Friday, 22 September 2017

Saying Goodbye To Summer

It's no secret to those who know me that summer isn't exactly a friend of mine. I get so hot, which makes my days extremely uncomfortable, and therefore, unpleasant. I'm only half joking when I tell people I feel murderous during the summer months, but I have to confess something.....this summer actually wasn't so bad! I don't know if it was because there were only a few spells of really hot weather this time round, or if I'm slowly but surely coming to terms with the season, but I've had a good ol' summer.

I've seen friends, and visited a few exhibitions. I've done some writing, gone back to my blog (hello) and have had some alone time - all have been great for me and I feel so much more like myself with my favourite season, Autumn, coming up. But before that, I wanted to share a look from a recent trip to Canterbury. I've had this Lovedrobe, for Navabi, dress for a little while now and when it was so kindly gifted I wanted somewhere fancy to wear it. I always fall into the trap of needing an occasion to wear a certain piece of clothing and it's just so silly, so I decided I was going to take the dress on the trip and wear it come rain or shine. Thankfully for me it was a gorgeous day when we visited the beach before driving back home, and although incredibly windy, it felt good to mix the rough of the beach with the smooth of the dress.
Dress: Lovedrobe for Navabi (limited sizes available)
Slingbacks: South via Very (no longer available)
Sunglasses: Spitalfields Market, Shoreditch
I'm not usually one for pink but the colour looks great against my skin tone. I didn't feel like I was dressed as a wanna-be Barbie doll (although how awesome would I be as fat Barbie?!), and I love, love, love the spiral rose detail at the bottom. Although the skirt was lined, it didn't feel restrictive like some lined garments can feel. The dress zips up at the back but there was enough stretch in there for me to wiggle into it without any problems. It was comfy to wear and I felt like a total beach babe in it.

So although I'm very much looking forward to boots, leaf crunching, hot chocolate, walks in the park, rainy days sat on the sofa writing, and the colder temperature, I'm saying a fond farewell to summer.

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Diversity: Does It Really Mean Anything Anymore?

Diversity. Are you as tired of seeing and hearing that word as much as I am?! It's in literally every plus size campaign at the moment and, for the most part, it feels diluted. It feels so watered down that, just like the body positivity movement, I don't think it really means anything anymore.

Before branding and money came into it, diversity was a legit thing. In the good ol' days of Live Journal and the like, we saw every size, every race and ethnicity, with varying physical abilities. It was like this because it was about a community coming together, to give the middle finger to an industry that didn't want to acknowledge anyone who didn't fall into the Eurocentric beauty standards. Don't get me wrong, we're still there to a large degree, but we are seeing brands making attempts to show diversity. This is a good thing....I say good rather than great because we're still seeing such a shortage of real diversity. Seeing a campaign make a baby step is becoming the norm now, with the optimistic "It's a step in the right direction"comments, but shouldn't we, with 2017 drawing to a close, be seeing more than just a step?! Shouldn't we be seeing grand and purposeful strides?! Slightly thicker thighs and a little wobble in the tummy just isn't going to cut it anymore.

I believe in calling for more and demanding to be at least heard, but we also need to give brands an opportunity to grow, particularly with smaller brands. It really can be a partnership but if a brand doesn't listen and doesn't want to or care to understand why there is frustration, we'll continue to go around in circles, never getting anywhere. An open dialogue is what's required, and when I say open, I mean in a sense of honesty in whatever capacity that might be. Brands need to reach out more to the bloggers who feel excluded, not just the high profile bloggers who are mainly white. I think they'll be surprised that there isn't as much animosity as perceived and that all we want is to be involved in a discussion that affects us but ironically doesn't include us.

Brands aside, another major problem with the discussion of diversity, is there only seems to be discussion of white and black. Hardly anyone mentions other ethnicities like Indian, Pakistani, Japanese, Bengali, Chinese, Egyptian, Thai, to name just a tiny few. Also, diversity isn't just about race or ethnicity; we also need to talk about the visually disabled, the LGBTQ community, and non-gendered as these groups always seem to be missing in the diversity discussion.

If we're only interested on our own intersections, we're part of the problem. At this stage of the game we can't have the "Well I'm represented so I'm cool" attitude because isn't that what got us into this mess in the first place?! The fashion industry is predominately white, particularly the higher up roles. It's only recently where we've seen a marked change, most notably with Elaine Welteroth as Editor-in-Chief for Teen Vogue and Edward Enninful as Editor-inChief for British Vogue (who shortly after taking over appointed Pat McGrath as beauty editor-in-charge), and their presence was felt immediately. Suddenly we were seeing people of colour being featured and thrust into a spotlight that was so white-washed before. These appointments are so important because fashion needs to represent our society and high street fashion needs to take the lead on this. If they do, people at the top of the industry might take notice and do something about the current lack in representation.

So lets hope diversity goes back to what it used to be, because if brands are declaring it and if we're asking for it, we need to include everyone.

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


So you may have noticed I've been M.I.A for a little bit. I've been visible on Twitter and Instagram, but my blog hasn't received a lot of love from me recently, and I wanted to have a chat about why.

I've talked about this subject before, but I was in a bit of a slump. I was still questioning my place in the blogger world and didn't feel it was right to pretend while I was thinking things through. One thing I always promised myself was that I was always going to be honest, and blogging just didn't feel like the right thing to do during that time, and to be honest, I still get incredibly frustrated if I feel I'm treading water, because I never want to blog for the sake of it. It has to mean something.
Dress: Excuse My BonBon (no longer available)
Leggings: Very
Boots: Simply Be (no longer available)
This is going to sound weird as there is of course an element of that, if you're putting yourself out there, you're going to get attention, but I've never really wanted that much attention. I know, I know, says the girl in a bold Excuse My BonBon polka dot dress with bell sleeves(!), but my goals in regards to blogging are so different from my counterparts. I don't want modelling contracts or the like because that isn't what I define as success. I think the line between success and fame have become blurred in blogging and I think there is the notion that you can't have one without the other, but I disagree. I disagree because everyone has their won ideas of what success is, and my aim for my blog is to be a visible person of colour and to maybe help others who look like me, or similar, get to a level of self love a respect we all deserve. If that means one person getting out of bed not feeling like they are worthless - that is success to me, and I fell into a slump because I allowed myself to get sucked into the comparing mind-fuck that is so easy to slip into. I lost sight of why I started my blog in the first place and started to berate myself for not being at the heady heights of very well known bloggers.
Fame isn't something that drives me. It isn't something I want. I love writing, so if anything, Id love to write for a publication of some sort, but as far as being a famous blogger? That's just not my destiny. It can be so overwhelming and it's so easy to lose yourself in the sometimes toxic bubble. It can be so easy to see what everyone else is doing and feel like you're not doing something right, that you don't look "right", that your personality isn't "right", and of course there are barriers there. PoC, the disabled, LGBTQ, etc are still widely ignored, but we can't use this as a smoke screen to hide our own insecurities. We can't see change if we doubt ourselves and our worth. I don't want to press pause on loving or validating myself until I see someone who looks like me on the cover of a magazine. It has to start with me. It has to start with us, and that's what I forgot. That's why I needed a detox. I couldn't fight the good fight while questioning myself and my place.

But I feel refreshed. I feel like new, and can't wait to share some more posts about the things that matter to me. I hope you like reading because they're all pretty wordy!

I've missed you all though and I'm super happy to be back.

Love and hugs,
Isha xx

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Oh, I Do Love A Podcast!

I've made it no secret on Twitter that I am obsessed with podcasts. I'm always on the lookout for new ones to dive into and I love recommending the ones I love to people, so with that in mind I thought I'd do a blog post about my current favourites. I haven't put them in any order for the simple fact that I couldn't really tear them apart; they're all so different and each offer something that the other doesn't, so here goes:

1. My Favorite Murder
Their American spelling of favourite can be forgiven because the content of the podcast is so good. I love true-crime and the co-hosts, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, have a really great balance between seriousness and humour in their podcast My Favorite Murder. Humour?! Well, yes. They are completely respectful of the victims and their families, but obviously the subject and specific details they discuss are really hard to listen to at times, so the dashings of humour are most welcome and necessary.

2. Terrible, Thanks for Asking
I saw a review of Terrible, thanks for asking on the Guardian and the title caught my eye. You see, we have a tendency to pretend we're OK even when we're not. We smile and say "I'm fine" when we know deep down we're struggling to keep our heads afloat. The host Nora McInerny, is unapologetic about telling people how she's really feeling, particularly after having a miscarriage, and loosing both her husband and father within weeks of each other. Who has time to pretend, right?! It's a serious podcast and talks about hard-hitting life experiences like death and depression, so it may be quite triggering for some, but I found it really cathartic hearing others' stories on these issues. Season one is available now, but thankfully, season two is being worked on as I type!

3. Serial
Although two seasons in, season one is still the most potent one; the story of Adnan Syed. Adnan was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999. The host, Sarak Koeing, goes through the entire case from start to finish, talking to witnesses, the police and the family and friends of Adnan to try and discover if the conviction was just. In July 2016 it was announced that Adnan would receive a new trial as there was enough evidence to suggest the conviction was ropey at best. It's brilliant story telling from Sarah and Serial was my very first podcast so it'll always have a special place in my heart.

4. Invisibilia
There isn't a podcast like Invisibilia. Invisbilia talks about the things that are out of our control but shape us as individuals. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin, and Alix Spiegel (who appears in season two), they delve into scientific research and speak to people whom feel they have been affected by invisible forces. Topics include the forces which make one individual more fearless than others, and forces that make an individual more inclined to achieve their potential above another. It's so interesting and I can't wait for season three which is coming real soon!

5. Bad Fat Broads
You know when you know someone doing something awesome and you're nothing but super proud? Well that's how I feel about Bad Fat Broads. You see, Ariel is one half of BFB and I'm honoured to say that she's a friend. I nicknamed Ariel 'The Oracle' because her Twitter feed is just full of wisdom and thought provoking subjects, so the fact that she now has a place to call her own, along with co-host KC, is a great thing. They talk all things fat politics and they aren't afraid to call out brands and public figures who miss the mark on the fat acceptance movement. I love listening to these two.

6. 2 Dope Queens
Co-hosts Jessica Williams and Pheobe Robinson are two black queens who started as solo stand-ups, but when they met they realised they would be a duo to be reckoned with, and the 2 Dope Queens podcast consists of their live stand-up with other comedians in support. They talk about their first time having sex (Phoebe's story is so flipping funny!), shopping in-store and being stalked by security because they're black, growing up with embarrassing parents, and dating. It's such a perfect mix and their third season has just been released. Speaking of 2 Dope Queens....

7. Sooo Many White Guys
This podcast is hosted by Phoebe Robinson, one half of 2 Dope Queens. I love Sooo Many White Guys because, although it's still funny, Phoebe sits down and interviews people in the entertainment world, taking the focus away from white guys (hence the name) as white men already get plenty of coverage, right?! The second season just finished and I personally liked it more than the first season as it's a lot more serious and really addresses race and politics in a way few others are currently.

I also wanted to give a special shoutout to a podcast that isn't seasonal. It's one season of one story and it's so good I couldn't leave it out:

S Town
S Town is Serial's sister and starts off as this bizarre murder mystery, but ends up being a heartbreaking and touching story about life and the legacy we leave behind. S Town is hosted by Brian Reed, and he tells his journey throughout this story so beautifully. It's a moving tribute to having someone in your life one minute and not the next, and assessing how they lived their life and how they affected (for the good or for the bad) the people they encountered throughout their life. The artwork that accompanies the podcast is stunning and fits so perfectly with the story. It's only seven episodes long and so, so worth the listen.

So those are all the podcasts that get me through my day. Looking at the list, do you know what I've noticed? They're all either hosted by and/ or produced by women! How awesome is that?!

I'll be sure to share any other podcasts I come across that thrill me, but I hope I've given you some inspiration. All of the above can be found on iTunes or via their individual websites (They've all been linked).

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Lace It Up

Hi folks!

Sorry I keep disappearing from you guys. The first half of the year has been so odd, but I'm trying to find my equilibrium to post more. I do partially blame winter because I just can't find the motivation to blog loads in the winter months. All I want to do is hibernate, curl up in a blanket and watch Netflix series, eating hearty stews. I make no apologies for that (particularly the stews), but now that the sun has started to make more of an appearance, I'm starting to look at my wardrobe with excitement with all the bright fun colours and patterns I have waiting to be unleashed onto the world.

The following set of pictures were taken a fair while ago, but I love the dress and can see myself ditching the boots and legging for gold strappy sandals and bare legs. I love lace. I have so many items of clothing with either lace or mesh and find them so fun to play with as almost all I own can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. This occasion was for a catch-up lunch with the lovely Hanna. I headed to her neck of the woods, in North London, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have a few snaps taken before heading home.

Dress: Very*
Scarf: Dorothy Perkins*
Boots: Dorothy Perkins*
Leggings: Very
Satchel: Gifted by lovely Hanna

I can't help but laugh when I look at these, and many other outfit photos I've taken. I seem to have an aversion to looking into the camera, and I have no idea where I picked this habit up from. I don't know if I thought it made me look really deep and thought-ridden, but whatever the reason, I'm going to actually start looking into the camera, haha. 

I have so many outfit ideas for spring/ summer and can't wait to show you all. Stay tuned and thanks again for sticking with me and letting me be as lazy as I want to be for this little blog of mine. 

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

KEY: Symbol * denotes an item no longer available.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Find It In Everything: Winter 2016/17

Hello gang! Oh how I've missed you.

I recently moved (again, but the last time this time), and I found myself without the internet for the best part of two weeks! No internet is a bit of a nightmare when you use it so much so my blog really felt the affect. Thankfully I'm up and running again and just in time for Spring! Yesterday marked the very first day of Spring, so it's time for another 'Find it in Everything'. This one is a little unusual as, although London can be super pretty in the Winter months, I found myself mesmerised by the the stunning light display at the Magical Lantern Festival. The festival is to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and I simply couldn't take enough pictures; there was so much to see and marvel over. I believe it's on until the end of February, so do take some time to go if you can.

In honour of my first trip there, this Winter's edition is all about the lights!

I look forward to snapping away during the Spring months - see you then. :)

'til next time,

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Avant Garde

Happy New Year!! Yes, I know I'm a little slow on the uptake here as it's well past the start of a new year, but as it's my first post of 2017 I thought I ought to say it. I'm not sure how your year has started but my 2017 hasn't been the best. I don't know what it is about feeling like a new year is going to be a fresh start, but I can't help but fall into the trap a little bit. I always think I'll spring out of bed on January 1st ready to take on the world, but find that it's of course just another day and the struggles and/ or frustrations I had on December 31st aren't going to magically disappear because the end digit of the year has changed. However, part of my to-do list for this year is to be a little bit more positive so I'm going to do just that.

Now, these pictures are actually a few months old, but I couldn't disregard them as I'm so in love with this dress from Next and decided to wear it for the first time during my last trip to Nottingham to see the lovely Charlotte.
I think you can tell why I called this post Avant Garde. This dress couldn't be further from what I would normally pick, but the colours really caught my eye and I just had to order it and give it a go. Your eyes just don't settle do they?! There's so much to look at. I love the frills on the deep v-neck and sleeves and I love the zip-zag flower design of this explosion of technicolour goodness, and I couldn't be happier to have given it a go.
I plan to head out of my comfort zone a little more this year and I think this is a great start!

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx