About Ashley Bunk

Ashley Bunk

Ashley Bunk lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she works as a communications professional and freelance writer.

Ashley is an active runner, traveler, reader, and skier. She loves exploring the world and has made it a hobby to find beauty in the smallest details of life. Ashley has an ever-expanding list of places to visit (feel free to send her your favorites!), and loves living in the beautiful state of Utah, where she is only a drive away from gorgeous mountains, breathtaking red rock, and world-renowned snow. Ashley co-authors the inspiration-focused web site 365Inspirations.com

Latest Posts by Ashley Bunk

Changing with the Seasons

June 22, 2010 by  


~ Home ~


Guest Blogger: Kayla Smith
Kayla’s day job is in the wholesale department at Del Sol L.C. but her true passions lie in event planning and triathlon. You can find her on the weekends with the Riehl Events creative team or standing on the podium at a local sprint triathlon. She plans to complete her first Ironman in 2012.

If you are anything like me, every time the seasons change you get itchy to re-arrange the furniture. You know, mix it up a little! And no matter what you do, there is always that one empty corner, constantly nagging you to fill it. Well, I found a solution to the nagging and the itching. I call it my seasonal vase. I create a different arrangement for each season.

With yesterday being the first official day of summer, it is time to transition the vase from spring to summer. To make your own, simply take a stroll through your favorite craft store and look for items that remind you of summer. I was in the mood to be on a sandy beach with a margarita in my hand so I went for pieces with a tropical flair.

Some other possible summer vases include sunflowers; mini beach balls; lemons, limes and other colorful fruit; seashells; or anything that says summer to you.

Making a seasonal arrangement is easy, cheap, and fast. It will freshen up a room and save your relationship from the strain of asking your man to help you with the heavy lifting. Now just relax in the sun with a cold drink, admire your summery seasonal vase and contemplate what you will do for fall!

(Click photos to see the full-size image.)

Keep It Cool: Energy-Saving Tips For Your Summer Electric Bill

June 15, 2010 by  


~ Home ~

Save energy this summer

This is my first summer as a homeowner and with energy prices going up for the summer, my husband and I are definitely looking for ways to save. The key is to keep the heat down and the power off where possible. Here are some at-home energy saving tips.

  • Turn down or turn off your air conditioning during the day when you’re not home. Many thermostats are programmable so you can set times for it to be turned on or off.
  • Check your home for air leaks around door frames and windows to make sure you have a proper seal.
  • Avoid using the oven (except for our Mixer Mixer next Tuesday of course). Cook meals in the microwave, on the grill or choose dishes that don’t require cooking.
  • Only wash full loads of dishes and clothes. Wash clothes in cold water and air dry. Use the air dry option on your dishwasher if it has one.
  • Turn down the thermostat in your water heater to 120 or 115 degrees rather than up to 140 degrees.
  • Turn off computers, electronics and lights when they are not in use. They generate heat and electricity.
  • Keep windows closed during the day to keep heat down.
  • Keep appliances or heat generating devices away from your thermostat so it doesn’t misread the temperature and over cool your house.
  • Use ceiling or floor fans instead of blasting your A/C. Sometimes it helps to simply keep air circulating.

Keep it cool friends! Have more tips? Please share!

Summer Sunset Accessories

June 14, 2010 by  


~ fashion ~


The color orange has stolen my heart.

Seriously, how beautiful is orange during summer? It’s such a welcome change from the blah, boring blacks and grays that dominated my wardrobe over the winter. I love when a simple accessory, like this orange necklace (a steal–under $10 at Old Navy!), inspires an entire outfit–and an entire day.

How To: Save Your Slingbacks

June 13, 2010 by  


~ how to ~

Save Your Slingbacks
I bought these cute floral slingbacks last year and just loved them–until after a few wears they broke! I was sad. I tried looping the buckle and the strap together. I tried tying them. But they just weren’t the same. This isn’t the first time this fate has come to a pair of my slingbacks. I have another pair of cute black heels that I wore all the time because they were so comfortable–until the elastic in the back got so stretched out that they were hard to walk in. Both pairs of these shoes sat in my closet in the hopes that one day they would magically be fixed and I could wear them again. Strangely that never happened! That is, until I took matters into my own hands. When spring sprung this year and I looked at that sad, cute pair of shoes, pining to wear them with a flowy skirt or jeans, I vowed to myself I would fix them. And I did! No longer will they live only on my shoe rack. Here is your how to on fixing your slingbacks and giving them the life they deserve.


Here are your supplies.
  • A needle (preferably the thinnest one you have since you’ll be pushing it through thick straps)
  • Thread that matches your shoes
  • Ribbon (make sure it is strong and the same width as your shoe straps)


Here is the sad broken end. To prep your shoes, pull the straps back towards each other and cut off the ends so the length matches.


Match up the ribbon end with the inside of the strap, ribbon streaming down.


Stitch the ends together


Fold the strap over and stitch it again to make sure it is extra strong.


Fold the ribbon back up and stitch it to your folded end so it can be tied in a bow in the back. Repeat on all four straps. Cut the ends so the bow ties at the proper length. Voila! Your slingbacks walk again!

Finding Inspiration in the Oil

June 11, 2010 by  


~ our world ~

Everywhere you look there are photos, videos, news reports, articles and posts on the BP oil spill. The Associated Press is now saying the spill may be twice as big as they thought. The estimates for how much oil has been leaked keeps getting bigger and the damage just continues to get worse.

Some say it will take years to repair the damage to wildlife and the environment. Some say it will never be the same. People are angry, sad and dissatisfied. They want BP to clean it up. They want the government to take care of it. They don’t care who does it as long as it’s done. Everyone has an opinion, and rightly so. Something horrible happened to our planet and it needs to be fixed. Yes, that’s right–our planet. Because no matter where you are in this world, damage of this magnitude will affect us all.

I know this isn’t the most inspirational post so far, so let me try to make it so. The damage is done in this situation, but how can you use the emotions you’re feeling to help better our world today? We all have a carbon footprint. Everyday companies like BP make choices that have environmental impacts. Like it or not, humanity has an effect on our precious, beautiful, gorgeous mother earth. I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy the world in which we live and as your fellow human, I want to afford that right to you by the decisions I make. We are upset about this situation, so let’s keep this in mind as we vote, live, drive, and make choices. Are you with me?

Pepperoni and Ricotta Sandwich

June 10, 2010 by  


~ food ~

Italian open-faced sandwich
When it’s summer, you might crave pizza, but the thought of eating something hot or heating up your house is not too appealing. This easy open-faced sandwich is a great alternative, giving you the delicious flavor without the work or the heat.

{Pepperoni and Ricotta Open-Faced Sandwich}

Toasted Italian bread (check out a great recipe here)
Sandwich slices of pepperoni
Ricotta cheese
Sliced tomatoes
Fresh or dried thyme, basil, oregano
Hot red pepper flakes (optional)

Assemble in order shown. Enjoy!

Rock Those Shades

June 9, 2010 by  


~ a better you ~

It’s bright, sunny and gorgeous outside right now which means it’s time to rock those shades. Whether you choose $200 designer sunglasses or a cheap $10 pair, the important thing is that you wear them. Yes, because they make you look stylin’, but also because it’s important for your health. Here are the top three reasons why.

1. They protect your eyes against UV rays
Ultra violet radiation is harmful to your eyes and is associated with development of cataracts. Look for sunglasses that protect your eyes against 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays.

2. Sunglasses reduce bright glare
This might seem obvious, but when it’s bright, driving or being out in the sun can really be dangerous. Your eyes require a certain amount of ambient light to be able to see well and when it’s too bright it’s not only dangerous because you can’t see where you’re going, but it’s also bad for your optical health.

3. Sunglasses reduce strained eyes and headaches
When the sun is really bright your pupils can’t contract small enough to block out additional light which causes you to squint and strain your eyes. The muscle fatigue from this can cause headaches and strain on your eyes. When you wear sunglasses, you are allowing your pupils to relax, protecting yourself against strain.

Summer Bed

June 8, 2010 by  


~ home ~


In case you haven’t noticed, summer nights are WARM (and are only going to get warmer). To ensure you continue to get a great night’s sleep, make sure you update your bedding for the upcoming months.

Put the comforter in storage
You definitely won’t need your heavy winter blankets for awhile. Take them off your bed and replace them with lightweight ones. Wash the comforter before storing so it will be ready to go in autumn. To clean, make sure you have access to a large-capacity washer (don’t try to shove a big, fluffy comforter into a regular washing machine; most laundromats have large washers and dryers you can use if you don’t have them at home). Dry thoroughly before storing.

Change your sheets
It sounds insane to me, but some people leave heavy fabric sheets on the bed all year long. I can’t imagine sleeping on flannel in August (shudder!). Invest in some lightweight sheets to keep you cool when the temperature rises.

Crack a window
Tossing and turning all night because you’re sweaty and miserable is no fun. Air conditioning is always an option (though an expensive one), but you can also take advantage of cool night air by simply opening your window (just make sure the AC is off when you do, otherwise you’re wasting money). Bump up the cool by adding a fan to the equation. Other benefits of sleeping with an open window? The smell of summer air, sound of birds in the morning, and a nice breeze in your bedroom.