I’M BACK FOR THE NEW YEAR! // Goodbye 2017 ft. the end of year book survey + 2018 resolutions!

IT’S 2018!

HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE.

High key mind blown right now???? (Even though we’ve had several days already to process the news)

It’s been a couple of days* since I’ve last talked to you guys and now it’s 2018???? What is this witchcraft????? I am led to believe I CAN CONTROL TIME, GUYS.

*days = months :O

…But obviously not really because if so I would’ve frozen time to finish my TBR (smart, eh?) and keep up with this blog and the community which I have ABANDONED for the past few months…

I’ve had a rough couple of months, with work and my studies which were becoming too overwhelming to handle alongside with blogging, and although this hiatus certainly helped and I don’t necessarily regret it, I am sorry for leaving so suddenly and overall ending 2017 with… silence?

YOU GUYS DESERVE MORE THAN THAT and I’ve also missed talking to you so much… FORGIVE ME, FRIENDS. ❤

But now it’s 2018 and I’m not usually one of those “new year, new me” people (we all know I’m gonna forget all about my so-called new year’s resolutions as soon as February hits but shhh) I’m taking it as a fresh start!

To wrap up 2017, I’ve decided to participate in the annual End of Year Survey for 2017 hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner! (But I’m cheating and haven’t answered some/many of the questions.)

AKA BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS.

Paradise, yes?Read More »

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Easy ways to make your blog posts more appealing! // Basically I’m the most helpful human ever

A lot of us, cater to our readers!

Sure, we blog for ourselves, because we like blogging and sharing our thoughts, but we want the people reading our posts to enjoy it! And of course, the number one thing in that is CONTENT, buuuuut:

There is also the aesthetic side of your posts that will simply make life so much easier for readers and add to the appeal-factor of your post. You know? Of course, these are just suggestions and things that I personally do or have seen other people do, and I’m in no way trying to say you HAVE to these or that without these your posts are horrible. I promise!!Read More »

8 odd things about my secret blogging habits no one asked about but I reveal anyway!

I am a very secretive* potato!!

Hence, this is a very monumental day as I am actually SHARING my top secret blogging habits! * no one gasps but GASP *

Everyone blogs a little bit differently, and we all have our own blogging habits! Some of them are pretty normal/reasonable, other ones are perhaps a little more… unique? Different?

Either way, I just wanted to share some of my own blogging habits and hopefully either relate to your own habits or spark a little chat about blogging habits because we’re ALL BLOGGERS HERE! Time to spill secrets. 😀

*Okay, maybe not, but humor me here, okay?Read More »

9 Reasons I have TRUST ISSUES with WordPress!

“WordPress is useful! WordPress is easy to use!” They say.

And sure, they’re not completely wrong? (Obviously or I would not be blogging on WordPress at all because I hate anything complicated and that I don’t understand there are many other platforms available if I didn’t like it.)

YET.

No site is perfect and so I find myself facing great troubles that cause much woe*! So obviously I came to wonder if WordPress has done this before to other people or whether it just holds a grudge against me… Hence, here are the odd glitches that have happened to me on WordPress, or just simply why I have trust issues with WP!

*No exaggeration whatsoever. Nope.Read More »

Blogging things I am very behind on // Because procrastination! And other distractions!

Hi everyone!! How are you? I hope you’re doing well since the last time I’ve spoken to you guys, which wasn’t that very long ago actually. 🙂 Today, I wanted to talk a bit about blogging habits… a bit more of an unconventional topic, though perhaps?? I don’t even know what inspired this post, honestly, but it’s something that I was wondering if anyone else had dealt with? Blogging, as we all know, takes much time and there are certain things you need to work on regularly, of course, like blog posts. But that’s not the only thing that goes with blogging! There are so many aspects to it which I am TOTALLY BEHIND ON, apart from blog posts (though I’ve been getting better at preparing blog posts so YAY), that can still be important! And I wanted to share those today!!Read More »

Types of commenters // Because categorizing things is my favourite? + I reached 1k (!!!) + GIVEAWAY

Thought since like, Wednesday (?): Either the 1000 is made of random bots or there are actually people who followed and read my posts??? I DO NOT KNOW. 

