How to: Not Overwhelm Yourself

5 tips to leading a balanced and productive life

Happy Monday!

Balancing work, life, and downtime is no simple task and it is easy to completely overwhelm yourself. That is why I am here to share 5 tips and steps I take to take control of my time and find the perfect balance.

This is geared towards those of us working at home, or just anyone who enjoys taking on multiple projects at a time while juggling everything else life has to offer. This would still be helpful to anyone who is busy and looking for some tips to avoid overwhelming yourself.

As a creative who enjoys working on multiple projects at once, I will be the first to admit that I often overwhelm myself. I am trying to get better at it which is why I wanted to make this post. It forced me to sit down and think about the things I wanted to change in my life to make it more balanced. Sometimes…well, often times, I take on too much and I am sure any other creative can agree. Since the things I work on (for the most part, give or take a few projects) are projects I genuinely enjoy like writing and social media, a lot of times I forget that it is still “work” and time-consuming. However, even if we enjoy our work, we need to take breaks and not let it consume all the hours of our day.

Learn how to get your work done while still taking time for yourself and live a balanced life with these 5 tips for not overwhelming yourself

1. Take a Look at Your Projects: What Can Stay and What Can Go?

The first reason you might be feeling overwhelm is because you are working on too many things! Which is why you need to make a list of everything you are working on and figure out if anything can go, or be postponed.

For example, I post blogs 3 times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) but because I have so many exciting projects on my plate, I decided it was best to cut it down to 2 times a week for the time being (Mondays and Fridays). I love writing for my blog and posting to it, but sometimes, we have to make sacrifices for the sake of our sanity. However, I am not too sad about it because it is only temporary. Once I finish up some current projects, I am hoping to return to posting 3 times a week.

When you make your list of projects, sort them by priority. If one of the projects involves your actual paying job, whatever that is, that should be your top priority because other people are expecting it to get done and it pays your bills. Figure out where your other projects fall after that, all in order of importance and/or urgency to least important and/or least urgent. Cut the 1 or 2 at the bottom off, or move them to the “save for later” pile. Ensure that you include at least 1 passion project though! This way, you will still be doing something you love and can look forward to making time for it during the day.

2. Set Your Work Day + Break Times

It is important to know when you are working and when you are not, especially if you are working at home and/or running your own business. I know it sounds silly and obvious, but a big contributing fact to me feeling overwhelmed is because I work until I feel “done.” This knocks any source of balance out of my life because my workday can go on until the minutes before I go to sleep.

Does a 9-5 workday not work for you? That’s okay, because while I used to do that, lately it hasn’t been working for me. Whatever time you want to start working, as long as you end it 8-9 hours later, having that normal work schedule (and sticking to it) will positively impact your mental health and sanity. Remember that this work schedule is for weekdays. I highly recommend trying to avoid working on weekends. Or, at least don’t make it a habit.

It is also important to schedule in your break time. This is something I am a rookie at because I will sit at my desk for hours, only breaking when I feel hungry or need go to the bathroom. In reality, you need to take at least an hour and a half of a break each workday.

3. Use a Planner

Organizing your projects and their deadlines is the key to leading a balanced life. You can use a paper planner or digital one like Google Calendars. I alternate between both and sometimes use them at the same time. Sit down with your planner at the end of each week, or the beginning, and plan the week ahead. Include your project deadlines as well as when you want to hit certain milestones within the project. For example, say you want to write 50,000 words in a month and you include a weekly goal of 10,000 words by every Sunday. Make sure you write that down!

Some other productivity tools I like to use to manage my projects and keep myself organized (and sane) are Trello and Hootsuite. I love Trello because it allows you to make different boards and then it lays out your tasks or goals in visually appealing way. You can easily move things around and add other boards too. On the other hand, Hootsuite lets me manage my social media posts. I take advantage of the free plan and have linked my Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to it. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts and create them on their website. I’ve only recently begun using it, but so far it has freed up so much time in my day.

4. Come Up with a List of Break Activities

When it is finally time for you to take a step back and relax during the workday, you should curate a list of activities that you can do so you don’t waste time trying to figure out what to do. Some things on my list are:

  • Read a book
  • Watch TV
  • Bullet journal
  • FaceTime a friend
  • Go on a walk

Add as many things to the list as you want, but having one ready to go will save you valuable break time. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, take a look at the photo below and try to tailor your break time activities to things that take care of your mind, body, and soul. It will ensure you get the most out of your break time!

5. Enforce an End Time

Figuring out when to end your day is crucial, otherwise you will keep working until the sun goes down and your eyelids are sagging with exhaustion. Whether that is 5 pm or 8 pm, choose a time and stick to it. Since I’ve been starting my workday later (at around 12 pm), my end time is now 8 or 9 pm. But no later than 9 pm!

Having an end time also helps to prevent burnout. If you keep chugging along into the night, there is a good chance you won’t feel as productive the next day. Slow and steady wins the race; remember that, because I know I have to remind myself of this all the time. It is better to consistently work 8 hours 5 days a week rather than 10 hours one day and only 4 hours the next. So, find an end time that works for you and stick to it.


Those are my 5 tips on how to not feel overwhelmed while keeping productive. I hope you found them helpful! If you have any other tips, don’t hesitate to leave them down below.

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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4 Podcasts to Spark Your Creativity

Happy Monday!

Podcasts are a great way to learn about new things or get motivated, which is why now is the perfect time to share four of my favourite podcasts that can spark your creativity during these somber times.

Personally, I love to listen to podcasts while cleaning or going on a walk, but occasionally, I will sit down and soak in all their wisdom. They help me unwind and pass the time, which are two things I look for daily. Hopefully, the podcasts listed below can do the same for you!

These podcasts that I am sharing are for the creative mind (entrepreneurs, writers, artists, etc), but I think they would be beneficial to anyone who listened to them. When I need a pick me up, these are the podcasters I turn to.

1. Gals on the Go

PodcastOne: Gals on the Go

I only recently started listening to this podcast hosted by Danielle Carolan and Brooke Miccio, two lifestyle YouTubers who I enjoy watching. They talk about their lives, social media, relationships, college, and life on the internet. They are honest and open about their struggles, especially during quarantine, which is inspiring to hear. It sparks creativity because these are two young but very successful people who are, as they say, “gals on the go.” Hearing their start-up stories and also about the type of social media work they do inspires me to be productive in my own work.

Their podcasts are more laid back so I find they are better background noise for when I am cleaning or doing housekeeping tasks on my laptop like answering emails. It just feels like two friends chatting and catching up with the occasional tip on how to stay positive and motivated when life has you down.

FAVOURITE EPISODES:

  • Our Quarantine Morning Routines
  • Chat with Maggie MacDonald: Social Media, College, Confidence + Being Yourself

2. That Smart Hustle

That Smart Hustle Podcast's stream on SoundCloud - Hear the ...

This is another podcast that is hosted by a YouTuber, and her name is Kristen Martin. She is a creative entrepreneur who posts vlogs related to writing, business, and lifestyle which she has expanded onto her podcast as well. She also posts about astrology and energy, which I am not into but if you are, then you should definitely check her out! She touches a lot on failing and accepting failure, as well as believing in yourself and your plan in order to succeed. I really like it when podcasts, especially podcasts for entrepreneurs, include this message because we all need that reminder every once and a while. 

I like to take walks and listen to this podcast because there are always a lot of gold nuggets of information that I don’t want to miss. These podcast episodes are short, ranging from 10-30 minutes usually, which is a nice break from the 40-60 minute ones! But keep in mind, you might want to download a few of these before taking a walk.

FAVOURITE EPISODES:

  • The One Thing I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Business
  • The Danger of Consuming More Than You’re Creating
  • When the Motivation Just Isn’t There

3. 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang

88 Cups of Tea | Listen via Stitcher for Podcasts

In the past, I have talked about this writing podcast and how much I loved it, and I still do! I highly recommend this one not only to writers but to creatives overall. Yin brings on artists of all sorts onto this podcast, and all the content is just so inspiring. I never finish an episode not ready to hop on my laptop and get writing. That is why if you are feeling in a rut, listen to this ASAP.

This podcast is one of those ones that you want to sit down and enjoy every minute of it. I recommend siting down somewhere comfy with a snack and a drink before pressing play because you won’t want to miss any info spilling out. It wouldn’t hurt to have a notebook too to jot down some notes. However, it is also great to listen to while on a walk. When I was younger, I would listen to it every day on my walk to and from school.

It also helps that Yin brings on so many of my favourite authors, making me jump on each episode as soon as it releases.

FAVOURITE EPISODES:

  • MAGGIE STIEFVATER: Staying Motivated During Challenging Times
  • VICTORIA ‘V.E.’ SCHWAB: Cultivating Stubborn Hope & Earning Your Way Into the Tribe
  • SARAH J MAAS: Championing Heroines & Writing with Relentless Determination

4. The Goal Digger

The Goal Digger Podcast | Listen via Stitcher for Podcasts

This is a new podcast for me, but all the episodes I’ve listened to, I’ve loved. This an entrepreneur podcast all about getting your dream job and cultivating the life you want to live. It is about hustling and growing your online platforms in order to achieve the dreams you set out to reach. Every episode is a nice 20-45 minute length, which makes it a great walking podcast. Like 88 Cups of Tea though, I prefer to snuggle up for this one or at least sit at my desk with my notebook out. This is a gold mine if you are interested in success on social media and building a brand/business on platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

The Goal Digger has a lot of amazing interviews with professional entrepreneurs who share their own tips and tricks to success, along with the host’s own experiences and advice. It also includes a lot of episodes on topics you wouldn’t necessarily think about asking yourself when creating a business which is so incredibly helpful. Some examples are “An Action Plan to Manage Financial Fear and Anxiety Right Now” and “The Checklist I Use to Choose My Mentors.”

FAVOURITE EPISODES:

  • These 5 Things Will Make or Break Your Biz

Those are four podcasts that will spark your creativity and I hope you will give them a try if you haven’t already. Let me know down below some of your favourite podcasts because I am always on the hunt for more.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Day-in-my-life: Quarantine Edition

An insight into my day-to-day and how I stay sane during the chaos.

Happy Monday!

Personally, I am a huge fan of day-in-the-life posts and vlogs, which is why I am bringing to you my very own day-in-the-life: quarantine edition post. This will take you through a usual day-in-my-life and what I do to keep busy and stay sane.

Let’s get into it!

7:30 am – Wake Up

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When I do not have a lot of projects I am working on, I will let myself stay in bed or sleep in until 8:30, however, for the past week, that has not been the case. I am crazy busy and find that I need to have an early start to the day because that is when I am most productive.

I go on my phone (bad habit, I know) for about 30 minutes and then get up to make some coffee. After I brewed a nice BIG cup, I will head back to my bedroom (aka my office), open my windows and sit down with my current read for about an hour. Lately, I have been a little distracted in the mornings, but regardless, I sit down with a book until 9 am.

9:00 am – Planning My Day

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Sometimes I plan my day the night before, but lately, I have switched it up and plan in the morning instead. I write my to-do list in my bullet journal and respond to some emails. I also set up my work area, get some water and just ready myself for a productive next two and a half to three hours.

It is nice to take advantage of my newfound free time during quarantine because before, I did not have the luxury of working on my own projects in the mornings because I would be at school. Now, I have 9 am – 12 pm to dedicate to my writing which is great.

9:30 am – Time to Work

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I did try starting my workday at 9 am, but I realized I wanted some more time in the morning for myself so I start at 9:30 am instead. If it is a day I have a blog post going up (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), I will begin with that. I write my posts the day they go up, edit them, and then get images, hashtags, and other behind-the-scenes things in place. Once that is done (usually around 10:30 am, depending on the post), I will schedule it to go up at 12 pm PST. Once I finish, I usually make some breakfast.

If I do not have a blog post scheduled for that day, I will begin my day with whatever writing-related projects I have on the go. Or, I will get to work on them after finishing up all my blog-related tasks. Usually, that is writing my own writing projects like right now I am working on turning my Aztec novella into a novel. I try to write 1,000 words a day but currently, I am a bit behind schedule. I am not beating myself up too much though because I have a lot of projects on the go and as long as I am contributing to it every week, I consider that a win. Another writing project I do often is write my articles for Flanelle Magazine because I am a writer there. You can check out my latest post on their website, “COVID-19: How is the entertainment industry adapting?” by clicking RIGHT HERE.

Lately, I have had a lot of paid projects on the go too. In March, I was editing a client’s biography and now I am re-typing someone’s novel which I can’t say too much more about. It is fun integrating these into my morning writing-related routine. It helps to keep things fresh and motivates me to get more done in the mornings.

12:00 pm – Workout

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I am always working until the very last minute, sometimes even writing close to 12:30 pm but I try really hard not to do that and cut myself off at 12:10 pm so I can get my body moving for the first time that day. Luckily, I have gotten into a pretty good workout routine. I workout 5-6 times a week and alternate my routine every day so I don’t get bored of it.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I do a harder and longer workout. I typically spin for 20-30 minutes, spend 15-20 minutes on my arms or legs (depending what week it is), and then do two or so ab workouts by following a video online (usually one on Chloe Ting’s YouTube channel).

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I cut this routine in half and only spend around 25-30 minutes on my workout.

I know this is weird, but I love watching YouTube videos when I spin or use my rowing machine. Usually, day-in-the-life’s. It just motivates me to be productive during and after my workout, and it allows me to catch up on YouTube videos without taking time out of my workday.

Multitasking at it’s finest, I say.

1:30 pm – Lunch, Shower & Finally Get Ready for the Day

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I like to give myself a generous break in the early afternoon and will take until 3:00 pm to eat, get ready, and relax before jumping into more work. It varies what I will do but some common things are taking a walk, reading, watching Netflix, or yes, watching more YouTube videos.

It is important to take a break!

Although, if I have any calls or video chats I need to do, I will try and schedule them between 2 pm and 3 pm so my break gets cut a little short.

3:00 pm – Course Work

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If you didn’t know, I paid for a full-year membership on Coursera to explore courses that my university does not offer like digital marketing, graphic design, social media marketing, etc, etc. So far, I have been really enjoying it.

Right now, I am taking The Strategy of Content Marketing, Personal Branding, Digital Media & Marketing Strategies, and Marketing in a Digital World. I alternate which days I work on them because again, it helps things not to feel stale. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are for Digital Media and Marketing in a Digital World because those are my most heavy courses. And then Tuesdays and Thursdays are for the other courses which tend to be a little less intensive.

Rarely do I have to do a little extra after 6 pm or on Saturday because I try really hard to give myself the evenings and Saturday off! However, sometimes I save a small assignment or quiz that I save for t hen.

6:00 pm – Dinner, Socialize & Relax

Finally, we have reached the end of my workday!  Here is a list of what I spend my time doing from 6 pm to when I go to bed at 11:00 pm:

  • Eat dinner with my family
  • FaceTime my boyfriend and friends
  • Take a bath and read
  • Watch Netflix
  • Organize my room
  • Play video games
  • Bullet journaling

The weather has been so nice the last few days and we recently hung up our porch lights so I have been spending some evenings out there, reading or just listening to music too.

 

On Sundays, it is a bit different because I work from 11am – 5pm and then work on Coursera tasks for a few hours in the evening. Not too many writing-related tasks get done though.


There you have it! That is a day-in-my-life: quarantine edition and I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments what a typical day in your life looks like because I’d love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Tips for a Successful Side Hustle

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Happy Thursday!

Sorry for no post on Monday, but since I am pre-writing a bunch of blog posts over the next two weeks before school starts (yes, I am actually being productive for once), hopefully, that won’t happen again for a while.

Anyways, today I will be sharing my tips and tricks that I learned throughout my two months of pursuing freelance writing as a side hustle! I love reading about this kind of stuff myself because I think it is a really good idea to have a side hustle. Something that you enjoy, and can profit off of even if you don’t make a whole lot.

Here are five tips from me to you!

1. Make Time for It

Because it is called a “side hustle”, sometimes it can get neglected more than it should. When you begin a side hustle, make sure you do have the time and energy to put into it! Figure out when and where in your schedule it fits in best, and carve that time out weekly for you to work and grow it. Just like a full-time job is usually from 9-5 and five days a week, maybe your side hustle can be from 7-9 and two or three times a week. Whatever works for you.

2. Make a Plan and Follow It

With any new career, especially if it’s freelance, it is essential to create a plan for it. You need to outline your first steps, your overall goals, and then everything in between. With this plan, it will be a lot easier to figure out what twists and turns you need to take in order to achieve success with your side hustle.

For example, my plan for my freelance writing business was to start small. I charged a very small fee for my first few blog posts in order to build up a little more clientele and background. As I keep going, I make my fee a more justifiable amount and continue to build up my portfolio!

Your plan doesn’t need to be incredibly detailed or long, but it should give you enough of a base to work off of.

3. Treat It As Important As Your Full-Time Job

Your side hustle should be important to you and therefore, worthy of your time just like your full-time job. If you look down upon it in comparison to your other job, then it will start to lack because of that. Remember that just because your side hustle is that, a side hustle, doesn’t mean it should get pushed too far away to the side. Make sure it is being seen, heard, and attended to!

4. Don’t Pour TOO Much Money Into Your Side Hustle

It is also important to remember that when it comes to the money aspect of starting your own side hustle business, the amount of money you pour into should definitely be limited. Because like I said above, a side hustle is that, a side hustle. Don’t pour all of your funds into it otherwise you may very well be left with nothing! And besides, a side hustle isn’t meant to take over your entire life and career. Usually, you begin a side hustle because you want to make a little extra money on the side doing something you enjoy!

5. Don’t Let It Distract You From Your Full-Time Job

For a THIRD time, a side hustle is a SIDE HUSTLE. While you need to give it a certain amount of time throughout your week in order for you to see actual development within it, you cannot let it take away all your time (especially at the beginning of its start-up) away from your actual job. You know, the one that is making you the real money to oh, I don’t know…pay for your food, your rent, your clothes, your life, etc, etc. Don’t neglect your full-time job because you have a shiny, new side hustle!

Here are some awesome books on pursuing a side hustle that you should definitely check out!

Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days

100 Side Hustles : Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job

I hope you found these five tips on how to run a successful side hustle helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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June Reading + Writing Plans

Happy Monday!

First off, some exciting news is that I got a (kind of) part-time job that I am really, really excited about! I get to create and run marketing campaigns and ads for a website that sells some pretty amazing products. I only started working for them on Saturday and I haven’t done too much that is visible to anyone yet, but once I do I will definitely let you guys know of the website and the cool work they do!

Anyways, today I am going to be discussing my reading and writing plans for June! Yes, we are already 10 days into June which is CRAZY, but I thought it would still be fun to share with you guys everything I plan to get done.

READING

Currently, I am in the midst of reading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie and while I’ve been reading it for the past week, I’ve definitely been enjoying diving into the mystery world of literature. I’ve been reading SUPER slow because my life has been a disastrous mess that seems to include no breaks whatsoever, but I did make it a priority to get some reading done this past week so I am about 100 pages into it. This month, I plan on reading at least 2 or 3 more books which I am very, very excited to get to. The next book on my TBR is The Wicked King by Holly Black, the sequel to The Cruel Prince and I am SO excited that I finally have my hands on it. It came for me at the library over the weekend and I snatched that up as soon as I could. The other book I really want to get to this month is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I read Hosseini’s other book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, in May for English class and absolutely adored it, so I cannot wait to explore his debut that I hear nothing but fantastic things about. I know The Kite Runner will break me just like A Thousand Splendid Suns, but these stories and characters are so incredibly important to our world that it is worth it. Other than that, I don’t have any other specific reading plans, but I do want to pick up at least one other book this month to stay on top of my 60 book reading goal!

WRITING

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May was not a busy writing month, but it was busy in ALL other aspects. While June will also be the same pace,  I want to get back on the writing grind and get some stuff done. My first project is my Aztec fantasy story, but a shorter version than a novel. I wrote the first draft back in April, I think, and while my word count goal was 17,000 words, it ended up being well over 30,000…so in June, I want to write the second draft and try and get that number closer to my goal. My second project is a screenplay! I had a screenplay idea that I am super excited to work on and just delve into the world of screenplay and writing for TV a little bit more. I have no idea how long it will be, but I do want to get the first draft and maybe a second one done by the end of June. I will also probably attempt to write a short story somewhere in this month as well, but with studying and writing exams and going on a couple weekend trips, I don’t know how well this will go…I am hopeful though because I really want to enter my summer break on a productive note. I know that once school starts, my life is going to get so hectic that it will take me a couple months before I can write and read at the pace I am used to. I have to take advantage of my bucketloads of time that I will have during July and August and wriiiite! Also, Camp NaNoWriMo starts next month! What? I feel like I just finished cranking out 2k words per day for Camp NaNoWriMo back in April, yet here we are, almost mid-June and one step closer to Camp NaNoWriMo round two.

That is all for my reading and writing plans for this June, and I hope you enjoyed! Make sure you let me know below what your reading and writing plans for June are because I would love to know. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Biannual Bibliothon Day 5 – Winter Trips

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Happy day 5 of the Biannual Bibliothon!

I’m slowly getting back on track with reading and am having SO much fun trying to read as much as I can. Sometimes with all the hectic things going on, I forget to sit down and read. Obviously, sometimes I’m so busy with school and life that I don’t have the time to read, but most days I do and this readathon is reminding me to find time every day to do something I love; and that’s reading.

Anyways, today’s blog challenge host is Danielle from PoetryBooksYA (check her out!), and she wants us to tell her the five book characters (I chose Lara Jean Song Covey, Peter Kavinsky, Etienne St. Clair, Ronan Lynch, and Leo Valdez) we would take on a winter trip. I decided to yet another story for this blog challenge just because I had a lot of fun writing the last one. I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you’re participating in the Biannual Bibliothon down below in the comments!

 

“Are you sure you want to drive, Lara Jean?” I ask hesitantly, eyeing her as she slides into the driver’s seat. She gathers her dark hair up into a high ponytail, tying it off with a pale pink scrunchie.

“Yep,” she says with a nod. “I have to practice if I want to get better.”

“True.” I grab the seatbelt and buckle up, admiring the white trees around us as we pull out of the driveway; the branches drooping with piles of heavy snow and icicles gripping onto them like the crystal leaves of winter.

We ease into the snow-caked driveway of a familiar grey house with white shutters.

“Hey!” Lara Jean’s phone is pressed to her ear. “We’re here.”

“Be right out,” says the phone, words crackling before she pads the off button.

“I’m sooo excited,” Lara Jean exclaims, twisting around in her seatbelt to grab her purse from the back seat. She rips the zipper open and retrieves a Tubberware container full of varied cookies. “Okay, so I made snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, and shortbread.” My mouth waters and I can’t help but reach out for them. She slaps my hand lightly away, shoving the container back into her purse. “These cookies are for the trip to the cottage. I should probably hide them anyways before the boys get here.”

“Probably a good idea.” I laugh. “Teenage boys are animals.”

“Animals for food,” she corrects but she’s laughing too just as the two back doors fly open.

“Yo, yo, yo!” Peter Kavinsky slides into the seat behind Lara Jean, a wild grin bright on his face. He pinches her shoulder teasingly before yanking off a black beanie and ruffling his curly brown hair.

“It’s too early for yo, yo, yo, Kavinsky,” says Etienne St. Clair from behind me. “I need a cup of coffee…actually, make that two cups of coffee, first.”

“Yeah, yeah, we’ll get your coffee, St. Clair.” Lara Jean says, but I notice her eyes meeting Peter’s in the rearview mirror. Her cheeks are flushed like earlier, but a light pink colour instead. I smile.

“Hey, where’s Ronan?” I ask, noticing no other doors opening and no other bodies filing into the very back seats of the van.

“Being his usual brooding self, my friend,” St. Clair explains, stretching his scuffy boots so they pop out beside me. I slap them away and we both laugh.

“Oh, there’s Mr. Sexy Brooder,” says Peter.

Lara Jean and I glance at each other before bursting out into laughter. Sure enough, Ronan Lynch storms out of the house with his dark brows knitted together and bag dangling from his tight grip. When he reaches the van he opens up St. Clair’s side and grumbles something inaudible.

“Sorry, Ronan, could you repeat that? I couldn’t understand you through all your grumbling.”

“Shut up, St. Clair.” Ronan pushes past him and squeezes into the back seat despite being one of the taller ones of us all. His eyebrows are still stuck together as if they can’t bear to part from each other. I want to laugh but I want this trip to be fun, not tense. Not that Ronan is ever in a good mood, but still.

“Where’s the Latino elf?” Ronan grumbled, his arms crossing tightly over his chest.

“Leo’s still not out yet,” Lara Jean says, glancing at him over her shoulder. Her lips purse tightly in concern. I know how well she wants this trip to go; just three simple days of friends up at a cottage, drinking hot chocolate, playing board games and having snowballs fight. Not fights between the five of us minus the snowballs. “I just texted him and he said he’s almost ready to go. Do you want a cookie while we wait?”

Silence.

“Sure,” he says, sounding bored but we all hear his stomach grumble. I can’t help but laugh into my hand as Lara Jean whips out the cookies.

“Woah, woah, woah! I want one! Covey, come on, give me one first. I’m starving.” Peter is a puppy begging on his hind legs as his girlfriend bops his nose with a finger and shakes her head.

“Ronan first. Don’t worry I made lots.” She reaches over to hand the container to Ronan and he gleefully takes it, cracking it open and slowly biting into a gooey chocolate chip cookie. He closes his eyes with pleasure just to spite Peter who groans in pain.

“I’m here!” The door opens and Leo Valdez stands there, eyes wild and hair in inky tangles. “The party can start now. You’re welcome.” He bows.

“You’re late,” says St. Clair, but not unkindly as Leo shimmies past him.

“Time doesn’t wait for those who are great.”

“By great, do you mean yourself by any chance?” I ask and Leo smiles mischievously.

“Obviously. Now, let’s get a move on. I really need to pee.”

“Leo!” We all exclaim, groaning as Lara Jean shakes her head, cranking the ignition and slowly crawling out of the driveway. The world around is like a snow globe, whimsical and magical and white, snow sprinkling down from the thick, grey clouds as we drive off to our winter wonderland with a van full of voices, laughter, and the beginning of memories.

Sorry, this was SUPER long…but I had a lot of fun writing it so I hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which will all be linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: 

Biannual Bibliothon Day 1 – Winter Snow Storm Fun

Biannual Bibliothon Day 2 – Christmas Party

Reading + Writing Update – Biannual Bibliothon 2019 Day 1 & 2

Biannual Bibliothon Day 3 – Bookish Mad Libs

Biannual Bibliothon Day 4 – Clickbait Challenge

 

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Reading + Writing Update

Happy Sunday!

I hope you all had a great week whether you celebrate Christmas or not, and I hope you managed to get a lot of reading, writing, or whatever else you enjoy doing, done! Personally, I had a GREAT reading week and while I am technically on a writing break, I do have something I want to discuss in that section of this blog post though so stay tuned for that! Anyways, let’s get into this update.

I finished 4 books this week which I am really happy about because now, I am only 3 books away from finishing my 2018 reading goal! Yes, that means I have to read 3 books in one day since tomorrow is the last day of 2018, but I know I can do it since the last 3 books I want to read are short. One is the City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare audiobook which I am only one hour away from finishing…so yeah, I will finish it tomorrow for sure. The other books I plan on reading tomorrow are two novellas because THAT’S NOT CHEATING!

Anyways, for what I read this week, I read Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and last but not least, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I actually have a review coming out for Wintersong in the next week or two, but I will give a quick snapshot on my feelings for it, as well as the other books. I was so excited to read Wintersong, but it was not a book for me. I thought it would be because it has goblins and magic and takes place in Germany in the past, and to me, that sounds epic. Sadly, it was anything but! Anyways, more to come in my review. However, I did love Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway which I read during the BookTubeAThon in the summer and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t blown away with the first book in this series. The sequel was so amazing though; everything from the writing to the world to the characters was just brilliant, and how the author packs so much stuff into a book under 200 pages will never cease to amaze me. But yeah, loved it! I also, OF COURSE, loved re-reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because this is an all-time favourite of mine for sure. This may have been my fourth or fifth re-read of this contemporary to be honest, but I did’t love it any less than I did the first time or the second time and so on. I was in desperate need of a cozy, heart-warming contemporary and immediately leapt towards Fangirl because if you’ve read it, you’d know how wonderful it is and if you haven’t read it…what are you doing!? Lastly, I read the short entirety of Alice in Wonderland, the classic by Lewis Carroll which I actually have not read before. Honestly, wasn’t super impressed. It was alright but Alice…well, she is a difficult character to say the least. I wasn’t expecting much from this book, but I do wish I enjoyed it more than I did since it is a “classic”. Anyways, half of my reading this week was AMAZING and the other half was bleh, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I am so excited to strive to read 3 whole books (OKAY FINE, novellas…but those are books too! They count!) tomorrow and reach my yearly reading goal because I am so close it would suck to not reach it, you know?

Okay, okay, I know I’m on a writing break but suddenly the urge to write overtook me. Not in the way I expected or the way you might assume. Since I spent the last two days reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I had the urge to write some fanfiction (something I haven’t done since I was 13-years-old and locked away in the world of Percy Jackson). In Fangirl, our main character, Cath, writes fanfiction for this massively popular fantasy series similar (not unlike Harry Potter), and that just made me want to write some. Not because I want to regularly write fanfiction, but because I was desperate to write something. Something that didn’t contain my own original characters or world, just my own story idea. So, I wrote 1,000 words of some AWFUL fanfiction following my favourite characters from The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare and it was a lot of fun. It was a great creative release and it truly helped me fill my creative well just a little bit more in a way both reading and watching Netflix can’t do. I have no idea if I will write any more terrible fanfiction or if I will write something of my own, but I do plan to head to a coffee shop tomorrow and hopefully, something productive will occur from that.

That was all for my reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Best Books of 2018

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I’m not going to apologize for once again, for NOT having a blog post go up on Friday because it’s gotten to the point where I’m just like whatever. My Friday blog post was supposed to be all about my theories for Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare, but since I am re-reading Lord of Shadows right now, all my theories have upgraded or changed completely. So yeah, I finished Lord of Shadows today so now I have all of my thoughts and theories are ready to go for tomorrow’s blog post and I am so excited! Anyways, here is what I read and wrote this past week.

Earlier this week I finally finished listening to the audiobook for Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier which took me the entire month to get through, but I did it. I’ve read this book a million and one times, but I do really love the audiobooks for this entire trilogy, so I always have a lot of fun re-visiting them. I read them quite a few times this year though so I think I’m going to take a little break so I don’t wear them out. My next audiobook I am going to pick up is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare since I am still working my way through The Mortal Instruments series via audiobook. I also finished reading Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare today, as I mentioned already…and I don’t know what else to say except it is amazing, I love it, and re-reading it has only magnified my already dangerously crazy love for it. I am SO excited for Queen of Air and Darkness and am really happy I decided to re-read both Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows before because I picked up on so many things I didn’t before. Since I am done re-reading LoS which is like 700 pages, I’m going to be focusing on finishing Perks of Being a Wallflower next, and since it’s so short, hopefully, I’ll finish it in the next day or so. I have a December TBR coming out later this coming week so stay tuned for that to see what other books I want to pick up this month!

As for writing, a lot of writing got done this week and I am pretty proud. In terms of homework and school related things, this week was really slow so I was able to put a lot more effort into my own personal writing. I think overall, I wrote about 6,000 words which I haven’t done in a while. I’ve been re-writing old short stories and editing them like crazy to get ready for portfolio scholarship I am submitting to this Tuesday and if I had school work to do I don’t think I’d be able to get as much done as I did. I still have a lot to get done though so fingers crossed it all gets done.

That is all for this reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Coffee Talk – Are Schools Killing Reading?

 

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Reading + Writing Goals – November + December

Making my goals for September and October back in August was difficult because I wasn’t sure what my school load would be like, however, September and October turned out to be two incredibly productive months despite all the school work that needed to get done! Let’s take a look at those goals and see what I got done:

  • Finish re-writing and editing the first 20 pages of Project Mystic for the fellowship 
  • Submit to the fellowship
  • Read 6 books
  • Submit to 1 writing contest
  • Submit to 2 literary magazines
  • Post 30 blog posts

I managed to complete 5/6 goals I set out for myself and I am very, very happy with that. Okay, now onto my goals for November and December! The last two months of 2018…

  • Finish draft 2.5 of Project Mystic
  • Write 4 new pieces of work (short stories, essays, etc)
  • Submit to 2 writing contests or literary magazines
  • Submit to 2 writing scholarships
  • Read 12 books

I went for fewer goals for these two months, but in no way will it be easier. I know for a fact November and December will be extremely difficult, but I want to make sure I end the year on a good, productive note! I am excited to get lots of writing and read done, and hopefully, you are too.

So, there they are! My wrap up on my October and September goals, and what I have planned for the upcoming two months. I hope you enjoyed and make sure you check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts for more bookish and writing related content 🙂

Last Blog Post: November 2018 TBR

 

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Reading + Writing Goals – September + October

Summer 2018 was pretty productive for me this year, and while I didn’t accomplish all of my goals, I did accomplish a lot! Since this post is coming out a little early though, before August is even over, I won’t be adding a wrap up on my goals for July and August because there is still a liiiiitle more time to get stuff done. I will probably post on my Instagram what I DID manage to get done, so make sure you check it out if your curious 🙂 Anyways, here are my goals for September and October 2018!

  • Read 6 Books
  • Rewrite + Edit the First 20 Pages of WIP (for fellowship)
  • Submit to Fellowship by September 30th
  • Submit to 2 Writing Contests
  • Submit to 1 Literary Magazine
  • Post 30 Blog Posts

Those are all of my goals for the next two months and fingers crossed I can get at least 75% of it done. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and all of my social media accounts linked down below for more writing and bookish related content 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

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