Doughnut go Home yet, Take a Break from Shopping at Krispy Kreme Cardiff​

Going into town this time of year can be chaotic. The long queues, the traffic, the seas of people and the mad rush to get the Christmas shopping done can be overwhelming. This time of the year Cardiff (much like any other city in the world) is filled with the magical scent of cinnamon, pine and hot chocolate but also with lots and lots of shoppers.

Exhausted?
I was recently invited to visit the brand new refurbished Krispy Kreme in Cardiff located in St.David’s shopping centre. The place offers an ample selection of delicious treats available both to eat in or take away. Beautifully crafted roasted coffee, scrumptious and decadent hot chocolate, pipping hot tea, wifi and comfortable sitting right in the heart of Cardiff. Krispy Kreme is the perfect location to sit down and take a break.

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This guy hates shopping, but loves eating so he was very excited!

Honestly, we recommend their hot chocolates! yum!

The customer service was impeccable, thank you, Samantha, for the lovely treatment, we felt spoiled.

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No time to waste? no worries, take a box of doughnuts to home and be the star of the day. I mean who doesn’t want a cute reindeer looking doughnut?

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To follow our stories, with videos, pictures and commentary, follow me on Instagram for more content like this one http://www.instagram.com/onixjihane + highlights + collaborations

Happy Holidays,

Xoxo
J

Unwrpd Boxes! Your #ZeroWaste best friend.

Z E R O   W A S T E
Sounds easy enough right? To minimise your waste by lowering consumption of single-use plastic, unnecessary packaging, and other not so earth friendly things humans do. It is not until you start to think about the amount of waste you produce that you realise how wasteful we are as individuals and as societies.

It happens so innocently and slowly creeps into everything you do. Like when you order a (food) takeaway and it comes in a ‘convenient’ plastic container; or when you order a drink ‘to-go’ in a single-use plastic or paper cup. When you go shopping and use a single-use plastic bag, and evens when you buy your shampoo and conditioner in a plastic container.
All those things add up.

But you can make changes! small changes can go a long way! I started replacing all single-use plastic water bottles with reusable water bottles made of insulated metal by Klean Kanteen. These beauties not only look nice, but they keep your drinks chilled/warm for longer and help you reduce the number of plastic bottles you consume.

‘Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. It’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.’ Plasticsolution.org

Companies like https://unwrpd.com make the zero-waste life transition so much easier. Earlier this month they contacted me and offered me to sample one of their subscription boxes!

“We choose products and companies with eco-credentials we can stand behind. Additionally, all our packaging is 100% plastic-free; recycled, recyclable and up-cycled where possible.”

The products they offer are all natural, environmentally friendly, chemical free and cruelty-free. They are a happy tree hugger eco-warrior best friend! They also offer one-off gift boxes which are the perfect treat this Christmas.

I also love the fact their packaging matches their company ethics. No plastic at all. And the box is completely recyclable (check your local council for full details)

Happy Environmentalist Holidays!

For a limited time only enjoy 25% off your order with my code Onix25 by accessing via this link 

Please note the discount code won’t work unless you use the link. You can also find the link on my Instagram bio 🙂

XOxo

Jihane

EEK-O-Friendly Halloween Tips

This post comes to you, courtesy of ECOlunchBox 

Halloween is right around the corner and with costumes, candy, parties and haunted houses involved, what’s not to love?! No matter what spooky antics you’re planning for Halloween, keep in mind you can be greener and cleaner too!

 

img_5767Make Your Own Decorations 

Consider using upcycled and recycled items for decorating, and definitely avoid that nasty “spiderweb” plastic people spread all over their bushes! Create paper cut-outs to decorate windows (which can be stored flat and saved for next year). Cover formed chicken wire with cheesecloth to create floating ghosts in the yard. Drape cheesecloth over pedestals and other yard items to make the appearance of dusty cobwebs. Use tin cans for walkway luminaries. You can drill holes in the sides to create a design and add to the flickering light effect. Re-use all of those cardboard boxes before recycling them. They can be turned into gravestones and placed throughout the yard to create a haunted cemetery. 

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Party Like a Zero Waste Rockstar 

Throwing a Halloween gathering? Use non-breakable, kid-and-planet friendly items (like stainless-steel camping trays) instead of paper or plastic plates, cups and utensils. For a full guide loaded with ideas and tips on throwing a zero waste party click here.  

Sustainable Candy & Alternatives to Candy Treats

Every kid deserves to have a happy Halloween, but for those with food allergies, sensitivities, or who want a healthier, happy treat, the candy offered by neighbors might not be an option. Look for organic and/or sugar-free candy options at your local store. There’s always the option of giving out non-candy treats, too! About half of kids say that they would like to get alternatives to candy treats as well. Arts and crafts or school supplies are a great idea and give the kids something to do when all of the festivities are over (other than getting a sugar high from all of the candy!) 

Lighting Options

We all that spooky and scary atmosphere that candles create on Halloween, but paraffin is the main ingredient in most conventional candles. Paraffin is a waste product from the petroleum industry and releases carcinogenic toxins when burned. Benzene and toluene are found in the sooty residue from burning candles. The EPA has classified benzene as carcinogenic and toluene is toxic to the nervous system. Choose 100% beeswax candles to still achieve that spooky atmosphere while being environmentally conscious. Or, if you’re feeling especially crafty, make your own soy candles. Soy is a renewable resource and soy candles burn cleaner than toxic paraffin candles. 

Halloween Costumes 

Don’t buy new costumes – the likely hood of re-using a brand-new costume is very slim so the purchase is a waste of money and a strain on the environment. Instead, create a brilliant costume from up-cycled thrift store purchases. Mix and match pieces to make a one-of-a-kind costume. Another way to recycle costumes is by hosting a costume swap. Donate your old costume in exchange for a new-to-you costume.

Make Your Own Make-Up

Many commercially available Halloween face paints contain all kinds of scary toxins including heavy metals and a variety of parabens. Parabens are estrogenic (they mimic the estrogen hormone) and disrupt the hormone system. By making your own face paint, you control all of the ingredients and get to do a creative activity with the kiddos while instilling some health-conscious ideas. Or use mom’s non-toxic make-up that you already have on hand!

Bring Your Own Bag

One plain and simple way to green your Halloween is to bring a reusable bag. Give your costume some extra flair by making your own reusable treat bag to enhance your costume.

Bonus Tip: Take a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

By going to the pumpkin patch, not only are you having a great day out, kids learn where pumpkins (and food) come from. They get to interact in a farming environment and choose their own pumpkins. You’re also supporting the farm directly. Don’t let those pumpkins go to waste! Save the seeds to roast and add to salads or just eat on their own as a tasty and nutritious snack. Also, you can keep the carved out bits of your pumpkin to use in a variety of recipes. 

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Whatever you do, have fun with it! and remember to try not to use single use plastics and non-compostable treats this halloween!


 

About ECOlunchbox

ECOlunchbox is mission-based, family-owned business based in Northern California striving to save our oceans from needless plastic trash by creating products that are good for our health, protecting both people and planet. Since its inception in 2009, ECOlunchbox has worked to consistently develop best-in-class, 100% plastic-free food containers. To learn more visit: ECOlunchboxes.com. 

Say NO to Plastic Straws with The Little Straw Company

On a quest for a better, cleaner, safer planet earth I have been doing a lot of research and reading about #Zerowaste. I attended an the Volvo Ocean Race event in Cardiff a few months ago, and it opened my eyes a little more. Ocean plastic pollutions is a real problem. A problem that doesn’t get talked about as much as it should.

Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. 500 million! To understand just how many straws 500 million really is, this would fill over 125 school buses with straws every day. That’s 46,400 school buses every year! Americans use these disposable utensils at an average rate of 1.6 straws per person per day.average rate of 1.6 straws per person per day. (source nps.gov) and that is just the United States. In the UK we generates around 3.7m tonnes of plastic waste each year — of which around a third is recycled, with the rest going to landfill or incineration.

The amount of plastic which Britons throw away is set rise by a fifth by the end of the next decade – with a 34% rise in crisp packets, 41% more plastic straws and 9% more drinks bottles, according to a study done by WWF earlier this year. I personally, find it shocking that we are not doing more as individuals and as societies to preserve our environment.

But thankfully, more and more companies are making an effort to become more environmentally friendly. Ethical consumerism is on the rise, with more consumers wanting to know the products they bring into their homes are not only produced fairly, but also in a way that they don’t damage the environment.

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One of this companies is the Little Straw Company. They make metal straws ready for you to take along with you in a convenient little bag. Their packing is all cardboard and plastic free and their are available on Amazon for an affordable price. (click here)

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I take my metal straws with me everywhere, absolutely all the time. This has allowed me to drink fashionably without having to contribute to plastic pollution, and it makes it easier for children to transition into a more environmental mindset when it comes to consumerism. My son now knows that when we go out he can ask for his drinks to be  plastic ‘straw free’.

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Metal stainless steel straws are dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean and sterilize, also unlike plastic straws, metal straws will not bend or leak. Stainless steel straws are reusable and can last for a long time if you clean them properly. In addition, stainless steel does not leach chemicals – good bye BPA –  Plastic products and plastic containers manufactured to store food and beverages, such as water bottles, take-away boxes and straws may contain BPA.  Bisphenol A (BPA)  is an increasingly common industrial chemical used in the industrial production of certain plastics and resin. Over the years, BPA has been known to increase the risk of health problems, such as reproductive disorders and diabetes.

I definitely recommend using stainless steel or (yet to test) bamboo straws, not only they are better for you but also better for the environment which for me is a win/win!

You can buy The Little Straw Company started set, with cleaning brush and carrier bag on amazon – click here to get yours now! 

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Let’s Talk Stationery, Luxelu London

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to attend the Amazon Academy event at the Celtic Manor, Newport. I went there for work on a mission to get a taste of what is happening in the entrepreneurial world, and to meet some amazingly talented people in Wales.  SME’s and amateur entrepreneurs gathered to get tips from the pros. And just like that, the magic started to happen. I love events like this one!

One of the speakers was Gayle Hunter, founder of Luxelu London. Luxelu is “an independent British lifestyle concept and webshop on a mission to help you cultivate your perfect lifestyle.”Luxelu.com

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At the event, Gayle spoke about her journey to entrepreneur queen. It is so empowering to see women being “Girl Bosses” and challenging the status quo by setting up to shine, do business and look after their families.

“I started Luxelu as I saw a gap in the market for these kinds of Lifestyle products at affordable prices. Also, the business model allows me to determine how best to spend my working time, and has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my family,” said Gayle.

Luxelu London is a bloggers paradise! they offer a range of curated, sophisticated and divine products that go from home accessories to stationary and everything in between. Her brand is clean, ethically oriented and beautiful.

Every purchase made through Luxelu.com does something life-changing for people around the world. They work alongside an organisation called ‘B1G1’ buy 1, give 1. This organisation provides education, clean water, aid, business and a brighter future across countries worldwide. With every purchase you make, a small portion of that is going to a great cause!

After meeting Gayle we connected online and we soon discovered we the same passions. She offered to send me some of her signature collection notebooks (which are vegan-friendly) and I am in love with them!

The notebooks are girly but subtle (no glitter and sparks here) and have a high-quality feeling. The pen glides over the soft silky paper pages and it is discrete and professional enough to use at work. They come in a range of colours and I absolutely Love the autumn vibes these two amazing notebook/planners bring to my stationery collection.

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I urge you to go check Luxelu.com out this holiday season. I am sure you ‘ll find a perfect gift for your co-worker, mum, sister, friend or even yourself!

Check out my Instagram for more quick reviews, info, recipes and more.

See you soon!

 

 

Viva Organic, Cardiff’s #ZeroWaste Heaven!

You guys! I have been so busy and so Instagram dependant that I haven’t blogged in here as much as I really should. I mean, as a blogger sometimes you even question if anyone is reading. Is this thing on? hello? lol but I have had a few people reach out to me via email and social media lately who reminded me why I blog. Because I love everything green, eco-friendly and sustainable! which I assume is the same reason why you are here too.

So let me start reconnecting by letting you know about this uber cool place in Cardiff. Viva Organic! (what a fantastic name that is)

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Viva Organic is located in the Pontcanna area – which is filled with little British houses, trees, small cozy roads with people pedaling along on their bikes and an array of amazing little shops. Pontcanna reminds me a lot of the Montrose area in Houston – sans the heat – but with British accents and Welsh cakes.

Viva Organic is the first of its kind in the area. As a zero waste shop, it offers everything your little environmental hearts can wish for. Organic fruit and veg (without plastic containers or wrapping) juice bar, with cold-pressed juices and delicious smoothies – My 12-year-old son devoured a Tropical smoothie in a matter of minutes and said it was one of the tastiest he ever had.

 

 

They also offer a range of organic wines and beers and coffees. The only thing I didn’t see was Kombucha, however, there was a little sign saying ‘coming soon’.

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The best part of the shop is hidden towards the back. A whole selection of self-serve and pack areas with large glass containers holding grains, pasta, cereals and oils which people can buy and carry home using their own containers ❤ it is just perfection. You can also purchase shampoo and natural soaps along with a range of cleaning household items.

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fullsizeoutput_8387The only downside to the place is that I have to travel more than a few miles to get there from the Valleys. But it is definitely worth a visit!

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B I G Thank you to Rod (Thomas) owner of the place, for bringing this amazing little place to live! I am absolutely in love with the place, the concept and the ethics behind it. I was also very pleased to see so many young families, and kids in the shop – mine included.

Viva Organic is located at 79 Pontcanna Street, Pontcanna, Cardiff. General opening hours are Tuesday to Friday – 8 am until 6 pm, Saturday – 9 am until 5 pm, Sunday – 11 am until 4 pm. Closed on Mondays.

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Welshiefied, the Art of Welsh Living

So as you all know – or not – I moved to Wales just over a year ago. It has been one of the best decisions of my life, a “right time, right place” kind of scenario. When I arrived in Wales back in April 2018, not knowing anyone or anything in Wales I wasn’t sure if this adventure was going to pan out, but boy! it has.

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I have met wonderful people, I found my Welsh half, and have the chance to be completely connected to mother nature and the elements while being surrounded by the fantastic Valley I live in. My BF and I have traveled up and down the Welsh Valleys and West Coast discovering (for me, and sometimes him my Cardiff lad) amazing little gems along the way. From the intriguing Dan yr Ogof Caves located at the National Showcaves Centre for Wales, 15 miles southwest of Brecon, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, to Margam Country Park near Port Talbot and everything in between,  I am never disappointed when we head out for our little travels.

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Llwyn-on Reservoir

Snowdonia you are next! I can’t wait to visit North Wales and the upper west coast.

Since I have fallen completely in love with Wales and all things Welsh, we (BF and I) have created “Welshiefied” the art of Welsh living. We are not a brand but a lifestyle, lol.

We decided to create this little place for us to share all our explorations, travels, food endeavors and discoveries around the UK, with the occasional feature of places in England, Scotland and maybe even Ireland (eventually) A place to showcase this fantastic country and all it has to offer, and a place for us to be goofy and enjoy life!

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Explore Wales with us, share tips with us, let us know where to go next! Find your Epic in the land of the dragons.

For more info about Wales visit: http://www.visitwales.com/legends

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Barry Island, Barry.

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Barry Island, Barry
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Fforest Fawr, Tongwynlais
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The Craig, Rhonda
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Me and S (the BF) that time we crossed the border to England, Stonehenge.
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Porthkerry Park, Barry
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Swansea
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Margam Park

** All photos taken by Welshiefied, for more visit us on Instagram

We will be doing a Welsh Food special soon, as I make Welsh Cakes and try local market delicatessens.

WelshVegan Fest – May 19 to May 20

It’s been almost a year since I moved to Wales, and I am always excited to find super cool, enviromentally friendly and humane events in Wales, such as the Welsh Vegan Fest!

You all know by now how I love all things Welsh! So this event hits all the marks, I mean Welsh + food + vegan! Don’t mind if I do. The event takes place over two days: the 19th and 20th May, 2018. Standard entry is £3 per day from 10:30A.M to 17:00. VIP tickets are also available for £15 which include early 10:00A.M entry for both days and a goodie bag made up of donations we have received from stallholders and businesses.

OnixJ Welsh Vegan Festival Cardiff
Photo courtesy of Thw Welsh Vegan Festival

There will be over 60 stalls for both days with plenty of hot food for people to choose. But if you are more of a snack kind of person, they are also having sweet treat stalls. Also (the fun doesn’t stop there) there will be vegan friendly cosmetic brands, sustainable clothing and many animal loving, super cool vibes humans around. It is a good chance to meet more people who wont look at you funny when you order the pizza sans the cheese lol.

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Photo courtesy of The Wesh Vegan Festival – The Ice Green

Speaking of animal loving humans, all of the proceedings from the event are going to Farplace Animal Rescue (charity) which is based in Weardale but rescues animals from all over the UK, many of which may never be rehomed due to their health.

So are you convinced yet? See you there! Cardiff, Tramshed May 19th – 20th

To buy tickets or to learn more about the event, visit: http://www.welshveganfestival.com

xoxo

J


The Festival is organised by Farplace Animal Rescue. We are a UK animal rescue who help specialist cases like FIV+ cats and have helped many such cases in need from across the UK. All the profits from the festival will directly help animals

Discover Britain: Stonehenge & Wow I am 36 years old now!

Where does the time go? is there a time-consuming black hole conspiracy happening at the moment? lol May 2018, guys, May! can you believe it? This year is flying by, but they do say time flies when you are having fun which is my 2018 motto “Have fun with yourself” life is way too short for complications, negative thoughts and boring political debates (sorry, if this is your thing and its fun for you, then YAY YOU! but definitely not my cup of tea)

Anyway, May means that my 36 (gulp) birthday has come and gone already, I love celebrating birthdays. I see birthdays as milestones, as an opportunity to celebrate life and everything you embody. Be you, unapologetically and embrace the beauty of age. With age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes enjoyment.

My 36 years on earth have been filled with ups and downs, with achievements and failures, with beautiful and ugly people (on the inside – not referring to looks) and with experiencing different cultures.  I have been lucky enough to live in different continents and different countries which has definitely expanded my views and has given me a taste for an eclectic combination of foods, lol. This year, 2018, my first birthday since I came back to the UK and my first birthday with my thoughtful Welsh half who made my birthday magical and unforgettable.

He surprised me with a trip to Stonehenge, Wiltshire ❤ and Salisbury!

Stonehenge is one of those places I always wanted to visit, on my top 5 bucket list destinations since I was very young.

Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at Stonehenge – one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe.

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I absolutely loved it! Although I always thought the stone circle would be bigger than what it actually is, the historic meaning of the place makes the trip worth it. As you enter Stonehenge you have access to a small Neolithic museum area with an exhibition of instruments, bones, and artifacts found in the surrounding areas. You can also roam around some Neolithic houses that represent a small village of the time (4,500 years ago).

OnixJ Stonehenge Neolithic Houses

Fun Fact: Stonehenge stones come from West Wales! According to the established wisdom for some 90 years, many of the smaller rocks making up Stonehenge come from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

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Stone Circle

Stonehenge Stone Circle is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. It consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, 7 feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons. 

Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluestones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC. 

Stonehenge is one of the most famous landmarks in the UK, regarded as a British cultural icon. Definitely, a must see. Just know that access to the stone circles is somewhat restricted and you are not able to get up and close to touch the stones.  This is understandable due to the nature of the place. Also, keep in mind there is a charge for entry and it can be a little expensive for large families to visit considering there isn’t much more there to see apart from the stone circle itself, the Neolithic houses and the small museum area. There is also a cafe and a gift shop with lots of nick-nacks to commemorate your visit.

for more info visit: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/things-to-do/#Section1 

Shoutout to my Welsh half for surprising me with a roadtrip to one of the must beautiful, historical and magic place ever! ❤

On a separate post I will talk about the town of Salisbury, its history, places to go and my favorite location there.

 

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