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Small wins that really add up.

With over half the year gone, Noodlies, Sydney food and travel blog takes time out to count the many blessings. In this post, I’ll be tracking the little wins that have turned a good week into a fantastic one.

Have you ever done something with no expectations other than instant gratification?

And yet, the small wins have turned into something amazing? This week, I stop to smell the roses, and count all the blessings that I’ve been lucky enough to receive.


noodlies sydney food blog

Almost six years ago, I plucked up enough courage to start a food blog. Living in Sydney’s south west, we were spoilt for choice when it comes to no-nonsense, culturally diverse food. Chinese, Vietnamese, Iraqi, Indian, Thai, Laos, Chilean eateries, typically humble ma-and-pa restaurants serving up fascinating food fare that don’t get promoted by mainstream reviewers and inner city-centric blogs.

That was then; my first blog was published on 15 October, 2009 – a review of a Nguyen Trung eatery in Canley Heights. It was a brief unremarkable post. from then, I continued to write… days, weeks and years have passed. Over time, the photos got a clearer, the prose more precise, observations a little sharper. Today, 1,022 posts later, my humble tribute to Sydney’s rich diverse food scene, has turned out to be one of Australia’s most popular food blogs. Buzzfeed ranked noodlies #2 in its list of 15 Australian Food Blogs Guaranteed To Change The Way You Eat.

One blog at a time, little wins have turned into an amazing vehicle to promote ma-and-pa migrant restaurants in Sydney’s south west. Who knew?!

Free ATM

Citibank ATMI switched my banking to Citibank in 2006 for free ATM withdrawals. Today, I pay no ATM withdrawal fees at any Citibank, Westpac, St.George, Bank of SA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs. The small wins keep on coming, a few months ago Citibank installed an ATM in Canley Vale – my home town in south western Sydney. How convenient is that?!

As a frequent overseas traveller (I average two trips a year for the past decade), it’s the free withdrawals at overseas ATM which has been a lifesaver. Not just at Citibank ATMs, but also thousands of other participating overseas machines. When using a Citibank ATM overseas, you get to see your balance in Australian dollars, which makes budgeting so much easier for a numerically challenged person like me.

Over the nine years, I reckon I saved almost $3,000 in ATM fees. Small wins daily that has turned into a big windfall. That’s enough to pay for another overseas holiday or a lot of meals!

Some delicious small wins that Citibank offer to its customers every day include:

  • The Citibank Dining Program which provides customers with a free bottle of wine when they dine at partner restaurants. Yes folk, zilch for a bottle of wine.
  • Because we live in an online and mobile world, a new mobile app with convenient restaurant finder.
  • The Citibank Plus account (that’s what I’ve got) comes with access to over 3,000 ATMs in Australia and no Citibank fees for ATMs overseas.

Free Fridays – thanks to Opal

opal card

In my opinion, Sydney’s trains have vastly improved (and they deserve more praise) – they are clean, are running more often on time and the live train app is fantastic. I commute 11 hours each week on the train so I should know!

If you’re smart, you can rack up 8 short, cheaper trips early in the week, so by Thursday or Friday, the rest of the week’s travel is zilch! Love it!

YouTube Channel

Youtube noodlies sydney food blog

Around four years ago, I was one of the first food bloggers to use video. Slowly, step by step, the audience and subscribers grew. Tuesday this week, noodlies YouTube channel passed another milestone – 1,000 subscribers (see above, top left corner) with more than 1.1m views.

Windows 10

Windows 10

Through noodlies and my interest in technology, I’m now a Lenovo Insider. Thanks to Lenovo, I’m part of a small group of people from across the globe who get access to the latest Lenovo and Motorola technology.

I don’t know which device I love more – the X1 Carbon; which I’m using to write this blog, the Yoga 3 Pro; the cross over tablet/laptop with an amazing screen resolution that I use as my entertainment device, or the Yoga tablet which is my meeting productivity tool – replacing notebooks, post it notes, diaries and calendars.

But today, another small win.

Turning on the Yoga Pro 3 I’m told I’m eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. Downloading now… how winning!

Street Food Community

Google+ Street Food Community

Regular readers of noodlies will know that I’m no fan of Google+ but I’m a huge fan of street food (who isn’t?!). I’ve always maintained that Hangouts and Communities were the only useful features of Google+.

To prove the point, a few years ago, I set up a Google+ Street food community. It was open and anyone could join. The growth in membership says it all. Today there are over 23,000 members in this active, thriving community.

Amazing result for very little effort!

Small wins can yield big results

So whether it’s publishing a few blogs each month that, over time, have accumulated to 1,022 posts; free ATM withdrawals with a large, international network that have realised enough savings for an overseas holiday; being first with video that has built a YouTube channel with over 1.1m views and 1,000 subscribers… all these small steps have led to small wins that have resulted in big results. Noodlies is living proof!

Let’s celebrate the small wins. You never know where they’ll lead…

This post is sponsored by Citibank.  All opinions contained in this post are noodlies’ own and consistent with noodlies’ editorial guidelines as outlined in our code of ethics.