Tag Archives: #FeelGoodBlogger

Were you BORN to blog: Part 5

Hey there! I don’t have much time today so I am actually multi-tasking! Reading my chapters and creating this post. I have to be completely honest…I am actually going to be skipping over a few chapters of Born to Blog. I was reading over the weekend and something suddenly wasn’t clicking. As I was reading I had no idea how I wanted to write about it…

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It’s funny because the next two chapters from where I left off last week are about YOUR business & BLOGGING. Hmmm kinda does seem like a priority don’t ya think? Sometimes you just nees to step back, take a different direction, & learn to NOT overcomplicate things. Funny thing is that is what the next chapter of Born to Blog is about: Keeping your blog at a minimum! I loved this chapter so much.
It is not unusual to want every detail laid out for perfection BUT keep in mind it is also okay to change your direction. As long as you stay consistent (which I am working on being better at) & hook your readers you can keep it as simple as possible!

Let me give you a little personal and honest insight: My blog is pretty bare and basic at this point. Why have I kept it this way? I feel as though I am still going through a “test run” period if that makes sense. I wanna make sure this is where I want my time and effort to be going. I know that sounds like I lack confidence but before I put MORE time and any money I want to be able to keep up with my weekly minimum. And I am having a blast because I have learned SO much from all of the new friends I have made from the blogging scene. But before I slowed sown a bit and created my own post calendar I did some rapid publishing, which I highly recommend. What I mean by this is posting as many posts as possible during a short amount of time to gain quick experience & exposure. This way right from the beginning you can receive feedback from readers so you can have a good idea of what they like and want to see more of! I did this through the Alex Beadon Feel Good Challenge!

This is pretty much the jist of this chapter. Feel out what kind of content you wanna produce, how much content you wanna produce, your audience, your platform, etc. Identify YOUR blogging skills: Remember there were 5! There is a quiz to find out what you are. (I will leave details on how to receive that below) As you start out you want to begin to build momemtum! How can you so this? Do not be afraid to post links back to your blog on Facebook or Instagram: I do all the time! Your audience is more then the bloggers on the same platform as you. Some of your readers may not be bloggers at all! My Mom told me she is always reading my content 🙂

So my biggest and best advice I have learned through both business and blogging is: KISS!

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P.S. If you are interested in taking a look at the quiz to see what YOUR blogging characteristics may be feel free to email me (brookeashley0319@gmail.com) OR message me on Facebook (Brooke Ducati)

Much love,
Brooke Ashley xoxox

And so the planning begins!

Good morning everyone! It’s Monday and I think I am finally able to get myself back on blogging track! I was a little MIA last week so today I am bringing you a mix of 2 things. I am going to share some things I have compiled so far for my wedding & share a belated “Thrifty Thursday” featuring a couple snapshots from my engagement shoot!

Last week I started to put together a binder to help keep me organized through this process! It is helping me stay calm and as least stressed as possible during the wedding planning (my maid of honor is doing a pretty good job at that too)! Within the last week or so Aaron & I have started to create our guest list. It’s A LOT bigger then we imagined haha, I guess that’s what you get from having a large family & you become friends with everyone you meet! Along with a guest list (which bores me after awhile, although it needs to be done) I started filling in the pages a bit.

This past week I chose a few hairstyles:


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Picked out a few dresses for inspiration: (AND made my first visit to David’s Bridal to try a few on!)

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Made a finally decision on a cranberry/burgundy & gray bridal party:

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Chose a few DIY projects for the BIG day:

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& as a surprise I received this awesome book from a couple at our church:

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I have been wanting a book like this to go along with my planner. I am in love with this one for the reason that every chapter starts with Bible verses and words of inspiration to keep you in the right state of mind. Because through all of this keeping God number one is the biggest priority. PLUS, having this book as a guideline gives me more to share with you all!

