Beyond My Walls, An Open Letter to My Readers

Buenos Días!

As you hopefully read in my blog post from Tuesday, I returned just 11 days ago from my first ever mission trip to San Salvador, El Salvador. To say that my life was forever changed is truly and understatement. I prayed for months about whether or not God wanted me there and once I realized He did, I was eager to discover His plan and purpose for my Central American adventure. It took a few days and even a few tears, but by Thursday of our weeklong trip, I knew why God wanted me there.

I was blessed to be able to visit a local private school in San Salvador, Colegio Ceren, to talk with a group of high schoolers (most of them were around the 15-18 age range). I figured that this wasn’t God’s purpose for me, since it’s what I do for a job and I was sure there was something bigger for me in San Salvador. Once again, I was wrong. I spent two and a half days at the school talking with the teenagers about my faith and theirs, comparing high school experiences and laughing. One of the boys I met, Josué, pulled at my heartstrings from Day 1. It was something beyond the fact that he was at least 5’10″ (unusually tall for a Latino!), had skin as pale as mine, bright blue eyes and naturally red hair. It took me a few days and numerous people to piece together his backstory, but in a nutshell, his dad left when he was little, his mom passed away from breast cancer, his brother is in jail, and Josué is living alone in a tiny apartment with just enough money from a family friend in the states to cover tuition and a little food.

Friday afternoon at Ceren with Josué!

Friday afternoon at Ceren with Josué!

After 3 days with Josué and his peers, I knew why God had sent me to San Salvador. After discussing the idea with Pastor Victor (the head pastor at the San Salvador church we partner with, Iglesia Gran Comision), we decided that I would become Josué’s sponsor. My financial support will go through the Great Commission Latin America (GCLA), the same organization Rock City Church uses to sponsor the little kids. From there, my money will be specifically designated for Josué and will go to Pastor Victor and he will use it as he best sees fit for Josué’s needs at that time. In 2 years, when he graduates from high school, I can continue donating money to go towards Josué’s college fund. Then, once he is stable and on his own, he will no longer need my financial support. Through all of this, Josué and I will be able to email one another and build a friendship that spans many years and thousands of miles. I have a dream of seeing Josué graduate high school 2 years from now!

Working with the high schoolers didn’t feel “special” at first, it just felt like another day at work (I’m an 11th & 12th grade English teacher in Columbus). But maybe that is how God shows us our spiritual gifts and purpose. The things that we love to do and can do without hesitation are the things He wants us to do for His glory. Yes, he will challenge us and push us to “flex, flex, flex” (this was our motto for the week to remind us to be flexible!) out of our comfort zone, but it’s only to make us stronger in His purpose for us. 

I have only been home a little while, and I already know that my time in San Salvador is far from over. It was definitely hard for me to leave. Part of my heart was ready to be home, share my experience with my friends and family, and cuddle with Dewey, but the other part ached for the new friends I had made.

This past Sunday, an opportunity to return to San Salvador presented itself. I was sitting next to Annie, a woman I became friends with on the trip, at church on Sunday, and in the middle of the service, she leaned over and whispered that she was joining up with the August mission trip. My heart immediately longed to return, so I spent some serious time in prayer begging God for a sign of whether I was to go back in August or not. I realized that really the only thing keeping me from going was raising the money. As a teacher, I’m on summer break, so the timing is perfect.

Yesterday in the mail, I got a check for $425 as an AEP Electric refund. “HEY ASHLEY!!! HERE’S YOUR SIGN!!!” -Love, God

I am hoping and seriously praying that God will come through, not just for me, but for the Salvadorians as well, and help me to raise the extra $1325.

Our trip is August 2-10 and our role will be to serve the community through working with the children, assisting in the health clinic and possibly some construction work. We will share the love and message of Jesus Christ and build relationships with people that are eager to share their life stories and hear why we have the hope we have. I realize that it might not fit into the schedule to visit Colegio Ceren, but I trusted God once to stretch me and grow me, and I know He will do it again. Obviously, I hope and pray that we do, but if not, I am eager to see what God has in store for me this time.

