Reviews

Mommy Ginger shares reviews on great products that would make a mom’s life easier and definitely happier!

The world’s first wildlife channel for preschoolers puts fun in learning about conservation!

Zeeka had a assessment test in one of the schools. She made a mistake in identifying which of these (cow, bear, chicken or mouse) is the smallest. She encircled the chicken! LOL! It just dawned on me that the reason may be because she hasn’t seen a mouse in real life. Since we’re too far from anything that resembles a forest, I think I need to show here more shows that feature animals.

I still think that science, knowledge and empathy of all thing living should be taught to the next generation. But usually, documentaries like these are way to boring. This is why it’s great to see a show like ZooMoo. ZooMoo brings excitement to learning by combining funny and adorable puppet characters, stunning animation, breathtaking nature videos, and interactive games that will help young children develop a love for animals. This channel is available on Solar Entertainment’s latest digital platform, EasyTV.

Do you know that ZooMoo has a lineup of more than 1,500 standalone episodes? These were all made by a collaboration that wildlife filmmakers and early childhood education experts from the University of Otago, New Zealand created.

What’s so cute about it is that each show has a funny animal puppet with a unique personality, strength and weakness (that they are able to overcome through the help of other puppet friends and casts). Some of these animal pals include the optimistic photographer Flash the dog, the wise and pedantic Owl, the skillful and expressive Ninja Gorilla, the inventive and adventurous Piglet, and the gentle giant Panda.

What’s cool is that this channel comes with a companion ZooMoo App that can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store! The app lets kids explore a wildlife sanctuary called ZooMoo Island where they can look for and interact with up to 300 animals.

The app doesn’t require you to have internet connection after the initial download, and parents, like us, don’t have to worry about in-app advertisements and purchases. ZooMoo’s ZooSync technology also enables users to sync their apps with the channel for more free content. Just run the app when a show flashes ‘ZooSync’ to receive gifts from the channel.

ZooMoo is available on EasyTV channel 9. Learn more about ZooMoo by visiting
http://asia.zoomoo.tv/. Follow ZooMoo online by logging on to Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/zoomooasia/, Twitter @ZooMooAsia, and Instagram @zoomooasia.

My little girl will start going to school this August. Last year, she would go home before lunch time. Her schedule this year goes beyond lunch, so i’ll be sending her both morning snacks and lunch. My dilemma now is how to make her EAT her food! My daughter is such a picky eater. Even if she’s hungry, she’ll just nibble a little bit into things that I send her. I’m having a hard time looking for food for kids that will be both nutritious and fun to eat.

When the opportunity to learn how to make Bento boxes came, I grabbed it. We had an intimate event given by Gold Seas Tuna Chunks and it was a session with Bento by Kat. I know about her because I follow her IG account, and what she creates is so amazing. I always love going to Gold Seas Tuna events because for one, I am a hoarder! haha! I always keep cans of Gold Seas Tuna Chunks in my kitchen. I also love going to their events because I always feel like I’m an “empowered” mom after. LOL!

The first event that I went to last year (or was it early this year; I can’t remember) was a cooking event. I was taught how to cook simple dishes (Read it here: SIMPLE TUNA DISHES THAT YOU WILL LOVE FROM GOLD SEAS TUNA) Woot woot! AND, I hardly cook, so having cooked two dishes really gave me the confidence to cook more for my family (which I did).

Then this time around, we were inspired to create our our #BentoyourGoldSeas boxes for our kids. I’m not an artistic person, so for me to complete the task, I had to step it up and listen carefully to Kat.

I was actually so proud of myself, because I got to create this!

TADA!

UP CLOSE!

So this is healthy food for kids that you can send as “baon”. The food on the lower right hand side of the YummyBox are Tuna Cakes. This is how you make them:

TUNA CAKES (7-8 patties)

Ingredients:
1 can Gold Seas Yellowfin Tuna Chunks in Olive Oil, drained
1 large Potato
1 Egg
Salt to taste
Oil from Tuna Can

1. Peel potatoes and slice into smaller pieces. Boil until soft for about 20 minutes. Drain and mash.
2. Mix the tuna chunks and mashed potatoes. Add egg and mix well.
3. Form into patties.
4. Lightly oil a non-stick skillet using the olive oil from the tuna can.
5. Fry until golden brown.

There you go! This is perfect for bringing to school. My daughter loved it!

Have you created bento boxes before? Hope you can share with me some of your recipes!

