Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Skill #IWish I Could Learn Overnight is…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

A skill I wish I could learn overnight is playing the piano. I have always been fascinated by this musical instrument. I love the sound that it makes and how it can be used to bring a stage performance, film, or music arrangement to life. I know that many people begin playing the piano when they are very young and grow up to either hate it or love it. Many of the greats learned to play and have gone on to create successful careers for themselves. When I see a piano and walk past one, I feel like a kid in a candy store, wondering what will someone play on it next. The piano truly fascinates me.

I would say, on a daily basis, I drive past this piano store and always seem to stop at the traffic signal on that intersection  They have all styles of pianos peering out at me through their glass windows. If I didn't know any better, I would think something wanted me to stop in for a visit. Also,a couple of weeks ago, I did see a sign for Adult piano lessons they were starting. So...

I tell myself that maybe one day I will give, learning the piano a shot. I really love music. When I was a kid, I used to sing a cappella or to a keyboard of music my dad wrote, in church, with my brother and sister. Music has really always been my second love and really helps me to relax and reset during difficult times or having to make hard decisions. Life is very unpredictable and what we think we will end up doing may just be different. So, I never know what to expect but hopefully before I lose my patience to learn the rules and ways of the piano, I hope to give it a serious effort. You will be the first to know!

Photo from The Arts Centre gold coast

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge thru January 31, 2013. All  posts are 100% my own content.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!

Free #Blogger Event to Get Fit by Gaming! Sign Ups Open for Bloggers! Event begins 2/15/13

Staying Fit is what it's all about when working on reaching any goal. If you're feeling good, you're functioning at your best. That's why, I have jumped on board this Free Blogger Event, Coming Soon!

If you are a blogger who enjoys fitness and would like to give your readers the chance to win this awesome prize below when it goes LIVE, read all about it from the host and enter at the link to the form, provided below.

Xbox Bundle Giveaway Event

Hosted by: Mom to Bed by 8 and Giveaway Bandit

Prize Package includes: Xbox 360 S Console, 250GB Hard Drive, Kinect Sensor, Wireless Controller, Kinect Adventures and Carnival Games: Monkey See Monkey Do

Event dates will run: 2/15 - 3/1
Free Blogger Event: *Sign Up HERE

*If you would like, you can say that referred you, on the form! 
Thank you!

Free #Blogger Opportunity – Amazon Gift Card Giveaway (Event Dates 2/16 – 3/2)

FREE Blogger Opportunity for Amazon Gift Card

Here's a nice Free Blogger Opportunity! If you're interested in bringing your readers nice giveaways like this one, make sure to sign up your fabulous blog. All of the information from the hosts are listed below, including the link to the actual sign up form. You get one link for free (Facebook Page or Twitter) with an announcement post like this one, sharing the event. Selena Thinking Out Loud With Purpose will be participating so I hope to see your blog on board among the group!

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Feb16-Mar2 Final

Message From Hosts:

  • Prize: Anywhere from $100-$250 in the form of an Amazon eGift Code that will be e-mailed to the winner.
  • Event Dates: Starts at 9am/EST on Saturday, February 16, and ends on March 2 at 11:59 EST.
  • This even is open WORLDWIDE.
  • Extra links cost $3 each and will be used to cover the cost of the prize. There are no admin fees.
Requirements to join:
  • Must post an announcement post, or send $5 by Paypal. Feel free to write your own post, but leave the blog links above in tact, as well as have it link to this blog post for signups.
  • Must promote 3x a week.
*To sign up, just fill out the form, HERE
*If you would like, you can say that referred you, on the form! 

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How I got past #MyFear of…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

How I got past my fear of the deep ocean was to plant my feet and breathe in and out to help change my thinking. My fear of deep water stemmed from my childhood when I was about 4 years old, I think. My dad had taken my little brother, my little sister and I to the community swimming pool. There were so many little kids around and families with their kids. Since I was old enough at the time, my dad told me to take my little sister into the woman's dressing room to get our swimsuits on and then meet him on the other side where the pools were. However, I didn't actually hear it that way. I thought he said go ahead and get in the pool. I was nervous that I messed up and didn't hear everything he said so, thinking that I was going to fix it by "getting in the pool" like I thought he said, was the answer. So, my sister and I went over to 12 feet and jumped in!

