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Reviewer Dr. Beth RSS Feed (Upstate NY USA)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   

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Green Hill Celtic Music Sampler 2014
Green Hill Celtic Music Sampler 2014
Price: $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful album of celtic music offered for free!, October 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I stumbled across this album when looking for free music. This is a beautiful album of relaxing celtic tunes, some instrumental, some lyrical. I have recently become certified as a yoga teacher, and this type of music is perfect to use for yoga classes. This is a great offering, and you can't beat the FREE price.


Gayatri Mantra
Gayatri Mantra
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great free download!, October 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Gayatri Mantra (MP3 Music)
Pretty, calming song with soft chanting in the background--and it's available for free!


Nature's Path Love Crunch Dark Chocolate - 11.5 oz
Nature's Path Love Crunch Dark Chocolate - 11.5 oz
Offered by PocoPay
Price: $7.98
19 used & new from $5.37

5.0 out of 5 stars I am in love!!!, October 30, 2015
I stumbled on this granola in my local grocery store--it's amazing! It is nearly impossible to find granola that is 1) low in fat, 2) low in sugar, 3) doesn't cost a lot (my grocery store sells this for about 1/3 of the price listed here), and 4) tastes good, but Nature's Path Love Crunch meets ALL of these requirements!

I first purchased the dark chocolate variety--yummy granola with actual little chunks of dark chocolate and dried berry pieces throughout. I immediately bought several more bags! Then I noticed there was a carrot cake flavor too--are you kidding me? That's also delicious, with little bits of pecan and dried pineapple. This is by far the best purchased granola I have ever had. HIghly recommended!


Attitude Ballet and Pilates Fusion with Bernadette Giorgi
Attitude Ballet and Pilates Fusion with Bernadette Giorgi
Offered by sbcjr
Price: $19.99
4 used & new from $10.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Two gentle routines offer a nice combination of ballet (no barre required) and Pilates matwork, October 25, 2015
I have tried some of instructor Bernadette Giorgi's Pilates DVDs, so I thought I might enjoy this one as well, especially given that I enjoy both Pilates and ballet workouts. This DVD is subtitled as being for "over 50" fitness--I'm 47, so I figured that I was close enough. Giorgi leads a group of four background exercisers who do appear to be in their late 40s or 50s. These women are fit and performed the routines well enough, but I found them to be oddly unsmiling and somewhat mechanical in performance during the workouts. I was also thrown a bit by the setting, which is a large, airy space with ersatz barn doors to one side that I've seen in other fitness videos, usually cardio-type ones; this type of studio just did not seem to fit with the more relaxed vibe of this barre and Pilates routines presented here.

The Main Menu of this DVD offers the following options: Introduction (a brief overview by Giorgi) - Form Pointers - Workout 1 - Workout 2 - Premixes - Credits. In the Form Pointers segment (10.5 minutes), Giorgi uses one of the background exercisers to demonstrate some of the main moves used in the routines, including 1st position, 2nd position, 4th position, 5th position, and tendu. I have described each of the additional segments in greater detail below.

WORKOUT 1
This workout is approximately 40 minutes long. It starts with a warm-up (about 3 minutes), which consists of simple pliés and side stretches. Centre barre is next. These are traditional ballet moves, although an actual ballet barre is not used. Rather, Giorgi takes you through sets of pliés and relevés, working from the various ballet positions. In-between every set, Giorgi cued two grand pliés as a "rest"--these began to feel somewhat tedious. However, I enjoyed the balance work, which included developés to each side and combination moves. The next section was weighted work, or centre ball. Giorgi and friends use a weighted ball, sometimes in one hand, sometimes in both hands. Although I actually have a small 4-pound medicine ball, I found it easier to use my 2-pound "s-shaped" weights, as I could use these in either one or both hands depending on the exercise. There is about 20 minutes of Pilates matwork, and then a brief stretch concludes the workout.

WORKOUT 2
The second routine is very similar to the first, starting with almost the same warm-up. The centre barre segment is a bit more intense here, although again, Giorgi includes the two grand pliés between sets, which slows down the workout. She performs full pliés with cat stretches in-between as well as developés with kicks forward, a nice move requiring balance. The center barre work is fairly short (5 minutes) and includes compound moves such as lift front with lunge, triceps push rear, side pliés with high bicep curl, and alternating side balance (no weights). There was a similar Pilates matwork segment (again about 20 minutes), and the short stretch including just a few moves such as Mermaid, a twist, and a heel stretch, bringing the tool workout time in at about 37 minutes.

As noted above, this DVD has several premixes. These combine various segments of the two main workouts as follows:

ATTITUDE BARRE, 37:40 minutes
warm-up, Workouts 1 & 2, Centre Barre Work, Stretch

ATTITUDE BALL, 24:10 minutes
warm-up, Workouts 1 & 2, Center Ball Work, Stretch

ATTITUDE MAT, 31:00 minutes
warm-up, workout 1 & 2 mat work, stretch

ATTITUDE ADVANCED, 68:00 minutes
warm-up, workouts 1 & 2 all sections and stretch

Overall, I did like these routines. There are several things that make this DVD worthwhile, including the variety of ballet moves and the premixes. However, it could have been better--although Giorgi is a good instructor, she does not mirror cue here, and her background exercisers are unenthusiastic at best. Furthermore, while this workout is gentle, it is also extremely low energy--it would have been nice if Giorgi had taken things up a notch. So, I would recommend this DVD, but my final rating is limited to 3 1/2 stars.


Bernadette Giorgi: Attitude Ballet Pilates Fusion
Bernadette Giorgi: Attitude Ballet Pilates Fusion
DVD ~ Bernadette Giorgi
Price: $12.99
10 used & new from $8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Two gentle workouts provide nice combination of ballet-type work (no barre required) and Pilates matwork, October 25, 2015
I have tried some of instructor Bernadette Giorgi's Pilates DVDs, so I thought I might enjoy this one as well, especially given that I enjoy both Pilates and ballet workouts. This DVD is subtitled as being for "over 50" fitness--I'm 47, so I figured that I was close enough. Giorgi leads a group of four background exercisers who do appear to be in their late 40s or 50s. These women are fit and performed the routines well enough, but I found them to be oddly unsmiling and somewhat mechanical in performance during the workouts. I was also thrown a bit by the setting, which is a large, airy space with ersatz barn doors to one side that I've seen in other fitness videos, usually cardio-type ones; this type of studio just did not seem to fit with the more relaxed vibe of this barre and Pilates routines presented here.

The Main Menu of this DVD offers the following options: Introduction (a brief overview by Giorgi) - Form Pointers - Workout 1 - Workout 2 - Premixes - Credits. In the Form Pointers segment (10.5 minutes), Giorgi uses one of the background exercisers to demonstrate some of the main moves used in the routines, including 1st position, 2nd position, 4th position, 5th position, and tendu. I have described each of the additional segments in greater detail below.

WORKOUT 1
This workout is approximately 40 minutes long. It starts with a warm-up (about 3 minutes), which consists of simple pliés and side stretches. Centre barre is next. These are traditional ballet moves, although an actual ballet barre is not used. Rather, Giorgi takes you through sets of pliés and relevés, working from the various ballet positions. In-between every set, Giorgi cued two grand pliés as a "rest"--these began to feel somewhat tedious. However, I enjoyed the balance work, which included developés to each side and combination moves. The next section was weighted work, or centre ball. Giorgi and friends use a weighted ball, sometimes in one hand, sometimes in both hands. Although I actually have a small 4-pound medicine ball, I found it easier to use my 2-pound "s-shaped" weights, as I could use these in either one or both hands depending on the exercise. There is about 20 minutes of Pilates matwork, and then a brief stretch concludes the workout.

WORKOUT 2
The second routine is very similar to the first, starting with almost the same warm-up. The centre barre segment is a bit more intense here, although again, Giorgi includes the two grand pliés between sets, which slows down the workout. She performs full pliés with cat stretches in-between as well as developés with kicks forward, a nice move requiring balance. The center barre work is fairly short (5 minutes) and includes compound moves such as lift front with lunge, triceps push rear, side pliés with high bicep curl, and alternating side balance (no weights). There was a similar Pilates matwork segment (again about 20 minutes), and the short stretch including just a few moves such as Mermaid, a twist, and a heel stretch, bringing the total workout time in at about 37 minutes.

As noted above, this DVD has several premixes. These combine various segments of the two main workouts as follows:

ATTITUDE BARRE, 37:40 minutes
warm-up, Workouts 1 & 2, Centre Barre Work, Stretch

ATTITUDE BALL, 24:10 minutes
warm-up, Workouts 1 & 2, Center Ball Work, Stretch

ATTITUDE MAT, 31:00 minutes
warm-up, workout 1 & 2 mat work, stretch

ATTITUDE ADVANCED, 68:00 minutes
warm-up, workouts 1 & 2 all sections and stretch

Overall, I did like these routines. There are several things that make this DVD worthwhile, including the variety of ballet moves and the premixes. However, it could have been better--although Giorgi is a good instructor, she does not mirror cue here, and her background exercisers are unenthusiastic at best. Furthermore, while this workout is gentle, it is also extremely low energy--it would have been nice if Giorgi had taken things up a notch. So, I would recommend this DVD, but my final rating is limited to 3 1/2 stars.


Gaiam Grippy Toeless Yoga Socks (Mary Jane), Small/Medium, Multicolor
Gaiam Grippy Toeless Yoga Socks (Mary Jane), Small/Medium, Multicolor
Price: $13.98
6 used & new from $9.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yoga socks I have ever tried!, October 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have practiced yoga for over 14 years and recently became certified as a yoga teacher. Personally, I believe that for optimal safety and stability, yoga should always be performed with an appropriate yoga sticky mat. However, there are times when yoga socks may be advantageous (see below).

I have tried several different styles of yoga socks over the years and have always found them to be just okay. Although the non-slip quality generally works fairly well, pulling them on over each individual toe can be a pain--plus, you lose the benefit of having your toes touch the floor. The previous yoga socks I owned from this brand (e.g., Gaiam Yoga Socks) were like this--but these Mary-Jane Grippy Socks are SO much better! The main advantage is that your toes are FREE, allowing your toes to access the floor directly. I think that this actually provides more stability and reduces slippage; it also makes it MUCH easier to get the socks on and off.

Where I think these socks will come in most useful is when I am teaching yoga. I move around the room rather than teach from my mat, so these socks will allow me the flexibility of pausing in the middle of the room to demonstrate a pose (without a mat) if needed. Another great use for these socks is with YogaToes! Yoga Toes are an excellent therapeutic product for stretching the toes and relieving all kinds of foot problems. Unfortunately, I don't use mine often enough because my feet get cold, but these Mary-Jane Yoga Socks solve that problem! (I had tried my old yoga socks with the Yoga Toes, and it was much more difficult to try to slip the Yoga Toes over a sock with a full knit toe.)

These are the best yoga socks I have tried so far, and I would definitely recommend them.


Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blends Clean Translucent Oil-Control Powder, 0.30 Ounce
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blends Clean Translucent Oil-Control Powder, 0.30 Ounce
Price: $10.28
10 used & new from $8.90

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice quality products, but shade blend concept is tricky, October 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really wanted to like these. I'm a makeup girl, but not expensive makeup--I use drugstore stuff. I actually haven't purchased much Neutrogena, not because I don't think it's good, but because it's one of the "better" drugstore brands, and often more expensive than I want to pay. But given that, I was excited to try these new Healthy Skin Blends. I received all three: the translucent powder, or Clean (10), the blush, Pure (20), and the bronzer, Sunkissed (30).

I admit, I am not usually a fan of mixed color cosmetics, but I was still open to trying these. I used the blush, "Pure," the most often. It's relatively easy to apply with your own blush brush (applicator not included), although I found that it produced A LOT of excess product that had to be shaken off both the brush and the container itself. Getting the color right was another matter. Most of the time, I thought that the shade seemed too pink on my medium-to-tan-toned skin. I tried to concentrate on using the two shades that were more peachy rather than pink, but this was hard to do, and it kind of defeats the purpose of having four shades that are intended to be all swirled together. This is exactly why I don't usually like mixed color products and why this one did not work for me.

The bronzer was less of an issue color-wise, as the four shades were VERY similar to each other. In this case, however, I felt that the product didn't produce much of a bronzing effect at all; I like a bronzer to produce a warm "glow," and I didn't notice that at all from this product. I did find that both the blush and the bronze had decent staying powder, but almost TOO good--i.e., they were difficult to remove at the end of the day. Finally, I found the translucent powder, Clean, to be okay. It's a little confusing to me why an item that is supposed to be "translucent" needs to come in four different shades, but at least these all seemed to produce a similar matte finish. I didn't find that this powder was effective in controlling shine all day, but out of the three products in the Healthy Skin Blends line, I plan to keep only the powder--and that only as a backup.


Maxus Nails Strengthener, 0.5 Oz - Cosmopolitan Magazine Beauty Award Winner 2016
Maxus Nails Strengthener, 0.5 Oz - Cosmopolitan Magazine Beauty Award Winner 2016
Offered by b-glowing
Price: $20.00
3 used & new from $20.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent strengthener IF you are will to be very patient..., October 23, 2015
NOTE: I received a free sample of this product for review.

My nails tend to be very thin and weak; sometimes they grow, but other times they easily peel and break. I am picky about strengthening products, as many seem to have the converse effect of just making my nails more fragile. Still, I was open to trying this product.

When I opened the box that contained this bottle, a little note slipped out. The note said that due to the natural ingredients in this product, a longer drying time might be required. I was not pleased to see this! I am rather impatient when it comes to my nails, and one of the things I actually strongly prefer in a product is a fast drying time. When I first put the strengthener on my nails, they actually seemed to dry within a reasonable time. However, then I realized that they were still tacky...and they stayed that way for a LONG time. Although there was gradual improvement, even HOURS later, they still felt a bit sticky!

In terms of actual performance, there did seem to be some strengthening benefits from this product. But I didn't wind up using it every other day as directed, as it was too much of a hassle to wait for it to dry. I also didn't like the shiny coverage; I prefer my strengthening products to have a more matte finish. So, in the end, this product was okay, but there are other strengtheners that I would recommend over this one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2015 10:07 AM PDT


Turmeric Curcumin - Powerful Pure All Natural Supplement 180 Capsules By Hamilton Healthcare
Turmeric Curcumin - Powerful Pure All Natural Supplement 180 Capsules By Hamilton Healthcare
Offered by Hamilton Group
Price: $24.97
3 used & new from $24.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quality supplement with no artificial ingredients, October 23, 2015
NOTE: I received a free sample bottle of this product for review.

I have always wanted to try Tumeric, as I have heard about its wonderful healing properties for so many different conditions. These capsules seem to be off good quality, although they are a bit on the large size (about the size of a multivitamin), so they may be hard for some to swallow.

The recommended dosage of this product is one capsule once or twice daily, preferably with a meal. I have been taking one capsule per day at dinner time for about two months. Although I have not noticed any problems from this supplement, at this point, I can't say that I have noticed any benefits, either. I get neck tightness and shoulder pain--likely related to sitting, commuting, and computer use--and I didn't see improvement in these areas or other common aches and pains while using Tumeric.

I am going to trying upping my dosage to two capsules per day. Although I didn't see results myself, I still would recommend this product for someone wanting to try Tumeric to see if it might be right for them.


A Killer Retreat: A Downward Dog Mystery #2 (Downward Dog Mysteries)
A Killer Retreat: A Downward Dog Mystery #2 (Downward Dog Mysteries)
by Tracy Weber
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.73
63 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second yoga-themed mystery in the series, October 20, 2015
This is the second yoga-themed mystery by author Tracy Weber. In the first book of these series, we met the protagonist, Kate Davidson, a yoga teacher and owner of both her own studio and a adopted dog with a chronic medical condition, Bella. We were also introduced to several other main characters, including Kate's new boyfriend and fellow pet-lover, Michael, her kooky best friend, Rene, and Rene's husband, Sam, all of whom appear in this second offering, A KILLER RETREAT.

As the title suggests, this book sees Kate and Michael (and Bella) leaving Seattle to head to Elysian Springs, a resort several hours away where Kate has been contracted to teach yoga. Unfortunately, Kate winds up clashing with one of her fellow guests, and so when that guest winds up being murdered, Kate is suddenly the main suspect. As she did in the first novel, she feels compelled to find the "real" killer--while at the same time trying to work through her relationship issues with Michael as well as to solve the mystery of what is wrong with Rene.

As a recently certified yoga teacher, I enjoy reading yoga-themed novels, although sometimes I find that way the yoga is portrayed feels false. Given that author Weber is a yoga teacher herself, she does a pretty good job with this--with one exception. Most yoga teachers (at least that I've met) come across as particularly kind, generous, and loving people. Kate seems to be none of these, at least not consistently. She is quite unlikable at times, which detracts from what is otherwise a fun, light "cozy" mystery. I see that Weber has another new book in this series coming out early next year, and I hope that she will focus more on Kate's good qualities. For this novel, I would give a final rating of 3 1/2 stars.


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