“People needed someone that didn’t require a warrant or shield to get things done. Call it a vigilante, or a superhero. Call it what you will, but like it or not, I finally accepted that that someone had to be me.” ―Luke Cage

There’s something that draws me towards the Marvel Netflix Series. The more I watch it, the more I love it. I have grown to love The Defenders and their individual series. I especially love Luke Cage and Iron Fist, these heroes for hire. And yesterday, I was part of the Netflix Stream Team (#NetflixAPCC). I got to see the stars of these two shows and their show runners. Seeing them and getting to know more about them made me love the show, the characters and the people running the show even more.

Here are the things that make me love these shows more:

The Netflix Marvel universe seems to have a very encouraging environment, allowing everyone in the team to feel comfortable and loved.

While listening to the invited guests talk in their respective panels, there was one thing that I sensed was stressed in both panels (Luke Cage’s panel and Iron Fist’s panel). They highlighted the fact that each one in the team know that they have a role to play, but each one helps others in the team to make these shows successful. Mustafa (John Mclever / Bushmaster) tells a nice story about his audition. Usually, when actors audition for roles, the show runner would sit on a table which was at a distance from the stage. In his audition, Mustafa says that Show runner Cheo Hodari Coker went upfront (near the stage) and read the lines with him. When it got to the point where he had to pretend to shoot Cheo, Cheo really played the role and dropped dead on the floor. Mustafa appreciates this and says that with this, he really felt confident and lost all nervousness.

The actors and actresses in the series are almost given the same treatment as the lead role.

In a story (especially if it shares a depiction of “real life”), characters live and interact with other people. In order to fully appreciate the lead characters, you will need to go through the characters surrounding them and how each one contributes to solidifying the role of the lead. I love how the show runners, writers and the production team make most of the characters go through some sort of character metamorphosis. We see, not only the main character, evolve. We see the Bushmaster, Mariah, Shades, Misty, Colleen, Mustafa, etc. go through a character transformation which always keeps us on our toes.

The leads are very professional.

It was so refreshing (and you would be able to feel it, too) to see and hear that both Mike Colter and Finn Jones don’t have the “diva-like” behaviour that you think a lead character would have. Cheo Hodari Coker mentions that Mike arrives early at their set and he knows and has memorized his lines. Raven Metzner, showrunner of Iron Fist, says that Finn always trains and practices hard. Hearing Finn also say that he appreciates Clayton Barber (fight coordinator of the show) is just amazing.

And finally, I love that the story of both these 2 shows, encourages each one of us to be heroes.

I think in the Philippines, most of us are still hopeful and optimistic about how and where our country will be in the next few years. We know that we can achieve success if each one does their part to be the heroes that each one can be. I love Luke Care and Iron Fist, because both series are very relatable. Both shows also have deep lessons to be learned and have characters that we each can relate with.

So, let’s get on and watch these shows. I suggest though that you watch it in this order:

How to watch the Marvel Netflix Series in order

Daredevil Season 1

Jessica Jones Season 1

Daredevil Season 2

Luke Cage Season 1

Iron Fist Season 1

The Defenders

The Punisher

Jessica Jones Season 2

Luke Cage Season 2

And finally, Marvel’s Iron Fist season 2! And I can’t believe I was one of the first who watched it. And guess what, we also watched EPISODE 1.

My thoughts on IRON FIST SEASON 2

I know most of us would have loved to see Daredevil Season 3 first, but after having seen Season 1 of Iron Fist, I’m glad that they came out with this first. I love how new characters were introduced and I love the faster pace of the story. After unveiling and solidifying the character of Danny in Season 1, it’s so refreshing to see a more confident and solid character for Danny. And as usual, I loved how bad-ass Colleen is, and how very well-grounded on her values and virtues she is (or will she still be?? haha). I don’t want to give too much information, but seriously, you need to watch the upcoming season of Iron Fist.

Give it a chance, peeps! It won’t disappoint.

I really enjoyed going to Asiapo Comicon 2018. I am proud to be part of the Netflix Stream Team. Were you at the Asiapop Comicon 2018? What did you enjoy? Share your thoughts with us!

We always tell Zeeka before going into a toy store that she needs to choose a toy that she will let go of before we buy another toy. We tell her that money doesn’t grow on trees, but to explain where money comes from, we’re glad that we have Cashaysayan. Cashaysayan is a book that teaches your little one about money. This book is super helpful!

Before I tell you about the book, I’d like to acknowledge the authors for doing a good job. One of the authors (Divine) is actually a friend, do kuddos to you Divine and your co-authors for writing this book. I apologize it took some time to write this, but I really want to spread the word because I know this will help a lot of kids understand concepts and everything about money and value.

Sharing the authors of this book:

Divine Gil Reyes is the Chief Creative Officer and owner of an advertising and public relations agency. She is a writer, lyricist, and part-time voice actor. Divine has written a musical album for kids about positive values, and several episodes for the children’s TV show “Jollitown,” and a few short films. She hopes to help raise a new generation of dutiful Filipino citizens.

Michelline Espiritu Suarez is a wife to her college sweetheart, mother to five kids, and mistress to three lazy dogs. A Liberal Arts graduate, she is fascinated by history, philosophy, sociology, and literature. Halo-Halo Histories is her midlife crisis in book form. She hopes the series will spark an interest in and love for our common heritage, in children and adults alike.

Joonee Garcia, or “Miss Joonee” to her students, is a music teacher, theater teacher, composer, writer, and occasional actor. She penned the musical “The Princess and the Red Carp,” as well as many childhood music and movement programs. She was the Local Musical Director of the London West End Production of the The Sound of Music in Manila, 2017.

Benjor Catindig is an illustrator, graphic designer, art director, and owner of an advertising and public relations agency. His many works include theater posters; a children’s book, The Legend of Juan Pawikan; and the graphic short story, “Karnabal” (co-written with Joonee Garcia), which was a finalist at the first Philippine Graphic /Fiction Awards in 2007.

About the book…

I started reading this book to Zeeka and she was deeply interested. What I personally liked about it is that we forgot that our money (bills and coins) tell a lot about our history and culture. We always take it for granted (although not when we need to spend it… haha!), but it’s time that we share with the younger generation how it’s created from the time when “value” was created with the exchange of goods to how we acknowledge it at the present.

When I read Zeeka this book, I showed her different bills and showed her the images in the bills. I told her also to observe the different coins that we have.

CASHAYSAYAN: A History of Philippine Money is actually the second book from the wildly popular Halo-Halo Histories, a series dedicated to making the study of Philippine history fun and engaging for young people. I think it’s about time that we dig deeper into our culture and find ways to pass it on to the next generation.

It’s so cool that these four authors came up with this book! More power to all of you.

Regards,

 

 

P.S. Have you read the book? What do think of it?

P.P.S.

Order your own copy online through www.tahananbooks.ph or visit Tahanan Books at Unit 402 Cityland 3 Building, V.A. Rufino corner Esteban Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City.

Travelling to Hong Kong Disneyland with a Toddler

The last time we had our family adventure out of the country was May last year. We went to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea! We obviously had a great time, so this year, we scheduled a trip to go to Hong Kong. The last time I went to Hong Kong was decades ago. I think I was ten! I don’t even think that Disneyland existed in Hong Kong.

Well, we had a wonderful time in Hong Kong. But this article is really for the parents who want to bring their kids to Hong Kong Disneyland. And my point of view and the experience that I will share in this post is really for mothers with kids from 4-6 years old. I’ll probably write one again when Zeeka’s a little bit older and taller (measuring her height here at home has become a “thing” after going to different theme parks).

Okay, so let’s get started. I hope you’re ready for one long article, packed with tips and tricks! haha!

Plane and Accommodations

I actually went ahead because I had to attend a conference for a few days. The conference was at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which was at near Wan Chai (where I stayed for a couple of nights). The plan was to meet EJ and Zeeka at our Hotel in Hong Kong Disneyland. So to get to Disneyland, you have to take the MTR to Sunny Bay from Central (orange line), then transfer to the Disney Resort line.  I left the hotel at around 8:45 am and arrived at the hotel probably around 9:45 am. Taking the MTR in Hong Kong is actually quite easy. You can purchase tickets via the machines or via the customer service booth.

Disney’s Hollywood Hotel

Okay, so when you get to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, you need to go straight and turn right to go to the Bus Station (buses that take you to the three hotels in the resort). Their are buses that come and go every 10-15 minutes. These buses are free. Do not try to walk with luggages and toddlers by your side! haha! Although it’s walkable, your kids may get tired. Ride the bus! Also, when we were there (month of July), it was hot! So be sure to use sunscreen.

So for our our accommodations, we booked directly from this link: https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/offers-discounts/ We stayed there for 3 days and two nights. We got the package with no meals but with park tickets. We figured out that we would eat in the park anyway, because Zeeka would be so excited to leave (which actually happened). EJ and Zeeka arrived at the hotel around 10 am plus. Zeeka wanted to leave to go to the park as soon as she got to the hotel room so we were all rushing to get to park that EJ forgot his phone in the hotel room the first day! haha!

So we got on the bus to go to the park as EJ shared stories of his stressful morning that involved Zeeka asking him that she wanted to pee the minute they arrived at the airport, waiting in long lines then realizing they forgot to pay TIEZA or the travel tax so they had to go back, waiting in long lines again then realizing again that Zeeka left her small backpack at the TIEZA counter, running while carrying a 5 year old girl so that they won’t miss the flight, and finally boarding last just in time before the gates closed. Haha! You could see that energy was zapped out from him, so him forgetting his phone was just “normal” (at least for that morning).

