Archives for April 2013

Momtrepreneur Helene Marie Sonza of Baby Chic Boutique

An Interview with Helene Marie Sonza, Owner/Proprietor of Baby Chic Boutique

I got to interview miss Helene Marie Sonza. Momtrepreneur Helene is happily married to her loving husband Rogel, and mom of 2 wonderful kids – Mari, her 4-year old son, and Haley, her 15-month old daughter. She used to work as a registered nurse before she decided to quit her job when her part-time earnings as a freelance writer exceeded her salary. She opened Baby Chic Boutique February of last year. She loves to read and write and travel, and she just absolutely loves being a mom to her kids. She is currently a part-time writer, part-time momtrepreneur, and full-time mom. She promotes cloth nappying and breastfeeding to family, friends, and whoever would listen! She has been happily breastfeeding for 15 months and counting!

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Ginger: Hi Helene! Can you tell us more about Baby Chic Boutique?
Helene: My shop is Baby Chic Boutique, and for me, it’s “Where Chic Babies Make Happy Mommies.” Basically it’s about offering adorable, useful and “chic” items in the market for babies. I’ve been in the business for more than a year now – I just celebrated the anniversary of my shop this February.

Ginger: Who is your market?
Helene: My target market is moms with babies and toddlers who are looking for chic, adorable and useful items that they can use in their everyday life.

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Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Helene: Well, after I had my daughter Haley – I had already quit my nursing job and was working part-time as a freelance writer – I started thinking about going into business, since I had some time in my hands. I first wanted to offer pretty and chic items such as ribbons and clips since I thought there was still a lack of these items in the market, and moms like me with baby girls are always on the lookout for cute items to dress up our kids. But then I discovered cloth diapers, and I immediately fell in love. These oh so cute diapers are useful, eco-friendly, and absolutely chic and adorable… And now it’s become the main item that I sell in my shop. It’s because I truly believe in using them – my daughter is exclusively using cloth diapers – and I think they’re truly the better alternative to using disposables. I also offer many other baby items in addition to cloth diapers such as legwarmers, shoes and skidders, healthy baby snacks, Melissa & Doug toys and books, and I’ll soon have more baby and toddler clothing as well.

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Helene: Well, money was the first issue – but because of the savings I had from my freelance writing gigs, I was able to put up my online business. There were some other hurdles – I like to think of them as hurdles, and not really obstacles – such as wondering whom should I target, how do I promote my business, should I give up or not… Yes, there were times before when I almost gave up, but the hard work paid off, and slowly I was able to find my niche and now I continue to have a growing number of new and regular customers.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Helene: Being willing to take a risk, being patient, and being able to balance work and life effectively. Business is always a risk – there’s a chance that you fail or succeed. And it’s really important that you be patient and persevere, since it can take a while to become established and build up your consumer base. And add the fact that you have kids to take care of – so you really need to know how to balance everything so that you can give your kids the time and attention they need as well as ensure that your customers are given the attention that they need.
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Ginger: Are there any unforgettable lessons that you learned as a Momtrepreneur?
Helene: That it’s not easy… that success really takes time, and it’s really important to maintain balance in everything. 

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Helene: Going into business is not for the fainthearted, so make sure that you’re up for the challenge.

Ginger: Thank you, Helene! You’ve shared wonderful insights! I wish you more success in your endeavors.

Baby Chic Boutique Contact information
a. Website: https://www.facebook.com/babychicboutiquephils/
b. Multiply site: http://multiply.com/babychicboutique (still under construction since multiply upgraded their site)
c. Email address: babychicphils@gmail.com
d. Mobile Number: 0932-9787278
e. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/babychicboutiquephils/

Mayumi & Me Natural Bath and Body Giveaway

I fully support Filipino momtrepreneurs. I admire their passion and ingenuity in coming up with different unique products. I also admire those those who sell natural and organic products and those that have their own advocacy, much like my friend Armi from Mayumi & Me.

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Mayumi & Me, chic choices for nurturing parents, is an online store where you can get great products for babywearing, breastfeeding and cloth diapering. They also sell fashion items for kids and mommies. They also have Natural Bath and Body products that you can choose from.

