Throwback Thursday, 1.31.13

So a number of my friends have jumped on the “Throwback Thursday” trend. Apparently, each Thursday, you post a photo of yourself “way back when” I think this is a super cute idea, but I am going to take it in a different direction.


When I was a middle and high-schooler, I truly believed that I was a budding poet (and that I’d marry Isaac Hanson, we’d be married by the time I was 23, and along with my poetry, I’d be a famous photographer…we all had big dreams back in the day!). I have numerous journals filled with emo poetry and teenage angst.

One poem stands out in my memory because I distinctly remember writing it and taking it to my mother, who was folding laundry in the basement and proudly reciting it to her. When I was finished, she beamed, “Ashley, that was really good! You are a wonderful writer!” Now…she was of course supremely biased, but nonetheless, that comment stuck with me, and who knows…maybe it’s why I am here today writing. Lord knows that I am no poet, probably because I stopped writing poems around 11th grade, but my writing skills have developed into something that not only do I enjoy doing, but I think others enjoy as well!

Without further ado, here is my Mom-Approved, 13-year-old view on life:

June 11th, 1998



Last summer, I stumbled across Chantelle’s blog and her monthly Photo-a-Day Challenge. I gave it a shot and actually had a lot of fun with it. But when school started and things got busy again, I lost track of it and kinda just gave up. Well, along with the millions of other things on my current To-Do List (blog, finish my masters, educate teenagers, grade papers, care for Dewey, have social life…), I am going to add the Photo-a-Day Challenge! I haven’t yet decided (I better decide by Friday!) if I am going to post the photos here or on my Tumblr page. Thoughts?? Maybe post to both??

I’d love it if y’all joined me in this challenge! Maybe there’s some way we can even make a Facebook or Pinterest or Flickr or other page for it where we can all post our photos for each other to see! It’d be especially fun to see photos from friends and folks from other parts of the country & corners of the world! Any suggestions on a sharing page??

According to Chantelle, there are no rules, but when sharing, make sure you use the monthly hashtag {ie #photoadayfebruary} so that people can find your photos. If you miss a day, it’s like the pill — just take 2 the next day! Miss a week? Call your BFF and run to the drugstore and then either pickup your photos where you left off and take a few photos each day to catch up, or just start on the current day.

Let me know if you’d like to join me and where I can find your pics, if not in a public gallery!

Happy shooting!

“My body is my journal & my tattoos are my story.”

-Johnny Depp

Leave it to my husband to say something so meaningful and relatable! Okay, okay, he’s not my husband…yet… 😉 But he is single! aaaand I’ve digressed…

This afternoon I got my 7th (SEVENTH!!!! Wow…) tattoo! I absolutely love it. It might actually be one of my favorites. I opened with the Johnny quote because I actually agree with this statement. I feel as though my life is an open book for anyone who is willing to sit down with a glass of wine, tea or coffee and have a read.  There really isn’t anything that I will not reveal about myself to a sincere listener. Being such an open person has led me to want to share my experiences aesthetically on my body. One of my favorite parts of having tattoos is when people ask what they are, what they mean, etc. Each of my tattoos has a significant meaning to me, and getting to explain it to someone means getting to share a piece of my life with that person; even if it’s only a minute or two of sharing life experiences.

One of my rules when I got my first tattoo was “Nothing that can be seen in a wedding dress!” Because that day will be one of the most important days of my life, and heaven forbid I have some unsightly tattoo sticking out of my dress! Well, that rule went out the window with Tat #2! (see below for tattoo list & placement!) After that, I started to realize that tattoos aren’t hideous mistakes to be hidden away. Sure, you can very quickly and very easily make some pretty awful tattoo decisions that no one would want to see in jeans and a t-shirt, let alone a gorgeous wedding dress! But for me, my tattoos became parts of my journey and works of art. Each one has a story and, I believe, is beautiful.

So today I added another chapter. Today, I got my BobTat. I went to Ohio University and graduated a bona fide Bobcat! Bobcat + Tattoo = BobTat! (Thanks to one of my fellow Bobcats and best friends for that clever moniker!)

Below you will find the culmination of my tattoo collection and explanations! We’ll see how long I can go before adding to my canvas!

1. 2003: Jesus Fish on my hip. I got this on my 18th birthday. My friend Megan had the same one and I loved it, so she took me to get the same thing. I also knew I wanted to get something I wouldn’t change my mind about. 10 years later, me and JC are pretty tight.

2. 2006: “Faith” on my inside left wrist. Again with the religious tattoo. This one I got on OU’s campus with a group of my sorority sisters. The idea was to all get matching tats, but with such varied personalities and interests, we couldn’t settle on one design, so instead decided to get whatever we wanted, but all go at the same time.

3. 2009: “I carry your heart” on my inside right wrist. This is the opening line to one of my favorite poems by ee cummings. The 2 opening lines read, “i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)” On my tattoo, the words “I carry” are in my sister’s handwriting and “your heart” are my brother’s handwriting. The family tree (notice the heart-shaped branches!) was designed by my dear friend and local Columbus designer, Shelly Klemmer.

4. 2011: “persevere” in my Mom’s handwriting with the same starfish tattoo she had on her chest. My mom died 2 years ago from endometrial cancer. No matter how bleak things seemed, she always managed to persevere. I found this word time and time again in her personal journals. She got the tattoo on a whim on a vacation at our family’s Florida condo. I went down and found the same artist that did her tattoo and had him do mine. He remembered everything about her, down to their conversation about both having adopted daughters.

5 & 6. 2013See here for these still fresh tat explanations!

7. TODAY!!! The newest addition to the canvas! She is loved.


Iron Chef: BellWanZo Style

Last night, I was fortunate enough to gather with friends and do what we do best…EAT! But not only were we eating, we did that other thing we do best…COMPETE! My friends love a good, friendly competition — even if the reward is simply bragging rights!

I attended, for the first time, the annual Iron Chef Cookoff at Casa BellWanzo. I’m not quite sure why I haven’t gone before, but I will never miss this event again! The proceedings are as follows:

  • Chefs show up at 4 o’clock for the secret ingredient reveal.
  • Chefs have from 4 o’clock until 7 o’clock to shop, prepare, cook, plate and clean their dishes.
  • at 7 o’clock, judges (aka ME!) begin devouring the food and rate it based on:
    • Taste
    • Original/clever use of the secret ingredient
    • The scale is 1-5, 5 being the highest, you just had a food-gasm in your mouth and 1 being you wouldn’t feed it to a really sad, helpless, starving puppy. (aww…that vision just made me really sad!)

I was also fortunate enough to be escorted by the lovely and oh-so-lively Brianne. Bri also writes a fabulous blog and has inspired me in so many ways for this here lil ole blog! She did a brilliant job of documenting who-made-what and moment by moment happenings. As a tiny thank you to her for her unending inspiration, I am going to politely point you to her blog for details on this foodie extravaganza! Consider it a co-blog entry. She did a lot of the writing and I took photos!

So to read the play-by-play of Iron Chef 2013, please click here! (and while you’re there, peruse around a bit! She has lots of fun things to see!)

(plus, you may notice I didn’t reveal the secret ingredient! You’ll have to go to Positively Bri to find out what it was!)

And to see a photo gallery of the people and food I got to soak up last night,

please clickity-click here!


I’m about to head to the gym for a run! I’ve got a pretty solid workout mix assembled, but as I am training to run Cap City Half maraton in May (13.1 miles), I can always use new tunes in my playlist! Any suggestions??


Also! I got money for new running shoes for my birthday, so today I will be headed out to get my first new pair of workout shoes in over TWO YEARS!!! SO EXCITED! Especially since workout shoes are so darn cute these days!!

run happ!

run happy!

Nice Tats!

For the past 4 months, I have sat with my friends while they permanently inked their bodies. I had 4 tattoos and after watching my crew add to their tattoo collections one-by-one, I knew I had to be next. I had a million ideas swirling in my head of what I wanted my next one to be. I couldn’t narrow it down, so I went to Pinterest to find more inspiration and try to narrow down my ideas. Well, I certainly acquired more inspiration, but as for narrowing down my ideas…ooh fah! I only added MORE ideas to my mental bulletin board! I have so many passions, thoughts and feelings that I want to showcase on my canvas…it makes it close to impossible to choose just one!

So, I chose 3. Tonight, I had 2 of my 3 ideas inked onto my skin permanently and I couldn’t be happier.

The skull & crossbones tattoo is an homage to my dear friend Emily and I’s 10 year Depp-a-Thon tradition. In short, it’s a weekend-long Johnny Depp movie marathon. And it’s awesome. And it all started with the first Pirates of the Caribbean! We saw it together and immediately knew that we had to see every movie (and TV show!) that he has ever been in. And in 10 years, we have accomplished that.

The words “be still” are in memory to my beautiful and amazing mother who passed away from endometrial cancer October 27th, 2010. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) was her favorite Bible verse and she passed its sentiment on to me. When everything around me is chaos and I feel lost in the maelstrom, I only need to bow my head and remember that He is God and has everything under control.

On Monday, I will return to Jack at Fate Tattoo and have my 3rd piece done! Stay tuned!

I’d love to hear about your tattoos (already done or floating around in your head as haphazard ideas)! What are they? Where are they? Tell me all about it, stud!


…has come to an end. My birthday season has been well celebrated and thoroughly documented! It has been a true reminder of the many blessings and plethora of beautiful people I have in my life.

Last nights’ Closing Ceremony was a 90-minute hot yoga class, in which I got to pick ALL the music! Needless to say, my mix was a little erratic, but mostly filled with poppy, upbeat, and for the most part – 90s!, tunes. Have you ever played a song that you LOOOOVE for someone, and as soon as it starts playing, you rethink everything you ever liked about that song??

listening to music

Well, that was not the case. I rocked out to 90 minutes of some of my favorite songs and had a blast doing it! And I’m pretty sure that everyone there had a good time as well! If they didn’t like the music, They should have at least gotten a kick out of how excited I was!

I have included my playlist below in case you want to get your own JanuAshley Jam on! RAWK!

  1. Go For It! – Hot Sundae (Saved by the Bell)
  2. Autobiography – Ashlee Simpson
  3. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
  4. Somebody That I Used To Know (KDrew Remix) — KDrew
  5. Stronger – Glee Cast
  6. Where’s The Love – Hanson
  7. The King Is Dead But The Queen is Alive – P!nk
  8. Fairytale – Sara Bareilles
  9. If I Could Turn Back Time — Cher (This led to an all out, queer sing-along!! Faaaabulous!)
  10. Wannabe – Spice Girls
  11. Tearin’ Up My Heart – ‘N Sync
  12. Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys (Did a little Warrior 2 surfing!)
  13. (You Drive Me) Crazy – Britney Spears
  14. Come on Over – Christina Aguilera
  15. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys
  16. Part of Your World – The Little Mermaid (Ohhh….my….Our trainer, Alexander, came up with a brilliant yoga parody on the spot. He has a gift, I tell ya!)
  17. Sparkling Diamonds – Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge
  18. Runaway Baby – Bruno Mars
  19. Beauty and the BEAT! – Parody by Todrick Hall (If you haven’t seen this video, WATCH IT NOW!)
  20. Cheeseburger in Paradise – Jimmy Buffett
  21. Glamorous (Feat. Ludacris) — Fergie
  22. Say My Name – Destiny’s Child (Apparently Alexander loathes this song, so we got extra obliques…sorry guys!)
  23. Tubthumping — Chumbawumba
  24. Cecilia – Simon & Garfunkel
  25. Orange Colored Sky – Natalie Cole
  26. One Day — Matisyahu
  27. Because – Beatles cover from Across the Universe movie
  28. Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson (Most unproductive savasana EVER, but awesome nonetheless!)

Nip, Tuck, Cut & Color

As you may have noticed, Ending Up Here is getting a wee bit of a facelift! No worries though, she’s still the same beautiful woman she always has been on the inside! We’re just working to make her outsides as fabulous as her insides! So if you notice a few changes over the next few days or weeks, fret not! All the content is the same, just tweaking the look of everything! I’m a visual artsist at heart (look what a 4-year college degree in photography got me!), so I’ve become a perfectionist about all this jazz!



“Wanna see what I made today?”


A student came into class today and asked if I wanted to see what he made in machine shop today. Of course, I said yes, and he pulled out this amazing aluminum cube he had designed and cut all on his own! He was so proud of himself and promised to make me one for my belated birthday. His boost in self-esteem is gift enough.

Thanks LC!

Well this is pretty cool! Ever since the days of The Hills, I’ve been a Lauren Conrad fan. She has a blog that I follow. The other day, she asked her readers to share their blog websites. I visited a few blogs that my fellow LC followers posted and was impressed by the miscellany of the writings! I shared mine, thinking it would be lost in the profusions of replies.

But…hot damn! Someone found my needle in the haystack!

So, a warm welcome to my newest reader! Come on in, warm up with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy yourself!