Hi! I’m Ashton, and welcome to Something Swanky.
A little about me personally… I’m a North Carolina native, born and raised. I’m the oldest of six siblings, and we’re all very close even now that we are mostly all grown up. We all love to eat, and it’s not a real family event until there’s a bowl of M&Ms on the table.
I graduated from Brigham Young University and lived in Provo, Utah for 7 years before returning home to NC. Living out West gave me a deep love for Mexican food (Red Iguana in SLC, y’all), really incredible yeast breads, and Macey’s grocery stores. Provo will always be near and dear to my heart!
I’m married to a wonderfully tall, freckled, Californian redhead. Together we are crazy about all things BYU, and right now we are really loving the show Fixer Upper (and dreaming of buying our first home in the next year or two). We have a very enthusiastic and bossy 5-year old daughter who lights up our life, and a sweet baby boy. They’re our whole world.
This blog began back in 2010, right after I had my first child. I left my full-time job (with no love lost) to become a full-time stay-at-home Mom. Back then, my husband was in school full-time and didn’t have the time to work a lot of hours at his part-time job. With a new baby in tow and the loss of my income, we were completely broke.
I noticed that a lot of stay-at-home moms seemed to be making some money by blogging, so I thought I’d give it a try. I certainly had the time to invest– and plenty of interest! Immediately after I had my daughter, I found myself more and more drawn in by food blogs. I looked forward to each morning when I would snuggle in bed with my baby and read all of my favorite blogs. I was especially in love with the photography and couldn’t get enough of the vivid food imagery I had discovered. To me, it was a new world that I was eager to devour– and join!
It was a natural choice for me to opt for food blogging. Why desserts? Because I like dessert best of all the foods. And I realized that this might be the only place in my life that having a dessert obsession could be completely appropriate. So I went for it.
And for a long time…. nothing happened. At least not where the money was concerned. Which was the whole reason I started blogging in the first place!
However, I soon realized that I didn’t care that I wasn’t making money. As it turned out, I was have a lot of fun! Blogging gave me a creative outlet and opportunities to grow that I never knew I wanted and needed. During the first few years of my experience, before I started to make any income at all, I simply immersed myself in learning. Google, YouTube, and other blogs became my instructors. And I learned all about photography, food styling, social media, food journalism, how to bake, online business practices, and so much more.
I loved it. Every little bit of it.
Eventually the money did come, and I officially became an entrepreneur and a small business owner. I’m thrilled to report that blogging here on Something Swanky has become my full-time job. I have the opportunity to work with big brands that I love and get to promote their products (like Betty Crocker and Land O’ Lakes Butter). That’s been an amazing experience, and one my favorite parts about this job.
I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to author my very own cookbook, Party Popcorn. To be honest, writing a cookbook was never an aspiration of mine. And even after signing the contract, I was still feeling a little unsure that it was something I actually wanted to do… But after two years of recipe testing, writing, marketing, and lots of patience, I’ve found that it’s an accomplishment I’m extremely proud of. Especially once my daughter learned how to spell her last name– she saw the word “SWANK” on the book and said, “Hey Mom! That’s my name on there!!”
More than anything, I love the life that this blog has allowed me to have outside of blogging. I love that I get to stay home with my children and that I’ve learned how to work a camera. I love that I can put in a hard day of work and know that the reward for those efforts will be 100% mine. I love that I’ve learned how to bake and cook and that I’m passing that on to my daughter (who can wield a whisk with the best of them!).
While this part of my life has been completely unexpected, I am so incredibly grateful for it and for YOU! None of this would be possible without my amazing readers. Thank you for being here and for your support. It’s an amazing ride.