Saturday, April 29

7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business

I love reading. There's nothing quite like becoming immersed into a completely new world. My favorite genres are sci-fi and fantasy, especially if it's a dystopian society (those kind of books always make me feel a little better about the real world).

But sometimes I put the fiction aside in favor of a bit of non-fiction. My favorite non-fiction books have always been self-help books - aka personal development books. Ever since I was a teenager I devoured books which promised to help me become a better version of me. Of course more often than not I didn't utilize the tips in the books so no change occurred. But every once in a while a book would really resonate with me.

The following is a list of my favorite personal development books which I have read so far. These are the ones which in some way or another really changed my way of things about something.

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life - 7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

This list is in no particular order as far as favorite to least favorite. However, if I had to pick a favorite 'You Are A Badass' would be it. Jen is a total badass and wants to help you recognize your inner badass too. She is funny! Jen is authentic, witty, and occasionally curses. There's a level of realness in this book which is often missing from other personal development books.

Like several of the other books on this list 'You Are A Badass' revolves around the law of attraction - that your thoughts, whether negative or positive, will influence the outcomes of your life. Make sure your thoughts are positive ones to ensure positives outcomes in your life!

Favorite quotes:
“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.”

“You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you.”

My rating: 10/10 - I loved this book!

'How To Win Friends & Influence People' is a classic for a reason, it really is a great book! I bought this book several years ago and didn't read it for years because I figured it would be boring since it's so old - nope! Still relevant. 'How To Win Friends' is all about building relationships in business. It teaches you how to make people feel like you care about them, how to get people to trust you more. The tips in it are so basic (like using someone's name and using it often) but so key to relationship building - which is very important if you're trying to run a business and build up a customer base.

This book is definitely a must-read for anyone running their own business, working in the corporate world, or even someone who wants to figure out how to get their boss, employees, or customers to like them more.

Favorite quotes:
“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” 

My rating: 10/10 - Some parts are a bit dated but overwhelmingly this book is a must-read and a timeless classic.

Year Of Yes: How To Dance It Out Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person - 7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

This book is a bit different from the others in that while it does have great tidbits and advice it is more than anything else, in my opinion, an autobiography of a year in the life of Shonda Rhimes. In this book Shonda shares how, by spending one year saying "Yes" to all opportunities which came to her, she changed from being a depressed, overweight, near-hermit to being a vibrant, healthy, happier, and more socialiable woman.

The thing which makes this book truly stand-out is Shonda's writing style. Boy can this woman write! She is witty, oh so honest, and as real as it gets. After reading this book not only will you want to try your own year of the yes challenge, you'll also want to binge every season of Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder!

Favorite Quotes:
“I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

“They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true.
I think that’s crap.
I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.”

My rating: 8/10 - A very inspiring story but a bit rambling at times.

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity - 7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

'The Artist's Way' is not a quick read. It's meant to be read over the course of 12-weeks with weekly tasks to be completed and implemented into your life. This book is all about tapping into your inner artist and creativity, leaving behind old fears and self-sabotaging thoughts, and learning to believe in the fact that you are an artist - even if you don't believe it just yet.

The thing I love most about 'The Artist's Way' and want to continue to implement throughout my life as needed is the morning pages. Each morning when you wake up you write 3 pages in your journal. It doesn't matter what the pages are about you're just writing to write and get all those thoughts and mental blocks out of your head first thing in the morning so you can go on to have a more productive day. It's genius!

Favorite quotes:
“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.” 

“Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.” 

My rating: 7/10 - At times it gets a bit too spiritual and "out there" for my logic loving tastes but if you commit yourself to the weekly tasks and the morning pages this book can really be transformative.

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quite (And When To Stick) - 7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin

This book is short and sweet and to the point! In everything in life there are dips; in your career, your new business, learning a new hobby, you name it and at some point the going gets tough. This book is all about knowing if it's best to stick it out to the end of that dip or if it's time to recognize that you've hit a dead-end and are better off moving on. 

Favorite Quotes:
“Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.” 

“Stick with the Dips that are likely to pan out, and quit the Cul-de-Sacs to focus your resources”

My rating: 8/10 - it's very short but it shares a good message that anyone in business needs to hear about the dreaded dip.

The Secret - 7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

'The Secret' is a book that I sincerely believe you have to be "ready" to read to truly appreciate. If you are interested in the law of attraction then this is the book for you. If you think it's all a bunch of hooky crap, then you probably won't enjoy this book at all.

With that being said, 'The Secret' is a powerful book that teaches you how your thoughts, whether positive or negative, can directly and greatly impact the outcomes of your life. If you are a spiritual person or someone who believes in the power of prayer then you will likely appreciate the message of this book. I am neither. However even despite this I do believe that having a positive mindset and outlook will greatly affect the outcome of many things. As positive thinking tends to lead to more positive action. If nothing else this book will help to reinforce the idea that our thoughts are very important to leading a happy, healthy life.

Favorite Quotes:
“There is a truth deep down inside of you that has been waiting for you to discover it, and that truth is this: you deserve all good things life has to offer."

“You become what you think about most.. But you also attract what you think about most. (John Assaraf)"

“Whenever you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right. (Henry Ford)

My rating: 9/10 - This book is all about the power of positive thinking and having a grateful heart, I love it!

Rock Your Network Marketing Business: How To Become A Network Maketing Rock Star - 7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business
Rock Your Network Marketing Business: How to Become a Network Marketing Rock Star by Sarah Robbins

The majority of the content of this book was old news to me but it's a good primer for anyone new to network marking/direct sales. One analogy which changed my thought process of sponsoring/recruiting was the one Sarah tells about having gold bricks in your backyard. It's so easy to get discouraged when recruiting in direct sales, especially if your team is a bit lackluster and doesn't progress far in the business or even work much at all. But think of it this way, what if you KNEW you had a gold brick buried somewhere in your backyard. Would you stop digging after not finding it in the first hole? What about the tenth? When would you stop? I don't know about you but I'd never stop digging until I found that gold brick! Recruiting is the same way. Your gold brick (rockstar recruit) is out there somewhere. You just having to keep digging (recruiting) until you find her.

Favorite Quotes:
“Successful people always have their next goal in mind. Goals are dreams with deadlines.”

“If I told you that you had three gold bricks in your backyard, would you continue to dig until you found them? I would!”

My rating: 7/10 - Not a whole lot of original info here but it is a good primer and in my opinion the gold brick analogy is worth it's weight in gold.

You Are A Badass - 7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business

There you have it, seven self-help books which in one way or another changed my views about life or business - or in some cases both! There are so many amazing personal development books out there and I have only read a very small percentage of them. A few which are at the top of my list to read next are You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero, 
Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building a Life-Changing Business by Romi Neustadt, and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Tell me, what are the best personal development books which you have read thus far? Thus ones which made light bulbs go off in your head and which cased you to make some kind of change in your life. Comment below and let us know. I'd love to read them!

7 Personal Development Books Which Changed My Views On Life And Business

Friday, April 28

25 DIY Essential Oil Recipes RoundUp

What Are Essential Oils - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp
I have been using essential oils for nearly two years now and I love them. I use them regularly for aromatherapy purposes (this is by far the top way I like to use oils), household cleaning, personal hygiene, even occasionally to flavor my water... essential oils have so many uses that it would be nearly impossible to list them all! So in this roundup I focused on finding 25 different uses for essential oils in the categories of cleaning, aromatherapy, and personal care

First things first, what are essential oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated naturally occurring aromatic oils extracted from plants through careful steam distillation, resin tapping, and/or cold pressing. They have a wide variety of benefits and can be used for personal wellness, to purify the home, or just to enjoy how good they smell. Essential oils vary greatly in their quality and purity so be sure to pick a reputable brand to source your essential oils from, especially if you're planning to use them topically or orally. I get all my essential oils from Young Living, they're one of (if not the) most reputable essential oil companies on the market today! But there are plenty of other great essential oil companies out there.


Thieves Toilet Bombs
Thieves Toilet Bombs - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Streak-Free Homemade Glass Cleaner - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

All-Natural Homemade Shave Cream - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

4-Ingredient DIY Deodorant  - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Homemade Bath Bombs - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Roll-On Perfume - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Lavender Makeup Remover - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

DIY Acne Clearing Toner - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

After Sun Spray - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Lemon Mint Sugar Scrub - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Bug Bite Relief - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

Homemade Face Cream - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

DIY Oil Pulling Chews - 25 Essential Oil DIYs RoundUp

I hope you get some inspiration out of this essential oil DIY recipe roundup. If you're interested, I can do another roundup in the future with more essential oil uses, there really are just so many wonder uses for them! Let me know if you'd like to see that.

*This collection of recipes is meant to serve as a resource to help you find essential oil recipes from many talented bloggers and essential oil users around the web. The photos used in this post belong to bloggers who are linked in the corresponding recipes.

Thursday, April 27

The Easiest Edible Plants To Grow - According To Someone With A Black Thumb

So I have this dream that one day I'll live in a cute cottage with an acre or so on land and I'll be living off the grid and being self-sufficient. Just me (and my husband and cats), some solar panels, and my garden making life work.

But there's one problem. I have a black thumb. You know, the opposite of a green thumb. I always have. Try as I might growing up I killed every potted plant I ever bought within a month or so. It's mainly due to forgetting to water my plants for lengths of times and then over-watering them so they get shocked and die. And especially if you're growing anything that fruits (tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peppers, etc.) that's a problem because the plant needs a proper and steady stream of water to produce good fruit for you to eat.

I've had a small patio garden for the past few years though and am slowly developing my plant growing skills. And I have discovered one specific type of plant that can handle the abuse I throw at it. One which can bounce back from a few days (or even a week) of being completely forgotten. And that plant is:

Leafy Greens.

Whether it's lettuce, kale, swiss chard, or some other kind of green, I've found that these bad boys are so much lower maintenance than even the lowest maintenance of fruiting plants. They are, dare I say it, easy to grow. They require much fewer resources than do fruiting plants, all their resources go directly into the leaves that you eat so they're less demanding. This also includes herbs! Basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, peppermint, etc. are also surprisingly easy to grow (i.e. relatively hard to kill).

Lettuce and Herb Garden - The Easiest Edible Plants To Grow According To Someone With A Black Thumb
My patio garden set-up from 2016. I had so much lettuce growing that it was overcrowding! Even my kitty, Khaleesi, was impressed.
Herb Garden - The Easiest Edible Plants To Grow According To Someone With A Black Thumb
In addition to lettuce I had peppermint, basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, and dill.

I also have had success with a few fruiting plants, although not nearly to the extent that I've had success with leafy greens. Three specific plants I've had luck with are: hot peppers, tomatillos, and bush green beans (as opposed to beans which need a trellis to grow up on). I didn't have high yields with any of these but they grew quite well by my standards and produced enough for me to take pictures of to brag about to my friends and family!

Hot Pepper Yield - The Easiest Edible Plants To Grow According To Someone With A Black Thumb
Hot peppers! I think I may have cheated and bought this as a plant and didn't start it from seed though.

Bush Green Beans - The Easiest Edible Plants To Grow According To Someone With A Black Thumb
My green bean plants made enough beans for me to use them as a side dish two or three times last summer. Not too shabby for someone with a black thumb.

Three types of fruiting plants that are supposedly easy which I have tried to grow and had no luck with were tomatoes, strawberries, and zucchinis. These were all things that my green-thumbed gardening friends were able to grow HUGE bounties of (they had so much of these that they were literally giving them away to anyone who would take them). And yet I just couldn't get them to grow. My strawberry plant developed a few flowers but no strawberries (to be fair, it may have been in shock at having been potted from out of a garden). My cherry tomato plants grew maybe two tomatoes all summer. And my zucchini plants barely even flowered. Granted that was the summer before last so perhaps my skills have improved enough for me to give these "easy" plants another chance.

The biggest lessons I've learned during my gardening journey though are that everyone and anyone can garden, even if you suck at growing plants! You just need to follow the guidelines on the seed packet for when to plant it (plant it too early and it'll freeze, plant it too late and it'll wither from the heat) and then try really hard to remember to water it. And remember, pick leafy greens or herbs for your first garden because even my black thumb was able to make them grow.

The Easiest Edible Plants To Grow According To Someone With A Black Thumb

Want to learn more about gardening for beginners? Check out this illustrated guide on the topic:

Do you have a green thumb? Leave me your best recommendations and gardening tips down below. I'm working hard on improving my gardening skills and want to get a little better each year so every little tip helps me expand my gardening knowledge.

*Disclaimer - this post includes affiliate links. Purchasing through these links comes at no extra cost to you but it does help me continue to run this site. Thank you for supporting me!

Tuesday, April 25

13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

I am a huge PotterHead. Ever since I received 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' for my 10th birthday I've been entranced by the magical world to which Harry belongs to. At one point I really believed maybe I'd receive my own letter! Unfortunately, my letter to Hogwarts (or more accurately Ilvermorny, Hogwart's North American counterpart) never came. But I can still enjoy some of the same treats of the students of Hogwarts thanks to these amazing recipes!

So whether you're throwing a Harry Potter themed party or just want to eat some of the same foods as the Boy Who Lived, this roundup will get you started on making some delicious vegan Harry Potter treats!

I included multiple recipes for butter beer because it is by far the most popular food/drink to recreate from the Harry Potter universe and there are endless ways of making it. You can have butter beer hot, cold, frozen, even boozy! If one recipe doesn't strike your fancy then try another, perhaps it'll be more to your liking.

Now to get you in the mood for some delicious Harry Potter themed treats, watch Luna Lovegood (aka Evanna Lynch) share some of her favorite vegan recipes from the wizarding world. (Yep, she's vegan!)


Soda-based Vegan Butter Beer - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Hot & Cold Apple-based Butter Beers
Hot & Cold Apple-based Butter Beers from Peta - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Highly Alcoholic Butter Beer
(Be sure to use vegan marshmallow creme or sub vegan whipped creme or omit.)
Highly Alcoholic Butter Beer - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Bourbon Butter Beer
Bourbon Butter Beer - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Pumpkin Juice
Pumpkin Juice - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

The Goblet Of Fire
The Goblet Of Fire - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Polyjuice Potion Smoothie
Polyjuice Potion Smoothie - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp


Chocolate Frogs - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Honeyduke's Cockroach Clusters
Honeyduke's Cockroach Clusters - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Cauldron Cakes
(Simply sub vegan butter)
Cauldron Cakes - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Amortentia Treacle Tarts
Amortentia Treacle Tarts - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Hogwarts Express Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Pasties
Hogwarts Express Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Pasties - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp

Pumpkin Fizz Candies
Pumpkin Fizz Candies - 13 Vegan Harry Potter Recipes RoundUp


Not food but 100% worthy of being shared.

I hope these recipes inspire you to try your hand at some magical concoctions from the wizarding world. Which one do you want to make first? I can't wait to try my hand at the Bourbon Butter Beer, it sounds truly magical!

*This collection of recipes is meant to serve as a resource to help you find Harry Potter themed recipes from many talented bloggers around the web. The photos used in this post belong to bloggers who are linked in the corresponding recipes.

*Several of the recipes from this roundup were sourced from Miss Kitchen Witch. She has an amazing blog that is dedicated to vegan recipes, many of which are Harry Potter themed! Be sure to check her out after you take a peek at this roundup.