The Real Deal

Have You Ever Wondered... Is that certain book really good? Does that product really work? So have I. From Indie authors and musicians to local products or nationally advertised, I can't tell you the countless products I've bought as seen on TV only to find out that they don't work at my house, the book was really a bunch of hype, the music was not what I had hoped for or a movie was a yawn. If you want an honest opinion, you will find it here. Although I do lots of book reviews, I also check out lots of other products and let you know if they really live up to their ads or their hype. Stay tuned, and check in often. You never know what I'm going to talk about next.


Reading "Brilliance" is like standing on a railway platform and being snatched from it by a runaway train. The book pulls you through every page and doesn't let go until the very end. A breathless ride. Marcus Sakey is astounding. Almost 500 pages of heart-stopping action. Put this on your list of summer's must-read.

I received this book free from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for my honest opinion.


Look into Lutein

I received my Jarrow Formulas Lutein from the Amazon Vine Program. I spend the better part of a day staring at a computer screen topped off with reading in the evening. Recently I noticed that when I looked up, I wasn't able to see clearly. Also, I found that reading small type was impossible with out assistance. It was as though my field of vision was pixelating. I wear glasses as I have astigmatism in both eyes, but even my glasses were of no help.

 When I saw Jarrow Formulas Lutein, I wanted to give it a try. The soft gels are football shaped and go down easily. There is no unpleasant after taste. With 60 softgels a bottle, I feel it's a good value. At first I didn't notice any change at all.

In the meantime, I shifted to less computer time. After only a few weeks, my eyes do not fatigue as easily, and I can read the small type on this bottles label without much effort. If you suffer from eyestrain you may want to check into this product. I certainly appreciate the difference it made for me.


The Godfather's Daughter

THE GODFATHER'S DAUGHTER by Rita Gigante with Natasha Stoynoff is not another mobster tale. Interestingly, this story picks up where I left off reading The Valachi Papers in the Genovese family, just as Vincent "The Chin" Gigante rises through the ranks to become the Godfather. One of his youngest children, Rita, tells what life was like as a child in the home of one of the most powerful men in New York City.
Her engaging tale is not at all what I would have expected, and seems to be a life filled with heart-sickening surprises. Among her earliest questions was, "What does my dad do for a living?" A question that went largely unasked and unanswered until she was well into her teens. Her own personal evolution was of interest to me as I watched how she went from not being able to speak in truth about the reality of her world to anyone, sometimes because she didn't know, or because of the" unspoken rule" don't ask questions.

I found the family dynamic interesting because, while my family was not connected, they were Catholic as was Gigante's family and there were other parallels I could appreciate. The judgmental attitude of the Catholic church, and living a lifestyle that goes against the grain. I Think it is commendable that Rita Gigante was strong and brave enough not only to pursue her own truth despite brutal beatings, family denials and threats, but that she found her own healing as a result. Although the author and I are far apart on many of her beliefs and ideas, it took a lot of guts to stand up for what she believes, right wrong or otherwise.

 I really don't know what to think of this book. It went in directions that seemed completely unreal to me. I am not comfortable recommending this to anyone. There are f-bombs and other profanities, and toward the end, the author moves into rather sensitive areas about her own sexual identity. I'll give it four stars for just being gutsy. The book on the whole was a relatively quick read for me, and if you are interested in Mafia tales, you might enjoy this unusual one.

 This book was given to me by the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for my opinion.


Primula French Press

I had originally ordered this press at Christmas time and it arrived in less than optimal condition (see original review link below)
Amazon pulled the review, as they should have, because the review mainly covered the shopping aspect and not the product.
I contacted the company directly and pleaded with them to please consider sending me a new unit. They promptly did so, not requiring the original damaged unit to be returned.
Then I dropped the ball. I enjoyed it a few times, put it on a shelf and failed to review it at all.

This week, when our morning coffee was too thin, I said I had a solution. I pulled out the Primula French press and added a few heaping tablespoons of coffee, and poured our still hot pot of weak coffee over the grounds.
I let it steep for about 4 minutes, letting the plunger rest above the floating grounds. At the end of that time,  I depressed the plunger and poured morning coffee. It took less time than re-brewing another pot from scratch. After I woke up, it occurred to me that I hadn't posted the review!

The Primula French Press is easy to use. As with any French Press, you will find some fine grounds in the bottom of your cup. The sturdy construction and thick glass carafe means you will enjoy this product for many years. The stainless steel filter and parts are easy to clean. The handle is large enough for a man's hands for easy pouring. The attractive black plastic frame fits with our decor and the lid has an easy pouring side and to keep the coffee hot a little longer, you can turn the lid to prevent heat loss.

I don't mind leaving it on the table. It makes six cups of coffee or tea. We like the Lady Grey loose leaf and couldn't be happier with the results. I give this item five stars and applaud the customer service department for their fast response.


Expand Your Gardening Season with Cobra

Spring is just around the corner in my neck of the woods and I've already begun dreaming of crisp lettuce, fresh herbs and juicy tomatoes. I got CobraCo Window Planter13 Expandable Window Planter to begin my seedlings long before the last frost. It fits in the standard 4 inch deep window sill and expands up to 24 inches long. The weathered wooden boxes are about 2 and a half inches deep and lined with plastic inserts to keep water from ruining the wood, or dripping on your sill. I'm planning an indoor lettuce garden this year where I can keep a close eye on it. (Take that, you bad rabbits!) And I can also start my tomatoes in it at the same time. CobraCo Window Planter13 Expandable Window Planter is perfect for indoor gardeners and seed starters!


Bellar Bellowing on Eighteen Weeks?

I like music that is a little different, minor keys, dreamy, scary, industrial, warbling experimental. I don't even mind if it sounds a little like its crashing off key. I was fine with it until the last 18 seconds give or take where a male voice begins to yell, in a truly disturbing tone. "Listen, listen listen!" A little too jarring an ending for me. This song goes into my listen only occasionally list. The cover art is great, I would love the poster!


Light up Your Piano Music Collection with PASSIONS

PASSIONS is the newest addition to an amazing collection of truly beautiful music. I've been a fan of George Skaroulis ever since I stumbled upon him at a Greek Festival some years back. If you love great relaxing piano music along the lines of George Winston or Jim Brickman, you are in for a real treat. I have never been disappointed in this artist's offerings. Listen to the tracks and find out for yourself, what you've been missing. And then get PASSIONS!


TP-LINK Hooks You Up!

My husband and I are not TV people. This drives our local cable company nuts. We have a mobile device we use to hook up to the internet because we like to write from various location and you can't take cable service on the road with you. However, this left me with an old desktop that occasionally needed to get online.

The TP-LINK Dual Band Wireless Adapter was the answer!

The box contains a mini set up disc with quick set up guide, the TP-LINK TL-WDN3200 Dual Band Wireless N600 USB adapter and should you need it, a 3 foot extension cable. I followed the instructions and in less than 5 minutes, I was online. This adapter works with XP, Vista and Windows 7. If it works on our old desktop, I think it would work on most laptops. It was easy to set up and use and works great!