Monday, February 28, 2011

All-Baby Event over at Because It's Fun To Win!

Because It's Fun To Win!

*Celebrate Baby* event starts tomorrow so don't forget to stop by and see what's going on! If one event is not enough for you, I have more exciting news for you! Claude over at Because It's Fun To Win is also having an All-Baby Event. Lots of exciting baby products are going to be featured and given away. If you go to this post and grab the event button before tomorrow, you'll get extra entries into her giveaways. 

Here are the All-Baby Event sponsors
Have fun tomorrow and good luck! Hope you guys win lots :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Global Warming?

I absolutely believe that the Earth is in crisis and global warming is a problem. BUT when I look outside and there is a centimeter two inches of fresh snow in pretty much March, it's kind of hard to believe in this whole thing, isn't it? This is Vancouver - the warmest place in Canada. And it feels like it's getting colder, not warmer. 

*Sigh* not a fan of snow and cold weather. Why can't I be living somewhere where it's always hot and sunny???

Winner - Cover Your Hair

Winner of the Cover Your Hair giveaway is #144 Yuliya 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Weekend Blog Hops & Ongoing Giveaway Linky 2/25


Welcome to My Secret Home! Please leave a comment here and I will always follow you back :)
 (If I already follow you, I might not leave a comment)

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS
Cover Your Hair (2/25 WW)
Everyday Minerals (2/27 US&CAN)
Baby Gourmet (3/4 CANADA)
Novica $30GC (3/9 US&CAN) 

Mark your calendars - Celebrate Baby Event coming March 1st!

GIVEAWAY LINKY 
(by countries)
Enter your giveaways in the linky below. You HAVE to specify which countries (US, Canada or Worldwide) your giveaways are open to. Entries without countries will be deleted. This linky is ONGOING, meaning that you only have to enter once. I will delete all expired links.

RULES
- specify PRIZE, END DATE and who the giveaway is open to i.e. US (United States), CAN (Canada) or WW (Worldwide)
- link to the actual gveaway post 

Example - Amazon $15GC (11/11 US/CAN) 





Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Novica Review & Giveaway [Ends 3/9]


I've always liked international arts as I find them very unique and intriguing. Most of my jewelry and small art works come from trips I've been on. It's just more exciting buying something abroad as I'll always remember where it came from. If I had a chance, I'd travel the world, but obviously it's not quite possible at the moment. For those of you who are like me and are not able to do much traveling, there is Novica.com.

Novica isn't just about selling international arts. Their mission is to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. As a result, people like you and I can now have access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values. Instead of artists going through multiple distributors to sell their crafts and getting a small profit, they can now sell directly to the buyer and make a larger profit for themselves which will allow them to support their families better. Novica also tells you about the artist you are buying from, that way you know where your item came from and who made it. Isn't it nicer to buy something from a person who spent time to make the item as oppose to buying something mass-produced at a factory from a department store? I would think so.

Novica supplied me with a gift code to purchase something on their website for my review. As a Canadian, it's always hard to find a company with fair shipping rates. All rates to US start at free or a couple bucks. To Canada it's a different story. That's how I limited my search. I narrowed it down that the cheapest shipping rates (about $10) are from Bali and Java and if I got a small jewelry item, then I would be able to "afford" it. I browsed through hundreds of earrings and decided to pay a bit extra and get something I actually liked.



I got the "Rose Pendulums" pearl drop earrings. I liked the design and while I was looking at the earrings photo, I got to learn about the creator too! I learned that they are made by a woman named Indah. Her husband is a silversmith, and he taught her his craft. They work on designing the jewelry together. 


When I received the package I saw how much love went into putting it together. The earrings were placed in a big jewelry box with a paper flower on top. It came with a small envelope which contained a postcard from Bali! AND there was a small booklet which told me about the item I got and the creator of it. All these little things just make you feel more special. I was very impressed with the quality of the earrings themselves. They looked just as good as on the picture. The earrings are made with .925 sterling silver and freshwater pearls. I've been wearing them almost everyday, slept and showered in them and they are still as good as new.

Shopping at Novica.com is now my most memorable online shopping experience to date. I hope I can purchase more items through them and explore the world from home. They don't only sell handmade jewelry, they have a variety of dinnerware, statuettes, paintings, clothes. If you don't know where to start looking you can browse by categories such as gifts for her, gifts for mom, gifts for him and gifts under $30.

 


Giveaway Prize:
One lucky winner will receive a $30 Gift Certificate to Novica.com

How to enter: 
- Leave your e-mail address in every comment or make it visible in Blogger 
- Complete the mandatory entry and leave a separate comment for each bonus entry
- For Facebook entries leave your first name and initial; for Twitter entries leave your Twitter name

MANDATORY entry
- visit Novica and tell me what you would buy if you won (by name & besides what I've reviewed).

EXTRA entries
- follow My Secret Home publicly via Google Friend Connect
- subscribe via e-mail & confirm (2 entries)
- subscribe via RSS reader
- add me as a friend on Facebook
- like My Secret Home on Facebook
- like Novica on Facebook
- follow My Secret Home on Twitter
- follow Novica on Twitter
- tweet (1 time per day) - #Win a $30GC to Novica.com | US&CAN Ends 3/9 #Giveaway @mysecrethome http://bit.ly/hm0DyM (leave direct link)
- grab my button & tell me where I can find it

Rules:
This giveaway is open to residents of USA & CANADA and will end on March 9, 2010 at 11:59PM PST. The winner will be determined randomly via random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond back or another winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation to write this post. I received a free Gift Certificate to purchase a product mentioned above in order to provide my honest opinion.

Lucky and Unlucky Giveaway Blogs

I was just thinking... I've been entering blog giveaways for almost a year now. I can definitely say now that I have my lucky blogs, unlucky and very unlucky. It doesn't matter how high or low entries the giveaway are or whether or not I do daily tweets (which I don't anymore). In a matter of a year, I found that on some blogs I could enter every single giveaway and do tweets and win nothing. I actually stopped entering on those blogs as I've lost my hope. On other blogs where I entered everything I only won one small prize in a year. And then there are other blogs, where it seems like I could come and enter one high entry giveaway a month with no daily tweets and win! 
I won't share my unlucky blogs, but the two luckiest ones for me are the awesome Sweeps4Bloggers and Leslie Loves Veggies.  

What are some of your lucky blogs or is it more random for you than it is for me?

Winners - Easy Lunchboxes, Cradle Rock CD & Honeycat Cosmetics

The winner of the Easy Lunchboxes giveaway is #108 Jennie Yuen


The winner of the Cradle Rock CD giveaway is #45 missbobloblaw

 
The winner of the Honeycat Cosmetics giveaway is #389 Huguette E.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Still Sick...

... Can you believe it? Just when my kid and I started to feel better, we got sick AGAIN! I have no idea how this happened, but we are not having too much fun. Can't really stare at the computer screen for too long with watering eyes, thus I haven't been able to be here as much.
Sorry for delays in winner drawings. I will do it tomorrow for all the giveaways that will have ended by then. 
As soon as we finally get healthy, I'll get back to my regular blogging program :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

*Celebrate Baby* Event Details


I promised you all a baby event didn't I? Turns out it's actually more of a toddler event. But I still call my toddler a baby, so I thought the name "Celebrate Baby" would be appropriate!

Let me break it down a bit so you know how it's gonna go and you are prepared for an awesome week of giveaways!

Date: I kept saying "end of February", but that sounds kind of confusing, doesn't it? Let's just make it March 1st! And if everything goes according to plan (still waiting on two products), the event should go from March 1st to March 11th.

