Archives for December 2017

Gift the Child, Gift the Parent

Five gift ideas for kids that will make their mommies happy too

Christmas is a time of giving, and oftentimes that giving is focused on the kids we know—which is just as it should be. But when you get to be a certain age, you find that you might have a lot of kids to get gifts for (mga pamangkin, inaanak, and more) when really it’s their parents who are your friends.

So recently I got to thinking, why not kill two birds with one stone and get your friends’ kids gifts that their parents will really appreciate too?

Of course, this got me thinking, what kind of gift would this be? To get ideas, I went back to my marketing roots and asked myself, “What’s the one problem every mom, myself included, suffers from?” And the answer was obvious—lack of mommy time!

That is to say, just about every mom I know wishes there were more hours in the day because we are all so busy. Not only are we charging forward with our careers, whether we’re employees or self-employed, but we’re also busy managing our households and families.

Given this problem, it was easy to think up a solution: get gifts for kids that keep them active and creative… and out of their parents’ hair! That way, while the kiddies are enjoying, Mommy and Daddy can take a breather.

So here are a few ideas for these kiddie gifts that are actually gifts for the whole family:

KidZania passes

I’ve been a KidZania Manila fan since the child-sized city opened in Bonifacio Global City a couple years ago. It’s not just that it’s fun for kids between the ages of 4 and 14 to get to experience their dream jobs in areas that look like scaled-down versions of actual workplaces. It’s that they learn a lot about themselves and also the challenges adults face, which helps teach them responsibility and creative thinking.

Oh, looks who’s one of them? 🙂 hehe!

Zeeka created her own comic strip at Metro!

Learn more about KidZania Manila via their website. http://manila.kidzania.com/en-ph/

Ticket prices range from P900 to P1100 for kids aged 4 to 17.

ActiveFun

Another play and activity center kids are guaranteed to enjoy is ActiveFun, which has branches in Bonifacio Global City, SM Megamall, The 30th Mall, Power Plant Mall, and Evia Lifestyle Center. In fact, if the members of your barkada all have kids around the same age, it might even be cool to make a fun day out of it so the kids can exhaust themselves on the slides, in the ball pits, and more, while the mommies can have a spa party.

Learn more about ActiveFun via their website. http://activefun.ph/

Admission rates for unlimited play are P480 per child.

GummyBox PH

Just a couple months ago, I discovered Gummybox, which offers themed activity boxes containing everything kids could want or need for a hands-on crafting or science project—something sure to keep them occupied for at least a whole morning or afternoon.

To learn more about Gummybox PH, check out my previous blog post or the company’s Instagram account, @gummybox.ph. For inquiries, email kfunkidstoys@gmail.com or text +63 939 551 1501.

 

Workshops and Kiddie Courses

Who says learning can’t be fun? There are workshops all around the metro to cater to a whole rainbow of kids’ interests. SparkleLab.ph alone offers courses on game development, toymaking, robotics, film and animation, and more.

Know any MasterChef Junior contenders in the making? Check out the kiddie courses at the Red Apron Cooking Academy. Dolldalita offers dollmaking workshops where kids can learn what goes into making toys they love. Or if you know any kids set to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, check out the courses at Jack.com.ph. And kids with an eye for style and beauty can learn a lot from the programs at KidzArt.

Craft Supplies and Kits

Know kids who love to get hands-on with crafty materials? Feed their love for these types of activities by getting them age-appropriate art and craft supplies, such as watercolor, calligraphy and lettering, or scrapbooking sets. Some places to shop include The Craft Central, Hey Kessy, Craft Carrot, and National Book Store.

Do you have other suggestions on gifts that will make both the parents and the kids happy? 🙂 Share it with me in the comments section below.

Cast for Keeps

I remember when I had Zeeka. I wanted to frame and keep everything — from how little her hands were, to hair from her first haircut, etc. As parents, we want to preserve these things to show our children when they grow up and for us to preserve the happy memories. This is the mission of Cast for Keeps, a small business in the Philippines. I had a chance to interview Andrea. Andrea Aranas is the Managing Director of Cast For Keeps and this is her story.

Andrea: I am a spontaneous person. I love random things depending on my mood and as of now I am into crafts and vlogging. But the things I like that will never change is public speaking, hosting, playing sports, and trying new things. I have a small family – it’s just my husband, my daughter and me. My husband and I have been married for over a year. We love travelling by car, but we don’t really go to specific destinations. We just love to go on joyrides. I never had the chance to work as I started crafting my own business, but I want to work with public schools and help the less fortunate as this has been my advocacy since I was in grade school. I have a passion for helping the needy,  especially children from to broken families.

Interview with Andrea Aranas

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

Andrea: I do lifecasting. Where I use molds and casting techniques to capture 3D copies of the hands and feet of my clients and turn them into rare memorabilia. I only started this year.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Andrea: The first lifecasts I did were for infants’ hands and feet. Then, I realized other members of the family deserve to have their own keepsakes. Lifecasting preserves the memories of my clients’ their babies and  children as they grow. Then, beginning this month, I am trying out a product to cater to corporate clients.

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

Andrea: I saw it randomly on the internet and thought it was cute, then I got curious and wanted to try it out.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an entrepreneur? What are these?

Andrea: It was hard to find Suppliers of the materials. I had to look for high quality items, so all
my ingredients are shipped from Australia.

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

Andrea: Well, many Filipinos are hesitant to splurge on memories. They’d be more practical.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an entrepreneur/startup founder should have when
starting their own business?

Andrea: Willingness to take risks. Patience. Perseverance.

Ginger: What are some unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an entrepreneur/startup founder?

Andrea: You will always lose money in the beginning, so you should really work on capital first if you do not want to take too big a risk.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Andrea: Do what you love to do, but be creative.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Andrea: Yes.

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

Andrea: Personally, I resell. Then, I declutter and try selling things I son’t need or making something out of them that will easily be sold.

Ginger: How do you market your products? What’s your growth strategy?

Andrea: Facebook, of course. Also advertisements, tie-ups, sponsorships, and, most importantly, word of mouth.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Andrea: Nothing much. Just my smartphone.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Andrea, for sharing some tips and your experiences 🙂 And we have good news for my dear readers! Andrea will be giving away 1000 off for any services.

Mechanics to join the raffle (these are just 3 easy steps!):

  1. Like the Cast For Keeps Facebook page: www.facebook.com/castforkeeps
  2. Follow them on Instagram: @castforkeeps
  3. Tell us why you want to win on the comment section below!

Contact information about your business:
Email address: castforkeeps@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 09174344671
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/castforkeeps
Instagram account: @castforkeeps

 

 

8 Locally Sourced Gift Ideas for Titos and Titas

When it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts, we mommies can often find it easy to shop for kids and find it hard to shop for the titos and titas in our lives—especially as we become titas ourselves. Recently, though, I’ve been embracing the idea of the #lovelocal movement, where we are encouraged to support local businesses who in turn support local communities.

So I thought, why not make a list of Christmas gift ideas guaranteed to make titas of Manila like me happy? Plus, if you check out my list below, you’ll notice many of the gifts can be bought in bulk, which is a great way to get your Christmas shopping done in record time.

For the fashionistas

*From the Renegade Folk website

Who says footwear can’t be comfy, high-quality, and fashionable? Certainly not the people behind Renegade Folk, who sell leather footwear designed and handcrafted by local artisans from Marikina.

Check out the Renegade Folk website for more information.
(https://www.renegadefolk.com/)

For the eco-conscious

If your tito or tita talks the talk and walks the walk about being more eco-friendly, one thing you might want to gift them a set of reusable straws, the better to help them reduce their use of plastic on a daily basis. The stainless steel straws from Go Zero can be ordered with tikog pouches made by Leyte locals.

Visit the Go Zero PH Facebook page to learn more about their products and order a few sets.
(https://www.facebook.com/GoZeroPH/)

For those who like to keep things organic

*from the Human Nature Facebook Page

Social enterprise Human Heart Nature doesn’t just work on helping Filipino communities who need it; they also have created an extensive line of organic personal care, beauty, and home products perfect for titos and titos with big hearts themselves. Check out their Natural Hand Soap and Coffee Body Scrub.

Check out the Human Heart Nature Facebook page for more information.
(https://www.facebook.com/humanheartnature)

For chocoholics

Who doesn’t love chocolate? And even if the tito or tita on your Christmas shopping list is watching their sugar, you can still gift them with unsweetened options. And the products from Davao brand Malagos Chocolate aren’t just delicious—they have also won multiple times at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London, UK.

Check out the Malagos Chocolate website for details on where to buy their products.
(http://malagoschocolate.com/malagos-chocolate/)

For coffee addicts

*Image from Bo’s Coffee website

If your favorite tito or tita can’t face starting the day without a freshly brewed cup of coffee, why not encourage them to go local with premium coffee beans from all over the Philippines? You can easily source packs of barako beans at the supermarket, or you can head to your nearest Bo’s Coffee branch to buy a bag of their Philippine-origin beans from Sagada, Benguet, Mount Matutum, and more.

Visit the Bo’s Coffee contact page to find the branch closest to you.
(http://www.boscoffee.com/contact-us/)

For the health conscious

Snacking can be tough if you’re watching your weight, your cholesterol, your salt intake, and more. Which is why the snacks from Founding Farmers are such a godsend for anyone looking to eat healthier—something we should all be doing this coming year! While the original product, their Mixed Veggie Crisps, are still a best seller, you may also want to try their Shiitake Mushroom Crisps.

Visit the Founding Farmers website for more information on their products.
(https://www.foundingfarmerssnacks.com/shop)

For the kikay titas

*Image from the Happy Skin Website

Happy Skin makeup and skin care products are sure to please any kikay tita, with the local brand’s unique formulations for sensitive skin and oh-so-cute packaging. Their Disney Princess lippie line is perfect for grown-up princesses, though their Shut Up and Kiss Me Matte Lippies are great too.

Go to the Happy Skin Cosmetics website to learn more about their products.
(http://www.happyskincosmetics.com/)

For those who need a break

Is your favorite tito or tita always on the go? Treat them to a massage package at a spa with branches close to their home or work. Or, if you’re a little shy about offering them a full-body massage, why not treat them to a mani-pedi somewhere convenient, such as a nearby Nail Tropics branch?

Learn more about Nail Tropics via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/NailTropics/

Got other local gift suggestions for me? Please leave a comment and tell me all about them!

5 Tips for Stress-Free Meals During the Christmas Season (with a Sanicare Giveaway!)

The biggest holiday of the year is just a few weeks away, and this is a particularly hectic time for mommies like me. Apart from working on my businesses and blog, there are friends to meet, reunions to have, and shopping to do. On top of that, there’s the usual family activities, like play time and study time and, of course, meal time. And while it’s easy to eat out, nothing quite beats a yummy meal at home for family bonding, even though it can be tough to make time to prepare and serve food when there are so many other things to do.

If, like me, you still want to make the effort, though, here are a few tips to make your life a little easier:

  1. Batch cook and pre-portion.

Freezer meals are often a busy mommy’s best friend. There are so many recipes you can find online for dishes you can make ahead and serve days, even weeks, later. As an extra step, make sure you portion these out before freezing so that, on busy days, you can just heat and be ready to eat in minutes.

  1. Share the load.

Having someone to help you around the house is a godsend, but don’t just rely on yaya all the time. You can also get your partner and your kids to help with the meal preparation. In fact, having your child help prepare the food she eats is one tried-and-true way to reduce the chances of her becoming a picky eater. When she has a hand in making the food that goes on the table, she is more likely to want to try her creations. Plus, it’s a great life skill to teach early on.

  1. Clean as you go.

Keep the kitchen clean as you cook, and don’t let dishes and cookware pile up after meals. While it can be tempting to procrastinate, a dirty kitchen isn’t just an eyesore, it’s a breeding ground for bugs and bacteria. To liven up the cleaning process, I’ve been using Sanicare’s special edition Christmas print towels, which also have the benefit of prettying up my kitchen counter.

  1. It’s not a sin to order in.

Of course, there will be days when you run out of freezer meals and are just too tired or busy to take time out to cook, and that’s fine. That’s exactly why there are so many food delivery options to choose from. Plus, these days, you’re not limited to fast food for delivery. You can get meals from your favorite restaurants just by making a call or using an app on your mobile or on a webpage.

  1. Dress to impress.

By this, I don’t mean that you can’t come to the dinner table wearing your comfiest pambahay outfits. I mean that you can level up your meal appeal by making the effort to prettify your table. Even when you’re serving takeout, use real plates, glasses, and cutlery. Pick pretty placemats and add decorative table elements. One thing that’s on my dinner table is my Sanicare Liwanag Christmas Box, which holds tissues for easy access and features a pretty design by artist and MovEd founder Alex Eduque.

In case you haven’t seen them yet, they’re super pretty and showcase designs by an up-and-coming local artist.

One design is inspired by parols, or star-shaped Christmas lanterns. This is uniquely Filipino and, according to the artist, is a symbolic representation of a sense of promise and unification.

The other design is inspired by the stars. Alex Eduque herself says that this is “a constant reminder that we share the same sky and, despite the stark differences and circumstances in all corners of the world, that each one of us has a star shining brightly within.”

Isn’t that a great thing to remind ourselves of, especially at Christmas?

Anyway, if you haven’t picked up a Liwanag Christmas Box yet, here’s one reason to do so the next time you’re at the supermarket: Sanicare is having a promo! The grand prize winner will get four all-day passes to the Dream Play and Lunch buffet at The Café at the Hyatt City of Dreams Manila. Ten consolation prize winners will also receive P2000 in Sodexo gift certificates.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Take a creative photo featuring the Sanicare Facial Tissue Liwanag Series Box.
  2. Post it on your Facebook timeline. Start your caption with the phrase, “My Christmas is extra bright this year because _____!” and make sure to use the hashtags #SanicareLiwanagSeries #Sanicare and #SCPA
  3. Tag three other friends in your post, then publish.
  4. Go to the Sanicare PH Facebook promo post then click on the link provided to submit your entry.

The promo runs from November 22, 2017, to January 1, 2018. Winners will be announced on the Sanicare PH Facebook page on January 15, 2018.

Good luck and happy posting!