Tattoosday: Natureeee Goulet

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You don't even blink do you.  (If you're a Robert Goulet fan, or just Karli McKnight, you're laughing right now.)

So I know I did a couple of animal/tree themed tattoos a while back but I've been finding so many pretty ones, I can't help but share more. (And really, it's my blog, I can do what I want right?)  Also, I'm hoping to get my family tattoo post up soon with some of the Fears tat's on display...we're like a biker gang :) (This is your reminder Big Al, send me your pics!)  Also, I really want to begin featuring the wonderful tattoos from friends and people I've met through this blogging endeavor, so please contact me if you would like to be featured!  Shoot me an email at Ashley dot Fears at gmail dot com, and please include any stories behind the tattoos as well.

  So without further adieu please enjoy a few of these loverly tattoos...
*This peony tattoo is just plain gorgeous...
Photo via

* I love that this tattoo looks like those lovely laser cut art pieces.  So pretty! (Also, if you know who the original source is please let me know, I just keep getting pinterest and tumblr!)
Photo via

*Another laser cut type, and I love the squirrel!
Photo via

* I looove owls, and I think this one is so cute!!
Photo via

*I'm really into arrows lately...
Photo via

* You know that Joni Mitchell song... It's clouds illusions I recall... I don't know why, but I think that every time I see this pretty ink!  It just goes to show that simple is pretty too!
Photo via

*Okay one more owl...
Photo via

What's Making Me Happy

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's another Fridee and I won't lie, I'm so ready for this week to be over...I've been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and I'm REALLY ready for some weekend relaxation and fun.  Who's with me?! This makes it the perfect time to share some of the things that are making me happier today, so sit back, grab a cup of tea, (or a diet Pepsi like me,) and let's toast to a much better weekend!
*These two quotes made my day today...
Images via
*WOW is all I can say...

*I love the idea for this fortune garland from Oh Happy Day, I can't wait to make one for my next party...
Photo via

*Kaehlah linked to this amazing vintage hair dryer this week as well and now I'm totally obsessed...
Photo via
* Meredith did a wonderful photo an hour a few weeks ago and one of her photos featured this amazing mug...I totally want the fox one!
Photo via

*The preview for Wes Anderson's new movie Moonrise Kingdom makes me SOOO excited. I LOVE WES ANDERSON.
*Okay, so I do 99% of the things they're talking about on Aggressive Whimsey, but it's still really funny.  I'm a blogger cliche.
Images via

*These hipster Disney princesses made me smile...
Images via
*This vintage inspired hairpiece DIY from Kinsey is to die for. I'm making one this weekend.
Photo via
 *On the new blog Fictional Food, the authors seek out "fictional foods" from literature (so far they've done Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and Willy Wonka,) and even some movies and make it.  I'm love seeing what delightful dishes they're coming up with! 

Tattoosday: Art Inspirations

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm planning on taking a little trip over to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts in the next week to check out the new wing, (the last time Lauren and I went we saw the new wing of the Americas and the Chiculy exhibit, it was amazing!)  Lately I've been finding all sorts of tattoos inspired by both famous art and artists as well as some wonderful contemporary artists I love. 

*I recently learned of Kara Walker's work and really love it.  What a wonderful daily reminder of the choices we make at the crossroads in our life.  (Brandon, I told you I'd look for you!) 

Photo via

*Shepard Fairey has been in the public eye a lot over the past few years regarding both his HOPE posters for President Obama's presidential campaign as well as for the Time Magazine person of the year cover, (the Protester,) which are both wonderful, but I love how simple and pretty this tattoo inspired by his work is.
Photo Via

*So I know, everyone and their dog loves Van Gogh's Starry Nights and Monet's water lillies, but as a tattoos? Amazing.  I love how colorful and detailed they are!
Photo via here and here

*Picasso's Peace Dove
Photo via

*I've been blown away by the Tel Aviv street artist Know Hope for a while now, and am now completely in love with the tattoos representing his main 'character' in his street art. And the birds...oh the birds.  They're like little birdy paper airplanes. 
Photos via thisislimbo

*And speaking of blown away, aren't these David Hale tattoos amazing?  David is an actual tattoo artist, but also sells paintings and prints and all sorts of beautiful contemporary pieces.  I LOVE the fox. 
Photo via: David Hale

*Peter Aurisch's another artist/tattooist...his work looks like pieces of a dream...
Photos via

What's Making Me Happy

Friday, January 20, 2012

Good morning friends! Here's hoping that your weeks are all going well! I've had a lovely little week spending lots of time with Em now that she's back from home, (she made me the most amazing Chicken Marsala this week, you should totally try out this recipe,) starting a new work out routine (pilates + yoga= Ashley who can't move today,) and working my tail off with the beginning of BU's Spring semester.  It's been crazy! I'm so excited that it's Friday, tonight My Politic has a show at Out of the Blue, (which will be amazing I know,) I have some fantastic crafting ideas to mess around with, and I'm hoping to do a little thrifting as well. So fun! Anyhoo,here are a few little lovelies that are making me very happy this week!

*I'm kind of obsessed with the pretty Valentines Day cards from Rifle Paper Co. (And they have some ahhhmazing prints too!)
Photo Via: Rifle Paper Co

*The new VW commercial combines two of my favorite things, Star Wars and dogs. Love it.

*Obviously, I love organs.
Image Via: ilovedoodle

* I LOVE this wedding photo. Check out Arrow & Apple to see more of this ahhhdorable wedding.
Photo via: Arrow & Apple

*OMG. I'm pretty obsessed with this glimpse into Anna's moleskin... it's giving me so many ideas for my art journal!
Photo Via: Anna Rusakova
* This is probably the best advice ever. By Chris Piascik.
Image via: Fancy
 *I definitely want to try this Valentines decoration DIY
Photo via: Everything Fabulous
*I love this pop of color on the fireplace...Decor8 has some great posts!
Photo via: Decor8

*So I've officially linked to so much Ron Swanson stuff and watched so much Parks and Rec that I've started having dreams about him. (and his mustache.)  I know i've shared this before, but now there's an entire website dedicated to Drunk Ron Swanson.  Click on it. I'm just leaving it up all day.

*I'm so inspired by these posts by Elizabeth and Kaelah on Individuality and being yourself.  Must reads!

Sometimes Reality Bites...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Every once in a while I love to take a Friday evening off from the frivolities of Boston and just veg out on the couch with Monty and a movie  Tonight was definitely one of those times, so for the past few hours I've been curled up in bed with Monty and a blanket watching one of my favorite all time movies, Reality Bites.  It's full of 90's awesomeness, the always hilarious Janeane Garofalo, genius dialogue, ("Evian is naive spelled backwards..."), a killer soundtrack, and Ethan Hawke at his absolute hottest.  If that isn't enough to turn you into a believer, I don't know what will.

The gist of the movie is the story of 4 20-somethings who have just graduated from college and are having to face the harsh realities of adulthood; terrible jobs, confusing relationships, and dealing with the unknown. As a mirror to my current mental state, it's a pretty perfect reflection. Lately I've been struggling with the idea that my life isn't necessarily where I expected it to be at this time.  I've had a serious case of the 20-something blues, where I feel more and more like I'm still stuck at the kids table, while everyone else seems to be having a blast at that adult party called life. I'm faced with the nagging question that if all our lives, we've been told that our twenties are supposed to be a time that we can experiment, a time to mess up, a time to find ourselves, at what point are we supposed to have it all figured out?  When does the experiment end and life begins?

When I entered graduate school, I was ambitious and idealistic, and though we were beginning to see the first inklings of our economic problems, I barreled into higher education with the somewhat naive notion that all would be better when I emerged, degree in hand.  I excelled in classes, I learned invaluable lessons, and I emerged to find myself right back where I started. And on top of it, I was exhausted by the idea of entering the very world I'd attended school for in the first place. Was I a more thoughtful and informed adult? Probably. Wiser and more self aware for my experiences? Sure. Without the job that I felt would finally define me as an adult? Definitely.  
Photo Via: The New Yorker
 As a generation who has been raised within the social experiment that says that we're all special, we each deserve a gold star and a baseball trophy for trying, (this coming from the dedicated benchwarmer of Christian County sportsdom,) we now find ourselves facing a paradigm which ties our own views of self worth to that of our achievements and success. We've spent our lives working towards goals set up by our society and by ourselves; seeking notoriety, knowledge, and justification of our choices to be faced with the reality that life doesn't hand out smiley faces for participating, and even those who try their hardest may not be immediately rewarded.  While I'd like to believe that I've achieved a bit of each, the reality is that I'm still incredibly unsure of my path.  For a while, I've seen this as a failure.  I'm not incredibly proud of that, but it's true.

(I know what you're thinking, a twenty-something who hasn't figured out her life...wahhh.)

My whole life I've lived with the motto of "no regrets," and it's worked well for me to this day.  I know that I couldn't have grown into the person I am today without the successes and pitfalls of my younger, (and letsbehonest, current) years, but it's still incredibly scary to face the unknown, untethered and drifting.  I've been through the stages of blame, but I know that my own indecision and uncertainty has certainly played a lot into my current situation. And that's got me thinking. 

It's largely because of my own uncertainty that I was really inspired to create this blog.  My whole life, I've been working towards accomplishments to prove something to myself, and sometimes even more, to prove to others that I was different or that I was special.  I've relentlessly sought the "gold star" for 27 years without ever really stopping to think if it's what I need, or even what I want.  Through blogging I became inspired, and in a way, I've started to really find myself again.  Not the girl who looks good on paper at the class reunion; but the girl who doesn't need the validation of others or a gold star on the paper from anyone but herself. I have some big decisions to make in the near future, but I'm happy to say that I'm finally seeing it as both a challenge and an adventure. I'm becoming inspired in new ways, and though I'm still not sure where I'll be or what I'll be doing in the next year or five years, you can bet on the fact that this time I'll be doing it for me.
Photo via: Google images
***Thanks for listening to what turned out to be a word-vomit filled diary entry... I just had to get that off my chest. I'm so appreciative of all of the long talks and short words with family  and friends as well as encouragement from other bloggers I've received over the past few months, you're all truly special to me!

Tattoosday: Food Tattoos

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So, I have to start this post off by telling you all about the most awesome restaurant that I went to with Emilie and Kaston this weekend.  I've mentioned before that I looove Top Chef on Bravo so naturally, I was so excited to visit contestant Tiffani Faison's new restaurant, Sweet Cheeks.  Now I'll be completely upfront in saying, I'm something of a BBQ, especially brisket, snob.  I come from the land of man's meat weekends courtesy of my dad, Big Al, so I've been a little disappointed with the Yankee way of  BBQ that I see in this area. While I had reservations about this meal, but let me tell you, I was blown away.  It was SO GOOD.  I had a chopped brisket sandwich with this yummy broccoli cheese casserole & Emilie and Kaston both had the pulled pork, mac and cheese, and salad... perfect, PERFECT Texas BBQ. It was juicy & tender with amazing BBQ sauce on the side, (as all Texas BBQ should be served.) I could go on and on. 

With that in mind, I wanted to focus on some fun food tattoos that I've been finding lately, there are so many cute ones! 
1) I love the Q that looks like a pigs tail 2) Emile being cute, Kaston trying to get every last drop of the BBQ sauce in his belly 3) salt and pepper potatoes 4) I'm a firm believer that all things should be drunk in mason jars, 5) My brisket sandwich, (which turned into my dinner salad topping...soo much food!) 6) Another look at this cute little eatery.

*I know that the butcher shop pig is pretty common now in food tattoos, but I just love it, (just as I'm beginning to try p.o.r.k.  Except bacon. Still hate bacon.)
Photo via:ChefMattRock
 *Emma from Food Coma has such a cute Red Velvet tattoo of a vintage mixer.
Photo via: Food Coma

*Okay, so I probably won't be getting a taco tattoo any time soon, but I loooooove me some tacos.  LOOOOVE.
Photo Via: jovino

*This teapot tattoo is so pretty...
Photo via: Dirty Laundry Photography

*I love owls and I love cupcakes....
Photo via: Art of Vintage Karma

* Couldn't do just one cupcake...this one is too cute to not share.
Photo via: Mezdeathhead

* This is just beautiful...
Photo Via: butterfat

What's Making Me Happy

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hello friends and neighbors, happy Friday!  After what seems like an endless week it's finally here, a three-day weekend!  I'm not sure about y'all but I've been really off my game this week, I think it has something to do with this terrible cold I've picked up in the office and the dreeeeary weather we've been having here in Boston.  It's made me want to do nothing but curl up in bed and sleep... or watch endless hours of Parks and Rec.  The good news is that I've been finding sooo many fun things on the Internet this week, all for you!  Enjoy!

*This pug really knows how I've been feeling lately...

* I stumbled upon Le Canot Rouge while browsing through (have you been to this website? It's...well, fab.  They have great deals on amazing stuff!)  These adorable prints and stationary and a. super cute and b. created to raise "awareness, compassion, and action towards the care and protection of animals and their environments."  I can't wait to start collecting them all!
Image via: Le Canot Rouge

*I think I put something about Ryan Gosling or Ron Swanson every single week, but I just can't help it. I love them.  This handmade Ryan Gosling tumblr is too funny.
Image via:Handmade Ryan Gosling
*Strangely enough, I stumbledupon this little gem right after the Gosling tumblr. Do you love Downton Abbey and Parks and Rec? (Uhhh yes.) Then you'll love Downton Pawnee, where they combine screencaps and quotes from both shows to create comedy gold. GOLD. 
Image via: Downton Pawnee

*Have you ever wondered what books do when you're not looking.  These people did, and I love the result!

*I know that I wax poetic about quite a few bloggers, but I can't get enough of One Sheepish Girl, Meredith. She just created some adorable new Valentine's Day crocheting entitled  'I love you a latte.'SO CUTE.
Photo via: One Sheepish Girl
*I love this rope and chain bracelet DIY on I Spy DIY.  Seems pretty simple, which means I'll be making TONS.
Image Via: I Spy DIY

* I'm sorta obsessed with these prints from Line Draw...
Image Via: Line Draw

*This may be the cutest wedding EVER.  I love the invitations so much, and the dress.... ADORE.  Swoon.
Image via: Green Wedding Shoes

*Have you watched every Sh*t girls say video out there? Me too.  Tired of them? Me too. This one made me giggle a lot...

*This website, Ana Somnia illustrates one little girl's dreams... It's pretty amazing.

Monthly Mixtape: January Jams

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

 Are you all the type of people who create playlists according to mood?  For me, I have playlists for every occasion, everything from morning wake up jams to rainy moods and everything in between.  Lately it's been getting colder and colder here in Boston, (we've been having seriously unseasonably warm weather,) and even our first couple of threats of snow!  I'm probably crazy to be wishing for snow after last year's Snowmageddon, (over 120 inches!) but I've been really wanting to wake up one morning and see my cute little neighborhood blanketed in snow. (Remember my North End snow day last year?  Emilie, Kaston, Nick, and I...and Monty of course, had the best time tromping around the neighborhood in our snow boots like kids.)  Lately I've taken to curling up early in bed with a good book, (or a smutty romance novel...I have a weakness...) while listening to music, wistfully staring out my window for the sign of a few flurries... but no luck yet.  Tonight Monty and I are all snuggled up in bed with a cup of tea, (I'm feeling a little sickly...) listening to what has become my January "wishing for snow" evening playlist and I figured I'd share it with you all.  When I listen to it I can almost see the snow falling to the sound of the music...

January Jams by Ashley Fears on Grooveshark

Tattoosday: Angelique Houtkamp

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So I'm going to take a little detour from my usual Tatoosday posting today to feature one specific artist that I'm absolutely smitten with.  Angelique Houtkamp is a wonderful Dutch artist and tattooist who specializes in old-school style tattooing with a whimsical, often old-Hollywood inspired twist.  (Many compare her style to the traditional sailor style popularized by Sailor Jerry.)  Angelique still tattoos, (and will draw custom tattoos for a fee for us here in the States,) while also showing and selling her art prints both at her shop and online. 
She's got some KILLER tattoos too!
 I've always loved old school pin-up inspired tattoos, and Angelique has really nailed the traditional pin-up tattoo that manages to be both provocative and classy at the same time. (I also love her sugar skull work!)  These are a few of my favorite tattoos and prints that she's done, do yourself a favor and visit her website at or her tumblr at!  (Please note, all images are via 
My favorite, it's crafty!