Archive for November 2014

Make Your Belly Happy

Here you will find an index of my recipe posts! They are ordered from most recent and grouped by category. Click a picture to view that blog post and read instructions/see photographs of things I've made in the kitchen.



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Mini Apple Pies

These mini apple pies were such a hit at a Friendsgiving dinner that I went to last night. They are the perfect little dessert after a huge Thanksgiving meal! This was my first time ever making apple pie and I was so happy with the results. I will definitely be making these again!


5-6 apples (I suggest using green because they are more tart and will stay crisper after baking. Red apples turn brown after being cut much faster than green, and they get mushier in the oven much faster as well).
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp flour
Refrigerated pie crust


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. (The original recipe says not to, but some of my pies stuck to the bottom of the pan and were a pain to get out).
2. Peel the apples, core them, and chop them up. Put them in a large bowl.
3. Mix together the sugars, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and flour in a small bowl.
4. Add the mixture to your apples and mix until thoroughly covered.
5. Roll out one pie crust.
6. Cut circles into the dough by using a cup.
7. Place the dough cut outs into the muffin pan. Poke some holes into the bottoms with a fork.
8. Add heaping spoonfuls of apples onto each pie crust.
9. Roll out the other pie crust and cut into small strips, then weave a lattice top over each apple pie.
10. Bake for 35 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown. Allow to cool before taking out of the muffin pan or else risk having them fall apart (two pie's lives were sacrificed before I realized this!). Enjoy, and serve with ice cream to make it even yummier!

I used this recipe from This Creative Mom.

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DIY: Word Banner with Printable Letters

This week, I am having FOUR Thanksgivings. Yeah, I know, I'm gonna gain twenty pounds. Yesterday I had a Friendsgiving dinner with a bunch of my friends and tonight I am having another Friendsgiving with my small group. Then I will be spending actual Thanksgiving at my grandparent's house, with a follow up Thanksgiving the next night back at my own house. Let's see if my stomach can handle all this turkey...

In honor of Thanksgiving, I made this cute, easy word banner for a decoration. Last night everyone loved it and thought it turned out awesome. It was a great touch to our Friendsgiving dinner. You can of course make your own banner say whatever word you choose!

You will need: 

  • Yarn/string to hang the banner
  • Tape
  • Scissors 
  • Hole puncher (I don't have one but it would have been much easier if I did)
  • Paper with the letters of the word you want to spell. The entire alphabet can be found at DIY Swank. Simply click the letter you need, re-size it if you want, and print it out.

Now just cut out all of the letters, and punch two holes in the upper corners (or use scissors if you are limited on supplies like me). Weave your string or yarn through the holes and when you're done stringing all of the letters on, use tape to hang!

I love how this pretty banner turned out and I will definitely be re-using it tonight and next year as well. Let me know what words you end up making! The possibilities are seriously endless.


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Verses on Stress and Anxiety

Life has been pretty crazy lately. As my fall semester draws to a close, with exams just around the corner, I have been experiencing my fair share of stress and anxiety. My college assignments seem to be never ending and I'm finding it hard to make time for everything. Alongside this, I am in the process of trying to figure out my plans for next semester/year. Should I keep my babysitting job since I will be taking 20 hours of classes? Should I study abroad over the summer? Where should I live next year and with who? Should I go back to work at the movie theater while at home? Should I take an online class over the summer instead of attempting to do 20 hours next semester?

These are a few of the many questions keeping me up at night. I'm sure you all can relate, and have your own long list of "what if/should I" questions as well. It can be very confusing and stressful trying to answer them on your own.. and God doesn't want us to! He is holding out his arms to us, ready to take on our problems and sort them out for His good. He always has a plan for our lives. This is an important concept that I need to remind myself of more often. I can't get through this life on my own and my future will continue to be blurry if I do not lean on His words. That's why I have compiled this list of amazing verses dealing with anxiety, stress, and the future. His timing is always perfect; it just requires a lot of faith and trust. Let go and let God.

Matthew 6:25-34 // "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you - you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Psalm 62:8 // "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

Psalm 94:19 // "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy."

Philippians 4:6-7 // "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

1 Peter 5:7, 10 // "Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you... And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast."

Jeremiah17:7-8 // "But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

Psalm 55:22 // "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous be shaken."

Matthew 10:19-20 // "Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

Isaiah 41:10 // "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Proverbs 3:5-6 // "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight."

Hebrews 6:19 // "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."

Proverbs 12:25 // "Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up."

Romans 8:28 // "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Romans 12:12 // "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Deuteronomy 31:6 // "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Proverbs 31:25 // "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."

Jeremiah 29:11 // "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Deuteronomy 1:31 // "There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."

Matthew 11:28-29 // "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Psalm 121:1-3 // "I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber."

Psalm 34:4-7 // "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them."


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Here you will find an index of my monthly "Currently" posts! They are ordered from most recent. Click a picture to view that blog post and read about what I'm currently loving, missing, listening to, planning, reading, celebrating, etc.

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What I Wore: Shiny Giraffe

Layering up today! Shorts + tights are one of my favorite combinations for fall. I got these simple navy shorts - which I can wear with almost anything - for super cheap from a J. Crew outlet in Asheville. I'm also wearing my comfiest cardigan from Forever 21, which I wish I could wear every day because I love it so much. Cardigans are definitely my weakness -- I can never leave a store without buying one. My odd necklace is actually an awkward giraffe broach from a thrift store that I simply put on a chain. I love how unique it is because typically giraffes are not in that strange stance, they're usually tall and long and graceful. Needless to say, I think it's the cutest.

Shirt: Tj Maxx // Cardigan: Forever 21 // Shorts: J. Crew // Tights: Target // Boots: Francesca's // Necklace: Made from a thrifted broach

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S'mores Cookies

I love a good s'more. So when I saw a s'mores cookie recipe over at Christy's blog I immediately rushed over to the grocery store and bought all the ingredients so I could bake this tasty treat. The graham cracker on the bottom gives it the perfect crunch, the marshmallows give the dough the ideal gooeyness, and the Hershey's on top makes it feel like the ultimate s'more.

The only problem that arose was taking the cookies off the parchment paper after they were done baking. I let them cool off too long before cutting them into squares, which I won't do next time. For some reason the parchment paper stuck to the graham crackers the longer that they remained on the pan. So be sure to not make this same mistake! Other than that, this recipe was a success and I have leftover dough to make another batch this week!

S'mores Cookies


2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
11 Tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 jumbo Hershey's bar (or 2 regular sized bars), broken into pieces
1 package of graham crackers, broken into squares


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, cream the butter with the white sugar and brown sugar using an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine.
5. Add the chocolate chips and marshmallows, using your hands or a spoon to combine carefully.
6. Lay out graham cracker squares side by side on the baking pan, allowing the sides to touch each other. Depending on the size of the pan(s) you are using will determine how many graham crackers you can fit. My pan held 24.
7. Place a Tablespoon of dough on each graham cracker.
8. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven and place a Hershey's bar piece on top of each cookie. You can add as many or as little pieces as you want, depending on how much chocolate flavor you want.
9. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown. Remove and cool. Cut with a knife into squares, and enjoy! *Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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What I Wore: Collar and Color

Ahh it's November! I own about thirty pairs of that is not an exaggeration..I have a problem. But anyways, I went a little bold and wore my bright pink tights, pairing them with my new dress from ModCloth. I have quite an appreciation for pretty collars, so as soon as I laid eyes on this dress I knew I had to have it. I've been on the look out for an essential 'little black dress' recently and was ecstatic when I saw that this one had a peter pan collar. I didn't want to feel too much like Wednesday Addams though, so I added a pop of color with my tights. Since I still have no idea what the season here on the coast of NC is (one day it's blazing hot and the next it's really chilly), I stuck with a pair of crochet white oxfords.

Dress: ModCloth // Tights: Target // Shoes: Target

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Currently {Volume: 3}

Happy November! I am currently...

Reading... Made for You by Melissa Marr. I may be 21 years old, but I still absolutely love reading young adult novels of any genre. Right now I'm reading this thriller about a well-loved, popular girl who has a stalker who runs her down with his car. After waking up in the hospital, she discovers a new gift/curse: she can foresee people's deaths when they touch her. I'm only about a third into the book right now, but so far I like it! I find the premise of the story really interesting.

Wishlisting... these adorable tights from ModCloth. It's a dream come true: my obsession with cats as well as my love for knee-high socks -- combined! I may just have to buy these...

Loving... my new lovely backpack from Urban Outfitters. It's big, which is perfect to carry all of my books to class in. It's floral, which is perfect just in general. It's unique, I haven't seen anyone else with it walking around campus -- pretty much all I see are North Face book bags.

Appreciating... God's words. My favorite verse recently has been Romans 12:12, which says, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." These three simple commands have been continuously flowing in my mind. I wrote the verse on a sticky note and put it on my bed's headboard so that I'll see it every morning I wake up and every night before I fall asleep.

Creating... wall art! Bare white walls bore me to death so I'm sprucing up my bedroom walls with some DIY projects. This pretty dream catcher is my latest craft and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Linking up with Jenna and Anne!

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Snapshots // 5

My week was very bland so I'm sharing everything that I did last weekend!

1 // On Sunday GPS (Go Passionately Serve -- a Christian college group that I'm a part of) went to Masonboro Island for a cook out! We had a big fire on the beach and huddled around cooking hotdogs on sticks and making smores. We had the entire island to ourselves which was awesome!

2 // This picture was also taken during the cook out at Masonboro Island. I can't get enough of God's marvelous sunsets! We also sang some worship songs around the fire and spent some time praying for one another. It was an all around fun and great night.

3 // I went home to Apex, NC for Friday/Saturday to see my family and best friends! We all are scattered throughout North Carolina since we all go to different colleges but it was awesome reuniting with my three closest friends at home for two days. We went to my church's pumpkin patch and spent Saturday night carving them up!

4 // Friday night was the best! We all went to the state fair in Raleigh. I haven't been in years so I forgot how crazy expensive everything is but it was still fun! I ate fried Oreo's for the first time, went on the stupidest haunted house ride, ate too much cotton candy, people watched, and rode the Ferris Wheel while fireworks were going off.

Follow me @ashcatz to see more photos on Instagram.
This sums up my past week through pictures!

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Happy Halloween!

My friend Katelyn and I were "the fox and the hound" for Halloween! If you'd like to know more about how I made my costume, check it out here! We had such a fun night; I was asked by at least four different people, "What does the fox say?"

I hope everyone else had a fantastic Halloween! What did you dress as?

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