Friday, January 21, 2011

Labels for KIDS and KOSHER, too: a review!

image So I signed up for a promotion service that lets bloggers try stuff for free, and my first sample came today – exciting! 

First of all, I want to point out that I’m NOT required to write a review.  Also, if I do write a review, it does NOT have to be a favourable review.  All opinions that follow are my own.

I was initially dismayed that I didn’t qualify for the really cool offers (due to not being a very popular facebook, twitter and blog person!), and wound up choosing something called “personalized kids’ labels.”

But it turns out I am pretty happy to receive these (okay, partly because I love free stuff), because they’re really kind of useful.

Quick quiz:  can you tell why I loved this company at first glance??? 

Initially, I noticed the apostrophe after “Oliver’s,” and I was pleased.  Then I noted the LACK of apostrophe after “labels.”  Wow.  Then I caught a glimpse of the extra-wonderful final apostrophe after “kids’.”  Finally – quadruple-whammy, and I’m thinking they actually paid an English major to proof this thing – the LACK of apostrophe in the word “its.”  This has restored my faith in corporate humanity.

imageNot to mention the fact that the labels are very, very cute.  For my sample, I chose a basic bugs-and-nature design and a brief two-line message with our last name (that way, the things can be used for more than one kid). 

image Oliver’s offers a “Found-it” code-numbering service that lets people report in when they have found your stuff without finding out your personal information.  Another cool feature I can see younger kids really enjoying:  photo labels, so even pre-readers can identify their own stuff!

I got an email from Oliver’s Labels the day after I ordered my sample letting me know that they read through my blog – yay, a reader! – and noticed I was Jewish, so they were including a pack of kosher labels, too.  We had just run out of Dairy labels, so this was a happy development indeed.

They also mentioned – I had no clue, I swear – that they are located right here in Toronto.  Amazing!

The labels arrived super-fast – I think it took two days.  That is definitely a benefit of local shipping, but I’m sure it would be very fast to anywhere since most of the delay would be in printing and packing the things.

They included a nice sampler of original and mini-labels, clothing labels, shoe labels and my bonus pack of kosher labels.

My first thought was – I could use these labels for kiddie things here and there, or I could REALLY put them to the test.  Eventually, I decided to do a bit of both!

Here, for instance, are my “super shoes” – a beat up pair of keds-style lace-up shoes that I wear absolutely all the time when I’m in the house.  And they sure do look it (sorry they’re gross…)!  I figure if the shoe labels can last through more than a couple of weeks of wear and tear inside these shoes, they could make it through a warzone and back again.  Here they are – I’ll report back after a couple of weeks to let you know how they’ve held up.

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The labels are apparently “designed with a permanent adhesive that does not feel strong to the touch, but will firmly bond to any smooth, clean surface.”  I don’t know where you’re going to find a smooth, clean surface inside a shoe, but these labels seemed to adhere well enough to the inside of the shoes, so we shall stickers 017see.

Finally, for the ultimate challenge – can you tell I used to test software for a living? – my keychain and car key!  If the labels can handle the keychain challenge for any amount of time, they’re worth buying.

Actually, I still have some clothing labels that I’m looking forward to testing.  imageYou just stick them on – no ironing required.  The only catch is that the instructions say to attach them to the “care tag” of the garment… at a time when more and more clothes are being made with no tag at the back.  (also a problem if you’re getting dressed in the dark or with your eyes closed!) (or, presumably, if you’re blind)

Meanwhile, I was getting super-excited about the kosher labels.  After sticking a couple here and there on things that had been waiting for labels, I decided on the ultimate challenge for kosher labelling:  WOODEN HANDLES. 

Here’s my regular way of kosher-labelling wooden-handled stuff.  It’s a combination of a) writing with Sharpie on the handle itself, and b) affixing a sticker that promptly begins to peel, though it may stay attached, semi-peeled, for years.

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Actually, handles in general are a challenge.  They’re narrow and often made of weird materials:  slippery melamine or grippy, squishy rubber.  Here is an assortment of kitchen utensils on which I’ve slapped the new Oliver’s Kosher Labels as a test:

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I REALLY like the fact that these kosher labels are opaque!  My regular labels are transparent, meaning they don’t show up against a dark surface.  See how nicely you can see these ones on the black-handled utensils???

I also tried the labels on a variety of different handle and implement textures, including metal and rubbery grips:

stickers 013stickers 014

The kosher labels seem to be made of a different, thicker (vinyl) substance from all the other labels.  It is grey and slightly rubbery-feeling – perhaps vinyl?  Anyway, I should know within a couple of weeks whether they’re staying on as well as, better, or worse than our regular kosher labels. 

The two things I wished I could label but didn’t were my cast-iron skillets.  They are so easy to mix up, but I’m concerned about how the labels would take heat, especially since I could be baking in the skillets, at temperatures of up to 500 degrees.  I doubt any sticker could handle that.

imageAlso, my regular kosher labels come in packs of all-Dairy, all-Meat, all-Pareve or a “mixed” package.  The Oliver’s Labels version only comes with a standard assortment of 33 “Dairy”, 33 “Meat” and 15 “Parve."  So if you’re in the process – as I am – of obtaining a large quantity of pareve implements, you’re going to go through several packages, with lots of “Dairy” and “Meat” left over.

I will definitely keep you updated about the status of the labels as time goes by.  But my initial impression is that these are good labels that stick well and may indeed withstand the test of time and use in our crazy-busy household (and kosher kitchen).

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

2 comments:

  1. Very cool! Actually, I think our parents' association has some kind of deal with Oliver's labels, so if you want more I can check and see if there's a discount available.

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  2. Thanks for this review. I look forward to seeing how they wear and tear. I bought labels from name bubbles and I have been happy with them (except for the fact that my daughter can peel the stickers off her sippy cups). I did look at Oliver's labels when I was in the market for labels but I liked the other company better. However, I think the kosher labels are really great and I may purchase some for Pesach.

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