Thursday, December 27, 2012

What I got for Christmas

Sorry about the lack of posts! I've been sick for going on two months strait now. :\

Here's what I got for Christmas:

A DVD/Blue Ray Player!

The Big Bang Theory Trivia Game

Warheads Popsicles

Super soft puppets from Costco (no picture)

This awesome sweater

Hinged Bangles in orange and orange/navy (these are the only bangles I've ever had that can actually fit on my small wrist) (No picture, from Target)

Nail Polish (China Glaze, Gothic Lolita)

Eyeliner (Covergirl Liquiline Blast, Green Glow)

Disclaimer: None of these pictures are mine! I only used them as a way to share what I got for Christmas. All pictures were found using google image search.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Giving Back Without Going Broke

The Music of Life: Giving Back Without Going Broke

I love the Christmas season and I always try to give back to my community during this time. I usually participate in things like angel trees or Operation Christmas Child, but this year I want to try and give back and spend little to no money doing it. So here are some ideas of ways to do it. (Some ideas from, but mostly, these are mine.)

Donate handmade goods to a charity
There are so many charities that take handmade goods - if you are a crocheter or knitter, check out Seaman's Church Institute, Halos of Hope or Purple Stitch Project, to name a few. You could make stuffed animals or baby hats for a local hospital. You could make a blanket (easy fleece, or hand crocheted), scarves, hats and so much more. Warm clothing drives are common in cold areas. You could also read a children's book on tape to donate to a children's hospital. (This is also a great way to get children to practice reading aloud!)

Donate Your Time
There are many places that I am sure would love volunteers, not just during this time of year, but any time. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters or distribution centers, Christmas plays, crisis pregnancy centers and so much more. Take this time to find a place where you can give back.

Go Caroling
I must warn you, if you carol outside, you will most likely get sick. But it might be worth it to spread some cheer. I went caroling with a group (like, we're all musicians and had a tuning pipe) one year and we definitely got a request to go sing for some guy's birthday. Plus it's fun to get hot cocoa and wander around downtown where all the lights are while being happy and singing Christmas carols. Another (warmer) option is to go to a local senior center and spread your Christmas cheer by singing there.

Make Cookies
For me, this would cost too much money. But for some of y'all, I'm sure you have every cookie ingredient already in your pantry. My family has a neighbor that always passes out cookies this time of year - as a child, we always looked forward to getting her tin. What a cute way to spread some Christmas cheer.

Donate Used Goods to Charity
Many charities are looking for old coats this time of year (which works well with children's coats since they outgrow them so fast). They may also be collecting warm clothing, gently used toys and many other household items. You can also donate to a local non-profit secondhand store to help them raise money for goods. Plus, you get rid of stuff you don't need.

Give Spare Change to Salvation Army
So this costs a little bit, but I'm sure if you search those couch cushions and your glove box, I'm sure you could find something to drop in those red bins. Every little bit helps.

This is more of a way to spread general Christmas cheer - by putting Christmas lights up outside or even just putting a wreath on your door, you are helping to make the season just a little bit more jolly.

Get Rid of Those Old Cans of Food
How on earth did you end up with pickled beets? Canned sweet potatoes? Whatever it is, take some time to pull all the unused (and possibly unusual) cans out of your pantry and give them to someone who could use them. Find a local food bank or food donation center and give them away.

Be Cheery
Smile at people - you'd be surprised how many people (regardless of how grumpy they look) will smile back. Without even saying a word, you just made someone smile! Wishing "Merry Christmas" never hurts either. (Fallacious reasoning, I know. Just go with it.)

Make Christmas Cards
Take some time to make Christmas cards for children at a local hospital, senior centers or soldiers abroad. No matter how simple they may be, you can still bring a smile to someone's face.

Make a Gingerbread House
Okay, so this one costs money too. But, it is so much fun! Back in high school one of the clubs I participated in made gingerbread houses for a local senior home. We had a ton of fun making them, and the seniors just loved having home-made decorations adorn their tables.

Have any more suggestions? Leave me a comment!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Christmas Break Bucket List

The Music of Life: Christmas Break Bucket List

Here's what's on my personal Christmas Break Bucket list. Hopefully it will inspire you to make a list on your own!

1. Read! I have so many books I want to catch up on! Here are some books on my list (although I probably won't get to all of them!)
  • Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott CArd
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libby Bray
  • Sweet By and By by Sarah Evans
  • Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen
  • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
  • Mister Monday by Garth Nix
  • Storyteller by Edward Myers
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  • Every Thing on It by Shel Silverstein
  • No Impact Man by Colin BEavan
  • Sleeping Naked is Green
  • In Between by Jenny Jones
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • The Tortilla Curtain by Boyle
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  • Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce
  • Twilight Graphic Novel 2 by Stephenie Meyer
  • Love Finds You in Hope, Kansas by Pamela, Griffin
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson
  • A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Fisher
  • Body and Soul by Stacey Kade
  • Extra Virginity (I promise, this book is about olive oil)
Okay, so I probably won't be able to read even a small portion of these. But this list is going with me to my local library and I am going to fill my bookbag.

2. Crochet! I have so many projects I want to make, so little time.
The Music of Life: Christmas Break Bucket ListThe Girlfriend Cowl from Crochet Today's November/December 2012 Issue
The Music of Life: Christmas Break Bucket ListThe Country Music Pig from Crochet Today's January/February 2013 Issue

Just for the Girls Throw from Crochet 1-2-3 (No pic, but it's awesome and pink and purple and soft.)

3. Drink hot cocoa I'm obsessed with hot cocoa. I love it. If I one a million dollars, I'd open my own hot cocoa shop. Plus, my family's coming up for Christmas and it'll be fun to watch the snow (if it ever snows here) and drink hot cocoa.

4. Go to a local coffee shop Another thing I want to do with my family, especially my little sister. If you live in the Flagstaff area, there are two fantastic local ones. Macy's has fantastic hot cocoa, and sometimes they have add designs in their whipped cream. Campus Coffee Bean has fantastic everything - I'm currently in love with their chocolate croissaints. (Which I dare say are better than the ones I had in France.)

5. Try new recipes I have so many recipes I want to try and then share with you all, and I might actually have time to make them all. Coming up next are tomato basil soup and apple cranberry pastries.

6. Go skiing I've only done it once, but I looooved it. And since I live so close to Snowbowl, I figure I better take advantage of that!

7. Watch the pinecone drop Flagtaff has a tradition of dropping a giant pinecone downtown for New Year's Eve. (Who needs a giant glittering ball?) I might freeze my buns off, but I have to do it at least once before I graduate.

That's all I've got - what's on your Christmas Break Bucket List?

Friday, December 7, 2012

College-Kid Advent Wreath

I made this adorable Advent wreath a couple years back. I love Advent and I love celebrating it, but as a college kid living in the dorms, I can't use real candles. I also don't have a lot of money - hence this little, practical Advent wreath.

College Kid Advent Wreath from The Music of Life
Materials Needed:
5 electric tea lights
purple, pink, red and green ribbon

1. Cut ribbons so that they can completely surround the candle. You need three lengths of purple, one of pink, and one each of red and green, longer so you can tie a bow.
2. Tape the ribbons on the candles. If you don't like the look of tape you can also try glue, but the tape holds up pretty well and is almost invisible.
3. You're done! Happy Advent!

College Kid Advent Wreath from

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fashion Copy-Cat 2

Here's another fashion copy-cat for you!

The inspiration comes from this pin, pinned from You can find this and lots more on my Fashion Pinterest board.

Fashion Copycat from The Music of Life
Fashion Copycat from The Music of Life
The whole look
Fashion Copycat from The Music of Life
The top
Fashion Copycat from The Music of Life
The bottom
Fashion Copycat from The Music of Life
The adorable shoes

The breakdown:
Earrings: $6 for a pack of six (so $1, basically) from Walmart
Camisole: $6 at A'Gacci
Shirt: I've had it forever - I think it's been in my closet since I was born. So I have no idea.
Jeans: $30 from Kohls (but worth it!)
Shoes: $12 at Payless (plus it was BOGO, so I saved money on either these or another pair of shoes)
Nail polish: $2 on clearance at Ulta
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