Friday, April 30, 2010




{linkdropping}






Isn't this vase so pretty for Mother's Day? It was made by Carol Barclay, a local artist. Look for Carol in an upcoming edition of C & G's Fabulous Ladies of the ROC.

Reminders: my blog giveaway sponsored by Alima Pure ends tonight. A winner will be announced tomorrow. You can still enter!

My earring giveaway also ends tonight. Look for a winner to be announced tomorrow on my  fans page on Facebook.

Monday, I will be announcing a FANTABULOUS skin care giveaway from a great green company!

Tomorrow, I'm headed to Webster to take more pieces to Vintage Bliss. Since the newspaper article came out, Loubird pieces are in short supply there. I'll be taking earrings and rings to Sheryn's shop tomorrow.



Speaking of Vintage Bliss, there is a great woman you'll often see there. Her name is Debbie and she teaches yoga in Victor and has a wonderful blog called Retreat and Restore. Check it out!



Other favorite links to share today...



I think we might also head back to Lollypop Farm this weekend. I took the boys last week during their spring break. They are standing in the above picture under the giant bull. I used to stand by the same bull when I was their age.

Lollypop Farm is where we adopted Buddy in 1997 (he was our Cocker Spaniel and passed away in 2006) and then Cannon in 2007 (our feisty German Shepherd mix). It's our nearby Humane Society and I really encourage you to consider adopting your animals from Lollypop.  

The kids love going there--they also have a great outdoor area with horses, cows, llamas, emus, goats, pigs and sheep.

I am not sure what else we're doing this weekend. I know we'll be outdoors quite a bit. The boys have requested lunch or dinner at Sticky Lips BBQ tomorrow as well, so we may just be heading there!




Before I go for the day--don't you love the sandals I found today on the Target clearance? They're sparkly with black sequins. They were $13. I seriously thought about not getting them. #1, they are completely flat. I'm not sure my broken fibula ever healed right because super flat shoes are almost as uncomfy as super high heels on that left ankle. #2, I am not a cheapskate, but I am frugal. There's something about the thrill of a super bargain. I am used to finding $3 and $6 shoes on the clearance. These were still a great buy, though!



Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

{your vintage kitchen}

I love anything and everything vintage. Not only do vintage finds have a story behind them, but they are also green since you're reusing or repurposing them. 

I like to look for vintage elements for our kitchen. Here are some great finds from Etsy.


Retro glasses from The Fancy Lamb
$12



A cheerful vintage Pyrex bowl...I'd put in on the counter as a fruit bowl. The yellow makes me smile.

$14


I adore the jadite handle! This is from 1923 and would be a great decorative accent.
$8



When I was growing up, we had a kitchen with red checkered wallpaper (with fruit on it) and a red rotary wall phone. I think these dishes would've looked fun in that kitchen.

These vintage Melmac pieces are from Itty Bitty Birdy.
$30



My Grandma S. had a set of these, which I now have. When I was a kid, I thought they were really ugly. Now they not only have sentimental value, but they're cool vintage finds!

From Kultur
$9.75


I don't mean to be dramatic about a rolling pin, but isn't this THE loveliest one you have ever seen? I mean, you have shine, you have pink, and then you have aqua. Seriously, I love this one!

$12




Wednesday, April 28, 2010

{win a necklace!}


Cindy over at the super cool Skip to my Lou craft blog is giving away one of my necklaces to a lucky winner. To enter, you need to leave a comment on her blog post before Monday. This choker is one of my favorites and I wish you luck!


The Gilded Romance Choker retails for $29. Good luck to you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Giveaway Reminder: 2 Great Gifts from Alima Pure!


The big #25 Foundation Brush in the front is the one you can win!




Satin Matte Foundation by Alima Pure is my favorite mineral foundation!
Win it!






 I recently reviewed Alima Pure. I was so surprised (although I do not know why) by how much I {heart} their makeup and told you all about the great items I was using.


It could be your turn to have some Alima Pure of your own with my April Giveaway. This is probably my most favorite blog giveaway ever!

The kind folks at Alima Pure want to give one lucky Chic & Green reader a 2 part gift (in other words, 2 great gifts)! The lucky winner will be put in contact with Alima Pure and will talk to them about her skin tone. Alima Pure will send the winner 3 samples and Alima's wonderfully luxurious Foundation Brush ($27 value) as part of Gift 1. Once the winner chooses her ideal shade, Alima Pure will send a full sized foundation in that color! The Satin Matte Foundation retails for $20.

This fantabulous giveaway is sponsored by Alima Pure.

Total value of giveaway is $51.50!

Rules:

You can enter between April 1 and April 30 at 9pm EDT. Winner will be announced May 1.

There are THREE ways you can enter. You can do 1 or all 3. Doing all 3 will get you three entries! Open to adults over 18.

*Enter a comment on this post.

{and/or}

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

{and/or}

*Become a follower of this blog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

{crowning glory}





So pretty! This hand carved crown in a frame is from The Shabby Chic Cottage.
$49




I love upcycled items and this one is no exception. What was once a brooch is now a magnet. How clever!

$13.50



Simple, yet chic earrings from Madison Craft Studio on Etsy
$10




I think these would be lovely in your altered art and scrapbooking projects.
$1.99



What great advice!
Poster is from Derder.
$28


This pillow from Styled Spaces is tres chic!
$25


I know we have many cupcake lovers out there. This is actually a cupcake and crown necklace and it's made by The Caravan.

$7.99


I love, love, love this wall hook from The French Flea Shop!
$8.95


Pretty muslin hand stamped ribbon from The French Nest Co.
$6 (2 yds)



What lovely cards. Sold in a set of 6 at Painted by Renee.
$8.50

Sunday, April 25, 2010

{in the news}

Hi everyone! I hope your weekend is wrapping up nicely. I wanted to share with you a great mention in today's edition of the Democrat & Chronicle, the Rochester area's daily newspaper.

Both Chic & Green and my jewelry line, Loubird Handmade, were the topics chosen for a feature in the print and online editions.

To view the story, click this link.

I also wanted to share a picture of my son, Nick. When the photographer from the paper was here taking pictures, Nicholas was at school. In today's paper, Ben was included in a picture, so I do not want Nick to be excluded.

Here's Nick holding today's article.



Loubird Handmade is available online at  1000 Markets and now has a second online location at Craft is Art.

Friday, April 23, 2010




{Fabulous Ladies of the ROC}


Sheryn Kelderhouse


Our series focusing some of the Rochester area's most fabulous women continues this week with Sheryn Kelderhouse, owner of Vintage Bliss in Webster.





Q: Tell me a bit about yourself.

A: First and foremost I am a mom to three amazing kids- Zack 20, Nicollette 17, and Will 6 yrs. old. I am also a wife and a creative spirit with big dreams!! I love creating, especially taking old discarded things and giving them a new life as something completely different. Another passion of mine is inspiring others to live their dreams and make the most of what they have to offer. Our purpose should be fulfilled.


Q: I just love Vintage Bliss. It's a joy to come into your shop because it feels so welcoming. You can tell you love what you do. What do you love most about your shop and your business itself?


A: There are so many things I love about my shop. I love the cozy cottage I am in and the fact that its something I have wanted to do for a long time and in about 2 weeks just made the decision to go for it! I also love all the great people I have reconnected with through my shop, like yourself, and all the new people I am meeting every day.

Q: When I met you many years ago (just over 10, to be exact), I was in my early 20s working for Lancome and you were working at my counter with little kids at home. How we both have changed! What prompted you to head in a different path?

A: I have always been one who has tried many different jobs in my life from flight attendant, Director of Catering for hotels throughout the country, Lancome counter sales, to interior design, searching for the one thing that would become my passion. I was fortunate enough that in my mid 30's I was able to find what that was and to be living it now and realizing that this is just the beginning and knowing all that I can accomplish that is still to come with this is so exciting.

Q:  Have you always lived in this area? What do you love about Rochester?

A: I was raised primarily in Fairport, but once I graduated I spent years away at college and living throughout the country before returning here. I do not like the weather here in Rochester but I love the fact that my whole family and my husband's family live here or within an hour because we all spend alot of time together. I also think Rochester is a great creative community and has so much to offer in the arts .

Q: Favorite restaurant in Rochester?

A: This is actually a tough one because my husband and young son like to say they are "buffet people" , and my two older kids father and family own Pasta Villa, which is an amazing restaurant (Karley's note-this is right across from Rubino's here in Irondequoit. It's a great place). However, we hardly ever go out to eat with our busy schedules so I am going to have to plead the fifth on this one.

Q:  If you had a completely free day, where would you head?

A: If I had a free day I would probably head out towards some lake towns shopping for treasures and enjoying the sound and smell of the water. If the weather wasn't great though you would definitely find me with a coffee at Barnes and Noble for the whole day just browsing, reading, writing, creating!!! Definitely one of my favorite spots!

Q:  Beyond your business, what are your hobbies and other interests?
A: I love to read, all kinds of books and magazines! I enjoy shopping with my daughter, absolutely LOVE watching professional tennis with my older son Zack, and hanging outside with my husband Peter and son Will while they play together. All of the above makes me very happy, I am blessed!




Thanks to Sheryn for her time! If you live in the area and have not yet visited Vintage Bliss, you must head that way! It's located at 30 North Avenue (Route 250) in Webster. If you're headed from my part of the area in Irondequoit, get on 104 and head east. Exit at Route 250 and turn right at the light. Vintage Bliss is just past Dunking Donuts on the right.



Thursday, April 22, 2010

{Earth Day Reads.  Earth Day Shops.}



The Three R's: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle (What Do You Know About? Books)

Everything Kids' Environment Book: Learn how you can help the environment-by getting involved at school, at home, or at play (Everything Kids Series)
Earth Book for Kids: Activities to Help Heal the Environment
Where Does the Garbage Go?: Revised Edition (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

{good reads}

Today, as you know, is Earth Day. My boys are very interested in topics related to the environment and we try to be as green as possible. We have several children's books on the topic and I thought I would share them with you today.

It is never too early (or too late) to become more eco-conscious. The two books in the middle are Nick's favorites. Ben enjoys the others (he is younger). All 4 are available on Amazon. 


{loubird handmade earth day savings}



Also in honor of Earth Day--I am offering $5 off any purchase of $20 or more until midnight in both of my online shops.

Mother's Day is right around the corner and jewelry makes a great gift. Loubird Handmade is an eco-friendly business. More than 80% of my pieces are made out of vintage components which have been repurposed/upcycled. Jewelry is also something that can be worn for years and passed on rather than tossing away to sit in a landfill. In addition,  all purchases are gift wrapped in Loubird's unbleached 100% cotton muslin drawstring gift bags with a beautiful bird stamp. The bags are reusable!

To take advantage of this offer in my 1000 Markets shop, simply email me at loubirdhandmade@gmail.com and I will set up a custom listing with the special pricing for you. Amazon Payments is the payment method at 1000 Markets (and there's the A to Z Guarantee).

To save the $5 in my new Craft is Art shop, simply enter the code "Earth" at checkout. It will automatically deduct the $5 and take you to Paypal checkout.

In other business news this Earth Day, I just sent out a package to BENTO in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. They will soon be offering my earrings at their boutique. I am also happy to announce that beginning very soon my hair pins will be available at Park Avenue Trends, a fun salon on Park Avenue in Rochester. It is located across from Bacco's and next to Roam Cafe.


{earth day....squeaky clean}

Before I forget, Nancy at Aunt Nancy's Handmade soaps is also having a sale today. Did you know that handmade soaps without all the nasties are easily biodegradable and safe for our earth? Unlike products in plastic bottles, handmade soap from Aunt Nancy's is very kind to the planet. Use the code "Earth Day" and she'll take 10% off your orders today on her website.



Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, I am reposting a piece from last year that generated many emails and comments. It relates directly to our earth.




Today's post is touching upon a subject relevant to both women and the environment. I am sure we will all have very different opinions on this subject. I for one am not sure where I stand, but after speaking with many women and listening to both sides, I am much more open-minded than I was before I started this piece.

When I was in gym class in sixth grade, I got a most unwelcome visitor--my first period. I was mortified, disgusted, even a bit ashamed. Two years earlier, our elementary school nurse, Mrs. Whitcomb, had given us pamphlets with yellow and blue daisies called "Growing Up and Liking It" and had us watch a film strip in order to prepare us for what would happen some day past that point when we were 9. Even though I paid attention, I was utterly unprepared for this event.

I remember going to the school nurse and being so embarrassed to tell her that I needed "a maxi pad" in my quietest voice with my head pointed down looking at my feet. She gave me some large and heavy contraption from her drawer that had a safety pin attached to clip to my underwear. That box of items in her desk had probably been there since the early 70s. It was horrible. It felt like a diaper and I thought everyone would be able to see it through my jeans.

When I got home, I burst into tears and didn't want to tell my mom about this new phase of my life. What an emotional time the preteen years can be. I am sure you can all relate one way or another.

I knew what my options were: pads or tampons. That is all I knew. I knew which brands were OK, which weren't, and I've just learned to deal with it for more than 20 years, and more to come.

What has changed, however, is the fact that there have been green companies cropping up in growing numbers to offer women a healthier, more ecofriendly alternative to traditional feminine hygiene products. On Etsy alone, if you type in "feminine hygiene pads" in the site search, you will get around 500 different options. There are options outside of Etsy on major websites such as Drugstore.com, which carries the brand called Lunapads. This line gets rave reviews by users who've submitted reviews to the website.

Lunapads is probably the largest and most well-known of the brands offering cloth pads. This is a woman-owned business with 6 employees. Their website is also full of imformation about why you may want to consider switching. Lunapads also sells The Diva Cup, which is tremendously popular among green women. This would be your alternative if you prefer tampons. This product gets raves on parenting/motherhood message boards, holistic health circles, and even on the message boards on the Lush forum.

So why would one want to switch?

I will freely admit it. A reader asked me my opinions on cloth pads recently and my initial feeling was, "That's just plain gross." I am not alone in this thinking. I asked some of my friends from our online group their opinions and here is what they said:

"I am all for saving the earth and lowering the amount of crap I use in things, but not this. I couldn't do it."

"The thought that I have to wash them... ack."

"Yuck. No thank you."

"I would always be terrified they wouldn't absorb enough."

"That is the most disgusting thought to have to deal with those...the mess, the smell..yuck! Love the patterns, hate the concept! I picture hippy women wearing these."

"I could never do it."

"I am all for saving the earth, and I definitely do my part to recycle and conserve energy, but this is just one thing that I don't think I could get used to."



Up until I started writing this piece, I was in complete agreement. I'll be frank. I hate doing laundry. I used Pampers or Luvs on my babies. They are disposable. They were convenient. I was once diapering them both and frazzled. The thought of buying cloth diapers was great--for other moms--just not me. I later switched to Seventh Generation for Ben, which are chlorine free. I hadn't thought about chemicals in diapers until later on...

Over 18 billion disposable diapers are in landfills in North America each year. That number is staggering. If I had a baby in diapers now, I actually would most likely use cloth. So my feelings on that have actually been changed. I used to use paper plates unless we were having company because I was too lazy to spend a few extra minutes at night. We haven't used paper plates, cups or napkins in a long time. They were convenient, but we have been transitioning to being greener over the past couple years.

It is estimated that over 14 billion tampons, applicators, and pads sit in landfills in North America each year. Would I be willing to change my opinion on this subject rather than dismissing it as gross?


The Issue at Hand

I had the pleasure of speaking with Erin, the woman behind a growing Etsy business. She makes cloth pads and pantyliners and offers a nice selection of handmade, organic cotton items. Her website offers an even larger selection of items, including women's clothing. Erin answered many questions as to WHY a woman would want to make this switch.

Chemical Avoidance/Health Impact--The manufacturing process is tough when it comes to this industry. The procss of producing disposable pads and tampons involves the use of chemicals such as additives, bactericides, fungicides, absorbency gels, glues, fibers, and other chemicals which remain in the pads and tampons. We put some of these chemicals into our bodies when we use tampons. We are repeatedly exposed to these for days at a time for decades when we use pads. Most tampons and pads are made and bleached withorganochlorine, which contains dioxin. You've heard me speak of this chemical before--the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls this the most dangerous carcinogen science has seen.

The health impact must continue to be explored.

When I was speaking with Erin, she told me of another positive impact the switch has made--her periods are lighter and shorter. This is a common rave from women I spoke to who use cloth pads. Researchers are studying links between the chemicals in feminine products and the effect on a woman's menstrual cycle.

Eliminates the potential risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome--The risk of this very rare, but deadly disease, is eliminated. I know it is extremely rare, but I do clearly recall the human resources manager at my local Kaufmann's dying of TSS in her 40s when I was working for Lancome. She was in her 40s with young children. This was 9 years ago.

Environmental Impact: Disposable pads are made from chemically treated wood pulp. Not only are the pads themselves made from non-biodegradableable products, the packaging itself (outer wrapper, individual wrapper, plastic strip) is also add to landfill. Even when cloth pads wear out because they are made from natural materials, they can be composted.


Economics: Women spend, on average, $10 a month on disposable pads and tampons. This adds up to about $120 a year. When you consider the number of years you need to buy these items, that is thousands of dollars. For the cost of a few months disposable pads, you will have enough to last years with the potential saving of thousands over a lifetime.

Is cloth clean?

Most of the cloth pad companies I have checked out offer separate liners for their pads. The pad itself has a liner attached to it. You take out the cloth liner, soak it in warm water and wring it out and then toss in your washing machine. Many people I have spoken with say that it's best to line dry the liners for longevity, but that the rest easily goes into the dryer. I also spoke with a lovely woman who has used some of hers for nearly 10 years.

The main concern I found from the women I spoke to on this issue was a concern that this is something dirty, messy, and unclean. No one questioned the environmental impact.

I have said myself that I thought this concept was gross. The idea that I would wash cloth pads, frankly, is off-putting to me. My thoughts whenever people brought this up were always the same: Yuck! Will my opinion change?

The Other Responses:

I have talked to over 100 women. While the response was much like the quotes I shared with you from my women's group for moms (over 75% of the women I spoke with felt similarly), it was not the only opinion on the subject. Let's look at some other responses I gathered from various friends, fellow bloggers, businesswomen, and other online contacts:

"I have a Diva Cup. This is a silicone alternative to a tampon. It doesn't absorb the blood, it collects it. I think it is safer for my health in the long run."

"I have been buying cloth feminine napkins for 2 years. They make me feel more comfortable and in control as a woman, almost empowered. I used cloth diapers on my children because I was concerned about the Earth. It made sense to me that if I used cloth on my children for 2 years because of the Earth, that I should do the same since I will wear napkins for about 25 more years."

"I order cotton pads from a lady on Etsy. It was strange at first and is now routine. It really is no big deal and I don't have to worry about sticky pads, the bulk, and how they make me feel as if I am wearing a diaper."

"Don't knock it until you've tried it. Honestly, once you try these you will never buy Kotex again."


Chic & Green's View:

Once I have an opinion, it is hard to change it. I am very strong-willed that way. Even with me, logic can sometimes take over.

We have gone greener and more natural with the hair care we use, the bath and body products we use, household products, lightbulbs, etc.

My kids have known their three R's--reduce, reuse and recycle--since they were old enough to learn them.

I am extremely careful about what goes into our bodies--from the foods we eat to the ingredients in our toothpaste and my mascara.

Knowing how many chemicals are in disposable pads (Seventh Generation offers chlorine free disposables), logic tells me to stop being close-minded on this subject. The quote from one of the women I spoke with could easily have been said directly to me: I haven't tried them, but I've been knocking them.

I believe in living as green as possible. I believe in avoiding chemicals which have been shown to be harmful. Why, then, have I been so resistant to change on this one issue?

After speaking with so many women who use disposable alternatives, as well as talking to Erin from Etsy's Phreaky Boutique (she also has a website), my feeling has changed enough to be willing to try this cloth alternative.

I'd like to thank the women who spoke so candidly with me and shared their opinions and experiences. I also would like to thank the lovely C & G reader who emailed me and asked me to talk about this subject.

FLASH FORWARD: It is now more than a year since I published this piece. After writing it, how did my feelings change? They did in a major way. I have been buying only cloth for nearly a year now. There really is nothing dirty or disgusting about it--I have saved lots of money and am helping the earth at the same time.

I also noticed that the products I ultimately liked the most were from Phreaky Boutique, bit it looks as though she isn't making many right now. If you do a search on Etsy, 1000 Markets, or other venues, you'll find others for sure.