Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I Am SO Excited for 2015!

 

As I type this post I'm continuing to lay the ground work for all of my plans that will begin Thursday. So weird that this Thursday marks the beginning of a new year! I have soooooooo many big plans for 2015 and am crazy excited to see where my career will take me in the next 12 months. I'm looking forward to every minute of it! Here's a quick summary of some of the things 2015 will hold for me- my video camera is ready and my video studio will be complete soon (oh yes youtube HERE I COME!), my fingers are ready and willing to type thousands of words for my own sites and all of my clients, my walking shoes are waiting by the door and my husband is researching a new TB drive to set up a raid for an awesome memory backup system for all the work we will be doing... So beyond excited!

I'm thankful for the lessons learned in 2014 and hope that they will make me a smarter entrepreneur in 2015. To those of you that hurt me this year- I forgive you and thank you for teaching me the lessons you did. To anyone I hurt in the last 12 months- I'm sorry and I hope that we can patch up our relationship and start anew. To those of you who gave me a chance when you didn't have to, I'm in your debt and hope to make you proud in the coming days, months and years. To everyone who referred new clients to me, thanks for helping me keep food on the table and a roof over my head. To everyone in my life- you are here for a reason and I'm grateful that you are. May you all have the most prosperous and glorious 2015 filled with an abundance of love, happiness and all that your hearts desire!

Source for image above

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

Friday, December 26, 2014

I Won't Make New Year's Resolutions for 2015

 

My theme for 2015 will be POSITIVITY!

I hate New Year's Resolutions and the pressure that surrounds them. So, for 2015 I have some goals in mind and tasks I will do to make those goals realities and I plan to write at the end of 2015 that 2015 was my best year yet. I can honestly say that at least in my career 2014 has been my best year to date so here's hoping 2015 will actually trump it!!!!

My current goals for the new year are:
- Be a more positive in 2015
- Practice an attitude of gratitude more frequently
- Make enough money monthly that I can pay all of my bills and have enough left over to pay down my debts
- Have more fun and live more in the moment rather than planning too far ahead
- Eat healthier and move my body more. I don't want to say diet and workout because I hate those ideals. I'd rather focus on the positives than the negatives.
- Work more on my own blogs and websites to be more independent and financially free
 - Get my apartment organized by the end of 2015

Source for image above


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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thirsty Thursday: Twisted Shotz!


Today's Thirsty Thursday posts is about ! Now, although the company did send me the amazing goodies you see above for free for the purposes of review this DID NOT influence my review and all opinions are my own!
 
Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)
 
Alright, now that all of that FCC disclosure crap is out of the way- let's talk about the shots! So, the concept behind Twisted Shotz is brilliant! Basically each shot consists of two liquors/mixes that when "shot" combine in your mouth to form the flavor you were going for. I was first introduced to Twisted Shotz a couple of years ago at a liquor store and purchased the Buttery Nipple pack because at the time I was obsessed with that shot and hey, this Twisted Shotz pack was pre-mixed! 
 
I quickly forgot about the company because I got over the Buttery Nipple obsession but didn't want to spend a lot of money to try the other flavors. 
 
Then, Twisted Shotz was a sponsor at the 2014 BlogHer conference so I got to try a bunch of the flavors! My favorites of the weekend were the Porn Star (raspberry vodka and Blue Curacao) and the Miami Vice (strawberry daiquiri and pina colada in a shot). However I also indulged in my old friend the Buttery Nipple (Butterscotch and Vanilla vodkas - although traditional ones are Baileys and Butterscotch Scnhapps), the Rattlesnake (the most potent tasting with Tequila and Lime Liqueur) and the Whipped Orange (tasted like a creamsicle with its whipped cream vodka and orange cream liqueur. Yum!) 
 
I seriously love these shots ya'll! Here are my pros and cons though:

The pros:
- The drinks are pre-mixed so you don't have to buy a bunch of liquor and attempt to follow a bunch of recipes. The guess work is handled for you
- You don't even need shot glasses or mixing equipment. All you do is chill em and shoot em!
- They are great for parties because they have so many options you can please any set of taste buds
-  They are delicious! Duh!
 
