Author Archives: wanderpiggy

First Book Sale Experience

I held my first book sale at the Crafteria event hosted by Across U-hub this weekend. It was by far the most exciting and nerve wracking event ever! In addition to experiencing many firsts, I was able to get a better vision for Wander Piggy. In this blog, I would like to share my experience with you.

Wander Piggy First Book Sale Experience

First Book Sale Experience

Concerns prior to the book sale

Before Crafteria, I only sold my books online through Amazon. When Cecilia asked me whether I would be interested to sell them at the Crafteria event, I got super excited, and then extremely nervous. There were a few reasons why I was nervous. First of all, I don’t physically stock my books, so I was concerned about whether or not the books would arrive on time after I place the order. Next, Anthony already decided to attend WordCamp Toronto to further his knowledge in making websites. This meant we had to look for someone to take care of Beanie. It also meant that Anthony wouldn’t be able to help me out! I wasn’t too concerned about the set up and tear down. The only thing I was concerned about was the lack of time to pump milk. It is such a simple thing, but it is a big consideration since these were full day events. It was definitely a new mom problem.

Luckily, I was able to place an order for my books, and they arrived well before the event date. Anthony was able to make arrangements with his aunts to take care of Beanie. I had a little bit of trouble finding someone to help me initially. I’m one of those people who really hate asking for help, because I don’t want to trouble anyone. At the end, my friend Jacqueline agreed to help me on Saturday. I knew she went out of her way to do this for me. She was busy with her kids, they had family things to deal with, etc. On the day of, she showed up to look after my booth so I could pump, and she left. I barely got a chance to chat with her that day. So I truly, truly, appreciated her help.

Press Conference

When I volunteered at Across, I never got a chance to participate in a Press Conference. On Sept 27th, I was very happy to be able to attend this press conference. It’s been five years since I last step foot at Across. When I arrived, I was greeted by many many familiar faces. It was super nice and warm to experience such a feeling. Here’s a photo of the press conference. Look who made it onto the news? BEANIE!! ;D

OMNI news Crafteria Wander Piggy

Booth theme

The theme for Crafteria is “大笪地”, or street market, which was one of the signatures of old time Hong Kong. For this event, everyone got a coloured blanket, so we could set up our products on the floor. Initially, I only made a few signs to showcase my books, I couldn’t really picture what my booth would look like. During a conversation with Lisa, she asked me what my theme was. A theme??????!!!! I told her straight out that I don’t have one, because it never occurred to me that I need one. I explained to her that I’m selling colouring travel journals, so she suggested direction signs (like below).

wander piggy direction sign

I thought that was an amazing idea! Thanks to Lisa, I made a few of these beauties.

direction signs

At the end, this became my booth setup, where I hid my bags and extra nik-naks under the blanket. It worked out wonderfully, because I had many places to prop up the signs. This is such a great picture! I love my two male “models” (random strangers) posing in the background!! Hahahaa!

crafteria wander piggy booth setup

 

Prize Winner

On Saturday, I did a prize draw for one of my books, and I drew Vincci, one of the volunteers from Across! I was very happy because I knew she was very excited to get a copy of my book! It’s a good feeling to share my work with someone who really appreciates it.

Wander Piggy Prize Winner

 

Actual Book Sale

Presenting my books was a little bit of a challenge on the first day. That’s because I only had enough time to get my stuff ready, but didn’t have enough time to think through what I want to say. It was a little bit of a rough start on Saturday. I only sold 1 book, so I was a little bummed. But when I got home I told myself that it is already very good to sell one book! On Sunday, I said to myself, this is just for fun, so just talk to people! I ended up selling five more books! Two of the sales are to total strangers (YAY!)! Of course, I want to thank all the people who supported me. In total, I sold 6 books, and that was a huge achievement! So I’m very proud of that. 🙂

 

Certificate Presentation

On Sunday night, we were presented with certificates by the Mayor of City of Markham, Frank Scarpitti (middle), Regional Councillor,  Nirmala Armstrong (left), and Ward 3 Councillor, Don Hamilton (right), for participating in the Crafteria event.

