Old English Company stationery

If you’re anything like me you struggle to keep organised and have a million and one scraps of paper with various numbers and names scrawled on them – generally whatever I can reach when I am taking a message on the phone!

As a result, it has become a new goal of mine to get into better habits when it comes to organisation, and keeping track of my tasks both at work and at home, or for my side-hustle mentoring businesses, & The Hive.

Old English Company very kindly sent me a selection of their beautiful and highly instagram worthy stationery to try and kick-start my new highly efficient life, and I am so excited to get my planner filled in, my schedule arranged, or simply having some pretty post-it notes to hand for those on-the-phone memos.

I also couldn’t resist this motivational mug – although in my usual vocabulary it would say ‘get sh*t done’ instead.

Do you have any super organisation tips you can share with me to keep my momentum going? Seen any cool stationary recently?

Love! X

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Introducing : Tangled up in Blooms #Mcr

Good morning all! It’s been a while since I posted on my blog but I am back to bring you news of an exciting newcomer to the Manchester independent business scene.

Introducing Tangled up in Blooms! Just look at that gorgeous website.

 

A unique service delivering beautiful fresh blooms to the city of Manchester, set up by the lovely Nikki. We met up a few weeks ago, on my birthday in fact! – and she hand-delivered a stunning and unique wildflower bouquet to me. What struck me was that the blooms were the sort you’d never find in a supermarket flower section, but that deserved to be celebrated and admired. I’m more of the wild and wonderful type when it comes to floristry anyway, versus over manicured blooms.

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Chrysanthemums need little protective nets!

The bouquet contained Eucalyptus, Chrysanthemums, carnation and Ranunculus – plus some other Heather-like foliage I don’t know the name of! It smelled great, and the Chrysanthemums looked stunning once opened up fully.

 

So how does it work?

Well, Every Monday morning, Nikki trots off to the flower market while we are all still tucked up in bed to select the blooms for her weekly bouquets. Each week, there are 2 seasonal bouquets at either £25 for a standard bunch or £35 for a double bouquet. Neat, eh? Check out her Instagram feed for that week’s beautiful blooms.

This not only includes delivery but a donation to Manchester based homeless charity Mustard Tree. Supporting a good cause, and also a local business!

To make things even more convenient, TUIB offer subscriptions so a lovely bunch will arrive every week, fortnight or month on a day of your choice.

Use code VDAYLOVE for 15% off a Valentine’s day Bouquet.

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Bundobust – Indian Vegetarian Streetfood Comes to Manchester

I was kindly invited  last night to one of the two private launch evenings for another Manchester Newcomer, Bundobust. Not being massively familiar with the Leeds food scene, I hadn’t heard of it before, and had to take to Google to suss it out!

Bundobust is, in four words, Delicious Indian Vegetarian Streetfood. You won’t find any meat options on their menu, though you might rejoice (should you be the unlucky carnivore) to see their wide range of craft beers on tap.

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it took us a little while to find it, located in the basement beside a Subway on Piccadilly (the corner of Portland street by Piccadilly Gardens), though the entrance once spotted is pretty cool. You descend beneath a purposefully ‘Hinglish’ sign stating “Welcome Please”, into a cool, long subterranean restaurant, split by booths and long tables and benches. The furniture and fixtures are a pleasant mish-mash of reclaimed 90s breezeblock, woodchip and glass panes, alongside new orange leather-look booths and fresh formica-style tables. Not to mention the really cool custom Bundobust Hindi posters – I need to get me one of the Beehive ones…

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We ordered 4 dishes and some rice, settling for Bhajis, Punjabi Khadi, Tarka Dhal, Chole Bhatura. I chose a half of their craft beer, Bombay Dazzler, which pairs really well with the spiced Indian food due to the presence of cardamom et al.

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The food was served in card pots, the same material as coffee cups, and you use plastic cutlery and paper plates that are laid ready in the centre of the table. I did wonder if these were recyclable at all, as this restaurant would generate rather a lot of waste otherwise!

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VERDICT

Manchester is already lucky enough to have a Mowgli, which in my view is a “level-up” from Bundobust in it’s interior style, the manner in which food is served (metal tins and proper plates, versus plastic cutlery and paper plates and serving pots), and for the fact they offer both vegetarian and carnivore menus.

That said, I enjoyed Bundobust. It was effortless in it’s interior style- I could see myself enjoying a drink or two over a light lunch at the weekend – they offer a 2 for £7 lunch menu. The music was fun and energetic, I loved the orange & mint colour scheme and the eclectic fittings and decorations. The staff were really friendly, and the loos get a big thumbs up for their amazing tiling!

thanks to  Simon at I Like Press for organising the evening.

 

 

Red Everything – my Zalando Picks

I’d never never heard of Zalando before I was kindly given the opportunity to review their amazing range of items, as potential gifts for the fashion-conscious. 

Zalando brings together brands from the high street and luxury labels together in a way that makes everything feel expensive and classy. Women’s, men’s, and children’s collections are available to browse. 

With winter in full swing, I gravitated towards their fantastic selection of boots. These Caprice Red zip-detailed ankle boots caught my eye. Air soles, and fleece lined, they’re warm, comfortable, and stylish! 

The centre piece for my order had to be this incredible Moschino bag – I can’t even hyperlink to it because I must have snapped up one of the last ones! 

You can also see pictured the fossil purse I ordered. Fossil are a great go to leather brand for purses and bags in my mind so I was pleased to find them sold here. I chose this purse as it tied into my theme, but with a touch of uniqueness to liven up the inside of my handbag. 

If you’re stuck for ideas for fashion loving ladies and gents in your life, or if you just want to treat yourself, visit Zalando. Take it from me, they’ve a new customer for life! 

This post is my opinion, the items were chosen by me but kindly given by Zalando. 

Leaf Manchester – Pudding Club Review 

Hello everyone! 

For those of you based in or near Manchester, or even those of you who frequent Liverpool’s Bold Street, you must know about Leaf.

Leaf is a tea room with a difference. There are no chintz fabrics in sight here (though it has its place, don’t get me wrong), and tea is not it’s only USP. 

Gin specialist, tea retailer, and events space, Leaf has something for everyone, not to mention delicious food and white marble tables a blogger could drool over. 

See?

The team at Manchester’s Leaf, found on Portland Street in a spacious high ceilinged space with industrial and scandi vibe decor, kindly invited me to attend their inaugural Pudding club! 

What it says on the tin – pudding club is a must visit for those with a sweet tooth. Five – yes , five! – courses of pudding! Not only that, each dessert is matched to and served alongside a specially picked Leaf tea. 

Having viewed the menu, I realised one course was a no-go for me as a peanut allergy sufferer. Emma, the lovely general manager hailing from Liverpool, took great care of me and substituted my course with little fuss. 

First up came the star dish  from my point of view : matcha Tea doughnuts with a warm white chocolate sauce. The Matcha worked beautifully with the dough/batter (what do you call it?!) and the chocolate sauce was delicious!  

Matcha tea doughnuts

My husband, ever the sugar addict, favoured the pineapple soaked in rum and served with a rich caramel cream. 

Charred Pineapple with Kraken Rum

We also enjoyed courgette cake, peanut butter mousse (I had lemon & poppyseed cake instead for this course) and heavy rich chocolate truffles with pink peppercorns. At this point I threw in the towel! Those things were as big as they look. 

Peanut butter mousse, with salted popcorn

Chocolate & pink peppercorn truffles

Emma made a wonderful host, teaching us about tea and explaining the health benefits of the components. Her passion for her job was very clear and she was such a pleasure to talk to! 

Leaf pudding clubs are hosted once per month, cost an amazing £15.99 per ticket – keep an eye on their instagram or on their Manchester Listings for details of all upcoming events. They host bookclubs and music events, to name a couple. 

Show Leaf some love! 

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Leaf Portland Street

Lemon & poppyseed cake

&other stories scent review 

Hello! I’ve not blogged in a long while, but a lot has gone on since my earlier post on my favourite bee items for the home.

Work work work!

Well I finally managed to get away for a holiday and thought I would share with you the bits and bobs I took with me. I enjoy going shopping for holidays, it’s extra special!

I had wanted to purchase a new fragrance but couldn’t justify spending over £40 – however  & other stories was on hand to help! They’ve opened in Manchester recently and I’m in love with EVERYTHING!

They have a lovely range of scents, available in eau de parfum at a very reasonable £26 (from memory), however they sell body sprays at £12 for 150ml, or a very reasonable £5 for a smaller bottle at 50ml.

I chose the super sweet and girly ‘Punk Bouquet’ and the more delicate, sensual ‘Floral Momento’.

Punk Bouquet reminds me immediate of heady candy floss laced with vanilla for a fun, punchy scent. Top notes are Almond, Tangerine, Green Apple, with a heart of Cyclamen, Tiger Orchid, Lotus Flower and a base of Vanilla, Tonka Beans and Tree Moss.

Floral momento is sweet, powdery Violet on a bed of bergamot.

I highly recommend all of their scents –  browse here.

Pictured is also a raw stone long necklace, from Accessorize and great value at £10!

Have you tried & other stories yet? Aren’t they amazing!

My favourite Bee Products

Hello everyone!

I’ve been really enjoying these bee-related products recently and thought I’d share them on here.

Treaclemoon are an amazing ethical brand, making really affordable bath &  body products in cute packaging, and available in your local Tesco.

Their honeycomb secret range reminds me of Crunchies and cake –  it’s deliciously scented and warming.

Paired with are two Library of a fragrance bee related scents, honey and beeswax. Honey is sold out I believe,  but take my work for it when I say it’s gorgeous and trademark sweet.

Bees wax does remind me of furniture polish, and for that reason would serve well as a room spray rather than a wearable scent to give a space that just cleaned scent!

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I already have one fantastic bee pin in my collection from the inimitable Manchester Bee Company but when I saw this one from Rosebud Casson  I had to own it! The wings are pearly and glittery and the gold and bronze detail on the abdomen is lovely.

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Finally, there’s this: this amazing Bee Mug from an artist Sophie Cunningham who knocks about at Maker’s Markets in Manchester from time to time. She’s absolutely brilliant, so check out her shop!

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I hope you enjoyed this post even half as much as I enjoy these bee items!

Love x

More bees!

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Caught this white tailed Bumblebee in flight by mistake, on her way to my foxgloves!

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I just love Carder bees! Probably the cutest!

Jess & The Bee

Well, it has been a long time since I’ve posted on my blog. So many things have taken up my time lately, and more and more I found myself distanced from the blogger I felt I had to be to be ‘good at it’.

I’ve rebranded my blog to reflect that it’s a space just for me, though if anyone is interested in my ramblings, then they are welcome too. So, I hear you ask, Why Jess & The Bee?

Well, bees are just cool. They’re our biggest pollinators, symbols of hard working across the globe, and are the official mascot of the city I live&work in, Manchester.

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Female White-tailed bumblebee worker, with very full pollen sacs!

I moved into my home in August last year, too late to do the garden for summer, but this year I got my sleeves rolled up, planted a load of bee-friendly plants and I was gifted with the daily presence of bees of many species from thereon in.

I’ve seen (but never managed to photograph) honeybees, Carder bees, tree bumblebees, Early bumblebees, and of course the recognizable white-tailed bumblebee.

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A male Early Bumblebee
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Tree Bumblebee resting!

it’s not just because of bees (honestly).

I didn’t just want to blog jewellery or fashion or beauty. I want to blog about whatever makes me happy. So it seemed only right that my new blog reflected something that does just that.

looking forward to posting more soon.

For more bee snaps find me on Instagram – @iamjessicajj