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Friday, March 22, 2019

I don't know about you, but I always have a favourite spot that I like to write my blog posts. 

At the moment it's the dining room table in my house. It's right under a skylight so on sunny I get all that natural light and warmth. 

I feel like the location of where you write is something that can really make a difference to your writing. If you haven't found your ideal spot yet, this week's post is just for you! Here are 3 places I'd recommend writing in at least once! 

1. Library
I always feel the itch to write here. When you're surrounded by the works of so many incredible writers, it's hard to not want to put your own thoughts to paper. Inspiration is everywhere you look. I'm sure if you were to pick a book at random, you'd find at least one thing - whether that be a quote, a word or an image - that you could run with. The quiet in the library is also really comforting. Everyone is in their own little worlds. It's a great spot for those who are easily distracted by noise. 

2. Local Cafe
Cafes are perfect for those who like to snack while they work. I'm definitely this kind of person. If you don't mind background chatter or the sound of plates clanging, you should be able to write for hours here. There's always a lot happening in cafes but sometimes that sort of busy environment can help you to want to get things done. 

3. Outdoors
Natural light is really important to me when I write, as I mentioned in my intro. If I can't claim the dining room table (because another family member is working there), the balcony or front yard are just as good. If there's a park or field close by your house, you could carry a notebook and pen and sit yourself there to write. The combination of nature and fresh air are sure to start an avalanche of ideas and inspiration. 

Q: Where is your favourite place to write?
Thanks for reading!

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Three weeks ago, I started my second year at Uni. 

It was inevitable this year was going to be harder than the first, I just didn’t realise how early on it would hit me. Since Uni started, my course work and assignments are all that I can think about. During the break, I didn’t have a lot to do work-wise. I definitely owe it to this blog for giving my creative side something to do during that time. I actually enjoy studying so having my blog was a great way to practice self-discipline outside of the classroom. Meeting the Friday deadline each week was my way of keeping my inner-student happy.

Last year, I had quite a good system for getting my blog posts and Uni assignments done on time. Because of this, I imagined this year to be a piece of cake.

Sadly, I can’t say it has been all that easy.

Yes, I still managed to get a post up last week and the week before, but I can’t say I was overly pleased with how they turned out. They definitely felt very slap-dash to me. To be honest, even this post feels a bit messy and all over the place. Probably because I’m multitasking between writing this and working on my typography posters in InDesign.

I know I’m not the only blogger out there who has to manage their blog alongside other commitments. It’s like both things are battling for my attention and when I dedicate too much time to one, I feel guilty for not tending to the other. It’s all about finding that happy medium.

I guess this post is another way for me to let you guys know that my content might be a little rough these next few weeks. Just until I get a handle on this whole balancing act thing. I really want to keep putting content out so I don’t think a break is necessary at this time. I think after 6 months away from Uni, I’m still learning to adjust to my new weekly schedule. There's no doubt that the more I work at it, the easier it'll get.

Q: What tips do you have for balancing blogging with other things?

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, March 8, 2019

I recently got Procreate on my iPad and have absolutely loved the program so far. 

Before Procreate, I created all of my digital drawings on Photoshop, using my Wacom Intuos tablet. Drawing on my iPad is such a different experience from drawing on my computer. Since I've already documented my Photoshop process on my blog, I thought doing the same for my iPad would be a good idea as well. 

Let me now if you'd like to see more drawing blog posts! 

Step 1: The Initial Sketch
For this step, I used the 6B pencil to quickly draw out how I wanted my picture to look. The image on the left was one I found off Pinterest. I attached it to the side of my drawing so I could constantly refer to it. 

Step 2: Darkening The Outline
The next thing I did was take the dry ink brush and go over all my important lines. This was in preparation for my next step which was adding colour. Having a sharper outline made me more aware of where I was colouring. 

Step 3: Colour And Tonal Variation
Once I'd finished colouring my drawing with the round brush tool, I decided to go in with the soft brush to give it some tonal variation. For this drawing, I started with the face and then worked my way outwards. 

Step 4: The Hair Texture
For the hair strokes, I used the dry ink brush again. I varied the thickness of the strokes to give the hair more volume. 

Step 5: The Sweater
Finally, I added some cross hatching on the sweater to somewhat resemble the material in the picture. 

And that's it! Here's my completed picture. I think this took around one and a bit hours. This process appears pretty straightforward however there's a lot more erasing and redrawing that goes on behind the scenes. I obviously couldn't include all of that otherwise this post would have been quite a bit longer! 

Q: Have you used Procreate before?
Thanks for reading! 

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Friday, March 1, 2019

If someone were to ask me what the first step to creating a blog was, I'd say decide on a niche. 

A friend came to me the other day with a very clear topic for the blog she was wanting to start. She knew what she wanted to write about and had a very obvious passion and excitement for it. There's no doubt that a niche gives a blog purpose and direction. When you're starting a blog from scratch, it's definitely dictates a lot of what you do. Everything from the header to the imagery to the colour palette of your page somewhat correlates to your blog's niche. There's a lot of pressure when choosing, knowing how much influence this one overarching idea has. 

For me, figuring out what I wanted to write about was the hardest step of all. For ages, I couldn't bring myself to consider the 'Lifestyle' niche. I feared it was way too broad. Yet even when I did manage to hone in on a slightly smaller topic, I was still left unsatisfied. I couldn't imagine myself writing about it for years and years to come. 

Which is another thing I want to talk about. 

Can you change your niche part way into your blogging journey? If you've spent so many years establishing yourself as a certain type of blogger and you suddenly decide you want to do something different, is that erasing all the hard work and effort you've spent getting your blog to where it is? That's a conundrum I'm sure many bloggers have found themselves in. Writing about something they love, gaining a good readership then suddenly falling out of love with it and only writing for their readers. In fact, I've seen this happen in YouTubers too. They post videos that they know their loyal viewers will love. Even if this means sacrificing their own happiness in the process. 

So how important is a blogging niche? I still think having a niche is a fundamental part of creating a blog however I don't think there's anything wrong with drifting outside of that niche or after a while, deciding you don't actually want a niche at all. This turned out to be quite the essay, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. 

Q: How did you decide on your blogging niche?
Thanks for reading! 

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Friday, February 22, 2019

I absolutely loved my Room Tour 2018 post and it seemed a lot of you guys liked it too! 

I was planning on doing a 2019 version the moment the new year rolled around but I thought I'd wait until around the same time I published my first one so that that there was more of a one year gap between them. 

I've been comparing the photos and I can't say the changes are drastic but it's still interesting to see what's moved and what hasn't. Another thing you'll notice - if you saw my first Room Tour - is that I'm actually showing my closet space in this post. It was a complete mess last year but this year I decided to pull my act together and make it look super clean and presentable for these photos. I colour coordinated my clothes and I must admit, it makes me a lot happier to open my closet doors every morning. 


My photo wall is a new feature of my room. These are actually the photos I got from Printiki a couple months back. I have some of my favourite childhood photos up there as well as photos with family and friends. 


In my last post, I briefly mentioned my obsession with pigs. I don't have a lot of pig themed room decor items but I do have a couple that you might spot in these photos!


I've been doing quite a bit of reading this year. I completed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (which I got myself for Christmas) and I recently finished the Crazy Rich Asians series which I devoured in just over a week. 


Q: How often do you reorganise your room?
Thanks for reading!

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Did you know that this year is the Year of the Pig? 

The Chinese calendar starts and ends around February so even though January 1st has been and gone, this post is still relevant! 

I have a really good feeling about this year. Even though I was born in the Year of the Rabbit, the Year of the Pig still holds a very special place in my heart. Ever since I was a child, I've had an immense love for the adorable pink animal. For that very reason, I'm counting on 2019 to be a great one. This year is my year and it can be your year too! Here are three ways to have the best year ever!

Pick up a New Hobby
Expand your skillset by picking up a new hobby. Give anything and everything a try. You don't know what will happen, you may just have an amazing hidden talent that you're yet to discover. Be adventurous and don't just think about where you know your strengths lie. It's a great chance for you to challenge yourself and your abilities, and I can guarantee you'll have a lot of fun in the process! 

Explore Somewhere New
Go overseas, see the world! Or just as good, find somewhere in your city or town that you've never been to before. It's important to change up your surroundings when you can. Sometimes we get too caught up in our weekly routines that the places we know so well start to feel boring to us. The best way to make new memories is to step outside of these places for a little while and experience what else is out there. It can be as extravagant as a trip to Spain or as simple as a day hike with friends. If you're allowing yourself to break away from familiarity every once in a while, then you're definitely on the road to creating a really great year for yourself. 

Meet New People
Last but not least, meet people! Put yourself out there and don't be afraid to start a conversation with someone you don't know. They may just turn into a best friend for life. The people you surround yourself can have a massive impact on your year so be sure to stay in the company of people that make you happy and bring out the best in you. 

Q: What's your Chinese zodiac animal?
Thanks for reading?

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Friday, February 8, 2019

As you may or may not know, I recently came back from an overseas holiday. I've been wanting to write a blog post on the topic of flying for the longest time now and since I've just been travelling, I figured this would be one of the best times to do it. 

Ever since I can remember, I've hated flying.  

The airplane itself is only half the problem. I dread the whole process beforehand as well. From checking in to security to waiting to board, all I can think about it the x hour flight awaiting me. The moment I set foot in an airport, it's like a switch goes off and I'm suddenly in full panic mode. Before I know it, I'm in the worst possible mindset and am having the most irrational thoughts about how the flight is going to go. 

The fact that I freak myself out before even boarding means that when I do finally get into my seat, I'm half-wanting to run out the cabin door and not look back. When I'm on the plane, nothing and no-one can distract me. I'm already too deep into my own thoughts. My family - who I travel with the most - are so supportive and understanding when I'm in this frame of mind. They know to leave me alone but won't hesitate to intervene if I start getting really worked up. Some of my worst flights I definitely wouldn't of been able to get through without them.  

I want to say that my relationship with flying is a lot better now but I really don't think that's the truth. I still have a massive fear of planes and airports and everything in between. The reason I wanted to share this post is because I think it's important to talk about these sort of things and let people, who may feel the same way, know that they're not alone. A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to an uncle who also has a fear of flying and a lot of the thoughts and feelings he experiences before flights are pretty much the exact same as me. While it didn't necessarily get rid of my fear, it made it seem a lot more normal and I think I really needed to know that. 

This is probably my most personal post to date but I'm so glad I'm putting it out there. 

Q: What's a fear (big or small) that you have?
Thanks for reading!

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Friday, February 1, 2019

I'm back from Malaysia! I had such an incredible time away but it's so good to be back in my own bed again. After all, there's no place like home! 

Just like when I was in Sydney, Australia, I had my trusty camera with me everywhere I went. I was really pleased with how all the photos turned out. I definitely can't take full credit though. My brother turned out to be a huge help, offering advice and even his own photography skills. He took the monument shot at the end which I was very impressed with. 

I absolutely loved Kuala Lumpur. It's such a beautiful city. I really hope these photos capture that! 

Islamic Arts Museum


Petronas Towers

Batu Caves

Genting Highlands


National Momument

Q: What camera do you use to take your photos? 
Thanks for checking out this week's post!

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Friday, January 18, 2019

In just over a week's time, I will be travelling to Malaysia with my family! In fact, by the time you read this, I'll already be there! 

(Yes, this post is being written in advance and yes, I am finally getting more organised with scheduling my posts!) 

We'll be in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, for 6 days and my Dad has put me in charge of planning what we do during that time. There are a lot of different ways to plan for a trip overseas but here are just the ways I like to do it. 

Pin a Whole Bunch of Images
Before anything else, I'll go on to Pinterest to scroll through images of the place I'm travelling to. That way I'll know what attractions to expect to see when I start doing more of my text-based research. If I'm feeling really inspired, I'll select images of my favourite looking places and arrange them on an A4 page in Photoshop. Just like the one I did below. 

Make a Bucket List
I love goal keeping and I love checklists. If you're the same, then I highly recommend making a bucket list for your holiday. There are usually plenty of ideas for pretty much any place you search for on Pinterest. I'm thinking of creating a bucket list devoted solely to all the restaurants and dishes I want to try. I'm really looking forward to all the food I get to eat while I'm away!

Read Travel Guides on Your Holiday Destination 
The Lonely Planet travel guides are always a great source of information. I already have a pocket book for both Hawaii and Beijing when my family and I travelled to these places in the past. Neither one of those trips would have been the same had I not bought those travel guides. I recently found one for Kuala Lumpur and have spent hours poring over it already. 

Talk to People Who Have Travelled There
I've spoken to a few people who've been to KL. It always helps to get firsthand advice. You'll also get a better idea for the overall experience of a place. Guide books and online articles tend to be more factual than anything else and while that's great for research purposes, it's still nice to hear the stories people have. 

Create a Detailed Itinerary 
Once you've got a definite list of all the places you want to visit, make an itinerary out of them. Write out the dates for all the days you're away then allocate two or three attractions to each (depending on how big or small the attractions are). Consider location when sorting these out as you want to make it easy for you as possible to get from one place to the next. 

Q: Have you been to KL before?
Thanks for reading! 

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Friday, January 11, 2019

This post marks a very special moment in this blog's history. After 2 years of creating content for The AnnieChanie Blog, I have officially reached triple digits.

100 blog posts.

That's amazing.

When I first started blogging I dreamt of reaching this number, but with my wavering commitment and irregular posting I imagined it'd be a long time coming. 

Prior to The AnnieChanie Blog, I tried three different blogs at three different times. Not a single one made it past 10 posts. This is why 100 blog posts is such a big deal to me. None of my other blogs got a tenth of the posts I've written for this blog. It was definitely last year that pushed me over the edge. In 2018 I made it my mission to have a regular upload day, and I think it's thanks to that that I'm writing this post today. 

I've completed a lot of posts over the two year time period. Hauls, life hacks and even a DIY tutorial (it was one of my earlier posts...sadly not a very good one). There are posts that leave me scratching my head in confusion wondering what on earth I was trying to say, posts that I can't help but laugh at knowing what I know now, and posts that actually make me want to applaud my past self for. 

It's pretty cool what can change over the course of 100 blog posts. I think my writing has definitely seen an improvement. I feel a lot more confident transferring my thoughts to the screen, articulating my ideas and revealing more of my personality through my writing. I've also started to see my blog in a whole new light. Rather than being a place that only I can have a say/input towards, I've tried to involve my readers and fellow bloggers a lot more. My "Introducing..." series and monthly quizzes are just two of the ways I'm working towards a more collaborative webpage.  

It's so exciting to log into Blogger and see the little number beside "published" read 100. Perhaps in two more years, it'll say 200? Who knows! Anyway, I want to thank you all for reading and I'll see you all in my 101st post! 

Q: How many blog posts have you written so far?

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Friday, January 4, 2019

It's my first blog post of 2019 and I had initially wanted this post to be all about my 2019 resolutions. However since I was so focused on Christmassy posts during December and didn't get a chance to share my final progress report for my 2018 goals, I thought it'd be nice to dedicate this post to that instead. I'm treating this as a transitional post. This is my final salute to 2018. Bring on the new year! 

1. Drink More Water Throughout The Day
I can confidently say that this resolution was a huge success. I've been taking my drink bottle everywhere and you can ask any one of my friends for confirmation on that. It has become one of my handbag essentials. I've also been having to refill it regularly throughout the day which just goes to show how much water I've been consuming. 

2. Get my Restricted License
After Uni had finished for the year, my international friend asked if I could drive her car for her while she was back at home for the break. I was very quick to say yes to this! Because I've had her car to myself, I've been able to do a lot more driving. It's hard to believe that this time last year I wasn't even in the position to drive alone. It's amazing what can happen in a year. 

3. Commit to my Bullet Journal
This is another resolution I'm quite triumphant about. After a whole year in my Leuchtturm1917, I've filled up about two thirds of the book. At the start of last year, I had very little faith I'd make it to June, let alone December. I'm so stoked that my first year of bullet journalling went so smoothly. 

4. Learn How to Cook
I've decided to carry this resolution into 2019. I don't think I've made a proper meal since the mac and cheese I conjured up while flatting for a month. I definitely made progress last year but I still think there's a lot, and I mean A LOT, more work to be done. 

5. Time Manage my Blog Posts Better
Ever since I took my small blogging break, I've seen a slight improvement in my posting schedule. Nowadays, I'll usually have the post ready a day in advance which isn't that much of a change but is still better than typing it up an hour before I want it to go live. It's not the outcome I was hoping for but it's satisfactory enough. 

6. Be More Active on Social Media
This was probably the resolution that challenged me the most. At the start of last year, I very rarely commented on people's photos or tweets. I've definitely tried to be better at this but am still lacking consistency. On the plus side, I've been dedicating a lot more time to Pinterest and feel like my activity on there has been pretty good as of recently. 

Q: How did you go with your 2018 resolutions?
Thanks for reading!

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Friday, December 28, 2018

In today's post, I'm bringing you this year's "What I Got For Christmas". I thoroughly enjoyed writing and photographing for this type of post last year, so I'm thinking of making it a yearly tradition on my blog. It goes without saying but I am extremely grateful to everyone who got me something this year. I didn't include the gifts I received from my friends in this post - just because I've already eaten/used most of the items! - but I absolutely love each and every one of their presents to me. They all know me so well! 


This gift was from my brother and his girlfriend and I was not expecting it at all! If you don't know what a Sprocket is, it's basically like a mini printer for your phone. I tried it out with a couple of my favourite photos and was surprised at how quick and easy the process was. I love how the film has a sticky side on the back. I have a "Photo a Month" spread in my bullet journal so this Sprocket will definitely come in handy for that.

From my Grandma, I got this 2019 diary. I love the marble design and gold lettering. I tried using my bullet journal for both personal and school purposes but it got quite messy and confusing so I thought having a separate diary for all my Uni assignments would work much better.




I've been wearing a lot of denim recently so I super excited to receive this dress from my parents. I really like the frayed bottom and the distressed effect it gives off. They also got me another gift which I was quite surprised by. I've had my Pandora bracelet for about a year now and it's had one charm for that length of time too so being able to add a second and third was very exciting. The silver heart and intricate dragonfly/ladybird charm are the perfect combo. They also go really well with my pink heart.


This year, I decided to treat myself to a book. I've been wanting to read "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" for such a long time but every time I would go to the library to check it out, it'd either be borrowed or reserved. This only made me more desperate to get my hands on it! My theory is; if a book is that hard to check out, then it must be really worth the read!

Hope you all had a great Christmas and see you in the new year!!

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