For a nurturing mom like me, I want what’s best for my Baby Zeeka. I choose quality over price. I’m also a sucker for anything natural and organic. While browsing through Mayumi & Me’s site, I find that all of the items in the Natural Bath and Body section of the online store very appealing. These are the products that Mayumi & Me have:

Human Nature Baby Wash
Baby Wash with Lavender, Rosemary & Chamomile, 99.3% Natural
The natural Baby Wash will cleanse your baby’s skin and hair completely harmful chemical-free. Made with mild scents like lavender, rosemary and chamomile, it will calm and soothe your baby during every bath time. So now you can be sure your baby’s sensitive skin is getting only the gentlest of nature’s goodness.
Click here to check out the product

Human Nature Baby Oil
Studies show that massaging your baby with sunflower oil lessens the risk of developing skin infections by 41%*. As nature’s wonder oil, it also helps soothe diaper rash, itchiness, irritation and little boo-boos. It’s dermatologist tested, so you can be sure to keep your little angel’s skin soft and supple with every gentle rub.
(*Source: Dr. Leslie Baumann, Cosmoceutical Critique: Sunflower Oil www.skinandallergynews.com)
Click here to check out the product

Moonshine Baby Bottom Spray (by IndigoBaby)
The only spray perfect for little bums. Lavender soothes, heals, and protects your baby’s delicate skin. Spritz directly onto baby’s bottom and wipe to dry or wash with water. Use at every nappy change to avoid nappy rash. This is a MUST when traveling. Imagine an explosive poop session and nowhere near a clean, baby friendly restroom?! This just saves you all the hassle!
Click here to check out the product

By Nature Baby Salve
Use this salve for most baby concerns – diaper rash, insect bites, eczema, dry patches, and even small cuts and boo-boos. Simply apply on affected area. May also use all over your baby’s body instead of lotion. It is easy to bring along everywhere your baby goes.
Click here to check out the product

By Nature Handmade Soaps Special Bars Baby Blue variant.
100% NATURAL, Unscented. This soap is especially made for kids with sensitive skin. It contains chamomile essential oil, calendula extract, goat’s milk, honey, aloe vera gel, oatmeal, and vitamin E – all wonderful ingredients for babies! A wonderful bar for adults, too!
Click here to check out the product

Great news for all my readers! Mayumi & Me is giving away Natural Bath and Body Goodies.

Natural Bath and Body Goodies from Mayumi & Me

Natural Bath and Body Goodies from Mayumi & Me

This gift pack includes the following:
Human Nature Baby Wash (200mL)
Human Nature Baby Oil (100mL)
Moonshine Baby Bottom Spray (100mL)
By Nature Baby Salve (20g)
By Nature Handmade Soaps (4 sampler half bars of Baby Blue variant)

All you have to do is follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway starts today and ends on May 10, 2013.

Calling all nurturing and caring moms! Join now and win this great gift pack!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

P.S. Here are the contact details of Mayumi & Me
Website: http://www.mayumiandme.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mayumiandme
Instagram: https://instagram.com/mayumiandme

A Day of Learning: Maintaining Breast Milk Supply

It was a day of learning for me last Saturday. As I mentioned in one of my posts, I was excited to go to the How To Increase your Milk Supply workshop of Medela Moms. That morning also, I received a text from Abbie that there was a La Leche League Meeting on that same afternoon and the topic was baby-led weaning. I was also so excited to learn more about baby-led weaning, since I want to try it out with Zeeka.

How to Increase your Milk Supply

How to Increase your Milk Supply

I got to learn a lot of things from the How To Increase your Milk Supply workshop. Among those that I remember are the following:

–  The pituitary gland signals the body to produce and release prolactin and oxytocin into the mother’s bloodstream.
– All of us are capable of producing breastmilk (even men!)

Ways to increase and maintain breast milk supply:

1. Check your lifestyle
Eat healthy and live healthy. Try to avoid cows milk (if you really want milk, try soy milk). Also, avoid fast food and junk food. Sweets hamper milk production. Try to drink at least 3 liters of water every day. Get as much sleep as you can.

2. Be happy and stress free!

3. AVoid nipple confusion. It is advisable to direct breast feed up to 6 weeks.

How do you know if baby is experiencing nipple confusion?
– Baby pushes the nipple out with tongue
– During cup feeding babys tongue doesnt come out
– Baby cries at the breast even after comtinuous attempt within a 4 hour period
– Baby latches and unlatches breast very intermittently

4. Use Galactagogues
– You can take malunggay capsules, fenugreek, lactation treat and tea
– The side effect though may be constipation, so you have to increase your intake of fiber and water

5. It is possible to relactate. If you need help, there are already tools that can help you do so!

6. It is important that you bond with the baby and touch the baby.

7. There is also no need for a breast massage when you have plugged ducts. What you can do is do clockwork massage and apply hot compress. You can also do the combing massage or do manual expression if you feel breasts are engorged. The best is actually have baby suck on your breasts.

All in all, the best way to maintain breast milk supply is really to continue to breastfeed. Continue creating that demand and you will in turn create ‘supply’.

Good luck in keeping at it! Hurray to breastfeeding!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Preschool Dilemmas: Fear not! You can Homeschool your Child

As early as now, I am thinking of Zeeka’s education. My husband says it is still too early to worry about it. But being the stubborn me, I have already read blogs of the other moms and have checked out the websites of ‘schools’ that she can go to even as a baby. But apart from all these schools and places where they teach and develop children, at home, I honestly don’t know what to do to teach her.

I had my first experience in teaching a child when David, my nephew was smaller. I used to teach him ABC while I was on maternity leave that time (which was just a few hours a day). But, I know that was completely different. David was a nephew and most of the teaching really came from my BIL and SIL, his parents.

Now that I have my own daughter, I am with her 24 hours and I know that the task of teaching her will be on me. I have grown attached to her and sometimes, I think if I will ever be ready to see her go to school and not be with her at home. I know that every kid now is required to go to preschool, but for those who think that their 3-year-old is too young to be sent off to a preschool, you might be interested in homeschooling your preschooler.

Preschool Homeschool: You Can Do It Too!

Preschool Homeschool: You Can Do It Too!

If you want to try out homeschooling your preschooler, you might want to check this out.

The Learning Basket presents its much-requested seminar “Preschool Homeschool: You Can Do It Too!”. It will be on April 20, from 9am to 11am, at Medela House. Listen and discuss with other parents the what, why, and how of homeschooling preschoolers.

Registration is Php 250 but will be waived if you buy a minimum of P500 worth of books or toys from The Learning Basket’s booth during the event. Great quality books and toys add to the homeschool experience.

To register for the event, kindly fill up the form on this link. For questions, don’t hesitate to email Mariel at mariel(at)thelearningbasket(dot)com.

See you there!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Sakura Mommy of the Month: Why Should you be Mommy of the Month?

I recently heard of this contest from Sakura Philippines. They have what they call Sakura Mommy of the Month.

Sakura Mommy of the Month

Sakura Mommy of the Month

 

The meat of the contest is where mothers have to submit a photo of themselves that best portrays you as a mother. This got me thinking. Do I have a photo that justifies what I think I am as a mother? I hurriedly went through the photos of Zeeka and I, which were not a lot (since Zeeka’s only one month old and I am camera shy!). I found this photo which was taken by my friend, Polly Fong from Oh Happy Day Birth Photography, and I immediately think “this is it!”.

Zeeka and Mommy Ginger

Zeeka and Mommy Ginger

I think that this picture represents all that I am or all that I want to be as a mom to Zeeka. I want to be a caring mom who is willing to listen to her. I want us to be able to talk about anything under the sun. I want us to have a loving relationship. I want her to feel and see that I would be there to support her and to help her achieve all her goals and dreams. I want her to feel that I love her — REALLY love her.

If you want to share a picture that portrays you as a mother and if you want to be Sakura mommy of the month, check out and follow the mechanics below:

1. Like the SAKURA page on Facebook (facebook.com/sakuraphilippines)
2. Follow the Sakura twitter account (www.twitter.com/blackbeauty_ph)
3. Submit a photo of yourself that best portrays you as a mother. (Submit it to through Sakura Philippines facebook page direct message or in sakuraphilippines@gmail.com)
4. In 5-8 sentences, tell them: (1) why you should be our SAKURA Mommy of the Month and (2) how SAKURA products help you be the best mommy you can be!
5. Photo submissions will be accepted until May 9, 2013. Winner will be announced on May 11, 2013.

For contest winner, she will win all of these items:
1 SAKURA gift pack
1 hair and beauty makeover
1 personal shopping experience
1 fabulous outfit worth 4,500
1 photo shoot
Media mileage for your blog (if you have one)

For two runners up:
1 SAKURA gift pack

The entries will be judge by a panel of judges based on (50%) Essay content and (50%) photo that best portrays you as a mother.

So, Moms, have a go at it and good luck!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Celebrating My Baby’s First Month

How fast time flies! I feel like it was just yesterday when I gave birth to Zeeka. It’s true when people say to enjoy every minute of it, because children really grow up fast. Zeeka, so tiny when she was born, is not a bigger baby (haha! Although she’s still so small and fragile at 7.8 pounds.

The night before Zeeka’s first month celebration, we actually had to go to Baby Company to register for her baptism. When we were there, we bought this cute Hello Kitty Balloon, which we wrote on.

Zeeka's Cute Hello Kitty Balloon

Zeeka’s Cute Hello Kitty Balloon

Zeeka's One Month Celebration

Zeeka’s One Month Celebration

We also got her a cake from Red Ribbon. We got her one of those dedication cakes in chocolate!

In the morning, we both greeted her. She was obviously oblivious to what was going on. She stared at me as if to say “what’s with balloon, mom?” But that morning, she was in a good mood. She kept on smiling. I guess she finally figured out it was her first month birthday! She was supposed to wear this outfit that I got for her from Debenhams, but the leggings were still too long for her.

She was supposed to wear this...

She was supposed to wear this…

Instead she wore this pink dress!

Instead she wore this pink dress!

I must say that she was cute in this outfit!

We had to go to the doctor. The doctor gave her her second shots for Hepatitis and ordered for us to have her blood test to check her bilirubin levels. She was so stressed that she got to poop on her dress. It was too bad since we wanted my grandmother to see her all dolled up. But, it was okay. It was great that we brought an extra onesie.

We had the celebration at my grandmother’s house. Here is Zeeka with her great grandmother.

Zeeka with Mama E!

Zeeka with Mama E!

We had to wait for Daddy to arrive from work and the minute he arrived, Zeeka blew out her candle (of course, with mommy and daddy)!

Zeeka blowing her candle with mommy and daddy!

Zeeka blowing her candle with mommy and daddy!

Happy First Month Birthday, Zeeka!

Family Picture!

We had a simple celebration, but what is important is for Zeeka to know that she is loved!

Zeeka One Month 1

Happy 1st month, my Baby!

Happy 1st month, my Baby!

How about you? Did you celebrate your child’s “monthly” birthdays before he/she turned one? 🙂 What did you do? I’d love to hear about it.

Love,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

BABY BLAST YEAR 4

I’m so glad that Mommy Ginger is the Media partner of BABY BLAST Event this year. This is the first event that Mommy Ginger agreed to be a media partner. I guess it’s because I love the objective of promoting and showing people the importance of Early Head Start (EHS) Education. During this Baby Blast Event, which is brought to us by Outbox Media Production Agency, EHS advocates, teachers, doctors, parents and kids gather together at the Trinoma Activity Center on April 14, 2013, from 10am-7pm.

The first Baby Blast event was last 2010 and ever since that time, this annual event has been the venue for promoting unforced and enjoyable learning. It has shown parents that hands-on play and parent-child bonding during the age of 0-3 years is critical in laying down the foundation for the child’s future learning and holistic development. Every year, attendance to the event grows in number, as more families enjoy the fun activities and learn from the featured topics.

Baby Blast 4

Baby Blast 4

This year, the title of the event is “BABY BLAST 4: Discover. Create. Imagine. Explore!“. It focuses on the importance of allowing babies and kids to experience the outdoors and engage in physical activities that can benefit their social, mental, physical and emotional development, given today’s tendency to merely rely on gadgets and technology to keep kids busy.

The event will feature entertaining talks on health, parenting and education from experts, parents and teachers, Early Head Start demos, exhibits, booths and fun activities! Aside from the onstage program and activities, here are this year’s exhibit areas to look forward to:

WORLD OF DISCOVERY:
Find new discoveries in the amazing world of books, toys and technology! EHS schools will also be present to show the programs they offer!
CREATIVITY CORNER:
Get hands on with creative projects like arts, crafts, baking and even robotics!
BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION:
Let your child’s imagination run free with mind-boggling experiments and fun activities!
BABY EXPLORERS:
See how learning begins with exploration and fun play through Early Head Start!

There are also online contests and pre-registration happening before the day of the event:

BABY BLAST 4

BABY BLAST 4

PHOTO CONTEST
WE LOVE THE OUTDOORS FAMILY PHOTO CONTEST
Send us a photo of you and your family engaging in a FUN OUTDOOR ACTIVITY together! The BEST photo will win a summer staycation for the family!

TSHIRT DESIGN CONTEST

DESIGN MY SHIRT CONTEST
For kids age 5-12 years old: interpret this year’s event theme through a T-shirt design artwork: Baby Blast 4: Discover. Create. Imagine. Explore!
The winner will get fun prizes and the design will become the official Baby Blast 4 T-shirt!

BLOUNGE
SEARCH FOR THE CUTEST BABY
Open to babies age 3 and below, who will attend the event on April 14, 2013.
Winners will be announced during the program, and will get a chance to be featured in a baby magazine, plus take home special gift packs!

PRE-REGISTRATION
The first 100 pre-registrants will receive a special LOOT BAG!
Please LIKE the Facebook page: OBM Baby Blast Event for more info, or log on to www.outboxmedia.com.ph!

Congratulations to the Winner of the Taste Central and Mommy Ginger Giveaway!

CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Christine Bacal Batiller for winning this Bright Starts™ Infant to Toddler Rocker.

Bright Starts™ Infant to Toddler Rocker

Bright Starts™ Infant to Toddler Rocker

Please check your email for instructions on how to claim your prize.

Thank you to all those who joined this giveaway! We hope that continue checking Taste Central for new and unique items!

Love,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger