Monday, November 28, 2011


Green Tip of the Week:  Use LED Lights for your Christmas decorations!

Turkey day has come and gone and now its time for everyone's favorite holiday, Christmas.  Although I do not celebrate this holiday, I absolutely love the Christmas decor and spirit.  One of my favorite Christmas activities is driving around the suburbs of Chicago and looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations.

To all you Christmas maniacs that whoo us with your amazing Christmas displays, GREEN YOUR CHRISTMAS by using LED Christmas lights instead of the regular Christmas lights.

LED lights far outweigh incandescent lighting for power saving by using up to 33% less power and saving you some money at the same time!  LEDs also won the durability test as well as sustaining over 4,000 hours of light! via

LED Lighting is a lot brighter as well as enhances the colors of the bulbs

You can purchase LED lights here, at your local Home Depot, or just about anywhere!
Merry Christmas and happy lighting!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Dream House...the Fantasy Continues...

When fantasizing about my dream home, I envision concrete floors.  This may sound strange but I am obsessed with concrete anything!!  Not only do I love the various looks of concrete flooring choices but concrete is a sustainable choice when it comes to flooring materials.  My "dream house" will have lots and lots of concrete but will also have other flooring materials as well.  This idea just really get my heart rate going....

"Because of their thermal mass and ability to retain heat, concrete floors are ideal for passive solar home designs.  When homes are built to take advantage of solar radiation entering through windows in the winter months, concrete floors will absorb the heat from the direct sunlight and release the stored heat as needed at night to keep rooms warmer.  Conversely in the summer and in hot climates, concrete floors shielded from the sun will stay cool longer and can actually help lower air-conditioning costs." via

When properly installed and sealed, a decorative concrete floor should last a lifetime and will never need replacement.  This outliving other flooring materials such as carpet, hardwood and tiles.  Wow-even better!
Here is a concrete floor with wood detail inlay.  Luang Prabang, Laos
My siblings and I came across this store in Asia and I instantly fell in love.  I love the distressed/industrial look of concrete.
I love how concrete floors create a seamless look.
A polished concrete floor in a few areas will create a beautiful brightness and a sense of variety when only using one material
So sleek, so in love
In my dream house that would be located in Chicago (obviously) I will make sure that the concrete floor will be HEATED.  Nothing beats a heated floor in the cold winter.  I also love this light colored concrete.
THIS IS MY HEAVEN.  I am beyond in love with the concrete floors and walls complimented by the beautiful wood kitchen and ceiling beams.  This is an ideal look for my dream house-100%

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


For those of you who don't know, the month of November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  Diabetes is a disease that has directly effected my family; my brother was diagnosed at age 7 as Type I.

My bro, Josh and I.  Vietnam, February 2011. 

Nearly 26 million children and adults in America are living with diabetes and another 79 million are at high risk for developing Type II diabetes.  This disease is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country.  Most Americans don't consider diabetes as a serious matter..well wake up people, it is!!!!!

Here are some stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
*Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes
*Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined
*Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take the necessary steps to find a cure for Diabetes.

(facts and stats from

Years after my brother was diagnosed, my mom and her close friends started a group called Friends United for Juvenile Diabetes Research.  

Their goal is to raise awareness/educate our communities about Diabetes and raise money for research   Money raised from Friends United helps fund research at Kolver Diabetes Center, University of ChicagoMayo ClinicPancreas & Islet Transplant Program at University of Chicago, Harvard Medical School, Diabetes Research Institute at University of Miami and many more research centers/universities/hospitals.  

If you are interested in joining the Friends United team or Junior Board, please contact us here.  Please join this local charity that was formed by love and devotion to help cure this disease.

Watch a Friends United video here!

Visit to learn more about Diabetes and what FU is all about!


Monday, November 14, 2011


Green Tip of the Week:  Wood Burning Fireplaces vs. Gas Fireplaces

It is sad to say but now that temps are cooling down, it's time to turn on the heat.  In Chicago, it is pretty standard to have a fireplace in your condo/home/apartment.  I LOVE lighting my fire in  my apartment because I love the feeling of warmth that radiates throughout my condo and the way it makes my living room glow.

Some may ask, which is better for the environment, wood burning or gas fireplaces?  Here is the down-low on the two...

Wood Burning Fireplaces:
Although fireplace may be romantic and produce that wonderful crackling sound, they are also messy, time consuming and tend to be net heat losers.  The amount of heat lost by opening your chimney flute greatly counter-acts the actual amount of heat that a wood burning fire can produce.  Also, you are burning wood-wood cut from living or dead trees that can be reused or recycled elsewhere.  The time frame for a log of wood to burn doesn't have a significant time-span to produce the amount of heat you would ideally want; the shorter the fire, the greater the net heat loss.

 Gas Fireplaces:
Gas fireplaces provide all the beautiful, heat-generating benefits without all the inconveniences of wood fires.  Gas burning fireplaces can help reduce the problem of amount of heat loss created by wood burning fireplaces.  There is no need for firewood that costs money and harmful to the environment or the other resources that can be used from wood.  Natural gas fireplaces is much cleaner!  Also, you have the option to control the actual fire and the amount of heat it produces.  Choosing gas fireplaces over other alternative sources of heat allow you to save on your heating bills as well sustaining trees that take decades to grow!  It is a total win-win situation!

My dog Tula, LOVES snuggling up to the warm gas fireplace I have in my condo.

EcoSmart Fireplace installs...

EcoSmart fireplaces
EcoSmart fireplaces

Stay Warm!