T. H. Baker Silver Open Star Pendant Review

TH Baker Jennifer Juan

When I received a gorgeous necklace from T. H. Baker this weekend, I was curious to know more about the history that I would soon be wearing around my neck.

Beginning in Wiltshire, in 1888, with Thomas Henry Baker, the business began with a core principal that remains to this day. “Good value, and a quality of service unmatched by its rivals”. The dedication of Thomas Henry Baker, and his children (and currently great, great grandchildren) that followed him into the family business, have ensured that the company has continued to succeed, over a century past it’s inception.

Now in their 128th year of business, T. H. Baker still believe in good value and great service, which is apparent in the packaging of the necklace I received.

It arrived within two days of confirmation, although next day delivery is available, and I could hardly wait to have a peek inside.

The presentation box was sturdy, yet sophisticated, making it ideal as a gift straight out of the envelope, without additional wrapping or presentation, or just a fancy gift for yourself (I definitely went for the second option…). T. H Baker’s pride in their business is clear, from not only the quality of their products, but how they present them.

TH Baker Jennifer Juan Box 2

Inside the presentation box, the cushioning is soft, adding to a high class feel of the packaging, but more importantly, the necklace is displayed in all it’s beauty. There is a dainty sterling silver 16-18 inch extender chain, which allows for security of the pendant, with a glamorous touch. One of my greatest fears when wearing a necklace is the chain breaking and the necklace being lost, but the chain feels very secure, without being restrictive.

TH Baker Jennifer Juan Box 3

The main event, of course, is the pendant. A beguiling design, that will give a boost of timeless elegance to any outfit. The cubic zirconia adds sparkle to the painstaking detail of the pendant. It is clear that great thought and care went into the design of the pendant, making it the perfect eye catching accessory.

TH Baker Jennifer Juan Pend

The necklace is light and graceful, and is perfect for complimenting both day wear and night wear, and overall, I’m very pleased with it, as it is the kind of necklace that can be used for any occasion, and will receive a lot of use, and that, as far as I’m concerned, is the true meaning of good value.

If you would like to find out more about the history of T. H. Baker, or find more of their jewellery, you can find them online below.

Website/Online Store
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If you would like to see more of the necklace seen in this review, you can do so here.

Jennifer Juan blog finish

Besos,

J x

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*Disclaimer* I was generously provided with the above necklace in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts, opinions, research and photographs are my own.

 

 

 

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What’s In My Bag? + Learning A New Language!

Whatsinmybagjenniferjuan final

So, I’ve never done a post like this before, primarily because I keep nothing of interest in my bag. Up until recently, I didn’t even HAVE an interesting bag. However, I got the idea from Fran’s excellent post on blog ideas, and figured I may as well give it a go.

My bag was an effort to keep things practical, while still having a bag that represents me. While I’m not actually a cat, no matter how much I enjoy naps and giving presents nobody wants (always bad box sets, never dead birds, I promise), I try to live a fun and carefree life when I can, and a cat themed backpack spoke to me on that level, which is why I was thrilled to get it for Christmas. It also has ears. Who doesn’t want a bag with ears? It also has a lot of room and is durable, but I thought you might be more interested in the ears. I know I was.

The Star Trek playing cards may seem an odd choice, especially when you consider I don’t know how to play any card games. However, they are beautifully designed, featuring all the original series favourites (before JJ Abrams got his hands on them, more on that if I ever blog when angry), but they are perfect for something I recently discovered. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I recently (January is still recent to me..) saw a psychic, and I found the whole thing so interesting that I decided I wanted to know more. I’ve used horoscope apps, much to the display of everyone who looks through my phone and says “you believe in this crap?” for years, but I had never attempted to tell my own fortune, until now. As it all turns out, this can be done with playing cards, and so I keep them with me so I can practice, memorise what each card means and occasionally find out what is waiting for me around the corner.

This Royal Jelly body lotion was part of a set from Boots, that was originally a present (occasionally I do well in that department), and looked so nice, just from the packaging that I got a second set for myself. It has a beautiful scent and leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed, and I am heartbroken that I can’t find it at Boots any more.

My keys are pretty essential, I suppose. They aren’t even fancy. My bad.

Tesco’s Pro Formula Handgel has a lot that I can get behind. It’s green. I like green. It promises clean hands without water and delivers, and includes moisturisers to minimise the risk of dry hands. It’s a win win thing, really. Clean, not dry hands, with a cool, green goopy thing. What’s not to like. Also, it doesn’t feel sticky, it just looks like it should.

Maybelline’s Colorsensational Cocoa Fever Lipgloss is my favourite lip gloss at the moment, as you can tell by how used it looks! It gives a great shine to the lips, and isn’t too heavy. It has an unmistakable and delicious cocoa scent, and is long lasting, making it my perfect gloss.

Now, I have to be honest, I have no idea where my purse is from. I’ve had it for a while, and it has all kinds of stuff inside, and I suppose if I had looked hard enough, I could find out where it was from, but I didn’t so I can’t. Again, my bad.

Learning A New Language Jennifer Juan

The contents of my bag are not the only exciting thing on my blog today (please let me at least have a moment before telling me the bag wasn’t exciting, I beg of you), because I have decided to learn a new language!

It is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I kept putting it off and telling myself I didn’t have the time. I was looking for something that would remove those excuses and give me the motivation to learn and I found that with Duolingo.

For those that don’t know, I spend roughly three hours of my day, every week day commuting on public transport to work, and while I often fill that time with writing, reading and Sonic Dash (the choice of the grown up commuter with a grudge against adulthood and excellent tapping skills), I realised an app like Duolingo could fit in perfectly.

