I'm baaaaaaaack!

Whew. After a month off from blogging, it’s so good to be home. 

Ashley Joanna | I'm back!

As with most things in life, it’s time for a bit of change SO, come hang out with me every Tuesday and Thursday this year! 

With the reduced number of posts (106ish instead of last year’s 262 posts) comes more rad content, a brain that’s less frazzled and more time to focus on my budding business, who will have it’s own blog in the coming months. 

Here’s a peak at what you’ll see around Ashley Joanna this year: 

  • What’s happening in my world
  • The New Biz 
  • My running & health journey
  • Podcast & audiobook reviews
  • Lists (maybe even of lists)
  • Food & Travel & Tech
  • Some really cool people

So whether you are new here or have been following along from the earrrrrly days (circa 2009), welcome! 

I'm staring a business

One year ago I had no idea what I wanted to do when I “grew up.”

After teaching 2nd grade [and absolutely loving it] for 2 years, I just knew that it wasn’t going to be my forever thing.

Life circumstances [aka a boy] pulled me out of my comfort zone [aka my hometown] and gave me the opportunity to stray from “The Plan.” When I made my move across Texas I decided not to find a teaching job. Instead, I found a job nannying two of the sweetest boys. My hours are perfect, my time with the boys satisfies my teaching itch, and I have the freedom to pursue a few unconventional dreams.

One of the biggest dreams actually came years ago in college.

I have always admired my best friend’s wedding & editorial photography business. When our friendship began over 6 years ago, I immediately was drawn to watching her not only shoot at sessions and post-process images, but design wedding albums. The process of telling a story of such a sacred day through limited images tugged at my creative strings.

In my stressful college days, I soon began designing wedding albums for her clients as a creative outlet. Often, I wished out loud that designing albums could be my real job. Oh I wanted to so badly.

But I was terrified.

Small businesses are not easy. The paperwork, the legal confusion, CPAs, taxes, insurance, being official, the whole shebang. I saw all those very real and very important things and allowed them to be a brick wall preventing me from ever having my own business.

Soon I had my own classroom and it was much harder to justify my time spent on albums when another pile of grading and more lesson plans waited for me on my table.

But the passion for albums and a small business never quite went away.

Over the last few months I have been leaning into the possibility of opening my own album design studio and in November I decided that it was 100% worth trying.

At the time of this writing, official documents are being drafted, branding is being done, processes are being refined, and marketing strategies are coming together.

I’m telling you all this in my very unfinished state because I want to be open about this experience. I do not have it all together, but I know that I’d rather do this thing than sit and worry my way out of trying.

I could not be more excited to begin to work with photographers all around the world, creating albums for their clients, easing their burdens, and become the Boss that I know I am.

Look for more about Your Album Designer coming in early 2016!

Pst: if you are a photographer [or you know a photographer] would you mind sharing a few minutes of your time and give me a little feedback on your current album design situation? You’re the bee’s knees.


Apparently this #2015topnine is a thing and I am so on board. 

This Instagram trend packages nine of your top images from the year in the coziest square grid.


So without further ado, here are my top 9 Instagram moments from 2015

  1. My daily goal tracker. In 2 short days I will officially have completed my first New Year’s resolution to blog every weekday in 2015. Once I get back to the ATX, I’ll fill in the last of the gold circles and share it for the last time. Woo! 
  2. These willow lights from our Christmas light tour in HTX have stolen my heart. I want them in front of my house, in my house, above my bed, and always on. 
  3. Brown E’s (aka "Brownies"). My favorite practical joke I played on my sweet 2nd graders for April Fools Day. Shout out to Morgan for the idea! #classic
  4. Ashley Brimeyer, Web Developer. A huge part of my 2015 journey was learning to become a Web Developer. I’ve since pressed pause on my journey, but would never have guessed a year ago that I’d know (a smidge) of so many different programming languages! 
  5. Cheesing on my birthday with my San Francisco tote IN San Fransisco. Oh best trip to a new city in 2015 for sure. That city has my heart, and the soles of my shoes, in a very real way.
  6. June Capri. My best friends who just happen to live miles and miles away in Florida welcomed their little one into the world this summer and I was spoiled to spend a week with them in their home when she was just 5-ish weeks old. So honored, so loved.
  7. The happiest thing I've ever eaten. If eating one of these with my love could be my every Saturday, I’d be one happy gal.
  8. Oh the Apple Watch. The ONE thing I can officially claim ‘hipster’ status on (is that a thing?) as I have worn my trusty watch since launch day in April. #applewatchforlife
  9. Thanks to an Uber gal in San Fran, the Cruffin was introduced into my world. One of the best spontaneous lines Apple Guy and I ever stood in during our April trip.

There you have it!

Share yours with me please! I love seeing a visual of everyone’s 2015!