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.
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.
Is Hackney cafe Palm Vaults worth all of the Instagram hype? Quick answer: not really. The other day I ventured to over photographed spot Palm Vaults to see if it was everything I dreamed of and more. While I walked along the the cobblestone road of pretty tacky shops, I finally landed at the cafe. It was unexpected to find it along the “rubbish” so to say. I wasn’t too hungry so I ordered their notorious banana bread and pink latte. Surprisingly the pink latte did taste really good, it did have a hint of beetroot though. The banana bread was tasty but I didn’t have much of an appetite. The place had a great aesthetic, and I loved all of the pink colors it had. From the plates, flowers, drinks, napkins, sauce, carafe, and cups.
You can get the Instagram-worthy shot you crave but besides that the long trip to Hackney Central was not worth the small little spot. The town seemed quaint but I have just recently explored and currently am in Hampstead Heath and enjoy this town a lot more. It has cozy british vibes written all over it.
You can get the banana bread with either peanut butter or yogurt.
To visit Palm Vaults take the tube or bus to Hackney Central.
It’s been just about two weeks since I landed in London. Before I arrived I imagined myself seeing all of the sights, restaurants, bars and Instagram worthy spots. After a few days of realizing I had no source of immediate income coming my way I felt trapped in bed with no where to go. I was in one of my favorite cities in the world, and I couldn’t see it (to it’s fullest potential) Sure, I’ve been in years passed and had already seen most of the touristy things before; but landing in London and trying to keep the excitement alive I wanted to remind myself of why I had came here in the first place.
Most of my days I set off from my new flat on foot, with a mere idea of where I wanted to go. I let a poor GPS connection guide the way and it led me to some unfamiliar and interesting places. Most of the time though, it took me to places I had already scribbled on my lengthy todo list and had almost forgotten about. Like I had mentioned in my previous post “Don’t Make Plans in Paris” the most memorable moments are those that are found off the beaten path.
The main reason I fell in love with London at an early age was because of it’s character, history and it’s architecture. As I strolled along the cobblestone alleyways and foreign roads I came across many of just that. In fact it has been the majority of my journey thus far. Bright colored doors against the historical stone building, iron gates and tiled entry ways. Well this, this is what I came here for.
Some of the most well known and easy things to view are the Notting Hill homes. They’re famous for their bright and varied colors. Dreamy, I know. Something that I found a lot of in London are vintage cars parked all over the street. I asked my British flatmate if people actually drove these cars and she said yes. As us Americans know, their cars might be cute but they definitely drive on the wrong side of the road. Note: Notting Hill also was home to plenty of quaint cafes and antique bookshops.
If you have time while in London, take sometime to wander the streets and appreciate the beauty of buildings that have been up for centuries. This is something I’ve always felt America lacked. It lacked the quirky personality that a lot of european cities hold. This trait can only exist in time.
The key to seeing London for free is admiring the little details that make it stand out. If I’m going to start and write out as well as document my personal journey of living in a new city, specifically in London. I have to make it known that the first thing I’ve ever fell in love with here, is simply it’s architecture. And you can always see that for free. Also, I do want to list some of the things besides seeing London buildings that I’ve done for free. Whether you’re visiting or a local. Sometimes it’s refreshing to see your city from a new (and affordable) prospective. That I’ll save for another post. Enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you are.
Some of you might not be aware that I have been applying to many schools in London to get my Masters in Marketing. I’ve received several acceptances and am excited I will soon be making my decision on which university to attend. From here on out my impossibly dream will become more tangible and real. I’ve been wanting to move to London since I can remember. I’m bit of an anglophile (as written in my “About Me” section) I’m not sure exactly what has always drawn me to London, but I think it’s always the unmentionables that make us fall in love with a place.
I could list the historical nature, old european architecture, swooning british accents, foreign food labels, easy travel between other countries, calming cloudy and rainy days as all reasons why I’ve fallen in love with London over my life. But there is something I can’t put down in words that just makes it feel like home. I’ve had a urning to keep returning and I don’t have the answer for everyone else. Not everyone feels like there is another location in the world that belongs to them, but I do.
I came to London. It had become the center of my world and I had worked hard to come to it. And I was lost. –V. S. Naipaul
I’m excited to take you on my journey to London this year. I’ll be really trying to post several times a week, if not at least one a day. I already post daily content on my Instagram @peoniesandplaces so make sure you follow to see my posts and instastory’s. Eventually I’ll start writing about my favorites in London, recommendations for shopping in town, and even where my weekend travels take me.
I’m more of just a traveler but someone is attracted to and stimulated to aesthetically pleasing things and visual intrigued. That’s why I gravitate towards all things photography, fashion and lifestyle. They all have an importance in my heart. Once classes get rolling I’ll write some posts on marketing tips and tricks and how I’ve been growing my social media following. For now, the future is in process
You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. -Samuel Johnson