The foxtrot

The last couple of weeks have been like a foxtrot – slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. This has led to virtual silence on the blog (although lots going on over on Instagram if you’ve missed me!).

Half term week was spent relatively calmly. We had no exciting holiday plans, so instead I gave the kids an MOT (dentist, haircut, opticians etc). Fortunately, my recruitment work was relatively quiet too, so I was able to spend a portion of every day with my boys, catching up in the office while they had their daily dose of (bloody) Fortnite.

Five go mad on the Island

Then last week, my four business partners and I did something a bit bonkers for our summer party.

Being a small team, we usually have a relatively low-key lunch in London. This time, the two Londoners met the three South-Coasters in Hampshire, got on a ribeye (a type of boat, and no, I didn’t know that’s what it was called until I got on it) and swanned off to the Isle of Wight for a leisurely lunch!

We ate oysters and sipped Prosecco in the sun at North House.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

It was a 240 mile round trip for lunch, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It really was the perfect day and has given me a taste for life on the South Coast. I would love to live there. How different our lives would be. But it’s just not practical.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

Other events so far this month have included seeing Joe Lycett’s stand-up show at the Hammersmith Apollo (or whatever it’s called these days); and a friend’s 40th birthday party where I managed to sink TWO bottles of Prosecco in one afternoon. Terrible behaviour.

This week has seen work pick up with several new clients asking for our services. I do love being busy, but why do new assignments always come in threes!? Makes me panic slightly.

Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical

This month I was invited to the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical Show. I do love a kitchen gadget, and am fascinated by product innovation and design. So this exhibition is right up my street.

Various trends emerged from this year’s show:

Pastels

This year’s kitchenware comes in hues of taupe, teal, grey and rose gold. Gone are white plates and chrome appliances.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

I’m obviously ahead of the trend with my teal kitchen units. The Haden kettle in my goodie bag complements my kitchen tiles perfectly.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

Ergonomics

Curvy coffee pots are in. They’re comfortable to pour, won’t drip and look stunning. This is the Pour Over by Melitta. Notice the handle on the kettle too.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

Sustainable materials

Storage containers with filters and trays that keep food fresh for longer; food wrap made of Beeswax which can be cleaned and reused; and lots and lots of travel mugs and water bottles, to combat coffee cup and plastic bottle waste.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

Product innovation

There were £1,500 domestic use coffee machines on display, which can memorise the taste settings for your family and friends, delivering the perfect brew every time. For me, the most innovative product was the Veritable Smart Indoor Garden. Apparently even a brown fingered plant-murderer like me would be able to keep fresh herbs alive all year round in this hydroponic container. It looks lovely too.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

The goodie bag was extraordinary. I have never been gifted so many wonderful and useful products. Here are a few highlights:

Furi Pro East/West Santoku 13cm knife with a 25 year guarantee. I used this to cut up beef for a stew and the knife went through the meat like it was butter.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

Lovely travel mugs from Bodum and Aladdin. I’ve started drinking all of my hot drinks in these mugs while I work. My coffee stays hot for hours.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

Barista & Co Brew It Stick coffee infuser: the simplest way to make fresh coffee. Put a spoonful of ground coffee into the infuser basket, pour boiling water over the top panels, stir and twist for a few seconds and leave to brew in your mug.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

Quick Recipe ramekins. Nothing remarkable about these until you turn them over. Scan the code on the bottom for recipe ideas – simple, genius.

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.

The rest of the month looks equally interesting, starting with a 50th birthday this weekend; a camping trip, and a girls’ weekend in Bruges on the near horizon.

A favour to ask

Before I go, can I appeal for your help please. I have worked really hard on my Instagram profile in recent months in an effort to get 10k followers. 10k is when the magic starts to happen. That’s when I can add web links to my stories so followers can shop directly from my feed. If you are on Instagram, and enjoy reading the blog, please could you follow me there? My page is www.instagram.com/lifestylemavens . Thank you.

Much love, Vx

[Disclosure: not sponsored but received a very generous goody bag of gifted items]

Kitchenware trends as seen at the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical show, plus my slightly bonkers 240 mile round trip for lunch.