Friday, September 30, 2011

Jean Purses~ Hogan Stevens

This is something my mother started doing a few years ago, and it really has become quite popular with everyone in my family. They’re cute, stylish, inexpensive…and the best part is that you can do it all yourself!

Start out by getting a pair of jeans. They don’t have to be a brand new pair; maybe you have some older ones that no longer fit, or you can even find nice jeans for a great price at thrift stores. One thing: Make sure the jeans you choose are a smaller sized pair, around size 9 or 8, because if you get them too big the purse will end up looking not as nice and compact.
Cut the legs of the jeans off just a little ways below the bottoms of the front pockets, and set the legs aside for later because you’ll need them again soon. Now, turning the rest of the jeans inside out, sew the bottom together with a sewing machine at the place you just finished taking off the legs.

When you are finished with that, you’ll need to go ahead and start on your shoulder strap for the purse. Taking one of the cut-off legs, snip off a strip however long you wish, though make sure to make the width twice as long as you want it to be, because you need to turn this strip over to the wrong side and sew both sides together. Once finished with the sewing, pull the strip out to its regular side, the one that matches the rest of the purse. Press it nice and flat.
Now, lay the shoulder strap aside for a moment and get back to the actual body of the purse. Choose some sort of fabric (perhaps a colorful old shirt or bandanna; it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.) and cut out a belt for your jeans. Go about this the same way you made the shoulder strap--make it twice the preferred width, sew it together on the reverse side, and then pull it through right-side. Make sure you press it flat. And, just like any belt, thread it through the belt loops when you’re finished making it. You can tie it off in the front in a square knot, as we’ve done here.
Of course, you don’t have to make a belt if you don’t want, though I really do like the look it gives the purse. We usually sew our fabric to the jeans so that there’s no way it can come loose and fall off, but if you wanted you could probably make a few different belts and switch them out according to your outfit. Do whatever you wish--it’s your own little project, a way to let loose your creativity.
Let’s get back to the body of the purse. Go ahead and turn it inside out once more, because now it’s time to attach the shoulder strap you made earlier. Attach it on the inside of the purse, making sure each end is centered over the side seams of the jeans. If you’re not careful and accidentally sew the strap on crooked, it will end up not sitting on your shoulder quite right.
If you want a clasp for your purse to keep it closed, cut out a slightly rectangular strip from one of the legs, with one end slightly wider than the other. Decorate it with anything you like. We simply sewed on some more fabric. Now, cut a hole into the wider end of the strip, and then sew around the hole; otherwise, it may fray or split apart. As you can see in the pictures, my mother used a zigzag stitch in most of her work, just to give off a bit of a flare.
Once you are satisfied with the way your clasp looks, sew it onto the back of the inside of the purse, again making sure that everything is straight and even. For the fastener to clasp each side of the purse together, you may simply use any time of button or hook, or even the ties of the hand-made belt.
We’re through with the hard stuff! Now comes the fun part--the decorating. Buttons, tassels, patches, fabrics…The choices are nearly endless! In this particular purse, we simply sewed on some hand-cut hearts, again using the zigzag stitch.
If you feel like it, you can also make a cute little phone holder from what you have left from the legs. Remember the method: inside out, sew, pull right-side.
Let your creative juices flow! This is a purse you can make any way, YOUR way, so experiment. And most of all, have fun! If you have any questions about any of the steps, I would be glad to help out. Also, if you do end up making one of these purses, let us at LAT know! We love hearing back from our readers.

Did you know that Hogan is extremely double jointed?!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Difference~ Rachel Allen

Smile and they think you're happy.
You say "I'm fine" and they believe you.
If you don't let them look into your eyes
No one will know the difference.
They're all too blind to see your pain
Or the inner turmoil churning inside.
You are at war with yourself
But no one knows the difference.
You tell yourself that you'll tell someone.
"I'll talk about it. I'll get help."
You swear you will but you don't
And no one knows the difference.
Sometimes you wonder if you're not invisible.
If you vanished, would anyone notice?
You think that you could disappear into thin air
And no one would know the difference.

Did you know that Rachel only likes birds of prey?! Say bye bye birdie!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Purity~ Haley Oscar

We see stars talking about it. We hear it bashed. We see rings that are a symbol of a promise made to God, but what is purity, and why a ring?

  I first heard of a promise ring through people like the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus in 2007. I loved the idea! All the stars were wearing them, so why not?! So I went out and bought myself the cheapest ring I could find and told people why I wore it. Even though I wore a ring, didn't mean I made the promise to God. It was just something everyone seemed to be doing, so I wanted in on the newest fad!

