Archive for the 'Randomness' Category

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 to let her know it’s in and she’ll e-mail you the cookbook!  Easy peasy!

Giveaway Alert!

Hi everyone!

Wanted to share a fun GIVEAWAY from Sarah at Tales of Expansion.  Head on over to her blog and enter to win a package of the food item of your choice from Bob’s Red Mill!  I love Bob’s Red Mill!  They have an amazingly wide assortment of whole grain flours and baking mixes.  Perfect for some Sweet + Natural baking!

Go check it out!

NYC Blogger Brunch

Thanks to everyone who offered up suggestions for the blog!  You all have some great ideas.  I’ve made a list and will be sure to consult it before future baking endeavors.

As you may have assumed, I’m back in New York now!  Home sweet home.  Traveling for work certainly has its perks, but it’s always good to get back to what you know after a long time away.  And before you all get jealous of my international trips, let me assure you that they are not as glamorous as they may appear.  I’m usually watching and analyzing market research focus groups.  So my days and evenings are spent behind a one-way mirror, in a dark, windowless room – this does not bode well for jet lagged individuals – listening to different consumers share their thoughts on the same stuff over and over again.  Interesting, yes!  But it can get repetitive.  And your butt gets sore from so much sitting!  But I will say, the Business Class flights are quite luxurious!  Love me some fancy cheese platters and fully reclining chairs!

Anywho…I had barely stepped off the plane at JFK when what did I do?

Attend an NYC Blogger Brunch!

This was my first big blogger meet up and it was great fun!  Whoo!  Melissa @ Fitness NYC organized the get together at Counter, a vegetarian restaurant in NYC’s East Village.  The  food was mediocre, the service was horrific, but the company was fabulous.  I didn’t get a photo of the group.  Bad blogger – I know!  But here are all the supercool attendees who I know will post their own recaps, so check ‘em out!

Melissa @ Fitness NYC

Heather and Mark @ Hangry Pants

Gena – her raw foods blog is in the works, but she has been a guest poster on Melissa’s Fitness NYC blog here and here

Shane @ Rose of Bohemia

Danielle @ A Year Of Healthy Eating

Emily @ Super Caloric Chalk Dust

Sarah @ Tales of Expansion

Dori @ Dori’s Shiny Blog

Missy @ Missy Maintains

Amelia @ Highways to Health

Olga @ Healthing It

Amie @ The Healthy Apple

Vani @ Fit for Free

Plus reader Ashley!

Also, special thanks goes to…Melissa for free fitness class passes, raw snacks from one lucky duck and Dr. Weil bars; Missy for Clif Zbars; and Sarah for the vegan biscotti!  It was like Christmastime!

Ladies – and gentleman! – hope to see you all again soon!  And if any of you non-New Yorkers ever make a trip to our wonderful city, be sure to let us know!

Ashley Is Out Of The Office + A Question

Hi blog friends!

I just found out I’ll be heading to the UK for work and won’t be returning until Saturday, March 21st.  So I wanted to let you lovelies know that I won’t be able to post again until I come back.  How sad! I hope you miss me as much as I’ll miss you.

While I’m gone, I have a favor to ask all of you…

In the interest of Continual Blog Improvement, tell me what you’d like to see more of on Sweet + Natural!

Is there a type of baked good you love that I’m not making enough of?  Are there ingredients you’re dying to see in a sweet treat?  Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like me to makeover?  Is there a natural baking topic or ingredient you’d like me to write about?  Lay it all out there for me!  Share your ideas!

Can’t wait to read your suggestions when I get back!  Have a great week!

Blog Award!

Shout out time!  

Thank you to the lovely Heather at Hangry Pants for recently awarding me with the Kreativ Blogger Award!  Miss Heather is quite kreativ herself.  She and her partner in crime, Mark, are learning all about raw foods this month and are incorporating them into their daily eats.  Head on over to their blog to follow along! 


Btw – Isn’t the award pretty?  It kind of reminds me of a yoga mat wrapped up in a green and blue ribbon.  

It looks like the KBA has been going around the blog world for a bit, but I think I found a few of my favorite  bloggers who have not yet received it!  Without further ado, I bestow the Kreativ Blogger Award to…  

1. Angela at Oh She Glows - Angela’s blog tagline is “Food. Fitness. Fashion. Fun.” and she really does bring it all!  She is also a fellow baking fan, which makes me love her all the more.

2. Hayley at Buff Chickpea – Hayley cooks and bakes up some wonderfully delicious healthy foods on her blog.  Her mad photography skills and fun food facts make each post all the more enjoyable to read!

3. Lauren at food for living – As soon as I saw Lauren’s breakfast bread pudding variations, I knew the girl had creativity oozing out of her.  Plus, her dog can do yoga better than me, so she gives me something to strive for!

Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Hooray hooray!  It’s Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day makes me happy.  What is it about those red and pink hearts that gets to me so?!  I know it’s a Hallmark holiday and all, but I say embrace it and enjoy love, share love, spread love.  I’ve had some memorable V-Days over the years.  Some romantic.  Some sweet.  Some silly.  Some with the bf.  Some with the gfs.  Some with Ben + Jerry.  Oops, did I say that out loud?

This Valentine’s Day Dan and I are double dating with our friends, so it will be twice as fun.  Hope you get to spend time with someone you love!

Oh, I should also mention that Valentine’s Day puts me in the mood for chocolate.  Shocking, I know! Check back soon for a fun – and very interesting – chocolate treat!

What are you doing this Valentine’s Day?

Blogging Bake Sale

Want to buy some tasty baked goodies?!

Fellow blogger Meghann from The Inner Workings of a College Graduate is hosting a Blogging Bake Sale this week to benefit her Team In Training efforts.  She’s running the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on May 31st and has committed herself to raising $3900 for The Leukemia + Lymphoma Society in the process.  Amazing, right?

There are LOTS of delicious treats for sale by many of your favorite bloggers.  We’re talking homemade bread, fudgy brownies, peanut butter cookies, macaroons, and more.  YUM!  My Maple Banana Cornbread is up for grabs – see below for a reminder of its deliciousness! – so head over here if you’d like to buy yourself a loaf.  You’ll be getting something yummy and helping out a great charity at the same time!



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