march 2020 thrift shop haul

Welcome!

I love spending free time wandering through local thrift shops and discovering new treasures. For the past month, I have had a few pieces in my head when searching: a new winter jacket and a jean jacket. I finally found them along with a few other pieces.

So here’s a quick look at my recent thrift finds:

jean jacket: $4.49

Goodwill was having a sale on all winter jackets AND the tag color was half off, so I actually got this jacket for 75% off the thrift shop price. I was even more ecstatic when I looked up the brand and found a similar jacket by this brand being sold for over $100!

winter jacket: $7.49

I am quite literally in love with this jacket! My other winter jacket is now over three years old and has tears around the cuffs and bottom hem. I only recently discovered a small tear by the hood which I will fix with fabric glue in this jacket. This jacket was too cute to pass up!

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan: $2.49

I could not believe my eyes when I saw a hardcover of Immortal Beloved in Goodwill! I read this book back in 2012, but I fell in love with this trilogy. I will definitely be needing to reread this book since I have it on my shelves now.

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares: $6.99

I went to a different Goodwill about 30 minutes away from my house, and I found THIS GEM! For anyone who doesn’t know, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series actually has five books. This is the fifth book! I easily find the first four books in just about every thrift shop, but I recently resolved myself to never being able to find the last book. A few squeals may have come out when I snatched this one off the shelf. The stickers were a little tough to get off, but a damp paper towel and a few minutes later… voila! A sticker-free cover!

Rachael Ray cookbook: $2.49

Rachael Ray was the cook of my childhood and my role model. I learned how to cook from my parents with her 30-Minute Meals for Kids cookbook, and I watched all her shows on Food Network. When I find her cookbooks in thrift stores, I almost always buy them. This one just so happened to have a half-off color tag. And yes, it did come with a jacket, but I enjoy seeing cookbooks without them.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: $4.99

Clockwork Angel hardcover by Cassandra Clare

I already own the entire Infernal Devices trilogy, but I had Clockwork Angel in paperback from when my parents first bought me the book. The rest of my books are hardcovers, so I screamed in excitement to see a hardcover of Clockwork Angel for half off and in great condition! I had to swap out my editions, so now this gorgeous trilogy all matches.

100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs: $2.49

100 Days to Brave devotional by Annie F. Downs

Annie’s podcast is one of my favorites, especially her enneagram books. I always keep my eye open for this book when I go to a thrift store, but I have never seen one before! My plan is to dive into this book after Lent since I’m in a few different plans right now. I can’t wait!

thrifting total: $31.49 price tag

Which section do you always check when going to a thrift store? Any great finds? Let me know in the comments if you would love to see more thrift hauls this year!

xo,

Charley

March 2020 Bullet Journal Flip-Through

Welcome!

I did a quick set-up this month with my bullet journal and really just focused on simplicity. The end of February was hectic for me with college and personal life, so I didn’t have as much time to create spreads.

March calendar and cover page

I wanted to create a calendar spread again since I have been loving the format. In order to have the most space available for my days, I needed to make my calendar horizontal. The next page has a few different aspects for it: important dates, prayer requests, reading list, and goals. I wanted to be able to have some space to grow throughout the month as I add in more goals and books to read.

Life and reading goals spread with prayer requests

I created a version of my “What I Devoured” page from the past two months. With this spread in particular, I knew a scrapbook style would work perfectly to incorporate the background image into my March bujo. My background image came from Connor Franta’s ‘Note to Self’ which I found in a thrift shop. I literally ripped out pictures and cut out phrases from the book because I thrifted it. I added a ton of washi tape from a Park Lane 8 Pack Washi Tape Foliage I recently bought when it was on sale.

ANYWAYS… I added a spread for planning out what to spend my tax returns on in order to be more aware of my spending. I have a mental list for ideas, but I benefit immensely from writing my plans down.

My expense log is virtually the same for March as it has been for January and February. I did end up with more of a border since I found filling the entire page with alternating color lines bugged my eyes out. Since March will be the month I get my tax returns and go out to Minnesota for spring break, I know I will need more pages for the log. I will have to problem-solve once I run out of lines and show you in my April bullet journal flip-through.

