Tag Archives: product review

Ceramic Knives Are Really Nice

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A while ago now the knife fairies came and brought me what have been since then my favorite knives of all the knives which with to slice– the KitchenAid ceramic knives.

Okay, it should be stated that I am by all accounts a sort of failure when it comes to knives. I mean, I can’t even be bothered to wash them by hand for god’s sake, but still, I know the way any person knows when they slice into a thing whether it’s the single most effortless thing they’ve done all day, or the greatest wrestling match.

When I first acquired said knives they were a foreign sight. I was all, “Why are they white?” and such. Who’d ever seen a white knife anyways? White knights, sure, all the time. But knives?

So, my expectations were low, to say the least.

Then I sliced something. I sliced some more. And I was all, “Holy Julienne! These knives can slice!”

I’m told the blades are white because they’re comprised of an advanced ceramic called zirconium oxide. The process of making these bad boys is intense: a high pressure molding process, followed by many days of being heated over 1000c, afterwards which comes a polish and grinding on a diamond wheel to give the blade a razor-shape edge.

So that’s technical. The translation is that ceramic knives stay sharper longer than steel knives, are rust-proof, are resistant to acids, oils and germs, are easy to clean, and are exceedingly lightweight.

I’m also told that in truth, they aren’t a substitute for steel knives, which should continue to be used for the brunt of your heavy duty cutting. But for precision slicing, for finely dicing fruit and veggies, fish and boneless meats, ceramic is your knife in shining armor.

Live Simply seal of approval official applied. Get yourself some if you know what’s good fer ya.

Any experience with these yourself? Please share! (raves and rejections alike equally accepted).

*Note, this post is not sponsored by Kitchen Aid. Knives were gifted by a friend who is also in no way affiliated with Kitchen Aid. Listen, Kitchen Aid is no where near this, kapeesh? 

Why Bamboo Sheets Are Better

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Recently we talked about that bamboo drawer organizer, and I alluded to the fact that I had more to say on the matter of bamboo as a material.

If I told you a set of sheets had changed my life, chances are you wouldn’t believe me. And if I followed that up with a “No, really, they have,” you probably still wouldn’t. But lets just, for the sake of things you know, elaborate.

I am a hot sleeper. I always have been. Hot as in extremely sexy, and also as in if anyone actually took the time to wake me up in the middle of the night to shove a thermometer under my tongue, they would find I was sporting an alarmingly high fever.

This has presented a number of dilemmas over the years, the most notable being that individuals who reside under the same roof as you don’t appreciate when you have the windows wide open in the dead of winter on a below freezing night. And even then, you’re still the hottest you’ve ever been (besides the night before).

I’ve tried altering blankets, thinking that opting for a lightweight coverlet over a down quilt would certainly remedy the situation. Fever. I desperately blast the AC in the summer, turn off any and all traces of heat in the winter. Blistering fever. I blast the AC, sleep under a paper thin blanket, and point a fan on its highest power setting pointed directly at my sleeping body and still a fire red hot fever, and a sore throat upon waking (do fans have the same effect on anyone else? Must have something to do with the dryness of the air).

A number of months ago I did a little Google-ing a la the “cures for dangerously hot sleepers” query. Upon doing so, I found the bamboo. Review after review claimed that bamboo sheets were the best thing since self-tanners: touted as being softer than Egyptian cotton, far, far more breathable, with anti-microbial properties, and, most importantly, able to regulate body temperature by way of moisture wicking, which vastly reduces the humidity in between the sheets that causes one to become extremely hot or cold. Sold.

And then on some holiday some lovely kind-hearted person gifted me my very own set of bamboo sheets.

Here is how the past six months have gone:

Bamboo sheets every night.

They get washed, then immediately put back on the bed.

The other linens I own have all but ceased to be utilized. Ever since bamboo acquisition, they’ve been sitting neglected in the closet all forlorn and heat-trapping. Having discovered the glory of bamboo sheets I just can’t go back. These are magical fibers I tell you.

On the few occasions I have had to revert to the cotton sheets (because the bamboo weren’t dry in time for bed) I have had markedly uncomfortable sleep. Each time. In comparison to the bamboo sheets, they seem to literally conduct heat.

For anyone reading who gets overheated at night or excessively chilled, who routinely sweats the bed, who prefers soft fabrics to sucky ones, you must buy yourself a set of set (a few options for solid colors: bamboo sheets by Egyptian Bedding, Bamboo 300 Thread Count Sheet by Kassatex Fine Linens, BambooWeave Sheets by VivaTerra, and for a bit of pattern: Casablanca Bamboo Bedding, and for wee babes: Cloud Bamboo Crib Sheet)

The moral of this story is that 1. I can’t vouch for these zealously enough, and 2. It appears it’s really time to for me to buy another set or two.

Kaboom.

Image credits: 1. unknown, La Tavola Linen, 2. Oly Studio via MASHDecorology

 

Live Simply Loser: Spring Loaded Dream Drawer Organizers

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Update from the future: I take back this whole post. Nevermind the whole thing. The Dream Drawers are great, and have become my go-to choice for closet drawers. Turns out I had to learn how to use them was all, and using them properly means don’t go trying to force the springs. If they don’t fit the drawers then they don’t fit the drawers. And if they do they’re, well, how much would you want to kill me if I said they were a dream?


 

File today’s post under “you say tomato, I say tomahto,” or some other idiom which refers to a differing of opinions about the success of a organizational product. Is there an expression for that?

Point being, The Container Store’s product page for the Dream Drawer Organizers is busting over with five stars and rave reviews from customers all, “I’m in love with these!” “Best ever!!!!” “They do the trick!” If by trick the customer in question is referring to their instant and seemingly magic ability to render themselves entirely useless and a pile of junk by way of a loose spring, I think she’s onto it.

Okay, so I guess I should explain. One of my clients purchased a whole load of these for organizing drawers throughout her house. And, okay, they really aren’t the worst things ever created by man.

In fact, if they actually do fit your drawers, they are a cinch. Yes, fine. They give you insta-divided sections. But, if you have to struggle even the slightest bit in order to make them fit, they will reveal themselves as the cheap-ness that they are. I’ve broken about five now, and I don’t break things on the job.

Let me try my best to describe: they’re made up of two plastic parts, one of which fits into the other by way of a metal spring. You push in on the end of the plastic and the spring compresses, allowing you to fit the divider into place. But (back to the but) if you exert just a tad too much force when pushing the end in, the spring will ka-jolt out of place, the plastic part shooting out of its partner and nearly taking out your eyeball. And, once the spring has “ka-jolted,” the second plastic part (eyeball scooper) will have inevitably snapped off some tiny but major nib, prohibiting you from ever reconstructing the divider– THOUGH YOU MAY TRY AND TRY AGAIN REGARDLESS.

I guess the bottom line is, if you measure your drawers prior to purchasing these and ensure they’ll fit comfortably, you’ll be fine, and may even side with the aforeblogged reviewers. If you fail to measure previous to purchasing, if you attempt to defy the laws of gravity even the slightest, you will fail and perchance be down an eye.

In general, I would always recommend divided inserts rather than actual dividers. That won’t be clear, will it? Such as the likes of these:

Closet & Vanity: Linen Drawer Organizer // Eco-Stripe Organizer (w/ brown trim), Bathroom/Office: Acrylic Stacking Tray // Bamboo Expandable Utility Drawer Organizer Kitchen: OXO Good Grips Expandable Utensil Organizer

So tell me, have you ever tried the Dream Drawer Organizers? Maybe you can share the secret to success with them?