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doctor_beth "doctor_beth" RSS Feed (Upstate NY USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   

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YogaAddict Yoga Mat Bag "Supreme" With Pocket, 28" Long, Fit Most Mat Size, Extra Wide, FREE - Drawstring Laundry Bag, FREE Shipping - Black
YogaAddict Yoga Mat Bag "Supreme" With Pocket, 28" Long, Fit Most Mat Size, Extra Wide, FREE - Drawstring Laundry Bag, FREE Shipping - Black

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy bag, but too many practical problems, December 13, 2014
NOTE: I received a free sample of this product for review.

I have a yoga mat bag that I like and use regularly (Manduka Yoga Bag). However, it doesn't fit much other than my yoga mat, and I thought that something a bit roomier might be nice, especially given that I'm going to be starting yoga teacher training next month.

The YogaAddict Yoga Mat Bag is definitely very roomy! I liked that it has a U-type zippered opening. The main compartment is HUGE: I put my largest yoga mat inside, and there was plenty of room around it to add shoes, clothing, a water bottle, or whatever else I might want. Also, the material of the bag felt very durable and sturdy.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find much else to like about this bag. I actually came to think of the large size as a detriment, as the stiff big felt much too unwieldy to take to yoga class. In fact, the bag is SO large that I was actually able to fit TWO mats inside! This may sound like a good thing, but it just proves how unnecessarily massive this bag is. Furthermore, the material of the bag, while strong, also makes an extremely unpleasant crinkly sound: any time the bag is opened or any pocked it used, it sounds like a crumbling paper bag. Again, this seemed too disruptive for use during yoga class.

Other aspects of this bag seemed impractical as well. It has both double handles and a shoulder strap--at first glance, this seems like a good idea, but the double handles are shoulder length, so it is just cumbersome to include both. There are three outside pockets, one apparently for a water bottle which has a non-functioning drawstring, and two zippered pockets that would have been much more functional had they been combined. A final problem is a quality issue: there is also an inner zippered pocket, but on the bag I received, the pocket had been stitched into the lining of the bag, rendering it useless.

In the end, there's just not a lot about this "Yoga Mat Bag" that makes sense to me. It even comes with a free "laundry bag" (a small drawstring bag made out of that same annoying, crinkly material)--but who uses a laundry bag for yoga? Perhaps this bag would function better as a general gym bag or some other type of sports bag, but it didn't work well for me.

UPDATE 12/15/14: I tried to post photos showing some of the problems I mentioned, but Amazon and/or the manufacturer is not allowing customer images for this product.


VELCRO Brand  - Holiday ONE-WRAP Shapes - 12" x 1/2" Ties, 3ct - Bow
VELCRO Brand - Holiday ONE-WRAP Shapes - 12" x 1/2" Ties, 3ct - Bow
Price: $5.22
2 used & new from $4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent fasteners, but can't really be used as holiday "bows", December 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At first glance at this product, you might think it is a gift wrap item, a type of tie that is appropriate for adorning presents. But despite the "holiday" label, it's really not that at all. These are simply Velcro-type fasteners that are more appropriate for projects such as bundling cords, etc. They are very similar to any other Velcro fastener products, with the only difference being that this is a loop-type fastener with a small bow on the end. If anything, however, I believe that limits the usefulness of these ties.

With respect to using these ties for the holidays, they would be good for bundling Christmas lights. I think it would be much more difficult to use them in a decorative manner (as shown in the item description), as you would need to have an item of JUST the right size to use this product on. Given this, I don't think that this product is your best option; I would recommend some all-purpose Velcro ties instead.


V8 Oatmeal Raisin Complete Nutrition Bar, 1.76 Ounce Bars (Pack of 6)
V8 Oatmeal Raisin Complete Nutrition Bar, 1.76 Ounce Bars (Pack of 6)
Offered by Consumer Discount Products
Price: $15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Love these!, December 10, 2014
I like to have protein bars in the morning for a quick "on-the-go" breakfast. I prefer fruit or other more "breakfast-y" type flavors, but unfortunately, these are getting harder and harder to find. (Not only do I find that most chocolate or peanut butter protein bars taste fake, but also I don't enjoy these flavors for breakfast.)

I found these V8 bars on clearance and picked up several boxes. They met my basic nutritional requirements in having a high amount of protein (10 grams) without TOO much sugar (12 grams); plus, I liked that they are high in fiber with 5 grams. Of course, taste is everything, but I was very impressed with the flavor of these bars. They are moist an chewy, tasting similar to an oatmeal cookie with real bits of raisin; they are lightly cinnamon-y as well. I think the icing coating is a bit unnecessary, but then I always think that with bars.

Unfortunately, I believe that V8 has stopped making these--I am extremely disappointed! These are one of the best protein bars I have found, and if I can find them on clearance, I will continue to buy them.


Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizing Cc Cream Light To Medium, 1.7 Fl Oz
Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizing Cc Cream Light To Medium, 1.7 Fl Oz
Price: $14.82
9 used & new from $5.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly effective!, December 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although I wear makeup daily (yes, even on weekends!), I don't tend to wear foundation or any other type of "base" layer, partly because my skin is oily/sensitive to breakouts, and partly because I just don't like the feeling of a lot of product covering my entire face. On holidays, special occasions, and other times when I want a bit more polished look, I will take the extra step for more coverage--either traditional foundation, a tinted moisturizer, or more recently, a BB cream.

I had never tried a CC cream before, but reading the description, it sounded pretty similar to the BB creams I've been using of late. I was especially attracted to the "pore minimizing" claims, as large pores are a particular issue for me, and I liked that this product was oil-free and included SPF as well. On the other hand, I was a bit concerned about the "Light to Medium" shade, as I consider myself to be more towards medium. However, I decided to give it a try.

The Olay CC Cream arrived during a week that I was sick with a bad cold and not sleeping well. Although I wouldn't normally wear this type of product as part of my workday makeup, I thought my illness-impacted appearance could probably use a little bit of a boost, so I decided to try this product. Upon first squeezing the product out of the tube, I was worried about how thick the product seemed. However, once I applied it to my face, it was surprisingly easy to blend and didn't feel heavy and all. I thought that the product smelled very faintly of cucumber, which is a scent I usually dislike, but it was so subtle that it didn't bother me.

To be honest, after applying the product in the morning, I really didn't think about it during the day. But when I got home from work and looked in the mirror, I noticed that my face looked surprisingly good for the end of a workday. At first, I didn't remember what was different, but then I did--I used the Olay CC Cream that morning! I even asked my husband for his opinion. He said that I looked how I do when I leave the house in the a.m., but that's just the point--usually, by the end of the day, I DON'T look like that anymore, as my skin tends to become shiny and oily, and my makeup wears off as a result. Instead, after using this CC Cream, my skin looked matte and even, and my makeup looked completely fresh!

I have since experimented with using this product more. I have found that it works well for both spot- and full-face coverage. I am so impressed with the results that I have gotten from this CC Cream that I have already recommended it to one person (my secretary), and I certainly would not hesitate to tell others about it.


A Week in Winter
A Week in Winter
by Maeve Binchy
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.58
299 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful last novel from this author, December 7, 2014
This review is from: A Week in Winter (Paperback)
Irish author Maeve Binchy passed away in 2012, shortly after completing A WEEK IN WINTER, her final novel. I'd read all of Binchy's prior works but delayed reading this one knowing that it was the last novel I'd ever read from her. Happily, this sweet, poignant, and funny novel was well worth the wait.

The book opens with Chicky Starr. As a young girl in Ireland, Chicky is swept off her feet by a charming American, Walter, and against the wishes of her family, she agrees to follow him to New York. Although the relationship doesn't work out, the hard-working Chicky perseveres, saving money and eventually putting herself in position to return to her hometown of Stoneybridge and to open her own business. Chicky has decided to purchase Stone House, an old home badly in need of repairs, and renovate it to run as a sort of out-of-the-way bed and breakfast vacation.

The remainder of the characters, each given their own chapter, revolve around this central theme. There is Orla, Chicky's niece, who left to find her fortune in Dublin but who returns to Stoneybridge to assist Chicky in Stone House. Rigger, the delinquent son of Chicky's childhood friend, become's Chicky's manager. The final two-thirds of the novel centers around the guests who come to stay for the first week of Stone House's opening, a "Week in Winter." Each guest has his/her own backstory and each tale is accompanied by rewards and redemption.

Binchy was a wonderful writer. She creates characters readers can truly care about. As I read this novel, not only was I eager to turn each and every page, but also I would have moments of tears (both of sadness and joy) springing to my eyes. I loved this novel, but I was terribly sad to see it come to an end--the world has lost a wonderful author in Maeve Binchy.


Maidenform Sleek Smoothers Shorty Shapewear, Paris Nude, Medium
Maidenform Sleek Smoothers Shorty Shapewear, Paris Nude, Medium
Price: $12.67
7 used & new from $11.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice as a smoother, not as a shaper, December 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was interested in this product because I was looking for something that would provide light control under dresses and skirts, particular when I am not wearing tights or pantyhose. I already own a similar control garment, but it is super-tight and uncomfortable to wear, so I was hoping that this Maidenform Smoother would be an improvement.

First, about the sizing. I ordered the Medium, which was was the correct size according to my underwear size (6). And I do think that this was the correct size for me--I generally wear an 8 in pants (sometimes a 6 depending on the cut). However, I tend to hold my weight in my lower half (butt, hips, and thighs), so for someone my size but shaped differently, the medium might actually be too large.

The first time I wore this Shorty, I actually tried it OVER pantyhose, as I was attending a wedding in November. I thought the Shorty would provide me with both a bit of extra shaping as well as serve somewhat like a slip, as it has a very nice, silky feel. For the latter purpose, it worked quite well, as it helped my knit dress from clinging to my pantyhose. As a shaper, most people are likely to find this Shorty disappointing, as it provides minimal shaping at best. Although it did fit me through the waist and hips, the Shorty smoothed that area only; it was not nearly tight enough to do any actual shaping. And on the thighs--and believe me, my thighs are generous!--this Shorty was actually quite loose! The model pictured must have the product pinned against her to achieve such a tight fit.

Personally, I am happy with this product, as I was looking for light shaping only (although a bit more would have been acceptable). However, I think others in the market for a "shapewear" product might be disappointed by the minimal level of control provided by this product.


Move Free Triple Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin and Hyaluronic Acid Joint Supplement, 80 Count
Move Free Triple Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin and Hyaluronic Acid Joint Supplement, 80 Count
Offered by k1y9l8e8
Price: $17.50
44 used & new from $16.56

2.0 out of 5 stars Uncertain about effectiveness due to side effects, December 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have recently become interested in trying a joint supplement product. I am in my mid-40s and am a daily exercisers. As I have gotten older, I have increasingly experienced aches and pains. I am aware that some of these are muscular in nature, but I also sometimes experience tendonitis flare-ups and other issues that seem more joint-related, so I thought that taking a glucosamine supplement might be helpful.

Prior to trying Move Free, I purchased another glucosamine supplement that I was taking for about 2 weeks. Unfortunately, this product was starting to cause me some GI distress. Then I received Move Free, and when I first began taking it, I didn't notice any side effects. Within about a week, however, I started having worse GI distress than I experienced with the first product. I was experiencing a near-constant, low-grade nausea. This effect was significant enough to interfere with my sleep on several occasions. At first, I was not 100% sure that the GI effect was due to this product, as it did not immediately go away after I stopped taking Move Free, but once this product had been out of my system for approximately five days, I no longer felt any nausea.

I can't say whether this product is effective for its intended purpose, as I was unable to take it long enough to experience any beneficial effects. (I took it for approximately 3 weeks total.) I am not usually particularly sensitive to the side effects of medications/supplements, so this reaction took me be surprise. This may be a decent product, but I would certainly have to recommend caution when using it.


How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention
How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention
by Susan Rose Blauner
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.39
70 used & new from $4.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Part self-help, part memoir, November 24, 2014
As a clinical psychologist who works with college students, I picked up this book because I was curious about gaining additional insight into the mind of someone who is suicidal. The author, Susan Rose Blauner, wrote the book about her own mental health struggles, including an eighteen year battle with suicide ideation. Although this work is classified as "self-help," much of it reads more like a memoir, as Blauner details her childhood, history of suicide gestures, time in therapy, and reactions from her family members/friends.

Blauner also offers her readers plenty of practical information, focusing on what was helpful in her own recovery. As soon as Page 30, she provides in-depth instruction for a deep breathing exercise a preparation for reading the rest of the book. She continues to offer exercises at intervals throughout the second section, including several visualization strategies. The third part centers around "Tricks of the Trade"--basically, creating a coping toolbox for managing suicidal thoughts. This is the meat of Blauner's work, and contains valuable information, including specific steps for developing a support system (even when your brain objects), developing and using a crisis plan, recognizing feelings and how they are triggered, finding healthy diversions, and much more, including connecting with therapy.

