Monday Morning Musings

Monday, October 31, 2011

I think it's become an annual tradition now--the upcoming holidays gets me in the mood to tackle some DIY projects around the house.

I am going to have lots to show you in the coming weeks once again. I've already shared my kitchen, dining room, and living room vintage/thrift shop chic makeovers over the past couple years.  I've headed upstairs and we are in the process of transforming the bathroom at the top of the stairs to take it out of the dreadful 50s salmon tiles, am making some minor cosmetic changes to our bedroom, and just painted the boys' bedroom yesterday.

I thought I'd share a bit and stay tuned for before and afters as the projects are finished. My goal is to have the bathroom all done by Thanksgiving. We are re-tiling and getting a new sink and toilet and this is DIY, so this may change!

 Our Room:

I bought this Country Living quilt & sham set last week at Sears. It was on clearance for $22.99 for the queen!


The boys also have new bedding. These complete bed sets were on the end clearance at Target for $14.98 each:

Safer paint options from Benajmin Moore. Here is the shade I painted yesterday:

 Bluefish from Benjamin Moore


I think this is the ceramic tile I'll be using. Love this!


Testimonial: Sea-Bands

Friday, October 28, 2011

I haven't been posting with much gusto these past several days. I've been under the weather with an inner ear infection for over a week that has resulted in two trips to the doctor, prescription ear drops, antibiotics and some miserable side effects. I've had ear infections before, but none like this one. I have had vertigo, nausea, vomiting, and my diet consisted of strawberry Jell-o, dry toast, ginger ale, flat Coke, and peppermint tea for 5 days. Considering I don't drink soda pop or eat foods with high fructose corn syrup (do you know what is in Jell-o? Yuck!), this has been hard, but it's the only thing that kept me functioning from Sunday until yesterday.

The worst has passed and I am getting some relief, finally. I'd like to tell you about something that made a HUGE difference for me and all it took was a $6.99 investment to have me feeling like me again.

The worst part of this has been the nausea. I've had peppermint tea, ginger tea, and everything else that typically is recommended for nausea. Neither worked that much.

I was in Wegmans yesterday getting more ginger ale and decided to look in the medicine aisle and noticed the Sea-Band acupressure nausea relief bands.  These are located by other meds for stomach woes. I have never tried these. I have had friends swear by them for motion sickness and morning sickness, but haven't tried them myself.

Desperate for some sort of relief that didn't involve adding another medication to my life, I decided to spend the $6.99 and try them out.

Honestly, I was skeptical.  While I am extremely open minded, I still personally believe that traditional medicine used in conjunction with alternative therapies is best--not either or.

I do not care if these are ugly and don't match my clothes (although I did choose black) or jewelry. These bands are working for me. You simply follow the enclosed instructions for placement, wear one on each wrist and let them do their magic without using drugs. When my doctor wanted me to take anti-nausea medicine in addition to my other medications, I just didn't want to add one more medicine to my body--especially when I haven't been able to nourish it with lots of good stuff to keep my immune system strong.

I am wearing these again today. For the first time since Saturday, I felt like I could eat something normal and keep it down. I was able to walk my boys to school without thinking, "I don't know if we can make it there without me getting hit with this again." What a huge relief.

So how do these bands work? Let's talk about acupressure. Acupressure is when you apply light touch to specific pressure points of the body. In this case, nei guan or Pericardium 6 (on the wrist) is the pressure point linked to treating nausea, heartburn, hiccups, and acid reflux symptoms. 

This experience has me curious to learn more about acupressure. Several years ago, I took a course on reflexology and it actually is quite similar and the two can go hand in hand in many cases. I'd like to learn more about acupressure now, too. Have you tried it? What has your experience been?

An Eye Opener

We talk regularly about ingredients to avoid in our daily lives. I'd like to share this neat infographic with you. Just click on it and it'll enlarge it and take you right to the site:

Via Column Five for SOURCE

Fall Fabulous WEN Giveaway! {$40}

Not long ago, I told you that I was pretty impressed with Wen Fall Ginger Pumpkin Cleansing Conditioner. Now I'd like to give one luck readers the chance to win two treatment products from Wen.

On Friday 11/4/11, I will draw the name of one winner who will receive a Wen Fig Sweet Orange Treament Oil and a Pomegranate Cranberry Treatment Oil. Retail value of $40.

Win a Fig Sweet Orange Treatment Oil worth $20

You also may win the Pomegranate Cranberry Treatment Oil!

What I love about these oils is that they are ALL-NATURAL and free of artificial fragrance. They contain healthful and luxurious oils such as Argan and Abysinnian and are just a beautiful product!


*Winners chosen randomly using
*This one is new folks--you MAY enter more than once now! You can enter once per calendar day for additional entries simply by leaving a comment here.

*If you are a Facebook follower, you've earned yourself an extra entry, too!

*Please make sure that you’ve signed in to the comments section with and use a valid email address so I can contact you.

*You have four business days from the time that I contact you to get back to me with your mailing info. If I don't hear from you, I will give your prize to another entrant. 

*You must reside in the US or an APO address to win and be over the age of 18.

A lettered birthday greeting

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday. Perhaps it is not politically correct to say that one has a "favorite" sister-in-law, so I won't (hint-hint, wink-wink). Laura is a wonderful friend, kind human being, as well as a good wife and mother. I wish her a very Happy Birthday today and am sharing some Etsy finds:

All items from Etsy:

Paisley L from Pitter & Glink, $19.99
Ornate A from Ephemera & More, $10
U typewriter key necklace from Rag Trader, $24
Cosmetic bag with monogram R from Piper & Ellie, $10
Pillowcase in houndstooth with A from HAWThorne, $32

Priti Fabulous!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Skiing in St. Moritz Winter 2011 Collection from Priti NYC recently debuted and I had the chance to choose a couple of colors that struck my fancy: Lilac Queen and King Spider Orchid.

Priti NYC is an eco-friendly nail polish brand founded in 2005 by Kim D'Amato.  The polishes are all "3 free" which means that don't have the three most common nail polish toxins--toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DHB) and formaldehyde--which are all known carcinogens.

The products are safe for everyone, even children and pregnant women.  The same cannot be said for most other nail polishes on the market.

This company also is dedicated when it comes to raising awareness for both women's and environmental issues, which I find very admirable.

When it comes to my beauty products, I am a stickler for ingredients.  This applies to my nail polish as well.  In my nail polish arsenal, Scotch Naturals, Zoya, and Acquarella are the most common polishes I use because of the lack of harmful chemicals in them.

The main issue I've had with those is longevity.  For a pedicure, the color lasts for a good long time.  For a manicure, though, I don't have much luck with those polishes.

Not so with Priti NYC!

First of all, before I tell you about the staying power, go check out the color selection.  It's amazing! With over 100 shades in various finishes as well as mini bottles and colors for children, there truly is something for everyone.

Last Wednesday morning, I applied two coats of Lilac Queen from Priti NYC. It's now Monday morning. Here is how the nails look today before I tested out the remover:

I went a full 5 days without chips or nicks. Considering how often I'm washing dishes and doing other things that exposes me to hot water and other products, that's amazing!

The Lilac Queen is one of two colors sent to me by Priti NYC.  Last spring, I also tried some other shades. I was impressed, but honestly didn't expect these bold winter hues to last as long.  I was wrong. I adore the rich berries, raisins, and reds, and to know that I can wear them on my fingernails for about a week without issues is a huge deal. The lack of longevity is the key reason I typically just wear nail polish on my toes.

Now I can wear it on my fingernails in any shade I'd like without worrying about it showing any flaws within a day or two. I'm really impressed.

After I snapped the picture of my nails, I tried the Priti NYC Soy Nail Polish Remover.  I used their 100% biodegradable wipes, which are infused with organic lemongrass essential oil. I have used other soy-based nail polish removers before from wonderful nail companies.  The Priti NYC, though, is by far the best. Even two coats of this super dark hue came off with ease using just the one wipe. There is no harsh odor, no acetone, nothing that leaves the cuticles feeling dry or harmed. As far as natural nail polish removers go, this cannot be beat.

My fingernails didn't feel dry at all and the area felt moisturized and pampered. I love the convenience of the individually wrapped wipes. These will be wonderful for travel.  I am so impressed by the wipes, though, that I'm going to order myself  a bottle of the remover.

Priti NYC nail colors are second to none. I am so thrilled by the staying power, color selection, and ingredients that I am going to stick with this brand for my future nail polish and remover purchases.

Grade: A+

Disclosure: I received my products at no cost from the company for possible review.  This in no way has impacted the outcome of this review and all opinions are my own.

Best of Rochester: Last Day to Vote!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chic & Green has made it to the Final Ballot of the BEST OF ROCHESTER from City Newspaper! Thanks to everyone's votes in the primary round, we made it into the finals.

Today at 5pm is the deadline to get votes in. I would really appreciate your votes! Competition is strong this year. My competitors are a popular pizza review blog with a loyal following, a  music blog, and two political blogs--one of which advertises on television.

I would love for you to please vote for C & G. I'd be thrilled to be chosen as the best blog in the area! The blog category can be found at #62.

Thanks so much. As always, thank you for reading C & G over the past 4 and a half years. I appreciate it!

Little Passports: The Perfect Gift for Kids!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I was recently introduced to a company called Little Passports.  I had no idea what it was all about until recently and once I read about it, I knew it was something that the boys would really enjoy. Our first kit arrived yesterday and it kept the boys engaged all evening. I'd like to tell you more, because the holidays are coming soon and I know that we all want something a bit different to get for our kiddos.

Little Passports is described as "your child's ticket to an exciting global adventure. Inspire a love and understanding of the world as your child learns about a country's geography, history, culture, and language in a fun and memorable way."

Basically, you choose one of several subscription options (we initially opted to go with the month to month until we could get a gauge on how much the boys will enjoy it) and the company will send your kids an introductory kit followed by monthly travel kits featuring countries all over the world.  Next month's adventure, for example, is going to be Brazil.

The first month, your children will receive the Explorer's Kit.  This arrived yesterday and came complete with a little suitcase, map of the world, letter from the two children named Sam and Sofia (whose adventures they will be following), a passport, boarding pass, stickers, activities, and access to online educational games.

Both boys really enjoyed this and they worked together to solve the clues (such as the capital of Pakistan) that would lead them to the answer to the question of which country will be in their next adventure kit.

I am a firm believer in exposing children to as many different cultures and topics as possible. Kids are little sponges and they really do love to learn.  Ben loves math as much as he does his Star Wars Legos and Nick loves learning about Greek Mythology as much as he likes to play with his Beyblades. 

Little Passports satisfies the mom in me who wants the boys to learn more AND it gives the boys their love of having fun while learning.  It is a win-win.

Each month, kids get a letter addressed to them from the fictional Sam and Sofia as well as souvenirs such as traditional toys from the countries featured, puzzles, postcards, and more. It really is something different and something wonderful for kids.  My boys are 6 and 8 and they recommend this for kids 5 to 10. I think Little Passports is great for anyone in elementary school.

Here's a link to the Little Passports website. Check it out today! You can also click right above on the banner and it'll take you right there.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Little Passports, but was in no way compensated for this review and I purchased this on my own.

Purple (made in the roc) !

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I just painted my nails with a nail polish from Priti NYC called Lilac Queen (a deep shimmery aubergine) and it made me think about all things purple this afternoon.

Here are my favorites--and everything you see is $30 or less.  Did I mention everything comes from Etsy shops located in the Rochester area?

I love these earrings from Forbidden Glade.

You won't find a prettier purple shadow than this one from Noella Beautyworks.
Just $4.99

Cute little owl from Peaches Products

Wine cork earrings from Wine Cork Jewelry Etc.

Scarf handmade by Gabriella Mistral

Tuesday's Food

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's apple season once again. We have a dwarf Granny Smith apple tree in the front yard and this year the squirrels bit pieces off of every single one.  I bought loads of apples at the Public Market the other day and just had to make homemade applesauce.

I've shared this recipe with you for the past 3 years & would like to share it again.


It's delicious and nutritious. Eat it as your fruit, for breakfast with oats on top or as a healthy dessert: Warm Cinnamon Applesauce. It is so easy, tastes a thousand times better than store bought, and is healthy!

We usually buy our Granny Smith apples at Aman's Farm & Market, a local family-owned garden center, farmer's market and gift shop here in Irondequoit. I buy 3 pounds at a time in the fall. I prefer Granny Smith--you can use almost anything.

I thought I'd share our recipe!

3 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup of water
1 packet of Sugar in the Raw (optional)
1 T. of ground cinnamon

Wash your apples, then peel and core them. Put a few at a time in a mini chopper, food processor, or chop by hand into small pieces.

Put your apples in a large saucepan or pot and pour water over them. Add the packet of Sugar in the Raw (if desired, not necessary, though), and cinnamon. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

5 Rainy Day Projects

Friday, October 14, 2011

I was planning to share some frugal fall finds, but am watching it pour right now and thought you all could use some fun projects over the weekend.

Here are some of our tried & true favorites:

Grab some grapes at the Public Market tomorrow and bake a Finger Lakes favorite recipe--Grape Pie.

Make an  all-natural scented room spray as a great alternative to candles and sprays made with synthetic fragrance.

Are your legs getting dry and itchy? Make yourself a spa-worthy salt scrub.

Suffering from an achy back? Try this aromatherapy recipe to soothe it.

Of course, nothing is better when there's a fall chill in the air than Spicy Hot Chocolate!

For the Love of Leopard

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I was talking with my friend, the lovely Elizabeth of Chandelierious, about feather hair extensions yesterday. She'll be happy to know I found a leopard clip on extension on Etsy this morning and it will be here soon.

Speaking of leopard, it's one of my favorite patterns and it can be done tastefully.  Here are some C & G favorites:

Faux fur neckwarmer from Moaning Minnie

Handmade jacket from 2swans Nest

Love these! As seen on the Style Speaks Louder  blog

Case for your Nook or Kindle from Dragon Pop

Coffee cozy from Sew Darn Chic

Tea bowl from Etsy's Art to Hold

Clutch from Cute Fairy Bear

Latest Nail Trend: Grays

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When I think of the color gray, I typically think about the color of the sky here in Upstate New York for a good chunk of the year (I recently read that an average of 200 days each year are cloudy here).

I'm not in love with gray, although I've really warmed up to the hottest nail trend of Fall 2011: grays of all shades.

Here are my favorites:

Scotch Naturals in Stone Fence

Zoya Tao

A shimmery bargain! Wet N Wild in Metallica is a Chic & Green favorite.

Thames from the UK's Nails Inc. is another lovely shade. Find it at Sephora.

Is a super rich charcoal more your style? Try Black Tartan from Scotch Naturals.

Sharing a New Project

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today the boys were off from school for Columbus Day, so I took a small posting break. In the meantime, I have a new project I'd like to share with you: Moms Fighting Bullying.

I started this initiative in order to raise awareness and hopefully spark change when it comes to bullying in our schools. My goal is to have this site populated with bullying laws and pending legislation in all 50 states, helpful links, experiences shared by other parents and children, links, and more.

Please visit Moms Fighting Bullying™ and our page on Facebook as well.

I'll be back tomorrow with green beauty and artisan shopping! See you then!

Frugal Friday: Finds for Under $5

Friday, October 7, 2011


My friend Deanna turned me on to Nature's Edge Farm. The man behind the products is a gentleman named John.  He plans to close up shop in the coming months, so if you can, I urge you to try his Beehive Yourself soap. I believe this is his only soap free of palm oil, but I can tell you after using it for the first time that it is fantastic.

The smell is divine. It smells like a cup of hot tea with honey and lemon.  That makes sense since it contains lemongrass essential oil and beeswax. It contains NO artificial ingredients, lathers well, and makes your skin feel pampered. Use code NEF15 to save another 15% on this hefty 5 ounce bar. There are so many other fabulous products in John's shop.  I think I may be ordering the non GMO soy candle scented only with essential oils next.

Frugal Friday: Just $3.40 with coupon


I've been loving the lippies from Silk Naturals ever since I tried them last spring.  A reader, sweet Lavanya, recommended this line to me. I received two of their new fall shades in the mail yesterday and am in love.  When I saw them on their site, I knew I had to order.

In case you're unaware, Silk Naturals is relatively local.  In fact, Karen is down in Trumansburg, near Ithaca.

I bought Captivate and Engage and they are both stunning. I particularly adore Captivate!!! This is described as a deep plum shimmer. This is holy grail material in a lippie! For YEARS I have searched from a non-toxic replacement from my old beloved color from Estee Lauder called Divine Wine. There have been products that have come close in terms of color (like the Silk Naturals Vintage lip gloss I have), but none in a lipstick formulation. 

This is the EXACT color I have been missing!!!! I received it yesterday before lunch, put it on, ate lunch, had coffee and have been talking up a storm--it stayed on and the texture is sublime. 

Engage is also a beautiful shade.  This one is described as a golden plum rose and it is, indeed, as described.

Here are the two shades:

Captivate (left) and Engage (right)

Frugal Friday: $4.50 per tube


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today I need to take a little break from sharing green beauty reviews or handmade finds or other neat pieces of information with you. I rarely go off the main topics of discussion here at Chic & Green, but today I feel I need to do so.  If anything, I can get some frustration off my chest.

I have the best role ever in this life--that of mother. I love being a mom and love my boys more than anything in this entire world. My boys are such wonderful, unique little guys and I just adore them with my whole heart.

My son Nick is 8. I've shared some stories about him back before he started preschool, back when Chic & Green was born. Nick is a cool dude. He is a bit quirky (hey, that's a good thing), loves to talk about Greek Mythology, Star Wars, facts and figures, and neat facts he finds in National Geographic Kids. He is a sensitive boy with a great big heart full of compassion and kindness. He loves to dance and sing and he is not afraid to be who he is. He embraces the fact that he is different from other kids in many ways and carries himself with poise.  He's a great boy--last week, he was named Star Student again at school and he just makes us proud to be his parents.

His kindness, sensitivity, and unwavering trust and belief that all people are inherently good also makes him the target at times of the class bully. This is the same class bully who picked on kids back at AGE 4 in preschool.  The same class bully who knocked a little GIRL to the ground and hurt her last year at school. The same class bully who kicked my son and left bruises on his legs two weeks ago.

Yesterday, Nick was playing outside at recess. He was being teased by a couple of boys, one who is supposedly his FRIEND who was just at our home for a birthday party a week ago. This friend apparently told the class bully to "attack Nick." This is after his "friend" called him an "idiot" and "lunatic."

Nick was knocked to the ground after being pushed in the chest. He told a grown up (one of the recess aides) what happened and the bully was issued a 5 minute time out.

After time out, the bully decided it would be fun to try to get Nick again. Nick tried to run away from this boy. He decided to climb up the metal ladder on the playground equipment and was hurrying to get away from this bully. Nick slipped and banged his forehead on the metal rungs to the ladder. The force was so strong, he was knocked unconscious and he fell to the ground on his back.

No one noticed that this happened to Nick. Not initially. In fact, the bully is the one who got a grown up to come help Nick.

I was sitting here packing a box of jewelry to mail to the boutique my jewelry is in down in Virginia Beach and chatting with my mom on Facebook when the phone rang.  The school nurse called to tell me that Nick had been injured and that I needed to come get him.

Thankfully, we are extremely close to the elementary school.  I ran over to meet him in the office.  The nurse walked Nick in. He was dazed and holding ice to a mammoth egg on his forehead. Nick wasn't himself at all.  He was confused and hurting. At the emergency room, the events were recounted to us. We thought this was an accident.  We thought Nick was having fun playing and just lost his footing.

To find out that he was trying to run away from the bully who had just knocked him to the ground is shocking and unacceptable.

Nick was closely monitored and is home today resting.  We had to go back to the doctor to follow up and to make sure he is OK.  My sweet Nick blacked out and suffered a concussion because of a bully. Nick is just 8 years old. He wouldn't harm a fly.  He is concerned about world peace and everyone getting along. He is the peacemaker when his friends have a dispute. He tries to see the good in everyone. He even tries to explain that perhaps the bully has had bad things happen to him to make him act like this.

You can better bet this this mom will not be accepting "boys will be boys" or "they were just playing" or "accidents happen." Something will be done about this situation and I will not accept anything less than a solution that involves true consequences for the bully so that this will not happen to any more kids.

We've all heard quite a bit about bullying on the news.  Nearby in Buffalo, a teenager recently took his own life because he was being bullied. This is happening all over this country. Yes, there always has been bullying, but something is wrong in this society. Where does an elementary school child learn to do such things? How is it OK with parents to raise their children this way? This is NOT acceptable. And it is not even just children.  Look on the internet at message boards and in workplaces and there is bullying. People need to wake up and realize that it is not OK to treat other human beings this way. We live in the suburbs in a great school district.  It even can happen here.  It happens everywhere and it is wrong.

My child is home resting with a head injury.  Thank God he is going to be OK. We have to watch him carefully and pray that he doesn't injure his head again because a secondary concussion could be much more serious.

Are you a parent? Do you know--really know--how your child is treating others? I think some of you would be shocked.  I know there are parents I know that would be shocked if they truly knew how they treated others at school. It's time to get involved--police what your kids are doing, what they're watching, who they're involved with. I am thankful that our school is listening and investigating. And I promise to keep you all updated as well. My child should not have to have suffered a concussion for others to open their eyes, though.

Keep a lookout--know what is going on in your child's life. If you see someone getting picked on, SAY SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING, DON'T STAND FOR IT!

{small business shopping}

Sharing some recent purchases from small American businesses:

Every fall, I need a new foundation shade. I was about out of mineral foundation, and opted to get Alima Pure in Beige 0. It's perfect!

Did I show you this garland that I bought from Etsy's Vintage Scraps?

Beehive Yourself Honey Lemongrass soap from Nature's Edge Bathworks is free of palm oil.

And new lippies from Silk Naturals, which is made in nearby Trumansburg, New York:

Captivate from Silk Naturals

Engage from Silk Naturals

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