Thrilled to Announce I’ve Been Given the Liebster Award

Amy Miller, also know as the gal behind the website http://vomitingchicken.com/ nominated my website Famous Ashley Grant for The Liebster Award!

This is how she informed me “Hi Famous Ashley Grant! You’re about to get even more famous, because I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award, to promote up-and-coming
blogs! ”

What a cool honor! Thanks bunches Amy!!!!

I found out about Amy Miller’s site via the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. I had mentioned at the beginning of the month that I’m participating in Two Blogging Challenges and although it’s been a little rough blogging daily for these two challenges, I’ve been blown away by the serge in traffic on my sites and have loved interacting with other bloggers as well as reading posts on blogs I never would have known existed. It has ultimately been a blast and I fully intend to participate in more of blogging challenges from now on.

So, what is this Liebster Award thing anyway? Well, since you asked…I pulled this info about The Liebster Award directly from Vomiting Chicken

“The Liebster Award is given to ‘up and coming blogs,’ and encourages the discovery of cool new blogs.

So here’s what is involved:

When you receive the award, you post eleven random facts about yourself and answer eleven questions from the person who nominated you.

Then you pass the award onto eleven other blogs (making sure that you tell them you nominated them) and ask them eleven questions. (One might wonder at the significance of the number “eleven” here, but that would probably be silly.)  You are not allowed to nominate the blog that nominated you!  So here we go:”

Here are 11 random things about me:
1. My Zodiac sign is Leo and it shows. I love attention, am loyal to a fault and tend to leap before looking. I’m wildly ambitious, creative, warm and stubborn.
2. I am deathly afraid of spiders. I have fled houses, pools and even cars to avoid them.
3. I broke my wedding ring finger in sixth grade playing basketball.
4. I was a ballet, jazz and tap dancer in training for about 11 years.
5. I got all the way to a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do and broke several toes during board breaking exercises because my dance training was to always point my toes and in Tae Kwon Do and board breaking you are supposed to flex. Whoops!
6. When I say “I’m the Famous Ashley Grant,” I do in fact want to be famous- I’ve said this a lot though- not Kim Kardashian famous, but more like well known writer famous. The idea of being a celebrity scares me because although I don’t mind being an open book a complete loss of privacy is not okay with me.
7. I have a gambling addiction. It’s something I struggle with daily and am even working on an eBook about. I hope to self publish it via Amazon by the end of the month or at least by May 2013.
8. I want to be a writer, photographer and nomad and make my money with writing and photography while traveling the world. I finally made my dream of being a proBlogger come true- now I just need to become a 6 figure a year earning proBlogger.
9. I’m not ruling the idea of having children out completely but I definitely don’t want kids until I’ve traveled a little more.
10. I’m generally a happy person but have given my trust away too freely and been burned in the past so often have my guard up when I meet new people.
11. I married to the man of my dreams in 2006 and plan to be with him the rest of my life. Amazing things have happened in our relationship while it was raining 😉 He doesn’t like the spotlight so I try to avoid pulling him into it with me.

My answers to the 11 questions asked of me:
1. What is your favorite meal? I’m always willing to eat pizza but when I’m homesick my two favorite meals are eggs sunny side up with biscuits for breakfast and beef pot roast with mashed taters for dinner.
2. Do you believe in space aliens? If so, how would you describe them? I think there is a possibility that aliens exist and they must be smart because they have avoided Earth.
3. How do you keep your house clean?  I don’t! I can’t keep the house clean and see the world at the same time!
4. How do you stay fit when you spend much time at the computer? Again, I don’t 🙁 I tried a diet, lost a bunch of weight and then like a fool went back to my old ways of eating and gained it back. Now instead of focusing on dieting, I’m just walking more and trying to eat healthier foods without getting rid of my favorite things altogether.
5. What’s a dream that you hope to accomplish this year? To make 6 figures a year through writing and taking pictures. So it’s a dream I want to accomplish this year and every year for the rest of my life!
6. Do you own a grand piano?  Do you play an instrument? Nope- no grand piano. I think I can still play the Recorder though.
7. How will you spend your birthday this year? When I sell enough eBooks I hope to go to Europe for 3 months. If  When that happens, I’ll spend it in Europe!
8. What are some of your favorite movies and t.v. shows? Revenge and Burn Notice are my two favorites right now. I’m also getting into The Buried Life. My go to picks when nothing else is on is Law & Order or Law & Order: Criminal Intent on Netflix.
9. What are you reading right now, book and magazine-wise? Book wise- I’m reading Louise L. Hay’s You can Heal Your Life and Magazine Wise I’m reading Woman’s World– It’s my weekly required feel good reading!!!
10. Are you a cat person or a dog person or a gerbil person? Dog and cat person. I want to get a kitten and a puppy at the same time and raise them together. First, I have to move out of my apartment complex though. They charge RENT plus a security deposit for animals. Unreal!!!
11. Do you have a favorite Youtube video that you’d like to share with the class? My go to Youtube video is Funny Cats. No matter my mood, it always makes me happy 🙂

_____________________________________________________________________

And now for my 11 nominations (in no particular order):

1. Bobbie Yvonne Kingsbury at http://fashionauthoritybobbie.wordpress.com/
2. Kristen (Toney) Campbell at http://theroadtodomestication.com/
3. Robert Yaniz at http://www.crookedtable.com/
4. Kathy Dorf at http://www.thestyleref.com/
5. Candace (Braun) Davison at http://www.collegiatecook.com/
6. Holley Sinn at http://hollisphere.blogspot.com/
7. Kim Kindle at http://www.momof3thatskimberly.com/
8. Kathy Widenhouse at http://www.nonprofitcopywriter.com
My last three picks are not up and coming (they are quite established) but I LOVE promoting these gals nonetheless. Besides, that is what the Liebster Award is all about right? Promoting and introducing cool blogs!!!
9. Chris Kuhn at http://www.ckuhntampabay.com/
10. Liza Ford at http://www.addictedtosaving.com/
11. Tracy Ann Guida at http://www.myothercitybythebay.com/

Now for the 11 questions for you all, if you’d like to participate:

1. If you could guest blog for any website, which one would you choose?
2. Who is the person you always go to for advice? Why?
3. What animal do you relate most to? Why?
4. What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?
5. Why did you start blogging in the first place?
6. Where is your favorite place to eat and what do you order there?
7. What’s your favorite cocktail recipe?
8. Peanut Butter or chocolate chip cookies?
9. If there was a pot luck, what dish would you be bringing? Would you make it or buy it?
10. How do you de-stress and decompress?
11.What is your favorite thing to do when it’s raining?

Do you 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 contains links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

How to Make 6 Figures in One Year

money image from salon

I said in a recent post that my goal beginning with this year is to make 6 figures a year annually. Here, now are 10 of my ideas of ways to make 6 figures in one year. At
the end of this list, feel free to add a comment if you have a better
way to make 6 figures in one year or if you would like to chime in about
how crazy/brilliant you think I am in the comments section.

1. Ask 100,000 people for $1 and assume they will give it to me. Or get
really crazy and ask 20,000 people for $5 and assume they will give it
to me 😉
2. Write a book, self-publish on Amazon, at $2 in royalties sell 50,000
copies to have $100,000. Repeat every year for the rest of my working
days. Ok maybe this isn’t the best option but there are loads of great self publishing companies out there that will help you make some money!
3. Promote a product that is at least $100 on Amazon and get 25,000 people to purchase it since I currently get 4% of any purchase as an affiliate.
4. Sell 20,000 items on Fiverr.com. My current offer that is up is to “Paint Your Name Graffiti Style on Canvas for $5
5. Begin stripping in Pasco/Polk County (since someone said I’m too fat
to strip in Hillsborough- long story LOL) for a year hoping to earn
about $274 a night. Mom, if you are reading this- calm down. I’m not
actually going to become a stripper it was just an idea I had for this
list of 10 ways I could make 6 figures in a year!

6. Make a Youtube video and try to make it go viral to make 6 figures. Not sure what the per
view rate would be so I’m not sure how many views I need for a viral
video- but you get the idea 😉 I could always Buy YouTube Subs to subsequently boost my views and bring in those 6 figures!
7. Use Google Adsense on all of my blogs and somehow get enough page
views on them to result in 6 figures. Again, not sure what the per view
rate would be but assuming a penny per view I would need 10,000,000 in
one year.
8. Write 4,000 blog posts for other people at $25 each
9. Work 2,000 hours as a photographer at $50/hr in one year
10. Get 1,000 freelance writing gigs at $100 each in one year. The most
I’ve gotten in one year was 52 gigs at $100/gig, but hey! I didn’t try
as hard as I should have and if I put my mind to it anything is
possible. Right? Right? Crickets? Seriously…was that sound byte really
necessary? Oh, those sounds are in my head? I guess I’m just losing
it…

Maybe I should just meet a millionaire and ask him for $100,000. This is
highly unlikely, but then again I’m very persuasive when I’m motivated
enough to get what I want. Ha!

