Smartcuts by Shane Snow

This has a lot of case studies to explain the different points that he raises in the book.  There are nine chapters each with a few case studies of successful people and how they achieved their dreams. Continue reading “Smartcuts by Shane Snow”

She Means Business by Carrie Green

This is a really inspiring book. From the title, you’d think it was a very technical business book with lots of business plans and marketing strategy. It does have some technical advice, however, it’s more geared towards motivating you and giving you techniques in how to make your dreams to come true.

The book is split into three parts and with lots of chapters in each section, although some chapters are only a page long.  The three parts are:

1.       She shows up for her dreams

2.       She gets herself out there to shine

3.       She’s unstoppable

The first part is about working on yourself and conditioning yourself for success and to allow yourself to imagine your business can be a success.  There are great quotes throughout the chapters and lots of tips on how to imagine yourself being successful.  At the end of nearly every chapter there is a list of questions, under the title, she asks questions where she makes you think or do some things for yourself.  So far the first two – about starting a journal and creating a vision board I’ve already taken on board.  This is the first time I’ve ever done a vision board and I feel a bit self-conscious about doing it. It feels like something you should do when you are at school or at Uni, not when you’re almost 40 and a mum to two girls.  It felt good doing it though but I’m still embarrassed to hang it up anywhere. I really love writing a journal and have recently started doing that anyway but I decided to start another one in order to follow what is going on in this book.

The second part is about your business.  Some of the points are the usual, find your niche, mission, audience and target them which I’ve heard a million billion times and go above and beyond to help them.  However, it also point out that sometimes, you just need to start and then you will find where you are going and your business will evolve as you go along.

The third part is about growing your business and to keep going even when you feel like giving up. In the book, Carrie accepts that there will be ups and downs but to use the failures as a learning point to keep going.

Along with this book is the 28 day She Means Business challenge.  This is included at the end of the book but you can also download it from her website along with a daily calendar with points and free resources that will keep you motivated to do the challenge.  The worksheet will direct you to the part of the book it refers to as it is not always in the order of the way its listed in the book.

At the end of each three parts, there is a checklist which summarises the chapters in that part and as it’s a checklist, you can tick off as you do them.

There have been quite a few books that I have read recently that are almost like an interactive workbook which I have listed below:

The Conquer Kit by Natalie McNeil

The Go To Expert by Heather Townsend and Jon Baker

Mumpreneur by Annabel Karmel

Yoga Girl by Rachael Brathen (although that’s about yoga rather than business!)


All of these books have something to download and lots of questions to ask about yourself and other little tips and inspiration to keep you pursuing your dreams. So far or maybe it’s because I’ve just read it, this book has been the most inspiring and especially the first part about preparing and visualising yourself being successful in whatever you do.

I’m going to go back now and finish the challenge and there may even be an update to this review.  However, as it stands now, this is another great book.  It is aimed at women but I think it can benefit anyone who needs a big dose of motivation to keep going if you’re starting to feel a bit despondent and lost with your dreams and plans.


Infant Massage – A handbook for loving parents by Vimala McClure

I’m questioning my suitability of being a mum again and so all the parenting books are out and open but unfortunately none are finished.  However, I found this book which I have read twice and loved all the relevant parts.  When both my girls were babies, I went to baby massage classes with them and I was recommended this book by the teacher. 

Looking back at it now though, the introduction seems a little harsh especially regarding parenting techniques.  However, that is the only bad thing I have to say about this book.  There are so many massage techniques that you can use and are probably very beneficial but when you have a bit of an explanation as to why you are massaging the baby the way you are and all the benefits of this particular massage, it helps bring a sense of purpose to what you are doing.

This book has 15 chapters:

 Chapter 1: Why massage your baby?

Chapter 2:  Your baby’s sensory world

Chapter 3: Bonding, Attachment and Infant massage

Chapter 4: Especially for Fathers

Chapter 5: Helping Baby (and you) learn to relax

Chapter 6: Music and Massage

Chapter 7: Getting ready

Chapter 8: How to massage your baby

Chapter 9: Crying, fussing and other baby language

Chapter 10: Minor illnesses and Colic

Chapter 11: Your premature baby

Chapter 12: Your baby with special needs

Chapter 13: Your growing child and sibling bonding through massage

Chapter 14: Your adopted or foster children

Chapter 15: A note to teen parents

With my first daughter, I used to massage her every day, without fail after her evening bath.  It was amazing how it would calm her down and relax her almost in front of your eyes.  Doing this before bedtime was usually great for getting her to fall asleep.  As a baby she was a really good sleeper.  Unfortunately, trying to get her to sleep now (aged 6) by herself is a nightmare.  First come the excuses and all the important things she needs to tell me right now, and then come the books which she hides under the pillow and in the bed and tries to read for as late as possible.  It’s good to read but sleep is important too and the thing is I’ve been there and done that – reading under the duvet with a dim torch.

My second daughter didn’t seem to be too much of a fan of baby massage to start with.  She wouldn’t keep still when I would massage her and usually just end up massaging whatever part of the body I had in front of me.  However, I did start baby massage earlier with her and as she got older, she did seem to enjoy it.

Even with two girls, we did bedtime massages for a long time, even if some nights it didn’t seem as long or as relaxing as I would like.  A lot of my younger daughter’s massages were moved to the day time when the older daughter was at nursery and I had time to massage without worrying about being disturbed.

As they have got older, the massages have more or less stopped now and the most they get is a quick rub down with some moisturiser.  The other day, the eldest daughter started complaining about her legs and that they were hurting her.  This was in the night just before I was heading to sleep.  She hadn’t complained all day so I assumed it was growing pains and did a little massage on her legs then.  Again she fell asleep quickly and for a moment it felt like being a baby again.

This book goes into details of the techniques of baby massage on different parts of the body.  As the baby grows up and her wants change, it also shows you how to adapt our massaging techniques to suit them.  It also covers some very basic illnesses, like a tummy bug or a cough and cold and how different massages can help relieve the pain, even if it is only for a bit. It also mentions how massaging helps with bonding with you child and it is also good for fathers to join in with the massages.  It’s a very good read and I would definitely recommend this book to parents to be so they can be prepared for giving their babies a massage as reading becomes a luxury once you become parents.



Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat, Love, Pray which I love and this book she has written is another amazing book.  Her main advice in this book is to protect your creativity.  Elizabeth says that for your creativity to grow, you should not put the pressure on it to earn you an income.  If you want to write then write or do whatever or go wherever your creativity takes you.  If your dream is to be a published author then go for it, but enjoy what you are doing and don’t let it become a burden, emotionally and financially.

  Continue reading “Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert”

The Go To Expert by Heather Townsend and Jon Baker

I’ve just finished reading this book which I am sure I started at the beginning of the year.  I know I started reading it while on the train to London which was in December or January time.  However, I don’t travel on the train on a frequent basis so my reading also got less.  I’ve currently found a new time to read, while putting the girls to sleep as long as it is in a kindle format. Continue reading “The Go To Expert by Heather Townsend and Jon Baker”

The Conquer Kit by Natalie MacNeil

This is another book about starting, progressing and excelling in your chosen business.

The chapters are called steps and you have to go through each step in order. In each chapter there are tasks for you to do and at the beginning of each task, there’s a time frame as to how long that particular task should take.  Continue reading “The Conquer Kit by Natalie MacNeil”

A Mumpreneur Guide by Annabel Karmel

One of the best things I like to read about is inspiring stories of people (especially women) who have achieved amazing success against all odds. This book is full of motivational stories like this, starting obviously with:

Annabel Karmel – Cookbooks for healthy food ideas for babies and children at different stages of growing up.  This is where I first found out about Annabel Karmel.  I was all into cooking healthy nutritious food for my babies. Continue reading “A Mumpreneur Guide by Annabel Karmel”