I kept my weekly spreads pretty tame compared to February’s spreads. I placed a strip of washi tape on the bottom of each page to give extra decoration. For the days of the weeks, I tried different designs around them. In the first one, I just doodled circles in a darker green and wrote the names on the circles. In the second spread, I doodled leaves in circles around the names.

In the third and fourth spread, I literally just wrote the names with a Crayola supertips marker. I decorated each weekly spread with stickers from various stores and pictures from Connor Franta’s book. Each spread also has a calendar overview for March, a to-do section, and a look ahead space. Having a to-do section for the entire week definitely helps me prioritize my tasks.

I added a few more pages to help me focus through Lent and reflect back on how my social media detox helped my faith and life.

If you want bujo inspiration, you can follow my bullet journal board on Pinterest. Since I am on a social media detox for Lent, I will not be sharing pictures on Instagram of this month. You can definitely follow me, though, to see past and future spreads.

Here’s a quick glance at all the materials I used in these spreads:

What do you have in your bullet journal? Do you enjoy more minimalistic or full spreads? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Why I’m Doing a Social Media Detox for Lent 2020

Welcome!

what is lent?

Each year for Lent I follow the practice of giving something up for the season of 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. For those of you who may not know, the practice of Lent began in the early Christian Church days to symbolize the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert before he began his ministry. With the season, however, comes a lot of confusion with the denominations of the Church that split from the Roman Catholic Church. I have not always fasted during the Lenten season since I grew up in a Protestant church. As I’ve gotten older, I have realized the importance of this season beyond simply giving something up. I think the following video really breaks down the purpose of Lent into something easier to understand:

how does this connect to social media?

In the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on what distracts me from spending intentional time with God. Each morning I find myself picking up my phone and scrolling through my various social media feeds: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook (and repeat). I discussed this problem with my friends, and I realized social media is what I needed to give up for Lent.

When I look back at my social media life, I see eight years of my life on Facebook, six years of my life on Instagram and Twitter. As a twenty-one-year-old, my time spent on social media has been a third of my life. I have childhood memories of spending hours outside without interruption or reading a book in a day or even a life with less comparison of stats. In a few years, that fraction is going to grow. When I’m older, I will have spent more time being on social media than begin off it.

My brain has become hard-wired to constantly check social media in any downtime or even when I’m in class. I want to release my life from this hold. For Lent this year, I want to redirect my morning or night time to not be spent mindlessly watching Facebook videos or liking random Instagram pictures. Instead, I want to spend that open time in my routines to focus on God. I want to actually complete Bible devotional plans, read the Bible with intention, and enjoy life again.

what does this mean for the blog?

I will still be updating the blog regularly. I hope to knock down my postings to once a week during the semester. With the lack of social media, though, I won’t be promoting my posts beyond the initial (and automatic) shares since I have my Twitter and Facebook pages connected to the blog. If you found this from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, you can keep getting notified of my new posts by following through WordPress or email. (Just look to the right side of the screen to find that box!)

a final note:

My biggest hope and goal to come from this Lent season is to reset my relationship with social media and God, but what comes next is the most important part. I want to do social media detoxes at least once a month, if not more. I want days to disconnect from being online in order to continue to have a healthier relationship with being online and to continue my intentionality exploration.

I hope you can take a moment to reflect on what is taking your time away from being intentional and focusing on God in your life. If you aren’t a believer, thank you for reading this post. I hope you can still take away being able to detox from social media in order to focus on an area in your life where you need to be productive.

Let me know in the comments if you have ever done a social media detox and/or what you’re giving up for Lent!

xo,

Charley

Ten Must-Read YA Retelling Books

Welcome!

I wanted to take a moment to focus on my favorite sub-genre in fiction: retold fairytales. I am always a fan of a fresh take on a classic fairytale. If you check out my Goodreads, you can check out my ‘Retellings’ shelf for a variety of stories being retold.

