Is Santa Real? Plus, Win An Autographed Book!

The day has yet to come where I have to answer that dreaded question. The question that asks: “Is Santa Real?” My little ones aren’t quite to that age. But, I know that day will come. It’s a day that every parent may experience at one point in time. But, what do you say? How do you keep the Christmas magic alive? It’s easy. Plus, I discovered this cute little book that will help you. It’s called “The Myth of Santa’as Beard.” This book is a Christmas winner in our house. 

We’re only a few short weeks away from Christmas. I can’t lie. I’m excited. But, I’m not prepared. We have our Christmas tree up. But, I’d be lying if I said all our Halloween is up already. I’ve yet to replace the Halloween wreath on the front door. But, it’s happening by this weekend! I promise. At least nobody has commented on it, yet. Plus, there’s no doubt in my mind that Christmas this year will be fun. Haley is old enough (5) to really get into the spirit. Plus, she decorated the tree all by herself! Dray is a year old now. So, he’ll be able to rip into the presents. I’m excited! Even our baby proofing of the tree is “festive.” 😉

is santa real

My household is full of believers in the Christmas spirit. We love celebrating Christmas together. It’s an important time of year for us. We all hate that it goes by so fast. Haley loves thinking about what Santa may bring her. We read Christmas stories. We bake and decorate. It’s a great time to put technology to the side. To remember what it’s important in life. Plus, surrounding yourself with positive people.

We love reading classing Christmas stories. You can’t forget the annual Christmas movies. We’re addicted to those, too. When the tree is put up we may be playing Christmas music. Or we may have a Christmas movie going in the background. This year we added another Christmas tradition to the list. Our family discovered the cutest Christmas book. It’s called “The Myth of Santa’s Beard” by Sharon Thayer.

“The Myth of Santa’s Beard” has a great story behind it. Plus, a cool little addition at the end. This Christmas story tells the story of why Santa’s beard is so long. The myth is that every time you do something good, Santa’s beard grows a little longer. But, eventually it grew a little too long. The elves work a little magic and help Santa’s beard problem out. But, that doesn’t stop the magic. It still grows a little every time you do something good. At the end of the book there’s a special surprise that your little one will love!

I won’t give the secret away. Because, if you scroll down you can enter to win your own copy of “The Myth of Santa’s Beard.” As a bonus, it will also be autographed by the author Sharon Thayer! This is a book your family will enjoy for years. No wonder it’s an award winner.

The design of the book has even landed it a spot in our Christmas decorations. It stays propped up with all the rest of the decorations. Plus, it’s an easy way for Haley to grab it if she ever wants to look at it. Which happens several times a day. She loves this book. I can’t deny it either. This is a great addition to our Christmas traditions.

is santa real

Head on over to Carousel Publishing and get 15% off your order with the code: BLOGGER16!

So, it’s obvious that my children believe in Santa. We believe in the magic of Santa. The magic of Christmas. But, this is my opinion on the magic of Santa. If you chose to introduce him to your children, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great, too. As parents we spend too much time judging each other. We just need to respect each others opinions.

I also have another opinion on Santa. Which, as I said before, is my opinion. Christmas has became entirely too much about gifts. It’s not so much about family anymore. I don’t know about you, but, I’m not rich. I can’t afford to get my kid a tablet. She wants quite a few things. I just can’t afford them. But, I don’t want her to think she’s any less important than children who receive iPads and drones. Because she’s just as important. She is the world to me. I make sure to reassure her of this every day. When I say Haley is a grateful child, I mean it. She doesn’t beg. She understands. She’s amazing. I really don’t think we should buy our children’s affection. I think our time with them is more valuable than the money we spend.

is santa real

“Is Santa Real?”

The day will come when a parent is asked: “Is Santa Real?” How does a parent respond? What do they say? I’ve often thought about what I’m going to say to Haley. But, after a long thought session, I figured it out. I know exactly how I will explain the magic of Santa to her.

St. Nicholas was a real person. He lived a long time ago. Around Christmas time he was known for his secret gift giving. So, in order to keep his spirit alive he uses people who believe in him to carry on the tradition. That’s why parents all over the world spend time wrapping and placing presents under the Christmas tree. So, mommy and daddy are putting the presents there. But, that’s because they want the magic of what St. Nicholas did a long time ago to live on today.

It doesn’t matter how to you celebrate the holidays. This is a no judgement zone. Whatever your decision, I support you. But, have you ever had to answer the question “Is Santa Real?” I’d love to hear your experience.

So, “Is Santa Real?” What’s your opinion? While you’re at it – enter to win your own copy of “The Myth of Santa’s Beard” by Sharon Thayer. As a bonus, it will also be autographed! This book would be the perfect addition to any Christmas tradition.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As a bonus, the author Sharon Thayer, wanted me to share this great Santa coloring page with ya’ll. Free for you to download and to enjoy with your little ones!

is santa real

5 Christmas Family Traditions You Can Start This Year!

I’m doing the unthinkable. I’m thinking about Christmas before it’s Thanksgiving. Crazy, right?! Not when we have Christmas family traditions to prepare! Last year we were a family of 4. But, Dray was only two months old. So, the excitement this year is high! I can’t wait to start Christmas family traditions with my little, wild family of four. 

Alright ya’ll, I know Thanksgiving isn’t here. But, I can’t stop thinking about Christmas. Of course Haley is over the moon. But, this year will be so much fun. Because, Dray can open presents this year, too! Plus, he can try all the yummy food that will be on the table. Talk about the crazy mixture of senses he’ll experience this year! I can not wait.

We haven’t began to prep for Christmas. Don’t worry, my tree isn’t up. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t wish it was. All of ya’ll with trees already up, send me pictures. I will leave out my early Christmas dreams through you. But, I do want to start some Christmas family traditions this year. Haley is old enough to remember fun holiday activities now. So, I think this is the perfect time to begin a few.

christmas family traditions

Now, where do we all go when we’re looking for fun holiday stuff? Pinterest of course! Which then leads you to some amazing bloggers as well. Well, in preparation for our NEW Christmas family traditions, I hit up Pinterest. When I say the ideas are endless, I mean endless. I thought I’d fill ya’ll in on some of the fun pins I found that can help you create your own Christmas family traditions this year.

5 Christmas Family Traditions Your Family Can Start This Year!

christmas family traditions

How fun does “Reindeer Chow” sound? Plus, it’s easy to make. I found quite a few tutorials on Pinterest that show you how to make this fun snack. What a great way to bring in the Christmas holiday!

The Baking ChocolaTess: Santa’s Reindeer Chow

This Silly Girl’s Kitchen: Reindeer Chow {Muddie Buddies}

Budget Savvy Diva: Nutella Reindeer Chow


Another great Christmas family tradition to start is a “Christmas Eve Box.” I know you’ve seen them on Pinterest, Facebook, and all over social media. They’re the gift wrapped boxes filled with fun stuff for Christmas Eve activities.

Some great things to put in a “Christmas Eve Box” may be:

  • Christmas Pajamas
  • Hot Chocolate
  • A Christmas Movie
  • Christmas Socks
  • Popcorn/Snacks

Here’s a few great blog posts on ideas on what YOU can put in your “Christmas Eve Box.”

Money Saving Sisters: The Most Perfect Christmas Eve Gift for Your Kids

OhMy! Creative: Night Before Christmas Box with Free Printable Label

Must Have Mom!: Christmas Eve Box Tradition & Ideas


I’m pretty sure I saw this idea on Facebook. But, it’s a great idea. We all know how important reading is. Reading can be fun, too. So, why not get your kids all jacked up and excited about reading?!

This is real simple to do, too. You get 25 books and wrap them in wrapping paper individually. Then from December 1st until Christmas Day you give them one book every day to open.


I’m a HUGE breakfast eater. I love breakfast. There’s no better way to wake up Christmas morning than the smell of a yummy breakfast waiting for you. Thankfully, there are a lot of recipes you can just throw in the crock pot overnight. Little prep and it will be ready for you in the morning.

Check out these yummy recipes you can try out to begin your Christmas Breakfast Tradition:

Recipes That Crock!: Crock Pot Cinnamon Roll Casserole

The Gracious Wife: Crockpot Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Moms with Crockpots: Breakfast Bread Pudding 


I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of being in pictures. I don’t mind taking pictures. But, I’d rather not be in them. It’s important to capture moments though. So, make sure that taking pictures is part of your Christmas family traditions.

Some ideas for great Christmas pictures include:

  • Decorating the tree
  • With Santa
  • Wearing a Santa hat
  • Wrapping presents
  • Wearing Christmas pajams
  • A mistletoe kiss
  • Reading a Christmas book together
  • Visiting Christmas lights
  • Putting up Christmas lights

christmas family traditions

I know ya’ll are kicking me. Why would I even start talking about Christmas before Thanksgiving?! I just can’t help myself. Plus, I plan on publishing Dogs + Kids FIRST ever Holiday Gift Guide within the next two weeks. Before I get that published, I had to spread some holiday cheer. How do you celebrate the holidays with your family? What traditions does your family have?



Halloween Safety For Your Pets | Planning Ahead!

October is finally here. That means Halloween is right around the corner. We all know what comes with Halloween. The costumes, parties, and of course yummy treats. But, like with any holiday, staying safe is important. Halloween safety is important. We want to make sure all our loved ones are taken care of. That includes our furry family members, too. Chocolate, sour treats, and sweet treats are yummy to us. But, they also entice your furry family members, too.

I must say, our family loves Halloween. We love to decorate, dress up, and of course eat candy. Plus, right before Halloween we get to celebrate Dray’s birthday! But, candy doesn’t just make our mouths water. Our two dogs are famous for licking their lips when they see candy, too. Thankfully my 10 years in the pet industry has opened my eyes to HUGE “no no’s” when it comes to our pets.

For 5 years, I spent time at a local veterinary clinic. Often we had dogs come in that ate something they shouldn’t have. It may have been an object, a plant, or even a pork chop bone. The scary reality is, what we love may not be safe for our dog. There’s one case I saw at the clinic that I will always remember. It was a simple mistake on the pet owner’s behalf. A simple mistake any of us can make.

Buddy was a regular at the vet clinic I worked at. Not because he was sick. It was because his owners traveled often. So, Buddy would use our boarding services on a regular basis. He was a 5 year old, healthy petite Boxer mix. His owners were an older, retired couple. Buddy was wild. But, despite his wild personality, we loved it. So did his owners. We were all aware Buddy received table food at home. His owners would often send him with prepackaged home cooked meals to eat while boarding. 

Buddy’s owners had a big trip coming up. So, naturally, he would be staying at the kennel. This trip was longer than their regular weekend getaways. They were traveling to England. So, Buddy would enjoy 15 whole days with us. Which isn’t an issue. I live near a military base. So, military pets boarded for quite a while, quite often. On his first night, I noticed something wasn’t right.

Buddy loved to eat. So, when he refused one of his owner’s famous home cooked meals, I worried a little. By day two, he still refused to eat. That’s when I knew I should bring it to the veterinarian’s attention. She examined him right away. Taking vitals, collecting blood. She even checked a stool and urine sample. Once the initial tests were done, she had to dig deeper. 

Abnormal Results Buddy Had

  • His bowel movements were runny
  • Low temperature
  • Abnormal blood levels

The veterinarian decided to do a x-ray. That’s where the problem was found. Buddy had something lodged into his esophagus and stomach. This prompted the doctor to perform emergency surgery on him. She removed many lodged shreds from his organs. As well as a decent sized pork chop bone. Upon talking to Buddy’s owners, they admitted to giving him a pork chop bone the night prior to boarding him. 

Unfortunately, the damage was done for Buddy. Shortly after surgery, he got an infection. He bloated and his gums became pale. His treatment was intense. He got IV antibiotics, numerous bags of IV fluids, and constant vital monitoring. Even after his treatment, we still lost him.

halloween safety

Halloween Safety For Pets

Now, Buddy’s outcome is not always the outcome when it comes to dogs eating “no no” items. Take my Siamese cat, Shorty, for example. He ate a ton of my sewing yarn. The first sign was his lack of appetite. Then one day, I saw string hanging out his butt. True story. It took our part time veterinarian over 8 hours removing over a foot of yarn. It was wrapped around his intestines. Cutting off vital blood supply.

Shorty recovered from the whole ordeal. In a record amount of time it seems. You would have never known he enjoyed yarn as an entree. But, as you see, severity varies from case to case. So, it’s important to cover all your bases. It never hurts to have a plan, to be prepared. That’s why Halloween safety for pets is so important.

Dogs and Candy: Sweet Safety Infographic

Dogs and Candy: Sweet Safety Infographic by Orvis.

The infographic above is a great visual tool for Halloween safety. Orvis gives you the facts. Plus, great tips on how to keep your Halloween candy safe. As we enter into the holiday season, remember to protect your furry family members, too.

Make sure you share your holiday pet safety tips below. Especially your Halloween safety tips. The fun night is just around the corner! As a parent, I’m always looking for ways to make sure my whole family is safe during late night trick-or-treating!