East London Jewels at Parla, Boxpark

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If you’ve been reading my blog since my move to London then you will know my background is in jewellery. Well that love goes back a long time. As a child I would buy jewellery making kits with my pocket money; creating necklaces and bracelets for myself and my friends. I wish I had continued with my jewellery making during my teenage years, but instead photoshop and html took over. Naturally I have a lot of respect for those who design and create their own jewellery.
Parla is one of the latest additions to Boxpark in Shoreditch. A jewellery boutique offering sustainable Scandinavian styled creations by British, Swedish and Norwegian designers. Put Scandinavian in front of anything and I’m sold. Minimalistic yet distinctive, that’s my kind of style. I headed to the store last week for a press night where I was able to meet my favourite designers (of those stocked at Parla) Jenny Sweetnam and Clarice Price Thomas. Both were incredibly lovely and talked me through their collections and the inspiration behind their work. Their pieces are minimalistic and modern. Both work in sterling silver and gold, meaning the pieces are of the highest quality. I could go on and on, but instead I plan to talk more about both of them in my ‘Designer Spotlight‘ series.

If you like what you see, you can browse all of the designers and pieces at Parla.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Press Event

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If you know me and my blog, you’ll also know that I am a longtime fan of Marc by Marc Jacobs. So when a small group of us Nuffies (Nuffnang bloggers) were invited along to the A/W ’14 and Resort Collection ’15 press event, I was beyond excited. There’s no way I’d rather spend my evening than with some of my fave blogger ladies, whilst getting a glimpse of the new MBMJ items.

The collection is the brainchild of Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier (who were in attendance at the event). Two fabulous British designers who have taken over the helm of the brand. The collection is a myriad of reds and greens, with references to Japanese street fashion and Samurai legends, emblazoned with the words ‘revolution’ and ‘Bunny Hop’ (which google tells me are motocross terms). Not all of the collection is as in your face though, with a nod to a more minimalistic style showing up in several pieces.

My favourite pieces from the collection had to be the pleated metallic skirts and the Bunny Hop tote bag, both are staple items I could easily add to my wardrobe. From the previews I’d seen I wasn’t too keen on some of the layering, but after seeing Katie wearing one of the skirts at the event I’m coming round to the idea. The tailoring and cuts on the other hand are spectacular, and I desperately wanted to try on several pieces I spotted during the evening. I’d definitely have done so at any given chance.

Discovering How to Stay Beautiful & Healthy…

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It felt as though we were walking into a rabbits hole. Ready and willing to fall into a land of discovery. We were at the Holland and Barrett showcase. Mine and VA’s adventure started with a glass of champagne and an introduction to everything healthy. Chocolate filled with good bacteria (Biotic Chocballs), supplements to give you glossy long hair & nails, and a lifestyle tea with a variety of flavours. Walking around the centrepiece of the venue (a gorgeous table laden with treats) we came upon a Pick’n’Mix with a difference – it only contained nuts and fruit. It was perfection for someone like me, who favours these type of goodies over traditional sweets. As we nibbled on the contents of our bags we came up SmartShake, a handy little addition to anyones workout routine. My pink one goes perfectly with my new wannabe healthy regime. Finally we came upon the beauty section – my favourite. Most people don’t know that Holland & Barrett have an amazing beauty selection, with big brands such as Burt’s Bees and Manuka Dr. Although it was Marula‘s amazing product and back story that won the evening for me. The press event was magical and I discovered some delightful new brands and products. I can’t wait to try out the items in my goodie bag, which will certainly help me stay healthy and fit. Everything I would expect from Holland and Barrett.

A Skincare Secret is Revealed…

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A mysterious locked box. A key hidden in a secret garden. It sounds like something from a children’s box. Well it was a reality for me last week when Dr Organic couriered a super secret box to my office. I had no idea what was inside. The tag read “…receive your key at Dr Organic’s secret garden tomorrow night”. This is what working with brands and PRs is all about. I was eager to find out more so I headed to The Ham Yard Hotel roof garden the following evening.

I’ve been to my fair share of roof gardens (Londoners love them, especially in Summer) but this one was different. It felt as though I had walked into a country garden, albeit it a slightly smaller version. Beautfiul wild flowers surrounded a decadent fountain, and all round us were Dr Organic Snail Gel products littered amongst logs, moss and ivy. It all felt very magical.

As we sipped on cocktails and ate our fair share of canapés (with my partner in crime Jamila) we were treated to a talk by make-up artist Kenneth Soh. He told us the best way to pair the products with our daily make-up routine. It was refreshing to hear from someone who wasn’t a typical ambassador for the brand, but instead was someone who used the product themselves and genuinely loved it. As the night drew to a close we said our goodbyes under the fairy lights, before rushing home to open our boxes with the keys we had acquired. Incase you were wondering, the boxes were filled with the new Dr Organic Snail Gel range (hand cream, face serum, face gel, face cream, eye serum and face mask), all of which will be released on October 8th in Holland and Barrett stores.

Cocktails and Dim Sum at Ping Pong

An invitation to dine on dim sum and cocktails for an evening is something I could never turn down, hence my attendance at Ping Pong’s Summer menu event last week. I was joined by some likeminded bloggers for a cocktail masterclass at the Stratford Westfield restaurant, where we would be making our own variations on the class Mojito, whilst nibbling on some of their best dishes.

We were hosted by Ping Pong‘s own mixologist Daniele, who showed us how to make the perfect mojito, and talked us through the tips and tricks of the cocktail trade. Then suddenly we were thrown into the deep end. We were asked to compete against each other to create our own Mojitos, which we would be judged on. At this point I’d already started eating and was so overwhelmed by the tastiness of the food that I’d completely forgotten all of the measurements. Not a great start. Still I tried my best and even though I felt mine was a little weak, I was given a 7/10, which I’m pretty happy with considering it was my first ever time making a Mojito. After some more dim sum (you MUST try the chicken and cashew dumplings!) I went back for round two, and tried making a Chambord Mojito…which was too strong. This cocktail malarky isn’t as easy as it looks! Still, I happily sipped away at my creations whilst chatting to everyone, and before I knew it they were all gone!

Ping Pong has been on my list of ‘go to places’ since I moved to London, but I can never find anyone who wants to go for dim sum with me. I’m not sure if it’s because the concept of sharing food is still a little lost on some people, or just because I don’t know enough people who enjoy the dishes. Either way I’m glad I went to Ping Pong’s event with V.A (a fellow Dim Sum lover) as she was the perfect foodie companion, as always. I had a wonderful evening and the food was absolutely delicious, I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re not a fan of sharing food then Ping Pong is the best way to get out of that habit. Although the food is so good you’ll probably end up fighting each other for the last dumpling. As for the cocktails, the Lychee Rose cocktail is now a favourite of mine (and exclusive to Ping Pong) and I would go back purely for another glass…or two.

Check out Ping Pong for your closest restaurant, and don’t forget to check out their new Summer menu.

Thanks to V.A (Chopstickpanorama) for taking the photos of me.

Red or Dead – Keep It Cool

Driving through London on the top of a
vintage double decker bus whilst sipping on Pimm’s is my idea of fun.
It becomes all the more exciting when you’re on your way to Red or
Dead’s headquarters, joined by your fellow bloggers. As far as hyping
up events go, RoD have it down to a tee. We arrived to a pink paradise where we
were fed delectable mini treats and watered with refreshing slushies
by Slush Bros. We were then ushered inside for a small talk about the
A/W 14 collection, which is where Creative Director Katie Greenyer told us all about the history
of the brand, and all of the exciting things to come. Red or Dead have managed
to update the brand’s look without losing their sassy, unique vibe.
They’ve created their own trends for the A/W season, but
fashion-conscious people need not worry as the pieces will appeal to

I personally loved all of the
monochrome on offer – always on-trend, always timeless. I know the
inclusion of the two piece sets will keep a lot of bloggers happy,
especially those who were worried that they would have to say goodbye
to them at the end of the Summer. My personal favourite was the striped jumper-skirt combo. The 1950s American high school
inspired pieces called out to my inner vintage vixen (she likes to
make an appearance every now and again)
and sent my brain into a coordinating craze. The midi-skirt and
jacket would look amazing with some bright red heels (dare
I say glitter?)
and a beehive.
The shoes and accessories are so perfect that they
could easily make an outfit themselves. No, I’m not encouraging you
all to turn up to your mate’s birthday party sans clothing, holding
the Red or Dead Saturn Clutch (a personal favourite of mine).
I am however encouraging you to think about making a pair of their
brogues, or their vampire clutch bag the point of your outfit.
Basically, the accessories are so on point that you’re going to look
pretty darn cool wearing even the smallest piece of Red or Dead.
Red or
Dead are a brand I remember wearing in the early 2000s. I even had a
pair of the iconic foam wedges, which I wore at any given chance. So
I was pretty excited to find out what the brand had on offer now, and
whether it would suit my current tastes (they’ve changed
quite a bit)
. Luckily I was not
disappointed and I can see myself wearing about 90% of the new
collection. Whereas I won’t be cycling away on their gorgeous bike
anytime soon, I can definitely see a few key pieces (and
most of the accessories)
their way into my Autumn-Winter wardrobe.

can shop Red or Dead’s A/W 14 collection exclusively at BANK Fashion.
Thank you to V.A for taking the photos of me at the event.

House of Fraser – Christmas in July

Christmas…in July!? Yes, it is the unfortunate right of passage that every blogger and journalist must make during the sweltering July heat. It may seem insane, but there’s actually a lot of sense in it. The Christmas months can be a little hectic, but the stores still want to let the press know what will be hitting their shelves for the most wonderful time of the year. Hence ‘Christmas in July’. A month when everyone feels a lot less stressed, and a whole lot warmer. Giving the magazines and blogs plenty of time to prepare their features and own personal wish lists. 
House of Fraser were amongst the few I attended and I was certainly put into the holiday spirit. Christmas trees and stockings lined the hall, whilst waitresses offered us elderberry water and earl grey cookies. As I nibbled away, tiny hedgehog decorations and ornate Biba candles grabbed my attention (and personal affections). The sights, smells and tastes all screamed Christmas. 
I personally love gifting at Christmas, and I certainly have some ideas of what I’ll be putting under the tree this year. Still, it would be silly to say that I didn’t also enjoy browsing House of Frasers offerings for myself. Lulu Guinness always brings something fun and unique to the table, making her items some of the top on my Christmas list. The selection of high-end beauty products and perfumes also called out to me, most notably the Laura Mercier lip glosses, and Guerlain and Valeur Absolue‘s perfumes. 
Previous years saw me avoiding department stores but House of Fraser has changed that. In the past year I’ve found myself more and more drawn to their choice of brands. They’re a store that is keeping up with the times and continues to impress with their products. The variety of items available are enviable, as is the quality. If I had to choose only one store to buy all of my gifts this Christmas, they would win hands down.