life, rambles

January in Review + February Goals


Howdy, folks! Well, January is officially over. Thankfully, my month was pretty quiet, but I definitely kept busy!  I enjoyed many great books, wrote words, took pictures, and shivered. XD Are you ready to jump into my review?

Blogging & Photo Business

Welp, I reached 100 followers! I also set up MailChimp for Aria Photo to start building an email list there. I also got a great idea for marketing and I’m going to be working on that this month!

This month, the most popular posts were:

15 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

Calligraphy + Watercolor Card DIY Tutorial

Icy Fingers

I also took a new profile picture for Aria Photo because as always I was displeased with the last one. XD And I entered in pictures into the ShootandShare contest!



I am 24 books ahead on my reading goal of 200 books this year! So far I’ve read +/- 40 books, and no, I don’t know how I do it either. XD

This month, I really enjoyed:

To Kill a Mockingbird | this book was serious themes wrapped in Americana, innocence and childhood, and altogether incredible.

For Elise | this was funny and sweet and sci-fi and I don’t know how the author did it but it was a work of art.

Live Without You | this novella was just as good as I thought it would be. The story was just as good as the (very clean) romance and it was simply beautiful.

Beyond Her Calling | I read Kellyn’s Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series over two days and this was by far my favorite. Think country towns, scotch accents, mental illness, and friendship-to-love.

For Such a Time | I read all Kate Breslin’s novels this month (three others beside this one) and this was one of my favorites. WWII suspense, Jewish girl and German commander, love and faith. SO GOOD.

Do Hard Things | If you let it, this book will change your life. This should be required reading for every teenager.

I’m also right on track with reading through the Bible chronologically and so far I’m really enjoying that! I’ve started a Bible study routine which I’m really enjoying (and let me know if you’d like to see a post on that!



I started recording stories from Granddaddy and so far I have written three new Watermelon Club stories! If I continue at this rate, it’s going to take me until October, but I’m thinking it’s going to pick up. I can normally write a story in one sitting and it’ll take about an hour, so if I buckle down and focus, I ought to be able to get a lot done in the upcoming month. I was procrastinating for the first half of the month, so that didn’t help. XD So far I’ve 6k words written, and I think the final book will be around 45k words/250 pages. It may grow after I get some help from my alpha readers because I’m definitely going to need to flesh things out more and grow the characters. It’s pretty good for a first draft so far, though!



Ahhh, life. It went pretty smoothly this month, which is great! Besides reading, writing, and blogging, I mostly just did chores and work. AHHH, SO INTERESTING! I’m really learning a lot in my part-time job, though, and I’ve been doing a variety of stuff from posting blog posts to making short marketing videos and doing a mail merge! Keeps it from becoming too monotonous.


Goals for February

And here we are in the second month of the year already. I’m counting down the days until spring!

  • Read six books from my actual 2019 reading list.
  • Reach 15k words in The Watermelon Club.
  • Work on my photography marketing idea and get it ready for launch in March.
  • Put together the blog giveaway 😉
  • Journal more.
  • Finish watching the Shooting and Editing Course 2.0.
  • Set up social media for Aria Photo!

Before I go, wanna take this poll?

Which posts do you like best?

Writing posts
DIY tutorials
Art dumps
All of them!

And that’s a wrap, folks! How was your month? How are you doing on your resolutions? (Or shouldn’t I even approach that subject? XD)

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  • Reply Hannah

    Yay! Looks like you had a wonderful month! :)

    February 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm
    • Reply Aria

      I did! Thanks, Hannah!

      February 5, 2019 at 4:19 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Great stuff!!! Oh my goodness, how did you read that many books in 1 month?!?! I only read 1 book, 1 novella and 1 short story (that was yours actually). Ooh more writings, I can’t wait! I hope you reach all goals next month.
    P.S. I see your hair is beginning to grow a lil longer.

    February 5, 2019 at 1:25 pm
    • Reply Aria

      I DON’T KNOW. I read a lot? XD Thanks, Sarah!
      P.S. Yesss, it is! It grows super fast.

      February 5, 2019 at 4:20 pm
  • Reply Jo A

    Oooh alpha reading me wants to alpha reading! 😀 And yeaah, I *should* be working on my WIP, but am I? *shakes head* nope. XD Your goals sound awesome!
    And I have to read Do Hard Things now. XD

    February 5, 2019 at 2:10 pm
    • Reply Aria

      You’ll have to sign up, Jo! HA. I know the feeling, I know the feeling. Thanks, my dear!
      Ooh! Yes you should!

      February 5, 2019 at 4:23 pm
  • Reply Maddison Merriman

    I’ve read For Such a Time, and I second that it was SO GOOD! Even the name Kate Breslin is beautiful! I’ll be sure to check out some of the others on your list that I have yet to read. 😉 Also, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email for editing help! It’s truly a pleasure.😉 I look forward to reading more of your stories!

    February 5, 2019 at 6:02 pm
    • Reply Aria

      I know, right? I loved it so much. Sure thing, Maddi, thanks!

      February 6, 2019 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Liz - Home with the Hummingbirds

    Nice goals, Aria! I hope you can achieve them! 😀 And yes, Beyond Her Calling is so good!

    February 5, 2019 at 9:18 pm
    • Reply Aria

      Thanks, Liz! Yeah, I know!

      February 6, 2019 at 4:10 pm
  • Reply Allison

    EEP I LOVE THESE POSTS! Oh. My. Word. I do NOT understand how you managed to read 40 books in one month. O.o I love To Kill a Mockingbird and Do Hard Things too! OOH, a blog giveaway? *excited look* Also oh dear, I seem to be cluttering up the wall above your computer, don’t I? XD

    February 7, 2019 at 9:26 am
    • Reply Aria

      EEEP THANKS. I KNOOOOWW. I’m definitely a speed-reader. XD YES. YES! HA. I don’t mind. XD

      February 7, 2019 at 4:42 pm
  • Reply Clara

    WHOA, 40 BOOKS? Do you do anything but read, Aria? XD That’s amazing. Good luck on all your goals for this month! :)

    -Clara <3

    February 11, 2019 at 10:49 am
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