Tuesday, 24 November 2020

10 Small Businesses To Shop From This Black Friday/Cyber Week

 Earrings - Duende (linked below!) / Jumper - Zara (old)

November has literally flown by, I don’t know where the time has gone. With the end of the month comes Black Friday, or if you’re up for spending Monday to Friday on this final week of November, Cyber Week. 

Now usually I would spend my time scrolling through my favourite high street and high end retailers, racking up wishlists of items I cannot simply stop thinking about. And I will continue to do this because I’m only human but this year, we have an opportunity to do something a little different. 

With the impacts of COVID-19 and lockdowns across the globe, businesses have been effected on every level, especially small homegrown businesses. People with passions and talents are facing hardships they didn’t intend for. It’s been hard for everyone, but I genuinely feel a little more for those who run businesses off their own back. 

Because of this, I wanted to share some small businesses that I’ve found, that you have recommended to me, in the hopes that this year rather than spending our coin on our usual favourite brands, we’d give them to those hard working small businesses owners who probably need it more. And let me tell you, you’ll definitely find things that are far more unique than what you’ll find elsewhere. 

Audrey Leighton Vintage

Audrey is one of my favourite creators in the digital space. She’s unique, she’s real and her creative eye is just next level. I’m so glad that she started her own businesses alongside her content creation because her style is beyond amazing. Along with sourcing the most incredible vintage pieces, Audrey has also launched her own designs in the brand including the most perfect wrap dress and the pearl strap fitted dress of dreams. If I could buy every single collection, I would. She launches a new collection at the end of every month and for November, this lands on Black Friday. If you want pure elegance for yourself or for Christmas presents for the ladies in your life, ALV is the place. 

Komas Beauty

When I found out about this brand, I could not be more excited because it's owned and created by my gorgeous girl, Sarah. We have been friends for over 10 years now and I cannot tell you how many fun memories we've had together; The Grateful Dead will forever be ours my love. She's always been considered our very own "mermaid" and her brand's first eyeshadow palette perfectly reflects that. As a Maldivian girl, she is one with the sea and her vegan & cruelty free Moodhu palette is filled with odes to that as well as beautiful neutrals and shimmers. I cannot stress how happy I am about this palette (I'm impatiently waiting for mine to arrive at my door) and about this brand. So please go show it some love, you will not be disappointed. Congratulations Sarah, I love you!

I came across Jet Noire after working on an article for Fashion Comes First and I fell in love with the brand and the owner, Mya. We had a chat over Zoom and I learnt about all the brand. Mya is quite literally the brains behind the brand; she does everything from designing to sewing to photography to selling. She’s hands on and that’s what I love about her and her brand. Jet Noire was born whilst Mya was in lockdown in Atlanta, Georgia, her hometown, and she has created the most beautiful pieces. You’re not going to want to miss out. 

Read my article about Mya & Jet Noire over on Fashion Comes First to learn more!

Kanya London

This brand was introduced to me thanks to Reena Rai and I could not be more happy that she shared it because oh my god. As a Desi girl, I am always going to need a sari at some point and now I've found Kanya, I know where my next sari purchase will be from. I am utterly obsessed with the Corset sari - I've never seen anything like it before and it's so on trend whilst also being timeless. I'm quite literally dreaming of this sari and a reason to wear it. I'd take it in every colour. The colour ways and styles of all the sarees, lenghas, dresses and more are just so rich and elegant that I cannot recommend anywhere more for your Desi girl needs. It's all ethically made whilst being extra sassy. Can you tell I'm obsessed?

Because Of Alice

I just found this brand on Instagram and I adore it. It's the perfect brand for statement basics that are versatile and can be worn for any occasions. I've been following Alice on her personal Instagram for a while now and absolutely adore her style, so of course I'm going to love her brand. Her pieces just say "rich" to me, in the best way - like dressed for success. They are definitely power pieces worth spending your money on.  

Odd Muse

Another Instagram find that says "rich" to me with elevated wardrobe staples that will have you feeling your best. The fact that their story literally says "investment fashion" pulls me right in. It's important to buy pieces that will not only look and feel good but will stand the test of time and Odd Muse does that. Notable pieces are the "Ultimate Muse Blazer" and the "Muse Leather Body" - they are stunning and need to be in my wardrobe immediately. 

The Nuevo Edit

Another brand with timeless pieces that range from loungewear to everyday wear, The Nuevo Edit is a winner. For me, it's the knit pieces that are very Khaite-esque and gorgeous. Plus the price points are amazing. Watch me eventually bag all the pieces because I love. Also I love that this is a brand built by two friends, Francesca & Laura, who just love fashion, it shows. 


We are all living in loungewear right now for the majority of our days, so when I found Sport-Luxe, I was sold. These vintage inspired minimal pieces are perfect for those casual days, but with a little bit of added edge. The logo print is super cute and the colour ways the pieces come in are staple. They look comfy, the aesthetic is gorgeous. Yeah, basically new favourite for luxe 'sportswear'.

