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Anna Maria "AnnaMaria" RSS Feed (Alabama, USA)

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Buddeez MC01016B281C Milk Crates, 16-Quart, Blue, 2-Pack
Buddeez MC01016B281C Milk Crates, 16-Quart, Blue, 2-Pack
Price: $24.99
2 used & new from $17.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid crates. Pleased with purchase., May 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got six of these -- two blue, two green and two purple -- to store books in. They are solid and strong, and they look good. I wish they'd stack on their sides as well as they do vertically (they'd be perfect then), but I am very happy with them and not going to take off a star for that. They are good looking, and from the feel and look of them, I think they will last me a long time.

Apache Mills60-730-1851-18x30  Masterpiece Welcome Owls Door Mat, 18-inch by 30-Inch
Apache Mills60-730-1851-18x30 Masterpiece Welcome Owls Door Mat, 18-inch by 30-Inch
Offered by Portlight
Price: $20.22
3 used & new from $20.20

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent doormat. Holds up well., September 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've gone through a lot of doormats over the years, and this won definitely ranks as one of the best. It hasn't changed it's appearance since I first set it at my front door (no coverage from the intense direct sunlight, rain and all the elements) the day I got it. It's festive and welcoming, and it's made in the USA. The quality is very high, and I am very pleased with this purchase. It's really exceeded my expectations because I expect door mats to start showing their age, and this one looks the same as the day I got it. Will update if that changes.

Delivered: A Memoir
Delivered: A Memoir
Price: $7.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy read from a woman who has overcome great struggles through faith in God and the power of spirituality., August 11, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After reading a blurb about this book, I went to Amazon to check out the Kindle edition. The book interested me for several reasons. (1) It was promoted as a powerful and uplifting story of recovery from some of the deepest depths, (2) the sample revealed her focus on the power of God and spirituality in her changed life, and (3) I knew I'd be familiar with some of the locations she'd reference having lived in Birmingham myself. As an AA member who knows that spirituality and God are key to my continued recovery, her story interested me. Even though her childhood and life were very different from my own and despite the fact her own experiences were different from and much darker than anything I've known, in my own experience and in what I've seen firsthand in AA, anyone who has ever struggled with alcoholism (or any addiction for that matter) can relate to and learn from others' stories.

But when I read the reviews on Amazon, I found many of them to be oddly similar and succinct. Common refrains included various takes on how "amazing" the book is, "love it," "must read," etc., with "amazing" being the most popular description and with almost all of them being five-star rave reviews. Such striking similarities in so many of the reviews combined with the fact the majority of them were written by individuals who haven't reviewed anything on Amazon BUT this one book both concerned me. While the abundance of similar five-star reviews by one-time reviewers is not always indicative that a book will turn out to be not nearly as good as reviews indicate, unfortunately that has often proven to be the case. So that's something I take note of after having been burned by past purchases I ended up regretting. But despite these reservations, I ended up buying this book and reading Janet's story, and I am glad I did. I do not regret my purchase at all, and I found Janet's story to be both interesting and inspirational. It's told in such a genuine, conversational manner that is easy to read and appealing. Her story also lacks the self pity and self absorption that can ruin so many personal memoirs (be they about recovery or otherwise). Janet has overcome so much in her life, and yet she does not allow the pains, mistakes and hardships of her past to continue pulling her down or to overshadow her life.

Janet is a survivor, and it is powerful to read or hear personal stories from people who have overcome struggles in life. People often wonder how some people are able to overcome such great hardships (be they self inflicted or not) while others are destroyed by much lesser problems and struggles. This book tells how Janet was able to overcome so much to rise above and grow beyond her past -- through spirituality and her faith in God. The power of spirituality and God is instrumental to Janet's recovery. I know that alcohol disconnected me from spirituality in my life, and that was something I didn't appreciate or truly understand until I quit drinking. The power of spirituality and faith in God are also instrumental to Janet's positive attitude and in every aspect of her changed life, and someone does not need to have have confronted alcoholism or addiction (or any of the resulting degradations she experienced) to be able to gain something positive from her story. While so much of what Janet went through is completely foreign to anything I've known, the way in which she was able to overcome great struggles in her life provides useful lessons and inspiration to individuals confronting all types and levels of struggle in their own lives. Janet's story is a worthy read.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2013 10:53 AM PDT

Owl Friend Shower Curtain Art Deco Bathroom Decor
Owl Friend Shower Curtain Art Deco Bathroom Decor
Offered by Blue Ribbon Retail
Price: $27.78
13 used & new from $19.00

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this Owl shower curtain. It is such a happy addition to my guest bath., November 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My father recently passed away unexpectedly, and I miss him every second of every day. I was (and am) the most blessed daughter in history because my parents are beyond as good as it gets. Daddy collected owls, and I would search for owls for him all over the globe. Daddy often thought I wasn't thrifty enough with my obsession to collect owls for him, but I know he loved the owls I got him. And, as part of my efforts to manage my grief, I'm turning my guest bath (which I call "Daddy's and Mom's bath" because they were wonderful to visit me from out of town quite a lot) into an owl-themed bathroom.

This is the first owl item I bought for my new bathroom decor, and it is PERFECT. It brings me joy and comfort and smiles every time I see in it my house. It was so quick and easy to hang (I used owl hooks I'd purchased here), and my mother and everyone who has seen it all call it "so happy." The Happy Owl Curtain. That is what it is. It's also got a cool vintage vibe to it that I love. I wasn't sure how much I would like it when I ordered it, but I was hopeful. And when it arrived, I was THRILLED. It looks even more beautiful hung over my tub. This Owl curtain is special, and for it to make me feel happy when I'm in the midst of such overwhelming grief, it is extra special. I know Daddy would approve, and I love it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to any owl lover or anyone who would love a happy shower curtain with a cool vintage vibe.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 24, 2013 4:17 PM PST

Something's Gotta Give
Something's Gotta Give
DVD ~ Jack Nicholson
Price: $9.99
480 used & new from $0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars A silly and annoying disappointment., October 22, 2012
This review is from: Something's Gotta Give (DVD)
I saw this movie on cable in the middle of the night during a bout of insomnia. It wasn't a cure for insomnia, but that's the best thing I can say about it. The fatal flaw to the film, to me, was how silly the characters were, especially Diane Keaton's character. It was so over-the-top that it was like Diane Keaton was playing a parody of her character. FYI, if you haven't seen this before and plan to watch it - this review contains minor spoilers.

I had hopes for this movie's redeeming itself a few times so I watched the whole thing. Sadly, it didn't improve. When Diane Keaton went on a ludicrous and embarrassing crying binge for what felt like weeks, it was just too much. She'd only known Harry/Jack Nicholson for weeks (after meeting him because he was dating his daughter -- I won't even get into that) and only slept with him one time. But that was all it took to make her to sob and wail endlessly like a baby in the middle of a very extended temper tantrum. Erica/Diane Keaton actually cried longer than she'd known Harry, and that pretty much sums up this movie - juvenile, silly and annoying.

Erica is supposed to be a wildly successful playwright, who, early on is presented as someone who is at least somewhat grounded. Then comes Harry/Jack Nicholson, and one night of passion with Harry turns her into a hysterical woman. The question I kept asking myself while I was watching this movie is this: Did Erica really need to act so whacky, immature and unstable - giddy one moment, burping another, then freaking out the next moment, and sobbing the next? And is this supposed to be funny? Sadly, in spite of an outstanding cast, it was not funny.

CaseCrown Bold Standby Case (Purple) for iPad 4th Generation with Retina Display, iPad 3 & iPad 2 (Built-in magnet for sleep / wake feature)
CaseCrown Bold Standby Case (Purple) for iPad 4th Generation with Retina Display, iPad 3 & iPad 2 (Built-in magnet for sleep / wake feature)
Offered by Senyx
Price: $18.95
3 used & new from $12.00

29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the color. Just wish it had a hand strap for reading., December 10, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a very nice case. I don't mind that it is not leather because it looks and feels very nice, although I do think it is a bit pricey for imitation leather. That's because very similar cases in leather are cheaper or similarly priced, but those don't offer the color selection CaseCrown does. And I love the purple color. Purple is my favorite color, plus the distinctive color makes my iPad easier to spot. If you are like me, and you tend to keep your iPad in a black (or dark brown) case, sometimes I'll sit it down in my house or at work and it's harder to spot right away. With this lovely purple color, I'm able to spot my iPad right away. It's not bulky but protects the device very well. Snug fit with secure velco, nice magnetic closure that places your iPad 2 in sleep mode like the smart covers, stands up well for viewing. If they would add a hand strap for holding it, I would give it five stars instead of four even with the price. I also have a black leather Snugg case, and it's very nice. I gave it five stars and very highly recommend it. But it was getting a little worn from my regular use, plus I wanted a cover that wasn't black. So when I saw this CaseCrown case on Amazon I got it. But when I went to read the book I am currently reading via the Kindle app, I realized it was missing the hand strap that my Snugg has. This case is still very nice, but I miss that strap for secure holding. I would never return the case over that, but I wanted buyers to be aware it doesn't have a strap like other cases do, and I hope CaseCrown might consider adding that feature. I love that they offer such a rainbow of lovely colors from which to choose.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2012 2:55 PM PST

Poodles (Barron's Dog Bibles)
Poodles (Barron's Dog Bibles)
by Amy Fernandez
Edition: Hardcover-spiral
Price: $17.09
74 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful book. Best one I've read for poodles., November 26, 2011
I have several books (both physical and electronic books) on poodles and a few others on dog training and care in general. This book has been the most helpful and useful to me. Great advice, user friendly format, covers a lot of ground, and is centered on giving your poodle the best care in general and the best care for poodles specifically. This reads like it was written by poodle owners and poodle lovers. I have two poodles, one a rescue with special needs, and I want to do all I can to give them a very long, very happy and very healthy life.

This is a great resource, and it also is a great motivator for me. There are some things I know I need to be doing every day -- like exercising them more and longer than I do. I exercise them every day, but this gave me great advice and motivation to do it better. A lot of this advice is common sense for poodle owners, but just because something is common sense doesn't mean you do it, and it helps to have it laid out for you in such a straightforward way. And it helped me understand why I was already doing certain things (like not letting them just run in the back yard, but always being with them outside so they have the human interaction they thrive on and really need). There is a DVD in the book I have, but I haven't watched it yet. I'll update my review when I do if it is especially helpful. This review is for the book, which out of all the books on poodles and dogs I have, is the best. I highly recommend it. My book cover is slightly different than the one pictured here (same wording, just with a white poodle on it), but it (like the book pictured) is written by Amy Fernandez. There is an earlier version of this book that is written by a different person. The book I have is the 2010 edition.

As a poodle owner and a poodle lover, I found Barron's Dog Bible on Poodles very helpful and a great tool to help me be an even better poodle owner. It covers everything from poodle history (nothing new there but always interesting) to "the mind of the poodle," "how to choose a poodle," puppy care info, "living with a poodle," health and nutrition info, training and exercise, travel safety, grooming, seniors, other poodle-specific issues and much more. This book also makes good use of pictures, and it organizes the information very logically. The book also includes "breed needs," "helpful hints," "fun facts", checklists, question lists, etc. -- boxes of helpful information summaries in the various sections that are also good reference tools. I like the way the information is presented. It's user friendly, which means I will make good (and more effective) use of it. This book is a great resource, and I am very glad I bought it (totally on a whim because I already had the other books).

Kindle Fire Genuine Leather Cover by Marware, Brown (will not fit HD or HDX models)
Kindle Fire Genuine Leather Cover by Marware, Brown (will not fit HD or HDX models)
3 used & new from $5.89

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good looking case. Not as functional as I would prefer, but still very nice., November 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I ordered this cover in brown when I ordered the Fire - before the Fire had been released. There weren't many cases/covers available at that time, and this looked to be the nicest. It is pricy, but I was getting it as a gift, so I was okay with spending a little more to get something nice.

When it came it wasn't intuitive (for me at least) how to insert the Kindle and then how to turn it into a stand for videos. I was setting up the Fire with the case as a gift for my best friend, and I had to study the pictures closely to figure out how to insert it and how to turn it into a stand. Most cases are more logical than this one is, but this one serves its purpose. Once I figured it out, it was fine.

It doesn't maneuver as well as a stand as my Snugg does for my iPad (which I use). After I got this, I noticed a Snugg had been made for the Fire, but it was already unavailable by that time and I haven't been able to find one. This Marware case is more attractive than the Snugg, but the Snugg is more functional in my opinion. With this case, you pop out two of the clasps and then prop the Fire up on the inner case. That's really the only way to use it, and it doesn't "lock" in place as a stand like the Snugg.

But as a book cover, the brown Marware (the color I got) is more attractive than the Snugg. It has a solid feel and is very professional looking. I don't love the Marware case, but I am very happy with it and am proud of how it looked when presenting it as a gift.

I give this product four stars because it protects the Fire and looks good and is easy to hold with the handles and the elastic that holds the case when it is closed or open. I'd love it if it served as a better stand. I am hopeful that the clasps won't weaken over time. If I learn that they do, I will revise my review. But for now, I'm pleased with my purchase. So much so, in fact, I ordered another brown one for the Kindle I am giving my parents for Thanksgiving. I think that's a good testimony to my feelings about it - my buying another one as a gift.

Apollinaris Classic Sparkling Mineral Water, 11-Ounce Glass Bottle (Pack of 24)
Apollinaris Classic Sparkling Mineral Water, 11-Ounce Glass Bottle (Pack of 24)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite sparkling mineral water. Love the high mineral content and "edge" it has., November 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have loved this bottled water for years and years, but I've never found it in bottles other than the large one-liter glass ones. Those are heavy to lug around and, as I prefer to drink out of the bottle and not a glass, not professional or usable for work. So I was thrilled to find the smaller bottles on Amazon, and I was very surprised when my order showed up on my doorstep so very quickly after placing it. This is a high mineral content sparking natural water, so it's got more of an "edge" than other sparkling waters or mineral waters. There is a bite to it that I like. I find it more satisfying than most waters. It is higher in sodium, so that may add to the kick, too. But anything to get me to drink more water is a good thing for me. Just be aware of the sodium content if you are on a low sodium diet. For me, it is indeed the "Queen of Table Waters" as it promotes. I've tried to find waters I love as much (as it is harder to find and previously I could only find the liter bottles), but I've never found a water to match Apollinaris for me. And now that I can get it in the smaller bottles, I will be drinking it more often at work and on the road. This is one of those waters people generally feel strongly about. You either really love it or it may be TOO much for you because of the higher mineral content. I love it. And I'm so pleased to find a reliable vendor where I can get this water in single-serving sizes and delivered right to my door instead of lugging the bottles home from the store. This is a great find for me. I recommend trying this water (it's hard to find in the stores where I live, but I periodically come across it) because you may love it as much as I do. I haven't come across any other mineral water that is like it or that I love like I do Apollinaris, and I've tried A LOT. Apollinaris is by far my favorite.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2012 8:31 PM PST

What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love
What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love
by Carole Radziwill
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.48
176 used & new from $0.01

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great, book. Interesting topics, but the book left me feeling empty., November 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I found this book worth reading. It is a book that, for me, got better the more I read it. I did not enjoy the first part of the book. I felt like it was disjointed and jumped around too much, and I also found some of her stories from her childhood to be oddly disturbing and not in the way I think she meant them to be. She is a cynical person, which is understandable with all she's been through, but she was very cynical at an early age. When she was young, she viewed others whom she saw affected by death with disdain, later labeling them all as "tragedy whores", "voyeurs" and "emotional rubberneckers." She never views their emotion as being genuine and writes she "hated them" and still does. She revealed more intensity in her emotion about those girls mourning a death in seventh grade than she does about her husband. Throughout the book I have a feeling that she doesn't connect with people, and that may explain why she shows disdain for people who do. Tragic events affect people differently, but as a 12-year-old she seems to have believed that people who weren't as detached from feeling as she was were just milking tragedy for their own benefit. That is way too cynical for me. It is also odd and ironic to hear coming from someone who wrote and then sold a book about tragedy.

