12 Spiritual Audiobooks That Changed My Perspective

12 Spiritual Audiobooks That Changed My Perspective

Our sense of hearing is what enables us to connect to the world in so many vital ways. It allows us to communicate with others in a way that is different from the other senses. We hear the words others say, and listen closely for clues that reveal their true intent. For me, I have also found that hearing and listening not only bring pleasure; they can also make a difference in the overall quality of my life.

Although I have always had a thirst for knowledge, it was sometimes hard for me to gain full meaning just from the written word. I am an auditory learner, so I started using audiobooks as a way to learn. To me audiobooks are an immersive, educational, and entertaining experience. They improve my comprehension, and give me access to information that helps me learn more about a wide variety of topics.

I don’t just listen to audiobooks for business or marketing information alone. I also like insights that can help me become better as a person. Here is a list of 12 spiritual audiobooks that helped change my perspective. I am sharing them in case you might find them helpful for your own personal life journey.

  1. Loving What Is by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell: Here readers are challenged to answer four questions that are designed to change the way they think about life. This book gave me ideas that helped turn negative thoughts into positives, and changed how I react to people and events that cause stress in my life. Instead of focusing on what I wish “would be,” I now focus on trying to love what my current reality is.
  2. Ask and It Is Given by Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks: The problem with attempting to manifest your own desires is that sometimes you don’t even know how to ask for or received what you want. This book offers 22 separate and powerful processes that help you identify and achieve your personal life goals. This is the power of positive thinking taken to an entirely new level.
  3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson: This may be an oldie, but it is still a good read, and a great listen! Just like Carlson says, I was allowing all the little everyday details to completely take over my life, so much so that I started losing focus on my much more important life goals. Instead of long, explanatory chapters, this collection of 100 short affirmations helps remind me on a regular basis of simple actions I can take that will have a big impact on how I can control my own destiny.
  4. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck M.D.: Although it was first published in 1978 (and updated since then), this refreshing read gave me new insights into how traditional values and spiritual growth can change our life for the better. Life may indeed be difficult, but the author gently provides ways to bring fulfillment and peace.
  5. The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Edwene Gaines: This book addresses the question of what prosperity really means. In a world as money-centric as ours can be, that is certainly a deep question. What is more important – gaining money or gaining spiritual prosperity – and can those two goals co-exist? Can you follow the four laws: set specific financial and spiritual goals; forgive others and yourself daily; tithe ten percent of all you earn or receive; and find and commit to a divine purpose?
  6. Enneagram by Adam Night: An Enneagram is a model of the human psyche that is based on understanding nine interconnected personality types. This book offers a step-by-step guide to discovering your spiritual personality. The goal is to create better relationships by understanding yourself and others better. Be sure to take the included test!
  7. Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss M.D.: If you believe in exploring the lessons learned from your past lives, then this is the book for you. Although regression is often thought of as an alternative form of psychotherapy, this can be an interesting foray into your psyche in order to make more of your present life. What lessons have you already learned and have yet to learn?
  8. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer: Do you know what is tying you down, and holding you back from reaching beyond the boundaries in your life? Are those boundaries of your own making? This #1 New York Times bestseller offers simple answers to some of life’s most perplexing questions. Find out what you can do to stop living with the habits and thoughts that keep you from achieving your very best being. You might be surprised by what you can achieve without those inner tethers!
  9. Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh: Although not strictly about organized religion, the author does draw heavily from the spiritual teaching traditions of Buddhism and Christianity to help readers commit to mindfulness, so they can find the connection between personal, inner peace and peace on earth.
  10. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: The New York Times recognizes Tolle as one of “the most popular spiritual authors in the United States” for good reason. His guide to spiritual enlightenment forces you to reject the self-made concept of ego, and to live in the here and now that surrounds you. This can be a difficult task with all we try to accomplish, and all that works against you to keep you from your peace, but it is possible to relieve yourself of the psychological pain you experience by accepting what is and being present in the Now.
  11. An Invitation to Freedom by Mooji: Mooji is a Jamaican-born spiritual teacher who has attracted followers from around the world to his lessons on finding spiritual contentment by connecting with your true inner self. This book provides a guide to finding that sense of fulfillment we all seek, even in this cluttered, busy world. I enjoy the questions which force you to discover the truths in your life that can help lead you to emotional freedom.
  12. Out of Your Mind by Alan Watts: If you spend too much time living in your head, then it is time to get out of your mind and focus on new perspectives. A former Anglican priest who mixes in a generous appreciation of Zen Buddhism, Watts provides listeners/readers with twelve pinnacle teaching sessions. These help you break through the boundaries of your rational way of thinking, to help you expand your appreciation for that which Watts calls the “Great Game.”

Once you have used these books to make a start on understanding spirituality and its applications to life and work, I’m sure you will find many more on your own that will help lead you down the path to peace and prosperity. Feel free to share your insights and ideas with me, as I am always open to new concepts that can help change my perspective as I continue to grow into my own reality. Happy Travels!

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and Nonviolent Communication

Who is Dr. Marshall Rosenberg?

Note from Taylor Reaume: Dr. Marshall Rosenberg is one of my top 10 mentors. I was privileged to have the opportunity to meet him twice at workshops held in Santa Barbara. His model for compassionate communication is the most advanced and helpful system for processing internal thoughts I have ever found.

With a nation often on edge due to political and racial strife, students and communities trying to make their voices heard, and even families forced to quarantine together in close quarters, it has never been more important to learn to communicate without resorting to violence. Nonviolent Communication, or NVC, heightens awareness regarding the importance of communicating compassionately, verbalizing feelings, and understanding the differences between needs and requests vs. demands. I hope you enjoy these insights into his work.

A Worldwide Movement Begins

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg was an American psychologist, mediator, author and teacher known for developing the theory of Nonviolent Communication. He began formulating his insights during the civil rights and anti-war protests of the 1960s, and helped to peacefully desegregate long-separated school districts. From there, he went on to work as a global peacemaker and founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), an international non-profit organization. The NVC community is currently active in over 65 countries around the globe. According to the Center:

“NVC is based on the principles of nonviolence – the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture.”

NVC assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that all actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs. People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deeper connections, and enhanced conflict resolution. Applications can be seen in all sectors of society from the personal and professional to the political.

Groups such as educators, mental health and health care providers, managers, lawyers, police and prison officials, military officers, prisoners, clergy, government officials, and families have benefited from his teachings. He has provided training to promote the peaceful resolution of differences in areas fraught with war and economic disadvantages.

What is NVC?

Most of us want to improve the quality of our relationships, to deepen our sense of personal empowerment and to communicate more effectively. Unfortunately, though, we have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand and diagnose; to think and communicate in terms of “right“ and “wrong.“ The habitual ways we think and speak tend to hinder communication and create misunderstanding. At their most extreme, our unfeeling habits can lead to anger, pain, and even violence.

