The Best Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential Oil DiffuserThere are plenty of options on the market for essential oil diffusers. This can make it pretty difficult to find the right one for you. When dealing with essential oils I have found that having a diffuser that is easy to use, reliable, and affordable is the best way to go.

There are some companies that are offering essential oil diffusers that go above the hundred dollar price mark, I find this crazy when there are perfectly good alternatives available that cost a fraction of that price. It is best to keep things simple when looking for an oil diffuser to make a part of your home.

I have tried multiple diffusers, and after testing them out, there is one that stands out from the rest. The VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser is reasonably priced, works every time without fail, looks great and modern, and most importantly it does a great job at diffusing oils.

Essential Oil DiffuserMy official review of this diffuser is as follows: “I bought this as my first ever essential oil diffuser, so I was not really sure what to expect. I loved the modern design of this oil diffuser. Compared to the ones that I have seen in stores, it is superior in design. When it arrived I was a little surprised that it is all plastic, it looks like real wood, but is plastic. However, it is built well and functions perfectly. It was super easy to learn to use and has great safety features that turn it off when the water is all gone. It also looks better than in the images in my opinion. The images on here make it look dark and almost like a black colored wood pattern, however in actuality it is more brown. I will attach a photo to show what mine looks like. Overall, if you are looking for a great looking oil diffuser that does exactly what it claims to do, get this one!”

So to sum up, you don’t need an expensive diffuser to get the job done! Don’t fall for marketing tricks that some companies try to use. Based on my experience using essential oils, this is the one to go with! Click here to get a great deal on this diffuser!

Atman Tea Co. Relaxes The Body

I have the pleasure of smelling the relaxing aromas of the tea from Atman Tea Co. as I write this. The smell reminds me of a health spa and I find my mind drifting to scenes of zen gardens. In this day and age it is more important than ever to take a few moments to relax and enjoy life. The Atman Tea Co. promises a stress-free experience when you drink their teas.

The brand itself is focused on providing a product that is beneficial to the customer. I am also happy to report that their teas are completely all natural and organic. I drink a lot of tea and have found that more and more companies try to trick their customers into thinking that they are getting a wholesome product, but in truth they are tricking them into buying processed ingredients. The Atman Tea Co. is very transparent and honest with their customers, so you don’t have to worry about the quality of the ingredients.

They also take the frustration out of making a cup whole-leaf tea by packaging their teas in biodegradable pyramid tea bags. There is much to be said about a company that takes special care of their product and customers to provide an all-around unique experience. Their teas are hand blended, that means a machine isn’t preparing your blend for you, and their whole business is personable. If you are looking for a product to help you relax, look no further. I highly recommend checking out their website for more information.

Atman Tea Co. – Click here to learn more!

Falling and Staying in Love

Falling and Staying in LoveLove is a common word we hear every day. Love is equated to so many things. As you may have heard the famous cliché, we sometimes look for love in all the wrong places. What is love? What should I love? Is too much love a dangerous thing? Merriam-Webster defines love as a strong assurance of affection. I can say I love you, but if you’re not strongly affected in any way, love cannot be perceived from such words. Hugs, kisses, random talk, and spending time with someone all falls under the meaning of love.

In today’s society, it’s very easy to fall in love, but staying in love is where the game begins. Some fall in love at first sight while others fall in love as time progresses and they learn new things about the person or thing they admire. Love comes in categories. The four categories of love are Storge, Philia, Eros, and Agape. In order to reach an area in your life where you remain in love, you have to reach the agape level. Think about your favorite food or dessert for a moment. When I was young, I enjoyed candy apples. I would help my mother bake them and glaze them in the wee parts of the afternoon. Putting on the peanuts was my favorite part. It took a while for me to love candy apples. Once I gained an agape love for them, I began doing anything I could to obtain one or a few. I hope this blog post achieves the very same thing you are seeking for.

To begin, one must understand that “love” and “hurt” cannot mix just like light and darkness cannot. They are separate entities. Many times, people can accept hurt as a form of love. In my childhood years, they called it tough love; the child that got kicked out of his parent’s house and forced to live on his/her own. True love is not tough and it shouldn’t hurt. True love requires sacrifice, not hurt. If someone tells you about your actions and how you are hurting them, you’ll change or make progress to change if you love them. If not, you’ll continue hurting them. Love is sacrifice and will be discussed when I talk about agape love.

Secondly, you must love yourself. You cannot love anything or any person until you love yourself. Love what God created you to be from the inside out. Many times, we focus on the physical appearance and if we don’t look the part or fit in with the crowd, we feel we’re rejected and not loved. Loving you starts on the inside. Take a moment to sit down and write down all the things you like about yourself; your gifts, your smile, your skills, and so forth. There’s always something you can love about yourself if you try really hard to think about it; even if it’s small.

Falling and Staying in LoveThirdly, find a reason to love. When you find the reason to love, find out if it’s healthy or detrimental to your emotional health. Your joy and self-esteem interprets your view and mindset on the things around you. Ask yourself – why do I love this? How does loving this benefit me? Love is give and take. The giving is the sacrifice and the taking is the benefit you receive from loving. It’s a two-way street and if both parties aren’t making “love” work, it won’t be successful.

In closing, make the sacrifice to achieve love! Sometimes, you’ll be placed into circumstances where you have to agree to disagree and give up the right for the wrong. A mother’s birth is the best example. Though she didn’t agree with the pain and procedure to bring you into the world, she loved you so much that she was willing to sacrifice. What are you willing to give up today to show your love? Would you give up money and time? Would you give up some selfish ways and become selfless to others? Once you make the sacrifice to love, love yourself, and find a reason for loving, you can fall and remain in love with anybody and anything. It’s a process, but it’s worthwhile in the end!

Choosing Your Career (Career Choices)

Choosing Your Career (Career Choices)

Choosing a career, for the first time, can be scary and difficult! You’re walking into the unknown; not knowing if you would sink or swim. Many things come across your mind, such as “how much money would I make”, “is that type of business booming today”, and “how do I know if this is really the career for me”? In excitement and eagerness, you outline your SMART goals and begin looking for ways to accomplish those goals. Today, I want to encourage you about career placement and advancement.

Society teaches the average individual to seek booming careers, such as law, medicine, and IT. In these careers, you’ll always find a job because they’re expanding and becoming necessities to the world. The statement is true, but I caution you to choose wisely. A lot of people start out in one career and transition to another; not because they aren’t intelligent or capable of handling their responsibilities, but because they’ve learned that it doesn’t guarantee happiness and self-satisfaction.

When I graduated from high school, I wanted to be a school teacher because I loved the character of the teachers I had. Educating others seemed self-satisfying to me, so I started pursuing a career in Education. I wanted to help others as well as help myself. Teaching benefits the student and the teacher. As I got through the first two semesters, I began noticing how this career did not meet my expectations. Expectations tend to change as we get older and as we experience new things. I couldn’t cope with my studies, so I dropped out of the academy and started seeking all over again.

There are so many people today that have wasted months, even years, trying to find the career that fits them. They go from one career to another and one job to another. The truth is they haven’t taken the time to stop and think about what makes them happy. Happiness increases productivity. If you engage in a career that makes you happy, you’ll do great at it and always look for ways to improve. Computers, coding, and technical stuff makes me happy, so I don’t mind learning as much as I can about the IT field. Major and go into a career that makes you happy. Some of you may be saying, “what if I don’t know what makes me happy?”

Choosing Your Career (Career Choices)Sometimes, people take Undecided majors because they really don’t know what makes them happy and self-satisfied. One thing I’ve learned to do is watch and analyze those already in the career field. There’s no harm in reaching out to professionals in your desired career field and asking them questions about their experiences. Perform an informational interview with them and after reviewing their experiences, make sure it’s something you would be willing to handle. The second thing I’ve learned to do is job tours. Certain companies will allow you to tour the facility and speak to professionals in the company about their day-to-day duties. Google is a good example. They put videos on YouTube of their employees; showing you how they enjoy working for the company. If this doesn’t suffice, you can schedule a tour to meet Google employees; giving you the opportunity to ask as many questions as you like. Some people need visuals and if that’s you, seek job tours. Besides job tours and informational interviews, you can test out the career for 90 days. Your career today doesn’t have to be your permanent career. Get a feel of things and take in variety from different companies.

All in all, invest in and pick a career that brings you happiness and self-satisfaction. If you do, you’ll find yourself active in the career for a long time rather than becoming burned out after five to ten years. Once you’re placed in your career, be respectful, obedient, and mannerly towards leadership. Take the “baby” approach and learn as much as you can about the business’ overall objectives as well as your annual to-dos from management. Over-accomplish and don’t worry about rewards and compensation at first. It’ll find their way to your lap after a while. Be the sparkle, example, and role-model your team and its members need.

FREE Marketing Channels for Authors

FREE Marketing Channels for AuthorsI strongly believe one of the top failures for new, emerging authors is the marketing techniques they use in promoting their book. Typically, many authors purchase press kits with their publisher to help get their book recognized. Press kits are a good start point, but one should not fully rely on them. When I wrote my first three books, I did not use a press kit. I did “personal marketing.” Personal marketing and know how to do it well causes your book to be globally and locally recognized. I want to share some of the tactics and tools I have personally used in promoting my books. I also had help designing a website from Web Chimpy, they did a great job.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing gives an author the opportunity to convert the manuscript of their book into an e-Book version. If you’re an author that is limited on funds, this is your first source for marketing. Try to sell your book electronically and see how well it goes. If you make good ebook sales, begin transitioning into print copies through Amazon Marketplace.

Amazon Advantage Program

Amazon Advantage Program offers the opportunity for authors to send in print copies of their book to the warehouse. It’s imperative that I state you should make sure you send the exact amount of print copies you requested in your purchase order. When you submit your purchase order, Amazon will give you a shipping label and packaging label to make sure the correct personnel receives your book.

Personal Author Website

No matter what genre of writing you choose to pursue, every author needs a personal website that displays their book and how to go about purchasing it. Preferably, use your name as the web domain. If it’s not available, use the title of your book. Start with a .com domain and then search for available domains, if these options are not available.

Do not overdo your website. My very first website I created had too much information on it. The basic components should consist of an intro/welcome to your site, the author’s bio (keep it brief), the marketing outlets that have your book(s) available for purchase, and a way readers and visitors can contact you for more information. It’s imperative to have an email address correspondent to your website. For instance, my email is carl@carlmckever.com. If you feel your works will be huge, it’s wise to set up separate email addresses for each entity. Entities could be copyrights, book purchases, book reviews, ratings, interviews, endorsement letters, and author appearances (bookings).

Google SEO/ Google Analytics

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. I didn’t take advantage of Google Analytics or SEO until I wrote my fourth book. This software, patented by Google, shows you the location of the visitors on your website. You can get hit counts, web statistics, and pull up reports for your website. SEO is setup in your website within your metatags, to help Google easily locate your website. When someone searches your name on Google, your website should be the first link to show up.

Google Authorship

After your author website is established and you have SEO generated in the background, you can enroll into Google Authorship. This tool simply verifies your rights as an author and places your name to the right when someone searches for you. In order to use this, you have to embed code, from Google, into a website that includes your name as an author. You can even do this for newspaper articles, blogs, and journal entries.

FREE Marketing Channels for AuthorsNOOK Press

NOOK Press is an online self-publishing tool created by Barnes & Noble. The online software allows you to upload your manuscript and book cover, and then sell it as an email on a NOOK device. Barnes & Noble is just as reputable as Amazon and I encourage every author to use both platforms. I see many authors on Kindle and not on NOOK; as if NOOK is phasing away.

Amazon Author Central

Amazon Author Central is a platform that allows authors to create a profile and claim their books already being sold on Amazon. With Amazon Central, you can set up your upcoming events, embed an RSS feed or blog, upload pictures of yourself, and display videos about you and/or your book(s).

Amazon AudioBook Exchange (ACX)

Audiobooks are becoming a new thing in today’s publishing era. Once your books are available for sale on either Kindle or print, you can get an auditor to record your book. Royalties and contracts are setup and those that cannot read or see your book, can listen to your book through Audible.