I am asking for your support in two ways. First and foremost, I need some diligent, persistent prayer partners! If you remember to do nothing else on our behalf, please remember to pray! This is so imperative as I begin making VERY QUICK preparations for my trip and then as I actually arrive on site to minister to the poor and hurting of San Salvador. 

Please add us to your daily prayer list!

Secondly, I am asking for support financially in this outreach endeavor. The total cost is $1750 per person for the 9 days we will be in San Salvador. I believe that God has put this trip on my heart (again!) for a reason and I am very confident that He will put this request on the hearts of the people he would have support this mission opportunity. All that I ask of you to do is to pray about it and then follow what God wants you to do for His Kingdom. If you decide to donate, directions are below.

I realize that you may have never met me, maybe this is your first time stopping by adorable lil blog ;), or maybe you’ve never donated to something like this before. Please understand that when you donate, your money IS NOT going into my pocket! First of all, when you donate, you go through Rock City Church. You simply designate your donation for Mission Trips, and then include my name so it goes towards my fundraising. This process will not only assure you that you are not sending money to some quirky girl with pink hair (oh yeah, I dyed my hair pink last week!) to do who knows what with, but it also makes your donation tax deductible! YAY!

I hope that you will also be assured that your hard earned money is going towards a cause bigger than me, bigger than you, greater than the sum of us combined. Your money will be used to show the poor and disadvantaged people of San Salvador God’s love. You will be helping me to connect with Josué, the 16 year old boy I am supporting financially, spiritually and emotionally. And a little bit selfishly on my end, you will be supporting me in finally feeling like I am fulfilling God’s purpose for me.

Your prayer and financial partnership will help our team to influence many for Christ as we serve them in different ways while we are in their country. For those of you that are serious planners like myself, this might be a bit last minute, but remember, “FLEX, FLEX, FLEX!” I must have ALL of this financial support by July 6th. I look forward to hearing from you! Together, we can make an impact on the lives of these precious Salvadorians!

With love, Ashley

If you feel led to donate to my Salvadorian Adventure or have ANY questions whatsoever about donating, please let me know by using this form to contact me!

To read more in depth about my first of many San Salvadorian adventures and see the beautiful faces of the people God has blessed, please check out my blog post:  

† † † † †

How to Give

Online Donations

  • Rock City Church can accept donations online through our website
  • In the upper right corner, click the little black box with 3 lines. Scroll to the bottom and click “Give Online.”
  • On the next page, click the large box that says “One-Time Gift.”
  • On the next page, in the first drop down menu, select “Mission Trips”

This next part is important!!

  • Currently the merchant services that Rock City Church uses does not offer an option to leave a memo with my name, designating your donation to me. Along with your online donation, please send an email to with the subject being “Missions Donation For Ashley Arend.”

Turning support funds in to Rock City Church via an “actual” check:

  • Double check that all checks are made out to “Rock City Church.”
  • Double check that the memo section states “Rock City Missions: A. Arend”
  • Once you have verified that all the checks are completed correctly you may:
    • Drop them in the offering OR
    • Mail them to: Rock City Church / Attn: Mission Trips / PO Box 474 / Hilliard, Ohio / 43026

Example Check:


To insure the tax deductibility of your support gift, IRS regulations stipulate that support contributions may NOT specify that an individual be the beneficiary of or direct recipient of the contribution. However, you may indicate a preference below and the Church will endeavor to honor that preference. Make all checks payable to “Rock City Church.”

Thank you for considering giving to this cause. Any amount you would like to give will be greatly appreciated.


Beyond My Walls, San Salvador Mission Trip: Love Is My Purpose

{please click HERE to see ALL my photos from San Salvador!} Well, I think it is quite obvious that I was unable to complete a daily blog while in San Salvador. I got to the point where I was so … Continue reading

Life, According to my iPhone: 100 Happy Days :: Vol. 4 & 5


If you are not familiar with the 100 Happy Days challenge, read my post explaining it HERE!

Okay, okay, I know I’m late!!! JEEEZ! But it’s been SUUUUUPER busy up in hurr lately (more on that LATER!). BUT! I still haven’t missed a happy day!!  Yesterday was Day 52 and I’m still going strong! I will admit that there have been a few days that haven’t been anything special, so they have resulted in some sort of Dewey portrait. But I almost appreciate those days more because it forces me to really look at my day and appreciate the little things. In fact, I’m working through binge watching How I Met Your Mother (I just started season 8 of 9!!!). An episode I watched last night ficused on Barney trying to convince Ted that they should do something”LEGENDARY” every night. The first few nights are pretty awesome (they start a Mariachi band, eat everything on the menu of their favorite bar and bring a horse into the bar!), but by night 4, Ted is getting tired and  implores Barney to understand that,

“Every night can’t be legendary. If all nights are legendary, no nights are legendary.”

WOOOOAHHHHH!!!!!! Mind. Blown.


Okay, in the episode, that was NOT Barney’s reaction. He vehemently argued against Ted…but MY mind was blown! If something awesome happens everyday, it becomes normal and the awesome things just seem regular. Does that make sense?

So because everyday isn’t “legendary,”, I get to value the little, insignificant days more.


Here are my photos from the past 20 days!

OH! And check it out! I’ve gone long enough that I’ve had ONE FULL MONTH of Happy Days!!

I'm using the Photo 365 app to organize all my Happy Days!

I’m using the Photo 365 app to organize all my Happy Days!

And here are Days 11-20!

And Days 21-30!

(click to enlarge!)

Days 31-40

 Days 41-50

Day 31: Brunch with these cats!! I LOVE Sundays with Shelly (& Vikki)!!!

Day 32: 6am workout followed by coffee, tea and breakfast with the amazing Christine! We got to share incredible stories, challenges and I even got a few writing tips! All before 9am on my first day of spring break!

Day 33: Project Barbie Dream House Facelift continues!!! Where do you suppose this “Fabulous Grape” is going???

Day 34: I had a blast today hanging out with my sister and my favorite nephew (don’t tell him he’s my only nephew!)! Rarely do I get such quality time with the bugger!

Day 35: I knocked an item off my Spring Break To-Do list by exploring downtown and taking a little photo adventure!

Day 36: Good Friday: “IT IS FINISHED!” “It wasn’t a cry of defeat. It was a shout of victory. The great work of rescuing us was finished! There is now nothing you can do to make God love you more — nothing you can do to make him love you less. It is finished!”

Day 37: Got to spend the day being a model with this gorgeous girl for Drauma!

Day 38: Hosana! Hosana! Hosana in the highest! “Many will be counted righteous for He will bear their sin!” Isaiah 53:11 This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.

Day 39: “HOW DID I GET UNDER THIS DRESS?!” “WHEN DID I HAVE A DRAG BABY?!” Monday’s a Drag kicked off our Alternative Fashion Week (AFW) 2014!

Day 40: I Screen, You Screen Screen Printing Workshop! Another successful screen printing night! Check out my Mobster Red tank I printed with Kelli! 

Day 41: Stew’s first ever yoga class! I may have left out that Alexander is evil…but he survived anyways!! {Don’t get excited…we dated for a smidgeon, but he’s no longer in the picture! Pun??}

Day 42: So I joined a girl band after our Reconstruction Night for AFW 2014.

Day 43: Secret’s out. It’s Wig Night!!! I love having a friend that I can be silly and awesome and beautiful with!

Day 44: Wow wow wow. What a night!!! Amazing! Nerve-racking! So many words. Must sleep to process. Thank you too all who came out. Your love and support truly means everything. {Post AFW Grand Finale Runway Show!!!}

Day 45: Somethings will never change! I got to round out my amazing weekend with Yenny, visiting home from the Left Coast! 

Day 46: I spent the day paying bills, cleaning and reorganizing the Barbie Dream House. I found this love note stashed away in a corner! It’s easy to be a good friend when you have wonderful, kind and loving people in your life. 

Day 47: My life may not always be glamorous, but at least I get to cuddle up with the Dewster every night.

Day 48: Ahhhh…I heart Wednesday nights! Yoga, hit shower, dinner and Law & Order: SVU. 

Day 49: Just a typical Thursday morning sweating my ass off before work! 

Day 50: Oh y’know, just spending the day flexing & drinking champagne with my best model and workout buddy! Amanda and I spent the day prepping for the Cap City Marathon! Unfortunately, I couldn’t run due to a strained IT band, but I’ll be back next year!!!

Life, According to my iPhone: 100 Happy Days :: Vol. 3

32 days in and still haven’t missed!! If you are not familiar with the 100 Happy Days challenge, read my post explaining it HERE!

I have to admit that it has been pretty easy to be happy these past 10 days. As crazy as my schedule is, I have lots of blessings in my life and I’ve actually remembered to document them! And a few friends have joined the challenge!!

Here are my photos from the past 10 days!

And here are Days 11-20!

(click to enlarge!)



Day 21: Sweating before 7am?? NAILED IT!! I’ve started working out at Seven Studios at 6am on Mondays and Tuesdays since my evenings are so busy!! This is my awesome friend Justin and one of our trainers, Christine!

Day 22: Besties/Sisters/Mobsters Amee & I steppin’ out at Circa Fashion Show, supporting the AMAZING Ashley Wills! She is a blogger and occasionally blogs for the Alternative Fashion Mob!!

Day 23: Hittin’s the streets of the Short North in downtown Columbus to get the word out about Alternative Fashion Week! Believe me…I was hard to miss and even harder to avoid!

Day 24: Celebrating the 3rd birthday of my new church, Rock City Church! The music and sermon was SOOO good, I stayed for 2 services!

Day 25: Jeff & Kelli gave a behind the scenes look into planning Alternative Fashion Week at Motive Monday. Apparently it’s not as easy as it seems!

Day 26: After residing at Barbie Dream House for Wayward Girls for 7 years, it was time for an update. New (to me) couch!! Step 1 of a few little tweaks!!

Day 27: First nap on the new couch was a snoring success!!

Day 28: Paw my gosh! That happy face!! What you can’t see is that I’m making the same face behind the camera! The weather is finally perking up!

Day 29: My lovely friend Brenton just made a penny floor in his bathroom! It was begging for a selfie!! This was also his birthday dinner!

Day 30: This is our type of weather! 45 minutes soaking up the sun resulted in a little sunburn! I ain’t mad!! We are ALL smiles!


Life, According to my iPhone: 100 Happy Days :: Vol. 2

I can’t believe it! I’ve made it 21 DAYS into this challenge and I haven’t missed a day once! Knock on wood!! If you are not familiar with the 100 Happy Days challenge, read my post explaining it HERE!

I don’t know if this challenge has made me more happy, but it has helped me to take joy in the little moments in life. But honestly, the thing I have loved most is sharing in my friends’ (and even some strangers!) happy moments! It has been helpful to have my friends do this with me. If it gets late in the day and I haven’t posted yet, I’m likely to get a “Have you been happy today??” text! I have found it to be true with every challenge in my life that the most important thing you need to be successful is a dedicated support group of friends!

Just a couple of Joyments!

Just a couple of Joyments!

Here are my photos from the past 10 days!

(click to enlarge!)

Day 11: Ahhhh….nothing like a brand new (and stinky!) yoga mat! The good people at Natural Fitness have a Zero Impact Program, in which they plant a tree for every product they sell! I hope it’s a cool tree! Maybe I’ll go visit it someday!

Day 12: Gah. I finally gave in. After my 2 day cleanse, I was starving and had a bagel with cream cheese. I don’t even care.

Day 13: Don’t leave me alone in a room full of buttons & knobs! Happy to get a clean bill of health at the eye doc!

Day 14: Happy to be surrounded by other Rock City Church folks at our weekly Life Group! We’re trucking through “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson.

Day 15: My best friend. Forever. Sometimes it just works.

Day 16: Feeding my hangover! Turns out Bareburger’s burgers are neither made out of bears or served by big, burly gay men.

Day 17: I became a Seven Studios Warrior today! I got to be a part of Julie Wilkes’ 7 Life Miracles Workshop!

Day 18: My city is better than yours. After a 6am Bootcamp workout at Seven Studios with Christina, I made time to snap a few sunrise pics. Gosh, Columbus is beautiful. 

Day 19: Finally, a day nice enough to go on a run, sit outside with Dewey, and chew on sticks.

Day 20: Oooohhhh!!! Happy happy joy joy!!! Presents (that I bought for myself) from Shoedazzle & Roozt were delivered today!!! (and maybe I had a little fun with a new photo editing app, Picfx 🙂 )


Life, According to my iPhone: 100 Happy Days

I love challenges. There’s just something so fulfilling about completing a difficult task that I set my mind to complete.

I also love photos. If my house were to catch on fire, I’d grab Dewey and then all my photo albums, my phone and my laptop (I’m a Millennial – most of my photos are digital!).

So, it should be obvious that I love a photo challenge!! Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim has monthly photo challenges that encourage participants to take 1 photo-a-day that aligns with that day’s topic. You can see March’s challenge HERE (and then keep watch for April’s!). I have done these challenges quite a few times and even posted my results here on my blog! You can check ’em out HERE!

My current photo challenge comes from found this posted on a friend’s Facebook and had to check it out. The premise is simple: Can you be happy for 100 days in a row??

“We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.”

All you have to do is take a photo of ANYTHING that makes you happy each day. It can be anything from coffee with a friend to something that captures the feeling of relaxing at home after a long day to your pet’s nose snuggled into your side – whatever it is that makes you happy just for a moment.

I gathered my girlfriends and we all agreed to start on the same day. Doing this challenge with a friend (or 7!) is helpful because you can help keep one another accountable. “Hey girl…sooo…I was avoiding work and checking my happy hashtag and I didn’t see you on there yet today…GET HAPPY!!!” The directions are easy:

  • Share your picture via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a public hashtag #100happydays!
  • Come up with your own hashtag to share your pictures with your people!

Wanna follow the gang and I on our happiness photo journey? Hop onto Instagram and check out our hashtag, #happyin614 (614 is the Columbus area code)! Don’t be shy! Follow my crazy, busy, awesome, badass, exciting life on Instagram!

Wanna start the challenge yourself?!? AWESOME!!! Please share your personal hashtag here so I can encourage you and share in your daily joyments (joyful moments)! I’m so excited to see what makes you smile!

So far, I am 11 days in and totally enjoying the challenge! Here are my first 10 shots. Be sure to check back here to see my Joyments!

(click to enlarge!)

Days 1-10

Day 1: The A-Squad reunited!! Some of my best girlfriends Allie, Amanda, & Amee

Day 2: Saturday was been a perfectly beautiful day to spend outside with my favorite four-legged friend!

Day 3: I always leave Rock City Church feeling joyful and motivated! Each Sunday, I am able to take the message and apply it to my life. This week, where can I turn “Not a chance!” into “Okay God…I’ll take a chance.” ?? I’ve got some ideas!!

Day 4: Happy to catch up with an old friend over a home cooked dinner!

Day 5: Amee is now SIX YEARS CANCER FREE!!! And obviously it makes me so superduper happy to have my bestie/big sis/lesbian lover around year after year.

Day 6: I love my CBus!

Day 7: We got to welcome in spring with 108 sun salutations!

Day 8: YAY!!! I bought the Divergent trilogy and they finally came in the mail Friday! Guess what I’ll be nerding out to this weekend!!! (I have this silly rule about having to read a book BEFORE I see its movie.)

Day 9: I probably shouldn’t tell what I had to play during Cards Against Humanity to make Joe laugh to the point of tears…point of the story, Saturday was a wonderful night full of laughs with great friends.

Day 10: Happy to be stronger than I’ve ever been – in every way possible.


Life, According to my iPhone: Photo-a-Day Edition, Vol. 7 – YAY! It’s MAY!

I am still making it a priority of find a few moments each day to document my life!

So here is the first batch of the month of May!

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 here 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!

Do you do the Photo Challenge? Share your photos!

Thanks for perusing! Enjoy!

{click collage to enlarge}


Daily Prompts:

May 1: I Bought This! The final piece to my Half Marathon running outfit!

May 2: Morning Ritual. Push-ups and sit-ups! Everyday! Keepin’ it fierce! Madonna didn’t get her arms from sleepin’ in!

May 3: This is Really Good! My last meal before the half marathon the next morning! I meant to take a picture of it pre-devouring, but I was starving and forgot! So here’s my clean plate! Giant burger and sweet potato fries!

May 4: Something Starting with F. Dad met me at the finish line. I gave him a giant hug and immediately started crying. I know Mom was with us.

May 5: Paper. Bamboo paper plate! ChefDan is a genius! Since a portion of the proceeds from The Alternative Fashion Mob’s Couture Cuisine goes to CHA Animal Shelter, he created FAUX gras & FAKon for Kelli Martin’s course!

May 6: Broken. My heart is broken…Uncle Art passed this morning.

May 7: In My Cup. H2O!!! I’m taking on a Water Challenge! It’s to drink at least half my body weight in ounces of water per day!

May 8: Shape. Dewey’s Doggie nose!

Life, According to my iPhone: Photo-a-Day Edition, Vol. 6 – APRIL!

I realize it has been awhile since I have updated y’all with my Photo-a-Day Challenge! Although I haven’t been blogging much, I have been keeping up with my photo challenge! I have made a priority of find a few moments each day to document my life.

So here is the month of April!

Tomorrow is a new day and a new month with all new challenges!

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:

April 1: Play. The fabulous Brianne allowed me the pleasure of modeling her hair design tonight! What a fun April Fool’s Day!

April 2: Blue.  Blue skies and red lips!

April 3: Something Beginning with A. The children have gone Amuck!!! I got to babysit/play with these little rapscallions last night. Possibly the coolest kids ever. Susie (the girl on the bottom) made dinner!

April 4: This happened today. I’ve always been pro-adoption. Welcome to the family, ladies!

April 5: Something good. Friendship & heart-shaped sunnies! I can’t wait for all the fun times & photos this summer! With Allie!

April 6: Air. Silly Bar Snorkeling!

April 7: Dreamy. My dreamy place.

April 8: On My Plate. Breakfast for Dinner!

April 9: Tiny. Tiny, happy signs its finally spring!!

April 10: A Place.  My workplace! I am really blessed to have a job here!

April 11: Detail. I was waiting for just the right close-up and my tree finally bloomed! Anyone know what these are called? I don’t even know! I used my macro-lens with my iPhone for this!

April 12: In the Middle. Somehow I have ended up in the middle of this beautiful, crazy mess!

April 13: View from My Bed. I love sleeping in on the weekends, even if it is only til 9!

April 14: Water. Nothing like a cleansing shower after hot, sweaty yoga!

April 15: Alone. I got my act together early this morning and had a nice lil morning alone before work!

April 16: My Favorite Color. Glitter is a color, right??

April 17: Busy. “Busy?! What is this word you speak of??” Well, after MY busy day, I am blessed to have this face to come home to!

April 18: Hello! Well, Hello there Bleeding Heart bush! I planted her last year was thrilled to see her pop up again! Ahhhh, spring!

April 19: Buttons. I tried to go to What the Rock?! for Alternative Fashion Mob buttons, but they weren’t there yet!

April 20: On My Mind.  It had been on my mind to return to my blog for weeks now! I promise I’m working on a comeback!

April 21: Fire. Check out the awesome outdoor heater Dad got me for my patio! I can’t wait for summer on the porch!

April 22: Blurry. Just playin’ with the panoramic setting!

April 23: Time. My annual end-of-the-year paper clip chain. One day for each schoolday left! We’ve made it to 27!

April 24: I Saw This Person Today. Ta-Ta Tim with TuTus Hot Yoga! This might be the last picture we ever take… Make it count!

April 25: Life is…beginning anew. Thursday morning…every morning is a fresh start!

April 26: Childhood. Licking the brownie batter reminds me of childhood!

April 27: Earth.  We got to enjoy some sunshine & grassy earth today!

April 28: This is my Sunday. Alternative Fashion Week model casting call!

April 29: I Wore This Today. Is it sad that this prompt is the only reason I “dressed up?”

April 30: Glasses.  A perfect way to end April! Dinner & vino with my Broads and my Boo.

Life, According to my iPhone: Photo-a-Day Edition, Vol. 6

Ohh Fah! I have sucked at writing lately! I am so sorry. Life is crazy busy and this past week has been filled with friends new and old! But I have kept up with my Photo-a-Day Challenge!

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:

March 9: Faceless Self-Portrait. You can tell a lot about a person based on their bookshelf!

March 10: I want… I want Sunday Fundays like this every weekend! Beautiful weather, beautiful people and a smorgasbord of delicious food!

March 11: Important. It was super important to me tonight that I get my blog on! It may be almost 2am, but I kept my promise and we go to press at 6:30 tomorrow morning!

March 12: In the Distance. Morning run!

March 13: Sound. The sound of silence on a cold winter’s night.

March 14: Tasty. Mmmmmm….crack dip!

March 15: Explore. Oops!!!

March 16: 9 o’clock. Sunday night means another hot yoga in the bag and walkers.


{Every time I say that, I’ envisioning a little blonde, Poltergeist-ey girl}

Well it’s true!  I’ve been gone for a bit from the blog that I love so much, but I’m back! Thanks for sticking with me and not running away {…yet}!

A lot has happened since I’ve last written to you! I will try to tell you as much as I can without being too long-winded!

First off, some super duper exciting news! But first, a back story. A few weeks ago, a girl sends me and some guy, Josh Weiker, a Facebook message. She is trying to connect with me for Josh because he wants to use my badass photos from Pecha Kucha on his blog. Of course I say yes, because getting my name as a new blogger out there, in any way possible, is awesome. I only ask that he links back to my blog along with my photos. Josh graciously obliged and that was that. Well, a day or so later, Josh messaged me again saying that he had a chance to read my blog, really liked what he read and that I had a voice that would fit in with a new website he’s working on. The project is called Columbus Avenue. It is a new and upcoming website that highlights Columbus’ local music, nightlife and general fun-ness. The articles and stories are written by a small handful of Columbians, Columbusians, Columboans, people from Columbus; people whose hearts beat for the city. After explaining this venture to me, Josh asked if I would like to be one of the elite few that gets to write for this thing.


I said yes really before even asking what would be expected of me. The idea of writing with a group of people who are not only brilliant writers themselves, but love the CBus, excites me to no end. Plus, anything I write for Columbus Avenue is still my property and can be put on here too! So I’m still getting to promote and do the blog thing, which is a top priority for me right now. When Josh and I began discussing what exactly I would be writing, I confessed to him that, as much as I truly love local music, my knowledge base is only about this much: |___| and I just wouldn’t feel comfortable starting out writing about it when there are so many other knowledgeable passionate people who would love the opportunity. So we started brainstorming ideas of what I would write. “Well, you are obviously motivated, so my question is what interests you?”

Hmmm…happiness. friends. music. fun. art. parties. columbus. dogs. rainbows. glitter. friends. teaching. teenagers. books. hot chocolate. photography. iphones. pink….and that’s just a 10 second brainstorming list!

So we settled on me writing about local icons, and general events & entertainment. Something that could be called “Columbus VIP’s – Very Interesting People, Places, and Parties.” BAM. If that isn’t a column I should be contributing to, I don’t know what is. I haven’t started writing yet, but now that I’m back, it’s on like Donkey Kong. My first article is going to be a spotlight on one of Columbus’ most badass babes and one of my best friends FOR LIFE. Any guesses who she is??

So there’s that freaking amazing news. Onto more Happiness Moments!

I have been getting to spend a lot of time with some new-er and kickass ladies in my life. I just feel supremely blessed to be surrounded by women that are doing great things and have great, big, ole hearts in their chests. So there’s that 🙂

Me, Rebecca, Amee & Amanda

Me, Rebecca, Amee & Amanda

This past Friday night, one of my favorite local bands (okay, maybe I am a weeee bit biased 😉 ), Black Eyed Betty played a rockin’ show after a short hiatus. I love going to their shows because I know (almost!) all the words and can sing along with some of my best friends. And, yeah…they’re music is pretty great too! But the best part about this show in particular is that Noodles was back! Huh??Noodles?? What that…?! Yeah! Noods! The original drummer for Betty is a bat-shit crazy, good drummer who goes by the nickname Noodles. He no longer drums with them because he has been on some crazy life adventures! After he left for a life of escapades, Betty had a few drummers fill in and has now settled on the rockin’ T.Bart. He does a fabulous job and fits in just nicely with what the band has become after so many years of defining itself. Back to Friday night – Noodles is now back home in CBus and came to the show. As a little thrill to both their fans and Noodles himself, he got to sit in as drummer for a few songs. I have to admit, it literally brought tears to my eyes to see the gang back together again. Don’t get me wrong, I love T.Bart, but there’s just something about seeing the original crew play together one more time.  And I think Noodles thoroughly enjoyed himself as well!

