Interview with Jason Gardner – Life Coach, Magician, & Musician

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Jason Gardner, an awesome personal/life coach, as well as a professional magician & musician. Jason is one of those people who just has a ton of positive vibes flowing from them, the kind of person just interacting with them makes you feel uplifted. Here, Jason talks about personal development, letting the good in you seek the good in others, & real magic.


12019 / Pixabay

OVERVIEW: Published 3 books, released a new song, released another comedy video, had something I created published in one of my favorite magazines (which was also the first time something I created appeared in any magazine at all!), saw 4 different musicians in concert, finished reading 15 books, bought a really awesome shark kite, went blueberry picking for the first time, got my first passport, saw a meteor randomly for the first time in my adult life, & much more.



  • BOOKS: Published 3 books (EPIC FLORIDA ROAD TRIP: THE PHOTO ALBUMS – DAY 1: Myakka River State Park, Sanibel Island, & Naples, Learning Colors with Cute Llamas, Alive & Thriving)
  • MUSIC: Released 1 new song (“I’m Goin’ Out to Be Free“, from my album “Down Past the Fountains”)
  • Something I created was published in a magazine for the first time ever! The magazine was Friday Magazine, one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES, & this super-fun tutorial of mine is what I created for it! You can find my tutorial in Issue 3 of Friday Magazine!
  • Filmed & released another comedy video – What Happens When Sandhill Cranes Cross the Road?
  • Wrote 19 poems.
  • Went on a mini road trip in my local area & took almost all the rest of my photos for the local film photography book I am working on! Really excited, as this is something I’ve been putting off for pretty close to a year now & I HAVE FINALLY DONE IT! Saw a bonus roadside dinosaur that I had never seen before too while driving through a neighborhood, so I was really excited because I LOVE roadside dinosaurs.
  • Began writing several new books.
  • Released KIDS CLOTHES on SHOP Ashlee Craft for the first time ever!
  • Created 100+ new subcategories on SHOP Ashlee Craft to hold some amazing upcoming products that’ll be released soon!
  • Applied for more acting jobs.
  • Listed my domain, “” for sale on GoDaddy’s auction site, so if anyone is interested in buying it, go ahead & make an offer on it!
  • Contacted someone about vending at an awesome local art event!


  • Saw Jackson Browne in concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL.
  • Saw KISS in concert at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL on their farewell tour & it was absolutely AMAZING.
  • Saw The Temptations in concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL.
  • Saw The Four Tops in concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL.


  • Went to Culver’s for the first time! Got a chocolate concrete mixer with M&M’s & raspberries added to it as my toppings & also tried their fried cheese curds. One of the staff there taught me about the difference between custard & ice cream!
  • Ate in the Sam’s Club Food Court for the first time! Got a soft pretzel & it was really good.
  • Got something from the Wawa food counter for the first time! Got a veggie sub with garlic aioli & mayo chup plus roasted red peppers & it was SO GOOD. Also, garlic aioli is like my favorite thing ever.
  • Got a Wawa doughnut for the first time too! It had sprinkles on it.
  • Ate Salt & Vinegar pork rinds for the first time!
  • Ate a Peep Donut from Dunkin Donuts for the first time!!!
  • Finally bought the peanut butter & jelly that comes in the same container together for the first time in probably a decade & a half (aka, the first time in my adult life)
  • Tried Lays Electric Sea Salt Lime potato chips for the first time!
  • Tried Walmart brand regular jelly beans for the first time.
  • Ate Pillsbury bunny face Easter cookies for the first time.
  • Tried Cookie Crisp cereal for the first time.
  • My dad made a really great blueberry cheesecake cobbler with puff pastry & it was so amazing.
  • Ate a strawberry cheesecake Chobani yogurt flip for the first time.
  • Ate raspberry chocolate Milano cookies from Pepperidge Farm for the first time.
  • Ate cotton candy Peeps marshmallows for the first time.
  • Ate High Road Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream for the first time!
  • Got Trix cereal for the first time in my adult life.
  • Ate neon gummy lifesavers for the first time!
  • Bought Walmart brand cheese whiz for the first time & really liked it!
  • Drank Tropicana Orange Mango juice for the first time!
  • Ate a pistachio tahini bar for the first time!
  • Ate blue raspberry Peep marshmallows for the first time!
  • Had a Saffron Road Green Curry Chicken microwave meal for the first time!
  • Drank Promised Land chocolate milk for the first time in a long time!
  • Ate Sam’s Club cinnamon rolls for the first time!
  • Got some good samples at Sam’s Club too – a chocolate strawberry & citrus salmon!
  • My sister gave me a chocolate egg with a DOUGHNUT SHOPKIN inside!!!
  • Ate cheese Sun Chip crisps for the first time!
  • Drank Great American blackberry sparkling water for the first time.
  • Ate birthday cake Cookie Crisp cereal for the first time.
  • Ate “chicken dipping sauce” for the first time & loved it!
  • Tried hazelnut spread M & M’s for the first time!
  • Drank Apple Bubly Water for the first time!
  • Ate Winn-Dixie pizza for the first time.
  • Ate a Saffron Road Mango Thai Chicken Bowl microwave meal for the first time!
  • Ate nacho flavored pea puffs for the first time!
  • Ate part of the Palmers rainbow sprinkle Easter white chocolate rabbit for the first time!


  • STARTED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me). The Umbrella Academy Volume 1: Apocolypse Suite (Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba), 29 Gifts (Cami Walker), The Millionaire Mind (Thomas J. Stanley), May Cause Miracles (Gabrielle Bernstein), The Good Neighbor: The Life & Work of Fred Rogers (Maxwell King), National Geograhic Kids: Bees (Laura Marsh), National Geograhic Kids: Bees (Laura Marsh)*, Wicca (Scott Cunningham), Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice (Brene Brown), Gratitude Daily (Nataly Korgan), The Millionaire Mind (Thomas J. Stanley)*, Hello, Universe (Erin Entrada Kelly), Bats (Gail Gibbons), See it in Spanish, Say it in Spanish (Margarita Madrigal). TOTAL: 14
  • FINISHED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me) The Umbrella Academy Volume 1: Apocolypse Suite (Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba), 29 Gifts (Cami Walker), The Millionaire Mind (Thomas J. Stanley), May Cause Miracles (Gabrielle Bernstein), The Good Neighbor: The Life & Work of Fred Rogers (Maxwell King), National Geograhic Kids: Bees (Laura Marsh), National Geograhic Kids: Bees (Laura Marsh)*, Wicca (Scott Cunningham), Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice (Brene Brown), Gratitude Daily (Nataly Korgan), The Millionaire Mind (Thomas J. Stanley)*, Hello, Universe (Erin Entrada Kelly), Bats (Gail Gibbons), Born Standing Up (Steve Martin), Your Best Year Ever (Michael Hyatt). Total: 15
  • WATCHED: (episodes in parenthesis for shows; all others are films. * means re-watches; all others are things I’ve never seen). Monty Python & the Holy Grail*, The Incredibles 2, It Takes Two, The Unicorn Store, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone*, Pretty in Pink, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy (Mashed Potato Utopia), The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town*, Barbie: Life in the Dream House (Perf Pool Party & Trapped in the Dream House), August Rush* Total: 10
  • ALBUMS I LISTENED TO: (*First time listening to this album!). Emotions (Carly Rae Repsen)*, Tommy (The Who)*, Aqualung (Jethro Tull)*, War Babies (Daryl Hall & John Oates), War Babies (Daryl Hall & John Oates), War Babies (Daryl Hall & John Oates), War Babies (Daryl Hall & John Oates), Can’t Buy a Thrill (Steely Dan), War Babies (Daryl Hall & John Oates), War Babies (Daryl Hall & John Oates) Total: 10
  • Began my project of reading Newberry Medal books again!
  • My favorite song this month is “If it Feels Good, Do It” by Ian Lloyd & The Stories.
  • WATCHED THE TAYLOR SWIFT & BRENDAN URIE “ME” VIDEO FOR THE FIRST TIME & IT IS EVERYTHING. I seriously love the song & the uber-magical video SO MUCH.


  • Sparky thought my sister threw his sheep onto the roof because she threw it onto the porch at the exact moment that a bird flew over the roof, so he was very offended trying to find it until my sister showed him it was on the porch. It was absolutely adorable!
  • Sparky wants me to lie on trampoline with him in the mornings in the sunlight, & he will sit on the trampoline & stare at me & keep pretending he wants to come inside until I come out there to see him sometimes.It’s so cute.
  • Found a wooly worm on the sidewalk that was being attacked by ants. I got the ants off of it & put it in a jar with some leaves. The next day, it sadly had died from the ant bites, but at least it hadn’t gotten eaten alive by anything.
  • Found a barely-responsive brown anole lizard on the sidewalk with ants circling around it (yes, in Florida ants are out to kill anything on the sidewalk). I put the lizard in a bin on my back porch where it could get feeling better (& out of reach of homicidal ants) & so I could hopefully release it the next day. Surprisingly, the next day it was responsive & normal again, so I was able to release it into the wild!
  • Molly, my pet Texas Gold Millipede, sadly passed away.


  • Organized my pantry a bit more & threw away some expired food.
  • Cleaned up a lot more of my garage, & in the process found some items I’d been missing since I moved.
  • Sorted my inventory for my business into better-thought-out categories to make it easier to find stuff.
  • Started telling my hairdresser to cut my hair like Audrey Hepburn & I love how it looks!
  • Had some great revelations about taking mini vacations throughout the year, & what those places might be!
  • Taught my mom how to crochet!
  • Had a very nice visit with my grandmother & aunt!
  • Used the “Freeosk” at Sam’s Club, which is the first time I have used a Freeosk?
  • Wore Hard Candy’s dark green mascara for the first time!
  • Cleared more stuff off my computer hard drive!
  • Used the window washer fluid at a gas station for the first.
  • I couldn’t use my car’s AC for a while, so I had to adapt to the Florida heat with things like a necklace fan & having the windows open. It can be fun sometimes to have to come up with interesting solutions to interesting problems.
  • Used Maybelline SnapScara Blue Mascara for the first time & now I use it every day!
  • Made progress on increasing my net worth!


  • My mom gave me an awesome, adorable lemon-print pouch!
  • BOUGHT A YELLOW PLUSH EASTER RABBIT that was still available after Easter (I had been waiting on the price to go down on this specific one) so I got it!
  • Got a PEEP EASTER BASKET at a garage sale, which is something I saw this Easter season while shopping but didn’t see any for a price I wanted to pay, but since I freaking love Peeps I was so happy to get this one for JUST $0.25!!!
  • Also got a Peep rabbit-shaped sun dancer on clearance!!!
  • Bought an iSpy book, a Small Miracles book, & an Enid Blyton book at the library book sale for a total of just $2!!! I sure do love library book sales.
  • Bought a piranha-shaped Hot Wheels car
  • Bought smiley face scrubbing pads for washing dishes & they are so cute!
  • Bought a cute book about breeds of kittens at the library!
  • Bought flamingo & pineapple shaped reusuable ice cubes.
  • Bought some awesome Gildan shirts at Hobby Lobby in blue, medium blue, teal, orange, & red, which are (a) some of my favorite t-shirts that I wear all the time, (b) SUPER COLORFUL, & (c) just $2 EACH.
  • Bought a lot more awesome colorful beads at the craft store.
  • Got some great new rubber stamps featuring foods & animals mainly!
  • My sister gave me the BEST Easter Eggs ever that had miniature dinosaurs, stickers, & kawaii erasers in them!!!
  • Bought a light-up sign that says “GOOD VIBES” from TJ Maxx.
  • Bought a new, shiny, holographic mermaid scale notebook for writing theme motto in each morning.
  • Bought a copy of the “Crayola Epic Book of Awesome” coloring book on clearance & it is so adorable!
  • Got some really great Easter rabbits on clearance! Got a lemon flavored one, a caramel one, & two white chocolate with sprinkles in the chocolate ones!


  • WENT BLUEBERRY PICKING FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!! Went with my Mom & sister to Bob’s Blueberry Farm in Hudson, FL & had such a great time!
  • SAW A METEOR FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY ADULT LIFE as I was walking out to my car after work one evening. The timing of the Universe was perfect, as if I would have been walking out even a few seconds sooner or later, I wouldn’t have seen it. It was SO BEAUTIFUL & one of the best natural phenomena that I have seen!  (pleased with myself too for spelling “phenomena” correctly on first try).
  • On Easter morning, went out with my mom & flew my new shark kite in the field & it was SO MUCH FUN & such a lovely experience.
  • Went to the Pasco County Earth Day event at Crew’s Lake Park. Got to see owls there & a cool alligator! Petted some cute rescue dogs including this super cute pit bull mix that snuggled her head against my leg & I just wanted to bring her home <3
  • Also went blueberry picking at the same farm a second
  • Saw “performance painter” David Garibaldi as the opening act for KISS at the Amalie Arena & he was amazing!
  • Saw a glorious dog, a big black & white Great Dane with its gigantic ears flapping around as it stuck its head out the car window on the highway. It looked so happy.
  • Excited to see a Twistee Treat ice-cream-shaped building with its roof lit up at night with small, beautiful, colorful lights.
  • Saw a GORGEOUS sunset from the Courtney Campbell Causeway as I drove on it in the afternoon. The sun glowed, burning neon orange, above the horizon & it was so radiant.

Eject the Autopilot by Stephen Lynch & Khaled Nassra Book Review

First of all, I am very excited because this is the first time that I have had the opportunity to design a book cover for someone other than myself. That in itself was a lot of fun & I’m very pleased with how it came out! I’ve known Stephen for a while now, & actually interviewed him here last year.

Here are a few things I particularly liked about Eject the Autopilot:


At only 108 pages, it’s short & snappy. It doesn’t take long to read, but it covers a variety of topics relating to the primary concept without being redundant nor brushing over a topic too vaguely.


The main theme of the book is about “waking up” from living life on autopilot. Autopilot is defined as living your life on other peoples’ terms, going along with the crowd, doing things the way they’re done just because that’s the way they’re done, & just generally living a life that doesn’t excite you & that doesn’t really feel like it’s yours or feel particularly alive. It then goes into chapters containing practical steps & actions you can take to actually make those things happen for yourself & improve your life.


I like the book’s emphasis on “being the CEO of your life” & that you need to be the one who runs the business of your life, down to the small details, & decides what should be there & what shouldn’t, & which direction you actually want to go instead of just living life by default. I agree that life should be taken seriously like your business & that people should take responsibility for it like the VERY IMPORTANT thing that it is.


I love Eject the Autopilot’s emphasis on taking personal responsibility for your life & being the hero of your own story. Instead of blaming other people or making excuses for your results, it feels a lot better to be a big player in your life & the one who’s driving the vehicle, as opposed to being a passive passenger on the train, & the book offers good advice & actions you can take to achieve this.


I really liked the book’s emphasis on individuality & uniqueness. A lot of it centers on how you can be more uniquely you, as truly being yourself is one of the best ways to switch off the autopilot controls & begin to create a life for yourself that you’re actually proud of. While some personal development books want you to be a certain type of person, this one encourages you to figure out who you want to be & really own it.
Eject the Autopilot is the sort of book that inspires you to take action once you’ve finished it. It’s a book that helps you connect the dots in your own life with the things you’re learning from reading it, & from that, having revelations about actions, even small ones, that you can take right now to wake up from your autopilot, whatever that is, & create a life for yourself where you are the hero of your own adventure.

You can get the book on Amazon here.