Author: Ashley

Year In Review

2017 in Review


Happy New Year! I can’t believe that today is the first of January. Life seems to be going so incredibly fast right now. I want to reflect on 2017 and get excited about 2018.

2017

If you had to describe your 2017 in three words, what would they be?

  • Distraction
    I really started out well training and eating right and then about August, things went South. It really started taking shape when a very good friend of mine started relying on me to listen to their issues. While I love this friend and I really would do anything for them, the time commitment and the amount of my personal energy it took to be there really threw me off my goals. In 2018 I resolve to protect my time and energy. I can be there for friends, but I need to place boundaries in place to protect myself and still be able to be there for my friends.
  • Survivor
    I got laid off my job in March. It was something I felt was coming for about two weeks before it happened. The agency had lost some clients and I was the last to be hired. It was a positive experience though. After losing my job, I made the decision to start a photo booth company PHX PIX that will pair with my wedding business By Geooorge, learn more about the family trade of sign painting under Geooorge Co. and become a Beachbody coach with Weigh Ankor. While it takes a lot to build a business or businesses, I love it. In 2018 I will continue to work on my businesses and getting healthy. I want to work on my marketing plans and really get my name out there for what I love to do.
  • Change
    This is the first full year after my dad passed away. It’s been full of changes and hardships. My mom is moving on with her life, which I completely support but it’s been super hard to get used to the all the changes. In the course of one year, there have been five major changes in my life. It’s a lot emotionally and I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it. That’s really one of the reasons I keep this blog. It helps to get my feelings and emotions out. In 2018 My goal is to let go. I’ve been trying to hold on to the life I had when my dad was alive and that is just not possible. I need to merge into my new life, my new way of living and my new me. Take it a little at a time and do what you can, just focus and go.

What, or who, are you most thankful for?

  • I am really thankful for my dogs. L who has been there for me over the last seven years, multiple jobs, moving and a lot more. C who we rescued the day after my dad died has been a fur angel. His spunky spirit has made me laugh and reminded me to celebrate the little things in life.

What new things did you discover about yourself?

  • I took a sign painting class and I realized how much I love the family trade. I love creating and painting, I am trying to figure out how to make it a larger part of my life.

What single achievement are you most proud of?

  • I am really proud of myself for running all the 5ks this year. Especially the Arizona Sunrise Series. These seven 5ks were June-August during 110-degree temperatures and I completed the whole series. I was really proud of this.

What was the best news you received?

  • The best news I received in 2017 was what I

What was your favorite place that you visited in 2017?

  • A group of friends all went to Cottonwood, AZ and it was amazing. Camping under the stars was fun and beautiful at the same time. We went during a meteor shower and it was so great being in a place to see so many!

Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

  • Organization paired with problem-solving.
    Being able to problem solve was definitely an asset this year. Working with different types of people and no process makes for a lot of rework and chaos. I was able to listen to everyone’s issues and create processes that allowed for everyone to work more efficiently and get what they needed before they needed it. It was really fun being able to do that.

Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?

  • Even though there are a lot of changes happening with my mom right now, she is definitely the person I have always gone to for anything. Our relationship is changing and evolving this year and I’m learning how to handle it.

Which new skills did you learn?

  • I’m learning to edit videos. It’s been a lot of fun. Definitely challenging but I love shooting video and editing a story together.

What one event are you going to tell your grandchildren about?

  • If I have grandchildren, I hope to share the story of how The Holiday Workshop started. In 2016, the day after Christmas, I bought a bunch of wreaths and leftover ornaments. The goal was to just make and sell them. During 2017, after I made the wreaths and started selling them, people started contacting me about hosting wreath-making classes. I said yes and had a blast! After that, I started The Holiday Workshop, it will officially open in 2018, but it will be a whole three months of holiday goodness!

If someone wrote a book about your year, what genre would it be?

  • Drama

What was the most important lesson you learned in 2017?

  • I have to take care of myself because no one else can do it for me. While I loved helping family members and friends, it came at the expense of my own health and happiness. I need to make sure I am taking care of myself.

Which mental block(s) did you overcome?

  • I didn’t really have mental blocks in 2017, it was more of trying to simplify my life. Figuring out what I wanted in my life and what I didn’t. Work life especially because I have so many ideas I try to do them all and I have to realize that I can only do so much and I need to focus.

What five people did you enjoy spending time with?

  • Jessica
  • Lauren
  • Ana
  • Mo
  • Danita

What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?

  • After being laid off, I decided to try and make it as my own boss. So far, so good.

How did your relationship with your family evolve?

  • This is definitely the relationship with my mom as she tries to move on with her life without my dad. As she starts to date and she decides if she wants to move. It’s a lot of change for her but also me. I’m learning how to lead my life without my dad and how to deal with my mom as she tries to figure out her new life.

What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?

  • There are three movies that I love that have been playing a lot in my life over the last few months.
    • Ever After
      I love this movie. Cinderella has to deal with her father’s death and handle all the changes in her life. She sort of lives a double life as she feels she needs to be something that she’s not to society because if they knew she was just a commoner they would dismiss her. Though, as the story progresses she teaches people how to think differently and grow.
    • Frozen
      I know this is a kid’s movie, though Elsa has this struggle that she needs to learn to control and live with. This is something that I can relate to. Also, I love that she doesn’t need a man to run her kingdom, she’s focused on getting her life together and that’s it, even if her sister is a bit boy crazy.
    • Wonder Woman
      This movie was a show stopper in 2017. Seeing her come to life on the screen in such a powerful way was electrifying for not only little girls but grown ass women as well. It solidified that people need someone that is relatable to them to look up to. I hope there are more strong female heroes that come in the near future.

What was the best compliment that you received this year?

  • When I started making things and painting, people commented about how they loved what I made. That makes me feel great!

What little things did you most enjoy your daily life?

  • This year I’ve tried to find the joy in the small things. Some of the things I celebrated were:
    • Sleeping in
    • Finishing social media posting creative early
    • Being able to be more creative

What cool things did you create this year?

  • There are so many things I have made this year. Some of the things I’m most proud of are:
    • Wreaths
    • Photobooth Props
    • Diaper Cakes

What did you think about more than anything else?

  • I spend a lot of time thinking about what path my life is going to take. Right now I feel like I’m at a fork in the road. I plan on pitching a tent at this fork for the next road to work and contemplate what path I want to walk down.

What topics did you most enjoy learning about?

  • I loved learning about sign painting. My great-grandfather and grandfather were sign painters and I’ve always looked up to them. I got the opportunity to study with a master sign painter and it was so much fun, probably the best four days of the year.

What new habits did you cultivate?

  • One habit I’ve worked on this year is lunch. I have a routine that I have set up for myself and I really love being able to do it.

What advice would you give your early-2017 self if you could?

  • To my January 2017 – March 2017 self, I would have told her to save more money, listen to your intuition sooner and have a backup plan in place.

Did any parts of your self or your life do a 180 this year?

  • My career

What had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?

  • As sad of an experience as it was, being laid off my job was really a positive thing in my life.

What was your most frequent mental state?

  • I was sad a lot this year. So many changes in such a short period of time are hard.

Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life?

  • I painted with oil paints for the first time in my life at my sign painting class!!

What was your favorite moment spent with friends?

  • Camping in Cottonwood and seeing so many shooting stars.

What major goal did you lay the foundations for this year?

  • I really wanted to lose weight in 2017. I thought by signing up for all those 5ks would help me accomplish it. While it was fun, the runs did not help me stick to my goals.

Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?

  • I was really worried about some of my dad’s belongings, I thought if I worried about them and constantly talked to my mom about them, they would stay in the family. I was wrong, she ended up selling them anyway. It was a waste of my time.

What one experience would you choose to repeat if you could?

  • SIGN PAINTING!!

What was the best gift you received?

  • My mom bought me a Cricut machine for Christmas. It was something I’ve been saving for months. I teared up I was so happy to get it as a gift.

How did your overall outlook on life evolve?

  • Being an only child, my whole life has been a team mentality with my mom and dad. With my dad’s passing, that team mentality is gone. It’s been a struggle, but I need to evolve and let go of that life. I need to figure out how to live my life on my own.

What was the biggest problem you solved?

  • My dad’s car was stolen. I spent a whole Saturday jumping fences in South Phoenix trying to find it. I ended up finding it and getting it towed back before the thieves were about to take it to Canada.

What was the funniest moment, one that still makes you burst out laughing?

What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?

  • I bought a Delonghi Indoor Grill. It’s small and uses steam and heat to cook. I know everyone loves the Instapot, but I love to grill!

What one thing would you do differently and why?

  • I would save more money and be better organized in getting products photographed.

What do you deserve a pat on the back for?

  • I was very present for family and friends even though it was a sacrifice of myself.

What activities made you lose track of time?

  • In a good way
    • Sign Painting – We would start at 10 am and 5 pm came so quickly. EVERY. DAY.
    • Playing with the Dogs – They make me laugh and smile.
  • In a bad way
    • All the random things like searching Google for random shit when I should be sleeping at 3 am.

2018

What do you want the overarching theme for your 2018 to be?

  • Health
    I know now that signing up for 5ks does nothing for me when I am looking to get healthy. I would just sign up for them and show up complete them and then do nothing after. That doesn’t help me at all. This year I need to focus on the day-to-day.

What do you want to see, discover, explore?

  • I would like to accomplish three things on my bucket list. I do not know which ones as of yet, but I’m working on it.

Who do you want to spend more time in 2018?

  • My dogs. I really want to take them more places and I want them to experience more things.

What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?

  • I want to spend more time painting signs
  • I want to learn to cook for one more efficiently

Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?

  • I would like to work on saying no. As much as I would like to help everyone, I just can’t.

What do you want your everyday life to be like?

  • I would like my every day to start at 4 am. This would give me so much time in the mornings to accomplish so much more. We all have the same amount of time in the day. It’s what you do with it that matters.

Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?

  • I would like to rid myself of going to get fast food when I’m crunched for time because it’s EASY.
  • I would like to change my behavior of sleeping in until the very last possible minute.
  • I would like to cultivate the habit of meal prepping on Saturdays.

What do you want to achieve career-wise?

  • I will finish the websites for By Geooorge and Geooorge Co. and start sharing the business with others. I would like to start making a side income from these sites.

How do you want to remember the year 2018 when you look back on it 20 years from now?

  • When I look back on 2018 in 2038, I would like to be able to say it was a positive year where I got a lot done, lost a lot of weight and cultivated my successful businesses.

What is your number one goal for 2018?

  • Get Healthy
Agency Life

Hello 3AM, It’s Been A While


It’s 3AM.

I’m tired.

I just finished editing a wedding video for my latest client and while I love it, I’m tired. I’m about to finish the illustrations for a 5k finisher medal that I’ve been working on. But I’m writing this because I want to remember this moment of being tired. Not sleeping and eating Jack in the Box is not what I want to be doing, but I know it’s the road to glory.

Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t” ― Jerry Rice

I know that I can be successful, though it’s hard. Like really hard. I am trying to juggle so many things at once and sometimes plates fall but I do what I can to get them up and spinning again.

I just have to hit my tipping point. Just have to keep working towards it. You can do this.

You. Can. Do. This.

Okay, I’ve procrastinated enough, I need to get this medal finished.

Go you.

Agency Life

English, German & Spanish


 

I heard this joke once:

“bilingual” is someone who speaks two languages, “trilingual” is someone who speaks three languages.  What do you call someone who can only speak one language?  An American.

To this day it absolutely drives me insane. Probably because it’s pretty true. I didn’t want to be a part of that joke, so I downloaded Duolingo a while ago and started to learn Spanish. I’ve learned that it’s hard to learn a second language when there is no one to practice with. Though, I powered on.

I thought it would be interesting to learn two languages at one time. I started Portuguese but realized it’s really close to Spanish. I moved on to French, but I just wasn’t interested at all. What’s next? German.

German always intimidated me. It’s such a different language, but I thought what the heck. I will give it a go.

I LOVE IT. 😍

There is something about the sharpness of the pronunciation of the words along with the excitement you can have saying some of the phrases. For example, Halo! Guten Morgen! means, Hello! Good Morning!

I can’t help but envision the shopkeeper from Frozen, Oaken as I’m practicing the language. It makes me happy.

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 2.01.20 AM.png

I try to practice once a day with a few lessons that only take about 15-20 minutes. Eventually, I would like to do more, though something that has helped with practicing the language is set up an Instagram and only follow German Instagrammers. That way I have to read the posts in German and then comment back in German. I wish there was a way like that to practice vocally, but I will figure something out.

Do you speak more than one language? What languages do you speak?

Agency Life

CINCO: Jim Gaffigan Admits He Doesn’t Drive A Car.


I’m watching Jim Gaffigan’s new Netflix Comedy Special Cinco and I’m chuckling. Ha, ha, fat dad, yatta, yatta, then all of a sudden he says something that loses me to the point I can’t watch his comedy special anymore.

… I don’t even own a car because I’m a good person. No, I live in New York City and I have five kids. I just have them carry me around. I know nothing about cars

… most of the accessories are wasted on me. I’ve never used cruise control. The heated seats, I always feel like I’ve just wet myself.

… When I go home to Indiana, I always rent a car. My brother Mitch is always like, “What kinda car ya renting?” I’m like uhh it’s blue. [Mitch] Is that 4 or 6 cylinders? [Jim] Blue.

I do know the most manly form of transportation is a pick up truck.

UMMMM, hold the phone. Aren’t you the spokesperson for the Chrysler Pacifica?!

You are all over television pitching this minivan for dads!

WTF are you doing?!

I work in advertising and used to work on Hyundai. Auto is hard and I know how much celebrities get paid for endorsements. I don’t even work on the Chrysler business or know anyone who does but I was mad when I heard that.

Jim Gaffigan just basically said, I got paid a fuck ton of money to promote a minivan, yet I don’t drive a car and men, you’re pussies if you don’t drive a truck.

Holy BALLS! In less than :30 seconds you’ve broken any psychological brand loyalty or interest anyone has formed from watching your commercials after they see your comedy special.

The FTC has specific guidelines around celebrity endorsements.

§ 255.1 General considerations.

(b) The endorsement message need not be phrased in the exact words of the endorser, unless the advertisement affirmatively so represents. However, the endorsement may not be presented out of context or reworded so as to distort in any way the endorser’s opinion or experience with the product. An advertiser may use an endorsement of an expert or celebrity only so long as it has good reason to believe that the endorser continues to subscribe to the views presented. An advertiser may satisfy this obligation by securing the endorser’s views at reasonable intervals where reasonableness will be determined by such factors as new information on the performance or effectiveness of the product, a material alteration in the product, changes in the performance of competitors’ products, and the advertiser’s contract commitments.

(c) When the advertisement represents that the endorser uses the endorsed product, the endorser must have been a bona fide user of it at the time the endorsement was given. Additionally, the advertiser may continue to run the advertisement only so long as it has good reason to believe that the endorser remains a bona fide user of the product.
[See § 255.1(b) regarding the “good reason to believe” requirement.]

“Additionally, the advertiser may continue to run the advertisement only so long as it has good reason to believe that the endorser remains a bona fide user of the product.”

He’s not only not currently a user, he openly admits he doesn’t own a car or use any of the amenities.

Open toilet bowl, toss lots of money in, flush toilet.

Leroy

Top 10 Fourth of July Pets Safety Tips


Fourth of July is the busiest time for animal shelters, and not in a good way. Factually 7.6 million pets are lost each year with only 26% of them being returned to their owners. 35% of these lost dogs are euthanized in shelters. These are sad facts. My world would pretty much end if Leroy got lost.

So what can you do to keep your furbaby safe and comfortable during our Nation’s birthday?

  1. Exercise your dog throughout the day so they will be worn out by the time the fireworks start. Also, just spend some time focusing solely on your dog.
  2. Keep your pet at home where they feel comfortable and safe. If you use a crate, remember to put a blanket over the crate. If you know where their favorite retreat spot is, throw their favorite blanket and some toys there so they feel safe.
  3. Keep an eye on what your dog is ingesting. If guests slip your dog onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes or raisins it will not end well. Certain foods are toxic to your dog and can be fatal. Meat bones from steak, chicken, fish or ribs can block or cut up your dog’s insides. Also alcohol, while it might appear to be cute to share a brewsky with your buddy it can also be extremely toxic causing seizures or respiratory failure.
  4. Leave on the television and/or a fan to help soften the noise from the fireworks. There are a lot of channels available now specifically for dogs, including Dog TV.
  5. Teach your dog to swim. You wouldn’t throw a human baby in the water and expect them to swim so you can’t expect your pup to automatically know either. Spend time with them teaching them how to swim, where the steps are and think about getting a pet ladder to add to the ease of exiting the pool.
  6. Get your dog microchipped. While collars and ID tags can fall off, microchips are small implanted chips with all of your information. If you move, remember to update your information!
  7. Purchase pet sunscreen, do not use human sunscreen on dogs. There are a couple options including COOLA or Epi-Pet.
  8. Keep outdoor products out of reach. This includes lighter fluid, matches, citronella candles, insect coils, and glow jewelry. All of these things can cause skin irritation, bowel blockage and other things that are not fun for you or your pet.
  9. Keep a list of emergency numbers at the ready. A lot of Vet’s have magnets you can keep on the fridge, though if they aren’t a 24 hour emergency hospital find your closest one and add their numbers to your list.
  10. Come Home. Fourth of July is a fun and exciting holiday though a stressful one to your pet so make it a point to come home after the shenanigans have concluded.
Agency Life

Junk in the Trunk


I once met a junker on a plane ride to Seattle, WA. I talked to her the entire trip and didn’t think much of it, though junking is becoming mainstream.

Take Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market for example. They have expanded to three days of sales and have opened a new location in San Diego. It’s insane. They fill West World with vendors that spend their days looking for the old and handmade.

We went and there were so many things I fell in love with.

Pictures coming soon!

Agency Life, Real Life

Happy New Year!


I can’t believe it’s already 2016. Though at the same time I’m extremely excited. I remember New Year’s last year and knowing deep in my soul that 2015 was going to be a hard year for me and it was.

The first half of 2015 I spent in a job I hated. The second half of the year I spent poor as fuck as I tried to build a company.

Even though I hated 2015, I am incredibly grateful for it. I have always wanted to start my own agency and the shitty job I had drove me to my dreams. Granted there was a lot of bullshit that came from trying to get started. I will spare you the details, let’s just say there was too much drama from someone that is no longer in our lives.

The literal blood, sweat and tears of 2015 have set 2016 up for sweet success. We already have two amazing clients and are working on hiring our first few staff members! It’s a good time for us.

As far as resolutions go for the new year, I only have one and it is to focus. I want to focus on myself, work and living. I’ve been so obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder over the years, my 20s are kind of a blur. This is not to say I don’t want to work because that is not the case. I love the business we are building. I love the culture we are beginning to develop and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

This culture is allowing the work to get done while still having time for family and other things like working out or traveling. So, I want to focus on taking that time to spend time with family and work out.

We can do this. Happy New Year!

 

Agency Life, Campaigns, Food

Krispy Kreme #DayoftheDozens


Today, Krispy Kreme offered a BOGO deal for people to buy one dozen of glazed donuts and get one dozen glazed donuts free. You just had to bring this coupon below in to the store.

After screenshotting the video, I jumped in the car and headed to the Krispy Kreme a few miles away.

When I got there, there was a line of people who I’m guessing just figured out they had a few hours left to cash in their coupons. Though what I saw saddened me. The location I was at ran out of glazed donuts and people were not happy. Some people were yelling, some walked out and the line got shorter and shorter. By the time I got up to order, I knew I was in for something fun.

I told the manager that I had the coupon, and I began to see worry cross his face. He told me they didn’t have any glazed donuts left and started to tell me what they did have left. He went through all the filled donuts (no wonder, who eats filled donuts anyway, gross) and I simply asked if I bought a box of a certain donut, would they give me a second box of those same donuts for free? The manager stood there for a minute and finally told me he would and could do that.

The people around me started to perk up. There was a solution, just because they were out of glazed donuts didn’t mean they couldn’t honor the coupon with other donuts.

There is something about me that wonders why the manager didn’t think about it when dealing with the other consumers. I feel like we see people on both sides, consumer and company, that don’t think about being flexible. Why wouldn’t something else work? What could happen that would benefit both sides?

People are looking for free donuts, the company is looking to sell donuts. Does it really matter what kind of donuts are being given away as long as they are equal or lesser value?

The world is not black and white and there is almost always a solution to a problem. After spending the last five months as an entrepreneur, those are just a couple of the lessons I’ve learned and they couldn’t have been any clearer tonight.

I was reminded about the offer when I was watching the Season Finale of the Amazing Race. I caught the end of the taping with the local news anchor talking about the offer being today.

Agency Life, National Days, On the Road

Road trip for Pie!


Today is National Pie Day and Jess and I are Road Tripping North! I’m super excited as she’s never been to the Rock Springs Cafe for the best pie in town!

We headed up at about 10:30 am and you have to be on the lookout because there is one sign for the exit and if you miss that sign, you’re more than likely going to miss the exit. Once you exit, it’s a bit tricky, you have to take a left and another left like you are going to get back on the freeway then it’s a blind turn into the parking lot.

They have the front decked out with all their Christmas decorations and a giant inflatable Rudolph the Reindeer.Inside, the pie shop has changed, they’ve moved the display cases around and we’re not sure if it’s completely finished as of yet. None the less the pie was still there. We ordered a slice of apple and chocolate creme.

GEOOORGE-RockSprings

The chalkboard sign I made for our APS TV Spot is still hanging in the Pie Shop. It’s a lot weathered and it looks like someone tried to clean it, then realized they would ruin it if they tried to wipe it. It makes me feel good though that after three years they still have it up in the shop. It just means something I did means a lot to them.

GEOOORGE-Chalkboard

The shop wasn’t that busy and they didn’t seem to have all the trinkety things they had when we were there shooting the commercial. This is actually a good thing since we are in startup mode.

After coming back down, we headed into our office to get shit done for the day. We have so many projects going right now, but it’s not stressful. It’s a lot of fun. Probably because this is something that is finally ours. No crazy bosses telling us what we have to do all day. Jess and I manage our time, schedule  and productivity levels ourselves. Without all the drama, we actually get more done in less time while still being able to do fun things like going to get pie.

 

Feminist

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women


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Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Probably the longest National Day name ever, though it’s definitely a serious topic that should have the media’s attention.

Here are some statistics that you should know.

 

infographic-violence-against-women-en
Infographic from UNwomen.org. Please visit their site for more information.

 

As I’ve grown and worked on The Tomboy Project, I have become a huge advocate for women and people in general. It’s not okay to treat people poorly, it’s not okay to harm people and it’s not okay to make people feel inferior because you are an insecure person.

I wish I understood all of that when I was bullied when I was younger. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time wondering if they were right or what else was wrong with me, yatta yatta.

The time is now. No more shit. If you are in a situation where you are being treated less than the absolute best, it’s time to move on. There are a lot of people and organizations that have resources for you. Just know there is no one that can make that decision for you. You have to decide to move on. You have to take the action to move on and then you have to actually move on.

You can do this.