I wasn't living what I led people to believe I was doing. Boyfriend after boyfriend, mistake after mistake, and regret after regret. I was stuck in this hole, a stupid repeat. I thought this was how to do it. Look at people like Miley, or even the Jonas brothers. They claim to be living pure, yet they are doing what I was too. Going from person to person and doing what I wanted and then asking what went wrong and pointing fingers at others instead of myself. I made my focus to much on what others were doing than what I needed to do for myself.

 Now, I'm not saying that in order to be pure you have to wear a ring. You don't even have to go to an extreme. Look at God's word and pray on it. He'll tell you what He wants for your life and He'll reveal it to you through His Word. For some, people kissing is okay, but to others it should be something saved for the alter. That choice is up to God and what He wants for you. Really spend some time with Him and ask Him. Everyone knows what their point of no return is. For some it's close hugs and others it's kissing; I suggest, if you know what it is, don't go past it!

I know two people who just got married this year that didn't even hold hands until they were engaged and didn't share one kiss until their wedding day. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed at a wedding. When the preacher said, "You may kiss your bride", the grooms face lit up and he went for it! When he did, joy filled the entire room. They were given a standing ovation by everyone in the room! They did the extreme and you could tell by the feeling in the room that God was pleased.

I still wear my purity ring, but for a different reason other than it's the new fashion. My ring is a constant reminder to me that I am saving myself for one man. That I will not go past this point until God gives me the go and I make that life time promise in front of my family, friends and God. When I'm getting myself into temptation, the first thing I feel is this ring on my finger. It gets suddenly uncomfortable to wear and I want to take it off. It is then when I know I've gone to far or I need to stop.

Believe it or not, most guys like it when a girl has a purity ring. It lets them know that she is serious about her future sex life and that she's not going to waste it on something that may or may not last. I asked my boyfriend, Jake, to comment on my promise ring and he had this to say. "It does make me stop and think. Yes, I am proud of you and extremely honored because you are wearing it to be wholesome, pure and fruitful for your future husband."

Don't be afraid to tell people your promise to stay pure, whether it's making a statement by wearing a ring, necklace or bracelet. You can even tell a guy, before you start dating him, that you are saving yourself for marriage.

I suggest that, when you start dating or if you already are, that you read the book Technical Virgin and Datable by Hayley DiMarco. These books changed my dating life forever!

One reader of these books said:
"I love this book (talking about Technical Virgin). It IS written in the language of teens - very easy to read and very much to the point. It is more like reading a magazine than a book. It took me about an hour to read through this book in its entirety. My favorite part of this book is that scripture is interlaced throughout the book. And my favorite, favorite part is the last 15 pages or so titled, "Your SPIRITUAL Entourage: Because God's Got Your Back." It's just a quick list of scriptural references divided into categories such as: Confessing Your Stuff, Failure, Getting Back to God, Strength for Today, Feeling Temptation, Breaking Up, Pre-date Preparation, Friends Making Fun of You, Wanting God's Forgiveness, Forgiving the Guy, Feeling Guilty, and Fighting the Memory.Great book!! Great author!! I also recommend DiMarco's Dateable book series!!"

I read this book in a day and it changed my views on so many things I thought we were fine but really, we weren't. This book sells for about $10 dollars here or you can check your local library.
Hayley DiMarco talks real to teenagers. Some things may be to much for some young readers, since she talks on some major sexual issues that young people face today. She has a heart for God though and always points it back to God's will for your life. It's a truly amazing book!
Staying pure is honestly hard. When something feels good, it's hard to say no to it.
"Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” ~Matthew 26:41
Keep watch and pray over any date you go on. Watch for trouble, signs that you or him could be tempted. Be aware of where and how you touch him or he touches you. Speak up if you don't like something, or if you're being tempted. Remember, you are not alone. Many other people struggle with temptation everyday. Temptation is not a sin, giving into it is. If you're being tempted, find a way out! God always gives an escape route, you just have to want to take it!
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." ~1 Corinthians 10:13
NEVER be afraid to ask God to help you in a sticky situation. I know it can be hard to ask God for help to say no, but do it because, like that verse says, He will provide a way out!

"You will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I." ~Isaiah 58:9
"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." ~Psalm 50:15
"For I am the Lord you God who takes hold of your right hand and says, ' Do not fear I will help you" ~Isaiah 41:13
God is our help in time of need, our strength in hard times. Trust in him and call out when you need his help! Pray for your future husband, This can sometimes help keep you from temptation. When you have your head in the future you are less likely to do something for the here and now. Pray for his health, safety, purity and what ever comes to mind. I find it to be a huge help to keep my head in the the game. And honestly girls, you can never go wrong with to much prayer. So remember to pray always and with out ceasing! (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" ~Philippians 4:6-7
This list below helps me to remember the promise I made when I REALLY committed my purity to God. I still read it daily.

~My kisses are worth more than a party or movie.
~My body is a temple of God not a plaything.
~The first "NO" may be hard but after that, it gets easier.
~Virginity is still a virtue; lust is still a capital sin.
~The way I dress, act and speak may be a temptation to my boyfriend. I will observe modesty for his and my own protection.
~My parents have done so much for me I wish to always be a credit to them.
~My boyfriend will be a husband and father one day. He must be a hero in the eyes of his wife and children. I will do nothing to prevent that on my dates with him.
~I want to be a wife and mother some day and I will reserve my purity for my husband.

If you have already given your purity away, remember that God forgives. Don't beat down on yourself because you 'screwed up'. God forgives and moves on. He can use that for you to teach others. He can use our mistakes to bring Him glory! Just ask for forgiveness and live for Him. He will embrace you with loving arms! If you would like to know more about this, please contact either myself or Haylie at We would love to speak with you!
I hope this helped many of you. I pray for all of you girls often, as well as the rest of the staff here on LAT. We pray that God will protect you and and that you will continue to grow in Him!

Did you know that Haley kissed a frog before?!?!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

H & M Store Review~ Renee Arnold

H&M is a very popular store with affordable clothes that are perfect for crisp fall days. I visited their website in search of a casual outfit under $75!

This beautiful flared jersey top is
perfect for fall becasue it is loose and
flowey yet has 3/4 sleeves to give
you more coverage then a tee-shirt.
Like the model, you can wear a white
tank top underneath it if it feels more
comfortable, but it looks like it would
still be modest without the tank top.
This top can be bought for $18.

These fashion forward skinny jeans will
look stunning with the top above.
These jeans should be modest
depending on how they fit on you.
They have a flattering slim fit all
through and have a convenient
5 pockets. These jeans are for sale
for only $30!


These imitation suade ballet flats
will perfectly compliment the pink
in the jersey but will stand out
becausee they are unique and
decorated with a matching knot on
top. They are available in sizes 5-10
and can be bought for $25.


                  This pack of 7 rings will match
                   very nicely with a lot of things you
                   already have in your closet. They
                    are assorted so you can have a
                   new one every day of the week!
                   They are very affordable at only
                     $6 for the whole pack!

This entire outfit rounded out to be about $79. If you cut the rings out, it will meet the budget but I do think the rings add a very cute touch. So, good luck back at school and remember to pray about your standards and listen to your parents opinions too!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview with Vicki Fourie

Vicki came to me one day, via email, and asked if we wanted to interview her on LAT! After reading her blog and speaking with her, I could not say no! Vicki has an amazing story to share with you and I hope you get as much out of it as I did!

Much Love,

Haylie Gregory, Editor

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a true South African gal who lives in Bloemfontein (it’s in the middle of South Africa), and I turned 22 earlier this year.

We don’t know exactly what caused my hearing damage... When I was a baby, I had a high fever (just like Helen Keller & Marlee Matlin) and we think that’s what caused my hearing loss. I personally don’t believe that I was born deaf.

When I was 2 years old, I didn’t respond when my family called my name, and after extensive tests at the hospital, it was confirmed that I have 97% hearing loss. This came as a big shock for the family, especially my parents.

However, my parents didn’t give up on me after receiving the news. I’m grateful that they reacted this way, for it enabled me to learn how to speak like a hearing person and read lips. I even went to a hearing English school, despite Afrikaans being my home language.

There was many obstacles along the way, but I overcame them by believing that ‘Courage isn’t a gift, it’s a decision.’

In high school, my biggest challenge was large groups. Everyone would  speak all at once, and when you have a profound hearing loss, you can’t really follow what’s going on. And when someone makes a joke and everyone laughs but you didn’t get the joke… that’s when it hurts the most. You feel like an outcast.

I try to avoid these kind of situations, but there are times when you simply cannot, and you have to make the best of it. Don’t be shy to ask questions – he who asks is a fool for a moment – but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

Today, I still have my moments when I feel left out…  for instance, I can’t speak on the phone, listen to the radio or go to the movies. But I have adapted to my situation. Instead of speaking on the phone, I sms or send emails. Instead of going out to the movies, I rent a DVD and watch it with subtitles. Instead of listening to the radio, I buy the newspaper.

All of us are strong survivers with even stronger survival instincts. We learn how to make the best of our situations.

2) Tell us about your public speaking life? What do you talk about?
With the primary schools, I share on how I struggled sometimes as a deaf girl in a hearing school – the topic is ‘I Know I Can’. With the high school kids, I tell them that ‘Courage isn’t a gift, it’s a decision.’ So many kids today are struggling with drug abuse, self-harming, cursing, etc.

I also share the following story with the high school children:

When I was 14 years old, I was accidentally shot with a gun – the bullet entered me at the back of my shoulder and exited in the front. This accident changed my whole life – in a good way. Before this happened, I always thought that my life was about ME, about what I wanted, what I needed. I also struggled with depression.

After the accident, my attitude towards life changed. I decided not to be selfish anymore and not to feel sorry for myself. Life owes you nothing – it’s your responsibility to make something out of it.

The more I shared my story with others, the more I received healing. When something traumatic happens to you, you tend to keep it inside. It’s not the right thing to do – if you don’t talk about it, you will die within yourself.

3) How is life as a beauty pageant girl?
The beauty pageant world came onto me unexpectedly. When I was in matric, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. There was 3 or 4 people who said that I was going to be like Esther of the Bible – I was going to use my beauty to save a nation. At first, I didn’t quite understand (I thought I needed to marry a prince, and South Africa does not have royalty!).

Soon opportunities started popping up in newspapers, magazines, advertisements, etsc. I heard about the Miss Deaf South Africa, and realized that Esther also partook in a pageant: the Miss Persia pageant. I took this as a sure sign that I must enter.

In 2008 I participated for the first time. I didn’t win, but was crowned 1st Princess & Miss Personality.

In 2009 I participated again, and I was crowned Miss Deaf SA 2009/2010 and Miss Deaf HESC (the official sponsor of the pageant).

In July 2010, I participated in the Miss Deaf International in Las Vegas, and I was crowned 2nd Princess.

In 2011, I competed in the Miss Deaf World, which took place in Prague from the 1st till 11th of July 2011.

For some reason, althroughout

God was preparing me all along – during that week I kept asking Him what I should do for the rest of this year. He was silent until that Friday night – until that women came to me. Everything just fell into place. It all made sense.

4. What is the message you try to bring to people?
 I do not consider myself as a deaf woman... Your circumstances does not need to define you. I consider myself as Vicki – my name means ‘Victorious’. I refuse to be a ‘Victim’ to my circumstances and surroundings.

I believe South Africa has many opportunities. Life is full of choices, and having a positive attitude doesn’t just fall on one’s lap – you need to make a choice to practice this attitude in life. It’s like a muscle: at first it’s not that easy, but with the seasons it becomes easier and then one wonders, ‘Why did I ever doubt myself?’  

There are some people who wallow in self-pity and bitterness, and that doesn’t bring you very far in life... Stop complaining – you are alive, and your disability and/or circumstances is nothing compared to what you have – the gift of life. The world doesn’t owe you a thing – it’s your responsibility to make something out of your life.

Be bold – do not be shy. Always ask questions. Be curious about everything and everything – the more you learn, the more you realize you still have a lot to learn. The world owes you nothing – it’s your responsibility to make something of it. It doesn’t help feeling angry towards God or people about your disability. Believe me, it’s a waste of time. Find out what are your talents and gifts, and focus on them. Embrace who you are. You’re disability does not need to define you…Be courageous!

5) Tell us about the Miss Deaf World 2011 that took place in Prague earlier in July 2011.
Over 38 girls from all over the world competed in this prestigious event that lasted for about 6 days. My mother was my chaperon & we arrived in Prague the 2nd of July after 2 days’ flying. The 8th of July (Friday evening) the pageant’s crowning took place at the Top Hotel Praha.

This year’s Miss Deaf World was the 11th year it took place.

We were treated like royalty. All the girls PLUS their chaperones’ tickets were paid in full by the Miss Deaf World organizers. Our accommodation was free & we had platters of food 4 times a day.

The contestants received so many freebies every day that by the time I had to fly back to SA, I had to leave behind 4 pairs of shoes, amongst other random things. My suitcase was too heavy – that’s how much they blessed us during our stay there!

I didn’t win a place at the Miss Deaf World pageant... BUT about an hour after the crowning someone came up to me, asking whether I’d be interested in playing opposite an Oscar-winner in a new movie. It’s a small role I’m getting, but it’s a start!! I’m not really allowed to reveal more details yet – the contract has to be finalized & everything. But I’m majorly excited!!!

Also, a psychologist from Germany has invited me to be a guest speaker in her country. Will get more details on that later.
So, I didn’t win the Miss Deaf World title, but I came back a winner in other areas of my career. I’m going forward!!

6) How do you spend your quiet time with God?
First thing in the mornings, I spend time with the Lord. I take out my Bible the night before and leave it on the ground so that I won’t forget when the morning come. It takes plenty of wisdom & insight to do what I do (writing, motivational speakings, etc.) and that’s why it’s such a priority for me to draw from the Living Well. Otherwise I’ll run dry. I don’t want that to happen.
I have a favourite spot where I always spend time with the Lord – my room. The winter sun always comes through my window and it’s lovely & warm. I don’t check my cellphone first thing in the morning, and I don’t even put on my hearing aids. That way, I am much more focused in the morning when it comes to spending some time with Jesus. Away from all the noise & madness of this world.

7) What is one of your favorite things about God?
That I can speak to Him whenever & wherever I want to. My job gets real lonely sometimes – the friends I have can’t really relate to what I do because it’s such a unique job that I have. It’s really nice to know that while I’m travelling so much, I can pray in tongues or just bask in my aloneness with the Lord. I can be at the airport, a photoshoot, or just be alone at night and know that He sees me – He knows exactly what I’m going through.

8) What is your favorite passage of scripture and why?
I love the Old Testament. I think it’s because it’s full of powerful stories of battle & courage. We tend to put God in a box and say, ‘He’s a softy. He’s not very strong.’ But when I read the Old Testament I am blown away by the way He just stood up and raised men in battle. Life is a battlefield for all of us. I like to think of God as the Gladiator who’s fiery & undefeatable when it comes to the temptations of this world...

9) What do you like to do during your free time?
I have a beautiful cat named Ally who as the most adorable character. I also love horse riding and jogging to clear my mind.

10) Who do you look up to in life and why?
When I was 14 years old, I was accidentally shot with a gun – the bullet entered me at the back of my shoulder and exited in the front. This accident changed my whole life – in a good way. Before this happened, I always thought that my life was about ME, about what I wanted, what I needed. I also struggled with depression.

After the accident, my attitude towards life changed. I decided not to be selfish anymore and not to feel sorry for myself. Life owes you nothing – it’s your responsibility to make something out of it. They say that a hero is someone who saves your life – the Lord saved my life after that horrible accident. I look up to Him. He is my Saviour.

Readers are welcome to contact Vicki a guest appearance or speaking opportunity:

Follow her on Twitter: @vickifourie

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens~ Kari Willinger

When I first heard that a movie called "Cowboys & Aliens" was coming out, I completely rejected the idea. I mean, come on! "Cowboys & Aliens"? Really? They couldn't come up with a better name? The good thing is, I don't usually judge a book by its cover, so I decided to watch "Cowboys & Aliens" and, to my great suprise, I really enjoyed it.
The story begins in 1875, in the Arizona Territory. The Old West. When a stranger (Daniel Craig who plays James Bond in Casino Royal) wanders into a very unfriendly town. The town, Absolution, is run by the no-nonsense colonel, Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford- Indiana Jones movies). The town lives in fear and desolation and immediately rejects the stranger that stumbles into their territory. Little do they know, that very stranger is exactly what they need in order to fight off the Aliens that have come to earth. The stranger, though, has no idea about his past or who he is. Watch the story unfold and the problems resolve in this action-western movie.
I give this movie a 4/5, in my personal preference (and yes, I took off points for the name, because, I mean, you would think the people that dream this stuff up could dream up a more interesting name!) It was a great movie, BUT there is some stuff I wasn't very happy about. In one scene, we see a woman's bare back, as she is, supposedly, naked. In another scene, a woman is apparently a prostitute and people call her a whore. The profanity is not great. There is around 10-20 cuss words, but no F-bombs.
 If you want to watch this movie but do not like cussing I suggest a TVG they can be very helpful.
Did you know that Kari LOVES Edward Cullen?!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Strange People at Wal Mart~ Rachel Melillo

I work at Walmart and I just want to say it on the record: there area lot of strange things that happen. I'll share a few of them with you.

The first thing is probably the most common...and the most confusing. I'm a cashier and the bathroom is at the front of the store—right next to the cash registers. There is a large sign that says 'restrooms' and yet I could be standing right in front of the bathrooms and people will still come up to me and ask me where the bathrooms are. I once had a woman ask me, I pointed to it and she still couldn't see them.

Also, one day (although this has happened more than once) there was a hide-and-seek game going on in the clothing section by (based on their voices) a six-year old, a ten-year old, and a twelve-year old. I would have loved to join them, but it happened to be kind of busy at that moment. -sigh- I suppose it's called 'work' for a reason.

I see a lot of kids riding bicycles—they may be test-riding them, but it still seems weird to see that. I mean, our store isn'tthat big!

I've seen a lot of pets—dogs, fish, cats, and well, just the other day there was this really cute spider web (still haven't seen the spider yet though) and it was justso geometrically perfect—like a spiderweb is supposed to be! I saw a seven week old kitty the other day and go to hold it—he was adorable and his fur was super soft!

The outfits. I mean, I know as Christians that we're not supposed to judge people based on appearances,'s not Halloween yet, people! Although it does give me a good, mental laugh whenever I see someone dressed up kind of...well, odd, I can't help but wonder what prompted them to dress up like Waldo, Superman, Cinderella (or another Disney princess), and 'hunter dude' (complete with the coonskin cap). And then there's the person who no one can figure out if they're male or female. They look really female, but they have such a low voice that it seems that it has to be a male—and they also have a more masculine build. -shrug- Like I said though, we're not supposed to judge based on appearances.

Hope you've enjoyed this list of odd things that I see while working at Walmart. For ideas of funny things to do at Walmart, visit this website:

Have fun, don't do anything illegal!

Did you know that if Rachel could be any animal, she would want to be a panda? She says it's because they get to sit around and eat all day while people tell them how cute they are. She also wonders if pandas can blush...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Need Advice? Ask Nadia!

Have a question? Need some good, Christian advice? Why not ask Nadia!! Nadia is LAT's advice columnist and she would love to answer any of your questions!!

Email Nadia at and label your email ASK NADIA!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to Stretch Your Dollar (Clothes Shopping)~ Madline Hunt

If your like me you probably have a limited clothing budget for new fall/winter clothing. Plus you might not need as much since you may have stopped growing. How can you stretch the dollars to get an updated look for not a lot of money?
Here are some money saving tips:

*Make sure you really love it before you buy it!
*Always try everything on and make sure you can think of at least 3 other items that you already own that would go well with it.
*Keep really trendy purchases to a minimum and if you decide you do want that leopard print cardigan make sure you don't spend a lot on it.
*Ask yourself questions. Do I really need another navy blue cardigan or can I make do with two pairs of jeans instead of three?
*Don't limit yourself to just stores at your local mall- they can be expensive!
*Try thrifting! I have found so many cute and modest things at thrift stores for way cheep then buying them new. Throw them in the wash and they are as good as new :D {Make sure you check for stains or holes before you buy}
*Make sure it fits with your modesty standards
*Don't buy it if it does not work with your body type.

You can look cute and fabulous without spending tons of money! Have a little shop your closet session where you try on all your fall/winter clothes and try out new outfit combos. There might be some you have never thought of before and that can give your wardrobe a boost!

Monday, September 19, 2011

His Fingerprints ~ Hogan Stevens

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1
We all know this, right? Have you ever listened to all the scientists and professors who talked about how God surely didn’t create everything we see around us, that the world just somehow exploded into being, and thought, “I know this isn’t true…Right?”
How do you know? How do you know that God indeed created this earth? That He formed the universe with His hands and made it just right? Do you have proof?
“Of course I have proof! The Bible.” That’s right. The Bible says it all right there, right on the very first page. I even quoted it! We have even more proof, something we see and feel every single day.
That which He created. As Richard Carlson said, “Remember that everything has God's fingerprints on it.”
Have you ever just examined something, say a tiny flower, and marveled at the brilliant complexity in such a seemingly simple and small thing? I know I have; I do it all the time. Just look at the beauty that’s all around you. See a dandelion, all those teeny, tiny puffs of white fluff, how each and every one of them is so perfect and lovely. Examine a blade of grass and see how there are tiny veins that run through its length, how smooth its edges are. The sky. Oh, the sky, how it is bathed in various colors when the sun rises and sets, how the clouds form countless shapes across the expanse of the horizon…even how mighty and tumultuous it can look as a storm descends.
The tiny birds that flit from tree to tree, see how precious and complete they are? Isn’t it so magnificent, how they can soar through the skies with seemingly no effort, how they can build their homes by pure instinct--an instinct that was given by God Himself? Every little critter and creature is so complex and so beautiful in its own way; God has created everything just so, just right.
All of these things are proof that our God is an awesome God, that He created each and every thing in this universe with caring and loving hands, paying close attention to every single detail He put into every single thing. Isn’t that thought just wonderful? Doesn’t it blow your mind to think that He is such a powerful, almighty Lord that He can create such breathtaking beauty?
If He put so much care into such tiny things as flowers, don’t you know that He must have took extra-special care with someone as precious to Him as…you? Yes, you. He formed you with His own hands, cradled you in His strong arms, breathed the breath of Life into your lungs…He made this beautiful creation that is you. Believe me, He loves you much more than the flowers and clouds in which He put so much detail. Much, much more.
He loves you enough that He gave you His very Son, His very Self (Romans 5:5), just because He wants you to be able to spend eternity with Him in that perfect kingdom called heaven.
He loves you.
The proof is all around us. Proof that He created this universe and that He did it with the utmost love and care. Some people choose not to see it, to ignore such obvious signs of His hands. They try to make up their own reasons for why they and this world exist, and they try to say that God is an uncaring, cruel God…or they even say that He does not exist at all. In time, they will realize that they have only been fooling themselves. God’s fingerprints are everywhere, in everything, and the details of His handiwork are hard to ignore.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph. 2:10
Did you know that Hogan has written three books?!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Paperdoll by Natalie Lloyd~ Review by Michelle Pell

Rating: ***** (perfect book for a girls Bible study)

We've all heard the story of the woman at the well in the Bible. Jesus meets this woman at a well in Samaria, asks for a drink, but ends up giving her living water in return. That's it, right? Wrong. Did you know, there is so much more to that story?

