{Freebie} Weekly Planner Printable

February 1, 2016 | Freebies

I’m probably the only person on earth who hasn’t quite embraced the calendar on my phone.. I feel like I’m stuck in the dark ages because I just don’t get it. It doesn’t feel intuitive to me and I feel silly that it’s managed to dupe me. Surely I can’t be the only one?! I just prefer good old pen and paper. So, in a bid to become a little more organised (as per this post) and to keep track of playdates and appointments, I’ve created a free weekly planner that can be printed out, stuck on the wall and written on as things come up.

Weekly Planner FreebieI decided to break it up into Morning, Lunch, Afternoon, and Evening (as that’s just how my day seems to be segmented at the moment with Arlo) and have left the cells big so it allows for plenty of writing room. Even though I use it more as an activity calendar, you could also use it as a meal planner, or a to-do list for each day.. whatever you like, really!

Here it is in action, taped to our kitchen wall. Also note Arlo’s spectacular red Chinese lantern for Chinese New Year. Best looking lantern I’ve ever seen.. #childprodigy #modestmum

On our kitchen wall

So if you haven’t really fallen in love with your digital calendar either, I hope you’ll find this printable version useful :) I’ve made it in both A4 and Letter. Enjoy!

A4ButtonLetterButtonClaire x

Singapore Souvenirs

January 27, 2016 | Shop, Singapore

Super Mama

I’ve never really talked much about life as an expat (and I won’t really start now haha!), but having been one for nearly 8 years now I feel like I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to live back home in Australia. While we have no immediate plans to leave our adopted Singaporean life, inevitably we will end up making the trip back to Australia eventually, so I’m always on the look out for some uniquely Singapore souvenirs that I can take with me to remember my time here.

Finding these “souvenirs” can be a little tricky.. tacky trinkets and obvious tourist stuff is a definite no-go for me. I want well-designed, not-so-obvious, meaningful (to me) souvenirs. Things that offer a story or meaning below the surface. And even better if they’re usable and don’t just sit on a shelf. I know, I know.. I ask a lot of the things I buy!

SupermamaTop left: One Singapore porcelain plate, Top right:HDB plates and chopstick rest, Bottom left: Merlion fridge magnet, Bottom right: A Cup That Holds a Festival.

But – as you can see, they do exist! And boy are they fantastic. These are not your average souvenirs, there’s nothing tacky or garish here. Only beautifully designed pieces of Singapore, and I love it!

So, if you’re in the market for your own keepsakes from the Little Red Dot, look no further than Super Mama and The Little Dröm Store. I really can’t recommend them enough… whether you’re a tourist, an expat or a local!

Super MamaClockwise from top left: Jiu Ceng Gao Doorstop, Good Morning Mug, MRT & Bus Washi Tape, Chope! Keychain, Merlion Chouchou.

Little Drom StoreClockwise from top left: Katong Laksa Fridge Magnet, Kway Teow Fridge Magnet, Kopi Fridge Magnet, Chope! Fridge Magnet.

Top image: National Day Plate

So perfect, right?! By coincidence I came across this quote today that I thought was a pretty great way to describe what it feels like to be an expat at times. Not always, but sometimes :)

quote

Claire x

3 tech solutions to start the New Year right!

January 8, 2016 | Guides, Personal

Main

I’m a few days late, but – Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and New Year and are ready to start the year fresh. I certainly am!

Do you have any New Years resolutions? I don’t normally make any, but this year I made a few. Mostly just acknowledging a few things I’ve been wanting to focus on for a while now. They’re not hard and fast resolutions, but just things I’d like to work on and be more conscious about in my everyday life. Nothing groundbreaking here I’m afraid, I think everyone’s probably made these resolutions at some point!

Here’s what they are:

– Get back on track with a budget
– Be more active – choose to get up and move, do something every day.
– Be more organised with dinners and groceries
– Don’t let toxic thoughts rule the mind… be positive :)
– Spend less time looking at my phone – maybe delete Facebook for a while?

Some of these – like looking at my phone less – are things I just have to do. But in order to achieve some of the other things, I’ve turned to good ol’ technology for help. And there are some AMAZING apps and programs and videos out there now. So many.

