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 pumpkin spice sugar scrub

You are not going to believe how easy it is to make your own yummy-smelling, skin-softening sugar scrub. And cheap. I mean really, really cheap, using things you probably already have in your cupboards. This recipe is perfect to give as a Christmas gift or next week as a hostess gift at Thanksgiving. Here we go.

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of regular white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil (see #3 below)

1. Mix together brown sugar and white sugar.

2. Add the spices to the sugar mixture and stir together, being sure to break up any lumps.

DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub

My inspiration, Stephanie Lynn, uses pumpkin pie spice. I tried it both ways and think using the four individual spices makes it smell . . . yummier.

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.

DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub

Did I mention that you’re done? Yep, that’s it.

DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub

All that’s left is to put it in a pretty jar and ask me, “hey, where’s the cute packaging and free printable?” I’m working on it, I swear. I’m looking for a non-breakable container so it can be used in the shower. When I find it, I promise to share. Until then, scoop a batch into a mason jar, tie a ribbon around it, and deliver it to your Thanksgiving host. They will love you for it.

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

It’s Movember. Time to put a spotlight on men’s health issues and, of course, have a little fun doing it. In addition to letting my mustache grow for the whole month I made these new Mustache and Lip Pillow Shams.

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

You can find them for sale over in my Etsy shop. While they were inspired by the Movember movement they would be the perfect gift any month of the year.

– Christmas/holidays
– traditional wedding
– gay wedding (2 staches or 2 lips)
– house warming
– kid’s/teen rooms

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Hope you love them as much as I do. I’m trying to figure out how I can make a donation for each Etsy purchase. Will let you know when I do.

Funny holiday gift tags and wine tags

It’s officially the holiday season and while I’m not one of those people who skip Thanksgiving, I do like to get a head start on anything that requires shipping. With that in mind I’m sharing these funny holiday gift tags and wine tags today. They’re my own creations and I sell them in my Etsy shop. Their clean, simple design is perfect for traditional or modern tastes and they’re perfect for gifts that ship – no more squished bows. So take a look and have a laugh. See something you have to have? Visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaughingAbiStudio and you can get it.

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DIY Masterpiece Monday: Money Bows

I love creative gift wrapping ideas and this is one of my favorites. My daughter received it on a birthday package years ago and I managed to snap a photo before she started spending.

creative gift wrapping

This is the perfect solution for that cousin or nephew that you don’t know very well but still need to buy for. Maybe wrap a box of homemade cookies in plain white paper and top it with one of these “green” bows. It’s more thoughtful than a gift card or check but won’t be re-gifted next season.

Check out http://laughingabi.com for more creative gift wrapping ideas.