Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Friday, January 31, 2014
Did you feel a lot of pressure with January's NaBloPoMo?

Nope! For me, these prompts are a release for me. If I miss one on any given day, I'll either write on it later or just let it go. These prompts don't make me feel any pressure at all. Sometimes the prompts are uncomfortable or I don't like them so I'll do a different post for the day, but I don't stress about them at all. I'm grateful for them and look forward to them. In fact, sometimes I'll get so into them I'll sit and write several of them in one sitting and then schedule them to post on the specific day they were supposed to go live. Other times I get sad when I run out of posts so I'll just write additional ones for me. It's like therapy for me...I just put out what I feel and am honest and open. I love blogging prompts in general. They make me think and then I write what I think. It's great!

Things I Want- But How?

Okay, here's The Famous Ashley Grant's deep thoughts that have bubbled up all month and resulted in this post on this last day of the first month of this new year...

I know I want to be able to help people- truly help people. I want to enjoy my life with my husband. I want to be a traveling writer and photographer. NOTE- I did NOT say a travel writer or a travel photographer. I've learned that I don't want to be a travel writer or travel photographer because I want to actually be able to enjoy the things I see and experience. There IS a difference. Traveling while writing and taking pictures is VERY different from traveling to a place with the sole intention of taking pictures of the place and writing about the place. Sure, I want to do some of that, but my main focus is the writing and taking pictures while traveling...

I also know that I have to make a certain amount of money each month to survive. My struggle as of late has been to combine all my wants into a career that will fulfill each of my wants while also satisfying that bottom line number that I have to meet.

I have felt so lost lately and so frustrated and I'm just not sure what my next step is.

How can I write and take pictures while traveling and make enough money to survive but also help people along the way?

I want to be able to give money to someone in need, buy a cup of coffee for a stranger any time the mood strikes, pay someone's rent one month that really deserves a break, give a gift card for a mani-pedi to a mom that never takes care of herself, give a massage certificate to a hard worker I know stands on their feet all day...I have a heart filled with the desire to give, but a financial situation causing me to worry more about my own needs than those of others.

I know exactly how much money I need to be making to pay all of my bills on time every month, get myself out of debt and start saving for retirement, but every time I have a moment to mind wanders to how much I want to give to others. How do I get it all? How do I find a way to give when I keep needing to receive?

I continue to seek my answer...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Thursday, January 30, 2014
If you could persuade people to do one thing right now, what would it be?

Give me money. LOL! Is that wrong? Perhaps..but persuading people to give me money would mean I then have money and then boom- Happy Ashley indeed!

I figured I would just lay it out there and give a 100% honest answer. Once I get to a number I'm satisfied with, I suspect I'll quit trying to get people to give me money, but this moment when I'm still struggling financially- that's what I want to persuade folks to do- give me money :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Are you good at influencing other people?

I am not sure. My husband tells me I make him want to be a better man. My mom tells me I can make her smile on a bad day. So, I would like to think I influence some people in a good way... If anyone else is influenced by me- in a good or bad way- I have no idea.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Which of your responsibilities stress you out the most?

Bills. Isn't that everyone's most stressful responsibility?  Paying bills... It's what causes many of my other responsibilities and's my most stressful. Nothing more to report here...that's it!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Monday, January 27, 2014
What puts more pressure on you: time constraints or achieving perfection?

Time constraints. I'm not as much of a perfectionist as I used to be. I've accepted that you sometimes just have to do your best and then just let it go...but the time it takes to accomplish certain tasks is what drives me mad. I'm trying to learn how to streamline and not take as long to complete my tasks, but their are some things that simply can not be rushed and I must be patient and carry on. Sadly, patience has never been one of my strong suits...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Friday, January 24, 2014
Does pressure ever make you want to rebel and do the exact opposite of what is being asked of you?

The only rebellion I've ever had the urge to commit would be to pack up my car and just drive until I run out of money and then figure out a way to keep running on the road. Saner thoughts always prevail though because I know running from your problems doesn't fix them, it actually just makes them worse.

Today Was a Good Day 1/24/14

I just finished a project and while sitting here I had a few things flash through my mind and wanted to share them.

All it takes is a nice gesture to make your day- I chose to get Subway for lunch. I wasn't in the mood to cook or prepare anything and figured Subway would be a healthy enough option. The guy making my sandwich was nice and told me I looked very pretty today. I've never met this man. He just blurted out something sweet and it made me smile. In fact, it made my day! It made me want to compliment someone else and make their day too :)

I really enjoy my job- I've not had as much work lately as I would like, but the work I do have- I thoroughly enjoy! I love writing and taking pictures so, so, so, sooooo much. I'm so freakin' grateful for the fact I get to do these things for a living.

I need to do more work- I need to do every single thing that has been assigned to me right away, even if is no where near my deadline. Then, I need to do more work...even things not assigned to me. I need to write more eBooks and blog posts and take more pictures. I've said this before, but I realized today just how crucial this is for my happiness! I'm happiest when I'm working on projects. Who knows? I might write an eBook that makes me my first million! ;)

Source for image above

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Thursday, January 23, 2014
Do you think it's possible to control your temper when facing enormous pressure?

I think it depends on the person. Some people can snap if they stub their toe, others can stay cool as a cucumber even when someone is screaming in their face. Personally, I feel like it would take a lot of discipline to stay calm under enormous pressure. As I said in another recent prompt I wouldn't lose my temper, I would just cry... I do wish I had the discipline not to cry though.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Do you have a bad temper? How often do you lose your temper?

I don't have a bad temper and when I do have a temper I rarely "lose it". I am an emotional person though and when things are bothering me I am more likely to crawl under the covers or hide in a corner and cry than I am to get angry and loud and yell. I hate confrontation and I hate being mean so I typically internalize everything and just let it out in sobs and tears. I feel like since I don't want to hurt anyone I'll just take the pain and let it out in my own way. Often times this backfires because when I have the right to be angry and loud, I'll still just internalize the pain. I'm working on this, but it's hard when I'm afraid to have an impact on anyone in a negative manner. I know this is bad. Keeping the peace can often lead to a bigger war later, but I'm a work in progress. I can't just flip a switch over night. I fear that if I did, I might become the exact opposite of what I am now and have a bad temper that I lose too often...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Do you feel pressure to be perfect? How much of it is tied to what you see online?

I don't feel pressure to be perfect in accordance with what society expects of me, but I do feel pressure to be the perfect version of myself I have in my head. I feel like I'm supposed to be a certain size in clothes and number on the scale and be making a hell of a lot more money than I currently do. However, I don't feel like it has anything to do with what I see online. It's more about the pressure of what I feel like I need for me to be the best I can be.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Some of My Favorite Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Before it gets too late in the day, I wanted to share some of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes. Here they are:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.”

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for.”

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve.”

“the time is always right to do the right thing”

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”

“Courage faces fear and thereby masters it”

“If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation.”

Source for photo above

Monday, January 20, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Monday, January 20, 2014
Do you still feel pressure of conform? If no, what age did it stop?

I stopped feeling the pressure to conform when I got married. So, I guess age 21 was when I stopped feeling that pressure. Before I got married I thought I was supposed to get a house by a certain age, get a steady job and climb the corporate ladder, own a particular wardrobe, carry specific handbags, etc... When I got married I realized that STUFF doesn't matter to me. Experiences are what matters to me. I want to visit Europe, drive cross country to California, be a traveling writer & photographer, etc... I no longer worry about name brands and expensive stuff like I used to.

What Would You Do if Money Were No Object?

I've had this question pop up several times since the beginning of the new year: What Would You Do if Money Were No Object?

After really thinking about it I decided I would put it in writing and share it with the universe...

If money were no object, I would be a traveling writer and photographer giving away my time and talents for free whenever the mood strikes. The truth is, I love writing and taking pictures. I want enough money in the bank as quickly as possible so that I can live off the interest for the rest of my life and just spend my days giving away my time and talent for free whenever I want to. 

Source for image above

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Friday, January 17, 2014
Do you think you handle pressure well, or do you usually fall apart?

For the most part I feel like I handle pressure well. However, there are times when certain things feel so overwhelming that it is as though the walls are closing in and I can't escape. When I'm sitting in silence and thoughts of bills that are due creep into my mind or tasks that are incomplete pop in my head I have a mini freakout about how to take care of everything that I'm responsible for. So, in those moments I simply start working on my incomplete tasks and I instantly feel better.

The trouble arises when I'm not working on those incomplete tasks and continue to let the worries of what has not been finished fester in my mind. Then, I typically get a headache and force myself to take a nap and when I wake up I start those tasks immediately as to not continue the vicious cycle!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Thursday, January 16, 2014
Who puts the most pressure on you -- yourself or others?

I put more pressure on myself than anyone else! I want so much to prove to others and to myself that I can do the things I set out to do.

Sometimes I feel like if I come up with more goals I'll just wake up one day with the motivation and energy to really get things going. Alas, it has seemed as though the more goals I come up with the more daunting the tasks feel. I think what I should do instead is come up with one goal at a time and accomplish that goal and then come up with a new one so I won't feel so much pressure.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I don't like today's NaBloPoMo prompt so I'm going to write on one of the January prompts from the SITSGirls:

What job did you dream about having when you were a growing up?

I wanted nothing more than to be a teacher. I would play school all the time. I even pretended I was making lesson plans and worksheets for my "students". As I got older I still believed I was supposed to be teaching, but thought it would be in a different setting than a school. When I graduated high school and began college my major was education, but after a brief period of being a substitute teacher and seeing what real teachers go through daily and talking to them about what it's like to teach in public school I became more convinced that my teaching setting would not be in a school.

I once mentioned on this blog that my major became journalism after one mass communications course, but being a teacher has never actually left my mind. I think that is one of the reasons why some of my favorite articles, blog posts, etc... have taught my readers how to do something. I foresee even more teaching in my future starting with more how to writing and hopefully some how to videos this year.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Marge Piercy said: "A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done." Tell us about a time when you did what couldn't be done.

I was told I couldn't get full time income as a freelancer and for an entire year I did just that. Now, for my next trick, I'll make full time income for the rest of my life as a freelancer. I won't stop until I get what I want. I finally have become pretty clear on what that is, and I am determined to make that want a reality!

Monday, January 13, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Monday, January 13, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Monday, January 13, 2014
Eleanor Roosevelt said: "A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Tell us about a time you felt your strength.

The last time I felt sad is this? I can't even think of a time I felt strong. I've had moments of feeling a little strong- getting a new job, getting a new client, doing well on an exam etc...but other than that, I haven't felt strong in a loooooong time. I put on a strong face and fake it really well, but lately the truth has been bursting out and my weaknesses have been apparent to those closest to me. I'm working on it, but I'm not where I want to be yet...

Friday, January 10, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Friday, January 10, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Friday, January 10, 2014
Have you ever tried acupressure to treat a problem? What was your experience with it?

Acupressure? What is that? Like a massage? Yep! I've had a massage and I've had acupuncture too. Massages=awesome. Acupuncture= no beuno! Acupuncture was one of the worst experiences EVER! You see, I have a needle phobia and so it was an excruciating experience! Once the needles were in I was itching like crazy and I just didn't enjoy it at all. I will say this though, once it was over, my neck and back pain was gone for a good month.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Life Coaches - How Many Frauds Are There?

Lately, my inbox has been FLOODED with emails featuring all these awesome free webinars that hold "the key" to wealth and happiness. At the end of each "free" webinar I'm offered the opportunity to buy their complete program for eleventy billion dollars complete with a bajillion workbooks and if I act right now I'll also get MP3s guaranteed to help me connect directly to the universe to put in my order for everything I want. Still not convinced? Well, they will throw in a whole bunch of videos and even send me a zip file filled with affirmations and quotes written on cute kitten pictures or a photo of a sunset. Only if I act right now though!

Now, I'm all about positive thinking and affirmations to channel getting the things you want out of life, but with the sheer magnitude of emails I'm getting offering me these promises of my key to wealth, I can't help but wonder if many of these self proclaimed self-help gurus are just all full of shit and hoping I will buy their program so that they can finally be making the money they claim they already have.

I think I'm going to write a book about how I became a millionaire and fill it with affirmations and quotes about the Law of Attraction and all kinds of shit about coaching yourself to wealth and happiness and sell it for $50 each and promote it as how I made my wealth and then once I am actually a millionaire from it the damn book will have been true and I will be a fraud no more!

What do you think? Am I going overboard here? Am I nuts? Or are there just waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many cooks in the kitchen of the Law of Attraction claiming that THEY actually have the key to wealth and happiness and the other cooks stole their recipe?

Okay...this is the end of my venting blog post... Thanks for reading and have a wealth and happiness filled day!

Update: So I totally put this on facebook and got an awesome response that deserved to be shared! Posted comment on my facebook page on 1/9/14 at about 10:50 a.m. from the awesome Pamela Settle:
Good rant! But seriously. Why are there so many coaches out there? I wonder how many of them are Gen Xers who got shafted out of their careers and needed to reinvent themselves. Also makes me wonder why so many people are lacking interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, business skills and common sense to the point of needing paid help? We clearly aren't teaching these important survival skills in schools and if parents don't know the stuff, they can't pass it on. And finally, is everyone stressed to the point of crumbling under the pressure, and without access to supportive friends, getting a coach? Sorry to hijack your blog, but I really do think about this stuff...

My comment back to Pamela, because you totes know you wanna know that too ;)
I think about it too Pamela Settle!!! Hence the rant on the blog. hahaha! I agree, there are a lot of skills that clearly are not being taught anymore. Everyone just expects to graduate high school/college and be handed a million dollar payheck. Sorry junior, but unless you are brilliant enough to get drafted by google or athletic enough to get drafted into sports or pretty enough to be in mags (you get my point) ain't gonna happen. That's why I'm writing eBooks and then know I'll have to ACTUALLY WORK marketing them to sell them  

NaBloPoMo - Thursday, January 9, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Thursday, January 9, 2014
A pressure point translates in Japanese to "tender spot." What are your pressure points?

My pressure points? Welp, I guess you could say discussions of money, regret, rejection, loss, etc...those are my "tender spots". I am, however, working to make at least one of those spots not so tender. I don't like feeling weak about the subject of money. Before the beginning of 2014, I developed a plan to become more comfortable with money and the subject of money. So far, it's honestly been a rough start, but I feel like I'm getting better every time I force myself to talk about the subject and how I'm growing my money.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Wednesday, January 8, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Can peer pressure be positive? Why or why not?

Of course it can! Weight Watchers meetings, Alcoholics Anonymous, study groups, etc...they prove that peer pressure can definitely be positive. Peer pressure is simply a group of people pushing you to do something. Peer pressure doesn't have to just be to do something bad!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Tell us about a time when you didn't bend to peer pressure, and you swam against the stream.

When I decided to become a freelancer full time I definitely was swimming against the stream. Hopefully 2014 will yield full time income for me! That's my goal anyway ;)  

PSA! Throw Away That Old Makeup

Did you see this story on the Yahoo! News Homepage today? It says to throw out old makeup to avoid skin problems such as infections! I've actually seen what old makeup can do to skin- it ain't pretty! Read the entire article HERE!

Source for image above

Monday, January 6, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Monday, January 6, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Monday, January 6, 2014
Tell us about a time you bent to peer pressure.

Why bother? Talking about one time is only going to call out the peers that pressured me and make me look like a jackass for doing something I didn't want to do. Bottom line? I've bent to peer pressure many times and sometimes it's for things I knew I shouldn't do and other times it's ended up being a lot of fun. I've bent for drinking, I've bent for gambling, for smoking a cigar and other things I won't write here. I've also bent for ordering food I didn't think I would like, an exercise class I didn't want to take, and a bike ride I thought would be too long.

I've learned that peer pressure can be a good thing when it is for things that are good for me and I've been trying to get a stronger back bone to say no to peer pressure when it is for bad things. I'm not saying I'll never bend to peer pressure again, I just hope I'm strong enough going forward to say no if the pressure is for something I don't actually want...

This Year I Turn 30


This year I turn 30, and at first I was freaking out about this. There are so many things I haven't done yet. I had this long list of things I wanted to do by 30 and I even started thinking about ways to force them into happening by August 14 just so I could say I did them on time...but I'm done freaking out. I decided I am letting go of my regrets about things I didn't accomplish. Instead I am just going to keep working on my goals and stop worrying about my age.

