2018 ACCOMPLISHMENTS LIST

2018 was an EFFING EXCEPTIONAL year, beyond any expectations I had of it, & beyond measure. I began the year feeling hopeful, but also really struggling with depression & anxiety. But due to me taking positive actions to improve my life, my life itself went from “barely getting by”, “surviving”, to me actively creating & shaping the kind of world I wanted to live in, & then beginning to live there. My essay MAGIC HOURS sums these feelings up best, but here is a VERY BIG & comprehensive list of all the things & actions I took & progress I made that took those feelings & made them REAL.

CREATIVITY & BUSINESS

CONCERTS

I saw a whopping 67 BANDS IN CONCERT IN 2018!!! (List in chronological order!)

  1. AJR (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  2. Al Stewart (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  3. Alan Parsons Project (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  4. Alice Merton (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  5. Andrew McMahon & The Wilderness (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  6. Ann Wilson (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  7. The Association (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  8. Bastille (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  9. The Beach Boys (With Special Guest John Stamos) (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  10. Beat Root Revival (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  11. Billy Joel (Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL)
  12. Blackfoot (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  13. Bob Dylan (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  14. Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  15. Brian Wilson (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  16. Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  17. Chicago (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  18. Chuck Negron (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  19. Chvrches (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  20. The Cowsills (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  21. Daryl Hall & John Oates (Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL)
  22. Dawes (Pepsi Center – Denver, CO)
  23. Deborah Bonham (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  24. The Doobie Brothers (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  25. The Eagles (Camping World Stadium – Orlando, FL)
  26. Elle King (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  27. Firefall (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  28. Foreigner (With Rock Symphony Orchestra) (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  29. Foster the People (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  30. Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  31. Greg Kihn (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  32. Jeff Beck (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  33. Jeff Lynne’s ELO/Electric Light Orchestra (Pepsi Center – Denver, CO)
  34. Jimmie Vaughn Trio (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  35. Jimmy Buffet (with special guest Caroline Jones) (Camping World Stadium – Orlando, FL)
  36. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  37. John Fogerty (Coachman Park – Clearwater, FL)
  38. Julian Frampton (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  39. Kandance Springs (Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL)
  40. KC & The Sunshine Band (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  41. LANY (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  42. Lords of 52nd Street (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  43. Lynyrd Skynyrd (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  44. Mark Lindsay (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  45. Michael Tolcher (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  46. Nathanial Racliffe & The Night Sweats (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  47. Panic! At the Disco (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  48. Paul Dowers (Elfers Community Center – Elfers, FL)
  49. Paul Rodgers (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  50. Paul Simon (Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL)
  51. Queensryche (Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL)
  52. REO Speedwagon (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  53. Rick Springfield (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  54. Roy Orbison (HOLOGRAPHIC CONCERT – Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  55. Ryan Kinder (Coachman Park – Clearwater, FL)
  56. Scorpions (Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL)
  57. Steely Dan (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  58. Styx (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  59. Tesla (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  60. The Turtles (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  61. Three Dog Night (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  62. Todd Rundgren (The Capitol Theatre – Clearwater, FL)
  63. Tommy Tutone (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  64. Toto (Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL)
  65. Train (Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL)
  66. Young the Giant (MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL)
  67. ZZ Top (Coachman Park – Clearwater)

FOODS

  • Went the whole month of October without eating any sweets as part of my self-directed NO SWEETS OCTOBER CHALLENGE!
  • Ate five servings of veggies & fruits every day for a month, as part of a FRUITS & VEGGIES challenge I did in August.
  • Tried macarons for the FIRST TIME EVER! Got a pistachio one from a local grocery store.
  • Went to Le Macaron for the first time & tried some AMAZING rose & coffee flavored macarons.
  • DRANK BOBA TEA FOR THE FIRST TIME, at the very wonderful Buttermilk Provisions in Wesley Chapel, FL.
  • Ate my first vegan doughnut ever at the aforementioned Buttermilk Provisions.
  • Made my first smoothie bowl ever (those acai-bowl looking things) & they are AMAZING so I make them a lot now.
  • Ate fried pickles for the first time ever (from Sam’s Beach Bar in Hudson, FL!). Ate them while sitting on the beach in the middle of break from jury duty.
  • Ate a mincemeat pie for the first time (from That Little Bakery Cafe in Elfers, FL!)
  • I have a screened in back porch now, & it’s lovely to sit out there on a warm morning & drink a cup of tea.
  • Got really good frozen yogurt at Sweet Frog.
  • Amazing combo I tried: vanilla white balsamic reduction over vanilla Haagen-Daaz ice cream with organic ribbon-sliced basil (thanks to the back description on the Alessi balsamic reduction for this recommendation!)
  • Tried a cherry mash candy for the first time.
  • Ate raw snap peas for the first time. I also really like to mix them with raw wild tomatoes.
  • Tried tostones for the first time (the lime ones are AMAZING).
  • Tried szechuan for the first time!
  • One of the best products I discovered was the Fat Toad Farm caramel, which is OUT OF THIS WORLD.
  • Decided I liked sparkling water after spending like a decade hating it. Favorite brands? Perrier (obviously), any La Croix in the slim cans (especially the blackberry cucumber one), & Icelandic.

PERSONAL

  • 2018 IS THE YEAR I BEAT MY DEPRESSION. It was clinical, it was scary, I discovered the tools I needed to teach myself how to be happy, I reinvented myself, learned how to be happy, & for the first time in nearly a decade, I AM DEPRESSION FREE. You can read more about that here.
  • Was part of writer & personal development expert Benjamin Hardy’s outstanding AMP Program (originally called 52 Weeks of Momentum) for the entire year. Thanks to this course & the people in it & the things I learned from it & the books I read because of it, I was able to TOTALLY TRANSFORM my life throughout the course of 2018.
  • Although I am usually amazed by & impressed by how much progress I am able to make in a year, 2018 is one for the books when it comes to reinventing myself. I started the year as a depressed & anxious person struggling to survive, & I ended the year as a confident, happy person with so many exceptional & exciting things in the works.
  • Quit the job that was a huge source of unhappiness & stress in my life so I could do a job I enjoyed more, even if the job I enjoy more still isn’t what I ultimately want to do. This was one of the biggest ways I upgraded this year.
  • Donated a HUGE amount of stuff to Goodwill, the Veteran’s Administration, Kidney Foundation, etc, & donated a bicycle to the amazing Eileen’s Place bike shop in Hudson, FL.
  • Got my hair cut short for the first time in a decade, & I love it so much more than having long hair! That was in February, & in September I got it cut even shorter. I LOVE IT.
  • Participated in Lake Jovita’s 5k Reindeer Run with my mom (it was her first 5k!) & won third place for my age category (by default, because I was one of three people in my category)!!! You were encouraged to wear a festive costume, so I dressed as “Indiana Jones, Christmas Tree Wrangler”. Did not win any costume prizes, but EVERYONE knows I had the best costume 🙂
  • Started listening to vinyl albums! We got a record player last Christmas, & I EFFING LOVE THE SOUND OF VINYL. Bought myself a few used vinyl albums, & I have listened to a good number of albums now on vinyl. And there are a whole bunch more of my favorites I’ve never heard on vinyl that I’m super-looking-forward to hearing on vinyl in the upcoming year. It just sounds so warm & wonderful.
  • Best things I discovered this year: Edgar Wright films, Chris Fleming, Todd Rundgren’s A Wizard/A True Star, Melissa Strype, The Mighty Boosh, Noel Fielding, Shrek Retold, Mission Impossible: Fallout, the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, the new-ish Star Trek movies, & watching musicals live.
  • Began investing, more officially, in the stock market & building a portfolio that I’m proud of!
  • Began listening to audiobooks frequently thanks to Hoopla, where I can listen to books for free using my library card! I highly recommend it, & they also have movies, ebooks, & albums!
  • Moved across town to a nice new house!
  • Improved my wealth mindset.
  • Connected with so many amazing, creative, kind, & intelligent people out in the world & by networking with people online.
  • For Halloween, dressed as an owl with flamingos!
  • Bought an AMAZING polka dot jumpsuit so I can be covered head to toe in polka dots. AND I also got a rainbow feather boa, which is so funky & is pretty much the funkiest thing ever when I wear it with my polka dot jumpsuit.
  • Participated in the Hillsborough River Half Marathon, hosted by Endeavor Racing! This was the first marathon event I participated in, I walked it rather than running because I don’t like running, & I had a marvelous time!
  • Bought some more plants, including a really great parlor palm. I’m setting up a mini makeshift plant room in my bedroom!
  • Got a lot more adorable plush animals, including some Geico gecko plush, more plush owls, & a whole bunch of funky plush reptiles & dinosaurs, among other critters!
  • BOUGHT MYSELF A CHICKEN SUIT & A RUBBER CHICKEN, which I have made good use of in my comedy so far 🙂
  • Colored my hair a caramel auburn color, purplish black, dark brown, & probably some other colors I can’t think of right now.
  • FIRST TIMES:
    • Drove a moving truck for the first time! It was a 15′ U-Haul truck, which obviously isn’t big for a truck but the biggest thing I had ever driven prior to that was a Kia minivan, & I my car now is a Smart Car. My mom, who followed behind me in the moving truck (as I drove it by myself, nonetheless) said that I “drove it like I had been born in it”. The first thing I had to do as soon as I started driving it was do a u-turn on the highway, & I swung out enough not to run over the median strip AND managed to also not hit the other side of the road. I got the truck back in one piece & was very proud of myself.
    • Went to a skate park for the first time! Went down some ramps (I still couldn’t do an ollie) which freaked me out & I had a good time.
    • Used my weed eater as an edger in my yard to edge my sidewalks for the first time! I had been using one of these.
    • Got my first root canal! Not something to be proud of, but still an experience in itself. Video coming soon. The dentists all thought I did really well, especially considering I have never even had a cavity filled before.
    • Bought some wigs for the first time, which I use in my comedy videos.
    • Used a drill by myself for the first time to build a bin for my discoid roaches that I breed for my reptiles to live in!
    • Used a Hoover Floormate mop vacuum for the first time.
    • Used regular latex paint (from the paint section of Home Depot) for the first time ever! Got them to mix me up a really gorgeous shade of amethyst purple to paint my gemstone shelf/altar with.
    • Tried on a dress (one I can’t yet afford!) at Nordstorm. It was my first time doing something like this (trying on something really nice). I tried on the INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS Galvan London Clara dress, which was covered in hand-sewn gold sequins. So much fun to think big & think ahead!
    • Went to an At Home store for the first time! They have so much great stuff.
    • Changed the brake pads on my Smart Car for the first time that I’ve done it entirely by myself! (I’ve only ever done it one other time, & I did most of the work then but my dad did help direct me & this time I did it totally alone, & successfully too!)
    • Calculated my net worth for the first time.
    • Began making something I call “mind dump lists” to help organize my thoughts & keep my always-on mind working its best. Article coming soon!

PETS

  • Got my first pet reptiles ever!
  • Went to Repticon (the big reptile expo) for the first time ever!
  • Got 3 crested geckos – Toe Bean, Pinwheel Shark, & Baby Pineapple!
  • Got a pet leopard gecko – Squiggles!
  • Got a pet albino Pac-Man Frog, Frogecoin!
  • GOT A PET MILLIPEDE, which I’ve wanted since I was 10.
  • Got a pet Texas Gold Millipede & 5 pet bumblebee millipedes.
  • Got pet/feeder superworms & have been caring for them for the past 6+ months.
  • Raised a dermastid beetle larvae to an adult.
  • Bought & began raising & breeding discoid roaches to feed to my reptiles & my frog once their colony gets going.
  • Got dwarf isopods (pillbug-looking things) & other things I need for setting up bioactive vivariums.
  • Bought & began raising mealworms to feed to my reptiles.
  • Finally bought a one of those plastic poop scoops for my dog Sparky, which makes cleaning up the yard so much easier & I wonder why I didn’t get one sooner.
  • Bought my guinea pigs an EFFING ADORABLE bumblebee costume (video coming soon!)
  • Switched Moose, Olive, & Oreo (my guinea pigs) & Starlight (my/my sister’s rabbit) to Aspen shaving bedding, which is more cost effective & seems to work as well as the paper CareFresh-style bedding I had been using.
  • Upgraded my betta tank from a 1-gallon with no filter that I had been using for years to a 5-gallon with a nice filter & a heater, & again, it’s another thing that I should have gotten a lot sooner.
  • Upgraded my guinea pigs to eating Oxbow premium guinea pig food instead of the old cheaper brand they had been eating.

READING

  • Read a total of 61 books, up from 57 in 2017.

TRAVEL & EXPERIENCES

  • Traveled to Denver, CO for the first time ever!!! I specifically went there to see Jeff Lynne’s ELO in concert (like how I traveled to Houston, TX in 2017 to see Queen in concert) & had an absolute BLAST, even though I was only there for less than 20 hours in total.
  • Visited Rocky Mountain National Park & drove the entire Trail Ridge Road! This was one of the highlights of my year. The Rocky Mountains are GORGEOUS. I drove through the Arapaho National Forest as I drove from Denver to the Rockies & drove back through Estes Park. The whole area was beautiful, & at the highest point along Trail Ridge Road, I experienced an altitude of more than 11,000 feet! Jogged back to my car at this altitude & felt like I’d run a marathon (that altitude is a lot anyways, especially when you hail from Florida & had only been in Colorado for less than a day, like me!)
  • Tried rocky mountain “oysters” for the first time while I was in Denver, from the Buckhorn Exchange! They were delicious!
  • Toured Alpaca Magic, an alpaca farm & got to pet & feed alpacas for the first time ever! It was my first time seeing an alpaca in real life too. I also got to make a piece of wool out of alpaca fiber, as part of the alpaca farm tour experience & it was SO AWESOME.
  • HELD AN OWL FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! At Tampa Repticon in February of 2018. (Thanks, Friends of Largo Nature Parks!)
  • Picked blackberries for the first time at a farm with my mom (Bob’s Blueberry/Blackberry Farm in Hudson, FL)! We had such a good time & the blackberries were delicious.
  • Toured the awesome Wildlife Survival Sanctuary in Spring Hill, FL & saw tigers, lemurs, mountain lions, tortoises, leopards, & more!
  • Went to a movie theater to watch a film for the first time since I was a young teenager, so probably the first time in 7+ years or so! Went to see Bohemian Rhapsody on its opening night, & it was fantastic!
  • Went to a wind chime making class & made a funky beaded wind chime.
  • Went to Jury Duty for the first time & turned it into something awesome by TOTALLY SEIZING THE MOMENT. Will write an article about this soon!
  • Took the world’s most satisfying nap in my hammock on my screened back porch, after getting up early for an audition. The weather was PERFECT, it was warm & slightly breezy & birds were chirping but the air was quiet like a weekend afternoon.
  • Visited Citrus Mall in Citrus Park, FL for the first time. They’ve got some great shops there!

JANUARY 2019 AT A GLANCE

Highlights: Published my first Udemy course ever, walked a marathon, started learning Spanish, published 1 book, visited the Tampa Museum of Art & got to experience an exhibit by Yayoi Kusama (one of my favorite artists), began releasing 4th album & released two songs from it, released 1 short film, interviewed 1 person for my blog, sat in the front row at a concert for the first time ever thanks to some amazing serendipity, saw 4 concerts, read 7 books, set up my first biactive vivarium for my pet frog, got a new pet betta, designed a new logo for my company, & more!

CREATIVITY & BUSINESS

  • BOOKS: Published Flowers, 3 (a zine, this one of flowers I photographed at the Mercer Botanical Gardens in Humble, TX in 2017).
  • SHORT FILMS: Released “Birth of a Rock Star“, an awesome stop motion/silent animated film with a killer soundtrack by yours truly about an alien creature that crash lands in a strange world.
  • INTERVIEWS: Interviewed guitarist virtuoso Paul Bielactowicz!
  • MUSIC: Began releasing fourth album, “Down Past the Fountains“, which is a previously unreleased album I recorded when I was 16 & really into folk music & Bob Dylan. It was the predecessor to “Fields of Destiny”. I recently rediscovered the album & realized how much I liked it, so I’m putting it out there one song at a time over the span of the next few months! Released two songs from it – “You Can Try, But You’ll Never Own Me” & “Hard Road Blues” (which IMO really really sounds something Bob Dylan would have done, even down to the Dylan-esque harmonica solos). This makes me proud.
  • ART: Released two designs I’m especially proud of, “Valentine Owls” & “I AM EVERYTHING I NEED“. Made a lot of small art projects too & did a lot of things that I felt expressed my creativity in awesome ways.
  • RELEASED MY FIRST UDEMY COURSE EVER!!! “How to Make 3 Styles of Plush Bumbleebees”.
  • Designed a new logo for SHOP Ashlee Craft! It’s never really had an official logo before, & the one I designed is so fun & funky.
  • Helped my mom set up her first Etsy shop, “Amy Craft Studios“. She makes some amazing macrame, which you can check out here!
  • Researched hiring independent contractors, marketing ideas, vaudeville, & circuses, among other things.
  • Working on a really really cool short film! Downloaded the awesome 8mm Film app (for iPhone & possibly other platforms) to use for it, which is so amazing.
  • Did standup comedy at The Improv Comedy Club in Tampa, FL!
  • Made the first one I’ve made since I was a kid of an epic new product I’m launching soon! Also made some more art I will be listing in the near future!
  • Made a handmade pom-pom from scratch (aka without a pom-pom kit) for the first time since I was a kid!
  • Published the first Benjamin the Chicken video on my comedy channel!
  • Conceived & began planning a one-person show.
  • Did my first livestream ever on Instagram – a comedy livestream where I did a short standup set!

CONCERTS

  • Saw Diana Ross at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL.
  • Saw Gladys Knight at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL.
  • Saw Air Supply at the Capitol Theater in Clearwater, FL. Had a seat in the middle of the audience, but through a stroke of completely random good fortune & the kindness of a stranger, ended up sitting in the center of the SECOND ROW. Got to stand up against the stage, got to shake hands with both Russell & Graham, & got two souvenir guitar picks from the two of them. IT WAS OUTSTANDING!!! First front-row seats EVER!
  • Saw America at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL.

 

FOODS

  • TOP 3 FOODS: Sparkling water (especially Blackberry Cucumber La Croix in the slim cans), blue cheese (I wanna put it on almost EVERYTHING), & dark chocolate. Oh, & I’m also going through a yogurt phase.
  • Favorite invention of the month was a “brie burrito”. Recipe coming soon.
  • Ate at Panera for the first time ever! Had a good bacon tomato toasted cheese & a cappuccino 🙂
  • Used a tea pot to make tea for the first time & it tastes SO AMAZINGLY BETTER than just microwaving the water for a bit.

MEDIA

  • STARTED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me) Free Prize Inside (Seth Godin), Relentless* (Tim S. Grover), Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (T. Harv Eker), If You’re Not First, You’re Last (Grant Cardone), The 10x Rule* (Grant Cardone), Level Up Your Life (Steve Kamb), Show Your Work (Austin Kleon), Girl, Wash Your Face (Rachel Hollis), The 4-Hour Workweek (Tim Ferris).
  • FINISHED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me) The Whole30 (Melissa & Dan Hartwig), Mindfrick: Master Your Inner World & Succeed at Anything (T. Harv Eker), Free Prize Inside (Seth Godin), Relentless* (Tim S. Grover), Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (T. Harv Eker), If You’re Not First, You’re Last (Grant Cardone), The 10x Rule* (Grant Cardone). TOTAL: 7
  • WATCHED: (episodes in parenthesis for shows; all others are films; * means rewatches, all others are things I’ve never seen) Pee Wee’s Playhouse (Now You See Me, Now You Don’t), Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Diaper (3, 4, & 5), The Big Lebowski, Shaun of the Dead, Imaginaria*, Austin Power in Goldmember, The Mighty Boosh (Electro), & 555 (Mom). TOTAL: 11
  • ALBUMS I LISTENED TO: (*First time listening to this album!) Listened to Magical Mystery Tour (The Beatles), A Wizard/A True Star (Todd Rundgren), Pet Sounds (The Beach Boys), Highway 61 Revisited (Bob Dylan), Blonde on Blonde (Bob Dylan), Pray for the Wicked* (Panic! At the Disco, & The Hermit of Mink Hollow (Todd Rundgren). TOTAL: 7.
  • First song I listened to in 2019 was my FAVORITE (which has been my favorite for a few months now) – Todd Rundgren’s Just One Victory.
  • But the favorite music video I discovered this month is Mint Royale’s “Blue Song“, featuring one of my favorite comedians ever (Noel Fielding), plus Julian Barratt AND NICK FROST AND IT WAS DIRECTED BY EDGAR WRIGHT.
  • Also, rediscovered the songs Paper Birds by Parachutes & I Want Your Wonderwall, both of which together were a vital song combination for me when I was 18.
  • I also really love the song Feel it Still by Portugal. The Man.

PETS

  • Got a new betta (the first female one I’ve owned!) who I named Amethyst! My sister & I are sharing her. The betta we had before lived for close to three years but passed away at the end of 2018, so we were ready for another betta again.
  • Set up my first bioactive vivarium ever – for Frogecoin, my Pac-Man frog! A bioactive vivarium is a self-sustaining mini-ecosystem involving the use of isopods & other small invertebrates to keep the cage clean & they have a lot of benefits for pet reptiles & amphibians.
  • Got & began using this critter playpen so guinea pigs & rabbit can have more safe time out of their cages, even when I’m not able to supervise them.
  • Sparky, my Boston Terrier/Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix, turned 9 years old!
  • Got a free aquarium that’s somewhere between 15 & 25 gallons I think that someone was giving away!

PERSONAL

  • WALKED A MARATHON without any training. First marathon I’ve both attempted & completed. Super proud of myself for this one, & a video & some blog posts on this topic are coming soon!
  • Began learning Spanish (again; I learned some last year but then fell off the bandwagon; this month I got back on!)
  • The first person I paid this year was myself, & the first person I worked for this year was myself.
  • I’m part of Benjamin Hardy’s AMP mastermind group this year too!
  • Began using the gamified to-do list app Habitica & it has been seriously been a productivity & organization game-changer, & it is seriously SO FUN.
  • Got rid of a good number of clothes & some knickknacks that I did not enjoy owning! Also worked more on sorting & organizing photos from my phone. Also improved (by embellishing or painting or changing in some way) several other “belongings of conflict” that it always bothered me that I owned because I thought they were bland even though they had cute, redeeming qualities about them. More on “belongings of conflict” coming soon!
  • Made my amazing dream trash can for my bedroom, which can be described as “yellow round trash can with sharks & rainbow gemstones”.
  • Painted & put adorable stickers on my new custom light switch plate cover, which I installed in my bedroom!
  • Told my mom I wanted to see Les Miserables live this year. Ended up seeing billboard for Les Miserables while out & about, just a few hours later!
  • Finally cleaned up one half of my bedroom, put stuffed animals on top shelf of closet, & decorated room more!
  • Began using a daily exfoliating facial cleanser, which I think has improved my skin!
  • Put my entire enamel pin collection up on the pin bulletin board I decorated!
  • Experimenting with taking the brain health supplement GABA to compliment the L-Theanine I’ve been taking for a long time.

THINGS I PURCHASED

  • Power-scented dog fragrance for Sparky
  • Lots of SUPER ADORABLE clearance Christmas ornaments
  • A GIANT YELLOW POM POM (like 6″ diameter)
  • A pink blown glass stegosaurus ornament
  • A winter TY Beanie Baby owl plush (one I don’t have for my collection of TY owls!), which I was prepared to pay $7 for but when it got run up it was on clearance for $1.74!
  • Mini burgers & sausages meant for dogs, for Sparky (for his 9th birthday!)
  • Bought so many effing adorable sloth/dinosaur/alligator & more themed Valentines things in that amazing cheap colorful front section at Target!
  • A FLUFFY RAINBOW ALPACA.
  • Valentines reusable bags which read “Peas be my Valentine. I carrot lot about you.” with effing adorable peas & carrots on them 🙂
  • FINALLY purchased one of artist CatRabbit’s INCREDIBLY PRECIOUS egg breakfast plate pins. Check them out here.
  • Got two more dinosaur Pez dispensers for my collection that I didn’t have yet!
  • A GIANT YELLOW POM POM PILLOW to match my other “GIANT POM POM”.

TRAVEL & EXPERIENCES

  • Went to the Tampa Museum of Art for the first time & saw the outstanding YAYOI KUSAMA (!!!!!!!!) exhibit – “Love is Calling, which is one of her famed “infinity rooms”, which was SO SO SO EFFING GREAT. I LOVE immersive art, multimedia, & hyper-realities. Yayoi Kusama has been one of my favorite artists for years, & this was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to see her work in person. Of course I wore my polka dot jumpsuit there! 😀 Also saw an exhibit from Robert Indiana & got to stand in front of one of the iconic “LOVE” sculptures.
  • Saw the play “Spamalot” at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the first time. I had never seen Spamalot before but I EFFING LOVE IT. It’s such a hilarious play. I love me some British comedy & Monty Python is just brilliant. There was no one on either side of me for 5+ seats & no one directly in front of me (I was in the very back row!) so I was just chillin’ & enjoying the show. My favorite scene ever is the “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” scene & I loved the “Find Your Grail” song.
  • Went to a new Goodwill store for the first time & bought an awesome electric yellow blouse.
  • Sat on the back porch with my dog & my sister on a trampoline on a breezy day & we just talked & it was great.
  • Saw a truck that said “POPCORN REMOVAL” on the side of it & I LOVE that idea.
  • Saw three cows with standing with their foreheads together in a field alongside the road, like friends.
  • Went to the Container Store for the first time! THEY HAVE SO MUCH COOL COLORFUL STUFF! Bought 20 yellow hangers, which is what I went there for because I need more hangers for my closet & I have standards so I would only accept YELLOW hangers. Yellow hangers were super hard to find & The Container Store was one of the few places with any decent price I could find them at.

Guest Post from “Homeless for the Holidays” Author PeggySue Wells!

We’ve got a guest post today from PeggySue Wells, author of an awesome new Christmas story that I had the pleasure of being on the launch team for!

Homeless for the Holidays by PeggySue Wells & Marsha Wright

Available October 8, Homeless for the Holidays, is the hope-filled novelization of a film with the same name, based on the real life experiences of producer George Johnson. Unemployed, Johnson penned the screenplay in three weeks. Though the usual budget for a film like this is $1.5 million, George kept costs to $30 thousand. Expecting fifty people might show, open auditions were announced in the Auburn, Indiana newspaper. Eight hundred actor hopefuls auditioned. All together, there were five hundred people in the cast.

The film featured local residents including media personalities who played themselves in the scene where main character, Jack Baker, opened his front door to find his cul-de-sac filled with television and radio crews. In the media crowd was Marsha Wright, Johnson’s friend who loaned her house—decorated for Christmas—as the setting for the Baker family home. Marsha agreed to novelize the story, inviting author, PeggySue Wells, into the writing process.

rawpixel / Pixabay

“A screenplay tells a story in 120 minutes,” PeggySue said. “A book allows the author to tell a far longer, embellished tale. Writing from a screenplay is akin to receiving a newly constructed home on a bare lot and having the freedom of an unlimited budget to decorate and landscape.”

Drawing from seasons she experienced growing up, and as an adult, when employment and finances were less than adequate, PeggySue added the between-the-scenes details of what life could look like as a family faced an extensive period of unemployment. She shared the completed manuscript with folks who had been unemployed and homeless, adding what she learned from them to the manuscript.

PeggySue’s  favorite character in Homeless for the Holidays is the Baker’s son, Adam. The mother of seven, she mined Adam’s sense of humor and quick wit from quips made by her own young adults. The generous review provided by The Christmas King, Richard Paul Evans, made her heart happy.

“The world needs hope more than advice,” PeggySue observed. “Throughout Homeless for the Holidays hope shines bright.”

2018 WEEK 21 :: ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATE

What I did the week of May 20 – 26 to make my life AWESOME.

jill111 / Pixabay

  1. Published 2 YouTube videos.
  2. Painted the rest of the illustrations for my Perfect Day book.
  3. Finished the first round of edits on my Epic Florida Road Trip Book! Started round 2 of edits.
  4. Improved my morning routine.
  5. Made 3 Instagram posts.
  6. Thought about & brainstormed how to be more of a giver in business.
  7. Published 1 blog post!
  8. Finished reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly & Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. Began reading Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking (not a smoker, but I’ve heard it’s an amazing book about understanding addiction in a general sense).
  9. Drew 1 new design.
  10. Committed to changing my life for real, because I’m fed up with things always being the same.
  11. Moved forward in my shorts I am designing.
  12. Looked into how to make my sticker app work because the Bundle ID allegedly doesn’t match (any ideas on how to fix this would be AWESOME!)
  13. Worked on new gift box product.
  14. Made a new, much more inspiring goal list for this year.
  15. Connected with 2 new people!
  16. Went blackberry picking with my mom at Bob’s Blueberry/Blackberry Farm in Hudson, FL! It was so much fun & the blackberries were DELICIOUS!

2018 WEEK 20 :: ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATE

What I did the week of May 13 – May 19 to make my life amazing.

JuergenPM / Pixabay

  1. Published 2 blog posts.
  2. Published 2 YouTube videos.
  3. Moved my crested geckos (Toe Bean, Baby Pineapple, & Pinewheel Shark) into their new enclosures! Built their new enclosures & set everything up in them.
  4. Edited a lot more of my road trip book.
  5. Made 4 Instagram posts.
  6. Made a mockup version of a charity t-shirt I designed & sent it to the charity to see if they were interested in using it.
  7. Connected with 1 new person
  8. Worked on editing images for my upcoming 101 Ways to Love Yourself Udemy course.
  9. Saw The Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan in concert at the MidFlorida Credit Union Ampitheater!
  10. Made 3 illustrations for my Perfect Dat book, including the cover. Started painting the illustrations to color them in.
  11. Researched pet reptiles.
  12. Wrote 3 poems.

2018 WEEK 19: ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATE

What I did the week of May 6 – 12 to make my life awesome.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

  1. Made 5 blog posts.
  2. Published 1 YouTube video (Episode 046 of The Ashlee Craft Show)
  3. Recorded a new song for my upcoming album!
  4. Posted 4 Instagram photos.
  5. Looked into getting better bin cages for my three crested geckos! Researched this idea & learned how to make them.
  6. Edited more of my upcoming Epic Florida Road Trip book!
  7. Improved more of my Shopify store as part of my remodeling of it. Finished adding all current products to the new, more specific categories!
  8. Drew 8 illustrations for my upcoming book.
  9. Listened to The Beach Boys album “Endless Summer” on vinyl for the first time.

2018 WEEK 18: ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATE

What I did the week of April 29 – May 5 to make my life awesome.

cocoparisienne / Pixabay

  1. Decided to live my life by this idea: “If I were living an exceptional life, would I do this?”
  2. Finished writing & PUBLISHED a new book – 50 Adorable Moose Facts!
  3. Cleaned a lot in my house to get ready for moving & to become more of a minimalist.
  4. Colored 3 pages worth of the illustrations for my upcoming Apple iMessage sticker app! Edited the images & began working on app.
  5. Published 2 YouTube videos (Episode 045 of The Ashlee Craft Show & a video of my dog eating a taco) using my new microphone, so the sound quality is much better!
  6. Watched Jim Rohn’s The Art of Exceptional Living
  7. Looked up some prices for travel plans I have for this year.
  8. Made a big list of goals for this year, a really nice updated one!
  9. Researched best disinfectants for reptile cages other than bleach.
  10. Did research on some more pet reptiles I’m interested in getting.
  11. Made 2 Instagram posts.
  12. Made 1 illustration for my upcoming book.
  13. Did a lot of editing on my Epic Florida Road Trip Book.
  14. Saw Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, Blackfoot, Jimmie Vaughn, & Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert at the MidFlorida Credit Unit Ampitheatre.
  15. Worked on updating my Shopify store with new product categories!

2018 WEEK 17: ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATE

What I did the week of April 22 thru 28 to make my life AMAZING.

Schwoaze / Pixabay

  1. Worked a lot on revamping & expanding my Shopify store. Shoutout to the Shopify plugin Buddha MegaMenu for allowing me to make sub-sub-categories for my menu!
  2. Came up with a great idea for a new sticker app, which you’ll hear about soon! Drew all the stickers for it!
  3. Drew more illustrations for one of my upcoming books!
  4. Drew 1 new design & numerous illustrations.
  5. Made 5 Instagram posts.
  6. Practiced being more sociable, opening up to people more, & not over-monitoring what I’m doing when interacting with people (that’s been a big problem of mine for a long time).
  7. Helped my mom harvest vegetables from our yard. They were so good!
  8. Cleaned & organized all my craft supply bins to make it easier for me to find them.
  9. Had fun running around inside Life.
  10. Saw Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy & Alan Parsons Project in concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall!

2018 WEEK 16 :: ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATE

artyangel / Pixabay

  1. Thought a lot about how to make life more fun & how to live by fun as a principle.
  2. Worked a lot on revamping my Shopify store by doing a MAJOR redesign & expansion of the categories to prepare for TONS OF NEW PRODUCTS we’re adding soon!
  3. Published 2 YouTube videos (Episode 043 of The Ashlee Craft Show & a video about my first time at the skatepark).
  4. Made 5 Instagram posts.
  5. Wrote 3 poems.
  6. Published 1 blog post.
  7. Made list of marketing ideas.
  8. Researched some new cool things I’d like to get more into & add to my repertoire.
  9. Researched “shadowbanned” Instagram hashtags so I can avoid them.
  10. Went to a skatepark for the first time & got awesome footage for a video!

2018 WEEK 15 :: ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATE

What I did the week of April 8 – 14 to make my life awesome.

manfredrichter / Pixabay

  1. Published 2 YouTube videos (an episode of The Ashlee Craft Show & the first video in my Produce Exploration series, about Rome Apples). Made video intro for Produce Exploration show.
  2. Learned & did tons of research on dropshipping. Brainstormed a ton of ideas about things I want to try with this & new ideas for products. Read the Shopify dropshipping guide.
  3. Made list of companies I can do illustrations for.
  4. Made 1 new design
  5. Ordered the free Shopify card chip reader that plugs into your phone so soon I can sell things in person & not just online.
  6. Wrote & published 1 blog post.
  7. Connected with 1 new person!
  8. Made 4 Instagram posts.
  9. Added 24 new products to SHOP Ashlee Craft & released 1 new design on Society6.
  10. Sent out one marketing newsletter to my email list.
  11. Planned a new book I’m working on.
  12. Bought another awesome enamel pin from PinPartyPost for my enamel pin collection.
  13. Made 1 art collage.
  14. Sent an illustration to one person I want to connect with to add value to them & sent them a friend request.
  15. Bought some stuff I needed in order to make some new products I’ll be releasing soon!
  16. Saw Jimmy Buffet + The Eagles concert at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL.
  17. Cleaned a lot in my house to get closer to my minimalism goals, including 85+ books to donate.