Woman Wednesday: Leire

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.  


 

Q and A with Leire H., Barcelona, Spain (originally from Bilbao, Spain)

 

“Time has made me realize that it is good to try to be the best you can be and give the very best you can, but failure is permitted. And it is failure that made me learn many times.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I try to be passionate about everything I do. I work in Barcelona, Spain, as a human resources recruiter for a Dutch company. I like working with people because I think it is very enriching. There is a quote I love that says, “I learned more of what I know from people than from books.” Very similar to that, I love psychology. I always try to understand why people behave, feel, and think as they do. Apart from that, my real passion is aviation and traveling. My last trip was to Canada last summer, and I am already planning this year’s trips: France and Malaysia!

 

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I am lucky to have an amazing family who loved and supported me more than anybody did and will ever do. My parents were also very strict with me and my studies especially. I remember my childhood as a very happy period, though, and I am convinced that I am who I am today because of them.

 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned to enjoy every moment. I wish I could go back to my 16-year-old self and tell her that nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you think about it. Everything in life moves on and changes, and everything is about different stages.

 

 

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Also, I have always been very self-demanding, and that leads to many frustrations that spawn from me trying to be perfect in all aspects. I used to practice rhythmic gymnastics, which is an extremely hard sport. Time has made me realize that it is good to try to be the best you can be and give the very best you can, but failure is permitted. And it is failure that made me learn many times. I would also recommend everybody to enjoy every moment in life. We tend to look for happiness in our “ideal” world, leaving aside the moments that shape actual happiness. 

 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: For me, feminism is simply the equality of women and men. I think there has been a misconception by a small part of society, who thinks that feminism means hating men and defending women are superior to men. I think they are doing no favor to real feminism. It is much simpler than that: We are all human beings.

 

However, if we [women] are as intelligent, capable, and empowered as men, why can’t we qualify for the same work position in every part of the world? Why do we have to walk afraid when we go back home alone in the night? Education (not only at school, but at home) should have an essential role in achieving equality but unfortunately, we are far from that. I hope we see change in the near future.

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Justine

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Justine, Somerset County, New Jersey

People always ask me how I can afford to travel as much as I do at this age. Something I’d like others to know is that whatever you want to do is possible if you really want to make it happen. I make traveling and seeing the world a priority. This isn’t to say that I spend an extreme amount of money on it either. I budget it into my expenses just like groceries. I need to see the world. And while I love my job, I always feel a constant urge to know that the world and my life is bigger than sitting at a desk or on a train. It’s always worth it, and it is totally possible!

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love my job and the field I am in! I am a book publicist so basically, I get to tell people how great certain books are and then organize events and book tours for authors. I have always loved books; this is absolutely my dream! I majored in creative writing and English, did a bunch of internships, got my master’s in English literature, and was hired at the last company I interned at! Now I’m working at a company that works with a lot of books in translation that ranges in genre from thrillers to biographies and art books. I love being able to work on all different types of books and just talk about how amazing books are all day.

 

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Pictured: Justine in her element. As a book publicist, she loves reading books and helping authors.

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Sometimes you can give something everything you have and work your very hardest and fall short. It doesn’t mean that you failed. So much of adult life is about timing, working hard, and luck. At times, you can go every extra mile, outwork people around you, and still not succeed as quickly or as much as you would like. These shortcomings put things into perspective, and when you can look back on them and actually say, “I gave that everything I had,” then you know you did your very best. Just because the outcome may not be exactly in our favor, we have to take these experiences and use them to make us stronger for the next time. In short, life is not always fair, and you can’t let it break you! Learn from it, and don’t give up! 

 

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Pictured: Justine in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I always liked to keep super busy when I was growing up. I loved shuttling between softball, soccer, basketball, piano, gymnastics, ballet, cross country, track, and any other summer camps or art classes I could weasel my way into. Looking back, I feel so sorry for my parents who had to drive me around everywhere, but I am also so thankful and grateful for them always encouraging me to try everything and practice everything I was doing. I learned about committing to something and following through from a young age, and I also learned how to be part of a team, which is something I think absolutely translates to adult life in work and relationships. Even growing up, I was obsessed with books! I remember being in second grade and spending every free second reading to win more personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut’s Book It program. While pizza initially stimulated my infatuation with reading, I quickly knew that I just loved books! I still very fondly remember my first author event during a first-grade assembly where a children’s book author, Dan Gutman, came to visit us and gave us each a signed copy of his book. I spent all my allowance buying all his books and thought that him coming to visit us was just about the coolest experience ever. Now I get to go to author events all the time!

 

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Pictured: Justine at the New Jersey Balloon Festival. 