Forcing myself to get these things done by 30 at this point would take some of the thrill out of a few of the items on my list. The funny thing is, as I approach the big 3 0 some of the items on my list aren't as important to me anymore. In fact, some of the items were on there because I thought I HAD to do them by 30, but now I realize- there's no rush.

My main goal for this year is to be debt free. Having this weight lifted will be a wonderful feeling and I'm looking forward to how free my hubby and I will feel after we pay off that last amount of money we owe. I have a plan to make this happen and I'm going to just stay as positive and as optimistic as possible this year, regardless of the fact that I'll be leaving my twenties behind...

Friday, January 3, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Friday, January 3, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Friday, January 3, 2014
Do you have a tendency to procrastinate, or do you like checking things off your to-do list?

I do like checking things off my to-do list, but I also have a bad tendency to procrastinate. I'm working on it, but it's a difficult process to stop procrastinating. I don't know why it's so hard to break this tendency. Procrastinating gets me in so much trouble and causes me so much drama and so many headaches, but I still do it repeatedly even after swearing to stop. As I mentioned before, this is a bad habit I am working on stopping. I just have to do it now instead of waiting until later...

Perhaps I'll just have to use the 15 Ways to Stop Procrastinating article I found...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Thursday, January 2, 2014

 Nablopomo January 2014 

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Thursday, January 2, 2014
What are you currently feeling pressure to do that you don't particularly enjoy?

I'm feeling a lot of pressure to exercise. I don't want to exercise. I need to find a way to move my body that is fun! I need a pleasurable act because exercising sounds and feels boring.

I'm also feeling a lot of pressure to declutter and purge. I know this is a necessity. I've been hoarding a bunch of junk that there is simply no sense in keeping, but it is a pain in the tukas to clean and organize and throw stuff away. It is sooooooo time consuming!

Lastly, I'm feeling a lot or pressure to get over my rejection phobias. Asking people to hire me, reaching out and asking people to pay me...I feel like I'm just going to break out in hives and have a heart attack! I need to get over this and just ask for the things I want, but I get so scared of being told no that I simply don't ask.

These three things are the things I plan on working much much harder on in this new year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#NaBloPoMo January 2014 Prompt for Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Do you work well under pressure?

I would like to think so. When I'm limited on time I feel like I'm able to write faster and am more efficient with researching too. There is no time to procrastinate so I just cut out all distractions and go to work until it's done!

My Favorite New Year Facebook Posts

Happy New Year friends and readers! I've seen some pretty encouraging posts for the day and I just had to share some of them with you. Here are some of my favorite New Year's facebook posts. Enjoy!

"May you live your life expecting each day to be better than the last, may you achieve all you set your heart on, and may you realize that you are the only one who can prevent it from happening!"
- Chuck Palm

"I hope this New Year will be a better, more productive, empowering, enlightening, successful, goal fulfilling, potential realizing, destiny awakening, revolutionizing one for every person!"
-Lara Kontakos

"I woke up to rain...God is washing away the old and bringing in the NEW!!! This is going to be a GREAT year....With a New Year comes new beginning out with the old. I wish everyone a prosperous, progressive and wonderful 2014!!!"
- Doc Rose

"May this year be YOUR year! Don't wait for the magic to happen, make it yourself! Start today!"
- Laura Kulikowski

"January, the door into the New Year. The time is now to turn our focus inward and to prepare for the journey that is the year to come. Let us hope that this year will bring with it peace, joy, fun & laughter. A Year full of friends and full of blessings...Here's wishing everyone a prosperous and happy New Year 2014!"
- Debbie Gonzalez

"good morning fbks....well a happy, happy new year to you!! i hope you had a good and safe night and that you are ready to face the new year making it better than last year!! remember if you want to see change this year, you need to start with self. smile a little more, hug a little more and tell people that you love them a little at strangers and help those in need if you are able will reap the benefits of your deeds!! here is your inspiration for the day!!

'In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.' - Brian Tracy”

- Peter Caruana

"HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR! This will be a year of joy, health and goodwill. I pray happiness for you and those around you"

- Tricia Redner Garner

And of course...mine...
"May your 2014 be filled with an abundance of love, happiness, finances, adventure and more!"
- The Famous Ashley Grant 

Photo by Lisa Hertzner

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