my goals for 2022

i can’t believe it’s already 2022! my mind is still stuck in 2019 haha. anyways, i’ve seen several bloggers and instagrammers sharing their goals/resolutions for the new year, and i always love seeing what everyone is hoping to accomplish for the new year, so i thought i’d do the same.

my goals aren’t super huge, just small things i hope to do to make my life better this year.

01. grow my hair

around august, i cut my hair short and it hasn’t grown back super well, so i’m hoping to let it grow out this year, and hopefully dye it a few times as well.

02. read 5 books each month

i didn’t read much at all in 2021, besides for school and a couple of books in the summer. i don’t know if i’ll be able to read 5 every month, but we can try!

03. post on the blog once a week

last year, i didn’t post much at all and i think once a week will be a good goal to start with. even if i don’t get to post once a week, i will at least try to post as consistently as possible.

04. only check my grades at the end of each quarter

at this point, i’m checking my grades so often that i just do it out of boredom even if i know nothing’s changed, so i’m challenging myself to only check them at the end of each quarter.

05. clean & organize my bedroom

cleaning can be super relaxing and the end result is super rewarding, so i want to keep my room as clean as possible through the year & organize/decorate it a bit too.

06. save up my money & spend it wisely

i want to learn how to spend and save my money intentionally rather than spend it excessively on things i don’t want or need.

07. exercise every day

mostly during the seasons where i don’t have track and in the summer, i want to stay fit and try out different forms of exercise to see what will work best for me. along with this, be intentional with what i’m eating to stay healthy.

08. draw/write/do something creative every weekend

this will get me off of a screen during the weekend and leave me feeling much better about the time i spent.

09. get my driver’s license

i’m in the process of getting a permit, so maybe by the end of the year i’ll have my license? we’ll see!

10. expand my blog & reach 300 followers

along with posting weekly, i’m hoping to expand this blog and maybe reach 300 followers? i’m at about 230 now, so if i’m posting consistently there’s a good chance i’ll be able to reach this goal by the end of the year.

11. successfully complete a “one second everyday” challenge

this will be really exciting to look back on at the end of the year if i remember to do it every day, and i think it will be a cool way to remember 2022.

i hope you enjoyed reading my goals for the new year. i’d love to hear whether or not you are choosing to set yearly or monthly goals for yourself. let me know!

~ avery xx

goodbye sparks of ara, welcome avery emerson blog

i’ve tried writing this post many times, it’s never come out just the way i wanted it to. if you’re seeing this pop up in your reader or email, there’s a good chance you were following my previous blog, sparks of ara. yup, maybe that will ring a bell. it was a very cringy, very inconsistent blog i’ve had since about october 2016, five years now. i was just 10 years old when i made it, not knowing what i was getting myself into.

after a few years, i felt stuck with the blog. i kept posting from time to time, but i didn’t have the passion for blogging like i once did. after some thought, i knew i couldn’t let go of the blog i’d loved for so long. so, i decided to change the name, blog design, pretty much everything about the blog without getting rid of the old posts or followers. it’s allowed me a fresh start, to be myself instead of forcing myself into the 10 year old girl who had started this blog.

so, i’d love to welcome you to my new blog, avery emerson.

i’ll be posting once or twice a week. i can’t say for sure what i’ll be posting, but most likely it’ll be within lifestyle, productivity, mental health, and my life. i want to be more open and honest with my readers, updating on my life from time to time if that’s something you’d like to see.

i’m likely going to be experimenting with the blog design in the following weeks, but i’m excited to see where this blog heads, and i’ve finally upgraded to a .com site! i’m so grateful to have the opportunity to do this as this had been a dream of mine since i started blogging.

check out the ‘about’ or ‘home’ page to learn a little bit more about me and the updated blog.

oh, i forgot to mention- i’ve made an instagram for the blog! i’ll be updating when new posts come out, some of my photography, as well as a little behind the scenes of running a blog. click here to check it out, or search @averyemersonblog on instagram.

enough about me- i’d love to hear about how you’ve been! drop a comment down below so we can catch up. i haven’t been super active these past months and have missed a lot within the blogosphere. i can’t wait to catch up with you all.

thank you so much for reading, your support means so much to me!

