A Love Note to Myself

A Love Note to Myself

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image by peoniesandplaces

A little late post for Valentines Day but it’s never too late to write a little love note to yourself. I don’t like the idea of Valentines Day too much but I’ve felt more self love lately. As trying to improve my Instagram and get more involved with the fashion community I’ve chosen to incorporate myself into more of my photos.

Ironically I HATE photos of myself and have a huge lack of ability to pose (thanks mom) but it would be great eventually to work with brands I’m a fan of. Luckily, I have friends who are actual models and coach me on how to pose. It only takes one photo out of a hundred to get a decent shot. The spike in followers after London Fashion Week and following posting more portraits of myself has given me a confidence boost.

Where as I’ve been told that posting photos of yourself can be seen as egotistical, it feels freeing for someone who would absolutely cringe at any photo shown of themselves, let a lone be on the other side of the camera. Always was the photographer, never the subject. I can’t take myself seriously anyways, so I’m usually laughing at myself in them.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to get a good shot. London has a ton of gorgeous floral facades outside every store to lure in customers and Instagram savvy photographers. With a few tricks given from my model friends we quickly can shoot in front of these lovely locations each other with out too much embarrassment.

Visit Peggy Porschen’s seasonally decked out cafe in Kensington, London.

www.peggyporschen.com

Follow them on Instagram: @peggyporschenofficial

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image by peoniesandplaces

 

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Anyways, in the love letter written to myself I start with cheers. Here’s to me, excepting to love myself a bit more. To enjoy my silliness, my love of all things visually pleasing and passion for seeing the beautiful corners of the world, photographing and sharing them with like minded others.

My sister reminded me that when I left for London 6 months ago I wanted to achieve all the things I’ve currently have. She told me “Victoria, it happened so fast. You got everything you wanted.” And she’s right.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve gotten to live in my favorite city, go to London Fashion Week, slowly grow my Instagram, make new friends and blossom as a woman. Self Love, here we are. Crazy how I’ve been able to achieve those things seemingly overnight in the London pressure cooker. I look forward to what the future brings. A key lesson in life is to start the love with yourself and then it will naturally flow into other aspects in your life.

Happy belated Valentines Day to myself  xx

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Instagram: 10 Tips to Improve Your Growth in 2019

Instagram: 10 Tips to Improve Your Growth in 2019

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Have a New Years Resolution to grow your Instagram following? Whether you’re a business, blogger or just live to gain an audience, the amount of followers you have on social media is thoroughly important to you. The truth about gaining an audience is that you want to have people who follow you who are genuinely interested in your product, persona or vision. These followers will support you and stick with you if you are resourceful on how they find you. I want you to gain a following on Instagram that will help spread the word about your brand, whether it be personal or corporate. Looking at social media from afar it can seem cold and impersonal. But closeup the influencers that succeed and make a living from it are those who are relatable and engaging.

Something you should know is that any platform of social media promotes the users who engage the most on the site. Those influencers keep their business going, increase user activity and screen time for other followers. You’ll be found more often by using all of the tools the app has to offer, but you also have to realize it takes some grit and monotonous work to be found. For the most part it does not, I repeat does not happen over night.

After numerous research from youtube videos, various apps, lengthy articles and trial and error I have found 10 simple tips to improve your Instagram following. Now, lets go ahead and start with the basics.

