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Customer Reviews: 1586
Top Reviewer Ranking: 184
Helpful Votes: 17070


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GE Lighting 34303 LED 10-watt 700-Lumen Dimmable R30 Indoor Floodlight with Medium Base, Soft White, 4-Pack
GE Lighting 34303 LED 10-watt 700-Lumen Dimmable R30 Indoor Floodlight with Medium Base, Soft White, 4-Pack

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful product!, June 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was really excited to try out these LED floodlights. They have money-saving and environment-saving features that are as good or even better than is offered by a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFLB). For some time now I have not wanted to use CFLB's because of their innate toxicity if they ever break--and let's face it, with something as fragile as a light bulb, breakage is always a possibility. As stated on the EPA website, it is crucial to clean up broken CFLB's very carefully because they "contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing." When a bulb breaks, it releases mercury vapor which is extremely toxic in a closed room. You need to immediately open all windows to air out the vapors and remove all pets, children and anyone but the one doing the cleanup from the room. You need to instantly turn off your HVAC system. You should not vacuum because if you ever use your vacuum again after that, it could spread mercury contamination throughout your house. You have to use stiff cardboard and sticky tape, damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag to gather up all the glass and mercury from the broken bulb. Ideally you should use disposable latex-type gloves, the kind doctors use, and remove them exactly the way doctors remove theirs, peeling them down keeping the contaminated side inward away from your skin. This is an incredibly tedious, difficult task and while you are doing it, you are breathing in dangerous mercury fumes unless you happen to have in your disaster kit a mask that protects you from toxic fumes (I have one in mine along with latex gloves, but not everyone does). Afterwards, you need to carefully seal up the jar or bag you put the debris in so that it is completely air tight. Be really careful not to break the glass jar, if you use one, when you throw it away or you are doomed to begin the whole, awful process all over again. You need to wash your hands extremely well, and wipe down anything you touched with a disposable wipe before you washed your hands, and this, too, needs to go in the trash. However, that disposable wipe should be in a trash can that is not inside your house. You need to then keep airing out the room where the CFLB broke and leave off your HVAC as long as possible, ideally for hours or even a whole day.

What a horrendous nightmare! Ugh!

Much, much safer to use non-toxic LED bulbs such as this product!

These bulbs have a ten-year limited warranty and they last a lot longer than CFLB's. They use only 12 watts of energy and use far less energy than a 65-watt incandescent bulb. In short, they use about 80% less energy than an incandescent bulb without risking the health of you and your loved ones with lead or mercury components. If your floodlight has a dimmer switch (mine doesn't), these bulbs can dim from 100% to as low as 20%.

Now for my testing of these bulbs: my kitchen has 11 floodlights. The previous ones installed are all regular, incandescent bulbs with their yellowish light. I used these LED bulbs to replace the four floodlights right over my kitchen sink/breakfast-bar area, where I most need light, and they are terrific. They are a bright, white light that in my opinion offers much more visibility than the yellowish light of all seven of the old floodlights put together.

I am really delighted with these bulbs, and I intend in future to only buy these instead of incandescent floodlights. I am so happy to have an alternative to dangerous CFLB's, which I really hate having in my house.


DII Glass Tealight or Votive Holder for Home Décor, Bathrooms, Parties, Weddings, Gifts Set of 6 - Harvest
DII Glass Tealight or Votive Holder for Home Décor, Bathrooms, Parties, Weddings, Gifts Set of 6 - Harvest
Price: $27.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and ugly, June 23, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This product is, in my humble opinion, extremely poorly made and downright ugly. It says in the instructions that come with these so-called votive holders--which are much, much bigger than any such item I've ever seen--that they can be hand washed. In reality, they cannot safely be washed at all, or even dusted. These are basically heavy, glass containers that are painted over with cheap paint that rubs off at the slightest touch. I tried to wash them after I unpacked them because they were covered with styrofoam packing particles. I carefully washed the first couple of them simply using a soft, non-scratch sponge. In spite of that, when I laid them carefully on a dish mat to dry, I noticed mars all over them where paint had rubbed off. After that, they looked so bad that I was tempted to just toss them in the trash. Disliking so much waste, I then wracked my brain for something to do with them, but the only thing I could think of was to use them as organizers for my kitchen "junk drawer" in which I tossed odds and ends of various things like erasers, and rubber bands, and paper clips. They are fine hidden away in a drawer, but I would never consider using them for their intended purpose, for decorative display where guests might see them.


Ying Pai's Kitchen - Onion Chopper All-In-One Stainless Steel Onion Holder & Odor Remover
Ying Pai's Kitchen - Onion Chopper All-In-One Stainless Steel Onion Holder & Odor Remover
Offered by Ying Pai's Kitchen
Price: $26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy device, June 20, 2016
There are multiple brands of this handy piece of kitchen equipment listed on Amazon. It is something that most dedicated cooks have tried. This particular brand is of good quality and economically priced.

If you want whole slices of onion, you take a whole, peeled onion and carefully insert the prongs of this device into the top of the onion. Then you use a sharp, serrated knife to slice the onion within the prongs. If you want half slices, then cut the onion in half before inserting this device in the center of the half onion.

The benefits of using this device are the following:

1. You have less chance of accidentally cutting yourself because onions are quite slippery and hard to hold onto with just your fingers.
2. You avoid getting as much onion smell on your hands as you would without using it, which is hard to get off . You will still get a little on your hands, and the stainless steel piece on this device is recommended to remove the remaining smell after you have, of course, washed your hands with soap. It works fairly well, but I find that scrubbing my hands with dry baking soda powder works best to completely remove the last traces of onion smell.

This device can also be used to make neat, uniform slices of apples, potatoes and tomatoes.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product from the merchant listing this product on Amazon for purposes of testing it in order to provide an unbiased review. I have no interest in the company that manufactures this product and no connection to the vendor who sells this product. I was approached by the vendor because I am a Top Reviewer on Amazon. I received no compensation of any kind and have never received any compensation for any of the reviews I have done on Amazon. This review is my personal opinion as a consumer. Other consumers may have a different opinion.


Jumbo Sun Shade Multifunctional Car Windshield Sunshade Picnic Nap Snow/Frost Blocking Sunlight Max Reflectable
Jumbo Sun Shade Multifunctional Car Windshield Sunshade Picnic Nap Snow/Frost Blocking Sunlight Max Reflectable
Offered by Moto Group
Price: $12.99
2 used & new from $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works well, June 20, 2016
I found this sun shade to be of a comparable quality to a similar type sun shade I bought locally at a big-box store. Like this one, the sun shade I already own folds up into a springy circle and fits into a small bag. The major difference with this brand is that, instead of offering two distinct, round pieces, this has two round pieces sewn into one big tarp. As such, it covers my windshield entirely. It also offers wings on the sunshade to cover side windows. The silver color is excellent for reflecting the sun away from the car.

This sun shade costs about twice what my old sun shade cost me, but it definitely offers more features to justify the extra cost.

As for the durability of this sun shade, I have personally found that very few of them are built with durability in mind and, really, how could they? They are made of fabric, not metal or wood.

Now that I have two sets of sun shades, I am going to put my old one in the back window and start using this one for the front window.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product from the merchant listing this product on Amazon for purposes of testing it in order to provide an unbiased review. I have no interest in the company that manufactures this product and no connection to the vendor who sells this product. I was approached by the vendor because I am a Top Reviewer on Amazon. I received no compensation of any kind and have never received any compensation for any of the reviews I have done on Amazon. This review is my personal opinion as a consumer. Other consumers may have a different opinion.


Snyder's Of Hanover Mini Pretzels, Organic, 8 oz
Snyder's Of Hanover Mini Pretzels, Organic, 8 oz
Offered by evitamins
Price: $25.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!, June 20, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you are a fan of pretzels, and you prefer to eat organic grains, you will very likely enjoy these pretzels very much. I personally think they are the best tasting mini pretzels I've ever eaten, including the regular mini pretzels by this same company.

The ingredients are standard for pretzels, but all organic: Organic wheat flour, water, organic malt, salt, organic canola oil, organic sugar, organic yeast, soda.

I notice that these pretzels are not yet available here on Amazon, and don't seem to yet be sold anywhere on the Internet. I couldn't even find a mention of them on the Snyder's website. Fortunately Amazon has a button you can click on the product page for notification of when this product is available because I'd definitely like to buy some more.


Ying Pai's Kitchen - BBQ Meat Claws - Pulled Pork Shredder Claws - Bear Paws Meat Handler Forks - Set of 2 - Black
Ying Pai's Kitchen - BBQ Meat Claws - Pulled Pork Shredder Claws - Bear Paws Meat Handler Forks - Set of 2 - Black
Offered by Ying Pai's Kitchen
Price: $23.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy, attractive kitchen tool, June 18, 2016
This is a very handy kitchen tool which can be used for multiple purposes. I don't eat meat so I could not test it out for lifting and turning meat, but I can see how it would work well for that in particular.

I tested it for cutting melon as a good gripper, and also for tossing fruit salad and green salad. It works well for both those things.

The handles have a comfortable grip, and because this is made of a hard plastic with a smooth surface, it is easy to clean.

The plastic is BPA free and heat resistant up to 450 degrees F (250 degrees C). This means you can put it in the dishwasher as well as lift hot foot items.

This is a handy product that would make a good housewarming gift or stocking stuffer. I would not hesitate to recommend it to friends and family.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product from the merchant listing this product on Amazon for purposes of testing it in order to provide an unbiased review. I have no interest in the company that manufactures this product and no connection to the vendor who sells this product. I was approached by the vendor because I am a Top Reviewer on Amazon. I received no compensation of any kind and have never received any compensation for any of the reviews I have done on Amazon. This review is my personal opinion as a consumer. Other consumers may have a different opinion.


GaGa MILANO Mini USB Fan Handheld Desk adjustment angle Fan Rechargeable Portable Personal Cooler Fan Regulating Wind Speed for Office Home Outdoor (Pink)
GaGa MILANO Mini USB Fan Handheld Desk adjustment angle Fan Rechargeable Portable Personal Cooler Fan Regulating Wind Speed for Office Home Outdoor (Pink)

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful little fan, June 18, 2016
This is a wonderful little fan. It is very attractive in its design, and very functional. I got the pink color, and it is a lovely, dark pink. It has a built-in handle that is very comfortable to carry it with. It also has a built-in plastic stand that is quite sturdy.

I keep it on my desk and use it constantly. It has a rechargeable battery. It is charged via a USB cable either plugged into a port on my computer or into a wall outlet via an adapter. When fully charged, the fan will work about 2-3 hours, depending on the speed you set it on. There is a dial at the top of the fan that serves as an on/off switch and which controls the speed of the fan's rotation.

This little fan works so well, where I had formerly been using both a ceiling fan and a floor fan to stay cool in my office, I now only need to use this little fan.

One little drawback is that this fan is shipped all the way from China so it takes a few weeks to get here.

I would not hesitate to recommend this to friends and family.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product from the merchant listing this product on Amazon for purposes of testing it in order to provide an unbiased review. I have no interest in the company that manufactures this product and no connection to the vendor who sells this product. I was approached by the vendor because I am a Top Reviewer on Amazon. I received no compensation of any kind and have never received any compensation for any of the reviews I have done on Amazon. This review is my personal opinion as a consumer. Other consumers may have a different opinion.


Night Therapy Spring 12 Inch Euro Box Top Spring Mattress, Twin
Night Therapy Spring 12 Inch Euro Box Top Spring Mattress, Twin
Price: $178.00
3 used & new from $178.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality, very comfortable, June 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My husband and I both tested out this mattress because he likes a terrifically hard mattress and I like one that is firm but with a kind of pillow top. We both found this mattress comfortable, because it is both firm and has a padded top.

I'm not a person who normally spends more than $300 for a mattress, more often in the $200 range, so this mattress's pricing is about right for someone like me. However, as to value for the money, I find this mattress to be much more comfortable than my current mattress, which cost more.

Some time in the past ten years or so there has been massive collusion in the mattress world such that it is no longer possible to find anywhere, or so it seems, a mattress that can be turned and flipped to increase its lifespan. When you can't do that, it is almost impossible to not end up with indentations over time, especially in the hip area. This mattress is no exception. It cannot be flipped. However, the company does offer a ten-year warranty of sorts, and these days I have no expectation of a mattress lasting that long, so that's a good thing.

I was shocked when the mattress arrived because it comes vacuum packed and rolled up tight like a sleeping bag. I had never seen anything like that before except in TV ads for vacuum packing clothing and bedding. After unrolling the mattress and carefully cutting the edges of the plastic wrap, it was quite entertaining watching the mattress pop into its full depth of 12 inches from a flat state of about 3 inches.

The manufacturer warns that this product will temporarily outgas a foam smell. That smell is definitely noticeable. If you have chemical allergies, you might need to run an air purifier for quite some time around this mattress.

I would not hesitate to recommend this mattress to friends and family.


Ebake Stainless Steel Watermelon Slicer, Melon Slicer Corer and Server
Ebake Stainless Steel Watermelon Slicer, Melon Slicer Corer and Server
Offered by Crazy Egg
Price: $12.90
2 used & new from $6.90

4.0 out of 5 stars A handy kitchen tool, June 15, 2016
If you are interested in cutting a watermelon or a cantaloupe in a decorative way, this handy little tool works very well. However, for ordinary use, it isn't something I would use. It tends to leave behind too much of the melon next to the rind, which for my money and preference, tastes very good and is not waste to be thrown away.

The instruction for using this slicer is very simple:

Simply insert the curved portion with the cutter wire (which looks much like the wire on a cheese slicer I own), with the curved side down. Use a strong, thrusting motion between the melon and the rind. This slicer isn't useful for lifting the piece that it cuts out of the melon. Instead, I use a butter knife to carefully lift out the slice onto a tray.


Same As It Never Was: A Novel
Same As It Never Was: A Novel
by Claire LaZebnik
Edition: Hardcover
42 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding example of witty, comedic chick lit, June 15, 2016
Olivia "Livvy" Martin is a 21-year-old college student who is the privileged offspring of a wealthy father. She has never had to hold down a job, and she is slowly meandering toward a BA degree. She has never been kissed because she has never been willing to date, due to a deep cynicism about not just men, but the whole human race--a distrust, it is made obvious early on in the book, that is rooted in her upbringing by her emotionally and ethically dysfunctional parents. The hallmarks of Livvy's self-identity are a huge chip on her shoulder, and an overriding alienation that is clearly connected to that shoulder chip as well as to her perpetual unwillingness to ever make herself vulnerable to anyone. This "rebel without a cause" attitude is outwardly manifested as a constant opposition to any form of authority, not in huge, destructive ways, such as drug or alcohol abuse or committing petty crime, but instead by an inability to talk to other people in any other way than via witty, sarcastic remarks. She is obviously as brilliant as her father, because even though she rarely shows up for class, she gets A's whenever she makes the least effort. And over time in the novel, it becomes clear that she is almost as attractive as her gorgeous mother, who is a classic "dumb, beautiful blonde."

Livvy's mother is a former top model, currently unemployed for many years, and full-time drinker who feels entitled to leech onto her daughter emotionally and her ex-husband financially--in other words, Livvy and her father both have maintained a codependent relationship with her mother, and both are driven mad by her mother's oblivious ignorance and blithe, unshakeable conviction that she is a sacrificial mother, while endlessly treating Livvy with selfish disregard.

Livvy's father is a narcissist, too, but of a different order. He is an arrogant, patronizing jerk who is a highly successful shark of an attorney. His second wife is a trust-fund baby from an elite family, and she is yet another of the significant narcissists populating Livvy's world. The stepmother is as beautiful as Livvy's mother, though much younger and not remotely as dim-witted.

To round out Livvy's family party, which we are exposed to as a group for the first time near the start of this book at the Thanksgiving celebration from hell at her father's mansion, there is Livvy's half-sister Celia, a three-almost-four-year-old, spoiled brat whom Livvy barely knows.

Since leaving home to go to college, as much as possible Livvy has attempted to ignore her family, and mostly succeeds, until the fateful day when her father and stepmother die in a fiery car crash, and she discovers to her horror that her father named her in his will as Celia's guardian.

This novel was published in 2003 and is Ms. LaZebnik's first book. If you are looking for romantic comedy, please be aware that though she has written several young adult (YA) romantic comedies, this book is not romantic comedy. It is, instead, "chick lit," that is, a subgenre within women's fiction that focuses primarily on a main female character's relationships with other women (whether friends or relatives), with children, and/or on her "dating disasters." In the early days of chick lit in the 90's, most were comedy-of-error stories in the vein of Bridget Jones's Diary, but this particular book is more light drama than comedy, or what one might call a "dramedy." Essentially all the humor in this book comes in the form of repartee between Livvy and three different male romantic interests who are all as intelligent as she is. As a slight spoiler--not really, though, because this is a common convention in most chick lit, and especially a pattern for the chick lit of this author--there is a happily-ever-after (HEA) romance subplot rounding out the novel. However, it is very much a minor part of the book as a whole, unlike an actual romance novel where the romance takes center stage.

I've recently had a kind of Clare LaZebnik reading festival, consuming four others of her chick lit novels in a row, including:

Knitting Under the Influence (2006)
The Smart One and the Pretty One (2008)
If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now (2010)
Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts (2011)

These are the titles of her four YA romantic comedies, all of whom I've enjoyed:
Epic Fail (2011)
The Trouble with Flirting (2013)
The Last Best Kiss (2014)
Wrong About the Guy (2015)

A convention of chick lit, much like the recent subgenre of romance fiction, the "New Adult" (NA) novel, is that the protagonist is a 20-something struggling with adjusting to living a responsible, adult life. NA, however, focuses always on a main romance plot, and like most regular romance novels, is most often written in the point of view (POV) of both the male and female romantic protagonists. In contrast, chick lit is almost always written in first person POV, which is the case with this book. It is one of two aspects of the chick lit genre that mark it as very similar to YA fiction. The second one is a theme of "coming of age." The protagonist starts out in an emotionally immature, egocentric (often to the point of narcissistic) state and, over the course of the story, evolves through the conflict she faces in the story to a much greater maturity.

In Ms. LaZebnik's chick lit books, like most chick lit, the heroine is often self-centered at the beginning of the book to the point of being obnoxious, which is definitely the case in this book with Livvy. But she is saved from being outright unlikeable by virtue of the fact that her frequent, witty zingers are often laugh-out-loud funny. In addition, the author subtly makes us aware, without hitting us over the head with it in a preachy way, that Livvy has come by her seeming coldness and cynicism via her disillusioning experiences of human nature in her own family. In short, in order to truly enjoy reading chick lit, you have to be willing to put up with the heroine's ditzy growing pains. For me, that is only bearable if the author is extraordinarily good at what she does. In the case of Ms. LaZebnik, she certainly is that good. In fact, she is outstanding. Another means she uses in this book to make Livvy sympathetic is a time-honored plotting device that, in all forms of women's fiction at least, never gets old--her caring attitude toward a vulnerable child.

In that regard, the core of this novel, above all, is Livvy's evolving relationship with her little sister, Celia. For the most part it is really well done. I do have one, big quibble, though, with the characterization of Celia: We are told she is three years old, not quite four. If you have ever spent time around children that age, even intellectually gifted ones, they tend to employ very simple sentences and have a limited vocabulary. Celia speaks, at least in my experience as a teacher and mother of two intellectually and verbally gifted children, like a very gifted child of about seven, at the youngest. For her to talk as well as she does, in my humble opinion, there should have been some mention in the book somewhere that the child has been noted by, at the very least, her preschool teachers as astoundingly verbally precocious. It would also not have taken more than a sentence to link this to the genetic factor that her father is so very intelligent, and Livvy herself is, as demonstrated by her amazing degree of wittiness, extremely verbally gifted.

I am personally not a big fan of chick lit and, over the past 20 years or so since the genre began, I have read less than a dozen chick lit novels because of that. For the most part I find them irritating because the heroines are so often portrayed as clueless and utterly superficial. The only reason I read this book and Ms. LaZebnik's other four chick lit novels is because I loved her YA romantic comedies, and I find her to be an exceptionally talented author. She is so good, in fact, that even when I have become irritated with her chick lit heroines, such as Livvy in this book, I could not put these books down. Or, as the saying goes, I found this book and her other chick lit novels to be "compulsively readable." I also admit freely that part of my instinctive prejudice is that I much prefer romance novels with a focus in the main plot of the book on romance, rather than women's fiction in general, including chick lit, where the main focus is on non-romance relationships, in particular caretaking relationships of one sort or another. There is also an innately oppositional perspective within chick lit, especially YA chicklit, to the outlook that determines the approach to story in romance. In chicklit, the message is essentially this: you should cynically distrust heterosexual, romantic relationships because decent, caring men are almost impossible to find. Instead, work on yourself, your own self-sufficiency and maturity, and stick most of the time to your female relationships if you want loyalty and stability (even if some of your female relationships include female relatives who are, much of the time, aggravatingly self-centered and often downright idiotic). The framework for romance is very different, stating: love relationships with a romantic partner, the ideal partner, can elevate both you and your partner and bring out the best in each of you. Admittedly, there is very often an HEA romance subplot in chicklit, but the vast majority of the book informs us that dating and courtship stinks because it involves kissing endless frogs with nary a prince in sight. Only when, at the very end of the chick lit novel, the heroine has become self-sufficient and mature enough to stop seeking fulfillment in a man is she rewarded with the ideal, mature man who matches her own, hard-earned maturity. This is very much the pattern that Ms. LaZebnik follows in her chick lit.

Speaking of an ideal man for the chick lit heroine, I must say that I adored the ultimate-HEA hero, in all his appearances, throughout this book. And I loathed, as we as readers were meant to, the "dating disaster" romantic interest every time he showed up.

I rate this book, for what it is, as chick lit, in the following manner:

Heroine: 5 stars
Subcharacters: 4 stars (grading down one star due to Celia's unacknowledged extreme, verbal precocity)
Coming-of-Age Plot: 5 stars
Dating Disasters Plot: 4 stars
Romance Subplot: 5 stars
Writing: 5 stars
Overall: 5 stars


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