Hi! It’s me again.
So…I’m back? I think? I genuinely can’t believe how long it’s been since I last wrote a blog post- the last one I published was in January, and I’ve only been on WordPress two or three times since then. This was definitely the longest unannounced, accidental hiatus I’ve ever taken??
I didn’t exactly mean to take a blogging break, it just happened. And while one hundred percent of me needed to take it, I also missed you all so, so much! I’m kind of going to be making this post just be a catch up for everything that’s happened in the past few months, essentially since the beginning of 2020. Does anyone else also feel as if this year should most definitely be over by now.
I don’t really know if I have a good explanation for being so absent the past three months, but hopefully this post serves to be some sort of evidence that I was doing things and not just ceasing to exist over the last few months??
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It may surprise you to hear this, but I’m not really the rebellious type.
Well, at least if you don’t know me very well, that could be surprising. If you do know me, then it probably makes sense that I’ve always been more of a goody-two-shoes type. But when it comes to books and reading, I do have a few habits that are frowned upon by the general reading population. I always feel *slightly* called out when those are brought up, so I was very excited to learn that there is a such thing as the Good Reading Habits Tag!
I was tagged for this by the lovely Erin of Kitty Jade Blog (read her post here), and I can’t thank her enough for the tag. This topic interests me so much, and I’m really looking forward to exposing myself in a positive way in this post. Plus, this is my first tag of the new decade, and it looks like a fun one to start things off with!
The only rules are to pingback to the creator’s post, list some of your good reading habits, and nominate some of your blogging friends to also participate in the fun. I’ll be nominating some people at the end- for now, let’s get into the habits!
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One of my biggest misconceptions as a newbie blogger was that I had to spend money to be successful.
Even years after I started blogging, when I decided I was going to start taking it seriously, I constantly questioned whether or not I should be spending money on different parts of my blog- did I need my own domain name? Could I get a better theme if I spent money? How would I ever find fonts and graphics I liked without spending money?
And the biggest question of all: how was I going to be successful without spending money amidst so many other bloggers who did spend money?
I can truthfully say that five years of blogging later (three of those years were ones where I was seriously blogging), I have never spent a cent on my blog. Have I spent huge amounts of time, love, and (at times) tears? Yes, definitely. But never have I spent physical money.
In this post, I’m going to talk about how you can blog without spending money, share some of the resources that have helped me do this through the years, and just overall outline my experience. My hope is that this can help anyone who is on the fence about whether or not they’d like to invest in their blog make the decision for what works best for them. Plus, I would love to hear about the experiences of any other bloggers out there and talk to people who both have and haven’t invested financially in their blogs.
As a disclaimer before I get started, I wanted to clarify that this is a chance for me to talk about my personal experiences and help others in my situation, not belittle anyone who does spend money on their blog. I personally see nothing wrong at all with investing in your blog- in fact, I often wish I could, as I’ll talk about later.
All right, now let’s get into the post!
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Nothing like starting off the new year with high expectations, right?
Okay, that may not be the most common saying ever, but we’re using it today because it’s time to take high expectations for the new year to the next level. Now that we’ve gotten all the it’s-a-new-year-and-a-new-decade posts written and published, I think it’s time to finally partake in a five star predictions post and set some specific reading goals for the next couple of months.
I was inspired for this post by Caitlin (she’s amazing, go stalk her blog right now, please), and when I did a little more research on this I discovered that it’s a thing that a lot of people do. I have to say, it looks like so much fun! I never use TBRs, so this is a new thing I’m trying here.
My hope is to share around five or six
or more books on here that I’ve heard good things about and have high expectations for, and then I’ll make an effort over the next few months to read these books. Then I’ll do another post checking in and I’ll be able to see just how accurate my five star predicting abilities are. I’m using my recently cleaned out TBR to write this post (I cleared off 77 books off, are you proud of me?), which makes the whole thing even more exciting.
Without further ado, on to the predicting!
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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.
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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2019 was a lot of things, and one of those things was a good reading year.
I discovered many new favorites, went out of my comfort zone with books (a little), experienced book hype, and found new authors I love. Yes, there were slumps and disappointing books, but at the end of the day, I look back on what I read over the last twelves months and feel satisfied and happy with it.
So even though this is a very typical book blogger move, today I’m going to be talking about the ten best books I read. My hope is that this post can give you a few recommendations (because don’t we all need our TBRs to grow larger) and allow me to scream one more time about the books I loved in 2019.
There are a lot of books I wish I could include on this list, but I only reread them in 2019, so I don’t feel as if I can count them here. I also wish I could pick an exact order and rank the books accordingly, but I genuinely can’t pick an order, so this post is not necessarily in an order of how good I felt the book was.
Enough of me rambling, on to the books!
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I’m a big fan of realistic fiction.
And it’s true, the YA contemporaries and novels that I read on a daily basis are normally pretty realistic. That’s one of the reasons I like them so much- I love relating to the characters and their situations, I enjoy books set in a world I already know so much about.
But I have to say, throughout all my time as a realistic fiction reader, I have come across many a thing that don’t seem to happen in real life- at least not to any old average person. Me being an average person, I tend to notice these unrealistic things.
One day, when I was complaining to myself about the unrealisticness of it all, I realized that this would be the perfect topic to write a blog post about! What better way to figure out if other people agree with me on these or if maybe my life is the odd one out instead of the lives of the characters I’m reading about?
I won’t know the answer to this question until after I publish this post and read the comments from it, though, so without further ado, let’s get into my list of things that happen in books but don’t happen in real life. Or at least don’t happen in my real life.
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It’s officially my favorite time of the year.
Maybe it’s stereotypical, but I think the best season is the stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The two holidays that bookend either side of the season are spent with family, it’s still technically fall (even though it feels like winter), Christmas music is playing, decorations are up, there’s a lot of time off from school, and hot chocolate is an everyday necessity.
It’s the coziest time of the year, so I think that calls for some cozy book recommendations! There’s nothing better than finding a good book to snuggle under a blanket with and read while the temperatures drop outside.
I meant to do a post like this at the beginning of fall, but since I ended up taking a hiatus, I’m just now getting around to writing it. I’m happy I had to wait to write it though, because now I can add even more books and now that we’re in the thick of cozy season™, I feel very inspired to make this list. ✨
Without further ado, onto the book recommendations.
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Hi, it’s me again!
I can’t tell you how happy I am to be typing these words again. It’s been over two months since I last wrote a blog post, and I hope I don’t go that long without writing a post ever again, or at least not for a very long time. I also haven’t interacted in what feels like years, and I missed reading posts and talking to everyone just as much as I missed writing posts. Moral of the story, I’m so excited to be back!!
I wanted to ease back into blogging with a life update post of sorts! It will serve as somewhat of an October and November recap post, since I don’t want to do full separate posts for each of those especially since I didn’t read or blog in either month.
The past couple of months have been the most stressful and busy months that I can ever remember having
(thank you, school), but there have also been high moments, happy memories, and a lot worth sharing. So get a cup of hot cocoa, settle in with some blankets, and let’s catch up!
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Us Potterheads are very obsessed with our Hogwarts Houses.
From my first time reading the series, when I thought I was definitely a Gryffindor just like Harry, to a few years ago when I decided I was a Ravenclaw, to taking the Pottermore test and realizing Hufflepuff is where my heart is, I’ve always loved having House pride and hearing what houses other readers were.
Nowadays that the stereotype of the Houses only being good, bad, smart, and kind have (I think? I hope?) been mostly abolished, it’s even more fun to do everything House-oriented. Buy merch! Put it in your bio! Create an aesthetic for your House! Shout it from the rooftops! And, most importantly, give book recommendations based on your House. 😉
Today I’m going to be sharing five book recommendations based on the Hufflepuff House (#puffpride) and I’m so excited to be posting this alongside three other bloggers I love and admire, Charis, Kelly, and Xandra. Kudos to Charis for putting this all together and finding Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff (that’s me) bloggers to share recommendations for their House!
I will be linking all the other posts at the end of this post so you can also go read a list of recommendations for each of the other Houses! I really hope you go read them and see all the incredible recommendations each blogger has brought to the table.
Before I get started, I just wanted to give a quick disclaimer that this is not the first time I’ve seen this post done! I think House-based recommendations are a fairly common topic, so if you’ve done this and I use some of the same books as you, that is definitely purely accidental and rest assured I don’t have a good enough memory to copy anyone’s post, like, ever. Some books are just so Hufflepuff-esque that I’m sure they show up on rec lists all the time.
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