So in my last blog post, I shared the different phases I went through during lockdown. I have reached another stage since writing that post and it’s the online shopping / buying phase. I have bought a few things online in the past week and I have felt a bit guilty about it. To turn this around, I thought I’d share the businesses and brands I want to support during this time.
I’m not fully encouraging you to buy anything and everything as I know things are hard for everyone at the moment. Some of us have reduced hours, reduced pay or unfortunately have lost jobs during this time. This current pandemic has hit us quite hard. However, if you are able to shop right now, it is good to support local and NZ brands as much as possible.
The businesses on this list are NZ ones and a few I recommend for you to check out. None of these are sponsored by the way.
Let’s start with Will & Able as I truly love what they’re about. They offer eco-friendly cleaning products using 100% recycled milk bottles! Yes, they know they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing packaging and they know it but it’s great what they’re able to do with old milk bottles. The scents are lovely and they work. I bought the Starter Pack of $33.95 a while ago and they have 5 products: dish liquid, hand soap, multi-purpose spray, laundry liquid and toilet cleaner (not pictured as it was in the toilet and I didn’t want to get it for the photo).
If you thought that was great, they also employ people with disabilities. They have a return to sender recycling programme too so you can give back your old bottles.
I also got this email today which is so amazing to hear:
I need to make an order soon as I’m out of their dishwashing liquid. I posted them on my Instagram ages ago and I got a few replies saying they bought a pack. I loved that. I am 100% behind this brand.
Loveskin was one of the first brands I ordered from during this lockdown. I was low on the facial cleanser and to maximise my order, I got the whole set. So the photo above was taken last year when I was gifted the whole 100ml set. I have been using the Loveskin Waiwai serum since May 2018 and I haven’t stopped using it since. I rave about it so much because it has transformed my acne/breakout prone skin.
The set I recently bought during lockdown was the 50ml set which is $150. You can also buy a mini 10ml of each product or a set if you want to test it out first. I seriously love this skincare brand. I use the Tui facial cleanser at night and it’s my first oil based cleanser. Then I use the Karaka Toning Rose Mist then the Waiwai serum along with my other eye cream and moisturiser. I think I need to make a separate post about this brand because I can talk more about it and I have some photos of how my skin was at the start and how much better it is now.
If you do want to try Loveskin, I have a 20% off discount code: astylecollector20. I know this still works because I used it to buy my own set I just ordered. I don’t get anything out of this code by the way. It’s just a nice bonus to be able to get some discount.
I’ve been eyeing up getting a face roller for a while now. I used to have one years ago but it eventually got too dirty and had to be thrown out. I think it was an Aliexpress one so it wasn’t great. One NZ Blogger, Sarah of xnmakeup created Gem Collective which has scrunchies, crystal jewellery and face rollers. She did a giveaway last month and I won a voucher which was awesome.
It was the perfect time to get myself a face roller. At the time only the jade roller was available but she’ll have an amethyst and rose quartz face roller soon too. I used my voucher and added more money on top to purchase this jade face roller. It arrived last week so I’ve just added it to my skincare routine. It’s great for under the eyes as it has a cooling sensation.
While we’re on beauty, I wanted to give a shout out to Ethique. They’re a NZ zero-waste beauty company. They’re plastic free, cruelty-free, vegan and sustainable. They cover hair, face and body products. I have tried quite a few of their products (you can get a sample pack).
The ones I rate the most are the shampoo and condition. Photo above has the Heali Kiwi shampoo and the Wonderbar conditioner. I also got the in-shower container which is made of bamboo and cornstarch. I started using this set 1st January 2020 so I know exactly how long they last. So far, so good. Yes, I don’t wash my hair as often during lockdown but these solid bars last way longer than others. The shampoo is great. My hair feels clean afterwards.
Now, I want to share some food and restaurants down below. If you can order directly from eateries/restaurants please do. We were an avid user of ubereats before all of this happened but with their charges, it is best to give your money directly to these businesses.
I don’t know how I would’ve been without coffee during lockdown. I was using my Nespresso machine BUT I finally got my sister to teach me how to use our proper coffee machine. I can now make a decent cup of coffee (don’t make me froth milk properly though but I’ll get there). I have been grinding beans every morning to make my coffee fresh and good.
We’ve tried a bunch of coffee beans and the one we love is Supreme. My sister made an order during lockdown and the shipping was so quick. I’ve drank more coffee than her so I’ve this up so I will be buying the next order. The last pack we had was the Supreme blend and now we’re onto the Brazil blend.
I love Nanam. It’s my favourite restaurant. I have a blog post about this place from ages ago. I celebrated my 30th birthday this year with my close friends at their restaurant. This place holds a special place in my heart. They serve wonderful Filipino food but it’s not your traditional Filipino food. Jess, the chef and owner is brilliant and her cooking is amazing. They’re in the top 100 NZ restaurants, won best dish in Taste of Auckland last year and in Metro top 50 Auckland restaurants. They’re pretty damn good.
We’re currently in Alert Level 3 so we cannot dine in restaurants but we can order takeaways for pick up and delivery. Nanam has started to offer to things: hot meal delivery/pickup AND meal kits where they provide you with all the ingredients and instructions and you can recreate their delicious dishes.
For their food kit options, you are able to cook these yourself:
For their hot meal delivery/pickup, they have a revised menu:
There are three set menus to choose from but you can also ask for any additions. I did and they gladly accepted my request to add another dish to my order. Mine is coming this Friday and I am so excited. I will support Nanam for as long as I can and it’s a great way to introduce yourself to Filipino food. Check out their website as it’s now been updated.
The first takeaway we ordered from last week when the whole of NZ were able to was Kai Eatery. We’ve missed fried chicken and bubble tea during lockdown so this was our first and easiest choice. Kai Eatery’s fried chicken and kumara fries are so good. Sadly they missed the kumara fries in our order but they replied to my sister and they offered a refund or credit for our next order. Before lockdown, this was probably her top takeaway from Ubereats (PS try order from their website directly!)
Winsome is a cafe close to me and I’ve been there a few times. It’s quite small and beside Goodfor store. They have a good option of texting your order and doing bank transfer or going in there and paying through the window. We were out of milk one day so I headed over there to grab my first barista coffee in 6 + weeks. If you’re in Takapuna, check them out.
For food, I will be supporting ones close to me as I’m able to pick up or they can easily deliver but if you’re in other parts of Auckland, please check these places out too:
- Old Bakehouse Cafe – If you’re in Parnell, check out this cafe! It’s a hidden gem behind an alleyway but I know Dan and he’s good.
- UMU Pizza – I love UMU’s sourdough base pizzas. If I was closer, I’d order from them. Probably the only takeaway pizza place I’ll consider.
- Khu Khu Eatery – If you’re in Ponsonby, check out this 100% vegan and Thai-inspired restaurant. I went to their soft launch last year (food post here) and they had great food.
- House of Chocolate – I am biased on this because of my sister but they’re chocolate is amazing and I do miss their hot chocolate drink too. Their store in Takapuna is closed for renovation but you can order online which is a good idea for Mother’s Day gifts.
- Peach’s Hot Chicken – They have a cult following already but if you live close by, I am jealous because I wish I can have some right now. Driving all the way there from the north shore is just not reasonable for me.
- Whipped Cakery – My friend Lena recommended them so I’m giving them a shout out. If you want a cake or cupcakes for Mother’s Day, check them out too.
- Paradise Indian Food – We had them last Saturday and they’re so good! They’re ruined Indian food for me because they’re the best and such good value for their servings.
These are all the places I can think of right now. Yes, I did have a Kmart purchase during lockdown (must needed desk chair as I’m currently working from home and a punching ball as I’ve missed boxing) but I tried to only buy things I needed from there. I was tempted to get a few more things like plant stands for my house plants but I didn’t really need them right now.
Moving forward, I will try to shop my local NZ brands first because these smaller businesses are the ones that need it most. If you have any other good recommendations, please let me know! I would love to discover the brands you’re supporting right now too.