Bella Vida by Letty

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My Favorite Instagram Travel Hashtags

My Favorite Instagram Travel Hashtags

Instagram Travel Hashtags

I am officially hooked on Instagam. I love going through the images and being inspired by so many great photographers. It’s the best of the best that truly spark my creativity. I admire their works and instantly want to amp up my game and skills. It’s the best platform for sharing travel photography

There are countless travel hashtags to follow however these are specifically curated because of the high quality of photography as well as subject. I’m looking particularly for great storytelling by observing how the photographer is telling the story of the location they are visiting.

If you enjoy high quality beautiful images I highly recommend exploring the following hashtags. There are my favorite travel related hashtags.

 

1.     #instatravel  10,206,343 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

 

2.    #travelgram  8,803,808 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

3.     #scenery     5,808,646 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

4.     #travelinggram   3,533,355 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

5.     #instapassport     2,609,812 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

6.     #neverstopexploring          2,280,555 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

7.     #travelphotography      1,680,355 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

8.     #wonderful_places     1,648,269 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

9.     #cityscapes     1,496,460 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

1o.     #lifeofadventure      1,361,906 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

11.      #letsgosomewhere       1,285,669 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

 

 

How about you? What are your favorite Instagram hashtags?

You can find me on Instragram by clicking here.

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Latina Engineers Share Tips for Thriving in Corporate America

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM-related jobs will grow to more than 9 million by 2022. While women and minorities have been traditionally underrepresented in this field, there is a growing sense of urgency to increase their numbers in the STEM workforce. With Latinas completing college at almost twice the rate than their male counterparts, Hispanic women are poised to tap the jobs opportunity by considering STEM-related careers in a wide variety of sectors including the automotive industry.

In an interview with three outstanding Latina engineers at General Motors who have been recognized as Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers (YHCA) by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) for their passion in engineering, corporate leadership and community involvement share their experiences and advice.

 

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There is no doubt that Latinas have what it takes to excel in STEM careers and pursue the many opportunities corporate America has to offer. Imelda, Nydia and Diana are serving as an inspiration for young Latinas that desire to join the corporate world and build promising careers in global companies, such as General Motors. They started with a goal and determination to succeed, and are now living examples that the dream is possible.  Sí se puede!

 

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BVBL Wins Tecla Award for Best Latina Travel Blogger

Award Collage

I want to send a big thank you to the incredible Hispanicize team and the Tecla Award judges.  I’m incredibly honored to receive this recognition for my work.   It means a lot to be a part of an uplifting community of professionals.

Thank you family and friends for your eternal support.  Thank you to the sponsors, boards of tourism, ad agencies and marketing communities and advertisers for your support.  You have enabled me to maintain a career out of my passion for travel, photography and storytelling.

Bella Vida by Letty continues to be a place for me to share the beautiful things I come across and be a place of inspiration for others.

 

 

 

 

 

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Things I Loved About 2014 Travel Books Movies

things i loved about 2014

Before moving forward into the adventures 2015 will bring I wanted to look back at the things that brought me joy in 2014. I’m an avid reader and movie watcher making me a diehard lover of stories. So here I’ll share my favorites. If you want to see what I’m reading you can connect with me on Goodreads. It’s what I use to keep track of all the books I read.

One thing that has helped me read more is the Overdrive app which allows you to borrow books, audio and movies from your library. My favorite feature is that is syncs up with all of my devices so I can listen while I’m driving or read while I’m waiting anywhere. I actually try to arrive early so I can have some extra reading time. It’s a wonderful boredom reliever while traveling.

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Books

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld                        Mystery

Interesting setting and character.

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn     Suspense

Great storytelling.

 

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin    Mystery

Not your regular fiction it’s written as a journalists report. Great story.

 

Bully by Penelope Douglas  Romance

Perfect story pacing.

 

Instructions by Neil Gaiman                        Horror

I enjoy Gaiman’s story telling. As one of my favorite writers it’s a treat to read the specific words he choses to bring his tales to life.

 

Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair) by Rosie Pérez  Memoir

An amazing true story.

 

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller          Non Fiction

Great self help book. This is great for peeps like me who have trouble focusing.

 

Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business by Bruce Poon Tip         Non Fiction / Business / Travel

Inspiring read about how this entrepreneur in the travel industry became successful.

 

Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole                   Non Fiction / Writing

One of the best books on writing I’ve ever read. I highly recommend this if you’re serious about becoming a great writer.

 

Movies

I watch the majority of films on Netflix so I watch many movies that may have been released in previous years but am just now getting around to watch. These are the movies I enjoyed the most this year and I highly recommend you add them to your must watch list if you haven’t seen them yet.

Littlerock 2010          Drama   Interesting story and characters.

 

The Motel Life 2012             Drama    Awesome story.

 

At Middleton 2013               Romantic Comedy   Loved this romantic comedy very much.

 

Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious             Comedy   Cracks me up.

 

The One I Love 2014                        Sci-Fi   Great story!

 

Begin Again 2014                 Romance   Cute!

 

Sex Tape 2014                      Comedy   Lmao

 

6 Souls (Shelter) 2010         Horror   I love being creeped out.

 

Después de Lucía 2012        Mexican Drama   Heavy

 

Twice Born (Venuto al mondo) 2012         Drama / Romance   Emotional

 

Cafe de Flore (Café de Flore) 2011                        French Drama   Emotional

 

In Secret 2013          Horror   Very Edgar Allen Poe like

 

Zero Dark Thirty 2012         War Drama   Great storytelling. Study this screenplay if you want to learn how to write a good story.

 

The Punk Singer 2013         Documentary   Because punk girls rock forever!

 

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones 2014       Horror  My absolute favorite horror movie of the year. Originally creepy.

 

Disconnect 2012       Drama   Because I love heavy drama.

 

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest 2011                       Documentary   Because I grew up with Hip Hop that was good.

 

Mud 2012      Coming of Age Thriller   Great story set in the swamps. Loved it.

 

Quotes

travel quotes

10 Quotes to Inspire You to Travel 

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” George Carlin

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  Plato

Travel

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Massachusetts

One of my favorite things is to explore new places. This summer I had an amazing road trip exploring the state of Massachusetts. I hit up Cape Cod, Plymouth, Boston, Springfield and Salem. I’ve written over a handful of posts detailing my adventures along with my best tips. There is still so much more to share with you. You will see more of the Massachusetts road trip posts in 2015.

Click here to read and see tons of photos  

 

Florida

I’m always roadtripping my home state of Florida. One of my most popular posts is a big round up with hundreds of ideas for your next trip to Florida. 

Here are some recent places and tips full of information on what to do and see.

Lincoln Road Mall South Beach

South Beach

 

Cross Collage

St. Augustine

Bridge of Lions

Cross

Fort Matanzas

Crescent Beach

Rainbow Springs Florida State Park

Central Florida

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins

Sculptures

Rainbow Springs

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Key Largo Round Up

The Garden District in Uptown New Orleans

One of the blogs most popular posts feature my trip to New Orleans, Louisiana.  You can expect a big fat round up post in 2015.

 

Now that you’ve read my recommendations share some of yours with me.  What where your favorite places to visit, book to read and movies to watch?

 

 

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Budget and Credit Tips #Sponsored by #WellsFargo

This post is brought to you by a compensated campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Wells Fargo. All thoughts and content are my own. (Esta entrada es patrocinada por una campaña compensada en colaboración con Latina Bloggers Connect y Wells Fargo. Todo el contenido y los pensamientos son míos.)

How to Save for Your Next Vacation Tips from me and

Budget & Credit Tips From Wells Fargo

WFTips3

Wells Fargo is committed to making financial education and in-language resources available to Latino consumers. That includes providing customers with bilingual online tools, Spanish Text Banking, Spanish account statements, Spanish-language call centers, Spanish-speaking bankers in stores across the nation, and more.

As part of that commitment and in order to connect with the Hispanic community in a meaningful way, Wells Fargo recently collaborated with Telemundo for the “Conversemos de Tus Finanzas” campaign. The campaign is focused on empowering Hispanics to enhance their financial knowledge and help them to reach their financial goals. The campaign provides customized content, tools and resources around the important financial topics of money management and credit.

After working hard all year long everyone looks forward to having some fun on vacation whether it be an extravagant all inclusive affair or small road trip. We all deserve a break. The first step in creating financial goals such as saving for your vacation is to prepare a budget.

Prepare a budget

  • Understanding your income sources is one of the starting points towards creating a budget.Your annual gross income represents your total income before any taxes or other deductions. “Take-home pay” represents your net income,specifically your income minus taxes, credits, and deductions.
  • Tracking your expenses will help you spend your money more wisely. If you make a budget.This step-by-step process can be surprisingly easy to find out how you’re spending your money. Here’s how:

Gather your financial statements.

Create a list of monthly expenses.

Examine your expenses. (fixed, flexible & discretionary expenses)

Wells Fargo LOGO (CURRENT) v2

Create a budget in five easy steps.

Target your savings strategy. Look for an online budgeting tool that helps you identify and track multiple goals at once.

Step 1: Organize.

At its core, a budget is a worksheet with two columns: one for income and one for expenses.

Step 2:Track.

For one month, keep a detailed log of all your spending habits.

Step 3: Analyze.

At the end of the month, total your income and your expenses and then subtract your expenses from your income.

Step 4: React.

After looking at all of your expenses, separate them into categories and set a budget for each.

Step 5: Review:

Make a habit of reviewing your budget every month, particularly in the early stages.

 

Having good credit is very important since most hotels require a credit card for reservations.  The financial experts at Wells Fargo have compiled a list of 28 tips to help you manage your credit.

Click here to read your free Credit Tip Sheet from the experts at Wells Fargo.

You can find many more tips like these on the easy to navigate Wells Fargo website.

Click here to visit.

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Bella Vida by Letty Made the Top 50 Travel Bloggers List

 

 Top-50

Many thanks to Laura and Cipri from the Travel Cafe website for including Bella Vida by Letty on their carefully curated list of top 50 travel bloggers.

Laura and Cipri describe themselves as travelers, photographers and bloggers, foodies, sunset lovers and romantics at heart.  With over 12 years of travels and 32 countries their website is chock full of adventures, travel photography, experiences as well as many great travel planning tips.

It’s only been a year and a half since I transferred Bella Vida by Letty from blogspot to dot com and in that time it has grown exponentially.  Thanks to all of the readers and subscribers who continue to inspire me to keep making my dreams come true by earning a living doing what I love.

Bella Vida by Letty’s number one goal is to

empower people through media, technology and information.

It’s always great to be recognized for doing what I love especially from ones travel blogging peers.  I’m very grateful.  To read more about the other top 50 travel bloggers click here.

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Be Ready for Back to School w Supplies Physicals and More #WalgreensLatino #shop #spons

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Walgreens Collage

The beginning of the school year means back to school physicals.  One week before school was set to start the school board sent a message to our district stating there were policy changes and this school year there are new vaccine requirements.  If your children participate in athletic teams they also require sports physicals.

Did you know Walgreens offer physicals for all patients up to age 21 and under for only $49?

I don’t have to make an appointment, drive to the doctor’s office and wait for hours to be seen.  There’s a Walgreens Clinic right down the street from me.  There are approximately 400 Healthcare Clinic locations conveniently located at select Walgreens across the country. To find the one nearest you, simply enter your ZIP code in the Store Locator.

Licensed Healthcare professionals are available to answer your concerns and help with immunizations the kids might need for the school year.  With immediate access to the Walgreens pharmacy you can get expert healthcare and pick up what you need on the spot.  Walk-ins are welcome and appointments are also available.

For a limited time, bring this printable coupon in to a participating Healthcare Clinic for a youth sports, camp or school physical, and save $10 off the already discounted price.

walg Collage

 

Every school year it seems a few teachers require items that weren’t on the original back to school supply list.  While at Walgreens pick up any school essentials you might need.  Walgreens offers a large selection of supplies from hand sanitizer to tissues, paper, pens and so much more.

Walgreens makes back to school easy, helping everyone check off their her back to school list without going back to the big department store when all you might need are just a few extra items.

 

Legal Disclaimer: “*Promotion ends 9/7/14. Sports and school physicals not typically covered by insurance. Certain exceptions, including age restrictions, may apply. Patient care services at Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens provided by Take Care Health Services, an independently owned professional corporation whose licensed healthcare professionals are not employed by or agents of Walgreen Co. or its subsidiaries, including Take Care Health Systems, LLC. Walgreen Co. and its subsidiary, Take Care Health System, LLC, provide management services to in-store clinics and provider practices.” Visit walgreens.com/gobackhealthy for details.

 

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Did You Know I’m a Content Curator on Twitter?

content curator

A content curator is a person who collects useful information on a topic and distributes them via a stream.  One of my favorite social media platforms is twitter.  Twitter is known for breaking news and real time discussion.  I use twitter to curate lists on topics that interest me.  My favorite lists are sorted by location.  For example if you read my Florida twitter list stream you will find anything and everything related to Florida.  Not just travel but also news, weather, coupons, etc.  I check this stream first thing in the morning to find out what’s going on locally.  The best part is the immediacy.  Content is up to date and I know I’m getting the latest news.

If you are traveling to Florida I highly recommend you follow by subscribing to the list.

By becoming a content curator I’ve developed an expertise to sort content in a way that is digestible.  There is so much information out there sometimes it’s hard to follow.  I’ve done all of the work and all you have to do is consume the customized information.

Other lists I have curated:

Puerto Rico, Paris, Chicago , Massachusetts ,

Some lists can be specifically about skills such as writing and book publishing or business.

Why Content Curate

Because it makes me a thought leader on these travel and news related subjects by keeping me up to do date on the latest information.  I’ve also built wonderful relationships with people I would not have otherwise met.

Tips for better content curation

 Tips for better Content Curation

  • Be organized
  • Use a variety of sources
  • Use credible sources
  • Use relevant content
  • Choose one focus
  • Post often
  • Share
  • Search for recent content verses old
  • Use other curation platforms such as: Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr
  • Use curation tools such as: Storify or Paperli

 

You can view all of my lists here:  I hope you find them helpful.

Do you curate content?

If you want to be included on any of my lists let me know.

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 “Quality, relevant content can’t be spotted by an algorithm. You can’t subscribe to it. You need people – actual human beings – to create or curate it.” Kristina Halvorson

“Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks.” Roger A. Caras

“A life accumulates a collection: of people, work and perplexities. We are all our own curators. ”  Richard Fortey 

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Blogging Tips & Social Media Tips Round Up

BVBL Blogging Tips

Today’s post is about the business of blogging. Here’s a roundup of helpful blogging tips and social media tips  I’ve written about previously on this site. Bookmark this page and feel free to peruse.



Blogging Tips
I’ve been blogging for over seven years and these are some useful things I wish I would have implemented from the very start.
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging 

The more you develop your voice the more successful you will become with your readers. Infusing your writing with your personality helps engage your audience. Revealing your personality gives you authenticity making you a reliable source to your audience.
10 Steps to Finding Your Blogs Writing Voice
10 Benefits of Guest Posting 

Some legalities you should know about advertising and endorsements.
Blogging Ethics & FTC Requirement of Full Disclosure 
Writer’s Block: 25 Things To Do When You Can’t Write

Top Reasons to Own A Domain 

Social Media Tips
100 Pinterest Tips & Ideas for Artists Photographers Creatives 
How to Embed an Instagram Photo 

Networking Tips
Blogging conferences are the perfect place to connect with people and keep up to date on what’s new in your industry.
How to Get Ready for a Blogger Conference 

Life & Business Tips
Regardless of industry or career, developing your style demonstrates mastery and professionalism.
Style is a Way of Life ~ Design Yourself 
Creating New Goals & Objectives 

How can I help you? Do you have any blogging or social media questions?

Leave them in the comments below. I’d love to help.



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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

5 things i wish i knew when i started blogging

I’ve been blogging for many years and it doesn’t seem like I will get tired of writing anytime soon.  This May will be the one year anniversary of Bella Vida by Letty .com.  Thinking about that made me want to share some tips that sure could’ve helped me way back when I first began blogging. 

Self Host

If you plan on blogging seriously the main piece of advice I wish I would have taken was to begin with a self hosted WordPress site.  I was on blogger for years cultivating a steadily growing following but when I moved from Blogger to WordPress I lost all of my followers and subscribers.  I had to begin all over again.



Domain Name

When you decide on a name purchase the domain name. It shows professionalism and authority.  Here’s a previous post where I list several more reasons why it’s important to own your own domain name.

Analytics

Set up Google analytics right from the start.  It is the most trusted and reliable.  You can learn all sorts of helpful information like what keywords bring in the most visitors and who your audience is.  That is exactly who you are writing for.

Quality Content

The quality of your content matters.  Everything you post lives online forever.  Take your time to write a proper thoroughly researched post with great photos.  It will receive much more traffic than a hurried one and it will likely get shared because of its useful information.  Don’t worry the more you write, the better you get.  That has been my experience.