Anyway, when we got to the park, we realized that the tickets were in Ej’s phone, but it was a good thing that he saved it on Google Drive and had sent me the link to the tickets the night before. I used the FREE wifi at the park, which was convenient by the way, and I saved it on my phone. Whew!

So just a few tips…

  • When you’re inside the park, if you come around this time of the year, bring an umbrella, or better yet, buy a cute umbrella (like what we did!) I bought a foldable one with Mickey Mouse on it.
  • For your kids, just buy them a cap. We ended up bringing Zeeka’s umbrella. Oh, but buy water for your kids!
  • Wear sunscreen!

Inside the park

I highly recommend that you download the Hong Kong Disneyland Mobile Application. You can download it from this link: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1077550649 Also, once you get inside, head for one of the following rides to get a Fast Pass. Note that you can get a Fast Pass again only after the time indicated in the Fast Pass that you got. These are the rides that I remember that have Fast Pass machines: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Mystic Manor, Hyperspace Mountain, Iron Man Experience, etc. (I forgot the rest! Please let me know if I missed anything).

Once you have your Fast Pass, you can start checking out the show schedules, too, in the app. For preschoolers like Zeeka, they will love Mickey and the Wondrous Book (I super loved this, too!), Moana: A Homecoming Celebration, and Mickey’s Philharmagic! They also have parades that you can watch (sad though that we didn’t get to catch the Pixar Water Play Street Party! because we were busy going through the rides and we didn’t get to see the Disney Paint the Night Parade because it rained and they cancelled it.. huhu!). But then again, we had fun riding all the rides.

Zeeka’s top three favorite rides were:

1) It’s a Small World in Fantasyland, which we rode three times

2) Slinky Dog Spin in Toy Story land and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Fantasy land, which we both rode twice (tied in second place!)

3) Iron Man Experience in Tomorrowland, which we rode twice, too.

Daddy and Mommy’s favorite rides were:

1) Hyperspace Mountain in Tomorrowland, which I rode thrice (BTW, Zeeka rode this, too!)

2) Mystic Manor, which was cool

3)The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Fantasy land and Iron Man Experience in Tomorrowland (Tied in 3rd Place)

*We didn’t get to ride Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars since we couldn’t leave Zeeka with anyone, but I know we would have loved this. We rode a “sort of similar” ride in Tokyo Disneyland and we loved that, so I think this would have been great, too. Zeeka didn’t make the height requirement.

Meet and Greets

Zeeka loved the meet and greets with the different characters. She lined up for Jessie, Duffy and Cookie. We also saw Mickey and Minnie, Moana, Tinkerbell, and other characters. You do have to check out the schedules though because they only come out at certain times of the day, so you have to fall in line.  They close the line after a while.

What I love about Hong Kong Disneyland is that everything is done in an orderly manner. In some rides, they give you numbers, just to be sure that you have seats. The rides’ instructions are in both in English and Chinese. You wont have a hard time communicating with the staff if you have questions.

Dining

For breakfast, we would by at Hollywood & Dine, one of the restaurants in our hotel. Have a budget of around 100 to 200 HKD. They also serve coffee here from Starbucks (just the basic Starbucks variants though). Then for lunch, we would eat in the restaurants inside the park. We ate at the Starliner Diner, which Zeeka loved. We also tried the Main Street Corner Cafe Hosted by Coca Cola. Food there was a little bit pricier but the servings were huge! We should have just split the burger with fries. Food was yummy, too!

We had a lot of snacks from popcorn (which we loved and bought to take to the hotel, too! — that’s how good it was!), to ice cream, etc. And for dinner, we would order one whole pizza from Studio Lounge at our hotel to take to our room while watching Disney cartoons on our TV.

Other tips…

  • Make sure that you bring chewy candy for your toddler on board a plane. It relieves pressure in her ears.
  • Don’t forget ballpens while inside the plane so you can write on the Immigration departure and arrival cards.
  • Slow is fast when it comes to kids. Just relax!
  • Zeeka’s tip is to “breathe in and breathe out” when you’re stressed! haha!
  • Don’t give your toddlers anything that they need to hold or remember, because they won’t 🙂
  • In the airport, the internet is fast. Download shows that you can watch during the flight. Since we went with a budget airline, we knew that we needed to entertain her another way.

And last, but not the least, Zeeka says, “DON’T LEAVE YOUR KIDS!” hahaha!

PS: Watch our videos here!

 

Hope you have a great time at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort!