in 17 years what will you be doing....

17 years....???

At Christmas my friend Tina said "We have known each other for 17 years, did you ever imagine this is what we would be doing 17 years ago?" Well ever since she said this it's been on my mind and I have been thinking, hhhmmm 17 years from now...??

I don't often make New Years resolutions, but I do like the idea of thinking about what I will be doing in the next five years.. at least! and then of course once you have the direction of five years, the 17 comes easier. It's a good exercise to get yourself ready for the coming year.

I just saw the movie "It's Complicated" and in 17 years... this wouldn't be so bad, lovely children (almost adults by then),
beautiful bakery, AMAZING home, look as superbly wonderful as Meryl Streep, a husband (okay he is an 'ex' but anyway) AND an architect boyfriend... yes, this is sounding like something I would be interested in but maybe in more like... 10 years...

All jokes aside, Good luck and I hope that you come up with something GOOD! Shoot for the moon!


recipe: cardamom rolls

I really meant to post this recipe for cardamom rolls before Christmas because this is a traditional thing that we make for Christmas, but I didn't make mine until christmas day so... without a photo--it's not so interesting. My mom usually makes these yummy cardamom rolls and since she didn't make it here for Christmas I was forced to make my own... they were okay, but lacking in my moms secret... I still don't know what it is but hers are definitely better!

I think that if you are a baker these will be a snap. Cardamom rolls are a traditional Swedish Christmas treat--cardamom bread or rolls but either way... the smell of cardamon in the house really makes a cold snowy day fell like a Holiday. This year I ended up making six loaves of cardamom bread and then this one batch of rolls because I know the kids couldn't live without them! The loaves are beautiful because I braid them and this turned out to be my gift to my friends this year (sorry forgot to photograph before I gave them away!). It was my first time baking bread and I thought it was really fun and much easier that I had anticipated.

This recipe is from a Swedish cookbook that I could not do without! "Swedish Cakes and Cookies" which has been translated from Swedish and uses American measurements (you can buy it here from the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis)

oven temp: 450F or 425F for a convection oven
2/3 cup stick margarine or butter (butter!)
2 cups milk
1 3/4 ounces fresh yeast or 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

4 ounces almond paste
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
3 tablespoons stick margarine or butter

brushing and garnish:
1 egg, lightly beaten
pearl sugar

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the milk and heat until lukewarm, around 100F. If using active dry yeast, heat to 115F.
Crumble the yeast in a large bowl and add some of the milk mixture, stirring until disolved. Add the remaining liquid, salt, sugar, cardamom and around 2/3 of the flour, mixing to combine.
Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Add more flour, but reserve 1/2-3/4 cup. The dough is ready when it no onger sticks to the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough so that it doesn't dry out. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm draft-free place. Let rise until doubled.
Punch down the dough and knead it into he bowl for a few minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in the remaining flour. The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and hands. If the dough is cut, the exposed surface should have even pores. If there are big holes, it hasn't been kneaded enough.

Grate the almond paste and mix with the cardamom and butter until smooth.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a flat rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread the filling over the dough. Roll up and cut into even slices. Place them, cut side up, in paper baking cups or on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cover and let rise until doubled. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. (my mom used frosting (so I did too) I put it on afterwords when they were slighlty warm.. that may be a bit of an American touch, I think it's because it used to be hard to find the pearl sugar)
Bake on the center oven rack for 8-10 minutes.

I hope that you enjoy them!! and if you have any suggestions or want to make a comment on how yours turned out please let us know!!

I thought I would share with you the HUGE mess that I make when I bake.... somehow it feels more festive when it's a mess!

blooma - maternity wellness in Minneapolis

I was just checking in with my friends blog 'Pretty Mommy' and in a compilation of things that she wrote about her experience with having a baby - which she so sweetly calls: letter to new mamas she talks about a wonderful place in Minneapolis (yes we Minnesotans look out for each other!) called Blooma. Blooma is a wellness center that offers prenatal and postnatal yoga, wellness and education for the new parent and expecting parent. I LOVE THE SOUND OF THIS PLACE!! how wonderful and what a great idea!

I wanted to write about Blooma to tell you all about them because I think that this would be such an empowering place when you about to have a baby. It's so great to have a place to get together with other pregnant women or just after you have your baby for yoga, you will probably find your friends for life here... It's great to be able to ask questions and talk to other parents in a similar situation and if you are searching out a place like this you can imagine that everyone at Blooma has a healthy and supportive approach to breastfeeding, exercise and eating which all go hand in hand with having a new baby.