In all honesty, I’m thinking the one I’ll pursue the hardest to make 6
figures this year is option #2 because I just finished writing my first
eBook and plan to self publish via Amazon this month 😉

Source for image above.

5 Things I Learned from Bridget Marquardt

Bridget Marquardt

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a die hard The Girls Next Door 
fan. Ever since the first episode I watched featuring Bridget Marquardt, Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson I was hooked! Who wouldn’t want a
life of luxury and fantasy that these women got to live?!? I personally
wouldn’t want to be a girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, but I would love the
perks they got from living at the mansion!!!

While watching The Girls Next Door
I learned a lot believe it or not. My favorite girlfriend was and always will be Bridget Marquardt. Why? Well, she was a mass
communications major, I too was a mass communications major. She loves
Halloween, I love Halloween. She loves to dress up and I do too when I
have the money to do so. She likes to party plan and I do as well…the
list goes on and on of things I have in common with this awesome chick.
Of the many lessons I learned watching the show, here are five that
REALLY stuck with me:

1. Never give up on your dreams!
Bridget tested to be in
Playboy
and didn’t get chosen so she went back
to school. However, she didn’t give up on her dream of being in 
Playboy
.
When the opportunity to move into the mansion came up she jumped at the
chance. Not expecting anything from it, she just set out to have fun.
Low and behold though moving in led to the chance to be in the magazine
and she was stunning in every pictorial she was a part of.
2. Age ain’t nothing but a number!
Even over the age of 30 Bridget still had a rockin’ body and got in
Playboy
magazine. Now, I don’t desire to be in Playboy, but as a gal
that is not exactly getting any younger this inspires me! You can be
sexy over 30!
3. Be genuine! In the first
episode Bridget talks about how she was there at the mansion to have fun
and not to see what she could out of it. She was always genuine and the
girls that were fake were weeded out of the mansion. People can tell
when you are just being friendly to use people. Be genuine with people
and your relationships will be deeper and more fulfilling.
4. You CAN eat and look good!
The episode where Bridget prepares for her strip tease and the episode
where she prepares to do a workout video both spoke to me. I’ve
struggled with my weight since high school and it was nice to see
someone who loves food as much as I do could workout in a fashion that
burned off pizza, cake and whatever else she wanted to eat!

This is a twitter exchange I had with Bridget in January about her workout routine nowadays:

5. Once a Dream Comes True, Dream Bigger! You can keep dreaming even after your dreams come true. The end goal of being in Playboy led Bridget to dreaming of being a radio host, hosting a travel show and so much more. I hope that all of my dreams come true and once they do I plan to make new lists of new dreams and go after them too.

Are you a fan of  The Girls Next Door? What are your favorite episodes?!?
Want to get the series on DVD? Click the HERE to get all of the episodes.

Source for the image above.

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.

I’m a Terrible Boy Scout

compass

Yes, I’m fully aware that I’m a girl and that I was in Girl Scouts NOT Boy Scouts, but if I had been a boy in Boy Scouts I probably would have been kicked out. This fact is becoming more and more clear to me lately.
Maybe this was kickstarted by a few nights spent reading over Know Prepare Survive, but the facts remain that I’m useless for this kind of thing! Here is my evidence:

– I am out of shape
– I have no sense of direction
– I can’t tie very good knots
– I chicken out at the site of snakes, spiders, creepy crawlers, etc…
– I have to have an air mattress and a lamp when camping
– I can’t read a compass let alone a map
– I’m not that good with being in the woods without freaking out that something will eat me, kill me, maim me, etc…
– I have no hand eye coordination
– I have gotten lost in my apartment complex three times (including today which is what inspired this blog post)
– You get the idea…

What am I going to do to fix this? Welp, I think it’s high time I work on all of these skills so that I can feel confident not only in a camping situation but also so I’m more confident for survival regardless of my circumstances. With that said, I’m going to begin my “boy scout” training ASAP. I’ll just have to bring my husband along with me because he and I both agreed that if I try to learn survival skills without him there coaching me I’ll probably end up dead. Due to my lack of survival skills, one of my friends said that it’s probably wise that my husband and I consider purchasing some walkie talkies to make sure that we can find each other if one of us gets lost. That’s not a bad idea, we might have to try and find the best walkie talkie in the market to make sure we stay safe when we start “boy scout” training! Apparently, it’s always good to take someone camping with you, just in case anything goes wrong.

If anyone has any tips for me to learn survival skills, that would be greatly respected!

Source for image above

How Do I Get Your Job?

One of the questions I’m asked A LOT is “How Do I Get Your Job?” It’s no secret I LOVE what I do for a living. In my short career as a writer and photographer I’ve gotten to do some pretty amazing things. Meet celebrities, have wild experiences such as jet skiing and parasailing, enjoy the best (and worst) meals of my life and have enjoyed every single minute of being a freelancer! So, I’ve decided to finally answer the question, “How Do I Get Your Job?” by telling you what I did. If you think it will work for you too, feel free to follow my steps. I feel like my tips can be adapted by anyone, no matter what industry they’re wanting to get into. For example, my friend that proof-read this article before I posted it was trying to learn how to get gigs in comedy and she said she had taken a lot of the points on board! However, not everyone is going to agree with me. If not, how do you think I could have done it better?

Step one- decide you actually want what you are after. I had to make the conscious decision that I want to be a freelance writer and photographer for the rest of my life.

Step two- decide who you want to work for and then immediately contact them to find out how to do just that

Step three- annoy the hell out of them until they let you work for them. Okay, this might sound crazy but my persistence is what got me some of my first paid writing gigs. I actually had one client tell me they would give me a story if I would just quit calling and emailing them.

Step four- be on time with every deadline. I have heard from so many of my clients how they have to cease working with writers simply because they don’t turn stuff in on time- some of them don’t even give a reason and worse some of them don’t turn their stuff in at all!

Step five- keep coming up with ideas constantly. One of my gigs dried up because I quit submitting fresh ideas. I fully plan to sit down and brainstorm a big list and try to get this gig back ASAP but I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now and I’m trying to figure out my next move.

Step six- have a back up plan when the chips are down. I started several of my own websites including this one as well as Tampa Bay Freebies, Living the Secret, and We Are Full of Bull simply to keep having a place to write daily. A lot of companies have stopped hiring me because they are short on funds and having my own sites allows me to keep writing and hopefully soon make more money. I’ve signed up for several affiliate programs and adsense in hopes of having my websites make me cash even while I sleep.

That’s really it. I still just knock on doors and make phone calls and send emails when there is some gig I want, I’m persistent and I follow through. I have a back up plan that may ultimately become my plan A if all works out.

As I mentioned recently, my goals are far from complete. My next massive goal for my career is to become a 6-figure earner annually. I will spill the beans in an upcoming post on how I plan to make that goal a reality.

What are your tips for success?

The Way to Make Your Wishes Come True

I’ve been saying to my husband for years that I want to make 6 figures a year. When I say things like this he generally replies with a snarky comment like “I want a Mustang convertible” or “I want to fly to the moon.” I usually reply back with a snarky comment of my own and that’s the end of the conversation.

Last night, however, I had had enough. We ride together because we work in the same building right now and on our way home from work we were chatting together about life and our goals and I once again said “I want to make 6 figures a year by the end of this year.”

Just like always the snarky comments began. I got so mad I just about lost my cool but I forced myself to stay calm and I asked him why when I tell him my goal is to earn 6 figures a year he acts sarcastic like that instead of giving me words of encouragement. What he said back hit me so hard I nearly had to pull the car over (I was driving) because I realized just how right he was.

He said, “You say all these goals and wishes and dreams all the time but you never say HOW you are going to accomplish any of them.”

Whoa! He’s right. I say things like “I wish I was thinner, I wish I was richer, I wish I worked out more often, I wish I cooked more at home, I wish we were debt free, I wish…” but it’s only when I put together a plan for anything that I ever FOLLOW THROUGH.

A goal is just a wish/pipe dream until you have a plan to make it happen. So, today I’m going to sit down and begin brainstorming about HOW I will make 6 figures a year and PLAN it out on paper to make it happen. I’ll break it down into tasks I can accomplish to make my fantasy my reality.

What’s your wish? Make a plan to make it come true!

Warning: This Post is Really Cheesy – Grilled Cheese Month

grilled cheese

Did you know that April is Grilled Cheese Month? Well, according to Woman’s Day, April is “Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month (via Wikipedia). In honor of that I decided to hunt for some grilled cheese recipes.

First I will share how I do grilled cheese 🙂 My absolute favorite way to eat a grilled cheese is with Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup.
I take two ordinary slices of white bread and dollop butter (5 dollops
so it looks like a flower) onto it and broil it in the oven until the
butter melts and the bread is toast then I flip it over and add the
cheese until it melts and then add two more slices of white bread to the
dollop with some more butter onto the top and broil it until the butter
melts and the bread is toasted creating a gooey inside and only semi
crusted outside. I generally dip the sandwiches into the Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup. Nom nom nom!!!

While sitting writing this post someone who works with my husband
inquired as to what I was doing. Excited by the grilled cheese idea he
immediately informed me of his favorite grilled cheese recipe… He gets
two slices Rye bread and adds a little butter to both slices. To that
he adds Muenster Cheese and throws it on a griddle grilling both sides
until the insides are gooey and the outsides are crusty. Thanks Josh for
the recipe!

On Pinterest I
found a recipe for a grilled cheese that became my dinner one night.
Mozzarella and pepperoni on white bread grilled to perfection and then
served with a marinara sauce for dipping. It’s like a mini calzone. So
good!!!

Other recipes include:

Grilled Ham and Cheese

Parmesan Crusted Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Deluxe

Check out dozens of grown-up grilled cheese recipes via the Grilled Cheese Academy

What’s your favorite grilled cheese sandwich recipe?

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.

 

Change Your Name- Get Famous!

 

Change your name and get famous! Okay, it may not happen THAT fast, but it sure does seem like that is the fastest and easiest way to start your path to fame. It’s funny, I started calling myself Famous Ashley Grant because someone dubbed me that and doing this led me to finally getting full time work in my dream job of writing, blogging and taking photos. Hmm, perhaps there is something to this change name and get fame game…

Here are just a few artists that are crazy famous and using names that are not on their birth certificates….

– Curtis James Jackson III (a.k.a. 50 Cent)

– Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G.)

– DeAndre Cortez Way (a.k.a. Soulja Boy)

– Eilleen Regina Edwards (a.k.a. Shania Twain)

– Sean John Combs (a.k.a. Diddy)

– Peter Gene Hernandez (a.k.a. Bruno Mars)

See more stars and their REAL names HERE!

Get your own Hollywood Walk of Fame star HERE for FREE!!!

Celebrities I Share My Birthday With

I was wondering what celebrities I share my birthday with so I looked it up! The one I’m most excited about that I share my birthday with has become my favorite actress lately! Mila Kunis!
Happy Birthday to all you awesome Leos!!!
John Henry “Doc” Holliday (1851)
David Crosby (1941)
Steve Martin (1945)
Danielle Steel (1947)
Stanley McChrystal (1954)
Magic Johnson (1959)
Halle Berry (1966)
Mila Kunis (1983)

….Also found out I share a birthday with Spencer Pratt from The Hills…but he is an alien not a celebrity…so that doesn’t count!

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.


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There is ALWAYS Something to be Thankful For

Today, I’m feeling so very grateful and thankful for my career. In the past five years I’ve gotten to do things and see things I don’t think I ever would have if I had stayed on the path I was on before deciding to become a writer and photographer. In 2005 I was still an education major and believed that my path was to become a high school social studies teacher. I knew I could find a way to be content with it but something always felt off.

Luckily, one of my professors, my art professor in fact, told me she saw me in a different career. She visualized me as a member of the media and suggested I take a mass communications class as an elective. Figuring I had nothing to lose I took Professor Rick Wilber’s Introduction to Mass Communications and fell in love with ALL things media! After that I was done with education and changed my major to Mass Communications with emphasis in Magazine Journalism.

 In February 2007 my very first article was published in the USF Oracle. Since then I have loved every minute of being a writer and photographer. There have been ups and downs but at the end of the day this is everything I could have ever dreamed of and more. I love my job and I look forward to every story I write and every photograph I take! I also look forward to actually becoming The Famous Ashley Grant!

Sure, I’m not 100% where I want to be in my career yet, but I know that if I continue on my current path I will have everything I want and get to keep doing the things I love to do. I do still want to teach, but I think my path will bring me to grad school to teach at the college level and instead of teaching social studies I’ll teach journalism, but that is several years off. I have so much more I want to do before becoming a teacher.

 I will write books, I will write more articles, I will take a crap ton more photos and I will BE the Famous Ashley Grant. I am so thankful I get to do this as my career and I am so grateful that my husband has supported me in my dreams since I decided this would be what I would do for a living!