5 Ways Your Life Might Actually Improve Without Facebook

With daily headlines about the scandalous data mining that has been going on by big companies who are eager to find the best way to manipulate us, it has made us here at ILNI want to push pause on our Facebook use and consider a life without this social platform in it. The more we discussed this move the more reasons we came up with for pushing the big delete. Here are our top 5 ways your life might actually improve without Facebook.


Keeping in touch with your friends after disengaging from Facebook requires a little more effort. But, this is not a bad thing at all. It means personally engaging with your friends in more meaningful ways; like ringing them, emailing them or even dropping in on them for a coffee. Instead of just mindlessly scrolling through the photographic highlights of our friend’s lives and liking or commenting randomly, you might find you become more social in real life. You may also be surprised how happy people are to actually hear your voice.

On the flip side, friends will also have to reach out and contact you directly if you are no longer active on Facebook. Get used to hearing from friends when they want to invite you to an event, rather than just getting a Facebook invite. Don’t worry, people will be able to find you and you are still easy to contact, after all, you have only given up Facebook, not technology altogether.

Be better informed

One of the main reasons we have embarked on this detox from Facebook was the large amount of fake news, questionable content and intentionally misleading information that was cluttering up our Facebook news feeds. We don’t need to get our news from Facebook thank you very much. There are many trustworthy news sites out there for staying informed where one is not constantly weeding out spam. And besides, we don’t want to be beholden to only seeing content that Facebook decides is worthy based on algorithms of what we might like. We want to be informed, challenged and inspired by real news and information.

Have more time

It is amazing how much time we can waste scrolling mindlessly through our news feed. According to Mark Zuckerburg, the average Facebook user spends 50 minutes a day on Facebook. Almost an hour! Everyday! It is more time than people spend on any other leisure activity. Most users even check Facebook before getting out of bed in the morning. We all have a long list of things we could do with an extra hour in my day. Grabbing back your Facebook hour would give you time to exercise, read a book, catch up with a friend in person, join a class or get an extra hours sleep. Without even mentioning how our work productivity might improve!

Regain Some of Your Privacy

Ok, we all use the Internet and apps and smartphones for everything these days, so much of our personal data is no longer as private as we would like to think. But the team at Facebook have taken this to a new level by packaging our data and putting it up for sale. The moment of truth came when scrolling through the Facebook download of data that has been stored about our lives and friends over the last 10 years as members of this social network. Pages of data had been collected and turned into a product for sale by Facebook. Cambridge Analytica didn’t get our information through a security breach; it was bought in a basic business transaction. Did we really sign up for to be products?

Enjoy the Moments

One of the nicest disconnecting benefits is the ability to attend a concert or experience a life event without the worry of having to take Facebook-worthy photos to upload immediately. There is no pressure to check in to see who has liked our photos or what comments have been made. We can just experience and enjoy the moment with the people who are right there sharing it with us in real life.

The biggest hurdle to giving up Facebook for many is the fear of missing out. This is what Facebook is built around, and why we feel the need to constantly check our Facebook feeds. But given the time and data we are giving freely to this company, it might be time to overcome this irrational fear and push pause on Facebook. There are a couple of ways to do this. First is to delete your account altogether. This link leads you directly to the page to do this https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account. Facebook will require you to jump a few security hoops and wait 90 days, but eventually, they set you free.

If you are not ready to push delete yet, you can always deactivate your account in a few simple clicks. At the least, I challenge you to try a reduced diet of Facebook interaction and see if it suits you. Find out how many ways your life might actually improve without Facebook.


March 28, 2018 – Onwards and Upwards

The same as last time, we took the early flight to Milan, arriving at 10.30am into Milan Malpensa where our agent Massimo was already waiting for us.

With our first meeting scheduled for 11 am, we used the 30-minute drive from the airport to go over our bullet-pointed list of items to discuss.

Arriving at the office, we were shown to a tiny meeting room where one of our suppliers, Fabio, joined us moments later. We had met Fabio a couple of times at the LineaPelle Fair in Milan. A slightly shy man in his early 30s, he is, in fact, a great listener who always offers very helpful ideas and suggestions.

While still looking at different material options, our meeting had to finish abruptly when we realized we were cutting it fine for making our next meeting at 2 pm, especially as we had an hour and a half drive to get there. During our discussions in the car on the way to the next meeting, it became apparent that we all agreed we wouldn’t be using his company’s material.

A quick Italian lunch seems like an oxymoron, but we did manage to squeeze in a quick lunch stop on the way to our next appointment making us a mere 15 minutes fashionably late.

This time we were guided to a rather big conference room with examples of end products displayed on glass shelves and many racks with a vast array of fabrics along the walls.

Two women entered and greeted us with friendly handshakes, introductions and the usual exchanging of business cards. To our surprise, we didn’t need to explain much to these two knowledgeable women. While showing them one of our bags and the materials we used for the other two bags they simply nodded and made some notes. Once we finished our explanation, they both stood up. One left the room and the other walked toward a rack on the far wall. The first woman returned with a pile of folders filled with faux-leather samples. The second woman returned with two types of bag stiffeners. They were spot on with their suggestions and within 20 minutes we had already placed an order in our minds for their fabric.

Our next meeting was set for 3 pm. But, due to entering the wrong address in our car’s GPS, we arrived 25 minutes late. The woman we met apologized to us! Explaining that this is a misunderstanding that a lot of their visitors make due to the wrong address on their website. Which left us confused as to why they don’t update their webpage. Anyway, refreshed with un caffé and a bottle of water our meeting could begin.

A man joined us who gave us a rather long account of the history of their company and the product they offered. We quickly came to the conclusion that the leather they offered wasn’t the kind of material we were looking for. But, luckily, he knew a company, just around the corner with a product line that he was sure we would like for our next line. He gave us their phone number and address and bid us farewell.

With a little time spare in our schedule, Massimo suggested making a quick visit to the company suggested by the man. We agreed, and he proceeded to call the company and convince the woman on the phone that we really wanted to see their product even though we truly understood that this was at very very short notice, and, we were literally just around the corner.

10 minutes later we stood In front of a small building that resembled a bunker. The hallway / waiting room was dark, tiny and uninviting. We were feeling rather sceptical of this last minute detour. There was a window and behind that sat a receptionist. And, behind her was yet another window that had a view into a massive warehouse where we could see hundreds of fabrics on rolls.

Two women came out to meet us, one older in her 50s and one younger woman in her 30s. We went into a small office with shelves and racks stacked high with many different types of fabrics. They took out folders, pieces of cloth, shoes, bags and so on….. We were staggered by the array of extremely interesting textiles. Some of the samples they showed were just exquisite and also edgy at the same time and so we left with a bag full of interesting samples.

We arrived right on time at the airport. In the car ride back we discussed that we very happy with that day’s outcome. We would order a few meters of faux leather and send it to Luciano for the next samples. We would fly back to Milan when the ordered fabric arrived at the studio to sit with Massimo and Luciano in the atelier and see if the fabric was a solution to our predicament.

Onwards and upwards in our quest to find the perfect fabric for our bags.

Alla prossima – Until Next Time

Ten Thoughtful and Compassionate Lifestyle Bloggers We Are Enjoying This Month

Kindness has a ripple effect on the universe and we love reading about others who are spreading a little compassion and kindness. This month we have collated some of our favourite lifestyle bloggers who are creating waves of kindness in their communities.

Kind Over Matter – Life Gets Better When You Are Kind To Yourself

Described as the ‘Feel Good Rabbit Hole of the internet’, we don’t mind getting lost for a while in the great content of this site. Filled with inspiring stories, motivations and kindness that will just make your day a little sunnier. Lara Heacock works with a team of kindness writers who bring great fresh content to this feel-good site.


The Kind Planet – For Circular Living

“Habits are formed when we repeat a behaviour and it becomes part of us,” says Eva, the founder of The Kind Planet Blog. She explores with her readers the idea of Circular Living; thinking more about where items we use come from, how they are made, how they are used, where they go and what impact they have on the health and well-being of people and the earth. By educating and challenging us to become more connected to our actions and to think about the impact of products we use, Eva is spreading her flavour of kindness around the planet.



Kindness By Design – A Champion of designs that are good to people and the planet!

Kendall started her blog with a desire to see sustainable and ethical design become the norm. Her site highlights designers, brands and labels that are also committed to making the world a better place. On her site, you can find a host of information and news about ethical fashion and design, as well as get up-close and personal with ethical fashion designers, brands and retailers.




The Kind Life – With Alicia Silverstone

You will instantly recognize the face behind this blog. Actress Alicia Silverstone runs The Kind Life, a place where she joins with others who are on a passage to healthier and happier living. The site is filled with great ideas, recipes and tips for a healthy and happy life that is especially kind to the planet.



Kindness.org – A kinder world begins with all of us

This blog is created by a group of writers who came together to form a small non-profit with big goals. Their aim to answer the question:

How would our world transform if each of us put kindness front and centre in our lives?

What developed was a website that aims to inspire small ripples of everyday compassion. Stories from communities, articles about kindness and putting new ideas into practice. Kindness.org is all about the power of ripples of kindness to create massive waves of change. They invite readers to read, grab one of their fun shareable content or join one of their initiatives.


Leotie Lovely – Eco-wisdom and Ethical Awareness

Leotie Lovely created her blog as her ever-evolving guide to living more consciously. She decided her act of kindness for the world would be to learn the circular story behind every object she purchases or uses. Her blog is a narrative of this journey to be the change we wish to see in the world, challenging us to just be better humans.




Pebble Magazine – Read The Change

Georgina created Pebble Magazine as a platform to support, share and promote stories from people who are doing cool and worthy things for a living. She writes on sustainable design, ethical fashion, slow food, eco-travel and much more – permaculture, whizzy futurists, slow fashion, open sourcing, crafting, protecting the seas, local food, new manufacturing models, organic skincare, vegetable leathers and vertical farms.. just to name a few topics you can read about on this blog. We love how the writers on Pebble Magazine are challenging the status quo article by article.


Ferns and Peonies – Navigating a Healthy and Compassionate Lifestyle

Alex’s blog is all about living with intention and kindness. Alex is a world traveller, a gluten-free and vegan cooking enthusiast, a runner and yogi, a designer and creator of bags, a wife and a mother of two calico cat sisters and a rescue mutt. She writes about navigating a healthy and compassionate lifestyle that has a positive effect on others. Topics include travel, cooking, baking, yoga and becoming the best version of you.



My New Neighbour – A Conscious Living Resource

This blog was created by three friends who wanted to break free from mindless materialism and meet with new neighbours. They have redefined ‘neighbour’ to include the people around the world whose lives are interwoven with ours by the things we decide to purchase. This blog is about these “new” neighbours, and learning how to show kindness through conscious shopping. Lots of how-to posts, as well as uplifting stories and challenging articles that encourage us all to think and act globally.


Magnifeco – Where Ethics Meets Aesthetics

Kate Black is the woman behind this magazine/blog that is a discovery of eco-fashion designers, artisans, makers and sustainable living communities. Filled with fresh ideas, articles and ethical fashion this site is great for getting lost in and coming out inspired.



Just as ripples spread out from a single pebble dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching results – Dalai Lama




A Weekend in One of the World’s Coolest Little Cities – Wellington

Wellington is the vibrant urban capital of New Zealand and well known as one of the world’s coolest little cities to visit. In recent years it has become home to international film stars during the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit. The relaxed atmosphere of this compact capital city located on a picturesque harbour and surrounded by wild native bush covered hills makes Wellington a popular spot for visitors and locals alike.

Staying Cool

The QT Museum Hotel is our pick of the coolest place to base yourself for a weekend. A luxurious boutique hotel located right on the harbour you will be able to enjoy the fantastic views of the large natural harbour, as well as be in close walking distance to the main shopping, craft-beer bars, cafes and the modern national museum Te Papa. Filled with more than 160 original artworks this hotel is described as eccentric creativity meets luxury travel.

Cool Scenes

A trip to Wellington, aka Middle Earth, would not be complete without visiting some of the filming locations from the Lord of The Rings trilogy. Fans of the films can join a location tour to visit the Outer Shire, RiverDell and Helms Deep before going behind the scenes at the Weta Studios, the Academy Award-winning design company that created the special effects and props for Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Thor, District 9, TinTin and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Lunching Like A Local

For something fresh, simple and light with a distinct New Zealand taste, Aro Street Café is the place to go. This iconic city café and bistro has been serving up local favourites for more than 20 years. Try their Cranberry & Brazil nut muesli with roasted stone fruit & Zany yoghurt or the poached eggs with braised lentils, buttery spinach & grilled ciabatta. Finish with a cup of their house-roasted coffee before heading off to explore more of the city.

New Zealand Designs

In the afternoon head into the central city for a spot of shopping with Wellington shops serving up something for everyone, from quirky and eclectic to high-end local designer brands. Our pick to check out while you are here; World.

Step into the modern warehouse space of this premium New Zealand fashion line.  Fuelled by their energy and passion, this label has developed from a cupboard at the back of an arcade, to one of the leading fashion houses in New Zealand.

Vessel on Victoria Street is a must-see shop displaying a range of exclusive ceramics and homewares by Kiwi artists. It’s a local favourite and perfect for finding something unique to remember your visit to this city.

The Old Bank Arcade on Lambton Quay with three floors of specialty shops and some of New Zealand’s top designer fashion brands such as Ricochet

Taylor and Workshop.

Eco-Dining at Logan Brown

For dinner, our pick is Logan Brown. Ranked amongst Wellington’s best restaurants, it oozes class without being overly formal, and we love their commitment to minimizing their ecological footprint by caring deeply for the New Zealand environment in every aspect of their business. Located in a 1920s banking-chamber dining room, Logan Brown is the place to really experience a genuine taste of New Zealand cuisine. ‘We proud to represent the best of what our people and country produce, sustainably and ethically’ says owner Shaun.

Try their Risotto with charred corn, cauliflower, aged Parmesan & crisp shallots or the Heirloom tomatoes with Rewana Bread, Tanara, Pickled Cucumber and Koringo. And finish with a New Zealand classic Hokey Pokey, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Coffee & Milk Crisp

Wild Nightlife

For a different type of nightlife while in Wellington head to the famous Zealandia By Night Experience.

This after-hours tour by torchlight of Wellington’s ecological sanctuary will bring you up close and personal to some of New Zealand’s best nocturnal critters. Little spotted kiwi birds, glow-worms, Tuatara lizards and, and longfin eels are some of the cool wildlife you might catch a glimpse of on your night-time adventure.

Midnight Snacks

If you are looking for the usual type of nightlife, back in the city you will find no shortage of live music, vibrant bars and local hangouts along Courtney Place which goes all night and into wee hours of the morning.

But, before calling it a night, grab a quick midnight snack at Midnight Espresso (187 Cuba Street), the perfect urban café for late night coffees and snacks. Try their giant hot chocolate with marshmallows to finish the night with a warm glow.

Just like the chocolaty goodness of a Midnight Espresso hot chocolate, Wellington will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling that will make you want to come back and spend some more time in this very cool little capital city.



March 8, 2018 – A Wrinkle In Production

We landed in Milan after a quick cloudless flight across from Amsterdam. The views across the snow-covered Alps were spectacular.

The reason for the sudden trip? A wrinkle in production!

One of the learning curves of creating a new product is getting the right materials to meet the quality we have in mind for our bags. Unfortunately, the first material we had chosen to try was not meeting our expectations. Our desire is to have exceptional quality bags made from faux-leather without sacrificing anything in style. We want our bags to look amazing. So when our craftsman complained that the fabric we had sourced was not flexible enough to work with, we had to make a trip to find a solution.

When we got to our craftsman’s studio we could see immediately what he was meaning. The folds of the bags were just not smooth enough in the corners. When we had chosen the fabric he had thought it would be manageable, but it had proven more difficult than expected and was causing wrinkles in our bags.

Our product consultant Massimo had also travelled to the studio to meet with us and our craftsman, Luciano. This was an important meeting for us.

And when we arrived at the studio it became apparent that this was also an important meeting for Luciano, as he had left his three dogs at home with his wife. In past meetings, these three adorable rascals were keen to also be part of the meeting. Vying for Luciano’s attention like young children and excited about having visitors to entertain. This time the meeting was a little more systematic. Except for the compulsory pre-meeting banter between Massimo and Luciano about the elections held a few days prior. In true Italian style, this type of discussion includes a lot of loud exclamations, hand gestures and passionate rapidly spoken Italian. After 15 minutes let’s just say, they agreed to disagree and the real reason for our visit began (more peacefully).

The meeting progressed with the two men, chins in their hands, thoughtfully looking at the bags. They would pick one up, take a critical look at it from all sides and then go back to stroking their chins and leaning back against the worktables. Before suddenly bursting into a back and forth banter of thoughts, ideas and possibilities. The problem was not dire, but the fabric was just not quite meeting our expectations and we are glad to be working with Massimo and Luciano who both also understand the importance of quality work. Luciano’s son Fabio, was also in the studio working on his own assignments and was happy to add his thoughts and visions to the meeting. This was a great bonus to have not just one, but two expert Italian craftsmen working with us!

So, while the sample bags produced with the first fabric were not exactly to our level of expectation, they were a great learning curve and it was amazing to see the bag designs come to life. We were able to understand more about what it takes to really create bags at the level of quality we require. And it makes us very glad we have people like Luciano who understand the fine art of craftsmanship and making each piece immaculate in design and structure.

After a long Italian lunch and much more discussion, we returned to the airport with sample bags to take with us to fabric suppliers and for general feedback on the design from others in the know in the fashion field.

We will return to Italy at the end of this month to talk with our potential suppliers and to determine a new material to trial. The process of creating our first ILNI creation is well underway.


Alla prossima – Until Next Time

Put a Spring in Your Step with Our 10 Favourite Spring Trends

Spring is one of our favourite times of the year. It is the time of renewal and fresh starts. It is filled with the scent of blossoms and warm sunshine. In anticipation of the end of the cold winter, we have listed our favourite new trends for this Spring. Welcome the season with one or more of these 10 Spring trends

  1. Lavender

This Spring the colour trend is towards pastels and more pastels. But our pick of the range is Pink Lavender. Lavender jackets, lavender blouses and dresses. Lavender hues are also exploding onto walls and accents in homes. The shade is whimsical and fresh and just looks great. We have seen it paired with a classic mint green and we love the combination.

  1. Polka Dots

We are going dotty over the new Polka dot trend that has been showing up in celebrity wear and on runways lately. These black and white spots are fresh and fun in skirts, chiffon blouses and dresses.

  1. Back to the 80s

Yes it is time for this era to revisit. The spring silhouette is going all nipped waistlines, strong shoulder and long lean legs. Think Princess Diana style mixed with a Joan Collins Dynasty Glam. There will be lots of bling, sequins, power suits and asymmetrical necklines. While we don’t wish for a total recall of the 80s, we are enjoying seeing an updated less fluorescent version this Spring.

  1. Going Green

We can’t get enough of the fresh green accents that are showing up in home décor this Spring. There are so many ways to add some green to your living space with framed pressed leaves, leaf print fabrics, and patterned leaf indoor pot plants. If you are not up for a total interior renewal just add a large vase of Spring flowers or pastel coloured blooms to instantly Springify your space.

  1. Bright Coloured Doors

Front doors are going bold this season. Bold reds, blues, greens and lavender doors are featuring everywhere. Pick your favourite colour and amp up the intensity with extra gloss to welcome visitors to your home with a great first impression.

  1. Souping

Move over juicing, souping is the new way to get your goodness in liquid form. Pinterest is filled with new recipes for us to try as we turn our hand to making soups again. Our favourites are a Spicy Carrot Thai Coconut Soup or a traditional Dutch Split Pea and Vegetable Soup. These soups are perfect for those Spring days when the weather is still a little chilly outside. Serve with hot toast and indulge!

  1. Moroccan Spices

Spring is all about trying new and fresh things and North African flavours are popping up in recipes everywhere. Cumin, Coriander and Cardamom are trending large this Spring and we love the smell of them cooking. Try a Moroccan Chickpea and Couscous salad or a Spiced Moroccan Wrap to warm you from the inside. Serve with Greek yoghurt and freshly cut mint.

  1. Alternative Holiday Destinations

This Spring the travel trend is for more authentic travel in destinations a little out of the ordinary. Morocco, Dubai, Croatia, and Mykonos are our top Spring choices for a break this year. Lisbon, Melbourne and Miami are also trending high as cities to spend a few days in and enjoy some great shopping with warm weather!

  1. Dairy-Free Desserts

Healthy living allows indulging sometimes. According to Pinterest, searches for vegan and dairy-free desserts are at an all-time high this season. And with great recipes and mouth-watering photos, it is no wonder we are all keen to jump on this trend. Our favourites are No-bake Raspberry Chocolate Tarts or Banoffee Cheese Cake that are vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free. Indulgence without guilt?! Count me in!

  1. Super Coffee

No longer content with our simple java fix in the mornings, the new trend is for super coffees. Basically, a coffee fix with superfoods added for an extra kick of health. Check out this super coffee recipe with coconut oil, cacao and turmeric for a Spring boost in the morning!


1 cup freshly brewed coffee

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon raw cacao powder (optional)

1 teaspoon matcha powder

1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter

1 teaspoon raw honey

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Pinch of cayenne pepper and vanilla (both optional)

Shake of cinnamon to serve

Enjoy! After all, Spring is in the air and we are all ready for a boost after a cold winter.

Press for Progress – International Women’s Day 2018

In 2017 International Women’s Day (IWD) gained a lot of attention. With marches and protests around the globe, and women walking out of work in A Day Without A Woman. Women and Men were being much more vocal in their call for more awareness of the marginalization of women due to gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality or disability. The movement encouraged those who could not march to wear red in solidarity and we did!

This year on March 8th International Women’s Day arrives after what has been another year of earth-shifting events and movements that have steadily grown louder in their calls for fairness and a voice for all. The theme for this year is Press For Progress. With the release of the 2017 World Economic Forum’s Report on Gender Equality finding that we are at least 200 years away from pay parity for women, the time is now to push for more progress. It is a time of combining powerful ideas and putting them into practical actions.

International Women’s Day has always been about taking action. It commemorates a movement that began with the strength and action of one woman standing up in a crowded labour meeting and declaring, “I have no further patience for talk!”. Clara Lemlich was a Ukrainian migrant working in the notorious garment factories of New York in 1908. She ignited a movement when she called her fellow workers to strike and march in the streets in protest of their poor working conditions. What followed were 35,000 women standing with her in strike action that lasted more than 3 months and brought the garment industry of New York to its knees. Known as the Shirtwaist (women’s blouse) strike of 1908, Clara challenged women to stop talking and start walking. She forced factory owners to listen and to improve the conditions of work for the thousands of women working in their factories.

International Women’s Day continues to be about action in 2018 with events and marches planned internationally and campaigns already running on all social media platforms. This year is about all the movements joining together under the banner of #PressForProgress. It is about declaring impatience with talk and demanding action from governments and workplaces on gender equality, fairness and nonviolence.

International Women’s Day is a day for all women’s voices to be heard, including smaller, less known women’s movements like the #GulabiGang, a group of Indian activists who protest against police injustice while wearing pink Saris. They will be marching alongside the bigger movements; #ThisIsGlobal #TimeIsNow #MeToo and the international versions #yoTambien in Mexico, Spain and South America, #QuelleVoltaChe in Italy, #Ana-kaman in the Arab States, and #BalanceTonPorc in France, to name but a few.

More than 100 years ago Clara declared her impatience with talk and sparked a movement of 35,000 people. Today millions of women and men around the world have joined her in demanding action and equality. On this International Women’s Day we at ILNI want to salute Strong Women Everywhere. May we know them, May we be them and May we raise them.

If you are interested in how you too can join an event on March 8 or support a movement we have listed below some links for you to find out more.

#MeToo Movement: https://metoomvmt.org/

#PressForProgress: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme

#ThisIsGlobal Women’s March International: https://www.womensmarchglobal.com/

#TimeIsNow United Nations Theme for IWD: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/international-womens-day

#TimesUp Movement following on from the #Metoo:  https://www.timesupnow.com/

#DayWithoutAWoman: https://www.womensmarch.com/womensday/

#GirlsNotBrides:  https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/