A Look Ahead into My 10th Year of Blogging

A word of THANKS, some reflections and more to come in 2018!

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for your readership and support for the past nine years. It feels like a long time since I’ve started this blog, and I can’t believe it that I’m heading into my tenth year of blogging. Truly, this is the first time I can sustain an interest for so long. Hah!  😉

Round-up of 2017

2017 was an important year for us as we’ve travelled quite a bit and spent lots of beautiful family times together. Here’s a quick round-up of 2017:

➡ Dec: We spent 3 days at the gorgeous 5-star Montigo Resorts in Nongsa and 10 days in Bangkok + Chiangmai (will blog about it soon).

➡ Nov: We visited the Sand & Sandals Desaru Resort and Spa, visited Batam for the first time (why are we so slow? LOL) and stayed at Radisson Golf and Convention Center. We also staycated at the new YOTEL Singapore to celebrate the end of SA2. We’re so glad to be invited to review the Business Suite at Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy.

➡ Oct: This month, we visited LEGOLAND Theme Park twice and stayed at Somerset Medini Serviced Apartment for the first time.

➡ Sep: This was Edison’s birthday month and we celebrated his big day with a fantastic staycation at The Fullerton Hotel and Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium. We’re delighted to be invited to stay at the new Park Hotel Farrer Park

➡ Aug: We checked-out the Premier Suite at D’Resort Downtown East – the integrated water theme park that we’ve always loved.

➡ Jul: We visited Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park and stayed at the Hello Kitty Themed Room at Hotel Jen. We were also invited to experience the kid-themed room at Furama Riverfront Hotel.

➡ Jun: During the mid-year school holiday, we made a trip to Ipoh to visit my parents. We stayed 4 nights at the beautiful Haven Resort Hotel Ipoh. I highly recommend this 5-star resort if you’re visiting Ipoh. For all Bintan lovers out there, you’ll be excited to know that The Haven Bintan Hotel and Resort is coming up soon.

➡ Mar: During the Mar term break, we indulged in a 8D7N cruise on Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas to Laem Chabang (Thailand) and Phu My (Ho Chi Minh Vietnam). We also visited Pattaya.

➡ Feb: I attended Park Bogum Fan Meeting in Singapore, this was a very memorable event for me as it’s my first time (also paid >$200 for a Cat A ticket!).

We’re very thankful to be invited for some of these hotel stays (sponsored stays are clearly marked as such in the disclosure clause). However, we paid for the vast majority of our trips, tours and hotel stays. There’s nothing here that my family and I don’t absolutely love. I choose not to blog about it if I don’t like it – mainly because I don’t like writing negative reviews.

Our Little Smarties Celebrates 4th Anniversary

4th Anni

Today marks the fourth anniversary of Our Little Smarties – a blog I started on 5 Jan 2009, which I’m still working to get at least two posts up per week despite my crazy work schedule. In fact, this post is my 687th post! That’s already a very good number, in my point of view.

So, come on! Let’s toast for my blog’s 4th anniversary! *Cheers*

With each passing year, my blog’s readership continues to grow, and 2012 is the best year in terms of traffic as well as new opportunities. Most importantly, it’s been a great year for content, make-over, being selected as the finalist for the Singapore Blog Awards 2012 Best Family Blog category, and opportunities to work with big brands like Lifebuoy, Sharp, LEGO and HK Disneyland.

It has been a wonderful and fruitful year! Yay!

I’d like to thank my readers first and foremost, but I’d also like to thank my husband, V, and my son, Edison, for their support and inspirations over the last four years. I’m always open to suggestions, so your comments are always appreciated too.

For the rest of this entry, I’ll talk about why I blog and what motivates me, which is also one of the most popular questions that I get from my friends.

In fact, I started blogging since 2007 – the year when Edison was born. I wrote on a Blogger blogspot to document my journey as a first-time mom, and to capture my son’s precious childhood as well as his development milestones.

It was pretty easy and stress-free at that time. I took lots of pictures, and I blogged mostly about what’s going on in our family. My readers are mainly my family members and close friends, where they get regular updates about us through my blog.

Interestingly enough, that simple blog has brought me so much joy. Until today, I still enjoy clicking on my old Blogger blog and read those baby stories that I wrote years ago. So much has happened, so much has passed, but they are not forgotten. Simply because I’ve captured them all on my blog!

Two years later in 2009, I noticed that my blog readership has started to increase. I bought my own domain and migrated to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Gradually, I re-positioned my blog’s theme to parenting and lifestyle of a working mother, and expand my writing to topics like food, health, holidays, education, etc.

Blogging also makes me part of this ‘mommy bloggers’ community from which I share my experiences, knowledge and encouragement. It helps me connect to the help and support that I need to be a better mom. I lost count of the number of encouraging comments from my readers when I’m faced with problems. And I also get useful advices to help me through a tough parenting spot.

Well, that basically explains why I blog. Now, I’ll tell you what motivates me to maintain this blog. That’s the perks of blogging that come in many forms! There, I’ve admitted it. Getting a chance to review some really cool products, meeting new people, attending interesting events, going on sponsored trips, generating extra income, and so on. I won’t beat around the bush.

To be honest, I had my share of difficult moments too, where I felt competitive and envious when I didn’t get what other bloggers have. There were those gloomy days when I felt that my blog wasn’t growing the way I want it to be. There were times when I had so much inspiration, but no time to blog about it. They can be quite depressing.

Many times, I recalibrate myself by returning to the basics – the main purpose of this blog is to document my journey as mom, and to capture my son’s childhood. Simple and clear. There shouldn’t be any stress factor. With this in mind, I’ll not neglect the main objective and core values of this blog.

One last thing. Ever since I’ve been diagnosed with Wegener’s Granulomatosis (a rare medical condition that could potentially be life-threatening), I realized just how important this blog is. If I had to leave this world in a sudden, I cringe at the thought that my son might forget about me. *pass me a tissue paper, please!*

I want to maintain this blog as an important diary for him. When he grows up and read it, it will bring him all his precious childhood memories, as well as memories of us together. He will always remember how I look like, how much I love him, and how much I want to be with him.

fourthbirthdayNew Blogging Goals for 2013

This year, I’ve set some new blogging goals for myself, not in terms of readership numbers or $$$, but something meaningful to myself, to readers, as well as to the society:

1. Spread the joy of parenting

2. Inspire others to live a happy and fulfilled life as a mom

3. Build strong relationships with our families

New year, new goals and new directions. I’m ready to be in this tank for at least five more years.