Friday, March 28, 2008

The Green Guide

Drop Dead Gorgeous?

by Carmela M. Federico

Filed under: Cosmetics, Environmental health hazards, Personal care products, Fragrances

Independent laboratory testing found a class of chemicals known as phthalates in 52 of 72 (72%) of the tested personal care products, according to a report released in early July 2002. Nail polish, hairspray, perfumes, and deodorants were among the products tested.

Phthalates have been shown to cause birth defects and damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system in laboratory animals. A recent Center for Disease Control study found surprisingly high levels of phthalates in the population, particularly among reproductive-age women -- up to 20 times more than the average dose, with the highest measured levels above the current federal safety standard.

Perfumes -- including the mysterious "fragrance" ingredient listed on the labels of almost all personal care products -- are particularly prone to contain phthalates. This is particular troubling because, unfortunately, there is currently no way of knowing the ingredients that perfume products contain. Labels aren't required for perfumes, colognes, and other fragrance, and fragrance ingredients don't have to be tested before they are added to perfumes and used by the public. Kim Erickson notes in the recent book Drop-Dead Gorgeous that only thirteen perfume ingredients have been voluntarily tested by the fragrance industry, and none have been tested for their ability to cause cancer or disrupt hormone systems. The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials puts out an advisory list of ingredients that fragrance makers should avoid or use in small quantities, but compliance is entirely voluntary. A recent Environmental Working Group investigation found phthalates in every one of the 17 common perfumes it tested.Phthalates are not necessary to any of the products in which they are used. For each type of personal care item, phthalate-free products are available -- often produced by the same company that used phthalates in another brand.Go to the website to see if your product contains phthalates.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Well-Lit KitchenKitchen Lighting Plan - Ideas and Tips

Backsplash IdeasPhoto Gallery: Beautiful Backsplashes

Black CabinetsPhoto Gallery: Black Cabinets

Kitchens & Baths 07Kitchen products and trends from KBIS 2007

Outdoor KitchensHGTV Outdoor Kitchen Design Guide

Gorgeously GreenDesign Your Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Getting StartedGetting Started: 10 Steps to a New Kitchen

Kitchen AmbianceGive Your Kitchen a Personality Makeover

Low-Cost RedosSmart Money Makeovers

Glorious ColorGet Expert Tips on Picking Kitchen Colors

Green SlideshowView Eco-Friendly Kitchens and Products

Counter CultureGuide to Choosing Kitchen Countertops

Backsplashes8 Fresh Ideas for Kitchen Backsplashes

The Tile FilesGuide to Choosing The Right Kitchen Tiles

Pro-Style KitchenCreating a Pro-Style Kitchen

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kitchen Design HGTV Tools

3–D Kitchen Designer

See your dream kitchen before you start remodeling »
Visualize the kitchen of your dreams with our 3–D Kitchen Designer. Design one of our showrooms or customize a floor plan of your own. Save your designs on the site and update them whenever you'd like.

Remodeling Budget Estimator

Get a localized cost estimate for your kitchen remodel »
Know what your budget can buy before you start calling contractors. Plug in your ZIP code and basic project information, and the Remodeling Budget Estimator will supply an estimate based on regional pricing.

Designers’ Portfolio: Kitchens

Discover new ideas from pro designers in our gallery »
Browse hundreds of professionally designed kitchens in Designers’ Portfolio. See Today’s Featured Rooms, peruse rooms or styles and visit luxury showrooms. When you find a room you like, save it to your portfolio.

Rate My Space: Kitchens

See kitchen designs from other users and share your own »
Think you’ve got a flair for decorating? Rate My Space lets you share your designs with the world. Send to friends, rate your favorites and browse other users’ spaces for ideas and inspiration.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Y’all, I have absolutely fallen in love with glitter eggs this year! They are so beautiful and such a different take on the traditional dyed Easter eggs. I thought I would share the “how to” with y’all for your Easter baskets this year.
You will need:
Large brown eggs
Large sewing needle
White glue
Small paintbrush
Paper plates
Lots of your favorite glitter colors
1. With the large sewing needle, poke a hole into one end of the egg. Wiggle the needle around for two reasons, to make the hole a little bigger, and to “scramble” the yolk inside the egg.
2. Poke a hole into the other end of the egg, and wiggle around for the same reason as above.
3. Put your mouth to one of the holes and blow real hard so that the inside of the egg comes out the other end of the egg. If your having trouble, make the hole a little bigger on one end.
4. Run the egg under cold water and let the water get into the egg, allow the egg to drain and dry COMPLETELY before you continue with the glitter.
5. With a small paintbrush, paint the egg with the white glue. Y’all should use brown eggs because you can see the glue much better using brown eggs, and you won’t have “naked” spots on the egg when you glitter.
6. Pour glitter on the paper plates and roll the egg in the glitter. Place egg back in the egg carton to dry. You may have to touch-up the glitter a little after the glitter has dried, but that’s ok.
7. Put in your Easter basket and watch the eyes light up!!!

TIP: I DO NOT suggest saving the contents of your eggs.
Happy Easter!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Discover Your Signature Look

What's Your Design Style?

Want to enhance your space? Take our quiz to discover which design style fits you best. Take the quiz »

10 Tips to Find Your Style

Designer Karen McAloon shares her favorite tips for helping homeowners discover their personal style. Get the full list of Karen's tips »

Small Ways to Improve Your Home

Carpenter Peter Burke explains simple ways to make your home a better place, from do-it-yourself projects to getting better cable-TV reception. See the full list of Peter's tips »

Create a Chic Space

Check out these amazing before-and-afters for decorating inspiration. See the stunning results » Give a Dated Room New Life

Want even more decorating inspiration? See how to meld two separate styles into one for a dramatic transformation. Check out the before-and-afters »

Discuss Find Your Style

Got a great eye for design? Share your tips and tricks on the Find Your Style message board. Meet other fans »

More Design Inspiration
See It On TV, Buy It Online
Trying to track down that gorgeous lamp you saw on Find Your Style? Shop the products used on the show in HGTV's MarketPlace.
Designers' Portfolio
Looking for inspiration? Browse hundreds of uniquely designed spaces!
Rate My Space
Think you've got a flair for decorating? Upload your stylish rooms and rate your favorites.
Online Tool: Choose Color
Learn the secret for perfect color combinations!
What's Your Color Personality?
Find out the best colors for showing off your personal style.