Lulabelle Reviews: Lay’s Flavor Swap Contender: Flamin’ Hot

Before we get into it today I have a few confessions:

#1: I’ve already tried this flavor as I had a salty craving the other day and they were just sitting there on the counter…..whispering my name. It was creepy but I couldn’t resist. I did have to call in a priest to exorcise the bag so it’d quit whispering my name and the procedure was a success.

#2: I wasn’t looking forward to doing this one. I took one look at the package and maybe recoiled slightly. The only thing I could think of that I thought these would taste like are those Flamin’ Hot Cheetos that took elementary schools by storms about 8 years ago and have since been banned in several school corporations due to students getting chest pains and weirdly colored stool after eating them. Yep, definitely something I’d like to subject myself to…..but for the sake of my blog….. 😛

Upon opening the bag, I definitely smell a smoky BBQ smell. The taste is also smoky BBQ with quite a bit of heat. The heat lingers on the tongue for a good little bit. The closest thing I can compare it to is Open Pit BBQ sauce, in chip form. Fun fact, I grew up eating Open Pit BBQ sauce on home made macaroni and cheese. For some reason my palate can’t handle that combination anymore. Ah, growing up is sad sometimes. 😦

So, our oldest cat has been glued to my side the whole time I’ve been writing this and she’s been curious about what is in the bag. Now I’ve made sure she didn’t eat any of the chips and have moved the bag away from her several times. She just licked my finger–of the hand that held a chip– and then looked at me with this expression on her face like, “Mom, why did you let me do that??” She’s currently at the water station trying to quench the smoke coming out of her face.

That’s actually one of the benefits of this flavor. They are so hot that you can only eat a couple before you have to stop and drink a glass of milk. And my threshold for spicy is pretty high 😉 . That said, if you  are watching your portion control, these would be the chips for you. Also if you are trying to kick-start an overdue labor, keep these on hand if a long walk, drinking castor oil and doing “other activities” don’t work ;-).

Happy Eating!

Photo on 2016-03-31 at 19.19

PS: FTC Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All products were purchased with my hard earned cash that I make chasing around and changing the diapers of little children who want to be doing literally anything else rather than getting their diaper changed.

PPS: No cats were harmed in the making of this blog and some events that were discussed in the preceding blog may have been stretched for artistic license. It amazes me that I even have to say this, but then again we do live in a world where ironing companies have to put a disclaimer on the iron box, telling you to not iron clothes while wearing them.

I ♥ ‘merica 😛

Cup Size Matters……A Feline Weighloss Story Part III

Yesterday I ran across an entry I had written several months ago about trying to help our cats, especially the oldest, slim down. I actually offered tips on how to do it with food modification and exercise. I was pretty proud of myself for offering such wonderful tips.

Turns out the me from a few months ago when the entry was written didn’t know jack. Specifically when it comes to portion size and proper measurements. I really should have seen this coming, I mean, math and numbers have never been my strong suit. But it wasn’t until this last trip to the vet that I realized how big of a mistake I was making with regards to proper portions.

Just take a look:

Photo on 2016-03-30 at 19.49

The scoop on the left is what we have always used. The scoop on the right is what we are supposed to use.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is a big *ss difference!

Now in my defense I’ve only been filling up the bigger scoop halfway for the last few months…..but that’s still way too much!! 😛 When we recently made the switch to the smaller cup (it’s a 1/4th cup), I measured the old cup (it has no measurement marks on it) and discovered that it was not just one full cup, but a cup AND A HALF!!! (Eh, probably more like two, I kinda eyeballed it when I compared our actual one cup measure-because apparently I need to feel worse about this situation 😛 )

So that is where we are. This whole feline weight-loss thing is a practice of trial and lots of error. So if you are trying to get your chubby fur-kid to lose weight, take heart. Just keep consulting with your vet and follow through with their advice. Forgive yourself for mistakes made and go forward with confidence. You got this. I have faith in you. 😉


Living in Denial and Accepting Reality: Suck it up, Buttercup….A Feline Weightloss Story….

Y’all remember when I announced after getting back from a one-week vacation last summer that our oldest cat had, during the week, visibly lost weight??

Yeah. About that…..

So we took her in to be checked out this past weekend because I’d noticed that she had a few patches of fur that were unusually thin. And they were offering free flea consultations (try and say that three times fast) and free is in our budget.

While at the vet it was discovered after being weighed that…..well…..she had actually gained weight. She is supposed to be between 8-9 lbs.

She weighed 15.16 lbs.

W…..T…..F…… (F stands for feline, what else did you think it meant? 😉  )

So my mommy brain had the following conversation with the vet tech (All in my head. It was also one-sided):

ME: What do you mean she’s 15.16lbs???? Your scale must be broken. Maybe you can’t read numbers. Did you really graduate from vet school?? How dare you call my baby fat.

STILL ME: You’re fat. #cheapshot

Yeah, sometimes I can get a smidge defensive when you talk about my kids. Most of the time this defensiveness remains in my head, but there have been a few times that it’s leaked out of my mouth in an edited, pleasant manner that still gets my point across.

Don’t you dare call my kid fat! 😛

After getting recommendations on weight-loss strategies, we went home. And I was faced with reality……

Our oldest cat is overweight. So much so that according to the vet, she can’t properly groom herself. And I could either blame others for hurting my feelings, or I could suck it up, admit that we have to make some changes, then follow through.

And I’m pretty proud of myself 72 hours later. I’ve modified the amount of food I give each cat and we are no longer “free-feeders” meaning we don’t put a bunch of food in a bowl in the morning and leave it all day. I now put in a little at a time twice a day and less if they haven’t eaten it all.

So far so good as today has been the first day we’ve done this where I’ve even left the house for a few hours and came back to find the oldest had eaten half of her portion, whilst the youngest hadn’t touched hers. After a brief one-on-one come-to-Jesus meeting with the hold-out, I did convince her to eat again. 

So, if your trip to the vet has netted some unsavory news about your fur-baby, take heart, you are not alone. Now, drop kick that steaming bag of defensiveness to the ground, suck it up and focus on how much less cat food you will go through in a month after doling out a reasonable-sized portion for your non-mutant cat.



*Meme highlighting the desperate need for cat-sized running shoes for overweight cats appears courtesy of:

LAFF On Thursday:Where Lulabelle Talks about a Legit Product That is so Strange She Thought it Was a Joke…..

**I’ve thought about this blog all day and really have respect and gratitude that there is a product out there like this for those that want to use it. That being said, it was just so initially ridiculous that I decided to write this, just for fun. I mean no offense. You may go back to trolling Donald Trump threads. 😀

So, I had another blog almost ready to upload today. I decided to do my LAFF on Thursday this week due to Friday falling on Good Friday. Seriously, it’s a good one that I had almost finished and was about to upload when I discovered something via the Facebook side ads.

It was for a product that was so bizarre, I thought at first it HAD to be fake. Upon further perusal I discovered that this product is very real.

Guys, there really is such a thing as breast milk jewelry.

No, I’m serious.

According to the website Indigo Willow Breastmilk Jewelry: “Breast milk jewelry is jewelry made using a mother’s own breast milk to commemorate her nursing journey. It gives her a tangible reminder of the time they spent nursing and bonding with her little ones.”

I guess that does make sense since really the only other reminders of breastfeeding you get are droopy sore boobs. It would be a nice change to be able to look at something shiny in the middle of all the sore droopiness. 

The website also goes on to say that, “The great thing about my breast milk jewelry is that it does NOT yellow or change color over time. I have perfected this process to the point where I’m currently filing for a US patent on it. It’s that good! When ordering from me, you can be sure that your breast milk jewelry will retain its color for as long as you have the piece. Our breast milk jewelry will not disintigrate (sic) in water, go moldy, or change color over time (unlike some others).”

Whoa, hold the phone! “Unlike some others” You mean to tell me this is a THING?? Ladies and gentlemen, apparently this is a legit industry. Not sure how much revenue is generated, I was just blown away by a product I never knew existed. Apparently, if you are in the market for something like this, you now have options.

Yippee. 😀

So after I read about this, I went into my head and following this logic I came up with the following scenario (Cue fast talking salesman):

“Cut down on medical waste and commemorate the work and effort you put into passing that kidney stone by having it crafted into a fancy piece of jewelry; perhaps a smart looking brouche or necklace. And for those hard to buy for folks on your holiday gift list who also value irony, why not have the stone mounted in a belt to be worn around the area of the stones origin? Call now and receive a deal on your commemorative stone mounting for a special price of $19.95. Hurry, this offer ends soon!”

I mean, how do you explain your jewelry if someone ever notices and compliments you on it?:

Random Person: “Oh wow! That’s a lovely necklace. What is the stone? Pearl? Opal?”
You: “Oh thanks. It’s actually breast milk!”
Random Person:…….(crickets begin chirping)………

Now, just to be clear, I am NOT against breastfeeding or breastfeeding in public. I think it’s a beautifully natural thing that helps benefit mommy and baby. But making the product of breastfeeding into a permanent bauble seems to me to be a bit much, akin to taking your child’s umbilical cord and turning it into a work of art to hang in your living room.

But I guess in 2016 we do things a bit differently. Breast milk is made into jewelry. Women put their placentas in stews and pies.

To each her own!

Cat Parenting Product Review: Nature’s Miracle Urine Remover…..

Hey guys guess what? As of yesterday there are 2 ways to access my blog! Option one is to go to, but that is a mouthful so…..My blog is now accessible at:

I woke up yesterday afternoon and logged into my blog to discover that my wonderfully supportive husband had surprised me with purchasing A DOMAIN NAME FOR MY BLOG!! How cool is that?? I’m hoping to be able to do more things with my blog now that I have a domain name. Stay tuned! Ok, moving on…….

Before we get into our topic of the day, which relates to the following story, let me update you on how exactly the ear cleaning chore went last night.

It was a miserable fail.

As in I had to make sure I didn’t let her see me grab a q-tip because she has learned that what usually follows this is an unpleasant, albeit short, experience. So she took off running. And I waited for her to calm down and come back, cuddle on my lap and I tried again. This time I was a tad more successful, but not really because she jumped up so high I almost had her only by one of her hinds legs. She ran away again and I sat back and waited…..except she didn’t come back.

And she is now only speaking to me through her lawyer who she retained after snatching my credit card. We are now out $300. Awesome.

Did I mention it’s only Wednesday?

So after getting the cold shoulder from the youngest for the last hours of the day, I uploaded another blog, watched my shows and got ready for bed. Upon pulling up the covers on our bed, I was met with a wet situation.

Our youngest had gotten back at me for having the balls to attempt to clean her ears by peeing on only my side of the bed. On. All. My. Blankets. There were 4.

This one is indeed talented. 😛

So at 3:30 this morning, this mama was tasked with stripping the sheets on the bed and dousing the mattress cover in our go-to pee remover. Then I grabbed another blanket from the closet and prayed to Jesus that she wouldn’t jump on the bed whilst I was sleeping and make another puddle. Which leads me into our Review Of the Day:

We use Nature’s Miracle and SWEAR by it as our go-to pee remover. You can find this magical solution at pet stores and online. We purchased ours from the local farm implement store.

Nature’s Miracle boasts to remove pee stains and odor AND claims to prevent your furry pee producer from remarking the same spot twice. I’m not too sure about that last claim, but NM definitely takes care of the odor and stain of a pee accident (animal and human by the way 😉 ). It also has a pleasant-ish smell of Lava soap and honey.

It comes in several sizes. The first time we bought this we purchased the huge size that included a battery operated sprayer that was connected to the bottle. It was pretty hard core and I’m not gonna lie, while I was using it I really felt like an exterminator person or one of the guys from Ghostbusters.

The sprayer unit worked very well the first time I used it. Giving an even application and thorough soaking to the affected area. However, the second time I tried to use the sprayer unit, the batteries had died. And they had been fresh.