I would also suggest that if you don't have one in your town... maybe this is a good opportunity to open something like this in YOUR town??!! talk to he women behind Blooma and I am sure that there is a lot of love and support there!

visit pretty mommy here
visit blooma here


Len Cabral - storyteller

I am on the 'culture committee' at my sons school, it's nice to be a part of the school and it's a bit of involvement but not too much AND I like to see what we can get as far as some fun acts and music into his school. A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to have Len Cabral come and share his particularly exciting storytelling, it was WONDERFUL! If you need anything like this at your kids school or event, the kids were mesmerized by Len's stories he is very charming with the kids and they were entranced (and so was I!). He had the kids screaming and helping him tell the stories together with him and everyone had so much fun.

We split up our rather small school into two groups with K-2 in one group and 3-5 in the other, this way Len could tell stories that were appropriate for each and I can tell you I stayed for both and loved them, the teachers loved it and our principle was ecstatic! He will have you laughing and cheering for the spider to pull down the sky with her web and in the next story you are on the edge of your seat when he tells his own delightful stories of ice skating and hot potatoes! He is wonderfully charismatic and I love how he pulls a story out of the smallest things and makes it enrapturing for kids.

Len Cabral is a Rhode Island Storyteller but he travels the world sharing his stories with kids and adults!

visit the website of Len Cabral here


happy holidays!

happy holiday!

Have a Happy Holiday and Lovely New Year!!

I just had to share this lovely Holiday card that I received from Makié!




Somehow with all of the hustle and bustle I have totally forgotten to blog! It just slipped my mind... We made our yearly pilgrimage to NYC with the kids for Christmas last weekend, we like to do the Tree in Rockefeller Plaza, drive through times square and all the lights, go to Balthazar and have breakfast, and charge around Soho with all the shoppers and stop in and have hot chocolate. This year we had the added boost of the winter storm that blew through and dumped about 14 inches of snow! My husband and I were determined to go out in the snow for a dinner together just the two of us, even though there was a giant storm (we were covered with snow!) we ended up trampling around to three places before we were able to find a restaurant with a table, we had a lovely night at Cafe Cluny. We had a beautiful dinner while we watched the blizzard outside... it was perfection!

The next morning, it was so exciting, my son and I took the dog out at 7am (no other New Yorker was out except a few other dog walkers) and it was a pure white New York City, really a treat! We ran around and had a great time, when we went out again at 9am it was already mayhem with cars stuck at lights and the white snow had already turned a bit brown and slushy... it was a winter wonderland while it lasted!

We got together with my favorite friends, the women of Kit+Lili and Jann from Lucky Fish...the kids were amazed by the exhibition that is currently on at The New Museum on the Bowery (I happens to say "Hell Yes" outside and my son seems to think that's pretty funny). The exhibit is Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty and it offers a family kit with questions for kids that will help them think like the artist like "if you blew up something in your home to bigger than life size what would it be?"... don't miss it!

We wanted to get home for a Christmas party that we were supposed to go to in Rhode Island and we had drifts of snow in our driveway that were up to my hips! Instead of a party we spent four hours shoveling out..ha! But it was beautiful and the kids had a blast, by the morning our son had dug a trench all the way around our house for our new dog (now all he can do is run the circle around the house!).

It's so exciting to have a white Christmas... I just wanted to share a bit of winter, blizzard and snow.


nonchalant mom on Designing Moms!

Designing Moms is a blog created by 19 creative and talented women. They each bring creative projects and ideas to your life, things that you can use.. and their tag-line says it all "We invite you to come and be creatively distracted with us!" (I love that...I mean let's be honest, there is nothing more distracting than a really good blog!) or "A space for creative moms to unite", enough talk.. you will love the blog and I hope that you get as many ideas that I do from them as I do.

Thank you ladies for letting me be a part of your terrific blog! (I will contribute with shopping blogs.. oh what a nice category for me!).

click here to visit Designing Moms
click here to visit Nonchalant Mom blog on Designing Moms


verre - glass initial charms

My friends Julie and Jess at Verre (as in French for 'glass') have created this terrific sly on the initial necklaces that have consumed everyone, including me! We were talking one day and I asked if she could come up with a away to do the initials that was the Verre version... and POW! did they... I love the way these pieces look (and feel) and together with other charms they are simply.. charming!

We decided it would be fun to make them look like candy! I like to mix the classic colors gray or white together with crazy pinks, greens and reds! The result is perfect... We edited a small color card just for Nonchalant Mom and introduced them last week and you obviously loved them so we are extending the final Christmas ship date to this Friday, December 17th (but you need to request 2-day delivery!). But we will always have them on Nonchalant Mom (and exclusively at Nonchalant Mom I might add!) and I will not let them go!

It's fun to mix the size of the charms and also the opaque and clear glass colors! You can come up with your own fun variation -- I chose my kids favorite colors and they loved that...

Verre wraps them all up in a beautiful glass jar - Verre - let them wear glass! - which I think is such beautiful packaging.

Visit their page on Nonchalant Mom here


maine shrimp! just arrived!

Beautiful Maine shrimp arrived on Monday of this week and they look so fresh and beautiful that we got some right away! Maine shrimp is nice and small, it's great for kids and you can fix it in just about any way and they are delicious. I don't like to buy shrimp for the family because it's usually from so far away, never mind the conditions they were caught under, but the trip all the way to your table is too far!

Here is our favorite recipe for shrimp, and you can serve them in so many different ways....

clean and de-vein shrimp
chop garlic to your liking (we use about 3-5 cloves)
saute garlic lightly in olive oil and add shrimp and cook until opaque
turn off flame and squeeze the juice of half a lemon onto shrimp and toss
there will be a lovely sauce that you use to pour over everything
a bit of salt and pepper

serve with brown rice and broccoli or kale
serve on top of arugula and it makes a nice warm salad!
serve with pasta and broccoli

drizzle with olive oil! yum!!

what are your recipes!? please share with us!!
but run out to Whole Foods (or where ever you get your fresh fish!) and get your FRESH MAINE SHRIMP!

Store Hours :: December 15 - 18!

I am planning to be in the store this week just in case you need a last minute gifts or a special holiday outfit! (for mom or your kids!). I have had a bunch of calls from people wanting to come in so I wanted so send out a general message of my hours for this week!

Nonchalant Mom will be open December 15 - 18
from 12 - 5pm Tuesday - Thursday
from 12 - 3pm on Friday

If you want to come outside of these hours please feel free to call me and I can certainly accommodate your schedule!

I hope to see you here and if not HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Love and Peace - Carina


lonny december issue online now!

I just perused the December issue of the new Lonny magazine and it's just as inspiring as the first issue, and with their targeted fun gift guides they are even better. This issue includes the homes of some young and exciting interior designers and their work that will inspire you! I fell in love with all of the hues of camel and sand in some of the homes, together with white it looks so new and clean, I really loved it. Although our home has a lot of color I am sure there is a way that I can use these colors in our house.

It took me awhile to figure out what Lonny actually stood for, kind of a crazy name for a magazine, but it's a combination of London and New York. Although in this issue they should call it Panny as most of the homes featured are in Paris (but I'm not complaining!). A well appointed Paris apartment has always been inspiring for me, the mix of old and modern in a very casual way, I think that this feeling can be brought into any home style, be it a Country home, a Cape or even a New York apartment.I think a visit to Haus Interior would certainly help!

I hope that this issue of Lonny leaves you with some fun ideas to make some changes in your home, it sure did for me! And did I mention that I would love to have Brad Ford come and take a look at my house and give me so hhheeeLLLPP! (on my decor that is...). The issue looks a lot like Domino, and I would have to say I like it... but you be the judge and YES there is Nonchalant Mom with a little ad... love it!!

click here to see Lonny online


the swimsuit issue!

I know that many of you are going away for the holidays or just there afterward so I thought it was a good time to mention a swimsuit -- which I think is THE swimsuit I have always been looking for, funny I was looking in the wrong places, like the second-hand clothing shops! And there it was, someone told me she had just bought this swimsuit, the description was just too close to my dream suit, then I went to the website of 'Mama Maria'! Her inspiration is obvious, 1950's film stars.

(kids version too!)

Even if you are not in the market for a new swimsuit you must check out her website. This Amsterdam foxy lady knows a swimsuit when she see's one, or should I say creates one! I think that some of you will think that these are vintage but I assure you they are a classic look in modern fabrics--I think that sounds just about perfect. You can get a swimsuit for yourself and your little one too! (somehow when it's a swimsuit I don't mind this idea!) Mama Maria has some great tricks up her sleeve and her suits are really the bomb!

She makes these delightful swim caps that are too much fun! I remember having one that was orange and pink, and I am sure that my mom had this white one!

click here to visit her website - Mama Maria!
(the suits are made in the Netherlands but you can purchase from her website)


kit+lili, lucky fish & nonchalant mom sample sale

I am participating on this sample sale with my friends at kit+lili - it should be a fun time so don't miss it! (if you live in NYC that is...)

Kit + Lili & Friends sample sale

Date : December 10 & 11 (thursday & friday)
Time : 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where : 55 Washington Street
Suite 728
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Kit+Lili ~ baby, kids, adults, totes & small goods, bold & graphic
Lucky Fish ~ kids & adults, fun & groovy printed tees
Nonchalant mom ~ exciting goodies for the holidays
Bebesol ~ swimwear by Mahao

Cash only

Directions : F train to York St. station or A train to High St station

See you here!
Teresa Ok
55 Washington Street
Suite 728
Brooklyn, NY 11201
t: 646 415 8635
f: 646 290 8005

ruth shively - paintings

I just got an email from my friend Ruth Shively who is a very talented painter (she also does portraits!). Just in time for the Holidays she is offering a collection of wonderful paintings that are priced just right for gift giving (a nice way of saying affordable). I love the clean and sparse look of her paintings of which include landscapes as well as portrait work.

