| A blog on my journey as a WORK AT HOME MOM and my WORK AT HOME BUSINESS |

29 September, 2010

Work at Home and Packing Up

My vacations are over and now, it's back to reality and I need to get back to work at home.In the next two months, I won't have much time for my online business except for clearing some assignments. It's good that I can still make money online and that's the dream of many stay at home mommies.

I detest the postal system here in Malaysia, simply because I can't even buy a padded envelope from the post office!! I mean, shouldn't the post office provide a one-stop shopping experience to today's customers? As such, I prefer to send online gifts to overseas friends instead of mailing a gift. First, I don't need to worry about the expensive shipping costs and next, I don't need to wait in queue to post my parcel. To those who love to shop for gifts online, check out the Sneak peak at RedEnvelope holiday sale. This is a good site if you are at a loss of what to buy for a birthday or anniversary gift. What more, you don't need to head down to the post office!

On the home front, I've started packing though the pace is slow. I need to speed up in the next few weeks so the stress is lessened. It's seems overwhelming to pack all that we have but I guess I just need to take it one step at a time. It's a good progress and I'm filled with much excitement and anticipation.

22 September, 2010

My Body Needs Exercise

I woke up this morning feeling lethargic and know that my body needs some exercise. It's been a while since I go for my Pilates classes and I truly need a good stretch.

Working at home is great as I can multi task and plan my time without worrying about traffic jams unless I need to be out running errands. I have been visiting this chinese therapy centre known as OSSO for a treatment on my neck and lower back. I can't wait to buy my new adjustable table from Archi Kids and an ergonomic chair cos my body needs them badly! A wrong table and chair can affect the posture and it isn't good if you spend so much time in the home office.

The packing has begun and though it seems slow now, it should speed up later. All these packing and chores should act as natural fat burners for me but I should still get more exercise. Staying active is good for the body and mind and it is beneficial to my health.

We are now in the third quarter of the year and it's been fun parenting and working at home though it's been a fairly busy year at home. Moving forward, I'm excited to a new life and new beginning down under.

21 September, 2010

Packing Time for the Work at Home Mom

Due to my extensive travels in the last three weeks, I can see that my skin isn't behaving the way it used to be! It looks like I would need to take time off for a good facial! That's a pampering treat for a work at home mom - facial therapies and a good massage!

From now, I will be busy with packing with for the move in December. I'm glad we had ordered our furniture and now, it's time to start the packing. With less than three months left, I should start throwing out the things we don't want and reduce the clutter little by little.

I was looking at my drawer full of skincare products and I would need to pack them in a designated box for the movers. In the drawer was some best acne products sent to me some time back and I should put them to good use. Then there are racks of clothing to clear - some to be given and some to be packed for shipping.

I'm glad that things are moving along well and the flexible schedule wouldn't be possible if I'm not working from home. So it's part time work for me now until I settle down in Oz.

Back from Hanoi and Back to Work at Home

After being away on and off for three weeks, I'm glad to settle down back home and resume my work at home mom duties. It's been great being on trips with the family but I'm happy to get on to the serious stuff now!

Our trip to Hanoi was an eye opener and I've finally seen this busy city with my own eyes. I finally understood why my friend took half hour just to cross the busy streets in Old Quarter and it took me a while to cross the roads too - with some anxiety of course.

Personally I didn't enjoy Hanoi on the first day as the city was fairly polluted, very warm and humid. But it got better on the subsequent days. We stayed the Hanoi Elegance 5 and the service was impeccable. There is free wifi access so I could do my work in the night. There were some assignments to complete and with the laptop in the room, I could work without any interruption. I even did some surfing for a friend who was looking for some dieting stuff. (see www.lleucine.org)

Our trip to halong bay was the best in the trip and it was nice cruising in the Violet cruise. The suite was gorgeous and the view was fantastic. If only the weather was cooler, I could sit on the balcony while enjoying the view of the bay. It is no wonder why it had been awarded the UNESCO heritage site title.

With Hanoi ending our Asia escapades, it's time for the work at home mom to get back to the busy planning of the big move and finishing up the assignments for the week.

16 September, 2010

Work at Home on Parenting and Teachers

Just a few days ago, my son told me that he didn't want to attend Gym and Sports class in his ASP and that got me curious. Being a work at home mom I do my best to spend time communicating with him and get him to talk about his problems if any.

He told me that his gym and sports teacher will leave him in the class by himself after dismissal which served as a disciplinary action. While I have no problems with teachers discipling my child, I didn't think it would be right to create that sort of fear, anxiety and phobia in a child. That act had not taught him anything except inducing fear. Sometimes it's hard to explain to a child the good intentions as they may be too young to understand. Yet, many teachers will think that creating fear in children is the way to get them to respect authority. That is the militarian way of teaching.

As parents, we do our best to set examples for our children. It's like, adults should not swear in front of kids and reserve their cigars beind closed doors. Children learn by example and it takes efforts to earn their respect and honor.

I hope that that teacher who did that to my son will rethink his methods and not carry any ill intention or biasness towards him. Now, my boy is still saying he isn't going to attention gym and sports and I need to think of a way to coax him otherwise.

Looking forward to Hanoi Cooking Class

I was told that the labour costs here in Vietnam is low. Therefore, it explains why things are cheaper and you can find quality clothing and accessories at good prices.

Honestly, after doing a walk in several streets, I find that this doesn't seem to be a good place to shop. I do agree that the silk is of good quality but the design of the clothing seems a little loud or out of fashion. Or maybe it's just not my type. I was looking for something simpler, more trendy or contemporary. But navigating through the streets in the polluted air wasn't so nice for my eyes. I can see that unemployment is a problem here and perhaps many have gotten construction employment in the outskirts.

Hanoi cooking class will be a good break and we'll be spending half a day with the Hanoikids. I read wonderful reviews about Hanoikids tour and am excited to learn more about Hanoi from these team members. Tomorrow will be a good day... let's hope that Clayton is a good partner in the cooking class too!

First Day in Hanoi

Early this year, we discussed about our family vacations and hubby expressed his desire to visit Bali and Vietnam before our big move. So we have decided to maximize all the public holidays in this country and take few short trips this year.

This is probably our last overseas trip before moving to Oz and the last stop is Hanoi. I mean, we have heard much about this very busy city but never seen it with our own eyes. Well, we did today. We arrived in Hanoi on time and was soon taken to our boutique hotel by a private car. The check in was smooth and the service was impeccable. I couldn't asked for more.

We did an hour of cyclo tour and it provided great insight of what Old Quarter was like. It truly was busy! We won't too used to the busy scooters and cars and the disorder! There are all kinds of shops in the Old Quarter selling all sorts of things, from horse tack to shoes to mats to household accessories. But somehow I find that they were in a big mess and the busy traffic made it hard to shop around.

So that was my impression of Hanoi on our first day. We'll see how it goes tomorrow... I'm sure Hanoi Cooking Class will be fun.

15 September, 2010

Work at Home Mom Off to Vietnam

When a work at home mom travels, she thinks practical and that's what I have been doing since traveling with Clayton at 3 months old.

One of the essentials when we traveled with little clayton was to get a good lightweight stroller. It may sound troublesome but the stroller was a great thign to have. We were looking at the old travel photos and I recalled him sleeping on it many occasions. We were thankful that he was such a good traveler too. For those looking for strollers, the web is a good resource. You can read reviews of strollers such as phil and teds explorer and many more.

We will be heading to Vietnam tomorrow and I'll need to do some last minute research of the place before heading off. The work at home mom will be taking a short break and I'm excited to explore this cultural city.

Living Naturally at My Best

With more people getting more health conscious these days, the health food industry is growing everyday. Many work at home moms I know are choosing natural and organic foods for their kids and some have started growing their own organic gardens. How nice!

Being an allergy sufferer, I'm careful not to go near dusty places as they aren't good for my respiratory system. In fact, I dislike entering old buildings and houses as the moldy environment can be detrimental to my health too. Some of you may have heard of Mesothelioma and this is often caused by poorly construction materials.

I hope to grown an organic garden when we move to Brissy. It would be nice to pick herbs from my garden and choose some vegetables for our meals. I may not have green fingers like some mommies but with a little practice and effort, I believe it's possible. Choosing to live naturally isn't that hard if you are willing to put in the time and efforts.

14 September, 2010

Cooking and the Work at Home Mom

When you work from home, you tend to cook more than moms who have a 9-5 job. For a long time, I have been cooking dinner every evening except weekends and it's a better and healthier choice than eating out all day.

I'm not like some moms who are experts in selecting the best cookware or utensils for their kitchen. Being a practical cook who can't afford to spend too much time in the kitchen, I go for simple meals. I often tell DH that if he wants complicated recipes, we can go to a restaurant. I reserve simple meals for the home kitchen :) What a good excuse. Actually, I would love to attend some cooking lessons if I can spare the time cos it can be so fun learning new recipes! I may need to buy some new cookware to add to the kitchen collection. Some work at home moms told me about enamel cookware and I've yet to find out more.

I'm looking forward to Hanoi Cooking Centre during our trip to Hanoi on Thursday. I read so many good reviews about it and I gather it's going to be real fun cooking Vietnamese dishes while shopping in the local market with Chef Tracey. And now, I'm praying for fine weather for the entire trip!

Building Memories with Vacations

It's nice to take a vacation when you are a work at home mom. Imagine staying at home most hours of the day and not getting out to meet friends... it's not what everyone likes to do!

I've been blessed with many nice vacations this year and I'm glad that we can stay in some nice accommodation. Our stay in Bail was fantastic as I had never stayed in a villa. Then we had a great stay at The Mira Hong Kong and the suite was spacious and comfortable. For a 80sqm room in Hong Kong, you can expect a nice bedroom with a cosy sitting area. Double sinks if there wasn't enough with a see through glass bathroom. We had a great time. I suppose it's likened to a luxurious Branson vacation in the US but for me, a short Asia vacation is good enough!

Most importantly, the family had a nice time traveling together though it wasn't easy coping with three kids and an elderly lady. All went well and I built wonderful memories from the trip. I hope that we can travel together again in the near future and this time, the kids will be older.

While some people don't understand why I don't mind spending a little more for a nice vacation, I am happy that I did what I did. I'm glad that I bought my family the best and I trust that these memories will be treasured for a long time.

Shopping Online for Work at Home Moms

Shopping on the internet is a popular activity among work at home moms these days. I mean, it's so convenient to shop online and the only thing you need to do is to exercise self restraint!

In the last few months, I have bought a few things on the internet and I'm happy with all my purchases. Except for one cashmere cardigan who got lost in the mail, everything came on time and the lady who sold me the cardigan resend a new one out of good will. Among all the online merchants, my favourite has to be DPM from France who sent the children's clothing within five days from the day I confirmed my order!

We work at home moms are constantly looking for good buys and all kinds of wholesale discounts. Even when it comes to travel planning, we search for the best discounts for our accommodation. I often compare hotel accommodation rates at Search Your Hotel.

If you are new to online shopping, here's a tip. Always search in the web for coupon codes before making any purchases and you will be surprised at how much you can save!

Reminiscing New Zealand Travels

With more travel photos from our trips, my macbook pro is running out of space and thus I have to get an external hard drive for my storage.

I was archiving all my trip photos, starting from our first New Zealand travel to the most recent and my son was so excited to see how he was like when he was little. I enjoyed our New Zealand trip and this is such a beautiful country. We rented a car for almost a month and toured the North and South island - it was so memorable.

Renting a car in New Zealand is so common for tourists and travelers and you tend to see more that way. In fact, some rental cars get a 5th wheel warranty so hat you can be safer on the road. Of all the cities, I like Queenstown and Mount Cook but seriously, every city has its own charm and character. It's such a big country!

Looking back, my little boy has grown and in no time, he will be smiling at the photos we took in our Bali and Hong Kong trip this year.

Yummy Food in Hong Kong

Even though I have been to Hong Kong countless times, I never grew tired of this bustling city.

Food is glorious, shopping is great and accessibility is no concern at all. In fact, Hong Kong has improved alot since two decades ago and many food stalls are more hygienic now. These days, it's not uncommon to spot food sellers wearing safety gloves and service is improving too. The influx of China tourists has also humbled the Hong Kong retailers and they have become friendlier too.

Believe it or not, we had Tong Yuen from Chung Kee in Jordan every night and I couldn't have enough of these yummy treats. if I have more time in Hong KOng, I would comb the streets for more yummy food! But it's just not so easy moving around with an active six year old.

We had lunch at the infamous Yung Kee Roast Goose restaurant and we didn't have enough of the goose! Though it's not cheap, it's still one of the best goose I had eaten! Enough of food, let's talk about shopping in the next post!

A Great Time in Hong Kong

After a one week break from the home office, I'm back in my cosy home before re-packing for Hanoi.

It was great to see that everyone especially the children had enjoyed themselves in Hong Kong. If given a choice, I wouldn't want to go to Disneyland but for the kids, it was good fun anyhow. I was shocked to hear that there was no roller coaster... Clayton was disappointed to learn about that.

We stayed at the Mira Hong Kong in TST and it was a great place to stay. The design was fantastic and the location was fabulous. Just 5 minutes walk and we were in the MTR station. The entertainment centre in the room was a delight and free wifi was available in the entire hotel - how nice! This means, you can surf the web for any info - from HCG shots Austin to the best restaurants in Hong Kong, all info is at your fingertips.

Hong Kong is a real shopping paradise with prices that are pretty attractive. I found that the electronic goods are cheaper than Malaysia, so are the luxury goods. We spent a short time at the Citygate outlets in Tung Chung and got a few good deals

That's a quick update for now and more to come.

12 September, 2010

Msn isn't working!

I'm seriousy annoyed cos my MSN just wouldn't boot after a dozen tries. I don't know what happen but it decided not to work since this morning!

In this day and age, instant chats have become a channel of communication among friends and families, simply becos it's cost saving and efficient. I mean, I even chat with the hotelier online while trying to find out more info about the hotels. That's what we call 'maximizing technology'! Some time ago, I even chat with an online retailer before buying my pair of mbt shoes.

But now that my msn isn't booting up, I need to find out what's happening and a solution. Otherwise, I would just need to revert to calling on Skype and communicate with friends from there.

Birthday Invitations and The List of To-Dos

In one month's time, my little boy is turning six. We were both looking at some old digital photos and he was so thrilled to watch how he was like when he was a baby.

We started discussing about making birthday cards for his birthday. Actually, I'm reminded that there isn't much time to prepare the cards and if I want his friends to show up, I should be quick to send out the invitations. We've been away these two months and it's hard to catch up on things!

Clayton is now so excited about his Disney vacations and he's going to have a ball of a time with his cousins!

So let's see what needs to be done in the next two weeks - design some birthday invitations for Clayton and then start my massive unpacking. It's time to get started before I find myself sinking into a mess of duties.

03 September, 2010

A Great Bali Vacation for the Family

Last Friday, we took a short vacation to Bali for a few nights during the long weekend and had a wonderful time.

After getting some advice from a Bali is happens to be a Bali expert, we decided to stay at the Ulin Villas and Spa in Seminyak. My work at home hubby has never been to Bali and for me, Bali hardly left me a good impression when my friend got pick pocketed 15 years ago in kuta. But Bali has changed.

When we arrived in Seminyak, we were quite impressed with the many nice looking restaurant snd cafes in the area. You can spot a western crowd right away and I can understand why. Bali is so affordable for the Americans, Europeans and Aussies but for Malaysians, a night's stay in a villa can be expensive. It took me a long time before deciding on Ulin after hearing all the raving reviews at Trip Advisor.

Let me just say that the rate was worth it as we had a lovely time in our private villa which comes with a private 25 m pool. Clayton was swimming day and night and infact, he couldn't wait one minute to get into the pool the minute we stepped in to the villa!

For me, it was pure relaxation and I loved sitting at the outside lounge, watching them swam and sippig my tonic water. The bath tub was set outdoors and we had nice family spas together everyday. Seminyak town isn't big but it's enough to keep us busy. The western food standards in Seminyak is much higher than Malaysia and the price is reasonable. For us, it's better than many restaurants here who charge alot for the mediocre food they offer.

In terms of shopping, Seminyak has lots to offer though they aren't cheap. We took a day out to Ubud and you can buy all sorts of artistic homeware in this quaint town. Our driver took us for a ride where we had a view of Kintamani. If you are into silver accessories, Bali is the place to buy some nice collections. I know of some people who love all things silver, from silver bars to silver crockery.

So after five days, we are back in our home office and the work at home mom is trying to finish up more work before the next trip in two days' time. I am looking forward to another time off again.