NEW :: Clare Vivier bags!! LOVE!

This new shot of Clare Vivier bags are just about my FAVORITES! I love them all and between you and me.. I took home some too... sssshhhhh... shop them ALL here

clare vivier moyen bag - black/white/azure

The Moyen bag is really my favorite for spring.. (well anytime for that matter) it's the size, shape and ease of two different straps to use as you please! (it could even be a clutch) - the color palate here is black bag, white shoulder strap or azure blue messenger strap... the combination kills me it's gorgeous!

Clare Vivier flat clutch :: leopard

and then... I couldn't hold back, I knew that all of you needed (and yes, I needed too) the leopard flat clutch bag. There is something about Clare's zipper that is perfect, the pull, perfect... it's all PERFECT! Sized to carry what you need... not what you don't, HA!

clare vivier la tropezienne - navy

If you are Mrs. Practical, yes I am too :), this is the bag for you... La Tropezienne, I love navy but it also comes in practical black. But really, this so so chic I am delighted to call it practical too!

shop Clare Vivier at Nonchalantmom here


Valentine idea...

These are super cute cards and eyepatch that make a great DIY valentine card for your kids to hand out at school! I don't know about you but I'm tired of giving pencils! (and PLEASE no more candy!) I thought these cute little eye patches make a fun and easy Valentine card and kids can 'almost' do them by themsleves... almost... Best of all there is a video tutorial! I found this via Daily Candy kids!

you will need:
black felt
red felt (and maybe pink?)
glue gun
card stock

follow this easy video and they will take you through the easy steps!

keystone habits

I got a wonderful newsletter yesterday from my friend Warren King (I've spoken about him many times and see my other blogs by clicking here) or visit his website. The newsletter was about "keystone habits" which I had not heard about, but after a quick google search and the purchase of a book (I will know more very soon!) I am intent on finding out more!

Keystone habits are habits that once adopted tend to produce a landslide of other positive changes. I think that Warren King re-capped it best in his newsletter:

"Studies over the last decade show the impact of fitness on people’s daily routines and they have found even exercising infrequently as once a week, start other unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. People who exercise start eating better and become more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and feel less stressed. it is not clear why taking time for fitness is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.
Another such habit is eating family meals. Studies have shown that families that habitually eat dinner together seem to raise children with better homework skills, higher grades, greater emotional control and more confidence.
Guess which habit is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being and a greater facility with following a budget?  It is making your bed each morning. Since finding out about this I have been making my bed diligently, and keeping to my budget!
The last one is keeping a food journal. A 2009 study asked 1600 obese people to write down everything they ate at least one day per week. This helped them to identify their patterns and set up plans for healthy alternatives. Six months into the study, the people who kept daily food records had lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. "

I love the three keystone habits that Warren King uses, they are easy and result in fantastic positive changes in your life. I for one... will be making my bed from now on! (I am excited to see if it has an effect on my kids.. when they start to make their beds each morning!)

The book: The Power of Habit - Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business by Charles Duhigg
visit the website of Warren King L.Ac and sign up for his wonderful newsletter!
more references to making your bed... on Apartment Therapy

good luck and remember MAKE YOUR BED!



Makié is not only our favorite thing of the week - she is our favorite person... period! (.) I can't imagine how we thought our kids could look chic before Makié told us how to do it, and then she told US (women) how to do it with her small but concise womens collection. Makié was one of the inspirations for me to open my shop, because when we left New York City and went to Rhode Island I understood that I couldn't be the only one who wanted my kids to look great, be comfortable, but look GREAT. I knew that everyone had to have her collection available to them, now almost 10 years later she has come to be known as the head of our industry (and also for women as she paves the way of effortless chic with her womens line of clothing and accessories).

So without further words... Makié is our favorite thing of the week, we are offering her handbag and her kids jeans as our FAVORITE THING of the WEEK.

Makié handbag - large size fits over shoulder or as a handbag

For women, Makiés woven handbag comes in two sizes medium and large, they are beautifully handmade with woven leather. (psst.. it's now on sale but not for long.. click here)

And for kids, the essential jeans... with a casual easy fit for kids that goes for both BOYS or GIRLS! five pockets and just an easy wear with attention to fit and detail that is always a Makié specialty. (click here to shop)

shop Makié at Nonchalantmom here


Martin Luther King Day

Aug. 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”


valentines project... it's EASY!

This came about because I needed to change my store window... it's a slight problem because there is SO much sun in my store window I can't really put product in there or it is ruined! So we get CRAFTY and do these crazy windows. Our Holiday window was snowflakes in the shape of a tree... it was fun and I asked my kids to help me and they were totally NOT interested. So when I was done and it looked so cute (see below)

Our shop window for the HOlidays at Night!

they got a little intrigued. So when I said I had to change my window again, I asked them what to do.... Franny knew what the next holiday was.. I think it's her favorite, VALENTINES DAY! so she said let's make a BIG heart!

our new HEART for the shop window.. not finished yet :(

I wasn't so sure about a big heart.. HOW, what, WHERE?... but then I remembered... when we were kids we used to make floats (not the kind you DRINK, the kind in a parade! -is that spelled differently?)... so it's been two WEEKS we have hand this giant heart on the floor of our house... It's taking a bit of time, but little by little it's getting done.

start of the heart

pink or red tissue paper cut into approx. 5 x 5" squares
glue gun (or some kind of glue)
giant piece of cardboard (or for heavens sake you don't have to make it as BIG as we did!! - insane!)
box cutter

wrap your stick with tissue paper

stick down with glue gun

To start cut out your heart - we folded it in half and cut it out that way (or draw it first!). Then use a stick or we use the end of a marker, wrap the tissue around the tip and glue down the center of the tissue square to the cut out heart. A glue gun worked great but be careful for the heat! - It works great if you have three people, one with the glue gun (mom!) and two kids to wrap the tissue and stick it down. We put the dot of glue on the cardboard, dots about 2" apart (we did it closer at first but that was going to take us FOREVER! ... 2" is fine or you can do even more). We did it from the outside in.. but maybe it's better to do the inside out!

We are STILL not finished... but I figured we needed to blog this before it got too late! We will give you another when it's all DONE!

Happy Crafting!


colds and flu season is on us! what can YOU do...

I started writing this blog a few days ago and then I got a cold... I was worried it was going to turn into the flu and so I took some time, slowed down and took it easy. I tried some alternative remedies and in record time I was back on my feet (more on that later). I wanted to write a blog because I was listening to NPR talk about flu season and the announcer asked "Isn't there anything you can suggest to do besides a flu shot and washing your hands?" the health and human services "specialist" said "No".... I thought.. wait a minute YEA!!... there are quite a few things you can do.. in MY opinion!

First of all we did give our kids the flu shot, I figure they are in school where it's so easy for these things to incubate so they need all the help they can get. We also have them wash their hands when they come home from school. After their nightly shower or bath (if they take a bath we add a large handful of salt to the bath), they gargle with warm water and salt (at least three times), we have done this for years during the winter season and I think it has always been helpful. Keeping their nostrils clean and vigorous is very healthy, so at the end of gargling they dip their fingers (in the warm salt water) and clean out their nostrils (it's totally fun to watch them do this!).

I honestly think that candy and sugar depletes their immune system so I don't make it a big deal but we don't have intense sweets during the winter (no ice cream, candy etc..), they don't really even seem to notice and we don't have it around in the house. I fill the house with apples, other fruits and nuts instead. I try to squeeze fresh orange juice for them each morning (it's not as big of a deal as you may think, just two oranges, a simple squeezer.. it takes just a few minutes), this isn't very macrobiotic (too sweet) but the idea to me is nice :).

I have talked about it before and I have seen Thieves oil show up more often lately at health food stores and so on, so it may be easier to find now. Thieves oil can be used to naturally fight colds and flu, it is a blend of essential oils and smells mostly like cloves. I have been known to send my kids to school with it on and my son says that no one will talk to him because he smells! But I just happen to like the smell so EASY. As the story goes thieves doused themselves with this oil and would go into homes overcome with small pox (or scarlet fever.. or something) and steal from the sick... Thieves Oil! I put it on the back of my hand when I am in public places (subway, trains, etc..) and take the smell in my nose frequently.

Exercise, the reason that colds and flu are rampant at this time of year is that people tend to be sedentary, not outside exercising and not keeping healthy. So YES! this is a good time to get outside and exercise and make sure your kids are doing so as well. Try skiing, skating or any winter sport... jogging (even for kids), yoga, walking... just get yourself and your family outside and get COLD and then warm up... it's good for their bodies. I think just taking a walk with your family is COMPLETELY overlooked at this time of year and can be delightful! (yes complaints at first, but make it fun!). So make sure you keep up with exercising for the WHOLE family.

In kids this looks like sneezing and those tired red eyes. In you it can be very subtle... that feeling in your chest, the drippy nose.. whatever your 'signals' are you probably know yourself pretty well and if you listen you will hear it. For kids I like to use Astragalus, it's easier on the digestive system than Echinacea and for adults I use Echinacea. It will help your immune system fight the cold or flu, just give yourself and your kids a good heavier dose that first day and then do what you need to do from then on. In the case of Echinacea you only want to use it if 14 days and NO LONGER (or give yourself a two week reprieve). No coffee or chocolate please.. it will just disturb what you are trying to do, it will cancel it out. Some people are assured by Airborne or other things and I think they are great too.. I think Airborne may help if you are additionally having headaches etc...

I just learned a POW drink that may just cancel it out for you, as it did in my case. Julie (who works with me at NCM.. many of you know her ALL too well!) told me to drink hot water with lemon, chayenne and honey - which I did and it practically deleted my symptoms immediately. BUT you have to give your body a chance to regenerate, so you need SLEEP!

Sleep is the most important thing to recover from a cold or stop one from coming on in the first place. Take extra time to rest and relax, go to sleep extra early, and sleep-in a bit in the morning. You will find that one day will give you a world of difference and you may have reassured your body that you can fight any cold that comes your way! And same for your kids... trick them into going to bed early, start your night time ritual a half hour earlier and get them into bed with some extra time.

So NO NPR, there is a lot you can do to keep yourself healthy and happy!

Good Luck and stay healthy!

read my previous story on colds and flu


Schoolhouse Rock is 40!

I don't know about you but I would know NOTHING were it not for Schoolhouse Rock! I can still sing all the songs (I had the record). Since it is the 40th Birthday of Schoolhouse Rock NPR spoke with Bob Dorough - who is the voice of almost all of the songs. It was fantastic to hear his voice again and listen to the story... "There I was in New York City, just trying to make a living," Dorough tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "My jazz work was a little slow, and I was dabbling in advertising music, just to make ends meet. By then I was married and had a daughter, and so I needed that bread."
That's when his boss came to him with a problem: "My sons cannot memorize their times tables — yet they sing along with Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones, and they get their words," Dorough recalls being told. So off he went to put together first the times table song "multiplication rock"!

I don't know about you but when I think about a bill being passed.. there is always that song in my head!

It's a great walk down memory lane... and I need to get that record for my kids!

listen on NPR here

It's a NEW year!

It's taken me until now to get myself together and get back to a routine. We ate so many cakes and cookies over the Holiday break that most of our family has a cold, sugar weakens your immune system and so you have a harder time fighting off a cold. I remember when I lived in Italy and was VERY macrobiotic, we used to have reflexology all the time (there was this woman in our town who was RUTHLESS and it was so painful but she would always get our bodies in order). She used to say that she was SO busy after Christmas because everyone eats so many sweets and their immune systems would be all screwed up.

I was starting to get neck and back problems so I just jumped in... running and I made a big pot of rice cream (recipe here) three days later I am feeling fantastic! I started running two years ago, I only run one mile every day - it doesn't take much time and it's easy to fit into my schedule. From time to time I do yoga and a general awareness for exercise (we live in a rural area so we drive a lot, so I park far away from the door when I got to the store... etc.. walk when I can... ). I feel that the running gives my internal organs a good massage - that's what it's about for me and also the breath.. breathing hard is important each day to clean your lungs out.

So if you want to try this... here's how it goes, run a mile every day, eat rice cream for two meals and drink the 'tea' (from making the rice cream, it's really home made rice milk!) as much as you can. I try to finish the rice cream within three days and then cook it again. This will clean out your internal organs and especially your intestines, which get especially backed up with all the heavy food you enjoy over the holidays. Then usually later this month I will do a fast for 6-7 days, I like the simple Master Cleanse (where you just drink lemon water, cayenne and a drop of maple syrup) where you can drink all the tea you want!

Good Luck and enjoy getting yourself back and ready for LIFE!

click here for rice cream recipe


not your everyday fruit salad... yUm!

we made this yummy fruit salad over the holiday break and it was SO good!!

it included:
a persimmon (it was perfectly ripe... how lucky!)
a grapefruit
two apples
a pomegranate
lemon juice

(it looks like there was something yellow in there too but I can't remember what it was!!)

so refreshing! and kids LOVED it!

Lucky Fish... you gotta LOVE her!

It's been a long time since we did one of these house visits. I recently realized that I have never done one of these with my closest friend Jann of Lucky Fish! (how could I deprive you of such a lovely home tour!) When I am in NYC you can bet I'm going to stay with Jann... Mostly because I love her and we have SO much fun together, then there is her location (Brooklyn!) and then there is her family who I love and who completely take me in with the nonchalance of a family member.

So first of all I want you to know I didn't style ANY of this... I just photographed what was there in her home. Jann has this lovely way of keeping little 'vignettes' around the house of these interesting little stories -- and they are always changing! So here you go, a tiny look into the Lucky Fish home! (you will notice some upholstery that is done with her prints!)

Jann's husband is an amazing cook... I always get inspired by his meals!
yes, there is always a bit of chaos around the tiny kitchen
breakfast is GORGEOUS! ricotta, pineapple, strawberries, pecans with honey and some really REALLY strong coffee!
practical together with beauty

crazy walls too!

kitchen shelves (yes that's hubba bubba there on the side!)

There is always fresh fruit in their house... ALWAYS!

with TONS of references to their home country - SOUTH AFRICA!

A Lucky Fish print

glass by Julie Burton + Jann's wrap beads (yes! I sell them!)

just beautiful STUFF!

some kind of self portrait wrapped in africa?

chaos - but makes for fun kids play!
day two - breakfast! (where's the coffee!?)
had to run to momofuku instead for coffee and some sweetness to help my hangover!
 Visit Lucky Fish on Nonchalant Mom! for the MOST amazing Tshirts, home accessories and jewelry (and anything else she can think of to print!)



This week I am sharing my GO-TO outfit of the season, when I need to look sharp and nice all at the same time I love this Lem Lem Mala skirt! It's equally cute with a t-shirt or a jacket... toss on your boots and you are ready to go! AND it's my favorite thing of the week!

Lem Lem Mala Skirt + black boots, + sweater + jaunty belt = easy!

The Lem Lem Mala dress is just as good (if not better) if you can't pull together the above it's all in ONE here!

SHOP it HERE... at nonchalantmom
and remember to use code: 'winter20' and take an extra 20% off the already on sale price! (yay!)


oops I forgot to tell you... SALE!!

We have a sale going on in the shop and it's a DARN GOOD ONE! Just about everything is on SALE and then you get to take an ADDITIONAL 20% off!! It's sheer craziness! But in a GOOD way!

use code: 'winter20' and take an additional 20% off everything that is already on sale (and that's just about EVERYTHING!)


or click on the link to the store on the top RIGHT of my BLOG!

Have FUN!


Okay I spent WAY too much time on pinterest today... needed some inspiration and I GOT IT! (only now I want to REdo our whole HOUSE!) Visit my pinterest page and see what inspires me... hope it inspires you TOO!

here is a taste...

I think I am listed as Carina Schott... or nonchalantmom

recipe :: cardamom cake!

This year while my mom was here on a visit she made this cardamom cake that we all went crazy over! (among other things like her cookies and more cakes... she's the best baker in the whole WORLD!) My mom always has new things up her sleeve but this cake... WOW! and SO easy, we made it again and again over the holiday break! The recipe is from the Swedish Cakes and Cookies cookbook - it's the most simple yet fantastic baking book of Swedish cookies and sweets.

This isn't the best photo I have ever taken but you can bet it was GONE in a second so I had to take what I could get!

The recipe made about one and half cakes for me... I know they say one cake in the recipe but I made a round cake + a loaf shape cake with this single recipe (mom taught me that...). There are so many cardamom recipes in this book, so if you get the book this recipe is on page 34. A few words about the cardamom, I don't like to use the ground cardamom. It's much fresher and better if you take the seeds out of the pods and grind them with a mortar and pestle (yes you finally get to use this wonderful thing!) - it takes awhile but it's SO much better!

oven temp: 350 degrees F

1 scant cup stick butter
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar (I used less)
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/4 cups milk

pearl sugar + coarsely chopped almonds

grease 10in round cake pan (+ I also used a loaf pan! - I also just lined mine with parchment paper)

melt butter and let cool
beat eggs and sugar until light yellow and very thick (take your time and make sure it's thick... about 3-5 minutes)
add the flour, baking powder, cardamom, milk and melted butter, mixing until combined.
pour into prepared pan(s) and sprinkle with pearl sugar and almonds.
bake on a low oven rack for around 1 hour. Remove from pan and cool completely.

I served it with some whip cream that I whipped together with mascarpone (it makes it more dense and not so sweet) - but it's equally delicious alone!!