Monday, 23 October 2017

I'm a Direct Entry Student

I'm a Direct Entry Student

So for those of you who don't or didn't already know, I've moved away for my final two years of university. It's been a mixed journey so far: I've felt homesick but then I've been really enjoying the independence and I'm slowly adjusting to the sudden realisation of what proper adult life will be like.

Budgeting, cooking and all that jazz is NOT fun.

With me already having completed 2 out of the 4 student funded years at Staffordshire University means that right now, I am a direct entry student into Second Year of my costume design course. Direct entry basically means you can join a university course in any year without having to complete the first or second year, depending on which point of the course you join into. It's a very good option that universities have here and I'm very grateful the uni I'm at now thought I was good enough to go straight into second year.

How am I finding it though? Erm, a little bit of everything really.

You might agree with this,  but the first thing I worried about when I moved to uni and settled in with my flatmates (love these guys btw) was, "Am I going to fit in with these costume students? They've already got their little friendship groups, so does that mean I'm literally going to be the odd one out? Will they include me?" etc, etc....This was going round my head sooo much. For freshers, I was learning about the university and the course and the local area and joining in with the activities with costume students who would be in the year below. I loved this week a lot because I actually got on well with a small number of these girls and when I see them around uni, we have a little bit of a catch-up which is lovely, but again, all I kept thinking was, "Are the second years going to be this sociable to me? Will I be able to be really sociable with them or am I just going to be an awkward m***** f*****?" Yeah...I worried a lot about this.

Another thing that went round my head was my sewing skills and knowledge of the costume industry. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have been let onto the course if I didn't have the skills and style of work they would want me to have here, but sewing and making costumes is a whole different ball game from just designing them on paper. I worried that my new class would already have a better understanding of what was in store for them after summer. And they did: they had a presentation on a summer project they all did about what research to do for millinery. So the week before the first lesson did I find out THEN that I should have a theme chosen along with what hats I want to accurately make. Literally? Shortest. Presentation. Ever. But I did what I could over the summer and in that short space of a week to tell the class what I want to make.  I know my garments I made in my previous two years of study were costumes, but this was on a FASHION course where the costume element wasn't really there. The jump from fashion to costume is big. Costume is more in-depth and I was worried that the others already had that first year advantage over me.

Their methods of work is also so different to what I did before. Where I would print out, photocopy and annotate all my research in an A4 lever arch file, they all complete their research on a PowerPoint. Already in the first week was I finding this difficult to adjust to but, in all fairness, I prefer their way of work. It's so much easier, less hassle, and less money spent on printing credit. Plus I get my own little desk!

My own little desk!

Basically, the past month has been a case of adjusting to a new step in what will hopefully be my future costume career. And to be fair, I've felt I have been alright within the last 2 weeks as I've been chatting to more people in my class and getting on with them which is lovely. I've even signed up to pole fitness with my first session being in an hour tonight funnily enough - can't wait!

I wasn't expecting the jump to be easy but I wasn't expecting it to be as tough as it has been at the moment. But that is university for you, and I am going to make sure I make these last 2 years count so much. That being said, this blog will still continue and I will try my very best to post great content for you all to enjoy.

I hope you all can stay along for the journey x

Until next time...
Much Love
V A x

Friday, 1 September 2017

Adding Something New

Hello you lovely lot! Sorry I've been a bit AWOL at the moment, but I've been busy with sorting uni things out and other stuff in my I haven't really had the motivation to blog, I won't lie about that.

During the time since my last blog post, I have been thinking of new ideas to aid the development of my blog. It's more to do with the actual content I post rather than the technical side of how it looks because I haven't the faintest idea what I'm doing, but yeah, I have an idea! I want to know what you lot think because at the end of the day, you read my blog and I would love for you to feel more involved with Victoria Anne.

For those who follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen this idea tweeted, but I thought a short and simple blog post about it would be also good to gather opinions on. Baaaasically, the idea is this:

Every 2 weeks (see how it goes first), I am thinking of dedicating my weekly blog posts to something you would love me to write about. When I say something, it can be ANYTHING that you suggest to me as a potential topic for the next post. I love writing personal and opinionated posts, so I thought it would be interesting to see what matters to you right now and for me to share my opinions on the exact topic with you. 

How can you suggest ideas to me you ask? Well, you can either:
  • Comment on this blog post or others belonging to this series (if it actually happens)  
  • I will also upload on my Instagram where you can comment with ideas 
  • On Twitter, I will tweet this same thing and pin it to my profile so you can also reply to it with topics you feel would be good to read on my blog 
  • Privately messaging me will also be absolutely fine if it's something you do not want others to see you suggest
After a couple of days, I will choose someone's response based on whether I can see myself writing a suitable amount about it. I know choosing at random would be more fun, but if this series takes off, then I think this would soon happen!

So yeah, this is my idea at the moment of something new I want to add to my blog! I would love to know what you lovely readers think: do you think it's a good idea? Do you have any topics you would like me to talk about on my blog as part of this series already? Anything at all, leave a comment down below! 

I am away on holiday this Sunday and I leave for uni in a couple of weeks, so I shall respond to comments when I can and also try and upload on my blog x

Until next time...
Much Love
V A x

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Reflecting On A Month Of Blogging

So I've been back blogging properly for about a month and a half now, and I will say the lessons I've learnt in that short space of time have been eye-opening and things I wish I knew from Day 1 of my blogging experience. The positives and negatives go hand-in-hand with blogging, as I am sure those who are reading this right now and are bloggers themselves can agree with.

