Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Why I love my Parker Jotter London pen.

If you see me at work, in the hospital, you will see me equipped with 4 things:  My stethoscope around my neck, my patient list, my bleep and my trusted Parker Jotter London pen. Such is my love for my Parker jotter, that this morning I had a little panic when I realised I left my pen behind at a café during my lunch break. I walked all the way back there, despite the bitterly cold winds.

Luckily, one of the staff there had found it. Parker Jotter pen You may ask why I love the Parker Jotter so much? As a doctor, I have to write clinical notes every day within a time pressured environment.

The Parker pen Jotter writes so smoothly on paper, it’s as if my pen is gliding. I’m not sure why, but my handwriting looks so much better too. Anyway, imagine my delight when Parker Pens asked me to be celebrate the relaunch of their Jotter London pens with them.

My picks were the Bond Street Black Jotter pen and the West End Brushed Gold Jotter pen.  I have inaugurated my pens with a workspace styling at home and shot them at two of my favourite cafés in Hampstead, North London.

These are places I would go to, to write and unplug from the digital world. What do you think of the workspace styling with these beautiful colourful prints above my desk by Gayle Mansfield?

As well as using my Parker Jotter pens at work, I love using them at home too, to plan out my blog work in the diary. Introducing you to Ginger and White in Perrins court. I love coming here for breakfast during the weekends and for an indulgent piece of cake with tea. Doesn’t my black Bond Street Parker Jjotter fit right in? I love sitting outside, it’s so refreshing to drink hot tea in the outdoor chill. Now that it’s December, I’ve decided to make a head start on writing my Christmas cards. Parker Jotter pen Here’s a closer view of my Bond Street black Parker Jotter pen. My next favourite café in Hampstead, is Melrose and Morgan.

Don’t those red outdoor tables look so festive?  I’ve used my brushed gold West End Jotter here to write down my plans for the new year.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour at home and around Hampstead with my new Parker Jotter pens.

The pens would make excellent Christmas gifts don’t you think?  Once you try a Parker Jotter pen, believe me, you’ll be hooked, and it’ll become your new best friend.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Do you have a favourite café in London where you would go, to unplug from the digital world?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

( All photography and styling are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little big Bell. This is a sponsored collaboration with Parker Pens but all views are my own).

Instagram’s Insta Economy report and the Insta Gift Market. 

Last Saturday, I attended Instagram’s Insta gift market event at the Old Spitalfields market in London.

It was so lovely to see Instagram supporting small businesses in the run up to Christmas. Insta economy Instagram Did you know that Instagram is becoming one of the most important platforms for small to medium sized businesses in the UK?

I got to find out more, at Instagram’s Insta Economy event, chaired by Ali Busacca, head of community at Instagram for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

A panel of small businesses were also invited to talk about their experiences using Instagram. I was given a copy of Instagram’s Insta-economy report on small / medium businesses.

The research was conducted by Ipsos Connect, Development Economics and Morning Consult between August to October 2017.

Here are the findings from the Insta Economy report, hot off the press:

  1. There are 800 million global Instagram users.
  2. 25 million Instagram Business accounts.
  3. 2 million advertisers on Instagram
  4. 200 million daily active instagramers visiting at least one business profile every day.
  5. UK has 23 million Instagram users
  6. 1 in 3 UK small businesses have built their business on Instagram
  7. More than half of small/medium businesses in the UK using Instagram see the tool as a means to grow their business
  8. 1 in 4 people discover and buy products they find on Instagram.
  9. 80% of Instagram’s global community follow a brand
  10. 45% of UK small and medium sized businesses have hired employees as a result of growth in demand since joining Instagram.
  11. 51% of UK small businesses say Instagram is a way for them to connect with customers in other countries.
  12. Young entrepreneurs aged under 35 years are seeing some of the greatest and potential on Instagram. 61% plan to maintain and grow their investment on Instagram going forward.
  13. Projections for 2017 indicate that Instagram will contribute an increase in Gross Value added of 1.235 billion to the UK economy.
  14. By 2022, Instagram is expected to increase their Gross Value Added contribution to  £6.776 billion. 
  15. By 2022, jobs attributable to Instagram will be 106000, comprising 74000 direct jobs and a further 32000 indirect jobs.

Isn’t it impressive to think of how Instagram has morphed from a social app to one that is now essential for the economy? Anyway, back to the Insta Gift market.

It was a wonderful opportunity to put face to an Instagram profile, and also to connect and discover new talents.

The beautiful tapestries above are by Elizabeth Pawle Aren’t they such happy and vibrant colours? They would make really unique Christmas gifts don’t you think? Check out this beautiful paint palette, belonging to Ocki from The Letter Bug Studios. Ocki hand paints alphabets in a variety of designs and colours. This Smoke and Musk candle is one of Earl of East London’s signature scents, and also their most popular product.

The scent is both smoky and woody, hence perfect for Winter. I’ve been following Martha Brooks on social media for a while, so it was lovely to finally meet her.

I totally adore all her beautiful pastel coloured stationery. After all the shopping and talking, I decided to take a lunch break.

Instagram had curated an amazing collection of food and drinks stalls.

This milk tea from Yifang Taiwan Fruit tea was delicious, and even better when heated up to drink  on a cold day. Now, this might make your mouth water, as it has mine.

I can still recall the delicious bites I took of Imad’s Syrian kitchen’s Lamb Toshkas, made of lamb, garlic, spices, cheddar and mozarella cheese, grilled on flat bread and topped with red onion pomegranate molasses and sumac. Feast your eyes on these delectable Canelé from Babelle. They tasted as good as they looked. After a wonderful lunch, it was back to shopping.

This is Ethical stories Ethical me’s stall. The owners have sourced ethical products from all around the world, each product comprised of an interesting story. It’s often tricky to buy gifts for men during Christmas, so it was good to discover Men’s society, who produce handmade gifts for men. Finally, here are a few of my buys.

I bought two sweatshirts from Smith Webb for my children. I love the slogans and the fact that part of the funds go to support Mental health and Anti-Bullying charities.

Anyway, hope you have enjoyed seeing the Insta Economy report and being introduced to new sellers. Have a wonderful week ahead. ( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell).

Goodwill Belgium Christmas decorations at home in London.

It’s now the end of November and I can sense the Christmas frenzy on social media.

Can you believe I was already decorating a Christmas tree in September when I was transported to the magical land of Christmas baubles, that is Goodwill.

I was in Antwerp, at Goodwill’s HQ, with a group of European bloggers and influencers.

We were invited to see the creative process that went into the making of their Christmas decorations, get a sneak peek of their new collections and experience a workshop in tree decorating.

In this post, I thought I’d show you how I’ve styled some of my Goodwill Christmas decor at home . Goodwill has been operating for nearly 32 years and was founded by Jean Paul Meus, a charismatic gentleman with a heart for philanthropy. Goodwill Belgium pink ribbon Check out this beautiful bauble, specially made by Goodwill in collaboration with Pink Ribbon Belgium to raise funds to fight against Breast Cancer. Goodwill apparently produces a collection of 4000 new items per year, and roughly 600 items are from the drawing table of their in house designer Darren Mackay (above). Darren also puts all the stunning displays up in the showroom with his partner designer Leslie.

Feast your eyes on Darren’s tattoos. They are all based on his illustrations and inspirations for the Christmas decorations that he designs. There were a few interesting take home points that I learned at the Christmas tree decorating workshop.

Frst, you should wrap the lights around the tree before decorating. Then,place a few shiny baubles inside of the tree, close to the trunk. These baubles will bounce the light outwards.

The next step is to make the tree look fuller by adding foliage decor before using the baubles.

Finally, the tip that has changed the way I decorate, is to wind the bauble’s loop around the tree branches rather than the conventional hanging.

It has made decorating faster and the baubles surprisingly stay on securely too. It was interesting to hear about the work that went into the making of the decorations. Goodwill not only make baubles,they also make the most intricate of dolls for Christmas decor. They would travel far and wide, so as to source the best materials for their collection.

We had a tour around the workshop lead by Goodwill Belgium’s CEO Johan Van Maercke. He told us that silver, gold and white Christmas decorations were very on trend.

Patterned fabrics such as tartan and the use of faux flowers would also becoming popular this season. Some of new themes that Goodwill have embraced this year were the colourful opulence of Marie Antoinette, the pretty and stylish side of Paris, the cute creatures of the woodlands and the whimsical land of flamingos and giraffes. Goodwill Christmas decorations are sold worldwide at most of the major stores. You will find them at Selfridges, Harrods and Fortnum and Mason in London.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Have you started decorating yet?

I’ll be back soon with more festive cheer. Have a lovely day all.

(All styling and photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. The photo of Darren Mac Kay was provided by Goodwill. This is a sponsored collaboration with Goodwill Belgium. All views are my own).

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