Category Archives: ** Think Twice – I Didn’t Like It

YesFashion Women’s Runch Shirt

COMFY SQUARE NECK WOMEN’S SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT

~ What ~
Made of 95% Rayon and 5% Spandex, this women’s collarless square-neck shirt has short sleeves and ends at the hip area for an average-sized woman. Available in 15 vivid colors, it comes in 5 sizes of small, medium, large, X-large and XX-large. The zipperless and buttonless garment has runch gatherings across the breast area and flows loosely past the waistline. Cleaning instructions are included on an attached; it is recommended to handwash in cold water and not put in the dryer.

~ Why ~
I like the feel of the material as it is soft and stretchy. The medium purple color I selected is bright and noticeable. Able to slip it over my head easily, it accents my bust and waistline while covering my hips and bottom. It looks great with jeans, leggings, or capris.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like that there is no zipper or buttons, but it is not hard to get on or off. Tall women may think it is too short, but it was a modest length on my body. I ordered a Large but received a Small – so unfortunately, my bra line stands out and the shirt is too tight.

~ Wish ~
I am very disappointed so have marked this nice shirt down drastically as I expected to get a Large as ordered, yet a Small arrived, so I wish someone could be responsible for this mistake. Offering patterned options of flowers, designs, et cetera would be great.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a classy yet comfortable shirt that accents the bust area, this one would be a nice selection if it was shipped in the size ordered.

Thanks for YesFashion for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

This product can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BVJMFLP/

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Everything She Didn’t Say

Everything She Didn't SayTitle: Everything She Didn’t Say
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2701-7

“There is more than one way to tell a story …,” the back jacket declares in Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel, Everything She Didn’t Say.

~ What ~
Based on an actual person, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in a pioneering woman’s viewpoint of the American West in the early 1900s. With no profanity, topics of illness and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. At the beginning are a map and character list while the ending includes author’s notes, acknowledgments, reader’s guide, author’s interview, biography, and advertisements.

In this story written in first person that spans almost fifty years, Carrie Strahorn documents her life of getting married to Robert, a writer and railroad promoter, and traveling the American West as partners to hopelessly wanting to own a home and have children. Being one of the first pioneering women, she has fierce determination to be a lady of dignity and class as she sleeps under the same roof with twenty-six men, rides a cowcatcher, scales down a gold mine, avoids black bears, and often spends time alone, without her man.

As Carrie portrays the wilderness, mountain ranges, train trips, town start-ups, and travelers she befriends, she shares her experiences and memories in a tainted sweet light while hiding the turmoil inside of wanting to settle down and become a mother. Always putting her husband first, she commits to being with him wherever he goes, even if it means giving up her dreams.

~ Why ~
With each chapter beginning with the author’s depiction of the heroine’s thoughts, it ends with actual excerpts from Strahorn’s memoir that are interesting. I like the descriptions of the towns the couple started as most are well-established and thriving today. The explanations of what a woman had to endure societally, physically, and with her husband to survive in the West were succinct and to the point.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of a woman’s trek back and forth America to follow her husband when horses, wagons, and trains were the only forms of transportation will avoid this book. Some may think the marriage of the protagonists is stifled, showing little trust in each other as they each went about their own business, rarely sharing or divulging their wishes. With a vague plot, the ending drops abruptly, so one must read the notes to find out the real story of Robert and Carrie Strahorn. Although references of God are mentioned occasionally throughout the read, there is no plan of eternal salvation.

~ Wish
There may be more than one way to tell a story, but I did not care for this book’s way of writing a memoir of another’s memoir. I found it frustrating as the author may not know the true emotions or feelings that may never have happened as she read between the main character’s original words. I was easily irritated with the rendition of Robert as an often insensitive, selfish scoundrel while Carrie was superficial, always trying to be in her “happy lanes” by condescending to her husband’s demands. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like historical fiction about a pioneering woman’s memoir that is rewritten with fictionalized personal inflection, this may be for you, but I struggled through it, often wondering what was real and what was not.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/everything-she-didnt-say-jane-kirkpatrick/1127953154

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Misakia Women’s A-Line Dress

WOMEN’S 3/4 SLEEVE, ABOVE THE KNEE DRESS

~ What ~
Made of 95% Polyester and 5% Spandex, this women’s ¾ sleeved dress that rests above the knee has a scooped neckline and empire waist with no zippers or buttons. With 4 sizes available from Small to X-Large, it comes in 8 design choices of patches or solid colors. An attached tag states it should be washed with dark colors and not put in the dryer.

~ Why ~
I am in my 60s and love wearing casual, comfortable dresses, and this one is made of a comfortable stretchy fabric. I like the empire waistline and the ¾ sleeves. The double-stitched hems are well sewn. I ordered a Medium for my Size 8 frame.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like the dress material or solid/patterned designs. I found I have to wear Spanx under the dress as it shows all curves. My biggest concern is the thinness of the fabric as it stretches at an bulges and becomes thin and almost see-through. One way to avoid this is to buy a size up, but then it may be baggy and too loose.

~ Wish ~
I wish the measurements online in the photos and description matched.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a comfortable, casual dress for work or play, this is a nice looking dress, but its material is too thin and transparent when stretched.

Thanks to Misakia for this discounted product that I am not obligated to review.

This item can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0789NVRXH

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Imagine Heaven Devotional

Imagine Heaven Devotional: 100 Reflections to Bring Heaven to Your Life TodayTitle: Imagine Heaven Devotional: 100 Reflections to Bring Heaven to Your Life Today
Authors: John Burke and Kathy Burke
Publisher: Baker Books
ISBN: 978-0-8010-9362-3

“The Imagine Heaven Devotional has been written for personal application of the biblical promises of Heaven, in hopes of bringing Heaven’s blessings to your life today,” the introduction states in John and Kathy Burkes’ book.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-twenty-four pages, this hardbound devotional targets those who want to focus and learn from those who have had near death experiences (NDEs) and how they relate to Heaven and what it will be like. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the GNT, MSG, NASB, NLT, and NLV versions.

After an introduction, one-hundred devotions cover two pages each and start with a written-out Bible verse, followed by a paragraph about a person who has had a NDE with quoted documentation from the person on what they saw, felt, and experienced in regard to eternity. There are several follow-up paragraphs by the authors about the experience, offering Bible verses while encouraging and exhorting how to look toward our being with God when we leave this Earth. A short prayer completes each devotional.

~Why ~
I appreciate devotionals that have little information about the author but focus on God, especially when it relates to Heaven; the after paragraphs do this. I like how the authors gently remind the readers to turn their eyes and hearts to Christ.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a book that discusses near death experiences and concentrates on going to Heaven. I may be one of the few who do not believe that NDEs are spiritual messages from God when one leaves their body, goes to Heaven, communicates with deceased loved ones, sees Jesus, and returns back to Earth as the concept is not Biblically based (read John 1:18 KJV – No man hath seen God at any time …).

~ Wish ~
With Heaven as the main topic, the book may put misplaced focus on the fantastic, charismatic experiences some have with a NDE instead of searching and studying the Word of God to find out what it says about eternity. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you believe NDEs are orchestrated by God and like to read about personal experiences regarding this topic, this thorough and well written book may entertain you, but although I find it interesting and engaging, I cannot recommend it.

Thanks to Baker Books for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/imagine-heaven-devotional-john-burke/1127179150

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Honeysuckle Rose

Honeysuckle DreamsTitle: Honeysuckle Dreams
Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9052-4

“What am I going to do? I can’t stand the thought of losing him,” Brady laments about Sam in Denise Hunter’s novel, Honeysuckle Dreams.

~ What ~
Second in the A Blue Ridge Romance series, this three-hundred-and-twenty-page paperback targets those interested in a romance regarding marrying for the sake of a child and not love. Including slang words such as darn and heck, topics of drug addiction, premarital sex, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending has acknowledgments, author’s biography, and advertisements.

In this current-day trilogy, divorced high-end car mechanic, Brady Collins, has learned that to keep custody of his six-month son, it is recommended he marry. Although he got divorced from his wife and she died, he finds out from a paternity test that he is not Sammy’s father and that his in-laws want custody.

Brady’s best friend, Hope, offers to marry him so not only he gets to keep the boy, but also she gets a ready-made husband and child without having to deal with the love issue. As time progresses and the two marry, her fears of the past overshadow the happiness a blessed marriage offers.

~ Why ~
Focusing on love being forefront in relationships, the story shows that even non-biological parents can offer support and unconditional love. I liked the author’s effort at the romantic and sexual energy between the protagonists while not being too risqué in the details.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not see the validity of praying and trusting in God which is minorly mentioned throughout the book. Others who do not like romantic stories about heartbreak and how to overcome the past may not be interested in this type of read.

~ Wish ~
Although I have not read any of the author’s other books, I was often frustrated reading this one. If it was not the one-night-stand pregnancy, rocky marriage, instant divorce, and then oddly-arranged remarriage within a year’s time, it was the rush to print that included miswords like dishwater instead of dishwasher (page 52) and Heather quoting her name when it should have been Audrey’s (page 220). I thought the writing was campy and unrealistic when it came to Brady and Hope being best friends for so long, yet she never confronted him when he married Audrey nor was he aware of her past fears.

~ Want ~
If you like unrealistic romances that are on the cutesy-wootsey side complete with baby talk, this could be your ticket, but I doubt I will read another of Hunter’s novels as this one was rushed and had an awkward premise.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://ww.barnesandnoble.com/w/honeysuckle-dreams-denise-hunter/1126606486

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How to Be a Perfect Christian

How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual LivingTitle: How to Be a Perfect Christian
Authors: Adam Ford and Kyle Mann
Publisher: Multnomah
ISBN: 978-0-7352-9152-2

“… a perfect Christian is one who conforms to the man-made standards of the Christian faith in any given age,”  Adam Ford and Kyle Mann sarcastically state at the beginning of their book, How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Spiritual Living.

~ What ~
A Babylon Bee product, this two-hundred-and-eight-page hardbound targets those who enjoy a comedic mocking of Christians attaining supposed perfectionism in our current day world. Containing a couple of slang words, the topics should be taken lightly, especially by the spiritually immature or non-believer. Using mainly the New International Version, the ESV is also referenced with other Bible titles mentioned in passing.

After an introduction, this book is divided into ten chapters that sarcastically help launch a Christian into perfectionism akin to being like Jesus Christ. Complete with a Holiness Progress Tracker, the sections include subjects like how to join the right church, worship like a pro, engage in spiritual activities, fake serving the body of Christ, look like a true believer on social media, make your home appear holy, avoid all appearances of evil, deal with those who do not believe the same, and more – all told tongue-in-cheek yet often mimicking real life as a believer.

~ Why ~
This book is geared for those who love to make fun that we as Christians can achieve a God-like attitude, faith, belief, and appearance here on Planet Earth. Having gone through many of the same experiences, I felt it was spot on regarding the watered down versions of the Bible, megachurches with their event production programs, and warning of ridiculous legalism while told humorously and over the top.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may want to avoid this book that often “tells it as it is” even though it is done comically. Others may find it offensive as it mocks reading the Bible (if you do that daily), earnest prayer (if that is your passion), or witnessing to others (which you may not even know what that is). If the rampant humor is peeled away, the book may be perceived as negative, sacrilegious, and perhaps hopeless, yet only page 191 about God has a redemptive “it’s not about you and what you do but Jesus and His ultimate grace ” tone.

~ Wish ~
While I love dry wit and sarcasm, which this book has plenty, I wish it did not mock the core values of Christianity, leaving no stone untouched as it bashed the basics of faith, grace, love, and forgiveness Jesus teaches. I found when the minimal Scriptures were used, they were abused, which seem to demean God’s purpose. No, I am not a better-than-you-pompous-saint, but I felt uncomfortable reading the book, deeply concerned how a non-or new-believer would perceive it.

~ Want ~
If you want a laugh about how pathetic current-day Christianity has become, mainly in the church, this one will give you a chuckle, but be warned that underlying, it is not edifying or constructive, so for strictly this reason, I have marked it down considerably reviewing it.

Thanks to the Waterbrook & Multnomah Launch Team for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-be-a-perfect-christian-the-babylon-bee/1127171377

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Road Rules for Retirement

Road Rules for Retirement: Set Your Destination Enjoy The JourneyTitle: Road Rules for Retirement
Author: Mark Fried
Publisher: Advantage Media Group
ISBN: 978-1-59932-797-6

“A Wealth Strategy anticipates problems before they happen, provides answers to questions beyond just what asset allocation you should use, and always keeps you on track,” Mark Fried writes at the beginning of his book, Road Rules for Retirement: Set Your Destination & Enjoy the Journey.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-seventy-four-page hardbound targets those planning or getting ready to retire from work. After acknowledgments, a preface, introduction, and word of caution, it contains ten chapters, ending with a conclusion and wealth strategy checklist. With a few black and white photographs and charts, each chapter ends with questions to consider.

An expert in the financial services industry, the writer purports that there are specific post-retirement strategies that can be enacted to enjoy a less stressed-out lifestyle when one is no longer employed. Covering topics such as considering how to take disbursements of pensions or tax shelters, Social Security, and savings accounts, it also discusses tax ramifications, life and long-term insurance, and creating a legacy. The last chapter promotes using the author and his team at TFG Wealth Management to aid in the retirement process.

~ Why ~
I like that this book advocates one should be aware of what is ahead when retirement approaches. Since my husband and I are to retire next year, we already know the tax laws if cashing in on IRAs, TSAs, and pensions. I appreciate the details regarding these three avenues of income in the book and how taxes should be considered.

~ Why Not ~
While the book is well-written, there is plenty of the writer’s personal experiences and touting of his wealth management strategies that surpass all others, especially since he approaches it supposedly differently. There is little dialogue of downsizing a home for income or suggestions of what to do with savings accounts that have already been taxed (except for any interest earned). I found the promotion of long-care insurance a sales pitch, while it also noted to buy a large over-priced life insurance policy if your spouse is ill and use it to offset the taxes when your loved one passes and your status changes from joint to single.

~ Wish ~
While reading this book, I felt it was a written infomercial to contact Mark and use his services as they are better than any financial advisor’s. Since I did not learn anything new (except for the life insurance trick), I wish it had charts to fill out for tracking instead of simplistic questions to ask.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a wealth management advisor, you may want to take advantage of contacting the writer to get a free “second opinion” consultation, but, sorry, I was not too impressed with this book. Not knowing the future, I wonder what the best strategy for the money we have accumulated over the years is, so most likely my best option is to continue to trust God for guidance as I keep reading any material about retirement that is available to me.

Thanks to News & Experts and Bookpleasures for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/road-rules-for-retirement-mark-fried/1126956519

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Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, Book Review, Business / Money / Education, Non-Fiction

Yixin Waterwheel Suit Bath Toy Set

POOR SUCTION CUP BATH TOY

~ What ~
Made of non-toxic, BPA-free ABS plastic, this bath set includes a suction-cup waterwheel with dolphins depicted on its circular card, a blue watering-cup whale, and 4 various-sized cups with holes for stacking. Recommended for 3-to-8-year-olds, the main toy measures approximately 6 by 4 by 2.5 inches. It comes in a gift box, ready for giving.

~ Why ~
When our grandbabies came for Christmastime, I had a large water toy for them to play with at bath time. It enthralled them so I was looking for a smaller type of bath toy that was less expensive to take to our youngest grandson next month. I love that this has the fish water scooper and 4 additional colorful cups of a frog, turtle, crab, and fish that have holes as they can be used to pour water too. The largest cup has a spinner in it so it is fun to use. A nice touch was the cut-outs on the box that could be used as lids for the cups.

~ Why Not ~
The biggest issue I had was securing the suction cup to the bathtub wall; no matter what I tried, it would not stick or stay in place on the flat surface of the tub. Since the wheel cannot stand on its own, it does not work unless it can be secured to the wall. All but the largest cup with the spinner are stackable.

~ Wish ~
I wish the wheel could stand alone or have a larger suction cup so it could be used properly.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a way to keep a toddler calm and seated in the tub while bathing, the fish pourer and cups are fun and enjoyable, but the main item does not work so I cannot recommend it.

Thanks for Yixin for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

#RankBoosterReview #Sponsored by Luo Le #Yixin

This product can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Bathtime-Stackable-Animals-Waterwheel-Educational/dp/B01CVOU124

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Allvcover Wine Bottle Stopper with Timer

WINE BOTTLE STOPPER MONITORS OXIDATION

~ What ~
Made of ABS and silicone, this 3.75-inch tall by 01.25-inch in diameter at its widest point wine bottle stopper has a vacuum seal that fits almost all wine bottles and an LED battery sensor that can alert how long the bottle has been opened.

~ Why ~
The concept of having an air-pressurized stopper to cork a bottle of wine is advantageous as it deters from oxidization and spoiling. I like the look of this lightweight gadget and that it is easy to pump up and down.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like dealing with wine or bottle stoppers and simply set a cork in the top of the bottle, hoping to keep it fresh. Others may find that the stoppers stick inches out of the bottle, perhaps unable to fit standing up in the refrigerator. Those who do not keep wine for more than 3 days may not see the benefit of having a timer showing how long the bottle has been opened.

~ Wish ~
I am sorry, but I was not impressed with this stopper as I could not get the timer to work and could not open it to add or see if a battery is included (online it does not mention if it comes with one or not). This product’s timer was useless to me as I could not turn the device on or off.  I wish the meager instructions that came with it synced with the online ones about twisting the cap to access the battery area (yet I could not open it, even using a rubber cloth to turn it counter-clockwise). If a battery does need to be added, it should be stated what type both online and on the insert card.­­

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a wine stopper that can tell you when you need to drink red wine before it oxidizes, this may be a helpful item, but I have marked it drastically down since I could not test its main feature.

Thanks to ALLVCOVER for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to review.

This product can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LRV1ZN/

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The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

Title: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage
Author: Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1815-6

“The truth always comes out in the end.  and now we must pray that something good will come of it,” Timothy tells Rachel in Julie Klassen’s novel, The Ladies of Ivy Cottage.

~ What ~
The second in the Tales from Ivy Hill series, this four-hundred-and-forty-eight-page paperback targets those who enjoy Christian romance regarding family loyalty and responsibility. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, the topic of adultery, a child out of wedlock, and infant deaths may not be appropriate for immature readers. An author’s note, ten discussion questions, the author’s biography, and advertisements complete the book.

In this continuing story set in England in 1820, Rachel Ashford is now living at Ivy Cottage where Mercy Grove and her aunts reside. Needing an income, Rachel starts a circulating library using her father’s books while Mercy runs a girls’ school at the residence.

With Rachel being pursued by a distant relative who has inherited her family home, she still has flickering romantic feelings for Sir Timothy that were shunned eight years ago. Meanwhile, Mercy is challenged to find a suitable mate or lose her livelihood.

~ Why ~
Those who enjoy romance sequels involving historical fiction of the nineteenth century in England may like this book. Others will appreciate the detailed descriptions of fashion and decorum that are weaved through the family secrets, lies, and parental demands of the period. Some intriguing moments are unexpected that are based on the era’s societal norms.

~ Why Not ~
As with the prior novel in the series, this one also has no closure when it comes to one of the protagonists at Ivy Cottage. There are too many characters to keep track of and often the storyline does not focus on the ladies of Ivy Cottage but those involved in the prior book. The romances are predictable while repeatedly cutting short at peak tender moments.

~ Wish ~
Since I have read the prior book in the series, I still believe it would be helpful to include a reference list of the many characters. If the book is titled about the ladies of the cottage, why did it mention so many other people and go into detail of their problems without bothering to give closure to one of the main characters?

~ Want ~
If you enjoy a series of historical period romances where Christianity is referred to briefly, this may be a good choice for you, but I do not think I have the fortitude to read the next one as I found it too frustrating.

Thanks to Bethany House for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

This book can be purchased at https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Ladies-of-Ivy-Cottage/55970668

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Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction