You may be wondering…
Who’s behind all this?
You probably stumbled here via Pinterest or maybe you got a link to one of my recipes from a friend and so you might be curious about who’s running this show. Well, that’d be me, Angela Gast, and occasionally my hired help a.k.a. my husband and kids.
What’s your story, Angela? Well..
I believe in the power of family dinners.
After I got married I realized my chips-and-salsa-for-dinner days were numbered. I figured I better learn to cook a proper meal if I wanted to stay healthy and start a healthy family. It was a struggle to learn to cook. There were a lot of burnt things, terrible flavor combinations and stressful after-work situations. But I’m glad I put in that time to learn because now, 12 years later, our family of four comes together around a healthy and balanced meal I proudly put on the table. I still do have chips and salsa for dinner though on occasion!
I cook to keep myself and my family healthy and happy… and because it’s fun!
My mom only ever had healthy food around the house. So I’ve adopted that practice as well, and I try to avoid buying ingredients or packaged foods that contain a lot of sugar, fat or preservatives. Of course we indulge every now and then and we still eat fast food when we’re in a hurry but we try to eat homemade as much as possible in order to cut out processed foods and all those weird ingredients. Cooking is a also creative outlet for me so I really do enjoy the process from start to finish including photographing my recipes. (More on that below) I also look fun cookware! Check out my favorite kitchen tools in my shop.
I cook and photograph all my own recipes.
Over the course of several years now, I have made and photographed all the recipes you’ll find here. If you’re into cooking, check out my cooking club. If you’re into food photography, you can read more about how I photograph my recipes.
How I became a work-at-home mom.
So, here’s my story in a nutshell: As far back as I can remember, I dreamt of running my own business. I got my degree because that’s what you’re “supposed” to do, I got a “good job” with a Fortune 500 company, got promoted, got married, bought a house, fixed it up, was living the dream… and then the company closed and the housing market tanked—when I was 8 months pregnant. Luckily we were able to pack up and move north and I found a new job exactly four days before my daughter was born.
Two years later, we welcomed my son to the world and I became the epitome of the “working mom.” I quickly became burned out. We were away from home 12 hours a day. It was hard on everyone and I knew we needed a change. I left my job and took another job that offered better vacation options thinking that would allow me more time to de-stress and be available for my family. It was a “good job” in health care, the team was great, and I was starting to enjoy life again when I got called down to HR one day and was let go as a part of a corporate merger.
That was when I realized, it was time to pursue my dream of entrepreneurship. Luckily I had been working on this blog and my photography skills, and had some contacts I reached out to who offered me some freelance gigs. I was able to stitch together a full time income and have been on my own ever since.
My background is in graphic design.
I’ve worked in the advertising industry for more than 15 years now, producing graphics and other communications for all different industries. When I started my journey as an entrepreneur, I wanted to offer my skills to everyone, not just businesses, and so that’s when I decided to offer commissioned house portraits and silhouettes. Learn more about my custom house portraits and silhouettes, they make great gifts!
How I “do it all”
I don’t, actually. I turn down a lot of opportunities based on my priorities. If you want to be a good mom, raise a strong family and also have a career, you have to be selective about what you do and the people who you surround yourself with. It’s a lot of game-time decision making that gets easier the more you say no. (but yep, it’s a juggle)
It takes faith to take the path less traveled.
The hardest but best part about the journey of entrepreneurship is the amount of faith that’s required. I used to be a “realist” until I realized reality is whatever you can dream up and make happen. So don’t let society, jobs or anything else block you from living the life you want and dream about. Go after what you want and say no to what you don’t want.
Have you ever thought of owning your own business?
I love the flexibility of owning my own business. With two kids and a husband who are involved in a lot of activities, being able to take time to be present for them, and then work at night if I need to, is invaluable. My best piece of advice for you if you’ve been considering starting a business is don’t wait. Start NOW because good things take time.
If starting a business is something you’ve dreamed about or you find yourself wondering how people manage to work from home then I’d recommend you start researching how to make it happen! There are several podcasts I’d recommend checking out: Square One Show – all about making that leap from employee to entrepreneur, Biz Mavens – a super informative show that will get you thinking about strategy vs. tactics and Learn Grow Earn – a show that interviews entrepreneurs in the early to mid stages of their business. I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Mike and you can check out my chat with him here!
If you’ve already got a business idea, a solid plan, and you’re ready to get your website up and running, I have some tips for you based on my DIY experience. See my How to Build a Website for more about that.
Let’s be sure to keep in touch!
I typically hang out on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Sign up for my emails and get recipe ideas, my free printable meal planner to help save you time and money, home organization tips, my favorite seasonal outfit finds and more!
Thanks again for stopping by! Come back often to see what’s new!