Thursday Top Ten: Meals I Make

So in honor of my post about starting to cook recipes from the Betty Crocker cookbook and also having proclaimed myself not exactly the world's greatest chef, I decided to build my self esteem today and list the 10 things I think I make pretty well. Because not everything I make is bad or anything!

10. Mexican Cheese Dip - granted this recipe, like many of mine, was handed down from my mom. But it's basically idiot proof - Mexican Velveeta, Hormel Chili w/o beans, salsa. Mix in crockpot, leave on low heat, you're good to go. Just add taco chips.

9. Chinese Hot Dish - another inherted recipe from mom, I have found this one is actually twice as yummy with ground chicken in place of ground beef. Mix up with cream of something soup (lately I've been choosing Cream of Mushroom), white rice, and noodles and bake it for awhile. Tasty. Nate always takes seconds.

8. Tator Tot Hot Dish - pretty much the same as above, but take out the chinese noodles and add tator tots. Yummy.

7. Marinated pork chops - I found a really easy recipe from Kraft Food and Family that involves marniating your pork in a combo of zesty italian dressing, brown mustard and I think there's something else I'm forgetting. Then you bake them and I tell you, you get the juiciest, yummiest pork chops!

6. One Pan Chicken and potatoes - kind of a long recipe to explain, but it's pretty much chicken, red potatoes and red peppers with some seasoning, all made on the stovetop and all very delicious.

5. Chocolate Chip cookies - maybe not quite as good as my mom's, but I'm pretty good at baking chocolate chip cookies.

4. Pork tenderloin sandwiches - our variation on these is to dip the pork in buttermilk that is seasoned and then into breadcrumbs. Fried up on the stove top and then served on buns, usually with french fries on the side. Healthy meal? Probably not. But tasty!

3. Hash brown hotdish - Yes, I make alot of hotdishes! This one is so simple, I'm sure you've all made it too - hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, ham, maybe some breadcrumbs on top? Bake for awhile. So easy. So yummy.

2. Beef stir fry - I love making this stir fry - it's a recipe I got out of a Taste of Home cookbook, it usually has beef, asparagus and mushrooms, but sometimes we add peapods or broccoli. We serve it over ramen noodles. It's not too difficult, but too many steps to type out here. Just know we love it.

1. Meatloaf - Nate's favorite thing I make is meatloaf. I have two variations - barbequed meatloaf, using barbeque sauce and then italian meatloaf, using spaghetti sauce and we usually serve that one with a little spaghetti on the side. Lately I've changed up and have been using ground chicken much like I have with my chinese hotdish. Sometimes brown beef bothers me, and ground chicken is healthier anyway! And we've found it tastes just as good, if not better than with the beef!

So there you go, I'm not all thumbs in the kitchen!


Betty...and Bethie?

I'm not a very good cook. I can admit it. I love reading recipes and I like the idea of trying them out, but, I also like a meal that can be prepared rather quickly with minimal clean up. But every once and awhile I jump in and try something challenging and new.

Yesterday was one such day. I took out my big red Betty Crocker cookbook and made us beef stroganoff in the crockpot. And it turned out fantastically. It was a little more prep work than alot of my meals, but so worth it in the end.

I started really paging through this cookbook and decided, I need to start trying more of these meals. So in the spirit of the movie "Julie and Julia" (That I have yet to see) I am going to cook my way through the Betty Crocker cookbook - sort of. I don't plan to try every single recipe, especially if it doesn't sound appealing, but I am going to shoot for trying something out of this big book once a week. I may not necessarily blog it here, but I am going to make notes in my book of what I've tried, what we liked or didn't like, if I could make it better with variation. Then someday I can give it to a future grown up child as a neat sort of hand me down gift.

I also think this will teach me to be a better cook which is a good thing too! So we'll see how it goes! I'll try to blog my progress on occasion, but I can't make promises!


New outlook

So maybe there was just something in the water yesterday. As you read, I was complaining about life passing by so fast and feeling overally busy.

Today I woke up refreshed and feeling more blessed by my crazy, hectic life then cursed by it.

Maybe it has to do with the return of the sun.

Maybe it has to do with a few things that gave me some perspective.

At any rate, it's nice to be back to a sunny, cheerful mood. I'll take it!


