Sustainable Toy Brands For Mums Looking To Break The Plastic Cycle – Tenderleaf Toys

Sustainability isn’t just the basis of my work in fashion: it’s a guiding force in my life. I make a very conscious effort to navigate the world through environment-friendly practices, such as trying to cut back on plastic consumption in all areas of life. When I became a mother, this way to see things came with an extra responsibility: I am now raising a small human to be aware of his direct impact on the planet. I wanted to pamper my child with beautiful and fun toys, of course, but I also wanted the things that surround him to be meaningful. And so the quest to find sustainable toys began.

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Pure Thoughts, a Britain-Made Alternative to Conventional Candles

I love having candles around the house, particularly those that work their aromatherapy magic. However, I also have an infant at home, and my number one priority is always keeping the safest environment possible for him. Having a small child has made me hyper-aware of the number of mainstream things that contain harmful chemicals, and scented candles are no exception. Babies are highly sensitive to smells and chemicals, and it turns out that traditional candles release a lot of toxins when they’re burning. With that knowledge, my quest to find natural candles that wouldn’t jeopardise the health of my family began: the last thing I’d ever want to do is pollute the air inside the safe space of my home.

As an aromatherapy lover, I’m looking for soothing smells whenever I search for candles. Meanwhile, as a firm believer in sustainability, I also need to find a brand that matches ethical standards. Lastly, as a mum, I’m looking for something that the grownups in the house can enjoy that doesn’t come close to harming the little one. I’m happy to say that, after searching for a while, I’ve finally found the perfect brand: Pure Thoughts. Read more…

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…

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.

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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…

Eco Decor for the baby shower

As many of you know, I am the Global Campaign Director for ethical design project Red Carpet Green Dress, founded by Suzy Amis Cameron. Our campaign showcases ethical designs on the Oscars red carpet every year. Our project fundraises for MUSE School CA, currently America’s ‘greenest school’ where students learn in a campus which feature recycled, repurposed and eco furnishing. Whilst working in the field of sustainability (on the fashion side) my passion for ethical design has spread across all areas of my lifestyle – from what I eat all the way across to where I stay when I travel. Home and away! I will be writing much more in the lifestyle section about this (and have an exciting section launching soon about this same interest so stay tuned).

When my baby shower approached, I asked the friends organising it to go eco with the decor and they company we worked with, Pipii, are simply put, incredible. Read more…