My mom just called me today to tell me to take care, since there is a new strain of Dengue. It has been only two months ago when I had contacted the virus. I hate being sick! I was in the hospital for several days. What was worse was I didn’t get to see Zeeka. She stayed in the house with the yaya and with Ej’s parents who came to visit during the day.

Now, I’m so praning (scared) every time I see a mosquito. Yesterday, I was walking in BGC and I saw a huge mosquito. I picked up my pace just to get away from it. It sometimes is a blessing if you have gone through viruses like these, because it makes you more wary and prepared. Now, I always have Zeeka use her Para’kito band every time we go out of the house.

Para'Kito in Black

Para’Kito in Black

Para'Kito Love!

Para’Kito Love!

Para'Kito Booth during Manila Workshops Breastfeeding 101 Workshop

Para’Kito Booth during Manila Workshops Breastfeeding 101 Workshop

I got this band during the Manila Workshops Parenting Pals’ Breastfeeding 101 workshop where they had a booth. They have different products. They have the wristbands (which is what Zeeka is wearing in the pictures below) and the clips.

Zeeka wearing her Para'Kito Wristband

Zeeka wearing her Para’Kito Wristband

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The way it works is that it has a pellet that you insert into the wristband or the clip. The pellets diffuse a blend of 7 essential oils extracted from plants. The pellet lasts 15 days. What’s nice about it is that it’s waterproof so you can use it while jogging or while exercising.  I love that it comes in different colors.

*Image from Para'Kito's site

*Image from Para’Kito’s site

Para’Kito is made out of natural ingredients so even pregnant women and young children can use it. Those who have sensitive skin can also use it and won’t develop skin allergies and irritations. For babies, we don’t have to worry about them putting the pellet inside their mouth since the pellet is guarded by a pouch in the band or clip.

I love Para’Kito since it’s a safe and stylish way to be protected against viruses from mosquitos.

To know more about the product, please visit Para’Kito’s website: http://ph.parakito.com/ or please visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ParaKitoPhilippines

It’s great to see more and more moms now engage into business. While looking for cute clothes for Zeeka, I came across a brand caled Tinker and Play. It turns out that the lady behind it was a classmate of mine back in College. Her name is Arjo and she is the mompreneur behind Tinker and Play.

Arjo is happily married for 8 years and blessed with a 3 year old girl and a two year old boy. She loves art, fashion, music and food. She used to work for San Miguel Brewery as a Business Planning Associate before becoming a full time mompreneur.

Mommy Arjo of Tinker and Play

Mommy Arjo of Tinker and Play

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Interview with Mompreneur Arjo Te of Tinker and Play

Ginger: What is your brand/business? What is it about?
Arjo: Our brand is Tinker and Play, a line of clothes and accessories for ages 1 to 4 years old that are fun, stylish and ready for play.

Ginger: How long have you been in business?
Arjo: My business is still new. I just started in October this year. Right now, I’m developing the brand by designing and producing items I hope would be appreciated by moms like me 🙂

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Ginger: Who is your target market?
Arjo: My market are moms with children aged 1 to 4 years old, interested in stylish, playful and one-of-a-kind fashion pieces for their little kids.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business, Arjo?
Arjo: My business is a result of my pursuit to find stylish and contemporary clothes and one-of-a-kind accessories. When I gave birth to my eldest, I realized I wanted to be my own boss and have flexibility to attend to their needs. I don’t want to grow old and miss out on their school activities and not have enough time to play with them. That’s why I really made it a point to take a leap of faith and pursue my dreams of becoming a mompreneur. Back when we still didn’t have kids, I designed and created fashion accessories/jewelry for myself and for my friends. I was always interested in clothes and accessories and I liked the idea of producing items that are not mass-produced, that’s why I thought I would try my hand in retail and create a line of kids’ clothes and accessories that are playful, unique and affordable.

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a Mompreneur? What are these?
Arjo: It’s really a difficult decision to start the business especially if you are used to getting a monthly salary from a corporate job. It took me more than a year to convince myself that I’m ready for my leap of faith to entrepreneurship. The convenience of a steady stream of income from a desk job is really appealing but at the end of the day, I am reminded that it’s more fulfilling if I have the flexibility to spend my time with the kids. Balancing work with family, establishing contacts, business credibility and presence are the obstacles I face while starting the business.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a Mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Arjo: Passion, Determination and Diligence

Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Arjo: Surround yourself with people who are supportive and believe in you. Learn all the details of the business and never give up. I always believe starting the business is difficult and may discourage you to pursue it but in the long-run, the rewards will be tremendous.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Arjo: A friend of mine told me to “follow your heart” and someone advised me to “do what feels right”. It’s inspiring and I think it gave me the courage to try and be a mompreneur.

Ginger: Thank you, Arjo, for sharing your story! 🙂 More power to your business.

Watch out for next week Zeeka’s Baby OOTD. It will feature Tinker and Play!

Tinker and Play Contact Information:

Website: www.facebook.com/tinkerandplay
Email address: tinkerandplay@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 0921-384 06 53
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tinkerandplay
Twitter/Instagram account: @tinkerandplay
Pinterest: Tinker and play

I have a new bed time habit. Before I sleep, I make sure to read one inspiring story from the newly released book of Ms. Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag entitled, Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking. Why? I think I need that added inspiration as sometimes (because I get so tired), I want to quit breastfeeding already.

My own breastfeeding journey is about to hit its 9th month as Zeeka turns 9 months on December 8. I can’t believe that I have made it this far. I clearly remember my own journey as I was reading the story of Teresa (which was almost similar to hers) and the other featured moms in this book about breastfeeding.

When I was pregnant with Zeeka, I had no clue on what breastfeeding was and could do for you or the baby. It was probably because I was a formula-fed baby. My sister and I were both formula fed. Mom said that during her time, the ‘uso’ (in trend) thing was to formula feed your baby. Since I wanted to learn more about breastfeeding (after hearing ‘Breastfeeding is still best for baby up to two years’ over and over again), I tried to attend workshops. I attended the workshops that were held at the Medela House.

These workshops opened our eyes to all the benefits of breastfeeding. There were a lot of moments of new discoveries and information during the times that I attended. We, my husband and I, became regular attendees of the workshops at Medela House and even of LATCH. Also, we were frequent goers to the La Leche League meetings held at Mothercare Active Fun.

After all of these classes and meetings, we thought we were 100% ready.

With author of Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking, Teresa Gumapas

With author of Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking, Teresa Gumapas

My Breastfeeding Journey
My breastfeeding journey started the minute Zeeka was born. Even if I had a C-Section, I really asked my doctor to make her latch on to me the minute she was cleaned. The hospital followed my instructions and Zeeka felt my warmth and tried to latch on within the first few minutes of her life. She was then brought our room after, because I requested for her to be roomed in with me. The first week was unbearable. Since both of us were learning, I had gotten sore nipples on the sixth day. My nipples were bleeding and it was really frustrating. I couldn’t count the number of times that I had cried during that week. I was saying, “ang hirap pala nito” realizing that breastfeeding wasn’t as peaceful and easy as it looks in magazines or in pictures.

I wanted to give up, but of course, I had to ask for help first before I really decide. I called Abbie Yabot and she visited me in our house. She taught me how to properly help the baby latch. Of course, the classes helped, but it was really different once you have the baby with you. Abbie helped me a great deal because after that, everything was easy. Once I had gotten the hang of it, I could breastfeed sitting down, standing up, etc.

The next moment that scared us was when Zeeka (we thought) was gaining not enough weight. We had to research on what breastfed baby’s should weigh at particular months. Also, she was still yellowish at 2 months. The doctor ordered for a blood extraction just to be sure that the bilirubin levels were low. Everything turned out to be perfectly fine. What I realized is that you should have a doctor who is really supportive of you breastfeeding your baby. I’m thankful that our doctor is very helpful and supportive!

Truly Inspiring!

Truly Inspiring!

The Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking Book
I realized while I was reading the stories of these women that we all underwent challenges in our breastfeeding journey. None of them really said that it was a breeze from beginning to end. I guess this is what moms-to-be or even second-time moms, should expect. It isn’t a walk in the park.

You will need all the support and inspiration that you need. This is what you will get from reading Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking. Teresa, a fellow work-at-home-mom, said that she wrote this book to inspire moms to breastfeed and to educate Filipino women on the benefits of breastfeeding. She also wrote this book to let moms know (through the featured moms’ stories) that it is possible to achieve their breastfeeding goals despite the situation or circumstance they find themselves in.

I am thankful that Teresa thought of writing this book. It is just pure inspiration for moms who really plan to breastfeed for the first year/s of their child’s life. I recall turning to Google for answers that I needed when it came to breastfeeding, but with this book, you get so much more. You get to read not only the technicalities and the straight-forward facts, but you also get a glimpse into the life of REAL women; women who have experienced the same situations and problems. They share, not only facts, but even what they felt during these experiences.

If you know couples who are expecting a child, I recommend that you get this as a gift for them. You can order a copy by emailing Teresa, the author at teresa@fulllifecube.com or send her a message through her book’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/BreastfeedingJourneyWorthTaking.