Week 4: Creative Ups and Downs

Friday, January 30, 2009

Live each season as it passes,
breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself
to the influences of each.

~Henry David Thoreau

It is Week 4 of Jamie Ridler's book club for creative bloggers. Every Friday, participants post their reflections from each chapter in response to Gail McMeekin's book, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women.

This week's focus was on the creative highs and lows we all experience and how we approach these ups and downs.

I have an altered art collage piece I made back in the summer of 2007. I was at a creative crossroads, and the Thoreau quote was the focal point of the piece because it reflected what I was feeling.

I had closed a bath and body business that June and launched the small Etsy shop that would later evolve into my current business. I was burned out, tapped out, and feeling a bit like I lost some of myself due to the day to day grind I had been going through. 

There was no longer any joy in what I was doing professionally, and I was going through the motions. Something inside kept telling me to just be. Rest. Take time to rediscover the joys of creativity that prompted be to start an internet business back in 2006.

One night when I was making a thank you note for a friend and doing some collage work, I felt this jolt within myself--it was my inner voice telling me to step outside what I had grown so familiar with and just have fun. Just create.

I had been stuck in a rut for so long, biting off much more than I could chew, and depriving myself of the many creative pleasures I had enjoyed so much.

I closed my newly opened and quickly growing Etsy shop after only a month and a half and decided I would walk away. Not forever, but until I was ready to take it on and give it 100%. I ended up being gone from Etsy from late summer of 2007 through late April 2008. It was wonderful for me.

I decided to do what was fun--making greeting cards, prim candles, and collages. It was fun. It wasn't anywhere near as profitable as my business, but I sold some of my creations. I was happy doing this for a few months. I was able to recharge and refocus--able to get a good night's sleep which is so hard when your "work day" begins at 8 after your kids are in bed.

That pull to return to my skin care business drew me back, so in later March, I decided to start back at selling KZM Facial Care Boutique products. That decision was right. It was great timing. It was just that I needed to take a break to enjoy life a bit more and learn to pace myself before throwing myself back into my work.

Creativity to me is a roller coaster ride. It is full of ups and downs, some steep downhill falls and long climbs back up. I find that my creativity isn't static. 

My creativity reflects what is going on in my mind and heart. When I am relaxed and content, feeling a bit calm, my creative spirit soars to new heights. I have ideas popping out of the blue and want to express them. I can't draw well. I am not a good painter. 

My creative outlets are through mixed media and altered art collage and through makeup artistry. That is why I adored being a makeup artist so much--because I could create new works of art each day and it didn't bore me. Whenever I was promoted into management, I had so much less time to do makeovers and my creative energy--and sense of self--were zapped out of me.

When I am feeling anxious, stressed, or doing another battle with my nemesis--depression (which is thankfully manageable now)--my creativity suffers. I cannot think of ideas. Even writing new material for my blog becomes a chore. Suddenly I look at my chest of art supplies and craft materials and have no idea what to work on, so I put it away until that has passed.

When I have felt I have reached a point where I am running on fewer cylinders than my creative engine requires, I look at the collage I made and feel renewed.

I choose to embrace the creative ebbs and I live each season as it passes...I resign myself to the influences of each. My creative juices will start flowing again; it may be days or it may be months. I just have to experience each day as it happens and then a new seed will be planted in my creative process.

Chic & Green in Perfume Form

You know how much I love Chic & Green, and now I am bringing you two brand new Eau de Parfum sprays over at my boutique.
Chic is a sophisticated floral blend; it is timeless and elegant. This is a blend of pure essential oils: rose, jasmine and a slight hint of sandalwood. The emphasis is on the rose in this one, but all notes are evident upon dry down.
Green is an herbal meets citrus blend. I have blended essential oils of bergamot, neroli, lemongrass, lavender and chamomile. It is soothing, while being earthy and uplifting at the same time. It is a beautiful everyday blend.
Your perfume will come to you in a 1 ounce glass bottle with sleek and sophisticated silver atomizer.
Both scents are available at a special price valid now through February 7th.
Your essential oils are blended with Artisan's Alcohol, a special blending alcohol to create a long-wearing scent, while being free of isopropyll alcohol.

For C & G readers: if you buy one (or both) of these scents, add a little note when checking out to tell me you read about these here and I'll give you a free gift!

COMING THIS WEEKEND: Rochester Lilacs Eau de Parfum and two men's essential oil-based scents.

A Day of Hope & Love

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I wanted to remind Chic & Green readers that I will be holding another fundraiser on Valentine's Day to benefit my favorite cause, The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Four years ago today, my father lost his fight against this disease. The Lustgarten Foundation is a very worthwhile cause and they helpd fund research so hopefully a cure may someday be found.

In November, I donated half of  the profits from my Etsy shop and was able to send almost $800 to the foundation. On February 14th, I will donate 100% of my total sales to the foundation. All purchases from kzmface.com that day will apply. I will have some great limited-edition and special sets available that day just for the event.

Mark your calendars and shop till you drop during my "A Day of Hope and Love" event. It is for a very worthy cause.

Follow Up: 5 Dollar French Market

Lovely extras from Jenny & Lauren

Vintage chic hand towels

My cool new pen and pencil holder

Gorgeous $5 teapot

Seam binding and a tussie mussie

Paris book with blank pages

Every now and then a shop impresses me so much that I just have to mention it again or follow up on my order.

I placed an order last week (and again last night) at Etsy's 5 Dollar French Market, a shop I featured in an edition of Etsy Love. Everything in the store sells for $5 and reflects a Paris apartment meets vintage flair.

My order arrived today and I have to tell you that it was like unwrapping a series of presents.

The lovely owners, Jenny and Lauren, included a nice handwritten note and a couple of extras with my order--a bar of soap and some beautiful tags.

I am so very impressed by each and every item I ordered, from the gorgeous vintage teapot to the Paris ribbon. The quality of each item is outstanding and I can recommend this great shop without any reservations. 

The items I ordered are going to go in our bedroom, as I am repainting it and giving it a chic Parisian theme. I will surely post pictures when I finish (one wall has primer on it right now).

Be sure to head to 5 Dollar French Market today! I've posted pictures of the items I recieved today so you can take a look!


Yummy sounding lip balm from her 1st shop, Nicki Leigh

"To Be Free", from Etsy's Kyva

Today I'm sitting down and talking with Nicki Thomas, owner of Nicki Leigh on Etsy. Nicki recently opened a second Etsy shop, Kyva,  showcasing her abstract art. Let's get to know Nicki more right now!

Q: I'd like to talk to you about your new Etsy shop, Kyva. Where does the name come from?

A; The name Kyva was bestowed upon me by my fiancee and it has a great amount of meaning behind it.  I have been known as an artist behind that name for over 7 years now.  I felt odd using any other name to show my work under.

Q: This is your second Etsy shop. You have a great bath & body shop going as well. What prompted you to open Kyva?

I wanted to open my Kyva shop on etsy due to the great differences between bath & body and abstract artwork.  I have always been very conscious of how organized my work is.  I knew neither category would work fluently with the other, so that is why I opened my second shop.

Q: As a creative spirit and a business owner, I know that can be hard to find time to fulfill all of your creative desires. My collage making and art seem to have taken a back seat to my business. Have you found a way to strike a balance?

A: I try and make my bath & body products in batches large enough that I do not need to stress so much, but not too large that some of them may be wasted.  When I am not promoting my bath & body shop or creating for that passion, I am likely working on a new piece or planning it out.  I think right now, the hardest balance to strike is promoting both shops.

I promote my bath & body shop more, since it is my actual business.  Art is just a passion I have and that I love to share with others.

Q: Tell me about the materials you use in your artwork. Do you have a favorite medium?

A; My favorite medium when working with any form of abstract art is encaustics.  They are a wax that you melt in various ways and there are countless ways to apply it to your piece of work.  It can also be used in collages and even on pottery.  Encaustics is a very wide medium and one that I have been working with for over 3 years now.

Q: Pick one piece of art sold at Kyva and tell the Chic & Green audience a bit about it.

A; I would like to share my newest piece titled "To Be Free."  It was made during a week that was very taxing on me.  I knew I needed an outlet for the stress and tears, before it took the front seat and pushed my business in the back.  I use art as a way to funnle my negative energy into something positive.  I know if I dwell over things out of my control, it will only take my dedication away from my home business. I long for spring, as winter is always very hard on me.  The colors I chose for the piece reflects that longing by using yellows, pinks, reds, oranges and purples in the mix.

Q: What inspires you?

I  am not the type of artist that can just sit down and draw.  I need to be feeling a very strong emotion.  At times when I try to work with encaustics and I am not feeling a strong emotion, the work feels empty.  They seem to mean so much more when they are made through emotional energies.  I use just about anything.  Anger, sadness, stress, happiness, love, passion, hunger, longing . . . whatever I am feeling, I use it and channle it into the piece at hand.

I am also greatly inspired by nature.  I love sunsets and the woods outback.  Many of my pieces use natural colors instead of brighter tones unless the piece calls for it.

Q: Tell me a bit about you, Nicki the person--not just Nicki the artist or Nicki the business owner.

A: I have always been of the creative sort.  Ever since I was little, I had done things with my hands.  I wrote poetry, novels, sculpted, drawn, painted, sewn . . . I suppose my dad had a great part in this.  Though he left my life before I was a young woman, he has inspired me so much from the lessons he taught me when I was a little girl.

I love to go hiking.  I get a thrill out of taking a walk and cross paths with the deer that live in our area.  I take my camera with me as often as I can, to capture the beauty that I cannot possibly show in my own work.  I also enjoy spending time with my fiance and his sisters.  if it were not for them, I am not sure how high my stress level may be  ;)

Keeping young all along the way and using emotion to fuel my artwork.  I just love what I do.

Thank you, Nicki!

DIY Wednesday: Extra Gentle Hand Wash

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If you wash your hands often, you know how dry they can end up. So many people fall into the antibacterial hand cleanser trap and that makes things even worse. Find out why I do not approve of Anti-bacterial hand cleansers by clicking here.

We haven't had a new DIY Wednesday in a while, so I thought I'd share a recipe I made last night.

This recipe will give you about 3 bottles (4 ounces) of hand wash. Put them by all of your sinks.

This is an extremely simple hand wash, and it contains no artificial ingredients.

Here is my base for the hand wash:

1 cup of rose hydrosol
1/2 cup of baking soda

You can also substitute lavender hydrosol or any other hydrosol/distillates you may have access to. Are you in a warm location? I have made this before cutting pieces of lavender from my garden (roses work well, too), and let them sit covered for a few days soaking in distilled water to create my floral water.

You will also need some essential oils.

Be creative. There are so many wonderful blends out there to create! Here are the ones I made:

1. Rose, Sweet Orange and Anise

2. Lemon and Lime and Lavender

3. Grapefruit, Bergamot, and Lemon

The last items you will need (and neither are requirements) are aloe vera juice and glycerin. Again these are nice add-ins, but they will not make or break this recipe!


Warm 1 cup of rosewater in a pan on low heat or for 30 seconds in the microwave.

Stir in 1/2 cup of baking soda and stir to thoroughly dissolve. Add about 6 drops of each essential oil (if making a blend of 3 oils). Add just a touch of aloe juice and glycerin. I don't measure this when I make it for myself. It would be about 1 T. total.

Stir and pour through a funnel into dark amber bottles. Let cool for a short while, add caps and then let cool overnight.


It's environmentally friendly. Plus, it deodorizes. When you wash your hands and pump this cleanser into it, the water and baking soda will help to soften your hands while getting them clean. It's so simple to make!

I have mentioned before how I use baking soda for cleaning the house. I also use it once every couple weeks in my hair. I add a bit to my shampoo, massage gently into the roots and then it will give volume! I add some to bath salts for an extra fizz. I even brush my teeth with it quite often!

What's In It Wednesday: A Miracle?

I received an email the other day from a regular Chic & Green reader. She asked me to take a look at the ingredients of a product that keeps popping up in MSN ads.

If you click the pop up, it takes you to a woman's page (a paid ad) about a "miracle" product called Tripeptinon.™

This product claims to be the be all and end all of anti-aging products and if you act now, it can be yours for only $79!

It contains:  Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinesis, Ceramide Complex 2, Ubiquinone, Amino Multi-Tides, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, PEG10 Rapeseed Sterol,Triticum Vulgare, Glycyrrhiza Glabra, Carthamus Tinctorius, Angelica Archangelica Extract, Tribehenin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Citrus Bark Extract (Fragrance).

Let's start with the two most abundant ingredients in this "miracle" product: Cyclimethicone and Dimethiconol. These are silicones. You may be more familiar with the first ingredient, as it is the key ingredient in dry oil sprays.
There is nothing these barrier agents do in terms of anti-aging. They can create a smooth surface but have no anti-aging properties. They are frequently used, though, because they feel nice on the skin and people are more likely to regularly use the product based on that alone.

Caprylic/Capric Trigylcerides is simply another term for Fractionated Coconut Oil.

Simmondsia Chinesis is the name for Jojoba Oil. You know from my own products that I love to use Jojoba Oil. I love the fact that this is so close to our own sebum and it is waxy is just truly wonderful for nearly everyone. Will the use of Jojoba Oil warrant an almost $80 price tag and create "miracle" results? No.

Ceramide Complex 2: These are lipids and will help plump the skin. There are different forms. For example, the company that revolutionized the ceramide capsule idea years ago, Elizabeth Arden, uses Ceramide 1, 3 and 6 in their capsules.

Ubiquinone: This is another name for the compound found in all living cells called Co-Enzyme Q10. This was the "latest" and greatest skin care miracle a few years back. While it can give your skin a healthy glow and help to fight against free radical damage, studies have shown this to be much more effective when it is taken internally as a pill, as opposed to topical application. I am not saying this isn't a good ingredient: it is good for your health, but it will not produce "face lifting" or miracle results.

Amino Multi-tides: This is very vague. The company will not disclose WHAT these amino acids are. Their amino multi-tides are supposedly the company's blend of amino acids. There are 20 standard amino acids. While amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, some do present side effects in certain individuals with certain health issues and medications. By being so vague, I wouldn't try it.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: This is Vitamin C-ester. In other words, 4 extra molecules have been added to the original Vitamin C molecule. Vitamin C is wonderful for the skin--in appropriate concentrations. This is not going to lift, tone and tighten the skin, though.

PEG10 Rapeseed Sterol: I would absolutely not use this product based on this alone. PEG is used to thicken products, however, it has repeatedly been shown to be contaminated with something called 1,4-dioxane. This can cause cancer, and became something people became more aware of a couple years back when it was found in many baby products. Research shows that 1,4-dioxane does penetrate the skin, and since it causes cancer, you would obvously not want to touch this one with a 10-foot pole.

Triticum Vulgare: This is simply Wheat Germ Oil. I adore Wheat Germ Oil, as it is very rich in both Lecithin and Vitamin E. This a a highly nourishing oil.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra: This is Licorice. Licorice can be effective at calming acne-prone skin, soothing and it when the acne causes discomfort to the skin. It also helps to control the production of oil.

Carthamus Tinctorius: This is simply Safflower Oil, a oil I use often in my own line. Safflower can be used well by nearly everyone. It is highly nourishing, yet it is light and absorbs right into the skin. Some believe it can help maintain the skin's structure.

Angelica Archangelica Extract: Comes from the root of the Angelica plant. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic, but can also be irritating to some skins.

Tribehenin: This simply helps the product penetrate more easily into the skin and is a mixture of behenic acid & glycerin. 

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate: This is an emollient and thickening agent.

Citrus Bark Extract: This is plant-derived, to add a slight orange scent to the product, most likely so customers using it will smell the orange and falsely believe that it is so packed with vitamin C that it is doing something good for the skin (a tactic used by many companies selling Vitamin C products).

The Bottom Line:  I would never spend $79 on this product. There is nothing in this, based solely on the ingredients list, that will do what it claims. What I am most suprised about is the fact that the three most proven ingredients in the skin care arena are not present in this "miracle product." The two most potent peptides, Argireline and Matrixyl 3000 are not in this. Hyaluronic Acid combined with one or both of those 2 ingredients packs a punch and have shown to be the best ingredients when used regularly. To overlook those 3 ingredients--to not even add in ONE--speaks volumes about how unlikely it is that this product will deliver on any of its claims.

If you like the idea of capsules full of ceramides and other ingredients, I would choose the ones from Elizabeth Arden. You get 60 as opposed to 40. You also benefit from a high concentration of squalane. The first two ingredients are identical, but Arden actually has better ingredients at a much lower cost. I still wouldn't recommend either due to the high price alone.

A wonderful blog giveaway!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My friend Sarah from My So Called Junky Life is offering a wonderful giveaway on her blog. It is full of sugary-sweet offerings. Hurry over to her blog and check it out right now! You have to enter by tomorrow and I know that all of you would adore what is being given!

Sarah has a beautiful blog, so head over and check it out. Be sure to enter her giveaway while you still have a chance. When you're done, check out her beautiful shop. I'm a repeat buyer!

Lolli Lovelies: Baliwick Designs

Valentine's Day is just over 2 weeks away and it's crunch time if you're thinking of decorating or ordering some little gifts. I've pictured my favorite Valentine's items from Baliwick Designs on Lollishops. 

I love pretty sachets and have them all over in baskets, in drawers--even in my kitchen, where I have a pretty shabby chic heart sachet made by my friend Beth. If you like pretty sachets, you must stop by Baliwick Designs, as she offers so many pretty ones!

ETSY LOVE: funkyshique

Today's featured Etsy shop is funkyshique.

The shop is owned by a sweet lady named Amanda, a woman with a great flair for creating a wide assortment of lovelies for your home. She sells vintage wares as well.

Some standouts include her handpainted pillows, including the one pictured above with the word "vintage" on it. She also has some cute finds for Valentine's Day, such as a painted flower pot set and her love letter box.

I also just adore the vintage coin purse, which has been decorated with such a feminine touch!

Be sure to head over to Etsy's funkyshique today and be sure to tell her Chic & Green sent you on over!


NEW TODAY at KZM Facial Care Boutique

Monday, January 26, 2009

I just added a great new facial moisturizer to my web boutique today!

Here's a little bit of info about my new Ultra Light Facial Fluid:

This a a very basic, but highly effective facial moisturizer chock full of calming ingredients and antioxidant protection.
It will give the basic benfits of my Goat's Milk Facial Cream, but is free of Shea Butter, Essential Oils and Hydrosols. No fragrances to irritate skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema.
This wonderfully light, soothing formula is a very light fluid texture and is made with full fat Meyenbery Goat's Milk, Numi Organic Toasted Rice Green Tea, green tea extract, aloe vera juice, and will nourish your sensitive skin.
Distilled Water, Aloe Vera Juice, Soybean Oil, Goat Milk, Organic Toasted Rice Green Tea, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin E, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid (Paraben-Free Preservative System)
2 ounce glass amber bottle for $10.50

Look for some new items rolling out over the next couple weeks, as well as some very exciting news regarding the new Bee Facial Cleansing Bar! 

Sneak Peek:

2 new essential oil blend fragrances in 1 ounce glass atomizer bottles: Chic (a floral blend) and Green (an herbal-citrus scent blend). More details coming soon!

Did you know? I have more and more male customers as of late. If you don't want toe pink logo on your label, just ask for my KZM for Men label, which is the same logo only with taupes and greys. Men, I do have two great new scent sprays coming out by next week, with a base of wood alcohol. These will be sold in 2 ounce amber spray bottles. More details to follow.

For more details on new KZM products coming soon (bar facial soap won't be in February), go to my site, click on Site Map and then "Coming in February."

ETSY LOVE: WalkingChick

I received an email from a customer the other day, and in it was a link to her Etsy shop, walkingchick. I had no idea she was a crafter and sold these great items, so I was delightfully surprised when I took a peek.

I always love it when people find ways to turn objects which otherwise may have been discarded into things of beauty. Rosemary of walkingchick proves this point quite well.

She takes objects such as old dominoes and typewriter keys and turns them into wearable art. I particularly am drawn to the vintage typewriter key bracelet, which would be a lovely gift for a writer, and the bracelet in the second picture made from dominoes.

The next time you're looking for something new on Etsy, make sure walkingchick is right up near the top of your list!

Lolli Lovelies: The Back Porch Shoppe

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Back Porch Shoppe on Lollishops is a must-stop boutique for serious Paris apartment-themed decorators.

If you're a regular reader, you may remember that part of my "homework" for my 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women blogging group is to heed the advice in Chapter 2 and create a sanctuary.

I was planning to repaint the sage green walls in our bedroom and get some new bedding anyway, so this comes at a perfect time. Since Tom (my hubby) says that he doesn't care if the walls are pink as long as his eyes are closed, I have been given free reign (as usual) to choose the colors and style. I am making a Paris apartment-themed room and found some gorgeous treasures the other day already to accent the bedding I purchased. The walls are going to be painted a creamy warm linen shade with crisp white trim and it is going to be a great space full of thrift store, repainted (by me) pieces, my own antiques and favorite wicker headboard which my mom found at a yard sale. I even found great linens at a greta price at Overstock.com.

I am considering these letters from The Back Porch Shoppe. I like the K and T I see in the second picture, and those would be the letters I would order. There is also ornate cast iron at the top. How chic!

What I find really great about this shop is that for the initials in the top picture, the artist used pieces of vintage cypress siding she recovered from historic homes which were being torn down in New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina. Finding beauty in destruction and transforming them--making something new out of something that otherwise would've been garbage--is something I admire. 

Make sure you head over to The Back Porch Shoppe today and tell her Chic & Green sent you.

The 12 Habits of Highly Creative Women: Chapter 3

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Friday again, so time for another round of discussion regarding Gail McMeekin's book, The 12 Habits of Highly Creative Women as part of the Next Chapter, an online book club for bloggers.

Last week, we looked at  Finding Inspiration. Week 1 focused on Acknowledging Creativity. Today the group is discussing Chapter 3: Following Your Fascinations.

Jamie Ridler, the leader of this incredible group, asked us to examine 2 major things: to discuss what encourages us to give us staying power and the next is to step outside our comfort zone and take a step-be brave.

Each week that I read this book, I feel myself evolving even more--tapping into my creative energies even more than I normally do.

Ways I Find Encouragement

I get encouragement from many sources, but no one is a greater source of encouragement than my husband, Tom. He has been incredibly supportive of my passions and my dreams since the day we met. I've spoken about what a logical thinker he is. He's logical, numerical, and orderly--my polar opposite. Yet, he continues to find my creativity refreshing. He never once has said, "You're not going to make it." He has never said he thought my ideas have been hair-brained or ridiculous. He has expressed his opinions as a rational and logical thinker, but he has never once made me feel badly for an idea I have had.

His unconditional love and support has rallied me at times when I've felt like giving up on creating-on continuing with my business-on following my own path. 

I also find my customers to be an incredible source of encouragement for me. When I turn on the computer in the early morning and open an email from women (and, on occasion, men) who use my products and have a story to tell--about how the special note enclosed perked a customer up on a particularly bad day, or how having good skin for the first time in years has improved how someone feels on the inside--well, those things mean the world to me and encourage me every single day to do what I do.

I really think I have a unique relationship with my customers. Unlike going to a chain store, I get to know my customers--we joke around, sometimes instant message one another--I am actually close friends with some now after "knowing" them over the net for quite some time. It is a blessing -- how often does the owner of a company get Christmas cards from its his or her customers? I know I don't send Danny Wegman a card and I am a frequent customer--it's about the relationships we take the time to build and nurture.

My readers right here at Chic & Green are such a unique audience as well and through their comments and emails, I am always encouraged. Our household has been overcome by the nasty stomach virus this week so I haven't been on posting as often and comments and emails with a quick "I miss you" or "Feel better" are just so wonderfully encouraging. 

While I am writing this, I need to acknowledge two other wonderful sources of encouragement for me: City Girl from City Girl Lifestyle and Liz from Wickedly Chic, both of whom have encouraged me in many ways over the past couple of years. I owe them a special "thank you."

I am a lucky woman because I do have encouragement from family and friends..

It is truly a great support system!

To be brave, you must believe.

I truly and wholeheartedly believe that in order to step outside your comfort zone and take that next step, that you must believe in yourself. I make the piece pictured above as a way to remind myself of this.

In this chapter, we talk about making that phone call, submitting that piece of writing--going into unchartered territory that makes you feel a bit queasy to even think about. To follow your fascinations, you have to be brave. You cannot sit and be still and wait for things to happen. You have to plug away and work hard and go after your goals.

I am a MOMMY above all else. It has been my goal that after both boys are in school that I continue to stay home so I can go to school functions and volunteer. I can do this because I have continued to plug away and work hard. I have been knocked down before. It hurt, but I got back up, dusted myself off, and continued to do what I know and what I love. I did this because deep down --even though it's been tested-- I truly believe in myself. That's why I decided to start offering my facial products once again after taking a break. 

I persevered, plugged along, and have accomplished many of the goals I set for myself, including being featured in one of my most favorite magazines, BODY + SOUL from Martha Stewart. Through good luck and an editor doing some Etsy browsing, this came true for me. I didn't step outside the comfort zone, that one just happened, which I know is very rare.

I still sit here at times and have moments of self doubt. Many of them, actually. Do you know what, though? We only live once and you never know how long you will have in your life to do what you love. A wise man once told me that all he ever wanted was for me to do what I had a passion for--clearly, that wasn't a 9-5 kind of job at a desk. I know that never would've worked for me. He told me that it is a gift if you can go to work each day and love what you do.

That man was my father. Now, he really loved what he did. The news was in his blood. Two weeks before he died, he sat at a meeting with the Senator from his state and the Attorney General. He was tired, sick, and he was there because he loved his work and didn't want to miss out on the meeting. The important part, though, is to make sure you keep a balance between work and family so you have no regrets later on as he did. He believed in himself enough to be incredible at what he did, but he had self-doubt as well, even though he'd never say it aloud like I am now. 

His passion for news was much like my passion is now for what I do. It is in my blood. After Tom is asleep, snoring and keeping me up, I settle in trying to sleep while my mind works overtime thinking of new ideas and improving existing ones. I think about my goals--what success for me ultimately means.

Taking a step, being brave for me means letting go of any hang ups about failing. We all fail sometimes, but the ultimate failure would be to never take risks. There are goals I have that sometimes seem silly if I say them aloud, for example for me to be on QVC in 10 years with my facial products. It might seem silly, but it is a goal I plan to achieve. I have a goal of having a newspaper column similar to Chic & Green. This is a major one for me. I know I need to step outside my comfort zone for both to happen, but I also know that I can make both happen with determination, perseverance and faith in myself.

Acknowledging my goals on paper/here/out loud is a major step for me--and one outside my comfort zone.

I look forward to talking about Chapter 4 next Friday!

ETSY LOVE: C'est Tres Magnifique!

Saturday morning I was checking emails and my friend Trina pointed me in the direction of an Etsy shop she had a hunch I'd adore. She was right!

The 5 Dollar French Market is a wonderful shop featuring Paris apartment style treasures for your home. Everything in the store is $5 each. Everything.

The lovely women from New York who opened this shop are the savvy Jenny & Lauren, and I have a feeling their shop is going to evolve into something huge soon. We've all heard of dollar stores, but a $5 Paris apartment themed shop is a whole other world!

First of all, everything looks so pretty! I just bought two items. I was going to post this blog first and decided to go order what I wanted so you didn't snap them up before me :)

I just ordered a vintage spool with mint ice cream colored seam binding. Do I bind seams? No, I wouldn't know how, but this will be so pretty in in our bedroom, which I am decorating with a Paris apartment theme (when I find 2 days to paint and re-do things...). I also bought a pretty pencil holder with a French theme to put my pens beside my bed for my journal writing.

You have to run over and check this shop out. Thank you so much to Trina for finding this shop and telling me about it. This store on the Karley-excitement scale rates right up there with cupcakes, cake bites and teas!

Hurry on over to The $5 French Market and tell them le Chic & Green sent you!

Featured Again This Week...

Take a look at Maternal Spark, where I am this week's featured Creative Mom. Heather is the force behind Maternal Spark and she has a great site going!

While you're there, enter to win two great KZM products, a full sized Goat's Milk Facial Cream and a Firmign Eye Cream. Good luck to those who enter!

Also remember to head over to Jamie's Oh How Lovely Shops and enter to win some KZM skin care there as well (Signature Antioxidant Serum and Goat's Milk Facial Cream)!

Lolli Lovelies: Candle Confections

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We've all heard on the news each day about more and more peanut butter items being recalled...

Looking for a calorie-free, salmonella-free peanut butter treat? Who isn't these days?

Look at this absolutely scrumptious looking candle from Candle Confections over on my favorite little corner of the world, Lollishops. You cannot beat chocolate and peanut butter together, and I bet this candle is just as decadent smelling as it looks.

The cupcake candle pictured in the middle would be a perfect Valetine's Day gift!

Up on top, you'll see a really delicious looking Hot Orange Danish candle. I am picturing freshly baked cinnamon danishes in the donut shop drizzled with icing...

Shipping is included in the price of items at Candle Confections. She has so many great bakery-inspired candles available, too! Head right on over today and tell her Chic & Green sent you.

Organic Wear Reviews

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I've been meaning to report back about my experience with 3 more Physicians Formulas Organic Wear products. I also have to say that I broke my own personal record. With this horrible stomach bug (which is working full force against Nick and Ben right now and had me down for almost 48 hours) I went two full days without one iota of makeup on. 

This truly is a record--this coming from the person who went to labor and delivery with both boys with freshly applied lip gloss and waterproof mascara. This simply hasn't happened. I am so happy to feel like putting on my stuff today!

Let's discuss the three latest items in my Organic Wear collection.


This product COULD be the perfect stick of concealer if not for one very noticeable flaw--it is WAY too firm. The folks testing the product surely had to notice this. I have two tubes--Soft Yellow and Fair. I mix them to give me the perfect shade. This is a stick concealer. With a stick, I typically use a concealer brush or my finger to apply. This is such a hard texture--it reminds me of my earliest attempt at making a lip balm when I put in a tiny bit too much beeswax and I could NOT get any product out of the tube. It was impossible to spread and ended up being too dry.

I noticed that, though, and added less besswax the next time. Problem solved. I simply do not know how the good folks at PF let this very obvious blunder make it through...

That being said, and it is a BIG negative....this concealer is beautiful once you are able to get it out of the tube. I found that by warming the brush I use that I am able to get the concealer onto the brush much more easily. Once you are able to actually get the product on to your brush, this goes on flawlessly. It covers dark circles very well while softening any fine lines. It doesn't settle or crease. It is a very high-end caliber product--once you are able to get it out of the tube--I had to repeat that "minor" issue.

If you are one of those people who uses a stick concealer by "drawing" it in and blending right under the eye area, PLEASE don't. I can only imagine the tugging and dragging it would take to apply this...it would be way to harsh for that delicate skin under the eye.

I mentioned having two tubes. I am a glutton for punishment, I guess. I loved the actual concealer once I was able to get it on my brush so much that I just had to make the perfect color and add a hint of yellow to the fair. I ended up cutting each concealer stick with a sharp knife, melting them down slightly and then blending them together. That's a bit of effort for a drigstore product. In the end, I am very happy with the RESULTS, but it shouldn't take this much effor to apply under eye concealer! Based on the results, I'd give this 5 stars. Based on the product texture, inconvenience and effort involved, the product would get 1 star.



This product is a loose powder bronzer, much like Warmth from Bare Escentuals. 

I am using the Fair because it is the best suited for my skin tone. I never really liked BE Warmth because it was so orange on me. I much prefer the Soft Focus version. The past couple years I have been using my own loose mineral bronzer (I used to sell it and may again someday). I ran out and have been too busy/forgetful/tired to get some more micas to make my own, so I bought this. 

This product is mediocre at best. It's the C-student of the bunch. First of all, do not use the horrible brushes included. I used an Ecotools brush to apply this. The packaging is a tad inconvenient as well. 

I thought it would apply nicely, but I was wrong. It goes on in a choppy manner. It doesn't blend seamlessly. Colorwise, it goes on very lightly--a good shade of bronze for my porcelain skin. An hour or two later, however, the color changes into an orange with a tint of jaundice for good measure. It is not pretty. It is also very "muddy" looking in that it lacks ANY type of shimmer. It is very matte and just looks terrible on my pale skin!

I would definitely not repurchase this. I am disappointed in this product since I've been so happy with the line thus far.

Organic Wear Bronzing Veil in Fair contains: 


The last item of the bunch is a true gem. I have saved the best for last.

Organic Wear Loose Powder 

This "loose powder" isn't a setting powder; it is a mineral foundation.

My favorite mineral foundation has been Everyday Minerals Intensive in a mix of Fawn and Golden Fair. In the winter, though, it is drying to my skin. 

This one is very nourishing, with soybean oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil, and olive oil--all oils I use regularly in my own products. These oils are rarely seen in mineral cosmetics and that is why they can be drying. These are really beneficial to the skin. The kaolin clay in it will counteract any oiliness. The texture of this powder is truly beautiful.

I bought this is Translucent Light. It is a perfect match for my skin. 

At first I wasn't too thrilled with the packaging, but that is only because I am so used to the standard packaging from EM and BE. This one, once you get used to it, is actually more convenient and mush less prone to spilling. 

Again, don't use the brush included with the package. It will not do the job as well as a good brush. I am using the bamboo-handled Everyday Minerals Flat Top brush.

Even though the instructions just say to brush on, I do it the BE recommended "Swirl, Tap, Buff" way and it works extremely well. Only a small amount of powder is necessary. This blends flawlessly and seamlessly into the skin. It gives an airbrushed you-but better look. The makeup feels weightless and looks extremely natural. I use my Goat's Milk Facial Cream, let it sink in for 5 to 10 minutes, then apply this. It goes on around 6:30 am and looks just as good at bedtime when I wash it off. I adore this product.

I have tried many mineral powder foundations--from tinyIndie companies, Everyday Minerals, Bare Escentuals, Jane Iredale, and about a dozen other brands. This one is holy grail caliber mineral foundation. If I rated things based on 5 stars, this would easily reach 5 stars+.

Here are the ingredients:


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