Gimme Five! Dish drainers

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

Selection of 5 dish drainers

Dish drainers aren’t the sexiest of items, but every kitchen needs one. Ours has just given up the ghost after 10 years solid service. It deserves a medal – we don’t have a dishwasher and we do a lot of cooking that generates mountains of washing up.

Not to mention its moonlighting shifts as paintbrush rack, allotment vegetable washing zone and cloth dryer. We’ve been browsing the ‘net for a replacement – here are five of our favourites that form our current shortlist.

  1. DECKER stainless steel single level dish drainer: £21, Habitat
  2. Extend™ expandable dish rack with draining plug: £50, Joseph Joseph
  3. 2-tier dish and cutlery drainer, stainless steel: £35, John Lewis
  4. Drainer by Jocca: £48.99, Wayfair
  5. ORDNING dish drainer: £12, IKEA

Gimme Five! Reusable shopping bags

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

Selection of 5 reusable shopping bags

From this week, in England, you will have to pay 5p for each new plastic bag you use when you do your shopping at any of  the larger shops and supermarkets.

I’m really happy that England has finally brought in this legislation, single-use plastic bags cause a lot of litter and are harmful – even deadly – to wildlife both on land and in the world’s oceans & waterways.

I got into the habit many moons ago of having a few reusable shopping bags folded up and stuffed into most of my handbags. They’re not too bulky or heavy and are mostly cheap to buy or even make if you’re of the crafty persuasion. After just a couple of months of using reusable shopping bags, they’ll have paid for themselves!

  1. Canvas shopper bag: £4, Next
  2. Carrot shopping bag: £13, Etsy
  3. Hearts foldaway shopping bag: £8, Cath Kidston
  4. ASOS shopper bag: £20, ASOS
  5. Fairtrade recycled cement shopper bag by recycle-recycle: £15, notonthehighstreet

Gimme Five! Laundry baskets

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

Selection of laundry baskets

Clothes (and even more so bedding) washing is always a monotonous chore – at least it is in our house. We allow it to build up for ages! We need a very big laundry basket to accommodate the piles of clothes – well, two actually! Washing bins may be mundane things, but they needn’t be ugly. Here are some very attractive laundry baskets to hold all those linens.

Gimme Five! Slow cookers

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

Five slow cookers

Autumn marks the arrival of hearty stews. Those light, summer salads just don’t cut the mustard come October! What better then, than a slow cooker? The ingredients go into the pot in the morning – and as if by magic – a delicious, warming stew or casserole appears in the evening.

Preparing a meal in a slow cooker means flavours have time to mingle and evolve. You’ll find hundreds of recipes and tips in books, magazines or the internet. There’s usually enough to last a couple of days. All you need is crusty bread… or throw in a few dumplings to maximise the joy! 

  1. 5L Digital multi cooker with stirring paddle: £55, Tesco
  2. Russell Hobbs Creations multi cooker: £89.99, Argos
  3. Crock-Pot digital slow and multi cook: £119.99, Lakeland
  4. Giles & Posner 5.7L sous vide slow cooker: £69.99
  5. 6.5L brushed digital sear and stew slow cooker: £59.99, Morphy Richards

Gimme Five! Tech fashion accessories

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

Selection of five tech fashion accessiories

London Fashion Week is upon us again and it got me thinking about tech fashion accessories, or ‘wearable tech’. One of the first episodes of Tomorrow’s World which aired in 1965 included ‘Tomorrow’s Girl’. She can be seen modelling synthetic clothes made of plastic and paper which she accessorised with a pair of earrings that doubled as transistor radios!

  1. UP MOVE™: £39.99, Jawbone
    Get fit, lose weight and have fun doing it. Put it on and wear it anywhere. And with an LED display and Smart Coach to guide you, the UP MOVE™ tracker doesn’t just count your steps and track your sleep – it gets you over the hump and moving on your path to a better you. With Activity Tracking, Sleep Tracking, Food Logging and Smart Coach.
  2. Marylebone Tech tote: £895, Aspinal of London
    The first luxury tote specifically and cleverly designed to carry an integral mobile phone and iPad battery charger pack for use with all your mobile devices. Boasting extra internal pockets with cable paths to carry your phone & tablet devices, the tech charger pack gives you the freedom to recharge your tech gadgets on the go in style.
  3. PEBBLE Steel smart watch: £133.30, PC World
    The Pebble Steel Smart Watch works with both Android and iOS smartphones and gives you instant access to text messages, emails and more, directly on your wrist. You can even control and search for music right from your wrist – perfect for sports or travel. It connects via Bluetooth, so is compatible with most current smartphones and gives you the freedom to leave your phone in your bag or pocket without missing out on important information.
  4. Dive Bar, tourmalated quartz by Ringly: $195, FAB
    Ringly connects to your phone so you can receive subtle notifications about what’s important. Through the Ringly app, you can set custom colour and vibration patterns for different types of notifications. The accompanying ring box also acts as a charging station.
  5. Unpocket: £26, 1984
    The police-grade stealth fabrics on the inside physically block all RFID, GPS, WiFi and Cell signals. UnPocket makes you unhackable and untrackable and allows you to drop off the global surveillance grid and become invisible to Big Brother #GoDark.

Gimme Five! Wool throws

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

Selection of wool throws | @hisforhome

Autumn is definitely here, despite summer on occasion putting up a struggle. We’ve had our newly-installed wood-burning stove chuffing away this week – not quite ready to go the whole hog and turning on the central heating, but in need of some background warmth.

There’s nothing quite like autumn evenings, curled up on a sofa or armchair with a lovely, soft wool throw over the shoulders. We tend to keep one across the foot of the bed too, for those nights when the duvet needs a little help.

Here’s a great selection of wool throws to keep those autumn chills in check!

  1. Sheep wool blanket: £64, Scandinavian Design Center
  2. Dorma plum Maldon throw: £59.99, Dunelm
  3. Adeen red wool and silk throw: £80, Habitat
  4. Stripe wool throw: £90, Feather and Black
  5. TweedMill fishbone two stripe olive & rouge wool throw: £44.95, TweedMill