So far, I’m a few lessons into my course on Esperanto, which I decided on after researching all the languages offered, and discovering that William Shatner once starred in an Esperanto language horror film, that I’ve made it my mission to watch, without subtitles one day.

I’ll let you know how it goes, and maybe one day, I’ll be writing to you in Esperanto.

Besos,

J x

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Keep Singing, Keep Writing

Hola amigos reflexivos,

It’s been a little while. I hope you’ve been well. I’ve been thinking of switching up some of the things I post about on my blog, so if you had any ideas, or things you’d like to see my perspective on, please leave a comment below, and I’ll see what I can shake up for you. I’ve got some new poems uploaded, that you may be interested in, so do let me know what you think.

For those that don’t follow me on twitter, I recently went to see one of my childhood crushes, and someone I genuinely consider an outstanding musician, Rick Astley, on Friday. I know that Rick gained immense amounts of popularity after the craze of Rick Rolling, but I loved him before that. I don’t mean that to sound hipstery, but I really, genuinely did. When I was little (not that little though, I’ve always been tall!), I would stay at my grandparents, who had a record player in their spare room. It was there that I discovered all of my family’s old records, including my mum’s old Rick Astley collection, along with The Beach Boys, The Kinks and Secret Affair. My playlists may be old as hell, but they are built on youthful discovery.

On Friday, the two of us, along with my grandmother, danced, and sang along to Rick’s hits, old and new (His new single Keep Singing is incredible, by the way). Three generations of women, brought together, by the music of a meme. I don’t know if that was what he was going for when he stepped in to the studio to record “Never Gonna Give You Up” or my personal favourite “Together Forever”, but I’m thankful for it.

Anyway, enough about my fangirling, below are the new poems I mentioned. I hope you enjoy them. Rick will keep singing, and I will keep writing (as well as singing in the shower).

Besos,

J x

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Happy Birthday, Maya Angelou.

Angelou_Obama

 

When I was twelve, I first read “Gather Together In My Name” by Maya Angelou. I was reading her books in the wrong order, I know, but it was the first one I came across in my quest to discover more about black literature, and learn more about my heritage.

There have been times in my life, where I, as a biracial person haven’t felt black in any way, times, when I’ve felt black throughout my entire body, and times, when I feel like an awkward, but accepting mixture of black and white. I know the actual blackness, or right to claim blackness of biracial people is a difficult, divisive, and sometimes sensitive subject for people. I’m not going to tell you I have all the answers, I absolutely don’t, but what I will tell you, is that reading the work of Maya Angelou, even in the wrong order, gave me a peace and acceptance that I wish I had owned from the start of my life.

I was never given much black literature to study during school, and that was where I got most of my reading material. It wasn’t until GCSE English classes when a few poems by black writers sat shyly behind the blindingly white majority in the AQA Anthology, that I discovered it in the curriculum, but before that, at the age of twelve, I grew impatient, and determined to learn more about myself and since I loved to read, that seemed the obvious place to start. I knew black writing probably existed, and much further back than the Anthology would have me believe. How could it not? Black people existed, and they all had voices, no matter who tried to silence them. Where there are voices, there is literature.

There was a lot, that at the age of twelve, and probably even now, I hadn’t experienced. There was however a lot contained in “Gather In My Name” that I could relate to. I found understanding, in so many things that nobody had ever been able to explain to me before. It isn’t that people never tried, but there are some things that just can’t be articulated by someone who has never experienced it, and probably never will. I had spent years reading one half of my life, and feeling there was a part of me missing, before discovering that all the questions, insecurities and mysteries of the other half had been answered, loudly and beautifully, through the literature of Maya Angelou. I read through everything of hers I could find, before delving into more and more black writers, addicted to learning about my other family and the black community that I had exiled myself from, due to a naïve, afraid, untrue belief that I couldn’t be a part of it. I finally had the confidence to ask if I could be included in the other side of myself, after feeling I had no right to.

I felt more connected to my father’s side of the family. We had shared nationality and language, but I never felt we shared race before, because while I had (and still have) some black features, and a black parent, I felt separated. Maybe we still don’t share race, according to some, and maybe I will never truly know or experience life as a black woman (again, this comes down to how you define blackness, but that is another blog post, really), but I felt closer, not by speaking, but by listening, reading, and learning. The half of my life I had never reached before was finally with me, and I felt complete. The isolation of only understanding one side of myself was lifted, and while my identity was still growing, I could feel it was closer and clearer than ever before.

There are realities for black women that will never be my own, due to the privileges afforded to me, as a biracial woman, but the things we do share, I have been able to understand, and discuss, and that never would have been possible, without picking up that first (actually second, but…) Maya Angelou autobiography, and so, on what would have been her eighty eighth birthday, I am thankful for Maya Angelou, for helping me understand myself, and who I could be.

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A Little Look Back….

Hola amigos reflexivos,

I hope you’re doing well. I’ve been enjoying the extra hour of sunlight (as tarnished by rain as it may be in jolly old England), and am ready to embrace summer time.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing this summer, but I’m sure I’ll have a lot of fun.

Thank you so much for the recent feedback and comment on my latest work, it is very kind of you and I really appreciate it.

I recently found my old blogspot, and managed to salvage a few pieces from the wreck that was my astonishing (and not always in a good way) childhood blog, so I’ve adapted some of them and added them to my latest set of poems, which you can see below. I promise, they aren’t all tragic teenage ramblings.

It was interesting to look back on my older work. Sad in a few places, and hopeful in others. There are dreams I had for myself that have yet to come true, but could do, some day. I hope yours do too.

Besos,

J x

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Portraits From The Pier

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