August Recap // A Whirlwind of Books, Dance, & Back to School + Goals for September

Thank goodness August is finally over.

After the amazing, wonderful months of June and July that were filled with reading and blogging and no school and just general happiness, August was like jumping off a cliff into an ocean of reality.

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All dramatics aside, it was an okay month…I somehow managed to read a decent amount of books and I didn’t drown under loads of homework, so there is a bright side. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m so excited to talk about my month (as far as books, blogging, and life went) and then set some goals for September, too. Which will definitely be a better month than August…I hope. Let’s get started!

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Since I had about two weeks of vacation at the beginning of August, I was able to read, and I’m really happy about that. I mostly read contemporary (of course I did) but I also read some fantasy and…I’VE BEEN LOVING IT.

Image result for holdstillImage result for a monster callsImage result for dear pen palImage result for the raven boysImage result for the penderwicks at lastImage result for someone else's summerImage result for a void the size of the worldImage result for summer of saltImage result for the dream thievesImage result for the way the light bends

2/5 of these were fantasy…who am I?! And only one of them was a reread, and that was only because I was sick and needed a comfort book. Most people have comfort foods, bookworms have comfort books.ย 

Y’all, also, the conclusion to the Penderwicks series came out recently, and I finally checked it out from the library, and it made my heart so happy. This series was my childhood, and I loved having final closure with it. I liked the other books more, but I still thought it was a beautiful ending. Were the Penderwicks your childhood, too?


How I Did on My August Goals:

  • Read 10 books โœ…
  • Go to the library โœ…
  • Read something from my summer TBR โœ…โŒ
  • Start reviewing on Goodreads โŒ
  • Look into Netgalley โŒ

My September Goals:

  • Read 5 booksย (school is too much, okay)
  • Rate/review on Goodreads
  • Look into Netgalley
  • Think about a…bookstagramย (guys help, I can’t decide if I should start bookstagramming!)

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Y’all. Since the last time I did a monthly recap, my blog officially turned two years old.

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I mean, my blog didn’t get an owl. And Hagrid didn’t show up to take us away to Hogwarts. *tear* BUT IT WAS STILL FUN, OKAY. I also have a giveaway going on in honor of my blog’s birthday, so if you haven’t entered yet and want to, then definitely click here to do so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In other news, my summer schedule ended midway through August, so I’m back to posting just on Mondays. I’m also incredibly behind on reading posts in my Reader, since I basically just have time to look at it on weekends.

Someday, there will be thirty hours in a day. Until then, I’ll just have to make do with only commenting on posts on Saturday and Sunday, and with posting just once a week.


What I Posted:


I love it when I’m organized enough to talk about some of my favorite posts from the past month, but unfortunately, I wasn’t organized enough this month. I will be in September, though! *crosses fingers*

I did manage to reach a lot of my August goals though, so yay. ๐Ÿ˜‰

How I Did on August Goals:

  • Mini reviews post โœ…
  • Harry Potter post โœ… and I want to do more soon!
  • Collabs I’ve been planning โœ…ย that was my review + blog tour
  • Very special surprise โœ… this was the giveaway!
  • 2nd blog birthday post โœ…
  • Stick to schedule โœ… the WordPress error doesn’t count, right?
  • Stay caught up on reading other blogs โœ…โŒ

September Goals:

  • Another Harry Potter post (I have so many ideas)
  • A tag post (I’m so behind)
  • Stick to schedule
  • Keep track of posts I read that I love
  • Writing update

My fingers are crossed that September ends up being a good blogging month! I hope it starts year two of Purely Olivia off strong.

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When I look back at August, it’s a month of very good and very…not so good. I’ll just highlight a few of the main things that happened!

  • I went back to school shopping! I love back to school shopping, and I love back to school supplies, and that was just such a fun experience.
  • I went back to school. Unlike back to school shopping…not so excited about this one. I’ve been back for three weeks now, and it’s not horrible, but I just don’t like homework and stress and ugh.
  • My sister went to college! I’m now an only child. Well, not really, but my older sister moved out and is now in college, so kind of. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I get my own bathroom now, which is nice, but still, I miss her. ://
  • SO. MUCH. DANCE.ย The dance season started back up! This year I’m doing 15 hours a week, which I LOVE (and I get to leave school a period early every day because I have off campus PE!) and it’s the highlight of my day every day. We’ve already started rehearsals for our winter concert in December and I’m so!! excited!!

