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Customer Reviews: 1222
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Tracy Rowan "Tracy Rowan" RSS Feed (Chicago, IL USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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CAP Barbell Antimicrobial Treated Puzzle Mat, 24 sq ft
CAP Barbell Antimicrobial Treated Puzzle Mat, 24 sq ft
Price: $34.99
6 used & new from $34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Soft, resilient tiles, modular design, June 20, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I saw these available through Vine, I thought I might try them in the room where I keep my cats' litter boxes. I thought they might cut down on the tracking of litter and make clean-up easier. They're nice enough, soft and resilient. But unfortunately the way the room is set up at the present time, I don't have a lot of choice in how I put the mats together. I believe I could easily cut them to the preferred size, but I'm going to hold off on that since the space is going to change later in the year.

What I can say is this: Walking on them is pleasant. I'm not sure what the cats think, but I like them. The ridges do tend to clean some of the litter off their paws, so they track less into the rest of the house. Time will tell how easy clean-up is. You can see the set-up in my photos. Apologies for the blur, there's not a lot of light in the room.

Out of the box (which is shipped in another box. Honestly, that seems excessive.) they look at first, as if they're torn or broken. Never fear, those are just the removable edge strips. They give a nice, neat finished look. The tiles fit together nicely. All you need do is lay one next to/atop another and walk them into place. Because they're so modular, you don't need to make perfect squares or rectangles, but can stagger the tiles to fit your space as I did.

All things considered, they're pretty cool. I'm anxious to build a larger space for the boxes when I'm able. Might update at that point.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Fenugreen FreshPaper Produce Saver Sheets
Fenugreen FreshPaper Produce Saver Sheets
Price: $9.99
14 used & new from $9.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly effective, June 13, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's really nothing to dislike about these produce saver sheets. I've used them in boxes of strawberries, possibly one of the most fragile fruits you can buy, and prone to mold and mildew within a day or two of bringing them home. The result? Over a week later, they were still fresh and mold-free. I can't say that they weren't a bit shriveled from the cold, dry air in my refrigerator, but they were still good, and I didn't have to throw a single berry from the 2-lb box into the garbage. The paper itself is still usable, so it's going into the next box of strawberries. It'll keep doing strawberry duty until the scent, which is quite pleasant, fades. Then it'll go in the recycling bin.

Look, if you're tired of having your food spoil before you can use it, you really should try investing in some kind of food-saver product. If it gives you even a few days more to consume your produce you will come out ahead because you won't be discarding as much uneaten food. That will not only save you money, but it's better for the planet. And the paper is compostable and recyclable, so there's no waste there either. I've used vinegar water rinses to keep my berries fresh, but it's a pain to soak the berries, drain and dry them before you put them away. If you leave them in the water too long, they lose color and get water-logged. If you don't leave them in long enough... mold. Paper is easier.

Yes, they seem pricey, but they should work for several weeks. If I break down what I paid for my berries against the cost per sheet, so far I've paid roughly $1.25 to keep $8.00 worth of strawberries fresh until I could eat all of them, and the sheets are still usable. In the past, I might have lost half of those berries, and in fact last month I lost an entire box by leaving it out overnight. Just one night. If I'd had these sheets I might actually have saved them.


Prevail Moderate Absorbency Pads, Long, 54 Count
Prevail Moderate Absorbency Pads, Long, 54 Count
Offered by Zoom Home Health Care
Price: $19.91
3 used & new from $19.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable protection, May 29, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
So if you're reading this you're looking for some protection from leakage that's occurring for any number of reasons. What I can tell you about these is that they do offer moderate protection, more than I've ever needed, to be honest. However, and this is a big thing for me, they're longer than the light absorbency Poise pads I use occasionally, much more comfortable to wear, and they don't bunch up like Poise does. So even though I don't begin to need this sort of protection, I prefer the Prevails to the Poise hands down.

They're also fairly inexpensive for such a large package of pads. I really recommend them for anyone who has light to moderate leakage.


Reo Versa Compact Dish Rack, Gray/White
Reo Versa Compact Dish Rack, Gray/White
Price: $35.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, terrific dish rack!, May 27, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I took this out of the box, I thought "This will never hold all my dishes."

I was dead wrong. I filled the rack with 8 dinner plates, a cereal bowl, a dog-size water bowl, 8 small food bowls, 2 ginormous latte cups, 2 dessert bowls, two can lids, the top to my coffee pot, and all my flatware and cooking utensils. What didn't fit? The coffee pot itself, and my big frying pan. And those would have fit if I'd had fewer bowls in the rack. The design on this thing is fantastic, so efficient that it takes up less space than my old rack, and holds way more dishes.

I also don't need to set it on a towel the way I had to do with my old rack (a bamboo Ikea rack) because it has a drip tray and a spout that hangs over the side of the sink so that all the draining water goes right back down the drain. And it has a utensil holder which is something I'd wished for for ages. And all, as I said, with a smaller footprint than the Ikea rack.

It's also modular so that if you need to dry a lot of glasses and bowls, you can take the chrome rack off the top and just use the bottom pieces. If you have a lot of dishes I suppose you could set the chrome part on a towel, or even in the second well of your sink (assuming you have one) to dry just about everything at once.

Honestly, the only thing I don't like about this is the color. I hate gray. But I'll put up with it for this sort of efficient and useful design. Nicely done Reo. Nicely done.


Vornado 723DC Energy Smart Air Circulator with Variable Speed Control
Vornado 723DC Energy Smart Air Circulator with Variable Speed Control
Price: $149.99
6 used & new from $149.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It may well make a difference this summer, May 22, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I thought this was just another fan, but honestly, I think it ranks as a bit more than that. It really does circulate the air instead of just moving it in whatever direction the fan is facing. In other words, it's a much more efficient way to keep air moving in a room. Whether it actually does use 80% less energy is something I can't really measure but I'm hoping that it'll help me cut down on the a/c bill this summer by moving the cool air around enough that I won't have to run the units on high to keep the house comfortable. We shall see.

ETA: I forgot to mention one of the things I love best about this fan, the "finger friendly" design. Little fingers are not going to be able to get anywhere near the spinning fan blades.


Sminiker Kinesiology Tapes, Pain Relief Adhesive, For Plantar Fasciitis Shin Splints Knee Elbow Wrist Back Shoulder Ankle & Neck (2-Inch x 16.4-Feet) (Pink)
Sminiker Kinesiology Tapes, Pain Relief Adhesive, For Plantar Fasciitis Shin Splints Knee Elbow Wrist Back Shoulder Ankle & Neck (2-Inch x 16.4-Feet) (Pink)
Offered by Sminiker
Price: $26.99
2 used & new from $7.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't stick, May 17, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wish I liked this tape. The price is good and it's hot pink, both of which appeal. But unfortunately it will not stick. Understand, I'm not new to kinesiology taping. I round the corners very carefully. I apply the tape to clean skin without any lotions or creams. I make sure that the stretch is right in the body of the tape, and that I don't stretch out the ends, so I don't stress them. I rub vigorously to heat up the adhesive and help it stick. And in spite of all those things, the ends start to peel up within hours.

I've used other brands and never had this kind of problem. If anything, I've had taping that lasted so well that pulling it off was sometimes painful, and there was adhesive left on my skin. To be honest, this tape feels rather lightweight by comparison to the others, and perhaps that's part of the problem.

I will say that while it adheres, it works. I've recently injured my medial collateral ligament, and using a three strip taping, I've been able to walk without wanting to cry. But a taping gets me through maybe six or eight hours, and then has to be replaced, and that's not cost-effective. So from now on I'll pay more and not have to replace my tape repeatedly.

Such a disappointment.


Wellness Natural Solutions Hairball Control Chicken & Rice Natural Dry Cat Food, 11.5-Pound Bag
Wellness Natural Solutions Hairball Control Chicken & Rice Natural Dry Cat Food, 11.5-Pound Bag
Price: $37.99
8 used & new from $37.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for us, but YMMV, April 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While the cats like it, and while I generally like Wellness products because their ingredients are usually top-notch, I have to say that I doubt I'll bother buying this again. My sister has a cat with a lot of intestinal issues, and his feces are often liquid. I thought perhaps this might help, but so far no joy. Had it worked, I might consider the price of more than $5 per pound worth it. But as it stands, they don't like it any better than their normal food, and it doesn't appear to have had any real effect on the hairball situation as far as I can tell.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 17, 2016 11:39 AM PDT


Everyday Whole Grains: 175 New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice, Includes Every Ancient Grain (Cooking Light)
Everyday Whole Grains: 175 New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice, Includes Every Ancient Grain (Cooking Light)
by Ann Taylor Pittman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.29
57 used & new from $12.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shake up your cooking a little, April 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What surprised me (pleasantly) about this cookbook was the variety I found. It covers grains in breakfast, of course, and in bread-making. It also covered things like grains in salads, entrees, grains as sides (not a surprise, though again, the variety was exciting) and even dessert baking. The reviews aren't wholly vegetarian, certainly not all vegan; they include a number of dishes that contain meats, but those can often be altered to make them vegetarian.

Breakfast dishes aren't just bowls of cereal with add-ins. There are also quite a few egg-based dishes, and to be honest, the idea of an easy-over, soft-boiled or poached egg broken over a bowl of well-spiced grains delights me. Eggs and grits are well represented with fried eggs with red-eye gravy and grits, or scrambles with cheese and onion grits. (Both of which sound as perfect for dinner as for breakfast.)

There are a lot of gluten-free recipes in here, utilizing rice, quinoa, amaranth and the like, but it's not an exclusively gluten-free book. It's not even a particularly healthy book when you take into account the luxurious nature of dishes like dark chocolate oatmeal, different sorts of gravies, and the cakes and desserts included. But it's more so than not. Grains are nutritious and high in fiber. There's no bad there, not really.

So why buy it? I'd say that it broadens the scope of your cooking. If your idea of grain use is white or brown rice, oatmeal, a salad with some quinoa, and so on, this book will show you the breadth and versatility of grains. It's never a bad thing to expand your cooking repertoire, is it? Show off a little. It's fun when your friends say, "This is delicious. What's in it?" and then "Oh my gosh, I never even thought about using bulgur/kamut/millet/amaranth in something like this." And then you can preen a little and say, "I like to shake things up."


DII Oceanique Machine Washable 100% Polyester Non Slip Chenille Pop Corn Luxury Spa Bath Rug, Soft & Absorbent, Place Near Vanity, Bath Tub or Shower, 17x24", Pink
DII Oceanique Machine Washable 100% Polyester Non Slip Chenille Pop Corn Luxury Spa Bath Rug, Soft & Absorbent, Place Near Vanity, Bath Tub or Shower, 17x24", Pink
Price: $18.04

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice mat, not comfortable, April 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a bit surprised that I don't like this rug more than I do. To be honest I'd award it 3.5 stars if I could, but I'm erring on the side of caution because it hurts my feet. (ETA: I decided to up it to four stars because of its virtues.) Now granted I have terrible feet, but so do a lot of other people, and those of you who do should be aware that this is not comfortable to stand on. The popcorn is short and rather hard. I thought it would be more like the other popcorn bath rug I've got on which the popcorn is longer and softer.

On the good side, it's non-slip, so you can step onto it with confidence. And the color is very good. It is smallish, but that's really all you need in a bathmat. And it absorbs water neatly, and dries fast. It really is a nice mat, and if the problem with the texture is due to my foot problems, it's not really fair to dock the mat. It's still not as plush as I'd like, and wouldn't be if my feet weren't bad. Eh, your mileage may vary.

Bottom line: It's pretty and it does the job, though not as comfortably as I'd have hoped.


Comfort Zone Multicat Refill (6 Pack)
Comfort Zone Multicat Refill (6 Pack)
Price: $64.99
4 used & new from $54.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does work for my cats and my sister's cats, April 15, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When my little girl cat grew up, she stopped trying to befriend her older brother and started telling him to get out of her face. She would follow him around growling and hissing at him, and generally terrifying him, which would have been funny (she was a third his size) except that I value harmony in my home.

I tried a lot of things, but in the end what seemed to help was Comfort Zone. The regular stuff is good, but the Multicat is better. Now understand, I can't swear that it did the trick. I could have begun using it at a point where they've started to settle their differences. But what I know is that the growling and carrying on has stopped, and they tolerate each other now.

I doubt they'll ever be friendly; I think that's beyond even the power of Multicat Feliway, but there's more harmony here these days and that's worth a lot to me. Which is a good thing because this stuff is pricey and goes fast. My sister uses it with her cats who don't have problems with each other, but who do have behavioral issues, and she swears by it. It's slowed the neurotic behaviors considerably, though it hasn't ended them. You take what you can get, right?

I'm adding a caveat here: If anyone leaves a comment suggesting that we get rid of our cats rather than putting up with problem behaviors, I will rip them a new orifice.


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