run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Five best mumhack gadgets

One thing I love about my 'mum friends' - the ones I've met at the playground/rhyme time/etc - is they get the whole excitement about things your old friends would think bonkers. Like being in bed at 9pm... Or a poo landing in the potty.. Or four consecutive hours' of sleep... Or the fact that your most-regular shops are no longer Anthropologie / J Crew (just too devastating when a £25 (albeit beautiful) mug is smashed, or £60 top gets pawed by a toddler) but Tesco and .. Lakeland. Yeah, the fact that the plop of the Lakeland catalogue on the mat gets my pulse racing is a bit of a surprise to me too...

But the gadgets in its silky pages are just obscenely good. Screw those Pinterest #mumhacks about glueing a hook on a highchair to keep a bib on it etc - Lakeland's products are the most reliable and time-saving I've seen. (Oh and their return policy is so understanding that if anything goes wrong, or just don't like something, they take it back and practically give you a hug.) Here are my top five gadgets that'll save you time, effort and sweat at home...

1) Zoku Ice Lolly Maker
You know how hot weather in this country pops up with zero notice, and the kids are boiling and you're knackered and an ice lolly/cream would make everyone happy but your freezer is empty, and you can't DIY lollies now because doing so would take 42 hours to set in the freezer? You need a Zoku. 

Seriously, this thing is amazing. It's a small box that you leave in your freezer, and when you want a lolly, you just pour in some smoothie / yogurt / juice / fruit and booze / any concoction you fancy, and EIGHT MINUTES later, it's frozen and in your mouth. It doesn't plug in or have batteries, you don't put the box in the freezer when you're making them, and I feel I'd know how it works if I'd listened more in year 9 physics.... 

But all I can say is the Zoku makes you into super-mum in your kids' eyes, and when you're peckish post-work or bedtime and have no nosh in the house, you can whizz up Nutella ice cream on a stick in eight minutes. 

It makes up to nine lollies off the back of one freezer session, although only three in one go. This is the best thing that's entered my kitchen since.... er sliced bread. It's almost £40 so not cheap, but so. much. fun. (See amazing recipes here...) 

2) Shark Rocket Handvac Vacuum Cleaner

This is a lot less exciting than lollies. But all I can say is, I've tried a bunch of Dustbuster type gizmos and this is the one that sucks up all those spilled toddler peas, dropped meals, cracker-in-car nightmares and more in the speediest, most efficient way. And it doesn't break. The others all do... They promise so much but they splutter and die after ONE battle with a mess of a car seat. The Shark also has a 10m power cord, so where the others are needier than a newborn with their demands for power (and who can remember to charge them... I have enough problems with my iPhone..) - so it's super portable but also powerful. It also comes with a bunch of different brushes to really get into any hole, so no excuse for a car that looks like a bombsite... for at least five years, anyway, because that's the length of Lakeland's excellent guarantee.

3) Dry-Soon airer

I had to pause before writing about this airer. Because I'm aware I sound like an evangelical housewife or something. Because I'm about to rave about an airer. One that costs £127. And all it does is dry clothes. Buuuuut - when there's so much washing, and so little sunshine, and no room for a tumbledrier, and you're sick of draping clothes all over every radiator, chair and non-moving item in the house, then you need this heated airer. The three-tier one holds up to 15kg of washing on 21m of drying space, but folds away to be only 8cm deep. Clothes are dry overnight - no more of that gross damp smell from not-quite-dry-drying - and the electricity only costs 6p/hour to run (way less than a tumbledrier); apparently it's kinder to clothes too. (Go for the £30 cover too as it makes everything dry faster.)

4) School of Wok two-tier bamboo steamer

I kind of love this for its name, but having used it non-stop for the past few weeks, I can say (big words here..) the School of Wok steamer is almost as good as that Jack Black film. With tiny man's weaning, I had saucepans everywhere bubbling away with bowls on top as I tried to steam him as many different fruit and veg as I could. With this £25 double-tiered steamer, you can do different veg, plus meat / fish / dumplings etc all at the same time - so it's fast as well as healthy and doesn't take up much room in the cupboard. A weaning whizz.

* Lakeland kindly let me pick four items out for review, but rest assured I'm seriously gobby and only rave about things I really love.


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