May 28

ACEVOG Women’s Sleeveless Floral Lace Tiered Long Irregular Party Dress ★★★★☆

ACEVOG Women’s Sexy Sleeveless Floral Lace Tiered Long Irregular Party Dress

When I first received the ACEVOG Women’s Party Dress, I was ready to not like it. I expected a lining with the dress. This thing is all lace – loosely woven. I would be naked. Then, I tried it on and realized how pretty it is. The lace is gorgeous. I just needed a full slip, which I bought. I picked one that’s below the knee. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to have one higher, if you want to show leg. It’s a pretty dress. Without heels, the bottom edges touch the ground, but just a small heel was all I needed on my 5’5″ frame. The size is accurate if you measure yourself according to their charts.

This product was provided for review by ACEVOG.

May 28

Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Family Size Premium Brownie Mix ★★★★☆

Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Family Size Premium Brownie Mix

My husband bought Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix for me to make yesterday. There were two options on the box: fudgy or cake-like. He said fudgy. That’s one egg, 1/3 cup water, and 1/3 cup oil with the brownie mix. Yes, toothpick came out clean, but my son complained it was too gooey. My husband and daughter liked it. I’m inclined to agree with my son. It was more like fudge than fudge brownie — not bad, but not great, either. Next time, I’ll try the cake-like. Since half the household gave it a thumbs up, and it will probably be better the next time I make it, I guess I’ll give it four stars.

May 28

Shower Hose ★★★★★

Shower Hose Durable and Flexible Made of Stainless Steel, Plastic and Nickel, 78 Inches – 2 Meters Can Be Used for Replacement or Extension of Shower Head, Connectors Included, Standard Size Fits Most Shower

My shower’s extension hose was leaking like a sieve, so much so that the pressure coming out the showerhead was diminishing. I had to replace it, so I bought this Shower Hose. It was easy to take the old one off and put the new one on. Just unscrew and screw, really. All you need is a wrench. I took my first shower with it today and it works as promised. No more leaks!

May 28

The Courtesan ★★★★☆

The Courtesan: A Novel

by Alexandra Curry

Here I am, reading in English but thinking in Chinese — fully immersed in this foreign land, intimately familiar with a time and place I knew nothing about. Many writers know about “show, don’t tell,” but few can do it as skillfully as Alexandra Curry. The words flowed page to page like they were meant to be. We learned the life of a courtesan, how she became a courtesan, and how it ended (you need to read the book to see it really ended). I liked how the author would switch perspectives so we could understand all the characters (why a woman would want to sell little girls to the whorehouse, why the whorehouse owner would want to pimp her girls, what her best friend sees in her). I did wish for more twists and turns. The plot meandered a bit, a little unfocused; and the ending did not satisfy me as much as I hoped it would, but I did enjoy The Courtesan.

This book was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.

May 25

ANART® 12MP 170 Degree Full HD 1080P Digital Waterproof Sports Action Camera ★★★★★

ANART® HGSPC-01-BL WiFi SJ4000 W8 12MP 170 Degree Full HD 1080P Digital Waterproof Helmet Sports Action Car Camera Black

The ANART® Sports Camera comes with a basic set of mounting hardware and a waterproof case. You need to supply your own micro SD card. It is compatible with my GoPro accessories kit, which I highly recommend buying if you want to get the most out of it. With GoPro accessories, we can mount the camera on glass and helmets without using adhesive pads, or we can wear the camera on our body or put it on our dogs. Accessories will take this camera to the next level.

This action cam has a screen for filming and playback, and the buttons are accessible through the case. We also have the option of connecting to our phone via Wi-Fi, but I normally avoid that option, because there’s a lag. That’s just how it is with Wi-Fi. I get a lag with other action cams, as well.

It’s a nice action cam. I like it.

This product was provided for review by ANART.

May 25

Ultimate PM-MID Glass Aquarium Cleaner ★★★★★

Ultimate PM-MID Glass Aquarium Cleaner Cleaning Magnet, Medium © Pet Magasin

The inner surface of my aquarium gets cleaned once in blue moon with a brush, which doesn’t do a very good job. The first time I used the Ultimate Aquarium Cleanerwas the first time that aquarium glass got such a thorough cleaning. It’s easy to use. Just place the scrubbing half inside and the magnet on the outside and drag the brush around. Whoever thought of this was brilliant.

This product was provided for review by Pet Magasin.

May 25

ACEVOG® Women’s Vintage Lace Peplum Top ★★★★★

ACEVOG® Women’s Vintage Lace Peplum Hem Slim Party Top Bodycon

What a cute top. The description says “party top,” but it doesn’t have to be just for parties. I wear it casually. The ACEVOG® Peplum Top Bodycon is comfortable, and I like how the back end is lower than the front. For sizing, I normally wear a medium or large. Actually, I wear medium, but I often choose large because I do not like fitted tops, and women’s tops are often fitted. For this blouse, I went by the size recommended by the sizing chart and chose large. It fits perfectly. For anyone who’s worried, the lace is a tight weave. Nothing shows through.

This product was provided for review by Acevog.

May 23

Set of 7 Shell Pearl Stud Earrings with Butterfly Backs ★★★☆☆

Set of 7 Shell Pearl Stud Earrings with Butterfly Backs by Kurtzy

I’m sorry. These Pearl Stud Earrings by Kurtzy didn’t quite do it for me. Maybe I was expecting too much. Seven pairs of earrings arrived. They are comfortable, and I don’t react to them. I can wear them every day, all day. The problem is it is hard to find a pair. Why so? Well, the obvious pairs, like the red and the copper, have very different shades. If I didn’t see them in a box together, I wouldn’t know they were a pair. The shapes are also off. One would be more round, one more oblate. There are three sets that are similar in color and shape yet they don’t quite match, so I can’t tell which are supposed to pair with which. The best matches in my box are the pearl and black. It’s too bad. I was looking forward to having a whole set to match ever outfit.

This product was provided for review by BWH Ventures.

UPDATE 5/26/15: I noticed one of the earrings had a post that came off the earring at an angle. I tried to fix it, but the post fell off.

May 23

Hefty Ultimate Flex Tall Kitchen Bags ★★★★★

Hefty Ultimate Flex Tall Kitchen Bags, Clean Burst, 76 Count

My son is responsible for taking out the trash. When he complained that the new trash bags his dad bought were tearing and leaking, I went out to buy replacement bags. Hefty has a good reputation, and “Ultimate Flex” sure sounded strong, so I fell for the marketing and bought Hefty Ultimate Flex Tall Kitchen Bags. Well? He likes it. He said no more leaks and no more tears. The bags stay on the trash can and the handles don’t pull off. I’m happy he’s not spilling fluids all over our flooring, and he’s not complaining, either.

May 23

Crescent CSWS11 1/2-Inch Drive Socket Wrench Set ★★★★★

Crescent CSWS11 1/2-Inch Drive Socket Wrench Set, 12-Piece

The Crescent Socket Wrench Set is much smaller than another set I own. Imagine my surprise when I picked it up and it felt so much heavier. When it’s half the size and twice the weight, I expect quality inside. Indeed it is. I could feel it in the heft of the ratchet handle. The sockets don’t just snap on, they lock on. The rounded edges and smooth are further evidence of fine craftsmanship. Even the ratcheting action flows. Too bad it’s only a standard set, no metric.

The pieces all nestle in the molded case with a padded top cover. My only complaint is the latch for the case. When everything is such high quality, why did one latch fall off in my hand? I put it back on and all has been good. I hope the latch doesn’t eventually break and ruin my nirvana, because everything else about this set is beautiful.

This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.