Sunday, February 22, 2015

Randoms | Snippets of My Life as A Work-From-Home-Mom

Hello everyone,

I have been wanting to write a blog post (a more personal post) to share a peek into my life with you. For those who have followed me on Instagram, I often share photos of my planners, stationeries, happie mails, and sometimes photos of my little helper (or my little Mascot you may call him) and also a peek into my little studio.

p.s. This is an extremely photo heavy post - with photos of my planners, studio and also little mascot. =)

Ideally, my daily schedule should go like this if I stick to my daily to-do (or rather must-do for my online store) during working days. I try to work on Mondays to Fridays, and sometimes 1/2 day on Saturdays. I try, but sometimes when I have to pack Happie Planner kits (those days of the month), then I have to work on Saturday & Sunday (in the living room) while Ivan and the hubs were watching TV. I was trying make it up to them by working & packing in the living room to avoid losing the time spent with them.

Ideally (or as planned), I only have about 5~6 working hours per day during Ivan's nap time and also evening time when I have my in-laws help taking care of Ivan. We do not have any domestic helper at home so we are very much down to ourselves when it comes to taking care of Ivan, house chores etc). If I need to work extra hours, I have to either stay up late (its not uncommon to stay up till 3~4am) or wake up extra early (say 3~5am) to pack mails.

This is how a typical kit-packing day would look like if I am working in the living room - while Ivan was riding his bunny bike all over the living room. It is not uncommon that I was feeding him lunch while packing mails, and he was riding his tricycle. Sometimes he does fall down and cry (but some stickers and washi tapes would calm him down within seconds).

There was once he stole a piece of chocolate from the dining table while I was busy packing mails.

I would love to share some of the perks of being a work-from-home-mom ;) It is definitely more fun than working in the office 9-5 just because I have my little helper to keep me entertained + occupied.

1.  I am so blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with my little one - even when I work.

I am trying my best to keep my office / studio cleaner and neater so he has room to run around and play with his toys.

He likes to stay in the room with me even though sometimes I couldn't give him much attention that he craves for. A few rolls of washi tapes, stickers and my fauxbonichi would keep him occupied - well, for 10 minutes. 

Sometimes washi tapes are more fun than Lego!

He goes crazy when he saw my stash of washi tapes and stickers. He would take his own sweet time picking designs and colours that he likes. He particularly likes those with animals and cars design now.

Never too early to start them young right? Sometimes I will do scrapbooking / painting on the floor while he works on his own Crayola markers / crayons.

2. I have rather flexible working hours since I work for myself. It is flexible but I have to be really strict with time management so that I could get things done and ship the orders / mails on time. 

Most of the times I would need to run errands to get some supplies for my online store, and my little helper would always come with me after I pick him up from his Montessori.

It's funny how bringing him to the stationery shop / craft store like Spotlight makes him as happy as going to Toys'R'Us. He posed for this picture without us instructing him. He had so much fun picking his own pens, washi tapes and puffy stickers from a Japanese stationery shop.

3. Most of the time I get extra help when packing kits, doing stock take, and even making laminated dashboards. 

I love making dashboards for filofaxes but hate the lamination part. So Ivan has been a great help recently! All I need to do is to reward him with some cornflakes #cheaplabour

This is what happened when he was sick for a week but we had to work on orders and packing kits. Luckily he wasn't a fussy toddler when he is sick, he was just super clingy most of the time which I enjoy every bits of this. 

I lost count but i think we made about 60-80 pieces of dashboards in 2 days time - to include in the February Happie Planner kits as Valentine's gift to the lovely subscribers. They might not be perfect (since these are made with help from a 23-month-old) but its the thought that counts right?

I also have a sexy cleaner helping to clean up the studio this weekend. I bought this mini broom from Daiso as he just loves loves loves sweeping the floor. And we are in the midst of potty-training him, so there is a washroom next to my studio is super handy.

He also helps with stock-taking - and sometimes misplaced the store items ;) 

Picking up punched bits (from the laminated dividers) and stray sequins is just perfect for training his motor-skill.

And all the rubbish goes into the pink Hello Kitty bin.

A clingy toddler also means that he has to be in the picture whenever I am taking Instagram pictures.

