All posts by Ashley Grant

Money is Not the Most Important Thing In Business

I used to think that money was the most important thing in business. After all, you have to be making money to have a business. Right? But, at some point, money is not enough of a drive. It’s certainly not enough to motivate you to get out of bed when the last thing you want to do is work that day.

money is not the most important thing in your business

Nope, you need something bigger than money. You need to understand your WHY! Why do you do what you do? Why do you need to be running this business?

More Important Than Money: Understanding Why You Really Do What You Do

What do super-successful coaches and small business owners all have in common?

It’s not experience.

It’s not extraordinary skills.

It’s not even a powerful drive.

Although all of these things can definitely help your business grow, they’re not a prerequisite for success. After all, no one is born with experience or skills, and plenty of successful people lack drive.

The one thing that does make a difference, though, is your “why.”

Why did you decide to become a coach?

Why do you spend too many hours in front of your computer every week?

Why do you stay up too late and get up too early, just so you can work on growing your business?

The “why” is what ultimately drives us to success, but here’s the thing: it’s different for everyone. Your why is not my why, and my why is not her why. It’s a deeply personal choice that can have great meaning…or not.

For example, a survivor of domestic abuse might happily spend 60 or 70 hours each and every week mentoring other victims of abuse, or counseling couples on how to break the cycle. Her big why is a strong desire to prevent other women from suffering in the same way she did.

A mother of small children may be saddened at the thought of sending her kids to daycare just so she can go to work to (barely) pay for it. Her big why is a drive to spend as much time with her kids as she can, while still supporting her family.

A young, fresh out of school entrepreneur might resist taking the same path her parents took, working for a corporation for 40 years, only to retire and find themselves with barely enough to live on. Instead, she dreams of having the income (and the time) to see the world while she’s still young enough to enjoy it.

So what’s your big “why”? It might be the freedom to travel, the option to spend time with your family, the ability to take weeks off at a time to care for a sick family member, or even to earn enough money to support a charity that’s close to your heart.

Whatever it is, your “why” is the driving force behind every action you take. When you’re deciding whether or not to take on a new client, ask yourself if it’s aligned with your “why.” When you’re setting goals for the year, ask yourself if those goals are moving you closer or further from your big why. Thinking of branching out into a new business venture? Make sure it’s in alignment with your big why, and success is suddenly much more attainable.

 

Big Hairy Audacious Goals Trump SMART Goals Any Day

Yep, I said it! And, I stand by it!!! Big hairy audacious goals Trump SMART goals any day of the week, and twice on Sundays!

Lately, I’ve been more about setting BHAGs than SMART ones. Why? Because they are more exciting. They rev me up and get me pumped to go after them.

However, I must say that I’m also careful to breakdown my BHAGs into ones that are attainable. Read on to learn why SMART goals are not my jam as much as they were before…

Big hairy audacious goals Trump SMART goals

Beyond SMART: Goal Setting for Entrepreneurs

If there’s one thing we know about goals, they have to be SMART, right?

After all, that’s what we’ve been told for years. The only thing that matters is that your goals are specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely.

While that looks great on paper—and clearly it’s easy to remember—it doesn’t go far enough for those who want to achieve big things.

Think about it. Do you want to be stuck with “attainable” and “realistic” goals when what you really dream about is a 3-day workweek, frequent international travel, and enough money to fund a mission trip (or three). Seems pretty clear that those safe, smart goals aren’t going to get you there.

In fact, they might even do worse than simply “not get you there.” They may actively hold you back.

Consider what happens when you set an “attainable” goal of earning 10% more than you did last year. You might work 10% more. You might spend 10% more on ads or product creation. You might even reach out to 10% more potential clients.

And you’ll likely earn about 10% more.

Not bad!” you say. After all, that was your goal.

But did that 10% goal inspire you to work harder? Or did it create a subconscious ceiling on your earning potential that you’re unable to break through?

Rather than focusing on goals that are attainable and realistic, savvy entrepreneurs know that the key to incredible success lies in creating lofty goals that feel out of reach—maybe even UN-attainable.

They don’t strive to earn 10% more than last year. They want 50% or even 100% more. They stretch themselves. They find new—and better—ways to do things, so they don’t have to work twice as hard, but they remain open to the possibility of doing so—at least in the short term—when it’s necessary.

Of course, you cannot simply declare crazy goals and expect the universe to hand them to you. And that’s exactly why putting aside those smart goals is so…smart. When you shun the attainable in favor of the “holy cow, how will I ever do THAT?” goal, you push yourself beyond those self-imposed limits and reach for the stars.

Sure, you might not double your income, but you’re almost guaranteed to do better than a mere 10% increase. So push your boundaries. Set big, audacious goals. Even if you fail, you’ll be much further ahead than those smart goals would leave you.

Is it Better to Give Than Receive? The True Power of Giving

Is it better to give than receive? That is a complicated question. When it comes to manifesting your dream life, giving can sometimes be the key to doing just that. However, you can’t just give away everything you own and expect the Universe to deliver all that you want to you. It’s not that simple. So, let’s break it down further to help you figure out the true power of giving when you do it the right way.

The Power of Giving - Better to Give Than Receive

The Power of Giving

There is so much confusion surrounding the power of giving. Some people think they have to give everything away in order to be liked, loved, and respected. Other people think they need to hold on to everything because there is scarcity or lack. Neither approach is good and neither have the key component of balance.

It’s not necessary to hoard and it’s not necessary to give everything away either when it comes to wanting more. Here are a few tips on giving and receiving and how they balance each other out.

It’s Okay to Want More

Once you recognize your underlying feelings associated with wanting more, you may be able to open up to abundance like you’ve never seen. Just about everyone you know probably has some feelings of guilt associated with wanting more.

If you say you want more money, you are known to be greedy. If you say you want more food, you can be called a glutton. The simple act of wanting more is not greedy or selfish. It’s okay to want more. When you realize that, you set yourself free.

If you want more than anyone else, however, and are not willing to share or do good with your abundance that is what falls into the category of greed, not the simple act of wanting and being more. Don’t feel guilty about wanting more.

Giving Abundantly

When you give abundantly without hesitation and with no fear or guilt involved, that is where the magic happens. Try with small doses at first. Start by cleaning out a closet and giving your gently used items that you no longer use to charity. Buy a gift for someone just because and watch them smile.

Then become more aware. Become more aware of how you snagged the last, only parking spot right outside the store when it was pouring rain. Say thank you now. Be grateful for the reciprocal abundance.

Be Aware

Every time you receive something good pay attention and be grateful. When things don’t go your way, pay attention to that too but don’t spend too much time on it. Don’t talk about it a lot, don’t focus or dwell too much. Chalk it up to a life experience and make it go away as quickly as it came. Find a solution and move on.

Receiving

When someone does something nice for you or wants to help you, tell the truth, do you tell them it’s not necessary or they shouldn’t have? Let people give to you and be gracious and accepting of it. When you allow people to give to you, it teaches them to be better receivers and let’s the power of giving flow back and forth.

Giving without Expectation

Make certain when you give whether it is money, time or help that you give without expectation of anything in return. Also, make certain that you have no specific set of outcome attachments to your giving either.

Don’t expect the end result to look a certain way or have a certain outcome.

Giving has a powerful way of returning to you if you don’t expect anything in return and if you are aware that you receive blessings in other ways.

 

As Adults We Should Treat Everyday Like Our Birthday

Today is my actual birthday. Yep, I’m celebrating another trip around the sun. And, to be honest, earlier this month I was super bummed about it.

Why? Because I got to thinking about my age and all the things I haven’t done yet. In truth, I was thinking too much about all the things society said I should have done by now…

Then, a heart to heart with my husband made me realize that not only am I being negative, I’m being negative because of what other people think I should do with my life rather than the things I actually want to do.

Celebrate Like It’s Your Birthday

Needless to say, the conversation the hubs and I had lead me to quite the journaling session where I started thinking about how freaking lucky I am to have all the things I have.

I’m also really lucky to have had the experiences I’ve had like going to Cancun, traveling to Belize, visiting Thailand, and the wild stories each destination gave me.

I’m also grateful as can be that I’ve designed a dream job that allows me to work from home. The lack of a commute alone makes me insanely grateful.

By the end of my journaling session I came to one glaring realization. As adults, every day can be like our birthdays. And, we should celebrate them as such.

Every day that we wake up – that’s the gift. Any day that we’re not six feet under is a great day my friends. Because no matter what we face that day, we got the opportunity to face it.

While I was thinking about this… I stumbled upon this silly music video by artist Futuristic called “Everyday Is My Birthday.” The lyrics that stood out to me the most go like this:

Every day is my birthday, yeah
Get the cake, get the cake
Every day is my birthday, yeah
Feeling great, feeling great
Make a wish, so it all come true
Close your eyes, and it all come true

Party Like It’s Your Birthday

Though the video is silly, and the concept might seem silly too – the lyrics hit me right in the feels. Every day we wake up, we get the chance to make our wishes come true.

By that logic, every day is our birthday. We should celebrate! I know I for one certainly plan to!

I’ll close with an excerpt from this article aptly titled Everyday is Your Birthday, by Katelyn Reiss:

“It is so easy for us to fall victim to our stress and feel like everything we are doing is for nothing. It becomes difficult to find true meaning and be happy with ourselves each day when we feel held down by all of our duties.

“Our birthday is a day of joy. People who we haven’t spoken to in months reach out to us to let us know how much they love us and miss us. We feel like we are important, but truth be told, we are important all of the time.

“We find happiness in being able to relax on our birthday and surround ourselves with good company. Why shouldn’t we do that everyday? Why shouldn’t we have that slice of cake or reminisce about old times?

“Birthdays are supposed to be a time of relaxation, reflection, happiness and feeling good about yourself. Why should all of these great things be limited to one day out of 365? They shouldn’t. We should feel plentiful each day and treat others as if it is their birthday too.”

I agree wholeheartedly Katelyn. So, with that said – Happy Birthday everyone. Here’s to celebrating you!

Opening Yourself to Positive Thinking

Opening Yourself to Positive Thinking

Anyone close to me knows that I’ve been trying to be a more positive person lately. I truly believe that it was the negativity that my dad allowed to poison his mind that ultimately lead to his taking of his own life.

I don’t want that to happen to me, and I’m committed more than I’ve every been in my entire life to trying to be as positive as possible. I’ve been meditating, journaling, taking courses – all the things. I’m even writing blog posts like this one because I believe that spreading positivity to others is the best way to bring more positive vibes and feelings back to me.

Are you ready to open yourself to positive thinking?  Read on to learn the real key to positive thinking…

the real key to positive thinking-min

The Real Key to Positive Thinking

Affirmations in manifesting have been around for quite some time and they do work. However, it’s important not to rely solely upon positive affirmations when it comes to positive thinking. There are several different ways to take on the art of positive thinking. You don’t have to walk around wearing rose-colored glasses. That’s not what positive thinking is about; it’s so much more than that.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are important. If you start your day with a positive affirmation that you are going to have a great day, an abundant day, a generous day, you will soon see that these affirmations will come to life.

When you use a positive affirmation, it’s important to mean what you say. Don’t do it like you are brushing your teeth and it’s just simply a chore. Mean it when you say it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different affirmations. Make it about someone else too. Share your abundant thoughts and watch how quickly they return to you.

Try affirmations at different times during the day too. Set aside time for a lunch-time affirmation and for an evening affirmation.

Positive Visualization

Manifesting is not only done through positive affirmations. You can achieve them through positive visualization too. What is meant by positive visualization? It’s surrounding yourself with a clear and uncluttered space so that positive things can find their way to you.

It’s also about having a vision board in plain sight where you can see it and it’s also about making an intentional effort to look at it and read it. When you create your vision board, make sure you have statements on it about what you want to see appear in your life. Don’t make it all pictures, put some words up there too.

Use statements on your vision board like I am going to make six figures with my coaching business by the end of (and then pick a date). When you mix visualization with positive affirmation, you have twice the power of manifesting a life you love.

Positive Speech

The last piece of the puzzle for positive thinking is positive speech. Have you ever noticed when you are in a bad mood, you can say lots of equally bad things? Whatever thought you think is the word that will follow.

However, when you want to manifest positive things into your life, you can start with positive thoughts followed by positive words. The beauty about positive speech is it can have an impact both ways. You can use positive words to foster more positive thoughts and you can use positive thoughts and then create statements that are positive to follow suit.

Positive Journaling

When it comes to positive affirmations, don’t forget the last key to the puzzle. If you have a negative experience, journal about it and then see how you can find some light at the end of the tunnel in the whole situation; even if it’s just the simple fact that you learned a lesson.

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to positive manifesting in no time.

Seventh Annual Clearwater Beach Uncorked November 2018 – Sip. Savor. Repeat.

Last year I had the amazing pleasure of being hosted at Clearwater Beach UnCorked. I’m tickled pink to report that this year they are hosting the event again, and this time it’s in November! This event is a fabulous way to try a bunch of different wines in one location, for one price. There are also lots of yummy bites. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, if I do say so myself. And, like any event in the Tampa Bay area, VIP is the way to go!  Below you’ll find all the details about this exciting wine fest. I hope to attend this year, and I think after reading about it, you will too!

Clearwater Beach Uncorked today announced the new dates for its highly anticipated seventh anniversary celebration, November 3-4. Located directly on Clearwater Beach (adjacent to the official host hotel, Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach), just south of Pier 60, Clearwater Beach Uncorked is returning to celebrate the Bay area’s most renowned chefs, restaurants, and breweries in a culinary showcase served with 180-degree Gulf of Mexico views. Dubbed one of the best food, wine and beer festivals on Florida’s East coast, the event is the west coast sister of Cocoa Beach Uncorked, which took place in April. Tickets are now on sale and details are available online at ClearwaterBeachUncorked.com.

“The sugar sand of Clearwater Beach is an exquisite setting to host thousands of eager foodies, wine lovers and beer aficionados searching for the very best in culinary trends.  The Bay-area is quickly becoming a cutting-edge market for culinarians looking for a new dining and drinking adventure,” said Tammy Gail, event producer. “We love bringing together our new and old friends to indulge in an unforgettable beach weekend highlighting the best of Florida’s west coast gastronomic treasures. This is lucky number seven for the festival and we’re working to make it the best yet for attendees, partners and exhibitors alike. We advise all of our guests to be prepared to be WOWED!”

The two-day event will feature interactive experiences, tastings, cooking demonstrations and competitions between some of the area’s most notable and award-winning chefs and restaurants. Adding to the full weekend culinary experience, the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, the official hotel sponsor of the event, is offering a very limited special room rate of just $189 for an Uncorked Getaway during the weekend of November 3-4.

Event tickets are $75 per person, per day for general admission and $100 per person, per day for VIP access. All guests will receive a limited-edition wine glass, custom tote bag and enjoy the Grand Tasting Village with unlimited tastings from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests who purchase a VIP ticket will also enjoy one-hour early admission to the Grand Tasting Village and exclusive access to the Spirits Pool Lounge at the Wyndham Grand pool deck from 1 to 5 p.m. to sample exciting and intriguing crafted libations.

Each year, a portion of proceeds from Clearwater Beach Uncorked has assisted the community through various hospitality programs and has supported the University of South Florida’s Sarasota Manatee School of Hospitality and Tourism for the past four years. Funds are used to develop academic programs, scholarships, research grants and campus infrastructure.

For more information on Clearwater Beach Uncorked and to purchase tickets, visit ClearwaterBeachUncorked.com. Follow Clearwater Beach Uncorked on FacebookTwitter or Instagram #Uncorkedweekend and #CLBU2018.

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About Clearwater Beach Uncorked:

Clearwater Beach Uncorked has been dubbed the hippest, most exciting two-day food, wine, and craft beer festival on Florida’s West Coast. The event welcomes thousands of attendees to Florida’s award-winning Clearwater Beach.  In celebration of its seventh anniversary, Clearwater Beach Uncorked will play host to foodies, wine lovers and craft beer aficionados who long to wiggle their toes in the sugar white sand as they enjoy some of the area’s most delectable offerings. The 30,000 sq. ft. Grand Tasting Tent will feature a vast array of mouthwatering taste experiences for discerning palettes.

