Archives for April 2013

Toxic Gold + Blood Diamonds = Commitment…?

close up of diamond solitaire ringI used to have a thing for diamonds. Maybe it was too many afternoons eating popcorn and watching old VHS movies — Marilyn in the pink dress; Audrey in the oversized sunglasses — or maybe it was just the fairy-tale scenario that little girls seem to be steeped in since birth.

In any case, I brandished my great-grandmother’s single solitaire diamond with pride through high school and college, until the day my husband and I decided — on a whim, after two weeks of knowing each other, at the ripe old age of twenty-five — to get married, and it became my official engagement ring.

I’m still pining for the diamonds that got away, an eternity strand set in yellow gold that would replace the boring old band that has sat primly on my finger for the past 17 years. [Read more…]

Mommy Bloggers for Pushing Motherhood

Mommy BloggersHere’s what I learned at Diane Mizota’s LAdyInfluencers Lunch this weekend: Mommy bloggers are masters of the selfie. Yes, you could depend on someone else to take your picture, but there’s nothing more immediately gratifying than capturing that goofy grin yourself.

Here’s what else I learned: Despite the ridiculous amount of press despairing how catty and backstabby women can be, there is no place on earth where you’ll feel more supported and encouraged and generally loved than in a room full of mommy bloggers.

We’re all about tweeting and sharing and complimenting each other. And handing each other tissues. Especially when the occasion hits a nerve, like this one did.

The lunch was to celebrate “Pushing Motherhood,” a new documentary about the trend of delaying conception, which is Kickstarting now through May 24th. [Read more…]

What is Teflon: The Infertility Connection

what is teflon coated frying panWe all do it. The minute we decide to move out to a home of our own, we’re  imagining creating the perfect meal in the perfect kitchen outfitted with the perfect pots and pans.

For most of us—myself included—that means a 10-piece set that includes everything from a giant roasting pan to a teeny-tiny frying pan, which goes from the box to the cupboard and never sees the light of day after that.

Typically, these inexpensive cooking sets are coated with a nonstick surface like Teflon. And we love them because we can make an egg and it’ll slide right off the pan onto the plate. But there’s something else that might come with those eggs: Infertility.

[Read more…]

What is Fracking? 4 Facts You Should Know

woman with fire coming out of her kitchen tapWhat is fracking? Here’s the short answer: Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a drilling practice that calls for injecting millions of gallons of a toxic mixture of chemicals, water and sand into the earth in order to create enough pressure to cracks open rocks and release oil or natural gas.

And here’s what you need to know:

1. The nearly 600 chemicals used in fracking include known carcinogens such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene, among others, which can leach into drinking water. [Read more…]

Does Natural Hair Color Really Work?

brunette girl dying her hair with rubber glovesAfter a flirtation with auburn hair color in high school and some serious bleach in college, I went au naturale. But recently, the few-and-far-between white hairs that I began to pluck in my mid-30s are now threatening to become a bald spot if I keep up the practice.

It’s time for natural hair color.

Natural hair colors typically eschew coal tar, peroxide, benzene, ammonia, toluene, paraphenylenediamine and other toxic chemicals omnipresent in conventional hair dyes—things that I most definitely want to avoid.

Even the FDA warns that conventional hair dyes can cause respiratory problems, hair loss and skin irritation—among other problems. [Read more…]

What Are Phthalates? Nix Them in 3 Easy Steps

rubber duckCan a rubber ducky make your kids fat? A 2012 study found a connection between a chemical found in PVC and kids’ obesity: Children with the highest level of the common phthalate di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in their blood were nearly five times as likely to be obese as children with the lowest levels.

But what are phthalates? These chemicals, also known as plasticizers, are used to soften plastic. (Want to know why that your old ball gets brittle? That’s because phthalates have leached out of it.) They also serve to help personal care products penetrate the skin, as well as preserve synthetic fragrances. [Read more…]

How to Rock Boyfriend Jeans (& Save the Planet)

beautiful model wearing loose boyfriend jeans and white shirtCan you wear boyfriend jeans after 30? Maybe if I had a boyfriend to borrow them from—my husband’s jeans are a little tight.

What are boyfriend jeans, you ask? Denim that’s loose and broken down so you can wrap them around your ankles with a devil-may-care, I-can-rock-anything-with-high-heels kind of attitude.

I tried the husband jeans. They were a little snug across the derriere. Maybe devil-may-care comes with slightly longer legs and significantly less ass. Or maybe I just need a fatter husband.

But I like the trend of boyfriend jeans. It’s recycled eco friendly fashion in action—if you do it properly. [Read more…]

Why You Should Care About Chemical Safety

capitol building with white clouds behind itAutism, ADHD, asthma and allergies — increasingly, they’re all being linked to chemicals in our environment. Babies are now born pre-polluted with more than 200 industrial chemicals in their blood, just from pre-natal exposure. How can that not have an effect?

Yet the manufacturing industry’s position remains firm, lobbying that regulating chemicals will hurt small businesses, leading to increased production costs and job losses.

As a result, there are still 84,000 chemicals used in commerce that have never been tested for children’s safety. They are supposed to be regulated by the Toxic Chemicals Control Act (TSCA) but it doesn’t have a lot to do with chemical safety.

Guess how many chemicals have been restricted since TSCA was passed in 1976? Five. Yes, you read that right. Five. But luckily, there are changes afoot. [Read more…]