Mirro Get a Grip Pans

Date Fri, June 13 2008

When I first moved to Japan, we had to purchase everything new for our household as I couldn’t bring anything I already had. Previously, Ryan was living in a dorm with a common room/kitchen. Needless to say, he didn’t do a whole lot of cooking for himself, especially with a cafe right across the street. The number of kitchen items he owned could be counted on 1 hand: 1 gallon pitcher, spoon, pizza cutter and pizza pan. Although all those items did, and still do, serve us well, I needed to stock my house in order to be able to cook anything.

With limited supply at the BX, we didn’t have a lot of options. At first, we purchased a set of 3 sauce pans for a whopping $9.99. The price looked good and proved too tempting. The quality was sore. However, I made due with those shoddy pans until I couldn’t possible anymore.

It was time to upgrade and upgrade we did. We decided on a basic 10-Inch Saute Pan by Mirro, in the Get a Grip line, in addition to the 3 quart saucepan we already had. Eventually, I added the 12-Inch Covered Jumbo Cooker as well. This remains my current collection if Mirro Get a Grip pans, all in a wonderful red.

I made the purchases separately because, at first, I wasn’t sure how well they would hold up or how much I wanted to spend. In hind-sight, I wish I had purchased the 8-Piece Cookware Set, instead, and might still do so as it contains different pieces than the ones I already own.

With that said, you can imagine that I’m really impressed by the Get a Grip pans by Mirro! I will preface the rest of this review by saying they are not the best pans ever but they are likely the best you’ll find in this price range (The set runs for around $50 on Amazon and each piece I purchased individually ran around $10- $15).

The first thing that I love about the Mirro Get A Grip Aluminum pans is their colour: a beautiful red. It’s a bit darker than the pictures at Amazon show, which I prefer. This is a great, modern colour and will make any kitchen look pretty! In store, they also had black. Mirro cookware can be found in stores such as Target and Ace HardWare. Shoppers beware, the price of individual pans and the set vary greatly from store to store and also by colour. Sadly, some of the colour of my pans has chipped over time, but not much.

The second aspect I love about my Mirro cookware is that it’s non-stick. Now, we’ve all dealt with non-stick cookware that really didn’t live up to its name (my $9.99 trio for example); rest assured that Mirro Get a Grip cookware will! It’s not perfect, I’ll tell you now; I cook with forks sometimes and this has resulted in scratches on the non-stick surface but these scratches do not lead to peeling of the non-stick coating and are mostly due to my carelessness. I’ve had my Mirro Get A Grip 3-Quart Nonstick Aluminum Saucepan with Lid for over a year and a half, now, and scratching is really minimal.

Not only does the non-stick surface hold up fairly well, it works. Not only is cooking a breeze when food doesn’t stick but so is cleaning! Hand washing dishes is much easier than almost all of my other dishes and if there is a little stuck on food, it comes off after a short soak. Although hand washing is recommended, I have had no trouble washing my Mirro Get A Grip Aluminum Nonstick Cookware in the dishwasher.

The other namesake of Mirro Get A Grip Aluminum Nonstick Cookwave is it’s grip. Each pot or pan has a very sturdy handle, coated in quality silicone. You can be sure that your handles will be safe to touch with this cookware. Furthermore, the handles on Mirror Get A Grip cookware won’t slip, slide or turn in use; you’ll never have to worry about handles coming loose or off entirely like cheaper cookware.

Additionally, cooking is really improved with my Mirro Get A Grip Aluminum Nonstick 10-Inch Saute Pan. Not only does food not stick but it cooks more evenly than cheap alternative pans. Furthermore, it cooks faster. there is a noticeable difference in the cooking time and quality when using this cookware.


Lastly, several of my pieces have lids: the 3 Quart Sauce Pan and the 12-inch Jumbo Cooker. The lids are very well made domed “Safe-T” glass with stainless steel rims. They fit snugly over the pans and help reduce splatter messes while letting me keep an eye on the food. My only complaint is that my sauce pan does not also have a lid, which is typical for sauce pans. If any of the lids in the 8 piece set were interchangeable, I’d be in heaven.

So there you have it. Mirror makes aluminum pans with sturdy non-stick coating, secure silicone grip handles, rich colouring, and quality lids all for an affordable price and in available both in a set or individually. If you’re looking for decent cookware at a decent price, Mirro’s Get A Grip Aluminum Non-stock cookware is for you!

Olay Deep Cleansing Face Wash

Date Wed, June 11 2008

Before this, I’d never used Olay. I knew many recommended the name, in general and when I was needing new face wash, I thought I’d check this out. Normally, I use cleansers meant to combat acne but since my skin had been clear for a while, I thought I’d branch out.

I shouldn’t have. I was sorely disappointed for this product. Though it claims to be for combination/oily skin, my skin became much more greasy after use. My acne also flared up. My face felt rather disgusting.

I’m not sure if Olay Deep Cleansing Face Wash was so drying that my face recoiled by going overboard with oil or if it just failed to cleanse my skin of oil but, either way, I was left with unpleasant skin.

I’ve been trying to Olay Deep Cleansing Face Wash Combination / Oily Skin up as it’s a rather large tube and I don’t want to be wasteful but it’s taking quite some time and every time I switched back to Olay, my break faces out and becomes covered in Oil again.

Perhaps I just need a different product or Olay Deep Cleansing Face Wash is a poor representation of Olay products but, either way, it can be improved.

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Stepping Out IV, The Finale

Date Sat, June 7 2008

You might want to lavish some special attention on your feet, especially as warm weather invites us to don our peds with oh-so-revealing sandals and heels lest you become like many celebs whose lack of foot care becomes infamous online. I kid. Obviously, paparazzi aren’t busy following all of us around to snap pictures of our feet faux pas.

In reality, I am not a fan of sandals or even open toes shoes because I don’t like my feet. Partly due to the fact that feet look, well, just weird and partly due to my feet having stubborn calluses as a result of many years running around outside barefoot.

However, I am always looking to remedy the latter issue and I’ve used several foot care products in the search of the “one” that will leave my feet silky soft and ‘smooth. I’ve used foot files, buffers and pumice stones along with various lotions to achieve varying results.

Pumice stones are one of the older methods of softening and smooth hard and dry calluses on feet. They’re pretty straight forward; it’s a stone made out of pumice. Sometimes they’re called “pumice sticks” when a handle is attached and sometimes they come with a brush or file attached to do multiple duties. Sometimes it comes in pretty colours or shapes and sometimes it looks like a lump of grey rock because, oh wait, that’s what pumice is (“a porous or spongy form of volcanic glass, used as an abrasive”). Pumice stones are natural and can be used as part of a green lifestyle!

I’ve used one from Avon Foot Works attached to a handle and had little luck. Part of achieving good luck with pumice stones is finding a stone that is rough enough and that product just wasn’t. The other factor in good exfoliation is effort applied to the stone itself which might be a little easier to do without a handle though this may possibly be rough on the hands where skin is not callused.

I picked up my favourite stone from date in the dollar bin at the local store. (It was mislabeled and came up $2, though, humph!) It was a round stone with two sides and no handle, one the typical gray and the other yellow and was labeled “silver and gold.” The ‘silver’ was intended for abrasive exfoliating and the ‘gold’ was intended for moisturizing afterward even though it seemed to be pretty much the same as the other side. Despite its cheap packaging and price, it worked wonders (until breaking in my luggage on vacation!) and made me feet feel much softer and smoother. As it was a no name item, I have yet to find it again.

On the other hand, foot files are man-made, almost always have a handle and usually have 2 sides: 1 for abrasive filing and one for smooth buffing. Sometimes the files are metal, plastic, emery or even glass with have a sand-paper like look and feel.. I’ve used several, usually drug or dollar store brands, but not to much avail. It seems that pumice stones do a better job for me but, again, that may be because I’m not a fan of the handle. Also, foot files often have a finer grain than pumice stones.

Overall, I prefer the stones to the file because the stones do the work for you. Top it off with a daily lotion like Suave Skin Therapy Advanced Therapy lotion, and calluses will be greatly improved!

So, my recommendation? Avon Foot Works Sloughing Cream and Intensive Callus Cream work well together but for a less messy and easily attainable solution, the classic pumice stone with lotion also works well.

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Stepping Out Part III

Date Thu, June 5 2008

You might want to lavish some special attention on your feet, especially as warm weather invites us to don our peds with oh-so-revealing sandals and heels lest you become like many celebs whose lack of foot care becomes infamous online. I kid. Obviously, paparazzi aren’t busy following all of us around to snap pictures of our feet faux pas.

In reality, I am not a fan of sandals or even open toes shoes because I don’t like my feet. Partly due to the fact that feet look, well, just weird and partly due to my feet having stubborn calluses as a result of many years running around outside barefoot.

However, I am always looking to remedy the latter issue and I’ve used several foot care products in the search of the “one” that will leave my feet silky soft and smooth. I’ve used Avon Foot Works Sloughing Cream as in-the-shower treatment along with Avon Foot Works Intensive Callus Cream with mixed results. Avon is a big name in the make up and cosmetics industry and is relatively affordable but is usually seen as a step above drug store cosmetics.

I remember fondly, the Avon Foot Works Sloughing Cream working well on my callused feet even if it was a little messy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work quite as well some years later, probably do to the calluses on my feet worsening over time.

Instructions read that one should use on dry feet after soaking them in Avon’s Condition Foot Soak, then, massage the area until flaky rough, dead skin wash away. I skip the foot soak step but using after a bath or shower would probably help the effectiveness of this product.

After applying the Sloughing Cream which contains rough, abrasive particles, I let it sit and then ‘massaged’ the sloughing cream into my feet. Let me say that massage is misleading; a rough rub is what one should shoot for to make this most effective. In doing so, I was able to see the dead skin actually rub right off. It also made my hands much softer. However, be aware of sores or cuts, especially tiny ones like papercuts, which will become irritated by the rough particles on the Foot Works Sloughing Cream.

Even after 1 application, my feet were notably softer and smoother. Note that using the product on wet feet or in the shower nullifies most of the effects. Water reduces the friction which actually causes the dead, dry skin to rub off.

I follow up with Avon’s Foot Works Intensive Callus Cream which is, unlike lotions, extremely greasy in application and has a very strong mint scent (the sloughing cream has a slight minty smell but it’s almost hard to notice). Unfortunately for me, I don’t like to feel greasy or to smell mint but it does make my freshly sloughed feet feel even smoother and softer!

There’s good news, though. Avon has seems to be developing Watermelon scented Foot Works products as an alternative. I will probably look into the Watermelon Exfoliating Foot Scrub or the Foot Works Exfoliating Bar Soap which should be less mess and usable in the shower, to replace the Sloughing Cream in the future. I hope they expand this line because Avon’s Foot Works product really do work!

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Stepping Out Part II

Date Wed, June 4 2008

You might want to lavish some special attention on your feet, especially as warm weather invites us to don our peds with oh-so-revealing sandals and heels lest you become like many celebs whose lack of foot care becomes infamous online. I kid. Obviously, paparazzi aren’t busy following all of us around to snap pictures of our feet faux pas.

In reality, I am not a fan of sandals or even open toes shoes because I don’t like my feet. Partly due to the fact that feet look, well, just weird and partly due to my feet having stubborn calluses as a result of many years running around outside barefoot.

However, I am always looking to remedy the latter issue and I’ve used several foot care products in the search of the “one” that will leave my feet silky soft and smooth. I’ve also foot files, buffers and pumice stones along with various lotions to achieve varying results.

Sometime before I happened upon the Sally Hansen Callus Remover, I tried Avon’s callus buffer, the predecessor of its Foot Works Electronic Callus Smoother with Interchangeable Heads. This was a little machine that looked much like a miniature drill with flat, metal bits instead of, say, a phillips. I didn’t find that the buffer did much at all, even with a head for rough, medium and light calluses. It might have even worked better as a personal massager if I hadn’t been so grossed out by the fact that it had been on my feet!

However, the modern version has only 1 head for the toughest calluses, a pumice head for medium and a nylon brush for gentle cleaning. I still suspect traditional pumice would be more effective than nickel and steel but the new Foot Works Electronic Callus Smoother seems like a worthy upgrade!

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Before stepping out.. Part I

Date Tue, June 3 2008

You might want to lavish some special attention on your feet, especially as warm weather invites us to don our peds with oh-so-revealing sandals and heels lest you become like many celebs whose lack of foot care becomes infamous online. I kid. Obviously, paparazzi aren’t busy following all of us around to snap pictures of our feet faux pas.

In reality, I am not a fan of sandals or even open toes shoes because I don’t like my feet. Partly due to the fact that feet look, well, just weird and partly due to my feet having stubborn calluses as a result of many years running around outside barefoot.

However, I am always looking to remedy the latter issue and I’ve used several foot care products in the search of the “one” that will leave my feet silky soft and smooth. I’ve used both Sally Hansen Extra Strength Callus Remover Gel and Avon Foot Works Sloughing Cream as in-the-shower treatments along with Avon Foot Works Intensive Callus Cream with mixed results. I’ve also used foot files, buffers and pumice stones along with various lotions to achieve varying results.

Both Avon and Sally Hansen are big names in the make up and cosmetics industry and are relatively affordable but are usually seen as a step above drug store cosmetics.

Some years ago, I had been using an Avon product which may have been the Sloughing Cream or its predecessor and I was happy with it. However, I ran out and just never got around to purchasing it again. In the meantime, I forgot about foot care or simply used a pumice stone. I happened upon the Sally Hansen Callus Remover in a store and decided to try it out. It was far different from the pumice stones and sloughing creams which were actually physically abrasive. Sally Hansen Extra Strength Callus Remover Gel promises to “erase deep, thick calluses, instantly exfoliates & smoothes, leaving feet silky-soft & supple” not by physical abrasion but by chemicals.

I thought I’d give it a try. The super slick, clear gel is to be applied to (dry, I suppose) callused skin for 1 minute then washed off with soap and water. I did so. I saw no results. Absolutely nothing. However, I did manage to spill a small amount on my hand when first checking out the product which resulted in an unusual rash; it didn’t make my skin any smoother or softer.

This product might be worth a try in conjunction with a foot file or pumice stone but if I’m going that route, I’ll stick to half the work and just use the file or stone itself. I’m tempted to lay the blame on my super-callused feet (which my husband has compared to “bullet proof” and “steel”) but even a customer with slightly callused feet has bad luck.

I like other Sally Hansen products but, if I were you, I’d pass on this one.

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Sniffin’ Out The Best

Date Sun, June 1 2008

I, like most people of the modern world, use deodorant. I cannot say, without doubts, where I land on the scale of odor; however, I do know I sweat an awful lot, especially compared to other females so this may lead to an increase in odor. I also know that I prefer to be dry, clean feeling, and pleasant smelling.

I’ve tried a lot of drug store brands when it comes to deodorant and am still in search for the perfect product: nice smelling, long lasting, and invisible. I haven’t quite found it (in fact, I am waiting for my current deodorant to run out so I can try something else) but I’ve had varying degrees of success with several products.

Lady Speed Stick 24/7 Antiperspirant/Deodorant, Satin Pear claims to provide “24/7 non-stop” protection for your active life. This stick deodorant is affordably priced in the $3- $4 range and easily purchased at any drug, big box or online store. The pear scent is pleasant but perhaps a bit too sweet for me. I feel it would be better as a perfume or lotion and that the scent doesn’t seem clean or “serious” enough for an effective product.

Not to worry, this product is not effective and I can only lambaste its lack of quality. Although the package claims that “micro-absorbers” will absorb sweat and prevent odor, it simply does not. After no more than an hour or 2 using Lady Speed Stick 24/7 Satin Pear, I felt unclean, wet and could smell odor.

It also leaves those unfortunate white marks on your clothing, something that doesn’t bode well with my mostly-black wardrobe.

On the other hand Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry, Wild Freesia provided hours of protection; although it didn’t last 24 hours, I only needed to apply it once a day and I’d be set until bet time. This deodorant had a clean and pleasant scent that was not overpowering or too sweet.

Although the similarly priced Lady Speed Stick, Wild Freesia surpasses the other stick deodorant easily in both those categories, its claim to provide “no white residue” falls short. Unfortunately, there is still residue.

When it comes to Satin Pear I feel no need to express lenity; the product is poor, failing to do what it advertises but tries to cover it up with a pretty scent. I would forgo Satin Pear for Wild Freesia, a product which has longer protection and a clean scent. However, comparing both products by their signature claims (non stop protection and no white residue), both Lady Speed Stick, Satin Pear and Lady Speed Stick, Wild Freesia, respectively, both fail to live up to the promises. I would look past that concerning the Wild Freesia as nearly all deodorants which claim to be invisible fail to be so and still praise this product’s redeeming qualities; however, I cannot do that for the other. If you are on the market for a deodorant and clarity is not a requirement, go for Lady Speed Stick, Invisible Dry Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant, Wild Freesia.

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