Sunday, October 30, 2011

31DBBB - Task 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 (Little behind...)

Task 11:
A web of more ideas that string from posts I've already written.

Task 12: Making a Posting Calendar/Post Plan
I try to post at least 2-3 times a week. I keep a book that I write all my blog ideas in.

Upcoming posts will include: Castor & Pollux Giveaway, My personal cat literature from when I was a kid and a review on the new Zee and Zoey book.

Task 13: Take a trip to the mall...
Well I'm always at the mall. What brings me there is when I specifically am looking for something, if I know a store is having a promotion and if I have a good coupon. Their slogans aren't always what brings me into the store, it's the price. I'm typically not someone who pays full price for most things. If a tank top is $20, I'll wait until it's on sale for less than $15. I try not to pay full price when I know most products will go on sale within a few weeks.

Task 14: Update a key page on your blog...
1. What is the most important page on your blog? Him, well I guess it would be the...about me? I mean, people want to know who I am and what my blog is about. Whenever I visit a new blog I always check out the "about me" section to see what the person is like and what they do.
*I'm hoping to update my blog and get a better "about me" and just vamp up the blog to a little higher standard.

Task 15: Find a blog buddy. I don't just have "a" blog buddy, but multiple buddies! I belong to the Cat Lady Coalition on Facebook where I can ask questions to many well known/published pet bloggers, like Ingrid King of the Conscious Cat, Deb Barnes of Zee and Zoey, Tamar Arslanian of I Have Cat as well as so many others!

Can you have 7 cats in the house & a live mouse?

10/30/11 at 12:36 pm.

I'm on the phone and all of a sudden I hear a bloodcurdling scream and a whole bunch of shrieking and yelling. I told the person that I had to go that something was going on downstairs and there was a bunch of screaming and I had to go check it out.

I fly down the stairs and run into the kitchen where the commotion is going on. I see on the floor...this little guy....

Yes, we have a mouse in the house! It's hard to believe that the poor little mouse was still alive because we have 7 carnivorous cats on the prowl. Pearl, our white fluffy Turkish Angora, hadn't even come up for breakfast this morning, she must have known we had mice in the basement.

After quickly shoving the horrified mouse into a tupperware, my mom brought little mousy outside and released him into the grass. He took off like a speeding bullet, surely shellshocked that he had been played with by our cat Henry.

Aftering promptly posting about the mouse on the loose on Facebook, my cousin reminded me off the famous child book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie." She said: "Are you going to bake cookies or take him to the movies?"

Hopefully mousy will be lucky next time that he finds himself in a house with animal lovers....and no cats! So the answer to the question is YES! You can have 7 cats in the house and a live mouse!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Catto Contest

Not enough people have entered in the Catto contest for me to pick a winner! Enter here on my original blog post and leave a comment. Say what type of catto design you would like.

I will extend the contest until Monday 10/31/11 at 11 am EST! Post now for your chance to win!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Teal Cat Project/National Feral Cat Day

Cat figures I aquired this summer, all antiques except for cat with bell.
My family is notorious for antiques. And of those antiques, more than 50% of them are cat tchotckes (I knew the word but had to look up how to spell this!). We have cat decanters, that used to have whiskey in them. My dad has a collection of black cat with red bow figurines. Those are really popular.

Cat decanters

Black and red cat collection

I learned about this really cool "project" through Facebook a few weeks ago. It is called The Teal Cat Project. Here is their philosphy, from their website:

Well, we love thrifting and crafting. On an outing to scour Omaha’s many thrift stores for kitty cat tchotchkes to use as centerpieces for a fundraiser (guess what, it was a fundraiser for cats!), we thought of selling the centerpieces to raise a little extra cash. And then we thought it would be a good idea if we could make the kitties just a little bit cooler in some way. And then somehow, in a fevered dream, it all made sense. We spray paint them. Teal is cool. We make each one collectible, like a Cabbage Patch Kid. The kids go crazy. We give all the money to cat rescue groups. This is who we are.

Cat lamps and figures

Cat lamp
 Basically, the Teal Cat Project takes a little cat figurine from an antique store and makes it unique by spray painting it teal, and then selling them online. Each cat has a unique number, so that buyers know that the Teal Cat is authentic.

I love reading their Facebook posts about when they find new cats to paint. They even allow you to "donate a tchotchke" for them to paint. Of course, they state on their website that "part of the project is to use the kitties that are already out there in the world, not to create more," just like people who rescue cats want people to adopt already existing cats in shelters or rescues, instead of buying a cat from a breeder.

Ocean City, MD antique salt and pepper shakers (tall cats)

Salt and pepper shakers from antique store in Covesville, VA

Cat pen holder

Lovely ladies!

Mounted wall cats

Mantle cats

Some other odds/ends cats
Currently, there are no teal cats for sale. The store hopes to get new teal cats out before the holidays. I know I will be constantly refreshing their page, looking for new cats to buy!

Mom's nails in "Mint Candy Apple"

My nails, in "Mint Candy Apple" - using Henry as a nail display.
In the mean time, you can support the Teal Nail Project, which is tomorrow Sunday October 16, 2011 to celebrate National Feral Cat Day. All one has to do is paint their nails teal!

You can visit the Ally Cat Allies website and learn about  National Feral Cat Day.

Cheers to teal cats and nails!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 DBBB Tasks 7, 8, 9 & 10 (I'm behind!)

Task 7 - Link Posts

Is this something you’ve done in the past?  Yes, I try to link to other blogs in my posts, such as my beach blog!
What has been the outcome? I definitely get hits through this method.
How do you follow other blogs so that you can link to them? I follow them on  Blogger. Some I get emails when they make new posts.
How did you use the link in your post? I use a hyper-link.
If you’ve used blog links before, was there one way you used them in your posts? I use them when I am talking about other blogs or people or products.
If you’ve had your blog linked to, what has been the result? I got hits from people I wouldn't have, and it makes me happy to know others are reading my blog.

Task 8 - Interlink your old blog posts
Have you done this in the past?  Yes I try to do this as often as I can, like my first blog post that launched this blog; about my foster cat Piper.
Do you notice you get more traffic to older posts?  Yes! Surprisingly I got a comment on an old post, which I was very curious about.
If you’ve interlinked your posts and use a plug-in that recommends similar posts, have you notice if interlinking or the plug-in gets more views for older posts? I also post all my blog posts to Sandpiper Cat Blog's Facebook and

Task 9 - Join a Forum and Start Participating
If you already belong to a forum, do you find it helpful? I belong to the online BlogPaws community.
 If so, in what way(traffic, post ideas, etc)? Well, I participate in the Newbie to BlogPaws group and the 31 Days to Build a better blog.

Task 10 - Set up Alerts to Monitor your blog's niche
How do you keep track of what is going on in the pet world? I suscribe to many animal blogs and get email updates.
Do you have alerts set up? Yes, I get email  updates for every comment response.
How do you use them for blogging (post ideas, to monitor what is being said about you/your blog)? I use the stats on my blogger and I can tell in what country I'm getting hits from.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cattoo Tattos (say that 5 times fast!) A giveaway!

Tonight's post  is a very exciting first for SandPiper Cat blog! We are having a contest! But first, a review.

Modern Cat owner Kate Benjamin's website Cattoo Design, is a place to share pictures of your cat tattoos, or cattoos. A new product featured on Catto Design that you can purchase, are cattoo temporary tattoos.
I choose to try the pawprint on my wrist and the tribal cat on my ankle. I applied the tattoos on Sunday 10/2/11. The paw rubbed off (probably from wearing lots of bracelets) by 10/8/11. The tattoos are said to last 3-5 days and I would say they last about 2 more days longer, depending on where you put them.

My ankle tattoo is still on, but parts of the cat have rubbed off. Though, I have had quite a few people ask me if it was real! I was really surprised, because I don't think I seem to be the type of person who would wear a tattoo. I'm afraid of needles. Though if I was going to cat a tattoo, it would definitely be a cattoo.

These tattoos are a really fun way to experience having a tattoo, perhaps without all the pain! And there are more designs than just the pawprint and tribal cat. There are cattoos that say Cat Mom, Cat Dad and a tribal cat head as well as the pawprint and tribal cat. You can purchase them here, separately for $5 for two sheets of one design, or all of the tattos (2 sheets of each) in a package that is $20.

BUT WAIT! Two lucky winners will win their favorite cattoo design! Kate has offered to ship anywhere! Please comment on this blog and tell me why you would like to win the cattos and please leave your email (so I can contact you if you win).

The contest will run from tonight 10/12/11 to next Thurdsay 10/20/11!
I will number your posts and then use to choose a winner! Good luck!

Monday, October 3, 2011

31DBBB - Task 6: Blog Tips (VERY Belated post -- beware it's a long one!)

Today's 31DBBB Blog post is reading blog tips on ProBlogger and sharing tips I found helpful for blogging!

What articles did you find the most helpful? Why?

1. I read Seth Godin's blog on helpful tips. While yes, some of them were helpful...there were a few where I have to blatantly disagree.

11. Don't write about your cat, your boyfriend or your kids. *No, I really think writing about cats is ok. I think about some of my favorite blogs including I Have Cat, Conscious Cat, Catsparella and Covered in Cat Hair and I realize that you can even make a living while writing about cats.
49. Give credit to those that inspired, it makes your writing more useful. This advice is definitely something I would even reccomend. Give credit where credit is due. If you got an idea for your blog off of someone else's...mention them and link their blog to your post! You scratch their back (promote them) and they almost always help or return a favor.

2. I read Rand Fiskin SEOmoz's 21-tactics-to-increase-blog-traffic and found more helpful ideas.
1. Choose the Right Blog Software (or Custom Build) -I am honestly not sure how I even found Blogspot to host my blogging needs. I started my original blog Cape May Chick back in March 2009 for my personal needs. I wanted to share my love of Cape May, in a form that other friends and family members could read. I didn't know that I would start Sandpiper Cat Blog in April 2010 and really take off after that.
14. Use a Human Voice - I don't necessarily agree with using a human voice. I feel like if a blogger does it right, they could get away with writing in the voice of their animal. Of course, there are certain blogs such as Bocci's Beefs and Preston Speaks that are written in the dog's perspective/voice. I did my most recent post with a little help from Piper and Sabrina, a review of Junk Food Flyers. I did the basic...add "z" to many of the words, and just write in the voice I think Piper and Sabrina would write in. I'm not saying that it's something I will write a whole blog in, it was just an interesting experiment to test out.

3.  Chris Garret from Chris G - I read his post Art of Getting Things Wrong.
"Fear of feedback is just one of many reasons why we can all aim for perfection to the point where we don’t get anything meaningful done," said Chris in his article. I really thought that this quote made a lot of sense. I love good feedback and really don't get that much anyway. I do get comments occasionally from my parents saying "Rachel, you spelled something wrong." Well, we can't all be perfect with spelling. I don't often use spell check in my blog even though I should. I know now, that even if I get negative feedback, not to linger on the comment,b ecause like Chris says, you won't get anything meaningful done. I think this also applies even for me in school; writing a paper that gets a comment I don't agree with or a low grade because someone doesn't agree with my writing. It's a lesson that carries true to everything.

4. Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs Journey and I learned about a really cool type of blog post, called Pillar Article.

 Write at least five major “pillar” articles. A pillar article is usually a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. I love writing articles that tell people what to do. Wait, that sounds mean! I like to write articles helping people learn something new. Informing people about different cat subjects makes me happy.

5. Jeremy Schoemaker from Shoemoney - I didn't find anything helpful here, because I'm not in blogging to make money at the moment.

6. Liz Strauss from Successful Blog - here I read about tips on getting readers to post comments.

1. Look before you speak. When you’re on a new blog look around for minute, don’t just read a post and comment. Take in a bit about the blog and the blogger. Read the comments that came before yours as well. Think about what you’d say if you were in a discussion with all of them. Folks will recognize that your comment has substance and take you and your comment more seriously. I absolutely love this tip. I've abided by it, but I hope that other readers will do this. before I leave a comment on an blog post I have something to say about, I always poke around their blogosphere and learn about their posting styles and find out if the are a blog that I want to keep reading.

Why readers don't leave comments
1.  What you write is so complete, that I don’t know what to say except good job. I feel silly writing that, so I read and move on. I try to make my writing a complete thought, but often I have run on sentences that go on and on and on and on and on and on.....and on. I try to make sure I leave my posts open for interpretation and hope that like art, everyone will read my post in a different way. So always leave a post if you have something to say! I promise I will read it, reply and not laugh at you (unless you are joking!)

7. Daniel Scocco from Daily Blog Tips - Lots of useful information here
1.  The user must know what the site is about in seconds - I think it is pretty obvious that my blog is about cats. I think it is evident from my posts taht I have a blog about pets. Correct me if I'm wrong.

2. Make the content scannable - Other than this post, all of my blog posts have short comments that are user friendly and are easily readable. I hope that people don't turn away from my blog, because I'm a writer and like to write like I'm writing a newspaper article. 

 8. Chris Brogan from
6. It’s okay to use a personal voice. In fact, there’s no point blogging if you’re going to write like a cold robot. But keep personal and useful in balance. Why wouldn't it be okay to use personal voice? I enjoy writing in personal voice, becasue most of the time I can't when I'm working on the school newspaper. And I know that eventually I will have a job where I probably can't write in first person. But that's okay because my blog is an outlet for that.

21. Put your blog posts on a diet. Read them with your audience in mind. Can you thin them out? Remove unnecessary words. Make them tight. If I'm posting, there is usually a good reason. It normally means that I want to share my thoughts with the world and I hope that you, as the reader, believe it's worth reading.

33. Add your blog URL to your email signature. I actually just did this before I read this post. Yay!

35.  If you’re going to promote your blog via places like Twitter, be sure to do it tastefully instead of just dumping links into the stream. Consider asking a question, or pointing out a rather insightful comment. I try to be tasteful when I post my blog post to Facebook. I also try to give a little "taste" so people want to continue reading the post.