q&a #2 !

Hello, loves! It has now been a little over a year since my last Q&A, so I thought I would do another. I want to share more of my personality on here, and since I’ve gained new readers since my last post, this is a good way to get to know me.

Thank you to everyone who asked me questions- definitely be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter so that you can be part of the next one :)

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Favorite book?

If you’ve been following me for a long time, this should not come as a surprise- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is my favorite book of all time, and I own 3 copies of it now. I want to buy as many editions of it as I can, and that is something I plan on doing!

Some other current favorites are: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman and Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett!

Favorite genre?

I am definitely a contemporary reader opposed to fantasy or anything else. Within that category, I love mysteries and thrillers, and romance (but I’ve been leaning more towards mystery/thrillers recently).

Do you like to re-read books? If so, what book have you re-read the most?

I like to re-read certain books. I only re-read if it’s been a really long time since I read a book (4+ years), or if I really, really, really loved it. I always feel bad re-reading books since I have so many unread books on my shelf, so I’ve only re-read a handful of books.  I really want to change this mindset and start re-reading more often.

But, the one book that I’ve re-read the most is (wow, what a surprise) To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve read it four times, and I plan on doing another re-read in a few weeks!

I have a post about books I want to re-read (but I’ve only gotten to one of those, oops).

Sort of unrelated, but I love to rewatch movies and tv shows! I have a really long watchlist on Netflix, but for some reason I always go back to the same 5 or 6 shows and movies!

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Favorite YA couple?

I have to go with Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before for this one! It’s been years since I read the trilogy, but the movie definitely helped to reinforce my love for them!

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What’s a book you would rewrite?

This one was really tough for me to choose, but I think I would go with The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon for this one. I gave this book two stars because as much as I was happy to see the representation and subject matter, I didn’t love the rest of the story.

If I were to rewrite it, I would probably make the characters either older (meaning adults in their late twenties to early thirties), or I would change the relationship to friendship rather than romantic love. I just really didn’t like the “love at first sight” trope. It’s definitely one of the better executions of it that I’ve seen, but I really dislike the trope as a whole.

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That is all for this post! I hope you guys enjoyed it, and if you want more q&a’s from me in the future, definitely let me know :)

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how im staying organized in 2019

* this post is in promotion with Clever Fox planners, but all opinions are my own *

Hello everyone ! If you saw my last post, you would know that I have started using the Clever Fox Planner this month, and I am really loving it! Today I wanted to make a post about how I am using my planners, not just that one, for 2019. I have a system that will probably change as time goes on, but for now it is something that works for me!

Planner 1: School

The first planner that I am using is my Clever Fox planner, which I decided I would use for school! I was originally going to use this one for my creative projects, but because it is a lot bigger than my other planner, it will fit all of my assignments better. Plus, it is undated, so after this semester is over and I am off for four months, those pages aren’t being wasted because I can use them for the next year.

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The picture that I have is of my January spread which actually has all of my creative projects on it, but that will be changing starting next month. Instead, I will assign a color to each class I am taking, and will include all of my assignments for that month.

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The weekly spread is where I will write down all of my day to day homework assignments, as well as my work schedule and other meetings or plans with friends.

Planner 2: Creative Projects

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As for my creative projects, I will be using this Ban.do 2019 planner. I am obsessed with the look of this one, and it is something that I wanted to purchase for myself for a few years now. They no longer sell the design that I have, but I linked the same planner with a different pattern.

It is smaller than the other planner, which I like because I can carry it in my bag with me.

I will be using this one for scheduling blog post and videos, as well as days to take bookstagram pictures, write poetry, work on my draft of my novel, etc. It will be solely dedicated to planning out my creative projects, because those are something that I am taking more seriously this year.

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The monthly spread will once again be color-coordinated for each project, and the weekly spreads will have my day to day to-do lists.

Journal: Goal Tracking

Finally, I will be using an art/junk journal that I have to track my habits and my goals each month. I might eventually switch over to just doing this in the Clever Fox planner because it does give you space to do so. For now, though, I like the way I have mine organized.

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That is all for how I will be staying organized this year! If you have any questions about the system, please leave them in the comments :) See you next week!

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Clever Fox Planner- Unboxing and Review

Hello loves! Today I have an exciting post- I collabed with Clever Fox to unbox one of their planners for you guys! I got the Pro planner in the color blue, and I am LOVING it.

I have been looking for a bigger sized planner to use for my creative projects for a while, so I was really excited to get my hands on this one. I love that it has three bookmarks so that you can easily find different pages that you are looking for, and I love the stickers it came with. I will definitely be using those a lot.

