I so look forward to each new issue of the smart kids book 'small magazine'. there is so much to love about them, their internet roots are not only innovative but they support all of the online small kids businesses in an intelligent way. maybe it's silly of me, but I don't really bother with much of the magazine trade as far as parenting and kids magazines go because I don't really share the same 'mind-set' as most of them, but when small magazine came to call....I jumped at the chance to be a part of an issue! I really love their easy natural take on things for kids, from toys, to furniture to super styled clothing editorial! and illustrations by fifi lapin that you will just about want to frame for your kids rooms.... small magazine is the top! subscribe (click here to subscribe) and they will notify you when a new issue is ready for your reading! thank you very much christine and olivia for bringing us small magazine!
above are nonchalantkids orange vest and waves t-shirt in the current issue of small magazine!
we at nonchalant mom want to say thank you to everyone for such a wonderful year! we grew like crazy adding many new things and it seems as though you loved it all as much as we did!! I think it's really amazing the uniquely wonderful group of customers that we have here at nonchalant mom! and even when I send you emails about not having things you are all so understanding...but best of all in the coming year we have lot's of exciting surprises! I have received so many emails from very special designers and creators of unique objects and we are doing what we can to bring them all to you! so...
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the tops of our ears!!
We love nonchalant mom and intend to keep this up until you tell us not to!
with much love and peace!
I took a look through bloesems gift list yesterday and found some really amazing treasures! one of them is Le Train fantome...I fell in love with all of the creatures! Le Train fantome takes you on a journey to an imaginary kingdom, and I like to visit often! these wonderland creatures are designed and hand made by Fanja Ralison, who is french and living in england and you can almost see this wonderful combination in each of her creations! and I hope one day soon you will see her things here at nonchalant mom!
I got an email today from pearlyn tan, and I think she is up to something very sweet. a simple business with very clean little graphic items (like birds sitting on a wire), pearlyn tan is a san francisco based graphic designer, don't miss taking a look at her graphic design projects...she seems to work on things she loves...and I love that! and she cuts hair too! so if you live in noe valley you probably already know about her! fun things on a small scale, I think that's what the future is all about! --thank you pearlyn tan!
this is just something wonderful I saw today on bloesem that made me smile and I thought I should share them with you too! These wonderland worlds are created by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz
please check their website here for more information, otherwise just look and smile!
my kids just can't stop talking about christmas, and if you even say the word 'santa' my daughter says...'he is going to bring me toys!' (she is two) and she just keeps repeating it until you respond. so while we are waiting for santa to bring toys we like to do some holiday crafts, at this time of year there are so many holiday crafts and usually they involve glitter etc...BUT take a visit to ed emberleys website and you will find some wonderful crafts for this holiday season (and even some great books!). we have done them over and over in our house and love them! you can find his christmas crafts here, but don't forget to visit all of his website for much fun and arts and crafts! have some fun--ho, ho, ho!
we also got his new wonderful book which is great for kids that are afraid of monsters! if you check his website you can see how the book makes monsters disappear.
on our recent trip to amsterdam we found this wonderful furniture maker, piet hein eek, and his pieces were everywhere...in the childrens stores we visited and also at our hotel...to name just a few. I think he is known as 'the imperfectionist' and he makes these treasures with scrap wood! eek is making a name for himself by being ecologically responsible (it's wonderfully obvious) but when you see these pieces close-up they are highly styled with detailed craftsmanship. so many of his pieces were favorites of our family but we only got to take home a bird house (which I treasure and carried through the airports and customs with pride and a bit of irritation). he has an extensive collection of kids furniture and then there are pieces for the home that will blow your mind! we loved it all and some day we hope more of his pieces will be ours. I don't read dutch so I can't tell you many more details, just that we love him! "piet hein eek is a lover of nature, a socially responsible individual and someone who admits, without a trace of self-consciousness, to wanting to make the world a better place." a quote from a NYT article on him that has a few more details. I didn't find anyone selling his furniture here in the states but he does have a website click here.
I went onto the nursery works website as I do from time to time just to put together a wish list of what I WISH my kids rooms looked like...and I came upon these exclusive dolls! and well, I just about went nuts! besides wanting all of them for my kids I think they are just about the best gift, not only because they are wonderful but also because they are like owning a work of art! ...and better yet your KIDS will own some art (and PLAYING with it...ha!).
These super unique dolls are made by renowned Portuguese dollmaker Rosa Pomar, and using nursery works fabric. Cloth dolls are a part of Pomar's heritage and a Portuguese cultural tradition, she is the granddaughter of famed painter Julio Pomar, but the dolls came by way of inspiration from her mother. I think that making dolls for your kids (with your kids) is just about the most fun and rewarding project you can do for your kids. I hope this gives you inspiration, and if not BUY ONE of these..I'm going to!
nursery works is know for their clean and minimal bedding (for cribs and twin size), and they also make whimsical furniture for kids rooms...it's all good, and visit their website to find a retailer near you.
My wife makes fun of me from time to time because of some of my 'stranger' habits in the raising of our kids. For one thing I talk to them often as if they were adults - like I say 'yes sir' and 'yes mam'. I don't consider it weird. She was teasing me the other day because I reminded her that when I take our oldest boy to school I park the car, walk him up and into the entrance hall to the school, stop and ask him to look at me, kiss him, speak to him briefly, and then hug him. I watch him as he disappears down the hallway - often he turns around a few times to wave at me. What's so odd about that. Yes, yes... I know, I probably won't be doing it when he's 11 or 12 - but he is 5 years old and it feels right at this juncture.
What brought all this about was a conversation I was having with my wife about the school. The other morning I had just dropped my son off and said goodbye when I walked outside of the building just in time to see a minivan pull up to the front where the buses stop. The minivan came to a stop, the side door seemed to open on its own and the 2 children in the back
climbed out while their mother (I assume) continued looking forward. The door shut and the kids walked up and into the school on their own. I don't know why, but I became irritated. I tell you I don't know because I can't prove to you that this woman doesn't love her kids any less than I love mine. In fact you'd have to be completely senseless, in my opinion, to not have any feelings for your child. So, I'm sure she loves her children.
What bothered me is the message she seemed to be sending her kids, either directly or indirectly. I think in parenting we tend, over time, to forget how and what our children must be seeing and learning. We expect them, by nature, to show us respect as adults. Yet, we forget that it might be just as important to respect them. I think, because many of us are so tired, we neglect how special and sensitive a time it is being so young. Never forget for a minute, though, that our kids are learning.... from us.
I had an acquaintance some weeks ago whose girlfriend was visiting him in the city he lived in. She was bringing with her the baby that they had together. I was surprised to hear that he wouldn't be meeting her and the child at the train station. She was not incompetent, nor was she incapable of handling her arrival at the station with a child. What bothered me was the fact that he did not think it important to, at least, greet his girlfriend, and especially his own child, at the station. His child is far to young to consciously realize that he did not pay his respects - or what I would consider respectful behaviour to another person. But, I would argue that somewhere along the line, an action like that will be the beginning of a negative repercussion.
Sure, maybe I am over-reacting. But, let's just pretend for a second that I am not. That it does matter how we portray ourselves to our children. I am not a perfect parent by far, but wherever I can I try to show the same respect for my children that I expect them to show for me. Try and remind yourself next time you start taking your situation for granted, look your child in the eye - see the world of learning and experience occurring in them. The small things
do matter - even if everything else may say otherwise these days. And so, if I look strange to some, so be it... they are not my intended audience. I want my children to know that I will respect them - and they will respect me, not because we have to, but because it feels good to do so.
I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season
while I think it's too late to purchase a portrait for your favorite loved one for christmas, it may not be too late to purchase some art! I found this wonderful website called The Shiny Squirrel that has some wonderful pieces of art that would make a perfect gift for that certain someone that is impossible to buy for! The Shiny Squirrel showcases young and emerging artists on all mediums, paint, print, collage (my favorite!) and much much more...visit and feel good about your christmas gifts this year...and next year, think about that portrait (it really is such a great thing to have of your kids, and much more interesting than the old-standby photograph! the above portrait is of my son by artist Karim Hamid-available at nonchalant mom)
what goes on at no.3 - print on watercolor paper by Lilly Moon - $22.00(5 panel collage - by Francesca Iannacone $85.00)
I just had some ideas for hostess gifts, and since it's the time TO BE JOLLY I figured I might pass them onto you!! one of my favorites is Glögg, which I like to make myself, just stick some yummy spices: cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange peel (rind, whatever..), and wrap them in cheesecloth and put in a jar of vodka (just a cup or two) and let it sit overnight (or even more if you wish) and then mix with a nice deep red wine (even one of those big jugs) and then pour into two smaller bottles, put on a lovely little handmade label and a recipe to add sugar and serve warm with raisins and almond slivers....it's super gift!
or try these from my store!! ha!
wonderful thomas paul plates
jobs christmas table runner from the 1940's (approx 10"x 30")
ok this is a REALLY nice hostess gift! virginia johnson shawl!
could you give a margaret solow necklace! YES!
the wonderful scent of Indu is a very 'sweet' gift! your hostess will think about you every day!
in the 80's my musical tastes were as far away from punk or new wave as you could get, I was listening to jonny hartman, al green and barry white...hhhmmmm. about as wild as I got was when I had a passive interest in madonna. when it comes to kids music there are often two worlds, the dan zanes side of things or walt disney, but then I stumbled onto elizabeth street. certainly elizabeth street has quite a raw sound, there is almost an unrefined quality to the music but this is what makes it interesting, because the sound does not necessarily pander to your average child. Susan Kolbenheyer, the gifted artist behind the elizabeth street sound, is not seemingly interested in patronizing, she treats children as equals in her music. the rock and roll sound is lifted by susans beautiful melodic voice. some of the lyrics might sound a little risqué if you like your children to listen to something softer, but I find susan's lyrics to be engaging and fun. my kids laugh out loud when they hear the part about picking your nose! WHAT picking your nose? elizabeth street is a band that is refreshingly casual.