Thank you all for coming to Ladies Night at the store! It was so much fun to see everyone and have a drink and chat... and shop... and thank you so very much Nancy for making all of the completely delightful goodies and a really yummy iced tea that was delicious!
brewed iced tea (Earl Grey)
fresh lemonade (squeezed lemons/water/simple syrup)
Absolute Wild Tea Vodka (it's the new 2011 flavor!)
garnish with lemon wedges and lots of ice!
Thank you again for a great night!
Beautiful weather finally made it our way yesterday... so right then and there, I planted my garden, flowers and vegetables, and since we were going to go to a Memorial Day cookout I decided we would make these crowns! (forgive me but I totally forgot to photograph the crowns on the kids!!). For the kids we wound them with a bit more branches so that they were more durable and put lots of flowers in them! They loved to wear them and it was really fun for them to collect the flowers.
I think that this is a great way to decorate your house for a summer party. These don't last very long (unless you have some type of solution that we have not come up with!) but if you make them just before people come over they will surely last for an evening (or at least when everyone comes IN your house!). This is a typical Swedish decoration that Swede's love to do for Midsummer (coming up here in June!). But since we had such nice flowers for the crowns and wreathes, I decided it was a good time to make them now (and besides, while I was doing yard work I noticed that the birch tree needed trimming!).
So here is the HOW: Start with a few birch branches, they are nice and soft and pliable. I think that anyone can figure it out if you try, just wind them into a circle and wind them around each other! keep winding new branches (it works best if you keep it going in the same direction). I used some dogwood branches we had for flowers and some broom bush (what is the 'real' name for those?), but you can use daisy's, buttercups or any flowers you may have growing wild around.
Most of all have fun and wear them to parties, put them all over your house... whatever! and come Midsummer you can make a Maypole and hang them it! (by then you should be good at it!).
|gunn and one of their 5 dogs I believe this is "valentino"|
Yes, I talk about her often, that's because she inspires me often. Out of left field, I say that because she lives in tucked into the mountains of Italy, she inspires me with daily life... and obviously she inspired someone else, Eclat magazine, out of Japan, has featured her in this months issue!
|her studio, where I promise you she rarely sits to read a magazine! ha!|
|top left their rustic home in the mountains of Italy, right: interior of their piles and piles of books of inspiration|
|more photos of gunn, her home and the town center in Biella + a very small product shot of 'Nara' products|
Did I mention that since their collection hLam hit Japan in the late 90's Gunn and her husband Pierangelo have been rock stars there... so it's only fitting that after she created her signature collection of all natural/organic body products "Nara" they would debut it in Japan! This feature is about Gunn, thier life in Italy and the products they have created (well as far as I can tell that's what it's about.. I don't exactly read Japanese, although I would like to).
|gunn and her amazing cooking!|
|here is maybe the recipes... sorry! it's in Japanese|
Gunn can inspire you too if you check out her blog Un Momento Nordico or visit her shop in Biella, Italy! It's so sad that we cannot get her products here because they are delicious and the absolute best in quality (yes, I have a few samples myself and hoping we can bring them here to America!! -say yes!) for now we can be inspired by her life and love of good food on the pages of Eclat magazine.
click here to visit Un Momento Nordico blog
Try Salvor... sorry it's only a free standing store and not online for now... but next time you are in NYC don't miss your chance to stop by and get yourself something truly unique!
172 Forsythe Street
mon - sat - noon to 8pm, sun noon to 6pm
webshop coming soon!?
Yes it's that time of year again!!
Time for LADIES NIGHT!
THURSDAY, MAY 26th :: 6-9pm
365 Main Street (Upstairs!) - Wakefield RI
We are holding a very special Ladies Night with lots of goodies to eat and shop!
So come and join us for some fun
and a bit of shopping too!
(it's not just nonchalant mom... it's MORE!)
I don't know if you noticed but it's still winter here in New England... it's freaking freezing! I keep thinking it's going to warm up, they even have the flowers tricked and then I look at my phone and the weather says 60 degrees for another week! cloudy/rainy/foggy - you name it we got it! Somehow it's put the kabosh on any blogging that I would have liked to do... kind of like, I'm sorry it's too cold to sit at my computer and type a blog, my fingers are freezing!
