30 September 2010

Halloween 2010: Historical Accuracy

Guys, I'm gonna be honest with you.

I LOVE costumes.

Halloween ranks up there with my favorite days in the whole year, because when else do you get to dress up and look completely awesome? Can't think of a day? That's because Halloween is the only day. So before delving into my costume for this year (which you should remember is a secret) I wanted to fill you in on past costumes and how they came to be.

When I realized that I could throw a Halloween party as a freshman, I jumped on the chance and sent out invitations to my friends, with only one requirement: you must wear a costume! I had quite the plan up my sleeve for my own costume. Though I had been growing my hair out since the beginning of the year, I wanted to be a very authentic Edie Sedgwick (sans drug addictions and eating disorders).

I came home the night before the party, had dinner with my two best friends (long hair still intact) and then the next morning -- chop chop! I lost my locks all in the name of Sedgwick. Fun, right? (I should be honest and tell you I had been considering the hairstyle for a while, and it lined up well with Halloween.)

Last year, I day-dreamed about Amy Adams' sleek look in Night at the Museum II, and then decided to dive head-first into Amelia Earhart research. I picked out a great jacket, borrowed a hanky from a friend, wore very little makeup (big change from the year before!) and voila!

The movie starring Hilary Swank came out a few weeks before, but I still haven't seen it! This was a nice costume as well, because people recognized me a little quicker than they did when I was Edie. The airfield in my hometown actually has a very similar plane to what she flew, but I never got to get my picture with it. Next time!

So now that you know what I was in past years, here's a few tips on how to have a great costume without emptying your (probably already meager) wallet:

Don't buy new/full price: My Edie dress was $9 dollars at Ross. It was a great deal for a dress that I figured I would wear once, but I've worn it several times since then, so it's an even better deal! For Amelia, I already owned the pants, shoes, shirt and borrowed the hanky. The jacket came from Marshall's!

Do your makeup/hair: Though you may think that your costume will look fine with your everyday 'do, makeup and hair are in many cases the "make or break" factor in a good costume. Edie, for example, would have been a flop if I had long hair. For Amelia, I could have done a little more, but I wasn't cutting my hair off again!

Be creative: This probably seems a little obvious, but it's important, and applies to all facets of a good Halloween costume. If you search for a clever costume, you are far less likely to see someone else dressed like you, and if you put a lot of effort into yours, even if you do see a twin, you'll probably look better! Don't think that because you don't want to spend a lot that you have to have a lame costume.

Brainstorming? I hope so.

Did you have an awesome (or maybe not so awesome..) costume? Comment or leave a link, I'd love to see it!

27 September 2010

Me and God

Today, I went to my chapter of Intervarsity's bi-daily prayer meetings for the first time. I chose the time that was best for me, since I'll go back every week, and I brought my bible and my journal along with me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect (other than duh, praying) so I showed up and sat down. After explaining what it was all about, and what we would be doing structure-wise, we prayed.

We prayed for a full half hour -- about God's glory and goodness, about friends that we want to be impacted by God, and finally about anything else that came to mind.

And you know what? It was great.

Though I've tried different ways to get myself to pray more often, being forgetful as I am makes it hard. If I try to pray before I go to bed, I just fall asleep, and I want my prayers to be sincere, not just routine.

That was the difference at the prayer meeting. As we prayed about God's mercy and creativity, I was struck by an interesting thought. I was in this place for one half hour, and all I had to do was pray. I didn't need to pray quickly so I could fall asleep, or pray before I did my reading so I could hurry up and get to class. I just got to pray, without limitations or worries distracting me. I was there to pray, and that was it. No agenda, just me and God.

If you can get to one of these bi-daily prayer meetings, I would highly, highly recommend it. Don't have them set up at your school, chapter or church? Start a trend, guys. It's really worth it.

Is prayer sometimes difficult for you, too?
(P.S. Have you heard that Josh Turner song about Me and God?)

26 September 2010

Photo of the Week: First Rain

Here's the first real thunderstorm up here at school. But doesn't it look luscious still? I took this looking out my dorm room's door. :)

How is the weather where you are? It's starting to get pretty chilly at night here. Scarf season!

