Archives for December 2016

Greed vs Dreaming Big

Last month, a friend of mine shared shocking news that one of the people we knew was sent to prison. He apparently stole Php 90 Million from his clients while he was working as a branch manager in a bank. I felt sad because I think (obviously) he knew that the day would come when he would be found out. My friend and I were talking on as to what would make him that greedy? We really had no clue. I knew this person and he was an extrovert. I knew that he had big goals and dreams. Did dreaming big get him to where he is right now?

Then, while watching the newest season of Gilmore Girls, a scenario spoke to me once again (I won’t mention the scene to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t seen it. It made me think of greed versus dreaming big. Where do you draw the line when you’ll say that a person is being greedy versus that he/she is just aiming high? When do you say that enough is enough?

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Don’t Step on Other People while on the Way to the Top

I personally think that there is nothing wrong about aiming high and setting big goals for yourself. But when you step on other people, then it becomes an issue. For example, if you dream about being a famous writer, there is nothing wrong with that. When you spread false stories or news about other people just to be famous, that’s where it becomes greedy. Another example is when you want to be the “boss” in the future. There is nothing wrong with that, but how you get there is what you need to think doubly hard about. If you know that you will hurt someone else in the process, try to rethink your strategy. There may be another way to get to the top.

What Good is Winning if you Lose Yourself

In life, there are a multitude of times that a hard decision is presented where you need to chose between two things. The tricky part is that oftentimes, this is not a black and white or a wrong and right choice. Oftentimes, these choices both seem right or both seem wrong. You can actually argue your way out and justify any of the choices. This is what makes life interesting. And the choices that we make define what we value most in our lives.

At the end of the day, it’s about staying true to your values and principles. These values and principles make up who you are. This was explicitly shown in the Disney – Pixar Movie MOANA. The choices that were presented to her were choices that would define who she was as a person. Both options were good, either to stay in the village and be the obedient daughter or to follow her passion which was to set sail into the ocean. The most important thing is to know and to be true to who you are.

You may hear a voice inside/ And if the voice starts to whisper/ To follow the farthest star/ Moana, that voice inside is/ Who you are”

 

*Moana image from http://www.idiva.com/news-entertainment/moana-the-new-disney-princess/1510085

*Moana image from http://www.idiva.com/news-entertainment/moana-the-new-disney-princess/1510085

What’s Next After you Have Achieved it All?

Have you ever thought of what your life would be like once you have achieved all of your dreams? Yes, you say that you want to be a huge rockstar like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, Tyra Banks, etc. Have you ever thought of what your life would be like once you get there? What would you have? Who would you love? Who will be by your side? Will you be amidst your loved ones or will you be a lone wolf in the dessert? Will you still have that respect from other people or will people abhor you (mostly because you stepped on them along the way)?

I know that most of us are creating plans to start the year right. I’m leaving these questions here for you (and me!) to think about as we all plan our way to success. I hope we don’t leave anyone behind.

5 Tips on Investing Money for your Child’s Future

It’s that time of that year again when people love to reminisce and plan. December is a month when everyone scrambles for a planner and tries to fill out their Starbucks, CBTL, Seattle’s Best Cards to get a planner that they can start writing on. In my case, I have two planners. I have one planner for my mommy duties and one planner for my work and business duties. As to why I have two, I have no clue, but it works for me. How your plan (or not plan for the next year) is really up to what feels comfortable for you. I can’t really tell you how you should plan, but I can share things that worked for me. This is also true with investing money for your child’s future.

The topic of investing money for your child’s future has been talked about several times. Oftentimes, I wonder why we always talk about it. I would think that with the plethora of articles out there about investing money, we would all be experts already. The reality though is that only a few really take investing to heart. The reason may be, because before we grow our money, we need to have enough money set aside as savings.

Honestly, I admitted to a few friends recently, that I am not good with handling money, so I need to have a system in place. I don’t splurge on things for myself, but I love buying other people things. I think it’s a way I show others that I care for them. The problem though is that I forget to keep track of my expenses, and before I know it, everything’s gone and I don’t know where it goes. So, since I know this about myself, I have developed a system a few years back that works for me. I hope that these tips work for you, too!

Step 1: Challenge yourself!
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The picture on top is the vision board that I have for myself. At the lower left side is a chart of all my sources of income and my specific financial goal for each source. As I mentioned, I have a competitive nature and everything is a challenge to me. With this staring at my face every morning, I get challenged! I look for ways to achieve these goals and really make sure that I achieve these cash inflows! All of these initially goes to a savings account. Again, this kind of visualisation tools works for me, because I love hitting targets and even surpassing them!

