Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Series of Underrated Events.

Tuesday. 4am.
I was awake, sitting in my kitchen.
Dark, cold and puddly outside, everyone was still asleep. Love it. 

Don't you love those moments when you know you've got stolen time for yourself to do things that need to be done.

For me. On that morning. It was just time needed to respond to emails from some lovely girls who were ever so patient. It was time needed to make sure that the shop was getting restocked.
By 5am - I had ordered 100 pieces of giftwrap, $200 worth of tapes, 700 metre of baker's twine. God help me. Whoever invented online shopping was a complete genius. How else can you buy so much stuff without driving out in the rain, with 2 small peeps in tow and coming home with crateloads. Times like these, when Melbourne decides to rain rain and rain... are the times I love having internet and having a sweet postie wear a raincoat and deliver my parcels to my door. Thank you! And I'm sure many of you out there are nodding in agreement! 

This year hasn't stopped rushing yet. I don't think it ever will.
I don't really want to bore you with one of those 'When I started my business...' stories, so I'll cut straight to the point.

I don't have much. Not much of anything.
Not much money. That was alright. I just wanted to sell a few things - hopefully enough to pay a few bills here and there!
Not much experience. I knew peanuts about selling things. My former job? Physiotherapist. I really loved being one. I could tell you why you were getting those constant headaches associated with your aching neck and how you could get rid of them. Pretty useful hey? :)
Not much of a plan.
Sure I believe in myself. If not, I wouldn't have started in the first place.
But how much belief did I have in myself? I'd probably rate it as 'adequate'. Definitely not 'overwhelming' or 'overflowing'!! 

Having your own little business is underrated.
Being a mum. Underrated.
Staying at home. Underrated.
Blogging. Underrated.
Trying to juggle everything that life throws you without losing a screw? Totally underrated.

That's a whole lot of underrated there.
I know of a whole lot of ladies out there who do/are at least one of the above, if not all. And they are all. Amazing. You might just like to take a peek at herher or her.

Why should I believe in myself and why should I believe in Chibi Run?
a) Went through childbirth - yes. twice. natural. So I should be able to do anything right? ;) Righto!
b) Successfully managing 2 little people - easy peasy lemon squeezy. Hah. The word 'successfully' is all relative. If you call being able to step on crumbs, sultanas and filo pastry bits without batting an eyelid, then that is 'successful'.
c) Came to Australia. Alone. 16. - I think I grew older here and being here has definitely shaped my life in so many ways that I would have never dreamt of had I stayed in Singapore.
d) Since Chibi Run opened its online doors in Dec 2010, I've had the pleasure of packing approx. 1700 orders, getting a Best Customer Service Award nomination, having a feature article in a magazine, in a few blogs, another one coming up soon, which I believe is a start better than I could have expected.
e) There's probably 100 other things that would affirm my belief, but all this makes up life. And it's what I've been through in life that has developed my character.

BUT still. I think I underrate myself. A LOT.
And I think you probably do it to yourself too.

It wasn't until someone else came and said "Here's  $1000 to help you in your dream! We believe you can really do it!" Totally sounds like something out of a fairytale? Yes.

Renata. She's helped so many of us since she's come into our lives and she's planning on helping heaps more through Forming Circles, which focuses philanthropy.
The challenges she's put out there to us are just incredible. And you know? We've actually been embracing the challenges and doing them! So why, oh why, do we still falter when we try to manage our little shops?

I think it's because lots of people out there don't recognize how much you put into it. 
They either don't really ask about it or don't know what to say about it.
They think that all you do is sell something on the side. Or if you're a handmade business, sew a few clothes and sell them at the market. Or if you're a blogger, just write a few things about what happened today. Take a few arty farty photos and post them.
And you know why?
We don't really show how important it is to us.
We don't really talk about what we've been doing. Well. With 12-18 hours of child wrangling, laundry washing, dish washing, shopkeeping etc etc, that doesn't leave much time for talking. lol!
Which is the main thing.

I banked that $1000 cheque today. 
And I stepped out of the bank feeling a little different.
It was that belief that someone else placed in me. That gave me a few tears.
That I was actually doing something big enough to be recognized as worthwhile and important!
So this whole underrating thing has got to stop. Period.

For all the time I've spent on Chibi Run, reading, reading and more reading... learning and absorbing just about anything I could get my hands on, to make me manage a business better, I think it deserves to hold a more important place in my own mind.

Here's to being better.
I think I have to stop 'thinking' like everyone else that Chibi Run isn't anything big.
It is big. In my life. And I have to organize my life so that I can manage each aspect of
it well, because it is so so crucial that my family doesn't get neglected in the meanwhile.
Here's to me and ticking off things to do on my Plan. And catching hold of big dreams this year.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Little Collection of Valentine's Day Printables

Valentine's Day is nearly here and as promised, here is my little stash of free V-Day printables that I've collected from literally every corner of  the web! 

If you monitor my movements on Pinterest, you'd probably know one of my most pinned boards is called Who you calling cheap? Free Printables/Downloads!. (Truly sorry for the cheesy pinboard title... I am terrible at naming things!)
Honestly, there are so many beautiful free printables out there these days, created by truly talented people who have generously given of their time and skill to share a few goodies around. 

So off we go! 

(From left to right) 1.8 little wonderful cards! 2. Little Birds 3. Classroom Valentines 

I do hope I have linked to all these alright! If any of the links don't work for you, please do feel free to let me know.

I would be so thrilled if you rise up to the challenge of doing at least one for someone... a friend... a teacher... your kid's friends... whom you think needs it or would appreciate it! :) 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ten minutes.

My home is in a slight mess now. Ok. A slightly big mess. But I thought that I would sidestep all the mess and set myself to a task of seeing what I can snap around my home in the matter of ten minutes. 

Which, of course, I'm sure, all famous people do when they feature their home tours. 
You know the one where she shows you her super gorgeous living room. Neat. Cleverly cluttered. Even her cat is lying all demure on the parquet and not missing in action the whole day. 

If you see, she has one of those fantastic lamps. 

God only knows what my clever children might do with it if I bought one of those lamps and brought it home... brr. Don't even want to think of it! 

To be honest, we've got a lovely house. Well. It's a little squishy because we've got big front and back gardens and the inside space is a little cramped. We love it for all its greatness and faults, maybe just because it is our first home and we've spent lots of time working on it. Fixing stuff. Getting the garden growing. Mowing that damned lawn. I know moving out will probably be in the works soon as our family expands... and while extra room is a bonus, I honestly don't mind a small house. 

Smaller houses mean less cleaning! 

And I love learning to always be content with what I have.

So enough from me for now. Here's ten minutes of my life today! 
 Packing Chibi Run goodies to be sent off to new loving homes
 What I'd sometimes rather be doing. 
 Random flyers for upcoming community activities... gotta love Darebin! 

 Something Daddy sees at the front door
 Some crochet goodness from a dear friend
 I love watching and waiting.
To see what comes out in the end on that blank paper. 
 Laundry laundry laundry... 'Nuff said
Clari and Celeste are really starting to play together lots more now that Celeste is older... 
and Clari is such a lovely big sister at times!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

DIY Pretty Teabag Tags

Have you shown love and said hello to a friend lately?

Also, speaking of love, 12 days to Valentine's Day but who's counting? This lovely day isn't a big thing in this household but I do have a little plan to cook a special meal at home on that day.

One thing I've come to realize after becoming a mum is that we often have lots of fellow mum friends... we love to chat... have a cuppa together... but more often than not, days, even weeks pass without us having a chance to meet up. It's not like we've grown distant. If we'd meet up, we'd still have loads to chat about.
Sometimes, you're stuck at home with the kids, laundry to do, clothes to hang, meals to cook.. bla bla bla bla bla. If you can't meet up, I think it's really nice in a 'secret squirrel' sort of way to do something to say 'Hello! I've been thinking of you lately!"

Teabag Tags. Have you tried these before?
I had the lovely chance of being involved in a little teabag swap with friends 2 weeks ago and it was so fun! What you had to do was to send a selection of teabags to the friend you were allocated to.

So... I went off hunting! I love tea. (Well, I love coffee too. If you live in Melbourne and dislike coffee, that is quite a waste!)

I made some origami heart and paper cranes with some pretty floral paper I had lying around.
For those of you interested in making these origami and other shapes, I find this website a real treat!
 Detached the original thread and tea tag labels. 
Used a needle and thread to just sew on the new tags! 
Wrote a personal heartfelt message for my friend on one of the tags as well!
Packed it all neatly in a clear bag, wrote a simple card and stuck a stamp on the envelope... and off it went in the mail!

Can you think of a friend who will love receiving it in the mail?

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