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Customer Reviews: 272
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Kristi "all my facts come from fiction" RSS Feed (Eastern Iowa)
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Kobi Electric K2L4 8-watt (40-Watt) R20 LED 2700K Warm White Indoor Flood Light Bulb, Dimmable
Kobi Electric K2L4 8-watt (40-Watt) R20 LED 2700K Warm White Indoor Flood Light Bulb, Dimmable
Price: $14.20
3 used & new from $10.67

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brighter, warmer, energy-saving -- these are great bulbs!, August 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We are ordering a case of these bulbs. We really do love them. I have been dreading the death of our incandescent R20 lights -- we have can light fixtures that use them in pretty much every room in the house -- and I hate the new LED bulbs; even the "warm" ones are clinical-looking and they take forever to actually light up. Next to those bulbs, this one provides quite a bit more light, and definitely a warmer light. The bulb comes on instantly without lag. Our dimming switches are Control4 and this bulb performs admirably with them, as well as the incandescent bulb and much better than the other LED bulbs.

I don't have a way to measure the electrical consumption of the bulb, but it is advertised to cost 80% less to operate and last longer than a traditional bulb. With a 5-year money back guarantee, we feel pretty safe in assuming those things are true.


simplehuman Rechargeable Bath Sensor Pump - Brushed Nickel, 8 fl. oz.
simplehuman Rechargeable Bath Sensor Pump - Brushed Nickel, 8 fl. oz.
Price: $59.99
2 used & new from $59.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A much better automatic dispenser, August 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This motion-sensitive soap pump is SO much better than any I've used before. First, it's rechargeable, so you're not replacing batteries all the time. Second, the sensor is accurate -- you aren't dispensing soap all over whenever you are near the sink. We were quickly able to adjust the amount pumped using the + and - keys. There is also a "constant" setting, where, as long as you are in sensor territory, soap will dispense.

The only reason this isn't a "love" is that you do have to use a certain consistency of soap and, of course, simplehuman recommends that you use their specially-formulated stuff. It's fine soap but I can't buy it at my local grocery, which makes it inconvenient for me. The other complaint is that it only comes in chrome, which doesn't go with every decor.

One slightly non-intuitive hint... to turn the pump on, you need to hold the "+" key down for several seconds, longer than you expect. The LED on top will flash once when you turn it on.


House of Marley EM-JA005-MI Liberate Midnight BT Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
House of Marley EM-JA005-MI Liberate Midnight BT Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
Price: $119.00
10 used & new from $93.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but mighty (and heavy... surprisingly heavy!), August 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a SERIOUS speaker. It is a heavy, attractive yet unobtrusive bit of tech that's about the size of a landline handset (but a lot heavier). The four control "buttons" are stenciled onto the back top of the speaker: +, -, bluetooth and power on/off.

When you turn the speaker on by pressing the on/off stencil, the "M" in the front of the speaker will begin to flash blue, looking for a device. You can cause this mode to re-occur by holding the bluetooth stencil down for 3 seconds. So far, we haven't found a bluetooth capable device that has a problem connecting to the speaker. Pressing the bluetooth stencil quickly while the speaker is "speaking" will mute the device; pressing it again unmutes.

And the plus and minus are volume, and the power stencil turns it on and off. And that's about it. Except for the sound quality, which is fabulous. It is so much better than my car speakers that I'd like to take it in the car. Except I need to find a way to lash it down first. Because, although it is small, it is (did I mention?) heavy.

Now I just need to earn a private office...!


An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford Mysteries Book 6)
An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford Mysteries Book 6)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $12.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meanwhile, back in England, August 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Set more in England and less on the battlefield than previous books in the series, this story starts with Bess being asked to accompany an injured soldier to the palace to receive honors. After the ceremony, however, the soldier goes missing and when Bess is blamed, she and Lieutenant Captain Simon Brandon try to find the missing man to clear her name. He isn't the only one unaccounted for, however...

I liked this book the best of the series and they have all been very good. The relationship between Bess and Simon remains completely platonic, although it seems that everyone except they see where it is going, which makes the strict propriety with which chaperonage is arranged a huge reminder of how things have changed.


Miracle-Gro 18982 Titanium 8-Inch Detachable Shear with Sheath
Miracle-Gro 18982 Titanium 8-Inch Detachable Shear with Sheath
Price: $9.69

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine light-duty shears, but keep 'real' clippers handy for anything of substance, August 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I particularly like these shears for deadheading. They begin to be challenged by pithy stems of about 1/8" diameter and are pretty ineffective against anything larger such as a rose cane or larger hydrangea stem.

As others have noted, the handles aren't removable but the shears do rotate so that they can be parted at the hinge. One thing I particularly like about them is that you can then put them through the dishwasher, something that would quickly destroy most shears and clippers, an excellent step in disinfecting.

The shears are comfortable to use in my hand (ladies size 8 glove). I admit to having become a bit spoiled by "soft" rubber handles on household shears, but those don't go through the dishwasher well, either.

My shears did not come with a sheath.


Swiffer Wetjet Wood Starter Kit
Swiffer Wetjet Wood Starter Kit
Price: $19.49
11 used & new from $19.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Very handy for quick clean-ups but lots of "disposable" elements, August 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Reasons to like it:
* Easy to grab for the 'little' pick-ups for which you don't want to get out bucket and mop. For us, that's the kitchen "triangle," where even clean condensed steam that drops onto the wood floor quickly becomes a yucky spot. Also great for pet tracks.
* Safe for pets and humans. Suggests neither should walk on wet floor but only requires flushing with water for skin contact and then only to remove 'perfume' if it is objectionable. (So why include 'perfume' at all?)
* Small amount applied at a time, dries quickly
* Safe for SEALED wood and non-permeable surfaces ike laminate, vinyl, linoleum, ceramic tiles, marble, stone
* Very easy to put together. I like that I can easily hang it in the broom closet and it doesn't leak.
* Comes with a "scrubby strip" that sits on the front edge so you can turn the mop head and use this on tough spots. Pretty much like all the traditional bucket-style mops come with today, but new for Swiffer.

Things that could be better:
* The disposable pads are expensive. Would prefer they sold washable and re-usable pads and I may see whether some of the ones that I have for other implements will fit/stick. Beginner kit comes with two pads.
* Requires 4 AA non-rechargeable batteries that are not included (with warnings of explosion otherwise). Why not just a charger and rechargeables?
Alleges that it "cleans better than a mop and bucket" but doesn't say why. I'd be interested in knowing.
* It sounds like the company expects the scrubbing strips to generally not be available in stores; they say to order them online from the company website.
* A re-fillable solution bottle and concentrate to use with it would be great, too.

Other considerations:
* Do not use on wood floors that have been waxed or oiled to finish, only those sealed with polyurethane or something similar.
* As with any wet mop, you should keep the floor vacuumed/swept and vacuum/sweep before mopping... otherwise, you just push the debris around or stick it to the wet floor.
* Comes with a one-year warranty
* Instructions indicate 1.25 Liters of solution should be enough to clean "10 rooms." The starter kit comes with 0.5 Liters
* Instructions indicate a pad should clean about 2 rooms: 323 square feet or 30 square meters, so a "room" must be about 162 square feet.


Omron BP742N 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron BP742N 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Price: $46.71
44 used & new from $40.00

4.0 out of 5 stars SUPER easy to use, August 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The only reason I don't 'love' this blood pressure monitor is that it does 'blow up' very tight, so tight that it is a little alarming. It is definitely tighter on my arm than measurement by any medical practitioner that I've had. Maybe that is necessary because it is mechanical or maybe the humans are supposed to do it this way, too, I don't know.

Aside from that, this is a great machine. I have every confidence in its accuracy. And it could not be easier to use. Even without the quick start guide, you can unpack this machine and quickly put it to use. I was a little scared about the 2-person tracking... I made the mistake of getting an individual-tracking scale and if one gains (or loses, I suppose, but that doesn't happen to me!) weight, it doesn't recognize you any more. Argh, that's all I needed!

Anyway, the tracking on this machine is, like everything else, super simple... a slider switch. Note that the switch COVERS the label for whomever is being read. The cuff is very easy to put onto one's arm with lots of slack, even for larger arms. Once on, the instructions indicate that the arm should rest with the monitor at the heart level and both feet should be flat on the floor. Then press the button and wait! And the monitor keeps a history of the last 50 readings per person.

A bar at the side of your reading indicates whether your results fall into the "normal" range. The monitor will give an alert on the display if it registers too much movement during a reading OR if it detects an abnormal heart rhythm (which I thought was very interesting!)

My older home monitor was all of one piece, with the display on the armband. That made it hard to manipulate the buttons and hard to see, and I wondered about the accuracy of it with the extra weight on the armband. This unit has a simple air tube between the desktop display/control unit and the armband. It makes it easier to use and I have more confidence in the results.

Did I mention that it is really easy to use?


Milkotein Wonder Bites 2-in-1 Protein Rich Low Fat Dog Chews Treat
Milkotein Wonder Bites 2-in-1 Protein Rich Low Fat Dog Chews Treat
Offered by Paras Pets
Price: $6.89
2 used & new from $6.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Safer microwaved, but then they make a mess, August 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There were 9 treats in this bag, each very close to the size of a domino -- maybe not 'quite' as tall. The treats are VERY hard... dedicated chewing for 30 minutes just left tooth marks in them, no breaking. I was concerned that if they did eventually break, they would shatter and perhaps create sharp edges. I was also concerned about my large dogs (50-60 pounds) swallowing the treats whole, creating an esophageal blockage or eventual intestinal obstruction.

The dogs seemed to like the treats fine, although they were obviously frustrated; the treats are too small to "hold onto" with paws, so they had to just move them around in their jaws like jawbreakers to try to get purchase. One dog gave his back to me; around here, that means "please trade this for something I like."

Review update: After I posted my review, the manufacturer commented to ask whether I'd tried microwaving the treats as described on the bag. I have to admit, I didn't read the 'instructions' on the bag; I was looking for ingredients (milk and lime juice) and country of origin. Seeing the comment, I did go back and look for the instructions that said the treat could be enjoyed as a hard, chewy treat or (2) microwaved 1-2 minutes to create a big crunchy puff. I did microwave the puffs and they did turn into a much larger construct. When the dogs chewed it (quite easily), it sounded a lot like when I eat a rice cake. The dogs did seem to enjoy these larger puffs. However, the puffs crumble -- a lot. Have the vacuum handy after serving one of these!

I'm afraid the treats are still only "okay" for me... I do have concern that I'm not the only person who will miss the "microwaveable" aspect... most of us aren't used to reading directions for dog treats and there aren't any banners or labels on the bag to 'call out' the microwave option. With that, however, I don't think I will reach for a treat that needs to be microwaved when I can get a crunchy treat from a box with no delay. The treats are a novelty but not something we'll look for at the store.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2014 7:22 PM PDT


Slim-Fast Gimme Some Greek Yogurt and Honey, Honey Snack Bars, .98 oz, 6 Count
Slim-Fast Gimme Some Greek Yogurt and Honey, Honey Snack Bars, .98 oz, 6 Count
Price: $6.19
5 used & new from $6.19

2.0 out of 5 stars Sour tasting, August 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a teacher with school starting anew, I'm always on the hunt for something that I can gulp down in the 10 minutes between classes to get me through until "lunch" which may not happen until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I had high hopes for these bars, but I'm afraid they won't be on my shopping list.

The bars are small; packaging makes them look about half the size of a full-size candy bar, but the bar, itself, is about as big as a fun-size candy bar. The texture is unremarkable -- not gritty but not chewy or particularly satisfying, either. The real problem, though, is the taste. With the "honey" in the title, I thought they might be sweet, but the taste is quite tart, even sour by the time the bar is gone and the aftertaste is really awful, like plastic.

It is a Slimfast bar and does assuage hunger relatively quickly, at least for a little while.


Zenna Home by Zenith 129190460Z Alexa Fabric Shower Curtain, Grey Blue
Zenna Home by Zenith 129190460Z Alexa Fabric Shower Curtain, Grey Blue
Price: $31.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant but not pretentious, really lightens up the shower; not really blue, though, August 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First off, this curtain is MUCH more Gray than it is blue. I would characterize it as silver gray. You can, just barely, see the blue cast to it around other blue things, but it is certainly nothing you need to worry about matching. My bathroom happens to have a lot of blue, which is why I bought this curtain. However, it also has a lot of silver/chrome, and I would feel quite comfortable switching the blue items out for red or yellow or pink or purple or orange or white or gold. For some reason, I don't particularly like green against this color, but maybe that is just me. It takes what was a crisp silver and turns it dingy looking.

The curtain is very light. It is polyester and is easily saturated with water but dries very quickly. I have put a transparent liner (not included!) on the inside of mine because the thing I like most about this curtain is the transparent panel at the top. Combined with the lightweight curtain, it allows a LOT more light into the shower than did my previous heavy cotton curtain. While it does preserve modesty, it certainly doesn't give total privacy; I like a door for that, myself, but I know some households tend to have more people in the bathroom at one time than ours does.

I was afraid that the silver trim might make the curtain look kind of cheesey, but it really is a nice accent, particularly, as the description notes, with chrome hardware. The shower curtain dresses the room up a bit but in a light and airy way, not at all fussy. I'm surprisingly enchanted with the curtain, even if it isn't really blue!

I ran the curtain through a cold "delicates" cycle. When it came out, it was barely damp but still showed the packaging fold marks, so I ran a cool iron over it before hanging it. This is fabric that is going to scorch really easily, so be careful. However, I don't expect I'll need to do this again. In retrospect, I probably just would have *carefully* ironed it, but I thought the wash cycle might get rid of the fold marks better than it did.


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