happy new year!!!

I promoise to start blogging again in 2012... until then have a very happy happy new year!! (and don't party too much!! - do some sit-ups!)

love - carina


Holiday Shopping in NYC

There are so many Holiday Fairs going on all you have to do is walk the streets to find a little corner where someone has pulled together a shopping experience. We happened upon one on the corner of Mott and Prince (in the school right there on the corner). It was terrific! Everything was very hand-made, there was even a space where two guys were literally pounding out some leather bags and belts! There are about 20 rooms and each room has it's own experience, coupled with a few vintage clothing dealers, throw in a nice little snack area where you can leave your husband and the kids and you have an excellent Holiday Shop! I don't remember everyone but these were my favorites:

three jewelry vendors that had some sweet small jewelry all the way to a woman who is making jewelry out of lego!
one guy who is making his own colorful shoes for men
a few clothing designers (+lingerie...)
a terrific mens store.. lots of good mens accessories in fact!
a kids store
vintage clothing
a fantastic Discover Electronics thing which is hard to explain except that if you are looking for a gift for a 9-12 year old.. this is amazing! (more on this when I write a blog about them later!)

All of this on the corner of Mott Street + Prince in NoLita

Lucky Fish + Tracey Tanner at Chelsea Market

Jann (Lucky Fish) and her friend Tracey Tanner (GREAT leather items) have a Pop Up Shop in the Chelsea Market (downstairs) where you can find super last minute gifts and fun finds for everyone in the family! She will have lots of one of a kind items and don't miss Tracey's terrific leather pieces! (her bright blue and pink leather pouches... amazing!)

Lucky Fish accessories

There are also a nice couple making chocolates right next door to them so you can have a nice hand made snack while  you shop and delight in all the GOODIES!

Fine and Raw chocolate!

Find your sale anywhere and if you want me to post your Holiday Sale just send me an email!

Happy HOlidays!!!


holiday fair -- everywhere!! - NYC and more...

we stayed at the W downtown - we wanted to be away from the congestion and we also wanted to have a view of the new World Trade Center site - this is the waterfalls lit at night!

We just got home from NYC and had such a terrific time, as always during the holidays! I know that it can be a bit frustrating with the crowds and all if you are just a visitor so I thought I would give you some ideas and tips... I hope it's not too late! And even if you LIVE in NYC we have some ideas for you! I promise we don't know it all... I am just trying to help with that holiday frustration that sometime sets in when you visit busy NYC for the Holidays!

get your kids on a scooter so that they don't get tired of walking around (that can happen really quick if they are not used to it) just make sure to visit some side streets so that they can wiz around a bit!

If you can it's best to work a weekday into your trip, this way you can save the things that you KNOW are going to be mobbed with people for that day... like Rockefeller Center.. We took our trip Saturday - Monday. We stayed at the W hotel downtown, because it's where we used to live so we feel comfortable there and it's easily accessible via subway and car (they have a large municipal parking garage). We also wanted to see the Memorial site which was beautiful (we didn't get in but the photo above is the view from our room!). We walk almost everywhere so we bring scooters for the kids and it works perfectly, they NEVER seem to get tired of scootering through the city! (until they wipe out...)

charmaine making the shrinky dinks while the kids watch

this is how tiny tiny they are! that's the pieces through a magnifying glass... TINY!

trying to decide what to write on the necklaces... Marley (our dog) was the result!

On Saturday we spent the day in SoHo and Nolita (our favorite areas) Our event for the day was to visit Charmaine at the Erica Tanov store on Elizabeth Street where she was making her tiny tiny necklaces! (it was last Saturday only.. sorry) Erica Tanov has fun things going on this week too... check in with them to see what is going on!

at Kid Robot

We made it to Kid Robot which is a new fascination with our kids... it's very simple and I don't know what it is but somehow I like the concept that they only sell a few things, it's a small store and my kids are just focused on their 20 or so different figures that they collect as charms ($3-$10 each) on necklaces etc.. or just figurines. (Kid Robot is on Prince between Greene and Wooster). All along the way are holiday windows and lights and small cafe's (The National off of Bowery)... Saturday night was a special dinner for a Birthday Friend at The Fat Radish... Delicious! (sorry I keep talking about the place but it's SO good!)

the Fat Radish plate... steamed radishes + brown rice and delicious dipping! it's like Macrobiotic without the Macrobiotic! Yes, that's a big old glass of red wine nearby!
Bergdorf Goodman and fountain of Christmas trees outside the Plaza!

Sunday we decided to hop in the car at 7:30 am to drive all over town and look at windows! We stopped at Macy's windows, then up to Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys, then to Rockefeller Center for the tree and the Saks Fifth Avenue windows... it was all a delight to see without a single crowd or hardly anyone on the street! (yes, people were ALREADY skating at Rockefeller Center!) Delightful and then a beautiful brunch at Fred's where we ate like ANIMALS because we were so hungry!

Louis Vuitton Circus inspired window

After scootering around a bit more, we made it home for a nap before The Nutcracker at BAM (by The American Ballet Theater company) - it was a gorgeous, beautiful color-filled presentation that the whole family really loved! (when the snow falls and the ladies are dancing silver... Amazing!)

Don't forget a breakfast at Balthazar! It's completely delightful... the flowers are outstanding.. and the food always makes for a fun breakfast! We really had a great time, most of it is just enjoying each thing you do and finding the joy in it all... even the joy in the chaos!

There are Pop Up Holiday sales going on all over the place.. more about them in the next blog!


some of my favorite gifts!

Some of our favorite gift ideas: (clockwise from top left):
jess brown dolls! - we just got a happy new shipment of dolls and they make a terrific gift together with the new book - Kiki and Coco in Paris! (the story about a much loved jess brown doll who takes a trip with her girl to Paris!
Wovenplay silk tulle tutu! every girl needs a tutu! or also a feather crown!?
Aleishall Girard Maxon (studio deseo) necklaces are one of a kind special and glittery beautiful!
Matta Likir wool scarf colorful and bold in delicate ivory with bright colors!
Britt Beautiful Skin brushing system - This system is ages old, even used by the Romans to keep fit and healthy. My sister has brought together this amazing kit to teach you how to skin brush and she gives you all the tools! this makes a great gift for someone you love!! (or someone you want to set on a healthy path!)
Matta abbha gold dot dress - a clear favorite from the NEW resort collection
Makie wool felt hats! - a great little stocking stuffer gift for kids that will keep them warm AND they are super soft!! bright color tassels are my favorite part!
Atsuyo et Akiko make your own necklace - the kit includes neon string alphabet beads and atsuyo et akiko little baubles! the kit comes in a blue or pink case! terrific!
Matta Yajur yak wool scarf! - This scarf is super soft, lightweight and easy to wear with everything or it makes an elegant evening wrap!
Clare Vivier clutches! - these are REALLY my favorite... I can never decide which color is my favorite... I love them all! look super chic this season and stay a step ahead...

I hope that this helps you and remember!! FREE SHIPPING until December, 18th! (on ground orders only USA only on order of $100 or more) use code: 'freeship'

Happy Holidays!


Nonchalant Mom Gift Guides - 2011

  These are a few of my favorite gifts for the Holiday Season!

BOY :: clockwise from top left: Makie reversible vest ($118), bonne nuit linen pillow ($68), playsam two person car ($40), eco wood ABC blocks ($24-$38), Mickey Mouse bracelet ($30), Make your own necklace (abc - beads) ($24), Dan Zanes Dance video ($20), Veja sneakers ($48), Makie wool felt hat ($44), Illustrate your own book ($14), Circus lion tshirt ($36), Grand Locket ($28), Lucky Fish NEON elephant tshirt ($42).

 GIRL :: clockwise from top left: kit+lili sophie purple hearts dress ($68), 'diamond' hairpins ($14), star/tulle hairclip ($18), Makie baby alpaca stripe hat ($48), Makie reversible soft wool felt scarf ($42), Wovenplay cotton ribbon tights ($54 + socks $30), Lucky Fish pink elephant linen bag ($42), pink LOVE pillow ($78), Wovenplay feather headband ($54), make your own necklace (abc-beads) ($24), mask handkerchief scarf ($44), Jess Brown doll ($189), Kiki & Coco book ($18), check+coin necklace ($26)

 BABY :: clockwise from top left: Haptic Lab map quilts ($100), Wee See baby music and graphics video ($22), Lucky Fish blue elephant wall hanging ($), Wovenplay dot socks ($30), Atsuyo et Akiko JE T'AiME oneies  ($24), Salvor kuma bear ($48), BONNE NUiT pillow ($78), Lucky Fish Edible Schoolyard tea towels ($24), Wovenplay ribbon socks ($30), soft alpaca wool angel sweater and pants ($98), Eeyore cuddle pillow ($42).

and last but not least... something for YOU!

 MOM gift guide (+hostess gifts) :: clockwise from top left: Lucky Fish edible schoolyard tea towel ($24), Lem Lem scarf ($125), Clare Vivier green patent leather clutch ($156), Lucky Fish peacock wall hanging ($), Maison de Vacanses navy fur pillow ($128), Britt Beautiful Skin Brushing System ($36), Erica Tanov Gold zip pouche ($89), Erica Tanov Alpaca herringbone pattern scarf ($278), Lucky Fish LION tshirt ($68), Scosha friendship bracelets ($26-$89), Julie Rofman hand beaded bracelets ($75-$110).

click here for even MORE gift ideas!!!
shop nonchalantmom click here


New Jess Brown dolls... have arrived!

don't miss the book to go with your favorite doll!

We have a fresh new batch of Jess Brown dolls just arrived all the way from Jess's studio in California, they are all warm and ready for LOVE! This is such a perfect gift together with the book Kiki and Coco in Paris!

new jess brown doll with liberty floral dress and mask!

Each Jess Brown doll is made by hand, and sewn with love. There is only one of each doll that is photographed on my website, so they are are as you see them - click here to find your jess brown doll!

shop Jess Brown on Nonchalantmom


FREE SHIPPING!! now - December 18th

Nonchalantmom is offering FREE SHIPPING!!! now - Sunday, December 18th, which is coincidentally that last day for ground shipping to arrive in time for Christmas! So we are jumping in to offer

FREE SHIPPING on USA orders, GROUND shipping on order of $100 or more..

USE CODE: 'freeship'

Happy Holidays to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT!!



I forgot about these - Gift Guide - Moon Pillows!

Nocturn by Moon pillow

I just LOVE these pillows and have been waiting to talk about them... and then the chance came in the Gift Guide and I FORGOT! So, you lovely pillows that I want SO badly... here is your VERY OWN BLOG!

These moon pillows are the greatest thing for any astronaut lover... at ANY age! (BOY or giRL!) and their mission is right out of a Star Trek episode (I am a Trekkie so this is meant in a loving way!):
ico lab :: We are a design team focused on creating and bringing to life the variety of emotions to our monotone lifestyles. Utilizing the imaginary, illusory and ideal aspects of time and space, we give meaning to the modern peoples lost dreams through our emotional designs. Our projects are based on art, literature and science. Through international collaborations, we are also creating charity opportunities for global issues.

These full moon pillows and floor cushions use a real image of the moon which includes 65 individual farmes of the lunar mosiac images taken from Nates in Western France by astrophotographer Norbert.

there are crazy animal pillows too!

or just animals staring at crazy pillows! rainbow moon pillow!

Their website is fantastical and take a visit! But most of all OOgle over these amazing pillows, floor mattresses and other moon accoutrements... prices range from: $49 - $790 for the floor mattress... love them ALL.

Visit icolab online here
shop online here


GIFT GUIDES :: 01 - 2011

I know that not EVERYONE shops from me during the Holiday Season (MOST of you do!), and I'll tell you a secret.... I buy some things from other people too! As always I try to shop small, I was able to find most of our Christmas at our local Waldorf School Holiday Faire. This year there seemed an abundance of Holiday sales all over the place... some very creative names that I loved and one that made me want to hop on a plane out to California! (what WOULDN'T make you want to hop on a plane to Cali!). I am here to give you a few suggestions that I have heard about for online shopping. Then later this week I will give you some ideas on what to get from ME (Nonchalant Mom!).

Top row (left to right): TimoHandmade (etsy shop) Angel ($36), TimoHandmade Custom Family (it's a little late for this... still an idea for next year!?), Second Row (left to right) TimoHandmade Angel ornament, Paloma's Nest-small wood tags, Paloma's Nest-ornaments, Third Row (left to right) Paloma's Nest-Nativity Scene, Undyed wool throws Alder & Co.

Top row (left to right): iFrogz headphones $39.99 (great for kids!), felt wide brim hat OAK $62, Second Row (left to right) TimoHandmade mouse $46, Jane Foster (etsy shop)-Tilda doll $19, Third Row (left to right), Paloma's Nest-kids play table + animal chairs $198, Erica Tanov-sequin necklaces $88 each

Top Row: colorful pearl hem napkins (10 for $60) Adler & Co., Second Row: Aesop ANYTHING! Visit their new store in Nolita or online, gorgeous handwoven pillows ($180) at Alder & Co. and favorite teapot $140 also Alder & Co.

More gift guides to come!!! good luck with finding your perfect GIFT!!



Bloesem is getting you in the mood for ssshhh - the HOLIDAYS!

One of my FAVORITE blogs is Irene at Bloesem, and I know I am going to find something spectacular for Holiday crafts when I visit her website. I love this simple wreath, because it's so simple, it's a bit complicated to make (you can obviously make it easier using colored paper) but it's a super fun project for kids that does not need too much overseeing and keeps that reduce reuse recycle thing going...

For complete instructions go to Bloesem blog and check out the easy one to three including a list of what you will need to get this project done...

Thank you Irene for always being so inspiring! (happy 5th coming up!)


shopping guide no.1 - IKEA

very cute book of home inspiration! $13.99

I thought I would start our shopping guides with a recent shopping trip I took with mom (mor mor) and the kids... over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend no less...

My mom came to visit from Minnesota, and although she went to Ikea before she left, I said maybe we should take the kids to Ikea on Saturday (after Thanksgiving)? YES! (how does she love this place so much...) - so there we were driving the one and half hours to Ikea on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (they call this blue and yellow day!). These days my mom is very upset with Ikea because they are making changes to their food section, getting rid of the Abba swedish caviar and sardines, they long ago stopped selling Felix Lingonberries, and now they have even replaced the Marabou chocolate with their own brand name... are they learning too much from the Americans!? Yes, maybe so... at any rate she is not going to take this lying down, she is going to complain like a true Swede...

These are our favorites from the food section (clockwise from top right): the Jam (sylt) is the best I love the orange marmalade and the kids love the strawberry, mixed berry and blueberry - next is the swedish caviar tradidtional salmon is fine (Abba is BETTER) - the herring is worth it, we like the Matjes but you need to try them all and find your favorite! - the Knackbrod... it's not Siljans but it's maybe even better!? - and last but not least... my favorite, the mustard! truly the BEST and it will make any kid LOVE mustard, also mixed with greek yogurt and dill it makes a great sauce for salmon!

She whispered to me at the checkout "they don't even have Bilar anymore..." it's all gone the way of their own brand. Since this may be hard for many of you, as it is for us, we decided to have a taste test and give you the heads up on what is still worth it and what you will just have to learn live without (unless the ladies of Minnesota all revolt against it, and make them go back to the loved and cherished brands of their home Sverige!). Don't even bother with the chocolate.. NOTHING comes near Marabou!

clockwise from top left: Giflar are tiny cinnamon rolls the kids go absolutely NUTS over... and don't let anybody fool you, the swedish meatballs are the best, I don't care WHAT they're made of! - the Salmon and the tiny shrimps are delicious! - NEVER, never leave Ikea without a jar of Lingon Sylt! we put it on everything... morning oatmeal, the best!!

Last year at Christmas (at my sisters) my mom had the job of meatballs, she makes the best (or so I thought). My mom is a very gourmet type cook, she loves a good recipe, follows it to the T, when I was a kid and the neighbors would come over she would serve Stuffed Peppers! (what the heck!?) anyway... at Christmas, she whispered to me "I just heated up the Ikea meatballs, nobody will know the difference" I just about fell over! So this Christmas, follow our rule, Swedish meatballs, lingon sylt and mashed potatoes and you can get them ALL at Ikea... DONE!

clockwise from top left: santa bags + stickers to make any package look 'finished' - tea candles 40,000 for $3.99 (just kidding) = cheap! - more candles (they have changed slightly from the past but I like the new ones!) - the BEST wrapping paper (and the cheapest) you will find anywhere!!!

And just a few of our favorite non-food items... CANDLES... the ikea candles are the best and they don't have the dirty lead wire inside (that's what makes all that SMOKE) - Swedes would never do that! The best cards and Christmas paraphernalia you can imagine!

So there you go... now run off to Ikea, and the best time is for HOLIDAYs!!


jann :: lucky fish - these are a few of her favorite things.....

Jann is my constant inspiration, I feel that we have the same amount of curiosity, and of any of my friends she is usually the one to say, 'yea, let's do it!' so I would never give up the chance to travel with her! Someone recently asked me about my favorite things, then I thought I would LOVE to know what are Jann's favorite things... so when I asked her, who knew I would get a list a MILE long.

So here you go... and be inspired!
clockwise starting at top left: indoor plants, farmers markets, her silkscreens, kiln enamel tableware, le creuset dutch oven, all on top of a bright green rug that would make any home happy!

Reasons to be Cheerful -These are a few of my favorite things:

Wild flower Bouquets.
Raindrops on umbrellas, that dont break in 5 minutes.
Kittens on T-shirts.
Birthday Parties.
Bright orange enamel pots-like Le Creuset.
Enamel tableware from Kiln Enamel.
Really bright rugs that I covet.
"Grain" eco-friendly shower curtain.
Pot plants.
Brown paper packages tied up with strings.
Clip Art Books!
Art exhibitions.
Silk Screen.
Some Bling.

clockwise from top left: softest shoes from Morocco, handmade necklaces, dosa sample sale, dirty martini, beach, ceramics/white glazes, the FARM all on a bright purple rug!

New softest shoes from Morocco.
Things people make.
Browsing in Bookstores.
Dosa Sample Sale.
Outdoor Movies.
New Places.
Outer Boroughs.
Hand Knits.
Fiber Arts.
Friendship Bracelets.
My friends.
Dirty Martinis.
Vinho Verde.
Red Wine.
Full Moon.link to moon t-shirt
Neon Colors-not only for the 80's.
All colors.
Hand made Pottery.
White Glazes.

clockwise from top left: glass vases by Verre New York, Cape Town South Africa, Rucola in Brooklyn, World of Interiors, glow in the dark Moon tshirt, shearling clog boots, baby bunnies, cozy handmade socks with leather bottom, winter

Glass Bottles.
My Family.
Baby animals on the farm.
Crisp apple cobbler (or crisp.)
Dark Chocolate with chili or salt.
Radio Nova or Spotify
Dinner at Rucola- neighborhood restaurant.
Campfire Cooking.
Shopping at the farmers market.
Food my friends and family make.
Millas drawings.
World of Interiors Magazines.
Mystery novels.
New Short haircut by Trish in her apartment on the Bowery (call 917 279 383)
Girls in white dresses.True.
Girls in Jackets.
Men With Funny Beards and Moustaches.
Snowflakes outside my window.
Silver white winters upstate.
Ski School.
Winter vacations in Puorto Rico
Cape Town.
Warm woolen mittens and fleece clog boots.
Socks that are slippers.
Scarves.Always.link to lemlem scarf on your website
Summer at the beach.
Summer in the mountains.
Ice cream.

These are a few of my favorite things.


Busy Week!

It's a busy week coming up, I secretly feed off these moments, and tend to get an incredible amount done when the week presents itself this way. Last night I had "the girls" over for a Product Swap - it was just an excuse to get together and see everyone before the busy holiday season starts. We had a great time, but I totally forgot to take photographs... sorry! So here is the concept, invite your friends over (if you need an invite idea see below), everyone brings the products that don't work for them, you know those things.. you HATE to throw them away but you knew as soon as you bought them that they were NOT going to work for you. Thing is.. in a room full of women, what doesn't work for you will usually work for someone else! We had a great time swapping stuff, drinking wine and having a light evening snack (including the delicious Organic Avenue brownies!! recipe below)

To start the week off right I had my daily one mile run, yes pretty silly just one mile but it really helps me get into gear, and my breakfast of champions!

delicious hard boiled egg, Swedish salmon caviar, parsley on Siljans cracker and a cup of tea

finished sandwich!

Then on Tuesday I pack up my car..

full of my store (well as much as will fit!) and drive down to NYC for a Sample Sale on WEDNESDAY, November 16th from 9am to 1 pm, together with my friends at Clover New York, Pappi Pappi, Atsuyo et Akiko, Wovenplay and Jann from Lucky Fish! We will have a beautiful range of baby, kids and mom clothing and accessories at great prices.. We will be in TriBeCa at the Church Street Music School (74 Warren Street-NYC)... it's a great chance to get a jump on Christmas Shopping!

lucky wang new republic jacket! (fleece inside!)

In the midst of that I just got a big box from Lucky Wang! including their wonderful (and MY personal favorite the Republic Jacket), new baby quilts from Haptic Lab, I just made a slew of new nonchalantmom necklaces, new colors in colored denim from ESP no1 and Erica Tanov should be here any minute now... so lots of photographing is in order!!

Then this weekend is the Book Fair at School - which means baking, working the sale and having some fun is in order! Our local Waldorf School has a Holiday Faire this weekend too which I would never want to miss... amazing toys and fun for the kids always! (thankfully my husband is IN town this week... whew!)

So now that I have been sitting here writing my blog I need to move my BUTT and get into action! Have a great week everyone!

vegan brownies

Vegan/Raw Brownie recipe (via Organic Avenue!) - the great thing is this recipe takes about 5 minutes or less... it's crazy easy and everyone loves them -- even your kids!

1 1/2 cups organic walnuts
16 pitted organic deglet dates
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla bean powder
2 tsp of purified water
dash of sea salt  
extra handful of whole walnuts, pulsed on food processor for top

In a food processor, grind the walnuts and salt until fine. Add the dates and process until dough forms. Next add the cacao, vanilla, water and process again until well mixed.  

Scoop out a tablespoon full of dough and roll into a ball. Pat down into a mini brownie shape. I pulse a little bit more of the walnuts and then sprinkle it on top and even on the bottom... YUM!