~ avery

summer playlist

Hello and welcome (back) to Sparks of Ara! How have y’all been doing? I just got a job (literally yesterday haha) so I’m excited for that! And I changed the blog design a bit, if you’re on the reader be sure to check out the website to see! Anyways, I’ll be sharing some of my current favorite songs that I’ve been listening to on repeat the past few weeks! There’s quite a mix of different genres and stuff so hopefully you enjoy them! I’ll also mark the songs with explicit lyrics with an asterisk (*) if anyone doesn’t want to listen to them or wants to find an alternative. (I know spotify does that with some songs!)

also- I’m still experimenting with the graphic design stuff, so sorry if it doesn’t look amazing… sorry for any typos too haha…

…and pretty much anything from Evermore or Folklore by Taylor Swift, but I didn’t want to just repeatedly list Taylor Swift, so I’ll just leave it at that haha.

That ended up much longer than I thought it would be, so I hope you enjoyed if you made it this far! As you can probably tell I have quite a mix of music taste, haha! Do you listen to any of these songs? What are your favorite songs? I’ll be sure to check them out!

Here’s my Spotify if anyone wants to check it out (I’ll also follow back haha): https://open.spotify.com/user/mynameisbel

~ Arabella xx

well, it’s been a while… but I’m back!

Heyyy there! (ayy I’m still at it with the cringy intros) Welcome (back) to Sparks of Ara! You may not remember me (who does?) since I haven’t posted on here in almost 6 months… and looking back at the most recent posts I’m cringing so hard… I have definitely changed quite a bit since my last post, so I guess I’ll recap where I’ve been, what’s changed, and what’s up for the blog! Which will hopefully start up again! I’m also very sorry for unexpectedly leaving with no notice (that seems to be a trend for me)

So, let’s start with me? (not the most exciting or wanted topic but that’s okay) (also there may be a bit of self loathing on here but I’ll try not to because I don’t think anyone will want to read that lol) (and I have a thing with parenthesis and saying “and”) I’ve just finished my freshman year of high school, which is exciting! It went by really quickly, which I definitely wasn’t expecting given covid. Speaking of covid, I’m vaccinated now, which is very exciting because that means I’ve been able to go out a bit more now! (not that I have much to do with or without covid) …and I’m starting to ramble…

I’m going to try to be more transparent and honest on here! A lot of the content I had before wasn’t “me”, I was just trying to create what I thought others wanted so I’d be more liked, which is why I got burnt out easily. Here’s some types of stuff you can expect from me: (most of it’s similar to what I had before, there’s no huge changes here)

  • lifestyle (which is what I’ve always been doing)
  • a bit of fashion (?)
  • wellness/mental health/self care (since mental health is very important and I want to encourage y’all to focus on yourselves!!)
  • books (I love reading but don’t read much, so we’ll see where that leads)
  • lgbtq+ stuff (I’m excited for this, hopefully y’all are too)
  • pretty much a whole bunch of different categories that can be meshed into the word “lifestyle”

A bit more about me/what I’ve been up to…

  • I cut and dyed my hair… several times! I dyed it pink and then purple (which its currently at) and I’d say its around my shoulders! I love changing things up, and given my impulsive-ness it was really fun doing that!
  • I shared the blog with some irl friends (not my proudest moment, but I don’t think any of them are reading this) (if you are, HI, please let me know that you’re reading this haha it’d make me really happy)
  • I finally figured out that I’m an INFP
  • …and maybe an enneagram type 4 (though I could be a 6 or 9 I’m not 100% sure)

I feel like I’m oversharing even though I’m… not… anyways, I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately, so be sure to look out for a “playlist” type post lol. I’m planning on posting once or twice a week (really depends on the week haha but more likely once a week because I’m that type of person)

Anyways if you’ve read this far, thank you so much for reading! I promise I’ll be more consistent and start interacting with your posts too! I want to catch up with you all too, let me know how you’ve been doing in the comments!

Once again thank you so much if you’ve read this far! xx

~ arabella

(also ps; sorry for the lack of photos in this post,,, I promise the next post will be much more put together and I’ll be back with tons of fun content for y’all this summer!! but I wanted to get this post out sooner rather then later haha)

HOW TO GET INTO A FITNESS ROUTINE IN 2021 | BE YOUR BEST YOU PART 1

Hey everyone! I am super excited for today! I will be starting a series called “Be Your Best You” and I will post a new one every Monday! Things from fitness to a positive mindset, we will be covering a huge range of topics in this series! Today we are starting with health & fitness: getting into a fitness routine for 2021!

Also, sorry I didn’t post Monday! School is completely online for a bit and it’s been busy!

In 2020, I did not have the best fitness routine. I took walks occasionally and sometimes worked out, but that was it. If you saw my new year’s goals post, you’ll know a big thing I want to work on this year is getting active!

So, today I am bringing you with some tips to get into a great fitness routine by mid 2021!

Pick An Area To Focus On

First off, you should decide if there is an area you would like to focus on. For example, if you want to run faster, then try to focus on running instead of an ab workout every day! For me, I want to focus on walking/just getting fresh air, running, and some an workouts! Of course, you can do whatever you want and feel free to mix it up as much as you’d like!

Start Slow

In the begining, you do not have to work out daily. You can start by working out on the weekends, and slowly add it in to your weekly routine. That way, it will be much easier to get used to working out!

Hydrate

This one is super important! You should always hydrate before and after you work out! If you aren’t a huge fan of plain water, you could add some fruit in, ice, or get a cute waterbottle! I have a nice insulated waterbottle from target that looks like a hydroflask but is much cheaper!

It’s Fine If You Miss A Day!

Expessially when you are first getting into fitness, remember that it is 100% okay to miss a workout, or take a break!

Just Do It.

Okay, it may be just me, but actually getting up and out the door or to start working out is SO hard! So if you just ‘force’ yourself to get up and do it then you will be all set!

Listen To Music

Listening to your favorite upbeat music will help pass the time when working out! You could also make your playlist the length of your workout. (however I can’t really do that because I am always stopping songs in the middle haha)

Do It With A Friend

If there is a friend who would be willing to do this with you (either distanced or through zoom) it would help make working out more fun and motivating!

So, I hope you enjoyed the tips for getting motivated to work out and get back into fitness!

I am planning on posting a life update next! So be on the lookout for that! πŸ˜‰

Good luck to everyone with your goals for 2021! If you didn’t see my goals post, go check that out!

And thank you so much for reading!

Do you listen to music when you workout? What helps you get motivated to work out? Let me know!

~ Arabella ❀

MY NEW YEAR’S GOALS & TIPS | COLLAB WITH EMMIE

Hey guys! I seriously cannot believe that it is already 2021! It feels like it was just 2019, haha! Anyways, today I will be sharing my new year’s goals and some tips for you when setting new years goals and fufilling them! This is a collab with Emmie, who has such an amazing blog which you can check out here! Be sure to check out her goals as well!

I have several broader sections and will go more into each one! I am super excited for 2021! I also have some fun things planned for 2021 as well. I also can’t believe that in a year I will likely be able to drive!

So, let’s get started! Plus I will have some fun travel inspo because I really wish we could travel rn! It is one of my goals for college is to travel a bit during breaks and stuff like that! College isn’t for a few years but I am excited!

Health

This is a big category for my 2021! I really want to start working out and be active, even if it is just taking a walk!

I want to eat healthier, basically limiting my candy. Also, try to limit snacking throughout the day and make it healthier foods like fruits and veggies!

I also want to take some time to read and just relax without screens once a week! I feel as though I am on screens a lot and want to change that!

School

Since I am doing a hybrid school, I am on screens so much more. I want to try and get any weekend homework done Friday so I have the entire weekend to relax and not think about school! Also, when I am online, take breaks in between subjects to grt active and away from screens!

