flowers in your HOME

my peonies and some other flower/bush I have that I LOVE but nO idea what it is!

We always have some kind of flowers in our home... and I think it's the most uplifting thing and always makes me happy! Especially in the spring, they are ALL over the house! I like to use what is wild around our property and in the woods behind our home. We have lots of daisy's, those yellow flowers (not dandelions but they look more like yellow daisy's) and some sweet william is always nice. Really just whatever is around... then I plant some flowers from seeds in pots in the spring so that I will always have something good to work with as well as a good flowering rose bush that keeps going pretty much all summer long!

these are all I have now.. it's so HOT!

I like to mix them all together, it reminds me of my childhood and Sweden. At 'Midsommar' it is customary to pick 7 flowers, run around a well 7 times and then you are supposed to dream about the boy you will marry.... or something like that (hey, it was a LONG time ago and I am sure I am going to hear from the Swede's about this one..).

my kitchen windowsil

It's something I will always remember about mom's home farm in Dalarna, Sweden where my Aunt lives now. All over the house there are small vases with a tiny bouquet of wildflowers... it's so delightful and even the thought of them always brings a smile to my face. We used to go into the forest and come back with buckets of Lily of the Valley, my mom said that when they were little they would take them into town and sell them (that's my mom... always finding a way to make a buck!).

Arrangements by Ikuyo Takahashi at Gunn's show for her product - Nara - helt naturligt - in Tokyo

When I lived in Italy with my friend Gunn she always had flowers around the house too! (she's Swedish but lives in Italy). At an opening for her new skincare products in Japan they had these beautiful flower arrangements by Ikuyo Takahashi, I think it looked amazing! As always when working with Gunn, she got the whole crew in on putting together the arrangements... her love for beauty and her infectious creativity jumps into everyone that is around her. But really, flowers and the garden inspire her life.. you can read her blog and you will see... there is always something about gardening, food and flowers! (that's why I love her!) - click here to go to her blog and read more

So you may be wondering, Carina, why are you writing about all of this now...?? Well, I got an email yesterday from Erica Tanov who is hosting a book signing for "Bringing Nature Home" conceived and photographed by Ngoc Minh Ngo with floral arrangements by Nicolette Owen of Brooklyn's Little Flower School. Alas we may have missed the book signing because it was TODAY, and I don't have my copy yet but I was on the horn to Erica to see if she can grab me a copy! you can get yours by clicking here. You can see that the book will inspire anyone with it's images of lovely natural flower arrangements (obviously you can see from my 'arrangements' above I need some help) and help you to BRING NATURE HOME!

image from book "Bringing Nature Home" photographed by Ngoc Minh Ngo

image from book "Bringing Nature Home" photographed by Ngoc Minh Ngo

image from book "Bringing Nature Home" photographed by Ngoc Minh Ngo
And just to show you how small this world is... I worked with Ann, Ngoc's sister at Esprit in the 80's and Esprit is where I first met Gunn... see how small the world is, but somehow it just keeps on turning!

The whole point of this story is that it's great to just go out and pick some flowers you find outside your door (sorry you Manhattan-ites) and use them in your home! 

to purchase your copy of Bringing Nature Home - click here


fermented foods and the low-down on these healthful foods

I think that an easy way to begin eating fermented foods is to try to start each meal (well at least your evening meal..), with Sauerkraut. We take a small bowl before our meal - kind of like a salad - because you don't need much but it will help your digestion and keep your stomach juices working well. Start with sauerkraut, and then you can move on to other vegetables, I also like pickled Daikon or pickles cucumbers... etc.

Recently, on NPR's Fresh Air, Sandor Katz was the guest and does a great job explaining fermented foods. He should know, he wrote the book, The Art of Fermentation. He reviews the healthfulness and also hands out some great recipes, so that you can make pickles and other fermented foods in your own kitchen. He gives a recipe to make your own sauerkraut which is (or click on the NPR link to get the FULL recipe):

For fermentation newbies, Katz recommends starting with sauerkraut because it's particularly easy to make. To begin, take a cabbage and any additional vegetables you want and chop it up. Put your chopped veggies in a large bowl and lightly salt them. (Katz notes that he never measures the salt because there's really no "magic number for how much salt to use.")
After salting the veggies, which helps get rid of excess water, Katz squeezes them for a few minutes to release their juices, so that they can be submerged under their own liquid. (Katz says he hardly ever adds water to his kraut, because the flavor is more concentrated if you use only the vegetable juice.) He then stuffs the veggies and the juices they've released into a jar.
"You want to press really hard to force out any air bubbles," he notes. "And you want to make sure that the vegetables are pressed down under their juices. And then just seal the jar — but be aware that pressure will be produced, so you don't want to leave it for days and days."
Katz recommends checking the jar on a daily basis to release the pressure — and then after maybe 3-5 days, enjoying your new creation.

If this is too much for you, maybe to start with you can buy some, and then after you get used to it you can make your own... we like Bubbies brand or Real Pickles brand sauerkraut both are delicious and stay away from using sugar, which defeats the purpose of pickling (which maybe becomes more of an alcoholic beverage, with the addition of yeast!?), it should really just be salt in the fermenting process and maybe some 'secret' flavors like Juniper berries, peppercorns etc... But back to the purpose here... Start easy and help your family be more healthy and happy by introducing pickled vegetables into your daily routine.

If you like spicy things and you are ready to move to the next level Kimchi is delicious! You can usually find local brands in your local health food store.

Listen to NPR's Fresh Air conversation with Sandor Katz
Listen to Part II on NPR which talks about Edible Fermentables: Wine, Beer, Cheese, Meat


tree house magic!

Lynn's treehouse located somewhere near Toronto, Canada

The thought of dropping things (but NEVER dropping Nonchalantmom!! it goes with me everywhere!!) and possibly living in a more unconventional way has been on our minds quite a lot lately. Our house is still on the market but we are not sure what would happen it we actually SOLD it!? But what we DO know is that we don't want to tie oursleves down to a traditional home life. I wouldn't say that we have a normal life right now, but... I'm just saying... there may be OTHER ideas out there!

Today I came upon this treehouse and although this may be taking it to the extreme it's so good to see a home that is NOT conventional, not practical and a lot more 'not's' but what it IS is warm, fun and well I've got to assume it keeps you guessing in life! (like maybe.. why am I living with SQUIRRELS?!)

This treehouse is the home of Lynn Knowlton, she is an interior designer and one of her rules is it's best to barter, so your home (or treehouse in this case) CAN be made of a recycled barn that got torn down by a tornado, your sink can be found on the side of the road, and you can trade or barter to get just about anything you need (or don't need)!

this porch opens up to the living room!

this is IT where life is great!

It's a great way to live and it's just nice to think about living in a different way!

visit Lynn's inspiring blog -Design the Life You Want to Live

visit more of this story on Treehugger.com


Jess Brown rag dolls - Back In STOCK!

Jess Brown dolls are back in stock... and just in TIME! She was the feature on the TODAY show where she told moms how to make their dream come true (she knows because she's DOING it!) - the story involves (surprise surprise) HARD WORK, dedication and the dream to do something unique and your own! Watch her story and be INSPIRED!


Jess is a fantastic representation of the Mompreneur of today!

Here is a look at some of the new dolls we just received at Nonchalant Mom today!!


IOU Project + MADRAS = LoVE!

madras fitted blazer - size x-small

We found a new project and they are AMAZING... creating beautiful goods eithically and in oh such a chic way! We couldn't keep our hands off them! Here's how it goes.. each piece is totally unique, made with handwoven Madras cloth and tailored in Italy, the best part... well besides the fact that they are keeping these two traditions alive in their countries, is that the result is completely cool, wearable and a whole lot of FUN!

work dress - size small

I don't know about you but along with a prerequisite of looking chic, I like something that is made well and has a good message, and the guys at IOU project have it DOWN! I could have just written a blog about them to let you know they are out there but I couldn't pass up the chance to have these proud pieces in my store! Each piece is one of a kind and photographed as-is... so when you shop it's what you see is what you GET! when it's gone it's gone!

fitted vest - size small

IOU brings together so many people.. .and you can see on their website all involved. When you get your parment there is a had written number on it which will tell you; who made the fabric as well as who made the garment! It will tell you a little bit about that person, their family and a short video! IOU project brings it all together for completely ethical clothing! --nothing could be better!

visit IOU Project online to find out MORE!
visit the IOU Project at Nonchalantmom - here

work dress size - small


ICFF :: the nonchalant mom rundown

This was my FAVORITE thing at the show... beautiful lighting by Lindsey Adelman Studio

this is my self-portrait (right mirror!) in the Palo Samko booth.. these lovely mirrors were a highlight!

