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Whitmor 6082-13 Natural Linen Soft Storage Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer
Whitmor 6082-13 Natural Linen Soft Storage Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer
Price: $18.51
27 used & new from $13.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped Us Organize a Home with Three Puppies, July 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My husband and I had about a dozen pair of shoes lying all around the house and thanks to our three puppies’ love for shoes the shoes often ended up perched on top of side tables or shoved into the laundry room behind a closed door. Basically, it was a mess.

After a lot of delay we finally bought this Whitmor shoe organizer. It just seemed like a good idea although the photos on amazon don’t really do it justice and so we weren’t quite sure what to expect or how sturdy it would be.

It turns out this is a very nice shoe organizer that we have hung on the inside of our bedroom’s walk-in closet. The organizer is hung by three discreet steel hooks which are quite thin and spindly looking. They are visible from the opposite side of the door the shoe organizer is hung on but they do not stand out. We chose the natural linen colored version which is a strong canvas style fabric. At first we were concerned that large shoes might not fit in the pouches but all our shoes and boots fit fine. The pouches open quite wide while still holding firmly. We have ladies size 9 ankle boots and mens size 12 shoes gym shoes.

You can fit 12 pairs of shoes. But it doesn’t have to be just for shoes. You could store many different things in the pouches: socks, under garments, t-shirts, shorts, gloves. Pretty much anything that can be folded or rolled to a suitable size can go in there. The pouches are wedge shaped but are somewhat squared off at the bottom to make them better able to hold things.

Since we hung this up we have had a much tidier house and our dogs have been a lot less trouble so we are very pleased with our purchase.

I recommend it.


kate spade new york Women's 1YRU0161 Skyline Gold-Plated Stainless Steel Black Watch
kate spade new york Women's 1YRU0161 Skyline Gold-Plated Stainless Steel Black Watch
Price: $156.99
6 used & new from $149.14

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Watch for All Seasons, June 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This watch came in a colorful orange and turquoise box that put me in mind of a wonderful birthday present and made me eager to try it. Thus I was doubly disappointed when it turned out that the watch was broken. Still, I had fallen a bit in love with it and had it fixed. And I have to say, it has been my favorite watch ever since.

You get these watches (I think) mostly for looks and style and this one has both in spades. It has a kind of bold “MTV” look: a thick brilliant gold band with a black rubberized accent running down the middle of it, a large face that makes reading time quite easy, and an interesting clasp that you will probably have to practice a few times with. The black-gold combination means that the watch will go with anything and the large face means that it’s easy to tell the time even though only 3, 6, and 9 are marked. And the chunky stylishness of it means you can wear it to almost any occasion: work, school, walking the dogs, or a girl’s night out. It’s not a fancy cocktail watch but you can easily wear it to a nice party.

One thing to watch out for: this watch is water resistant, not water-proof so I would be careful around water.

All in all, this is a lovely watch. I have been wearing it for about a month and, since getting it fixed have had no problems with it at all. And this watch and I are very rarely parted. I’d love to give it 5 stars but as it came broken, I am afraid it will have to be 4. But I do recommend it.


Sword of Destiny (The Witcher)
Sword of Destiny (The Witcher)
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story for Adults, June 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like most other Witcher books, this one is set in a Medieval World and, as any fantasy must, has its share of goblins, dryads, elves, dragons, and dwarves. What sets it apart is the realism of that world; the sheer humanity of it. As one (pretty minor) character puts it toward the end of the tale “life must go on no matter what happens.” And perhaps we can try to do as little harm as possible.

At the center of this world, this story is Geralt, a Witcher that is a man who has been mutated and made fit to fight monsters, who has lost faith. Lost faith in what he was created to do, lost faith even in destiny itself. And at one level, this is a book about how he recovers that faith. And that story is told brilliantly.

At another level, this is a story that makes fun of the fairy tales with which we grew up. Are the knights who go out to kill dragons truly that valiant or are dragons the ones who deserve our praise? Does the tale of the Little Mermaid, as told by Hans Christian Anderson make sense or is it (as Geralt puts it) “rot” that no-one in their right mind would believe? Who is a monster, really? And how can you tell?
And finally, the question that keeps the whole set of tales together: the blade of destiny has two sides. One is a child prophesy. What the other will be depends, to a large extent, on Geralt.

It is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it for adults whether you are a fan of the Witcher video games or, indeed, a fan of the fantasy genre or not.


Easy Caulk "Press in Place" White Counter Caulk Strips
Easy Caulk "Press in Place" White Counter Caulk Strips
Price: $10.95
4 used & new from $10.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Idea, June 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got this to try on the bathroom and to be honest I was a little anxious about it. It is just a triangle cross section of caulk attached to a strip of vinyl that has adhesive on one edge. The caulk is very tacky and sticks inside the gap you want your caulk while the vinyl leaves a clean and tidy finish.

You get 10 feet in a pack. My bath is 5 feet long and 2.5 feet wide, which means that with no mistakes a single pack will just work. But for a job like that you may want to use a regular caulk. Water can get under the vinyl which makes offers the concern of still water and mildew/mold forming since it will most likely get trapped there. Plus only time will tell how good the seal is. So I do feel somewhat anxious and probably should have just used it for a backs-plash behind the sink where any leaks can be more easily detected.

It’s a nice idea and the finish looks good. Like most of these things, preparation is key. Once you have cleaned away the old caulk properly applying this product is much easier than regular caulk from those large syringes or tubes with hardly any mess at all. But I think I’d really recommend it for light duty areas. It might just be that it’s new and I’m old fashioned but I am a little anxious and will be checking carefully in case I need to redo it with old-fashioned bathroom caulk.


Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy
Offered by BisonTech
Price: Click here to see our price
57 used & new from $525.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Vacuum in the Dyson Tradition, June 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have been using our trusty but ancient Dyson DC07 for years and it has been a good workhorse vacuum. But even so, it has now been replaced with this Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy.

The vacuum came in a long thin box and was quite hard to remove without completely opening the box on three sides. I tried removing it from one end but it was securely wedged in there. Initially, I was somewhat daunted because there are so many parts. Most of those end up being tools though.

As you may have guessed, you do have to assemble the Dyson which comes in about four parts. Instructions are simple diagrams. It was fairly simple but it would have been nice if they were more 3D. The main floor brush that attaches to the ball looks like a small intermediate part in the assembly diagram because only the triangular cross section is shown whereas the actual part is long and thin. It was assembled in less than 5 minutes. And you do get a nice padded carrier bag for all those tools. However the purpose of all these tools is never explained in the instructions.

Dyson always have had an odd design aesthetic and this one is no different. It looks a bit odd with the soccer size ball and what looks like a stack of silver Ferrero Rocher atop the main cyclinder. Something that always makes me chuckle whenever I look at it.

Our old vacuum was very sturdily built. This one seems to be made of slightly cheaper plastics, especially the main powered cleaner head. My old DC07 had edge protectors that cushioned the edges from hitting walls and edges hard. This one doesn’t have anything like that but does have round beveled edges instead which is ok I suppose. Just like the old Dyson, this one has a long cord which is most welcome. No powered reel, it’s a manual wind one but not that much trouble. The ball tilt and turn mechanism works well in use. This is a pretty heavy vacuum just like our old one. But you don’t really notice the weight as much because the tilt/lean and turn of the ball means you do not have to wrestle it around corners; just sweep around at an angle. We live in a bungalow which is fortunate since this is a lot heavier than most vacuums I have used. It’s also pretty loud and gets my dogs riled up easily.

The plethora of tools seem to cover every situation. I doubt I will ever use all of them. The wand extension is nice and extra long compared to what I am used to. The main metal rod and hose integrated into the handle of the floor vac is still there, but the long thin plastic edge tool is also telescopic and makes reaching edges of ceilings and light fixtures a breeze. And this time around there is no need to lift the main cleaner to reach those areas.

The main brush cleaner is self adjusting and did a good job on our carpets. We have three pugs who shed quite a lot of hair and there were very few problems on carpet when I finished vacuuming. But when they collect in clumps at the edge of walls the exhaust from the Dyson can blow the fluff away from the cleaner though not fast enough to make catching them difficult.

Really the only annoyance that still remains much the same as our old Dyson vacuum is emptying it. It has pretty much the same size cylinder with the trigger to unlatch the flap door at the base. The diameter of the cyclinder is wide enough that it only just fits in our fairly regular size cylindrical steel kitchen bin. With all the animal hair collecting in clumps, quite a lot of shaking is required to remove the dust which can throw up a cloud of dust up out of the bin. Sometimes a little escapes on the floor and has to be swept up again afterwards. This is pretty normal with any of these bagless cyclone vacumes. A shame and the price of having to not spend on consumables like bags.

Overall I’m pleased with the vacuum. I can see it being a bit heavy and cumbersome for an older person. Particularly if they have stairs to deal with. But for your average able bodied person it’s a good vacuum cleaner that follows a long tradition of Dyson vacuums. Our old DC7 still runs and has been moved to our studio flat. This new Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy takes over where that left off and will hopefully serve our home well for many years just like the old one still does.


Blood of Elves
Blood of Elves
by Andrzej Sapkowski
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $8.00
60 used & new from $2.41

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book, June 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Blood of Elves is filled with all the “usual suspects” one would expect to see in a fantasy novel: the dwarves, the elves, the halflings, the sorceresses. There is an other-worldly menace. There is a hero who is, by turns, taciturn and practical and idealistic. A world living through the Middle Ages with a good dose of fantasy thrown in. So what sets this work apart from all others?

The short answer, I think, is its humanity. There is a real sense that the lives of the main (and the peripheral) characters in this book matter. More, there is a sense that they have lives outside these pages. And the world they live in is (all too often) not a pretty place by any means. There are plots and counter-plots and counter-counter-plots. And people can’t seem to stop behaving cruelly to one another. But somehow their world is not a cheerless place. For in the midst of it all, there is also the triumph of the human spirit. The characters are all compromised by their experiences but often they find the courage to love. And that makes their world and their lives so much better.

It also makes reading this book a wonderful experience. I can’t recommend it enough.


K'NEX K-Force Dual Cross Building Set
K'NEX K-Force Dual Cross Building Set
Price: $49.99
8 used & new from $45.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun, June 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Knex is suitable for an eight-year old, and can be fun for a five-year old too so long as it’s not structured and is done as a kind of “free art”. It’s easy to assemble so long as you follow the instructions; unfortunately the instructions quickly get torn up. The picture does help, but we don’t keep the box afterwards, so reassembling is always a challenge. The other problem is that the pieces don’t have a case specifically for them. As a result, my nephew decided he wanted to mix them with the rest of his Legos or other Knex.

This of course meant that the whole thing was quickly unorganized, pieces were missing and everyone ran the danger of stepping on pieces while walking barefoot. But these are, in a sense, pet peeves. My nephew greatly enjoyed putting the pieces together, though he did need help in putting them to look like the picture. After the first initial assembly, it’s pretty much a free art form using Knex pieces. But they all had fun—which at the end is all that matters.

I recommend it.


Audio-Technica AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone
Audio-Technica AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone
Price: $249.00
14 used & new from $195.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended and can be mounted on any tripod or boom with a standard threaded tripod mount., June 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a pretty decent microphone (Mic) that straight out of the box is designed to be mounted on your camera. The box is inlaid with a block of foam with cutouts for the various parts to sit snugly inside and includes the pistol shaped mic and the two windscreens. A firm black foam screen and a synthetic fuzzy fur screen which are used to reduce wind noise.

A single AA battery is needed to power the Mic (one comes included in the box).

The Mic is easy to mount on a digital SLR camera mount (shoe) and since it has the same standard tripod mount hole in the bottom can easily convert it into a boom mic if you want to separate the mic from the camera and get it closer to the action.

The barrel of the Mic is suspended above the base on a flexing stalk with bands of rubber on each side to stabilize it. This prevents mechanical noise and things like the cable swinging from sending vibrations up to the mic. Attached to the base of the mic is the coil of cable which is about 10” long but stretches easily to a couple of feet without strain. On the end is a standard stereo 3.5mm jack. So you can in effect use this microphone with any device that accepts a mic through a standard 3.5mm mic socket. I happen to have a small 6” joby flexible grip DSLR tripod and the mic can be mounted on that as easily as a camera should you want to use the mic for something else like recording a podcast.

The microphone has limited instructions. But there are three multi position switches on the device.

1) Stereo, Mono and power off.
2) -20 dB, -10 dB, 0 dB attenuator switch for adjusting the sensitivity of the microphone to accommodate high volume down to soft sounds.
3) And an 80hz high pass filter toggle for emphasizing higher frequency sounds and reducing rumble and low bass noises.

The mic has a long, thin barrel. You can see vertical slats down the length of it and a circular mesh at the end. When in mono mode the microphone is directional and picks up sound strongest from the direction in which the barrel is pointing. In stereo, those slats along the side let in sound through the left and right side of the barrel giving you stereo recording.

Overall the build quality is good and the microphone mounts sturdily. The camera shoe mount is adjustable with a knobbly plastic collar on a threaded shaft so once slipped on the shoe, the collar can be tightened to fit camera mounts of various thickness. When you factor in the additional threaded hole on the foot of the mic that fits any standard tripod you have quite a few options.

In use, I was very pleased. The mono directional mic eliminates a lot of ambient noise from your surroundings. Especially when you have the windscreens on. The fuzzy windscreen prevents wind noise and it works well. In stereo, the sound is broadened and a lot of ambient sound surrounding the microphone is picked up.

If you get a 3.5mm extension cable (stereo headphone or mic cables are the same) you can safely mount this microphone on a tripod or boom and use it as a boom mic for which it works quite well.

The only niggle I had with the mic initially is that during the first hours of use some of the fuzzy windscreen hairs escaped. But since then it has been fine.

So overall this is a good product that I’m happy to recommend. It may be a little on the pricey side but it works well and offers flexibility in features and mounting possibilities that many of the cheaper ones do not.


Galaxy S6 Wallet Case - Q Card Case for Samsung Galaxy S6 by CM4 - Ultra Slim Protective *Kickstand* Credit Card Carrying Case (Black Onyx)
Galaxy S6 Wallet Case - Q Card Case for Samsung Galaxy S6 by CM4 - Ultra Slim Protective *Kickstand* Credit Card Carrying Case (Black Onyx)
Price: $31.99
2 used & new from $30.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Wallet but Need More Card Storage Space, June 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This cell phone case for the Galaxy S6 came in an elegant box with a magnetized latch and ribbon pull. A lot of effort went into presentation and it does make you feel like you have something special. The case itself is made of a flexible plastic with a pocket on the back in which you can place credit cards and similarly sized cards. Unlike billfolding type cases it is much lower profile and fits in your pocket easily. The fit and finish of the case are good. The pocket on the back looks like leather but is actually plastic and is not stitched. Though there is genuine stitching giving a realistic impression, it is stitched it is actually either molded with the case or bonded in some way.

I like that it is low profile but requires a screen protector if you want to protect the glass from other stuff in your pocket. It would have been nice if the glass were included. It does come with a glass cleaning cloth.

The case only has the one pocket that can hold two cards. On the opposite side of where the pocket opens is a cutout that lets you push your cards out of the pocket from the bottom which is nice. There is nothing worse than having cards stuck and not being able to get a good grip. However, two cards are probably the minimum many people will carry on their person. For me it is not quite enough. I usually need a debit card, driver’s license and a health insurance card along with a secondary credit source in a backup credit card and my AAA insurance card. So for me to use this as an alternative to a wallet, I would need for it to be able to fit at least four cards and preferably five.

This would be great in some countries that don’t require photo ID or health benefits since most of the cards I use here in the US would be obsolete.

One interesting feature I haven’t seen anywhere else is that along the edge of one side is a thin groove that will grip a card perpendicular to the case allowing it to work like a stand that holds your phone up at about 35 degrees.Which is great if you want to use it as a calendar, alarm clock or desk organizer. It’s a pretty neat idea though I’d be a bit weary of having my credit cards so visible if it was anywhere public. I like it because I use it to remotely control my home theater playlist with album covers etc. displayed from my desk or bedside table in the morning. So having it perched at an angle like that is quite a nice feature. It’s also handy if you use the phone for video chat like skype or teleconferencing and want your phone standing on your desk at a useful angle for casual viewing and aiming the camera hands free.

So I quite like it. But unfortunately it doesn’t hold quite enough cards to be my go to case for everyday use. I really need it to be able to store at least four cards.


Holmes HEPA Type Desktop Air Purifier, 3 Speeds plus Optional Ionizer, HAP242-NUC
Holmes HEPA Type Desktop Air Purifier, 3 Speeds plus Optional Ionizer, HAP242-NUC
Price: $31.21
65 used & new from $25.75

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does Its Job, June 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have had this air filter for a few days. The first thing to mention is that it’s not the prettiest looking small appliance. We had an air purifier several years ago when we lived in a notoriously-full allergy area in North California. That unit was huge whereas this one is about 1/8 the size and 10x cheaper. The casing is a kind of crème with light grey/blue accents similar in styling to what you often see for babies and infants rooms. The air intake is at the front while it ejects filtered air out the top. So it can be put on a counter with the back against the wall if you are short of space.

In use, I noticed slight unpleasant electronic odor when you stick your nose close to the output air vent. It isn’t noticeable from further away but did cause some concern. I noticed after I got it that it’s recommended for a room roughly 10x11 feet whereas our bedroom is about 40% bigger. The instructions say to use it on the 2nd of three settings for general use and turn it up to the highest setting if this isn’t enough.

During the nights which are quite warm this time of year, we have had it on the center setting with a ceiling fan running on one of the lowest settings to move the air around and the door slightly ajar to let air circulate around the room and not get too stuffy.

The Air Purifier says it’s a HEPA type which suggests it’s not a proper HEPA filter. Not really surprising given its fairly low price. It does have an ionization switch. My friend had an ionizer back in the 80’s near his electronics which would attract airborn dust from around the room which would clump on it. In the air filter it is supposed to do much the same thing. It charges dust particles so they clump together and get caught up in the filter more easily than without.

The real test is the air quality of the room after it is in use. I don’t have any strong allergies that I am aware of. But most mornings my husband wakes up with a congested throat and spends some time in the morning clearing it over about half an hour. Similar with the nose. Since we had the filter on, his throat congestion almost disappeared; he simply blows his nose once. So a definite improvement. He did mention that he has a slightly drier throat.

The air purifier is not exactly quiet. It’s quite a bit noisier than our desktop computer but quieter than the household HVAC unit. I was a bit worried it might interfere with sleep in the middle setting we had it on. But everything has been fine.

So I guess it’s working since there have been no congested noses or throats and our dogs who sleep in the bedroom have had clear bright eyes too. Normally they have gummy eyes that take some time to clear and be shiny and bright.

The slight burnt electronic smell is still there when sniffing up close which is the only thing that is a concern. Makes you wonder about build quality and longevity. Otherwise, all is good. I will update the review if anything develops with the odor.


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