February 2017 Recap: Blogging Triumphs, Mishaps, and Discoveries

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What’s on Repeat: Shape of You ¦ Despacito ¦ Chantaje

Did I complete my goals?

In my last recap, I listed my goals for the month of February. One of my main goals was to get on a blogging schedule and stick to it, which I kinda (?) did. I made an overly ambitious schedule that required me to post everyday and made a bank of post ideas to work on. This worked for the first 9 days, but I burnt out soon after resulting in an inconsistent schedule.

What I learned: While posting everyday did increase the number of views I received, it isn’t worth the burn-out and inconsistency. Also- I really need to work on a promotional schedule/system that doesn’t take me too long to set up because setting up Hootsuite did not help with my burn-out.

What now? After tweeting a poll, I discovered that most people prefer 2-3 posts a week.

What did I read/review?

Thief of Lies Goodreads Review (3 stars) ¦ Guardian of Secrets Review (4 stars)

Books I received for review:

The Princess and the Page via Christina Farley ¦ Garden of Thorns via Blog Tour/NetGalley ¦ Island of Exiles via EntangledTeen ¦ Off the Ice via EntangledTeen ¦ Secrets of a Reluctant Princess via EntangledTeen ¦ Ensnared via NetGalley ¦ Paper Hearts via NetGalley

 On the blog:

Discussions – 20 Things to do Before Turning 20 ¦ What is Minimalism? ¦ Guide on Who Can Make Political Comments ¦ Meeting Lin Manuel Miranda

Series/Tags – Netflix Book Tag ¦ TTT Books I Wish Had More Pages ¦ TTT Book Boyfriends I’d Spend Valentine’s Day With ¦ Sunday Smiles Intro + A Kitten

Promo – Starfall Book Blitz ¦ Guardian of Secrets Blog Tour

Community Posts:

It’s always important to spread the love! Here are a couple posts that I loved:

Jessica @ The Book Bratz convinced me to Help Bring a Bookstore to the Bronx (after my next paycheck!)

Alice @ Arctic Books put together a visually pleasing February Uppercase unboxing and review!

SERIESous Book Reviews created one of my favorite Perfect Match, ‘if you like this, then try this’, posts.

A Small Wardrobe wowed me with her minimalist One Week of OOTDs.

Looking Ahead:

Since I have many personal goals in March, I will be keeping my bookish goals to a minimum! I learned a lot in February and plan to apply this knowledge to the future.

  • Read all the books I was sent to review
    • This will be the hardest, but since I’m not currently watching any shows on Netflix I should be able to do it.
  • Post 2-3 times a week
    • I definitely do not want to burn out again!
  • Create an easy promotional plan
    • I want to start utilizing Pinterest on top of Twitter, but often find myself dreading scheduling tweets or taking pictures. My plan is to try out a couple of systems to see which one will ease the dread.
  • Write
    • Anything, please!

How was your February?

Journey to Minimalism: What is Minimalism?

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Journey to Minimalism is a series on my blog in which I record my experiences as I declutter and attempt to live a life free of distractions. 

When you hear the word minimalism, what do you picture? For years I believed that minimalism meant ridding my space of all the items I owned, except for the bare essentials, and that terrified me. I used to picture all white rooms with a bed and some plants. Something like this:

While I absolutely adore how this room looks, I know that I can never minimize (or even maintain) my room to resemble this. The room is absolutely breath-taking, but there isn’t a bookshelf or a space to sit and read. I own over 200 books and cherish every single one of them, so I thought that minimalism could not work for me.

Whenever I would stumble across a minimalist’s page I would also see pictures of their wardrobe. A pattern that I often noticed is the lack of colors in most of these colors, which is saying something since most of what I own are either black or jeans. Take the following picture as an example:

This closet is extremely visually appealing, but doesn’t reflect my style. I love colors and I love being able to dress casually one day and dressy the next. With the clothes I currently own I cannot minimize my closet as much as most minimalists do without eliminating some style options. I’m also in a situation where I do not have the ability to purchase a completely new wardrobe that can fit all my needs in as little items of clothing as possible. So does that mean I cannot be a minimalist?

In fact, what is minimalism?

For so long I’ve been intimidated by the image that surrounds minimalism that I didn’t even bother to ask myself about the fundamentals of it! After doing plenty of research, I discovered that there are so many different definitions of minimalism, but they all share a common value. I believe Joshua Becker from the Becoming Minimalist blog puts it best:

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.

And if we were going to become minimalist, it would have to be a style of minimalism specific to us. It would require us to ask questions, give-and-take, identify what we most value, and be humble enough to change course when necessary.

Your particular practice of minimalism is going to look different from everyone else. It must! After all, you live a different life than everyone else.

Although the Pinterest and Instagram minimalists seem to be more ‘minimal’ than you, that doesn’t make your ‘style of minimalism’ any less authentic. As Becker says, minimalism is about ridding your life of distractions.

What do you want to do with your life, really think about it. Now look around. Are the items that surround you going to help you get there? Do they hold any value/significant meaning to you? Do they make you happy? I’m afraid that’s not the case for me.

Time to get to work.

20 Things To Do Before Turning 20

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This August I will turn 20, meaning that I will no longer be a teenager. Even though I’m 6 months away from becoming an adultier adult, I still have some things I would like to accomplish before then. Some of them are tailored to me, but I thought I share it to see if anyone else can relate.

  1. Take a trip to Boston
  2. Attend a ballet
  3. Get my license (I know! I’m a bad adult)
  4. Journal more
  5. Read Pride and Prejudice
  6. Get a Passport
  7. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon
  8. Have a mini bake sale
  9. Write 10,000 words towards a book
  10. Go to BookCon
  11. Take a day trip
  12. Start self-hosting my blog
  13. Redesign my blog
  14. Get accepted to a grad school
  15. Revamp my wardrobe
  16. Reach 400 Twitter followers
  17. Learn how to make-up (I’m clueless)
  18. Have a conversation with a stranger
  19. Exercise more
  20. Achieve happiness

What’s one thing you want to do before your next birthday?