Last week, I told you about my love of Pinterest. I cannot get enough of this site! I thought I'd share my lastest board with you called "Pumpkinspiration". Just click on the image to be taken to the board:
I went with Nick's third grade class this morning to the fabulous Public Market in Rochester. We had a wonderful time and the children learned so much for their economics unit. They compared prices at the market vs. the grocery store, interviewed vendors, and learned about other cultures.
After interviewing a cheese vendor about the cost difference between imported and domestic cheeses, they were given some cheese sticks to munch on.
We walked over the the local honey stand, Davis Honey, and bought some honey sticks from this Cayuga, NY company (chocolate for one boy, pink lemonade for another, and mint for my Nick) to keep them satisfied until their teacher brought them over some locally grown apples.
I also came across some bargains, such as this $5 hat for Nick (hand knitted and imported from Nepal, according to the vendor):
Of course, I had to make my usual stop at Larry's Cheese. This vendor from I bought 1 pound of feta, 1/2 pound of extra sharp provolone and 1/2 pound of NY cheddar for less than $10. I've been shopping here for many years and Larry is known for his banter. He's from the Niagara Falls region of NY and is a regular at the market.
I tell you, if I had more than my small handbag and the three 8 year olds with me in my group, I would've bought a mammoth pumpkin. We saw a table with locally grown pumpkins for $6. Did I mention each weighed between 45 and 50 pounds??? They were BIG.
Not everything was open like it is on Saturdays, but that's OK. One good thing was that the whoopie pies and apple dumplings that I have a hard time resisting were not there.
I realized after walking in the door,though, that I forgot to buy a bunch of sunflowers. I always get these for the dining room table and I completely forgot to go back that way. If you are local, what is your favorite thing to get at the Publoc Market?
Both lines are "three free" meaning they do not contain toulene, formaldehyde, or DBP. Plus, unlike other "natural" brands, these polishes are water-based nail polish products and don't have that strong smell.
I discovered Pinterest a few weeks back after a friend on Facebook posted that she had just made a pin on Pinterest. I thought, "Sarah, what the heck is Pinterest?" Nosy me had to find out and I headed to the site, requested an invite, and have been busy browsing the boards.
Pinterest is described as a "Virtual Pinboard....where you...organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web."
I like it because you can make boards with shopping lists, your dream home wish list, reading lists, etc....the sky is the limit!
Picture several curators sharing their favorite finds and current DIY projects. It's similar to when I post my "Etsy Love" feature, but with all sorts of different categories.
Over the past 4+ years here at Chic & Green, we've talked quite a bit about big bad parabens. I believe parabens are truly harmful and we haven't had a product with parabens in this house in about 5 years.
Some people think parabens are OK--that there isn't enough research out there to call them a real health threat. I think that can finally be put to rest now with the most recently published study:
In the September 1, 2011 edition of Carcinogenesis, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center released their findings showing that both BPA and Methylparaben at even low concentrations found in humans have negative health consequences such as an increased breast cancer risk.
It also went on to mention the ever-increasing male breast cancer rate, which is another alarming trend. These findings are quite similar to an older study on parabens from about 8 years ago. In this compelling study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, parabens were linked to breast cancer as they have shown to be hormone disruptive and lead to tumor growth.
I am the mother of boys. What really made me take notice of this issue was a July 2002 article in the Archives of Toxicology. According to Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health, exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.”
When I read about that study, I vowed never to buy a product made with parabens again. So many children's products contain parabens and to think that I could be rubbing a lotion on my boys that could alter their reproductive systems and have grave consequences to them later in life was very upsetting to me.
Parabens have been proven to penetrate the skin. As we already know, it's estimated that more than 60% of what we apply to our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. We already know for certain that parabens fall into this group. What is so alarming is that parabens have been shown to mimic the hormones in our body. This is really a big deal. With so much research linking parabens to estrogen-driven cancers, why are companies still formulating with them? There are much better alternatives out there.
Even if you ignore these studies, you do not want to use parabens anyway, even if there was no link to breast cancer.
Methylparaben has been linked in several studies to premature aging. So while you're buying your $70 anti-wrinkle cream that is formulated with parabens, keep that in mind!
As always, label reading is a must. Look for these ingredients on your labels. If you see them, remember that they are parabens:
One of my readers was asking about the popular salon-recommended brand called Moroccan Oil for the hair.
Today's edition of What's In It Wednesday takes a look at what is truly in Moroccan Oil and we can see if it's actually good for your hair.
First of all, this line talks about Argan Oil and how beneficial it is to the hair when it comes to adding strength and achieving beautiful and healthy hair. It is true. Argan Oil can do this.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan is a very special oil. Argan itself contains more antioxidant and cell regenerative properties than olive oil, grape seed oil and avocado oil combined together. Argan oil has been shown in many studies to help increase cell regeneration and improve cell turnover. When applied to the skin, it absorbs quickly, and without an oily film, leaving behind a silky and satiny feel.
Argan Oil contains Omega 6 fatty acids, twice the amount of Vitamin E than olive oil, Vitamin A to improve elasticity; Phenols, which are tremendously beneficial antioxidants, as well as antifungal and antibacterial agents; and something called Triterpens, which aid in cell restructuring, can slow down the cell aging process, and also act as an anti-inflammatory. It is one of the more expensive oils to buy, but it is commonly referred to as"Liquid Gold" for a very good reason!
Let's take a look at what is truly in this oil--and if you're read to believe through the hype that it's pure Moroccan Oil, you may be shocked at the real ingredients:
# 1, #2, and #3 on this list are all basic, cheap silicones.
Ingredient $3 on the list is Butylphenyl Methylproprional, AKA Lilial, which is actually a synthetic fragrance ingredient. It lends a strong fresh floral odor to products and is known for causing contact dermatitis.
Argan Oil is the 5th ingredient present, so it does actually contain argan, but it is too far down on this list to actually give your hair any benefits.
Then there's a swarm of artificial dyes in here, too. We all know those aren't of any benefit!
I can't forget to mention Coumarin! You may not be familiar with the name Coumarin, but are probably familiar with its relatives, Coumadin or Warfarin, blood thinning medication and Tonka Bean, a fragrance ingredients. In high doses, all can be lethal. Coumarin is found in the seeds of the Tonka Bean. Coumarin is on the EU's list of banned and/or restricted ingredients and several studies have shown there to be many systemic effects in low doses. To think that this is in here and may very well be absorbed into the bloodstream is very alarming, especially since there are links to cancer. This is found in this product as a fragrance ingredient.
I also need to mention that Benzyl Benzoate is in here....this is another potentially harmful ingredient linked to immunotoxicity.
The last ingredient, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, is a masking agent and other synthetic fragrance component.
C & G's Thoughts on Moroccan Oil:
The ingredients is here are really terrible. The ONLY beneficial ingredient in this product is the Argan Oil. This is one of the most overhyped products on the market--it's like Creme de la Mer or Bio Oil in terms of the hype.
YES, your hair will be glossy and shiny, but that is NOT from the Argan Oil in here. There is NOT enough Argan Oil in here to be of benefit. You can achieve this shine by spraying Pam Nonstick Cooking Spray in your hair, too, butt you're not about to do that, are you?
This product is nothing but a bottle full of silicones and synthetic fragrances with a teensy bit of Argan Oil added in so they can market it as an oil from Morocco, since that is where Argan Oil comes from. Seriously. Calling it Moroccan Oil when it contains SO LITTLE Argan Oil is bordering on false advertising.
Please know that Argan Oil IS great! It IS beneficial to your hair and skin and even your cuticles, but you want your oil to be pure. Why would you buy a bottle of $32 Moroccan Oil when such a tiny percentage of it is actually what you think you're buying?
Buying a high quality argan oil can be tricky. Options for those who want to avoid the fillers and chemicals in Moroccan Oil:
100% Pure offers Organic Argan Oil for just $19 for a one ounce amber glass bottle. If you've ever purchased Argan Oil before, you know that this is a very fair price.
I really love the one from 100% Pure because I know that I am using a high quality product that is Gluten Free and Vegan and I know nothing has been done to this to dilute the healing properties of the Argan Oil. This happens sometimes when you buy premium oils--they often come diluted and it can be hard to tell if you're unfaimilar with high quality Argan Oil.
Josie Maran also offers a pure form of Argan Oil. It is much pricier than the 100% Pure, but it is another trusted source for a truly pure product of this kind.
SheaTerra Organics is another good choice for pure Argan Oil. Theirs sells for $24 and can be purchased on their website. I have not personally tried this brand, but have heard positive comments from friends who have.
My friend Valerie of the City Life Eats blog was a guest blogger for me on my other blog last week while I was on vacation. She shared a recipe using chia seeds. I had honestly never heard of chia seeds until I read the post.
Anyway, I was curious about them and started looking up healthy recipes using this item. Chia seed is actually VERY healthy for you. It is very high in fiber and has a very large amount of Omega-3
First off, I went to Wegmans and bought myself a package of Bob's Red Mill Chia Seed. If you're local, I found them in the Nature's Marketplace section at our local store for $6.99.
I also found a recipe on another food blog called Food Doodles. The simple and healthy recipe I am going to share below is originally from Love Veggies and Yoga. I tweaked it a bit for my own taste buds. Here is what I did:
2 T. chia seeds 1/2 cup Almond Breeze UNSWEETENED Chocolate Almond Milk 2 packets of Stevia in the Raw Zero Calorie All Natural Sweetener (I get a weird aftertaste from liquid Stevia and avoid it. I do not have this issue with Stevia in the Raw.) 1 T. Dutch process cocoa 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
You combine all these together and let sit out for about 20 minutes. Then you whisk it up or even put it in the blended (my pick), leave it out and repeat the 20 minute wait. Put in the fridge for a few hours and it will thicken up. You can also freeze for a yummy treat on a hot day.
Here is my pudding before it has had time to set. It will thicken up--don't worry!
Top with fresh berries and Voila!
Calories: Cocoa powder (12), Stevia (0), Vanilla Extract (6), chia seed (140), almond milk (22.5) TOTAL CALORIES: 180.5 for the entire dessert, which is divided into 2 portions of 90 calories each.