It’s International Cat Day! That means – even if you’re a dog person – today is dedicated to adorable fluffy felines all over the world. We’re celebrating by wearing our matching cat-ear hairbands that we bought for Halloween last year (because, why not), watching cat videos on YouTube and eating these puuurrr-fect kawaii kitty cookies. We reckon you should be copycats and do the same…
Ingredients (makes 20-24)
For the cookies:
• 200g soft salted butter
• 200g golden caster (superfine) sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten
• 400g plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
For the decorations:
• soft-peak royal icing in your chosen colours, in piping bags fitted with round piping nozzles, for outline
• runny royal icing, in the same shades as the soft-peak icing in piping bags, for flooding
• black edible food pens (fine-tip), for face details
• pink edible dusting powder, for cheeks
For the cookies:
1.Put the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl, add the vanilla and beat before mixing in the egg with a wooden spoon.
2.Tip in the flour and continue to mix until a dough is formed.
3.Roll it out onto a floury surface then cut with cat cookie cutters.
4.Place in the oven and bake for around 10–12 minutes then cool.
For the decorations:
1.Pipe soft-peak royal icing around the edges of the cookie shapes in your different colours.
2.Flood the centre of the kitty face in a runny royal icing in matching colours. You can make them two or three-tone – just have fun! Leave to dry for a few hours or ideally overnight.
3.Using the black edible pen add the nose and mouth, then some tiny whiskers to make them look puuurrr-fect.
4.Add dots of runny white royal icing to create the shimmer on the eyes. Use pink dusting powder to add sweet cheeks. You can add a little runny pink royal icing for the insides of the ears, too.
Animals often give us hope that the world is still a good place to live. Like when your dog sees you crying and comes over and licks your hand. Or when your cat jumps into your lap and watches the scary part of a film with you. When your goldfish… er, does goldfish things. Looks surprised with you? Anyway.
It’s also important to remember that sometimes humans are good too. Loads of humans. And in fact, perhaps humans are at their best when they’re helping our furry/fluffy/hide-y friends. So here are some of our favourite examples of humans helping out the animal kingdom, to melt your heart on this cold January afternoon.
Pigs in blankets (sort of)
According to BuzzFeed, 150 of these little pink bundles of joy were rescued by Russian firefighters after a barn caught fire in Siberia last week. Guys, this is basically the plot of Three Little Pigs come to life. Just with more pigs. And fewer wolves.
So they could get all the little piggies out in time, the firefighters had to form a makeshift assembly line. But with tiny baby piggies!
And others herded the drove of piggies along on their little trotters.
Let’s all take a minute.
Elephants in jumpers
Meanwhile in India, the Independent reports that locals have been knitting jumpers for the elephants to protect them during the extremely chilly weather. These elephants have all been rescued from abusive situations, so when the Women from the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre heard that temperatures would dip below freezing, they got knitting. And quickly.
We’ll take three in XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL, please.
It’s not just the elephants that people are worried about. According to the Metro, Alfred ‘Alfie’ Dent, an Australian 109-year-old, (AKA the sweetest man in the world) started knitting jumpers for penguins following an oil spill that left the little guys unable to warm themselves properly.
It turns out Alfie has some serious needle skills – these outfits are all #goals, but special shoutout to the Penguin book jacket. We see what you did there.
posted December 14, 2016 by Lily @ betty
Christmas time can be magical, but it can also be kinda stressful. Navigating the crowds on the high street, finding the perfect Christmas jumper (psst, check these ones out), working out what to get your mum that says, “Thank you for loving me even when I’m being miserable at 7:30 in the morning,” while also being under £20 and easy to wrap without injuring yourself.
But here’s one thing that’s totally stress-free this Christmas: working out how to dress your pets. And if you don’t have pets, do yourself a favour and have a scroll anyway – for… reasons. Wellbeing reasons. It’s a mindfulness exercise, totally not just because we wanted to look at adorable animals in Christmas outfits.
From Bugs to Black Beauty, we’ve got everyone covered. Mainly in wool and glitter.
Despite the gloves on this costume seemingly being the wrong way around, it should be a staple in every dogs Christmas wardrobe. All dogs have Christmas wardrobes, right?
What are you waiting for? These are all totally sound and sensible ways to spend your hard earned cash!
posted October 9, 2016 by Lily @ betty
Honey, I’m sorry but we need to talk.
Earlier this week bees were added to the endangered species list and people FREAKED OUT.
Why is it such a buzzkill?
Well, firstly honeybees give us honey and honey is delicious. While it would be sad for all of us to never have honey to drizzle on porridge or to never again be able channel our inner Winnie the Pooh and eat honey by the handful straight from the jar, that’s not the main reason people worrying about the declining numbers of bees.
Honeybees also pollinate our crops. In fact, some 84% of the crops grown for us to eat need bees and other insects to pollinate them. Without the fruit, vegetables and grains that bees pollinate, human beings would suffer massively.
But it’s not just humans that would suffer – our furry friends in the animal world would have a hard time too. Birds and and small mammals eat the berries and seeds that bees pollinate. Bigger mammals eat the smaller mammals. The entire ecosystem relies on the availability of the crops that bees help pollinate. Basically, crops are the ecosystem’s Harry Potter and bees are the Order of Phoenix. We might be able to survive without them, but our chances are far better if the whole gang shows up.
Why are we bumbling this?
Okay, now for the good news. The bees that have been put on the endangered species list are called yellow-faced bees and they’re native to Hawaii. Which is actually pretty good newsfor everyone because it means that honeybees are still doing ok and that yellow-faced bees are about to get a lot of help. The main reason that yellow-faced bees are struggling is because their environment is being destroyed. By listing the bees as endangered, the forests will be granted extra protections which is excellent news not just for the bees, but for the entire Hawaiian ecosystem.
Although a species being endangered is never a good thing, at least there is some honey-colour lining.
So, er, yay?
posted September 28, 2016 by Lily @ betty
Stop whatever you are doing. No, I mean it.
If you’re painting your toenails – abandon it mid-toe, no one will notice.
If you’re watching an episode of Gilmore Girls, press pause. Like, actually press pause. The only background noise that is appropriate for this level of adorableness is this song, so put it on before you scroll.
If you’re performing open heart surgery – yeah, you should probably carry on doing that. But as soon as you’re done, you should look at this.
In Melbourne, Australia there was a dachshund race this weekend. In case you’re unfamiliar with dachshunds, they are the most ridiculous looking dogs, with long bodies and tiny, tiny legs, often known as sausage dogs. Because, you know, they look like sausages.
This is an animal dressed as another animal. It’s a dog dressed as a purple octopus. Except, it’s got the eight fake legs and four real ones, so it’s more like a dodeca-pus. Whatever, it’s cute. Accept it.
And finally… the tied winners of the fancy dress prize were these tiny criminal sisters. Their owner Olivia even got in on the fun, dressing up as a police officer that was accompanying her miniature delinquents. In case you were wondering, but didn’t believe it was possible for anything to be quite this cute, yes those ARE striped cupcake holders on their heads that look like tiny hats.
A photo posted by Ruby&Lola Sausage Dog Sisters (@rubyandlolasausagedogsisters) on
Ok, now you can go back to your toes or Gilmore Girls. You’re welcome.
posted September 14, 2016 by Lauren @ betty
Prepare to squeal, because Weepy Girls’ Corner has come to life – whiskers and all.
Yes, the inside of Clapham Common tube station is now entirely covered in cat photos. All 68 advert spaces in the South London Underground station have been filled with photos of adorable wide-eyed felines. No more weight loss ads, no impossibly glam models or fast food or mortgage loans or holidays you can’t afford – just cats.
Um, why though? The answer: because it is nice. Or as the CATS team put it,
Wouldn’t it be great not to worry about the holiday we can’t afford, the car we don’t need, or the body we don’t have? Imagine a world where public spaces made you feel good.
It would! We can!
And just in case your heart isn’t warmed enough, most of the cats in the photos are residents at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home or Cats Protection – meaning they’re all in need of loving homes. Don’t all hug the posters at once, now.
We’ve all been there – scrolling through Instagram, feeling that our life isn’t quite as pastel-tinted, our outfit quite as perfect, our friends not quite as glamorous as all of the people populating our feed.
It can be exhausting. And irritating. And probably, maybe, quite bad for us.
Whenever I make the crucial mistake of opening Instagram when I’m lying on my bed waiting for the next episode of Gilmore Girls to load, surrounded by Maltesers and half drunk cups of tea, it can feel like a punch to the stomach. Why is everyone so flawless-skinned? And tanned? And chilling on a yacht while I’m in Nando’s? How are these people always travelling? Why do they drink so many smoothies? Does anyone, if they’re being really honest with themselves, even like kale?
So as a lovely antidote, here are 12 Instagram accounts that won’t make you feel terrible about your life.
You might not have heard of Paul Nicklen, but 2.5 million people have. That’s right; 2.5 freakin’ million. He’s a photographer for National Geographic and his photos of nature are so beautiful it will make you want to live outdoors for the rest of your life. Maybe.
The School of Doodle is a really cool project that focuses on providing young girls with the knowledge, skills and experiences not taught in high school. You can watch inspirational and informational videos featuring big creative brains and world changers, connect with fellow Doodlers and take part in the weekly Doodle challenge.
Mihaela Noroc photographs women from every corner of the world. Through exploring all sort of different cultures, she wants to expand our concept of what ‘beauty’ really. It’s a super inspiring project and her photos are amazing.
Somehow, in what I can only assume is a cruel punishment from the universe, I only recently found this account. The entire account is dedicated the adventures of a hedgehog. A hedgehog! Mr. Pokee is now my life, and he’ll be yours too.
Sometimes life can get you down. Especially when other people are lying on a sun lounger in the South of France, sipping on organic, macrobiotic coconut water and you are lying in your back garden on an old towel with a warm glass of flat Coke. But luckily that’s what comedy is for. Here’s to Girl with No Job, who uses her downtime to entertain us rather than make us jealous.
This isn’t one of those Instagram accounts that just churns out old black and white images of Audrey Hepburn you’ve seen a million times. History Photographed includes loads of really unusual images that you’ve probably never seen before. Like parents at New York Pride in 1974 carrying signs that say “I am proud of my gay son.” #LoveIsLove
I never used to be that fussed by space. I knew it was out there but never wanted to learn all that much about it – like taxes or Kanye West. But NASA’s Instagram account changed all that. Now, while I would give all of my savings (£67.50) to go to space, this account means I don’t have to. I can see some pretty amazing things from the comfort of my bedroom.
I love everything Paper Thoughts does so much I want to eat it. Yes, even her illustrations. Yes, even her beautiful letters and envelopes. Yes, I would even gobble down her beautiful motivational painted rocks without so much as a second thought. I fully believe it would be worth the indigestion.
Need some inspiration in the your life? Look no further. Makers Women’s feed is brimming with kickass feminists and inspirational quotes like this one from Shay Mitchell: “You have this one life, so go and make the most of it.”