Grown-up soft drinks

If you’re teetotal, just cutting down, or fully throwing yourself into Sober October, going alcohol-free doesn’t have to mean sipping on a flat Pepsi Max from a tap all night. We’ve spoken to cocktail experts for their favourite virgin versions, for you to try at home. Your fanciest drinking receptacle is absolutely necessary, a muddler is optional (but makes you feel the part).

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Barrettes

Our happy place is anything that brings together practicality and prettiness. Hair clips are that new thang. No longer just the preserve of school uniforms and girly-girls, they’re on the catwalks and give a real fashion with-a-capital-F look. We’ve got some decidedly purse-friendly picks.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

In

Career advice from a life coach

Unless you’ve got a sizeable trust fund to rely on, (in which case, can we be friends?) you probably have to work. We spend more than 13 years of our lives at work, on average. So it's not too much to ask that you actually do something you enjoy. Right? Whether you feel a bit stuck in a rut, or are thinking of a complete career overhaul, it's good to talk it through. We spoke to life coach Dr Lalitaa Suglani from Virgin Care Private, who gave us some very actionable actions to help us, and also you.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Trainer Edit

Dad trainers, you know the ones, bulbous and a bit ungainly, have been a trend we've resisted for a while. But we've finally found ourselves craving a chunky sneaker. If you’re firmly in the pretty shoes only crew, don't worry, we’ve got some far from fugly ones too.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

In

Payday Vs. Peanuts

We’re two days into a new month. How does payday usually work out for you? Unfortunately for us, our bank account definitely doesn’t allow for any designer impulse splurges when it comes to new season garb. But as ever, the trusty high street lends a helping hand in recreating the looks we're loving, on a budget.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Autumn Ready

Cold weather, darker nights and a fading tan. These things do not make for a smiley us. But blankets, candles and cosiness are our reliable happiness guarantees, and that, my friends, is simple science. Time to get hyggeing / lykkeing / lagoming chez vous.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Best rooms in the city

Got the fam coming to stay from out of town, or just after a short get-away minus the motorway time? Knowing the best city centre hotels to bed down at is good, but knowing the specific room to book is waaaaay better. We’ve got the insider info and to be quite honest, brownie points from the in-laws are imminent. You are welcome.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Moving Memoirs

There’s something about a true-life story that is more gripping than fiction. Experiencing another person’s joy or heartbreak is at once relatable and an escape from your everyday.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Luxe Lighting (for less than £150)

There are so many types of lighting it can get kinda overwhelming. A pendant light, or a table lamp? Wall-mounted or cluster? Which do I want, and where? The answer is multiple options in each room for different situations. Most rooms have more than one purpose - the living room needs to be bright when you’re working on your laptop, but when you’re on hour three of a Netflix sesh, the lighting needs to be cosy. We've got the answers and, bonus, they're all under one fiddy. 

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

In

Birm Merch

Soft spot for slogan tees? Us too. Take it to the next level by adorning yourself with B’ham based localisms. Wear this second city merch with pride and support some local business babs at the same time.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Not your average gym class

New Year fitness resolutions are so cliché — there’s no better time to start your new favourite workout than RIGHT NOW. Well, maybe finish reading the email first. Then go. If good ol’ fashioned gymming ain’t doing it for you, give these nothing-to-do-with-a-treadmill activities a go.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Timeless Beauty

The beauty industry churns out new must-haves every other minute with some eyebrow-raisingly impressive claims. But there are some tried and tested products that have stood the test of time. They deserve the hype and a place in your bathroom cabinet.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Grand Designs IRL

I’ve just moved house and I can hardly bear living with a light fitting I didn’t choose. The thought of completely gutting a place before making it habitable again makes my head hurt. These local ladies have taken on projects that would make Kevin McCloud wince — and they've come out the other side. If you're crazy enough to want to follow in their tracks, we've picked their brains for valuable how-tos and the mistakes to avoid.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.

Abigail Borg x J.Crew

We like J.Crew. We all caps LOVE when Birmingham women are recognised for their gorgey creative wonderfulness. Imagine our delight on hearing of the collaboration between B’ham pattern designer, Abigail Borg and J.Crew for an Autumn capsule collection, a perfect combo of the two.

Read More

Bell & Smokey is a free weekly email covering beauty, brands, travel and trends. Elevate your inbox. Subscribe below.