North Pole Interview 2017

This is the first year that I’ve been nervous for Christmas to proceed as normal. For once, there have been no problems at all – or at least, nothing that will stop Santa from doing his job and getting presents out to the children of the world. But with the way things stand as they are now, the magic of the day will be completely lost. I take a glance at the clock. There’s just an hour left until Santa leaves on his sleigh. The countdown begins now.

(I’ve been waiting for Jack to arrive for about an hour now, but he’s unusually late. After texting him a dozen times and calling him four times, I’m starting to get a bit worried. Pepper whines from beside me and turns to go back inside the house. Just after I hear the dog door shut behind him, there is a noise from the rooftop.)

Me: * glancing at the roof * Rudolph! I thought Jack said he was picking me up this year.

Rudolph: * jumps into the yard and lands beside me * There’s been a situation.

Me: * raises an eyebrow * A situation? Are we not allowed to have a single Christmas without trying to prevent something or someone from ruining it?

Rudolph: * shakes his head * No, it’s not that Christmas is going to be ruined… per se. Climb on up and I’ll take you to the North Pole. You’ll understand a bit more when we get there.

(I get on Rudolph’s back and he takes off. We fly in silence until he starts to descend a little while later. There is a barren forest down below that should be beautiful, but seems to be missing its essence. The ground is completely made of dirt and so dry that it is cracking in long jagged lines between the trees. No animals seem to live in the forest and there isn’t the song of a single bird in the air.)

Me: Where are we?

Rudolph: * sighs * This is the North Pole.

(As soon as he says it, I can see the rooftops of Santa’s village poking through the tops of the trees in the distance. My mouth drops. I still haven’t completely registered the fact that we are at the North Pole even once we have landed in the square, where George the yeti and Comet are waiting for us.)

Me: * staring around with wide eyes * What did Jack do?

George: * growls *

Comet: He said that it wasn’t Jack.

Me: Then who did? Jack would never let the climate change so dramatically. I’m sure he’s furious.

Rudolph: Let’s just say that Jack has a cousin, of sorts, who can cancel out his powers.

Me: * mutters * What is with that family and causing problems with the North Pole?

George: * growls in agreement *

Me: * louder * Okay, so what does that have to do with Christmas? Is this just affecting the North Pole right now?

Comet: His cousin is visiting at the moment and got sick a few days into the visit with a cold. He can’t control his powers right now.

Me: Which is why you’re having a more than Texas winter right now. Just who is this guy?

Rudolph: His name is Dragos and-

(We all pause as a loud noise comes from a building near Santa’s home. Rudolph and Comet glance at each other before they take off running that way. George growls from beside me and I join him as we follow along behind the reindeer. Before we get there, a steady stream of black smoke is already drifting up in the air. The closer we get, I notice that the building is half burned down. The other half seems to be patched up from other similar incidents. We walk inside, where Jack is sitting beside a boy that has an irritated look on his face.)

Jack: You’ve arrived! Sorry that I couldn’t come grab you this year. This idiot started having a fit when he learned that I got to leave the North Pole for even a few minutes when he’s stuck here until we’ve figured out how to get him back to full health.

Me: No worries, Jack. Is this Dragos?

Dragos: * nods * And I’m assuming you’re Brittany, huh?

Me: Yes, that’s me. * waves away some smoke * Can we move somewhere that’s not filled with smoke fumes?

Jack: Don’t worry, I can fix that.

(A cold winter breeze races throughout the room, causing me to shiver. As it goes throughout the room, it picks up the lingering smoke and freezes the parts of the building that are burned.)

Me: Thanks, Jack. * turns to Dragos * I’m guessing you have powers over fire?

Dragos: * smiles proudly * I do. Much better than Jack’s power.

Jack: Debatable.

Dragos: I’d win.

Jack: I’m not so sure about that.

Rudolph: Let’s not start any arguments while the fire guy can’t control his powers. We can’t risk too many more fires.

Jack: * sighs * You’re right. We need to go out and get the cure for this cold.

Me: Why haven’t you yet?

Comet: There hasn’t been a need to until a few hours ago when it started affecting his powers.

Me: Wait, what? All the snow here only melted recently? It looks like it’s been this way for days.