Also, I am going to try and procrastinate less haha! I am an ISFP so I tend to procrastinate. A lot, so that is one of my goals this year!

Screens

I have already talked about this in the previous sections, but I want to limit my screens during the day! It will be hard but I know I will be able to do it! I also want to try and make sure my time on my screens is productive, such as blogging!

Blog

I am hoping to post once to twice a week and grow my blog! I want to get to 300 followers on my blog! Last year I did not really blog consistently, so this year I will hopefully be sticking to my schedule and grow my blog a bit!

Also commenting on other people’s blogs… I can be pretty bad at that, so I hope to work on that!

I want to revamp the blog, which I have already started experimenting with!

Business

I want to start a business! It will be a great way to earn money. I have been thinling about it for a few years but I think this year will be the one where I go for it! I would also love to have a small business as a job when I am older so this will help!

Myself

I want to try finding new hobbies, and just being myself! Also being happy with who I am and enjoying my life! Fufilling these goals will defintely help this!

Tips & Tricks For New Year Goals/Resolutions

  • If you have had trouble completing goals in the past, make broader ones, like I am!
  • If you want to go deeper, make sure you are specific, something measurable, and attainable!
  • Make sure you will enjoy completing your goals
  • If it helps, set a yearly goal and then do a month-by-month to help!
  • Don’t feel pressured into making goals now! You can create them any time!
  • Lastly, don’t feel pressured into finishing your goals and you can put them aside if needed.

So, I hope you enjoyed hearing about my goals and I hope you enjoyed tbe tips and tricks for your new year resolutions!

Once again, go visit Emmie’s amazing blog here!

I will be posting Mondays and Thursdays for the month of January!

What are your new year resolutions/goals if you are making them? Let me know!

πŸ’œ Arabella

A RECAP OF 2020

Hey everyone! I seriously can’t believe that it’s already 2021! This year flew by so fast. Today I will be doing a 2020 recap, and then on Saturday I will be posting my new year resolutions as a collab which I am super excited for!

My blogging wasn’t very consistent until the end of the year, but I am hoping to change that for 2021! Things didn’t really start til March when covid hit, but we will still go month by month.

And the photos are from Pinterest, with some fun winter inspo!

Month-By-Month Recap

January

In January, I started school back up again. It was pretty much just school the whole month!

February

February was much more insteresting than January with the break from school, where we ate out a lot and went shopping!

March

At the begining of March, it was pretty much just school. Then covid hit and we thought we would be gone for a week which turned into the rest of the school year!

April

April was pretty much just quarantined, we had some school but it was mostly just assigned work. We did a lot of baking. Nothing else really happened this month (pretty much sums up 2020 haha)

May

This was when we did all of our zooms. We did a lot of baking as well!

June

We finished up with school which lasted pretty much the whole month. Also a few social distanced gatherings! It felt nice to see people haha! I also did some gardening with my sister!

July

In July, we went to the pool, got outside, and I was doing some cross country practice (which I did not even end up doing haha).

August

August was the same as July! School got pushed back to mid September, so still just going to the pool and hanging around haha! We also took a mini trip in August!

September

At the begining of September, I toured my new school with my friend, got all the info on going back to school, and started high school! We started remote and went into a hybrid of at home and school!

October

Pretty much just school this month! We also celebrated Halloween, but that’s it!

November

November was the same, just hanging around. We also got a nice break for Thanksgiving which was soooo nice!

December

In December we had school, got in the Christmas spirit, celebrated Christmas and my birthday, and then here we are today!

As you can see, 2020 wasn’t the most exciting year but it still flew by so. fast.

Blog Recap

I did not blog much in 2020 until November! You would think that I would have done plenty of blogging during quarantine, but I did not really do much until late in the year! I currently have 223 followers and I am soooo grateful for each and every one of you! πŸ™

Okay, real talk here! Blogging has been such an amazing outlet for me! The amazing community that has been created here is soo amazing and I am glad to have great friendships with you guys! I am planning on some blogging tip type posts for 2021 so be on the lookout for that!

I’ll go a bit deeper in my next post, but I have something fun planned for the new year, through January at least! So be on the lookout for that πŸ˜‰.

So I guess that is my recap of 2020… a boring year but passed by so quickly!

How was your 2020? I know it wasn’t the best year for anyone, but we have to still remember the good parts of it rather than the bad!

I seriously cannot thank you all enough!

And with that, I guess I will see you in 2021!

πŸ’™ Ara

7 LAST-MINUTE CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES

Hello! Only TWO days until Christmas, wow! Although Christmas is just about here, I will be sharing some last minute activities you can do for Christmas! Most of these you can do with whatever you have at home!

After today’s post, I will be taking a short break to celebrate Christmas and the holidays! I will be back just before the new year! Anyways, let’s get started!

#1: Christmas Pjs!

We have done this in years past but this is a super fun way to get into the holiday spirit! I love the way that these ones look!

#2: Christmas Cookies

I looove Christmas cookies so much! They’re cute and easy to make! Plus they’re delicious too!

#3: Secret Santa

This one you can do last minute too! Just gather a few friends or family and exchange gifts! You could also do something online as well such as gift cards! Just make sure you stay safe if gathering!

#4: Donate Gifts ❀

I really wish I was able to do this this year, but we usually do it through our church and it is a great way to give back to your community! Even just donating old toys and clothes can make a huge difference for someone! When I am older I hope to make this a tradition with my kids!

#5: Christmas Photoshoot

This is so fun and you can do it in a variety of different ways. I love taking photos of ornaments on the tree, but you could even grab a sibling or friend and take some in the snow! (If you have snow of course…)

#6: Watch Christmas Movies

This is an easy one, but watch Christmas movies! I love the classic cartoons haha… and Elf of course! What are your favorite Christmas movies?

#7: Listen to Christmas Music 🎢

This kinda goes in hand with the last one, but Christmas music! Simple yet super fun and festive!

That’s all for the last minute Christmas ideas! I cannot wait for Christmas and the new year! How about you?

Will you be doing any of these fun, festive activities over the next few days? Let me know! I hope you all have an amazing holiday season and I will be back in a week or two with some exciting posts for 2021! And make sure to stay safe!

What are your plans over the next few days? Let me know!

~ Arabella ❀

TIPS FOR HANDLING BLOGGING DURING THE HOLIDAYS + SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Hey everyone! It’s already deep into December, my favorite month of the year! The holidays are an amazing time of giving and joy, but sometimes it can be stressful to handle blogging during the holidays as we are doing school, planning for Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate), prepping for the new year, and so much more. Today, I will be sharing my personal tips for handling blogging during this time! I hope you find this helpful! I seriously cannot believe it is almost Christmas! You can also use these tips for anytime life gets busy! Hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: none of these photos are mine, credits to anyone who took these amazing photos!

Prioritize

The first tip is prioritizing. Obviously your health, physical or mental, should come before your blog. Choose things that you want to focus on this holiday season and leave out things that can wait. Blogging will feel much less stressful if you pick and choose what you want to focus on in the holidays.

Schedule Your Posts

This can be really helpful to me! If there is a day where I am not doing much and have time to blog, I will be able to produce more content. However, do not post them all at the same time! Schedule them a few days apart so you can get ahead of schedule and are staying consistent!

Set Time to Blog

Setting time to blog will be really helpful. I am sometimes the type of person to just blog whenever I want, but when I do set times to blog, it helps so much since I know I will be able to get everything done by then and it will help keep you on a schedule!

Take Breaks

Let me say it: It is 100% okay to take breaks! You should not feel guilty stepping away from your blog. I am planning to do so for Christmas and the following week, it will help give time for your life! And honestly, I do not really care when even my favorite bloggers take breaks as I know they are doing what is best for them! As I said before, your health should come first and don’t feel guilty about caring for yourself.

Plan Out Your Posts

Planning out your posts by the week/month is a HUGE lifesaver! Instead of having to think up of an idea every time you want to post, you will have them right there for you! I do it by the month but it really depends how often you post!

threw a Hanukah photo in here too! Is there anyone who celebrates?

I hope you enjoyed my top tips for blogging during the holidays/busy times. What are your favorite tips for stressful times? Let me know!

And for a special announcement…

Unless my plans change, I am planning a special series for 2021! It will be throughout January and possibly February! It will be all about getting into a healthy lifestyle! I will have things like fitness, eating, and just keeping a healthy, happy life! These posts will be once a week! I am thinking about names… Maybe “Live Your Best Life” or “Better You”? It is still in the works haha, but I hope you all are excited for it! I sure am!

Anyways, thank you all so much for reading! I hope you have a happy holidays, whatever you celebrate! And I hope you found these tips to be helpful for the holiday season and just life in general!

Thanks for reading!

πŸ’œ Arabella

WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS 2020 | A COLLAB WITH CHRISTINA

Hey everyone! Sorry this is posted late, I had planned to write it ahead of time but wasn’t able to… Today’s post is an exciting one- my Christmas wishlist! This is also a collab with the amazing Christina at Christina and Camera! Check out her blog here!

I have a bunch of things I want, but they’re pretty broad, so I grouped this up into categories. You could use this as a teen girl gift guide because a lot of these are basic things that many teens would want!

Also sorry if the photos are wonky… Several of them didn’t show up so hopefully they do when I post this…

So let’s get started!

HAIR & BEAUTY/CARE

So, in this category there isn’t much because I do not really need anything in this category since I’m not into makeup.

So I would love a curling iron! My hair is naturally straight with some waves but I would love to curl it sometimes!

Next (and last) is a essential oils! This just loosely fits but I recently got a diffuser and have several oils but I only like a few (tea tree and eucalyptus are not my favorites). So I think essential oils would be great!

FITNESS

I have been trying to get back into fitness and sports and so there are a few things I want within this category!

First is a yoga mat! We have several but one for my own would be nice!

Second are dumbells! Again, we have some, but if I had my own it would be easier to get into it!

I also have resistance bands on my list! Haven’t really used them before but we’ll see!

I think that is it for sports… Nothing too big but these will help me get into a good fitness routine for 2021!

Clothing / Beauty

So first item I want in this category is jeans! I only have one pair right now πŸ™ˆ but I do want one or two more!

I would also love some sweaters for the winter and some sweatshirts because I love sweatshirts so much!

I also really want jewellery! Specifically necklaces because they are easier for me!

Gift Cards

There isn’t much to say in this category… Except gift cards to places I love! Probably ones that seem to have a variety of things, like clothes and books if you know what I mean!

Books

I do not really have a preference for books, I would be fine with a lot if things! Maybe KOTLC or some other novels? Any book reccomendations for me?

Art

I would love some new colored pencils! I have markers but not many good colored pencils and I love using colored pencils kore than crayons!

I think that is it for art… I have a lot of amazing art sets which I love so I do not really need anything else!

Bedroom Decor

I am trying to redo my bedroom since I don’t really like the way it looks now haha.

I would love a new comforter- probably blue or purple or pink! Maybe pillowcases to match?

I would also love some small things to replace what I currently have such as lamps and fun decor! I want my room to be more minimalist since usually it is full of random stuff…

Also gift cards would be nice for my room so I can personally pick things out myself!

Digital

First thing in this category is a phone case! I like the one I have now but I would love something prettier haha.

Second (and last) is something I really want- blue light glasses! I wear glasses so I need ones that have a prescription, and I have found some I love but don’t want to spend the $$ but it is pretty affordable!

I think that is pretty much it! There is probably a few things I am completely forgetting, but that is the majority of it!

Please go check out Christina’s blog! She is an amazing blogger, aand if you do not already know her then I would defintely reccomend doing so!

Thank you so much for reading, and I have a few posts planned for December which I am super excited for! Not all of them will be Christmas themed, because I know not everyone celebrates Christmas. Can you believe that it is December already? I sure can’t!

What do you want for Christmas 2020? I would love to hear!

~ Arabella πŸ’œ