[Okay, but I recently finished Geekerella and the MC had like, 30 000 followers on her blog over the course of a few days?? HOW??? (Oh right, fictional being. Ha.) ]

Helllo everyone and I hope you’re doing well (and enjoying Father’s Day)!! I am so glad it’s the weekend omg though it’s ending so quickly?? I have extended family over and it’s super hectic (which is why I’ve been slower with blog hopping and comments!) but weekends are weekends!

In other news, in case… somehow you didn’t read the title?? (idk it could happen I guess) I REACHED 1000 FOLLOWERS!! Don’t worry, I won’t go all mushy on you but to all of you who reads, likes, and/or comments on my posts, thank you so much, it honestly means the world to me and one of the biggest reasons I continue to blog.  So THANK YOU ily guys so much!! ❤ (I still half feel like I’m dreaming but whateverrr apparently it’s real?)

So I talked a bit about my thoughts on comments last time, and it inspired me to come up with: A LIST! Because people seem to like those (same #lists4ever) and also because categorizing things is a pass time of mine (lol), this time we’re going to focus on: Types of commenters*!!  As my ever-so-grateful thanks for all of you who follow (and comment) on my blog. 😉 ❤ AND! I have a little extra surprise for y’all at the bottom as well which I also revealed in the title!! Am I kind of forcing you to stay and read this post yes yes I am.

*WHYYY is commenter underlined in red??? I even added it to dictionary STOP IT’S A WORD (isn’t it)?Read More »

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.Read More »

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 finally did it! // NEW Blog theme, headers, and profile! *Cue excitement*

I know. What are you even reading right now??!

Forget that, what are you SEEING right now??!*

You’re not mistaken, I promise!

As the title says, I finally did it! I changed my blog theme (Visual) after 2 years of blogging. *celebrates with chocolate and binge-buying all the books I said I would not buy* I am SO excited to finally go through with it.

I mentioned it a couple of times, wanting to change my blog theme, discussing the option of self-hosting as well, because I wanted more options for my blog and was getting tired of my theme, to be honest. It didn’t motivate me to blog anymore, and I’ve been restless to change it! The dark theme just wasn’t doing it and I’m a firm believer in doing whatever feels right for yourself and your blog.

So, I finally decided on this theme!! It’s super popular throughout the blogging community I noticed, and I was kind of worried people would think I’m copying their theme, but in the end I really couldn’t find many other themes that suited me and what I was looking for and I just really love the look of this theme. 😀

*That is, if you’re actually on my blog and not looking at this post on the Reader or email LOL.

Now, for the fun part! Graphics!

I made this graphic using the lovely watercolor background that Angie from Angie Makes so kindly offers as a freebie! There were several variations I played with, but in the end I thought this one looked good. I had a variation of this where I used the Playlist Script font which was so beautiful but I decided to keep the Brusher font I’ve been using for my header images. It just has the nice mix of looking elegant but playful, I guess??

I’m debating whether or not I should go for a gold theme instead though??????? GUYS I’M SO BAD AT MAKING DECISIONS. I think the pink one looks good though??? Or is it too pink? (I GIVE UP. )

But, for the sake of this post and my sanity, I’ll go with the pink theme unless there’s some serious problem haha.

So, I would totally do the whole text box thingy with the HTML code and stuff but like… laziness?? And it’s hardly necessary, this is mostly so you guys can see what my profile picture will now look like, hopefully… When I get around to changing it! It’s going to be so weird, to see the different icon, I think, I got so used to having the one I have now haha.

And that’s the new design for the dividers I plan on using! I never really used dividers before, but I think they’re a great way to break up text, especially since I don’t always have a lot of images.

I’m honestly not sure AT ALL how and if I’m going to be changing my post headers though?? I kind of like how simple and easy they are to make at the moment, and I’m not exactly sure what I’d change them to. We’ll see! I kind of don’t mind the one I have right now, just might change the font.


Oh yeah, that’s new too! 😉 I also have another variation for the ending graphic, not sure if I’ll use this or the Let’s chat but it’s an option and I think it’s cute ahah. ❤

Have you ever changed your blog theme? I hope you guys like my new theme and graphics! Let me know your thoughts!! 

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! ❤

Books I would’ve read in March if I hadn’t been in a slump // Lists + books = fun!

Thought of the day: The universe doesn’t like to give me sleep. 

Hey everyone! I hope your first few days of April has been going well! I’m currently writing this super late, hence the above little thought because SLEEP. One of the things I love almost as much as books that, unlike books, I don’t get enough of…

But moving on, the title of this post is kind of unconventional, but, I didn’t want to exactly do a wrap-up seeing how there were so little things that happened (including the amount of books read… I believe I read 2? Possibly 3? You’d think I’d be able to remember the amount since it’s so small, but. Goldfish here.) The biggest thing, however, was my birthday and blogiversary, which I already posted about so you see? And I also talked briefly about how much I adored the movie of Beauty and the Beast (SO SO GOOD GUYS)… I am a boring little potato sometimes.

SO March wasn’t very interesting, small exciting moments aside. I’m glad I was able to still post a bit for you guys though! I’m currently trying to come up with an easier schedule for me so I can post a little more regularly, but anyway. Today’s post is kind of like a TBR?? Except not really, because I’m a huge mood reader and planning out what to read is lots of fun (because LISTS and BOOKS) but actually following that plan? Um. Yeah, no. So instead, it’s just the list and the books without any sort of attachments to it? I’m not making any sense, am I. Oh well. Letès just get into the books I would’ve read in March if I could’ve. 

Caraval by Stephanie Garbar:  I have lost count of how many people adored this book?? It sounds like something I would totally devour and I totally would’ve loved to read it last month. I will definitely be getting around to it someday, fingers crossed this month?! 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I KNOW, I KNOW. This book is at the top of my TBR right now, I know this isn’t a TBR post, but aghhhh if only my slump hadn’t attacked during March! I had been looking forward to this book for so long. Everyone has been praising this book nonstop, it’s a diverse read, own-voices, SO MANY REASONS TO READ THIS. 

Hunted by Megan Spooner:  Beauty and the Beast retelling? Yes please! I haven’t read many reviews on this one, but the ones I have read are really good (haven’t gone looking for the bad ones, granted) and I really would’ve loved to read this last month, seeing how the movie of B&B was released then! SIGH. Slumps.

RoseBlood by A.G. HowardI haven’t read any of A.G. Howard’s books yet, and I plan to read her previous series Splintered as well, but I really wanted to try this one out! It’s a standalone for one thing, as well as a retelling of Phantom of the Opera. I’ve heard mixed things, but I definitely want to give it a try someday!

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine:  Remember how I said this isn’t a TBR? Yeah, I’m going to be honest and say I don’t think I’ll be reading this anytime soon… I loved the first book, The Imposter Queen, but it’s been such a long time that this has lowered in priority at the moment. I do want to read it though, and had I been in a more reading mood for March, I could definitely see myself picking this up.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab: In case you weren’t aware; V.E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors ever?? The Shades of Magic series has forever changed me and I am IN LOVE with her writing. I don’t even know why I haven’t read this yet???! Someone push me to read it. 

– Starfall by Melissa Landers: I hope to read this sometime as well, but again, it’s been a while so the details from the first book are a bit blurry! The POV changed too, which I’ll admit has me more hesitant because I loved the main characters in the first book so much. The struggle of companion novels. Authors, stop getting me so attached to the characters if you’re just going to snatch them away from me later?? (That goes for character deaths too actually.) 

– The Bone Witch by Run Chupeco: I don’t know if I really would’ve read this, but I definitely wouldève loved to, and will pick it up sometime in the future, hopefully! I’ve heard that it’s a diverse book, and it sounds really good, so fingers crossed for someday!

By Your Side by Kasie West Kasie West is so great at writing fluffy contemporaries! Her contemporaries are always so cute and fun and although this one has gotten mixed reviews (some expressing disappointment at the lack of the library plot being used properly, nooooooo) I definitely think it would be fun to try all the same.

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed I love finding new diverse reads, and I stumbled across this one a while ago and I’ve really wanted to read it! I even tried starting it a few times I think, but didn’t get too far in and obviously, didn’t finish it. We’re not doing a monthly TBR here, but if we were, I definitely want to give this a shot!


That was what, 10 books? I can’t say really if I would really be able to finish all of these, or if perhaps I would’ve chosen other books than these ones had I not been in a slump, but nonetheless these are some books I had a good chance of picking up! Some of these I hope I can read this month, others I may not, who knows! Sidenote: there’s a fair amount of fantasy here?? Whoops. Sorry not sorry. I would love to have any other recs though, contemporary or otherwise! I also want to read more diverse books; feel free to hit me up with suggestions for those as well. But mostly: have you read any of these books? Which should I prioritize? How was your month of March? (Pray for a no-slump month for me plz. :P)

I hope you have a lovely day! ❤

Basically a whole bunch of contemporary! // 2017 April Book Releases

It’s no longer April Fool’s, but funny-not-funny story for yesterday: I woke up to my sister screaming and acting like there was a spider on my bed. AGH. #sisterproblems

Hello everyone and happy second day of April! I hope your first couple of days of April have been off to a good start! I haven’t posted for the past few days though, sorry about that! I’ve been so busy and just haven’t gotten a chance to blog hop, read, or write a post at all. WHY DOES TIME HATE ME. A struggle that goes on forever. I know I don’t really have to apologize, but nonetheless.

It so does not feel like April though?? I will never understand this whole time and month thing, honestly. It feels so short. But, it is (apparently) April, which means it’s time for new books being released!! I had not had much time at all to read last month, like at all (I finished 3 books?? Which is not terrible but not at all my usual number… I hardly read any books.) BUT. I am of course an addict for new books and I am loving the titles being released this month!

April 1st

All the Forever Things by Jolene Perry: I don’t know about this one, actually?? It sounds and looks super cute but I’ve briefly skimmed some reviews and it doesn’t seem to be something I think I’d enjoy. But, nonetheless, willing to keep an open mind!

The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil: The main character in this one is a genius! And has social anxiety! (? correct me if I’m wrong, someone!) And that’s all I know about it! But it sounds amazing and I’ve seen people rave about it, so count me in.

April 4th

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor: Seemingly a cute contemporary! It sounds like a really fun read.

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren: Another contemporary! April is really bringing on the cute contemporary reads–not that I mind! Contemporary is one of my favourite genres, next to fantasy. Bring on the cute reads!

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: Ummmmm. No idea what it’s about. Oh well. It’s a contemporary? Sorry, I am no help with this description thing…

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr: Another contemporary! I have no idea what it’s about (I AM A GOLDFISH, OKAY.) but it looks cute!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: I believe this is a contemporary?? THE COVER IS SO PRETTY. I’m in love.

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure: Coma patients! Friendship (??) and another contemporary! This one sounds pretty interesting, actually.

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean: Uhhh… Do I know what this book is about??? Nope. But the cover is pretty??

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: A sci-fi novel! I liked the author’s previous works well enough, so I’m interested in seeing how this one turns out.

Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Shattered Realms #2): I haven’t read any of this series or any of the author’s books, but I really want to!! I’ve heard her fantasy books are really amazing, and I can’t wait.

Perfect by Cecelia Ahern (Flawed #2): This is the sequel to the first book, that released last year (Flawed) and I haven’t read that one either, but for those who have, I hope you enjoy this one!

April 6th

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas: I believe this book deals with a character with autism?? I can’t comment on the rep or the content at all, obviously, but I heard it was good and I’m hoping that’s true?

April 11th

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: IT’S ALMOST HERE!!! Becky Albertallu aka creator of my best friend Simon is releasing a NEW BOOK. *flails* *dies*

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer: Retelling galore!! You guys probably know how much I love retellings *cough* Beauty and the Beast phase *cough* so I’m super excited for this one.

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman: PIRATES AND PIRATING! YAY. I really enjoyed the first book, Blackhearts, and I need this one asap?? Plz and thanks.

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz: I’ve recently gotten into Hamilton??? SO PERFECT TIMING because I’m obsessed with it and I will devour this book because: Hamilton and Eliza’s story. Yayyy! (Don’t disappoint me pleaseeeeee.)

Side note: The lack of coordination color-wise of these covers side to side makes me frustrated. WHY CAN’T THEY FOLLOW A THEME. I suppose they all have some black?? Except Spindle Fire is like gray?? I CAN’T.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (Given Duet #1): Mindy McGinnis has wowed me before with previous works SO I WANT THIS NOW thanks.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno: I believe I may have read one other book from this author?? But like I can’t remember if it was by this author or not? But I honestly don’t know about this one… it just rubs me the wrong way for some reason. *shrug*

Literally by Lucy Keating: No idea what this one is about! I swear, I go on Goodreads. I just have a tiny little issue of forgetting the synopsis 2 seconds after I read it and being too lazy to reopen and read it again. Oops.

Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey: Awww what a cute pastel-blue cover with fancy-ish writing! I like it. Do I know what the story is about? Ummmm deception? And duels, duh.

April 18th

Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski: I love this cover design!! I WANT THIS NOW. It also seems super cute, so. Even death-and-more-death people need their contemporaries!

The Adjustment by Suzanne Young: I haven’t read this series, but, it’s ending so I might just end up reading the whole series one day! Until then, I hope the people who are reading this series enjoy this. 🙂

April 25th

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid: I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of the other book I read from this author, I believe it was Never Always Sometimes? Something like that. BUT. I am willing to give this author another chance!

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares: I actually read the synopsis again for this one! Because I needed to find the cover. And it sounds like a great book about relationships, family, and self-discovery, so yay!


In a nutshell: April is full of contemporary releases! If you’re a fan of contemporary, like me, I’m sure that news makes you happy. If not, well, there are still plenty of other past releases this year to keep you company! (Seriously, there are SO MANY BOOKS being released my goal of reading them all is rapidly growing more and more impossible… *cries*)

Which of these are you looking forward to?? Do you enjoy contemporaries? Are you being overwhelmed with the copious amounts of books being released?? Let me know in the comments!

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!

How to capture readers’ hearts A Darker Shades of Magic style

A Conjuring of Light is OUT!! Ahhhhh so many people have already started reading it, and I am DYING to read it, guys. UGH. I’m currently in the middle of my re-read of the the second book, A Gathering of Shadows, which is the only reason I haven’t picked up ACOL yet. #bookwormstruggles And I absolutely LOVE IT but I am so ready for the third book. I can’t wait to read it so I can do a joint review (… more like fangirling post, probably…) of books 2 and 3!

THAT ASIDE. I wanted to do something V.E. Schwab/Shades of Magic series related, which is why we’re here, as you can tell from the title of the post. I recently finished re-reading the first book of the series (and I loved it so much akskjfjkgnjchskkkansr) which is what this post is based on, essentially. Reading A Darker Shade of Magic was absolutely amazing, I loved it even more than I already did if that’s even possible. Pretty much none of my feelings changed except I loved Lila a lot more than I did the first time haha.

But I digress! I’m terrible at staying on track, oh my god. I suppose you can call this a review of sorts–although I already wrote one the first time I read this–but simply put: A Darker Shades of Magic is a lovely, torturous device of a book designed to crush and capture your hearts. I’m warning you. But also pushing you to read it immediately if you haven’t already because what bookworm doesn’t want their heart crushed? Psh, brb as I try to repair my fragile heart…

So alas, finally, let’s get into how to capture readers’ hearts A Darker Shade of Magic style! And don’t worry, this is fully SPOILER-FREE. You’re welcome, to the belated readers who have not read this yet. 😉

how-to-capture-readers-hearts-adsom-style

1. Create multiple worlds with vivid descriptions and magic.

It is an absolute given, if a book has multiple worlds and magic that you have captured at least one poor bookworm heart. (Mine, obviously.) Not to mention having vivid descriptions that make me feel as if I’m IN the book without having any threat of dying and other mild inconveniences?? SOLD. Who wouldn’t love that, honestly.

ADSOM reference: MULTIPLE LONDONS. Is that genius or what? Okay, so Grey London (‘Dull London’), White London (‘Creepy London’) and Black London (‘Dead London’) are not exactly tourist destinations* but Red London is to die for (!!) and nonetheless, they’re all the sign of amazing world-building.

adsom-londons-map

Even at night, the river shone red. As Kell stepped from the bank of one London onto the bank of another, the black slick of the Thames was replaced by the warm, steady glow of the Isle. It glittered like a jewel, lit from within, a ribbon of constant light unraveling through Red London. A source. A vein of power.

LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION.

*I mean, if I could just stop by them all as some kind of invisible side character for a while and be able to escape at a moment’s notice, I would totally do it just because they sound so EPIC, albeit very very dangerous.

2. A subtle, but swoon-worthy ship, YES.

Slow-burn romances are one of my absolute FAVOURITES. The feeling you get, reading a book and that warm feeling you get when you know two characters like eachother but they’re dancing around their feelings and also the banter and the sweet moments that slowly develop the relationship… so many emotions ahhhh.

ADSOM reference: Not even a spoiler because everyone can see this from a mile away: Kell and Lila are such an OTP. Their banter is adorable and the fact that they both have each other’s backs and are constantly saving each other is just so awesome and they just work so well together and agh no words. Such a perfect ship. What’s even better is that it doesn’t overshadow the main story at all, and instead is the perfect addition to the rest of the story.

“He would see her again. He knew he would. Magic bent the world. Pulled it into shape. There were fixed points. Most of the time they were places. But sometimes, rarely, they were people. For someone who never stood still, Lila felt like a pin in Kell’s world. One he was sure to snag on.”

SHIP. My heart is SO attached to this.

3. Have the characters stab all the things?!

Disclaimer: I am not crazy or sadistic when I say this! LOL. It will: a) Create awesome action scenes, b) show off your character’s fighting skills, c) be lots of fun to read (aka very very stressful because your character will most likely get hurt) and d) create much tension and suspense.

ADSOM reference: Now I can’t give away too much because #spoilers but let me just say, there was A LOT OF STABBING. And magicking with the aim to kill. So. I mentioned this in my first review, but A Darker Shade of Magic is not for the squeamish people! But if you enjoy fantasy and don’t mind stabbing and fight scenes, you know how EPIC a story can be with the right battle scenes. Omg. This book had so much stabbing and fighting and aghhhhh it totally made my heart race but it was SO GOOD.

Pretty accurate depiction of my own heart tbh when I'm reading...
Pretty accurate depiction of my own heart tbh when I’m reading…

4. Much sass and banter!

This may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but trust me when I say that sass and banter can be one of the BEST things ever. Besides, it can also: a) develop character (sassy pirates and princes, yes please) b) create a deep fondness in the reader for the characters because banter = fun amidst pain and c) make Analee very very happy.

ADSOM reference: There are so many little quips from the characters that I loved and made the reading experience so much fun! I lived for the quips and lines from Rhy, Kell and Lila omg. So perfect.

“Delilah Bard,” she said. “We’ve met before. And you looked worse.”
Rhy laughed silently. “I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg,” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”
Rhy broke into his perfect smile. “I like this one,” he said to Kell. “Can I borrow her?”
“You can try,” said Lila, raising a brow. “But you’ll be a prince without his fingers.”

GO LILA!

5. Have an epic bromance.

Bromances are very very important. *nods* They can make you either a) fall in love with the characters in said bromance or b) make you love said characters even more. In both situations, a beautifully written bromance = powerful emotions rivaled only by chocolate (of course) and perhaps a romantic ship. 😉

ADSOM reference: Kell and Rhy are one of the most amazing bromances everrrrrrr!! There is just something so beautiful and so adorable and so heartwarming about brotherly ties, and theirs was no exception.

Rhy sighed (…) [before he finally said] “There is nothing I would not give you.”
Kell’s chest ached. “I know.”
“You are my brother. My closest friend.”
“I know.”
“Then put an end to this foolishness, before I do.”
Kell managed a small, tired smile. “Careful, Rhy,” he said. “You’re beginning to sound like a king.”
Rhy’s mouth quirked. “One day I will be. And I need you there beside me.”
Kell smiled back. “Believe me. There’s no place I’d rather be.” It was the truth.

MY HEART. Captured and crushed by these two. ❤


So! That’s all I have for this post aha. Let me finish this off by saying: y’all should go read the Shades of Magic series IMMEDIATELY if you haven’t already. (#nopressure psh) And let me brb, need to go piece back my heart in preparation for ACOL to break it again. Ahem.
No, but really, I hope you enjoyed this post! ❤ A Darker Shade of Magic is an amazing book, and the series only gets better from there. If you’ve read this book; what do you think on my tips on how to capture a reader’s heart ADSOM style? Have you read the rest of the series? (No spoilers for ACOL please!) If you haven’t read the series, do you plan on it? (The right answer is yes, btw.) (Jk.) Let me know your thoughts!
Happy Friday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee