What I did in 2010 that I'm proud of...

~ Posted on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 8:59 AM ~

Oh well... it is now 2011 already! I was just wondering the other day what have I done in 2010 that is worth remembering and be proud of myself other than being a slave full-time mummy to Ben...

#1 : I have finally let go of my previous company - the immediate help and advice and the thoughts of going back there to work.

You see, up until the first quarter of 2010, I was still entertaining thoughts of going back to work and I was still enthusiastically helping out and giving advice to ex-colleagues who asked for my help on the IT system. But now, no more on that. Maybe because I have finally gotten the hang of being a full-time mummy and are not perturbed by the office stuff, politics or etc as much as I did back when I first quit my job.

Of course, I do still care about my ex-colleagues and keep in touch with them via emails or Facebook but I don't feel the thrill of being in a part of the rat race work force anymore. I mean, I used to drop everything on hand (except Ben of course) and cracked my head trying to remember back the IT system stuff just so I could help out my ex-colleagues ASAP. Now, I don't feel like I owe anyone any explanations or anything, if I remember, I will help, else, I'm really sorry. I mean, it has been 1.5 years since I quit my job, so it's really not easy to still remember everything about the system!

# 2 : My very own I'm a full-time mummy domain!

I left my old blog in Blogger and got myself my very own domain! Finally, no more squatting for free on Google and total control of my own posts and blog designs and stuff. Yes, the initial work of redesigning the blog template from scratch, of tweaking and all the countless trials and errors in order to make everything on my blog looks nice (to me!) were such hardwork and stressful (with an active boy to care and watched out at all time), but the end results are worth it!

# 3 : I ventured into BAKING!

I am not much of a cook but venturing into the world of baking is a milestone in my life! I am very happy that I get to experiment and try on some baking recipes, and even contribute some of my baking experience into a few batches of cookies for hubby's clients (as Christmas presents for 2010)

# 4 : I've been able to help some friends, even strangers in the matters of baby care, breastfeeding and so on. Amongst them are advicing:

* 4 mums-to-be on matters pertaining to breastfeeding (why it's good, benefits, how to get more info etc), baby products (essentials, etc)

* 5 new mums on matters pertaining to breastfeeding (latching, co-sleeping, dreamfeeding, EBM storage and disaster plan)

* 4 mums with more than 6 months old child on matters pertaining to breastfeeding, SAHM concerns, baby care, feeding, vaccinations and etc.

I mean, I'm not an expert on parenting, breastfeeding or whatever matters but with the experience I have, I am more than happy to share what I learned, experienced (You only need to ask! I don't want to be a busybody and give advice when you're not asking for it!) and I hope these wonderful people that I came to contact with will value my advice as much as I valued dispensing it to them.

# 5 : Doing more awesome book reviews with more publishing companies!

Just for the year of 2010, I reviewed 20 books of which most are very very good read (no regrets) and some of which are only made possible when I finally gathered my courage to ask for a copy to review. Ask and you shall receive! Amen to that! And for 2011, I currently have 4 e-books on hand (and 2 hardcopies on the way) waiting to be read and reviewed... And to think that we saved so much money and we get to read and review all those books for free! God is so awesome and generous!

# 6 : Doing awesome music album reviews!

Yes, I reviewed 6 music albums for 2010! It all started with some browsing over the Internet and I stumbled upon this website which has a link for blogger review program and I just signed up for it. Weeks later, I got an email with details to review my fist ever music album which was published in July 2010. From then on, other opportunities came by and there were from different PR companies (I still have no idea how they got my contact since I only signed up for one!)

So, that was it for now that I can think of. All in all, it was a fruitful and blessed year for me, for us in fact to live through 2010 (good health, good income, abundant joys, happy family and good memories to cherish, made more bloggy friends). And not to forget, the ability to still breastfeed Ben who is going to be 22 months old in a few days time (still zero speck of formula powder in the house woohooo!)

I am for ever thankful to God for His neverending blessings and generosity to us and I hope that with this new year which has ushered in, we will get to enjoy and be blessed with more of this awesome stuff!

I hope that you will have a blessed year ahead too! And a big thanks to my regular blog and/or Facebook followers for your neverending comment support and encouragement!

* Images are all taken from Google image search

My Two Cents Worth - Followers...

~ Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 9:06 AM ~

This is my 4th post on sharing "My Two Cents Worth" throughout my blogging journey. In this post, I'm going to write about: Followers.

* Image taken from Google search

Why do we need followers?

* To make more bloggy friends, and through them, hopefully can find out more on other people / countries cultures and so on.

* Helps with your blog statistics when you are pitching for some product reviews (as some companies only go for blog with bigger following)

* Wider network / coverage to spread news about giveaways and/or product reviews.

* Blog audience... meaning, at least you know there are other people reading your blogs too!

* Image taken from Google search

How to get more followers?

* Regularly produce good written articles that can connect with your blog readers / visitors

* Join the many blog memes around the bloggy land (Check out my Tuesday meme post, these few memes helped me gained a lot of new followers!)

* Host a product giveaway

* Participate in a blog link swap (either through Facebook, Twitter and so on)

* Become guest post on another blog

* Leave comments (real not spam please) on other people's blogs and hopefully they will return the favor and in time form a bloggy friendship and become a follower

* Make sure your follower buttons are easily accesible and simple to subscribe

* Submit your blog URL to blog directories, Search Engines and so on

* Participate in other forums (some of my blog followers came from the Babycenter Forum which I regularly shared my experience and advice in the early days of becoming a SAHM)

So there you go... that's pretty much what I can squeeze out of my tired brain now on the topic of followers.

I've always treat my blog as if it is my child (ok, lower ranking than Ben of course!), and I think you should too! Nurture it, build it, have fun and make happy memories with it as how you would do with your child. It does bring joy to your heart! Feel free to leave me a comment if you would like to find out more on a certain topic. And do let me know your feedback and thoughts about this topic, will you? Until then, happy blogging!

My Two Cents Worth - Comments...

~ Posted on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 9:06 AM ~

This will be my 3rd post on sharing "My Two Cents Worth" throughout my blogging journey. In this post, I'm going to write about: Comments.

(*Image taken from Google search)

Firstly, according to Wikipedia, "A comment is generally a verbal or written remark often related to an added piece of information, or an observation or statement."

Personally, I love comments. I believe it's a way how my blog readers/visitors can tell me their feedback and thoughts on the posts I wrote and shared in my blog. Without comments, it's like writing a diary (online that is) and talking to myself. Which is weird...

(* Now that reminds me of the time I freaked out when my blog readers/visitors who uses Internet Explorer can't comment on my blog due to a technical bug and I had to scramble off to find a temporary fix to allow the comments to still come in. It has since been resolved and I'm so happy I get more comments nowadays!)

OK, without further ado, let me share my thoughts on:

The reasons and/or benefits of leaving our comments

* If you regularly leave comments on a particular blog, it will make the blog owner become aware of you and also your website. In a way, it's kinda like trying to make bloggy friends. IMO, I made a number of bloggy friends this way and we have to start somewhere to make friends right? So, leave a comment if you want to be friends!

* Leaving a comment means you care about the topic discussed in the post and would like to share your thoughts on it as well. I think even a simple comment like 'Great post!' or 'Looks yummy!' goes a long way in telling the blog owner that although you are just blog hopping (for example) or really have nothing much to say on the post, you do make an effort somehow.

* Increase traffic to your website. When you leave a comment, some blogs/websites allow you to leave your blog/website URL as well and by doing so, you increase your chances and traffic to your website. For me, the way I replied back the comments I get is to go to the links you left when you commented on my post. Else, I revert via the email address you left when you commented.

* Participation in giveaways - some blogs/websites hosting giveaways requires the readers/visitors to leave comment(s) in the giveaway post as a way to enter.

Why People Don't Leave Their Comment?

(*Image taken from Google search)

* There's nothing for them to comment with. Could be what you wrote is too detailed that there's just no way for your blog readers/visitors to comment.

* Stepping into the line of fire. Could be that what you wrote is highly debatable that any single comment posted will ended up with more reactions on it and people are just afraid of that.

* You don't respond back to their comments. It kinda shows people that you're too busy to respond back to their comments, so people ended up not doing that anymore. Remember, communication is between 2 parties, not one sided only...

* CAPTCHAs and/or login system in order to leave a comment. Some websites/blogs I encountered required a user ID to login in order to leave a comment. I already have gazillions of user IDs and passwords that I need to remember, and absolutely do not need to add another one just so I could leave a comment for you.

My Comment Etiquettes:

(*Image taken from Google search)

When someone leaves me a comment, I do the following:

1. Check whether it is a spam? On average, I get about 10 spams daily (sometimes up to 30 a day) and it's very easy to spot them as most of them leave a flattering comment but at a closer look, you will noticed that their name and/or blog or website are from commercial type. This is a way to sell their website and put out their site links to as many websites out there as possible. Of course I will definitely delete all these spams ASAP.

2. Do they leave me their personal blog/website to contact them? If no, I will reply via the email they left in their comment. If yes, go to number 3.

3. Reply back to each and every comments, thanking the person for their comment and copy the reply, go to the person's blog/website, browse around (I normally looked for the recent few posts) and take the time to read their post(s) and leave my comment by pasting my reply on top of my comment on their post.

4. Of course, if the person who left me their comments are close bloggy friends, I don't often do step 3 as I would most probably be checking  and left my comments on their blog/website whenever they have a new post up.

So there you go... I think I pretty much covers all there is on the topic of comments.

I've always treat my blog as if it is my child (ok, lower ranking than Ben of course!), and I think you should too! Nurture it, build it, have fun and make happy memories with it as how you would do with your child. It does bring joy to your heart! Feel free to leave me a comment if you would like to find out more on a certain topic. And do let me know your feedback and thoughts about this topic, will you? Like I said earlier:

(*Image taken from Google search)

Until then, happy blogging!