Happy Friday!  I’d like to introduce you all to the newest members of my family: Henry, Lionel, and Malcolm, from back to front.

Last Friday, we headed out to one of the faraway southern suburbs to pick out a trio of babies from the Pittsburgh Rat Lovers Club.  Recently, they’d had an influx of beebs, which of course led to my weird little heartstrings being tugged.  Steve and I packed up the car and headed out to pick & choose.

Henry caught my eye first, because as we like to say in Pittsburghese, he’s “nebby.”  He wants to know what we’re doing, all the time, whatever it is.  He wants to get into everything, but he’s scared of any unfamiliar noise, so he always ends up hauling his chubby butt back in the cage before a real discovery can be made.  But look at that little masked face!  Don’t you just want to kiss his forehead spot?  (Promise, you won’t get the plague.)

Malcolm is Steve’s favorite by far.  He’s the littlest one, even though he’s 4 months old and from the same litter as his brothers.  He was the last to warm up to us, but the first to come right out and walk onto our hands.  He’s also got a strange fondness for attempting to pry open my mouth.  By far, he’s the most adept climber, and possibly the smartest.  We set up a rattie pinata on Wednesday by filling a toilet paper tube with food and tying it to the cage lid then folding the ends, and he was the first to crack it open!

Lionel has by far the chillest personality for such a little bro, and it really blows me away how much he looks like Ewan!  He was the first one to be dragged out of the cage to sit solo on my lap, and I was really impressed by how good he was.  No scared pees or poops, and no trying to jump from the chair to the floor.  Chill, bro.

We tried to do some slow rattie intros so my old man could live with the youngins, but Henry attempted to beat him up, which resulted in Ewan literally crying for mama.  My poor old man.  Since then, Ewan seems happiest being able to live alone, but being held up to the little boys’ cage sometimes for some extra company.  He’s fascinated by them, but it’s clear Henry doesn’t want him around.  Oh well, looks like we’re a two cage household for a while longer.

Lazy Moved-In Sunday

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Hi all!

Since I skipped out on the last two Lazy Sunday posts, I’m going to have to make this one really worth your while.  We have a lot to catch up on!

Do you have a Jux yet?  I haven’t created one yet, but people like Danielle Hampton make it look super cool!  Apparently, it’s like Tumblr, but more focused and with fewer 13-year-olds.  Not a bad idea, in my opinion.

& I recently discovered A Prince and Prozac, and I was sitting there laughing to myself, alone, glass of wine in hand.  If you want to lead as glamorous a life as that, click on over and pour yourself some vino.  Snark, honesty, and just enough narcissism.  Plus, her one-photo posts are beautiful!

& I absolutely love this post on Queerie Bradshaw about “looking straight in a gay world.”  Straight girls with very short, pixie hair often have the opposite problem (holla!), but I can only imagine how much more frustrating this would be.

& Have I already tried to make all of you watch the Tangents & The Times series?  No?  Yes?  Well, either way… You can find it right here on the good ole YouTubes.  Marissa A. Ross is hysterical, and her dog Zissou is the world’s best friend.  Plus, I think she likes wine even more than I do, which is really saying something.  You can also find her on her blog.

& Jessica Florence, a photographer and rattie enthusiast, takes incredible pictures of her pet rats.  Have you seen the popular photo of a light colored rat holding a little teddy bear?  That’s her work!  You can find more on her Flickr, but for a shortcut to rattie cuteness, check out her photo set for her rat Bug. **

& It’s no secret that I <3 Babeland, but have you seen their Sex Info section?  One of the things that makes Babeland so great is that they have a huge array of helpful articles to make sure your sex life stays safe and steamy.  They really care about the education of their customers.

While I was on vacation, our hosts got us hooked on some new TV.  If you’re on Netflix and you like quirky comedy (not quirky like Zooey Deschanel, but quirky like Juno), you will probably really like United States of Tara!


** We’re adding 3 new fuzz faces to our menagerie next weekend!  I’ll be so excited to introduce you once they come home, are settled in, and named.  But right now, I want to take the opportunity to introduce the Pittsburgh Rat Lovers Club to you!  I’ve had the pleasure of working with them for years, and adopted my pair Finley (RIP) and Ewan from them in 2010.  I know I’ve written a post about rats as pets before, but I’m always eager to talk about the little furry things that make my life so much more fun.

If you’re at all interested in adopting a pair or a trio, please shoot me an email (marvelousdarling . blog @ gmail . com) and I will put you in touch with the head of adoptions.  They currently have over 40 babies looking for homes.

World Rat Day!

Hi pretties.

This is pretty much the furthest thing from a sex topic, but I’m compelled to talk about it anyway, because it’s still a topic near and dear to my heart: rats as pets.

That’s my chubby cuddly thing, Ewan.  Not all rats are the size of Chipotle burritos, but I have this tendency to adopt really large boy rats.  I like big ole cuddle monsters.

The tails squick a lot of people out, and I can sort of understand that.  They’re scaly, kind of weird, but you get used to them.  Did you know their tails are actually covered in fuzz? They’re really not so unpleasant after all, and they help rats balance when they’re busy doing things like climbing all over their cage, sitting on your shoulders, or getting into trouble (like my laundry basket – always, ALWAYS a rat in the laundry basket!).

Why rats?”  I get that a lot!  Did you know that rats have some of the best qualities of cats and dogs?  Some rats are very playful and will even play fetch with you, while some are super cuddly and want nothing more than to lie on your lap while you browse Marvelous-Darling.com.  Rats even potty-train themselves, and are able to hold their bladders while they’re out with you.  And generally, rats keep themselves very clean –  some rats will even try to clean their owners.

What does it take to keep rats?  A nice, big coated wire cage (I like CritterNation cages or Martin’s Cages), 2+ rats of the same sex, quality food like a special lab block or a low-protein dog food mixed with non-sugary cereals, lots of toys, and at least 1-2 hours per day of play and physical exercise.  Rats can be pricey, especially their vet care, but they’re hands down the most loving and personable “pocket pets” you can have.  If you’re really interested in rat care, leave me a comment or get at me on Twitter!

Where are your rats from?  A pet store?  Nah.  I adopted my boy, along with his now-deceased brother, from the Pittsburgh Rat Lovers Club rescue.  Buying from petstores really unleashes a whole world of problems, including health and temperament issues, and funding irresponsible practices.  You’d probably be surprised by the number of good breeders and rescues there are for rats, particularly in the US and Britain!

I know a couple of other bloggers out there keep rats.  Anyone else?  Have I changed anyone’s mind on the furry little vermin?  Anyone want to come play with Ewan?  I’m sure he’d love the company!



Instagrams of My Daily Life

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Hi pretties!

My hell weekend is finally over (on Tuesday night! sheesh!) and I am so excited for a relaxing night of Instagrams with you.  I really wanted to share my blog planner, but then I lost it for a week, and only found it again tonight after the sun had set and the lighting got too bad for pictures.  Le sigh.  So, that post will be coming in the very near future.  If you’re a terrible organizer like me and need a notebook a little different from most people’s to get things done, I hope my DIY fix will help you out!

In the mean time, to the photos!  I’m trying out a new layout this time, so stick with me, por favor!

1. Most delicious turtle sundae at Klavon’s! // 2. Look, a planet!  I don’t know which one, but it’s a planet!

3. New friend Mike has giant hands.  //  4. Any fellow Chivers?? That’s a mislabeled states shirt!  (It’s actually of Kentucky.  I wouldn’t have noticed.)

5. Hello, bright and sunshiny day!  //  6. I go to Pitt, and that’s the Cathedral of Learning. It’s like Hogwarts inside!  The first floor is, anyway.  Pretty spiffy.

7.  Reading Salt outside this Saturday!  //  8.  Told you I had a rough St. Patrick’s Day!  Tumbled over my futon.  Thanks, Jameson.

9.  Your weekly dose of Dmitri!  // 10.  I heard this pathetic crying outside my window yesterday, and ended up “having” a cat for an hour and a half.  He was so precious.

My, my.  I sure do use Nashville a lot.  Is that the most overused Instagram filter, or is it just me?  I just love it.  Can’t get enough.  Bonus?  It totally evens out my skin tone – for a girl that likes to wear tinted moisturizer instead of real foundation, that’s always welcome!

If you want to find me on Instagram, just search for “nicetobelieve”!  I would love it if you added me, as I’d love to follow my blog readers!  You’re all quite lovely, I imagine!

Safe & sexy,


Lazy Sunny Sunday

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Hi pretties,

This lazy Sunday post is being brought to you from the only sunny spot in my basement apartment – the living room.  But the sun is doing its best to stream through our meager windows and I feel kind of like a cat, trying to find a spot of sunlight to curl up in.  *purr*

How was your week?  Anyone have exciting news?

It’s been a fantastic week for valuable content, over here!  I have so much to share with you today, I hope you don’t mind an extra long Lazy Sunday post!

I invested in Kaelah’s PR + Marketing eBook just two days ago, on Friday night, and I had finished it by Saturday at 11am.  I couldn’t put it down.  It’s seriously a wealth of valuable information, and I’m so happy I picked it up in the early stages of my blog because I can’t wait to put it to good use!  If you’ve been thinking about blogging, or if you want to give your blog a PR/Marketing facelift, this is definitely a book I would recommend!  On top of what you get out of it, you’re supporting a lovely lady’s indie business.  Win/win!

& It seems like every single day, I find at least 3 new blogs to follow, and I’m so happy I found Bobbi’s this weekend!  Today, I’m Bobbi has some truly gorgeous photos, unique how-tos, and her design is unique but clean.  I’m hooked!  I always have the utmost respect for bloggers who take the time to respond to comments or tweets, and Bobbi is one of those ladies.  Plus, she’s spent 2 years living in Australia and New Zealand – how cool is that?

& Do you have big dreams but feel trapped, not knowing how to get them off the ground?  I’m loving this post on Nubby Twiglet right now on just that topic!  Nubby’s blog is full of great content and awesome resources, on everything from design to blogging to fashion.

About six months ago, I found The Emma Edition by way of Refinery 29’s article on teen bloggers.  I love Emma’s blogging voice!  She’s such an impressively creative and unique young woman (is that a weird phrase coming from a 21 year old?), and she actually writes for Refinery 29.  Basically, I hope to be as cool as Emma when I grow up.

Cute girls with rats!  There’s a whole Tumblr full of ’em!  I knew there were more like me in the world!  If you’ve seen my posts with Ewan in them, you know I’m a rat momma.  If you didn’t know before, you know now!  Rats have such a bad rap, but really, they’re sweet and very loving pets.  They tend to be smart, clean, and incredibly tame.  If you’re curious about rats as pets in general, you should check out RatsRule.com!

This week coming up, I’m on spring break!  What does this mean for Marvelous Darling?  Even more content!  I’m planning on showing you all how I took an ordinary Moleskine-like notebook (honestly, you can use a Moleskine or a generic equivalent from your local art supply store – I’m not a notebook elitist) and turned it into a functional blog planner.  I’ll also be doing a full review of the Je Joue Mimi, which by the way, is getting excellent marks in every category thus far.  And last, but not least, I’d like to do a short piece on my favorite Twitter personalities that you may not have heard of.  Of course, expect an Instagram post or two thrown in for good measure.  So stay tuned!  

Safe & sexy,