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Two kids mom "scienceteachermom" RSS Feed (NM United States)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Thunderstruck & Other Stories
Thunderstruck & Other Stories
by Elizabeth McCracken
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.10
63 used & new from $12.30

5.0 out of 5 stars At the center is an exquisite pain. Well written and very thought provoking., July 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In Paris I once had a piece of chocolate and at the center was a hot pepper. It was quite unexpected, a price I paid for not speaking French. The contrast between the sweet smooth chocolate and the sharp, actually painful heat of the pepper was exquisite. These stories remind me of that candy. The prose is rich and smooth, but at the center of each tales is pain. The author circles back to a center of hurt. Loss is a common theme, of love, of hope, of self.

I really enjoyed these short stories. The characters are all a little bent, not quite normal, but yet so relatable. These are broken people, maybe not even redeemable, but outlined so well that they could be your slightly crazy neighbor or that woman you see mumbling to herself in the grocery store line.

This is not light reading. Each short story is a little world, and you need time between them to absorb what you have just read.

Highly recommend.

Highly recommend.


Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 Bagless Upright Vacuum, BH50140
Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 Bagless Upright Vacuum, BH50140
Price: $265.50
12 used & new from $223.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cordless is a joy. Fantastic on hard floors. You will need a corded vac if you have carpet. Using the tools is too complicated, July 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PROS:
The absolute number one positive is no cord. Having no cord is a joy. You can grab this to vacuum up after dinner, or when something is spilled. Because it has no cord my kids are far more likely to use it to vacuum up what they have dropped rather than ignore the mess.

It works REALLY well on hard floors, does not send the debris skittering off when trying to vacuum. Even works well on my uneven tile floor.

The bagless function means when the kids vacuum up something, they can see it and retrieve it.

It is super easy to empty
.
The filter is reusable (washable!) and you get an extra one.

You can take out the beater bar to clean it. This is big plus as I HATE having to try to extract wrapped up hair around a brush while it is still in the vacuum.

Light makes it easy to see what you are doing.

You can get under the kitchen table as it almost will lay flat.

Lightweight.

It really does run for 25 min on a charge. At first I thought that was not much time, but it is actually plenty. And since you have a backup battery, if one dies you can just switch it out. The batteries and charger remind me of the ones for my cordless drill. Hoover claims you get the same cleaning power to the end, but I know how Lithium batteries discharge (fairly linear descent and then sudden drop). I could see this when trying to use the vacuum to the very end of the charge. I think they have designed it for the last light to go out before that drop, so if you stop there you do get pretty good power up to that point.

I have a 2450 square foot house, and if it is not too filthy I can make it through with the two batteries but just barely.

Super easy to steer and maneuver.

CONS:

Using the attachment is a chore. So much so that I usually just get the corded vacuum if I need the hose function. The hose is pretty short too.

It does not do a deep cleaning of carpet. I tested it by sprinkling baking soda on the carpet and then vacuuming with a corded vac and this vac and then switching. It was quite obvious that the corded vac picked up the baking soda much better. This was on low pile berber. I did the same test on plush carpet, and this vacuum really could not get down into the pile.

The tools do not stay on the vacuum when you are using it. They keep falling off.

Cleaning path is smaller than my corded vac. So it takes a few more passes.

If the roller gets stuck on something, there must be a breaker in the vacuum, because it takes a few minutes to restart.

Overall, on hard floors this is an absolutely fantastic product. But you are going to need a corded vacuum for your carpets for deeper cleaning.


Kernel Season's White Cheddar Seasoning, 2.85 Ounce Shakers (Pack of 3)
Kernel Season's White Cheddar Seasoning, 2.85 Ounce Shakers (Pack of 3)
Price: $9.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Use a little spray of oil (olive oil works well) so it will stick to air popped popcorn. Very light powder., July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to confess, I like real butter better on my air popped popcorn. But in the interest of calories, a little spray on olive oil (to make it stick) and this powder is a good substitute. Without the oil, I could not get it to stick well to air popped corn. The powder is really fine (we discovered that the breeze from a ceiling fan will actually blow it away!). In fact, be careful not to breathe it in! With oil popped corn it sticks fine.

In my scientific poll of four, three preferred the white chedder cheese version, it added more flavor “pop” to the popcorn. One preferred the butter, declaring the cheese version too strong.

Don’t add salt until after you add these seasonings, as they have salt in them already. It is nice to be able to let each person add the amount they desire for flavoring.


Kernel Season's Butter Seasoning, 2.85 Ounce Shakers (Pack of 3)
Kernel Season's Butter Seasoning, 2.85 Ounce Shakers (Pack of 3)
Price: $9.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Use a quick spray of oil (like olive oil) to help it stick to air popped corn. Cuts calories and improves taste., July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to confess, I like real butter better on my air popped popcorn. But in the interest of calories, a little spray on olive oil (to make it stick) and this powder is a good substitute. Without the oil, I could not get it to stick well to air popped corn. The powder is really fine (we discovered that the breeze from a ceiling fan will actually blow it away!). In fact, be careful not to breathe it in! With oil popped corn it sticks fine.
In my scientific poll of four, three preferred the white chedder cheese version, it added more flavor “pop” to the popcorn. One preferred the butter, declaring the cheese version too strong.
Don’t add salt until after you add these seasonings, as they have salt in them already. It is nice to be able to let each person add the amount they desire for flavoring.


Wilson Jones View-Tab Transparent Dividers, 8-Tab Set, Square Multicolor, 5 Pack (5 sets of 8-Tab Dividers) (W55567)
Wilson Jones View-Tab Transparent Dividers, 8-Tab Set, Square Multicolor, 5 Pack (5 sets of 8-Tab Dividers) (W55567)
Price: $17.98
28 used & new from $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, good looking and easy to manage. No login required to download templates which are really easy to use., July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are the best designed and sturdiest dividers I have seen. The cost also reflects this quality. I would LOVE for Wilson Jones to make these with pockets in them, then they would be absolute pure perfection.

Thick plastic, these should stand up to the abuse doled out by my family members.

I had no problem with the template, and I LOVE that they do not make you create an account in order to download them. If you want to preview them just google “Wilson Jones templates” and follow the link, you can test out how easy they are before you buy.


Cool Downz Cooling Towel, Blue, 13 x 29-Inch
Cool Downz Cooling Towel, Blue, 13 x 29-Inch
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars You can machine wash it. It works REALLY well in dry climates. Does feel a little weird., July 4, 2014
This review is from: Cool Downz Cooling Towel (Sports)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We live in New Mexico, where it is hot and dry. This towel is made for this climate. Where it is dry the water can evaporate quickly from the towel. (I cannot resist a little science lesson here, this is because the heat of vaporization to change from liquid water to vapor is about 580 cal/g at normal skin temp) so this towel is basically absorbing energy in order to evaporate the water contained in it, thus removing heat from your skin. This process works very well in dry areas, which is why in New Mexico we can have evaporative coolers whereas in an area where it is humid they would be useless.

This particular towel is thinner than the other version we have. Both feel a little strange, kind of rubbery (I am guessing these have a water absorbing polymer impregnated into the cloth). It is 29 inches by 13 inches. It can be machine washed. I did so to test it, and it came through fine. I did not machine dry it.

My daughter has used it while running, I have used it while gardening. We have been fighting over it on these hot NM summer days. I will have to order some more.


Remington F3-3900B Rechargeable Foil with Pivot and Flex Technology
Remington F3-3900B Rechargeable Foil with Pivot and Flex Technology
Offered by Brooklyn Battery Works
Price: $23.49
51 used & new from $17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes you just have to pay more to get something that actually works. This is one of those cases., July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This razor got the thumbs down from two shavers. The first, a middle age man, with fairly thick whiskers claimed it took forever, was annoying , only shaved for 20 min on an overnight charge and basically was useless.

The teen, who has much lighter whiskers complained that it irritated his skin and was way too loud.

Save your money and buy something better. This might be ok for a backup shaver, but that is about it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2014 8:48 AM PDT


Remington Products R5 Lithium Power Series Rotary Shaver
Remington Products R5 Lithium Power Series Rotary Shaver
Price: $49.97
3 used & new from $49.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value but not a fantastic shave. No blade cover, I think they should include one., June 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At this price point this razor is good for an extra, or for a kid starting out to shave who does not need to shave every day. I would go up a few notches for a man who is shaving every day, stuff that you use every day should work really well, and it is nice to know how much charge you have left and to have more flexible heads.

Positive:
Shave is acceptable, the heads don’t pivot as much as a high end Norelco, but they are reasonable.
Can be rinsed off in water. Big plus
Can shave with it plugged in if you forget, also a plus.
Good value for price, great for a beginning shaver without a tough beard.
This shaver is only about twice the cost of buying a replacement head.

Negative:
Took longer to shave.
No cover for the blades. Really? This is silly, that would cost them a couple of pennies.

For the price point (sub forty) this is a good value.


OXO Good Grips Lift and Lock Pole Caddy
OXO Good Grips Lift and Lock Pole Caddy
Price: $129.99
9 used & new from $89.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tried it in 3 bathrooms, the longer the pole needs to be, the less sturdy the install. Still acceptable, however, at max length, June 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I installed and tested this in three bathrooms.

Bathroom 1: Molded tub with 7.5 foot distance from tub edge to flat ceiling.
Result: Easy to install. Sturdy. Some, but not a lot of “give” to the pole.

Bathroom 2: Molded tub with 8.5 foot distance from tub edge to slightly angled ceiling.
This one was tricky. It did work, but I had to mess with the settings a bit. Once installed it was a little less solid than the other two installs. Part of this issue is that the shelves are below the center of pole so all the weight is at the bottom.

Bathroom 3: Tiled shelf with 5.5 foot distance to ceiling
By far the best install. Pole does not move.

My conclusion is that both the length and ceiling position impact the sturdiness of the install. I actually ended up putting in the second bathroom, because that was where it was needed. Two teens have been using it for a week with no trouble.

Hints:
You can lift up the lever in the foot to push pole back in.
Fit it to just a teeny bit less than the height, put in with the lever up and then push lever down to get tight fit.

You can put the shelves at any height, they are easy to install after you have the pole installed.
I like this, but I think the shelf design could use some work, they are mostly pretty shallow, I would prefer something with more of an edge.


Able Life Ez Doorknob Grips
Able Life Ez Doorknob Grips
Price: $12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Functional but not beautiful., June 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is all about function, not looks. The glow in the dark parts are touted as removable, and they are, but if you take them out the cover does not work as well, since they add some stiffness to the “wing” part of the device.

I put these on my shed door and my garage door, and I love that I can openthe door with my elbow when my hands are full. These are not just for those with arthritis, but for anybody who wants to be able to open the door more easily.

If you do have arthritis you will probably need somebody else to install them. Installation is easy enough for a 12 year old, do be sure to wet them or soak in hot water if the doorknob is larger.


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