 

A part of my story that I haven’t mentioned yet is my passion for traveling. I love taking vacations to countries that I haven’t been to yet and going on adventures. I do this at least twice a year. People always ask me how I can afford to do this at this age. Something I’d like others to know is that whatever you want to do is possible if you really want to make it happen. I look online on tons of different websites to find the most affordable flights and places to stay. I use my vacation days around small holidays to make the trips longer. I make traveling and seeing the world a priority. This isn’t to say that I spend an extreme amount of money on it either. I budget it into my expenses just like groceries. I need to see the world. And while I love my job, I always feel a constant urge to know that the world and my life is bigger than sitting at a desk or on a train. It’s always worth it, and it is totally possible!

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Pictured: Justine enjoying the water and beautiful views in Italia (Italy). 
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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means equality. I do not like being talked down to by men, being treated like I can’t do something as well as a man can, nor do I like being treated like I am a man’s property. However, to be honest, I’m not big on movements like the women’s march or large scale protests to assert feminism. I think that by showing the men you associate with that you are just as strong and smart(er) as they are, and asserting this belief into who you are is the best way to change the conversation. I think we need men to uplift women just as much as we need women to uplift women.

 

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Pictured: Justine and her significant other, Nick, traveling together in Iceland. 

 

I really think that the conversation about feminism needs to include men. I feel like there are two types of men: men who repress women and men who uplift women. The men who uplift women are able to do this because they are associated with strong women who are their equals. In my opinion, a great example of this is Barack and Michelle Obama. This may not be a popular opinion, but as much as I am rooting for women and “feminism,” I do think there is a lot of hypocrisy. I think that if a woman claims to be a “feminist,” she shouldn’t depend on her dad or her partner to do things like dealing with her car issues or squashing bugs. Once you get to this point, you can’t ignore other things that have become gender norms like men proposing to women, because we all still want our dream proposal and diamond ring. So, it’s not black and white for sure.

 

As a side note, I also believe that “feminism” is the cop-out men have been waiting for, and in 10 years, I believe “stay at home dads” will be the norm. So it’s a conflicting subject, to say the least, and this is a very loaded question. I could go on and on!


I think that this quote from the book,
“How to be Parisian,” sums up how I feel about feminism: “Of course you can open a bottle of wine by yourself. But let him do it. That’s equality too.”

 

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Pictured: Justine taking a stroll in Reykjavik, Iceland. 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Leilani & The Little Things

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

“I wrote this book about the little things. These are the little things in life we look over day by day, although they are always there. These are the little things that got me through the storm. These are the little things I want to share with you to cheer you up when you need a friend or when you need a reminder or a little sprinkle of sunshine. If we learn to see the world differently, our days may be a little brighter.  If we learn to see the good, the world becomes a better place to live.” –Leilani Romero, author of “The Little Things

 

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The holidays are right around the corner! Although it’s all very exciting, it can also be stressful. Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves of the little things in life.

You may remember Leilani Romero from one of our first Woman Wednesdays! We invited her back to discuss her book (which is now published), the self-publishing process (how to publish a book), and what motivated her to create and publish this book called, “The Little Things.”

Also, we get to see a sneak peek inside her book that is exclusively being shown here (and here only)! Keep reading for more:

 

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 Pictured: Lemons in watercolor by Leilani Romero (a sneak peek inside “The Little Things”).

 

Q: What is “The Little Things“?

A: “The Little Things” is a collection of happy things in one book! It is a yellow pocket of all things good, and it is a reminder of happy. This little book will lift your spirits, brighten your day, cheer up your soul, and encourage kindness. With the power of positivity, the world can change… I believe, one smile at a time. Meditate on these things, and good will come.

LeiLani

 

Q: What is the self-publishing process like? 

A: For those who have always wondered how the book publishing process works, it isn’t as difficult as it may seem! I have always said I wanted to publish one day, but I wasn’t sure how it would all go. Like all big projects, you have to take it one step at a time. Here are the steps that I have taken:

 

  1. Write and illustrate – Get all your ideas out there (the good and bad). As for illustrations, I created those by hand using watercolors and then scanned them in to digitize.

 

  1. Edit – Find a good editor who will understand your vision and trust the process. I am lucky enough to have an amazing brother (who is also a published writer) to edit my book!

 

  1. Find a printer – There are so many printers to choose from these days and not all force you to print in bulk. These days, some vendors will also handle the printing (ex. Amazon or Blurb)!

 

  1. Get an ISBN – Depending on the printer, this process might be included with the vendor, or you can independently purchase the ISBN on your own.

 

  1. Design the book by page and format – As a designer, I designed my own in Adobe In Design, but some printers can handle the PDF creation process for you!

 

  1. Print the darn thing!

 

  1. Launch on a jump-starting platform – I decided to have my 30-day campaign on Indiegogo, but there are quite a few others, such as Kickstarter!

 

  1. Apply to sell your book in stores, local shops, and online.

 

I hope this helps anyone who is interested in or considering the self-publishing route!

 

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Pictured: “The Little Things” exclusive “sneak peek” of what can be found inside. 

 

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Pictured: “The Little Things” exclusive “sneak peek” of what can be found inside. 

 

Q: Why did you write this book?

A: A few years back, I was seriously struggling in the world. With creativity comes frustration, self-criticism, and heartbreak. Behind all the glitter-covered castles I built, were often anxious times that included 3:00 AM tears pouring down (that hard work and dedication brought along with them). Without these, there would be no success, growth, or marvelous magic. Fittingly so, I created this book at the end of college, not only as a project but as a suitable end to an era. In life, there’s good little things and bad little things. And these can pile up. These good little things may be some that are taken for granted. Truth be told, in life, we never know what others are going through. I, for one, am a bubbly soul by nature, and because of this, I have often times felt the expectation or burden to always appear so. The reality is that we all have our good days and gray ones too. And that’s okay.

 

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I wrote this book about the little things. This book is about the little things in life we look over day by day, although they are always there. These are the little things that got me through the storm. These are the little things I want to share with you. To cheer you up when you need a friend or when you need a reminder or a little sprinkle of sunshine. The good is so much bigger than the bad.

I took great care to hand paint and illustrate and write all 64 pages. 64 pages of beauty, 64 pages of good. These are pages created to promote mindfulness and good mental health. These pages are meant to remind you of the small parts of your day that can make a huge difference in your quality of life –the genuine and the wonderful. These pages, I created, with the purpose of making others happy.

 

If we learn to see the world differently, our days may be a little brighter.  If we learn to see the good, the world becomes a better place to live.

 

 

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Pictured: Sunflower watercolor painting, a sneak peek inside “The Little Things,” by Leilani Romero. 

 

Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: Our day-to-day lives are full of little things. Unfortunately, research and personal experience have shown that we tend to fixate on the negatives and brush small positivities to the side.

My goal when hand-painting and writing this 64-page book was to collect reminders of all the little soul-filling, uplifting, and encouraging moments – the little things – that we may take for granted. Whether you turn to any page or flip through over time, “The Little Things” makes the perfect bedside or coffee table book to pick up throughout the day. Once I have enough funding, I will be able to get this book into local stores and online shops (like Barnes & Noble). A successful first book will allow me to continue to write new books and pursue my dreams of illustration.

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Pictured: “The Little Things” exclusive “sneak peek” of what can be found inside. 

 

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Pictured: “The Little Things” exclusive “sneak peek” of what can be found inside. 

 

 

There are only a few days left of Leilani’s Indiegogo book sale!

To purchase a copy of “The Little Things,” click here. 

To follow Leilani’s blog, click here.

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Raquel

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Raquel, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

“You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I would say I am passionate about many issues and problems, but I am most passionate about freedom for farmed animals. I have always been a huge animal lover, and dogs have been my best friends in my life when I felt alone. I always fought hard to raise awareness for the cruel dog meat trade in Asia and never realized I was being hypocritical when it came to my diet. I became vegan once I educated myself about how these animals are abused and tormented and how selfish it is for me to decide my taste buds are worth more than an innocent being’s life. Pigs are more intelligent and just as emotional as dogs, if not more, so who am I to take their life? My passion has driven me to decide to one day have my own animal sanctuary for these innocent beings once I am successful enough in the modeling industry to support these animals.

Click here to watch a short video on the similarities between animals and people. 

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

My interests include mostly spending time with my family and dog, going on long walks, sewing, and helping others when I can.

I work as a full time model and travel, which has been amazing so far!

 

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Pictured: Raquel and her younger sisters.

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Q:What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned to truly not judge someone for what I think their life seems to be. You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.

 

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood has been something that was hard at the time, but now I am so glad that I went through these things to build who I am today. My dad was never a great father figure, and he was not home most of the time. If he were, it was just miserable. I became an extremely anxious person which has stayed with me. In high school, I did not have many real friends, and it was really hard for me when it came to lunch time. I always sat alone or in a teacher’s room, because I hated being alone in the library or lunch room. It really killed me emotionally, at the time. My mom has always been there for me helping me everyday when I feel like everything is spiraling, and I am forever grateful for her impact and support in my life.

 

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Pictured: Raquel and her younger sisters.

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I would like others to educate themselves and truly research how corrupt the meat and dairy industries are and how this hell is ruining the environment, their health, and torturing millions of animals each year. Animals are no lesser than humans and deserve to roam happily. I would also like people to take away that you never know what someone is going through.

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Pictured: Raquel modeling a faux blanket and My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Check out Raquel on the My Lilianas Commercials:

 

 

 

Follow Raquel on Instagram! Click here.

 

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