The Positives

I bloody love blogging. I class it as my online diary. I feel I have the confidence to talk about things which strangers will read and can easily relate to without us having met face-to-face. I love how supportive the blogging community is! We all get that it's hard to stick to a blogging schedule and whatever life throws at us, others will comment with their thoughts and I love it!

My following has massively increased. When I first began my blog and social media platforms for it last year, it was just a constant struggle to gain followers who were GENUINELY interested in me, not gain followers because I've been approached by a company who, for so much money, will promote me on their page - I class this as buying followers, don't know if anyone else does? Putting this to one side though, everyone understands this struggle and to literally see the figures in comparison to others that are high is depressing and makes you question what you're doing wrong; but, the amount of Twitter accounts out there that will RT a blog post of yours and will share your social media links is staggering! It just shows the support is there and will never weaken really. (I hope to God it doesn't). At the time of writing this, I've hit 400 Instagram followers for the first time EVER on my account. At the time of writing this, I am 79 followers away on Twitter from hitting 1000 followers EVER. It is just such a great thing to see that you're being noticed and recognised.

More people are reading my content. At the time of writing this, I still can't believe the following I have developed since coming back to blogging after a break. My pageviews on my blog posts keep increasing because I've learnt to schedule tweets on Buffer and try to promote my posts as much as I can. My photography on my Instagram has MASSIVELY improved because I ensure they are the best they can be and I have comments praising the quality, leaving their thoughts underneath of my latest post.

I've developed connections to bloggers and brands. I've engaged with brands and more bloggers than before. I won my first ever giveaway thanks to DS London HQ & Phases of Robyn which I wouldn't have known about if it weren't for being more social on social media than before. I have been welcomed as a member with the gorgeous and meaningful jewellery brand Adored UK, something I never thought would happen so soon since I've returned to blogging. The feeling to be recognised for my content and myself as a person is really humbling and it makes me feel I am doing something right.

My gorgeous personalised cosmetics bag from DS London x

Of course, there are always two sides to blogging.

The Negatives

The pressure. I don't choose to feel pressured to blog and I don't feel like I'm obliged to have a new post up more than once a week - I class myself as an "Occasional Blogger" after all - but when you see others saying they've managed to schedule new posts for the next month or they have loads of ideas for future posts, I do sit there and think, "wow. I am doing a shit job here." I should use this as motivation and I do about 40% of the time: the other 60% is spent wishing I had the creativity that others do. I am my own hypocrite because I advise new bloggers not to compare themselves to others when I am doing nothing BUT that. Constantly feeling like I have to tweet everyday and Instagram everyday just so I am active online almost 24/7? I hate that.

Thinking I have to have theme behind my content. This is what put me off blogging for a while, hence the break away from it all. I follow many accounts on social media where their feed has a recognisable theme and/or they specialise in one area to focus on writing about. I can't do that. Why should we feel we have to limit ourselves to talking about just a couple of things where we in fact want to write about whatever we want? Instagram is also very guilty of this: I find a lot of favoured IG feeds have themes, but why go to all the trouble to maintain this idea of an IG theme where all you want to do is upload a picture because you actually want to?
I don't see the need to focus on developing an IG theme on my feed

The engagement is very hit-and-miss. I only need to mention one word again: Instagram. They are the main culprit for this at the moment because of the whole shadowbanning situation which is a right pain. With this, I try to avoid posting every day but also because I don't have enough to post all the time and want my photos to be good enough and not to look like a last-minute-upload-because-I-forgot-to-post-something-on-my-feed. One day I can get 60 likes in 1 hour and the other I can get just under 30 in the first hour. We shouldn't have to worry about the best timing to upload photos - don;t get me wrong, it does help, but it's so annoying when you upload a new blog post or something on Instagram and the views/likes and below par.

Always worrying if my content will be good enough to read. I know I've said I write my content for myself and because I know others will read it, yet I always worry about this at the back of my mind. What if people don't like it? What if it doesn't make sense? What if it is pointless content? I cannot help but worry all the time. I still have a list of what I want to write about, but I look at the list and think hmm, maybe this isn't needed etc...

Blogging is tough, but I love it at the same time x

Blogging is tougher than what others think. I credit full-time bloggers who organise their time to be involved photoshoots for their next post and are constantly engaging on social media, schedule their posts for the next month: this is why I refer to myself as an occasional blogger because I know for sure when I start back at uni next month, I won't be able to blog as much as I would like to. Nevertheless, I have loved how successful my blog has been up to this point, and I am very much looking forward to how it can progress in the months to come.

I would love to hear how your blogging experience has been for however long you have been doing it! Do you agree with what I've said? Do you think there are other positives or negatives that I may have missed? Let me know down in the comments below as I always love to hear what you lovely lot have to say x

Until next time...
Much Love
V A x

Friday, 4 August 2017

The Countdown To University

If you follow my Instagram, you'll have seen that my Foundation Degree in Fashion Studies at Staffordshire University was officially confirmed with a certificate stating my grade: Distinction. I was so surprised to get the email and see I had achieved this because my confidence was knocked a little bit when I had received my marks for my last two modules of the course. I was very nervous to find out what I would get as an overall grade but the joy was very much there when I opened the email and saw it was Distinction. It has given me such motivation now to do well and exceed further as I progress onto CCAD to study Costume Interpretation with Design (BAhons) for my final 2 years of higher education.

I had an unconditional offer from this course when I went for my interview which basically meant that I would have a place on the course whatever grade I got. It's nice to go in with a high grade as I can show others on the course what I'm capable of. I never thought I would go to study costume ever in my life. I was the girl who set out what she wanted to be in life since the age of 9, but things have changed and my decision has changed: I feel like I am better suited for costume than fashion. I love watching period drama and I am always fascinated with history and to be honest? Interpreting costume in an era I choose for a character I want to design for just appeals to me soo much more than fashion does. I love fashion don't get me wrong, but not enough to study it, especially with its constant changes and fast pace nature. I love thinking outside the box and I would my say my designs are not one for fashion: costume is going to be perfect for me.
Familiarising myself with my new course

The course prospectus is outstanding and has amazing links within the costume industry, including the costume designer from Game of Thrones (totally impressive!) who comes in to give talks. I follow current students on the course on Instagram and have been completely gobsmacked by the gorgeous costumes they make and the opportunities they have to make a name for themselves in costume. I'll be learning millinery and tailoring and have the chance to work on live briefs during my study so honestly, I cannot wait to get started next month!
Amazing work previous CCAD students have created

But before I start next month, I have got to deal with the hectic rollercoaster of emotions I have right now. At the moment, I am fluctuating between being really really excited to move away and being really really emotional and mentally forcing myself not to sort through my things ready to pack to move away. I think now the reality is starting to kick in and with that, I am pushing all this to the back of my mind thinking I have nothing to do for it. Only today was I saying to myself that when I move to university, I won't be feeling this negativity anymore; yet I need to get through the next month in order for this to happen. I'm dreading leaving home. I'm dreading leaving my friends behind, my family, my mum, my dad: if George and his family were not an hour away from where I'll be living, I honestly don't think I would last half a term. I know I am ready to study elsewhere because the city I live in and the general region, well, I am sick of it and I need a change. I need a new area for my inspiration and creativity to thrive. It's a difficult decision but I know I have to do this: I will regret it if I don't.
More amazing work CCAD students have created

I'm worried about starting in the second year of the course because I've come from a fashion course where I wasn't taught anything to do with costume. I wouldn't have been given an unconditional offer if they didn't think my work was good enough right? I'm worried students there already will be soo far ahead of me. I'm planning to jump into first year classes so I don't feel massively behind and it won't be classed as "homework" because I want to do the extra study. I feel like I am preparing well for this next step, but annoyingly as a person, I'm a glass is half empty kind of person. I'm trying not to think in a negative way but I do this so that I don't feel disappointed if it does turn out to be negative; however, I know deep down I am excited for this next step and all I am doing now is counting down the days until my moving in date and the first official lesson of this new part in my learning life.
Preparing for moving away

Sorry if this has sounded quite solemn or anything like that but I am being positive about it deep down! I will be doing constant updates about my uni life when it happens so keep an eye out for those! Plus the interior shopping is great and I may do a interior haul post, depending on how much stuff I get x Many trips to IKEA I think...

I would love to know in the comments below if you are also at the stage of preparing to move away for university! What advice would you give me and others in this position? Have you already done this and if so, how was the experience for you? I would love to hear from you all x

Until next time...
Much Love
V A x

Friday, 28 July 2017

My Birthday Wishlist

I wouldn't say I've necessarily had a birthday wishlist before for any of my birthday's. It's been more the case of when my family ask me what I want, I tend to say that I'm not really fussed with what I get. I know that may sound a bit anti-climatic (because it is) but it has been the case that over the past few years, I've never been hyped up for my birthday. I always want my birthday to just be relaxing so I can spend it with who I choose and not have to make a big deal out of it - okay, that goes against the point of it being my birthday and therefore, my special day...but still, I treat it as a normal day.

I turn 20 in just under a month (goodbye teenage years - you were eventful) and feel I want to make it a little more special than others because of it happening before I move away for university and all that. I have had people asking already what I want for my birthday and to be honest, I haven't really given it that much thought into what I want. Not that I do anyways because I don't, but if I WERE to have a birthday wishlist, it would probably look a little something like this:

