Family

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s moments with her husband, child and the other members of the family.

Some of My BreastFeeding Essentials with Orange and Peach PH Giveaway!

So yesterday, on Facebook and TikTok, I shared my breastfeeding must-have haul from Orange and Peach PH. I already started shopping and since it’s Lazada’s 5.5 Sale today, I thought it might be interesting for you, especially if you are expecting parents, to read this. So first off, before I give you a more in depth explanation about each product, let me share the short video of the things that I got from Orange and Peach PH for breastfeeding.

Orange and Peach PH Improved Natural Nipple Balm

Orange and Peach PH Improved Natural Nipple Balm

When I gave birth to my first child, I knew that I was prepared to breastfeed. I attended classes and I read a lot about breastfeeding. But when the first few days came and I tried breastfeeding Zeeka, I had sore nipples! My nipples bled, so after four days, I had to call a lactation consultant to help me out. After she taught me, Zeeka latched on and sucked masterfully. But, I had to protect my nipples with balm or cream.

So I am already purchasing this early on. This particular Orange and Peach PH balm is made from Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s Lanolin-free and made from natural ingredients. It comes with a spatula so that you can hygienically apply it to your nipples after each feeding.

Orange and Peach PH Milk Saver Pump

Orange and Peach Milk Saver Pump

I love this manual pump since it’s small and portable. I tried bring my electric pump into the hospital when I gave birth to Zeeka, but I wasn’t allowed. You can only bring manual pumps like these. So to use this Milk Saver Pump, here are the steps:

  1. Place the breast pump directly over your breast and make sure that your nipple is comfortable inside the flange.
  2. Squeeze the base of the pump 2-3x to create that suction effect.
  3. Sit back, relax and watch the pump collect all your precious milk.
  4. If no milk comes out after a couple of minutes (2 mins), release the pump, reposition and attach again. Make sure that there is no gap between the flange and your breast to ensure efficient suction.

This pump is BPA free and Phthalates free. It’s made out off 100% food Grade Silicone.

Personally, what I do is that I use it to pump on the other breast while my baby is latching on to the other breast. And I also use it in between feedings to make my body think that my baby needs more. I try to create more supply by increasing demand. Ain’t economics great?

Orange and Peach PH Milk Saver Breast Shells

Milk Saver Breast Shells

I’ve heard that some moms didn’t really find use for this, but in my case, it was a life saver especially during the times when I had sore and cracked nipples. Since you know that you will be leaking milk, you usually place pads. During the time though that I had sore/cracked nipples, when my nipples would stick to the pads, it would hurt. I used this so that nothing touches my nipples since the plastic elevates and protects your nipples. Plus you get to collect breast milk.

I would also use it during feeding to catch the milk from the other breast. There are times, like early mornings, when I’m tired to pump the other side. I would just collect milk using this then have the baby latch on to that side once s/he is done with the first breast.

Orange and Peach PH Breastmilk Storage bags and Breastmilk Storage Bottles

Breastmilk Storage Bottles
Breastmilk Storage bags

We all know that breastmilk is liquid gold and we’ll do anything to store it safely. Seriously, the first time that I expressed milk and spilled some, I cried. So storing breastmilk safely is very important.

When I have extra milk to store, I place it inside bags and keep it frozen. Frozen breastmilk lasts 3-6 months. Then for the milk that I know that I would use in a few hours, I keep it refrigerated using the bottle. Refrigerated breastmilk last for 48 hours and previously frozen milk stored in the refrigerator will last 24 hours. Same (24 hours) with breastmilk that you transport via cooler. For freshly expressed milk kept at room temperature, it only lasts for 4 hours.

We were very particular with this so that baby doesn’t drink spoiled milk. We’ve noticed that the baby gets gassy, too.

So if you want to check out these breastfeeding tools, just visit Orange and Peach PH in Lazada.

GIVEAWAY ALERT!

Three people will win a 1K voucher for shopping at Lazada. All you need to do is to follow Orange and Peach PH accounts in Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. If you’re not present in one of these platforms, it’s okay. You can still join.

Once you have followed these, just comment DONE on the comment section of my post in Facebook here:

https://fb.watch/5hDnvOcz4g/

I will announce the winners on May 12, 2021 on Mommy Ginger’s Facebook page. Goodluck!

P.S. Here are some articles that might be useful!

Not Invisible A Memoir by Frances Amper Sales: Mother’s Day Gift Idea

But with motherhood came what I had feared most — losing control, losing my marriage, losing myself.

Frances Amper Sales, Author, Not Invisible

I had the same fears. It was so apt that Frances, a writer and a very good friend of mine brought it up in her newly released book, Not Invisible A Memoir. Now that I’m expecting my second child, my now sort-of “balanced” emotional, physical, financial and mental state is tipping once again. After getting the groove in raising a daughter, gaining back time with my husband, creating and growing a business, and feeling that I’m myself once again, I’m again scared that things are about to change drastically again.

ble A Memoir by Frances Amper Sales

I would say that what scared me the most before I had Zeeka (our daughter) was how much my life would change after I would give birth to her. I was a workaholic. Okay, fine… I still am, but I knew that having her around would mean that I needed to set my priorities straight. She would be our number one. And of course, next would come our relationship as husband and wife, and all other things would come after. And to support all of these things, I, as a person and now as a mom, needed to be strong, more spiritually and emotionally grounded and FULL in every way.

Mommy Ginger reading Not Invisible a Memoir
Me (pregnant and all) reading the Not Invisible A Memoir book

And I later on realized that I didn’t have to be perfect all the time. It was enjoying the journey with my family that mattered.

It was a blessing that I got to read Not Invisible A Memoir before having this second child. Frances’ experiences with her mom, her husband and kids and her realizations just helped me build that courage and strength again to not be fearful of what is to come. It reminded me about the things that I love about being a mother and a wife. Squeezing in this cute Motherhood story here. It reminded me that motherhood comes not only with sacrifices or fears, but with unconditional love that comes from all directions.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a motherhood bible that we can refer to, but it’s so nice to read stories from other moms, like Frances.

What I loved about the book was the authenticity and the realness of her stories. I know Frances and I could hear her talking to me as I read her book. Frances writes everything in such a charming, no holds barred way, which I truly just love. You can count on her to tell it as it is. She just has this unique way of pouring herself out and using words that really move you.

Frances Sales, author of Not Invisible a Memoir with Mommy Ginger
With Frances Amper Sales, the writer of Not Invisible A Memoir

If ever you do read this, Frances, I’m so proud of you. You mentioned in your book that by 40, all women are amazing but you don’t feel like anything is happening to you. Let me tell you as a reader of Not Invisible A Memoir, that this book is truly amazing. I know that women, moms especially, who read this will feel heard and seen.

We may have different actual experiences and different lives to live, but what bonds us all are is our desire to help each other be better moms, better wives and ultimately, better versions of ourselves.

So if you are looking for a mother’s day gift for 2021 for your mom, I highly encourage you to buy this book. It’s available in Shopee, Amazon or get more details from her blog.

Love,

P.S.

Check one of my latest pregnancy updates!

First Trimester Journey: Pregnant during COVID

Last week, we announced that I’m pregnant and Team Arbo is expecting our little one this 2021. The baby is due anytime end of September to early October. Today, I’ll share with you my first trimester journey!

My first trimester journey

We have really been planning to have another baby. Zeeka turned 8 this year and I think since two years ago, we’ve really been thinking about it. But every time, I would feel that we weren’t ready (or maybe it was just me). Then 2020 came, Zeeka turned 7 just right about before lockdown in Metro Manila happened. Then, again, we thought or I thought, I wasn’t ready, especially given the situation. Until one day, I realized that we won’t always be ready. We will never be ready.

Finding out I was Pregnant

Since we were “planning”, I started taking folic acid since middle of 2020. February 2021, I noticed some changes in the way I was feeling. I missed my period this month so as soon as I missed it, I took a home pregnancy test. Lo and behold, it came out positive! I remember placing it in and envelope and after EJ’s meeting, I handed it over to him right before our lunch break. He opened it and his eyes sparkled! haha! I knew that EJ was waiting for this moment, too. We both wanted to have around 2-3 kids.

My First Trimester Journey

Oh my gosh! I remembered my pregnancy with Zeeka to be a walk in the park. I didn’t have any morning sickness during my first pregnancy. I was glowing and radiant! But for this pregnancy, I felt horrible! I felt nauseous every single minute of the day. I would listen during meetings, but oftentimes, I would feel like vomiting so I’d stop mid-sentence sometimes while talking. What helped me a lot were Ginger candy. I didn’t have much appetite for anything really. These Ginger candies would sustain me all throughout the day.

I never forgot to drink lots of water though and coconut juice as advised by my doctor. During the early months of my first trimester, I knew that I was dehydrated so I really made sure to drink 2 liters of water a day (even if I felt a little bit bloated because of the amount of water).

Obviously, exercising with gusto was out of the question. I would walk back and forth here at home. I think I need to do more walking though now that I’m in the early days of my second quarter.

Check – ups and Blood Tests

I had online check-ups with my obstetrician. She said that that will suffice for now, and I would have a teleconsult with her after having any tests done like my transvaginal ultrasounds or blood tests. So during these times (of COVID-19), it may be best to have tele-consults first with your doctor unless you’re experiencing bleeding, or if you feel that something’s wrong.

For blood tests and urinalysis, I would call Hi- Precision Diagnostics to do home service. The first tests that my doctor had me take are FBS, CBC, urinalysis, HbsAg, VDRL, HIV 1 and 2. The tests cost me around close to Php 3000 for all of these.

As for the Transvaginal Ultrasound, I had it in In My Womb. My doctor said it was better to go to these specialized clinics first rather than take it in hospital at this point in time when cases of COVID in our country is still high. A TVS in In my Womb costs around Php 2700. In In My Womb, they make sure that you follow protocols. I have a history of having Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) so I had to mention that to them.

In the first trimester, I got a transvaginal ultrasound on eh 6th and 8th (or was it 9th week?). The reason why was the heartbeat is best detected during the 8th or 9th week. Although, the doctor saw the heartbeat during both transvaginal ultrasounds. I’m telling you this so that you don’t worry also when they mention that it’s too early to see any heartbeat. I was actually due for another ultrasound during the 12th week, but I’m scared to go out of the house.

My doctor said it’s fine and to start practicing using a doppler. We bought a doppler a long time ago during my pregnancy with Zeeka. I also bought my neighbors’ doppler recently because ours was broken. You can also buy one from Lazada. This is the link to the doppler that we use now.

Reminders for your First Trimester Journey

For the first trimester, the priority is really taking care of yourself. If you have good health, your baby will have good health, too. When you plan to leave the house for any check ups, put on a mask and face shield at home and just only remove these again when you return. Try not to touch your mask or face shield anywhere or anytime outside of the house. This was an advise that I really take to heart. Even in the car, I don’t touch or take off my mask and face shield (even if we use our own car).

I also use those Ionizers that I hang around my neck. I use an ionizer that my parents gave. You can get it also from Lazada and here is the link to the ionizer that I use.

Inside the house, we have an air purifier, too, that we place near the entrance hallway of our condo. We have the one from Xiaomi and I think it works pretty well. Here is the link to the Xiaomi Air Purifier we have at home. I really wanted to have those heavy duty ones so I’m still saving up for those. This air purifier approximately worth Php 7000 will do.

During the first trimester, aside from folic acid, I haven’t been taking other vitamins since my doctor said that vitamins and even maternal milk can make you more nauseous. True enough! I felt queasy after trying to take one cup of milk and drinking vitamin C (on separate occasions). Now that I feel better, I started taking maternal milk.

So there, that’s it for my first trimester journey. If you have something to share about your experience during your own first trimester journey or if you have any questions, feel free to message me! I’ll be glad to answer and chat with you. If you are pregnant and reading this, congratulations! 🙂 This will be an exciting journey!

P.S. Here are some of the other posts in this blog that you might be interested in

What I Learned about Finances, Tax Planning and Myself

All about tracking, tax planning, effort and perseverance!

I am so motivated to fix my finances this 2021. I’ve learned so much from diligently tracking both my personal and business income and expenses. So for today, I’d love to share with you what I have learned and hopefully, these learnings can help you, too.

You can’t do away with LEARNING Finance Topics if you want to be Financially Independent

I have friends who turn a blind eye and a deaf ear when you start talking about finances, investment, taxes, accounting, etc. To be honest with you, years ago, I was like that, too. And when I was young, I abhorred Math. I never really understood why we were studying it.

I started enjoying finances when I worked for a bank, and I love it even more now that I’m running a startup. I started seeing why we need to learn how to compute (even just for the basic stuff) and why we need to “read and understand” numbers. The thing about these topics is that you can’t really do away with these if you plan to be financially independent later on.

Last 2020, I tried to learn as much as I can about all of these, and I got to learn more on how “money” can work for you. One of the things that I learned is that you need to look at each Peso or Dollar as something or someone who works for you. Is their task to pay a bill or pay for a particular expense, or is their task to grow themselves?

For most of us, it may take a while before you can send some of your funds to grow themselves. Most of your money will really be spent on paying bills, etc. but take your time and enjoy the process. That’s another thing that I learned.

Know what your Constraints are

I learned to make more informed decisions last year, and this stemmed from the fact that I learned to know and realize what my constraints are. I know myself really well and one of my personal challenges is saying NO to things that don’t really matter. The PROs of this weakness is that there are a lot of opportunities that come to me and I get to widen my circle, but the CONs are I have less time for myself and less time for the things that really should matter.

So last year, I made a conscious decision to prioritize. The pandemic really slowed down Manila Workshops’ business, but what I realized is that handling Manila Workshops, Taxumo and Blogging / Vlogging really is a lot to handle. Although the purpose of Manila Workshops is great, I realized that I can also fulfill that purpose when I do the other things on my plate (like grow our startup and enjoy vlogging and blogging).

As for blogging, vlogging and streaming, I plan to work on understanding and learning more this year. People also think that Blogging and Vlogging is easy. You just create content and people will come. Well, that’s not the case really. You need to treat it like a business, so you will need a little bit of capital and lots of effort and learning. Nowadays, the learning curve for being a content creator is steep IF you really want to earn from it. It’s easy to learn tools that simplify content creation, but there are a lot of things to learn if you plan to earn from it.

This year, I am also officially announcing that I will keep the Manila Workshops brand, but we will be keeping it as a community instead. I won’t be monetizing it again yet. I’ll still look at a more scalable business model. Oh, that’s another thing, too. Growing Taxumo has made me realize a lot of things about how I handled Manila Workshops, which was actually pretty cool. I think I have grown more when it came to handling a business.

Learn how to Track literally EVERYTHING and do Tax Planning

People, I have realized that the first step to financial success is really knowing where you stand. You need to know your numbers — your personal income and expenses, your household income and expenses and your business revenue and expenses. Making decisions base on gut feeling (at least for me) isn’t the way to go.

Hard decisions are “hard” to make (like getting married, shifting careers, starting a business, etc.) because you obviously haven’t been to the FUTURE. Any path you take will be hard, unless you intentionally decide to take a one year break from making any life decisions, and just “Eat. Pray. Love.” your way through life that one year. In any case, you need money to sustain you that whole year.

So if you want to get on track to fixing your finances, start the habit of tracking it. You will realize that this simple habit will help you discover things that you haven’t discovered before about yourself, your spending, your behaviours, etc.

This is how I track my personal finances

For business, it’s really the same thing. I remember having this conversation with Nicole Alba, a young finance vlogger, and I mentioned that in order for people to run sustainable businesses and freelancing careers, they also need to know how to handle their personal finances.

For my business, I use Taxumo to track both my revenue and expenses.

It super easy and not at all complicated to learn how to use the system. Taxumo has FREE onboarding sessions here just in case you want to learn how to use it: http://txmo.co/onboarding.

What I have learned also by consistently tracking my business revenue and expenses, I can do tax planning. I can easily identify how much I should set aside for taxes early on. I have all of my information in Taxumo, so it makes it easier for me to know the amount of taxes that I need to pay. I also get a feel of what I have spent on significantly on the previous month.

As a self-employed individual, tax planning for me begins with just tracking really. How can you plan if you have no idea on where your funds are going or how much are you earning.

As for the tax rate that you can choose at the start of every year, before your first filing for the year, Taxumo has this notification bell that recommends what tax rate is best for you based on your cashflow entries.

Tax planning recommendation tool in Taxumo!
Machine learning tax planning tool of Taxumo
Sample of what is seen in the recommendations tab

You can check this out after inputting cash flow entries.

I have so many things going on in my life right now, but what I can say really is that I know where I am heading this 2021. It’s clear to me where I want to go and I am happy with the things that are happening to me and my loved ones.

I wish you all the same feeling. I wish that you find enough motivation and will power. I wish you find clarity. I hope that the path to being financially free will be clearer and I hope that you find your life’s purpose.

Cheers to a great 2021!

One Word for 2021: RESET

One word for 2021

What’s your one word for 2021? I’ve been choosing one word for the past several years. For 2020, I chose the word COMMIT. I think I did a good job of sticking to my commitments. I successfully committed to creating more Youtube videos. For 2020, I have created and published more than 70 videos with the intent of helping people learn something new everyday.

As for my health and physical fitness, for most of the year, I have stuck to “mostly” a plant based diet. I occasionally ate fish towards the end of the year and let go a little bit this December and ate meat. But as for exercise, I have continuously moved and exercised even while at home.

For my one word for 2021, I intentionally chose RESET. I chose this word because I want to learn and do a lot of new things this year. I learned a lot of things last year, and I enjoyed it. From 2013 to early 2020, I focused on helping other people learn. Since I needed to make learning events for my business, learning became too mechanical. And maybe, joy was even stripped off a little bit from it (for me). This 2020 though, I had so much fun again focusing on my own personal growth and learning.

For Manila Workshops, I decided to stop creating learning public learning events already. I think I will stick with it being a community where people can share their events and learn from one another. 2021 will be a year of new learnings for a lot of people, and I’m hopeful and positive that this will be a good year for all of us.

To start the year right, I started planning for the year. Some of you may say that it may be useless to do this since a lot of our plans really didn’t pan out last 2020, but personally, planning and goal setting gives me a sense of control (over at least some stuff that I can control).

I asked a lot of people to answer a survey recently and I love all the plans that they shared. In the survey, I found out that most of the people (got around 28 people o respond) who answered the survey had these things are their priorities: 1) Go for additional sources of income or grow income; 2) Better themselves (become healthier or learn a new skill) and 3) Want to travel or relocate.

If you are curious to what my plans are, well, they’re really simple goals. They are very aligned with my one word for 2021.

Extra Sources of Income while Having Fun and Learning

This busy bee here, apart from handling Taxumo, plans to just focus on content creation as an extra source of income. In 2020, I think I have done a good job of creating fun, engaging, and educational content for my viewers. I continuously want to improve, so please do let me know if there are topics you want to discuss. Feel free to engage with me on IG, Youtube, Twitter, TikTok and Twitch.

I also discovered how fun it is to stream games. A balance of work and play is really necessary! So you will definitely see a lot of Mommy Ginger in the world of streaming this 2021. Please do follow me on TWITCH: https://www.twitch.tv/gingerarboleda

Increase Savings and Investment Rate

An additional financial goal that I have is to increase my savings rate. Here is a short clip on what savings rate is.

To help others find accountability partners for their savings and investment goals, #TeamArbo has started a 52 week Saving Challenge on Mommy Ginger’s Facebook page. It’s not too late to join! When you follow the Facebook Page, every week (Fridays), it will notify you to add to your savings. Once done, just comment “DONE” on the post reminder. Check out the mechanics here: https://fb.watch/2MOo6KLMYe/

Declutter

Another thing that I plan to do this year is to fix and declutter our home. We have limited space so we really need to think long and hard before adding additional stuff. I really want to take a step closer towards becoming a minimalist this year. I just think that there are a lot of “wasted” things around us — things that we don’t really appreciate as much that can be the source of delight for other people. Let’s see if this year can take me a step closer into becoming a minimalist.

Learning

As for learning, these are the topics that I want to learn more of this year: streaming, optimizing time, content creation, setting up / building my own pc and more of the usual things I love learning about (marketing, branding, investing and productivity).

I turned on my Skillshare account again for the entire year. Skillshare is a platform where you can learn about these topics that I mentioned above. A lot of the people I look up to are on Skillshare. If you haven’t signed up to Skillshare yet, you can do so by visiting this link: skillshare-ambassador.pxf.io/ginger This link gives you 14 days FREE trial so you can sign up now.

That’s it! Most of my goals are really simple since this year will be about resetting and learning new things.

What about you? What is your one word for 2021? What are your own goals? Hope you can share it with us!