Archives for February 2013

Baby Shower for Zeeka

I’m almost on my 35th week of pregnancy and last Saturday, my sister, mom and dad hosted a baby shower for Zeeka (Thanks sis, mom and dad!). That was the highlight last week for me. My sister did most of the planning and the organizing. The theme was green and pink. I loved it! It was just the right colors for me and my baby Zeeka.

The Baby Shower invitation, Balloons from Bursting Happiness, Baking cups from Paper Chic Studio and Catering from Bistro 109.

The Baby Shower invitation, Balloons from Bursting Happiness, Baking cups from Paper Chic Studio and Catering from Bistro 109.

 

That day turned out really well. My day started with hair and makeup from Gold Magtoto (makeupbygold.multiply.com). Gold is a dear friend and I’m really excited to work with her for upcoming workshops this May and July. She is a good and very professional make up artist.

I went to her place in Pasig and then she and Dominic (her hair dresser) did my hair and make up. We started at 9:30 am and we were done by 11:00 am. I love how she did my make up. Would you believe that this wasn’t airbrushed? The party was at 3:00 pm and I was surprised that it lasted (mind you, pregnant ladies are more sweaty!).

having my make up done by Gold Magtoto

having my make up done by Gold Magtoto

Almost done :)

Almost done 🙂

Check out the finished product. I really loved my make up during that day! I was a glowing pregnant lady!

Finished work... had to take my picture take with my husband!

Finished work… had to take my picture take with my husband!

If you have events, weddings, debuts, etc. to go to, I highly recommend that you have your make up done by her.

At 3:00 pm, Ej and I got to the venue. The baby shower was held at the Valle Verde 5 Clubhouse. The place was beautifully decorated and their were cups of pica pica and nuts on cute colored paper cups. The staff of the catering service were also ready to serve guests.

Baby Shower Guide

 

For those who want a list of the suppliers, here it is:

Venue – Valle Verde 5 Clubhouse
Phone Number: (+632) 6310469

Decorations: Bursting Happiness
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/burstinghappiness?fref=ts

Catering Service: Bistro 109 Catering
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bistro-109-Catering/130618610310545

Paper Cups: Paper Chic Studio
Website: http://www.paperchicstudio.com/

It was simple shower, where merienda was served and games were played! The games that we played where complete the nursery rhyme, who knows mom the best and Purse Scavenger Hunt.

Baby Shower 0029

Baby Shower 0038

Zeeka, Ej and I would like to thank everyone who attended the baby shower. We had so much fun! Thank you, too, for all the gifts that Zeeka received. I know she can’t wait to use all of them.

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Mompreneur Passion & Planning

I have interviewed quite a number of mompreneurs and a lot of them mentioned passion as one of the things that you will need to have is your want to start your own business.  I do agree with them when they mention that mompreneur passion to be one of the necessary requirements before starting your own business. For me though, this isn’t enough.

Passion is an emotion. When you look it up in the dictionary or in wikipedia, it is defined as a strong (positive) feeling for something or someone. I believe that you cannot start a business with merely having a feeling that that makes you want to get up and do something. I had the same feeling about businesses before that I just wanted to do. At one time, I was really passionate about being a freelance makeup artist. I attended classes for it. I knew I also had the skill and the artistic talent. I bought a lot of make up. I bought my own kit. I spent probably almost Php 75,000 from all the make up that I bought and the classes that I took. Was passion there? Yes, there was definitely passion there!

But, after a year of offering my freelance make up services, it died down. Why? Because I lacked planning. I just jumped the gun and offered my service. I didn’t study the market. I was too excited to start.

Planning is crucial in creating a business. With planning, you utilize not only the heart but also your mind. I remember my strategy when it came to creating new products for the corporation that I worked for before. I use it now for my business and for when I mentor mompreneurs. I create three plans. I create a full blown business plan, a financial plan or analysis and a marketing plan (which I normally just do in PowerPoint).

These are the three plans that I suggest that you create, too, before jumping into any business. Why create these plans? It will help and steer you into the right direction for your business. By going through the whole business plan, it will help you check on the feasibility of your business (to see if it’s not only your needs you are answering). It will help you see the potential market or customers for your business (to see if ‘passion’ actually addresses concerns and needs of a substantial amount of individuals). And lastly, it will help you see if this ‘passion’ is something that you can sustain financially (of course, all of us want to continuously do what we are passionate about).

In the next business tips that I will be sharing for mompreneurs, it will be on how to create effective business plans, financial analysis and marketing plans that are simple enough for us, mompreneurs.

What are your thoughts on passion and planning? I’d love to hear them!

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Life Lessons for my Children: Life Lesson # 1 – Give Love Unconditionally

I am bursting with emotions right now (ashamed to say that these are negative though) and what’s good about me being pregnant now is that I ‘intentionally’ have to control my emotions. I am a very emotional person and that I admit. People will know if I am happy, sad, frustrated, disappointed or angry (which I rarely am). It’s very hard for me to keep my feelings. But now that I will have a daughter soon, I know that I have to always be on the look out for that and control my feelings.

The good thing about feeling negative emotions though is that it helps me think and contemplate on life lessons that I want to share with my Children in the future. I, then thought of Phil Dunphy’s “Phil’s-osophy” Words of Wisdom, and this makes me grin a little. I’m sure those of you who are avid fans of Modern Family will know of this. Some of the advice that he give to his children are:
– Always look people in the eye, even if they’re blind. Just say, I’m looking you in the eye.
– If you get pulled over for speeding, tell the policeman your spouse has diarrhea.
– The most amazing things that can happen to a human being will happen to you if you just lower your expectations

He’s so funny! Anyway, so I thought of just randomly giving life lessons to my children that I hope that they will learn from in the future. Some of you may agree or disagree with my thoughts, but as a parent, these are the lessons that I want my child to get from me and her dad.

Unconditional Love

Life Lesson #1 – Give Love Unconditionally

Dear Zeeka,
As your mom, I want what’s best for you and sometimes or even oftentimes (even if you are already an adult), I want to give you things, gifts or even give you acts of service that you don’t actually ask for. Let me tell you this. I do not expect you to say thank you nor hug me nor kiss me nor write me a thank you note. Just seeing that you are happy will be enough for me. If you do give me 1, 2 or 3 of the things above in return, I will be so ecstatic, but this is not required of you! I repeat… this is NOT REQUIRED.

This is what giving love unconditionally means. If you do something special for someone else or if you give someone a gift to make them happy or happi-er without expecting something in return, then that is love. I will be so proud of you for doing such a good thing.

You will notice that in this world, a lot of people give because they expect something in return. This should not be the case.

Do not give love or do not do any acts of service and kindness if your main goal is to expect something in return. That good deed will be pointless. Do it because you care for the other person. Do it because it feels right. Do it because you want to do it. Do it because you love.

Love,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

What is a Supermom?

I think all of us moms and moms-to-be should be called Supermoms.

supermom
Image from: http://blueeyedbride.com/2011/08/29/super-mom-whos-that/

Supermoms don’t claim to be perfect. Supermoms are not perfect. We succumb to the fact that there are things that you cannot control and things that you cannot foresee (We just leave it up to Him). We know that there are moments that we need to fail for these are the times we learn. We know that there are times when we need to cry, but do not mistake it as an indication that we are weak. We know that there are times that we, ourselves, need to sit on the corner and think of the things that we have done wrong. We are not afraid to say sorry and admit we’ve done wrong.

Supermoms know that we continuously need to learn about new things and read, not just for our sake, but for the sake of our children (We know that our reply couldn’t always be ‘google it’). We know that we need to breathe fresh air and live life to the fullest STILL, even if we are given added responsibilities. We know that we need to take care of ourselves for us to be able to take care of others.

Supermoms are loving, caring and respectful. We respect not only our husbands, but also our children. We know that our family is our #1 priority, but we also know that we need to live our lives and use our talents.

Supermoms make the world go round, especially the ‘worlds’ of our loved ones. We know that each Supermom has her own purpose and mission, so we help out other Supermoms fight crime and attain the own missions. We go out of our way to help (by exerting extra effort, service or just by listening) others in need. That’s just the way we are.

I love being a Supermom and i’m proud to be one! Aren’t you?

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Mompreneur Jacqueline Cua So of Sparkle Accessories Galore

An Interview with Mompreneur Jacqueline ‘Jacq’ Cua So, Proprietor of Sparkle Accessories Galore

Jacqueline So has been married for 7 years and blessed with 2 lovely kids (one is 6 years old and other one is 1 year old). She is a full time mom and never really worked in a corporate environment. She is used to focus all her attention and energy to her family, but of course, she realized that she also needed to do something during her free time. Because of her prayers, God made her realize that she can turn her passion for designing and creating accessories into something profitable.

Jacq So with her husband, Brad, her eldest daughter Breanna Katelyn and her son Brennan Marcus

Jacq So with her husband, Brad, her eldest daughter Breanna Katelyn and her son Brennan Marcus

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Ginger: Hi Jacq! Tell us more about Sparkle Accessories Galore.
Jacq: My business, Sparkle Accessories Galore, officially started last December 2012. I make one of a kind, luxe and handcrafted headpieces that would make any girl feel like a true princess. I consider my headbands as modern day tiaras. I want the girls wearing them to feel extra special knowing what they’re wearing is one of a kind.
Currently, they are available in Baby Fashionistas Eastwood City Mall and Lucky Chinatown Plaza in Manila. I am also planning to distribute my goods online.

Sparkle Accessories Galore

Sparkle Accessories Galore

Ginger: How cute! Who is your market for your products, Jacq?
Jacq: I target mothers who want their girls to standout and feel special. Mothers are not easy targets, they can be meticulous when it comes to their daughters. But I manage to satisfy their needs by giving them unique designs and prices that are reasonable.

Sparkle Accessories Galore products

Sparkle Accessories Galore products

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Jacq: I came up with this idea when my daughter wanted to buy a headband in a specific color and design. As a mom I don’t want her to get upset knowing that I won’t find the headband that she wanted, so I made one for her and thank God, she loved it.

I decided to start the business when friends and mothers from school started to notice the pieces and asked if I can make some for their daughters.

Cute Accessories from Sparkle Accessories Galore!

Cute Accessories from Sparkle Accessories Galore!

Ginger: Wow! That’s impressive! So it started with a need that your own daughter ‘presented’ to you. Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Jacq: Focus is my biggest concern. My business is about producing the product myself, so when I am “in the zone”, I do not want to be disturbed. However, there are times when I have to stop because my children or husband demands for my attention, so instead of doing my craft in the morning, I do it at night, when my kids and husband are already sleeping.

Nice Necklaces!

Nice Necklaces!

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Jacq:
– You have to like what you are doing. Designing and creating is what I like to do and so I do not feel like it’s work when I am doing my accessories; it is my therapy and “Me” time.
– You need to explore. You have to find what works for the market in terms of price, product, place and promo. Don’t stop till everything works smoothly.
– Take prudent risks. Hollywood has romanticized entrepreneurship, that they are risk takers and get rich quick. In real life it is about hard work, determination and commitment to continuous improvement. Entrepreneurs don’t take risks, they avert risks, and that what makes them successful.

Cute Headbands! I can't wait for Baby Zeeka to wear them!

Cute Headbands! I can’t wait for Baby Zeeka to wear them!

Ginger: Is their any unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Momtrepreneur?
Jacq: I used to doubt my designs before. I was afraid the market will not like it or they will not buy my products, but I was wrong. During the first week of my release, around 50 pieces were sold. There are a couple of lessons here. You are better than you think and just do it, so do not doubt your capabilities.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Jacq: To all the mothers with businesses out there, this is my simple advice. Our priority should always be our family and not business, because we are called momtrepreneurs and not entrepmoms.:-)

Ginger: That’s good advice for the momtrepreneurs out there, Jacq. I will be sure to keep that in mind when my own baby is born. Thank you so much!

Sparkle Accessories Galore Contact information:
a. Email address: sparkleag@hotmail.com
b. Mobile Number: +63917-5639781 or +63906-4084513
c. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sparkle-Accessories-Galore/467763563273710
* Products are currently available in Baby Fashionistas Eastwood City Mall and Lucky Chinatown Plaza in Manila

Managing Finances for your Home

For a middle income class couple, I can say we pretty much are doing okay financially. Are we where we want to be financially? Of course, we are contented with what we have but just like any couple, we want to be in a place where we can provide a secure future for our children and save up for our retirement. That’s why we continuously seek for effective methods on managing finances for our home.

What have I learned from the past three years of marriage? What are the tips that I’d like to share with you which helps us one way or the other to keep us on track in terms of achieving our financial goals.

1. Talk about Money with your Partner
For some couples, the thinking may be that this is a sensitive topic so might as well not talk about it. But sometimes, when you already need to talk about it, that’s where the fight and the arguments begin. EJ and I, even before we got married, have been talking about finances. I guess we were ‘that’ comfortable with talking about it and that it wasn’t a big deal (even in our Discovery Weekend, we HAD to talk about it, which I think helped us).

So how do we ‘talk’ about it? First of all, both of us know what bank accounts and investments we each or both have. Since Ej is the provider of the family (and I don’t have a steady source of income), all the bills and the loan payments have to come from his pay. If we have something to save up for, we both find means and ways to build up cash for that ‘something’. This can be done through the ‘work’ that I do (either from workshops or from blogs). For example, before taking in a yaya (which is mind you very costly), we discussed on how we will be able to pay her. We decided that her pay will really be from what I earn through my mompreneur business.

You can do something like this with your partner. You can discuss on how both of you want things to be done.

2. Have clear financial goals.
Only by having clear financial goals will you be able to create clear financial methods that will help you achieve these goals. When I was still in college, it was enough for me to have a goal of becoming a millionaire when I reached the age of 30. I did not create clear ‘mini’ goals that would help me achieve my major goal. My 30th birthday came and I was not a millionaire. Boo! to me, actually!

Then I realized, if I wanted something I should have created clear goals in my head (better if you write it down on paper though). I should have said every month, I will set aside Php 5000 and not touch it (or something like that). I should have been smart enough to keep it in any form of investment. But then again, we learn from mistakes from actual experiences of managing finances. Now, my husband and I (as you have probably read in past posts) keep an excel sheet of what we want to achieve financially for the year. There are specific amounts that we need to attain. For example, by hook or by crook, we need to have Php 250,000 for the birth of Zeeka. Php 60,000 is for the down payment of the Cord Blood Banking service that we got and the Php 190,000 is for the actual delivery of Zeeka (we saved up for the Cesarean rate, just in case).

So, it is important to know what you want in building that wealth that you want to have.

3. Separate money for your business and money for the home.
My dad early on taught me this. He became an entrepreneur in his early thirties. I believed and followed this advice since I knew he had more experiences on being a businessman and a family man at the same time. First of all, it is hard to reconcile when the inflows from your business go to your personal bank account. In any business, you will also have outflows. What happens if you need to make a big expense for your business? It will be hard for you now to track what is for the business and what is for the home.

I advise mompreneurs to always, always have a separate account. This will keep you on track with your budget for your business and on track for your budget for the home.

4. Continue to learn about finances.
Managing finances can be tricky. You think you know it all, but you actually don’t. I was a banker for 7 years, but even if I have been exposed to handling money, cash flows, bank terms, etc. I know that I still have a lot to learn in managing finances. Here is a workshop that you can join, and I think you and your family will benefit from it. It’s called Clean Bill of Wealth.

Clean Bill of Wealth Workshop

Clean Bill of Wealth Workshop

To register, please fill out the form below:

I highly recommend this workshop so that you and your husband will be able to learn more about investments and even the attitude that you need to have in order to make things happen!

I hope that these tips that I have shared will help you and your family manage your expenses. I do have more tips, but I’ll just share more in the future. 🙂 Hope you liked this article!

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Asian Hospital and Medical Center: Visit to Genesis

Ej and I are taking a Birthing Class with Miss Rome Kanapi. I will blog about it after we are done with all the 6 sessions. One of the things that she mentioned was to be sure to check out the delivery center and labor rooms of our chosen hospital. I am giving birth at Asian Hospital and Medical Center, so last week, EJ and I decided to visit their labor rooms and facilities.

Our appointment with our doctor was last Thursday, so we decided to call Asian Hospital to ask if we could tour their labor and delivery area. I was connected to the Genesis Center. Apparently, they call their labor and delivery area Genesis. How cool! The person on the other line just told me to come anytime so that they can show us the facilities.

We went there at around 10 am in the morning of Thursday (I was exactly 33 Weeks Pregnant). Genesis is located at the 3rd Floor of the building on the right (the left building of Asian Hospital are for the clinics of the doctors). When we got there, there was a nurse station and immediately told them that we would like to see the rooms and facilities of Genesis since I was 33 weeks pregnant and would like to deliver my baby at Asian Hospital. The nurses were very accommodating and one nurse wasn’t hesitant to give us a tour. She immediately jumped out of her seat! Again, very impressive. There was no looking at each other and waiting for one to answer our questions and show us around.

Okay, I decided to take you through the rooms as you might in an actual delivery. So during early labor, you might still be at home. When contractions get to become more frequent and you are already dilating at least 4cm, you may be brought to this area of Genesis (BTW, don’t forget to give your Birth plan to the nurse in charge). This is the Triage Room. While still in active labor, mommy-to-be can wait here. You will have to stay in this area until you have dilated until 8 cm.

Triage Room: While waiting for the baby

Triage Room: While waiting for the baby

Only one person is allowed to accompany mommy in this room. There are curtains for privacy. The mom can walk around in this area if she wishes.

Asian Hospital 0005

If you are already dilating at 8cm, you will be brought to one of the birthing rooms. The nurse showed us that there were four birthing rooms at the Genesis center of Asian Hospital. Sorry for the pictures, but I had to take it from the door. They disinfect the area so you really can’t go in. This is where you will wait to be fully dilated (10cm). This is also where you will have to deliver your baby in a normal pregnancy. For C-section delivery, they have a separate operating room (which I did not get to see anymore).

Birthing room at Asian Hospital Genesis Center

Birthing room at Asian Hospital Genesis Center

Birthing room: Pretty Spacious!

Birthing room: Pretty Spacious!

Birthing room at Asian Hospital

Birthing room at Asian Hospital

After you deliver, you will be transferred to your room for recovery and rooming-in (where your baby will stay with you). Although, Asian Hospital also has the Huggery section or their baby nursery. We got to visit this section, too. They have seats where you can lounge around and wait.

Huggery Viewing time

Huggery Viewing time

Huggery Viewing Time is at:
10:00am – 12:0nn
6:00pm – 8:00pm

There is a coffee vending machine also near the waiting area.

Genesis Waiting Area

Genesis Waiting Area

You can call Huggery staff if you want to see your baby (during viewing time)

You can call Huggery staff if you want to see your baby (during viewing time)

We also got to ask the nurses a lot of questions and they were all happy to answer them. We asked them if they place tags for the mom and baby after delivery. They said they have around 4-5 tags that they place. It’s a standard process that they follow to ensure security of the baby and to avoid baby switching.

We also asked them about “Unang Yakap”. They said that they really do that whether the baby was born normal or through a cesarean delivery. For those who do not know what Unang Yakap is, here is a video from the the Department of Health.

Also, I asked them if they give baby formula or sugar water. I was very pleased that they answered that they really promote breastfeeding and will do everything they can to help the mother breastfeed the baby. This is the type of encouragement that we expecting moms need!

Other things to note:
– We got the room rates for Asian Hospital. If you want a copy, just leave a comment below and I will gladly email it to you.
– Booking of the room is best done after your doctor has seen mommy-to-be. Your doctor can tell you if it’s time to book already. If you are advised to book a room already, just go down to the Upper ground floor and the admissions area is there (near the Philhealth office). Be sure to bring your Philhealth documents, too.
– We also got to talk to the Cost Counselor of Asian Hospital. I have attached copies of the expected cost quotation for Normal and for a Cesarean Delivery.

Asian Hospital Cost Counselor Cesarean Delivery

Asian Hospital Cost Counselor Normal Delivery
*Note that these costs are just “approximate costs” and do not include certain costs like the professional fees of your obstetrician, the anesthesiologist fee, the pediatrician fees, etc. (costs not covered are seen in the document).

For mommies-to-be, I suggest that you also go and check your own hospitals. Do create a blog post about it and I will gladly link to your post. For those planning to give birth at Asian Hospital (Phone number: +632-771-9000), do visit and share your thoughts, too! I’d love to hear from moms who have already given birth, too!

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

PS. Hope you can join our What to Expect during OB Checkups, pain management and pregnancy nutrition (WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE GIVING BIRTH) on Jan. 25, 2014 at Medela House in 1st Street, New Manila QC. Our guest speaker is Dra. Sarmiento from Asian Hospital.

PPS. For those who want to share with me their experience in the other hospitals, please feel free to email me your article so you can be a guest contributor. Hope you can make it as detailed as possible 🙂 Thanks! ginger@mommyginger.com