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Smart Sheep 6-Pack XL Premium 100% Wool Dryer Balls (Reusable, #1 All-Natural Fabric Softener ~ Best Ranked, Great Gift)
Smart Sheep 6-Pack XL Premium 100% Wool Dryer Balls (Reusable, #1 All-Natural Fabric Softener ~ Best Ranked, Great Gift)
Offered by Mama Moon Boutique
Price: $17.95

5.0 out of 5 stars High-quality item at an affordable price, April 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not know much about how these dryer balls work, I wasn't sure I wanted to pay the prices I was finding for a set only to discover they were overhyped. These are wonderful and now I'm a convert. Thank you!

Harlech (7.5 ounce) by igourmet
Harlech (7.5 ounce) by igourmet

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Men of Garlic, December 26, 2006
Vinegar is the primary flavor I find in this cheese - which is much sweeter than the Tintern that I ordered with it. It is very good, but I am unsure of my willingness to nibble on much of it as a standalone treat. It really needs to be eaten with something in order for the vinegar to find a balance. Excellent and highly different. A great choice for the cheese lover looking for something unusual.

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful punch, December 26, 2006
This cheese packs a powerful punch. Very strong - very, very sharp - possibly one of the sharpest cheeses I've ever eaten. Also, it is soft enough to spread possibly even at room temperature. A little bit goes a very long way. An excellent accompaniment to fresh fruit and good bread.

Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone
Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone
Price: $12.32
71 used & new from $2.62

154 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is so good the first time I heard it I cried, December 9, 2004
I had the privilege of seeing Yo Yo Ma in concert here in the U.S. when he was a relative newcomer in the classical world. I was a little girl and I sat in that symphony hall and cried as I watched a man and his instrument become one.

I have not had that sort of emotional response to anything Ma has done since that time, no matter how wonderful and perfect his playing is. That being said, this album made me cry like a baby. In the store. Yes, in public. The level of emotional perfection and purity in Ma's intonality - the gentle caress of each note is simply unmatched. And as other reviewers have already stated, the entire album is consistent.

Yo Yo Ma aside for a moment, I was already fan of some of the pieces on this album before hearing Ma's interpretation. Being familiar with them, I really wondered about their adaptibility to cello performance. What surprised me is that not only does every piece chosen work - but they outdo their original and marvelous construction. Yo Yo Ma has raised the level of Morricone's compositions to heights that a Morricone fan would not have ever believed possible. As a result, you will appreciate both of these artists more for what each has done for the other.

If I could only own one album by Yo Yo Ma, this, folks, would be it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2014 7:12 PM PST

Jazz for Kids: Sing Clap Wiggle & Shake
Jazz for Kids: Sing Clap Wiggle & Shake
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $13.70
49 used & new from $2.99

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only fault of this album is that it isn't longer!, October 15, 2004
This is a marvelous collection of jazz songs with quirky lyrics that should tickle any child and their parent's funny bone. As soon as you hear Ella Fitzgerald jump into the hippest version of Old MacDonald you've ever heard, you realize this is no ordinary children's musical album. My personal favorite - and one that I have even heard my daughter's grandparents now singing - is "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" with some of the greatest lyrics on the album. The Johnny Jumper in our household gets lots of wear and tear during that song. There is only one song - comprised mostly of chicken "bocking" that can be slightly annoying - but other than that the songs compiled here are real gems. Hearing them together like this, it's surprising that they weren't recorded as a children's album originally - they fit so well together. So, enjoy "Yes, We Have No Bananas" and "What a Wonderful World" with your child and be prepared to watch them show interest in other music by these jazz standards. It is a marvelous introduction to a staple genre. So good, in fact, that my only criticism is that it is over far too soon.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 21, 2009 6:43 AM PDT

The Magical Garden of Claude  Monet (Anholt's Artists)
The Magical Garden of Claude Monet (Anholt's Artists)
by Laurence Anholt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.42
62 used & new from $3.72

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking journey for children into Monet's paintings, October 15, 2004
I have long been a fan of Linnea in Monet's Garden - so I was very excited to find this new series of books by Laurence Anholt. Anholt's approach to introducing children to these artists - he has covered Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Degas, and DaVinci - is to use their art to create the backgrounds and settings for his characters. This book in particular is my favorite of the series because it is crowned with a fold out of Monet's vivid Waterlilies with a tiny boat floating across it carrying the story's members - Monet and a little girl who happens upon his garden. Before it is over, the little girl plucks one of the lilies from the famous painting as a memoir. My daughter loves this picture - and it is almost surreal to me to see Monet's art coming to life in such a manner. I can hardly wait until she visits the museum and sees the real painting. Watching her make this connection should be very exciting.

Aside from this stunning mixture of Monet's work and Anholt's own lush artwork - carefully drawn to compliment the featured art - the book gives some great educational information about Monet by weaving it into the story - all this without ever starting to sound like a textbook. The story retains its' focus and its' charm without becoming boring. That is an amazing accomplishment in my opinion.

I hope to purchase the entire set for a lovely and educational Christmas gift. These are sure to become beloved classics. Any children's book that learns to entertain both child and parent equally often does.

Just So Stories 3D (Classic Literature with Classical Music)
Just So Stories 3D (Classic Literature with Classical Music)
by Rudyard Kipling
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $22.98
47 used & new from $1.95

71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming stories with a charming presentation., July 8, 2004
I recently purchased this set on cd with a gift certificate for my young daughter. The price tag may have put me off at any other time, but since I was getting it with a certificate, I went for it. I read these stories cover to cover repeatedly as a little girl and took great delight in the hilarity of the answers to such questions as "how did the leopard get his spots?" or "how did the camel get his hump?" Kipling's stories are marvelously nonsensical - which makes them fit for a child's world. However, it was not until hearing them read aloud on this very set that I realized his rhyme and use of repetitive words or phrases is very similar to our modern master of children's literature: Dr. Seuss. It would not surprise me to find that Seuss took his inspiration from the works of Kipling. This is not striking to a reader, but as you listen to his words brought to life by the human voice it is hard to miss.
Geoffrey Palmer, of As Time Goes By, is one of my favorite actors. His voice and interpretation of these beautiful stories enhances the experience so much that I was laughing out loud listening to him in my car. His dry sense of humor is felt in his characterizations of the cast and the lulling of his voice lends a calming, gentle, and sophisticated quality to the text. I now can simply not imagine these stories being read by anybody else.
Finally, the classical musical selection is superb and adds an intelligent whimsiness to the piece. I would highly recommend this set as a lovely gift for any child you find "tenacious and full of segacity". What a delightful alternative to the screech of today's cartoons and children's "pop" albums full of Britney Spears remakes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2009 9:57 AM PST

No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Great performances - bad aftertaste., September 22, 2003
First of all, my "experience" with Matchstick Men is largely colored by the fact that I had the ending figured out a full hour and a half, at least, before it came. Knowing it was coming took all the joy out of watching the scenes that were most likely touching for everyone else. I can't elaborate without "spoiling" it for you - if that's the right word. I guess it would be better to let the film spoil itself for you. Don't get me wrong. The film was worth my time, for the performances especially. However, no matter what anyone says, this film is not original. It has been done time and time again. This is just a meaner version. The quirks of Nicholas Cage's character are also unoriginal - watch Monk, starring Tony Sheloub, or As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson. In spite of that, I really enjoyed Cage's performance. Sam Rockwell, once again, is a treat every time he's on camera - and Alison Lohman is perfect in her role.
I really enjoyed the first hour of this movie - and then when it hit me - what was going to happen - I felt utterly dissappointed. Surely they weren't going to do THAT. But they do - and it stinks. Even a tidy tag on hopeful little ending doesn't completely wash the bad taste out of your mouth. I saw this with my parents and husband - none of which could see IT coming. When the inevitable occurred, each had a look on their face that looked like they had just been slapped by Ridley Scott himself. Congragulations, you've just been conned.
If you venture to the theater to see Matchstick Men, don't go with the thought that you're going to see something new or original or satisfying. Instead, go with the attitude that you're about to see a rehash of an old plotline done over again with some fresh and engaging performances. If you enjoy the film for that, you won't leave dissappointed. But if anyone expects this film to take home an Oscar for originality, I must say, you've been sadly deceived.

1940s House
1940s House
DVD ~ Geoffrey Palmer
Offered by Serenity-Now
Price: $159.99
3 used & new from $115.00

157 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful time machine to World War II, September 5, 2003
This review is from: 1940s House (DVD)
The 1940's House is one in a series of PBS projects which place modern families in historical settings in order to study social and economical pressures - along with of course, a study in technological differences. What makes 1940's house particularly unique is that the family isn't just experiencing the household appliances or work ethic or social strata of the day, but are placing themselves in the hands of scientists are particulary interested in wartime Brittain. Brittain was one of the most controlled countries in the world during wartime, but it helped them survive. In this series, the family is subjected to wartime rations, Brittish law (blackout demands and so forth), Bomb raids, and are plunged into the type of hectic schedule the average citizen was expected to keep in order to make sure everyone did their part. The family is made up of a young mother and her two young boys and her parents. Midway, as in many households of the day, the father is sent away for wartime employment and the women are left alone to survive.
My husband and I have been watching the house shows (Manor House, Frontier House, etc.) in historical chronological order. This is obviously the last that we watched, and though this is an extremely hard thing for me to say since they're all so interesting, it is the best. I'm sure some will disagree. However, the major difference we have seen that has endeared this particular series to our hearts is the startling difference in attitude of the family involved.
Sure, the family becomes cranky and upset from time to time (mostly because of hunger and a shortage of cigarettes) but their mindset from the beginning is clear - we here to reenact war. As the grandmother so positively put it, "we don't have to worry about our lives, we haven't had any deaths, so the least we can do is subject ourselves to the other hardships that were experienced". From the beginning the family displays the greatest respect for the project and for the people that truly experienced this period in history. Other House series do give the impression that some of the participants were more interested in stardom than history. Not so with this family. Their sense of duty to the project lends the entire program an appeal missing from other PBS projects.
Perhaps one key factor to this resilient attitude is the fact that they are constantly put in contact with those who really experienced what they are reenacting. On top of this, original BBC broadcasts are played on the home radio, with real footage of people who had survived bomb raids. Throughout the program, you see the family literally beginning to change much the way that people who truly lived in that era would have. The oldest boy, who is not even out of elementary school, becomes a small man. The women become stronger and more independent. All say they have learned to look out rather than always in and see those in need around them.
This is perhaps one of the greatest war memorials we have ever seen - better than any plaque, or cold stone structure. Here, those involved in the project have done the best they can to place themselves in the shoes of the greatest generation - for the sake of "just doing it". My husband and I frequently found ourselves moved to tears.
This series would be marvelous for any family to watch together - and would be a fabulous tool in schools. We need to understand what our elders suffered to bring us the freedom and wealth we have today. It is a shame that our society has become so reliant on materialistic stimulation. On top of that, we have brought narcissism to new heights - all while complaining we don't hav enough. We have so much, but are often too lazy to appreciate it. If you watch only one of the "House" projects, 1940's House is by far the best. Thankfully, more of these wonderful projects are underway with "Regency House" (Jane Austen's period) and "Colonial House" (Pilgrims period)having just been filmed this year.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 4, 2013 6:07 AM PST

Camilla (Oxford World's Classics)
Camilla (Oxford World's Classics)
by Fanny Burney
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from $0.03

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have been called Eugenia....., May 12, 2003
Why do I think it should have been called Eugenia? She is the character whom you will respect and adore the most at the end of this book. But before I elaborate on that further, let me say that this is the second book of Fanny Burney's that I have read and she is the author who has, by far, the best gift for pulling her readers into the very emotions of her characters. The characters in Camilla felt like very real people to me by the end of this book. This is not just due to the fact that it is almost a thousand pages long - I felt this way within the first few chapters. Ms. Burney was a great inspiration to many later authors, most notably, Jane Austen. In fact, scholars believe that Camilla was the direct influence for Austen's masterpiece, Sense and Sensibility. The flavor of Austen's books were clearly cooked up while she was reading Ms. Burney, and you'll find that the inspiration and enjoyment Ms. Austen received while reading Camilla, as well as other Burney books, is no mystery.
The story follows two sisters, Eugenia and Camilla, and their cousin, Indiana, in the months preceding their marriages. Not only are the lives of these three women explored, but we see several equally strong male characters and the supporting cast is as delightful, frustrating, and dramatic as good supporting characters should be. Although Camilla is darling and sympathetic, you may, as I did, find that much of what she goes through could have been easily avoided. Much of what occurs involves Camilla's suitor, Edgar, who decides, based on the advice of a friend, to look for her faults and be sure she loves him before declaring his love and asking her to marry him. On the other hand, Camilla, who is deeply in love with Edgar is given advice by her father to avoid him and hide her feelings for him as much as possible (to avoid complications in their already established friendship). This of course, places everything in a muddle as both are working against each other. On top of this, Camilla seems to have a knack for finding herself in situations, which Edgar always just happens to witness, that appear less than flattering to her character. The reader finds themselves frustrated with the continual thousand page cycle that ensues, but fear not, by the end you find that Ms. Burney planned and shares these frustrations. As you can imagine, the book deals greatly with the expectations placed on young women, trust, prejudice, and giving individuals, especially those we love, the benefit of the doubt.
Ms. Burney writes about her characters in such a vivid manner that you feel as if you can actually see what's going on. Facial expressions, emotions, settings, etc. are painted with subtle yet strong master strokes. Besides giving us Camilla's story in full, Ms. Burney gives us multiple strong sub plots. Eugenia's story is perhaps the most dramatic and in my opinion, more powerful and moving that the main story. I will not spoil the book by giving you the details other than to say that she overcomes insurmountable odds, and does so with a grace that will endear her to you.
Besides giving us wonderful human interest stories, Ms. Burney once again weaves intrigue, wisdom, tragedy, comedy, and a host of surprising plot twists in this book that will hold the reader glued to every page. It's length was never felt. In fact, the closer I came to the finish line, the slower I read because I didn't want the book to end. Despite it's being a thousand pages long, I finished the book rapidly and never felt a numb, boring moment. Camilla will capture you from her opening pages and hold you betwixt the beginning and end in utter turmoil, suspense, awe, and, most importantly, rapture.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2012 10:37 AM PST

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