I don't know what it must feel like to be in the moment of half drowning but I found myself under water looking up at the top. I could feel myself paddling under the water as I fought to get to the top. At that time, I was just learning to swim and I was going no where. I could hear nothing, but all I did see was the light above me coming from the sky through the water. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt hands grab me and pull me up. It was a woman who saved me and a man who saved my sister. We were both pretty shaken up by the whole thing. When my dad finally got on the other side, he was pretty cool about it and ended up throwing us back in the pool but on the kiddie pool side.

Now, winding the tape forward through my life, I could not get in a swimming pool. When I was in my late teens, I did go swimming but in my twenties, I just started to have this fear. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that the moment I almost lost my life to drowning, was the event that began to haunt me. I love the water too and enjoy cruises and the whole experience but getting too close to it really freaked me out. It wasn't until I realized "why" I was having this fear, did I say to myself, "I have to learn to work with this".

So, that is what I did and what I continue to do. If I find myself close to large bodies of water, I take a silent, deep breathe in and out and I force myself to think about something else other than the event when I almost drowned. If people are around me, they wouldn't even know that I'm dealing with this fear because I'm not a  very dramatic person in a crisis. I try to stay calm as possible in any emergency, period, and that goes for myself as well. I do believe that reprogramming my thoughts in the time of fear helps me most in overcoming this. I tell you, that is one fear that really sticks with you but I'm not the one to let it keep me down.

Photo from blog of Chris Keeney

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge. All  posts are 100% my own content. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in this month's challenge. Click the link on the banner below for more details.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A #Movie that I could watch over and over is…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

A movie that I could watch over and over is a tie between Jason's Lyric and Love Jones. If you haven't seen either one of these movies, you have got to seek them out. I tried for so long to find a VHS copy of Jason's Lyric. Every time I would search for it, there would be none for sale. They were not making anymore copies and then I randomly found one somewhere online. I was SO lucky. Sadly, I will be back out there on the hunt again because my only VHS copy was damaged in my luggage, coming back from visiting friends and family in Washington, DC. 

I believe since I'm so emotionally-moved by this, I will refer my focus to Jason's Lyric

I really enjoy a good love story. In film, when love is captured in its simplest form, against all odds, that's the make-up for a great movie. Here you have the leading man, Jason, played by Allen Payne, who loves his brother, Joshua, played by Bokeem Woodbine, who is in and out of prison due to the demons he relive in his mind from their violent childhood. Next, Jason feels that he can't leave and begin a new life with the woman he loves, Lyric, played by Jada Pinkett-Smith, because he doesn't want to leave his mother "helpless" so to speak. He is managerial material at the local TV Shop, where his boss wants him to step up to the plate and be who he is destined to be but he keeps trying to save everyone instead of himself. However, he also has nightmares of that tragic night that occurred when they were both little boys. This haunts Jason continuously also, feeling that it is his obligation to be the protector of his little brother no matter how low he goes. 

On the other hand, you have the ladies, Lyric and Marti, played by Lisa Nicole Carson who have different perspectives on how love should be between a man and a woman. In the film, Marti is the girlfriend of Lyric's brother, played by Treach of Naughty by Nature and is fine with him. However, Lyric is the poetic, dreamy, hopeful one, who is closed to love until she meets Jason and they go on this serious journey with each other. She teaches him what love is all about by the way she holds him, speaks poetic words to him, and sets him straight when he is playing too much of "the savior". 

This movie is a great example of how the power of love is thicker than blood, when a line has to be drawn. After watching this movie, for the first time, I realized how dangerous and fulfilling love can be. Love is courage, as referenced on the front cover of the movie box. 

After watching this film, you come to realize for yourself if you are strong enough to weather the storms when love is being tested day in and day out. 

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge. All  posts are 100% my own content. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in this month's challenge. Click the link on the banner below for more details.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The #TVShow that I wish never ended…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

The TV show that I wish never ended was The Cosby Show. I remember when that show used to come on at 8:00pm every night when I was a little girl. When times were tough, I used to look forward to Bill Cosby as Dr. "Cliff" Huxtable and his beautiful family, to give me something to laugh about. There was always great episodes focused on real life issues and family. Mrs. Huxtable, played by Phylicia Rashad, was always on top if her game and knew how to keep her children, Rudy HuxtableVanessa HuxtableDenise HuxtableTheodore 'Theo' Huxtable, and Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux all working together. 

Sometimes I look at family television today and wonder, "what happened"? I know it's 2013, and times have changed but what happened to the television that told the family story. If it was family television, when did it become okay to use the B-word? Nowadays, sex is so common on television, kids have to be monitored around the clock on what they're watching. You just never know what you're going to get. 

I was inspired by that African American, Huxtable family. They were the best representation the Black community had for the "family unit". I don't see that anymore. It breaks my heart to see so many marriages ending and children caught in the middle of it all. Watching the difficulties of marriage, parenting, peer pressure, and struggle, through the fictitious characters on The Cosby Show expressed a hope that no matter how hard things got, the family would stick together. Where has the family unit gone? 

As a little girl I was so fascinated by the development of a child in the womb of a woman. I would look at these books my father had up in a closet, showing the trimesters of it all. Then once I realized that Dr. Huxtable on The Cosby Show was an obstetrician/gynecologist, I was even more enthused. He had the job of caring for women and delivering babies too. At one point, I even thought about being an obstetrician/gynecologist, but the events in my life took me into another direction that has been set for me.

I look at young children today and wish so deeply that they had their innocence a lot longer. I wish that they could see the shows I saw and learn from them. I know they are on cable stations late at night now, but some children's families can't afford cable. Times have surely changed since The Cosby Show. I miss it.

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge. All  posts are 100% my own content. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in this month's challenge. Click the link on the banner below for more details.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!

"Voice Over Garden" #Review - #VoiceOver Talent eBook (Includes: Workbook & Warm-Up CD)

Disclaimer: The following review is 100% my own. The eBook excerpt was provided by the author's representative to share with my readers. I was given a copy of the eBook workbook and MP3s to work on in order to give a hands-on, detailed, review of my accounts. 

Selena Thinking Out Loud With Purpose was invited to review an eBook by Jonathan Tilley called Voice Over Garden. If you've ever wondered who was doing all of the talking for your favorite cartoon programs, animated films, or radio shows, then these invisible people would have been your voice actors. Many times, commercials will present a product or service, on-screen, without a physical actor. Instead, they hire a voice talent (voice actor) for the product they would like to advertise. These voice actors make their living this way, while bringing fun and excitement to film and television for all of us to see.

People of all ages, with different voice qualities have a career as a voice actor. Have you ever wondered about this business? Is this something you have been curious about? Have you wanted to get started but didn't know how? Do you currently work in the business but feel like you need a little help from an experienced coach? If so, this all-in-one, Voice Over Garden eBook, with Workbook and MP3 CD, may be right for you. 

Read my review.    Learn about the author.    Become a student of voice-over.

Selena Thinking Out Loud With Purpose eBook Review

Voice Over Garden
My Questions
When I first received the Voice Over Garden, I had three questions come to mind:

* Will it have a step-by-step, by the numbers, format? 
* Is the information priceless enough that I would want to buy this book or recommend it to a complete beginner?
* Will it keep me engaged on the material so that I can follow-through to the end?

As I asked myself those questions, I then started in on the material. The actual eBook is divided into 4 parts, all based around this concept of gardening, nurturing, and growth, as metaphors of the voice-over industry. In the Preface, Jonathan Tilley explains how he came up with the idea to write the book. Instantly, you know that he is a pretty nice guy and enjoys teaching what he loves to do in voice-over. He is very good at explaining what's going on. You can almost follow him in your imagination as you read. He really breaks down this idea or concept of the "Voice Over Garden", which I was a little confused about, but after seeing a diagram and reading how I would fit in with all of the parts of the process, it made sense. In a way, I began to feel lucky that I was given this opportunity to re-enter the voice-over industry again. Yes, again. I had taken coaching classes, did an expensive demo reel, bought equipment for my home, but never really understood how everything fit together. So, if there was a person who would be seriously interested in knowing if this eBook would deliver, it was me!

Credibility of Author
The credibility of anyone who is trying to teach me anything is very important. This business can be expensive and time-consuming if not careful. I was glad to see that Jonathan provided a rundown of his experience in the arts and in voice-over with a link to his demo. It was professional and he represented himself with authority. He also had a great support system from his previous students who recommended that he write a book from actually completing the lesson plans he laid out for them to do. 

Table of Contents
Immediately as you look over the topics of discussion for the eBook, you see that he keeps with a teaching model. You now become the student, with the class syllabus, and he is the teacher to take you through it. Within this section, I was able to see how the course would evolve, for me, if I stayed on course. The book is laid out in a chronological order and indeed, step-by-step.

eBook Material Highlights
  • Jonathan provides sections with tips on Do's and Don'ts, Mic Technique, Breaking down Voice Copy, Knowing your Worth, just to name a few. I printed all of these sections so that I could put them into a binder as a reminder to myself as I continued to read further in the eBook because he would reference them.
  • There is Homework throughout the course inside the Workbook! If you are like me, a student of life, then the homework throughout this eBook and also inside the workbook will be just what you need to keep you on track. It really does feel like you're taking an online voice-over class in college. If you learn better when given assignments or tasks then this may be the voice-over eBook for you to get started right or to begin again, like me. 
  • You're also told, by Jonathan to set aside N.N.T (Non-Negotiable Time), which is when you will do your homework, voice exercises and drills. I was able to set up time each week where I could focus on my voice-over career.
  • MP3 tracks are included with the eBook and Jonathan instructs you when to listen to them once you've reached that point in your reading. the MP3 tracks take you through the warm-up exercises he loves to do before he enters the booth. He describes each exercise on the MP3 tracks and then actually performs the exercise so that you can hear how they should sound when you do them. You are then asked to implement them into your N.N.T time to begin the process of using them regularly. My favorite, that I've never heard of before, was the Yoga Breath exercise. It really did relax me and refreshed my mind. Wow! 
  • Tongue Twisters anyone? He provides you a lay out of tongue twisters to say everyday during your N.N.T time inside the workbook and on MP3 tracks. He again, says each tongue twister, then adds a character element the second time so you see how to make them your own. I printed them out as well and after saying all of them, I really felt a workout in my mouth and with the clarity of my voice. They really do work. As I was saying the tongue twisters, I was laughing so hard. They were difficult in the beginning to say but as I said them daily, they started to get a little easier but I'm still working on them for sure.
  • Recognize your Competition. Since voice-over is the business you're learning and applying in this eBook, Jonathan gives you homework to find the best and worst voice over artists. It's important for you to know who is your competition and where you fit in all of it.
  • Create Character. In the workbook he provides sheets for you to print and fill in the characters you develop. He also provides a sample voice copy for you to use to develop your characters around. He teaches you how to be as detailed as possible and shows you his own examples as well. 
  • Time-Outs. Jonathan even insists on Break Time, where you are to do something you enjoy to get away from the material for a while. This book is not meant to be read straight through but also applied into your life. In order to create new characters, he insisted that you must interact with other people and experiences in your life to have more freedom to create. This was a surprise to me because I was not expecting there to be an N.N.T for a break. I really felt like I was on a class break and had to take a breather. I liked that about the eBook because sometimes I forget to take a break when I'm really focusing.
  • Personal Life Experiences. Jonathan teaches you how difficult the business can be if you're not prepared and developed as a voice actor. He shares his initial moments as a newbie voice actor and his mistakes in creating a demo for his career. He does stress how important it is to have a coach you feel comfortable with who can help you break down your characters and get you seriously ready for creating your demo. He recommends himself as a good coach to work with, but also speaks about other people he knows as well. 
  • How to Make Money. Once you've reached the point in the eBook where you have developed your characters with a coach and created your amazing demo reel (Commercial or Narration), he teaches you how to price yourself for work. He provides documents and letters you can use to inquire about work. He also shares a great system for keeping a database of contacts for future opportunities. Everything is laid out for you. There is no need to guess. 
  • Home Studio. He explains how to establish your own home studio for voice-over jobs and what components are necessary to be successful with this. 
  • How to Handle Difficult Clients. We all have had to deal with someone who was difficult. In the voice-over industry, it's no different. Jonathan shares with you how to overcome this obstacle and provides a nice letter you can use to help you work with your clients more effectively without pulling your hair out and stressing so much.
  • Other Demos. There are so many different demos you can do. He discusses the other demo types (Audio books, Animation, Dialects, etc.) out there that you can work on after you've created your best one with your character worksheets and your voice-over coach.
  • Money Management. Now, with some money coming in, Jonathan explains how to manage your money for the future. The final section of his eBook explains this in charts and hypothetical scenarios on how to achieve your financial goals.
  • Resources. If after all you've learned, you need to reach out to the contacts he provides or get some equipment he suggested, he provides his affiliate links to those products in this section.
In conclusion
For the value that Johnathan provides in his eBook, Voice Over Garden, I am surprised that it only costs $25. It is simply amazing how thought-out every part of this journey was for me. I feel a renewed energy inside to begin again with voice-over. I feel much more educated and up-to-date on what is going on in the  industry and all it takes to make this a full-time career. It will indeed take Patience. Commitment. Courage. Taking Action., as Jonathan mentions in his 4 Creative Process Pillars, throughout his eBook. If you are up for the challenge and seriously want to get started on the ground floor of voice-over and grow into a professional voice-over talent, this eBook, Voice Over Garden with workbook and MP3, is for you.

I began this process skeptical because of all I have done in the past in this industry, but now I feel much better and happy to announce my recommendation for this eBook because it delivers with it's value and the hands-on experience each user will discover.

Watch the eBook Trailer and Buy $25 eBook HERE to Get Started Now!

About the Author

Jonathan Tilley | Voice Over Artist and Coach
Jonathan Tilley

Learn about his voice work:


Author Excerpt from Voice Over Garden - Chapter 8


The Merriam-Websiter Dictionary has a wonderful breakdown of one of my favorite words. Just for fun, check in with how you feel when you read the definition of worth and its synonyms and related words. Then see how that feeling shifts within you when reading the antonyms.

1 a: monetary value
b: the equivalent of a specified amount or figure
2: the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is
3 a: moral or personal value
b: merit, excellence
4: wealth, riches

Examples of WORTH

-A diamond's worth is determined partly by its cut and clarity.
-The worth of the stocks has increased.
-The furniture was of little worth since it was in such bad condition.
-He has proved his worth to the team.
-The book has proved its worth by saving me hundreds of dollars.

First knowing Use of WORTH
before 12th century
Synonyms: account, merit, valuation, value,

Related words: excellence, greatness, perfection; consequence, importance,
significance, weight; desirability

Antonyms: emptiness, valuelessness, worthlessness; baseness, cheapness,
crumminess, inferiority, lousiness, meanness, paltriness, pettiness, poorness;
deficiency, inadequacy, inadequateness, insufficiency, unacceptability

Hmmmm. Something to think about.

Now being the cheeky guy that I am, I took it a bit further and asked a lot of people the following question; What is your Worth? The answers that came back were remarkable. Some have told me about their complicated stock market portfolio, some have complained about their mounting credit card bills, and some have even got angry with me saying “how very dare you ask me such a thing?”. But most people when I ask them this question stare at me like my French Bulldog ‘Dexter’ does when I practice a new animation voice. He tilts his head to one side trying to translate my vocal styling into something more bark-like. It just doesn’t
get through to most people (and dogs) what I’m asking.

So I have created a concept to help you understand what your true Worth is.

Time = Money = Water = Time

Shhh...I’m going to let you in on a secret. Are you ready for it? Here it comes: Your Worth is priceless. You can’t put a number on it. You simply can’t. Try to imagine the number one million. Go on. Try it. Guess what? You are more than the number one million. Now try to imagine the number 839 trillion. You’re worth more than that too! You’re Worth is larger than the ocean and it can’t be taken away from you.

As an exercise, walk around your apartment, condo, mansion, or cardboard box. Look at all the items of furniture you have there. Add up how much it all costs.; the sofa, the dining room table, the kitchen sink. Add all of it up. The sentimental things too. Your favorite snapshot of you and your sister. The crayon drawings your child brought home from kindergarten. Your collection of journals from high school. Add up the prices of all those things. That final number you come up with is the cash amount of what you own. But it still doesn’t define the true essence of who you are. Conclusion - you can’t put a price on your own identity. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?!

You are enough. You were born enough. You will die enough. You are Worthy. Worthy of
all life has to offer you. Take it in. Own it.

You. Are. Enough. And. Worthy.

How does that make you feel?

Time = Money
Now let’s take the monumental You Are Enough And Worthy Feeling and relate it to your VO business. Say a client wants to book you. They ask you what your price is for a job. Most VO newcomers freak out and instantly price dump. Please don’t underestimate your Worth! Remember the You Are Enough and Worthy Feeling (let’s call it YAEAWF just for fun). The client wants a piece of your YAEAWF channeled through your mad VO skillz. So you gotta offer up that time to the client for that specific project. Here’s where Time = Money comes into play. That time costs. The number that you come up with is a numerical representation of the time you will spend doing that service while radiating your high-frequency YAEAWF.
In Part II, I will help you create an awesome price list that will make you feel proud of your Worth and guide you away from underbidding yourself (and ruining the market price for everyone else).

Money = Water

You’ve heard these phrases a thousand time before: liquid assets, going through a dry spell, when it rains it pours, a tsunami of incoming work, pooling your finances, sea of tranquillity, underwater mortgage, sink or swim, drowning in debt, cash flow, ebb and flow, smooth financial sailing. The list goes on and on. Huston Smith said "water is patient; it can stagnate and let itself be coated with scum if need be. It is as gentle as
the morning's dew. It is nonconfrontational, even respectful, in circumventing the rocks in a stream. It makes room for everything that enters its pools. It accommodates by assuming the shape of any vessel it is poured
into. And it is humble, seeking always the lowest level. Yet along with - or rather because of these adaptive,
yielding properties, it is ultimately irresistible; it carves canyons out of stone."

Money can pool into something huge and then evaporate just as quickly. Look at lottery winners and how they win millions of dollars only to wind up broke a few years later. Water is money. Period.

You, as the gardener of your Voice Over Garden, have complete control over the water supply to your garden. If you overwater your plants they will turn brown and mushy. If you deprive your plants of water they will dry out. But if you keep a constant supply of steady water regularly to your plants, then the roots and soil will stay moist and give the plants energy to grow naturally without getting mushy or drying out. That could be interpreted as keeping up to date on your VO business, taking care of your taxes, regularly working with a coach, working on a new demo every year, whatever is needed.

I’m going to show you how to pool together just the right amount of water (money) for your plants (business) to continue to grow naturally. I’ll also show you how to create different rain barrels that can collect gallons of rain water (money) to create further abundance, peace of mind, and value, not only in your bank account, but also in your life.

Shari's Berries #Valentines #Giveaway! Open to US. Ends: 02.08.2013

This Giveaway Has Ended. Thank you for participating this year.

As Seen On Good Morning America!

Shari's Berries Valentines Giveaway

February 14th, the day for lovers and for giving extra love, is almost upon us! Selena Thinking Out Loud With Purpose has decided to have a special giveaway for some of the tastiest, juiciest, and most elegant berries on the planet, from Shari's Berries. Their strawberries are not only decadent but so huge in size, you will undoubtedly be satisfied. On this Valentines Day, you and the one you love will be sharing a romantic evening in the presence of sheer bliss. If you like that idea of adding Shari's Berries to your love this holiday, enter my giveaway! Make sure to submit all entries on the Rafflecopter form, provided below. Good Luck!

Giveaway Run: January 28, 2013 thru February 8, 2013
Open to U.S 
Must be 18+ to enter.

Half Dozen Gourmet Swizzled Strawberries

****Raving Testimonials****

holiday gifts - January 17, 2013
"I ordered the dipped strawberries for gifts twice and both times they raved how awesome , beautiful and fresh they were. Will definitely add to my gift lists and tell my friends. So glad I found you."

Berries very good January 04, 2013
"Yes ... I would recommend this product ... however, there must be a signature required for the intended receiver!"

The Perfect Gift December 30, 2012
"Wanted to send something 'different' to my Aunt and Uncle for the holidays. I saw your advertisement and read all the wonderful reviews so sent my Aunt and Uncle some of Shari's Berries. I made the right decision...they loved them!!!"

How to Enter: 
Submit all entries on the Rafflecopter form below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Selena Thinking Out Loud With Purpose is responsible for delivering all prizes. Shari's Berries, Facebook, Twitter, and any other entity are dissolved of any involvement. All opinions are of this blog's only. Open to US only. Must be 18+ to enter. Winner will be drawn from Rafflecopter entry form only and contacted via email for delivery information.

Friday, January 25, 2013

My favorite Sunday ritual is…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

My favorite Sunday ritual is not very complex at all. I like to keep things very simple. When I wake up on Sunday morning, I first, pray. I find that praying really gets me prepared for not only that day but the new start of the week. I then make myself a cup of hot Green tea, review my goals for the new week, and whatever happens after that is solely up to that day. However, I do find that I feel more at peace and renewed in my spirit on Sundays and prefer to stay in and just be to myself. I feel Sunday is the day that I really can relax and work on writing projects, creative endeavors, anything that I personally would like see finished. During the week, everything is moving so fast. I have to always be flexible with my time and if there is one day that I would rather have to myself, it would be on Sunday. A lot of my creative ideas and thoughts come to me, in my pajamas, on this day.

When I'm comfortable and free to relax, there is no limit to what I can think up. I also enjoy catching up on any movies I've put in my Netflix instant queue that I've heard about during the week. Even reading a book is a joy.

Everyone has something they like to do on Sundays and that could be attending church, visiting relatives, organizing  a get-together, or even Brunch. But whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it and it gives you peace. I do believe that one day of the week should be set aside for you to relax and recharge. Everyone will appreciate you more when you start fresh and in positive spirits.

Photo by gato-gato-gato on flickr.

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge. All  posts are 100% my own content. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in this month's challenge. Click the link on the banner below for more details.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Advice for New #Bloggers…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

My advice for new bloggers is as follows: 

1. Figure out what your interests are and then narrow that down to one niche that you can't help but talk about all day, every day. 

 Fashion  *  Sports  *  Giveaways   *   Product Reviews   *   Music   *   Dance   *    Golf    *    Movies    *     Casting     *     Parenting     *     Saving Money     *   Couponing   *   Baby Toys  

I believe we all have people in our lives who love something so much that they can't help but talk about it. One example that comes to mind so clearly is in the movie Forrest Gump, where Bubba Blue could not stop talking about shrimp! He loved shrimp so much that it became memorable to Forrest and to continue on his best friend's legacy, he established the Bubba Gump Shrimp Corporation. 

2. Find other bloggers that are sharing quality content within the niche you like.

I know when I first started out blogging, I didn't know half of what I do now. I enjoyed giveaways and found out that many people enjoyed them too. So, I went on Google and started to search for blogs that focused on giveaways. I then saw how they would set up their giveaways but still didn't quite know enough so I joined some really nice Facebook groups where people talk all about giveaways, daily. It was a huge community. That's really how I found my footing and started joining in with the community. After posting giveaways and learning to do my own events, I started to get more comfortable and building subscribers. I also added my interest in product reviews and my personal insights on acting and life in general, which could easily be turned into a giveaway if I wanted to take it in that direction.

3. Post to your blog on your schedule.

Some bloggers post to their blog everyday and others may post once a week or once a month. As for me, I like to post at least once a week if I am really busy working on outside projects. It's very important to make sure that your subscribers know that you still exist and if you're into Google rankings, that too. Remember, this is what you love to talk about and by sharing little tidbits on "your set schedule", you don't feel pressure. Think of blogging like your favorite television show. I am a Scandal fan, so I know that on Thursday nights at 10pm, pacific standard time, it will be showing. I will be looking for the show to come on and watching the episode. The same goes for when understanding your blog readers, they will stop by on the days you normally post to see what's new. They may stop by sometime during the week if you post once a week, but they will catch up with your content.

4. Stay connected with your readers with a subscription sign up box on your blog. 

Staying connected to the readers who support you and can relate to you best is very important. I created my first blog using and I still use Many people use other platforms but this one works best for me. When you set up your blog, it gives you an option to put a subscription box on your blog. I recommend that you do this or find a subscription service you love and copy and paste their html on your blog. What's so great about this is how easy it is for your readers to get your blog post updates. They will automatically get an email sent to them when you have posted something new to your blog. It's a great way to share your good news and keep them in the "know".

5.  Be patient. Your number of subscribers, followers, invites to review products, Alexa Ranking, Google Page Rank, will all improve tremendously.

When I would see how many followers a blogger had, or their Alexa ranking, Google page rank, etc, I would wonder, "What's the big deal?" However, later I found out that this all comes when you build up your credibility with quality content and information within your niche. If you stay consistent with your vision or what you would like to share with the masses, then you can't go wrong. You will see your number of subscribers, followers, invites from brands, and rankings improve tremendously. Everything will begin to fit together like a glove. You will become a trusted resource within your niche! The bottom line is, time and patience is the best policy when blogging. 

