Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yesterday I mentioned that tonight there will be a drawing on my Facebook Fans page for Loubird Handmade tonight. One Facebook Fan will win a necklace from my Ouiseaux Collection. The winner may choose one of the three necklaces shown here. Good luck! To enter, simply "Like" the Loubird Handmade page on Facebook.

{vintage kitchen}

Shabby Apple has a new line of vintage inspired aprons available called Boysenberry Pie. They have so many lovely choices.

Retro robin's egg blue mixer from Borree's Corner

Fun and feminine cake plate with lid from Belle Treats

Canister set from Sauce For the Goose

I love enamelware. This pretty vintage duo is from Lady Sneezeweed

Enamel pie plate duo from Mouse Trap Vintage

Measuring cup and spoon set from Katy Bits and Pieces

This is the same Corning Ware pattern we had growing up. My mom still has it in her cabinets. I found this percolator on Etsy today. It's from Funky Junky Vintage.

Cookbook from 1945 from Etsy's Cookbook Addict

{Book Winner!}

No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products--and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics

The winner of the book No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products is Juliann D. Congratulations to you! Please email me at kzmFACE [at] gmail.com with your mailing info and this book will be sent out on Monday.

{Giveaway Reminders}

Friday, July 30, 2010

I must apologize, as I do not have the post done for today that I was working on. I am grumpy after having part 1 of a root canal (yikes, my 1st and hopefully my last) and just don't feel like sitting and typing with a drooly grin on my face.

{3 giveaways}
So I shall tell you about three giveaways. One is the book giveaway--this one you can enter by clicking here. It ends TONIGHT at 9pm EDT. A winner will be announced tomorrow. One reader will win No More Dirty Looks.

The next giveaway ends tomorrow at 9pm EDT. One reader will win a Sweet Beauty Coconut Pot de Creme body cream. Click here for details.

The last giveaway is my business giveaway. It is for Facebook Fans of Loubird Handmade. One winner will have the choice of one of 3 different necklaces. To enter, just "like" my brand on Facebook. This drawing will also be held tomorrow night.

Look for the August giveaway worth $76 to be announced Monday. It is probably my favorite giveaway ever here in the 3 years of blogging. 

{weekend tidbits}
Have a delightful weekend, friends! If I can eat, tomorrow Tom and I have "date night" and plan to head to Chocolate & Vines. A reminder also that Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps is having a sale on her soaps. Buy 3, get 1 free! Lastly, my friend Christine's birthday is on the 1st. Happy Birthday to Christine!

I'll be back by Monday at the latest...

{etsy love: delightful damask}

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My friend Deanna told me about this shop. I {heart} this top from Ellembee

I really love this clutch from OC Style Creations!

Bamboo baby wrap from Lovey Duds

Pendant from Water On Willow

Notecard from Mommy Holly

Tag set from Astonishing

A fantabulous date book from Jennifer Raichman

I adore the damask wall decal from Urban Walls.

Pillow cover set from The Little Home

Damask candles in blue from The Shabby Chic Cottage

{book review & giveaway}

No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products--and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics

I was recently sent a new book written by Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt. No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics is a must-read. I received mine on Tuesday and finished it that night. It really is a thought provoking book and it covers many of the issues we have been discussing here at Chic & Green over the years. 

This is a wonderful book for anyone to read. It is in layman's terms, so you're not trying to decipher a bunch of scientific terms. It is something all of us--whether we are new to the subject matter or are very familiar with it--can easily understand.

If you've been following along with our recent discussion of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 and why I firmly support it, you may want to check out this book to learn even more. There's a brief history given about the workings of the FDA and the lack of regulation in the cosmetics industry, as well as a list of the "bad" ingredients with explanations of how low or high the exposure risk may be. It is a very handy read in terms of its layout to, with separate sections devoted to facial products, body skin care, hair care, nail color, lifestyle, etc. 

The authors, both journalists, have been very thorough in their research of this subject matter and back it up with interviews with experts in the industry, from toxicologists to chemists to dermatologists. Study references are documented as well.

If you're concerned about what you put into your body via your skin, this is a fabulous read and Chic & Green highly recommends it!

Would you like to have my copy? I am giving away my own personal copy of No More Dirty Looks to one lucky reader! Simply comment here and tell me, very briefly, why you'd like to have it. I will announce a winner tomorrow! Yes, you may still enter this AND the Sweet Beauty giveaway as well!

Disclosure: I received my copy of  No More Dirty Looks at no cost in exchange for possible review. This no way has influenced my review.

{decadence: chocolate & vines}

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If you're local, I have to tell you about my favorite new (to me) place in the ArtWalk neighborhood. The other night I went out for a drink/business meeting/gab session. The person I was with texted me saying she thought I'd like Chocolate & Vines. Boy, was she right. Like is an understatement.

You know how I am when I am passionate about something--whether it's a Dollop cupcake, Burt's Bees product, my favorite cup of coffee and conversation with Mike, Will, Melissa and crew in the morning from Tim Hortons, my favorite makeup from Everyday Minerals....I just have to share. I can tell that Chocolate & Vines is going to be one of those...a place or flavor or business I just fall in love with immediately.

We went to this chocolate and wine bar on Monday night and met at 8. First of all, I love the location. It is on the corner of University and Merriman, and right across from Writers and Books and just a few steps away from a favorite shop, Craft Company No. 6. The Memorial Art Gallery, George Eastman House, and Rochester Museum & Science Center are also very close by, well within walking distance.

Secondly, the large Victorian house Chocolate & Vines is housed in is simply gorgeous. It's been renovated and has been painted in colors reflective of the original time period. It's warm and welcoming without being pretentious. There's nothing worse than walking into a place and being like you cannot relax and have fun.

I've been to places like that before, where I've envisioned my grandmother's voice speaking to me from Heaven saying, "Karley, remember a LADY always carries a hanky." When I hear that voice in my head, I swear I can almost smell her signature White Linen.

The friendly vibe is present right away. It's a really neat place. I passed a pool table while out to our table on the fabulous porch. We sat and could talk while people watching. It was a beautiful night in Rochester--not too hot or humid--and I really enjoyed looking at the menu.

You're not going to find a typical menu here, as this is a chocolate & wine bar. This is MY kind of menu--cheese samplers, a plethora of chocolates, gelato, wine, and unique beers. I love small meals and I love to graze and this is the kind of place where you want linger, chat, and enjoy the delicious offerings.Monday night happened to be when they had a tastings menu. You could have a small amount of wine, for example, for a lower cost and portion. I enjoyed the Wirra Wirra Shiraz, while my friend had the Sam Smith Strawberry Ale. You could choose other interesting sounding beers as well, from vanilla to raspberry to chocolate. They also have coffee options (using a French press) and teas.

With my shiraz, I ordered what was probably the best gelato I have ever had anywhere. It was the Cappuccino Truffle and it was heaven in a little dish. This had an espresso center with coffee meringue sprinkles. It's a coffee lover's dream.  

Also on the menu--cupcakes from Dollop, an incredible array of fine artisan chocolate truffles, other desserts such as creme brulee....everything really just looks and sounds fabulous.

Besides the beautiful setting, delicious offerings, and the general vibe of this place, the best part of my first visit has to have been the owners, Danielle and Mickey. They're funny, warm, and engaging. They're the kind of people who genuinely make you feel welcome--not because it's their "job" as the owners, but because they genuinely are welcoming to their guests. Notice I am saying guests as opposed to customers--this is because the people there aren't treated like people ordering, paying, and leaving...everyone there is made to feel like an actual, welcome guest. I like that.

I know many of you locals reading love chocolate and wine....you like beer and cheese. Who doesn't? I already arranged for a sitter and my husband and I are having date night at Chocolate & Vines this Saturday. I cannot believe I hadn't been there before. Even though it was my first time there, it definitely won't be my last!

More Info: Chocolate & Vines is located at 757 University Avenue. Their phone number is 340-6362. Hours are wonderful--they are open from noon to 11pm seven days a week. Please note that C & V is closed for a private party today from 4:30-7.

Chocolate and Vines on Urbanspoon

{safe cosmetics act of 2010}

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Why Chic & Green Supports H.R. 5786

(As of 7.28.10, this opinion piece is now featured on the Open Congress website's homepage)

I have long been a supporter of small business. I have a small business. I once had a very successful handmade skin care business for years until I decided to close in September of last year to spend more time with my family. My small business turned much larger after a mention back in 2008 in a Martha Stewart publication. I get it. I understand why small, handmade businesses are important to both our economy and for many, to achieving the American dream.

Much has been made recently of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (H.R. 5786). There have been petitions circulating to oppose the act, blog posts and opinion pieces on why this is a horrible thing. There are cries that this is a ploy by larger cosmetics and skin care companies to put "the little guy" out of business. People have called this intrusive and unnecessary. People with tiny skin care and cosmetics businesses say that this will put them out of business.

Chic & Green supports this act. After reading the summary and then taking a great deal of time to sit and read the full bill, I am coming out in support of this act because of consumer safety. In a way, this is one of those cases of the practices of some companies "spoiling it" for the legitimate companies who already do follow the rules.

There are many different pieces to the Safe Cosmetics Act. Some things should possibly be tweaked a bit when it comes to the wording and expectations, but as a whole, this is a good thing for business and for consumers.

It is because of these companies that do not put out safe products that this law needs to be passed. It is because of vague labeling, a lack of disclosure to customers and inadequate testing that this act is so important.

There are those that say cosmetics and skin care industry is already safe....that no one gets harmed by products....that the FDA regulates the industry. This is not true. Nothing has really changed since the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. There has been a gross lack of regulation of the cosmetics industry. Lead has been found in lipsticks. Not long ago, it was released that toxic 1,4 Dioxane and formaldehyde were present in dozens of BABY products. Yet people opposing the act say our products are plenty safe. The FDA hasn't been raising awareness of these issues--it has been the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the compact signers who have understood the importance of keeping customers safe.

There needs to be regulation.

I completely understand that there are some great mom and pop operations out there who put out lovely products that smell delicious. They understand product formulation and they protect the safety of their customers (and their business reputations) by testing their products to ensure their safety. They follow the FDA guidelines when it comes to labeling. They post their ingredients lists on their websites. They avoid harmful chemicals in their products. They are legitimate businesses.

That is how it should be.

There are many who continue to use harmful chemicals. There are those who do not comply with labeling guidelines. There are some who refuse to put ingredients lists on their websites (Mary Kay, Estee Lauder companies, and others come to mind for the big ones). 

Those are all problems. There are other issues as well. There are many who are not familiar with formulation. Maybe they buy some wholesale bases to use. That is fine and dandy. At least those bases have been adequately tested--until the person selling the product decides to add in some oil....or water....or anything at all. This changes the formula and often requires an adjustment in the amount of preservative. This often is not done. 

I know of a popular handmade bath and body seller who puts out a low cost moisturizing product. She lists no ingredients on her site. I asked what the ingredients were before I clicked the "buy" button. She replied with a link to a gallon base from Majestic Mountain Sage (a supplier) so I could look at the ingredients and then said to this she adds water and "some natural oils."  When I asked about preservation, she explained that the base was preserved so she didn't need to add more. This is a case of people with no knowledge of formulation changing the core of a recipe and not being aware of the consequences. 

Another business frequently comes across as healthy and natural and boasts about a paraben free shower product. While it is paraben free, two of the last three ingredients are quite dangerous: DMDM Hydantoin and Triethanolamine.

  Or perhaps you have someone using water from the tap rather than distilled to make their homemade lotion (eek!) or using an oil that has been sitting in a gallon jug for a couple years. The oil has most likely gone rancid. Perhaps a cap wasn't on securely. Maybe the humidity in the house was higher than it should be, which then has affected the quality of the product. Maybe the same pot used to make that cream also had spaghetti sauce in it the night before. Do not think that things like this do not happen.

There are so many unknowns and so many variables. So many things that can make a seemingly safe product unsafe. And then you have the companies who just don't know what they are doing at all and make products that are definitely health hazards.

Here are some found this morning that would fall into that category---and why this act needs to be passed.

{Found on Etsy}

EXACT LABEL of an all natural goat's milk lotion: "Emu oil, fresh goat milk, pure water, lavender, unrefined shea butter, algae extract, Bulgarian rosewater, avocado oil, olive oil, aloe vera, vitamin E and C to preserve it"

We've talked about this before. Vitamins E and C are antioxidants. They DO NOT preserve! The water and goat's milk MUST have an effective preservative for your safety.

Ingredients in an all natural rose face cream: "Rose Distillate, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Palm Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Witch Hazel, Vitamin E, Rosemary Oil Extract, Citric Acid"

The number one ingredient is rosewater. There is also another liquid, witch hazel. These, in a cream/lotion, need a preservative. This product will go bad and isn't safe.

Ingredients in an all natural cleansing milk: Organic Aloe Juice, Milk, Organic Lavender and Chamomile Distillates, Organic Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid, Grapeseed Oil, Organic Fruit Extracts,  Xanthum Gum, Rosemary Oil Extract, Citric Acid, Rose Absolute

Again, there is aloe juice, milk, and water-like distillates. This MUST be preserved! There is a reason that gallon of milk in your fridge needs to be chilled and then only kept for a few days. If this product gets shipped (extreme temperature changes) and sent to a customer, it will already have gone bad before arrival. Remember that a product doesn't have to smell bad or look funny to have gone bad. There are microscopic spores lurking.

Here is the ingredients listing for a Mango and Papaya Lotion: "Essential Oils, Natural Ingredients"

That is the complete ingredients list. Need I say more?

These are just a tiny portion of sellers on Etsy with unusual labels, vague ingredients listings or things that just don't make sense. There are literally hundreds of other listings that would qualify.

This is not even taking into consideration the toxic and potentially harmful ingredients found in some products. Most of you readers are ingredients savvy or take your time doing research these days to make sure what you're using is safe. Not everyone is a label reader or understands what an ingredient is, though.

For example, I saw Butylated Hydroxy Toluene listed in an ingredients disclosure with "antioxidant" in parentheses next to it. I was so irked! People will think it is an antioxidant like Vitamin C or E and that it is something of benefit to the skin. While it may be considered an antioxidant, it is not in that category of skin-protecting vitamins. According to National Library of Medicine HazMap, this is a known human immune system toxicant. It is commonly a food additive, one which has been banned in Japan and is controversial across the globe.

I also see DMDM Hydantoin, one of the most toxic ingredients out there, in children's skin care as well. To say this bothers me as an ingredients-conscious woman and as a mom angers me.

There are so many harmful ingredients out there. There are so many products that are not tested for safety on the market. It matters. I'm tired of it. You're tired of it. We don't want toxic ingredients in our skin care, do we? We want safe products, correct? It really is that simple.

Will this hurt the little guy?

No! As it is written, this will NOT put small businesses out of business. The last time there was a similar act, it would have meant that thousands and thousands of dollars in fees would have been required. That would've put many businesses out of business. This time, if a company is making less than $1 million annually, they will be exempt from fees to the FDA. These fees would be used for evaluation of ingredients. Small companies who make more than $1 million per year will pay based on a sliding scale. This is fair.

I do not know of too many tiny skin care companies on Etsy or 1000 Markets making over $1 million per year. This is NOT going to put small companies out of business.

What this will do, however, is hold companies--all companies in the industry--accountable! This is long overdue. Companies should want to produce safe products. They should be willing to disclose their ingredients. This is not an intrusive act.
Small companies will need to register their companies with the FDA and disclose their ingredients. This is not a bad thing. Why shouldn't a company have to disclose what they are using? When I was approved by Leaping Bunny/The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (the strictest out there when it comes to being cruelty free), I had to disclose ingredients and my ingredients suppliers. There was an approval waiting period during verification. This would be very similar, only to the FDA when it comes to an ingredients listing.

Companies will also need to ensure the safety of their products. Yes, that means having them tested. It can be costly, however, this really is necessary fr the safety of consumers.

What can you do? 

You can tell the companies you love that you want to be 100% sure that their products comply with safety guidelines. This is not about squashing the little guy. It is about keeping your family safe.

You can make your voice heard and let your local Congressmen know how important this is to you. Follow this link to show your support. 

You can be your own best advocate until this passes by asking more questions, by not purchasing from companies who do not take product safety seriously, and by not putting up with lack of disclosure. You should NOT have to ask a company to tell you what the ingredients are so you know if it is safe to order. This applies to big companies as well!

It's Really About Safety

This is not a matter of big industry vs. that woman in her kitchen making 10 bottles of lotion a month. It is about using safe ingredients, being transparent and forthcoming with the ingredients, and preparing safe formulations for customers. 

It's about our futures. Our children's futures. It is about being aware of what we put in our bodies via our skin. It is simple. The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 is aimed to protect consumers. Nothing more.

{a day at the market: alaiyna b. designs}

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last year for Mother's Day, I ordered my mom a personalized sterling silver necklace from Alaiyna B. Designs. This jewelry business, owned by the talented Faith Oriold, offers a lovely assortment of handmade jewelry.

The necklace I ordered for my mother has the names of her grandchildren stamped on it along with their birthstones. I was impressed with the piece from the moment it arrived in the mail and I know that my mom adores it as well.

Faith's shop features a great selection from which to choose and I thought I'd show you some of my favorites.



Check out Faith's work at the following locations:

{etsy love: the eiffel tower}

My high school French teacher and I recently spoke via email and I was reminded of how much she influenced my love of anything having to do with the culture. She is probably the reason Paris is one of my most favorite cities in the world and why I have so many Paris-themed touches in this room.

Today's {Etsy Love} is all about the Eiffel Tower. Enjoy!

Wall decal from Urban Walls

Cabinet knobs from Paris Chic Boutique

Beeswax encaustic collage from Blue Green Arts

Pillow from Word Garden

Earrings by Jezebel Charms

Ring from LaLucita


Tote from Piper Bags


Charm necklace from Loubird Handmade

Paperweight from Royal Bebe Shoppe

{sweet beauty giveaway ends 7.31.10!}

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I was recently sent a Coconut Pot de Creme from the Sweet Beauty. This rich and luxurious body cream is made with extra virgin coconut oil, shea oil, Fair Trade certified cocoa and nibs, grapeseed oil, and more.

The moment I opened this jar, I was extremely impressed. First of all, the texture is superb. It is thick and rich, yet fluffy and airy at the same time. It really is just lovely.

The delicious chocolate scent drew me right in. Then you add in the natural scent from the coconut oil and it is just the perfect blend. It lasts quite a while without being artificial at all. In fact, this is the perfect body cream to go along with my most favorite vanilla perfume, Solstice Scents' Cenobite. It also layers very well with my favorite coconut perfume, Coconut Bavarois, from Crater Lake Company, so I am doubly lucky! The scents layer so nicely. Even my husband, who doesn't comment that much on things of this nature, said "Whatever you have on today smells terrific" in passing this morning.

Sweet Beauty's Coconut Pot de Creme Body Cream retails for $14 for a 4 ounce jar. This really is a superior body cream. When you look at other "natural" creams, none really can hold a candle to the ingredients in this one, especially when you consider the quality of ingredients used by Sweet Beauty.

It is undoubtedly my new favorite body cream in any price range!

 Coconut Pot de Creme is truly divine. Would you like the chance to win one of your own? You can! One lucky Chic & Green reader will win their own 4 ounce jar of Coconut Pot de Creme from Sweet Beauty

How to Enter:

*Enter a comment on this post.


*Become a C & G Facebook Fan. Do this by using the "Like" button on the page.


*Become a follower of this blog.

*Open to adults over 18 years of age. Immediate family members or paid advertisers of C & G are not eligible for prizes.


*Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary product for possible review from Sweet Beauty. This in no way has influenced my review and all opinions are my own. 

{saturday night specials}

Saturday, July 24, 2010

If you're an Etsy regular, you know all about their Saturday Night Specials each week. Beginning at 5pm, participating sellers start advertising specials. So many of them participate each week and I often find great deals during the weekly SNS.

I recently started adding some jewelry over on Etsy as well. I started putting pieces up a couple weeks back again and am holding my first SNS!

Tonight, you'll get free shipping on anything in my Etsy shop.  In addition, all Etsy shoppers who spend $20 or more will receive a cabochon floral ring (retails for $10.50 in my shop) in your choice of a silver band or an antiqued brass band. I'll surprise you with a pretty flower in a lovely color of my choice.

Check this thread on Etsy for a complete list of Saturday Night Specials. The list will grow throughout the night as sellers in other time zones add their specials. It is so humid here--hot, but pouring rain--and a perfect night to shop indoors!

{etsy love: dress forms}

Pillow cover made by Secdus

Vinyl wall decal from Twice As Nice Lettering

This is just so unique! From The Jewelry Board

Vintage style tag set from Two Paper Pals

Moleskin handmade journal from Mulberry Muse

I really adore this 8 X 10 photo from Simply Hue Designs. Gorgeous!

Necklace from Loubird Handmade  (C'est moi)

Coaster set from Said in Stone

Petite French chic decoupage dress form by A Cottage Muse

Flower pot from Starry Deborah
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