July Recap // ft. lots of traveling, riverdale, & I made a cake for harry potter!!

July happened way too fast.

I know this is such a typical thing to say, but I genuinely can’t believe (and don’t want to believe) that it’s August. The month when school starts. The month when dance starts. The month that seemed really, really far away until I woke up and realized it’s here.

If you couldn’t tell, I have mixed feelings about August. On one hand, I do like fall and I’m eager to get back to dancing, but part of me isn’t ready to trade the freedom I had in summer for homework and studying. But this post isn’t about me wishing summer could start over again, it’s about recapping my July!

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July was a quintessential summer month. I did a lot of reading and blogging, went on a short trip, spent a lot of time with my family and friends, and overall enjoyed not having to adhere to a specific schedule!

It was slow and fast and lovely all at the same time, so without further ado, let’s get to the post. 😉

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I didn’t get to read *as* much as I did in June, but that’s okay! It was still a better reading month than I ever have during the school year. Thank you summer.

Overall, I ended up reading 11 books! Since I was traveling a little bit this month, I found that I often read multiple books in one day during a road trip and then would go a while without finishing a book, then binge read again.

Goodbye, PerfectFoolish HeartsWhen the Moon Was OursThe Forbidden WishRed, White & Royal BlueDriving by StarlightMy Life Next DoorAnger Is a GiftThe Art of French KissingIf There's No TomorrowThe Art of Breaking Things

I only reread one book this month (Foolish Hearts), which is good for me. I also read two fantasy books, something else that I consider an accomplishment!

I haven’t reviewed any of these books yet (I may have gotten very behind on reviews, oops) but I definitely will be reviewing a lot of them in the month(s) to come! I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to review Red, White, & Royal Blue since it is an adult book, but in case anyone was wondering, I did think it was just a phenomenal as everyone else seems to think. 😉

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How I Did on July Reading Goals:

  • Read 10 books ✅ yay, I exceeded
  • Go to the library ✅
  • Post once a week on bookstagram ❌
  • Stay active on bookstagram ✅ my most active month yet, I think!
  • Read 3 fantasies and a book of 1 other genre besides contemporary ❌
  • Clean out my Goodreads TBR ❌ I should do this soon…

My August Reading Goals:

  • Read 8 books
  • Go to the library
  • Post 5 times on bookstagram
  • Clean out my Goodreads TBR
  • Buddy read??

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I’ll be starting school just a couple weeks into August still in denial about this so it’s going to be harder to keep up with my reading goals, but I’m determined to do my best! I’m hoping the schoolwork won’t hit really hard until September, and even with my busy schedule, I want to make staying on top of my reading a huge goal.

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I truly wish every month of blogging could be like July was for me.

This was my one full month of posting twice a week regularly, and I have to say, I love it! Being able to put out more content and interact more was seriously the best. Sadly, I start school in a mere 15 days, so I only have two more weeks of this summer schedule before it’s time to return to once-a-week posting and potentially less interaction.

But! I’m so happy I got to have this month, because it was amazing, thanks to y’all. I was able to post 8 times (I only missed one day) which is one of my all-time highs for posting!

A few fun blogging things happened this month that I’m still screaming about, so I figured, why not scream about them in this recap, too??

First of all, I was able to collab with the utterly amazing Lily to do book recommendations for Harry Potter characters. I did a post about the Marauders over on her blog, and she did a wonderful post about Hermione, Ginny, and Luna (literally. all. icons.) on my blog! I love collabs and Harry Potter and Lily, and it was an honor to have her on my blog.

Secondly, I was nominated for two (two??) book blogger awards, and I seriously can’t thank you enough.💓 Every time I read a post where someone nominated me, I truly felt so much joy and love and (not going to lie) I teared up every time.

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I really can’t say thank you as many times as I want to!! (Clearly I will try though.) So…thank you, you’re all amazing, I love you, and there’s a gif of Taylor Swift saying it too because you all deserve to hear it from her, too.

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How I Did on July Blogging Goals:

  • Mostly stay on schedule ✅ I love me for saying ‘mostly’
  • Do a tag ✅
  • Bookish discussion post ✅
  • Blog hop MORE ✅
  • Do some blogging housekeeping things ❌ that’s a goal for early August!

August Blogging Goals:

  • Blogging housekeeping things
  • My exciting posts I have planned *waggles eyebrows*
  • Do a tag, finally!
  • Some mini reviews, too
  • Stay on summer schedule until I go back to school
  • Blog hop as much as possible

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As I said earlier, I will sadly be posting less this August and in all the months to come, due to reverting back to my normal blogging schedule. I also think that I’ll be much less active in the later part of August, but come what may.

Thank you all again for the most wonderful July here on the blogosphere!

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Life this month was, to say the least, very summer-y.

I did lots of reading, lots of relaxing with friends, some traveling, and discovered a lot of new music that I’m now obsessed with. A few of my highlights included:

  • Visiting my grandmother’s house. I was able to visit my grandma this month! I had a really great time at her house (we watched lots of Golden Girls + Frasier, which I love), ate good Southern food, and I got to see my friend who lives near her. It was just a really relaxing trip, plus we got to do real fireworks! (It’s illegal where I live to set them off yourself.)
  • My trip to Nashville! I went to…Nashville?? It was tons of fun and I do have a post coming about it soon, so more details to come on that. 😉
  • Taylor Swift’s new song came out!! The Archer is officially my favorite song on Lover so far. The lyrics are beautiful, utterly Taylor, and I am in love with it, okay?? Just. wow. gonna go listen to it now.
  • I made a cake for Harry Potter. This actually happened today (me, writing a post the day before it gets published?? no, this can’t be), but in honor of Harry Potter’s birthday, my older sister and I recreated the cake Hagrid gives Harry. It was delicious AND fun.

IMG_6751Image result for CAKE HAGRID GIVES HARRY

The difference between our cake (left) and Hagrid’s cake (right)?? Nah, no difference whatsoever…ahem. I feel as if I should become a professional cake decorator after this breakthrough in cake design.

  • I watched a lot of Riverdale. My best friend and I are watching Riverdale together (we’re only just started on season 3, so no spoilers please!) and I really love it! Yes, I’m a scaredy cat so I sometimes get creeped out, and yes it can be really unrealistic, but I love the cast and the characters and I’m really invested at this point.
  • Also Queer Eye! Only the most heartwarming and adorable show on Netflix…if you’re not watching it, go watch it!!
  • Hanging out with friends, again. I know right, I’ve said this in a lot of recaps recently, but it’s so true!! I’ve gotten to hang out with a lot of friends this month (and have gone to our local coffee shop way too many times) but it has been!! the!! best!!! I love my friends so much.

I really have my fingers crossed that August is going to be a good month for me. I can’t lie, I’m nervous for going back to school and part of me is dreading it, but the other part of me is hoping that it’s the start of a good year?

I also get to start back to the dance season (and fall is my favorite semester for dance because of our company’s fall show!) and I’m beyond excited to see my friends every day again and dance with them. Plus, I do have a couple more weeks of freedom to do any last-minute summer adventures, so I have that to look forward to!

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There we have it, a recap of my July. I can’t believe I’m writing this post and that July is over. Actual insanity. Overall, it was a really nice month, and I’m hoping that you had a great month as well! There’s most definitely a lot to look forward to in the month ahead of us.

Here’s to a wonderful August and a wonderful day for all of you!✨

How was your July? Tell me about it! Do you like the new Taylor Swift song? What show are you obsessed with? Did you celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday, or was that just me? I’d love to talk with you in the comments.

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Credits for the image in my featured image >> Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

70 thoughts on “July Recap // ft. lots of traveling, riverdale, & I made a cake for harry potter!!

  1. Wonderful wrap up, love! I always have super mixed feelings about August as well, but I am excited to enjoy a few plans I’ve made this month! I’m gonna try to end summer with a bang! Haha. I LOVE the cake you baked for Harry, and congrats on achieving so many of your goals! That’s awesome! And you absolutely deserve the nominations for the awards! ❤

    Wishing you the happiest of Augusts!

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  2. Your July sounded so fun and interesting!! Ngl though, I came to read this coz of that Harry Potter cake! I mean, I also read the other stuff but I was mostly here for the cake! What flavour was it? 😝 You did a wonderful job of decorating it hehe.

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  3. Sounds like a good month! (psst you should share a playlist of ur fav songs) I was conflicted about whether or not I liked the Archer, but I think so 🙂 I was assigned to write something related to it for the Symphony of Words contest. OMGoodness the hp cake is amazinggg 🙌

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  4. It seems like you have a great July, Olivia! I didn’t managed to read a lot either this month, but it’s more than my total read in the recent months. Blogging though… 🤦 Anyways, I hope you’ll have an equally great August and have an amazing school year ahead! ✨

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  5. Yes, I love Taylor’s new song though “You Need to Calm Down” is still my favorite song on Lover. OHMYGOSH OHMYGOSH OHMYGOSH YOUR CAKE IS INCREDIBLE! I would have LOVED to bake Harry a birthday cake but I am a horrible baker but if I was as amazing at it as you are I’d definitely do that. Hmmm, as to what TV show I’m currently obsessed with……well there’s Battlestar Galactica (the new one) but I’m kinda always obsessed with that. I’ve been watching a lot of NCIS and I’ve almost finished six seasons but there are seventeen so I’m thinking after season six I might try a new show. Any recommendations? I have Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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    • It’s so hard to choose between YNTCD and The Archer, ahh. I think I have to choose The Archer but I still love YNTCD. 😉 AHH, THANK YOU. Oh my gosh, trust me, you definitely could have made it- it was just cake mix from a box and frosting from a can with some food coloring in it. XD Hmm, Netflix recs…well, some of my favorite shows are Friends, Gilmore Girls, The Office, and Glee, so if you haven’t watched one of those, that’s what I would recommend. I hope you have an amazing August, McKayla! ❤

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  6. I’m so happy that you had such a good blogging month for July!! And you totally deserve being nominated for the awards ❤ ❤ Of course… you already know this, but I am very here for the fact that you read The Forbidden Wish. AND THAT HARRY POTTER CAKE IS SO ACCURATE WHAAT. I do not have the baking skills!!!

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  7. I loved reading this!! I haven’t watched Harry Potter but I definitely want that cake rnn. Also school in August? I start early September so another month of vacation here I come! 😂 Good luck on all your goals and have a great July!

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  8. I’m glad to hear that your July was good!
    I’m sorry to hear you’re going back to school – IT is honestly so stressful, why can’t summer last forever??
    I love your cake so much! It is beautiful!
    -Emma 🙂

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  9. I don’t like the new Taylor Swift song though the memes are funny. Whenever my friends i sing the chorus: “You Need To Calm Down, you’re being too loud!”. I was on camp for Harry’s birthday but I watched Order of the Phoenix yesterday (as soon as I got back). As a Slytherin, I’m very ambitious, and have set more than a few goals for the month! Good luck with your’s. I go back to school in September but i haven’t been on break for as long.
    Happy August to you too!

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  10. I can’t believe July is over either like how!?!?! But I am glad you had a good month as you were certainly able to read lots of books!! I enjoyed Red, White and Royal Blue too. I would also love to read Anger is A Gift as well– it sounds like a great story!!
    Well done for your nominations for the book blogging awards– that’s amazing and so well deserved!! 💛
    It sounds like you have had a lovely summer– it sounds like a nice trip to your grandma’s house and the food and fireworks sound amazing!!
    That Harry Potter cake looks amazing– so similar to the original!! I am sure it tasted amazing as well!! You should definitely become a cake decorator now!!
    Best of luck with going back to school and I hope you have a great August!! 💛

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    • For real, it went by so fast! Ahh, thank you so much, my friend.❤️I really enjoyed Anger is a Gift, it was a powerful read and did not disappoint me in the least!
      Aww, thank you, Sophie! That means so much to me, you’re the absolute kindest.🤗
      Haha, cake decorating is now a career I think I could excel in…I’m totally kidding, but I did have fun with it, haha. Thank you very much Sophie, I’m wishing you the best August!

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  11. I’m so glad to hear you had such an awesome month! Unfortunately, July has seen me fall into a blogging and all around writing and energy slump, but I hope to kick its butt soon! Also I have been reading and loving all your posts, even if I haven’t been commenting so often!

    I can’t believe you went to Nashville?!?! That is a place I would truly LOVE to visit, I will be eagerly awaiting you post cupping my face in my hands. 😁😁😁

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    • You got this, Becky! I’m cheering for you this month (& always, of course), I hope things look up for you in August. ❤ Thank you so much, you're the sweetest!

      Ahh, that makes me really excited to hear! *twirls around*

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  12. Awwww you read so many amazing books in July, I wish you all the best with your August TBR! 😊 UM YES I ADORE THE ARCHER, it’s my fave track so far as well! It’s so delicate & soft & just so…beautiful?! CAN’T WAIT FOR THE FULL ALBUM THIS MONTH EEP 😱

    Hope you have a fantastic August!

    💛 Ngoc

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    • Thank you, Ngoc! ❤ Ohh my gosh, I agree with you so much!! I seriously can't stop listening to The Archer, and it makes me a little emotional every time because the lyrics are so vulnerable. I can't wait for Lover either, ahh, only 19 more days whattt??

      Thank you, I hope your August is wonderful as well!

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  13. Yaaas, I’m so happy you made the cake!! It looks absolutely AMAZING! I’m in such denial about school starting at the end of August, it’s almost comical. I’m blocking all of it from my mind and just trying to enjoy the time I have left (lol that sounds super morbid but whatever).

    I haven’t heard the new Taylor Swift song yet, but my friend is already raving about it so I’ll have to listen soon. Hope you have a great August!

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    • Haha, I’m really glad I did! Thank you for the extra push to do it.😂Okay, I completely relate to that- sadly, my school starts so soon that it HAS to infiltrate my thoughts now because back-to-school shopping and last minute studying, but ya know, I can try to ignore it anyway.

      Ooh, let me know what you think of it when you do listen to it! Thank you so much, I hope you have an incredible August as well.

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  14. i NEED to read red, white & royal blue!! but i’m am so scARED BECAUSE HYPE and HIGH EXPECTATIONS (I want to love it so BADLY) and they need to be loweredddddddd. to the ground. so i can be positively surprised and overflow with adoration. which is what i want! good luck in school + THAT HARRY POTTER CAKE LOOKS LIKE HAGRID CAKES TWIN. i seem to see double totally out of the blue lol. For real, this is so cool and 100% fills my fangirl heart with joy!!

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    • I KNOW, the hype surrounded Red, White, & Royal Blue is extreme, but I hope you can read it anyway and that it doesn’t disappoint.🤗Ahh, thank you so much!! (I’m always here to fill everyone’s inner Harry Potter fangirl heart with joy.) I hope you have a wonderful August, Janina!

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  15. Wow you read some truly amazing books in July! I’m glad you agree that Red White and Royal Blue is phenomenal 😉 And that Harry Potter cake is beautiful!! I hope you get to make the most of the rest of your summer before going back to school ☺️☀️

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  16. i did try watching riverdale…the first season was pretty decent! and then i couldn’t even finish season 2 because i found it too cringey ahah. i’m genuinely in love with archer, unlike the previous 2 singles, and it makes me so excited for her album!!! i am obsessed with stranger things season 3 because it was just SO GOOD.

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    • Haha, it’s definitely not for everyone. I’m watching it with my best friend so we have fun laughing at the cringey parts.😂Yes, I really do love The Archer more than her other songs and I’m hyped for Lover!! Ah, everyone I know seems to be watching Stranger Things, I’m just too scared to watch it lol. Hope you have an awesome August, Ilsa!

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  17. college re-starts from me this monday and so i feel you. it felt like i had so much time once july started and i can’t believe it’s already over. i wasn’t as productive as i wanted to, but i feel like winter break is always a bit of a mess for me, since i’m only productive with deadlines, lol. but i’m glad you did enjoy your july so much, posting & reading & hanging out with friends!
    (also, congrats on your nomination!!! you deserve it so much ❤️)
    i loved archer as well and i’m so excited for lover. i’ve already seen some people posting about the secret sessions in london this weekend and it made me super jealous (obv) but also super happy that we’re closer and closer from this album. plus, everyone says how emotional and great it is, so i’m even more excited now.
    i feel the exact same way you do about riverdale. sure, the show has its problems; it’s not the best written thing i’ve ever seen and some it’s indeed unrealistic, but i also find it to be so addictive. i’ve watched season 2 on netflix literally in two days and i can not wait until s3 is available there as well. (at least in brazilian netflix, lol). jughead and betty are my favorite characters. what about you?
    wishing you an amazing august and all the luck on getting back to school & dance! plus, your harry potter cake is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I hope your first day back is going well today!💖I definitely relate to never fully taking advantages of my breaks, but at the same time, I’m okay with it because I know relaxation is the most important thing.
      Aww, thank you very much!!
      Seeing everything about the secret sessions got me so excited, eek. Even though part of me is always a *little* sad that I know there’s no way Taylor would ever find me and know how much I love her, it makes me happy that she’s kind enough to do this kind of thing for her fans.
      Yes, it is SO addictive! I have to say that season 3 has a really weird plot and if I didn’t know they were making a season 4 (that they say is going to be more like season 1) I might have stopped watching?? But the Bughead in s3 is so, SO cute and I’m so invested in all the characters at this point. Jughead and Betty are my faves, too! I also love Cheryl just because she’s so over-the-top and always makes me laugh.
      Thank you so much!! I hope going back to college goes so well for you.🤗

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  18. I love that you made a cake for Harry’s birthday. I really should do that some year. I had an HP themed birthday party for myself this summer, and on Harry’s actual birthday, I went to a party at my local library with fun snacks and trivia! So yes, I celebrated Harry’s birthday!!! I hope school will be good for you this year – it’s never fun to realize summer is coming to an end. Sounds like you had a great July though, so yay!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    • That sounds so fun! My library had a similar event a few years ago, and I remember it being so exciting- I wore my Hogwarts robes and they had owls there and it was a great celebration.✨Thank you so much, Lauren! I hope you have an incredible August. ❤

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  19. August has gone by so so fast, and I’m not sure where the time went! 😫 But I’m glad to see that you read so many books! That’s awesome! If you do decide to review RWRB, I would love to read it! I’m scared to read the book though, since it’s technically Adult or NA, but we’ll see if I decide to or not!

    I’m also starting school again soon, and I am very much not ready. Hopefully it’s not that bad, but I’m really worried I won’t be able to read at all this next semester!

    Congrats on being able to post so much! July seems like it was so successful for you! I also posted about the same amount, but I somehow felt like I should have done more 😅 But then I realized that I spent a lot of time and effort on those posts, so I guess 8 posts isn’t bad at all for me!

    But oh my goodness, how did I miss your collaboration with Lily?? I will immediately go and read that post! I love the Marauders! 😊 And I also adored seeing your cake! It looks so good! My sister and I have a tradition of making cakes every time we watch the last episode of a show we love together (like Merlin and Lost), but I think your cake has our skills beat! 😂

    Anyways, I hope you have a wonderful rest of the month of August, Olivia! Good luck with school starting, and I can’t wait to see those posts you have planned! 💕

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    • I really don’t know either! It seems like just the other day we were welcoming in 2019, and now we’re over halfway done.🙈I definitely didn’t realize RW&RB wasn’t YA until I was trying to find it at the library? I will say that parts of it were pretty adult, which is why I’m likely not going to review it, but I don’t regret reading it and I’m glad I checked it out anyway, if that helps with your decision at all.

      I hope going back to school goes really well for you! I’m stressed about the lack of reading time too, but we got this. *high fives* I’m just going to try and remember that my focus should be school, and it’s okay if blogging and reading have to take a step back.

      Thank you so, so much! Aww, no, you did amazing this month, and I really loved reading all of your posts.❤️

      The Marauders are like the OG friend squad and I’m always here for them. (Reading Marauders tumblr posts gives me life.) Haha, thanks! That’s such an awesome tradition, wow! Oh my gosh, no, trust me, my cake skills are close to nonexistent…this was cake from a box, frosting from a can kind of skills going on here. XD

      Thank you, you’re so kind! I hope back to school goes well for you too. Have an amazing August!

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  20. I’m wishing you all of the best for August, Olivia and hope that it has been and will be a GREAT month for you! ❤ ❤
    You've read some amazing books in July AHH DID YOU ENJOY THE FORBIDDEN WISH AHHHH I am screaming I adore this book so much. And yay for Red, White and Royal Blue, such a great read! I also really enjoyed My Life Next Door 🙂
    Sending you all the love ❤

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    • Thank you so much, Marie! I was so happy to see your name pop up, I hope your travels were amazing this month. ❤️
      YES, I LOVED IT. It was seriously AMAZING and I’m still not over it!! (I now have a massive crush on Aladdin.) Ooh, I’m so glad to hear you liked My Life Next Door because I unexpectedly ADORED it!! Thinking back, I bet I got the recommendation from your blog, so thank you for that. 🤗
      Right back at you! *virtual hug*

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  21. YES QUEER EYE, MY LOVE 💖💖 I’ve only watched two eps of the new season and I am so ashamed!! But aahh I know it’s almost September, but I’m glad you had a great July ❤ I'm SO so happy to hear that you loved RW&RB and I'm really excited to hear your thoughts on When the Moon Was Ours, since it's one of my favorites! But also, it's so relatable that July was a great blogging month for you and then August was just Not as much — school really just eats away all our time and energy 😭💕

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    • I ADORE IT. I haven’t watched any of the new season because I’m still on season 3, but I can’t wait to watch it, ahh. I might have already asked you this, but who is your favorite from the Fab 5? Mine is Tan, but I love them all.💖RW&RB was such a high quality book, don’t mind me still sobbing over it literal months after I read it. *cries* Agh, I know…school, why do you do this to me?? I hope you have a wonderful September!☺️

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