Why Student Bloggers Should Give Themselves A Break

Annie Pancake // Illustrator

Sometimes I really suck at looking after myself. Actually, a lot of the time I really suck. I can't be the only one that convinces myself that I can actually do everything. I'm the kind of gal who'll say yes to anything - not like that you filthy-minded people - or I'll decide that yes, I am totally capable of smashing out that 40-thing-strong to-do list in the next few hours.

I mentioned a little while ago that I'd started a new 'editorial calendar' for my blog, and I'd been relatively successfully pre-planning and scheduling posts. The problem though is that I'd felt a little detached from my blog - I was writing 10 or so blog posts all at once, scheduling them throughout the month, along with tweets, and then barely touching my camera or my blog for the rest of the time.

I didn't have much idea of what was posting that day, unless I vigilantly checked my calendar. I felt like I was just watching my posts disappear until I'd have 0 scheduled again, and be back to square one.

Annie Pancake // IllustratorObviously, this approach didn't work for me - I was stressing about not having 3 weeks prepped in advance, and every post closer to my last scheduled post I got, the more pressure I felt, and the more I felt like a failure.

If all these other bloggers can do it, why can't I? Was my reasoning.

I'm just not organised enough.

I just spent too much time relaxing and not enough time working.

I didn't nip out of Uni to take photos enough.

I didn't plan enough in advance.

I did what was natural and after lying in bed sobbing because I couldn't do anything right, and feeling dreadfully guilty about lying in bed crying instead of sitting and writing those gosh darn blog posts, it hit me - with some cajoling from my boyfriend.

None of these bloggers are like me.

The bloggers I was putting on a pedestal of consistency, gleaming images, witty and inspiring writing and overwhelming amounts of social media presence, were full time bloggers, or freelancers, or only worked a few days a week, and were big, proper growed-ups.

I was giving myself so much grief for not fitting what everybody else does into half the amount of time. Now, I know not everybody's schedule is the same, but a lot of students - particularly arty people and crazy rocket science people - have actually quite a lot of work to do. I will spend 10-5, 5 days a week in the studio at Uni and still spend my evenings and weekends feeling guilty if I'm not working.

I realised that i'm a student and I will never get this time back. I'm not saying I'm cutting down on blogging in favour of partying, because that's not exactly my vibe, but I'm certainly not going to let myself feel awful about not hitting my three-posts-per-week target this week. I barely even do one interesting thing per week!

You're here to learn, to make friends and 'discover yourself'. Your blog will still be there at the end of it, and so will readers and PRs and everyone else that you're worried about.

I'm not saying don't blog, I'm just saying give yourself a break and just enjoy blogging.

'A' Game

Annie Pancake // Monochrome Raglan Initial Tee and Comfy Black Skinny Jeans

It's been so long since I did an outfit post! I'm back to trying to get one up once a week or so, as I miss them. Probably part of the lack of outfits - aside from the abysmal weather and my busy schedule - is due to the fact that I recently bought a pair of jeans and for a while, I felt like jean-based outfits weren't "good enough" for outfit posts, so I didn't photograph them. Until now! I finally decided to get a *good* photo of me in them - I persuaded myself to get a pair from Topshop - the Joni stretch kind that are high waisted. I went for a really big size (for me) so that the waist was a little looser, and the legs weren't quite so skin-tight. I've been thinking of getting a pair of black jeans for so long, and these seemed like a studio-appropriate pair for days when lots of paint or long shifts are involved.

The great thing about now owning skinny jeans is that I can now buy t-shirts! I fell in love with this stripy, initialled Raglan top from River Island - I have always loved them and had a few plain ones in my indie kid days, but now I have a sweet, cropped one WITH MY INITIAL ON IT. I have started a weird little collection, evidently, of things with 'A' on it - a big shiny ornament, a mug and now this. I've been loving wearing it, and a few other new tees with the jeans - everything is so comfortable, and that's what's important to me these days!

I've had an insanely stressful week of deadlines (again - when do I not, eh?) but it was actually pretty rewarding. I've been working on an entry to a competition that I can't wait to share everywhere after the submission date, and I feel really proud of how it turned out. Luckily the past few days I've been at least out of jeans and into a few skirts and I'm looking forward to blogging, eating and celebrating!

Annie Pancake // Monochrome Raglan Initial Tee and Comfy Black Skinny Jeans Annie Pancake // Monochrome Raglan Initial Tee and Comfy Black Skinny Jeans

Future Life Goals: Screenshots I Send to Martin

Annie Pancake // Minimal Home Inspo

I suppose I don't live quite the ordinary 'student life'. My house is mostly not a dump. My living situation is on the whole, a fairly privileged situation. I have a long-term and fairly serious relationship with Martin and we speak pretty openly about how we want (wish) the rest of our lives to turn out. 

It's nice to be able to be frank with someone, without the fear of worrying what the other person is thinking, whether they think you're moving too fast, whether you're scaring them. This kind of assurance is exciting, as it means you get to plan, and be excited about the future with someone and honestly, anyone who knows me well will know that planning is one of my favourite things (not necessarily something I'm good at, but I enjoy it.)

The internet, as I'm sure you're well aware, is filled with a never ending stream of beautiful, inspiring stuff that I want, and being the materialist that I am, I get a bit overwhelmed with the desire to have all of that, and often feel a little pang of jealousy that I am not quite in the point in my life where I can put all this inspiration to use. I often remedy that by planning for the day that I will, pinning and saving and accumulating all the loveliness so that when the time comes to search for a sofa, I will somehow summon all of the seating-related beauty that has ever crossed my path.

Back to my point - part of this little ritual is sending these 'life goals' to Martin, mainly to check he agrees that it is indeed a beautiful kitchen and yes, we would definitely swap the carpet for the original floorboards underneath. I (or should I say we, heh) have dreams of well sculpted sofas, gleaming white walls andva delicate balance of newness, vintage and dogs functioning as blankets. I thought it would be sweet to scroll back through the archives of our Hangouts messages and show you some of the photos I've accumulated over time. 

1. gh0stparties| 2. gh0stparties| 3.*| 4. *| 5. jesussauvage| 6. ahem...gh0stparties| 7.MermaidGossip| 8. domaine home

*I couldn't find the original link to these images - they seem to be the Tumblr black hole kind of images that never find their rightful owner. If anyone knows the original owner please let me know!

What's In My Bag: Art Student

Annie Pancake // The 'Whats In My Bag' of an Art Student

So the other day I was rummaging around in my bag for something or other when it occurred to me how ridiculous my 'Whats in my bag' would be. I love seeing these when they're a bit more honest, which is the nature of mine, so I decided to do one. Being an art student, 5 times out of 7 I have a massive bag full of crap that I have to lug from my house to various places around Uni. The dilemma is that I am not as productive at home, but all my art stuff is there. Here's two of the *smaller* bags I take to uni.

Annie Pancake // The 'Whats In My Bag' of an Art Student
I actually had to narrow down what I photographed for this post (yeah, I left out the receipts, bits of paper and 42 bobby pins) but they were in there. The sheer number of pens, paintbrushes, rubbers, sharpeners, bulldog clips, glue sticks etc that accumulate in there would have ruined the picture, but you are starting to get a sense of how much I cart around for fear of wishing I had after 10 minutes in the studio. 

Still, some of my *absolute essentials* that I take with me to Uni are as follows: A notepad - probably not unusual for any student I don't think, but we need to take notes at any given moment (lecturers tend to descend on you and bombard you with fantastic advice that you'd do well to write down) My now decidedly battered Michael Kors purse, pens, pencils, paintbrushes and my new favourite gouache paints.

Annie Pancake // The 'Whats In My Bag' of an Art Student

Another less unusual necessity is my headphone, vital for when you are procrastinating and you need to actually isolate yourself and focus on gettin' shit done. Probably more unusual to have *constantly with you* is tea, and teabags. My gal pals and I have started bringing tea and milk to the studio now that they have removed the Starbucks kiosk in our building. Tea is  V I T A L  for studio survival. I take ordinary tea bags for days we buy milk (I am suffering through with Sainsbury's own teabags at current - woe is me) but I also bring my jasmine tea leaves for days when we have no milk. This is my favourite kind of green tea, and I much prefer the leaves to tea bags. 

Annie Pancake // The 'Whats In My Bag' of an Art Student

Finally, I've become one of those hand cream people. Only I'm not because I basically just carry it around and forget about it. But the idea is that I have it on me to help with my resolution of not 'picking' at my nails. If my cuticles are soft and smooth, it's a lot easier to not pick. 

 I feel like I'm not the only one who just carries this kind of thing around with good intentions??

In Nottingham // The Pudding Pantry and Pancakes

Annie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and Pancakes

Annie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and PancakesAnnie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and PancakesAnyone that knows me knows that I love pancakes, thought it is surprisingly not the reason for my blog name and it's been pancakes that have pulled me back to Pudding Pantry for sneaky midweek breakfasts with Martin. As you might have guessed, The Pudding Pantry has an array of dazzling homemade puddings to tempt you. However, I always go for the pancakes (Maple-bacon and available all day)  See my other posts about places in Nottingham here and here.

Annie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and Pancakes

Annie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and PancakesI mentioned about the design of the place in my previous 'In Notts' post, and this post will be no different! Pudding Pantry sits in an unusual location - super central and next to an enormous TK Maxx. It's situated in one of the enormous, glass-walled super modern buildings that also house a Cafe Nero, PC World, etc, and so this place ends up flooded with light. The decor appeals to my taste of interior design: white, white, everywhere white, with wooden floors and *plant related art* - those pictures are actually available for purchase and I want want want.

Annie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and Pancakes

Annie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and PancakesThe coffee is tasty, the foam is creamy and they make milkshakes which are insane. All the food (O, delicious pancakes) comes out on blue and white enamel-coated plates - be still my heart. I really want to try out the various *actual puddings* at some point so I will most definitely be back.

Annie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and PancakesAnnie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and PancakesNottingham has such a good reputation for independent food and coffee places, and this is definitely up there in the top. It's another one that gets pretty bustling and busy, and it is great to be sitting amongst people studying and ladies quaffing wine with lunch. I also have a friend who works here (hi Melissa!) which makes it extra special. If you're in Notts looking for somewhere to lunch, give it a try!

Annie Pancake // In Notts: Pudding Pantry - Light and Airy Coffee and Pancakes

Valentines Day Snaps with Martin

Annie Pancake // Valentines Day Snaps

Dammit, I love Valentines Day. The other day, I read 'things that single people hate that couples do' and amongst some very valid points, there were things such as 'holding hands' and 'sharing dessert'. Turn up the love, man. 

With that in mind, I thought I'd share/subject you to some pictures that Martin and I took this Valentines day. Being a photographer, he's wanted "proper" pictures of us for ages, and Valentines day seemed like a perfect opportunity for some cute-as-hell bonding time. I set up a little shoot in front of some Christmas lights and martin set up a tripod and these are what we got. 

Hope you had a sweet day! 

Annie Pancake // Valentines Day Snaps Annie Pancake // Valentines Day Snaps Annie Pancake // Valentines Day Snaps Annie Pancake // Valentines Day Snaps

Happy Valentines Day + Free Download


Hi everyone! Happy Valentines day! Apologies if you don't feel fantastic about this holiday, but for those that do, here's a sweet little downloadable on me, for free, in the form of a desktop background. Equally, if V-day makes you feel poop, feel free to download this anyway as a reminder of how yummy you are. I'll be back soon with holiday snaps. You can download it in several sizes here! x