Annual Halloween costume contest


Last year we held a really fun halloween contest so we thought we would keep it going...

So, send us your costume photos and we will post the top 10, the top 5 costumes will receive a JE TAiME bag! Boo - yahooo!

Please send in to me at: carinanonchalantmomcom

Next sunday we will announce the winner!

just send them in and we will post them!



Shampoodle - in perfect trend!

This Fall the shampoodle collection could not be more 'on-trend', they have it all... the plaid, the Sgt. Pepper look and the scarf print inspired prints... and then what they always do just right the too-cool-for-school (but in this case PERFECT for school) knit seperates, tuxedo trimmed pants and just the right top! And then they called it The Little Brittan Collection, those crazy Brits inspired the folks at Shampoodle in this way:

same shirt by the way, on an 8 year old (boy) AND a 5 year old (girl)!

Little Britain Collection
Cheerio, dapper lads and lasses!
We felt the urge to make a collection inspired by the city we fell in love with as teens, and the country that has inspired millions with its brilliant art, music, fashion and literature over the centuries. The Little Britain Collection for autumn/winter 2010 is Shampoodleized scarf patterns and tartan suits mixed with Sgt. Pepper inspired fleece jackets and workers denim, translated into childishly comfortable clothes. Enjoy!

When I first opened my box from them I thought it myself... oohh hhooo this is CRAZY! The kids got in on at and we had to hold an impromptu photo session on-the-spot! They picked out their own outfits and loved every minute of it! Honestly, I have never seen them react like this to a collection! AND there has never been more from one collection that they had to have so many 'personals' (industry parlance for I want MY OWN please). So yes, those are my kids running around town in Shampoodle everywhere!

So thank you Shampoodle! For always being an inspiration, and always knowing what's right! (or maybe it's just because those Swede's... they are so smart! wink, wink!)

Shampoodle is available in sizes 0 months - 8 years!
and there are some pieces that YOU can have as well... may I suggest the Mick Jagger inspired Rolling Stone knit pants! --Truly something for everyone!

click here to visit Shampoodle on Nonchalant Mom


Los Angeles trip :: part II

(dosa space at 818 broadway)

The last two days of my LA trip with Jann were so jam-packed, I wanted split the blog into two parts... so you will have to refer to Part I if you have not already read it by clicking here. The last part of the trip was really what we came to LA for in the first place. Jann (Lucky Fish) was invited to be a part of an event, by designing tea towels, to support The Edible Schoolyard that was put on by Dosa, Lost & Found, and The Chez Panisse Foundation at the Dosa showroom in Los Angeles. First of all this was the most beautiful location for an event, a large open warehouse loft space that Christina Kim (Dosa) renovated into a simple yet impeccably appointed space. And not to mention Alice Waters was on hand to sign books and talk to everyone, I am completely in AWE of her, she is an amazing person.

in front of Lost & Found

The event was Sunday, so on Saturday Jann and I met with Jamie of Lost & Found, if you are in LA you cannot miss this very special store, located at 6320 Yucca Street, and if you live in LA you probably already know about it! Jamie is incredibly talented and has that very special eye for anything very cool or simply well designed (but with character), and we got along instantly! Together we hauled everything downtown and began to set up... AFTER a little shopping in her store that is... couldn't resist!

Jann folding her tea towels
dosa collection

Then it was downtown to get things in order at the showroom. We arrived and Dosa was set up so beautifully... simple racks in the middle of the room... the collection was play of midnight, stars and patchwork of fabrics that all created a deep and elegant display. And we went to work to set up the Lost & Found area which included the Lucky Fish tea towels, which were a special print made for the event, inspired by the Edible Schoolyard by Jann. So we folded tea towels for hours! delightful if you ask me, and with the company at hand... wonderful way to pass the afternoon.

alice and kids from one of the schools

If you do not yet know about the Edible Schoolyard it is a foundation which supports schools to create a garden, children plant and care for the garden, and then include the harvest in the schools lunch program. There are a number of schools throughout California that are involved in the program and there is a project in Brooklyn that is now in the works. Click here to find out more or to donate to the foundation. Check out their Journal to see what is going on in the garden right now! click here.

The Wood Spoon in LA

After we set up we went to have dinner at Wood Spoon just around the corner at 107 9th Street. Amazing food, again California has the best fresh tasty food, but this was Brazilian, fresh and delicious! I would say Brazilian Macrobiotic but I don't think that is the way she would describe it! It's just plain delicious.

Then we thought we would go back to work when we walked by the Orpheum Theater and Yoko Ono was there with her Plastic Ono Band! We ducked in for the second half of the show and I couldn't believe my eyes when Lady Gaga got up on stage in a black catsuit and sang together with Yoko! an amazing show that ended with everyone together singing 'Give Peace a Chance!' it was the perfect day... again... in LA!

preliminary food setup

chefs came from all around to pay tribute to Alice Waters! sitting down is the chef from Gjelina

The next morning was the day of the big event, we didn't even have time for coffee and we were up and out the door, following our GPS lady downtown! We arrived and Chez Panisse was laying out a beautiful display of food! It shows how elegant something simple is when it's made in a loving way with fresh ingredients (as is everything from Chez Panisse). The room was all set with beautiful dark crimson dalias and a warm LA breeze blowing through the windows. The event was beautiful and lasted into the night. It was so good to see so many Nonchalant Mom fans at the event too! Thank you for coming!
Jann and her tea towels!

We almost got out of there without a hitch, then we got to the Airport and I saw Jann start to panic... yes, she lost her passport!


seasonal change - here we go again!

Have you been feeling 'different' these last few weeks? It could be the seasonal change, it can show up in many different ways and shapes and sizes... I was incredibly exhausted and tired, I felt like I was going into hibernation. I ended up going to be with the kids each night at about 9pm... not normal for me as my husband and I are light night owls, but it felt GREAT! I think it's good to get a good long nights sleep, especially in the Fall/Wintertime, at least one - two nights a week. And the kids think it's so special when you go to sleep with them.

I also like to take the time and do family massage, so me and the kids take showers and give each other massages with Calendula oil, paying special attention to the feet, arm and leg meridians. You don't have to be a professional and it just feels good! The kids massage me and we all laugh about how different our bodies are! .. and in this neck of the woods we do a tick check... (every night!)

I also feel that this is a good time to drink Apple Tea, I know I keep harping on this but if you are like me you forget these things! Apple Tea is a good thing to get in the habit of doing as much as you can, and at this time of year when apples are in season it's PERFECT timing! In Ayurveda it's important to eat an apple a day now when they are in season, I try to remember this each year and so when the kids come home from school they always have an apple!

You can click here to see a previous blog about the apple tea, but it's very simple! I like to take three apples, cut them up into chunks (core and all) and a big pot of water and cook them for about 45 minutes to an hour. Drain off the tea and discard the apple. I put a few grains of salt in at the end for a good taste (just a few GRAINS make a difference not more!). This is a beautiful tea to drink before you go to bed and it can seriously help if you have a lot of stress, like most of us do in these times. Kids LOVE this tea and it's much better than too-sweet hot apple cider!

Remember to take care of yourself so that you can put your best food forward!


daily emails - what's your favorite inspiration?

I have a friend who get's a daily email from her horoscope, she reads it, listens to it and uses it to make her day work better for her. I have another friend that is very attached to a daily psychic reading, and then others just get consumed with Daily Telegraph (you know who you are...)! Whatever your 'crutch' I don't think that a crutch is so much a crutch if it works for you... it's just a good way to start the day! (or sometimes end the day by the time you read them).

A friend introduced me to The Daily Kabbalah Tune-up, neither of us is religious or into the Kabbalah but I really like the daily inspirations of the author: Yehudah Berg (click here to visit his personal website which is different from the website you will go to for the Tune-up), they are called Daily Kabbalah Tune-up. His words are just gentle and thoughtful and are in no way trying to get you to do anything but enlighten youself.

Saturdays read like this:
When we choose to face our challenges of the day with fear and apprehension, it’s like putting up antennae designed to attract just that – fear and apprehension. We start each day with a self-sabotage signal. However, another frequency exists which broadcasts our best self, and we can tune our antennae to this frequency anytime we choose.

When we awake each morning seeing challenges as opportunities to grow, we’ll change our signal to enthusiasm, and receive an enthusiastic response from the Universe. This not only breaks our pattern of self -sabotage, but sets us up for success.
thank you daily tune-up... doesn't that help your day!?

I think that these days many people have so much going on and the noise of so much going on around us that sometimes it's hard to put your best self forward... and these help me to do just that... I like what they have to say and it at least gives me that moment in the day to tune myself. You don't have to subscribe to any church and I have never received an email about a solicitation or anything from them... just the daily tune-up.

I am not trying to promote the Kabbalah, honestly, I don't know enough about it to promote it. And I am also not trying to promote any religion in particular, I just think that these are great... and I hope that they help you too.

If you want to give it a try click here....


halloween tips by Michelle Phan

I have heard quite a bit about Michelle Phan and her makeup tutorials here and there and around the internet... after watching this tutorial I must say I am quite a fan of Michelle Phan (I'm sure I'm not the first one to use that one...). She is so cute, her voice is slow and clear and even a seasoned unprofessional like myself can apply make up after watching her do it!

I think that you can also consolidate this quite a bit and use her ideas to make your kids witch costume or just about anything look MUCH better! This video is sponsored by Lancome, but you can make your way around that... (but I must say that white eye pencil looks pretty tempting!).

I just wanted to give some ideas for halloween that go beyond costume, I have heard from a fair number of friends that the stress of not purchasing a costume and making one by hand is pretty intense! I would suggest just using things you have and making them into a costume, Ninja = just a bunch of black clothes and a long sword tucked into a belt... perfectly easy, right? or how about a scuba diver with your kids summer swimming goggles, or a friend of mine is doing Santa Claus... red hat, red jacket, red pants... you get the picture.

But if you do happen to be crafty I know that this is a wonderful time to make some great costumes for your kids! and I hope that this little tutorial by Michelle Phan gives you some ideas to enhance that look!

click here to see the tutorial on how to get this look (it's on YouTube)
if you want a Lady Gaga idea... click here to see Michelle Phan's Lady Gaga (fabulous!)

have fun!!
happy halloween!


NPR: the science of food

I don't know if you caught it today but Terry Gross had a wonderful author and food science-guy on her "Fresh Air" program, and it was completely eye-opening and really interesting, if you are into food that is... if not, just skip this... OR you could just find out WHY you are not that interested in food and cooking, as Terry did!

The program will teach you much about using natural ingredients to boost the flavor of your food. He doesn't say it flat out but he also talks about the Yin and Yang of food, he calls it salt, acid, etc... but it's the same thing... he teaches the world of opposites and how they work with food. Her guest is Harold McGee who's new book Keys to Good Cooking will help you as a Chef, make your food more tasteful and you also make you look like a seasoned professional in the kitchen (think... your mother-in-law bossing you around in the Thanksgiving kitchen, now, you can tell her when to use flour and when to use corn starch in the gravy! and why!..).

Harold McGee will teach you what is food lore and what is actual science. This program will help you to cook anything better, and I think his book will teach you to be a better cook altogether! Listen to the program and you decide (it's approx. 39 minutes). Now, when your husband ruins your pans by always cooking at a high temperature because he is in a hurry you can tell him WHY this is not the case! (hear that honey!)

What I like about his conversation is that he will tell you the 'science' of something and then you can decide if you want to take the science route or the 'folk' route... he is a science guy, so he will go in that direction but at least he explains both sides of the story, plus he has a great radio voice... so it's delightful. Thank you Harold for making me a better cook! But I do take issue with his use of a microwave cooking! (But I totally don't believe in microwave cooking, there is no place for it in the kitchen! swallow that one Mr. McGee...)

visit the website if Harold Mcgee (Curious Cook) by clicking here
listen to the program on NPR by clicking here


Un Momento Nordico... Gunn Johansson

find out how to make your own delicious roasted chestnuts!
 My friend Gunn, my she is an over-achiever! You may remember me talking about her blog before, Un Momento Nordico, in which she talks about wonderful ideas to make your life more healthy and clean (CLEAN with her very own products Nara!) and then she gives us a dose of some good dog stuff! Last January we went to Paris together and ended up making a blog for her, she is now humming away and I get inspired every day looking at her blog!

fig harvest

Gunn lives in the country of Italy, in a small town called Biella (I lived there with them in the 1990's!). Reading her blog is going to give you an insight into what it's like to live seasonal, eat seasonal and she also has that certain sense pull every drop of luxury out of each and everthing! Gunn is one of those friends you like to have because you can always go to them and be inspired by the very simplest thing (well, I have to say that she inspires me by BIG things too!). I'm inspired by the way that she does everything, it's always incredibly thoughtful and her heart is in everything she does.

Nara helt naturligt
Last year she created her own line of body and health products which she sells, for the time being, only in Japan. I say that she created it last year but her formulations have been in the making for many years! She has gone about the process in a very natural way, as she is mostly inspired by nature itself!

you never know what you are going to learn about from Gunn! Goats... !

Visit her blog and get inspired yourself by a life that is lived and each drop of sweet, delicate juice is squeezed out of it!

Thank you Gunn!


Los Angeles Trip with Jann

Jann & I at the Getty
Last week Jann and I took off to Los Angeles, four days of fun, inspiration and really good food! The reason for the trip is that Jann was asked to create something for an event to support the Edible Schoolyard and she came up with a beautiful tea towel (yes, I am going to see if I can get some for Nonchalant Mom... not sure yet!?). So there we went, off to California with the perfect excuse!

It has taken me some time to write about our trip because in some way there was a big shift in my mind and I wanted to sort it out before I went on and on about this wonderful place.. tinsel town! We were pretty sure it was going to be a great trip when we arrived at the car rental place and after we stacked our things in a big 'not so fun' car, around the corner swung a VW and our guy smiled at us and said... "yes, you can have it..." just like he knew. So there we were, listening to our GPS lady, we both had never used one before, it's so FUNNY to drive and not know where you are and just blindly listen to someone tell you where to go! She took us straight to Abbot Kinney.. just where we wanted to go.. imagine that! We parked and hoped out and gave ourselves a cheer... we were in LA!

This was the beginning of the longest day ever (well it really began in NYC so that's even longer). We walked up and down the street and went in when we wanted, but why do we keep smelling skunk? My favorite store is still Tortoise!  So we made a visit, I had a psychic reading (why not.. this is LA after all) and then Jann called her friend Clive, boy can he talk, and I tell you it's not easy being in between two South Africans reminiscing! I don't know why but I felt as though I was there too... We wanted to go to Axe (my favorite place, hands down, anywhere in the world) but they had a fire in the kitchen, so it was closed... But we found a new lovely spot called Gjelina on the advise of Jamie from Lost & Found, but we couldn't get in for one and half hours, so we walked down the street and into a poetry reading (poetry with music, what's that a poetry jam?) and then along the way we found a Paul McCarthy opening at the brand new L&M gallery, don't click this link if kids are nearby, but if you want to see what we saw... then by all means click here (there is movement in the piece and the heads spin around and actually look at you if you scream with laughter as we did). So now it's 11pm (2am for us!) and we haven't eaten anything but nuts and apples on the plane! Starving, we beg for our table at Gjelina and they feel sorry for us and let us in... That and the fact that Clive is STILL talking... Clive ordered plates and plates of food and we just kept eating, it was so amazingly delicious! grilled escarole with an anchovy vinaigrette... absolutely to die for... everything was so fresh, clean and easy and did I say incredibly tasty... we couldn't stop talking about it and Clive was still going! At 1am we are on our way out and there is that smell of skunk again, and Clive finally tells me that it's pot... pot is practically legal and just as he says it we walk by a guy with a giant Jamaican style doobie (they are going to have to add that word to spell check soon!) outside a dispensary... there you go... it's practically legal, and we see signs of it all weekend. So when you smell skunk... it's not! ha!

Clive, snakes Alive... thank you for an incredibly memorable night and the most delicious food I have had in a LONG long time!

in the back room of Tortoise General Store
Mohawk General Store / Amsterdam Modern

It's 2 am before the GPS finds our home for the night... who KNOWS where we were, but we were certainly in LA! When we woke up in the morning we were in a very sweet neighborhood called Pacific Heights.. perfectly cute, but we needed coffee... so off we went as fast as our little GPS would take us to a place we were told to go for an $8 cup of coffee... Silver Lake's Sunset Junction. Now... it's my SECOND favorite place to go... just after Abbot Kinney. We found a wonderful store called Mohawk General Store and ended up staying and somehow we kept coming back! I'm crazy for this stereo... I've always wanted one and this one just seemed perfect, like a lot of things in this store!

interior of Mohawk General Store

Where ever we went we are inspired by indigo (see it there on the left).... it just kept popping up, even in conversation, we found a friend of a friend, Britt Browne, she's fantastic! There was talk about an indigo dying weekend class... I'm sure this will be impetus for another LA trip! We saw vintage Japanese indigo in second hand shops (for thousands of dollars!!), shirts, scarves and even pants... it's was everywhere!

entering heaven... I mean the Getty

For the second half of the day we decided to go to HEAVEN... I mean, The Getty! It's like heaven isn't it?... all that white way up in the sky like that and then you take that white tram up there... I was waiting for George Burns to come on the loud speaker and welcome us! And there we were lying around on the grass in heaven. We did manage to take in a show or two of photography, one room of photojournalism was so moving it was kind of hard to leave, I learned a lot that day! Our date for dinner was with Julie (from Verre, who's jewelry I sell on Nonchalant Mom - click here) and her lovely husband Brody, who is going to bring Nonchalant Mom into the modern age by putting me on Facebook! (he has invented, is that what you say?), an amazing tool that helps you look amazing on Facebook, click here... coming soon...

The next day we woke up and went to see Gurumuk at Golden Bridge! We thought to ourselves, why not? When in LA go and see Gurmukh, I read her book in my second pregnancy and birth, it's called Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful... I love her and her teachings are so simple and yet so strong. My sister had met her and told me that she is the most beautiful women she has ever seen! She was right... She started the class off with a chant that echoed deep within me and by the end of the class I was lying on my back in savasana and wheeping like crazy... I'm not sure why, but it felt great and like a light entered my heart. She talked about so much, she talked about not holding back and just moving on, no matter what obstacles come up in your life, it's important to learn from them and move to your next step. We rolled on the floor like penguins trying to get up and when we were done it felt amazing! Then we ate a beautiful lunch... you must go to the Golden Bridge if you find yourself in LA.

Later this week I will write about the rest of the trip... It's the BEST part if you can imagine that... Coming soon... (sorry I'm tired and I know it's going to be a long post, because it was so interesting and fun!)


JE TAiME :: fights breast cancer

For the month of October all profits for the JE TAiME bag are going to go to breast cancer research. Each year when October comes around I keep meaning to create something for breast cancer awareness month, and then I never make that something... so I decided, what better an item than our bestselling JE TAiME bag!! It's perfect, it's pink... it's all there... and all the profits go to Breast Cancer Research! Hooray!!

click here to purchase bag on Nonchalant Mom


Emily Ulmer is coming to town!

Emily Ulmer is coming to the East Coast... Yay! If you would like to have her make some photos of your kids or a family photo she is offering a package:

October 13th - 26th - NYC
(she is also going to be in the DC area)

and hey, I may convince her to come up to Rhode Island... you never know...

1-2 hour photo shoot
image editing
50 flat cards plus envelopes $350
50 fold out cards plus envelopes $375
disc with entire set of hi-res images available separately

contact emily directly to set up appointment

The holiday portrait special will include a 1-2 hour shoot, photo editing, and the finished cards and envelopes. A disc of the entire set of hi-resolution images can be purchased separately--- to have the images to print in the future. Individual prints may also be purchased. So if you usually take a photo, make a card... etc.. Emily will do it all for you. Great for busy parents!

Thank you Emily (good idea!!)

see my previous post about Emily here
visit Small magazines latest Fall issue where Emily has a 7 page editorial
visit her website to see more!!


french school lunch

I am a big fan of the CBS Sunday Morning program on Television and I try to catch it when I can, it's slow, they tell the whole story-slowly, it's not hype, it's calm and well thought out, it's not always bad news and very often it's just the GOOD news... who needs that, I DO!! (I miss Charles Kuralt, but I won't go there now) I happened to miss this program from Sunday, September 26th about school lunches in France, but it was just sent to me by a friend and I was ASTOUNDED! This could be a reason the French schools are so much better, the kids have a better lunch, and therefore they are smarter!

click here to watch! 
(if it doesn't load correctly, just re-load your browser and it should work!)

Funny enough I was recently thinking about the idea kids going home for lunch as they do in Italy, what if American kids came home for lunch??... most of those kids would be alone as so many American families have two working parents! It seems that the French also use this curriculum, you have two hours for lunch, in which time you can go home and have lunch with your family (because if the working counterpart in the family works close-by they will also come home for lunch!) and then go back to school or work (and NO they do not work until 8pm, they still work until 6 or even 5pm). This is the norm in Italy and as I gather from this news spot, it's the same in France.

But the real story here is the school lunch in France, it looks delicious doesn't it!? What I love about it, far from the fact that it is made from scratch, is that they are not particularly fed what kids like, yet they are fed a meal that is lunch and not chicken nuggets because that is all you think your kids will eat. And notice that they are told to EAT. Not... "ooh honey what would you LIKE to eat and let me get that for you?"...

Just think if, in my store I only sold what you like now, not what I think you may like, a new trend, or interesting colors or a fun new shape, just that red t-shirt I know you love... BORING! It's the same way with food... If your kids keep getting squash to try, they see everyone else eating it without a problem, you don't make a big deal about getting them something else, one day, they will be hungry and just eat it! viola!... end of story, they are over not liking squash, it's just that easy. Another tangent here, back to the story...

Cooked from scratch school lunch! If you notice how the kitchen is run it's not about buying sterilized, radiated and processed food, it's about WASHING the ingredients before you cook them and having a clean kitchen! It's about making a healthy lunch with all the food groups... THIS is the story here... This is not impossible and if school lunches were able to be cooked from scratch, think of the Chefs this would create! Move over Jamie Oliver!

I see some jobs opening up here... someone call Mr. Obama. I think this could be what Mrs. Obama is talking about... hey!?

french school lunch menu


the UPS and DOWNS of a webshop... 10% off for ONE DAY ONLY

Yes, there I was last friday, looking at my website, which was showing up on the internet with a page that said "website down"... But I am happy to say, it lasted for 24 hours (oh my god!!) and then the website was up again, no information lost or stolen... just that it was down and now it's UP again! whew!

SO, I would like to offer everyone, FOR ONE DAY ONLY! -- in essence that 24 hours that I lost -- a discount of 10% off everything on the website!!
YES, you heard me right, 10% off of EVERYTHING!

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Please use the code: EXTRA10 and you will receive 10% off your entire order!

click here to start shopping!

Back in stock: Nadissa Shawls from Matta

I know that many of you were sad to see the 'Sold Out' show up on this item... but I just got more in stock!! This is one of my favorite pieces of the season and don't miss your chance to get one!

Nadissa Shawl by Matta - now BACK IN STOCK! YAHOO!

click here to get yours...

(that is not a faded mark in the center that is a scratch on my LENS! arrgh!)