You can find a list of my HOLIDAY favorites at Tada! Shop

I had a little conversation with Lizelle Green who runs the fabulous website Tada! Shop - a one stop link to all your favorite stores (nonchalantmom is three too!). She wanted to know my current 'favorites' I told her it was too early for a Gift Guide but what the heck, that's basically what I gave her!

my list includes, melissa joy manning, Aesop, Bryr clogs and more... and more.. .and more!

Check out my favorites on her blog.


this is what you find...

my feet are in there for size reference
Rooting through my husbands studio I found these small paintings! I'm not going to tell you that I don't LOVE his work, because sometimes I don't. But I am completey and totally in LOVE with these!

His portrait-type work (that is some serious art-lingo) are my favorite! He jokes with me that I always ask him to paint the way he did when I first met him in San Francisco almost 20 years ago! I remember walking into his show after I had met him and we had gone out for a few weeks. I had never seen his work, and driving to the show I was thinking "oh my god, what if I hate his work!" When I walked into the Diego Rivera gallery at the Art Institute where is was working on his Masters in Fine Art, I almost started to cry, never had art looked so beautiful.

And today, I found these... "Amazing!" I yelled - "these are amazing!" Alas they will go off to Art Miami in just a few weeks. But I am enjoying them now. I just wanted to share them with you so you can enjoy them too.. for just a few weeks!

Karim Hamid he shows with Aureus Contemporary


ryan roche :: finalist in CFDA's fashion fund

Congratulations to Ryan Roche for being a finalist in the CFDA's Vogue fashion fund!  Way to go RYAN! Ryan is amazing, for one thing... I don't know any designer who has won an award by sticking to one color! talk about breaking barriers... her collection of air-light soft cashmere knits is a fresh approach, giving 7th avenue a 1-2 punch of artistry and beauty. We are lucky enough to have some of her pieces in the shop or see her entire collection on her website here.

I stuck with the pieces that sang to my practicality but there are so many amazing pieces in the collection. The scarves are something you can't live without really.... Light and soft and easy to wear for everything with a gorgeous touch and we also have some of the sweaters too - don't miss them!

shop the collection on Nonchalantmom here

New :: Jess Brown dolls just arrived!

This is my favorite time when the new Jess Brown dolls come in!! I immediately call a few of a my friends that I know go crazy for them and let them know to start thinking about a new doll. Unpacking them... you have NO idea! Each doll is carefully wrapped and opening them up is so exciting - I like to do it with Franny, she usually wants them all and can never decide. We like to take a photo of her with all the dolls -- and honestly I make her wait so that YOU have first choice! (it's only fair right)

Most of you know the story of the Jess Brown doll told very famously in the pages of all of our favorite magazines, including Martha Stewart Living. What I like about them is that no two are ever alike, and did you know that jess likes to create the face of each doll herself! She has an amazing artists hand and it comes out in her combinations, her slight tilt of the eye, pucker of the lips... they are all so very unique.

This season there are some very special collaborations with Wovenplay and Atsuyo et Akiko, her Fall 2014 dolls each have their special touches of fur, herringbone and tweed. The gypsy doll is my favorite! and we have only ONE of the *Coco* dolls, which would make such a sweet gift together with the Kiki and Coco book!

This is it for the Holiday season too... so if you are planning on making this your holiday gift make your decisions now!

Thank you Jess for making these lovely dolls, each unique, by hand and with *LOVE*

shop the dolls on Nonchalantmom by clicking here


It's time to SHOP! :: and get 20% off!!

 If you say it with a Minnesota accent it sounds better... "Oh for Sale sake..."
 For a short time we are offering 20% off most of the website...

use code: 'shop' and you will receive 20% off (even if it's already marked down!)

Now's the time to find what you need and get 20% off while doing it!

not included:
jess brown
Heidi Baron Godoff
Ryan Roche
Melissa Joy Manning
w//r//f lab
Hollie & Harrie

EVerything else... 20% off!


nonchalantmom :: my daily routine

my entire beauty routine

It's been a long time since I have shared my daily antics when it comes to my routine. But being a crazy fanatic about products and creams, etc.. is what brought me to have my store so be thankful! My sister and I could not be more different when it comes to this kind of thing, she could care less. I can't even think of getting into bed without cleaning my face, brushing my teeth etc... The morning is the same, since I was in high school and had pimples I had to brush my teeth before I got in the shower or... I would get pimples! (I swear it worked! I rarely had a pimple) - that and my secret remedy for pimples; Aveda infusion for oily/acne (I think they still sell this in their stores but not online), put it on at night and wake up and they are GONE.

Enough about pimples (plus I haven't had one in years!) and onto more important things... You get the message, I am a constant beauty 'guinea pig' - my parameters is that it has to be natural, clean, sometimes organic, few ingredients and these days I like things that are made local (but if something works, I might let this rule fly). I have used Dr. Hauschka since I was 18 years old, I have always loved it and I always come back to it. In fact, there is something about it when I stray from using it for a year or two and then come back it it, WHOA! it works even BETTER. But right now I am in a cycle of other products, oh, and another parameter I don't want to have to go into a department store to buy it - I never go into department stores and I would like to keep it that way! If it's available in a health food store... I am SET!

My biggest new favorite is Aesop, I have been a fan of their products for a few years now, ever since my friends at Turpan carried their creams. It's one of my favorite stores to go into because it smells so great AND they love it when you try everything (which I do!). It is not entirely 100% natural, but hey... I'm getting older and sometimes I need some help. It's possible that they are masking malicious chemicals behind the best most gorgeous packaging, products and an amazing website - but I don't really think so, I trust them (if you sign up for ONE emailer blast besides MINE you should request this one.. it's filled with super information and I just love it!). My new favorite product by them is this Purifying Facial Cleanser I use it twice a week and feel totally and completely radiant afterwards. I have it photographed with the Kiehls Midnight Facial Oil which is probably not new to you and you are probably already using it, if not, it's great! delicious scent to go to bed with (on your face).

Let's now talk about Coconut oil, I must confess, I haven't spoken about it before but have been using it for YEARS! Secretly I was formulating a product to sell that I made, but I just can't do everything I think I can or want to, so this had to fall by the wayside (contact me if you want to do this!). Besides, I think it's truly best in it's plain old Coconut Oil form and why mess with something perfect. Do you already use it in the kitchen? GREAT, now slather it all over your face, body and hair! Thank me later :) You can use Virgin Oil de Coco Creme or Extra Virgin Coconut oil but just make sure it's Organic, take the extra splurge, this is a place to do it. You will just buy this in your local Health Food Store, try different kinds and see what you like best (and don't pay more than $20 for a big jar!). Coconut Oil has so many properties that you will love, not only it's amazing natural scent but it also has antiseptic properties as well (this could obviously be a whole separate blog and I think I will do so but for now, just do it and start using it for everything!) It's great for "oil pulling" because the flavor won't make you gag like some oils. AND there is nothing better for kids and baby, NO harmful chemicals to worry about - it's just Coconut oil pure and simple! (the one above is made by a local Rhode Island company, that's why I use it, it's terrific though, nice and easy jar to use also).

If you know me you will probably say, "Carina, why the heck would I follow your make-up tips you never wear any make up!" I will respond by saying, if I was stuck on a deserted island I would want my RMS Beauty (Rose-Marie Swift) - UNcover up #22 and Buriti Bronzer (and maybe a jar of coconut oil!). I love her products, because I can cleanse my face with a "polisher" like the Aesop cleanser and I would never want to put something on my face with any kids of chemicals, so I turn to Coconut Oil and RMS Beauty. You could actually EAT her products they are so clean... I love them and I would look older without them, let's just say that... and the Bronzer, I think of Bo Derek every time I put it on, it's super natural looking and just gives you a clean and natural glow! If I go out at night I might use the living luminizer but I think that's more for the younger set. (see my previous RMS beauty blogs here including my interview with her back in 2010)

I have recently added the Jao products to my repertoire, I love them for their versatility - I use them for everything and perfect for travel, kids, hair, body etc.. The scent is amazing and brings you to a relaxed and beautiful place every time I use them. I was putting some Goe Oil on today and my daughter came in and said, "Is that the stuff we used in Florida when I had a sunburn and it felt SO good?" and I said YES :) - side note, my daughter gets a rash from everything which is great because I can never cheat with her skin and we slathered this one every day in Florida for her sunburn and after to soothe her dry skin. I love it on my hair and skin too.

I keep the Olio e Sasso (they recently changed their name to Olio e Osso, same product new name) lip and face balm in my bag, I keep one with color for my lips and the clear for a balm for my hands and for the kids quick touch-up for dry skin, you know when you are dropping your kids off at school and you look and they have white dry skin all around their mouth... what the heck! slide on some clear balm and they are set to GO! I use them for everything from cuticles, hands, face... etc.. and the applicator, I think I am equal parts addicted to the applicator as I am to the balm! It feels OH so good!

There you GO all my current obsessions and tips in one handy blog!

