Welcome to Ashley & Mel's new podcast series, Beauty and The Bleep! Join them as they introduce each other, talk about the start of their friendship and more!
So this is a little strange for me. I'm not quite sure how to do this introduction, but I feel it's necessary.
My audience at My Life My Normal has already known me somehow - my friends and family in real life, my acquaintances, and those already connected to me on social media. When they click the link to read my personal blog they most likely already know the basics about me: I’m a bit of an oddball, with a much odder husband, an obsession with my pets and my nephew, a few close friends/family members, and a love for great food and wine, preferably together.
Also, if you know me in real life you know that I’m a consistent over-sharer, and that I'm proud of that fact. So let’s get the Indellibelle Family up to speed so that you have some context for when I start over-sharing with you, too!
And my husband. He's the man behind the curtain at Beauty and the Bleep. Engineer, editor, marketing mastermind, aka all around podcast geek!
We’ve been together pretty much since the day we met, eight years ago. We were married last summer. He’s smart and funny and goofy and quick witted, and did I mention funny? He has an undercover love for animals that rivals mine. He can Macguyver the shit out of almost any problem. He challenges me in ways that I didn't know I needed until I met him. (Sometimes the challenge is simply to NOT KILL HIM, but that helps me practice my self control, right?!).
And my favorite thing about him - he encourages and supports me in ways I never knew I wanted until he was there by my side, encouraging and supporting. He’s an incredible partner and I’m super excited to go through this life with him.
We’re not having kids, so I obsess over my pets like a parent obsesses over their child. Seriously. Worrying about their health and happiness has kept me awake many nights. And of course I constantly share photos of them on social media. I mean come on. JD, the dog, is the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen. He’s a lab/chow with a bridle coat, black tongue, and the fiercest loyalty to his humans I’ve ever seen a canine. And Blinkin the cat, HE HAS NO EYES! How can you not be in love with a blind kitten you found at six weeks old and have taken care of ever since? They are the cutest things in the world.
I rest my case.
I have an amazing nephew who is a mini-me in so many ways. Of course I think he’s super cool, and of course I really love hanging out with him.
And I have a baby niece who is undoubtedly NOT like me (except for her thunder thighs). You can already tell what an extrovert she is. I can’t wait to get to know her as she gets older, too. I have a feeling she’ll be teaching me so many new ways to look at the world once I can start having conversations with her.
I’m super close with my mom and few amazing friends, including Ashley.
I LOVE food and wine. Love. Like I spend most of my disposable income on these two things. However, I’m working on cutting back on the wine because apparently when you turn 35 wine turns to cellulite in a way it simply did not before this glorious age.
Lastly, I love to write. I always have. It’s always been a way to help organize my thoughts and work through my crap. I have found, over time, that by sharing these thoughts (and the crap I am constantly working through) that the people I share with become inspired to do the same thing. Which in turn inspires me to dig deeper, continue to challenge myself, step further from my comfort zone, write more...and the cycle continues. It’s such a beautiful thing, and I’m so excited for the opportunity to share it with the Indellibelle family.
In January of 2015 I packed myself up into a little Ford Focus and drove from Utah to Maryland
to take the next step in our relationship with a man I loved dearly. I was kind of starting over, so
if it didn’t fit, it didn’t ship.” This means that literally everything I owned made that four-day
trip, though a blizzard, to the East Coast with me.
I knew one soul in Maryland when I left Utah, and driving away from my home state and
everything I’d known for so long was one of the most frightening things I’d ever done at the
I tend to be a bit of an introvert so one of the things I was most concerned about was how in
the world I was going to make friends. It’s not like I was in school and could make friends there.
It’s not like I am the type of person who likes to hang out at bars and make conversation with
random strangers. However, one thing I DO like is drinking wine. So before I left Utah I found a
group of women in Maryland who held a monthly wine night/happy hour, and I joined.
It just so happened that their January event was on the same day that I arrived in Maryland. I
stopped by what would be my new home, dropped off my stuff, took a quick shower, and
hopped back into the Focus to go drink some wine and meet some Maryland women
I had no idea at the time that this group of women would very quickly become my village. I had
no idea that they would be the people who help pick me up when I’m down, who make me
laugh all the time, and who support me in all of my crazy endeavors such as starting a business
from scratch and becoming a physique competitor.
Within this village of amazing women, I found my best friend. We met that first night in
January, but it was in May that Melissa (or Mel, for short) and I discovered that our list of
favorite things was very similar, and very specific: Jillian Michaels, Grey’s Anatomy, new and
delicious foods, deep conversations, and alone time! We’ve been two peas in a pod ever since.
She’s my rock. She’s been with me through the entire roller coaster ride that has been my first
four years in Maryland: Personal relationships ending, Indellibelle starting, floods, expansion,
physique competitions...she’s been there for it all. She’s endured frantic middle of the night
text messages and phone calls, teary talks over wine, carb-starved craziness, my need to dress
up her pets, and my inability to make decisions that don’t relate to Indellibelle. She even put
together a very nice funeral service for my fish, Blue, who died while I was at home in Utah a
couple of years ago.
She’s always been the one in the wings making sure I’m ready for what life has to throw at me
and then cheering me on with all her might.
Mel isn’t just my cheerleader, though. She’s her own person with lots of opinions. She stands
up for what she believes and encourages all of the women in her life to do the same. She can
curse like a sailor and is unapologetic about it. Mel will tell you that she wasn’t always this way, that it took many years and many painful missteps to find her way. But now that she has, she’s
passionate about helping others find their own confidence so that they can find their way, too.
Now it’s time for her to step out from behind the curtain so we can team up in a new way.
We’ve both got so much we want to put out into the world and we’re going to do it together!
Please stay tuned for more from Mel and for OUR NEW PODCAST: Beauty And The Bleep!!!