It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, it’s who is around it.

With best wishes for the festive season from all of us at ILNI

December, 2018 – Finally!

These past few months we have been working avidly on the details and materials for our new bags. After visiting the LineaPelle Fair in Milan, we discovered some new ideas for using different types of material. While we were excited by this development, it took a little longer than expected for things to start moving. This was because not all the materials were available immediately from stock and some actually had to be produced especially for us. So the waiting game started again.

Until this last Friday! A week ago we had finally received the long-awaited call to say that the materials could be picked up! We took the last flight to Milan on Friday evening and dedicated the whole weekend to completing the finishing touches on our very first batch of bags.

On Saturday morning we started the day early with the usual espresso and tea at the bar around the corner from Luciano’s atelier. We were eager to start discussing the last details with Luciano. His dogs greeted us first with noticeably less barking; they must be getting used to seeing us now! With Luciano, it was straight down to business this time, with none of the usual pre-work discussion about Italian politics or football.

It’s amazing how every time you think you already have looked at all details, you notice that there are many more aspects that come up that need to be addressed! As always, Luciano’s input, experience and solutions were of invaluable worth. Massimo also added valuable input by coming up with a design idea for the B-Bag, which we loved. Dedicating the whole Saturday to the final details was exhilarating and, as it turned out, particularly fruitful. However, not wanting to be too much of a nuisance, we decided to leave Luciano and Massimo to it in the late afternoon and headed back to our hotel. We were exhausted but feeling pumped with excitement at the same time. Our bags were nearly done!

Luciano and Massimo have informed us that our bags will be ready by the next weekend; we can’t wait! Next task on our list is to organise the transport to bring our ‘babies’ home and finally start showing them to the world!

Alla prossima – Until Next Time

July 2018, – But Wait, There Is More.. Our New Line

We have been working on some ideas for a new bag line the last couple of weeks. The new collection will be made of Faux Fur. As with our faux leather bags, this new line will include three different sizes and will be completely different from our first collection.

The perfect faux fur for our next collection was found a few months ago when we saw the material hanging in the meeting room of our, now, second Italian supplier. We had been meeting with two ladies from the supplier in their showroom, and while they were both out of the room gathering samples of faux leather, we browsed the three clothing racks, against the walls. All were chock full with patches of faux feather, embroidered fringing, wearable macramé, cotton, linen….AND Faux Furs which we instantly fell in love with. Each piece was labelled: Made in Italy. We were sold. We instantly knew we had to design bags with this fabulous faux fur fabric.

Our excitement and drive to get the ball rolling quickly on our new line hit a uniquely Italian snag, Ferragosto! Otherwise known as the holiday season, Ferragosto is one of the most important religious holidays in Italy and it is the time when the whole of Italy seems to close up and head to the beaches or mountains. Everyone is in holiday mode and no one is working. Not a bad thing, except when you have a brilliant new line of bags that you are dying to get started on!

Instead, we filled our schedule with media-agency meetings, mentor talks and the best of all; planning dinner evenings with family and friends!

Alla prossima – Until Next Time

Our Top Travel Destinations for 2019

At ILNI we love to travel and are always eager to find the best places to eat, stay and explore when we visit a new city. The best part about discovering great places is the joy we get from sharing them with others. Here are the top destinations we have loved this year.

48 Hours in Lisbon

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a lively and picturesque city full of exciting history, traditional food and fantastic live music. We found the best places to enjoy a wonderful weekend in this stunning seaside city.

Eight Elegant Experiences for an Unforgettable Stay in London

London is one of our favourite destinations at ILNI and in this post we share our picks of the most elegant and perfectly British experiences for an unforgettable trip to this fabulous city.

Verona the City of Romance

We all know Verona as the backdrop of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We show you why this picturesque Italian city remains a popular destination for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the romance and beauty of this fair city of Verona.

The Hague, A Grand Dame of a City with a Heart of Gold

If The Hague were a woman, she would be one of those irresistibly classy women that you instantly admire and want to get to know better. The Hague also happens to be the home of ILNI, so while we may be a little biased, we love her and would like to introduce her to you.

Why We Love Amsterdam in Autumn

Amsterdam is a fantastic city to visit at any time of the year. In this post, we show you Amsterdam at its cosiest and share the best places to enjoy this friendly, intimate and engaging city.

Segovia One of Spain’s Best Kept Secrets

The towering 2nd Century Aqueduct is the focal point of this city, but we explore this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site to discover the strange connections this city has to Christopher Columbus and Cinderella all the while sharing the best places to dine, stay and enjoy the beauty of this Castilian city.

7 Unusually Compelling Reasons to Visit Scotland

Scotland should be on everyone must-visit list. It is a magnificent land of mystery, with stunning landscapes and fascinating history and we share our 7 compelling reasons why we think Scotland is worth a visit.

24 Hours in Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient

Hong Kong is a heady mix of traditional and modern Asian cultures, combined in a loud, bright and intoxicating city that goes all day and night. We love visiting this city that never stops and have gathered together our picks of the best this city has to offer in a 24-hour stopover.

A Weekend in One of the Worlds 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. The relaxed atmosphere of this compact capital city located on a picturesque harbour and surrounded by wild native bush covered hills makes Wellington a unique destination.

A Perfect Parisian Weekend

Paris is the perfect place to spend a lifetime, but for those of us not lucky enough to call this beautiful city home, we have put together our favourite picks for a perfect Parisian weekend.

5 Compelling Reasons to Visit Bruges

Bruges is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe with a picturesque village centre from 600 years ago when the city was a thriving financial hub. Bruges buzzes with energy and visitors from around the world, fuelled by artisan chocolate, fresh roasted coffee and 100s of varieties of craft beers. We share our five most compelling reasons to visit this vibrant historic city.

Wherever you are travelling this year, we wish you safe travels and many happy experiences.

We’re Dreaming of a Green Christmas- How To Go Green This Festive Season

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year to share goodwill and kindness to all. So this year we want to share some ideas for a greener way to celebrate Christmas that is kinder to our planet and all who live on it.

 

Gifts of Kindness

Every year we give and receive gifts for Christmas. Sometimes those gifts are unwanted or wasteful excess stuff that we don’t really need. This year try a gift of time or experience to those you love. Our favourite choices are movie vouchers, tickets or memberships. For those who have everything, consider donating to a charity in their name.

We suggest choosing something from the World Vision Gift Catalogue to donate to a child in need.

If you really want to give an actual wrapped gift, consider gifts that are made sustainably from renewable materials, made locally or made by artisans.

When you are buying for children, consider gifts that are battery-free, as every year discarded batteries end up in landfills and eventually into waterways.

If you do end up with excess or unwanted gifts, please donate them to a charity store. Many unwanted gifts simply gather dust in our closets for years when someone else could be using them. Give them to a charity that will ensure someone who wants them can use them.

 

Wrapped up with love

When wrapping gifts buy recyclable Christmas wrapping paper. The best and simplest is brown paper with ribbons. We love the ideas for wrapping gifts using recyclable materials over at EcoCult

 

Deck the Halls

Every year thousands of trees are used for Christmas, only to be discarded in January on bonfires. Instead, this year go for an alternative Christmas tree. There are many alternatives such as a potted tree that can be planted afterwards or a wooden tree frame that can be reused each year. Eco-Age have the best guide to eco-friendly Christmas trees including some fantastic alternative tree ideas.

 

Decorate your tree and home this year with natural decorations – pinecones, eucalyptus, holly, ivy and dried fruit. Or buy well-made decorations that will last for many years. Look out for beautiful handmade or artisanal items that you can enjoy for many years.

Consider your energy usage over the festive season by putting your Christmas lights on a timer. We love the look of homes decorated in lights, but don’t leave them on all day and night. Set a timer that will turn your lights on for a few hours once it gets dark each evening.

Decorate inside with candles that are made from beeswax, soy or vegetable wax to avoid paraffin wax that comes from petroleum.

 

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

We all love to overindulge at Christmas, but this year, consider reducing the amount of food you prepare. Not only will you do everyone’s’ waistline a favour, you will also cut down dramatically on the amount of unnecessary food waste that is thrown away every Christmas.

Remember to recycle all you can after your festivities. Bottles, plastic, paper – you know the drill.

Plan a vegan or vegetarian dish for Christmas dinner. You know it is better for you and for the planet. Check out some of the great vegan recipes online and get inspired. We love Jamie Oliver’s collection of Vegan Christmas dinner recipes that are guaranteed to inspire you to try something new this year.

 

Send E-cards

By sending all your cards digitally this year you can save paper and fuel for transport. And, bonus, you can leave the task of writing them right up to the last minute before you push send as they will be delivered instantly on time.

 

Enjoy the Season

Lastly, our best tip for a green Christmas is to just slow down and enjoy the season of goodwill. Spend time with friends and family doing things together at home. Christmas is the perfect time of year to gather with friends and family. Spend time cooking together, taking evening walks to see the Christmas lights in your neighbourhood or sitting by the fire playing a board game or watching a Christmas movie with your kids.

Instead of being caught up in the commercialisation of this season, make Christmas a reason to connect to others and share gifts of time, love and goodwill with everyone.

 

Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.

The Grinch

 

8 Must-Read Blog Posts That Just Might Change Your Life

At ILNI we try to challenge, inspire and encourage with every post we write. Over the last year we have published some posts with bold ideas and suggestions for self-improvement, improving the planet and sharing a lot more kindness around. Here are our top 8 posts that we think might just change your life.

The One Thing You Can Do in 2018 To Improve Your Health and the Health of the Planet

In this post we explore how cutting meat and animal products out of your diet might be the best thing you could do for your health and the health of the planet. If you are looking for inspiration to make a change in your eating habits, this is the post for you.

The Online Hate Culture and How To Stay Out Of It

In this age of digital connection, there seems to be a building culture of intolerance and hate towards opposing opinions. We explore what all this online hate is about, why does there seem to be so much of it, and most importantly, how do we stay out of it?

Three Questions That Will Change the Way You Buy Clothes, Forever.

Do you ever get caught up in the intoxicating mix of anticipation, desire and panic when you see an item of clothing you want to own? If this is you, this blog post may be just the thing you need to read before the end-of-season sales start. We pose three simple questions that will definitely challenge your buying habits and may even change your lifestyle.

5 Ways Your Life Might Actually Improve Without Facebook

For most of us, Facebook brings up some conflicting emotions about whether to keep or delete our profile. Notably, in recent months when the news about how this mammoth social site uses our data and fails to keep it secure has hit the headlines worldwide. We outline in this post why flicking the switch on Facebook might actually be the best thing you can do. We even go so far as to suggest five ways your life could improve without Facebook.

12 Things to Stop Doing Right Now

These 12 habits don’t do anyone any good. They can slow you down, make you feel bad and unintentionally hurt others. See if you have any of these 12 habits that need to change.

15 Ways To Green Your Morning Routine And Start Saving The Planet Before Lunchtime

Feel like saving the planet before lunchtime? Then this is the post for you. We outline 15 surprisingly simple ways you can green your morning routine and get well on track to doing your part in saving the planet.

 Everyday Should Be A World Hello Day

While we all know that communication is the key to increasing understanding and kindness in our lives, do we really take time to consider how to use the power of communication for good? Find out how you can use the power of communication for good in your life and encourage others, including our world leaders, to do the same.

The Fine and Forgotten Art of Applying A Morality Filter 

We live in a digital world with very few filters. Our daily consumption of media is mostly unfiltered online content from unknown sources. Recent news about who can buy influence and appear in our feed means it is up to us to place more control over the content we see. In other words, if you want to set any limits on what you see online, you need to be the one to set them. In this post we challenge you to set some online content boundaries.

We hope we might have contributed some interesting and perhaps challenging ideas with these posts. But most importantly remember;

You must be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi