Summer Goals Recap (How did I do??)

This summer I had a lot of goals.

I went into summer with a head full of ideas and expectations. If you saw my Summer Bucket List post, you saw I had a long list of goals, and I had even more unlisted on that post!

So let’s take a look and see I did on those goals, shall we?

Read 10 Books

In total I think I read about 7 books between June and July. I had a list of books I wanted to read, but as usual I veered off and my ever-growing TBR lured me in. From the list of books I had originally, here is how I did:

  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Flashback by Shannon Messenger
  • The War Within by Cecelia Schmidt
  • A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The War’s End by Cecelia Schmidt
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Cursed Child by J.K Rowling

I’m disappointed I didn’t at least read 1984, The Cursed Child, and Mockingjay, but I definitely will be completing those this fall. I’m almost positive 1984 and The Book Thief is on my school literature list this year.

Here are some of the extra books I read:

  • The Battle of the Labryrinth by Rick Riordan
  • The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  • Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

Go to a Drive-in

Check this off my list. Also go check out my mini storytime >HERE< to find out how it went.

Host a cookout

My family started hosting Sunday dinners twice a month and the past few times we’ve had cookouts. It’s been a great way to connect with my cousins whom I don’t see very often! 🙂

Go berry picking

Unfortunately my family didn’t do that this year, which is the first time in a long time. We were planning on going one day, but decided it was too hot and went to the pool. XD

Pull an all-nighter

HAHA BIG NOPE. I’m trying to prep myself to get up early during the school year (my goal is to get up at 5:30) so I need all the rest I can get!

  • See an air show ✘
  • Go to Cedar Point ✘
  • Stargaze ✔
  • Gain right leg splits and needle ✘
  • Catch fireflies ✔
  • Go hiking ✘
  • Finish planning my novel plot ✘
  • Write a fairytale retelling ✘
  • Go camping ✘
  • Learn new friendship bracelet patterns ✔
  • Get a job ✔
  • Participate in a summer blog contest ✔
  • See fireworks ✔

Overall I didn’t complete as many goals as I would have liked, but it’s summertime so I’m okay with it.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this post!

Until next time!

What goals did you accomplish this summer?

When do you start back to school?

Back to School Essentials + Printable Checklist

I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing about back to school season is school supply shopping! As an eternal fanatic of all things stationary, I’m always super excited for this time of year (despite the looming inevitable called “school” D:).

If you’re homeschooled like I am (or even if you aren’t) it’s sometimes hard to figure out what all you’ll need for the school season. So, today I’ll be sharing an organized list of school necessities to help ease your shopping days!

*disclaimer*

I am not sponsoring any of the products or businesses that may be mentioned in this post. These are solely my own opinions.

Planners are honestly a life saver. I’ve found that whether it’s a bullet journal, notebook, calendar, or planner, my life is way more organized if I write stuff down. Especially for middle school and on, I recommend getting a student planner specifically. They’re typically more detailed and have more sections for listing schoolwork or homework, after-school activities, and weekly/monthly goals.

These are definitely essential for online schoolwork or listening to your favorite tunes while doing your homework. (If you’re looking for nice wireless earbuds or headphones under a budget, I recommend checking out Five Below. I’ve gotten a few nice pairs from there.)

Usually a lot of tea and coffee goes on sale for back to school season, so now’s the time to stock up on your favorite energy beverages! My favorite before-school beverages are rooibos and vanilla chai tea. What’s yours?

I absolutely love getting or making cute pencil cases! My sister and I made our own pencil cases a few years ago out of decorative duct tape (anyone remember the duct tape wallet fad?).

Y’all I could list some pretty disgusting facts about germs, so please save yourselves from my rants (and the illnesses [!!!]) and carry hand wipes and/or sanitizer. You will thank me later. (And yes I am indeed that person during lunch who makes everyone sanitize. XD #sorrynotsorry)

I definitely recommend lunch bags with built in ice packs. I got one last year and I’m really impressed. All you have to do is throw it into the freezer overnight then pack your perishables in the morning and it keeps the food cold and fresh all day!

I don’t recommend consuming either of these in class (depending on your school’s in-class policies), but these are great to keep in your backpack for after lunch or for low blood-sugar (speaking from experience).

You never know when you might get a moment to read, so it’s best to always keep a book on hand! (BOOK WORMS UNITE! XD)

Packing a small emergency kit will prepare you for anything life throws at you. Check out last week’s post (>HERE<) for some inspiration for what you can put in your kit!