Grow Organically

I’m happy to report the site has been steadily organically growing since day one.  I don’t believe in paying for followers, hits, likes, etc.  The main reason is a major factor to measure a blogs success is engagement.  You might not have a lot of subscribers but if you are steadily growing a community who replies and shares your content you are well on your way.  All it takes is time.

Bonus

Build a Community

It’s easy to get caught up in wondering why another blog might have more traffic, ads or sponsors but you shouldn’t compare yourself to them.  You are your own unique voice and it’s up to you to cultivate your brand.  Connect with other bloggers you admire and build relationships with them.  I belong to several different communities which you will find on my sidebar.  Reach out, makes friends and build your community.

 Your turn.  What things have you learned from your years of blogging?  If you had to pick your greatest lesson what would it be?



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 “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” Anaïs Nin

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”  C. JoyBell C.

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.” Heath L. Buckmaster

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I’m Uploading My Story to Wattpad

31 Day of Rougarou Cover

Wattpad is a social network where readers and writers can interact. Writers can post stories, chapters, working versions, entire novels or excerpts and share them with readers for free. As of December 2013 Wattpad has over 18 million users who can access stories posted via their phones and mobile devices. Of the many genres on Wattpad the most popular are Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I signed up awhile ago but never took the time to explore and interact on the platform until recently. I’ve been working on a new adult dark horror novel and have decided to post chapters of the work in progress every Friday. If you enjoy being taken into a mag

Why am I posting my story for free on Wattpad?

It’s a way for me to test out all of my crazy ideas. It will allow me to receive feedback from the people who matter, my readers. I have to admit I’m scared out of my mind placing my writing out there for everyone to read. It’s way more terrifying to me than making up these scary stories. But I have to find a way to get past the fear and just do it. Violeta, the main character is demanding to be let out of the box.

You can find me on Wattpad here:  If you have a minute I would truly appreciate your support with a read or follow.  Thanks.

Here’s a description of the story:

The blood tingling adventure of reluctant supersensitive, Violeta, who has managed to keep her supernatural magical abilities secret until she gets bitten by a legendary power hungry Creole shape shifter, a Rougarou. She has 31 days to learn how to use her psychic abilities to break the curse or lose all her powers.

Are you using Wattpad?

Do you have any tips for me?

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“Today is the day to move past your past, move closer to your dreams, rise above your detractors, feel the fear and do it anyway, stoop below your ego, get out of your own way, and allow your life to amaze you.” Elissa Gabrielle

“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” Marilyn Monroe

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Frank Herber

“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” Aristotle

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My Visit to Fusion Network

Fusion Collage

I’m grateful for the invitation to visit the brand new headquarters of the Fusion Network.  The brand-new Fusion network is a joint venture between Univision and Disney/ABC. Defining themselves as a news, pop culture and satire channel, this digital and TV network targets a young, diverse and inclusive audience.  They were extremely welcoming and gave me the VIP treatment.  I met some wonderful people I hope to see again soon.

I was given a behind the scenes tour of the studios and was very impressed to learn newscaster Jorge Ramos does an hour long show in English and does another show in Spanish right after.  Now that’s talent.  I was asked what he is like and in one word it would be kind.

I also met the talented Alicia Menedez who has her own nightly show on the new channel.  It was pretty cool to watch her in action.  Have you heard of the new network?  Does your carrier have the channel?  Sadly Comcast doesn’t yet but I am able to see the videos they post in social media and on their website.

You can read more about my visit here.

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Pay It Forward

Whatimreading

I just finished reading, “Looptail How One Company Changed the World” by Bruce Poon Tip.  I picked it up because it was on one of those best business books of 2013 lists and more specifically because it was a travel company.  I’ve been wanting to travel more and trying to find creative ways to do so.

The book is a great read for those interested in leadership and testing out different business models especially for company’s going through growth looking for new strategies.

I found the book inspiring because it’s an example of a company who has incredible growth and did so without comprising on their ideals.  If you think success means you’ll have to sell out one day here’s a real example of that not being true.  This company was able to thrive while paying it forward and helping local communities to grow and prosper.  Because of the prejudice he encountered as a child he celebrated the uniqueness of people who collectively could achieve the extraordinary.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“It’s about paying it forward, finding purpose and infusing your work and life with it, you create the conditions for your own success.”

“How you view the world is linked to your influences and the world is a reflection of your consciousness.”

 

What are you reading?  Do you have any recommendations for me?

 

If you want to see what else I’m reading follow me on Goodreads and don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates.

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Benefits of Reading With a Purpose

BooksIreadIn2013

As an avid reader I devour articles, magazines and books on a daily basis.  I guess that’s why I’ve never made any formal reading goals.  It’s something I already do, but seeing others create reading goals for the new year made me want to take my reading to another level which is reading with the purpose to acquire and use information.

Reading to Learn

Writing better will always be a goal of mine.  The first two books I’m reading this year are about writing.  I’m re-reading Syd Field’s, Foundations of Screenwriting.  It helps me to look at the plot of the story I’m working on and strengthen it.

The second book I’m reading is Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole.  If you are writing for young adults or middle grade I highly recommend it.  This is one of the best books on writing I’ve read.

Reading to Acquire New Information

There are things I want to learn like how to best handle my finances, business and marketing.  I’ll be reading books on these topics and I’ll share them here and on Goodreads.  Please share your recommendations in the comments.

Reading for fun

I also like to read for pure entertainment especially fiction.  Next on my to read list is one I picked up at the Miami Book Fair.  It’s a book of short stories called: The  Vintage Book of Latin American Stories.  There are some classics stories in there like Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph but also many other great gems I hope to discover.

Some of my favorite books are:

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  • Wild Women: Contemporary Short Stories by Women Celebrating Women by Sue Thomas
  • The Dragon Tattoo Series by Stieg Larsson
  • The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature by Ilan Stavans
  • The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferre
  • Puerto Rican Obituary by Pedro Pietri
  • The Seamstress by Frances de Pontes Peebles

 Benefits of Reading

10 Benefits of Reading

Mental Stimulation

Improve Memory

Acquire Vocabulary

Boosts Analytical Thinking

Improves Empathy

Improve Writing Skills

Increase Emotional Intelligence

Expands Your World View

Makes You Look Sexy

Entertainment

If you’re on Goodreads you can check out what I read in 2013.

Your turn, tell me what you’re reading?

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“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”  Gustave Flaubert

“We read to know that we are not alone.”  William Nicholson

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”  Fran Lebowitz

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”  Mortimer J. Adler

Update: I found an old Vine video with some books from my shelf.

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How to Be Crazy

how to be crazy
It’s the beginning of a new year and most people are making lists to improve themselves so they’ll look better to others.  Take a good look at your list.  Is your list personalized to your needs?  Is it a little bit crazy?  It should be.

Being yourself and following your instincts take courage but why waste your time worrying about what others think when you can be happy right now?  Very few people actually know who we truly are.  At best a person at any given time only knows a slither, a very small slice of who you are and what you’re capable of.  Other people’s opinions reveal everything about them and absolutely nothing about you.  Make it your year.  Be crazy.

How to Be Crazy

Believe in yourself. 

You have many skills and amazing qualities.  Best of all you have the never ending capacity to learn.  Practice self love and that will build your self confidence.  No one can resist a powerful attitude.  I learned to believe in myself when I heard peoples criticism and I knew how wrong they were.

Follow your intuition.

Intuition is tapping into your unconscious or subconscious mind.  They are a resource of information.  Pay attention to your body’s signals.  Your body provides powerful information about your health, decisions and other people.

Believe in your dreams.

Indulge in daydreaming, imagination and play.  Dreams are like magic.  When you respect and nurture them they will bring you meaning and purpose.

Be courageous.

It’s not easy being courageous but one thing that has helped me is knowing people will criticize no matter what so I might as well be happy.  My happiness is more important than a fleeting opinion.

Follow through.

Don’t procrastinate.  The quicker you act the less time you have to worry or become fearful.

What crazy things are you planning on doing this year?

Here’s my short list:  Create every day.  Write and write better.  Travel and have many fun adventures.

I hope you go crazy this year.  If you need extra inspiration here’s a song to get you started.

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“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.”  Tim Burton

“Be crazy! Be brave enough to live different.”  Paulo Coelho

“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”  Ursula K. Le Guin

“Live life fully while you’re here. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” Anthony Robbins

“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.” Lewis Carroll 

“Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” Sigmund Freud

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