{click photo to enlarge!}Click here to see photo gallery!

{click photo to enlarge!}
{Click here to see photo gallery!}              (Hey! There’s more of those kickass chicks I was talking about!^^^)

So that was Friday night. Saturday was even better. I got to have lunch with the always sweet and effortlessly fashionable Allie. I swear, even wearing simple jeans, t-shirt and statement necklace, that woman is flawless. She’s such an inspiration! The evening was filled with fabulous shenanigans as well! “The Broads” (Amee, Rebecca, Amanda, Liz & I…and sometimes a token gay) hit up the Olde Towne East Roving party and invaded the local gay bar for a night of laughter and dancing. It was just what I needed. Being surrounded by people I love and dancing the night away has an effect on me that nothing else in the world does. It makes me infinitely happy.

Oh. And drag queens. Drag queens make me really happy too. Especially ones dressed like Taylor Hanson.

This was the most internet appropriate photo from the evening...

This was the most internet appropriate photo from the evening…
{Tim, me, Amee, Amanda}

The ONLY bad thing about Saturday night was looking at the clock and expecting it to say 2:15am. Oh no. It was 3:15am. Ouch. (Amee!!! We actually time traveled!)

And then Sunday. Oh, Sunday was just PERFECT! It was sunny and 70 FREAKING DEGREES!!! I can’t remember the last time it was that warm, and OH! how I miss it! I am a sunshine girl! Winter just really gets me down and I needed some sunshine to brighten my life! I woke up early and went to church (yeah, after my 3:45am bedtime, getting up at 9:30am for church was ROUGH! Needless to say, I was late…oops! Sorry, Jesus!) After church, I rounded up Tim and Amanda and we rode our bikes (OMG! BIKES! One of the best parts of warm weather Ohio!) to Our friend Brenton’s house for a brunch of all brunches. There were mimosas. There were bloody mary’s. There was fruit in my mimosa. There was a salad in my bloody mary. There were omelettes. There was homemade bread. There was at least 5 pounds of bacon. I can even remember everything there was! Even better than the food were the people. I met a profusion of new and fabulous people at this sunny, Sunday soirée! Everyone was so kind, funny and eager to help. We got to sit outside on Brenton’s patio and soak up the day’s perfection. And of course, after such a large meal, one needs to exercise! So out came the tandem bicycle! Let me say this. Brenton makes it look SO easy! Amanda and I tried to ride this thing and… Let’s just say I wish there was video of the hilarity that ensued. And then Tim and Stacy hopped on and cruised on by us with no problems. Some Broads just aren’t meant to tandem. It was an all-in-all perfect day, and I haven’t been able to say that in quite some time.

{click photo to enlarge!}Click here to see photo gallery!

{click photo to enlarge!}
Click here to see photo gallery!

{click photo to enlarge!}Click here to see photo galler of hilariousness!

{click photo to enlarge!}
Click here to see photo gallery of hilariousness!

And just for kicks & giggles:

I biked in pants and got hot, so Brenton loaned me some shorts! I call it Lesbian Chic.

I biked in pants and got hot, so Brenton loaned me some shorts! I call it Lesbian Chic.

Okay, if you’re still here after all that, I’ve got just a little more for you! As if the weekend wasn’t great enough, I came home to photos from the AntiLabel shoot with photographer Taryn Lindsey! The group photo I bought at the Alternative Fashion Mob Art Show, the one of me leaning I bought from Taryn, and the one with my hand on my face was a gift! One can never have enough photos of yourself! 😉 AAANNNDDD! A friend sent a picture of another AntiLabel photo shoot for GO Magazine. The magazine is in every AirTran airplane! How cool is that?!?

I want everyone who visits to see it, so I figured the bathroom was the best option!

I want everyone who visits to see it, so I figured the bathroom was the best option!


So yeah. I’m pretty happy right now. Life is good. And I’m back. That’s even better.