family pic - editedWell hello there! This is the story of Matt, Kelly, Delaney, and Kaden Andrews  as we follow our hearts and grow our family in Asheville, NC.


Matt is in sales at a large printing facility in Asheville – a total score of a job because Asheville isn’t known for its job opportunities, and he was able to land a great position in his field. He also dreams of starting back up our music blog, Musical Stew Daily, where he beautifully lived out his passion to be a music writer (the blog was our baby for a few years… before our real baby took over our lives!).

I (Kelly) have been freelancing for about five years, foraying experience at the world’s largest independent public relations firm to help businesses (from start-ups to Fortune 500s) with marketing and public relations needs. I also dream of having a creative side business – as soon as I can narrow down the thousands of ideas I have in my head into a few that would actually sell!

Delaney makes her living entertaining us with her non-stop twirling and singing, asking rapid-fire questions about everything under the sun (oh, toddler curiosity is a fun stage), and making our hearts burst with love with the thousands of sweet things she says and does each day.

Kaden is quite possibly the sweetest, calmest little boy ever! We’re excited to watch him grow and develop into his own.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention our beloved Murphy, our golden retriever that joined our family in January 2008. I could dedicate an entire blog to the many reasons goldens are sure to have a special place in Heaven, as there isn’t a sweeter, more loving, more dedicated creature on earth. He also helps us single handedly keep numerous vacuum companies in business due to his constant shedding.


Our move to Asheville has been somewhat of a rebirth for our family. There’s something magical about the WNC mountains and the people and the lifestyle that make you realize what really matters in life… find the balance you may have not even known was missing… take stock of what you really need… and to truly see the true beauty in life. We spent years hoping and praying and wishing that our little family could find our way out of the big city and follow our dreams to Asheville – and now living out those dreams makes us appreciate the magic of these beautiful mountains that allows our souls to truly shine. So “Soulshine Mountain” seemed to be the perfect description – our little piece of heaven on earth that allows us to discover the more authentic versions of ourselves and raise our little family the best way we know how.


I started this blog in January 2008 as a way to share updates with friends and family, and now it’s fun to look back at past trips and experiences.


  • We both knew that it was love at first site during our first date - something that neither of us even thought existed. We talked on the phone quite a few times before we first met in person, and Matt even later admitted that he was tempted to cancel the date because he didn’t want to ruin what we were developing – he was so afraid that it be a let down when we met in person after getting so excited about this connection he had by phone with a literal stranger. But he picked me up for dinner on a Sunday night in late January 2007, and we talked for hours and hours about everything. The perfect first date that ended with the perfect kiss. We went out again that Tuesday… and then Thursday… and then Friday… and after 11 dates within the first two weeks together, we knew we were onto something. He proposed in May, and we were married in October. I never believed in soul mates until I met mine. We’re not perfect, but we’re perfect together.
  • Our lives did a 180, as you might say, in 2009. We both loved living in Atlanta (separately) during our 20s – the non-stop action, the never-ending options for going out, our rapidly growing careers, and the proximity to beaches and mountains. I knew as a little girl that I wanted to live in Atlanta, and Matt was raised there (from age 12 on). And looking back, we both made the most of our early adulthood in the big city. The single life in Atlanta was definitely exciting. But when we were married (I was 28, and Matt was 33), we became disenchanted with the city over time. We didn’t like missing out on so much time together because we were stuck in traffic (why do they call it “rush hour” when it lasts most of the day??), we were regularly having to make the choice between our careers and potential to grow our family, the news of crime hitting so close to home was scary, and we constantly felt like we were having to hide the side of ourselves that yearned to live a more easy-going, natural, free spirited lifestyle (for some reason the corporate life and a hippyish lifestyle don’t seem to mesh well). We knew we were destined to end up somewhere else that better fit us, but we just didn’t know where. That is until we attended my friend’s wedding in Asheville, NC. Within a short weekend getaway, we both knew we found our new home. The pull was so strong and indescribable – I teared up when we were leaving (which is so very unlike me) because I knew we belonged here. We got home on Sunday night and put the house up for sale on Tuesday morning. It still took us another two years to get to Asheville, as the tanking economy didn’t necessarily make it easy, but we made it in April 2012 with our little girl in tow. We gladly traded in our impressive salaries and connections to start anew with big hopes and a few months of savings. And it’s been even better than we even imagined it would be – everything has continued to fall into place since we first arrived. We’ve been able to create the life that better suits us and the way we want to raise our family.
  • We spent the last three years gradually adopting a more natural lifestyle, and we’ve been shocked at the results. The more I read about toxins in just about everything we eat and touch, the more encouraged I am to take more control of the things we bring into our home. It all started when bringing our perfect little baby home and wanting to create the healthiest home for her. But since we’ve changed just about every aspect of our life. I now make so many of our daily products (including laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, face wash, and more), and we’ve changed our diet to be almost 100% organic and unprocessed (I’ve even gone gluten free in the last year). Knowledge is power, and I knew that we couldn’t continue the way we were living after learning what the mass marketed products were doing to our bodies. I pushed for these changes out of concern for our futures. But I was pleasantly surprised about the immediate changes we saw. My monthly migraines immediately disappeared, I no longer have skin issues that I dealt with throughout my life (my parents probably spent more on clearing up my skin than they did for my college education), our insides work much better – as GI tracts are supposed to (I’ll spare you the specifics), we very rarely get sick, my life-long battle with insomnia has chilled out, we’ve eliminated our needs for most prescription meds, and we have way more energy during the day (we didn’t realize how hungover we felt most days just from what we put in our bodies until we finally felt more refreshed). But, most importantly, I’m so glad that this more natural lifestyle is teaching our daughter good habits. Sleep, sunshine, and natural food can cure just about anything – who knew? Actually our ancestors did. As impressive as it is what mad scientists can create in labs (and I feel partly responsible for helping to market these unnatural and harmful products when working with big corporations in the past), my personal motto has been to think about what my great-grandmother would do. That’s right, we’re going back to the basics – she was super healthy way into her 90s eating eggs, bacon, and veggies straight from the farm, and she made just about everything she used. That generation did what they had to out of necessity, but it now seems like the right way to live.