2019 Recap // The Best of Books, Blogging, Life Events, & My Goals for 2020!!

Happy New Year, everyone!

While part of me doesn’t quite feel like it should already be 2020 (kind of still feel as if it’s 2015, anyone else agree?), another part of me is incredibly excited that it’s a new year. I have a good feeling about this year and about this decade in general- somehow, I think it’s going to be a year to remember.

On top of all the new year feels, I’m very excited to be doing a wrap-up post for 2019! This year has (mostly) been good to me, and I’m looking forward to taking a look back at what I read, what I blogged, and what’s happened in my life since we last did a full-on recap back in January of last (!!) year.

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I also want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the goals that I set in last year’s recap and hold myself accountable for what I did and didn’t accomplish, as well as set new goals for 2020. Literally, this is crazy. Twenty. twenty. I’m also going to be thanking you all for being the most amazing, wonderful blogging friends that could ever have existed- but we’ll get to that later. 😉

For the first time in 2020, let’s get into the post!

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I’m so happy with how this year went reading-wise! I may have dropped the ball on keeping up with reading once school started back up, but I still read enough during the summer to make up for it. I was able to discover a lot of new books (thank you, book blogging community), reread old favorites, and add to my ever-growing to be read stack.

I did complete my Goodreads challenge! I ended up going over my allotted amount by 11 books, so I was excited about that. This meant I read much more than I did last year, since I set 2019’s goal based on how much I read in 2018.

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This is just a small snippet of my Year in Books (according to Goodreads)! I was looking back at my yearly recap post from last year and I think it’s funny that Order of the Phoenix is again the longest book I’ve read. I guess that’s what happens when you reread the same book every year.

I already talked a lot about my favorite books of the year a couple days ago in a post, but I’m going to put the top five here, just because they deserve all the love and appreciation and I really think you should all read them if you haven’t already.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoFamous in a Small TownRadio SilenceEmmy & Oliver

Part of me also wants to expose the most disappointing books I read this year (because I didn’t hate any of them, I was just let down), but I feel as if I would feel too bad about doing that in a post. Maybe next year? Or maybe never.

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I made reading goals for myself at the beginning of 2019, and to be quite honest, I haven’t referred back to them since. Let’s see how badly I failed? It’s possible I completed some of them by default, but I most definitely should have been more vigilant.

  • Read 75 books. ✅ Yes! That was my original Goodreads challenge, which I later upped to 85 books, which I ended up exceeding by reading a total of 96 books.
  • Keep track on Goodreads. ✅ Honestly, Goodreads is my best friend. I love it so much and it makes it so easy to keep track of the many books I’ve read and want to read!
  • Utilize Goodreads for rating & reviewing books. ✅❌ I did start rating the books I read for the first time this year, so I get the check for that. However, I didn’t write any reviews on GR, which is sad.
  • Continue to grow my bookstagram. ✅❌ Another check/X because while I did grow it, I should have done a lot more. That’s one of my main goals for the upcoming year though, and I’m planning to revive it and focus more on bookstagram!
  • Read more fantasy. ✅ I’m branching out?? Little by little!!
  • Read more outside my comfort zone. ❌ Yes, I read more fantasy, but it was all YA and I don’t think I extended myself the way I could have.
  • Decide if I want to look into ARCs. ✅ I did decide not to get into ARCs. I actually wrote an entire post about why I’m not going to do this about six months ago, but I never published it because I got too scared. Maybe I’ll talk more about it in 2020?

I’m actually proud of what I was able to accomplish with my reading this year! That’s not to say there weren’t slumps, but overall, I’m happy with everything I read (and didn’t read). Here are my goals for 2020, which I’m hoping will be a big part of this year!

  • Read 85 books
  • Keep track on Goodreads (with ratings)
  • Write reviews on Goodreads (at least 10)
  • Get 600 followers on bookstagram and post regularly
  • Read at least 5 classics
  • Read at least 10 fantasy books
  • Email my favorite authors

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I need to start off this section by thanking you. Yes, you reading this. When I think about what I’m thankful for, one of the items near the top of the list is that I’m able to blog on this corner of the Internet and interact with such amazing people.

I’m so, so glad I get to share my passion for reading with people who share my love for books. I’m still not exactly sure why anyone cares enough to actually read my blog, but I’m so happy that people do?? My blog brings such joy into my life, and so do all the people I get to share it with- so from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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The amount of times I’ve used a Taylor Swift gif to say thank you…way too many. But will I ever stop? Probably not, because I love saying thank you (and y’all are so amazing that I know I will always be saying it) and I love Taylor Swift.

Besides me thanking you all (and actually sitting over here crying about how lucky I am to have this blog), the other way I wanted to acknowledge this year of blogging is by talking about the most popular posts of the year. In other words- the ones that y’all enjoyed the most!

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It made me very happy to see that these six posts were my most popular of the year because I vividly remember loving them all! What I gather from this is that y’all enjoy my discussion posts? I will most definitely keep that in mind while writing content for 2020. 😉

Before I go on to my blogging goals from last year and for this year, a few of my blogging highlights this year included:

  • Receiving the Best Small Book Blogger Award in the 2019 Book Blogger Awards was such an honor and even after a few months, I’m STILL crying!! Thank you again for this, because it meant the world and still does.💗
  • I was able to do a lot of collabs with bloggers I admire this year! It was truly an honor to work with bloggers I adore to create content. (I know I just said honor. But I just genuinely feel honored, okay?)
  • Finally, in January of 2019, I created the Wonderstruck Book Tag, which is a tag that combines Taylor Swift songs with books! I never expected people to actually participate, but they DID, and it made my heart so happy to read all of the posts I got tagged in. The outpouring of love was amazing, and I am so grateful for that!

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Now for the fun part, seeing how good or bad I did on my goals! (And setting new ones. That’s a little more fun than the looking-back-on-my-failures part.)

  • Continue with blogging schedule for the most part. ✅ Did I take hiatuses? Of course, life is crazy. But I think I can give a check on this part because I didn’t expect myself to be perfect, I just expected myself to try my best, and I did.
  • Reach 700 followers.❌ Close, but not there. But I’m very proud of the growth that did occur on my blog this year, I’m grateful for each and every one of you, and I am really okay with not meeting this goal!
  • Reach 100 comments on a post twice.❌ Same spiel as for the one before. XD I’m very pleased with the comments I did get, and the number doesn’t matter to me as much as I think it did at the start of 2019.
  • Get 450 views on a post. ❌ Once again, see above.
  • Take hiatuses if I need to. ✅ I am disappointed that I had to take so many hiatuses this year- I missed out on a lot of potential blogging and I know I did stunt my growth. However, they were necessary and I’m proud of myself for knowing that I needed to take step back.
  • Continue to interact. ✅❌ I was doing so well on this at the beginning of the year and in the summer, but it’s incredibly hard for me to do during the school year. I’d say I did okay at this.
  • Be proud of all my posts. ✅ I took my hiatuses so that I could continue to be proud of my posts and put quality over quantity.
  • Reply to all comments in a timely manner. ✅ Sometimes I could have been more timely. But I wouldn’t say I was ever…un-timely.

Maybe I didn’t do the best on my goals this year, but that just motivates me even more to set attainable goals for 2020 that still help me grow as a blogger!

  • Keep my blogging schedule
  • Freshen up my blog look
  • Change my blog buttons page to more of a friends page
  • Interact (set a schedule for when I’m interacting so I don’t fall behind)
  • Reply to all comments within three weeks
  • Take hiatuses if I need to
  • Reach 1k followers
  • Improve my stats (while remembering that stats aren’t everything)

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I must say, 2019 was a good year. That doesn’t mean it was without its hard parts, because no year ever is, but when I look back on it I think I’m going to remember the good times over the bad, and it’s been much better than the last few years have been for me. All that to say, of course I’m looking forward to a new, fresh start.

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That’s an accurate depiction of me dancing into the new year, even though I’m not even a huge Ariana Grande fan and it’s never, ever going to snow where I live. XD

As I usually do in my monthly recap posts, I’m going to mention a few of the best parts of my year! I’m probably going to miss a lot of the small moments that contributed to it being a wonderful year for me, but these are just the main ideas.

  • Taylor Swift’s album Lover came out! I mean, is anything better than your favorite artist releasing new music? I can’t really say much more, except that I adore this album and the aesthetic surrounding it.
  • I went to Nashville! I took a trip to Nashville, TN over the summer and it was such a lovely time. I had so much fun!
  • My friends. This one is vague, but I’m truly so grateful for the friendships I have formed and strengthened this year. I don’t usually talk about things like this on my blog, since it’s a book blog, but I genuinely haven’t felt surrounded by this much love and friendship in a long time, and it’s given me a lot of peace.
  • Dance! So…I never stop dancing. But I love it so much. This year has brought growth, new experiences, new teachers, new friends, new choreography, new dance styles, and lots of joy.
  • I’ve discovered new shows I love. I’ve become very obsessed with Stranger Things and Riverdale this year, and reason why this makes my yearly highlights is because it’s allowed me become even closer with my very best friend, since we watched them together and get to share our obsession.

I’m very grateful for all my blessings this year, and I hope there will be new memories made in 2020 and when I write my recap post next year (hello, future self) I’ll have even more joy to share.

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I surprised myself when I read the 2019 recap post and saw I made life goals for myself, because I didn’t think I had! I’m not going to be sharing more in-depth on the goals from last year because, honestly, I didn’t accomplish them in the way I wish I had, and I don’t want to be negative in this post.

However, I’m feel very inspired (as is easy at the start of a year) so I will be setting new goals that I hope I will be able to reflect on next year!

  • Work on my self-confidence
  • Do my one second every day for the entire year
  • Work on my relationship with God
  • Incorporate more self-care into my daily routine

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That concludes my recap of 2019! I feel ready for the new year in a way I haven’t felt before. It seems almost magical? I’m not quite sure how to explain it. Even though I know this year is going to be difficult school-wise (and probably dance-wise, which will then make it harder to blog and read), I have very high hopes. After all, I get to choose my outlook every day, so I can put a positive twist on whatever comes my way.

I really, really, truly, and from the bottom of my heart hope you all have a phenomenal year! I believe in you, you got this, and you are amazing. Happiest of new years to all.✨

How was your year? Tell me about it! What are your goals, and are you feeling excited for the new year, too? I’d love to talk with you in the comments.

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Credits for the image in my featured image >> Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

52 thoughts on “2019 Recap // The Best of Books, Blogging, Life Events, & My Goals for 2020!!

  1. Ahhhh happy new year!!! Honestly I am just. Still in shock. And congratulations on reading so many books this year!!! Especially if you based it off last years… it’s a real achievement. My cousin was bragging about how many books she read this year and spoiler alert- you and I both beat her solidly.

    I’ve become a lot less obsessed with comment and views as well over the year!! I value the people who consistently interact with me (like you!!) much more than new ones, and I’m glad I’ve realised that.

    Yessss SoC made it onto your favourites!!! I did something right!!! And TRC has definitely made it onto mine – thank you. On a slightly related note – I’ve just started Call Down The Hawk and the Adam and Ronan content is already happening and I am here for it.

    I’m so glad that we’ve gotten to know each other even more this year….. wait last year 😂 I keep doing that! Anyway, I can’t wait for what 2020 holds and I love talking to you xx

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    • Happy new year, Rhi!! I can’t believe it’s actually 2020 either- that just sounds so old and?? I still want it to be my childhood. Thank you so much! Haha, congrats to you as well on all your reading accomplishments.💗

      That’s an amazing attitude! I feel the same way. I still enjoy stats and would like for my posts to do well, but as you said, I really just love to interact with people and make connections.

      Haha, yes it most definitely did! (A reread is in order soon.) I’m SO happy you loved TRC. I’m rereading it still and am SUCH a puddle of feels. (Ronan just gave Adam the lotion and Blue is calling Gansey up in the dead of night and I am absolutely dead.) Oh my gosh, I’m so happy to hear that! Keep me updated. XD

      Me too! It’s been one of the highlights of my blogging career. You’re such a wonderful person, Rhi! Here’s to many more of our comment conversations in the future.✨

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  2. I loved reading this post Olivia – recaps and reflections are always my fave posts (so this time of year is always my blogging fave ;).
    Six of Crows is definitely my favourite book of 2019 – I’ve been (nicely) shouting at everyone to read it, even my non-reader friends because it’s just insane!!
    It seems like you had such a good year though & I hope 2020 is amazing!!💗

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    • Thank you, Emme! I love them too- I’ve been bingeing everybody’s recaps today and I have to admit, it’s been a really nice time.💖
      It’s so good, right? I recommended it to some of my friends IRL as well. It just deserves to be in everyone’s life, at least that’s my opinion, haha.
      Thank you again, I really did! I hope your 2020 is the most wonderful yet yet!

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  3. Happy New Year and all the best for 2020! 2019 wasn’t a great year for me but I feel strangely excited about 2020. My main goals for this year are to focus on improving my sewing skills, gain more experience in costuming making, blog more regularly and consistently, get back into drawing and maybe start writing a book! 📖💛

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  4. Olivia, this was such a great post! I’m so glad that you had a great year, look at all those books and all those goals and just everything, honestly! You seem to be thriving and I’m so thrilled for you ❤

    This year was a bit of a weird year for me, honestly, and I still don't know how to feel about it, haha. Especially with reading and life, I guess. While 2019 was my best reading year in terms of number of books I read, I actually didn't find many favourite books, which really sucks 😦

    Ahhh Lover was so good! I'm not a Taylor Swift stan, but I really liked the album and I'm glad it met your expectations :))

    I'm catching up on all the blog posts I miss, so off I go to read more! Hope you're having a great day love ❤

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    • Ahh, Taasia, thank you so much! Wow, you’re actually the sweetest ever.😭💓I’m very grateful I found your blog (I think it was through the Book Blogging Awards) this year, because it’s been a pleasure reading your posts and talking with you.

      I get that! Aww, I’m sorry you didn’t find many new favorites. Hopefully that means you’ll find many new faves this year??

      IT IS SO GOOD! Haha, I get so excited when it comes to Taylor Swift. I could probably talk about her music for at least a year’s worth of posts…but I won’t. XD I’m glad you enjoyed it too!

      Yay, have fun with all your blog post reading! I gave up a little on being caught up, so I admire you doing so, haha. Thank you again for this very kind comment! I hope 2020 is brilliant for you☺️

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  5. Looks like you had a great year! I’m still back in 2017 (I was only nine for the majority of 2015 so it’s not as clear in my mind). Yay, Lover! That’s one of my favorite albums of all time.
    It looks like you read some great books and new fandoms are always great!
    Harry Potter! Great books (Umbridge is one of my most hated characters of all time…..).
    It looks like you did great on all of your goals! Happy 2020!

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    • Haha, I love that. Yes, I’m most definitely in a little bit of shock that it’s actually 2020! Ahh, Lover IS so amazing, and one of my favorites too. I’m very grateful that 2019 brought us this masterpiece. 😉
      Yes, yes, yes!
      Oh, Umbridge is such a hated character. I think the reason why I can hate her with such abandon is because we never get a backstory or any reason to feel sorry for her, and it doesn’t seem like she has a motive other than to just…be an evil person? Ugh, I hate her so much, even more than Voldemort sometimes.
      Thank you so much! Happy new year to you.

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      • Yes. I love ALL of the songs on Lover. It’s one of her best albums!
        Exactly. Also maybe she’s more realistic. It’s rare to fight an evil wizard but most of us have had a bad teacher. But, yes, she had no backstory. Whereas other villains have a tragic past or something. Y’know, a reason to be bad.

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  6. Sounds like you had an amazing 2019! And wow- you read 96 books, that’s a lot, and I hope you enjoyed each one of them. Hopefully in 2020 you reach another goal that you’re happy with! Just from reading your blog, I’ve seen that you’ve grown tremendously and I hope that you reach even more milestones!!

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  7. I love your positive attitude! YES, let’s make 2020 amazing!! 😀 2019 for me was a life changing year and even though there were bad times (every year always has to have some bad lol), like you, I believe the good times won out in the end. Also 100 percent, Taylor Swift’s Lover album was a definite highlight of the year! I hope you accomplish all your goals and have a great 2020! ❤

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    • Thank you, Jai Lynn! I really do hope this year is amazing.💗I’m glad to hear that the good times won out for you, that’s always what makes a year enjoyable. (: Ahh, Lover was such a highlight and I’ll never forget that happening this year, haha! Thank you again, and the same goes to you. Happy new year!

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  8. I hope you have a Happy New Year and an amazing 2020, Olivia, and that you reach all your goals!! I’m glad that your 2019 was mostly positive (and I’m glad that Taylor Swift released Lover this year and that it’s so amazing because as Spotify told me over… I listened to her Very Much this year lmaooo), and 96 books is amazing! Also I’m so glad that you created the Wonderstruck tag wow that feels like so long ago I can’t believe it was this year?? but I think that’s how I found your blog and MY LIFE HAS BEEN BETTER SINCE ❤ ❤

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    • Thank you so much, Kay! I hope the same for you.💞Haha, I mean, Taylor Swift definitely deserves to be listened to Very Much. Sadly I don’t use Spotify so I can’t see how much I listened to her, but I’m certain it would also be in the Very Much range, because I’m fairly obsessed. Wait, I can’t believe we’ve only been comment chatting for a year?? It seems like so much longer, but that’s crazy, and I’m super happy we’ve found each other’s blogs. YOU’RE AMAZING, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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  9. I love all the Taylor Swift references in this post 😂 the book tag, the gifs, the fangirling over Lover. Completely relatable.
    How do you read the Order of Phoenix every year? i’ve only read it once and I was overwhelmed trying to read it a second time because it’s just enormous.
    And why is it so hard to write book reviews on Goodreads. Ugh. One of those goals I didn’t even realize I definitely need to work on till just now 😂

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    • Ahh, thank you! I will always be fangirling over Taylor, it’s just a fact. 😉
      It’s actually one of my favorites in the series so I always want to reread it, haha! The plot is one of my favorites for sure.
      I know, right? I think it’s because I’m always in a hurry when I’m on Goodreads and don’t spend the proper amount of time to write out a review. Best of luck with everything this year!

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  10. Happy New Year! And congratulations on meeting so many of your goals! I also sometimes make goals for myself and then don’t really look back at them until the end of the year. The night before new year’s eve I looked back at my writing goals from the beginning of the year and saw that I’d made a goal to write a play. So I spent most of new year’s eve grinding out a ten-minute play. It was actually quite fun 🙂
    I haven’t written out any goals for the new year yet, but I’m hoping to work on being more positive and confident, and of course I plan to read and write a lot.
    I hope 2020 has lots of good things in store for you!

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    • Happy new year to you, too! Thank you so much.❤️I do the same, where I forget about my goals for the whole year…my plan is to not do that this year? I love that about your play, though. Wow, I admire your determination to reach the goal!
      That sounds wonderful. Thank you again, and I wish you the best of luck with everything you want to accomplish!

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  11. i don’t know why, but reading this post made me overflow with love for you? olivia, you have such an amazing personality, and i truly aspire to be more like you 🥺

    I’m so, so happy that 2019 was a good year for you. You deserve it so much! Ahh, you read so many books 😍 it’s amazing that you were able to read that much even though you had school, and we share the same faves! Radio Silence was such a relatable book, and I’ll cherish is forever. Six of Crows is also one of my fave books of all time—one of the times wherein the book lived up the immense hype.

    congrats on all your blogging growth in 2019!! you deserve all of it and more, because your blog is truly one of the best ones out there. like, your blogging voice, blog aesthetic, post ideas? unmatched.

    i hope that you’re able to meet all of your 2020 goals, and that your optimistic feelings about the new year come true ❤ ❤

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    • WHAT Caitlin you’re actually going to make me cry?? Oh my goodness, thank you so much.😭💗What would I do without our comment convos and reading your posts and smiling because of our interactions?? Agh, I adore you and your sweet, funny personality, my friend. xx

      Thank you!! Oh, Radio Silence- I really should reread it because it’s just phenomenal. Although I might wait until summer because I think reading it during school would stress me out a little about school. YES, I’m so happy SOC lived up to the hype and will be screaming about it forever(:

      YOU’RE THE KINDEST. Thank you so much times infinity!!💖(And psst, you’re unmatched yourself, in case you didn’t know.)

      You too! I really, really hope this year is an incredible one. Here’s to accomplishing everything you want to!! By the way, in case it didn’t come across, this comment has been the best part of my 2020 so far.

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  12. HAPPY NEW YEAR OLIVIA! ❤ I'm so so happy to see that 2019 was a good year to you overall and that you got to read SO much just as well, how do you do it aaaaaaah this is amazing. I hope that 2020 will be an incredible year to you, sending you lots of love ❤ ❤ ❤

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  13. Oh man, it totally does feel like it should still be 2015. But congrats on reading so many books and completing many of your goals! Good luck with all of your new goals in the new year! Also, I’m definitely interested in why you don’t want to get arcs if you ever want to publish that post. Hope you have a wonderful 2020, and happy new year!!

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    • It really does. (It’s feel a little more like 2020 now, but I still get 2015 vibes every now and then?) Thank you so, so much!❤️Also, I really appreciate your feedback and I think I want to revise that post and get it up sometime soon. Thank you again, and I hope you have a marvelous year!

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  14. not sure why, but I just started smiling the moment I began reading this post?? we stan this queen *bows down*
    it’s kinda late, but happy new year! im so so proud of you for all the goals you completed and worked on last year, and here’s to the new ones for 2020 <33 self care is so important – I'm happy for you beyond words for working on taking care of yourself more.
    i can't agree with you any more on SoC and Radio Silence aka two of my new favourites as well? and wow congrats *throws confetti* for completing your Goodreads Reading Challenge! 96 books… im speechless over here.
    just wanted to let you know how grateful i am for you and your blog! you are definitely one of a kind, and the blogosphere wouldn't be the same without you. even though i kinda disappeared for awhile, but it just feels so good to talk to you again 💗
    wishing you ALL the best for 2020, and sending you infinite positive energy, vibes, and love!

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    • KIMBERLY!! It’s so good to hear from you!! Wow, only two sentences into your comment and I’m already smiling so hard. You’re such a gem, thank you.😭💗
      Happy new year to you, too! Aww, thank you so much. Self care is so so important and sadly it always seems to take the backseat in the list of things I have on my list that I need to do, and I really hope that changes this year!
      They’re SO GOOD?? I will be talking about both of them forever. *cries* *hugs you* *throws confetti on you too because why not*
      OKAY NOW I’M CRYING. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I’m so happy to hear from you and I hoep you’re doing well, please update me on everything and how you are.✨I’m so thankful that blogging friends like you exist!! You’re incredible.
      I hope you have the best year!! Thank you again for everything, my friend. <33

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  15. Wonderful wrap up, Olivia!!! ❤ Oh my goodness, congrats on reading so many books! That's such an incredible feat, and being able to do that with your busy schedule? Amazing! I'm so happy that you were able to meet quite a few of your reading/blogging goals and that you were able to share so many lovely posts along the way! I hope you have a fantastic 2020! ❤

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