I also love the front pages where you can create a vision board and outline your goals. It is definitely something that I really like because, again, I am using this mainly for my creative projects. Those pages will be great to track progress and stay on top of my goals.

There is so much room to write everything down, and overall I really love it.

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The one thing that I wish was different is that I don’t like how the monthly spreads are all together at the front, and the weekly spreads are in the back. I wish that those alternated so that you can see the monthly spread right before the weekly ones. However, because it does come with the bookmarks, this is something I could get used to easily.

I would definitely recommend giving this one a try if you are looking for a new planner this year. They have a variety of sizes and styles to choose from, so I’m sure there will be one for you!

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If you want to purchase one yourself, I have 3 10% discount codes, so just leave a comment with your Instagram username and I will message it to you :)

For 2019, I made a schedule for my posts, so they will be up once a week on Tuesdays, so be sure to stop by next week!

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A Thank You. Recommending Bloggers // Blogmas Day 25

Merry Christmas y’all! I know Blogmas technically ended yesterday, but I wanted to add an extra day to thank everyone who has either been very inspirational to me, been a great friend, or just someone I love to read! I am going to be sharing some of my favorite bloggers for you guys to check out because they deserve the world!

Thank you all for everything. I wouldn’t be where I am without all of your love and support. This community means so much to me, and I just want to give back by shouting out some of my faves!

Merry Christmas again, and see you in the new year !

Meltotheany

Kalinasbookblog

Ambsreads

Taytalksbooks

Abookathought

Justanotherbookinthewall

Brilliantlybookish

Sprinklesofdreams

Emmareadstoomuch

Classyxbookreviews

Kerrithebookbelle

Midnightwanderer

Thecursedbooks

Tarynandherbooks

Drizzleandhurricanebooks

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Tag your favorite blogs down below! Let’s spread the joy :)

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2019 Life Goals // Blogmas Day 16

I recently did a post where I talked about my reading goals for the year, but I wanted to include some of my “life-related” goals, too!

I am a super goal-oriented person, so setting to-do lists and making bucket lists is my absolute favorite thing ever. So, here are the things I hope I accomplish this year :)

Save $1k

I am the absolute worst at saving money. I made myself the goal of saving 1k in my bank account between September and December, but that just didn’t happen. I work a job at school which means I get paid minimum wage, and I can only work a certain number of hours a week. But, I plan on getting a job over summer break outside of school again so that I can save more money, and I’m just going to be more conscious about it in general.

Finish my poetry manuscript

I’ve had a name and theme idea for a poetry collection for months, and I eventually want to publish it. So, this year I want to work on drafting together all of the poems, organizing, editing, and then finalizing the details of it so that I can eventually send them off to a publisher or self-publish it!

Finish the first draft of my novel

I don’t plan on publishing an actual novel for a while, I want my debut as a novelist to be something I truly love. However, I want to finish the first draft of my current WIP, even though I know it will never be published. It’s great practice though, and would make me so happy!

End my second semester with straight As

I have been working really hard this year so far so earn the grades I have, and I want to keep this streak up next semester! School is my number one priority right now, and I want to do well.

Get a summer job/internship

Like I said earlier, I want to get a job over the summer to save up some extra $$. It really doesn’t matter where it is at this point, I just want to find something!

Hit 1k followers on here

I am so proud of this little blog I started when I was a little sophomore. It’s been through a lot of ups, downs, and changes, but I love where I am today. Numbers are not something I focus on heavily, but it would be nice to reach this number!

Hit 500 followers on my poetry instagram

Alongside the last goal, I also want to hit 500 followers on my poetry account because poetry is something I want to take more seriously this year. The reason for setting this number is just because it will hold me more accountable when it comes to posting. I want to make sure I consistently post on the account.

Go on a road trip with friends

I’ve always wanted to go on a road trip with my friends, but we’ve never been able to actually do it. It would be so much fun, and hopefully I get to do it in the future!

Let me know what your goals are in the comments below :) See you tomorrow!

How to Ace Your Exams // Blogmas day 6

They’re here. Those dreaded finals. I have no idea how they managed to sneak up on us so quickly, but they did. Now, all that’s left to do is study, and hope that things turn out okay!

To make things a tiny bit easier (hopefully), I have compiled some of my favorite study tips and habits that I use into one post for you guys. The goal is that they help you out a bit, so that finals don’t seem too daunting.