 

Sun Safety Sunblock

Epic Guide to Sun Safety

Living in Tampa, FL where going outdoors is possible all year, sun safety is often on my mind. I’ve had sun poisoning twice, and more than my fair share of sunburns. Even when I thought I was being careful! The reality is that it takes less than 20 minutes to get a sunburn. And, on particularly sunny days, reports have shown you can get one in as little as SEVEN MINUTES! Can you believe that?

Well, with that in mind, I wanted to bring my readers an epic guide to sun safety. Regardless of whether you’re in Florida or traveling to another place this summer, you must protect yourself from the sun. Below you’ll find all kinds of tips and important information to keep in mind while playing outside this summer, and all year round!

This post contains links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

The Importance of Sun Safety

The truth about those UV Rays

Most people love to go out and have fun in the sun, but before you can do that safely, there are a few things that need to be considered. The sun, which is our source of light can be dangerous at times if the proper precautions haven’t been taken.

Since this is a known issue, a number of products that have been created to protect you from the light coming through the atmosphere are widely available at almost any store, but why do you need it? Here are some things to know about the importance of sun protection.

Ultraviolet A

The sun’s rays are great for a lot of different things like growing crops, but they also have a very destructive side. Ultraviolet A light has the ability to damage skin and cause premature aging. This damage can cause oxidative stress on skin cells, and can manifest in a variety of cellular anomalies like carcinomas.

This type of Ultraviolet light passes through glass, so you may be able to protect yourself using a UVA blocking film. When unprotected from the sun, these rays can penetrate deep into the layers of your skin.

Ultraviolet B

UVB is somewhat different than UVA in that it can’t pass through glass, but it can be responsible for some of the more serious cancers like melanoma that appear on the surface of the skin. This means that when you are out in the sun, you can be exposed to these rays during anytime of the day.

If you want to avoid exposure, it is recommended that you stay out of the direct sun light from 9:30am to 5:00pm on most days. When you are unprotected, these rays will produce either a skin color change or a burn.

Refracted Light

Even when the sun isn’t completely out, you are still at risk of exposure to the radiation coming from the sun. This is particularly true when the weather is overcast. Water particles that are free floating in the air can refract the UVA and UVB in every direction making you an even more easy target for skin issues.

Be sure to be mindful of how much time you spend in the type of weather to avoid burns. Remember that depending on the density of the cloud, a large portion of the UVB radiation will still pass through. It is also important to be extra careful if you are near water, as the light reflects and causes a bad sunburn.

SPF and Sun Safety

What You Should Know About SPF

When you’re thinking about buying sunscreen, making an informed choice isn’t as easy as simply buying the most recognizable name brand, or the one that says it’s good for babies. It’s important to know what the numbers mean, and how they can affect your skin health. If Sun Safety Sunscreenyou continue reading this article, you will find that it will share some important information on what you should know about SPF.

What It Means

The Sun Protection Factor, or SPF is a relative measurement of how much light energy it can protect against to prevent a sunburn versus plain untreated skin. A lot of consumers are under the impression that SPF is related to time in which they are exposed to sunlight, but that is a common misconception about sunscreen.

The truth is more nuanced, because there are a variety of factors and variables at work when you are spending time in the sun. These details influence the amount of time each person is able to spend in the sun, and even under a controlled circumstance, the results will vary from one situation to the next.

Variables Affecting SPF

Things like the time of day, the tone of a person’s skin, the amount of time between applications can drastically change the effectiveness of sunscreen. For example, a light skinned person will be more likely to get a sunburn during the afternoon portion of the day than a darker skinned person at the same time of day with the same exposure time.

If it were earlier in the day however, they could spend 2 – 3 times as much time in the sun. In reality, it’s best to always be sure to keep applying sunscreen if you want to stay protected, and it’s a good idea to catch some time in the shade even if you’re wearing it.

More SPF Misconceptions

Companies are well aware that most people don’t understand how SPF works, so they will make products with very high SPF, which gives most consumers the idea that they can put this sunscreen on and hang out in the sun all day. This simply isn’t true, because SPF is only a rating of how much light can hit the sun before a burn occurs. Higher SPF ratings are just saying that less UV light will get through to your skin, but some still does get through.

Sun Safety and Body Parts

Areas of Your Body That Burn the Easiest

Scientists have now discovered that some areas of the body burn very easily. The following explains some of the more vulnerable spots of the body, and what can be done to protect them.

Underarms

This is probably one of the last places on the body that you think of when you think about getting sunburned, but the armpits are a sensitive area, often not seeing light more than 5% of your day.

When you go shirtless or with very little covering, this sudden exposure can cause more damage than you would expect. It would be a good idea to limit exposure by seeking shade. This is more of a risk when you are laying out in the sun with your arms reached above your head, exposing the underarms.

Breasts

Generally speaking, women’s breasts spend a lot less time in the light that other areas. These sensitive areas can be burned very quickly depending on skin tone and frequency of exposure to the sun. Sunscreen would be an excellent way to protect the breast and make sure that they are less likely to be burned during your time in the sun.

Sun Safety EarEars

The skin of your ears is very thin and sensitive, so it should be of very little surprise that the ears can sustain such heavy damage very quickly.

In fact, this thin skin is easily penetrated by harmful UV rays that cause the blood vessels to burst. This can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.

SPF 30 sunscreen and a shaded area will go a long way to helping you to prevent such an uncomfortable burn.

If you are prone to burn, you should not only wear sunscreen on your ears, but try to wear a hat if you will be outdoors for long periods of time. This will help to protect them from being cooked in the midday sun.

Tops of Your Feet

When applying sunscreen to your legs, don’t neglect your feet. The majority of people spend most of their time in shoes and socks, which gives their feet very little time in a day to build up a stronger defense against the rays of UV that beat down onto them.

A sudden exposure to heavy amounts of UV radiation could result in a serious burn in you aren’t paying attention. Using sunscreen, and being sure to apply it at least one every 2 hours should help to keep your days returning from work from becoming a foot burning nightmare.

Backs of Knees

Even if you do remember to put sunscreen all over your legs, it’s important to note that applying it again is key to making sure that you keep yourself well covered and free from burns. The backs of your knees tend to sweat, which can leave them vulnerable to the UV light that penetrates the sensitive skin back there.

Scalp

Lastly, it’s very important to pay attention to where your hair parts. If you have a prominent part in your hair and you haven’t protected your scalp with a hat or sunscreen, you are likely to get a sunburn. Be sure to always keep you scalp protected, and you can avoid an unpleasant time the following day.

Summer Sun Safety

How to Protect Your Skin Under the Hot, Summer Sun

Wear A Big Sun Hat

Sun Safety Beach Hat

This stylish and popular beach item can help you to keep your face and head protected. When the sun makes your shadow shorter than you, the sun is at its highest point in the sky, and sunburns can result easily if you are exposed to it directly.

A sun hat can protect your skin by shading your face and head, but it won’t be able to give you much coverage other than that. This will leave your shoulders, back, stomach, and legs exposed, so it would be good to use it alongside another method of protection.

Use A Beach Umbrella

This one is simple and effective. Buying a beach umbrella is inexpensive, and can provide shade for more than one person depending on which size you choose. When you need a break from sitting in the sun, you can simply run and get under your beach umbrella.

The only drawback of the beach umbrella, is that it won’t protect you from the ultraviolet radiation being reflected by the sand around you. In order to give your skin better protection, other methods of protection are needed.

Try A Type of Sunscreen

The best way to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen. This is a specially formulated liquid that can block and protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation that penetrates the skin when you are in direct sunlight.

If you are being very active is a good idea to reapply your sunscreen so that you are making sure that it is working at its most optimal level to protect you. If you are swimming, or sweating heavily then it is recommended that you apply it to your skin every 45 minutes to an hour. Keeping up with this practice will protect your skin from cancers could develop without its use.

Water Sun Safety

Protecting Your Skin in the Water

Sun Safety Pool

Everyone loves to get into cool water when the weather begins to heat up. Every year people rush to their favorite water spots to swim, hang out with family and bask in the sun, but there are additional things you should keep in mind if you’ll be in the water while trying to protect yourself from the sun.

Also check out my post that is a fabulous pick me up for all ladies!

Chlorine Kills Sunscreen

Have you ever noticed that your time in the pool has been cut short by the beginnings of a burn even though you were wearing sunscreen? If you haven’t you’ve been very fortunate, because studies have shown that chlorine in pools has the ability to lessen the effectiveness of most sunscreen. This means that using it is practically useless in that sort of environment and other solutions are needed.

Use Waterproof Sunscreen

Waterproof sunscreen can be a good option for people looking to spend time in the water but it’s important to note that even a really high SPF sunscreen will lose its effectiveness in an hour or two of play. It is strongly recommended that you apply fresh sunscreen to any areas of the skin that are exposed directly to light.

SPF is a rating of how much UV light gets through to your skin and has nothing to do with how long it will be effective. That being said, there are no sunscreens that are 100% effective at blocking out radiation, so it’s important to take breaks from sitting in direct sunlight.

Shading

Even if you are wearing sunscreen and taking the time to apply sunscreen frequently, there’s no guarantee that you can avoid all of the harmful rays of UV light that can penetrate and damage your skin. If you combine the use of sunscreen with sitting under shade, you are more likely to leave the scene without a sunburn.

You can even wear your own shade in the form of a sun hat to help protect your face, and shoulders. These areas are highly vulnerable to the sun and will likely burn before a lot of other areas of the body. If you think ahead and plan for your fun times in the water and sun, you can save yourself the pain of a bad sunburn.

If you are going to spend a lot of time in the water, just be sure to reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours.

Sun Safety – Naturally Protecting Yourself

Did you know that you can protect your skin with natural methods outside of over the counter solutions for sun protection? Fortunately, information has become available to those who want to seek more natural means due to preference or allergy.

These natural methods are easy, inexpensive and can help you to take a healthier approach to your efforts to keep your skin healthy and free of chemicals.

Hang Out in the Shade

This of course is the easier and least expensive to a certain extent. Simply seek cover and shade. You will be able to avoid a lot of the rays that cause damage but beware of reflected light that is more difficult to detect.

Eat Food High in Vitamin D

When you spend time in the sun, your body produces a vitamin that gives your skin a more resilient quality in the form of vitamin D. Studies have shown that consuming more vitamin D rich foods can go a long way in the fight against skin damage by bolstering your skin’s natural defenses from UV radiation.

Foods that are fortified can be a great option for this, but many foods like fatty fish, liver, cheese and eggs. Another positive is that if you do end up with a sunburn, you are more likely to heal in a shorter period of time than if you had less vitamin D.

Cold Pressed Coconut Oil

In ancient time, some cultures would spread coconut oil on the skin before long periods of spending time in the sun or other outside activities. Studies have shown that while the oil itself isn’t as effective as a sunblock, it adds a large portion of the vitamins and minerals that are needed to protect the skin from damage resulting in prolonged exposure to UV radiation.

Eat Heavy Fats

After numerous studies, science has discovered that eating a lot of saturated fats can also have a profound effect on your skin’s ability to protect itself from UV radiation. Many of these fats can be derived from plant means, so that won’t exclude anyone who doesn’t eat meat.

Eat More Tomatoes

The naturally occurring chemical Lycopene, is also associated with a stronger skin defense against UV light. If you were to increase your intake of tomatoes, you would get a heavier dose of lycopene. While all of these methods work, it’s more likely that a combination of them will get you better results.

Sun Safety for Babies

Sun Safety BabiesPlaying in the sun is essential for childhood development, but the dangers of sun burns and other sun-related illnesses can be a cause for worry in a lot of families. Small children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and other skin issues.

Even though people want to protect their children from harm, well-meaning parents still forget that their children have not yet gained a substantial amount of physical defense against the environment around them.

Children Under 7 Months

If you’re out at the beach, the chances are that you will see some people out there with their 2 – 3-month-old babies. It’s fairly common, and yet the truth is that these people don’t know that the sun can be extremely harmful to children of that age group. In fact, it really isn’t a good idea to take any children under 7 months to spend time in the sun at all.

They are far too undeveloped, and even the sunscreen that is marketed as child safe can be harmful to very young and sensitive skin. The best thing to do, is to wait until they are closer to a year old before you decide to spend extended time outside in direct sunlight. It is also important to remember that light refracts, and reflects off multiple surfaces including sand, so there isn’t really any safe way to have your baby out in those environments.

Children Over a Year

Once your child has reached an age where they have built up some natural defense against light exposure, it’s time to start considering how they will be protected. It would be advisable to limit their time spent in direct sunlight by using a combination of methods. You can buy a large beach umbrella and use sunscreen to help your child to take breaks from sun exposure. When they are under the shade, you can apply a fresh coating of sunscreen to exposed areas.

Considerations

It’s important to remember that SPF is simply a measurement of how much UV radiation is being blocked, which means that your child won’t be protected absolutely. Applying new sunscreen should be done at least once every 2 hours, but you might want to do it once every hour and 30 minutes.

If they are getting in the water, the applications need to be more frequent. A recommended interval would be an hour or less.

Sun Safety for the Inevitable Sunburn

How to Treat a Sunburn Naturally

Try as you may to protect yourself, you still might end up with a sunburn. If this does happen to you, you’ll need some form of treatment to lessen the symptoms and manage the pain. If you don’t want to use a bunch of chemicals, what are your options?

Get Hydrated

When you get more hydrated, it will help you to fight off the damage that you get from a sunburn. Directly following your exposure to the sun, go drink some water. A more hydrated body will distribute fluids to the areas that need hydration, and your body can more easily begin the process of healing that is going to follow. It also helps if you go ahead and run some of the cool water over your burned area. This will stop the heat from continuing to cook the layers of skin where the heat is trapped.

Baking Soda Paste

A baking soda paste can help you to heal your burn more quickly. All you have to do is mix some warm water into a cup with a hefty portion of baking soda so that is has a consistency much like a paste. Once is soft enough to rub onto your burn, gently spread the baking soda paste over the burned area of skin. This will help you to alleviate some pain, and allow the body to heal a little more quickly.

Organic Aloe Gel

Sun Safety AloeIf you can, pick up some organic aloe gel. This marvelous gel will help to both sooth and heal your skin. It is great for bringing down the inflammation that is caused by burns and will put your skin on the right path to healing.

Oatmeal Bath

With this remedy, all you have to do is put some uncooked oatmeal in the bath. If you don’t want the oatmeal freely floating around in the water then you can place the oatmeal into a sock to make it like a large teabag, but you don’t want the water to be too warm or too cold.

It should be water that is about temperature of a bath that has gone cold. One the oatmeal has soaked for about 30 minutes, get into the water.

When to See a Doctor For a Sunburn

Sun Safety Sunblock

For most people, a sunburn is a minor inconvenience that they will treat with remedies found in the home that are kept in a medicine cabinet, or the refrigerator. A good amount of the time, it’s a simple case of resting indoors and rubbing on some aloe, but how do you know when you should seek actual medical attention? Skin burns can be a serious issue, because the sensitive tissues can become inflamed and infected when they are damaged in this way.

When It’s Not Too Bad

Sunburns are super common, so there are a lot of ways that you can treat these burns. The most notable way that you can treat burns is with aloe vera which helps the healing process. You don’t want to apply ice to a burn, which can irritate a fresh burn and make the healing process a more painful and annoying experience.

Instead simply run cool water over the burn to reduce the temperature and stop the damage from progressing any further. You can also take aspirin or any other acetaminophen product to reduce pain.

When You Should Keep Watch

The normal redness that forms in the sunburned area can be expected, but when any more than that can be an indication that you have received a severe burn that has penetrated into the deeper levels of your skin. One major sign of this is when you develop blisters in the burnt area. As soon as you see this symptom.

It is time to get out of the sun and get to treating the area. It would also be a good idea to begin hydration to counteract the skin damage. It may take a full day to see how much damage has been done, so it will warrant close monitoring.

When You Should See a Doctor

When you have experienced not only the redness, but also blisters it can be cause for concern, but anything past those symptoms should move you to seek medical help immediately with urgency. Some of the other factors that can occur could be vomiting, nausea, or disorientation of any kind.

Ignoring these symptoms can be very dangerous and can ever be signs of other more serious conditions like sunstroke. Being aware and knowing what to look for can help you to save a life.

If you have an infant or young child with a burn of any degree, you should bring them to a doctor for proper treatment.

Additional Posts You May Enjoy:

Destroying Your Skin

J. Joseph Salon – Grand Opening Details and More

I partnered with J. Joseph Salon to write this post and give them love on social media in exchange for a hair makeover. Though the hair makeover was free, it did not impact my write up. All opinions are my own.

Have you heard?!? J. Joseph Salon is opening its third location, this one in Citrus Park. Come to their grand opening on 6/20/18 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Address is 8616 Citrus Park Drive

Enjoy complimentary drinks, giveaways, raffles for Redken and other hair products, instant savings on a future appointment, plus enter to win a hair makeover valued at $300.

Enter to win HERE: https://www.jjosephsalon.com/citruspark/
Please type “Ashley Grant” into the field that says “How did you hear about us?”

Can’t make it to the grand opening? The salon is scheduling hair appointments for new guests. Call (813) 235-6848 to schedule your appointment.

I’m getting my hair cut there Saturday 6/16/18! I’ll be back to share before and after images. So stay tuned for the update!

About J. Joseph Salon

J. Joseph Salon – Who they are:

J. Joseph Salon is a group of upscale hair salons located in Pasco and Hillsborough County, Florida. They offer European decor, creative roots, and an ambiance of hospitality and elegance.

When you arrive you’ll be met with complimentary beverages and a chic environment, as they believe in catering to their clientele, and making them feel like the VIPs they are.

J. Joseph Salon offers top tier products such as Redken and Pureology hair care, coloring and styling products. They also feature expertly trained and well-versed stylists that  will assist you in creating and managing your look.

They believe consistency is the key to beauty, and as a result they will make professional recommendations best suited for the integrity of your hair.

Along with Redken and Pureology, J. Joseph also uses Pravana and Joico to maintain longevity between scheduled appointments. Olaplex and Heatcure are available for in-salon and take-home hair treatments.

Their Specialty Treatments Include:

  • GKhair Juvexin Keratin Treatments at both Pasco County locations.
  • DreamCatchers and Great Lengths Hair Extensions are available upon request/consultation by certified stylists.
  • Brow and facial waxing
  • Makeup applications with jane iredale skin care cosmetics.
  • Classic OPI or shellac manicure (Land O’ Lakes only)

The Mission of J. Joseph (directly from their site):

“J. Joseph Salon believes in commitment and creativity. Not only do we strive to give each guest our undivided attention but also encouragement and support as they venture into new looks, styles and color. Your satisfaction is our number one priority and we want our professional skill set to meet the needs and desires of your heart. We understand that beauty is personal; we understand that beauty is intimate and we thank you, for your trust.”

Have a place or product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Also check out my review of my day at Grand Beauty Spa in Tampa

Tweetchat 6/12/18 – Tampa Does Summer

Tampa Does Summer Tweetchat Promo

Have you ever participated in a tweetchat? Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a huge fan of them. I love the the anticipation leading up to it, almost as much as I love the excitement during it. I like to say that tweetchats are the fastest hour on Twitter.  I get all kinds of jazzed when I participate them, but I get even more excited when I get to host them! They are seriously one of my favorite things of EVER!

Anywho – so I’m hosting a Tweetchat on Tuesday June, 12, 2018 for the Tampa Bay Bloggers at noon EST. And, if you would like to join me over on Twitter that day, below are the tweets that will be going live. I’d love to see you as I host the TampaDoesSummer chat!

Tweets for the 6/12/18 Tweetchat:

June 11, all day Join @TBbloggers this #TampaBayTuesday as we share how #TampaDoesSummer on Tuesday 6/12/18 at noon EST
June 11, all day Tomorrow the @TBbloggers are chatting about beating the summer heat, fun things to do in town, places to eat, and more! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
June 11, all day Tampa Bay is one of the hottest destinations to play in this summer. Learn all about how #TampaBayDoesSummer in tomorrow’s #TampaBayTuesday chat with the @TBbloggers at 12 pm EST
June 11, all day Father’s Day, Fourth of July and Summer Fun – OH MY! Let’s talk about how #TampaDoesSummer with the @TBbloggers for #TampaBayTuesday tomorrow at 12 pm EST
June 12, 6-11AM Tampa Bay is one of the hottest destinations to play in this summer. Learn all about how #TampaBayDoesSummer in today’s #TampaBayTuesday chat with the @TBbloggers at 12 pm EST
June 12, 6-11AM Join @TBbloggers TODAY for #TampaBayTuesday as we share how #TampaDoesSummer at noon EST
June 12, 6-11AM TODAY the @TBbloggers are chatting about beating the summer heat, fun things to do in town, places to eat, and more! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
June 12, 11AM Father’s Day, Fourth of July and Summer Fun – OH MY! Let’s talk about how #TampaDoesSummer with the @TBbloggers for #TampaBayTuesday today at 12 pm EST
6/12/18 11:55 a.m. In 5 minutes, join the @TBbloggers as we talk beating the summer heat, fun things to do in town, places to eat, and more! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
6/12/18 12:00 PM Welcome to our #TampaBayTuesday chat! We’re so excited you’re here with us. Share where in Tampa Bay you’re tweeting from! #TampaDoesSummer
12:05 PM RT @TBbloggers Q1) Now that summer has arrived, we’re dying to know – what are you most looking forward to between now and when the kids go back to school in August? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:10 PM Tampa Bay is a great place to play this summer! From @AdventureIsland’s water park to @BuschGardens wild coasters, animals at @ZooTampa to the fish of @floridaaquarium – there are so many things to see and do here! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:14 PM RT @TBbloggers Q2) Where is your favorite place to learn about events going on in Tampa Bay? @813area, @TB_Times, @BN9, @WFLA, @FOX13News, @abcactionnews or some other source?
12:17 PM RT @TBbloggers Q3) How do you beat the heat? Dips in the pool at @AdventureIsland? Ice cream at @DatzDough? Iced coffee from @BuddyBrewCoffee? Tell us how you’ll stay cool! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:20 PM Tampa Bay has award winning beaches! Did you know that @TripAdvisor named Clearwater Beach the top beach in the country for 2018 earlier this year? We’ll see you soon @MyClearwater! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:25 PM RT @TBbloggers Q4) Father’s Day is THIS WEEKEND! Tag where in Tampa Bay you’re taking dad on Sunday? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:26 PM Whatever you’re doing outside this summer – don’t forget sun protection! It takes less than 20 minutes to get a Florida sunburn. Not a good souvenir! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:32 PM RT @TBbloggers Q5) Before you know it #IndependenceDay will be here. Where are you watching fireworks this #FourthofJuly? We’re dying to know! #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:33 PM Need a day in the AC? Take in a play at the @StrazCenter, a movie at @tampatheatre, or even a concert at @AmalieArena. There’s always something going on. #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:38 PM RT @TBbloggers Q6) Let’s talk Tampa Eats! Where will you be chowing down? And, what will you be eating while you are there? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:39 PM Whether you like dining at the beach at @RumFishGrill, hanging by the water at @HulaBayClub, visiting downtown Tampa at @Datz4Foodies, or classing it up at @ArmanisGHTB – there are dining options to suit every taste here. #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:44 PM RT @TBbloggers Q7) Going out is a blast, but sometimes you gotta stay home. Share your favorite summer time recipes, and backyard activities with us. #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:45 PM Summertime is better with friends. Tag who you plan to hang out with this summer. #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:48 PM RT @TBbloggers Q8) Give us the inside scoop! Do you know of any hidden gems residents of and visitors to Tampa Bay simply MUST see if they haven’t already? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:52 PM RT @TBbloggers Q9) Let’s finish by talking about Tampa Bay’s night life? Where will you be playing after the sun goes to bed? #TampaBayTuesday #TampaDoesSummer
12:58 PM Thank for joining our #TampaDoesSummer chat. We love sharing all the #TampaLove! If there’s something going on the Tampa Bay area we missed – tell us about it! #TampaBayTuesday
12:59 PM Interested in becoming part of the @TBbloggers? Apply here: http://bit.ly/1Kt4SWt #TampaBayTuesday #TampaBayBloggers
1:00 PM ATTN BRANDS: Want to co-host a @TBbloggers #TampaBayTuesday Twitter chat, or build a blogger campaign? Contact us: http://bit.ly/1LCWFLS

That’s all folks! I hope to see you in this week’s tweetchat.

Are you interested in me hosting a tweetchat for your business? I’d be honored to. Or do you have a product that you want me to review? Contact me HERE, and let’s get your promo party started!

I’m PR friendly 😉

Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain Triggered Me Resulting in This Post

Photo by https://www.jarofquotes.com

Ever since my dad took his own life nearly 18 months ago, suicides of celebrities, friends of friends, even people I don’t even know… they now trigger me and affect me in a way I NEVER expected. I see a LOT of ignorant comments out there, and I’m just trying to keep my cool and not fly off the handle on anyone. So I’ll just say this – Be mindful of your words my friends. They have a bigger impact on people than you may realize.

And please remember that regardless of what ANYONE says – if someone close to you does take their own life, it was their choice and you can’t blame yourself no matter what. Yes, I agree we should try to help in any way that we can. BUT – if a person is hell bent on taking their own life, there may be NOTHING you can do about it. Don’t lose your own light because someone chose to stay in the dark.

Also – I don’t say any of this as a person who has always had it easy. I’ve battled demons and continue to battle demons that you will never see me post about on social media. Here online, this is only a glimpse of people and what their lives really look like. I’ve been in the dark. I’ve had my own moments of fearing I’d never find my way back to the light. And it was only by making the conscious choice to find the light that I was able to save my own life. Choosing to visit a therapist, and choosing to get help was hard, but I knew I needed it, and wanted the save myself more than I care about what anyone else may have thought of me for seeking help.

That doesn’t mean I never have sad days. It doesn’t mean there aren’t moments I’d rather not see anyone and just stay in bed all day. However, the biggest thing I’ve learned after all that I’ve been through is that EVERY moment is a choice, and more than ever I choose to find the light no matter what and I CHOOSE TO LIVE

It’s been a year and a half since he made a decision we had no say in…and on days like today, it feels like it just happened all over again. Here’s the facts – we DID try to reach out to him. We DID try to get him help. He knew the phone numbers to get help. He was offered counseling by us and others SEVERAL times, and was even examined by someone after threatening to take his own life in front of others. Bottom line – NOTHING we could have said or done would have changed what he did. HE CHOSE THIS!

We listened with him. We cried with him. We tried EVERYTHING we could think of. We tried to help him out of the darkness, and he kept going back for it. Like a sick craving. While every case of suicide may be different, I’m not sure what my dad expected from us. He had soooooo many opportunities to save himself. He chose to believe we’d be better off without him. He chose to keep shutting us out. He chose to leave us. And, I understand it, but I don’t agree with it and I continue to feel like it’s the dumbest thing he ever could have done.