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Helpful Votes: 5257

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Holly "Book addict" RSS Feed (Indiana, USA)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Stonewall Kitchen Caramel Apple Butter, 12.5 Ounce
Stonewall Kitchen Caramel Apple Butter, 12.5 Ounce
Offered by MyQuickMart
Price: $13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and different, May 25, 2015
This past weekend, We went out to dinner with another couple and then had them back to our home for dessert. They are big fans of ice cream and the woman is particularly fond of caramel. With that in mind, I decided to serve vanilla bean ice cream topped with this and a wafer cookie filled with vanilla on the side. It was definitely a hit.

The Caramel Apple Butter is a nice alternative to the regular, thick syrups that are often used as toppers. This definitely had the consistency of apple butter and the flavor of apple butter as well with just a hint of caramel. Since it wasn't as thick, it distributed itself across a larger area of the ice cream and didn't get stuck in just the one spot where I placed it.

I was very impressed and will definitely be purchasing again. In addition, I think I will try it on English muffins since I like traditional apple butter on those and this isn't all that different.

Two Fridays in April
Two Fridays in April
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roisin Meaney - an author to love, May 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Roisin Meaney is on my "automatic buy" list. In my case, that is a very short list as there are very few authors I am not willing to wait until the book goes on sale or becomes available at my library. She caught my attention with Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes and I fell in love with her writing in Something in Common. That particular book is one of my all-time favorites.

The plot/story line of her most recent offering is well represented by the product description, so there is no need to go into that since you can read it for yourself. What I will say is that I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others I have read. It was still very good - as reflected in my 4-star rating - but I didn't find myself as caught up in the story or as involved with the characters as I have been in the past. I was able to put the book down and do other things before coming back to it. In the case of other novels, I found myself not wanting to do anything else but sit and read until it was finished.

If you are a fan of hers, it is definitely a book to read. If you have never read anything by Ms. Meaney, I would start with some of her others. The early ones are lighter and some of these later ones are more weighty, but still never dark or depressing. As I said, my favorite is "Something in Common" so I would recommend that one.

Again, the book is still very good it just isn't quite in that "great" category.

The Ladies' Room
The Ladies' Room
by Carolyn Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
45 used & new from $5.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Your reaction will largely depend on your personal reading preferences, May 9, 2015
This review is from: The Ladies' Room (Paperback)
This was my first book t by this author, but I chose to read it based upon the reviewers who indicated the book was funny and uplifting.

The premise of the story is that Trudy is in the ladies' room prior to the funeral service of her Aunt Gert when two cousins come in chatting away and, not realizing Trudy is in one of the stalls, begin gossiping about her. What she overhears will change the trajectory of her life. Her eyes are opened to how she is viewed by her family and learns some very interesting information about her immediate family members.

On the positive side, the novel is overall very uplifting (even with an initially depressing premise) and it was enjoyable to read about a woman approaching 40 as a main character. There were moments of humor and fun and I enjoyed the book quite a bit.

On the negative side, the reader must suspend disbelief as many of the situations strain credibility and everything that happens is way to convenient and predictable. The other thing that I found to be a bit of a distraction is the way the 39-year-old character seems to act and think in a way more appropriate to someone in her 50s

What is interesting about the novel, is that even with the negatives, I enjoyed it quite a bit. When I list the negatives, they are pretty overwhelming but somehow the uplifting nature of the book manages to overcome those and it winds up being a good read. This is definitely a situation where the total is more than the sum of the parts.

If you like more of an edge to your reading or prefer novels to closely mirror reality, I would recommend you give this one a pass. If you enjoy novels that are comforting to read and are sweet, clean stories, this one would be a good selection

InterDesign Ellis Hand Knit 2 Piece Mini Set, Gray/Ivory
InterDesign Ellis Hand Knit 2 Piece Mini Set, Gray/Ivory
Price: $12.99
2 used & new from $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I really like these, May 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love organizational items but so many of them have hard edges - primarily being plastic. It was refreshing to find these which had a softer look and gave a nice texture contrast.

They are well made and very high quality. The to knitting is tight enough that both bins hold their shape and only have a slight slouch to them. The stripes match up perfectly. One has a divider creating 2 compartments within the bin. The other has a loop which would allow for an item that might have a tendency to fall over but it is a bit of work to get it back in again once it has been taken out and used.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with these when I purchased them, but ended up putting them in my college-age daughter's bathroom here at home. We put cotton balls, qtips, and other small items she needs and she can leave them here so she doesn't take them back and forth when coming home for a visit. They are nice enough to leave out on the counter but I have chosen to put them in the linen closet as I don't like any clutter if I can help it. The are a nice addition to the other containers we use for bathroom organization and they look very nice.

Quite pleased and I would definitely purchase other items in the line.

Us: A Novel
Us: A Novel
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings on this one, April 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Us: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
I don't need to go into plot line as other reviews have done a good job at providing that. So, here is my reaction to the second novel I have read by David Nicholls:

This is basically chick-lit flipped backwards. The story is told from the husband's point of view and it's an evaluation of his relationship with his wife and with his son. It also explores the triangle of the three family members and the alliance between his wife and child which often leaves him the odd-man-out. All this is explored while travelling across Europe as a last trip for the family as his wife had decided to leave him and his son is heading off for college in the fall. The stress of the "vacation" highlights the strains within the marriage as well as the lack of common ground with either of his two other family members.

While not a bad novel by any means, I picked it up with fairly high expectations due to it being long listed for the Man Booker Prize and found myself disappointed. It is a novel that has some upsides but seems to work too hard at being quirky and has the underlying flaw of being largely unbelievable. While I did finish it and don't regret the time I spent, it doesn't compel me to search out and ready any other books by this same author. Just "ok".

Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble: A Novel
Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble: A Novel
by Ann B. Ross
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.65
70 used & new from $1.70

4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, April 18, 2015
I have enjoyed most of the books in this series, but I found myself ready for a break from it so I hadn't read this next installment until now. Sometimes being away from something allows us to come back to it with fresh eyes and an renewed enthusiasm. That was certainly the case here. Miss Julia is back to her (lovingly) interfering ways as she decides that Hazel Marie needs help with the babies and Uncle Vern who shows up on her doorstep, right at the time when James is out of commission due to a fall. Miss Julia steps in with a plan to address her lack of cooking skills, a day at the beauty parlor for some much-needed attention, as well as hiring some help for taking care of the twins. As is usual, Miss Julia's best intentions don't work out quite as planned but everything seems to eventually work itself out. ac

This book is a bit light on the plot and adds recipes at the end of each chapter (which some folks will view as filler), but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. It was nice getting back to old friends and I found it was easy to settle back into a relaxing, comfortable read.

I am giving this 4 stars, which might be a bit generous due to my enthusiasm for the characters after a fairly long absence. Had I read this one immediately after the last, I think it would have been closer to 3 stars.

Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, Book 3)
Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, Book 3)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one!, April 11, 2015
I have loved all three Tana French books that I have read, including this one. Set in Dublin, Frank gets sucked back into his dysfunctional family after over 20 years away when the suitcase of a missing young woman in discovered in the walls of an abandoned home. The owner of the suitcase was (and still is) very important to him and trying to discover what happened to her may be the only thing that would draw him back to the old neighborhood. The novel has two main themes: what happened to the woman (mystery), and what was the relationship between them. As very strong sub-theme is uncovering all the crazy undercurrents, and sometimes outright crazy behavior, of Frank's family and the characters that populate the old neighborhood.

An excellent mystery and an excellent look at human relations should have this novel appealing to a broad audience. One note of warning - the language is pretty raw throughout so if that is something that would really bother you, you might want to pass.

Thursday Cottage Lime Curd 11 Oz (Pack of 2)
Thursday Cottage Lime Curd 11 Oz (Pack of 2)
Offered by Jolly Grub
Price: $13.00

5.0 out of 5 stars This is fabulous, April 7, 2015
Most people have eaten lemon curd which is easy to find in your local grocery store. While looking at a more exotic grocery, I was wanting something a bit different to serve with scones for a small group I was hosting. I picked up this lime curd along with another product by this same manufacturer. It is delicious! The entire group commented out tasty it was and how smooth the curd tasted compared to lemon curds they had eaten in the past. This has a mellow, lime flavor rather than having a lot of "bite". It was wonderful on plain scones and I will be looking to buy it again after the current jar is consumed. What a delightful discovery!

Sticky Fingers Scone Mix (Pack of 2) 15 Ounce Bags - All Natural Scone Baking Mix (Original)
Sticky Fingers Scone Mix (Pack of 2) 15 Ounce Bags - All Natural Scone Baking Mix (Original)
Offered by ShopTivia!
Price: $17.97
6 used & new from $15.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and easy, April 7, 2015
I was looking for something a bit different to serve with tea for a small group book study I was hosting. I saw these (and knowing the group usually loved to purchase scones in restaurants when available) and decided to give them a try. I was quite pleased. They were easy to whip up - only add water - and they baked up quickly. I used the method of just dropping them on the cookie sheet. I didn't butter the sheet as recommended, but used a silicone baking mat which made clean up quick. The scones turned out beautifully and were very light. I offered lime curd and tangerine marmalade to put on them. They were so good, the group asked to see the bag so they could purchase it themselves.

I am not a cook, nor do I have much interest in spending loads of time in the kitchen, and these were great with little effort on my part. Will definitely be purchasing again.

Note: If you are not familiar with scones, they are not a very sweet item, so don't expect something along the lines of banana breads or blueberry muffins which are much, much sweeter.

ACORN Women's Spa Wrap Moc Black,X-Large 9.5-10.5 M US
ACORN Women's Spa Wrap Moc Black,X-Large 9.5-10.5 M US
Price: $42.85
7 used & new from $39.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Will continue to buy Acorn slippers in the years to come, April 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I already own two pair of the spa slippers (thong-style) and love them. I have been in search of something with a closed-toe style for the colder months of the years. I have tried several more expensive manufacturers and been disappointed with the short length of time before they began falling apart. I tried a less expensive manufacturer and loved the feel of the slipper, but they only lasted 4 months before the fabric was completely worn through and the stuffing coming out. I had not ordered these because I was wanting a slide-in style that I didn't have to tuck my heel into. Since I had such poor luck with other options, I went ahead and purchased these out of desperation. I bought the black since they were significantly less expensive than the other colors but I was a bit concerned about them showing dirt, and particularly cat hair.

Bottom Line, I should have ordered these from the beginning! The black color does not show dirt at all and the cat hair isn't problem. While it does take an extra minute to put them on, that is minor compared to the benefits. The slipper has a strap of fabric across the top with velcro so you can adjust the tightness in the front of the slipper. There is elastic around the top of the heel section so it is easy to get on and off plus it allows the slipper to conform to your foot, increasing the comfort. They are well-made and still look just like they did when I took them out of the package. There is a generous amount of support on the slipper bed so they support the foot nicely.

Two things I will bring to your attention. 1) Sizing: I usually wear a size 9 shoe, and sometimes a 9.5. I originally ordered the large but had to return them since they were too small. I went with the extra large and they fit will, but aren't any too big. Based upon my experience, I would assume these run on the small side. 2) While the slipper bed is well-supported for a slipper, they do bend and flex. This is fine with me, but if you are are looking for a stiff slipper bed, this isn't for you.

Acorn is becoming a brand I trust.

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