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A real mom of 4 reviewing various products & services with honesty & integrity. From natural beauty products to household items to groceries - the truth - so you can save dollars, time & sanity. No flames, no games, just a real mom reviewing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blue Diamond Almonds - Little Gems of Tastiness!

Oh. My. Goodness.
Blue Diamond's Bold Habanero BBQ Almonds are freakishly good.
I'm positively addicted.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ready To Stir Things Up? Stick Blenders!

I make a lot of things from scratch around here. In part, to save money...in part, for better health...and, in part, because it usually tastes much better. So, I have a lot of tools that help me do this.

After an ant invasion over this past weekend, we cleaned out & re-placed all my lower cabinet "stuff". There were a number of items that I decided that I could live without, seeing as how I hadn't used them in a year or more. But, there were some things I realized I use a lot. My Hamilton Beach 2 Speed Hand Blender is perhaps one of my most-used tools.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spastic About Uncomfy Seams in Socks?

I belong to BzzAgent and recently was sent several pairs of socks to try out. I received Hanes Comfort Toe Seam Socks for ladies in several different varieties.

Now, I'm a little demanding of my socks...I like them to be thicker, with good cushion-factor. I want them to hold up well to a lot of washing. I prefer they not cost a small fortune, either.

My husband and my youngest son, however, are spastic about uncomfy socks. They have to fit just-so, can't stretch out too quickly, can't have bothersome seams, or "seam nipples" (I have no idea how else to describe those little pointy parts at the sides of the toe seams...sorry). I'm not real crazy for socks that have seam nipples, either, come to think of it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sweet Taste of Fall?

Can autumn have a taste? Sure! Lots of them, too, no doubt.
One of my favorites is caramel apple. Clean the drool from your mouth and stop fretting over whether to indulge or not. If you are careful about what you eat, like me, then I have a guilt-free option for you: Werther's Original Sugar Free Caramel Apple Hard Candies.

I live the low-carb life, and as such, a caramel apple would NOT be on my "approved" list. But with these little gems, I get my caramel apple and get to eat it too! You can have 5 pieces for only 40 total calories. There are 14g of carbs, but all 14g are from sugar alcohols, so they *shouldn't* have much of an effect on your blood sugars. However, if you are sensitive to sugar alcohols, as some are, you can just have 1 or 2 candies, instead of the whole 5, and you should be safe. Usually, 1 or 2 is satisfying for me anyhow.

They have a nice balance of tart green apple flavor and caramel (a Werther's classic!). It's done very well. To me, the sweetness is just right. And, I may be partial because I haven't had real sugar in a really, really long time, but I don't get the "fake sweetener" taste, nor any after taste. But, as I said, I haven't had real sugar in ages, and when you don't have it, you kinda forget what it used to taste like. So, your experience could be different from mine...especially if you're still having sugar, or you've only been sugar-free for a short time.

I'm very happy with these little pieces of fall flavor. No, it's not a real caramel apple, but I couldn't go there. At least this way, I get the taste, even if I don't get the "chew action". Oh, the chewy-gooey-goodness of caramel. If only...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I love amazon.com! Saturday quickie ;)

Just a quick shout out because I'm trying to win an amazon $50 gift card. A fellow blogger is giving it away here: http://www.moneysavingmommainnnj.com/2011/09/5000-amazon-gift-card-contest-info.html

If you're interested, you should try to win, also. I really could use it for some specialty low-carb items I'm in need of.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Is there such a thing as Easy Money?

In 2013, towards the end of the year, Pinecone Research STOPPED paying you for surveys and started using a points system to "earn" stuff. I found this to be lame & quit.
Now, you have been updated!
Not usually.
However... I have found an easy way to make a little extra cash. I fill out PineCone Research surveys. Now, a lot of survey sites give you points that you s-l-o-w-l-y accumulate and eventually you can trade them in for gift cards or get a check, once you have enough. This survey company isn't like those.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

 What's swirly & sweet & a healthy, cool treat?
Philly Swirl Sweet Delites!
1st the nutrition deets: 14 calories per bar, made with real fruit, sugar free, fat free, gluten free, and low carb (only 4g carbs, with 1g fiber & 3g sugar alcohols...you can view the nutrition label at the bottom of this post.) The box has 3 flavors: raspberry & vanilla, cherry & vanilla, and orange & vanilla. There are 10 bars per box. I paid less than $2 for the box at my local wallyworld.

The good: The taste is cool & sweet. It hits the spot when you want a popsicle, but don't want to blow your diet/healthy eating. Great on a summer day. Nice sweet treat. Unlike many other sugar free sweets, it's not loaded with sugar alcohols, which can cause gastric distress (ummm....yeah, gas).  My kids all liked them. They were inexpensive, which is really nice to find in a sugar free/low carb treat! Plus, they're made in the USA :)

The not-so-good: In my opinion, the flavor focused more on the vanilla/cream flavor...not the fruit. They could stand to have a stronger fruit flavor, in my opinion. Each bar is kind of small, too. But hey, for 14 calories, whaddaya expect?

So what's the verdict?
I like 'em. I would buy them again. Both for myself, and for the kiddos. I always like to find healthier alternatives for them, also.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Want Lustrous Locks? Skip this!

     Last weekend I wanted to restore some shine to my hair after a harsh summer. I figured a clear gloss (which I vaguely recall seeing in a magazine, or maybe it was on the web?) would be just the thing.
     I went to the store and shopped the hair color aisle for a bit. I only found one clear gloss - the Garnier HerbaShine Treatment Clear Gloss.
Garnier HerbaShine Treatment Clear Gloss

     So I bought it. I followed all directions except for one: I left the follow-up deep conditioning treatment on for extra time. This is the stuff you apply after you've colored, rinsed & re-rinsed, so I know this couldn't have affected the outcome.
     Well, I ended up with hair that was significantly lighter (enough that several people noticed the next day), and not any glossier. Got that? NO added shine, but instead, I got washed-out, faded-looking color. I happen to like my hair darker, so this was far from a desirable outcome. In fact, now I must "fix" what I mistakenly did.
     I don't typically color my hair, so I will have to guess what color to use to get my darker hair color back, hoping not to mess up again. Additional cost, time & probably hair damage. Yay.
     Ohhhh, I wish I had never gotten the bright idea to spiffy up my 'do. Next time, I'll just stick to my deep conditioning treatment and call it a day.

Save yourself the money and skip this one, ladies.