OKAY so now a little sneak peak into our engagement shoot featuring my “Thrifty Thursday” Pinterest inspired outfit of choice 😉

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It was a perfect fall day so we kept it simple with our colors. I didn’t need a handbag but I could of used a cup of Starbucks which the girl has in her pic! I took the inspiration from the shirt/dress and military green jacket with leggings & swapped the flats for leather boots & added a statement necklace 🙂

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OH, and I forgot to mention…I did not spend a dime on this outfit, just an added bonus!

That’s a wrap! See you guys tomorrow 🙂

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Were you BORN to blog: Part 3

Hey hey blogging friends! I almost didn’t write this post today because I am EXHAUSTED but I knew I had to do it! I was just not in a reading mood today and I was extremely blah…But once I picked up the book and got my brain going I made it!

So refresher: I am currently reading Born to Blog. Last week I discussed “Can you blog?” And the easy answer to that question was ANYONE CAN BLOG! This week I started to dive into the characteristics of a good blogger. This week I am going to share 3 of the 5 and what I learned from them: Storytelling, Dreaming, & Persuading!

Hmmmm storytelling…never was my forte. But what can we learn from being a storyteller? I will tell you what MORE people will be attracted to you as a storyteller and NOT a salesperson. Especially when you are using your blog for business. Nobody, not even me wants to be “SOLD” on a product. The authors of this book said it perfectly “People won’t spend a second with an advertisement, but they’ll spend 30 minutes with a great story.” We cannot help but pay attention to stories. Being open and willing to share your thoughts, opinions, and perspectives makes a great blogger…and any of us can achieve that!

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Begin to pay attention to how many stories you tell during the day. If you are intriguing your real life audience MAYBE it will reel in your online audience as well! Your stories you share with others during the day could help spark a post about your business or product. You will be able to share in a “non-salesperson” way. I wanna tie in persuasion with storytelling. The only important detail I think you need to know about being a persuasive writer in blogging is this:

Find common ground, build relationships, & make your case for your values and what you believe in!

How can you do this to relate with your readers and customers? Don’t try so hard. Just simply discover how you can chat about your everyday life BUT appear professional to share your business & service. Does this make sense?

The third characteristic and by far my favorite is DREAMING! We as humans are meant to dream and not enough of us do it. Dreaming is super essential. Dreams are probably the reason your here. Am I right? What inspired you to blog? You probably had a vision and you wanted to make it come to life. I know for me I kinda woke up one day and said “How can I share my passion and business of cosmetics, fashion, my everyday story, & life AND inspire people as an entrepreneur?” I then said to myself I will start a blog! My mind went stir crazy. I started to watch videos and read articles and started posting all my ideas with post it notes on my bedroom walls. I had a dream!

Let me just clarify one tiny detail. In the book a part was mentioned where people label others as either visionaries or dreamers. I never really knew there was a difference. Apparently a visionary is someone who makes the money & a dreamer is when your plans never happen or they don’t happen the way you want. Don’t let this label catch you! It’s only a label. Next week I will be diving into teaching and curation in blogging!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Life is good, because God is great.

Happy Monday! I am so excited to share with you all a highlight from over my weekend. I already knew that today I was going to be talking about it…and now that it is over I can share the details! This past Saturday was a great day for our business…bad day for weather. But we did not let that discourage us. Recently over the past couple years races have become more and more common. By races I mean Color Run, Spartan Race, Mudderella, Savage Race, etc…they are everywhere & we heard once you do one your hooked! Well this past weekend we participated in the Goliathon. By participating we were one of the sponsors for the event.

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What a blessing it was to be able to be apart of this opportunity! For those of you who do not know, one of my 2 business ventures is an apparel line: True Strength Apparel. It was started by my better half Aaron through his passions and desire to share the word of the Lord through Philippians 4:13.

” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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We arrived at the Fairgrounds in Mullica Hill, NJ around 7:00 Saturday morning and packed up around 3:00 that afternoon. The weather was absolutely HORRIBLE! And of course the day before (Halloween) was gorgeous & so was yesterday..cold but not down-pouring, but we made it happen! Our end goal was not about how much money we could make through our merchandise. Our goal for Saturday was to begin to build our following with a potential customer base. I would say we succeeded! Plus a bonus of being able to spend the day with friends & cheer them on while they actually participated in the race & wearing our merch 🙂

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So real quick…what is Goliathon?

“It’s not a race, it’s a mission.”

It is about a 4-5 mile course made up of various obstacles to challenge your speed, agility, strength, & athleticism.

Like I mentioned before there are countless races out there that have recently been started to help raise money for non-profits.What really stuck out to me about this event was that the profits were going to those in need. In this case the creators of Goliathon have partnered with a charity to help raise money for those in need of clean water. Something so simple and something we are sometimes so careless about. I personally fell in love with the concept of the event & was so blessed that our business was able to take its first step for exposure and be apart of it. There next race is May 16th & we as a team cannot wait to be involved! Maybe I will even start training to actually take part 😉 hehe…maybe!

Visit www.Goliathon.com for more info on the event, cause, purpose, & obstacles 🙂

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram: @TrueStrengthApparel Facebook-Instagram-logo2

Shop with us: www.TrueStrengthApparel.com logo

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Lack of PASSION is fatal!

Ahhhhh I am so sad! 😦

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We are coming in for a landing for the #FeelGoodBloggingChallenge on Day 7. BUT I am soooo happy because I have met amazing people through this experience! I feel have never felt such a connection with a large group of people. We are the ultimate support system!

Okay I think I avoided today’s topic long enough…Blog challenge NUMBER 7 (eeekkkkkkkk) A Controversial Post!

So I think a huge battle that any business owner (or anyone in general) face is Passion OVER Experience.When scoping out a potential business partner/ employee etc, what do you go for? The person with talent and thriving passion OR the person with years of experience. Neither are necessarily the wrong choice but which one will bring long term happiness.

“To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” – Anita Roddick

Well I suppose it’s pretty clear where I am going from here. When prospecting a potential new business partner I seek passion over experience. And I am about to tell you why!

For example: Say I own a pizzeria and I am looking to hire a new cook who can flip pizza dough in the air to make our crust. I have 2 people come in to apply for the position. Prospect #1 walks in completely burnt out, yet confident because they know they have been doing this for 10 years. Then you have prospect #2 come in smiling, just as confident as #1 but I sense excitement and “unknowing-ness.” It appears as though the choice is simple…I go with prospect #1. Why? Because they said they are experienced. All I have to do at this point is give them a name-tag & a paycheck and they are good to go. I mean they come to work completely miserable everyday (which drives me bonkers) but hey at least they know what they are doing. My work here is done.

WRONGGGGGG! I personally would go with prospect #2. Now let me clarify something before I go any further. I want you to understand that I am NOT telling you to never seek the person with experience, because without those experienced individuals around us then who are we to learn from? What I AM telling you is to seek the passion. Passion is ENERGY. Passion is what drives you. Personally my success is fueled by my passion for what I do.

I am an entrepreneur in the makeup and beauty industry. A year ago when I partnered with Motives Cosmetics I had ZERO experience. Yes I said it ZERO experience. Now why would someone want to partner with me? I had no idea what I was doing or what I was supposed to talk about…

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You wanna know why people want to work with me? Because I have energy. A person’s energy can tell you more about them then their words. I craved to know all the knowledge I could get on my hands on. I sit here even a year later and I still don’t know everything but any chance I get I still have that burning desire to keep feeding my brain. I watch countless YouTube videos, tinker with my makeup everyday, & read about the products. Now in my business it’s split down the middle when it comes to experience. Yes we work with a handful of worldwide known makeup artists who have been in the industry for years as freelancers & love what we have to offer.  In the same sense there are thousands of girls just like me who CRAVE to know more about this industry & were lucky to even know the difference from our eyeliner and mascara.

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As time goes on I WILL  be the experienced one. A few years from now I will be the expert because of my willingness to always be open to new knowledge that was unfamiliar to me. But I won’t change my prospecting. I will always be seeking people with excitement and passion. Experience can follow. It’s not always guaranteed that you can find the “spark” in someone who has been in the industry for years and years.

“There is no experience like on-the-job training.” – Hank Azaria

I would love to know your thoughts! Please leave some feedback below!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

To those who said I wouldn’t make it!

Hey friends! Wow cannot believe we are coming down to the final days of the #FeelGoodBloggingChallenge! I must say I have finally experienced the ultimate challenge in my writing. But I also thank God for postponing me until today to complete my Day 6 entry. He was pulling me in a completely different direction with this post. (He does that sometimes!)

I was trying so hard to make sense and express my emotions that I wasn’t making any sense at all. Then it hit me like it normally does. How was I to create a post about a time in my life when I felt vulnerable if I didn’t truly have a definition of what it really meant? So after some research on Google and help from my fellow #FeelGoodBloggers I had the confidence to write this post. And that is just it…confidence. Like my picture above “Vulnerability is the cornerstone of confidence.” Confidence to break through the uncertainties of life and overcoming the risk to put yourself out there. I have had many a times where I was unable to BE vulnerable because my confidence was shot down right before my eyes.

From being over weight (uncontrollably by medicine) as a child, to an emotionally abusive relationship in my teens, to now facing the fear of living a lifestyle that is out of the norm (being an internet entrepreneur). I have been told over and over I am not good enough my entire life. As a child it was “Your too fat,” as a teen it was “If you truly loved me you would do this for me…not that,” & now simply…”What are you doing with your life? How do expect success?” As I have gotten older my confidence has been shaken but I have learned to overcome the fears and love myself.

That last part is the most important. LOVE YOURSELF. I will say it again LOVE YOURSELF because that is where your true confidence will develop from. Embrace the person you are and the person you are meant to become AND stay true to YOUR values and beliefs.

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Until about a few months ago I was still hiding behind the insecurities. Unsure if what I was doing was what I wanted to be doing or if it was what I was supposed to be doing. I wasn’t being honest in my words, actions, and most importantly with myself. (This is because of the uncertainty I faced my whole life) I am taking the challenges and the times where I was unable to be vulnerable and finally overcoming them with confidence. The greatest pleasure I am experiencing in my life right now is taking those doubts, negative thoughts & words and doing what people say I could not and cannot do.

I stumbled across this quote and it really hit home and summed up a lot of what I have felt over the years.

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I will keep going. I will keep going with confidence 100% in myself. I will keep going even when I am told I will fail. Failing is good…I embrace it. I will be vulnerable because I am a leader. “All leaders are vulnerable. They have to be in order to influence and inspire.” Thank you for that Ivan Siladji! To be vulnerable I will get over my fears of NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH & ultimately put myself out there. Will you do the same?

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Creativity is CONTAGIOUS…pass it on!

Helloooo Day 5 of #FeelGoodBloggingChallenge! I must say today was the easiest post and I thank Alex for that because it’s Saturday afternoon and I am slowly entering into nap mode…

Today I wanted to share a list that I printed out from Pinterest a few months ago. It really keeps me motivated and keeps me going each and everyday. I am going to share “29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE,” Well I am sharing 11 of my favorites & I will be attaching the entire list at the bottom 🙂 And no as simple & CREATIVE as this list is I myself did not come up with it. But it has helped me to keep my focus and the object of today is to HELP you the reader! So let’s dive into it!

#1 Make LISTS– Not only do they keep you organized but they are so much fun. I probably enjoy them more then the average person but hey who is to judge

*** My favorite list is the TO-DO list I make for myself each night before I go to bed. I even include the tiny things like painting my nails. It’s the feeling of crossing items off a list that keep you going. You have a sense of accomplishment.

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#2 Carry a NOTEBOOK everywhere- Silly to some people but I honestly do this. Sure I have my memo pad on my phone and tablet but something about writing everything out all of the time keeps me more on task & point. It goes hand in hand with number one. Don’t ask questions just do it 🙂

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#3 Try free WRITING– Now this is something I even need to try and do for myself, it’s very hard. For some odd reason it always has been. I have NEVER been a free writer, not even in Elementary School. And they would look something like this…..oh they got me so frustrated.

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But who’s gonna try and tackle and improve in this area with me?

#4 GET AWAY from the computer- Okay well this one seems silly because we are bloggers & well being on electronic devices is a norm for us. But PLEASEEE take this one seriously and start implementing in your daily routines. It’s so unhealthy for us to constantly be staring at computer and phone screens. Give your poor eyes a break and pick up a book, run, walk, listen to music, etc! (And NO sitting watching a movie and/or TV doesn’t count…)

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#5 Surround yourself with CREATIVE people, #6 Get FEEDBACK, #7 COLLABORATE

*** I wanna group these 3 together and for this specific reason! HEY FRIENDS! That’s what we are here for. Not just to read each others blogs ( I mean yes we are) but we are more then that. Alex brought us all together for a reason. We all have one thing in common. We wanna inspire and bring people together through our work. Whether its for business, pleasure or both. We are not here to compete and see who has the most followers or the most likes and so on. We are here to learn from each other and HELP each other! Am I right? 

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#8 DON’T GIVE UP– Just don’t do it okay. This is my absolute favorite quote to go hand in hand with that. We are all at one point or another gonna reach that moment when we have had enough. Don’t let it break you!

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#9 Get lots of REST– I know you wanna keep going, trust me I have nights where I have SO many great ideas and I just wanna keep pushing along. But at one point or another you NEED to rest. Yeah we know the saying “I’ll sleep when I am dead,” Which is 100% accurate (cause if it wasn’t that would be kinda creepy) BUT you NEED to let your body refuel. Take care of yourself PLEASE you are not a superhuman!

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#10 BREAK THE RULES– I want you to learn the rules SO WELL just so you know how to break them properly. THEN break them so often because you will have a huge advantage over those who are too afraid to take the risk.

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#11 FINISH Something- I know we ALL wanna multitask. Truth is your life will become 10 times easier if you just start a project and FINISH. Well this picture sums it up. Beware the multi-tasker!

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Continue reading Creativity is CONTAGIOUS…pass it on!

I pretend to be normal, but it gets boring, SO…

I go back to being me! Today our #FeelGoodBloggingChallenge was to list 10 facts that most people don’t know about us. At first I was stumped even though my only task today was to talk about myself. After picking my brain and sorting through my quirks and abnormal-ness I narrowed it down! So here we go:

Numero UNO: I once lied on an eye exam so that I could get glasses. It worked and now I kick myself because I truly think I need them and my parents don’t believe me.

Numero DOS: I used to despise dogs, like ALL OF THEM. I was bit in the neck when I was little and was terrified of even poodles.

Numero TRES: I took French 8th-11th grade. I can say “Bonjour…” (Go ME!) & I also I never took Spanish but apparently I can count to 10! (I’ll prove it!)

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Numero CUATRO: I have slight OCD. Not just with organization but for example: If something hits my hand a certain way I will purposely cause the same thing to happen to my other hand, even if it causes pain. But I have it under pretty good control so it shouldn’t turn into anything too serious.

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Numero CINCO:  I actually hate writing. But I have always had a knack for it. Creating this blog I don’t feel like I am “writing” I am simply putting thoughts together in an organized fashion.

Numero SEIS:  I love the thrill of long rides and staying unknown places. In February of this past year I ALMOST had my Mom convinced to sleep in the Dallas Airport because of a lay-over.

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Numero SIETE: I LOVE learning about tragedies. My two favorites being Titanic and the Holocaust. (Strange I know…) They scare the heck out of me when I read and watch stories but they are SO intriguing.

Numero OCHO:  I have what I like to call my “DINKY PINKY,” my boyfriend named him “Obie.”

Yes, this is real life
Yes, this is real life.

Numero NUEVE:  When I was 8 I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called ITP. To save the interest level of the non-nerdy peeps I won’t go into scientific details. My body still has the disease but can no longer react since my spleen was removed.

Numero DEIZ:  And to end on a positive note…One of my dreams and goals is to have my very own coffee shop.

Well 10 more random facts about me…Hopefully we can still be friends! 😉

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

I’M BACKKKK with a simple introduction :)

Well I have needed the PUSH to get this thing started again. I was at a point where I didn’t wanna blog anymore. Not because I didn’t have anything to write about and I wasn’t bored…I just didn’t know HOW or what to do. No plan of action. WELL, after some searching around and praying for direction I discovered Alex Beadon. Ever heard of her? No? Go check her out at alexbeadon.com and YouTube! But WAIT..not until your finished reading! 

I have been planning to rediscover myself and my purpose of this blog for sometime. And while I have been gathering ideas, materials, and topics this challenge literally HIT ME IN THE FACE. It was saying get on with it and “Okay Brooke STOP procrastinating and just figure out the nitty-gritty stuff day by day.” SO here it is!

Number 1: Who are you?

ME!

Heyyyyyy there I am Brooke Ducati, but I prefer Brooke Ashley (even though my last name is AWESOME).Who am I? Hmmm just a simple 22-year-old Jersey girl, not “Jersey Shore,” just small town girl with a big heart & coffee addiction. I am an entrepreneur of makeup goodies and Jesus loving fitness wear. I am proud to say I have a job that I love. Not only do I get to sample yummy smoothies and shakes all day (Thanks Bolthouse!) BUT I also have a lot more free time these days to work on this lovely blog and move forward in my businesses 🙂 I cannot wait! I enjoy post it notes and pictures all over my walls of endless ideas that I will share with you all.

I’m a big time family girl. I have 10 siblings, 4 parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles galore. Any down time with family, friends, and of course my better half Aaron is the best time. Hmm what else consumes my free time: shopping, exercise, music, social media, beauty, etc etc etc. And well we will talk all about that later!

Number 2: Why did you start blogging?    

whyI used to make fun of people who blogged in all honesty. I never saw the point AND I thought it was just stupid. Well boy was I wrong. It’s a lot more exciting than I thought. When I first starting blogging (early 2014) I did it just for fun. I wasn’t consistent and didn’t really care to be. I really didn’t even make a lot of posts. This was simply because I didn’t know what I was doing. I basically “shut down” my blog about 2 months ago or so. I said I was “under construction” not really knowing if I would even come back to posting.

But then did ever just have an idea BAM hit you in the head? That is what kinda happened. I won’t get too much into the details yet, but I was driving one day and my thoughts started racing a mile a minute. Shortly after all these ideas came to me I discovered Alex (Beadon that is). I will simply just call her Alex because I basically feel like we are BFF’s already because she has taught me so much! I am here for business, networking, & well for fun as well!

Number 3: Who is this blog for?

Hmmm good question. I feel as though I will be attracting a lot of women in a lot of different age ranges (predominately you ladies in your young 20’s). I wouldn’t be surprised if some younger men here and there stumble across my page, but sorry boys I’m  not really for you 😉

Number 4: What’s something you’ve been working on lately that you’re REALLY proud of?

THIS! This project, this blog, this new blogging venture. I FINALLY have direction. If you are going to be reading this blog you will be getting an insight into my life. Not enough people take a risk. Not enough people are proud of who they are, what they have done or are too scared to share what they are all about. But I am genuinely happy with everything going on in my life right now. Do I make a whole lot of money (ehhh, not right now) but does that bother me (nope not really). But this is the project that has been laid before me and this is what I want and know I should be doing at this moment in my life.

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Number 5: What’s the ONE MESSAGE that you hope people take away from your blog?

I want people to leave here everyday and feel INSPIRED. I have no idea where this blog is going to take me. I have a lot of things planned for this blog and my procrastination was consuming the best of me. I have post it notes galore all over my bedroom wall of ideas and topic ideas. But I may wake up tomorrow and decide something completely different. I have a vision and a dream and that my friends is to INSPIRE. share my likes (and dislikes), business, passions, lifestyle, and everyday happenings.

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I have been blessed with this creative mind and it’s time to put it to good use! Happy blogging my friends! I am excited for whatever is to come!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox