52 weeks in Brum

Emma Victoria Stokes

  • Damascena opens fifth coffee house in Birmingham
    by emmastokes on 27th October 2022 at 9:42 am

    Middle Eastern cafe, Damascena is a vibrant city-born artisan coffee and food business that has expanded further into the city. The brand new Damascena addition, ideally located on Hagley Road, enables customers to experience the taste of the Middle East right here in Birmingham. In addition to its gorgeous Turkish coffee, Damascena is renowned for ... The post Damascena opens fifth coffee house in Birmingham appeared first on Emma Victoria Stokes.

  • A Trip To The British Motor Museum
    by emmastokes on 29th September 2022 at 1:08 pm

    #Ad-Gifted Tickets | With over 400 classic cars to admire, a range of interactive family activities and free tours to enjoy – families and petrolheads alike can enjoy a brilliant day out whilst exploring more than 120 years of heritage at the British Motor Museum. For years, the British motor industry has been both a vital and ... The post A Trip To The British Motor Museum appeared first on Emma Victoria Stokes.

  • How Businesses Can Sustain & Grow In The Current Climate
    by emmastokes on 25th July 2022 at 12:40 pm

    This post is a collaboration with Twill – all experiences are my own. On January 3 2018, I handed in my notice at my full-time job and catapulted into the world of freelancing. With just two clients under my belt and £500 in my bank account, this could have been catastrophic for my mortgage payments ... The post How Businesses Can Sustain & Grow In The Current Climate appeared first on Emma Victoria Stokes.

  • The Butterfly Farm: Stratford-upon-Avon
    by emmastokes on 6th June 2022 at 11:31 am

    A popular visitor attraction in Warwickshire, was invited to experience the UK’s largest butterfly paradise. A tropical environment simulated inside a large greenhouse, this is home to free flying butterflies and other animals. Ad-gifted experience. A wonderful family-friendly experience, the Stratford Butterfly Farm is one of the finest and biggest butterfly attractions in the country. ... The post The Butterfly Farm: Stratford-upon-Avon appeared first on Emma Victoria Stokes.

  • Bloom Cafe – Solihull
    by emmastokes on 25th May 2022 at 1:11 pm

    A new coffee, breakfast and brunch cafe – Bloom is open 7 days a week in Solihull and serves some of the most beautifully presented dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. I want to tell you first off what made this place stand out for me. It was not only the food, but the lovely team ... The post Bloom Cafe – Solihull appeared first on Emma Victoria Stokes.

The Thing Thang

  • The ‘sticky sandwich’ nail hack to making polish last (ad•gifted)
    by Ting on 14th April 2021 at 5:30 am

    There is something a little bit throwback about the ‘sticky sandwich’ nail hack. I first discovered it years ago before gel nails became my go to. I’m hard on my hands so finding ways for nail polish to look good beyond two days is a challenge. With the ongoing pandemic restrictions, I’ve rediscovered the ‘sticky sandwich’ nail hack as a way to make regular nail polish last. The basis of this technique is to sandwich your colour nail polish between layers of a ‘sticky’ base coat. I love to use the Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat (£14.99). This works with any brand or colour […]

  • Pixi Beauty Rose Bodytreats (ad•gifted)
    by Ting on 26th March 2021 at 6:30 am

    I am a huge fan of the Pixi Beauty Rose range of skincare. It’s hydrating and caring for my dry and dehydrated skin. Excitingly, Pixi Beauty have brought out a range called Rose Bodytreats. This is what my skin needs in the lead up to spring. It’s a time when I might dare to put away those winter woolies and reach for the lighter layers instead. The first Rose Bodytreats product is the Pixi Beauty Rose Body Cleanser (£18). This is a nourishing cream body cleanser . The formula is rich in flower oils so it gently cleanses skin whilst also hydrating and softening. I found this rich cream […]

  • Dermalogica Hydro Masque Exfoliant (ad•gifted)
    by Ting on 18th January 2021 at 6:30 am

    There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a decent face mask to pep my skin during all this time at home. It’s so important to use a good exfoliating product once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells. This helps active skincare products to absorb better into skin, helps makeup apply better and improves the general health of bare skin. I have been using the Dermalogica Hydro Masque Exfoliant (£55) in my Sunday self care routine for the past few months and loving it. The Dermalogica Hydro Masque Exfoliant is a hydrating and exfoliating mask treatment. It suits all skin types but […]

  • Little Blackwood bao at home | pandemic life
    by Ting on 14th December 2020 at 6:30 am

    Trying to arrange a birthday celebration during a pandemic is challenging. Our usual celebrations involve meals and possibly drinks out with friends and family. Maybe even multiple outings depending on the occasion. With the current pandemic, we are adapting so we marked my husband’s birthday with a Little Blackwood bao takeaway. We had some good fortune that Little Blackwood were doing their bao specials at the right time. It’s not their usual offering but with covid19, businesses are doing what they can to adapt to ever changing guidelines. We ordered a Family Bao Box (£79), with 20 […]

  • The ethical Christmas jumper to wear all year round
    by Ting on 7th December 2020 at 6:30 am

    Trying to dress more sustainably for me involves thinking about all the ways I can utilise what I have. I don’t want to keep buying things for one specific occasion without considering longevity and cost per wear. Given that most of my clothes are currently in storage whilst I await my house move, I was considering how I was going to dress for the colder British winter – and Christmas. I found a few great options but this ethical Christmas jumper (£34) from Rock on Ruby is perfect as it works all year round – not just the lead up to 25th December. Firstly, the slogan speaks to my […]

The Gastronomic Gorman

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Strangeness & Charm

  • The season of self care
    by Hayley on 31st October 2022 at 1:42 pm

    As I’ve been getting older, I’ve realised how important self care is. There are so many different ways to practice self care, but the best way to start is by looking after your body. I make sure that I take time out at least once a week for a pamper. Even if that just means that I have a soak in the bath, it makes all the difference. Bath bombs When I do get the time to have a bath, I really like to make the most of it and I will often use a bath bomb. Obviously they can be very expensive, especially for something that just dissolves! I have been trying out a couple of new brands and have […]

  • Perfect gifts for autumn
    by Hayley on 31st October 2022 at 10:42 am

    It may be a bit too early to start using the ‘C word’ but I have a lot of birthdays coming up before December so I have been buying plenty of gifts! I find that you can get so many good gifts on Notino, they have something for everyone and never disappoint. Candles You can’t go wrong with a good candle, especially at this time of year. There’s nothing better than getting home after a long, cold day and lighting a scented candle. One of my favourite brands for scented candles is DW Home. I have a lot of their candles myself and often buy them as gifts. Recently I have picked up a […]

  • Three nights at the Titanic Hotel, Belfast
    by Hayley on 25th October 2022 at 5:15 pm

    A stay at the Titanic Hotel, Belfast is not something I would usually splash out on. If you know me, you’ll know that I always like to travel on a budget. When I go away on my own, I’ll stick to hostels or the occasional Premier Inn. I had a trip to Belfast planned to see The National since 2019 which kept getting postponed. The last time it was rescheduled, I decided I was going to treat myself to a nice hotel. I had a look on and found a great deal at the Titanic Hotel, Belfast. Location The Titanic Hotel is located in Belfast’s famous Titanic Quarter. Directly opposite […]

  • Autumn skincare
    by Hayley on 29th September 2022 at 1:12 pm

    Keeping my skin in good condition is even more important to me in the colder months. I naturally have quite dry skin, so I need to make sure I keep on top of my skincare routine. Skin hydration is a really important part of any skincare routine, whether it is on your face or the rest of your body. I have recently been trying out a couple of products from Mario Badescu. Mario Badescu is a brand that I have heard a lot about, however I had never actually tried anything until this year. One of the products that I have been using regularly is the face mist. I always have a face mist as part of my […]

  • New products in my autumn routine
    by Hayley on 28th September 2022 at 1:12 pm

    It’s finally autumn! My favourite time of year and that’s not just because it’s my birthday. I love being able to layer up in jumpers, scarves and coats. I love the colours of autumn and of course I also enjoy not being too hot all the time. This year I’ve decided to experiment with more autumnal colours in my makeup routine. To me, autumn is all about burnt oranges, deep reds, golden yellows and jewel tones. So I have picked up a 3INA 24H Eye Stick in a burnt orange shade. This is a new product for me, I don’t usually use eye shadow sticks, so I’ve had some fun experimenting with […]

Digital Birmingham

  • Project Gigabit - Public Review Launch for Lot 35 - Birmingham and the Black Country
    by suritasolanki on 10th October 2022 at 9:00 am

    The government is on a mission to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband to everyone in the UK and is investing £5 billion in Project Gigabit to ensure that hard-to-reach communities are not left out. Building Digital UK (BDUK) is carrying out a Public Review to help identify areas in Birmingham and the Black Country that may be suitable for future public funding for gigabit-capable broadband. BDUK is seeking information and supporting evidence from suppliers - in relation to the presence of gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure within the project area.  They wish to hear from […]

  • Event: Understanding Birmingham's Digital Offer
    by suritasolanki on 3rd August 2022 at 7:30 am

    It was so wonderful to see so many partners and leading organisations from Birmingham's digital tech and innovation eco-system join us for yesterdays #B2022 breakfast event on ‘Understanding Birmingham’s Digital Offer’. Lots of conversation discussing future opportunities to develop the city's digital capabilities for all to thrive in! Thank you to Peter Bishop for chairing the event and for the invaluable insight from partners Yiannis Maos and Joanna Birch.

  • ​Staying Ahead of the Game: Understanding Birmingham's Digital Offer
    by suritasolanki on 25th July 2022 at 3:30 pm

    Peter Bishop and Raj Mack will be joined by partners Yiannis Maos and Joanna Birch on 3 August for a digital breakfast briefing. Do join us to find out more about #Birmingham's digital offer; the critical building blocks that we are collaboratively putting in place and our ambitious smart city plans that makes us proud to #BeBoldBeBirmingham For more information and to register, please visit -

  • Demystifying the Smart City - working towards better implementation
    by suritasolanki on 11th July 2022 at 4:30 pm

    techUK, in collaboration with its Smart City Working Group, has published a new report which outlines how cities and technology businesses are rethinking the approach to planning and delivering smart cities to overcome complexity and drive step changes in public service and infrastructure provision. Aimed towards cities developing smart city capabilities, the report – “Demystifying the Smart City – working towards better implementation” looks at fundamental steps councils must go through in the smart city value chain.  Our approach in Birmingham recognises the role the council […]

  • Jakarta Smart City visit Birmingham
    by suritasolanki on 20th May 2022 at 10:00 am

    It was an honour to welcome and host a government delegation from Jakarta on Wednesday visiting Birmingham along with other leading digital cities across the UK this week. Colleagues from Jakarta Smart City were keen to learn about Birmingham's smart city eco-system and to hear more of the council's digital city plans and approaches to data infrastructure and digital opportunities. The Digital City team were happy to share best practise on how the council is transforming and evolving it's digital infrastructure plans and utilising data-driven approaches to solving city challenges. It was […]

John Tyrrell

    by John on 17th April 2021 at 5:21 pm

    ISSUES & RESOURCES Sign posting human & multi-media resources to schools & beyond to combat inequalities, racism and injustice arising from our colonial experience.  ISSUES Introduction A group of teachers working through 70s, 80s and 90s, much of the time in Birmingham, are responding to requests for help and support in the present climate when

  • The Sewell Report
    by John on 14th April 2021 at 8:51 am

    2021 and another report on racism. Following on Black Lives Matter and the inequalities laid bare for all to see by Covid 19 and once more a disproportionate proportion of the burden on the Black community, particularly those working at the front line, in hospitals, in the care services. This latest report requested by the

  • Black Lives Matter. Implementing Rampton and Swann
    by John on 4th March 2021 at 6:30 pm

    In 2020 Black Lives Matter became a universal cry after another death of a Black person, George Floyd, caused uproar re-opening the Civil Rights’ Movement action 4 decades earlier. At the same time the pandemic, Covid 19, also laid bare gross inequalities, not least Black people, many of whom were prominent on the front line

  • Marketing Covid 19. Why testing won’t work in the UK
    by John on 17th September 2020 at 10:47 pm

    Testing for the presence of the Covid 19 virus was put into private hands like everything else in the world of neoliberal ideas – more or less dominating the whole of planet Earth. Questions were asked from the very beginning why Serco should be entrusted with tracking and tracing when they have shown themselves to

  • Re-opening schools
    by John on 26th May 2020 at 8:53 am

    The Socialist Labour Party issued the following statement from its Leader, Arthur Scargill on 2nd May, 2020 No Schools, Colleges or Universities should be re-opened until there is a drug to cure anyone infected by the virus or we have a vaccine to prevent it. In the event that a decision is made to re-open

Kristy Marie

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