The book did get better the more I read, and I'm glad I kept reading it. There was a detached feeling to the entire book, however, that left me feeling empty. That is what remained after reading her book - a very empty feeling. I never could detect any passion that Carole felt for her husband Anthony. I could certainly feel her devotion to him. And affection at times. But no passion. And yet one of the few times she seemed to be able to express passion involved a very brief meeting she had with a reporter overseas while she was in grad school. The contrast between the way she talked about that one encounter vs. the way she talked about her husband was very stark and disconcerting. The way she describes her relationship with Anthony makes it appear to be more one of companionship than of one of love. They seemed to have two things in common - ABC and fighting cancer. I didn't find her to be particularly appealing as a person, which I think is because she came across as so detached, even as a child. With good autobiographical books, you connect with the writer. That did not happen for me ever with this book. But I found a lot of her story to be very interesting and even profound at times. I respect her drive, and I want to believe that she and Anthony were in love, having found each other after growing up in very different worlds. I also deeply respected his drive, and I thought she did a great job conveying what a fighter he was. He is a man who wanted to live and who kept living life to the fullest even as he suffered immensely.

Of course, I also found her discussions of the Kennedys to be interesting. However, she wrote with more affection about John Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette than she did about her husband or her own family, and that was a little creepy at times. She gushed about each of them, especially Carolyn, with an intensity she didn't show when writing about her husband. But she also provided interesting insights into John's and Carolyn's relationship and seemed to genuinely love them. Her relationship with Carolyn, while sweet and supportive, was also quite juvenile and high school-feeling, most notably in the way they talked to each other and the games they played. It seemed as though Carole became instantly infatuated with Carolyn after meeting her once. This struck me as odd, especially considering the fact Carole doesn't write about any other friends in her life in her book. As for her feelings about Caroline Kennedy, I thought her judgment of Caroline showed a revealing lack of perception on Carole's part. Caroline is an intensely private person, for good reason. It is logical that she would be protective of her only sibling and of her family. It is also understandable that, as a child of Jackie O, Caroline might find Carole and Carolyn quite off putting at times. Carole was never able to remotely grasp that, however. But Carole's description of the events surrounding the plane crash that killed John, Carolyn and Lauren Bessette was quite compelling. I cannot imagine (and never want to be able to imagine) the horrific losses she experienced with the plane crash so unexpectedly coming just as her husband was on the verge of losing his incredibly intense war with cancer they had waged their entire marriage and he had waged for a decade.

I don't know if Carole Radziwill's background in broadcast journalism is what caused her to be so detached from people and from her life in this book. And maybe her detachment is what led her to a career in broadcast journalism in the first place. Reading this book you got the feeling she was reporting it, like she was producing a segment from her days at "Peter Jennings Reports." There were interesting stories that she "reported," including little tidbits like her description of Tipper Gore's interesting mother, but it felt more like segments of her life pieced together - almost like an objective third party was writing it as opposed to someone who lived it and felt it with any passion. There was a disconnect that was there from the beginning that never really went away. I agree with another reviewer who said that maybe she wrote the book too soon after the tragedies she suffered, although I think it is very likely has a lot more to do with her personality than it does with her timing. Her descriptions of her mother (which never give you an understanding of her) early in the book may give greater insight into her detached personality than anything else. I'm glad I read the book, but it did not affect me the way I thought it would. The unthinkable tragedies Carole experienced remind me to appreciate life each and every day, but her detached and cynical nature remind me how important it is to connect with the people in your life. As an aside, after finishing her book I read that she signed on to participate in the reality TV series, "The Real Housewives of New York." I have to admit that I found that odd. I also read she has a net worth of $50 million, so she's not going on that show because she is desperate for money. I have never seen that show, but I may watch to see how my perception of her from reading this book fits with or differs from how she is on reality television.

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