NVC reaches beneath the surface and discovers what is alive and vital within us. It flows from the understanding that all of our actions are based on human needs we seek to fulfill. NVC provides a vocabulary of feelings and needs that help us more clearly express what is going on in us, and understand what is going on in others. When we understand and acknowledge our needs, we develop a shared foundation for much more satisfying relationships.

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg Non Violent Communication NVCC

Violent Communication vs. Nonviolent Communication

In its Key Facts About Nonviolent Communication, the CNVC describes violence as “acting in ways that result in hurt or harm.” Based on this definition, they believe that much of how we communicate – judging others, bullying, having racial bias, blaming, finger pointing, discriminating , speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry, using political rhetoric, being defensive or judging who’s “good/bad” or what’s “right/wrong” with people – could therefore be called “violent communication.”

Nonviolent Communication, on the other hand is the integration of four things:

  1. Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and authenticity.
  2. Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance.
  3. Communication Skills: knowing how to ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move towards solutions that work for all.
  4. Means of Influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others.”

NVC serves our desire to increase our ability to live with choice, meaning, and connection; connect empathically with self and others to have more satisfying relationships; and share resources so everyone is able to benefit.

The Four Cornerstones of NVC

Most workshops, prior to Dr. Rosenberg’s time, tended to focus on conflict resolution as gaining power over other people. There was no recognition of individual qualities or affirmation of each other’s uniqueness, no compassion or nurturing. While violence usually results from such concepts as judgments, thoughts, strategies and demands, Rosenberg instead based NVC on four core components known as OFNR:

  • Observations: This is a description of what is actually happening, as reported by our direct, sensory experiences mixed with our “inner voice.” Observations should be free of moral judgment and criticism.
  • Feelings: These are the physical sensations and emotions which are universal to all people. It could be a sensation of fear, love, happiness, or guilt.
  • Needs/Values: These are the resources which are necessary to sustain our lives, and are also universal.
  • Requests: Requests are when one party has an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of another. It is a specific action which provides a concrete offering with the intention of helping to fulfill a need. Requests can come in the form of clarity, feedback and action.

How You Can Use the NVC Process

The life-changing benefits of NVC can be applied to conflict resolution, personal relationships, parenting and families, education, personal growth, organizational effectiveness, anger management, business relationships and individual spirituality.

NVC helps to develop your emotional vocabulary, connect with your feelings and needs, break negative habit patterns, hear the needs behind behavior and get to the heart of the conflict.

A good starting point is to learn how to use “feeling” words in a sentence. This way you can accurately describe how you are feeling to the other person.

Feelings When Needs Not Met

Getting both people’s needs met involves accurately communicating how one feels about the needs being met or unmet.

Feelings When Needs Met

Here is a general outline of the entire communication model:

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg Non Violent Communication NVCC

Paraphrased Quotes from Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg

“Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression on an unmet need.”

“The goal of Nonviolent Communication is not to alter people and their behavior to suit us; it is to establish relationships based on empathy and honesty, which will fulfill everyone’s needs eventually.”

“The more we discuss the past, the less we heal from it.”

“We can’t make anyone do anything against their will without enormous consequences.”

Below is a Youtube video of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg speaking to a group of psychologists. This was an NVC workshop in San Francisco, CA.

Although Dr. Rosenberg passed away in 2015, the Center he founded continues to educate people to communicate more effectively and become more connected globally. The world is definitely in a better place for the legacy he left us.

NVC QUIZ FOR KIDS: I stayed up until 4am designing these quiz sheets below. If you have kids, you might benefit from chatting with them about the answers.

I use these quizzes to annoy the crap out of my nephews and nieces when I see them. 🙂

They are designed to help children distinguish between feelings or thoughts, and requests or demands.

And finally, below is a collection of infographics I’ve collected over the years.

How I Learned Vocal Tonality

Vocal Tonality

Have your heard yourself lately?

Learn these secrets to sounding like a celebrity.

There is a saying that some people learn visually, but that’s not the only way to learn or take in information. I have always been an auditory learner. Because of that, I’ve had a real connection to audiobooks almost since they were invented. I love to learn anything. 

Audiobooks today have become such an easy way for me to satisfy that thirst for learning I have. If you’re reading this, you understand that a little. You want to learn from audiobooks too. 

One thing that’s always fascinated me about audiobooks is how the narrators use their voices to tell a story. If you are an audio learner like me, you don’t even need to see the person or the character to really get a sense of what story they are telling you. I’m intrigued by this. It is an actual thing called vocal tonality. 

Vocal tonality refers to how your words resonate, and the phonation of your voice. Phonation is what happens with your vocal cords, while resonation refers to the other parts of your mouth and throat that make up words and sounds. That includes the larynx, pharynx, jaw, teeth, and lips.

Princeton University develops speakers that they call Word Smart speakers. They are among the most brilliant voice over workers on the planet. They’ve learned this craft of vocal tonality.

I’ve checked out a few audiobooks on vocal tonality that I think you will like that can help you master this. That includes the Word Smart product. Have a look, and see what you can do with your own voice afterward.


The Sound of Your Voice by Dr. Carol Fleming

Dr. Carol Fleming is a speech pathologist, a speech expert, and a consultant with speech communication. She’s developed this book that will help you to listen to how your voice sounds, and develop it into the voice that you want it to be. She calls it “voice image.” What does your voice sound like to the rest of the world? That’s a voice image. Dr. Fleming shows you what the fundamentals of voice image are and takes you through the process of understanding your voice better.

Through this book, you will understand more what your own voice says about you. You learn how to diagnose and analyze your own voice. You begin to understand what its problems are, and how to correct them. If you want to learn regional dialects or mannerisms, the tools are here to practice those. You also learn things like how to become more confident in your voice, and how to make it sound stronger and more clear.

What I liked about this one is that it focuses more on interpersonal communication, and it is not entirely about the business sense of things. You may not learn how to speak professionally here, but you will learn the basic skill of sounding more confident when you speak to people. This is a skill that can be built upon if you want to use your vocal tonality professionally.

Vocal Awareness by Arthur Samuel Joseph MA 

For many people, the first thing they get to know about you is your voice. When you call your bank for the first time, for example, the first thing they get to know about you is your voice. Are you aware of how that comes across? This is what fascinates me about audiobooks. If you have no idea what the narrator looks like, you can get an entire perception of someone by just listening to them. Vocal Awareness by Arthur Joseph tells you how to understand this identity part of your voice so that you can control more of what people see in you when they hear your voice.

Here you learn how to master your voice and coordinate it in your life in a way that is powerful. It’s an excellent tool to become more aware of what you sound like. We don’t often get to hear what we sound like or understand our own voice identity, and I love that this book gives you the tools to do that.