I’m excited for September, even though nothing in particular is happening. Mostly I just can’t wait for October- it’s my favorite month of the year, and my birthday, and fall, and so many other amazing things! But first we have to get through September, so that’s what I’m focusing on right now.


And that concludes my August wrap up! This month was a mixture of fast and slow, good and bad, and I’m pretty glad it’s over.

How was your month? What have you been reading? How was the beginning of school for you? What is your favorite month? I’d love to chat with you in the comments.

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Photo byย Masaaki Komoriย onย Unsplashย >> Credits for the image used in my featured image, many thanks to the photographer!



65 thoughts on “August Recap // A Whirlwind of Books, Dance, & Back to School + Goals for September

  1. August is SO HARD! Because going back to school is just difficult. Ergh. BUT I hope September is lovely for you! I’m looking forward to your other Harry Potter post, it sounds like it will be fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post! If you had to share one book series that you recommend someone read (besides HP haha) what would it be? I’m dying to find a good book series, but I’ve had no luck! Also, I understand how you feel with an older sibling going away to college! Back in 2010, my older brother left us for college and I cried that first day he was gone! It felt so strange! Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier when you’re the one to go and experience all these new adventures! It’s good to know that when you go home, it feels like nothing has changed!

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  3. Yesss, I’m glad you’ve been liking the fantasy.
    Ah, a bookstagram! That would be so fun. What are your pros and cons for starting it vs. not starting it right now? Haha, that’s me assuming that’s how everybody makes decisions- with a list.
    I comment and read all the posts on the weekend too- specifically Sunday.
    I know what you mean by being an almost only child. My sister is twelve years older than me, so she left for college when I was in elementary school which means that it’s just been me with my parents since then.
    Dance sounds amazing! I hope it continues to be great.
    August was good, the start of school was okay- I never really like the beginning of school. I very much prefer school life when it falls into the rhythm.
    Ooh, favorite month is hard. I’ll have to say either December (Christmas!) or June/July (summer!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Me too. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Haha! Trust me, I definitely make all my decisions based on pro vs. con lists. XD The pros are: it would be fun, I could improve my book-picture-taking skills, and I think it would be a great way to discover new blogs. Cons: I might get addicted, and I’m kind of worried someone from my school would find it. But I think that’s sort of an irrational fear, right?
      Oh, wow, you have much more experience being an almost only child than me, haha. Any advice?
      Thank you so much!
      Oh yes, I agree with you. It’s always hard to get into the rhythm of studying and doing homework, but once you get there, it seems natural.
      Ahh, December! I think that’s my second favorite month after October, because I love the whole Christmas season.

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      • You’re welcome!
        List-based decision makers UNITE. Pros: those are some good reasons. Taking pictures of books with flowers is on my list of things to try. Cons: Yep, I get worried about getting addicted to things too. I think that’s why I read more than I watch stuff- I can love books without getting obsessed, but the line is easier to cross with movies and shows. I strongly dislike the feeling of being addicted to something. Being worried that somebody from school will see might be irrational, but it’s a fear I one hundred percent have too- I’ve only told one person at school about it, but that was only in passing too and I don’t think she even remembers.
        Haha, no advice here- except to just enjoy it? :))

        Liked by 1 person

        • Haha, YES. Thanks for the help, it was super nice to hear someone else’s opinions. I agree, flowers with books sounds amazing and worth trying. That’s so true! I get really obsessed when I’m watching a show, but the only book series I’m super obsessive about is Harry Potter, haha. I understand completely! A couple of my closest friends know, but still, I’m worried if I started a bookstagram it would show up in the recommended to follow section of people I know? Even though it’s anonymous, I guess someone could still find out. I don’t know, the fear is just still there.
          Haha, thanks, I will! XD

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ahh you’re welcome, I’m glad it was helpful. Hm wait, I change my mind. There are definitely books I’m obsessed about in the way that I will get immediately excited talking to anybody who has read them and I also tell people who haven’t to read them on a regular basis. I change my opinion to the stance that being obsessed with books is a different feeling that being obsessed with a show. The first feels healthier to me while the second could lead to major procrastination at any second. And yes, I very much know what you mean. Has one side of the pros and cons list outweighed the other since then?

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  4. This past week was the start of my college classes, thankfully though, the classes I have right now can all be done online, so I can avoid leaving my hole for some time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I start school in two days, and I’m not ready!! (I still have French summer homework- eek!) I read A LOT over the summer, but I know that I’m not going to be reading much when school starts. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    Also, I think it’s SUPER cool that you’re doing so much dance! I’ve always wanted to try dance, but I’m to busy, and I’m also a HUGE klutz. *shakes head sadly*
    Anyways, your August sounded pretty cool! (with the exception of school) (That rhymed! xD)
    Anyways, I hope you have a great September!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, two days! I hope your first day (and all the days following it) go really well.โค๏ธI never have much time to read when school starts either, which is sad, but makes me appreciate reading even more.
      Aww! I’m actually pretty clumsy when I’m not dancing (well, I’m always bumping into everything), I bet you could still be an amazing dancer. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You should give it a try someday!
      Thank you so much, and I hope your month goes amazingly!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome back to school!! It’s going to be tough balancing blogging, reading, academics, and extracurriculars, but we got this! Our time management skills this year will be off the charts โค Congrats on your blog's second birthday ^_^ That's an incredible accomplishment to be blogging for so long. What were your thoughts on The Raven Boys? I've been considering starting to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, thank you so much for the motivation, Tiffany! I believe in us. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, thank you very much, you’re so sweet.
      I would definitely go for it! I’ve only read the first two books, but the friendships are the BEST and they make me oh so happy. I already feel protective over all the characters, haha. I’d 11/10 recommend it!

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  7. OH I’m spotting The Raven Boys in your read books this month, yay! I really enjoyed reading this series. I also really want to read Summer of Salt at some point, it sounds like a sweet read and I am in love with that cover, too, haha ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m happy you managed to meet a lot of your goals this month, yay! I’m sorry to hear you’ve been feeling a bit stressed out about school and everything though – always here if you need to chat and you can do this!! โค โค
    I hope you'll have a wonderful September! โค

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  8. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THERE IS A NEW PENDERWICKS BOOK?? (sorry I’m really excited because that series was a huge part of my childhood too :)) I also have comfort books (for sure…) like the Mother Daughter Book Club series and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. ooh you should totally start a bookstagram, that would be really cool!
    wow you go back to school early! I haven’t started (yet) but I’m about to…yay (not really :))
    Good luck this month with school and blogging and I’m excited for a Harry Potter post (hopefully!)

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  9. I can totally relate in August being over. haha.
    I started school a few weeks ago, and honestly it has been a whirlwind of stress and busy-ness. I also just started the competition dance season, too so glad someone can relate!! happy September! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! August just isn’t my favorite month. Aww, I feel you completely with the stress of school, I hope it gets better soon.๐Ÿ’žAhh, that’s so cool! I don’t do competitive dance, but I really admire people who do. Best of luck in your competition season! Thank you, and I hope your September is the loveliest yet.

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  10. Ooh, I’m curious — how did you like the Raven cycle? And Summer of Salt? (I’ve heard a lot of great things about SoS!) And aahh I’m so happy that you’re super excited about dance! 15 hours sounds like a lot (it’s definitely more than I do haha) but it also sounds really fun!

    And yeeeeessss I just joined bookstagram and it’s so much fun and you DEFINITELY should join ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (If you have any questions about it, I can try my best to answer them, even if I haven’t really been there for too long!) And CONGRATS ON TWO YEARS OF BLOGGING!! I’m so happy I discovered your blog — it’s so much fun to read and I love talking to you โค

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    • So far, I’m really loving the Raven Cycle! I’m only on book two, but I absolutely love the friendships. I’m desperately in love with Gansey, Adam needs all the protection in the world, Noah is adorable, and Ronan…I LOVE POOR RONAN. And of course Blue is the best. Have you read it? (If you haven’t…I’m very sorry about all the character details you just had thrown at you.๐Ÿ˜‚) AND SUMMER OF SALT. It was my favorite read of the month, I loved it so much! Magical realism + sister relationships + the best love interest = amazing book. Ahh, thank you, I hope your dance is going amazing, too!

      AHHH, YOU HAVE NEARLY CONVINCED ME. I think I’m definitely going to probably join this month. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve been stalking your bookstagram through my personal account haha, and I LOVE IT. Ahh thank you so much- actually, I do have a question off the top of my head- how did you find bookstagrams to follow? Are they all blogs you follow or did you discover them another way? THANK YOU and thank you for this kind comment, you are the best.๐Ÿ’“

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      • Oh yes, I’ve definitely read the Raven Cycle! Ronan and Adam are my faves โค

        And YES!! I know your photos are going to be so beautiful โค (and omg thank you so much!) Oh yeah, a lot of the accounts I followed were people I knew from other online book places! Instagram also has a lot of suggestions for who to follow so I looked through those too :')

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  11. Omg Olivia The Penderwicks!!! I’ve read those books like a hundred times. I loved the conclusion and I’m so glad you did too! Summer of Salt and The Way the Light Bends are more recent favorites of mineโ€”what did you think of them? Lol I 100% agree with you about schoolโ€”back to school shopping is super exciting, but actually going to school…not so much. I go back tomorrow ahhh

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  12. I love reading your wrap ups! Good luck at school, I’m so thankful I get to be homeschooled this year so I have more time for reading, writing, and blogging. It’s awesome that you get to leave school early for dance!

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  13. 15 hours of dance a week is crazy, but that’s so awesome you love it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to dance in high school, and I still really miss it. Also why is back to school shopping awesome but the actual back to school part isn’t as fun? I hope the year goes well for you, though! And hopefully September is better than August.

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  14. I’M SO HAPPY YOU HAD A GOOD AUGUST!!! + slkdfjslds Raven Boys!!! *sobs* The month I binged that series will forever be a highlight for me, oh goshh. I wish I could forget the whole thing and read it again. Or at least the scene in book 1 in which Gansey’s car is broken down and ADam and Ronan come to his rescue!! WITH FOOD.

    And it’s so sad bc my sister doesn’t like the series?? when she told me I was crushED for days. BECAUSE? IT’S GANSEY AND HE IS HIGHLY LOVABLE!!! But she loves Foxhole Court so I forgave her, if she didn’t love Neil Josten it would have srsly been the last straw.

    And I’m so happy for you and dance!! and SCHOOL SUPPLY SHOPPING!! most of my lectures are easier to handle w my laptop, but I still buy notebooks just bcit’s so satisfying to open a new notebook and GEL PENS! c:

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    • Thank you, Malanie!โค๏ธAhh, I can’t wait to read the rest of the Raven Cycle. IT’S JUST TOO GOOD AND THE FRIENDSHIPS ARE TOO AMAZING. That scene was PERFECT, I will love Gansey and Adam and Ronan (and Noah and Blue) forever and ever.

      Aww, no! I understand not loving the books, but how could one NOT love Gansey?! In case you couldn’t tell I am extremely in love with Gansey currently. XD

      Thank youuuu! You’re the sweetest ever. Haha, I would feel strange going to class without a notebook, too, and new pens and pencils as well. I hope you have an amazing month!

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  15. I keep forgetting to read Summer of Salt but I will for sure remember so I can read it soon! You had such a great reading month! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with school (and dance), school’s started for me too. โค I'm nervous to see how well I can balance blogging, reading, and school ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. Ahhh Summer Of Salt looks so good and ALSO THE RAVEN BOYS WAIT UNTIL YOU READ BLUE LILY LILY BLUE YOU WILL FALL INCREDIBLY IN LOVE!!! Ahem anyways Gansey and Blue and Adam and Ronan and JUST MY CHILDREN. I know it’s late but hope you have a great September โค

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    • It is SO good! I hope you get to read it soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ AHH I CAN’T WAIT FOR IT, I think it’s the next one?! Haha, it did not take long at all for me to begin to absolutely love all the Raven Boys and Blue. Thank you Ilsa, you too!


  17. GOOD LUCK WITH SCHOOL, LOVELY! I just finished my first month in college and am pretty much dead LOL. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ I can feel my reading goals slipping from 5 a month to 2… Anyway, you’re making me really miss high school (cheer)dance. I can’t do college-level stuff because my bones will literally break. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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    • THANK YOU, AIMEE! Ahh, college, that is so exciting! I’m sorry it’s been stressful and busy though, I hope it looks up soon.๐Ÿ’“Wow, that’s so relatable, I hardly read at all in the school year. Awwe, I feel you! I doubt I’ll continue on in college, either. Have a great month!


  18. Congratulations on accomplishing so many of your goals! Ugh. Back to school is such a joy, isn’t it? Gotta love all the homework. But hey! Dance is awesome. I’m currently taking modern. I’ve only ever taken ballet before, so it’s pretty different, but I’m enjoying it. Ooh, yes please write another Harry Potter post! I love reading your thoughts about it. I hope you have a great September!!

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    • Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Agh, I know, right. *stares at the piles of homework around my room* True, dance is amazing! Ohh, I really like modern. Last year was my first year (I always just did ballet and jazz before that) and I’ve been loving it since then. I hope you enjoy it! Yay, I can’t wait for another Harry Potter post, either. Thank you, I hope your month is amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

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