Vision Board Inspiration

This past weekend, I was without plans, and so turned to one of my BFF’s, Amee for plans. I swear, that girl is ALWAYS getting into something fun! When asked what her plans on Saturday night were, she invited me to tag along with her to her neighbor’s house (and by neighbor, she means anyone within a 2 mile radius of her house) for a Vision Board creation party.

Hmmm….not so sure about this. Vision board? What’s a vision board? Well, according to Tawana, the hostess, “a Vision Board is a collage representing things you would like to attract to your life. You will cut pictures and phrases out of magazines or print them from websites and include your own photos in the collage. Vision Boards are very popular because they work. They allow you to see your dream as a reality…and keep your attention focused on your dreams.”

This description came with a warning:

Come prepared to be transformed.

And a request:

Naysayers, please stay at home.

Stay at home?!? I was just told I get to make a collage out of pretty pictures and words, drink wine AND be transformed? No way I’m staying at home!!!!

Okay, fine. In all honesty, I was a little wary at first – not a naysayer!- but I wondered if this little arts ‘n crafts get-together really had the power to transform someone. Nonetheless, I had no other plans, and based on past Misadventures of Amee & Ashley, I knew I’d have fun, no matter what. So Amee and I perused selves of magazines until we had a stack of about 8 to share between us. We packed up glue sticks, scissors, our new travel flasks and Kelli (what’s better than TWO blondes on the loose?! THREE blondes crashing your party!) and made our way to Tawana’s home.

We arrived at the party a wee bit late (what?!? We’re on BGT!! (Blonde Girl Time)), but even so, were warmly welcomed by the itty-bitty Tawana. We took off our coats and put down our 13 lb bag of supplies and were thrust into the living room to be introduced. Two rooms of about twenty women greeted us with hearty “Hey girls,” and “Oh, you’re the rockstar?!” (Amee) and “Oh I love your leggin’s!” (me…they were fabulous) and “You girls look like you came to bartend!” (Our table was in the corner of the massive living room and the first things we pulled out of our magic Mary Poppins bag were vodka and mixers…)

After getting situated, Kelli, Amee and I began to flip through our stacks of magazines and cut out inspirational words, phrases and images. Truthfully, none of the three of us knew exactly what we were doing. Every so often, Tawana would pop over and check on us. Through her explanation of her board (images of wedding things because she wants to be married someday, a picture of her dream home and car, etc), we were able to get a better idea of what was expected of us to make our boards as beneficial as possible. I started to focus on selecting colorful words and images of relationships, exercise, and strong women.

After about 2 hours (RIGHT?!) of chattering, giggling, refilling empty cups and carefully selecting visuals, the girls and I began organizing everything on our boards. Since I like things to be visually aesthetic, this was probably the hardest part for me. I actually had to go back to the magazines to find colorful backgrounds for behind my words and images.

As everyone began finishing their Vision Boards, one by one, each woman got up and shared her board. Women had a variety of ambitions on their boards – from retirement plans, to career goals, to religious hopes to a young girl’s plan to be married by age 27 (She’s 24 now. All us “older” women chuckled and sincerely wished her well…hey, it could happen!). Each board was very personal to its designer, which I find interesting, considering they were composed of advertisements aimed at mass media. It was amazing how each woman took something targeted at everyone and made it personal for herself. After sharing, Tawana urged us all to continue adding to our Vision Boards and put them in a place where we will see it everyday and be reminded of our goals.

So was I transformed? I don’t think I made a complete, 180° change, but I was definitely reminded of how far I have already come in life and how far I have yet to go. Tawana was right – it will definitely keep me productive to have my goals illustrated visually, in a place I see them each and everyday. It can become so easy to just think, I want this for my life, I was to achieve that, Someday I’ll be this. But thinking it isn’t enough. I need to really see what those goals look like in my head. If I can see it, I can work towards it. And it won’t be enough to just visualize my ideal future. I will have to do something about it.

…after all…


{photos from the Vision Board Party}

(Top-Bottom, Left-Right) Amee creating, Kelli & her board (and a wicked photo bomb!), Kelli presenting with Tawana, Kelli's board-in-progress)

(Top-Bottom, Left-Right) Amee creating, Kelli & her board (and a wicked photo bomb!), Kelli presenting with Tawana, and Kelli’s board-in-progress!

Blondes with Boards! Myself, Kelli & Amee

Blondes with Boards! Myself, Kelli & Amee (see? I told you my tights were badass!)

Presenting my board!

Presenting my board!

A few of the ladies & their boards!

A few of the ladies & their boards!

{My Vision Board}

photo 1 (1)

click to see bigger!


Life, According to my iPhone: Photo-a-Day Edition, Vol. 3

{psssst…if you didn’t catch my Pecha Kucha post from last week, it’s ok! It will be in the blogosphere FOREVER! But, you should totally check it out. It was a pretty kickass event 🙂 }

My Photo-a-Day Challenge goes on! Click here for a bit of an explanation of what this whole thing’s about. Some of these photo prompts could have been very straight forward, but I tried to think outside the box to be more abstract with my photos.

As a reminder, I also post my photos to flickr, tumblr, and Instagram. To follow me on Instagram, please leave a comment with your username so that I can approve you. Being a teacher, I keep my personal life as locked away from my students as possible, so my Instagram account is private. Also because for some odd reason, I was acquiring an unusual amount of unsavory types following my photos. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Thanks for perusing! Enjoy!

{click collage to enlarge}


Daily Prompts:

Feb. 17: In my hand. I got Amanda in my hand! #highfive!

Feb. 18: Something I hate. Setting my alarm on school nights. Ugh.

Feb. 19: I am… +Writer +Runner +Doggy Mama +Adopted +Loved by God +Strong {I’m a million different things from one day to the next!}

Feb. 20: Where I Stand. In the shower! Dewey got a bath today after a long, muddy walk! (It was very tricky getting this photo juuuust right {wink!})

Feb. 21: Full. Pecha Kucha house is full! So excited to see Amee & Kelli present for Alternative Fashion Mob!!

Feb. 22: Makes me smile. Snow days! Sleeping in! Lunch with a dear friend! Mimosas & Bloody Mary’s when I would usually be teaching English 11! And the most amazing bread pudding I have ever tasted. Most people take pictures of their food. Had I tried, I would’ve lost a finger. So, here’s the empty plate.

Feb. 23: A word. Ok, technically there are lots of words here. Amee working on her inspiration board!

Feb. 24: Cloud. So I wanted to get a little creative with this and not just take a picture of our cloudy, Columbus sky. The end product is a little experimentation with the Wood Camera app mixed in with a smidgen of Instagram just for kicks & giggles. I’m pretty happy with the outcome!


One of my best friends, Tim, & I, Saturday night. We were practicing our "model faces." Needless to say, I'm better at smiling!

One of my best friends, Tim & I, Saturday night. We were practicing our “model faces.” Needless to say, I’m better at smiling!

Amee, Kelli & I practicing smizing (smiling with your eyes)! Successful or not, we are FIERCE!

Amee, Kelli & I practicing smizing (smiling with your eyes)! Successful or not, we are FIERCE!

Pecha Kucha!

God bless you!

Nooooo…Pecha Kucha is not the sound you make when you sneeze and fart at the same time. Pecha Kucha (pronounced puh-cha kuh-cha) is “a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.” It is actually Japanese for “chit chat.” The idea is for local folks to share what they are doing around town, what’s important to them, or anything that might be of interest to other locals in a quick, yet informational format. Anyone can present from a 5-year-old talking about her art, to a 69-year-old showing photos og her elaborate wedding cake decorations. Pecha Kucha originated in Tokyo in 2003 and has become in international project spanning 500 cities around the world. Columbus’ Pecha Kucha Night was formed 6 years ago.

Thursday night, I got to experience Pecha Kucha Columbus #24. I had heard about this event this past summer, but was not able to attend. Plus, I wasn’t really sure what to expect and just wasn’t sold on the idea. I was drawn to Thursday night’s event because one of my best friends, Amee BellWanzo was presenting with her fashion entourage. Because Amee has been such a significant part of my life over the past…uhh….6ish years, I try to support all the crazy, awesome things she does. (I also support her because these things are ALWAYS super fun and she inspires the shit out of me for a bazillion reasons…but those reason are for another post!) So, even though I was little wary because I had no clue what to expect, I headed over to the Columbus Gateway Film Center and waited to be amazed.

I walked in and was immediately overcome by the fact that this place was packed. The movie theater lobby had about 50 chairs setup that were all filled with happy butts and probably about 50 more people were standing, surrounding the seating area. Above us, the bar/balcony area was also filled to the brim. Not only were people overlooking the balcony, but about 8 people had set up cameras to video-record the event. I was with a few other friends, all of us new to Pecha Kucha. Before we were able to figure out what to do with ourselves, we spotted Amee & Co. in line for adult beverages. phew! Nothing like a little booze to help you figure out where you belong! Oh! And doughnuts. Doughnuts help everyone feel at ease and the doughnuts made by Destination Doughnuts were flipping AMAZING. After a vodka soda and Blackberry Sage doughnut (that’s a normal combination, right?!), Amee 7 Co. had to leave to get organized and my entourage was left to fend for ourselves. At this point, we discovered that you could watch the presentations in ANY of the movie theaters! So, seriously, this place was packed! We decided that it would be cooler to see the presentations live and in-person, so we found a comfortable column and perched ourselves against it. I eventually gave in and sat on the ground.

{And then the fun began.}

First up was “thoughtful comedian,” Zachariah Baird. He spoke about why comedy is funny made us all laugh a decent amount.

{writer’s note: I can’t remember everyone, so if someone gets left out, I am eternally sorry!}

Then came photographer, connectrovert and Yenta, Rachel Joy Baransi. Rachel spoke about her life goal to become a Yenta, or matchmaker. She explained that there are Introverts, Extroverts, and Connectroverts. Connectroverts are the people who bring other people together. She gave tips and tricks of how to bring two of your friends together if you think they would make a successful/interesting/adorable romantic match. Needless to say, I have found her on Facebook and expressed a serious interest in her developing Yenta skills.

Geologist Kelly Barrett talked about why rocks ROCK and what it actually means to be a geologist. Her presentation was quite punny!

Ryan Hoke is a host at Speak Easy, “the city’s premier night for live storytelling!” He told us about why storytelling is important and how to tell better stories. Speak Easy definitely sounds interesting and will be something I check out in the near future. I imagine you can meet a lot of very interesting people through something like that!

Local comic book creator Max Ink spoke about how he fell in love with comics (it all started with Star Wars, surprisingly!) and why he began writing them. He has recently expanded the story line of his female protagonist, Blink and was promoting her graphic novels. One of the coolest parts of his stories is that they’re set in Columbus! Flipping through his graphic novels gives readers a nice taste of our amazing city. Max gave out free mini books as a teaser to the real thing!

Clay Lowe is a Ohio State film professor and photographer for WOSU. Clay shared Then & Now photos of the Short North. The comparisons were beautiful and it was incredibly interesting to see how far our city has come over the years. His projet has been turned into a video you can watch here. It’s a good 28 minutes long, so I haven’t had a chance to watch it, but I definitely will be. Not only did Clay show his photos, but he introduced a new troupe of photographers that will be documenting The Short North now.

One of my favorite presenters of the night was Sarah Storer. She writes a blog, The Naked Redhead (sorry boys, not porn!) as a way to “soul puke.” I haven’t gotten to read much of it yet, but I plan on taking a week and doing nothing soaking up Red’s soul puke (mmm!!!!). Her presentation Thursday night focused on how to survive a breakup. Having recently survived a breakup myself, I felt like she was speaking to my soul. Sarah was right on the money and hilarious at the same time. You can see a video of her presentation right…..HERE! I highly recommend taking the 7 minutes and 20 seconds to watch it. Sarah seems like the type of person I should be friends with, so I am excited to learn a bit about her.

But my most favoriteist (yeah…look it up. I know. I’m a teacher.) presentation of the night was by Amee, Kelli Martin & Annette Klaus of Columbus’ Alternative Fashion Mob. The Alternative Fashion Mob preaches that fashion should be “accessible to all people, regardless of age, shape, sex or economic status” and is made up of “a collection of fashion designers, industry professionals, and couture enthusiasts who are dedicated to furthering the fashion industry in Columbus.” I am particularly excited about this because I am always redefining my look and would love to be able to do that on a budget while supporting local Columbus artists. Ok, and yeah…I got to model a few times (here and here and here) for designer Kelli Martin! Seriously though, the Alternative Fashion Mob entourage are amazing people with a brilliant vision and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Part of Pecha Kucha is making connections. Apparently Max Ink (the comic book guy) approached The Alternative Fashion Mob about connecting comics and fashion. Max said his favorite part of drawing a female character is deciding what she gets to wear. How cool could that be?!? Fashion meets graphic novel, CBus style??!

Pecha Kucha was an evening of inspiration and learning. I am inspired to really grow this blog and see what it can be. Maybe someday I will be like the fabulous, gorgeous and brilliant Sarah Storer. Maybe someday I’ll be like Ryan Hoke and have have some intriguing stories to tell (okay, that time is now, but I need to learn to TELL my stories!). Years and years from now, I hope to have CDs full of old pictures (Auntie A, what’s a CD? iPhone?? What’s that??) to compare to wherever our beautiful city ends up. But most f all, when someday comes, I hope to have followed my inspirations and never lived a life of “What if??” I learned from Pecha Kucha that our city is full of people supporting dreams and inspirations.

Some photos from Pecha Kucha #24:

Host Johnny DiLoretto (and a FULL house!)

Host Johnny DiLoretto (and a FULL house!)

WOSU Photographer Clay Lowe

WOSU Photographer Clay Lowe

Copies of Max Ink's mini books!

Copies of Max Ink’s mini books!

A few of Sarah's witty slides. Following her Breakup Survival Steps leads to Ryan Reynolds. Thank God I'm on the "Pie" step.

A few of Sarah’s witty slides. Following her Breakup Survival Steps leads to Ryan Gosling. Thank God I’m on the “Pie” step.

The Fantastic Alternative Fashion Mob! {psstt...that's Amanda & I on the slide in the bottom righthand corner!}

The Fantastic Alternative Fashion Mob! {psstt…that’s Amanda & I on the slide in the bottom righthand corner!}

Life, According to my iPhone: Photo-a-Day Edition, Vol. 2

I am continuing on my Photo-a-Day Challenge! Click here for last week’s photos and a bit of an explanation of what this whole thing’s about.  This week’s challenges were not really difficult, per se, but I found that I had a hard time staying on schedule. There was one day on which I had to take 2 or 3 photos because I had gotten behind!

As a reminder, I also post my photos to flickr, tumblr, and Instagram. To follow me on Instagram, please leave a comment with your username so that I can approve you. Being a teacher, I keep my personal life as locked away from my students as possible, so my Instagram account is private. Also because for some odd reason, I was acquiring an unusual amount of unsavory types following my photos. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Thanks for perusing! Enjoy!

{click collage to enlarge}


Daily Prompts:

Feb. 9: Guilty Pleasure . Silliness!! (Oh, and karaoke! and birthdays!)

Feb. 10: 3 o’clock. A not too horrible February day. But I can’t wait til summertime back here!

Feb. 11: Entrance. Enter into the Barbie Dream House! (My name for my humble abode!)

Feb. 12: We I Ate Lunch. I am a teacher, and Wednesday was a Professional Development day, meaning there are no students, and the teachers go to hear presentations and such. One of the few perks of these days is that we get an hour for lunch, so we actually get to go out!

Feb. 13: Walking. These boots were made for walking…

Feb. 14: Love is… …being surrounded by wonderful, loving & supportive friends & family. You guys (this includes many more not pictured ) have made me the woman I am today and I am extremely blessed. SOme of the ladies pictured are Bri, Allie & Amanda! Go be inspired by them like I am!

Feb. 15: Inside My Fridge. Oh Dewey…get in there and make me a sandwich! Blogging makes me hungry!

Feb. 16: Perfect. No person is perfect and no relationship is perfect, but the folks I’m surrounded by are pretty damn close.


This isn’t a Photo-a-Day photo, but I wanted to add it in. Since today is President’s Day, I get the day off from school (WEEEEEE!). My dad and his lady-friend just got back from a 3-week vacation in Florida (totally jealous), so I suggested that the three of us get brunch to catch up. I wanted to take them to Explorer’s Club because it’s local, delicious, and my awesome friend Chef Dan is the head chef and his beautiful wife, Beverly, is often working there. We showed up at 10:30am, only to discover they don’t open until 11am. Wahhhh Wahhhh….so I suggested we get coffee somewhere near by until the restaurant opened. When I began thinking of where to go, I immediately thought of Amanda’s most recent post about a local, German Village coffee shop – Winan’s. So Dad, Cathy & I popped over there, and just as Amanda suggested, we were not disappointed. The people working were incredibly friendly and helpful, their chai tea was delicious and I bought a bag of Apricot Cream coffee beans. Wait. Coffee BEANS?? Crap! I don’t have a grinder! “No problem!” the girl behind the counter chirps, “I can grind them for you!” Not only was their coffee delicious, but they had a rack of adorable greeting cards, and thanks to my mother, I’m a sucker for a cute greeting card, so I bought like 7 of those!

It was completely serendipitous.

Winan's Chocolate & Coffee SHop

My Love Story

Valentine’s Day. A day that many couples use as an excuse to remind one another of their undying love. A day that many couples choose to ignore because they realize that they love each other the same today as they did yesterday and will tomorrow. A day that many single girls around the country loathe and use as an excuse to drink wine and eat chocolate (personally, I call days like those, “Tuesday”).

I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually had someone of the hairier sex to call “My Valentine.” {pause for thinking and Facebook researching…} …I think it was college…either Chris or Ian…either way, it’s been a long freaking time, so I have gotten used to shrugging the day off as just another day and using it as an excuse to wear every item of pink clothing and accessories I own (I call days like this, “everyday.”).

Well, once again, I am single on Valentine’s Day. No big deal. I’ve got Dewars (my dog, not the scotch…well, I’ve got the scotch too…). This year, not only am I a symphony in pink, but I am using today as a day to regale you with my favorite love story. And! It just so happens that said love story revolves around Ash Wednesday, which was yesterday!


Once upon a time, in the mid-1980s, there was a happily married couple that had been trying for years and years to have a child. They tried everything. The “usual” way was fun but didn’t work, the cabbage patch was brown and baby-less, and the stork was on a trip delivering Channing Tatum (seriously not mad about that one. You saw, Magic Mike, right??). After years and years of brainstorming ways to get a baby, they decided that they would try adopting one! Well, simple as it sounds, it’s not like perusing the deli counter and choosing the perfect, A1, Grade A that meat your family would enjoy best. No, for this couple (let’s just call them “Tom” & “Lois”…generic, completely random names), it involved many interviews, mountains of paperwork, excruciating home visits, and days & weeks & months & years of waiting.

Thank goodness Lois’ expertise was perseverance and Tom’s was spousal encouragement when the perseverance ran low.

Fast-forward past all those days & weeks & months & years of waiting. 5 ½ years, to be exact. It is now February 20th, 1985. Ash Wednesday. It’s a typical, cold, snowy day in Columbus, Ohio. Lois spent the day teaching and Tom spent the day at work (he owned a funeral home!). Nothing exciting was going to happen on this day except for a visit to church for the annual Ash Wednesday service. But something exciting DID happen!

The phone rang.

It was Catholic Social Services, Tom & Lois’ adoption agency of choice. They were calling to inform them that all the waiting, praying, sucking up to nuns with influence, and overall perseverance was about to payoff. There was a little, just-barely-month-old baby girl waiting for them.

God had finally called their number at the deli counter.

Now, in today’s culture, if this happened to one of us, we would probably rush to our computers and cell phones and spread the word that #babygirlawaits! and #godisgood! and Instagram photos of us and our significant other scrambling to ready the house and screaming & hugging in joy.

But that wasn’t what Tom and Lois did. Lois, being nicknamed “Worst Case Scenario,” didn’t want to tell anyone until that baby girl was in her arms. So she called one of her best friends, Marilyn, and told her to go out and get a snowsuit and a car seat. Oh, and don’t tell anyone what you’re doing.

Tom & Lois waited 2 more agonizing days, and on Friday, February 22nd, 1985, at 10am, their dream came true and they were given a baby girl to call their own. The days following were filled with smiles, laughter and joy. Friends and family filled Tom & Lois’ home when they finally activated the phone tree and announced to their world that they were parents. Finally. True to Tom’s dedicated work ethic, the next day, Saturday, he had to go to work for a few hours. He returned home to find Lois, right where he had left her, hours before, rocking that baby girl.


Because Tom & Lois got the call that their baby girl waiting for them on Ash Wednesday, they named her Ashley. Her middle name is Elaine after her beautiful mother. As you may have guessed by now, Tom & Lois are my amazing parents and this is my love story.

I’ll admit that every Valentine’s Day spent as an independent single girl carries with it a slight pang of bitterness and jealousy of those folks that do have significant others to fawn over for the day (even if they don’t acknowledge the holiday. They could if they wanted to! I don’t have a choice!).

But then I remember that my life has no shortage of love. I may not have experienced my greatest romance (YET!), but I have experienced true, unadulterated, unconditional love. So today, instead of focusing on thoughts like I wonder what the ex and I would be doing had we not broke up…and I wish that I had someone to cuddle up with and ignore this holiday with…and my personal favorite, VD sucks, but I rock! This holiday can suck it! I am going to focus on all the forms of love I do have in my life, because there are many, and paying that love forward.

My mom passed away in 2010 from endometrial cancer, but her love is still alive and well in my heart. Today will be dedicated to honoring my mother’s perseverance and my father’s spousal encouragement. Because if it weren’t for their dedication and sacrifice, I might not have ended up here.

{Mom & I}

{Mom & I}

Happiness Is…

Dewey & I on the beach in Ponte Vedra, Florida

…running on the beach in your bare feet (or paws!)…
Dewey & I on the beach in Ponte Vedra, Florida {Spring Break 2011}

Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long! Jeesh, life got busy there for a hot second! But, have no fear! I’m back!

Awhile back, when I started this wee, lil blog, a friend of mine challenged me to write down 100 things that make me happy, He thought that since I am writing a blog that focuses on happiness, that I should try to identify 100 things that make me happy. At first, I thought that this task would be way too easy, and sure, it could have been. If I wanted to list all the little thins that make me happy, I probably could’ve been done with this list in a few days. But of course, I wanted to challenge myself, so I am trying to think & feel deeper and to (sometimes) list things as I experience them. So here I am, weeks into the challenge and only at #48. I wanted to share the first quarter of my list with you as a progress check in. Have you ever done anything like this? What things woud be on your list? I would love for you to join me on this challenge! Without further ado…

Happiness is…

  1. Making just enough coffee and pouring just enough creamer to perfectly fill my travel mug on an early morning.
  2. Cuddling with Dewey on the couch for an afternoon of TV watching.
  3. Being completely wrapped up in a book so good, you take any and every spare moment to read it.
  4. Seeing a struggling student make the effort to sit with the kids getting A’s and read aloud with them.
  5. Finishing a grueling workout, knowing I gave it my all the entire time.
  6. Coming home to a new Birchbox in the mail!
  7. Coming home to Dewey wagging his entire body in excitement for my return.
  8. Going to church and feeling completely overcome by and close to God through singing.
  9. A reassuring text from a friend after a rough morning.
  10. Getting birthday presents and cards!
  11. Giving gifts! Especially homemade or seriously well thought out ones.
  12. A warm pair of Uggs.
  13. A student asking for a good book to read.
  14. Laughing so hard my abs hurt!
  15. Taking a good look at my friends and realizing how loved I am and how much I love them.
  16. Physically challenging myself and meeting that goal.
  17. My daddy fawning over me on my birthday.
  18. Smiling and laughing with Uncle Art, even though he has pancreatic cancer and is undoubtedly suffering.
  19. Being an amateur fashion model! The Hair! The clothes! The makeup!
  20. Catching up on my favorite TV shows.
  21. Knowing that I have helped a friend in their time of need.
  22. Seeing my friends come out on the bright side of a demanding struggle.
  23. Chugging water during and after a seriously hardcore workout.
  24. Finally being at peace with the person I’m becoming.
  25. Knowing that I have worked hard and earned being in the best shape of my life!

Side Note…

Look what came in the mail yesterday! I am so excited to hand these out! I really think they will come in handy when I meet new people and want to hand off my blog address in a sparkly and memorable way! Do you have business cards for your blog? If so, what are some creative and successful ways that you’ve used them? What do they look like??

{Ending Up Here} biz cards!

{Ending Up Here} biz cards!


Life, According to my iPhone: Photo-a-Day Edition

I have challenged myself this month to complete a Photo-a-Day challenge! Click here to see the challenge list. I like this challenge because, not only does it force me to be creative everyday, but it creates a visual diary of my life that I can look back on and reminisce. Each week, I will post my photos for the week so you can see what I’ve been up to and how I’m trying to view my life in a different way. I also post my photos to flickr, tumblr, and Instagram. To follow me on Instagram, please leave a comment with your username so that I can approve you. Being a teacher, I keep my personal life as locked away from my students as possible, so my Instagram account is private. Also because for some odd reason, I was acquiring an usual amount of unsavory types following my photos. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Anyways, enough talking. Pour yourself a mug of Merlot and enjoy!

{click collage to enlarge}


Daily Prompts:

Feb. 1: Fork. (Can anyone guess whose delicious lips those are??)

Feb. 2: Pattern. Out dancing with Bri!

Feb. 3: Something beginning with “E.” Eternity. This is one of my favorite and most reassuring passages. Romans 8:37-39

Feb. 4: Hope. Wow, this one was conceptually hard! It took me ALL day to come up with a photo, without being super literal. I used a photo of my mother with the quote, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” -A. Lincoln

Feb. 5: Something I Smelled. Coffee brewing first thing in the morning!

Feb. 6: Soft. Dewey’s ears!

Feb. 7: My Name. Cards throughout the years. (Left – Right, Top – Bottom) Amee, this year’s birthday – Mom, 14th birthday in 1999 – Tim & Ken, this year’s birthday – Uncle Art & Aunt nNancy, Christmas 2012 – Dad, Easter, 2012 – Envelope from this year’s birthday, but I can’t remember which card it went with! Oops!

Feb. 8: Something orange. English 11, American Lit textbooks!

Throwback Thursday, 2.7.13

Last week, I posted a piece of poetry I wrote as a 13 year old. This week, in honor of last Sunday’s Superbowl cheerleaders, I am posting a picture of myself right around age 10 (5th grade).

5th grade actually wasn’t too rough for me…I mean just look at me! I’m adorable! My teeth were all in the right place (in earlier years, they were alllll caddywhompus! Thank God for modern-day orthodontia!), my eyes look like they’re looking directly at the camera (I have this endearing little quirk in which, I am so far-sighted, that without glasses or contacts, my right eye drifts inward.), and my hairstyle isn’t too terribly 90s (oh lord, it was awful about 4 years before this picture! One equation can explain my hair at age 6. Mullet + Bowl Cut = Bullet. Precious!).

This photo is from my year spent on the Upper Arlington Drill Team, cheering on the Bucks. Now, I was no professional football cheerleader…I was just happy to be there! 2 years after this, in 7th grade, I tried out for the Hastings Middle School cheerleading squad. Much to my disappointment and surprise, I didn’t make the squad. I was convinced, CONVINCED! that it was because I had glasses and braces. I felt so discriminated against, that I made my mom call the coach and ask why I didn’t make the team (looking back, I don’t think it was a crazy request!). Part of me is still convinced CONVINCED! that it’s because of the glasses and braces, but Mom told me that it was because I wasn’t loud enough.

REALLY?!? ME?!? Not loud enough?!? Hell, I even write loudly! If you know me at all, you know that I am not a quiet person. Even in my adult life, friends are constantly telling me to lower my voice.

You’re starting to think I didn’t make the team because of the glasses and braces, aren’t you?!

Well, needless to say, I did not go on to become a varsity cheerleader. Instead, I gave track (too much running!), crew/rowing (WHAT? Go run a mile??? I joined crew so I wouldn’t have to run!) and marching band a try. In the end, marching band proved to be my favorite of all of my high school endeavors.

…probably because of the glasses and braces. 😉

Glammin’ the Place Up a Bit!


As you may have noticed a few days ago, Ending Up Here got a fancy new header! My “brand” is developing! It all started because my dear friend Victoria popped on by here only to notice that {GASP!} my header was typed in Scriptina font. Apparently, and unbeknownst to me, Scriptina has gone the way of “Bleeding Cowboys, Papyrus, and, dare {she} say, Comic Sans” !!!!!! I had no idea that one of my favorite fonts had become such a cliché! I had somehow become the person my friends and I used to make fun of in college! I always loved Scriptina because it was sweet and elegant in a simple way. But even so, I don’t want to be viewed as tacky! So a change was desperately needed.

Victoria graciously offered up her amazing design skills and in exactly 3.9 seconds, whipped me up the sparkly new header you see above! This is something my blog needs (and deserves!), but don’t have the ability or creative skills needed to create it myself. For me to create something like that would not only take forever, but might not happen at all, because I would never come up with something so clever!

When I saw Victoria’s work, I knew what had to be done. I had to become a brand. And since Barbie is already taken, I’m expanding and developing the Ending Up Here brand! I now have a logo and, as of yesterday, business cards on the way!

Once the business cards are in, I will begin working on my book! Just kidding…but I am excited to see where this whole thing ends up (here! haha, get it…Ending Up Here…oh, nevermind.)

Want some glitz & glamour for your site or to see more of Victoria’s brilliant design skills? Check out her portfolio HERE!

Reverse Mullet Business Card - Business in the front...

Reverse Mullet Business Card – Business in the front…


...Party in the Back!

…Party in the Back!



Going Old School

Going Old School.

Click above to read a post from William Ricci’s blog, “The Wasteland Here.” He puts into words perfectly my feeling towards the written word.

For me, reading is an intimate, corporal experience. The feeling of being curled up amongst a pile of blankets and pillows with a hot cup of coffee or tea…this would be the perfect day for me. Only one thing would be able to spoil it…

some sort of newfangled, scientific eReader!

Ugh. I mean, I get it. It’s trendy. It’s handy to have all your books in one place. It’s cost-efficient. Yeah, I understand all these perks of Kindles, iPads and other eReaders. But there is nothing comparable to the feeling of flipping to the next page, being able to physically see how much you have left to read, and smell of fresh or ancient pages.

I love the look of a library – of books on shelves. I think it makes a person look educated (not necessarily formally) and learned when the have shelves full of books and/or books strewn all over their home. It shows that they can think outside their own sphere, tiptoe into other worlds and attempt to understand where they land and see a world through the eyes of someone else. Yes, this goes for people, no matter their vehicle for reading. A person who enjoys a book electronically has the same intellectual abilities as one who reads them on paper, and maybe it’s due to my aesthetic nature and predisposition to assess people based on exterior factors – judging my people by their covers, but it is more apparent to me when a person has their literature on display for all to enjoy.

In short, if a person, man or woman, wants to win my love and eternal loyalty, it can be achieved with the simple gift of a book, one with pages not buttons.

The Beauty & the Beast Library

In my later years, I became less concerned about the budding romance between Belle & the Beast, and more preoccupied with the question of How can she turn him down NOW??!!