A bit storytelling in the new year...

I am going to share a little bit with you, probably not appropriate by some standards but here I go.. coming into the new year was very rocky for our family personally. While the Holiday time is great for my store, we came out of it with just enough to pay off who we owed for my inventory - whew! This is living by the seat of your pants that is our life - the life of two self employed people. Needless to say in the coming year I am using my workbook "Many Moons" to work on asking for more, creating more and being stronger in the coming year.

Last night I was feeling so strong as I read my workbook and started jotting down my intentions for the Full Moon (Thursday nights full moon), I love the way Sarah writes because she knows what crazy lives we all lead and that we can't necessarily sit down on the exact night of the full moon and gives us space to work on it a night or two after - I am just glad that I am doing it. As I write things down I realize I am in a good space and the coming year has many surprises for me and that my new adventure in making jewelry, making a lot more things for the store, is going to be wonderful for me on so many levels. It will fill my heart, it will give to others and adding to the beauty in the world. Just what I wanted - so I went to bed content that strength was coming on many levels. I laid out my new crystals to bask in the light of the full moon, to drink in the energy of what the Cherokee call the 'Cold Moon' (the January full moon has many names). I made a small prayer and all was good.

That was in the quiet of the night. The morning brought chaos - it's Saturday so the weekend is usually swedish pancakes in the morning, I figured we could make it work even if we got up late for Franny's Basketball game - we "got'er done" and arrived just in time for the game to start. As Franny said from the back seat, it's okay because really this is the last year that she was doing Basketball, effectively saying "I'm not trying to impress anyone anyhow". Then we wanted to take a walk on the beach before I had to be in the store, so that we could wash the crystals in the ocean.

We took the crystals down to the ocean to wash them, I stepped into the water a bit to get them deeper into the water so that they could be submersed. Then a wave came in stronger than I thought, I jumped back just in time to trip, while holding my net full of crystals up and planted face first on top of the wave. Boots, socks, sweater over two t-shirts, cashmere scarf and down jacket - faceplanted on the sand and surf. This was not my beautiful crystal cleaning ceremony that we had done before... it had gone so well last time. We drove home in silence, I was caked in sand, soaking wet and cold - then Franny and I looked at each other, I had sand on my face too! and we started laughing. Well THAT must have looked interesting from the beach! (what the heck are those two girls doing!?)

Wet and cold I tripped on the stairs at home, dropped by tea all over the floor this was not my version of the day. Until today I had felt some momentum towards a 'things are going right in my direction' people were coming into the shop with so many good things to say, the Holiday season had gone well in the shop and I felt that there was an opening for a change. But the day had confused me and made my second guess my triumphant feeling. Then I realized I had just got my period. In Macroboitics I have learned that when you have your period your body can be clumsy, unbalanced and weak because it is basically out of balance - your CHI is off. This came as quite a relief to this day that I thought was going to screw up my good karma or my centered-ness about the coming year. Now I realize it's just a passing and that tomorrow, things will be better.

Bring Back the Cocktail Party - Hell YES!

One of my New Years resolutions is to WRITE MORE BLOGS... for gods sake! After twelve years of writing these things this has been my resolution for more than just this year. But I'm going to ease into it by sharing this article from the Huffington Post that I thought was pretty delightful and certainly very true - this may be the year that we all need to have more cocktail parties! Since everyone is becoming better cooks, eating more whole foods, making crazy good cocktails at home then really what better time to re-introduce the Cocktail Party!

The Article (link here) gives us nine, very good, reasons to bring back the cocktail party. Reason number one is enough for me to bring it on back! Remember years ago when you used to balk at a $10 drink, I used to say that's New York City prices if I saw that amount on a drink somewhere other than NYC. Now I can go to my local Rhode Island hang out and there it is.. the $12 drink! Not to mention NYC's $16 Manhattan. So here you go, the Huffington Posts reason number one.
1. You can drink what you want, without paying a ridiculous sum.
"I remember being aghast when the price of a cocktail hit $11 — and now we live in the era of the $15 martini. Even dives are raising their prices. Of course, I’m in the NYC region, where the cost of living has replaced pickpockets as the thing most likely to take all your money. Even still, when you think about a budget martini and the dubious ingredients mingling in the glass, wouldn’t it be much better to get one bottle of really good gin, rather than spend that money on bad drinks?" - Huffington Post - they go in with another 8 reasons...

I would introduce that it's such a nice thing to do in January, February and March when so many of us stay at home and cozy up. Why not get out and have some fun with your friends or host one yourself. This last holiday season we hosted a "Game Night" in the days between Christmas and New Year. We had a group of friends over and when they walked in the door they got a piece of tape with a name on it stuck to their forehead and they had to ask questions to guess who they were. Okay not the most unique idea in the whole world but it broke the ice and we had a good time. We went on with simple things that kids could play too like Charades and Spoons, most of the time simple is better when you have a crowd.

When we have parties I like to mix people around, it's not the same group of people every time, we mix surf friends, with my favorite shop customers, with some of our artist friends and then I like to throw a yoga guru in there for good measure. Never too many people, just a good number so everyone can talk to each other at least once. I like to serve a "cocktail" as people walk in and then we always end up hanging out in the kitchen - but hey that's fun too!

Read the article here and I hope we have 'elbowed' you into throwing a cocktail party!


SORRY meditation for tomorrow is cancelled :(

We will be back in the new year for more meditations! But you can do your own meditation tomorrow... It's the WINTER SOLSTICE you made it through the longest nights of the year and from now on the days will be getting longer - more daylight means more vitamin D time and I truly hope you will take advantage and give yourself some daylight.

I am in a rush to get home but I will post tomorrow some additional ideas for a good meditation on the WINTER SOLSTICE!

love - carina


our GIFT to you!

We want to thank all of our terrific customers with this special offer (for a short time only), I really think we have the best customers of all! We have gotten to know each other over the years and aside from sending all of you a loaf of my cardamom bread - I thought this was a more effective way to say THANK YOU! and we LOVE you!

*not included: black crane, Le Feu de Leau candles, Black Sheep Goods (weaving kits), new Lucky Fish + any Makers Market items are not included in this discount. This offer cannot be applied to past orders.

SEe you in January at the Million Woman March!

love - carina


Holiday Makers Market in the shop!

Now that we have a shop space the first thing I wanted to do was bring together all of our talented Rhode Island ARTisans for a shop-bop. We have some talented people showing their wares for you to peruse and shop this HOliday season.

Join us on FRIDAY + SATURDAY (12/9 AND 12/10) from 10am to 6pm
it's a part party, part shop, part art show!

Laura Kramer - glass blower in Pawtucket Rhode Island
Corwin Butterworth - woodworker making beautiful objects in wood including cutting boards, trays and candle lights
Maura - Potter by day and activist all the other time... She makes crazy things with clay, crazy BEAUTIFUL things!
Dennis Melucci - creating gorgeous pieces of jewelry by hand every inch of the way. His metal-smith work is divine in it's simplicity and grace. Bracelets, rings and more!
Karen - making delightful animals with clay that will amaze you. She has made literally thousands of animals, never the same one twice and they are OH so nice
Lucky Fish - Jann Cheifitz our favorite screen printer is here with goodies galore - pillows, ornaments, clutches, coasters -- you name it she's printed it!
Carina Schott - Jewelry with crystals that will bring you back to 'center' - her simple netted gemstones and smooth tumbled quartz crystals and cleared in the ocean and left out in the moonlight to charge and bring you peace and love (and a bit of luck too!).
Robin Mollicone - her fine art beaded pieces are the center of gravity in this crazy world we live in - she has sent some of her most unique pieces (including her sought after 'safety pins'!)

And lot's more....

Join us on FRIDAY + SATURDAY (12/9 AND 12/10) from 10am to 6pm
it's a part party, part shop, part art show!


Candle Dipping

We just made some wonderful candles today in the shop! It was a bit of a Holiday Workshop but really candle-making is for good for any time of year. As a kid we used to make dip candles, it's a big sport around the holidays and in wintertime in general in Sweden. It's been a real long time and I knew my mom was going to be in town so I thought she could help. This is a great craft that can involve the entire family and I hate to say it but it's pretty darn easy.

in this photo you can see I have my beeswax in the double boiler pan right (for dipping), and I am recycling my leftover ikea candles (left pan) that had burned down by pouring into cups.
You will need some tools, I would suggest going to a second hand store and see what you can get a hold of to use. I found everything I needed at my favorite store called 'Mine' in Mystic, CT (run by the most delightful man - if you are in Mystic don't miss a stop into this wonderyard of second hand treasures). I found a pretty large double boiler for $5 and a hot plate too. I got a camping coffee can to use for pouring candles when we were done dipping (it's nice to finish off the wax because you never know when you are going to pull this out again). Luckily the camping coffee can fit inside the double boiler so I could keep it hot.

