Today is such a perfect day to cap off the year that was. The sun is out, but the weather is pretty much cooperating since it’s not too hot and the wind is blowing. It’s pretty cold for a day in this tropical country. The weather is perfect for doing some serious contemplation.

I started creating the files for 365 days of learning for ManilaWorkshops.com and LoveLearning.co. 365 days of learning is a project by the team where we gathered 365 short lessons from different people and we share one with you daily. In collating and creating some of the lessons, I thought of my life and looked back at the things that happened to me in 2015.

Reflecting on Life

It was a challenging year for me. It was a year that tested my patience, strength and perseverance. There were a lot of moments that brought happiness and moments that brought tears. There were numerous times when I felt uncertain, detached and so unsure of my life. It’s true what they say that life is a roller coaster ride. My 2015 was hell of a ride! But with that ride, I got to learn a lot of things and these lessons that I have learned or these realizations, I know, will be such a great help for me as I welcome 2016.

The True Meaning of Success

More than three years ago, my definition of success was to be the boss of a department in the company that I worked for. Success for me was getting a promotion and with this would come a raise that would help me buy things that I want for myself and my family. Then, after starting my own company, my definition of success was trying to build an entity or several entities that would eventually give me passive income, so that I can sustain the lifestyle that we wanted as a family. I still am trying to achieve this last goal, and I have worked overtime in achieving this is in 2015. By overworking, I forgot to set aside time for myself and my family. I also just rushed through things so that I get to the results at once.

The Arboledas

2015 has made me realize that the true meaning of success for me is enjoying every single day with family and friends while doing the things that I love the most. Success can be achieved on a daily basis when you have cherished every single second of the day, and then go to bed happy and contented that you have lived life to the fullest today.

Collaboration over Competition

Collaboration has been a buzzword, especially in the start up scene this 2015. I have used this word quite a lot this past year, too, and I know you’ve been seeing a lot of this hashtag from me, but this has become more than that for me. 2015 has shown me clearly what working with others can do. With collaborating with others, I have found true friendships that I would have otherwise not have found. And guess, what? Most of them, I have actually met online and have grown to be friends with offline, too!

With my Beauty Biz Bliss co-founders, Frances of Mommytopaz.com and Martine of MakeitBlissful.com

With my Beauty Biz Bliss co-founders, Frances of Mommytopaz.com and Martine of MakeitBlissful.com

The beauty of being open to whatever lies ahead is that you find the most precious people unexpectedly. You find people who will be there for you through good or bad times. These people will be ready to support you all the way.

With my good friend Fitz Villafuerte

With my good friend Fitz Villafuerte

Some may even trust you enough to share their ideas and their goals. They may even consider you as a business partner for other endeavors that they might think of.

Yours truly with Lyle of Raket.ph

Yours truly with Lyle of Raket.ph

 

With Tina Rodriguez of TrulyRichMom and Donna of ManilaWorkshops.com

With Tina Rodriguez of TrulyRichMom and Donna of ManilaWorkshops.com

 

The Educating for Life Team of Sanne, Michelle, Mariel and yours truly

The Educating for Life Team of Sanne, Michelle, Mariel and yours truly

Yes, we fear competition, especially in this highly competitive world, but through a deeper understanding of myself, how I am as a person and a knowledge on how I can make that unique difference in this world, I am now braver.

Work Smarter not Harder

This 2015, I really got drained with all of the work that I had to do. The past year has taught me to try to work more efficiently and smarter. I know that I always say that I’m a workaholic, and there is no use to denying that fact, BUT I am not proud of it. This coming year, I want to simplify things and declutter (my life). I have to learn to say no and feel okay about it, if I know that it will just bring in useless worry and anxiety. I need to feel less guilty about declining things that I can’t handle anymore.

Results Matter

Any marketer would know that the first goal is usually to build awareness. For the things that I have been doing and for the goals that I want to achieve, I think 2015 was a great year for building awareness for it. I’m so glad that I was given a lot of opportunities to spread the word about my own personal advocacies, but this year, it will all be about results — seeing actual change. My wish for 2016 is that more and more people develop that habit of learning. I also wish that more and more people build successful businesses — businesses that would help others achieve their own personal goals and dreams, too.

