My Journalling Style - A Collaboration with Officeworks (+ GIVEAWAY!)

Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory. – Jack London

You might be reading this blog on your gadgets, but when it comes to planning my blog posts, paper and pencils are my essentials. I find that they are more convenient and personal than typing and sketching on my gadgets. When idea strikes, I can grab my notebook, open a blank page and jot or sketch my ideas down right away.

Other than for convenience reason, keeping a creative journal and notebooks enables me to look back and see how much I’ve grown as a creative, and how much my blog has changed or develop as a business. I still keep notebooks from when I first started this blog and all the ideas that come along the way.

I was more than happy when Officeworks approached me for a collaboration where I can show you how I utilise notebooks and journals for my creative pursuits! Officeworks have always been my go-to store when it comes to office supplies. They have all the basic essentials, as well as premium products that will enhance the look of my creative space. You can find a range of notebook and journal brands, such as Otto, Ampersand, Nathan Ferlazo, Go Stationery, Aquadrops, Colourtag, Miquelrius, White Lines, Clairefontaine, Rhodia and many more. Officeworks also offers a range of FSC accredited notebooks and journals, so that you can be kinder to the environment. It will be more exciting to keep a journal that reflects your personality, work style. Whatever your work style is, you will find notebooks and journals at Officeworks that helps you visualise your ideas!

My Journalling Style - A Collaboration with Officeworks (+ GIVEAWAY!)


When it comes to planning ideas for my blog, one notebook is not enough for me. I have to have one main journal, one carry-along notebook, and a jot pad. Colourful page markers help my notebooks to be more organised.

For the main notebook, I chose an A5-sized spiral-bound Semikolon Journal in navy blue. A5 is a good size for a journal, because it’s not too big to carry around, but there’s enough space for me to draw and sketch inside the notebook.

What I like the most about Semikolon’s hardcover journal is it consists of three different paper style – ruled, grid and blank, separated with clear plastic dividers. As a creative blogger who mostly work with illustrations and colours, grid and blank pages are must-haves.

This journal is quite heavy due to its sturdy hardcover, which is why I prefer to carry a lighter notebook when I’m out, such as these ones by Orla Kiely. The jot pad by Otto comes in handy when I need to create a list.

My Journalling Style - A Collaboration with Officeworks (+ GIVEAWAY!)

At the beginning of the year, I planned where I’m taking this blog for the next 12 months. Every year I like to bring new topics and ideas for my readers. Last year, I introduced my love for planners on this blog, and it was a hit! This year, I’m planning to introduce gift-wrapping and kids-related creative posts.

My Journalling Style - A Collaboration with Officeworks (+ GIVEAWAY!)

If you didn’t know this before, other than the usual Christmas, Valentines and Easter, there are also funny unofficial holidays every month! Some of my favourites are Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast day and Popcorn day. Listing them down will help me create a theme for my blog post each month to keep them consistent.

My Journalling Style - A Collaboration with Officeworks (+ GIVEAWAY!)

Most of the pages on my journal are visuals. The image above is an example of how I use the blank pages of my Semikolon journal to plan my printable contents. My choice of drawing materials include Pilot brush pen and Copic markers.

As you know, I like to style my workspace in a way that would inspire me when I work. Orla Kiely’s stationery products always catch my attention. I love the way Orla Kiely combines repetitive simple pattern with bold colours.

My Journalling Style - A Collaboration with Officeworks (+ GIVEAWAY!)

My Officeworks Favourite Picks:

  • Semikolon A5 Mucho Spiral Notebook Marine $9.99 – Click to buy
  • Orla Kiely A5 Pocketbook 3 Pack $19.99 – Click to Buy
  • Orla Kiely Mechanical Pencil Flower Abacus Green $16.99 – Click to Buy
  • Otto Page Markers 10 pack $5.96 – Click to Buy
  • Otto Notebook and Zipper case Modern $12.95 – Click to Buy
  • J Burrows Page Markers 6 pack $5.70 – Click to Buy
  • Orla Kiely Magazine Rack Stem Midnight $22.99 – Click to Buy

This post was sponsored by Officeworks. All opinions are my own. 


The awesome team at Officeworks is giving you a chance to win a prize pack worth $100!

All you need to do is leave a comment below, sharing examples of how you embrace your notebook or journal for your own creative pursuits. To help you feel more inspired, you might want to browse the range of notebook and journal style that Officeworks has to offer on their website.

Competition ends on Friday, 12th of February 2016 at midnight AEST. Winners will be announced via email and also on this blog post. Only one entry per person, and we will pick the most creative answer as the winner. Opens to Australian residents only.





Year of Monkey Printable Red Packets | DESIGN IS YAY!

Chinese New Year is coming soon (February 8th), and this year we’re welcoming the year of Monkey.

If you’re not familiar with Chinese horoscope, there are 12 animals in the horoscope, and each animal gets to rule once every 12 years. So for those of you who were born in 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 or 2004, you were born in the year of monkey. People born in the year of monkey are known to be smart and intelligent, especially when it comes to career and wealth. As you may have known, it’s a special year for me because my first baby is going to be born in the year of monkey!

