Thursday Thoughts

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hello! It's a damp and cold 30-something day once again in Rochester, but I am feeling positively giddy.

One of my favorite places...this was from a game we saw last August.

It is Opening Day of baseball season! As an avid Yankees fan, I am excited about this and will be watching the Tigers-Yankees game in about 20 minutes.

In other news, I am just about done completing the finishing touches in both the dining room and living room for my Thrift Shop Makeover Challenge. The living room should have the final reveal tomorrow. I think I might paint my dining room table, so look for that next week.

Today, I decided to make a wreath (no cost!) for the inside of the front door. I had an old grapevine wreath in the garage and decided to fashion a wreath using materials I already had.

I took a shirt I never really loved that I found on clearance last year at Macy's and cut the flower appliques off. Then, I used some bird paper cut outs I already had. Finally, I added a Frozen Charlotte made by Sarah at My So Called Junky Life and some vintage ribbon I had in my stash. I hot glued it and it was done in less than 30 minutes:

Yesterday was picture frame painting day. I bought some of the little sample bottles of Glidden paint at Home Depot in Vintage Yellow and Granny Smith Apple. I also had a can of Rust Oleum Glossy Berry Pink leftover from a previous project.  Here's a peek at those:

I also have some news to share! I am the Democrat & Chronicle's new community blogger for Irondequoit, my town. The D & C is the area's largest daily newspaper and I look forward to blogging about the community I adore so much. Stay tuned for more details.

Do I also need to remind you why I love Thursdays so much? It's half price banana split day at Bruster's in the Ridge-Culver Plaza in Irondequoit. That weekly treat cannot come soon enough!

Have a beautiful day!

Review: 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chic & Green's Favorite New Eye Cream:

Thoughts:  Since I decided to begin eliminating all products made with synthetic fragrances, I needed to find a new eye cream. I opted to buy one from 100% PureI like several products from 100% Pure. This one may just be my favorite. It is all natural, vegan and gluten free, as well as free of artificial fragrances. When I apply this, my undereye area feels so soothed. The number one ingredient in this is green tea, and I love that about this treatment.

I also love the fact that calendula hydrosol is high up on the ingredients list. I used to use calendula to make a soothing cucumber & calendula facial mist for those with sensitive skin and it really is so soothing and beneficial to those with skin that is easily irritated.

The coffee in this really helps to brighten the undereye area and boost circulation. I have the tendency to get dark circles and while this hasn't removed them, the area is brighter.

I also want to mention the aroma. I have eliminated artificial fragrances from my beauty routine, but there is pure and natural vanilla absolute in this. Combined with the coffee, it's like a very comforting and soothing vanilla mocha. It absorbs right in so it won't bother the senses, but it is lovely while applying.

Ingredients: Organic Green Tea, Organic Calendula Hydrosol, Organic Rosehip Oil, Organic Green Coffee, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Extracts of Coffee Cherry, Organic Rosemary, Organic Oregano, Organic Thyme, Organic Grapefruit Seed and Organic Goldenseal, Organic Vanilla Absolute, Candelilla Wax

Price: This product is $19 for one ounce. This, per ounce, is more affordable than many name brand drugstore creams. Keep in mind that most eye creams on the market range from 0.25 to 0.5 ounces. For example, my past favorites (which I no longer use because of the synthetic fragrance) from Burt's Bees retail for $18 and $25 each for a half ounce jar.

Other eye cream prices for the sake of comparison:

L'Oreal Youth Code (0.5 ounces) $21.99
Olay Definity Eye Treatment (0.5 ounces), $25.99
Philosophy The Miracle Worker Eye Cream (0.45 ounces), $60
Lancome Absolue Eye (0.5 ounces), $105

Really? $105??? No way!

My Grade: a well deserved A+

Note: This product is not one that was sent to me for review. I purchased it on my own.

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Monday, March 28, 2011

The paint is dry on two of the three lamps. I have one more adornment to add to these lamps, but the little vintage millinery flowers have not arrived from the Etsy seller just yet.

I also have one smaller lamp with the robin's egg blue paint still drying.

Even though they're not yet 100% finished, I thought I'd share. Here is what the lamps looked like this morning. My mom had these in her closet and were purchased in 1975. I wanted to give them my own little twist:

As they dried....

The first one, now:

...and the other:

Total Project Cost: $3.24 for the Krylon paint. The lamps were free. The shades were recovered using 2 vintage pillow cases I had tucked away in my closet. They were purchased at thrift shops a long time ago.

I'll have some more to share tomorrow. Do you remember how I did an ugly lamp makeover back in 2009 on one lamp from a duo of lamps my neighbor gave me?

It looked like this:

and became this:

I did one of the two and wasn't sure what to do with the other. Now I know what to do! I bought the below pillowcase today for $0.69. It's being laundered as we speak and I will turn it into a lampshade tonight and attach it to the newly painted lamp which is still not quite dry. Again, the lamp was free and I'm just using the $0.69 vintage case and part of a $3.24 can of paint to make it over:

Monday Morning Musings

A very Happy Monday to all of you!

I hope you had a relaxing weekend. It's a chilly day with temperatures in the low 30's, but we have abundant sunshine today. Ben is eating his favorite sandwich right now--his own creation of peanut butter, Nutella, ketchup and cheese on nine grain bread. Yuck. I just finished spray painting 3 lamps. I love this color:

Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze paint is a really punchy robin's egg blue. I love it.

Here is one of the lamps that is getting a BIG makeover:

These need to dry. The lampshades now have covers I made from vintage pillowcases.

The weekend was very productive for me. I hung pictures, painted a door, and sewed several pillow covers. I also made over a couple of pillows simply by turning them over and doing a bit of sewing:


Apparently I once went through a jungle theme....I was going to sew covers for these, but Ben wanted to keep the elephants. We decided to compromise...


Here is a little peek at some of the prints I bought on Etsy that I hung on my wall:


I also painted this lonely "M" and put it on the headboard behind my desk. HEADBOARD, you say? Yes, I will talk more about that one in the final reveal later this week. The paint used is the same color I chose for my bookshelf. It is Aegean Blue from Martha Stewart:


I also hung up the plates I stenciled numbers on. I did 5. Here's a little look:

I went to the Salvation Army this morning after I chatted with a friend over coffee. My goal was to find 2 odd wooden chairs. I haven't had luck lately. I struck out again. I think I may just paint 2 of my existing ones to use in the dining room. I don't want them to match.

I did luck out today, though! I found some pretty things just right for Loubird's Nest:


I also made a yummy cake over the weekend using my sister in law's homemade jam. Laura makes the best jams and sauces. I used her Four Berry Jam and ricotta to make a delicious bundt cake. The recipe will come later this week!


Have a great week!

Farmhouse Thoughts

Friday, March 25, 2011

I've got farmhouses on the mind lately. NO, I do not plan to redecorate (again) with a farmhouse theme. There is just something warm and peaceful about farmhouses.

Tom and I were talking about our summer vacation plans not long ago. We always head to a major city--New York, Washington, Toronto, etc. We were actually planning to go to Boston this summer. Nick wanted to go see a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. In case you don't know, Tom and I are huge Yankees fans, as is Ben. Nick, though, is a Red Sox fan. That would've made for an interesting trip to see a game.

While big cities provide so many opportunities as far as cultural activities, food, sporting events, etc. are concerned, the pace is fast. We're always in a rush. I can remember last summer always feeling like we had to catch the subway to head somewhere or we'd be late. When you have a slowpoke of a 5 year old dragging his feet along, that can make a vacation feel far from relaxing.

We'll be visiting Landis Farm this summer for a truly relaxing vacation.

I had been thinking and didn't know if my idea would fly, but I booked a week-long stay at a cobblestone guest house on a farm in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. If you know me at all, you're probably thinking that I would be just as likely to go camping. The chances of that are slim to none, let's be honest.

Tom works hard. While I am "just" a homemaker, I also have an online shop  2 online shops, 2 blogs, a gig as a freelance writer, and product tester for a local camera company. I am a pretty busy girl. The boys are always busy, too.

This time, I want us to go somewhere and TRULY relax. This place has all the modern conveniences in terms of A/C, television, a bathroom, and kitchen. It is on a farm, though. The boys will be able to pet the goats, collect eggs, play with bunnies, and have such a fun outdoor experience. Tom and I can sit out on the porch at night and listen to the crickets if we so desire.

We'll also have an abundance of things to do. As children, we used to visit Lancaster every few years. The Amish culture is alive and well there. We can take buggy rides through covered bridges. There are model train museums (for the kiddos), the Turkey Hill Farm (to watch them make ice cream), and a smaller amusement park for kids called Dutch Wonderland.

We'll also be a half hour from Hershey and not long at all from Philadelphia if we get the itch to go to an urban environment (or to get authentic cheesesteaks).

I am really looking forward to this.

While I am thinking of farmhouses, here are some great vintage finds for you:

The first is a shameless plug for my new shop :)

Vintage Ekco hand mixer from Loubird's Nest


Rolling pin from Vintage Town Square

Canister set from Mon Jardin

Tray from Stella by Star

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hello all! I have been super duper busy these past few days and wanted to share a bit:

*The official Grand Opening of Loubird's Nest is tomorrow!!! My shop is slowly getting stocked with items as we speak. I will be adding more things each week, so check back regularly for new wares. Enter code "nest" to save 15% on your first order! I am super excited about this.

*I have been adding new spring earrings to Loubird Handmade as well! I have new dangles and lots of sweet posts for spring. The cheerful posts are just $9. Do you want to save more? Use code "nest" there as well to save 15% now through Sunday.

*My living room is really coming along now! I was hoping to do the final reveal tomorrow, but am still waiting for a couple of wall items from Etsy to arrive, and I still have to sew some pillow covers. The walls are 100% painted now. What a relief! Yay! It is so much brighter in here. I am so happy to be done painting. I am also happy to finally be finished with the paint splatters in my hair, too. 

My final reveal will be in the next few days. I promise! I also have yet to find two mismatched wooden chairs that I like for the dining room. I want to find some tomorrow. I also want to paint them cheerful shades of pink and yellow. Wish me luck on that search! I also confess that I believe I have gone over my goal of $75 for both rooms. It might be closer to $100, but we'll see when it's all tallied up.

*Lastly, here is a note I just have to share with you from my cutie pie, Nick. I was asked to mail this to the Tooth Fairy. In case you can't read his 7 year old chicken scratches, the text is below under his letter:

"Dear Tooth Fairy,

I know you give money in exchange for teeth, but I'd like a toy like a Lego Star Wars set, a Transformer or Bakugan. Thank you!


PS. If you don't have any, I'd like a Barbie." 
When I asked him about the note, he explained how his friend Gabby gets Barbie dolls under her pillow instead of money. He says this proves that the Tooth Fairy also has toys! The things kids think of these days. Now I have Mr. Ben trying to wiggle his teeth so he can get something one day soon like his big brother.

*It's one of my most favorite days of the week, too! Why? I just adore Thursdays. For starters, it's BANANA SPLIT DAY! I gave up my nightly ice cream habit years ago (part of the reason for my weight loss), but I splurge on Thursday nights. Bruster's Ice Cream down by the movie theater has half price banana splits on Thursdays, so Tom and I share the 3 scoop split with oodles of toppings and it's less than 3 bucks.

Taking a Day Off

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I need a day away from the computer, but I will be back tomorrow!

I have so much going on right now -- lots of new pieces to photograph for my jewelry shop, the grand opening (and lots of photos to take) of Loubird's Nest on Friday, plus my living room painting project. I have to move this desk, so I'll be unplugging all of my computer stuff for a few hours.

I also wanted to show you how the TV tray table painting is going. I saw this idea on a lovely blog called Pickles and Cheese. I opted for a matte finish black and stenciled Martha Stewart's Aegean Blue on top. I did two this way:

I'd also like to wish my beautiful niece, Matilda, a very Happy 6th Birthday today!
I'll be back tomorrow!

Monday Morning Musings

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good morning, all. I hope you had a lovely weekend.

I thought I'd share some of my Etsy finds with you this morning. These will be going in the living room.

Here is a print I recently ordered to hang up by the computer once I am done redoing this room. I am going to paint a frame either green, lavender or robin's egg blue:


Stamped candles (for decorative purposes; I won't burn them) from French Market

I bought 2 yards of this ribbon from Vintage Paris Market. I'll use it to adorn some lampshades.

I also have been doing more painting of accessories. I made some cool things from old materials over the weekend, including signs and chalkboards from old silver serving trays. I cannot wait to show you!

I also have been doing some French chic stencil work on tables and on some white plates. These will hang on my walls:

I found these plates for $0.69 each at Goodwill. I just added numbers with my stencils once I fix my little painting errors, they'll be ready to hang. 

...and another cute print to frame from Keep Calm Shop on Etsy--I ordered mine in sage green:

I plan to have my final reveal ready for you on Friday!

Made From Earth Winner!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The winner of the Made From Earth scrub is dear reader Amy D.

Amy, thank you so much for entering and congrats on the scrub!

Don't Forget to Enter the Made From Earth Giveaway!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A reminder about tonight's giveaway:

Not too long ago, I told you about Made From Earth. I reviewed their products and was quite impressed. My mom is really enjoying their face firming serum as well.

There products are wholesome and made with skin nourishing ingredients free of harmful chemicals. Now you have the chance to win your own Made From Earth product. If you enter tonight's giveaway, you may just win the Rooibos Tea Face Scrub. This scrub is formulated to work with nearly all skintypes.

What's in this? 

Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Organic Rooibos Tea Extract, Organic Olive Oil, Jojoba Wax Beads, Organic Jojoba Oil, Avocado, Vitamin E

How can you go wrong with this refreshing, soothing, yet effective scrub? I want you to win this!

How to Enter:
1. You MUST leave a comment here on this post to win with an email address.
2. For an extra entry, "like" Chic & Green on Facebook.
3. You'll get a third entry if you tweet about the giveaway on Twitter.

I will use to choose a winner tonight at 9pm EDT,  March 18th. US entrants only, please. You must be over 18 to enter and cannot be an affiliate, advertiser or family member of Chic & Green.

{Thursday Thoughts}

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Progress. I have two walls painted in the living room. I am going to be a little behind my goal of having my $75 Thrift Shop Makeover completed by tomorrow. Let's shoot for next week :)

Today it is going to be almost 60 and the sun is shining, so I want to take advantage of it and take a painting break. I ended up choosing Behr Cottage White and I am really happy with the shade so far. I still have tables to paint and a couple of accessory projects to complete before I am all done. Oh, and those two other walls still need to be painted. Plus I still need to pick a color for the built in book shelf--this will house my milk glass pieces. I know it'll either be a mint green or a robin's egg blue.

I have been super busy lately! In 8 days, my vintage shop will open! I am really excited about this. I am also preparing for Mayday Underground, which is a juried show for handmade artisans coming the last Saturday of April. I also finished lots of earrings recently! They hopefully will make their way to my jewelry shop today:

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!

What's In It Wednesday: Garnier The Brusher Gel-Cleanser

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today's What's In It Wednesday takes an in-depth look at a product that my friend recently had a bad experience with.

She bought this product and loved the scent, the texture, the overall feel of it...until the hives appeared. Her skin was irritated, started to break out, and I thought I'd take a look at the ingredients in this product.

The product is called The Brusher Gel-Cleanser from Garnier, one of L'Oreal's many companies. It is sold at Target, Walmart, drugstores, etc. and is priced around $7.50. When I looked at the ingredients, I quickly saw why she was having such a bad reaction.

Here is a look at what's in it. The potential irritants and other bad ingredients are in red:

Aqua (Water), Lauryl Betaine , PEG-8, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citric Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana Extract (Witch Hazel Extract), Hexylene Glycol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Limonene, Linalool, Mentha Piperita Extract (Peppermint Leaf Extract), Menthoxypropanediol, Methylparaben, Panthenol , PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate  Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera Extract (Grape Fruit Water), Parfum (Fragrance)

PEG-8--a humectant. PEG ingredients, however, should be avoided because of their link to ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane--proven toxins. PEGs are often contaminated with these.

Benzyl Salicylate--can cause contact dermatitis and is known to cause allergies; this is a fragrance masking agent and UV absorber. 

Hexylene Glycol--this surfactant is a known immune system toxicant and is highly irritating to the eyes, skin, and lungs

Imidazolidinyl Urea--this preservative is also a formaldehyde releasing ingredient. It comes from animal urine and other bodily fluids

Limonene--skin sensitizer; for perfume. Banned in the EU
Linalool--Masking fragrance; shown to be hazardous, banned in the EU

Methylparaben--this type of paraben is a preservative agent against fungus. A very compelling study 7 years ago in the Journal of Applied Toxicology linked parabens to breast cancer as they may be hormone disruptive and lead to tumor growth. While the jury is still out on paraben safety, I personally find the links too strong and this home has been paraben free for more than 4 years.   
PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate--a humectant. PEG ingredients, however, should be avoided because of their link to ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane--proven toxins. PEGs are often contaminated with these.
Phenoxyethanol--adding this in conjunction with a paraben is unnecessary overkill. I am not opposed to using this to preserve skin care and actually am pro-phenoxyethanol to preserve. Combining with a paraben, though, is not going to do anything but potentially do more harm than good.
Propylene Glycol--PG is used in conjunction with other chemical ingredients as a preservative. It is also found in products to make it easier for other added ingredients to penetrate the skin. This ingredient has been shown in studies to aggravate skin conditions such as eczema. This derivitave of mineral oil is considered a petrochemical. There are many different grades of PG: industrial grade is found in anti-freeze. 

Some will tell you that skin care products with propylene glycol just like anti-freeze. This isn't true--the kind in cosmetics is cosmetics grade. That being said, this can cause contact dermatitis, especially in such a very high concentration. Because of this, I cannot recommend it since the product will not be rinsed thoroughly from the skin after application.
Sodium Hydroxide--this is found in the bulk of Garnier's skin care for some reason. This is AKA lye, which is OK in soap, but unnecessary in a lotion)
Tetrosodium EDTA--there are many mixed feelings on EDTA ingredients. I tend to err on the side of caution. While there are far more harmful ingredients, more research is needed on EDTAs to answer the looming questions of safety. The biggest concern is the study showing human neurotoxicity. This is cause for concern, as are the possible links to cancer. 
Fragrance/Parfum--This is a synthetic ingredient which is responsible for a large percentage of allergies in many sufferers. It can be very irritating to certain individuals, especially children and those with respiratory issues, headaches, and other illnesses.
The Chic & Green Bottom Line:
No way on this! In addition to this containing a wide variety of irritating and harmful ingredients, it is unhygienic. The brush will retain the water and provide a breeding ground for bacteria and mold--not something you want on your skin! Even if your skin is not sensitive at all, run past this one when you see it on the counters. There are far better, less harmful products on the market.



Etsy Love: The Nest

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From Dearjes

Personalized stationery from Freshly Skweezed

Tag set from Bella Sera Designs

A darling pottery tray from Tasha McKelvey

Pin set from 58 Cherries

Necklace from MD Sparks

Nest on a spool from Blue Pearls

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