Family

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

My One Word for 2020 – Commit!

My One Word for 2020 – Commit!

In life, there is comfort in knowing that we can easily change our minds later on. If we feel that we can’t decide, oftentimes, we don’t. We don’t take action and we just wait for things to “fall in place” — in a place where we are more comfortable to make decisions.

And sometimes, even if we have already decided, we oftentimes change our minds.

Not too sure if we want to eat burger or pizza? No worries, I can easily change my mind later on. Thinking about completing a task today? Oh, I’ll just to that tomorrow, so I can finish watching my favorite series today on Netflix.

This flexibility is great, but it can also be the root cause of inaction and lack of decisiveness. It can also lead to lack of accountability. We comfortably blame forces beyond our control for our lack of commitment.

“Wala pa akong pera…”

“Wala pa akong time…”

“Tsaka nalang pag di na ako busy…”

“Tsaka nalang pag di na ako stressed…”

“I’ll work on it if I’m in the mood…”

Have you ever said these words?

For the longest time, I, too, have been failing to commit to a few things in life. I always give being ‘busy’ as a reason to not to commit. So this year, I’ve chosen COMMIT as my one word.

As I analyzed the past year (2019), I successfully started going to the gym. The reason why I regularly go is that I book sessions with a personal trainer the week before. I know how valuable time is that I also value the time of others. So, when I tell Coach Daevid that I’ll be there on Monday and Thursday, I make sure that I don’t book any meetings or work during the times that I commit to going to the gym to have the session.

This made me think that if I actually commit to doing more things, I would probably have a better year ahead.

So this year, I won’t make excuses anymore for things that I need to do. I won’t make excuses for not meeting friends and for not going to social functions. I won’t make excuses for fixing stuff that I need to accomplish.

I will make this year awesome by COMMITTING and sticking to my commitments.

How about you? What is your one word for this 2020? Share it with me by commenting or posting on social media with #GINspiration 🙂

Have We Become More Envious of Others?

While sifting though pictures on Instagram (which I often do), I couldn’t help but feel admiration and sort of envious of what other people have. How do these people have perfect bodies? How do they get to travel often? How do they have so many things — things I couldn’t have? These have become thoughts that I would often think of every time I would open social media platforms. So yesterday, just like any other time and after my numerous observations (haha!), I set my phone aside and went on doing chores and living my own life.

Then that evening, my family talked about the seven deadly sins. I still haven’t memorised these sins, but I still do remember some episodes of the movie SEVEN which was shown last 1995. One of the sins, if you haven’t memorised it, too, is envy. I quickly shifted to a state of panicking a little, as I thought of the those times on Instagram, when I would “envy” other people on social media. Was I “sinning” during all those times? 🙁

But before delving into my feelings and what-not, let’s go back to the definition of envy.

From Merriam Webster, the definition of ENVY is a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.

This morning (since I was really bothered), I was reading articles on the different things associated with envy, jealousy, benchmarking, comparing, the ethics behind these concepts, etc. I wondered if the changes that’s happening with tech, social media platforms, etc. have made us more envious of other people’s things and lives. I wondered if feeling like this was really bad.

After reading a lot of articles I have drawn my own personal conclusions (and please indulge me a bit on this).

Looking through social media and feeling a little bit envious of how other people’s live look can either lead to…

1) encouraging you to be a better version of yourself so therefore this little dose of “envy” becomes a source of inspiration.

2) negative feelings of hatred and resentment which lead you to action like backstabbing, spreading gossip, etc.

3) being apathetic about it — which can either be good or bad. “Let him/her live our own lives. I have to fight my own battles, so kuddos to him / her!” (good) or “I don’t care… (dismissing the fact that you still feel some jealousy and harbor some sort of ill feelings still… which I think is bad if you don’t confront the feeling/s).

So I think that thinking of wanting to be better because this concept is presented by another human being on Instagram or Facebook isn’t bad. If it encourages you to channel your feelings to doing good, to becoming a happier, more productive person, I don’t really think that this makes it a sin.

At the end of the day, if you don’t hurt anyone emotionally or physically, and this statement includes yourself (please don’t torture yourself, too), it’s not something bad.

What do you think about this? What are your thought on envy and jealousy. Do you have tips on how to be less envious of others?

Things That You Need to Do to Prepare for House Guests

We are a family that loves to play board games. For those who don’t know, aside from the board games that we usually know like Monopoly or Pictionary, there are a plethora of tabletop games that you can play with different themes and from different game makers and publishers.

My husband has been collecting board games since 2015, and at home, we have close to 100 games piled up on an already-wobbly shelf.

With this many board games, we have regular game nights at our home. I always wondered why preparing for house guests was a thing to the previous generation. I now know that being ready for house guests, my friend, is a skill!

When we first started accepting house guests, everything was in disarray. We sometimes didn’t have enough glasses for them. We didn’t have enough food, so we had to scramble to buy. Super daming FAIL! (A lot of things went wrong!).

But I think, after four years, I have developed a system! Yup, a system that works like a charm.

Let me share with you the top three things that you need to do when preparing for house guests (and these are three things that you can do right when you just have a one-hour window from the time you come home to when guests arrive).

Fix The Bathroom

You’ll notice that because of traffic in Metro Manila, the first thing that guests would ask is “may I use your bathroom?” Of course, with the limited time given, you can’t afford to scrub the entire bathroom clean. So these are the hacks that I personally do.

Wipe Surfaces — make sure that you wipe off any visible surfaces, from mirrors to the countertop to the walls of the bathroom. If you can’t go through the entire bathroom, just look for spots where water has left a mark and dried out. You can use a glass cleaner and a surface cleaner.

Sweep floors and take out the trash — make sure that the floor has been swept. I personally love having a bathroom mat. When we are expecting guests, we change the mat into a clean one. Also, be sure to take out the trash. You want to rid the room of anything that smells funky. 

Replenish toiletries — make sure that you have enough toilet paper in the bathroom. I always leave two rolls. 

Prepare the toilet — first, clean your toilet properly with your trusty cleaner. And then, keep your clean and fresh for longer by using Mr. Muscle Fresh Discs. The gel disc helps fight stains that harbor germs with every flush. It also leaves a protective shield that helps keep limescale away! I also love how fragrant it is. Mr. Muscle Fresh Discs make my bathroom smell (and feel) as if I clean and scrub more regularly than I actually do. Hehe!

It’s super easy to use, and you won’t even need to touch the toilet with your hands (unlike when you put the usual deodorizing rim blocks). All you need to do is load, stamp, and flush!

Here is a video on how to use Mr. Muscle Fresh Discs!

How to use Mr. Muscle Fresh Discs

Prepare a Food & Drinks Station

Usually, the main dining area and sala are the parts of the house where guests stay and talk to each other. In our case, the dinner table is even reserved for playing.

What I’ve noticed is that a lot of our friends stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Hours after dinner, most of them get hungry or thirsty. I set up a designated food & drinks station, which I refill every time we expect to have house guests. We have chips, biscuits, cookies, and nuts.

For the drinks station, you will always want to have tea and coffee. These are two things that friends usually ask for. 

Also, one of the problems that we had before (especially when you have five or more people in the house) was that glasses tend to get mixed up. You end up drinking from your friend’s glass or vice versa. Sometimes, either one will just suggest that you both get new glasses.

Prepare Music

People underestimate the value of playing music. Good music keeps everyone in a good mood. When we have guests, we make it a point that we have music that matches what we’re doing. We have Spotify and a speaker ready all the time.

When we play, we even have matching sounds for whatever theme we’re playing — a sci-fi playlist for when games have space themes, scary music when we’re playing a horror-themed game, etc.

These are the three things to consider prepping for when you are expecting house guests. If you have other tips, feel free to comment and share your thoughts with me!

Enjoy!

My Kid’s Relationship with Gadgets and our Mealtime Confessions

There has been much talk about whether parents should let their kids play with gadgets. I’ve come across millions of articles when I searched kids and gadgets Philippines. Some of these are…

Noemi’s column: https://www.manilatimes.net/2018/07/29/business/columnists-business/are-digital-gadgets-good-for-our-kids/424235/

The Asian Parent’s Article: https://ph.theasianparent.com/being-smart-about-kids-and-gadgets

GMA’s feature: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/technology/657754/experts-warn-parents-gadgets-expose-children-to-cyber-risks/story/

I read these and some other articles, and this topic now becomes one of the most difficult conundrums for the parents.

Our personal belief when it comes to using gadgets is to limit screen time. Ever since she was 3 years old, she was exposed to playing with games on her iPad. She was never the type who would freak out when we take her gadgets away from her. When we would tell her to stop, she would.

She would then grab and read a book, or play with blocks, pillows, dolls or toys within her reach.

Being in the tech industry, too, we know that there are some games and applications that can help enhance creativity. We also play with her while she’s playing these games (usually Minecraft and Roblox). This way, we can monitor and see what she’s up to since we’re in the same game (we see who she’s chatting with, etc.). We know she’s a digital native, and later on, knowing how to use technology will be as natural as using a spoon and fork for her and her peers. We don’t want to stop her, too, from understanding how things work. We do our best though to guide her (teach her about privacy, etc.).

I was curious to find out what other moms think about this topic. Here are some of the replies.

Mommy Berlin Domingo

Mommy Berlin is the mommy of five boys (Gabriel, Miguel, Daniel, Yael, and Samuel). Follow her at https://momiberlin.com and FB, Twitter, and IG: @momiberlin

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Yes, they have their own devices. They have a laptop which they use at school but the mobile phone, they have to surrender to me on weekdays.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes, during school time and before bedtime to lessen temptation to use.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
Mobile phones are with me on weekdays and they can have it on Friday after class until Sunday before bedtime. At home, Saturday is help day and after all the cleaning and errands, they can have their mobile phone and laptop with them.

Mommy Ley Reinares – Almeda

Mommy Ley is the mommy of Addy (10), Arriana (3Y) and Amanda (almost 2Y). Follow her at www.leyalmeda.com and Instagram: Instagram.com/mommyplannerley

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Addy at 10 and in Grade 5 has no Cellphone. When I asked if he wants a cellphone, iPad or laptop, he answered that he wanted a laptop, so he can do his projects and research at home without waiting for me.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes! But it depends on the kids personality pa din. All of my 3 kids naman practice less screen time.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?

With Addy, since I was a single mom, it was hard. So talaga Disney sya; plus, I was a first time mom. When he was 2, I would notice that he kept on blinking his eye, so I stopped him from watching TV and using the iPad.

So with, Arriana, I decided na no gadget talaga until 2 years old. I was homeschooling Addy at that time, so I make sure to include Arriana with the activities. We have a messy house but it means quality time with them while learning. We have iPads at home and a nintendo switch, but even during weekends, they don’t clamor to use them.

They want to play outside instead. Addy on the other hand became interested with sports, particularly basketball. Since he was 3, he’s has been training (not formally thou). My husband taught him. Arriana naman was exposed to arts as early as 6 months.

When Amanda came it was easier! We dont turned on our TV na nga. And of course, we lead by example. We limit the use of cp when we are all together. It is a big factor talaga. Its easy to raise multiple kids when you have a good role model as they mirror eh. So now, the 2 girls copy Kuya Addy.

Mommy Donna Donor

Mommy Donna is the mommy of Kib (13YO). Follow her at www.donnaandkib.com and Facebook www.facebook.com/donnaandkib

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Yes, he does.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes, because they tend to be disctracted and ignore things around them. It causes hearing problem (pag tinawag mo, hindi sasagot.. haha!).

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
He can only have gadget privileges when he is done with all his daily tasks.

Mommy Ciara Magallanes

Mommy Ciara is the mommy of Olivia (1YO). Follow her at www.mommydiaries.co , Facebook https://facebook.com/MommyDiariesPH and Instagram: https://instagram.com/ciaramagallanes

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
No. my kid doesn’t have one.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Studies show that excessive use of gadgets has negative effects on kids such as impaired learning development, delay in speech development, attention span is shorter, and less socialization to name a few. So we really limit the use of gadgets. Most of the days, no gadgets at all talaga. But in times of desperation haha or whenever I need some breather, I’d allow her some screen time but it is limited to 30 minutes a day only.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
He can only have gadget privileges when he is done with all his daily tasks.

We are advocates of actual play. Kids learn through play. In fact, we conceptualized this what we like to call P.L.A.Y. formula for kids to reach their optimum potential. This stands for Pretend Play. Limitless. Adapt. Yipee.

All this are about letting kids explore the World. They are pint-sized scientists, and they love to experiment to learn how things work. Their potential is limitless!

Mealtime Confessions

In our household, one of the things that we are strict with is that we don’t allow gadgets during mealtimes. Zeeka can only use her iPad again after eating. And admittedly, getting her to focus on having a meal with us was hard at first.

We looked at what would make her or kids interested in eating a meal together with us or their parents and we noticed that kids who love eating and conversing had a FUN time with their parents. Everyone at the table was engaged in a conversation, because everyone was PRESENT (no thoughts drifting to finishing work stuff, etc.).

We also need to do our part as parents to make kids interested with things offline as much as they are interested with things online.

Today, I’m sharing a video that we (The Arboledas) shot during one of our dinners. It’s called Mealtime Confessions. We were inspired by the videos that featured real conversations over dinner (like the one of Chuckie and Ella): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ysMe-C1DwI

Hope you like it!

We invite you talk to your kids during mealtimes. You can also do your own version of #MealtimeConfessions.

What our children need more than the material things that we give is our love and attention. Let’s give them that 🙂

Make me Love you More… (an Ode to Life)

Dear Life,

It’s been 39 years of both exhilarating and boring moments.

Even with the boring and the not-so-great moments, you’ve wheedled your way into making me love you more with the charm of true love, the excitement of a new born child, the thrill of building businesses and the passion for writing and blogging.

First of all, I thank you for introducing me to a jocular and charming man. To be honest, EJ was not quite whom I expected to end up with for a life partner. You always had me end up with the “brute” and not the “brains” (no offense to my ex’s whom I am all friends with…). After months of getting to know him though, I knew he was THE ONE.

Me with my silly husband, EJ 🙂

And after several years of marriage, I still think him to be the man who inspires me to be the best that I can be. I love how smart and funny he is. I’m such an intense person that I thank you for giving me someone who’s more chill. Let not his “chillness” be mistaken for lack of drive. He is the most driven person I know with great leadership skills. I really admire and respect him. He’s a great father and a great leader. He could challenge me at anything, and there never is a dull moment with him. I am grateful for showing me the path that led to him.

The next thing that made me love you more is the minute I laid eyes on this feisty little baby, who could not be swaddled. Looking into Zeeka’s eyes makes me think that I have nothing to worry about. She has the confidence, the values, the inquisitiveness and curiosity, the drive and the attitude to take on the world by storm.

Sweet Little Zeeka and Moi!

She’s so sweet and loving that sometimes I wonder “what did I do to deserve such an amazing little girl?”. Life, I am so proud of her and this is something that I know I will be for the rest of years and decades together.

Life, you made me love you more when you introduced me to my purpose. My purpose of helping other business owners and freelancers introduced itself to me like an effulgent sun. Everything was clearer. I knew and know exactly where I want to be in the future.

With these businesses, you tested my values, grit, tenacity and perseverance. You also taught me to be a guide for different people from different walks of life who make up teams I love so dearly (#TeamManilaWorkshops and #TeamTaxumo). Yes, there were moments when I wanted to give up (several and too many to count) but you always showed me the reason why I shouldn’t. With these endeavors also, you introduced me to amazing people who are continuously helping me make the world a better place. You introduced me to a lot of amazing partners and new friends whom I know I will cherish for life.

Last but not the least (and definitely not the last reason why I love you more, Life), thank you for making me discover blogging more than a decade ago. Thank you for introducing me to something that I really enjoy doing. Writing is a break from everything. It’s what I love doing for my ME-time.

Me writing down outlines and ideas for my blogs before writing on the laptop… yup, old skool! hehe!

This is where I could express myself. Thank you for introducing me to this tool where I can share my thoughts, experiences and views on mompreneurship, women in the workplace, parenting, business, taxation, productivity, finance, beauty, etc.

There are so many more reasons why I love you so much more than I did before, Life. And as I enter this 39th year of being with you, all I wish is that you continue to be patient with me and stick with me as I have so much more that I want to do!

Make me love you more!

Love,