Why I Love Shopping Local. Small Business Saturday

I wanted to share with you in today's post why I love shopping locally. The reasons are because it boosts the local economy, it helps support entrepreneurs in your area and you can buy some quirky gifts for yourself or loved ones just in time for Christmas.
My hometown Nottingham is a wonderful city full of independent shops and businesses.
I was thrilled to receive an email invitation from It's In Nottingham to Small Business Saturday on the 2nd December 2017.
Small Business Saturday celebrates Independent Businesses all over the UK.
Click here to view a directory of all of the small fabulous businesses here in Nottingham.
It's In Nottingham had a fabulous afternoon in store for east midlands bloggers. We visited 4 of the best independent businesses in the city.
We met outside of Boots in Intu Broadmarsh at 11:50am then all headed to Made In Nottingham which was our first stop.
Made In Nottingham
Made In Nottingham is a department store inspired, created and crafted by the city's wonderful talent.  Over 40 local designers and businesses showcase and sell their wonderful creations here.
We had a look at the shop and what caught my eye was The Nottingham Candle Co. They make 100% natural soy candles in a wide variety of scents. Click here to be directed to their Etsy store.
I'm obsessed with candles this time of year (especially sweet scents). I love creating a cosy atmosphere in my home. This year I have an Airpure Scented Candle tea light advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. No amount of candles in my possession is ever enough for me.
All bloggers got to make a Small  Saturday Business UK badge and I added mine to my shoulder bag which has quite the collection of badges campaigning for a variety of causes. I'm a true horoscope of Aquarius as I'm always campaigning for something.

We departed from Made In Nottingham about 1pm and made our way to the second stop which was Malt Cross.
Malt Cross
Malt Cross is a charity-run bar and eatery with deep woods and period features. Bloggers were invited to sit upstairs in a VIP area filled with cosy chairs and cute wooden tables. It's In Nottingham provided bloggers with festive photo props so we could have a giggle and take selfies for our social media channels. Click here to view on my Twitter a selfie with my favourite prop.
We were warmly welcomed with a warm glass of mulled wine. This was a great opportunity to talk to bloggers and vloggers while we waited for afternoon tea.
Our afternoon tea shortly arrived and the plate stands were jam-packed full of tasty sandwiches, scones and a wide variety of cakes. I liked how there were loads of options to pick and chose from.
The afternoon tea was delicious but I couldn't finish it all. My favourite cake was the lemon as it was beautifully moist and sweet. I'll definitely be returning again for another visit.
Then we headed off at 2pm to our next destination which was Studio Chocolate.
Studio Chocolate
Studio Chocolate is a beautiful studio space for chocolate making. 
We were welcomed with a glass of prosecco on arrival by Ellie Wharrad who is the founder of Studio Chocolate. Bloggers had a little look around the space. I love how it was decorated with a white and silver theme for Christmas. It looked so festive and pretty.
Chocolate making and tasting is such a fun activity to do especially if you are with a group of people. This is perfect for a hen or birthday party. 
The group of bloggers were divided on to two tables. We all sat down and in front of each seat was a Studio Chocolate apron for us to wear.
First of all, we had a taster session. Ellie talked us through the progress of chocolate. We tried a raw cocoa bean (which I didn't like.. ew), dark chocolate (nice), milk chocolate (yummy) and white chocolate (delicious). It was amazing to taste the difference from cocoa bean to chocolate.
 We were each provided with a small plastic tray of empty chocolate truffles and piping bags with a variety of delicious fillings. I filled my chocolates with pumpkin spice, cherry, caramel and chocolate
We sealed our truffles with melted chocolate and then covered them with even more chocolate. By the end of the session, I completely forgot which chocolate has what filling but that's part of the fun as it makes a nice surprise when you eat them. To finish our truffles off we dusted them with an edible shimmer and packaged our chocolates to take home.
Then about 3pm, it was time for the last stop which was Beauty Temple. 
Beauty Temple
I've visited Beauty Temple before as this venue held the preview of Nottingham Fashion Week (Click here to read the blog). I've also attended one of their monthly pop up parties (you get a mini treatment, canapes and cocktails).
I like visiting the Beauty Temple because it feels luxurious and relaxing. On arrival, we were welcomed with a glitter bomb cocktail and we were booked in for mini treatments. I was given 2 mini treatments which were a mini makeover with Delilah products (I love Delilah as they are cruelty-free and have the prettiest eyeshadows) and a glitter ball hand massage. I never knew how tense my hands were until they were massaged. The oil had sparkles in which made my hands look like Edward Cullen from the film Twilight.
I'd like to thank It's In Nottingham for organising and showing me around some amazing independent businesses in Nottingham. Click here to view Nottingham's independent areas. I'd like to thank Made In Nottingham, Malt Cross, Studio Chocolate and Beauty Temple for the taster session, treatments and workshop.
All bloggers got given a goodie bag at the end of the afternoon. It was full of goodies from Independent business. Shout out to
Watch the vlog below on my YouTube channel
Bunny Hugs,



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