  • Notebooks
  • Binders
  • Pencils and Pens
  • Sticky Notes
  • Backpack
  • Erasers
  • Highlighters
  • Tissue Packs
  • Binder dividers
  • Folders
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Protractor
  • Ruler
  • Stapler
  • Calculator
  • Index cards
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Paper Clips
  • Chapstick
  • Water bottle

That was a lot to cover! Before you go, I made a printable checklist to help you keep track of everything you’ll need for the school year!

>Click To Download Checklist<

I hope this post was helpful! Comment down below what your essentials are for the school year!

DIY Back to School Emergency Kit + Sunshine Blogger Award!

It’s that sad time of the year…

Time to put away our swimsuits, summer TBRs, and late nights and exchange them for backpacks, textbooks, and early mornings.

The school year can be crazy and life can hit you out of nowhere. Today I’ll be showing you have you can make a DIY mini emergency kit to carry with you this school season.

I got the inspiration to make this post after I got into a little mishap about a month ago (you can click >HERE< to hear about that interesting story XD). I was completely unprepared and had nothing with me to take care of the situation. After doing some thinking and prepping for back-to-school blog posts, the pieces clicked together and this post was born. I personally think this is something anyone of any age should carry with them at all time. And now’s a great time to make your own kit while shopping for school supplies for the fall/winter.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

  • A small container (like a pencil case or small makeup bag)
  • Bandages
  • Sterile Wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Tissues
  • Mini deodorant
  • Hair ties
  • Bobby pins or hair pins
  • Money (about $5-$10)
  • Feminine products (if necessary)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Emergency contacts card
  • Insurance card (if necessary)

For my personal kit, I used a small pencil case. To help ease space I placed my flat supplies on the bottom (tissues, pads, bandages, gauze, sterile wipes, etc.). On top of that I put the antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizer, deodorant, tweezers, nail clippers, hair ties, bobby pins, etc.

When composing your emergency contact card, keep in mind the person’s typical availability and likeliness to pick up the phone right away. When it comes to an emergency, every second counts. On one side of my card I wrote down family contacts (parents, guardian, grandparents, etc.) and on the other side I wrote down 911 emergency contacts (doctor, dentist, fire department, police, etc.)

Most of these supplies can be found at your local drug or discount stores, so it stays within a budget.

I hope you and enjoyed this post! Hopefully it was helpful and gave you inspiration to create your own emergency kit! Have a safe school year!

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Hold up. Did you think that was it?

A few weeks ago I was nominated by Megan @ A Barefoot Gal for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I knew this was going to be a bit of a shorter post, so I decided to pair it with the tag!

Thank you so much, Megan, for nominating me! I really appreciate it! Make sure to check out her blog, if you haven’t already!

Shall we get onto the tag?

~Rules~

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  2. List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  4. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  5. Ask the nominees 11 new questions.
  1. What other country would you pick to visit, and which one would you pick to live in? Why? 

I would visit Germany, because I’m trying to learn German and my grandparents lived in Germany for a few years, so it would be cool to get to visit where they lived. On the other hand, I would live somewhere in the U.K. (probably the London countryside) because it just seems like a pleasant place to live.

2. What was your first favorite color? 

PINK. I was so obsessed with pink when I was younger. Probably because I had this massive (okay maybe it wasn’t massive, but to 5-year-old me it was.) collection of Barbies. Ahh the memories.. 🙂

3. Which of the seasons’ smells would you miss the most if you lost your sense of smell?

Winter! I absolutely love winter scents (especially during Christmas!!). Man, I hope I never lose my sense of smell. I would miss my mom’s sugar cookie scented candles way too much.

4. Do you prefer asking or answering questions?

Asking for sure (you can ask my mom. I ask at least a thousand questions a day and it drives her crazy XD). I feel like you learn a lot more in life, by asking people questions and being genuinely curious.

5. Would you rather go to the moon or the country in question #1?

I would never want to go to the moon, so definitely either Germany or London. When I was younger, I had a dream that I went to the moon and it was the most frightening experience I ever went through (in my dreams I should say). Ever since then, the thought of going to the moon has scared me.

6. What is one mainstream popular thing that you really don’t like?

There is a trend going around (especially on YouTube) where people transform themselves into a “Vsco girl”. Apparently they transform themselves into these girls that use the Vsco app. I dunno, I just think it’s a bit stereotypical.

7. Chess or checkers?

I’m gonna go with chess (even though I’m terrible at it). I play it all the time with my friends at my co-op and I’m starting to get better at it, although I definitely have a long way to go.

8. If you started a business, what would it be?

I’ve always tossed around the idea of owning a business when I get older. If I did own one, it would probably have something to do with fashion or writing or I would open a cafe or bakery with my sister.

9. What school subject are you the best at?

Even though I hate it, I’m probably the best at math. *sigh*

10. Are you often bored? (This questions was inspired by my brother saying “I’m bored bored bored bored BORED!” as he often does Sunday afternoons. Thanks, Jeff.)

Thanks for the question, Jeff! XD

Yes, I definitely bore easily. I have to be constantly doing something!

11. What topic would you feel most confident giving advice on?

Probably anxiety. I went through it a lot when I was younger (mainly separation anxiety) and I still go through different forms of anxiety, but I love getting to talk to others about their anxiety and give them advice, because I wish I had been given the same advice when I was younger.

Wow are we already done with the questions?

~My Nominations~

Clara @ Clara’s Comfy Corner

Kayla @ thebooklovingbeaut

Tess @ Steeplechase

AK @ TheJunebugblog

May @ Forever and Everly

Emmie @ Diary of a Daydreamer

Mya @ Life From Behind a Camera

Enni @ On the Wings of a Dream

Mary Elizabeth @ Middle Mary (I believe she is currently on hiatus, but I still decided to nominate her because she’s such a lovely blogger!)

Annie @ Blossoms and Bullet Journals

Clara @ Clara-and-co

~My Questions~

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  3. What era of history would you want to travel back in time to for a day?
  4. Who has been the greatest (positive) influence in your life?
  5. If you could do anything on your birthday (and I mean ANYTHING) what would you do?
  6. You’re stuck on an island and you have one of the three following choice items with you to survive: an axe, matches, or rope. Which did you choose and why?
  7. What is one thing about yourself that you love?
  8. Where is your ideal quiet place for alone time?
  9. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in public?
  10. Would you rather never read another book, or never watch another movie/tv show?
  11. What is a bad habit you have/had?

What do you put in your emergency kit?

When do you start school?

Guest Interview // ft. Olivia @ Purely Olivia!!

Y’all I’m so excited for this post.

I’ve been wanting to do a blogger collab for a long time. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Olivia from Purely Olivia ! She is so so sweet and such a pleasure to work with! *flails*

I could write a whole post on how wonderful she is, but I’m sure those of you who are familiar with her blog already know that. Anyways, let’s get onto the interview! 🙂

1) To start, tell us a bit about you and your blog.

Hi! First of all, I wanted to say thank you so much to Saege for having me on her blog. This is so kind of her and it’s truly an honor (and very exciting) to be here! My name is Olivia, and I blog over at Purely Olivia. A few key characteristics that I feel like are very telling about my personality are that I’m a Hufflepuff, a Christian, an INFJ, an avid reader and a dancer. You can, without fail, find me obsessing over Harry Potter or at dance class or rewatching my favorite episodes of Friends.


My blog is a book blog, and it lets me share my passion for books (mainly YA) with the world! I do talk about other topics, mostly during my monthly recaps, but books are the main focus of Purely Olivia and I love that so much. Fangirling with other people about books truly is one of my favorite things in the world!


2) When did you start your blog and what was your inspiration to do so?


I started my blog in August of 2016- it’s crazy that this month is the three year blogoversary of me writing up posts for this blog. I’m a little emotional about it. Purely Olivia isn’t actually my first blog, though! I began blogging on a different site back in 2014, and this site shall remain unnamed because no one, and I mean no one, wants to unearth those posts that I wrote five years ago now. 😉

I’d say I was inspired to start Purely Olivia because I wanted to become serious about blogging! My old blog was simply for fun, and while I still do blog for fun, I was ready for more interaction and to start a blog that had a more focused niche. I also wanted to switch over to WordPress from a different platform. All of those reasons combined together and made my decision to start Purely Olivia easy and exciting.


3) What’s your favorite type of post to write?

Oh, that would have to be any kind of discussion post! Whether it’s a bookish topic or a blogging topic, I always have the best time writing out both sides of the coin, exploring the issue deeper, and then talking about it with everyone in the comments. I always learn something new from discussion posts and gain new perspectives and insights, and it’s truly such a great experience.


4) What has been your favorite book review you’ve written so far?


As is a semi-popular opinion among book bloggers, I don’t actually love writing reviews. While I adore screaming about a book that I love, and I’m always hoping to give recommendations to everyone in the community, I find book reviews hard to write (how am I to express my thoughts when my real thoughts are an incoherent stream of “ilovethisbooksomuchandyoushouldreadit?”) and therefore I tend to not write them that often.


However, all that to say, my favorite would have to be my review of A Six of Crows! This book was really hyped up for me and I ended up loving it with my whole heart, so I had no shortage of things to say about it. I also loved that a lot of people had their own thoughts to add, and it made it my favorite review so far.


5) Do you have any tips for balancing avid reading and everyday life?


Balancing life and reading can be really difficult, but it’s necessary for us bookworms! Although life happens, and you should never feel bad or inadequate for not reading. We’ve all been there. My best advice is to find moments where you can read, and take advantage of those. I end up reading in a lot of…strange moments. Brushing my teeth, eating a snack, in the five minutes when you’re ready to leave for *insert location* but the rest of your family isn’t yet. 


You can also create a routine of reading at a certain time each day. For me, the easiest time is right before bed. It’s a nice way to wind down and relax before sleeping, and it doesn’t interfere with school, homework, or other activities. Also, it’s great because it means you won’t be looking at a screen right before you sleep, and I’ve heard that it’s better and easier to fall asleep if you don’t do that!


6) What is one book you would recommend to anyone?


I have to be my typical Olivia self here and recommend Harry Potter. I know, I know, this is such a typical answer- but I truly feel like Harry Potter is perfect for people of all ages, reading preferences, and life situations! *steps off of Harry Potter soap box*


7) Do you have any blogging advice for new book bloggers?


I (and many, many other bloggers) have written multiple posts about new blogging advice, so my first tip would be to utilize those posts because there are literally thousands out there. If not millions. Some other quick pieces of advice that I really wish I would have known are:

  • Interaction is key
  • Don’t stress over stats
  • The blogging community is here to help and encourage you, and it’s a wonderful place
  • Either find your niche or figure out if you don’t want a niche
  • Give it time- everyone’s growth is different
  • Be yourself and have fun with it because I had to be cliche at least a little bit, okay

8) Who is your favorite Harry Potter character and why?

I didn’t know I could hate and love a question so much at the same time. Just kidding- I actually do have a favorite Harry Potter character, although I do love so many that if you asked for my secondary favorites, there would be a very long list coming your way. 😉

My favorite character is Harry Potter himself! I have written a whole post about why I love him, but to keep it brief, I feel like he’s way too underrated. Harry is genuinely such a kind, compassionate, and loyal character. He makes incredible sacrifices, he loves his friends and his found family fiercely, and throughout all the hardships he faces, he continues to be a realistic and relatable character. I couldn’t love him more, and he deserves so much appreciation!


9) What has been the most emotional book you’ve read so far?


Wow, I’ve read a lot of emotional books, especially in recent months. I know whatever book I say, I’ll look back at this post and think “oh no, I really cried hard in this one” or “this one hit me harder, though.” Despite there being way too many books I could say here, I’m going to say Anger is a Gift. I only just finished this book, so part of the reason I picked it is because the emotion is so fresh in my mind! This novel is unbelievably powerful and I really can’t talk about it’s emotional parts without spoiling anything, but let’s just say I felt true pain and loss and emotion while reading this story. It wasn’t easy to swallow, but it was incredible, and made me feel all the feels and more. I really do recommend it!


10) Have you ever met any of your favorite authors? If so, who and what was the experience like? If not, who would you like to meet?


Sadly, no. I have met a few authors, but they weren’t my favorites? Not that I didn’t like them, it was just that they happened to come to my local bookstores, so I went and met them despite not having read their books. I would love to meet J.K. Rowling (that’s my pipe dream right there, we all know that will not be happening) just because she’s the mind that created my most favorite thing. To talk to her would be…phenomenal.
I would also like to meet Adam Silvera, Robin Roe, Paula Stokes, Rick Riordan, Chris Colfer, and the list goes on! Those are all slightly more attainable, though it’s still a stretch that I’ll be able to meet them. One can dream, though.


11) When you aren’t blogging or reading, how do you spend your time?


Honestly, if I’m not doing either of those things, I’m either at school, at dance, or doing homework. That is genuinely how I spend 100% of my time during the school year! It’s a crazy busy schedule, and it has its downsides, but I love it. Besides the homework part, obviously. 


During the summer (which I am currently in, yay) I spend my free time watching Netflix, hanging out with friends, and scrolling through Pinterest- because my Harry Potter Pinterest board is always in need of more pins, right?!


12) On your About page you mentioned you are a dancer. How long have you been in dance?


I think the amount of times I mentioned dance in this interview speaks to the importance dance holds in my life. XD I’ve been in dance for nearly fourteen years now!


