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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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Does Shaving Cream Matter? Which One Is Best?

I never thought much about shaving cream until I got a sample of a high-end shave cream in one of my Birchboxes a while back.
Honestly, I always bought the cheapest shave cream/gel I could get, sometimes even using men's shaving cream (Barbasol!) because it was so much cheaper. If I could score a sale on "femininely scented" shave cream or gel, all the better. But it really didn't matter much.
Then came my run-in with First Aid Beauty (FAB) Smooth Shave Cream.
My first thoughts: "Oh, great. Shave cream. *sigh* Why couldn't they have sent me some makeup instead?"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Year Makeover Giveaway! $90+ value

Wondering where I've been? And what about that makeup giveaway I've mentioned a few times?
Well, life threw me a curve ball a couple of weeks ago. I'll save you all the gory details and just tell you that I had a huge kidney stone that required not 1 but 2 surgeries and a 4 day stay in the hospital. Add an exceptionally long recovery time (nope, still not recovered fully, thank you for asking), and you've got 1 blog growing weeds quite nicely.
Well, I'm here again and I'm gonna get the place cleaned up and back in business. Quick.
As a matter of fact, I'm giving away a fantastic makeover set to one lucky winner to get thinks going.
What's in it?
Glad you asked.
A little over $90 worth of fab goodies!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hair stuck in the 00's or even the 90's?

Do you remember scrunchies from the late 80's/early 90's?
Or butterfly clips of the 00's?
Are you still using them? In public?
If you are because you don't know what else to use, let me offer up a suggestion:
Ribbon Elastics.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A New Sugar Free Granola Bar?

The other day as I strolled through my local Publix picking up the week's groceries, I spotted a special display near the produce section. I immediately detoured from the fruit section straight over to this glorious Russell Stover Sugar Free display. As a connoisseur of sugar free findings, I was a bit excited to see some new products in the land of LowCarb.
I rely on Russell Stover quite a bit for help with my chocolate fix. They have a big selection of sugar free chocolates. Most people will be able to find SOMETHING that suits them among the Russell Stover Sugar Free offerings.
What surprised me, though, was the box of Snack Bars I spotted.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sugar Free Flavoring Syrups by DaVinci

Happy Thanksgiving!
Are you counting your blessings today? I hope so. If you're having trouble coming up with some of your blessings (I certainly hope not!), let me help you out just a tad...
My fellow low-carb, diabetic, and metabolically challenged readers, you may now rejoice (Hellllloooo: give THANKS)!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Winner!

Congrats to
Gina M
of Virginia!

Her "Follow Me on Pinterest" entry option was the randomly selected winning entry.
Thank you to Green Giant and MyBlogSpark for supplying me with both gift packs.
Didn't win? Don't worry there is a new giveaway coming soon:
A Makeover Essentials makeup set.
Until then, keep reading and commenting!

Disclosure: The coupons, information, and gift packs have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark. My opinion, however, is always my own and represents my honest assessment of the products.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nail Polish Showdown: Illamasqua vs. Color Club

I received a few new nail polishes in some of my beauty box subscriptions a while back. They were brands I'd never tried: Illamasqua and Color Club.
I'd heard great things about Illamasqua from a fellow beauty blogger, but Color Club was completely new to me.
In my August Glossybox...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Prize Pack Giveaway

If you subscribe to my blog, you know that I try to eat healthy. My method involves eating low carb. I eat tons of veggies, normal amount of meat/protein, high fat, and pretty much zero starches and sugars. I lost several dress sizes over 2 years ago & have kept my size by continuing to eat this way. It works for me. There's only one small problem. I tend to get "veggie lazy". Which means we all end up "veggie bored".
What do I mean? It's too hard to get creative with veggies and put in extra effort when you have to put in all that effort on your main dish. I want my veggies to be quick, easy, tasty. But mainly easy! I can't usually use the saucy frozen veggies because they tend to have higher carb counts than I prefer. So we end up eating LOTS of green salads, and WAY more green beans than a person ought to have to. It's just so easy! Save me Green Giant! Please!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I confess...my "house" sometimes stinks. Here's what I do:

Right now I'm living in a travel trailer. A 5th wheel to be exact. It's a new 5th wheel, and a nice one, if I do say so myself. In fact, it's big enough that our whole family (minus the oldest child who is now in college and living in the dorms) is quite comfortable in it.
There's one little problem. It often stinks. Yep, my "house" stinks. There, I said it. I can admit that my house stinks. Have you ever had 5 people in a travel trailer for months at a time? Dirty clothes tend to smell up the place. And Oh My Word, have you ever had to smell a full black holding tank? Help!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cheek Stain? Is it for you?

A couple of months back there was a good sale at Ulta on the Ulta brand products so I picked up their Extreme Wear Cheek Stain. It was still summer and I felt like a peachy color would be good for me, so I got the shade "Gleam". There are 3 other colors available.
I've worn it quite a bit over the past couple of months, trying to figure out if I like it or not.
Here's my take:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Progresso Prize Pack Winner!

Congrats to
 Gina F
of Louisiana!

Her G+1 entry option was the randomly selected winning entry.
Thank you to Progresso and MyBlogSpark for supplying me with both gift packs.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sugar Free Oreos? Whaaaaaaat?

Flashback: I had a pity party. It was very self-contained. All partying was going on right in my little head. Not a word came out, although I may have been unknowingly making a pouty face. It's SO unfair! There my kids and husband sat stuffing their faces with Oreos...while I tried to ignore their glee and moans of delight.
Stupid Oreos.
Stupid carbs.
Stupid metabolism.
Poor, poor me.
A few days later while picking up the groceries for the week, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the words "Sugar Free".

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Have You Found YOUR Red Lipstick for Fall?

All over the fashion and beauty blogosphere, it rings out...
this year, fall is all about
Some of my purple for Fall!
 Just as with spring, "they" have chosen to put forth colors I can embrace.
Had "they" chosen chartreuse...well, I don't think so.
But red...and purple? Oh yeah. I can so-go-there!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dinner Done Easy! Progresso Prize Pack Giveaway

I like to cook. I do NOT like to plan meals.
I feel like it's a constant battle of trying to figure out:
  • what's not too expensive
  • what will not take too much effort to prepare
  • what have we not eaten a million times already
  • what's lower carb/fits our way of eating
  • what will not take too much time to prepare
  • what will taste great
ALL at the same time?????
I'm excited that Progresso has created "Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce" because it helps out with this.
As I started to make my weekly menu and grocery list, I chose 2 recipes that incorporate Progresso Recipe Starters. Well, at least that was 2 of 7 meals done!
One recipe I chose was from the recipe booklet they sent me in my review package (you have the chance to win your own, BTW).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reality Foundation with Anti-Oxidants, Not So Great?

My latest Total Beauty Collection arrived recently and in it was a deluxe sample of Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation (Skintone 3).
I was excited to try out this foundation that (according to their website, alisonraffaele.com):

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sam's Club Gift Card Winner!

A big congratulations to
Ashley J

Her "Easy entry for all Sam's Club fans on Facebook" entry was the randomly chosen winner.

A big "Thank You" to MyBlogSpark, Sam's Club and General Mills for supplying this wonderful prize package.

If you didn't win, no worries...
there's always another giveaway just around the corner
here at The Real Mom Review.

Next up: Progresso Recipe Starters Giveaway!

I know I get tired of trying to figure out "What's for Dinner?"! Do you?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

$22.50 Lip Balm? Is Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Worth It?

A couple of months back I stopped in at Sephora for my Beauty Insider Birthday Perk. I was totally excited to get this year's perk, a duo of mini Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments.
One is Rose (a lovely pink tinted shade), and the other is sans color...just plain, clear lip treatment (balm).
The Pros:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

EASY Highlights for under $10?!? WHAT?!?

Can you can get highlights at home, EASY, for under $10?


Let me introduce you to a new product I found and tried out.
You see, I spent a few months in South Florida and got a NICE tan. My hair even lightened up a touch. I thought it might be fun (and a change of pace) to get some highlights to go with said tan. However, I am not one to go spend $40 on touch-ups every month, so I figured highlights were out of my league.

Monday, August 20, 2012

6 Reasons I Don't Like My Sleep Number Bed

I've had my queen size Sleep Number bed for a year and a half. In that time, I've come to realize a number of things about my bed that I wish someone had told me before I sunk big $$ into it. I reckon it might be nice of me to share it with ya'll so you can be aware before you make a decision whether or not you want to sleep on it for the next 10-20 YEARS. Yes, the life expectancy of the Sleep Number mattress is 20 years. That's a big commitment. 

Before I get into the details, you need to understand that a Sleep Number bed is a glorified air mattress with 2 separate air chambers. Do you understand the way an air mattress works? Then you will "get" my explanations below quite easily. If you aren't familiar with the functionality of an air mattress, you may need to stretch your imagination a bit to fully comprehend my reasons.

It's also important that you understand this bit of important info:
If you like your mattress softer, then you must have less air in your side. If you like it more firm, then you will have more air in your side. That's how it works. I prefer mine a medium softness/firmness. Maybe a touch more on the soft side. So I have mine somewhere about 1/2 to 2/3 full of air, I suppose. We didn't opt for the more expensive Sleep Number bed that has the digital readout which tells you what number you have yours set to (1-100). So we have no idea what "setting" we fancy. We just air it up/deflate it until we find the setting that feels right. Now, on to my reasons.

Here are 6 reasons I wish I had not bought it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

How I Cover Up Sunspots And Freckles (Mostly!)

Despite my best efforts (Neutrogena Age Shield Face 110 spf), I spent so much time in the sun this summer that a whole new crop of freckles and sunspots were born. I'm not real happy about that.
I want to cover them up. That's just me. You can love your sunspots & freckles all you want to.

I began to search for a medium to full coverage foundation on the pages of my fellow beauty blogger's sites. Several kept popping up, but one in particular got loads of raves, even if it did get a few rebukes, too.

ColorStay by Revlon.

And at drugstore pricing, I could afford to try it out without it being a huge loss if it didn't work out for me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

$25 Sams Card Giveaway/BIG Box Tops for Education Opportunity

I have a wonderful opportunity to share three things with you that I value:

1) A Giveaway! Who doesn't love to get free stuff? And I love to give AWAY free stuff like a $25 Sam's Club Gift Card this time.

2) Sam's Club. I shop Sam's Club several times a month. With 6 people, one who starts college this month (!), saving money is essential and Sam's Club helps me do that. I save on lots of things at Sam's. A few of my faves to save on: toilet paper, cat food, milk, eggs, fresh veggies, coffee flavoring syrups and "freezer convenience foods", such as Totino's Pizza Rolls.

3) Education. I believe strongly in a great education. We homeschool and our co-op has a General Mills Box Tops for Education (BTFE) account, just like most public and private schools. I actively seek to buy items that have BTFE on them, and I always cut and save them to turn in. I'll bet most of you guys with kids (and some without) do, too. Otherwise, it's like you are throwing away FREE money. Who'd do that?!?! And right now you have BONUS opportunities to get BTFE at Sam's Club. Let me share them with you below.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Crayola Summer Fun Giveaway Winner!

A big congratulations to
Amanda W.

Her  "Follow @Crayola on Twitter" entry was the randomly chosen winner.
A big "Thank You" to MyBlogSpark and Crayola for this wonderful prize package.

If you didn't win, no worries...
there's always another giveaway just around the corner
here at The Real Mom Review.

Next up: $25 Sam's Club gift card.
I know I LOVE to save me some money at Sam's!!

Disclosure: The information, products and additional Crayola Summer Fun gift pack was provided by Crayola® through MyBlogSpark. My opinion, however, is always my own and represents my honest assessment of the products.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Dry Summer Skin? True Blue Spa is AWESOME!

I'm at the pool with the kiddos nearly every single day. After all, staying in an RV leaves you with limited options! As I started spending more and more time out in the sun, and in the chlorinated pool, my skin began to dry out. I had been fighting it with my usual skin moisturizer, Victoria's Secret Body Butter. It was doing a decent job, but then I ran out. So, off to The Falls Mall in South Miami. Very pretty mall, by the way. See pic way below.
I decided I wanted a coconutty type smell this time. Victoria's Secret didn't have an intense moisturizer (no body butter) in the Coconut Passion scent I craved, so off to Bath and Body Works.
There, with a friend's help, I discovered the True Blue Spa line.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Metal pronged lash combs...do you really need one?

I don't remember where, but I read that all of us mascara junkies NEED the metal type lash comb. I have a lash comb/brow brush and honestly, I never use the lash comb because it just doesn't actually do any good. It simply folds my lashes back and doesn't actually go through them, separating them. I use it for brushing my brows only.
Well, I decided when I went to Sephora recently to pick up my Beauty Insider Birthday Perk, which by the way was a fabulous little mini-duo of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment...1 clear, 1 in Rose...review coming soon...I would see if they had any metal lash combs available at an affordable price.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Art Fun...No Mess! BIG Crayola Summer Fun Giveaway

This summer, as many of you know, we are living in a 5th wheel camper down in South Florida. While there is LOTS to do down here (and boy have we done lots!), there are times when it seems to rain with no end in sight. Like when Tropical Storm Debbie settled right on us and sat here for days. When those kinds of days happen, it is NOT fun to be stuck in a 41' trailer with 3 kids. Thank goodness Crayola rescued us from our boredom! And with great products that are both fun and NOT messy. After all, we just recently bought our 5th wheel and we don't want marker or paint all over everything. Let's face it, with little ones, even with the best of intentions, stuff happens. But not with Crayola Color Wonder! Learn more about Crayola Color Wonder HERE.
Here's the fab stuff they sent us to try out. Cool, huh!?!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ever wonder about those stick-on masks? Masqueology Review

In my June Birchbox, I received one of those stick-on type masks.
I've seen this type before, though most of the ones I've seen have been small area application patches, such as for the eye area, or for the forehead. I'd wondered if they really do any good. Here was my chance to try out at least one brand's take on the stick-on mask.
 Masqueology has a "Pore Minimizing" full facial mask "with Mushroom Extract" that is supposed to "minimize the visible appearance of pores" and "refine skin's overall texture and appearance". You can read more about what it has in it and what those ingredients supposedly do, or purchase 3 masks of your own for $24 at Birchbox HERE.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

ChicWrap Giveaway Winner!

I'm happy to announce that
was selected by Rafflecopter as the winner in the
ChicWrap giveaway.

Yay Jennifer! I hope you love your ChicWrap as much as I do mine.
For all of you who didn't win, please do yourself a favor and order your own ChicWrap.
You will be glad you did.
There are 6 different designs to choose from, so go HERE and order today!
Thanks to everyone who entered.

Hang tight...we will have another giveaway VERY soon.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Easy Summer Face: Stila & Stainiac

For lots of us, summer means looking less made-up. We want to streamline our beauty routine, and we don't mind looking a bit more natural, even if we're not ready to go completely bare.
Just in time for my extended summer vacation in South Florida, I got several of my subscription beauty boxes. While they were all awesome, I'm going to focus on just one of those boxes for this post because it really helped me nicely achieve that less made-up look. My Birchbox contained several deluxe samples I was VERY excited to try out.
Photo: Birchbox
It had quite a few good things, but I was most excited to try:

theBalm® cosmetics Stainiac


stila one step bronze

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Avoid this Peanut Butter! Yuck!

Many of you know that I eat low-carb and have for over 2 years now.
I lost from a size 13/14 at my highest to a size 7/8, which I've maintained for over a year and a half.
It's the way I eat now...and forever.
If you want to know more about the way I eat, check THIS POST for more info.
When I recently found this jar of peanut butter on the shelf at my local WalMart, I was excited.
Walden Farms Whipped Peanut Spread

Thursday, June 14, 2012

ChicWrap: Plastic Wrap Made GREAT. Seriously. Giveaway!

Would you let your younger kid tear off some plastic wrap?

Me neither. Those vicious serrated metal strips have claimed far too many victims.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mascaras: DiorShow Extase Mascara vs. Ulta Lengendary Lengths

After a forced blogging break due to bad internet connection, I'm finally back on the world wide web! Thank you AT&T for fixing the lines in the RV park and getting me connected again ;)

Recently I received Dior's DiorShow Extase Mascara in my May "Gossip Girl" Edition Birchbox.

I was really excited to get this sample because several readers have commented that it is their fave and worth the extra dough.
I decided to compare it to my new Ulta Legendary Lengths Mascara I picked up on super-sale at Ulta.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Suave Giveaway Winner!

I'm happy to announce the winner for the Suave Professionals Hair Products Gift Basket Giveaway, which was provided by Suave:

Margaret E. S.

Margaret has been contacted and has responded back, so she is our winner.
Her G +1 this post entry option was the randomly selected entry via Rafflecopter.
Congrats Margaret!
And thank you to everyone who participated.
I have another giveaway I will start very soon, so stick around ya'll!
Maybe YOU will be next.

Disclosure: I received a basket of products to review and was provided a basket of products to giveaway from Suave. Even so, my opinions are always my own and represent my honest assessment of the products provided.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Don't Sweat It! Clinical Deodorant Showdown (updated!)

It's REALLY hot down here in the Deep South. We're already kickin' mid 90's. Seriously.
Combine that with the fact that I am a natural-born sweaty-girl, and you've got the probability for an unpleasant situation. I decided to try out the new "clinical strength" deodorants to see how they perform.
Now, straight away, I'll tell you that I don't have any special scientific means for gauging their performance. I applied Suave to my left underarm and Secret to my right each day for a week. I'm going by the wet-factor and the sniff-test. I know...I know...you can officially be grossed out now.
Well, if I haven't lost you already, I can assume you're still here because you WANT to know how well these work. So let's get right to the point.
First, let me say that this is subjective. Different people's bodies have different chemistry (I assume), so what works for one person may not work as well for another. That said, I'll tell you how these worked out for ME.

I used Suave Clinical Protection (Powder Fresh scent) and Secret Clinical Strength (Ooh-la-la Lavender scent).

Suave weighs in at 1.7 oz for $4.99 at Drugstore.com

Secret weighs in at 1.6 oz for $7.29 at Drugstore.com

I observed that both of these have the same active ingredient - Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex GLY - with both having 20% of it. They only differ slightly in the "inactive ingredients". But they do differ. Maybe that's why they differ slightly in performance, too?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Suave Keratin Hair Products Review & Giveaway

If you've been a reader for a while, you know I like Suave.
You can read my review of Suave Professionals Heat Protection Spray HERE.  Read my review of  Suave Dry Shampoo HERE. And HERE is my review of Suave Kids Shampoo.
Many of their products perform quite well and are a fraction of the cost of their competitors. As a stay at home mom of 4, I'm always on the lookout for great deals...always looking to stretch the dollar further than we ever thought possible. Suave helps me do that.
My latest "try out" with Suave involves their Keratin Infusion Line. If you're a longtime reader, you also know I have naturally curly hair and it frizzes like an untamed beast here in the Deep South's sweltering humidity.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dark Circles? Can Vita-K Professional Help?