My Closing Point: 
Enjoy the ride. Never stop learning from better bloggers within your niche. Remember, your blog is your brand and that brand has to represent you at the end of the day. So, be free to be who you are 110% and Good Luck!

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge. All  posts are 100% my own content. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in this month's challenge. Click the link on the banner below for more details.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The hardest lesson I’ve learned so far…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

Photo from the
The hardest lesson I've learned so far is that you have to be in control of your own destiny. When I was younger, I was very open to relying on others to get things done or delegating tasks that I needed completed because that's what I heard was best to do. I would find myself believing in people even more than I believe I should have, just to give them a chance to prove themselves. But, one things for certain, you must know when to trust your gut and when to say no. Sometimes, I know it's hard to use the word, "no". It's the most negative word in the dictionary but when everything comes down to it, it is necessary. It may sting at first and you may lose a couple of friends and/or family members, but it's your life at the end of the day. However, once the dust settles and both parties take into consideration what is all at stake, then a union is recovered. If someone loves you enough or believes in you enough, then they will stick by you regardless of how they may feel you should have done things.

When it comes to being in control of my own destiny, that's really up to me how I want my life to be and the story I would like to tell. People that I may work with, have their own agendas and goals they would like to achieve. If I want anything to be done right and to the standards I feel is sufficient, I must trust that I will do okay with the final say. However, respecting that who I am working with are valuable, trusting, and as reliable as me to get the job done. As I've said before, I can't do everything by myself and must learn to seek out experienced professionals but to a certain point. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to stand alone and make the big decisions. I believe we all have been there, but through those experiences we learn our hardest lessons.

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge. All  posts are 100% my own content. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in this month's challenge. Click the link on the banner below for more details.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The sound that comforts me…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

The sound that comforts me is heavy rain as it pours violently on the pavement and through the trees. When I hear the rain, my ultimate desire is to get back under the warm sheets to sleep. I don't know if the rain has some type of therapeutic control over me but I feel safe and secure. When I look out the window I can see everyone running around in it and the birds dodging every drop. My cats don't like rain so much but they enjoy watching through my patio window. I do wonder how everyone is fairing in Los Angeles, CA since it's not the best weather to have for drivers here.

When I was younger, I would hear people say that when it rains, God is crying and he is also cleaning up the earth. In the media, lately, I can definitely see why God would be crying. Some people have been really unpredictable with weapons in schools and violence against others. Through the rainy days we as people are supposed to see our faults, our shortcomings, and how we need to improve our lives. Although, the rain is the sound that comforts me, I look forward to the sunny days too, which gives me a second chance to put things right.

Is rain the sound that comforts you? Listen to this video to find out.

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge. All  posts are 100% my own content. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in this month's challenge. Click the link on the banner below for more details.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!

Monday, January 21, 2013

I have a dream…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

I have a dream that one day we will truly accept and love one another as one human race. I am not only referring to us as a nation but as a world. On this Inauguration Day and MLK Day, it was a pleasure to see people of all nationalities and races, standing together for one very special occasion. However, in the back of my mind, I knew that tomorrow would tell a different story. There would be some that would go back to their same old tricks and others who would try a little harder for a few more days until they got tired of pretending. We live in a world where what you have and who you have access to, gets you through the front door, while others keep working hard each day just to make it through the back. 

I have a dream that there will be a day when we all will wake up to a new world of plenty. There will be no divide because of financial haves and have-nots. No one will have an excuse for their negative actions because everything will be provided to them for personal growth. Politicians will continue to play politics but for the ultimate benefit of the greater good of the country as a whole. In this world, children will receive quality education whether they are taught in a private school or public school. When you look on the television sets at public or cable television, you will see an equal distribution of races to entertain us in our living rooms. We will see a place where those stereotypes of one another will fall from our mouths and we will see past our beam of light. We all will feel loved, appreciated, and at peace because we finally have realized that we are all the same. We all have the same parts, use the same senses, feel; whether good or bad, and we all have blood moving through our veins. We are the same.

My dream may never reach this plain but the hope of this peace will always be hoped for deep inside of me.

Photo from Ultimate Wellness 

This entry is just one of the daily posts on this journey through the Boost Your Blog Challenge. All  posts are 100% my own content. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in this month's challenge. Click the link on the banner below for more details.

Click Here to JOIN Challenge!