Vico Magistretti – A Travelling Archive

Vico Magistretti was an Italian architect and industrial designer, known for iconic pieces such as the Chimera and the Eclisse lamps, the Chaise Longue and the Carimate Chair to name a few. Today some of his creations can be seen in Vico Magistretti. A Travelling Archive an exhibition that takes an in-depth look at the work of the great Milanese architect and designer, who, during his lifetime, received some of the most important awards in the field of design, including the Compasso d’Oro (three times) and the First Prize of the Triennale of Milan.

The exhibition, currently at the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles,  highlights Magistretti’s creativity and his work with some of the most prominent Italian design companies (Artemide, De Padova, Flou, Oluce, Schiffini), shown through sketches, pictures, notes, letters and faxes, as well as a selection of his most important creations, including prototypes of the Selene and Gaudi chairs, the Vidun and Caori tables; the Maralunga, Veranda and Pillow couches; the Pollack, Selene, Maui, Silver, and Gaudi chairs; the Eclisse, Chimera, Dalu, and Atollo lamps; the Nuvola Rossa bookcase and models of the India and the Andrew beds.

Vico Magistretti. A Travelling Archive is organized by the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles and the Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti, in collaboration with Artemide, De Padova, Flou, Oluce, Schiffini and with the special participation of Artecnica, Diva Furniture, Functions, Galerie Sommerlath, Graye, Thema LLC. Curated by Rosanna Pavoni (Scientific Director, Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti), and on-site curator Ilaria Mazzoleni (IM Studio MI/LA, SCI-Arc). Designed by IM Studio MI/LA, Ilaria Mazzoleni, Elliott T. Freeman and Andrea Speroni.


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14 Toxic Ingredients To Avoid When Buying Skin Care Products

1. DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine)
These three chemicals are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing agents—research indicates a strong link to liver and kidney cancer. They are commonly found in shampoos, soaps, bubble baths, and facial cleansers.

2. Phthalates and Parabens
Banned by the European Union in 2003, phthalates and parabens are a group of chemicals commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They keep hairsprays sticky and bacteria and fungus out of things like nail polish and perfume. Both have demonstrated themselves to be carcinogenic and particularly linked to breast cancer.

3. FD&C Color Pigments
Most FD&C color pigments are made from coal tar and studies show that almost all of them are carcinogenic. Many of these pigments cause skin sensitivity and irritation, or even oxygen depletion in the blood. FD&C Red #4 is no longer available for use in foods because of a known threat to the adrenal glands and urinary bladder.

4. Fragrance
“Fragrance” is a euphemism for nearly 4,000 different ingredients. Most “fragrances” are synthetic and are either cancer-causing or otherwise toxic. Exposure to fragrances has been shown to affect the central nervous system. “Fragrances” are found in most shampoos, deodorants, sunscreens, skincare and body care products.

5. Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin
These are formaldehyde donors, which means that they are derivatives of the formaldehyde, which is what scientists and morticians use to preserve corpses and body parts. Remember dissecting frogs in school? These chemicals are linked to allergies, chest pain, chronic fatigue, depression, dizziness, ear infections, headaches, joint pain, loss of sleep, and can trigger asthma. They can weaken the immune system, and—surprise surprise—cause cancer. Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin are used in skin, body and hair products, antiperspirants, and nail polish.

6. Quaternium-15
Quarternium-15 commonly causes allergic reactions and dermatitis, and breaks down into formaldehyde. Quarternium-15 is used as a preservative in many skin and hair care products.

7. Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Alcohol is used in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotion, and aftershave lotions as well as in your car’s antifreeze and shellac! Scientists believe that it has the ability to destroy intestinal flora, leaving the body’s major organs open to parasites, and thus to cancers. Beyond attacking the intestinal flora, isopropyl alcohol can cause headaches, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, and coma.

8. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is a petroleum derivative that coats the skin like Saran Wrap, which prevents the skin from breathing, absorbing, and excreting. It also slows the skin’s natural cell development, causing the skin to age prematurely. Note that baby oil is 100% mineral oil—and 100% bad for your baby’s sensitive skin

9. PEG (Polyethylene Glycol)
PEGs are most commonly used in spray-on oven cleaners and in many hair and skin products. PEG’s main fuctions are to dissolve oil and grease. Thus, on the body, they take the protective oils off the skin and hair, making them more vulnerable to other toxins.

10. Propylene Glycol
Propylene Glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze. It is also used in makeup, toothpaste, and deodorant. Stick deodorants have a higher concentration of PG than is allowed for most industrial use!Direct contact can cause brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. The EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing, and goggles when working with it. And yet, the FDA says we can put it in our mouths!

11. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are the most toxic ingredients on this list. When used in combination with other chemicals, they can form nitrosamines, a deadly class of carcinogen. They are used to clean engines, garage floors, and at car washes. AND still the most popular ingredients for makeup, shampoo and conditioner, and toothpaste. Exposure causes eye damage, depression, diarrhea, and many other ailments.

12. Triclosan
Triclosan is synthetic antibacterial ingredient used in soaps and disinfectant gels that has been compared to Agent Orange. The Environmental Protection Agency registers it as a pesticide, highly toxic to any living organism. It is also classified as a chlorophenol. In other words, it is in a cancer-causing chemical class. Triclosan disrupts hormones, can affect sexual function and fertility, and may foster birth defects. Triclosan has been linked to paralysis, suppression of the immune system, brain hemorrhages, and heart problems. It is widely used in antibacterial cleansers, toothpaste, and household products.

13. Talc
Talc has been linked to ovarian and testicular cancer. It can be found in makeup, kids and adult powders, and foundation.

14. Petrolatum
Petrolatum is a petrochemical that contains two well-known carcinogens: Benzo-A-Pyrene and Benzo-B-Fluroanthene. As you might imagine from a petroleum derivative, petrolatum prevents the skin from breathing and excreting.



Everything Stops For A Cup Of Tea

Customized down to the last detail, this whimsical, tea party-themed baby shower was as unique as it was fun to create.  The accents of vintage décor and vibrant colors throughout, provided the perfect backdrop for this gender-neutral party.

Unique elements such as guests writing on “Baby Wishes” stickers, instead of a guest book, and placing them inside vintage children’s books, created a timeless keepsake for both parents and baby.

In addition, a silhouette artist provided guests with a fun activity and custom party favors.  The custom tea towel favors, onesies and pillows were inscribed with quotes from the London-based classics: Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins and Peter Pan.

The artist also created vintage silhouettes of a top hat, Little Mister, and a parasol, Little Darling, to decorate the modern venue.  Included amongst the playful silhouettes was a custom profile of the Mum-to-Be


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Chem Fatale

Parabens, Pesticides and Formaldehyde: Inside and Unregulated Industry

We see the commercials every day, women backflipping into pools and frolicking through grass fields, all because their “revolutionary” tampons allow them to do so with ease! It’s clear to see that these feminine hygiene companies will show you just about anything to sell the product – anything but the list of harmful ingredients that find their way into these products that women are using every day.

Tampons and sanitary pads might seem simple enough: cotton guards for that time of the month. In reality, the materials, ingredients, and production of these items are far more complex and potentially hazardous than most people realize. The truth is that most major companies are selling products that are not made from cotton at all, but rather a synthetic blend of cotton and rayon, a manufactured fiber derived from cellulose that comes from wood pulp. The extraction process and the subsequent stage of bleaching the rayon with chlorine to give it that clean, white appearance creates toxic carcinogens such as dioxin and disinfection by-products like trihalomethane. Some studies show that dioxin, even in trace levels, may be linked to disruption of the endocrine system, suppression of the immune system, and abnormal cell and tissue growth in the body.

On the contrary, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that these bleaching methods are no longer used and “rayon raw material used in U.S. tampons is now produced using elemental chlorine-free bleaching or totally chlorine-free bleaching processes.” However it is also explained that during the elemental chlorine-free bleaching process, “dioxins are occasionally detected in trace amounts in mill effluents and pulp.” The FDA also states that “no risk to health would be expected from these trace amounts.” This might put our minds at ease if the use of tampons was a rare occasion for women, however this is not the case. It becomes a concern when we realize that the average woman will use over 10,000 tampons in her lifetime. Trace amounts or not, that is still more than enough exposure to a potentially harmful carcinogen.

Aside from this issue, other harmful ingredients of tampons and sanitary pads may include dyes, preservatives, and pesticides. You should also avoid products or product wrappers with a fragrance or perfume, as they can cause further irritation to your skin. Another thing to consider besides the tampon itself, is the tampon applicator. Usually the applicators are either plastic or cardboard. The plastic applicators could potentially be harmful to you and are most certainly harmful to our environment. The cardboard applicators most often have a glossy coat for “easy insertion” but this glossy finish actually comes from phthalates, which are chemical plasticizers. These phthalates and plastics are known to interfere with normal endocrine system function, possibly leading to other health risks.

Not a fan of tampons? There are risks involving sanitary pad use as well, as most brands are not made of pure cotton either. Additionally, most pads and panty liners are backed with synthetic materials and plastic which restrict the free flow of air and trap heat and dampness. These conditions lead to increased chance of the growth of yeast and other bacteria. Other products like washes, wipes and douching are actually medically unnecessary and could also put you at risk for a bacteria infection. It is likely that potentially harmful pesticides are present in the packaging for feminine wipes, as they are used to maintain moisture and prevent bacteria growth within the package.

What Should I Use Instead?

Now that you’re aware of some of the potentially harmful ingredients of feminine hygiene big-name brands, let’s get to the good news. There are safe and healthy alternatives that will significantly lower harmful risks because of their natural ingredients. For example, there are products made with 100% organic or natural cotton, which is a more breathable fiber that is healthier for your body and for the environment. Look for brands that are chlorine and toxin free to avoid potentially dangerous chemicals. Use low-absorbency tampons and change them often to avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Avoid tampons with plastic applicators and pads with plastic backs or lining to reduce toxic waste. There are also reusable pads made from organic and unbleached cotton that can be machine-washed and used again, which also helps to protect the environment from disposable, plastic-backed main brands.

While topics and concerns of feminine hygiene often get swept under the rug, it’s time to become aware of what threats are hiding behind vague labels and dramatic commercials. Make a change to protect your body, and the environment at the same time.


Say Yes To

- Organic cotton

- Chlorine & toxin free

- Low absorbency

Say No To

- Fragrance & perfumes

- Genetically modified (GM) cotton

- Plastic applicators

- Chlorine-compound bleaching process



Editor’s Picks

Natural Forest Fun 

girl_woodland sustainable lifestlyle modern family parenting ncw

This fun, handmade, wooden toy set comes with a little boy or girl and a group of forest friends. Each piece is made from black alder wood and is completely natural and untreated. These safe and simple figurines will keep your young ones entertained with hours of forest time fun.


New Heights of Style

sustainable lifestyle modern family concsious toys parenting

Need a few extra seats around the kids’ table? These stackable stools are designed for easy addition or removal of the non-toxic, 100% recyclable cork and foam pieces. This creates simple height adjustment to enable children to sit comfortably anywhere, any time. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind, multi-functional and transformable piece of furniture that complements any style.


For Your Little Snuggle Bunny

snuggle bunny concsious toys sustainable lifestyle magazine modern family parenting ncw

Give your child a new fluffy friend that he or she will never want to put down. This handmade and super soft Snuggle Bunny is made of 100% organic cotton and low impact dye, making it safe for every child. Easy to love and easy to clean, machine washable.


Reward Your Persistent Pet

conscious pet toys sustainable lifestyle magazine modern family parenting ncw

Provide your lovable pup with the endless entertainment of an interactive toy that involves his or her favorite thing: food! The Wobble Ball is a uniquely shaped and challenging toy that dispenses food and treats during relentless playtime. It’s made with tough and durable Polycarbonate and ABS thermoplastic and is 100% dishwasher safe for long-lasting, easy-to-clean fun!


Playtime Space or Hide Inside

cocoony sustainable lifestyle magazine modern family conscious toys parenting ncw

Whether it’s time to play or time to unwind, the Cocoony keeps it simple. This transformational, two-dimensional play mat easily becomes a three-dimensional pod-like structure. Lay it flat on any ground surface for ample room for activities, or zip it up into a cozy cave for a secluded retreat. The soft felt material and fun colors make it a comfortable and exciting getaway for children to feel safe and secure.



Why You Should Get Rid Of Your Vinyl Shower Curtain

Did you know that most vinyl shower curtains are made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)? PVC is often called the “poison plastic,” because it needs a lot of chemical stabilizers and plasticizers to make it useful, including toxic chemicals like phthalates and heavy metals like lead and cadmium, which are linked to reproductive and developmental problems The production of PVC is also highly toxic for the communities that live close to the manufacturing plants.

A study by CHEJ showed that PVC shower curtains can release as many as 108 volatile organic chemicals into our homes – some of them lingering for as long as 28 days after the shower curtain was unwrapped and hung in the bathroom! These chemicals have been linked to developmental damage as well as damage to the liver, central nervous system, respiratory, and reproductive systems.

And all you wanted to do was take a shower…

But don’t worry, you can opt instead for fabric shower curtains and ditch the toxic vinyl. Even big retailers now carry a range of fabric curtains to choose from.

Fabric shower curtains can be made out of cotton, polyester, rayon, or nylon. You can throw them in the wash every couple of months to keep them clean and fresh. And the best part? They won’t be off-gassing any phthalates or heavy metals that linger in your bathroom—or in your body.

Article From Women’s Voices For The Earth

10 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy and Safe this 4th of July

The 4th of July is one of America’s most beloved holidays.  People get together with their family and friends to celebrate America’s independence with food, beverages, music, and of course, fireworks.  Your best friend’s, your dog, favorite human creation. Fireworks can really stress out your puppy.  So, how do we ensure that all of your family members have something to celebrate on the 4th this year?

Here are some tips from PetFirst to keep your dog or cat safe and sound among all the festivities:

1. Keep your pets INSIDE! This is the safest way to help your pet avoid the stresses of the festivities. Keep the blinds closed, and put on a radio. This is comforting and distracting from the ruckus that may be going on outside.
2. Use pet-safe insect repellant on your pets. Sunscreen or bug spray that isn’t labeled specifically for pet use may irritate your pet’s skin. Ingestion of it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
3. Avoid using citronella candles. Inhalation of citronella can cause severe respiratory problems for your pet. It can even result in pneumonia.
4. Glow sticks and glow jewelry: keep it away from your pet! Your pet could swallow the plastic, causing intestinal problems.
5. Keep that red solo cup out of your pet’s reach and do not leave alcohol unattended: alcoholic beverages may be a part of your good time, but they can be fatal for our pets.
6. NEVER use fireworks around your pet. Like we said, it scares your pet and can cause him or her to run away, getting lost or injured in the process.
7. Going to a fireworks display? Leave your pet at home! As mentioned, the excitement is a little too much for your cat or dog. This anxiety is only increased when large crowds, music, new smells, and fireworks abound.
8. Continue your pet’s normal diet: while we may indulge in that dessert, feeding Fido table scraps can cause him some serious digestion problems.
9. Keep lighters, lighter fluid, and matches out of your pet’s reach. These contain harmful chemical substances that can cause your pet difficulty breathing, skin irritation, gastro-intestinal upset, respiratory problems, and even kidney disease.
10. Get your pet micro-chipped! While using the tips above should prevent your pet from running away or fleeing in fright, getting your pet micro-chipped is a safe bet just in case something happens. Your pet will be safer, and more readily found.

Independence is a time to celebrate; it’s an all-American tradition! Just keep in mind that your pet celebrates just a tad differently than you do. Keep everyone in the family happy this 4th of July weekend—including those tail-wagging ones—by adhering to these safety tips!

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On The Road Again

Summer is finally here and adventure is calling.  Time to grab the kids, pack up the car and see where the road takes you.  But before you head off on your family road trip, make sure your little one will be riding in style in one of the safest and most innovative car seats available. Whether you have an infant or toddler, a small car or large, we have you covered.  We searched high and low to find the newest and most reliable options available in car seat safety.  So sit back and enjoy the ride!


1. Infant Car Seat by 4moms.  Available late 2014

1. Infant Car Seat by 4moms. Available late 2014

  • Installs itself – The 4moms Infant Car Seat auto-levels and auto-tensions so it is installed correctly.
  • LCD screens on each side to confirm correct installation
  • Verifies correct base installation and carrier connection
  • Side impact protection bolsters
  • No re-thread harness



2. NextFit Convertible by Chicco. $299.99

2. Cybex Aton 2 Infant Car Seat by Cybex $299.00

    • Lightweight design
    • Optimized side impact protection with Linear Side Impact Protection and optimized structure of shell
    • Integrated 2-position foldaway sun canopy
    • Extra wide 5-point harness
    • For babies 4-35lbs., and up to 30” tall


3. Foonf by Clek. From $399.99

3. Foonf by Clek. From $399.99


  • Designed with Foonf’s Rigid-LATCH system to make forward-facing installation effortless.  The unique design also improves rear-facing installation
  • Built with REACT™ (Rapid Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology) safety system, and energy absorbing foam-lined headrest and foam layers on both the inside and outside of the frame
  • Made with GreenGuard Select Certified fabrics
  • For age 6 months, up to 65lbs.


4. Coccoro by Combi. $239.99

4. Coccoro by Combi. $239.99

  • Combi Tru-Safe® Side Impact Protection provides deep side walls and a layer of energy absorbing foat
  • Five-point harness with a color indicator that provides a visual cue  the harness is securely buckled
  • Built-in lock-offs for rear- and forward-facing installation
  • Lightweight and compact design perfect for smaller vehicles
  • From 3-33lbs. for rear-facing; From 1yr and 20-40 lbs forward-facing

5. Mico AP Infant Car Seat by Maxi Cosi. From $199.99

5. Mico AP Infant Car Seat by Maxi Cosi. From $199.99


  • Lightweight design
  • Superior Side Impact Performance with Air Protect® technology to protect the baby’s head
  • Integrated canopy with flip-out visor for extra UV protection
  • 5-point harness
  • From 5-22lbs. for rear-facing; Up to 29”


UPPAbaby MESA by UPPAbaby. $279.99

6. UPPAbaby MESA by UPPAbaby. $279.99

  • SMARTSecure™ System which provides parents with a visual confirmation that the seat is installed correctly
  • Adjustable headrest reinforced with EPS foam to provide side impact protection
  • Inserts directly into the VISTA and CRUZ strollers without the purchase of an adapter
  • Stroller release button built into the carry handle
  • For infants 4-35lbs., Up to 32”






10 Ways To Improve Your Life With Feng Shui

By “design”, Anita Rosenberg, the Feng Shui and BaZi Chinese Astrology expert in Hollywood, is talking about a more holistic and balanced way of raising the vibration of your interior. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese Art that has been around 4,000 years so you know it works! Successful people like Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and Anita’s clients Paula Abdul and Virginia Madsen use Feng Shui, so why not you?

1. It Takes Two To Tango- Spice Up Your Love Life With The Duality Of Pairs

Attract a mate by simply following Feng Shui tips. Love and passion involve the dance between two people; it’s the tango of two souls. By decorating with “pairs of things”, you will stir up your love life. Two pictures, two lamps or matching items reinforce this dance. Even if you are single, displaying pairs honors relationships in general and will help you with family, friends and work associates.

2. Cover Televisions When Not In Use- Televisions And Computers Emit Unhealthy Energy

Televisions are our windows into the world and computers are how we communicate. They make us happy, but they also possess strong Electro Magnet Frequencies that are harmful in large doses. Whether turned on or off, there are rays of energy we cannot see and they negatively affect our health. In Feng Shui, it is suggested they be place inside closed cabinets when not in use. Bedrooms are controversial, because some people can’t sleep without their television. This is actually the reason they can’t sleep.

3. Bring Out The Welcome Mat- Opportunity Knocks At The Front Door

Who meets your guests and opportunities when they come calling? The front door is your mouth of Qi and whether you enter through the side door or garage, opportunity enters through the front. This is why we add greeters that bring fortune. A welcome mat, bamboo shoots, bubbling fountain, spiritual statue, a bench or a mirror (as long as it’s not facing the door) makes a great first impression.

4. Light My Fire- Balance The Fireplace With A Mirror Over The Mantel

Whether you turn on the gas or light up a log, the hearth is a warm and cozy place for romance. The fireplace is the fieriest area of the house and you need to balance it with the water element. Mirrors, glass and metal objects balance the fire. Family photographs and paintings do not. The fire will symbolically burn wood elements, like a plant. Never place family photos on the mantel.

5. Always Sit In The Power Position- No One Wants Their Back To The Door

At a restaurant, who wants to sit with their back to the action? Everyone wants a view of the room. You should always have a commanding view of the room. Those in cubicles facing the wall are at a disadvantage. Place a small mirror in front of you to reflect anyone who comes up behind.

6. Art That Inspires- Lift Your Spirits With Positive Artwork

Art symbolism is more powerful than you can imagine. Romantic imagery goes in the master bedroom, playful art belongs in children’s rooms, food-related and people-oriented visuals are best in dining rooms and kitchens, while the entry is for important pieces that set the tone for your entire home and your life. Office art empowers your career. And when it comes to bathrooms, nudes and intimate images work best.

7. Romancing The Bedroom- Bedrooms Are Private Sanctuaries and Passionate Playgrounds

Bedrooms have only two purposes, one is to recharge your battery though sleep and the other is to rejuvenate your spirit though love and romance. Keep exercise bikes, children’s toys, and laundry baskets out. The goal is to create a serene and relaxing atmosphere with soft and earth- tone bedding. The #1 rule is: no mirrors in the bedroom because they stir up too much energy.

8. Treat Yourself To Flowers- Fresh Flowers Bring Prosperity

Flowers are said to be good fortune, plus they look really nice around your home or office. Buy a big bouquet of red Gerber daisies, put them on your conference desk and see pending deals coming through. Some people prefer silk and dried floras, but be aware that they have a short shelf-life. After 3 months they become dusty and lead to negative energy. When flowers wilt or fade, replace them immediately.

9. Hang Art Feng Shui Style- Break The Heaven & Earth Line

Anita’s tips for hanging art are to look at the heaven and earth line. You want to hang large pieces breaking the line to lift the energy in the room. Once you have hung your main piece, everything else in the room gets hung according to the mid-line of that piece. This makes sure all art has balanced focus as your eye moves around the room.

10.  Family Wall Of Fame- Qi gets stuck in long hallways, stir it up with a family wall of fame

Energy gets stuck in long hallways and that’s where hanging a wall of family photos can make a big difference. Just hang only one side of the hallway. Salon-style is a European way of installing an exhibition where you pitter-patter the wall with photos or paintings.


Tips are based on Anita Rosenberg’s book, Feng Shui Luck.

Her new books Practical Magic & Household Luck, Feng Shui Luck and Heavenly Luck are available on-line at the Good Karma Shop –