So today, while trying to warm up in a very long hot shower (no shortage of water HERE), I thought would be very apropos and suggest some tips for warming up when it's supposed to be warm outside but it's not and it's freezing you to the bones. And on top of that all that I really want to do is start to wear Spring clothes, NO SOCKS, bare sleeves, open toe shoes, skirts, dresses... instead I am still in socks, boots, cashmere sweaters, scarves (even the wool ones!) and yes... I am still wearing BLACK, although you have NO idea how much I would like to move on from that into bright, fun SPRING colors! I have to hand it to my friends and neighbors, we are all trying, maybe that bright colored dupatta can keep us warm, yet still say Spring with a bright color... on some days maybe... but it's still a bit cool... many of us have taken to Spring with jewelry instead, moved on from clothing and given up! But soon... maybe in JULY... we will be able to don our new Spring-y gear.. let's hope!
In the meantime here are some ways to stay warm this Spring:
-running - I have taken to running each day (unless it's raining.. which is many, so I really shouldn't say EVERY day) I take a mile run every day, yes, it's short so don't laugh. But it truly warms you up from the inside and the day is much easier to grin-and-bear-it.
-tea - it takes only about 5-8 cups of tea to keep you warm all day long, this is of course if you keep it in a thermal mug, if not you will have iced tea very quickly... that will make you colder so don't drink it. I make a pot of Kukicha tea and put it in a thermal container and drink it all day... it sure helps!
-skin brushing - I thought about this this morning, and it IS true, I stayed warm twice as long after a nice skin brushing (brittbeautifulskin.com for more information or buy here at nonchalantmom). It's a little chilly to start unless you have one of those warm bathrooms... but once you get going you can feel yourself warm from the inside out.
- fires - when it comes to the end of the season and you think "we can finish the fire wood in April" remember that you live in NEW ENGLAND and you will need at the very least TWO MORE MONTHS WORTH! So stock up!
- make Kichadi! - This has been my saving grace and keeping me warm each day! I love it and all of you guys in warm places all over the world (everywhere else but HERE and the north pole!) you can try it next winter... but you, my friends in New England with me... eat Kichadi and it will keep you warm! -see recipe here on my blog
- and my last suggestion... go to Miami!
Good Luck... Stay WArm and you will know when it warms up here... I will start to write blogs again... until then.. short and sweet... because my fingers are freezing!
love - carina
|lucky wang spring 2011|
Recently Emily of Lucky Wang started a blog, she doesn't say much (a little like she is in person, she is a quiet, funny and inventive woman, which in my book makes for a very good friend!) but boy can she put out some amazing photography! I believe she is architect trained, and her photography reflects it. Her photos of places and things tell an amazing story.
Of a person who travels,
and finds interesting things to do in NYC!
Visit her blog and see where she gets her inspiration for her collection: Lucky Wang!
visit her blog here
shop here - shopluckywang
I don't know if you caught this today but I thought there was a pretty interesting show on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, she was talking with Walt Bogdanich who has written in the NY Times about the hidden dangers of medical radiation. It's just very eye opening and I don't know about you but when I take my kids to the dentist and they ask if they can take x-rays it always freaks me out a bit. Now, after listening to this interview I think I will be able to answer in a more knowledgeable way.
Mr. Bogdanich even goes on to suggest "[You can ask your dentist] 'Is this imaging exam necessary? Is it necessary for me, every six months when I come in to have my teeth cleaned?" he says. "I think everyone should ask what speed film the dentist is using, and every patient should ask, 'Why are you not using digital?' And particularly for young adults who are about to have braces on, [ask] 'Is it really necessary to have this cone beam CT scan, or is there a way for you to get the images you need ... without using as much radiation?".
He does not want people not to have an x-ray, but to be able to ask the right questions when it is suggested and help you to know what the issues are at this time and the possibilities that the future holds. The procedures that don't involve radiation are ultrasound, MRI and sonogram. But pretty much everything else involves radiation and CT scans are the most common. It is made clear that these procedures are amazing and when necessary they are essential but it's good to ask questions and have this simple conversation on your head so that you are able to make a qualified decision or at the very least have some good questions. The interview is only 35 minutes but I am sure that you will like to hear this information.
click here to listen to the conversation and I am sure you will be happy that you did.
|koukku teething ring|
I think this etsy shop: koukku has the most delightful little things for babies, in wood combined with colorful cotton. What could be better? And of course she is from Helsinki Finland. I don't know much else, except that she makes them by herself of course, but if you are having a baby or in need of a gift for a baby... here it is!
|koukku necklace or teething necklace|
click here to shop: koukku
I just had to write about these lovely dolls made by Maria Madeira, her online shop is called kase-faz. These little handmade guys are amazing! Maria lives in Portugal and makes all dolls, clothing and accessories by hand with all natural materials. What a DELIGHT!