A blur

Lately life has been sort of passing us in a blur. We've been just so insanely busy. I find myself more and more wishing time would just slow down a little bit. I have been enjoying most of what we've been busy with, don't get me wrong. But I do feel like I need some time to breathe a little.

We just came off of another pretty packed weekend. Friday night we had our Praise Project rehearsal, which I love. I don't think of it as one of those things I "have to do" each week, it's something I look forward to and is a good release for me.

Saturday however was another story all together. We had a wedding on my side for one of my cousins. I was the wedding singer, so we had to arrive early because of that. Then we had the actual wedding and then the reception. Made for a long day for sure. But at the same time it kind of flew by.

Yesterday we had nothing planned, but ended up doing a few things anyway. I had apples from our visit to the apple orchard last week, so I went to my parents house and my mom and I made a pie for Nate. Well ok, it's for me to eat too, but Nate hasn't gotten any pie yet this year, so it was specially made for him. By the time we finished that it was time for me to grocery shop and then after that we grabbed dinner and the day was gone again!

Looking ahead to this week my days are filling up already as well. It's just the nature of the beast sometimes. If I knew how to say "no" a little better, it wouldn't be quite so bad.

I really do sound like I'm just complaining today. I do apologize. It's just one of those Monday things I guess! Can't always be bright and cheery, though I really do try!

Exciting things coming up for this blog in November. I discovered on a friend's blog that November is a special month for blogging, so I'm going to be attempting to post something everyday along with her. We'll see how it goes, I'm excited for the challenge of it anyway!


Thursday Top Ten: Favorite Places to Shop

I am a shopholic. I can admit it. I am not going to lie. I try my best to keep the addiction under control, especially in the stretch of the year we're heading into - November is my birthday month so I do not shop for myself and then of course Christmas comes in December and I certainly shop alot for others, but again, not for myself. So, in the spirit of the fact that I must start watching my habits exceptionally close soon, here are my favorite places to shop that I just might have to avoid for awhile (unless I'm buying someone else a gift.)

10. Lillian's/Fun Sisters - Tie - Both of these are purse shoppes that are only open once a month. The atmosphere at these places is so fun. I enjoy going with my mom. The purses are reasonably priced considering they are "designer inspired". I have also managed to find cute earrings and necklaces at each place too. What I especially love about Lillians is their punch card program - once you spend $200 you get a free purse! What's not to love?

9. American Eagle Outfitters - I really only go here when I can get things on sale. Yes it may be geared towards an audience that is slightly younger than me, but it's not as bad as say, Hollister. I like the hoodies, sweaters, dresses and jeans here. But again, it's spendy, so I try to wait for sales!

8. Aeropostale - Again, maybe this store is getting too young for me, but it's alot of similar items to American Eagle, and I really do like the jeans, hoodies and pajamas. And the prices are very reasonable!

7. Bath and Body Works - I am addicted to things that smell good! I love shower gels, lotions and body sprays in an assortment of scents. I kind of like changing my scent each day. Maybe it's a sickness, I don't know. I'm very excited about the new "Twilight Woods" smell!

6. Kohls - This store is great for the simple fact that it seems they ALWAYS are having a sale. Always. You just can't beat a good sale! Added bonus is I can usually get Nate to find clothes for himself here as well, so it's a good place for us both to go.

5. Old Navy - I have had a love, hate relationship with Old Navy over the years. I attribute this to the fact that they change trends frequently. Right now I am more in the love relationship again. The styles are mostly classic, simple. And again, the sales can't be beat when you can find the deals! I have had some luck in finding clothes for Nate here as well.

4. DSW - Shoes! What more can I say! What woman doesn't love a good pair of shoes? At discounted prices from department stores? Enough said right there!

3. JcPenney - Another great place for both Nate and I. We both manage to find nice clothes for work here and they have great sales throughout the year as well. I just went to the buy one, get one for $.88 sale. That's practically buy one, get one free!

2. Clothes Mentor - This is my newest obsession. It's a consignment style shop selling pretty well name labels for very cheap! And I have managed to find things that were practically brand new. My latest finds - an Ann Taylor skirt for $15, a pair of Ann Taylor pants for $20 and a Coach purse, that's right, I said Coach for $40! Honestly, I don't care if a little cleaning is necessary when you get home, the deals are too good to miss. The stores are clean and do not smell like thrift shops. I highly recommend to any working woman. They have plus sizes and maternity clothes as well. And selling to them is easy too. Why not get some cash for the stuff you don't wear right?

1. Target - who doesn't love Target? One stop shop for everything. Makeup, groceries, shoes, clothes, music, movies, just STUFF. I never go in and come out empty handed. A trip for one thing often turns into a purchase of three things. It's pretty dangerous really. But, there is something to be said for consistency. It's always there, always offering low prices. I love Target.

So there you go! Can you see why I need Shop-o-holics Anonymous??


Holding on to hope

20 years. Two decades. It seems like such a long period of time. But for one family, time has passed but also stood still for the last 20 years.

From what I've seen on the news this week, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the abduction of Jacob Wetterling. 20 years. How is that possible?

As a child/pre-teen growing up in the late 80's/early 90's in Minnesota, I remember much about this story and have lived a good chunk of my life being haunted by the same smiling image of a small town boy who disappeared in the blink of an eye. I was just one month shy of 8 years old when Jacob was kidnapped. And yet I remember it scared my parents to the very core - if this could happen in small town Minnesota, what hope do we have in a first ring suburb? My mom was afraid to even let me walk into religion class at church each week. But who can blame her? This was a very frightening, heart wrenching story.

As I've gotten older, I've found myself in awe of Patty Wetterling. I don't know how I would manage to go on if I was in her shoes, but she has done so much for child safety, she's really made a difference in the world. And she and her husband have never given up hope that Jacob will come home.

How amazing was it when Elizabeth Smart came home or just recently, Jaycee Dugard returning home after 18 years? It can happen and who knows, maybe someday Jacob will too.

The Wetterlings will never give up that hope. And it is an inspiration to me.

Peace to you Jacob, wherever you are.

"Once you choose hope, anything is possible" - Christopher Reeve.


1/2 a year

It has been SIX months. Six months since I quit picking my fingers. 1/2 year sounds almost more impressive.

I don't know how I have managed to come this far. I'm not exactly living a stress free life, although most of it is good stress if that makes any sense! But, I have yet to even try once to going back to my habit.
I am confident that I will make it another six months to one whole year.

My hands are happy and healthy. And really, I feel pretty darn good most of the time.
Here are the most recent pictures I have - it's hard to see, but I tried. On my right hand is my gift to myself a little earlier than originally planned - my right hand ring. I think when I make it to one year the reward will be a little bigger than that!


Jammed packed weekend

We had a pretty busy weekend - to the point that Monday was almost a welcome break today!

A summary -

Praise Project rehearsal, shopping with my mom, Nate and dad worked on electrical stuff in the house, apple orchard, winery, dinner, two Masses on Sunday with Praise Project, Pedal Pub with friends of friends and a birthday celebration for my mother-in-law/Nate's mom.

Sunday was the most packed, we did the two Masses in the morning at St. William's with the Praise Project and then headed to Northeast Minneapolis for the Pedal Pub and finally over to my in-laws for dinner. Crazy. I don't think I really had a chance to breathe on Sunday!

Nate and my dad got some good work done on Saturday with the ongoing electrical work that they need to get done. And I guess the piece they were working on went even better than expected, so that's great!

Next weekend is looking better, but only a little better. We do have a wedding for my cousin so that will take up some time.

And on we go!



Pippin - November 2008

One year ago I was introduced to this tiny, scrawny, almost cartoony looking cat. She was black and white, not unlike the cat I already had. This little cat they called "Tuxedo" was being fostered by some good friends and was in need of a permanent home.

I thought she was adorable - but was resistant to the idea of taking her in at first. Though after I left her that first day I could not stop thinking about her. I kept pulling up pictures of her online that our friends had posted. I thought, can I really do this? Do we really want to be a two cat household? What is Taylor going to think - does she even want a companion? But, Nate talked me into at least having Tuxedo over for a visit and just "see how it goes." He said it didn't have to be permanent if it didn't work out. So on a Friday night in October last year Tuxedo came for a visit. She never left.

Pippin says "hi!"

Now bearing the name "Pippin the Tuxedo Cat" or Pippin or Pip or Monkey-cat (depends on our mood I guess!), we have had her in our home for a year. And I am so glad Nate talked me into bringing her into our life.

Sitting pretty in one of her favorite spots

Sure, it was not love at first site with Taylor and there are days I still think she simply tolerates Pippin, but we worked to get them acclimated to each other and I think most days they keep each other company quite well.

Pippin makes me smile every day. She's not a tiny, scrawny thing anymore. She's actually a very large cat. It's hilarious as she thinks she's little and dainty like Taylor and tries to act in such a way, but really, she's large and clumsy. She loves on us as much as we like to love on her. Her purr could practically rattle the walls. She loves to rub up against us or head butt us as a way of saying "hey you with the free hands - pet me!" She likes to cuddle with Taylor when Taylor will let her. She loves her toys and she triple loves her food.

She still is cartoonish in nature, but that is part of her charm. She recieved the nickname of Monkey-cat because of how she loves to hold on to us when we pick her up.

I can't believe we've had her for a year. Time flies. And yet, it feels like she's always been a part of our lives. I couldn't ask for a better cat (besides my Taylor of course).

"Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur, Happy kitty, sleep kitty, purr, purr, purr" - Taken from the Big Bang Theory


Thursday Top Ten: Halloween Candy

It's cold and damp today, I'm not in the greatest of moods - tired and groggy mostly. But I won't skip my Thursday top ten, I will just do a short and sweet one. And by sweet, I almost mean literally! Here we go, my favorite candy to receive when trick-or-treating as a kid:

10. Snickers (funny, I only liked the fun sized Snickers, I never liked a BIG Snickers when I was a kid)

9. Milky Way (same as the Snickers, only liked the small ones)

8. Fun Sized M&M bags in plain or peanut

7. Hershey's Fun Sized bars

6. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

5. Smarties

4. Dum Dum Lollipops - but only the red flavors like Cherry

3. Twix Caramel

2. Kit Kat's

1. Nestle Crunch

If you can't tell, I loved chocolate alot as a kid. I still like chocolate, but have found I prefer it in smaller doses as an adult - or even would prefer dark over milk chocolate most days now! I can honestly say, a little chocolate sure would be a nice pick me up on a day like today though!


Why I love Wednesdays again

Before I start today's post I just wanted to reference my friend Gina's blog for a few Oktoberfest pictures from the weekend. You can see them here. Thanks for posting them Gina, I'm glad someone got some pictures of the fun!

Now onto our regularly schedule blog post!

As most of my followers know, back in February Nate and I made a tough choice to leave our church. It was very hard and one of the things that I was saddest about was not having choir practice to go to anymore on Wednesday nights. Not only was it a chance to sing and exercise my vocal skills, but there was a fellowship aspect to it, seeing good friends on a weekly basis and all that goes along with that.

The other thing about Wednesdays that used to work great for us was that while I would go to choir, it also happened to also be Nate's night with the "nerd herd" as he calls them - his guy buddies from college who he gets together with and plays nerdy things like Magic cards or Dungeons and Dragons. With both of us gone on Wednesdays, neither had to feel too guilty about leaving the other at home!

When we first left the church, Wednesdays felt a little weird, but Nate wasn't actively hanging with the guys for a bit, so he was home with me and it wasn't so bad. We watched TV alot. I started scheduling meetups with friends so I wouldn't have to think about where I could be at that time. Then we started up with Praise Project, which definitely filled the musical void in my life, but we do that on the weekends, so Wednesdays were still free and clear and at times it started to feel odd.

Towards the summer, Nate started back up with the nerd herd and I was now a "Wednesday Night Widow." For the summer, it wasn't so bad, we never had choir through the summer anyway and again, I scheduled meetups with friends or hung out with my parents to kind of feel less weird. But I found myself not really liking Wednesdays anymore and wondering if Wednesday would ever not feel kind of "weird". As we got closer to Fall and several friends were starting back up with their church choirs, I even found myself a little sad and melancholy on Wednesdays.

Not anymore.

It turns out, Wednesday has suddenly become my favorite day of the week - due to a silly, stupid, guilty pleasure that I've raved about on Facebook for awhile now. You see, Wednesday night is Glee night. Glee, a show on Fox about a high school glee club, is my new favorite show. Nate's watched it with me a couple of times and decided it's not really for him, so now it works out great for me. I watch Glee while he's out having male bonding time. I am happy, he is happy. And let me tell you, Glee makes me super happy. But, it's so stupid! The storylines are SO unrealistic, but I think in a way that's what makes the show work. It's like they know it's kind of a farce so they're poking fun at themselves. I like the music in the show and I think the kids who are on it are actually quite talented.

So I love Wednesdays again. It might be for completely different reasons than in the past, but it works for me. It's nice to unwind and relax at home on my own, get completely sucked into my show and just sort of let everything else go for a bit. I find I'm able to tackle the last two days of the week much easier than in the past as well!

So it may sound cliche or nerdy but Glee fills me with glee! Ok, I know, too much.

Any secret guilty pleasures or not so secret guilty pleasures anyone else wants to share? Happy Wednesday!


Best Weekend Ever!

Ok, well maybe not the BEST weekend ever, but a pretty darn good one anyway!

Friday night we did our usual music practice for Praise Project and also watched the Twins get crushed by the Yankees.

Saturday we got up, I met my parents for coffee while Nate worked on making the basement a little more acceptable for company. Then, my mom and I went to the grand opening of the Roseville Clothes Mentor. If you've never been to a Clothes Mentor it's a very neat consignment type shop, they sell gently used brand name clothing and I have gotten some amazing deals on clothes for work there. Last spring at the Maple Grove store I actually found two pairs of capris with original tags still on them! Anyway, we found a pair of pants and a skirt for fall and winter, but the more exciting thing is - I am now the proud owner of my very own Coach purse. That's right, it's real and I don't care that it's slightly used, it's in great shape and I got it for $40! What a steal! It's a great everyday kind of purse - black leather, adjustable strap. I'll stop going on and on, but as most of my readers know, I love purses and this was a deal too good to pass up!

After that I headed home to help Nate with cleaning and picking up around the house to prepare for the evening's Oktoberfest activities. We were not happy that it was cold and had snowed outside, but were ready to make the most of it. We still set up for the bonfire just in case.

Evening fell and our friends arrived ready to sample our newest homebrews. We had some German type food - brats and sauerkraut and my awesome sister-in-law brought homemade pretzels! We also enjoyed some homemade ice cream from great friends in fall type flavors - cinnamon and maple pecan. Yum, yum, YUM.

A great time was had by all and we never did get outside to start that fire. But we were warm and cozy inside with wonderful friends and I'd call the event a success.

Sunday morning we slept late as Saturday night ended up as a rather late one. We got up and decided instead of making breakfast at home like we often do on Sundays that we would go out for breakfast for a change. At a suggestion from one of Nate's co-workers, we headed to the Egg and I in St. Paul. Had a nice breakfast there and then laid low most of the rest of Sunday!

So, it was a pretty awesome weekend I must say! Hope you all had good weekends too, in spite of the snow!



Well they are predicting snow showers tomorrow. Which seems odd to me, I don't remember getting snow this early before, but I think it's because the last few Falls have been unseasonably warm. I mean yes, I was alive for the famouse Halloween blizzard of 91, but that's three weeks from now, not October 10th!

Oh well, we are having our annual Oktoberfest no matter what, snow or no snow! It'll be nice to still set up a bonfire, but if we can't, we'll be nice and cozy in our house!

In other important things to note - tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the day that changed our lives for the better. A year ago tomorrow Nate was offered his job and the world started turning for us again. I'm so proud of him for all he has accomplished in this last year and continue to be thankful this opportunity came up for him!

Stay warm this weekend everyone!


Thursday Top Ten: Blessings

So I'm just in a very gratitude filled, happy place today. It's my favorite season, it's beautiful outside even if a little cold and the leaves are gorgeous! So in the spirit of that, I started reflecting on the many wonderful things I'm thankful for in my life and decided today's top ten will be my top ten blessings in my life.

10. Fall! Bonfires, apple pie, cool weather, cuddling, sweatshirts, need I say more???

9. Internet technology and social networking. Yes it's true, I am an addict. But I have been able to connect and re-connect with so many people via Facebook that I am rather thankful for it.

8. Having a job to come to each day. I think that says it all in one statement. And I'm excited about some potential changes for me at work too. Mostly, just thankful I have a job and Nate has a job and we have a double income.

7. Coffee. I am even a little bit of a below average coffee drinker I think, but I do need my cup each day and I am thankful to have the ability to make and enjoy coffee. And having a Caribou close to home does not hurt either!

6. Beer. Ok, so it's silly, but hey, having a husband who brews beer is fun, it's really been an interesting adventure over the last year or so of making our own beer, sampling different beer and just all around enjoying beer. No we're not out to get smashed all of the time, we just like to enjoy a good brew.

5. Music. From being able to make music in Praise Project to listening to the unique variety of music stations like the Current offer, I just love music. I love to sing, I love to listen to music. Music=life for me.

4. Our cats. Yes they do not always love each other and can definitely make life just as challenging as raising a child, but they are cuddly, warm little beasts who love us unconditionally and they make our house a home.

3. Friends. I have some of the world's greatest friends and really, such a wide variety of friends. I have friends I've known since kindergarten, 3rd grade, middle school, high school and college in my life. Nate and I have work friends and we have our Praise Project friends. Many different ages and backgrounds, but all unique and wonderful. I cannot say enough about how lucky we are to have all these amazing people in our lives!

2. Family. I am so fortunate to be able to be close to and have a unique relationship with my parents. I am also thankful that my in-laws are such great people who have always welcomed me with open arms. Neither Nate or myself would be here without our families and we love them very much!

1. Nate. I'm sure you're all shocked that Nate is number one (and yes I'm being sarcastic). But seriously he is my everything, the best thing in my life. I couldn't imagine my life not being married to him and I won't even try. I am the person I am because of him and I could not love someone more.

There you go. Have you counted your blessings/things you are thankful for today?


Just a few random thoughts

I'm coming up blank in my blogging lately, it's not that we haven't had things going on, in fact, I was joking today that my life will probably not slow down until I'm like 64 or something. But anyway, I just don't have much new "news" to share or anything, so instead, just a few random musings for today.

So I swear there is a black hole I enter into whenever I get in the shower. I seriously feel like I'm in there for barely five minutes, yet I get out and 15 have gone by. It's really only been an issue since it's been colder in the mornings - it just feels too good to want to get out! But then I end up running behind in my morning. I haven't been late to work yet at least.

It's an exciting week to live in Minnesota - first the Vikings, then the Twins and the Wild. Pretty awesome I must say and I'm not even a huge sports buff. I'm most excited about the Twins I have to say. I like baseball alot at this time of year.

We have our Oktoberfest this weekend to give our friends another opportunity to sample Nate's beer. This is the debut of our kegged beer. It's pretty exciting. I am hearing rumors of cold and potential snow for this weekend but you know what, I'm just going to pretend that's not true.

After this weekend I think things calm down a bit for us again. We'll have some Praise Project gigs at a couple of churches and my cousin gets married in a couple of weeks but that's about it. I'm kind of glad, we have yet to go to the apple orchard, I like to visit a couple of wineries around this time of year if we're able, things like that. So I hope to achieve those things soon!

Nate and I are potentially planning a little getaway for our birthday. Probably just a weekend visit to Duluth, where we hope to do some beer sampling at the breweries up there and just get away together. We've been wanting to do this for a couple of years now, so we decided maybe this should be our shared birthday present this year. We'll see how things go!

Our house continues to be in a phase of evolution I swear. We've now moved our fish tank to the basement, moved the old bar out to the garage and moved around some other small pieces of furniture. We're hoping to sell the bar - in fact we have several items we'd like to sell, I may be posting here about a "online" garage sale before we do Craigslist or Ebay. So stay tuned for that.

That's it for today. The sun is shining and that makes me happy. Make it a great day!


I wanted to see pretty colors

So I had an opportunity to go up for a very brief visit to the North Shore. It ended up rainy and cold, which was unfortunate, but the biggest disappointment was the fall colors. I thought they would be more vibrant up there, but nope. The whole state is suffering it seems from the lack of rain in the summer. At any rate, I found one very lovely, pretty tree, so here is all I can share of pretty colors. Maybe we'll still get some good color down here in the cities yet this year!


Thursday Top Ten: Halloween Costumes

In honor of it being October as of today (really? October 1st already? Where is the time going!! Fall slow down!) I am bringing you my top ten favorite Halloween costumes I've ever had. I figure, I'm 27 years old and have dressed up almost all 27 of those years, I have to have ten favorites right? I only wish I had pictures available that I could put online. I do not own a scanner, but my parents do. Hmm, stay tuned, maybe pictures will show up here later. Anyway, here we go!

10. Fairy - I have been a fairy twice in my life, once at my mom's doing when I was just under two years old and again as a 24 year old just married person! Both times, my mom made the skirt though in all due fairness. :) I actually chose a fairy right after we got married so I could wear my pretty sparkly headband from the wedding one more time! I did have pictures on my computer once upon a time and well, somehow I lost them! But it was a cute costume complete with fairy wand. As a two year old I looked like a pixie. It was freaking adorable.

9. Scarecrow - my mom and grandma worked hard on this costume and it really did turn out cute. I was a 2nd grader the year I wore this one. What I remember most is losing my hat somewhere throughout the night but my dad went and found it for me. Cause you know, dad's are awesome like that.

8. Bunny - I have been a bunny more times than I can count. I'm not kidding. I was just under a year old for my first Halloween and my mom gave me bunny ears and a little nose - too cute. I chose to be a pink bunny when I was four and five - same costume fit both years so why not? In pictures it's hilarious though, there are some taken indoors and I'm just this skinny little thing, but then you can tell it must have been cold that year because the outdoor pictures I'm all bulked up with a coat underneath. It's almost like bunny before fattening up for winter and then after!

7. Bunny with magician - Ok I separated this one, this was another time I was a bunny, but this time it went with something. The first year Nate and I were a couple we dressed up as a magician and his rabbit. I did this one very simply - white sweatshirt, white ears and tail. We had a harder time with Nate's costume - in fact, I don't think we ever did find a top hat! Still, it was fun to do something as a couple for the first time.

6. Raggedy Ann - I loved Raggedy Ann and Andy growing up, my grandma had the dolls and I just loved them. So I asked to be Raggedy Ann when I was a third grader. Mom and grandma again made my dress and apron. I believe I also had kickers. We found a red yarn wig and then my mom gave me rosy little cheeks and I was good to go. And it was cute. Added bonus, later that same year when I sang in our church show "The Wells Fargo Wagon" from the Music Man, my mom simply lengthened the dress a bit so it looked like it fit the time period so I got more use out of it!

5. Joker - I still dressed up in middle school, they had costume contests I remember, the best out of homeroom went to the cafeteria and then judged and picked from there. My joker costume was pretty good I thought, my mom found a good pattern and the best part was the hat. It included real live bells and everything. My mom also did my makeup and it was pretty cute as well. I was chosen from my homeroom for the contest, but I didn't win once I got to the cafeteria.

4. Butterfly - I was obsessed with all things butterfly my senior year of high school. I really do not know why. So I decided to be a butterfly for Halloween. It was not too hard to do, my mom helped me fashion some wings out of some old material and we sewed it to a black shirt in a way that when I opened my arms it looked like I was spreading my wings. I found a headband with antenna and was more or less good to go. Nate and I did not coordinate outfits that year - he was Dr. Evil from Austin Powers. It would've been funny for him to be like the cocoon or something though!

3. Luigi - I loved everything about this costume from just last year. Why? Because it was the easiest darn costume ever! And it was Nate's idea! He was Mario, I was Luigi from Super Mario Brothers the Nintendo game. There are pictures on this blog here. It was so simple - I already had overalls from other costume needs in the past. I had a green t-shirt. Nate made our hats. Ali gave me a mustache and we were good to go! We got alot of compliments too! It was fun. Although I still think I should've been Mario because Mario is shorter than Luigi. But still, I loved it!

2. Minnie Mouse - This is my favorite costume from my childhood. It turned out so well, my mom and cousin Cathy made this one. I had the perfect red and white polka dot dress, little yellow shoes and the headpiece was awesome. I really wish I could share a picture, it was an outstanding costume. I loved every minute of wearing it and used to play dress up with the dress until I was too big for it to fit anymore!

1. Rainbow Brite - This was my costume in 2007 and really it is the only one I put together all by myself, so I feel like I have bragging rights and that is why it goes at number one. And lookie here, I just happen to have a picture of this one! I'm just really proud of how it turned out. I took my anniversary edition Rainbow Brite doll and tried my best to match everything. I shopped thrift stores and party supply stores and pretty much put it all together without breaking the bank. And come on, you always wondered how I'd look as a blonde with long hair right?

So there you go! My 10 favorite Halloween costumes of all time! I don't know if I'll be dressing up this year or not, we'll see how things go. For now, the walk down memory lane was fun!

What are some of your favorite Halloween costumes from the past?