A Very Late August Wrap-Up // My Birthday, Going Back to School, And Disappearing From Blogging…

August was a crazy month.

From my birthday to going back to online school to disappearing from the blogiverse to the end of summer to wildfire season… I truly can’t think of a better word to describe my month!*

So today, I’m here with a very late wrap-up for everything that happened in August, including life, blogging, and the little writing I was actually able to get done.

And hi, I’m back from another unplanned hiatus!! It’s been so long since I even drafted a post, but just typing these words makes me so happy because I missed blogging. πŸ₯Ί I’ll talk more about what you can expect from my content later on in this post, but hopefully, I won’t be disappearing again anytime soon.

*also, school has taken away all my braincells and i had no idea what else to write for this intro :))

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My birthday was at the beginning of August, and I’m so grateful that my family and friends made it special for me!! I went on a little (socially-distanced) trip to a nearby beach, and you can see, it was such a beautiful day. In fact, this posts’ featured image is actually one I took at the beach! Also, shoutout to my bestie (🐦) for baking a delicious cake and making such a stunning scrapbook of memories!!

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And then… I went back to online school. While I am glad that my school is trying to make the learning experience better than how things abruptly ended last school year, it’s still so different (and awkward). The district is making us use Canvas and Webex, and I don’t understand why they didn’t go with Google Classroom and Zoom?? Plus, teachers can now make assignments due on the weekend and are giving us so much work πŸ™ƒπŸ™ƒ

However, I am so thankful that I’m able to learn during these crazy times and am privileged enough to have access to the tools I need for school! 

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Also, I’m pretty sure this was because of the dry lightning storms that happened a few weeks ago, but wildfire season started early in California. The fires in August were so, so terrible and the air quality has been bad for weeks. (As you can see on the right, the sun was an eerie bright red for a few days.) It’s devastating to hear about the families who have to evacuate their houses in the middle of a global pandemic; I’m really hoping that things will get better soon!

I listened to practically only Taylor Swift’s folklore this month, but towards the end of August, I also got into K-Pop for the first time? BTS’s new song Dynamite is so fun, and I also started listening to (and loving) Blackpink!

As for what I’m currently watching, I flew through Avatar: The Last Airbender in August and am almost done with the show!! It’s so, so amazing – the characters have my entire heart and I’m probably going to cry when it’s over. 😭

Overall, in the words of Taylor Swift, August really did slip away into a moment in time! I still can’t get over the fact that it’s already September?!

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Surprisingly, even through all of the craziness of August, I was able to have a good reading month! I mentioned this in my last wrap-up, but I feel like I’m really getting to know my taste and what books I’ll like. In fact, I rated all of the books I read in August 4 stars or higher! 😌

Love From A to Z With the Fire on High Wild Beauty

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali // 4.5 stars

This was the perfect read to start off my month! The deeper themes and topics explored combined with Adam and Zeyneb’s beautiful relationship make Love From A To Z a book I can’t recommend enough.

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo // 4 stars

This was my first Elizabeth Acevedo book, and now I can see what all the hype is about!! Emoni was a truly wonderful character to read about, and I found myself really enjoying every second. Plus, the food descriptions were so good 😭

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore // 4.5 stars

Ever since I finished When The Moon Was Ours, Anna-Marie McLemore became one of my favorite authors, and after reading Wild Beauty, I love them even more! While I’m not sure if I enjoyed this more than WTMWO, it was still a stunning story about family, identity and more.

Autoboyography A Time to Dance I'll Be the One

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren // 4 stars

I finished this one so quickly; it just has that special charm that makes it something you don’t want to put down!! While I had a few problems with some things the main character did, Seb and Tanner’s relationship was just πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯Ί

A TIME TO DANCE BY PADMA VENKATRAMAN // 4 STARS

This was written in such beautiful verse, and I loved reading about Veda’s story as a dancer. Elements of Indian culture wove together with themes of finding yourself and not giving up, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee // 4 stars

This is another book about dance, but also about self love, appreciation, and how you should never let anyone else define your worth for you! Skye was an absolutely amazing main character who I adored reading about πŸ’•

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You all know from my last wrap-up that when it came to writing this summer, I was… well, struggling is a good way to put it. :(( I barely made any progress on my WIP for the past few months, except for the ideas swirling in my head.

In August, I unfortunately had the same problems!! However, the advice everyone left me on my last wrap-up helped a lot, and I decided to take a break from my current project to write a short story. I only got a little bit done in August, but here’s a short snippet:

Can you tell I was trying out a new writing style? πŸ˜‡ But I’m happy with how this story is turning out and I hope I can finish it this month!

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You already know this, but I… basically disappeared from the blogosphere for a few weeks in August/September! I’m so happy to be back, but I can’t promise consistent posts, especially because online school has been crazy. This will probably mean that I’ll be posting less often, but like I said before, I will try my best not to disappear.Β 

However, I did start a bookstagram account that I’ll probably be more active on!! It was a really spur-of-the-moment decision, but it’s been a lot of fun so far. You can go follow me @starlightstrands! (I also started an art/personal account @aetheric.pages that you can also follow!) πŸ₯Ί

Also, the new WordPress block editor is absolutely horrible and I don’t think I’ll be able to get used to it anytime soon, so I apologize if the formatting of my posts is a little off from now on!

On a much happier note, voting forΒ Fourth Annual Book Blogger Awards took place in August and I’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who nominated and/or voted for me!! It means the absolute world. πŸ₯° (The winners were technically announced in September, but I won for Best Blog Aesthetic and I just… cannot believe it!!! I’m extremely grateful and I honestly don’t know what else to say other than thank you so, so much. ❀️)

Just a reminder that your worth as a blogger is obviously not defined by winning an award! In the amazing words of the hosts, your voice always, always matters.

MY POSTS IN AugustΒ (CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC TO READ THEM)

AROUND THE COMMUNITY…

(These are mostly posts from early August because I sadly wasn’t able to interact much towards the end of the month!)

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Goals

AUGUST GOALS:

  • Post at least 4 times on the blog ❌ Haha… this worked out terribly…
  • Upload at least 2 youtube videos ❌ I only posted one (you can it watch here πŸ‘€)
  • Read at least 6 booksΒ βœ… I read exactly 6 and am really proud of myself!
  • Work out every dayΒ βœ…βŒΒ I meant this goal more as “at least get a little bit exercise every day,” and in those terms, I did (kind of) accomplish it?
  • Create a better planning system and get organized for school βœ…βŒΒ I started using Google Calendar but then just… stopped in the middle of the month.
  • Learn how to ollie higher and better! βœ…βŒΒ I didn’t practice as much as I thought I would, but I’m able to practice on the concrete now without falling, which is a huge step for me! πŸ˜‡
  • Create and stick to an early morning routine ❌ I amΒ not a morning person, and I’ve been trying to get as much sleep as I can… even on school days.
  • Actually, you know, write things other than blog posts βœ…βŒΒ I mean, I started a short story and tried to work on my WIP? (ignore how all of these goal reflections are just me defending myself lol)

SEPTEMBER GOALS:

  • Post at least 3 times on the blog!
  • Post at least 2 youtube videos
  • Read 4+ booksΒ (I’m setting a fairly low goal but I hope I’ll be able to read more!)
  • Stay on top of schoolwork!! (don’t procrastinate)
  • Learn + set up Notion!Β I got Notion (a productivity tool) a week ago and I love it so much already, but I’m still fairly new to the interface and I want to learn how to use it better lol.
  • Finish the short story I started!
  • Try to somewhat interact with the blogging communityΒ (I really hope I can do this <3)

Let's Chat

how was your month? has school started for you? what are some of your time management tips? do you have bookstagram?

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52 thoughts on “A Very Late August Wrap-Up // My Birthday, Going Back to School, And Disappearing From Blogging…”

    1. school really does suck up all of our time 😭😭 but i’m glad the planner is helping!! i’ve been trying to get into digital planning and it’s going…. okay πŸ˜… taking bookish pictures is so fun, and ahh we both started bookstagram in the same month πŸ’• thank you so much, that means a lot πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯°

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Happy belated birthday from me too! August was a wild month, I am not going to lie. I had to apply for a bunch of things, and personally I felt very anxious too because I am going to start uni in October, agh. I am glad you enjoyed your reads this month so much! ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy late birthday! Ugh, I know what you mean, school is so busy. Best of luck!
    And hey, it’s okay if you didn’t meet your goals completely. At least you did something. That’s always better than nothing.
    Also, I was so happy to see your review for Love from A to Z! I really need to read that soon.
    Take care!! πŸ’›β˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  3. i loved this post, ash!! your beach photos are so pretty 😭😭 i can relate with you abt school so much – the amount of assignments i have paired with the fact things are online now is so taxing 😦 i rated i’ll be the one 4 stars as well and i’m so happy to see you enjoyed it! and ikr, skye was such an admirable character

    i love your writing snippet sm! and sorryyy but seeing people struggle with the block editor is so funny to me HAHAHAH. i’m only familiar with the block editor :^)) and congrats for winning a blogging award as well, you totally deserve it. your blog is one of my faves and your aesthetic is amazing!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so much, faith!! πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ’– exactly, teachers have been assigning way too much work than should be allowed lmao. i’m so glad you enjoyed i’ll be the one, skye’s strong character was definitely my favorite part πŸ’•

      thank you πŸ₯Ί and omg faith adjlksal you’re so LUCKYYY lmaooo 😫 ahh coming from one of my favorite bloggers that just made my day, thank you 😭πŸ₯°

      Liked by 2 people

  4. YAY, YOU’RE BACK!!! I was so happy to see a post from you in my email! And happy belated birthday!!! *sends virtual cake and social-distanced hugs* XD
    Okay, I am so sorry I keep bringing this up in my comments, but AAAHH I’m so happy you’re liking ATLA! (this might be a horrible question, but do you have a favorite character? XD)
    Oof, I feel that on being busy with school. But you’ve got this!! And I hope the rest of your September is wonderful, Ash! ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so much, nicole!! ahh you’re so sweet, that means a lot!!! 😭πŸ₯° and no please don’t apologize, i absolutely love screaming about atla with you!! it’s such a great show πŸ₯Ί wait nooo don’t do that to me hahah 😳 i love them all so much asjdldds

      and thank you again ahh πŸ’• i hope you had a beautiful september!! (sorry my reply is so late!)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Welcome back, Ash! And happy belated birthday πŸŽ‰
    Hope you’re staying safe during all the wildfires πŸ’• I’m on the west coast and we’re completely engulfed in smoke even though there aren’t even any fires nearby… you can’t go outside for more than a few minutes at a time. It sucks all around!
    AHHH so happy to hear you’re enjoying Avatar! πŸ˜„ Can’t wait to hear more of your thoughts when you finish! Also huge congrats on winning a blogger award – you absolutely deserve it πŸ’•
    Hope you have a lovely September, and good luck with online school!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so much, margaret!! i’m super late to replying but yes the wildfires were awful 😭😭 i finished avatar a while ago (sorry for the late reply again 😫) and it was absolutely amazing!!! ahh thank you so much, that means a lot πŸ˜­πŸ’•πŸ’• hope you’re doing well!

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  6. happy belated birthday ashπŸ₯³πŸ₯³ hope you had a memorable/exciting day and an amazing year !! i still find it so hard to believe how many bizarre events occurred in august when it seems like we just fast-forwarded through the entire month- it was so short! online school *is* a buzzkill, i feel ya sis 😞 hopefully the work-load gets better ! the wildfire season this year is horrible… my family and i thought we were going to have to evacuate. the orange skies are so eerie, and fingers crossed things get better.

    your WIP snippet sounds so intriguing, i really want to read it ! (^^) i have faith you’ll be able to finish πŸ˜‰ and ty for the shout out, it put such a huge smile on my face.

    also– I’m so happy you’re watching avatar ?? the characters are WONDERFUL, send me an update once you finish so we can fangirl about it !! xD

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so, so much, vaishnavi!! i’m so late to replying but ahh yes, august was truly crazy!! oh no, i’m so sorry to hear that 😭 i hope you were able to stay safe during the wildfire season!

      aww that means a lot πŸ₯ΊπŸ’– and of course, i love your blog and you!!! ahh i finished atla a while ago (this reply is so late lol) but it was amazing!!! who are your favorite characters? πŸ’•

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  7. Welcome back gorgeous Ash! Happy belated birthday. Sending you lots of love, light and blessings. I’m so sorry to hear about your wildfires. I have someone close to me in the States also stuck in the midst of this madness. I remember our bushfires here in Australia being somewhat similar, although the sky where I was never really changed colour. What a terrible situation to be in whilst covid is still full strength. I hope you’re doing okay.

    I love the book snippet you shared. Your writing style is absolutely lovely- just so dreamy and a really enjoyable read, even though it was short. I can’t wait to see more.

    As for the new wordpress editor, don’t even get me started.. also not a fan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so, so much, maryam!! your comments always make me so happy πŸ₯ΊπŸ’– and ahh the wildfires were terrible, i’m so glad that they’re over for us and you in Australia 😭 omg you’re too nice, i’m so happy you liked the snippet!! and ahhh the new editor is the absolute worst, i still hate it lol πŸ˜… so sorry for such a late reply!

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  8. Welcome back Ash! Happy belated birthday you amazing childe!! And I hope you’re having a lovely September so far 😊 Sounds like you had a great reading month in August, I’ll be sure to look into the books you mentioned. Ooh that writing excerpt looks like it’ll lead somewhere fascinating, have fun with the short story!! Those bookstagram pics you’ve been putting out are gorgeous, and awww thank you SO much for mentioning my post, I’m glad you enjoyed!! I agree, hoping the fires will all calm down soon…stay safe πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so, so much, eleanor!! i’m so late to replying but ahh i hope you enjoy all the books if you check them out!! and thank you so much, you’re too sweet 😭πŸ₯° of course, i love all of your posts and that one was so well-written! hope you’re doing well and sorry for the late reply again πŸ’–

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  9. Amazing wrap-up, Ash! Congratulations on winning the award and I’m glad you had such a great August! Your birthday sounded really nice and that’s a beautiful photo by the beach. With The Fire On High is one of my favourite reads of the year, so glad you enjoyed it! I hope you are having a great September, and good luck with your writing 😊

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  10. I’m just now reading this and October is already approaching WHOA. I’m glad you had a wonderful birthday! Totally didn’t expect August birthdays to still be during quarantine, lol. I thought I was just an unlucky spring baby! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Online classes have been 10x more crazy (despite the fact I’m homeschool and can manage myself pretty well) but I think I’ve sunk into a rhythm, and I hope they’ve been going well for you!! Best of luck on all your goals for the remainder of this month! (And PLEASE post more snippets I neeeeed some)

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    1. haha i’m so late to replying but i totally get what you mean – time is slipping away so quickly!! and thank you so much πŸ’– lol yes, i thought that quarantine would be over by august too 😭 i’m so glad online classes are going well for you!! and thank you again ahh πŸ₯°πŸ₯° (aww you’re too kind hehe πŸ₯Ί)

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  11. august did slip a way into a moment in time. but i am so glad you were able to enjoy your birthday! it’s kinda crazy how, back in march, i was feeling sorry for everyone that was going to have a quarantine birthday and now my birthday is in two weeks and i am realizing i, too, will have a quarantine birthday, lol.

    i hope school is doing well! i really suck at distance learning and i pretty much just stare at my computer blankly while the teacher is talking. for some reason, i can’t concentrate for the life of me. i haven’t had too much work just yet, but i’m taking 8 different classes this semester, so once we do, i just know i’ll die hahah

    hope you’re staying safe! wishing you a great september!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. i’m so late to replying to this, but ahh yes! time has been going by so weirdly and tbh the entire of 2020 slipped away into a moment in time 😭😭 also same!!! i really thought that quarantine would be over by august :((

      thank you so much!! i have the exact same struggles omg, but hope that school went well for you this semester! sorry for the late reply again but i hope you’re doing well!! πŸ’–πŸ’–

      Like

  12. Hello friend, so sorry I’m late to this post but hi I ❀ you. And you so pretty!! Even though the photo is from the back, I promise I'm not creepy. HAPPIEST OF VERY BELATED BIRTHDAYS!!! Hope you had the bestest of days. Best of luck with online school (I also just started and agh not ready) and stay safe!!

    Also yay for actually reading books. That was not a thing for me last month lmao. I've been SO excited about Love From A to Z and WTFOH <3<3

    Lots of love xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. i’m even later to replying to this comment so it’s totally fine πŸ˜…πŸ’• and THANK YOU so much i love you more!!! 😭πŸ₯° i hope your semester of online school went well, i’m so glad it’s over for the time being lmao!

      i hope you love wtfoh and love from a to z when you get the chance to pick them up!! sending lots of love to you too <3333

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ahh, I’m here with a super late comment on your slightly late wrap-up πŸ˜… Ughh, I’m sorry to hear that online school has been so stressful! I definitely prefer zoom classes to Blackboard/Canvas ones πŸ˜ͺ I hate that teachers are assigning more work and being weird about the deadlines just because things are online, it’s so frustrating!

    Yesss, I love ATLA!! I just finished watching LOK last month and it was *so good*! Thank you for sharing our post 😊 I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

    I hope you had a fantastic September, and I hope that your October is going well πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lmaoo i’m here with an even later reply!! πŸ˜…πŸ˜… yess you’re so right, online school is truly so frustrating and it’s almost as if teachers are assigning even more work than usual! i hope school is going well for you though πŸ’•

      ahh i finished atla a little while ago and it was so so good!!! i started lok and haven’t finished it yet but it’s also amazing so far πŸ₯Ί and of course, i loved your post so much!! sorry for such the late reply, i hope you’ve been doing well too πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

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