Archive for September 2014

Snapshots // 2

1 // My friend Anna and I decided to try a homemade face mask that we saw on Pinterest. So we bought a massive papaya from Trader Joe's (have you ever seen how big those fruits are?!) and cut it open. We took out all the seeds and then put it in a blender, adding some honey as well. We left it on our faces for 20 minutes, cracking up and taking pictures the whole time, convincing ourselves that we looked like housewives with baby throw up on our cheeks. 

2 // Thursday evening I went downtown and saw a musical - Peter Pan - one of my favorites! The theatre was gorgeous and the play itself was really well done. There were some adorable little five year olds playing the parts of the Lost Boys, the singing was awesome, and the scenery and costumes were very professional-looking.

3 // I went home from college this weekend to celebrate my 21st birthday with family! We went to the Cheesecake Factory and this awkward photo was taken right after a bunch of waiters were done singing to me. I got a huge slice of reeses peanut butter chocolate cake cheesecake -- yuuum.

4 // Saturday night my two best friends and I went to a free concert featuring a local band that we like, The Love Language. It was a lot of fun and it was wonderful seeing them for a short amount of time!

Follow me @ashcatz to see more photos on Instagram.
This sums up my past week through pictures and I'm linking up to "Snapshot Sunday" hosted by Jessica from Seeking Individuality.

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Thrift Store Finds (1)

Thrift shopping is a big passion of mine, something I've been doing for years now. I love the thrill of digging through so many different kinds of clothing and occasionally discovering a great find. I also absolutely love tweaking and re-styling items that I buy - mostly skirts and dresses. This usually involves cutting and sewing them to be more flattering and stylish. I hit the jack pot this week and scored all of the items below for a total of about $30. I love the thrift stores in my area!

$3 pink shirt - tag says Carolyn Taylor // $3 striped tank - tag says J. Crew

$3 blue shirt - tag says Liz Claiborne // $4 sweater - tag says J. Khakis

$3 skirt - tag says Forever 21 // $4.50 dress - tag says Red Camel

$4 skirt - tag says Jones New York (going to cut and sew this one to be shorter)

$4 boots - originally from Charlotte Russe

$2 necklace

$4 Teva's - in awesome condition!

So so happy with my thrifting findings this week. What items have you found?

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Snapshots // 1

1 // The education building is by far my favorite building on campus! It is so beautiful and reminds me of the train station in Hogwarts every time I step inside. I'm so thankful to have classes in there.

2 // Decided to change up my study routine and go somewhere new! My friend Anna and I went to this nice grassy area across from the Wilmington Riverwalk and "studied" for a few hours.. (mostly just talked). Trying to enjoy as many of these beautiful hot days as I can before the weather gets cold.

3 // Went thrift shopping for the afternoon with my friend Katelyn and I don't think I've ever been so successful in one day! Usually the thrift stores in my area are either hit-or-miss but for some reason on Saturday I was hitting the jackpot. For only about $30 I was able to score some boots, 2 skirts, a necklace, sweater, dress, 3 shirts, and mason jar cup. I'll make a post significantly about my thrift stores findings later this week.

// Friday was National Talk like a Pirate Day -- yeah apparently that's a thing. So Krispy Kreme joined in on the event and offered a dozen free donuts to anyone who came in dressing and talking like a pirate. I will literally do anything for free food so I whipped together a pretty ridiculous outfit (not really shown in the photo, but my clothes made me look more like a pilgrim). Anyways, got 12 free donuts out of it so that was awesome!

Follow me @ashcatz to see more photos on Instagram.
This sums up my past week through pictures and I'm linking up to "Snapshot Sunday" hosted by Jessica from Seeking Individuality.

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Grateful Heart // Sharing Jesus in Thailand

This past July I experienced one of the best adventures of my life.. I went to Thailand! This was only my second time out of the country (went to Costa Rica a few years ago) and it has sparked such a passion for traveling ever since. I went to Thailand for ten days with other college students in my church family back at home. The purpose of our trip was to ultimately share the love of Jesus and provide hope to the unsaved who have never heard the gospel before.

To say this trip was incredible would be an understatement. I am so so blessed that God gave me the opportunity to not only go to Thailand, but provided me the entire funds for the trip as well. I had to trust in God like I never had before - praying over each and every support letter that I mailed out and leaning entirely on Him. All of my worries and doubts quickly vanished though as the Lord continued to provide me the money and peace that I needed. Two days before we left the country, one of my best friends was able to join the trip because of a situation that arose, and that in itself was such an amazing blessing. I loved being able to share my experience with her as well.

Thailand taught me a lot and God revealed himself in very tangible ways. The majority of the people in Thailand are Buddhist and many of them haven't even heard the story of Jesus before. The day after we arrived (21 hours of flying by the way -- not fun), our group visited a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai. As soon as I stepped onto their worship area, my heart felt so heavy. It's a feeling that I will never be able to express with words but that I will definitely never forget. My heart broke for these lost people as I watched them pray to idols, light incense, and offer gifts to their gods. I had never experienced such spiritual darkness before and it honestly made me so uneasy; many of us in our group had trouble even praying or trying to focus because I know the devil was hard at work in that place. I craved to share the love and promises of Jesus with all of those people kneeling in front of statues. The temple was an incredibly beautiful but sad place that I think about all the time.

That one experience from Thailand has stuck with me (along with so many others but I chose to focus on this particular one for this post), and there's so much that I have taken away from it. I'm grateful that we worship and serve a living God. The Lord is alive! We don't offer up prayers to elaborate golden statues that don't communicate back. I am so forever grateful that God gave me the chance to experience this first-hand. We worship a truly wonderful, breathing God.

If you enjoyed hearing a little bit about my mission trip, please let me know! I would absolutely love to write more posts devoted to my Thailand trip because there are so many amazing things to say about it. I encourage anyone who is contemplating on going out of the country for missions to GO. Answer the Lord's call regarding the purpose of our lives and allow Him to use you and teach you.

Below is a video put together by the International World Changers, the organization that my church and I worked with. More information about it can be found here. This video encompasses our week in Thailand but is only a brief glimpse into each individual's unique experience and the crazy things that God did! I make a super quick appearance at 2:15.

I'm participating in a weekly blog link-up called "Grateful Heart Monday" with Emily at Ember Grey. Check out the many other blogger's grateful heart posts by clicking the button below!

Ember Grey

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What I Wore: Hello September

Style is so important to me because I like embracing my individuality and expressing it through my personal fashion taste. Putting on a pretty outfit to start my day can instantly brighten my mood. As we reach mid-September (already?!), I'm becoming so eager to bring out all of my fall clothes again. This is my absolute favorite season; get ready to see lots of cardigans, oxfords, tights, and floral!

Shirt: Ralph Lauren // Skirt: ebay // Shoes: Target // Cardigan: thrifted // Necklace: Forever 21 // Tights: Target

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DIY: Photograph Phone Case

I love personalized phone cases. For the past two years I've been using a clear hard-backed case for my iPhone 4 and continuously swap out different pictures that I print out for my cover. I decided to share my DIY since this is such an easy, cheap, and cute thing to do. Hopefully it will inspire you to make your own!

You will need:
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Clear phone case (I used this one that is only 2 bucks -- the bumper used to be a pretty mint color but it's now faded/dirty). Be sure to get the right size for your particular phone.
  • Printed out photograph. (If using an iPhone 4 case, the photo should measure roughly 5 inches x 3 inches. If using another type of phone case, I suggest opening up a Word document, pasting your photo, and re-sizing it to scale with your phone).

Once you have all of your materials gathered, cut out the photograph. In the picture above, I had printed out two photos because I couldn't decide which one I wanted to use from my recent trip to Thailand!

As you'll see, the photo is slightly larger than the phone case. I find this helpful because then you can simply trace around the phone case with a pencil to get an accurate sized picture.

Then all you do is cut around the tracing to make it fit perfectly inside the case! And don't forget to cut out the little oval for your camera/flash on the phone. (Sorry for the blurry picture below, my camera refused to focus). 

Place the photograph inside the clear phone case and then snap it onto your phone and you're done!

I hope this DIY was helpful and fun! I change out my photograph all the time and it only takes about ten minutes to do - such a quick and easy way to personalize your phone. Have a lovely day!

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Currently {Volume: 1}

What is happening in my life? I am currently:

Writing... in my prayer journal again. I haven't done it in months but am trying to get back into the routine again. It's really fascinating going back and re-reading old prayers and realizing how God answered them. There are even prayers that I am still praying about months or even a year later. My prayer journal has greatly helped me realize the main things that I usually find myself praying about. It also guides me to remain focused on my conversation with the Lord instead of becoming distracted. I encourage everyone to start writing out your prayers.

Anticipating... my 21st birthday! In a little over two weeks I will be celebrating this big year and I am so pumped. It's really crazy to think that I will actually be this old. My friends want to make me their favorite drinks so that should be interesting since I've barely had any alcohol in my life before! Also planning a birthday trip to Busche Gardens with one of my best friends and I could not be more excited.

Missing... Thailand! I went for ten days this past July and it was an incredible, life-changing trip. I think about that memorable experience almost every single day and am crossing my fingers that one day I'll be able to return. Thailand was such a beautiful country filled with friendly, loving people that stole my heart.

Wearing... my newest favorite pair of shoes from Target. According to my mom, she had the same exact pair of shoes when she was my age. Still not sure what to make of this comment. Also, a friend told me her grandmother's comforter looks like my shoes. Not sure what to make of that remark, either. But I love them!

Craving... Britt's doughnuts! I went for the first time last night and oh my goodness, those were the most delicious donuts I had ever tasted. Nothing like stuffing your face with calories while walking on the boardwalk with friends.

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About Me

 H E L L O ! My name is Ashley, aka Ashcatz, and I'm a twenty-something-year-old recent college grad living on the wonderful coast of North Carolina. This is a simple lifestyle blog devoted to my many interests. Here, I share my worldly travels, love and faith in Jesus Christ, fun adventures, photographs and stories of daily life, DIY projects and crafts, yummy recipes, current books/movies/music that I recommend, inspiration and food for thought, and my personal style! I hope you enjoy my blog! You can connect with me through instagram (I'm obsessed), pinterest, bloglovin, or by leaving a comment. Hope to hear from you!

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