I have two monitor for my Macs - Left is for me to do work while the right screen would come in handy to play his favourite nursery rhymes on Youtube when I need to work in front of the computer.

And this is my view when I am working on emails with a toddler on my lap.

4. I decide and work on my own schedule - I have always wanted to work slightly longer hours but the pregnancy #2 just made me so sleepy all the time. I often went to bed same time as Ivan around 10pm and also take nap when he naps. Sorry that there are times it take so long for me to reply emails etc =P

 And here's how I track my working hours + sleeping hours using DIY Fish's LM-Hyperdex. I have tried my best to be as consistent as possible when it comes to tracking our daily schedule. The outer ring (big one) is to track my dailies while the smaller ring is to track Ivan's sleep time.

Here's what I track daily - mainly blue (sleep time) and purple (working hours). The key to success for using LM-Hyperdex is to track what is important to you, and not spending one whole day tracking every single activity and filling up the rings. 
p.s. You can get the LM-Hyperdex here (DIY Fish's etsy store) and also my shop.

5. Ivan is such a blessing that he hardly (almost never) makes huge mess in my room / messing up with all my supplies. As you could see here, he can easily reach for all the shop items, inks, paints at his height. okay, there was only once accident (pee pee on the floor) while I was potty training him.

A lot of people asked me how did I start my online store? And how did I manage my time. Seriously I don't know but I am so blessed that I started posting my work on Instagram after Ivan was born (less than 2 years ago) and some girls were asking if I sell the handmade books that I made, or sequin pockets that I stitched. After a few months of being tired sending individual invoice via paypal, I decided to start my online store selling some of my handmade goodies and the shop just started to grow since then. I don't have any secret for running an online store but I do learn that being your own boss means you have to very very disciplined with time management and work more efficiently. There are times I would end up surfing eBay, watching youtube and browsing Facebook when I should work on emails. 

I don't have the best system for tracking my inventories yet - but I am working on that with some help from my hubs and good friend ChanWon.

Random pics to show you one of the corner of my work desk - rainbow colour makes me happy and keep me motivated!

Most of the time I don't reply emails during weekends because I have sort of promised hubs that Weekends (and public holidays) are for family =) Nothing beats going for yummy brunch on a lovely Sunday.

I am also very thankful to have a supportive husband (and my in laws too!) - supporting my little business financially, and also does not say a word when it comes to my stationery & planner addiction. 

I am thankful for meeting this lovely girl - ChanWon via Instagram. She always goes extra miles to help me with packing kits and mails, and also taking care of Ivan.

I am so thankful for having so many supportive customers, friends and followers via instagram. So we are running a series of giveaway on my Instagram account to this month and this is one of the giveaway that I have team up with Cindy from Pelle Studio. Cindy makes lovely and colourful fauxdori in various sizes which you should definitely check out her Etsy Store here. And remember to follow me on Instagram (@happiescrappie) for more upcoming giveaways.



  1. Love this post of you sharing insight into your life and work. I only follow you on Instagram now, but I love seeing your little one and him helping you!

    1. Thanks Kelly =) HE is certainly a blessing to me and our family

  2. this is a nice post. i like the way you track your hours. i'm also a stationery, planners and pens addict. i'm so envious with your markers. you seem to have a perfect balance between work and family. how did you start working at home?

    1. Hi Nekyl =) I didn't have any intention to start working from home. I quit my job when I found out that I was pregnant with #1 and after I gave birth to Ivan and stay at home. I got addicted to Instagram. I started posting my work on Instagram and from there I started having some girls commission me to make some hand stitched books, mini albums, crochet goodies.

  3. Beautiful and timely post for me as today is my first day planning my business. I left my part time job at school to do this. It's great seeing how it works for other work at home mums. Xoxo

  4. Hi Sam Sam! Must have taken you quite some time to write this post, but I read every single word of it and enjoyed it. It's always great to know more about your personal life, especially how you manage your time and get things done. And congrats on your baby #2 =)

  5. It's so nice to see how much you've accomplished in such a short time! Awesome job maintaining a balance! :) Take care of yourself and baby #2 ok? :)

  6. Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed reading about your busy days, I've wondered how you do it all with gorgeous Ivan as your constant companion!

  7. Love the drawers where you store your Copic markers! Where did you get them?


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