Voice of a Leader by Arthur Samuel Joseph

Another thing I love learning about audiobooks and their narrators is how much we learn about a person when we hear them speak. This concept goes beyond vocal identity and picturing a certain person when we hear them. Voice of a Leader by Arthur Samuel Joseph is an excellent sequel to Vocal Awareness. This is a book that is used by a number of professionals in speaking, from politicians to corporate executives. If you’re practicing the art of vocal tonality for professional purposes, this book is a good one to hit in the middle of your journey. Start off just learning how to learn more about your voice, and you will find that you’re taking this craft to an entirely new level.

One thing I liked doing when I listened to this is I took a recording of my voice before I listened to the book, and after. After I used the principles in this book to study my voice more. I really felt like I got to know myself better. That helped me to improve my vocal tonality. This book is worth the try.

Word Smart Genius Edition by The Princeton Review, Michael Freedman

Word Smart is Einstein-level vocal tonality work. This comes right from The Princeton Review, and it is used by the best in the world. It doesn’t feel like you are learning Princeton-style the whole time. You definitely get the sense that this is higher-level learning at a very elevated level. However, you have examples that make you laugh, monologues you will enjoy, and little quizzes that make it easy to retain information.

You also get some good vocabulary lessons here. These are words you’ve never heard of, most of the time, and it makes the process fun. The work here is done in a very clever but easygoing way that makes the process of learning something fascinating very easy. This one is a must-have, and worth every penny.

Study Vocal Tonality Today

There isn’t one book here that I recommend over the others. They are all industry leaders developed by industry leaders. Get them all. I learned so much more about vocal tonality, and me, by working with these audiobooks. Have fun!

I Grew Up on a Ranch

When I was just 10 years old, my father made the life-altering decision to move our family from Pasadena, California to Santa Margarita, California. Although it was only a distance of about 200 miles, it felt like we were traveling from the “Big City” to the “Wild West.” We drove past Santa Barbara, skirted the Los Padres National Forest, zipped by Santa Maria, and arrived at our destination. To say the least, I was not impressed.

My father, a contractor, had the big idea of creating a place where his family and friends could congregate on holidays and reunions, while simultaneously generating income to service and maintain the property. What looked to me like a ranch that needed a lot of work eventually grew into what is now a thriving business, Seven Oaks Ranch.

As I grew up on that ranch, I learned to appreciate the serenity of country life, and the magic of doing nothing, just sitting and listening to nature. The area only has about 1200 residents, but I eventually met some great friends, most of whom were Native Americans, and I felt fortunate to be immersed in a culture so different from my own.

Where is Santa Margarita, California?

Santa Margarita is located on California’s central coast, just north of San Luis Obispo, and in the southern foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The environment is clean and fresh, but the town easily mixes its rich historical narrative with modern-day luxuries. Within easy driving distance are beaches, bays, lakes, mountains and streams, as well as great wine and horse country. Even after traveling extensively, I still find this place to be one of my favorite places in the world.

The Long History of Santa Margarita

The roots of Santa Margarita are said to stretch as far back as 900 B.C. when Native Americans are first thought to have reached California’s central coast area. The first hints of European influence came with the arrival of Spanish explorers in the late 1700s. Using Native American labor, the Franciscan friars who came with these expeditions built several nearby missions including Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (eight miles south of Santa Margarita), its submission Santa Margarita de Cortona, and Mission San Miguel Arcangel (27 miles north of Santa Margarita). In fact, the 600 mile El Camino Real trail, which originally linked the 21 California Spanish missions, now serves as the city’s main street.

In the early 1800s, the Mexican government offered 35 land grants in the San Luis Obispo County area to soldiers who had fought for Mexico in its War of Independence. This led to the early formation of some of the area’s largest ranches. California became part of the United States, the Gold Rush brought new settlers, and the signing of the Land Act of 1851 all caused great changes to the make-up of Santa Margarita. By the late 1800s the railroads established a temporary terminal in Santa Margarita, bringing in an even wider variety of people.

Since these early days, the town has seen many ups and downs, but has always managed to retain its small-town charm. It now prides itself on being a quiet family community that is rich in history and adventure. Even as a 10-year-old boy, it didn’t take me long to discover that life on a ranch can be a very good thing.

Santa Margarita Today

Life if Santa Margarita today is a combination of the old and the new. Visitors can spend the morning horseback riding and then go for a zip line adventure in the afternoon. It’s a unique corner of California that offers a quiet retreat and outdoor excitement.

The Seven Oaks Ranch continues to offer plenty of activities for guests. In addition to exploring the mission trail, other local attractions include:

  • Santa Margarita Lake: With thousands of acres of unspoiled open space, this is a nature lover’s retreat. The park is home to countless species of plants and wildlife, making it the perfect location for nature study, hiking, biking, camping, boating, and fishing.
  • Wine Tours: This is wine country: Explore over 200 local vineyards including Ancient Peaks Winery, Vintage Cowboy Winery, and Soaring Hawk Vineyards.
  • The Barn Antiques and Unique: Find great collectibles and antiques, and local artisan crafts.
  • Rinconada Mine: The San Luis Obispo area was once dotted with mines. Hiking around some of the abandoned areas makes for a fun day of exploration.
  • Margarita Adventures: Features zipline tours, aerial adventures and nature/wildlife tours.
  • Shangri-La Ranch Horseback Adventures: Enjoy horseback riding into some of the most beautiful country on the Central Coast. Ride through sun-dappled forests, pristine meadows, and ancient rock formations. Some wildlife that can be spotted on these tours includes deer, bear, cougars, bald eagles, and all kinds of beautiful birds.
  • Hearst Castle: This National/California Historic Landmark was conceived by William Randolph Hearst, the publishing tycoon, and his architect Julia Morgan, and was built between 1919 and 1947.
  • Dining: Enjoy dining to satisfy every taste including Pozo Saloon, The Range, The Porch Café, and Rosalina.

Visit the shops of artists of all kinds in Santa Margarita, or take off for the beaches at Cayucos, Morro Bay, Avila and Pismo, just about 45 minutes away.

Let Santa Margarita Teach You About Ranch Life

I live in Santa Barbara now, and still like being a city guy, but some days I can’t stop thinking about Santa Margarita. It certainly contributed a lot to who I am today. It is the story of people working hard to live a good life, in a setting that is peaceful and inspiring.

Seven Oaks Ranch is still owned by my parents, and is now a popular vacation rental destination for family gatherings and weddings. Rolling hills covered with many trees of different varieties surround four seasonal ponds, and streams provide the opportunity to picnic or read a book under an oak giant that has been shading that spot for over 500 years. Visit the website, subscribe to the newsletter, and find out if you will come to appreciate ranch life as much as I did.

10 Reasons Why Cloudways Web Hosting Is Better Than The Rest

Cloudways Website Hosting Comparison

If you are a business owner you need to have certain software tools that ensure the efficient running of your enterprise. Managed cloud hosting is a process that allows your business to access and share databases, software and hardware tools using a remote network through multiple servers in a different location. The service provider who provides your business with managed cloud hosting will provide the cloud servers. Moreover, they will be responsible for the management of this cloud-hosting environment. We have reviewed Cloudways to help you understand how managed cloud hosting can improve your business strategy. Read on to find out what our verdict is on this platform. 

CLOUDWAYS BENEFITS INFOGRAPHIC

Cloudways Overview 

Cloudways is a platform that simplifies the facilitation process and performance of managed cloud hosting. It offers business owners expert support that allows them to focus on running the business instead of the software platform. This innovative software platform is designed to enhance business growth by eliminating the complexities of setting up marketing tools such as websites. A team of professionals manages and builds such essential tools so that they collaborate efficiently. This allows for ease of scalability over a highly secure infrared in the case of inadvertent traffic surges. 

How Does Cloudways Work?

Cloudways strikes the ideal balance between affordability and seamless functionality if your business is looking for cloud-based managed hosting. The hosting resources can be scaled according to the growth of your website because the platform offers secured cloud servers. The easy-to-use infrastructure is optimized for security, performance and speed. Moreover, if you are skeptical about choosing Cloudways as your trusted managed host, you can sign up for the 3-day free trial that it offers prospective users on its platform. 

Cloudways vs Traditional Hosting 

  • Your website is stored on multiple server locations unlike with conventional hosting where it is stored in a single server that is usually backed up. 
  • Your website can be migrated effortlessly in the case of unexpected events. 
  • It can improve operating performance and times because it is much faster than traditional hosting. For instance, the server can detect various customer locations and transmit data from a server that is closest to a customer. 
  • It uses Solid State Drives (SSDs) to enhance the performance of your website. 
  • It provides prompt and efficient scalability in a highly secure cloud-based environment. 
  • The pay-as-you-go pricing options give you more control over your hosting bill compared to monthly subscription service fees from traditional hosting.

Cloudways Pros

  • Cloudways offers a no strings attached free trial period. 
  • There is no limit on the number of websites that you host. So, you only pay for the resources that you utilize. 
  • The pay-as-you-go pricing system allows you to only pay for the resource that you use.
  • The content management systems and apps are easy to install. It also provides you with an array of app integrations that you can use. 
  • The free automatic updates allow you to recover your website with just a single click. 
  • The server migration process is free unlike competitor hosting platforms. 

Cloudways Cons

  • It requires some technical knowledge to understand how to use it.
  • There is no email or domain registration. As a result, you have to find a separate domain registrar to create a domain name for your website. 
  • You have to pay more to get a bigger server if you want to upgrade. 

What are the best features of Cloudways? 

Cloudways is commonly known as a WordPress hosting platform. Below is a detailed list of its key features. 

Do they have Server Monitoring / Management?

This is one of the most practical features. It allows you to assess variables such as your CPU, traffic data and the number of reads per second from a simple drop down menu. You can control the services that are running on your server at any time, configure all the server-level settings and block conspicuous IP addresses from accessing your resources. 

Can Cloudways stage websites easily?

This is ideal for making flexible changes without making them permanent on your website. You can test the changes in the designation staging area. With cloning, you can create various clone sites to change to new servers or present your website to potential clients. 

Do they have advanced caching?

There are several caching methods that optimize servers. Cloudways uses an in-house caching plug-in that is easily set-up and enabled or disabled. This plug-in supports a unique content delivery network called CloudwaysCDN. The network is responsible for increasing speed and reliability by caching web pages on multiple servers across the world. You can only access this feature through the affordable pain plan on the platform. 

What about Vertical Scaling?

This feature allows you to add or remove server resources at any time. So, if you need to upgrade your servers due to expected higher traffic surges, you can upgrade your plan accordingly without paying for extra resources that you don’t need. 

Tell me about their customer support?

The 24/7 live support feature is similar to that of any other company. You can submit help desk tickets, send an email, call or use the live chat option to speak to a support team member. The CloudwaysBot monitors the servers to provide real-time notifications on any updates or issues with the servers. 

What’s the Verdict on Cloudways?

  • Ease of use
  • Value for money 
  • Exceptional customer support

Cloudways offers well-equipped, cloud-based web hosting services. The plans are very flexible costs, so it is easy to make a qualified choice based on the demands of your business. If you are a small-scale business owner, and you have a limited budget, the pay-as-you-go pricing option offers you the right kind of balance between price and resource availability. It gives you the freedom from a complex, lengthy and costly subscription plan.  

The key features ensure that it is easy to use for someone who is new to website building. Even though there are cons such as the lack of email or domain registration, there are more pros to try it out for your hosting needs. A business owner who is skeptical or lacks the basic knowledge required to use cloud hosting can test out the 3-day free trial to understand the technical details.

BOOK REVIEW: Are You My Type Or Am I Yours?

BOOK REVIEW: Are You My Type Or Am I Yours?

Searching for the perfect mate? Want to understand your loved ones and yourself better? Need some parenting help?

ENTER >> The Enneagram.

An “Enneagram” is a model of the human psyche, which is taught and understood as a classification of nine interconnected personality types. If you have always been intrigued and fascinated by the psychology of personality, this book will amaze you and quickly become one of your favorites.

If you explore the nine personality types, you can become more self-aware and understand family members, co-workers, friends, and others you encounter more completely.

Are You My Type, Am I Yours is a psychology book that details each personality type’s best and worst attributes and discusses social and relational characteristics and an in-depth personality description of each.

This fun and interesting book takes a witty approach to relationships using the Enneagram types and how they relate to one another. This personality typing system has become extremely popular by explaining why we act as we do while providing an essential tool for insight and self-discovery.

Are You My Type, Am I Yours discusses the nine personality types and how they interact in work, love, friendships, and family. Each chapter is filled with intriguing facts, witty cartoons, easy personality tests, and famous couples of each type to aid in discovering and appreciating your own personality type and those of people you are involved with — or would like to be.

Take one of the personality tests to determine the number and wing you are on the Enneagram to understand better what motivates you. Knowing both the healthy and unhealthy sides of your “type” can be a clear path for emotional growth.

Shadow number in personal development refers to the opposite side of our highest or core values, or those things that are of the greatest importance to us. When we choose to do an activity that is fulfilling to us, our core values and shadow values are being fulfilled.

Most people are unaware of what their shadow values are and how they are influencing their behavior.

Here are the shadow values that everyone possesses on some level.

  • Attention
    • Being unique, special, or different
  • Belonging
    • Being accepted by, connected to, or feeling a part of something
  • Control
    • Being able to influence your situation, surroundings, yourself, and others
  • Money
    • Being wealthy and having the power to do or have whatever you desire
  • Sexuality
    • Being able to express your sexual desires or preferences without shame
  • Superiority
    • Being right, being better than yourself and others
  • Validation
    • Being important, worthy, or good enough

Many books discussing the Enneagram personality types focus on personal growth and self-understanding, but few focus on how the Enneagram helps people with different personality types get along.

This easy-to-read, illustrated book goes into detail about the likes and dislikes of each personality type, which types are most likely to pair up romantically, how partners, friends, and co-workers can best support people with different personality types.

Let’s discuss the nine different personality types — see if you can pick out the one that most closely resembles you!

  • The Achiever
    • Motivated by the need to achieve success, be productive, and avoid failure.
    • These personalities are driven, success-oriented, pragmatic, and image-conscious.
    • Their major goal is to feel worthwhile and valuable.
    • Achievers believe in themselves and strive to become “somebody” by developing their capabilities and talents.
  • The Adventurer
    • Motivated by the desire to be happy, engage in fun things, contribute to the world, and avoid suffering and pain.
    • This person is introverted, observant, and feeling.
    • They tend to have open minds and approach life, new experiences, and people with grounded warmth.
  • The Asserter
    • Motivated by the desire to be strong and self-reliant, make an impact on the world, avoid appearing weak.
    • Powerful, protective, and resourceful
    • Their temperament is inspiring to others.
    • Their personal strengths definitely improve others’ lives.
  • The Helper
    • Motivated by a need to be appreciated and loved and expresses positive feelings towards others.
    • Kind, generous, warm-hearted, and loving
    • In times of unhealth, can be codependent, manipulative, or people-pleasing.
  • The Observer
    • Motivated by the need to know everything, understand the universe, be self-sufficient and left alone, avoid not answering or looking foolish.
    • Insightful, independent, and innovative
    • Typically ahead of their time, they see things in new and unique ways, concentrate on complex issues with laser-like focus.
  • The Peacemaker
    • Motivated by the wish to keep the peace, avoid conflict and merge with others
    • People-pleaser, friendly, agreeable, cooperative, adaptable, trusting, empathetic, and easy-going
    • They go with the flow and desire peace and harmony
    • Are afraid of chaos, separation, and conflict.
  • The Perfectionist
    • This type is driven to live life the correct way, to improve himself/herself and others, and avoids anger.
    • They are rational and principled, purposeful, and self-controlled, often to the point of being overly critical of others and themselves.
    • Advocates of change, have a desire to be useful and strive to improve.
  • The Questioner
    • Motivated by the desire for security, to feel taken care of, and confront their fears
    • Hard-working, reliable, committed, yet haunted by self-doubt
    • Very faithful to people who matter
    • Excellent at troubleshooting and anticipating challenges
    • Fanatically loyal to their ideas, systems, and beliefs.
  • The Romantic
    • Motivated by the need to understand the feelings of others and the meaning of life and avoid being ordinary.
    • They believe they can find the love or situation that is special, unique, and fulfilling.
    • Idealistic, feels things deeply, empathetic, and authentic.
    • Dramatic, moody, occasionally self-absorbed

Some of my best memes on the enneagram:

If you want a greater understanding of yourself and your relationships, this book can help. It teaches how to communicate with others and helps to build an effective system to build or enhance your business or personal relationships.

A discussion of what each personality type is looking for in a relationship and how they interact together.  Also, there is a discussion on how the Enneagram correlates to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is a questionnaire designed to make psychological types useful and understandable.

The authors of this terrific book are experts in the Enneagram.

For over 25 years, Renee Baron has been in private practice. She has taught countless seminars and workshops on the value of understanding your personality type. She uses the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs Indicator personality assessments to give readers a practical yet powerful tool to understand their own behavior and the behavior of others. Her books have been published in 17 countries.

Elizabeth Wagele is a leading expert and one of the most popular authors on the Enneagram. She is a graduate of Berkeley at the University of California and continuously blogs about personalities and other interesting subjects.

Enneagram psychology is both a fascinating and accurate view of human behavior, personality, and motivation. This book discusses these things with knowledge, humor, and insight. Become more self-aware, build self-esteem, and learn to accept yourself by gaining insight into your personality type this book will provide.

I recommend this book to all my friends and family to help improve current relationships with loved ones, friends, and co-workers while providing knowledge about relationships yet to be developed.

You can take the Enneagram Test online here.

There are many fascinating elements of the Enneagram to consider that can affect the expression of a person’s personality. Start with questions like: Who is this person? What do they want? What will they do to get it? What will they do if they don’t get it? How do they see the world? And most importantly: who will this person become through the journey?

BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON HERE

Below is the best video I found on the enneagram, enjoy:

Amazon Air Purifier Cured My Allergies

The Magic of HEPA

I spend way too much time indoors…

But I’m gonna look like I’m 30 when I’m 60, so it’s worth it. 😉

As a web strategist, much of my time is spent indoors building websites and tending to an avalanche of emails. Hence, the quality of the air matters big time for me.

Did you know that indoor air is five times more polluted than the air outside?

I have always wanted to get an air purifer, but when I looked on Amazon, they all looked so friggin expensive, and I just couldn’t justify spending that much money on it.

After a conversation with a comedian friend of mine, who swore by the effectiveness of his Alen air purifier, I started researching about HEPA filters last month, more seriously in a buying mindset.

My friend said he researched air purifiers and the best one was the Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier. He said to check out the reviews on Amazon, and not to take his word for it.

So I did just that. I researched various air purifiers, and my friend Andrey was totally right about the reviews. The one that I kept coming across with the best reviews was the Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier.

The price? Not so great. >> $349

However, if you are truly interested in obtaining optimal health, and maximizing your energy levels, crushing it with your productivity, then that one-time cost might just be worth it. I went for it, and I am so glad I did!

I took my friend’s recommendation, and bought the Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier which had the most positive, genuine sounding reviews.

…and I am so glad I did!

This air purifier has made a significant improvement in my overall energy levels and health.

Within a couple days of using the air purifier, I found myself breathing better, feeling better and generally very happy about the purchase.

The Magic of HEPA

HEPA is a word that stands for high-efficiency particulate air. It is a mechanical filter that forces air to trap those things that make your allergies go bonkers. It catches all those pollen particles, pet dander, dust, and even cigarette smoke.

My research showed that 99.7 percent of those particles can be trapped by a HEPA filter. Further research from the EPA shows that indoor air is five times more polluted than the air outside. That wasn’t hard for me to believe. That’s where most of my problems are from an allergens perspective.

That magic with HEPA is enough to produce long-term health benefits, or for me, relief from all kinds of indoor allergies.

The Alen Breathe Smart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier

The Alen BreatheSmart is described as the granddaddy of air purifiers in many reviews.

Its performance is exceptional, and its size is just perfect. It purifies large rooms but is very small. It also comes with a lifetime warranty which made me feel better about the cost. That feature alone is considered a big one for this air purifier. A lifetime warranty is not something you are going to find anywhere.

As far as how it is in your room, it’s so quiet that you hardly even know that it is there. This is a purifier that is easy to use and can handle a room up to 1,300 square feet. Yes, a room that size. It is said to remove 99.9 percent of allergens and has additional options for removing smoke and other odors. If it matters to you, it comes in a wide range of colors to accommodate any decor.

Features of the Alen BreatheSmart

The product itself is approximately two feet high and weighs 27 pounds. You will find the air intake vents on the sides of the unit so that you can put it against any wall when it is in use, and even when it isn’t. It comes with wheels so that you can roll it where you need to, as it is fairly heavy.

On the front, you have a panel that is customizable to meet your needs so that you can tell the purifier how much you want it to clean today. The noise level is rated at an amazing 25 decibels which is comparable to a whisper. Even at its highest speed, you may hear your refrigerator more than this purifier. This noise level is referred to as pink noise, which will also help you to sleep better.

Energy-wise you are looking at a purifier that only consumes 45 watts. Yes, that means you have light bulbs that are more energy-costly. Even so, there are features that allow you to adjust the power modes to auto to save even more power. A timer is also added into this model, which allows you to set it and forget it, or have it turn on when you are cooking.

Another feature I loved included the intuitive interface. This had seven buttons that could easily be programmed. Turn it on or off with a single button, or put it on auto. On auto, it cycles through all five settings without you having to think about it. 

Other buttons included are a child lock button, which helps if you have little ones around. They won’t be able to play with its pretty interface. The power switch is right in the center, with a circular indicator letting you know how clean the air is as it is in use. Blue means the air is clean or of excellent quality, purple is not a great color. You may even turn it on and realize that the air is already clean enough, or that it really needs a good clean based on this color.

As far as filters are concerned you have the true HEPA filter, the Fresh filter for extra absorption, and the pet and heavy filters for allergens, odors, and pathogens. You’re never going to be confused about whether this purifier is working.

To add to it, you have a lifetime warranty and excellent customer service. As intuitive as this purifier is, I still called the customer service line for help setting it up and understanding the filters and the call was quick and easy.

Start Purifying With BreatheSmart

I love that this is a smart product in that this makes it all very easy to figure out. I can easily see why this is the purifier that everybody is raving about online.

Every purifier wants to be this one. This is why it is so expensive, not because it is popular, but because it is an excellent product. Not many will tell you in advance whether the room even needs to be purified or not.

It blends in any room, and it works very quietly. And it works amazing! I’ve already started to notice a difference in my energy levels. The air in my room smells like fresh outdoor air you would smell when you are camping in the wilderness.

If you work inside like me, it’s time to start purifying! It makes a big difference with your energy levels and will make you more productive. It did for me! : )

Hope you enjoyed geeking out on air purifiers with me in this post. Tell me in the comments which air purifier you’ve found to be the best one? I’d love to hear your comments.

My New Laptop Arrived Today – DELL ALIENWARE AREA-51M R2

Compare Best Laptop PC

“Taylor, which Laptop do you recommend?”

I get this question all the time. So I decided to write a blog and answer some of the reasons why I bought this laptop.

After researching for 2 solid nights and watching laptop comparison Youtubes, I finally made a decision to buy a Dell Alienware laptop.

In this blog, I am going to be talking about the magic of the Alienware Area-51M R2 Gaming laptop, and the reasons why I bought it.  

To be clear, I am not a gamer. As an online marketer, I am on the computer all day long though and knew that if I wanted something with high-performance capabilities, a gaming laptop was the way to go.

I frequently have 100 tabs open on my PC, and I needed something that would support that, all the time. 

Does Your Laptop PC Multi-Task?

Mine can. Like a beast!

When I started researching laptops and comparing the best ones, I quickly zero’d in on a few things in particular as deal breakers:

  • How much RAM? Expandable?
  • How much hard drive space? SSD?
  • Backlit keyboard?
  • SD Card Reader?

I needed something that could function quickly, and manage a significant amount of work open at the same time.

Is this a reputable laptop brand?

Dell is a solid brand, there are few brands that are more competitive than Dell, or that have been around for as long as Dell.

The Alienware brand has been around since 1996, a company founded by Michael Dell himself, along with Frank Azor, Arthur Lewis, and Joe Balerdi. I knew getting this model would be a good investment backed by brand longevity.

Is the Alienware Area-51M R2 expensive?

Yes, it can be expensive. It’s a higher end laptop, starting at around $2 thousand dollars. However, when I compared it to a few other brands it came in well under their sticker price. After turning it on and using it for a few days, I knew it was worth every penny.

Does the Alienware Area-51M look good?

This is a machine that I love to show off. The Area 51M has a stunning design, stylish at every corner. Its weight justifies its performance. At almost 10 pounds, you can feel that it has power. The first thing I noted was the heavier back end with an exhaust at the rear. It feels sturdy too. I’m not seeing any wobble here as you do with many laptops. When the laptop first boots, its touchpad feels light and I loved the feel of the tap. 

The 17.3” display features Tobii Eye tracking technology that lets the screen recognize you as you are looking at it. It’s easy to see why this is touted as the “world’s most powerful and overclockable laptop.” The Alienware logo on display also is super cool.

Are there enough ports?

There are more ports than you will probably need, and two adapters to give it juice. You want to know if you can use your multimedia devices on this, especially if you are considering it for gaming. The answer is yes, it has a lot. It also includes a media card reader, 2 SODIMM memory slots, separate ports for headset and audio, 2 Gen 1 ports, and 1 Thunderbolt 3 port that supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 and DisplayPort 1.2. The Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port is a nice touch too. 

To compare with others, USB 3.0 is a standard port, and I want a laptop with at least two of these. There are a lot of ports here to work with. Whatever peripheral you have, there’s a slot for that, even for your favorite gaming controller.

How does this laptop perform?

It’s an Intel Core i9 processor, which is the best in the world. You can’t just call a laptop the world’s most powerful, unless it actually is, or comes pretty close. With this price, I felt like I was getting the best of the best in performance. In both speed and durability, you can’t get better than a tenth Gen. 3.6-GHz Intel Core i9 processor and 64GB of Ram.  Laptops with an i9 core processor are the largest and most powerful known to man. That’s where the sticker price is coming from. 

The performance claims are real. I ran 60 open tabs on Google Chrome, used Twitter, streamed YouTube, and scrolled through some Netflix when test-driving the Area51M for the first time. When a machine is described as “overclockable,” the manufacturer is saying the CPU can run faster than the manufacturer intends. This claim stands up to the test.

Does the Alienware Area51-M R2 have good audio quality?

I’m not even a gamer, but this computer could turn me into one. For audio, you have the joy of front-firing speakers, and an AMD Radeon RTX 2080 graphics card ensures I am not missing a single thing when streaming, gaming, or working on this machine. The display is 360HZ FHD, and on the 17″ screen, makes looking at my work a beautiful thing.

The integrated 720p at 30fps HD camera and dual-array microphones give me everything I need for Zoom meetings and will keep multi-player gamers very happy.

Battery life with its 90 Wh lithium-ion battery is not my favorite feature. I’m only getting 2 and a half hours unplugged. Gamers are going to be okay with that, I walk around with my machine when I am working. Even so, that battery lifespan is longer than the Eon.

Alienware Area-51M Extras

The extras I’m looking for in a laptop, high performance or otherwise, are software packages and warranties. All of these are optional, but Windows 10, which was fine by me. I have the option for McAffee LiveSafe Consumer subscription, for 12 or 36 months, but I also had the option to decline McAffee. Accidental Damage Service is available for one to four years, or that could be declined as well.

The hardware warranty is a one-year warranty where I get the house call from the tech for in-home service, and that is a follow-up from a remote diagnosis.

Get this Laptop

Who am I to say this laptop has something wrong with it? It’s going to eventually. It’s a man-made product with a lifespan. That being said, it’s a powerful tool whose appearance alone suggests it plans on crushing it with the highest performance possible for as long as it can. And, with its warranty, tech support, and optional security features, it has everything I needed and stuff I didn’t even know I could get in a system.

If you’re in the market for a laptop, you can’t go wrong with Alienware Area-51M – it’s touted as the “world’s most powerful and overclockable” laptop because it can go faster than it says it can. It’s ideal for gamers and considered a gaming laptop, but I am not a gamer and love it. 

I can run 60 different Windows at once, and stream from both YouTube and Netflix at the same time, and it doesn’t even offer the flicker of downtime. The specs it offers for a high-performance laptop are ideal for me and the workload I put on a machine.

I’ve reviewed it here as thoroughly as I can. This is a laptop that is fully loaded, with the best-in-class 3.6 GHz 10th Gen Intel core i9 processor.

Buying a laptop is never a easy. The research process can be time consuming. I hope these tips are helpful to you and best of luck with your next laptop purchase!

How I Got Good At Small Talk

If you’ve ever struggled with small talk, you’re certainly not alone. No one enjoys awkward silences or glossed-over eyes. However, small talk is a skill that you can improve like any other. This was something I had to learn myself. The 10 books below all helped, especially because they’re audiobooks, and I’ve always found auditory learning to be the most effective.

Better Small Talk by Patrick King

Better Small Talk is a great book because it doesn’t just tell you how to speak to people and turn small talk to your advantage so that you never intimidate or bore the people you’re talking to. It helps you get into the right mindset with warmups for small talk, which many people overlook. In fact, if you think of small talk as a muscle that requires exercise, the maneuvers in this book will help you strengthen that muscle and perfect your technique. 

How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes 

Everyone suffers from imposter system on occasion, but you don’t want to let it ruin your chances at expanding your network or landing a sale. Enter How to Talk To Anyone, a book that not only promises that you’ll feel more comfortable talking to people regardless of status but that you’ll be able to blend into any crowd–including one made up of VIPs! Listeners can also learn how to leverage their phone as an effective communication tool rather than a distraction.

Influence by Robert B. Cialdini

Now in its 5th edition, Influence focuses on a specific aspect of communication: social compliance. By delving into the psychology behind interactions, Cialdini shows you how you can get people to say “Yes” to practically any request you might make! If you’re tired of being shot down, it’s time to say “Yes” to this book.

Conversation Casanova by Dave Perrotta

Many people struggle to flirt because they cannot find the balance between playful, casual, and suggestive. However, Perrotta walks you through opening the conversation, keeping someone interested through interesting storytelling, and even asking someone out. You don’t have to trust us, however. His 50,000 Youtube followers should convince you that Perrotta’s books are worth checking out.

The Art of Witty Banter by Patrick King

The second Patrick King book on this list similarly focuses on small talk in social settings rather than professional ones–of course, we all know that socializing can boost your career! After reading this book, you’ll be the smooth talker that everyone crowds around at the party and remembers long after they’ve returned home. However, it’s not all humor and charm. King helps listeners learn to defend their points, disarm those who might be closed off, and prevent tense situations from escalating.

The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine

Years of experience as a keynote speaker and coach put Fine in a strong position to help others communicate better. In her book about small talk, the communication expert helps listeners become more memorable and improve their ability to remember names and listen actively. Both of those skills are a must for anyone who wants to master small talk. In fact, if you find yourself struggling even after listening to other books on this list, you may very well have forgotten that conversations are two-way streets.

The Like Switch by Jack Schafer and Martin Karlins

Getting others to like you can be as easy as flipping a switch, thanks to the work of two PhDs who decided to team up and spread their knowledge to the world in this book. Schafer’s credentials are even more impressive when you learn that he’s a former member of the FBI’s National Security Division’s Behavioral Analysis Program. His expertise helps listeners detect when others are bending or outright breaking the truth. I like how this book includes tips for detecting deception when communicating online.

The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane

If you think charisma is something you’re born with, think again! Olivia Cabane tells listeners that charisma is a skill you can gain and grow if you put your mind to it. Cabane dives straight into the applications of science in communication, drawing from research to help you become the more charismatic version of yourself. However, it’s far from a dull read as the author included fun anecdotes. An accompanying workbook ensures you get the most of the tools you’ll discover in The Charisma Myth.

Conversation Tactics: Wittiness, Banter, Likability by Patrick King

This shorter book is excellent if you want to get straight to the point. If you follow the advice, you’ll find yourself able to command any social situation with ease. That sounds like a surefire way to boost confidence!

Improve Your Conversations: Think on Your Feet, Witty Banter, and Always Know What to Say with Improv Comedy Techniques by Patrick King

I was surprised how much I could glean from improv comedy techniques that could be applied to small talk. However, it makes sense when you think about it. After all, improv is all about responding to what the other person says or does. Thanks to this book, you’ll be able to keep the conversation flowing.

Connect Instantly: 60 Seconds to Likability, Meaningful Connections, and Hitting It Off With Anyone by Patrick King

Everyone knows about love at first sight, but that first minute can make or break your relationship with anyone. Once again, Patrick King lends his expertise to those listeners who want to make a first impression so great that it becomes a lasting impression. If you excel once you’re in a conversation, Connect Instantly might help you through the gate.

Conversationally Speaking by Patrick King

Finally, I’d like to suggest checking out Conversationally Speaking, which covers everything from breaking the ice to mastering humor to eliminating awkward silences. It’s a great primer if you need to polish your small talk skills but aren’t sure where to start. 

Are you struggling to grow your business, convince VCs to invest in your startup, or progress in your career? All of these issues might be tied to your inability to make small talk–or indifference to it to begin with! 

What most successful business people understand is how crucial small talk is to forging connections and making impressions.

Of course, small talk can be awkward and uncomfortable, which is why so many people avoid it. But once you learn how to small talk, it actually becomes fun!

These authors I listed above are a great place to start your journey into the world of mastering small talk.

From internationally renowned speakers to business consulting to degree-holding professors of business management, each of these authors brings something unique to the table. Even if you listen to just one of the titles on this list, you’ll improve your ability to communicate, especially when it comes to making in-roads via small talk. 

With the knowledge in these books, you’ll be able to win people over from the very beginning and use those connections to further your personal and professional network.

I Bought a Heat Press For T-Shirts

I Bought a Heat Press For T-Shirts

Do you like making personalized gifts for family and friends? Do you ever think about going into business for yourself? If you are creative person and enjoy making gifts for loved ones, read on.

I recently purchased a heat press to gift the people in my life with something they could treasure for a long time. A handmade gift always tugs at the heartstrings. It makes the statement that the receiver is important enough to the giver to spend valuable time making a gift they hope will be loved.

What types of gifts can be made using a heat press?

Is someone you know having a baby soon? Will a birthday or anniversary celebration be coming up?

Consider these ideas.

  • Baby bags, tote bags, cosmetic bags, handbags
  • Wooden plaques or farmhouse-type signs
  • Pillowcases — either for the bedroom or a throw pillow for the living room
  • Mugs and cups
  • Clothing items — T-shirts, sweatshirts, children’s and baby clothes
  • And much more….

Custom-made Baby Onesies

I have started a tradition. Whenever someone I know has a baby, they get a custom baby onesie. I just purchase plain baby onesies in bulk and have them on hand for when they are needed.

DIY Cushions, Throw Pillows and Pillowcases

Create your own cushions and throw pillows. No longer are you limited by what you can find in the stores or online. If you enjoy theme decorating and have difficulty locating just the right pillow or cushion, make your own with a heat press.

Decorating a nursery becomes much easier when using a heat press. Anyone would love to get a handmade baby gift like this. Who knows, it could become an heirloom to be handed down to future generations.

It is very easy to find blank pillowcases in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Personalized Tank Tops and T-Shirts

I have made dozens of t-shirts with my heat press for gifts for friends and family. They look terrific when done and are very easy to make. It can be more complicated when working with different colors, but the finished product is worth the effort.

Custom Coasters

These would make a great shower or wedding gift. Using sublimation transfer and heat, they can be applied to ceramic coasters. It is a great way to give a personalized gift to a bride and groom.

Slice Tool Project

You can use different tools and features available with your cutting machine, which is a separate purchase from the heat press. A slice tool means you can cut one design element out of another. For example, cut a name into a heart design.

Layered Heat Transfer Vinyl

This is a terrific way to make a unique t-shirt. Layering vinyl adds more dimension and complexity to a design, making it look so much neater. It will impress the person who receives it.

Tote Bags

Totes are a great gift idea you can make with a press. Another idea for a baby or wedding shower, personalize the tote and fill it with appropriate things for a baby or a new bride. I guarantee it will be a hit.

Banners

You can press on all different sorts of materials, including cork. Heat transfer vinyl allows the vinyl to adhere better to the material. Adhesive vinyl works too, but heat transfer vinyl lasts longer and won’t curl around the edges.

Personalized Mugs

You cannot go wrong when gifting a personalized mug. They make the perfect Christmas, birthday, or any occasion gift. A mug would also be a terrific gift for a bride and groom.

Now that you have ideas of what to make with a heat press, let’s discuss the machine itself.

The MPress Heat Press Transfer Machine 15″ x 15″

It is durable, easy to use, and makes it simple for you to create the perfect gift or start a new business!

It is an entry-level machine allowing you to transfer your own printed images with heat transfer paper, your own vinyl heat transfer, and your rhinestone transfer. With this press, you can customize anything — mousepads, ceramic tiles, coasters, linens, clothing, anything you want.

The heat press works great in commercial and domestic settings both and can perform any size job with durability. The “strong handle” design allows for sturdy and easy operation. When pressed down, it has industrial strength, pressure, and even temperature to the surface, which guarantees the transfer to remain on the garment for a long time.

It not only is easy to operate but offers professional results. Any gift you make using the press will make a lasting impression.

Here are some features of the heat press.

  • Heat plate with non-stick coating prevents scorching or burn marks and offers even pressure.
  • Consistent temperature guaranteed with a sturdy heating board equipped with a range of heat coils.
  • Easy to operate, with an open and close “strong handle” with a spring-loaded assist.
  • Adjustable pressure knob, full range.
  • Time control and digital temperature.
  • Heat-resistant silicone pad, able to handle high temperatures.

Specifications of the heat press:

  • Heat Platen Size: 15″ X 15″ with a Non-Stick Coated Heat Platen
  • Heat Press Style: Clamshell shape
  • Temperature Range: From 0 to 400 °F
  • Time Control: From 0-999 Second
  • Power: 1400 Watts
  • Voltage: 110V, standard US and Canada
  • Shipping Weight: 64 pounds

Forever Digital Transfer Applications Technology

You can now produce self-weeding transfers in metallic, white, or neon colors without a special toner or cutting and weeding. With the new and innovative material, weeding of the flex foils is no longer needed. This system offers the chance of fast production cost-effectively without the need for an expensive plotter or printing system.

Features:

  • No weeding or cutting
  • Low substrate application temperatures of 212 °F-320 °F or 100-160 °C
  • Allows printing on almost all fabrics & hard surfaces, such as nylon, polyester, cotton, blended fabrics, paper, wood, polypropylene.
  • Not compatible with Samsung/Xerox laser printers, but perfect for desktop black/white or CMYK, Laser/LED Printers.
  • Washable up to 40 °C or 104 °F
  • Complex graphics and fine details transferable without problems
  • Beneficial time savings
  • Impressive design and motive possibilities, such as vintage, used look, fashion, vectors, etc.
  • It is available in two sizes, 11” x 17” and 8.5″x 11″

If you enjoy the creative arts and love giving thoughtful and imaginative gifts, perhaps a heat press is an item for you to try. This would also be an excellent idea for families to create gifts for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other important people in their lives.

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