Luna Linx Jewellery

I only just learnt about this brand because it's actually created by the lovely Alexandra, who I went to secondary school with. Alexandra makes these absolutely gorgeous handmade jewellery that comes in sterling silver, gold-plated and vermeil and are perfect for everyday wear. With astrological and abstract inspired pieces, these uniquely beautiful. I also think they are perfect gifts for the holiday season for your friends or family! My favourite piece has to be the abstract face earrings, pictured above. Everything is made by Alexandra in the UK and ships worldwide!

Sometimes I'm truly grateful for advertising on Instagram because it led me to this Sri Lankan jewellery brand that just encompassed my pearl jewellery love. My pearl hoops from Duende are statement yet elegant; you can wear them day to night and honestly, they make you feel super sassy so I would recommend them to everyone who has a love of pearls and big hoop earrings. Even if you are not a pearl person, there's also other styles of earrings that you're bound to love at amazing quality and price. 

So there you have it; 10 brands that you should spend your money on this Cyber Week/Black Friday. I know that deals are completely and utterly enticing, and sure it's a definite possibility that we will still spend our money in our favourite stores, but take the time to explore other alternatives. There are some incredible creators out there who deserve our love and support, especially in these crazy times. Also, smaller businesses are going to offer some beautifully unique pieces and what's not to love about that. 

Happy Shopping! 

Hope you're all staying safe and well!

Lots of Love, 

Emily xx


Monday, 16 November 2020

Why I'm Dressing Up For The Rest Of The Year

 Outfit: Dress - Pretty Little Thing (*affiliate link used, this does not cost you any extra)

I feel like I've both said and thought this following sentence more times than I can count lately; "2020 has not been the year". It's very easy to get down on ourselves this year because of everything that's going on, not that I need to remind you. And as we come to the end of the year, looking forward to the next, trying to forget this one, I want to urge you to do something.

Look back on 2020 and reflect on the good things because I can guarantee you there were some good ones, even little ones. Maybe you learnt something new, maybe you worked on yourself or maybe you had some major milestones in your education or career. Find those things and express gratitude for them.

It's probably a great time to do it as well with a lot of us going into second lockdowns or being more precautious as the Holiday season is almost upon us (*I am screaming inside with joy*).

Christmas never fails to make me happy. If you haven't learnt that about me by now, well now you know. I get into the festive mood from September, much to the dismay of my family and friends. Christmas, as well as Thanksgiving for my American lovelies, usually brings parties, gatherings, dinners and so much more where we have more than enough excuses to get dressed up. Those things may be put on hold or cancelled altogether and that seems like another downer to add to the list. But I want to encourage you to not allow this to get you down. 


Dress up. 

So what if you're at home? So what if it feels a little extra? Why wouldn't you want an excuse to get dressed up? Ditch your loungewear and pjs for that outfit you've been itching to wear, or buy the one that's been sitting in your basket that you've been umming and ahhing over. Give yourself a pick me up by dressing up.

Whether you're locked down or social distancing with family, your significant others or your friends, make a spectacle of it. Keep the festivities alive. Christmas Parties cancelled? Zoom it. Get yourself dressed up, get on a Zoom call, play all the Christmas tunes, drink some wine, eat some food, play some games virtually. 

I don't think the festive season has to be lowkey this year, it just has to adapt. 

Dressing up, putting on a full beat of make-up never fails to get me into a good mood and I know there's some of you out there who feel the same. I mean look, I've been living in leggings and t-shirts pretty much the whole year, more so now that I'm sat in front a computer most of my day watching and attending lectures for uni. But I've decided that I'm going to make a bit more of an effort even on a regular day. Maybe not in a bodycon dress like you see me in here, but at least a floaty day dress or a pair of shorts and tee that I would maybe wear for a lunch date. 

I know that I've been feeling a little down in the dumps at times, even not having ideas for the blog because I haven't bought anything new or haven't really worn anything interesting that would then interest you. But I've decided that it doesn't matter - I'm going to post when I post and hopefully you'll enjoy it. And with my new decision of dressing up more, you might just see more of me. 

Times are tough and it's okay to feel down, it's inevitable. It's how you lift yourself up again that matters. So dress up on those days were you're feeling rubbish or organise something to get yourself dressed up for at home. Allow yourself to feel your best.

I hope you're all staying safe and well! Sending you lots of love, 

Emily xx


Wednesday, 4 November 2020

What To Watch, Read & Listen To To Make Your Days A Little Brighter

Outfit: Jumpsuit - H&M (old, similar here and here)

We've all mentioned enough times and more how rather rubbish this year's been and even if you're the most positive person in the world, you're going to have your down days. And especially as different places across the world are going back and forth between restrictions and not. 

Last Thursday, we headed into a weekend lockdown here in Colombo but that has now been extended to next week. I know that England is going back into lockdown from a month from Thursday, France has gone into a one month lockdown. If you've been watching the US Election, you might be on edge like I have been. Numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to grow. It's just such an uncertain, scary time. None of us want to go back into a full fledged lockdown, so it's worrying. 

When that worry kicks in, we all need a little pick me up. Even I have found myself finding or turning to things that I know are going to make my soul a little happier. So I thought I'd share these things with you.

What To Watch:

The Binge-Worthy Show That I Couldn't Stop Laughing At - Grace & Frankie: This is one of those shows that I continuously laughed at. It's refreshing and hilarious. You cannot go wrong with Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin.

The "Watch Easy" Show That'll Give You Fashion, Fun & French - Emily In Paris: If you haven't heard about this one or seen it yet, then what are you doing? It's got fashion, romance, comedy and clichĂ©s, what's not to love? The title alone is what I want the title of my life to be, so of course I'm suggesting this one.

A Series That Is Addictive And Brilliant - La Casa De Papel (Money Heist): Yeah, I might be late to this party but this has to be one of the best shows on Netflix. Insanely well written, keeps you on your toes and you will not stop watching it. My tip: Watch it in Spanish with English subtitles.

A Movie To Watch Forever - The Holiday: Look, I know it's far too early for Christmas movies (not for me though, I get in the Christmas mood come September 1st) but I've watched "The Holiday" countless times and it never fails to make me feel all the feelings. Plus, Nancy Meyers never fails with her films. I don't even need to say much else. 

A Classic Rom-Com With A Lot of Laughs - The Proposal: You may have noticed, I love a rom-com and I have no shame. The Proposal is one of the best, it's a fact. Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds were the combo I never knew I needed. It's one of those movies you could watch over and over. Also, Betty White as Grandma Annie? Iconic. 

YouTuber That Never Fail Me - Lydia Elise Millen-Gordon:
I've been watching Lydia for the longest time and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for her hour long vlogs. From fashion to beauty to gardening, Lydia just delivers a place of escape when you need it. Lydia is one of those real people on the internet who isn't afraid to speak her mind and be emotionally raw too, which is something we need more of in the world of social media. 

YouTuber That Always Makes Me Laugh & Give Me Fitness Motivation - 
 Sarah's Day: I absolutely adore Sarah; she's just this amazing ball of energy and she's another truly real person on the internet. I've watched her journey for years now and her life with Kurt, Fox & Abby never fails to make me smile and laugh because they are hilarious. Also, her abs are killer! Her workouts inspire me, as does her food (I can't wait to see the cooking project she's working on). Honestly, you cannot go wrong with Sarah. 

What To Read:

The Book I Couldn't Put Down -
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand: 
This book was the most unconventional love story I've read and I loved every single minute of it. The title of the book outlines exactly how the story goes; 28 Summers of love between Mallory Blessing and Jacke McCloud, who decide to base their summers off of the movie, "Same Time Next Year". They both go through life together in the most interesting of ways, with obstacles and triumphs along the way. I just loved this book more than you know and even though it can be bittersweet at times, it can just make you feel a whole range of emotions. 

The Book To Make You See Things Differently - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson: In a time where worry is on our minds and we're trying to figure out where life is taking us, it might be a good time for self-reflection and looking within to see how we can take care of ourselves better. This book really taught me a lesson about how I am in life and what I needed to change. Manson gives you the hard truth, bluntly and it's so refreshing. I would consider this one or any "self-help" books (I like to call them more "self-awareness" books) that can lift your mind and spirit, as well as give you a bit of hope and clarity. 

The Books For Nostalgia & Escape - Harry Potter: If you are a Potterhead, this is a given. Whether it's watching the movies or reading the books, Harry Potter provides a place of timeless escape. I'm planning to re-read the books because I know they just bring me so much joy. So pick a book or series that you know you will always go back to because you loved it the first time around.

What To Listen To:

A Song To Make You Dance - Woke Up Late by Drax Project ft. Hailee Steinfeld: I found this song randomly one day whilst I was in the car. The radio was on, I was alone in the car and something about it caught me. The sunroof was open, the sky was the bluest ever, the sun shining and I was in the best of moods - this song now encapsulates that mood for me every time I hear it. I never skip it when it comes on shuffle and I can't help but dance. Trust me, if you want to escape and dance your troubles away, this is the song for you. 

A Playlist Genre That Gives You Nostalgia & Good Vibes - 90s/2000s R&B: If you know, you know. I'm talking Ne-Yo, Usher, Destiny's Child, Craig David, J-Lo, Mario, Rihanna and more. Honestly go on to Apple Music or Spotify and just type in "90s-2000s R&B"; I promise you, you will not be disappointed. There's something about that era of music that can't be touched. 

All Hail The Girl Power: Okay, the women have been doing it for me lately. Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, The Pussycat Dolls, BeyoncĂ© and more. Honestly, my brain just stopped and I can't think of more. Plus, if I do we'll be here forever. There's something about girl power music that makes me feel good, whether it's by a single artist of multiple. They've got these songs that make you feel strong, beautiful and happy. They make you want to dance and sing into your mirror with your hairbrush. So put on the artist or artists that make you feel like you're ready to strut your stuff.

There's probably plenty of other things I can suggest, like immersing yourself in your favourite hobbies or something that isn't technology based, but these are just the little external things that you can switch on or grab when you're in a super funk to tune out the noise within.

We all need a little something sometimes and I hope these help you, like they have me. And remember, if you need a friend, I'm here for you. 

Hoping you're staying safe. Sending you lots of love and positivity!

Emily xx

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