In the process of uncovering the message, hidden in the story of the woman at the well, Natalie Lloyd shows how the Samaritan woman's story is very similar to a lot of ours. Everywhere we look we see the faces of "perfect girls," and, maybe without even realizing it, we feel pressured to become that girl. One who never makes any mistakes, always a big smile plastered on her face, never letting anyone see the real girl.

By taking apart the chapter piece by piece, Natalie unveils the truth found in John 4, the truth of God's unfailing love. The kind of love strong enough to break down the barriers we build around us. Love deep enough to unveil all the broken hearts, longing for true love, hidden behind paperdoll smiles.

Lloyd tells of the incredible love, acceptance, joy, and peace found thru throwing aside our "perfect" masks and surrendering fully to God's guidance and direction in our life. She shows that when an ordinary girl fills up on the extraordinary love of God, unforgettable thugs begin to happen. Care to come along for the ride? Or better yet, fill up on the extraordinary love yourself?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

James 5:16~ Heather Young

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
James 5:16
This verse may seem a little different from other ones you’ve read before. David, in the Psalms, constantly asks God for forgiveness for his sins (Psalm 38:18, 32:5). 1 John 1:9 is also a clear example that we should confess our sins to God: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But this verse is clearly saying that we should also confess our sins to one another. As you have probably found out from experience, it doesn’t do any good to dwell on old grudges for a long time; you become bitter and cold-hearted inside. Instead, we should strive to be like God and forgive other people no matter what.
confess: to admit a wrongdoing, crime, or error openly. trespass: a sin or act of wrongdoing.
Notice the last word in the definition of confess: openly. This doesn’t mean that when we admit what we have done wrong, we try to hide the whole truth. Instead of telling your friend, “Um, yeah, I guess I kind of did tell people that it was all, um, just your fault that we got an F on our project last week,” you should tell them, “I’m really sorry I told that lie about you slacking off on our project last week.” Don’t hold back your apologies! Even though you might lose a friend or be disliked by other people, at least you’ll have a clear conscience and be right with God.
effective: causing a result, especially the desired or intended result.
fervent: showing ardent or extremely passionate enthusiasm.

What is an effective, fervent prayer? According to these definitions, an effective prayer is one that produces the result you wanted it to; a fervent prayer is one that you are enthusiastic about. Be excited about praying! I’m not just giving advice to make you follow it—I need to follow my own advice too! At least at my youth group, there’s usually only one or two people willing to pray out loud. A lot of us would like that to change. I think you’ll be surprised what enthusiastic praying will do for you. Demonstrating this point, James 5:16 declares, “…pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
This equation not only works for prayer, but for anything you do. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” In order to work at something with your whole heart, you must first be willing to do it. Three days, eight trash cans, and ten boxes later, I was able to make my room look presentable, but I couldn’t have done it without the enthusiasm I had for the end result.
righteous: considered to be correct or justifiable.
avail: to be helpful or useful.
To be justifiable means to be capable of being shown as worthy to accepted standards. Obviously, we need God immensely—we wouldn’t be alive without Him (Romans 6:23)! I have learned that many times when the Bible has the phrase, “a righteous man,” it usually means the righteous person that you have become after being cleansed by Jesus’s blood. Romans 3:10 clearly states, “As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one,” but 1 John 1:9 shows there is still hope for us to be freed from the burden of sin, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The prayer of a someone who has been saved by grace is very helpful or useful.
After applying all of these definitions, the simplified version of James 5:16 is:
“Admit your sins to one another openly, and pray for each other, that you may be healed. The successful, enthusiastic prayer of a justifiable person helps much.”
Hope this helped you understand the Bible just a little bit more!

Did you know that Heather's favorite candy is Hershey's dark chocolate?!?!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beauty Products~ Renee Arnold

With the school year upon us, you might be searching for new beauty products that you know will deliver results. With the hundreds of products out there it can be overwhelming to try and choose just one. In this article, I will share with you my favorite beauty products and why I love them so much.
There seems to be a new kind of mascara coming out every day! Ones that make your lashes long, thick, and full of volume. This does all three. I found the ultimate basic mascara, it's called Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara. This mascara gives you the volume and depth you want from your lashes while keeping them strong. I have seen a significant difference in the number of eyelashes I've lost since using this product. You can find this mascara at any drug store or supermarket for about $7.
Next is another drug store find for around $6, this is my very favorite concealer called CoverGirl Invisible Concealer. There are a bunch of shades that will perfectly match your skin tone and hide anything from acne to dark circles. I use this especially under my eyes because I have some dark bags under them.
Good luck back at school! I hope you have a great year. If you have any other questions about beauty products or how to apply makeup, you can email me at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ask Nadia

Dear Nadia,
My mom and I have very different tastes in music. She likes hymns and praise songs and I like more upbeat songs, like pop and contemporary. Is there a way that I can get my mom to compromise with me, so I don't have to ALWAYS listen to hymns and praise songs when I'm with her?
Music Madness
Dear Music Madness,
First of all, I think it's SO great that both you and your mom have such a liking of music that praises and honors the Lord! I think He would be honored by your continued humility in deferring to your mom.
Ephesians 5:21 says 'Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.' Your letting her choose is a beautiful offering to God. However, I don't see anything wrong with asking to/suggesting that you listen to something else. If you politely ask your mom if you can listen to more contemporary praise music, you respect her preferences, but also have the chance to present your own! Try to settle on a compromise - you can listen to her music sometimes and yours other times. If she refuses, just choose to have a good attitude :)
Philippians 2:4 says 'In humility count others more significant than yourselves.' That's a really hard truth to follow (especially for me since I struggle with pride!) but it is one that is very important. Even if you aren't able to listen to music you, like when your mom is making the music selection - in the car or the kitchen, etc. - you can listen to your music when you're doing homework or during your prayer time! If you can't come up with a compromise, find time when you're on your own to honor God with praise music!

God bless you girl!
:) Nadia

Monday, September 12, 2011

Your New Sister~ Haylie Gregory

For those of you who follow us on Facebook, this news will be no surprise. On August 25th, I became a Child of God, a sister to you fellow Christians. Now, you are probably thinking, "What? An editor of a Christian magazine just got saved?! What's up with that??" Well, that is exactly why I am writing to you now. I want to share my story with you and I would LOVE if you shared yours with me and the rest of the LAT staff.

When I was six, I 'got saved', but I don't think I completely understood what I was doing or if I even believed in what I was saying. Here's why. The morning of the day I 'got saved', our pastor at the time was giving out purple ribbons for people to wear. These ribbons were to symbolize that you were saved. I wanted one of those ribbons. I went home and asked my mom why everyone got a ribbon, but I could not have one. She told me that it was because I was not saved. So I asked her how. Later that evening, I got my purple ribbon. I remember how I felt when my dad put that ribbon on me. It wasn't a feeling of amazement because I was saved. It was a "Oh, I'm just like all of you now, so we are equal" feeling. I know that salvation is not a feeling, but looking back on that day, I didn't believe that I had actually accepted Christ as Savior.

A few month ago, I was doubting my salvation. I was not sure if I was saved and I knew that, If I died that day, I had no idea where I would go. Before when I doubted, I'd say a pray, you know, just in case. I never really did feel any sort of relief. (Again, salvation is NOT a feeling.)

On the 25th, I was sitting in my Faith Bible Institute class (FBI for short) that we have at our church. John Yates, the creator of FBI and teacher, was teaching on the doctrine of salvation. That was when it hit me. I knew that very moment that I was not saved. I knew that, if I died on the way home, I'd go to hell and be separated from God forever. I could feel God telling me that I needed to do something then and there. When Mr. Yates was saying the prayer, I said a prayer too, but this prayer was different. This prayer I meant and I said with full belief. I knew I was a sinner and that I was nothing without Christ. I knew that Jesus died for my sins and I knew that I wanted to be His and live for Him. That night, I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me.

When I finished my prayer and opened my eyes, I felt relief. I felt secure and safe. I knew that, no matter what people told me, I was a child of God. When I got home, I told my parents and they where sort of shocked. They thought that I was already saved. I explained to them what I explained to you (but in more detail) and they rejoiced with me. I called my pastor the next day and told him and asked him what I need to do. He told me that I needed to tell others and to be baptized (a way of telling others).

I will admit, I was scared to tell people that I got saved. I was scared because, I have been apart of my church since I was in the 3rd grade. Everyone knew me and so many younger girls looked up to me. I didn't want people to think I was a hypocrite or something. I just wanted people to know that I was a Christian now, so that is why I am sharing this with you!

If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, I encourage you too! Talk to a pastor or contact any one of the staff member here at LAT! We would be more than happy to talk with you! If you'd like to know more about Jesus and all the wonderful things He has done for you, please email us! Also, if you would like to share your testimony, feel free too! We are excited about these things! We'd love to rejoice with you!!

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."