six ways to make today your best day

we all have good and bad days, but what exactly makes a day the best or worst in your life? one’s “best” and “worst” days can often change based on perspective and experiences. it also changes from person to person; my best day probably won’t be your best day and vice versa. although these tips won’t guarantee it’ll be the best day ever, there are a lot of ways it could make your days better.

AWOM_blogtour

expect less

one of the key elements to ruining your day is disappointment. if you expect the day to be perfect, you’ll be disappointed in every aspect it isn’t. small things that previously wouldn’t have bothered you that much are now dampening your mood and suddenly you can’t wait for the day to be over. don’t expect too much.

… but be hopeful

being hopeful and being expectant are two very different things that may be easily confused. hopefulness stresses the possibility of good things while expectations demand good/certain things. keep a positive outlook on the day and hope for something good – even if it’s something small or it’s already the end of a long day. you never know what could occur!

small surprises

small surprises are one of the easiest ways to improve my mood, but they’re also not in my control. when i get an unexpected package or letter, my outlook on the day is usually 100x better. the same can be said if the weather is (surprisingly) wonderful, or if i take a (surprisingly) good ballet class, or if i (surprisingly) have some extra time to read. although surprises aren’t something you can predict, you will probably have a more positive view if you weren’t expecting anything and/or were hopeful.

be aware of possibilities – good and bad

although it’s good to be positive, know that not every day will be the best day. you could get that dream job you were striving for… but you could also lose that dream job. it’s okay and completely normal to have some days worse than others, but as sarah j. maas beautifully said in A COURT OF MIST AND FURY: “There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

don’t strive for perfection

this is probably the most important tip of all because there is no way your day is perfect. of course, there are many many ways to contribute in your so-called perfect day but i doubt it’d be a perfect day if you knew it was going to be “perfect;” i doubt everything went according to your plan, and even if it did, i think it’d be a little boring. all of my better days are ones i didn’t plan to be perfect or good. expect the unexpected and go with the flow.

acknowledge the little things

there was a time when i’d make a list of five things that made me smile that day. the list would be something like:

  1. a stranger opened the door for me.
  2. i had a delicious breakfast.
  3. i completed most of my daily goals.
  4. i saw an old friend i haven’t seen in a while.
  5. someone gave me a compliment.

none of these are really extravagant things, but simply taking the time to acknowledge the little details can change your definition on a “good” or “bad” day.

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haul hail the spring stack

i know it’s already like mid-summer and this is a SPRING haul but HUSH. i keep procrastinating this post but oh well, better late than never. after my last haul, i decided to keep note of every book acquired since then (which was mid-april) and the list is kinda really overwhelming. so these are (almost) all the books i got in the spring.

books purchased or traded

i tried not to buy toooooo many books because i know 1) there is literally NO SPACE and 2) there are way too many books i own but have not read. that being said, most of these were personal favorites i already read and have been meaning to buy OR really anticipated new releases i pre-ordered. and even so, i got over ten books SIGH.

gallagher girls tenth anniversary edition book haul summer days and summer nights

  • SECOND CHANCE SUMMER, by morgan matson // my MM collection is finally complete! also this was the only MM book i hadn’t read at the time; i finished it a few weeks ago
  • THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, by renee ahdieh // i originally had a copy, gifted it for christmas, and got another one because TR&TD was releasing (and also because i love TW&TD)
  • THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER, by renee ahdieh // book two of TW&TD + one of my most anticipated releases of 2016
  • THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, by morgan matson // one of my FAVES EVER. i dug up my target gift cards from christmas when i found out about the ~special target edition~
  • A COURT OF MIST AND FURY, by sarah j maas // also bought because of the ~special target edition~ and because ACOMAF
  • SHUFFLE, REPEAT, by jen klein // i read the synopsis a few months back and was like neeeeeed
  • TRIALS OF APOLLO, by rick riordan // i saw the costco edition while shopping with my mom and was like, “omg special poster omg cheaper than amazon YES PLEASE”
  • HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION, by lin-manuel miranda and jeremy mccarter // i actually didn’t pre-order this and instead bought it on amazon on the release date and had to wait and extra three weeks because it was out of stock. the regrets were real.
  • SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS, by stephanie perkins // i’m reading this with bibliophile academy & this UK edition will match my copy of the other stephanie perkins anthology. whoooo!
  • THE MANIFESTO OF HOW TO BE INTERESTING, by holly bourne // this has been on my wish list since i read hazel’s review a year ago and when i saw it was on sale on TBD i couldn’t pass up
  • THE GALLAGHER GIRLS SERIES (10th anniversary editions), by ally carter // when i saw the covers and found out about the *BONUS CONTENT*, i knew this was the excuse i’ve been waiting three years for. i finally have a matching set of one of my favorite series ever. :’-))

i also traded for a copy of WOLF BY WOLF, by ryan graudin. i’ve heard great things about this one and it sounds so interesting (world war two AU? YASS.) i was going to read it immediately, but i think i’ll wait until the second book comes out.

books from publishers & other companies

i got a lot of unexpected packages from publishers these past few months. there was this one week in which i got a package almost every single day which is CRAZY. thank you thank you thank you to everyone who sent me something!

harper collins

epic reads

haul the epic titles from this epic company! there are SO many books on this list i’m excited to read (especially THIS SAVAGE SONG, MY LADY JANE, TRUE LETTERS FROM A FICTIONAL LIFE….. and it continues endlessly). thank you, harper!

simon and schuster

simon and schuster atria books

simon and schuster (including simon teen, atria books, and simon pulse) is one of my favorite publishing companies because they’ve release a lot of books i love. thank you for these!!

macmillan

macmillan book mail

macmillan (including fierce reads, st. martin’s press, and flatiron books) sent me a few very (very very) exciting books, so THANK YOUUU.

bloomsbury

bloomsbury

bloomsbury sent me books from a lot of different genres with a lot of beautiful covers. *heart eyes* thank you, bloomsbury!

penguin, scholastic, disney hyperion, quirk books and litjoy crate

p.s. i like you lit joy crate

thanks to bibliophile academy, penguin sent me a copy of FURTHERMORE, by tahereh mafi! *squeals* i love tahereh’s other books so i’m looking forward to reading this one. penguin also sent me EVERY FRENCHMAN HAS ONE, by olivia de havilland, in honor of her birthday. it’s a super cute and small book so hopefully i’ll get a chance to finish it before the summer ends.

i was so surprised (and ECSTATIC) when scholastic sent me P.S. I LIKE YOU, by kasie west because it was one of my ~most anticipated releases of 2016~. a cute pen-pal-ish romance by kasie west? SOLDDDDDD.

i also received CRESSWELL PLOT, by eliza wass from disney-hyperion and LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE, by paul krueger from quirk books. litjoy crate also sent me their monthly box which included REBEL OF THE SAND, by alwyn hamilton as well as a bunch of other goods. i really liked their selection of items so if you’re interested in getting a bookish subscription box, i’d definitely recommend this one. thank you to all the companies who sent me stuff!

have you read any of the books i hauled last season? let me know in the comments!

farewell, foresight, favorites

favorites

my obsessions didn’t become relevant until the second half of june, but that’s alright because i’m currently still obsessed with them. i was also kinda obsessed with donuts for about a week but now… not so much.

youtube

if you follow me on twitter, you’d know i was thinking about youtube-ing throughout the month. aaaaaaand i finally did it! i filmed a video, did some editing (which took FOREVER since i didn’t know what i was doing), and published it on the interwebs. before i began bookstagram or blogging (aka like over two years ago?), i wanted to start a youtube channel. but the act of talking to a camera and VIDEOing just felt so uncomfortable. but now that i often put myself in front of the camera for bookstagram (hah), it doesn’t feel as weird. (the talking part is still weird) i like the challenge, but let’s see how long this lasts…

veganism (again!)

my obsession with youtube started because of veganism. (i didn’t really go on YT thaaaaat much prior) i originally followed some vegan youtubers on instagram and finally decided to check out their channels. when i saw the “what i eat in a day” videos, i quickly became obsessed because FOOD OH MY GOSH THE FOOD. thanks to bonnyrebecca, i saw this TED talk and it completely changed my perspective on veganism; it had a particularly graphic section on animals in slaughterhouses and it made me feel really horrified. i’m scarred for life and i don’t think i’ll ever look at meat the same. (and that section of the video was like five minutes) although it was really uncomfortable to watch, i’m glad it changed my perspective on things.

farewell, june

june is the turning point of the year. we’re officially halfway through 2016, the weather is now hahhhhhhht, and I’M OLD(er) because it’s also my birthday month! the majority of my summer days are spent dancing and sleeping. i hardly have time to read or blog, but i don’t mind because i feel too tired to read or blog if i were to have the time.

tesla california donuts birthday xan

my ballet studio’s summer program started in early june and i’ve been dancing from five to nine hours every day. it’s overwhelming but also satisfying. my sister visited for a week and got me custom donuts for my birthday, which was super exciting. (they didn’t taste as good as expected, but oh well) i also finished up the last of my exams which means i don’t need to worry about school for the time being. (YAS.) my family’s tesla also arrived and it’s actually SO GREAT. 10/10 would recommend. saving the enviro, one electric drive at a time~

read this month

the books i read this month were all good, but they weren’t super engaging. then again, i didn’t have that much time to read anyway so….. *shrug* i also reread/skimmed the first two gallagher girls books along with the third as i just got the new editions and the feelings of ~NOSTALGIA~ are so real. i can’t believe i forgot how great these are!

on the blog

lifestyle

bookish

foresights of july

so this is the part when i tell you I’M GOING ON A HIATUS. ish. i’ll try my best to blog but the chances are so slim, you shouldn’t even consider the possibility. the first two weeks of july will be filled with last-minute rehearsals and moments of stress, while the remaining two weeks will be in bulgaria dancing my legs off. wish me luck! you’ll probably still find me on ~social media~ and i miiiiight vlog.

what did you do in the month of june? do you have any plans for july? let me know in the comments!

review - how it feels to fly

I received this book for free from HarperCollins, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: how it feels to fly, by kathryn holmesHow It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes
Published by HarperTeen on June 14th 2016
Genres: Anxiety, Contemporary, Death & Dying, Depression & Mental Illness, Fiction, General, Girls & Women, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: HarperCollins, Publisher
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

A struggle with body dysmorphia forces one girl to decide if letting go of her insecurity also means turning her back on her dreams.

Sam has always known she’d be a professional dancer—but that was before her body betrayed her, developing unmanageable curves in all the wrong places. Lately, the girl staring back at Sam in the mirror is unrecognizable. Dieting doesn’t work, ignoring the whispers is pointless, and her overbearing mother just makes it worse.

Following a series of crippling anxiety attacks, Sam is sent to a treatment camp for teens struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. Forced to open up to complete strangers, Sam must get through the program if she wants to attend a crucial ballet intensive later in the summer. It seems hopeless until she starts confiding in a camp counselor who sparks a confidence she was sure she’d never feel again. But when she’s faced with disappointing setbacks, will Sam succumb to the insecurity that imprisons her?

This compelling story from Kathryn Holmes examines one girl’s efforts to overcome her worst enemy: herself.

how it feels to fly

it’s frightening how much i related with the main character.

HOW IT FEELS TO FLY is a book that is ME. the story follows a ballet dancer who struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, and body image issues. although i don’t have anxiety, i am a ballet dancer and i do struggle with my body image from time to time. (when you critic yourself in the mirror for hours on end every day — wearing a skin-tight leotard and tights — it’s hard not to judge.) needless to say, the main character’s thought process didn’t stray too far from my own on a day-to-day basis. her’s was just an intensified version of mine.

most “ballet books” i’ve read are a mild version of BLACK SWAN, which isn’t the slightest bit accurate in terms of dancing and feeling. this novel was the first i read that made me feel that yes, the author must’ve been a dancer herself, and yes, everything was en pointe (pun totally intended). i could imagine samantha being a girl at my studio, or a girl i could meet at a summer program, or even in some cases, myself. sam’s character arc was really refreshing because we can slowly see her getting better, and wanting to get better.

“She’s light, but grounded. She moves like water, like a reed, like the wind. She shines on stage.” (pg. 111, ARC)

since the story is set in a mental illness camp for teens, we also meet other characters who hope to pursue careers in gymnastics, football, tennis, figure skating, acting, and more. i liked this aspect because it’s also not something you would “normally” see. most people focus on academics and all these professions are very specialized. although relationships build between these characters, i didn’t feel its depth and thought it was a bit reserved.

my biggest issue with this book was the romance because it was completely UNNECESSARY and frustrating (like i-want-to-throw-this-book-across-the-room frustrating). the summary is so misleading because it makes it seem like the romance was a big deal, but it honestly wasn’t. it started off being really subtle and i wasn’t even sure if it was a ~thing~. but towards the end it was suddenly “important” and afterward, it was just left unresolved. i think the story would’ve been better if it wasn’t there. the author could’ve gone deeper into sam’s own character and self-discovery. i know the male lead helped develop her character, but it sends a message that makes me feel squeamish; like, does a person HAVE to “fall in love” in order to recover? it made me feel like you HAVE to be reliant on someone (romantically) in order to get better. it was frustrating and frankly, dumb. (also there’s a thing about the ending that bothered me just a tiiiiiny bit, although it was really realistic.) View Spoiler »

“I think you have to love something if you’re gonna make sacrifices for it.” (pg. 118, ARC)

i connected with the main character and situation really well, but i can’t be sure everyone else will. however, i do think people should read it simply because it’s so insightful on anxiety and mental illness. it shows the way athletes can mentally overwhelm themselves in addition to physically. it shows that it’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to want to get better. i can’t say if it’s the perfect book for you, but i can say it was the (almost!) perfect book for me.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4

AWOM_blogtour

hello all! i’m so honored and excited to be a part of A WEEK OF MONDAYS blog tour because this book sounds super interesting. it’s like a book version of that one disney channel episode… BUT BETTER. can you imagine reliving the same day over and over again? sounds like a dream & nightmare. welp, that’s exactly what happens A WEEK OF MONDAYS.

about the book

A Week of Mondays

Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016
By: Macmillan
GOODREADSAMAZONBOOK DEPOSITORY

Ellie is having the worst Monday of her life. She messes up her school speech for the class vice presidency position, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball tryouts, and the icing on top of this awful cake: her perfect boyfriend who is in a high school rock band dumps her. At the end of the day, Ellie wishes she could redo everything. When she wakes up the next morning, she discovers that it’s Monday again! She has six more chances to redo the day in the hopes of having everything go exactly the way she wants. But in the process, she just may find out that what she really wants and what she actually needs are two very different things.

guest post from author jessica brody

ELLISON “ELLIE” SPARKS: An idealistic, ambitious sixteen-year- old junior with a lot on her plate.

Those were the first words I ever wrote about Ellie Sparks. They were written in a synopsis for my publisher when I was first trying to sell them on the idea for a book called A WEEK OF MONDAYS.

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