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!

 

 

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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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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.

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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).

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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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Family Cooking with Addie Gundry Recipe Books

Happy New Year!

2018 is here! Are you ready for a healthy, powerful, and enlightening 2018? I know I am!

This year I want to re-focus on healthy eating. Last year with the move to the UK, and a new house, new job, new everything it was hard sometimes to keep on track with healthy choices. But this year I am back to it 100% (ask me again in June, and we will see, lol) You can find lots of ideas posted daily on my IG stories (@Onixjihane) and on my Healthy Eating for Kids and Families Facebook group and Pinterest board (will post links at the end)

Whether you and your family choose to eat a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or traditional diet is entirely up to you. YOU and only you know what is best for you, make sure to be informed, there are so many sources of info online where you can find more details on the benefits of each diet and decide if it is for you. However remember these are not fad diets, these are life-changing options to improve your overall health. That is why they have to be tailored to you and what works best for you.

My son and I tend more to the vegetarian side of things however we are not fully vegan. It’s a process and more importantly, I want him to try everything and judge for himself what he wants and doesn’t want to eat. It’s his body after all.

Anyway, back in November, I was approached by a publishing company (St. Martin’s Press)  with these two wonderful cookbooks by Addie Gundry. The books feature a range of delicious yet easy meals for children and families.  The books are beautiful, easy to follow, family-friendly and with lots and lots of ideas.

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One book is all about cookies (My son LOVED IT) it allow us to bond over family cooking time while getting our hands covered in dough and our hair covered in flour (why does that happen when I cook with him?) Our favorite? “Tropical Paradise Cookies” with coconut and lime! simply delicious and it doesn’t take long to cook ( 10 min prep time, plus 15min cook time) * I wish I had photos but I lost them when I reformated the camera! 

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The other book “103 Everyday Dinner Ideas” is a gem. I am a working single mum, so planning my dinner meals for the week is a must. One of our favorites was the “Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese Dressing” yes! grilled lettuce! I did substitute the Blue Cheese with a milder cheese because my son doesn’t like blue cheese and I have certain cheese allergies. Another winner? “Mushroom Stuffed Grilled Potatoes” feeling the veggie vibe here? lol The book is not a vegetarian book so you can find chicken, beef and turkey recipes in there too.

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These books are the perfect addition to any recipe book library! You will find so many options to kickstart your healthy 2018 with delicious, easy foods for you and your family!

Links to my food dedicated networks

Pinterest Board 

Facebook Group

Instagram (I only post food recipes and ideas on the stories not in the actual IG feed)

xoxo

Jihane


More about Addie Gundry, she received a master’s degree in culinary arts at Auguste Escoffier in Avignon, France. She has worked for Christian Etienne, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Martha Stewart on management, restaurant openings, brand development, editorial, marketing and sales. In 2015 she was the winner of “Cutthroat Kitchen“on the Food Network. 
About the books
EASY COOKIE RECIPES: 103 Best Recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cake Mix Creations, Bars, and Holiday Treats Everyone Will Love (November 28, 2017, St. Martin’s Griffin, $19.99):Gundry adds elegance to no-frills baking with delicious results. From Apple Pie Bars to Red Velvet Thumbprints, and the best classic chocolate chip cookies ever, EASY COOKIE RECIPES shows readers how to use expert tips and shortcuts to make over a hundred types of cookies, plus plenty of customizations to make these recipes your own. Once you have your baking basics down, you can explore fun inventive types of cookies. This book is a collection of playful recipes that add to, change up, and make old recipes new and exciting, while maintaining what makes cookies classic.
EVERYDAY DINNER IDEAS: 103 Easy Recipes for Chicken, Pasta, and Other Dishes Everyone Will Love (November 28, 2017, St. Martin’s Griffin, $19.99): “Dinner. That word has many meanings. It can be that small window of time you have to feed the kids… hoping to convince your children to eat their broccoli before bath time. On the flip side, dinner can mean a first date, an anniversary, or even a birthday. Dinner can be a magnificent occasion, where the table is set with your finest china and crisply ironed linens. You can eat at 6 p.m. or 10 p.m. You can order pizza or poach lobster. Dinner is what you make of it,” writes Addie Gundry. With plenty of one-pot meals, dinners ready in under half an hour, and innovative flavor combinations to spice up your go-to proteins, EVERYDAY DINNER IDEAS is a home-cook’s best friend. Poised to become a go-to resource for busy people trying to cook delicious dinners, this cookbook is driven by the recipes home cooks search for most on the web, like lasagna, salmon, pork chops, and ground beef.

Holiday Must Have Gift for Mum

-This post is sponsored by Naipo Care products-

S T R E S S!!
Oh, the holidays are just a few Fridays away! gasp! can you believe it? just like that 2017 is done. Have you started your Xmas shopping yet? I admit I never do until the last minute which is why this year I have JUST started (thank you online shopping)

Xmas can be a very stressful time, heck half term holidays just now has been a very stressful enough lol. Kids out of school, bored at home, always hungry. STRESS I tell you! However, Naipo was a gift sent from the heavens! They sent me the exclusive Naipo Cordless Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat The perfect way to end your stressful days, chilling with a hot cup of tea in your bed. It comes with a very cool handy bag in which you can store your cordless massager and take it with you if you need some peace and quiet at the beach or park. (just charge in advance or use the car charger if on the go) The settings allow you to adapt to a comfortable speed, and you can opt for the experience to include heat or you can turn that option off, up to you!

Product Features

● Cordless design with rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers you an extremely free massage experience.
● 4 deep-kneading shiatsu massage nodes deliver an incredibly comfortable massage, 3D rotation massage rollers are perfect to use on your neck, back and shoulders.
● Three distinct speed and bi-direction modes mimic the feeling of a personal massage.
● Heating function for relaxing warmth that loosens muscles and enhances therapeutic value.
● A bonus vogue handbag makes it convenient to carry with you, portable and gorgeous.

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This is the perfect gift for any mum, no matter what stage of motherhood she is at, I am telling you THIS IS IT! She will love you for it. And for a limited time only, Naipo is selling their exclusive holiday edition complete with a super festive and cute print. This is a specially designed shoulder and neck massager for this 2017 Christmas, which will be sold at the end of October in limited quantity. It’s special because the design combines Christmas elements together with their unique massager technology.

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Win-win! What’s on your holiday gift list?


Available in the USA and the UK 

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Indian Hand Woven Recycled Fabric Chindi Rag Rugs

Since my move to Wales, I’ve had the change to play around with new designs when it comes to home decor. Decorating a house from scratch gives you the chance to find your style and make your space, well, yours.

 

When it comes to home styling, I am in between Scandinavian and Boho looks. I love clean lines, geometrical patterns, all white and grey looks, lots of plants (cacti are my favourite) and I also little pops of colour here and there, which is why when I saw this recycled hand-made rugs I fell in love with them.

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Indian Hand Woven Recycled Fabric Chindi Rag Rugs are made using 100% cotton recycled fabric cuts, these rugs are a delight to own. Each one of them is unique yet conforming to the story of multicoloured stripes. Not one is ever the same to the other as the colours and patterns depend on what fabrics/colours they used when making them.
I also love the fact that they are Recycled 100% Cotton.

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How are they made?

Made from colourful cotton strips, our multicoloured striped cotton, Chindi Rugs use only 100% cotton recycled fabric offcuts. Each strip of fabric is woven together creating beautiful colour combinations and a design that is perfect for bringing some playfulness to your hallway, bedroom or living room.

Using traditional handlooms, these Chindi rugs are hand woven by skilled craftspeople in India, meaning that each one is completely unique and will give your home an individual look. These eco-friendly rugs are not only striking but also hardwearing so are ideal for high-traffic areas, and the multi-tonal design means that they don’t show dirt easily either, perfect for areas with pets or messy children!

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I bought two, one for my main entry hallway and one for the bathroom and I am in love with how well they look. They give the rooms a certain eclectic look without making it look too busy.

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What do you reckon? What is your home decor style?

xoxo

Jihane


I have added lots of Scandinavian and boho home decor ideas to my Pinterest board, go check it out!

Travelling, when your flight gets cancelled

Hello, world! I have been MIA for the longest! I think I have never been absent from the blog this long. It feels good to be back.
I have been settling in Wales, new job, new flat, new life, new everything and absolutely loving every minute of it.

I have been able to do some travelling both around the UK and to Europe. A few weeks back I went to Italy! I love Italy(ans) and all things Italian. The food, the culture, the language, the scenery. Italy has always had a place in my heart.

I went to Italy to pick up my now 11-year-old son who was there with my parents and my brother. We had a fantastic family reunion with lots of Italian wine and food. Pizza and Ice-cream will never be the same after I have been to Rome, never. The bar is set high and there is no going back, lol. We got to visit the Vatican City and the Coliseum in Rome. We also road tripped to Florence (thanks for the driving dad) and visited the beautiful and majestically old roads that enchant that city. Loved it all!

The journey got me thinking about all the times I travelled with my son when he was a baby, and how hard it can be for a mum to travel alone with little ones. Added the fact you can encounter delays, lost luggage, crying kids, tantrums and the looks of so many judgemental (often kidless) adults, travelling with small kids can be dreadful.

On one occasion travelling from the UK to the USA, our luggage got left behind in Heathrow due to a delay/change in flights. Which meant we arrived before our suitcases and hence we had only the clothes we had on available. Naturally, when these things happen and you have small kids there is nothing you can do but to buy a few clothes to get you by. Please keep that possibility in mind (extra cash) in case it ever happens to you. Trust me you don’t want to be stranded in a strange city with no clothes to change into at least for the first night.
But what if you don’t have the extra money? Or what if your flight gets cancelled on your way home after you have used all your money on your vacay?

That also happened to my parents recently. As a matter fact, when they were getting ready to leave Italy and head back to Texas, Hurricane Harvey decided to create havoc. All flights to Houston got cancelled, including, my parent’s flight from Milan. All of a sudden you are left with having to find a hotel for extra nights and having to find other ways to get back home. The stress! They ended up staying an extra night in Milan and then flying to New York (instead of Houston) and then finding their way to Texas.

There are some companies in the UK that can help you seek compensation if this happens to you. Flight compensation is a thing, and it doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive.This is just something to keep in mind for travelling mums. Be prepared, and in case things go pear-shaped, make your claim. Even claims based on bad weather cancellations might have a case, so check them out, Flight Delay Claims 4 U. https://www.flightdelayclaims4u.com

Anyway, that is me for now! Have you had a flight cancelled or delayed that has caused you extra money in expenses? Have your holidays abroad been affected by Ryanair’s recent fiasco?

xoxo