Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Find it in Everything: Spring 2016

Hi guys,

Yesterday marked the start of summer (although you wouldn't know it), so it's time for another Find it in Everything. This time it's Spring which would normally be lots of sunshine and blissful park days; instead there were a lot of showers and all round bad weather, but that didn't stop me from taking pics! Below are my favourites:

I'll see you at the end of a hopeful summer!

'til next time.

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Chiffon in Spring

Hi folks!

So a little while ago, the fab team over at Navabi asked if I wanted to blog about an item from their website. I didn't hesitate in saying yes, and immediately started my search for an item. I knew that Spring/Summer was on its way, so wanted something to reflect that time of year; I saw this dress and unashamedly cooed:
Dress: House of Magpie for Navabi^
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins*
Sunglasses: Spitalfields Market
This Pearl Embroidered Chiffon Dress is simply a dream. I love the "nude" colour against my skin tone, and being one who doesn't tend to wear A-line that often, I loved how the dress fit. Despite the embroidery being delicately stitched, I had no problem getting in and out of it without having a shower of pearls carpeting the floor. Chiffon feels so luxurious against the skin; it's light, airy and has such a feminine, grecian-goddess feel to it. The bonus factor is the underlay as it meant I didn't have to go out hunting for a slip to go underneath before I could wear it.

I usually wear a cardigan or shrug when I'm donning my clothes, but the sleeves are three quarter-length, sheer and uber floaty, so fit the upper arms perfectly. The dress hits me just below the knee (I'm a pixie 5'1") so will be slightly shorter for those taller than me, and I needed nothing more than a cute and comfy pair of gold flats before I was ready to hit to town.
I felt so great in this and will be begging people to invite me out for cocktails under the sun so I can wear this as many times as I can!

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

KEY: Symbol ^ denotes a gifted item.
          Symbol * denotes an item no longer available.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Going Dotty for Dolly (Pt.1)

Hi guys,

I've been suffering from hayfever these last two weeks, but after my last post, I felt energised to get my camera out in the garden and take some outfit pictures. It was perfect timing because I was recently contacted by Dolly and Dotty, who are a vintahe retro company, and they wanted to see if I wanted to review a couple of their dresses. Being a lover of all things vintage, I jumped at the chance! The first of the two dresses you'll see on the blog, from Dolly and Dotty, is the Rosie Flirty 50's Pinup Girl Dress.
 Dress: Dolly and Dotty*
Cardigan: H&M
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins^
Sunglasses: Spitalfields Market
I was instantly attracted to the neckline and lace-up body detail, as it's kitch, without looking like a costume, and the red and white check print is perfect for when the sun's out. The dress is halter and comes with a belt that actually fits - such a rare thing when belts come as an accessory, and I think it really completes the look well. I sized up as I'd never had a dress from Dolly and Dotty before, but I needn't bothered as the dress was loose around my neck and waist; so go with your normal size if you feel like spending a penny or two on their great selection of dresses.
It has a full skirt so you can throw a petticoat underneath for a full 50's look, and the dress is made from stretch cotton so it's lovely, light and easy to wear. There's a zip fastening at the side so you don't have to throw your back out trying to get into it without having someone to help zip you up (the struggle is real!). It's such a fun dress and I have visions of sitting on a blanket in the park, with a good book and a cheeky cider, in this beaut.

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

KEY: Symbol ^ denotes an item no longer available.
          Symbol * denotes a gifted item.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Why I found myself withdrawing from the blogging world

I've wanted to write this post for the longest time, but I've deliberated over and over again about whether it was worth it. At times I just feel it's better to take the high road, and others, I feel like it's an important issue that needs to be addressed, even if no-one reads this I know within myself that I spoke up and gave my two cents.

The issue of cliques within the blogging community came up on Episode Five of Bad Fat Broads, and I think it's a really important issue that no-one talks about.....at least not publicly, but as I mentioned, this is a topic I've wanted to address for some time so here goes.

Firstly, for me, there is a clear and distinct difference between clique and friendship:
Friendship - You love and support your friends in their endeavours, but also remain unbiased, and open to be encouraging to others within the community and congratulate and give due when they accomplish something, however small you may view said accomplishment.
Clique - You are part of a small group who only interact with those within said group, failing to acknowledge others and really embrace the community as a whole.

There's a great line from The White Stripes in 'My Doorbell' which sums it up pretty well: "I don't need any of your pity at all, I've got plenty of my own friends - they're all above me". That feeling of 'What can you do for me?' has become so much part of blogging and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It's based on either aspiring to reach their level, or once there, doing everything you can to remain there.

There is a clear hierarchy in the blogging world, and I guess, in my naivety, I didn't realise it until I became a victim of it. When I found the blogging community I thought that it was so great to have found like-minded people whom all had their own opinions, but when it came down to it, they all supported and encouraged each other. How wrong I was as if you are not on the "approved list", you're basically invisible, and I know others have been affected by this too. It's a sad but true fact that I still find difficult to accept. The amount of times I myself, or others, have reached out via Titter or other social media platforms, only to be completely ignored has become more and more frequent. When you make a point about an article or make a comment on an important issue you want to raise, have no-one join the conversation, only to have someone on "the list" raise the exact same point and have a plethora of mentions is incredibly hurtful and disheartening.

Why? Well here's the thing; we within the plus size community are not accepted anywhere. We've all experienced being excluded from pretty much every conversation because of how our bodies look, so think back to when you finally found this space of acceptance. This space to finally feel like you can love yourself no matter what and that you had value and were important. To have a group who shared your woes and who wanted to fight for something better for all of us. Now imagine that being taken away. Your one and only place of solace. Doesn't feel good, right?!

There's that saying about the poorer getting poorer and the richer getting richer; well the premise is the same in the blogging world. It's no surprise that those at the helm are mainly white, privileged women (although being white is a huge privilege in itself), dictating to those below them what is and is not acceptable; who is or isn't acceptable; what opinion is or isn't acceptable. That's a huge problem for me and I thought our community was better than that. It's a huge problem because those at the helm are also the ones with the most followers, the most opportunity, the most influence, and that's a big thing. Perpetuating values that only support and enhance the very clique they're part of, a clique whom already have all the perks and opportunities, is a huge problem. Dictating to others whom are compliant, and thus, creating rules within the community is (and I don't say this lightly) a dangerous thing. If you disagree and are vocal about it, you find out very quickly what a mistake that was. That isn't a community.

The irony is that those at the helm must have experienced exclusion for the way they look at one time or another. They must have had times when they went home feeling really crap about themselves because, yet again, they were the butt of a joke, or were made fun of for the way they looked; so it befuddles me when I see them adopting unpleasant behaviour they were once/ still victims of. It blows my mind.

These things have resulted in those who choose to speak up about the negative things affecting the community, being branded as haters or jealous. I've said this before, but it's used as a get-out-of-jail free card, used to silence people into accepting things for how they are and to prevent issues being brought to the forefront - another form of control. The criticism a lot of the time is really valid and we need a community that actually welcomes difficult discussion. That's how we grown, that's how we become better as individuals, that's how we change things. But I get it; if you're at the top, the last thing you want is to relinquish the opportunities because, even though we've come a long way since I first discovered the plus size world, there's still very few opportunities out there for us.

But thats's when we need to look beyond ourselves and acknowledge that others are just as deserving. It isn't that people don't work as hard at all (so tired of hearing that), but is instead because we don't look the way that is deemed profitable. We don't have the following so are not given a second look. There are so many being excluded from this new found plus size fame. Where are the non-conventional? Where are the trans people? Where are the disabled people? Where are the men? Where are the people of colour? Where are all the other marginalised groups? We as a community HAVE TO DO BETTER.

I love blogging but have found myself withdrawing. When I blog, I want it to mean something, I want to make a difference for the little black girl who doesn't look like the girls on the tv or in magazines, but how many women of colour, particularly in the UK, do we see getting opportunities to spread our message? I can count that number on one hand. It's sad and disappointing and I'm loosing the will to be honest. I want to keep fighting, but when you have non-one in your corner it's so, so hard to keep going.

But I will. People like me need to be seen, need to be represented - even if it's in a minor way. So expect to see more regular blog posts from me....

'til next time!
Isha xxx

Friday, 8 April 2016

Floral Showers

Hello lovely folk!

It has been an absolute age since I last blogged an outfit. Who cares about book reviews and pictures of London, right?! Well, I do, but I get your point. Life has been beyond hectic in recent months so blogging hasn't really been at the forefront of my mind. I'm also in a little bit of a style funk (which I may do a separate post about) so there hasn't been a lot speaking to me of late - whether it be from my wardrobes or online.

The dress I'm blogging about today has been my first purchase in a really long time, and I hope you can see why. It's my new favourite dress.

I've blogged about Voodoo Vixen a couple of times, but this is by far my favourite design. I love the black checked base with the bright and vibrant floral designs, and although it's a typical 50's inspired silhouette, it looks and feels incredibly modern. The dress also has a slip which I'm not usually a fan of as I've found in the past the slip moves around far too much, but having the slip attached at the waist makes it so much easier to move around without fear of a malfunction. It's quite a structured fit which I really like and the dress doesn't loose it's shape as a result.
Dress: Voodoo Vixen for Simply Be
Cardigan: H&M
Shoes: Simply Be^
I wore this for the first time at my friend's engagement drinks and I received a lot of compliments on the night as I swooshed around the bar. I felt and feel so confident in it and couldn't have wished for a better purchase after my style slump. I would live in this dress if I could, honestly.

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

KEY: Symbol ^ denotes an item no longer available.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Find It In Everything: Winter 2015/16

Hi guys,

Hope you're all well. Yesterday marked the official start of Spring, which means it's time for an other Find It In Everything: Winter 2015/16. I tend to hibernate during the Winter months so I didn't manage to snap as many pics as I may have liked, but I still think there are some gems in this collection.
I've already started my Spring collection so I look forward to sharing those in the next instalment. 

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Nerdsville Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman

I read this book for the second time recently and it is simply put, an adult children’s book.

A nameless main character narrates the story, which isn’t something I remember coming across. I like stories to be personal, like you know the person or can picture the person in order to get a connection, but it wasn’t necessary here because Neil Gaiman draws you in from moment one “It was duckpond, out at the back of the farm. It wasn’t very big. Lettie Hempstock said it was an ocean…”. You immediately get a vivid picture in your head of a vast field with farm animals, living together in harmony with a little tiny pond at the end of it. You immediately start asking questions like, who is Lettie and why does she think the pond is an ocean? What wondrous stories does she have to tell about the ocean? Why does it feel like this is going to be a significant part of the story – why?!

The book actually starts with the narrator revisiting his childhood village as an adult, where he comes across someone he once knew many years ago which leads to them talking and reminiscing about when he first moved there and what transpired after. I really don’t want to give the plot away as my telling of it wouldn’t do this book justice, but it tackles many subjects that many children have to deal with at an early age: the awkwardness of trying to figure out who you are, a sad and often troubled upbringing, parental failures, sibling woes, little (if any) friends, and an overactive mind that helps you escape it all.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane had me thinking a lot about how I felt at that age (the narrator is seven) and how confusing I found life and wondering if anyone else felt the way I did. It touches on those subjects with such ease and care, and I did nothing but root for the narrator and his friend Lettie and her family whom have a magical mystery about them that unfolds beautifully as the story builds. A suicide starts off this the dark adventure, and circumstances have the narrator and Lettie fighting dark, scary and mystical powers that enter the human realm looking for them.

The ocean plays a significant part of the story, and although I won’t reveal in what capacity, it has the narrator exploring reality and how events can shape the decisions we make for ourselves and for those around us. It’s quite poignant and has a resonance few books I’ve read recently have managed to achieve.

But what I love about this book is the friendship between the narrator and Lettie. Lettie has an unrelenting faith in her friend and promises him that she will look after him and protect him no matter what. The characters bounce off each other really well and you can’t help but think about some of your own best friends at that age and how feeling so lost can be eased a little knowing you have someone on your side – I think that’s something we all look for at every stage of our lives. They go through a lot together and face many obstacles, but their friendship remains until the end.

Again, I won’t tell you too much and certainly won’t tell you how it all ends, but reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane as an adult will transport you to your youth when anything and everything was possible, where there were adventures on every turn, and if you were lucky, a friend to hold your hand every step of the way.