Blogging disappointments: Unsuccessful blog posts! // SAD FACE.

Disclaimer: There are many positive things about blogging! Books! Friends! BOOKS!

YET.

Life is not full of positives always??? (I know, it’s an injustice.) And sometimes, we face disappointments which also applies to blogging (obviously or I would not be writing this post). There are a few I can think of but what I wanted to focus on for today’s post is unsuccessful blog posts!! (No duh Analee, go ahead and ignore the title again why don’t you??)

What is considered ‘unsuccessful’?? And what is ‘successful’?

Whelp, there I go again using a subjective term! Like what does unsuccessful even MEAN? (Not the definition, but like in this context.) And much like when I talked about success in blogging last month, it varies once again? I need to choose better discussion topics.

But, if we think in the form of stats; i.e. views, likes and/or comments: The thing is with each and every blogger, the numbers, the stats they expect and the stats they consider to be successful or unsuccessful for their blog VARIES. Greatly. But even those who are newbies to blogging, everyone has an idea of what most of their stats look like, you know? So successful and unsuccessful could be anywhere from stats that REACH or better yet, PASS their usual numbers and that DON’T REACH their usual numbers, respectively. And that’s only from a numbers perspective! Which is not the only definition for success.

But those numbers? They vary SO MUCH. A number that is considered a success for one blogger could totally be unsuccessful for another, based on the majority of their posts, and vice versa you know? It’s so subjective.

Now, for me, what I consider to be successful is a combination of two things; one of them being, COMMENTS. Likes too, but primarily comments because I love having that interaction with blogger friends and readers! Which means a successful post for me, is one that initiates conversation, one that people are interested in reading. And because I don’t check my stats all too often, comments (and likes) are the easiest way for me to measure how well a certain post is being received. Plus I love talking to you guys and getting comments on my posts just totally makes my day?!

So yes, when it comes to successful and unsuccessful blog posts, if we’re thinking numbers (which, I won’t lie, I do), the one ‘indicator’, persay, for me is the number of comments. I don’t go counting them obsessively or anything, but just seeing, oh, this [meme/review/discussion/list] did really well, I might try doing it again, or noticing trends like how reviews, for instance, aren’t that very popular, and so on. It’s just interesting to me and gives me an idea of what readers like, what worked and what didn’t, you know? There’s anything wrong in looking or paying attention to stats, and that applies to posts of course.

YET. I’m going to also admit, paying attention to stats can also lead to feelings of disappointment or discouragement? Not when they’re doing well, obviously, that’s an extremely positive feeling. But when a post doesn’t do as well as I’d hoped/expected, I’ll be the first to admit, I feel disappointed. Much like a book! You have high expectations, and when they’re not met it leads to disappointment! When they are met, or surpassed, it is the BEST feeling ever and it’s the exact same for blogging, for me haha.

And again, like books, obviously I don’t have the same level of expectations for every post, especially because there are so many factors that affect the stats you receive on a certain post! Examples, because I am a helpful potato today:

  • What type of post is it? i.e. review, discussion, list, book tag/award, bookish meme post [like Top Ten Tuesday, etc.]

Obviously this can be different for different blogs, but generally I’ve noticed a trend (for book blogs, because that’s what I am and what I follow) for different posts:

book reviews don’t usually bring in very high stats, unless it’s for a popular/hyped up book
meme posts are more popular than reviews, and they can be great for stats and discovering blogs but more and more people seem to be against these posts because they become very repetitive?
discussions & lists tend to be the most/super popular! I’ve noticed this on my own blog, and also on a ton of other blogs as well; I love reading their discussions and lists can be super fun as well if you come up with a topic I’m interested in!

  • What day did you post on?

I’m still trying to figure out which day is the most popular for me… WordPress claims it’s Tuesday? I’m not going to be posting all my posts on Tuesday though, and right now the way I set up my schedule I only have like, one other Tuesday post. So.

But different days can definitely bring different amounts of people visiting your posts? I am speculating that Tuesday is popular for me because a lot of people participate in Top Ten Tuesday? In comparison, Monday posts or Sunday posts don’t always do as well BUT again so many factors that play into that!! I give up on trying to analyze my stats why am I doing this

  • What TIME did you post at?

I am FOREVER conflicted on what time to post!! I don’t know about you guys, but for me, when I posted something totally affected the stats. See, a lot of people, I am almost 100% certain, read posts from their WordPress Reader. Which means posting at a time where people are most likely to go on to their Reader = better stats! What do you mean you can’t predict when people are going to go on their Reader shh.

What time to post? I honestly don’t know. #help I once (accidentally) scheduled a post for 10 or 11 at night and I got, like 2 or 3 views? It was kind of funny, to be honest. But I do not recommend for stats!!

Nowadays, I tend to post more in the mid-afternoons. Not any particular reason why, though I’ve seen a lot of blogs I follow posting early in the morning like 7 or 8! So I might try that but so far my time has been working for me… mostly. What are your thoughts???

  • How relatable is it or how easy is it to create discussion?

Relatable posts are the best! Part of the reason why discussions and lists can be so much fun to read/write! Posts where your readers can relate in some way or talk about something do really well. Of course, it can be argued you can talk about something no matter what type of post, which is why I mention relatable! Obviously not every post has to be relatable, but having a mix of posts is so important, and relatable ones are the most fun to read and write, for me anyway!

OKAY got sidetracked there. Back to successful/unsuccessful posts!! I just wanted to touch on one more aspect of successful/unsuccessful posts, which is something totally unrelated from the numbers.

Comments and interaction is super important to me, but apart from that, I consider a successful post to be one that I’m proud of writing and put a lot of effort into as well. In the past, I’d say I kind of failed at this side of success? I posted mostly memes (SO MANY MEMES omg I honestly don’t know how people managed to survive on my blog back then) and effort was minimal! Which isn’t a bad thing, obviously, but I now focus more on quality over quantity, in terms of my posts? Being happy with your post is a whole different kind of success that can’t be measured.

YET. 

Sometimes, even if I consider a post to be ‘successful’ in the personal satisfaction sense, the stats don’t always match my opinion. Which sucks, sometimes. I can pour my heart out into a post, spend HOURS on a post and be really excited about a post, and it might still flop? There may not even be a reason why.

Blogging, in that sense, can be so unpredictable. Of course you have certain expectations for each post, stats-wise, sometimes they’ll be met (YAY), sometimes they’ll be passed (YAY x2), aaaaand sometimes they will flop (CRY). It’s just how it goes?? I will be the first to say it’s disappointing when the latter happens, of course, but at the same time I don’t dwell often on it too long–my tip is to focus on all the ways your post was AMAZING rather than the numbers. 😉 Does wonders for your mood, haha. (“Easier said than done”, I can hear you say, but I swear it does get easier!)

RECAP TIME!! Because this discussion was too long and too confusing.

For me, I consider a successful post to be one with a lot of comments/interaction AND that I’m proud of writing. And whether a post is successful or unsuccessful depends on so many things, things like: type of post, what time and what day you post on, and also if the post invites discussion or is relatable. Yet sometimes there might not be a reason! Sometimes posts just flop, with no obvious reason why. And I think it’s happened to us all at one point?

What I consider personally to be unsuccessful posts, in a nutshell would be when I spend a lot of time on a post and it doesn’t provoke as much discussion as I was anticipating/expecting? Because comments mean SO MUCH to me, and having that positive feedback on posts I put effort into is a lovely thing. ❤

But I’ve learned to NOT dwell on disappointments for long, because then it just makes blogging all too serious and sad. 😦 AND THAT CAN’T HAPPEN!! (#hellobloggingslump) Focus on the happy stuff! Eat cake. Read fluffy or heartbreaking books. All is well. 🙂

Whoops, that was supposed to be a short recap. NOW is finally the time for me to shut my mouth!! What are your thoughts?? Don’t let this become a unsuccessful post pleeeease! (*wiggles eyebrows* Do you see what I did there?) What time do you usually post things? Have you had unsuccessful posts before and what is your definition of successful or unsuccessful posts? How popular are reviews, for you? Do you agree with me? What are some of your most popular posts? Let us discuss!!

Websites + HTML codes all bloggers need! // Making your life 124% easier

HI GUYS!! How are you? I’m on a ROLL this week in terms of scheduling posts haha, for me, anyway. *throws confetti* Next week will be busier though, so heads up! Not a full blown hiatus (hopefully) but it all depends on time and if I can write up a post in time over the weekend. (SO GLAD it’s the weekend!! Blog hopping time!!) But anyway! Not the point. I’ve wanted to make this kind of post for a while now, actually, but didn’t have enough material, persay, to showcase, I guess. But now I do!! There are certain (FREE) websites and HTML codes I’ve used/currently use that made my life SO MUCH EASIER and just overall useful tech-ish hacks when it comes to blogging and such, and I wanted to share those with you all, just in case some of you were unaware of it! SHARING IS CARING AND I AM HERE TO MAKE YOUR LIFE 124%* EASIER. As stated by my title. Because titles never lie.**

*Don’t question the number.
**SHHH.

Canva

I USE THIS ALL THE TIME, GUYS. It literally saves my life when it comes to blog design, NO JOKE. It’s free, it’s pretty flexible, offers a huge variety of options, it’s super easy and simple to use and great for designing headers and such!! Literally the majority of the graphics on this blog has been made by Canva and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Bless the creators, I am in awe with their creation.  Mostly I use elements from other sites, like background pictures and such, from Google or Freepik, and then I can choose font, colour etc. It’s literally so great! I would 100% recommend this to anyone ever, whether they’re a blogger or not!!

An example of what I made with the help of Canva:

The pink watercolour cloud thingy is the only thing I got from elsewhere, the rest was designed thanks to Canva!! They have a great selection of fonts, I use the Brusher font most often for my posts nowadays, and I also like the… Josefin Sans font I think? The arrow thingy at the bottom is also one of the free graphics Canva offers. It hardly takes me any time to make graphics as a result! Basically: I adore Canva??!

Freepik

My other saviour!! I love Freepik so much, it has such beautiful designs! However, I am a bit restricted with this one due to the fact I don’t have Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator so it does limit my options. But! That doesn’t stop me, for I do use many of its designs and am able to make things with the help of Canva. Most recently I had used a Freepik design for my bullet journal, and simply added the word May in Canva. And I won’t lie, I’m very in loveeeee!! I love these two colours and watercolour-esque flower wreaths are my weakness. FREEPIK I LOVE YOU.

Pixlr

I actually haven’t used this one as much, I’ll admit! It’s like a free Photoshop though? So I have no doubt I will be experimenting with this one more when I have more time. ❤ Definitely worth checking out, when I used it it was super straight forward and hey, how can I complain with a free Photoshop?? I do love this resource and can’t wait to use it more. Though with Canva being so fabulous that may not happen for a bit. 

PicMonkey

I actually used this quite a bit when I first started blogging, as it was one of the free sites I found (along with Canva) back then. I haven’t used it as much recently, but I did make quite a few designs with this and it’s a great resource!! My only complaint is that the ads make it really glitchy sometimes (for me, anyway) which makes working with PicMonkey kind of annoying. Or maybe it’s not the ads and just the way the site is?? If you upgrade though the ads go away and you also have more options, but I’m all about the free stuff? Sooooo. For edits, touch ups, etc. though it’s quite handy!

HTML (don’t ask me what it stands for) is one of the ways to kind of customize your blog a little! It’s a bunch of code I don’t understand, but it can be very useful sooooo it’s in this post!! Example:

Changing the font size of text.

I only recently discovered this actually! But I love it so much and I occasionally overuse it but it’s okay. It’s so helpful because I love inserting little tiny text comments in my posts, and of course it works great for making things larger as well which is super useful!! One of the codes I always have on hand when I’m blogging omg.

<span style=”font-size: 12pt;”>text here</span>

12 is the default font, I believe, so basically it’s the font size you’re seeing at the moment! To make it smaller or larger, just replace the 12 in the code with a number of your choice and BAM. Font size changed.

LOOK I DEMONSTRATED THE TINY FONT. (hahahhaha) [btw, for the tiny size, I used 10, and the previous sentence is in 16. :)]

OH! Important: if you’re going to use this, remember to use it in Text instead of Visual when writing your post or else it won’t work. The amount of times I forgot about that tiny detail and pasted the code in my Visual editor instead… #oops

Hyperlinks

Now, you might be like, why do you need hyperlinks? When writing posts in WordPress, of course, it gives you the ability to just click on the insert/edit link tab and it essentially creates the link for you. But I think having the HTML code for a link can actually be super helpful–particularly in, say, a comment. Whether you want to link a blog, or post, or whatever, by using an HTML code for your link to appear with a word, like this instead of the whole url like https://booksnacksblog.wordpress.com/, it makes your comment a lot less clustered and more, I don’t know.. neat I guess??? There’s nothing wrong with leaving the whole link though!! It’s just a helpful hack if you ever want to link something in the comments.

<a href=”URL HERE“>text here</a>

If I wanted to link to, say, my blog, in a comment I would just replace the bold parts with my own info, so the URL HERE part with https://booksnacksblog.wordpress.com and after that my text, Book Snacks. And then voila! The HTML code would then turn into Book Snacks. MAGIC!

If you ever use this in a post (though if you have the option to use the WordPress one I wouldn’t see the need, but either way) just remember to insert it using the text tab instead of visual, once again, and you’re set! But in the comments, just use it as it is (replacing with your link and text, ofc) and you’re good.

Pingbacks*

Jackie @ Too Much of a Book Nerd wrote a lovely and super super helpful post on pingbacks for WordPress users!! GO check it out if you haven’t already or if you are clueless as to how pingbacks work and why yours aren’t working! Pingbacks are so great and so important if you’re, say, tagging someone in some sort of tag or award, or even if you want to give them a shout out or highlight a post you’ve read. Let that blogger know by simply linking to one of their posts! It makes lives SO MUCH EASIER and it’s always a lovely surprise for the blogger as well! Haha.

*This is not HTML? But still very very useful and worth mentioning and a hack kind of? Soooo it counts.

Adding a colored text box

I used this a lot previously for my book reviews and I don’t use them much outside of my reviews? But they do look super cute and I don’t know, if you ever want to separate something, maybe a quote? Or whatever suits your fancy. Now, I honestly would love to make this easy for you guys and have the code right in this post as with the other ones but this one is a bit more complicated and has a lot more factors, so I’m just going to leave a link to this post that helped me out SO MUCH when I was trying to figure out this whole text box thing. Again

I’m not good at coding at all so I hope you’ll forgive me when I pass this on to the expertise of whoever wrote that article thingy haha. But this is an example of what I mean by the colored text box! There are SO MANY different ways to do this, in terms of how it looks and what colors you use, so just check out the post I linked to if you want to know more about this! It offers so many options and explanations. 🙂

Adding custom widgets

WordPress actually makes having widgets pretty simple. Widgets, you probably know, are most often found on the sidebar of blogs, that have a variety of things chosen by the user. Common widgets I’ve seen are things like a search menu, recent posts, most popular posts, follow button, etc. Yet, what if you want to add something else? A photo, or a little bit of text? Or, if you’re a book blogger, you may want to show your progress on your reading challenge on Goodreads if you have one!

Let’s start with Goodreads, because as a book blogger I ADORE GOODREADS and also this reminds me I need to update my widget for my reading challenge whoops. Basically, start by clicking on your profile picture at the top right corner, which leads to a dropdown menu sort of thingy with options like View Profile, Friends, My Quotes, etc. Near the bottom, press “Account Settings”. Once you do that, there will be another variety of options at the top, starting with Profile, then Settings, Email, Feeds, Apps, Widgets, and a couple more. Can you guess which you click on?? WIDGETS, WOO.

And there are several different widgets you can choose! BUT. Just remember, if you have a WordPress.com blog, so a free one, there are a few restrictions and you can’t use a few of the widgets offered.

But, if you scroll down to the bottom, you will find the Reading Challenge Widget! It shows what it looks like and beside it, offers a text box with the HTML code that you copy and paste into your blog. 

For that part, just go to your blog’s Widgets, and choose the Text widget way at the bottom. Insert the HTML code you copied from Goodreads, save, and VOILA. There’s also several other Goodreads widgets too, so feel free to experiment a few times!!

Aaaaaand I think that’s it!! If I find any other amazing sites (find me something that I will love more than Canva though. I’LL WAIT.) or other HTML/Wordpress tips and hacks, I will definitely make another post for you guys. But for now, which of these do you use? Do you have any other tips that have made your life easier?? Do you want to have more blog-focused posts? Let me know in the comments!! LET US BOND OVER BLOGGING THINGS. ❤ Share your wisdom.

YAY Organization! // How I use my bullet journal for book blogging

I can be an organization freak.

Just sometimes. Like, in shifts, you know? Monday’s my off day, Tuesday is like 10AM-6PM, Friday is 3PM onwards, etc. This is totally normal, is it not???

This means, I love using planners and things to keep organized! (Also the bookstores, Indigo or Chapters, have such beautiful planners and notebooks and stationary; I AM IN LOVE so basically in addition to the books I walk out with, I usually also have some sort of stationary item. Forgetting the fact that the stuff there are typically quite expensive. Hush.) The problem is, as much as I love staying organized (especially when there are so many things I have to do for uni, etc.) I never find myself being able to stick with those planners for long. They get so repetitive, and I just get bored of using them and they end up sitting on my table unused and just there as eye candy. Totally a good use, in my opinion, but not great for the whole “planning” part of the planner (or my wallet)???

And so I found my solution in the form of bullet journals!! (if you have no idea what bullet journals are about, I recommend checking out that link) This was a pretty recent-ish discovery, and I only actively searched up more about it in April (also spending a whole lot of time looking at others’ gorgeous bullet journals via Youtube and Pinterest #priorities). I loved the freedom it offers, and seeing other spreads and designs (that were all SO GORGEOUS) made me want to try it out for myself! So I went out to Indigo, bought myself a Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook that was actually made for bullet journaling* and got started! I would list my supplies but literally that’s it plus, like, a black ball pen, Papermate highlighters and a pack of coloured pens I got from Walmart or Staples. (I really really want more fancier supplies (I’ve seen everyone use Tombow pens and such and I WANT. But like money??? #struggles)

Anyway, so I got the notebook, and after hours upon hours of me scrolling through inspiration and beauuuuuuuuutiful spreads, I did finally start and since then I am in LOVE with the whole thing. I love making my spreads even though my handwriting has so many issues and I kind of suck at art?? The whole point is to personalize it so it fits how you want it to be, which is so freeing and exactly what I’m doing. 😉

I just wanted to share what my bullet journal kind of looks like and also talk about how I use my bullet journal for book-and-blog-related things! Because yay for organization and bullet journaling!

*But any notebook can work!! I’d recommend getting a dotted one, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be this one. (This one’s also more expensive than most notebooks! I think it was around 30-ish dollars? I was really unsure if I wanted to get it at first haha but I’m glad I did. But again, any notebook can work perfectly fine!

I’m terrible at actually explaining how the whole system works, but if you click the link for bullet journals here, you’ll be taken to the website and there’s a video you can watch if you’re not sure how the whole thing works! All of these pictures in this post were taken by me, by the way, in case that wasn’t clear ahah which is why they’re super low quality.

That’s just kind of a glance into how April looked like for my journal! I am so not artistic and wanted my April cover to look nice ahah so I decided to go with this printed watercolor-type flower wreath thingy that I found on Freepik, just edited it to have April written on it. Again, can I just say I love how much freedom a bullet journal offers; you can literally do anything, put anything you want. If you can draw, great. If you want to design a graphic online, great. If you don’t want to do anything at all, great. SO MUCH FREEDOM. I love it.

But moving on! My theme for April was very green, very leafy, don’t know what exactly inspired that, but yeah. I do love the designs I have on the side, which were for the weekly/daily logs (to-do lists, basically), the first one has like a wreath thing I found online, and underneath it I just kind of drew a mason jar to decorate the page and fill in the empty space. The second one was on the page I had dedicated for my trip to Toronto! I went with a simple “fun” in the center and tried to make it look artsy by drawing some sort of wreath-but-not-really-a-wreath thingy plus ribbons and hearts and I don’t know. I do like how it turned out though!!

Overall I really liked April’s design but I decided to go with a different style for May:

Okay, not really for the cover because it’s another watercolor flower wreath thingy from Freepik (love that site), except with a blue and purple focus this time! I love those colours together, I think they look super pretty, and bonus! Freepik also had a bouquet sort of thing made of the same flowers and also offers the individual flowers/feathers used in the wreath thing for download as well, and I definitely made use of that later on! (Freepik literally saves me from seeming like a failure at art, guys. SUCCESS.)

Now this is where things are changed up more! (You guys don’t understand how much the freedom of the bullet journal SPEAKS TO ME.) So, there are technically no rules to bullet journaling, but there are a few things that you’re recommended to have, one of the things being a future log. What you see in the above picture, is not my future log (that’s at the start of the journal), but it’s kind of based off the future log?

I love the future log for personal events, schoolwork, birthdays, etc. but I really thought it would be useful, being the bookworm I am, to have a calendar listing all (or at least some/most because all wouldn’t fit haha) the books to be released that I’m looking forward to. I’ve decided I need to get a better blue highlighter, but other than that I really love how this looks and May is SO FILLED with books right now haha. I’m not very artistic, again (*cries*) and I know there are people who could’ve probably made this look much better but it works! ❤

(Also I know most people use black pen to write in their bullet journals, and I do, but I started off with a blue pen for a lot of the titles before realizing a black one would’ve been more visible and appealing. Sorry if you can’t see the titles clearly!)

Again, I am so envious of people with art skills, I’ve seen different variations of this bookshelf idea created by some genius (which I am in love with) and there are some that look AMAZING and like actual bookshelves, but I did think it would look super cute and also kind of give an idea of the books I want to get to this year. I wish I had came across this idea earlier, when I was first setting up my bullet journal so I could put it at the start of my journal, but better late than never! I know I’ll be flipping back to this page A LOT haha.

I love this especially because I have so many books on Goodreads, it’s hard to pinpoint an immediate TBR. I’m a huge mood reader though so it might be possible I don’t read some of these titles at all this year?? But it’s a guide to the books I want to read sometime over the year. (We’re almost at halfway??!) I’ve also left spines empty so I can kind of fill them in as I go! And underneath I just have some space for the list of books read for this month. 🙂 I’m being way too generous with the space I have there, but I guess I could list some of my thoughts if needed? Haha. But I like how these parts look!

Now this is where we get to the BLOG PART! I am actually so excited to use this kind of set up, last month my reading and blog stuff were all on one page and looked very boring to me, so having just a whole page dedicated to blogging things I think will make things so much easier! I hope, anyway. So, just as a comparison, in April I had a calendar that took up half the page that I used as reference for my blogging schedule (You can see it back with the April layout pictures above!) but I realized it took up way more space than it was worth and opted for a small, cute, and concise little calendar for this month that I LOVE. So much more convenient! I haven’t planned out all the days for sure yet, hence only the second* is highlighted, and the rest of the possible dates are circled in pencil, but I’m really happy with how this works out.

*Okay, so funny story; I’m already kind of failing at following my schedule??? These photos were taken wayyyy in advance before I got around to actually writing this post, and I actually did not post this on the second, and instead had posted the day before my theme change! So yeah. White out is a lovely thing.

Right beside it, is the schedule! Again, goes unsaid, planning out what posts will (hopefully) go up on which day. I really love having a schedule for things, but for blogging though I have hardly been able to follow one?? And I really hope this will motivate me to have a more consistent schedule! Or y’all might forget me and we can’t have that. 😉 But really, I do love having a schedule, and I think this seems like a good setup (for now, anyway). I want to figure out what post goes up on which day, and having the calendar right next to it helps with that as well! I guess I’ll see how it works! ALSO this photo is not super great quality, oops. This is why I can’t do Instagram, guys. 😀 Also it reveals all the white out very very much, oopsies. But it still looks okay? I hope? lol.

*Note: Again, yes, I realize my schedule is incorrect!! I took these pictures like, a week ago and back then my plan was to have this posted on Tuesday, not Thursday as it is now haha. I have now changed it but I’m too lazy to take a new picture. 😉

Below it, the last part which I am also super super excited about; the blogosphere! (You guys don’t know how horribly I messed up on writing that oh my gosh. Hence, the who-knows-how-many-layers of white out…) Any posts that I go through my Reader/email that I want to get back to later, list of blogs I discover and want to continue to visit, things like that.* I follow a LOAD of blogs, and am way too unwilling and short on time to go through the ones I actively follow, too, so this is an easier way to just keep a track of who I actively follow (like, comment, etc.), especially when I go blog-hopping!

*I’ve actually already almost filled this part up and May has just started??? OOPS. 

Beside that, to the left, there is also the ideas! As you can probably tell, this is basically my blogging brainstorming. I’m not entirely sold on the space I have**, but it looks aesthetically pleasing? It wouldn’t have been as aligned if I made the space for ideas larger, and that would have bothered me to no end (and I also didn’t want to go onto the next page because I like having ideas and schedule on the same page), but I think I’ll be able to adjust! I often have post ideas that I’m not exactly sure when I want to post/write, so this is perfect to make sure I don’t forget them. (Because I kind of have the worst memory ever.)

**Yeah, it’s not working AT ALL. I love how it looks but again, May just started and I pretty much filled up the whole thing. Now I don’t know what to do??!? Do I make a new page for the ideas?? But then the blogging stuff wouldn’t all be together and that would bother me??? STRUGGLES.

Lastly on this page: the stats! I don’t focus on stats very much anymore, but I do like to see follower growth (sadly this is going very slowly for me right now but whelp I’m grateful for the followers I have! <3) from the first day of the month to the last. And also track the total number of posts at the end of the month! (I’m aiming for around 8-10 for May! Let’s do this.)

So that concludes the bookish/bloggish part of my bullet journal! Basically I learned that I have waaaaay too many blogs I like to follow and although (I think, anyway) that this layout looks super aesthetic and cute, I need MORE SPACE, like ALL OF THE SPACE PLEASE. It’s only the fourth and I don’t have enough spaceeeeee #help.

Okay, so, seeing how it is unlikely I’ll be doing another bullet journal post this month, I just wanted to quickly show you guys how some of my personal pages looked, just in case you were interested! As if this post wasn’t already long enough.

Again, I have a mini calendar that I love! I kind of screwed up and put May at the bottom of the calendar instead the top, but that’s okay haha. This page is my monthly future log, that I plan on using for school, appointments, events, things like that! I really love how it looks, it’s similar to my previous pages in terms of the layout and font, etc. Aestheticssssss.

Speaking of aesthetics, remember Freepik and the bonus I was talking about?? Well, I used the bouquet I found that matched my May theme perfectly and I am in love with it, you can see it in the bottom and it was kind of a pain to cut out but so worth it haha. Above it, I just wrote some inspirational things I found on the Internet! I can be SUCH a perfectionist sometimes, so for the first one I wrote out “Strive for progress not perfection” because sometimes progress is the most important thing and I kind of lose focus of that! And because I still had space left over, I just wrote a simple “Focus on happy” which I think looks really cute.

Also, I APOLOGIZE FOR THE HORRIBLE QUALITY!! Oh my gosh. I am horrified but at the same time I have no better pictures and I’m unable to retake the picture (lighting problem) so I’m super sorry omg. 

Next page I have my trackers! (First photo is April’s, second is May’s) A common thing for bullet journals is to have a habit tracker. I did have one in April, you can see a part of it in the first photo, but I ended up not using it that much because I hardly succeeded in keeping those habits and it looked so ugly because all it had was one row that was filled and the others were practically empty. *shudder* Didn’t really help me at all to keep those habits, so I ditched it and instead kept my other tracker, the sleep tracker, which you see more in the photo! I LOVED this so much last month, I made a whole line graph thing with highlighters and it was colourful and also showed my sleep habits were very very unhealthy so I decided to include it again this month since it went so successfully!

I also have a TV show tracker for this month! It’s based off of other bullet journals and I thought it would be super handy to have. Most shows I watch are on Netflix and obviously Netflix keeps track, but I thought this would be a fun way to just track which shows I’m watching and what episode when I’m not on Netflix. Because again, Miss Memory Problem here. Also I just like tracking things. Except my habits because I have horrible habits.* Ahem.

I haven’t finished (or started) writing a list of TV shows yet but I do plan on doing that asap! (Feel free to give me some suggestions for TV shows I should start watching!!) And obviously the sleep tracker will be filled as I go. 🙂

*I might have a habit tracker again someday?? If someone manages to convince me with some sort of superpower? Also because I am #rebel (not following the norm of having a habit tracker, you see!! Very rebellious) but also I can be brainwashed into being a follower?? SO WE SHALL SEE.:

Last, but not least I also have this whole week’s spread planned out in advance!! I tried out a new layout this week and I actually love it so much??? I can’t take full credit though haha, it was mostly inspired by Amanda’s May bullet journal video (her bullet journal is actually SO GORGEOUS omg I could look at her spreads all dayyyyy) that I loved. And again, Freepik came to my rescue! It’s the same bouquet thing as before that I used in my month spread, just smaller and more detailed in comparison. It actually looks perfect in the little makeshift sticky note-thing. This photo is really really bad, but in the actual journal itself it does look pretty good, if I do say so myself! Thank god for Freepik.

Aaaaaand, then that’s it, for my pre-planned pages! The next pages will be dedicated to my daily/weekly spreads which I set up either at the start of the week, or as each day goes, depending on how busy I am. (Aka I will also be spending too much time looking for new inspiration and ideas on designing new spreads for the week (#sorrynotsorry), and then getting super jealous over the amazing artsy things of other people…)

So overall, in case you couldn’t tell, I absolutely love bullet journaling! It is such a fun way to stay organized (and also procrastinate, if you’re like me) as well as be productive. (Or feel productive?) You don’t even have to be good at art to do it, there are no rules, nothing. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to work with the bullet journal system at all, which is why I put it off for so long, but I found that it’s one of the best choices I made! (Apart from the hours I spent on it lollll.) Don’t know how long that’ll last, but. It gives me so much freedom, flexibility, to do what I want, whatever I need and I love that aspect of it. I know I don’t ever have to stick to the same thing either like in a traditional journal or planner and I won’t get bored, which is important for me because that’s what caused me to abandon planners and such in the first place.

HAVE I SOLD BULLET JOURNALS TO YOU YET??

I swear this post isn’t sponsored.

I do understand though why bullet journals aren’t for everyone, they do take time if you’re aiming for the super artsy design, but really they don’t have to be complicated at all and you can even set things up in advance if that’ll help you in saving time. Who knows. Anyway. Whether or not you get a bullet journal (if you don’t have one already, that is) is totally up to you!

Right now though I am really looking forward to putting my pages I’ve set up to use! They were a lot of fun to create (read: caused much pain because #ihavenoskills but in the end they were worth it) and they look decent?? I think?*

*I mean, the photos were very very VERY bad, SO SORRY GUYS. And if you ignore my horrible attempts at fancy writing… I kind of failed multiple times hence white out. Also my pen is terrible and I need to get a better pen that doesn’t make my handwriting seem terrible haha. And I also want washi tape?? Okay I’ll stop rambling about my struggles now. I do like how they turned out, still!

How do you stay organized?? Do you use a bullet journal?? Have I convinced you to use one? (Of course, my persuasive skills are very very good?? *nods*) Do you have a blogging schedule? What do you think of my bullet journal so far? (Again, SO SORRY for the horrible pictures!) Any TV shows to recommend? Thoughts? Literally anything to say at all, I would love to talk to you! ❤

I kind of became the queen of hiatuses // Taking breaks from blogging: DISCUSSION

I am alive, people! (You can all exhale in relief and shower me with confetti now.) Sorry about the lack of posting and interaction this past week! </3 Things have just been so busy, and I just simply didn’t have time to write and schedule posts, or even read, really. I recently came back from a trip to Toronto, though! I visited my cousins and we all went to Niagara Falls together, which was lots of fun.

On the reading side of things, my slump has been slowly wearing off but I lack time?? I used to read on the bus but I’ve been so tired I end up sleeping. Oops. #sorrynotsorry (I NEED SLEEP.) BUT. I’m currently reading The Hate U Give* by Angie Thomas! *cue celebration* Haven’t finished THUG yet but THE HYPE WAS SPOT ON. Already love Starr and her story!

But I digress. TOPIC FOR TODAY: Hiatuses. Which I am an expert on** obviously because I’ve taken many of them and have now became temporarily queen. (Shhhh.)

*I tried to put in the link to Goodreads but it’s not working?? Oh well.

**The term expert is subjective, okay?

Why it can be totally necessary

Why I take them, basically. Queens don’t do things for no reason?? I mean, they totally could, but. Even if it’s horrible logic, there’s some logic behind decisions.

  • Lacking time. I will never have enough time?? I think the time gods up there are all conspiring against me, honestly. This is definitely one of my primary reasons for taking a break, because I simply don’t have the time to write up any posts in advance and then… well, you know the rest.
    No time = no writing blog posts = hiatus for who knows how long. QUITE SIMPLE.
  • Lacking motivation. Leads to the dreaded blogging slump! Blogging slumps can be the worst?? When you have time but not for blogging because you don’t feel like it. SIGH.
    Time + no motivation to write = hiatus (until you have time + motivation).
  •  Lacking ideas. Blogging slumps can definitely be caused by this? You have time on your hands, have the motivation to write a post, and then… FART. No thoughts, no ideas, on what to write.
    Time + motivation + no ideas = blogging slump = hiatus
  • Personal issues. Whether it be family, job, or school, we all have lives outside of blogging (GASP) and that can definitely get in the way of the blog! It happens! Some bloggers are really good at juggling their personal lives and blogging lives so that the blog isn’t affected by their personal life, others (me), perhaps require breaks to not, you know, die from all the pressure. And you come back feeling better! (Hopefully.) All’s good.
    Personal issues (do not)= hiatus but Personal issues + being overwhelmed can = hiatus
  • Reading slump. Being a book blogger, this one’s more geared to book bloggers but if you’re in a reading slump, it can definitely influence your blogging! Especially for reviews. My reading slump have led to a blogging slump previously (but that’s not necessarily the case all the time)!
    Reading slump = possible blogging slump = hiatus. 
  • Vacations. This totally goes unsaid?? Again, there are of course bloggers out there who are super committed and either write posts during their vacation, or schedule them in advance, so no hiatus in that situation, but IT’A A VACATION. Apart from the fact that you don’t have to ever justify your hiatus at all (though I’m guilty of doing so), if there was ever a time where you deserve to take a break, it’s when you’re going on a trip!

The main consequence to taking hiatuses

Let me first state: If you need/want to take a hiatus, GO FOR IT. There is literally nothing stopping you whatsoever and this little part is not meant to change that at all. The world is your oyster! And all that. Yes, there are consequences, as there is with anything else in life, but they’re most definitely not the end of the world.

  • Your stats will go down! Yes, I realize “stats/numbers aren’t the focus of blogging” yet they are something the majority of bloggers definitely think about/concentrate on. I get it! I totally do as well. But if you don’t post anything, naturally, stats WILL decrease. Speaking from a 7-month hiatus experience, although my followers have increased, my stats aren’t how they used to be during my, (for lack of a better description) peak months of blogging even after I’ve started blogging again.BUT. Most people won’t take such a long hiatus! Although you’ll have a period in time where your stats are lower, it’s not really a huge issue in the grand scheme of things. ❤
  • Your followers will miss youuuuuuuu!! (Possibly. Hopefully?) Of course, there are the followers who don’t actually visit your blog often or at all and who haven’t noticed your hiatus at all, whether it was for a week or a year, but the people you do interact will miss talking to you! I’m speaking from the context that whenever one of my blogger friends go on hiatus I definitely miss reading their posts and talking to them! #bloggerfriendsftw But on the bright side: when you return, they’ll be there to welcome you back! ❤

I wanted at least 3 for this part but my brain is like short circuiting and can’t come up with anything. Oops. But again, remember! Take that hiatus if you want to!! Don’t let my nonsensical ramblings take root in your head.

For how long can you take a hiatus?

Short answer: However long you want! It’s your life, your blog, your choice. Whether it’s a week, a month, 3 months or more, you do you!

Oh my lord that sounded so cheesy what is happening to me.

Let’s see. For me, I can’t remember exactly all the hiatuses I’ve taken, but there’s the most recent one, which lasted almost 2 weeks-ish? Wow, I didn’t think it was that long. For what it’s worth, I did try to come up with a blog post when I returned from Toronto, but it didn’t exactly work out?

Last year, I took my longest hiatus (hopefully the record will never be surpassed!) of around 7 months starting June-ish of 2016 and ending at the end of January/start of February this year. Prior to that… I may have taken a few weeks/few days off here and there? Though I have a bad habit of taking accidental hiatuses, if you will, where it wasn’t really planned and I don’t even end up mentioning it in a post or anything??? OOPS.

What was I talking about again?

Right. Length!

(Sometimes I wonder if I’m writing an actual coherent discussion or just typing whatever comes to my mind while looking at the screen.)

I definitely don’t plan on taking more than 1 month hiatus in the future though, particularly if the hiatus is due to my poor time management skills haha. Length of a hiatus definitely varies from person to person though? A lot of people I’ve seen take maybe a few days, or a week or two?

But honestly, the short and cheesy answer is actually 100% true. Your blog, your life, your choice!


Okay so that concludes this ‘discussion’! I put it in quotations seeing how I am very skeptical of whether or not this actually makes sense?? I read it over once and… that’s pretty much it. (Don’t do this for any essay, fyi.) SO I hope this made somewhat sense? What are your thoughts on taking a break from blogging: good or bad? How often do you take them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Side note; I am still behind on my comments, this post is currently being written at 1 AM, please bear with me haha. I love reading and replying to your comments though! I hope everyone has a great day, and I’ll talk to you guys soon! ❤

The ups and downs of blogging // 2 years blogiversary + birthday!!

Failed moment of the day: I literally spelled my blog title “Book Snakes” in an email and did not realize it for the longest time ever. Oops. (But it kind of sounds good? Is that just me…)

Hello everyone!! Ignore the above. 🙂 I meant to post this yesterday, but I got kind of caught up with things and didn’t get the chance, unfortunately. By things, I mean I turned 19 yesterday??? And it’s my 2 year-blogiversary?? It honestly doesn’t feel any different but somehow I’m older? But like I’m still not down with this whole adulting thing… #helpwhereismychildhood

This isn’t going to be a me-focused post, but a mini timeline:

I started my blog on March 20-something (let’s go with 24th because it’s around the time I started posting more often + saves me from mixing up dates), 2015. I have since then:

  • Survived high school (?!)
  • Started university (SO MUCH WORK but I suppose it’s an accomplishment haha)
  • Continued part-time work (aka I have even less time)
  • Bought too many books
  • Went to Disney World + Universal Studios (HARRY POTTER omg I CAN’TTTTT) and literally had the best time ever
  • Seriously though you can’t imagine how amazing it was.
  • I’m actually in love with Butterbeer and I even got a stuffed Hedwig I love herrrrr
  • I know I never even mentioned this until now?? lol. But I went during the week of Christmas (SO BUSY my god) and it was basically my dream come true in HP World. I adore roller coasters so much and it was heaven.
  • Written 435 posts (including this one)
  • Procrastinated on too many things

Can you believe it’s also been 2 YEARS since I started this blog??? My. mind. can’t. process. this. HOW has it been so long??? (Well, long for me, anyway, seeing how I never thought this would last this much time.) Granted, I didn’t blog for 7 months during this time, which is probably why it doesn’t really feel like 2 years, but nonetheless, it’s been 2 years since I started the blog! I wanted to take a moment to thank you guys, first of all, for sticking through my rambling inconsistent nonsense (who would have thought???), and secondly, for making this whole blogging thing SO WORTHWHILE. ❤ ❤

BUT. Blogging is HARD. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about particularly the things that are difficult, so here we go!

What I struggled with

Finding the time to blog

This is actually something I still struggle with, honestly. What is time and how do we have enough of it to do the 19876 things in our lives??? Someone please offer the answer, because I have no clue. When I first started, I tried to post everyday, and for a few months at a time, it worked. But my quality of posts were not as good, and I ended up giving up on the daily posts thing because life just gets SO BUSY. I occasionally prepare my posts in advance now, but other times, even that proves to be challenging. The posts alone can take so much of my time, it takes at least an hour for most posts, depending on the type… but then you add in making graphics, commenting, and all other blogging things… LIKE I SAID. No time. *cry face*

Writing blog posts

Finding the inspiration and idea to write a blog post–a creative, and interesting one–was actually much harder than I’d expected?? Am I the only one who thinks this?? I love writing discussions, for one, but coming up with a topic?? Can be so hard. Sometimes I’m totally struck by inspiration and it can be easy, but other times I try (and fail) to writing something semi-coherent and enjoyable to read haha. I’ve had to resign myself to this fact: there are very few ‘original’ topics. Most things (such as this pros and cons of blogging, if you will) have already been written about. But, as I learned, it’s your own take on it that makes it an interesting post! But that is hard when the topic just isn’t coming to you… *glares at past blogging slumps* Very familiar with that, unfortunately. 

Blog hopping & commenting

I adore blog hopping and commenting on other blogs!! It’s so much fun and I always love hearing from other bloggers–that interaction is what makes blogging so special, right? What I struggle with is again, time. Time, to not only reply to comments on my own blog, but also leave a comment on the commenter’s blog, and then go blog-hop on and comments on other blogs. I try my best, but sometimes I get behind on my commenting game, and reply to comments a bit late–and then also spend double the amount of time binge-blog hopping and catching up on posts I’ve missed. It’s just so time-consuming though, and I feel so bad that I can’t make it to every blog ahah. If I haven’t stopped by your blog in a while, I promise, I’m trying! 🙂

Getting caught up in the stats

I didn’t expect much when I first started blogging in terms of stats (i.e. followers, likes, comments, etc.) but I think after two years there are things I’ve come to expect from my blog, and I won’t lie, stats kind of really impacted my blogging experience in a negative way sometimes. As a human being, as a perfectionist-in-certain-areas person in particular, being ‘successful’ (in quotations because everyone has different definitions) is kind of a goal. And blogging takes so much work, and effort, that getting, say, lots of views, or lots of comments on your posts feels good, and when you don’t, it can lead, inevitably, to disappointment, which can lead later to a lack of motivation to blog. The easiest thing, I’ve learned, is to not care about the stats as much, but that’s easier said than done. It’s perfectly fine to care about the stats, just need to find that balance so that it doesn’t start to bring you down.

Comparing myself to other bloggers

Is it just me who has looked at other bloggers before “Their blog is so [successful/popular/creative/eye-catching/insert attribute here]” and subconsciously compared it to my own? There are SO MANY absolutely amazing blogs out there that 100% deserve all the praises, and I would be the first one to gush over the many fabulous qualities. I think it’s great to show that support, those bloggers deserve it so much! But then, comes in the creeping thought of “Is mine not good enough?” or “Why isn’t mine as successful?” and that’s when it gets difficult. I’ve been through it. Let me say this: YOUR BLOG IS GREAT, PEOPLE. I truly mean it. Stats, everything, doesn’t matter if you’re happy with your blog. It’s perfectly fine to love other blogs (you totally should!!) but take a moment to just appreciate your blog as well instead of comparing it because that will make you so much happier. ❤ #lessonlearned xD

What makes it all so worth it:

The blogging community

#1 reason, hands down!! My praises for the blogging community are literally endless. The limitless amount of kind, caring and such amazing people that I’ve met during my blogging years make me ask why aren’t people around the world more like them?? Legit, if the world was as lovely as the blogging community, we’d have world peace and so much more love!! ❤ ❤ Even better is the fact that through the blogging community, I’ve gotten the chance to meet and learn, about so many people, so many things, and of course, new books. It feels so great to know that whenever I have a book I adore (or a book I despise), there will ALWAYS be someone there to either fangirl or rant with me. That sense of belonging, got lost to me a few times over my blogging journey (7 months disappearing kind of does that…) but blogging again re-introduced me to the magic that I fell in love with; There is no better feeling than fangirling with another fellow human, a friend who understands you. And I know I’m verging on cheesiness-overload (if I’m not already swimming in it), but I really mean that! The amount of friends I’ve made through blogging has made all of it SO WORTH IT. All of the struggles I mentioned above? Mean nothing, at the end of the day when I think about how great all of you are. THANK YOU for being such lovely human beings. ❤ ❤

Gosh, now I’m all emotional. This is terrible for my rep, guys. Ugh. ❤

There are so many other good sides to blogging, trust me, but I’m really short on time right now and I hope this is enough aha. ❤ ❤ The blogging community is absolutely the best part though?!?


I still can’t believe it’s been 2 years. 

Okay, okay, I’ll get used to it! But thank you once again, and tell me: have you gone through any of these struggles?? How long have you been blogging, and what do you love about it? (Me, obviously, but that’s a given. :P) I love talking to each and every one of you, thank you SO MUCH for just being so supportive. ❤ ❤ A million hugs to all of you!!

Blogging Babbles: Blog design, Self-hosting and other daunting thoughts | DISCUSSION

*everyone double takes at the title as they realize it is not retelling/fairytale/Beauty and the Beast themed*

Yes, you read that right!! I will admit, yes, perhaps I was just a tiny bit obsessed with Beauty and the Beast for the past days leading up to the movie’s release, and had a few* themed posts the past week or so. I do hope you guys enjoyed it!! BUT. I am ready to move forward! My 2nd blogiversary is coming up soon**–though I need help deciding whether it counts because I didn’t blog for 7 months last year???–which means I’ve got a more blogging focus going right now. (You can tell I’m really into the “theme” idea here…).

*3, to be exact. Not very many, in the grand scheme of things. I was contemplating writing a post this time on why you should watch the movie itself, [which I adored by the way] but I figured a post of me screeching about how amazing it was wouldn’t be very helpful. So. JUST GO WATCH IT. And then come to squeal with me on the blog or on Twitter. Ahem.

**I can’t believe it’s been 2 years?????!! BUT. It’s a bit more complicated because I wasn’t sure if I was going to count this because I took a 7-month hiatus last year where I didn’t post anything??? I literally was DEAD. I’m scarred just looking at the HUGE BLANK in my blogging calendar for that time. Is my blogiversary even valid right now if technically it’s been 2 years – (minus) 7 months of blogging???? HELPPPPPP.

The topic you see here today is something that I had wondered/asked myself and was conflicted about for quite some time: Changing your blog’s design and the big question: self-hosting–Should you do it, the process, pros and cons, etc. AND I AM SO CONFLICTED. So let’s discuss! (Aka helpppppppp me I am a smol uncertain bean here)

The great self-host debacle begins!

*sigh* I make it sound so much more interesting than it is.

Why it is tempting.

My blog, has had pretty much the same look ever since I started blogging; the Visual theme offered by WordPress.com. A dark background with white lettering. What you see now is what it’s pretty much what’s always been, and there’s not really anything I can do to change its apperance. And I think that’s one of the things that has me thinking about the daunting idea of self-hosting, because it offers more freedom and control over blog design and how it looks. 

See, I still really like the theme I have now, but I’ve really been juggling with the idea of having a white background as a change instead of the dark one I have now. I do like it, because I feel like it’s unique in the sense that not many people (that I follow or have seen, anyway) have this theme, or a dark background. But even aside from that, I liked how it looked. But a light background is tempting because it feels so much more positive and uplifting than the dark one I have and also several people said they might like it better… It could bring a much-needed change to my blog?? I don’t know. *shrug*

So, I scroll through the free themes WordPress.com has to offer, preview a bunch of them, spend too much time screeching in despair, and I can’t find anything new, that suits me. I found a few themes that I like, but have been used so many times it doesn’t feel like me or feels like I’d be copying other bloggers haha. Which is silly, I know, but something in my head all the same. Others in theory are really nice but lack some of the qualities I’m looking for.

There’s also the option of WordPress.com’s Premium themes, before we hop on the self-hosting wagon. I’ve looked through some of those as well and although they’re nice, I couldn’t find anything that fit either. Shhhh I’m not being that picky. Don’t get me wrong, they’re really nice and I haven’t seen all of them, but at the moment, I’m still indifferent.

Which brings me to self-hosting! The two main reasons why it’s tempting to me at the moment: a) freedom over several things, but especially blog design, i.e. more options to play around with and b) my own blog name. Aka no “.wordpress.com” after your blog’s title URL. It’s nothing I can’t deal with, but I’d love to have my URL just be “booksnacks.com”, and self-hosting would allow me to do that.*

*I’ve also heard you can also buy your domain to get rid of the wordpress.com?? Or buy the URL?? Something like that? So it would still be WordPress hosting your site, but you can get rid of the ‘wordpress.com’?? Correct me if I’m wrong! But that’s definitely another idea as well.

The perks of self-hosting (WordPress.org), in a nutshell:

  • Full control over blog design, formatting, theme, etc.
  • More media space (I think?)
  • Option of monetizing your blog via ads
  • Basically lots of freedom.
  • Own domain (no wordpress.com)

There is a bunch more stuff about self-hosting vs not at these links, if you want to check them out: Difference between WordPress.com and .orgpros and cons, a helpful comparison.

To play the devil’s advocate…

Aka my fears and questions show their little heads

  • “What if you lose your posts while moving over to a different platform??” Okay, the earlier ones can disappear into the darkness but I have worked hard on the rest of the posts?? I poured my soul into them*, but mostly so much TIME and it would kind of suck if that all disappeared. o.O
  • “What if I lose followers/views?” I mean, it’s not that much of a big deal, but it would kind of suck if that happened?? Being a very lazy person, I like the convenience of having to only press one button in order to follow wordpress.com blogs, and the WordPress Reader is how many people find my blog so like…?? Again, not a big deal but it’s in your head all the same, you know?
  • “Do I even want to self-host?” Remember me being a very lazy person? Yeah, well seeing how switching to self-hosted would be I’d have to put in all that extra work and time keeping the blog in proper condition. And I don’t have enough time as it is…??
  • “I finally got the hang of this WordPress thing?? And self-hosting seems so much harder??” Correct me if I’m wrong, but self-hosted blog require more work, no? And definitely a lot of new things to grasp and learn about. I know there are tons of articles out there helping out with that sort of thing, but still. New. Concepts. #notime
  • “I can’t really pay for it??” I mean, I can but that’s an added expense that could’ve been spent on a) chocolate b) BOOKSSSSS c) new fuzzy socks or d) Bath and Body Works and e) MORE BOOKS.
  • Tbh why am I even having this discussion??
  • Cause the whole concept of self-hosting depends on PAYING.
  • And I just don’t have the finances for that?? #studentlife

BUT. It is still definitely that I’m interested in mostly because I want to change my theme but I can’t find anything for free that suits what I want and self-hosting would offer more freedom? As well as the fact that having a dot com url would be kind of nice. Yet WordPress.com is free and I have to do less work so. #nice And it’s also a great community and it’s easy to interact with others (via Reader)? UGH. SO MANY STRUGGLES. #halp


But what are your thoughts?? Have you thought about self-hosting? Have you changed your theme before? (Should I change mine??) If you are self-hosted, how is your experience? (Also does a blogiversary count if it’s technically been 2 years since you started but you hadn’t blogged for 7 months in that time??????)

Let’s chat!

What I love about Beauty and the Beast + Retellings | THE MOVIE IS OUT!!

Beauty and the Beast is finally OUT!! *cue screaming* Or for others, will be out very soon?!! I actually watched it yesterday and I loved it so much!! To be expected of course, but oh my gosh, the anticipation for this movie, the expectations were so high and ajrlkwjgwjgwinencksanwhenjfhsjns I’m just so glad this movie was made the way it was and MET MY EXPECTATIONS. *squeals*

And that’s perhaps a post for another time, but today, continuing my little B&B theme going on, I wanted to do a post about what I love about Beauty and the Beast! I’ve talked before about loving retellings, but I never discussed what I love about the fairytale this was all inspired by?!?? So here we go!!

1. Belle is kind of fabulous

I relate to Belle so much?? Okay, fine, I relate to her love for her books. I can’t exactly relate to anything else, but BOOKS. I love books + Belle loves books = I love Belle for loving books! I also love her dedication and love for her father, it’s really sweet! We don’t see many positive parent-child relationships in the earlier Disney princess movies–and side note: the live-action movie represented it better than the animated one in my opinion!! She’s also brave and kind, and this is highlighted even more in the live-action movie. (Whoops, this is becoming less of my thoughts on the original fairytale and more on the live-action movie!!)

2. The Beast

Okay, so he’s a total… um BEAST?? And he is quite horrible 70% of the time, but the relationship between Belle and the Beast is a pretty big factor as to why so many love the story–albeit the fact that there are definitely problematic issues with it. But he goes through a sweet journey and has nice growth #thingsreadersappreciate. No joke, everyone is fawning over the relationship between him and Belle and I’m just here like I’m glad he’s not as much of a jerk at the end #truth. But I did love the beast, don’t get me wrong haha.

3. LOVE (for the library, obviously.)

DO YOU SEE THAT LIBRARY??!?? THAT IS MY LOVE RIGHT THERE. ❤ ❤ Imagine having a library like that??! Filled with alllllllll the pretty books I adore… #goals. Booklover’s dream right here. Forget the prince, I want his library?? Give it to meeeeeee.

4. Belle and Beast’s Relationship

I’m not here to discuss the Stockholm Syndrome debacle and all, because a) I don’t feel qualified haha and b) that’s a whole other issue that is not the point of what I’m trying to say haha. What I love about their relationship is the growth and the development, and the beauty in finding the beauty within. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all, right? Seeing the Beast change and become more caring, and less beastly haha, and Belle falling for his kind side (and not the abusive side, mind you) was actually very sweet!! ❤ (And it was so lovely in the live-action movie!!!!)

5. Lumiere, Cogsworth, etc give me life.

I’m kind of in love with all of them?? Haha they’re just so much fun and adorable and growing up, they’re definitely one of the reasons I loved the movie. Call me childlike if you want, but they’re just as precious and just as much part of the story as anyone else!!

6. Tale as old as time.

Such nostalgia! Such memories! Beauty and the Beast (and just Disney in general) was such a big part of my life growing up haha and there’s just that emotional attachment! They all have this aspect of magic to them and I just think, that, paired with all the other elements, makes it so memorable–and so beloved. The theme, the characters, the story, all of it, is just so special.

Retellings for your Beauty and the Beast cravings!

Okayyyyy so confession!! As much as I’m obsessed with Beauty and the Beast, and obsessed with retellings, I haven’t actually read many retellings of it? I know! #sad BUT. I shall read more of them!! And I have collected a bunch of them, as many as I could find, for future reference and for you all to either a) add them to your own monstrous TBR, b) screech at me to read one of them that you adored or c) join me in my despair as we realize the lack of B&B in my life *the horror!!*

Read

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: An obvious pick, much? Haha. One of the most popular B&B retellings out there, I think. It’s New-Adult, I believe, and has some steamy scenes, but that’s the extent of it! I really loved this one.
  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: I liked this one! I think?? It’s been a while since I read it and I’m not exactly sure anymore haha. It definitely had its issues, though (like any book) but it was still pretty good! The main character, Nyx, was kind of annoying, but I liked the world and the concept.
  • Beastly by Alex Flinn: Aha… um okay. Well. Didn’t like this one very much. Or at all. Which is so sad!! Because it’s Beauty and the Beast and everything but like…. I couldn’t connect to the characters much at all? The narrator, the Beast, was actually SO ANNOYING and didn’t get any better, and I just didn’t care about him at all. So disappointing!

Unread

  • Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay: I haven’t read this one, but it sounds really good?? It  was released 4 years ago, and I’ve heard really great things.
  • Hunted by Megan Spooner: This was released a few days ago, I believe, and I can’t wait to read this one!! Out of all the retellings, I think this is the most recently-released and most anticipated one for me.
  • As Old As Time by Liz Braswell: This one actually seems really good as well! I definitely want to pick it up sometime.

That’s it for this post! I LOVE Beauty and the Beast so much, and I just wanted to share a few reasons why, though I suppose a lot of it goes unsaid! 🙂 By the way, the movie was AMAZING and I now am going to squeal at all of you to go watch it!! If you couldn’t tell by my blog posts recently, I’m obsessed with this and the movie was so great as well so basically I’m screeching in happiness.
But I digress!! What do you love about Beauty and the Beast? What are you *gasp* not a fan of? (It’s okay, I can take it. Mostly.) What retellings of it have you read/recommend for me to read? Have you watched the movie/plan to watch the movie (the correct answer to the latter is a solid yes btw)? Let me know in the comments!!
Lots of love!