Dragos: * grimly * Unfortunately not.

Rudolph: Comet and I can’t help you all get the cure, since we’re heading out soon with Santa. But we need to solve this as soon as possible. Dragos’s illness is getting worse and the heat affect has only been growing in area. We don’t know how powerful it will get, but I’m sure there will be some negative affects on the climate all over the world if we don’t stop it soon.

Comet: No white Christmases anywhere.

George: * growls *

Comet: He said there might as well be beach parties instead of Christmas parties.

Me: * turns to Jack * And you can’t stop it?

Jack: * shakes his head * I’ve tried, but my powers are just getting nullified by his heat powers.

Me: That’s definitely not good. Okay, so where do we need to go to get this cure? I’m guessing it’s not chicken noodle soup.

Dragos: There’s a cave outside of Santa’s village that we need to walk into. In the far depths of it lies a spring that I need to drink from.

Jack: Or so the old man says.

Rudolph: Santa’s never wrong. That spring has helped him many times when his Chrismtas magic started to wane.

Me: So it’s a magical spring, then? Ooh, could it give me magical powers? I’m totally down for this adventure if that’s the case.

Jack: * snorts * That’s just like you to ask, but no, it only enhances existing magic. It doesn’t give people new powers.

Me: That sucks. Okay, so what’s the catch with the caves or the spring, then? I’m sure this won’t be completely easy.

Rudolph: Finding it. The caves are like a maze and their paths change every single day, so the route to get there is never the same.

Jack: I’ve tried getting there before and couldn’t get to the spring.

Me: Great… Okay, so this will be interesting.

Jack: * grins * At least you can never say you’re bored when you come visit.

Me: That’s a fact.

Dragos: * sneezes and a few flames fly out of his mouth * Can we just get to the spring?

(Rudolph and Comet leave us to go get ready for their flight. We have about an hour until Santa leaves with the toys. George decides to join the rest of us on our trip through the caves and we head out. We get there without any issues, except for Dragos almost starting a forest fire.)

Me: * glancing inside the caves * There’s no way for the caves to catch on fire, right?

Dragos: Not unless there is a lot of plant life inside of them. I’ll try not to kill you all in a fire, okay?

Jack: Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Pyro. Just try your best not to sneeze while we’re walking through the caverns.

Dragos: I’ll try my best, Frosty.

George: * growls and starts heading into the caves *

(We all follow behind George and start walking down into the earth. The entrance is a bit steep, so we move slowly at first. I am starting to think that this won’t be too hard until the ground flattens back out and we arrive at a split in the path. Jack lets out a low whistle as we stand in front of it.)

Jack: Six paths to start off with. It wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t start off with a little difficulty.

Me: * goes and shines my flashlight down one of the middle paths * It’s so long, it’s hard to tell where it leads. Do you think any of the paths meet up?

Jack: There’s only one way to find out. * starts heading down the path that I looked into *

(We all follow behind him and I am in awe once the path opens up into a large space, with still growing stalactites and stalagmites and a pool of water.)

Me: Are we already there?

Jack: * shakes his head * No, it’ll be an actual spring of water. This is just excess water.

Dragos: Maybe it still has some magical properties that will help?

(Dragos goes and cups some of the water into his hand to take a sip. As soon as the water passes his lips, he sneezes and smoke starts to stream out of his ears. We all burst out laughing. The noise reverberates throughout the caves.)

Dragos: Maybe there aren’t magical properties in it.

Jack: It was worth a try.

George: * growls and points ahead *

Me: Right. Let’s keep going. We don’t have too much longer until Christmas starts.

Dragos: * sneezes again * And I think I’m getting worse.

Jack: * takes a step away * I can feel the heat pouring out of you, so yes, you are getting worse. Stay a few feet away before we all melt.

(Dragos grumpily moves a few feet behind us and we move to the other end of the cavern, but into a winding path that takes us even deeper into the core of the earth. The heat coming from Dragos is so strong that we’re now all sweating. After another few minutes, we come the next split in the cave.)

Me: How do we even know we’re going the right way?

Jack: That’s a good question.

Me: Did you even ask?

Dragos: He didn’t.

George: * growls *

Jack: Just because Comet isn’t here to translate doesn’t mean you can call me stupid. I’m assuming that’s what you were saying.

Me: Didn’t you try to get to it before? How did you search that time?

Jack: * shrugs * I just wandered around for a few days until I found the exit.

Me: Jack! We don’t have a few days. We have about half an hour. Why would you not ask how to get to the spring?

Jack: I figured we’d just stumble upon it.

Me: How?

Jack: Well…

Dragos: How am I related to you? I don’t even know.

Jack: We’re not even real relatives, Pyro. Plus, we’ll know when we’re getting closer to the spring. That level of magic is noticeable.

Me: Glad to know that there’s some hope before Christmas starts.

(There is a sudden howling from somewhere behind us and we all freeze.)

Dragos: Great. Winter wolves.

Jack: They sound pretty far away still, but Dragos’s magic would be the most effective against them.

George: * growls *

Me: We have George.

Dragos: That doesn’t help us if there’s a pack of them. No offense, big guy.

(There are more howls from behind us.)

Jack: Come on, let’s go!

(Jack takes the path to the far left, which we take until there’s another path. Dragos is panting, smoke coming off of his body. He’s standing a little further away now and I can’t help but fan myself to try to cool off. The heat is starting to get unbearable. I can’t imagine what is happening up on the surface.)

Jack: Hurry up!

(Jack hurries ahead, with George following closely behind. I am about to follow into the new tunnel when Dragos falls to the ground behind me. I hear the howls of the wolves and bite my lip. How are we going to make it to the spring?)

Me: Dragos, are you okay? We need to get out of here.

Dragos: * weakly * I’ve been better. I think Jack took the wrong tunnel, though. The other path has more magic pouring out of it.

Me: Then we’ll go that way. I’m sure Jack and George will head back once they noticed we haven’t followed along behind them.

Dragos: * nods * Okay, let’s do it.

(The room that we enter into at the end of the tunnel is full of eight large eggs, almost half as tall as me. I stop and stare.)

Dragos: Keep going. They’re just dragon eggs.

Me: D-dragon eggs?! Just dragon eggs? Dragons exist?

Dragos: * gives me a look * You come to the North Pole every year to do an interview with Santa and know about Christmas magic and you are surprised that dragons exist?

Me: But that’s different.

Dragos: If you want to think that, then sure. Now, come on. The winter wolves seem to be getting closer. I don’t think we’re too far from the spring. I can sense it now.

Me: Thank goodness. Lead the way. You know where we’re going.

(We travel to the other end of the cavern and into another tunnel. And then into another. And another. I am starting to wonder if we’ll ever find our way out of here. Or at least find Jack and George again. Dragos is starting to move slower but a cavern finally opens up in front of us with a large spring pool that is pouring from the ceiling. At the same time, howls sound from behind us.)

Dragos: * falls to the ground * We’ve made it.

Me: Okay, don’t move. I’ll bring some of the water to you.

Dragos: * shakes head * No, I have to drink straight from the spring or the magic is taken away from it. I’d ask you to help me but I’m sure you’d prefer not to be burnt to a crisp.

Me: That’s an accurate assumption. What can I do to be of help?

Dragos: Just don’t get in the way. * stops as another howl comes from the tunnels * And don’t get eaten.

(At that moment, two winter wolves burst into the cavern. Snow flies around them and they shift in and out of focus as if they are made of snow themselves. They both look at me and bare their teeth.)

Me: Don’t get eaten. Got it.

(I start running away, hiding between some of the cave formations. The wolves seem to know to stay away from Dragos since he’s giving off an unbelievable amount of heat. I’m fair game, though, and that doesn’t make me feel better. One of the wolves runs past me while the other one seems to notice me just as it’s about to pass. It turns and growls at me. I run around the stalagmite and in the opposite direction. My foot catches on an unevenness in the ground and I let out a scream as I fall to the ground.)

Jack: * plucking me from the ground and throwing a blast of wintry air at the winter wolf * Every time you wander out of my sight, you get into trouble.

Me: It’s not my fault! Maybe I should just stop visiting the North Pole.

Jack: We both know that won’t happen. Now, let’s try to stay alive until Dragos manages to drag himself over to the spring. My powers won’t do much to get rid of these guys.

Me: How did the two of you manage to find us again? I thought we were going to be separated forever.