So I thought I’d share with you my favourite 3 tech solutions that I’ve been using to help me get on board with my resolutions above. Here we go…

NUMBER 1: BUDGET 
Solution: You Need A Budget
Cost: Free 34 day trail, $5/m after that (or $50/yr)


You Need A Budget

You Need A Budget App

This wonderful program makes keeping a budget actually kinda fun. Well, maybe not FUN, but not as dull and boring as most budgets can be. I’m using it every day and it’s working! Once you’ve signed up, you can use the software on your computer, or download the handy-dandy app that will allow you to put in your income/expenses on the fly. Mostly we use it to track how much we’re spending, and being able to enter it on our phones as we go means we’re not guessing later or digging through the bin for receipts.

NUMBER 2: BE MORE ACTIVE (AND POSITIVE!)
Solution: Yoga with Adriene
Cost: FREE!

Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adriene

You guys, I really love this chick. Not only is she funny and totally down to earth, she has a very well-stocked youtube channel with every kind of yoga flow you could think of – and it’s all totally free. I’m really not very good at yoga, but Adriene makes you feel capable no matter what level.. which makes me feel less embarrassed (in my own home??) and awkward. Check out the 30 days of yoga with Adriene, or Yoga Camp if you want to start a regular yoga habit, or any of the other videos really, they’re all fab. I’ve been doing yoga camp and so far I’m sticking with it! :)

NUMBER 3: BE MORE ORGANISED 
Solution: Wunderlist
Cost: Free (though you can pay to upgrade)

Wunderlist

Wunderlist

This is one of those genius apps that I’ve been using for a little while now, and couldn’t live without. I’m not using it to it’s full capacity I don’t think, but for what I want, it works like a charm. My husband and I have both installed it and were able to create a shared list (called “Groceries”) that we can both see on our phones. It updates instantly, which means we’re both able to add items that we need as we think of them, and subtract them off the list as we buy them. And because we’re both seeing the same list, it’s super up-to-date, and there’s no confusion. Brilliant!

There we go, my top 3 tech recommendations to start off 2016 :)

What tech have you been using? Would love some more recommendations!

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2015 | Personal

MerryXmas4

Merry Christmas!

I’m sitting here in Singapore, in front of our brilliantly lit christmas tree with the tropical breeze blowing in, listening to Michael Buble carols and thinking about what an amazing year we’ve had. I just love Christmas, so much. It’s not really the same spending it here instead of at our family homes in Australia, but we’ve got some family visiting and Skype on hand, so it’ll be magical nonetheless. I’m super excited to share our second ever Christmas with Arlo too – who’ll be bombarded with gifts from around the world when he wakes in the morning. The anticipation has me feeling like a little kid along with him :)

So, Merry Christmas to you. I hope you’re all feeling warm and fuzzy about the festive season too… here’s to a fab 2016, wherever you are!

C x

Make Art That Sells – Week 3

November 26, 2015 | Design, Make Art That Sells, Personal

Oops, I’m a little behind in my MATS recaps! Last week was actually week 5, which was the last week of the course.. big sad face. But I won’t jump ahead yet (though if you’re following me on Instagram you’ll have had a peek!).

Week 3 was all about children’s book illustration. Probably not a market I really see myself in I must admit, but worth giving it a go anyway, right! We were first tasked with drawing lost of cats and creating cat characters, before being given the big assignment to either illustrate the cover, or one spread of the story The White Cat.

I had a bit of shaky start to my cat illustrations, trying to work out how a cat really looks.. but then when I made it more human like, I really got into it! I thought it was so fun sketching her facial expressions and trying different shapes and sizes for her features.

Sketching cats! By fellow fellow :)

I eventually settled on the middle-bottom one. I thought she had a nice personality :) Next onto the cover..

The story is about a white cat and a prince, and the prince rides a wooden horse.. it’s a really bazaar story actually, pretty dark and creepy, so I opted to put a lighter, more fun spin on the cover. Why not, it’s for kids after all!

Here’s what I ended up with.. I think there are a few things I’d like to keep working on, but overall I was happy I managed to complete it :)

The White Cat by fellow fellow

There was such a massive variety of designs that were submitted, all so different, and quite a number that really stood out as incredible to me. There’s some serious talent in this class!

If I’m honest, I’m actually finding it very difficult not to compare my work to everyone else’s! There are so many wonderful illustrators that sometimes I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed.. BUT I’m also really proud of myself for getting through each task as it comes and creating great work even if I’m initially stumped by the idea. I’m proving to myself that I can do it, and that’s worth a lot I reckon :)

Read about week 1 and week 2 here.