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Coloring your Mood

 

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There are so many colors to choose from when decorating your baby’s room.  But before you purchase any paint take a moment to think about how the colors might affect baby’s mood.  Just like with us, colors can have a profound affect on how we feel.  Advertisers and retail stores understand the power of the palette.  They know the colors that make people buy, and the colors that soothe them. Applying this same idea to your baby’s room decor can help you create a sanctuary that is soothing for the baby and comfortable for you.

Red stirs up excitement and increases the energy level.  That’s why most fast-food restaurants choose this color.  Because it stimulates conversation, it’s considered too active for bedrooms.  However, Pinka lighter shade of red, can provide a sense of being cared for.

Crimson can make some people feel irritable, which is why it may not be a good color for baby.

Yellow is considered to be happy. But be careful.  It’s also an energizing color, and it’s said that people are more likely to lose their tempers in a bright yellow room. Babies also seem to cry more in a yellow room. This color is the most fatiguing on the eyes, therefore soft tones would be best used in moderation as an accent color.

Blue has a calming and relaxing affect because it brings down blood pressure and slows respiration and heart rate. That’s why it’s often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. To keep it from appearing too “chilly” in the room, balance it with warm hues in the furnishings and fabrics.  However, stay away from darker blues as they can have a saddening effect.

Green is considered the most restful color for the eye. It’s relaxing and pleasant. Sage or medium green cools things down. Creating a calming affect often begins with the color green.

Purple in its darkest shades (eggplant, for example) is rich, dramatic, and sophisticated. Lighter shades of purple, such as lavender and lilac, bring the same restful quality to bedrooms as blue does, but without the risk of feeling chilly.

Orange is an energetic color. While not a good idea for a bedroom, it would be great for other areas of the house where you might want to increase energy levels.

Neutrals (black, gray, white, and brown) don’t necessarily evoke a particular mood.  They are a great way to ground more vibrant colors when used as a base.  Use other colors to liven things up or calm things down.

If you’re not sure which color combinations will work well together, stop by your local hardware store and take a look at the paint samples.  Mixing and matching each strip of color can help you decide.

To create a calming and nurturing environment for baby, the use of colors like pink, green, lavender and blue as well as earth tones would probably work best.  These colors can be carried out in all aspects of the room’s decor, including the paint, wallpaper, furniture and lighting.  Accenting the room is easy with items like the beautiful wall art that’s been featured in this article.

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Clean Air From A to Z

 

Green PLants

As seen in Cookie Magazine.

Q. How do I “clean up” the air inside my house?

A. When we think about a clean home, we fixate on the floors, countertops, bathrooms, and linens, while we take for granted the very air that we breathe—air that can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the EPA.

Indoor air pollutants come from many sources. Synthetic air fresheners, conventional cleaning products, paints, electronics, carpets, and furniture all can release nasty elements like volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), formaldehyde, and phthalates. And don’t forget those tiny inhaled particles of lead dust, allergens, bacteria, and mold. All these can have significant short- and long-term health effects; asthma, the rates of which have doubled since 1985, afflicts 10 percent of American children and is the number-one cause of absenteeism from school.

The good news: You don’t have to hold your breath. Print out this A-to-Z guide to healthy indoor air and breathe freely!

Avoid pesticides. Find safer solutions at Beyond Pesticides.

Buy natural personal care products (avoid those with fragrance listed in the ingredients). Visit Cosmetics Database to find the healthiest options.

Clean without chemicals. Find homemade recipes and safer, nontoxic products at Healthy Child.

Dust often. Use a damp rag or a microfiber cloth to dust windowsills and door jambs (particularly if your house was built before 1978) and televisions and other electronics, which can release toxic flame retardants.

Eliminate wall-to-wall carpeting, if at all possible, and use washable rugs. Carpets are virtual magnets for allergens and other contaminants. Forgo fragrances and artificial air fresheners. Some just cover odors and others actually numb your nose so you can’t smell the offending smell.

Forgo fragrances and artificial air fresheners. Some just cover odors and others actually numb your nose so you can’t smell the offending smell.

Grow plants, which act as natural air purifiers. The most effective ones, based on studies by NASA scientists, include heartleaf philodendron, elephant ear philodendron, English ivy, spider plant, Warneck dracaena, weeping fig, golden pothos, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, and bamboo or reed palm.

Hang dry-cleaned clothes outside or in a well-ventilated area before bringing them inside.

Install a carbon-monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that can cause flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems, and even death. Learn more at the EPA’s website.

Just say no to pressed woods and particleboard. These types of wood are often glued together using formaldehyde resins.

Keep your ducts clean. Annually (especially before any season that requires you to keep your home closed up), hire someone to come in and vacuum out your ductwork. Go to the National Air Ducts Cleaners Association to find a certified professional in your area.

Leave shoes at the door. Lead dust, pesticides, gasoline, and more can be tracked inside on the bottom of your shoes.

Maintain a healthy level of humidity. Aim for levels of 30 to 50 percent, using a moisture detector, known as a hygrometer. Air that’s too humid promotes mold growth. Air that’s too dry makes you more susceptible to illness.

Neutralize odors with white vinegar. Put four parts water and one part vinegar in a spray bottle. Use it in trash cans, the refrigerator, or other areas with odors. Vinegar will naturally deodorize, and within a few minutes, the vinegar smell will dissipate as well.

Open windows to let polluted air out and fresh air in. Even just a few minutes a day can noticeably improve your indoor air—no matter what season.

Paint using low- or no-VOC options.

Quit smoking. At the very least, take it outside.

Repair leaky plumbing to avoid mold growth.

S
prinkle baking soda on rugs and carpets before vacuuming to naturally absorb odors.

Test for radon. Radon is another invisible, odorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Learn how to protect your family.

Use an exhaust fan (or open a window) when bathing and cooking to keep humidity levels down.

Vacuum at least twice a week with a HEPA-filter vacuum.

Wash new clothes, bedding, and drapes twice before using. Textiles are often “finished” with toxic chemicals (like permanent softeners, water repellants, stain guards, and much more). This residue can volatilize (or evaporate) into your air.

eXamine combustion appliances annually. Gas stoves, heaters, and other appliances that burn fuel should be checked regularly by a professional to ensure they are burning correctly and not releasing too many contaminants into your air.

Your nose knows. Those unmistakable smells that make you woozy, like a “new-rug smell” or anything perfume-y, is likely to be chemicals off-gassing (or evaporating) into your air. Avoid products with these distinctive odors, open the windows, or let it off-gas outdoors.

Zzzzzz. Sleep peacefully knowing your whole family is breathing easier.

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