Friday, June 29, 2012

Polyvore and Pinterest Pet Peeves

Friends.  I have a small pet peeve.  I am constantly seeing Pins on Pinterest or posts on blogs that showcase cute outfits.  It is semi-disheartening and mildly annoying when I discover that these cutie pie outfits are overly expensive. Two HUNDRED and FIFTY EIGHT dollars?!  Are you kidding me?


I guess I should probably point out  that MY definition of "expensive" encompasses quite a bit more than the average Joe...or should I say Jane?  Anything over, like 20 or 30 bucks is a big deal to me, folks.  I don't think I've ever actually bought something from J.Crew or Banana Republic OR anything "designer".  I practically grew up in Wal-Mart, so Target it my idea of fancy.

Let me preface all of this by saying that I don't want to portray that having cute clothes is crazy essential.  Because it's not.  There are plenty of other (and much better) ways to allocate your money.  Let's be good stewards of what God has given us, friends.

Otteny Dress - $258 :: Ivanka Trump Wedges - $130 :: Salvatore Bag - $1316 :: Stella & Dot Earrings - $54


Untitled #67

However, with all of that said, I know that there are plenty of ladies who might be interested in ways to cheat the system a bit.  Cute clothes for less.  WAY less.  Like, the dirt-cheap-kind of less.  NOW is anyone with me?  Yes?  Hooray!  Here we go...

The outfit I posted above is over $1800.  

...I think I just fainted...

Here's my version!



Take that, Polyvore and Pinterest!!

I hate the way I feel in heels (or wedges for that matter) so I would probably just throw on some cute sandals instead.  And I would probably skip the tote.  Newsflash: Purses do not have to match your outfit.  At least in my world, they don't.  I buy one cheap purse in some sort of neutral color and use it for every.single.outfit.  :)

Happy Friday, friends!  Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  It closes at the end of the day!!  Click HERE to enter.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Castaway Flight


Yet ANOTHER trip to Castaway.  This time it was shorter.  Like, WAY shorter.


My chauffeurs.  AKA: Mom and Dad.


Castaway from the air.  Have a great last week, friends!



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JOB1


Here's the "personal" version of our ladies' bible study on Job 1 (minus large and small group discussion).  Use the outline and questions below to engage the Lord and the scripture on your own time.  

JOB1

BEFORE you read the scripture...
Prepare your heart to hear from God. Try listening to the video/song below. As you listen, prayerfully breathe OUT all the crap and baggage you are holding on to. Breath IN God and His Spirit. Focus on the lyrics, pray the lyrics. Relax, "dial" or "tune" in. Seek God and PRAY that He’d speak to you as you read today!  


Ask God to speak to you today as you read.  Consider using this scripture to pray for understanding:  Ephesians 3  - I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  God, give me the power to know Your love, to understand the fullness of what You have for me in Your Word today!

READ the scripture...

Find Job 1 in your Bible or favorite bible translation.  As you read, journal or take notes and prayerfully ask the Lord these questions.  (If you like ambient music to listen to AS you read, try this playlist: Ambient Bible Study 6.26.12)
  1. God, what part of this scripture are you highlighting for me today?
  2. What do you want to say to me through this? In regard to my life? In regard to who You are or what You're doing?
  3. Now that You have spoke, how do you want this to change the way I live? How can I apply this to my life, God?
  4. Write down any questions that you have in regard to scripture.
MOVING FORWARD QUESTIONS & IDEAS...
    • Read through this passage for a week, at least once per day.  Continue to journal your thoughts, your prayers, your questions, etc.
    • Are you comfortable and/or acquainted with the kind of God who allows suffering?  How do you reconcile suffering and pain in the world when it comes to your theology or beliefs about God?  Consider studying the topic of God & Suffering more!
    • Think about a time that you were at your lowest, your most broken, like Job...  How did it feel?  Were you able to worship in spite of it all?  Why or why not?
    • How was God faithful in a season of struggle or suffering in your own life?  Journal your thoughts or share your experiences with a friend.

MORE RESOURCES...
This Pinterest board is a compilation of fun things (art, prints, music, translations, commentaries, quotes, prayers, etc.) relating to Job 1.  Click HERE or on the Pinterest picture to snoop around.

If you are in the Sioux Falls area, available on Tuesday nights, and wanting to JOIN us at bible study, please leave a comment below with your email address.  I'll be in touch!
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Everyday Deals from Target - Under $15!

I don't know about you, but I do not have a million dollars to spend on cute clothes.  Almost every piece of my wardrobe was $20 or less.  Heck, most things were like $10 or less, now that I think about it.  You CAN look cute without breaking the bank, folks.  

Here are some everyday steals from one of my favorite stores - TARGET!  Hurry, though...  They are on clearance and they go fast!
Womens Mossimo Supply Co. Ona Ballet Flats - Taupe Patent.Opens in a new window

Bueno light bronze handbag.Opens in a new window

Mossimo Supply Co. Straw Fedora - Pink.Opens in a new window
Straw Fedora for $6.48.  I don't love the pink ribbon, though.  I think I'd rip it off and hot glue a brown one on!

Pure Energy Juniors  Plus-Size 3/4-Sleeve V-Neck Fashion Top - Ebony/Teal/Gold.Opens in a new window
And for the plus size ladies, this Tunic-y top is $12.48.  HEART!

In other news, don't forget to enter my giveaway!  Click HERE or scroll down...
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Girls' Weekend!

A great girls' weekend = Starbucks ice cream, fancy DIY pedicures, a good bottle of wine, fresh veggies, a few tan lines, a great Redbox movie or two, good conversation, comfortable moments of silence, and the company of two of your besties.


This summer, I dare you to set aside one (or two!) WHOLE days for you and your most favorite friends to hang out.  Add a couple small "splurges" and enjoy every second.
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Friday, June 22, 2012

A "Delightful" Giveaway!!


I found these beauties a few days ago.  Aren't they cute?  They're fabric covered button earrings, and yes, they are delightful.  Check out One Delightful Button's website and shop HERE.

Want to know something even MORE delightful?  I'm giving them away! Two ways to enter and "up" your chances to win!

1. "Like" the ELLE JAY Facebook page 


2. Subscribe to this blog via email or "Join This Site" (check out my right sidebar).

**You MUST leave a comment below telling me that you subscribed/liked/joined!!**

I'll announce the winner Friday of next week!


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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

JOHN 15

Here's the "personal" version of our ladies' bible study on John 15 (minus large and small group discussion).  Use the outline and questions below to engage the Lord and the scripture on your own time.  

JOHN15

BEFORE you read the scripture...
Prepare your heart to hear from God. Try listening to the video/song below. As you listen, prayerfully breathe OUT all the crap and baggage you are holding on to. Breath IN God and His Spirit. Focus on the lyrics, pray the lyrics. Relax, "dial" or "tune" in. Seek God and PRAY that He’d speak to you as you read today!  

The Vine (Click here to listen to the song!)

Ask God to speak to you today as you read.  Consider using this scripture to pray for understanding:  (from last week!) James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  God, give me wisdom!  Help me understand Your Word today!  Speak to me!

READ the scripture...

Find John 15 in your Bible or favorite bible translation.  As you read, journal or take notes and prayerfully ask the Lord these questions.  (If you like ambient music to listen to AS you read, try this playlist: John 15 Ambient Playlist)
  1. God, what part of this scripture are you highlighting for me today?
  2. What do you want to say to me through this? In regard to my life? In regard to who You are or what You're doing?
  3. Now that You have spoke, how do you want this to change the way I live? How can I apply this to my life, God?
  4. Write down any questions that you have in regard to scripture.
MOVING FORWARD QUESTIONS & IDEAS...

  • Read through the passage for a week, at least once per day. Continue to journal your thoughts, your prayers, your questions, etc.
  • Think about what it means to "remain in Him". What does that look like in your everyday life? Take an inventory of your life in regard to remaining in Him and bearing good fruit.
  • Do you think the world hates you? Why or why not?
MORE RESOURCES...
This Pinterest board is a compilation of fun things (art, prints, music, translations, commentaries, quotes, prayers, etc.) relating to John 15.  Click HERE or on the Pinterest picture to snoop around.
If you are in the Sioux Falls area, available on Tuesday nights, and wanting to JOIN us at bible study, please leave a comment below with your email address.  I'll be in touch!
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Everyday Joy

There are several sweet-looking pins and art prints out there that remind us to "choose joy".  That is all well and good, but for a lady like me, joy is much more than a choice.  It is a fight.  Most days, I have to fight and go to war for joy, but more on that another time...

Today.  Today was a little bit easier.

It was a rainy day at Castaway today.  Rain.  Constantly.  All day.  Even as I write this, there's a little pitter-patter on the window sill next to me.  It's soothing and refreshing.  God's way of calming us down and giving everything a good, long drink.


It was a perfect, quiet, dreary day to get a lot of things done.  And, a perfect day to take advantage of the little coffee shop that is less than ten steps away from our little room.  I didn't even have to go outside to reach it.  Today, Rice Krispy Mochas are something to take some joy in.

True, Tuesday was seemingly uneventful, but there were certainly little bits and pieces of joy scattered throughout the day.  The Lord is so good  - kind of like a salt shaker! - seasoning every day with blessings and good things.  Sometimes we just miss them.

Did you have any "everyday" sorts of joyful moments?


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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day


My dad is the greatest.  He is an airplane mechanic and pilot and runs an airport in Iowa.  He is a pro at fixing anything with an engine - even things most people have given up on.  He has made sleds out of car doors, resurrected countless ATVs and snowmobiles and jet skis from the junk yard, and built an airplane in our garage.  He used to be a musician in a bar - complete with long hair, hippy clothes and a guitar - and now he leads worship in my parent's church and helps at the sound board.

Like me, dad doesn't usually have a lot to say in large group settings, but if you can get him one-on-one, and if you ask him a few questions, he will surprise you with long conversations about life, history, politics, music, and memories.  Once you get to know him, you realize he's very attentive, notices the details, and is a great listener.

Dad, also affectionately known as "Dood", is the one of the most selfless people I know.  He's always been behind the scenes fixing, working, cleaning, and busting his behind day in and day out - all to set my sisters and I and my mom up for success.  He's always been available and involved in my life.  Of everyone in my family, dad and I are the most alike personality-wise, so I think he is especially neat.  But yes, I know, I am fairly biased.

Happy Father's Day, Dood!  In the words of Shane Lee, you are 'just awesome'.

Rock the block.
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Simple, Everyday Prayer

Last night, the students at Young Life Camp were invited to accept Jesus as their Savior, and then they were given about 20 minutes of alone time to talk to God.  During that time, a bunch of us, including the camp volunteers and leaders, gathered in a room to pray for every camper by name - we're talking like 200+ names, folks.  ...that's a lot of names to cram into a short 20 minutes.

In the 20-30 minutes we spent praying together, I only had the time and space to pray "Jesus, save so-and-so," then quickly move on to the next camper, "Jesus, save so-and-so!"  On and on the names went... 

There was a part of me that felt guilty for such a simple prayer.  A four word prayer?  Heck, two of those words were kids' first and last names.  To make matters a little worse, I felt badly about not having much emotion in my sleepy state to put behind my prayers.  My "Jesus, save so-and-so" prayers felt empty and a little bland.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. -from Matthew 6
Oh my goodness!  I am crazy thankful that His work doesn't depend on me having articulate, passion-filled, and elaborate prayers.

Don't have energy to pray something impressive?  Maybe you don't even feel like you know how to pray for something.  Big deal.  Pray anyway.  Heck, if it means repeating, "Jesus, save her!" or "Jesus, help me!" over and over and over again, know that He hears and delights in answering.

Let's be honest...  Which is worse: Waiting around for days for an articulate, passion-filled moment to motivate you towards prayer?  Or, just moving forward in your everyday, mundane sorts of moments and breathing simple prayers, believing God hears and responds in our weakness?

I think I'll choose door number two.

A good dad loves it when his little toddler tugs on his jeans and says, "Daddy, help me!"  A good dad finds a lot of joy in watching his children bumble around with simple steps in learning to walk.  So, the Lord delights in our small words and tiny steps of obedience.

Jesus, save so-and-so...and her...and him...and, well...all two hundred of them, please.  Amen.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

On the Road Again...


Wednesday - 5 hours from Castaway to Sioux Falls.
Thursday - 1.25 hours from Sioux Falls to Sioux Center.
Thursday night late - 1.25 hours from Sioux Center to Sioux Falls.
Friday AM - 5 hours from Sioux Falls to Castaway.

To my little green iPod - Where are you?  These last few days would have been so nice with you around.  Please stop hiding.  It's not funny anymore.

Dear National Public Radio - You've been a great Plan B.  I am still trying to figure out why I like you so much.  I don't understand (or remember) half of the things you talk about.  Something about Egypt, the Euro, our crappy economy and Obama...  That's all I've got.

Dear Buick Park Avenue - You are awesome.  Long road trips with you feel like long rests in a Lazy Boy.

Dear Interstate 29 - I hate your construction.  Hurry the heck up.

To Young Life's Castaway Club - Glad to be back.  You are beautiful.

Check out todaysletters.com for other awesome letters.  They rock.


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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

JAMES1

Here's the "personal" version of our ladies' bible study on James 1 (minus large and small group discussion).  Use the outline and questions below to engage the Lord and the scripture on your own time.  

JAMES1

BEFORE you read the scripture...
Prepare your heart to hear from God. Try listening to the video/song below. As you listen, prayerfully breathe OUT all the crap and baggage you are holding on to. Breath IN God and His Spirit. Focus on the lyrics, pray the lyrics. Relax, "dial" or "tune" in. Seek God and PRAY that He’d speak to you as you read today!  


Ask God to speak to you today as you read.  Consider using this scripture to pray for understanding:  Psalm 119:18 - Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law!”  Jesus, open my eyes so that I can see what You’re trying to tell me through Your Word today.  Help me understand!  

READ the scripture...
Find James 1 in your Bible or favorite bible translation.  As you read, journal or take notes and prayerfully ask the Lord these questions.  (If you like ambient music to listen to AS you read, try this playlist: James 1 Ambient Playlist)
  1. God, what part of this scripture are you highlighting for me today?
  2. What do you want to say to me through this? In regard to my life?  In regard to who You are or what You’re doing?
  3. Now that you have spoken, how do you want this to change the way I live?  How can I apply this to my life, God?
  4. Write down any questions that you have in regard to the scripture.
MOVING FORWARD Ideas (totally optional!)...
  • Read through this passage for a week, at least once per day.  Continue to journal your thoughts, your prayers, your questions, etc.
  • Think about the different struggles and trials you have gone through in your life.  How has God used them to produce steadfastness or perseverance in you?  How can you worship God in the MIDDLE of your trials?

  • Are you a Listener or a Doer of the Word?  Ask God to help you!


MORE RESOURCES...
This Pinterest board is a compilation of fun things (art, prints, music, translations, commentaries, quotes, prayers, etc.) relating to James 1.  Click HERE or on the Pinterest picture to snoop around.


If you are in the Sioux Falls area, available on Tuesday nights, and wanting to JOIN us at bible study, please leave a comment below with your email address.  I'll be in touch!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Of Freckles and Other Castaway Things




We have our own little deck at Castaway.  It is more than delightful.

The air is cool and crisp, the sun is warm, the lake is cah-razy blue.

I had some time with the Lord this morning on our cute deck and asked Him for more freckles.

Two of my goals at Castaway this month are to get slightly tan (I have given up on the actually tan thing) and to get a lot more freckles than I came with.

I might be pushing my luck, but I know that the Lord cares about the little things.  He is so nice like that.
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Cute Flip-Flops for Some Littler "Piggies"


This far, we've made women's sizes in rosette flip flops.  But, take a look at these little cuties!  They're new in my shop!  GIRLS' size 8-9.  Ready to ship!  If you are in the Sioux Center or Sioux Falls area, shipping is FREE!  Just message me before you buy.

Click HERE for my Etsy shop and other details!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Micah!


Happy birthday to my baby sister, Micah!  She is 22.  

Micah is into kayaks, turtles, garage sale art, old folks, peanut butter, running in rainstorms, and laughing a lot.  She is creative, spontaneous, RANDOM, sometimes lacking common sense, hilarious, passionate, caring, and never takes herself too seriously.

If you hang out with her, you won't know what hit you.  She is a ball of crazy fun.

Happy birthday, Mook!
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

ISAIAH61

Here's the "personal" version of our ladies' bible study on Isaiah 61 (minus large and small group discussion).  Use the outline and questions below to engage the Lord and the scripture on your own time.  

And, PS - I'm a firm believer that reading the bible, praying and spending time with the Lord does NOT have to be boring or mundane.  I like to incorporate music, art, commentaries, sermons, different bible translations, videos - even Pinterest! - to keep my time with the Lord fresh and exciting.  Use the links towards the bottom of this post to add an "extra" dimension to your time with God.

ISAIAH61

BEFORE you read the scripture...
Prepare your heart to hear from God. Try listening to the video/song below. As you listen, prayerfully
breathe OUT all the crap and baggage you are holding on to. Breath IN God and His Spirit. Focus on the lyrics, pray the lyrics. Relax, "dial" or "tune" in.

Seek God and PRAY that He’d speak to you as you read today!  Believe His promise.  If you seek Him, you WILL find Him! 


Matthew 7:7-8 - Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

READ the scripture...
Find Isaiah 61 in your Bible or favorite bible translation.  As you read, journal or take notes and prayerfully ask the Lord these questions.  (If you like ambient music to listen to AS you read, try this playlist: Isaiah 61 Ambient Playlist)
  1. God, what part of this scripture are you highlighting for me today?
  2. What do you want to say to me through this? In regard to my life?  In regard to who You are or what You’re doing?
  3. Now that you have spoken, how do you want this to change the way I live?  How can I apply this to my life, God?
  4. Write down any questions that you have in regard to the scripture.
MOVING FORWARD Ideas (totally optional!)...


  • Read through this passage for a week, at least once per day. Continue to journal your thoughts, your prayers, your questions, etc.
  • Think about ways you are being held in captivity or bondage...ways you are mourning...ways you have been in despair. Think about others who may be in these positions. Pray parts of Isaiah 61 into these situations.
  • How and where have you been "planted to display His splendor?" Are you bringing glory to Him in every aspect of your life? Pray through and journal some of your thoughts.
OTHER RESOURCES...
This Pinterest board is a compilation of fun things (art, prints, music, translations, commentaries, quotes, prayers, etc.) relating to Isaiah 61.  Click HERE or on the Pinterest picture to snoop around.




If you are in the Sioux Falls area, available on Tuesday nights, and wanting to JOIN us at bible study, please leave a comment below with your email address.  I'll be in touch!
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