My last tip... if you have dry brittle hair from being a blonde as long as I have... you need Aveda Dry Remedy daily oil, you will not believe it... instant calming of the frizz!


recipe :: Daily Elixir

some days it's green and sometimes it's yellow (from the tumeric)
 Since my juice cleanse I have been addicted to making these elixirs, I don't have a juicer (yet... I'm saving up!) and I make these with my blender. I got the idea from the juices I used to buy at Whole Foods, I paid up to $10 for some of these, I love them but I can't keep doing that... So I have been mixing and working on different recipes. It's so much fun to try them each day - I share them with my husband and we never like the same thing so it's funny. I am a nut about tea and I drink mulitple kinds of tea's every day, but this is a nice way to change things, and what if... it made me skinny! haha... I love them and I hope you start to make your own too! If you do please share the recipes with me and I will post them!

As usual with my recipes I don't measure anything so this is just a general idea, you will make yours to taste and you can add or delete anything, but try it first this way and then make your adjustments.

Carina's Daily Elixir
1 cup purified (or ph) water
1 cup coconut water
1 small piece of tumeric (1 inch) peel and cut
1 small piece of ginger (1 inch) peel and cut
1/2 lemon (I cut the peel off but you can also leave it on)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh spearmint
pinch cardamom
pinch seasalt
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1-2 tsp coconut nectar

sometimes I add a pear (yum) or an apple or pomegranate seeds, etc...

throw all in a blender and blend until it breaks all down and warms up the oil enough to mix it into the juice. Then use a strainer and pour into glass. I drink one glass first thing in the morning, I give one to my husband and then I put the rest in a jar and refrigerate for later in the day.

I use these ingredients because it's what I have in my garden, so sometimes I put in parsley instead of spearmint, etc.. use what you have and what you like!

hey... this might make a good cocktail... I'll try it and get back to you!

Kalon Studios Furniture for Kids and more....

My favorite furniture studio is Kalon, they just keep on top of things by creating beautiful, sustainably made with sustainable materials, furniture for your kids that ingeniously grow with them and can move into your home and be cherished forever! They make all kinds of gorgeous furniture for your home too, I just tend to focus on these great kids pieces. If you don't know Kalon yet (we have posted some of their limited edition items in the past) I think you should take a look (and I would suggest to get on their mailing list - so fun to hear from them whenever they create something new!).

They have just come out with this piece, the Caravan Divan Twin - which can be a twin bed and then move into a seat of whatever you like - effortless, generous and comfortable, this piece will live in your home forever. The pared-back styling and simplicity of the piece allow it to mix well in any setting. Sharing the proportions of a standard twin bed, the Caravan Divan can be used for lounging and seating or for sleeping.

It's a good place to start, with your kids, purchasing furniture that is made in USA in a sustainable, beautiful way that you can be proud of and will last forever!


'BOO' sale!

take 10% off - just about sitewide (not included: melissa joy manning, ryan roche, w//r//f lab and hollie and harrie)

use code: 'boo'
PLUS FREE SHIPPING (we will apply manually when you use the 'boo' code)

on now until Halloween!

Should we do a costume contest again? We forgot last year but the past 9 years we have held a costume contest (my kids pick the winner) - let me know if you are game and if so I am game...


oatmeal :: every day

Recently I had my cholesterol checked and *WHAT* I have high cholesterol. I was handed a prescription for pharmaceutical, even before she asked me if I wanted it. I said "NO WAY!", I know I can get my cholesterol down through my food! So among other things, like exercise, cutting out some foods (fried!) and some yoga, I am revamping my diet. So I am going to do some posts on some new things I am trying and I love them.. maybe you will too...

I don't know about you but my kids love oatmeal, we have it just about every morning (I think I have made some posts about it in the past), but I have elevated my oatmeal recently. My husband says we should serve it as a desert (instead of other crap) because it tastes so good (coming from him that's saying a lot!). I change my recipe just about every time, depending on what I have in the fridge and what is in season at the moment. The idea of this recipe came from an Italian friend of mine, who had to eat tapioca cooked with lemon rind & vanilla bean - it was supposed to help him gain weight and keep his otherwise hyper personality a bit more calm (and I do remember it working for him!). That was one of our favorite deserts when we were heavily macrobiotic and living in Italy.

I typically don't measure anything so these are estimates, when you make it yourself you will adjust for your own taste anyhow, you can't go wrong really with these spices except with the cardamom and the sea salt - you need VERY LITTLE for big taste.

(I have cooked this batch with apples too)


1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup Israeli Cous Cous
(you can use your favorite grain too to mix with the oatmeal, some ideas: millet or quinoa are delicious!)
1 1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup rice milk (maybe a bit less) or almond milk or hemp or oat or whatever you like (except cows milk)
1 tsp cinnamon (or a bit more)
pinch of cardamom
4-6 lemon rinds (you can cut them small for kids so they don't see them or leave them large and take them out before serving - I like to eat them though)
1/3 vanilla bean (slice it lengthwise to open up the seeds)
pinch of salt
when I make it for kids I put 1/4 to 1/2 a small apple diced

cook all together slowly on tiniest flame - you can even leave it sit towards the end and it will keep the grains cooking - about 20 minutes. If it's too thick at the end just add some water and leave it for a minute to soak into the grain.

you can top with:
coconut nectar
agave syrup
sunflower seeds
slivered almonds

There are millions of variations on this which are delicious, as a desert you can substitute a can of light coconut milk and then either water or coconut water. Dates make it a lot sweeter too... delicious!

can't wait to hear your recipes - comment or send me an email and I will post your ideas!

our latest sweetener is coconut nectar - love it! and it's low glycemic


Heidi Baron Godoff :: large needle hand-knits

the St. Helena wrap/scarf

I met Heidi when we did the Remodelista Holiday Sale last year, while we were at the sale I said to her, "You know, you look really familiar..." it took us awhile and then we finally realized we used to live a few blocks from each other in the South Street Seaport (lower Manhattan) - when we lived there it was a VERY small neighborhood, we are talking ONE cute little coffee shop owned by these two sweet guys from Minnesota. Heidi has this standard black poodle, gorgeous.. I always loved seeing that dog, but we didn't really know each other - I just knew her dog. Fast forward 10 years or so and there we are at the Remodelista Sale selling our wares! We kept in touch this time and on my last trip to San Francisco I looked her up at a Sheep Shearing festival (sounds crazy but it was GREAT) there she was with her table full of gorgeous thick scarves, hats and bags -- I love them!

While we transplanted in Rhode Island, Heidi managed to win the lottery (figuratively speaking of course) and end up in Napa Valley, California! (I'm totally jealous). Gone are her days of high-fashion rat race and onto greener pastures (I mean really!), her new location has given her the chance to sit back and smell the grapes, do some knitting, and yes, work a bit on the side consulting with clients she likes to work with -- sound like the life, maybe it IS! Let's all high-tail it out to Napa...

heidi carrying her knitting around with her!

Heidi has found her love in knitting with large needles, she started in that organic fashion, making something for yourself, then everyone goes crazy for it and you start making them for your friends, then the friends - friends want them too and you see where we are going... then I got a hold of her and begged her to make some things for Nonchalantmom (so glad she did!). Heidi starts with large needles, then she adds large yarn, super incredibly soft and light merino yarn and the result is these gorgeous pieces that are so versatile and fun to wear. She added leather ties so that you can almost wear these pieces as a vest or a scarf.

I want to remind you that we will have this collection only for a short time, then Heidi will take it back! (Oh NO!)

shop Heidi Baron Godoff at Nonchalantmom

handbag sale! going on NOW at Nonchalantmom

We have an abundance of handbags at the moment - so here's your chance! Get 20% off handbags on the nonchalantmom...

that includes:

Clare V
Utility Canvas
and more...

(the only ones not included are the Heidi Baron Godoff trunk show bags)

use code: 'baglady' and shop NOW!


need a water filter, why not get a gorgeous one!

The last time I was in San Francisco I got to visit the new Heath Ceramics location in the Mission, it's such an amazing *large* space - they also do work there so it's not only a showroom! One of the things I found was not at all ceramic, and I have been enjoying this water filter all summer and I know I need to pass this one on because I really love it!

I don't know about you but I really hate to drink ice cold water, it's not healthy, just think about it... it's 98 degrees in your body and then you toss down freezing cold water into your organs, I will be the voice for them... "eeekk... we hate it!", why not drink refreshing room temp water! This is what your body is asking for and there is no more beautiful way to get delicious filtered water than this Soma water carafe and filter. You can order one straight from Heath if you click here - then once you have that in your basket, quickly go to the ceramics and start your collection! Best part... you can spend your life collecting Heath... there is so much beauty!

Once you drink from the Soma water filter, you won't want to drink water any other way. We love how the German-made carafe travels elegantly from kitchen to table; we love even more how the California–made filter purifies the water to the highest standards. The biodegradable filter, made from coconut shells, silk, and a plant-based casing, is designed to enhance the taste of your water. ells, silk, anda plant-based casing, is desigd to enhance the taste of your water. Carafe comes with the first filter; second free filter can be obtained by registering at drinksoma.com. 
Soma Water Carafe + Filter