A planner with heart

I don’t know if I’ve been late to the game but I’ve just come across these planners recently and they are the bomb!

Emily Ley - The Simplified Planner Emily Ley - The Simplified Planner
The Simplified Planner was designed by Emily Ley specifically for women juggling various areas of their lives. This isn’t just a typical planner with portions for you to fill out appointments alone, but a planner with:

  • An inspirational quote on each page
  • A to-do list alongside your schedule for the day
  • A section for notes
  • A space to plan dinner

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Recommended books for your relationship

My husband and I have recently passed the one year mark of our marriage (woohoo!). I know it’s just the start of a life long commitment but I had always heard that the first year was the toughest. Thankfully we made it through without any major hiccups and it’s been such a blessing having my husband around everyday (and not just for getting rid of insects…)

wedding photos | micheleng.com We’ve definitely had our share of disagreements – especially with the baby’s arrival – but a few books we read before our engagement and wedding really helped adjust our perspectives to make our first year of adjustments much easier.

I’ve been sharing this list with a lot of friends and thought I’d post it here in case anyone else finds it useful. These aren’t in any order of preference as we found each book helpful in its own way…. 

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A cheap, easy way to decorate your nursery

This post is several months overdue but am glad I’m finally getting down to sharing it!

In my last month of pregnancy, I finally got down to thinking about decorating our nursery. It was definitely low on my priority list compared to getting baby necessities, household chores and managing the business. What’s more, all the baby purchases started to add up despite having gotten several items second-hand or borrowing them from friends.

To help manage with the costs and not wanting the nursery to be over decorated, I decided to come up with a simple way to add a little something extra to the baby’s room.

cheap and easy nursery decor … 

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A quick daily cleansing routine

As a former freelance make-up artist, I’ve always felt the foundation to a great look is good skin. Despite hectic schedules in the past, I’d always found time to do a multiple step cleansing and beauty routine for my skin. That is, until our baby arrived.

Previously, time had always been in my control at the start of the day and while winding down at night. Now things are pretty different. Isaac hasn’t quite developed his own timing to the tee so everything I do has to be quick in case he starts crying. (I’m still working on my soft spot for baby cries and it’s hard for me to fight the urge to rush to his side when he wails…) To be honest, as a new mum I can hardly tell the difference between the end of the day and the start of the night and live in two to three hour intervals.

To save time (and money) on my daily cleansing routine, I’ve recently switched it up to the following:

Quick face cleansing routine and products

1. Face and body wash: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
2. Face exfoliator: Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
3. Moisturizer: Burts Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream… 

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Isaac’s first month party!

In Chinese tradition, we celebrate the day our baby completes his or her first month with family and friends. After a whole month of getting used to our baby’s arrival, we really looked forward to catching up with close ones!

Juggling the baby’s needs and the business took quite a lot of time and sleep so preparing for the party took a lower priority – at least I tried to convince myself of that considering how much I love planning parties. In fact, I decided to go without decor and buy the door gifts from a supplier instead of making it ourselves so that it wouldn’t add more unnecessary stress or work. But of course, who was I kidding!

The night before the party, I decided to make a sign on our kitchen glass door to prevent people from walking into it by accident. Previously I had pasted a line of random post-its on the door – my husband has walked into it enough times for us to realize it’s a safety hazard (ulp!). I had always intended to have a decal pasted on the kitchen glass door but never got down to it once we were expecting Isaac. So we made a first month party sign instead!

first month party sign on glass door

pardon the crazy (artistic?) reflections…

I was really happy with the sign… and that really got my itchy hands going. It felt sad for that sign to be our only decor and it made the blank wall by our front door seem too plain.

So… I started cutting random triangles only to realize it would take a lot of work to have them all stuck on the wall. I was pretty much going to give up but my dear husband was determined to let his crazy wife have her triangles on the wall. He helped to stick blue tack on them while I was in the shower and we stuck them on the wall one-by-one till our masterpiece was complete! It was actually really fun doing this with him in the middle of the night like school kids with a craft project all over again :)

Triangle photo wall - welcoming baby isaac

Midnight shenanigans

Triangle photo wall - welcoming baby isaac

Isaac’s first photo wall

And there it was! A photo wall and the first thing guests would see when entering our apartment. (The triangles aren’t stuck in perfectly straight lines but my perfectionist side went out the window the minute my morning sickness started. Lucky husband haha!)… 

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