the captured portrait - robin resch

when I first took a look at the website of robin resch I was floored by her images. I contacted her right away and begged her to get involved with my website/blog...she captures the kind of look that I treasure in kids, that moment of 'what?' and 'who?' and wonderment! I believe it's not easy to have this eye and this rapport with kids, I have it with my own kids and that's why I use them for my website, but robin somehow shares her warmth with her subjects very quickly and captures that in her images. I love the way that it is the everyday situation that she feels deserves the portrait image, too many times I see portraits of kids that are staged but the fascination with the normal moment is a beauty that becomes a treasure forever.

her background is just as fascinating as her work which is why, I think, she can capture what she does, how she does...and looking at her website you will see her images from living all over the place! She currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey, where she got her Masters in architecture (as a single parent with two small children!) where she is doing work that is a wonderful mix of both photography and design. She is always exploring new ways of presenting her portraits that are as fresh and innovative as the images themselves. From encasing glossy color pictures in plexiglass to platinum toning on smooth watercolor paper, each portrait becomes an artwork in its own right.

robin shared a great new idea that she is currently trying out: get together some parent-friends and their children for a picture party (a la tupperware) and invite robin to make portraits. everyone can share the cost of this dynamic photographer and leave with amazing images! thank you robin for sharing your work and ideas with us!

Her studio is located in Princeton, NJ and visit her website here where further examples of her commercial, architectural, travel and event photography can be seen. A current gallery of children’s portraits can be seen here.


let sleeping babies lie....

or is it dogs?...well in our family we usually don't let them lie, or they won't sleep at night. we have two very different kids (as do most people) with completely different personalities and the fact that we have one boy and one girl, well that just makes them even more different! and the story that I want to tell you about today is of our son, who didn't like to sleep much, naps or nighttime (our daughter on the other hand, slept always!), both of our kids have been of the sort to be up until about 9pm (gasp!) and then when I read stories about kids needing more sleep to develop their brain skills, I just *sigh*, and wish for that day!

recently, I was talking to a friend who has a young baby (10m) and she is also having difficulty getting her boy to sleep for naps and bedtime so I shared this story and I just heard back that it worked for her too...we called it 'the sleepytime hold', and it goes a little like this; lay down with your child to go to sleep and hold him/her close to you tightly, on your stomach, for about 10 seconds (it doesn't take much) and they might fight a bit, but that is part of what tires them out, then roll to your side let go...and watch them drift off (pretty quickly in our case). writing this now makes it sound a little severe but it's really not because you are holding them (not leaving them to cry in their room, which was always too hard for me to handle). it worked everytime and it wasn't until our son was about two that we gave up this ritual...but it didn't have to happen every time, just when sleeping became difficult.
let me know if this works for you...and then I will write a book...just kidding!


The Nonchalantdad: Did You Know?

Christians know the meaning of Easter is basically Jesus Christ's victory over death. His resurrection symbolizes the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. The meaning of Easter also symbolizes the complete verification of all that Jesus preached and taught during His ministry. It is an important observation in the life of any Christian.

But did you know this?
Easter did not always symbolize Christ's resurrection from the dead and the meaning of Easter was quite different than what Christians celebrate today. The feast day of Easter was originally a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. Celebrated in the early spring, it honored the pagan Saxon goddess Eastre. When the early missionaries converted the Saxons to Christianity, the holiday, since it fell around the same time as the traditional memorial of Christ's resurrection from the dead, was merged with the pagan celebration, and became know as Easter. The meaning of Easter was also changed to reflect its new Christian orientation.

Christian, or Pagan, Easter represents the celebration of Life. And we parents know all about that!

And, in this time of seeming strife (when isn't there some kind of strife!) here is another interesting tidbit concerning the origin of the international Peace Symbol. Reading in a post from the BBC, I was reminded of how that famous symbol came to be. Of course, I like to know this stuff, because I have the symbol on the back of my car. Apparently the symbol first came into use almost exactly 50 years ago now. It was designed by Mr Gerald Holtom, a designer and former WWII conscientious objector, who persuaded the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War that their goal would be greatly improved by having a visual image associated with it. The symbol was born. To interpret the symbol you have to imagine somewhat a person using flag-signaling (or semaphore alphabet). The Person would stand straight and lower both arms so they would resemble an upside down letter V. Then you would superimpose that same person standing with the right arm raised straight up to the sky and the left lowered straight to the ground so they resembled a straight line. In the semaphore alphabet the first gesture would mean the letter N, and the second gesture would mean the letter D. Hence, (N)uclear (D)isarmament. This superimposed symbol would then be encompassed in a circle, which of course was meant tor esemble the planet Earth. Needless to say, the symbol was fairly quickly adopted. Today, it is so frequently used (or abused) that it's almost overlooked.

