This edition of Blog Love features a relatively new blog to me, but one that I instantly was smitten by! Meet Ging Santos (“g” like a “j”, ladies), a wife, mom of one, and creative soul behind the blog, Forty Weeks and Then Some. You’ll love her pretty online space, her love for things handmade and crafty, and her truly passionate outlook on life. Read on!
1. What inspired you to begin your blog?
I started my blog when I became pregnant with my daughter, Allie. My husband and I were living in the US then and I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience being pregnant and being a mom.
2. Please do tell us about the name of your blog! It’s quite interesting.
My husband was actually the one who suggested the name. “Forty weeks” refers to my pregnancy journey, which incidentally coincided with how long I was pregnant. It really took 40 weeks for me. We added “…and then some” so I can continue blogging even after birth. Yes, now, probably 90% of the posts are under the “…and then some” category. Maybe I should rename it “…and then some”. Nah. I’ll keep it as is. Haha.
3. You have some gorgeous images, especially your Lily Pulitzer party series! (I died with the details — so cute!) Tell us how you planned that entire experience, especially how you took the inspiration into actual elements.
I wanted Allie’s first birthday to veer away from the character parties. I wanted something girly, fun and summery. Lilly Pulitzer was my top choice. I was just casually planning, you know, just taking my time, until I decided to book the photographer and entertainment. I didn’t know how crazy first birthday parties here are being planned. Photographers were booked up to 6 months in advance; the same goes with entertainers (magicians, balloon artists, etc.). I still can’t believe how lucky we were to have pulled it off so near Allie’s birthday.
I started with one Lilly Pulitzer print that I love and manipulated the colors to match what I wanted. I used that print for the invitations. I had a very limited budget for décor, so I sourced my materials from what I already had (favor boxes, cake stand, plates), Kamuning (fabric for custom table runner), Divisoria (balloons, giveaways), National Bookstore (paper goods), and the local grocery store (snack foods for the dessert table). The whole thing just cost about P1,000.
My three favorite DIY elements were Allie’s name centerpiece, cupcake flags and the kids’ bag giveaways.
Most of our guests though were adults, so we had to incorporate fun games that both the kids and adults can enjoy. As for the adults’ giveaways, I used Martha Stewart favor boxes that I already had and customized an emergency sewing kit, which was inspired by Anthropologie’s own sewing kit in a jar.
4. What first sparked your interest in DIY crafts and design?
I loved collecting stationery as a kid. Erasers too. And stickers. And pens. It eventually evolved to dorky love of more paper, all kinds of pens, decorative edge scissors, cute punchers, rubber stamps, washi tapes, twine, ribbons … the list goes on.
I’ve always looked forward to the holidays because I couldn’t wait to pick out what my theme for wrapping presents would be. Haha. Last year, it was red, gold and berries. The year before, it was metallic pastels with fabric flowers.
I guess it’s in my blood. I grew up around a bunch of architects, hence my love for design. That was my educational background too. But what really started it was during my time working in market research under a pretty big ad agency in the States, for a really huge telecom client. You can just imagine how I was bombarded with numbers and statistics every single day. It’s not that I didn’t love it, I just needed an outlet so the creative side of my brain won’t go ballistic. Enter crafts and DIY, and design. Making stuff was my therapy. Oh, and cooking, too.
5. How do you manage your various projects? Give the moms out there some tips.
Okay, let’s see.
Write it down. It doesn’t matter if it’s doing the laundry or typing up a purchase order on your laptop. I always have a to-do list on paper and I tick off items once they’re done. It also helps to make the list in the morning so you won’t forget. It feels good seeing how many things I accomplished at the end of the day.
Prioritize and delegate. Do the most important ones first, and if you’re lucky to have someone working for you, delegate the things you can and mark it off your list.
Learn to say no. I have several things that keep me busy. Aside from being a full-time mom and being yaya-less right now, I help out in my husband’s little real estate venture and manage a blog at the same time. I also have this pop-up shop called Project Happy that I manage with my sisters. Recently, I started CRAFTED, where I make custom stamps with wood handles. I guess I’m lucky that I control my own time. Sometimes, I have to say no to business meetings or events just to keep my day sane.
Make room for fun. This is the most important one. Try to do things you enjoy once in a while – maybe have a “you” time at the spa, or watch a movie at home with your significant other, or go on a vacation with your family. Take a break from work and just enjoy life.
6. What are some of your favorite blogs and why?
I love Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop. When I grow up, I want to be like Gwyneth Paltrow. Sans the acting and the singing. I don’t have the talent. Haha. Seriously, I just love her sense of style and her personality, and reading goop gives me a glimpse of her lifestyle.
For home diy decorating blogs, I read Young House Love, Bower Power, Making It Lovely, Design Sponge, The Lettered Cottage and Chez Larsson. The way they tackle home renovation and interior decorating always get me inspired to do the same.
The craft blogs I always go to are Oh Happy Day, How Joyful and How About Orange. They always have something creative up their sleeves. They make me say out loud, “Why didn’t I think of that before?”. They also share cute things they find somewhere else.
7. What are your plans (if any) for your blog in the future?
I do a little bit of everything in my blog right now (food, family, design, crafts, and sometimes just about life’s random blessings that I want to share). I love having that freedom to write about anything I want. I’d like to keep it that way. I want to add some stuff in the future too, maybe include my little pet project called Crafted, which initially is all about cute personalized stamps, but will eventually have other crafts as well.
On her small business, Crafted…
When I was looking for personalized stamps, I couldn’t find one that suits my taste. I saw the potential of rubber stamps, especially now that arts and crafts are becoming a thing. Project Happy did well on selling alphabet and pattern stamps with wooden handles, and I wanted to take it to another level. Hence, Crafted was born. Our stamps are made of polymer, which is more durable and easier to clean than traditional rubber. I had the handles made from reclaimed tanguile, and I do the wood transfer myself. The packaging is very simple. I wrap it with kraft paper, then I stamp it with the Crafted logo and tie it together with twine.
I do hope you visit and like our page on facebook: /craftedforyou