books · life curation · reading list

Writing Wednesday – Five Books That Changed My Life

Several weeks ago, I shared a video on my YouTube channel, highlight five books that changed my life.

I realize that was a very bold claim, and it could be interpreted as the most important books I’ve read in my life. However, that interpretation would be incorrect. Books that change my life =/= favorite or most important books. Some of the books that rank as most important to me are books that haven’t actually “changed” me, but have entertained me thoroughly, or reminded me of something rare or precious, or that are just stellar examples of writing mastery. So, books like And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith haven’t necessarily changed my life, but they rank among some of the most important books I’ve read.

That being said, we’re talking about life changing books that I think could be useful to some of you. These books helped me with money, love, conscious creation, friendship and more, Without further ado, here are the five books that changed my life:

  • Ginie Sayles, HOW TO MEET THE RICH for Business, Friendship, or Romance – A couple of years ago, one of my favorite role models, Ginie Sayles, gave me an endorsement on her author’s page, after I shared that her book, Writer’s Block is a Crock, helped me write and publish my first book. I was so excited that I made a post about her generosity and support. Well, as much as I love “Writer’s Block is a Crock”, there’s a book by Ginie that I love even more . . . and that’s “How to Meet the Rich”. Having your own vast resources is a wonderful thing, but your ability to do good and really change the world is enhanced when you have a network with high net worth! I love how she not only shows ways to meet the rich, but also all of the ways to nurture reciprocal relationships with these individuals. This is a great book for networking with various goals in mind (either business, friendship/social, or romantic ends).
  • David Bach, Start Late, Finish Rich – Similar to Ginie, David Bach has been discussed over here previously. I sing David’s praises because his work was fundamental in providing me with an excellent foundational education in personal finance. No matter what your age is, Start Late Finish Rich is a great book to introduce yourself to his strategies for creating financial freedom. I highly recommend any of David’s books, but this is a great one for starting on the path to wealth.
  • Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl – This book was fundamental in understanding the joy and pleasure of being a single woman. I learned so much from Helen regarding all of the perks that you can enjoy before saying “I do”. I got to reconnect with some of those delights when I divorced! Despite this book being published 60(!) years ago, so many of the tips are still relevant today. It’s still a fun read!
  • Shelley Branch and Sue Calloway, What Would Jackie Do? – I love all things Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and this book was a fabulous addition to my Jackie book collection. What Would Jackie Do is a combination of self help, biography, and etiquette lessons all in one. I often refer to this book when I need to recall how to make the perfect alfredo sauce from scratch, or how to approach my interior decorating budget, and even what I should do to enhance my career. Yes, it covers all of these topics and more. Fabulous read – highly recommended (naturally)!
  • Dr Henriette Anne Klauser, Write It Down Make It Happen – I won’t rewrite my review of this book, because I’ve already talked about it here, here, and here. I come back to this book again and again because every time I read it and try some of the writing exercises mentioned, my life shifts in significant ways.

Here is my video reviewing the books mentioned above:

What books have changed your life? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

books · culture · international · life curation · travel

Becoming Bilingual – 5 Free Language Resources That Aren’t YT, Duolingo or Podcasts

As an aspiring polyglot, I’m always reviewing language tools and resources that can help me fast track my mastery. Naturally, I dove first into Duolingo, YouTube and various podcasts. But, there are limitations with those resources, and sometimes you just want to try something different.

If you’ve been trying to learn a language but you want to go beyond YouTube videos, podcasts and Duolingo, then this is the post for you! I’ve located five other language learning resources that can help fast track your language learning, give you some much needed variety, and are all completely FREE! I discuss these options in a YouTube video (the link to the video below).

  • Amazon Kindle ebooks – This gives you a great source of free ebooks in various languages, as well as some free instruction books, too. To find them, search for books in a particular language, then filter by price (lowest to highest). Filtering by price shows the lowest priced books first, so you can quickly identify free publications.
  • MIT OpenCourseware – If you’re interested in college-level language instruction, this site is excellent. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) archives resources from courses taught during prior semesters. The courses include syllabi, worksheets, exercises, and links to other great resources. To find these courses, look under the Global Studies and Languages department.
  • Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Free online course material – This page speaks for itself: it’s the material developed by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) to instruct diplomats before assigning them to foreign posts. These classes are developed to quickly acquire mastery at the highest levels of language. The link has lots of languages available, especially some that are somewhat rarer and harder to study online.
  • Alison & FutureLearn – Both Alison and FutureLearn offer language classes that are paced and offer certificates of completion at the end of the course (the documentation of completion has a cost). This also gives you the advantage of participating in group discussion and other ways of interacting with other learners.
  • Internet Archive – There is a host of free archived materials on this website, including movies, music, books and newspapers. Find the kind of material you want and filter it by the language that interests you.

Here’s my video, discussing the ways to use these resources:

Those are the five free resources I can recommend for language learning, outside of the most popular recs. Do you have any language resources that work for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

books · culture · reading list · relaxation · words of wisdom · writing

Writers Wednesdays: What I’m Reading This Month

Happy Black History Month! I know I’m a bit late with this post, but I’ve been trying to get back on track with my writing and filming schedule (no easy feat, but I’m getting there!)

I posted a video on my YouTube channel last week, discussing the Black authors that I will be reading this month (I originally had five hardback and paperback books, but also added some digital books to the mix, just in case I finished before the end of the month). I’m focusing on reading up on a few different topics (not just self help!) and branching beyond American-centered stories, which is new for me.

Here is my book list for the month: I’m looking forward to diving into these.

I Am Your Sister by Audre Lorde is the book I’m reading first. You all already know about my love for Audre (I posted some of my favorite Audre quotes a few years back). This book is DENSE, so I already know it’s going to take me a bit more time, and a subsequent read (or two, or three . . . ) to get a good grasp of what she believed and taught. After I finish that, I’ll dive into Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I’ve heard the title before but I’m completely unfamiliar with the plot of the book so I’m really looking forward to this one.

It wouldn’t be my book list is I didn’t include at least one self-help/advice book. Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu promises to show me how to achieve more while doing less. Less effort, more results? Sign me up!

The next two books are about the history of Black entertainment in the US. The Power of Pride by Carole Marks and Diana Edkins spotlights the superstars of the Harlem Renaissance, including some lesser-known luminaries of note. Then, I’ll be enjoying Brown Sugar by Donald Bogle which focuses on Black actresses, singers and other entertainers from the 1920s to 1970s. I’m really excited for both of these books, since I’m in love with all things vintage.

*If* I can get through the main book list, then I have a few others that I can read, that should cover me until the end of the month. The first is The Source of Self Regard by Toni Morrison, a book that I purchased last year in anticipation of a book club meeting that I planned – and failed – to attend. In any case, I’ve always loved Toni Morrison (I’ve posted about her here and I also wrote about her here, after her passing) and enjoyed her works immensely, so this should be a great one.

Finally, I have one more book that made it onto my back-up list: Clay’s Ark by Octavia Butler (I previously read Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind, in this set: “Seed to Harvest: The Patternist Series“). As a huge Octavia Butler fan (I posted about her ages ago), I’ve been eager to get back into reading her books, and Clay’s Ark was next on my list. And, since March is Women’s History month, I can always continue my reading streak and carry this book and the Toni Morrison one into the next month, if I run out of time in February.

That’s my reading list for the month: I’m looking forward to each of these! Do you have any books you’re reading this month? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below. Also, here’s my YouTube video, discussing these books a bit more:

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culture · goals · life curation

Inviting In Prosperity

One very popular New Year tradition involves deep cleaning a home, from top to bottom, in order to “bring in” the year properly. I do not deep clean a home simply because the calendar changes from December 31 to January 1, but I did spend a little time thinking of the significance of this, and how, energetically, this applies to a lot of things (not just New Year’s Day).

I wonder how many times abundance or prosperity knocked at my metaphorical door and felt uninvited, because I had too much going on and didn’t have the energy to answer the door. This year, I’m determined to keep inviting in prosperity by clearing out anything that doesn’t serve me currently or reflect the life that I’m creating. This starts with eliminating unnecessary physical items but extends to intangible things, too, like obligating myself to tasks or activities that don’t bring me delight, or that take up more time than I can afford to waste.

I found a few resources that I think will help me with this. I found two ebooks which are FREE as of today, along with a podcast, that are great for helping to set yourself up for prosperity. First, this book by James Goi, Jr. promises to explain the, “Ten Metaphysical Secrets of Manifesting Money: Spiritual Insights into Attaining Prosperity, Riches, Abundance, Wealth, and Affluence”.

Next, part of being inviting is being gracious and grateful. “A Pocketful of Thank You: 9 key areas to bring joy, harmony, health, wealth & happiness into your life” by Maria McMahon should give me more tips for how to invite in prosperity in all areas of my life by learning to be more mindfully thankful.

Finally, one of my favorite vloggers and podcasters, Francesca Amber, posted a podcast about how to use feng shui principles for abundance (available on Amazon Music and Apple Podcasts). I love how easy it is to implement little practices and actions to invite more abundance into our worlds!

Do you all have any tips for inviting in more abundance? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links.

life curation · reading list

Books Read in September 2021

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m so happy to finally update this post, which went out prematurely a week or so ago. I’m sure you all are used to that by now: I often schedule posts that end up published before I can finish them. I’m working on improving that: it’s a struggle LOL!

In September, I read fewer books than normal. However, I actually read one book that was in digital format (as opposed to relying solely on audiobooks). I’ll be posting a review on that digital book tomorrow, as it left quite an impression on me. The books that I read in September are as follows:

Joseph Benner, The Teacher

Joseph Benner, Wealth

Dr. Wayne Dyer, Your Life Begins Now

Emmet Fox, The Hidden Power and Other Lessons

Emmet Fox, The Mental Equivalent

Neville Goddard, Awakened Imagination

Dr. Tumi Johnson, Delicious Healing

I’m looking forward to exceeding my monthly reading goals for October and November. I’m more than halfway to hitting my annual reading goal of 100 books, so I’m not going to let up now.

I am transitioning away from reading so many mindset books and going into the realm of mysteries (my favorite genre) and other topics of interest, like finance, strategy and herbal instruction. This is shaping up to be a fun shift into some other topics that I’d been neglecting in favor of my mindset audiobooks.

Have you read anything interesting lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

  • This post contains affiliate links.
reading list

Books Read in August 2021

This post went out a little earlier than I wanted, since I was too busy last week to do any writing. However, here is my list of books that I read during the month of August:

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

P T Barnum, The Art of Money Getting

Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth

Wayne Dyer, Pulling Your Own Strings

Wayne Dyer, You’ll See It When You Believe It

Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones

Wayne Dyer, Wisdom of the Ages: 60 Days of Enlightenment

Seneca, On The Shortness of Life

Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

I loved these books and the things I’ve learned. I’ll follow up with additional insights soon!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – I Met My Publishing Goal!

Happy Writers Wednesday! It’s official: I met my publishing goal for 2021!

*insert happy dance here*

I added two more of my children’s books to my current series. I’m still keeping the majority of my focus on creating books that educate children on Asian countries, but – considering that I will eventually be finished writing about all of the Asian countries – I’ve started branching out into writing books on European and African countries. The two latest books that I’ve published are Let’s Go To South Korea and Let’s Go To Portugal.

It was a little more challenging to write these books, but not because there was an issue with the content. These books – in particular, the Portugal one – were more difficult to write because I like to use royalty-free photographs for my books, and finding relevant free photos taken in South Korea and Portugal was HARD! So I’m thrilled that these two are behind me, and I don’t have to think about having to find pictures for those two countries again.

I anticipate my next book will be an African country, then I’ll follow with another Asian book, then another European book, an African book, and just keep that rotation until I am ready to branch out into South America. I’ll work in Australia at some point, just so that I can cover the entire globe.

I’m so happy to share with you all that I’ve published FIVE books this year! I’m looking forward to publishing even more children’s books, but also publishing a couple of my works-in-progress that I’ve had on my desk for quite some time. It’ll be nice to see those labors of love FINALLY out in the world and making the impact that I intend for them to make.

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

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reading list

Books Read in July 2021

Happy Monday! Today, I’m doing a quick rundown of all of the books I read in July 2021. This month, I didn’t have as much free time, so I had to listen to audiobooks instead of trying to read paperbacks and ebooks. I still met my goal of 10 books for the month, so I’m please. Here’s what I read:

Wayne Dyer, Manifest Your Destiny

Wayne Dyer, Real Magic

Wayne Dyer, Everyday Wisdom

Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia, Ikigai

Neville Goddard, The Feeling is the Secret

Neville Goddard, At Your Command

Henry Harrison Brown, Dollars Want Me

Annie Rix Militz, Prosperity Through the Knowledge and Power of the Mind

Elizabeth Towne, Just How to Wake the Solar Plexus

Mark Twain, Luck

Most of the books I read were related to mindset, abundance, and law of attraction. I find that it is very easy to listen to these sorts of books, since they feel very encouraging while providing instruction. In August, I’m intending to read far more physical and electronic books, though I’ll still probably have one or two audiobooks on my roster.

Per my current count, I’ve read 34 books this year. However, the springtime was considerably busier so I wasn’t able to read as much. In light of this fact, I’m confident I’ll still meet my goal for the year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and feeling hopeful!

business · career · fitness · goals · health · international · life curation · luxury · reading list · travel · writing

July Goal Updates

It’s that time of the month again: time to review my annual goals and give you all some updates on what’s been happening on my end!

As a quick refresher, here is the 2021 goal list that I set out at the beginning of the year:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

Next week, on Writer’s Wednesdays, I’ll be providing a publishing update, so I won’t be discussing that in depth today. However, I can say comfortably that I’ll have reached my publishing goal by August 1st, though, at this point, I plan to go far beyond my initial goal and aim for 10 books published by the end of the year.

As far as my weight loss goal, I’ve never progressed nor regressed. However, August 15th will be kicking off a dietary overall for me, which is connected to my last goal (curing my fibro). My next few Fibro Friday posts will cover this in more detail, as well as provide some background for context.

My international travel goal is not inspiring me nearly as much as it did when I first envisioned it. Make no mistake: I will be doing some travel this year. But with the Delta variant of COVID-19 on the rise, even my best plans may be thwarted by a new set of travel restrictions. For this reason, I’m focusing more on local travel this year. If an international trip is still possible in December, then yes, I will do that. But I’m not putting a ton of pressure on myself to “manifest” 3 international trips in 2021. Domestic travel can be just as satisfying, and it will allow me to reconnect with loved ones stateside.

My reading goals are coming along nicely. I’ll have my latest Books Read post coming out next week. At the rate that I’m going, I should be at 100 books by late October (fingers crossed). Audiobooks have really been saving me so much time! However, I’ll also be getting back to my ebooks and paperbacks soon: I miss looking at words in print.

My business goals are … meh. Monday’s post covered this topic already, but I’ll be doing some more strategizing in the upcoming weeks to see how close I can get to reaching the $100K+ mark in my businesses. It’s quite a stretch, but I can see where, with some adjustments, it’s doable.

And finally, about those luxury purchases . . . I’m adjusting this as well, and for good reason. I had a revelation that is far more aligned with the kind of consumer I intend to be (going forward). When you have those sorts of “aha!” moments, doing some course correction is the natural next step. The post all about this revelation will be coming out within a week or two, so look out for it soon.

That’s it for my goal updates! Progress in some areas, stagnation in others, and completely rewriting one or two. I’m pleased overall, and I’m looking forward to seeing how things come together over the next few months.

I hope you all are having a great day, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

reading list

Books Read in June 2021

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Y’all. Y’ALL. I FINALLY read ten books in one month! That was my initial goal, but I fell short every month. It feels good to hit my target. Here are the books I read this past month:

Dr Joseph Murphy, How to Attract Money (YouTube audiobook)

W. D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich (YouTube audiobook)

Neville Goddard, Prayer: The Art of Believing (YouTube audiobook)

Florence Scovel Shinn, The Power of the Spoken Word (YouTube audiobook)

Dr. Joseph Murphy, Riches Are Your Right (YouTube audiobook)

Robert Collier, Be Rich! (YouTube audiobook)

Aromatherapy: A Comprehensive Guide to Get Started with Essential Oils by Jessica Thompson

Wicca Herbal Magic: The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Wiccan Herbal Magic (with Magical Oils, Baths, Teas and Spells) by Sophia Silvervine

Wicca Magic: Your Complete Guide to Wicca Herbal Magic and Wicca Spells That Will Fulfill Your Life by Vivienne Grant

The Hidden Power of Herbs: A Basic Guide to Herbal Magick  by Holy Santo

If you noticed the last few books I mentioned, you’re probably wondering,

Girl, are you a witch/Wiccan?

No, I’m not. But, I’m an aspiring medicine woman (AKA herbalist). In my experience, no one has a better grasp of the multifaceted power of herbs than people who use them in their spiritual practices. Beyond the instruction related to herbs, I didn’t focus on the other information (though there were a few passages here and there that I found useful).

The majority of my reading focused on upleveling my mindset and remembering the power of creating the world I want through intention, powerful affirmations and afformations, and believing that I deserve to live my best life. Believe it or not, I still have to work on my mindset as regards entitlement. I logically know that I deserve a wonderful life, but I’m still unpacking the programming that many of us have received when it comes to having financial abundance.

So many of us have been running a script in our minds, both denouncing “too much” money while simultaneously longing for MORE money to live more comfortably. It’s not impossible to have lots of money yet feel undeserving, but those emotions make it difficult to be comfortable with abundance. For that reason, I’m continuing to work on my mindset and increase my comfort level with the amount of money I want in my reality.

Have you all read any of these books? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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