Friday, April 9, 2021

Freeform Friday: An Uplifting Duo of Quotes & Affirmations

I'd love to introduce you to two books that have the potential to uplift and brighten your day. 

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If you like adorable animals and uplifting affirmations
you might try....

Summary:
  Hey, You Are Amazing!  Sometimes you just don't realize how hard you've worked and how much you've overcome.  But bestselling author Kate Allan is here to remind you -- you're doing a great job and are a pretty amazing human!

You're Strong, Smart, and You Got This provides the supportive voice you need when you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed.  in it, you will find a source of validation and encouragement for those moments when you need a friendly reminder of your worth.

With her beautiful illustrations, Allan guides you through a series of letters to her younger self to inspire you to treat yourself kindly and feel proud of how far you've come.  By using mindfulness and prioritizing self-love, Allan expresses how you can get through the hardships you face and come out stronger.

In You're Strong, Smart, and You Got This, you will find:
  • Tips for when you're feeling inadequate, overwhelmed, or down on yourself
  • An emotional first-aid kit in the form of whimsical colors and friendly, smiling animals that heal invisible wounds and make heavy subjects easier to face
  • Messages of hope for all ages, coming from a place of understanding and empathy
(Summary from back of book - cover image from mango.bz - Other images taken with my phone -  Book given to me for free in exchange for an honest review) )

My Review:  I have a teenage daughter who struggles with anxiety and loves all animals, real or imaginary, so when You're Strong, Smart, and You Got This showed up in my mailbox, I knew she would be thrilled.  I handed it over and her mouth fell open and she immediately began cooing over the darling animal artwork. After she spent some time with it, I asked her about her impressions and  she loved the combination of adorable animals, soothing scenes, and comforting phrases.  The drawings are super cute and pairing them with encouraging affirmations gave it that extra oomph.  I mean, who can resist a sweet baby seal that reminds you feeling stressed out doesn't mean you are incapable.  Answer: Nobody.

I appreciated that the author, Kate Allan, made things personal by discussing her own struggle with depression and anxiety, the feeling of being overwhelmed and ashamed, and the moment that she realized how helpful art could be in expressing and countering those emotions.  She writes as if she were speaking to her younger self and offers tips for how to best combat negative thoughts, stop the shame, and move forward.  The author doesn't dismiss negative feelings or try to sugarcoat things by pretending to have all the answers; she shares the simple truths that have helped her and encourages the reader to, above all, extend compassion, grace, and mercy to themselves.



Long story short, You're Strong, Smart, and You Got This is a wonderful purse-sized pep talk that offers comfort and encouragement to teens and adults who may be feeling overwhelmed, facing the unknown, or struggling with self-acceptance.  If you are feeling worthless, broken, or a little like you don't fit in, it softly whispers: You are enough.  You are loved.  You belong.  

If you'd like to read more about this book, click here.  (Not an affiliate link.  No $$ for me.)

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  The only reason I wouldn't categorize this book as suitable for "all ages" is three instances where she uses the terms AF and F***ing. I appreciated that she didn't use the actual words, and agree with the sentiments she was trying to convey, but I still wouldn't give it to my 8-year-old. 


Pssstt.  In researching this book, I found that Kate Allan has another one out called 
You Can Do All Things 
and can you say AWWWWWDORABLE?


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If you love collecting quotes and affirmations, 
you might try...

Summary:  It's your day to be inspired!  The right words at the right time can completely change your perspective.  Whether you're facing something challenging or wonderful in your life, an inspiring and motivating quote can help guide your life in a powerful and positive way.  

Celebrated and bestselling author June Cotner has been gathering her favorite quotes for decades.  With over one million books sold worldwide, it is her mission to share carefully curated words to meet you wherever you are on your journey.  With Hey! It's Your Day, you will learn to think positively, gain a new perspective, and start your day off with the right energy.

Hey! It's Your Day is packed with daily affirmations and words of wisdom on a variety of experiences such as: 
  • Forgiveness and personal growth
  • Integrity, social justice, and perseverance
  • Becoming a parent and leader
  • Travel, adventure, friendship, and more!
(Summary from book - Image from amazon.com - Book given to me for free in exchange for an honest review)

My Review:    Hey! It's Your Day: Inspirational Quotes & Affirmations to Live By is small in size* but packed with powerful words from some of the world's brightest philosophers, writers, artists, philanthropists, scientists, entertainers, religious leaders, and historical figures, as well as ancient proverbs, the occasional scripture verse, and several names I did not recognize.  The quotes are divided into fifty-two different sections according to topic, each with their own introductory heading.  The topics rang anywhere from Courage, Creativity, Family, and Forgiveness, to Kindness, LovePerseverancePositivity and (forty-four) more!  At the back of the book, there is also a small section of 36 affirmations for living, my favorite of which comes from the Buddha: "Each morning we are born again.  What we do today is what matters most."  What a wonderful reminder to make the most of every day!

I am constantly amazed at how a well-phrased quote can speak to me on a soul-level and become a reliable source of strength and comfort. As I read this book, I wrote down my favorite quote from each section, and I'd like to share my top ten fifteen favorites with you.  Narrowing them down from fifty-two to fifteen was no easy feat (ten was impossible), so I hope you appreciate the things I do for you!  
  • If you hear a voice within you say, "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.     -- Vincent Van Gogh
  • Grief, I've learned, is really just love.  It's all the love you want to give but cannot.  All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest.  Grief is just love with no place to go.     -- Jamie Anderson
  • Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead by midnight.  Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward.   Your life will never be the same.     -- Og Mandino
  • Become a possibilitarian.  No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities -- always see them, for they're always there.     -- Norman Vincent Peale
  • Be humble for you are made of earth.  Be noble because you are made of stars.     -- Serbian Proverb
  • Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.     -- John McCain
  • You are never alone or helpless.  The force that guides the stars guides you, too.     -- Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.     -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • It's not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.     -- Ann Landers
  • Of this to be sure: You do not find the happy life -- you make it.     -- Thomas S. Monson
  • One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.     -- Chinua Achebe
  • When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this.  You haven't.     -- Thomas Edison
  • True peace requires the presence of justice, not just the absence of conflict.     -- N.K. Jemisin
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.     -- Margaret Mead
  • We are all like one-winged angels.  It's only when we help each other that we can fly.     -- Luciano De Crescenzo
For me, these words cultivate calm, radiate strength, and inspire me to keep trying!

I love the concept and content of this book, but structurally I have a few complaints. First, the small font size (1-2mm) and certain text colors made the words blend more than they popped.  I still managed to read everything, but recommend keeping your 'readers' handy if you normally struggle with small font.  Finally, there were so many categories and quotes.  I realize this is a ridiculous complaint, but I feel that a more focused selection of quotes might have been more impactful and allowed for a larger font size. 

Hey! It's Your Day is a massive collection of wisdom and truth, but it should not be read cover to cover in one sitting.  As with most quote books, it is best enjoyed a bit at a time, and would likely feel 'at home' resting on your end table or night stand, to be picked up and perused during a spare moment..   

* Size: Approx. 6" x 6" x 3/4"

If you'd like to read more about this book, click here.  (Not an affiliate link.  No $$ for me.)

My Rating:  3.5 Stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  I think there is one D word.

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