8.25.2014

B.K.S. Iyengar


I join with many in mourning the loss if B.K.S. Iyengar, he changed my life when I was just 19 years old, I was lucky enough to find an instructor (and this is the 1980's) when I lived for a short time in Chicago and his practice has followed me through my life. I had been a gymnast as a young girl so when I was working and held down a job yoga was the perfect outlet for my limber body. It's wonderful today that so many young people are into yoga and moving their bodies, meditating and living a more spiritual life and this all may be due to Mr. Iyengar who practiced a full approach to yoga and didn't segment it into different practices. I would hate to think of this world without him and his teachings. I mourn the loss of Mr. Iyengar but the light that he brought to my heart and mind will always shine brightly thanks to this wonderful man, who helped so many.

If you would like to collectively share in the passing of MR. Iyengar there is the suggestion of the following:

This  coming Tuesday, August 26th , IYNAUS [The Iyengar Yoga National Association of The United States], has invited its members and other practitioners across the continent for a collective commemoration in an expression of gratitude to B.K.S Iyengar for what he brought to our lives and the lives of others:
 
"We know that many of you have already been attending or planning commemorative gatherings, but we have also heard from members that they would like for there to be an event that brings us together as practitioners across the continent.
 
We suggest that on next Tuesday, August 26, 2014, at 8:30 pm EDT (7:30 pm Central, 6:30 p.m Mountain, 5:30 p.m. Pacific) as many of us as possible, in our own practice spaces or at our yoga schools and institutes, practice the following sequence of asanas (except for Tadasana, we leave the timings to your best judgment). IYNAUS

Tadasana - 3 minutes
Uttanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Utthita Trikonasana to the right and to the left
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Uttanasana
Tadasana - 3 minutes

5 minutes seated quietly
“It is essential to master the art of standing correctly. One thousand things that apply to Tadasana apply to every other pose. See how much your intelligence has to peep in, has to go in, even to understand tadasana? When truly in tadasana, one feels light in body and the mind acquires agility.” BKS Iyengar
 
 “Like rain, he touched all of us equally.” Geeta Iyengar
 
I remember I was taught this about tadasana early on and whenever I stand in a queue or anywhere for a long period of time, tadasana comes to my mind and I bring my body together and meditate - Thank you B.K.S Iyengar for all that you taught me, my life would be small without your teachings.
 
Here are some short items from NPR about B.K.S Iyengar if you are not already familiar with him and if you are lucky enough to live in Boston you can go to the Studio of Karin Stephan, she is one of the most comprehensive teachers in the ways of Iyengar (I call her my guru because somehow my life leads a path to her when I need it, and she straightens me out).
 
 

8.03.2014

N E W :: Clare V just arrived!


click here to shop the new Clare V Fall collection


jess brown design :: womens collection


jess brown drawstring slip
Our favorite creator/designer Jess Brown has made her way into womens clothing, not in the normal way -- why would Jess do that... She is making a collection of wear-now clothing that doesn't follow the rules of fashion. It's made for the person who doesn't necessarily follow fashion - she just has great style and does what she wants (so does Jess herself!). I love all of her pieces because once you buy them you will throw them on and never take them off! You might throw something else on top, like a cashmere or alpaca sweater or your favorite jacket but her pieces will become a part of you.

Jess Brown summer rag doll with Lulu & Pip book

Most of you know Jess Brown through her most delightful dolls, if you don't have one... get one! They will make you smile and there is nothing better than seeing your kids sleep with these soft and cuddly dolls. I will admit, I know some people who collect them and put them on shelves, nothing wrong with that but they make the perfect girls best friend! they fit in a backpack, they cuddle in bed and on a side note from me.. they are easy to make clothing for, kids can almost do it themselves. I suggest you start with a doll and a book, just to give your girl the idea of how these dolls become your favorite companion. Both of the books, Kiki & Coco in Paris or the new book Lulu & Pip make a great gift together with the doll! (shop all of the above here)

So you see how it's all about something that becomes part of your life... That's just the way that Jess is! Recently we had a short conversation about the womens collection and about her life that I thought I would share with you so that you can feel a bit of the Jess Brown life!

shop the trunk show here

jess brown pintuck slip
jess brown pocket caftan

 CS: what was your inspiration to start your womens collection?
JB: The inspiration for the women's collection was mainly an effort to create patterns from antique pieces that I had collected over the years at flea markets. I was wearing these irreplaceable things thread bare. Once the patterns were in the works, I had decided to change them slightly and put more modernity in to them.

jess brown drawstring dress

CS: I think many designers make their collection ultimately for themselves, but to me your collection is so universal, it's pieces seem to be part of a lifestyle, without a season, I just layer things on top of each other - was that your intention? Because you are such a tiny person, I think of you as a gorgeous pixie fairy - but your collection really works for everyone. (photo above is jess in the the drawstring dress)
JB: That was totally my intension! You got it!

CS: You are so lucky to live in the sweet town of Petaluma, CA. I am sure that you cook fresh and delicious food - what is your favorite thing to cook that your family loves... all that...
JB: I do like cooking a lot and we are so lucky to live in Sonoma county. We can buy everything we eat locally which is so special. Lately we've been making fish tacos non stop... Summer food! We use locally caught fish, what ever is available. Then we create a marinade with seasoned rice wine vinegar, cilantro, red onion, lime. Sriatcha. We grill the fish after marinating for an hour or so. Then serve in small flour tortillas.

CS: Do you follow any kind of food regime? Paleo... Vegan...
JB: I don't follow any regime at all. I'm mostly interested in buying local and fresh. Knowing where our food comes from is what I stick to.

CS: When you travel with your family where do you like to go
JB: The kids are just in their teens. We generally do beach trips . This is a group of surfers!

CS: Do you have certain things you can't live without in your home, like you always have a family dinner together, or you always spend sundays together? 
JB: Family dinner is number one on the list of what's important in my house. Especially with the teenage thing happening! I see them a bit less during the day now that they are older. Dinner is where now matter what, we all connect. Weekends are also family time. Although it's getting harder to keep that going as they are getting older. We do lots of road trips and beach days which keeps us all close.
Thank you Jess for spending some time with us and we love you and the creativity that you share with all of us! 


Click here to shop the JESS BROWN TRUNK SHOW!

8.01.2014

kickstarter :: Najla lingerie by Emma Bowen


Maybe you are already a pro at kickstarter or maybe this is your first time hearing about it. Kickstarter is a place to get your own business started, it's like being a mini investor. You can get the feeling of an angel investor by just visiting their website. Recently I was contacted by Emma Bowen showing off her company Najla - it's a gorgeous line of organic cotton lingerie. Watch her video here to get the idea, it might be a nice place to test out the kickstarter waters. She is working with organic cotton, designing the pieces herself - made by women, for women. She offers various packages that include her production if she can get her project funded (she's pretty darn close!).

here's the link... check it out!

7.28.2014

recipes: Alkikinger


I don't know what these are called here but I had them in Italy and I will never forget the flavor. They only happen at a certain time of year (I think it was in October?) or maybe it was now in the summertime, at any rate, I had them once and loved them! I didn't know what they were called so I had to ask my Swedish friend, who lives in Italy and she said maybe the word is German (around the world there...). They are called Alkikinger.

So when I was at the Farmers Market over the weekend I found these... a friend said that they are Cape Gooseberries, but even at the Farmers Market they were simply labeled as "lanterns" but I had a feeling that I knew what they were... they weren't as plump as the ones I had in Italy but they were delicious!


We hardly made it home without eating the whole bag! We all loved them even the kids, and when I said I was going to dip them in chocolate - we all together went... "OOooohhh!"

I simply peeled back the 'lantern' and then dipped them in chocolate... Delicious! I think they would make such a nice party treat! If I made them again for a party I would probably dip they 2-3 times. But I used a very nice, high quality dark Belgian chocolate... YUM!

(kids liked them too, but not as much as I did...)

Alkikinger

recipes: Summer pesto


There is no easier, yummier dish in the summertime (or anytime these days) than PESTO! I have been making it since the days I lived in Italy, there I kept it very traditional and since I was macrobiotic at that time I used to make it without dairy so no Parmesan (also delicious!).

I grow my own basil but I swear it's never enough so I get big bunches of organic basil at the farmers market too. I have on of those small handy food processors which makes this whole process easy and hardly any mess. I never measure so I will just speak in 'handfuls' in my recipe and you make your adjustment depending on your taste and your families likes and dislikes.

SUMMER PESTO

3-4 cups fresh organic basil (stems removed)
1-2 cups parsley
Handful of pine nuts* good quality (I explain why later)
Handful of Parmesan
Salt & pepper (I like lots of pepper)
Good quality olive oil (makes a big difference in pesto!)
Optional: garlic clove (I'll explain later)
One small head broccoli cut into small pieces 

Cook your favorite pasta, I like curly or elephants ears so that the pesto gets into the yummy crevices, but I also made one of my best pestos with orzo (there is a whole wheat biodynamic one that's so good!) I cut the broccoli into small pieces and throw in at the end of the pasta cooking (one pan and easier) - remember to save some pasta water aside (it's good luck) when you drain in case you need to add to pesto.

And make enough for leftovers - day-old pesto is so great!


I stuff my small processor with basil until it's full and then I add a handful of parsley. I put parsley in everything in the summertime, it's SO good for you and makes anything you make tastier! My kids love it too. Add the pine nuts* and Parmesan and buzz, slowly add olive oil until it becomes a nice thick consistency. Some people like it thin and runny but I feel like it sticks to the pasta nicely when it's thick. Remember you can add your good quality olive oil later, when you are tossing the pasta, if you want more.

Toss the pasta + pesto + broccoli and your done! You can top with some toasted pine nuts. And add more salt and pepper to taste. It's that simple! And your meal is done! You have all your good groups and it's delicious!


I love to serve this with a delicious very cold Lambrusco! I found this one that I really love and bring it to all the summer parties, everyone laughs.. Until they taste the slightly bubbly freshness, and they fall in love!

#pine nuts - make SURE you do not buy pine nuts from Thailand, they should be Italian. There is this crazy thing that can happen with bad quality pine nuts that will give you a metal taste, that is impossible to get rid of for about a week! All you need is one bad nut and POW you will know it when it happens.. It's totally weird.

Happy cooking!!

7.22.2014

it's time to take and EXTRA 20% off!!


It's that time... markdowns are getting bigger and before we do that we like to give all you folks that read out blog the BEST chance to save on your favorite things... those items you have been watching are now an EXTRA 20% OFF!

Take an EXTRA 20% OFF already on sale items for a short time only!

use code: 'sun20' at checkout and your 20% off will be applied to your order

for a short time... this extra 20% ends soon!

shop now... www.nonchalantmom.com

7.19.2014

Great book! :: Yes, Chef! By Marcus Samuelsson


I just finished this book and it's so great! You will love it and he singlehandedly makes you want to be a better person. His story is a journey and the food... Wonderful! Get it! (Thanks for the suggestion Patty!)

Instagram!

instagram is fun, save yourself and get a pair of glasses...

A while back I posted about Pinterest, which I love for other reasons but I have to say that Instagram is a daily hit for me. Pinterest is a place I go for inspiration, images, crafts, recipes, etc. Instagram on the other hand is a way to keep in contact with my friends in business (or photographers) and get inspired in my work life! and get inspiration on a daily basis. I post on what is going on in my store, impromptu sales and new things coming in... and then a bit of family fun while we are at it! I post on our travels and local things going on in Rhode Island.

I have quite a few friends and family who say that they don't want to get caught up in the pinterest, instagram, twitter, etc.. craze and I totally get that, but I like instagram because you can stay just as involved as you want, which for some means once a week or even once a month (my sister)... any way you look at it it's your decision (just make sure you don't make it alert you every time someone posts). You can be as involved as you want... at the moment I am following a very inspiring bunch, a couple of people have asked me who I follow (just to get them started) so here's my list of favorites right now:


hackwithdesign - Lisa Hackwith has a lovely feed
kaufmannmerchantile - great store!
ruschmeyers - because they are my favorite place on the planet
tortoisegeneralstore - my favorite store for home goods
tartinebaker - delicious SF bakery
craftmanwolves - I started for recipes.. but now I just love their feed
absinthemindedswede - just nice photos many of sweden
brooklynballooncompany - balloons and more
shinotakeda - pottery maker
coffeeshopcorners - just what it says photos of coffee shop corners
nativetextile - a gorgeous weaver
handcraftstudioschool - just what you think... crafts and things to do!
horsesatelier - love them! (clothing - shopping)
zenbunni - love their chocolates! (los angeles)
bluecollarart - artist jimmy sheehan
curated_by - creative director nice feed
mwmmpls - minneapolis designer
manrepeller - she's just funny - millions of followers!
cassblackbird - nice feed
jetsetterproblems - just what you would think travels
voices_of_industry - beautiful weaver
alexandrasklar - nice feed
hatchery - this is one of my FAVORITES follow them... great small recipe films etc...
_sarahnguyen_ - very nice feed
canarygrey - another minneapolis photographer I like
waxsurfco - nice surfing photos
mohawkgeneralstore - one of my favorite stores...
dramapothecary - LOVE these guys... + good drink recipes
alxgrossmn - creative director Bon Appetit
theamericanedit - beautiful feed lots of followers! (I think she's a Minnesotan too!)
kalonstudios - best furniture makers!
witanddelight_ - nice feed loads of followers
kylieturley - fun cute photos
lapetitemag - best kids magazine!
papiermachemagazine - nice kids magazine again!
blockshoptextiles - nice hand printing
what_my_daughter_wore - gorgeous drawings by a mom of her girls
rapo4 - editor in chief Bon Appetit mag
pilar_guzman - editor in chief Traveler
Yolanda Edwards - creative director Traveler (she also has a great kids blog travelswithclara.com)
florencerolando - pirouette blog editor and founder
girardstudio - alexander girard prints
pirouettekids - florences blog
aureus_art - my husbands gallery

Then I follow all of my vendors and some of them prove to be hilarious and so fun to be in contact with on a daily basis!!
ryan_roche_ny
twonewyork
luckyfishjann
goatmilknyc
studiodeseo (she's one of my favorites!)
clarevivier another fantastic instagrammer!
pollywales (I don't carry her jewelry but I love it and I love to see her pieces on instagram too)
jessekamm (I don't sell her either but love her clothing!)
elephantceramics - love these ceramics!
niconicoclothing
wovenplay_
jessbrowndesign
makie_clothier
wwake - coming soon to nonchalantmom (love her jewelry)

I will also follow my favorite writers, stores, fashion editors, etc... it's all in fun! But remember part of the fun is that you also share your photos - it's a little funny when people follow but don't share... I'm just sayin'


and don't forget to follow ME!! nonchalantmom
see you on instagram!

7.14.2014

summer reads :: 2014

I am a big fan of nonfiction and so when I saw this list by Flavorwire I knew it was going to be good... maybe it can help you find a good summer book too!

The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2014.. so far... By














scheduling your kids summer

back yard shenanigans

It usually happens just before school ends, the mad rush to sign your kids up for camps and I'll admit once I hear other parents doing it, I jump in and read through my list of options and trot on down the the Neighborhood Guild and sign them up! I like them to learn skills and activities that I hope that they will use in the future... and I usually feel guilty when I can't sign them up for more. But this article in Treehugger made me feel better, and I think there are a lot of good points to be made. I have seen my kids spend the entire day on the tire swing in the back yard and not come in until dark - I LOVE to see that and it does make me remember that's what summer is all about! It's not a schedule full of a litany of camps it's just that time to wander around in the 'vacant lot' or back yard and do STUFF.

Here is a link to the article.

Each summer is different as the kids have been growing and changing. My twelve year old son can read for hours, but my 9 year old daughter... it's like pulling teeth. I have some tricks in my back pocket just in case, I like to set up a tent in the back yard which turns into hours and days of fun. A tire swing went sitting unused until this year and now it's a constant thrill for my daughter. What I am trying to say is don't give up and sometimes it works best if you just leave it there for them to discover. I bought a sprinkler and they figured out where, how and the game of setting it up just right.

This article just shows the merits of unscheduled play and fun, so don't feel bad if you are not sending your kids to camp like everyone else... it's okay! I especially liked what one New Zealand Principal did:

"One principal in New Zealand, however, has gone against the grain, tossing out all playground rules at Swanson School in Auckland. Kids can play with the dismantled parts of the play equipment, build their own structures, flip tires, and climb trees. The results have been wonderfully positive:

“Fewer children were getting hurt on the playground. Students focused better in class. There was also less bullying, less tattling. Incidents of vandalism had dropped off.”

Now that's what I call some a real down-home, grass-roots involved principal!

link to treehugger article.

7.10.2014

wolfechild midsummer sale!


It's that time of year when everyone gets out and has their sample sales and whatever sales... One of my favorites is when Wolfechild let's us all jump in! right now she is having her Midsummer sale and if your kids are baby - 2/4 year you are SET! there are some amazing things here...


And one of these days Claire is going to get it together and do a collection with me! But in the meantime shop with her on her website!





shop the website here

Summer Sale is ON!


The SUMMER SALE is now going ON... and I just took new markdowns!!
(prices as marked)

SHOP NOW!

sunscreens


I try to be all relaxed about it but I just know how harmful some of these sprays and chemical-laden sunscreens can be so it's hard to keep my mouth shut. But as soon as someone asks me, what kind of sunscreen am I using I get my chance to launch into the weary troubles of some of these sunscreens and to my surprise even the most healthy eaters do no realize what they are putting on their skin and then going out into the sun and cooking in it... I am no expert, but I really trust the folks at the Environmental Working Group and I check my products out with them on their website.

HERE IS A LINK TO THEIR GUIDE "SKIN DEEP"
through the link you can also download their SKIN DEEP app and have your product answers on-the-go! Because a lot of times your sunscreen is a last minute purchase, I can't tell you the amount of times I have been in a tropical place (Florida) and couldn't find a seriously non-toxic sunscreen.


At the moment we are using Aubrey - they have a very good rating on the Skin Deep cosmetics database, with almost the lowest (to none) rating on harmful chemicals. And it stays on pretty well in the water. I am adverse to using tons of sunscreen so we either go to the beach in the early in the morning or in the evening but if we have to we use Aubrey.


If it's a day at the beach we are after then I take a Hollie & Harrie Sombrilla with me (which I sell on the website) it just gives you a place to get out of the sun when you can't take it anymore - or if you are like me you just lay under the darn thing the whole time and hang out! - it's Perfect - problem solved!

At any rate I just think it's a good idea to be aware of what's out there and if there is something that is less-toxic then why NOT!?

The database is also good to check out your cosmetics.. don't stay in the dark...

have a great day at the BEACH!