Friday, 28 August 2015

Prerto Luxury Jewellery

I am known amongst my family as a jewellery hoarder- I have about 4 huge boxes of vintage costume jewellery around the house, I can't get enough of it! Not only do I love the vintage pieces, I love finding a range of new jewellery that has a story behind it and something I can relate to.

About 2 years ago I visited India for 9 weeks on a business trip; whilst out there I got to do lots of sightseeing and of course, shopping. Most weekends we took trips to the local shopping areas and malls; I was so drawn into the colourful and vibrant jewellery shops on pretty much every corner!

What struck me about the jewellery I saw was the intricate designs and vibrant colours they used to make statement pieces for women of all ages to wear. So, when I was contacted by Prerto, an Indian jewellery company based in Mumbai, I jumped at the chance to see some of the pieces they have on offer. After having a browse through their website I selected 2 pieces that I thought would be great to wear with some of the nice outfits I've picked up for my trip to Barcelona next week. 


Prerto is a luxurious brand and their packaging totally screams this the minute you open the little yellow box. I love that you can then use the box and these little drawstring bags to keep your jewels sparkling and organised when you aren't wearing them.

Prerto gave me the opportunity to put some questions to their head designer, Prerna, so make sure you check out her responses to my questions later on in this post.

This first piece is the beautiful Mermaid Tears necklace- 18k gold plated made with Swarovski elements and high quality beads.


 I have the perfect outfit to wear this with on holiday next week so will be posting some photos on my Instagram soon! For an evening outfit I'm going to team it with my new River Island Culottes, a V neck white cami and some amazing block heeled sandals I picked up this week. 
I love the combination of colours this piece has- look at the sparkle on it!
This piece is  RS.9,000 which is approx £88. The detailing on this piece is amazing;I love the contrast between the pink and gold. Pink isn't usually a colour I go for but this isn't too over the top and works really well with the gold detailing. 
The chain is also a mixture of gold and silver to add some more colour detail. 

The second item Prerto kindly gifted me are these beautiful statement earrings.
These are the Rhizaria earrings, again, 18k plated gold with Swarovski elements and high quality Baroque pearls. These beauties are going to be so amazing to wear out for a meal whilst I'm away on holiday, I'm thinking I might team them with some high waisted denim shorts I've picked up recently and a crips white shirt I love to wear regularly. I think I'll wear a minimal makeup when I've got these on, probably a nice beige nude lipstick I have and some eyeliner!

Although I have tons of jewellery I must admit I'm so bad for actually wearing it, I tend to just admire it all in the boxes and think "Oh when I have a special event I'll try it out" but this time.. I'm going all out, i'm going to be posting some pics of me wearing these on Instagram for sure!

These earrings are Rs. 7,500 so approx £73.

So on to the questions I put to Prerna. Sometimes when I see these types of things on other blogs I skip the questions but Prerna has put so much thought into her responses I think its so worth the read!

Tell me about yourself, including how you got to where you are now in jewellery design.
Prerto is an amalgamation of my education over the years, and an extension of my personality. 
I have always loved accessories - be it jewellery, handbags or shoes. Accessories truly tell your personality. Women get emotionally attached to jewellery - its a great way to own your look. 
So after high school, I studied Computer Science, Economics and Fashion. I think somewhere along the way, the idea of PRERTO just surfaced, and things just fell into place.
Since I lack a formal education in jewellery designing - I have a very hands-on approach which is why someone of the pieces can feel like sculptures at times! I lay out materials until I come up with something extremely cool, and then work off the design and create a collection using it as a template. My personal style is a mix between classy- sophisticated and edgy - therefore the PRERTO designs are really eclectic and can be worn by a varied group of people. We aim to create pieces that can be worn with multiple outfits/different styles.
Pic from Prerto.com
 As a designer, where do you draw your inspiration from?
A lot of places. Vintage, all things Indian, my travels, different cultures and street styles, old pictures and movies.. 

What kind of person wears your pieces?
Since my personal dressing style is a fusion of sophisticated yet edgy - PRERTO aesthetic strives to infuse a fix of both. PRERTO jewellery can be worn by a range of personalities. The idea is that each person can interpret the jewellery how they like - and wear it in their unique way. Two people can never have the same style - similarly, the way two people carry off the same accessory is very different. I try to ensure that there's no kind of outfit, from each collection, that our jewellery can't go with. I love bold and effortless, mixing and matching, so that's definitely the underlying theme of the collections. 

If you had to choose 2 pieces to wear to a glitzy evening event what would they be? Also, tell me about your outfit!
Honestly my dressing totally depends on my mood on that day. So If I was going more classic, and I had to select two pieces from our collection to wear for a glitzy evening - I would probably choose our chandelier earrings or our gold fish earrings, and a statement ring such as the sea anchor ring. I would pair this with my strapless blush pink gown from Alexander McQueen. (Clearly, I have been dreaming of this look for a while - and just looking for a perfect occasion to execute it!) And incase I was feeling slightly more edgy I would possibly go with our seven seas necklace, a statement in itself, and no other accessory - perhaps a simple Crystal Princess Ring, with a black low back dress! 




Which piece is your all time favourite from your collection- what made it stand out to you?
I have a few favourites this season - and definitely two that stand out are our Centaur earrings and our Lamina Pendant. I love them for their simplicity and wearability. They are truly effortless glam! The last few months have been extremely on the go for me - so these two add so much character to even the most basic of outfits. If I had to only carry two accessories anywhere, these would be it. And maybe the seven seas necklace for a style statement! 





 Which Instagram photo of your pieces (from your buyers) is your fave?
I don’t have a specific favourite Instagram picture that our buyer has posted! I love all! I love that some girls love sharing pictures of the box, while others send these beautiful selfies and pictures of them in our products! Many times I think to myself - I would have never thought of wearing the product with this outfit, its so inspiring! 
However - some definitely do make my day. Once, one customer posted in her caption that receiving the jewellery brightened the horrible week that she was having, and it was the best thing that’s happened to her all week. Knowing that we - in our small way, made someone else’s day, really makes me happy! So it was definitely among my favourite moments more than pictures! 

Whats next for Prerto? 

I think that fashion jewellery should be expressive and and play to your moods and lifestyle - it has to be eclectic and that's what I aim to achieve with every collection. Our jewellery is made for all kinds of women - its dependent more on how you wear our jewellery. Therefore, reaching other countries and markets is definitely something that I am putting my efforts into. Also - we are focusing on being known as the go to accessory brand in India, and hopefully soon the same in many other countries.
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Its so nice that Prerna put so much thought into all of her answers to my questions, I love that she thought about the outfits she'd team some of the pieces with. Its so lovely to see that a company have taken the time to think about styling and how a piece of jewellery can make a customer feel and that they share so many of their customers photos on their Instagram and Twitter.

Check out Prerto's pieces on their website and let me know what you think of the pieces I was gifted!

XOXOX



Monday, 24 August 2015

Steel City's DeadMode Apparel

Hello hello!

On a weekend I love the having the option to just stick on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt for a more casual look,so when Deadmode Apparel offered to give me one of their tees to try out I jumped at the chance. Deadmode are designed and produced here in Sheffield too!

Over the past few years I've loved wearing loose fitting t-shirts with everything, sometimes you'll even catch me wearing one of the Mr's just because they are so comfy but still look great with a pair of skinny jeans.

Deadmode gave me the opportunity to choose which of their designs I wanted to try out; I went for the Deadmode X Familia design, simple but really nice for a day-time casual look. I opted for this tee in a medium and I've rolled up the sleeves a bit too. 
I teamed it with my black Topshop Joni jeans and my fave sandals of the year from Primark, these beauties were only £3!
 The quality of this t-shirt is amazing; its 100% cotton so really soft,airy and comfy. I've just put it through the first wash and it has held the colour really well and the logo is still in tact. God,that sounds so old woman like but I've been suckered in by a few independent t-shirts companies items before that look amazing on a website but after the first wash look like they've been made in the back of a van as the print on them just cracks and looks like something I'd wear around the house on a Sunday. 
I love this look and cannot wait to get some more colourful shots of me in this tee whilst away in Barcelona in less than 2 weeks.. I plan on teaming it with these cute denim shorts I've ordered. 

Deadmode Apparel stock some really nice bits i'd like to get my hands on, here are a few of my faves-






Deadmode have also started producing women's tee's too! If your like me and prefer a baggier fit then opt for the mens medium tee's. I really like the quality of their items, the t-shirts they've chosen to print on are topnotch and their designs are ace.. I like that they aren't too in your face and busy so they can be teamed easily with jeans,shorts or whatever else you fancy. I really do think these guys are going to do well with this brand!

Visit their online store here
Follow them on Twitter @deadmodeapparel
Check out their Instagram @deadmodeapparel

Deadmode have also offered my readers the opportunity to win a free item from their store. All you need to do is complete this rafflecopter form!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


T&C's
UK only
Must follow @Deadmodeapparel on Twitter
Closing date is 30th August 8pm.
Winner to be announced via my twitter @teaandblush 
Excludes limited edition items. 

XOXOX




CandyHero-Candy review and giveaway!

Hello hello! 

Earlier this month I was contacted by CandyHero-  a UK based company who stock both UK and imported sweet treats. When they offered to send me out a box of goodies of course I wasn't going to say no.. after my Bakerdays cake I seem to have a bit of a sweet tooth going on. 

Through their handy website you can narrow down your sweetie search by country,brand,flavour, colour, theme- this helped me pick out some of the pieces to try and as there are a few American sweet shops about these days, it was nice to be able to aim my search at other countries I am less likely to have tried items from.
So.. heres a run down of the bits I got sent and what I thought of them all- make sure you make it to the end of the post as CandyHero have been kind enough to provide me with a goodie bag giveaway for one lucky winner!
Pineapple Lumps (£3.50 for 140G) this was the only item I specifically asked to try- I wanted a surprise so let Candy Hero choose all of the other items.  I went for these ones as I thought they sound really fruity and I'm a fan of pineapple flavoured stuff! 
These did not disappoint! They are quite chewy and very pineappley of course! I really like these and would probably order again- the texture of the chewy centre works well with the chocolate coating.

Okay, so my intro to the site also should have mentioned that not only do Candy Hero stock sweeties from all over the world, they also cater for those who like to sample the savoury snacks too! In my goodie bag they included a pack of GoldFish Baked Snack Crackers  (£1.10  for 64g)

  These fishy shaped treats are from the USA and rather delicious. There is one thing about  these that confuses me though- the shape and branding, cheese flavoured fish?! That aside, they are VERY moreish. I like the saltiness of the snacks and they are ultra cheesy- imagine mini cheddars x 10! 

I mentioned to Candy Hero that although I really dislike cinnamon flavoured sweets the Mr loves them. They popped in some treats for him to try out-

Big Red Cinnamon Chewing Gum (70p for 5 sticks)

 I haven't tried these but the Mr has provided feedback that they are nice and cinnamon spicy, long lasting and the Hot Tamales are noticeable different in the hot,hotter,hottest. 

Now and Later (45p for 6 pieces)Mmmm these are delicious- blue raspberry chews. They are pretty neon blue and full of flavour. I really like these and I'm going to be ordering some more! They also come in a number of different flavours-grape, pineapple,banana, tropical lemonade, tropical punch, cherry and tons more variations!


Hershey's Krackel (£1.20) I'll be honest here, I'm not a huge fan of Hershey's Kisses but Krackel is AMAZING! I love the texture of the choc along with the crunch of the crisped rice. 

Jolly Joes Mike and Ike Chewy Grape Candies  (£1.20 for 51g) these are my fave item from CandyHero! They are chewy with a lovely punch of grape flavour. Not a sweet I'd automatically go for but they are very addictive indeed! Mike and Ike's come in a number of different flavours too on the  CandyHero website. 

Gilco Chocolate Caplico Mini (99p)- This is a treat all the way from Japan. It consists of a wafer cone filled with chocolate mousse all the way through the centre. This little cone smells amazing, so ice-cream like! I've just googled Caplico and there are some rather amazing videos of people decorating them with all sorts of crazy things, heres one to watch! I love this sweet cone treat, again, this is something I am going to put onto my order! They also do this is strawberry but I'm more of a chocolate fan.

Warheads Extreme Sour Hard Candy (£1.20 for 50 pieces) ooh these are sour. It makes my mouth water and face feel funny just thinking about their sourness! I was a bit scared to try these but once you go for it the extreme sourness only lasts a few seconds and they then are really flavourful little pips! The Mr made the huge mistake of eating about 10 in a row.. it does mention on the box that eating too many can cause irritation. He was complaining of a sore tongue for the rest of the evening!Is it wrong to want to sneakily give these to people without providing a warning of the face clenching sour hit?! Check out the other bits from the Warheads range here.


Plopp (35p each)- This strange named treat is from Sweden. Aside from its rather unappealing name this little bar of soft caramel filled chocolate is rather nice. Kind of like a Galaxy bar but sweeter! I really rate this one, very smooth and sweet!


Bit O Honey- (20p per chew) This yummy little American sweet contains almond and honey- very much able to taste the honey in this one! I like it!


 Gummi Mini Burger (30p each) These so remind me of the Pick and Mix you used to be able to get in Woolworths as a kid. I gave this one to the Mr to try out- he reported back saying that it was yummy, full of fruity flavour and better than the well known gummy sweets with that annoying theme tune on the advert!


Reeses Sticks (£1.20 per pack) I love Reese's pieces so was intrigued to try these kitkat style wafers. I  love peanut butter so these were very satisfying. A nice crunch to them and a good slathering of peanut butter. I bet these would be good crumbled over vanilla ice-cream as an extra naughty treat!

Tootsie Roll (40p for 14g) I've just munched on this to be able to comment on its flavour and I'm undecided- its by no means an offensive taste but its just so different from anything else I've tried! I really like the texture, toffee like, chewy and sticky. Whilst reading through some bits online about Tootsie Roll's I learnt that these guys have been around for years,1896 to be precise. Check out more info on them here.


Bubble Yum Original  (£1.10) I'm yet to try these as I'm not a huge fan of bubblegum but I'm up for giving it a go! I've seen loads of reviews of this online saying how its a classic USA bubblegum and one that people adore as it doesn't contain aspartame. Also.. what's with the weird punk duck on these?!


LoveHearts (20p)- an absolute classic! I cannot get enough of these powdery little things.
SweeTarts (20p) These little candies are sweet and tart hence the name! Really really tart! Nice though and a lot more flavour to them unlike the UK sweets that look very similar!


Last but by no means least we have a selection of Laffy Taffy- banana,watermelon,sour apple,grape,strawberry and cherry. I love Laffy Taffy, the flavours of each are so intense!  My fave has to be the watermelon one.

All in all I've really enjoyed sampling some pieces from CandyHero- their website is easy to use, the selection they have is huge and the prices for each piece are really reasonable. I like that you can discover items from a variety of counties, I think in the future I'd like to try more of the items from Japan!

CandyHero have a stores in York, Bradford and Leeds if you fancy visiting them to pick out some goodies by hand. 

If you'd like to try some bits from their website you can get 10% off your first order (no minimum spend required!) by using this code H3ROTM9H.

So, onto the competition to win some of your own sweet treats!
You could win all of these goodies-
Plus a selection of Laffy Taffy's!

All you need to do is follow the instructions on this form-




Closing 28th August 
Only open to UK residents 
Only one entry per person
Winner will be picked randomly

XOXOX







Thursday, 20 August 2015

Home Accessories Wish-list

Who prefers home accessory shopping to clothes shopping? I DO!!I believe you can never have too many home accessories!

I'm not particularly bothered painting and wallpapering a house top to bottom as you create a cosy space by just adding a few accessories about the place.

I love getting to the end of a season and reshuffling all of the bits we have to make the house look a bit different. So, here are some of the bits i've been lusting over recently.....

Copper Isaac Table Lamp £80- I love this type of lamp and think it would look great in my soon to be office/blogging room in the attic!
Small Wire Basket £7.99 - Again, this is something I'd like for my office, maybe not as a bin though.. I might keep snuggly blankets in here ready for when they are needed on the chilly nights
Paddywax Tobacco and Vanilla Candle £30- I'm such a sucker for nice candle packaging- this gun metal grey one would look great on my desk.
Knitted Natural Throw £16.99- This is the blanket I'd put in the wire basket! It looks warm but not itchy and a nice neutral colour so would go with whatever colour  I decide go for in the study.
Artistry of Arrangement Organiser $44.99- How amazing is this dressing table organiser? I like the simplicity of it and think it would be great storage for having the day to day makeup in.
Trinket Jewellery dish $14.99- Love a good trinket dish. Simple but effective!
Dipped Square Vase £22- I featured a similar vase to this in an earlier post and adore them!



Strawberry Thief Cushion Cover £9.99- The detailing on this looks amazing and would look great with the simple throw I featured earlier on. Btw.. both this and the throw are from Yorkshire Linen Co. They are a Yorkshire based company who specialise in bedding,cushion covers,pillows- basically everything you need for a cosy bedroom!
Twig&Dot Carousel Candle £16- Sadly I finished my Bahama Bay candle this week so need a replacement sharpish! They don't seem to be selling the one I had one the site at the moment so I think I'm going to go for this one.. marshmallow,vanilla and cream..YUM! 
Acctim RoStock Clock £40- Love this coppery clock- would look great in the new office!
Bell Jar with Scroll £12- Ohhh these are so pretty! Although something like this would be really easy to make yourself I know that these glass domes can be quite pricey so £12 is a bargain.. I wonder if you can take off the glass and add more into the dome. 

Have you found any good home accessories sites you'd recommend?
Whats your fave piece from my wish-list?

XOXOX

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Letterbox Cakes By BakerDays


Earlier on this month I was lucky enough to be sent a lovely package by BakerDays. I’m sure somewhere out there in the bloggersphere you’ve seen a few reviews of their treats already but I wanted to share my thoughts on their service with you all.

I’m not particularly a lover of cake…in the past I’ve had some pretty horrid dry cakes that have put me off.. but OH how things have changed thanks to Bakerdays

Before the cake arrived I was really intrigued to see how a delicate little thing would make it here in one piece, it would have been rather disappointing to get a tin full of crumbled up cake covered in sweaty icing eh?

When the box arrived I quickly delved in to see how they package it all up.Cleverly they ensure that the icing fully covered all the cake and a bit of the base and then packed it securely into a cute little breathable tin. There are also instructions about how to remove the cake from said tin just incase you cant work it out.

As we haven't got any birthdays or celebrations to celebrate at the moment I had a browse of the more generic cake designs. I found this really cute “I’m Nuts About You” design. I chose to just put some XXXX instead of someones name.. it isn’t really very me to be a soppy bugger.
This service is ideal for someone who, like me, is pretty crap at remembering birthdays, the package also provided some really handy party accessories- 2 balloons,2 candles,a cute little birthday card and one of those things you blow on and the end pops out and makes a PPFTTT noise.... what are these called?!

Once I'd got the cake out of the tin I thought it'd be rude not to have a mini tea party on my own in the garden. I poured myself a lovely cup of Yorkshire Tea and sat down to slice open that cute little cake. I, at this point, had no idea what type of cake was under the icing but hoped it would be chocolatey and rich.
Actually... thats a lie... before I sliced into the beauty I sat for a couple of minutes sniffing the delicious icing- it reminded me of being a kid and the cakes you used to get at birthday parties, so sweet and lickable. 
Ohhhh how pleased I was to see this chocolatey sight... can you see the gooeyness of it around the edges too? YUM.  This one is the chocolate gateau cake with chocolate buttercream.
This cake is by far THE best cake I've had in a good while.. its gooey goodness really complimented the slightly chewy sweet icing and I couldn't help but have a second bit soon after the first. 
By the end of the day both the Mr and my friend Sally also agreed that its a really good quality cake. Especially as its been through the postal system.

I love the concept of BakerDays- any excuse for me to avoid having to bake a cake is great in my eyes. The cake was moist (my fave word btw) chocolatey,just the right size for three greedy people,reasonably priced (£14.99) and the most important thing..very easy to have ready for a birthday/special occasion you've forgotten about! Deliver by 2pm and have your cake with you the next day! 

They do a whole range of cakes for all occasions- birthdays,christenings,valentines,congratulations,new baby,mothers day... you name the celebration they've got a cake for it.

They also have a variety of different types of cakes to choose from- gluten free, fruit cake,vanilla sponge,dairy free- they also come in a variety of sizes to suit your celebration needs!

As well as letterbox cakes they do cupcakes and full photo cakes in larger sizes!

Have you tried BakerDays yet?

XOXOX

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Oates and Co Homeware

Over the past year since moving into our house I have become rather obsessed by homeware accessories, I'd much rather spend money on trinkets and nice accessories over clothes these days so when I find a homeware website I love I can't help but lust over all their precious bits!

Last month, as you have probably seen on my blog, we hosted our #TheCityGirls Leeds event. I decided from the get-go of planning that I'd like to have a homeware company involved- we don't just do fashion and beauty bits you know!

Oates & Co provided each blogger on the day with one of the following gifts-


Sylvia from Oates & Co put so much effort into the items she sent me for the event, she individually wrapped each one and hand wrote a little note to each blogger on one of her leaflets.. such a lovely touch!After the event I realised I'd missed out on picking up one of the gifts for myself so Sylvia offered to send something over for me.

I received this cute Large Glass and Cork Hurricane Candle holder by Broste (£8.50). Isn't it just lovely? I'm very much into cork and glass accessories and this combines the two. 

 All I need now is a pillar candle to pop in it..I'm thinking this Small Pure Pillar Candle from The White Company would be perfect!