Welcome to Victoria’s Favorites! In this new lifestyle column, you will find the latest grabs from the best brands, as well as the top hits from music, entertainment, and more!
My name is Victoria Giardina, and I am a freshman at the College of New Jersey studying journalism and professional writing, with a minor in communication studies. I am also performing independent research at Columbia University on investigative journalism and global media. With my love for writing, up-to-date research of the best products and lifestyle must-haves, and adoration for beauty and products that scream “girly girl," I created this column. To be featured in the next column, send your questions to @victoriagiardina on Instagram!
Summer is the time of new beginnings (so it is definitely a busy season!), but I also spend my free time doing things I absolutely love and enjoy what each day brings.
From starting an internship in NYC, to ending my first year at college (all tied together with a formal after too many final presentations and exams), celebrating two years with my boyfriend, and preparing for a trip to Italy next month, I am forever grateful for all of these gifts and experiences that I have been blessed with. Take a look at some things I am grateful for:
Favorite #1: Anastasia “Venus" Lip Gloss
Purchase the product here , $16.00
I am a sucker for extremely glossy lip products to apply toward the middle of my bottom lip. First starting with chapstick and then following with a lipstick (my favorite right now has been “Bare Pop" by Clinique), applying a gloss-based product afterward is the cherry on top and adds a dollop of flavor to your makeup look! I have recently picked up the Anastasia lip gloss in the shade Venus: the perfect clear and creamy color to wear with any shade.
I also have been loving the Avon lip gloss in the shade “Iced Pink," which was gifted to me by my boyfriend’s mother and have been wearing it practically every day since I have received it. Anything pink—whether it’s lip products, blushes, nail polishes—is my favorite, and I absolutely love this gloss as well.
Similar colors can be found at Sally’s Beauty Supply, an amazing beauty destination for hair, nails, beauty, and salon products! Check them out here .
Whether I am getting ready in the morning to run to class or spend a night getting glam for a party, glossy lips are always the move. Definitely check out Seventeen Magazine and Lauren Conrad for beauty tips. I always referenced their books and articles as a teenager to learn about girly beauty, fashion, and lifestyle trends!
Favorite #2: A Love Letter Life: Pursue Creatively. Date Intentionally. Love Faithfully. By Jeremy Roloff
Let me start by saying that this book was SO refreshing to read. There are not enough books on traditional dating and how a romantic relationship is supposed to be modeled after, and this book was truly a pleasure to read.
The love story throughout the pages enlightens the reader on sacrifice, intentional actions and everlasting harmony based on his love story with his wife, Audrey. Zooming into some hardships they had faced, the journey all the way to their wedding day is heartfelt and inspiring, inspiring to those searching for a relationship or desiring to strengthen their own. Through their devout and conscientious experience as a couple, their mission is to encourage readers to never settle and to always be grateful and connective in a world where dating is transformed by technology, social media, and unfaithful values.
Told in a Christian perspective, sharing love letters has been imperative in a long-distance relationship and their timeless approach to dating is something we can all learn from and appreciate.
Purchase the book here —please. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Favorite #3: Learning Journalism and Communications!
The never-ending hamster wheel of exams, presentations, studying, and papers can often lead to a student falling off the tracks. However, I have loved every second learning about journalism and communications and have already noticed an improvement in my writing and in analyzing communication methods.
This past semester, I took four classes: two journalism and professional writing courses and two communication studies courses offered at the College of New Jersey. These included Introduction to Journalism (JPW 208), Writing for Interactive Media (JPW 250), Introduction to Communication Theory (COM 103), and Introduction to Television Studies (COM 118).
One of my favorite memories were not only the skills I have learned, but also how engaging the courses were. In one of my classes, I picked up the New York Times each day and analyzed the writing style of stories on the front page and other sections. From mock news conferences in class to writing papers about how “Full House" and “Gossip Girl" were produced, all the way to creating an original television show proposal and incorporating all elements of distribution, streaming techniques and uniqueness, I could not have asked for a better semester!
COM 118 was an extremely interesting class- each chapter of my required text was a new television show and provided insight from media scholars on how revenue, advertising, production methods and audience engagement played a great role in the overall show. I was able to strengthen my digital media skills by improving my digital portfolio - and even learned how to navigate iMovie editing software in only a few hours for an audio reporting assignment .
I loved coming back from class and getting a headstart on each paper I had to write and fully integrating all the resources I had taken with me to tell a different story each time. I worked on a long-form enterprise story for one of my courses about audience engagement in the broadcast journalism industry (those interviews were truly conversations as the topic peaked my interest) and I am so grateful for the great programs I am studying at the Department of Arts & Communication at TCNJ. Next stop, sophomore fall semester!
Favorite #4: Journaling
Confession time: I seriously have to stop purchasing cute, spiral journals from Target and Barnes & Noble. It is an obsession, I admit, but having a time to journal each evening keeps me in a calm headspace and is something that is a creative outlet for me.
I have a few journals (as everyone should, obviously). Here are some of them:
One of my journals is strictly for writing down new vocabulary words and phrases I would like to incorporate into my future writing
Another journal is for content ideas and article suggestions for online publication,
Another journal (or three, oops) is dedicated for writing down poems, attaching movie stubs, and for documenting all the adorable messages received from and the adventures I have gone on with from my boyfriend (such an awesome keepsake!)
A journal my best friend made me: filled with pictures and memories (note to Zory: we have to start filling out more pages again!)
A sketchbook for more creative and artistic moods (filled with too many doodles of flowers)
One of my favorite journals is to write down daily devotions, Bible verses, and inspirational quotes, even saving some of the pages for memories I want to share with others in the future
There is no secret for journaling. Yes, the pages can become messy- you may spill coffee over an entry and you may have to cross things out and edit every now and then, but that is the beauty of opening your life up to creativity. It is definitely a therapeutic process and I always play a soothing sounds playlist from Spotify, completely unplugged from technology and completely focusing on writing words on a page. Collecting new journals and adding to your written collection is wonderful, so I encourage you to head to Target, indulge in the must-have, spiral-bound, floral notebook and get to writing!
Favorite #5: Frutta Bowls
Because Frutta Bowls is conveniently just a block off campus, I go there almost. every. day.
Their cute, little bowls are super delectable and healthy, and offer the perfect energy boost for the rest of the day. I quite honestly believe I have tried almost every bowl on the menu, but my favorites are the frutella bowl (who doesn’t love Nutella?) and the fiji bowl, chock-full of fruit, granola, and honey—a heavenly combo.
I love meeting my friends at Frutta Bowls around 12:30 for a light lunch after a busy morning of classes and I find it gives me a great amount of the daily nutrients I need.
My best friend even gave me a gift card for my birthday and I believe it was fully used within a week. When I was little (and honestly, still to this day), people always told me that I eat like a bird, snacking every few hours throughout the day in preference over three large meals a day. Hence, Frutta Bowls is a wonderful shop where I have been almost every day throughout May.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH:
Kristin asked, “Any tips for saving money in college?"
Everyone’s financial situation is a bit different, but I definitely recommend getting an on-campus job and saving a large chunk of each paycheck. It will eventually add up, and you will be happy you put a good amount aside.
That being said, make sure to go out and get ice cream with friends every so often—saving is good, but excessive saving can be unhealthy. Hope that helps!