  1. Makeup - If I were to go back in time and tell my 13 year old self that I would be in love with makeup, I would think I was lying. There was a time where I would not wear lipstick: now I have 12. There was a time where I wouldn't wear colourful eyeshadow: now I can't get enough of it. Basically, if you struggle to think of what to get me for my birthday, get me makeup. I would suggest to people to get me makeup that I already use (examples in my flatlay below) but my friend has said she may purchase an Anastasia eye palette and, I have to admit, the pictures I see of bloggers or people I know with this brand's eye palette's has made me want one for quite some time. But, you know, money would not be my friend after it. If I had the money to splurge out on more luxurious brands, I would do. I feel like I wouldn't need to though because I am happy with Maybelline, NYX, Rimmel London and BarryM - I am prepared to experiment though with other brands...just saying.
  2. Books - Now, for those who may not know me, my favoured type of book genre is well, I'll just say this: 50 Shades of Grey. Don't judge me because I do love these books. I'm not weird or kinky but I can never put these books down. I was introduced to more a teenage romance series written by the magnificent author Abbi Glines and again, I could not put the books down. I only have 8 of the Rosemary Beach series and I know for sure there are others. I want to know what happens to the other characters and their love lives and the drama that comes with them wanting happy ever after (ugh such a cringe saying) but I want to know! The very first one of the series is "Fallen Too Far" and you see this kind of forbidden love that Rush and Blaire develop for each other. It's enticing, it's exciting and it's one you HAVE to read if you like these type of stories. Believe me when I say that when you start reading them, you will struggle to put the book down. When you have finished this book, you will find yourself buying the next one....and the next one...and the next one before you suddenly realise you are hooked on Rosemary Beach. The books are a fairly reasonable price so I know there is nothing stopping me from buying them now, but at the moment, with money being spent on bills and university items, I see buying books as a treat. If anyone wishes to buy me the next one in the series though, I shall not complain x
  3. Clothes - There are only a small group of people who know my style of fashion and what suits me best. I can see me writing a list of what clothes I want so that I'm not disappointed with something that I have to put on that pretend "OMG I AM SO SURPRISED" face when really I can't stand the sight of it. I wouldn't mind a pair of wide leg trousers, particularly these from New Look: I tried them on and I loved them, but I didn't buy them because it was either those of the flower bardot dress - I bought the dress. I would also love another wide brim floppy hat as they suit me so well. I feel like I've come from the 60's/70's when I'm wearing them and I really really like that factor. Shoes are always welcome (long as they are not open-toe shoes: they do not suit me) especially boots: I have an obsession with boots. I probably already have enough, but I know I don't. To be fair, most people I know tend not to buy me clothes because they know I like to choose something for myself and instead, buy me...
  4. Vouchers - I can understand why people hate having vouchers as a birthday present but I always have asked for them, either for my birthday or Christmas. I've always asked for New Look vouchers because New Look is my go-to shop for fashion; yet, I also love Topshop, River Island and Forever21. It doesn't always have to be fashion retail vouchers either because my interest in things is so broad, that I have always been guaranteed to find something with whatever voucher I have as a birthday present. 
  5. Skincare - I would say I have only began starting taking proper care of my skin for about a year - I bought toner for the first time only 2 weeks ago - and I never thought I would be buying so much. I now cleanse, tone and moisturise my face and neck every morning and evening: if I were to have a couple of these products in my draw as a way of stocking up, I would be very happy with that. I love the charcoal nose strips from Boots in their Tea Tree and Witch Hazel range, but I never have any in stock *hint hint* Face masks I tend to not use because of having sensitive skin, so if anyone could recommend some amazing ones in the comments down below, I shall pass it on to those who are asking what they can get me for my birthday x Body butters I loooooove, particularly those of the Soap & Glory range and from The Body Shop, as well as The Body Shop's hand creams: I suffer from dry skin and so these products are literally skin savers and would highly recommend these to go on your birthday wishlist if you are thinking of having skincare pressies x
  6. Diffusers - This may seem a bit of a random wish for my birthday, but there is a good explanation for this: when I move into my student accommodation, I am not allowed to have scented candles or incense sticks. Of course I understand why because of fire hazards and safety in my place of living, but I love my room to have a lovely scent and aroma; hence, diffusers. My friend said she would possibly get me one for my birthday, so if I have an extra 10 or so, then that will be my student accommodation aroma sorted for the year.
These are 6 general categories of birthday presents that I would be happy to have this year; but, I have never really done a birthday wishlist before so I apologise if it is terrible. I've always been grateful for whatever I have off family and friends. I never expect a present off everyone or expect presents at all because at the end of the day, I want to spend my birthday with family and friends, have a relaxing day and cherish how I have began the entry into my 21st year on this earth. 
*Hypothetically though, this would be my birthday wishlist IF I were to create one this year.*

I hope you have enjoyed reading "My Birthday Wishlist" - I can't believe I'm turning 20 next month! I would love to know if you have created a birthday wishlist post - what have you wished for? If you've written a similar post, leave it linked below in your comment and I'll will happily read it!
Until next time...
Much Love
V A x

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Long-Distance Relationships: My Advice

Nowadays, LDR are now I think, a normal and more appreciated way of forming relationships with the person you love thanks to the easy forms of travelling and well, the main factor that is the internet. Dating apps and dating websites have replaced the traditional way of meeting someone when you're out and chatting to them in person instead of their cyber self on the phone.

So why am I writing about this on my blog? Well, my friend is going through a similar situation at the moment of being in a long-distance relationship and I thought writing down my experience and some advice for being in one could help her and anyone else who is involved in one. I asked her to ask me some questions I could address in this post.

But first, a bit of a background story to my relationship x

How did you meet the guy you're with?

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 3 years now and we've been in a long-distance relationship from day 1. We never thought we would be in a long-distance relationship with anyone, let alone each other because I will say, before I met George, I was the type of person who wouldn't seek a relationship as it was not a priority in life for me. I always felt that it would happen at the right time and for a good reason. And it did. 

We both support Wolverhampton Wanderers and during the build-up to the Brentford v Wolves game in February 2014, he started tweeting me and messaging me. I won't lie (and he knows this) I thought he was a bit of a stalker at first...but I saw his picture and thought hmm...he's quite alright ;) And so we got to talking about the game and later that weekend, we exchanged numbers and Skype usernames. That following Monday night, we Skyped for the first time and we talked about football more and we were coming up with jokey names for a team that we hate. (Rivalry in football is so important believe me). And well, long story short, we talked every day after that. The day we decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend, we had still yet to meet in person. We were at college and sixth form, 3-4 hours away from each other, I wasn't earning at that time and even though he was, coach and train fares were impossible to afford; so, the last game of the season was when we first met in person and that day has stuck with me since. I couldn't believe that this wonderful guy was mine to cuddle, hold hands with and kiss. I just knew on that day that I loved him and well, more than 3 years down the line and we have made sure our LDR works. A lot of people thought it wouldn't last and we both had our doubts ourselves, yet we've fought through the tears and struggles and we have such a strong relationship, it is honestly amazing. 

If any of you reading this are in LDR's then you will completely understand that the first day you see each other in person is one that stays with you forever. If any of you in LDR's are finding it difficult or are have recently committed to an LDR, here's some of my advice from personal experience which I hope will help you in your loving ways x

How do you regularly afford travel costs?

It was difficult at first to afford travel as I had to save up my pocket money or ask family if they could pay for my travel tickets and I would pay them when I was able to. At the start of the relationship, we only saw each other about once or twice between 4-6 weeks so I had the chance to save up. What really helped myself and George in the beginning was having a Young Persons coachcard from National Express, which saved us a third every time we travelled on the coaches to each other. It only costs £10 for 1 year for 16-26 year old's to have, so if you can travel to your partner's via a National Express coach, I would highly recommend purchasing this card. 

Since being a university student, I have been able to afford the travel costs more and since early last year, we have been commuting to each other's on the trainlines. It is annoying how trains are more expensive, but we both prefer the availability of travel times and it's much quicker than the coach. Again, we both invested in a 16-25 railcard provided by National Rail which also gives us a third off our train fare. This card costs £30 for 1 year but with the price of return train fares in this day and age, the card cost is covered with just 1 journey for me. 

My train fare costs just under £60 but I am lucky having my student finance and also working shifts at my local pub. I always make sure when we have planned to see each other that I set aside that travel money so I do not spend it. I understand that circumstances may be different in comparison to mine financially, so create a travel jar and stick the money in there. Even transferring money into your savings account so you know you have the travel fare is a great piece of advice I have learnt over the years. That is how I afford travel costs regularly: work, save and plan ahead financially so you know you are guaranteed to afford them.

How do you cope when you want to see each other in person but can't?

Communication. It has played such a huge role in my relationship thanks to the technology we have nowadays. (Gosh I sound old saying that.) In the beginning, we Skyped every night because it was the closest we got to seeing each other when we couldn't in person. Yeah, it sucked sometimes because when all I wanted to do with cuddle up to him, I couldn't. It was only my pillow I could cuddle... We FaceTime now though because he bought me an iPhone couple of Xmas's ago and I prefer FaceTime because the quality of camera is soooo much better than Skype. But whatever suits you the most, make sure you video call each other during the week because it makes it all worthwhile and lands you in such a joyous mood in the build-up to actually seeing each other again in person.

When I miss George, I text him. Even if he is at work, I message him asking how his day is going and what he's up to, tagging him on a lot of videos on Facebook (which he has already watched) to show I'm thinking of him. Keep a memory box of your time together to look through when you're feeling down. Scrolling through photos on your phone will help you cope because you're reflecting on the lovely moments you two have built together in your relationship and gets you to think ahead about what you have planned next.

Talk about the next time you have planned to meet up. Plan what you want to do each day, where you want to go for lunch, what you two want to watch at the cinema: even if it's planning what you want for breakfast, these factors help me cope when I can't see George when I want to.

Ooh another thing I do is when I'm feeling blue and want of cuddle off my boo, I wear one of his shirts or his hoodies he gave me. It's the closest I can get to a proper comfort cuddle of him but it makes me feel so relaxed that it's amazing how you feel so relaxed just from wearing a normal shirt, but knowing it was George's makes it extra special.

Does it get easier to cope with?

I would say that it depends on the circumstances of your LDR. The beginning is tough and no-one who is in a LDR can disagree with this. Speaking from experience, it has been easier to cope with. We see each other almost every weekend now thanks to us being able to afford the travel fares easily in comparison to the very start of our relationship. Even if we don't see each other every weekend, we always communicate every day and even if it's the smallest of conversations we have, it's good because we are thinking of each other. At this moment in time, I am used to the travelling and being 3 hours away from each other because when we FaceTime, it is like being in the same room: he's on FIFA and I'm either doing uni work or something else which is what we tend to do anyway when we're spending time together. I am glad we have battled through the tough times because in September, I am moving away for university and George will only be an hour away on the motorway which means we have a better chance of actually going for a cinema date in the week instead of always on the weekend! This really matters in a LDR and I really can't wait for that Tuesday cinema date or the Thursday movie night.

So, to answer the question: Does it get easier to cope
with? If you both love each other and are willing to push through the troubles, then yes it does get easier and it is worth the wait to see each other.

I do apologise if my advice on this post has been terrible, but I am never one for giving out good advice...That being said, if this advice does help you in your LDR, then I will be very happy for you and your partner and what is waiting for you two in the future! x

Are you currently in a LDR? Do you agree with what I have written on here? Please let me know what you think or ask any questions in the comments section down below. Also, if you want to speak to me directly about LDR or anything similar to this, please don't hesitate to contact me on my Twitter, Instagram, or my email:

Until next time you wonderful readers...
Much Love
VA x

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Back To Blogging With New Stationery

As I have entered the world of blogging once more, I thought it would be a very sensible idea to find something which is purely for my blog ideas to write down when I am on the move or wake up at half 3 in the morning with a (potentially) great idea for my next blog post. So I found myself browsing for new stationery to make this happen and after searching a few brands and researching on other blogger's websites which brands they would go for, I found what I think is a perfect combination of brands for the style I like: Chase and Wonder and Fox + Star.

The Notepad

I purchased this notepad off Chase and Wonder because after many searches, I spotted their Art Deco range and immediately I was drawn into the use of gold and geometric shapes the times of the 1920's are so lovingly associated with. Whenever I see Art Deco, I always think of The Great Gatsby and oh you would not believe how desperate I am to attend a 1920's themed party! But anyways, there were 3 I could have chosen from and this particular pad stood out the most for me with its brick decoration. It is a 60-page lined A5 notebook which is perfect for me because I can carry it around with me whenever I feel like brainstorming for my blog. Only the other day when I was commuting on the train to my boyfriend's and I began planning out more blog posts. I've been waking up in the morning and keeping it on my bedside unit is so perfect because I think of it as my blog literally being in arm's reach when I need it. 

The paper is so smooth and of amazing quality to write on. Like all books and notepads, it does have a delicate spine so if you are one of those who hate it being bent, I would treat this pad with the upmost care. The lines are for me, perfectly spaced out but that is only down to the fact I have small handwriting so they are big enough for me. Possibly if you feel your handwriting is too big for this pad, then it is entirely up to you to purchase this; but as you can see from my doodles, any size handwriting is welcomed by this lovely book. Overall, I paid £9.99 for this pad (£1.99 for delivery and £8 for the notepad). I never usually spend this much on this particular stationery item; however, the brand is absolutely gorgeous and its character and the essence of British craft is truly embedded into this pad, qualities which I do love when purchasing any item of any kind. The delivery was spot on as (if I can remember correctly), it arrived within the space of 2 days neatly packaged and no damage was on the pad: a reliable brand and a worthy purchase if I do say so myself. 

The Pen

To match the blue/gold colour palette of my new pad, I sourced for a lovely writing pen and the perfect one was available on Fox + Star. This online stationery retailer sell a range of unique items created on a global scale and you can be spoilt for choice, but I spotted their range of Livework Gold Pattern Pens and selected their gold chevron pen. This one I felt matched the brickwork of the Art Deco pad more because the chevrons are strong shapes and are arranged in a bold way to signify its amazing quality.

This pen has a fine ballpoint nib which means you won't have a high chance of creating a small ball of ink gloop at the end like you do with some pens... It feels lovely to hold and oh the feel of when it is being written with is just heaven. The amount of pressure needed for this pen to write is minimal in comparison to standard ballpoint pens and when combined with the smooth paper in the notepad...well, it is simply a win win: a match made in stationery heaven. This pen (as with the others in this range) are £3.75 each with myself paying £3.00 for delivery: again, may seem too much for one pen, but the quality is what the brand describe it to be and it was dispatched and delivered under 2 days. Yet another reliable brand and definitely worth the price.

I am so glad I stumbled upon these 2 brands! Their products are stunning and I believe they have a range for everyone. Besides pads and pens are other items such as stickers, pencil cases and other forms of stationery you need to make you feel more organised and look professional whilst writing your jottings. I will leave all links to Chase and Wonder and Fox + Star at the end of this blog so pay them a visit and a follow and all that jazz.

I hope you have loved reading this stationery review! What are your favourite stationery brands? Are you a stationery hoarder? Leave a comment down below as I love reading what you have to say! 

Until the next blog post...
Much Love
V A x

Chase and Wonder

Fox + Star

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Get To Know Me: The Liebster Blog Award!

So my self-promotion on social media as a blogger has really improved this time around since I have revamped my blogging habits and yesterday, the wonderful Ellie Wilson nominated me and a number of other bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award which I was very surprised at but I felt it was a good opportunity for you lovely lot to know a little bit more about me, using the 11 questions that Ellie has nominated us to answer. At the end of this post, I will be revealing my 11 blogger nominations for this award and thinking of my own questions to ask them! No doubt they have probably already been nominated and some of my questions have already been used but as I have only recently picked up blogging again....I hope you can forgive me. 

So here we go: 11 questions and 11 answers! Enjoy!

  1. What is your favourite colour?  Okay so this is something that I can be very indecisive over because I have a lot of favourite colours which can depend on the situation e.g: my favourite colour to wear is read because of my hair colour and the fact my pale skin can rock red....but I would have to say my favourite colour is purple. Yes it is generic, but all shades of purple I love. I don't really know why it is my favourite colour though? I think I just saw purple and was like yep, I like you purple. You can be my favourite colour of all time.
  2. Where do you get your inspiration for blogging from?  Erm, I would probably have to say from other bloggers really. I know that sounds a bit cliche but seeing the variety of content that is out there makes me realise that I can post similar content but it will still be unique because it is my opinion and it is me who is writing it, no-one else. 
  3. What is your favourite food?  CHEESE. CHEESE. CHEESE. If I could, I would have cheese on everything. But it HAS to be mature cheddar cheese: mild cheese now tastes like plastic to me. I love cheese that much that if I was to come back in my next life as a mouse, well let's just say I would be a great mouse.
  4. Which blog post that you wrote are you most proud of?  Now luckily, I don't have many to choose from here so if I had to make the difficult decision of choosing would be this one: What's Going On? I had been unsure about my blog for a while before writing this post and it felt great to admit what was wrong with how I was going about writing my content and all that jazz. Since then though, I have felt much more at ease with my blog and the amount of support I had on this post was just lovely to read and know that what I did was a good thing to do.
  5. Which blogger inspires you the most?  I won't lie, I find this question a bit difficult to answer at the moment because I'm still discovering new bloggers everyday and I find they are all inspiring in their own way. Only Monday though did I read a post written by Megan Beth about an experience of hers when she was younger which I can't even begin to imagine how she coped with it then and how it affects her now; but the courage she had to write about it, I cannot credit and praise her enough for how brave she is. It is bloggers like her that go through difficult times in their lives and publish it for others to understand that make blogging worthwhile and make it real and show that we are human.
  6. How do you juggle blogging and other responsibilities?  When I first started it, I was attempting to continue blogging whilst studying hard in my final few modules of my Foundation Degree course and, well, blogging didn't matter to me then. Now I've come back with a fresh look on blogging life and because it's the summer, I'm finding I am wanting to write a blog post to relax. I do have a part-time job and because there's only me and my mum who live together, I do housework when she's at work. Plus, I'm trying to sort through my room and start to bundle things together for when I move away for study in September. So to answer the question? ATM, I am finding it okay; but I know come September, my weekly planner will be organised very well so I know when to write my blog, do uni work, socialise etc...
  7. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Greece. 100%. I have been fascinated with the country ever since I learnt about the Greeks in history way back in Year 2 of primary school. I love the history of the country, the culture, the scenery, the art so much that it is my dream destination of all time.
  8. Why did you start blogging?  At first, I started blogging as a way to promote my FAV Instagram account at the time it was called that when I first started last year. I didn't feel I had to set up a blog because well, I didn't really. Recently though after getting back into blogging, I suppose the most likely reason for why I started this was because it is a fun hobby to do and blogging can take you anywhere which is very exciting.
  9. What's your favourite hot drink?  Hot chocolate....but not just any hot chocolate oh no no hot chocolate consists of toppings and treats for those days where you want to feel like luxury. I do the normal pouring hot water/milk into the chocolate mixture then stir first. Next, I sprinkle mini marshmallows into the drink before placing extra thick vanilla whipped cream on top...I then add more mini marshmallows and add more cream on comes the Flakes: 2 normal Flakes placed into the top layer of whipped cream before crushing another one or two Flakes and sprinkling these on's such a naughty treat but Oh. My. Heavens. It is wooonderful.
  10. What would your top tip be for new bloggers?  As a new blogger myself, I would simply say: be yourself. A false blog is no blog at all.
  11. What are your favourite blog posts to read?  At the moment, I am liking posts about make-up as I struggle to find bargains in this area and it's amazing how many bargains there are out there! I'm finding myself spoilt for choice which is a good thing I think?

So there you go! 11 questions with 11 (long-winded) answers. Now, I have chosen to nominate:

And my 11 questions to you are:

What was your favourite holiday destination?
If you could be any superhero, who would you be?
What celebrity would play you in a film about yourself?
What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
What do you find is annoying about blogging?
What is your favourite season of the year?
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you do with your winnings?
What do you love about blogging?
KFC or Nandos?
What would you say has been your biggest moment in your blogging career so far?
Did you ever imagine you would be blogging?

I do apologise for the amount of reading but these are a few things about me you know now which you probably didn't before. Writing this was a lot of fun so to those who I have nominated, I look forward to your responses and good luck!

Until we meet again you lovely readers...
Much Love
V A x

Sunday, 2 July 2017

How Will I Be Spending My Summer?

Of what little we have over here in good ol'Blighty, it is now officially summer. I always presume a lot of people have their summers planned out down with holidays, days out, summer projects they want to achieve and all that gorgeous stuff. I wouldn't say my summer is extremely planned out, so to speak, but there's a few things I have planned. Seeing as the days begin to get shorter and the nights are drawing in, I best get a move on with this post of mine.

Well my summer will be spent....working! I work at a pub and I've been there for just shy of a year now. It's been a good job to have whilst I've been at university but I'm taking up the opportunity to earn a bit more money: I can speak for majority of students that a student loan can only last so long over the summer. I must admit, working at my local pub has really boosted my confidence and my backbone has strengthened quite a bit (my friends and family can back me up on this) because let's face it: you get some "very happy" people in this environment and well, I don't take any sh...ugar anymore. But yes, earning money is on the summer agenda until I leave a week before my birthday! I've met some lovely people at my place of work and as I plan to leave before my birthday and before I progress onto my future...leaving/birthday drinks will be called for!

Another way I will be spending my summer is getting back into my love for drawing. I'm going to be honest, I am pretty good at drawing but there are others who are INSANE at drawing and make me look like a novice. My boyfriend will know this but a while ago now, I started a greyscale tonal drawing of a selfie we had on our first holiday together in Turkey (ah the memories 💖) and it was special as we're in a LDR so the more time we have together, the more it's cherished (we annoy each other but we love each other all the same 💓 - I'll stop being soppy now.) With me being a perfectionist, I want to complete this drawing without any mistakes or any facial features being off by the slightest degree, hence why it would have taken so long for me to finish it. This is just a progress shot:
I've loved drawing since I was in Year 3 so any opportunity I have of diving into my relaxing hobby, I do it.
This summer will be feeling probably a little bit more special than of recent times. Despite being able to spend more time with my boyfriend in the week seeing as uni is out for then, I will be moving away from home to finish off my university degree. I will be talking about this in another blog post so I'll stray away from the details for now, but basically, I want to cherish all the time I have left with my family and friends before time and distance makes it more difficult for me to see them on a daily basis. I love them all to bits and they know I love them to bits and they are all supporting me 100% on my decision to study away from home. It's going to be a special summer with them when the countdown is on but for now, I try to think about the time we will have together rather than the amount of days I have left with them. Before I move, me and my other half are hoping to spend a few days in Barcelona for a little getaway so that will finish the summer off perfectly.

Relating to the above, my summer will also be spent sorting through all my things I have ready to take with me when I move. Now, I feel I will find this a bit difficult because when I pack to go to my boyfriend's for the weekend, I pack more than I need to - and he will vouch for this - so it's going to be the case of I split what I have sorted out to pack into two lists: what I REALLY need and what I FEEL I will need because of those "what if I need it" scenarios. Hopefully this will leave me with the NEEDED items... I am good at packing, but sorting out what I need to pack tends to be a whole different kettle of fish. In other words? Help. Help. Please help.
I feel like I have missed out some key things about how my summer is going to pan out but I know these are the main points - no, wait! Blogging as well! How could I forget that....oops.

Summer 2017 is going to be one that I make the most of at home and cherish and love and not waste sitting on my backside being bored. If this does happen, I will slap myself around the face and force myself to get out in the gorgeous sun (if we do have any) and just take a walk!

I would love to know what you lovely readers are getting up to in your 2017 summers! Holidays? Summer projects? Whatever it is, I would love to read about it so drop a comment down below along with your blog links as I love reading new content. 

Until we meet again....
Much Love   
V A x

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

What's Going On?

So it has been a while since I've published on my blog and there are a few reasons for it. It isn't that I haven't wanted to blog, but more because I have been struggling to think of good content.

I see and read a lot of good blogs and I keep thinking about how they continue to think of new ideas and what makes their blog so special, successful and just like them. I recently read a blog post about how to create a blog and the one piece of advice I read was "to be yourself." And that got me thinking: have I actually been myself on this blog? A part of me feels like I have but then I've been trying to keep up with my main content of fashion and art which, let's face it, has not been 100%. I still love fashion and I still love art, but from now on, my blog is going to be focused on what I simply want to write about. In other words, anything I want to voice my opinion on!

With this in mind, I will be making a few changes to my blog and other social media platforms that I am on. With regards to my social media - Twitter and Instagram - I will be changing the names of the accounts. I am still going to keep the #FAVikki because I will continue to blog about my favourite things in life and that was my sole purpose to begin with when I started all this last year, so that is NOT going to change in the slightest. Bios are always changing so I will just change that when needed and whenever I advertise a new blog post, this will be the link in my bio on Instagram and my pinned tweet on Twitter: simply so it's easier for you lot to access and read in your own time.

Turning to my blog, this is where I would say most of the changes will be made. My email (if any of you are interested in collaborating or anything like that) will still stay the same; however, over the next month or so is where I will be amending how my blog looks because if I don't experiment and update then I won't feel as if this blog is progressing anywhere. A big change for me is the name of this blog: FAV is still relevant to what I want my content to mainly be about, but I want you all to know who I am straightaway when you open my website. And so, the name of my blog will now be:

It's Victoria Anne 

I know it's not exactly a great name for my blog but this is basically my blog: the blog is about what I like, what I don't like and it's all my opinions by me: Victoria Anne. 

So like I said, there will be a few changes over the next month or so but what I want to achieve from this blog now is to be happy with it, to know that my content is also making people happy and interested in what I write, but to also be truthful to myself and not put on a false persona which I felt I was doing up to this point.

I hope you're all looking forward to the new me and my blog and well, my blog being active again! Have a good evening to your Tuesday and until we meet again...

Much love - V A x

Sunday, 19 March 2017

LONDONE: Day #2 in the Capital

It was another early start on Day 2 in the capital city and a long day at that: that meant no to boots and yes to trainers. From Russell Square we took the tube to South Kensington to visit the grand Victoria and Albert Museum which I had been waiting soooooooooooooooooooo long to see! If I don't visit a museum which has my name in it then I am disappointed in myself so finally I could tick this off my endless list of attractions I want to see in my lifetime (Victoria Falls next please?)

When we arrived and walked into the museum, and I will be honest, I did not expect it to be massive inside. The decoration, the exhibits on display and just the feeling to be somewhere which is internationally famous made me feel peaceful and serene. The main reason for the visit was to see the underwear exhibition, seeing the history of what we dress ourselves in first thing during the day and being ever so close to designer wear, including pieces from Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen (my Queen and King of fashion - brb kinda fangirling!) Unfortunately, photography was off limits and I didn't have a little sketchpad with me, so I'll describe it for you here in three words: revealing, astounding, cheeky, beautiful, inspiring, gorgeous, #lingeriegoals

BUT BEFORE THAT, we killed the time walking around the quaint fashion exhibition there: past and present fashion is how I would best sum it up. I loved it because well 1) it's fashion and 2) good research for my fashion collection I'm working on at the mo. I'll stop talking and leave you to look at the piccies yourself (I know I blab on):


Lanvin - 1936. Yes please. 

Hips don't lie between 1755 - 1760 though

What I love about going to fashion exhibitions like this is I can really understand why such a garment was the fashion of that time. What I also love about seeing old fashion is questioning why and how and what in the world was going through their heads?? Take the fashion of the 1750's for example: wide-hooped skirts are a bit of an understatement to describe these enormous hip-enhancing structures that would take about half an hour (maybe more) to sit down on the loo...If women weren't fashionably late back in this day I would LOVE to know how they were on time. In all seriousness though, it is inspiring. The detail, the intricacy and the artistic nature the garments have are sublime - all the more reason to love fashion more and more.

After the V & A and a little lunch break in South Kensington, it was time to become a little kid again and everything in the museum came to life like in Night at the Museum, but nothing happened, If the spiders came to life, you would see a Vikki-shaped hole in the walls. Anyway, the place was vast! The museum kept going and going and going and going but I love my history and love exploring new places. There was even an area where you could experience what a earthquake would be like in a was a tad scary but still educational enough! I mean, if you haven't been, you should definitely go and visit to see everything there. You walk in, and you go up an escalator into what I can only describe as a asteroid or something like that - TRUST me, it's cooler than it sounds if you're like me.

Back on the tube we go to Covent Garden for a cheeky Nandos and a wander around the infamous market. Honestly, the atmosphere was so friendly and it was obvious that people we're loving selling their trade. There was a 4-person violinist band really getting into the spirit of things and it really did make it a cheerful place to be, especially as I was getting tired at this point in the day. I bought a cute little cat bag for mum for her birthday (which was today and FYI it's safe to say it was a good spot by moi) and there were other things I would've easily purchased too but I was careful with my money.

Covent Garden you hide beautiful surprises

So yes, we dined in Covent Garden before heading back to the hotel in Russell Square for a night in. The pain in our feet had doubled and frankly, my pyjamas were calling to me. The next and final day would prove to be another exploring day: a visit to the Tate Gallery and walk along the River Thames after travelling to Borough Market. Here's another little sneak peek for those of you who cannot wait:

All being well, Londone: Day #3 will be uploaded in a few days....but don't hold your breath just in case! 

Have a lovely Sunday evening and much love! 
V A x