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!
- 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!
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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