When I go to Rustans, Toys R Us, SM or any other children’s store, I am amazed at how many kinds of toys are available in the market today. As much as possible, I’d like to limit my child’s toys into those that would ‘teach’ her and of course, still be ‘fun’ for her. Right now, I’m looking for educational toys that I can get for her.

I came across these Mighty Mind puzzles from Fatty Brain Toys, Inc., which is the exclusive distributor of these educational toys in the Philippines. These Mighty Mind Puzzles are recognized as a valuable learning tool in 17 plus countries around the world. It also won several awards like the following:

– Parents’ Choice Honor Toy
– Teachers’ Choice Award
– Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Toy
– Nominated 4 times to Parenting Magazine’s Hall of Fame

These are the products that I got to see:

SUPERMIND

SUPERMIND

SUPERMIND

Super Mind from Mighty Mind

Super Mind from Mighty Mind

The child goes through 30 connected steps and with this, he or she develops skills in organizing & planning solutions. the child learns how to sort unique elements and learns problem solving. In this puzzle, the child manipulates geometric shapes to build pictures of increasing complexity. This puzzle from Mighty Mind is for kids ages 5-9 years old.

SuperMind Regular Edition consists of the following pieces and has these benefits:
– 32 colorful, easy to handle, durable design shapes
– 30 tangram-like advanced design cards
– Universal in appeal as no language is required
– All pieces neatly contained in the storage tray
– Made in USA; some components from China and/or Germany
– Instructions Included

MAGNETIC MIGHTY MIND SEA EXPLORER

Magnetic Mighty Mind Sea Explorer

Magnetic Mighty Mind Sea Explorer

Magnetic Mighty Mind Sea Explorer parts

Magnetic Mighty Mind Sea Explorer parts

Another educational to for kids ages 5-9 is this Magnetic Mightymind Sea Explorer. This creative adventure activity builds a child’s skill on how to build and solve colorful puzzles. Kids combine shapes and design blocks to create aquatic figures such as fish, sea creature, boats and imaginative pictures.

MIGHTY MIND : Makes Kids Smarter

Mighty Mind : Makes Kids Smarter!

Mighty Mind : Makes Kids Smarter!

This is the last product that I came across. It is for children from 3 – 5 years old. This is the game / puzzle that won the Parents’ Choice Honor Toy, cited by child development experts. Just like Super Mind, it offers a series of steps that the child must follow to encourage them to think, build complex designs, and solve puzzles without assistance. It definitely builds the confidence of the child. The box includes 32 colorful design shapes, neatly contained in a sturdy storage tray with a series of 30 numbered programmed puzzles.

I can’t wait for Zeeka to use these educational toys. Too bad though that I have to wait for her to grow up and be three years old before she can use these toys.

Do you know of other educational toys that I can buy for Zeeka?

Let me know!

PS. To buy these toys, you can visit the Mighty Minds PH facebook page.

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Happy Valentines day, everyone! Love is in the air…aaaaah!

Happy Valentines Day from our home to yours!

Happy Valentines Day from our home to yours!

Today, I have planned this day for both EJ and I. We will be staying home and we will be having a “fix the nursery” date tonight. We both decided to stay in and fix Zeeka’s room. I’m so excited to show you our finished “product”.

Anyway, this post is not about fixing Zeeka’s nursery but about celebrating because I have crossed out another number in my Life List. I actually announced it already in facebook yesterday. I got to cross out number 63 in my life list.

“63. Have a really nice portfolio site. Rebrand GingerArboleda.com.”

Since January, Patricia from FancyGirlDesigns.com and I have been working towards creating an awesome portfolio site for moi. Although since December 2012, I have already been thinking of what I wanted shown in my site. I’m a firm believer in personal branding. Everything that you do or say or communicate (via actions, clothes, etc.) should be in line with how you want others to “brand” you, especially if you have a business. We know that we all hate to be branded, but the fact is, people do and they associate YOU with your business.

A communication channel where you can strengthen your personal brand is through a portfolio site. A good portfolio site that I have seen is obviously, one of my idol’s: MarieForleo.com Her site was actually my inspiration for GingerArboleda.com. I wanted it to be professional and yet still fun and interesting. Another one that I love is KimberlyWilson.com=. I loved that her site was dainty and cute, but still very simple and well thought out.

For those thinking of creating their own portfolio site for themselves, here are some tips that I would like to share with you:

Tip #1: Have your main audience in mind when you create your portfolio site.

Know how they would react to reading and visiting your site. As you can see, my site is really geared towards females, because I know, a lot of my clients or potential clients would be females who want to become entrepreneurs or to moms who want to attend workshops or even to women yuppies who want to have their make up done.

Viola! It's my new design for GingerArboleda.com

Viola! It’s my new design for GingerArboleda.com

Always keep your market in mind when creating your portfolio site. It will help you decide on the text, design, colors, etc. that you will use.

Tip #2: Keep the user interface simple.
Please, please please do not complicate your site. The simpler the things are in each page, the better. A page does not have to have complicated buttons, sliders, etc. Think of each page before you finalize the design. Think of how your potential client would navigate through your site. Will he/she be able to find what he/she is looking for without any hassle? I decided to keep just one layer of tabs to keep things simple.

Tip #3: Wow them with content.
Make sure that your content is clear and make sure that the visitor understands what services are you offering. Use language that they can relate to. Make all your messages clear and it also helps to be conversational and engaging. It’s good to place the price of the services that you offer if the service is a standard service. If it’s a customized service, then place a contact me page where the potential client can contact you and ask for a quotation.

Tip #4: Wow them with pictures
Pictures are very important, especially if you are offering a product or service that can be appreciated visually (ex. tangible product, make up services, styling, etc.) Place pictures of your best work. Make sure that pictures are high resolution pictures, to give your potential clients a clear picture of your work.

Tip #5: Have in mind that you still need to market your services even with a great portfolio.
Guys, even with a great portfolio, you still have to go out into the world and market your portfolio. It is not an ‘end’ but a tool for getting more clients and answering more ‘needs’ of your market. Having a great portfolio is a good start, but you have to work at marketing your services and products.

Hope you enjoyed my tips for personal branding today and creating a portfolio. Hope you can check out my portfolio at GingerArboleda.com.

Again, happy valentines day! 🙂

Love you all!

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

An Interview with Ethel Cuerpo-Bernales, Mommy-in-charge/Designer of Celestina & Co.

Ethel with lovely daughter, Celeste

Ethel with lovely daughter, Celeste

Ethel is always knows that she is a wife and mommy first. She is mom to a little girl named Celeste. Ethel is an interior design enthusiast. She loves colors all around 🙂

Ginger: Hi Ethel! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for this mom blog. Can you tell us more about the popular Celestina & Co.?
Ethel: Celestina & Co., a specialty online boutique that carries accessories for little girls. We will be celebrating our 2nd year this February 2013.

Celestina & Co. Logo

Celestina & Co. Logo

Ginger: Wow, congratulations on hitting your second year! Can you tell us more about your market and how you survived two year in the business. This is quite an inspiration for the other moms who want to be momtrepreneurs.
Ethel: Well, my primary market are young moms with newborn, infants and little girls.

Lovely bows from Celestina & Co.

Lovely bows from Celestina & Co.

Cute head band in the lucky color for this year!

Cute head band in the lucky color for this year!

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Ethel: It started because I was having a difficult time looking for suitable hair accessories for my baby then. I wanted a special accessory for her to wear for her christening and photo shoot. I didn’t like what I bought because I felt it was not comfortable for her and would leave marks. I started playing with the idea when I began searching online and saw what’s available in other countries particularly the US and Europe.

Ribbon shaped like a rainbow! So cool!

Ribbon shaped like a rainbow! So cool!

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Ethel: As with starting any business, the early months are very difficult in terms of finding that balance and managing your time. I was the one initially doing everything from making the bows, taking photos, doing the customer service and packing all the items. It was a great experience because you know everything that’s going on. It can get pretty hectic, but my family knows that they are my no. 1 priority no matter how busy it can get. Even as I slowly expanded and started getting help, I’d still sit down and make the bows if I can. It’s my therapy.

Lady bug ribbon from Celestina & Co.

Lady bug ribbon from Celestina & Co.

Ginger: I wish I had your creativity! Ethel, what are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Ethel: Passion – You’ve got to love what you’re doing. No matter how much you manage your time, there will still be some sacrifices so it has to be worth it. Knowing ones strength and focusing on that. You have to know your strengths and ask help at areas you don’t feel comfortable doing. Educate yourself and make a business plan no matter how simple it is. If you don’t have a business background, it’s even more important to educate yourself. There are a lot of free resources out there. Also, it doesn’t matter if you’re running a big or small business, putting things into writing gives you some direction and peace of mind.

Check out more ribbons, headbands and accessories from Celestina & Co.

Check out more ribbons, headbands and accessories from Celestina & Co.

Ginger: I have to agree with you on that one. I will be coming up with a series of blog posts to help mompreneurs create their own simple business plans. I hope that helps them. Moving on, what advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Ethel: As a momtrepreneur, we are unique in a way because our customers expect a level of customer service that they won’t expect from a big business. It can be difficult as you expand and grow but as long as you stay genuinely true to yourself, I think your customers will still feel that.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Ethel, for your valuable insights. Congratulations on your second year of business! I wish you continuous success for Celestina & Co.

Celestina & Co. Contact Information:
a. Website: www.celestinaandco.com
b. Email address: ethel@celestinaandco.com
c. Mobile Number: 998-8088/0916-7958255
d. Facebook Page www.facebook.com/celestinaandco
e. Twitter account: @celestinaandco
f. Pinterest, Instagram: celestinaandco

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

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