13) What’s your favorite thing about dance?


I have two equally favorite parts about dance, so I’m going to cheat a bit on this question and give two responses. 😉

️First of all, I love the feeling I get when I’m dancing. Anyone who’s passionate about something can definitely relate to the feeling of pure exhilaration and love and freedom that comes along with doing what you enjoy the most! I get this feeling especially when I’m performing, and as an introvert, I love that I have something that lets me show my heart to people around me.


My other favorite part is the friendships I have made because of dance. I’ve found my best friends due to dancing, and they make it all worth it. All the long rehearsals, the choreography we just can’t get, the times my teachers get angry or irritated, the days where I don’t feel good enough- my friends are there, and even if I’m not “feeling” the dance vibes that day, I want to go to dance just so I can see my best friends.


14)  To wrap up, where do you see your blog in 5 years? (classic interview question XD) 


Oh, I love this question! My big hope for my blog is that it’s still bringing me joy and being a little slice of the Internet with book recommendations and one too many gifs about Harry Potter.

I do think my life will be very different than it is now in 5 years, so I don’t know how easy it will be to keep my blog as consistent as it has been lately, but I do know that I’m passionate about blogging and I cannot see myself ever stopping or leaving Purely Olivia, at least not for a much longer time.

Thank you so much, Olivia, for being a part of this post and being a guest on my blog! I really enjoyed getting to collaborate with you and get to know you better. 🙂

I hope y’all enjoyed this post as much as I did!

Until next time,


What’s your favorite blogger collab you’ve read?

What are five facts about yourself? I’d love to chat and get to know you!

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer {Spoiler-Proof!}

I had been eyeing this book for a long time At first, I had been slightly apprehensive, because it honestly hadn’t seemed like a book within my comfort zone. After reading some reviews, I decided, just go for it already.

So, as you can tell by the title, today I’ll be reviewing Cinder and sharing my thoughts on this book. Without further ado, let’s get started.

*disclaimer*

This review is not sponsored and is merely my own opinion. Any excerpts of the book are credited to the author.

Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Page count: 400 pages

Genre: Sci-Fi/YA/Fantasy

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

(Summary via Goodreads)

This book has been on my TBR list for quite some time. Despite my initial apprehensions, I wasn’t disappointed!

The atmosphere had a dark, mysterious air about it that had me at the edge of my seat wondering, “What’s next?!?!”.

I loved the connections between this retelling and the original, and the utter differences. For instance, Cinderella as a cyborg?! Contrasting to the original, Cinder had a great relationship with one of her step-sisters, however her relationship with the other wasn’t so great. Cinder’s stepmother, Adri, was as unfair as Cinderella’s stepmother, but as the story continued I was able to see some reasoning behind her bitterness.

The character development, however had me feeling more or less lost. My only complaints about Cinder’s development was that there wasn’t any description of her appearance other than her mechanic guise and cyborg anatomy. I really couldn’t imagine what she fully looked like, and as a visual person I felt that there was a missing piece in the story. Otherwise, I loved Cinder’s sarcasm, humor and overall personality. It added a special dimension to her development and kept me laughing within the darkening environment of the plot.

I personally felt satisfied by the relationships throughout the book, although many reviews I had read felt the book lacked in that area.

  • Peony and Cinder– The sisterly love between Cinder and her stepsister, Peony, left me feeling warm and fuzzy. I thought it was such a refreshing aspect to the retelling, contrasting with the original.
  • Iko and Cinder– Can I just take a moment to express how much I love Iko? I love her sassy personality and love for fashion, despite being a lower-class android. The partner-in-crime relationship between this lovable robot and cyborg gives me so many Sherlock Holmes vibes!
  • Prince Kai and Cinder– For someone who isn’t a fan of major romance, I thought this relationship was well balanced and not overwhelming. I felt like Kai was a lot more relatable than the prince from the original. However, I did think the relationship between the two was a bit rushed and would’ve liked to see it a bit more paced.

At some points I felt the plot slowed and lacked, but it certainly picked up quickly as the story went on. There were quite a few plot twists, but I quite honestly saw them coming. Nevertheless, they were still entertaining!

I truly enjoyed this book, but because of a few set backs I’ll be giving it…

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan on reading on in this series! I hope you enjoyed this review! Hopefully it helped you decided whether or not you’d like to read this book (I definitely recommend reading it!! :).

If you’ve already read Cinder, let me know what your opinion was about it! I’d love to chat with you!

Until next time!

Have you read any fairytale retellings?

What’s your favorite fairytale?