A Christmas Mixtape... Just for you!!

In a very special edition of your sponsor spotlight this month, the Thriftary November sponsors will be sharing their absolute fav holiday tunes with you. 

Get to know them and their musical taste a bit better!
Trust me.
You won't be sorry.

And then, be SURE to check out the mixtape provided below, inspired by the sponsors themselves!!!

Oh.. Yes.. And before I forget... Make sure you head over to the CRICUT MINI GIVEAWAY!! It ends this Sunday and you DON'T want to miss it!

"Sleigh Ride" by Ella Fitzgerald

"Happy Xmas (War is Over)" by Christina Perry

"Oh Holy Night" by Carrie Underwood
Unfortunately this version isn't on Spotify, so you will find the David Crowder Band version for your mix tape listening pleasure

"Angels We Have Heard on High" by Hue and Hum
Also, per Miranda's suggestion, you HAVE to go check out the video they made for this one as well. So creative and inspiring. How can two people be so cool?

"Silver Bells" by Bing Crosby

"Last Christmas" by Wham!


That Time When Everything Went Wrong...

That's right, you crazy kids. You too can get in on the fun!
Head on over to my Sponsor page and checkout the available sponsor spots for December.
They are gorgeous.
They are squares and rectangles.
They have your name written all over them.

And now... It is time for a vent.
Those of you whom I have been in touch with this week... Were you curious if I was going to blog about the madness?
Oh. You bet I am!

Guys.. Remember that time that I told you about the Richardson clessings?
Well apparently they like to flare up right around the holiday season.

So this past Sunday, I got a little bit of the holiday blues. 
Being far away from my fam.
Missing some things the way they used to be.
Normal wine-drinking women emotions.

So my amazing husband decided that we should go cut down a Christmas tree.
That man knows me well.

Clessing 1: The drought in Colorado has been so bad that many Christmas tree farms did not make it. Most of them are not offering the "Cut your own tree" method this year. We were simply looking for A farm. Not a SPECIFIC farm. Just A farm. But there were none. That is a clessing if I have every heard one.

But that's OK! We found a little place on the side of the road in Evergreen that was wonky and selling what local trees they had to sell, and that was perfect for us. So we bought that thing (I called it peggy for some reason), strapped her onto the top of the car, and headed home.

Clessing 2: About halfway home, our car overheated. Classic. Tree on top of the car. Car breaks down. Classic.

We pulled off to the side, checked out the sitch... and it wasn't good. Not good at all. We called AAA, knowing full well we weren't leaving the roadside with our poor broken Subaru. Meantime, one of our amazing friends, Kendall, said he could come get us and take us home. 

At this point, I'm thinking "man... it's going to be a tight month to spend an extra $400 - $500 on the car. Oh well. It happens"

Clessing 3: When we are making the transfer of items from the Subaru, to the grass (waiting for our ride) and then from the grass to Kendall's car. Something was left behind.

Burley and I got home, a little beaten up and down. We decided it was nothing that a little chinese delivery and a good movie couldn't cure. We DID get a Christmas tree for heaven's sake. It was still a good day! 

So, as we wait for Chinese to arrive, Burley tells me to grab my wallet and use the cash that we had just withdrawn to pay for the food (this week's spending money, and some Christmas gift money).

Oh wait. My purse isn't here.

Yup. The item that was left behind was my stinkin' purse. 


We suck up our tears, eat really good chinese (probably our last meal for a decade, seeing as we are now hemorrhaging money out of our behinds) and turn on the King's Speech on Netflix.

Clessing 4: The movie completely wigs out half way through. I start to cry. Heavily. It was the last straw.

After Clessing 4, we just called it a night, and prayed for a better tomorrow. I mean. What else can you do at that point?

Since then, we have learned just how much our car will cost us to fix (think... my year's clothing budget... or a cheap 4 day vacation for two... or 8 round-trip flights to see my niece... or an all-expense trip for Burley and I's moms to come out and see us). Yes. A lot of money. 

Burley also ran into a parked car on his bike (that he has been riding about 30-40 miles a day getting to class and school... Think 4am - 9pm days).

I also have been hurling for the past 8 hours for some unknown reason.

Long story short. Thriftary today, should be re-named, shitary. I will be honest with you friend. I am sad. And down. And stressed. And all of those emotions that I don't really associate with the holidays.

But then... There are still good things. And this is where the "lessings" of clessings come into play.

1. We have money to fix our car. Thank you God.
2. My family is healthy (Abi is hanging in there like a champ)
3. I have a husband who sends me sweet texts and gives me massages and assures me that everything is going to be OK.
4. I believe my husband
5. We have a roof over our head, and even though filet may not be in our future, we still have food to put on the table. 
6. My house as heat. I don't have to go cold.
7. I can get water out of a faucet and drink it when I need it.
8. I can use the toilet to hurl into all day long, which is the most comfortable place to hurl.
9. I am blessed to work from home so I don't have to fall behind just because I am not feeling well.
10. I have a Christmas tree

I know I am blessed. I know that these problems are 1st world problems. But I feel like I would be lying to you by posting a photo of a really cute pair of shoes, or telling you what I want for Christmas, or writing about how warm and fuzzy this time of year makes me. Because right now. I am cold and fuzzy in the head. And I am judging everyone who is happy and carefree. And I know that is completely wrong.

