MARCH 2019: AN EPIC MONTH IN REVIEW

OVERVIEW: Published one book, went on an epic Everglades mini-road trip, went on a “slough slog” in the Everglades, walked two famous Everglades trails, tried alligator meat for the first time, released three songs, published one short film, got my art displayed in a public place for the first time, released an unofficial commercial for Bugles, went to the Florida Strawberry Festival for the first time ever, tried world-famous strawberry shortcake, went on my first roller coaster ever, rode on a Dumbo ride for the first time, saw 8 bands in concert, tried shaved ice for the first time, read 11 books, paid off a credit card, bought my first marionette puppet ever, & MUCH MORE.

CREATIVITY & BUSINESS

  • BOOKS: Published Charlie the Churro. TOTAL: 1. // Began writing several more books.
  • SHORT FILMS: Released “The Power of Music & Food”, a short film featuring Shorty, my new giraffe marionette!
  • INTERVIEWS: Did a podcast interview with magician & life coach Jason Gardner!
  • MUSIC: Released three songs (I Know it Takes a Lot; The Daylight Savings Song; I Tried in the Night).
  • ART: Released several new designs on SHOP Ashlee Craft, including “Neverland Rebel”, “Lucky Clovers”, “My Happy Place – Mrs. Tiggywinkle”, “Norwegian Lundehunds are Special & Magical”, “You Have What it Takes” dancing sloth, “I Love Myself” Sloth, Horned Owl Scientific Name design, & “I Hope Something Really Wonderful Happens for You Seen”.
  • My art is displayed in a public place for the first time!!! This has been a huge goal of mine for a long time! My mom & I have our art displayed in a case at the New River Library in Wesley Chapel, FL! It features 3 of my books (Five Senses: The Nature Box Book, Sally the Kiwi, & Owls), two macrame pieces from Amy Craft Studio (my Mom’s Etsy shop!), plush owls & bees (including all the plush bees from my plush bees course, now with more than 550 students on Udemy!), a mini owl canvas, an original painting, a copy of my I BELIEVE poster, a macaron print, Life is My Playground pins, & a customized cupcake denim jacket! You can see a photo of it here.
  • Published a cute vintage-style unofficial “commercial” I filmed about Bugles snacks!
  • Wrote 15 poems.
  • Inspired by Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist, I began this awesome “Swipe File” on Pinterest! I’ll be posting images of things that inspire me & that I keep in mind when creating my own art projects.
  • Put out a video finally detailing my experience with doing my first book signing & vending my first event ever!
  • Applied for some more acting jobs!
  • Began some new marketing campaigns.
  • FUN FACT: As of March 14th, I have published a total of 91 BOOKS!
  • Played around with some new marketing things, including more advertising.
  • Went through my script for my first official music video & did pre-production work on it for the first time!

CONCERTS

Total: 8

  • Saw Willie Nelson & Family in concert at the Wish Farms Soundstage in Plant City, FL at the Strawberry Festival!
  • The Drifters at the Wish Farms Soundstage in Plant City, FL at the Florida Strawberry Festival!
  • The Coasters at the Wish Farms Soundstage in Plant City, FL at the Florida Strawberry Festival!
  • The Platters at the Wish Farms Soundstage in Plant City, FL at the Florida Strawberry Festival!
  • Steve Miller Band at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL!
  • Bobby Lee Rodgers at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL!
  • Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL!
  • Sunny Sweeney at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL!

