Book Review: Girl Gone London – An American Girl’s Guide To Studying Abroad In London

(Disclaimer: A copy of this book was given to me by the Author free of charge, in return for an honest review. Opinions and experiences are completely my own)

Girl Gone London - A Book Review

Title: Girl Gone London – An American Girl’s Guide To Studying Abroad In London

Author: Girl Gone London

Publishing Date: available now

Available at: PayHip.com to download

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

The reason I was interested in a book about studying abroad is because of my daughter. As a young person who is about to go to College, and with a European Mother ( I was born in Germany), she is very aware of the possibilities and opportunities of studying abroad.

Still, I was not informed enough about the details to help her make a well-researched decision if  she would decide to study out of the country, and help her to decide where that would be.

This guide is a great place to start getting the information needed to make these decisions.

Very well written, in a light conversational and entertaining tone, Girl Gone London’s book  is a quick and comfortable read filled with plenty of detailed information. For example, I did not know that it was difficult for a student from the US to open a bank account in the UK, a very important point that needs to be kept in mind when you are planning on staying for more than 6 months in the UK.

I am glad that I was given a copy of this book to review, and I handed it as soon as I was done reading it, to my daughter, convinced that she will be able to make a more informed decision about what her educational future will look like, and what possibilities​ she has from here on out.

I thank the Author for giving me this peace of mind.

 

Blessings

Claudia

Time To Prep For The A to Z Blogging Challenge!

My A to Z Challenge Topic for 2016

Are you participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge? If you have no idea what I am talking about, check out this website for more information on the Blogging Challenge for the month of April, that has many bloggers preparing ahead of time, contemplating their subject matter, and looking forward to connecting with the many (hundreds ) of bloggers participating each year.

In this challenge, we are called to write something about a particular letter of the alphabet starting with of course A and working ourselves through to Z. Not everyone chooses a topic, in my first two years of participating I did not either, but I began to do so last year, and will again this year.

Last year my  topic was Herbs and Spices, because of the release of my book “Mixing Spices”

This year, because I am working on a book about tea and mindfulness, I chose the topic “Tea Leaf Reading Dictionary”.

Every single day of the month of April, (minus Sundays, because we all take a break on Sundays for this challenge), I will be posting a few symbol meanings specifically for Tea Leaf Reading, including some tips and suggestions on how you work your own tea leaf reading sessions. I will also talk about symbolism in general and how this dictionary will relate to divining dreams as well, with a few tweaks and considerations.

 

I am so excited about this entire project. And because I love you guys and you all have been such amazing partners throughout this blogging journey for me, I am giving away the entire series at the end of the month as a PDF – just to say thank you.  There are more freebies to come in the coming weeks, so if you like free stuff (and who does not), come back often.

Oh, and for those of you who are not interested in Tea Leaf Reading and Tea, I will continue to post my regular stuff, like marketing tips for creative people, some design updates,  book reviews, motivational stuff, giveaways and product reviews.

A to Z Tea Leaf Reading April Blogging Challenge

After all, as a brand ambassador, NetGalley reviewer and a designer, I cannot and am not willing to neglect my regular duties, because of a mere challenge.

I am so looking forward to the crazy business.

At the end, an extended version of the PDF, which contains the  challenge content  will be made available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Blessings!

P.S. Don’t forget to stock up on Tea!

18 Affirmations

The following blog post contains  affiliate link to Amazon. While I do receive a small compensation when you decide to purchase something via this link, the opinion about the book is completely my own.
Affirmations and mantras allow us to reprogram our inner chatter. They give us something to focus on, besides our negative and self-limiting thoughts, and if repeated often enough will assist us in changing our state, especially if those affirmations are practiced in conjunction with movement. Repeat the affirmations below, or any mantra of your choosing, while exercising, walking your dogs, brushing your teeth, or doing any other activity that usually would allow your mind to wonder.
affirmations
 I am beautiful inside and out, and I allow my beauty to shine for all the world to see!
 I am special and unique in the world.
I face today’s difficulties with strength and wisdom.
 I feel the love of those who are not physically around me.
 I take pleasure in my own solitude.
 I am too big a gift to this world to feel self-pity.
 I love and approve of myself.
I am successful.
I am honest in my life, and my work.
I like completing tasks and projects on time.
I’m grateful for the job I have.
I enjoy working with my team.I’m bringing a positive attitude to work every day.
I am excellent at what I do.
 My marriage is becoming stronger, deeper, and more stable each day.
 I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
 My business is growing, expanding, and thriving.
 Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas.
 Happiness is a choice. I base my happiness on my own accomplishments and the blessings I’ve been given.
Combined with gratitude and movement, the practice of affirmation can be very powerful. As with most spiritual and mental practices it should become a part of your daily routine, and not just an every once in a while practice for the best results.
Question For Today 
Do you have any special affirmations or mantras that keep you focused or in your creative zone?
51zqxy6inpl._sx331_bo1,204,203,200_If you are looking for some more  inspiration about affirmations or want to read more about them, check out “The Power of Affirmations –  1000 Positive Affirmations by Louise Stapley
It is a thorough book on affirmations covering the following topics
1. The purpose of Affirmations
2. How to create effective Affirmations
3. How to Tell if an Affirmations Will Work
4. How Often to Recite Affirmations
5. The Best Way to Recite Affirmations
6. Common Challenges in Using Affirmations
7. Conclusion: Use Affirmations With Care
8. Affirmation examples: For the physical body, (weight loss, anti-aging, weight gain, healthy hair and nails, exercise, health)
9. Affirmations for Wealth & Success (Money, career, success, abundance)
10. Affirmations for Love and Relationships (Love, Friendship, Romance, Family, Parent/Children, Marriage)
11. Affirmations for self-image (Self-esteem, confidence, strength, wisdom, attitude, memory) `
12. Affirmations for Peace and Harmony (Forgiveness, Happiness, Faith, Peace, Safety, Trust, Life)
I am grateful that you joined me today, and hope that you will have a wonderful and productive week.
Blessings
Claudia

7 Things I Learned While Writing A Book About Tea And Mindfulness

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Disclaimer: The following post includes affiliate links to our Sponsors – Amazon and Creative Life. 

When doing research for any project, it is very interesting to see what kind of crazy, wonderful and sometimes disturbing facts can be discovered. Thankfully, I have not run across anything disturbing, so I am happy to share with you a few little tidbits of information that you might find as interesting as I have, about the subject of tea. I will share some insights about mindfulness in an upcoming blog post.

Tea and your bones: 

Studies indicate that phytochemicals in tea, such as flavonoids, may protect against bone loss: Regular tea drinkers have higher bone density than non-tea drinkers.

Crazy for Kombucha

What it is: Sometimes called mushroom tea because of the microorganisms that float in it and form a mushroom like shape this fermented form of sweetened tea with a funky vinegar taste is made with live bacteria and yeast and often fortified with B vitamins.

Proponents say this ancient Chinese drink has medicinal benefits, namely that it boosts the immune system, prevents cancer, and aids digestion and liver function.

My Favorite: Hibiscus Tea:  

A recent study revealed that hibiscus teas contain a number of different antioxidants that may help to protect against cell-damaging free radicals. These teas also may help control high blood pressure. You can find hibiscus in such teas as sour tea, red zinger tea, or sorrel tea.

Do You Like Olives? 

People in Italy enjoy an olive leaf tea made with the leaves of the olive tree types Manzanillo and Mission. So now you can drink your olives too!

This tea should keep you warm: Butter Tea 

Butter tea is a Tibetan tradition, made with Yak Butter, black tea and salt. It has gained some following all over the world. Not my cup of tea.

“Happy Tea” will be available May 2016 on Amazon.

Questions:

What are your favorite teas? And what are the craziest facts you know about tea?

Have a wonderful Day!

The above post is a part of the following blog hops:

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursdays Link Up # 40

No Rules # 167

Inspire Me Wednesday 

Share With Me 

Reading And Taking Action

Do You Implement What You Read?

Many of us have a to-read list for the months ahead. But you merely read or do you implement?

To me, reading lists and book implementation lists are two different things. A reading list is a book list of stories I read to entertain me. They do not necessarily have to be fiction to do so but are more likely to be. Those are the books that I approach with a different mindset than those on my implementation list.

Now, what is an implementation list, and what are these books?

Those books are volumes that I read with the intent not only to learn from them but with the direct intent to take at least one of the points presented and to actively try them out. I seek out these books because I want to learn something, but learning is not enough, it is doing that creates the results. And because I am living in a growth mindset (more on that another time), I am approaching these books with the up-most intend to take an active part from the lessons held within.

For a long time, I was like many people I know – I read, a lot (okay more than the average person), but I never truly followed through on the lessons presented before me. It was easy to say how interesting a particular chapter was but was it enough to change what I was doing, or add a new active perspective into my life? Not really. The truth is, that I meant to take these action, but never followed through.

“Always strive to be better than you were yesterday.” – Tom Bilyeu

But I made a promise to myself that this is no longer an option. If I read a book that has repeatable actions within them, and that I chose to learn something from – may it be because I read a review, found them on a list of a person whom I admire (like this list by Quest Founder Tom Bilyeu), or because its premise leads me to believe that there was value within the covers, I will take at least one of those actions and practice them. Now, I am not expecting to do that if I find myself in the middle of the book and it does not resonate with me at all, of course, but I will do this more often than not, and because I am already picky about what I add on my reading list, which is ever growing, that should not be a problem. Which brings me to my questions for you:

Which book have you read in the last year, and actually implemented something from it – may it be in your personal life, or in your business adventures? What made you take these actions, and why did you pick up this book in the first place?

As we are approaching the middle of January, I am in the middle of implementing some of the goals I have set for the year. I have been lucky to have been encouraged to create some more motivational designs over the last few weeks, and I am especially happy about my notebook collection that ranges from themes of courage to sharing your thoughts with those you love. So check out my truly unique custom notebook collection here. Absolutely, a reason to be grateful. 

It is my pleasure to serve you, so if you have any suggestions about notebooks and journals you want to see in the future, please let me know. I also accept custom orders – and can combine my art with specific messages for you. Simply drop me a line at claudiablanton@live.com or leave me a comment below.

 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Claudia

Far & Wide Collective Home Decor Collection

 

This post is a part of the following blog hops

Thankful Thursday at Pepis Smart Dog

Thankful Thursday Link Up 

No Rules Blog Party 

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Be Inspired

Book Review: Appreciation Marketing – How To Achieve Greatness Through Gratitude

Title:  Appreciation Marketing – How To Achieve Greatness Through Gratitude

AuthorTommy Wyatt

Genre: Marketing, Self-Help

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

There are some book that are read, and forgotten, and then there are books that remind you of what you should already know and do but give you the kick to actually follow through upon that knowledge.

This book is of the latter kind, a book on practical gratitude and appreciation especially for people who are in some form of business of their own, no matter what service or product you sell, or value you give. It challenges you to actively give thanks, on a regular basis and tells you why – outside of the ever present, even if important daily gratitude ritual.
Gratitude is a way of life, a way of being, and a philosophy we should embrace in every aspect of our life. It is not something you o once a day, not solely placed somewhere on the pages of a notebook. This book is a reminder of that.
If you are interested at all in the principles of co-creation, personal growth or even Law of Attraction, then embracing a life of gratitude. It will change your life!
This book can tell you why.

(Disclaimer: I have received a copy of this book via a book subscription service named Script. The links on this page to Amazon and Creative Live are affiliated links, but all opinions are as always my own)

 

Planning, Goals, Progress and Coffee

If you were coming over for coffee, I would greet you with a hug and some chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. It has been a while since I posted on this blog, but I have been pretty busy. The fact that my computer has a nasty virus did not help either.

December is usually my busiest month, not only do both of my children have birthdays, and of course, there are the holidays, but it is the time where business picks up, and also the time to plan for the next year.

Which is exactly what I am working on this weekend: Goal and Action Plan for 2016.

I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. Of course, they can be beneficial, but why wait until a particular time to make a change? Yet I do plan the year, but not in a resolution kind of way.

There are overall goals to work out – that has to be the first step, never forgetting that there has to be a why, a reason behind each goal, otherwise, I am fully aware that I will not follow through on it.

Willpower can carry you far, reasons will carry you further.

Then there are the monthly goals – smaller steps that together build the picture of a successful year. Those are flexible, meaning, I can adjust those goals throughout the year to fit the progress I am actually making. The trick is to set these goals high, but not so high that they are not attainable. Otherwise,  the frustration of not reaching them will keep me from going further.

Next are tangible action steps. I ask myself, what do I need to learn to make this happen? How much time am I willing to invest into this goal? What do I need to do to see progress? Those answers will be based on the overall goal and the monthly  goals.

This leaves me with a framework for the entire year.

What I am questioning this year is about how public I should make these goals, and when. I have seen many bloggers and marketing experts, who put all of their goals and their achievements out there – that is wonderful, as it motivates me. But being an artist first, a creative, who might not see monetary results in such a profound way every month – while other months soar – I am not sure, I am going to do that yet. What do you think? How public do you make your goals?

If you were here with me, I would tell you that another year end practice I enjoy and intend to employ this year:

Expressing my thanks to those who inspired me.

Now, some of these people – some of whom are famous, some are very successful might never respond to my email, Facebook message or tweet, but some might (hey, I have had Brendan Brazer, the creator of Vega, and the author of Thrive, acknowledge my tweet the other day, where I was praising his mission, products and words), but that is not the point. It does not matter how successful you are, I am sure that it can not be a bad thing to hear something positive from someone who learned from you, or was inspired by you. Spreading a little kindness through expressing gratitude at the end of the year – and throughout the year benefits the receiver as much as the giver. It simply feels good all around.

So these are the questions I have for you this week:

Do you plan your year? Do you make resolutions? If you do, what steps do you take to allow yourself a better chance of success? And, how public do you make these goals and plans?

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

I hope you enjoyed the cookies. I enjoyed your company as always

Much love

Claudia

 

 

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops

Celebrate The Small Things

Weekend Coffee Share

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursdays 2

No Rules Weekend

 

Disclaimer: The above blog post contains affiliate links.

 

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