Jack: I followed the sound of your screams and the howling wolves. But the spring’s magic also help give it away.

Me: Geez, glad my screaming was helpful. Speaking of which, there’s another wolf behind you.

Jack: * turns around and blasts the wolf * Dragos?

Dragos: I’m practically there! Give me another minute.

Jack: Hopefully we have another minute.

George: * growls as he stops another wolf from attacking Jack and me *

Me: Okay, where are they all coming from?

Jack: They travel in packs! Some followed us, some followed you.

(George picks me up suddenly as a wolf jumps at me. It barely misses me as I dangle in the air. Jack attacks it with his powers and it falls to the ground. I give George a grin as he sets me on the ground.)

Me: Thanks.

Jack: We’re not out of the woods yet. We’re surrounded.

(It’s true. About eight wolves have backed us into a corner of the cavern. I am hiding behind George, unsure of how we’re going to get out of this. Suddenly, a ball of fire flies in front of us and the wolves all jump back. There’s another ball of fire. It rams into one of the wolves. The wolf lets out a yelp and starts running toward the tunnel we entered into. The others follow behind and they disappear from view a moment later.)

Dragos: * stretching his arms in the air * I’m back in full power!

Jack: * creates a snowball and hits Dragos in the face * Took you long enough, Pyro.

Dragos: * gets ready to throw a ball of fire * You want to start something, Frosty?

Me: * jumps out in front of them * Okaaay, let’s just get back to Santa’s Village. I’m pretty sure he’s left by now, but maybe we can get the snow back? And get some hot chocolate from Mrs. Claus?

George: * growls in agreement *

(We head back out of the caverns and the exit is surprisingly easy to find, but I guess that’s magical caves for you. The outside is just as blazingly hot and summery as I had imagined it, but a few moments later the temperature starts to drop and snow begins to fall from the sky.)

Jack: * waving his arms in the air as he works his ice magic * Finally. We’re back to normal. Dragos, please don’t ever do that again.

Dragos: It’s not like I meant to.

Jack: Still. You can’t visit if you’re going to be sick. You’re so weak.

Dragos: I can show you who is weak.

Me: * facepalms * I thought one of them was bad enough.

George: * growls *

(We head back to the Square, but Santa has just taken off for his trip. Mrs. Claus gives us a cup of hot chocolate. I head home not too much later, escorted by Jack and Dragos. While it was a bit of a hectic night, I am glad that nobody tried to actually destroy the North Pole this year or ruin Christmas. Maybe next year we’ll be able to relax without any problems. But maybe my Christmas adventures are just something I look forward to each year.)


What I Learned From Blogmas This Year

We’ve finally made it to Christmas Eve and I’m all sorts of excited to be nearing the end of Blogmas. It’s been a really great month, but also a really exhausting challenge of constant blogging every day. Not everything I’ve pumped out have been great quality, which I apologize for, but next year I’ll start writing early instead of deciding a few days before that I’m going to roll with it.

This was, quite obviously, my first year attempting Blogmas. I learned about it around Thanksgiving and thought it was interesting. After speaking with the other writers for Inbetween Thoughts, we decided to split up the work and do it for our blog.

But at the end of November, I was still on a writing high from winning National Novel Writing Month and decided I could survive Blogmas on my own.

I wasn’t wrong.

During this month of torture adventure, I’ve learned a few things and I wanted to share with all of you in case you decide to attempt Blogmas next year:

  • It’s really hard to write 25 posts that are all focused on Christmas. While there are plenty of topics to talk about, sometimes they seem to get a bit repetitive.
  • Like NaNoWriMo, you have to really plan around getting everything written on time. Except Blogmas requires you to be a bit more time sensitive since you have daily goals and not a monthly goal. I like this, because it really gets you in the habit of writing on a daily basis.
  • Blogmas is the chance to research everything you want to do for the holidays – be it gifts to purchase, outfits to wear, food to cook, or decorations to put up. I really liked this part of the month because I got to learn about a lot of cool things that I wouldn’t have read about otherwise.
  • You need to branch out in order to reach your Blogmas goals. There is no theme other than Christmas. I could have tried to write fashion and beauty posts all month but I wouldn’t have made it to the end. Branching out is a lot of fun as well, especially when it comes to things you wouldn’t touch normally.
  • If you have huge goals like this, it is better to start early. I can’t count how many times this month that I wished I didn’t have to write something that night. If I had made the time to get ahead and start writing early, it probably wouldn’t have been as stressful. And my posts would have been better quality.
  • I really like writing and blogging and just being a part of the world of words. This month was stressful but also rewarding in that it only grew my love for what I’ve gotten myself into with this blog (and others).

I’ve one more post to go for Christmas and I think you’ll enjoy it. Keep a look out for my North Pole interview tomorrow morning.

I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas! How are you spending the holidays? Did you attempt Blogmas this year? What were some of the things you learned? Can’t wait to hear from you!


4 Yankee Candle Christmas Scents That You’ll Want To Have All Year Long

This late in the month, I’m sure you’ve all stocked up on some of your favorite holiday scents to really add to the festiveness of the season. If you haven’t, you are totally missing out on one of the best parts of Christmas. Just imagine walking into a sea of peppermint candy canes or sweet…

via 4 Yankee Candle Christmas Scents That You’ll Want To Have All Year Long —

Keep Your Skin Glowing This Holiday Season with These Skincare Tips

While dreaming of a white Christmas is a lovely thing to do, none of us can deny the pains that colder weather brings our skin. While we’re all busy preparing for the holiday season and running around to all the glam parties, it can be easy to forget that our body requires a little bit different care in the winter.

Cold weather prevents our skin from taking care of itself as well as it can in the summer. The skin cracks, loses the ability to retain moisture, and gets inflamed. I’ve had my fair share of winters where my hands were so dry that my knuckles dried up and there was slight bleeding (blaming eczema there).

So if you want to keep your glow this holiday season, check out these skin care tips that I’ve rounded up.

  • If you have dry skin, the cold weather will cause it to get even drier. Double up on moisturizing and use products that focus on preventing moisture loss, such as an oil-based cleanser.
  • Dial back on the long showers and baths, and make sure to avoid scorching hot water. The hotter the temperature, the more it causes dry skin.
  • Wear soft, breathable fabrics when your skin flares up. Itchy materials will just help irritate the skin more.
  • Put a humidifier in your room to help increase moisture levels. It is recommended to keep moisture levels between 30% and 50%.
  • Don’t rely on facial oils for moisturizing. They help add a layer of protection from cold wind, but do not moisturize your skin.
  • Avoid exfoliating more than necessary. This will only help irritate and weaken your skin.
  • Remember to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. While it can be great to turn to warm drinks like hot chocolate and tea, you can’t forget that your skin requires water as well to keep its glow.
  • Overnight moisturize by by slathering lotion over your hands and feet. Then cover them in gloves and socks to wear overnight.
  • Make sure your cleanser is good for the winter months. Avoid anything with glycolic or salicylic acid to focus on cleansers that promote hydrated skin.
  • Face mask it up! Find face masks that have ingredients like chamomile, aloe vera, avocado, or anything else that promotes hydration.

Keep on top of your skincare and you won’t have to worry about drying up too much. I’ve been slacking a bit and have noticed my knuckles and fingers getting super dry! Time to slather on the lotion so that I”ll have pretty skin for the rest of the holidays.

Do you have any winter skincare routines that you’d like to share? What are some of your favorite moisturizing products?


21 Christmas Songs to Add to Your Holiday Playlist

It isn’t Christmas until you have a holiday song or two continuously stuck in your head. I tend to stick to the classic holiday songs, but it is fun mixing it up with more modern Christmas music every now and then. I wanted to share some of the songs that I enjoy listening to the…

via 21 Christmas Songs to Add to Your Holiday Playlist —

Shop Locally This Christmas at These 5 Austin Businesses

Christmas shopping can be hard, especially because of the large number of businesses out in the world to choose from. If you’re wanting to bring your shopping experience a little closer to home and support local businesses, I’ve rounded up find stores in the Austin area that you need to check out.

Cotone Clothing+ Beauty Bar

I absolutely love this local retail store. They sell clothing and jewelry both from local designers and Italian designers. The owner, Jentri, also has her own beauty line that she sells in store with a gorgeous collection of makeup. The sales team is super sweet and helpful every time I go in. And there’s also a gorgeous collection of tulle skirts – eventually I’ll have one of them hanging in my closet. Visit their website to shop online:

Passport Vintage

I just discovered Passport Vintage a month or two ago and I’ve been in love ever since. I got the cutest top from their store when it was located on the East Side (they’ve since relocated to SoCo). They’re also well known for their collection of jeans. You can’t go wrong with getting that fashion lover in your life a new pair of denim jeans to rock for the holidays. Visit their website for shopping.

Feathers Boutique

Vintage clothing is definitely fun to shop – and you can find a great selection of it over at Feathers Boutique. They’re reasonably priced and have really cute pieces on sell at their store. You can also get some online shopping done on their website:

Luxe Apothetique 

This is another nice local store to visit – they have stylish clothes, a great beauty section, and just the most fun gifts collection as well. You can find a lot of great things here. They have two locations – one at the Domain and one on 2nd Street downtown. Check out their website at


Archive is another great local store that’s been nationally recognized. They’re a little out of my price range unfortunately, but for those of you who can afford it – it’s a great place to get some nice vintage clothes. You can get some shopping done on their website:

There’s obviously a lot more stores to shop in Austin, but these are some of the clothing stores that I highly recommend if you’re buying any new fun pieces for that fashionista in your life.

Have you found a new store that you want to visit? Do you have any other top stores in Austin that you recommend for Christmas shopping? Let me know in the comments down below!


Perfect Cookie Recipes to Enjoy This Holiday Season

If we’re talking desserts this holiday season, you’ve got to make at least one batch of cookies. There are so many mouthwatering recipes out there. So if you’re confused on which ones you should try, here are a few cookie recipes that I recommend. Nutella Cookie Cups cakescottage.comOkay, so maybe these aren’t the most “holiday”…

via Perfect Cookie Recipes to Enjoy This Holiday Season —

Make All Your Friends Jealous with this Simple Hot Chocolate Fudge Recipe

I love getting to bake and make fun desserts during the holidays (or just any occasion, really). I usually go for my usual: confetti cake, brownies, or cookie brownies. However, I made fudge for the first time with my mother for the Thanksgiving holiday and really wanted to do something for the Christmas season with fudge. After browsing around Pinterest, I found one that really interested me: Hot Chocolate Fudge.

The name alone is reason to like it. However, the other great part about this fudge is that the recipe is super simple. Seriously, it only requires four ingredients: white chocolate, dark chocolate, and sweetened condensed milk.

Really, there’s no way to mess up this recipe unless you manage to overcook the chocolate.

The end result is chocolatey and delicious! I definitely recommend it.


You’ll need 2 cups of dark chocolate.


And 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate. Grab a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk. Put 5 tablespoons with the white chocolate and the rest goes with the dark chocolate.

You’ll also need mini marshmallows. The recipe called for 1 1/2 cups, but I say make that however you want.

Microwave the dark chocolate for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave for 15 seconds and stir until the chocolate is all melty and smooth. Layer it at the bottom of a 9 x 9″ pan (greased first, of course).

Then microwave the white chocolate for 30 seconds and stir until smooth. Pat down on top of the layer of dark chocolate.


Top off with a layer of mini marshmallows. Press down gently so that it sets into the white chocolate layer.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and then enjoy!


You can find the original recipe here at

What kind of goodies do you like baking or making during the holiday season? Spread the love and share down below! My sweet tooth is aching for some more deliciousness.


6 Fun Gifts to Use As Stocking Stuffers This Year

I don’t know about you, but I have some deep fascination for Christmas stockings and all the goodies that go into them. It’s always an adventure because there are multiple little gifts that always put a smile on my face. If you’re trying to figure out stocking stuffers for your loved ones or friends this…

via 6 Fun Gifts to Use As Stocking Stuffers This Year —

4 Hot Chocolate Recipes to Warm Your Soul

I am completely obsessed with hot chocolate. When the temperature drops and winter comes around, it’s my go to beverage. I swear, it probably runs through my veins instead of blood. In the spirit of Blogmas, I thought it would be great to share some delicious hot chocolate recipes that will warm your soul this…

via 4 Hot Chocolate Recipes to Warm Your Soul —