Zo Skin Health with Dr SHP Aesthetics

Many of us have ongoing struggling with our skin, whether it be acne, ageing, sun damage or redness. Sometimes the drugstore products just don’t cut it, and results are usually temporary. This is where Zo Skin Health comes in to save the day!

What is Zo Skin Health?

Zo Skin Health is a medical grade skincare range created by world renowned dermatologist Dr Zein Obagi. Zo Skin Health offers a comprehensive range of innovative skincare solutions based on the latest advances in skincare technology to suit every skin type. Zo Skin Health aims to create and maintain healthy skin regardless of your skincare condition, there is a product to solve every issue.

Why is Zo Skin Health Different?

Zo Skin Health is medical grade skincare that contains a higher concentration of active ingredients than those found within drugstore products. Additionally, the products can only be stocked and prescribed by Zo authorised skin professionals, who have extensive skincare knowledge. The formulations of the products are continuously innovated and refined as science progresses, to deliver outstanding results for every patient.

Zo Skin Health with Dr SHP Aesthetics

Dr SHP Aesthetics is an aesthetics company ran by Dr Shazia Parveen in Lichfield, Staffordshire. Dr Parveen specialises in dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections and has more recently become a Zo authorised skin professional. Dr Parveen offers expert skincare consultations and is able to tailor your skincare routine to fit your specific concerns. Zo Skin Health is able to target concerns such as –

  • Anti-ageing
  • Skin brightening
  • Acne
  • Redness
  • Rosacea
  • Sun damage
  • Sensitivity
  • Dark circles
  • Eye care

The Products

After an extensive consultation with Dr Parveen she prescribed me the complexion clearing programme, as well as additional products to combat my fine lines. The complexion clearing programme is targeting at treating blemish prone skin, featuring ingredients to minimise surface oil and exfoliate dead skin cells. The range consisted of –

  • Zo Skin Health exfoliating cleanser
  • Zo Skin Health exfoliating polish
  • Zo Skin Health complexion renewal pads
  • Zo Skin Health complexion clearing mask

The exfoliating cleanser has a very gentle exfoliating texture and is very creamy on the skin. It rids the skin of dirt and surface oil, unclogs pores with gentle exfoliation and soothes irritated skin. The product contains jojoba esters which exfoliates and provides hydration, as well as encapsulated vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant. Small quantities of salicylic acid are also found within the product to help unclog pores.

The exfoliating polish is a magnesium crystal based exfoliating product which is to be used 2-3 times a week. The ultra fine magnesium crystals instantly polish the skin removing dead skin cells and help to restore smoother texture. For extra antioxidant effect it also contains vitamin A, C and E.

The complexion clearing masque is a natural clay based mask that purifies the skin and absorbs access oils that lead to breakouts. The mask contains sulphur which actively treats acne by reducing sebum and calming irritation. Kaolin and bentonite within the mask absorb surface oils and help to clean out pores, reducing the appearance of blackheads. The mask also contains glycerine which helps to restore the skins natural barrier function to keep it in top condition.

The complexion renew pads are moistened dual action exfoliating pads which remove dead skin cells and reduce oil to prevent clogged pores. They also act to sooth skin and reduce irritation. They contain glycolic acid which acts as a chemical epidermal exfoliant, salicylic acid which is a beta hydroxy acid that unclogs pores and botanical extracts to help to sooth the skin.

To treat my under eye fine line wrinkles, Dr Parveen also prescribed me the Zo Skin Health intense eye créme. This contains retinol to encourage collagen production as well as skin cell turnover, mica and titanium dioxide which acts as an optical diffuser to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and vitamin E to act as a powerful antioxidant. The product also contains matrixyl 3000, which are peptides that work to promote the skins elasticity and collagen production. MDI complex is also added, which is a marine glycosaminoglycan that restores hydration and inhibits collagen breakdown.

Zo Skin Health have various programmes targeted at different skincare concerns, which can all be altered to your own needs. The products really speak for themselves and contain expert skincare ingredients that are scientifically proven to be effective, providing a comprehensive approach to creating and maintaining healthy skin.

How to Book a Consultation

Dr Parveen from Dr SHP Aesthetics is one of the few Zo authorised skin professionals located within staffordshire, and the only one within Lichfield. To book in a free expert consultation you can contact Dr Parveen directly via the Dr SHP Aesthetics Instagram page @drshpaesthetics. Additionally, Dr Parveen offers trial programmes that are available for people who would like to try out the products without purchasing a full programme. If you are struggling with your skincare I definitely recommend you pay a visit, you certainly won’t regret it!

Disclaimer: I was given these products on a promotional basis, however all opinions are genuine and my own.

South Staffordshire Mother’s Day Gift Guide

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start ordering from the wonderful, independent business that south Staffordshire has to offer! I’ve compiled a short list of my favourite businesses local to Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield that are all offering fantastic gifts to make this years Mother’s Day even more special.

Cakes & Afternoon Tea

Rochers Patisserie

@rocherspatisserie

Rochers Patisserie is an artisan patisserie in Sutton Coldfield ran by highly skilled pastry chef Howing, who has previously worked in Michelin star restaurants and 5* hotels. For Mother’s Day Rochers Patisserie are offering a standard and a vegetarian afternoon tea both priced at £25 per person. They both include an array of savoury and sweet offerings, such as ‘chicken with smoked bacon and black truffle mayonnaise in a lardo milk bun’ and ‘lemon and yuzu drizzle gateau opera’.

www.rochers.co.uk

Update: Rochers Patisserie have now sold out for Mother’s Day but are extending their afternoon tea to 15th March with places still available

The Cake Spa

@thecakespa

The Cake Spa, ran by expert baker Laura and located in Lichfield, is offering an array of beautiful baked goods this Mother’s Day. Galaxy ripple marshmallow bars, lemon meringue fluff pies, cupcakes, chocolate cookie boxes, cooking baking boxes, and biscoff fudge making kits are just some of the wonderful things The Cake Spa has to offer! Please visit their website for more information.

www.thecakespa.co.uk

Bethel Bakery

@bethelbakeryuk

Bethel Bakery in Sutton Coldfield is offering delicious Mother’s Day treat boxes and brownie pizzas! The treat boxes come in two different sizes, priced at £30 for the larger gift box and £20 for the smaller box, which box include an array of hand baked goodies. The brownie pizza is a large delicious iced brownie priced at £27.

www.bethelbakery.co.uk

Ego Mediterranean Lichfield

@egolichfield

Ego Mediterranean in Lichfield are offering delicious afternoon teas, as well as gluten free and vegetarian afternoon teas, priced at just £12.95 per person. Each afternoon tea includes a selection of sandwiches, mini ego desserts, and a scone with clotted cream and jam. At just £12.50 it’s great value and great quality!

https://www.egorestaurants.co.uk/mothers-day-afternoon-tea-lichfield/

Mabel’s at The Stable

@mabels_at_thestable

Mabel’s at the stable, located in Curborough countryside centre are offering three different delicious boxes this Mother’s Day all priced at only £15 per box. First is the afternoon tea box which includes an array of sweet treats and sandwiches. Secondly is their cake box which contains 4 assorted scones, 6 assorted slices of Mabel’s sponge cake, 6 finger slices of tray bakes, biscuits, meringues and additional treats. The last box on offer is the homemade savoury box that contains a delicious array of goods such as quiche, terrines, meatloaf, premium cooked meats, cheese scones, cheese, sausage, free range boiled eggs and chutney. With such delicious offerings, Mabel’s are not one to miss!

https://www.curboroughcountrysidecentre.com/mabels-at-the-stable

Bean Green Kitchen

@bgkitchen_

Bean Green Kitchen is a deli sandwich and salad bar located in Mere Green. This Mother’s Day they are offering a delicious afternoon tea, which includes an extensive sandwich selection, savoury treats, two scones with jam and clotted cream, cakes, tarts, brownies, fresh fruit, chocolates and chocolate coated strawberries. It is such an amazing selection for only £20 per person!

https://www.bgkitchen.co.uk/takeaway-menus/

Moor Hall Hotel

@moorhallhotel

The four star country house hotel, Moor Hall Hotel, which is located in Sutton Coldfield is offering delightful afternoon teas for Mother’s Day. The afternoon tea includes an array of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, an a selection of cakes all made by their patisserie chef. The afternoon tea priced at £18 per adult and £12 per child also comes on a Moor Hall Hotel branded tea caddie. For £26 per adult and £20 per child they’re also offering a 3 course lunch takeaway with some fantastic options if afternoon tea isn’t your thing!

www.moorhallhotel.co.uk

Strawberry Fields Farm

@strawberryfarmcoffee

Strawberry fields farm and coffee shop is a delightful outdoor farm shop and takeaway located in Burntwood. They’re offering their standard afternoon tea but with some added goodies, such as quiche, grapes, Italian bread sticks, San pelligrino and a bunch of daffodils or tulips. You can get all this for just £14.50 per person!

https://www.facebook.com/strawberryfieldsfarmcoffeeshop/
 
 

Meals & Meal Kits

Dine at Home with TCS

@dahlichfield

Dine At Home is a Lichfield based business, that brings together the best chefs in the country to create a fine dining experience, in the comfort of your own home. Renowned chef Tom Shepherd, who was previously head chef at Michelin starred Birmingham restaurant Adam’s, each week creates an exquisite three course menu that he prepares. This is then ready for you reheat or bake at home, with clear and easy instructions for each course. Dine At Home will also deliver to the local area of Lichfield for free and can be delivered nationally for an extra charge. This Mother’s Day they’re offering an exquisite 3 course meal, accompanied with a cotswold seceded load and baileys fudge. The price for this is £65 per person, and more information regarding the menu can be found on the website!

https://dine-athome.co.uk

Dubberley Delicious

@dubberleydelicious

This Lichfield based dining at home experience is ran by chef Jack Dubberley, who has worked previously in a two AA rosette establishment. Dubberley Delicious puts an emphasis on using fresh, local, seasonal produce as well as supporting other local businesses. Their Mother’s Day dine at home boxes consist of an expertly constructed 3 course meal, along with bread and a little treat to end with, priced at just £40 per person! If you fancy treating your mother to a lovely meal to remember then check out their website.

https://www.dubberleydelicious.co.uk/dine-at-home

Sticky Beaks

@sticky_beaks

Sticky Beaks are street food traders that specialise in slow roasted meats and worldwide flavours. This Mother’s Day they’re bringing their slow cooked goodness to you with a delicious 3 course menu priced at only £40 for two people. Starting with ‘cheesy garlic mushrooms served on a flatbread’, followed by the main which is a choice of either ‘slow cooked Argentinian spiced lamb with mint chimichurri and Stilton cheese’ or ‘slow cooked beef bourguignon’. Both are served with creamy dauphinois potatoes, roast potatoes and seasonal veg, followed up by homemade chocolate tart and lemon meringue tart served with cream.

https://m.facebook.com/stickybeaks/

Cornerstone Kitchen

@cornerstonekitch

Cornerstone kitchen are an independent bespoke catering company, serving restaurant quality food in the comfort of your own home. All the meals are homemade using the finest ingredients that are locally sourced where possible. This Mother’s Day they’re offering a delicious 4 course meal with free delivery within a 20 mile radius of Sutton Coldfield. The menu is priced at £35 per person and they’re also offering a children’s 4 course menu for just £20. For more information on the menus and what else is on offer then visit their website!

https://www.thecornerstonekitchen.com/services/mothers-day/

55 Wade Street

@55wadestreet

55 Wade Street, one of Lichfield’s popular eateries, is offering an ‘oven ready’ menu the enjoy at home for Mother’s Day. The menu isn’t set so you can choose whatever you like with starters priced from £5, mains from £12.50 and desserts from £6. You can order as much or as little as you like, but with the guarantee that it will all be delicious! You can find their Mother’s Day menu on their Facebook page.

https://facebook.com/55WadeStreet/
 
The Boat Inn

@theboatinn_

The Boat Inn is a rustic pub located in Lichfield, that has been award 3 AA rosettes and is also mentioned in the Michelin guide. Since being closed due to lockdown they have been offering weekly ‘heat at home’ boxes, where everything is prepared by expert chefs, ready for you to heat up at home. I have had a box myself and I cannot praise them enough! For Mother’s Day they are offering a three course meal (that also features a snack and a treat too) for £31.95, and vegan options for £29.95. This would be the perfect treat for any mother!

https://www.theboatinnlichfield.com/online-ordering

Flowers

Ivison Florist

@ivisonlichfieldflorist

Established in 1932, Ivison florists currently run by Hannah, has been a long standing business in Lichfield city centre. This Mother’s Day Hannah has made sure to spoil us with plenty of choice with her offerings. Some of the delights on offer are Ivison’s home scent hampers, floral baskets, cake grazing boxes from @rosiescakesx, an array of beautiful bouquets, and a cake box paired with flowers combination offer. With prices starting from just £15 there’s something for everyone’s price range!
 
 
https://www.ivisonthelichfieldflorist.co.uk/shop/mothers-day

Blossom by Kayleigh

@blossom_by_kayleigh

Blossom by Kayleigh is an independent floristry business, based in Birmingham, creating floral designs for any occasion. Blossom by Kayleigh has you covered this Mother’s Day with beautiful Mother’s Day bouquets, as well as virtual Mother’s Day bouquet boxes, which contain everything you need to make your own beautiful bouquet of flowers. The boxes also contain shortbread biscuits, fortnum and masons tea, and a keepsake note all for just £35!

https://blossombykayleigh.co.uk/

Flower Design Lichfield

@flowerdesignlichfield

Flower Design Lichfield, led by Lily, is a Lichfield based florist that is popular throughout Staffordshire. For Mother’s Day they’re offering an array of beautiful bouquets and arrangements of different prices and sizes, with prices starting at just £15. Flower Design Lichfield offers dried flowers as well as fresh to suit whichever you prefer. You can view their full list of offerings on their website.

https://flowerdesignoflichfield.co.uk/collections/mother-s-day/products

Prairie Dried Flowers UK

@prairie.driedflowersuk

Located in Sutton Coldfield, Prairie Dried Flowers UK specialises in beautiful hand arranged dried flowers to fit all budgets. From small bunches starting at just £15, and bouquets at £35 they make the perfect gift. They have the advantage over fresh flowers due to the fact they can last years if looked after well! For more information about what is available please contact Prairie Dried Flowers UK on Instagram.
 
 

Other Gifts

Heaven sent

@heavensentlichfield

Heaven Sent is a luxury salon spa located in a beautiful listed building on the scenic cobbled streets of Lichfield. Already having a branch in Sutton Coldfield, Heaven Sent opened the Lichfield branch in December 2019 offering an array of skin and beauty therapeutic treatments. They also offer an array of couples treatments, which is the perfect gift for anyone who needs some R&R. As well as gift vouchers Heaven Sent also boasts a selection high end skincare and beauty products, that can be packaged with a personalised note or tag if you wish. A new addition is their luxury home fragrance collection which includes reed diffusers and soy wax melts.

https://heavensentmidlands.co.uk/store/

SHP Aesthetics

@drshpaesthetics

Newly opened at the end of 2020, SHP Aesthetics is a dental and facial aesthetics specialist in Lichfield run by Dr Shazia Parveen. Dr Parveen offers cosmetic dentistry, anti wrinkle injections, dermal fillers and medical grade skincare. Highly trained in Zo Skin Health, Dr Parveen can prescribe you a tailored skincare routine, with products containing higher concentrations of active ingredients than shop brought products, so you really see the results. The anti-ageing and daily skin packages are the perfect gift to get your mothers skin glowing this Mother’s Day. For more information regarding treatments and prices, please contact Dr Parveen on Instagram.

Wright balloons

@wright_ballons

Wright Ballons is custom made balloon company in Lichfield. This Mother’s Day they’re offering these beautiful hot air balloons with high quality artificial flowers that will last forever. The boxes can also be personalised with a message for your loved ones, making the perfect gift. There is limited stock available, so to reserve yours please message them via their Instagram page.

Gift Her Gin

@gift_her_gin


Gift Her Gin is a Midlands based business specialising in gin experience gifts. They offer an array of beautiful gin gift boxes and hampers, with prices starting at just £19.95, delivered straight to your door. Whether you like pink gin, flavoured gins or plain, there’s a box for everyone! They have a great selection of gifts especially for Mother’s Day, so please check their website to see what they have on offer.
https://www.gifthergin.com/

Independent Business Christmas Gift Guide

So, that time of the year has come around again and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Some people hate it and some people love it, but if you’re looking to share a little love this Christmas then what better way to do it than with a gift purchased from an independent business. After the awful year we’ve had it’s now more important than ever to shop local and support your independent businesses, as you’re supporting your local economy and encouraging British entrepreneurship. So I’ve compiled a list containing some of my favourite independent businesses from Lichfield and the West Midlands, that produce some amazing products which would make the perfect gift this Christmas.

Staffordshire Distillery

@staffsdistil

Founded in 2018 and located near Lichfield, the Staffordshire Distillery produces craft batch hand bottled gin with a variety of flavours. Most famously, they produce their ‘Uisge Gin’, which is a premium blend of botanicals infused through copper and blended with mineral water from the Cairngorms. The Staffordshire Distillery also sell a boxed ‘miniatures’ selection, as well as a selection of gift hampers! Their 700ml bottles of gin are priced at £38.99, and the miniatures collection at only £15.99.

You can find out more about the Staffordshire Distillery and what they have to offer at www.staffordshiredistillery.com

Harriet’s Plants

@harriets.plants

Hailing from Lichfield, Harriet’s Plants is an indoor plant specialist business set up by Harriet herself, who made her dream a reality by starting up a business growing plants. Harriet’s Plants are the only peat free and plastic free grower of house plants within the whole UK.

You can purchase an array of beautiful indoor house plants, as well as botanical wares from www.harrietsplants.co.uk

The Cake Spa

@thecakespa

The Cake Spa is a delicious cake making business run by Laura, that not only offers bespoke cakes for all occasions , but also creates baking boxes which contain everything you need to create yummy treats! The baking boxes on offer always change and you can even purchase a yearly subscription to them! As well as baking boxing, Laura also runs ‘super Saturday’ where once a month, on a Saturday, you can bag yourself a variety of delicious cake slices for only £12 for 4 slices.

Head over to www.thecakespa.co.uk to check out what amazing goodies are on offer, as well as the new festive baking boxes.

Heaven Sent

@heavensentlichfield

Heaven Sent is a luxury salon spa located in a beautiful listed building on the scenic cobbled streets of Lichfield. Already having a branch in Sutton Coldfield, Heaven Sent opened the Lichfield branch in December 2019 offering an array of skin and beauty therapeutic treatments. They also offer an array of couples treatments, which is the perfect gift for anyone who needs some R&R. As well as gift vouchers Heaven Sent also boasts a selection high end skincare and beauty products, that can be packaged with a personalised note or tag if you wish.

To check out the treatments on offer with the price list and booking options, please visit Heaven Sent Treatments.

Or if you want to buy gift cards or products then head over to Heaven Sent Store.

The Staffordshire Craft Hamper Co

@the.staffs.craft.hamper.co


The Staffordshire Craft Hamper Co are producing limited edition hampers filled with artisan edibles from all around the Midlands. Offering a festive hamper and a breakfast hamper, both filled with a fantastic selection of products and with prices starting at just £37.00 this really is a hamper you can’t miss out on!

To find out more about The Staffordshire Craft Hamper Co and the local artisans featured in the hamper then head over to thestaffscrafthamper.co.uk.

Dine At Home With TCS

@dahlichfield

Dine At Home is a Lichfield based business, that brings together the best chefs in the country to create a fine dining experience, in the comfort of your own home. Renowned chef Tom Shepherd, who was previously head chef at Michelin starred Birmingham restaurant Adam’s, each week creates an exquisite three course menu that he prepares. This is then ready for you reheat or bake at home, with clear and easy instructions for each course. Every menu consists of the highest quality local produce and there are even wine pairings that you can opt in to have with the meal also. Dine At Home will also deliver to the local area of Lichfield for free and can be delivered nationally for an extra charge.

More information about upcoming menus, wine pairings and gift vouchers can be found here www.saucesupperclub.co.uk

The Punky Bunny

@thepunkybunny

The Punky Bunny is an eco friendly vegan gifts and paper goods business originating from Birmingham. This small business, ran by Emma, offers a selection of prints, cards, mugs, key rings and much more! Emma makes sure to make everything about the business as eco friendly as possible, using fully recyclable materials and local suppliers where possible.

To see everything Emma has to offer then head over to www.etsy.com/shop/thepunkybunny.

Miss Macaroon

@iammissmacaroon

Miss Macaroon is a Birmingham social enterprise, with 100% of their profits being used to help young people gain skills that change their lives; they also make delicious macaroons too! They offer box sets macaroons which can be delivered straight to your door, as well as Christmas social enterprise hampers. The hampers contain premium award winning products from other social enterprises. With each hamper purchased your not only receiving a basket of amazing goodies but you are also helping make a difference!

You can find out more about the good work Miss Macaroon do and check out what they have on offer at missmacaroon.co.uk.

Brummie Honey

@brummiehoney

Brummie Honey are a Sutton Coldfield based family of beekeepers that sell ethically produced, raw, unpasteurised honey. As well as honey, Brummie Honey also sell wax wraps, furniture polish and infused honey.

Head over to their Instagram page to keep up with all that they’re doing and to see what they’re currently selling , or visit brummiehoney.com for more information.

Brockswood Animal Sanctuary

@brockswood.cotwallend

Brockswood, located in Sedgley, is an animal sanctuary that cares and rehabilitated sick, injured, abused and unwanted animals. This non-profit organisation dedicates its time to creating a safe haven and you can help them do this by sponsoring an animal. Sponsoring one of the animals costs £30 and in return you receive a certificate, two pictures of your animal, an adult season pass allowing you to visit the sanctuary whenever you want (usually £3.50 per visit), a fact sheet about your animal, and your name displayed on the closure of your animal.

Earlier this year I sponsored Malcom the Emu and have been able to visit him numerous times. Sponsoring an animal makes the perfect gift for children and adults alike! You can learn more about Brockswood and how to sponsor an animal at www.brockswood.org.uk.

Country Grazing Co.

@countrygrazingco

The Country Grazing Co is a small business located in Filongley in Coventry. Run by Danielle, the Country Grazing Co creates grazing boxes and boards for all occasions, as well as veggie, vegan and brunch boxes. If you have more of a sweet tooth they also do sweet boxes! With boxes to serve 2-4 people priced at just £35 and sweet boxes to serve 2-4 people priced at £30 they’re the perfect gift for the whole family!

For more information about grazing boxes, sizes and grazing for special occasions head over their Instagram page.

Rye and Co

@rye_and_co

Rye and Co are a Lichfield based cold process soap business. Not only are all the soaps handmade in small batches, but they’re also vegan, cruelty free, SLS free, palm free and sustainably packaged. The cold process is a centuries old process that takes up to 6 weeks and creates soap that is totally different. Rye Botanicals only include a nourishing blend of plant oils, essential oils and plant extracts, leaving out all the artificial additives.

To check out the full range of hand soaps, body soaps, aromatherapy blends and accessories visit www.ryesoap.com.

The Koalaty Bakery Co.

@thekoalatybakeryco

The Koalaty Bakery Co is a Lichfield based business that specialise in vegan baked goods. From cookies, to cakes, to traybakes, The Koalaty Bakery Co do it all! Also on offer are a selection of Christmas themed bakes, gift vouchers, subscription boxes and cake jars. I’m not vegan but have purchased some goods from The Koalaty Bakery Co in the past and can confirm that they’re delicious!

Head over to www.koalatybakery.co.uk to check out their full range.

Blossom by Kayleigh

@blossom_by_kayleigh

Blossom by Kayleigh is an independent floristry business, based in Birmingham, creating floral designs for any occasion. Blossom by Kayleigh has you covered no matter what your preference or colour scheme, and if you fancy something a little more hands on then you can book in for one of the interactive workshops, which run at different times throughout the year, allowing you to create your own floral creation to take home!

For more information on upcoming workshops or to purchase beautiful arrangements then visit blossombykayleigh.co.uk.

Bella’s Bakes

@bellas_bakesx

Now we can’t forget our four legged friends. Bella’s Bakes is a Tamworth based business that creates homemade personalised dog treats. From doggy advent calendars to doggy birthday treat boxes, Bella’s Bakes does it all!

To get your personalised Christmas dog treats head over to their Instagram page or visit Bella’s Bakes.

LARDER

@larderlichfield17

Larder is one of my favourite independent restaurants in Lichfield. It is an ingredient led fine dining restaurant, holding 2 AA rosettes. This family run business focuses on bold flavours and the quality of its ingredients. Using local ingredients where possible, Larder is passionate about creating fresh innovative dishes. Gift vouchers can be purchased from the website, which are the perfect present for anyone wanting to experience a taste sensation.

The menu’s, opening hours and information how to purchase gift voucher’s can all be found on their website larderlichfield.com.

Han-Drawn Designs

@handrawn.designs

I have to admit that this one isn’t a West Midlands business, but it is ran by Hannah, who used to live in the West Midlands and relocated to The Lake District. Han-Drawn Designs creates a range of Lake District inspired gifts such as mugs, coasters, keyrings and prints, using recyclable packaging products too.

To view their full range or to contact Hannah for custom designs then visit the website at han-drawn.square.site

So this concludes my independent business gift guide. Listed above are some of the very best that the West Midlands has to offer but there are still many more amazing independents that I didn’t include. With uncertain times ahead it’s now more important than ever to support our independents, so ditch the high street, support local and purchase unique gifts that will certainly be remembered!

Birmingham’s Newest Smokehouse

You don’t have to venture far within Birmingham to experience flavours from all over the world, and making its new debut into the up and coming Birmingham food scene is D.J. Quinn’s smokehouse. Located in Hall Green, just over 15 minutes away from the city centre, D.J. Quinn’s is a traditional Irish pub established in 2018, that hosts live music, sports and more recently a new authentic smokehouse.

Excited about the new opening I ventured to Hall Green to try out some of the amazing dishes D.J. Quinn’s had to offer! Their new menu consists of an array of smokehouse dishes, sharers, and small plates, as well as some pub classics and Sunday roasts. I opted for a selection of the small plates which included smoked wings, mac ‘n’ cheese and pulled pork nachos, with my partner opting for one of the mains which was Memphis style half rack of ribs & pulled pork. The food arrived and wow was I impressed! It all looked so delicious, we couldn’t wait to dive in and try it.

The smoked wings came in a delicious Cajun rub, served with a pineapple salsa and bbq sauce. They were crispy on the outside but deliciously succulent on the inside, the perfect chicken wings!

The mac ‘n’ cheese was a enticing combination of three different cheeses, combined truffle oil and Parmesan. I couldn’t get enough of this man ‘n’ cheese, it was creamy and more-ish, definitely not your standard boring mac ‘n’ cheese. My partner who hates mac ‘n’ cheese even said he liked it which is an impressive feat!

I’m a big fan of nachos, sampling them across many of Birmingham’s restaurants but the D.J. Quinn’s nachos surprised me. They were not your standard nachos to say the least! Full of flavour the homebaked nacho chips came with the same delicious pineapple salsa that accompanied the smoked wings, guacamole, sour cream, cheese and smoked pulled pork. The portion size was huge, it is fantastic value for money as they’re only £6.95 and we struggled to eat them between two of us! The pulled pork was the real winner here though, as it has to be the best pulled pork I’ve ever tasted, I could have honestly sat and ate a whole bowl of it to myself! The pineapple salsa went really well with the pulled pork and the flavours complimented each other. D.J. Quinn’s also offer a vegan version of the nachos with bbq jackfruit and vegan cheese sauce with salsa and guacamole.

My partners main meal which was the Memphis style half rack of ribs & pulled pork looked so good that I had to steal some for myself! The Memphis style ribs are smoked for 4 hours over a maple and applewood chip blend in a natural oil drum smoker, and are then finished with a homemade bbq sauce, served with seasoned fries and pickles. The pulled pork was the same smoked pulled pork that topped the homemade nachos, and was still as delicious as ever! The pictures don’t do this meal justice as the ribs were enormous! The were really meaty and had the most amazing flavour; all the meat at D.J. Quinn’s is supplied by local butcher Keith Emery and smoked in house.

Aside from all the meat, D.J. Quinn’s also offer a vegetarian and vegan selection, as well as some traditional pub classics and Sunday roasts. Their menu is served 7 days a week from 12pm-9pm. When you think of pub food you don’t think of anything inspiring but D.J. Quinn’s has really changed that! I’ve never been into a pub before and been so blown away by how fantastic the food is, every dish we had was spot on and I couldn’t fault anything. If you’re looking for a new place to try then get yourself down to D.J. Quinn’s, the short drive from the city centre is definitely worth it! You can find more information and their full menu here.

Disclaimer: I was gifted this meal, however all opinions are genuine and my own.

The Benefits of Rose Water

Since Ancient Egyptian times rose water has been used not only as a drink but for its skin benefits. It’s said that Cleopatra used to bathe in rose water, and still today you can see it’s benefits if regularly used. I’ve used many toners in the past that have rose water as an ingredient, famed for its rejuvenating, soothing and calming properties, but I had yet to use it on its own until I found Erbology Organic Rose Water.

The Erbology Organic Rose Water is made from only the best organic fertile Damask rose petals making it the perfect rose water to use on your skin. I suffer from oily skin that is prone to redness and have found in the past that a lot of toners aimed at my skin type tend to cause my skin to dry out too much. When switching to moisturising toners I found that they broke me out so I could never find a happy in-between! This is when I decided to switch to a more natural product like rose water, hoping that I would see some of the the famed benefits. It is claimed that rose water:

  • Reduces skin redness and puffiness due to its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps to sooth skin irritation such as eczema
  • Help prevent acne due to its antiseptic properties
  • Helps to prevent cell damage as it contains antioxidants which are found within rose petals

After using the Erbology Organic Rose Water for 3 weeks every morning and night I found that the redness in my skin reduced and I was able to go to work without feeling the need to wear foundation. My skin felt cleaner after using it, without feeling stripped (due to rose water having a neutral pH 7), and it was gentle enough to retain moisture in my skin without breaking me out in spots! Ditching harsher ingredients for pure rose water was the best switch I made for my skin and I’ve even had compliments on how glowing my skin looks! When you treat your skin correctly the results are bountiful.

Continuing with my use of rose water I’m sure that my skin can only get better, especially that after 3 weeks I’m already seeing fantastic benefits and I will also be experimenting with incorporating it into food, as it is a very popular ingredient in the Middle Eastern cooking. If you have sensitive, acne prone or skin redness then it’s definitely worth trying to incorporate rose water into your beauty regime! The Erbology Organic Rose Water can also be drank or mixed into smoothies; I found it very calming when I drank it before bed and it helped me to fall asleep.

You can purchase the Erbology Organic Rose Water from their website here – Erbology Organic Rose Water, along with a range of other fantastic health products!

Have you tried rose water before?

Laura 

Disclaimer: I was gifted this rose water, however all opinions are genuine and my own.