nonchalant mom ladies gift guide 2010!

1. nonchalant mom - erica tanov pink alpaca herringbone shawl - $396
2. nonchalant mom - aleishall girard maxon - one of a kind, handmade bead necklaces - $156
3. nonchalant mom - britt beautiful skin - skin brushing system - $36
4. terrarium - I am going to make these for friends, I picked up some nice glass globes (or use fishbowls) at Ikea and they work perfect, Ikea even had small cactus! click her for a how-to from apartment therapy
5. flight 001 - the answer to my dream watch - by timex (grey or blue) - $80
6. nonchalant mom - Layla ajanta top - navy/gold print - $258
7. clare vivier handbag - listen up honey, this is my favorite! (that's my husband I'm talking to) - $320
8. twine - inspired design - apts & studios - these inspiring books are addictive and you will want all of them! (paris, stockholm and london) - $39
9. nonchalant mom - matta dupatta shawl (white or deep navy) - $198 / silk convertible raika skirt/dress - $228
10. flight 001 - rimowa salsa air cabin trolley - $450
11. flight 001 - spacepak - pack intelligently! - $30 - $42
12. passports with a purpose - they are a simple nonprofit organization, last year they built a school in Cambodia, this year they are going for a village in India! - click here to find out more.
13. nonchalant mom - matta wool rajastani blanket - $294
14. etsy shop - yokoo - brobdingnagian hat (but don't miss her other wonderful things!) - $55
15. clare vivier - ipad case (all I want is an iPad but if you have one, this case is the best!) - $99
16. purl soho - pick from one of the many projects! amazing yarn and quilting crafts!
17. woolly pockets - this planter is called 'island' but there are many to choose from - $29 - $98
18. elephant ceramics - beautiful textile-like ceramics -


feeling a little bit FULL!? - Rice Cream to the rescue!

rice cream with adzuki bean purée

For the last three weeks I have been running an experiment, I make rice cream on sunday and then eat it until Wednesday for breakfast and then drink the rice milk as a tea in the morning and at night before I go to bed. Its fantastic and I think it will feel great after the big Thanksgiving feast! (can't wait to make it!). It's pretty easy but you should stock up on your favorite grains, at the moment I am making it with brown rice and millet, which I love... Millet is a great grain for the wintertime, it holds energy for a long time and for me, it keeps me warm.

The recipe is easy:

Rice Cream

3/4 cup - organic brown rice
3/4 cup - organic millet
1 piece of kombu seaweed
3 umeboshi plums
spring water or good filtered water

clean grains and cook ingredients together for 5 hours on super low flame, use a flame tamer if you have one (this way you won't have anything sticking to the bottom). Skim rice milk off the top and drink as tea with a bit of water and 2-3 grains of salt. Eat the rice cream in the morning together with either steamed carrots or kale topped with sunflower seeds or whatever you like. I also like to top it with Adzuki beans simply cooked in water with a piece of kombu, then I put them through a food mill (you must have one lying around from your baby days) or you can food process them. I like a big bowl of rice cream and then a dollup of adzuki beans (pictured above) or steamed vegetables.

I know that this may sound like a process but the second or third time you do it it will just become easy for you and believe me you will have energy and feel great! Clear eyes, tons of energy and if you want to give up coffee this is a good time as you will probably have no craving for it?! (well at least I didn't!)

Good luck and I hope that this recipe makes you feel great!

rice cream after 5 hours of cooking

Happy Thanksgiving!!

have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope that you all have a fun day of food and family ahead of you....

best regards from the the entire Nonchalant Mom family!!


zesty citrus kale salad

Our local Co-op has an amazing, albeit small, selection of prepared foods. It's just perfect, three soups, a few sandwiches and then, the other day, this wonderful salad showed up!! I just can't get enough of it and I thought it might make a good salad for Thanksgiving so I thought I would share it with you.


the only problem is I don't have the specific recipe! I have not had time to try it so I am leaving it up to you!! If you nail it... please comment!! It's a perfect blend of sweet/tart/spice (just a tad) and green! I LOVE THIS!

Here are the ingredients:
grapefruit (peeled and cut into pieces), orange (peeled and cut into pieces), kale (at least one bunch!), red onion, sunflower seeds, red pepper flakes, orange juice, coconut vinegar, agave nectar, lime juice.

She did say it's a BIG bunch of kale, hint which 'cook's' down in the lime juice (not 'cooked' but the lime cooks it) it's all totally fresh and not cooked at all! and just a hint of the pepper flakes, orange juice (most of the juice comes from the grapefruit and orange pieces) - and the leftover juice when you are done at the bottom of your bowl... yummy!



The actual size of Africa - have you seen this?

Or more to the point have your KIDS seen this? It shows that you could fit the whole USA, China, India, Spain, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, and Eastern Europe, inside of Africa and still have some room left. My kids were fascinated by this map, we got out the globe and we all got into it! It's something so simple but teaches them a lot about the world. It's because flat maps distort the size of countries (the closer they are to the poles, the more distorted they are), most people don't really know just how big the African continent is.

We are all interconnected - Africa matters a lot because of the number of people who live there (about 1 billion as of 2005), but also because of the number of indigenous animal and plant species, because of the vast expanses of land that aren't being protected, because of the huge ecosystems that are uniquely found there, because of the impact that it can have on the global climate (especially deforestation and desertification), because of all the solar power potential and other natural resources, etc. It is one of the key regions that needs to improve on many levels for the welfare of its people and to safeguard the integrity of our planet's life-support systems.
(text via tree hugger - Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada)

Here are some more astonishing facts:

(measured in x 1000 km-squared)
surface of the moon = 37,930
Africa = 30,221
USA, China, Europe, India & Japan = 30,102

USA = 311 million
China = 1.3 billion
India = 1.1 billion
North America = 529 million
Africa = 1 billion
Asia = 3.9 billion
World = 7 billion 

This wonderful map came to me through Treehugger.

see the full story on Treehugger here
higher resolution of map can be downloaded here


Raw for 30 Days

from film simply raw
We all know that "you are what you eat!" but the amount of people these days with diabetes is staggering. You probably know someone with diabetes, and if you do ask them to watch this 5 minute introduction to the film: Simply Raw - reversing diabetes in 30 days (and then get them the film!). I am not a raw food  person myself, and I would like to know more about it, but this film really moved me. It's so simple, they found six people with diabetes and fed them for one month, while monitoring their food intake. They asked them to cut their insulin intake by one-third, which they did and then consumed an only raw food diet consisting of no dairy, meat, alcohol etc.. and only organic fruits and vegetables. All six people were cured of diabetes within the 30 days!

an astonished doctor examines his patient who is now cured of diabetes!
These six Americans with diabetes switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, uncooked food in order to reverse disease without pharmaceutical medication. The six are challenged to give up meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, soda, junk food, fast food, processed food, packaged food, and even cooked food for 30 days. Why isn't this front page news... People just can't understand that they can be healed by food. Just watch the video and spread the word!

Click here to visit the website Raw for Thirty Days to get more information
watch the 5 minute you-tube piece by clicking here


roasted seaweed snack

I have talked before about nori seaweed (it's really one of my favorite blogs: a sheet of nori a day for energy), but lately while at a soccer game we brought some roasted seaweed snack and while my son was playing some of the other kids came around to see what we were eating so I gave them a piece and they all LOVED it! and gobbled up the whole pack within seconds... then a dad came by to see what all the commotion was about and he tried it and liked it too! Okay there was one kid who was very stubborn but all the others took over and loved it.

The hard part is getting them to stop! Today when my kids came home from school I asked them what they wanted and Franny yelled "seaweed!".. so that's what they got and within seconds the package was empty on the counter! Seaweed is a great snack for kids to enjoy and so good for them! And if there is a new baby in the house, give it to them as a snack instead of cheerios, you will be so surprised! (but don't use the salted kind, toast it yourself with nothing) Babies and young kids love it most, probably because they don't know what it is and don't have the 'eeeww it's seaweed?' reaction.

You can make your own roasted seaweed by just toasting a sheet on your stove top flame until it turns bright green and then it's done OR you can purchase these ready made, they are roasted with a bit of olive oil and a touch of sea salt. I have tried two brands and I really like the Sea Snax brand (which I found while in LA but it is also sold at our local co-op so it shouldn't be hard to find or you can buy it online here) or the Trader Joes brand which is great too (and only 99 cents a package)! Try them they are delicious and tell us how it works for you. Your kids will be getting a bang of Calcium, a sheet of nori has as much Calcium as 4 cups of milk.... take that MILK!

According to Sea Snax:
Sea vegetables are virtually fat-free, low in calories and one of the richest sources of minerals in the vegetable kingdom as they have ready access to the abundant minerals found in the ocean.  Nourishment is acquired across the sea vegetable’s entire surface through the gentle wave action of underwater currents. For centuries, new mothers in Korea have replenished themselves with seaweed soup to assist them in their postpartum recovery and rejuvenation. According to ancient Korean folklore, this postpartum tradition was learned from observing female whales that would seek out and eat strands of seaweed after giving birth.

This is simply the best snack food you can offer your kids!

click here to visit my previous story on Nori


well, well, well... Nonchalant Dads cat is out of the bag...

About four years ago I was suddenly very surprised at my husbands cooking. Hhhmmmm... I thought, suddenly he can cook these very tasty meals seemingly out of nowhere! Had he been watching the Food Channel late at night when nobody was watching? Which program is he getting this direction on  delicious spices that he is using? Then a friend gave us a big jar of tumeric, I was sure that this was the secret ingredient, it did always taste a bit the same but always delicious and a very good blend of spices. But now when I look at that jar, there is still almost full! He became particularly good at meats, sauces, pastas, etc... I just couldn't figure it out. Then I read yesterdays blog... All this time, I have been asking how he did it, which cooking program he is watching, where is he getting his recipes, as he just says nothing... yes, his use of words is very good, I was certainly 'confounded'!

Previous to this his skills consisted of this horrible saucy pasta dish that he was very proud of but tasted horrible, we have not had that pasta in years. Now I understand it is since he has had the revelation that you can buy something in a can and serve it with anything left over in the fridge, add some veggies and some protein and as he says Viola! Now I know why he insists on grocery shopping at least once in a while and why he never seems to use a recipe! Just looking in the fridge and pantry I found these two sauces: Seeds of Change - organic Korma and Maya Kaimal coconut curry... ah HA!! Caught red handed! (don't ask me why I never really noticed them before!?)

Now that the cat is out of the bag, I can't wait to see what we get next! I am going to insist that he open up his program... do some work and learn a few REAL recipes!

Full disclosure, he does make a very amazing Carbonara -- authentically good, no cheating! I've watched him!


Nonchalant Dad: Fast Food For The Conscientious

I was thinking the other day about a couple of things. What started me thinking was Halloween night in particular. Everyone seems in a bit of a hurry to get the kids fed and out the door in time for trick or treating. So, naturally, it's usually a quick meal. That's what got me thinking. Unless you're lucky enough to be a full time stay at home parent (and even that isn't enough of a guarantee these days that you'll still not be overly busy) or you've got a full staff of people to assist you - you're probably stressed out enough at meal times. And, chances are, if you're the typical DAD then you're probably even more hampered when it comes to meal time - considering your skills are limited!!

I remember the few times as a child when my own father was entrusted to prepare a meal for us in the home. He would inevitably fall back on his standard: scrambled eggs made with olive oil and sage. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad as far as quick meals go (and it tasted pretty good since he didn't use milk like my mother did - the small difference between an Arabic version and English version). What it wasn't was complicated or particularly inventive - which translated into being just plain boring, and not necessarily nutritious. 

What's worse these days is that fast food is much more prevalent. Whether it's in your own home or out and about, the food is pretty simple. It's not hard to see the average household these days resort to
a simple pizza, chicken fingers, or macaroni and cheese when it comes down to crunch time for an evening meal. I'm not blaming anyone - I know the feeling well. You're not really prepared, times running out because you've got to be somewhere or just come from somewhere, and you reach for the easiest item you have in the pantry or fridge. It's already a small victory if you're not tempted to just grab a 'bite' while you are out.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm the type of person who is very adept at putting together one of those fabulous meals from scratch in under 5 minutes - especially with the kids coming at you from all angles. But, I'm also not wanting to be one of those parents who just grabs something easy for the meal..... at least not a majority of the time. So, I found something of a compromise. At first it was tinned soup. I'd take a store bought soup, open the tin and Voila! But, most soups (even organic) are a bit skimpy on the substance, so I'd quickly add some fresh chopped veggies or fish (meat) that I could find in the kitchen. Suddenly, the meal was heartier and still quick. Problem solved...... or so I thought. After a while, things got a bit boring again.

Then it dawned on me while shopping in the co-op recently, looking as I was for something a bit different: a nice chili in a tin. This wasn't that type of tinned chili we might have been used to in the good ol' 70's or 80's - big meaty stuff. This was a new generation of product: simple, nutritious, organic and with ingredients that you'd have a hard time finding in mainstream products. My recent discovery was a line of tinned chili on the shelf - incorporating ingredients like Quinoa, Kamut, and Barley. To prepare a chili from scratch using these ingredients would take a while - but now here was something that would only take minutes and was inventive and nutritious. Plus, the kids liked it! And, if you're really clever, you can set it all up so that if neighbours or friends stop over you can make it look like you spent all day on the endeavour - something that will really confuse them!

So, tonight - finding myself in a pinch, I reached up in the cupboard and pulled down a couple of tins of Eden Brand Organic Great Northern Bean and Barley Chili (you might just as easily find another brand in your local shop). I added some onion, chicken, and brown rice & millet that I had handy in the fridge (I believe Carina cooked it last night... lucky me!) and next thing you know, 15 minutes later I had a full meal.

I guess my point is this: next time you find yourself in a hurry and you don't want to fall back on the easy standards, why not broaden the perspective a little bit by searching out some other quick tinned solutions. And, as a Dad, why find yourself restricted when you can come up with something delicious
and inventive.... and like I said, if you want to confound the wife or friends, just hide the tins before anyone notices. Just don't tell anyone I told you.



alphabet pillow

set of 3 vintage hankies hand printed with dandilion
When I find things like this lovely site pi'lo I just want to chuck it all and go to Toronto and work with Heather Shaw. She makes these sweet little things that yes, you can live without, but do you want to? n-n-o-o-o. She has a white on white kind of asthetic, and it's so soothing and beautiful that it's impossible not to look through everything once you have started, you just want to see what it's all about!

handmade quilt

I was lucky enough to find her website today and it just started my day off right. Somehow I felt grounded. Her photographs make her wonderful little things delight in elegance. She says "Everything in this collection is hand made by myself and the wonderful women who sometimes help me. We work out of a coach house studio behind my Victorian house in the heart of downtown Toronto. It is a very calm and soothing space with natural light and plenty of inspiration." see!! don't you just want to go and work with her!

car bingo game

Don't miss her lovely things, I think that they would make terrific holiday gifts that are very special and can become a family treasure. One of my favorites is the car bingo game! But I do love it all....

vintage nurses apron by pi'lo

visit the website by clicking here
visit her etsy shop by clicking here


halloween contest winners!

There were so many amazing costumes.. thank you all for being so enthusiastic and sending them all in so quickly! This year we received almost double the amount of entries as last year. Trust me, the decision was difficult. We all had lots of favorites, but we printed them up and held a totally anonymous contest...

here are our favorites:

obviously there were six favorites... so six winners!! please email me with your shipping address and we will send you a winning handbag!

Again we would like to thank all of you... it was really hard to only pull out these from the many people that sent in their wonderful costumes!

Thank you and let's do this again next year!!


15% off select womens collection until Friday!

matta: surabhi jishnu silk dress

Holiday parties looming.. and what do I wear!? I don't know about you I was trying to figure that out... so I thought that I would help you out a bit with a SALE this week on selected womenswear. I chose some of my favorite labels, Matta, Layla and Erica Tanov and offering them at 15% off until Friday, November 12th, 2010! Use code 'women' during checkout to see your discount.

Just some suggestions would be:

layla: silk ajanta top - navy w/gold print

My favorite top the silk adjanta top - this looks elegant and beautiful ALWAYS! I wear mine to parties and just feel confident as ever! Plus just a tad super-cool because it's so beautiful, the navy blue is the most deep and radiant color and it lights up with the gold print... and here are just a few more suggestions...

Layla: Raj top dark grey with black print
The Raj top has a very elegant back side (below) which I love, a bit of sleek embroidery and it makes the top fit like a glove! You won't believe it! (why NOT look as good from the back as from the front at a party!?)
back side of Layla: Raj top dark grey with black print

Layla: Fareehah dress - navy w/gold print
And just in case you want to stop everyone in the room - I believe you would be either called a Leo or a showstopper!? - you could wear the Fareehah dress, it's georgous, it's gold printed navy cotton, so it does have a feeling of being 'grounded' and not over the top, and casual pockets, I would call this casual elegance!

Matta: raika silk dress/skirt - silver or black

If you are into versatility the Raika dress/skirt is perfectly, perfect! It looks lovely both ways and can look elegant in many, as a skirt or a dress with boots or black tights and high heels... it's all simply easy to look great! The dupatta shawl in white is a wonderful way to add a bit of drama to just about anything (it also comes in navy which is MY favorite...)

Erica Tanov: pink diamond pattern shawl & alpaca belted vest

Erica Tanov: all in one (pink or yellow) it can be a necklace, belt or whatever!
Erica Tanov has a few goodies for us with a pop of color with the feather all-in-one these are great to add to anything you already have to make it fun and special. I love the around the neck for color but they are also great at a belt! and the pink diamond pattern shawl, this will live in your wardrobe all season long with everything! Just that perfect piece to make you feel luxurious - every day!

So you see, we have you covered and remember you can have it all this week 15% off! Use code: women during check out and recieve your discount. Remember sale ends Friday, November 12th 2010. Happy partying!!

visit Layla by clicking here
visit Matta by clicking here
visit Erica Tanov by clicking here


broccoli & sausge pasta :: fast and easy!

This is one of those dishes that you can throw together in minutes, EVERBODY loves it, and it's got a bit of some good healthyness to it.. thank you broccoli! You can also use kale in place of the broccoli, really good too!

I like to go outside and pick bunches from most of my herbs, oregano, sage & rosemary and then I use chopped parsley when I am done too. We put parsley on just about everything! I learned that from my mom, she used to garnish everything with it but I like to actually eat it! It's amazingly good for you and if you add it into everything it makes it all taste better and eventually everyone gets used to it if they don't like it right off the bat.

RECIPE :: broccoli & sausage pasta

1 head or more of broccoli (even two is great!)
2 sausages - you can use pork, chicken, tofu... whatever just squeeze it out of the casing
1/2 yellow onion chopped
handful oregano chopped
handful sage chopped
handful rosemary chopped
salt & pepper
really good olive oil (I use one to cook and then a good one to top off the meal when its ready)
handful of parsley

pasta: you can see in the photos that one time I used papardelle which is great with sausage, or also penne or whatever works too! (I forgot to take a photo of the final meal so I made it again another night, no complaints there!)

-cook pasta as per directions on box
-saute onion, sausage, herbs in your favorite oil (I use sesame or olive)
-when pasta is done, save a cup of the water (if anything its good luck!) and strain pasta and put into the saute when the meat is done, add salt and pepper and saute a bit if you need more liquid use the pasta water.. this is what it's for! and toss around making sure you get all of the goodness from the pan onto your pasta! do this for about 1-2 minutes.
-top off with about 1-2 tablespoons of really good olive oil and toss (if you need more water you can add it too, it should not be dry)
-put into serving bowls or large pasta serving bowl and garnish with chopped parsley

easy and did I mention really CHEAP, this meal can cost you about $8!!
everyone will love it! and if they don't their crazy!


OMG! - martha stewarts family room!

Nonchalant Mom is listed as a FAVORITE BLOG on the Martha Stewart :: Living in the Family Room Blog!! I can hardly believe it... who do I thank... can I call Martha!! I guess I have had my moments when I have gushed over her, her recipes, her crafts, her gardening tips... you name it! She is one inspiring lady, so I am happy that she finds inspiration in Nonchalant Mom! Hooray!!

The above photo is one of my favorite things to do and thank you ladies from Martha Stewart for reminding me to do this with my kids! I like to take these leaves and write the date on them with a sharpie and send them out to friends (especially those who live in NYC and do have a yard full of them!!), or use them as placeholders at the Thanksgiving table, and much more! ...OH, I'm even starting to SOUND like Martha now...

Thank you Martha Stewart people!! I love you too!

click here to visit the Martha Stewart :: Living in the Family Room

call me a traitor but it's for a good cause... does that help!?

Yes, I love this car! I am a bit of a car monkey and my son and I are always driving down the road saying... "OH! that's my car!" to which he says... "NO, that's MY car" (usually it's a Hummer or something awful like that... ). Well there was something that I loved about the Tommy Hilfiger advertising campaign, and I decided it was the CAR!

Today, I found that Mr. Hilfiger has donated said car to a charity auction that is being held by WWD, apparently WWD has their 100th anniversary this year so they have a charity auction going on and MY CAR is in it!! Gosh if I only had that extra $35,000 lying around.. I could have it! and for a good cause no less... I don't care that all the logos are all over it... but check out the interior, it's looking pretty sweet!

...and it's for a good cause....
tempting to anyone (click here to find out more about this car)....

click here to visit 'Charity Buzz' where you can bid on anything you like!?
(and the car for me if you like...!!!)


jennie menke - garden wrap up...

My little garden doesn't come close matching up with my friend Jennie Menke's 'FARM', she calls it a garden but I call it a FARM by my standards! In her most recent post she came up with some terrific information on closing up your garden, planting garlic, and using every bit of your apples for juice, jam and apple sauce!

here is her task list:
(excerpt taken from her blog - click here to read all)

What amazes me to no end is that the final tasks never actually seem to end. I’ve been doing these final tasks for what seems likes weeks now and I’m still not done!
  • Harvest the apples
  • Dig the carrots
  • Cut the raspberries
  • Harvest the kale almost done!
  • Dig the beets
  • Finish transplanting the herbs almost done! Just found 2 more…
  • Put the tools away
  • Clean up the pumpkin beds
  • Burn the diseased tomato plants
  • Cook and freeze the kale
  • Make applesauce and apple jelly
  • Make pies didn’t make pies. just froze the apples with sugar to make into pies.

I’m probably missing stuff. But even then, as you can see, I’m not nearly done. Harvesting the kale, it should be noted, is about a six hour job, since I strip the stems out of the leaves before I cook it. I tried leaving the buggers in last year, but they seriously depleted our eating enjoyment. So I listen to my book on tape, hunched over a bucket for hours while my shoulders tense up and I cut the leaves from the center stems. I have one more pile to stem before cooking it all and freezing.

God, do I wish I still lived in Minnesota to share in her bounty!! On my last visit to the great state she gave me a bag of her fantastic Asparagus and I can't even tell you how delicious...
so if you are a gardener... read her blog for inspiration, and if you DON'T have a garden, don't get scared by this list... believe me, my garden doesn't do ANY of this, but you reap what you sow... right!

Thank you Jennie for all of your great blogs!
click here to visit her blog and see the entire story!


Ladies Night at Nonchalantmom!

Please join us for wine and some savory snacks, new collections and a fun night!
There will be some deals and special surprises!!

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4th - 5 - 8 pm


Don't hesitate to email me or call if you have any questions.