Ozeri OZK1 Elite Ceramic Chef’s Knives Set

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I make no secret about spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and I’m always game to try new things there. I was very curious about ceramic knives, and tried a set earlier this year that had some serious issues for all-around usability. So when Ozeri decided to let me try their set, I was 100% on board. I’m glad I did, because these knives are superior to my last set in every way.

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Ceramic knives are a great alternative to stainless steel knives. They stay sharper much longer, are much lighter, and can usually be had for a fraction of the cost of a good, traditional stainless steel knife. They are made of 100% ceramic, which makes them impervious to rust and corrosion, and moisture, oils and acids found in foods. They’re well balanced, perform well for a variety of tasks, from slicing, chopping, dicing and paring. They’re easy to clean have ergonomic non-slip handles that make your kitchen tasks a breeze. This set includes a 5 & 1/2″ Chef’s knife, a 5″ utility knife, and a 2 & 3/4″ paring knife. They are polished to a mirror finish whuch makes clean-up a breeze. The form of the non-slip handle encourages a proper grip on the knife and the angle makes all cutting tasks no trouble whatsoever, and because they are so light, there’s no hand or arm fatigue if you’re doing a lot of kitchen prep work.

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I would very much like to see a larger chef’s knife in the set, as well as a larger paring knife. While the paring knife is 2 & 3/4″, it looks and works much smaller. There’s also the fact that as sharp as ceramic knives are, you can’t resharpen them like traditional stainless steel knives. And, even though they hold an edge up to 10 times longer than steel, ceramic knives can be brittle and chip easily with improper storage (Not a problem with these Ozeri OZK1 Elites, as they come with a protective plastic sheath for each blade) and cutting through things like bone or hard pits. Also, you can’t use the edge to crush garlic like I do with my steel knives.

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These Ozeri OZK1 Elite knives are a great addition to my kitchen “arsenal”, and I’m glad to have them. They’re very sharp out of the box, plenty so for any and all kitchen tasks both big (carving a pot roast), small (chopping up veggies), and delicate (thinly slicing tomatoes without squishing them). You know you’re getting a quality kitchen tool set, and Ozeri stands behind everything they sell 100%. As they say, “Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed”. And they mean it.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ozeri. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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Ocotillo Southwest’s Way Out West Premium Scented Candles

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I love the smells the house gets in fall and winter. We have a number of scented candles and wax melts from a variety of companies for all seasons, but the warmth and spice of fall and winter scents are hands-down my favorites. Sadly, there are a few candles that smell amazing in the store and then you get them home and light them up and there’s a distinct lack of scent. Except for the immediate vicinity around said candle. Or you end up with so much scent you have a headache and never light it again. Ocotillo Southwest’s Way Out West candle sets have struck a happy medium between the two, and smell jaw-droppingly amazing to boot.

We played a hunch when offered and went for the “Native Pinon Pine” Scent, and we weren’t disappointed. I didn’t want something that smells like a bathroom air freshener, or those little pine tree rear-view mirror decorations for cars, but a warm, spicy pine-ey scent that would help Hubby forget we have an artificial tree, and make the house smell like fresh cut pine. And Ocotillo Southwest hit that sweet spot of all those great scent notes without being overbearing or overpowering. The candle burns clean, with no popping or crackling, and the wicks don’t spark. The scent fills the room, and beyond, and lingers for a couple of days after only a few hours of burn. Did I mention the scent is heavenly? Because it truly is, and might well be our favorite for the season.

The packaging is delightful, and suitable for gifting without wrapping, it’s just so cute. The presentation is perfect, and the included metal wick dipper is a total “Well, duh!” moment for me, who has spent the better part of the last two decades blowing out the candles and ruining the scents. I love the wick dipper, and the little copper-ish accent charms on each top-quality mason jar (that you can clean and re-use!) candle. The copper tinted lids screw on securely and make storage a breeze. You get two candles per $29.99 package and Ocotillo Southwest estimates each candle is good for 40-45 hours each. I would love to give the other scents from the Way Out West Collection, because these Native Pinon Pine candles are a huge hit in this house.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ocotillo Southwest.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

Oliver & Kline 3-Piece Ceramic Knife Set


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You can usually always find me in the kitchen, cooking, baking, chopping, prepping…whatever needs doing in there, I’m usually doing it. And I’ve always wanted to try ceramic kitchen knives, and lo and behold, a lovely set was sent to me by Oliver & Kline to try and review. And while I’m sold on the type of product, this particular product comes a little short due to design. But overall, I’m a fan.

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See, I thought ceramic knives were some kind of gimmick, some flash-in-the-pan product. “As Seen On TV” type thing, which usually denotes junk, so I avoided them. I spent good money on quality steel kitchen knives, after all. What could ceramic knives bring to the party? Turns out I had a lot to learn. Turns out, a well ground ceramic knife will hold it’s sharp cutting edge much longer than steel, practically never needing sharpening. Made of zirconium dioxide, it’s almost diamond hard, yet will never rust like steel. And because ceramic is non-reactive to acids, it isn’t affected by highly acidic foods. There is a caveat to all these positives, and that’s that ceramic knives are brittle. The fine edge can chip easily on bone or frozen foods, and twisting them to say, pull an avocado pit, could shatter the blade. And forget crushing garlic. And there’s no sharpening them at home, you need a special diamond-dust coated grinding wheel. But, those things are a small price to pay, in my book, for a super-sharp knife that will stay that way for a long, long long time. For slicing and paring, these knives quickly became my go-to.

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Until I had to chop. Chopping up herbs, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, chives….was, to say the least, frustrating, and I’ll show you why. The bolster on my chefs knife doesn’t extend past the blade, and comes down clean to chop up anything. There’s no light coming through to under to illustrate that:

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Now, on the same cutting board, with my Oliver & Kline chef’s knife:

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See all that light? Nothing will be cut there, unless you manage to get the bolster to the very edge of the cutting board with each stroke, which is a nearly impossible task. And it frustrated the living hell out of me trying to chop. It’s such a shame that a design flaw like this made me put the knife away and not use it again, and Hubby said he’d find a way to alter the bolster to make it usable again, but ugh… I wanted to love these knives, and I don’t.

There’s a lot of good things here. The price is spot on. The darker blade of the ceramic usually denotes a tougher ceramic, and the non-slip grips of the handles are nice (ABS plastic coated in TPR), and aren’t even slippery when wearing gloves, for when you don’t want to small like garlic and onions all day. They’re reasonably sharp out of the box, which is important because you can not sharpen them at home. The presentation box with it’s magnetic lid is just beautiful, and the three sizes (6″ chef, 5″ utility, 4″ paring) are some of the best and most useful all-around sizes for the kitchen. There’s decent heft and the knives are balanced well. But ugh…again, that bolster. So close to the perfect prep knives for me. If you don’t do much chopping or prep, and slicing alone is your thing, these are hands down some of the best value ceramic knives I’ve found. You’ll enjoy them greatly. But for me, sadly, they missed the mark.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Oliver & Kline.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Klout Perk: People V.I.P. Perk with 3 month Magazine Subscription and World’s Most Beautiful gift box #PEOPLEVIP

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Another great Klout perk! Who doesn’t love getting boxes filled with goodies? Certainly not this gal! This one had a nice mix of items from jewelry to nail polish, and all courtesy of People’s Magazine. Definitely a great way in getting that V.I.P. feeling across! They call the items below Editor’s Pick and that means People’s Magazine did the hard work of testing things out to knowing what is currently H-O-T at the moment!

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Let’s get started on the goodies…….

 

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1. Hungry Girl: Chew the Right Thing

A cute but also informational diet book that helps in making better choices when it comes to eating. Perfect timing with Summer creeping closer and that means swimsuit weather too. You don’t want to eat yourself out of a bikini and this little set gives you 50 recipe cards filled with less guilty versions of the food you enjoy munching on. The low caloric versions range from everything like sweet treats, drinks, to full meals. Easy to follow and playful at the same time!

 

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2. Zoya Nail Polish in color Rue
I have tried most brands out there of nail polishes and I once owned a Zoya in a red hue, however it was a bright red and so not me that I gave it away. Wanting to gift it to someone meant not trying it and I always pondered about the brand, many a times walking around Ulta with a bottle but never making the commitment to actually buy it and taking it home. I love neutral shades and I am guilty of purchasing the same color but from different brands. I don’t mean to but there are those tones that just make you smile and this Rue color is it for me. I love how it is a shade that goes with any season and any mood. It’s pretty, noticeable but does not scream out, “look at my nails”…..it sort of just goes with the flow kind of color. I also became a fan of Zoya’s formula because it makes me look like an expert when applying even when I try convincing my left paw to stop shaking.  I was able to do a polka dot accent nail because it was one of my better less shaking going on nail polishing days!

 

 

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3. Professional Hair Detangler
A comb-slash-brush but without a stick. You would think it’s like a broken brush and what’ the fuss? It comes down to control and less stress to your hair. The wand on a brush tends to make you put out more “umph” and this is why so many times we accidentally pull on (or out) our own hair even when it’s ourselves doing the brushing. I’m not into pain and much less tangles, so this little palm miracle makes we have less ouch and I can use it with wet or dry hair. I also like that there is no stick to deal with, so it travels well too.

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4. Delicate Spring Bracelet
A gold accented bracelet that is light on the wrist and can easily be combined with other items to get that “stackable” look we are seeing with everything. We layered clothes for a while, so it seems we are now doing it with our accessories too. I liked the gold shimmer part but the plastic blue wires were just not me. I will not be tossing this piece away but with a little D.I.Y, I will be making this into something that is more “me” and that is the whole point when it comes to looks, you go with what you like!

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5. Chevron Beauty Set
Three different sized bags that feature a nice green colored chevron pattern. I have make-up bags that I store inside other make-up bags because every bag has been used, needed, and even borrowed at one point. Easy closure and I love that these are also wipe-able inside. I’m not a make-up spill”er” but my purses are spotless because these baggies have saved me one time or another. Purses get dropped, stepped on to I have caught my husband using mine as an arm rest. I now still yell but with less spazing if anything was crushed and made a mess. I also use the larger one for half frozen water bottles that are cold and sweat….sort of like when you go to see a movie and don’t want to pay $6 for 8 ounces of H2o. Not that I’m giving you ideas or anything 🙂

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6. People Magazine Subscription
I am reader of all magazines and this usually comes about that I run out of things to read and I’ll read anything for entertainment. I’m not a huge celebrity follower but enjoy entertainment news, like what is coming out soon to what got axed that I just started watching. People’s has it all, to shopping tips and even make-up advice. I will be enjoying my 3 months of entertainment along with my goodies!

I have said it before and if this box does not convince you, I have no idea what will.  Join Klout!  It’s a great way to experience what you already like and also a bit of the new so you can change up now and then.  I was unsure I would enjoy People’s Magazine and wrote it off in the past but I just learned a new thing, I actually found articles I enjoyed to even coupons!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Klout and People’s Magazine.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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