With the release of one of my most anticipated 2020 books being published this week, I wanted to showcase some of my favorite YA retellings. And in case you were wondering which retelling was released this week, check out this first one:

of curses and kisses by sandhya menon

beauty and the beast

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From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

Will the princess save the beast?

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.

princess at the midnight ball by jessica day george

twelve dancing princesses

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A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

house of salt and sorrows by erin a craig

twelve dancing princesses

house of salt and sorrows by erin a craig book cover

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

tiger lily by jodi lynn anderson

peter pan

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Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up.

the goddess test series by aimee carter

persephone and hades

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Every girl who had taken the test has died.

Now it’s Kate’s turn.

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess.

nevermore by kelly creagh

edgar allan poe

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Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

a study in charlotte by brittany cavallaro

sherlock holmes

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The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

cruel beauty by rosamund hodge

beauty and the beast

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Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

hunted by meagan spooner

beauty and the beast

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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

a curse so dark and lonely by brigid kemmerer

beauty and the beast

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Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Guest Post: 5 Ways to Celebrate Singles’ Awareness Day!

Welcome!

Today is a very special day because my best friend Hannah Marie is visiting the blog today! She is here to share some secrets about the best way to celebrate being single on Singles’ Awareness Day, aka February 15. And guess what: it doesn’t have to be SAD! Enjoy.

xo,

Charley


Hey, everyone! So it seems that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and now we are left with the next best thing: Singles Awareness Day (aka discounted chocolate day)!

Many people look at being single as a bad thing—like some kind of terrible disease that no one wants to catch—but some of us savvy, single people know better. Singlehood is something that you can thoroughly enjoy, and today, I’m going to let you in on my top-secret singles-only blueprint to having an amazing Valentine’s Weekend, or any other weekend (even without a significant other).

So without further ado, here are 5 super fun activities you can enjoy 100% on your own!!

1) Cook Yummy Treats

There are so many cute treats on Pinterest, it would be a mistake to not try to make them! Or, if you’re not much of a sweets person, you could even pick out a nice, yummy dinner recipe to spoil yourself a bit.

So many people don’t think about this, but cooking at home can be an awesome way to practice self-care. We put a lot of emphasis on food being a communal thing, but good food is something that can be enjoyed alone too! Talking the time and effort required to cook a delicious meal is one of the best ways to show yourself some love. True, it might be easier to grab fast-food, but at the end of the day, eating is an experience, and cooking the food you eat can be a very special part of taking care of yourself.

2) Have a Spa-Night

Sometimes you just need a spa-night to make your day better! Go to the store (or online) and pick out some new face masks, bath bombs, nail polish, etc… Or you can even search Pinterest for some easy, homemade spa-treatments. Whatever you do though, go crazy with it! The goal is to make yourself feel completely pampered.

  • Do your usual skincare regime
  • Use pore strips
  • Put on a face mask
  • Run a bubble-bath & toss in a bath-bomb (extra points if there’s glitter!)
  • After you wash your hair, do a hair mask or a deep conditioning treatment
  • Turn on a soft, relaxing playlist while you soak in the tub
  • OR you can rewatch your favorite episode of your favorite sitcom
  • Exfoliate and shave
  • Dry off and moisturize
  • Paint your nails your favorite shade
  • Wrap yourself in your favorite pajamas OR a silky/fuzzy robe
  • Extra points again if you have fuzzy slippers or socks!

Spa days are great because it is a way for you to show your body some love. Especially after a busy week. Remember to take care of yourself every day, not just on “special” days.

3) Watch a Rom-Com

There’s nothing like curling up on the couch and binge-watching your favorite romantic comedies. And with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, you have hundreds to choose from! Or, if you don’t have these services, you can always find good, half-priced movies at Half-Price books.

(… but if you have Netflix, I highly recommend To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before + the brand new sequel, P.S. I Still Love You)

Watching movies like this can be really good because it lets you be able to simply enjoy something without thinking too hard about it. It gives your brain a bit of a break and (hopefully) makes you smile!

