Monday, November 25, 2013

Sandpiper Cat Blog's First Annual Holiday Gift Guide

It is always fun to look in magazines and read their "Under $10 Gift Guide" or "Best Gifts for Pet Lovers" suggestions. That is why I am excited to bring you my personally selected Sandpiper Cat Blog's First Annual  Holiday Gift Guide.

Some of the products will have special coupon codes available, so make sure you check those out. Also, I have pinned all these images on my Pinterest page on a board called Sandpiper Cat Blog Holiday Gift Guide.

All the products are linked to take you directly to where you can purchase them! If I have previously reviewed the product on my blog, I will link that as well. Happy gifting! If you do purchase any of these items, please let me know how you (or to whomever you gift them) like them!

Category Number One: Books

1. Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper, $12.08.
A portion of the proceeds from Love Saves the Day benefit the Blind Cat Sanctuary in North Carolina. Love Saves the Day is an amazing story about Prudence the cat. One day, Prudence's owner Sarah doesn't come home. Prudence goes to live with Sarah's daughter, Laura and her husband Josh. Prudence doesn't understand why Sarah left her and hopes she will come get her soon. This is a tale of love, hope and how animals help you heal. Read my full review here.

2. Buckley's Story, Purrs of Wisdom and Adventures in Veterinary Medicine (eBook) by Ingrid King, respectively $12.89, $9.58 and $1.99.
Author of The Conscious Cat blog, Ingrid King has a trio of books written about the many ways cats have shaped her life. Each story features different cats and how they came into her life and changed it for the better. Read my reviews of Purrs of Wisdom here and Adventures in Veterinary Medicine here.

Category Number Two: Calendars

3. Top Cat 2014 Wall Calendar, $13.49. My kitty friend Jeddah of Jeddah's Journey won the Top Cat 2014 Calendar Contest. She is featured on the cover and is Miss July! This kitty calendar is purrfect for the cat lover in your life.

4. Cat Calendar 2014 - "Catlendar Girls' Printable Download (downloadale), $7.50. My dear friend Ella Goodwin has created a beautiful calendar with kitty illustrations "appropriately attired for the year" as she says in her description. "This would make a fab Christmas pressie for any kooky cat lovers!" It is also ready in a print ready format for $18.

Category Number Three: Products For Your Cat (Coupon Alert!)

5. The Yoga Cat Mat Toy - Etsy Feline Yogi Shop, $24.99 ($19.99 special offer for Sandpiper Cat Blog Readers) The Zen Way for Cats to Scratch Lounge & Play is described by the owner, Paige Hodges. Cats love yoga mats so why not give kitty one for her very own this holiday season! The Yoga Cat Mat is a cat toy, cat scratcher, and cat lounger all rolled into one! This unique cat toy is ideal for scratching, sharpening claws, getting stoned on catnip, and hanging out and practicing resting pose. Handcrafted in Los Angeles California, The Yoga Cat Mat comes in four vibrant colors: olive green, slate blue, purple, and red.  Visit us at our Etsy store: and use the online coupon code: SANDPIPERCAT101 for $5.00 off any Feline Yogi Yoga Cat Mat until December 31, 2013. Feline Yogi is committed to helping those kitties amongst us who are most in  need so a portion of all sales are donated to help homeless cats. Meow and Namaste!

Category Number Four: Human Presents 

6. Cat Eared Black Lace Headband, $20. By buying this cat ear headband, you are helping out shelter cats. On trend, playful and stylish, the headband will have cat lovers saying me-wow! The ears are made from sheer black lace and sit upon a black satin headband. It is a limited edition headband. 100% of the $20 purchase price will benefit the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty  to Animals).

7. HOMER for the Holidays (Limited Edition) Tee Shirt, $18.50. Please note this item is available until 12/3/13. Gwen Cooper and family are offering these limited-edition custom, high-quality tees featuring an exclusive rendering of Homer, the Blind Wonder Cat who inspired millions. 20% of the proceeds will go to the International Fund  for Animal Welfare, bringing aid to thousands of animals left injured and homeless in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. Buy one now and give the gift of love this holiday season -- to yourself, a friend, or family member, and animals  in need all over the world.  Comes in XS-3XL. Colors include white, light blue (pictured), soft pink, athletic heather and canvas red.

8. Thanksgivukkah Trio Nail Polish by PhillyLovesLacquer (Etsy), $30 (or $12 individually). In a previous review you can read here, I featured PhillyLovesLacquer, a Philadelphia based indie nail polish run by Esther Fox. She creates her own nail polish and part of the proceeds benefit an organization called Forgotten Cats. Purchasing this awesome Thanksgivukkah (because the second night of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving Thursday) will leave you with gorgeous nails and help out cats in need.

(Coupon Alert!)
9. Saya Papaya Jewelry (earrings pictured $30), various pricing. Run by Shannon Gianoni, Saya Papaya is a Pittsburgh, PA based jewelry business. Shannon personally creates all of her jewelry, which features a vast array of Swarovski Austrian crystals. A portion of the profit from every Saya Papaya sale will be donated to Animal Friends. I will actually be doing a review and giveaway of Shannon's earrings pictured above, in the following weeks, so make sure you stay tuned for that. In the meantime, readers can use the online coupon code "RSHUBIN" to receive $5 off a purchase. Please do note this coupon can only be used one time per person only. I personally have a pair of these earrings and absolutely love them. They are perfect to dress up an outfit, but can also fit your casual style days as well. I highly recommend her products and they come in so many different colors.

The bag I bought has adorable little kitty ice cream cone fabric. This bag is mine & is not available.
10. Cat Bag with ear handles $65 sale (black) & $99 (pink) by ShopMissElla on Etsy. Ella's products are all fabulous, and these purses are no exception! The handles are made with oak wood and the interior of the bags are lined with fabric. Ella laser cuts the wooden handles which makes them lovely to hold. These bags are perfect for a night out on the town where you want to show off your absolute love of all things cat! The bags also come in a variety of styles and fabrics, and Ella will take custom orders. I had my own bag made by Ella in the summer and it is just beautiful. It is light, fits a lot and is just fun to carry around. You absolutely cannot go wrong with one of Ella's adorable bags.

Category Number Five: Outdoors 

11. Garden Flag First Light from Portraits of Animals Etsy Shop, $15 (brackets sold separately). Created by artist Bernadette Kazmarski, this gorgeous garden flag depicts her black cat Mimi on the bathroom window sill watching the sun rise. We have one of Bernadette's flags outside at our beach house. It is durable and meant for indoors and outdoors. The design is on each side. 

Wow, I think that just about does it for my first annual gift guide. I had so much fun picking out items that I love and especially those that benefit animals. I hope you enjoyed the gift guide and have some great ideas for presents!

Happy Holidays from Rachel and Sandpiper

Please understand that we cannot ensure the availability of these products. All items were available at the time of this post. Coupon codes void where prohibited. All items void where prohibited.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review/Giveaway: Alley Cat Allies Architects of Change for Cats National Conference

The welcome sign.

This past weekend I attended the first Alley Cat Allies Architects of Change for Cats National Conference, in Arlington, Virginia. The conference was full of cat lovers from all different backgrounds - people who care for cats and want to improve the world for cats.

Alley Cat Allies Logo on the hotel floor

The conference was well attended, with 350 people from over 38 states and two countries. I got to socialize with my blog friends Dorian of Your Daily Cute, Tamar of I Have Cat, Joanne of The Tiniest Tiger and Ingrid of The Conscious Cat. I was there not only supporting my blog but supporting my local rescue organization that I have been with since 2005, Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation.

On Saturday I attended the opening session where Mike Arms, who is President of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in California. He spoke about the story of a cat named Scarlett, a former feral cat that saved her kittens from a burning building and suffered severe burns. My mom nudged me and said, "Remember that book about the cat named Scarlett you read as a child? This story he is telling is that book!"  (Here is the childhood book I read on Amazon).

Mike talked about how it is important to know that just looking at a cat and saying "I love you" won't save its life, you have to save its life by taking action. He is definitely right.

We also heard Major Steve Lamb talk about the Spartanburg Animal Services, which was very fascinating. They are an animal control team in South Carolina that has done wonderful work for feral cats.

At dinner. Left to right: Ingrid, Joanne, me, my mom Julie and dad Harry.

The dinner entertainment was none other than the host of Animal Planet's Must Love Cats, John Fulton!
Check out a video here I recorded on Instagram of John singing the Must Love Cats theme song.

Meeting John!

Overall, the Alley Cat Allies conference was a blast to attend and I hope there will be another conference in the future!

Now for the giveaway!

I have two extra Alley Cat Allies 2014 Calendar to giveaway and well as two "I <3 Feral Cats pins!" There will be two winners (each will win a calendar and a pin). Please enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is only open to US residents. The giveaway will last from November 14, 2013 to November 21, 2013 at 12 am EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Ruivo Armadillo Cat Pendant Necklace

I am totally a cat jewelry lover. Any time I find a piece of cat jewelry I like it is so hard to say no! I love to represent my cat loving roots and flaunting that through jewelry seems like the perfect way to do so!

Back in the summer, my friend Gina went to a local festival and posted a picture of this gorgeous necklace she had purchased there. A cat pendant that says cats rule and it was on the back of a scrabble tile. I I loved it and wanted to get one of my own!

I contacted Etsy Seller Kate Amarelo, the owner of Ruivo Armadillo by Kamarelo Designs to find out some information about her jewelry. Her website is

Sandpiper Cat Blog: How did you get into jewelry making?
Kate Amarelo: I've always been a creative person. I can remember colored paper being around me for as long as my memory serves. The women in my family are a very creative influence; my grandmother sewed, my mom quilts, and I've been paper crafting since high school. When I moved to Virginia, I couldn't find the local scrapbooking stores like I had in Colorado, so I switched my focus to turning paper into jewelry. The Scrabble tiles were an instinctual thing; I grew up making up my own words which always made me horrible at the game. Unless I could convince people to play by my rules...

SCB: Do you have any animals?
KA: I lived with pets as long as I can remember! Growing up, my cat was named Savannah. Her name was super uncreative - our neighborhood was Savannah Square! She passed when I was in high school so I had a pet break until I got to college when roommates always brought along their pets. After I graduated, I got my first 'real' job, a coworker took me to the Humane Society and my cat Lady came into my life.  I really wanted two cats and to name the other Tramp because it made me laugh! But I reconsidered because I wanted to be a good first time cat mom and figured I should start with one. Now my fiance and I have a dog, Moose. And he's the greatest!

The blue charm above is the one Kate was so kind to send me, to review for my blog. I have to say I am so impressed with the quality of the charm. Kate is able to take an average scrabble block and make it into something so unique and beautiful! I have received many compliments while wearing this necklace and I absolutely love it!

Which is why I am so glad that Kate is allowing one of my readers to enter to win one of her necklaces! Through the Rafflecopter link below, entrants can pick out one of the images below and a color that they would like a chance to win! US entries only, please. 

The giveaway will run from 11/7/13 at 12 am EST to 11/14/13 at 12 am EST. Winner will be contacted by email. Good luck!

Receiving the free pendant did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway