Archive for July, 2010

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Dear blog,

My deepest apologies for these months of neglect.

Please take comfort in knowing that it’s not you, it’s me.

Life is changing, and it’s time for new beginnings.  Lots of excitement is in store!

❤ Ashley

Bloggie friends!  Will you ever forgive me for my prolonged absence of late?

The note above speaks the truth!  My life has undergone some pretty big changes over the past few months that have taken my focus away from Sweet + Natural.  May I explain?

Life Change #1:

I can no longer eat gluten.

Yes, it’s true.  After years of undiagnosed – though thoroughly tested – digestive issues, gluten has finally been identified as a key culprit.  As I’m sure you can imagine, this means a whole new way of baking for me.  A whole new way that I honestly have yet to explore.  Gluten is an important little sucker in baked goods, so there is much learning to do regarding this mysterious gluten-FREE realm.  I’m so used to experimenting and altering recipes however I please, but I feel like I need to get the GF basics down before I can go crazy like usual.  And since I like to eat what I bake – and can’t eat things made with most of my familiar ingredients – no new recipes to share!  If any gluten-free peeps out there have some favorite recipes or blogs or tips, please share!

Life Change #2:

I’m going back to school to switch careers!

Oh my goodness am I excited!  As of this September, I will no longer be an advertising professional.  I will be a Master’s in Communications Design student at NYC’s Pratt Institute!  Whoooo!

A career change has been a lo-ong time coming for me, but it took a while to nail down exactly what I wanted to do.  I toyed with natural food chef, market researcher, dietician, magazine marketer, design management professional, and more!  But after being hit with inspiration on a June 2009 cross-country flight – from a Project Runway marathon no less – my future became clear as day.  I was going to be a graphic designer.  Granted, I have no graphic design experience, but I practiced art all through my education and studied art history in college.  Back in high school, I always said I’d go into graphic design.  Seeing the PR designers’ glowing with pride over their creations reminded me that I used to get that same feeling back in my artsy days – and I missed it.

I started researching art schools the second I got home that night – and stayed up til the wee hours of the morning collecting as much information as possible.  I talked to designers working in the field.  I sat at Borders reading design books.  I put together my portfolio, wrote my personal statement and gathered my letters of recommendation.  And nine months after that fateful flight, I was accepted to my #1 choice program!  Now I’m leaving the company I’ve worked at for the past four years – with that saying so long to my steady paycheck and the only career I’ve known. And I’m entering the uncharted world of art school – working my way towards a new career that many of my student peers will already have years of experience in.  Fingers crossed I’m a quick study on those design programs!  I’m a nervous eager excited happy girl.

To complement this new venture, I’ve started a new blog.  Great design starts with great inspiration, so I plan to do everything I can to seek out and absorb all that makes my creativity come alive.  I’ll be documenting my favorite finds on ashley loves.  It’s my interactive mood board – my personal aesthetic captured in an assortment of images.  Feel free to follow along as I post pretty things like this…

and this…

I’m not saying I’ll never post on Sweet + Natural again.  That seems far too definite – and I’m sure visions of muffins will be dancing in my head before long.  I’ll have nothing left to do but get in the kitchen and fire up the oven!  However, my energy is obviously elsewhere right now.  So let’s call this not “goodbye;” just “see you later.”  I heart you all for reading and baking along with me all this time.

Lots of love,


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