4) Explore Your Nearest City

If you need to get out of the house, I’ve got an activity for that too! When I need a day out, I’ve found that I enjoy exploring my nearest city. I pick out an outfit that is comfortable but also makes me feel super cute and confident, and then I just start walking/driving.

You’d be surprised how many little places you will discover if take the time to slow down and find them. By driving through towns without stopping, you often miss all the little antique shops, coffee shops, and local businesses that your city has to offer. So take a moment to slow down and truly explore. Who knows? You may even discover your new favorite hangout place!

5) Try Something Completely New

This one might feel a little intimidating at first, but I can almost guarantee that you will be glad you did it. Many times we are unwilling to put ourselves out there and try something new (for instance, a dance class!) because we feel like we have to have a partner or someone there with us.

But let me tell you, trying new things, making memories, and collecting new experiences should not be hindered because you don’t have your best friend with you or because you’re a “Single Pringle.” Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a sure way to grow and become a stronger, more well-rounded person. So instead of waiting on a partner, get out there and try that thing you’ve always been wanting to try!

I use Facebook to find local events to attend and have found some real gems because I was willing to try.

  • Join a dance class
  • Take a crafting class (sewing, knitting, baking, etc…)
  • Go to a local open-mic night
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Join a book club (local libraries often have these)
  • Attend a trivia night
  • Go to a concert

There are so many more amazing things you can do as a single person that can be just as fun and fulfilling as they would be with a significant other, but you have to have the right mindset for it. Allowing yourself to be open to being your own friend takes time and can be difficult. However, once you start the journey, you will learn so many things about yourself and learn to enjoy your own company. Being single doesn’t have to be sad and miserable. It can actually be one of the most special times of your life.
Just start small… and push yourself a little more each day.

Hannah Marie is a 20-something college lifestyle blogger who has an affinity for hot tea, gentle music, and blush pink. She can often be found hiding behind the enormous stack of books she needs to read for school, where she is most likely scribbling poetry or editing her novel. You can follow her on her Blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Wattpad (and most other social media platforms).

17 Songs on My February 2020 Playlist

Welcome!

In January, I shared 20 songs that I put on my 2020 playlist for the year. I loved how many of you discovered new artists, so I thought I would share songs from my playlist more often! This month I tried to find some new songs after I found myself circling through the same playlist as January for weeks. My tip is to find your favorite Spotify playlist of your own and click “Go to Playlist Radio” to find songs with similar vibes.

blinding lights- the weeknd

I am always a fan of The Weeknd, so I added this song to my playlist pretty quickly after my last post. I absolutely love his voice and the vibes of his music. I could listen (and have) to him all day.

what a man gotta do- jonas brothers

I am all aboard the JoBro’s wives train. I legitimately squealed with joy when I saw that all the wives came back for this video. Nothing makes me happier than seeing them happy.

alive- daughtry

Daughtry is always low-key one of my favorite storytelling artists. His voice is so powerful when all you want to do is have a jam session in the car. Daughtry is an artist I grew up listening to and will listen to for the rest of my life.

teenage dirtbag- ross lynch, jaz sinclair, lachlan watson

Not going to lie: I have a major crush on Ross Lynch. I watched Austin and Ally, and my love for Ross has only grown as I’ve gotten older. When I watched the latest season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I was ecstatic that Ross Lynch was singing. And that’s the only reason this and the next song are on my playlist.

my sharona- ross lynch, jaz sinclair

the one i’m running to- 7eventh time down

This is an older song that I’ve listened to a thousand times before. When I listened to it this month, though, something just hit differently. I like having this song in my playlist to help me refocus on the good things in life during the stress of my semester.

everything i wanted- billie eilish

Billie Eilish’s songs are always hit or miss for me, but I love the meaning behind this song. Just the thought of gaining everything in life and still not being satisfied or loved by those around you are some of the greatest fears I have in life. It reminds me to be intentional with those around me.

only the young- taylor swift

If you can watch Miss Americana on Netflix and not cry, please let me know how. I bawled the entire time (like ugly crying, bawled) because of the pain and how honest Taylor was in this documentary. Having this song during the election year is a fantastic reminder that the young are the ones who can change the world right now.

me & ur ghost- blackbear

I find blackbear’s voice mesmerizing with this song. The lyrics also ring so true for anyone going through a relationship break-up. I, most definitely, am not going through a break-up (#singleforever), but I love how he tells a story through these honest lyrics.

no shame- 5 seconds of summer

Much like any Ross Lynch song, 5 Seconds of Summer will forever be on my playlist. Their sound has changed drastically since they started, but I love it. I can see myself blaring this song during the summer with my windows rolled down.

know your worth- khalid, disclosure

First, the title of this song is amazing. Second, Khalid is a dream! I mainly added it because Khalid’s voice makes my heart full. And I love that this song is all about reminding people to look for someone who actually knows what you’re worth because it’s more than nothing.

never seen the rain- tones and i

If you’re like me, then you probably started listening to Tones and I thanks to TikTok’s obsession with “Dance Monkey”. But they have such great songs! I definitely recommend checking out more of their songs, and I can’t wait to see this song blow up.

anyone- demi lovato

Demi has been one of my favorites since childhood, but seeing her go through her battles has been hard. When I watched her sing this song at an awards show, I started crying right along with the rest of the audience and Internet.

if the world was ending- jp saxe, julia michaels

The story being told in this song makes my writer’s heart feel like writing an entire contemporary series based on it. I love the thought of putting aside your problems just to simply love the one you’re meant to be with at the end of the world. Also, I heard rumors that they started dating after collaborating on this song. Isn’t that the cutest?

boys like you- anna clendening

This song came from my playlist radio on Spotify, and I will need to dive more into Anna Clendening’s songs. Her voice has such power behind it. I love how this song is a bop but still kind of sad.

you should be sad- halsey

Halsey is always hit or miss again, but the music reminds me slightly of country music with the opening notes which I love. Also, the lyrics make me sad which goes along with the title. But does anyone know the meaning behind them?

older- sasha sloan

This music video is so adorable! I love how well this song captures all the feelings I have felt since growing older and see my parents in a different light. I think the hardest part of growing up is changing how people see you, but also changing how you see the people in your life.

What’s the song you’ve been playing on repeat in February? Any future albums you’re looking forward to releasing this year? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Swoonworthy OTPs: Valentine’s Week 2020 Edition

Welcome!

For this week’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday‘ hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, I decided to do a list of books with my favorite couples to celebrate the love theme. I have fallen in love with so many romances lately in books, and I can barely contain my excitement for any of them! Let’s jump right in to the love.

Lou and Reid (Serpent & Dove)

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin flatlay with pumpkin candle

I have definitely raved about Lou and Reid for months now, but the recent cover release for Blood & Honey amped my love for them back up! Lou and Reid complement each other so well with their banter and how they allow the other person to open up different ways. I absolutely adore their chemistry developing into a love throughout Serpent & Dove, and I can’t wait to see them grow stronger together in Blood & Honey.

Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky (To All the Boys)

Alright, I know Lara Jean and Peter have been everyone’s OTPs for a while now, but with all the hype for the P.S. I Still Love You movie, I have found myself defending this OTP against all the movie fans who love John Ambrose. If nothing else can convince you, just think of all the little things Peter does for Lara Jean without a second question.

Penny and Sam (Emergency Contact)

Emergency Contact flatlay with latte in a mug

Full honesty moment: I didn’t love Penny and Sam together until the end of Emergency Contact. This book fully develops Penny and Sam as friends first before delving into a romance with them, which I love to a point. I didn’t realize how invested I was with this OTP until the last 50 pages of the book when Penny and Sam acted on their feelings. A squeal may have escaped me in the final chapter.

Ana and Daniel (Fountains of Silence)

Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys Instagram post

I love this OTP, I do. Ana and Daniel have such a tense romantic energy through the entire book until the time jump where they’re in their thirties when they finally get together. Reading about these powerful characters growing together in such a dark and curious era brought me got me invested in their stories separately as well as together. The dual POVs helped me see how the couple thought and cared for each other. 10/10 recommend!