Step 2: Determine your “investment goals or objectives”

I tie up every cash inflow / income source with one investment objective. For example, the funds that I earn from blogging is linked to my investment objective of building up funds for my daughter’s college education. The one for Manila Workshops is linked to my investment objective of having enough funds when we retire. So you get the idea, right?  I have always believed that once everything is clear in your mind, all of your efforts (even unknowingly sometimes) tend to go to that direction.

Step 3: Choose an investment tool or vehicle

The word investing can be so daunting. It sounds so complicated and boring, but believe me when I say that it is actually fun and satisfying. For those who are first timers in investing, you need to know what kind of investor you are. This means knowing your investment objective, what your threshold for risk is (meaning at what point will it be okay for you to lose money — the greater the risk, the greater the income that you will get), how long do you plan on investing, etc.

As a mom, I usually just go with investing in mutual funds. To understand what mutual funds are, check out this video:

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mutualfund.asp

I really don’t have time to monitor each and every fluctuation in the stock market, or even monitor what’s happening to different factors that can affect my investments, so I leave it to money managers to do that for me. There are different kinds of mutual funds, depending on what type of investor you are. To know what kind of fund you should get, just go to:

http://bit.ly/mginvests

This goes to the Philam Asset Management Inc. (PAMI)website. (I made it easier for you to remember the link).

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The PAMI website will then show you the type of mutual fund that fits you. These are the available funds. What I like about investing in mutual funds is that you can open a fund with only a minimum investment of Php 5000! How cool is that? Also, you can put in a minimum of Php 1000 to buy units anytime you want. philam-asset-management-inc

Step 4: Investing Money is a Habit one should build.

I opened a mutual fund account for my daughter when she was born. That was 3 years ago. The lesson that I learned in investing money is not the amount (how big of an investment you make) that you invest but at the consistency of putting in funds into your account. This 2017, I plan to make my investments more regular. After making the investment, forget about it! In no time, you will see that your money has grown and you’ll have enough for your child’s future.

Step 5: Investing Money should be fun!

When it comes to earning, saving and growing your money, we always fear that we don’t have enough. For a time this year, I had this kind of mindset and every thing went wrong. Writing this article made me realize that I have got to get back to my previous mindset about handling and dealing with money. Piling up money for the future is fun; it shouldn’t be a burden. So to make it fun, everything should really be intentional in creating wealth.

Let’s make tons of money this 2017! More than that, let’s have fun earning, saving and investing it. Wishing everyone a prosperous new year! Happy planning.

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

*P.S. Thank you Philam Asset Management Inc. for the information that you have shared!

Creating Paper Christmas Ornaments and Teaching Independence

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For this final post on Christmas decoration DIY for toddlers, my daughter and I teach you how to create paper Christmas ornaments what you can use for your very own Christmas tree. It’s very simple to do and very apt for toddlers. All you need is this Christmas tree template https://openclipart.org/detail/2182/christmas-tree-icon, scissors, board paper, ribbon or string and materials that you can use to decorate the tree. We used markers for decorating the trees.

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Here is our video! Hope you like it!

So in this video, my daughter basically says things that she wants to say about creating paper Christmas ornaments. She loves speaking in front of the camera. People think that it’s us who’s pushing her to create all these videos on Youtube, but it’s all her. In fact, I have a backlog of all of the videos I need to edit. I can’t keep up with this little girl.

Fellow moms ask me (in the doctor’s clinic, at the mall) how did my daughter become so outspoken and “biba”. I guess our secret (but not really a secret) is that we treat her like an independent adult. We encourage her to make choices. We, as parents, can only pave the way for her to learn things and to make her journey as safe as possible. We can choose things like her vitamins (I use Propan TLC because it has Lysine that maintains her appetite, Taurine for brain development and creativity, and Chlorella Growth Factor and Vitamin D to boost height and for stronger bones), how she learns (school, homeschool, etc.), but we can let them choose which dress to wear, what activity to do, etc.

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Since they are kids, we think that they are not capable. They are! Believe me when I say that I can think of more than a dozen times when my daughter has surprised me.

So if you want an independent child, train them to make choices for themselves! It really works!

 

Christmas Decoration DIY for Toddlers: About Gifts and On Hearing “Observations”

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Christmas is just around the corner and so are family reunions and seeing relatives whom we haven’t seen for the longest time. With these celebrations, even if we try to avoid them, we will hear a lot of “observations” (under judging stares) from people around us. We will hear a lot of advice from other who think they know more that we do as parents.

I have been a victim of this and sometimes, these statements make me doubt myself.

In my family, kids being chubby meant that they were getting the proper nutrition. Now here is where the observations come in. Ever since she was a baby, my daughter never grew chubby or fat, so in the eyes of some people, they think she’s unhealthy. Proudly, I would say that my daughter has never gotten gravely ill. We give healthy food to eat, ask her to sleep early during the weekdays, and we give her vitamins like Propan TLC that contains ingredients that help her stay healthy (Propan TLC contains Lysine and B-Vitamins to help boost and maintain appetite, 100% RENI Vitamin C for stronger immunity and Vitamin D to boost height and for stronger bones).

I think I am doing pretty darn well as a mom, and I am sure you are, too! Be confident and take their advice and observations with a grain of salt.
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Today, we will share another Christmas decoration DIY for Toddlers activity that I did together with my little girl. We wanted to create our own DIY ribbons for a gift, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to make one. We still had fun though wrapping the gift for her cousin Noah together. She was excited to tie the ribbon of the gift.

Here is the link to our video! Hope you like it!

That’s it for today’s Christmas countdown and sharing another activity for Christmas decoration DIY for Toddlers. Aside from that, never doubt yourself as a mom. I’m sure all of us are trying to be the best mom that we could be. We all want what’s best for our child and that is all that matters!

Christmas Decoration DIY for Toddlers: Setting the Stage for Christmas

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When I look at my daughter, I am amazed at how big she is. Earlier today, I was reading articles about nutrition for toddlers. It was not because she was sick; it was because I am sick. I, as a mom, wanted to know what I was doing right, and I think it was because I have been giving her the right vitamins apt for toddlers.

Since I feel that she is growing up too fast, I have been very hands-on lately on my role as a parent. I have been scouting the net for activities for toddlers. My daughter has been so active lately that I have been looking for ways for her to keep busy and to learn, too. I love though that she has been active and healthy (it might be the Propan TLC vitamins that I am giving her). Propan TLC contains Lysine to help boost and maintain her appetite and 100% RENI Vitamin C for stronger immunity. I’ve noticed that she doesn’t get sick and even with the change in weather, she hardly catches a cold. This takes out the burden of worrying about sickness! Going back, since Christmas is coming, I have been searching for Christmas Decoration DIY for Toddlers on the internet.

I found a few things that we will share with you, so that you can also do it with your toddler. But for today’s post, it’s about creating that ambiance that exudes the Christmas spirit. I know that I said Christmas decoration DIY for toddlers, but just for today, I will share with you a simple (although not too DIY) activity that you can do.

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My daughter loves surprises in general — whether it be us surprising her or she surprising her dad or me. We normally put up Christmas decorations on the first week of December, but this year, we started early. We started early because my daughter saw these cute reusable glass stickers in a store. I bought it because I knew it would be a great activity for bonding.

Here is the video that we have for this activity! I hope you like it!

For the family to get the most out of celebrating during this season, having an ambiance that encourages happiness and an environment of Giving. During this season, we can teach our kids the value of generosity. We can teach them that the celebration is not only about decorations, gifts, and eating, but it’s a time when we can truly show each other how much we value them.

Christmas Gift Ideas Little Girls will Love

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I wanted to continue my Blog Series, but I figured that we can continue that anyway after the Holidays. I wanted to create a Christmas Series, since it’s almost Christmas. Do you realize that it’s just 10 days away from Christmas? I am way behind with my Christmas shopping. I hope you have completed or almost done with your shopping.

Christmas is a magical time for everyone, especially for little children. Little children see the magic and the wonder in every thing they see. Just the other day, my little girl received gifts from her classmates. I told her to open it on Christmas. She has been asking me every day if it’s Christmas. haha!

I’ve been thinking of what to give my daughter for Christmas. One of the places that I went to to look for Christmas gift ideas little girls will love was S&R. Oh my gosh! I found a lot of Christmas gift idea suggestions that I want to share with you!

Gigantic stuffed toys greeted us as we entered the store. These stuffed toys came in all shapes and sizes. Her favorite was the Mickey & Minnie stuffed toys at 25 inches tall. It was at Php 1999.95 (Buy 1 Take 1).

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Little girls who are already going to big school will love cute school materials from pencil cases, to unique erasers and sharpeners to bags that are pink, cute and girly! Speaking of the latter, we found this cute Snoopy bag. It’s a backpack sold at Php 999.95. It’s very light yet sturdy.

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A cute gift that I saw are these Gund Kids hooded towel. It’s one of the great Christmas gift ideas little girls and boys, actually.

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Other gift ideas that are equally cute and unique that I saw at S&R Membership Club are these giant craft jar and this huge castle like kitchen that is fit for your little princess.

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There are other things Christmas gift ideas little girls will love at S&R membership club. If you get the chance this weekend, try to drop by and check out these amazing stuff. Aside from the stuff that little girls would love, they have numerous gift ideas for the members of your family and friends! Let me know what are the things that you have purchased! Can you make your own list and share it with others? Please use #LoveSnR and #SnREveryday.

Versatile Fashion with a Heart from Aurelia & Amelia

It takes a certain type of personality to be able to start your own business and make it fly. From the minute I got to know this lady, I knew that she was a go-getter! I felt that she was someone who would make things happen. We met in a coffee shop and immediately and excitedly told me about versatile fashion. I loved the passion and the enthusiasm. Lo and behold, after a month, Katrina Manalo is now launching her own social enterprise business called Aurelia & Amelia.

Aurelia & Amelia is a social enterprise and a social-selling organization based in the Philippines that focuses on promoting versatile fashion while enabling Filipino women earn additional income, do something they love and contribute to social-change.

*Please subscribe to my channel http://bit.ly/gtvchannel and like this video!

This was the first time I hear about versatile fashion. I am one who dresses up simply (a shirt paired with jeans does it for me). It’s very difficult for me to spruce up outfits like these. Seeing the different products of A&A made me believe that I, too, can be a fashionista!

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*Image from Aurelia & Amelia

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*Image from Aurelia & Amelia

What I love about Aurelia & Amelia’s products is that there are a lot of details that Kat really thought about, which is present. And example are the little charms that symbolize these four seals. If the product represents some of these seals, the buyer will see charms representing the seals in the piece that she bought. The four seals are Eco-Friendly, Socially Responsible, Shop with a Heart and Made in the Philippines.

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Another thing that Aurelia & Amelia stands for, other than just versatile fashion, is versatile fashion with a heart. For every purchase of the product, a portion of it goes to the daily expenses and allowance of  a child under Project Pearl’s care. Project Pearl is a non-profit foundation that cares for abandoned children.

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This is the perfect gift for your mother, sister, tita, etc. These are fashion pieces that they can wear everyday. By giving them a piece from Aurelia & Amelia, you are also helping build a brighter future for a child.

Come and join me attend the launch of Aurelia & Amelia at BGC this coming Saturday. If you have the time, please sign up now www.aureliaamelia.com/invitation-for-launch/ See you there!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Family and Friends from Katsa Co.

Since Christmas is fast approaching, I know that you are all busy looking for gifts to give your loved ones. I shared with you my Christmas gift ideas for your mompreneur friends in this link: http://bit.ly/snrChristmasMompreneur. I will be sharing more Christmas Gift Ideas these coming days. For today, I feel so giddy sharing this product with you, since this brand was co-created and built by one of my good friends and event directors in Manila Workshops, Donna. She and her friend created Katsa Co., which I will tell you more about in this post.

Donna, one of the Co-Founders of Katsa Co. with son, Kib

Donna, one of the Co-Founders of Katsa Co. with son, Kib

I haven’t told Donna this, but I really admire her. She is a superwoman! She is a single mom, homeschooling mom, a work-from-home mom, a supportive mom to her busy 10 year old son who gets a lot of tv/print commercial gigs, a mom blogger, and now a budding entrepmom. She like travelling and shopping. She loves eating, but doesn’t like cooking (haha!).

Donna was a banker and a licensed teacher by profession. She started venturing into this business very recently (October 2106), which was co-founded with a friend. She met her friend and was her best friend during graduate school. “We complement each other,” Donna adds. They always get along and are patient with each other. “When one tends to be in a bad mood, the other one gives way. haha!”

They have always thought of starting a business, but what kept them from starting was because of the distance of their homes. Late last year, they decided to get serious and thought of Katsa Co. as their initial venture, being both kikays and who love bags. Her goal as a mom is to inspire other moms that you can homeschool and be a mompreneur at the same time through her blog and instagram posts.

When asked about other goals, she hilariously uttered, “Gusto ko magkaron pa din ng lovelife, haha! (I want to have a lovelife!).” But her main goal is really to raise her son to be a fine young man and to prepare for their future. This is the reason why she has several jobs. “Some of my friends say that they cannot do the things that I can do, because I juggle work, business, parenting, and home management. I just tell them, “mahirap talagang kumita ng pera.. haha! (Earning money is hard!).

Katsa Co.’s Story

Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?

Donna: Our business name is Katsa Co. We thought of that name, because we wanted something that is catchy and easy to remember. Our bags and pouches are basically made of katsa, so having it as our business name is something that people can easily recall. We are into selling personalized bags and pouches. We ask our customers how they want their bags to be and what kind of print should be on the bags/pouches. We have our own line of bags, but we are also open to different customizations. As long as it is made of katsa, we can do it. We just started last October 2016.

Katsa Co. Shoulder bag
Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Donna: We would love to tap everyone who is looking for something to use for their own or someone who would love to showcase their kids’ artwork or maybe someone who is looking for gift ideas or Christmas gift ideas (since it’s almost Christmas). We will serve every one who would love personalized bags and pouches! Our bags and pouches can also be used by men, too! My friend and I love ‘owning’ things so we thought of opening this idea to other people, too.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Donna: My friend and I have already been thinking of a business that we can both work together despite of our proximity, and opening an online business is the most workable for both of us. We’ve thought of also buying a franchise, but the place to put the business is really a big challenge for both of us. It’ll be very difficult for us to physically manage a traditional business because aside from being business partners, we’re also mothers. We also need to find time for our kids.

Katsa Co. Bag
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Donna: Choosing the right business, because we wanted to put up a business that we both like. Another one is the challenge of dividing the task. Proximity is a challenge for us so we need to really plan our strategy for us to make the business work. We need to put more time on this business so that It’ll prosper.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Donna: Our business is fairly new, and we are still finding the right ‘formula’ so that we will be able to last in the business. Online business is really a tough industry to be in, because there are thousands of online businesses out there. We need to really market the business double time and deliver in a timely fashion to our customers. We make sure that we answer all their inquiries on time.

Katsa Co. Sample

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Donna: A start-up entrepreneur must put up a business that they think that they would love, and not just for the sake of earning. A start-up entrepreneur must be flexible to their customer’s needs. Like in our case, even if we have our own line of products, we also do welcome customizations and we really try to meet our customers’ needs. A start-up entrepreneur must be willing to learn. Just like what I’ve learned from the business talks that I’ve attended in the past, innovation is the key to last in the industry. Learning never stops.

Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder?

Donna: My friend and I always have arguments, hahaha. But towards the end of the day, we’re still friends. Respect each other’s opinion and always consult each other for decisions.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Donna: You don’t need to have a big capital to start a business! Start small, and from there, make your business grow ☺ Work on your capacity too, don’t get too excited whenever there are inquiries, just take it lightly. Learn to say no. Pray. Pray to the Lord for the right business opportunity for you, for sure there’s a tailor-fit business for you.

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Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Donna: While being an entrepreneur is one way to achieve financial goals, I guess that being an entrepreneur also needs a lot of preparation and experience. While some can be entrepreneurs at young age, some people need a lot of learning and encouragement to be one. But then, the bottomline is do not be afraid to take risks. The risk that you would take depends on how much failure are you also willing to accept.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Donna: Save a portion of your regular pay by tagging it as business fund. Have a small home business like selling ice candy or ice or fishballs. If you are bolder, apply for a bank loan. Borrow money from family members (I say family members because family can be leaner on payment terms, hihi). Cut on luxury expenses.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Donna: Since it is an online business, sharing the website to several groups is a good way to make the people aware of the brand. I blogged about my business, haha. Asking friends to spread the love about the business. Keeping the site alive by posting a lot of updates.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?
Donna: Our online shop is on Facebook and Instagram for now. Hopefully, we would evolve in the future by having our own e-commerce site.

Ginger: Thank you, Donna, for your time! For those who are looking for gifts to give out this holiday season, do check out these Christmas gift ideas from Katsa co.

Contact information:
Website: https://www.facebook.com/katsacoph/
Email address: katsacoph@gmail.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/katsacoph/
Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/katsa_co/

P.S. This post is dedicated to Alex, the daughter of Donna’s Co-Founder Rowena, who passed away yesterday 🙁