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Kathy Cunningham RSS Feed (Bowie, MD USA)

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by John Berger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.84

5.0 out of 5 stars A very personal exploration of creativity and human expression, October 2, 2015
This review is from: Portraits (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PORTRAITS is admittedly a dense piece of writing. In over five hundred pages, art critic and storyteller John Berger takes us through thousands of years of art history, closely examining such diverse talents as ancient cave painters, classic greats, and modern masters. Berger covers the expected artists (Rembrandt, Cezanne, Monet, van Gogh, and Picasso), as well as many I had never heard of (Basquiat, Broughton, Hambling, and Noel). In all, there are 74 artists explored in this book, and Berger is intimately connected with every one of them. This isn’t so much a volume of art history as it is a journey into Berger’s soul as he waxes poetic about color, texture, and the many ways art communicates. As Tom Overton writes in the introduction, “this book constructs a history of art that is not about distinction, but about connection; not just between artists, but between artists and us.”

I was surprised at how much of this book reads as a series of stories, stories about Berger’s own life as well as the world of the artists he explores. And Berger’s view of art and artists is uniquely his own. Of ancient cave paintings in Chauvet, he writes, “Deep in the cave, which meant deep in the earth, there was everything: wind, water, fire, faraway places, the dead, thunder, pain, paths, animals, light, the unborn … they were there in the rock to be called to.” Of Goya, he writes, “Goya’s genius as a graphic artist was that of a commentator . . . he was much more interested in events than states of mind.” Of Cezanne’s use of the color black, he writes, “It’s a black like no other in painting.” And of Pollack, he writes: “The suicide of an art is a strange idea.” These are enigmatic comments that Berger explores through intense analysis, personal vignettes, and clever anecdotes. Reading this, I felt I knew Berger – and I felt I knew the artists he was revealing to us.

My only complaint is the quality of the pictures in this book. All of the paintings are reproduced in black-and-white, which I at first assumed was because the book I was reading was an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARCs are presented as “uncorrected proofs,” which seldom include color illustrations). But Berger is clear in his preface that the decision to use black-and-white illustrations was intentional. As he puts it, “This is because glossy colour reproductions in the consumerist world of today tend to reduce what they show to items in a luxury brochure for millionaires. Whereas black and white reproductions are simple memoranda.” The illustrations in this book are really superfluous, since they are difficult to see and do little to compliment Berger’s expert prose. It’s easy enough to go online to take a closer look at the works Berger references, but I wonder why the black-and-white illustrations are included at all.

But for readers interested in art, art history, or the stories behind the creative spirit, PORTRAITS is a wonderful book. Just be aware that this is not one of those coffee table art books with gorgeous glossy color prints – it’s not “a luxury brochure for millionaires.” No, it’s an intellectual, very personal, and often very spiritual look at creativity and human expression. I highly recommend it.

Nexxus New York Salon Care Shampoo, Emergencee Reconstrucountive System 13.5 ounce
Nexxus New York Salon Care Shampoo, Emergencee Reconstrucountive System 13.5 ounce
Price: $9.99
9 used & new from $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality shampoo -- but might be best for thick, coarse hair, September 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been a Nexxus hair care fan for years – my go-to shampoo is Nexxus Youth Renewal, which does a better job with my fine, thin hair than any other I’ve tried. This Emergencee reconstructive shampoo is designed to “rebuild the broken protein structure” in damaged hair. Nexxus recommends using it with their Emergencee conditioner. I used this shampoo three times last week, to give myself a chance to experience how well it works for me. I did not use the Emergencee conditioner, however; instead, I used my usual Nexxus Humectress Luxe leave-in spray (this may make a difference in how the product works for you).

This shampoo is delightfully thick, creamy, and lustrous. It works up into a beautiful rich lather, and it feels wonderful in the shower. The scent is lightly floral – pleasant without being overly cloying. In rinsing the shampoo, I did notice that my hair did not have that “squeaky clean” feeling I get with my usual shampoo. It was obvious that there was “stuff” in this product that remains in your hair after rinsing (most likely the “marine collagen” and “elastin protein” listed on the label). This concerned me a bit, since my very thin, fine hair gets easily weighted down by shampoos with additives (or heavy conditioners).

That said, after applying my usual leave-in conditioner spray and blow drying my hair, I found the texture and body to be silky, shiny, and lustrous. I honestly could tell little difference between how my hair looked and felt with this product and with Nexxus Youth Renewal – at least that first day. I did find that my hair lost body and luster by the next day, which doesn’t happen with my usual shampoo. While I like Emergencee, I think Youth Renewal works better for my thin, fine hair.

Overall, this is a really good quality shampoo, and I did like the way my hair felt right after shampooing and styling. But it might be a better long-term product for those with thicker, coarser hair.

The Mayan Red Queen: Tz'aakb'u Ahau of Palenque (The Mists of Palenque Book 3)
The Mayan Red Queen: Tz'aakb'u Ahau of Palenque (The Mists of Palenque Book 3)
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written historical fiction, September 30, 2015
Leonide Martin’s THE MAYAN RED QUEEN (the third in her “Mists of Palenque” series) is a beautifully written, intensely engaging story about the mysterious Maya noblewoman found buried in Temple XIII in Palenque, Mexico. The Red Queen has been the subject of much discussion since her discovery in 1994 – current theories suggest she was Tz’aakb’u Ahau, Pakal’s wife, and thus grandmother of the last Maya ruler. Martin has done extensive research, not only into the mystery surrounding the Red Queen’s identity, but into Maya culture, religious practices, politics, traditions, and rituals. Her novel accepts the theory that she was Pakal’s wife, and creates a story about her life that is rich in detail, immersing the reader in a world both alien and identifiable. This is historical fiction at its best, a mesmerizing tale that transforms an archeological mystery into a complex and fascinating flesh and blood woman.

The central character in Martin’s novel is Lalak, daughter of the ruling family in B’aak, a city not far from Lakam Ha (the Maya name for Palenque). She is chosen as wife for Pakal, who is just coming into his own as his mother’s successor. The problem is, Pakal is in love with a beautiful local woman, and Lalak is no match for her. Lalak is homely, shy, and tentative; she’s much more comfortable with birds and animals in the jungle than she is with courtly practices. Additionally, Pakal’s mother, the strong and manipulative Sak K’uk, undermines Lalak’s relationship with her son. It takes time for Lalak to come into her own as a strong and powerful woman. That’s what makes this novel so compelling – Lalak gradually learns to use her own inner strength (and her sexual energy) to forge a bond with Pakal that lasts beyond her death. The two of them are a distinctly spiritual couple who have mystical connections with the gods of their people. Theirs is a beautiful love story.

This novel is amazingly detailed in its descriptions of Maya food, clothing, social life, and religious practices. It’s impossible to read this without feeling a part of this ancient culture. This is the third in a series of novels focusing on Maya royalty, but it is not necessary to have read the first two before reading this one (I have not). That said, the books are connected – the first two are about Pakal’s grandmother and mother, just as this one is about his wife. The final novel in the series will focus on Pakal’s daughter-in-law, whose own son would become the last of the great Maya kings. One warning – while these are not the kinds of books that leave you hanging from one installment to the next, there are definitely a number of loose ends in this one that won’t be tied up until the next novel. And much of the story that Martin has created is distinctly spiritual in nature, steeped in mystery and religious belief – some loose ends can never be neatly tied. Part of what works so well in this novel are the many mysteries associated with Lalak and Pakal, including their visions and their relationship with the gods. Resolving everything would detract from those powerful aspects.

The Kindle version of the novel (which is the one I read) includes a section at the end representing the field journal of an archaeologist researching the true identity of the Red Queen. It’s an interesting companion piece to the fictionalized story of Lalak and Pakal, and it provides details about the process by which scientists analyze ancient human remains. Additionally, Martin provides an excerpt from Book Four, the final installment in her “Mists of Palenque” series.

I enjoyed reading THE MAYAN RED QUEEN, and I felt very drawn to both Lalak and the world she lived in. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Maya culture – or to anyone with a thirst for history and ancient peoples. This is a novel that beautifully blends history and fiction in an unforgettable story with a mesmerizing and powerful female protagonist. It works on its own, and it works as part of a much longer story, spanning generations. Highly recommended.

[Please note: I was provided a copy of this novel for review; the opinions expressed here are my own.]

The Threat Below (A Brathius History) (Volume 1)
The Threat Below (A Brathius History) (Volume 1)
by Mr Jason Seth Latshaw
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.35
9 used & new from $15.16

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping YA post-apocalyptic adventure story, September 25, 2015
Jason Latshaw’s THE THREAT BELOW is a gripping YA post-apocalyptic adventure story set three centuries after an unexplained event (called “The Great Death”) destroyed most human life on Earth. The few remaining humans (100 in total) are living in a place called “Mountaintop,” at the top of a great mountain, protected from the enigmatic “Threat Below” by a huge Wall and a thick ring of dense clouds called the “Cloudline.” The society’s “Code” prohibits any resident of Mountaintop from venturing beyond the Wall and the Cloudline for fear of the Threat Below. The central protagonist is 17-year-old Icelyn Brathius, daughter of the colony’s leader and descendent of the man who led the survivors up the mountain in the first place. When the colony’s water supply is mysteriously poisoned, Icelyn and two of her friends end up risking everything to descend from Mountaintop and discover what’s really going on in the world Below.

The first part of this novel focuses on Icelyn’s society on Mountaintop – how it works, how it’s ruled, and what life is like for Icelyn and her two potential boyfriends, Adorane (“Ah-dor-ah-nay”) and Torrain. The colony is made up of two distinct classes, the physically strong Veritas and the intellectually strong Cognate. The Cognate are the ruling class, while the Veritas are the society’s labor force. This is a claustrophobic society with limited space, even more limited resources, and few freedoms. Marriages are arranged (Torrain is Icelyn’s “Intended,” even though she feels more drawn to Adorane), and all decisions are made by the Chief Cognate, who isn’t a particularly strong leader. Because of that, things in Mountaintop begin to fall apart after the water is poisoned, especially when the Chief’s power-hungry advisor embarks on a dangerous plan to claim leadership for himself.

But Icelyn’s story is the heart of the novel. Her journey down the mountain is both dangerous and exciting, and the farther she gets from the only world she has ever known, the more she learns about what really happened centuries ago . . . and why. The mystery is a compelling one, and it’s definitely what kept me reading. I wanted to know the answers – and there are answers. What Icelyn discovers is both horrifying and totally believable. Knowing this is the first of a planned series of books, I was concerned that Latshaw would leave us waiting before revealing the truth. But he doesn’t. While there is definitely plenty of room for sequels, THE THREAT BELOW has a real resolution and a satisfying conclusion in its own right. I still look forward to the second book, but not because of a frustrating cliff-hanger!

The most interesting aspects of this novel are definitely its focus on philosophy and religion. There is no approved religion in Mountaintop, but that hasn’t kept the Veritas from secretly practicing ancient religious beliefs. And the creatures Icelyn and her friends encounter Below have their own form of religion, one that involves Icelyn and the Brathius family. Latshaw raises questions about whether religion (and belief in God and Heaven) is a help or a hindrance. Icelyn suspects that such magical thinking (as she sees it) is a false way of looking at the world, but Adorane (who’s a Veritas, and was raised to believe) finds it comforting. This debate is further complicated by Icelyn’s decision to play a god-like role herself with the creatures she meets Below. Is she helping them or hurting them?

Additionally, the novel explores human attitudes and behavior by shining a very harsh light on how and why the world as we know it was destroyed. While Icelyn is Below discovering the truth about her own history, her little colony on Mountaintop is learning what human greed, anger, and thirst for power can produce. We’re used to stories in which humans battle monsters; this is a story about how monstrous we humans can become.

I do have a few minor criticisms of this novel. First, the POV shifts can be confusing. Some chapters are narrated by Icelyn, but other chapters (and even parts of Icelyn’s chapters) are told in third person by an omniscient narrator. This can get confusing, especially when it happens within one chapter. One minute Icelyn is telling us what’s happening, and the next minute a third-person narrator is picking up her story. There are also a few consistency problems that had me scratching my head. For example, Icelyn speaks of attending school, taking essay tests, and participating in an elocution class, all of which seem ridiculous for a girl raised on an isolated mountaintop hundreds of years after the fall of humanity! With a society this small (there are only 100 citizens in Mountaintop, and only 36 of them are Cognates, most of those being adults), the whole concept of traditional school (with public speaking classes and essay tests) makes little sense. Additionally, it’s unlikely that flashlight batteries and oxygen tanks would still function after three centuries! Finally, what happens in the last few chapters happens so fast, with so little development and so little time to process, that I was left wondering why. This is such a well-crafted and thoughtful novel, but the final conflict felt oddly anticlimactic.

But those are minor quibbles in what is definitely an exciting, thought-provoking, and engaging adventure story. Ultimately, THE THREAT BELOW reminds me a lot of Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE trilogy (there’s a similarity in plot and message), as well as the rebooted “Planet of the Apes” films (humanity’s role in the decimation of the planet is a major theme). But Latshaw’s novel is definitely his own. I highly recommend THE THREAT BELOW for both teen and adult readers. And I will definitely keep my eye out for the sequel!

[Please note: I borrowed this book through the Kindle Lending Library]

Hershey's Snack Mix Assortment Canister, 42 Ounce
Hershey's Snack Mix Assortment Canister, 42 Ounce
Price: $39.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning -- these are CRAZY addictive!, September 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love snacks that combine sweet, salt, and crunch -- and these Hershey Snack Mix pouches are absolutely delicious! The canister contains 20 pouches, 10 each of Hershey's mix and Reese's mix. Each pouch contains bits of chocolate, salted nuts, and mini-pretzels. The combination of chocolate, nuts, and pretzels makes for a perfect snack.

Unfortunately (surprise, surprise!), these pouches (each contains 2 ounces of snack food) contain almost 300 calories, meaning there's little difference between eating one of these snack mix pouches and eating a Snicker's bar. I guess that's pretty much what you should expect from a candy company! And they taste fantastic enough to make me forget about candy bars completely . . . as well as the calorie count.

The only real negative (obviously the calories aren't going to stop me from eating these things!) is the way they're packaged. The long, thin packs may fit easily into backpacks and pockets, but the mix inside doesn't mix evenly. The heavier weight chocolate pieces end up on the bottom, and the lighter weight mini-pretzels end up on the top. So if you're eating this snack right out of the package (as it's intended), you'll end up eating all the pretzels before you ever get to the chocolate. I poured the contents of one of the pouches into a small bowl so that I could mix things up for maximum sweet-salty-crunch. After all, that's the whole point . . . right? But eating these right out of the package doesn't work as well as it could.

Bottom line, these are really, really good. They're also really, really addictive! I haven't seen these things in stores near me (yet!), but I'm sure it will happen very soon. And when it does, I doubt I'll be able to resist buying more of them. But I'll try! So buy at your own risk . . . this is definitely one of those "you can't eat just one" products!

Hefty Steelsak Drawstring Trash Bags, 30 Gallon, 15 Count
Hefty Steelsak Drawstring Trash Bags, 30 Gallon, 15 Count
Price: $8.49
7 used & new from $8.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super strong trash bags, September 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit that I usually buy whatever trash bags are on sale - they're trash bags, after all, so as long as they don't fall apart before I get them out to the curb for pick-up, I'm happy. That said, there's no doubt that you get what you pay for. Generic and store brand trash bags are generally thinner and more likely to split. These Hefty SteelSak bags are definitely high end - they're very heavy, double-reinforced, and they hold a lot of trash. I was able to stuff four rooms full of trash (including my overflowing kitchen trash) into one of these, making for a very easy trash day.

I usually prefer the so-called "flap tie" trash bags, which seem less likely to tear than the drawstring ties, like these have. But the very heavy weight of the plastic eliminates that problem. These tie easily and securely, and the bags are easy to carry.

The big test for me, however, is how these bags fare with our crows. Crows are very smart birds, and they seem to know which days are trash pick-up days. They are usually waiting in the trees across the street from my house before I even put out my trash. They have no problem at all tearing apart those white kitchen bags and making a huge mess, and they've had some fun with some of the black trash bags I've used over the years. Since I don't have one of those huge plastic trash cans, I depend on heavier trash bags to protect my trash from the hungry crows. Well, these are great! The crows flew around them for a bit, but gave up pretty quickly and moved on to my neighbor's house. That's a big selling point for me!

Bottom line, these are great trash bags. They are more expensive than the bags I usually buy, but I figure they'll be on sale someday and I can stock up! They definitely live up to their name!

Scotch-Brite Extreme Shine Pad
Scotch-Brite Extreme Shine Pad
Price: $3.19
2 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works well on stainless steel sinks -- keep it away from your fancy appliances!, August 31, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have a fairly old stainless steel sink in my kitchen, and it hasn't been "shiny" in years. This Scotch-Brite product says it does a great job on stainless steel sinks, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The instructions suggest trying it first on an "inconspicuous" spot, to make sure it won't scratch the surface. That seemed odd to me, since it's being advertised for stainless steel sinks, but I followed the directions and tried it first on the back side of the sink. The little sponge has a scrubbing side that is somewhat abrasive, but it's nothing like a Brillo pad. As instructed, I wet the sponge and added a few drops of dish liquid to the scrubbing surface. Then I put in a little elbow grease and sure enough, it did a really nice job. Once I finished the entire sink, it really did look better than it has in ages. I wouldn't say it was exactly "shiny" -- in fact, once it dried, the surface definitely looked matte. But it was clean and smooth-looking. It did a nice job.

But beware -- the instructions are clear that while this sponge is good for sinks and pots, it's not for use on stainless steel appliances, or chrome, or any non-stick surfaces. That means it's necessary to keep this thing separate from cleaning products I might use on my appliances. It also means letting everyone in the household know what this sponge can and can't be used for. And that might be a problem.

There's nothing particularly magical about this product. It's a sponge with an abrasive side that helps smooth over defects in sinks. The advertising on the back of the package says it can remove hard-water stains -- I didn't have much luck with that. But maybe I didn't scrub hard enough!

Bottom line, this is a decent little sponge that did a nice job on my sink. There are just a few too many warnings on the label to make me comfortable with keeping it in my kitchen.

HOVEOX Men's Wallet Pu Leather Credit Card Billfold Money Purse
HOVEOX Men's Wallet Pu Leather Credit Card Billfold Money Purse
Offered by Rellygonecy
Price: $6.88
2 used & new from $6.88

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attractive wallet, but it's larger than expected, August 31, 2015
This wallet is advertised as being made of "PU leather." According to Wikipedia, PU leather is "a material made with a split leather backing covered with a layer of polyurethane (hence the term `PU leather') that is applied to the surface and then embossed." In other words, while there is a leather backing, the actual surface of the wallet is made of polyurethane. It is embossed to look like real leather, and it does feel like leather. There's also a leathery smell. For the price, this is a nice looking wallet, even if it isn't real leather.

That said, the wallet I received for review is the one with the front snap - it's definitely larger than a traditional men's wallet (both in dimensions and in thickness). It measures 3.75"x5", and it's 1.25" thick, even empty (my husband's current wallet measures 3.5"x4", and it's .75" thick, fully loaded). I had my husband try the new wallet out and he was immediately put off by the size. It doesn't fit well in a pants pocket. Additionally, there's a little coin pouch inside the wallet with a snap that is ridiculously tight - it is tight enough to risk tearing the "leather" in trying to get the pouch open. Neither my husband nor I could figure out why this little coin pouch was part of this wallet - men usually carry loose coins in their pockets. Putting coins into the pouch would simply make the wallet heavier and more bulky than it already is.

But the biggest negative about this wallet is the lack of good, easy-access slots for credit cards and other cards routinely carried in a wallet. There are only three slots, plus two plastic-covered compartments for driver's license or other picture ID (there is an odd bit of "leather" in the corner of both compartments that obscures the photograph in my husband's driver's license, making the compartments less useful than they would otherwise be). My husband's current wallet has five card slots in addition to the driver's license compartment.

Bottom line, this is a nice looking wallet at a very reasonable price. If you don't mind the large size and the thickness (and you don't need too many slots for cards), this will do the job. Be advised that the four different color options for this wallet are really for four completely different wallets. It's very possible that the other three wallets (the ones without the front snap) are sized better and would work better for most men. This review is specific to the brown wallet with the front snap.

[Please note: I was provided a sample of this product for review; the opinions expressed here are my own.]

Not If I See You First
Not If I See You First
by Eric Lindstrom
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging look at living through adversity -- there are many kinds of blindness, August 30, 2015
This review is from: Not If I See You First (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Eric Lindstrom's NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST is a YA novel about sixteen-year-old Parker Grant, who has lived through more trauma in her short life than most of us will ever experience. She lost her mother and her sight when she was seven, and she lost her beloved father at the end of her sophomore year of high school, just three months before the novel begins. But most traumatic of all, it seems, is the loss of her eighth grade BFF and boyfriend, Scott Kilpatrick, who apparently betrayed her when they were both thirteen. Parker has a die-hard set of rules by which she lives, and Scott broke the first one: "Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public." Breaking this rule earns Scott the title of "Parker Enemy Number One," and she has vowed never to speak to him again, and never ever to forgive him.

Much of this novel explores what it's like to be a blind teenager, maneuvering the ins and outs of high school, friends, and family without the ability to see. Parker is determined to be a self-sufficient young woman - she has actually figured out how to run on her own without crashing into anything and killing herself! She has a "Star Chart" she keeps in her bedroom to track (with little gold stars) the number of days she gets through without crying (since she sees crying as a form of weakness and loss of control). And she has a fabulous and supportive network of friends. But she can't seem to forget Scott, the boy who let her down. She tries dating a cute guy she meets in a shoe store, and for a while it looks like she might actually find a way to move beyond that eighth grade moment of horror. But Scott is always there. And Parker begins to wonder whether her refusal to allow him to explain what really happened back when they were thirteen might have been a mistake. Could her blindness go beyond her visual impairment?

I enjoyed the parts of this novel that focused on Parker's struggle with being blind and parentless. She's an admirable character, even if she's a bit of a control freak (it totally makes sense that she would need to be in control of her environment, since her blindness puts her at a definite disadvantage). But I had a little trouble with the teen angst elements of the novel, including her relationship with Scott. She and Scott had been friends for years before the event that shattered everything. It was a little hard to believe that she wouldn't give him a chance to explain himself, that she would just assume he was a jerk who woke up one day and decided to screw over the very girl he had fallen in love with. But Lindstrom's point - that blindness exists on many levels - requires that Parker be pigheaded about Scott. It just didn't ring as true as the rest of the novel did.

Overall, this is a well-written and realistic novel about dealing with the terrible things life can sometimes throw at you. Parker is a believable and identifiable narrator, and her interactions with friends and family are very convincing. While I found her attitude toward Scott to be a bit over-the-top, it makes some sense considering her very unique situation. And the novel's ending is satisfying without being too pat. Bottom line, this is a good book that should appeal to teens. I do recommend it.

Microwave and Dishwasher Safe Plastic Food Storage Containers Set With Spill Proof Durable Locking System. Airtight & Watertight Lids Locks in Freshness & Keeps Food Safe. BPA Free, Round 3 Piece Set
Microwave and Dishwasher Safe Plastic Food Storage Containers Set With Spill Proof Durable Locking System. Airtight & Watertight Lids Locks in Freshness & Keeps Food Safe. BPA Free, Round 3 Piece Set

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice set of storage containers -- great lids!, August 28, 2015
I really love these little storage containers -- the set comes with three (36 oz, 20 oz, and 10 oz), each with its own snap-lock lid. The containers do nest inside each other to take up less room in your cupboard. They would be perfect for storing leftovers, as well as packing up soups and salads for work or school (they are microwavable, so heating up soup or leftovers is easy).

The snap-lock lids on these are really impressive. Each lid has four locking tabs that completely seal the containers. I filled the larger one with water, engaged the locking tabs, and then tossed the thing around like crazy! Not a drop spilled. I would never try this with the storage containers I usually use (the disposable ones you can buy at the grocery store) -- I'd have water all over my kitchen! But these are secure enough when locked to be carted to school in a lunch box.

For me, the sizes of the three containers are perfect -- the little one is great for storing leftover sauces or maybe toasted nuts. The largest one would hold soup for two. They're also very pretty, with spring-green rims.

They're BPA-free and dishwasher safe, and they are sturdy and well-made. I highly recommend them.

[Please note: I was provided a sample of this product for review; the opinions expressed here are my own.]

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