Book Review-An Angel With Fur

An Angel With FurAlmost a month  ago, I was asked if I would like to review Russell Blake’s new book “An Angel With Fur”.  Well  hey, I love reading and I am an avid dog lover (I have 4 fur babies of my own) so I said “Heck Yeah!”.

I had heard of Russell before. I know he usually writes thrillers and has an excellent reputation of being a top notch author. This new book about his dog Lobo, sure didn’t look like his usual fare though.

I started reading this while sitting in the hospital with my mother during her final illness. The more I read, the more I felt like I was talking with an old friend about his dog. Not only is Russell the same age as I am, but Lobo is the spitting image of my dog Roxie. And reading  the story of the life and loss of a loved one at the same time that I was losing my mom,  this story hit home on many levels.

I laughed at this high spirited dog and how he kept his owners on their toes. I know we dog lovers all think our dog is special, and they are. But Lobo was one in a million. It was a joy to read about his life and what a courageous little pup he was. I laughed at parts of the book and shared them with my mother. Even in her weakened state, she would smile and chuckle at some of his antics.

Other parts of this book had me crying my eyes out. I felt like I had lost someone I loved at the end and I could feel what Russell and Lobo felt at the end. It’s been about 4 days since I finished this book, and I still think about this amazing dog.

I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves animals. Even if you don’t love animals, this book will help you understand the special bond we humans have with our canine companions.

Currently, this book is only available as the Kindle version on Amazon and you can find it here: Amazon. Hopefully it will come in a paper version soon. Also if you would like to read more about Russell Blake, you can find him at RussellBlake.com.

Cathy

Lucid Memory Foam Viscoelastic Mattress Review

lucid linenspa mattressI decided to do my next review on the LUCID by LinenSpa Memory Foam Firm Viscoelastic Mattress because I own this myself and after several months of sleeping on it, I feel qualified to give an accurate review of it.

Why I Bought This Mattress

Back in June, my daughter moved out.  She decided to give her old bed to her 2 year old daughter and buy a king size mattress. After doing some research on the memoryfoam mattress, she decided to go with a LinenSpa memory foam mattress. She didn’t have a lot of money to buy a whole new bed, and king sized mattress sets can be quite expensive so the Lucid by LinenSpa seemed like a good choice.

I would have advised her against buying this king foam mattress, being that it was pretty cheap except it did have a 20 year warranty and she got it from Amazon, which I know is a trust worthy site.

I asked her how she liked it after she had been sleeping on it for a few weeks and she told me it was the best bed she had ever slept on. One day when I was at her apartment, babysitting my granddaughter, we took a nap on my daughter’s new bed. I had to agree. It was really comfortable.

Since my little granddaughter stays overnight at my house several nights a week, I decided to get a bed for her to sleep in and put it in my daughter’s old room.

Since I’m also on a budget, and I really liked my daughter’s memory foam bed, I decided to buy the same thing except because of the size of the bedroom, I got a queen size memory foam mattress.

I got my LinenSpa mattress from Amazon too and it came within a week. It came in a large box and it took 2 of us to drag it upstairs. I had bought the bed frame that Amazon recommended under their “Frequently Bought Together” section. If you want to take a look at it, you can find it here: Structures by Malouf HIGHRISE Folding Metal Bed Frame 14″ High Bi-Fold Platform Bed Base.

The bed frame was really easy to put together. It came in 2 parts that you just unfold and then you screw the 2 together. I am so mechanically challenged it’s sad, but even I was able to put it together within a few minutes.

Then I took the mattress out of the box. It looked so thin, I thought there was no way it was 10 inches thick. But  once I took it out of the plastic wrapper, and laid it out on the frame, it started to puff up. Within a few hours, it was a full 10 inches thick. A picture of it is to the right:foam mattress

You are supposed to let it air out for a day or two but it was really ready to sleep on by that night. I did wait until the next day to try it out.

My First Night Sleeping on My Memory Foam Mattress

When I did sleep on it, it was the best night’s sleep I have gotten in ages. I have neck and back problems from an old whiplash injury and I usually wake up sore and stiff in my legs and my back and neck are aching. But sleeping on this Viscoelastic memory foam mattress left me waking up without pain for the first time in years! I actually slept through the night without waking up multiple times. In my opinion this is the best mattress for back pain. I now sleep on this bed every night instead of the King size bed in my room. I consider it one of the best purchases I ever made and would buy it again in a heart beat.

What is Visco Elastic Memory Foam ?

You may be wondering what is visco elastic memory foam anyway. Visco elastic material allows mattress toppers to conform to your individual curves to relieve pressure points. Visco Elastic foam has higher resistance to change than traditional foam.

 The Pros of This Mattress

  •  It offers great support for your body and conforms to weight and pressure of your body.
  • Relieves back, neck and shoulder pain by reducing pressure points.
  • Good for any sized person.
  • It comes in the 10 inch size described in this review and also 8 inch and 12 inch sizes.
  • It comes in many sizes: Twin, XL Twin, Full, Queen, King and California King.
  • It has a antimicrobial  and anti-dust mite washable cover.
  • The mattress itself is also antimicrobial and mold resistant, allergen resistant and resists bacteria and dust mites.
  • It has a 20 year warranty which is much longer than most traditional mattresses.
  • Unlike some foam mattresses, this doesn’t heat up because of it’s open cell technology that allows for air flow.
  • You do not need box springs, just a platform or frame and the mattress.
  • Easy delivery and set up.
  • Free Shipping if you buy from Amazon.
  • Very affordable.
  • Doesn’t move around and jiggle when you move around on it like a traditional mattresses.

 

 The Cons of This Mattress

  • You will need to buy the “deep” sheets to fit the mattress properly. They are easy to find. I’ve seen them everywhere and got mine at Walmart.
  • Although there is a mattress cover on it, it isn’t water resistant so if that’s something you need, you will have to buy the waterproof pad separately.
  • You can’t use a traditional bed frame for it. Actually you can if you buy some plywood cut to the size of your frame and laid in the bottom of the bed frame. Otherwise you will need to buy a special frame or platform for it.
  • Some said in the comments it took a little getting used to but once they did, they loved it. I loved it from the first time I used it.
  • Some said there was a chemical smell when they first took the mattress out of the plastic wrapper. However, it will dissipate within a day or two. I didn’t notice any smell at all when I opened the mattress.

 Who Are These Foam Beds For?

  • Anyone with back, neck, and joint problems.
  • Those who like firm beds.
  • Those who do not have much money to spend on a bed.
  • Anyone who sleeps in the bed with another person, specially if that person moves a lot during the night.
  • Parents who have kids who like to jump on their beds. These memory foam beds make it difficult to do that.

Who Are These Foam Beds Not For?

  • Those who prefer a soft mattress. Although some who thought this foam mattress was too hard, bought a soft foam or downy topper to go on top. It gives them the support they need and the softness they prefer.
  • Those who prefer to try out their mattress in a store first.

 

If you’d like to read what other people thought of this mattress  read the complete reviews-click here.

 

Is There A Warranty?

Yes! I mentioned it before but if you missed it, this mattress has a 20 year warranty. Much longer than most other mattresses!

 

What’s Included

The mattress and a zippered mattress pad that is already on the mattress. The only other thing you need to buy is the frame.

 

 Where to Buy

I may be biased because I buy most of my stuff off of Amazon. BUT, I did check around the internet, and found that Amazon did have the lowest price on the Lucid LinenSpa memory foam mattress. The savings were between 10 and 65% Plus with free shipping, it’s a no-brainer.  Click here to see what the current price is.

 

Below is a picture of my bed with the headboard and all the linens on.

my bed

If you end up buying one of these beds, or already have one, I’d love to hear your experience with it.

Cathy

LUCID by LinenSpa 10″ Memory Foam Firm Viscoelastic Mattress 20-Year Warranty, Queen
*UPDATE* August 29, 2012: I have used this mattress for over a year now and I still love it! It’s the most comfortable mattress I have ever owned.

*UPDATE* December 17,2015: It’s now been over 4 years and I sleep on this mattress every night. Still love it!

Article by Cathy Ratcliffe
 

 

 

 

 

My Love Affair with my Keurig B40 Coffee Maker

Keurig B40 Elite Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System

Keurig B40

Several years ago when I first heard about single serve coffee makers that used pods or cups of pre-measured coffee, I was  a little curious about them but didn’t give them much thought.

Then one of my closest friends, Joanie,  got a Keurig coffee brewer and I really loved hers. Every time I go over to her house, I get a cup of coffee made from her coffee maker. I loved that I could pick my own flavor. They call the single serve coffee that comes in little plastic cups, k cups. Those  little k cups come in so many flavors!

I did ask my friend if they were more expensive than buying coffee in a bag and she said yes, but she often wasted the coffee she made in her old traditional coffee maker. With a one cup coffee maker,  there is no “leftovers”. So she felt it averaged out to be about the same. I have to agree since I will only drink the “good stuff”. It can run $9-$11 a pound.

Ever since I was introduced to my friend’s  coffee maker, I have wanted one of these Keurig coffee makers for myself. I did narrow it down to the Keurig B60 or the Keurig B40 but, I just never got around to getting one.  My family knew I wanted one and for Mothers Day this year, my son got me a Keurig B-40 Elite Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System.

He actually gave it to me about 3 weeks before Mothers Day, partly because he was so excited about giving me something he knew I really wanted and partly because he loves coffee too and I know he wanted to try out the b40 for himself.

We have had so much fun trying out the different coffees, teas and even hot chocolate k cups. The k cup coffee is as good or better than the kind I have had in Starbucks and other coffee houses.

After using this  Keurig brewer for a while now, I still love it. I think it’s the best coffee maker out there.  That’s why I decided to do my first review on this site about it.

Why I Wanted a Single Serve Coffee Maker

There were several reasons I wanted to get this type of coffee machine.

  • I wanted to make iced tea by the glass. I love  peppermint tea (it can be iced or hot but I prefer iced) and Celestial Half and Half Black Tea and Lemonade.
  • I wanted to be able to make a single cup at a time. I was tired of wasting coffee in a conventional coffee maker.
  • I wanted to make a really good cup of coffee. Let’s just say I’m “coffee challenged”. I never make good tasting coffee or tea on my own. My Keurig makes the best tasting coffee ever!
  • I wanted something easy to take care of, easy to clean and easy to use. My Keurig B40 is all of those things.
  • I wanted to impress my friends by letting them pick their own flavor of coffee or tea.

What I Love About the Keurig B40

  • The design is sleek and pleasing to the eye.
  • It takes a few minutes to heat up but after it has heated, it will brew a cup of coffee in under a minute. Much quicker than most coffee makers.
  • I can chose the size of drink that I want.
  • I like that some of the parts are removable such as the water reservoir and the drip tray.
  • I love that I don’t have to add water very often and when I do need to add water, the Keurig lets me know.
  • It  tells me when it needs cleaning (or descaling) which is pretty easy to do.
  • I can always have a fresh hot drink whenever I want.
  • This machine is very tech friendly: very easy to use.

 

What I Don’t Like About the Keurig

There’s nothing in particular that I don’t like about my Keurig but the only thing I don’t like about using a single serve coffee maker in general, is that if there is a big crowd at my house, it would take a long time to make coffee for everyone. So far that hasn’t happened yet but I plan on storing my old coffee maker just in case.

My friend Joanie, who does often have large parties, just invites her guests to help themselves and make their own. The Keurig coffee brewers are really simple to use and there is a big variety of coffee to chose from.

 

What’s Included

The coffee machine and manual are included, plus you get a 12  pack variety of  k cups of coffee and tea to try. Oh, and if you ever lose your manual, can get one online here: Keurig B40 Manual.

What are the Features and Benefits

  • This is a single serve coffee machine so you get a fresh cup of coffee any time you want. No more stale, reheated coffee.
  • The B40 makes 2 sizes of drinks: 71/4 oz. and 9 1/4 oz. This is great for controlling how strong you want to make your coffee.
  • The drip tray is removable which makes it really easy to clean. It also comes in handy if you want to use a large glass for iced tea, or for a travel mug for your coffee.  Just remove the tray and slip your glass under the dispenser.
  • It has a 2 hour automatic shut off, so on those busy mornings when you forget to shut the Keurig off,  you don’t have to worry and wonder if you shut it off or not.
  • The K cups come in hundreds of varieties and flavors. You are sure to find some flavors that you love. You can get coffees in a variety of strengths and flavors to suit your taste. There are also a large variety of teas and some hot cocoa and apple cider too. The coffees and teas come in hot and iced variety.
  • You can find the k cups in lots of places, both online and locally. Locally I have found them at my local grocery store (Farm Fresh) and Publix, Target, Walmart (very limited variety), Sam’s,  and Bed Bath and Beyond. Online you can get them at Keurig.com, and Amazon (with free shipping!).
  • The water reservoir is removable for easy re-filling and only needs to be refilled after you have made 6-7 cups of coffee.
  • The water is heated to 192 degrees fahrenheit so your drink is nice and hot.
  • It comes with a one year warranty.
  • The size is 13.0″H x 9.8″W x 13.3″D and fits comfortably in most kitchens. It’s a nice looking machine.
  • It has Quiet-Brew Technology® so though it does make a little noise, it isn’t particularly loud and only lasts a few seconds.
  • If you buy through Amazon, the shipping  is free!

 

Who This Coffee Maker is For

  • Coffee drinkers who only want a cup or two at a time, and making a pot will be wasted.
  • Multiple people in a household who like different drinks: decaf coffee, regular coffee, flavored coffee,tea, etc.
  • People who entertain.
  • People who are in a rush in the mornings but want a good cup of coffee.
  • People who are trying to cut down on their expensive Starbucks habit.

 

Who This Coffee Maker Is Not For

  • Anyone who needs to make large quantities of coffee that needs to be ready at the same time.
  • People who love to control how their coffee is made. By that I mean, the folks who like to roast and grind their own coffee beans and brew it in coffee presses and such.
  • Those who are very “green”. The k cups actually can be recycled, but by the time you tear them apart, separate the components and clean it out, you have defeated one of the main reason for owning this coffee maker, which is for convenience.

 

Where You Can Read Reviews for Keurig B40 Coffee Maker?

You can read all the reviews on Amazon here: Keruig B40 Reviews.

Any Complaints

Out of about 500 reviews, there were some negative ones too. Some were from years back and the company seems to have remedied those complaint problems. For instance, many of the older reviews mentioned that the B-40 was loud and actually shook. I can attest personally that it isn’t loud and it doesn’t shake. In fact, Keurig has developed the Quiet-Brew Technology® that has taken care of the noise problem.

Others have complained about the customer service. But just as many raved about the great customer service. So I guess it’s just the luck of the draw. Or maybe now Keurig has improved their customer service department. I’m not sure. I personally have not  had to contact them.

A few complained about the coffee being weak. That is a taste issue. I feel personally that the coffee is a little on the strong side. But with all the numerous varieties and strengths of k cups available, you are sure to find the right coffee for your taste.

Some complained that their coffee maker stopped working or had problems after awhile. Others stated that they had  theirs for years with no problems.

 

 


Where You Can Buy the Keurig B40 Coffee Brewer?

You can find the Keurig B 40 coffee brewers at your local stores such as Walmart, Kohl’s, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond,  and Best Buy. You can also get it online through Keurig’s site which is Keurig.com or also at Amazon. Did I mention the shipping is free?


Keurig B40 Best Price

Amazonseems to have the best price, but only by a dollar or two. They do offer free shipping though which can save you some bucks.  Click the picture to get the current sale price:

Keurig B40 brewer

Click to see what this brewer is selling for right now!


Click here to check out daily 20%-40% discounts on Amazon for the Kerug for today:

Sales are subject to change daily!

 

 

 

 

*UPDATE* July 5th, 2012

We have had this coffee maker for well over a year now. It does an average of 4-6 cups of beverages (coffee, cocoa, tea, etc) a day. I got to say, I still love this coffee maker!

It’s such a work horse. No problems or issues with it. I still highly recommend it.

It’s also nice that now I can find the K cups every where; Walmart, my local grocery stores, pretty much every where I shop.

Article by: Cathy Ratcliffe