I know, I know.. it was weeks ago and but I have just gotten around to writing about it, contrary to what a few people are saying it was pretty inspiring, although I didn't realize this so much until I went through my hundreds of photos.. The show seemed pretty small this year, but maybe that's just me... there was no one color that ruled, but there was lots of color, indigo, orange and really nice sharp colors.  There was not really a theme that ruled either, there were beautiful and modern applications of technology and also quite a bit of nature. Thankfully there were a few kid-centric businesses that attended and I have highlighted all of them.

I promise to stop showing my toes on this blog...
kids enjoying a fanta! at the Elisabeth Street Taqueria

marley waiting outside

I am embarrassed to say that I don't know the name of this place but it's the taqueria and a VERY good one! (on Elisabeth just below Houston)

The trip ended up to be a family trip as both myself and my husband wanted to see the show and we both had business in NYC... so on the way down I had to prepare with a pedicure in the CAR! This is not for a novice... it's not as easy as it looks! We didn't drag the kids to the show but tagged off and took turns going to the show and so the kids and I went to have lunch at this fantastic place on Elizabeth Street, it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon... impossible to get a table anywhere in Soho/Nolita PLUS our dog in tow... so this was a great solution! Even Marley had a good time!

Then we took a break in between shifts for a glass of wine and french fries... party UP in the city!

Then it was ONTO the show for me!! and here we go into the details and show highlights!

more of the Lindsey Adelman Studio

Lindsey Adelman Studio had the MOST beautiful lighting!

these are her beautiful hand blown glass globes

it's hard to see from the photo but there brass fixtures and then these dark teal color branches in between.. GORGEOUS!

not TRULY for kids but for the KID in everyone! by d-torso

I LOVE these for outdoor chairs.. they are very comfortable!

this photo does not do these wallpapers justice, they are so innovative by Eskayel you MUST visit their website: www.eskayel.com to see ALL patterns and the now also have rugs which are amazing!

just some swatches of the Eskayel rugs! (www.eskayel.com)
these crazy guys just had a load of beatiful rugs! they were fantastic!! www.nomadictrading.com

this was beautiful technology - a simple console that pulled out and then projected onto the wall www.spectral.eu

here you can see how it works

they also had a version for a screen + iphone dock - all www.spectral.eu

in between technology - www.apparatusstudio.com

old-time cool console with turntable by Symbol handcrafted audio - www.symbolaudio.com

chic speakers! tabletop wifi

I don't know... I just loved these guys! www.nowworkshopny.com beautiful wood + good simple design is delightful!

cool kids company... name says it ALL! www.coolkidscompany.com

these can really add something to a room! www.tomomisayuda.com
something a bit art-deco from England - wallpaper + pillows www.moragmapherson.com

great lighting www.jieldeusa.com

I met the people at GRAIN at the last gift show but they had a very nice booth with terrific accessories! www.graindesign.com

simple elegance.. I love this!!  www.palosamko.com

cloth made in Kyoto, Japan - www.leciel-japan.com

help! who is this..? I love it!

loved this sofa!! dark green velvet (but it was the end of the day and couldn't get these guys off the couch!)

this is another favorite! - lisa grue www.underwerket.dk

the embroidery kit by Lisa Grue

Lisa Grue selling her passion!
I have to add a message here, I probably spent the most time in Lisa's booth... these are amazing kits! and yes, is you even MILDLY beg me I will get some for the shop! they are $95/usd from Denmark (?) she is a wildly successful graphic artist, yet she feels that so many people don't work with their hands anymore, SO Lisa is doing something about it... she has created these kits, which take you step by step though the process to make your own wall hanging (or pillow.. or whatever you want to do with it!) she gives you stitches and yarn and everything! She is a terrific lady with a great message! Slow down, don't watch TV... MAKE something! with YOUR OWN hands.. and what a beautiful result! www.underwerket.dk

let's end with this one... beautiful right!?
Next year I hope to see you all there... it's always good to take in some good design!!