Monday, 24 June 2019

21 THINGS TO DO BEFORE I TURN 21

Posing outside the Guinness storehouse in Dublin
As of Wednesday, it will be one year and 6 months until my next big birthday. And in true Fran style, I've written a list of 21 things I would like to do before I turn 21.

01. Move out. I'm moving out 81 days, so this is one that I can tick off very soon.

02. Live in a different city. I'm moving to York so that's another one to tick off the list. I've never been to York so it'll be a completely new experience that will force me out of my comfort zone. 

03. Pass my first year of university. After being out of education for over a year, it's going to be hard adjusting to the system again but I'm positive that I will make it through the first of four years at university. 

04. Climb a mountain. Becca and I have spoken about climbing Mount Snowdon in Wales over the summer, nothing has been planned but it's going to happen. Speaking it into existence!

05. Treat myself to something designer. This is materialistic but I have had my eye on various designer items over the years but I've never been able to justify buying any of it, my 21st is the perfect excuse.

06. Learn a new skill. I want to be able to do coffee art, calligraphy or something creative like actually being able to use all the functions on my Olympus Pen.

07. Do something different with my hair. I've never done anything different with my hair and I want to switch up my look. I've wanted to dye it jet black for years but I know dying curly hair can be really damaging and I don't know if it's worth it.

08. Run a marathon. This is my second year in the ballot to do the London marathon in 2020, if I get pulled then that's another thing to tick off my list. 

09. Go vegan for a week. I could never be a full-time vegan, I enjoy cheese too much but once I move out and I'm buying my own groceries, I'm going to attempt veganism for a week. 

10. Apply for British citizenship and get a British passport. I've passed my life in the UK test and B1 English language exam. All I need to do now is fill in and send off my application for British citizenship and wait for approval. 

11. Volunteer. Back in 2014, I took part in NCS and I would love to go back as an NCS graduate and be a team leader. 

12. Learn to change a tyre. I've been driving for 2 years and I still can't change a tyre. The last time my tyre needed changing I called RAC to do it for me. 

13. Bungee jump. I did a skydive back in March and conquered my fear of heights and now I'm ready to conquer my fear of falling. 

14. Take a solo trip somewhere. After reading Emmanuela's post about her solo trip to Paris, I was left feeling inspired. My first solo trip can be abroad or to another UK city, for a weekend or a week. Something to trigger my comfort zone.

15. Apply for a summer internship or work experience/shadowing role. You get 3-4 months off during university for summer and I can't think of a better way to pass the time than by doing something that will boost my cv.

16. See more natural wonders. Can you tell I love Geography? This year alone I've seen Giant's Causeway, the Dark Hedges, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. 

17. Get my first 'big' tattoo. Currently, I have 5 little tattoos but I'm very eager to get a big piece on my back, calf, thigh or upper-inner arm in the next few months to a year.

18. Save to go travelling. My travel bucket list fills half a notebook, there are so many places I want to visit for specific reasons, mainly to see geographical landforms or celebrate their national holiday. E.g. Celebrate St Patrick's day in Dublin and see Giant's Causeway - both of which I ticked off back in March. I'm currently saving to do a tour of Southeast Asia, would you be interested in a travel series? Where I talk about saving from scratch, planning etc

19. Get a new piercing. I've been umming and arring about getting my daith or rook pierced for years, this is the year I do it!

20. Start saving for a mortgage. I feel like I'm too young to be thinking about this but one of my goals in life is to own a property. I've always lived in rented houses and moved from place to place. I can't wait to settle in one place and make it feel like my home and not like I'm living in someone else's space temporarily.

21. Plan and host my 90's themed party. I've never had a birthday party due to being born on a festive bank holiday but for my 21st, I'm hoping to throw a 90's themed party 2 weekends before my actual birthday.

Read my last bucket list: 18 THINGS BEFORE 18

Fran
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Thursday, 20 June 2019

FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING

A shot of me wearing a navy and white striped t shirt dress, black gladiator sandals with a burgundy satchel
Age 15
Saturday 22nd June marks 5 years since I started my blog. I can't believe I've managed to keep this sh*t going despite receiving a lot of hate and criticism because of it. 

