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Luan Gaines' Profile

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Luan Gaines "luansos" RSS Feed (Dana Point, CA USA)
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Zenna Home 7401AL, NeverRust  Aluminum Shower Caddy, Satin Chrome
Zenna Home 7401AL, NeverRust Aluminum Shower Caddy, Satin Chrome
Price: $20.89
6 used & new from $20.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's elementary and simple!, August 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Zenna Home Never Rust Aluminum Caddy gets five stars on the merits of its best feature- no rust! Every shower caddy I have bought eventually gets rusty, no matter how expensive. The idea that my shower caddy might just serve its purpose, utilitarian at best, is good enough for me. In the satin chrome finish, the caddy blends well with the shower and works fine. This item is meant to be a bit player, not a star, but like a bit player, it's job is important- hold certain items and don't rust from constant water spray. Like a soap dish or bath mat, these things keep cleaning and aggravation to a minimum and that's all I want from it.


Philips Sonicare HX8331/30 Airfloss Pro Rechargeable Electric Flosser
Philips Sonicare HX8331/30 Airfloss Pro Rechargeable Electric Flosser

4.0 out of 5 stars The perks of technology vs. the messy string of dental floss, August 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I haven't had the Philips Sonicare Airfloss Pro Rechargable Electric Flosser long enough to remark on its longevity, but the concept is great. Healthy teeth and gums are important, especially for older people, so this item seems like a good tool in the fight against bacteria. I was even more encouraged when our family dental hygienist recommended using the electric flosser on a regular basis. While I'll have to wait and see how long it lasts, my only complaint is the overspray- a surplus of water spraying when using the device. The water isn't coming from inside the mouth, but where the pic attaches to the base (this may be an anomaly that affects my unit alone). To avoid making a mess on the mirror- or down the front of a shirt- facing into the shower or tub keeps the spray limited to an acceptable area. While overspray could be a deal breaker- and other brands may work better in this regard- the flosser is so highly recommended that it's worth the minor irritation. Luan Gaines/2015.


Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Musical Dancing Palace Gift Set
Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Musical Dancing Palace Gift Set
Price: $59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of magic, August 12, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I’m giving this Disney Princess Fisher-Price Little People Musical Dancing set 5 stars for the joy on the face of my 3 year old granddaughter when she began to turn the handles that let her princesses and their princes’ dance across the ballroom. I should take off a star because turning the handle is a pretty noisy affair, but her glee overrides any issues I might have. It’s pretty simple to assemble, uses only four plastic screws and three batteries (not included). It’s probably not intended to last too long- subject to 3-year-old wear and tear- but this is well worth the price, hours of play, with 2 princesses and 2 princes, assorted pieces of furniture (A bed, a table, 2 chairs, a love seat, stickers and a carriage) and Disney songs that play while the figures dance. We didn’t get 15 songs, only a few, but she didn’t notice and we survived the repetition. Little girls are in thrall to princesses for such a short time, it’s worth the price and assembly to watch their eyes sparkle. Luan Gaines/2015.


DII Wicker Pet Toy and Accessory Storage Basket, Home Décor Bone Shape Bin, 21x7.5", Medium
DII Wicker Pet Toy and Accessory Storage Basket, Home Décor Bone Shape Bin, 21x7.5", Medium
Price: $49.99
3 used & new from $36.95

5.0 out of 5 stars This "Bone Basket" is a keeper!, July 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I expected to like this unusual bone-shaped wicker basket by DII for dog toys and accessories, but this perfectly-sized “bone basket” is really cute. Well-designed with quality materials, it is sturdy and attractive, just the right size to hold leashes and toys. I love the details, the leather hinges, closure and handle, as well as the medium brown color that blends well with any décor. It’s so attractive- and functional- that I am seriously considering other options for this item: it could be used in a grandchild’s room for stray toys, or a repository for knitting supplies, any number of things. This item is both attractive and useful and I am delighted to have it in my home. Luan Gaines/2015


Starburst Mini's Fav Reds, 8 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Starburst Mini's Fav Reds, 8 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Price: $24.78

2.0 out of 5 stars Make it go away!, May 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Yikes! The Starburst Mini’s are the poor stepchildren of the regular Starbursts, much smaller and not nearly as tasty. Maybe the secret is in the wrappers, after all. I think these knock-offs are destined to fail unless the consistency and taste is improved. Might as well stick with the originals. Marketing may create sales for awhile, but there is nothing here to warrant return purchases. Luan Gaines/2015.


Mr. Coffee SK13 12-Cup Manual Coffeemaker, Black
Mr. Coffee SK13 12-Cup Manual Coffeemaker, Black
Price: $24.99
23 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre? Maybe. But so is my taste., April 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I will never be a coffee aficionado. And that’s just fine with me. No special blends, exotic flavors, or elaborate machines that are expensive to replace. There’s something to be said for a plain old cup of coffee early in the morning, a reliable, hot, well-brewed cup to start the day. That’s all I need and I have found the brand that works for me, Mr. Coffee. This is my third. My second, which has the option of a timed brew set the night before, is a treat I hadn’t enjoyed before. And while this style (SK13) doesn’t have that feature, I want it for back-up: when I have company and need to brew another pot as strong as my guests like it.
I have tried other brands, most features fairly standard (removable filter basket, dual water window, pause n’ serve), but return to Mr. Coffee every time. The product is consistent, well-designed and easy to use. I don’t have exotic tastes, rely on that early cup to start my day and know my Mr. Coffee won’t let me down. I also appreciate that the carafe is inexpensive to replace. In a moment of weakness, I purchased an inexpensive brand for guests last year, only to find that the pour spout on the carafe is so poorly designed that whether filling the pot with water, or pouring a cup, the counter gets a bath every time- the last thing I want to face in the morning. The Mr. Coffee carafe isn’t cheaply designed to save a few pennies and pours easily without problems. I’m not a great fan of the pause n’serve feature, but it’s nice to have. I plan to stick with this brand and recommend it to anyone who likes their coffee simple and easy. Luan Gaines/2015.


T.S. Shure Pirates of the High Seas Wooden Magnetic Action Heroes
T.S. Shure Pirates of the High Seas Wooden Magnetic Action Heroes
Price: $19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment for little pirates everywhere, March 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was so pleased with the T.S. Shure Daisy Girls School Days Magnetic Wooden Paper Dolls, that I was happy to try the Pirates of the High Seas Wooden Magnetic Action Heroes. I already liked the quality and colorful, contemporary illustrations of outfits in the Daisy Girls’ set and was not disappointed to see pirates Captain Redbeard and Captain Jack, both as bright and sturdy as the first set. These figures are taller than the Daisy Girls, more robust- but that’s fine for pirates who sail the seven seas in search of prey. The dolls are just as attractive, the “pirate wear” offering a number of swashbuckling outfits fit for a sailor- and lots of accessories. But best of all, the same two little girls who received the first set of magnetic wooden paper dolls were just as excited with the Pirates of the High Seas. One of them even had a favorite pirate book, very excited to play with these new dolls. I love that these magnetic wooden paper dolls have appeal to both boys and girls and will keep them in mind when selected inexpensive gifts for birthdays. Great little product. Luan Gaines/2015.


Girl Runner: A Novel
Girl Runner: A Novel
by Carrie Snyder
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.88
92 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars “Under every layer of pain another layer of recovery lies in wait, the sweet forever surprise of endurance.”, March 7, 2015
This review is from: Girl Runner: A Novel (Hardcover)
I am so grateful this exquisitely insightful novel was given to me or I might have missed it. Snyder artfully tells the story of Canadian Aganetha Smart, a woman of humble beginnings who simply cannot keep still, her instinct, even in childhood to run. This instinct enables her to achieve the impossible at a time when female athletes are not only restricted in the activities they pursue, but coddled by men who instinctively view women as limited in the early 20th century. When Aganetha Smart wins Olympic gold in the 800 meter race in the 1928 Olympics in Australia, she sets a record. It is perhaps the most notable event in a life that peaks early, but Snyder isn’t just relating the story of a superb runner, she inhabits a character that experiences a generation of change, a woman who has lived beyond her loved ones, memories her only companions at 104.

The world is a dull place when Aganetha is a child growing up on a farm, though she is rarely bored with chores and a family of “halfs”, the children of two wives by her father. There is a small graveyard on the property, where Aganetha’s beloved older sister, Fannie ( a “half”), takes her to tend the graveyard, reciting the names and dates of those who failed to thrive. Surrounded by siblings, Aganetha eventually moves to Toronto, where she lives in a boardinghouse with her sister Olive, works in a factory and joins a work-sponsored women’s track team that is the true beginning of her life’s passion and her first real friendship with another runner. It is where Aganetha will fall in love and have her heart broken, where she will dream of Olympic gold as the first to cross the finish line.

We meet Aganetha as an old woman, “liberated” from a home for the elderly by two young strangers, a brother and sister with a secret and a destination. It is on this unexpected journey that Aganetha relates the particulars of her long life, having been told by her abductors that at the end of the line there will be a revelation and an important question. But it’s never about the destination, only the journey. In beautifully nuanced prose, Snyder reveals the essence of this character that has survived more than a century, known farm and city life, the Great Depression and two world wars, her feet always in motion- in her imagination when she can no longer run.

She feels the weight of her years as the car travels toward its destination: “I creak, my bones not so different from the branches, absorbing light, graying and careful. We are old.” Memories surge with each jolt, Aganetha visiting the past through the starts and stops of the journey.
Though the plot moves back and forth in time, Aganetha is always present, awake to every moment, filled with stories of sisters, family lore, first love and lost love, secrets and regrets, a century worth of life that is always fresh as Aganetha experiences it in the moment. She shares her finest moments and her most difficult, sharing the wisdom of a humble soul whose gratitude and forbearance are born of participating fully in every day: “The appearance of perfection does not interest me. It is the illumination of near-disaster beside which we all teeter, at all times, that interests me.”

This is a novel for young women who want to know what their mothers and grandmothers felt and thought, their secret hopes and yearnings, how the world changes when you’re busy living, how such different times seem so familiar. It is for women of a certain age, who know that time may make its mark upon the flesh, but the mind remains young, the reflection in the mirror sometimes a shock when we forget we’re no longer young. This protagonist is a friend to treasure, her wisdom and compassion tempered by humility, a sense of proportion in the world. Aganetha Smart leaves her footprints on the earth and the heart. Luan Gaines/2015.


Artaste 46861 3-in-1 Citrus Juicer, Enameled Grey
Artaste 46861 3-in-1 Citrus Juicer, Enameled Grey
Price: $99.95
8 used & new from $67.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too good to be true? Not really., February 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I knew this was a risky product choice, but found the many uses for the Artaste 46861 3-in-1 Citrus Juicer appealing. It is ideal for making fresh juice, coring apples or pears, cutting potatoes or carrots. It is weighty enough and advertizes a wide, heavy base, though it isn’t as wide as I expected. My main concern was the height of the juicer on the counter or the amount of space needed to store it after usage. It does fit fine on the counter, though I need to move it forward to use it fully extended. (Another unforeseen problem: I am too short to get the leverage I need when juicing, so must either move the appliance to a lower surface or stand on a stool.) I am still learning the various ins and outs of various attachments and how to use them most effectively, but that comes with time and familiarity.

I love that the appliance has a coated finish to resist citrus acids, pitting and corrosion. And I see now that I may have to adjust my apples before coring to make them fit correctly. Still, it’s such a simple process that I find myself happy to make adjustments. I think the main considerations with this 3-in-1 juicer are size and price. The quality is what I expected and the price is in line with that. So it’s simply a matter of deciding whether to keep in on the counter with other such appliances or store it in a spot that will accommodate its height. If I use this product as frequently as I have been, it will remain on the counter for ease of access- if only I had “an appliance garage”! ( I have chosen a number of kitchen “gadgets” lately and find that the easier my food preparation becomes, the more likely I am to be creative- and enjoy the experience. Luan Gaines/2015.


T. S. Shure Daisy Girls School Days Wooden Magnetic Dress-Up Dolls
T. S. Shure Daisy Girls School Days Wooden Magnetic Dress-Up Dolls
Price: $15.35
7 used & new from $15.35

4.0 out of 5 stars It's all about the fashion!, February 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I chose the TS Shure Daisy Girls School Days Wooden Magnet Dress Up Dolls for two school-age girls that spend a lot of time in the car commuting. I like the quality of the dolls and the fact that they are magnetized. The magnetized 40 pieces of clothing are well made, brightly colored and stylish, appropriate for girls in the early years of school. While the clothes stay on all right, I did notice that the shoes were likely to fall of easily, especially if the doll is moved around in play. I guess they will have to decide the best way to handle the dolls. The graphics on both the dolls and the clothes are nicely done, the kinds of styles that appeal to young girls of this age, although the graduation cap and gown might be pushing it.

For a relatively inexpensive toy or gift, this set is a no brainer. Little girls love paper dolls and playing dress-up and the magnetized version solves a lot of problems and is suitable for small fingers. I was happy to see that the dolls were culturally sensitive, not one specific race represented in the package. Speaking of package- although it was nicely put together, the plastic carry bag is very flimsy and could easily be replaced by a large zip-lock bag when the original gets too damaged to use. I loved on reviewer’s suggestion that the clothes can be used on the frig to decorate the photos of school friends. Luan Gaines/2015.


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