recipe: papardelle + broccoli

I love this recipe and it's so darn easy! If you want to add protein (but papardelle is egg pasta so you have some there...) to the meal just serve some hard cheese with it (I really like sheep milk Grana, it's cheaper than Parmesan but I think it's better, it's more like what a farmer would eat! and kids like it too even though it's strong) OR maybe some sausages on the side? You could also use sunflower seeds or sesame seeds as condiments (or shake some gomasio on top!)

Papardelle + Broccoli

papardelle pasta
olive oil or butter
1 tablespoon greek yogurt (optional)

-cook papardelle until just-cooked in salted water (al dente doesn't work well with papardelle because it's egg pasta) and throw in the broccoli at the end of cooking until it turns bright green-1 minute (don't over cook!!) and then strain all with pasta

BUT - don't forget to save a cup of the pasta water just in case you need it!

-add olive oil or this is the only pasta dish where I may use butter because the kids love it this way!
-a large spoonful of greek yogurt
-chopped parsely
-lots of pepper and some salt
-add the pasta water if it's too dry

Wasn't that EASY!


so much to do....

So much to do... Ever have those weeks (I could say 'days' but this is lasting too long.. so it's turning into a week!) when you have so much to do you can't focus on anything! It's just all urgent! Ah yes... All too familiar to all of you! Then toss in there that your husband is out of town for a few weeks AND the kids are off from school AND new collections are coming in AND Fall 2010 orders are due.. bla bla bla, and then you have PMS and then SOMEHOW you signed your son up for baseball AND soccer... How did it get like this!? (I don't even want to tell you what our house looks like --but I must say that somehow I HAVE found the time to plant some things in my garden and some flowers and a couple of shrubs-ssshhhh... don't tell anyone!--)

When I am 'in it' it's hard to see out of it... and then throw in the pms confusion and I begin to start about ten projects and then drift off to the internet blog-o-sphere! (and it's so hard to come back from there once you're out there!). Well with this I only wanted to say that I feel like this too sometimes!! And no I can't clean up the mess, and why don't we just go out for dinner, and I start to yell at my kids... and that's when I know... as soon as I actually get my period I feel so much RELIEF! and then I feel bad about getting angry with the kids...

Here are some things to help:

Primrose Oil - you can find them organic as a supplement, it's amazing relief from pms and so harmless, you feel good taking it. (I feel like it gives me long patience).

Rescue Remedy - always works... just takes you OVER the problem and out of it!

Staying off sugar - caffeine - dairy - these are big triggers for pms symtoms and if you can clean yourself from them (but I mean totally from your diet, not just for that time period) you won't even know when your period is coming.. HA! how great does that sound!?

Macrobiotic Diet - a macrobiotic diet will take you off the above while it also supports your bodies needs, it's a big commitment but it is has the best payoff, you will learn so much about your lifestyle and your body that will always stay with you!

Acidic Foods - stay away from acidic foods and eat more alkaline, this will help mood swings and help your body to stay strong.

Umeboshi Plums - take a cup of hot kukicha tea and drop in an umeboshi plum and it will practically dissolve while you stir it, when you get to the bottom of your teacup take the pit into your mouth and suck off the 'meat' (I even end up sucking on the pit for a bit, it's sour but really good for you!) - the umeboshi helps to make your blood more alkaline.

Sometimes you just need some support in your life! This time, I was out of Primrose Oil, forgot about rescue remedy, and just had an Ume-tea this morning... aaahhhh the sweet smell of relief!

(image found on internet a blog called: frazzledmom.com)


new drink - Alo

I just found this drink at our local Whole Foods store and... it was on sale... so I thought, I should give it a try. I have a friend who is convinced that an Aloe Vera drink that she had every day cured her of thyroid cancer, which she did among other natural things, and for 8 years now she has been clean. YES, this is enough for anyone to give Aloe a try and this was my chance.

I even ran it by our eight year old son, and he said we should give it a go... so we did and the whole family loves it! It's a little crazy at first because there are actual chunks of aloe in the drink, the kids thought this was kooky but they still love it!

Since ancient times aloe vera has been used externally for healing, and I am sure that we ALL have cut a leaf and spread the juices onto our sun-burned skin at one point or another, and doesn't this just beg the question; "what if we drink this fluid?" Well ALO has the answer - aloe vera has many vitamins and minerals, it contains enzymes, amino acids and agents which may be anti-inflamitory and anti-microbial, and is good for your digestive system. It also helps in the absorption of vitamins C and E, but really I just somehow trust that aloe is great for us.

There is cane sugar in the product but it's one of the last of the short list of ingredients (I love a short ingredient list!). But now I just want to try their other drinks! (all of which contain 25% aloe vera juice and pulp)

aloe :: exposed
aloe + wheatgrass :: awaken
aloe + pomegranate + cranberry :: enrich
aloe + pomelo + pink grapefruit + lemon :: appeal
aloe + 12 fruits and vegetables :: enliven
aloe + olive leaf :: elated
aloe + mangosteen + mango :: allure

I think that they all sound GREAT! But so far I have only tried 'EXPOSED' I hope that you get a chance to try them this summer... I have a feeling that they will become a refreshing summer drink around this house! It's slightly sweet, but not too sweet, it's clear so no colors added, it's refreshing any time of day (to wake up to or as a good night elixer)... ahh just right!

(this is starting to sound like an ad - but I PROMISE you they did not put me up to this... I LOVE the stuff!)

click here to find out more and visit their website - alo drink


Bloesem :: Mom Story - Carina Schott!

I am so very excited to be included in Irene's Mom Stories on her B:kids blog for Bloesem! I get so inspired by her blog and I am lucky enough to say that she loves my store!

When I am not sure what to write about on Nonchalant Mom, all I have to do is take a visit to Bloesem or B:kids and viola! Instant inspiration! I honestly don't know how she does it -- but you can read more about our daily life and trips and such...

Mom Story -- Carina Schott
on B:kids!

click here to go directly to B:kids and get inspired!

Thank you so - so - so much Irene!



We are in Minnesota again this week... We didn't know what to do for Spring Break this year and staying home was top on our list, but then Minneapolis came a-calling! and I am so happy we made the trip--I love Minneapolis and miss it so much. Lucky enough this week is super warm and we are having fun outside playing every day in 70 degree, uncharistic, heat!!

I will pull together a nice Minneapolis guide in the coming week but for now we are just hanging out with the family!! We made it to the Guthrie theater last night (without the kids sorry!) for M.Butterfly! it was great! Tomorrow for Earth Day we will be part of planting 1,000 trees in Waconia, Minnesota (coming post..) as part of an Earth Day project with Onesta haircare products, we are so excited!

Fulll guide to come.....
But don't worry about shipping and orders.. they are going out as usual, Julie is in the store and shipping like crazy!!


earth day and what YOU can do!

I am one of those Earth Day people that loves the idea of Earth Day, have always done something special on the day but never really took the initiative to pull a group together and do a clean-up... until yesterday!

At a school meeting I realized that our school wasn't going to do anything for Earth Day, mostly because it came on a day that my son's school was on Spring Break, but I still thought we could do something. So I chirped up... and said that I would pull something together.

I got really into it and had the history of Earth Day together, I had a composter on-hand to explain about composting and show the kids how it was done, and I had pulled together some small projects (a recycled bird feeder and some plantings to take home) AND we were going to go out and clean up the school grounds! Well the time came and the kids were so excited to clean up that all I could do is give them a bit of history and then I decided that we should take to the grounds... We collected SO MUCH garbage! It was really exciting to see the kids really into the task!

I am telling you this because I want you to know how EASY this little project is and it was such a big hit at my son's school! When we were finished we got to look at our heaps of garbage, and each of the kids talked about what they were going to do on the REAL Earth Day, April 22nd -- clean up, plant trees, start a family compost (okay I was kind of pushing this one!) and one kid said that he was going to plant TWO trees! ha!

The whole thing really took nothing... I got the kids some cheap work gloves so that they had something to take home, a reminder to clean up on Earth Day, we used recycled grocery bags and I got the Earth Day history (which is really fun) on the earthday.org website.

In 1985, when I worked for Esprit in San Francisco we went to the beach and cleaned up. I remember we had about eight things to choose from, some people went to work for Habitat for Humanity, etc... I will never forget this and doing this project as part of my job at the time (we were paid for the day) I thought was really inspiring (thank you for that Esprit!).

I hope that this inspires you to pull together an Earth Day at your school, and if not this year then next year!! Just do it... it's a lot of fun!


Hable summer fun!

I love hable construction and you may already know this because I carried them in my store, then they 'said' they were no longer doing accessories.. how sad I thought, then, today I went to their website and alas... there were accessories, just the perfect ones just in time for summer!

a Horseshoe, for that awkward moment when you arrive at someones house to visit for a summer weekend, now you can pull this out and 'tadaaa..', handily called the 'hostess gift'. We have many visitors and I happen to love this little tradition! So, if you come to my house this summer, I want this little horseshoe - to put above our door! ("U" facing up so that it catches all the good luck!)

This little ditty could drive you to sew, or at least pretend to! A terrific little something for that wonderful little someone friend that sews... all the time! ... and needs one!

And finally for that gardener in the family, a hat and gloves. I tell you gardening can feel so much better when you have the right stuff! (and it can make you get out there and work more often too!)
..okay a shovel and trowel help too!

--husbands take note for mothers day gifts!

All available at Hable Construction website (not at mine... boo hoo!)

oh, and they also have an assortment of sizes for pillow inserts, this is always a problem and I know that theirs are very good quality! They suggest putting in new inserts after five years--good idea!


willow creek sign company

These terrific vinyl signs are designed by a group of moms that have started their own etsy business and WHAT CREATIVITY! I love what they have come up with and so very unique... The Willow Creek Sign Company has found a way to personalize these lovely vinyl messages for your home or office (and somehow they don't cost an arm and a leg!).

So here is to a talented bunch... just take a look at all you can create with their help! My favorite is these for kids rooms! (they love to see their name on the wall... at least you can make it look nice!)

click here to visit Willow Creek Sign Company etsy shop

(and I think they have a contest going on right now!)

click here to visit the willow creek sign company etsy page



One of the most popular posts that I have made is the one on sunscreens so I thought that it was a good idea to give you an update. Today on Treehugger they gave out some great information along with the results of the Enviornmental Working Groups study on sunscreens. I think that this is a very hot topic -- should you use sunscreen or not? What about vitamin D? What about the ingredients in sunscreen? I think that this article in Treehugger gives us some firm answers and helps you to make the decision for you and your family what is best. It is very important to look at the environmental working groups list of sunblocks and see how your sunblock rates!

Treehuggers article (or click here to see full article and links):
by Pablo Päster

Does Your Sunscreen Have You Covered?
The sun produces a wide spectrum of light, including the three bands of ultra-violet light that we call UVA (400-315 nm), UVB (315-280 nm), and UVC (280-100 nm). UVB is the band of light that causes sunburns and the only category of UV that sunblock is regulated for by the US FDA. Unfortunately for us, UVB only represents 4% of the UV radiation entering the atmosphere and UVA is much more responsible for causing skin cancer, premature skin aging, and other skin damage. Since UVA protection is not regulated by the FDA, many claims of UVA protection are not credible. Either the UVA protection is insufficient, or the active ingredient degrades too rapidly when exposed to sunlight, leaving you with inadequate protection after some time.

An additional concern is actually too much coverage. UVB light is required by the skin to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency seems to be the new medical buzzword and 30-50% of the US population are said to be affected by it.

Carcinogens and Hormone Disruptors In Your Sunscreen?
Some sunscreens, like Coppertone ultraGuard Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 15) contain oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is used because it blocks UVA and UVB but it gets absorbed into the skin, acting as a photosensitizer. Because of this it is believed to be a likely photocarcinogen. As if that weren't enough, oxybenzone is also a hormone disruptor that has been found in the urine of 97% of Americans over the age of six (CDC). Fortunately there has been a decrease in the use of oxybenzone but it is still approved by the FDA for use in sunscreen.

An additional area of concern are nanoparticles. Nano-sized (<100>

What Can You Do To Protect Your Family?
In order to protect yourself and your loved ones from the sun and the unintended consequences of using some sunscreens here are a few suggestions.

  • More is not better: Sunscreens rated with SPF 55-100+ block just 1-2% more sunburn rays than an SPF 30 rated sunscreen.
  • Check your sunscreen: Find your sunscreen here and dispose of it properly if it doesn't pass muster.
  • Sunscreen loses its effectiveness. Check the manufacturer's date stamp and replace it if it is expired.
  • When you buy sunscreen follow Environmental Working Group's list of recommended sunscreens.
  • Look for sunscreens with avobenzone, Mexoryl, titanium dioxide, and zinc for UVA coverage.
  • Avoidance is best. If you don't have to be out in the sun between 10am and 4pm, stay in the shade.
  • The best sunscreen is the kind you wear. Outdoor clothing manufacturers are producing SPF-rated clothing to keep you comfortable and sunburn free.

Thank you Treehugger for providing this great information!

Environmental Working Groups list of sunblocks (it takes awhile for it to come up because it's a long list of over 1800 products)- find your sunblock on this list and you can see if you need to throw it away or keep! It's that simple. There are only FIVE sunblocks listed that get a zero (0) rating which is the best! -- on the other hand there are 48 who receive an eight (8) which is the worst rating! alarming isn't it... When I look at the basket at my kids school every one of those products are listed in the range from 6 to 8, Neutrogena, Aveeno baby... it's all there in black and white. You can click on each of the products to see what it is that is giving the product a low (or high) score and you can see immediately those with Oxybenzone (including Neutrogena and Aveeno baby!)

click here to read Treehuggers article
click here to go to the Enviornmental Working Groups study
click here to visit the list of sunblocks and their ratings


I love Jamie Oliver!

Yes, Jamies food revolution has taken America by storm and I can think of no better show on TV, the fact that it is on ABC and not a cable channel is the best! If you have not already heard of the show it is about Jamie taking on the high statistics of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in the US, where our nation's children are the first generation not expected to live as long as their parents. Oliver is inviting viewers to take a stand and change the way America eats, in home kitchens, schools and workplaces, with the thought-provoking new series, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution," on Fridays 9:00-10:00 p.m. (ET) on the ABC Television Network.

In his first program Jamie visits Huntington, West Virginia - which has been called the unhealthiest city in America -- to start his new cooking iniative. He hopes to help get Huntington off that list and start a chain reaction of positive change across the country. Jamie says, "The time is right for people to rediscover the sense of pride, satisfaction and fun you can get from cooking for the people you love. There's an incredible community in Huntington, and I want this experience to be a celebration of what we can achieve when people come together. I want to prove that turning around the epidemic of obesity and bad health doesn't have to be boring or dull in the slightest. Wonderful stories will unfold in Huntington, and hopefully this will inspire the rest of the States."

I think this is totally exciting. He has been all about making radical changes to the school meals system and challenging the junk food culture by showing schools they can serve fresh nutritious meals that kids enjoy eating all over England and now it is time to start his revolution here in America!

You can sign his petition by clicking here. Signing this petition will help to bring the change to our school lunch system. Jamie would like to take his petition to the White House after the TV series airs, to show The President and First Lady how many people across the country really care about this and ask for their support. I really feel that this will make a difference so join in and let's all do what we can to ensure our kids eat healthy meals... even at school!

visit the Jamie Oliver website to get more information about him and his cooking!
click here to sign the petition - and don't forget to pass it onto all of your friends!


party poms

This is just one of those simple things that I totally delight in... party poms! In our home we like to tape stuff all over the place for birthday parties, but I like to keep it at just colorful things and these are a beautiful was to do just that... just choose your favorite color, or bunch of colors and really go with it and cover your whole ceiling in them! You could even add a dragon or butterflies (see this old post with our dragon on the ceiling) Keep life fun and colorful I always say... and so do these guys at Party Poms (an etsy shop) - right now they are having a sale on 10 piece party poms! Don't miss it!

Thank you party pom guys for making every party all the more fun and special!

click here to visit the Party Pom etsy shop


gardening, just about anywhere!

I came upon this great "idea" "product"... whatever, I love it! I think that one of the biggest problems in gardening is finding the space to garden, and these two companies help you immensely with that problem. I love an herb garden and although we have quite a lot of land to work with somehow the spot for my herb garden has yet to show itself... until now, now I think that I can put it just about anyplace!

Woolly Pocket is a wonderful company from California that will help you create a garden just about anywhere, even attached to a wall! Ingenious! Indoors or outdoors, vertically or as a standing pot (or if you have the space a giant garden woolly pocket!) I love them all and what a great idea! You can turn just about anyplace in your home green an lush with a Woolly Pocket, and we all know how healthy it is to have lots of plants in your home, they actually clean the air you breathe you know!

Did I mention outside... even cooler!

They also offer a school program in which they will help you work with you on how to create a living garden at your local school! I am off to a PTO meeting at my school tonight to see what we can do to get ourselves a Woolly Pocket Garden! That's a Woolly Pocket, 5 pocket wall garden behind the kids -- 40 pockets for 40 kids to have their own garden! what could be better and look how little room these take, how easy!

And another idea....

Another wonderful company, a French one, offers another solution which is similar, but very different! This one helps you create an easily moveable garden. Well maybe the large Basac will not move so easily!?

Two great ideas to help you garden this year!
Add a little bit of LIFE to your LIFE!

visit the Basac website here
visit the Woolly Pocket website here


shampoodle! :: summer fun

I love the summer collection from Shampoodle, it's always full of fun and this season they did not let us down! For me, Shampoodle always makes terrific travel clothing, I don't know about you but when I travel I always step a bit outside myself and dress a bit more free and fun, whether it's color, style or maybe unique-to-me accessories. It's a very refreshing feeling and it just makes a vacation all the more unpredictable. The Shampoodle collection travels well, with things that you can pack into even your smallest bag, and always looks smart!

This season Jakob and Helene created their Spring/Summer collection with the theme: The Collector (hence you see collector pants etc...) They described it as:

The Collector - a 19th century explorer in 21st century style. Understanding the world at large by looking through a microscope. Blending in to nature in light tunics, washed earth tones and reptile patterned tights.

Simply; childishly comforable clothes. Enjoy!
Our mission is to design childrens clothes that make you look and feel fabulous. All designs are sampled from memories and discussions, self-lived or imaginary. All named after our muse of the hour — a TV-soap, movie or a beat from the past. Fabric and colors are chosen after season and theme. All wrapt up within an affordable price range.

Most of the Shampoodle collection is in fact made with Organic materials, but this season the fabulous snake pants (love these!) are viscose... otherwise all organic! Yahoo! At Nonchalant Mom we have both the Adult and kids collections! (so yes, you can have these fabulous collector pants for yourself!)

I took some photographs so that you could see that the collector pants work great as a romper as well (just size up!).

To shop the Shampoodle collection at Nonchalantmom just click here!


natural fun and play for kids - Clementine Art

These are wonderful products for you and your kids, all made of completely natural ingredients--and somehow this makes the playing all the more fun, when you KNOW that your kids are using wholesome ingredients. With things like: flour, water salt, cream of tartar in the product list, and colors that come from Tumeric, Carmine and Spinach you know it's all safe and fun! I also think that colors are so much more beautiful when their source is natural, deep rich colors that always make play more inspiring.

Diana first opened a creative art studio in Boulder Colorado where kids could create to their hearts content! Freely and with fun, she offers camps, classes and workshops. It was within Clementine Studio that she thought one day, what if all of these art materials were completely safe and natural? And up spawned Clementine Art.

You can find Modeling Dough, Paint, Markers, Soy Crayons, Soy Crayon Rocks and Glue to top it all off! I think it's an amazing idea and I hope that she has more great ideas to follow! (no pressure!)
click here to visit clementine art
click here to visit clementine studio in Boulder Colorado