But, today of all days perhaps it is worth remembering this: the call to Peace should never be taken for granted. We at Nonchalantmom wish you and your family a meaningful day!


zozo for kids!

put together a travelling mom, a couple of kids and a eye for unique things and you will come up with a wonderful website called zozo for kids, which is located in chicago (on wonderful north clark street no less!). and owner katie hogan spent 10 years running around abroad looking for interesting things and finding new and exciting companies everywhere and she successfully translates that into her store. she has opened up online as well so that she can share her goodies with everyone. I loved her super selection of books and toys that are cozy and loving...just the way they need to be. she has a great selection of clothing and we share a love for lucky fish (don't we all!!) don't miss her shop online zozo for kids.

located at 5137 n. clark in andersonville.


hate that sippy cup? here's an idea!

are you tired of that sippy cup? is your life, or the life of your kids, ruled by whether the sippy cup is clean or not? are you tired of nagging your kids "honey, when can we stop with this sippy cup thing!?" or "honey, you are six years old now and you STILL want to use that cup!?"

well, here is my surprise solution...I had no idea this was going to work but there we were at the store the other day and yes, it was time to buy some new sippy cups and I took my son with me to show him the section that the sippy cups were in...the dreaded BABY SECTION!!! and I said "ok honey, what color do you want?" and he stood there and looked around and said, "I don't want to use a sippy cup anymore!" and that, my friends, was that...it's been two weeks now and only a joking mention to the sippee cup..."can I have a sippee cup? just kidding mom!" HA! there you go!


the chic disposable bag-baggu!

The average family brings home 1,000 bags every year. Most of those bags end up in land fills. That really adds up - 100 billion plastic bags are sent to landfill in the US each year.
and as for reusable bags, it's hard...one of those things I can never remember to bring to the store; 1) because I have no memory, and 2) because they are usually bulk and stiff...well no more! baggu is here to make your reusable shopping bag more chic and colorful! baggu was created by mother-daughter team emily and joan who saw the need for a stylish reusable bag as they carried their groceries home from the store each day. not a very unique story but when they did something about it they certainly did become unique! I love them and it's easy to keep an assortment in your car or purse...so don't forget your baggu and always look chic stepping out of your market! visit their website to order your baggu bags and read more about the waste of plastic bags!


bubble kids show - NYC

NONCHALANT KIDS F/W 2008/09 (in-store september!)

well everyone I am not packing your boxes today, I am at the Bubble Show in New York showing my Nonchalant Kids Fall/Winter 2008 collection! it's all very exciting and there are some wonderful collections here from all over the world, and they all look great! You will see my favorites here at Nonchalant Mom come September/October and you will also see my new Nonchalant Kids line too! it was a rollercoaster getting this collection ready but I am very happy to say that it is mostly organic, recycled, fair trade and local! (I'll give you all the details later) we did our best to bring you the most interesting and fun collection that is also socially responsible! but don't worry, Rhonda is in-store and working hard to pack and ship everything out as quickly as possible! As we grow, we don't want to forget who or what really matters to us at Nonchalantmom !!



we had some friends visit last week and when Norma arrived she made this terrific granola that I have just not been able to get enough of...breakfast and even for late night desert! AND the kids love it! it's so easy I wanted to pass it on!

4 cups organic rolled oats
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup raw pepitas
3/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 cup raisins (optional)

put oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees. line a pan with parchment paper.

toss together oats, almonds, pepitas, flax seeds and salt in a large bowl. whisk together oil and honey, then stir into oat mixture until well coated. spread mixture in baking pan (it takes two) and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown about 1 hour. stir in rasins and let cool on a rack.

the recipe is easy to change around and add any of your favorites! it also makes a great gift instead of a bottle of wine when you visit someone if you put it in a nice jar with a cute home-made label....just an idea!

it's that simple and it is super yummy!


planning a vacation?

it's raining today in rhode island so I was just thinking about planning a vacation...right!? it comes each year at about this time..that wanderlust comes up from within our chilly bodies, wanting that deep warming sun...OK, I'll stop! well, I think that it's not always easy to find a good place that suits both you and your kids, and if you are like us my husband and I also have different ideas about vacationing. I like to lay around in the sun and play with the kids on the beach...veg-out basically, while my husband likes to see EVERYTHING...I guess this makes it interesting for the kids because they get to do both! but finding the right place for both is not always easy. recently, I found this link on the cookie magazine website with links to great family vacation spots. now, I am a fan of cookie, although I think it's a bit over the top, so for a vacation that is over the top I think that they are PERFECT! and in their march issue there are some great ideas on places to go as well.

As Europe becomes more and more expensive for us Americans, there is something in me that still wants to go there...so we have found that renting an apartment or home is a better solution, especially with kids, where a kitchen and room to play becomes important. there is a great website to find good, reasonable, and even fashionable places in exotic (or not so exotic) locations throughout Europe (and almost anywhere actually!) called i-escape. i-escape has great descriptions and from people who actually stayed in these places and really let you know the details...not just fabulous pictures (although they have those as well!). so for your next trip be smart and travel well!

(cute rooftop apartment in paris...only 175/euro a night)