The C & G Mail Bag

Thursday, August 30, 2012


 From Joanne:

"I really like Wen hair cleansing cream, but like you on closer inspection the ingredients had me tossing the bottle in the trash.  Can you recommend a safe hair cleansing cream?"

Joanne, thanks for your email. Many people like the gentle nature of cleansing conditioners.  Actually, you can get similar results to Wen by using any decent conditioner. Wen's cleansing conditioner is basically just a conditioner with essential oils and other botanicals (and some less than stellar ingredients, too).  It will take some trial and error, though, to find the right one.

There are also some really lovely cleansing conditioners available for sale.





wen





My picks:

Silk Naturals Cleansing Conditioners (choose Cranberry Pomergranate or Coconut Argan)

L'Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner is the only L'Oreal haircare product I approve of. The ingredients are better than Wen's in terms of chemicals. No parabens and not as many irritants. It's also very reasonable and works similarly!

Darcy's Botanicals Daily Conditioning Cream

Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner


The 5 Best Primers on the Market

Today we're going to discuss primers. Perhaps the most well-known cosmetic primer on the market is Smashbox Photo Finish.  


FacialPrimerList



Over the past few years, more and more primers are on the market, and many of them really offer many skin benefits.

What is a primer? Quite simply, a makeup primer is used to provide a smooth and flawless canvas for your skin so your makeup goes on beautifully and stays that way all day.  They typically have light reflective pigments to diffuse fine lines and leave your skin fully prepped for makeup.

Think of a makeup primer the way you would a paint primer.  Suppose you are planning to paint your walls.  A primer will allow paint to adhere better, more seamlessly, and will improve the overall appearance of the paint job.  It helps provide a more even surface for painting.

The same is true with a makeup primer.  Most people do not have perfectly smooth, poreless faces free of all imperfections. A primer can smooth out the skin, reduce the appearance of pores, and help your makeup apply almost flawlessly.  It also allows you to use LESS product, I have found.

There are many fabulous primers on the market and they come in all price ranges. 

 Here are my top picks:

Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Gel (SERIOUSLY! Read more here), $6.79

Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Luminizing Face Primer, $9.95

Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer, $23

100% Pure Luminous Primer Vitamins + Antioxidants with Resveratrol, $26

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener, $48

I'm blushing...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I've noticed that a huge number of readers over the past couple days have been courtesy of Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Life. One of my DIY projects was featured last December in Alicia's holiday gift guide, so I knew it couldn't be from that.

Imagine my surprise when I went over to her site and saw this post:




Even though I wrote the review to which she was referring a couple months back and I am no longer following a Vegan diet (I am back to seafood and chicken) these days, I am so honored to have this mention! Thank you, Alicia!

By the way, The Kind Life is a fabulous resource for all who want to live a cleaner, greener life. 

Shielo Winner Announcement!

Monday, August 27, 2012



Julianna J. -- Congratulations! You are the winner of the Shielo hair care giveaway! I have let the company know and you should be receiving your conditioner soon! Thank you again to all entrants!

Skin Care on Etsy: Recipe for Infection?

Unsafeproducts







We have talked about this issue at length before in terms of product preservation and skin care.  We have also discussed some very questionable ingredients listings found on the popular website for handmade items, Etsy. I'll give you the relevant links at the end of this piece.



A Recipe for Infection


Last week, I received an email from a fellow blogger and Chic & Green reader.  She was very concerned about an Etsy artisan's skin care ingredients. When I clicked on her link, I was shocked.  Even I do not really shock easily, but to see unpreserved milk-based products always makes my head spin.


I am not out to hurt small businesses. You know that if you know my background as someone who owned a very successful home-based skin care business until 2009. The truth of the matter is, most products that are made from scratch and sold to you have no business being on the market in the first place. In fact, today I am going to make a statement I haven't made on this blog before: 



I no longer can advise that you buy anything handmade OTHER than bar soap or lip balm. It is just too dangerous. Sellers cannot really put your health at risk with either product the way they can with lotions, bubble baths, etc.



Why am I saying this? Unfortunately, there is a growing trend of people who think that because they whip up something in their kitchen that they can all of a sudden offer it to the masses. By all means, make stuff at home--but DO NOT SELL IT IF YOU DO NOT KNOW 100% FOR SURE WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND IF YOU ARE UNWILLING TO TEST THEM FOR MICROBES! 

Nevermind a lack of true formulation knowledge, experience in aesthetics or dermatology, gross lack of laboratory challenge testing, and inadequate facilities used to make the products.  A couple years ago we talked about this.  How do you know that your lotion maker isn't whipping up her lotions in the same pot that was full of mashed potatoes last night?   You don't.  How do you know that there isn't a cat creeping across the kitchen counter while she is making lotions?  



It is one thing if you are in the kitchen making a mask out of bananas to use on yourself.  It is quite another to be profiting from your untested lotions and potions. I would call it a major public health risk, to be frank. 



A lack of knowledge is the biggest problem. Unfortunately, you will see shops time and time again saying that their products are "preserved" with Vitamin E or Grapefruit Seed Extract.  Science has proven that neither are effective preservatives.



Vitamin E is a lovely antioxidant.  It can help extend the shelf life to a certain extent, however, it CANNOT and DOES NOT provide adequate product preservation! Again, Vitamin E is an antioxidant and not a preservative. I do not think sellers say this intentionally. I really think they are just misinformed about Vitamin E.  Run fast, though, from any seller who uses this to "preserve" anything made with water, aloe juice, hydrosols combined with oil.


Jodi in Maryland has a skin care business on Etsy. She boasts that her "GOATS MILK HONEY SHEA BUTTER LOTION with flip top dispenser, is made with GOATS MILK AS THE MAIN BASE INSTEAD OF WATER. I make it with the following ALL NATURAL Ingredients: GOATS MILK, HONEY, SHEA BUTTER, COCOA BUTTER, SOY OIL, AVOCADO OIL, GRAPE SEED OIL, WATER, ALOE VERA, GLYCERIN, Vitamin E as a preservative & can contain essential & or fragrance oils if you choose."

Milk products (including goat's milk) are especially difficult to preserve. I say this from experience formulating goat's milk skin care products for years. Lab challenge testing, which most people do NOT do, shows just how tricky it is to preserve for even those with a great deal of formulating experience. 

Do you want to see what happens when you use something like the above product? Grab an 8 ounce container.  Pour some milk in it. Now dump in some oils and and a bit of vitamin E. Put the cap on and let it sit out on your kitchen counter.  To make this experiment more realistic, you should also put the bottle in a box and mail it 1000 miles way to your imaginary customer. Let's say for good measure that your milk product is going to a hot and steamy climate.  It might be exposed, through the transport process, to temperatures well over 100 degrees consistently. Let's place that box with your lotion in it outside in the boiling sun until your customer sees the package.

What do you suppose is going to happen to that milk?  It hasn't been refrigerated.  Nor has it been preserved. It's been exposed to humidity and temperature changes. Would you drink the milk? Of course not! And that is milk that has been prepared right before shipment. If you wouldn't drink the milk, why would you apply something similarly unprotected to your skin?

I asked Jodi about her lack of proper preservation. Her only response: "I have been using larger amounts of vit e with no worries. I also use polysobate 20 sometimes."


Another Etsy seller, this time from Vancouver, uses no preservatives at all and her number one lotion ingredient is water. Water.

Ing: distilled water, macadamia nut oil, vegetable emulsifying wax, coconut oil, soybean oil, hazelnut oil, palm stearic acid, mango nut butter, vegetable glycerin, fragrance

Again, the above product is a recipe for infection!

A popular skin care seller whose shop has recently undergone a name change after several years, offers a fresh pumpkin facial mask. This mask, made with a pumpkin puree and containing no preservatives, is available for sale.

Fresh pumpkin puree has quite a limited shelf life. The seller advises customers to refrigerate upon arrival, however, the integrity of the product will already have been compromised before arrival due to temperature changes and lack of preservation while shipping. Let's just say you ordered the mask today.  Suppose the seller made this up today and mailed it out tomorrow (from pumpkin she carved and mashed fresh today). It gets put in the mail tomorrow and to you on Friday. In reality, it is not safe enough to use.  Suppose you take that gamble anyway. You would need to throw it out by Monday.

Think of it in terms of food freshness. Would you mash some pumpkin today, put it in a jar and mail it, exposing it to several temperature and humidity changes and still be opening it up and eating it next week? No, I think not.

This is another case of an infection or illness waiting to happen.


Ramifications of Spoiled or Improperly Preserved Products

Acne
Herpes Simplex 2
Pink Eye
Impetigo

Eczema
Dermatitis
Staph
Strep
Fungal Issues
MRSA
& more...

Skin care products, particularly, those with oil/water emulsions, are particularly susceptible to damage from humidity, sunlight, temperature shifts, and other environmental factors.  Then you have other factors, such as improper preservation.  Over time, skin care products undergo changes and some of these are not visible to the naked eye.  Bacteria, microbes, and mold eventually will form.  You may not see it right off the bat, but it will happen.  Sometimes you will notice an off color or odor.  Other times, you won't notice that there is a problem until you've developed skin irritation, allergies, or a more serious infection.  

We all want to support small business. We also want to avoid nasty infections. Buy your soaps or balms on Etsy. No issues, there. But it is way too risky to take your chances due to the irresponsible work of the few, unfortunately. This is a public health issue that needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later.



More Reading: 





Review: Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream

Friday, August 24, 2012



BB creams are all the rage in the US these days. From drugstore brands to high end, just about every single brand is launching their interpretation of the traditional Korean multi-purpose creams.

So just what is a BB cream?

BB cream stands for Blemish Balm cream.  The concept for the product was developed by a German dermatologist who used it as a post-laser treatment makeup for patients.  Not long after, Korean celebs made BB creams famous.

The product is coveted by Asian women and is a very versatile product. And now it's all the rage in the United States.  A good BB cream will give you the look of flawless skin.  It also can replace three staple products in your beauty routine: concealer, foundation, and moisturizer. Some even work well as a primer, oil control and anti-aging skin care product (depending on ingredients).

I have tried BB creams in the past from overseas, but that was a couple of years back and I am pretty much a mineral makeup devotee, so I hadn't tried any of the chemical-filled drugstore versions that are cropping up all over.

I recently was sent Jane Iredale's new BB cream called Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream. As you know from reading this blog, I love Jane Iredale products, especially the Amazing Base SPF 20. I was eager to try this one!

According to the Jane Iredale site, "Glow Time covers blemishes, minimizes pores, disguises wrinkles and smoothes and brightens skin."

My initial thoughts

I have applied this three different ways. I have used my clean fingertips, a latex sponge, and a foundation brush (EcoTools Bamboo Foundation Brush, for reference).

The first time I used this, it was on a freshly cleansed and toned face using my fingertips. I used a small amount, as the product is very thick. I was worried that with the heat and humidity, plus the fact that my skin is more oily in the summer, the product would melt away because it seemed too thick and creamy.

I liked the silky texture once applied. What I was not crazy about, however, is the fact that the coverage is very full coverage. I feel that full coverage products typically age a person and look mask like. This product accentuated the couple little dry spots around my nose right off the bat. I was not in love with how it looked vs. how it felt when using just my fingertips.

I used a sponge another time, but found that the best means of application is using a damp foundation brush. I also find that it works best over a separate primer or lightweight moisturizer, as it looks a bit chalky otherwise.

Once you tinker around a bit and use trial and error to determine the best way for you to apply it, I think you'll be pleased with the outcome.

What I Liked:


  • I like the ingredients when compared to other BB creams readily available in the United States. Please do not read that as this being truly natural.  
  • I love the fact that this is an SPF 25 and provides broad spectrum, mineral coverage.
  • I like how it looks once it is applied--bright, fresh, even skin tone
  • I like how it feels on my skin--gentle, silky, soothed
  • The area on my face with more visible pores, my nose, is completely poreless when I wear this.
  • When dabbed on lightly underneath my eyes, it completely conceals dark circles without caking! It is the best concealer ever.




Active Ingredient:  Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) 20% Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Stearoxymethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Maltodextrin, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Fruit Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Pectin, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Extract, Lecithin, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288)


What I Am Not Crazy About

  • The price point is high at $48. Granted, it takes care of buying 2 separate products (foundation and concealer), but it is still $48.
  • Coverage is not truly buildable. I like something that starts sheer and I can make fuller if need be. This doesn't give you that sheer look you can achieve with other products. It starts full right off the bat and unless you want to dabble in mixing it up with water, toner, primer, or moisturizer, it just won't get lighter for you.
  • It does contain silicone (not a problem for me, but may be for others) and Aluminum Hydroxide, which I am on the fence about.
Chic & Green Grade: B+



Random Pic

Monday, August 20, 2012



We just did a major project to maximize space at home -- turned the dining room, which is only used about twice a year, into our bedroom. Now the boys are upstairs on their own and have lots more room and they now both have two really big rooms, which is only fair! Eventually, the breezeway will get new windows and insulation and become a dining room when we someday redo the kitchen.

I will have to share pictures of our new space later. For now, I want to show you my favorite pillow. Elizabeth gave this one to me and it is me all the way! I have it on the bed.

I'm Back!

I'm back after a trip to Washington, Annapolis and Baltimore. It was so nice to get away and have extra family time.

Here are some pictures for you. I will be back with a reader-requested What's In It Wednesday. Thursday, I'll review Jane Iredale's new BB cream.  Friday, we'll have Frugal Friday!

Congrats to Shawna H., winner of the Jackson & Hines Blueberry Bliss Facial. Beca was the winner of the Christopher Drummond items.

Thank you to Jackson & Hines for sponsoring these giveaways! Speaking of prizes, there is still time to enter the Shielo hair care giveaway!



The boys outside the National Archives

The First Amendment on the exterior of Newseum, my most favorite museum ever visited.


Inspiring words at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial


Baltimore Harbor

The Capitol

"Do you think President Obama might come outside if we wait long enough?"

Last Chance to Win Christopher Drummond Items!

Friday, August 17, 2012

jhgiveaway


Not too long ago , I told you about Jackson & Hines, a boutique in Pittsford chock full of eco-chic beauty products, gift item, skin care treatments & more.

One local reader will win a Jackson & Hines Blueberry Bliss Facial. If you're local, click here for the facial giveaway.

Since not everyone is local, today's giveaway announcement is open to all US residents over the age of 18 and who are not affiliated with C & G or Jackson & Hines.

I can't wait until one of you wins this!

The Prize:

Discovery Kit from Christopher Drummond to match your skin tone:


  • 2 Veludo Velvet foundations to create the ideal match for your skin
  • 1 Finale Finishing Powder to bring your look to star level
  • 1 full-size Duo-phase Concealer for coverage without harsh chemicals
  • 1 deluxe sample of Radiance Booster to add a luminous glow
  • 1 flat top brush
  • Makeup bag
  • Application tips from Christopher!


To Enter:

We use Rafflecopter to manage our blog giveaways and a winner will be drawn at random. Must be 18+ and live in the US. Enter now through August 18, 2012 at 11:59pm.

Jackson & Hines will contact the selected winner to help choose the right colors.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a Facial -- You Still Can Enter!

Thursday, August 16, 2012



BlueberryFacial



Jackson & Hines is a fabulous Rochester-area business located at 4 North Main Street in the village of Pittsford.

I highly recommend all locals who love green beauty check this boutique out, as they offer brands such as Dr. Hauschka, Smashbox, Carol's Daughter, Christopher Drummond & many more.

I love that they offer FREE SHIPPING on all purchases, too, so you do not have to be in the Rochester area to shop there.

The beautiful ladies at Jackson & Hines are sponsoring two great giveaways, one of which will be announced tomorrow and is for women all over the US to enter.


Today's giveaway announcement is for LOCAL READERS ONLY, as you'll need to visit Jackson & Hines to have your prize/pampering done.

The Giveaway:

Jackson & Hines is offering one local C & G reader their Blueberry Bliss Facial worth $95.  This facial is a one hour facial and is pure blueberry bliss for anti-aging naturally, as well as intensive antioxidant treatment!

I adore blueberries in skin care for many reasons and I cannot wait to have one of you lovely local readers win this facial!!!  Blueberries are naturally anti-inflammatory.  They also have been shown to protect collagen, boost radiance, and repair the skin.

*GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED MONDAY ON THE BLOG*

(seed) Body Oil Review

Wednesday, August 15, 2012





I am a huge fan of (seed), the super affordable, grapeseed-enriched line of natural skin care.  I've told you before about their awesome Fragrance Free Healthy Hand Cream and now I have to tell you about this fabulous new oil.

I recently had the chance to try on of (seed)'s latest products, the Therapeutic Blend Body Oil.

As always, I am impressed with yet another product from this company.  This is a truly light oil. It isn't going to leave a film on your skin.  I love how it sinks right into my arms and legs and leaves my skin feeling like silk. It contains beneficial essential oils such as peppermint, ginger, rosemary and clove to help ease muscle soreness and help you feel invigorated. 

I've been using this at night and I even spritz some on my feet and rub in, then follow with the (seed) Healthy Hand Cream and put on cotton socks.  My feet are so soft in the morning!

It is all natural and retails for under $12. You can buy it online and if you're local, you'll find it at Wegmans. They also offer a body oil with the benefits of aromatherapy designed to help you relax.

Haven't tried (seed) yet? It truly is a fabulous skin care line and it is super affordable! It earns a huge thumbs up from us!








Disclosure: I received a bottle of this product to review at no cost. This in no way has influenced my review and all opinions are my own.

What Does C & G Read?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer vacation is still going on and I'm enjoying some extra time off with my husband and the boys.

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite blogs. Even busy bloggers read blogs! I love them!



Here are my favorites. Some you may already read, while others may be new to you.  Check them out and enjoy.

Mabel's House

Chandelierious

My So Called Junky Life

The Lettered Cottage

Someday Crafts

In My Own Style

Lemonade Makin' Mama

Finding Fabulous

The Shabby Nest

City Life Eats

Nie Nie Dialogues

Chocolate Covered Katie

Skinnytaste

Frippery


Tell me about some of your favorite blogs! I'd love to know.

Shielo Giveaway Starts Today!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shielo hair care products rank in my top 5 for best hair care brands that I have tried and when you try them, I think you'll understand why!

The kind folks at Shielo are offering one lucky blog reader here at C & G a full sized bottle of the fantabulous Shielo Color Protect Conditioner valued at $24.99.

With ingredients such as acai, white tea, cactus, and goldenseal on the ingredients list, your hair will feel smooth and pampered without being weighed down. I like that it keeps my hair moisturized and soft like a "deep conditioner" would without it making my hair feel coated or greasy at all. This also is protein rich and contains white jasmine and it just works beautifully with the  Color Protect shampoo. You simply leave it in for a minute and a half and rinse. I also like to comb it through right after applying, although it doesn't say to on the bottle. It's just something I like to do. It rinses well and makes detangling a breeze. Again, one of the key benefits of the Color Protect line is color preservation and it does its job well! The products from Shielo also contain peptides. That is impressive!

Shielo hair care are on rotation in my shower because of the product quality and longevity.




About Shielo:

Made in the USA
Cruelty free
Vegan
Many ingredients are Certified Organic


Connect with Shielo:


Enter the giveaway to win the conditioner now through August 24th.
Simply enter below on the Rafflecopter form.
Must be 18 and live in the US to enter.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: e.l.f. High Definition Powder

Friday, August 10, 2012

BestPowder



A few weeks ago, I shared some reviews of the "better" e.l.f. products made without the nasties.

Because I was impressed with many of them, I decided to buy some more last week at Target.  My favorite one yet?  The $6 e.l.f. Studio High Definition Powder. Of the three available shades, I chose Translucent, as it is what the typical HD powder is like.

As someone who used to be a devoted Make Up For Ever HD Powder ($32) fan, I was hoping the e.l.f. would be similar based on the ingredients list and appearance.

What another pleasant surprise from this brand!

First of all, this can easily pass for the Makeup Forever product.  In fact, if you were to do a blind test, the two would be indistinguishable if you were to look at your face in the mirror.

The main differences?


*Price -- e.l.f (8g.) is $6 compared to $32 
For the record,  the e.l.f. is a bit smaller.  It is 8 grams vs. 0.35 ounces, which converts to 9.9 grams.

*Availability -- you can find this at almost any Target or Walmart, in addition to online.

*Ingredients -- The Make Up For Ever is purely silica powder. Honestly, you can order this from Coastal Scents online. In fact an entire pound of it costs only $3 more than the little jar from Makeup Forever! I like the e.l.f. powder better because it also contains Dimethicone (no, silicones are not horrible for your skin! Some people may find that they trigger acne if they already are very acne prone, but I do not hesitate to use powder with silicones). The Dimethicone in the powder gives it an extra softness, creates a smooth canvas, and really helps control the shine. I prefer the e.l.f. formula.


Why Use an HD Powder


High definition powders are a favorite of makeup artists for a good reason! They give a buffed, almost airbrushed appearance, help hide fine lines and wrinkles, and give a radiant look while absorbing oil. 

Tips & Tricks

One word to the wise: HD powders can help you look flawless in photographs -- but only when NON flash photography is used.  If you're getting married, for example, I wouldn't wear an HD powder to an indoor ceremony or your photos will have a white cast.

The best brush ever for applying HD powder -- my tried an true Ecotools Bamboo Powder Brush. It words beautifully with powders and is around $8!



Chic & Green on Hate & Ignorance

Tuesday, August 7, 2012





Controversial posts are pretty much avoided here on this blog. I can only count a couple of "issues" we have had here. You can count the wacky, rabid cupcake fans a couple years back who were upset when I chose Heather Saffer's cupcakes the Best in Rochester (she was then the Cupcake Dreamery and is now Dollop). There were also those who get easily offended when I say that small businesses should safety test their products so people don't get things such as staph infections.  Typically, though, we stay away from heated posts. And, for the record, I was right about Heather's cupcakes because she was the ultimate winner of Cupcake Wars on Food Network a few months back ;-)

This is a green beauty blog. It's not a social issue blog or a political blog, so I tend to stay away from those topics here. I must make an exception now.

That said, after all these years, my beliefs shape me as a human being. You know me here pretty well--my insecurities, my flaws, things that get me excited (coffee, chocolate, bargains & robin's egg blue, for example) and you know that I am a somewhat overprotective mom to two boys. I've shared all sorts of stuff with you, my readers, over these past 5 years and 2000+ posts.


Last week, the boys were in the room while the news was on and we had a pretty lengthy discussion about the hulabaloo surrounding Chick-fil-A. For those of you living under a rock, this fast food greasy chicken chain has made lots of news for their stance on gay marriage. More than their opposition to gay marriage, they've spent millions of dollars donating money to organizations which promote bigotry and hatred.

I keep hearing people say, "Oh, it's free speech." We're guaranteed this protection under the First Amendment.


Let's talk about the First Amendment for a moment, shall we?


I write for a living. I am the child of a journalist who was almost put in jail for failing to reveal the name of a source back when I was a small child. I understand how important the First Amendment is. I value the First Amendment and am so thankful to live in a country where we can say what we want to say.


Unfortunately, this is not about free speech. Why are people up in arms over this? Why do I feel sick to my stomach each time a friend "likes" Chick-fil-A on Facebook? It is because this company has spent millions of dollars donating money to HATE organizationsHATE. Organizations like Focus on the Family, Exodus International, Family Research Council, and more.

I am not a religious person. Actually, if I have to be labeled, I would call myself a spiritual agnostic. That is not to say that I have a problem with people with a deep religious faith.  I respect people from all walks of life and with all belief systems as long as you are not promoting bigotry or hatred or inequality--and as long as you do not infringe on the separation of Church & State or attempt to impose YOUR beliefs on others. I also ask that you don't use your religion to pick & choose issues in order to express hate.  Do you eat ham, have a tattoo--do you gossip?  Do you eat seafood? Did you divorce and remarry?  All of the aforementioned items are supposed to be banned in the Bible.

So back to Chick-fil-A and my kids' questions. I explained matter of factly what the situation is and why there is an uproar. Nick asked me why there are people so full of hate and why people cannot be treated fairly. He's 8.  He is right.

And now, due to the power of social media and the Internet, many of us have found out where one another--friends, family members, coworkers, etc-- stands on this divisive issue.


I was brought up by my parents to accept everyone and know that people may look different or have different backgrounds, but that people are all people. And gay people have rights too.

"Gee today I think I am going to be straight." -- Let's be real, my fellow heterosexuals, did you wake up one day and CHOOSE to be attracted to men or women? No. You were born that way and from an early age, you just had that attraction to the opposite sex.  I remember my grade school crushes on the male friends in my life while I was still in pigtails. In fifth grade, I "loved" a boy named Brian D.  In middle school, it was Brian S. I was just drawn to boys. Some girls were drawn to girls. Get over it. I never consciously chose that I would be attracted to the opposite sex my entire life....and neither did you.

I have watched one of my closest friends, a gay man, struggle for years before he was able to tell his parents. He even dated women in an attempt to "will it away", as if that were possible. If you have ever had someone in your life who has endured these struggles, you would know that being gay is NOT a choice.  This is 2012, yet people are so backwards in their thinking that they believe that people who are different that them are somehow going to affect their lives.

Why should it matter to you? Would you rather someone you love live their whole life pretending to be someone they are not?  I have a wonderful family member who passed away several years ago after a long life --a life where she could not be herself because of what other people would think.  She was gay. She did not feel she could tell anyone. She was married briefly to a man. She was not in love with her husband.  She married him because it was expected of her all those decades ago. They quickly divorced. This woman was the most amazing, loving woman. She was active in her community, attended church every Sunday and loved God, and was a teacher for many years. She even met someone she believed was the love of her life, yet to almost everyone, these two women were just roommates.  If anyone had known at the time that they were companions who were in love with each other, it would have been taboo. The outside world believed they were just two "spinsters" who simply shared a home as friends.

Can you imagine not being able to share that part of yourself with your family and friends?  Can you imagine that this would've been so scandalous that you would live out a facade because that's just what was acceptable to society?

In my eyes, gay rights and marriage equality draw many parallels to the Civil Rights Movement.


The climate we are in today seems to be growing more and more hateful.  All it takes is a listen to the divisive, fear-mongering talk show hosts to understand that....or the Facebook posts or "news" bulletins promoting hatred. All it takes is to watch the news and see people are being killed because they are "different", whether it be a different religion or income or sexual orientation.

There is so much ignorance and hate in this world...in this country.

So when my 7 and 8 years olds ask me why people are treated this way, how does one explain it? I try my best, but it is hard to make them understand something that I myself do not.

Well, it appears Chic & Green has gone off on a long tangent. I came to share with you that today is National Marriage Equality Day. Last week, people from all over this country gathered to share their hatred and bigotry by supporting Chick-Fil-A.  Today, those who are tolerant and accepting can choose to shop with any of these fabulous companies (and there are most likely many more) who support gay rights.

I realize that I may have offended some of my readers. I know that we all have different religious views and personal beliefs.  I also believe that if we remain silent when there is something so important, that it sends the wrong message.  When you stand by and watch a global act of bullying (bigotry, hate speech, etc) and do nothing about it, then you're teaching future generations that it is OK to discriminate and be hurtful to others. By keeping mum, you're part of the problem.




A partial list of brands that support LGBT rights (source):


Abercrombie & Fitch
Absolut Vodka
Amazon.com
Apple
Ben & Jerry's
Best Buy
Delta
Disney
Ford
General Mills
Google
J.C. Penney
JP Morgan
Kenneth Cole
Kimberly-Clark (maker of Kleenex, Huggies, Kotex, Scott, Depends, Wypall)
Kimpton Hotels
Levi-Strauss
Macy’s
Marshalls
Microsoft
Nike
Sears
Southwest Airlines
Starbucks
Target
Tiffany & Co.
T.J. Maxx


Handmade Finds

Thursday, August 2, 2012

HandmadeRomantic



Where to Buy:


Vintage spoon necklace from Sarah at My So Called Junky Life, $24
Burlap pillow cover from The Shabby Creek Shop, $32
Statement bib necklace from True Rebel Clothing, $70
Floral bead earrings from Bluebirdss, $25
Bracelet from Why? Because. $32.50
Lace brooch from Special from Rachel, $10
Baby girl dress from Bebe Culture, $31
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