So I had to MacGuyver a solution because I was not going to stop using the product when there was so much left. So if you buy the biggest size and the sprayer unit craps out at anytime, do the following:

Grab a funnel from the kitchen. Grab an empty large spray bottle or go buy one if you don’t have one. After procuring these items, unscrew the top of the NM tank (it really is more of a tank than a bottle) and remove the sprayer unit from the tank.

Place the funnel firmly over the opening of the spray bottle (wait, I forgot to tell you to take the top off the spray bottle-so do that now THEN place the funnel). It’s important that the funnel fits snugly over the spray bottle because you are gonna need both hands to do the next step.

Once the funnel is secure, carefully lift the tank of Nature’s Miracle and gently pour the contents into the funnel. Making sure to not overfill and waste product. Replace the spray bottle cap and use just like you would any other spray cleaner. On bedding and carpet, make sure to fully saturate and let air dry.

And that’s it.

I hope you found this helpful if you also have a nervous pee-er in your family!


*FTC Disclaimer: This blog is not sponsored by Nature’s Miracle and the product was purchased with our own money


Agendas and Near Death Experiences…..

On the agenda today is twofold:

1. Bag up trash for removal tomorrow. Honestly with this night shift business, and just getting back from vacation, I’ve mixed up my days and nights on numerous occasions. Today I mixed up my days of the week. I had in my head that trash was to be picked up today, but it’s actually tomorrow so I have another chance to do the right thing.

2. This next item is just a goal as it may not get completely finished today. It all depends on the willingness of the subject. And in the past, she’s not been so willing.

Today I shall attempt to clean the youngest cat’s ears.

May God have mercy on my soul!

Oh and I’m actually multi-tasking at the moment. Blogging and installing cookies on my computer. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

Photo on 2016-03-22 at 19.37

Happy Tuesday! May you also get all the things done on your To-Do List.


Lulabelle Reviews: Lays Flavor Swap Contender: Sweet Southern Heat Barbecue…..

Picture this: A beautiful, quirky woman appears on a video screen, announcing she is doing a review on potato chips. Right on cue, a cat’s face appears in frame, meowing for attention. The woman then flies into multi-task mode, attending to the cat’s needs and showing off the product she’s reviewing. The video was so well done, it could have been a commercial. No, I’m serious. Stop laughing. 😛

Why am I asking you to picture it? Because I lack the skills necessary, apparently, to convert the review video filmed on my ipad into a compatible format that WordPress will accept. 😦 And yes to prep for my video debut I did my hair, changed my shirt and put on almost a full face of makeup (I even freakin’ BRONZED my face!!) Behold the high quality:

Photo on 2016-03-22 at 01.25

Purdy, ain’t it? Well, let’s just try and get passed (past? Grrr….it’s 2am and I can’t remember. Correct me in the comments) this and just be glad that in the video I only ate one chip so I have more to work with here.

Upon opening the bag, the aroma is not unlike regular BBQ potato chips. A potato smell with a tiny bit of spice.

The chip itself is thin and crunchy. The initial flavor is BBQ spicy, but the zing lingers on the tongue for a hot minute (ba-da-bum 😀 ) before sliding to the back of the throat. There is also a subtle smoky sweetness that reminds me of when I was a kid and we’d go to my grandpa’s for BBQ every summer. He’d prepare it the old fashioned way, outside in a big smoker/griller thingy……

Oh man, I just ate another chip and got a hint of nostalgia for simpler times. For when we’d visit grandpa and grandma B and have BBQ chicken and my grandma’s famous peanut butter pie. After lunch we’d go play outside on the swing or stationary bike (it was kept outside for some unknown reason. Probably using the same logic that makes some people in the south keep their washer/dryer units outside on the front porch. You don’t understand why, but you also don’t question it 😀 ).

So thank you Lays, for helping me remember my childhood and simpler, more wholesome times. Like before Donald Trump had any political aspirations.

I’m giving this flavor two enthusiastic thumbs up and hope it sticks around.


*FTC Disclaimer: This blog was not sponsored by Lays. All products were purchased for personal use.

Zero: How to Deal With Concert Anxiety…..

Chad and I just returned from a much needed weekend away. We came back refreshed and rejuvenated; or rejuveshed. 🙂

We had tickets to a Jennifer Nettles concert in Evansville IN. She was headlining a concert of all women country performers. Chad bought tickets as a late Valentines Day gift.

Now I admit,  I was anxious leading up to the concert, even though our tickets were on the lower level because of my agoraphobia. I just wanted to enjoy the whole experience and I didn’t want to let Chad down. And we didn’t have ear plugs and we were to be seated close to the front of the stage. My fear of loud noises was also something I worried about.

But you know what? For the first time I can remember, I had absolutely ZERO anxiety the entire time, from the time I entered the venue to the end of the concert. ZERO. Even when they changed the lighting after the intermission…..ZERO!!!

I couldn’t have been more excited about being able to enjoy an entire concert in a large arena without a lick of anxiety. To freely enjoy myself and the beauty of the music around me. With the love of my life by my side.

So today on the blog, I thought I’d give you some tips on enjoying a concert in a big venue if you have agoraphobia or any other anxiety disorder.

  1. Nap, nap, nap: If at all possible a few hours before the concert, take a nap. One of my anxiety triggers is doing too much or too much going on at once. If I haven’t had sufficient rest during a long day and have a high energy night, I’m more likely to go into a panic attack. I found that with a nap lasting at least an hour this weekend on the night of the concert, I was able to enjoy myself without panicking.
  2. If you aren’t familiar with the artist or band, do some research and play some songs online before going to the concert. I find that if I don’t do this and don’t know the songs, the instruments can overwhelm the artist and I can’t hear the lyrics. When I can’t hear the lyrics and it’s just loud music with a heavy bass and drums, I get frustrated and can’t enjoy the performance.  
  3. I’ve used this tip as far back as I can remember: Chew some gum and have something with you that you can do with your hands, like a purse. Chewing gum can help calm your nerves and having something to do with your hands can help to ground you and take your mind off what is going on around you.
  4. If you are able to, go to the venue before the event (like a few days before) and try and sit down in the seat you’ll have. Now, if you are extremely agoraphobic, you may need to try to do this as soon as you buy tickets for the event. Call the venue where the concert will be and ask if you can visit special when the venue is empty. In living with agoraphobia, I’ve learned that venue managers can be extremely understanding and want to give their guests the most comfortable experience possible.

So there you have it. Having concert anxiety that is multi-faceted can be embarrassing and frustrating, but I hope you found these tips helpful.

Remember you are NEVER alone!


tara thompson picture

Here we are with Tara Thompson who opened for Jennifer Nettles. She’s amazing and SO funny! And moments after this picture was taken, she signed my purse. 🙂


LAFF: Feline Pattern Baldness…..

The other day I saw the following meme on Facebook:


Now I’m not a parent of tiny humans, but I can tell you having worked in education for ten years, when the school announces they have a lice problem, EVERYONE gets phantom itches!!  And you become an expert at ducking and dodging that one cute kid who insists on hugging you.

I can also tell you there is a lesser known equivalent for cat-parents; it’s when your cat mysteriously starts losing fur…..the first thing you think??


And of course after this thought enters your mind, the only thing you can think about is, well, fleas.

Now it is highly likely that this hair loss has another cause. In times like these it’s best to think positively…..and so I made a list of reasons WHY MY CAT HAS LOST PATCHES OF HER HAIR…..

  1. Dye Job Gone Wrong: See, she’s getting older and a smidge self conscious about going gray–even though half her fur is already naturally white. But she processed the new color a bit too long, causing her hair to fall out.
  2. Fashion Statement: Much like the grunge style circa 1990’s, the feline grunge movement is starting to pick up steam. Causing cats to participate in aggressive grooming until their hair is patchy and grungerrific.
  3. Oops!: She may have gotten a little too close to the vacuum when it was running.


So that’s  all I could come up with. After a talk with the vet this afternoon I’m feeling even more confident that it’s not fleas.

If your cat is also losing their hair in patches, you are definitely not alone! Just remove the bottle of feline Clairol from their hiding place under the couch and their hair should start growing back soon after. 😀