During Chinese New Year, it is customary for married couples to give red packets, or hong baos to younger and unmarried family members, especially children. The red packets should contain some cash,but it doesn’t matter how much you’re willing to give. Traditionally, the colour of the packet/envelope has to be red, because red is a symbol of good luck, fortune, health and wealth in Chinese tradition (yes, we’re all about the money! haha). In this modern day, there are more “red” packets in all kinds of colours and design.

Other than during Chinese New Year, red packets are also given as, or instead of, wedding presents, baby gifts or moving house gifts.

As you know, I love putting an untraditional spin on holiday traditions. I have created Year of Monkey Printable Red Packets in my favourite colours, light blue, light grey and yellow. They also comes with cheeky monkey faces stickers.

Year of Monkey Printable Red Packets | DESIGN IS YAY!

Year of Monkey Printable Red Packets | DESIGN IS YAY!

Download the Year of Monkey Red Packets and stickers template, and open using Adobe Reader (free download). Print pages 1-3 on your normal A4 size (21 x 29.7 cm or 8 x 11″) print & copy paper, or photo paper that is no thicker than 140 gsm. Page 4 with the monkey faces stickers should be printed on sticker paper, or you can use the same paper as the first 3 pages and stick using double sided tape.

Cut the packet templates according to their shapes, and fold along the separation lines. Stick double sided tapes on part with “Adhere Here”. Use the cheeky monkey faces to seal the packet openings, and slip some inside together with cash for a little surprise!

Year of Monkey Printable Red Packets | DESIGN IS YAY!

Happy Chinese New Year! You can also download past years printable red packets:

Printable CNY Red Packets / Mini Envelopes (if you still insist that hong baos have to be red, this one’s for you!)
Printable Shabby Chic CNY Packets 




Ice and Shine Ice Cream kit | DESIGN IS YAY!

The first Saturday in February is known as Ice Cream for Breakfast day. Not that I’m condoning unhealthy sugary dessert for breakfast every day, but these printable ice cream kit could be a nice morning surprise for the family once in a while. I also find that the history behind Ice Cream for Breakfast day is pretty interesting. In the U.S, Ice Cream for Breakfast day should fall on a very cold, possibly snowy, day. For those of us who live in the Pacific or Asian region, having frozen dessert for breakfast might feel just right! And if you’re trying to cut down on calories and sugar, there are so many fruit sorbet or nana ice cream recipes on the internet that you can make, instead of their creamy counterpart.

Ice and Shine Ice Cream kit | DESIGN IS YAY!

Ice and Shine Ice Cream kit | DESIGN IS YAY!

You can download the Ice and Shine Ice Cream Kit Printable template, which includes: We are Having Ice Cream card (if you’re not having it for breakfast, you can cut of the ‘for breakfast’ part), ice cream tub label, ice cream cup wrappers, and ice cream topper rounds.

Print both pages of the Ice Cream Kit template on A4 paper stock (21 x 29.7 cm or 8 x 11″) with medium thickness (140-180 gsm), and cut along their shapes.

Ice and Shine!

Ice and Shine Ice Cream kit | DESIGN IS YAY!


February 2016 Design is Yay Calendar Freebies - Desktop, iPad, iPhone & Planners | DESIGN IS YAY!

Happy February everyone! I hope 2016 has been treating you well so far.
Other than Valentines Day, February is also the month when we celebrate Chinese New Year. This is the year of Monkey, therefore I’ve illustrated an image of “Maneki Monkey” for this month’s freebies.
If you’re not familiar with Maneki Neko, or Beckoning Cat, it’s a popular symbol for Chinese & Japanese, and they are believed to bring in fortunes. You might have seen them on the cashier table of some Chinese or Japanese restaurants!
I thought it might be cute to create a Beckoning Monkey instead.


If you are not a BFF Freebie member yet, you can still sign up now and you will get a confirmation email with download links to all the freebies for this month and previous ones as well.

View the previous wallpaper freebies design

Just like the previous freebies, you will be able to download these styles and sizes: desktop (with or without calendar), retina desktop (with or without calendar), iPhone (without calendar), iPhone 6 & 6+ (without calendar), iPad (without calendar), and also printable planner monthly organiser for A5, Personal and Pocket filofaxes (Large, Medium & Small for Kikki K planners). 

February 2016 Design is Yay Calendar Freebies - Desktop, iPad, iPhone & Planners | DESIGN IS YAY!

February 2016 Design is Yay Calendar Freebies - Desktop, iPad, iPhone & Planners | DESIGN IS YAY!

What is Design is Yay BFFs?

Introducing BEST FREEBIE FRIENDS. This is my way to thank all the lovely and loyal readers who have been supporting and reading this blog, as well as new readers who just discovered and love Design is Yay. Without all of you, Design is Yay will not come this far.

All you need to do (and this is open to everyone, including you) is to join our BFF club here and you will receive a welcome message with a link to download our instant freebies as well as current and previous months’ freebies. You will then receive monthly freebies for your desktop, gadgets and planners just like what you’ve seen in this post before the end of each month. I will also throw in a few freebie surprises every now and then, so you will get a lot more freebies from Design is Yay if you join the BFF club!

Our newsletter is powered by MadMimi.

January 2015 BFF Sign up Freebies - Wallpaper calendar for desktop, iphone & ipad and filofax planner | DESIGN IS YAY!


Books for Creative Entrepreneurs to Read in 2016 | DESIGN IS YAY!

One of my main goals this year is to enrol in online courses and read books that will enrich me as a creative entrepreneur. The first step I took was setting up Good Reads account to find book recommendations and reviews, and have a book journal, such as this Book Bloggers’ Planner from Books and Beverages to accompany my reading. Inside this handy planner, there are pages such as monthly planners, book reviews or post checklist, list of books I’ve read, and quotes to remember. Basically, it’s like your own little book club!

If you have just started blogging, or want to know what blogging is all about, I have always recommended Blog Inc written by Joy Cho of Oh Joy! Blog. That was the most useful book I’ve ever read when I just started blogging.

Here are books for creative entrepreneurs that I’d like to read in 2016:

Daring & Disruptive by Lisa Messenger
Ever since I started buying The Collective Hub magazine, I’ve been hooked. There’s nothing more inspiring than reading about successful creative entrepreneurs, how they started and where they are now. So I’m intrigued to read a book by the magazine’s editor herself, Lisa Messenger. I’ve always been a big fan of entrepreneurs who gets gets out of comfort zones and trying to achieve what they want even if that means causing disruptions in their lives. Which is why the title of this book attracts me!

Money & Mindfulness by Lisa Messenger
Another book by Lisa Messenger, this time it’s all about money (I assume). I’m sure a lot of people’s biggest challenge in starting a business is when it comes to money, especially when it comes to how to get enough money to start your own business. This book talks about how we can start a business without worrying about where the money is from.

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom & David Kelley
This is a book for people who thinks that creativity only belongs to those who are working in creative industries. Tom & David Kelley are proving us wrong. Creativity is needed in evert aspects of a business because it helps us find solutions that are not in the book.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
One of my weaknesses when it comes to having a business is promotions and public relations. I found this book when I researched for books that are good for PRs. I’m not thinking about becoming a PR person, but I think that PR skills are very necessary for someone running their own business. It’s important to know how a product could start a trend and how to make a simple product go viral.

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht
This book seems to have good reviews on GoodReads. Aliza Licht is  a DKNY PR person, and she’s kicking ass at her job. Again, this is another book about PR, but packaged differently than the one above.

What books are you planning to read in 2016?

Share with us in the comments!


Heart & Arrow Printable Valentines Card | DESIGN IS YAY!

Whether you’re celebrating Valentines or Galentines, these cute printable heart & arrow cards are going to make the day of your loved ones. Unlike the usual greeting cards, these cards don’t open to reveal your message, but you can write your message on the arrows. All you need is a few meaningful words to show someone that you care!

Heart & Arrow Printable Valentines Card | DESIGN IS YAY!

Since my baby bump is getting bigger day by day, I now have less possibilities in taking photographs. Even though I have no problem taking styled photos or flatlays of my printables using a tripod, but step-by-step photos are a bit tricky. I’ve decided to create step-by-step graphics instead! I hope they’re as clear as the photographs.

Heart & Arrow Printable Valentines Card | DESIGN IS YAY!

Materials: Colour printer, Adobe Reader (Free Download), 2x A4 (8×11″ or 29.7 x 21 cm) card stock with medium thickness (around 180-230 gsm), scissors, x-acto knife, ruler, double sided tape, 3D foam tape (optional), pen (optional)

Step 1: Download the Heart & Arrow Printable Valentines Card template and print onto 2x A4 card stock using colour printer
Step 2: Cut according to the heart cards, little hearts and arrows shapes. Remove the two small rectangles on the heart cards using x-acto knife
Step 3: Fold in the centre as well as the little white rectangle of the heart cards. Stick the little white rectangle inside or outside of the back of the heart card so that the card doesn’t open
Step 4: Insert the arrow with the message line (or write your own Valentines message) into the small rectangle cut out at the back of the heart card, through the other small rectangle cut out at the front
Step 5: Using double sided tape or glue, stick the arrow point at the end of the message line to lock the arrow
Step 6: Place a 3D foam tape at the centre of the heart card, and stick the little hearts with recipient’s name on it. If you don’t have a 3D foam tape, you can use glue or double sided tape, but it won’t have the 3D effect.

Heart & Arrow Printable Valentines Card | DESIGN IS YAY!

Heart & Arrow Printable Valentines Card | DESIGN IS YAY!

Heart & Arrow Printable Valentines Card | DESIGN IS YAY!

If you like this Heart & Arrow Printable Valentines Card, you should also check out Valentine’s Day Printable Animal Card