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Elizabeth Ray RSS Feed (Stockton, NJ United States)
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DII Bone Dry "Good Dog" Printed Microfiber Dog Bath Towel, Green
DII Bone Dry "Good Dog" Printed Microfiber Dog Bath Towel, Green
Price: $8.99
2 used & new from $8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars It's like a shammy for your dog!, May 21, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have 3 medium to large size dogs, so rainy days are always a challenge. We can never have enough towels.

The major advantage this product has over people bath towels is its light weight. It can be stored and transported without taking up too much room.

One of my dogs is a Bernese Mountain Dog, and this towel absorbs enough to get most of the rain off her and at least keep her smelling like wet dog. I've yet to find a towel that will dry her completely after a bath, including this one, but that's probably not a realistic expectation.

The design is cute and fun.


Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing, the Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy
Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing, the Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy
by Julie Holland M.D.
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.74
82 used & new from $2.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and then give it to your partner!, April 23, 2016
This book is awesome! The scientific content is very similar to The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, but Dr. Holland goes further by offering practical advice about how to cope with the crazy things hormones do to women during different life stages.

The early chapters explain the biological changes that happen to women during adolescence, and the fertile and perio and post menopausal years. Later chapters focus on the importance of sleep, diet and exercise. There is even a crash course on how to have a healthy sex life.

There is a lot of practical advice in this book. Because she is an MD, she discusses options beyond yoga and eating vegetables: an appendix covers the pros and cons of a plethora of antidepressant, sleep aids and anti-anxiety medications that are marketed directly to the consumer. She also discusses supplements that may be helpful, and she is a big (yet gentle) advocate for cannabis.

Everyone should read this book, and then give it to her partner to read as well!


Redemption Road: A Novel
Redemption Road: A Novel
by John Hart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.12
60 used & new from $12.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is John Hart's best work yet, April 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
John Hart is one of the few authors on my "must buy" list, and Redemption Road is his best work to date. There is a lot going on in this book, making it difficult to summarize the plot. I will make an attempt, but trust me when I say that it all comes together in the end.

Elizabeth Black is a preacher's daughter who is a police detective, despite the disapproval of her father. She comes under scrutiny after she finds and rescues a teenage girl who was kidnapped and raped by two drug dealers. The problem is that the victim is white and privileged, and the kidnappers were shot repeatedly during the rescue, in a way that suggested an intent to torture the two African American captors, rather than a justified shooting.

To complicate matters, Elizabeth's former mentor, who was incarcerated for murder, is about to be released from prison. At the time of his conviction, Elizabeth was one of the only people besides his attorney who truly believed him innocent, though that opinion may have been shaped by her romantic feelings towards him. When additional bodies are found, Elizabeth is convinced that the murder her colleague went to prison for was not his doing, but rather the work of a serial killer.

The chapters in Redemption Road focus on characters on an alternating basis. As usual, John Hart writes about horrific crimes with a compassionate and sensitive yet fair voice. The characterization he is known for does not sacrifice pacing: this book is really a page turner.

My only minor quibble is that I figured out "whodunnit" pretty early on. That does not mean I didn't enjoy the ride.

John Hart is not the most prolific author, but every book he does put out is of outstanding quality and worth the wait.


Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner 28, Teal, One Size
Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner 28, Teal, One Size
Price: $138.18
14 used & new from $124.36

4.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy and lightweight choice for long trips or very heavy packers, April 9, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This luggage arrived just in time for my 3 week business trip. The suitcase is HUGE: I packed enough clothes and toiletries for two weeks and had plenty of room leftover. It is very light for its size and the walls felt somewhat thin, so I was initially concerned about how well it would hold up on a cross country flight. The sides held their shape well and there was no damage to the contents after my flights. The unique color and texturing made it easy to distinguish my luggage on the baggage carousel ("many bags look alike......") Despite its size, walking with this case through the airport was a breeze. It can be rolled on all four wheels while standing upright, or tilted to be pulled on two of the four wheels. I had no problems maneuvering it onto escalators and moving walkways.

I did take a shorter flight for a weekend trip, and unless you travel with a lot of stuff I believe this suitcase is too large for short trips.

The big negative is the lack of ways to organize your belonging in the case. The two halves are separated from each other by a mesh which zips in place. There is a small zippered pocket for little items. Two elastic straps clip together in an X-formation to secure the contents of the bottom half of the suitcase. This does not work! I am a tidy packer, but when I arrived at my destinations, everything was in a big mess at the bottom: underwear tangled up with shoes, and unpaired socks everywhere! I recommend buying some bags or bins to organize contents in when traveling with this suitcase.


Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $14.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating entertainment, April 9, 2016
As indicated by the title, author Charles Duhigg's book "Smarter Faster Better" reveals techniques used by successful people to make their lives more productive. Each chapter follows a similar format: a few engaging anecdotes about success in challenging situations are given, a few psychology experiments are described, and those stories and studies are distilled to give a some key takeaways that the reader can use in his or her own life.

Reading this book was a frustrating experience. The stories Duhigg shares are varied enough that anyone should find a few of interest (if the reader is not interested in the creative process behind the Disney movie "Frozen," perhaps the dear reader is interested in kidnappings or the World Series of Poker), and he tells them in a very entertaining way. The problem is that the take home advice is less than earth-shattering. For example, in one chapter we learn from how meetings are structured at Google and the chaotic interactions of the first Saturday Night Live cast that people working in teams are more creative and productive when they feel empowered to make decision and their contributions are treated as valuable. Similarly, after a lengthy discussion of the Yom Kippur war (including maps!) it is advised that the reader set goals, both short and long term.

A flip through the references section makes it clear that this book is well-researched, and considerable amounts of time must have been spent gaining access to the people he interviews for the stories. This book was an entertaining read, but ultimately the payoff did not seem worth it, as all of the "secrets" would only be secrets to people who have never read another pop psych book and are completely lacking in common sense.

I received a free electronic copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2016 4:32 AM PDT


Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories
Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories
by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.40
86 used & new from $4.27

4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy follow up to American Salvage, April 3, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
American Salvage is one of my favorite short story collections, and fans of that book will find much to enjoy here. As the title suggests, many of the stories in this volume focus on the ways women are mistreated by society, the men in their lives, and each other. Campbell does not shy away from the realities of domestic violence, rape, and child abuse, and the impact these events have on her characters lives.

Bonnie Jo Campbell is at her best when telling stories of poor people in rural America. This compilation contains a few entries that stray from her usual themes. "My Bliss," is short and written in a surreal style one would expect from Lydia Davis, while "Children of Transylvania, 1983" describes two siblings' trip to Romania. I enjoyed these stories the least.

Overall, this is a solid collection of stories by a writer who deserves a much broader readership.


Beyerdynamic 716405 DTX 102 iE In-Ear Headphones, White/Silver
Beyerdynamic 716405 DTX 102 iE In-Ear Headphones, White/Silver
5 used & new from $65.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars These are all about the bass, about the bass (no treble), February 29, 2016
I listen to music a lot at work. I work with tools at customer sites, so am always on the lookout for earbuds or IEM that perform well enough to justify my subscription to Tidal, yet are inexpensive enough that if they are lost or stolen I won't freak out.

After reading many positive reviews of products from Beyerdynamic, I decided to give these reasonably-priced ear buds a try. Aesthetically, these are only a slight step above the buds that come with Apple products. In retrospect, I wish I would have chosen a different color, as the white looks flimsy and cheap. The cord is narrow and gets twisted easily. These do come with a good selection of tips, so a good fit is possible.

For relatively inexpensive ear bods, these do provide a good amount of bass, without distortion. The mids are pronounced and accurate, making these earbuds a good choice for podcast listening. I was really disappointed in the treble, however. The balance seems off; the high end is just missing with these compared to other earbuds I own. This could be a positive if listening to lossy music formats, which often gives me a headache because of overly loud and/or distorted treble.

Based on sound quality and price, Blue Ever Blue's Model 328Rs Model 328R "the black" HDSS (japan import) are a much better option at a third of the price. The soundstage is much broader, and more balanced over the entire frequency range.


Model 328R "the black" HDSS (japan import)
Model 328R "the black" HDSS (japan import)

4.0 out of 5 stars My quest for the perfect cheap earbuds continues......, February 20, 2016
I listen to music quite a bit at work, but since I work "in the field" I don't like to spend a lot of moolah on earbuds as they could be lost, stolen or damaged. Enter these little guys for under $20. I have the version without a mic for taking calls, but there is another model with a mic available.

The package explains that Blue Ever Blue uses a proprietary technology in their earbuds. I don't understand the technical gibberish, but these do sound remarkable for the price. The soundstage is surprisingly wide for earbuds. They give a different listening experience based on the source material, which is a good thing: with lousy earbuds I can't tell the difference between mp3s and lossless formats, but these are accurate enough to pick up details missing from mp3s.

My only complaint (and this is a big one for me personally) is that the earbuds are big. If your ears are small like mine, they will fall out.


Betsy Farms Jerky Treats for Dogs, Chicken, 6 oz.
Betsy Farms Jerky Treats for Dogs, Chicken, 6 oz.
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I need to revisit my definition of "jerky.", January 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Jerky" to me implies dried meat with seasonings. These "jerky treats" are softy and rubbery strips. They smell funny and have a weird powdery texture, but my 3 dogs love them.

I do like that they are made in the US and the number of multi-syllabic ingredients is minimal.

My dogs would give these these 5 stars, but since the Amazon account is mine these treats get a rating of ****.


Optima Collection Platinum Level 27" X 54" White Bath Towels, Set of 4, 100% Eco-Friendly Pre-Consumer Regenerated Cotton
Optima Collection Platinum Level 27" X 54" White Bath Towels, Set of 4, 100% Eco-Friendly Pre-Consumer Regenerated Cotton
Price: $50.00
2 used & new from $38.09

5.0 out of 5 stars It's like being in a hotel at home!, January 20, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These towels remind me of hotel towels, and I mean that in the best way possible. The texture is different on each side: one is smooth, and the other is more textured and absorbent. They are somewhat stiff but still reasonably soft. They dry quickly when hung. They are marketed as eco-friendly as well, though I am not sure what "Pre-Consumer Regenerated Cotton" means. The price is very reasonable, making these towels a good buy.


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