Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Emerald - Fresh as a Spring Rain!

by Katy Green

Liz Taylor's Famous Bulgari Emerald Necklace

Did you know the birthstone for May is Emerald?

Well, if you were born in May you already know that but for those of you not celebrating this month, it's believed that Emerald brings wisdom, growth and patience. Did you know that Emerald is the traditional gift for the 55th wedding anniversary and it also believed that Emeralds are able to enhance the clairvoyance of their wearers.

Emerald History...
According to - eons ago in the Vedas, the holy scriptures of the Indians, claim these precious green gems consists of healing properties: 'Emeralds promise good luck"
If you warrant good luck an emerald may be the perfect remedy.

Natural Emerald

Biggest Emerald Ever...

Did you know that The New York Museum of Natural History contains The Patricia Emerald which  is one of a very few large, gem-quality emeralds that have been preserved uncut. Though emeralds have been found in several locations, including Siberia and the United States, Colombia is the world's major source of the minerals today.

Emerald Cocktail Ring -
Natural Emerald -Each stone is unique in it's size, shape and color making each ring a one of a kind.
Be weary of fake or composite Emeralds, the best way too tell if an Emerald is fake is by the following:

  • If the price is too low it may to good to be true most likely it is glass or crystal instead of an Emerald.
  • If the origin is from China is most likely fake. Most Emeralds are found in Columbia, India, South Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Zimbabwe and North Carolina.
  • Examine the Emerald with a magnifying glass and if you see tiny flaws within the stone or irregular patterns, it is most likely real because a real Emerald is never perfect.
  • If you receive an Emerald stone as a gift and you have doubts take it to a trusted jeweler to have it appraised.

Retro Eco Hoop Earrings for Fall

by Katy Green

Apatite and Gold Hoop Earrings

They say everything "old is new again" or anything from the 80's is in vogue for this decade.

I love classic jewelry we are many people are inspired by items from the past either because it conjures up a treasured memory of a loved one or for nostalgic reasons or because it inspires a new interpretation.

If you are part of the eco-fashion movement then you believe in recycling old clothes and transforming them into new styles or wearing vintage clothes or buying natural classic pieces that you cherish for years to come and pass on to the next generation.

The perfect compliment to any wardrobe is a great pair or earrings.

Over the last several months, I have received many positive comments on the earrings featured below. I chose the Amethyst Hoop Earrings because of the positive energy it emits and I love the Red Coral Hoop Earrings because I wear them with many of my black dresses.

Click on the pictures of the earrings below to find out more about these beautiful pieces.
Did you know:  Amethyst comes from the Greek word meaning "without drunkenness" and that amethyst is believed to protect one from poison. Amethyst is used by holistic healers for problems in the blood and in breathing problems. Amethyst crystal clusters are used to keep the air and life force in the home clean and positive.

Red Coral and Gold Hoop Earrings
Did you know: Coral was once thought to be a plant. It is believed to prevent ill fortune, help in overcoming lethargy, and to dispel fear and panic. Dark Red in particular is suppose to stimulate the bloodstream.

Monday, August 15, 2011

by Katy Green

A tour of the America's West by car is priceless, magical and breathtaking.

Shop owner of is on a West Coast exploration for the next three weeks. Her mission aside from relaxation is to find organic eco-friendly products for the Fall season. 

I am happy to share these amazing photos from her trip of America's West with you - our blog readers.  

As a complement to the photos, I included excerpts from Walt Whitman's poetry book Leaves of Grass (1855), The Dancing Seal by Wilfred Wilson Gibson (early 1900's) and There is Another Sky by Emily Dickinson (1800's)


I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun, I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles. Page 67. Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

Please Do Not Disturb the Seals
Do not Pick up Seals

Excerpt from The Dancing Seal by Wilfred Wilson Gibson (early 1900's)When, work all over for the day,

He'd take his fiddle down and play
His merry tunes beside the sea,
Their eyes grew brighter and more bright,
And burned and twinkled merrily:

And as I watched them one still night,
And saw their eager sparkling eyes,
I felt those lively seals would rise
Some shiny night ere he could know,
And dance about him, heel and toe,
Unto the fiddle's headdy tune.

California Garden

There is Another Sky, Emily Dickinson (1800's)
There is another sky,

Ever serene and fair,

And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;

Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -

Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;

Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;

In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:

Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Inhale the lavendar and smile!

by Katy Green

Lavender Fairy
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis) has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, to calm the spirit, for flavor in cooking and teas, infusions and of course perfume.

Did you know that lavender contains antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, and last but certainly not least - anti-depressant properties.  The fresh or dried flowers contain the medicinal properties of Lavender

Lavender Farm
Lavendar History:

  • The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means "to wash."
  • Queen Victoria of England is most notable for making Lavender popular across England. Lavender was use in many forms dry or oil. The Queen requested that lavender was used to wash floors and furniture, freshen the air, and had it strewn among the linens.
10 Ways Lavendar can Benefit you:

Lavender Essential Oil and Dried Lavender

Note: Althought there may not be common side effects to lavender there may be a slight risk of allergic reaction to lavender for certain people who have sensitive skin or chronic allergies or asthma. Check with your local doctor to confirm. 

According to Dr. Weil you will want to use Lavandula angustifolia,not Lavandula latifolia for anything that is used for the skin. Check with your local herbal store. I lowered the number of drops of lavendar oil because it is quite potent. I did that because it best to start with a lower number of drop and then increase as needed.

Lavender Flower

  1. Want that linen fresh smell naturally? Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a clean cotton cloth and place it in your tumble dryer to give a relaxing scent to bed sheets, pillowcases and towels.
  2. Trouble sleeping? Add 1 or 2 drops of llavender essential oil to a cotton ball and tuck it into the corner of your pillow case. Inhaling lavendar will help you relax so you can sleep either on its own or when combined with Chamomile. You can also add a satchel of dried lavendar to your bedside or pillow if you don't want to bother with the oil.
  3. Achy Feet?  A soothing footbath will relax the muscles, improve circulation and soothe any aches and pains. Add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil to 2 gallons (9 litres) of hot water. Alternatively, mix lavender essential oil with Geranium for a relaxing footbath, or with Eucalyptus and Pine for tired, aching feet.
  4. Dry Skin? Blend 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 teaspoon wheat germ oil (or a moisturizing cream). Apply twice daily. Check with dermatologist first if you have sensitive or allergic skin.
  5. Sunburn? Get instant relief from a heat rash or red and sore skin or blistering.
    To soothe a sunburn, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to water in a spray bottle, and mist sunburned skin.
  6. Case of the blues or depression? Drop a few dried lavendar flowers in 2 to 3 cups of boiling water then pour in a basin and inhale slowly.
  7. Need to brighten up a home office or living room? Lavender flowers (fresh or dried) emit a strong, aromatic, uplifting scent and their color brightens up any room.
  8. Achy muscles?  Add 4-6 drops of lavender essential oil after running the water and vigorously agitate water. Add the drops to a capful of milk or Epsom salts and then put in the bath as this helps to disperse the oils through out the water.
  9. Stuffy Nose? Add 1-2 drops of lavendar essential oil to your handkerchief or tissue box.
  10. Need a massage for tight or sore muscles? Add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil per 10ml of your favorite oil. Take caution using on babies and the elderly. Consult with your doctor first.
  11. Bonus Lavender Use: Itchy Scalp, try Solay Lavender Natural Shampoo  and Solay Natural Conditioner gently cleans hair and adds fullness and shine naturally or try 910 Joy Avenue's Lavender and Shea soap bar.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Living off the Grid is more than changing a light bulb.

by Katy Green

Sometimes I think maybe I could live off the grid and be my own source of energy, edible produce and water! Then I wake up from my green daydream and realize that my earth friendly endeavor will require a major change. 

Living off the grid may be too much change for me but I'm proud that I follow a energy conservation plan similar to my article on Quick Energy SavingsTips and the no Paper Cups Policy and I send out green friendly invites for events

Should You Live off the Grid?
Living off the grid will benefit you in numerous ways beyond the cash savings and the earth friendly commitment.  The way you view things and the way you live daily will change for the better but it requires a life changing commitment that you may or may not be ready to tackle.  

Eco Village Tribe

I encourage you to check out these links if you are thinking about living off the grid or if you're curious about what living off the grid really means.

Pioneer Sustainable Energy Homes
  • - Off-Grid reports on the people, technologies, events and influences throughout the global off-grid community. The Landbuddy section helps you find others to go off-grid with and the free classifieds are full of ads for off the grid real estate.
  • - provides information on how to live off of the power grid. This site is for off the grid newbies and veterans and it does not matter if you own a house or an RV or a homestead.
  • - Off The Grid News' is a fiercely independent, weekly email newsletter and website that is crammed full of practical information on living and surviving today and in future times when life may not be as easy.

300 Sq. Ft House

Remember you are making a commitment to building a cleaner and greener earth for your family and loved ones in the future no matter how you choose to live.

 Shoptobegreen thanks our readers for supporting us.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

From Beer Bottles to Tea Lights - A Glass Story

by Katy Green

Recycled glass transformed into anything is not new but I wonder what inspires people to take trash and recycle it into something beautiful?

Glass Facts:

Glass has been produced for 9,000 years and the first bottle appeared 3,500 years ago. Though, recycling bins were introduced in the 1970s in the USA -  countries like Sweden achieve +90 percent recycling, the US average is under forty, granted that California leads with nearly 80 percent.  

Beer Bottles - A transformation story....

The glass recycled to transform beer bottles into "iced" look into thick glass coasters, tea lights and mini bowls is truly a labor of love. 

Laura Bergman, reclaim artist and designer of Bottled Up Designs uses post consumer beer, wine and soda bottles. Her fun and creative line of home accessories is a unique way to repurpose glass destined to pile up in the landfills.

Bergman is an avid glass and bottle collector who lives in Pennsylvania Amish Country her whole life. As a collector, she has spent countless hours poking through the many old glass and bottle dumps scattered throughout the natural wooded habitats and rural farmlands where she resides. 

This reclaim artist was bothered by collectors who only take the valuable whole bottles and glass pieces, but leave the broken glass behind for the environment and the wildlife to deal with.

Glass Dump Pile

Bergman has also seen baby deer laying in the broken glass, foxes, squirrels and countless other wildlife running through it - even birds landing in the glass while searching for a meal.

Waste of any kind is harmful to the wildlife, the environment and our planet.

Beer bottles transformed into artistic conversation pieces...
Beer Bottle Mini Ruffled Bowl or Tea Lights

Artistic ruffled bowls are made exclusively from post consumer beer bottles, rescued on their way to the land fill. Sized perfectly to hold a tea light, they are a perfect choice for a paper clip holder on your desk, a stack of business cards, dropping your change into, or for a small serving of dip at your next party. Each piece comes with "The Story of the Glass" detailing what the glass was originally, and the approx. age of the piece.

Green Beer Bottle Coaster Set of Four

Modern set of four coasters cut and fired from post consumer beer bottles! A wonderful conversation piece for your home, and helps keep more glass out of the landfills. Comes in Amber or Green. Each coaster measures 3 1/2" x 4", and has rubber feet to protect your furniture.

For more jewerly, glassware and home accessories made out of vintage recycled glass and post consumer beer, wine and soda bottles visit