I've been saving old wax from the bottoms of candles in a box for quite awhile so I was excited to recycle them. I also always clean my used votive candles from Ikea - so I have tons to reuse for this project. Just tie a knot in the bottom of your wick, make the length of the glass votive and use chopsticks to hold the wicks in place.

Here you can see that we got creative and sculpted peace signs and hearts

You will need:
double boiler (or some kind of pot in pot) you want it to be deep enough for the length of your candle we only got 6" - 8" tapers with our pot.
hot plate
wicks (I got wicks for 1" tapers and 3" votive candles)
beeswax (or recycle old wax!)
chopsitcks (if you are going to pour)
clean votives or glasses (you could get cheap glasses from a second hand shop to use for this as well)

It's nice to do this on a good size work surface, We have an old door that we put on two horses, we put this up wherever we need to create a work surface, be it outside or in, it gives you ample room to work and you don't have to worry about anything!

Add water to your double boiler and heat. Add your wax to the top double boiler and melt, as soon as it is finished melting you want to make sure you keep the temperature even and low so you don't burn the beeswax. As soon as all the wax is melted you can start the dipping. After your first dip you can pull your wick taught so that the candles will come out straight (it's okay and not very hot, my kids even did this part). It's important to dip - not to quick and not too slow. Too quickly and you won't get much, too slow and the wax will melt again and you will also go nowhere! They should not get thicker than an inch or the wick will not stay lit (if you are making candle thicker than 3" you need to give different wicks) - you will know when you get it right.

This is not a fast project and you need patience. Want to teach your kids some patience or the value in slow crafting.. make candles!

You can sculpt peace signs or hearts by dipping your wick once and then sculpting your shape then keep dipping like you would a candle.

GOOD LUCK and have some fun! put on some holiday music and go to town....
I got my wax and wick supplies at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, they are terrific and have everything you need.


An inspiring young designer - John Alexander Skelton

Trolling T magazine this weekend introduced me to this inspiring young designer John Alexandar Skelton. He takes vintage fabrics and molds them into divine and desirable one of a kind pieces. His clothing looks like scupltures from a time past and I can't wait to see how this talented designer develops--or even better if he doesn't and just keeps doing this very same thing!

Sometimes I wonder why fashion has to move and change so fast. I am all for the slow fashion movement, I wear pretty much the same things they just evolve with me and I add new pieces here and there, the time for a new wardrobe every season seems so wasteful and old. Slow fashion is smarter and with the absolute proliferation of way too much I like to give you collections that don't have an expiration date. They are just as good tomorrow as they were today. And nothing is more so than Pip-squeak Chapeau. As we photographed the new collection I was reminded how desirable each piece is to my senses. Mostly because I know I will use it - wear it ever day!

After all, that's what clothing is for right? To convey our personality and that doesn't change season to season.

Don't miss reading this article on John Alexander Skelton, he's a name to watch.
and shop Pip-Squeak Chapeau here


crystals, herkimer, quartz... are more!

Crystals have been a part of my life since my 20's when I worked with one of the most interesting and inspired woman of my life, well besides my mom. She was in her 70's and I was 20 but we became not only work mates but very close friends. She was the first person to actually listen to me, hear what I said and we would discuss so many different topics, for hours on end. I learned through her how to meditate, she taught me all about crystals and how to weave baskets - among tons of other things about life in general that she taught me. It was a key change in my life and came at a time when I had just started to work at Esprit (in the late 1980's) so my personal and professional growth was happening at the same time. My love for crystals still goes on and is always growing, but Emily will always be at the heart of that growth.

With the opening of my shop I have started to include lot's of crystals - making necklaces for customers who pick a crystal from my bowl of various sizes and different kids of crystals to large tabletop crystals to keep near your bed or at work to bring harmonizing energy.

If your birthday is in November you are also lucky enough to have Topaz or Citrine as your gemstone, it is said that wearing your gemstone will give you energy. I believe that each person has a stone that strengthens their spirit, or heightens an aspect to your life that you would like to work on or give energy to. Crystals are very personal and that's why I like to have people choose a stone from a bowl, the stone will call to you and you can carry it around for awhile to see if it's something you want to wear to give you energy.

When I get a new stone I like to wash them in the ocean water, then I let them soak by the window in the sun for a few days. This will clarify and clean your stone and it will have optimal energy for you. You can also bury them in the dirt if you need more grounding energy. Lately, with all of the super moons I have been leaving them in the moonlight outside. I do this with all of the crystals in my shop so that you can be sure they are ready and charged.

I have a few Margaret Solow crystals that are ready and waiting for you. Her stones are never heated or tampered with and left in their natural state. The raw sapphires I had from her were so alive with color it was hard to believe their natural beauty. The Herkimer is perfect for this time it is a perfect conduit of the universal life force, they are exceptional healing crystals and are used in meditations, dream and vision work (great to have by your bed at night, but might keep you awake with their strong energy) The Herkimer diamonds are the most powerful of all quartz crystals.

I also love this tourmalated quartz it is a super lucky stone has the luck of both the quartz and tourmaline, it also protects against unhealthy energies by actually deflecting negative energy. It brings balance to yin and yang energies. Yes, this is a great stone for just about anyone.

I am going to review more stones, crystals and gemstones to look at their properties and how you can use them to enhance your life and your mind and spirit.


Nonchalantmom Makers Market - December 9-10

We are hosting a Makers Market here at the shop over the holidays on Friday and Saturday December 9-10. The idea of a Holiday Market was so exciting when we opened our new store and quickly morphed into a Makers Market due to all of the Makers talent we have here in the shop. But for the Makers Market we are adding to our current mix with local Rhode Island talent and more... We are combining a good amount of some of our old favorites, like Lucky Fish and adding some incredible local makers that I am very excited to introduce to you. So in the coming days I am going to give you a small introduction to each of the makers we will partner up with in the shop. I will do my best to include the online folk, but the best way for this to happen is going to be via Instagram, so if you are not yet following 'nonchalantmom' on instagram ... get on there!

You all don't need an introduction to Lucky Fish so I am just going to give you a teaser and say that we will have an additional good amount of her one of a kind pillows, clutches, masks, coaster and tabletop items along with a healthy dose of her fantastic T's!

If you are becoming a Lucky Fish fan you might want to take one of her classes in her studio in Brooklyn - where you will learn how to create a print, make a screen, she also helps you develop your idea so it's a chance to share some time with an interesting group of women and be CREATIVE. Email me and I will get you in touch with her.

We will also have another CRAFTERNOON in the Springtime in the shop. The last one was so successful and we had such a good time that we are doing it again! (we just have to wait for the weather to get better so we can be outside again - we kind of make a big mess while printing).

Tomorrow, we will introduce you to more MAKERS!


In Store events coming up for November and December

We have quite a few events coming up in the shop. From Meditations to Candle making, to making your own holiday stocking! Please sign up for each class (just so that we can get an idea of supplies we need, etc...) and show up at the workshop! If you forget, check the blog or visit us on facebook at Nonchalantmom for more information!


tuesday 11/22 - 9am meditation for busy people

saturday 11/26 - small business saturday join us for some tea and cardamon bread and shopping!

saturday 12/3 - 12-2pm candle making

friday 12/9 - 12/10 - HOLIDAY MAKERS MARKET - 12-6pm
join us and some local makers for shopping and fun!

saturday 12/17 - 12-2pm make your own stocking!

We are also planning more meditations in the shop, we will release a December Meditation schedule after our 11/22 meditation. Each class will have a nominal fee for materials ranging from $5 - $10. We will be offering more information on each workshop as we get close to the dates. But get excited and let's have some fun!



are you STRESSED out?

Sometimes being stressed out is just a part of a landscape these days, I don't know anyone who isn't under pressure of the economy, a relationship that has become difficult and parenting in general - while the most wonderful ride ever can be so stressful that you can't see the forest for the trees.

I meet so many people, maybe because I dole out this information on my blog, it's the number one question - "What do you do for stress?" I have many things that I have found that work for me, but let's be honest there is nothing that takes it away, but there ARE some things that help you see the bigger picture and sometimes that helps more than anything.

My number one remedy for complete shut-down stress is Bach's Rescue Remedy (the drops). I have used them since it helped me with breastfeeding. It helped my milk to come in and I think I know why, Bachs Rescue Remedy just helps you to get above the panic/stress and to become calm, you can almost feel yourself climbing down from the tree. My kids are now old enough that the stress of a test can interfere with their sleeping and give them stress during the day at school (for my ninth grader). He will use the Rescue Remedy candies from time to time and that would bring him into focus (they come in a tin and are a tiny dose).

