January 17, 2018

Blogging.  It can be hard sometimes.  It really, truly can.  That's why I love posts that help me be a better blogger.  Sometimes you're busy, and honestly don't have time.  But other days, your feel stuck.  Like you aren't moving forward in your blogging journey.  I know this feeling, but I also know how you can get out of the rut you're in and start moving forward!

If any of this sounds remotely familiar, read on, dear friend.
Collabs.  They are the answer to every life (or blogging) problem.  Whether you're teaming up with a company or a blogger gal, collabs can grown your audience tremendously.  Everyone who reads their post, will most likely end up on your blog and if they end up on your blog there's a good chance they'll follow you.  Then vice versa, as well.  It's a win-win situation!

They make you stay on schedule.  Sometimes its tempting to hang out reading that awesome new book and neglect your blog (I know how it goes.  I've been there.), but you have to push through it sometimes and actually write the content your audience is waiting for!  And that's why collabs are handy.  They make you push through the urge to put blogging on the back burner, because you have a deadline.  Someone is literally waiting on you! 
You get to make incredible new friends.  I don't know about you, but sometimes I can be a bit awkward when first meeting someone new.  When you're meeting over email, there is no such problem!  You have time to think about what you're going to say, and don't have to worry they'll judge you for ranting about books or how you want to meet them in person.  

Collaborating with bloggers = Awesome new friendships

You get to build each other up.  And isn't that what blogging is really about?  Helping each other reach our goals and being an encouraging community?  I remember when I first started blogging.  I felt like I was on the outside of a clique and I couldn't figure out how to be included.  I would commenting on the posts, follow people, try to be consistent about posting, but nothing seemed to make a difference.  

Mind you, none of these girls were unkind.  They replied to my comments, but I never felt like I was really, in.  

When I started February Fairy and moved from my former blog, I emailed a bunch of the bloggers I'd always looked up to asking if they would help me with a blog tour.  Much to my surprise (and delight) a great deal of them said they would LOVE to help me out.  After then, I felt in.  My blog was actually growing, instead of staying at the exact same pace, and I knew why.  I had to get my blog out there are start making friends.

Of course,  not every single one got my blog new follows/comments, but I always noticed an increase in my page views.  And like I said before, you get to make new friends!  What's better than that?             

Now, if you skimmed (or even skipped) the whole post just so you could read about the surprise, that's a-okay.  I do the exact same thing sometimes.  

I have decided to do a whole month devoted to collaborations!  *all the confetti and celebrating*n At first I was going to do a Valentine's day card exchange (like Vanessa's), but I realized a great deal of us aren't comfortable sharing our address.  So I started brainstorming other ways to go about it.  After a while my mind landed on the thought of a month of collabs.

But now I need YOU!  Yes, you.  Sitting in your pajamas, reading this post.  I want to collab with as many bloggers as I possibly can.  But I only have 5 spots open!  I am only human, after all (is that from a song?).  

If you are a fashion, book, lifestyle, journal, art, or pretty much any other type of blogger, EMAIL ME!

My email is februaryfairyblog[@]gmail[dot]com.  Use A Month of Collabs as the subject and send me a message with your collab ideas!  

I can't wait to make February our best month of blogging!  Cheers to you!

Have you ever done a collab before?  Isn't it wonderful to make new blogger friends?  Do you skim blog posts, or read every word?  I'm a skimmer, at least half the time.  #no-shame Do you ever have trouble staying on top of your posting schedule?  Have you ever felt out of the clique?  ARE YOU GOING TO COLLABORATE WITH ME?  

~ Ella Marie




January 13, 2018

We all know that feeling.  The New Years parties are over, the Christmas decorations are up in our attic or stuffed in a closet until next year and of course, school has started again.  And let's not even mention how we're failing on some of those 2018 goals.  Everything just feels meaningless.  I believe that life is always has meaning, no matter how boring it may seems.  Whenever I'm feeling bleh, I think of this quote.

"Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life.  Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now."

Yes, life is hard.  We aren't going to be happy all the time.  But sometimes we need to stop saying, "Once [blank] happens, then I'll be happy," or "Once [blank] is over, then I can get back to life."  This is life, right now.  Someday these might be your "good ol' days".

Kenzie from Paper Pizza (you should check out her blog, guys, she's seriously awesome) and I are collaborating on some ways to stop those January Blues before they even start.  Make sure to check out her post because it is full is insightful and witty ideas plus AN EPIC WINTER BLUES PLAYLIST.  What could be better than that?

 Be A Pal

Give a friend a gift to keep that lovely (Christmas) spirit in the air.  A little letter (finally use up that old stationary) or even something more elaborate.  You know how awesome you feel when you get something in the mail?  Why not pass on that feeling to someone else?  Just let your friends know you're thinking of them.
Just Chill

Have a movie marathon, or chill with some awesome new music.  I've just started listening to Hamilton and let me just tell you, Lin Manuel Miranda is a genius.  Seriously a genius.  You could take a long bath or do a face mask.  For more tips on chilling out, you can check out this post I did a while ago.

Get outside

Yes I know it's -3 out there.  Yes, it's awful and it's cold and everything feels droopy, But I'm telling you, GET OUTSIDE.  Grab your little sibling and walk around your house a few times or just to the mailbox.  Take deep, cool (okay, freezing) breaths and let the fresh air cleanse away your dirty emotions.  This is also a great tip for writer's block.  I always get so much inspiration by spending time outside when it's completely quiet.
Get Creative

Nope, don't look up ideas on Pinterest.  Put away your phone, your music, everything.  Then draw, or write or create jewelry.  Whatever your "thing" is.  Being creative can chase away those blues faster than anything else.

Throw a party

Chances are, all your friends are experiencing winter blues right along with you.  So, why not throw a party?  Pitch in for pizza and have a game night, or plan a surprise party for someone who's birthday is near.  The point is, have some fun.  Laugh away the stress and enjoy the people around you.  Right now, this is what matters. 

Did you enjoy this post?  Have you checked out Kenzie's blog?  What's one of your favorite ways to chase away January Blues?  Is it cold where you live?  Random question: when's your birthday?  When was the last time you did something creative?  
~ Ella Marie



January 10, 2018

Last year I decided to take the plunge and start a bullet journal.  For the first week or so, I LOVED it.  And then it became a burden.  And then I quit.  But here I am today, with a fresh outlook on bullet journaling, hours of browsing Pinterest, and the initial setup behind me.  So, without further ado, here is my bullet journal.  

What You Need

Not much, to be honest.  But I've compiled a list of the bare necessities.  

1.  Lined, blank, dotted or a square journal.
2.  Pens.
3.  Markers.
4. Washi tape.
5.  Anything that will work as a ruler.  

My Bullet Journal

First off I have the notebook itself.  I was given this one as a gift.  It's a simple, lined journal with nothing spectacular about it.  I didn't want to buy something really expressive since I'm not sure if I'll even stick with bullet journaling.  It lays open really well, though.  Which is something I feel is necessary.      

First I started with an index.  I feel like it's really nice to have one, that way if I totally forget where something is, I can always find it again.  You may see that I lightly wrote Key on the other page.  I'm still considering if I want to make one.  I feel like I won't even use half the symbols, though. 

Right up there is my prayer list.  I hope to write them all down, and then check them off as they're answered.  And then on the right is my thankfulness list.  I want to write down one thing every day.    

Left is going to be the place I capture all my random blog post ideas.  And the right is self-explanatory.  The site, username and password.  I didn't write down any yet, that way I could take the photo without having to go through and blur out all those passwords.  Also, don't my nails look nice?  I rarely paint them, so this was a bit exciting for me.     

I cannot wait to start on this page.  I'm hoping to read 50 books this year.  In 2017 I read 41, and that's only 9 less, right?  I can totally do this.  And then my other page I left blank, in case I have another idea.

THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE!  Eep, just look how lovely and exciting!

Do not ask how long this took me.  I wanted an overview of the entire year, and here I have it.

On the left I have my 2018 goals, and the right page is an emotions tracker.  I think that's what it's called...  When I look at the year in tiny little boxes like that, it look so short.

Here's a closeup of what each color means.

Since I'll be visiting this page a daily, I added a piece of washi tape to the edge.  

This one makes me really happy too.

Left side, is personal goals, to do-s, etc.  And the right is my blogging schedule.    

Ahh, my lovely little habit tracker.  The little washi tape part on the upper left is covering a mistake.  Don't beat yourself up about the little glitches.  You will make mistakes, so it's a nice way to hide them.  As I go through the month, I'll color in the things I did each day.

Then here is a brain dump.  It'll probably end up being random story ideas, or thing that bled over from other pages, but I hope to make it look pretty.

Okay, okay.  THIS, this is my favorite page.  The other ones were my almost favorites, but this one is the best.  It's just a monthly spread, but it's so lovely, right?

And here is my final page.  I will have a replica of this spread on the next few pages, until the start of February.
Do you keep a bullet journal?  What's something you wish you'd done differently with yours?  Which page is your favorite?  Do you have a lined journal like mine?  Would you like to see more tutorials similar to this one?  And a random question; how's your day going?

~ Ella Marie

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