For Sale!

 FOR SALE - Lovely, comfortable and cozy home in Rhode Island. Yes, we are selling our home! Nestled just about 1 mile from the ocean with ocean views in the wintertime, this well appointed, 3 bedroom - 2 bathroom home is For Sale. Located in beautiful South County and near all Rhode Island beaches, 10 minutes from Amtrak - 2 minutes to ocean! It's been a great home for us but I could also see it as a vacation home for a Boston or New York family.

We love this house so incredibly much but we are looking forward to a new challenge in our lives and we are excited about what is on the horizon. Rhode Island has been such an amazing place to live and raise our kids, but it's time for a change. Before we officially list the house I wanted to offer it to the Nonchalant Mom community.

Please contact me for more details and more photos.

nightshades - not so good for you but they are in abundance now!

(okay - disclaimer here... I wanted to write a story on nightshades and then I had this photo... but zucchini is not a nightshade... in my mind were eggplants that my neighbor brought over and I thought to myself, "oh, what will I do with these, we don't really eat them.." hence the idea for the nightshade story... AND it went un-noticed until an anonymous comment put me back in line! so thank you!! I am sorry, it's still a good story it's just that zucchini is NOT a nightshade!)

I think that we all know that nightshades are not the best food for the human body, they are inflammatory agents and this is never good for our organs. Especially if you have signs of arthritis or other inflammatory diseases. But what should you do right now when these vegetables are in so much abundance. We don't even plant them in our garden yet, somehow, we had one LARGE zucchini when we came back from our vacation, it was hidden among our squash.

Why are nightshades the easiest thing to cook? The easiest dinner of all... fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil and pasta -- Who doesn't like the sound of that!? I don't like to cut this out of our diet totally, because its so yummy, so we do have it 2-3 times a month. But in general, I don't rush for nightshades when I am in a restaurant, I rather move in the direction of a simple vegetable pasta cooked with oil and garlic (or something like that...??). If you do eat nightshades try to balance them out with more Yang food. This chart always helps me to balance out a meal, you want a healthy balance of Yin and Yang. You can see how the Macrobiotic diet is focused on the middle range.


Coffee, spices, chocolate, caffeinated or stimulant teas
Tropical fruits and juices
Fats and Oils
Nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant)
Fresh and soft dairy products (milk, fresh goat cheese)


Temperate fruits (apples, pears, berries, stone fruits, etc)
Leafy green vegetables
Round vegetables
Beans, tofu, tempeh
Root vegetables
Sea vegetables
Whole grains

Salty and aged cheeses
Red meat, and eggs
Sea salt


For kids, I know nightshades are a staple, almost like peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, and then the pasta with tomato. Just be aware that this is not a healthy option for kids, even though it seems to be vegetables and with your eyes at least it looks good.... it's not. Just keep your focus of foods for your kids on this middle range and you are giving them a great benefit!

Now, back to my nightshade problem, what did I do with my zucchini!? I cut it into julienne, long thin strips, then sauteed with a bunch of garlic, salt and pepper and served with spaghetti pasta -- delicious!

I had a request in a comment for a book on more information on nightshades.
I would suggest:
specifically on nightshades there is a very good book:
Nightshade Free Pain Free by Michael Fowler
also specifically on nightshades (but I have not read this one):
The Fascinating World of Nightshades by Charles Bixler Heiser


oops I forgot nico nico!!

how could I forget, my favorite organic collection... made by Sue Tsai

busy photographing new collections!!

we have been busy as bees photographing and getting the collections ready for you!!

so far we have:

LUCKY WANG (please see the shopluckywang.com website for now, I will have it on nonchalant mom later this week!)
ATSUYO ET AKIKO (we are always getting new things from these girls! but I LOVE it!)

We had a great time photographing and we are just trying to figure out how to get you MORE images ... here are some for now!

and soon you will be able to see more photos on the website by going to the collections page and clicking on the top bar of images, it should all be ready later this week! thanks for your patience and I hope that these images help you make your decisions.


goats in central park

 Did you know that goats used to roam central park? It seems that Back in 1864, famed Central Park landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux were going for a bucolic English countryside look when they imported 200 sheep to graze on a lush 15-acre pasture, giving birth to the park's Sheep Meadow. There, the herbivores trimmed, frolicked, and fertilized. Some 80 years later, it's still a good idea, so why don't we do it?

The folks at Yahoo, Google, and the Vanderbilt Mansion, a national historic site in New Hyde Park, NY, have hired goats to tame their expanses in a way that uses fewer toxins and machinery. As Christina Page, Yahoo's director of Climate and Energy Strategy, told Treehugger in June, "We opted for a creative -- and greener -- alternative to spraying the weeds with pesticides."

What a wonderful and simple idea! I guess you would have to check with your neighbors. But there have been a few companies that 'rent' goats to help tame you lawn (you can visit a website called 'goatfinder' to see if there is anyone participating near you or just go and ask your neighborhood farm if you can borrow their goats. I think this is just one of the most obvious ideas I have heard in a long time.

And getting back to NYC's Central Park, did you know that Tavern on the Green was the 'goat barn'... I think it was put to MUCH better use as a barn than a tourist destination, right?!

read more here in a Wall Street Journal's article


Road Trip Route

I'm sorry to keep posting about our trip but, lastly, I just wanted to re-cap our route. Obviously you can do just about anything in the Southwest and it's going to be beautiful but just in case you want ideas I thought I would share our route.

We started in Las Vegas, then spent our first night in Peach Springs, we thought the nostalgic Route 66 would be fun, but it wasn't... it was okay... but not spectacular. I think that the town of Williams gives you a nice point reference on Route 66 (and you can stay on HWY 40) and then you don't have to waste the hours on rolling highway. Not to mention the fact that Route 66 follows the Train so wherever you go, expect the honking of trains all through the night... nice the first few times, then it gets a bit much!

For the second night it was straight up to Grand Canyon, stunning and great to arrive in the morning, get yourself situated and stay for a couple of days, we stayed in both Grand Canyon Village and Desert View, both were great places to stay. From there we went onto Monument Valley and that was the best drive,  desolate and majestic with the monuments. We spent a night at the Monument Valley Navajo Indian Reservation there and it was one of our best nights! We had a meteor shower and a night out in the desert! Just a note about traveling at this time of year (August) in the desert, you can expect to hear NO english, I don't think we saw any Americans! (it was French and Italian all the way!)

Then it was straight to Santa Fe, we stopped by Valley of the Gods and the Four Corners (a bit silly, but our son purchased and very cool sling-shot that came in handy for the trip). We stayed three nights in Santa Fe, because we loved it! and then it was time to start back. We went through Albuquerque, which was not great but we didn't have any information on where to stay etc.. so we should have done more homework. But it's a long drive all the way to Sedona (our next destination), it took just about all day.

We really wanted to swim and play in a river so we found that at Slippery Rock - super fun swimming on slippery rocks! Sliding down the river on natural rocks.. it was a bunch of fun for the whole family! We stayed in Sedona for two nights and relaxed and ate good food and went back to slippery rock twice! Also Red Rock was fun... lots to do in Sedona!

And then back to Las Vegas... I'm not sure if I should tell you what happened in Vegas?....? (ha!)


Santa Fe

Our trip was completely wonderful, all went well! (whew!) Our highlights were varied for all of us, but I think that hands down we all loved our VW Eurovan camper! We rented it from a small company called Leaving Las Vegas, this wonderful couple has 7 campers ready for rental. If you want to take a special road-trip vacation anywhere around Las Vegas I would suggest calling these guys. We went as far as Santa Fe and then back to Las Vegas in our camper and it was perfection! Easy to pull into any campground and we even camped a couple of nights without a campground (out in the open desert of Monument Valley), it was all pretty effortless and a whole bunch of fun!

Santa Fe was one of our big destinations and we fell in love with the place! We arrived at night and as we came in from the mountains it was beautiful but all I could think about was that I wished it was daylight so I could see everything. BUT it was nighttime... we made a mistake and had NO idea how long it would take to drive through the mountains, but it was a fun and exciting drive through the Jemez Mountains.

We decided to stay in a hotel that first night so we could figure out where we were and funny enough we woke up the next morning right next to Whole Foods and in an Artists District (well, I have come to think that ALL of Santa Fe is an Artists District, but we were happy with where we landed). Everything became somehow effortless in Santa Fe, delightful people, so interested in our Eurovan (and we saw many more here!) and interesting to talk to. We once pulled up in front of a gallery and as we all hopped out of our camper and we started talking to each other, it was as if we had been friends for years... The people in this town were so welcoming!

We found an odd little campground right outside of the town called "Rancheros de Santa Fe" it was as if it was stuck in time but perfect for us, it even had a movie for the kids each night! Camping in Santa Fe in the summertime is easy and the weather is perfect, warm in the daytime and cool at night. We didn't make terribly eventful excursions and just checked out the town and it's surroundings. Probably the most wonderful part of Santa Fe and missing in towns in the US is the central town square. There was music being played of all kinds during the day and night. People were just hanging out and listening or even dancing. There is a large church just off the square, the St. Francis Basilica Cathedral which reminds me of the beautiful churches of Italy. The galleries were inspiring and then there was my favorite... The Teahouse!  There were playgrounds for the kids that were fun but they liked to walk around in the square the best.

Needless to say we will be back for more... and who knows... maybe we will move there some day!! If you want to ask us questions or you are planning to visit - don't hesitate I would love to share more information!

(sorry, somehow that's my only photo of Santa Fe, of the square out the car window, I guess we were having so much fun we forgot to photograph!)


travel eating / travel food

Many times traveling equals bad fast food or overpriced tourist food, and it can be very irritating, and also cause your kids to get hyper or act out of control and even make yourself not feel 100%, lose energy and get irritable. Traveling on the road you need as much as you can get going for you, and the littlest thing can throw you off. I promise you it doesn't have to be difficult or complicated. My rule is just travel with good food and have healthy snacks ready at hand and you can usually expect a more smooth road.

Like I've said a few times already, we didn't plan this trip very well, in that I mean we didn't have any of the details worked out before we left. I was even a bit surprised when we got on our flight to Las Vegas and it was announced that it was a 5 hour flight! whoa! Luckily, I grabbed the leftovers from our meal the night before and packed them in to-go containers. We munched on carrots, celery and cucumbers and a dip of hummus and some pita bread, it's all we had so there were few complaints. Somehow this just set our trip off in the right way.

We arrived in Las Vegas to pick up our VW Eurovan (from a great little company that rents vans called Leaving Las Vegas) and headed straight for Whole Foods (yes, even in Las Vegas we were saved by Whole Foods!) We stocked the fridge and cooler with yummy and easy snacks and camping food and we were set to go! (the cost came to just about $120 but saved us from really bad road food along the way) and it took us all the way through the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley until Santa Fe where we stocked up again.

I don't know if I should go into details about what we brought with us, don't want to bore you, but letting the kids pick out a few things usually helps. We stocked up on fresh fruit, veggies, and nuts for snacking and then just a few simple meals. One of my favorite fall-backs is futomaki (vegetable sushi rolls) they are such a complete meal with brown rice, veggies and seaweed all rolled into one, you know everthing is there! We are not health food police when we are on the road and we have our share of hot dogs and smores - but believe me it all goes smoother when you have healthy food at hand.

Each time we came into a town with a Whole Foods or Co-op we stocked up so that we were ready to go. We also ate breakfast or lunch at Whole Foods instead of restaurants when we could because the food is better and cheaper than eating out and you can usually sit outside. When in a town looking for a place to eat out, opt for a health food restaurant or Japanese or Korean rather than Tourist food. Our total food cost for two weeks was $320 (for a family of four) and we only stopped once for hamburgers - this includes eating out and everything!


still on the road...

As you go about your day you can stop for a moment to think... yes, we are STILL on the road. It's been a fantastic trip, but if you've ever been on a road trip you know that there are bumps along the way that can turn into gems... or turn sour. So far, all of the craziness has turned to amazing fun and a bit of shoot-from-the-hip travel.

As we drove through the beautiful Grand Canyon, we found a point that we all loved which was called Desert View, it's kind of a good-bye view of the Grand Canyon as you drive East and away from the Canyon. It's a beautiful point, quiet and stunning, as are all the views! The campground at Desert View is away from the main part of the canyon so if you are looking to be more secluded this is the spot for you. We found the visit to Grand Canyon completely beautiful, the campground was comfortable and clean as was the entire park. We saw very few Americans, and many, many more foreigner visiters... mostly the French and Italians. We were so happy that it wasn't completely crowded, it was very easy to get around.

As we left the Grand Canyon we decided to go to Monument Valley, we took a side trip through part of route 66, it was funny but not as nostalgic as I had thought, Monument Valley was just about the most amazing site! It is on a Navajo Indian Reservation, so thankfully it is very simple and not at all commercial. In fact we asked about a camp site and they suggested that we simply park over in a rough-dirt lot by the visitors center, no hook-ups of course, and camp out there. This was our most spectacular evening, completely clear skies, camping in front of these awesome monuments and to top it all off a meteor shower! We all sat outside and watched shooting stars! Waking up to that site was no slouch either.

From there we went to the Valley of the Gods, but we were still so in awe of the Monuments that we pressed on from there to our next destination. So far we had been passing through hot Desert, so we decided to go to Santa Fe, a place both myself and my husband had never been. Somehow when we looked at the map and chose our route, it didn't hit us what the Jemez Mountains were all about (come-on... have YOU heard of them!? the Sangre De Cristo YES, but Jemez, NO!) There we were climbing up and down a small unpaved dirt road through the mountain at 5pm, panicking that we were not going to make it through, and EVERY campground we passed was full! It was the scariest but beautiful drive so far! We were screaming and laughing and the kids thought it was all totally crazy. We drove into Santa Fe at 8pm... Amazingly, we came straight in, found a small Inn and woke up the next morning next door to Whole Foods! PERFECT!


modern playhouse update...

Since I posted about Modern Playhouse last week, they have offered an introductory 20% off their playhouses from NOW until August 31st! This is exciting, and just in case you were on the fence this may push you over and into a new playhouse!

Visit Modern Playhouse for more information


grand canyon!

Yes, the reason I have not been posting much is that we are on vacation, BUT DON'T WORRY... Julie is in the store packing boxes and takin' care of business! In fact there are new collections and when I get back more to come!!

The blogging will be sporatic... I know, I know there is wi-fi everywhere these days (even today in the Grand Canyon!) but I am going to give you a blogging break and more time to look at my store instead! ha!! (lot's of amazing things on sale right now -- and I happed to mark everything down just before I left!)

Just leaving you with some images from the Grand Canyon! and our rented Volkswagen Westfalia Camper! (loving it!!)

See you soon!


modern playhouse

 Have you been looking for a place your kids can call HOME? Well, I think we have found something for you. Two women, Gitane Royce and Nesreen Wit have come up with their version, and I think it's just about perfect! Built sustainably and locally they have created Modern Playhouse.

Modern Playhouse gives your kids a place to play and dream, what a wonderful thing!? They offer two houses:

the Wedge House or

the Circle House

The offer furniture for the interior and cushions and aprons for absolute fun and play! These are such a wonderful idea and the fact that they are perfectly safe and non-toxic, the design is minimal so that your kids can bring to them what they want!


visit Modern House here where you can purchase either of the houses above.