Saturday, March 23, 2013

Launch of Pearl's Excavations

I just launched a new component of my blog - Pearl's Excavations (read about here).

To be brief, this column is about my cat Pearl and the random toys she excavates from the basement. Today's post is but a mere preview of the things that make their way up from the basement, via Pearl's mouth.
Item #1: An Anastasia Barbie Doll dress. Note, it is complete with her Forever in Paris necklace from Grandmama.

Necklace close up.
A Polly Pocket. Perfectly sized for Pearl's mouth.

A Flatsy Doll - circa Mom's childhood 1970's

Friday, March 22, 2013

Glogirly Design's Giveaway

Hi guys! Piper here. My furr-ends Katie and Waffles Too are having a really cool giveaway. Their mom, Glogirly of just launched a new blog - Glogirly Design. Glogirly will help you update your blog and spruce it up, for a (totally worth it) fee. Have you seen her wizard like skills with photo shop?
Piper here!

We love her Headers and Logos as well as her cat shaped Social Media Buttons.
Image from

Today Glogirly posted her Grand Opening Giveaway in which she is giving THREE(!!) lucky winner $100 Glogirly bucks (to choose a service of their choice) as well as a pawsome Glogirly pen and tote bag. I know I would lurveee to win a design for Sandpiper Cat Blog! How cool would that be?

Make sure you enter to win! Good luck!


Image from

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spotlight: Cat Tee Misson!

Some of the products Cat Tee Mission sells. Image by Sarah Menzies.

Hey readers! Today I am introducing a new aspect of my blog, called "Spotlight"! Spotlight is where I will have a post featuring a person and their organization/company. For my first ever Spotlight post, I will be featuring Sarah Menzies of Cat Tee Mission (formerly known as The Purr Diaries).

Like me, Sarah is dedicated to saving cats. If she can save just a few extra cats with the sales of her tee shirts, then she knows that her job is being done.

100% of the profits support cats all over the world! The rescues she works with include Cat Rescue & Cat Protection Society in Australia, Paws Watch in the USA, Cat and Kitten Care in the UK, and the Cat Protection Society of Namibia in Africa.

Visit to purchase a cat tee today! The more tees they sell, the more kitties they can save!
Interview with Sarah Menzies:

Sarah with her kitties.
Sandpiper Cat Blog: What had you set out to do with Cat Tee Mission (obviously helping cats), what were your goals when you started?

Sarah Menzies: Yes, my main aim was to help cats! But firstly I just wanted to come up with a design that spread the word about the plight of homeless cats, that people would actually want to wear! Selling tees was my first goal, so I'd have something to give the rescue groups we support. I wanted to sell enough that we could at least get one cat spayed/neutered at each of our 5 rescue groups, every quarter.

SCB: What was your first step to start CTM?

SM: My first step was coming up with the idea. I knew I wanted to sell something, so I wouldn't just be asking for people's money, but giving them something in return for their money. When I finally came up with the tee shirt idea, my next step was finding worthy, no-kill cat rescue groups from each corner of the globe.

SCB: How did you get involved selling on Etsy? What is running an Etsy shop like?

SM: I first discovered Etsy when I was looking at cat art on the net a couple of years ago and I thought it would be a great place for me to sell my kitty creations and custom portraits. Its very easy, inexpensive, and straight forward running an Etsy shop, and you'll find some amazing independent artists there! My Etsy shop is not part of Cat Tee Mission, but it does benefit cats too, a percentage of all sales goes to Cat Protection Society of NSW inc (who I foster for).

SCB: How do you come up with tee shirt designs (or Etsy products).

Tee shirts from Cat Tee Mission. Image by Sarah Menzies.

SM: I always struggle to come up with designs or ideas for artworks. For the tees I knew I wanted my designs to have text - text grabs people's attention and I often notice people reading my tees when I wear them. And of course I had to have a kitty on the tee too, so I just kept it simple. For Etsy products I get inspired a lot by my fave artist such as Harriet Gray, Lilly Piri, Laura Manfre etc. Although my art is completely different to theirs lol! I love feminine patterns, pastel colours, and simplicity, and that usually comes into play when thinking of an artistic idea.

SCB: What do you do to help out the "big cats"?

SM: I volunteered with big cats in Africa last year, and it was the highlight of my life! I have been thinking of expanding CTM to help big cats too, and I also became a part of Animal Works ( this year, a conservation organisation based in my home town of Sydney, with the aim of assisting big cats and fundraising for the rescue and rehabilitation of them in Africa. Stay tuned for more on that soon!

SCB: Where do you see the world of animal rescue going?

SM: Its hard to say, there is a lot wrong with the world at the moment. In regards to domestic cats (and other pets), there are too many of them, and in regards to big cats, there's not enough! And the biggest reason for that is humans. We need to be more responsible and spay and neuter our pets, and 'adopt, don't shop'! And we need to stop taking land and chopping down the habitats of wild creatures. It all relies on us as a species, and we need more people to act. We are the ones who have messed up the world, so it's up to us to make it right!

Jackson Galaxy supports Cat Tee Mission, so should you!  Image by Sarah Menzies.

Thank you Sarah for a great interview and a helping a great cause! I hope readers will enjoy visiting Sarah's website and buy some shirts to help the cause.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper

Gwen and Homer. Image courtesy of

You know how when you're reading a really good book, you will find any excuse to sneak away and read endlessly for hours? Reading a book during TV commercials, reading in between class breaks, sneaking away to your room during dinner. Those are just a few of the things I did to read Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper.

I’m excited to offer a giveaway of Love Saves the Day, autographed by Gwen Cooper! Details will be listed below the review! Links to Gwen's website and purchasing her books will be below.
Image courtesy of
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.

The book is broken up into three parts, from the viewpoints of the kitty Prudence, daughter Laura and the mother, Sarah. I love books that are told in different perspectives because it gives the reader more than one way to look at the story being told. 

I especially love the fact that the majority of the book was narrated by the kitty, Prudence. Gwen really captivated how cats "think" and act. For example, Prudence is taken to the Bad Place, which the reader can immediately identify as the vet's office. 

Many things Prudence said had me grinning and thinking of my own cats.

-"I fix him with an icy stare and swish my tail to remind him of his manners." 

-"I think Laura's trying to trick me into not noticing, so that one day soon she can put down just the new food and none of the food I like. As if that would fool a cat!"

-"I learned that water that's been standing still for a long time usually tastes bad. Now I like to rattle my water bowl with my right paw before I drink from it, so I can see the water move and keep it tasting fresh. Sarah understood this and only filled my water bowl up halfway."

After Prudence said the thing about the water, I started to wonder if my cats thought that way! I asked my mom - she had just read Gwen's book - and she agreed, wondering the same thing. 

After reading Love Saves the Day, it is evident that Gwen did a lot of research on the "Mitchell-Lama" buildings that a portion of the book is about. The events that happen in chapter 13 (I would love to write a summary but I don't want to give any good plot details away!) "are a fictional creation and not intended to accurately depict real events" as Gwen states in the Author's Note.

I wondered how Gwen knew about Mitchell-Lama buildings and the history of the building mentioned in the book. It turns out that Gwen’s husband Laurence moved into a Mitchell-Lama building when he first moved to New York, 25 years ago.

Honestly, New York is such a crazy, crazy market for real estate (with such insanely high rents) that you always have a general awareness of people you know who've lucked into great deals, like something that's rent controlled or an apartment, like a Mitchell-Lama apartment, that participates in a City program to maintain affordable rents for middle-class tenants. Once I decided to work the program into the book, I did some research and also spoke with attorneys who specialize in both assisting tenants who live in Mitchell-Lama buildings and who represent developers that want to buy the buildings and opt out of the program,” she said.

I kept up to date on Gwen’s Facebook fan page for Love Saves the Day (which you can find here) and I knew that just three weeks before her deadline, she changed a massive portion of her book.

It turns out that Gwen tossed out 80% of her book – which had taken her two years to write.  
(Reader Note: Before you read on, there will be a little plot detailed here that might give away parts of the story, so please read at your own risk).

In a nutshell, I felt that I was over-plotting Prudence.  Originally I had a storyline that had her much more actively searching for Sarah.  The problem was that to translate that search into action had me writing behaviors for her that weren't really cat-like.  For a book like this to work, readers have to really believe that they're inside a cat's mind--and I felt that if I as the author didn't believe what I was writing, readers wouldn't either,” Gwen explains.
Gwen went on to explain that ultimately, Prudence has three "jobs" in the book:

1) To be adorable and funny and "catty;"
2) To narrate the human action and the day-to-day lives of the other characters in the book
3) To heal over the course of the book from her loss of Sarah as she gradually bonds with Laura and Josh and comes to consider them her family.

After getting rid of 80% of the book, Gwen was excited that once she took Prudence out of her own head a bit, all these wonderful opportunities opened up for ways in which Prudence could engage the human characters.

For those who have read Love Saves the Day, it’s needless to say that the changes Gwen made to the book ultimately changed it for the better. This is an amazing story that will help heal anyone with a broken heart, or just likes cats!

I am so glad that my mom had picked up Homer’s Odyssey that one fateful day in Barnes and Noble, otherwise I might not be here reviewing Love Saves the Day!

Gwen will delight readers with her new book, as it is really an inspirational story.
I asked Gwen if she had a new book in the works and this is what she said:

Me: And just to give the readers of the review a sneak peak, do you have any plans for another book soon! (ok, that question was for me too :-P!)
Gwen: I do have plans to write another book, but nothing concrete enough to talk about yet.  Once the craziness of the tour dies down, I'll get back to you!  :)

I leave my readers with one final thought from Gwen, which I will take to heart with the rest of my writings:

“It pays to remember as a writer that sometimes the most important part of writing is knowing when and what to ‘unwrite’”.

To visit Gwen Cooper: 
To buy Love Saves the Day: Amazon or Barnes and Noble
To buy Homer's Odyssey: Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Giveaway closed.

Receiving a complimentary copy of the book did not influence my review or my opinions.

Snowquester Snow Cat!

Snopal package - for kids ages 3-100!

It was really nice to have a snow day from school - even if it is in March right before spring break! My mom and I took the opportunity to go outside and "play" in the snow; you're never too old to do so!

And we made a snow kitty!

Let me know if you got snow, how much and where!