Monday, September 30, 2013

The Real War on Women

 We hear about the war on women all the time. Often it has to do with work conditions, and female rights. Some of these things might be true, but what is the real war on women?

 Every day young ladies like you and me are forced to see billboards, commercials, magazine covers all depicting women. But these women are not like us. They are shown as being luscious, and thin, and desirable.

 This I present to you as being one of the true wars on women, and young girls of today. It's a depressing thing for a girl who isn't society's definition of thin to be constantly bombarded with images of Hollywood's stars, and beauty queens.

 Often in summer we see advertisements of "See (insert name here) amazing beach bod!" or "How to get rid of those pounds, and start being sexy."

 Seeing these constant reminders of the world's idea of beautiful really just makes me sick. I know, especially in my younger years, these things probably affected me, making me feel ugly, and fat. The star of the movie always seems to be thin or shapely in a "good" way. Even Disney movies often make their heroines stick thin, and young girls (including myself) watch them or have watched them.

 But what the magazines/movies/commercials fail to depict is the spiritual condition of the woman on display.  Her body may be defined as perfect, but is her spiritual condition deteriorating rapidly?

 The world fails to understand that God created all of us, and we are made the way He designed. Sure, some of us could lose a few pounds for health reasons, but we have to learn to be content with how God made us.

 I would much rather spend time with some imperfect, normal girls with beautiful spirits, then with those defined as sexy.

 I may go more into detail on this later, or perhaps one of the other ladies may. But I hope this gets you thinking.

 Don't be a casualty of the war on women. I think you're beautiful, and more importantly, God does too!

Friday, September 27, 2013


Alright, well first off apologies for not getting this posted earlier today. Things have been quite out of control over in my little corner of the world. I've been studying for my second round with the SAT and I've been over all stressed about my scores and how they will effect my scholarships. It seems like every time that much needed money comes into view and then all of a sudden another mountain rises up out of nowhere to cut me off. This past week I realized that this constant battle between what I need, what I have, and what I want was pulling me away from God. Then I realized that I'd become so stressed that I'd failed to even rely on God. There was a reason I wasn't getting anywhere. I had been so focused on me getting things right, so focused on me getting ahead, so focused on my own strength that I'd completely pushed aside the power of Jesus. Obviously realizing this was a good thing, but it also made me feel even worse about myself. I'd wasted time, I'd been foolish thinking this was something I could do on my own. In my eyes I'd already failed and let everyone down. Of course this was silly. Jesus, wasn't mad, he wasn't standing there shouting at me for being so stubborn. No, that was all me. He was patiently waiting, ready to give me the strength I so desperately needed. Since then I've been making it a priority everyday to put aside the math books, the vocabulary flash cards, and practice tests to spend some much needed time in the Word. Some verses spoke specifically to me these past few days, encouraging me, and renewing me. I want to share some of those verses with you.

Matthew 6:31-34
 "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Isaiah 41:9-11 

"I took you from the ends of the earth
from its farthest corners I called you
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;  
will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish."

James 1:3-9
"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."

Timothy 1:6-7 
"Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

I pray these verses that speak of worry, fear, patience, and love are as encouraging to you as they were to me. Prayers for myself would be much appreciated as well. I'll be taking my SAT test next Saturday and Lord willing my score will be high enough to

get me a wonderful scholarship. Until then all I can do is place my trust and hope in His hands.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Last Rose of Summer {ClassyGarb & reviews}

Hello ladies!
Sorry I am so late to bring you a post.
My day Tuesday went a bit differently than I planned, (life tends to do that doesn't it?) and I ended up spending the afternoon at my best friend's planning music for upcoming events and hanging out gabbing about the Shindig.
And I didn't get to work on this post until the evening...eesh. I do apologize!
So what I do have here for y'all is a collaboration of sorts. It's partially a makeshift outfit post, and partially a bunch of product reviews! Fun stuff!
I'll give you fair warning though. I took all these photos last minute and it was very wet and rainy outside. So. They're not the best, I forgot and got the pictures totally barefoot...which is how I am 99% of my life anyway so I guess it's inevitable that one of these posts a barefoot picture should sneak in...but anyhoo. *le sigh*

Top: Coldwater Creek
Skirt: "Venus" c/o of Apostalic Clothing
Scarf: c/co of S & A Scarves
Hair flower: c/o of  Fantasy Garden
Soo. Now for the reviews!
First we'll start with the lovely chevron skirt.
I really like this skirt. The tag says it was made in the USA, it's a very comfy, semi-stretchy material and of course the print is super fun!

I've always been a fan of the chevron print fad. Most trends that come and go I won't bat an eye at, but this trend? I actually like it quite a bit.
Love the color scheme of this skirt. Overall, it's a favorite in my wardrobe. I can pair it with dressier things and wear it to church, or I can throw a t-shirt on and make it a semi-casual look. Gotta love variability!
The skirt's fabric is very soft and comfortable. The length is perfect on me. (I'm 5'8".)  The waistband can be rolled/folded over to make the skirt shorter, or it can be extended. I prefer it folded, personally.
My final say on this skirt is that's it's a fabulous find! I would definitely recommend AC as a store to find modest, classy clothing items.
Next up, the feminine hair flower.
This flower was handcrafted, and I always love handcrafted things!

The flower features a spray of light, delicate silk pieces and mesh paired with several small crystals and beads to highlight the piece.

The pearl and crystal beads really add a nice feminine, princess-y touch.

The back consists of a soft felt piece affixed to a metal clasp which is slightly difficult to use initially, due to the large size of the flower, but over time it becomes easier.
The felt piece is extremely soft to the touch.
Overall, I think this is a beautiful hair piece! You should check out the Fantasy Garden shop for yourself  if you liked it as well as I do - there are many other lovely flowers to be found therein!
And while we're on the topic of hair flowers....
I wanted to give a special reference to this one.

I was sent an incredibly darling little hair flower from the shop Florentes on Etsy.
It is handmade as well, and so gorgeous! The silk like petals have been pieced together very intricately and professionally, and the backing lace piece is equally chic.

It's considerably smaller than the other flower. I like this size for tucking into a bun or more formal updo.
The only complaint I have about this lovely little piece is the means for a clasp. It is basically a pin with a fixture on the end to cover the sharp part of the pin.
Seeing that it's a hair piece, I wonder at the effectiveness of this design. Maybe it was created this way so that it could also be used as a brooch or something?
Anyway, not too big of a deal, but it was something that struck me right away when I tried to use it.
I still think it's a delightful accessory, and did you know it came all the way from Lithuania? Isn't that so neat? (Florentes definitely has some very elegant accessories.)
Now. Last but not least, one of my favorite parts of this post!
The scarf.

Can I just say that I love scarves? Whether they serve as functional or just simply a fashion accessory, I really enjoy using them. They add instant class to just about any outfit!
To be honest, one of the big things I'm looking forward to this winter is getting to use my scarves more.
The nice thing about this scarf I'm featuring today? It's not one of those real heavy winter scarves. You could wear it in the summer even, if you wanted, it's that lightweight and delicate!

I absolutely love the lacy, frilly vintage look this scarf has. It's white, so it matches with anything!
Another really neat thing about it is where it came from.

 I saved this piece of the envelope just because I thought it was so neat to see such an address.
Overall, I would definitely recommend S & A Scarves. They make beautiful work and I am thrilled with the lovely scarf they sent me!
I hope y'all enjoyed this post, and make sure to check out each of these fabulous shops for yourself!
On a side note: if you're curious as to the title, "The Last Rose of Summer"? I know it's kinda corny. But I had no idea what to call this, as I was writing it up hastily, and I thought, hey, I'm featuring two hair flowers here, and summer is coming to an end, so....yeah. There ya go! Title problem solved!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Guy Friends

 Hello girls! I'm here to talk about a subject that is a pariah for some... friendships... with boys! Dun... dun... dun...

 So do I support friendships with boys?

 Absolutely. Allow me to share a few photos.

  This was at rehearsal for Les Miserables. The guy in front is my best friend, Micah, my brother. There's also Kayla, a gal friend, and Aaron and Elijah, two of my guy friends.

  This photo is a couple of years old, but this is my buddy Noah. My sister married his brother.

                                               Here's another guy friend in the middle. :)

                                                         My awesome friend Jesse.

                               Here's another oldie. Nathan, another brother of my bro-in-law.