And I have to go hurl.


The Devil's in the Bible Belt

Don't be alarmed by these hipsters. They have good things to sing and say. 
And sometimes when you don't have words... hipsters do.
And they can say and sing them better than you can.
So just let it happen.

PS. Thanks, Anna. It was so good to see and hug you this week, nugget.


The Almost Death of Willie Nelson

What does one do, when they are 2000 miles away from their family on Thanksgiving?
They grab their 2 buddies, cook enough food for about 20 large hungry men, play games, drink dranks, laugh & cry, and revive their wounded chicken rooster near death. What? Yea. I will get to that. 

Here is the full re-cap of this glorious day. The day that one of us cheated death.

First... I started off with skyping with my mom while we did our last minute food prep (tradition). Followed by mimosas and lox & bagels, with my hunny while watching the parade. Yes. I know. I am a really lucky girl.

Then, our friends Kendall and Sara came over for an all day festivus. We started off with an appetizer spread that looked like it was meant for a party of 20. For example, I made the same amount of deviled eggs for the 4 of us, as I made for our Halloween Party last month. Furthermore, they were all eaten. 

All of them.

So we played games, kept eating, watched parenthood, kept eating, had some good conversation, kept eating, ate dinner, kept eating, and played cards, and then had dessert.

Seriously. It was the best.

Oh... You're wondering about the two wounded chickens? I am getting to that.

While we were being awesome (as shown above), we put Macey out in the back yard. Once the chickens go to sleep, she has full reign of that territory. The chickens NEVER stay out past sun down. They have this insane mother nature internal clock that sends them to bed RIGHT as the day ends. 

However, apparently, one of the sides of our chicken coop pen was compromised yesterday. And the two of those little rascals got out into the backyard but couldn't get back into their pen.

So Macey went out to play. And those chickens stood no chance.

Luckily, Dolly Parton ran into the shed and perched herself like a smart bird. Macey was scared of the dark shed (she's a little tender footed) so she left Dolly Parton and went after Willie Nelson.

Side Note: Oh, you haven't heard? This past Tuesday we found out that Willie Nelson was in fact a rooster rather than a chicken. Serves us right for naming a "female" chicken after a male singer/songwriter legend. He started crowing at 5am on the 20th and hasn't stopped. Meanwhile he has been fertilizing all our eggs which is very frustrating.

So... Needless to say, Sara and I went out back to check on the boys who were hanging out... and found a ver solemn scene. Burley told us to go inside because he thought Willie Nelson was dead (very subtle move on his part). So we did. 10 minutes later word came in that Willie was not in fact dead, but wounded. Burley put him up in the shed, made a bed for him and let him rest.

I went out later to check on the little guy and he was very sad and very wounded.

Luckily, this morning he is still alive and seems to be doing better (thanks for the concern).
I bent down to pet him and tell him that it was going to be OK, but that this served him right for being a boy. He should have known better.

And that, my friends, was our Richardson Thanksgiving extravaganza festivus 2K12. It was a blast and I couldn't have asked to spend it in better company.

I already have my She & Him Christmas record spinning, and the Christmas decorations are coming out today.

Let the holiday festivities continue!!!

PS - See that art behind the table? You. You can make it too! Read up on the amazing Cricut giveaway going on here at Thriftary this week!


I Love you, Darling. And a SWEET Giveaway!!

That's right, guys. This "How To" is going to rock your world, and then give you the chance to have your world DOUBLE rocked, by winning the tools to make it all happen in your very own home... FOR FREE!

A couple weeks ago, I shared a DIY tutorial with you that I used to spice up my Halloween Party. I used the ever-amazing Cricut Mini to get the job done.

Today, I am coming at you with yet another way that I have used the Cricut mini to spice up my life, but this time, it is a permanent home fixture, not just party decorations. I am really pumped to share. 

... And... You must stay tuned for the end of this post because YOU.. Yes YOU will have the opportunity to win your very own CRICUT MINI!!! Oh yea... Thriftary is takin' care of you.

So this is what my "dining room" nook looked like before. I had these three fabric covered canvases hanging that I brought with me from the loft. The walls at the loft were so huge and empty that I was just throwing things together to break up the space a bit. Somehow these boring fabric canvases ended up following me to the new house and making there way into a blank wall in my living room. Needless to say, I have been waiting for the right time to change it up. 

And then... It hit me. I knew I wanted something sleeker, to counteract the retro feel of my living room so far. I like to balance out a little bit of old with a little bit of new. So, the lovely team over at Cricut gave me access to the Craft Room gallery, and I got to huntin' for the right image.

 Bingo!  A victorian bust silhouette? Yes please. But the problem was that this image was a little to reminiscent of the "old" I was trying to counteract. So, I knew that my canvases had to be clean and modern. So I decided on black and white. You can't really go wrong with those two.

Here they are! All painted black. Perfection. I used the same paint that I used to paint the rug in the living room as well, so, so far, I have used no new materials in this project. All items from around the house. GAH that feels good.

Moving on...

I then let my Cricut Mini work it's magic and print out the "Thomas" and "Victoria" images from the Cricut "Victorian Romance" cartridge set.


Then I simply used Modgepodge to fix the cut outs to my painted canvases.

And... Voila!!!

I am seriously in love with this project. It is exactly what I needed to spice up that nook, and tie everything into the living room.

Great success. And seriously... Not a PENNY was spent getting this project finished. It was completed with only tools that I already had in the house!

Now... Are you ready to have some fun? Good. Because the good team at Cricut and Provo Crafts are giving a way 1 FREE CRICUT MINI to 1 LUCKY THRIFTARY READER. That's right. Just in time for you to get all of your holiday decorationg and gift giving done. Sweet timing, guys.

So enter for your chance to win below. And good luck!

Crazy Aunt Moo Moo

If you are wondering who these cute little booties belong to... Wonder no more.
This is Abiella. She is my niece. These are her cute little booties. She is perfect.
If you want to read more about her long journey from Africa to home you can read about that HERE

I got to spend 3 consecutive, heavenly days with this little one and her Momma. My brother even made a cameo towards the end of my stay.

It was seriously surreal, perfect, and exactly as I would have hoped it to be. 

She underwent a surgery the day before I arrived, to get a feeding tube inserted into her little baby tummy. She ended up reacting poorly to the anesthesia, so the stay in the hospital was far more stressful, scary, and a bit longer than anticipated. On top of that, my brother had been on tour, promoting his new record for 2.5 weeks, and the few days I was there were at the tail end of that trip. Needless to say, Mary Susan had been working really hard day and night, and the visit couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I got to help out, snuggle with this little bundle of joy, and visit with my sister who couldn't be a more beautiful and admirable mom. Weird. She is a mom.

Just so you know, I always refer to Mary Susan as my sister. She is technically my sister-in-law (married to my older brother) but we don't really like that phrase in my family. So just know, this is not a strange incestual situation. It is just love, and the way we do things around these parts.

So a few things that you should now about this sweet sassy angel. She loves music. Mostly Beyonce and her daddy, Sean. She loves her pet turtle, Herbert, who lights up and plays music in her crib. She loves her Mom... Like.. a lot. She lights up when she feels her leg muscles working and getting stronger... She does a kind of jogging dance. Her laugh will seriously melt your heart. Melt your heart right out of your chest.

She is ridiculously precious. I couldn't be more excited to be an aunt. I couldn't be more excited to be HER aunt. 

This is how you cuddle your perfect niece, while making sure you don't bother her post-surgery tummy.

This is how your perfect niece shows that she is a baller, a mere 24 hours after surgery.

And this is how you prep her for her first Thanksgiving feast, where she is introduced to all of her framily (aka the annual neighborhood Thanksgiving feast).

So... yes. I am in love. And I can't believe the day finally came for me to meet her. It was such a long road. It's amazing how God had a plan, and you could feel it all fall into place. It was so normal to see Sean and Mary Susan holding their daughter. It was so unexpectedly normal. It was so beautiful to welcome a new family member into the clan. She was so needed. She was so welcome. She is such a joy.

I can't WAIT until Christmas, when I get to see her again, watch my Mom hold her, See her meet Burley, and see how much she has grown and learned. She is the best. And she is my niece. My very first niece. She will always be the baby girl who gave me my new title. Crazy aunt moo moo. I am an aunt.

Thanks, Abiella. I am forever grateful. You have brought more joy to us than you will ever know.


T.H.A.N.K.F.U.L. and the other Maddie

I am coming down from a food coma. Scratch that. I am still in a food coma, and I am writing you from said coma.

I have some info to give you.

Recently, I met another Maddie. That's right! Another M-A-D-D-I-E

And truth be told... She is really cool. Hopefully you have enough like in your heart to like us both equally. Because, if you have to choose just one of us... I may lose you forever.

Maddie and I (still feels weird to say/type) decided a bit ago to send each other a wintery wonderland care package. Things form around the house or REALLY cheap to share with each other. 

So a couple weeks ago I got this puppy in the mail!

It was so stinkin' sweet. 

1) A book and a magazine for reading
2) A card for writing
3) Fabric for sewing
4) Fudge for eating

The sad part was that my dog got to the "Fudge for eating" part, before I did. DANGIT MACEY!!!

I am so pumped to get to my reading and sewing and writing! I will have to find some other type of chocolaty goodness in order to makeup for the lost fudge incident.

You guys need to head on over to Maddie's blog right now. She is pretty much a sewing guru and everything she does is SUPER inspiring. Get this... She makes her own freaking sewing patterns. Who does that?! Geniuses I tell ya... Geniuses! Glad to call her my friend in blogosphere.

OK guys... Comin' back atcha soon with some SICK giveaways and photos from all of the holiday fun so far!! Can't wait to share and give YOU a chance to win big!!