The truth about my Christmas guilty pleasures.

This isn’t an ooey-gooey- sweet post describing how the spirit of the season moves me. This is about the truth. This is about some of the things I honestly love at Christmastime. You can judge me, or you can just fess-up and admit you love them too.

1. Starbuck’s gingerbread lattes.
If loving a $5 cup of coffee is wrong, I don’t want to be right. You can only get this liquid gold in December and I lap up every drop I can. Ain’t no shame in it.

2. Watching my teenage daughter try to be nice to me.
It’s obviously painful for her but she does it anyway because she wants the goods on Christmas morning. I realize her affection is shallow and self-serving but, like my beloved gingerbread latte, I’ll take it while I can get it.

Christmas guilty pleasures

3. Black Friday.
Yep, I’m one of those sickos who like to shop on Black Friday. I don’t camp out in front of Wal-Mart or anything but I do love the hustle and bustle of the crowds. And nothing makes me more tingly than a good deal. I also think it’s the best day ever to people watch – there are some real doozies out there. One caveat: under no circumstances do I enjoy Black Friday shopping with my children. That should be against the law.

4. Justifiable shopping.
Shopping makes me feel happy. Really, really happy. Most of the year I have to restrain myself  like an AA member at a tequila factory. But in December I can go to Target three times a day, every day, and nobody says boo.

Target store

5. Buying presents for myself.
I won’t even bother explaining this one. I know I do it and you know you do it. Enough said.

6. Out-decorating my neighbors.
I could tell you I put out a dazzling display of lights and scenery for Christmas that puts all others to shame, but I promised to be honest so here’s the truth. Of the four houses surrounding mine one is abandoned, two don’t decorate at all, and one hangs up three strands of lights. My holiday decorations may be small and simple but I can still say they’re the best on the block. It’s all about perspective people.

Christmas guilty pleasures

7. The “threat” of Santa.
Right or wrong, we’ve all played the Santa card before. Melt-down at the mall? Santa’s watching! Won’t go to bed when they’re supposed to? Santa’s watching! Didn’t mix mommy’s vodka-tonic properly? Santa’s watching!

8. Eating, drinking, and eating and drinking some more.
You know those holiday tips for not overindulging during the holiday season? BAH! If I’m at a party and something looks yummy, I’m eating it. If someone wants me to toast the season, I’m drinking it – twice. I’ll worry about calories in January when I’m reorganizing my closet and donating all the pants that don’t fit anymore.

9. Watching cheesy holiday TV specials.
Traditional. Musical. Animated. Old. New. I watch them all. I know some of them are awful but I don’t care. I love them. My favorite this year is Michael Buble’s “Home For The Holidays”. He’s so dreamy. Sigh.

Christmas guilty pleasures

10. Guilt-free lying to the children.
Lying is bad – unless it’s during the holidays. Then, it’s actually a requirement. Think about it, how many Christmas surprises would be ruined if we were totally honest with our kids? So lie away, it’s ok. Besides, it’s not like you’re breaking a commandment or anything. (Wouldn’t that be ironic?)

How many will you admit to?


The greatest coffee maker never invented.

You know that obnoxious, painful sound your alarm clock makes in the morning? That wish-you-had-a-hammer “BEEP, BEEP, BEEP”? (Maybe yours is a “BUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZ”. Either way, it’s evil.)

evil beeping alarm clock

And have you noticed that your coffee machine makes the same awful beeping sound when your brew is ready? Why? Why should the ugliest sound of the morning be used to signify the most glorious moment of the morning?

This is where my genius comes in. Genius may be a strong word but it’s my blog so we’re going with it. What if this sound came out of your kitchen when the day’s liquid love was ready?

Or maybe this.

Or, if you’re more of a traditionalist . . .

Feeling festive?

I could keep going but you get the idea. Greatest invention ever, yes? Now that I’ve come up with the idea please feel free to send me large sums of money for research & development – and whatever else happens when you invent things. What song do you want yours to play? I’m accepting requests.

DIY cafe mocha sugar scrub and free printable

A couple weeks ago I shared a recipe for a DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub. Since then I’ve come up with another scrub that is UH. MAZE. ING. It’s perfect for holiday gift giving and you probably have everything you need in the cupboard right now.

Cafe Mocha Sugar Scrub 

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of regular white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil (see #3 below)
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Mix together brown sugar and white sugar.

2. Add the coffee and cocoa to the sugar mixture and stir together, being sure to break up any lumps. I used a french vanilla coffee because it’s what I had. I’m sure any kind will do.

3. Add the oil and mix well. What kind of oil you choose is really up to you. Sunflower, safflower, or plain vegetable oil will all work. My only suggestion is to NOT use olive oil because it has such a strong scent. I used this from my local grocery store.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

4. Lastly, stir in the vanilla. (The smell might seem overpowering at first but it will mellow.)

That’s it, you’re done. All that’s left is to scoop it into some pretty containers and deliver it to your friends. I usually go with mason jars – simple & classic.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

But this time I was looking for something non-breakable so it could be used in the shower without worry of broken toes or bloody messes. I decided on this little number from The Container Store.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

Of course I had to make a pretty label for it too. It’s not professional or anything but I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post. You’re more than welcome to use it for your own sugar scrub adventures.

You could give it with a Panera or Starbuck’s gift card.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

Or with a coffee mug that’s perfect for you-know-who.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

A few other ideas bouncing around my noggin:

  • tuck it inside stockings
  • give as gifts at a ladies holiday brunch
  • package with a bag of specialty beans from Harry & David
  • surprise your favorite barista
  • put a basket full in the teacher’s lounge at school
  • give as a hostess gift at Christmas dinner

As promised, here are the labels I made. Let me know if you decide to mix up a batch of this yummy stuff. I can’t wait to hear how you like it.



C is for Coffee Cup Gallery: A-Z Blog Challenge

We have a small collection of sentimental coffee cups. Some are hand-made. Some were special gifts. Others were purchased from places we’ve traveled or favorite places we’ve lived. Unfortunately, they’ve been stuffed in the back of my kitchen cupboard for years, rarely seen or used. When I told the hubs I wanted a better place to keep them he suggested hanging them on the kitchen wall. I took his idea one step further and created a coffee cup gallery, framing each mug as a piece of art.

Coffee cup gallery

Coffee cup gallery

Coffee cup gallery

All of the frames were thrift shop finds that I repainted to look. . . less thrifty. After arranging and hanging them I mounted simple hooks from K-Mart in each one and hung the mugs. Now we use one of them almost every day. Mission accomplished.

What creative way do you use to display your collections?

This post is the third in a series of 26 inspired by the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Click over and see all the amazing bloggers working their way through the alphabet in April.