Goodreads

When I first joined Goodreads, I freaked out because I didn’t understand why I could not create an author page. Before establishing an author page, you must recommend, read, and rate so many books. You begin by searching for your book. If Goodreads does not pull up anything, a button will appear that says “manually add my book(s)”. As I began to get ratings and reviews on my book, I added friends and joined different communities. This opened up my understanding and I began setting up critique groups, writing blog posts, include my works of writing, and uploading pictures.

One great feature, as a Goodreads author, I encourage is book giveaways. Setting up quizzes and trivia on your book sounds great, but to gain exposure you have to give away something for free. Even if you give away 1 copy, you can gain a lot of readers. When I did my first book giveaway, I only gave away 1 free copy of my book. The amount of contestants I had was 992 at the closeout. Take advantage of the giveaways.

LibraryThing

LibraryThing is a cataloging platform where librarians catalog books in their library and books of interest. You can still create an author page, upload photo(s), and contribute to the Common Knowledge placed on your books. Your readings and events can be added on LibraryThing and to find people of similar interest, you can join the Hobnob with Authors group.

Twitter/FaceBook/GooglePlus

All three of these social media platforms are free. If you have written multiple works, I suggest only creating one author page and displaying all of your works there. If you are concerned with privacy, block unwanted users and set your profile to private. Keep in mind that a private profile is harder to find than a public one.

Distraction-Free Writing: How to Handle Distractions

Distraction-Free Writing- How to Handle DistractionsI’m making it a habit to write daily; that is, whatever comes to mind. A person can write for years and become good at it. Yet, they suffer with distractions. Writers are not exempt from distractions. Every writer has a personal life outside of writing and they too, have to deal with this. It agitates me madly when I’m trying to write down my thoughts and a train passes by my place of stay. My neighbors, sometimes, family will play loud music or constantly knock on my door. Better yet, the phone seems to never stop ringing. No one is calling about something important and you think, “Couldn’t this wait until a later time?” Writing in a world filled with distractions is very difficult. It takes a lot of skill and technique to get beyond it. Today, I want to share some techniques with you that I think could help you as a writer, author, novelist, poet, lyricist, or whatever form of writing you enjoy doing.

My first tip is staying focused. Writing is considered a goal. There’s an end and a finish to it. You pick up your pen or pencil, apply it to paper, and then let your thoughts ride. The minute I notice a distraction, I speak to my inner self and remind myself to keep going. You can’t quit till you cross the finish line and feel satisfied with your writing piece.

The second tip I have to offer is taking a break. What! Are you sure? Yes, I am sure. You have to give your brain and thought process a break after a certain amount of hours. My rule of thumb is every four hours. During your break, leave your current setting and find a new atmosphere. Find a spot that’s calm and relaxing, such as a park. Remember to bring a notebook and something to write with. Don’t make it an intention to write because this is a break, remember? I am asking you to bring a notebook because you can run into something that intrigues you. I call this the test of the wills. Thoughts come and go, and you cannot expect your brain to remember the ones coming at you rapidly.

Distraction-Free Writing- How to Handle DistractionsThe third tip is finding the perfect timeframe. This is very difficult, though it sounds easy. Some writers have to write late at night when everyone in the house is sleep and all personal errands are done for the day. Other writers prefer to write in wee morning hours before any chaos hits the day. I have even seen some writers write in the middle of the day, during their lunch breaks from work, and at certain times designated for writing.

I want you all to succeed in your writing. The very last tip I have to offer is grabbing a cup of coffee or tea. Drinking something hot stimulates the mind and pushes you to continue writing down your thoughts when distractions are near. Please do not flatter yourself into thinking that you will not have to deal with distractions when you write. Distractions come in many forms; down to the sound of forceful wind. It’s how you handle them and how well you use emotional intelligence to balance your attitude about the distractions.

Good luck and promote “distraction-free writing” wherever you go!

 

How to Write a Book Review

How to Write a Book ReviewBeing a book reviewer for the last two weeks and having many of my books reviewed by others, I tend to see a lot of commonality in reviews. Mistakes, gestures, and things that are just inappropriate for a book review. It is one thing to tell someone that their book is great and others should read it. It’s practically a cliché at this point. Reviewers have to make prospective readers thirsty and energized in interest to the point where they want to purchase the book. Book reviews have the same flavor and sensitivity as a sales pitch.

How do I write a book review? Where do I start? How long should it be? Common questions with various answers! I only speak, in this blog post, from personal experiences as a book reviewer. When you begin writing a book review, start off thanking the author for their publication. You can include if you won the book through a giveaway, but know that this is a necessary evil. After being complimentary, start addressing the overall design of the book. What feeling did you get when you looked at the front cover? Does the title give off the main idea? Are the designs on the front and back covers an act of symbolism? Does the small wording on the back cover heighten your interest to open the book? These are the things prospective readers want to know.

The next portion of your book review should address the grammar and punctuation. Yes, something not often placed in reviews. It’s imperative that you get someone else to check your grammar and punctuation. Go through an editor or agent, if you have to. You’ve read the book. So, did you have to stop and almost stutter because the fragments were not revised properly in the sentences? Did the author wean off topic for a long time without reeling you back into his/her main purpose? Prospective readers and book reviewers look for the author’s purpose, focus, and moral in every story. At this point, you can begin considering the format and layout of the book. Was the table of contents outlined correctly? Were page numbers included? Was the book entirely too long with unnecessary information in chapters? Was the font and alignment of each page hard to conceptualize? Think about this when writing your book review.

How to Write a Book ReviewThese pieces to a book review are great, but the most crucial and last component of the book review should be recommendations. Make the sales pitch! State the type of audience who should be reading the book and address any internal/external feelings they may run into. Is the book full of adventure and suspense? Is it religious? Are profane words and derogatory remarks made in the book? Why is this so important? The prospective reader wants to know if they’re the right audience! For instance, I’m a poet and when I read reviews for poetry books, I want to know if the books are centered on the same themes I write about and read about. If I was a counselor and the book is full of adventure, but doesn’t hold a dramatic event requiring counseling for someone, this may not be the book for me. Make your recommendations and state why such audiences are the right candidates.

In closing, have fun with your book reviews! Don’t make it into an assignment or required duty. Don’t treat it as some book report or an exhausting activity one does when they finish a book. Write your review while you’re in a happy mode and when you think and concentrate about the interesting pieces of the book. Even if the book is terrible, don’t come right out and say, “this is the worse book to buy.” Mention the author’s weaknesses and give suggestions on how they could become strengths. Don’t tear down your author publicly, but address horrible matters through private communications.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing some of your book reviews out there!

Makers Kit

Makers Kit Dino TerrariumIn the digital technology age that we live in, it’s sometimes nice to take a break from the stress of day to day life and make something special with our hands. Makers Kit is a company that really seems to understand the connection between people and making things themselves. I mean think about it, the gifts that you have gotten over the years have all been great, but the ones that really stick out in you mind are the ones that someone took the time to make for you. Simply put, making something with your hands is an art and craft that still has a place in todays’ society!

You not only get a neat kit filled with everything you need to make whatever it is you’re making, but you get two very helpful guides that show you exactly what to do, step-by-step, in video lessons. You might just be surprised how easy these kits make it to create a one of a kind item. Take the Dino Terrarium for example, it’s very straight forward and the finished product is special because you took the time to make it. The world is full of makers, people who love to create, and Makers Kit is giving everyone the opportunity to take time and make something worth having!

You don’t need a lot of space to enjoy one of these kits, in fact you can easily use them in your dorm room, apartment, or anywhere that you have a few feet to move around in. I’m not joking when I say that absolutely anyone can enjoy this product. It doesn’t matter which kit you choose, they offer such a variety that you’re sure to find something that fits your interest. Make your own soap, blend your own tea, or build a terrarium, either way you will find enjoyment in slowing down and making something. For more information or to order a Makers Kit, visit www.MakersKit.com.

Writer’s Block: Re-fuel Your Passion!

Writer’s Block: Re-fuel Your Passion!Writers write in different stages and with different moods. Sometimes, we have a gratifying, uncontrollable passion that keeps us up in the late nights and wee hours of the morning. You could look at our hands and see calluses on the back upper portion of our fingers. Our eyes look weary from staring at a monitor or a notepad for countless hours. The cups of coffee and slices of pie diminish; being used to invigorate the creative passion that lies trapped inside of us. This is the good mood, the good times as a writer.

Unfortunately, writers run into a stagnant mood called writer’s block. Writer’s block, to me, is the inability to think and the loss of passion in writing. It’s impossible for a writer to say their passion for writing is high while they face the excruciating battle of writer’s block. So, how does one refuel their passion? How long does this phase last? What caused writer’s block, anyways? These are questions I am willing to ask based off of pure experience.

The biggest cause of writer’s block is becoming dissatisfied with your own work. Time progresses, writings increase, but the satisfaction of the things we write about doesn’t increase. Each writing piece should give us a fresh dosage of satisfaction and encouragement. Another cause is running out of things to write about. Let me tell you … I run into this one a lot. To conquer this, change your atmospheric surroundings. Walk somewhere new, travel, carry a notebook in places you haven’t before, Internet research the latest poetry trends with poetry associations, and network with other poets who write for the same cause as you. Two is better than one! Change the time of day that you write. If you have been writing late at night, start trying it in the morning before the day gets busy. Personally, I love writing as soon as I arise from bed; when my thoughts are freshly anew and I’m not tired or weighed down from life’s burdens.

A person facing writer’s block remains in this phase until they realize they don’t have to. I learned this the hard way; waiting for others to pat me on the back and pump me up. You have to encourage yourself as a writer and write for others while building your very own self up. Rejection is another reason that leads writers into writer’s block. I do understand how one feels that writes constantly and is not recognized nor appreciated for any of their writings. Yes, it’s a terrible feeling. Yet, when this feeling comes, you have to ask yourself, “Why do I write? Who am I writing for? Is writing to heal and/or motivate me? Is writing all about others?” These questions will help you reinvent your passion and reasoning for becoming a writer. To conclude, overlook your past failures and rejections. It’s a new season, it’s a new day, and it’s a new you; waiting to write away!

Urban Cheesecraft

Urban Cheesecraft KitOne of the most uncommon things anymore is to make your own food from scratch at home. Chances are, you love the quality and freshness of homemade foods, but the tricky directions and lengthy procedures frighten you away. If I were to ask you if you have ever contemplated making your own cheese, you would probably say no because the idea of making cheese at home is unheard of to the average person! Urban Cheesecraft is changing all of that and making homemade cheese accessible to everyone!

You don’t have to be a cook or know how to make complicated dishes to be able to make cheese, literally anyone can do it with the Cheese Kits from Urban Cheesecraft. The Cheese Kits include everything that you need to make cheese except a gallon of milk. The only thing you will need other than the kit itself is a gallon of milk. One other important thing to note is these kits make multiple batches of cheese, so there is plenty of room to test out new flavors and methods of making cheese.

The instructions on the Mozarella and Ricotta DIY Cheese Kit say that it takes around an hour to make the cheese, in fact we think it might have even taken less time when we made cheese with the kit! Who would’ve thought that you could make fresh homemade cheese in about an hours time?

Urban Cheesecraft Kit CheeseThe instructions that come in the kits are super easy to follow, no complicated wording or tricky steps! They are written so that anyone can understand the directions and there are even helpful hints and tips that make making cheese at home even easier and more fun. Oh, and don’t fret if your cheese doesn’t turn out exactly like it’s supposed to the first time, there are even instructions for what to do if a step doesn’t turn out the way it should, you will still have something delicious and edible to enjoy for your efforts.

This is one of those companies and products that is literally as good as they sound. We wouldn’t call ourselves chefs, yet on the first attempt with the easy to follow instructions we made some fantastic Mozzarella cheese infused with cheese salt and parsly. Making tasty homemade cheese accessable was their goal, and to that we say “Mission Accomplished!”

For more information on Urban Cheesecraft or to buy a Cheese Kit, please visit them online at UrbanCheesecraft.com.