Thursday, May 26, 2011

Plants. Make you healthy?

My sweet husband is always trying to keep the plants in the house alive. However, I am always trying to get rid of the plants in the house - either by me accidentally under-watering them or over-watering them. Or like this morning, I knocked this tall one over, which ended it's life. I actually do enjoy the look of vibrant, healthy, green, blooming, happy plants. Just give your plant to me and after a few weeks or maybe months, it won't look anything like that - it will be pale green, crunchy, droopy and pathetic looking.

After I (accidentally!) knocked the tall one over this morning, I said to Stephen... "This plant has been trying to die for years, let's just remove it from its misery and let it go." Stephen then reminds me how plants keep you healthier and how plants are very beneficial.

It's true. Here is what I found.

Health Benefits of House Plants

House Plants do more than just brighten up a room with color and living energy. Along with being pleasing to the eye, they bring real health benefits.
Not only do complaints about headaches, stress, heart and circulation symptoms, and colds decrease when indoor plants are present, according to Dr. Leona Rogler in "The comprehensive office series," but also richly decorating rooms with plants can help to keep the air clean.
Mother Fern is one of the best at purifying the air, is a very popular house plant because it is easy to care for, thrives in indirect light and with little moisture, and is very attractive.

The following plants are most effective in removing potentially harmful chemicals, including those in paints, varnishes, dry cleaning fluids, car exhaust fumes, and tobacco smoke from the air in your home.
  • Dragon Tree
  • Ivy
  • Ficus
  • Philodendrons
  • Spider Plants
  • Peace Lilies
  • Ferns
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Palms

House Plants Clean the Air

The good news is that a classic National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) study found that common house plants could improve air quality. In fact, they reported that house plants were able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours.
The recommendation? Use 15 to 18 "good-sized" house plants in 6 to 8 inch diameter containers for an 1,800 square-foot house.
Plants can remove a variety of toxic air emissions including ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene. Remember-the healthier the plant, the more purifying it will be.

Plants Make You Happy

House plants make people feel calmer and more optimistic, says Bruno Cortis, M.D., a Chicago cardiologist. Interestingly, he says that studies have shown that hospital patients who face a window with a garden view recovered more quickly than those who had to look at a wall.

Plants Fight Fatigue and Colds

According to a University of Agriculture in Norway study, indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses by more than 30 percent, partially by increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust.

Plants at the Office

Even major corporations and work environments are beginning to catch on that adding plants indoors does wonders for employee health and morale. According to one study published in Rehabilitation Literature, a manufacturing company integrated plants into its office so that no employee would be more than 45 feet from greenery.
The result? Company administrators said they noticed enhanced creativity and increased productivity in employees.

Very interesting! Okay, okay, I vow to try harder to keep our plants alive and thriving. :) Thank you Stephen. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rugs and more...

Rugs can make a huge impact in a room. Rugs add warmth, color and personality to a room. My most favorite rugs in the world are from Company C.

This rug is amazingly gorgeous with all the color and pattern. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
This is another one of my favorites. One of my sisters has this one in a runner in her hallway. Beautiful!
They have so many magnificent rugs. Here is another one - would be perfect in front of your kitchen (or bathroom!) sink...
They also have incredible pillows!!! Here are some below.... but they have many more!

Aren't they wonderful?
And one last bit of great information. They have this really super tool on their Company C website. You can plan your space online to figure out what size rug would work best in your room! It is really fun to play around with - you can easily change the rug sizes to see what works. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Praying for our children...

A good friend of mine (yes, I have some super great friends) sent me this article that her Mom had found in a ministry magazine called "In Touch". I love this! The article tells us 10 things to pray about in reference to our children.

"The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much" James 5:16

1. FOR GODLY WISDOM. Pray that your child will have Godly - not worldly - wisdom. James 1:5 promises, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." Ask for your children to receive that liberal application of Godly wisdom.

2. FOR CHARACTER. This is not an easy prayer for parents, since we all know how character is developed - through trial. As hard as it is to pray for trouble in our children's lives, we know that challenges, disappointments, and even heartache are what will help them grow into the Godly men and women they were created to be. So brace yourself, pray for character, and  - while you're at it - ask for a healthy dose of self-control on your part to stay out of God's way while He's at work in your kids' lives.

3. FOR A SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE. Pray that your children will give their best to everything they attempt, because if they're Christians, they place His name on whatever they do.

4. FOR A DESIRE TO KNOW GOD. Pray that your child will have a hunger and thirst to know God more every day - and an undivided heart to seek and serve Him.

5. FOR DIRECTION. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight." Proverbs 3:5-6. Pray that your children will learn at a young age to seek God's direction and guidance in all things, do by the time they make the big decisions - like college, career, and marriage - they'll be in the habit of following His perfect plan every step of the way.

6. FOR FAVOR. There's nothing wrong with praying that your children will have favor with teachers, school administrators, coaches, and eventually employers - as well as with classmates, teammates, and co-workers - and that they'll be liked and appreciated for who they are.

7. FOR DISCERNMENT. Ask God to let them see as He sees, be attracted to what pleases and glorifies Him, be repelled by the things that displease Him, and understand the difference clearly and consistently.

8. FOR THE RIGHT FRIENDS/SPOUSE. The Bible is clear on what type of person a believer should marry - another believer. Second Corinthians 6:14 warns, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers." Pray that your children will value Christian friends, that the Father will "pave" their way with faithful Christians, and that they'll eventually find their way to Godly mates, as the Lord intends. Also pray for their future spouses' upbringing. Go ahead and start praying for the men and women that our children will be marrying some day.

9. FOR RESPECT TOWARD AUTHORITY. If this generation had a slogan, it would be "no fear!" Our children are conditioned by TV, movies and songs not to respect parents, teachers, school administrators, police officers, or government officials - rude is cool. Pray that your kids will have proper respect for everyone from the President to the boss at their part-time job and appropriate fear toward God.

It's never too late to pray for your children. Whether your in the footed pajamas and sippy cup stage or your world is filled with prom dresses and drivers permits - or you're praying for kids who have kids of their own - remember that Philippians 4:6 tells us parents, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Monday, May 16, 2011

A few things I think are great...

One of my very favorite stores is Anthropologie -- LOVE that store .  Here are a few really great things ...

I love these chairs. So versatile . They would be great desk chairs or kitchen table chairs. I could even see them in a living or family room next to a chest or sofa table - simply pull up when you need extra seating.

I saw these in the Nashville Anthropologie the other day. These flower pots are fabulous. So much fun and such character. They scream happy.

I love these little stools/ottomans/seats. These are so fun. Would be so cute to use a pair in front of a sofa. Also would be great at the end of a bed. Perfect for in front of a fireplace. Or use traditionally in front of a chair that needs some pizazz. 

These knobs are great. I could see the owl knob in a laundry room or a guest bathroom - or put them on a old mahogany chest in your family room. The swirl would be so fun in a laundry room or a dresser in the bedroom. They add such personality!

Look at these hooks. What fun - hang in your pantry for your aprons. Or on a back of a door in the bathroom to hang towels. Love them.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What's in the food we eat...

A while back a good friend of mine sent me a link to an article that was talking about Red Dye 40 and just how bad it is for us to consume. Well, I read the article. Then I clicked on all the links that were on the article and all the links on those links, etc. Before I knew it, I had listened to reports on CNN, Fox, CBS; I had read blogs, websites, health magazines and newspaper articles. As it turns out, there is a lot more out there than just the red dye that is unhealthy and can cause unwanted side effects.
We need to be more educated on what we are putting into our bodies and our children’s bodies. Not only is this bad for our health but many ingredients in what we are eating can causes headaches, stomach aches, increased hyperactivity, lack of focus, worsened handwriting, increased irritability and agitation, lower self esteem, increased uncontrollable fits of anger, and sleepless nights in about 80% of children and adults. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Even if you or your child is not having any of the symptoms above - if it can effect people in that way - do you really want to consume it?
I have made my list. This is my own personal list of ingredients that I no longer want in my house. I check the labels and this is how you may see them listed. I am sure that there are many other ingredients that we should add but this is where I am starting....
Blue 1 & 2
Green 3
Orange B
Yellow 5 & 6
Red 40 & 3
BHT (this is also found in jet fuel)
Artificial Flavor
Artificial Color
Artificial Sweetener
Sodium Nitrate (this chemical is linked to cancer and heart disease)
Not only are these in lots of the foods we eat, but they are also in medicines (Children’s Tylenol, Advil, etc), vitamins, toothpastes, and gum.

The artificial colors and dyes are just put in our food to make it look more appealing. Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms wouldn't look nearly as appealing if they were all off white. And Jello and Fruit Roll-ups wouldn't look nearly as fun if they were clear. What is even more upsetting to me is that the dyes have been banned in the U.K. - but not here in the U.S. In Britain, the strawberry sauce for the sundaes at McDonald's is made with real strawberries but in the states, it's made with Red 40. You know those strawberry Nutri-Grain bars? Made with Red 40. But in Britain, its made with natural food coloring- carrots. In Britain, the regulator has required warning labels on anything that uses Red 40. 

This all may sound overwhelming at first, but honestly, it is really pretty easy. When you go to the grocery, shop shop only the periphery of the store, choosing only whole fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and dairy products. If you live near a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods, you are so fortunate - that makes all this so much easier! They have tons of products that have no artificial, flavors, color or preservatives. 

I will be honest. The hardest part of all this, in my opinion, is getting our children to understand this and be on board. I replaced all their favorite treats with replacements. However, in their opinion, it's not the same, and in some cases, they think doesn't taste as well. Then the number one thing that is hard for them, is apparently, their peers think we are "weird". Several of my girl's friends have actually made fun of them over this. Really? Because we are making healthy choices? I really don't get that at all. Interesting.

I have a second list of ingredients that I am cutting out next - Corn Syrup, High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Sugar, MSG, and HVP. Baby steps.

If you are doubtful - give it a try yourself! They say it takes 2-3 weeks of cutting out these ingredients before you notice a positive change going on. It is amazing. I can tell a difference. Once you see the advantages, you won't want to go back.