Thank you to our generous sponsor of this months Meet a Mom series
Kristin Krieger of Coldwell Banker, Frewen Reality
In a rut with cooking and need new recipes? Or are you looking for healthier versions of your current recipes? Then this weeks Meet a Mom, Ashley Walterhouse is YOUR girl! She’s a keep it real, down to earth, but powerhouse local food blogger. She even provided some easy to follow ways to make healthier meals at home. ELAM have followed Ashley for quite some time–we can guarantee that you will love her recipes as much as we do!
We also learned a lot of non-food related fun facts about Ashley! She is learning how to balance being a busy working mom to the cutest little boy, Finn. And she has ties to this viral You Tube video seen HERE – would make Aretha Franklin proud!
We have mad R-E-S-P-E-C-T for you, Ashley & Fit Mitten Kitchen ♥
Hi Ashley, please introduce yourself!
Hello! I’m Ashley – I am a 32 year old new mom (I actually had to do the math there for a second – I never remember how old I am), business owner of Fit Mitten Kitchen, coffee shop lover and group fitness fanatic.
Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I’m originally from the Lansing area and moved to central Pennsylvania for 4 years after graduating from CMU. We moved back in 2016. Our family is here and we love the Great Lakes.
You’re a new mom! How old is your son? What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Yes! He is 8 months old. I love just watching him grow and develop. I swear he does something new everyday and it’s so exciting to watch him become interested in everything.
How are you balancing being a mom with working?
That is something I am still figuring out! It’s definitely been an adjustment this past year – both with becoming a mom and then the pandemic. I’m so thankful to have help a couple of days a week from Finn’s grandparents and an amazing Operations Manager who helps me keep things running smoothly with Fit Mitten Kitchen.
Best advice you have received about being a new mom –
“No one knows your baby better than you.” It can be hard to shut out all of the noise, especially with social media, but what works for one family may not work for another. So trust your mama instincts and you’ll figure it out eventually.
What do you love about living in the Lansing area? What are your go to restaurants and places to shop in the Lansing area?
I love all of the different little communities within Lansing. It’s not something I was aware existed until we moved back. Being a business owner myself, I love supporting our local shops all throughout the Lansing area.
Foster Coffee in East Lansing is a favorite for sure. The owners are just awesome people and I love that they are so community-driven.
Klavon’s Pizza in Mason is a favorite.
Love Thai Princess in Okemos.
People’s Kitchen and The Soup Spoon for brunch.
To be honest I have not shopped for much of anything but food these days…
What is something you wished was in the Lansing area?
More plant based restaurants! I don’t follow a vegan diet but I love plant based meals and we are seriously lacking variety in the Lansing area.
You’re a food blogger! Tell us about Fit Mitten Kitchen and how did it evolve?
Yes it’s kind of wild! A new-er industry where the average person thinks everything I post on social media has been made that same day and they wonder how I eat it all. Lol.
But Fit Mitten Kitchen came about when I first started wanting to eat healthier. I honestly didn’t have a clue how to eat healthy. I grew up so picky and had such a small palette. When my husband and I moved to PA and lived on our own, I wanted to start cooking from scratch and baking healthier. I followed other blogs from Pinterest, started tweaking recipes to make them healthy and I often had friends and family asking me for the recipes.
I knew other women who had taken their blogs full-time so it was always in the back of my mind. When we left PA, I started to freelance for my old company, but I also worked on Fit Mitten Kitchen full-time before it started making any money. Then influencer marketing took off in 2016 and my website and social media grew to what they are today. I feel really lucky but I also worked my ass off and hustled HARD in the beginning.
What’s the biggest reward in doing what you do? Most challenging part?
When people leave comments and reviews on my site letting me know how much they enjoyed a recipe. When my recipes make someone’s day, or they’ve made them for a gathering and everyone loved it and the recipe gets passed on, it’s the best. I work really hard on developing recipes that are better for you but also taste amazing, so knowing my work is being well received makes it all worth it.
One of the most challenging parts is being my own boss. I wear soooo many hats and it can be hard to focus on what my business needs and not get caught up in all of the little tasks.
Who are your inspirations in the kitchen and the food blogging world?
Honestly, fellow creatives that are kicking ass are always my inspiration. I’ve met so many amazing women in this space and I wouldn’t be doing this without them and their willingness to share their wins and struggles.
The Fit Foodie Finds team has been a huge source of inspiration and motivation – they’re an amazing down-to-earth bunch but badass business women, too. Ambitious Kitchen and fellow Michigander Feel Good Foodie, to name a couple more.
Best advice for busy parents on how to make healthier but easy meals?
Stock your pantry with the healthy staples and don’t be afraid to try something new. The hardest part is just starting! I didn’t have a clue one what it meant to eat healthy until my husband and I moved in together in PA. I started stocking my pantry with spices, whole grains, legumes, and general ingredients to make homemade sauces and dishes. Get inspired from Pinterest or Instagram and just try one new healthy dish a week. Soon you’ll have a list of favorites that will become a part of your weekly meal plans.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I used to design dance costumes! That little girl with the finger snap from the Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T dance, that was a costume I designed Check out the video HERE. Honestly, it was my dream job after college. I majored in Fashion Design and minored in Dance at Central Michigan University. I loved it so much but when we moved back to Michigan, I was ready to take Fit Mitten Kitchen full-time.
Now some fun ones!
Favorite recipe you have shared-
That is SO hard. I’m not sure I can pick a personal favorite, but a reader favorite is this banana bread!
Can’t live without skincare or beauty product-
Newly obsessed with Illia products! I love their True Skin Serum and mascara.
Favorite place to visit in Michigan-
I love anywhere on Lake Michigan, really. The beach towns have my heart.
What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better?
Making a gratitude list and journaling things I am thankful for.
Phone app you use the most?
Instagram, for sure.
Best piece of advice for someone who is interested in becoming a Food Blogger ?
Focus on quality recipes and SEO (search engine optimization). Your photography and editing will get better in time, but quality recipes people can trust, and SEO that gets your site recognized is what will help you stay in the game.
Anything we missed that you would like to share?
If you make a recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from you. Leaving a comment and review on the site is one of the easiest (and free!) ways you can support Fit Mitten Kitchen 🙂
Here are all the ways to follow Ashley and Fit Mitten Kitchen!
Is there an amazing local Mom you would like featured? Please share by emailing, [email protected]