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STIGA Retractable Anywhere Table Tennis Set
STIGA Retractable Anywhere Table Tennis Set
Offered by FOGDOG
Price: $29.99
8 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Quick fun!, December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our whole family had a blast with this. We cleared off the kitchen table (which is a chore of its own), set it up, and the battle began. We are certainly not star table tennis players, but we had a wonderful time. Laughs, smiles, and a few power shots later, and here I am reviewing it.

First, set up is a breeze. The net expands and self-retracts, so you pull the ends apart, and the net exposes itself. It can stretch to about 6 feet wide. Our table isn't that wide, so it fit great. We had to pull the net a bit on each side to get it tight and ready for play. The clamps themselves have spring loaded feet (which are padded with rubber), and it grips the table well. It can only fit a table a bit over 1 and a half inches thick, and the feet need enough edge to grab onto. Once the feet are in place, you are ready to go. The net stays in place well unless folks pull on it.

The 2 paddles are not professional quality, but plenty sturdy for a bit of fun. Some of the padding on the paddles had some bubbles that we can't seem to get rid of. But they don't seem to affect play.

Our set only came with 2 balls, so we'll need to grab some more - especially since our dog liked to chase them whenever they fell to the floor.

And lastly, it comes with a carrying pouch that has enough room for the entire set. So storage is a piece of cake.

This set allows quick setup, plenty of options for on-the-fly play, and is loads of fun. This is more a toy than it is something for a professional player's arsenal. So, with that in mind, this set is great!

Forbidden Ground (Cold Creek)
Forbidden Ground (Cold Creek)
by Karen Harper
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
67 used & new from $0.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Romance was Lost, December 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is my first time reading author Karen Harper, and I'll be honest-I didn't buy the romance at the center of this book.

Maid of honor, Kate Lockwood is in town for her younger sister's wedding. For some reason (and that's part of my issue) she's drawn to best man, Grant Mason.

I really enjoyed the archaeological aspect of this novel. Harper handled the details with finesse and made it interesting. What I found less interesting is the romance.

As others have mentioned, I don't need "50 Shades" details for a romance to work, but in this case Kate's mistrust of Grant is blatantly obvious, so if I'm going to buy into their eventual undying love for one another some other connection would be plausible. But they don't even share a physical connection. Harper asking me to believe that Kate's going to mistrust Grant, and then all of a sudden trust him enough to fall in love simply doesn't work for me.

I realize this is the second book in the series, so I am not sure if I missed something between these two in that. I can say that there were enough references to what I assume is the romance from the first novel, that I found myself feeling as if I was missing something. And in books like this, I think you can work around that and connect the reader even if they haven't read the entire series.

Sadly, I don't think Harper's books are for me.

Chemical Guys SPI_103_16 - Sprayable Leather Cleaner & Conditioner in One (16 oz)
Chemical Guys SPI_103_16 - Sprayable Leather Cleaner & Conditioner in One (16 oz)
Price: $15.58
3 used & new from $9.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick and Effective, December 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Chemical Guys is a trusted name in auto detailing, and their products work - and work well! This all-in-one leather cleaner and conditioner is no exception. While I prefer a two-part system, this will come in handy for quick auto cleaning and even some of my home furniture.

The hose in the bottle is extra long, but I was able to shove it down into the bottle. I guess you could trim it too. Once assembled, the spray bottle works great. Nice wide-spread spray.

The color of the mixture is rather... ugly! And I sure wish the smell was more appealing like some competing products. (Note that the smell dissipates quickly.) But since we are not worried about color or smell, let's stick to what matters. It works. It works great. It left my car's seats clean and soft as expected, but most importantly, it didn't leave a slimy or greasy coating. While it left a shine, it wasn't the slime you get with some conditioners. I also cleaned up a rather dirty leather chair I have that was coated with drywall dust from some home improvement projects that are going on. Well, it worked a treat. The chair is now in tip-top shape, with a nice shine. And what little over-spray that got onto the furniture's wood accents was easily removed with a quick wipe with alcohol.

A little goes a long way with this mixture, and I expect the bottle to last a good while. Very pleased with this product.

Snow Angel Cove (Hqn)
Snow Angel Cove (Hqn)
by RaeAnne Thayne
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
92 used & new from $0.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glowing Christmas Romance, December 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is my first time visiting author, RaeAnne Thayne's world, and I have to say-I'll be visiting again!

As I've gotten older, I find myself more drawn to romance novels that have at least one foot in reality. An intergalatic space romance with test tube babies and flying cars (yes, it does exist!) is fine and dandy, but there's something nice about being able to relate to the characters in a book. I liked that Thayne explored the calmer side of love. Yes, love can overwhelm you, and fill you with joy; as it should.

But love also grounds you, it's the calm in the storm if you will, and Thayne grasps that wonderfully!

Single mom Eliza Hayward wants nothing more than to give her little girl roots, a place to grow up and feel as if you belong. When she gets the job to manage a small inn, she thinks her dreams are answered, until tragedy strikes and she's out of a job before she even begins.

Enter smart, handsome (and very rich) Aidan Caine. He takes a liking to the strong single mom and her very sweet little girl, and over the course of the 350+ pages we learn that each might be the answer to the other's dreams.

Things move quickly in this book, but then again the magic of Christmas can sometimes have that effect on us!

FUEL iON iPhone 5/5s Magnetic Wireless Charging System, Case with Stand - Charges Faster and More Efficiently than Qi Wireless Chargers.
FUEL iON iPhone 5/5s Magnetic Wireless Charging System, Case with Stand - Charges Faster and More Efficiently than Qi Wireless Chargers.
Price: $79.99
7 used & new from $72.31

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It charges, but could be so much more!, December 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like many of the other reviewers, I have a love-hate relationship with this wireless charging system for the iPhone. My testing has been with a 5s.

-It is incredibly convenient. Just slap the device onto the dock and charging begins. When you want your device, just slide it off. It's so much easier than fiddling with cables - especially convenient in the dark, or when you have other things going on.

-The dock is stylish and actually can be used as a kickstand to prop your device up while watching videos hands free. Of course, this would depend on where you keep your dock.

-The case is not too bulky, has a nice feel to it, grips the device nicely, and fits the device very well. While the speakers are covered, the designer made little vents for the speaker to redirect forward instead of down. Pretty cool.

-Comes with an extension cable for the headphone jack. I've had many cases that required one, but never came with one. So this is a nice addition.

-It works. It charges on par with the standard cable, so no complaints there.

Hate (or don't like, or wish it was better):
-I know I mentioned some good about the case, but there is some bad too. First, is the fact that it extends the length of the device by about a half inch. I understand there was no other way to offer such a feature without extending the length, but still, it changes the feel of the device. Next, is the fact that the case offers very little protection to the front of the device, the front edges, and some other areas. I'm pretty cautious and always go with a case that offers a front lip. I wish Patriot Memory (the makers of this accessory) would work with a more capable case designer - like Spigen. My personal opinion, this is the biggest issue with this accessory.

-No wall wart (power plug)?

-Why in the world did they utilize a MicroUSB cable for the dock rather than the Lightning cable? Maybe licensing, but come on! Oh, and the case only has a MicroUSB port on it. This is a major complaint for reasons relating to the next item.

-If you keep your phone by your bed at night, and you are like me and use your phone before bed, you may have the following issue. My phone is usually about to die by the time bedtime comes around. Which means I need to plug it in while I surf, play, and use the device in bed. With the fact that the dock can't really be held, and the fact that the dock uses MicroUSB, I can't really charge and use the device at the same time - unless I keep my Lightning cable next to my bed too. Which means I need to remove the case (again, it has no Lightning port), and then plug it in - so what's the point of the dock and case if I have to do that anyway? This seems like a huge oversight.

-The case has a magnet in it, so it sticks to the dock. Well, that means your device sticks to other metal items as well. Just something to get used to.

-The magnet holds to the dock pretty well, so trying to pull it off can cause the dock to come with it. I've found that sliding the phone up or down off of the dock works best.

All in all, I love the convenience this accessory offers. I just find the oversight regarding the Lightning versus MicroUSB to be ridiculous. I also wish they offered a case with better protection for the device. The car mount and pad accessories that are available separately seem to add to the experience, but they really need to offer a variety of cases. They've done a lot right with this charger, but it needs work!

The Winter Guest
The Winter Guest
by Pam Jenoff
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.14
62 used & new from $5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, December 11, 2014
This review is from: The Winter Guest (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Poignant, and heartbreaking is all I could say and this review would be complete.

I love a good historical romance, the sweeping settings, the beautiful dresses, and the gaudiness are trademarks in many of the traditional historical romances I've read, but this book was very different. Set in the 40's, this book tells the story of Helena and ultimately her romance with Sam-an American soldier whose plane crashes in Poland.

Helena and her twin sister Ruth, 18, are struggling to take care of their three younger siblings. Their father is dead, and their mother is in a hospital waiting to die as cancer eats away at her body. We see and feel their struggle as author, Pam Jenoff, illustrates it beautifully. But the story really picks up when Helena stumbles across the injured American. Realizing he is in a precarious position, he helps him to an abandoned church near their home.

At first I had a tough time believing how rapidly their romance escalated, and then I remembered where they were, and what was going on around them. The Nazis were just starting to gain some power, families were being taken away in the night and young men were being spirited away to fight a way they didn't understand. It makes sense that connections formed quickly, and even deeply in a short amount of time. Jenoff skillfully wrote about the urgency and yet there was an innocent sweetness to Helena and Sam's time together. She brought him pilfered food, and they spoke of their lives, their dreams and their hopes for the future.

In the end, I cried. Tears of sadness and happiness, as the story certainly didn't wrap up the way I thought it would. This is a beautiful story set against a stark and lonely backdrop.

I look forward to more from Jenoff.

Coffee-mate Coffee Creamer, Hazelnut Table-Top Pump Bottle, 625ml, 21.1-Ounce
Coffee-mate Coffee Creamer, Hazelnut Table-Top Pump Bottle, 625ml, 21.1-Ounce
Price: $13.85
22 used & new from $7.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YUM!, December 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Coffee-Mate is the only brand of coffee creamer I use. I've just always had good luck with it-taste, price, etc. So I LOVED the idea of this table top pump bottle. It doesn't take up room in my fridge as it is shelf stable.

I received it in the mail and it was wrapped nicely. The pump top is wrapped separately, but no big deal. You open the bottle of creamer, pull off the top and attach the pump. One pump is plenty for me, as the flavored creamers are all very sweet, so I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this-as in about three months of use, as I limit myself to one cup of coffee a day!

The price might seem high, but considering this will last me a number of months, I'd be willing to pay the $14+ dollars for it.

Great design and as always a great Coffee-Mate product!

Metrokane 9959 Rabbit Springing Muddler, Stainless Steel
Metrokane 9959 Rabbit Springing Muddler, Stainless Steel
Price: $14.08
2 used & new from $14.08

3.0 out of 5 stars Lightsaber or muddler?, December 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This twist on the muddler has good points and bad. Ha! Twist! Get it? But seriously, the features of this muddler are unique, but also add complications.

This muddler has a spring action extension that helps alleviate any issues with being too aggressive with the muddling. The intention is to avoid chopping up the ingredients. So far, so good. It tackled mint, oranges, basil, and limes very well. The spring is pretty stiff, so you get a good mash going, and the twist action helps extract more goodness.

When done muddling, you can lock the extension with a twist of the top end. Well, on mine, the lock mechanism twists all the way around, making locking and unlocking difficult. It doesn't just click into the lock or unlock setting as it probably should.

Also, because the extension springs up and down, that means that it also retracts into the handle - which means particles can get pulled back into the handle too. This complicates cleaning. Fortunately, it is easy to take apart and rinse out, but for a thorough cleaning, you'll need some sort of pipe cleaner/straw cleaner to get down into the handle.

Overall, I think this muddler is just okay! If you have a standard muddler, stick with it. If you don't have one, sure, go ahead and consider this one, but know that it will be more difficult to clean than your average muddler.

Now, if you want a muddler that you can also utilize as a lightsaber (as is the case with this and our kids), then this is the perfect utensil.

Sterling Silver White and Montana Blue Swarovski Elements Crystal Open Teardrop Pendant Necklace, 18"
Sterling Silver White and Montana Blue Swarovski Elements Crystal Open Teardrop Pendant Necklace, 18"
Price: $29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely piece!, December 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is actually a really lovely piece. I love costume jewelry, and when I saw this-for the price-you can't go wrong!

And for the most part I was right! The individual crystals themselves are tiny, but together they make for a very on trend piece. The Montana blue elements are quite dark, making them appear almost black from a distance. The Sterling Silver White are clear and a truly lovely compliment to the blue elements.

The pendant itself feels nice and sturdy, however the chain feels VERY thin. So thin, I was almost afraid-but not quite-to wear it. I have a thicker silver chain, that works very nicely with this piece.

The color combination is my favorite when it comes to jewelry, and I will enjoy wearing this piece to work or when I go out with the husband!

If I Fall, If I Die
If I Fall, If I Die
by Michael Christie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Torn, November 26, 2014
This review is from: If I Fall, If I Die (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I 'm torn about this book by first time author, Michael Christie-to clarfiy If I fall, If I die, is his US debut-I very much enjoyed the subject matter, but the way Christie went about presenting it left me a bit conflicted.

I consider myself a voracious reader. I'm willing to give any and all books a shot. So, this book not necessarily being my cup of tea has more to do with how Christie went about making his point than the book/subject matter itself.

Will's mom adores him, and she has made a wild and whimsical world for them to live in-in their home. Suffering from crippling agoraphobia, Will's world is made up in the two floors of his home. They visit Paris (the kitchen) without ever leaving their home. No friends, and only his mother for company, naturally Will gets fed up. In the first 12 pages, and ventures outside.

Having read the description of the book, I knew what was going on, and I'm not saying that Christie necessarily needs to spell it all out for us, but making us feel Will's confinement a bit more right off the bat, might have made me more invested in his story.

This book is more about navigating your way in this world, when the person that is supposed to help you learn how to do this simply can't. Will is on his own, and when he meets a friend that shows him how to soar (skateboard) it's more a metaphor for learning to live life than it is about finding your passion.

Again, no issue with that if Christie didn't feel the need to make it all so....obtuse? For lack of a better word.

There is a lot to like here, the characters are rich and strongly developed, but I wanted more storytelling.

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