Cons:
- The packs are a little on the pricier side. The smaller packs come with four shots and are about $6-$8 at most liquor stores meaning you will pay up to $2 a shot. Still cheaper than a club, but for the truly thrifty I recommend the party packs that have 15 in them. They come out to around $15-$20 a pack so at most you will be spending about $1.34 a shot!
- The alcohol content is not as strong as you think. A single shot is 20% alcohol and comes in at about an oz and a half of liquor. You'd have to drink quite a few of them to get messed up or even buzzed. 

The party pack that Twisted Shotz sent me also included some shots I had not yet tried including the Strawberry Sundae (vanilla and strawberry vodkas with cream), the Blazin Apple (apple and cinnamon- tasted like apple pie ya'll!), the Killer Bee (bourbon and honey- this one burned a little LOL) and the Root Beer Flirt (tasted just like root beer with its root beer liqueur and vanilla vodka). The Polar Bear it came with I'm saving for Christmas because it has mint in it! 

I can honestly say that out of all the Twisted Shotz  I have had I can't think of one I didn't like! Even the Killer Bee that burned a little I would do again. Therefore, my overall assessment is that I WOULD recommend these drinks and I will be drinking them again!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)
This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.
 

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Guess I'm a Decent Cook! Who Knew?!? LOL


The best compliment my husband has ever given me on my cooking he gave me tonight, "Holy crap hon I feel like I'm eating at a restaurant." Followed by, "I'm so full but it's so good I just can't stop eating it." Then, when I tried to take his plate because I thought he was done I thought he was going to attack me, "Don't take that! When I digest a little I'm going to munch on the rest." Wow! Guess I did good! LOL!

For the curious- I made thick cut pork chops that I let sit with a dry rub of Montreal Steak Seasoning for two days then baked them in an oven bag that I placed in a Pyrex baking dish. All I did to bake the pork was added a heaping tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the oven bag and then poured one can of sliced potatoes. I left the liquid in the can to give the pork some more moisture. Then, I added the pork, closed the bag and cut 6 half-inch slits into the bag so the bag wouldn't explode whilst cooking... I put it into a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. After the timer went off I pulled it out to make sure the pork was done and then covered it with foil, placed it back in the oven, knocked them temp down to 150 degrees to keep it warm and made some mac and cheese.

I know - two starches with dinner- leave me alone! We didn't eat the potatoes tonight so there! I'm saving those babies for tomorrow's dinner!

Oh, and I made a sauce to dip the chops in. My husband LOVES sauces and I started making one a while back that he loves on steak so I thought we would try it on the pork chops and it was a hit. It's just two ingredients- Sour cream and creamed horseradish. So easy it felt like cheating but we gobble that stuff up!


Anyway- the mac and cheese and the pork chops tickled my hubby's fancy apparently! I'll definitely be making this again because he told me it would be wrong of me to introduce him to pork chops that yummy only to take them away forever. He's so dramatic sometimes. hahaha!

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

HOLY COW- Today marks SEVEN YEARS!


Today marks seven years since I officially started my freelancing business (i.e. got a business license and a website). Holy cow! I have been a PAID writer and photographer since October, 7, 2007! My first article was published in the USF Oracle the week of Valentine's Day in 2007 and about eight months later I decided I wanted this to be my business. I have been on a crazy roller coaster ever since! In the photo above are the logos of just a few of the publications my work has been featured in. I can't wait to see where the next seven years (and beyond) takes me!

It's crazy to think that I was on the track to becoming a school teacher at the beginning of 2006. My art professor told me she had a dream I was a writer and suggested I take a journalism course as my other elective- the course lit a fire in me I didn't even know I was lacking. That was the year I got married and changed my major to journalism. My first story got published in 2007 and the my career path was completely altered. They say everything happens for a reason and that in the blink of an eye your life can change if you have the courage to let it. It would have been safe to stay in education. It would have been easier to finish one more year of school and graduate in 2007. It would have been safe to get a steady job as a teacher, but I don't think I would have been happy.

As a self-employed writer and photographer things aren't always safe but they are a hell of a lot of fun. I've had wild ups and downs but I wouldn't trade a minute of it. I can feel that I am on a path now to big things, exciting things and I truly believe that financial success bigger than I ever could have dreamed was possible is so close I can taste it. Here's to seven years as a writer and here's to the goal of writing I'm 100% debt free and financially independent by the time my eight year anniversary rolls around!

Monday, October 6, 2014

How Should I Sell Everything I Own?


I've made comments about it for months, but since my goal is to have a 100% mobile business that I can do from anywhere in the world I feel like it is seriously time for me to downsize and get rid of junk. I'm going to sell everything I have that is not nailed down and/or can't come on the road with me. I need opinions- what is the best way to start selling everything? Of course- my sentimental possessions that I don't want to part with will end up in storage, but I'm trying to figure out the absolute best way to sell everything I have for as much money as possible so that my husband and I will have a good financial base to start out on the road with...

I know many folks are all about eBay, some have told me craigslist, but what other methods will get this stuff out of my apartment and get me on the road quickly? Leave a comment below! Would love to know your thoughts :)

What I Learned from Almost Six Months of Temping


#IQuit #ScrewtheNinetoFive

Friday, September, 26, 2014, was my last day working at my 9 to 5 temp job. I worked there just under six months (179 days if you care to count). In a way- temping brought me back to life. I don't talk about it much but in 2013 I was slumping into a bit of a depression. In 2014 I was starting to come out of that depression because I started a fun new gig and was forming plans for more new gigs, but my lack of income was still plaguing me.

In February I signed up with a local temp agency and in March I got a call that I would be a receptionist for a furniture dealer in Tampa. Interestingly enough as soon as I started working there I began getting call backs for my true passion- writing and photography. Then, about 3 months into working there I got lucky enough to fly to California for a blogging conference and make even more connections for more possible gigs. Before I knew it I was getting so many calls to write and take pictures that I found myself struggling to get up in the mornings because I was staying up late working on my real job. The final clue that it was time to leave my temp job came when I got offered a writing gig that would basically replace my temp job income...so of course- I took it! Now, I'm a little scared because I was starting to get used to a steady check but I'm hopeful that more good things are coming and that I won't ever have to go back to a nine to five style job ever again.

Okay- so that is the back story and now, here are a few things I learned from almost six months of temping:

1. Change can be a good thing. Just the act of forcing myself out of the house brought so much more pep to my step. I may be able to work from home again- but I'm trying not to. Instead I'm working in coffee houses, the library, my husband's office, anywhere with Wi-Fi honestly. I've learned that I just get too lazy and unproductive when I'm at home.

2. Sleep is crucial for me. My husband can sleep two to four hours and then work an eight hour day, but I NEED a full eight hours or things get weird. I get overly emotional, spacey, extra A.D.D., it's just no beuno!

3. I need to be around people. I think one of the best things about the temp job was being around people. As cheesy as this is going to sound, it took me being around people for six months to realize just how lonely I've let myself get. I've only been out of the job for over a week and I've already had a lunch with a fellow writer, scheduled a dinner with another and reached out to a blogging group to see if we can organize a get together. I think my need for being around people is part of why I haven't let myself stay home to work even though I can...

4. I do best with a schedule and a to-do list. I never realized just how A.D.D. I am until I was forced to set priorities and schedule my assignments. It's amazing how much work I can get done in limited increments and now that I have nothing but time I'm trying to force myself to continue sticking to a schedule. Somehow making up fake deadlines and appointments is helping me complete stuff that I need to get done.

5. I can't stand a nine to five job. LOL! Okay, this one probably came off meaner than I meant for it to, but I'm a soooooooooooooo not a nine to five chick. Yes, I learned I need structure and scheduling, but I also realized just how much I need the flexibility to move appointments and assignments around for whatever reason. I love the freedom of being able to set my own hours and do what I want when I want as long as deadlines are met.

Photo courtesy of Hubspot

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thirsty Thursdays: Tito's Vodka and Welch's

I find it amusing that the decision to post today's Thirsty Thursday post coincides with a lawsuit against the vodka I had already planned to write about. According to the lawsuit mentioned in a story on Paste Magazine just yesterday, "A California real estate broker has filed a civil lawsuit against Texas-based Tito’s Handmade Vodka, claiming the distillery can’t claim the vodka is 'handmade' because of the sheer volume of bottles sold each year."

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)


Well, I don't care if the vodka is handmade or not- the bottom line is it is yummy and smooth and because of my recent opportunity to try it, Tito's Vodka is making an appearance for this week's Thirsty Thursday!

I tried Tito's Vodka on Friday, September 5, 2014. A co-worker brought it and a bottle of Welch's Passion Fruit juice in for our weekly happy hour. I had never tried the vodka or the juice but thought- what the hell! You never know until you try whether you will like something or not right?

First, I poured a shot of the Tito's. The vodka was smooth and the lighter fluid after taste many vodkas present was nowhere to be found. Second, I splashed a little bit of the passion fruit juice into a cup to try it by itself. I've had drinks with passion fruit mixed in them in the past, but this was the first time I tried it alone. The juice was tart but not too tart and no overtly sweet either. Lastly, I grabbed a Red Solo Cup and decided it was time to put the two together. Unintentionally I mixed equal parts of the Tito's and the Welch's Passion Fruit juice with ice in the cup.

Verdict? The half and half drink was really good! It was kind of funny that every time I took a sip I commented on how good the drink was to the point that my coworker said, "You don't have to keep saying it's good." I couldn't help myself though. It really tasted yummy and I honestly couldn't prevent myself from uttering that every time I took a sip! LOL! I would definitely make this drink again and would highly recommend it if you are looking for an easy drink to mix for a party but don't want that annoying alcohol after taste.

So, lawsuit or no- Tito's gets thumbs up from me- regardless of it's handmade claims it tastes damn good!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thirsty Thursdays 9-18-14 Rum Dranx!




#ThirstyThursdays #DrinkRecipes #RumDranx


What's a Pirate's favorite letter? RRRRRRRRRR!   
What's a Pirate's favorite drink? RUM

Ahoy Mateys! In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day which is tomorrow 9/19/14 today's Thirsty Thursday post celebrates RUM! Here are a few of my favorite rum dranx:



Rum Runner 

Ingredients:
- 4 oz spiced rum
- 1 oz blackberry liqueur
- 1 oz  crème de banana liqueur
- 8 oz orange juice

Prep:
Add rum, blackberry liqueur, crème de banana liqueur, orange juice and grenadine to a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Drink up and enjoy!




Mai Tai

Ingredients:
- 1.5 spiced rum
- 1.5 coconut-flavored rum
- 1 teaspoon grenadine syrup
- 3 fluid ounces pineapple juice
- 2 fluid ounces orange juice
- 1 cup ice cubes

Prep:
In a martini shaker full of ice, combine the spiced rum, coconut rum, grenadine, pineapple juice and orange juice. Shake vigorously and strain into glass full of ice.




Yellow Rose

Ingredients:
- 2 oz triple sec
- 2 oz pineapple juice
- 2 oz Captain Morgan White Rum

Prep:
In a martini shaker full of ice, combine the white rum, pineapple juice and triple sec. Shake vigorously and strain into glass full of ice.

The Yellow Rose was a recent discovery at the new Green Gators bar on Anderson Road. I had never had Captain Morgan White Rum before my visit to Green Gators but this drink is yummy!

What's your favorite rum drink? Tell me in the comments below!

Ready to get your Pirate on? Learn the basics of Pirate speak HERE!

Check out the first Thirsty Thursday post The Return of Thirsty Thursdays! Fireball Whisky

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I'm PR friendly ;)

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Obsession with The Suitcase Entrepreneur


 

If you follow me on facebook you have likely heard me mention The Suitcase Entrepreneur at least once or thrice ;) I LOVE this book so much I'm reading it for the third time. The idea of the book is to build a mobile business that can be run from anywhere in the world. This as many of my friends and family know has been a desire of mine for YEARS.

Over the past few months I've been getting closer and closer to being able to run my business from anywhere but like any dream I have had a few setbacks along the way. In the last month my desire to make this dream a reality has gotten stronger than ever and I've been coming up with plans and ideas to cut the cords and finally hit the road with nothing but my husband, my laptop, my camera and my suitcase.

I'm anxious to see where my next steps will take me. I'll post updates on my goal as time goes on :)

Do you want to create a mobile business that you love with the freedom to work from anywhere in the world? I highly suggest you check out The Suitcase Entrepreneur today!

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Low Carb Egg Casserole (I Won't Shut Up About)


Yesterday I made the most EGGcellent low carb egg casserole and it is sooooooooooo yummy. It made four servings so it will be my breakfast through Thursday and anything that makes me not have to cook or think about breakfast in the morning makes me a happy Ashley indeed!

I went searching for the perfect casserole and became frustrated that most of the recipes required 12 eggs so, here's how I made mine:

Ingredients
- 3 eggs- Cracked obviously. You don't want shells in your food.
- 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used Publix's 4 Cheese Mexican blend because it has more flavor and is better than your stupid cheddar cheese)
- 1/4 cup diced ham (you could go with chunks but I am not a fan of eating anything with the word chunks in it)
- 1/4 cup of green and red peppers diced (I'm lazy so I used the diced blend that is already cut up in the produce section)
- 1/8 cup onion (I'm not as big of a fan of onion- it over powers everything)
- 1/4 cup of milk (to make it fluffy!!! FLUFFFFFFAY!!!!!!!!<- Gabriel Iglesias reference fool!)
- salt and pepper to taste

Steps
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees- because no one wants to eat uncooked eggs except for those freaks who drink them in their muscle shakes. BLEH! GWOSS!
2. Mix up your ingredients in a bowl. Scramble it with a fork til its real nice and blendy
3. Grease a pan real good like with some of that slick spray oil stuff. I used a small pan for mine - it was one of those small oval pans from the Wilton baking section of Jo-Anns but you could probably use a loaf pan or something like that ;)
4. Pour that golden, vegetabley and ham goo into your pan
5. Put that precooked goo that is now in a pan into your oven and bake the demons out of it for 30 to 40 minutes. Mine took 40. must of put up a good fight
6. Cool it a tad, slice it and EAT it.
7. pat self on back for casserole done good!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

One Thing I Did to Celebrate My 30th Birthday

For my 30th birthday I decided to give back. So, I chose 30 people, some at random to give gifts to in lieu of throwing a birthday party. I taped envelopes on snacks at gas stations with money inside to buy a snack, I gave a couple of people gift cards to a store I was shopping at, I gave some strangers I randomly walked past an envelope with a little cash to buy whatever they wanted and I gave every person in my office at my temp job a little gift. Why did I do this? I really want to give back more in my life. I've been really lucky to get some of the things I've gotten and it's my party and I'll give back if I want to! I still have seven more people on my list to give to and what I'm going to do is pick 7 random people on kickstarter to help fund their projects. I'll post the kickstarter projects later.

Each person that received a gift from me so far has also received the card you see at the top of this post. It says:

It’s my birthday but you get the gift! For my 30th birthday all I wanted to do was give back so I chose 30 people to give gifts to. All I ask is that you pay it forward and do something nice for someone else. Doing so would make one of my birthday wishes come true :) Thanks for accepting this gift! I hope that your future will be filled with as much happiness and love as possible.

Love always-
The Famous Ashley Grant


Have a great day everyone! If it's your birthday- HAPPY BIRTHDAY! If it's not I wish you a happy day anyway. I'd like to pass what I wrote in my birthday card on to YOU- I sincerely hope that each and every one of you will be blessed with more happiness and love than you ever dreamed possible.

30 Things I've Learned in 30 Years

 

This has become an annual thing and I love it so much I'm just going to keep doing it every year. So, without further adieu, here are 30 Things I've Learned in 30 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. 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! 
30.... The one I learned this year that has become my new mantra is: You haven't actually failed until you stop breathing!!! I LOVE this lesson! I'm taking it to heart because I have been bummed over not being where I want to be in my career yet and have felt a little like a failure but you know what- as long as there is breath in my lungs and a beat in my heart that means I have another day to work towards making my dreams come true. So, I have not failed! I have just found ways that don't work and I will continue working towards my goals until I can't anymore!

Also check out Celebrites I Share My Birthday With!!!

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 13, 2014

My First Beignet...and My Second


I've been wanting to try a beignet ever since first hearing about them on the Girls Next Door (don't judge me!). The girls were in New Orleans for Mardi Gras- Kendra and Bridget were sick and Holly bought them coffee and beignets in attempt to bring them both back to life. I hadn't heard of beignets before that episode actually- I know. I need to get out more. Well, today I got my chance to try beignets because one of the gals I work with has a dad who apparently loves cooking and has a killer recipe for these powdered sugar covered fluffy concoctions. Above is a photo she took after her dad made a batch and this morning she brought some into the office.

The best way I can describe a beignet now that I've finally eaten one is an airy pastry coated in crack powdered sugar. Just don't call it a doughnut!!!

These little bastards are good and I confess one wasn't enough so I had a second. The second one was just as good as the first. I would definitely be willing to stuff my face with them again if given the chance. Apparently they are best when made fresh though. I went back for a third about a half an hour later and it wasn't as good.

Too impatient to wait on a trip to New Orleans or for someone to bring you some to try? Here's a recipe to make your own at home.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams - Gone too Soon

Robin Williams 7/21/51 to 8/11/14
#RIPRobinWilliams 

Today, is a sad day not just for Hollywood, but for anyone who has ever been touched by the humor that came from Robin Williams. For those of you who don't know he was found dead this morning in his home and according to news reports it was from an apparent suicide.

Robin Williams was an amazing actor and I loved watching him in everything I saw him in. He made me laugh, he made me cry, he made me forget about everything going on in my life for those brief periods of time I let myself get lost in watching his films.

What saddens me the most is not only hearing the news that this funny man we all looked to for laughs committed suicide but that his publicist said he has been suffering from depression for a long time. Please folks- if there is ANYONE you know suffering from depression encourage them to get help. Don't suffer in silence.

Source for image above

Saturday, August 9, 2014

TBParenting Back To School Fair

#VZW #verizonwireless
Working the Tampa Bay Parenting Back to School Fair today. I'm at the Verizon Wireless booth taking awesome photos on the cutest backdrop. We'll be here until 4 so come on down and join the fun!

Friday, August 1, 2014

It's Been a Blur Since Returning from BlogHer

David Tutera and The Famous Ashley Grant
The last several days have been a complete blur since returning from BlogHer 14. I got home at 11 something Sunday night, in bed by after midnight and woke up Monday morning exhausted and still on California time demanding three more hours of sleep because seriously it was still just 3 a.m. there! Note to self- next year take an extra day to recuperate!

I made lots of connections and have not yet had a chance to follow up with a single one of them. Sigh... The day job until I'm famous had to come first. The good news is it's Friday and other than a photography gig and a movie I'm seeing I've planned to devote this weekend to going through my massive pile of business cards looking for the people I swore I'd email and then I will spend the next week doing just that!

I still have lots of photos to post, reviews to write and shout-outs to give and I will keep my word that this year I will not abandon the cards and the people behind them for several months. I will not give anyone the chance to forget about me! So, if I met you at BlogHer and said I'd write you - I will :) If you said you would write me, I understand why you haven't yet. Let's continue to get caught up and we will connect real soon.

Xoxo-
The Famous Ashley Grant


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Safely Home and Super Sleepy

I touched down in Tampa at 10:15. Made it to my apartment at 11:05. Soooooo ready for bed. I'm anxious to start on my plans I made at the blogging conference though. Updates coming soon. Xoxo everyone and goodnight!!!

Diets Don't Count On Vacation

So I have not cared at all about what I have eaten during the conference. I'll get back to my diet tomorrow but it sure feels good to take a break and pig out! Greetings from Texas! Tampa bound in t-minus 2 hrs and 25 mins!!!

Waiting to Fly Home

Continuing to rock the tiara as I wait to fly home to Tampa from California. Will be home @ 10:15p.m. Tampa time. This weekend has been a whirlwind of fun!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Happy Meal = Happy Ashley

How can you not get this happy with a cheeseburger AND nugget happy meal?!? #nomnomnom

Blogher closing party!

#blogher14 First we eat, then we drank then Rev Run for the partay!!!! Woohoo. And yes I am wearing a tiara because I CAN!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Twisted Shotz

@TwistedShotz is here at #BlogHer14 sampling amazing shots. The cool thing about these shots is they are already mixed & ready to shoot. Drink em chilled or room temp & enjoy the party!!!

Baskin Robbins

@baskinrobbins #bloger14

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Getting Slushed #SonicBlogher

Who doesnt love a free slushie?!?

Firestone Selfie #driveguard #contest

#driveguard #contest Fingerscrossed guys! Trying to win free tires from Firestone Complete Auto Care :-)

Firestone Cake Pops!

#BlogHer14. Finally made it into the blogging conference & first vendor booth has cake pops & mimosas. Alcohol & cake! Hard to top that :-)

Made it to California!

30 minutes late but I'm HEEEEEERE!!! Now to find my shuttle to my hotel. xoxo

Stuck at the Gate

Sigh.... Sitting at the gate because someone forgot to fill the plane with beverages & snacks. Who is in charge and screwed this up? Glad I gave myself buffer time before my meeting, but very anxious to get going!

Oy vey. Captain just said catering is down right now so no clue when we will be cleared to leave the gate.

Have any of you ever had a catering delay? LoL!

Writing from Texas!

Howdy from Texas ya'll. My flight arrived at 10:27 a.m. local time, 11:27 a.m. Tampa time and I'm currently writing from a Chili's at the airport while I wait for my next flight that will take me to San Jose. I have already used the joke "Do you know the way to San Jose?" when trying to find my connecting flight gate. The gentleman assisting me was old enough to be my grandfather and he cracked up a little to hard that I sang the question instead of asking it LOL! Needless to say I think I made his morning.

My plan was to write on the plane but said plan was thwarted by the fact the lady in front of me leaned her chair back all the way into my lap and therefore prevented me from opening my laptop. Note to self- buy a minilaptop or make it so my tablet can save text I write to be copied into a word document later...

Anyway, I'm definitely having a blast so far. One thing that has been made abundantly clear just in these past few hours is that I want to travel a hell of a lot more often and I am going to keep looking for a way to do just that. Welp, the next time I update I'll be writing from California. Til then ya'll xoxo!

Window Seat!!! Woohoo!

All I wanted for my flights were window seats. I've never been to Texas or California and I want to see all I can of the land when I ...well...land! Layover in Texas is two hours. Turning of my phone now & will update again from Texas :-) Happy dance!!!!

Made it to the Airport - California Bound!

#BlogHer14 Sitting in the airport waiting to board my plane to California. So stoked!!! Can not wait to land. My first meeting is 5p.m. today. Fingers crossed it goes well & that this weekend yields many great things for my blogging career!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 30

 

Today's blogger shout out is KATY IN A CORNER! Yeah, I know I already featured her on this blog once before too, but this is my blog and I do what I want so THERE! Katy in a Corner is awesome because she can make you laugh, she can make you cry, and dammit she is just entertaining! Katy is a former motivational speaker, military wife, mom and a blogger. You have to check out her hilarious videos on Youtube and her blog HERE!


TOMORROW is BlogHer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 29

 

So, I wrote about Quirky Chrissy when there were 67 days until BlogHer, but I feel like not including her in my 30 bloggers in 30 days would just be wrong because of how obsessed  fascinated I've become with her blog since I first met her. She ain't got no niche ya'll but that's what makes her blog so awesome. It's got a little about her life, a little product review, a little food, a little bit of everything. Seriously, check out her blog HERE.


2 days to BlogHer

Monday, July 21, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 28

 


Today's blogger shout out is Lisa Page Rosenberg of Smacksy. Here's her intro on her page: "My kid is in the first grade. His name is Bob. He talks a lot. I write it down." One of my favorite things about her blog is that she actually writes down things her son says. Yes, I know her description said that is what the blog is about, but reading some of the things her kid says is very amusing. It kind of reminds me of that old twitter page $#it My Dad Says only in the PG form! Check out her blog HERE!


3 days to BlogHer

Sunday, July 20, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 27

 

Today's blogger shout out is Casey Carey-Brown of Life With Roozle.       

"Life with Roozle follows the adventures of two moms and a little Roozle as we navigate our life as a family of three in Boston. We love our bikes. We arrange our food in circles. Life totally rules."

Casey is a lesbian parent blogger living in Boston with her wife, MCB, and their daughter Riley who they call Roozle.

Check out her blog HERE.

4 days to BlogHer

Saturday, July 19, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 26

 

Today's blogger shout out is Rita Arens of Surrender, Dorothy. Rita is the deputy editor for BlogHer.com and a freelance writer.

Here's a little about Rita: "I started this blog in 2004 shortly after the birth of my daughter. I started it to chronicle her life and my experience as her mother. At this point, I'm writing so we both will know who I am and who I was after I've long since forgotten."

Check out Rita's blog HERE!


5 days to BlogHer

Friday, July 18, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 25

 

Today's blogger shout out is Linda N. Edelstein of Life Ain't for Sissies. Linda is a clinical psychologist, author and professor.What will you find on her blog? "Ideas from psychology that make life better. Most posts are observations, derived from my work as a clinical psychologist, teacher, writer, and aging adult." Check out Linda's Blog HERE.


6 days to BlogHer

Thursday, July 17, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 24

 

Today's blogger shout out is Kathie Bergquist of Ms. Fit Mag. Kathie is the Editor in Chief for the magazine. Ms. Fit Mag is a body-positive, LGBTQ-friendly, unapologetically feminist women’s health and fitness webzine. The site is filled with awesome stories about eating, body changes, learning how to be healthy and sex (GROWL). I am personally bookmarking this page to check out more in the future! Regardless of your sexual preferences your sure to find something the will resonate with you on the site. Check out Ms. Fit Mag HERE.


1 WEEK to BlogHer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 23

 

Today's blogger shout out is Lee Allport of My Sentiment ExactLee. I didn't actually meet Lee, however. I met Jackie Pletsch. Jackie is Lee's sister. Lee created the blog and Jackie posts to it occasionally. I love

Lee is a Nielsen Top 50 Power Mom and a Huffington Post Blogger. Lee's blog is filled with reviews, entertainment posts, giveaways, travel posts and more. Check out the My Sentiment ExactLee blog HERE.

8 days to BlogHer

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 22

 

Today's blogger shout out is Courtney Nawara of Phyrra- Beauty for the Bold. Courtney's blog is a beauty and lifestyle blog. She features cruelty free and vegan beauty brands. She loves bright makeup, colorful hair, sparkly nails, alternative fashion and standard poodles. Best part? If you want to learn how to wear the make up she features she has a bunch of awesome tutorials. Check it out her blog HERE!

9 days to BlogHer 

Monday, July 14, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 21

 

Today's blogger shout out is actually a VLOGGER shout out! I met Jess from the Jess and Miya Hapa Hour on my last night in Chicago. I was in a bad mood and she made me laugh and laugh and feel so much better. I've seen a few of her vlog's on her personal channel, but after seeing her Jess and Miya Hapa Hour channel I just new I had to share it with others. Check it out HERE!

10 days to BlogHer

Sunday, July 13, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 20

 

Today's blogger shout out is Jessica Stier of Desserts with Benefits. What is this awesome blog of dessert recipes? It is a blog of HEALTHY dessert recipes. How frikkin awesome is that?


Check out her "about me" section: "People correspond the word “dessert” with butter, sugar and extra empty calories added to the day’s total… but not here on Desserts with Benefits™!  The healthy dessert recipes you see on this blog are nutritionally beneficial and wholesome enough to be eaten on a daily basis without causing you to feel guilty ONE BIT!

I am a university student majoring in Nutritional Sciences, and due to my schooling, I have acquired quite a bit of knowledge on the ins and outs of nutrition and dietetics.  My academic knowledge allows me to make truly healthy desserts.  I know firsthand the downside of restrictive diets, processed foods and the typical baking ingredients (such as hormone-filled butter, highly processed/refined/bleached white sugar, highly processed/refined/bleached flour, etc.)

Desserts with Benefits™ makes it possible to eat healthy and stay sane!"
   
Check out Jessica's awesome blog HERE!

11 days to BlogHer

Saturday, July 12, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 19

 

Today's blogger is Zakary Watson of Raising Colorado. Here's her "about" statement from her facebook page: "I would like for my children to go to bed at a decent hour, learn to make homemade tortillas, and ride around with a squirrel in my bicycle basket. Also, someone find a cure for Type One Diabetes, kthx."

I can't help but like her blog simply because she likes squirrels. Check this out from her FAQs:
"1. What’s with you and the squirrels?
I dig squirrels. Mainly a black squirrel that lived in my old backyard and ate the bread I threw into my yard....He’s a squirrel genius and possibly a ninja. In training. My goal is to get him (or any squirrel really) to sit in a basket on my bicycle while we ride around town at the Farmer’s Market and stuff."

LOL. Love that! Check out Zakary's blog HERE!
  
12 days to BlogHer 

Friday, July 11, 2014

30 Bloggers in 30 Days - Day 18

 

Today's blogger shout out is Sheri Ann Richerson, The Experimental Homesteader. Lately, I've been reading more and more about homesteading, being self-sufficient, growing your own foods, etc... I definitely want my own home and I want to learn more about how to live more self-sufficiently.

This is her brief bio from her facebook page, "Sheri Ann Richerson is a leading pioneer in the self-sufficiency movement. For the past 19 years she has been living, teaching, and promoting organics."

From product reviews, to how-to guides, crafting tutorials and more, The Experimental Homesteader is sure to please a diverse group of readers. Check out Sheri Ann's blog HERE!

13 days to BlogHer
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