Make a schedule

Write down when all of your exams are onto a calendar. Then, fill in what days you’re going to study for them. Now make sure you stick to it. College exams are hard. Most of the time, you can not cram all of the information into one night and do well on the test. It’s just not possible. So, start by studying a little bit at a time, every day for at least a couple of days leading up to the exam. Also, getting things done ahead of time, likes essays and projects, helps a lot, too! It gives you more time to focus on studying once exam week comes around.

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Keep a to-do list

I absolutely love to-do lists, in case you didn’t know by the amount of times I’ve mentioned them in previous posts. They just help me feel so organized and productive. The feeling of checking off everything on your list can’t be beat.

Recently, my obsession has been the Lightspeed Planner! It simplifies to-do lists by giving your three things to focus on each day (one thing that you must do, one you should do, and one you could do). This way you can easily prioritize your main tasks for the day, and break down bigger goals into easy, manageable steps.

For example, I have a three part assignment due for one of my classes, so for the must do section, I wrote the first part as my goal for the day. I focused mainly on accomplishing that task, and then the next day I put the next step of the assignment down, etc.

Find what works for you

Everyone has a different way of learning. The things I do to study may not work for you. It’s important to figure out what kind of learner you are, so that you can adapt different studying techniques to best suit you.

I am a visual learner, so I like to include lots of pictures/diagrams in my notes, and I use colorful pens and highlighters. It’s just what works best for me. But I am definitely not someone who can learn by listening. So, watching youtube videos of people discussing the topic does not help me at all.

Study Guides are your best friend

I know that I just said to find out what’s best for you, but I am a huge believer in creating study guides, so I just have to include this. I feel like study guides are so useful, not matter what type of learner you are!

If you learn by writing, you can make a handwritten study guide, and it will help you retain the information.

If you learn using visuals, you can create a study guide online and include lots of pictures and charts.

If you learn through listening, you can have someone read your study guide out lot to you.

If you learn orally, you can read it out loud yourself, or have someone quiz you on the information.

Study guides are just great, I promise.

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These are all of the tips I have for you guys today! I hope that at least one of them was helpful for you, and maybe you’ll take something away from this post!

Also, feel free to leave your own tips down below. Maybe they will help someone else out.

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Why I started Blogging // Blogmas Day 5

It’s crazy to me that I started blogging (seriously) a little over three years ago. Time really does fly. I still remember when I first created my website, and the thrill of all of the new possibilities ahead of me gave me goosebumps. Back then, this site was not called Kisses From Jess (I honestly can’t even remember the very first name of it), and my posts were mainly fashion and beauty related.

Today, we are here at Kisses From Jess, a name that stuck for about two years now (after some heavy rebranding), and I write about books and writing- things I am truly passionate about.

These past three years have been full of ups and downs, and I have changed, learned, grown so much despite it all.

I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the reasons I began blogging in the first place because it was a decision that truly changed my life.

I needed a creative outlet

So, before this blog, I actually gave Youtube a shot. Many of the friends I met online had Youtube channels, and I used to watch other content creator’s videos constantly. I thought it was perfect. But I quickly discovered that Youtube was not for me. I did it for about a year, and then I quit.

But I was feeling so restless. I needed to put my creative energy into something else, now that I wasn’t filming and editing videos. I’ve thought about blogging before, and I had a Tumblr account back in the day that I was on constantly. So I figured, why not give it a try?

I love to write and wanted to explore this passion

I also thought of blogging over other things because I love to write. I have been creating stories and writing poems for as long as I can remember, and English was always my favorite subject.

I knew that this was something I wanted to do more of, and eventually share it with the world! Blogging allowed me to do just that. Now, I share a lot of my poetry on here, and I even post writing updates on books I’m writing (how crazy is that?!).

To develop new relationships and meet new people

Finally, I wanted to meet likeminded people that I could connect with. It’s hard to find people in real life that are as passionate as me about writing and reading and all of the other things I post about.

I attended a Vo-Tech high school where the focus was on studying medicine and health. I realized that is something I no longer want to pursue in freshman year. I was surrounded by people who were passionate about studying medicine, while I was more interested in creating new stories.

Blogging allowed me to meet so many amazing people who I now call my friends. I really don’t know where I’d be without the support of so many of these people.

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That is it for my little post today. I hope you found this inspiring, and maybe it will make you want to start your own blog! As always, feel free to leave any comments down below, I love reading all of them :)

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how to stay organized in school

*This post contains a promotion for the Lightspeed Planner, but all opinions are my own.

I am HUGE on organization. I keep all of my stuff in order, and I work really hard to create systems for myself to keep my papers together.

In college, you don’t get a lot of space to keep all of your papers/textbooks for school (if you dorm), and you don’t have anyone around to tell you to keep your things neat.

I have a few tips here to help you stay organized for the rest of the semester (and hopefully the rest of your school career), which I hope you find helpful.

Use a Planner

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Using a planner is truly vital- especially in college. If you don’t write down all of your assignments, you’re going to lose track of what you have to do. Planners are so beneficial, and you can schedule out time for all of your activities. They are a great visual to utilize, and I would be so lost without mine.

Professors (almost always) give you a syllabi with all of the assignments for the semester listed on them with the due dates, so you can go ahead and mark the calendar right away. This way you won’t forget about something, especially if the Professor doesn’t talk about it in class.

Also, with a planner, you can evenly spread your time out between school, work, friends, and other obligations. You can make sure you have an even balance of everything, and see how much time you spend on each activity.

Planners are just life changing.

Buy a File Folder/Accordion Folder

I can not explain to you how useful having an accordion folder has been for me. I write so many essays and take so many exams. Eventually I don’t need them anymore for the current class, but they may be useful again for either the final exam, or a future class. I don’t want to get rid of all of the notes I have, so I put them all in accordion folders and separate them by class.

My plan right now is to have a new one for each semester, so that way I can easily find anything I’m looking for. You really don’t know when those notes will come in handy again. Obviously, there are many things I throw out and don’t keep, but I like to keep the big assignments or important works that I might be thankful for at a later time.

Pack Your Bag Ahead of Time

The night before every weekday, I pack my backpack. This is extremely important to me, because I tend to get very stressed out in the mornings, especially when I give myself some extra time to sleep in. If I put the things I need in my bag in the morning, I tend to forget things or bring things I don’t need.

Doing it the night before just helps to eliminate some stress!

Make To-Do Lists

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I have been using the Lightspeed Planner for my daily to-do lists, and I am LOVING it. It makes everything so simple and helps you to prioritize your important tasks. It contains around 280 undated pages that are all the same:

  • Must Do
  • Should Do
  • Could Do

It helps you to identify your three main objectives for the day, and will ensure you stay on track. I think overwhelming yourself with too many tasks makes everything very overwhelming and stressful. By just focusing on 3 things a day (you can always write multiple things in each box if you really need), you can fully dedicate yourself to those three things.

At the bottom, there is also a notes section, as well as a progress tracker. You can decide how productive you were for the day, which is really motivating for me.

Overall, using to-do lists really inspires you, and checking off every box on the list is a very great feeling.

Set Time to Clean

Dedicate a specific day/time to cleaning. The days go by so quickly, and sometimes it feels as though you just cleaned your room yesterday, but really it’s been almost two weeks. You really don’t realize how fast it goes by.

I usually dedicate Thursdays to cleaning because it tends to be my lightest day of workload. I have enough time in between my two classes to Swiffer my floor, dust my furniture, organize my files, and clean out my fridge. After class, I usually do my laundry, and then I have the rest of the day to do whatever else I want/need to do.

If I didn’t specifically set this time, I probably wouldn’t dust my room very often, and it would get messy very quickly.

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Please let me know if you try out any of these tips, or if you use them already! Comment some of your organization tips, too. I can always use some more suggestions.

Also, be sure to check out the Lightspeed Planner! I highly recommend it :)

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a reflection on my first week of college

Before you read this, I just have one thing to say!

I originally had no intent to ever post this. I wrote what I was feeling because I felt like I had no one to talk to and I really needed to let this all out.

I am now in my fifth week of school, and I feel a whole lot better. I’m getting used to it, making great friends, and doing well in all of my classes. I might even be starting to love it! There really is an adjustment period, so if you are feeling the same way as I was, just give it time.

And for everyone who is not in college yet and is reading this, don’t worry. It’s not as bad as I made it seem. I tend to exaggerate things (a lot), and I feel completely different about school now.

Ok, on with this little open letter!

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I hate it.

I was anticipating this for months. Living on campus, being surrounded by friends, going out all the time, having freedom and more time to do whatever I like.

Instead, I feel stressed. Anxious. Lonely. Different.

I always relied on my ability to handle change and adapt to any and all circumstances. This is a change that I was excited for- I literally counted down the days. But I feel so lost. Like I’m missing a part of myself and don’t know how to get it back. Everyone around me seems to be doing so well. People have already made the friendships that they’re going to keep for life.

I feel like I’m so behind and having a hard time adjusting while everyone else has it so smooth sailing.

For the first time in my life, I miss home. I miss my room. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I even miss high school. That is a sentence I never thought would come out of my mouth.

