We are super excited to share our first feature from our ‘go-to’ family and lifestyle expert, Holly Bennie of the @the.clan.edit. Holly runs a tight ship, managing a business as well as a family of 6 (with a little help). No doubt, being a busy working mumma of a large brood, Holly has a few tricks up her sleeve that will help most of us with small or larger families. Today, Holly shares her top time saving gadget picks that she recommends and swears by, that we’ve either heard of or have stashed somewhere (needlessly gathering dust) that can make our lives that much easier. Over to you Holly.
For those that don’t know what a Thermomix is, it’s a one-stop-shop kitchen gadget that cooks, weighs, steams, stirs, kneads and more! It comes with magnetic recipe chips and a touch screen guide to give you perfect meals every single time you use it. And for busy parents like myself, it’s a game changer at creating family meals from scratch, with ease. Since it primarily works with raw ingredients, I know exactly what’s going into every meal and can avoid additives, colourants and season to my personal liking, whilst hand selecting the quality of the ingredients myself.
Unlike a conventional crock pot, the Thermomix has a timer to shut-off automatically before anything burns. Its multi layer system means that you can cook the main and the sides at the same time, all in one. It’s easy to clean with just a dash of water, a spritz of washing up liquid and the flick of a button! Rinse and you’re ready to rock and roll again.
The Thermomix comes with a high price tag, but when weighed against the possible cost to aquire the individual gadgets for all of its functions separately, alongside it’s time saving ability, it’s worth every penny. What’s more, the purchasing set-up means it also comes with a payment plan – Thermomix for the win!
Probably the least sexy of all my household gadgets and gizmos is the humble self timing plug. However, that’s not to down-play its wonder; essentially it’s an adaptor that fits into the wall socket and the electrical device. You can then set a period of time that the adaptor is ’on’ or ’off’ and away you go. No need to worry about switching things off at night or the terrifying panic of an electrical fire (mum worry).
All our lamps are hooked up to these and are set to automatically flick on as the house darkens and switch off for bedtime. Having them in the living room means I can head upstairs to bed without fumbling about in the dark and know that they’ll automatically take care of themselves. My little girls also have them in their room and will head to bed where they’re allowed to read or colour for 30 minutes before it’s time to sleep. They know when that is, because their lamps will click off.
Automatic Coffee Machine
As you can tell, I love any gadget with a timer! If I can switch it on and forget about it then it has a place in my home.
We drink copious amounts of coffee in our house. I really love the smell of coffee, but I love waking up to it even more. Every evening I ’reset’ my kitchen for the next day. Wipe down my unit tops, pack school lunches, and set up my drip filter coffee machine ready for the next morning.
The timer is set for 5:30am and I wake up to a freshly brewed pot of the good stuff. My machine also has a plate to keep the coffee hot once it’s made. By not having to rush around making a pot in the morning, it sets my day off on the right foot and it feels quite luxurious (if I do say so myself).
Dyson Cordless Vacuum
We have four little ones running in and out of our house along with Ted, our huge labrador. There’s gunk, grime, sand and muck trailed through our house at all times of the day. There’s crumbs thrown from the dining room table, there’s glitter from all the crafting, and whoever invented kinetic sand needs to have a word with themselves! You get the point though, we’re messy!
We actually have two Dyson cordless vacuums in our home and it’s so handy to whip it off the charging station for a quick clean up. We have one upstairs and one downstairs and they’re used at least 2/3 times a day, if not more.
Liquid of Life Water Filter
There is NOTHING worse than running out of water in a household full of little ones, never mind the environmental effects and plastic chemicals that can potentially leach into your drinking water from bottles left in the UAE heat.
A year ago, we had a ‘Liquid of Life Filter’ installed, which means we don’t have to worry about having loads of water bottles in the fridge, or having an ugly dispenser taking up space in the kitchen. We can drink beautifully filtered water, straight from the tap. It tastes great and we calculated that having a filter will save us approximately 300AED per year based on our drinking water consumption.
Thanks Holly! Stay tuned next month for Holly’s top 5 Tips on Keeping Kids Entertained At Home During the Summers In The UAE, a little late to the party we know, but these tips should come in handy for families with kids, when planning for next summer and let’s face it, if last year is anything to go by then we still have a couple more months of sweat to go.