Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Life's Purpose- Why I'm Here


I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately and I have read a lot of self help books. We all have those moments when we want to know why we were put on this planet and that is something I've been seeking to find over the last several months. After really digging deep I've come up with my mission statement for my life:

My purpose in life is to learn how to be financially independent and how to take care of my mind, body and soul and to teach others how to do the same...

There it is. Why I'm here...To teach.

I have actually known this deep within myself for years and had that epiphany while I was in my freshman year of college. I remember a random bike ride with my mom where I broke down crying and told her I wanted to change my major to education.

Fast forward to today and for anyone who doesn't know my major and the degree I ultimately graduated with was mass communications. However, the desire to teach never left me.

What I have realized over the past decade (wow- has it really been a decade since I was a college freshman?!? holy crap!!!) is that my mission in life IS to teach, but not in the traditional grade school setting I thought of many years ago.

I think this is why I was feeling the strong pull to become a writer. I want to learn something and then share what I've learned and writing has been a wonderful medium I've used to teach.

Now, that I have officially determined and written out what I know my full life's purpose to be, I feel like I can create goals and passion projects that are centered around it.

It may seem silly to you, but simply defining what my purpose is has given me a new sense of excitement and a strong desire to fulfill it.With every project I think of going forward I will know how to center it around my life's purpose and therefore be more passionate about the things I do and the life I live.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ashley Can Cook

In an effort to show I'm as diverse as the next wanna be domesticated woman, here are some of my articles and posts featuring me as a cook...

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Birthday Celebration 8/12/13

The Famous Ashley Grant with Diet Pepsi in a wine glass!

My awesome pals Shannon and Kim helped me celebrate my birthday on Monday, August, 12, 2013 at Kim's condo in St. Pete. Kim made me my favorite cupcakes- funfetti with vanilla icing and we had pizza from Papa John's!

Shannon Wade, The Famous Ashley Grant and Kim Sonefeld

After stuffing our faces with pizza we swam it off and then stuffed our faces with the cupcakes. It was a wonderful night with these two awesome ladies. Love those betches :)

The Famous Ashley Grant all birthdayed out!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Product Review: Kiss Tornado 360 Ionic Dryer

Recently I was sent a Kiss Tornado 360 Ionic Dryer. I received this product complimentary for testing purposes from the PR company for the Kiss Brand. Although I received the product for free, I was not compensated for this post and the opinions are mine.

Have a product that you want me to review too? Contact me HERE!

Okay- here's the description of this product. "The revolutionary Kiss Tornado 360 Dryer minimizes heat damage with the patent-pending 360 degree rotating air booster for rapid blow drying and styling...The patent pending rotating air booster eliminates having to shake your dryer and creates deeper air penetration while protecting against the risk of spot heat damage to hair. With three heat and two air flow settings, the combined six settings provide optimal styling options. The Tornado 360's air booster can also be easily removed and replaced with the bonus air concentrator for easy styling!
- 3x, super-fast hair drying action created with spiral airflow movements that penetrate deeper into the roots
- Ceramic tourmaline ionic effect reduces frizz and creates healthy, shiny hair
- Protects from spot heat damage
- No more shaking of dryer--rotating air booster does the work for you
- Bonus styling concentrator attachment included for traditional styling"
Now- here's my review of this product- This hair dryer dried my hair faster and did in fact reduce the frizz in my hair. I live in Tampa, Florida and humidity dooms my hair to have frizz on almost a daily basis and this dryer definitely helped my hair look much healthier and shinier and significantly less frizzy. I was very impressed with that!

My fear the entire time I was drying my hair was that somehow my hair was going to get caught in the rotating air booster. This didn't happen even when I had my hair really close to the rotating mechanism. Thank goodness! 

It was true that I didn't feel the need to shake my arm the way I've had to in the past with my other hair dryers. The hair dryer did the work for me. Now all I need is one of those devices that holds the hair dryer for you and I'll be all set! ha!
I also liked the multiple settings on the hair dryer. I started out with hot heat and as my hair dried I changed it to warm. Even on the hottest setting I didn't feel like I would get heat damage on my hair. 
I was very impressed with this hair dryer!
The hair dryer retails for about $25 and is very affordable for how awesome it is! I would definitely recommend the Kiss Tornado 360 Ionic Dryer to anyone in the market for a new hair dryer! (In fact- since it saved me about half the time I'd recommend getting rid of your old hair dryer for this one anyway!) 

Interested in trying them for yourself? You can purchase a Kiss Tornado 360 Ionic Dryer HERE!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information. 

Have a product that you want me to review too? Contact me HERE!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mission- Space!

On Yahoo!'s home page today was a story about a Spaceport in New Mexico. More and more it would seem that "tourist" space travel is going to be likely in my generation's lifetime.

Ever since my husband was little, like many young boys, he has desired the chance to travel into space. Many outgrow this dream, but even in his thirties, my husband still wants to embark into space just as much now as he did then. I plan to do everything in my power to help him achieve his dream...The current booking price is $250,000 and sure, the first tourist flights have not happened yet, but I plan to find a way to get the money for my hubby to fly when the time comes.

You may be wondering why I didn't say I plan to go with him. Truthfully, I'm not sure I could handle space flight. Disney's Mission Space ride alone made me so sick it ruined our Disney vacation so I highly doubt I'll want to attempt a real space flight. However, if someone invents something to help motion sickness AND lack of G's....well, maybe one day I'll be a space tourist too. Until then, I guess I'll just have to settle for seeing Earth from an airplane....

Where I found the image at the top of this post

Saturday, August 10, 2013

29 Until Further Notice - A Reflective Post


Today, I'm reflecting on the last 29 years of my life and realizing how much I still have that I want to accomplish. For the purposes of this post though...I had a list of things I wanted to do before turning 30 so it would seem that as of today (8/10/13) I have just 368 days to accomplish all the things on that list.

Here is the list of things I wanted to accomplish by 30 (the things I've already accomplished are in red)...

1. Graduate college with my bachelor's degree- graduated May 2008
2. Find a man to marry and marry him- married 7/29/2006
3. Buy a house
4. Be credit card and student loan debt free
5. Get a job I love/ start my own business- been in business as a writer and photographer since October 2007 and have loved what I do for a living ever since!
6. Have a substantial amount of money in a retirement account
7. Go to Europe
8. Go to Australia
9. Get a dog/cat/both
10. Drive cross country from Florida to California and back
11. Go to Hawaii
12. Get my master's degree
13. Write a book- accomplished that THIS year actually. Wrote my first eBook and self published it...Check it out HERE :)
14. Make 6 figures a year to be able to retire by 40 instead of 68 or whatever the new number is for my generation...
15. Have a baby- yes mom...when I first created this list in my head I wanted to have a baby by 30...but now I'm not sure when or if I will have kids...

So....what have we learned from this list? If I'm going to get all of these goals accomplished by 30 I've got to get a crap ton of money in the bank ASAP and get on with my traveling like NOW...

Also check out Celebrites I Share My Birthday With, birthday freebies YOU can get and 29 Things I've Learned in 29 Years.

Where I found the picture at the top of this post

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

29 Things I've Learned in 29 Years


It's that time birthday is August 14, so it's time to update this post :)