Camille and Lazare (Enchantée)

Enchantee by Gita Trelease Instagram post

You may be a bit surprised by this OTP since I haven’t raved about this book in quite some time. I fell in love with Enchantée after reading it in one sitting during a sick day. I literally could not set it down. And then Gita Trelease plops in this amazing romance between a scientist-royal-man and enchantress-esque woman which sealed the deal for me. I couldn’t resist Lazare as a balloonist, but put him in as a royal… boy, oh, boy.

Puck and Sean (Scorpio Races)

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater Instagram post

This past November, I listened to the Scorpio Races for the first time (I read it physically before.) and fell in love with Puck and Sean all over again. I literally would sit in my car on campus just to listen to this beautiful work. And just hearing about how Sean and Puck fall in love with each other in such a high-stakes environment hits me deep in my heart.

Deja and Josiah (Pumpkinheads)

Pumpkinheads graphic novel by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

From the moment I started this story, I shouted from the rooftops about how badly I wanted Deja and Josiah to be together. While Josiah may have ran around the pumpkin patch searching for a different girl, I could not be happier about the entire journey. I love how supportive they are for each other in their own adventures for love and food. Also, if anyone knows of a pumpkin patch that’s like this one, please send me the address ASAP.

Annaleigh and Cassius (House of Salt and Sorrows)

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

This book definitely messed with my mind. The atmosphere and plot twists played with whether or not I actually liked Cassius, but I couldn’t let him go. Cassius and Annaleigh, together, were my favorite couple. I couldn’t get behind any other potential romance with Annaleigh.

Tessa and Weston (100 Days of Sunlight)

Abbie Emmons' Instagram post for 100 Days of Sunlight
Instagram: @makeyourstorymatter

If you haven’t read Abbie’s book yet, what are you waiting for? I was lucky enough to write for her blog tour, but I don’t think I properly raved about Tessa and Weston. First of all, Weston is literally a dream. He pushes a stubborn Tessa to look (pun not intended) at the world in a new light. I fell in love with Weston and Tessa’s adventures and them together. I don’t think I could find a more wholesome OTP on this list.

Sweetie and Ashish (There’s Something About Sweetie)

Okay, I was definitely pushing for Sweetie and Ashish this entire time. Ashish loves on Sweetie so much and literally thrives at being able to show the rest of the world how amazing she is. Sweetie works through so much in this book and overcomes her insecurities with Ashish by her side. I loved being able to see a different side of Ashish than we see in When Dimple Met Rishi.

Who is your favorite OTP on this list? Do you have any OTPs that didn’t happen? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Find my socials!

how to write a letter to your friend when you don’t know what to say

Welcome!

Did you know February 7 is National Write a Letter to Your Friend Day? Well, I wanted to help prepare you to get that letter in the mail for the friends you may see every day or just once a year. As an adult, I tend to only receive bills and junk mail, but my day brightens when I get a letter from a friend. Sending a letter doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or expensive. In fact, I love sending letters to the friends I get see every day and week just to give a little more intention into our friendships!

one: get your hands on a card

If you are a busy person, like me, then I definitely recommend taking just a few minutes in the card aisle at the store to pick a card that has some special meaning. I find that a card that has an inside joke attached to it even if the purpose is completely unrelated to anything they’re currently doing in their lives can make their day. For example, one of my friends and I have a joke about her and avocados, so I love to find any punny avocado cards for her. But a simple ‘Thank You’ card for their friendship would be appreciated, too.

If you have a bit more time, then I recommend crafting a card! The card doesn’t need to be anything extravagant. I recommend checking out Pinterest for some fun card ideas. (While you’re there, make sure to give me a follow!) Pinterest is my hub for all things crafty, but I know they have some super simple card ideas, too.

two: write a sentence or two!

I love to write just a few sentences to either encourage my friends, reassure them, or just thank them for their friendship. Typical messages could say:

“I am so glad you’re my friend! See you soon.”

“Love you! I can’t wait to see what the year holds.”

“Hope you have a good week!”

Literally, you can write anything and your friends will love it. I find that sending my friends a letter instead of a text is ten times better. The letter usually takes a day or two for my friends to receive, so just knowing that I sent them without their knowledge is the best.

three: add a little something

This step is completely optional, but you could add in a little fun surprise, too! I have an overabundance of stickers, so I love to give stickers to my friends. You could add in a $5 gift card, confetti/glitter, or even a little paper heart with a sweet message.

And that’s how easy it is! Writing letters takes just a few minutes each week to give your friends some extra love.

What’s your favorite thing to get in the mail? Do you like to write letters? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

february 2020 bullet journal flip-through

Welcome!

I set up a brand new bullet journal in January, and my goal was to make it “Instagrammable”. Well, I think I hit that goal.

I absolutely adored all the January bullet journal spreads I created for January. I figured I would try again in February. Since I am a single pringle, I wanted to focus on loving myself this month. But I definitely still used all the pink and red aesthetic with hearts.

February 2020 bullet journal cover page

I saw a few different spreads with triangles in them, so I thought I would try to create a similar aesthetic with pink papers I got from Connor Franta’s “Note To Self” that I found at a thrift shop, Pinterest graphics, and a “For the Love of Paper” magazine. I also used some washi tape to create more of a sharp border on the February cover page.

For my calendar, I wanted to include something with the idea of a love letter since I had a ton of envelopes I bought at a thrift store.

I wrote a quick little reminder on the inside flap of the envelope, but I created a calendar I can pull out and look at while looking at my weekly spreads, too. It has only been a few days, but I love that I don’t have to flip back and forth between the two spreads. Plus, I was able to make the calendar spread bigger than last month’s which allows me to actually write my busier days in when I have them.

what I read and watched february spread and a vision board for february bullet journal

For last month’s “What I Read, Watched, and Listened to” spread, I ended up not using as much space as I gave myself. Plus, I didn’t actually keep track of anything I listened to since I listen to so many different playlists and podcasts. Instead, I added more room for my reading and watching. On the right page, I created a February ‘vision board’ of sorts. Since I start the semester in February, I like to glance at my goals again and create specific school-focused goals. I thought this spread was a nice way to list my goals and inspire motivation.

february bullet journal expense tracker

I really liked my set-up for January’s expense tracker, so I made February’s pretty much similar. I added some stickers and washi tape I got from Emily (@bohobujogirll) to add some extra flair beyond the repetitive pink lines.

I tried out a few different weekly spread styles for January, and I decided I really liked having a general to-do list for the week to file into specific days. This spread has a lot of different pieces, but the images are from Pinterest. I have a collection of the washi tape from a bunch of different brands and stores. The stickers used, though, are from Charlotte’s (@booksandteacupsshop) sticker sheets. I love how cute the different mugs look especially paired with the soft pink pastels.

For the rest of the weekly spreads, I pretty much used similar methods of using Connor Franta’s photos from his book as backdrops for the Pinterest images or my stickers.

college semester schedule and ideal routine spreads

I wanted to add in a spread to help me visualize how a routine would work with my spring semester. The right hand spread is just a quick spread I made to help me keep on a schedule for the mornings. I’m trying to create routines in my life, especially early in the morning. I am hoping the spring semester will be the perfect time to set this in motion.

I have a few different bullet journal IGTV videos coming out this month that I filmed to help you see how I create the spreads, so make sure to follow me on Instagram, too. If you want bujo inspiration, you can follow my bullet journal spread on Pinterest.

Here’s a quick glance at all the materials I used in these spreads:

  • Leuchtturm 1917 dotted journal
  • Papermate Flair pens
  • Crayola Supertips
  • Assorted washi tape
  • Boho Bujo Girl Valentine’s Day sampler pack
  • Books and Teacups Shop sticker sheets
  • Connor Franta’s “Note to Self” book (I cut it up for the pictures and some poems.)
  • Magazine clippings

What do you have to have in your bullet journal spreads? Any goals for February? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Ten Books I Want to Read For the First Time Again

Welcome!

Image result for well its groundhog day again gif
Google Images

In the spirit of Groundhog’s Day, I thought it would be fun to talk about which books I would love to experience for the first time again! If you have been around for a while, then you may know that I don’t tend to re-read books. At least, I didn’t use to re-read them. Now? I’m much more open to the idea since I’ve read literal hundreds of books at this point in my life. I definitely fell in love with returning to my favorites since I spent an entire summer reading Sarah Dessen’s books. Speaking of which…

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen bookstagram photo

I would give everything to be able to read this book for the first time all over again. I read Sarah Dessen when I was in middle school. If I was able to read Dreamland for the first time today, I would love this book even more if possible. The impact of the story on my first time reading it would be 1000 times more than it was when I was younger. The reality of the story is disturbing, but this book made me look at all of Sarah’s books in a different light.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler photo

This book escaped me for years, literally. I hadn’t recorded the title or author of this book, so when I wanted to find it again, I couldn’t. I vaguely remembered which shelf at the library I had found it on and what the cover looked like. I couldn’t remember any of the character’s names. All I could tell you was the cover had a blue heart of sea glass with one red piece in it. And it made me cry after the third chapter. If I could read this book for the first time, I would still cry but actually remember the book’s title to find it again.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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I would love to be able to fall in love with this series again. I read this series during spring break when I was sick, and I couldn’t move from the couch. If I could read this series again, I would savor each chapter, romance, and character. I will say that I changed which characters I cheered for so many times originally. I just remember falling in love with Adrian and never wanting to look back.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

As I’m reading Chain of Gold right now, I have been reminiscing on the first (and only) time I read Clockwork Angel in middle school. My parents gave me the book for Christmas one year since it looked like something I would read. No one in my house knew Cassandra Clare or anything about the Shadowhunter world. I devoured this series and read The Mortal Instruments, too. I even got my mom hooked on this world. While I haven’t been its biggest supporter through the years, I will always recommend The Infernal Devices trilogy to anyone looking for a good historical fantasy.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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This book will forever be on my recommendation list. I haven’t read this book for a while, but the power of the story still sits in me. I remember being so upset by the ending because it wasn’t the typical ‘happy’ ending I was used to reading with contemporaries. This book is quite literally an emotional wrecking ball. But reading about someone experiencing the same day again just to try to figure out how to become the best versions of themselves for those around them really hits a teenager HARD. When I watched the movie last year? I still bawled my eyes out as an adult.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

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I believe this book may have been one of the first historical fantasy books I ever read. When I was younger, I loved reading historical fiction books to learn about different time periods (mainly World War Two). I never thought that magic and history could be mixed together. While I haven’t enjoyed much of Libba’s other books, I hold A Great and Terrible Beauty close to my heart. The entire series really showed me the power of a good story.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor quickly became one of my favorite authors after reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Her ability to create worlds from simple words amazes me. The chemistry between her characters and the complex histories just make me smile and warm my heart. For years, I thought she was an under-appreciated author until I found Holly (@hollyslittlebookreviews) who literally has Laini’s words tattooed on herself.

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

If I read this for the first time again, I would read the second book immediately after finishing the first book. The day of torture I put myself through between finishing the first book and picking up An Echo in the Darkness literally killed me. I may have spent it calling both my best friends to cry about this book. This book made me realize that not all Christian fiction is cheesy and overdone. Francine Rivers is my favorite Christian author.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

If I could tell myself one thing before reading this book, it would be to give myself some time before finishing it and going to see the movie. Five hours of sleep and barely anything for breakfast does not cut it as time either. I was a legit mess going to see this movie after reading this book in one sitting into the early morning hours. I love this book, believe me, but I needed more time to process all my emotions after the ending. I’m just glad my friends also ugly cried in the theatre.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Now that I’m looking back at reading this book, I realize how much I desired a group of friends like in this book. I think I found them, too. But at the time I read this book in such a lonely place. I was with people that I didn’t really connect with and far away from my best friends and family. If I could tell myself one thing before reading this for the first time, it would be to take notes on how to be a good friend because, in a few years, I would be in this group of friends.

Which book do you wish you could read for the first time again? Do you have a favorite book to re-read? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley