Balancing Blog + Work + School + Life

I’ve talked a bit about this summer about how much I have going on. Most of you know that I’m currently enrolled in graduate school, studying to be a librarian. I also work full-time as a teacher. In addition I have two young children. It’s a lot.

This summer a lot of people have said to me, “Wow, you are amazing, I don’t know how you do it all!” or “How do you still time find to blog?”

Well, first of all, guys, I’m not a super hero. I don’t stay up all night working, I can’t do three things at once, and I don’t work light-speed fast. (In fact, I work rather slowly, which certainly makes finding time for everything harder!) I am just a regular person making it work.

Second, I will admit that handling all of this has been exponentially easier since I’ve been on summer vacation. Turns out eliminating one of my responsibilities entirely gives me a lot more free time! But during the school year I am definitely not as involved in the blogging community. I don’t read and comment on y’all’s posts as much because I just don’t have time! So, not a super hero.

But since so many people asked, I thought I would share some of the insights I’ve learned in the past year for balancing a busy life with blogging.

Set Your Priorities

This is important. As soon as I started school I sat down with my husband and we discussed my priorities. Kids first, school/work second, blogging last.

Now, this is the important part, once you set your priorities STICK TO THEM. When I decided to prioritize my kids, that meant I had to leave work by 4:00 every single day, unless there was an emergency or after school event at school. I couldn’t say, “Well, I have work to do, it’ll be okay if I don’t leave on time this once.” Because this once turns into every day. If I have to choose between writing a blog post and finishing my homework, I choose the priority every time. Don’t try to do both!

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Calendar Girls July Wrap-Up

Can you believe summer is almost over? I’ve sent my boys to daycare today, and next week I have to go back to work. 😦

I don’t know about anyone else, but I had a wonderful time this July talking about romance in books, and our OTPs. Though, truthfully, you all are a little too nice, I was hoping for some Hunger Games style battling for our favorites.

Just kidding!

Summer Lovin’: Bookish OTP
Our Picks

Ron & Hermione from Harry Potter – Katie (that’s me!) @ Never Not Reading
Veronica & Stoker from A Curious Beginning – Adrienne @ Darque Dreamer Reads
Kaz & Inej from Six of Crows – Teri Polen
Monty & Percy from A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Deanna @ Deanna Writes About
Achilles & Patroclus from The Song of Achilles – Ashley @ Inside my Minds
Lara Jean & Peter from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Samantha @ Modern Witch’s Bookshelf
Emi & Shiro from Red Winter – Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads
Stella & Michael from The Kiss Quotient – Sophie @ Beware of the Reader
Will & Louisa from Me Before You – Clarissa @ Clarissa Reads it All
Westley & Buttercup from The Princess Bride – Lucinda @ Lucinda is Reading
Neville & Luna from Harry Potter – Dani @ Mousai Books
Anne & Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables – Gemma @ Book Beach Bunny
Feyre and Rysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses – Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile

Our favorite pick is…

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Tag: Books That I’ll [Probably] Never Read

Hello everybody! I’ve got about a bazillion and a half book tags in my bookmarks bar right now, so I’ll probably be bringing you a tag a week for a bit. I don’t know why I still enjoy doing tag posts so much, but I just do. 🙂

I saw this one back in March on The Tin Kitchen, and since I’ve been going through a bit of an existential crisis regarding all of the books I will never get to read (*pauses for a round of sobbing*) I immediately connected with it and decided to save it for a rainy day. That rainy day never came, but I’m going with it anyway!

P.S. If you don’t follow Katie at The Tin Kitchen, I highly recommend you do, she has a great voice and always has thoughtful things to say.

A really hyped book that you’re not interested in reading

Guys, I’m sure that The Poppy War is just brilliant, but I have no intention of reading it. I’ve seen a lot of content warnings, and that’s just not for me most of the time. I’d rather cuddle up with something G-rated.

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Review: With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Genre: Young Adult
Maturity Level: 5-
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

With the Fire on High is one of my favorite YA novels I’ve ever read. It was touching and thoughtful, and it was about real life. Acevedo doesn’t sugar coat the realities of being a young black woman or being a teen mom, but the tone of the book is still hopeful.

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Planners vs. Bullet Journals

If there is anything that I’ve learned about bookish people in the past two and a half years, it’s that we LOVE journaling. And plannering. And coloring. Anything that allows us to express ourselves and be organized, and if we get to include books, all the better.

I’ve noticed that there are two camps. The bullet journal camp, and the planner camp. I’ve done both, and I am firmly in team planner. But I thought it might be fun to look at the pros and cons of each.

Bullet Journal


  • If you’re artistic, they are soooooo pretty
  • You get to have exactly what you want because you design every page!
  • Flexibility
  • Doesn’t have to be pricey
  • Pretty picture on Insta!
  • Improve your handwriting and calligraphy skills
  • Great online community
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The Versatile Blogger Award

So I was going through my large bookmark folder of book tags, and I noticed that I’ve been tagged for this one not once, but TWICE. Most recently Dani at Mousai Books, but also back in FEBRUARY I was tagged by Jayati at It’s Just a Coffee Addicted Bibliophile. Worse, it appears I *never actually thanked her*

SO. Jayati, THANK YOU FOR NOMINATING ME!!!! I am sorry for not thanking you, usually I’m not such a spaz. (That’s a lie, I’m just a complete mess right now. Blame grad school.)

The rules are pretty simple, thank the person who nominated you (check), nominate fifteen people (holy smokes!) and tell everyone seven things about yourself (yikes).

1. I like books?

Seriously, I hate the “tell us about yourself” prompts. I’m so boring that the only thing I can think of is I like books.

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Review: Carry On

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Series: Simon Snow
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

“Carry On” is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters. 

I’m still not sure how I feel about Carry On. It was … quite different from what I was expecting. Sort of. It also sort of wasn’t. As always, I adore the way Rainbow Rowell writes romance. It’s like we’re soul mates or something. But I’m not sure I like the way she writes fantasy.

Warning, semi-spoilery, because I figure if you’re reading this review you more or less know what this story is about. Okay then.

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