Category Archives: gadgets
You should know by now that I love to bake, and more recently I’ve got back in to cooking. When I had my brief spell in my own flat the kitchen was by far the best equipped room in the house and whilst looking to move out again in the future it’s always the kitchen gadget section of any shop that draws me in first.
Today I’m bring you some interesting insights in to the UK’s kitchen culture thanks to five-star acrylic sheet supplier The Plastic People who create kitchen splashbacks to add a stylish touch to any cooking area.
From the most purchased kitchen items through to a look at the country’s cooking habits I thought this made for an interesting weekend read.
The same piece of research has also revealed that in 2015 42% of Brits purchased a kettle (guilty), 30% bought a toaster (also guilty), 15% of Brits bought a sandwich maker or grilling machine, 13% of Brits bought a smoothie maker or juicer (yep), 13% also bought a coffee capsule or pod drinks maker and 11% bought a filter coffee machine- that’s a lot of gadgets!
Dishwasher(s) – 82 per cent.
Fridge/freezer – 78 per cent.
Extractor fan – 77 per cent.
Hob(s) – 75 per cent.
Wall oven(s) – 56 per cent.
Microwave – 53 per cent.
This same study also revealed that stainless steel was the most popular colour when upgrading appliances (47 per cent opted for this), followed by black (22 per cent) and then white (10 per cent).
The 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study — UK delved into the following details about how and why Brits are going about upgrading their kitchens:
The frequency of increasing kitchen sizes sat at 63 per cent in the 12 months prior to the release of the research, for those currently renovating their kitchens and for those planning to renovate the space over the three months after the release of the research.
The most popular events that triggered Brits to update their kitchen were:
42% were recently purchased homes and owners wanted to make their kitchen their own.
32% had wanted to update their kitchen all along and finally had the means to do so.
30% could no longer stand their old kitchen.
26% acknowledged that their old kitchen had either deteriorated, broken down or became unsafe.
14% were adapting to family and lifestyle changes.
77% added a cutlery organiser
61% updated their kitchen with deep drawer organisers.
51% added pull-out waste or recycling cabinets.
41% cent updated their kitchen with a corner carousel.
39% updated their kitchen with a pot and pan organiser.
36% included pull-out trays and/or shelves.
I’m a bit of a kitchen storage freak and love the kitchen at my parents’ house as it has so many nifty storage solutions! #KitchenGoals
According to the Houzz study the reasons why homeowners looked into new storage solutions for their kitchen are as follows:
79% were motivated as they wanted to make better use of the space.
57% wanted to reduce clutter.
55% wanted to make it easier to find items in their kitchens.
36% were motivated as they wanted to utilise awkward spaces
21% wanted to make it easier to cook and bake in their kitchens.
Again referring to the Houzz study we can see that modifications to the kitchen can have a significant impact on how people are utilising the room. Interestingly…
69% spend more family time in their kitchen.
56% now find themselves working and/or studying for longer in their kitchen.
51% are hosting more dinner parties/other forms of entertaining guest in their home.
49% are baking more
43% now cook or prepare more meals at home.
42% now have more sit-down meals.
36% of people reported that tehy now order less takeaways.
23% now eat more fruits and/or vegetables.
I hope you find this post as interesting as I did, as I’ve mentioned I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to kitchens and I cannot wait for the day where I own my own home (I can dream right?) and have free reign over the design of my kitchen. My parents had theirs done just over a year ago and the difference it has made is incredible- even my Mum is cooking more which kind of says a lot really!
Tell me about your kitchens…
Thanks to the adjustable heating settings [up to 230 degrees] and handy quick start guide I quickly established the optimum temperature for my hair, waited a mere matter of seconds for the straightener to heat up and got going. This straightener made short work of getting my hair smooth and sleek which in itself is no mean feat. More impressive was that after sleeping on it my hair was still straight the next day- with my old straightener I found that I needed to re-do it the next day as my natural waves had fought back.
Mum thought the same, she was impressed with how easily this straightened her naturally curly hair [please note I have never actually seen it curly] and how sleek a finish it left.
Because I tend to straighten my hair and then curl or wave the top layers with a curling wand I decided to have a go at creating curls with this as well. I probably should have taken a picture but being me I didn’t think of it at the time but this straightener also creates smooth and shiny waves quickly and easily without looking like they had obviously been done with a straightener if you know what I mean?
I 100% would recommend this straightener for anyone who’s on the lookout for a new one, with an RRP of £79.99 it’s on the more affordable scale of things and at the time of writing it’s currently on sale on Amazon for £49.95.
I also happen to have one of these straighteners to give away to one lucky reader- see the widget below for how to enter and the T&C [and good luck!]
(all images from John Lewis)
Essentially this post is a plea for help! You have until April to help me make up my mind- and I will of course report back on the end result!
I’ve been a smoker since I was 17, that’s almost 13 years now and to be honest I haven’t enjoyed it for probably the last 5 years. Add to that the ever-rising cost of cigarettes, the fact I’m not getting any younger and of course all of the health dangers that come with smoking I’ve been mulling over the idea of quitting for a while now.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not quite ready for cold turkey. Smoking has always been related to my mental health and a coping mechanism when anxiety gets too much. I’ve tried patches and gums in the past but it’s the hand to mouth action that I missed and the inhalation so vaping has always held some kind of appeal. I’ve given it a go once or twice in the past but didn’t get much from it if I’m honest- however with the idea of stopping the cigarettes firmer in my mind than ever it was timely when e-cigarette direct offered to set me up with the kit so I could try again.
I went a bit crazy ordering all kinds of flavoured liquids, again from the Halo Brand*. At £3.99 the liquids are cheaper than a ten pack of cigarettes and again last an awful lot longer- I’m two weeks in and still on my first bottle. I like the fact you can pick from a whole range of flavours, the novelty appeals to me but even the regular tobacco flavoured ones are a lot more palatable than an actual cigarette.
It has been a slow process but this is the longest I have stuck with vaping and whilst I’m not completely off of cigarettes yet I am getting there. This would be a good time to add that I AM NOT ADVOCATING VAPING AS HEALTHY, or indeed any better for you than smoking as I know there is still a lot of research in to the effects going on. From a financial point of view it has already had clear benefits and I’ve found that I’m actually reaching for both cigarettes and the vape kit less and less which is hopefully a sign that I am heading in the right direction to stopping full stop.
Until I’m ready to stop completely though I will be giving my custom to e-cigarette direct. The speed of service was the most notable part of the experience- I placed my order on the Wednesday and had it with me on the Thursday!