Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from
The Famous Ashley Grant
Tampa Bay Freebies
The Photographic Times
We Are Full of Bull!!!

May you be blessed this Christmas and may all of your dreams come true in the New Year!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Doing What You Love That Makes Money

This article was originally posted HERE

How Changing My Intentions Made Me Money

This guest post is by Roman from how this website makes money.

Two years ago I stumbled across the concept of blogging for money. Instantly it hit me as the perfect thing: sit behind a computer, design a site, write, be my own boss, work from home, what could be better? I knew nothing about traffic, SEO, backlinks, Pagerank, or keywords. I knew nothing about how to make money with a website. So what did I do next? I registered the domain name howthiswebsitemakesmoney.

Looking back all I can do is laugh at my arrogance. Like thousands before me and thousands who will come after me, my first attempt at blogging was a site about making money online.

Two years later, I know how to start a site, I know how to write content, I know about SEO, I know about backlinks, I know how to add advertisements … but I still do not know how to make good money online. The site makes dimes a day, not dollars.

The site has been two years of disappointment. Two years of waking up in the morning and seeing the same green egg in AdSense. Two years of waiting for a four-digit affiliate check with my name on it. Two years of working without pay. Two years of scratching my head.

So I asked for advice, and every time the reply was the same: create a site about something else. Create a site about what you know and what you enjoy. Do not create a site with the intent to make money, create a site with the intent to help people by doing something you enjoy doing.

What happened when I changed my intent

Six months ago I created a new site. This time my intent was pure pleasure.

I live in Prague and I love it here. So I made a little site about how great Prague is and what people should do when they come for a visit. It was built in a month. In a gust of activity I designed the site and wrote the content.

It was so easy. I did not agonize over what to write about. The content flowed effortlessly from my head to the keyboard. I did not have to take long walks with the dog or waste water standing dazed in the shower coming up with new ideas. I just sat down at the computer and wrote about what I know. It was so easy I actually looked forward to it.

As an afterthought, I created a simple page where people can order a real postcard from Prague. Visitors select a picture of Prague and fill out a form indicating what they want written on the postcard. After they hit the Submit button I get the request by email. I grab a postcard and, like an ancient scribe long before computers, lick the tip of the pen and write. After pounding a Prague stamp on the postcard I toss it into the mailbox on my way to work. I charge $4.00 for this five minutes of work.

I created this site with no aspirations of becoming rich, no day dreams of shaking hands with Oprah, no imagined scenes of telling my employer to find some other donkey to kick around. I created the website because it was easy for me to do and I enjoyed it. I made it because I needed a break from my ‘real’ website. I expected nothing to happen.

Again, I was wrong.

My hand is ink blue from all the postcards I have written.

I wrote a postcard from a son playing a trick on his mother: “Hi, Mom! Sorry for not calling in last few days. But I am in Prague with friends. Having a great time and the beer is sooo cheap. Say hi to Dad.”

I have written postcards to countries all over the world. Some of them in languages other then English—I have no idea what I am writing. Fortunately, the order form does not allow Chinese characters!

I get emails from people thanking me for the information they found on the site, thanking me for the postcard, asking for more information.

I feel like I am making the world a better place. I made a website about something I know about and am interested in and people are thanking me. Emotionally it is a soft, warm, fuzzy ball.

And yes, I am making money.

Intend to enjoy and you might make money

I learned a lot about making money online not from my site about making money, but from licking postage stamps.

New arrivals to the make-money-online scene go through the same initiation—they start out with the intent to make money, then fail to make more then a pile of pennies. For some it means the end and they quit, but for others this brutal introduction teaches them that their intent needs to change.

Of course, making money is about traffic, clicks, affiliates, backlinks SEO, but it’s also about finding something you enjoy doing. If your intent is only to make money the odds are stacked against you: you will probably quit. But if your intent is to do something you enjoy then you will keep moving forward until one day, you will be surprised to find that you are making money.

What’s your intent?

Roman intends to figure out how this website makes money. He has been trying to do that for two long years, so when he needs a break and do something fun he goes onto his other website to send a real postcard to his mother who misses him very much.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone of you! I'm grateful for everyone who has been helping me realize my potential lately and even more grateful to those helping me get the boost I need to be where I want to be in my life. I love you all and really do hope that you have a great day spent with the ones you love.
And for a little downloaded from

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Easy As Pie! 11.24.2010

It is the day before Thanksgiving so I thought I would share a photo of the two chocolate pies I just made. They are so easy to make that I am going to share the recipe with you as well!

1. Jello-O Instant Pudding and Pie filling Mix
2. Frozen pie crust

To make...
1. Bake the pie crust according to directions
2. Make the pudding according to directions
3. Pour the pudding into the cooked pie crust before the pudding sets
4. Put in fridge...
5. Wait 3-4 hours impatiently
6. Eat! Smile! Repeat!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Have Laptop and Camera- Will Travel

I'm starting to book clients for photography and writing services through December 2013 and have also started booking for 2014. If you need a writer, photographer or someone who can handle both I hope that you will consider hiring me! Bio below =)

Details about me:

Ashley Grant has been a professional writer and photographer since late 2007. She went to the University of South Florida and majored in Mass Communications with a specialization in Magazine Journalism.
Grant’s focus is mainly on Tampa Bay area lifestyle topics such as charity events, trends, restaurant and bar reviews, movie reviews and much more. She tries to tell the story of the events and the people behind them.

Presently Grant is a writer for as their Tampa guide.

National publications have included Young Money Magazine ( and Past publications include Tampa Bay Times ( and their affiliate tbt* and 10 Connects online affiliate, The USF Oracle, Style Magazine, The Tampa Tribune, Focus Magazine (Brandon, New Tampa, Plant City, Lakeland and East Pasco editions), and Real Health and Image Magazine. Her articles have also been featured in Tampa Bay Metro and Tampa Bay’s Best Magazine.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Motivational Monday 11.8.2010

If you are anything like me, you need motivational phrases, clips, stories etc... to start the week off right. I decided that every Monday I'm going to post something to motivate you from now on. Today's motivational phrase is ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! Here is the video to prove it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

For Those of You That Don't Know

My Bio:

Ashley Grant has been a professional writer and photographer since 2007. She went to the University of South Florida and majored in Mass Communications with a specialization in Magazine Journalism.

Grant’s focus is mainly on Tampa Bay area lifestyle topics such as charity events, trends, restaurant and bar reviews, movie reviews and much more. She tries to tell the story of the events and the people behind them.

Presently Grant is a freelance writer for a few local publications in Tampa including The St. Petersburg Times ( and their affiliate tbt* and 10 Connects online affiliate National publications have included Young Money Magazine ( and Past publications include The USF Oracle, Style Magazine, The Tampa Tribune, Focus Magazine (Brandon, New Tampa, Plant City, Lakeland and East Pasco editions), and Real Health and Image Magazine. Her articles have also been featured in Tampa Bay Metro and Tampa Bay’s Best Magazine.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Time To Become The Famous Ashley Grant

People calling me The Famous Ashley Grant has become quite a fun joke for me over the past few months and the humor behind it is why I got the domain in the first place. After being "dubbed" this goofy name I started using it as a way to introduce myself since it made me laugh and seemed to make others laugh as well.

It wasn't until I started going to amazing seminars like Recipe for Success and Spice Up Your Brand that I realized being The Famous Ashley Grant is becoming my brand. My goal is to be a famous national writer and photographer and in order to do that I have to become my brand and become The Famous Ashley Grant.

So what does that mean exactly? How do I become The Famous Ashley Grant? I need to put myself out there more. I need to start attending every event I can to get my face in peoples' minds. I need to have better business cards and pass them out as often as possible. I need to host events and contests and things of that nature for people to know who I am. I need to amp up my facebooking and my twittering and really get into the groove of being The Famous Ashley Grant.

I plan on doing a new photo shoot with new headshots, I will be doing Youtube videos, making more appearances at events, I'll write more articles, I'll take more pictures and I will blog a lot more as well. I look forward to bumping into more people than ever before and hopefully helping other people with their careers while I boost and expand mine.

Love always,
The Famous Ashley Grant

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reposted by Popular Demand: Article Spotlight Addicted to Saving

I have talked sooo much about Addicted to Saving because...well to be honest...I've become Addicted to Saving!!!
Click the links below to check out three articles about them:

Article one
Article two
Article three

I know it is hard to believe but for everything you see in this picture I paid less than $30 with help from Addicted to Saving. Since this picture I have gotten even better. My last bill was $0.04 for $65 worth of groceries!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Cupcake Spot...recent winner of the Creative Loafing Loafie award for the best place to eat your feelings. I love the Cupcake Spot!!! I first tried their cupcakes in celebration of my turning a quarter of a century last year 8/14/2009. Then I did a gallery of their cupcakes for Metromix (HERE) and I have been hooked ever since. Check out their website HERE

Witty Wocks...I got introduced to Witty Wocks at the Tammy Levent birthday bash at Saks Fifth Avenue in July. The owner is Adria Bernstein and she is as beautiful as she is Witty. If you ever need a smile check out her awesome rocks that she has built to look like celebrities, animals and people. I liked them so much I did a little slideshow that appeared HERE
Check out her website HERE

Viktoria Richards Chocolates!!!...OMG!!! This chocolate is the best chocolate I have ever had! I have been going on and on and on about it for three years!!! I first heard about it at the Vino Las Vegas wine tasting event held at the Tampa Theatre and I have told so many people about it since then. I haven't found a chocolate that can impress me the way these can...he Blueberry has just a hint of blueberry, the Champagne Heart makes me wish someone would invent a chocolate champagne. We already have chocolate wine...why not have chocolate champagne? The Cappucino tastes like you dipped coffee in chocolate...I could go on and on. Just check them out for yourself HERE

The Full of Bull Shirt...this is by far my favorite bulls shirt I have EVER owned. I designed it myself with the help of Image Depot Tampa and every time I wear it I feel more and more Full of Bull. Check out the details about the shirt HERE

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ashley Grant and Suite Caroline

I got shot with Suite Caroline while photographing the Taste of Clearwater for Metromix on Thursday 9.23.2010.
This adorable 13 year old has accomplished more for her age than I have in 26 years! Unbelievable! She is quite an inspiration and makes me want to work harder at achieving my dreams.
For more information about Suite Caroline click HERE

If I am always behind the camera, who shot me? Fellow photographer, freelancer, Metromixer and friend Jeff O'Kelley!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Freelance Writer is a One Man Band

You Are on Your Own in More Ways Than One

A common misconception about freelance writing is that it is glamorous and fabulous with work coming in all the time and everything moves swiftly and smoothly. Are you ready for the hard truth? It ain’t all cherries and roses!

As a freelance writer you are a one man band. Below is a list of just a few hats you will wear.

Everyday you will be pimping yourself out to new clients. You have to call, email and practically harass everyone you know to get work. Once you are lucky enough to get work, you have to convince these people they still need you.

Bookkeeper and Accountant
You are now responsible for sending invoices, paying bills, following up on payments. You also get to have the task of making sure supplies are stocked up.

Time Manager
You have to run the whole show and decide what will fill each hour you work. When will you go to lunch? What time can the meeting with a potential client fill? How long can the meeting last?

Radell Hunter said, “Learning to manage our time is an important way to reduce stress in our lives.” View her top ten time management tips HERE

There is no one else to answer the phone, check email, send the faxes, doing research etc… All these tasks that can be delegated to others now fall on you. However, there is the option of getting a virtual assistant. The catch is making sure that they won’t cost you more than you are making.

Ferrero Stella said, “Virtual assistant offer you all the facilities, which you can avail from an office-based personal assistants. Their tasks range from appointment scheduling to internet research to offer you an ease in completion of your numerous tasks.” Read her story on How to Select a Cost Effective Virtual Assistant HERE

In many cases you will end up having to take your own pictures. For some people just the thought of using a camera for professional use is a scary thought. Hiring a photographer can get pricey and depending on your pay for an assignment it might not be practical.

Photo editor
Now that the photos were taken by you, you have to edit them to make sure they are print ready.

Once you finally get an interview or a subject to write about, it’s time to write the article you hope to be paid for.

Copy Editor
Don’t forget once the article is written it has to be checked for spelling and grammatical errors. Make sure the word count requirement is met too.

I’m sure there are a lot more hats I haven’t listed here, but all these hats are what keep freelance writing so interesting. If freelance writing is something you are considering pursuing, it is important to think about all of the factors involved. Sometimes it can make the decision of whether or not to pursue it as a full time job an easy one.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We Have No Budget

As a freelancer a common response I am getting to requests for work is:
"I'm sorry we don't have a budget to pay anyone right now. If you'd like you can still publish and get a clip. We have blah blah blah customers who read our publication and the exposure you will get for having your article in Blah Blah magazine will be payment enough"

Here is my response to that:
Hell no but thanks for the offer!!!

When you give away your work for free you are inviting the magazine to do a few things:

1. They might expect it all the time and thus you will never see a dime from them.

Example, you write the piece and after it's published you ask for a paid piece. The response of the magazine will most likely be something like, "We still don't have a budget and since you wrote for free last time, I'm sure you wouldn't mind doing it again" Sure they won't put it this bluntly...but you get the idea.

2. They might tell other people you are willing to work for free.

Like it or not, magazine publishers that don't hate each other talk. If the subject of how to get free content in their publication were to come up, it is possible that your name will too and you could get the dreaded call of, "Hi, I heard you wrote a free piece for Blah Blah magazine and I was wondering if you would like to do the same for us. We can offer more exposure and I'm sure it will benefit you."

Well- if you have more customers, why can't you pay? If you have more exposure, isn't it safe to assume that you have more advertisers and thus less excuse to not be able to pay?!?

3. They might expect other writers to do it for free.

More and more people want to be writers and there is an excitement that comes with having your name in a publication. Letting a magazine have your work for free makes them think that it is okay to ask others to work for free.

When is it okay to work for free?

If you are an intern working towards a degree. I still find unpaid internships unfair, but they can lead to work for pay.

You should be able to get all the clips you need for a respectable portfolio during your internship and after it has ended command payment for every piece you do after that.

The only other time I think it is acceptable to work for free is if it is for charity. At that point it is not work, it is volunteering for a cause you believe in.

What to do when someone asks you to work for free?

Here you have some options!

You could say no and never call them again.

Be a grown up and respectfully decline and mention that you would like to be remembered when the budget allows for paid writers.

Suggest alternative payment such as trade. Many publications I have encountered receive gift certificates for dining, a day at the salon, shopping or travel. If they insist they can't afford to pay you, ask for some trade that will be the equivalent to your writing rate. Beware of this though if you ever expect to get money out of them in the future!!!

Errors Spell Check Won't Catch


Its versus It’s (and all other apostrophes):
According to a copy editing instructor for California-based copy editing service provider Edicetera, confusing “its” and “it’s” is the most common error in the English language. That one minuscule apostrophe (or lack thereof) drastically changes the meaning of the entire sentence. “It’s” is a contraction of “it is,” whereas “its” refers to possession. Also, watch out for “your” versus “you’re.”

Sales versus Sails
Can you imagine writing on your resume that you “increased sails by 20 percent”?! Unless you’re applying to a job for a sail boat manufacturer, this careless mistake will probably get your resume sailing right into the recycling bin.

Affect versus Effect
There is a lot of confusion around this one but here’s the rule: “Affect” is a verb and “effect” is a noun. It’s as simple as that.

Would Have NOT Would of

The subtlety in pronunciation leads to the rampant misuse of this phrase; however “would of” is never correct and may make you appear as if you are not well-read.

Through versus Threw
“He threw the ball through the window.” “Threw” is a verb and “through” is a preposition. And speaking of “through,” be careful to make sure you don’t actually mean “thorough” or vice versa. The slight variation in spelling will not be picked up by a computer, but writing “I am through” when you mean “I am thorough” is quite ironic, don’t you think?

Then versus Than

Six is more than five; after five then comes six. “Than” refers to a comparison, while “then” refers to a subsequent event.

Supposed To NOT Suppose To

“Suppose” is a verb, meaning to think or to ponder. The correct way to express a duty is to write, “I was supposed to…”

Wonder versus Wander
You can wander around while you wonder why “wander” and “wonder” have such different meanings, yet sound oh so similar.

Their versus There versus They’re
OK, once and for all: “Their” is possessive; “there” refers to distance; and “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.”

Farther versus Further
While both words refer to distance, grammarians distinguish “farther” as physical distance and “further” as metaphorical distance. You can dive further into a project, for instance, or you can dive farther into the ocean.

Please check out all of my posts at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yesterday Was a Great Day

Very late on Monday/early into Tuesday I said I was going to be more optimistic and that I would praise myself for things accomplished rather than kick myself for things left undone and I gotta say it was a GREAT day!!!

I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but I did get a lot done and am now motivated to get even more done today. I was able to publish a couple of articles, do a few blog posts, got a lot of errands done and purchased the main piece for a photo project I have been saying I wanted to do FOREVER!!!

Today I am pumped and looking forward to a great Wednesday! Happy Hump Day ya'll!!!

Blog post spotlight: How to Get the Most out of Swagbucks

Read the entire post HERE

Swagbucks is becoming all the rage throughout the blogosphere. Freebie hunters everywhere are using it and talking about it every chance they get in order to pump up their referrals and to show off all the free stuff they are getting by using Swagbucks.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Creativity is Key in Freelancing

I was reading this fascinating story today about two women that took a regular kitchen tool and turned it into a lifesaving device. If you haven't read the story, read the story HERE The reader's digest version of the tale is that Rice University undergraduates Lila Kerr and Lauren Theis were given an assignment to "diagnose anemia without power, without it being very costly and with a portable device."

What the girls did was transform a simple salad spinner into a centrifuge which "separates blood to allow diagnosis of anemia with no electricity."

The story got me to thinking about how crucial creativity is with freelancing. There are literally thousands of story ideas out there, but coming up with a creative angle is the key to getting your name and your story into the magazines and newspapers.

I used to write business advertorials for a local Tampa magazine and three issues in a row we has to write stories about tile. Yes, boring tile. How did we write three different stories?

The first story was about using tile to be fashionable in the home. You could choose colors and patterns that could transform a room for blah to fabulous.

The second story was about the background of the tile store's owner. We mentioned the fact that he had all kinds of patterns and colors, but focused more on how long the company had been in business and the reputation the company had built in the community.

Last but not least, the third story was about how tile could give your home a cleaner look and upgrade it's value.

One story can have multiple angles. Your job is to find a different one from what has already been published. Sometimes the same angle can be rehashed, but wait a while before suggesting it again. The same story every three months will get old. Give it a year if it isn't timely.

A brainstorming technique that we had to do in one of my journalism classes is find one classified ad and come up with 5 story ideas based on it.

Example- I found an ad for a single man seeking a single women that liked dogs.
5 story ideas I generated from the ad:
-do relationships that start from a want ad ever work out?
-having things in common with your partner will help the relationship last longer
-how does one go about putting a want ad in the paper? what words work best? what do all those abbreviations mean?
-who likes dogs more? men or women?
-does owning a dog mean you're responsible?

Happy Brainstorming everyone! Be Creative and get more gigs!!!

You Should Always Write in Public

Found this online finally and had to share. Love always,

Glass Half Full

As per usual I'm reflecting on the day since it is late at night and kicking myself for all the things I set out to do and then didn't do.

Here's what I've realized today. When you wake up in a pissy mood, it's easy to stay in a pissy mood. I let myself believe that the day was already ruined because of my mood and thus ruined my entire day because I didn't kick it in the ass upon realization.

What I could have done was gone for a jog, written an article, something proactive! Hmmm...reminds me of a post I read at The Crooked Table about fifteen minutes ago by the fabulous Robert Yaniz Jr.

I actually did accomplish a few things today though. I went grocery shopping, threw out some crap I don't need and began to see the light at the end of the tunnel of disorganization and lack of motivation.

Early this morning I sent off sets of galleries that were going to be published today. I sent off an invoice that has been needing to be sent for a few weeks. I also finished burning 9 CDs worth of images tonight that should have been done a couple of days ago.

Okay, I have huge dreams, but the thing I have to keep in mind is that it is progress to be taking baby steps. I have held onto my dreams for more than 4 years and they are not just going to come true over night. The fact that I did do a few things even though I didn't accomplish everything I had planned to do today is a step in the right direction.

On the docket for tomorrow?
I will be performing as Bubbles the Clown at AMC Regency 24 in Brandon and after that I have a long list of plans towards my dreams and career. I would love to post tomorrow night that I checked off every single thing on my list, but rather than beat myself up for missions unaccomplished, I have decided I will instead praise my self for things I do get done.

Hopefully in praising myself for the stuff that does get done I will encourage myself to continue on and eventually my dreams will come true and then I'll have a chance to come up with new dreams.

What do you do when you don't accomplish the tasks on your to-do list? If you beat yourself up, take a moment and think about the things you did do!!! Positive reinforcement will go a lot further than feeling like a failure.

This week my personal mission since I was not very nice to Monday is to look at the glass half-full.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

For Your Humor


I saw a sign at Islands of Adventure on Saturday in line at the Spiderman ride that absolutely cracked me up!

Midnight deadline! You must turn in either: your final story copy or your resignation. It's your choice. Sincerely, the management.

I was so amused by this it lead me to find some other writer laughs...

Fun jokes about writing:

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"

"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."
There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.

“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is--”

“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” The man says. “My agent called?”

for more humor

Getting That Big Break

As artists, we always are dreaming of the day that we will get our big break! It excites us to think of the moment we will have thousands of fans and finally have all of our hours of work somehow legitimized.

I found these two stories of art being made popular and I found them so inspirational I decided to share them with whoever is reading my page.

The first is an amazing story of an unknown waitress becoming famous overnight thanks to the show So You Think You Can Dance. Christina Perri wrote a breakup song called "Jar of Hearts" that inevitably ended up in the hands of a choreographer from the popular reality dance show. The song is played in the video below, but you can read the story HERE

The second, although not about a traditional artist, is about an artist nonetheless. A man who used to live in a 4,000 sq. ft. home has made his business, but more importantly his life out of now living in a home that is bare 100 square feet. Jay Shafer is showing people how to live with less. Do you think you could handle a life with less?

If you are anything like me you have too much excess in your life and there is a lot of downsizing you could do that would probably make you happier than you are now. See inside this man's tiny home below and watch his Yahoo! news story HERE

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When Work Gets Cancelled

A little bummed because a project I was supposed to work on this afternoon that would have paid me 1/3 of a standard week's pay got pushed back. On top of that I am waiting on 3 checks from 3 different clients and watching the dollars in my account keep going down. My husband Jeremy continues to try to comfort me by saying that when I begin to get regular work I won't feel the pinch of waiting on the money as much...but getting to the regular work part is becoming more difficult than the feeling of waiting on a check.

When work slows down for you, what do you do for extra money?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Did I Really Only Make $50?!?

So, it just hit me that so far this week I have only made $50!!! Grrr! Grant it I have been sick and have not felt at all like writing, working or asking people for work, but still! This sucks! I basically just got a rude awakening about what happens when you work for yourself! The days you don't work, you don't make money!!!

There are no sick days, no paid vacations, nothing! Sure, there are lots of perks to working for myself, but it was hard to look at my books and see such a dismal amount of money to be made 3 days into the work week. Even more saddening is knowing that I won't make any money again until Saturday because me being ill has kept me from setting up appointments and all that jazz.

This post is not my way of trying to get people to feel bad for me, so let's clear that up right this second. Instead it is my way of showing you that although my job is the coolest ever, it does have its downsides. I'm not a millionaire [yet ;)] and I do have to work every single day that I hope to make money. That is until I come up with some amazing book that makes me royalties while I sleep, right? Hey! It could happen so don't hate.

Photo credit:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bubbles the Clown is Back in Town!

Just got $77 worth of groceries at Publix for $8.60 thanks to Addicted to Saving! Would have been less, but I splurged on candy bars for kids I'll be hanging out with for summer movie camp!!! love the fact that I can splurge a little for things like that now that I'm becoming a super couponer!

Which reminds me...
If you want to see me as Bubbles the Clown come to AMC in Brandon and get a chance to win some of the candy I just bought. Every Tuesday morning this summer select kids movies are just $1! Details HERE

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cheap Eats Review: La Ideal Sandwich Shop

Click HERE to read my Cheap Eats review for Metromix on La Ideal Sandwich Shop. A restaurant qualifies for Cheap Eats if two people can eat for under $20.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm So Thankful for Addicted to Saving

I'm what many would refer to as a starving artist. As a freelancer sometimes money is tight. Thanks to websites like Addicted to Saving I'm not only saving money on my groceries, I'm becoming inspired to do more to save money in every aspect of my life. With the help of websites like this I won't be starving anymore =)

In this photo is almost $110 worth of groceries. I actually spent $29.09 on all the food you see here!!! I have become so obsessed with Addicted to Saving that today I saved the most on groceries I have ever saved. Look closely-there is yogurt, egg beaters, peanut butter and more. You don't have to buy junk to use coupons. All the feminine pads you see in the picture I got completely free thanks to the coupons I used.

If you haven't checked out Addicted to Saving then you are probably overpaying for your groceries.

Like I said, the website inspired me so I've started a blog about free stuff in the Tampa Bay area myself. Check out HERE

I also wrote two articles about Addicted to Saving. Check them out HERE and HERE

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Turn off the Television!

One of my problems? The television. It has become a bad habit to turn on the t.v. as soon as I wake up. I even gave myself the excuse that I just wanted to watch the news, but as soon as the news is over daytime t.v. shows somehow manage to be on my screen.

The t.v. is very distracting. I can see myself developing into an even lazier stay at home worker if I don't start taking control right away. It would appear I need to leave the tube off and just turn on the radio if I need the news fix to get me going that badly.

Thank goodness I'm figuring out all my vices and distractions early so that I can hopefully combat them quickly and get to work!

Monday, May 31, 2010


Oh boy! It's been a little more than a week since I became a full time freelancer and I already feel like so much of a slacker. I have a long list of ideas. So many post it notes, napkins, business cards, random pieces of notebook paper and so much more and here I am more than 240 hours later without much to show for being on my own.

Sure, I've done some stuff, but nothing to make me feel worthy of the title of freelancer. I'm acting like an unemployed shlub with random spurts of working. I have to change my ways ASAP if I'm going to start making an actual living out of the thoughts in my head...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What did you write today?

I wrote this post October 29, 2009 for a Blog called The Crooked Table
It was so important to me that I feel it should be resposted here:

Sit down in the chair! Do it now!
Get a pen and paper and write down 5 places you want to write for.
This is the life of a freelancer...

Got those 5 places you wanna write for? get up out of the chair and head to the library and find those publications and study the crap out of them.

Studied up? Fantastic! Now sit back down in a chair and with 5 pieces of paper. At the top of each piece of paper write the name of the publications. example-at the top of Page 1 The New York Times Page 2 Penthouse Magazine and so forth and so on....yes I'm aware Penthouse will not be at the library, but I digress....

On each of these 5 pieces of paper brainstorm and write down ideas of articles that you could potentially make query letters out of for these places....

Once you have done that find out how the publications go about accepting queries. If they don't no big deal because at least you had an exercise in brainstorming. If they do accept queries, then what the hell are you waiting for? Write one!

Write your best idea to each publication that you dream of writing for and then wait....and wait...and wait...hopefully soon you will receive a letter, an email or a phone call that your idea has been accepted...

While you wait to be accepted keep doing it. Constantly be studying the publications you want to write for and constantly be sending in good ideas to them.

As Dr. Wilber from the University of South Florida often said, EMBRACE REJECTION!!!

Why should you embrace rejection? Because not only did you at least attempt to get an article in your dream publication, you have now been given the chance to try again. 90% of the battle is trying. Eventually, if your ideas are good, you might get the dream gig. Never give up! Never surrender.

Happy freelancing ya'll!
Ashley Grant

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Insomnia is a Side Effect of Being a Freelancer

I've had trouble sleeping lately because my mind is a flurry of ideas. I have to keep a notebook by the bed because my brain is constantly working and I have to write these ideas down to be able to go back to sleep. Funny thing is I often don't do anything with the darn ideas once they are written down. My goal is to start acting on the many pages I've collected if they are worth pursuing. Are you a creative being? Do you have insomnia because of it? Tell me about it...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An article about jobs for loud people

I wrote an article for Associated Content about jobs for people who simply can't be quiet. Read the story HERE

My photo of the day 5.6.2010

details Here

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Varsity Club Review

I love Varsity Club!

Varsity Club All American Cafe
24091 U.S. 19
Clearwater, FL 33763-4010
(727) 726-6551

Read my review HERE

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Who Knew There Were World Records for Marriages

There are 10 records regarding marriage including:
Greatest age difference in marriage

World's tallest married couple
World's shortest married couple
Biggest wedding cake
Longest engagement
Most marriages in a lifetime
Oldest bride and groom
Most marriage vow renewals
Largest difference in weight
Most expensive wedding

Read the rest of the story HERE

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hating on fast food

I always knew fast food was bad for you, but after reading this:
I'm starting to wonder what is in everything at the drive through.
From now on I will bring a cooler with me everywhere so that I know what I'm eating!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Because I'm not blogging enough ;-)

I thought I should have one blog where the posts I add to all the blogs, publications and websites I contribute to combine. So, here it is...all of my articles and photo links and all that jazz will ultimately end up here.
For is the link to my main photography site.

Peruse it! Enjoy =)
Happy Valentine's Day everyone =)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why is anyone surprised?

Reviews are in dissing Taylor Swift's acting ability here:

I can honestly say I'm not a bit surprised by this.
A lot of people are soooo over her!!

Are you?
Let me know!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to pack a suitcase

My clothes often are a jumbled mess when I pack a suitcase for a trip. I saw this article and had to share!

1--Gather your clothes...Gather all the garments you may need on your trip, then edit down your choices so you don’t overpack—a common mistake. Put back at least half of the items you think you need.

2--Roll your clothes...Tightly roll softer, wrinkle-resistant garments, like T-shirts and cotton pants, and place them along the base of the bag. Jeans should be rolled, too.

3--Place folded items on top...Next, fold stiffer and/or wrinkle-prone garments like starched cotton shirts and blazers. Layer these folded items over the rolled clothes.

4--Drape longer pieces like pants and skirts...Fold longer items in half, filling the length of the bag with them, alternating waists with hems at the ends.

5--Add smaller items...Look for nooks and crannies to fill with smaller items, like bras and socks.

6--Line suitcase with belts...Snake belts around the perimeter of the bag. Then cover the whole pile with a dry-cleaning bag. Thanks to the bag’s slippery surface, folded clothes won’t stay in one place long enough for creases to set.

7--Choose shoes wisely...Pick three pairs of shoes, like a casual sandal or loafer, sneakers, and an evening shoe –go for styles that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Wear the heaviest pair en route and pack the others along the sides of your suitcase in resealable bags.

8--Pack your jewelry...Stow inexpensive jewelry in a seven-day plastic pillbox or a 35-millimeter film canister. Wear any fine jewelry en route to ensure it won’t get lost or stolen.

Saying no-easier said than done

If you are anything like me, you burn the candle at both ends because you can't stop yourself from saying yes to everyone that asks for a favor.
Well, an article at offers ways to say no with grace.  What do you think?  Will these tips help you get out of things you really didn't want to do in the first place?

The steps to say no:

1. Acknowledge. If someone asks you to do something, it is because they have faith you can do it or they like you enough to want to spend their time with you. If spearheading a new project or attending that party makes your heart sink instead of sing, first acknowledge the person’s thoughtfulness for having considered you.

2. Express gratitude and interest. Thank the person for his or her invitation, then show interest in the project itself. Ask questions pertaining to the person’s request. Most often, people just want to feel important enough for you to listen.

3. Decline. Once you have acknowledged the person’s request and expressed your gratitude for the consideration, politely decline with a few simple words. If "no" itself is too hard, you can say you have an overlapping commitment.

4. Offer alternatives. If someone remains persistent in pursuing his or her request, offer up alternatives. Be careful not to get too involved in brainstorming new ideas or you might find yourself sucked into the project after all.
5. Remember this: If you still struggle with declining people’s requests, stick a note on your mirror that reminds you that saying "no" to someone else is actually saying "yes" to yourself. Repeat it like a mantra until it becomes second nature. And if that doesn’t work, tell yourself that "no" is indeed a complete sentence. It really is.

Good luck with this everyone! I know I'll be doing my best to use these steps from now on!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reduce Stress Now - Here's How

Go to bed thirty minutes earlier than usual.
Get up twenty minutes earlier than usual.
Before you go to sleep, prepare for the morning.
Bring a hat and an umbrella.
Don’t wear tight clothes or uncomfortable shoes.
Make a list.
Listen to a favorite song.
Keep extra cash and stamps in the house.
Be polite and be fair.
Laugh out loud.
Have a good book to read.
Keep an extra set of keys.
Always keep your passport in the same place.
Throw something away.
Don’t say mean things about other people.
Put a Bandaid in your wallet.
Keep gas in the car.
Pay attention to someone else.
Make your bed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Talk about right place and right time!!

This guy better thank his lucky stars that he accepted a clerk's goof when he received a misprint in lottery tickets. Thanks to this error he is now the winner of the $128 million Power Ball prize in Kentucky-which is my home state by the way.

Check out the whole story here:
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