When my kids have trouble sleeping at night I make them a cup of Chamomile tea and they are sure to drop off shortly after. I also use Chamomile tea for a better sleep just about every night for myself. I've never had trouble getting to sleep, but my trouble is waking in the middle of the night, I feel like it helps me with that problem too. And exercise, I know that a good walk each day will always make for a good sleep that night - there is really nothing better than fresh air!

Today I was looking at Treehugger - still one of my favorite websites! I found this great post on terrific natural remedies for stress, so you don't need to take it from me... there's MORE!

It suggests Lavender, which I like too! and some terrific stretches that will help with stress and so much more! So let's take a vow, to decompress, take a walk and let it all GO.

link to treehugger article

Nico Nico marked down!

Two of my favorite customers in their stars and stripes!

We just marked down Nico Nico and if you take advantage of our 'thankyou' code there is an additional $25 off! Jump in here and get some of your favorite, soft and cozy organic cotton clothes on the planet!


Thank you for being a friend

Thank you for being a friend to Nonchalantmom!

We would like to give you $25 to spend in the shop!

Take $25 off orders $100+
(ends sunday 11/13)

Share with your friends... it's all in the family!


What next

Looking at my post from yesterday I am reminded of my optimism, which I will continue to have because it's all that keeps me going. In the meantime I will take this time to be quiet, introverted and cleanse. It could be easy to turn to other things (especially since there are more legal forms now in many states) but I challenge you to take this time to become stronger, ignite from within, maybe this will become an impetus to meditate, strengthen your mind body and spirit - to stretch, eat better and show this country where it's strength lies.

It was a very long night in the USA with the election of a new president. I've been on social media and there is a lot of complete shock and disbelief, and I have been hearing from many of my clients since the announcement. Indeed, if you are involved in many progressive ideas about the raising of our children, the state of our natural environment, women's rights, etc - then this election has been pretty shocking. But, it has me thinking as well. When I began Nonchalant Mom in 2004 the political climate was not very different from what happened today. My ideas for what I wanted to do with my business and how I wanted to present and run my business may have been a little more surprising and out of place then, but the core ideas remain the same. Needless to say, it was a challenge then, and is still a challenge now, to declare that you want your business idea to respect small crafts people and designers, that I want my business model to be a holistic benefit from the creators of many of my small labels I represent right through to the way I present the items I sell. I wanted to find things that showed respect between peoples and also respected the environment in the best ways possible. I didn't want to disregard the maker's and manufacturers of the things I sell/sold. I wanted to treat them with respect, I wanted them to treat me with respect and most importantly, I knew then that I was interested in small manufacturing, choosing to work with people who are respectful of their manufacturing process and people. I wanted to do something that felt right - something that felt good for both the people who make and provide beautiful things and for the people who would become my clients and buy and wear (or use) those beautiful products. And, though it looks like the social and political climate here in the USA (if not the world in general) is going to take a turn for some unsure outcomes - I felt it was and is very very important to remind myself and to remind any of you who follow and support my business I am invested in you as well. A good solid fight for the progressive ideals I built my little business on top of - a good fight for our children, for our family,  for our friends, and for ourselves to do and make things that we all can use and enjoy.

As always this also involves food so here's a good way to start - bring your lunch with you to work, play or to keep yourself from not eating snacks or food that is not good for your body. This photo is my lunch (well just one of the jars). I make brown rice a few times a week and we either use it for dinner and then I use the leftovers for lunch. I mix in roasted vegetables, nuts, steamed greens or even last nights leftover salad! I keep a jar of my home made tahini in the fridge to drizzle on top (that's the second jar) and I honestly can't think of a better, more satisfying lunch.

I heat it up in the morning so that it's at least luke-warm (which is fine and delicious too) by the time I eat it (yes, I could maybe use a thermos but I am a little too attached to these jars).

(I personally don't measure anything but you may want to the first few times you make it until you come up with your own favorite recipe)

1/2 - 1 cup tahini
juice of 1 lemon (use more if it's not juicy)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
add water to your liking - I like my slightly thick, but I know some people like it very watered down

blend in your vitamix or blender until smooth and creamy
keep in a jar for up to two weeks in the refrigerator (you will certainly use it before then!)

If you are really on top of things its nice to top your jar lunch off with gomasio (see link for recipe) or toasted seasame seeds or just about any toasted nut