 I could probably share a dozen more photos, but you get the point. These are all guys I enjoy hanging out with, not in an awkward way either, but because I enjoy their friendship. 

 Too often girls can distort Godly friendships with young men into something ugly. They could turn a healthy friendship into a flirt fest that won't do much but make the girl look bad, or they could not appreciate the friendship, and maybe assume that the only reason a guy would hang out with them is because they're looking for a potential girlfriend.


Guys can be some of the coolest friends a gal can have. With guys, there isn't as much talk about drama, but you can focus more on subjects you both finds interesting. (Not that there's anything wrong with gal friends... I have plenty of them.)
 I've seen so many variations on this. Some girls who are planning on courtship are afraid to enter into a friendship with guys because they think it will develop into other things, so they stay away from guys altogether, or else they're the flirt who might not know just how flirty they're being.

 Friendship isn't that complex, I promise. How do you treat your girl friends? Here's a really good quote I heard from Jessa Duggar the other day.

"Girls who hang all over boys, and girls who ignore boys completely have the same root problem; they don't see them as their brothers in Christ."
Brothers in Christ. That's the important thing. The Christian guys you know are not only boys that you may or may not be afraid to approach, but they are your brothers in Christ! Do you think it's a good thing to ignore your brother in Christ? And vice versa. Keep this in mind, and you shouldn't have any trouble with a flourishing friendship.
 My friendships with guys have been very fruitful. I'm so glad for the boys I have in my life that I can talk to, and learn from their view on life, which is a little different from ours being boys and all! They're an inspiration to me. If you don't have any great guy friends like I do, then I am very sorry, because they are some of the bright points in my life. 
 Having healthy relationships with guy friends is like having a bunch of other brothers, protecting, and being there for you. I'm glad to have the opportunity to hang out with the boys. I could probably say a lot more, and I might in the future, but for now, just think about how fruitful a friendship with some good boys can be! 
 I hope you enjoyed! God bless!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Handmade Travel Journal/Diary {review}

Hello ladies!
 Guess who's back from a week of travel and a trip to the NGJ Ozark Mountain Shindig?
 Yep, that would be yours truly! Ah what an incredible experience - everything from the travel up to Missouri, and the actual event itself - it was all a truly unforgettable week.
And now I be back! Back with a lovely journal review from MissJournal .
A few weeks ago, the shop owner Meghan sent me one of her adorable handmade journals.
I opted to use her photos since they were of considerable better quality than mine, and I figured y'all could get a better representation with better photos.

The shop listing for this journal reads:

Pink Floral Travel Journal- Fabric Covered and Handbound
Dimensions: 5.5" x 7.25"
Cover: Fabric
Binding: Case Binding, Bound with a sturdy, Waxed Linen Thread

• Complete with approximately 64 white, unlined pages of 100% recycled paper.
• Unlined pages give you the freedom to doodle, sketch or write without restrictions of lines in the way.
• Feminine, travel journal is the perfect size for jotting down your daily thoughts, prayers, or traveling memories.
• With its sturdy hard cover the quality feels store-bought yet the personality is clearly hand-made.
• This journal would make the perfect gift for a friend or an expecting mother on mother's day!
• Inside is covered with a soft, minty-green end paper.

Now, for my own thoughts on the journal.
I think it's beautiful! The outer fabric lining is very girly and bright. Even though I'm quite vocally not a pinks person, and will usually gravitate to blues and greens in color choices, this journal still captured my little ounce of girlishness and I found it to be very charming.
I love journaling. Ever since I was 8, I've kept a collection of diaries/journals. Typically, I write/fill up about one a year. I find it to be a worthy pastime in which I can sort of record my life. I hate to forget things, and I like to be able to look back and recall events and emotions I experienced in the past.
I also enjoy doodling and drawing. This journal allows space for both! Whether you want to keep a journal of writing ideas as you go around, travel, etc., or maybe you'd like to nature sketch, this will suit your needs either way. The clean white pages just beg to be filled with creativity!
I love clean white pages....

The binding is constructed well, and the journal is solid overall. It doesn't feel flimsy or lacking, like it was put together quickly in a factory in China. It's got the evident mark of craftsmanship and quality.
Overall? I'm a supporter of this shop. If you're looking for a new journal/diary, you need to check out Meghan's journals. They're classy, chic and crafted with excellence!
Go take a look for yourself. Now.
Note: I was provided this item from MissJournal in exchange for my honest review. All opinions remain mine and mine alone.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Scripture Encouragement

 I've decided to post an encouraging scripture every once in awhile. I can give you all the advice I can think of, but all of it boils down to God's word, and sometimes that can explain it better than anything. I encourage you to meditate on this scripture, and think about how it might apply to your life. God bless!

 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

Philippians 4:8

 Think about the things that go into our life. Are they edifying to us in anyway? 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sports {Alyson's Thrift Corner}

Garage sales are not just for finding formal clothes or even a cute jeans and shirt outfit. I have also found sports clothes such as sneakers, running t-shirts, shorts, and even sports equipment. 
Sometimes sweat can make clothes icky so be careful when buy it. Look at it closely to make sure it’s decently clean. If you are a big time runner, I highly suggest not buying running shoes there. This could seriously hurt your feet. 
I am not a serious athlete, so I can find things that suit my needs; but if you are serious, I suggest you spend the money for good quality equipment. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dating and Princesses {Ramblings and Book Review}

Lately my mom and I have been talking more about relationships and marriage.  This is my last year being home schooled, meaning next year I'll be packing up and moving to a Christian University. I'm very excited to start taking my first steps into my adult live. Still, its a scary thought especially since these next few years will probably be the last years I spend as a single girl. (Which is also a little bit exciting, but only a little! ) Chances are in the next five years I will meet the man that will one day become my husband.  Which brings us back to the first statement.  Relationships and marriage.

Those two words have been mangled by modern society.  Relationships aren't meaningful anymore. Many marriages aren't either.  Everyone wonders why people who seemed 'perfect' together 'broke-up' or why a seemingly 'happy' couple has divorced.  These sad events aren't random they are the product of bad habits, bad choices, and ungodly attitudes.

Dating is one of the most common factors in these failed marriages and relationships. Dating opens up the door for those bad habits, bad choices, and ungodly attitudes. Lets take a look at the modern definition and meaning of 'dating'.

"The modern day battlefield of romance where hearts are won and broken, the not-quite so version of chivalry and wooing, an interview for a lover; the lay down some time-and money and see if you get some candy routine; the progressed game of cat-and-mouse;  playing baseball for a home run."Here is the top definition that came up when I began to search for how we define dating. Clearly dating is neither biblical nor a good way to build a lasting relationship. Dating often strikes up relationships with complete strangers, skipping the step of friendship. Dating doesn't typically wait for marriage before a couple enters into an intimate relationship. Dating doesn't mean long term, its a game, a way to not be 'alone' even if the person you're 'with' is only out for his/hers own personal desires. Dating doesn't require commitment or honesty. Dating doesn't work.

One thing that really gets to me is that kids 'date'.  I have had four-year-old kids tell me about their boyfriend or girlfriend and how they hold hands during recess. Even worse is that the 'relationships' are encouraged by their parents. I often hear them make comments such as, "he's such a little player, he can never decide which girl will be his girlfriend for the day, its just too cute." or "she's such a little lady, all the boys are after her, and she keeps them guessing."  Excuse me, but no that sort of attitude is not okay or even 'cute' when it comes to little kids. Children should not have any sort of romantic relationship with another child, even if it is 'cute'. When a flippant attitude on relationships is encouraged during childhood why be surprised when the same attitude is still present during adulthood?

When kids are being brought up, bouncing from one person to the next, then the same thing will happen in marriage. Dating typically doesn't take relationships seriously, and if they do than usually the relationship is far to intimate. The point of forming a relationship with someone is to find your future husband or wife. This means kids and even those in high school don't need to be dating or in a relationship. Why expose yourself to unnecessary temptations and damaging emotions when you aren't even ready to get married?  Being in a relationship at a young age is damaging to your future relationships and marriage.

On the other side of the coin we find courtship. Lets see what people are saying  about courtship.

 "Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. During courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement. A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval. Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage"

 Here we find relationships holding the purpose of finding the person you will marry, which is why a relationship should be formed in the first place.  A courtship is watched over carefully and often focused around the family.  It may be kept quiet among the two families or announced in public. This allows two people usually in their late teens-single adult years to know each other better.  First comes friendship, preferably two or more years, and if the attraction is mutual the young man will go to the father as ask permission to court his daughter. In doing so the two young people are showing a commitment to each other. However, courtship holds physical boundaries. If you're intimate with someone you've just volunteered to ride an emotional roller-coaster. Things such as holding hands, kissing, and hugging muddle your senses. You're worried you will do something wrong, you're wondering how to say something 'sexy', and you're driven to complement others and lavish them with sweet nothings. Save it for marriage, please. Unlike dating where everything is fair game, courtship lays out rules, helping to keep a relationship pure, just the way God intended it to be.

Okay, well that turned out a lot longer than I thought it would be. I tend to ramble and not ever stop. Anyhow, since I've mentioned kids and the way dating affects their attitudes towards relationships I've got a book here I want to share with ya'll.

The Princess and the Kiss- By Jennie Bishop 

Yes, yes, yes. I know this looks like a little kid fairy-tale. It is and that is why this is such a wonderful book!

The Princess and the Kiss is a story about a young princess who is given a very precious gift from God- her very first kiss. Her parents keep that first kiss safe until the young princess is all gown up, when they present it to her the princess decides she will save it for the one special man God intended for her. The story follows her many suitors who come to court her. Charming young men, romantic poets, not to mention brave and daring knights come to offer their riches and display their wealth to the princess. Yet the princess is not impressed by the gems and sweet words. She longs for a Man of God- a humble man who will cherish her precious gift more than anything. One day a simple farmer asks for an audience with the princess. He first comes before the King and Queen, explaining his presence.  They are greatly impressed with  his quiet and gentile manor and allow him to speak with the princess. Humbly he explains to her that he has no riches, that he is not as strong or hansom as other men, that the only thing he can offer is a gift. The gift was a special gift- his very first kiss....

The story is beautiful as are the illustrations, but best of all is the moral behind the story. Wait, pray, and follow God. He will bring you to the person he intended you to be with. This is the perfect book to share with a little sister, niece, or even a someone you babysit. In a wold full of lies and misconceptions we all  need to be reminded of how precious relationship are.

If you want to find out more about The Princess and the Kiss or Jennie Bishops other books you can find them here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Well hey!

Howdy, everybody! This is my first post on A Pinch of Classy, so you know what that means? Confetti!! And mint ice cream. Yummo! Cause it's time for celebration! Anything new and exciting calls for celebration, eh?

So, my name is Caitria Karis. I have survived 19 years here on earth. Currently, I live in the Ozarks of Missouri. It's a nice quiet place out here.

I am not quiet. As far back as I can remember, I have loved meeting new people, finding out about them, and learning about their lives. Just to warn you, in some ways, hyper doesn't even come close to describing me.

^^I feel like this most of the time. ;)

I am actually a Canadian citizen {well, dual citizen}, was born in Michigan, and spent 10 years of my life in Oregon. Yeah, go figure. ;) My Dad is a private school teacher {he's the Canadian, my Mum's from US}, but I have been homeschooled my entire life. I graduated 2 years ago.
There are 7 of us in my family. I am the oldest kid and have two brothers and two sisters. We are all pretty wacko.
^^my brother Thadden, sister Abrienne {NN} and me

^^me and my sister Brisa
^^my littlest brother, Keaton
It's GOOD to be happy, eh?!
I am also a writer. You can read about some of my current novels here and here.
And I own a business!! I raise English Golden Retriever Show dogs. They are beautiful!! And soooo much fun!!

^^this is SilverSword and Tizona
Music is a huge part of who I am. I have been singing for as long as I can remember. I started playing the piano when I was 6. When I turned 11, I joined a band so I could learn to play the oboe. They start you on a clarinet, so I played that first. When I started the oboe, I just kept playing the clarinet until we moved here to Missouri {7 years ago, when I was 13} and joined an orchestra. Then I switched to just oboe. I also sang in a choir for years. Now I teach voice and piano lessons and will be joining a "real" choir in October!! :D
And I love to draw!! You can see a few of my drawings at my blog, My Unicorn Has Wings!

I am very athletic and LOVE to play sports. Volley-ball is probably my favorite, soccer next. The rest just fall into place. :D I have been active all my life!!
So what about you?
Where are you from? What are some of your favorite things to do?