Friday, August 10, 2018

My 2019 media kit is ready! Plus, a bit on being depressed

I'm finally done making my blog's media kit for 2019! I usually make a media kit around August, then email them to agencies and brands at around September to October. I get polite, noncommittal replies throughout November. Nothing in December. But by January, I get proposals na.

So, bloggers, make a media kit now!

This media kit is actually two separate pages. I just put them side by side so it will be blurry. Para hindi niyo masyadong mabasa hehe. Send me an email if you want to get a clear copy (and collaborate!). Also, I should have new photos taken. I'm still using the ones that Louie Arcilla took in 2016. If you want to create a media kit, too, use Canva. There's a lot of beautiful templates available there. 

What do you think of my 2019 media kit? It's simpler than my 2017 one. Yes, I skipped a year. I didn't make one for 2018. Too exhausted from 2017 being a not-so-good year (physically, mentally, and as a mother). In fact, I remember praying, "Lord, I just want to rest this year. One whole year that I can sleep and just focus on my kids. I'm so tired." And to make sure I have less work, hindi talaga ako nag-send ng proposals last year. 

Yet God had other plans. He sent me Nido 3+, BabyLove diapers, National Book Store, Gold Seas Tuna Chunks, Fern-C, Kinder Joy, Downy, Olay, Manulife, and Mr Muscle. Most of these brands were interested to work with me not because I pitched to them but because friends recommended me to them. So thank God for friends! Imagine if I got my way and I didn't have any work at all this year. Di tunganga kami sa gutom, right. While I wasn't allowed to rest from co-providing for my family, what God did instead was heal me. I feel healthier this year. My anxiety also dissipated. I have a better attitude this year. 

So maybe yun lang pala talaga problema ko. I had a bad attitude last year because I had a hard time coping with being a mother to my school kids, being 40 and with no career prospects, no achievements, declining health, diminishing looks, aging, fattening, uglification of me and my life. Dear heavens, yes, when I'm depressed, I just really focus on the negative! 

But I'm better this year! I started exercising and eating better this summer. Did me a lot of good! But I stopped as soon as school started because I'm just so TIRED again. I sleep a lot instead. Doctors say if you have to choose between sleep and exercise, always choose sleep. Maybe if I get a kasambahay to do the chores, then I can use that time to exercise. But I can't afford a kasambahay now actually. Tuition is killing us huhu So I need to work more so I can afford a kasambahay!

And that's why I made a media kit! I'll be pitching to my favorite brands soon. Just figuring out what I can do for them. I always want to work WITH brands, not FOR them. While I always collaborate with brands I already use (because dapat may integrity tayo, mamas), not all the brands I use want to work with me. The reasons I hear are I'm not big enough as an influencer and/or not young or sexy enough hehehe. Ganyan talaga. So I need to either start lying about my age or start exercising and start posting bikini shots on Instagram! No joke. Even mommies in bikinis posing on the beach or by the pool will attract tons of followers. So if ever I start posting bikini shots, alam na (#forthegram).

One thing that always convinces brands is my fantastic writing skills. Naks! "Fantastic" is an adjective that only I came up with to describe my writing skills haha. Modesty aside, I do write better than most influencers out there and brands grudgingly agree. They want to at least get one blogger who can be coherent about their product. Hindi yung "This is so yummy! #blessed #sponsored" lang. So if you're not sexy, pretty or young, you can still get brands to work with you by being TALENTED.

Now, go, dear mama blogger. Make a media kit for 2019. List down the brands you want to work with. Find out who their digital manager is (use Linkedin). Think of ways you can work together (you will cook a recipe for Gold Seas Tuna every month, you will share your crafting projects on IG and say everything came from National Book Store, etc). Send a proposal. Make sure that your proposal is short, clear and grammatically correct. Then pray and wait.

Good luck!    

Saturday, August 04, 2018

My kids' favorite yummy reward is Kinder Joy

My mama readers ask me now and then if my kids have chores and if I reward them for doing their chores. Here's the answer: My kids have chores. Since they're still young, their chore list isn't long, just the usual (make your bed, pack away your toys, help set and clear the table, put away your shoes).

For chores, they don't get rewards. For doing homework, no rewards, either. We believe that kids shouldn't be rewarded for things they have to do. But for things they don't have to do but do anyway (like shine shoes that aren't theirs, wash the car), yes, we reward them with either money or treats.

When summer came, however, I relaxed my rule on no rewards for lessons because they shouldn't be studying anything during their holidays! Still, I bought a few math books (multiplication and division for Vito, addition and subtraction for Iñigo, numbers and shapes for Piero) and assigned 30 minutes for review per day. Of course, not one child wanted to study, but because I offered treats for every session they completed, they happily did their lessons!

The treats? I gave them their favorite Kinder Joy eggs!

I like Kinder Joy because it combines an edible product made with high quality ingredients on one side and exciting toys on the other. Yes! Two-in-one treat! And the third aspect I love about it is that the toy is a surprise so the kids are always excited to open a Kinder Joy egg and discover what's inside.

Two wafer balls in a bed of cream!

We started buying Kinder Joy more often last year, when our littlest boy turned 3. Since the toys are tiny, we waited till Piero was old enough to know he's not supposed to eat the toy. Now all my kids are thrilled that Mama gets them Kinder Joy.

There are over 90 toys to discover so it's a fun project for the entire family every time the boys open one. (In our case, we open three eggs in one go!) Yep, Mama and Papa participate because the toys inside have to be built. The kids love putting together the toy, and we help them with the instructions and sometimes we show them how the toy works. Now that our eldest is 7, he helps his little brothers, too, so that makes me extra proud. The toys really make them think, be creative, and play together.

And let's not forget the other half of the egg—the snack! Kinder Joy has two crispy wafer balls nestled in two creams: milky cream and cocoa cream. I actually have eaten Kinder Joy and can attest that it's delicious. Kids are happy with anything sweet but I'm super maarte and to be honest with you, very few candy, chocolates, desserts and pastries pass my taste test. So my kids hate it when I say “no” to requests for sweet stuff simply because their Mama says, "Not that. Hindi masarap 'yan." You can bet they're beyond delighted that Kinder Joy passed my test!

In my family, we like Kinder Joy mostly because opening the egg delivers a yummy snack (in a controlled portion, too!), a toy that stimulates their mind, and moments of fun family bonding. Great mom find!

I really like this snack!

Kinder Joy is available at all leading supermarkets all over the Philippines so it shouldn't be difficult to find. Just buy a few eggs and give your kid one every time he does a chore or finishes a task. Your child will love the chocolate and the toy inside! So head to the nearest leading supermarket now and get your kids some #worldofkj fun! #kinderjoyphilippines

*This post is brought to you by Kinder Joy.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The 10 toilet-training tools you need

Congratulate me, mamas. I am finally done with the baby stage! With my youngest boy, Piero, finally out of diapers, we are now truly in the kid stage. That means I'm dealing with tons of sweat, a life that revolves around school, my kids making their own friends, and lots of briefs in the laundry basket. A new life indeed!

People tell me all the time, "Aww don't you miss having a baby?" Nope. I loved having babies, of course. I loved the toddler stage. What I love most? I love that it's done! Having gone through it three times and over 8 years (EIGHT YEARS), I am so happy to move on! Just thinking of full diapers, dealing with poop every single morning, toilet-training and I know I'm done with babies. If I could, I'd throw a massive party saying good-bye to that phase in my life!

After three kids successfully out of diapers, I think I'm qualified to give tips on toilet-training. So I will! For today, let me share the tools you'll need when you're in this oh-so messy stage in your child's life. Here's what you need:

1. Training pants
I can't tell you enough how surprised I was at how training pants really work! I only tried training pants with my third little boy. I honestly didn't think they were necessary because we didn't use them with my first two boys.

But I discovered BabyLove Premium Gold Pants (because Piero liked the baby on the packaging) and so we gave training pants a try and—my goodness!—it worked! It worked because it made Piero get used to the pulling down and pulling up action whenever he needed to use the toilet. He also liked that the BabyLove "diapants" made him feel secure, that he could have accidents a little. It wasn't traumatizing at all. So he didn't feel panicky when he had to go because if he leaked a little, the diapants will catch it, and yet because he knew the diapants were easy to pull down, he was willing to run to the toilet.

If you want to try BabyLove Premium Gold Pants, there's a sale on Shopee right now till Sunday. Click here to shop!

2. Wipes
Ah yes, a mother's best friend! You're going to need this near you at all times in case of accidents and to wipe the toilet seat clean.

3. Target
This is for little boys learning to pee. It's hard for them to control the angle of their pee and they also get surprised at how it comes out. Remember, they've always peed in a diaper so they've never actually seen their pee coming out of their penis. So expect them to watch their pee coming out instead of focusing on keeping their pee in the toilet!

What can help is putting a colorful target in the bowl. You can use one Fruit Loop floating on the water. Other moms put a sticker just above the water line. It's easily peeled off after a few flushes.

4. Paper towels
Rags will do, too. You'll need to wipe pee and poo off the floor or the toilet seat or chubby thighs in case of accidents.

The last few days when Piero was still wearing diapers announced on Facebook!

5. Antibacterial soap and alcohol
Potty training is a messy business. When I potty-trained my second boy, Iñigo, I got bad diarrhea for 6 weeks and had to see a gastroenterologist for relief. I'm afraid I was careless with washing and disinfecting my hands. I'm glad it happened to me instead of one or all of the kids!

6. Spray bottle with diluted bleach
This is for quick clean-ups so you won't get overwhelmed with the messiness that potty training brings. Just dilute some bathroom cleaner or bleach with some water, put in a spray bottle, spray all surfaces on and around the toilet after your child uses the bathroom, then wipe with a tissue.

7. Pads
These are for your child's bed. I put one under the fitted sheet so that in case my little boy pees in his sleep, the mattress is protected.

8. Pail
This is for rags and briefs and other clothing that need to be washed. Just throw them in so you can attend to them later.

9. Rewards
Toys always work! Especially with my first son, Vito. He got a Lego minifig after each pee and poo appointment haha Toys get the kids excited, knowing a little toy is waiting for them when they successfully use the toilet.

10. Lots of patience!
Every child is different. My kids were toilet-trained "late." Vito at 4 and 2 months, Iñigo at 3 years old exactly, and Piero at 4 years old exactly. Many parents think a child should be toilet-trained before a year old. I think some things should be determined by the child's readiness. Weaning, starting on solid food, walking, potty training. If you wait until the child's ready, potty training is done in 3 days and it's so painless and not so messy because the child is excited to become a big boy. If you force a child, potty training can take a loooooong time, and be full of frustration and accidents and misunderstandings.

So be patient for your child to be ready and be patient when you're going through potty training. Your patience will be rewarded with a happy and accomplished child!

Okay, I hope my list of essential toilet-training tools helped you, mamas! Do try BabyLove Premium Gold Pants. Take advantage of the Shopee sale happening right now till Sunday. Click here to shop!

*This post was brought to you by BabyLove.