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Customer Reviews: 1192
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Reviews Written by
Mary Jo Sminkey "15+ years of Amazon Reviews!" RSS Feed (Wake Forest, NC USA)
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The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes
The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes
by Jarden Home Brands
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.37
45 used & new from $13.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Not a Book for Canning Newbies, But For Experienced Canners, Offers a Lot of Great New Recipes to Try, June 27, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This would not be the book I recommend for a new canner, or that is looking for all your typical recipes like basic jams, sauces, etc. I already have the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and that is my "go to" book for most recipes, I highly recommend that one for new canners.

If however you are looking for something that offers a wide range of different recipes, this book is chock full of NEW and interesting canning recipes that have twists on the basics. What I particularly liked is how it also includes recipes to use what you preserve. Far too often I give my jams, etc. to people and they just ask well, what can I make with this? It makes an even more awesome gift to include a great recipe along with the jar, and that's a big part of what you are getting with this book. The book is very well illustrated throughout with copious use of photos and excellent instructions. As someone that owns a pressure canner, I was particularly happy to see some good recipes included specifically for my pressure canner, something that far too often the information is limited in most canning books, let alone actually give you decent recipes for.

Overall, I was excited to get a book on canning that gives me some new things to try out and not just more basic jams and jellies.


Logitech Wireless Anywhere Mouse MX for PC and Mac
Logitech Wireless Anywhere Mouse MX for PC and Mac
Price: $29.35
129 used & new from $17.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Most Unreliable Mouse I've Ever Owned Since Mice were Invented, June 25, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's frustrating that Logitech makes such nice mice... that are so unreliable. I really love the turbo scroll feature that a number of their mice have, and this mouse is my favorite everyday mouse since I work from my sofa and need a mouse that works on any surface. It's a great travel mouse too due to the small size. But Logitech doesn't seem to care if their mice fail all the time. I'm now on my 3rd one under warranty (at least they do have a decent warranty but I guess they assume for the price most people won't bother with the hassle of getting a replacement) and it still isn't working properly. The first one failed with the infamous double-click issue. The second one failed when the scroll on it stopped working. Now I'm having software issues with the latest replacement where the mouse connection to my Mac just seems to randomly fail, and the only way to get it working is to un-pair and re-pair it in the unifying software. I often have to do this 2 or 3 times a day. My Mac magic mouse has none of these issues (I keep it handy to re-pair this mouse, but it doesn't track well on my sofa pillows). So as much as I like this mouse, I think I've given Logitech enough chances to fix the problems, but when I have to always have another mouse on hand due to how often this mouse fails it's time to just find a mouse that replaces it completely.


CHUCKIT Sport LX Launcher System
CHUCKIT Sport LX Launcher System
Price: $19.99
2 used & new from $13.29

2.0 out of 5 stars Nice Idea for a Combination People-Dog Toy and Game, but Just Didn't Come Together for Me, June 25, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wasn't particularly impressed with this Chuckit version. It does make it easier to launch the ball than by hand, as do all their launchers, but I don't like that it uses a fuzzy tennis ball style of ball (which are known to cause damage over time to dog's teeth) versus the solid rubber balls they usually use with their toys. And I think with it having two launchers, it should have come with two balls. I get that the idea is that you can play with this by passing the ball back and forth, but it's VERY hard to catch compared to traditional lacrosse, you have to be lined up exactly right and the ball going straight into the basket to catch it. Had it been easier to catch I'd have given it another star, but it's not a catch game we are particularly likely to play very often. As for picking up the ball, you have to lean down so much to scoop it up it's hard to see what the benefit is, and if you are playing on grass, it's even harder to get it up. If the idea is a launcher that helps picking the ball up so you don't have to bend over all the time, it's definitely a failure on that point. You will just end up trying to teach your dog to put the ball back into the basket, and if you can train them to do that, you might as well just train them to put the ball into your hand! So overall, I like the idea, but the actual implementation of it just didn't work for me.


Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table
Price: $39.88
5 used & new from $32.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Overall a Great Learning Toy that Grows with Your Baby, but Could Have been a BIT Better, June 23, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A lot of things to like about this toy, there's lot of activities on it, buttons to push, things to hear, etc. I love that you can use it on the floor for babies that aren't walking yet, but then add the legs when they are older, but what I don't like is that the legs don't collapse and fold under the table in some way, you have to remove and store them and the chances of them getting lost or just forgetting where they are is certainly very high for most people. I really would have liked a way to keep them stored with the table. The other issue is just that the cell phone is just stickers on a little plastic box, there's no buttons or activities at all on the phone which seems like a real oversight that would have taken this over the top. For these two reason I just couldn't give it 5-stars, but it probably would warrant 4-1/2 as these aren't major issues and it otherwise is still a really excellent toy/learning tool. I particularly like being able to adjust the difficulty level as your child gets older. That definitely gives it far more re-usability than many similar toys.


Fisher-Price Imaginext Shark Bite Pirate Ship
Fisher-Price Imaginext Shark Bite Pirate Ship

5.0 out of 5 stars Action-Filled Pirate Ship, June 22, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is such a great toy! Even kids that don't have a particular interest in pirates will love all the action built into this cool pirate ship. You can fire cannon balls (with slight adjustments to the angle it fires), make them walk the plank (which can be slid in and out), open up a hidden below deck compartment, and best of all, chomp pirates up with the shark teeth on the front of the ship (which loads them into the below deck galley). Just the look of this thing is exciting, but it has so many fun things you can do with it, a bunch of included pirates and accessories, and is well built and sturdy to handle rough play, that it's an all-around winner for us.


Little Felted Dogs: Easy Projects for Making Adorable Needle Felted Pups
Little Felted Dogs: Easy Projects for Making Adorable Needle Felted Pups
by Saori Yamazaki
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.95
72 used & new from $4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT a Book I'd Recommend For Beginners., June 20, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A lot of the reviews on this book seem to be based on just looking at it, and not actually trying to see if you could follow the directions and get a dog that looks like the ones pictured. So if you are looking to get into needle felting, be sure to read through and try to find the reviews from people that actually know this craft and do it. First, you will need a number of supplies to get started, which should be obvious, but if you haven't done needle felting before, keep in mind that you do have to buy the needles, wool, glass eyes and a surface to felt on. It's not always easy to get individual colors and the cost can add up quickly. Some people prefer to do a wire armature as well with their dogs particular to have a standing model. There are kits available that provide these materials with all the colors needed to make a particular animal and I would STRONGLY suggest if you are new to needle felting to start with one of those. If you are a total beginner, I don't think this book is a good choice for learning the craft. The instructions are quite sparse with no pictures to show the process for each dog, just a "basic" and "advanced" techniques section at the beginning that goes over the basic dog construction. There are definitely better felting books out there, but you can also go to YouTube and find some of the great tutorials on there and start off with projects that are much simplier. Needle felting also takes a LOT of time, there's a reason that models tend to cost a lot of money. Even a small one can take hours to construct, and the more pieces a particular animal has, the longer it takes to make. As such a dog and particularly some of the ones in this book that have a lot of colors and attributes to build, is not the best thing to start with. And when you are beginning, you WILL stab yourself with the needle from time to time. The smaller the model, like these, the more likely that will happen.

Now, the hardest thing when you are new to this hobby is getting the proportions right. Some people have a good eye for doing this and can look at the diagrams given and get pretty close. I personally don't find this very easy, and frankly dogs are not a particularly easy animal to do with all the limbs, ears, facial features and markings. Getting the head proportion right is essential to the dog looking like it should. The book basically just has a single photo of each breed included, a single page of instructions specific to that dog, and a diagram showing the sizes of the body, head, legs, etc. to use for creating your model. If you have some experience doing needle felting, you may be able to get reasonably close using these, but for true beginners I think the kits which include an actual template with the shape and size of each piece you need to make drawn out is FAR easier to get it right with. Here there's nothing to help you with how much wool you need to get the head for instance to the right size, you just have to try and experiment until you get it right. Other books on needle felting dogs have a lot more photos showing the pieces and process from start to finish for each breed, compared to this one, it's a nice guide in terms of having a photo to work off of, and the diagrams to show the proportions, but it definitely is better once you have some experience in this craft to work off of. Of course, once you are fairly experienced enough that you can work from this book, you probably wouldn't need to use one anyway!

I debated between 3 and 4 stars for this, I'd tend to give it 3-1/2 stars since it is a useful help to a needle felter like myself that has some experience but it's not hard to take a photo of a dog and figure out the proportions yourself and that seems to be the majority of what you get from this book, and it's certainly easy enough to find photos of needle felted dogs on the internet, so I just don't know that there's enough value in this book to recommend it.


Lionel Mega Tracks - Cork Screw Chaos Green Engine
Lionel Mega Tracks - Cork Screw Chaos Green Engine
Price: $88.09
2 used & new from $74.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Challenging to Build At First, but Runs on the Track Very Well at High Speeds, June 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 0:34 Mins

I'm kind of obsessed with any kind of race track set, and this one looked particularly interesting and fun. It's more of a roller coaster style track, where the "engine" attaches to the track and goes through steep turns, hills and loops. There is only one engine car and controller included, and the car is quite large in comparison to the track, I would have liked a smaller car that doesn't put so much strain on the track but it does stay on if you build the design included. It reminds me a bit of the various K'Nex roller coaster sets, but obviously intended to be less about a complex construction task and more about the physics of the track and testing it to see if the car can run without flying off. It took me longer than I expected to get it built, particularly because the diagrams are so darn small and hard to read. The design itself isn't that complicated, and the connection system quite well designed, but I really wish that sets like this came with diagrams that you didn't have to keep picking up and holding close to your face to read because of how tiny they are, it really slows down how quickly you can get it built together! (Maybe someone will figure out that a PDF that I can load on my iPad and zoom into the pictures is what we REALLY need!) I can see younger kids in particular needing help to put it together. It does require a fair amount of room, and clearly Lionel intends for people to buy additional sets in the series so as to be able to run more than one car at a time and build larger, more complicated tracks. While some other reviewers mentioned having to have a large table to attach the track to, I did not find that to necessarily be the case at least for the included track design, as the supports extend enough to the side to stabilize the track even at full speeds, as shown in the video (as you can see as well, my dog loves chasing the cars on any race track toy I set up!) Properly built, you can run the car at top speed without it coming off, and you can reverse and go in the other direction as well. The clamps though do allow you to have fun building tracks that you can attach to household furniture, and due to the way the car attaches to the track, some gravity-defying designs are possible. Overall a good game but primarily of interest to kids that enjoy the process of creating their own designs, not so much ones that just want to build whatever comes in the box and play with the finished item.


Zinus 14 Inch SmartBase Deluxe Mattress Foundation/Platform Bed Frame/Box Spring Replacement, King
Zinus 14 Inch SmartBase Deluxe Mattress Foundation/Platform Bed Frame/Box Spring Replacement, King
Price: $109.00
3 used & new from $108.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Bed Frame to get More Under-Bed Storage, June 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Super-easy bed frame to use. This King sized frame comes in two halves, you just pull it out of the box, flip each half open, pull down the legs and screw the pieces together, and you are ready to go. Lots of storage room underneath makes this a great choice for use with any bed, I'm using it with a memory foam mattress and it is ideal for that, with adequate support for the mattress while allowing for proper air circulation as well.


J is for Jeep Brand J is for Jeep Brand Adventure All-Terrain Jogging Stroller, Berry Tracks
J is for Jeep Brand J is for Jeep Brand Adventure All-Terrain Jogging Stroller, Berry Tracks

4.0 out of 5 stars I like the design of the stroller for the most part... but not so much for jogging., June 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although this is described as a jogging stroller, it's more just a heavy duty stroller than can handle some "off road" use. I would not consider it light enough for jogging and there's no kind of shock absorption either so your baby can get bounced around pretty good at running speeds. I personally also really don't care for the shape of the handle which is not round, but has some squared corners which I find rather uncomfortable to hold for very long. I'm fairly sensitive to such issues so someone else might not be as bothered by it. Other than that, it's a fairly traditional stroller of this style, with large wheels, the rear ones easily to remove for travel and the front one able to be locked so for jogging it only will go forward. When unlocked, it allows for much easier maneuvering of the stroller than 4-wheel styles which is something I really love about this stroller. It's easy enough to fold up (I didn't have any issues as the other reviewer mentioned with it folding on its own) but I wasn't able to figure out the plastic thing that is supposed to help hold it in the folded position, I would like something that keeps it folded down a bit better. There are velcro straps there too but they aren't easy to use. There's plenty of storage underneath the stroller and a nice tray for drinks and smartphone for the adult. The tray in front is easy to unlock and either flip to the side or remove completely. The seat definitely seems to be designed for fairly old babies and toddlers. I didn't have the car set type that works with this stroller, which I would have liked to test as well. Overall a decent well-built stroller, but be realistic in your expectations for it.


Sleep Master Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Queen
Sleep Master Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Queen
Price: $154.18
2 used & new from $150.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Addition to the Mattress for this Fibromyalgia Suffer., June 15, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This bed topper was just what I was looking to get! I sleep on a latex foam bed typically but it's inside a fairly thick cover that prevents me from really benefitting from the pressure relieving benefits of the foam, which suffering from fibromyalgia is something I really was looking to get. So adding this memory foam topper was perfect to provide an additional layer of cushioning on top of the more firm foam bed underneath. Luckily my mattress pad and linens were deep enough to handle the additional height... an important consideration if you are thinking of getting this as it's not an insignificant amount of additional height! There was a slight chemical smell which is common with new foam but not bad at all and should go away fairly soon. Was fairly easy to unpack and just roll out on the bed. I could feel the improvement immediately, I don't feel like I am sinking far into the foam, it's thick enough that I feel supported by it while still sinking in enough to provide pressure relief. Just what I was looking for.


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