28 March 2012

Music: Therapeutic for Humans and Plants

Coming from a family with a passion for classical music and a brother who is a classical musician himself, I  always look to this genre when I need to study or feel a sense of calm. For awhile I have heard that classical music is very therapeutic for plant life and I love the idea that plants can be moved by this style of music just like humans. 

Several studies show that plants exposed to softer classical music were healthier and had better growth. The studies also found that when the music was loud and composed of electric guitars and percussion instruments, the plants' health and growth suffered. 

The picture up above shows an installation that pairs specific music with individual plants. 

"Living together as lovers, hanging in connected papooses made from reused shopping bags, a plant is paired with a speaker playing sounds and songs especially chosen and made for the plant."

Romantic, isn't it?

I decided to put Dustin O'Halloran on my Pandora to test this claim firsthand. Even though I knew that I wouldn't see an immediate response from my plants, if they felt as good as I did then eventually they would be singing.

26 March 2012

Eco Conscious Crazy

H & M's is ready with a new eco conscious collection for Spring called conscious glamour that promises all that and more! The collection is complete with gala ready gowns, spring suits and cocktail dresses in strong pastel shades. Look for the collection to hit the racks in select stores on April 14th.

I have my eye on one of the gowns already!

25 March 2012

Green Gold

The new season of Mad Men is premiering this evening and I can't help but dig through my closet of vintage vixen favorites in anticipation. Joan Harris played by Christina Hendricks and the steely Betty Francis played by January Jones are dressed to the nines on screen and I am anxious to see what the next decade will bring.

Among the precious heirlooms that I cherish are a gold choker from Grandma Fran and my mother’s wedding ring. It’s always an occasion made more special when I wear these prized pieces.

Many jewelry designers are choosing to craft with eco gold and other precious and not so precious materials, often giving new life or purpose to an element.Choosing eco-friendly gold jewelry—and other precious metals like silver and platinum—helps you avoid one of the world's most eco-unfriendly activities: gold mining. This "green gold" can be completely recycled or newly mined under strict environmental regulations.

If you are in New York April 12th – 13th, check out GOLD: Vision, Value and Values conference showcasing contemporary artists who make art and jewelry with gold, as well as historical work and techniques. They’ll address the challenges and opportunities faced by artists and innovative approaches to minimize mining’s ecological footprint and social impact, sustainability and fair trade.

Speakers include jewelers Temple St. Clair, Heather Moore, Monica Rich Kosann, Rebecca Koven, George Sawyer, and Toby Pomeroy, George Harlow, curator of Minerals and Gems, American Museum of Natural History and Jennifer Krill, executive director, Earthworks.

Strike green gold by registering today with promo code “ecogold” Student ($125) and One-Day rates available.

A conference uniquely designed to bring a broad range of people and ideas together all of whom have a stake in GOLD. This is the second GOLD conference organized by Initiatives in Art and Culture. Registration is open now.

An evening event at Fragments complements sessions held daily at CUNY Graduate Center (Fifth Avenue @ 34th Street). Hazzah!

20 March 2012

March showers bring April showers

The Weepies have a song called "I Was Made For Sunny Days" that has become my anthem for the past year. The first few lines of the song are:
I went to the marketthough it was threatening rainI was late to the stationso I missed that trainand the streets filled with umbrellasand we all looked the samebut I'm the one who's waiting'til the sun comes out again

I live in an area where the weather can change at any moment and umbrellas and rain boots are staples in every woman's wardrobe. The one thing I like most about shopping for rain gear is finding an umbrella that is reliable, but also pretty to carry around. 

I came across the Brelli brand after searching around for a new umbrella. I was surprised to find that the brand's umbrellas are designed to withstand high wind and rain, but are also 100% biodegradable. Even if the former turns out to not be true, stylistically the umbrellas make for interesting pieces of art to display around the house.

19 March 2012

Grocery Girl Glamour

Being a chic and eco-friendly shopper is not only about the products we buy; it's also about how we buy them.  Often in our attempts to be conscious shoppers, we think about what we're putting in our bags but forget about the bags themselves. Effortless style and eco friendliness are in the bag, if you know where to look, and a new place that I've been looking is Sacs of Life.  Sacs of Life offers re-usable bags that range from stylish grocery carriers to multi-purpose shopping bags with multiple pockets and features for increased convenience. All of the bags are PVC free which makes them safer to recycle than regular plastic grocery bags, as well as safe to carry food in. 

Carrying a re-usable bag means keeping plastic grocery bags out of landfills, and one that is this stylish is definitely a win.  The company also offers wine bags, duffel bags, and other stylish products made out of eco conscious materials.

 Sacs of Life© Wine Bag

Sacs of Life© Insulator 3

15 March 2012

No Light, No Light

This morning I found myself in a tough situation. My power went out and it stayed out for about five hours. Luckily it didn't happen at night, but I still came across some problems that required some creative thinking. Let's just say that it is possible to take a shower just by the light of a laptop. Because of what happened, I realized that if the power had gone out at night and I did need to work or maneuver around my house, I'd need some alternative form of light that was not my laptop, especially considering my laptop's battery died ten minutes after my shower. As someone who always had candles growing up, I couldn't believe that in a time of serious need, I had zero ready and waiting. Almost immediately as I realized this, I chuckled and got to thinking that this was an opportune moment to check out some homemade candles and see how possible it is to make some of my own.

I really love how these candles are made from homemade wax placed into repurposed glass jars. The colors are so bright and would burn beautifully in the dark. 

Even better is utilizing teacups as wax holders and making colored wax to accent the cups. The one below is very sweet:

 I usually like to buy tea candles in bulk and place those into spare cans or jars that I have no other use for.

Now I'm so inspired to go make some of my own. Next time there is a power outage, my house will be glowing.

12 March 2012

Green Is Good

My favorite color isn't green, but you would think differently if you looked at my closet. It is comprised of so many different shades of green. This is funny to me because when I get ready I don't automatically go for an item that is green. What I have found is that my eyes are drawn to green palettes rather than a singular green color.

I like how the shades complement each other and create a beautiful flow from one to the next. When I do wear green, my outfits end up looking like one of the pictures up above and I become a walking paint strip.

07 March 2012

Sunshine Pains

As much as I love the sun, a little too much vitamin D can be incredibly painful for my skin. When I was younger I could get away with being out in intense sunshine for long periods of time without my skin burning later in the day and the rest of the week. Now, any time I go to the beach I have to be so diligent about applying copious amounts of SPF 50 sunscreen. In the case that I still get burnt, I discovered a quick fix to help soothe the pain. After many trials and errors with different products, I found that aloe vera gel is a very gentle reliever for sunburns.

Aloe vera is unscented, but I think it has a light, natural scent. I apply it several times throughout the day, especially in the morning after I shower and at night. I also like to cover up with soft clothing, so I will usually put on cozy pants and a pullover to protect my skin from anymore sun exposure and allow the aloe to work its magic. 

Lavender oil and lotion are soothing on my sunburns as well, and their scents have helped me sleep countless nights when any slight motion made me aware of my reddened skin.

Regardless if I have a sunburn or not, aloe vera and lavender are both saviors for my skin and I would use them any time of the year for their individual benefits. 

02 March 2012

Mapping Out Your World

I love maps. I love examining them and finding various routes to different locations. I would much rather use a map than a GPS, even though a GPS is much more convenient.

What I love even more is finding maps that are made from different materials or that serve many different functions.

How delightful would it be to have a bookcase designed like a map or receive a gift wrapped in one? There is something whimsical about using maps as wrapping paper or party decorations. If only my origami skills were at expert level then maybe I could arrange mine in fanciful ways. For now, I'll just have to use them the good old fashioned way.

Happy travels!