Christmas 2017 – A time for giving

At the time of the year where shopping and consumption is at its peak, it is good to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have a roof to sleep under and food we can eat. This is probably one of the most important post I have ever wrote so far, but it is important to share and support people or living creatures in need, and below is the lists of charities you can engage with. Some help humans, other animals, all help make the world a more decent place.

You will see that there are three things extremely close to my heart: animal welfare, women’s health and homelessness.

Animal welfare

I have always been an animal lover, from a very young age I was adopting ladybugs and woodlouse hoping to give them a better home. I was that child that had gold fish, a guinea pig and was horse riding. Today, I have a cat but if it was up to me I would also have a dog, a donkey and many more animals!

Cats Protection

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, they work to make sure that every cat is treated with kindness. This is also where we got our furry friend! Buffer was found next to a bin and brought to Cats Protection. We adopted him as a tiny, skinny kitten and he has since grown into a strong and very curious cat.

Cats Protection
Cats Protection help cats through rehoming by finding good families for them. They also encourage neutering in order to reduce the number of street cats. Finally, they focus on educating wider audience about cats, their needs and care.

You can donate, volunteer, or even adopt!

Lanta Animal Welfare

We discovered Lanta Animal Welfare when visiting Ko Lanta, back in 2014. During our stay on the island, a little and badly hurt kitten decided to find shelter on our hotel room’s balcony. We searched around the area to see how we could help her and Lanta Animal Welfare happened to be a ten minutes’ walk away. The kitten was rescued and neutered after we called them.

Lanta Animal Welfare

The charity was founded by Junie Kovacs in 2005. Her mission was to end the suffering of the hundreds of homeless, abused and injured animals on Koh Lanta. They have sterilised and treated over 15,000 animals. You can donate or, if you happen to visit Thailand, you can offer to be a ‘flight volunteer’.

Homelessness

As a child, I used to cry when seeing homeless people. The thought of someone living alone in the street and completely ignored by passers-by was breaking my heart. Thirty years later, not much has change except that now I can buy them a sandwich or a warming cup of coffee, or at least show them that not everybody ignores them.

Next Meal (London only)

How often have you seen a homeless person out in the cold and you have no money to give them or food to share with them?

NextMeal

Next Meal is a simple web application which will help you find places where homeless people in London can find food and support. It uses GPS on your phone so you can find the nearest open soup kitchen or shelter, and point the person on the street in the right direction. Check the website whenever you come across someone on the street, so they can hopefully get a bed for the night and some free hot food this winter.

Women’s health

The past 5 years, I have had my fair share of women’s health issues. An apple size ovarian tumour removed in 2012, series of breast cysts since 2015, thankfully so far everything has always been benign. I am amazed though by how little there is out there to educate young women. I am in my early thirties and I have seen doctors for those type of issues since I was 26. Awareness shouldn’t only focus on women over 50.

CoppaFeel

CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 by Kristin Hallenga who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23. CoppaFeel is the first breast cancer charity in the UK to solely create awareness amongst young people.

CoppaFeel

Their main objective is to create habits that will help young people better know their body and therefore identify faster anything that doesn’t feel right. The charity encourages young women (and men!) to check their breasts, educate young people on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and empower them to seek advice from a doctor if symptoms persist.

You can volunteer, donate or book a ‘Boobette’ who can come visit and educate young people.

Here you go guys! Time to make a difference!

Follow me on InstagramTwitterPinterestYoutube and Trover!

Advertisements

Please hold your call is important to us…

Apology for the complete absence of posts the past 2 days ladies and gents! I am going through major technical issues aka « it’s all broken! » but I should be hopefully back on track and normal service should resume tomorrow! 

Need some motivation? Read those books!

I recently went, and still am, going through a little bit of a self-doubting and questioning time. I am in my thirties, I am married, I am not ready for a baby yet, what should I eat tonight, why am I so afraid of flying, and what’s the meaning of life???

That escalated quickly! But that’s my thought process most evening before to go to bed at the moment… I have been feeling a lot like I am living the life I am given instead of owning it, and being a very anxious person the feeling of being out of control is very difficult for me to manage. Anyway, enough of the self-introspection and on to what I have been doing to help and move forward.

Well, I have been reading a lot! I find dedicated time to think and learn very restful and almost a little bit like meditation.

And because sharing is caring, I listed below the books I have found the most useful! Some helped me being more productive with the blog, some helped me with confidence at work, and others helped with my general anxiety.

Inspirational and motivational books

So when you feel overwhelmed, keep calm and read a book!

Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg

This book needs no introduction. It is very famous for a good reason! Sheryl Sandberg shows you how she navigates work and life as a woman and a mother, so you can do it too. You will finish this book feeling empowered and ready to ‘sit at the table’.

Read it if:

  • You are looking for motivation in the workplace
  • You need to boost your self-confidence as a woman in the workplace
  • You feel a little left behind and not very valued at work or at home

Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso

You may have heard about Sophia Amorous when shopping for some clothes or watching Netflix. But before being the controversial business woman she is today, she was a young and poor woman trying to make money selling clothes on eBay. This book shows you that all you need is a good idea and motivation!

Read it if:

  • You want to own your career
  • You need inspiration and motivation to create a business
  • You have limited resources but you want to achieve big things

Artist in the Office, by Summer Pierre

You are stuck in a very uncreative job or work environment? This interactive book will show you how to inject creativity in your everyday life, from making coffee to writing and drawing.

Read it if:

  • You want to inject creativity in your daily life
  • You are stuck in a very non-creative job and are looking to change that
  • You are an artist but cannot live off your art and had to take an office job

The Working Woman’s Handbook, by Phoebe Lovatt

A guide to help you plan and organise your career around the life you want, from budget, to execution, to taking vacations!

Read it if:

  • You need inspiration to change and/or better own your career
  • You like guidance and actionable tips
  • You struggle finding the right work-life balance

Don’t Get a Job…Make a Job, by Gem Barton

This book is useful if you are looking for your next job but find nothing you like on LinkedIn. Maybe your dream job doesn’t exist, maybe you have to create it?

Read it if:

  • You are a young graduate and are starting to look for your first job
  • You want to get away from the conventional 9 to 5
  • You find the task of looking for a new job daunting and you need motivation

Blog, Inc., by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

A little blogging bible! It guides you through the steps to follow to create and grow your blog. It also shares some successful bloggers’ stories which are very inspiring, and show you that everybody had to start somewhere.

Read it if:

  • You want to start a blog and need some guidance
  • You have been blogging for a while but you need a refresher
  • You are planning your blog strategy and could do with some inspiration

The Inside-Out Revolution, by Michael Neill

This book was a recommendation from my therapist as I suffer high anxiety and a phobia of flying. It hasn’t completely cured me but I had a few ‘light bulb moments’ while reading it. A good read to get a different perspective on your feelings and how to manage them.

Read it if:

  • You suffer anxiety
  • You want to better manage your fears and worries
  • You want to get more control over your feelings

Now breath in, breath out, read a bit, it’s all going to be okay!

Follow me on InstagramTwitterPinterestYoutube and Trover!

100 blog posts – My blogging story so far

100 blog posts! That’s a milestone I never thought I would reach when I really started blogging in June 2016.

Why do I say really started? Those of you who have been around for a little while would have seen that I post two types of content – travel photographs and written blog posts. I don’t really consider the photographs + one liner posts to be real blogs per se. Those are just little travelling treats for the eyes.

Having reached 100 posts, I thought now would be a good time to tell you a little bit more about my blogging story because after 16 months writing, I finally have a story!

Back in 2014, I wasn’t very happy with my job. It was fine but I wasn’t really doing what I had studied for and I felt completely drained out of creative energy. At the time, a recruiter got in touch with me for a role I would have very much liked. He asked me if I had a portfolio, and of course I didn’t. Panicked at the idea of failing, I logged on WordPress and created ‘Claire Imaginarium‘. I thought that, even if my current job wasn’t creative, it didn’t prevent me to create content showcasing my skills.

So I went live with the blog, and then nothing happened, or barely anything… Let me explain.

Claire Imaginarium

I was looking for content I was good at creating and which was easy to share. With thousands of travel pictures on my hard-drive, I thought ‘bingo!’ and started my one sentence and a picture posts. Then life had other plans, and in the summer of 2014 I was offered a job in Communications and PR. I was finally really enjoying what I was doing!

The blog then took a back step for the rest of 2014 and 2015. I would post a picture every now and then but I wasn’t really committed to it and was too busy living life. I am also someone who thrive on positive feedback and with an average 200 visitors per year (yes, per year…), I didn’t really feel like I was making much of a difference and thought I was just better off letting this little site be without much input.

Claire Imaginarium

Fast forward to 2016, and the week after my wedding, I felt an urge to shift the blog to something different! There was a lot of changes introduced at work and I needed to really ramp up my digital knowledge in order to be better at my job. So I thought, what better place to start than trying things on that little blog I have? No one really knew it existed, so I could freely play around with different types of content and increase my digital understanding without anyone one seeing me failing.

So I started writing one real blog post each week, with more than 3 words and a picture. After three months, I had as many visitors as I had in 2 years! Complete strangers were actually taking the time to read what I was writing! So I kept going!

Claire Imaginarium interior

The number of visitors was growing, which completely blew my mind and I finally ‘came out’ to my parents and my husband at the end of 2016, and told them that I was blogging. Until then I had never ever talked to anyone about it! I only saw it as a platform to play with, it wasn’t something I was proud of or wanted to proactively share with my close ones. And even up to now, I have not talked about the blog to most of my friends, or proactively advertised it on my personal Facebook page and Instagram account… So family, friends, colleagues, if you are reading this – well done! You found me!

Claire Imaginarium travel

We are now heading toward the end of 2017, and from a post a week, I have increased to 3 weekly posts. The number of people reading my content has also increased exponentially, and I may even end the year on an other significant milestone, but I am keeping this one to myself because I don’t want to jinx it (oh yeah, I am superstitious too by the way!).

So thank you all soooo much for reading this and showing me that what started as an exercise is actually worth reading. You have no idea how much it means to me and I will forever be thankful.

Ok, I am done now! That’s probably the most I have ever talked about myself on this blog, and I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more moi! See you again in 100 posts!

Follow me on InstagramTwitterPinterestYoutube and Trover!