Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know of my obsession with Bullet Journals and stationery. You can imagine my excitement when I was asked to try out a brand new notebook by Greenstory... made of STONE.
Yes, you read it correctly… it’s made of stone.
Developed by Dutch brother & sister duo Kaim and Yagmur and supported by copywriter Fleur, Greenstory seeks to make a difference for sustainability. The paper for the Stone Notebook is made of 80% calcium carbonate, which is waste material from marble quarries. 20% polyethylene is added, and that’s it. It uses 6X less energy to produce and leaves a 3X smaller CO2 footprint. No coating, water, acid, bleach or optical brighteners. The material can be infinitely recycled to make more Stone notebooks!
It also makes the paper waterproof and much stronger – one of the first things that I attempted to do when I received the notebook was rip the corner of one of the back pages, and while it was possible to tear it – there was a noticeable difference in the overall strength than other notebooks I have used. Continue reading →
Rosies – a brand new super club – opens its doors this weekend on Broad Street, Birmingham and I was invited along to the preview night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go, so I sent a couple of more-than-willing participants to learn about what to expect from this exciting new venue in the city!
This is the VIP launch weekend and as we walked up the red carpet leading toward the door, we were greeted with the offer of a mystery cocktail or a glass of champagne. The staff were all very friendly and hospitable, particularly the bar staff who were incredibly down-to-earth and accommodating, even offering to make tailored cocktails based on our preferred tastes. Continue reading →
It’s been quite a while since I visited Bodega, but I am always hearing positive things about the restaurant, so a friend and I decided to visit for lunch last week.
Situated on Bennets Hill in Birmingham, Bodega is a contemporary cantina specialising in authentic, fresh and homemade South American food. As a member of the Bitters ‘n’ Twisted family of bars, they also offer a wide range of fabulous cocktails, so we felt that it was only right that we should try some of them!
I like the atmosphere in the restaurant – bright, simple and colourful with friendly staff and South American music in the background, with a wide and varied menu that caters for all dietary requirements.
My friend and I decided to share a small plate of nachos to start, with all the typical vegetarian toppings – salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole etc. We have chosen this many times in our previous experiences at numerous restaurants and pubs, and when it arrived we were grateful that we only ordered the small portion as it was more than enough for two! Every component was delicious and we commented that it was the nicest plate of nachos we’d ever had. Continue reading →
From up-and-coming Midlands writer and director Thomas Moran and his company presentabsence Theatre comes “a new LGBTQ+ and deaf play.” NOISE follows the lives of five first-year university students in their shared flat, in particular Evan (Nicolas Ancelin) who is deaf. The play sees the development of Evan’s relationship with flatmate Harry (Dominic Holmes) and how they both deal with his impairment.
Despite their young ages and small number, the cast light up the stage of The Old REP, bringing energy and authenticity to their characters. The group work well as an ensemble, being totally believable as housemates and friends, but this is perhaps better shown through the several examples of physical theatre and montages in which all of the cast have co-ordinated their movements to fit with one another, avoiding any slip-ups (not an easy task on The Old REP’s small stage) whilst still managing to create dynamic sequences. Continue reading →
Last week I received an email, inviting me to a bespoke Urban Decay makeover at their Selfridges store in Birmingham.
Urban Decay: beautiful products, cruelty free and the primary contributors to my ever-growing make-up collection.
I was advised to attend without any make-up on at all (eek!), so I made sure that I had thoroughly exfoliated and moisturised before my appointment, arriving with my red and windswept face on display in all of its blotchy glory. I was greeted by the manager, Ranjeeta, who then introduced me to my stunningly-gorgeous-with-flawless-skin make-up artist, Sana. Continue reading →
Party season is just beginning, and I began mine by attending the launch of the new Rush Salon in Birmingham.
It was my first visit to the salon, but with a deep blue frontage and shiny black floor, it immediately stood out amidst the stores on Martineau Place. I was the first to arrive, so was given a tour by the store manager, Liam, of the beautiful interior, along with the tranquil and beautiful treatment area at the back. There were numerous stations set up ready to cater for individual styles and hair types, along with some lovely snacks and glasses of prosecco. The salon was clean and elegant, the staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and I could immediately feel that it had a great atmosphere as soon as I walked in. Continue reading →
Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know just how much I love good food, so I was absolutely delighted when The Bloke and I received an invitation to a dinner party at Dewsall Court, with the menu designed and created by the Masterchef 2014 winner, Ping Coombes.
With a colourful history that dates back to 1644, the building was in a derelict state by 1989 until it was purchased by the Robinson family, making them the first family to live in the property since the reign of Queen Anne.
They spent a decade restoring the building and lived there happily until 2007, when the patriarch Joe sadly passed away. In 2009, the decision was made for the home to be turned into an exclusive use, 10 bedroom venue, which is run by Jane, her children Joseph and Samantha and Samantha’s husband, Julian. Set within 15 acres of land, overlooking the Black mountains, every aspect of the house has been completed to an exquisite standard, being the epitome of country house charm and elegance. As most of my pictures haven’t done it justice, I have used most of these directly from their Instagram page (@Dewsall.Court) – click on the images for full view… Continue reading →
A little while ago I told you that my youngest sister is pregnant with the first grandchild in the family. She’s currently at 26 weeks, and thankfully both mum and baby are doing well.
I was delighted when I was contacted by Motherly Love, a company that specialises in oils for pregnancy and beyond. Founded and created by Jan, a mother, grandmother, midwife and nurse of over 40 years, all of the oils contain natural products and are made in the UK and the packaging is 100% recyclable. Continue reading →
For those of you who follow the blog regularly you’ll know that The Bloke enjoys a lot of the perks that the blog affords me, particularly when it involves reviewing a restaurant, piece of tech equipment or a show. There are certain elements, however, such as make-up samples and beauty products that he has never got as excited about – this is a guy who can’t differentiate between eyeliner and lipstick (mainly because he doesn’t wear either) – so when I was asked to try out a new fragrance for men, he stepped up and got his review hat on to test it out for me.
As a woman, I’m quite picky when it comes to men’s fragrances, as I find many of them to be rather strong and overpowering (particularly when half a bottle is used on one go as many of my teenage students do), and The Bloke only wears aftershave when we go out, so I was interested to find out what he (and I) thought.
Gruhme No.14 (which retails at £45), is the second in the brand, and is labelled as a more concentrated version of their original fragrance (14% instead of the 10% of the original). It is the brainchild of Rob Hallmark, a former corporate lawyer who developed his own men’s products after finding it difficult to identify with a prominent male brand. It’s already proving to be a hit, winning the Beauty Shortlist Award for Best Masculine Fragrance. Continue reading →
One of my favourite foods has always been Chinese, and yet The Bloke and I rarely visit any local Chinese restaurants, despite the fact that there are some incredible places to eat in Birmingham.
Last week The Bloke and I were lucky enough to be invited to the Chinese Moon Feastival – a celebration and a charity fundraiser for the Birmingham Big Art Project (with the objective being to commission and install a piece of high quality public art that will encourage international recognition) – that was held at three different Chung Ying restaurants across the city.
It was hosted by James Wong, MD of Chung Ying, Chairman of the Chinese festival committee and Birmingham Business Man of the Year. Continue reading →