I tried yet ANOTHER eye cream for dark circles.
After a steady stream of failures, you'd think I would give up, right?
Well, I found another one & succumbed to the siren song...promises of lightened dark circles and less wrinkles and lines to boot.
I started applying Vita-K right after I ended my testing of Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream back at the end of February.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our April Birchbox Winner!

I'd like to congratulate

Ashley H.

on winning the
April Birchbox Plus Contest HERE.

Ashley H. has been emailed and has 48 hours to respond with her shipping address or I will move on.

If you didn't win, don't worry...
I'm about to host a great giveaway by Suave.

Stick close & stay tuned!

Friday, April 27, 2012

O! My Awesome New Mop (No, Not My Hair, Silly!)

I've owned quite a few mops over the years. I was ecstatic back in the day to get to trade in my old-fashioned sponge-type mop for the new Swiffer one. It was so handy, so quick and so much less icky.

But then, as I kept having to buy new pads and new spray stuff, over and over, I began to see the ridiculous outlay of cash it truly required. So, I saved up a little money and bought the Bona mop for wood floors. It had a washable pad and no spray thingy at all. I just had to put floor cleaner in a spray bottle with some water and spray by hand as I cleaned, tossing the pad in the wash afterward. I loved that I didn't have to keep throwing cash in the trash, literally. Alas, after a number of years it eventually broke.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Weapon EVERY Woman Should Have In Her Arsenal

I discovered something awesome in my April Birchbox.
For those who don't know, Birchbox is a subscription service that ships a small box with awesome beauty & fashion samples each month for only $10 (s&h included). The samples are specialty, high-end, and sometimes are actually full-size products. It's a great way to try out lots of beauty products without paying a lot of dough.

What did I discover that's so awesome?!? Hollywood Fashion Secrets Fashion Tape.

When I opened my Birchbox, I noticed the Fashion Tape Assortment Sample Pack, but didn't think too much about it. A couple of days later, however, I was getting dressed in my new lace tank top and noticed that the front kept slowly sliding forward, exposing more of my decolletage than I desired.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How About A Great Foundation for Oily or Combination Skin?

I'm kinda' picky about my foundation. It's important because I think it sets the stage for all the other cosmetics we apply. It is the canvas we start with. What type we need depends on so many things that are unique to each of us: what does our bare skin look like, what does it feel like, how do we want it to appear in the end, or feel like after the cosmetics are on, what is our skin's age and problems...and I'm sure there's more.

All of which points us to the fact that choosing makeup is highly subjective. I may love something that works like a dream on me, yet it may do horribly on you and you promptly throw it in the trash. Because of that, I can't simply tell you a makeup is great and you should buy it. Beware of advice that tries to do so. It's a bit arrogant, really.

Better to tell all the little things you've figured out about makeup so that a person can try to determine if it meets their unique needs and desires. So that's what I'm going to do for you.

I'm reviewing Natureluxe by Cover Girl.
(I used #325 in Sandstone, by the way.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eat Italian! Giveaway Winners Announcement

We love winners!

Especially winners who get to eat Italian!
Thanks so much to everyone who joined me for this giveaway.
I have another one in the planning right now, so I hope you'll stick around and check back in often.

The following winners have been emailed:

Entry #103Karen undefined.
Entry #192Sue undefined.
Entry #45Dara undefined.
Entry #183Anastacia undefined.
Entry #37Eileen undefined.
Entry #178Amy undefined.
Entry #228Erin undefined.
Entry #224Charlene undefined.
Entry #58Tim undefined.
Thanks also to Johnsonville and to HouseParty.com for providing the giveaway prizes and the products which I reviewed. Thanks also to all my friends who came to my House Party and were my guinea pigs. Love ya!