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Friday, May 31, 2013

State employee benefits.

My husband who is a federal employee has heard that state employees have great health benefits package. So he was really happy and proud that I did get a state job. But I really didn't believe it at first or shall I say never really cared because I am already being taken care of under hubby's health care insurance policies and so is our son. Not until today when I had to finally submit to HR all the health care forms and what not, that I realized I truly have a nice benefit package. I was really pleasantly surprised that I only need to pay $38.00 dollars every month for my medical, dental and life insurance premiums. When in fact, I should have been paying $771.00/month for the health care plans that I've chosen, but the state contributes $733/month towards my benefits so that is really awesome! I was like wow really, that's all I have to pay for all 3 core plans? Not to mention, the state matches the contribution I make towards my retirement plan. So if I put in 7.9% towards my retirement, the state is going to contribute 6.8% or so towards my retirement package as well. Amazing! Indeed, I am truly grateful that I have this job. Now since I have my own health care insurance policy already which offers equally good benefits as his, I don't need to be under his medical insurance anymore. We can save a little bit by doing that since his current medical premiums has taken a big chunk off his paycheck. Being a working mom now is challenging, because I have to work second shift when I get home from work, lol! But in the long run, this is beneficial to me and my family. We are aiming to provide a better future and hopefully a nice college plan for our unico hijo. :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Black Out Curtains

It's spring time...which means the days are longer here in Montana. It can still be bright even as late as 9:30 P.M., so this really poses a huge problem as far as Caleb's sleeping routine is concerned. I want him down by 8:00 P.M. since I'll have to wake him up as early as 6:30 A.M. the following day. At his age, he should be sleeping for at least 10 hours so it's really a must to follow our bedtime schedule. However, his room is still bright during that time so I've looked for a nice black out curtains to replace the ones that we already have. I got one from Amazon for $50.00 which includes 2 panels of thick blackout curtains. Caleb's room has two windows so I spent $100.00 to cover both. It's kinda pricey but I think it's all worth it. I got it in Chocolate color and I must say they are really effective in blocking out light. The room goes from super bright to completely dark. Amazing product! I have no problem at all in putting him to bed now. As a matter of fact, I have noticed that he could easily sleep for 12 hours during the weekends when I don't have to bring him to the daycare. I really love these curtains. Such a lifesaver!



Monday, May 27, 2013

Just because...

Mother’s Day may be over but that doesn’t mean we have to stop showing that we love and care for them. I was looking at mothers rings online and I saw one that I think would be perfect for her. Since she’s thousand miles away, I will have to include it in a balikbayan box that we’re going to send this year. Her birthday is quite a few months away but still I'm getting her a special gift just because...I’m sure she will love it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cushion Source Pillow Set Review and Giveaway

After we bought our first home, we have been doing a little bit of decorating here and there. We've started with the guest room, in time for my father-in-law's visit. Now, we're working on our living room next. I know it's going to take a while before I can transform our living room into what I would like it to look but I have been incorporating some design ideas that I got from researching online. For one, I would love it to look bright, sunny, vibrant and cozy, so I am thinking of using colors that pop. The walls will have to remain warm and neutral though so we're repainting them this summer with either a shade of beige or tan. However, our furniture are mostly dark brown so we definitely need bold and striking accessories to make the room alive. So I was really thrilled when Cushion Source sent me this beautiful pillow set (throw pillow, flange pillow and lumbar pillow) to review. I chose this stunning torquoise pillow set because they are undeniably pretty and they complement well with my dark couch.


Let me tell you a little bit about the makers of these beautiful pillows. Cushion Source was founded in 2004. They make custom throw pillows for both indoors and outdoors, all kinds of custom seat cushions, custom drapes, kids pillow and so much more. They saw the need to cater to each person's individual tastes and preferences so they aspire to give their customers the option to choose products made uniquely for their home and outdoor furniture that absolutely matches their style. This ends everyone's frustration of not finding the perfect throw pillow that goes with their living room or patio furniture off-the-shelf from their local department stores. That's because Cushion Source will make the perfect one fit for your needs. I was amazed with the wide selection of fabrics from their gallery. The custom ordering system has never been so easy and user-friendly. You are able to customize the size, front and back fabric, filling, trim and so much more. I'm providing you a printscreen shot of the ordering process so you will have an idea of what I'm talking about. Or better yet, go check out their site and create that perfect throw pillow you were hoping to get.


I was honestly impressed with the impeccable quality of the pillows that I have received from them. They are made of high-quality fabric that has withstood the abuse of my toddler. Because of how soft, comfortable and cushiony these pillows are, my 2.5 year old would love to sit on them while watching TV, lol! And when he's being playful and goofy, he would throw them around and play pillow fight with the daddy. I wouldn't even worry that the seams might split because even just at first glance, one can tell that they are made to last. I'm showing you a close-up of the patterned fabric.


I really love my new throw pillows. I was thinking of ordering more to complete the look of my living room. They can really spruce up any room in your house. Plus, they are proudly made in the USA.


Learn more about their products by clicking on the button below.

http://www.cushionsource.com


Now for the fun part. Cushion Source is giving away this fabulous pillow set valued at $125.00 as shown below to one lucky "My Sweet Haven" reader. Enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway below for a chance to win! Goodluck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 20, 2013

Survived the first week.

If you have been frequenting my blog, you must have read that I started a new job last week. I was actually pretty excited with this job. It's a completely different ball game than what I have done in the past but this is what I went to school for in college, so I have always wanted to practice this ever since I graduated, which was like ages ago, lol! So when the opportunity to work in a field that I have always desired to be a part of, I took a leap of faith, with hubby's blessings of course. We knew it was going to be a bit tough during the first few months or so because we would all be adjusting to the new set-up. I mean I have stayed at home with my son for over 2 years, I had been jobless for almost 4 years so it will really be a huge adjustment on our part. The first day was brutal for me and Caleb. I mean it felt like my heart was literally ripped off when I saw how upset he was when it was time for me to leave. The following days were getting better and better although he still gets unhappy at times but he's thriving and he's starting to adjust to his new world with other kids. We actually thought this may be beneficial for him in the long run as far as developing his social skills and interaction with other people. It was just hard to think of being away from him but I kept telling myself to stick to this for at least a month and see how he acts by then. My most favorite part of the day though is when I get to pick him up after work and he would run to me and hug me and say "Mama"! (with a facial  expression that conveys he misses me too) As far as my job goes, oh I couldn't be any happier. I have the best supervisor and superiors. I feel very welcome. I love the working environment and most of all I love the nature of the job. Like I've said, this is something that I have always wanted to do for the longest time. And I just can't believe that I am doing it now and in a very stable company at that. I just felt so blessed. So despite my woes about Caleb and how much I'm missing him, I am still grateful that I have this job. So yeah, we survived the first week indeed. Yay! to that...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Glass Dharma Straw Review and Giveaway


I must have to admit that the concept of glass straws seemed mind-blowing. When I think of drinking straws, automatically what comes to mind are the plastic straws we commonly use and see in stores and restaurants. So when I heard about Glass Dharma, the maker of the original glass straw, I was intrigued to say the least. I was given the opportunity to try Glass Dharma's four (4) different kinds of glass straws for the first time and this I'll say in all honesty, I'm never gonna go back to using plastic straws again. Here's why.

  • Glass straws don’t leach toxins into your food as you drink.
  • They are reusable, so one glass straw replaces thousands of plastic straws, which will help you eliminate yet another wasteful plastic disposable.
  •  Drinking out of a glass straw gives you a feeling of class, beauty and elegance. You’ll feel like royalty – with a touch of ‘glass’.
  • Dharma glass straws are sustainable, durable, easy to clean, suitable for hot and cold beverages and dishwasher safe.

Not only do they promote health and are environment-friendly, but they look so stunning as well. The wonderful people behind Glass Dharma sent me a set of 4 elegant drinking straws. It comes with cleaning brushes in each of the two sizes, as pictured below.



My favorite is the one with the beautiful bend and the decorative dots. Whether you're drinking your favorite juice or enjoying your healthy smoothie, you can be assured that you're doing it with style and of course contributing something to Mother nature. Thanks to the ingenuity of Glass Dharma.


Of course, my review wouldn't be complete if I won't let my curious little monkey try it as well. So I had him drink his OJ in his favorite tumbler but I removed the plastic straw and replaced it with the glass one. Actually, my only fear about using a glass straw is whether it's safe for my 2.5 kiddo to drink from. Well, the following information is very important to know. The workmanship being put into these glass straws are at par excellence with the world-famous Corning, Inc (the makers of Pyrex). They adhere to a formula for annealing their glass art (a process that strengthens the glass) with specifications and guidelines provided by Corning, Inc.


They are exclusively made of borosilicate tubing, exactly the same type of glass that our durable coffeepot or pie plate was made of. So it's fairly safe to say that these products are extremely durable and virtually unbreakable. As a matter of fact, their products are covered with the unbelievable Lifetime Guarantee Against Breakage. Although as a mom, I wouldn't recommend using these for toddlers unsupervised. But if you have older kids (5 and up), they work great. My little guy only used this once and I was just right there with him all throughout the drinking process. Another great thing about this product which I think is worth mentioning is that they are Handmade in the USA. You cannot say that with most of the products that we have been using.


Thank you for making it this far in my review. The generous Glass Dharma people would want to make one lucky My Sweet Haven reader happy by offering a $25 Gift Certificate to www.GlassDharma.com.


Giveaway begins May 18, 2013 and ends 11:59 AM on May 28, 2010. Winner will be notified via email. This contest is open to US residents only. Winner should follow the mandatory requirements through Rafflecopter below, otherwise another winner will be drawn. Prize will be transferred via sponsor. Goodluck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received product(s) for free in exchange for an honest review, which may differ from yours. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I used personally, and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wooden wheelbarrow for yard work.

Most men are quite handy and I’m lucky that my hubby is one of them. Recently, he built a wooden wheelbarrow with sturdy straight hand wheels. We are doing work with our yard because we wanted to grow some veggies and plant flowers this year. The wheelbarrow comes in handy. We use it to haul withered plant stalks that I pruned, small rocks buried in our little veggie garden area and with so many things that we needed to dispose to the garbage. It just made yard work so much easier. Well, I’m sure we could get one already made at some garden and home improvement stores but I can see the satisfaction and fulfillment on hubby’s face after he’s seen his work so I think that’s what’s more important. He likes to do home projects and this was just one of the many that he plans to do in the future.

Replaced car tires with All-Season.

Lately I’ve been experiencing minor issues with my car. My steering wheel vibrates when I go above 55 mph. Hubby thought it’s got something to do with the tires and brakes alignment. So he took it to a car tire dealer shop and got all tires replaced with All Season tires. He also had the brakes seen by a car mechanic. I was surprised though that it really didn’t take that long to have all those changes made. I thought it’s going to take a day at least but when I got home from work, the car was already in our driveway, with brand-spanking new tires, lol! Cool! Hubby said they worked pretty fast especially since almost everything is automatic, even the auto lifts they used so they would be able to work on the car effectively. I thought that’s awesome.

Genesee Silk Wreath Review

One of the perks of blogging is getting freebies from wonderfully generous companies. I was ecstatic when The Wreath Depot agreed to coordinate a product review on my blog. Who wouldn't be? They sell gorgeous, high-quality door wreaths that will bring style and charm to the front of your home. I browsed through their huge selection of colorful floral wreaths and I fell in love instantly with this 24-inch Genesee Silk Wreath. It has a combination of Frosted Greens, Burgundy Berries and fiery bi-color Geraniums and Hydrangea heads. This wreath gives any home the feeling of an English garden in summer. Since this is very versatile looking, you can actually hang it all year round.

When I opened the package, I was amazed with the quality of the craftmanship. After all, they are expertly handcrafted here in the USA. It is indeed very well-made and is visually appealing. The color can brighten any home. The foliage leaves and flowers all compliment each other. I already have a perfect spot for it but we still need to do a trip to the store to get some hanging hardware for this beauty. This wreath is huge so I know it can easily draw anyone's attention to the front door. This is really a perfect indoor or outdoor decor if you want to set a warm ambiance to your lovely home. Quite a bit pricey but the quality of this product is well worth the price.

The Wreath Depot is actually having a Spring Celebration Sale right now. So if you're interested, check out their website and enjoy a 10% discount off of any wreath order, plus you get Free Shipping. Isn't it an awesome deal?







Disclosure: Product mentioned above was provided for FREE by The Wreath Depot for product endorsement/review purposes.   I am disclosing this post in accordance with the FTC guidelines concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cook's House


This guest post from Werner Rogers

I love to cook just about more than anything on the planet. I really, really wish when I was younger I had gone to culinary school but at the same time, I think it would have been tough for me because the hours that professional chefs have to work are just awful, really dreadful. But I love cooking at home for my family and I think there’s definitely a time and a place for eating out, too. I’ve recently bought a house with my partner and we’ve got this massive gourmet kitchen which is making my life. I thought I didn’t need such a large workspace but now that I have it I have to say, I love that it’s so big. I’ve been looking online at www.electriccompaniesTexas.net because now that I’m cooking so much more our energy rates are up and I may need to switch, but that’s a minor inconvenience. I also may need to spend some money on some new pans – some copper ones would be best! – but I guess I’ll have to wait and see if that’s in the cards for me. I love this new house and making it into a home –few things make me feel better about having my family here than when the kitchen is full of warm smells and I’m stirring something hot on the stove. I really wish we’d done this much earlier but it’s expensive! Not exactly the kind of thing you can take lightly. Anyway, now that I’m nesting again I’ve been thinking that we should get a dog. I’d love to have a little furry thing running around, eating all the scraps I give him when I’m cooking. Doesn’t that sound cozy? I forgot to mention – our new house has an OUTDOOR PIZZA OVEN, if you can believe it! I can’t wait for summer to roll around so we can be outside entertaining and making pizza all the time. I don’t know if they’ll ever get me back inside once all that starts!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

First blooms.

I have to confess, I just do not have a green thumb. My attempts to grow plants in the past have always ended up in disaster, lol! But when we bought our first house late of last year, I vowed to take gardening seriously, lol! Or maybe at least develop some sincere interest in it. Hubby is starting our small vegetable garden and I'm excited to help him plant the veggies and take care of them. I also wanted to plant some really nice and colorful flowers in our yard, in addition to these really pretty creeping phlox in purple and the yellow ones which unfortunately I do not know the name of just yet, lol! Well, ok, I didn't plant them alright,lol! The previous owners did and they just kinda blossomed when the weather started to get a bit warmer. I may not be the one who planted them but I sure am the one taking care of them now. Sure that counts, right? Anyway, we will try to plant new flowers this weekend for our front yard. I'm excited, especially since hubby bought me some new girly gardening paraphernalia last Mom's Day! Awesome! I'm more than ready to do this!




The classic aviator-style sunglasses.

Ray Ban has always been the leading brand in sunglasses. When you think of durability, functionality, comfort and style, nothing beats the premier brand of Ray Ban. People from all walks of life at some point in their lives would want to own a couple of classic Ray Ban pieces. That is why I would love to get for myself a nice ray ban 3293 for the summer season. The glasses that I’m wearing right now has dark tint to it but I just fell in love with Ray-Ban sunglasses when I saw them online. They are discounted too so all the more reason for me to get one, lol!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Getting rid of little critters.

I used to watch a show on TV called “Infested”. The pests that infest in those houses featured on that reality show was just unbelievably gross. Hubby asked why did I keep watching it if it grossed me out, lol! A very good question! Well, because it made me aware of the existence of those destructive pests and I saw how those pesky little monsters actually affected the lives of real people in such a horrible way. I think I had enough knowledge of it that when we bought our first house last year, my first concern was whether the house is pest-free.

We went through a lot of things to reassure ourselves that we’re buying a house free of bugs and any other crawling insects. We didn’t take home inspection lightly. We thought paying a couple of extra bucks more would be worth it if it means giving us the peace of mind we need for our very first big purchase. On the other hand, on our part we also do some ways to keep pests from getting inside the house. Before we moved in, hubby had set off some bug bombs in the areas where the previous owner’s dog usually hang out. He also sealed off possible entryways by caulking those cracks and crevices. He made sure the screen doors are still in good condition, checked for holes and replaced the worn out ones. Our next winter’s supply of firewood isn’t anywhere near the house. It’s not even in the garage or shed. He stacked them neatly on piles of wooden pallets in a safe distance from the house. And most importantly, we tried to keep the house clean and dry. There’s nothing more effective than preventing them from being attracted to food and water in the first place. Hubby knows his way about plumbing too so he made sure there were no leaky faucets and no accumulation of standing water.

However, if for some reason despite all the efforts of controlling pests, we would still end up having problems with it, I think it would be a wise decision to just hire a professional pest control service instead of messing with the problem ourselves. After all, they are the experts so they should be able to get rid of the problem with less hassle. They have effective ways of getting rid of the pest problems quickly. Important things such as health, security and safety of my family, we always leave it to the experts.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A possible visit to Arkansas this summer.

It has been a little over a year when we moved from Arkansas to Montana. And sometimes I find myself missing the little towns I once called my second home. Especially after my father-in-law's visit last month, who came all the way from Arkansas to see his grandson. He actually plans to visit again sometime this year but hubby thought of a better plan. He wanted to come down there this summer. I am not sure if I can go though because I just started a new job and I haven't earned vacation days yet. But as early as now, I have been scouring the web for cheap flight tickets from Helena to Little Rock. As per experience, I get some great deals if I book them two to three months early.

Coincidentally, my sister who lives in Illinois has been wanting to fly up here for a visit this summer as well. She's too busy from her work so she asked me to find her some reasonable fare rates from Chicago to Helena, this time. I know, I know, it's like I'm a travel agent now, lol! Well, I love doing that. That's what I missed with our mini-vacations. I always plan our itinerary, book the flights and hotels to stay and pretty much enjoy the vacation because I plan it ahead of time. There's less hiccups along the way. Summer season is the perfect time to take family escapades. I might be able to squeeze some of our own personal quick out of town trips for this summer as well. We'll see. But it appears we are going to have a fabulous summer this year.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Ultimate Workout Outfit: Ellie Review

Working out is something that I need some motivation on. I packed on some pounds when I got pregnant with my 8.4 lb. baby then. But even after 3 years, I can't seem to shake off those unwanted pounds. I know, blame it on the pregnancy and those crazy hormonal changes, lol! But honestly, I am now more serious than ever to lose weight. And the first part of my motivation process is getting the right workout outfit for me. I would have to be comfortable first in what I'm wearing before I can even start getting serious with my new goal for this year. I am really grateful that Ellie does not only loves fitness but fashion as well. They understand the need to look and feel good thus creating the ultimate active wear for all types of women. I was really lucky to join the Ellie Ambassador Program. I received a nice set of comfy and stylish workout attire and I didn't wait much longer before I put these to the ultimate test.

The two items that I received from them for my review are "It Takes Two Top" ($44.95) and "Little Black Capri" (also priced at $44.95). When I first saw the top, I thought this can't be for workout. I mean it looks really nice that you wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen wearing it. You can even go shopping in this blouse, lol! It's so cute and versatile. My other concern was it might be too thick to use for exercising. But you know what, I proved myself wrong. The top is very lightweight and airy. It's made from natural fibers that won't pill. Perfect for gym workout, running or hiking. You can wear the sleeves long for those nippy morning jogs or roll them up for a rather casual look. Now as for the capri, I gotta say this must be the most comfortable pair I have ever worn. They're just amazing. They're very soft like cotton, and it perfectly holds your shape and fits like a glove so they stretch and move with you. Another thing that I love about these is the moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you dry even after an intense workout. I also love that they are breathable and they don’t ride down like other workout leggings/capris that I have had in the past. They are not only functional but fashionable as well so you can wear these even when you just wanna go around town. I am totally loving my Ellie outfit.


Our little exercise area down in the basement.




So, if you also want to give Ellie a try, go ahead and click the ad link and button below to get $20% off of your entire purchase.



20 percent of Ellie

Disclaimer:  As an Ellie ambassador, I received this complimentary outfit to review on the blog.  All opinions are my own and reflect my actual thoughts on the clothing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yard spring cleaning and maintenance.



Spring weather has just started to settle in here in Montana. I’m pretty excited because spring weather is perfect for lots of fun activities outdoors. Yesterday, it was in the 70s and oh boy was it nice! We stayed out until 8pm. We just basically hang out, enjoy the nice breeze, listen to the birds sing and watch my little guy play while hubby was talking on the phone with his brother. It was really nice to be outside these days. As a matter of fact, we have started taking care of our yard. Hubby mowed the lawn while I pruned all the dead flowers and plants, getting our yard ready for a small pretty flower and vegetable garden that we were planning to start this year. We just bought our house and we pretty much rented before then so even if we would have wanted to have our own flower garden, we couldn’t because we don’t own the property. And hubby was less enthusiastic about making improvements since we were just renting. So now that we have our own place, we’d like to do more yard work.

However, I came to realize that gardening or any yard work for that matter takes hard work, dedication and patience. It took me whole afternoon the other day just to remove all the dead stalks from last year’s plants. Then I watered the new creeping plants and turn on the hose sprinkler for the grass and let it run for an hour. After all that, I was literally exhausted. I wish there’s an affordable lawn experts here in town much like commercial landscaping grand rapids. I have heard about them from a friend that lives in Michigan and they always get them for their landscaping and lawn maintenance. They did my friend's spring clean up, removed the winter debris and leaves and their lawns were swept and vacuumed to make it look neat. Awesome service! It made me wish that we have that here as well.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Frecklebox Review and Giveaway


Frecklebox is a great online store for personalized gifts for kids. I was lucky to have been given the chance to review two of their amazing personalized items. I found some really cute designs from their  personalized lunch boxes, so I thought I would get that along with a matching personalized placemat for my little guy. As you may all know, I am a sucker for personalized stuff. So naturally, I was thrilled when I came across their website. They have such great products to choose from. From personalized books, coloring books, puzzles, posters, party favors, stickers, journal books to lunchboxes, placemats, growth charts and more. It truly is a unique site for cool kids stuff of all ages.

I chose the Alphabet Train design for both his lunchbox and placemat. He's in love with trains and having numbers, letters and animals with the train design is just fabulous. He was very excited when he opened the box and found these items. He carried the lunch box all around the house like there's some kind of precious treasure in there, lol! It's too funny! He will be starting daycare in a preschool facility next week so this lunch box would be perfect for his snacks and lunches while he's there. And having his name on it I think makes the items more special and cute.


All Frecklebox products are printed on state-of-the-art digital printing systems. I must say they are really made of high end quality materials which are meant for the gifts to last. Plus, everything is made in the good old USA. Very fun!


Look how busy and enthralled my 2 year old was with his new cool stuff. He definitely loves them.


Wait..Don't go yet! You've just reached the fun part of this post. Because you will now have a chance to win a $30.00 electronic gift card so you could get your kids their favorite personalized items from Frecklebox. Now, isn't that awesome!

It's so simple to join. If you're 18 years old and above and have a valid US address, you can enter the contest by using the Rafflecopter below. The contest starts from May 8th until May 17th. Goodluck to everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I received product(s) for free in exchange for an honest review, which may differ from yours. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I used personally, and believe will be good for my readers.

128/365 Blog Photo Challenge

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Starlooks Starbox March

I've been seeing bloggers rave about how amazing Starlooks Starbox products are. And I thought I gotta have one for myself as well. Last month, I received my March Starbox in the mail. I apologize for the delay of my review. Anyhow, the March Starbox is a "mixed" month Starbox, consisting of a combination of bold and neutral colors. It is valued at $40, but you get it for $15. I think that's really an amazing deal. The best thing is you get full sized items of the featured products for the month. I was excited when I received mine. Here's how the box looks like.


The goodies in this box includes "Flutter" Lipstick, "Disarray" Eye Shadow, Lengthening Mascara, and "Vanilla" (All Natural) Lip Sugar which was actually a surprised item. Cool!



Now I'll tell you a little bit about each of the products. First, Starlooks Lipstick in Flutter is definitely gorgeous. It's a shimmery orange-hued color which translates to a rusty, golden, bronze-red on the lips. They categorized it as a bold item but really anyone can use this color as it is warm and frosty which gives your lips the right color without looking too strong. Next, is the Starlooks Eyeshadow in Disarray. It's a navy blue color at first glance but definitely a dark eyeshadow color. The great thing about this product is that it goes with any neutral colors like white, black and browns. It has just a touch of sparkle, so you can pack it on, or you can use it as an accent by applying just a hint for a light navy glisten. It's also perfect if you want to pull off the "smokey eye" look. Another product included is the Starlook Lengthening Mascara. This is a must-have for all ladies out there. It has a huge "fluffy, tree-shaped" applicator that leaves no clumps and does really give lengthen your lashes. I love this product! Now for their surprise item. Indeed, I was surprised because I didn't read the small pamphet that comes with it so I have no idea what the lip sugar is for, lol! It has this yummy vanilla smell so I thought at first it's a lip sheen. But actually it is a lip scrub, perfect for chapped lips that are in need of a little pampering. It gently exfoliates your dry, chapped lips, giving you that perfectly smooth, luxurious lips ready for your favorite lip color. So there you go, those are the items you get when you get the March Starbox here.


Now my review wouldn't be complete if I wouldn't share some photos of me using their awesome products. I gotta say the Disarray Eye Shadow has been the darkest eyeshadow I have tried so far and I was a bit afraid that I would look awful in these but I think I didn't look that bad, did I? I must admit I have to practice more in applying dark eye shades. I'm just so used to using browns and neutrals because it complements my dark skin. But actually I love how this eyeshadow from Starlooks look on me. I mixed it with white and blend it in. It toned down the color a bit and I really love how it looks. I gotta say their mascara does a really great job in making my lashes look full but not clumpy at all.



I can go out of the house without wearing make-up but definitely a lipstick is a must-have for me. I have pale lips so I really can't live without my lipstick. I am very particular with the shade of lipstick I use so imagine my delight when Starlooks Lipstick in Flutter happens to be the perfect copper/orange color that I have been searching for. Gosh, I cannot begin to describe how excited I was when I tried it on. I love love love the color on my lips. It also has a very strong staying power. And I love how glossy my lips look. No need for a lip gloss at all, lol!


This is me out in the yard this afternoon with my "Starlooks Starbox" March look. 
Thanks for reading, everyone!




Disclosure: I received product(s) for free in exchange for an honest review, which may differ from yours. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I used personally, and believe will be good for my readers.

126/365 Blog Photo Challenge

Friday, May 3, 2013

PicturesonGold.com: Mom with Child Locket Review and Giveaway



Mother's Day is almost here. This is the perfect time of the year for men to honor the special lady in their life. Some people find it hard to decide what to give their loved ones on special occasions like this. Have you thought about giving your wife or your mom Photo Pendants? Well, recently I was given the opportunity to review Mother's Day Jewelry from PicturesOnGold.com. This company is a direct manufacturer of personalized jewelry, that can be engraved with special phrases, with a laser-colored photo of your choice. I love anything personalized, so imagine my delight when they give me this chance to work with them for a review and a giveaway.

Yes, you read it right! One lucky reader of My Sweet Haven will also get a chance to win a stunning sterling silver jewelry from the Mother's Day Photo Lockets selection. They have eight different styles to choose from. What I got from them is the Sterling Silver Mom and Son Heart Locket. This locket came with an 18 inch sterling silver box chain. I can honestly say that I was really impressed with how it turned out. I chose a beautiful picture of Jeff and Caleb and had the message "The loves of my life" engraved on the back of the locket. I was really amazed with how beautiful the jewelry looks like. The locket and the chain are shiny and you can tell it's been crafted with high quality standards. I am really grateful to PicturesOnGold for this wonderful Mother's Day souvenir. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this site to those who wanted to impress their lady loves with a beautiful symbol of motherhood. I'm sure any mom would jump with joy if given a gift like this. Besides the lockets and pendants, they also offer other equally elegant products like Family Tree Pendants, which of course you can also personalize. You see, there's no reason to look for other places to find that special piece of jewelry for your loved ones since they have it all.

I love my new necklace so I wear it right away, lol!


My boys

Engraved message on the back


Now here's the fun part. The giveaway, of course. As I've mentioned above, one lucky winner will choose one Mom with Child Sterling Silver Heart Locket with 18-inch Silver Box Chain valued at $165.00. This is open to all US residents, ages 18 above. The giveaway will run until May 9th at 11:59 PM. So don't waste any second, please use the Rafflecopter Form below to enter the giveaway. Goodluck guys!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Product mentioned above were provided for FREE by PicturesonGold.com for product endorsement/review purposes. I am disclosing this post in accordance with the FTC guidelines concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

123/365 Blog Photo Challenge

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vinegar does wonders to my floor.

When you have a 2 year old, it is almost impossible to keep the house clutter-free, clean and tidy. But I am glad though that having laminate flooring instead of carpet at least makes it easier for me to clean after my little guy's beverage spillage. Not to mention the dust and dirt are more visible in this kind of flooring, thus it's hard to ignore the food crumbs and other stuff, which prompts me to clean more often than I would have liked, lol! I really prefer hardwood over carpets. It's actually one of the reasons why I love this house when we saw this. All throughout the main floor has laminate flooring. I know it can get really pricey to update carpets to wood so having this already done was a huge deciding factor for us. But since this is only the first time to have this kind of flooring, I had no idea on how to keep it clean, streak-free and sparkly shiny. I don't want to try the dangerous chemical-laden store cleaners because I was careful not to damage my floors.

After some research, I have decided to try the simple and cheap, yet effective cleaning solution out there. An equal mixture of water and vinegar. And my O Cedar Pro Mist Microfiber Mop. Yes folks, it's that simple! Well, of course, it's a must that you have to sweep thoroughly the floor first before anything else. This is to avoid fine scratches on the floor so it's important to do a good job sweeping the floor first before you get down to the business of mopping. Now as for the mop, I love my O Cedar Pro Mist. First, it can be used both wet and dry. It has an attached refillable bottle with a spray nozzle to put your cleaning solution into. The spray nozzle provides an even spray for controlled cleaning. I just do a couple of sprays, then mop it up. It dries off pretty quickly too. I was a little wary about the smell at first, but as it turned out it goes away within minutes so there's really nothing to worry about your house smelling like vinegar. Another good thing about the mop is the microfiber pad which is really effective in attracting  dirt, dust and hair. And did I mention that it's really cheap? I think I only got it for $20.00 at Walmart. Not bad, considering how it did wonders to my floors.


Here's my little monkey taking over my job, lol! He did pretty good, I must say. He mopped the floor, I took pictures, lol! He loves to help me make a mess around the house, pretty much...:)

This is how it looks like after sweeping and mopping using my simple cleaning solution. I love how it comes out shiny (glinty even!), no residue, streak-free and clean. Now I don't feel guilty whenever my toddler lies down on the floor to play.



I must confess, cleaning really is not my idea of relaxation and fun but once I see the results after just a few minutes of easy peasy work, then I wouldn't mind doing it. After all, clean floors are nice to look at.

121/365 BPC
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