I have always seen people older than me post about their experiences online and they all look like they are having the time of their life. That is the experience I wanted. I want to love this school so much that I’ll miss it when I’m home for breaks. But I can’t see that happening.

I know it takes time. Everyone tells me that. But it just doesn’t feel like it will change.

I’m trying to stay positive, but it can be really hard sometimes. Here’s to hoping next week gets better.

Xo, Jess

Booktuber Interview- Julia Sapphire

Hey everyone! As promised, I am here with another interview :) This time with Julia Sapphire, who has an amazing Booktube channel. I highly recommend checking her channel out! 

Let’s get into the questions!

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First, can you introduce yourself and what you do on the internet?

Hello, my name is Julia Sapphire! I make bookish videos on YouTube and am apart of the BookTube community. I upload videos such as, reading wrap ups, hauls, tbr’s (to be read), Stephen King videos, book recommendations videos, etc. I have been making videos for over three years now and started at the age of thirteen, so you definitely see me grow up online a little bit haha.

Obviously, anyone who has checked out your channel knows you love Stephen King. Which book would you recommend for someone who has never read any of his works?

Haha, yes! This is a question I get asked quite a bit and always have trouble answering. I would say that Carrie is a great start for some, it is where I started myself! It is his debut novel and one of his shorter novels for sure. You can totally see him progress as a writer and a person as you continue reading his books. I also suggest Mr. Mercedes, more for people who don’t want to jump into straight-up horror. It is more of a mystery-suspense book and follows a detective! It is blunt and intense but its not considered “horror” so take that as you will :)

Have you been to any bookish events in the past and do you plan on going to any this year?

I have been to book signings, four in the past! I have been to one with Kendare Blake and Lauren Oliver, another with Angie Thomas, Julie Murphy and Becky Albertilli, as well as a Sarah J. Maas signing! Not long ago I also attended the book signing for Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. I do plan on attending Bookcon this June and am super excited but kind of nervous haha.

What are your plans and goals for your channel for 2018?

Ouu I love planning so I did make some channel goals for 2018. *whispers* I kinda sorta have a video on it if you’re interested… ;) My main goals though are to reach 10k subscribers (which I have surpassed!) and really take my viewers feedback and requests to improve my channel more in 2018!

What are your top 3 favorite King books?

Oh gosh!! I get asked this probably daily and typically refuse to answer lol. I will say some of my favourites but I cannot choose an order!! The Shining, Mr Mercedes, Misery, IT and Rose Madder are all great reads! Salems’ Lot is excellent as well!

If you could live in any book world, which would you pick and why?

I am going to go with a classic YA series and say the Shadowhunter world from Cassandra Clare’s books! It is more urban fantasy so it is set in our world but I would love to be apart of the life Jace and everyone is from. It would be super cool to be a Shadowhunter or a vampire or even a warlock! It is probably a typically answer but those books have made quite the impact on my reading and my life in general!

How did you get into reading?

I got into reading when I read Carrie actually! I was researching popular horror films when I was around ten years old and saw Carrie, so I decided to check out the book! I read it in like a day which at the time has never happened! See I did not grow up with Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, I read Goosebumps, the Spiderwick Chronicles and Judy Blum when I was younger. Carrie did really spark my love for his books and for books in general! What got me into YA fiction was the Visions trilogy by  Lisa Mcmann. It was one of the first book series that I adored, I could relate to the main character and loved the boy in the book haha.

I know you live in Canada, so have you ever been to the US and if so, where?

Yes, I am from Canada! I have not been to the US much at all… I have been to Buffalo which is right outside the Niagara Falls border in Canada just to shop for a day, that’s about it though!

What do you see yourself pursuing as a future career? Do you think it would be related to books?

I see myself doing psychology or criminology in the future. I have wanted to pursue this as a career for many years now and books have helped give me new perspectives and increased my interest in these areas. I have thought about working in publishing, it would obviously be something I am passionate about. As for writing, people think that because I read my goal is to become a writer which has not really been the case… mind you I am sixteen so this could change haha! I could see myself writing poetry though.

Finally, what advice would you give someone who wants to start a booktube channel?

I love this question! I think you just have to do it, put your fit in the door kind of thing. It can be scary putting yourself online but it is so much fun and you can really learn things about yourself and grow as a person. Try not to think about subscribers or making money right off the bat. Its just not how it works and people can tell if you are not genuine. I would say have fun, interact in the community and to always share your honest thoughts on a book during a review!!
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Thank you so much to Julia for doing this interview! It was a lot of fun :) Once again, make sure to go check out her channel! If you would like me to do more interviews like this one, please leave a comment down below.
Xo, Jessica