You can visit her etsy site to see her works for sale and then please contact her directly for any questions on portraits

Ruth Shively - etsy shop


custom blythe dolls

I have written about this artist before, her name is Diem Chau and she does the crayon sculptures that I really love! On a visit to her website I found that she also makes these fantastic Blythe dolls and doll couture.. it's amazing! Diem has been customizing Blythe dolls for years now and she not only makes custom clothing she actually customizes the actual doll, here is a description of her work.

"The first animated movie I saw as a child was Disney's Pinocchio, no I’m not that old… just a little behind :P I loved the idea of creating a doll that comes to life. I see each doll I customize as an object waiting to spring to life! Most of the time I don’t plan out the results, I just go with it. My aesthetic lean towards subtlety and natural colors, but sometimes a special request can be fun and challenging. My goal is to give them a lively energy and enhance their personality. I’m a working artist and my schedule is quite unpredictable. I will only work on one doll at a time. Please feel free to contact me for commission availability. I don’t have a menu of services, it’s just $200 flat for a complete custom job. That includes head opening, sand matting, carving, new face-up, eyechip changes, haircuts, trims and bang/hair taming… basically everything but reroots. I will do wefted reroots, but that’s extra."

I think that these would make a really amazing gift for a girl and a real treasure. These Blythe dolls are collectible and you can buy clothing for them by Diem on her etsy website.

watch her film to see details on her work and a window onto how a doll transforms! It's really beautiful.

tinyhaus - diem chau's blythe doll website

etsy website - for extra clothing and a view of some of her other items
diem chau website
previous post on crayon sculpture


moms gife guide 2009

top row - (left to right)
matta: amina cotton top - $144 w/rajastani blanket - $280 (email me if you are interested in this piece)
margaret solow: zen gems ($100 - $180)
matta: laharia silk shibori dress - $184
matta: amrita handbag - $172
nikki b.: friendship bracelet - $38-$42

second row - (left to right)
studio deseo :: alleshial girard maxon: amazing one of a kind necklaces $140 - $180
rosenberg cph: bea bag - $128
robin mollicone: tiny tiny bead necklaces (one of a kind) - $120-$200
nikki b.: alpaca poncho - $325

third row - (left to right)
layla: nadia kurta - $166
verre glass initial charms: silver starting at $56/15k gold starting at $200
lucky fish: cowboy t-shirt - $56
matta: dupatta scarves - $96


nonchalant mom window

Somehow I never take care of my window on main street here in our little town of Wakefield, RI -- but last night was 'ladies night' (so much fun!) and so I figured it was time to make something festive. Besides, I have been looking for a place to hang this wonderful 'orbit chandelier' by Patrick Townsend (which you can purchase at nonchalant mom now.. ha!) which I have been in love with for years now and finally just dove in and got them for the store!

My kids and I cut out the stars from old boxes (you know I have a bunch of those!) and spray painted them silver... I think these would look super cute in any window of your house as well. We were inspired by all of the starry, starry nights we have been having -- clear skies, big moon and lots and lots of stars! And then we just filled it with our favorite kids clothes! and ah... the Orbit Chandelier!


nonchalant mom :: kids holiday gift guide!

top row (left to right):
margaret solow kids zen gems
: rose quartz, prasiolite (green), amethyst, aquamarine - $48
nico nico: organic cotton fleece (super soft!) hoody - $44, sweatpants - $32
salvor: balsa wood prints - new prints!- $350
atsuyo et akiko: fun kids accessories - bunny elastic necklace - $16 (also star, key and sheep)
makié: wool felt hat (gray or navy) - $40

second row (left to right):
atsuyo et akiko: felt ball hair barettes - $8 (+makié jersey smocked top)
makie: baby alpaca tunic sweater - $128 (& pom pom necklace $8)
lucky fish: triceratops handprinted blue foil t-shirt - $38
makie: assorted pom pom necklace - $8

bottom row (left to right):
lucky wang: dragon silver foil thermal t - $32
books from myopic: a wonderful selection of used/collectable books - $10-$80
nico nico: organic cotton FOX t-shirt - s/s $32 - l/s $34
lucky wang: koi gold foil thermal t - $32

visit nonchalant mom for more gift ideas!


just opening a box of Matta!

New Matta just arrived and I love it!! I am working hard to get things up and onto the website as fast as I can! I kept it simple with lots of black, white and a bit of their beautiful lavender (I think they call it lilas!)

You will love it!! just hang on for a day or two...

tights turned into leggings...

Just a simple tip for today - cut off the toes of your kids favorite tights (or even yours!) and you now can have your favorite tights last a year longer! -- (don't worry if the heels show, it just adds a bit of character)

It's the simple things in life that make me happy!