In Part Five, Blauner returns to the topic of "Helping the Suicidal Thinker" (Part Four is more memoir, sharing letters from her family and friends); here, however, the focus is on how others can help rather than on self-help. Again, Blauner includes information that is likely to be extremely beneficial to readers, such as types of words to avoid (e.g., "whys," "cants," and "shoulds") and how to provide expressions of support using "I" statements. She also emphasizes that it IS okay to talk about suicide and that listening while offering compassion can be of utmost importance. The final section of this book provides resources, including national hotline numbers and web pages. Given that the book was published in 2002, some of these might be out of date; I would be happy to provide updated information in the Comments by request.

Overall, I think that this book has useful information. It may be most helpful to supporters of those with suicidal ideation, as I think that those who are actively experiencing thoughts of suicide may not be open to this type of self-help.


Unrefined Organic Shea Butter by Skin Ritual - USDA Certified Organic - 16 fl oz
Unrefined Organic Shea Butter by Skin Ritual - USDA Certified Organic - 16 fl oz
Offered by Skin Ritual
Price: $49.99

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Natural product for dry skin, November 23, 2014
NOTE: I received a free sample of this product for review.

My facial skin tends toward oily, although I can still get dry patches, particularly during the winter and/or if I have overused acne products. I also experience dryness throughout other areas of my body, from on my legs post-shaving to the rough skin of my elbows to the heels of my feet. Traditional moisturizers can be helpful, but I had never tried unrefined shea butter before, which is why I was interested in this product from Skin Ritual.

An order of Skin Ritual Organic Shea Butter comes with a free ebook explaining exactly how to use the product as well as "recipes" for creating shea butter blends for different purposes. The product comes in a large tub, very similar to an actual tub of butter. To use the product, the instructions recommend taking the following steps: 1) wash and dry hands, 2) remove shea butter from tub with a wooden spoon, and 3) allow shea butter to soften in palm before applying to desired location.

Given this, I found this product to be both cumbersome and messy to use. The shea butter is VERY greasy--the manufacturer explains that once appropriately warmed and melted, it is actually an OIL, but this means that even using a tiny amount leaves a residue. It also meant that I had to be very careful not only to avoid touching anything with my hands, but also to make sure that whatever body part I was applying it to was protected (e.g., if I put it on my feet, I would need to immediately put socks on). And I did not find the scent to be "natural" at all--to me, it was lightly reminiscent of bacon grease. Luckily, though, I actually thought that the odor was quite mild, so this was not a problem for me.

The main reason for giving this product two stars is that I did NOT think that the moisturizing benefits outweighed the negatives outlined above. This Organic Shea Butter performed no better than an average moisturizer, yet I found it much more difficult to use. Therefore, I cannot recommend this product; I think most people will be able to find better alternatives.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2014 8:16 AM PST


Kharma Khare Reincarnated Lite Non Slip Eco-friendly Yoga Mat - 4 Mm (Black)
Kharma Khare Reincarnated Lite Non Slip Eco-friendly Yoga Mat - 4 Mm (Black)
Offered by Kharma Khare, Inc.
Price: $70.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice mat for the eco-conscious yogi!, November 23, 2014
NOTE: I received a free sample of this yoga mat to review.

I have multiple yoga mats; I tend to select different ones for different uses. The one I rely on the most is my Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat, as it is lightweight, thin (which I prefer), and the most dependably non-slip mat I have ever tried.

This Kharma Khare mat is slightly thicker than my Manduka eKo Lite. However, unlike some thick yoga mats, it is not a squishy thickness, which I can't stand--rather, it is nice and firm, and it feels great under your feet. Standing on the mat, I got great grip and felt that the mat was very secure. When my hands were on the mat--in downward dog, for example--I thought that the grip was decent, but not QUITE as good as with my eKo mat. Still, overall I feel confident practicing yoga on this mat.

To me, the main selling point of the Kharma Khare mat is that it is made from recycled tires--love this! Mine did have a bit of a rubbery odor when I first unrolled it, but this dissipated after I 1) wiped it down with the included yoga mat wipes (not sure if this is standard, but I received 20 2-packs of these), and 2) left it unrolled for several days. The only other (minor) negative of this mat is that the black color easily shows dusty footprints; I noticed this more using this mat than with any of my other mats. Still, I would highly recommend this mat, especially for the eco-conscious yogi, and my final rating is 4 1/2 stars.


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