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.

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.






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


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?!)

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!


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.

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!

2015-10-20 08.36.13

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!


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.


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.

Jake Shoes Vagabond Boots Jake Shoes Vagabond Boots Jake Shoes Vagabond Boots Jake Shoes Vagabond Boots

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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Bernese Mountain Dog

Lovingly Handmade handbag Charms by MisHelenEous

Cupcake charms

Hello all!

Very excited to share with you some beautiful and specially made hand-crafted items from the wonderful Mancherster-based MisHelenEous! Mascotted by Helen’s late beautiful border Terrier Whiskey, and now by the adorable puppy Heidi, MisHelenEous is about as British Handmade as British handmade gets. She’s a crafty one this one!

Are you a Radley lover? Ever felt marginalised because although you kinda like Scottie dogs you’ve always been more of a, say, Collie person? Look no further! Helen specialises in crafting bespoke pieces – handbag charms/keyrings of our favourite dog breeds. As a cat lover (and all round general animal lover really) Britain is a nation of dog lovers and we love our pooches than much that their iconography blends easily into our fashion and into our home furnishings!

I chose this Bernese Mountain dog charm, because I of the opinion that the bigger the dog the better – but if Beagles, Welsh Terriers or Chihuahuas are more your bag, she’s got you covered! These would make fantastic gifts for friends and family (sorry to remind you but Christmas is creeping up!)

Bernese Mountain Dog

bernese mountain dog keyring
hungry dog!
burnese Mountain Dog
Have dog, will travel

If dogs aren’t your thing, then surely a GBBO lover would appreciate this adorable cupcake? or perhaps this beautiful hand knitted rose brooch?

2015-08-15 09.54.03 cupcake handbag charm


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I never tire of saying that supporting small businesses is really important to me – these people are the foundation stone of our economy and of Britishness itself!

If you like what you see, or want to explore her other items (Doggie clothing, bunting and much more) please visit her Etsy shop or contact her on the details below!

misheleneous contact details

The Kitschenette – handmade Jewellery

I stumbled across Kirsty and her amazing shop Kitty’s Kitchenette on Twitter recently and was like,  ‘wow’. Cute, quirky cartoon based drawings turned into actual jewellery you can wear, and in whatever form you wish! Earrings, cufflinks, bracelets, necklaces and brooches!

Now,  I am a huge Gamer Geek to the extent that I obsessively play RPGs (role playing games) for hours – I can lose days if I’m not careful! I get so addicted to the story and absorbed in the characters!

Fallout is one of the universes which I’ve sank days work of game play into, and when I spotted this Nuka Cola bottle cap brooch (the wasteland’s currency, seeing as dollars as virtually worthless in the post apocalyptic 50s USA) I had to have it! Priced at £8 for the brooch and slightly more for a necklace.

Nuka Cola Cap Brooch from The Kitschenette! Nuka Cola Cap Brooch from The Kitschenette! Nuka Cola Cap Brooch from The Kitschenette!

I also couldn’t resist this ‘Raw Stone’ piece as a necklace, though it’d make an awesome brooch too! I just love the style of these designs.

Raw Stone necklace
Raw Stone necklace from the Custom Collection priced at ~£10

Raw Stone necklace

Go and say hello on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and visit her website too! You can discuss custom designs if there isn’t exactly something you would like!

the kitschenette
the kitschenette

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Daisy Blue Candles Review

Daisy Blue Candles Review
Daisy Blue Candles Review Daisy Blue Candles Review

Daisy Blue candles, made by Lorraine Forsyth in Scotland, are simple and elegant in design, and beautifully fragranced. One thing that never occurred to me until I received these two candles from DBC was, normally when we buy candles we have to give consideration to the colour of the tin, and therefore you are often constrained in using certain scents (Strawberry is invariably in a red or pink tin, right? And Fresh Linen is ALWAYS blue!).

Lorraine’s candles come in cool brushes steel effect tins, or clear thick glass, packaged in clean cut white androgynous boxes. The wax is a calming vanilla shade- no danger of any of her candles clashing with your interiors, thank you very much. The only thing that stands out is the tiny blue daisy logo of DBC on the labels.

Angel’s Kiss is scented delicately with strawberries and champagne, in contrast to the powerful punch packed by Ginger & Lime in the larger candle jar. Ginger & Lime would brighten any living space or kitchen with it’s fresh zesty scent, whereas Angel’s Kiss would soften and relax the atmosphere in a bedroom or bathroom.

Daisy Blue Candles Angel's Kiss

You can shop these scents and others (I’d love to try vanilla Rose, and Apple & Wild Mint!) on her website

Readers of my blog can get a whopping 20% off candles if you enter Jess01 (that’s jess zero 0ne with no spaces!) at the checkout.

Or follow her on Instagram!

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Daisy Blue Candles Lime and Ginger