Visit her shop and get some for yourself, honestly even the photos are so beautiful I want to frame them!
Thank you Maria for making wonderful things for all of us to enjoy! what a talent!
visit kase-faz shop by clicking here
|pink batik size 6 - model is 5 years old|
I have been hanging onto this fabric for ages hoping to make some more of these HALTER PANTSUITS and having an intern this year helped me get my butt into gear! Jillian, my University of Rhode Island intern this year helped get things together and moving, unfortunately we had a little bit of trouble with the fabric and so we didn't get to make that many, I had hoped to offer them to more stores etc... but we only have enough for ourselves (and hardly that...) so if you want them, go get them!
|paisley batik - size 4 - model is 5 years old (they are just shorter in leg)|
|green batik - size 4 - model is 5 years old|
The fabric is these delicious batik fabrics that I found in New York City, they are all 100% cotton and authentic batiks, I love the colors and everything! The stripe fabric is something I got from Erica Tanov, you can buy her leftover fabrics on her website sometimes and it's fun to get really good quality, nice fabric for a fraction of the cost since it's her leftover production - reduce-reuse-recycle.. that's the deal right!? (click her to get some for yourself-her website is in transition at the moment so have patience)
|pink stripe - size 4 model is 5 years old|
|size 4 (see below difference in size 6)|
The halter pantsuit is really one of my favorites, and Jillian and I are working on making some for adults. As you know I am kind of slow moving on this, due to anything buy laziness (I wish!), but I think we will have them certainly for next year if not sooner (later this summer). I think the pantsuit is the perfect diversion from the day to day dress wearing -- WOW your friends with a pantsuit!! The fit is simple and not at all constructed, the idea is more to hang off the neck with kids and comfort all the way... a wide leg, no hem and elastic in the back. The sizes are size 2 year, 4 year, 6 year and 8 year, they fit pretty true to size but if you are in-between I would say size up unless you know better (model is wearing size 4 in most photos except for pink batik in which she has a size 6 on, you can see it's a bit bigger there... model is 44 1/2" tall and 5 1/2 years old).
|if you like the pink batik you may get this pattern or the one below.. the fabirc dictates this and we have no control! (note: see smaller dials or big dials)|
Don't hesitate to email with any questions. I hope that you love them!!
click here to see PANTSUITS on nonchalantmom!
This is one of those things that probably everyone already knows about but I just found it... so, just in case you don't I am passing it onto everyone! My daughter and I like to make cut-out anything with paper, so when I found A Little Hut I was SO excited. Patricia Zapata is an amazing wiz with paper art, and has a beautiful book to back her up called 'Home, Paper, Scissors'. On her website you can get a taste of what is in her book and follow some of her projects and then when you get completely hooked, get the book!
Her flowers are amazing and a delight. I suppose it could be kind of frustrating (for the adults at least) when your flowers don't look anything like hers the first try, but I am certain after a bit of practice we can all be novices at this terrific sport! There is nothing better than sitting down together on a rainy day (or a beautiful sunshiny day outside?) to a fun project and I think these are inspiring!
Just a glimpse of a new project, make a house of paper, your kids will have so much fun for hours with this one! Any way you look at these once you know about Patricia you can't go back!
visit: A Little Hut by Patricia Zapata
|matta dupatta shawl|
We have TWO sales going on now at Nonchalant Mom, both going on through mothers day -
1 - 25% off Matta scarves and dupattas - hey, they make a terrific mothers day gift! Use code: 'dupatta25' at checkout and an extra 25% off will be applied to your purchase.
2 - 25% off already on sale merchandise! - we are working on moving everything over to the "sale/clearance" page. Use code: 'extra25' at checkout and get an extra 25% off already marked down merchandise! Yahoo!
Two ways to save... so go have some fun!
click her to shop nonchalant mom
We recently ran a survey monkey, which for those of you who do not know, it is just a way for us to hear from you and see how you like our services. It's your chance to give us ideas on how we can make things work better for you and also a chance for you to criticize (although only ONE person did...). I am so glad that we did this and we are certainly going to do it again, it was fun to find out what you are thinking and to see that so many of your responded to the survey!! (THANK YOU!)
So at this time I would like to give you a few of the results... just so you know what was said and then you can also see if you want to participate next time if you didn't this time (but we had hundreds of responses so I am happy that all of you are willing to give your opinions on Nonchalant Mom). If you have ideas for the next survey monkey just shoot me an email! Otherwise I am going to take this moment to let you know what we are able to work on to upgrade in the coming year.
SELECTION: It seems as though everyone is VERY happy with our selection, 20% would like to see more boys items and some of you would also like to see more European collections. We heard you loud and clear on the boys selection and we can certainly work on that... we have added some good collections for the Fall 2011 season that will answer this question and we also went a bit back to our roots and concentrated on unisex collections. BUT as for European collections, I am holding back on this a bit, it's very hard for me to do this as duties and shipping are SO expensive and it makes the clothing SO expensive that I can't seem to make it work. Obviously when I can we will do it... I am pretty sure that I will NEVER leave Tuss and Shampoodle behind so you can always count on those! (both good unisex collections by the way!) - A few of you also suggested that you would like to see a LARGER selection... so would I! so I'm working on that too... but we need some partners in our business to do that so... we are working on it!!
Someone suggested that we give surprises each season and I LOVE that idea... lots of surprises coming this Fall (and maybe sooner) but I am going to keep this in mind for next Spring. Another person suggested that I need to get my price points down.. and I would really love to do that, I try hard to offer a representation of all price targets but, as I say quite often, the collections that Nonchalant Mom offers are all independent labels, small companies or even individuals doing it all on their own and the prices will never match the Gap .. etc.. but we heard you, and we will try! We also had a few requests for mens items... I'm not sure if I am going to get into this although I would LOVE to, like I say, when I go out shopping in the 'world' all the good shopping is always for MEN! I don't know if I can top the Freeman Sporting Club and Steven Alan's out there... but I will give it a go on Lucky Fish for you guys!
NAVIGATION OF NONCHALANT MOM: It seems that everyone is happy with the Nonchalant Mom website and the way it works, you would like to see more photos and we are trying to see how we can add that element within the framework of the website that we already have... uff da! I think that we will produce a catalog, for some extra images and then remember that you can ALWAYS click on the top bar of each of the product pages and then a slideshow will load with extra images of the clothing on kids so that you can see it better. We seem to have the sizes you need but you would like us to go up to size 14 (pretty unanimous!), also UNANIMOUS is the new addition of adult clothing... you all seem to like it VERY much!
Someone said that they can never find the shopping basket... yikes! it's that little grey basket (above) that says "view shopping cart" at the BOTTOM every page, it's small and it's grey but it's there... I do LOVE all of your suggestions on how to make my site easier, like sorting by size or by boy - girl, etc.. I think this is a GREAT idea and we are working on it. We will never get the size thing but boy-girl... how silly of me not to think about this sooner! I have understood also, that I need to move things to the sale page... my connundrum, I have to figure this one out... (maybe they can be on BOTH product and sale for awhile). Some of you don't like that I have it by designer but that's going to have to stay that way, I love giving ample credit to each designer so I really want to keep it that way... hope you can deal...
SHIPPING AND CUSTOMER SERVICE: Not to say that we never make mistakes, cause we do... but I got quite a few "Julie Rocks!" as comments! Our shipping and timing seem to work for everyone, although I do cringe for the California people, it takes a week to get to you guys and I hate that! We are usually on top of shipping in one to two days after you place your order unless there is a problem. We have decided to do inventory more often, we do get hooked up on this and inventory being off can really ruin a good day for us! I am constantly 'hounding' UPS to give us better rates, it's so hard for smaller companies to beat the jCrews out there, but we try! The rate you are quoted is the rate that we get from UPS! (except for international, and you have no idea the extra work that goes into international but we only add an extra $5 to international packages)
BLOG COMMENTS: I just wanted to check in and see if you all were liking the blog... because I can just write and write and I have no idea if you even CARE (although the readership is too good for you to NOT be caring). But most of you "Love it!" so there we go... although a lot of you want to hear more about our house, and I have to say, it's a small house so there is not much more to say than what I already write!! But I will try to do more on our house... (because I DO Love it! also!)
So thank you so very much for all of your comments, I really learned a LOT and we will be working hard to make some changes and update the website and its selection to make everyone happy!
I have been thinking about this lately, let's just say that it's come up in my life as of late... So I have taken a bit more notice of it than I usually do. Today, because I get a 'google alert' when someone mentions Nonchalant and Mom in the same sentence I was directed to the wonderful blog Babble and a blog entitled "How is a Mom Supposed to Look?" (posted today by Rebecca Odes). As I read through the story it did remind me of my current situation, or maybe the phase that I am going through right now. As a mom, a nonchalant one at that, I have not really cared much about what anyone else thought about my looks or the way I dress, "just so that I am happy about it" is my theme in life. You know that I am in love with 'Style' but that does not always mean 'Fashion'. But somehow being a mom that kind of changes, when I spend time at the kids elementary school I see that other moms get dressed up and look good, they have their nails done, their hair is washed and the may even have 'heels' on! I started to really respect the effort.
If we start from the beginning here you should know that I once drove my kids to school for drop off in my pj's (well I WORK in them sometimes for heavens sake...). Recently I dropped my kids off at school, realized they forgot something and had to go IN the school without a bra on and without a shower (I 'think' I brushed my teeth), then realize that I had a meeting in town right that moment and had to go to the meeting (without a bra on) then went into the store to check on things and before I knew it it was noon and I still had not taken a shower, no make-up and no bra! (this may be okay for some people but NOT a 34D after breastfeeding two kids!). I will stop with the self humiliation there... but you get the picture and I decided this was the last straw.
When it comes time for a trip to NYC I know I have to get my #*(% together and I do pull it out for these trips, so I feel for you guys that have to give it your all every day, each day out of the gate! But being that Mothers Day is coming up I want to give each of you some inspiration... I don't want to see any of you slagging around in your PJ's. Upon my last trip to NYC I was so pale from a horribly long winter that I had turned almost blue.. I thought to myself, I need a tan! so I made an appointment for a spray-tan (!?) can you imagine.. me!! (the chemicals involved...!!) but I was desperate! Desperate to pull myself together and quick-like. So as I waited for the spray-tan lady, I chickened out... and I just asked her if she would mind helping me find some make-up instead? (it was at an Aveda salon...) It was my first tube of all-over face makeup for, lets just say, a very long time.
It was all that I needed, I didn't need a face lift, botox, or anything else, I just needed to little change and added an extra step to my morning routine that lifted my 46 years back to just about 40 (at least I think so...) So if you are the mom who doesn't really care what they look like... well there is nothing wrong with that, but you may just feel that much more inspired if you find that one thing that will uplift your look. Maybe it's just a new chapstick color (you know burts bee's has many colors now!) or maybe it's doing your hair color, take the time to do it for yourself, it will make your day... better! And if you are the mom that has a manicure each week then go for it! and love it!
Just make sure that this Mothers Day you also think of yourself, it's YOUR day you know, it's still a day for you to make a call to YOUR mom, send her a gift or write her a letter and tell her how much you love her and appreciate her, but don't forget yourself and do something just for yourself.
Yes, it is... and I am... part of the Inside Source a fantabulous blog by eBay (of all people...) I was asked by Jen Smith to give her my favorite eBay searches and I just about popped! YES! It does happen to be a favorite pastime for me. Funny enough I had just been trailing a Braun 1960's Dieter Rams stereo on eBay for the past few weeks and in the back of my mind I thought... maybe they will give it to me if I do a story with them... But alas.. here I am still wishing for my much longed for eBay stereo!
Our whole family is eBay crazy, when my son gets a bill for doing chores he hops right onto eBay, and hey, who can fault a kid for buying re-used! I love it! We buy old games and toys, because I like to see the old graphics rather than the new ones with Dora or Hanna Montana! Call me a design-Sargent but the images from the 60's and 70's are so much better and somehow it makes playing these games more fun for me and the kids... well they don't seem to care! (the old memory games!!) Well you can see all the games that I love and all my 'searches' on the delightful story that Jen put together. They are listed here...
Thank you Jen for including me on your Inside Source! And don't miss checking out all of the great people that are a part of the Inside Source, Marcia Patmos (of M. Patmos), Preston Davis and Jennifer Alfano, Kelly Lillien and more.... who all give their favorite finds on eBay!
click here to see whole story on The Inside Source