I started FRANCISCA ROCKEY formerly known as 'Fran's World', 'Fran & CO' and franciscarockey.blogspot.co.uk back in 2014. I remember coming home from Summertime Ball with my friends and waking up the next morning and saying "I'm going to start my blog". I had no idea where to start but I'd been an avid reader of Zoe Sugg's old blog for the longest time and saw that her site was made using Blogger and so I started my blog on Blogger and 5 years later, I'm still using blogger but have my own domain. 

Originally, I started my blog as 'my slice of the internet to blog about fashion, beauty and lifestyle'. My first ever blog post was a review of the Eyeko skinny liquid liner, I sourced an image of it from Google instead of taking my own and I was yet to learn how to describe things without using words straight out the Blogger dictionary like "fool proof", "perfect" and "sleek".

Confession, I've never been into makeup and wear it a handful of times a year and I only blogged about it because I felt I had to, to be a blogger. This was before I discovered other types of blogs and is one of the reasons, I no longer blog about makeup or accept beauty related PR. It's just not me, I tried to get into it but I'm far too comfortable being barefaced 24\7. 


My first attempt at fashion blogging was in summer of 2015. This blog post was deleted in 2016 due to a group of boys who thought it would be funny to laugh about it during an A level Maths class but I'm not 16 anymore and still have the photos so here, have another giggle:
A two picture collage of me wearing a striped t-shirt dress with a camel coat, sliders, a satchel and fedora hat
July or August 2015
Fashion blogging was definitely NOT my calling so I gave up on the fashion element very quickly, which left me with lifestyle and this is when I found myself in this industry. Writing about my day to day, sharing tips and advice, food, day trips and holidays etc came more naturally to me than any other type of blogging, so I stuck with it. 
Pushing a trolley into platform 9 3/4 at Harry Potter studios
November 2017
One of my favourite lifestyle posts is from 2017 when I took my sister to the Harry Potter Studios for her birthday. The photography wasn't the best, I had an iPhone 4s or 6s plus at the time. I also enjoy going back and reading my posts from when I finished my GCSEs particularly, 'So... What Next?' a post about my post 16 plans and how I wanted to 'pursue a career in either Nursing or Marketing and go to either Kings College, Edinburgh, Leeds or Manchester university'. Boy have I changed. 

Fast forward to March 2018, the month I started to take my blog seriously. This is the month I bought my first Pipdig theme, which at the time was a big deal but following that Pipdig drama, now feels like a slap in the face. I bought my domain, franciscarockey.co.uk from Godaddy and my "Instagram game was poppin" as they say.  

A few months later, I had my first "blogger" shoot with Jodie Mitchell, I'm not the most confident when I'm having my photo taken and for years, I didn't show my face on my blog or Instagram so this shoot was a big deal for me. 
A side profile shot of me wearing jeans, a floral crop top taken by a professional photographer
July 2017
And now we're in 2019. It's 2 days until my blog's 5th birthday and 6 months until I turn 20. My blog is now 'a no-bullshit blog documenting the journey that is adulthood'. I am not just a lifestyle blogger, I am a podcast host and soon to be a student again, a geography student to 16-year-old Fran's surprise.
A side profile shot of me wearing a black tea dress taken at the Moonpig Mother's Day event taken by a photographer
March 2019
I've had so many opportunities already this year and I'm excited to see where another year of blogging can take me. I'd also like to take this moment to say a huge thank you for the continued support on my blog, Instagram and podcast. All of your comments, reshares, shoutouts etc don't go unnoticed, I see them all and each of them warms my heart.

Read my post from last year: REFLECTING ON FOUR YEARS OF BLOGGING


Fran

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Monday, 10 June 2019

A FIRST TIMER'S GUIDE TO FESTIVALS

A shot of me crouching down next to ankle deep mud
Festival season is upon us and it has dawned on me that I've never seen a blog post with tips for first-time festival goers. I've been going to festivals every year since I was 14/15 from Summertime ball to Reading festival and last weekend, I went to Parklife and now I consider myself a festival veteran. 

WHICH FESTIVAL IS FOR ME?
I've been to Summertime ball, River festival, Wireless (twice), Reading festival (twice) and Parklife but there are over 50 music festivals in the UK. To name a few, Lovebox, Glastonbury, Bestival, Download. Each festival offers different genres of music so you're guaranteed to find one that suits your music taste and on Skiddle you can use the festival finder to find upcoming festivals around the country. 

HOW DO I GET THERE?
Train, minibus (if you're going in a large group), drive (most camping festivals have parking sites) or coach. Most festivals offer a service run by Big Green coach, return tickets are usually under £60 to and from the festival entrance. Check out their website to see if a festival you're hoping to attend or attending is on there!

WHAT DO I PACK?
If you're camping at a festival, here's what you need:
- Sleeping bag (from a charity shop, Argos, decathlon, Amazon)
- A good quality tent (if you're going in a two, get a four-man tent for extra room)
- Hoodie and joggers (for cold nights)
- Outfit for each day (mix and match if you want to pack light)
- Torch
- Dry snacks (biscuits, cereal bars, crisps, crackers)
- Cheap mixers and alcohol (alcohol at festivals is extortionate, you've been warned)
- Toothbrush, mouthwash
- Litre bottles of water or a bucket to fill up at water stations (to brush your teeth, wash your face)
- Baby wipes (showers don't exist in the middle of nowhere so you'll have to baby wipe yourself clean for a couple days)
- Tissues (to put in your bumbag for the portaloos)
- Hand sanitiser (with no running water, you'll be relying on this)
- A small mirror (for doing your hair and makeup in the morning)
- Fluffy socks (again, it gets cold at night)
- Bin bags (for rubbish, dirty or wet clothes and shoes)
- Welly boots, walking boots or old trainers 
- Camping chairs (optional)
- Suncream (safety first)
- Sunglasses (to wear on your head for the aesthetics or to protect your eyes from the sun)
- Glitter (lots and lots)
- Neon paint (silent discos, evening artists)
- Plastic poncho or raincoat (British weather is unpredictable)
- Bumbag (a waterproof one if you can)
- Portable charger(s)
- Disposable camera (optional)

ADVICE FOR CAMPERS
- Arrive early to pitch your tent, the only way to guarantee a good camping spot
- Don't padlock your tent, you're attracting thieves. Just leave your valuables at home.
- Take earplugs, festival-goers don't sleep. It'll be 3am and people will be shouting some sort of football chant or "Steve", "Alan". You've been warned!

WHERE CAN I BUY CUTE FITS?
I buy my festival outfits from Depop, eBay, Prettylittlething, Boohoo, ASOS, Forever 21, SHEIN, Romwe, Zaful and Primark. Here's a list of other online festival wear sites that @Kelsierainx0x0 posted on Twitter: 
A list of rave and festival wear shops

Are you heading to a festival this year?

Fran
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Monday, 3 June 2019

JUNE TO DO LIST

Me in a black jumpsuit looking up at a model giraffe in the natural history museum
June, the month where you look back at your new year's resolutions and go "shit, I haven't achieved any of these". Can you believe that we are six months into 2019? Nope, neither can I. I've done so much already this year and there is still so much I am yet to do, both planned and unplanned. For me, June marks the beginning of summer but technically summer doesn't start until the summer solstice which is on June 21st but whatever. Here's to more sunshine, more evenings spent in the local beer garden, Love Island and creating  memories with my gal pals! 

01. WRITE A SUMMER BUCKET LIST 
As many of you are aware by now, I'm moving to York in 102 days and going to university. Before I go back to being stressed about assignments, deadlines and exams, I intend to live my best life and the best way to ensure that I do just that is to write a list of things I would like to do and see over the next 14 weeks

02. SAVE 3 MONTHS RENT
This is going to take a little longer than the month of June but from now until September, I'm going to be putting money aside to contribute to the rent for my flat in York

03. MEET MORE FELLOW BLOGGERS
A lot of my blogging friends have now finished uni for good and I'm excited to finally be able to meet them, shoot content, grab a bite to eat. Jasmine, Yossy, Lucy etc. time to hmu! 

04. ORGANISE A GIRLS NIGHT OUT
I don't remember the last time I got white girl wasted and I'm due a night to get white girl wasted with my gal pals. I'm thinking Junkyard golf or Ballie ballerson, somewhere fun with good vibes and funky cocktails 

05. UPDATE MY BLOG PAGES
I haven't updated my contact, disclaimer and about me pages in way over a year. So, I should probably get round to doing that at some point as I'm sure they are a little outdated, oops

Posts you may have missed from last month:
A peek inside the world's biggest Primark 
Things I wish I knew when I started blogging 
A timeless classic to add to your jewellery collection
An exclusive first look at Watford's new Slug & Lettuce

What's on you to do list for the month of June?

Fran
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