Halloween Costume Contest

Halloween night is almost upon us. Our kids have finally made up their mind about what costume they want to wear. I'm having a lot of fun making my daughter's 'Peacock Princess' costume festooned with colorful feathers... and if I'm lucky it will turn out just as she described to me. Our son has decided he wants to go for a more mysterious costume this year and has opted to be a Ninja. There's lots of wrapping with black cloth and he's never tired of pulling down his scarf to hide everything but his eyes. Then he jumps around in karate poses. It's always exciting.

Don't forget to take a picture of your little one in their costume and send it to us to enter into the Halloween Costume Contest. Just to remind you, this year - we want to offer two prizes:

Best Halloween Costume: Win $80 in Nonchalant Kids Clothing !!! 

Most Original Costume: Win a Lucky Fish children's t-shirt !!!

We'll leave the contest open until 5 November 2009 to allow for your pictures. You can send your pictures to karim@nonchalantmom.com with your child's first name only and city. We will consider them all. Keep in mind we will share them with our other readers. All of us here at the office will make the final choice for winners of both categories. Once the decisions are made, we'll contact you via your original email to us. We can't wait to see them!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from all of us at Nonchalant Mom. 

So, let's see those costumes! 


DREAM Transport

the Workcycle

My husband and I remind each other all the time about getting around on bikes - especially after my first visit to Amsterdam a few years ago. When we lived in NYC, even against the odds, we used to bike everywhere (not so wise with the kids though). It's a dream of ours then and now - particularly since the bike of choice around where we live is usually either an off-road type or a racing bike. Our area is not made for cruising into town for shopping..... and that makes me rather sad. Nonetheless, a girl can dream, right?

The Bakfiets Model (just LOVE that weather cover above)

So, my eyes brightened when our friend Rachel at Hand Made Charlotte spotted some bikes recently and shared them with us. I allowed myself several minutes to dream about cruising around town with one of these bikes and the kids.... groceries in tow! I'd be in the fresh autumn air, huffing and puffing to get to cruising speed! But, for now, that's where it stays - only a dream.

But, since I'm dreaming I'd like to tell you which one I've had my eye on for some time. I'd start with the Bakfiets version (though my kids are both pretty much beyond that one now) just because I've always thought it looked so nicely designed and efficient. Later (which would be right about now) I'd opt for the 3-seat Workcycle with the kids on back. Or, if I was feeling particularly daring (hoping the kids would help peddle this foot powered limousine) I'd definitely go for the multi tandem version of the Onderwater...... how FUN that would be with the kids out front. I can just imagine the nightmare that would create on our town's Main Street - you know what they say about us Rhode Island drivers.....hmmm. My husband and I, for the longest time, tried to think we could compromise by at least just getting the cool saddle bags for the back of our existing bikes.... but deep down we knew they wouldn't be put to use as much as we might hope. Either way, if you've got the kind of environment friendly enough for these beauties, and the spare cash to plop down for the privilege then I strongly suggest you go for it! 

the  Onderwater Tandem

Thanks to Rachel for brightening up my day. And, if any of you are already using these bikes, please let me know (with a pic too) so I can salivate at your good fortune for being able to do so! You know I'd be soooooo jealous. For more images and ideas, you can check out the bikes on Dutch Bike Seattle for a good start.


flu season is upon us..

I have a had a bit of a delay weighing in on this subject, because like everyone else I know we are all a bit confused about what to do and how to take precaution. And, as I heard on NPR yesterday you can never really predict what is going to happen with the flu, what you can be sure of is that whatever you DO predict it will be wrong... so let's start there!

In our community a crazy flu virus has ran through the school system and in one case wiped out an entire class. It varied from case to case from mild to severe but consisted of only a fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea, and very little sneezing. In adults it showed up as a fatigue that was really hard to shake and in the end needed about two days of good honest rest. So you can imagine that everyone is talkeing about whether or not to take the H1N1 vaccine -- this is a personal decision and you have to make that choice together with your pediatrician.

In talking to a few holistic doctors we have heard of some very good ideas that we are going to practice in our home and I wanted to pass them onto you. Because of the virus that is going around in our community you can be sure that we will be practicing all of the below helpful ideas.

1. Salt baths - just put a handful of salt in your kids bathtub at night, just use enough to make it just about as salty as the ocean. Let them take a nice long soak and try to get them to dunk their heads (so that their nose, ears and eyes get clean with the salt water). Just make sure their hair is dry when they get into bed.

2. Netti pot (best) or saline spray (at least) - it was suggest that these viruses nestle in the nasal passages and need to be flushed out twice a day. I can't picture my kids using a netti pot but maybe if they watch us do it they will give it a try... never hurts to try. In macrobiotics it is suggested to take a bowl of saltwater and one nasal at a time suck up the water into your sinuses and then blow it out -- it's freaky but when it's done it feels great and you can do this instead of the netti pot.

3. Gargle with warm salt water - this is easy and the kids get a kick out of making the sound! So make it fun and do it twice a day with brushing.

4. Work a vitamin C drink into the morning meal - some kids love energy-C

5. And this tip came from a reader and I thought that it made a lot of sense so I wanted to pass it onto you. Use essential oils. Most essential oils are both antiviral and antibacterial. Before going out into any crowded area, dilute an essential oil such as peppermint, tea tree oil, or lavender with a little bit of olive oil and massage the mixture all around the outside of your ears and down the sides of your throat. Also dab a little under your nose. If you use peppermint, be careful to dilute it or it will sting. I believe we contract most colds and flu through the ears when airborne bacteria land on them. The essential oils will provide a temporary barrier that I feel reduces that risk.

6. Cut out refined sugar - I know this is impossible for halloween but do your best to cut out sugar in your families diet. It will drain your energy and drain your immune system.

7. We use Astragalus for the kids instead of Echinecha because it's easier on the digestive system and we have had great results with it. But either is great for immune support especially if you catch it in the beginning so have it on-hand so that when you need it you can be ready.

8. My sister swears by homemade chicken soup! - you can't go wrong and make up your own recipe depending on what your family likes. At the very least it adds much needed liquids and a hearty dose of vegetables.

Good Luck with your cold and flu season and remember lots of exercise and good healthy eating is your best tool against illness. Meals should be full of lots of colors: beets, carrots, greens and turnips! Please don't be afraid to share your tips and information with us - send in your comment.


sweaters section on nonchalant mom

we created a section on nonchalant mom for "SWEATERS" this section will show all the sweaters on the website, I think that, especially for sweaters, you just want to see everything at once. I hope that this is helpful!

In this section you will find sweaters from:

Milo' - amazing merino wool (but really soft!) sweaters from spain
Makié - the new tunic shape which we have for both kids and women!
Oeuf - alpaca sweaters all on sale!
nonchalant kids - the vest and new short sleeve sweater!

nico nico - this seasons favorite poncho!
Makié - she made a super womens tunic! great shape and easy to wear

wonderful accessories from Milo, Makié and benk for baby!

So take a look and I hope that you find the sweater that you are looking for to keep you warm this season!

click here to go straight to sweaters!

halloween costume contest!

Here we go again with the halloween costume contest!

I know that everyone is full of creativity with their costumes and last year we had a very tough time choosing a winner... there were so many wonderful entries! we hope to see the same this year so work your magic!

The lucky winner will receive $80 of your choice from the Nonchalant Kids collection! yahoo!!

We will announce the winner on November 5th so that everyone take take their photos on Halloween and send them into us!

please send your entries into: karim'at'nonchalantmom.com


Biodegradable shoes!?

On the green shoe front there hasn't been much news... organic cotton - check... naturally harvested latex - check... vegan shoes - check... now Simple shoes has come up with biodegradable shoes! I love the idea and then I went to look at the shoes and they looked great too!! (check!)

I carry Veja fair trade sneakers in my store and I love them! I don't think that there is much in the kids options for this kind of shoe so I am proud to have them on Nonchalant Mom. The adult ones are amazing as well! But the carbon footprint of importing them from Brazil is a killer... It's hard to wind everything into a tight little package, so we do our best!

Simple shoes has come up with a line for Spring 2010 called BIO-D, their first collection of biodegradable footwear -- outsoles and midsoles break down to dirt in a landfill environment in 20 years! I love that...what a great idea! the footwear is made with sustainable materials: hemp uppers, recycled car tire bottoms, organic cotton linings, recycled plastic bottles (PET) shoe laces and foot beds, and water-based glues. I think these are all good ideas AND they look terrific! so I have no need for new shoes and I will be waiting for Simple's new BIO-D line!

visit Treehugger for more information
visit simple shoes website


Sweden's green diaper rebate!

The cloth vs. disposable diaper debate can go on and on and on but this story kind of made things more clear for me and I hope that they will for you too. I found this story at the wonderful blog Treehugger (I read it weekly!), it appears that Sweden is going to make history in the cloth diaper debate, a cloth diaper company called Imse Vimse (I think that's as in "imsy vimsy spider went up the water spout.."!). At issue here is that disposable diapers use as much as three times the natural resources as cloth diaper. So from a carbon input standpoint (as diaper have to go in the trash rather than compost) cloth diapers win!

Imse Vimse says parents should get their rebate when the go to buy (hopefully organic) cloth nappies. The green diaper subsidy motion, which hasn't yet made it through the Swedish parliament, states that each family would receive the subsidy immediately on purchases of cloth diapers or cloth diaper supplies of $140 or more. Since the Swedish government has already paid out over US$69 million in green car subsidies (the regular subsidy ended earlier than proposed this summer, cut city subsidies remain in place), Imse Vimse said the the $7 million for green diapers is a good investment.

good luck Sweden and we hope they set an example for the rest of the world.. Obama what do you think about cash-for-poopies!? (you KNOW your kids would laugh at that if they could read it!)

The photo above is of babies in Imse Vimse cloth diapers!


atsulabee is two!

I have had my eye on the projects of Nicole Licht of Atsulabee for awhile now and today she sent me an email announcing a giveaway of one of her wonderful animal creations for her two year anniversary! so visit her website here and send in a comment to be part of the drawing.

Nicole will be giving away Arielle the Lion! to the lucky winner!

She has also just finished re-stocking her Etsy shop with some amazing new pieces! you will love every one of them, but act fast as they go fast... This is a great time to get something very special for your kids for Christmas, I am sure that one of Atsulabee animals would be a perfect pet for any family!

thank you Nicole!
visit the Atsualbee etsy shop here
enter the contest here

350.org and October 24, 2009

women in Erode India

I will always follow the word of Bill Mckibben and his new project 350.org, which stands for bringing our world back to 350 parts per million (ppm), is gaining momentum all over the world! This weekend on October 24 check the website for activities planned in your community and if there isn't one plan your own 350 movement!
  • Why October 24?

    The timing here is crucial—there is a narrow window when we can have the most influence in international climate politics. Too early and we're irrelevant, too late and we've missed our chance to have a real impact. Though the final climate meeting in Copenhagen doesn't take place until December, governments will be finalizing positions before the meeting takes place. Late October may well be our best chance we have before countries set everyone that negotiates for the United Nations climate talks will get their final orders.

    Also, October 24 is United Nations Day. We are very pleased about this connection, because through our work, we hope to honor the work of the United Nations as an institution—it is truly the only global institution suitable to the task of a global climate agreement. We are actively working with the UN for the 24th.

    With creative actions happening all over the globe, and photographs of those events appearing online, in the media, and on politicians' desks, we will change what these negotiators think they can achieve right before they make the important decisions of the UN treaty. Right now most of them know the science of 350ppm, but they don't think it is politically possible. On October 24, we are going to show them that not only is 350 possible, but it is what everyone all over the world is demanding they do.

350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.

Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 390ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt. read more about this by visiting the 350.org website here.

A good way to get involved is to visit your childs classroom and share the 350.org information. Kids love to hear about people getting together to help the earth be a better place and the 350.org website has a bunch of helpful tools to help you talk to your kids about ways to stop the pollution of our planet and take a stand for a safe climate future.

One of my favorite initiatives so far is the president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, and his ministers held an official cabinet meeting UNDERWATER to draw attention to the pressing issue of climate change that immediately effects them. As the ocean water starts to rise their island nation is sinking. Their statement will be brought forth to the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December of this year.

children in Maldives


roasted beets

We love roasted beets and this year we got to use the ones from our very own garden which, as you may already know, were the size of melons! They didn't taste any different it just took about one or two to chop up into cubes and fill a roasting pan and feed the entire family (and the neighbors!) and also have some leftovers for a very nice roasted beet pasta!

These are very easy and get you over the everyday, although delicious, boiled beets. Once you peel them and cut them up all you have to do is toss them in the oven, it's my favorite way to cook things because it feels so easy. Once they are in the oven you are almost done!

Roasted Beets
preheat oven to 375 or 400 degrees
Peel and cut beets into medium - large size cubes (save the beet greens for later and see below) and but them into a bowl, drizzle with about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (I almost never worry about using too much olive oil, and if you should happen to get any one your hands just rub it in to make your hands soft!). Add a bit of salt and pepper and you can add rosemary if you want or just keep it simple. Now I have done this two ways, you can take Balsamic Vinegar (about 1-2 tablespoons) and drizzle on now or after you are done roasting them, either way it's good, maybe a bit more intense (more sweet) if you put it on before. Mix this up in your bowl with your hands and make sure that everything gets coated, pour onto a roasting pan and spread out into one layer. I try to clean out the bowl with a spatula so not as to waste anything and it makes everything all the better! You may want to add a bit more salt and pepper now... however you like it...

roast for 30 - 40 minutes and they come out juicy and delicious!

Kids love them because they are sweet, it may take a moment to get them to eat them but once they try them... they will love them! (don't forget to remind them that when they go to the 'bathroom' after they may see some crazy colors and no it's not blood!!) If you have a memory like mine, it's easy to forget what you had the night before and it can give you as scare as well but Beets are really so good for you!

Steamed Beet Greens
Clean the beet greens and chop up a bit so that it's easy for kids to eat, put in a steamer with cold water and turn on the flame, as soon as the water starts to boil turn off flame and let sit for a few minutes until greens are bright and dark but not totally wilted (and if you steam them too much it's fine.. just do it less next time). Beet greens taste great just the way they are or you can drizzle with some olive oil, a bit of salt or they are best with gomasio. But just make sure you don't toss them out, these greens are PACKED with vitamins, minerals and calcium! They are particularly yummy with brown rice!

Or a perfect meal is - sauteed tofu with onions, brown rice and beet greens and roasted beets! (just an idea...) good luck on your happy and healthy cooking!


Baby week is coming soon... please send us your requests!

I know that as my kids grow I forget to write about baby issues so we are going to do another baby week soon again and I would love for you to send in any issues that you want us to focus on and we will do some research and give it a go!

Please send in your comments and we will put together a week (or two!) of baby ideas, tips and recipes that will help you make life easier and more healthful!

Thank you for your comments!


Milo' - new sweaters for kids at nonchalant mom

I like to write a bit about each of the new collections that I carry at Nonchalant Mom, I also like to give you a bit of variety in my introductions. In introducing our new collection Milo' (unique kids sweaters) I would like to share with you a little information directly from Mireia Lopez, who is from Spain, and who asked me to correct her English but I am going to leave it directly in her language. I worked with Italians for many years and I feel that they, like the Spanish, actually come up with better 'descriptives' (that are not necessarily 'correct' English) but tell us more about the subject than if I would use 'English', so I hope that you agree and delight in our wonderful information from Mireia. I asked her to talk about food, daily life, traveling and any remedies that she likes to use. Mireia does not have kids and I think it's nice to get this perspecitve and I really loved what she had to say and I hope that you will too! I found so much of it to be very helpful and inspiring!

"At home we always use herbs, olive oil, and garlic for most of our dishes, which goes back to the way I grew up in Barcelona. Fresh herbs and Olive oil, is a must in my kitchen. Try the boring steam vegetables: green beans and potato, using 1 chopped slice of garlic,1 bay leave, 2 Thyme small strings, salt and olive oil in the water while steaming (not boiling) the vegetables…. When you are serving, add a bit of the water (one spoon) olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. You will notice the different and it is so simple.

One of my favorites to use in meats, poultry, mushrooms and all legumes like chickpeas is Rosemary, not only for its antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. and many more properties… but also for the delicious smell and taste to many dishes. As well used in Mediterranean cooking. There are so many things you can cook using rosemary. One tip: not recommended to eat it fresh, as is very perfumed, unless you are serving it in a rosemary gin tonic!! I am not a big fan of gin, but people like it. There is a cooking book I would like to share for those interested in cooking with herbs,
- The herbal Kitchen, by Jerry Traunfeld.

My favorite summer dish is gazpacho and…. I try many different recipies from hot restaurants but the best of the best is the unpretentious dads recipe…. My dad is always in charge of gazpacho!! It is very nutrient and healthy!! I use the vegetables from the local farmers market and it makes a huge difference. I found that summer cold soups can be very helpful in busy working live styles, since you can storage in them in the refrigerator for a whole week. During summer I always prepare Vichyssoise and gazpachos…. They are live savers!!
And during winter…any type of soup!!!

For breakfast I stick with fresh organic yogurt, fresh fruit, or dry cramberries, almonds, flax seeds and whole-wheat cereals. And I cut my coffee drinking to one small cup of coffee in the morning.

As we hear some old school tricks that will be unthinkable now days…. for its controversy. I grew up been the result of one and with no adult consequences. Now, I will not use it on my own kids, just in case, but I think is funny and unusual. As a kid, some times I will be treated at my grandmothers house with “Pa vi i sucre”….. Translated from Catalan language it means; a slice of a (baguette) bread socked in red wine and sugar, it is soooo good. I can only imagine how the snack will relax me and put me to bed in two seconds!! Do not be worry… I have never been a drinker!! But I enjoy a glass of good wine for dinner once and a while. My grandmother lived and dyed in Barcelona city at 86 and has never been in the doctor…. she was not a traditional grandmother, very ahead of her time…even more than younger generations. Imagine a woman in the 40’s in the Spanish dictatorship riding in a motorcycle and dancing tangos. Well my grandmother also lived very naturally…. She use to eat seeds (bird food as she call it) and swallow half of a garlic clove every morning, as she used to say: the body does not build resistance to the garlic, as antibiotic drugs does….. even before she dyed she was still walking 2 hours a day and quiet fast too.

I am lucky enough to cut all my business traveling to twice a year and only to one location…. my childhood city… but it does not matter where I go, really, I am still visiting, so I always packed very light since my laptop, documents and samples take the most of my packing space. One thing I love about traveling to Europe in general is the pharmacies and the pharmacists; they are so helpful and knowledgeable!!! Not to mention the great skin, mouth, and hair etc etc products they have, so there for I do not take anything that I can buy there…. And always bring back home some goodies. Ask a pharmacist and they will help you to find what do you need, they are very professional!!

One thing give me a huge peace of mind is to know that if you ever get sick in Europe, there will be a doctor on call to come over to your hotel room with free medication in hands. It happens to me few times, for example in Paris, I got so sick at night with a stomach virus…. Well, I call the reception and in 15 minutes a doctor came over with medicine safe for pregnant women…just in case I was…. What a great precaution… he gives me an injection, medicine prescriptions and free medicine enough for 4 days!! It did not cost me a dime; I gave him only a tip that I had to insist strongly for him to be accepted…. I did ask what will cost me if I had an American passport, since my long time partner travel with me sometimes, and the answer was 20 euros only for paperwork fees. Same thing if we walk to any emergency room in a hospital. Because I was too sick to walk to a hospital, they come over to me!!

So…. I always thing that if I was traveling especially with kids…. It will be one thing I will always be most concern… how is their health system, professionals, hospitals etc…. anything can happen to you or your family at any moment….. and what a peace of mind to know they have great doctors and it will not ruin your bank account!!

When not traveling for business I choose retreats spots to unwind…
My favorite vacation spot is Menorca…an islands of Spain, it is next to Ibiza and Mallorca…. But much more quiet, Menorca can be seen by car in one day, it has small fishermen villages, the food is fresh and cheap, we eat a lot of fish and seafood but also the lamb and rabbit are a must try in Menorca. One time we step in to a bar/restaurant only because we could smell the tomatoes from the outside… yes, I am not kidding, Menorca is the type of island where they grow their own food. Skip the port more touristy restaurants and go inland… ask locals. “Cala mitjana” is one of the protected super small beaches, that I would like to keep as a secret, but again it is protected so… we all are limited and I am glad about that.
It only cost around 15 euros per car (not person) for maintenance and only 6 cars are allowed a day…. The water is clear turquoise… and only birds can be hear…. A paradise. When I think about the expensive Long beach in NY!! $10 x person!!
In Menorca or Spain in general you can look into renting a rustic vacation house instead of hotels…. hope you are lucky to spot an old house or as locals call it “Masia” they are made with solid stone. Specially traveling with a larger group and or with kids I found it to be more comfortable and less touristy… some have cleaning services as well and most of time you will have your own backyard….

I forgot to mention, I love vintage toys and when I visit Barcelona, I always go to Sagarra. It is situated in the best antique shops area, in the Gothic quarter, they specializes in toys from the 30s to 70s, it is like a small curiosity shop, they have books, puppets, robots…. It is a great store if you are in Barcelona."

by Mireia Lopez - Milo'

Thank you so very much Mireia for sharing your wonderful life with us and I hope that you all learned something!


ladies afternoon at nonchalantmom was fun!

Last week I had a ladies afternoon at Nonchalant Mom and it was great to see everyone AND it was fun for me to set up my store for the event! I have a lot of jewelry at this moment and I had a good time coming up with a display for it all! It ended up like a gallery and it looked great! I focused on more of my womens lines just to keep in theme with a Ladies Afternoon! So I had Matta, Layla, Aleishall Girard Maxon, Lucky Fish (trunk show!), Robin Mollicone, and more...

Robin Mollicone made some special pieces just for the event...some elegant single strands of her tiny, tiny beads in beautiful Fall colors and also some silver strands. I will take photos soon and put some online for all to see (they should be online next week)!

Lucky Fish sent over some one-of-a-kind t-shirts for women that we all went wild for... and we all got into it, finding our favorites! Like I said, these are all unique pieces so some of the combination's are crazy... but crazy in a good way and I love them! I got quite a few emails from people that were not able to come but wanted to see Jann's t-shirts so I have taken photos of some of my faovorites and they will be online this weekend. We are going to try this on-line trunk show for two weeks and see how it goes.... and if it works... who knows!!?? we may do it again!

Aleishall Girard Maxon with her delightful creations were a big hit! Her one of a kind art-necklaces created quite a stir and its honestly hard not to fall in love with them! I feel like they hit your heart and it's hard to say no! Aleishall works as an artist and creates her jewelry as a collection of pieces, for the collection she made for Nonchalant Mom I asked her to think about Swedish folk patterns and colors and she executed it amazingly! You can see them online at my website.

Matta was able to get us some of their lovely dupatta shawls! I love them and the colors look beautiful! I have added them online for you as well... as I was breezing through the new Lonny magazine I saw an image of Deborah Needleman wearing one of the Matta dupatta scarves... there you go and she looks terrific! (she is wearing the rasberry color)

New to Nonchalant Mom and arrived just in time for the event is Atsuyo et Akiko! They are two lovely Japanese women who create really sweet accessories for kids, just like a flourescent fairtale there are bunnies, sheep and lots of fun little objects. They make necklaces and hair pieces as well, just those fun little things that kids love! (I say kids, not just girls, because boys love the necklaces too with feathers or keys...) This collection should be online this weekend too!

So page through the website and you will see that many of the things we brought in for the Ladies Afternoon are now on Nonchalant Mom -- we have done our best to bring our Ladies Afternoon to you too!

Thank you everyone for stopping in and having some fun with us!
(-sorry can't bring you the sangria and snacks!)


Boys and Crafts

There's no problem in our house right now with getting our son to make anything crafty. Give him a piece of wood (as I did the other day) and an hour later he has glued things to it, painted it, and reshaped it to create a space ship. It didn't look like a space ship to me, but to him it was - and that's all that mattered. However, if you find your little guy just not interested in crafts then there's always a great way to try and get them interested: try a sword and shield or a spaceship. You don't need much to create a real work of art, and the process is a great way of building curiosity. I got the idea of the sword and shield from Blair at WiseCraft who was only too happy to get her little guy interested. As you can see from the image above, he's quite proud. Now that's progress! I can just imagine my son embellishing the sword with all sorts of designs. There's always a good book at the library to help you, or you can just use your imagination. Some recycled cardboard, some foil, a bit of paint or crayons. I think I'll try this one with my son. It's an hour well spent.

Goodbye Cookie magazine! ..hello Lonny!

Can you believe it.. how can they do this to us!! what's left to read!? Conde Naste announced on Monday that Cookie, Modern & Elegant Bride and Gourmet magazines will be closing... First we lost Blueprint, then Domino and now Cookie! I'm so sad... but I feel that Pilar Guzman is so very talented she is going to show up somewhere, doing something interesting and as they say this could lead to something new and better! Let's just hope!

In the meantime I found an online magazine called Lonny, which I paged through the other day and there was Deborah Needleman from Domino featured in her new life and passion.. gardening! It is a terrific read, a little bit Domino but it really has a look of it's own! You can click on an image in the magazine and it will tell you where you can purchase the item online.. how about that! So I am welcoming this new online publication and I am still trying to get over not laying in bed at night with a magazine to help me fall alseep.... but maybe change is good!

view Lonny magazine online here


Good Design In Any Language

the lavender hippo

I spied these matchbox cover designs featuring animals and just loved the simplicity and fun of it. A Spanish design from the 1970's - Cruz, Novillo and Olmos to be exact.

the full set

I'm a BIG sucker for just about anything designed from the 50's to the 70's! In fact, when we purchased our house 7 years ago now, we were in the process of renovating it when we came upon a box of matchbox covers that the previous owner had compiled. We had such fun looking through them and discovering some fun designs - even some animal ones similar to these. Thanks to Rachel at Hand Made Charlotte for searching these colorful ones out and sharing! What fun!

the yellow bear

the wide-eyed chimpanzee


volvo - looking for a new car WAIT!

In our family we have been on a roller-coaster ride as far as our cars... First I urgently traded in my big car, yes full disclosure here... I felt I needed one, then when I got it I thought "what the heck am I doing?" -- I knew it was a mistake the moment I drove off the lot, I turned and looked at my husband and said "I think we should have gotten a wagon!?". I ended up driving it for two years, but now I got my wagon and I love it! (in the end I must say I did haul a lot of stuff in that car-- kids, rolls of fabric, boxes etc... but you make due). We are leasing this time, I figured that by the time my lease is finished there should be a whole new line of cars that we will be proud to drive and Volvo has come up with something that I thought sounded just the ticket!

I found the story via Treehugger and it gives us something to look forward to, those Swede's are just so smart!! The article reads:

Volvo plans to make a diesel hybrid car for 2012, they announced this diesel-electronic hybrid vehicle to launch in Europe in 2012. It promises "It will be able to be driven up to 50 kilometers [31 mile, sufficient to cover the daily transport needs of 75% of European drivers] on pure electric power and when running on the battery, emissions from the exhaust pipe will be non-existent. If the battery is recharged using electricity from renewable sources, the net emission of CO2 will be close to zero, even in a lifecycle perspective." Volvo dealerships, in a deal with Vattenfall, will even offer their customers special contracts to purchase green power from their utility. The combined range using both the battery and the diesel fuel is about 1,200 kilometers (746 miles).

According to the standardized NEDC certification driving cycle, CO2 emissions from Volvo's plug-in hybrid will be lower than 50 grams/kilometer. Cars with emissions below 50 grams of CO2/kilometer will probably have the most favorable incentives in many European countries. In addition to tax relief, these countries will offer a discount of about 5000 euros on the purchase price, a move that is expected to set the standard for the rest of Europe too. Fuel consumption is 1.9 liters/100 km (124 mpg USA!!) based on the NEDC certification driving cycle.

click here to read article in treehugger
excerpts taken from treehugger article by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada


MAD MEN for the Young Set

If you are a fan of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series MAD MEN like we are (none of us is sure why we like the show, perhaps it's because of a sort of nostalgic trip nearer to our parent's world in the 50's and 60's) then you'll see why it is a big success. In one of the episodes where Don's wife Betty is giving birth to their 3rd child, there is a good reminder of a time when drugs were freely used and men played hardly any role whatsoever, unless they were the doctor. Anyway, if the dapper and mysterious Mr Don Draper, is your cup of tea, you'll enjoy this little parody provided by none other than the cast of Sesame Street. Who says Sesame Street doesn't keep ahead of the cultural curve...hah! A bit of Saturday fun.


nina in vorm

I jumped for joy when I found these wonderful plates on one of my favorite blogs "Bloesem" (by Irene Hoofs). Nina in vorm is also from the Netherlands, she makes these recycled plates by hand and transforms vintage patterns into something very, very special! I love her modern look and if you need that something special, for that someone special (and you have the time because you have thought about this beforehand... ) these are PERFECT!

visit her website/etsy shop to see more wonderful images!

A Child Is Born

at 4 months

When the pioneering medical photographer Lennart Nilsson first published the images from his photo study of the process of human life from conception to birth in 1965 they caused nothing short of a sensation. For the first time, these powerful images detailing a sight that had not been seen before, people had a chance to witness the spectacular and delicate power of life at it's earliest stage. When first released to the public via LIFE Magazine (remember that?) it was reported that something like 8 million copies were sold in 4 days. In the four decades since that debut the images have lost none of their wonder or power, even if we have become accustomed to such insights.

floating in space

For those of you about to have your first child.... no wait, for anyone who understands how special having a child is, the images in his series of photographs provide an overwhelming evidence of how fulfilling the process of birth really is - how special life is. With the change of season into a bit of a colder and darker period for many of us - it's a great 'pick-me-up' when your feeling a bit blue!

Now in his 80's, Nilsson's long award winning career as a photographer has seen him develop his ongoing fascination with the human body and nature, right down to the cellular level - revealing images that could never have been seen with the naked eye before. For more information about the artist and his long list of accomplishments you can check out his website
at www.lennartnilsson.com and view many more pictures associated with his studies. But, if you really want the full sensation of his images you should get yourself a copy of his recently published 4th edition of his popular book A Child Is Born. You can go here to see a list of his other books. Forty odd years on and it has still not lost any of it's original wonderment.