'Waiting for Superman' a conversation with Davis Guggenheim

Davis Guggenheim recently produced and directed a new documentary called Waiting for Superman, it is about the public school system in the United States. I have not yet seen the documentary, but in this interview with Katie Couric you can get insight into what the Movie is going to tackle. It's a big subject and he states as much, I think that no matter what you feel about the public school system this will be a provocative and interesting movie.

Davis Guggenheim in an interview with Katie Couric
Click here to see the interview.
(have patience, the internet stream is a bit choppy)
click here to get more information on the movie and see a trailer


Edible Schooyard event - October 3, 2010

I am very excited to announce an event that is going on in Los Angeles, California in support of the Edible Schoolyard, a Chez Panisse Foundation, I hope that you can come and enjoy the festivities and shop a bit for a good cause!

please join dosa, Lost & Found and Alice Waters for a sip of wine, a savory bite and a sale of clothing + housewares on Sunday, October 3, 2010 from 12 to 5.

The Chez Panisse Foundation is committed to transforming public education by using food traditions to teach, nurture, and empower young people. The foundation envisions a curriculum, integrated with the school lunch service, in which growing, cooking and sharing food at the table give students the knowledge and values to build a humane and sustainable future.

dosa, Lost & Found + the Chez Panisse Foundation invite you to support the Edible Schoolyard

40% of all proceeds to support the Chez Panisse Foundation
each suggested donation of $100 will receive an Edible Schoolyard apron

818 s broadway
12th floor
los angeles ca 90014

Jann (Lucky Fish) and I will be attending all the way from the East Coast, so if you are able to come please stop by and say hello!


Norma Kamali - Conversations

On my first trip to NYC as a young girl aspiring to be a designer in 1985 I went to the Norma Kamali store, I thought she was the smartest designer alive and there I was standing in front of her cement facade -- peering in the window I was almost afraid to go in... in those days you had to ring the bell - how terrifying for me! I went inside, and I purchased a grey sweatshirt top and a black swimsuit... it was the only thing I purchased in New York City and I was so pleased with myself. Norma Kamali, she is a legend and an innovator.

Today she is not sitting quietly back on her empire, she is now at the forefront of wellness as well as fashion. She has come up with a series for "conversations" with unique leaders in the area of wellness. If you live in New York City you can attend a special debut of her 24/7 webinar series on Thursday, September 30th at 11am. The program focuses on solutions in the area of Fitness, Health and Beauty & Nutrition. It will be a chance to watch the series and ask your questions afterwords!

WHAT:   “CONVERSATIONS” Screening:  Q&A with notable experts on Fitness, Health, Beauty & Nutrition.

DATE:  Thursday, September 30, 2010

TIME: 11:000 AM – 12:00 PM

PLACE: Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), 11 West 53rd Street, NYC / Theater #2

visit her website here to get more information.

She also has her own line of products, I have not tried them yet... but they look pretty darn clean and GOOD to me!

Time for Dinner - cookbook!

I have been waiting for this day... today my mailman arrived at my door, handing me a package (okay, since I have an online business this is about an everyday occurrence) but TODAY... he had a copy of the new cookbook by Pilar Guzman, Jenny Rosenstrach, and Alanna Stang - TIME FOR DINNER!

Pilar Guzman, Jenny Rosenstrach, and Alanna Stang

I must admit, it's been awhile since I was this excited about a cookbook, but... I was right to be excited, I think it's the best! Large, clear images of each of the meals, minimal lists of ingredients, that famous section they had in Cookie Magazine (because if these names sound familiar to you, yes they were editors at Cookie!) where if you have this... then you can make this... -- I LOVED that section!! It always worked for me and I am sure it worked for lot's of people because we all have various staples and this was great for giving me new ideas on what to make with my old staples!

They call this chapter: I WANT TO USE WHAT I ALREADY HAVE - creating something from the seeming nothingness of my refrigerator... It will take you through something like - Canned Tomatoes (who doesn't have that!?) - and then they ask you if you have another of three items, for this one it says - canned tuna which = fettuccine with tuna & capers! OR chicken which = chicken cacciatore! OR shrimp = shrimp scampi with feta! What I love about this book are the wholesome cooking ideas! Ever look into your refrigerator and just STARE... this chapter will help you with that problem.

I am sure that you will be hearing from me on these recipes and I don't know about you but I DON'T own lots of cookbooks, I think Time for Dinner is easy, delicious and fun for your whole family!

so go out and get it!
buy Time for Dinner by clicking here
or visit Jenny's blog: Dinner a Love Story  by clicking here (it's terrific for inspiration on food)

(I just want to mention that it would be better to go to your local bookstore and buy a copy... support your local bookstore!!)


nonchalant mom :: website updates

Yes, we have a new face at Nonchalant Mom... I hope you like it!? We do very much, this was an image that it was hard not to smile at! right? This is Franny wearing the Sgt. Peppers fleece jacket by Shampoodle. We took photos of both the kids in this jacket and they LOVED them!! My son won't take his off... he is 8 and that is quite a trick, he is starting to get kind of picky as to what he wears, although he still loves to wear only things from mommy's store! (I feel kind of lucky about that when I see the other kids at school wearing 'red sox' t-shirts and such!) He is the biggest fan of Lucky Fish and nico nico t-shirts alive! (and then both my kids love the 'love is organic denim' jeans).

In an effort to make shopping easier and more effective online we have added image galleries to each of the collection pages so, for example, you can click onto the Lucky Fish page (above) and if you slide your courser across the images at the top and then click -- it will take you to a slideshow. Here we have included more images of each of the pieces so that you can get a better idea of the fit, style and color of each garment. We never pin or tuck things when I photograph them so that you can get the full idea, but what we DO do is I put them in the correct size or slightly small, in theory I would buy the next size up so that they can wear them longer. For instance, I have franny in a size 4 in all of the new images for Fall 2010, she is 42" tall and weighs about 38 pounds - this may give you an idea of the fit, I would probably 'buy' a size 6 because they just fit her now. As far as Sander he can wear anything between and size 6 or an 8, he is 8 years old (tall and skinny).

I hope that this information will be helpful for everyone and please let us know if you have more ideas on how things can work better at Nonchalant Mom! We are always working on making things better, but you know at the same time I just want to keep it simple! We have updated the 'Clearance section' with all new items and remember these are final markdowns and final sale. Before Christmas we will update the Gift section to reflect the new Fall selection... see there is always something to do around here!

I would welcome any comments!

click here to visit nonchalantmom


back to school - Yahoo!

photo via zinwazi

It's probably a week or so into it, or maybe more, but isn't it feeling great--the kids are back to school!! A bit of a rush in the morning (doesn't it somehow bring you back to the days when YOU went to school), then you drop them off at the bus stop or school and say "bye.. bye...". The first time it happened to me I was totally unprepared to have a full day of work! What!? Ship orders, answer emails, write a blog, surf some blogs, research products... and then Lunch! --the day just kept going on... it's just so exciting! And somehow working without interruptions is actually like concentrating, remember that!? Sometimes I even look around to make sure... is anyone there?

For those of you with new babies, we look back to those days with a coo'ing grin, just remember your day will come! I don't want to ruin it for you, so you might have to skip this blog, remember it and come back in a few years! For now though... those of you that just had your drop-off--I am here to make a few suggestions, because you may have forgotten what to do with this time... alone!

1) I like to have a cup of coffee or tea and sit down and skype my friends in Europe! It may take you a few times to get back into it but you can even gossip?! First just because you have the time and second because you have no interruptions; no one asking you what does that mean? or "why are you laughing so loud mom?" you can actually listen to your friend... probably for the first time, in a long time! it's wonderful!

2) This is a terrific time to start a journal, you can take your kids to school, make some tea, get back into bed and write in your journal. Do you have those friends who write down everything that their kids are doing, keeping records and photos together... now... you can do it too! --you have time!

3) I do so much at home, so I have to remind myself that some of you are lucky enough that you can go out, take a walk, and have a coffee and a croissant at an extravagant place and just take it all in.... lovely! (I think I would do that every day if I could!)

4) At our school there are some moms that meet up after 'drop-off' and do a four mile speed walk - you can jump in whenever you have the time and there is almost always someone to go with AND it's an excellent time to meet new parents at the school.

5) If you don't have a job, maybe it's time to go out and get something that will really interest you! I have always wanted to work in a coffee shop, so that my only 'stress' in the day was whether or not I was making a good enough cappuccino! I have a good friend who works in the neighborhood Co-op, what a perfect solution, discount on organic food AND a terrific working environment! Whatever, working or not, it's nice to interact with people again!

6) Get a hobby! Or remember how good you were at knitting years ago! Now you can pick it up and do it again... This is a good time to bring some creativity into your life, try to keep it to something for yourself and not making things for your kids, use this time to focus on yourself and everyone will be happier for it!

Whatever it is just go ahead and take some time for yourself and take care of yourself... if you don't already skin brush... start now... take care of your body and your mind! Make a list of the things you want to do and get out there and DO them! Just remember... don't turn on that TV, just as it sucked you in when you were young... it will do the same now!

have fun! (next I am going to teach you how to surf the internet/blogosphere... properly!)


back to school...

yes, yes, yes... I know we have been back to school for quite a bit now but I hate to get caught up in all the back to school mayhem! And yet, there I was sending out all of my emailers for the new collections! I do somehow feel that kids grow like weeds in the summertime, maybe it's the sun, wind, rain and all that great fresh air! Or maybe it's their steady diet of GRAPES! (ha!) whatever it is, by the  time school comes around NOTHING fit's anymore! All of my son's pants became clamdiggers (remember them!?). So when the first day of school came around... there I was running to my store the night before school and picking up a pair of nonchalant kids pants and jeans (love is organic denim-his favorite, they are super soft)!

As for Franny, it was her first day of Kindergarten! BIG day! and a new dress was necessary! Otherwise I find that a five year old can wear old dresses as tops with jeans and somehow with girls it doesn't seem so bad to me when their pants are almost culottes! Her current favorite look is: t-shirt, jeans AND a skirt and a 'hairdo' (which means a braid or something) - my favorite part of this look is that NOTHING needs to match, and it's even better if everything has a different pattern!

The one accessory that I like to get each year is a new backpack! By the end of the year before I can hardly look at that thing again... right!? My favorite is the Kånken, made by Fjällräven - yes, the Swede's make just about the best of everything! For the kids I like the Kånken mini! it's the perfect size and comes in THE BEST colors! so there you go.. it's my back to school item!

So for the new parents sending their kids to kindergarten for the first time... your shopping list is easy:

Which brings us to the other accessory that is the bane of any parents existence... the lunchbox! I have yet to find the solution to the lunchbox! But I do like this one from a funny company called Oots! (that strap on top is for the drink--smart huh? We need lot's of versatility because our poor kids never know what they are going to get in their lunchbox, my husband gets pretty crafty with the sandwiches! But we never forget the good old peanut butter and jelly! (and they NEVER buy school lunch-if you are new to public schools you will find that the lunches have not changed since you went to school! -no matter HOW OLD you are!)

Good luck and have a wonderful day while your kids go to school! - that subject deserves another post!


Fall issue of Small Magazine

The new issue of the wonderful small magazine is out now.. and it's gorgeous! with some of my favorite images (how do they keep doing that!) and great ideas - for kids - that are practical yet also just a bit crazy! Not to mention the 'cover' (above) - this has to be my favorite image! (and will go on my inspiration board for sure!)

They also talk about one of my new favorite things... these sweet books by Livre à Illustrer, which I will have at nonchalant mom in December. I had a couple of the books with us on our trip this summer and my kids loved them! They are blank stories in which your kids can illustrate! (I will only have english, but they are also available in French, since the company is French!) Its fun and imaginative play for the whole family..we all got into the act and it was good to see my kids follow through with a project over a series of days and they were so proud of them when they were finished! I am sure you will love them!

Our favorite photographer Emily Ulmer put together a lovely little story for the issue that will inspire you with it's simplicity, showing you that it doesn't take much to create a stunning little image (or even a story)!

I am using Geoff McFetridges potato stamp idea for Franny's birthday party (so when you see me blog about it later you know where it came from!). It's a sure oldie but a goodie trick that I always loved as a kid.

have fun and browse... but certainly, don't miss this issue of small magazine! -click here!


recipe: millet croquetts with broccoli slaw

This is a great recipe when you just don't know what to make, it's fast and if you have leftover grains, it's REALLY fast! I am sorry that the photo is not great but it's hard when you make dinner at the nighttime and then try to take a photo of your plate... not easy! (then there is that crazy shadow... argh!)


I usually cook millet a few times a week so there is always some leftover! Lately I make a lot of half millet and half brown rice, it's less dry this way and somehow the kids like it better.

1 cup millet
1 cup brown rice
1 umeboshi plum
1 small piece of kombu (the size of your thumb)

Cook grains and umeboshi and kombu in 4 cups of water (this is going to give you a bunch leftover for a family of four but use it for the next night and you have a jump start on dinner). If you want this just for one night then maybe just use 3/4 cup of each grain and then 3 cups of water (any combination, you get the idea). Cook on lowest flame for 45 minutes covered. When you see the holes form in the grain just turn off the flame. Take out the kombu and cut into small pieces and take out the umeboshi pit and discard (or suck on it while you are cooking it's good for you!).

Form the grain into patties (or balls if you have a deep fryer), sometimes you need something to bind it together, use whatever you are used to using, an egg or milk... whatever... Either fry them in a pan or use a deep fryer, use a bit of salt and they should be done!

While you are doing the frying you can make the broccoli slaw - this is one of my favorite things from Trader Joes... it's Organic Broccoli Slaw or already slivered Broccoli, wonderful invention for families!!

1/2 a bag of Organic Broccoli Slaw (or cut up broccoli/carrots into matchsticks)
1/2 small onion
tablespoon miso
teaspoon kudzu
garnish with Gomasio

Steam the slaw a bit. Chop onion into small bits and then saute in sesame or olive oil, add the slaw and saute for a bit. Use the water from steaming the slaw (about 3/4 cup) and dissolve the miso. Use cold water to dissolve the kudzu (just about 2-3 tablespoons of water) add the kudzu and then the miso and simmer (but don't boil the miso) until the kudzu turns clear and thickens it a bit.

Serve croquettes with the slaw on top and garnish with gomasio!
The whole family will love this - and if they don't, tell them to be quiet and eat... and think of it as FUEL FOR YOUR BODY!


matta photos!

raika silk dress/skirt, together with my favorite piece of the season: nadissa embroidered wool shawl

We photographed Matta yesterday and it looks SUPER! Honestly it's so easy to photograph this collection because it's so effortless, and always looks great... and this time it didn't disappoint, my secret friend is my model and she looks great! Check online and you will see the new images up, but in the meantime you can see them here!

budha ruffled silk dress - this color is perfect!
neela tunic/dress - can be worn with or without the belt
shina shibori wool dress - one size fit's all! (love that!)

Just in case you are wondering she is a size 4 and models a size small - perfect fit every time! I think that Matta is very versatile that way and it's one of the reasons I love it for Nonchalant Mom.

aditi silk top (again with or without belt)
surabhi jishnu dress - a reflection of 19774 perhaps!?

of course dupatta shawls are back!! - plus dupatta's for kids!

shop the new Fall/Winter collection of Matta at Nonchalant Mom


world map wallpaper

I had a rare moment today to steal away and check out some blogs... and I always make a stop at my friend Vanessa's blog: BozAround, mostly because she is a big traveler and I love to see where she is going. But today I found something that we have been looking for and I was inspired, since for the third time in a couple of months we have re-decorated the kids rooms! Switched beds, shelves and dressers around and well the result... looks great but we are missing THIS - world map wallpaper!

What a great idea for kids rooms! And you could start to put pins into the places you have been... so much fun!

you can buy them here


international observe the moon night - sept. 18th

This year is the first annual event dedicated to the excitement of lunar science and exploration!

International Observe the Moon Night - Saturday, September 18th
(locally held here in South County Rhode Island at Frosty Drew Observatory and Sky Theater)

Officially called InOMN - follows NASA's first celebration of the recent historic missions, LRO-Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and "National Observe the Moon Night" in the USA LCROSS - Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in public events called "We're at the Moon!".  Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is partnering with NASA missions and centers and others to bring the excitement of observing and learning about Earth's closest neighbor in space to the public -- putting the "International" into InOMN.

You can host your own InOMN event by setting up a telescope and inviting friends over for an evening of visiting the moon and stars and sharing your stories of space exploration and if you are really excited by the event it would be a great time to go to your kids school and talk about Earths closest neighbor. This is a great excuse to get out and show your kids what the moon is all about!

see you under the starry skies!

click here to visit the website and find out what is going on for this event in your area
visit Astronomers without Borders here to find out more of what is going on internationally


A chic booster seat - really!?

I really didn't think that anyone was ever going to come up with a chic booster seat, but the folks at 'Clek' are right on top of it! These babies (not your kids, the seats!) are made with 100% USA materials and made to last. The colorful seats (they come in 5 wonderful colors!) are anti-everything, non stain, non microbial, AND they look beautiful. Smart, handy and pretty darn simple.

Not only is the Oobr (what this model is called) good-looking, it lounges back, has a nice headrest for easy napping, but it also converts to a back-less seat when the times comes. This baby (again, not your child) is going to stay with you for some time... depending on the size of your child you can expect your car seat to be with you for about 5-6 years! (think about that when you see the pricetag) so why not keep it smart and looking smart.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a report yesterday with some positive information, saying that car booster seats are making huge strides in making sure that they properly fit children. They gave top rankings (or “Best Bet”) to 21 of 72 booster seats it evaluated for properly restraining children (about 30%). Last year, the Institute only handed out this mark to nine of the 60 seats it reviewed (about 15%). One of the top 5 and “Best Bets” was Clek, the maker of the high design booster and toddler seats.

This baby is not just a pretty face!

click here to find out more about the Clec and the Oobr seat, it also has a smaller brother the backless version called Ollie.


10/10/10 - GET TO WORK!

350.org's slogan for 2010 is "GET TO WORK". Get to work to start changing our commumities, and get to work to make our leaders realize that they actually need to lead the way.  The date to mark on your calendar is October, 10 2010 (10/10/10) as a date to start your own concrete action. Grab an idea and run with it, you can even sign up your project on the 350.org website so that other people can join in with you help get your project off the ground, this is the perfect time to GET TO WORK!

10/10/10 Global Work Party, a day to celebrate climate solutions.

As we speak there are a group of Unity College students (a college where a Sustainability course is mandatory for a degree) together with Bill McKibben are driving a bio diesel van from Maine to Boston to New York City to the White House, with a solar panel that is a portion of the solar panel array from Carter's White House in 1979.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House. In 1986, President Reagan took the panels down and they were never replaced. Years later, Unity College of Maine adopted the panels where they have lived, on the roof of the cafeteria--still in working condition--until now... This is the email that we received from Bill McKibben today, and if you are signed up to receive his emails you did too, it's a moving and inspiring email that will give you rise to help and take action:

"I’m trying to type this as the biodiesel van I’m sitting in bumps down the highway in rural Maine. We left tiny Unity College yesterday morning, bound for the White House with stops in Boston and New York — and we’re carrying a piece of history with us.

It’s one of the solar panels that President Jimmy Carter installed on the roof of the White House in 1979, 31 long years ago. Here’s what Carter said that day: “A generation from now this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.”

Sadly, the panels were taken down a few years later in the Reagan administration. Not because they stopped working — but because we stopped thinking carefully about the future. The folks at Unity College salvaged them from a government warehouse and put them on the roof of the cafeteria, where they still work fine.

But now they’ve agreed to donate one back to the White House, in the hope that it will spur Obama to pick up where Carter left off.

Our great hope, of course, is that on 10-10-10 President Obama will be up there on the roof, helping to put the panels in place. Our friends at the solar company Sungevity have even offered to donate a massive, brand new solar array for free. (Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, has already taken them up on the offer — he’ll be up on his roof on 10-10-10 hammering in a new set of panels).
But so far, there’s no definitive answer from the White House. They say they’re “interested,” but that it’s “complicated.”
(portion email from Bill McKibben dated 9/8/10)

What Mr. McKibben is asking us to do here is sign up for a work party... then they can go back to the president and say that -- hundreds of people have registered for work parties since we last spoke...
hoping that this will tip the balance. Whether you are going to install panels yourself, plant a garden at your school, coordinate a bike trip with signs advertising 10/10/10 Get to Work! slogan, or you come up with your own idea for a work party! Or you can climb up on your roof (carefully) with a sign that says "Put Solar On It" and email it to the put solar on it website (click here) and become part of the photo petition! It's a good idea, it's a good cause and it can change our world!!

visit 350.org here for more information
for more information on "Put Solar On The White House" click here
(this is a great blog that you will enjoy reading the updates of the road trip and if you can meet up with the van along the way!!) - They will be in NYC tomorrow and Washington on the 10th of September!


nonchalant mom in MARTHA STEWART LIVING!

If you know me you know that I am pretty crazy about Martha Stewart, I could go on and on, but I will tell you just this -- Martha Stewart always inspires me to do something interesting, instead of sitting on my duff, I read her magazine and a million ideas stream through my head about what I can do with my kids, cook for dinner and do to make my house look really GREAT! I owe it all to her (and my scandinavian roots of course!). When I lived in Italy for a few years it's the only magazine I begged my sister to send to me! And then my friend Gunn and I would just pour over them!

Okay, enough.. although I could go on...

This months issue arrived while we were away and my sister in law sent me a text... look at page 88 of Martha Stewart Living September issue... and there, in black and white it says:

nonchalantmom.com - This Rhode Island parent sells chic kids' room accessories and clothing and writes an inspiring blog.   !!!!!!!!

yes, I now feel I have hit the big time - getting a notice in Martha Stewart--I can now retire!! (just kidding!)

It is part of a story on one of the editors homes, Rebecca Robertson has a very inspiring loft in New York City. It's one of those places that you have in your dreams! She has done amazingly creative things with it and I am sure it will become one of those homes you hang on your inspiration board!

One of my favorite images is of the kids room (this particular photo is from a previous issue). The story in the September issue is just a dream!!! Don't miss it! (and then at the end remember your old friend Nonchalant Mom... when she hands out her 'editors picks') -hurray!

click here to visit the martha stewart home design blog... and be inspired!


la petite magazine

I have been talking with Rachelle who creates the dreamy new magazine called "la petite" and what a lovely turn of pages this new issue is... she invited some young and inspiring artists and photographers to collaborate with her and the result is beautiful!

Photography by Amber Fischer

My favorites are the Amber Fischer shoot and also Emily Ullmer, who I have talked about before (click here to see her story in my blog). Amber photographed these white-room with kids images that are startlingly beautiful (oh, and yes, she used some Nonchalant Mom pieces in her shoot as well! thank you so very much...).

So take a look through the new Fall issue and fall in LOVE....

photography by Amber Fischer and words by Jean Kyler McManu (tuss dress available at nonchalant mom!)
photography by Amber Fischer and words by Jean Kyler McManus (nonchalant mom pants)
photography by Emily Ulmer
great tips on Fall trends (yahoo - nonchalant mom is in there... whew!)
many amazing illustrations but this is my favorite by Kathy R. Jeffords
need helpful tips for your kids room - just listen to rachelle!
great interviews with inspiring people!

thank you Rachelle, for inspiring us all this season!