What exactly is going to happen: Everyday I will post a new review of a baby/kid item. Each review will come with a giveaway! All you have to do is check out the review and enter for a chance to win. Easy!

Prizes: Thanks to all my wonderful sponsors for providing me with products to review so I can share with my readers. And of course thank you for offering to give away prizes.

I would like for you to take a minute to check out all these great companies which are participating in the event. (The photos below are samples of what these companies offer, these are not products I am reviewing or giving away)

Tommee Tippee
BPA free drinkware, tableware & bottle feeding supplies.

Mudpuppy
Hundreds of educational puzzles and other activity sets.

My Mama's Love
Natural gentle skin remedies for babies (and adults too)
 
EkoBear
Eco-friendly toys from Canada

Ayling's Great Baby Comp
Canadian retailer for the great Kushies brand

Vyssanlull
Very fun and unique Scandinavian clothes for babies and kids.

The Boy's Store
The name says it all, it's a store for boys only.

Bamboobino
Organic bamboo & cotton baby clothes and accessories

Monster Factory
Plush monster toys - very cute under all that monster camouflage. 

Super cute organic kids clothing
 

Themed rain & summer accessories just for babies and kids

I hope you are as excited as I am!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby's First Cold & Lesson Learned

The little guy has finally battled through his first cold! I was always sick as a kid so it's no strange territory to me. In fact I was always sick as an adult too, but since I went through my first pregnancy, my immune system got a crazy boost and I haven't been sick since (until now and only because my sick baby was all over me). I'm not scared of colds, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, angina - anything to do with throat and lungs. Myself and my siblings have had everything so many times that I can honestly say I'm a pro, I know what to look for and I know how to relieve whatever it is we are sick with. 

My son however, instead of just going through a normal cold, broke out in a horrible, and I mean truly extreme hives. Allergic reactions I know absolutely nothing about. I don't know what they feel like, how they happen, and how to relieve them. This wasn't a very fun experience, but we got through it. The mystery is whether he was allergic to the virus he got or the Johnson's Baby Vapor Bath I put him in to relieve his stuffy nose. 

As a kid, I remember taking eucalyptus baths and they did help. Our doctor said that it's like putting you child into a bath of poison ivy. I am pretty upset with myself for actually using a product like that. It's the only bottle I left in my cupboard after my thorough clean out of chemical products. I thought it would really help if my baby gets sick. Well now I know better. Learned my lesson and Johnson's Baby products get a complete ban from my house. Their other products I stopped using ages ago when I saw that they contain 2 types of parabens each. 

Anyone know anything about allergies? Or had bad experience with so called safe-baby-products?

Oh, by the way, how it is that while my son was on 3 different medications - Tylenol, Benadryl & Antibiotic, he still had more energy than me? He refused to take his naps and was wide awake at night. He was running around the house and playing with his toys. I just don't get it. I wish I had that much energy! I just caught a tiny cold from him and was on the couch for two days, couldn't even get my head up. Crazy.

Weekend Blog Hops & Ongoing Giveaway Linky 2/18

Welcome to My Secret Home! Please leave a comment here and I will always follow you back :)
 (If I already follow you, I might not leave a comment)

Check out my current giveaways.
Easy Lunchboxes (2/20 US&CAN)
Honeycat Cosmetics (2/22 US&CAN)
Cradle Rock Music (2/22 US&CAN)
Cover Your Hair (2/25 WW)
Everyday Minerals (2/27 US&CAN)
Baby Gourmet (3/4 CANADA)
 Enter your giveaways in the linky below (please specify who they're open to - US/CAN/WW)



Promote your giveaways by entering them in the linky below. This linky is ONGOING, meaning that you only have to enter once. I will delete all expired links.

RULES
- specify PRIZE
- specify END DATE
- specify who the giveaway is open to i.e. US (United States), CAN (Canada) or WW (Worldwide)
- link to the actual gveaway post 

Example - Amazon $15GC (11/11 US/CAN)