Wednesday, 31 August 2016

What I've Been Up To!

Hey friends! So my blog has basically become the place where I unload and go over everything I've been up to over the past couple of months. It's like therapy. You're my (unpaid) therapist now, blog reader ;) Isn't this what blogging used to be, back in the days of LiveJournal? I'm just making blogging old-school again. Yeah.

So the last few months have been intense, exciting, difficult, scary and amazing all at once.

I did my first ever public speaking gig(!!) where I got to talk all about second hand and ethical fashion. The event was a "Second Hand Fashion Parade" hosted by Rozelle Markets and Ciao magazine. I also got to meet a couple of people who follow me on the internet and love my work, which was probably the most fun part of the day!

I have pretty bad general anxiety, and I never want to do anything like this again - I spent the weeks leading up to the event planning how I could get on a plane and run away so I wouldn't have to do it. But at least now that it's done, I know that I CAN do things like this! Because it would be awesome to be able to do stuff like this in the future. Anxiety can bite me.

BIG HAIR NEWS(!) - I am growing out my fringe! My fringe that I have had for the past 10 years (because I never liked my forehead as a teenager and that insecurity carried itself well into my 20s).
A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

I also started dressing more androgenously and I feel more like "myself" wearing more androgenous clothing, but still being girly when I went to. I definitely feel much more confident in myself because of how I am dressing - and that's been awesome.

What else - I started a medicine that I've been trying to get on for about 2 years now (as it's the most modern and therefore expensive medicine for my illness on the market, you're made to try literally every other horrible drug before you can start it!) and even though it's only been a few days since the first infusion, I am already feeling so much stronger and more like "me" again!

The one scary thing about this new medicine is that I'm now SUPER immunosuppressed. Walking around the world without a good immune system to protect you is frickken terrifying. I notice every cough and sneeze. It's like being in a battlefield, and everybody around you is wearing full body armor and bullet-proof vests, and all you've got is a paper shield. But I did get myself some super cute face masks, which have helped me feel a bit better about the whole thing:


What even is life, people. What even.

I also reached 5 years since my diagnosis. There's a not-insignificant amount of people who never reach the 5-year milestone after being diagnosed, so it was an extremely emotional time for me. The supportive comments that I got from people who don't even know me made me cry. A lot. But they were happy tears!! So thank you if you were one of those people.
*serious post incoming* It is exactly 5 years ago that I was given a diagnosis, and my life changed completely. 19 years old and just starting my life, I sat terrified in a doctors office as a surgeon apologised profusely for having to give me this news and then said two words that I will be hearing constantly for the rest of my life, "Takayasu's Arteritis". It's been 5 of the hardest years of my life. I had to learn how to live life more slowly. To live with pain and exhaustion, anxiety and depression. To accept uncertainty. To accept that there's some things I'll never be able to do. To live with a disability. I lost a lot of friends who suddenly didn't know how to act around me. Didn't know what to say to me. But its also been the best 5 years of my life. To escape my life as the "sick girl", I started sharing my life and outfits with the Internet. On days where my pain and fatigue was too high to leave the house, I learned how to sew. That has evolved into a successful YouTube channel with half a million subscribers, and just this year, my job. I made much stronger friends with the few who stuck it out with me. I made many friends with likeminded people from all over the world. I also started university and pursued my passion for science. I have developed the closest bond with the most amazing man, who I know I want to be with for the rest of my life. And I have emerged a stronger, more resilient and more positive person because of all I've been through. 5 years later and I'm still not in remission. I am still in pain. I still don't know what my future holds. But I've survived. I've gotten through it all, the bad days and the good. I've endured 3 years of chemotherapy. 5 years of steroid therapy. 5 years of total uncertainty, a bajillion doctors appointments, hospitals, blood tests, scans and feeling like a total science experiment. Kicking butt throughout it all. I am a fucking badass. 💪
A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

Luciano made his first ever appearance on my channel, as a 500K subscriber special! And people's comments about him have made my day! Honestly, sometimes I feel like I'm the only youtuber with a nice, supportive comments section. It scares me to go on the comments section of other youtubers. How did I get so lucky?
Anyway, the video is here and you should watch it because Luci is a super funny human being and I'm so happy that I finally got to share him with the world :)

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on
My younger sibling has also been really sick with chronic pain for the last few months, so that's been taking its toll on me emotionally. Having a sick family member is so distressing - and so of course it's brought up a lot of guilt for all the stress I've put the people who love me through when I'm really sick. *Sigh*. But hey, we all love each other and I think that's the most important thing. I just have to keep telling myself that time heals, and be hopeful that things will get better over time.

So here's some more good news, because that all got pretty serious: I appeared on the cover of my local newspaper, Ciao Magazine! I think that my friends and family probably took about half of all of the copies that went out - they were all very excited about it ;) Being recognized locally for the stuff I do is helping to "legitimize" this as a job for me. There's a lot of stigma that goes with running your own business and being a "youtuber" - a lot of people still don't consider it a real job that you should be proud of! But I put a massive amount of work into what I do so god damn it - I'm going to be proud of my job!
A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

Annnnnd I'll finish this post off with a couple of my favourite outfits from the past two months. Because, you know, this was once a fashion blog and all.

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

#ootd wearing a DIY crop top made by me, @eejewellery necklace, thrifted bag and @uniqloau pants 👌 I spent all day yesterday looking for a good, comfy pair of pants, walking around with @goodonyou_app constantly open, and was surprised that uniqlo actually have pretty solid labour standards for their manufacturing! They rate a "B" on the baptist world aid 2016 fashion report for good transparency and traceability & strong systems in place to make sure nothing's made using sweatshop, child or forced labour - although they could be doing better and ensuring that *all* their workers get a living wage. However, what was super shocking was the shopping centre I was at also has stuff like Armani and Givenchy (not that I could ever afford that, I was just curious) and they had *terrible* ethical ratings according to @goodonyou_app 😮 they're worth so much and you can't even be sure they're not from a sweatshop?? What the heck.
A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

I hope that you're all doing well. Sending you all love and positive vibes,

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Monday, 18 July 2016

Outfits of June & July!

Big news: I've been feeling much more myself lately & haven't had to use my mobility scooter for almost two months (wooooo). Because I've been feeling more like myself, I've been able to both dress up again and take a lot more photos of my outfits! My style has been "evolving" lately away from short skirts and cutesy/kitschy into... I don't really know what to call it. But it's different. I literally just donated half of my wardrobe to an op shop because I don't even like much of it anymore! Yeah. I said goodbye to pretty much most of my cutesy dresses. Annika of 2 years ago would have killed future me.

Anyway, here are my most recent outfits!

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

I hope you're all well :)

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

New vids from me!

Hey bloggerino. Google analytics tells me that people still seem to visit you, so I thought I'd update you with all the videos I've been making lately!

Here's 3 new Make Thrift Buys:

3 new Style Pile videos:

And a brand new Outfit Lookbook, where I wear 100% thrifted outfits all week!

As always, much love,

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Friday, 27 May 2016

Some Outfits!

Hey blog, long time no see!

Thought I'd update you on the outfits I've been wearing lately. I've definitely started to be influenced by the 1970s revival that's happening at the moment, and moving more into a monochromatic palette (well, for ME, there's definitely less colour going on. Sometimes.)

Also - I dyed my hair blonde, as you shall see!

Anyway, here's a couple of my favourite outfits from the past couple of months:

A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

Oh, I also got a dog - she is possibly the greatest thing to ever happen to my life. Her name is Ella, and she hangs out with me every weekend when I am feeling sick from chemotherapy/my illness. She's the perfect snuggle buddy/therapy doge! She currently lives at my parents because I can't have dogs at my apartment, but as soon as I move into a pet-friendly place/buy my own place (ha, that's not going to happen with Australian house prices), she will be moving in with me! :D
A photo posted by Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle) on

And some more outfits - with BLONDE hair! Woo!

Hope you're all doing well, and don't forget that you can always catch me on my youtube channel ;)

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My latest videos!

I don't know if anybody even visits this little corner of the internet anymore, but I thought that I would update anybody reading this with my latest videos!

I've made two new Make Thrift Buy's:

Two new Style Pile videos:

And a video on thrifting tips and tricks featuring my beautiful Mum!

And as always, if you want to keep updated on my life/see my outfits/makeup etc, you can follow me on instagram @littlepineneedle or snapchat at annikavictoriah or Patreon, because with everything else going on, it's much more easy for me to update those than it is to update this blog (sorry long-time blog readers, if you're still out there!)

As always, much love,

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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Miss my outfit posts? Follow me on instagram!

I stress myself out that there's some dedicated blog-readers of mine who get really disappointed that I don't post outfit photos anymore. I'm fairly sure that's not true/a thing in the slightest, but my anxiety likes to decide that it is.
Anyyyyyway, I just wanted to pop in to say to those people (who likely don't exist so really I'm talking to nobody here but HEY) - I still post my outfits on the internet! Just not so much on here anymore.
With youtube now taking up a good chunk of my time, going back to uni and the intense fatigue I have from my illness, I never have time to do those dedicated photo-shoots that I used to do for my blog. I kind of miss it, but in a way it's also allowed me to explore my style a little bit more because I don't feel like it's being scrutinized as closely. But although my content-creation has moved more onto showing you how to make clothes rather than how to wear them, I still enjoy taking cute pics when I feel like my outfit is on point.
Instagram is just 10000000x easier to document my outfits, because it doesn't have to be a perfect picture, in good lighting, shot on an SLR with a tripod and edited for 2 hours to balance the colours perfectly etc etc etc (as I'm typing this, I can't believe how much effort I used to put into outfit shots). No. I just have to snap 1 or 2 pictures in the moment and it's done and I can show off my outfit!
I also usually still write a whole bunch of stuff as to why I'm wearing that outfit, what was happening that day etc like I used to do with my blog as well! I also talk a little bit about studying science - although not as much as before. 'Coz like... time constraints. Life. Etc. Haha. I'm still studying part-time and loving it, though!
So basically, if you're not already, and you are missing my outfit posts, then follow me at @littlepineneedle on Instagram (and here's a handy link you can click to take you there as well).
Much love and I hope you're all having a wonderful day (and beginning of a new season!),

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