  1. POST PLEASING CONTENT
    • This may seem like a naturally given tip, but you’d be surprised with the photography people post and still not understanding why they haven’t gotten over 100 likes or any new followers.
    • You need to provide aesthetically appealing content to add to your gallery. Use apps like Adobe Light RoomColorstoryVSCOAfterlight A Design KitHuji, Facetune and more.
    • Purchase a filter from your favorite influencer to make it easy for yourself.
  2. THEME/COLOR SCHEME
    • This tip is one of the most important tips I’ve learned from my Instagram research. I want to make it clear to you on one of the major reasons why people follow you. So clear that I’ll list it in the bullet point below, in all caps.
    • USERS FOLLOW YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR GALLERY, NOT BECAUSE OF ONE PHOTO.
    • Does that make sense? When someone sees a photo of yours, yes it still has to be pretty and intriguing but once they click on your username they follow and sign up to your posts if they clearly can see a vision of someone and want to see what’s next.
    • Provide your followers with a story, imagery, specific coloring, and curiosity all within a matter of seconds. It’s the layout you provide that will help you do this. Use apps like Colorstory to help arrange your layout in advance.
    • Play around with filters, stick to one or a couple that can be intertwined within each other. In the captions stick to your theme by incorporating either a narrative that’s clearly from a specific perspective or quotes and facts that enhance the photo itself.
    • This also goes along with your username as well. Pick a username that can give someone an idea of what to expect from you. Ex: traveltheworld, foodiegalore, londonismyhometown, pigsandparrots etc. I believe you can always update and change your username through the settings Instagram provides if you’re currently unhappy with your present one.
  3. HASHTAG YOUR A## OFF
    • But really though. Don’t look like #spam #and #do #this #with #every #word #in #your #sentence. Type a few sentences going a long with your post and choose a word or two that is relevant or part of the sentence like “My #mondaymotivation is…” “Today I went to @regentspark and saw the amazing canals, hills and pretty landscapes that London parks have to offer. Always a reminder to #getoutdoors and see the world.”
    • Additionally add some hashtags below your post to have more chances to be found. Type anywhere from 10-20 hashtags that are relevant to your specific post and brand. Hashtags are just another way to be found by someone who doesn’t know of you yet. You can have the best brand, best photos but if you’re not interacting or being proactive with users it doesn’t matter, and no one will find you.
  4. TAG THEM ALL
    • Some influencers don’t understand the importance of tagging other accounts in your photos. Tag your Instagram idols, relevant businesses or users that will likely comment or like your photo too.
    • Tag accounts similar to yours, so that Instagram users can possibly find your profile too.
    • Make sure you tag companies of the products or places in your post, so they can see the photo and either repost it to their large following or comment on your photo (which will provide engagement and likelihood to be seen more on other feeds)
    • On top of that the more you tag  a company the more they’ll become familiar with your page, and they might even follow you. (Yes, this has happened to me)
  5. LIKE EVERYTHING
    • Just do it. Honestly.
    • Liking everything in the first hour of your most recent post is very, very important. I want to say that they push very active users to the top. So, liking and commenting on everything will naturally increase your engagement with others. In return the engagement will push your photo up in the feeds and top posts.
  6. ENGAGEMENT IS EVERYTHING
    • I notice a difference in a influx of likes, new followers or comments the more I am engaging on Instagram.
    • Comment genuine reactions to the photo, or something you noticed that will make the photographer/model smile.
    • Do not comment things like “check out my profile” I find those comments very annoying.
    • People just want to be appreciated for their work. Hold a conversation with them on their comment section, they’ll enjoy and usually reciprocate.
  7. CHANGE TO BUSINESS ACCOUNT
    • Being able to see your analytics is very important to know to gain a following. You can view such categories as age, gender, location, impressions, likes, best times to post, most viewed stories etc.
  8. CAPTIONS
    • Potential followers like to get an idea of your personality not just through your photos but also through your words.
    • Write a caption that captures the photo, or of your current state, mood or something relevant that the user can relate to.
    • Some of my favorite captions are not of those that seem out of a novel, rather those that make me laugh and feel like I have something in common with the instagrammer. (Ex: “feeling anything but bikini ready today after eating a whole pizza pie by myself #oppsie #bikinidiets #ilovepizzatoomuch”) as a picture of the person is of themselves in a bikini from a while ago.
  9. USE INSTASTORY
    • This is the new version of “reality t.v.”
    • It’s like watching mini youtube videos of those you follow without having to leave the app.
    • Use your instastory to keep your following updated on your every move.
    • Additionally, post days where things are not so perfect. Let your following understand how real you are. Sometimes with all of the perfect content they can forget, and they’ll love you more for it.
  10. TOOLS TOOLS TOOLS
    • In any social media platform, the first users experience the most success. This is a formula that drives the company to pat those users on the back.
    • When it comes to new updates such as polls, questions, IGTV, countdowns, etc., use them right away. Now there is no solid proof that Instagram will appreciate you more, but I have a feeling they will.
    • Example: when youtube first came out, the creators who started actively using it first blew up. I think Instagram or any social media is the same.

In conclusion, don’t take yourself too seriously, genuinely enjoy sharing your content, be incredibly active on the platform, stay relevant, engage with other users and be yourself. The first todo things, the ones who take a risk, usually get the reward.

Follow me on Instagram @peoniesandplaces

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Like Literally

Like Literally

As a lady in her late twenties I find I easily get thrown into the “basic white girl” stereotype. Like, OMG I like fashion, photography, social media, flowers and brunch. Like, sue me, I DIE. But in all reality please stop all the judgement society (and men). I went to school for cinematography, so photography is pretty much another passion of mine. As someone whose been into anything visual or aesthetically pleasing my whole life, it would come to no surprise that I’ve always loved fashion and lifestyle as well. Fashion to me is a way of self expression, it has nothing to do with dressing for others. I can transform my confidence level from an 80% to a solid 99% with an outfit that makes me feel great. To that other 1%, lets be honest I ain’t ever feeling 100% perfect. If you are congrats!  And in regards to that brunch judgement, I genuinely am just hungover and in need of a bloody mary and a possible side of waffles. You shouldn’t think too much into that sort of thing.

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But seriously going back to the whole social media, Instagram and influencer thing it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. What is the main reason for any human to take a picture? My first answer would to share it with others. As someone who studied the art of film, I felt that storytelling was always a visual thing. I wasn’t much of a writer (and still am not) hence all my grammatical errors and delay in postings. When I meet up with friends and I tell them about my experiences abroad I find myself drawing blanks as I can not find the words to identify with the feeling. The best way I can  give someone an idea of a feeling or a memory is a photograph or video.

So, thank god for social media. I don’t need to write down or discuss my stories for the most part. I can simply post a picture, and lately that’s been all I needed to do in order for others to see my vision, my world and the perspective I have on anything. The gist of this whole post is to nip the Instagram and social media haters in the bud. Our culture has been accustom to sharing our experiences with others, mainly to connect. It seems odd but we’re in a crazy time of loneliness yet constant sharing. I am not saying don’t go out and have a conversation or don’t make friends. Because believe me my favorite thing todo is share a great dialogue but I believe social media has just elevated the way we express ourselves on a larger scale. We all want to feel appreciated, understood and close-knit to the world. This is just one of the newer ways we do it.

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How to Deal with Being Alone During Wedding Season

How to Deal with Being Alone During Wedding Season

Let’s just start it off right, with a quote from Carrie Bradshaw from the show Sex and The City. The TV hit is celebrating it’s 20 year anniversary, which is wildly beyond me. Growing up I watched every single episode, it inspired me to move to New York City and it taught me the importance of female friendship. But in regards to this Wedding Season thing, I have some words to say.

‘Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.’  Carrie

image-1.jpgIn all honestly this is truly how I feel. I get utterly frustrated when friends or family don’t believe one could actually be happy being alone. Listen, I don’t want to be alone forever but I like spending the time working on myself, doing things that make me happy, going to bed when I want to, traveling with no emotional attachment physically somewhere else, etc.

I think it’s very empowering being single, and even more attractive embracing it. When you come to terms with loving yourself first, everything else will fall into place when it’s not your priority. Do not try and validate yourself through a man, validate yourself on your own merit.

Also appreciate the friendships that you have, and spend time with those lucky ones as much as possible. It’s tragic to see friends I know abandon all the days of the week to spend it with one person who isn’t their person. It’s almost like they know they’re dating “Mr. Wrong” but rather be validated through having being accepted romantically vs. dating around or dating no one. At the end of the day all of us should realize that somewhere there is someone who will eventually accept you and your amazing flaws. And one day you can meet “your person” but do not push or rush yourself to try and find that (guilty as charged)

Instead realize when you break up with “Mr.Wrong” you’ll go running back to those people you relied on before you started dating them. It hurts me to accept a person can choose to abandon a friendships, think texting makes up for it, and expect it to be all coming up roses when they want the friendship back. I’m realizing this sounds more like a rant versus tricks and tips of surviving wedding season alone.

But first, another Sex and The City quote…

‘I will not be judged by you or society. I will wear whatever and blow whomever I want as long as I can breathe – and kneel.’ Samantha

 

acs_0434Most days I feel like Samantha… just very fuck it, mentality. Pardon my french.

Girl, do what and who you want. You are not run by anyone. When you go to a wedding enjoy the free food, the fancy dresses and open bar. Dance the night away and just realize that when the right one falls into your lap you’ll get to enjoy these moments with them.

But for now you have your friends and family to enjoy them with, and those relationships will also last forever.

 

‘Somewhere out there is another little freak who will love us and understand us and kiss our three heads and make it all better’  Carrie

Maybe it’s because the majority, if not all of the weddings I’ve attended have been of cousins, I haven’t been as aggravated about my no date situation. But there were weddings in the passed I felt sad I didn’t have a date with, or even anyone to text and say “I miss you” to. I think I have gone passed that all, into a completely calm mindset of what will happen will happen. I know my worth and I know the pieces will fall as they may. In time of sadness or anger I have turned my back to fate. But at that moment fate had another definition. Fate, to me then was in the hands of someone else. Fate, to me now is in my own hands. But only because I have accepted myself more than I ever have, have I accepted fate more.

And  to end it, I have one more Sex and The City quote because Carrie Bradshaw was absolutely ahead of her time.

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The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.’ Carrie

 

For more great amazing lines from the hit show check out: http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/entertainment/tv-and-film/sex-and-the-city-the-best-carrie-bradshaw-quotes-121822

 

 

Just enjoy being no strings attached, let loose and drink up!

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It’s been a minute

It’s been a minute

Hello,

Just writing a quick update, I still exist! I am the process of reworking my blog so it is more useful and helpful to others looking for places togo or words of wisdom. If anything you can follow me on my Instagram, where I’m always updating on my Instastory and posting pictures daily! I find this is my first hub I goto to share content.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peoniesandplaces/

Hope you are enjoying the spring weather (more like summer)

Here’s some images of my posts recently, catch up on the gram!

 

 

 

and some videos that you can always watch when you follow my instagram:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missed you tons xx

Victoria

 

 

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