McDonald’s Happy Studio App

Yup! McDonald’s has a new App, Mommies! It isn’t just an engaging app, it is also educational. After learning McDonald’s is going to have a new App, I quickly downloaded it on my phone.

Happy Studio is an interactive learning and play app that makes the Happy Meal experience even more enjoyable. The best part? You can even scan a Happy Meal toy to unlock more fun and games within the app!

Educational Game Play
McDonald’s App grows children’s imaginations and encourages innovative thinking. In the Happy Studio app, kids can choose to step into the shoes of an inventor, an artist, or a musician. Each activity is focused on developing certain skills while putting the child into playful mini-scenarios.

As an inventor, kids can build various objects with their favorite characters while learning creative and logic skills as they go. As an artist, children are able to improve their creative skills and exercise their imagination. As a musician, kids are able to explore musical patterns to help improve their rhythm and timing.

My 3 year old loves to doodle, so she enjoyed being an “artist” through this App. She is yet to try being an inventor and musician but I am sure she’d love this too!

Now we don’t have to let her watch videos on the internet. Instead, we can use the McDonald’s App and learn thru play!

Happy Studio is now available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Share your love for the app via the official Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/mcdo.ph, or by tagging @McDo_PH to your sweet and funny Happy Studio moments on Twitter or Instagram.

Thoughts on having a Third Baby

All my life, I wanted to have a big family. I wanted at least 8 children. Actually, 8 daughters.

During Natalie’s first year however, things began to change. I think we were ok with one. It was the hardest and most emotional year of my life. There was a battle in my head. I don’t want her to miss out on the fun of having siblings. I know how fun that is because we are four and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was so much fun having a brother and two sisters around. But I was also scared because having more children is beyond my (patience and) capacity. It’s just way way way way beyond me. Then after I surpassed the 1st year, my heart started to ache for another child. I felt selfish for not wanting another baby just because it will be hard on my part.

Then last year, I started wishfully thinking we could have another baby. It was October when I was delayed for 2 weeks. I bought some pregnancy tests and it turned out negative. Still, I went to check with my OB. Maybe there was a mistake. I took a blood test and unfortunately it was still negative. I had to hold my tears because I was with my mom. No second baby that time.

The following month though, I was delayed again. I didn’t want to expect anymore because I didn’t want to get hurt once more. But I was too anxious I couldn’t hold my curiosity. I bought some pregnancy tests and this time it turned out positive!!! I had to keep it a secret until I went to my OB. And indeed I was pregnant for with Baby # 2!

Fast forward to when the Little Boy arrived, it was via Emergency CS. I dreaded not giving birth vaginally but we were left with no choice. The recovery period was the hardest. Not being able to move freely, the pain, the breastfeeding hurdles. They were just too much to bear. I can never go thru this again! I swear! This will be the last time. I don’t think I want to be pregnant ever again. I have decided to sell all Natalie’s clothes and all the pink stuff. Because there is not gonna be a 3rd baby for sure, I wanted to let her stuff go.

But now 3 weeks postpartum and almost healed (not exactly back to normal but I feel great already), I am thinking twice whether it’s really going to be the last.

I know it’s pretty crazy. Maybe it’s just hormones. Maybe it’s just the medication. Or maybe I just lack sleep. I don’t know! But whatever God’s will is for our little family, I hope my heart will be ready!

How many kids do you think you can handle? 

Hakab Na! 2017: Busting Out Soon!

Breastfeeding moms in the South, get ready to bust out! Join the South PiNanays as we break down the barriers to sustainable breastfeeding, at Hakab Na! 2017, on August 5 (Saturday), at the Ayala Malls South Park in Muntinlupa City, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hakab Na! is the Philippines’ contribution to the Global Big Latch On, an international celebration of breastfeeding, held in line with World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7). With this year’s global theme of “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together,” the goal for advocates worldwide is to forge multi-sectoral partnerships to help women sustain successful breastfeeding.

Why sustain breastfeeding? Science tells us that breastfeeding benefits not only babies, but also women, society, the economy, and the environment. Successful breastfeeding is not just a victory for the breastfeeding mother and child, but for sustainable development as well.

You might also like: Nursing Rooms in the City

This is South PiNanays’ third year at hosting Hakab Na! for families living south of Metro Manila. More than 200 mom and baby pairs are expected to join this year’s celebration. On the program: expert talks on breastfeeding and parenting, testimonials on overcoming breastfeeding challenges, a mompreneur fair, and the main event– a simultaneous latch- on at 10:30 a.m. Games and other fun activities await participants.

Bust out with us! For registration and more information, hop on over to https://spinhakab2017.eventbrite.com/

See you soon!

By Issa Ocaya-San Jose

My Birthing Story: Nielsen Kristoff

This is how it happened. My birthing story.
July 9, 2017. I woke up around 6am and as I got up I noticed a gush of discharge enough to wet my underwear and shorts. Because I always had issues with leaks, I thought it was just an unusual amount of urine. When we got to church (it was a Sunday), I noticed there was another leak. I was a bit suspicious already because the watery discharge was too much. Then, it hit me. THIS COULD BE MY WATER BAG!!!!
I immediately texted my OB who happens to have a clinic at Healthway ATC in about an hour. We went ahead and had myself checked. Well, it was “the day”. My water bag broke! My heart raced. This is it. Good thing we brought our hospital bag already. I wasn’t expecting it was going to be that day but I just wanted the bag handy, just in case!

We headed to Unihealth Southwoods and I was admitted at around 12pm. Before we got to the hospital, I made sure I had my make -up on! I looked so wasted with my firstborn I couldn’t even post pictures on Facebook. Haha. But then before I was brought to the Labor Room, the nurse asked me to remove them. I just removed my lippy but the nurse said, “Ma’am pati po kilay.” Grrrrr. So there I was in all my pictures, pale and kilay-less.

 

It was a boring 2 hours at the Labor Room waiting for me to dilate. But nothing seemed to be happening so I was induced at 2pm. The nurse left for a while and she saw me in tears when she came back. She thought I was starting to hurt but I told her I was just watching something touching on TV and that contraction hasn’t started. Haha…

I did progress to 5cm after about 2 more hours. My OB and the anesthesiologist came in at that time. Active labor has started and it begins to hurt! Dr Paul (I think was his name) administered the Epidural. He told me he only gave me a test shot and to tell him if it hurt so he could add more dose. He had to add a few more times because I kept complaining. He would ask me how much it hurt from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. And when I would reply with a 5 or 6, he wouldn’t add a dose. So I’d say it was an 11. But of course he wouldn’t believe me because I could still smile and joke around.

Hours passed and there I was still 5cm at 7pm. They also noticed baby’s heart rate was going down every time I contract so there might be something happening inside. My OB then decided to call my husband and explained the situation. We all agreed it was time for an Emergency CS.

Emergency CS, ladies and gentlemen.

My heart sank. Why??? We weren’t ready for this. but we had no choice. We couldn’t wait any longer.

At 7:44pm, my Little Boy finally said hello to the world!

birthing story

Apparently, his cord was strangled on his leg so there was no way he’d go out vaginally. Unless some miracles happen and he miraculously freed himself from it. But time was of essence. My water bag broke at 6am and he had to be delivered within at least 12 to 16 hours. We waited enough but he couldn’t seem to escape the cord coil.

You might also like: 3rd Trimester Pregnancy (35 Weeks)

Back at the Delivery Room, I awoke from a deep slumber at about 9:30 and heard my son cry. I wanted to jump, shout and dance (seriously!) but I was too weak to even open my eyes! I barely remembered what happened during that short moment.

I just remembered them bringing me to the Recovery Room and for the 2nd time, I saw my Macho Gwapito once more. I breastfed him for a good 30 minutes. It was such a great feeling it still makes me smile now.

Finally at about 12am, I was back to my room (with my Baby) and was reunited with my husband.

It was a painful first night and the nights after that. Caesarean recovery is no easy! More so, it was the start of our sleepless nights.

Today after more than a week, my heart is still full. I cannot fathom why God gave me another beautiful blessing that I certainly don’t deserve. I hope like any mom, that I would be able to be the best that I could be to him and his Ate.

How about you? What is your birthing story?

3rd Trimester Pregnancy (35 weeks)

The past few days had been very challenging. I am on my last stretch of pregnancy and I would say this isn’t exactly how I imagined it to be. I was often asked how my pregnancy was. Did I have any cravings, issues with my pregnancy, etc. Well, I had none. I always tell them I couldn’t afford to be a needy pregnant mom with a needy toddler! Life goes on…

But these past few days (now on my 3rd trimester) were a different story. Since Tuesday night I’d been feeling strange. I’ve been having irregular contractions that became an intensified pain the following night. We ended up in ER on Thursday and I haven’t been well since. I am on bed rest. Literally just getting up when I needed to pee and eat. Even with that much rest, I still got very sick yesterday with high fever and vomiting.

I felt like being in my toddler’s shoes when she’s sick.

She doesn’t want to take paracetamol.

She doesn’t want to put Koolfever.

She doesn’t want to eat.

She just wants a hug from Mommy.

And yesterday….

I cried while taking paracetamol. I took her syrup with a higher dose coz I don’t have tablets anymore. The texture is too thick and it’s yucky!

I cried and struggled when my husband put a Koolfever on my forehead because it was too cold and uncomfortable.

I refused to eat until after lunch when I felt a little better.

My husband couldn’t leave my side. I just wanted him by my side.

At one point, my husband couldn’t contain it anymore and started laughing at me.

“NOW YOU KNOW!!”

Yeah, now I know how it feels when my daughter is sick and I know I will have more compassion on her when she’s extra clingy. 😄

I know this too shall pass. I could give birth anytime after9 July 7 but I don’t know if we will make it till then.

Your prayers are appreciated!

What was it like for you in the 3rd trimester? 

SEO 101 for FREELANCERS

SEO has been a dreadful word for me since I have gone online. I don’t know much about it till  now. So when I met Roms at Boss Bellas a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to interview her and ask about SEO 101!

Tell us about what you do?

Hello! I’m Romela Iane de Leon-Ortega, and you can call me Roms 🙂

I help brands (both local and international) optimize their websites for search. My goal is to enable businesses harness the power of user traffic from search engines to drive their bottom line.

I do SEO consultations, as well as implementations through the help of my team of experienced SEO professionals.

What is SEO in a nutshell?

SEO is a set of processes that you apply on a website to help it rank better for relevant search terms (keywords, i.e. “online school supplies shopping philippines”) typed in by people in search engines. The goal is to drive traffic to your site from search users who are ready-to-buy or to-decide.

SEO is a marketing discipline under online or digital marketing. Unlike with social media marketing, SEO is focused on search queries or keywords that signal the intent of people to make a decision and opt-in to your offer. I would say that SEO fits a wide spectrum of people. It suits creatives, marketers, coders/developers. Part of the SEO process involves technical applications, content marketing, and relationship-building.

Why do entrepreneurs or bloggers like me need to know the basics of SEO?

Entrepreneurs can make use of SEO in meeting their business goals. People using search engines are deliberately looking for something to buy or research about (i.e restaurant reviews). As I’ve mentioned earlier, SEO is a discipline that focuses on user-intent. And that is reflected in their use of keywords or search queries. While having a social media presence is equally important to drive awareness, the social channel uses audience targeting, which in my opinion quite misses out in the spur-of-the-moment intent or need of a user when looking for something. That’s the opportunity for brands. By implementing SEO, you have greater chance to reach to a market that’s ready to buy or opt-in for you. Also, SEO yields long-term results. It is not a growth hack technique where one day you win, the next day you lose or you’re not sure if you’ll get the same results. With SEO, you can power in long-term traffic to your website once you do it right, and continue with marketing your brand or content

For bloggers on the other hand, of course it’s important that you are found on Google when people look for an authority figure in your niche. If you are a life coach for WAHMs, for example, then it’s a must that you rank for keywords that relate to your service. Like I said, SEO is not a one-time win. It usually needs six months of time/work investment, so you can continually drive traffic to your site from search engines in the long-term.

Do you do coaching or seminars regarding SEO?

Yes! I specialize in one-on-one SEO coaching, workshops, e-book courses, and video courses (to be launched very soon!) targeted for SEO beginners and freelancers. I teach the basic course because I believe there’s a need for aspiring SEOs to start on the right track. There’s a lot of misconception about SEO. Some people are mislead to believe in black hat or unethical SEO techniques. These sort of things I believe are very short-term. They can hurt your brand, and does not always add value to the search user.

What’s your advocacy for your SEO business?

Apart from helping our local brands, I’m opening up a new market to meet my advocacy goals. I want to encourage WAHMs (work at home moms) to learn SEO and try their hand in this highly dynamic, and creative marketing technique. I really think moms make the best marketers because they handle the economic and lifestyle choices of our families, right? They are mostly the ones you find in supermarkets, schools, churches, etc. So I think moms are a natural fit for SEO. Plus, I am happy to say that SEO is not usually tied to an hourly pay. You can charge better rates because SEO work is normally project-based. So there goes your time and location freedom!

Tell us about your upcoming SEO workshop for beginners.

I partner with Manila Workshops in all my SEO workshops and seminars. This coming June 24th, we will be having our 2nd run of SEO for beginners. It’s a whole day event so you can expect that we pack it with helpful information + activities to get you started in your SEO 101 career. For more details, please visit: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/seo-for-freelancers-second-run

 

Romela is a 10-year SEO Veteran and WAHM. She has handled various optimization projects, spanning several industries both local and global. Her usual freelance projects involve small to medium range businesses.

Aside from her own search marketing consultancy business at romeladeleon.com , she’s also working side by side with her husband in running their creative design agency: getsomecola.com

Father’s Day Gift from Selah Soul Art Studio

Have you got a Father’s day gift to your Hubbies and Dads yet?

I love giving personal gifts (as much as I love receiving them). Before I buy any gift, I think first of what personalized item I could give. I mostly get my mission done depending on my budget and time allowance.

One of my go to place is Selah Soul Art Studio. If you love the arts or just love giving something personal, you’ll love this! The momma behind this is actually a college barkada (I never knew back then she had a talent in painting!). She recreates photos to beautiful portraits. She did a portrait for my daughter, for myself, for my husband, for my mom and all our inaanaks last Christmas. I told you, I’m pretty addicted with anything personalized lol

selah soul art studio portrait

I love that apart from the painting, she also gives a digital format that you can post on your social media. Since we are North to South (She is from QC and I am from Carmona), she would mostly ship the portraits. You can have her buy the frame (with additional charge) or have the portrait sent without the frame. Most couriers do not accept anything with glass (like LBC) so your option can be to have it sent via Grab Express.

fathers day gift portrait

You can contact her via Facebook or Instagram. She also has a group of Artsy Mommies which you can find here: Selah Artsy Moms (Blending Motherhood + Art).

We are an online community of artsy mommies who love to express our love for art through drawing and painting! Blending motherhood and art can be pretty tough and we need all the encouragement we can get to keep those pencils and paints flowing! Motherhood and art??? It can be fun!

If you are looking for a Father’s Day gift to your dads or Hubbies, this could be the answer!

PS: You can check the website here: Selah Artsy Moms

Do you also like giving personal gifts?

Mompreneur 101: How to Pursue Your Entrepreneurial Goals

It has been 2 years and 8 months since I took on the hat of being a mom. In that span of time, I also became a businesswoman. Being a mompreneur taught me many things but at this point in time, I know I still need to learn a whole lot more! Thankfully, mom groups and workshops for moms abound these days. No longer are moms seen as a “homemaker” perse. We aren’t just a mother cooking, doing the laundry or dishes, generally running the house. We are pretty much more than that.  Now, we are seen as women who can juggle motherhood with purpose outside the home.

Special Workshop

On May 20 (just a week after Mother’s Day), there will be a special workshop for mommies like you and me: mommies who want to make a difference by merging passion and purpose to motherhood. With the help of My Globe Business and Manila Workshops, they will hold this event entitled: Boss Bellas: Mompreneurship 101 – How to Pursue Your Entrepreneurial Goals.

mompreneur

What will I learn?

There will be lots of topics to be covered like turning your passion into business, building your brand, juggling business and family life and one of the most dreaded part of any start-up entrepreneur, taxation! My Globe Business will also share how they can help any mompreneur advance in their business. Gifts and surprises will also be given by Alfox Printing, Cheri Handicrafts and Raw Bites.

The main speaker will be Frances Amper Sales who has been a big name in the writing industry for decades. Among the panelists will be Ginger Arboleda (CEO of Manila Workshops and COO of Taxumo), Monique Granada – Morales (CEO of Klaseko) and Angelica Dimayuga (Founder of LD Design).

Here’s the good news, there is an Early Bird Discount (tickets at P1000) until May 13. After that, the price go back to regular price (P1500). If I were you, catch the discount while they last!

Are you ready to give mompreneurship a chance? 

Find Success In Areas Of Your Strength

Some people stay frustrated at the workplace they hate. They hate their boss. They hate morning traffic. They hate the office. They hate just about anything. However, some people stay frustrated for a while and find their way out. They find ways to be more positive while creating ways to find success in areas of their strength.

The question is, which are you?

If you are feeling frustrated, purposeless and directionless, this ecourse, The Roadmap to a Fulfilled Life, Live the Life God Designed You to Have, is what you need to get some clarity, support and encouragement.

find success

This ecourse contains a video series that will help you identify your core strength, fight your chronic excuses and finally enable you to create a roadmap to a more fulfilled life.

Included in this ecourse are the following:
-The Roadmap to a Fulfilled Life Ecourse (4 videos)
-The Roadmap to a Fulfilled Life Workbook
-FREE Ebooks (Goal Achievement: 6 Step Guide To Thrive and Have Personal Success; The Roadmap to a Fulfilled Life Ebook)
-FREE Weekly Planner Printable
-Access to a Private Community (where you can have support and accountability)

Enrollment opens on April 28 and ends on May 15. But if you enroll between April 28 to May 3, you get:

-Additional Free Ebook (Passive Income)
-40% off the enrollment fee

Here’s more: If you enroll on the opening date (April 28 ONLY), you get an hour of “Ask Me Anything” Session with the course creator herself. You can ask about Blogging, Starting an Online Business, Writing your First Book, Mindset Reset, Find Success in your Business, etc. Whatever you can think of.

Ready to have a more fulfilled life?

Find out more about the ecourse here: www.thefulfilledwomen.com/fulfilled-life

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email at viviene@thefulfilledwomen.com. I would be more than happy to answer any of your inquiries.

How To Become A Hands-On Parent While Earning

I had the privilege of attending this year’s H.O.P.E. Summit (Hands-On Parent While Earning) and I absolutely had a blast! Special thanks to Dulce and Kenny of Kansis Made for bringing me to the event!!

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Dulce and Kenny of Kansis Made

In the morning, the main speaker, Teresa Dumadag, talked about Time Management and gave us some worksheets that identified our “real time use” of our most abused commodity as a mother — time. Her talk helped us identify how we are actually using our time and how we can move those time wasters to more productive hours. It is just about intentions. If I intend for my daughter to remember me as a mother who had undivided time for her, then I would not Facebook while we play (which is something I am guilty of doing).

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Teresa Dumadag, Founder of H.O.P.E. Summit

I felt inspired that even if she has 3 children all under 10 years old without a yaya (!) she still manages to pursue her passion like training and coaching. I can relate to her in many levels. I also do not have a helper at home. I bring the whole gang when I need to attend a meeting. When I was still hosting weddings, my husband and daughter would be with me in all my meetings and hosting gigs.

The afternoon session started with a short talk by Cathy Bautista, an equally inspiring woman! She is a mom of 3 who left the banking world and became a successful freelance Finance Advisor. I love her story, her personality and her courage. One thing I want to emulate is how positive she is about life. She has a gratitude attitude that I believe brought her to success. No matter what adversity, stay thankful!

Cathy’s talk was followed by Teresa sharing with us her talk on Freelancing. She gave straight-forward and doable tips on how you can make money by doing what you love. It gave me even more courage. You just gotta start somewhere. Be an expert. Build your name. Help people. And it’s going to be a non stop business. Ultimately, work around the kind of lifestyle you want which is the very reason you went out of the 8-5 — to spend more time with the family.

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Some of the mommies I met at the event. (left to right) Jem, one of the panelists, Amelia, Anna and Dulce (and her daughter)

The panel discussion that came after was inspiring in that they are real life stories of courage and overcoming challenges. I love hearing their stories. One of my favorites was Mom & Milly’s humble beginnings. Kat, the Mom behind this wooden toys business, particularly inspired me when she shared their biggest hurdle and their courageous response of moving forward.

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(extreme right) Kat, also one of the panelists, is the mom behind Mom & Milly

The whole day seminar ended with an engaging talk by Mariel Uyquiengco of The Learning Basket. She talked about Positive Discipline. I must admit my husband and I are in the opposing extreme side of the spectrum. He is very permissive and says yes to everything while I am very authoritative that I command and run my daughter’s life around my rules. I realized there is balance and being a total disciplinarian won’t work long term and would actually strain our relationship which is not something I want to happen! I can write an entire blog post series on what I learned from her short talk but I would leave you with her website: The Learning Basket and learn even more from there!

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The talk left me inspired that it can be done! The people I have met are just like me. They have children that need their attention but they did not see this as a hurdle but as a driving force to work towards their passion, earn and spend quality time with our family.

Do you also want to be a hands-on parent while earning?
Any tips you have for work at home moms?