Mayor certificate Wander Piggy

At around that time, my good friend Grace dropped by to say hi to me. I was super happy she made it out to support me!!

Wander Piggy supporter

 

 

Big Thank Yous

I would like to give my thanks to Across U-hub for giving me this wonderful opportunity; to all the people who supported me; to Anthony’s aunts for taking care of Beanie. And of course, to Anthony who was there for me both emotionally, mentally, and physically. I have a wonderful husband. He supported me through everything. From taking care of Beanie while I prepared for the show, to arranging for childcare, to picking up the boxes of books when they arrived, to helping me figure out how to set up the booth, to helping me pack all the pieces into the car so all I had to do was drive to the location on Saturday, to helping me clean up on the last day, etc, etc, etc. I couldn’t have done it without him. No words can describe how much I love this man.

 

Clearer Vision for Wander Piggy

Last but not least, I would like to write about my vision for my business. Since I started publishing my own books, I always felt that the directions of my books are all over the place. That’s because I have so many ideas in my head! For example, I had made some colouring reference books, some colouring travel journals, and I wanted to come out with inspiration journals and children’s story/activity books. I had questioned myself whether I should focus more on one thing. But after participating in this event, I saw a clearer vision for Wander Piggy. I want “connection” to be the word for Wander Piggy. Life is on hyper speed in this digital world. I want the people who use my products to rediscover the meaning of connection, whether it is a connection with themselves, with others, or with the surroundings. I want them to be able to slow down time and become fully aware of the present moment. So ladies and gentlemen, I present you, Wander Piggy.

If you are interested to find out more, please don’t hesitate to take a look around. You can also connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

First Book Sale at Crafteria held by Across U-hub (Sept 30th and Oct 1st)

On Wednesday Sept 13th, I was asked whether I would be interested to sell my books at the Crafteria: Arts and Handmade Pop Up Bazaar held by Across U-hub. I submitted my application, and it was approved! This is super exciting because this will be my first physical book sale event!

Wander In Colour Crafteria first book sale by Across U-hub

My First Book Sale at Crafteria by Across  U-hub

When Cecilia from Across, asked me whether I would be interested to sell my books, many feelings and thoughts ran through my mind. I was ecstatic, apprehensive, overwhelmed, and super excited! Up to this point, I have created a few books, and sold them online. But I haven’t taken the initiative to physically sell my books. I am definitely ecstatic about it because this will be a great opportunity for me to share with others what I’ve created. On the other hand, I am a little apprehensive, because I am physically stocking up books in preparation for this event. When I submitted my book orders, my stomach turned upside down. I thought to myself, can I really do this? What am I doing? I don’t really know how well my products will be received. Will I be stuck with a large pile of stock at the end of the event? All these negative thoughts ran through my mind at about a hundred miles per hour. But then I thought, at the end of the day, even if only one person buys one book, if they love it, then that’s why I made this. The other reason why I am a little nervous is because Anthony has a workshop to attend on both Sept 30th and Oct 1st. So I’m on my own to run this booth, and we have to find someone to look after our son. Luckily, my friend Jacqueline agreed to help me out for a little bit on Saturday, and Anthony’s aunts are available to take care of Beanie on both days. It’s a little scary because it’ll be our first time dropping him off with someone for babysitting! Although I’m sure it’ll be alright. Right now, there are a lot of things I still need to do to prepare for this event, and I feel like I don’t have time! But I want to thank Across for the opportunity and I am super excited about it!

I volunteered at Across many years ago. I learned a lot about myself, and gained many skill set through participating and organizing different programs. Across’ mission is to nurture youths holistically and to inspire them to become visionary leaders. This organization offers many different programs. There are regular programs, annual programs, and special programs. The regular programs include Refeel (explores creative expression), Tic Tac Toronto (increases awareness to community needs), and Youth Leadership Development Certificate (develops leadership skills). The annual programs include City Mosiac (learns about multiculturalism through Toronto’s edition of the Amazing Race) and Youth Leadership Camp (develops leadership qualities through group and solo activities in a camp setting). There are also various special programs. Crafteria is one of their special programs, and its mission is to cultivate the appreciation of art via various workshops and exhibitions.

At Crafteria, I will be selling my Wander In Colour: Colouring Trip Planners and Journal. I am now working on an inspirational journal and children activity book. Although all the products I’m creating are of different nature, they all share one thing in common, which is connection. I want the users to feel a connection with themselves and/or with someone else while using my products. For example, when you are recording details in the journal, I hope you’ll be more aware of your surroundings, or you’ll be more in tune with yourself when you reflect upon your trip. When you share your stories with other people, I hope you’ll build a stronger relationship with them. I want you to experience a sense of connection, which is what makes us human. 

I am looking forward to the event! The following is the information to Crafteria. If you’re free, come and check out all the artists’ hard work! Come on by to say hi to me!

Crafteria: Art and Handmade Pop-up Bazaar

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 3 – Libby App & Wonder Weeks

In Part 1, I talked about why I find a properly fitted breast shield and an activity gym are very useful items for me and Beanie. In Part 2, I showcased my two favourite baby carriers. Today, I’m going to touch on two apps I find extremely useful for me.

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 2 - Libby App and Wonder Weeks

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 3 – Libby App & Wonder Weeks

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the products below. I’m sharing them with you because I love the following products. 

Libby App

Libby App

The first app I want to rave about is the Libby App. If you know me,  you know I’m a bit germophobic, okay, I’m quite germophobic. I was okay with borrowing library books before. But now that I have a kid, I am always weary about borrowing library books. Just because I don’t want Beanie to touch it and put his hand in his mouth. One day while browsing through the Toronto Library website, I came across a Libby App banner. After I learned more about this app and downloaded it, I can’t live without it! You pretty much have access to the entire library in the comfort of your own home! There are so many ebooks and audiobooks available. It’s super easy to borrow, read, and return the books. You can also easily place a hold on a book. You have the option to automatically borrow books that are on hold, when it becomes available, the app will automatically put the book on your reading shelf. How cool is that?! I have borrowed a few children’s audiobooks. I haven’t let Beanie look at the screen yet, but I have played the audio files for Beanie to listen to. Read along books are awesome, because as the narrator reads the book, the words are highlighted, so the kids can easily follow the story. I am super happy and excited to find this app, and I can’t wait to use more of it!

 

Wonder Weeks

Wonder Weeks

The second app I want to talk about is The Wonder Weeks. I was ecstatic to discover this app. That’s because in the beginning, I had no idea how to take care of Beanie, and I had a difficult time trying to figure out what he wanted. It can get extremely frustrating when you’ve tried everything but the baby still cries. Some weeks he was good, he would only cry for milk or for a change of diaper. Then one day during week 5, I tried to change him and he wailed like he was really scared. It persisted for a day or two and then he went back to crying as his normal self (yes apparently, they cry during diaper changes in the first 2 months or so). Then one day at around week 8, he cried and fussed a lot throughout the day, which was quite unlike his usual self. When I told Anthony about it, he looked it up online. A person in a forum mentioned that the baby is having his wonder week 8. I got curious about what this wonder week is and did a little digging. Apparently, researchers found that babies experience 10 mental leaps between the age of 0 and 2. At each leap, their brains change to let the babies experience and learn new things. When the babies go through these changes, they are literally thrown into a world of unknown, which means they get scared, and can get very fussy and clingy. All babies go through these leaps at specific intervals, and they coined these leaps wonder weeks. The wonder weeks are calculated based on the due date. So if your baby is born earlier, then the leap will happen later, and vise versa. For example, if your baby is born two weeks early, then wonder week 5 will most likely happen when your baby is around 7 weeks old. The Wonder Weeks website has revamped completely. They used to have this Ted Talk video on their website, and it explains the concept really well. The Wonder Weeks website offers many different products. I purchased the audiobook app. The audio portion is separated into different chapters. I can download the chapter(s) I’m interested in, and delete any unwanted chapter(s). In addition to the audio portion, there is also a written summary section for each leap. It highlights what the baby is experiencing, and suggests different activities one can do with their babies to maximize their learning experience. I wish I had gotten the tracking app, because you can track the baby’s progress. It also includes all the chapters of the book. But I chose the audio app, because I find it difficult to sit down and read. The audio app allows me to listen to the material while I entertain or tend to Beanie.

 

So far, these are all the things I find to be useful for me. As we progress through, I will share more useful items with you. If you have items that you find to be extremely useful to you, I’d love to learn about them! Share them with me down below in the comments. If you’ve missed my Part 1 and Part 2, go check them out.

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 2 – Lillebaby Carriers

In Part 1, I talked about the first two must-have items for baby: properly fitted breast shields and the Infantino Grow-with-me Activity Gym and Ball Pit. If you missed the post, make sure you check it out!

In this Part 2 post, I would like to talk about carriers. Beanie gets very fussy sometimes, and when he does, he wants to be carried. When I first got pregnant, I wasn’t too keen on the thought of carrying him all the time. But I came across this article that totally changed my view. It was about a mom who vowed to sooth her daughter to the best of her ability because of a missionary’s story. To summarize the story, this missionary visited an orphanage in Uganda, and found it strange that none of the babies were crying. When he inquired about it, the host told him the babies learned that no one would come for them even when they cry, so they stop crying altogether. It was a heart breaking moment for me when I first read it. I don’t want my kid to think that he is all alone and can’t turn to anybody for help. So I also try my best to attend to him whenever I can. He gets clingy sometimes, and it is difficult to hold him in my arms all the time. I read that there are many benefits to babywearing, so I did some research on baby carriers. In this post, I would like to share the two carriers that I use and are in love with.

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 2 - Lillebaby Baby Carriers

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 2 – Lillebaby Carriers

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the products below. I’m sharing them with you because I love the following products.

Lillebaby All Seasons – TokiDoki “Rebel” Baby Carrier

I have both a structured and a soft carrier. Both of them are by Lillebaby. The first carrier I recommend is the Lillebaby Complete All Seasons carrier. I picked the Tokidoki Rebel version and received it as a gift. I personally LOVE this carrier, especially on Anthony. I am not joking. Anthony uses this carrier to wear Beanie around. See how great Anthony looks wearing this!

 

Lillebaby Complete All Seasons Carrier

There are many reasons why I love this carrier. First of all, I love the pattern! I adore Tokidoki. There is a lumbar support which doesn’t give you back pain. The shoulder straps are well padded. The back panel (in the front) can be zipped down to allow for air circulation during hot weather. There is a nice neck support, and a sun shade. The carrier can be converted to carry your child in 6 different positions. No infant insert is required, and you can carry your baby between the weight of 7 lbs to 45 lbs. There is a little zipper pocket for you to put small things like key, money or card. One tiny detail that I love a lot is there are these small elastic bands attached to the end of the straps. So after you make the adjustments, you can roll and wrap the extra straps with these little elastic bands. Last but not least, this carrier is evaluated by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, and is considered to be hip healthy for all babies. It means that the seat keeps the baby’s hips and legs in a comfortable “M” position, and promotes proper hip development at all ages. This is by far one of the most important reasons why I chose this carrier.

There are a few cons to this carrier. First of all, this carrier takes up a lot of space due to the heavy padded straps and rigid waist band. So this carrier is fairly difficult to store/carry around when not in use. Second, I personally cannot use this carrier because I have a petite frame. Even when I adjust everything to the tightest setting, it’s still too big on me. Also, if both Anthony and I use the same carrier, then we’ll have to keep readjusting the strap settings, which can be a bit annoying. Lastly, when Beanie was younger, even when he was over 7 lbs, the carrier felt a bit too big for his frame. On the instructional video, they put a rolled up towel on the bottom to prop up the baby. But we still found it too roomy for his small frame. When we put him in, it felt like there wasn’t a lot of support, and he would end up sliding to the bottom of the carrier with his body slouched over. We didn’t use it too often when he was younger, and when we used it, we constantly kept an eye on his body position. Now that he’s bigger, we have no problem using it. Other than these few cons, we don’t have other negatives things to complain about.

LILLEbaby Tie the Knot Baby Wrap

Before I talk about my next carrier, I want to side track a little bit. I actually debated long and hard whether or not to get another carrier for myself. As I said before, I can’t use the All Seasons carrier because it’s too big for me. And when Beanie gets fussy, he wants to be carried all the time. A few weeks after he’s born, he gained weight fairly rapidly and my wrists started hurting a lot. I looked into many babywraps. When I went to the babyshow, I tried out the Human + Mother’s wrap. They made theirs with 100% Lenzing Modal, which is a very soft fabric. But I find it a bit too pricey. My friend recommended the Baby K’tan. It’s supposed to be very easy to put on, but it’s size specific. I was going through reviews, and a girl with a petite frame (5’4 height) said she found the small size Baby K’tan too big on her. I’m even smaller than her, so I was worried that the carrier would be too big on me. If that’s the case, then I would not be able to tighten it. So I started looking around some more, and ended up getting the Lillebaby Tie The Knot baby wrap in teal.

 

Lillebaby Tie the Knot baby carrier

The teal colour is super gorgeous, and the fabric is so soft! Plus there is an elastic band on each end to tie up extra material, so if you have to put on the wrap outside, this can keep the extra material from touching the ground. I love this wrap, it’s so easy to put on! The only complaint I have is the wrap is way too long for me. Especially because I have a petite frame, there is a lot of extra material left over. In terms of learning how to put this on, it took me a few tries to learn how to get the tension right. There is a bit of a learning curve, but there are a lot of excellent instruction videos online. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to put together. It does take a bit of time to put the carrier on (compare to Baby K’tan), BUT the carrier is definitely worth it!

We have gotten great uses out of these two carriers within the first three months. So I consider them to be excellent investments! What about you? Do you have a carrier that you really like? Why do you like them? Share them with me in the comments down below! Also, don’t miss out on Part 3 of the special items for baby!

 

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 1 – Breast Shield & Activity Gym

Happy 3 months to my sweetheart, Beanie! I can’t believe 3 months flew right by! I’m happy that Beanie is growing up quite fast, he now manages to stay up a bit longer, and is more alert when he’s up. Also his smiles and giggles are infectious! But truth be told, not going to lie, he can be a royal pain in the behind. Really, only cute when not crying, as I always say!

In this post, I want to talk about some of the items I use all the time within these 3 months. I’m not going to talk about “common” items, because there are so many articles and videos about what you need for babies. The two videos I found really helpful are from DafneMeBella and  Muniza K. The first video is more of an overview of possible items that parents can consider to get for their babies; while I find Muniza’s list to be the ultimate essential items since her video is geared toward the parents who are on a tight budget. I am a minimalist, so I didn’t acquire a lot of things. But there are a few items that I find to be extremely useful. I either bought them myself, or they were given to me as gifts. I want to share these items with you.

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 1

Special (And very useful) items for baby: Part 1 - breast shield and activity gym

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the products below. I’m sharing them with you because I love the following products.

Since I can’t really sit for too long to write long posts, I am breaking it down to three smaller posts. This is part one, where I will talk about properly fitted breast shields and activity gym.

Properly Sized Breast Shields

Special (And very useful) items for baby: Part 1 - breast shield

I am one of those mommies who pump. I did a lot of research on breast pumps while I was pregnant, because the idea of having someone attached to my breasts and chew out my nipples 24/7 (okay fine, 8-12 times a day for 30 min each) do not appeal to me, AT ALL. I read up on which breast pump to get, how other mommies increase their milk production, how they store their milk supplies, etc. Then I came across the topic on properly sized breast shields. If you only pump occasionally, the size of the breast shield shouldn’t matter too much. But if you want to pump constantly, you MUST get a properly fitted breast shield. Or else your breasts will not be effectively and fully emptied, and your nipples will be rubbed raw.. OUCH.

To side track a little, the breast pump that I ended up buying is the Medela Pump In Style double electric pump. I actually wanted to get the Spectra, but they don’t ship it to Canada, so sad, but that’s another story. Anyway, I was able to get part of the breast pump covered by my insurance, so make sure you look into yours to see if it is covered. Okay, going back to breast shield, the breast shield that comes with the Medela package is 24mm in size. To find the proper shield size, you need to measure the diameter of your nipple, and then add 2-3mm to it. On Medela’s website, they specifically said, “a correctly sized breast shield is essential for successful pumping.” They offer the following sizes to “suit various nipple diameters”: 21mm, 24mm, 27mm, 30mm, and 36mm. Really, Medela? 21mm is the smallest shield you offer? Let me tell you, I was super distraught. When I first tried the pump, the whole areola was being sucked into the pump. So I bought the 21mm. NOPE! Same thing, and the friction on my nipples was getting unbearable. Luckily, while I was doing my research, I came across this company called Maymom. They sell smaller size breast shields. And I was SOOO HAPPY when I found out they sell their breast shields on Amazon! The following is Maymom’s sizing chart.

Breast shield size

It’s not shown on the chart, but Maymom carries 19mm, 17mm, and 15mm breast shields!  I am soooo glad!!

I ended up purchasing the 17mm shield, I probably should have gotten the 15mm, but at least they’re fitting way better than the 24mm and 21mm breast shields. So ladies, if you want to pump constantly, do yourself a favour, and get yourself a pair of well fitted breast shields!

 

Infantino Grow-with-me Activity Gym and Ball Pit

Special (And very useful) items for baby: Part 1 - activity gym

One of my colleagues suggested for me to get an activity gym for Beanie, because it’ll keep him busy. At first I was thinking, do I really need it?  I did some research, and I ended up putting the Infantino Grow-with-me Activity Gym and Ball Pit onto my registry. I asked for it because I LOVE BALL PITS! When I was young, my mom would bring me to this mall. There was a Toys R Us in the mall, and right beside it was, you guessed it, a ball pit! I LOVED IT! Every time we passed by, I wanted to go in! Sadly, my mom only allowed me to go in twice. Now that I’m older (and being germophobic), I understood why she didn’t let me go in. Anyway. So when I saw this activity gym, I MUST HAVE IT!! So I put it on my registry, and my best friend got it for me. We had been using this for a month now. We don’t have a lot of space, so we either put this on our bed, or inside Beanie’s crib. (What do you know! Yes it fits into the crib!) We would either put him on his front for tummy time, or on his back so he could look at the hanging toys. He’s not old enough for the actual ball pit yet. Anyway, in the beginning, when we put Beanie on his back, we would wiggle the bar to move the hanging toys to get his attention. He would happily kick his feet, and laugh or smile and look around. A few days in, I found that he was kicking so much, I ended up placing his feet on one of the bars. He ended up kicking the bar, which moved the toys above, which fuelled him to kick the bar some more! OMG! We got us an awesome self-entertainment unit!

Infantino grow with me activity gym

See how much fun he is having on his own! I still try to talk to him or play with him while he plays. But it definitely gives us some relaxing time while he entertains himself. I can’t wait until he is old enough to play with the ball pit! Maybe I’ll end up playing too!

So that’s it for this post. I will have part 2 and part 3 coming up soon. Part 2 will be on baby carriers, and Part 3 will be on apps. In the mean time, what about you? What items did you find extremely useful for your baby? If you have any useful items, share them with me in the comments below!

 

 

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