7/24/17

Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic 3-Piece Knife Set Review


It's no surprise to our readers that we spend a lot of time In the Kitchen here in our little corner of the world.  In our increasing effort to eat more healthy, natural foods--fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh meats and herbs--we really do spend hours a week chopping, prepping and working on meal prep and planning.  I probably have a kitchen knife in my hand at least a couple of hours every day.  Really.  I recently had the opportunity to try out a set of ceramic knives from Ozeri.  What did I think of the Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic 3-Piece Knife Set?

I received a sample set of these knives to try in our kitchen.  All opinions and experiences are my own.

What does the Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic 3-Piece Knife Set Include?  This set includes a 3" Paring Knife, a 5" Slicing Knife, and a 6" Chef's Knife.  All 3 knives are ceramic--and Ozeri notes that the blades "preserve its razor-sharpness 10 times longer than traditional steel blades".  The Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic 3-Piece Knife Set has a lightweight, ergonomic design to reduce kitchen "fatigue"--and the ceramic blades do not rust or corrode.

 How did the Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic 3-Piece Knife Set stand up to our busy kitchen review?

These knives are SHARP.   For the first month or so of use--I cut myself a few times a week.  They are really that much sharper than traditional steel knife blades.  The blades did dull down to a more reasonable sharpness after about 6 weeks of several hours of daily use.  They are still sharp enough to effectively cut my fruits/veggies and meat--but, not so razor-edge sharp that I'm nicking my fingernails or edging into my thumb if I try to slice a green onion or scallion without a cutting board!

I LOVE the design of the Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic 3-Piece Knife Set.  As I mentioned, I spend a lot of time cutting, chopping, prepping, etc.  These knives fit my hand.  I think these are the first handles to ever fit my hand well.   My 11 year old daughter is also able to easily grip and handle these knives.

 A couple of points to consider before buying....

If you use magnetic knife racks (like I do)--these ceramic bladed knives won't stick to them for storage.  (Nor will the handles if you try to store them "upside down"!) I had tossed away my knife blocks because my kitchen is small and has little counter space--so I have to store these knives in a drawer.   The blades are also a little wide--so they not fit into your traditional knife blocks.  Ozeri does make a knife stand for them--so you may want to buy one if you prefer not to store knives in drawers.

Take some extra care with use until the knives dull down a bit.  These knives are really razor sharp for a while.  My daughters are pretty kitchen savvy--but, I wouldn't let them use these knives for a few weeks!  If you like that razor sharpness--you will need to invest in a knife sharpener because they do dull a bit over time.

Would I recommend the Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic 3-Piece Knife Set?  Family and friends have purchased a lot of knife sets for me over the years.  These knives are some of my favorite after several weeks of use.  I love the way they feel in hands--and I love the way they slice and chop.   The chef's knife is a little smaller than a traditional, large chef's knife--but, it does handle well for chopping larger produce and such.

Buy on Amazon 


If you buy....
Be careful using for a while until you get used to the sharpness!

Plan to buy a knife stand if you store the knives out of drawers.



These are not "forever-sharp" knives--however--even after several hours over several weeks of daily use, I am pleased with their performance and have not had the need to sharpen them yet.



I would recommend these knives to busy, home "cooks" and home "sous chefs".  I use them every day and really do love them. 
 

From Work Woes To Another’s Workload


comfortable, couch, decoration

Modern life is a busy game for most people. When you’re not at work, you have to be looking after the kids or cleaning up after yourself, taking time away from the things you enjoy. For a lot of people, the work that life brings can often be far too much. It will impact the time you spend with your kids. And it could even cost you money if things go wrong. Thankfully, though, there’s a solution to this little problem. Instead of doing the work yourself, you can get someone else to do it. This post will be going through four jobs around the home which can be handled like this.

Dusting, scrubbing, and washing are most people’s idea of a horrid weekend. This sort of job has to be done, or the home will fall into a state of disarray. Of course, most people will keep their home at least reasonably clean and tidy. Sometimes, this job will fall short of completion, though. In most places, you can find loads of cleaning services which can handle this sort of work for you. This will take the work out of your hands and ensure that it’s done to a very high standard. Most cleaning companies won’t charge much more than the price of a couple of cups of coffee to clean your home.

drops of water, hand, person

The home itself isn’t the only cleaning job you have to deal with, though. The rich and famous might be able to afford a new outfit every day, but most people don’t have this luxury. Instead, you have to make your clothing last by cleaning it after each use. There are loads of services, like https://www.drycleanusa.com/, which can handle this side of your cleaning work for you. You can have you clothing collected at your door and dropped back off once it’s been washed.

A lot of the space your property takes up is likely to be outside. Gardens can often be very large, making a lot of work which people don’t have time for. Thankfully, you don’t have to let your garden fall into complete chaos, though. Instead, you can have someone come and handle it for you. Some people will be able to get away with having their grass mowed and nothing else. But, gardens with flowers and other plants will take a little bit more work. An option like https://www.chapelvalley.com/ could handle all of your outdoor needs. Most companies offering these services are competitively priced and easy to use.

Finally, this option is one that should only be used very occasionally. If you’re a parent, sometimes, the best relief can be from your children. Of course, this isn’t to say that you don’t love and care for them deeply, it’s just that everyone needs some alone time. Modern babysitter companies are much safer than the options of the past. With background checks and strict training, the person looking after your child will be very professional. This can give you the chance to let your hair down and have a taste of the old days.

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of the work that can be done to take away some of your day to day jobs. Not a lot of people try to think of ways to add more free time into their life. But, upon reflection, it’s easy to see that the price you pay for services like this is much less valuable than the time you get back.

Menstrual Cramps: What's Normal?



The majority of women are well aware of how uncomfortable menstrual cramps - or to use their medical term, dysmenorrhea - are. Not only do you have to deal with the fatigue and mood instability that goes along with that time of the month, but you also have to be in pain too? Some things in life just aren’t fair.

Given that menstrual cramps are so ubiquitous and almost expected when Aunt Flo is in town, how can any woman know what she experiences is normal? And what’s more - why does it matter what ‘normal’ is?

Menstrual Cramps Are Usually Completely Normal. The cramps happen to the very physical nature of periods, as the uterus contracts in the effort to shed the endometrium (aka the womb lining. As the uterus is a muscle, the constant contracting and expansion can be painful - hence what we know of as menstrual cramps taking center stage.

So while cramps may be unpleasant, they’re usually entirely standard and are nothing to worry about.

Normal Menstrual Cramps Vary from Woman to Woman. Given that everyone has different pain thresholds, it’s difficult to say what’s truly to be considered ‘normal’. What some women might find debilitating would, for others, be relatively easy to handle - there’s no sweeping general statement that can classify normal.

Nevertheless, it’s important to try. That’s because certain illnesses - particularly conditions called endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome - have painful periods as their key signifier or symptom.

Endometriosis is the most common cause of extremely painful periods, and it’s not to be taken likely. It is often severe enough for sufferers to be classed as disabled and in need of the help of the likes of David Chermol so they have access to the funds they need to live. That’s why it’s vital to know if endometriosis might be causing your pain, as it gets progressively worse - catching it early is the best way to keep yourself on an even keel.

How To Recognize Abnormal Pain. Both endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS from hereon) have other symptoms besides pain, but pain is usually the most recognizable and the most troubling.

The majority of menstrual cramps are felt in the abdomen. However, if you feel the pain ‘wandering’ - particularly down your legs or through to your back - then this could be a sign of endometriosis. The pain is usually sharper than the average menstrual cramp and is harder to get rid of; few endometriosis sufferers make it through their period with over-the-counter medication only. You may also experience pain during urination and bowel movements, especially during menstruation.

When period pains are beyond the normal, they also tend to last longer. These are cramps that will have you canceling your evening plans on a regular basis, because you can’t face up to anything but sitting with a heat bag over your stomach and feeling sorry for yourself.

When To Get Help. While the above might sound alarming, neither PCOS or endometriosis pose any threat to life - but they do pose a threat to the quality of your life. No one should have to deal with this level of pain on a monthly basis, so if you find yourself changing your plans or taking a lot of medication to get through your period, then speak with your doctor. There’s no harm in making sure.

Awakening Series Spotlight & Giveaway


This morning, I have a paranormal romance/urban fantasy series in our book spotlight!  Check out Jane Hinchey's Awakening series--and enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card in the book tour giveaway at the end of the post!

First Blade
Awakening Series Book 1
By Jane Hinchey
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Georgia Pearce possesses remarkable psychic abilities. When she discovers an ancient dagger hidden in her workshop, she knows it can only mean one thing. Trouble.


Trouble arrives in the form of Zak Goodwin, an entity more powerful – and definitely sexier – than any she’s come across before. However, when a horde of dangerous vampires show up and threaten Georgia and her sister, she has no choice but to ask Zak for help.

Along with a shifter cop, a band of vampire warriors, and her own psychic skills, Georgia sets out to stop the awakening of an immortal vampire who has the power to destroy the world -- and discovers that staying alive isn’t nearly as dangerous as falling in love.

If you like fast-paced paranormal romantic suspense, thrilling heroes, and sassy, kick-ass heroines then you’ll love the first installment of the Awakening series by Jane Hinchey.

Buy First Blade to begin the breathtaking adventure of Georgia and Zak today!




First Witch
Awakening Series Book 2

Sometimes being a psychic vampire can, well, suck. And since Georgia was turned by her sexy hybrid boyfriend Zak, she’s been wallowing in regret. But when her long absent Aunt turns up on her doorstep, convinced that Georgia is a witch, she has to pull herself together.


In the meantime, the Witch Hunter has woken and he wants nothing more than to obliterate every last witch from the planet. Starting with Georgia and her Aunt. His plan of attack? Take control of Zak’s body. 

Zak not being himself has put a serious crimp in her sex life, but there are other things to consider, like how to create the mother of all spells that will immobilize the Hunter – and save a coven of witches. To find the answers she seeks and recover what she’s lost will take all of Georgia’s courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins, but she’s up to the challenge. 

First Witch is the second book in Jane Hinchey’s paranormal romantic suspense series, Awakening. If you like sexy vampires, sultry witches, and kickass action, you’re going to love First Witch.




First Blood
Awakening Series Book 3

Pregnancy isn’t easy when your baby daddy is a crazy overprotective angel-vampire hybrid and there’s a kidnapper on the loose. 


Georgia Pearce is with child, carrying a baby destined to begin the next generation of powerful witches. As if a mysterious prophecy and a new (dysfunctional) family wasn’t enough to deal with, all of Georgia’s hard work to rebuild her coven is ruined when witches start vanishing. 

Georgia investigates, only to find that the kidnapper has ties to her lover Zak Goodwin, and is more family than foe. He has big plans to turn the planet into heaven on earth, though his idea of heaven resembles hell more than paradise. The only one standing in his way? Georgia.

As she fights to bring this dark angel down, she dives deeper and deeper into Zak’s forgotten past. The romance between them sparks and ignites, only to explode into a fire no one sees coming. Even Georgia’s powers aren’t enough to stop the evil that seeks to destroy her and her child. Has her magic finally met its match? 

The most suspenseful and shocking book in the Awakening series yet, First Blood is a hot and sexy urban fantasy full of action, magic, shifters, and adventure. This paranormal romance by author Jane Hinchey is certain to leave readers breathless.





Aussie Author Jane Hinchey writes sexy, snarky, badass, paranormal romances and urban fantasy novels.

Living in the City of Churches (aka Adelaide, South Australia) with her man, two cats, and turtle, she spends her days writing fantastical stories full of dark sexy vampires, hot shifters, sexy aliens, jaw dropping demons, sinful angels, and magical witches – and while they can be snarky and swear a lot, they mean well and you’ll grow to love them. Honestly.

When she’s not in her writing cave she’s usually playing the Sims, Civilizations or something similar, binge watching Netflix or upping the ante in the crazy cat lady stakes. She loves to hear from her readers, so swing on by her website at www.janehinchey.com and say hi.




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!




7/23/17

The Little Flame Series Box Set Spotlight & Giveaway




The Little Flame Series from Melissa Lummis is COMPLETE! From beginning to end, the story has been told and you don't have to wait for a thing. And the celebration is going on all summer long!

Only $2.99 for a limited time!


For a limited time you can get the Little Flame Box Set for only $2.99. That's 5 books for the price of 1!

Get the Box Set HERE

And join the Summer Read-Along HERE for weekly happy hours and chances to win signed paperbacks and cool swag all summer.

In the meantime, enter to win the giveaway below! You could win a Volume 1 set of signed paperbacks, a $25 Amazon Gift card, and a Chakra swag pack.  Enter every day until the giveaway ends on August 6, 2017 @ 7:45 PM EST.

Good Luck!

Fiamette Jurato is on a mission: to fix her broken past. She’s teamed up with the world-famous DJ, Maximillian, to search for the ex-lover who can help her put all the pieces back together. There’s only one tiny glitch...he’s been dead for over two hundred years. 

As a healer for all creatures supernatural, she’s no stranger to navigating the impossible maze of magical complications. But getting lost in the magic won’t be the problem…finding her way back home will. 


Author Melissa Lummis writes new age suspense in a fantasy setting, as well as steamy romance in almost all its forms. If you don’t like hot sex scenes, mystery, and suspense, or you’re easily offended by the occasional strong language or exploring unconventional ideas, then her books are not for you. Her books include Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Contemporary Romance. She lives in rural Virginia with her biker babe husband, two crazy kids, an Alaskan Malamute, and a myriad of forest creatures. And despite the rumors, she still believes the universe conspires to help an adventurer.


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