celebrating one year of ashley joanna

On November 15, 2014 I sat in a coffee shop with an idea in my head.

I wanted to blog again.


As a freshman in college I started blogging at Hey, It’s Ashley. For the next 5ish years the blog was my creative outlet when the world around me was riddled with anxiety and stress. It gave me permission to be creative AND I met one of my closest friends on the inter webs. Worth it. 

But during my first year of teaching, I dropped the ball. That year took a creative toll on me and I devoted zero energy to blogging or anything of creative mindset. Bad idea.

Towards the beginning of my 2nd year teaching, I had a strong feeling it would be my last. Although I didn’t have any idea what my life was going to look like after the last day of school, I decided to take a creative chance on myself. 

So Ashley Joanna was born. A blog dedicated to documenting my journey and a space to explore my creative side for the reals. [Read that first post here!]

Now I sit in a coffee shop 400+ miles away and I am nothing but thankful for the creative discipline writing every weekday for this blog has been. It hasn't always been easy, but it's been so worth it. 

And now a few favorite documentations from the first year of Ashley Joanna:


My running journey |

My knitting journey |

My web developer journey |

Pst! Good News! Things are in the works for a creative business coming from your girl in the very near future. Stay tuned :) 

2015 | 10 month progress

This marks my 208th blog post in 2015 & the longest I have ever continued a New Year’s goal in the history of my life. 

2015 Goal Tracker from |

When the idea for my 2015 goal first came to me, I had no idea that:

1. I’d actually follow through
2. It would change my life in the best way
3. It would grow me creatively
4. It would become a daily habit
5. I’d meet wonderful people
6. I’d end up documenting my life in a non-traditional way
7. I’d become so attached to writing lists

Blogging every weekday isn’t easy. There are MANY days I’m writing the next day’s post with wet hair before bed or be brainstorming blog posts driving on my way to work that day. But every post, even the not super exciting ones, tell the story of my life in 2015. 

And the best part is that it’s not over. With 2.5 months left, I’m still typing away, editing iPhone shots, and dreaming of creative ways to share my life with you. 

In other news: I finally found my gold Sharpie from the move and had a major party coloring in 60+ gold circles on my goal tracker. 


a lesson in slowing down

I’ll skip to the part where for hours and hours after being discharged from her 'lady parts' surgery, my sweet pup laid around the house, trying to get comfortable and occasionally letting out the faintest of moans.

Don’t get me started on the tears forming in her eyes.

Woz sleeping |

I’m not a mom to humans yet, but if what I’m feeling toward this 18 pound ball of joy is anywhere near what I’ll feel seeing my future babes hurting, it sure is tough. 

Seeing my sweet girl in her quietest state, I’m also reminded that sometimes a little forced rest is exactly what’s needed. 

In my own life, I’m in an interesting spot. I’m technically job-less right now, enjoying my last few months of summer vacation, traveling, applying for jobs and the like. But though I’m “on vacation” right now, that doesn’t mean I don’t need to slow down and rest during this time. 

My body made me do that earlier this week. I tried my hardest to cram as much as I could in my day, but the exhaustion was overwhelming. So now, I get done what needs to be done and have decided that some things can wait.

I can get a few lessons behind on my coding classes and be okay.
I can continue working on that email project later and be okay.
I can press pause and everything will be okay. 

Intentionally slowing down is the absolute best thing I can do for myself right now. And I'm 100% okay with that.