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My Brother, Teddy by Kelly O'Brien (as told by Emma)

There are so many things in the world, friends stories, family situations - it is rare that something from the outside comes in to touch our heart, to give you a window and to naturally share a story that is deep and part of someone. This is a story of 'My Brother, Teddy' by independent filmmaker Kelly O'Brien, it is the story of Teddy as told by his sister Emma.  Emma was just three when Teddy was born, with a viral infection he contracted in utero that caused extensive brain damage. This short film captures her love for Teddy, one not weighted down by disappointment, sadness or a full understanding of all the ways in which he wasn’t “normal.”

This piece is an OP-Ed piece that ran in the New York Times - I love the 'softness' of this film and lovely way that Emma is with her brother, how she is playful and loving with him.

link to the film

Kelly O'Brien is a mother of three who lives in Toronto. Her film “Softening,” from which this Op-Doc for the New York Times is adapted, won the grand jury prize in the shorts competition at the 2013 DOC NYC festival. 

Thank you Kelly for sharing this piece with us.

Link to the full piece in the New York Times

travel :: India - visit Mumbai with Monica Patel-Cohn (Two caftans)

This morning I took a break - it's been a crazy few weeks of photographing, lots of computer-driven work inputting new collections and shipping like crazy! So I needed a break and decided to check out Monica's post on Remodelista by Sarah Lonsdale. Monica is the woman behind the Two collection (click here for a link to her collection on Nonchalantmom)

I don't know about you but India is one of those places that I have always wanted to go... but have not been able to make the trip yet... but it's my promise to myself for my 50th... (coming soon!) so I hope those dreams will come true, in the meantime we have this gorgeous recount from Monica who is a regular...

here is a taste - but bop on over to Remodelista for the full story!

Above L: Kinari Market in Chandri Chowk. Above R: A three-wheel bike used for navigating the markets. Photograph by Monica Patel-Cohn.

Above: Mr. Manjeet and his Ambassador taxi. Photograph by Monica Patel Cohn.

Above: Moonriver, a design concept store. Photograph via Vogue India.

From there, you can look in the right-hand column for MORE places you will love to visit on YOUR trip to India. It's just such a magical place, full of chaos and color, but as Monica says, you need to have yourself planned out or you won't be able to do all you need because of all the chaos.

Kala Ghoda cafe

I was intrigued by this photo of a lovely cafe: Kala Ghoda Café then there were some shopping suggestions, dining and more...

India here we come... now, Who's coming with me!!??

Remodelista :: Ask the Expert: An Insider's Guide to Delhi from Monica Patel-Cohn by Sarah Lonsdale

seasons change....

I just can't stop listening to this... so here you go, I'm passing it onto you. I don't know if it's the fact that he looks just like Marlon Brando is singing this terrific song to you, it's the dancing (love it!) or the whole package... I just can't stop - I guarantee it will put a smile on your face though...

And of course I went on to buy the whole album, cause I'm a sucker like that, and I like the whole darn thing! Future Islands - Singles

Hope you do to... (your kids will like it too!)



the NonchalantDad: Comparisons

Kaya's Bedroom (Age 4) - Tokyo, Japan

Like you perhaps, I used to hear a phrase that went something like this: 'Eat what's on your plate, there are starving children in Africa that would love to have it.' It was what I remember as my first lesson in comparisons between what was supposed to be the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. There was that phrase. And because my parents were immigrants to the 'new world', I'd often be reminded of another comparison between what they considered my relatively comfortable upbringing as compared to theirs. It was pretty effective in helping me respect what I had. But, in hindsight, it might have been more effective had my parents had a ready access to images to support their statements. Today, with my own children, I find myself sometimes admonishing them with the same statements - a variation on those I heard when I was a child. The comparisons still remain. I'd like them to understand that not everyone may live in the same world they live in. The lesson is twofold. For one thing, they might see what they have that others do not. But, behind that is an even more important message. They might actually see what others have that they do not. I don't think my parents actually considered that second message, as they assumed that what we might have - everyone else wanted too.

When I find myself in that position again with my children, now I'll at least have a photo reference at my fingertips to share with them. And, as we all know, there's not much that is stronger than a good image. Photographer James Mollison has taken a series of photos (and by doing so, collected stories) from a variety of children around the world he has encountered in his journeys and created a wonderful book showing us these comparisons titled 'Where Children Sleep'. East, West, North, and South, you might just be surprised to find that there isn't a simple line between what we have and what we don't.

Dong's Bedroom (Age 9) - Yunnan, China
Alex's 'Bedroom' (Age 9) - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Seeing this book also reminded me of a similar project that takes into account not just a child's perspective, but extends the story to a family perspective. In an interesting book titled 'Material World: A Global Family', by Peter Menzel, we get to see a collection of images that take into account the meaning of possessions. We are offered the same insights from around the world, free to make our own comparisons.

These are interesting books to share with our children, as we have in our household. The lesson of comparison and gratitude all the more easier to convey because of them. We live in worlds that seemingly get smaller and smaller at times and our understanding of the world more narrow because of it perhaps. Books, and images, like these help us remember how expansive things really might be. And, at root, the things we might share as humans.

the Costa Family with all their possessions - Havana, Cuba


The SHIP-kite by Haptic Lab

The Haptic Lab team is comprised of a small group of craft artisans, designers and tinkerers. Drawing upon a diverse creative skill sets, they seek to change the world of producing goods to bring about transparency, simplicity, sustainability and consciousness. Their current collaboration are these amazing ship kites! They are a unique collection made in collaboration with Balinese artisans exclusively for Haptic Lab, and each handcrafted kite really flies. The kites also make beautiful decorative objects displayed at home. No ocean required.

I found Haptic Lab years ago and so happy that I did...they come up with the most beautiful solutions and fun living products (remember their gorgeous baby quilts) - These kites really FLY... more photos to come of the ships in flight as we use ours on the beach...

you can also use them in your home for great decor results... have that bare spot high up on the ceiling... hang a ship kite!

so many uses for these so don't just think of them as a plain old kite! they are not OLD for one thing... I've never seen anything like this...

shop kites at nonchalantmom here

summer and travel accessories

Just Arrived :: new travel accessories! 

Perfect for travel and more... These summer foutas are easy-care and perfect for just about every kind of travel, we use them as blankets, beach towels, beach blankets, we use them around the home (curtains when the sun comes blaring in!) and their uses are endless. They fold flat so they are easy to tote in your beach bag or purse... Pick your color and you are ready to go.

foutas hanging on our outdoor shower
beautiful blues!

These foutas are sized perfectly to use as a bed spread on twin beds. I take them on the airplane with me cause you never know when someone is going to need a blanket.... you see... the uses are endless!

gauzy summer scarves in bright colors for summer!

This is the time of year when a light cotton scarf is just the ticket to make all your boring winter clothing look spruced up for summer - before you jump out there and buy your new spring clothing just pop one of these easy summer scarves - cheap and cheerful! (only $38). When they arrived in the store we all grabbed one for ourselves and it's been our spring uniform.

summer scarve, lemon/grey, mint/grey, pink/grey, white/grey, coral or khaki

Travel clothing pieces - TWO caftans or the perfect Layla Afghani dress... two favorite summer holiday picks....

two peach top
layla black short caftan
layla afghani dress - navy

layla afghani dress - violet haze
lucky fish totes! perfect back tote....

Clare V grande pochette - natural leather with neon stripes

the perfect Clare V beach tote! A La Plage....
Have FUN on your vacation... and remember... relax and have a good time!

(kids travel tips coming neXT!)


Playtime! (kids trade show in NYC)

Each year there are two important kids trade shows, called Playtime NYC, we never miss them (Fall/Winter in March and Spring/Summer in July)! But each year the trade show that goes on in the Spring (now) for the coming Fall season happens at the same time as the Art shows in NYC - it seems to be planned that way because for the last four years we have had to navigate this with our family. My husband does the Art shows while I do the kids trade show - so we hit NYC with a vengeance, this time our son went skiing with some friends (first time away from us for more than a sleepover... yikes that was tough - HE did great, it was us that missed him like crazy!).

lobby at guild hall on Gold Alley in lower manhattan

This Playtime show turned into a Girls Weekend, with my daughter and I - we got a fancy hotel room at Guild Hall (just down the street from our trade show), had fancy breakfasts (Balthazar and Lobby of hotel), fancy dinners (Guild Hall and Quality Meats) - outside of that we worked our butts off... fashion shows, showroom appointments, and Playtime (that takes most of a day in itself!). I have to tell you if next Fall looks amazing in the store it's all because of Franny! (she WAS a bit of a hit at the show... everyone already knows her from the website so it was a bit like hanging out with Madonna! but without the attitude).

some of the biggest rooms I have stayed in - considering it's NYC
Guild Hall is a great place to stay if you are going to visit Manhattan, It's located downtown, near Wall Street. We like to spend our time in NYC and Brooklyn so this hotel puts us in a good place. If you are staying on the weekend the Wall Street area is deserted so it's a very convenient place to stay, easy walking to the Brooklyn Bridge and if you drive there is even off street parking readily available. The rooms are large, by NYC standards and perfectly gorgeous, with very sweet staff.

my favorite sculpture in Manhattan - this Dubuffet
buying Lucky Fish!

Makie gave her this hat and she never took it off... Alayne gave her some Indian bracelets, so you could hear her coming a mile away *cha-ching* and she took to making movies and interviews with all the designers it was pretty fun, but we did manage to get a lot of work in at the same time.

vintage fur from a consignment shop in RI!

We were lucky, the weather was mild, sunny but cold - so we could look chic in our trying-to-look-like-Spring-but-its-not clothing... you know at this time of year when you would rather BURN your winter coat than put it on one more time. I was lucky enough to step into one of our fantastic Wakefield, RI consignment shops before we left and pick up this amazing fur coat -- I wish I could say it was fake but it's not, since it's from the 1950's I feel like I'm just recycling. Anyway, look chic - DO chic... I always say! Otherwise, it's all about comfortable shoes, because at these shows you never sit down - I choose sneakers every time!

the Lucky Fish booth (we made it a mess!)

This may just sound like a bunch of fun but really it was a lot of work, we never stopped, not even for lunch - work work work! Now you will have to wait and see what we selected for Nonchalantmom next Fall season. We finished the show at 5pm and ran off to see the Art show in the last minute - fantastic! It's so inspiring to see what's going on at these Art shows, I always find a way for it to inspire my day to day life. By then we were STARVING and I remembered going to Quality Meats in the same neighborhood (58th and 7th) so we pulled up out front, there was a parking, and ran in for a gorgeous meal and then off for the three hour drive home! It's tiring just reading this... imagine DOING it! But with my trusty adviser (Franny) by my side we got it all done.

Aureus booth at Scope NYC

In the meantime... come see all our new arrivals for SPRING!


NEW :: two caftans just arrived in time for v a c a t i o n h u n t i n g!

Have you got your vacation all set... well if you do, you will want one of these gorgeous two caftans! I just had a visit with Monica where we came up with this nice selection ( MORE on the website!)... it's hard to choose, it's like choosing from all the best possible, gorgeous, sari's in the world!

this is a new shape for monica, shorter and more box, with a gorgeous drape

her tunic shirt with button at the neck

my favorite piece (black/tan) simple and easy

her new khadi shirt.... my shirt for the season! (every day - all day)

you will find MORE on the website... shop here!


2014 and the year forward....

hard at work... at playtime nyc

 While the new Spring collections start to arrive into the shop, Franny and I took to NYC for a girls working weekend and stopped by the Playtime (more on that later), took in some fashion shows and visited our favorite collections to shop for Fall 2014 (yes, F A L L!). It's not so easy to take in the Fall collections when all you want to do is throw out your winter clothes and BURN them! But that's the fashion cycle, and if I don't get my orders in PRONTO we won't have the beautiful stock that we have at Nonchalantmom. This coming Fall season I went overtime and took in ALL the shows possible; mens, womens, kids, home... just to find the right mix for the store. And that I did, I found a handful of new 'makers' that I am very excited about - and of course I would never part with those I love... Makié, Lucky Fish, Layla.. just to name a few. I did find, after scouring the markets from here to California that what we started 10 years ago is still my standard. I like Nonchalant Mom to be a family and by that I mean if a supplier doesn't feel like part of our world, I don't care how cool they are they just don't belong here. We are all part of making one beautiful world - working together in life and commerce. My dad used to tell me that it's important that you look at who you are buying from, support people who you believe in because it means a lot to their livelihood.

I know that first hand now because last year was a very difficult year, not just for me but I know many people that went out of business because it was so tough. But at the same time a new frontier of shops opened their doors, and I must say I like this landscape a lot better; Beautiful Dreamers, Chay, Primary Essentials to name a few. Shops that have a meaning and a presence behind them, as Nonchalantmom does, I believe we are the new landscape of retail. We are about supporting makers and products that stand for creativity and clean living - in the future I will be sticking closer to that with my store, let's just say I got a bit lazy... I want my store to mean something and stand for something and that has never been easier that NOW, with makers at the forefront of manufacturing in USA it's so much easier and more fun to find people to supply handmade things for the store. So here we go... 2014... it's going to be a GREAT year!

Come shop with us!

There are a bunch of projects on the horizon, as soon as they take a more tangible shape you will be the first to know about it, E X C I T I N G is all I can say for now... VERY exciting!

NEW :: Makié for Spring just arrived!

 Shop the collection HERE

see the whole collection on Nonchalantmom HERE


favorite :: Frazier & Wing

These Frazier & Wing mobiles have been one of my favorites for a long time, her pieces are an amazing way to bring color to a room or make a statement color sink-in with a shower of tones in a room. You can see in these photos how you can get instant inspiration for a room. Heather Frazier creates these delightful mobiles herself in her studio in Portland, Oregon. She has been quite the busy clipper... but she is making some changes and if you are interested in her mobiles now is the time to act, it's not that she will stop but from now on they will be part of a DIY kit - so all you lazy folks out there get your orders IN. shop here

These make a beautiful showpiece for a nursery or kids room and can set the tone for a color combination. Don't miss Heathers new one-of-a-kind branch mobiles are made with beads, semi-precious stones, found branches, pom poms, feathers and paper, these look so nice in a window or on a wall...

I love them all - they make a perfect baby shower gift or keep them for yourself!

Visit her website and find some hand made goodness!

shop Frazier & Wing here