25 September 2010

Obsession: Dainty Rings

While I'm well aware that I may be the last person to jump on this band wagon, I just thought you all should know I'm obsessed with delicate jewelry, and especially rings.

"But, where would I find rings like that, Stephanie?" You may in fact be asking. Fear not! I have corralled some beautiful rings for you to enjoy (and maybe buy, the prices aren't bad either!)

For the kind of girl whose favorite outfit is jeans, a cute top and a favorite pair of shoes, this most simple band from favorJewelry is perfect:

For the girly-girl (the kind who loves headbands and matches her shoes to her belt?) this set of three with an itty-bitty heart from etsy seller GoldenSilver is ideal: (that set might be on my personal wishlist...)

Oh, you like the heart? Well you can also snag a more delicate heart, your initial or any combination of letters you like on these rings from catbird. They have some gorgeous stuff.

Does it make you a glam-hippie if you are in love with these reclaimed gold rings from beyondtherockz? Is that a bad thing?

I couldn't resist people. I just love rings -- something I inherited from my Grandma. She had good taste. Anything pretty caught your eye lately? Tell me so I can drool in my (internet) window shopping!
(all images copyright to the owners, linked above each image here! i ain't no thief!)

21 September 2010

Learning: Funk

Have you ever had one of those days? The kind when nothing really goes wrong but you just feel like you are in a funk? That's the kind of day I'm having.

It was a good day -- beautiful weather, my hair came out right, work was easy and I organized some of my school stuff -- but I'm just feeling a little off! I am reading a new (non-fiction) book and someone died in the first 10 pages...

I know a lot of people have a method of knocking themselves out of it when they are in a weird mood, but I'm not sure what my method would be. It makes for a lot of creativity, I'll tell you that much! I'm doing a lot of pre-blogging research. Gotta be ready for Halloween, you know.

So I guess I'm here to ask you all: How do you get de-funked?
Teach me your ways, oh non-funky ones!

19 September 2010

Halloween 2010: Nosh

Who doesn't want to talk about food, right?
While I don't plan out an entire meal for my annual Halloween party, I certainly want to provide a spread of snacks and drinks for the party. However, until this year, it seems I haven't made anything especially tasty or fun! I know, how uncharacteristic of me.
(This gravestone cake comes from Martha Stewart's website. I feel bad that I have so many links to her website, but she just has a lot of great Halloween ideas!)

So as there are no desserts, snacks or drinks to reminisce on, instead, let's forge ahead with some really fun ideas that I'm looking into. Plus, I'll categorize to make it easy to navigate because I love lists.

Cupcakes: As you might have noticed, I love cupcakes. Not only are they simpler to deal with than a cake, they are just adorable most of the time. While my "Hello, Cupcake!" book has a few ideas, here's a few that I have seen on the interwebs. For the zombies who make it to your party and refrain from eating their fellow guests, serve some Brain Cupcakes by Martha.

Decorative Treats: Now, though that sounds like a weird category, there are some things that are kind of cookies, kind of not. They would be things like these meringue bones or the tuile ghosts and bats. They are tasty, but they are also great to place in or around other desserts or snacks.

Drinks: Since I'm 21, I could potentially serve alcoholic drinks, but since all my friends are underage and I know nothing about alcohol, we'll stick to spooky drinks of the non-intoxicating type. Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time finding any neat-o drinks, only a recommendation from a friend to ice some punch with eerie ice cubes (more on that later). Any ideas?

So that's all I've got for now, and I'll come back with more details and ideas as I start to test out a few of these recipes. Any nifty Halloween foods you really love? Or maybe you just like your trick-or-treat booty?

15 September 2010

"You're doing it Peter!"

For your enjoyment (and possible Halloween-y inspiration):

Doesn't it just get you feelin' nostalgic? Oh, Robin Williams...
Love this movie? Have another feel-good favorite? Share it below!

12 September 2010

Halloween 2010

Though I love Thankgiving, Christmas and Easter as much as anyone else, I never ever have as much fun on those days as I do on Halloween. Halloween is tied with Thanksgiving for the infamous "Favorite Holiday" spot -- and that's only because no one has served me turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes on Halloween yet!

For the past two years, I've thrown a pretty casual Halloween party at my house, with the only condition to the invitees being that they must wear a costume (and have fun!). My costume is always a secret; the first year I chopped my hair into pixie cut the day of the party and went as Edie Sedgewick, last year I was Amelia Earhart with a (p)leather jacket and penny loafers. This year... well, you'll just have to find out!

In any case, with only 49 days left until the holiday arrives, it's time to kick costuming and party plans into high gear!

While I get to work on brain cupcakes, spooky lanterns and a sweet get-up, I'll also post inspirational costumes from the web, photos of my past costume successes, recipes and DIY ideas for you try. Here's one to whet your appetite:

This, my friends, is a disco ball costume, by user atozfriendly on Instructables (this photo is property of atozfriendly, and it's awesome.)

Excited yet? I am. So fill me in on any cool costumes or H-ween things you've done before, and let me know if there is anything you wanna see!

P.S.: Have you ever thought about the word brainstorm as a noun? Weird, eh?

09 September 2010


On Monday of this week, my parents had to put to sleep one of our beloved family dogs.
Bitsi lived a long and happy life.


05 September 2010

Another Chance

Like many a fellow girl (and a few guys I know) I love a good romantic comedy. And though most of the time, the only thing gleaned from them is a few funny lines or scenes-worth-swooning for, seeing the end of one of my favorites make me think a little harder.

You've probably seen 50 First Dates a time or two. I absolutely adore Drew Barrymore, despite her occasional visits to crazytown, so it's no surprise that I'm a fan of the movie.

If you haven't seen it, let me just fill you in on the details that are important to this here blog post. If you haven't seen it, you might want to watch it before reading -- I don't want to ruin it for you! In any case, the necessary detail here is that Barrymore's character, Lucy, has a type of amnesia in which her memory is "wiped clean" every night. She wakes up each morning thinking that it is the same day that her amnesia-causing-accident occurred on. Here's a video of the scene I'm rather fond of tonight:

Every morning she wakes up, she gets to experience everything as if it were brand new to her, because in her mind, it is! She feels genuinely blessed, and really, I feel like it's an easy extension to say that we could all try to live like that -- to be in awe of the world around us, and to love the people around as if they are brand new, perfect and beautiful. It's cheesy, but really, the world and the people around us are pretty darn fantastic. Be grateful!

What did you get from this scene? Or the whole movie, if you've seen it? Have a favorite movie to contribute here?

02 September 2010

100 in 2010: Progress Three!

Here we are again with a check-in on the list! I feel like I'm starting to run out of time -- it's almost September already and I've got a lot more left to do on my list! In any case, here's what I've accomplished since my last progress report!

I can now check #3 off my list, the amiable "bake a layer cake"! Though my layer cake was quite small, it was a true layer cake and tasted wonderful! Here's a photo as proof:

The especially fun #29 is done. After going to Intervarsity's Chapter Camp at the beginning of the summer, I can happily say I have quite a few new friends to my name, and some really great ones to boot! This one seemed a little frivolous, but it's easy to only hang out with a few friends and never talk to other people and I wanted to be sure I didn't do that. Done!

I think I can say that #34 is finished as well, in our outreach to the campus, I was just getting out there and talking to people: asking them if they needed or wanted our help moving in, and talking to them about God. It was a really cool experience!

Jordan L and I kicked off our 21st year with a bang, fulfilling #52 with a Masquerade Party! Though it was in some ways a birthday party, I'll count it as a theme-for-no-reason party, since it was between our two birthdays. Here's a bit of our decor!

Incidentally, I have knocked out #62 while helping freshman move in last week! Asking random families and students if they wanted my help moving their student into their first dorm room would definitely fill the "help a stranger" box. Not to mention being a ton of fun!

Not too bad right? I've still got a lot to do, but it feels good to check a few off. Any goals fulfilled in your neck of the woods?

Catch up here:
Progress One and Two

(P.S. Boop... This post is coming to you robotically! Since it's the first week of school, I wrote a couple posts early, so that just in case I was too busy, you would still have something to read! ...Beep.)