My whole career has been a combination of corporate and small business hands on experience, and during the last decade I have watched on with interest, and attempted to participate, as the way businesses communicate their message to their customers has multiplied, technology driven mediums have increased, and consumer expectations of professional goods and services have soared.
After publishing my book, Separated by Work, I realised that to compete in today’s business world I had to immerse myself in learning the most up to date information available. Where was the best place to do that? University of course, where I am currently completing a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in PR and Social Media.
As I learn, I come across tools that make me recognise I have been mostly winging it for the last 10 years. Just hanging in there with passion and enthusiasm for my work, but ad-libbing my communication strategies it all the same. A couple of valuable templates I came across today are, what I believe to be, a business ‘must have’ and a ‘wish I could have had a long time ago’.
Content rules: how to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, eBooks, webinars (and more) that engage customers and ignite your business is one of my social media subject’s texts. In the book, which I highly recommend you get a copy of, Handley and Chapman share a blog template and a content rules checklist. To get the links to their ‘secret insiders page’ you must buy the book, but I was so impressed with the book and the tools they share throughout and on their website I wanted to let all my business friends know.
I like to shout it out whenever I come across a wonderful piece of advice, a great product or upon receiving excellent service. So, to finish off I will borrow the final bit of advice from the end of the above recommended blog template:
“Shout it! Spread the word! Tell your family! Your friends! Facebook! LinkedIn! Let your network know your post is live; generate excitement for the post and earn some well-deserved kudos.”
Have you read this book and used the tools? Do you have other tools that you find valuable in creating great content and getting your message to your customers? If so, please share them here, or your thoughts on the book.
What we eat impacts our physical health and fitness, as well as our brain health. Delia’s comprehensive cookbook guides the reader through:
Why it is important to feed your brain
How to use the book (easily for busy people)
What you will gain (and lose)
Tips, advice, getting started, and
An abundance of delicious uncomplicated recipes
Delia’s guidance throughout the book expands your understanding and enthusiasm for food. The pictures make your mouth water, the colours inspire, and every time I open the book I learn something new; from a food’s origins to what it contains.
The main benefits I enjoy from being mindful of what eat are more focus and energy, and I am calmer. To top this off, emotionally, using Delia’s cookbook has been like having a ‘Mum’ in the kitchen. Each section caringly shares ideas and things to remember, like a mother or grandmother whispering in your ear as you prepare the food.
When Exisle Publishing asked me to review PUG I wondered whether it was a children’s book, a book for Pug owners (the dog breed) or, something else.
What I found was it was something else entirely!
The author (apparently, no ordinary Pug) hopes that through sharing his or her thoughts with the reader, they are inspired to be happier, more optimistic and live a more fulfilling life. Did I find this to be true as I turned the pages and read on?
Yes, I did! PUG’s message – translated through the wise words and delightful illustrations of Helen James – opens possibilities for the reader to take positive action in 29 encouraging and insightful short teachings.
This colourful book is perfect for a central location in your home, on the lunchroom table at work or a gift for someone who needs a boost. And, the most wonderful realisation is that this book will be enjoyed by all age groups.
If you are looking for a daily or weekly focus, know you could be doing something different or better and don’t know what that is or you want to benefit from the wisdom of one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, this book is certain to inspire and delight.
When Exisle Publishing asked me to review this cookbook I did wonder how I would evaluate a book filled with recipes. Cooking is not my favourite thing to do, however, I do adore fresh ingredients and eating wholesome and delicious food!
When I received The Adriatic Kitchen, and began to thumb through the pages it became apparent why Barbara Unkovic is a multiple award winner. The look of this book invokes feelings of a well-loved must have in any kitchen. I felt drawn into the Adriatic as she expertly shared her passion for writing, her love of her father’s homeland, short stories about each recipe, and the delightful recipes inspired by Croatian cuisine and local produce. The book’s sections are by season, and with each recipe I was taken to the place or people it was inspired by – like foraging for wild grapes for the grape jelly or the kind man who bought along a rotary hoe to till the potato plot so there were home grown potatoes for the leek and potato soup.
Thankyou Barbara for a cookbook that is easy for busy people to use and inspires cooking with fresh seasonal and local food. After trying a few recipes, I was surprised how much I enjoyed preparing the food, (remembering cooking is not my favourite thing to do!) The walnut coffee slice was amazing. The Almond Biscuits and pancakes with chocolate sauce are so easy and delicious. The Gnocchi and apple and cinnamon cake are to die for!
The Adriatic Kitchen won’t end up at the back of a cupboard or draw – my copy will take pride of place on my benchtop, and will be used often. I highly recommend you get a copy for your benchtop too – only $14.99.
I was asked recently by Exisle Publishing to review Here Be Dragons. It says on the cover, “A parent’s guide to discovering purpose, adventure, and the unfathomable joy of the journey.” I did think to myself, “not another parenting book!”
I got to about page three and, to my delight, couldn’t put it down.
It wasn’t like any other parenting book I had read or reviewed. I loved what was different. It is written by Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh and Ken Harbaugh – from how they met, how they developed as people together and apart, and how they met each challenge once they became parents. I found it to be an honest and personal insight into both parent’s experience and how they felt about it and dealt with it – and is full of humour only parent’s would appreciate!
I felt a part of Annmarie’s and Ken’s lives as I turned the pages and could relate to their many experiences; as well as how they had overcome the tough times.
What stood out for me though was how they described real issues faced by all of us once we become parents –
How mothers are judged differently to fathers.
Working through career goals and meeting the needs of your children.
Who does what, when.
How imbalanced it can be – and that is perfect.
Getting the right people around you.
Weathering each storm, knowing it will pass.
Then it is all tied nicely together at the end with a section of topics and questions for discussion as you examine your own ‘story’.
I highly recommend Here be Dragons for parents of any age children. Whether it is for reflection, guidance or amusement – this book has it all.
I have just reviewed two books for Exisle Publishing and want to share what I thought with you all. It is rare that I come across books that I think should be in every family home. These two tick all the boxes! They would both be excellent gifts for your family or friends, and I know I will be getting a few copies as Christmas presents. To find out more click the links below under each review.
The Art of Mindful Origami
I loved The Art Of Mindful Origami from the moment I saw the cover and picked it up. Upon opening you notice that it is dedicated to experiencing each moment fully, and I could feel this concept oozing from the books pages.
There is a simple, yet powerful, synergy – the combination of understanding, colouring, folding and creating, which certainly promotes a calm and focused mind, as the author intended.
I found that Dr Richard Chambers combined the art of origami and mindfulness in such a masterful way, and each project is supported by a story about the piece to be made and mindful practice suggestions. I really liked the way it was easy to understand the explanations and exercises – even my 9 year old was hooked. It is a very nice touch providing paper, that has beautiful nature pictures on it, to use for each project, as well as paper to mindfully colour in and use to make the origami if you choose.
I highly recommend this book for all that need support setting time aside to engage fully in the moment, or to use as some great fun activities to do as a family around the table.
The cover of Australia: Illustrated lets you know you have just picked up a book that will be in your family for quite some time. It is a hard cover, with a material type feel that says, “This book will become a family favourite.”
Tania McCartney has created a book that inspires discussions in the readers – big and little. As you open to the first page you are met with words describing Australia – big, beautiful and diverse. I can tell you that this is a good description also of this book; it’s content and the beautiful illustrations.
What I liked most was the colours, the engaging dialogue, and how I felt inspired to either find out more or go to visit some of the places after reading it. I felt it acknowledged how diverse and multicultural we are – yet so very Australian. As my son and I flicked through the pages I said that there was so much we were yet to see, taste and experience in our own remarkable country. We also spoke about how different one end was to another.
Our family is Separated by Work (we are a F.I.F.O family) so this book was extremely useful for us as it shared information and pictures of where ‘Daddy’ worked and gave lots of points to talk about with Dad next time he rang.
I know every family would treasure this book in their home, and have many fun and exciting conversations whilst exploring Australia through the pages.
The power of mindfulness is something I have lived, learnt and taught over the past two decades – so when the opportunity presented itself from Exisle Publishing to review this book I jumped at the chance. My first thought was, “what a brilliant title, promising to allow even more people to feel the benefits of living a mindful life.”
I opened the book and by page 10 I was hooked. The way Dr Hofstee relates key topics like understanding your brain, processing emotions, changing stressful thoughts, the mind-body connection and overcoming blocks is outstanding.
As the pages flowed and an understanding and practice was established for your own life, she then moved onto showing how you could expand into Mindful communication, relationships and conflict resolution.
Each chapter is supported by very real examples and exercises that are explained simply to encourage the reader to practice immediately. My personal favourites were the on-the-run tips. As the book progressed learning’s flowed from previous section and expanded into the next.
I will definitely be recommending this well written and researched practical handbook to others who are seeking a resource that is easy to read, informative and supports their busy lifestyles.
From the first page of the introduction I felt like I was there, being supported by Maggie, and taken through her proven program step by step.
This book is written in a warm and encouraging way, thoroughly explaining each skill and concept. Whilst reading I really felt how generous Maggie is with sharing her knowledge and was convinced she really wanted me to succeed.
I have been professionally speaking since 2009, and have done a lot of ‘learn as I go’ in that time – so I wish I had of read this book many years ago. Speak Easy will set you up for success and covers all you will need to know to be an excellent speaker – not just a good one.
Drops of Awesome by Kathryn Thompson is a delightful book filled with opportunities for you to fill your bucket and realise you definitely are more than you think they are.
Kathryn explains, “this journal is about celebrating and finding joy, not feeling guilt.”
I have found in my own journaling practice of over two decades, regularly penning my thoughts allows me to gain perspective, manage emotions and accept circumstances for what they are – not worse or better – then being able to move forward rather than be stuck or confused. Kathryn takes the reader and writer one-step further to create a tool where celebrating you and your drops of awesome will become part of your daily routine.
Kathryn describes clearly how to use the book while encouraging the reader to see the greatness in the little things and take action in their lives often. I loved how there was plenty of space to write daily thoughts and observations combined with inspiring instructions scattered through for when you least expect them yet possibly most need them.
Well done Kathryn, a beautiful gift to give to those we care about and an awesome gift to give to one self.