Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Edible Giveaways

I am constantly trying to try out new things for my business and throughout last year there are inquiries about edible giveaways for weddings and birthdays. At present I am in the research and development stage in producing edible giveaways for weddings and birthdays. Maybe other events would follow as I improve my skills in crafts and arts.

I receive suggestions encouraging me to join Philippine Wedding bazaars and events so showcase my products and that is my target for this year. Weddings have become a big industry in the country and many business opportunities are available if you know how to tap the market. My main focus my wedding giveaways is to showcase the Filipino culture in my designs, that is why I am looking for materials that shouts “proudly pinoy” as guests would see them.

My dream wedding was to have a Filipiniana theme wedding but I did not have one. Wearing a gown made of Piña, maria clara styled of course and have to whole entourage wear Filipiniana inspired designs and all details like invitations in bamboo holders down to the giveaways was really my dream. But when I realized that having a Filipiniana theme wedding is expensive, I opted to the modern theme but at least I got my other wish to make my wedding “engrande”.

So now I get to design wedding giveaways “filipiniana inspired” to bring out the romantic feelings of the Filipino lover and parts of it is edible too.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Chocolate Bunny for a Very Special Kid

We are going to a birthday party this Sunday, he is a playmate of my son and is the son of my husband’s boss. My son loves to play with him and always asks us when can he play with him again. The only issue that my husband raised when I was thinking about what to give for a birthday gift is what do you give a child so basically have “everything”? or can have any toy he wants. Obviously we are in a dilemma then my husband suggested “why not give him one of your delicious chocolates? But not the ordinary ones, make it something special”

So I decided to give him one of my chocolate bunnies, it is made of pure solid chocolate and what kid would not want to have a special chocolate just for him. The tricky part was, where to put it, so I looked around for a water bottle for kids and got just the right one, a Bugs Bunny water bottle.

Everyone should be given special chocolates once in a while and to receive them on your birthday make it even more special.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lorenzo’s Study Time Made Easy

Lorenzo’s final exams are coming up, and making sure that he is ready to take his exams is one of my responsibilities as a parent, even a working one. My son at his age is not an easy child to study with, there are times he gets distracted or stops at the middle of our study time and decides he is already finished studying and would like to do another activity. Lucky for me I had the foresight to allocate a quite corner for our study time and they were told at school to study their lessons before going to sleep at night.

Strategies I have to help Lorenzo study:

Have a routine – we have our study time after dinner every night even on weekends. Giving him a set activity where he can study his lessons or learn new things helps him form good study habits.

Make studying fun – Lorenzo does poorly in writing, as this is his weakness I make up stories or sound effects while teaching him/practicing to write to make the activity fun and interesting for him.

Have supplementary activity books available – I regularly buy books related to the topics he have at class, I do this so that he can practice writing and at the same time review his lessons he had in schools. His schools books are not allowed to be answered at home unless it is an assignment and having another book related to the topic he wants to color or write on makes him enjoy studying better.

Teach him to love books – I love to read books and every time we go out and see a bookstore I usually go and browse inside. We made it a habit whenever we go out and see Goodwill bookstore to go inside and let our son look at books he wants and let him buy one book every visit, or more if he’s really been good. Now he refers to his bookshelf as his library and we read one or two books before we sleep.

Invest in flash cards
– One of the most treasured materials we have is his flash cards. I remember my husband buying it a week after Lorenzo was born it is an eight-pack collection of cards alphabets, Numbers 1-10, colors, shapes and others. He bought it for 300 pesos and I am very thankful he did, even if we waited for 3 years before we can use it. I use them as supplements for the lessons like what is the first letter each picture have? I usually make it as a card game where we split the cards between us and we take turns putting a card in the table and give the starting letter for each card and who ever puts all his cards in the table first wins. I usually let him win for every time we play the card game I win too, he learned more through this game and we had fun doing it.

Supplement with Online Materials – there are many websites for children that helps kids with their lessons and at the same time they have fun learning them. My son regularly visits websites where he can play games with his favorite cartoon characters. Just be sure you review the sites yourselves first so you know what your child is absorbing online. I usually guide him to the topics I feel he needs to study before I allow him choose other topics or part of the website he wants to go. You also have to supervise him. My son knows how to navigate aand go to his favorite websites(we have them bookmarked) but still you must also be on hand if he has questions or if he goes to a site not appropriate for his age.

Don’t cram! - Oh that saying is true whether you’re in nursery or in your masters course or at work. It would be difficult to cram studying with a four year old for they have short attention spans and both of you will feel the pressure. I usually start reviewing Lorenzo for major exams two weeks before, just insert a topic during every study time until he knows it. By the time the actual exam days arrive you are both relaxed and eager to start study time.

Lastly, TRUST you child that he knows what he is doing. When he says “I know that already Mom”, stop and move on to the next topic.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Keeping the Love Alive

Having children is great but sometimes it takes its toll in the relationship as husband and wife. My husband always complains about the lack of privacy and time spent for just the two of us. We even spent these valentines day with our son, “how romantic” hehehe. I just promised him that our anniversary is coming up and we can make up for the lost opportunities then.

One luxury we give ourselves as a couple is checking into hotels even once a year. We love the sense of privacy it gives us, gives us a break from the hectic activity as a family. It is the time we renew our love for each other and or simply put it gives us a chance to just be us, as a couple, as husband and wife. Even just for a day or two we focus on romance, keep the love burning so to speak. We just check in the hotel then go out to enjoy the day as a couple, watch a movie, window shop and eat at our favorite restaurant.

We don’t go too far, because you never know what emergency will pop up on your absence, there was even a time when our helper quit when we were away. Going to long vacations is not our style, we both have demanding jobs. And thinking of just traveling out of Manila in this traffic make us tired. Maybe when our son is older we may try vacationing in the province but as of now we will just stick to Metro Manila.

We usually look for hotels online and see if the amenities are to our liking and we book ahead. Great news for us is the increase in the available hotels in Manila and the whole country, there are really hotels to cater to everyone, for families, balikbayans and even just for couples like us who from time to time like to relax. There are even Value Hotels in the Philippines available online. It makes it easier for us to choose what hotel we would like to go to.

As our anniversary nears I would be busy planning a great romantic weekend for husband and me or if I can’t wait for it, maybe I can ask for a romantic getaway as a birthday gift next month.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Parental Achievement

I have just paid my son’s last quarter tuition fee and I felt an overwhelming feeling of achievement. I gave the Lord a heartfelt thank you message as I receive the final permit and receipt. I have finished paying Lorenzo’s tuition for this school year and coughing up twenty nine thousand pesos for a whole year in nursery is no joke. As any parent would understand, giving your children the best education that you can provide and afford really matters.

I believe that the primary years of education is important, it is you child’s educational foundation. Once your child have these strong foundation you can be assured of your child’s performance in school till college. It is also one of the gifts my parents gave all of us kids. They sacrificed so that they can send us to a good private school in elementary and then let us loose in high school and college to public schools. We even graduated in state universities.

I love every minute I have studying in all my schools; I am even the one that requested my parents to allow me to enroll in a public high school and because of my strong foundation during my formative years it served me well through college.

It’s not that I frown upon public elementary schools, it just that I would like to give my son the best that we can as parents. I am an educator and I know how good our educators are in public schools.

There are just advantages to having your child on a private school, one is the student-teacher ratio, and it is much smaller at a private school. I am assured that my son will be given proper attention in class.

Another reason why I chose a private school for my son is the lessons given. Being a child of both parents in the Information Technology field my son is exposed early on using computers, multi media and the Internet. So in an ordinary class set up my son will have difficulty in following lessons. This is also encountered by my friends as their children too are exposed to information technology and their children get bored easily at just an ordinary class setup.

Another benefit my son acquired in his school is the good study habits, I will be forever grateful to his teacher Manel for it. My son always asks to study before bedtime, it has become our routine, every night even during weekends and vacations after dinner we go to our room to study his lessons, we review all his notebooks and books and make his assignment if there is any. What a nice start in life, my parents tell me to continue this practice as he grows older.

I am thankful for the fruitful year my son have in school and as the end of the school year approaches I will savor every minute of it and share with you all of the lesson learned I experienced as a parent having a son go to school for the first time. It is also my achievement as a working mother, allocating time for study time and keeping track of his progress at school is an achievement in itself as my son not an easy student most of the time.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Chocolate Roses Anyone?

It’s February again, the love month.

It is the time to reach out and tell people that they are important and they are loved. I remember when I was in grade school my mother has this gift wrapping paper full of small hearts and I asked her what she is doing with it, she replied that she was cutting the paper into small half-inch sized hearts and come valentines day she gives them to her friends at the office. Mostly, the small hearts are pinned on the clothes to let everybody know that it’s Valentines Day. Since then I also started giving those small paper hearts to friends and family but nowadays I give chocolate roses.

Chocolate roses can be considered a 2-in-1 gift this valentine, instead of just giving roses and chocolates separately your can give both. I remember the thrill in receiving a bouquet of roses during Valentines Day but those roses wilt after a day or two, but receiving chocolates gives me an all time high. Chocolates are my passion, even the smell of them makes me happy.

This Valentines day give chocolate roses to your loved ones and make them feel special. I make these choco roses in various colors, just visit www.mylittlebaker .com for details