An Urban Oasis of Luxury at AKA, the Perfect Place for a Longer Los Angeles Stay

Los Angeles is a great town, but that comes with a few hiccups: it’s also noisy and it can even feel altered. The iconic California city might be full of palm trees and have the joy of places by the ocean, but it’s no less a great metropolis. So, while it’s a lovely vacation spot, it can be a little tricky to find peace here, particularly for a couple travelling with a baby.

We needed to stay at a place where we could enjoy the vibe of the City of Angels without compromising a quiet time. We weren’t just craving luxury, we needed a lodging that we could call home, even entertaining guests. AKA gave us exactly what we craved, and then some.

The AKA Collection specializes in creating luxury accommodations for long-term stays, and they have venues in a few major U.S. cities as well as London. There are two AKAs in Los Angeles: one is in Beverly Hills and the other in West Hollywood. We stayed at the latter, and couldn’t have asked for a better location. We were in the midst of the thriving L.A. life, and we had no problem reaching the nearby local hotspots, from Mel’s Diner to Fred Segal. It’s one of the most walkable areas in L.A., so it was easy for us to get around without spending time in traffic – plus, of course, reducing our carbon imprint if only a little. Still, it wasn’t the prime location that made me fall in love with this place, but rather its truly cosy feel.

Our stay at AKA was absolutely incredible. First of all, the staff is among the most wonderful I’ve ever encountered in any kind of lodging. Every single person who works at AKA has a real dedication to service, from the reception to the cleaners. Everyone was very professional and friendly, making an effort in giving us the feeling of home. I was with my husband and our baby of eight and a half months, and when you’re with a small child, you need all the comfort you can get. The staff was quick to remember our preferences, always going the extra mile to make our stay as pleasant as possible. Read more…

The Quiet Cambridge Life at Athena

Cambridge will always be my home, even if I haven’t lived there in quite some time. It’s the town I was born in, where I took my first steps and where I started to become the person I am today. When I was a teen looking to move to the big city, the quiet and academic feel of Cambridge may have seemed almost provincial… but age is the best of life’s teachers. These days, I’m living between two hectic metropolises, London and Los Angeles, with a busy work life and a small child, and I crave the peace of a smaller town. Cambridge seems to be calling me, and I keep coming back to my hometown and reconnecting with it.

I spent last Christmas back there, blissfully accompanied by some of my favorite people in the world. I was surrounded by family and friends in a beautiful house, as we connected through food and kind words, as so many generations have before us. A winter wonderland surrounded us in the deceptively peaceful Cambridge surroundings. The city is a little quieter during the holidays, as many students are back home with their families, yet Cambridge remains a meeting point of cultures from all over the world.

Cambridge is a beautiful place to grow up in, and the university is betting on future generations to choose the town as a place to settle down. The uni partnered up with Hill, one of the biggest house builders in the UK, to create sustainable homes for the next generation of Cambridge dwellers. I’ve written about this project before, which is called Athena, but I keep circling back to its wonderful premise. It’s such a modern concept in a town well known for its ancient buildings and customs, and such a wonderful prospect for people looking to set up a home in Cambridge.

Athena is lifetime homes and apartments inspired by the city’s historic character, built to award-winning designs. Part of an ambitious project by the University of Cambridge to deliver a new neighbourhood for its city; the new district is known as Eddington; so named after the renowned astronomer, mathematician and physicist Sir Arthur Eddington, a Cambridge alumnus and resident in the local area in the early part of the twentieth century. Read more…

Rosie & Cooey – An Eco Baby Favourite!

Times are changing. It’s becoming easier and easier to find, and love, eco-baby wear which doesn’t cost us the earth. There is a plethora and range, it’s not all extortionately priced and the quality speaks for itself. We are in love with Rosie & Cooey in our house! They are a UK online baby and kids clothing shop for 0 to 10 years, which has a beautiful hand-picked a collection of fun, colourful, funky, and ethically made children’s clothing sourced from various sustainable brands. Parents can find scores of clothes designed with style, sustainability and social responsibility at heart. Rosie & Cooey have drawn their line by choosing to only work with brands trading ethically and striving to achieve sustainable production. Their brands do this in a number of ways including using non-conventional materials that have a lower impact on both human health and the environment, such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Modal®, coupled with their commitment in ethical production.

Picture above: Småfolk’s Eltern Bodysuit with Panda in soft organic cotton.

What does this mean for parents concerned about their babywear? Well, take for example, Designer Småfolk who only use 100% organic cotton and have been OEKO-TEX certified for the last 9 years. Instead of throwing a lot of good clothing with small print mistakes away (a source of great waste in our industry), the brand donates these clothes to children in need. Or stocked brand CarlijnQ, who create products in an environment-friendly, sustainable, and healthy way and without the use of any hazardous chemicals. Their factories in Istanbul, Turkey only use certified organic cotton with approved dyes which are free from hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals.  Read more…

Eco and Ethical Baby Brands to be Aware Of

Photo by Brytny.com on Unsplash

It seems that our little ones are growing at the speed of light; one moment they’re toddlers and the next thing you know – it’s time for school. Due to this fact, it’s quite difficult to constantly buy replacements for the clothes they cannot fit in anymore. However, just as it’s the case with the fashion for adults, sustainability has also become very popular in the baby brands fashion world. Not only is this super important because of the materials that are used and the lack of harmful chemicals that can affect your baby’s skin, but it’s also an option that means providing only the top-quality for your children. Moreover, ethics are also a top priority. From making sure that workers have fair wages and safe working environment, to the ones who help out different charity organizations, it seems that many baby brands are making a difference. Now, what are the best eco and ethical baby brands that you need to be aware of?

Biodegradable wipes

Just like you’re taking care of the hygiene of your delicate newborn baby, you should be paying attention to the hygiene of our beautiful planet. And there is an option to do both of these tasks at the same time, as there are companies that produce biodegradable baby wipes, which is certainly an amazing option. The best on the market are the Mum & You biodegradable wipes – they are also hypoallergenic and safe for the environment. It will also help the sensitive and eczema-prone skin of your child as they are made using 100% naturally derived wipes. If you have the option of buying such wipes, why not? Buying a 12 pack will bring you 672 baby wipes, which is an amazing number. Read more…

Diving into Eddington and its sustainability

Over the years eco-design has become more and more important to me. As a little background, my experience is in the field of sustainability and environmentalism – I love beautiful design which doesn’t cost (us) the earth. I wanted, and want, to live as sustainably as I can and believe that a home, whilst being beautiful designed and cleverly executed can offer sustainability and long term durability too. It goes beyond clothing and what we wear. Though my work has kept me between London and Los Angeles, I am a Cambridge girl, born and bred, and nothing beats leaving the intensity of London (which I do love) to reconnect with the place I grew up and catch up with friends and family.

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom and inspiration, and the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. It is also the name for Cambridge’s stunning new lifestyle homes and apartments by Hill. The gorgeous properties are inspired by the city’s historic character and are award-winning designs, forming part of an ambitious project by the University of Cambridge to deliver a new neighbourhood for its city.
Located just 10 minutes by bike from Cambridge’s market square, and close in size to ninety full size football pitches or 150 times the size of Trafalgar Square, Cambridge’s Eddington offers an exciting new place to call home. With a market square acting as the heart of this new neighbourhood, a little discovery trek will take you around the range of retail, leisure and community facilities which include a supermarket, the University of Cambridge Primary School, a community & performing arts centre, and yet to come; independent shops, cafes / restaurants, a hotel and a health centre. I will be the first to admit though, that I didn’t expect to discover sustainability in my hometown as I did at Athena.

Read more…

A New Place To Call Home, Revisiting Cambridge

It’s easy to forget how lucky I was to call Cambridge my hometown. Whilst the grandeur of the university’s buildings make Cambridge the envy of many cities around the globe, born and raised in the famous ”boom town for the brainy’ and a ‘honey-coloured hotspot’, I swiftly forgot how stunning it was once I settled into London life for university and after. To the outside ‘world’, Cambridge is known as home to one of best and oldest universities in the world – my father attended Churchill College, hence our own location there for the majority of my childhood and teenage years. One of the UK’s top seats of academia is not only steeped in an impressive heritage but also inherent sustainability.

My home in London provides me with a convenient base to travel and see the world – for work and play, alongside a seat in the UK’s fashion capital, and when I was leaving Cambridge to study my degree in East London, I didn’t have the perspective that Cambridge could be a place to suit my lifestyle now balancing work, life and being a new mother too. I didn’t pay attention to what has now become so obvious to me – my hometown was and is beautiful, and one place in particular really brought this message home, Athena; a unique collection of new homes by Hill, one of the UK’s leading housebuilders. Hill has worked in collaboration with the University of Cambridge on Athena’s design and ethos, to create an important part of Eddington, a sustainable new neighbourhood for Cambridge.

Nearly 10 years ago, Cambridge was described as one of the “most beautiful cities in the world” by Forbes in 2010, and 8 years later the accolade remains on point. It is not surprising that tourism generates over £750 million for the city’s economy. Read more…

Pink NouNou the ethical baby toy brand…meet the delightful handmade extravangaza for little ones

The best way to describe Pink Nounou? Modern and playful designs for both kids and those young at heart! The gorgeous brand offers a range of textile and paper products designed for little ones but to be admired and appreciated by the kind of parents who appreciate practical and unique pieces. Pink Nounou’s cheery little softie characters in particular present a visual delight, ones easy to become attached to! There are also a ton of eco products to discover! Designer and CEO Ana Carriço creates one-of-a-kind dolls and soft toysbibs with fairy talesbaby rattles, pillows (mini or square), art prints and so much more. I caught up with Ana, the dynamic creative genius, to discuss some of the coolest toys in our play box and find out more about this exciting brand.

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BRAND?

My name is Ana, I’m 42 years old. I LOVE to draw and travel (although I’m really afraid of flying), also I love chocolate, ice-cream & my beautiful daughter (not necessarily in this order!).

I was born in Mozambique lived in Portugal since I was 4 years old. I am currently based in Lisboa with my 10 year old daughter and my husband. I always lived by the sea which is also something I love and feel very connected to! I have a degree in Graphic Design and in these past few years I’ve been fully dedicated to my brand – PinkNounou.

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