Guess what?! My site redesign is officially happening in FOUR days. Count ‘em… Four! Think it’s about time? I mean, I did switch over to @thebalancedblonde on Instagram nearly two months ago, so it’s only been a matter of time until the bloggy would take over as TBB, too.
I. CAN’T. WAIT. TO SHOW YOU THE NEW LOGO! It’s completely perfect. I mean p-e-r-f-e-c-t. This site is about to have a super fancy beautiful makeover and it’s also about to reflect my blogging love and more minimalist style with much more clarity. SO SOON!
Me getting super excited about the fooouuurrr day mark (in my TBV Apparel tee & my bedhead):
It’s not that I’ve been putting off the redesign. (Well, maybe a little bit in the beginning… I had a diehard attachment to TBV!) Lately, the only thing holding the redesign back from happening right this very second is that we are making it as perfect & aesthetically gorg as humanly possible before slapping it up on the website.
Will www.theblondevegan.com still link to my site? Of course. I can’t have thousands of confused readers wandering around cyberspace like chickens with their heads cut off searching for TBB! The old URL will link to the new site, and so will the new URL… www.thebalancedblonde, yay.
[ PS… Have you seen my Studio 10 Aussie news segment?!?! Check it outtt, yo. I didn’t realize until the morning of that it was a LIVE interview, so I frantically messaged all of my Australian peeps– Arman, Belle, Roma, Jackie… hi! ]
Anyyyway, in my quest for the perfect new bloggy layout, I have been looking to other blogs that I love and admire for inspiration. At the very top of my inspiration list? Miss Ashlae Warner of Oh, Lady Cakes.
I basically started stalking this lovely gal’s blog a couple of years ago for her freakishly beautiful food photos, her super clean site design, and her I-feel-like-we’ve-been-friends-forever down to earth writing style.
I had the opportunity to interview Miss Ashlae about all things foodie and blog-land related, and I think it’s about time I share with all of you!
^ Like, really?
Q&A with Ashlae of Oh, Lady Cakes:
Full name, age, current location: Ashlae Warner, 26, Denver, CO
Q: Are you fully vegan? What is your food philosophy?
A: I followed a strict vegan diet for a few years, and then got sick and it was recommended I start consuming animal protein again. I eat eggs a few times a month, but other than that I’d say my diet is at least 95% vegan. I subscribe to the same food policy as Michael Pollan – Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. I’m a big fan of anything that comes from the soil of our generous planet (even mushrooms, although I find their texture repulsive), and avoid eating foods that are genetically modified or overly processed (faux meat, frankencheese, etc.).
Q: Were you always interested in baking and cooking, or did going vegan (or mostly vegan) inspire you to get more into it?
A: I was moderately interested in baking as a child but kind of lost my way with it as a teenager. When I met Thom (now my fiancé) seven years ago, I noticed he had a deep love and appreciation for homemade sweets. So I basically taught myself how to bake everything from scratch. When I went vegan, so did my baking. And although I’ve incorporated eggs back into my diet, you won’t find them in my baked goods.
Q: Tell us about a day in the life of Ashlae.
A: I usually roll out of bed around 5AM, make myself a cup of pour over coffee (because my fancy coffee machine broke and I was too cheap to buy a new one) (I take a few tablespoons of non-dairy cream in mine, in case you were wondering), and head to the couch to catch up on Grist and NPR Environment. It’s become a sort of ritual for me, one that I very much look forward to each night before I go to bed. It’s my time to sit and stew; to learn and challenge myself; to think free of the clutter and chaos that comes with a new day. Around 7AM I’ll go for a long run and usually come back home to lift. My brother works in the strength training equipment industry (geesh, that’s a mouthful) so I’m fortunate enough to have all the fixings for a home gym. After that? Well, it depends on what I have going for the day. I’ll either work on my blog and the work that I am very, very, very thankful that has come along with it, or I’m sitting in class from 10-6, learning about economic theory and orbital mechanics and atmospheric stability.
Q: Your best “strange but good” food combo (either in baking or just in eating, in general)
A: I recently rediscovered canned refried beans and have been enjoying them straight from the can with a bit of salt and lime juice on each bite. Thom finds it appalling – and I’m sure most other people do, too – but oh man, it is so insanely satisfying.
Q: Your fav must-read blogs. (You know you’re one of mine!)
A: My Darling Lemon Thyme, A Couple Cooks, House of H, London Bakes, TheFirstMess, The Vanilla Bean Blog, Darjeeling Dreams, Flourishing Foodie, Green Kitchen Stories, and a slew of others you can see here. (Aaaaand, I just realized all but one of these is a food blog. Prepare to be hungry, folks.)
[ Sidenote from TBB: These are a bunch of my favs, too! ]
Q: If you could share a meal with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
A: I don’t have a religious bone in my body, but I would love to share a meal with Papa Francesco. His commitment to bettering the lives of the sick/needy easily makes him one of the most admirable human beings, in my eyes. But if we’re going out for street tacos, taking shots of tequila, and not paying mind to how many f-bombs get dropped, I’d probably say Anthony Bourdain.
Q: Fav meal on earth.
A: I love a good sandwich. But there are two requirements: it must be toasted and it has to be loaded with good-quality condiments (hummus, spicy mustard, avocado spread, etc.).
Q: You’re a rockin’ photographer. Tell us a little bit about your photography journey & how you got so dang good!
A: This is a weird question for me because I don’t really feel like I’ve earned the right to call myself a photographer. My photography took a turn for the better when I invested in a DSLR and started practicing a reasonable amount. Practice aside, it’s not difficult to take a good photo when you’ve got a device in your hands that costs a few thousand dollars. But I would say I have a style – very minimal and bright. I’ve tried to go the food styling route but I just can’t get into it. It feels forced and fake; completely unnatural. That, and I’m – admittedly – too lazy to do too much styling.
[ ^ Stop this madness OMG so good. ]
Q: How did you come up with the name “Oh, Ladycakes”?! I love it, btw.
A: Thanks! Thom gave me the name ladycakes back when we first started dating, but it had nothing to do with the fact that I was baking cakes. Or baking anything, for that matter. When I started the blog I knew I wanted to incorporate the name, somehow – and since ladycakes.com was taken, I threw an ‘oh’ out front.
Q: Quote to live by.
A: Eat well, travel often.
Huge thanks to Ashlae for stopping by TBB! Make sure to head over to her fantastically awesome blog ohladycakes.com for some mouth-watering food porn and photography eye candy.
What’s everyone up to this weekend?! I have a surprise up my sleeve… but I can’t tell you what it is justttt yet… or else it wouldn’t be a surprise. 😉