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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My Bee Pins

Happy Saturday everyone! 

A little blog post for today to show you my bee pin collection and where I get hold of them (most on Etsy) and plus a special Jess & The Bee offer for you! 

Having started off building my pin collection with a bee pin from none other than The Manchester Bee Company, it seemed only right that I got hold of a few friends for my lonely bee! 

Rosebud Casson,a fantastic UK based pin artist, has released two designs – a honey bee (great value at £6) and Ernie the Bumblebee bee double pin set at £10, which are now part  of my collection and sit happily on the lapel of my coat! Check out her other amazing pins and handmade jewellery inspired by British nature. 

Rosebud Casson & her Ernie the Bee pin!

When I stumbled across a brand new Etsy seller a few weeks ago on instagram I dived over to her page to buy this stunning enamel pin of a simplistic bumblebee flat on a scalloped flower shape. It’s so simple and pretty, matching everything I wear! 

You can find this gorgeous pin in her Etsy store and enter a special  code to receive a Jess and the Bee discount on the shipping! The code is ‘opening10’ and is valid until 14th October. 

If you’ve seen any bee pins around please let me know! I’ve seen this one on Etsy and I’m seconds away from adding it to my collection!

Have an amazing weekend! 

Xox

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

Gear4Geeks

I was really excited to find out about Gear4Geeks and be offered to do a collab with them on my blog.

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Any gamer geek ladies out there will know what I mean when I say that geekery in fashion is definitely very one sided. From band t-shirts to slogan tees from your favourite TV show, film or Game ; they’re either made to fit men, and therefore equate to us wearing a tent-like boxy t-shirt made of thick, robust and unflattering cotton, or they’re tailored with busty models in mind, if the slogan placement is anything to go by (I mean,I bet she doesn’t know her FFVII from her FFVIII amirite?!)

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Say it, Picard.

There’s a distinct lack of quality out there in the garments that are available, and often girls can’t express their passions for geekery in the same way it is so easy for men to do. (If you ask me if I borrowed this top from my boyfriend I will punch you in the face!)

Geark4Geeks are one of the few e-retailers out there who are offering high-quality and female-oriented clothing items. Batman, Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars, to name a few, are represented here!

I chose a girly kitty dress, some awesome Mario colourful leggings and a Bambi vest to cover the whole range of what they offer.

Shoutout to Kallisti Jewellery for sending me this kickass Princess Peach necklace to match these leggings! Find her here on twitter, and on Etsy!

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The quality of these items is excellent, and I would highly recommend Gear4Geeks! – Browse their website for yourself!

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In case anyone was wondering, I’ve listed some of my favourite games of all time below – do we have any in common??

  • Final Fantasy (7-10)
  • Elder Scrolls
  • Mass Effect series
  • Devil May Cry
  • Bioshock Series
  • Fallout
  • Crash Bandicoot

Also I take Star Trek over Star Wars, My favourite Avenger is Thor, Vincent Valentine is a way better hero than Cloud Strife, and Terminator has so many plot holes I cannot even cope.

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Where we’re going, we don’t need plotholes!

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Larch Living

Anyone who has followed my blog for sometime now will know how much I love supporting small businesses. They may also know that I moved into my first home this September in Manchester, and naturally I had my eyes open for cute living items to make it feel like home.

Larch Living, a company I have been following on Instagram for a while now, really caught my eye with their eye catching Skandi-style homeware items in monochrome hues, as well as offering a delightful selection of Jewellery and miscellaneous gift items perfect for Christmas.

Who doesn’t love scatter cushions, I ask?

The Cloud and Raindrops cushion was  the one I fell for- shop it here. its a beautiful soft linen fabric, and although you can’t see in the photo, the reverse is patterned in tiny black raindrops!

Here it is in pride on place on the bed!

Seeing as I mentioned the jewellery, I thought I would show off what is by far one of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery that I think I will ever own! A ceramic hummingbird. The quality of this piece is beyond what I was hoping for, with a delicate chain. The colours of the paint and the enamel glaze are really beautiful. Shop it here, it’s on sale at the moment too!

Visit their website as there’s not of items on sale right now so you can pick up a bargain in time for Christmas.

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Thrifty Blogger Update #2

Hey everyone!

Just a short post really to check in, take a breath, and to update you on life in general, really.

I’ve not been able to update my  blog as often as I’d like to recently, and that’s mainly down to a few things; first, my job has hit a really new exciting level. I mean, really exciting. Unfortunately that means I am now busier than I’ve ever been in my life!

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I’m working on a development plan to become a director in the company where I work as a Business Development Manager. This isn’t your typical sales role, It’s really developing a business from the ground up, getting stuck into the startups we’re funding or investing in. The exciting bit is it’s not just one company either, but several all rolled into one group structure, and that means amazing things are lined up in my future.

Secondly, it’s been dark. No really – when it’s dark, I can’t take photos of things to write blog posts about. I’m sure we all feel the pain of long dark winter nights in the Blogosphere. It’s hard to snatch time in a weekend to dedicate to it, when that’s really your only spare time.

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So following that, the wonderful Marie at Didi’s Boutique in Altrincham who I’ve blogged about before nominated me for the blogger awards 2016. Now, I’ve always shrugged off bloggers awards, mainly because I’m not hugely interactive in the blogger community in the way other bloggers are, and never thought I would be able to compete with them!

Hi Jess I’ve nominated you because not only are you lovely, but you champion small businesses, people like me 🙂 love you x

But Marie’s nomination message almost moved me to tears and made me feel so proud of my little blog that I had to register it, out of maternal pride. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but if I get shortlisted, I’ll count that as a massive victory in itself!

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My blog has become an extension of my work in social impact investing in my day job. I constantly ask myself, how can I use my time or my skills to help businesses prosper? I hope that I have managed to help other businesses with my blog – Such examples spring to mind as the wonderful Holly’s Lollies I supported in her Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.

In doing this, I find my blog fulfilling to write, and I hope as enjoyable for people to read. (Apparently my blog also got included in an infographic for best UK Fashion blog, but I’m not so sure about that!! You can view that here!)

Thank you to my readers for reading and commenting, every single one I massively appreciate.

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Love xxx

A sweet creation retro sweets box

Xmas Gifts for a Sweet Tooth!

This post falls into so many categories for me, I’m so excited about it!

Firstly, SWEETS! Secondly, Small & Local & Handmade Business! tick, tick tick!

But seriously, this post contains two beautiful candy-related items from two different sellers which would make great Christmas gifts for a loved one or a friend – the best thing about it is that they won’t break the bank, and you’ll be supporting a small business in the process.

First up are these Retro sweetie boxes from A Sweet Creation, A Manchester confectionery seller who also specialize in events.

These boxes cost only £5 each, and can be ordered directly from their Facebook page by following the link here! Items come giftwrapped and with a blank gingerbread man tag to write out. They always respond super quickly to messages, so don’t hesitate to have a chat about placing an order.

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candy box!

Secondly, is a piece of jewellery almost good enough to eat!

If you have a female friend with a super sweet tooth and penchant for jewellery, then look no further than this ADORABLE miniature sweetie jar necklace, created by the very talented Caroline at Tiny Treat Boutique. Her pieces are exquisitely detailed and really reasonably priced. Go and have a browse of her Etsy shop for other pieces. You can get anything from hot dogs to cake! I chose this piece because I literally cannot resist a coconut wheel.

Tiny Treat Boutique miniature pick and mix necklace
Tiny Treat Boutique miniature pick and mix necklace

Tiny Treat Boutique miniature pick and mix necklace Tiny Treat Boutique miniature pick and mix necklace

The detail is incredible, and the quality is brilliant. I love wearing this piece, almost as much as I love Pick n Mix!

Want more Christmas gift ideas for Booklovers? Or for that person who has geeky interests, ranging from insects to video games? Check out my Geek Pinterest board!

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Jake Shoes Review

I’d love to begin this blog post with a happy birthday shoutout to Jake Shoes, an independent shoe retailer based in the North West, with bases in Stockport and Manchester City Centre. they celebrate 40 years of business this year, staying strong when many small independents have been closing down. I support small businesses however I can as a blogger, and in the run up to Christmas, shopping small and local is more important than ever!

I’m rather sheepish to say that I didn’t get them a gift for their birthday, but instead they sent me a very generous gift which I’m sharing with you today.

These amazing Vagabond Chelsea boots!

Jake Shoes Vagabond Boots

Chelsea boots are a wardrobe staple, and I have to admit I’ve been hankering after a pair for a while. I’m rather fussy with boots – high street copies of real leather styles just don’t cut it, both visually and in terms of how they feel on your feet.

These Chelsea boots are real leather, and after wearing them in with extra thick socks I can envisage them being comfortable for years to come.

the elastic around the ankle is robust yet gives enough for me to tuck in my jeans. I love the rich tan colour of the leather, they are perfect for autumn days, and will carry me well into winter and spring with the durable heels and soles. They are available in various other colours and styles, too.

I found them pleasantly neat on my feet – as a size 7 chunky boots make me feel rather stomp-y.

I styled them with my skinny jeans from Next and my zip grey tee from M&S.

I made my selection by using their new website, which is easy to navigate and filter down to style or brand of my choosing.

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Jake Shoes do their own designs as well, which you can browse on their website – I must admit I’ve got my eye on a few pairs of shoes at the moment!

Thank you so much to Jake Shoes for the opportunity to write for them. It’s always great to support Manchester Businesses, and see the Northern powerhouse growing.

The boots were selected by me and sent as a gift from Jake Shoes, however all opinions are my own!

Jake Shoes Vagabond Boots

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Lunya deli manchester

It’s arrived – Lunya Deli opens in Manchester

Although I embrace my current Manc situation and the Manc way of life, I spent 4 years of my life in Liverpool where I studied at University. Liverpool is so much smaller than Manchester, yet in spite of that has a lot going on within it’s condensed city centre.

Bold street is the Northern Quarter of Liverpool. It has one of the oldest China Towns in the UK; Students form a  sizeable portion of the population of the city, and cultures live happily side by side in the  form of restaurants and eating establishments as you might expect in any multicultural city.

Nestled behind BBC Merseyside HQ just off Hanover street was a Catalan Deli & Restaurant called Lunya. Me and Matt (boyfriend back then, Husband now) used to visit there as often as budget allowed, and we absolutely loved the food. The vibe was simple, unpretentious. They let the food do all of the talking.

Can you imagine our delight when we heart it was making the journey along the M62 to Manchester?

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We were invited to attend their launch evening last weekend, and we rubbed our hands together with excitement, keen to revisit old favourite dishes and perhaps try new ones- after all, they were offering 50% off the bill!

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Barton Arcade – a jewel often overlooked on Manchester’s Deansgate

The new digs in the Stunning Barton Arcade on Deansgate are perfect. Walking in, I immediately felt at home with the simplistic interior of warm dark red walls and dark wooden furniture. We were seated at the bar and placed a drink ordered before being taken to our seats in the dining area upstairs.

Lunya deli bar

We ordered a number of dishes ; Croquettes (a personal addiction), Ox Cheeks (by far the most beautiful thing in existence), Cuttlefish with black rice, Goats Cheese, and a deli platter featuring delicious cuts of Spanish meats and hard cheeses.

All food comes at different times, and no single dish disappointed us in terms of presentation or flavour. You can browse their menu here but I note that some of the Manc specials are absent.

As well as their expansive tapas menu, Lunya offers a variety of world-wide gins, beautiful Spanish wines and has a fantastic cocktail menu – here’s my passion fruit Mojito!

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Lunya comes along on the tide of a much welcomed culinary explosion in Manchester’s city centre in recent months, with the unveiling of eateries in the newly refurbished Corn Exchange alongside news of the expansion of well-loved Northern quarter restaurants into the Great Northern Building.

Not that Manchester could ever be accused of offering a lack of choice, it’s just that often one has to travel outside of the city to find the gems, when if you simply want to fall into the nearest place and be guaranteed a good meal, then the new openings will be sure to deliver just that.

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Lunya Deli