty) sliding window track all day. She couldn't even be bothered to pull back the blinds before she smushed herself against the glass and drifted off for her afternoon naps. Neither of us seemed unhappy, but neither of us seemed particularly happy either.
So I decided to make some changes.

No long would I settle for our relationship consisting of little more than a routine. For example, if she wasn't going to get up off the floor and go buy her own groceries then she was at the very least going to help with the shopping decisions. There was some grumbling about 'angles' making her look fat, and data usage, but I at last got her to agree to Face Time on the phone during my visit to PetSmart. It turns out, much like the importance of good toilet paper to humans, cats have a lot to say about the litter they use.
Fresh Step at PetSmart
Truffles wanted a lower dust formula litter, while I wanted extreme clumping action that would make my human-slave duties much more tolerable each day. We'd been using Fresh Step cat litter for years, but never paid much attention to the new varieties and innovations with the brand. I guess you can just chalk it up too our slump. So, together, we decided to make the switch to a new lower dust Fresh Step with the Power of Febreze formula litter. Our compromise skills, however,were later put to the true test when I rolled past the PetSmart aisle with the toy mice. Turns out Truffles got some new toys, and I got a new pair of shoes.Preparing to make DIY kitty-toe flats.
Of course a plain pair of flats didn't quite make Truffles' fashion approval- they needed a but more pizazz. So I grabbed some painter's tape, a drop cloth, and acrylic paints and sat down to jazz up my new kicks a little.

My relationship efforts must have been paying off because Truffles immediately joined me, as soon as the box the shoes had arrived in was vacant.
I was excited my cat was taking interest in my hobbies, and immediately began explaining my project to her, but her eyes only offered a glazed expression. Baby steps, I told myself.

I took my painter's tape and blocked off an even section of the toe of each flat and gave it a good layer of black paint. I then carefully peeled back the tape and added two swooshes of 'ears'.
Either the scent of wet acrylic on leather was perking her up, or she'd hit the nip a little earlier in the day but Truffles then looked at me and meowed something I took to mean "Paint me like one of your French cats" and I felt myself immediately inspired. Since I also happen to like asymmetrical designed, I decided to paint one toe as Truffles, the tuxedo cat, and the other a mysterious black kitty.
D.I.Y Kitty-Toe Flats with painter's tape and acrylic paint. Insanely easy, riddiculously adorable!
This project was incredibly simple, and didn't really require any special materials or skills- I've since worn my snazzy new flats about town several times to many compliments. This look sure beats that 'gold toe' trend everyone was buzzing about last Spring! Of course a brand new Fresh Step litter variety wasn't quite equal to my new 'designer' kicks- so Truffles demanded we compromise a little more. A new piece of furniture was in order.
Since I knew how much Truffles longed to lounge in the warm grass on a sunny SoCal day, but so very much feared the sound of a car backfiring, or the bark of a stray dog, or the shadow of a fleeing mouse (she's kind of an agoraphobe, really) I decided to bring the outdoors in. For about $8 at the local hardware store I invested in a sturdy concrete mixing pan that just so happened to be the perfect size for a section of sod.

As it turns out you can walk into most major, and even private, hardware and nursery stores and order a section of fresh sod (grass) to pick up the same day. The smallest size, shown here, cost us $2.59, and is actually doubled onto itself in the tray. You can order your sod with or without the thick dirt base- we prefer with dirt because it just has that great spongy, Earthy, feel. Sod for this purpose is generally intended to be tossed at the end of it's life, rather than watered/maintained, and will stay green and plush for 5-7 days depending on your climate.

***Update: We have had sod beds last up to 10 days before they were starting to brown and dry. We do something like this about once a month as a treat whenever we pass by the sod farm but you can get set up on a delivery or pickup schedule for weekly/bi weekly sod if it's something you desire to do regularly. You can also install a 'living' sod bed much like an indoor plant and keep the grass thriving for months on end.
Make a grass lounge for your indoor cat with a cement mixing pan and a sheet of sod from your local hardware store. (Only $10 for the tray and sod, new sod costs about $2.50 in our area and lasts up to 5 days indoors.)
Now, let me tell you- I could have just had a Lay-Z-Boy recliner dropped off, that's how magical this lounger was for our relationship. What a difference a change of local can do for one's mindset! It was as though Truffles checked into the spa each afternoon and was the kitten I fell in love with all over again each night. After hours of recharging in the afternoon sun my cat would return to me a whole new feline, purring and begging for attention with nudges and cuddles.
Make a grass lounge for your indoor cat with a cement mixing pan and a sheet of sod from your local hardware store. (Only $10 for the tray and sod, new sod costs about $2.50 in our area and lasts up to 5 days indoors.)
We may not be completely out of our rut- After all, I'll always be the human slave, and she'll always be the cat, but things are running just a bit more amicably these days. Let's just say I'm still scooping the litter box, but at least she remembers to put Fresh Step Extreme with the Power of Febreze on the shopping list! Now, tell me, if you may Kitty-Toe Flats what type of cat would you feature on the front? Not a cat person? Tell me about your pet's favorite place to sleep in the house!

What Daughter Says: Happy cat, happy human-slave.