Archive for the 'Randomness' Category



My Sister The Blogger!

I have a very exciting announcement today…

My little sister started a blog! 

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Guys, my sister is AWESOME – and gorgeous, right?  Look at that hair!  Her name is Amanda and she just finished her sophomore year in college and she’s one of my favorite people ever.  She got sucked into the food blog world when I started mine last fall and has taken the plunge and begun one of her own!  Check out My Summerizations to follow “an independent girl’s attempt at entertaining herself all summer long through food, words and exploration.” 

From the darling girl herself: “This summer I hope to discover new facets of myself as I do things I always wish I would: experiment with food, begin yoga, read more books and reflect on my thoughts…whatever they may be.”

Oh, and she’s a journalism major, so I know the writing will kick booty.  Love ya sis!

Ashley's graduation 048_2

She loves me too.

For another announcement…my oven has been fixed!  At least, I think it has.  I haven’t officially tested it yet, but apparently it’s good to go.  So I’ll be back in the kitchen soon and share a recipe with you all this week!  Hooray!

Oh She Glows Guest Post!

Hello hello!

I returned last night from a wonderful, fun-filled, active and - importantly! – much-needed VACATION! My parents and I made our way around northern California like it was our job. Exploring San Francisco – Fisherman’s Wharf, Boudin Bakery, Victorian houses, Haight Street. Seeing the Full House house – yes, it was awesome. Walking the Golden Gate Bridge and back. Visiting my bro outside Sacramento. Touring Napa Valley vineyards and tasting wines. Relaxing in beachy Monteray and Carmel. Driving the coast and admiring the cliffs along the way. Hiking the Muir Woods redwood forest. Dining on the water in Sausalito. It was glorious!

With all my travels, I haven’t had a chance to get back in the kitchen and write a new Sweet + Natural post for you all. But I do have something to share! Mere hours before I left for the airport, miss Angela from Oh She Glows e-mailed me to see if I’d do a guest post on her blog. Seeing as I had a 6.5 hour plane ride from NYC to San Fran ahead of me – aka plenty of time to kill – I was more than happy to do so. Plus, Angela inspires her readers daily with her contagious enthusiasm for healthy living, so I was excited to contribute to the cause!

Head on over to her blog to read about my Top 5 Favorite Sweet + Natural Ingredients.

The Official Sweet + Natural Playlist

Again, thanks to everyone for your submissions to The Official Sweet + Natural Playlist!  Check out all the songs below!  We are clearly a group with eclectic musical tastes, so there is something here to please every palate.  These tunes will surely get you twirling, rocking out, swaying, humming, singing and smiling – all while baking up a storm in your kitchen!  Click here to download the playlist for yourself.

The Official Sweet + Natural Playlist:
Submitter in parantheses

The Old Apartment – Barenaked Ladies (Angela @ Oh She Glows)

Tamacun – Rodrigo y Gabriela (Liz)

Send Me on My Way – Rusted Root (Emma)

Tangerine – Led Zeppelin (Lisa)

The Middle – Jimmy Eat World (Danielle @ A Year of Healthy Eating requested anything by Jimmy Eat World…this one makes me want to dance!)

Temptation – New Order (Gena @ Choosing Raw)

Slow Dancing In a Burning Room – John Mayer (Kati @ Living Well)

Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out) – The Hombres (Melissa @ Fitness NYC)

Mony Mony – Billy Idol (Melissa @ Fitness NYC)

Sour Cherry – The Kills (Melissa @ Fitness NYC)

Mannequin – Britney Spears (Melissa @ Fitness NYC)

Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson (moprica + Meghan @ Help Meghan Run)

Do It Well – Jennifer Lopez (michelle rosborough)

Right Round – Flo Rida (VeggieGirl)

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes (lora @ Honey Nut Lo)

Candy Girl – New Edition (Heather @ Hangry Pants)

The Mountain – Heartless Bastards (Alison @ Live Listen Cook)

Courtin’ In the Kitchen – Gaelic Storm (Alison @ Live Listen Cook requested anything by Gaelic Storm…this seemed appropriate!)

WannaBe In L.A. – Eagles Of Death Metal (Alison @ Live Listen Cook)

Cross Your Fingers – Laura Marling (Alison @ Live Listen Cook)

Misery Business – Paramore (Alison @ Live Listen Cook)

Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects (The Sister…who is literally MY sister.  Is it sad that she feels she has to enter this contest to get baked goods from me?  Love you Amanda!)

Ensemble – Couer de pirate (Wiggs @ the beholder)

Ohh La La - The Ditty Bops (Wiggs @ the beholder requested anything by The Ditty Bops…I thought this captured my typical reaction after biting into a freshly baked cookie!)

Diablo Rojo – Rodrigo y Gabriela (Wiggs @ the beholder requested anything by Rodrigo y Gabriela…we already had one by him, so I threw in another!)

Suga Suga – Frankie J (Pearl @ a sweet pearl)

Is It You – Cassie (Sharon @ Snippets and Bites)

Upside Down – Jack Johnson (Troye Stadler @ In Joy, Troye requested anything by Jack Johnson…this choice was an ode to pineapple upside down cake of course.)

Waiting On The World To Change – John Mayer (Troye Stadler @ In Joy, Troye requested anything by John Mayer…this one always gets in my head!)

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield (Troye Stadler @ In Joy, Troye requested anything by Natasha Bedingfield…this one’s for my college girlfriends!)

One Sweet Love – Sara Bareilles (Troye Stadler @ In Joy, Troye requested anything by Sara Bareilles…this is one of my favorites!)

Spiralling – Keane (Hayley @ Hayley Bakes)

Back In Your Head – Tegan and Sara (Jessica @ Keep It Simple Foods)

Love Song – Sara Bareilles (Michelle)

Heart It Races (As Played By Dr Dog) – Architecture In Helsinki (Hayley @ Buff Chickpea)

Here for the Party – Gretchen Wilson (Amy @ Slow Down Food, You’re Movin’ To Fast)

Love Lockdown – Kanye West (Jessica)

Everything – Michael Bublé (Jenn)

I Was Made To Love Her – Stevie Wonder (Jenn)

For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder (Jenn)

Easy – The Commodores (Jenn)

Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got) – Four Tops (Jenn)

Be My Baby – The Ronnettes (Jenn)

(What A) Wonderful World – Sam Cooke (sarahdbelle @ Sarah’s Sweet Lips)

The following songs were also submitted, but unfortunately not on iTunes to add to the playlist.  Come on Def Leppard!  Whassup with that?

Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard (Kelly + Leslie @ Jackson’s World + Lauren @ food for living)

Highway To Hell – AC/DC (Kelly)

Turn to the Sky – The March Violets (chilton)

Enjoy the music!

On a separate note, please keep Jenna and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  And take some time today to tell your family and friends that you love them.

A Winner!

Thank you all for your submissions to The Official Sweet + Natural Playlist!  I’ll post the songs and a link to download them later today or tomorrow – just waiting on iTunes to publish the iMix!

In the meantime…I Random Number Generated all of your entries, and the winner of a Sweet + Natural baked treat is…

Sharon @ Snippets and Bites!

Congrats my dear!  I’ll e-mail you to get your goodie choice and mailing details.  Everyone else – check back later for some awesome tunes!

Welcome Wellsphere!

logowellspherehomeHi friends!

You may have noticed a new icon at the bottom right side of the blog, so I thought I’d do a little explaining!  I was recently invited by Wellsphere to join their HealthBlogger Network as a featured blogger in the Healthy Cooking Community.  That’s the fancy ID badge.  Very official.

A little about the site, for your learning pleasure:

Wellsphere is the fastest-growing consumer health website and is focused on revolutionizing the way people find and share health and healthy living information and support.  Wellsphere’s mission is to help millions of people live healthier, happier lives by connecting them with the knowledge, people and tools they need to manage and improve their health.

All sorts of different bloggers are members of the HealthBlogger Network – doctors blogging about treating medical issues, young women blogging about healthy diets and fitness, chefs blogging about tasty recipes.  Along with reading through the plethora of health info Wellsphere and its bloggers offer, there are lots of fun things to take advantage of – like setting up personal text message reminders or getting widgets to put on your own blog that provide your readers with healthy living or motivational tips.  Good times!  Go check it out!

Also, REMINDER that tomorrow is the last day to submit a song to The Official Sweet + Natural Playlist and enter to win a freshly baked Sweet + Natural treat!  Bring on the music!

Baking Playlist + A Giveaway!

Hi peeps!  Trying to keep the Easter candy love flowing, you know.  I actually really dislike those rubbery marshmallows, but they’re fun to microwave!

Read on for a proposition and a sweet GIVEAWAY!

Wiggs at The Beholder hosted a fun contest last week.  And I WON!  I think it’s because a bird pooped on me on Tuesday.  That’s good luck, right?  Or TMI.  You pick!  Anyway, she asked her readers to submit their favorite workout song and compiled them into an iMix for everyone to download and enjoy.  Check out the songs and how to get the mix-ity mix here.

So, this contest got me thinking.  I listen to music when I’m working out.  I listen to music when I’m walking hastily to and from work or leisurely around the city on a lovely day.  I listen to music when I’m relaxing on an airplane or primping for a night out.  I have a soundtrack for so many parts of my life.  But you know where the music is missing?

In my kitchen!

I never get my iTunes going when I’m baking it up in there.  That, my friends, is no longer going to be acceptable.  I need a baking playlist! You know – a collection of playful, happy, la-dee-dah songs that get you boogying in your apron and singing into your spatula.  This is where you and the giveaway come in…

Leave a comment and tell me a great song to get busy in the kitchen with! That’s entry #1. Bonus entry for linking back to this post on your own blog. We want all the songs we can get over here!

You have until Friday, April 24 @ midnight EST to enter your song. I’ll then randomly pick one winner and send that reader a batch of the freshly baked – and easily mailable! - Sweet
+ Natural
treat of their choice.  For everyone else, no worries.  I’ll do something for you too!  All songs suggested will be made into The Official Sweet + Natural Playlist on iTunes – ready and waiting for your listening enjoyment.

Get those musical ideas flowing!  Can’t wait to see your suggestions!

Blogger Dessert E-Cookbook

More to share from around the blog world!

Jenna at Eat, Live, Run is selling a Blogger Dessert E-Cookbook to benefit The Leukemia + Lymphoma Society via Team In Training.  She’s running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco in October 2009 and has committed herself to raising $4200 along the way.  Pretty awesome!

There are over 60 sweet recipes in the e-cookbook from your beloved bloggers and blog readers.  I submitted a favorite myself!  Can you guess what it is? I actually just received my copy and here are some of the recipes I’m already drooling over…

Chocolate-Almond-Fig Spread Blondies – VeggieGirl

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Blondies – Heather + Mark @ Hangry Pants

Whole Wheat Coffee Cake Muffins with Date Nut Streusal – Vani @ Fit for Free

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins – Heather @ Heather Eats Almond Butter

Coco Nutty Banana Bread - K

Coconut Butter Rum Pound Cake with Rum Glaze – Samantha

Vegan Irish Oatmeal Cupcakes with Warm Butterscotch Glaze – Janessa

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding – Heather @ be well + take care

Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies – Jess

To purchase the cookbook, head on over to Jenna’s Team In Training page and make a donation of just $10.  Then shoot her an e-mail at HelpJennaRun@gmail.com to let her know it’s in and she’ll e-mail you the cookbook!  Easy peasy!


Contact

ashley.sweetandnatural@gmail.com

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