Santa Claus and the Bearded Dragon: I Believe

My daughter wants a bird for Christmas this year. I told her no, but remembering what happened last year maybe I should start shopping for a cage. Here’s the story.

bearded dragon

(Originally posted March 26, 2012)

This was the conversation between me and my 8-year-old daughter right before Halloween:

Her: I want a lizard for Christmas.
Me: Um, no.
Her: Please mommy.
Me: No. No way. No way in H-E-L-L.
Her: Why?
Me: Because they’re yucky and icky. And because I said so.
Her: Fine, I’ll ask Santa for one.
Me: Santa doesn’t bring gifts mom and dad haven’t approved.
Her: You don’t know about Santa or lizards mom. I’m asking him for one!

Now repeat this conversation each and every day for the next month or so, which puts us somewhere in late November. I’m at a neighbor’s house (a neighbor who knows nothing of the convo between daughter & me) for a fund-raiser/party when she pulls me aside to show me this “crazy new thing” she has. I follow her into the next room and find myself face to face with a large, scaly, beady-eyed bearded dragon lizard.

Me: WHUCK?!
Neighbor: It’s not mine. A friend found it abandoned in one of his rental properties and couldn’t leave it there to die so he brought it here. I don’t know what to do with it. If you know anyone who wants or needs a lizard, let me know.
Me: (Insert stunned silence here.)

Folks, I’m not a religious person but I think my little girl must have been praying every single night for Santa to bring her a lizard. Praying hard. And since I’m too smart to spit in the face of divine reptilian intervention, Santa brought a bearded dragon to our house on Christmas morning. Her name is Elizabeth, Lizzy for short, and it took about a day for her to melt my heart. I’m not ashamed to admit I was wrong – she’s not icky or yucky. I love her. When I pet her I’m reminded that Christmas is a magical season, that you’re never too old to believe in Santa, and that my youngest daughter is a powerful force to be reckoned with.

bearded dragon

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.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Fall goody bags

fall goody bags

I’ve always made goody bags for my daughters’ classroom parties. Not because I’m one of “those” moms, but because we love to make things together and it’s become a mother-daughter tradition over the years. Halloween is a challenge because our school district doesn’t allow “Halloween” parties. (We wouldn’t want to offend anyone, would we? Insert sarcasm here.) Instead we have fall “Harvest” parties. That means the obvious goody bag ideas are not allowed. No witches, spiders, monsters, skeletons . . . you get the idea. My solution? Owls. Here’s a peek at the fall goody bags we made this year inspired by this post from Tales of a Trophy Wife.

fall goody bags

fall goody bags

And here are the lovely little hooters we made last year.

fall goody bags

fall goody bags

I love their crossed eyes. Makes me smile. Do you have any creative fall or Halloween traditions?