Try New Things

I helped write a chapter for the book - Cyberpreneur Philippines

I helped write a chapter for the book – Cyberpreneur Philippines

This year, I have gained back that zest for life. I have learned to just jump and see where life takes me. I am proud to say that this year, I have tried to make my own youtube episodes, have helped write a book, have discovered the love for boardgames, have tried flying across the air (flying trapeze), have received my yoga certification (YTT200), have grown my team, have joined 3 tech startup companies, have appeared in a TV commercial, have done several interviews, have seen my daughter’s first Christmas presentation, etc. I realize the value of trying new things. Some felt like these weren’t really for me, but other things felt pretty good. I may have failed in some areas, but I am thankful of the fact that now I know better.

Dear 2015, 

I am grateful for all of these lessons that I have learned. I think I have grown more mature. You have taught me how it is to love life with a renewed energy.  I think the challenges you threw at me made me a better and stronger person. I sweetly let you go today and welcome in a new year of hope, faith, love and learning. 

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

We live in a condo unit and where we live is on one of the highest floors. My daughter loves it, especially during times when she sees fireworks in the sky. Living here made me realize how much Filipinos love fireworks. You know why? We see fireworks set off at least once a month. Obviously, during the months of December to February, we see a whole lot more because of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. I personally enjoy watching firework displays, too, but being a mom just made me extra careful though since I always want my daughter to be safe during this season or any day for that matter. For example, nowadays, you can’t be too sure about the water that you drink. In our home, having safe and clean water is essential that this why we only drink and serve our guests Wilkins Distilled Drinking Water.

Keeping Safe at Home with Wilkins - fireworks safety

It’s one thing to always keep our family safe on a daily basis by giving them Wilkins, thoroughly cooked meals (check out my post on food safety) and having them live in a clean and safe home, but it’s another thing to teach them about keeping safe during once a year occasions like these where fireworks (things that they are not used to) are present.

Fireworks can cause burns, eye injuries, etc. if not handled properly. I remember that my dad and uncles used to just lay fireworks anywhere around the house, but now, I make sure that my husband and family keeps fireworks out of reach. It is very important to make sure that everyone in your family, especially the kids (yes, they will understand), know about fireworks safety. Here are some safety tips that you can teach and tell them:

1. Tell your kids to never play with fireworks. I know you may say, “Of course, Ginger, who would do that?” but the sad truth is that there are still a lot of accidents during New Year, because children and even adults played with fireworks inside (yes, inside!) the house. The best way to protect your family is not use any fireworks inside your home. Firecrackers, sparklers and rockets are just too dangerous for your kids. If you think it’s okay for them to play with sparklers, just please make sure that they use it outside and guide them by keeping it away from their faces, hair and clothing.

2. Tell your kids (and even ‘adult’ friends and family) to never make their own fireworks. This is a definite no-no. Letting them play with the gunpowder or “pulbura” is very detrimental to their health and to their safety. Oh, please keep them away from the likes of watusi also. If they don’t wash their hands and accidentally, put their hands in their mouth, this will be harmful. Please buy legal fireworks which should include a label with the manufacturer’s name and clear instructions on how to use them. Do not forget to place them in a cool and dry place.

3. Tell your kids to use fireworks safely. Remind your children to always light one firework at a time – never in metal or glass containers. They should never relight a dud. Do not allow your kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event for some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.

Furthermore, do not let them hold fireworks using their hands or have any part of their bodies while lighting. Let them wear some sort of eye protection. Then, prepare a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents. Lastly, soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash bin.

4. Tell your kids to be very responsible in using fireworks. Remind them that they should never point or throw fireworks at someone even in jest. You can never be sure when it comes to Fireworks; some can be faulty. Always tell them to point fireworks away from homes, brush, leaves and flammable substances. Lastly, they should avoid carrying fireworks in their pockets.

5. Tell your kids to think about their pets’ safety. Animals are a little more sensitive than us. They can be extremely frightened or stressed whenever they hear the sounds of the firecrackers. Hence, keep the pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll get injured or run loose.

If (knock on wood) your child gets injured by fireworks, remove the clothing from the burnt area and run cool water over the burn. If it’s an eye injury, never allow you kid to touch or rub it as it may exacerbate it or cause even more damage. Also, do not attempt to flush the eye out with water or self-medicate and put any ointment. Please go to the doctor or hospital immediately.

Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed and you will enjoy them more knowing your family is safe. Hence, always take extra precautions to enjoy your holidays! For more fireworks safety tips, check the Wilkins Distilled Water facebook page and check out the tips shared by the Wilkins Circle of Trust. If you have tips to share, please do join in the conversation! Stay safe!

Entrepreneurship is not always a bed of roses. Depression sometimes comes and haunts you.

I don’t mean to be such a downer. For the past week though, I haven’t been able to sleep well. I guess it’s because of the plans in my head and all the strategies that I have to implement. I know it’s the season to be jolly, but yet what December means for a lot of us Entrepreneurs is one, to look back at the year that had past; two, to close books, end ‘some’ relationships that weren’t really beneficial to our business; and, three, to strategize, prepare and get ready for the coming year. These things may seem as simple as 1..2..3, but the fact remains, that it isn’t as easy as 1..2..3.

Entrepreneurship and Depression

I’ve been thinking a lot lately and it doesn’t help that I have this bad cold today. I have been feeling a little bit depressed lately. I’m not the type who shares being ‘down’ with people. I don’t even share it with the people I love. I think that they already have too much going on. I just write about my feelings. That’s the reason why I think i’m addicted to Medium now, because I could feel the raw, unedited emotions of the writers in that platform. Writing relaxes me, so I hope you won’t mind the tone of this post. I don’t think it will go viral anyway.

Today, I googled depression and entrepreneurship and I got more than 1.6MM results. I thought that maybe, Google probably included articles that that discussed depression and entrepreneurship separately, but alas, for the first 10 pages at least, it was really about entrepreneurs struggling to overcome depression and how depression is such a common thing among entrepreneurs. I never thought that this thing could be so prevalent in this industry. I hang out with a lot of startups, entrepreneurs and I have a lot of business partners, clients, etc. who are just starting their businesses or who have been handling their businesses for a few years already, and no one has ever mentioned this. I wondered why this is so, and the first thing that I thought about and got to validate after reading some of the articles online is that entrepreneurs are scared that people may see this as a sign of weakness. Another probable reason is that entrepreneurs think that people won’t understand. These entrepreneurs think that people already don’t get what they do, so how would they even be able to understand how or what they’re feeling.

In a span of an hour, I have read over 10 articles online stating that depression amongst entrepreneurs is real and it exists. Usually, people think that it’s just during the brink of failure, but it’s also during times of growth and expansion. And a lot of these cases of depression amongst the entrepreneurs are kept hidden from the world. Why? Because most of us have that untarnished idea in our minds that entrepreneurs like Elon Musk are superheroes. And this perception cuts across local entrepreneurial ‘idols’, too. Even I had my doubts of releasing this article, because I’m scared of being branded as weak and incapable.

But why did I still release this. Simple. People should know that entrepreneurs like me, even if we make things happen, we are human. Even if we seem like relentless creatures, we still feel. We have feelings of sadness, disappointment, pain, sorrow and yes, weakness. We fall in love with an idea and get obsessed with it. We get jealous and envious, too. We sometimes act irrational, too. If we fall, we will get up to a new day, fighting like nothing brought us down, and if we falter again, we will still stand up and try again the day after, but that doesn’t mean that we did not feel the pain of falling, of failing, of losing.

I won’t sugar coat anything. I will say this and I will not regret that I said this, and I may even use it in one of my talks in the future. The life of an entrepreneur sucks big time, but it is that suckiness that makes us stronger. Yes, I believe all those articles that say that depression is evident in the world of entrepreneurship, and I think it’s because these people are those who go against what is considered to be normal. Entrepreneurship and going for the dreams that you have even with the lack of resources, take a great deal of courage to do.

So if you are an entrepreneur who’s reading this, if you are struggling to break free from a feeling of depression that envelopes you, if you are desperately trying to hold on to a dream that’s being tested, if your goals and ambitions are being questioned by loved ones, if your path seems unclear and uncertain, and if you are trying to find peace and clarity for a solid and stronger 2016, you are not alone. We can do this.

From a fellow entrepreneur,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

PS. I am seriously considering becoming a listener in this site http://www.7cups.com/

PPS. Another nice article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2015/07/23/entrepreneurs-dont-lose-yourself-to-depression/

The reason why I thought of creating a part two of the Make it Blissful X Luminisce gathering is because I believe that the brand who participated deserve to be featured and highlighted, too. And it’s not because they were “sponsors” of a beautiful event, but because I felt that their brand stories were beautiful, too!

People don’t see the just see the hardships that entrepreneurs go through in creating their businesses and in building their brands. We only see them as things that we buy or things that we don’t buy or brands that we like or brands that we don’t like. But I personally, would like to see each as inspiring stories. Stories of people who took courage to fulfill their passions!

Especially made for me!

Especially made for me!

The Make it Blissful Box

The Make it Blissful Box

2015-11-22 11.21.56-1

The Make it Blissful x Luminisce Box

This box was really filled with amazing gifts and surprises, but most of all, it was made with LOVE. Some of them were even personalized and made especially for us! Let me share the stories of these entrepreneurs who made them.

Your Truly receiving my box from Audrey and Dra. Kaycee of Luminisce

Your Truly receiving my box from Audrey and Dra. Kaycee of Luminisce

Luminisce

Luminisce founder, Dr. Kaycee, believes that achieving physical wellness should not only come from the outside but from the inside as well. She says that what sets Luminisce apart from the others is their desire to help people achieve the balance of both body and mind. Luminisce teaches its patients to achieve beauty and confidence from the inside. Using state-of-the-art equipment combined with natural or alternative approaches, this combination aims not to achieve physical wellness in the short run but to sustain overall health in the long run.

Read more about her here: Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations

2015-11-23 08.31.19 2015-11-23 08.25.08


Humabi

Erika Tesoro-Mata and Dr. Richard Mata were a couple who started supporting a few scholar students from the Philippine Science High School and they felt that they wanted to do “something” more. This led to the birth of Humabi, which is a social enterprise that helps women in need and children who could not go to school.

Read more about them in this link: Humabi

Pro Studio

Valerie and Andrea were just two friends who were into beauty, who both faced the problem of purchasing airbrush kits that were too expensive. With this, they thought of creating their own affordable airbrush makeup brand and this was the birth of Pro Studio Beauty Exclusives.

Read more about them in this link: Pro Studio Beauty Exclusives

Whisk and Zin

Oh, I am a super fan of Cheryl and Czarina ever since the first time I met them for the GTV interview. Here’s my interview with them.

Their business really started when these two friends were seeking for yummy salad dressings and jams and decided to create them instead. I’m so proud that they now have a line of salt (ZIN), which by the way I cannot live without now!

Read more about them in this link: WHISK and ZIN

Lulu Swing

Lulu Swing was established by another lady that I admire, Isabel Abonal. We had coffee once, but her passion for her craft really inspired me! Isabel had deep appreciation for shoes so she wanted to create a local and affordable line that caters to women who loves comfort but seeks for pretty styles, too.

Reed more about her in this link: Lulu Swing

Aireescreates

After 14 years of making handmade paper invitation, Airees (thus the brand name), rediscovered her passion for painting. In April 2014, she took an online watercolor class and painted girls in boots every day. In October, she launched her business with Calendar presenting 12 of the numerous girls she painted. Last September, she launched a collection named Musings in Color consisting of 8 designs taken from her art journals. Each one has a story behind it.

Read more about her here: AireesCreates

Atsui

Atsui


Atsui

This business started in a small backyard in 2010 with the vision of providing opportunities for the unappreciated but highly skilled Filipino garments worker. The company has grown and has been exporting for major brands in the US and Europe. When require by the doctor to exercise, the managing partner was inspired to create a line of sportswear inspired by 80s fashion and design. This was the birth of Atsui.

Read more about it here: Atsui

Anma

Anna Marasigan loves travelling and her attention to detail led her to create Anma. Anma inspires people to lead a lifestyle of stylish yet functional items that lets you see the world instead of worrying about the little things. The three basic elements that they hold dear are simplicity, practicality and quality.

Read more about it here: ANMA Lifestyle

Blessings by Fad

France and Ami run Blessings by Fad, which aims to touch people’s lives one bag at a time. They realized that there was a need for simple but sturdy bags that speaks of God’s faithfulness and all around positive vibes, as well as bags that would be easy to use for women-on-the-go who were like them. Every year, Blessings by FAD partners with an organization and supports them by giving 5% from every tote or pouch sold.

Read more about them here: Blessings by FAD

Heyjow

Joana Gube has been designing jewelry for almost 10 years and she sold them to classmates and friends. In 2013, she decided to establish Heyjow, a brand that was inspired by the allure of tropical beaches and the mesmerizing world she discovers every time she travels.

Read more about her here: Heyjow

Noteworthy

Noteworthy was inspired by Kristine’s love for crafts, color, texture and most importantly, gift giving. With her deep fascination for unique and pretty gift wrapping ideas, she started handcrafting clay to add to the beauty of gift wrapping that she was so amazed with.

Read more about her here: Noteworthy

Curves

Curves is a fitness facility especially designed for women featuring a 30-minute workout and weight management program that is fast, fun and safe.

Read more about it here: Curves Philippines

Snapper Doodles

Pearl was an entrepreneur who took the leap from the corporate world, too! SnapperDoodles just began as a one year Instagram journey to make God known through lettering and art. Now, it is an online shop highlighting the beauty of traditional hand-drawn designs ranging from various stationery products such as postcards, tote bags, notebooks and of course BLOOM 2016.

Read more about it here: SnapperDoodles

FTLP

Kristine Claudio is one of those women who has created a brand for her passion, consistently and successfully following the path to profitable businesses while building a collective reputation — philantrophic, resourceful, adaptable and collaborative. For the Love of Prints has grown its product and service portfolio which includes printing on t-shirt, tumbler, mugs, bags, etc.

Read more about it here: For the Love of Print

Bits to Pieces

Bits to Pieces

Kay Fanlo has been in love with arts and crafts since she was a child. She eventually discovered polymer clay and when her husband’s job required them to move back to Davao, she let go of her corporate job to become a full time mom and to concentrate on her craft.

Read more about it here: Bits to Pieces

Olivia and Diego

Yana Santiago is the humble and silent mover of worthy cause that bridges the gap between fashion and the social environment. Yana established a brand of fashionable arm candies and neckpieces. Her objective is to remind people that great things can come from upcycling / recycling.

Read more about it here: Olivia and Diego

The Honest Crop

The Honest Crop was started by 2 colleagues who had the desire to support the organic natural farmers in the country and to help people pursue a healthy active lifestyle. They realized that “healthier” options are not widely available, not convenient to consume and oftentimes way beyond people’s budget. This is what The Honest Crop wants to focus on — convenience, availability and more affordable healthy alternatives.

Read more about them here: The Honest Crop

Hallmark

In 1910, 18 year old Joyce Clyde Hall stepped off a train in Kansas City with nothing but shoeboxes of postcards under his arm. He had no money but he had the drive and desire of a soon-to-be-known entrepreneur! Hall quickly made a name for himself with the picture postcards he sold. His business with his brother was originally called Hall Brothers. In 1915, a fire destroyed their office and inventory. Also, as postcard sales declined, they realized that people wanted a more private form of communication. They started selling high quality Valentines and Christmas cards inside envelopes and the rest was history!

Read more about them here: Hallmark

Boqueria Lifestyle Market

BLM was founded by sisters Steph and Lady. Growing up, they were exposed to a “well-curated” home — mixing and matching of old and the new, turning trash into treasures, etc. Their mom made sure that everything was lovely! Over the years, they have been collecting anything and everything that tickles their fancy — collector’s items, unique pieces of art, bargain finds, etc.

Read more about them here: Boqueria Lifestyle Market

A Vanilla Story

It all started when Mr. and Mrs. Vanilla changed their hectic lifestyle and relocated to the countryside hills for a simple and slow-paced lifestyle. When they started baking Christmas cookies, they couldn’t find good, real Vanilla, so they decided to be THE Vanilla Company!

Read more about them here: The Vanilla Company

I hope you liked the inspiring stories of the entrepreneurs behind these brands. I sure did and I hope that you see the time, love and the effort that these people gave to building their businesses and brands to how they are today. Thank you Make it Blissful x Luminisce for sharing with us the box and the amazing,inspiring stories of these people!

Continue to make life blissful!

Blissfully yours,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Early this year, I underwent a yoga teacher training class. Aside from being a certified yoga instructor, another good thing that came out of it is that I meant and was with the coolest bunch of people ever! One of my classmates was the sweet and very motherly Dra. Cris Maria Raissa Paje – Bayawa. She is the founder of Happy Heart Kids Yoga. Happy Heart Kids Yoga aims to promote health and wellness in children. Their mission is to share yoga with the children, both the typical kids and those with special needs, and make it an enjoyable way for them to imbibe a healthy lifestyle through movement and mindfulness, so that young as they are, they can become happy, healthy and productive in every aspect of their lives.

During that time, Raissa mentioned that she wanted to create a book that would teach little kids about yoga. I thought that it was a great idea. I think that introducing yoga and having a healthy lifestyle to little kids is really important. It’s better to start them young! And just recently, I received a copy of the book that Raissa made. It’s entitled TODAY Tala’s Adventure Begins. The illustrations are made by Renante Ramirez and the layout was done by Raissa’s husband, Jerome, who is also a certified yoga instructor.

TODAY Tala's Adventure Begins

Today Tala's Adventure Begins 2

I thought of a way to show you how interesting this book is so my husband decided to take a video of Zeeka and I as we go through this amazing book!

See how interesting and unique this book is! I highly recommend it for parents who want their kids to be highly engaged when reading a book. The book will be out by January 2016. You can pre-order now at this link: PRE-ORDER NOW!

For more information about the book, you can visit: http://happyheartkids.com/kids-yoga-book/

Again, congratulations, Raisa!

Love,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger