Santa, I hope you read blogs. . .

Dear Santa,

Hi! I know I’ve never been in the habit of writing to you, so this blogpost probably comes as a (modernized) surprise, but I have been exceptionally good this year and . . . lets be really honest. . . have been fairly good in general over the past 24 years. I mean, I guess if we’re going to be really technical, it’s not about being good, but being NICE, right? And I’m nice even when I really don’t want to be (I’m an excellent social faker when I need to be!) SO, suffice it to say, I figured it was high time I collected on the past 24 years of good behavior.

Now, some nasty, small-minded little elf might argue that my past year of niceness was a natural byproduct of my being incapacitated by mono – and yeah, Santa, I know it’s called the kissing disease, but NO kissing even occurred, so that’s gotta count for DOUBLE the good points, no? Anyways, my niceness has been practically perfect! I stayed serious and patient in classroom situations that would’ve made a seasoned teacher weep (or wet her pants in a fit of laughter). I also chose to stop marathon-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons when school started in an attempt to be a more focused teacher . . . even when there were still two seasons left! I didn’t even take it personally or give my student a very hard time when he said “You’re only 24?! I thought you were like FORTY-FIVE!!!”

Sure, I sort of suck at responding to voice-mails and texts in a timely manner, but I believe most of this is due to increased stress and a healthy diagnosis of AD/HD. Anyway, since I have never taken advantage of your gift-request-letter-service before, I want to forewarn you that some of the things that I write on this list are . . . bigger. Think of it as back-pay owed for Nice-Child Support (NCS), okay? So, with this all securely in your mind, I would like to submit the following requests. Again: please do not take them with any grains of salt.

1.) First, Santa, I would like to be done with my Masters Degree Program. If you could just mail me a legitimate diploma rather than sending it down the chimney, that would be much appreciated. I think the soot could cause some legibility issues.

2.) I would like a brand-new, iron-cast, scotch-guarded immune system. No skimping.

3.) If you could send along a manicure and pedicure, that would be great, too. This might seem shallow, yes, but I really do relax quite a bit when my nails are being buffed. It’s almost as good as a massage, Santa, but with better lasting effects, you know? What you’re really giving me is the gift of relaxation, ok?

4.) Practical gifts are the IT thing of the year, Santa, so I actually would really like some socks. Any and all varieties will be much appreciated (warm, fuzzy, slippery, gym, work, etc.).

5.) Could you please add three extra hours of blissful sleep to my night’s rest? Or, alternately, would you please help my existing 4-5 hour nights of sleep to be three times as rejuvenating?

6.) Now, I hate to be clichéed, but I would like a Man-friend (a.k.a. a mature version of the boy-friend. . . get it?). I won’t go into great detail, because LORD KNOWS, if you can find a chimney in my household, you should be able to figure out what kind of man I need, right? (I want to give credit where credit is due!) Now, I just saw a TV Christmas special where Santa told this little girl her perfect man would be arriving in 20 years. Please do not invent some unfortunate timeline for me, okay? This is not a made-for-tv-movie and I would actually like to have babies at some point. (Babies I would subsequently see grow up.) 45 would be a little old to start.

7.) Could I also please have my own personal library à la Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? You can lose the ceiling-cherubs if you want. But if you want to include talking furniture as a novelty item, I wouldn’t exactly say no. Maybe something tasteful, like an Ottoman.

8.) I also wouldn’t mind a private showing of the new Broadway production of Newsies.  It could be open to my friends, too. All of them. From everywhere. (Please remember to include free transportation!)

9.) Please make pinning things on into a (well) paying job.

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10.) I like even numbers, Santa, so I’m going to end this list at 10, with a magical wardrobe that provides new clothing (in just my size) with an unlimited variety of stylistic options.  There are just some days I want to look like I’m from upscale Paris. . . and others I’d like to look like I’m from Pleasantville.

Now, Santa, you’re a smart man. So you might be thinking that I have asked for purely selfish items on this list. At face value, this may not appear to be nice behavior. BUT, I am a firm believer in striving for the achievable, Santa, and – let’s face it – if you were able to deliver on the whole “world peace” thing, we would all be floating on clouds, holding hands and humming harmoniously to the tune of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds right now. The lack of reggae and togetherness leads me to assume that you have certain limits. Which I respect. I mean, hey, who doesn’t? So I tried to avoid things that you have CLEARLY been unable to deliver on in the past. I hope you appreciate my niceness!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog-post, Santa. I have every faith that you will deliver this Christmas. . . if you didn’t, gee, I might stop believing you were real. I know we’d both hate for that to happen. You take care of yourself. 

I’ll see you at the Christmas tree . . . you bring the presents, I’ll supply the cookies!



P.S. If you do not respond, Santa, I will officially never believe. Just so you know.

All I Want For Christmas. . .


Okay, maybe sacrilege is  a strong word. But making a Christmas list is an action taken by greedy, demanding, bratty little children who should chill out and learn how to be thankful for whatever they receive and stop stealing the joy/surprise and fun out of Christmas gifting practices. . . or at least, that’s what I was led to believe.

Now don’t you feel like a jerk for writing Christmas lists growing up? Or maybe you just think I’m insane, sheltered or plain old small-minded! Never fear! I don’t ACTUALLY think all this about you if you are a Christmas Lister. None of you are heretics in my book . . . and actually, my family probably doesn’t actually ascribe to the extreme views expressed above . . . not really. True, we were never allowed to write Christmas lists and we never believed in Santa, but that was more a symptom of my Family’s traditional, Christian, financially-strapped family-of-seven status! Just imagine if all five of your children made wish lists and included i-pods. Yeesh. I think I just got disoriented and saw money-signs.

You have to hand it to my parents. They never even had a sit-down-talk with us about this no-list-policy. . . it just slowly seeped its way into our family’s NO-NO list!

This year, however, I am doing the unthinkable. Paint me blue and call me Veruca Salt, because this year I am breaking all the rules and writing a “DADDY- I WANT THAT GOOSE!” list for “Santa”.  

I’m an adult, right? I’m forging my own way in the world! I’m at liberty to write whatever lists I want to whomever I wish. This year I am exercising those liberties . . . especially since few or no family members know about my blog!

Get ready, Santa!

Silver. . . er, Faux Fur Lining

Feeling all: UGG?

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Perhaps you are like me and find these trendy conglomerations of faux fur and low-quality suede disturbing. Similar to crocks, these shoes leave me questioning whether comfortability justifies blatant unattractiveness . . . and pondering the wisdom of this frequently sported fashionable footwear.

In perusing the “Accessorize Daily” website I stumbled on the other day, I found the perfect picture that sums up my Ugg-ly feelings perfectly.

BUT, as pinterest was happy to remind me. . .

. . . Even Uggs.

SO, I have examined the problem from more angles . . . AND, I discovered a silver lining. . . an inner beauty, if you will. Ahem, (drumroll, please) when Uggs or Ugg-styled footwear is worn in the workplace, their price and popularity allow us to think they are adequate professional attire when in reality, we are merely enabled to WEAR OUR SLIPPERS TO WORK!!! It’s a genius (if somewhat expensive) illusion.

So: now you know the reason for the treason. Go forth and Ugg-ify your work day, friends. Rock those socially appropriate slippers! Just, for the love of God, please don’t wear them with a skirt!

Revolutionizing Jacob Marley

Jacob Marley was an expert on chains.

In the 1938 film “A Christmas Carol”, Ebenezer Scrooge is brought face to face with his old business partner, Jacob Marley, who laments,

  “I wear the chain I forged in life! I made it link by link and yard by yard! I gartered it on of my own free will and by my own free will, I wore it! . . . You do not know the weight and length of strong chain you bear yourself! . . . Ah, it is a ponderous chain! “

In 1970, (in slightly-better-film-quality) Jacob Marley asserted,

It’s a terrible, ponderous chain you are making, Scrooge!

Maybe you remember Goofy’s portrayal of Marley best, when he said,

“Ha-yuk. Yup. Er, no, no! I was wrong. And so, as punishment, I’m forced to carry these heavy chains for eternity! Maybe even longer.Tonight, you will be visited by three spirits. Listen to ’em. Do what they say, or your chains will be heavier than mine”

Honestly, my personal favorite is the Waldorf and Statler song-version from A Muppet Christmas Carol.

We’re Marley and Marley
Our hearts were painted black
We should have known our evil deeds
Would put us both in shackles
We’re double-ironed
Exhausted by the weight
As freedom comes from giving love
So, prison comes with hate
Doomed, Scrooge!
You’re doomed for all time
Your future is a horror story
Written by your crime
Your chains are forged
By what you say and do
So, have your fun
When life is done
A nightmare waits for you!

Any way you look at it, all the Jacob Marleys have one major thing that never changes:


So, I challenge you to REVOLUTIONIZE any Jacob Marliousness in your life right now by forging a DIFFERENT kind of chains. This is what I call: Image

This year, in an effort to make the decorative focus on something more concrete than just aesthetics, I have started a new classroom tradition which we call “The Positive Chain”. I always have pieces of brightly colored paper ready-to-go on my desk and my students and I are building a paper chain of positivity!


It’s a great visual reminder of all of the good things that happen on a daily basis! 


So, we are revolutionizing Jacob Marley’s heavy, cumbersome, and negative chains.

Welcome to the world of BRIGHT, CHEERFUL, LIGHT and POSITIVE chains!

Gimme Some SUGAR (Cookies)!

In search of the absolutely perfect, fool-proof, delicious-yet-simple sugar cookie recipe?

Believe it or not, this exists. Actually, being realistic, maybe there are several doable recipes out there, but I am writing today to share my mom’s INSANELY good sugar cookie recipe with those of you who might not have one of these in your recipe roster!

Mom’s Cut-Out Sugar Cookies


  • 1 and 1/2 C. butter, softened
  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter (or, in dire straits, the top of a drinking glass!). Place cookies 1 inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake 6-8 minutes in preheated. Cool completely before frosting! Then GOBBLE them up like they’re going out of style before somebody else does!
Now, I’m posting this right now because of the holiday tradition, but this recipe has proved useful ALL year long!
My Mom made them into delicious fall treats when she visited in October!

One of my lovely roommates is a pharmacist and wanted some pharmacy-themed cookies to bring in to her coworkers one day, so I used my Mother’s tasty recipe to cook up these little bad-boys!

I even used this recipe for the puppy party cookies!

So, take it, make it, and enjoy, I promise you will! They might not be perfectly fool-proof, but they’re definitely pretty close!  They’re easy and sooooo delicious!

Let me know if you use the recipe! Happy Baking!

Stop. Wonder!

This really is an age of wondrous things. 

. . .


mp3 players

ear buds


text messaging


. . .

The list is endless. Just think, 100 years ago, people could not imagine what we accept without question as reality. Miracles are part of our daily lives, but we rarely stop to wonder at the intricate blessings of technology.

My foster-niece, Izzy (who I usually call Bizz) is not even two years old yet. She hasn’t had time to grow bored with what we call “modern convenience”. She really does watch the world with glittering eyes . . . and it really is like magic!

So, my advice for the day is to follow Bizz’s example. Find the magic in your surroundings!

Good Ideas For Thanksgiving: Part Two

Every year in the school where I work, all the students and faculty crowd into our small cafeteria and everyone has an opportunity to say what they are thankful for. It might sound hokey or clichéd, but at a school where every individual student has struggled with a multitude of unique challenges, there is a beautiful depth to the tradition. In fact, the day before Thanksgiving has become my favorite annual work day.

It is a beautiful reminder of how precious life is; how much we have been given and how valuable the people in our lives are . . . all obvious realities that tend to get lost in the day-to-day shuffle!

Every year it leaves me dwelling on how much I have to be thankful for . . .  so this year I thought I might get a little more specific. I should always take time to count my blessings, so that I can remember them on days I’m not feeling particularly blessed! Its amazing how much I notice when I stop to actually look for things to be Thankful for! Now, combining this with the timeless tell-what-you’re-thankful-for Tradition,  I found two different artsy people who shared their thankfuls in crafty ways and I am on the hunt for a fun way to share my own!

Exhibit A: Illustrations

Exhibit B: A Pinboard!

When people do this, it gives a cool visual to a sometimes-trite tradition and reminds us of how much we have!

So I am brainstorming concepts, but also starting my THANKFULNESS LIST with you all! Now, I’m not going to list all the obvious ones . . . it should go without saying, but, Faith, Family, Friends, and safety are always at the top of my list. Beyond the essential life needs, I am thankful for the following blessings:

1.)    Laughing so hard it almost hurts when something funny happens (usually this occurs on a daily basis!)

2.)    Calculators – because I’m allergic to math, but still pay bills.

We Hate Math

3.)    The ability to recognize (although, true, it is sometimes somewhat delayed) when I am being ridiculous.

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4.)    Re-reading good books: Everything from Trixie Belden to the Bourne Identity!

5.)    Costume Parties. I just enjoy them, okay?

6.)    My cat. (Judge me. I would if I were you.)

7.)    Puns. Because they are HYSTERICAL.

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8.)    Being able to touch-type. Talk about practical! Mrs. Green, I forgive you for the half-year hell of high-school typing class.

9.)    Dr. Rhodes, the dentist who reconstructed my front teeth when I was five, so now I can eat corn on the cob, which is MAGNIFICENT!

10.)  Other Peoples’ Babies.

And there you have the beginnings of my Thankful-list!

What are you thankful for this year?