Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's My Third Anniversary with About!!!


It seems like I miss this by a couple of days each year, but Monday, March, 24, 2014 marked my third anniversary of working as the Tampa writer for About.com. If you haven't seen my page yet, please check it out here-> http://tampa.about.com/.

I just recently signed my new contract with them to work for another year and I'm thrilled about it. I'm hoping to really pump up the amount of content on the site and make it into more of what I want it to be this year. I'm so honored and thankful to still be writing for them. Here's to another year and hopefully many more years to come! 



Source for image above

Thursday, March 20, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Thursday, March 20, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Thursday, March 20, 2014 
Benjamin Franklin said: "There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." Do you think you know yourself well? 

I want to say I know myself better than anyone else could, but that would be a lie. My husband knows me better than I know myself. He seems to know how I'll react to something before I do and knows what steps I'll take before I do. As much as I try to get into my own head, I tend to get lost trying to figure myself out.

Luckily, I'm continuing to write on prompts such as this for NaBloPoMo. Why is this lucky? Well, according to the website World of Psychology, "One of the most powerful ways to get to know yourself is through journaling." I consider the daily prompts of NaBloPoMo to be my method of journaling. I feel like with every prompt I write I learn more about myself.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Wednesday, March 19, 2014 
 Would you say that you are your own best friend? 

Today's prompt feels like a trick question. Is this a secret way of getting all the crazies to show their colors so we can all be committed and saved? Instead of answering this question (since I don't like it LOL), today I think I'm just going to introduce everyone who hasn't seen it to...Dogs wearing shoes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Tuesday, March 18, 2014 
How would you rate your self-confidence? When is it at its lowest? When is it at its highest? 

My self-confidence is definitely a lot lower than I would like. It's at its lowest right after a rejection. Whether it's a job I wanted, a  request for a lunch date or even my hubby telling me we can't go out to eat where I want to go, that's when I feel at my lowest. I've also noticed that the more I'm by myself the lower my self-confidence gets.

I thrive being around people. When I've got my hair done, my makeup on and I'm wearing an outfit I feel like I look good in, and I'm out doing something I like doing with other people- that's when my self-confidence is at it's highest.

Monday, March 17, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Monday, March 17, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Monday, March 17, 2014 
Who do you trust more: yourself or others? 

For the most part I trust myself more than others. In fact, 90% of the time I trust myself more than others. That 10% when I don't trust myself is saved for those times I'm drinking, gambling or (heaven forbid) doing both! I trust others to stop me from making a complete and total jackass of myself during those times...

I try to avoid it as much as possible, but seeing as how intoxication sends you to a world of make believe and my gambling addiction screws my mind into believing one more round will be the big score, I know I can't be trusted when either or both of those elements are involved...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mail Fairy Visit - Pur Water Filtration System




I'm ecstatic to report that I just received my pur 11 Cup Pitcher Water Filtration System aka pur VoxBox from the mail fairy :)


Have a product that you want me to review too? Contact me HERE!  
 
I received this product from Influenster for the purposes of reviewing it and I couldn't be more excited!!!

Bullet Points about this product:
- Removes 95% of Mercury
- Reduces Chlorine (taste & odor) and more
- Easy fill lid w/ thumb-activated manual lid opening
- 1 Filter provides up to 40 gallons (two months) of crystal clean water




Cheers to clean water! Once I try my pur 11 Cup Pitcher Water Filtration System I'll post a full review.


Want to know how you can receive awesome stuff to review from Influenster too? Check out their website!


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

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

Friday, March 14, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Friday, March 14, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Friday, March 14, 2014 
Is it easier for you to work together with other people or to work alone? 

It is easier for me to work alone. I love being around people. In fact, I crave being around people. However, when it comes to working- I have to be alone. I get to easily distracted by the urge to talk and goof off when I am with others. I have to cut out the distractions and just work and get it done to be able to be productive.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Thursday, March 13, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Thursday, March 13, 2014 
Have you ever been part of a group blog? Tell us about your experience. 

I guess you could say that I have and still am and am loving every minute of it. I'm a blogger for the IAC website About.com and I'm their Tampa "Expert". I've been doing it since March, 24, 2011 and I just signed my contract to continue doing it another year. I've absolutely loved blogging for this site. My only regret is that I don't go to enough of the get together events to meet the other writers who work for this blog. I've only been to one. I want to change that this year though!

Check out my site HERE! I love writing about the city I live in and telling my readers about events going on and learning more about the restaurants, attractions and the residents here. It's the best writing gig I've received so far in terms of the steadiness of work and the excitement of the assignments.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Do you feel like you reveal too much of yourself on your blog? 

Do you think you hold back too much?

I feel like I used to reveal too much of myself on my blog, but I think I have gotten a little better about that. One thing I am trying to refrain from sharing too much of is negativity. I previously would write about any time a big name company ticked me off or bad experiences I was going through. I'm trying to not do that so much, or at least when I do write something negative I'm trying to get better about not putting the guilty parties on blast. I wouldn't want someone to do that to me so I shouldn't do it to others.

The only exception to my attempt at removing negativity from my writing is when I'm writing an honest review of a product or meal because not mentioning the restaurant or product would defeat the purpose of writing the review at all. If the meal sucked or I wouldn't recommend the product- I'm going to say so!

I also am trying to not share too many details about my family. I've heard horror stories of bloggers whose families have forsaken them or have been verbally attacked  because of things they have written on their site. Nowadays, I try not to mention names unless they want them mentioned or give any details that tell who they are unless they are okay with that too...

A Few Reasons to Use Elite Travel for Your Travel Needs

http://www.elitetravelgroup.net/ 



If you have travel in your future I would like to suggest you use Elite Travel for all of your travel needs. In 2012, seven out of 10 travelers booked their own rooms and flights online, per eMarketer (source). Here are just a few problems with this:

1. You are working with robots instead of live people who can answer questions for you

2. You have no one to call in case something goes wrong!

3. It's more difficult to change your plans should you desire to

4. A travel agent can make suggestions you may have never thought of

5. In booking online you are left to research everything on your own and may not even have anything but a destination in mind when you begin...

Worried about pricing? Think online sites are cheaper? Not only does Elite Travel price match, they are there for you every step of your travel adventure. If you need to make travel plans, book through Tammy Levent at Elite Travel. Tell them The Famous Ashley Grant sent you! You'll be glad you did ;)

Full disclosure: Booking through Elite Travel and mentioning my name will get me a small commission. 
I was not paid to write this post and all of the opinions above are mine. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Product Review: Gortons Shrimp Scampi






#RealSolutions #GortonsSeafood #ProductReview

This is a product review of Gorton's Seafood Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi. Although Gorton's gave me coupons that made the product very cheap for me, 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


 
I decided it's been waaaaaaay too long since my last product review, so...I'm reviewing Gorton's Shrimp Scampi. I noticed they were buy one get one free at Publix and remembered I had some awesome $2 off the purchase of one coupons from the BlogHer conference I attended last year. So, that of course meant it was time to buy some awesomeness and eat that ish right up!

I purchased two boxes of the Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi, one box of flounder breaded fish filets and one box of tilapia breaded fish filets. Last night I was feeling it was a shrimp and pasta kinda night so this is what I did:

I followed the directions on the back of one of the boxes of Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi. I cooked the entire box all at once and because I knew I would want extra sauce I added 1/4 cup of water per the box's suggestion. To that I added about half a box of cooked linguine noodles. Voila! I had a quick shrimp linguine in less than 15 minutes and dinner was served. I added a crap ton of Parmesan cheese, split it into two servings and then my husband and I promptly inhaled the dish.

Gorton's knows their shrimp ya'll! I couldn't tell the shrimp has been frozen at all. As I cooked the shrimp the sauce that had previously been frozen onto these little prawns melted into a glorious sauce that was delish indeed! My only complaint was that it only made enough for two servings. We wanted more food because it was soooo good. Definitely thinking I'll have to make the other box tonight to go with the other half of the linguine noodles.

Overall, I would definitely give the Gorton's Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi a stellar two thumbs up. At $8.99 a box at Publix I did feel the price was kind of steep, but at $4.49 a box when they are buy one get one free you can bet your booty I'll be buying it again. Sadly, I don't have anymore coupons, but I have frequently seen coupons for Gorton's foods in the paper and sometimes they have peelie coupons right on the package. Oh! and the Gorton's website often has coupons. Check them out HERE!!! Pair the coupons with a sweet BOGO sale and you don't have any excuse not to try Gorton's. Seriously, SO GOOD!


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



Unpaid Writing Positions- That's NOT a JOB!!



Warning! This is not a warm and fuzzy blog post. If you are looking for warm and fuzzy go google sweet cat pics or something. This is me being sick and tired of writers (and all artists for that matter) being asked to work for free. I'm over it! This trend of websites popping up all over posting job openings for unpaid positions ticks me off!! In my opinion they should not be allowed on job boards because unpaid= not a job in my book!

What prompted this angry blog post from me? Welp, I've been trying to get more writing work because my husband is planning on going back to school in the fall and I am going to need to take over more of the money making responsibilities. I've been filling out lots of applications and stumbled onto a website similar to one I'm already getting paid to write for. So, I sent an email to this writing website because I heard they too are seeking new writers. In the email I listed my credentials, how long I've been writing and ended with an inquiry about compensation. Was promptly emailed this:

"Right now, we are only inviting people to join our writers community, which offers a link and Google+ authorship, but they are not paid positions. It's a steadily growing group of writers who want a bit more exposure with their work. If you're interested in that, you can read more and sign up at (website redacted)."


Below is the response I WANTED to send back to the company but instead opted to not respond at all.

Dear evil company that plans to make money off the backs of unpaid writers,

Most writers don't need exposure. For the most part, we all get plenty of exposure by excitedly sharing what we write with friends, family and our social networks via facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and more. 


What most writers DO need is rent money, food money, gas money and money to pay the rest of our bills. Would you expect your dentist, your plumber, your landlord/ mortgage loan officer, your doctor or any other service provider to be paid in word of mouth advertising? I highly doubt it, so why can't you pay a writer for their services?

No, I'm not interested in working for your company and I sincerely hope other writers will refrain from writing for your company for free as well. Continuing to make websites and publications think it is okay to not pay us is unacceptable and needs to be stopped. However, as I'm not a jerk, I do wish you good luck in your future ventures.

All the best,
Ashley Grant

NaBloPoMo - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Do you think you'll still be blogging 10 years from now?


Hell yes! I plan to be blogging 30 years from now, 40 years from now...even until my fingers can barely type anymore...then, I'll buy some kind of typing software like Dragon Naturally Speaking so that I can keep blogging past the point of typing until I can't talk anymore... 

There is a goofy photo I've seen of a blogger that is blogging on their death bed and it says something to the effect of he can't die yet until he blogs a sign off...As silly as an image like that may seem to some people, I can totally see me doing that! 

Blogging has become my way of sharing my voice, my feelings, my desires and my needs and I want to share how I feel until I'm not able to anymore!
 

Monday, March 10, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Monday, March 10, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 


#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Monday, March 10, 2014
How has blogging changed your life? Tell us one thing that is different now than from before you started blogging.



I'm more vocal about what I want out of life. I'm still self- conscious, but blogging it out and being real about how I feel has helped me grow up a little and finally get serious about how I want to live out my days. I've realized that I want to be able to work from anywhere and become financially independent. Yes, I know that is what lots of people dream of, but blogging has given me the courage not only to share with people this desire, but also has encouraged me to find the way to make it my reality.

Friday, March 7, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Friday, March 7, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 



#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Friday, March 7, 2014
What have you learned about yourself through blogging?


Now, the three people who read this blog...don't get all sappy on me, but one of the biggest lessons I've learned from blogging is how easy it is for me to get lonely. I NEED to be around people as often as possible because that is when I'm happiest. MASSIVE happiness bonus points for being around people AND doing something creative or adventurous. Which brings me to the next thing I've learned...

I crave projects and adventure! I love doing crafts, making things and being creative. I also love doing new things. I would rather walk on a nature trail then attempt even a minute on a treadmill. I need new sites and sounds! 

The last thing I've learned is just how much I want a healthier lifestyle. As I blog I want to share pictures of myself but I refrain for fear of people seeing how much I've let my health go. My husband says I need to quit saying I want a healthier lifestyle and start saying I'm living a healthier lifestyle to make my intentions my reality. I know he is right...so I need to make it so ;)

Destination Wedding Giveaway From Elite Travel

 


Elite Travel is giving away a FREE Destination Wedding! Check out the details below and enter to win HERE! Tell them The Famous Ashley Grant sent ya!


This Destination Wedding package includes:
  • Secrets Wild Orchid, Jamaica, 5 days, 4 nights 
  • Junior Suite Ocean View (Taxes Included)
  • Symbolic ceremony*
  • All inclusive meals and beverages
  • All inclusive non-motor water sports and land sports
  • Wedding organization and personalization by our wedding coordinator
  • Preferential location of the room in the category reserved/booked
  • Preparation and ironing of the wedding dress and grooms tuxedo/suit
  • Complimentary room for the groom the night before the wedding (Based on availability)
  • Bride’s Bouquet
  • Boutonniere for the groom (matching bouquet)
  • Wedding cake and sparkling wine for 10 guests
  • Special turn down service on the wedding night
  • Newlywed package
  • Late check-out for Bride and Groom (Based on availability)
  • Use of the wedding gazebo or beach front casita
  • Continental Wholesale Diamonds Wedding Band Set:
This band set includes:

  • 14k White Gold Ladies .50ct tw 10 diamond wedding band
  • 14k White Gold Gent 6mm milgrain wedding band

Please fill out the form HERE to enter. Don't forget to tell them The Famous Ashley Grant sent ya!

 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Thursday, March 6, 2014

 NaBloPoMo  

#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Thursday, March 6, 2014 
Does blogging bring out your best or worst self? 

I think blogging brings out my best self. I'm happiest when I'm writing and being creative and blogging allows me to do both! Some of my favorite days are when I get a stroke of inspiration and then write all day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

 NaBloPoMo  




#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Wednesday, March 5, 2014
When or where do you feel most like yourself?


As weird as this may sound, it depends on my mood at the time. If I'm feeling like I want attention and/or human interaction I feel most like myself when I'm out with friends. However, the days when I don't want to be around anyone I feel most like myself at home. The reason I say it depends on my mood is because I don't like faking my feelings and I'm not particularly good at it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Monday, March 4, 2014

 NaBloPoMo  




#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Tuesday, March 4, 2014
How is your writing voice like you? How does your writing voice differ from you?


I'm often told that I write like I talk. My writing is sometimes fun, silly, informative and sometimes witty. My writing reflects my personality. I love showing all the different aspects of me with what I write.

The exception to this is when I'm ghostwriting for other people. In that case I write in other people's voice.

Want to participate in BlogHer's NaBloPoMo with me? Read more about it HERE.   

Monday, March 3, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Monday, March 3, 2014


#NaBloPoMo March 2014 Prompt for Monday, March 3, 2014
Tell us five interesting things about yourself.

1. I'm exceptionally crafty. My husband says I could make arts and crafts from garbage with how creative I am. In fact, I have made crafts with garbage before. Recyclables make for some fun crafts. I love re-using stuff in new and inventive ways.

2. I HATE talking on the phone. I can talk to someone until I'm blew in the face when we're face to face. However, when I'm on the phone I tense up and freak out. I'm working on it...

3. I regret rushing through college. I wish I had taken my time and taken less classes per semester and drawn out the time I was in college.

4. I sometimes want to delete my facebook and twitter accounts. As much as I love attention, there are days I wish no one knew anything about me at all and that I could just escape to a private island with my husband to live. This quickly passes though because being alone too long makes me see how much I need to be around people to stay happy.

5. I'm becoming quite addicted to cooking. I love learning new recipes and then making them.


Want to participate in BlogHer's NaBloPoMo with me? Read more about it HERE.

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