Hiya guys! How are you doing?! Today I'm taking things right back to the good old days of blogging with a classic 'What's in my bag post! Back in the early 2010's (the prime days of blogging) everyone who was anyone was pushing out these kind posts like their lives depended on it! And I should know, I published a fair few myself!

But let's be honest, while blogging has changed and evolved a hell of a lot over the last decade, we're still as nosy as ever and we still want to know what everyone is carrying around in their bags! So I'm going to tell you! I can't promise I have anything particularly interesting in my little leather Zatchels bag BUT I can promise you nothing but honesty.

Grace is holding a black leather messenger bag up to the camera

 

So what is in my bag?



Lip Balm

Okay I'm going to be honest, I am a Lip Balm hoarder! It's actually starting to become a bit of an addiction, but I'm telling you now I wouldn't be caught dead without my favourite Nivea Peach Lip Balm.

Hand Sanitiser

Shocker - I've got a bottle of Hand Sanitizer in my bag. Before the pandemic Sanitizer was something I would occasionally take out with me on day trips or holidays, you know any time I'd be going on planes or trains, but now I can't see myself leaving the house without it. I've tried out a fair few bottles over the last 12 months but I can safely say the one liked the most was a Strawberry Laces Hand Sanitizer from Carex. 


Grace is holding two lip balms in her hand. One is an original Nivea lip balm, the other is a Nivea Peach Flavoured Lip Balm.


Hand Cream

As a someone who suffers with eczema this pandemic has been an extra nightmare. all the excessive hand washing has dried my hands out more than ever before so I'd be crazy not to have a cream on hand (ha) at all times! I've been through my fair share of creams over the years, but right now I'm loving the Body Shop Grapefruit Hand Cream. It's pocket sized, smells unreal, and does a pretty decent job on my dry skin.

A facemask (or 7)

I couldn't write about my pandemic survival guide kit without mentioning facemasks! They're the accessory of the season for all the wrong reasons but they're kind of a must have right now. I seem to have an ever growing collection of masks, most of which I picked up from Savers for just a couple pounds each.


A black leather handbag is lying open on a bed. Multiple items are spilling out from within.


Beat up old Asos purse

One day I will be the proud owner of a beautiful Vivienne Westwood purse, but until then I am the slightly less proud owner of this beat up Asos purse which I've had for far too long. I've been wanting to replace it for quite some time now but I just haven't found anything that is the right size with the ideal amount of card spaces and room for coins too!

Perfume

Not sure who I'm trying to impress right now with my sweet scents but I always carry a perfume with me. Even if I'm just nipping to the supermarket, and let's be real that's all we can do right now, I'll still pack my all time favourite Avon perfume - Rare Pearls!


Grace is holding a small clear bottle of hand sanitozer.


So that's it! All the goodies I lug around with my in my bag while the pandemic rages on around me. While this 'what's in my bag' post is quite a bit different to the others, it was nice to get back to blogging basics again, and who knows maybe I'll write another in a few years (minus the rona protection of course!).

What are your pandemic handbag essentials?

Thanks for reading!



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Birmingham, UK

WHAT'S IN MY BAG - PANDEMIC SURVIVAL KIT

*Trigger warning*


Ever since I can remember, prepping for a holiday has been one of my favourite things to do. Rushing around the shops grabbing some last minute toiletries and adding a few too many new outfits to the trolly has always been a fond past time for me. And so when I arrived at Merry Hill shopping centre in March 2008 to do just that I was excited, little did I know what I would actually be taking home with me. 


Grace sits in front of a mural. she is looking off to the side.

Myself and my family spent the day in and out of shops picking out new clothes for our trip to Dorset the following week, and while the shopping spree was hell on earth for my Dad, I was having the time of my life trying on all my new outfits. After what would have been hours of browsing, were came across a fashion show on the bottom floor of the shopping center, and me being me I had to watch it. Luckily we were on a higher floor and so our view of the catwalk beneath us was perfect. I could see every beautiful model, every pretty little dress, and better yet my parents weren't finished shopping yet so I could enjoy the whole thing in peace. 

With my little sister sat happily on a bench a few feet away I leaned over the glass barrier to watch the show below. Within minutes I was consumed by the catwalk and completely oblivious to the world around me, that was until I heard a group of boys walk up behind. 

I could hear them talking but as the show still had my attention I paid it no mind and continued enjoying the presentation. Then I realised how close they had gotten to me. As a shy teenager I would avoid confrontation like the plague but these boys were getting a little too close for comfort, and just as I was about to turn around I felt it. Like an electric shock hitting my spine I felt a hand touch my back and slowly move downwards. I could hear them giggling as their friend touched me, gradually moving down further and further. "You're going all the way down her back!" one of the bunch exclaimed, but it wouldn't be long before his hand had reached the top of my bum. 

They say when faced with danger your fight or flight reaction kicks in, but they rarely mention that actually sometimes you freeze. Sometimes you are so overwhelmed by the situation that your body tenses, you can't escape, and so you just stay, frozen by fear but unable to even scream. That's exactly what I did. 

The lads, who seemed maybe a few years older than myself, soon left but I didn't dare turn around. Why on earth didn't I turn around? Why didn't I stop them, or at the very least push them away? I'm not sure I'll ever truly know why I didn't fight back in that moment. 

And so I watched the show until the end, unsure if I'd imagined everything that had just happened. I couldn't bare to ask my sister if she had witnessed anything because what even was there to see? A couple of boys touched my lower back and bum for a few seconds? And I never spoke about the ordeal with anyone because it just seemed so trivial when I compared it to what others had been through. I never spoke about it until now that is because actually, I've come to realise it was assault. I was sexually assaulted at 13 and even if I can sometimes brush it off as 'boys being boys' it's stayed with me, always.

I've replayed the situation in my head a thousand times and to this day I can't make sense of it, but I guess that's the thing with situations like that, they don't need to make sense. I was a child, I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't encourage attention, it was just something that happened to me.

There have been other instances since then of course, unwanted touching by male acquaintances, inappropriate kissing by much older family members and friends, or just straight up grabbing by strangers in bars, but thankfully all have been quite mild compared to other's experiences. Growing up these things were just a fact of life for a girl but no more. 

I am done with listening to horrible statistics of women being assaulted and raped and murdered by men. This shouldn't be the way things are. And so I'll add my story to the mix, as minor as it may be, and I'll stand up whenever I see injustice against women because I cannot take history repeating itself with girl after girl after girl.

Every woman has a story like mine or worse, and that's not okay.

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What can we do to change this for future generations of women?

While I agree not all men are like this, it's a fact that almost all women have been inappropriately touched by men, or catcalled as they walk the streets. So while women can (and always have) done things to try keep themselves safe this is a male issue.

Men, we are going to need you to take a good look at yourselves and the way you have been brought up to treat girls and women. We need you to call out your friends when they make unwanted comments or advances. You are going to have to stop honking your horns at children as they walk home from school. The list could go on, there is a lot of work to do.

We need to end this violence against women.

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There is currently a petition to make street harassment a crime in the UK. If you feel strongly about protecting women, please click the link below to sign it.




Thank you for reading!




Birmingham, UK

THE FIRST TIME I WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED I WAS 13

This year Mother's Day falls on the 14th of March, so if you haven't got that special lady a gift just yet, you'd better act fast! But what do you get the most influential woman in your life? Well if you're from Birmingham, I already know one thing you're definitely going to be hunting down this March - a "Mom" card. We don't do "Mum", "Mam" or "Mother" here!


A selection of cards are gifts from small Birmingham businesses

I'll also assume (because you're reading this gift guide) that you're a good Brummie who is looking to support some great Birmingham businesses this Mother's Day, so I'll try to help you out the best I can!


I've popped together a list of fantastic Birmingham independent's supplying all of the things your Mom could possibly want. From flowers arranged by born and bred Brummies to bevs brewed right here in the second city, I'd like to think I've got it all covered!


Oh and I've even tracked down a couple of Mom cards too! You're welcome!



So here it is, my ultimate Brummie Mothers Day Gift Guide...




Plants and flowers


Jungle Houseplants


Birmingham based houseplant shop with delivery across the UK. Gifts, greetings cards, and gift cards are also available. 


Isherwood & Co


Florist and houseplant shop based on Stirchley high street in south Birmingham. Mother's day bouquets, gifts, and cards available to order.


A bouquet of mixed flower from a small birmingham business
Isherwood & Co - Based in Stirchley


Easy Plants


Houseplants, garden plants, artificial plants and more, all available for delivery across the UK.


Urban Design Flowers


Hall Green based florist offering bouquets, gifts, cards, balloons, and more. 


Petals of Piccadilly


A boutique florist based in Piccadilly Arcade in Birmingham City Centre.



A bouquet of yellow flowers
Flowers at Moor Street


Flowers at Moor Street 


Fresh flowers, house plants, and gifts available to buy online or from Moor Street Station.




Health and beauty


Mudd beauty 


A vegan and cruelty free makeup brand based right here in Birmingham.

Currently 20% off with code MARCH21


Harvest Skincare 


An independant skincare company based in Kings Heath. Facials, massages, and others treatments are also available.


A selection of bottles and jars filled with beauty products from Harvest skincare
Harvest Skincare - Based in Kings Heath in South Birmingham

Shakina Spa 


Dry Spa in the centre of Birmingham. Treatments, gift vouchers, and spa products available.


Moor Hall Hotel & Spa 


Spa hotel based in Sutton Coldfield. Treatments available from 12th April. 




Clothes, jewellery, and accessories

 

Urban Village Vintage 


Vintage clothes, accessories, books, and records.


People


Clothes, accessories, homeware and more. 


A pair of forget me not earrings
Working Clasp

Working Clasp 


Laser cut jewellery, DIY craft kits, and workshops available.


A Typical Thing 


Minimal recycled silver jewellery. Designed and made in Brum.



A gold sycamore seed necklace
Hannah Kyrikou Jewellery

Hannah Kyriakou jewellery 


Botanical inspired jewellery handmade in Birmingham's world famous Jewellery Quarter.




Food and drink


The Early Bird Bakery


Independent bakery based in Kings Heath. Cakes, Vouchers available. The Mother's Day Afternoon tea available is currently sold out.


A selection of cakes from Early Bird Bakery in Birmingham
Early Bird Bakery - Based in Kings Heath



Three Church Road 


Restaurant and bistro based in Edgbaston. Takeaway Afternoon Tea available for collection.


Bean Green Kitchen 


Sutton Coldfield based Deli and Salad Bar. Breakfast, Brunch, Afternoon Tea, and graze boxes available. 



A cocktail from Pineapple Club in Birmingham City Centre
Pineapple Club - A new City Centre Cocktail Bar


Pineapple Club


A new Birmingham based cocktail bar. Pre made cocktails available for delivery.


Grace + James


Kings Heath based shop and deli selling Wine, cheese, hampers and more.


A selection of cheeses available at Grace + James in South Birmingham
Grace + James


Loki Wines


Natural wines and gift cards available.




Cards, gifts, and wrapping


Folks Like These

Stationary, books, greetings cards and more.


You Got This Club


Funky cards, gifts, hampers, and more.


Rachel Alice Art


Greetings cards and prints. "Mom" cards available!


A mothers day card showing a hand drawn bouquet with the word "mom" on the gift tag
Rachel Alice Art


Laura The Drawer


Greetings cards, stickers, and prints. "Mom" cards available!


Marenzo Designs


Cards, stickers, wine labels, and more. "Mom" cards available!


Baby Aid Birmingham


A Brummie charity selling mothers day cards to help families with young children. "Mom" cards available!


A greetings card with the text "Mom you're bostin!"
Cards By Banks

Cards By Banks


Fun Brummie greetings cards. "Mom" cards available!




So with all these fantastic Birmingham Businesses selling all kinds of cards and gifts, I'm sure you'll be able to pick up a thing or two for your Mom this Mother's Day whilst also supporting some great independent sellers!


Let me know if you've grabbed any goodies from the businesses lifted above, and if you think I've missed off any fab Brummie brands give me a shout in the comments!


 Thanks for reading!



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Birmingham, UK

THE ULTIMATE BRUMMIE MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE

Christmas, the most wonderful time of year and one of the most celebrated holidays on the calendar. Around 2 billion people celebrate Christmas each year so it's no surprise that the film industry capitalises on this and churns out tonnes of festive movies!


But what if you're a bit of a Grinch when it comes to watching well, the Grinch? What if the thought of seeing Home Alone again has you running for the snow covered hills? What if actually you don't give a shit about love? Well do I have just the thing for you!


GRACE IS WEARING A RED CHRISTMAS JUMPER WITH SEQUIN TEXT THAT READS "HOW ABOUT SNOW?'

Most people enjoy watching a film or seven over the Christmas break but not everyone wants to watch yet another Santa saturated movie, and guess what? You don't have to!


Here are 55 feel good films to watch over the festive season that aren't about Christmas!



Romance Films (that won't include any Christmas proposals or festive weddings)


- Holiday In The Wild

- Ibiza

- Blended 

- About Time

- 13 Going On 30

- Notting Hill

- Chalet Girl




Comedy Films (with zero festive cheer)


- The Hustle

- The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, The Hangover Part III

- Forgetting Sarah Marshall 

- White Chicks

- We're The Millers 

- Bad Moms




Musicals (without an ounce of Christmas spirit)


- Mamma Mia & Mamma Mia Here We Go Again

- The Greatest Showman

- Across The Universe 

- Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga

- Yesterday 

- Sunshine On Leith




Quirky Films (that probably won't feature any reindeer) 


- Mr Roosevelt

- Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist 

- Little Miss Sunshine 

- The Runaways

- The Fundamentals Of Caring 

- The Breaker Uppers

- Safety Not Guaranteed 



Coming Of Age Films (that aren't about Christmas)


- Sierra Burgess Is a Loser 

- To All The Boys I've Loved Before & To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You

- Angus Thongs & Perfect Snogging  

- Lady Bird 

- Clueless 

- Wild Child

- Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants

 



Animated / Disney Films (that might feature a snowman or two, sorry!)


- Frozen & Frozen 2

- Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

- The Jungle Book

- Flushed Away

- The Little Mermaid & The Little Mermaid II: Return To The Sea

- Monsters Inc

- Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek The Third, Shrek Forever After

- The Lion King, The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, The Lion King 1 1/2

- Aristocats 



So those are 55 of the best feel good films to watch over the festive season that aren't about Christmas!



What will you be watching this year? Are festive films your guilty pleasure, or will you be opting for an anti Christmas movie instead? Whatever you decide I hope you have a fab Xmas and a wonderful life  😉


Thanks for reading!


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THE SAME IMAGE OF GRACE REPEATED WITH THE WORDS "55 FEEL GOOD FILMS TO WATCH OVER THE FESTIVE SEASON THAT AREN'T ABOUT CHRISTMAS" UNDERNEATH THE PHOTO


Birmingham, UK

55 FEEL GOOD FILMS TO WATCH OVER THE FESTIVE SEASON THAT AREN'T ABOUT CHRISTMAS

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