2017 Bring It On!

moonlight

Hello everyone! First of all, let me wish you a very Happy New Year! I know that this is so late (sorry!) but I’ve been very busy with work, new school year for Edison and my K-drama obsession. I’ve three K-dramas on my plate now – Goblin, Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim and The Legend of the Blue Sea.

Work has been crazy after the Christmas break, coupled with job rotations and new responsibilities. Edison has embarked on his Primary 4 journey and will be streamed at the end of the school year. Thus, we have a different schedule this year to fit his tuition programs and sports that he enjoys – swimming and tennis.

Blogging

Today is the 8th anniversary of Our Little Smarties. Instead of announcing a giveaway or celebration, I’ve decided to go the opposite direction. After 8 years of blogging, it seems like I’ve pretty much run out of topics to blog about. What have been said has already been said, and honestly, many times I stare absently at my computer screen and my mind goes blank.

I want to enjoy what I used to do when I’m blogging, and I want to share with you all the lovely things around me. Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling inspired for a while. Therefore, I’ve also informed my agency that I’ll stop taking new campaigns after this month. I have a ridiculous phobia of deadlines now, and I don’t want to add unnecessary stress to myself.

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to slow down on blogging and focus on other priorities – my full-time job, family and myself. But don’t worry, I’m not stopping blogging but I need to slow down to gain some perspectives and to truly enjoy blogging as a hobby.

So, please stay with me and I really appreciate your continuous support all these years. Thank you!

Home Improvement

Time flies, it’s been a year since we moved to Bartley. Our new home is looking good without any major issues. We enjoyed staying here because of its convenient location. V and I have been planning for some mini upgrades in our home, and hope to complete them by March.

We’ve been thinking of replacing our gas stove with induction cooking. We checked out a few brands but we still couldn’t find a model with the exact fit to our existing cooktop. As much as possible, we want to avoid alteration (cutting the table top) because there’s a risk of damage to it. As of now, we’re still searching for the right size.

The second thing that we want to install is a digital lock. Keyless digital locks have become increasingly popular among homeowners. The main obvious advantage is not needing to carry a key. And without a key, we’ll no longer need to worry about losing it too.

Thirdly, we’re thinking of giving our home a colourful facelift with Nippon Momento Special Effects Paint. Truth be told, we seriously considered it during our home renovation a year ago. However, our ID encouraged us to use wallpapers instead – but we weren’t keen. At the end, we scrapped the idea. Now, it’s good to revisit Nippon Momento Special Effects Paint again.

Some Closing Thoughts of Year 2014

I know this post came late because I was really tied-up for the past two weeks. I’m glad I finally found inspirations to pen it down today.

2014 has been pretty much smooth sailing for me. Nothing major happened (I’m thankful for this!), but there was a lot of rediscoveries and life lessons learnt.

First up, motherhood is my biggest privilege. It’s been such a joy to watch my son grow, and I can only hope to continue to enjoy this privilege for as long as I can. I want to be the best and most supportive mum to my only son who is stretching his wings to soar into formal education.

Never underestimate the magnitude of a parent’s love for their child, as I’ve always said. Eight years ago, I thought I’ve loved all I could in my life. But when Edison came into my life, I realized there is someone whom I can love unconditionally with all my heart and soul – with no fear of not getting the same in return.

Secondly, this was the year I actually questioned my own marriage. They say if you survive the seven-year itch, you are set for life in your marriage. Don’t get me wrong, there were no affairs going-on. Although we hardly fight, we also forgot to keep our romance alive. One of the reasons may be due to our work schedule. V has irregular work schedule, sometimes we don’t get to see each other for the entire week (even though we’re all living in the same house).

When our life slipped into mundanity, we also rarely notice each other. Then I realized a marriage takes efforts to make it work. There are these little things that keep it going, but I guess we’re both too slack about it. Perhaps, in 2015, we need to do something about it.

Thirdly, I’m so thankful for the endless support and help from my parents-in-law. As I’ve always said, I love them like my own parents. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such a wonderful parents-in-law. They help to take care of Edison while I’m at work. Without their help, I won’t be able to pursue what I want to build for our future. The amount of love they’ve shown, especially towards Edison, is amazing.

Lastly, I’m feeling a little paranoid of death recently. It’s crazy, I know. The reality is harsh that we closed the year 2014 with yet another plane crash. Leaving this world is not that scary, but leaving without a chance to say “Goodbye” and “I love you” to the loved ones is indeed scary.

Two weeks ago, I watched this video on YouTube. I embedded it here to share with you. It’s a song by a popular Chinese singer, Han Hong. The title of the song is ‘Tian Liang Le’. The first time I heard of this song, I was touched. At the same time, I was also wondering why all the audience was crying.

Then, I googled about the song. True enough, there was a story behind it. A sad story. This song tells the story about an orphan. A cable car at a scenic spot in China crashed in 1999. At that moment, a couple used their hands to hold up their three years old child, so he was saved, but his parents died later. Then, the singer Han Hong adopted this child.

When I listened to the song again, paying more attention to the lyrics this time, I could totally feel the great parental love and the sadness of leaving the loved ones behind. And I cried. And I also fear leaving this world before I could say “I love you” to my son one more time.

Because of this, I’m starting 2015 with a very important note to myself – live happily each and every day! No matter what curveball life throws me, I’m able to deal with it and come out alright – as long as I’m alive, and as long as I can still say “I love you” to my loved ones every day.

I’m looking forward to the next 10, 20, 30, and even 40 years, watching my son grows up to be a responsible adult, be with him as long as he needs me, and live my life happily with my loved ones.

New Year Resolutions for 2014

2014R

Okay, enough of noble New Year resolutions that I’ve never kept. This year, I’ll think of something easy peasy but meaningful that I can really fulfill.

First off, after so many years of haphazard shopping which has resulted in a bloated wardrobe and storage, I made a conscious effort to reduce impulse shopping and spend more wisely last year. I resolved to pay more attention to quality and usefulness of an item before reaching out for my purse. And I’m proud to say that I’ve succeeded, mostly.

On the same context, I’m willing to buy a high-quality designer handbag that costs a little more but last a long time, rather than buying several cheaper handbags and jam-up the wardrobe. Many times, I’ve resisted the urge of buying something just because it was on sale. I’ve also cut down my visits to shopping centres, especially during the sale seasons.

Buy less but buy well, reduce impulse shopping. This will continue to be my resolution in 2014.

Secondly, I resolve to leave my house for any destination ten minutes earlier than I normally would so that I’ll arrive in good time minus the rush factor. This is particularly critical this year as Little Edison has started Primary 1 (perhaps I should not call him Little anymore, he’s all big boy now). We can’t be late for school.

A minor car accident happened last year as I was rushing to school. I was driving out from a junction and collided with another car. I admit that it was mainly my fault. If I wasn’t rushing, the accident could have been prevented. My car only suffered minor scratches, but the other driver’s car had a dented rear door. As a result of the insurance claim from both parties, I ended up paying $600 more for my car insurance this year. *sob*

Thirdly, I resolve to dress up myself a little bit more this year. Like most people, I always save my ‘nicest’ clothes for special occasions, wear and re-wear my ‘normal’ clothes for the rest of the days. I’m also keeping my designer handbags and Rolex watch for special occasions only. Yes, I’m silly to think that they are too luxury to be used on normal days.

Recently, it dawned on me that the older we get, the fewer big occasions there are and at this rate, I’ll never get a chance to wear and use the things that I’ve paid good money for. So, I started the year by wearing my Rolex watch to work.

Last year, I resolved to write more often on this blog. This year, I’ve decided to take the opposite approach, mainly because Edison has started formal schooling and I need to really focus on his academic issues. It’s not that I was slacking last year, but I want to dedicate more time for my boy without any distractions this year.

So, I resolve to cut down on blog events and projects. You’ll probably see a reduction in blog post this year, but I promise that I’ll continue to write when time permits. The focus will still be our family, parenting and education issues, but I’m unlikely to take up much sponsored post this year.

Lastly, I resolve to go on as many holidays as I can. Last year, I resolved to go on a long vacation to USA or Australia – which we did. We spent 1.5 weeks in Gold Coast and Brisbane, and it was one of the most exciting holidays that we’ve had. This year, we hope to travel a bit more, even if it’s just an overnight trip to Bintan. Make good use of the school holidays and public holidays, that is.

In short, my 2014 resolutions will be:

  1. Buy less but buy well, reduce impulse shopping
  2. Leave my house for any destination ten minutes earlier
  3. Dress up myself a little bit more
  4. Cut down on blog events and projects
  5. Go on as many holidays as I can

Life is short and every day should be special and celebrated. Do not deny myself from the thrill of wearing nice clothes, carrying my designer handbag, eating nice food, going on vacations, cut down on work and focus on family. If I can achieve these, I’ll definitely be a happier person this year.

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New Year Resolutions for 2013

New Year 2013

I just realized that I didn’t make any New Year resolutions last year. Was I too busy? Not really. Resolutions are easy to make, but at some point, I think they have became rituals that I will eventually throw away as the year progresses.

This year, I decided to make some effective New Year resolutions, do a review at the end of each month and make adjustments, if necessary. I’m keeping them short and simple, so here goes …

1. Eat right. Exercise more.

I’m trying to eat healthier food, and reduce oily and deep-fried food. I’m hitting the gym more often now – hopefully I can still commit to 3 sessions weekly even after the school starts.

2. Take more photos.

I’ve been trying to take photos on a daily basis and practice my photography skills. Hopefully I have time to learn about Photoshop too, but at this point, I think that it’s quite difficult to achieve.

3. Write more often.

I really enjoy blogging on this site. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. I hope to become a more efficient writer, and to be able to enhance my blog, and reach-out to a wider audience this year.

4. Reduce impulse shopping.

I admit that a lot of times I buy things on impulse. At the end, I didn’t really use them and I’ve accumulated a lot of clutter in my living space. This year, I’ll learn to appreciate minimalism and enjoy my life by having less.

5. Go on a long vacation.

For the past five years, we often went on short vacations, which are within a week. The main reason was because of our work schedule. It’s difficult to take long leave together. This year, we aim to have a long vacation and our target will be USA or Australia.

Also, our recent trips have proved to us that our boy is ready for longer trips. He’s more tolerable to flight and bus journey. So, we’re saving up our annual leave and planning for it.

6. Learn Chinese together.

We need to speak more Chinese at home, and emerge our boy in Chinese books and DVDs. Academically, I think he’s pretty okay with English and Maths now. I need to focus on Chinese this year, and get his ears used to hearing the Chinese language.

That’s the six resolutions that I’ve set for myself this year. Are you making any New Year resolutions this year? 🙂