I was going to wait until I turned 30 to post something like this, but everyone who knows me knows I’m impatient and that when I set my mind to something I just want to do it and not wait! So, here are 29 things I’ve learned in 29 years:
1. There is good and bad in the world. Being with like minded individuals can either lead to progress or destruction. Make sure you are in the productive group.
2. Not everyone is out to get you even when it feels like the world is against you.
3. Everyone is dealing with problems and your issue may not be as bad as theirs. The nicest home can be filled with the most troubles.
4. You can’t trust everyone you meet, but keep close the people that you can.
5. You can forgive everyone that hurts you, but you should never forget. With that said, it should be noted that revenge is not always sweet. Sometimes it’s actually really bitter.
6. What’s right is not always popular; what’s popular is not always right. (all sources I found said this quote is by Albert Einstein)
7. Being the cool kid may not be all its cracked up to be. Recently I went to dinner with two amazing women who opened my eyes to the world of being the cool kid. The amount of upkeep to always be trendy, have the perfect clothes, perfect hair and coolest gadgets just sounds exhausting. I’d rather get that extra hour of sleep than have every hair in place thank you!
8. A smile burns more calories than a frown and it looks better too. A bonus: smiling while unhappy somehow makes it hurt less.
9. Some people are innately evil and should be avoided like the plague. There really are some people who will beg, borrow and steal their way to the top and don’t care who they have to step on to get their. As soon as you realize who they are, pluck them out of your life!
10. Always look out for number 1, but don’t step in number 2 either. (movie line from Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield)
11. When you stop looking for mister right you find him. I didn’t see my husband Jeremy coming but am so glad his path crossed mine.  
12. Speaking before thinking has massive consequences but when the heart kicks in, the head shuts down.
13. I didn’t need to take as many math classes as I did. My calculator really can solve all my math problems. P.S. love the tip calculator on my phone!
14. Someone will always be bigger, better, stronger, smarter than me. All I should really focus on is being the best I can be and following my dreams.
15. I didn’t gain weight overnight and can’t expect to lose it overnight.
16. Living a healthy lifestyle is imperative and eating crap makes me feel like crap. Note to self-must find ways to get cheaper healthier food :)
17. The best job in the world is one that you love, can make money at and are actually qualified to do. When it stops being fun its time to change it.
18. Money is not the only key to happiness but it sure feels better to cry in a car with air conditioning than one without…especially in the Florida heat. Nonetheless, I’d rather be broke and happy than rich and miserable.
19. Dogs are better than cats for some people and I prefer dogs. No hate mail please-its my preference and what I learned about me!
20. Sharing is caring except when it comes to my toothbrush. Mom also always said never share my drinks, my makeup or my hairbrush.
21. Karma is a bitch sometimes but she can be sweet too. Do unto others as you want done to you.
22. One red sock can ruin an entire load of white clothes but pink is one of my favorite colors.
23. If at first you don’t succeed destroy all evidence you tried. Never give up, never surrender.
24. Being an adult is fun but responsibility blows sometimes!
25. I should have stopped wishing I was older and enjoyed every minute of the present. Too often I look forward to stuff in the future and neglect the wonderful moments of now.
26. Wine is fine but liquor is quicker; either way hangovers suck!
27. Everything happens for a reason and we may never know what that reason is. Some things in life have to be accepted and this is one of them.

28. You don't always have to know how something works to believe in it...For example, I don't know how electricity works but I use it and I do know this- A man can cook with electricity and electricity can also cook the man (lesson learned from Bob Proctor)
29. I do not have all the things I want today, but I have everything I need and for that I'm grateful! There is always, ALWAYS, something to be grateful for!

Also check out Celebrites I Share My Birthday Withand birthday freebies YOU can get!!!

Where I found the picture at the top of this post


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Birthday Celebration Number One- Ruth's Chris 8/7/13

The Famous Ashley Grant at Ruth's Chris
 One of my awesome gal pals took me to Ruth's Chris for my birthday! I learned you can enjoy a delicious and very filling meal there much cheaper than expected if you dine at the bar and feast on the bar only menu. I was craving sushi, so I had a California Roll with spicy mayo instead of anything steakhouse oriented. Hey, it is my birthday celebration- I'll do what I want! While there...a famous former Tampa Bay Buccaneer was dining and he was kind enough to take this picture with me for a birthday gift and he even signed an autograph for me that says  "Happy Birthday"!!! How stinkin' cool is that?!?
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ronde Barer and The Famous Ashley Grant
Ruth's Chris definitely knows how to do birthdays right! When they learned it was my birthday I was presented with this AWESOME sampler platter of desserts including creme brulee, vanilla ice cream and a cookie. So good!!!

Next on the docket for my birthday celebrations is Cantina Laredo in Wesley Chapel. The hubster is taking me there because I got an awesome birthday freebie from the Shops at Wiregrass for a $10 gift card AND a free Mexican Brownie Sunday from Cantina Laredo since I'm in both of their birthday clubs. Want to see what YOU can get for FREE for your birthday? Check out this awesome list of bday freebies!!! :)

My Birthday Wish List- Or My Shameless Attempt at Getting Free Stuff

We've learned already I have no shame! I come right out and say exactly what I want when I want it. Lately this has done well for me- so I figure why stop. BUT...If it offends you I give you permission to stop reading this blog post right now. Here is a link to more silly cat pics to help you get over it... However, if you are curious about the stuff I want...I have a very short list of things I want for my birthday. I'm very easy to please. LOL. Ly birthday is next Wednesday, August, 14...

1. The Lady Gaga perfume. Lame...I know, but I love the smell. So there!
2. Canon PowerShot A2300 16.0 MP Digital Camera with 5x Digital Image Stabilized Zoom 28mm Wide-Angle Lens with 720p HD Video Recording (Pink)
3.10-Minute Trainer DVD Workout - Not only do I have no shame, I'm lazy. That's why if I'm going to get serious about working out, it has to be in 10 minute spurts. hahaha!

4. EasyLunchboxes Insulated Lunch Box Cooler Bag (in Pink)
5. EasyLunchboxes 3-compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers

Want to buy any of this for me?  My address is PO Box 340237, Tampa, FL, 33694. I also am happy to accept gift cards and checks that won't bounce. I will not be accepting any dating offers this year though. That got awkward last year considering I've been married for seven years now. Sorry Charlie! hahaha

Also check out Celebrites I Share My Birthday With, birthday freebies YOU can get and 28 Things I've Learned in 28 Years.

Where I found the picture at the top of this post

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Couponing to BlogHer 2014?


I definitely want to attend next year's BlogHer conference now that I have attended my first one!!! I am thinking I will either coupon my way to BlogHer '14, seek sponsorship, host some fun events to raise the money to get there or do a combination of all three.

As I mentioned HERE, my goal for BlogHer '14 is to not only get myself there, but to get someone else there as well as my way of paying it forward from all the amazing folks who got me to the 2013 conference. Thanks again by the way!!! (You know who you are- xoxo.)

I have lots of ideas for how I'll get myself and another blogger to the next conference and I plan on getting started on my road to BlogHer '14 very soon :)

I plan on attending as many blogging conferences as possible from now on. I've seen the light and I can't go back. The networking, the learning, the experience that comes with attending blogging conferences....I want more! I will get more and I will BE The Famous Ashley Grant :) (insert evil sounding muahaha laugh here)

First Chicago Train Ride and More


While enjoying the blogging conference I had to step out of my comfort zone a lot! I'm not big on going to new places and doing transportation things on my own. I am used to having my husband with me to figure out the logistics of getting from place to place because as anyone can tell you I am horrible with directions and finding my way around anywhere.

The photo above is me in front of a train schedule. I was fortunate that I only had one place to go from the train stop I was dropped off at, but I was nervous nonetheless. I hopped on at the Roselle station and took it to Union Station. The gal that dropped me at the station said, "You'll get off when everyone is getting off." It also helped that it was the last stop and I knew the name of my destination.

Overall throughout the weekend I took the train into the city twice, took four cabs, two buses and one train to the Midway airport. The rest of the time I had a friend driving me around. Is it wrong to say I was a train wreck for the parts I was on my own? I was crazy nervous the whole time trying to find my way around. However, I am tickled pink to report that I figured it out and managed to get to each place I was heading to and then finally made it home to Tampa only having gotten lost once. When I took some bad advice from the public transportation employees at Union Station in Chicago is when I got lost. Thanks a lot jerk face who sent me the wrong was costing me extra $$$ in cab fare and nearly costing me my breakfast since I barely made it in time...

I still prefer having my hubby by my side to assist me in all things transportation and getting around, but I am thrilled I managed to get through the weekend! I feel somewhat empowered by this, but not necessarily ready to do it again on my own for a while!

Top 10 Things I Learned From BlogHer '13


One week ago today I was arriving back to Tampa from Chicago. I had just encountered a whirlwind of a weekend known as BlogHer '13. Exhausted mentally and physically, the plan was to get to work right away on everything I learned at this amazing conference, after a loooooooooong sleep session of course. Sadly, my body had other plans as I spent most of this week dealing with a sinus infection that was causing me some pretty frustrating headaches and blah blah blah...

Fast forward to today and I'm feeling a little better and ready to hit the ground running...I'll start with this post..Here are the top 10 things I learned from BlogHer's 2013 Conference.

1. I have too many blogs! LOL! (See below this list for my new plan)
2. I packed too many clothes. I focused too hard on trying to have an outfit for day time and night time and given my transportation and "living" arrangements for the weekend I should have stuck to one outfit for day and night...which brings me to my next lesson
3. I should have stayed at the designated conference hotel for the entire weekend. Having done so would have afforded me the opportunity to not worry about the swag in my bag because I would have had a way to easily drop it off, I would have been able to comfortably change clothes between day and night activities and I would have been able to hang out more with the girls I met instead of needing to find a way back to my sleeping location.
4. Being outgoing is a good thing! I talked to as many girls as I could! I made a point to go out and just chat with anyone who would listen to me and talk back with me. It was awesome! I met a bunch of people and can't wait to get to know them and their blogs!

5. My vlogging hangups are just plain silly! Every woman has something about themselves they wish they could change. Instead of focusing on my looks, I need to just get in front of the camera and go for it! Thanks Katy in a Corner for your great session!

Jill Nystul of  One Good Thing By Jillee and The Famous Ashley Grant

6. Pinterest is the current key to big traffic. I got to meet whom I would refer to as the queen of Pinterest , the blogger behind One Good Thing By Jillee. Jill Nystul is awesome! If you aren't familiar with her amazing blog, then you are either not on Pinterest or just not paying attention to her million plus repins of awesomeness!!! I fully intend to use her tips on getting the most out of Pinterest ASAP!
7. I need new business cards with my twitter handle and less clutter. This goes along with the too many blogs thang...I need simpler cards. That is all...
8. I should have budgeted for the unexpected. I ended up needing a last minute hotel room for Saturday night and was out $350 I did not have by the end of the weekend. I regret not having a "just in case" fund in my budget!
9. I'm not working hard enough. I get too lazy and am barely scratching the surface of the awesomeness that comes with blogging and vlogging. I've got a ton of work ahead of myself to be as good as I now want to be!
10. Going to conferences is very good for me! Blogging is so lonely sometimes and meeting real people and seeing their faces was absolutely wonderful! Sure, we may not hang out on a regular basis, but at least now if we comment on each others blogs or skype or some other form of communication it will feel more like we actually know each other and can connect.

Eight blogs is a lot, but I love all of them. I have decided though that I will let one blog dominate and the rest will become hobby blogs as they say. I plan to focus pretty hard on one and then in my spare time I'll add posts to the others. The one I have decided to focus on? Lessons Learned From Frugal People - Why? As I was soul searching and brainstorming I figured out something pretty cool about myself. I LOVE learning things and sharing them, but I'm also A.D.D. The awesome thing about Lessons Learned From Frugal People is that I can be A.D.D. and still have one major focus. Saving money can be as diverse a topic as all of my blogs but it boils down to one topic!
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