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


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.



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!




OnixJ Book Release:: Find it, Read it, Keep it! #OnixJBooks

It’s December 1st! whoa, can you believe how fast 2016 went by? Big year, huh? Glad is over hopefully 2017 will come in with a lighter vibe and with some good advances in humanity. *wishful thinking*

Books make me happy 🙂

So in the spirit of giving back, I have decided to release 10 books from my personal collection! I will be giving away some of these books by letting them free for anyone to grab at different locations around Houston! Montrose area at the University of St.Thomas campus will be my starting point. Other books will be left at different coffee shops around Montrose.

Books to be released, Au Revoir!
1. Kissing the Virgin’s Mouth, by Donna M. Gersten
2. Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes Nemesis Lives Again, by John Gardner
3. Wrecked, by Charlotte Roche
4. The Solitude of Primer Numbers by Pablo Giordano
5. Prague, by Arthur Phillips
6. Uncage me, by Jen Jordan
7. The Keys of Egypt by Lesley & Roy Adkins
8. The Dante Club, by Matthew Pearl
9. Sea Glass, by Maria V Snyder
10. The Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant

I will tweet locations once I drop the books, sometime next week (December 5th) Join me on social media! Follow me on Snapchat and Twitter while I drop books around Houston, and feel free to join the fun!
Tweet: It’s Xmas time! @onixjihane is releasing books around the city! find them, read them, keep them! #OnixJBooks

If you find a book please post a picture and use #OnixJBooks, tag me if you want too @onixjihane (twitter/Instagram)

Happy reading!



Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges by Patty Wipfler

A little way back I came across a book by Patty Wipfler, called Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges. Being a “single mom”  (yes, I remarried recently but my son is my parental duty and sole responsibility and he will always be) I always worry about being able to give him the tools for him to become a well-rounded adult. Parenting is not easy, even less so when done by only one parent, I always joke how babies don’t come with manuals and how it would be much easier if they did.


Anyway, I will review the book at a later date but for now, I want to leave you with this guest post that Patty has prepared for all of you.

What Are the Five Simple Tools You Need
to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges?

By Patty Wipfler, Hand in Hand Parenting

Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges.  Copyright © Hand in Hand Parenting, 2016

Each of the five Hand in Hand Listening Tools plays an important role in building wellbeing for your family. The tools work together to connect you and your children. And your child’s developing mind needs a close sense of connection with you as surely as she needs food, shelter, cleanliness, and sleep.

Special Time is a simple way to pour love and attention into your child. You set aside one-on-one time, and let your child choose what the two of you will do. She will use this time to show you what’s important to her and reveal her struggles. Special Time lets your child feel seen. It deepens her trust in you, while giving you a window into her thinking. It builds the sense of safety that promotes cooperation. Special Time can help connect you and your child from her earliest years through her adolescence, young adulthood, and beyond. It’s almost always the first Listening Tool to reach for when you’re thinking, “I don’t know what to do with this kid!”

Staylistening transmits your caring while your child feels hurt or afraid, and is expressing intense feelings. She pours out the hurt she feels; you listen, and pour in your quiet confidence that she’ll recover. You protect her while she feels alone and undone. Listening to your child’s upset doesn’t mean approving of her feelings; it’s your way of bathing her in your caring during her toughest moments. As her feelings pour out, an emotional burden will lift, and she’ll be left with the deep imprint of your love and support in its place. Both you and she will learn that feelings of hurt will heal when someone listens and cares. Because most of us were not listened to in this way, Staylistening can be challenging for a parent. But this tool has the power to lift your child’s spirits and transform bothersome behavior.

Setting Limits is crucial in your work as a parent. Your child needs and deserves a limit the minute her behavior starts to veer off track. A good limit gives your child the chance to offload the emotional tension that clouds her behavior, so she can return to the fun of learning and enjoying those around her. We’ll help you recognize the early warning signals your child sends out, and show you how to set limits without harshness. There are even ways to bring a limit that will fill your child with laughter.

Playlistening is the art of eliciting laughter in play with your child, without tickling. A heartwarming, creative tool, it will strengthen your connection as you make time for fun and enjoyment. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress. Your child’s confidence will build as you learn to instigate playful role reversal and games full of friendly challenge and affection. Laughter will foster warmth in your family.

Finally, the Listening Partnership gives you a way to replenish your energy for parenting. An exchange of listening time with another parent can help you shed the stress that crops up when you live with young children. A Listening Partnership also gives you a haven for learning. You get a safe, private place to unfold your thoughts and feelings. How do you want your parenting to be different from the way you were raised? What gifts from your parents do you want to pass on? When you find yourself struggling with your child over a particular issue, how does your own past experience come into play? You’ll also have the privilege of listening to another parent as they think, feel, and learn. You won’t exchange advice, but you’ll learn from one another every time you meet. As you listen and are listened to, you’ll find it easier to enjoy your children, and to connect warmly with them during their troubled moments.

So there you have it!

Each tool is powerful in its own right, but no one tool is meant to be used alone. Setting limits—your use of parental power—is tempered with Special Time, which puts your child in the driver’s seat for short chunks of time. Playlistening, the lighthearted side of parent-child interactions, helps to balance out the full-throated drama your child goes through as you Staylisten. Your Listening Partnership is a vital learning laboratory, as well as your sanctuary. There, you are respected and understood. Your every feeling is welcome, every experience is of interest, and every thought, an important one.

With these five Hand in Hand Listening Tools, you can fully express your deep love for your kids and strengthen your family life. Enjoy!

Patty Bio Pic

By Patty Wipfler and Tosha Schore the authors of
Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges.

To learn more about this unique approach to relationships in the family and get your own copy of Listen, click here.


The Spinfords : Different is Beautiful

In a world so focused on our differences, this book makes perfect sense. Between school stress, peer pressure, family dynamics and a list of other “worries” today’s kids deal with more anxiety than ever before.

We live in a world,  in which the access to social media has given us all the power to judge, to criticize, to give our opinion, and to hide behind screens and faces. We jump into conclusions and judgments so fast and precariously, many times in front of our kids without even noticing. They notice, though.


“The challenge, especially during the formative years of childhood, is teaching kids that what makes them different is exactly what they should celebrate, not hide”

Ann Marie, the author of the beautifully written children’s book The Spinfords, tells a story that in a simple yet magical way explains to both kids and parents how differences make us unique. It doesn’t matter if you are tall or short, white or black, girl or boy. It doesn’t really matter if you do things in a different way. What it matters are your pure and true intentions. What matters is who you are in essence, inside and out. We are all beings who want to be loved and accepted and appreciated. Let love conquer all.


This book speaks volumes to me. Not only am I the sister of a child with disabilities, but I am also very passionate about equality. My brother has encountered a significant amount of judgemental people in this world, but he has also encountered people willing and able to treat him like any other human being regardless of his disabilities. Growing up, my mom had to take him out of “regular” school once because she was told that they didn’t have time for “kids like him” – My brother is 27 years old now. He is bilingual, he is a functional member of society. Yes, he is has some challenges being deaf and with Aspergers but that doesn’t make him less of a person.

My son is also different. I mean how many vegetarian, compassionate 10-year-old do you encounter every day? Probably not that many. I don’t think this quality is unique to him, but it does make him different when at parties he doesn’t want that hotdog or that pepperoni on his pizza.


The Spinfords teaches:

  • Different is beautiful
  • People can surprise you
  • Moms and dads aren’t perfect
  • Anything is possible
  • Never be afraid to be 100% yourself

“Each spiderweb is uniquely woven, each individual does things in their own time and way” Ann Marie Martin

The book is also beautifully illustrated by Steve Hannigan . Hannigan a freelance graphic designer has volunteered for The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention organization, and seen from a very close distance how difficult it can be for our youth to deal and accept being different.

BE different. BE you. BE unique.



Book Releasing March 21, 2013

March 21,2013
**Found this online. Such a great initiative I want to share with everyone. Spread the word! **


The idea is to “release” (leave) a book in a public space (pharmacy, supermarket, bar, public transportation, cinema, museum, etc.). You may participate of this event by releasing a book on March 21st, 2013, wherever you live or may be at the time.

To participate, leave a book in a public space with a dedication saying:

-That the book is a part of the “Lost Book Club”.

-That whoever finds it can keep it, but when they are done with it, it must be released again, so someone else may enjoy it.

-The date and place where it was left, so in each release is may be possible to see where it has been, and instructions for the next person to add his/her step.

Thank you for participating of this great crusade, and sharing the initiative with your friends!

* * * *

La idea es “liberar” (dejar) un libro en un espacio pĂşblico (farmacia, automercado, bar, transporte pĂşblico, cine, museo, etc…). Pueden participar de la propuesta todos aquellos que lo deseen liberando un libro este 21 de marzo de 2013 en el lugar donde vivan o se encuentren en ese momento.

Para participar, dejá un libro en un espacio público con una dedicatoria en una de sus páginas que indique:

– Que el libro forma parte de “El Club de los Libros Perdidos”.

– Que es de quien lo encuentre pero que al finalizar su lectura deberá ser liberado, para que pueda ser disfrutado por otras personas nuevamente.

– El dĂ­a y el lugar en dĂłnde fue perdido, asĂ­ en cada liberaciĂłn sera posible saber por dĂłnde ha viajado.

¡Muchas gracias por participar de esta gran cruzada y compartir la iniciativa con tus amigos!

* * * *

L’idea è quella di “liberare” (lasciare) un libro in un luogo pubblico (farmacia, Automercado, bar, mezzi pubblici, cinema, musei, ecc …). Possono partecipare alla proposta tutti coloro che vogliono lasciando un libro il 21 Marzo 2013 nel luogo in cui vivono o sono in quel momento.

Per partecipare, lasciare un libro in uno spazio pubblico con una dedica in una delle sue pagine che indichi:

– Il libro fa parte di “il Club dei Libri Perduti”.
– Il libro è di proprietĂ  di chi l’ha trovato, ma alla fine della lettura dovrebbe essere rilasciato, in modo che possa essere goduto da altre persone ancora.
– La data e il luogo in cui è stato perso, cosi ogni volta che viene liberato sarĂ  possibile sapere dove ha viaggiato.

Grazie per partecipare a questa grande crociata e condividere l’iniziativa con i tuoi amici!”



H.E.B Books for the Little Ones


Just a quick post to share my recent discovery with all mothers out there. I found this and many other cute little books at H.E.B supermarkets, Houston, Texas. The books are only $1.00 each, they are beautifully made with colorful illustrations, glossy pages and engaging little stories. The perfect treat for those little boys and girls beginning to read.
I purchased “Bunny Loves to Read” for my 7 year old and he really enjoyed the story.
Perhaps this Easter swap some if the candy for a few of these books!
That’s all for now…



Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

So, if you are a woman and you haven’t heard about this book, something is terribly wrong. Ok maybe not but almost everyone has heard of “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L James by now. The controversial book has been banned from public libraries across the nation for its explicit content. So, I being the little rebel that I am, decided to read the book as soon as I heard the word BANNED. In a recent conversation someone described the book as “an orgasm in every page”… I wouldn’t go as far as to say in every page but there are certainly a lot of orgasms in this novel; each one of them explained with unshakable detail.

Fifty Shades of Grey is extremely erotic and explicit in nature and should not be read by the faint hearted. It seems to be directed to women as the story is narrated from the female’s point of view and it idolizes the male character, very much a like “Twiglight” does, minus the supernatural element. Puritans and extreme religious people who cannot handle hotness served on an ink platter should abstain from reading this book. Other more adventurous people please join in and let the sensual, pseudo porn literature begin.

Fifty shades of Grey offers a way to explore into the dark side of psychologically disturbed sex yet it comes (no pun intended) with a few hints of sweetness and devotion. The male character is disturbed without a doubt and it becomes an obsession for the reader to find out more and more of his past. The male character is intoxicating, charming and controlling and in his imperfection lays perfection only possible in novels and books alike. The heavy sexual content doesn’t start until chapter eight or so and it continues in a roller coaster motion towards the end to the book. To be honest it gets a bit too much at times or perhaps I simply don’t have what it takes to sustain hard core (errm no pun indented, again) quantities of erotic activity in a row. Perhaps there is some supernatural in the book after all – as it is to me a mystery how these two never cease their thirst for each other and go on, and on and on… moans included. I am afraid some women will look at their partner with disappointment (or perhaps with relief) after they read E.L James’s book and consequently the Fifty Shades trilogy. ( Oh yes! A threesome… I mean, three books of Mr Gray and Miss Steele’s saucy encounters)

Nevertheless I have some issues with the writing style. The book is amateurish and repetitive and it has an overly elaborated vocabulary (at times). It seems like the author sat with a GRE vocab book while writing this story; real people simply don’t express themselves as the two main characters of this book do. I get it, it makes it seem more sophisticated, mysterious even, and it brings out the whole dominant v submissive vibe out and into perspective. Yet I found it annoying at times even if I did understand the words because incidentally I studied for the GRE not long ago. It is by no means a “great book” in terms of content nor quality, yet sex sells and this is an exquisite example of that.

So as a summary, what to expect from Fifty Shades of Grey? Explicit sexual and psychologically disturbed sex combined with moments of bi-polarity mixed in a semi-romantic story full of ups and downs. Mystery and over pomposity. Desire and lust. Gallantry and corrupted innocence. Charm and foul language. Gags, orgasms, moans and an array of “firsts” (you will understand the latter after you read the book) Fifty Shades of Grey is an addictive story and I promise you won’t be able to put the book down until the last page, wanting for more… Fifty Shades Darker. Unless you can’t take it, and instead run to the hills after you reach chapter eight and never come back to it again.

Either way I’ll say it’s worth it, it keeps you entertained but you have been warned.

I shall come back with a review for Fifty Shades Darker in the next few weeks..



Book Review: Children of the Lost Moon

So while I was wondering what to read next before the start of the new semester of Masters, I found by accident or by destiny a new (or new to me anyway) author – Gabrielle Blue a.k.a Teresa Jones & Cherryl Ganzel as she describes on her book Children of the Lost Moon.

I know very little about their or her background (wait, is it one or two authors or is it a real one and her alter ego?) I don’t know but little does it matter for what you get is purely brilliant down to the core.

Children of the Lost Moon is en essence very YA (Young Adult) It offers an array of emotions in an intense  supernatural way that leaves your head spinning (in a good way) and wanting  more.

I was fairly impressed, as it had me at the first chapter.

There are some similarities to many other recent YA books I’ve read, but I guess clichés sometimes gives of comfort by reinforcing myths. It is obvious that the author(s) either have a vast knowledge of Fencing (the sport, not making fences) or lots of research was done in the subject as the whole fencing experience is described in detail; I am not familiar with the sport but the way in which the book was written allows you not only to understand, but to immerse yourself in the whole fencing world.

Children of the Lost Moon contain all the elements for a good thrill. The high school environment, the friends, the lonely teenager and the dashing hot supernatural young man who comes to the rescue of the girl’s previously dull ways (sounds familiar?) nevertheless is the execution of the story what makes it impossible to stop reading. It’s catching, it’s certainly entertaining and it contains both love and action.

 I was left wanting more. More of its intoxicating love, more of its passages through Florida, more of its hot humid days and more of the characters involved, and not only the main Savannah and Luke, but more about the mysterious yet malicious Emma, I would like to see her blossom and to explore on her past in order to understand more her cruel ways.

 To all YA lovers I recommend The Children of the Lost Moon.



Book Review: The Poison Tree, Erin Kelly

Recently I went to London, for a week of well, London madness. Although I manage to leave before the riots started,London is always a colourful display of characters, music, personalities and food. I loveLondon, but I most confess I can only handle it for small periods of time, perhaps am too much of a north east lass…

Anyway on my way back from London, while I waited in the chaotic and over crowded Heathrow airport international departures lounge, I got myself a bacon buttie, and an elderflower cordial and contemplated the idea of getting a new book to keep myself amused for the 10hours flight ahead of me. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, so as I browsed the shelves of YA (Young adult) books I felt particularly attracted I most say, by the cover and the title of one particular book. Poison Tree, by Erin Kelly. I didn’t know the author but hey! Why not? It had a yellow sticker on front of it with a good review and it was on my budget (I only had a ten pound note left and I didn’t want to use any of the dollars, nor my card for that matter)  

It took me around 2 weeks to finish the book, which by my standards is a little bit long ( Other books have been gone in less than a week); it wasn’t one of those books that I had the need to run to whenever I wasn’t reading it, but as soon as I started to read it each time I was hooked on it for hours, until tiredness beat me ( I mostly read at night, before bed)

 The Poison Tree captures London in all its grandiosity; the streets, the underground, the unpredictable weather, the people. I think if you don’t know London you can’t savour the book in the same way as you mind find yourself lost in roads you know little off, but on the other hand if you do, or even if you have vaguely  been throught its streets, you can see yourself immersed in the story from beginning to end. It is extremely descriptive, to the point  would secretly jump a few lines now and then– I am impatient. There is also a sudden darkness to it all, from the beginning you know there is something slightly wrong about the characters, something will end badly for sure.  You just can’t put your finger on it.

There is love; many types of love all concentrated towards someone who surely doesn’t deserve it, yet is not a love triangle (which is quite refreshing) and then there are lies. The story is entangled with a web of lies that run in every direction corrupting its characters to the point of no return.

The Poison Tree is dramatic, dark and unique. The Poison Tree is dense, rich in emotions and poisoned by sacrifice. I loved it! Although if it had been me I would have omitted a few sentences here and there, it is overall a fantastic work of art. All hail British young writers – hopefully one day my book will be anywhere near books like The Poison Tree displayed in shelves all over the world.