FOODS

  • TOP 3 FOODS: Orange juice over ice, chocolate in general, & SPARKLING WATER.
  • TRIED ALLIGATOR MEAT FOR THE FIRST TIME! While I was on my Everglades day trip this month, I stopped by the Everglades Alligator Restaurant in Homestead, FL, & tried some! It tastes kind of like chicken but a little more like a seared sea scallop, & the restaurant was so cute! I sat by the big adorable alligator sculpture out front to eat mine.
  • TRIED SHAVED ICE FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!!! I have been wanting to try shaved ice for such a long time & I’d never had any before because things just never worked out so I was able to get any, any time shaved ice was available somewhere I was. I finally got some when I went to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, FL! I GOT BIRTHDAY CAKE FLAVORED SHAVED ICE & IT WAS YELLOW & IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!
  • Tried some of the “World-Famous” Strawberry Shortcake at the Strawberry Festival & it was LITERALLY THE BEST.
  • Drank a McDonalds Frappe for the first time ever! Also got fries. The Frappe was awesome & I had a really great & positive experience with the service there, which I wrote about here.
  • Put Reese’s Peanut Butter Spread on top of some squares of a dark chocolate bar & IT WAS EPIC.
  • Ate Hormel canned beef tamales for the first time!
  • Ate a Sumo Citrus for the first time!
  • Ate a “Sweet Griller Pepper” for the first time!
  • Particularly good lunch: roast chicken lunch meat roll ups on soft tacos with pepper mayonnaise with chocolate cookies for dessert.
  • Tried the Lindor Orange Dark Chocolate truffles for the first time!
  • My mom made grits & they were so good that it was the only time I’ve ever actually enjoyed eating grits. Congratulations, Mom! (Also I put crushed Lays chips on them).
  • My dad made a really awesome apple crisp & I loved it!
  • The best thing my dad made though were chicken breasts that he grilled with just olive oil & salt. SERIOUSLY AMAZING CHICKEN!
  • Ate Haribo Fruit Salad gummy candy for the first time!
  • Bought a honey mango that was shaped like a Peep.
  • Tried Chauo Bacon chocolate for the first time & it is SERIOUSLY some of the best chocolate! Been waiting to try this one for a VERY LONG TIME.
  • Tried Wensleydale cheese for the first time!
  • Tried Jarritos Cane Sugar Soda for the first time!
  • Tried birch beer for the first time & it was really good!
  • Went to Chili’s for the first time ever! Tried a queso burger & it was really good!
  • Ate really good smoked cheese & smoked pork that kind of formed a salt crust along with turtle pie & some smoked grilled peppers!
  • Tried Talenti Caramel Crunch gelato for the first time!
  • Drank Gatorade G2 Raspberry Lemonade for the first time!
  • Tried Yasso PB & Yay Frozen Yogurt for the first time!
  • Drank La Croix’s kiwi watermelon sparkling water out of fancy glassware.
  • Ate a Boston Cream Custard iced doughnut with SO MANY SPRINKLES at Target, which is the first Target doughnut I’ve eaten & it was really good! & did I mention I LOVE SPRINKLES?
  • Tried Tastycake Scoop Shop Cookies & Cream mini doughnuts for the first time!
  • Great lunch: baked sweet potato with steak sauce, grilled chicken with steak sauce, chipotle gouda cheese slices, & chocolate from a Christmas countdown (Despicable Me minion-shaped chocolate, no less!)

MEDIA

  • STARTED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me) Manifest Your Destiny (Wayne Dyer), The 5 Love Languages (Gary Chapman), Feel the Fear…And Do it Anyways (Susan Jeffers), The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle), #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, & Self-Awareness (Gary Vaynerchuk), What If? (Randall Monroe), The Millionaire Next Door (Thomas J. Stanley), Mindfulness (Ellen J. Langer), Meatball Sundae (Seth Godin), Born Standing Up (Steve Martin), Your Best Year Ever (Michael Hyatt)
  • FINISHED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me): The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process & Achieve Your Wildest Dreams (Tommy Baker), An Audience of One (Srinivas Rao with Robin Dellabough), The Lessons of History (Will & Ariel Durant), The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey), Manifest Your Destiny (Wayne Dyer), The 5 Love Languages (Gary Chapman), The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle), #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, & Self-Awareness (Gary Vaynerchuk), The Millionaire Next Door (Thomas J. Stanley), Mindfulness (Ellen J. Langer), Meatball Sundae (Seth Godin) Total: 11 (Up from 11 in February)
  • WATCHED: (episodes in parenthesis for shows; all others are films. * means re-watches; all others are things I’ve never seen). The Umbrella Academy (Run Boy Run, Extra Ordinary, Man on the Moon, Number Five, The Day That Wasn’t, The Day That Was, I Heard a Rumor, Changes, The White Violin), Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy (Phone Cake), Extraordinary Interiors (S1:E1), Arrested Development (Family Leave, Self Deportation, Everyone Gets Atrophy), The Office (Dunder Mifflin Infinity, Launch Party) Total: 16 (Up from 11 in March)
  • ALBUMS I LISTENED TO: (*First time listening to this album!): How Strange, Innocence (Explosions in the Sky), Don’t Forget (Demi Lovato), You Never Walk Alone (BTS)*, Destroyer (KISS)*, Enema of the State (Blink-182)*, Musas (Natalia Laforcade)*, Healing (Todd Rundgren)*, Bitches Brew (Miles Davis)*, A Wizard/A True Star (Todd Rundgren), Let it Bleed (The Rolling Stones)*, Dream Wife (Dream Wife), Let Go (Avril Lavigne)* Total: 12 (Down from 14 in February)
  • Favorite songs this month: Feel it Still by Portugal. The Man, I Want Your Wonderwall, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking Theme Song, I Can Fly by Rainey, I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany, & Paper Birds by Parachutes.

PETS

  • Began using some new hot spot healing gel on Sparky to see if it helps his chronic skin problems.
  • For Sparky, I switched him over to the PureBalance Salmon & Pea Dog Food, & he likes it! I like that it’s a good value dog food, & from what I researched, also very good quality.
  • Switched Frogecoin, my Pac-Man Frog, over to a staple diet of nightcrawlers & my frog LOVES them! Set up a worm bin for nightcrawlers before eventually getting nightcrawlers that must be kept in my fridge for temperature reasons.

PERSONAL

  • SAW AN ARMADILLO IN MY YARD & IT WAS AWESOME!
  • Planned my travel for this year!
  • Had a really bad flare up of my seasonal allergies this year, complete with having a fever for almost a week & coughing for about two weeks. I took it easy, I rested a lot, the allergies calmed down outside, & I feel back to normal now!
  • Went to a brand new Hobby Lobby store & got some great new t-shirts & cute sculptures!
  • Researched a lot of logistics for making a lot of my big goals happen & pitched some people for big ideas.
  • Planted watermelon seeds from a little kit I got!
  • Implemented a new system for organizing my inbox that I think will really make organizing it more efficient! Article about this will come eventually after I’ve tested it more.
  • Put on a glitter temporary tattoo of a cute French Fry & it was a lot of fun! I got these at the dollar store.
  • Put new wind shield wiper blades on my car for the first time ever! (First time my car has had new wipers since I got it, & also my first time putting any wiper blades on any car).
  • Set up another bookshelf in my garage, this one for storing & organizing some extra books that I want to keep & be able to look at, but don’t have room for in my house! (I have a TON of books, BTW, & I probably get at least a few new ones each month – I read & re-read them all!). Unpacked one box of books onto this new shelf & organized them.
  • Got some samples & supplies at the hardware store for some projects I am working on.
  • Cleaned up & organized a lot more items in my home, especially in my art area. Shredded & recycled a lot of stuff I don’t need.
  • Set up a set of plastic storage drawers in my bedroom for organizing my jewelry! Put hair accessories/suspenders/necklaces in one drawer, earrings in the next, & bracelets in the last!
  • Paid off one of my credit cards!
  • Did a lot of lying on my dog’s trampoline with him on the back porch, snuggling with him & looking up at the trees & the sun.
  • Realized I wasn’t shy as a child, it was just a mask I put on over time.
  • While cleaning off my desk, I found both a black & a yellow ink cartridge for my printer, both of which I needed, & both of which I dreaded having to buy. Thank you, Universe!
  • Sold stock for the first time & profited some by doing so!
  • Used iron-on patches to fix clothes for the first time!

THINGS I PURCHASED

  • Bought two new cacti! A Prism cacti & an Aalto cacti!
  • Bought a croton plant!
  • Bought a red triceratops Hot Wheels, which is one I don’t have yet for my collection!
  • FOUND AN ALLIGATOR HOT WHEELS CAR for the first time ever, the day after I got back from my Everglades trip, of all times. IT IS SO CUTE.
  • Bought a cute card with rabbits on it that I will use as a wall decoration for Easter!
  • Discovered the glorious feeling of purchasing used paperbacks on Amazon, which are often cheaper even than the Kindle versions of many books!
  • BOUGHT A BROWN + GLITTERY TY BEANIE BABY PLATYPUS & IT IS THE CUTEST. It makes me so happy!
  • Bought some amazing plastic magnets from a booth at the Strawberry Festival! I got an orange sting ray, a colorful lollipop, & a flamingo! It was raining the day I went & the booth hadn’t had many customers, so the guy running the booth was really grateful that I had come to buy some stuff.
  • Bought my first marionette EVER, named Shorty the Giraffe, from the MOST MAGICAL little booth ever (Omar Industries Puppets’ Marionette booth at the Strawberry Festival – see below under “Travel & Experiences” for more details!).
  • Bought some new lemon-print shorts!
  • Got a new paint brushes (which is always a nice feeling!)
  • Bought two new plastic storage tubs for organizing my holiday decorations in my garage!
  • Bought yellow & pink fuzzy Easter chicks at the craft store!
  • Bought an awesome colorful set of hair bows, including a silver sparkly one, one with little rainbows, & more!
  • Bought yellow & pink Lego’s, novelty socks that say “smooth snailing” & have a picture of a snail wearing a captain’s hat, novelty socks with flamingos wearing necklaces & high heels, novelty socks with fuzzy sloths, novelty socks with four-leafed clovers on them, a paint-able plaster snail, & sea green Crayola bath paint (which I then used for the first time, that night to paint an owl & a dinosaur in the shower) at Target!
  • Bought a tiny plush sloth & a tiny purple plush alpaca at Target also!
  • Bought a mini red ceramic dish, neon yellow & pink sequins, fruit-shaped rubber stamps, a cacti-shaped rubber stamp, & adorable fabric featuring owls, one featuring flamingos, & one featuring pineapples!

TRAVEL & EXPERIENCES

  • WENT ON A DAY TRIP TO THE EVERGLADES TO DO A “WET WALK” or “SLOUGH SLOG”, which I’ve wanted to do for 2+ years, ever since I was preparing for my Epic Florida Road Trip. It was such a special & fun & educational experience. I drove the 5+ hours there & back in the same day. While I was in the Everglades, I also walked the Gumbo Limbo & Anhinga Trails, both of which are famous trails in the Everglades that I didn’t get to do the first time I visited. Oh, & I must note that I arrived at the place to do the wet walk tour just two minutes before the tour started, so I was really lucky on time! The whole trip though was fantastic. Tried alligator meat for the first time ever at the Everglades Alligator Restaurant in Homestead, FL! 
  • WENT TO THE FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!!!! The fair is such a freaking magical place, kind of like a hyper-reality almost, because it’s this magical world that exists as part of the actual, “normal” world. Took so many photos of magical things. It looked so magical, especially when everything was lit up at night. Skipped across the grounds. Tried the World Famous Strawberry Shortcake. Saw strawberry plants & their little setup showing an example of a strawberry farm, including tiny baby green strawberries & huge tractors! Went into the animal barn & got to see a bunch of cute rabbits, chickens, & SHEEP WEARING SWEATERS!!!!! Got to see the strawberry mascots! Listened to Mint Royale’s Blue Song on the way home & it was perfect.
  • Saw the Pompeyo Family dog show at the Strawberry Festival! The dogs did some really cool tricks, & they were all so adorable & smart! So many poodles!
  • Saw a pig race from Robinson’s Racing Pigs for the first time at the Strawberry Festival! They raced four types of pigs, including some cute potbellied pigs that jumped into a pool & swam across, BABY PIGS, & totally adorable young wild boars (including a really cute spotted one!).
  • WENT ON MY FIRST ROLLER COASTER EVER! The biggest “roller coaster” I’ve been on previously was the dragon-shaped kids’ one that they usually have at fairs. I went on the biggest regular car roller coaster-style coaster that I’ve seen at the fair, at the Strawberry Festival. It was really fast & super fun!
  • At the Strawberry Festival, I went through a fun house that I think has to be my favorite ever – a Jurassic Park-themed one with dinosaurs painted all over the outside! I LOVE fun houses & this one was amazing. It had so many different things to walk through, rollers you walked over, platforms to jump across, ladders & stairs to climb, one of those spinning tunnels you have to jump through without falling, & a big slide at the end. It had so much stuff to it & I LOVED that it was dinosaur-themed.
  • Rode around in a gigantic spinning strawberry ride at the Strawberry Festival!
  • Rode in a tiny yellow helicopter (a ride, not a real helicopter) at the Strawberry Festival!
  • RODE ON A DUMBO RIDE FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!! Seriously, I was so excited about this. I’ve wanted to ride a Dumbo ride ever since I was like three, but I’ve never been to Disney (GASP! Say all the Floridians) & I had never been on one. I got to ride on a purple elephant & I made it fly as high as it could the whole time & it was so magical & so fun!!!!!
  • Discovered the most MAGICAL little booth ever at the Strawberry Festival: Omar Industries’ Puppets. Warm light spilled out into the darkness from a miniature room. On either side of the doorway, there were lit boxes with yarn marionettes magically dancing. I had seen the booth earlier, but didn’t want to buy anything until I was about to leave the fair. I knew before I even walked into the booth that I was going to buy a marionette. As I walked up, the guy in the booth showed me one of the multiple marionettes he was carrying around – a raccoon – & made it go over to a tiny food bowl, toilet, & more as he talked about “how to care for your marionette”, as though they were real animals. It was awesome. After looking around the booth & trying one of the marionettes, a giraffe one caught my eye. The guy at the booth really wanted me to remember what he had named the giraffe (Shorty, the star of my recent short film!) & in general seemed to be such an awesome person who really, really cares about marionettes. Super magical. I will totally get more marionettes from this business again! And I LOVE Shorty the Giraffe. It was just a super-magical experience.
  • Watched a 4-H animal show for the first time! Watched one age class of young sheep being judged & it was interesting! I had no idea what was happening, & I walked in in the middle of the show, so I pretended I knew what was happening.
  • Saw the biggest block of cheese I have ever seen!!! Walked up to the booth & said, “I just gotta know…how much does that cheese block weigh?” The guy said it weighed 40 pounds! (The kind of questions I have to ask…)
  • Went on a local “Tour of Homes” & toured some really nice houses (worth $500k – $1.5 million!), the type that it’s my goal to live in in the future!

FEBRUARY: MY MONTH REVIEW

OVERVIEW: Got to meet Art Garfunkel thanks to some glorious serendipity, published two books, released two songs, put out a new comedy video, saw 4 concerts,went to the Florida State Fair for the first time, milked a cow for the first time, rode a camel for the first time, finished revamping all my online store listings,  did my first cartwheel, got to pet cows, sheep, lambs, a donkey, & a burro for the first time, & more!

CREATIVITY & BUSINESS

  • BOOKS: Published 2 books – Ashlee Craft/Assemblage, Issue 14 & Moles (Wonderful Wildlife #9)Began on a new poetry book & Fallon the Wizard, Book 2.
  • MUSIC: Released 2 songs – “There Was a Man” & “& The Night Was Over (Post Rock Remix)“.
  • Began painting on canvas paper for things I think would come out better painted on textured art paper instead of regular copy paper, the latter of which is what I usually use for most of my art. Painted my crying circus strongman & the upcoming orange-haired funky girl paintings. This was also my first time in a long time of painting actual cohesive paintings (aside from book illustrations; I’ve drawn cohesive things but hadn’t made any cohesive “paintings” for a long time). Also, this was my first time of painting people (just a few months ago, I finally realized I could DRAW people [I always had this weird belief that I couldn’t, or couldn’t do it well], which lead to my Mighty Boosh & Pee-Wee’s Playhouse themed works).
  • My Mom & I collaborated on a piece of art for the first time ever, where she came up with an idea & I drew it! The result of this was the Marching Money design.
  • FINISHED EDITING ALL MY PRODUCT LISTINGS ON SHOP ASHLEE CRAFT as part of the months-long revamping of my shop! GO CHECK IT OUT HERE →
  • Submitted the first thing I’ve ever done that’s going to be published in someone else’s magazine! SO EXCITED about this, because the magazine also happens to be one of my favorites. Announcement about this coming soon!
  • Put out a comedy video – an interview with Victoria of Victoria’s Secret! Based on a joke that did surprisingly well at the comedy club.
  • Began to “storyboard” movie scenes! What this means is, as I learned more about what goes into directing films, I realized I needed to draw a storyboard of the different shots I wanted for things I was filming. But then I realized I didn’t know what made a good shot, so I decided to draw storyboards for some of my favorite movie scenes. This is so much fun & so educational.
  • Filmed footage for a “commercial” I am making & wrote & recorded a jingle for it!
  • Applied for three acting jobs, two of which I auditioned for.
  • Published my 2018 Yearly Review article! You can read it here.
  • Wrote 8 poems, including my first two “newspaper poems” ever!
  • Made my first absurdist comedy quote image using an old vintage photo/illustration (an idea I’ve had for a while).
  • Began planning script for the one-person show that I’m developing. Played around with script & ideas. This will be something I pursue pretty soon.
  • Published an article about why I began watching movies again (after a hiatus in doing so).
  • Published an article about my goals for 2019!

CONCERTS

  • Saw Herbie Hancock at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL. Phenomenal.
  • Saw Fleetwood Mac in concert at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. It was one of those big, iconic concerts for me & I’m so so glad I got to see them.
  • Saw Art Garfunkel at Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL. Thanks to some MAGNIFICENT serendipity & the fact that I bought the very last “cheap seat”, which put me sitting next to the best friend of the wife of one of Art Garfunkel’s very best friends since college & still to this day, I GOT TO MEET ART GARFUNKEL & shake his hand & tell him how his music had been really important to me when I was a teen. He looked at my hair & said, “Good hair cut.” It was SO MAGICAL.
  • Saw Christopher Cross at Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL. So many flamingos.

FOODS

  • Went to Panera & tried their Prickly Pear Hibiscus Fresca for the first time! It’s awesome!!!
  • Drank Swiss Miss K-Cup hot chocolate for the first time!
  • Ate My/Mo Mango Mochi Ice Cream for the first time! SUPER GOOD. I’ve tried some other flavors of the My/Mo mochi ice cream but I’d never tried the mango one before.
  • Ate dinosaur gummy candy for the first time.
  • Made these banana almond flour muffins for the first time, after a very long time procrastinating on making them. They were super good.
  • One day, I had a soft-boiled egg in a cheese bed, sliced wild tomatoes with salt, & a yellow chocolate cupcake for breakfast.
  • Tried the Applewood Smoked Bacon Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet for the first time, & it was incredibly good! I’m usually not the BIGGEST fan of pork tenderloins, but this one had an amazing flavor & my Dad is super good at cooking meat.
  • Tried Campbell’s Chunky Jazzy Jambalaya soup for the first time!
  • Tried Mighty Sesame Vanilla Tahini bars for the first time!
  • Tried Chobani Gimmes yogurts in the birthday cake & cotton candy flavors!
  • To use up some roasted chestnuts I had, I melted blue cheese on them & they were awesome! That, plus some marshmallow hot chocolate, made for some awesome breakfasts.
  • Tried rainbow Twizzlers for the first time & they were great & so colorful & fun!
  • Bought some Walmart-brand Peach Bellini water flavoring, & I really enjoyed it.
  • Tried a veggie mixture with fresh vegetables that I bought that you microwaved to cook. It had salsa & cheese you put along with it, & it contained cauliflower, sweet potatoes, kale, & some other stuff. Really good mixture; I just can’t remember which brand it was.
  • Tried La Croix Kiwi Watermelon sparkling water for the first time!
  • Tried gummy frogs for the first time! They’re really good, & super funky.

MEDIA

  • STARTED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me) The Adventures of Robin Hood (Howard Pyle), The Anatomy of Peace (The Arbinger Institute), An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake (Srinivas Rao with Robin Dellabough), A Little Book of Sloth (Lucy Cooke)*, The Ugly Animals: We Can’t All Be Pandas (Simon Watt), Mindset (Carol Dweck), Steal Like an Artist (Austin Kleon)*, The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer), The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie)*, The Lessons of History (Will & Arial Durant), The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)
  • FINISHED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me) Letting Go (Dr. David Hawkins), Level Up Your Life (Steve Kamb), Girl, Wash Your Face (Rachel Hollis), The 4-Hour Work Week (Tim Ferris), The Anatomy of Peace (The Arbinger Institute), A Little Book of Sloth (Lucy Cooke)*, Mindset (Carol Dweck), Steal Like an Artist (Austin Kleon)*, The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer), The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie)*. Total: 10 (up from 7 in January)
  • WATCHED: (episodes in parenthesis for shows; all others are films. * means re-watches; all others are things I’ve never seen). Barbie Dolphin Magic, Absolutely Anything, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (Reunion), 555 (Acting), Cold Pursuit, In Order of Disappearance, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy (King Tutta), The Office (Fun Run), The Umbrella Academy (We Only See Each Other at Weddings & Funerals), Red 2, Gayle (Episode 19 – Jay). Total: 11 (Exact same number of things I watched last month)
  • ALBUMS I LISTENED TO: (*First time listening to this album!). St. Vincent (St. Vincent)*, Abandoned Luncheonette (Daryl Hall/John Oates), War Babies (Daryl Hall/John Oates), A Wizard/A True Star (Todd Rundgren), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)*, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (Panic! At the Disco)*, Varsity (Varisty), We are So (ModPods), Escape the Gray (my own album), Our Own House (MisterWives)*, Three Dog Night – The Complete Hit Singles (Three Dog Night)*, Fleetwood Mac (Fleetwood Mac)*, Earth (Jefferson Starship), My Girl & More of the Drifters (The Drifters)*. Total: 14 (Up from 7 last month)
  • Was reminded of the amazing scene in The Dark Knight Rises (one of my favorite films EVER) where Batman is preparing to climb out of the pit & everyone is chanting “rise”. One of the best movie scenes ever & a huge inspiration to me on more occasions than I can count, so unless you’ve just watched the movie already this week, give it a watch here.

PETS

  • Looked into different dog foods & experimented with two different new types for Sparky, my Boston Terrier/Shih-Tzu/Chihuahua mix in order to find one that he likes, that’s good quality, & hopefully helps improve his skin health.
  • Bought my rabbit a better brand of rabbit food to upgrade his diet.
  • Added more organic soil to both my pet millipede enclosures to improve their environments. They had some coconut coir mixed with oak leaves & twigs in their tanks but I wanted to give them nice deep soil to burrow in now that I had organic soil. They seem to really like it!
  • Researched & switched guinea pigs over to a different brand of food that is still good quality but more cost-effective & a lot easier to find in my area.
  • My dog recognizes my car now, so he watches for me when I’m coming home & when he sees my car pull he, he gets excited & starts barking.

PERSONAL

  • Did my first cartwheel EVER! This was something I’d wanted to do for a long time.
  • Hung up all my current buntings on the ceiling in my room. It looks AMAZING & I have even more; I just haven’t found the box they’re packed in yet. But the ones I hung up made my room look so so MAGICAL.
  • Got another savings account at my bank to help me better divide up my money & save it for specific things, such as certain bigger purchases I want to make or investing. Changed the names of the savings accounts to be what I want so when I put money in them I’m not just putting it in “Savings Account 3” but “Road Trip”.
  • Sprayed a pair of shoes with shoe waterproofing for the first time!
  • Redefined “failure” for myself so that the idea of it is no longer something that can stop me. I realized that even if I “failed”, I could still craft a most excellent life, like I am already doing now. When you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.
  • Shattered my phone screen by dropping my phone on cement, for the first time ever. Not a highlight, but I did learn how to “fix” a phone screen with packing tape. It’s still growing strong, & I plan on keeping it for a while because it’s still usable & I prefer to fix things rather than spending money on new things when I don’t need to.
  • Unsubscribed from several email newsletters, which frankly I haven’t missed at all!
  • Cleaned up a lot more of my bedroom, which I’ve needed to do ever since I moved.
  • Ended up at a stop light next to a truck that had bee cages in the back & a sign on the tailgate that warned that it was transporting bees, & I thought this was great.
  • Worked more on painting & decorating the sand koala sculpture I’m reinventing. I got it at a thrift store years ago & it’s bland so I’m making it awesome & funky.
  • Saw a COW COMING OUT OF A FOREST & it was FANTASTIC!!!
  • Tried a new makeup look where I did colorful freckles with face paint crayons, & I LOVE IT.
  • Began to sort through my jewelry collection. Also cleaned off a lot more of my desk, which has been a complete mess for months!

THINGS I PURCHASED

  • Began using the RenPure Rose Water body wash, & it is SERIOUSLY A FAVORITE.
  • Got a new T-Rex Hot Wheels car to add to my collection of Hot Wheels.
  • ONE OF THE BEST THINGS that I purchased were two TOTALLY ADORABLE, mischievous, & colorful owl kitchen timers with the SWEETEST FACES EVER.
  • Hallmark cards were BOGO at the grocery store, so I got two that I’d had my eye on for a while – one with kittens screaming with joy, & another that says “We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”. Both are going to be framed & hung up on my walls, which is what I like doing with cards.
  • Bought another Jack Reacher book (one that I do not own yet [I own a large number of them]) for $0.50 at the library!
  • My Mom gave a plush alligator for Valentine’s Day & it is ADORABLE <3 <3 <3 She also got me a plush stegosaurus & a TOTALLY ADORABLE huggable plush sloth. My sister got a PINK GLITTERY PLUSH HEDGEHOG!!!
  • Bought a plush triceratops, which I love because it’s primary-colored.
  • FOUND DINOSAUR-SHAPED PASTA at the grocery store, so of course I bought some.
  • Bought an awesome old book about cacti at the library for $0.50!
  • Got my Makeup Eraser sample & it’s great! Really works the way it’s supposed to.
  • Bought a wind-up dinosaur, holographic rainbow Easter egg garland to decorate my house with, a notebook for “storyboarding” movie scenes in, & a wooden painted frog.

TRAVEL & EXPERIENCES

  • Went to the Florida State Fair for the first time EVER!!!!! I absolutely ADORE fairs. I love everything about them, including all the great food stands, which give me major aesthetic & design inspiration. Saw a lot of great booths & food booths. And while I generally never play games at the fair, I still like taking inspiration from seeing the prizes you can with (think: giant pastel plush sloths & alpacas). One of my favorite booths was an inflatable lemonade stand. Ate a blue raspberry Sno Cone while I was there.
  • MILKED A COW for the first time ever at the Florida State Fair. This was the thing I most wanted to do at the fair & I wedged myself in there among all the children who were also trying to get their turn to milk the cow so I wasn’t mistaken for an uninterested parent. IT WAS AMAZING. Also I got one of their official “I milked a cow at the Florida State Fair” ribbon & sticker & posed with it while smiling smugly.
  • RODE A CAMEL. GUYS, I RODE AN EFFING CAMEL. I did this at the fair too. They are so tall & I got to ride it three laps around the ring & their humps are so fuzzy.
  • GOT TO PET SO MANY COWS. This was my first time petting adult cows (I petted a baby cow last year). My favorite was a big reddish cow with huge horns (I think it was a Scottish Highlander or something) who kept putting its horns in the walk way but was a big sweetheart. Petted so many types of cows.
  • PETTED A SHEEP AND LAMBS FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!! Their wool is so soft & fuzzy & lambs are so effing adorable. Like, I can’t even believe how cute they are in real life. Favorite sheep was one that kept trying to be sociable because it wanted food & kept trying to take the empty feeding cups out of the bin on its stall. Petted a lot of different breeds of sheep.
  • SAW BABY GOATS THAT HAD LITERALLY JUST BEEN BORN, like, their-mom-was-still-licking-them-clean new, & they were super-microscopic, & they were effing adorable as anything.
  • Went on rides at the fair! I went on the yo-yo ride with my Mom, we both went on that really really tall ferris wheel & got to see the whole fair from a bird’s eye view, & used my last few tickets to go through a decent fire fighter-themed fun house (I love fun houses, BTW).
  • Got to pet a donkey & a burro, both for the first time!
  • At the fair, also got to pet a bunch of goats of a variety of types, which are obviously always adorable. Saw a baby water buffalo & baby pigs that were wagging their tiny little tails as they nursed, & baby chicks. Saw baby cows, including a baby cow that had only been born earlier that day. I saw them giving the mom cow an IV because she was dehydrated after giving birth. Also saw zebras, an alpaca, a llama, a kangaroo, & giraffes. Went into the rabbit & chicken show barn & saw lots of adorable breeds of both, as well as some gorgeous chickens & fluffy chickens (including some with FLUFFY FEET!!!). And some chickens with crazy hair. ALSO I got to watch a turkey make a gobbley noise in real life! It was awesome! Also saw geese up close & they were really cute.
  • Couldn’t get to the exit I needed to in time before the highway split, so I had to take a different road home. This serendipity lead to me driving past the Florida State Fair when everything was LIT UP AT NIGHT & BEAUTIFUL, on the VERY LAST NIGHT THAT IT WAS THERE, & it was so magical to be able to see.
  • Went to the grand opening of an Earth Fare store, which is the first time I’ve ever been in one! Got a free reusable shopping bag. They had three huge pink balloons flying above the building & you could see them from the road!
  • Went to a new pet store in my area that I’d never been to before to see what they had.
  • Went to the movie theater with my whole family for the first time in YEARS.
  • Found a small ringneck snake on my back porch! Tried to catch it to remove it from my deck but I got away from me & left my deck on its own accord. But this was my first time of ever seeing a ringneck snake, & if you like snake, they’re really cool looking!

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.

2018 WEEK 14: ACCOUNTABILITY UPDATE

What I did the week of April 1 – 7 to make 2018 awesome.

  1. Published 3 blog posts.
  2. Released 2 YouTube videos (Episode 041 of The Ashlee Craft Show & released my cover of Crowded House’s song ‘Archer’s Arrows’).
  3. Began editing the book I wrote last year about my Epic Florida Road Trip!
  4. Spent a lot more time sorting stuff in my house & garage to work on becoming more of a minimalist.
  5. Made 6 posts on Instagram.
  6. Reached out to someone successful in acting to ask for advice about agents, jobs, etc.
  7. Reached out to a company about them carrying the shorts I designed.
  8. Uploaded my new song Run Away to Soundcloud!
  9. Submitted my song Run Away to one website with the possibility of it being featured on their website.
  10. Drew 10 illustrations (nine of which are for a book I’m doing!) & 1 design.
  11. Wrote 1 poem.
  12. Put products with my Blobfish design on them on on Society6 Shop!
  13. Wrote 1 short story!
  14. Signed up for the Yes Supply Facebook group for female entrepreneurs.
  15. Asked five successful entrepreneurs that I respect immensely what their #1 tip was for how to get from obscurity to success & two replied!
  16. Created & set up my page on Patreon!