photo shoots - have your own!

you can do this too!

You know we do a lot of photographing here in the Nonchalantmom house, at this time of year it's just about every week, and sometimes a few times a week. I photograph the collections for a few reasons. First, so that I get to know the fit of the collection, how each piece fits and moves. I get to hear about the comfort (or not!) and what the kids think about each piece. I also like to see how much is unisex, what I can get on both boys and girls and I think it makes it easier to shop when you see it ON the kids. I never use pins or clips, from time to time I size up or down to make things fit good, and then I know to put that in the description. Many people tell me that I should use other models, but I tell you... most of the time we have a BLAST and dance and play but from time to time it gets a little sticky.. and I would never want to be in that situation with anyone but MY OWN kids! (123... smile NOW!)

It's a job for them, when it comes to shooting day they can't go out and play so we have to call it a job! I have a few tips for photographing your own kids and I think it's a good idea to do it at least once a year, it's nice to have the photos and if you don't do it as a photo shoot you may just have snapshots, but it's nice to have a timeline with a nice clear white background (or grey or whatever). We made this little slideshow to show you how our photoshoot goes... (after we have 'trashed' the bad shots this is what you are left with)

Set Up:
First of all I like to have a nice white background. So I usually tape up white paper against a wall (you can get large rolls of white paper at any photography store or from BH online here - you can also use a sheet, but iron it first a it's a little more difficult to get it straight with no sags etc..) this will give you a clear white and really make your kids pop out of the photo! I like the roll to go onto the ground so that reflects up the light up onto your kids. You should do this on a bright but cloudy day - direct sun makes crazy shadows and will make it difficult. Our house is optimal because we have a whole wall of windows facing South so I set up the 'photo wall' so that it's directly reflecting onto it (but no direct sunlight).

First of all you either want to prepare your kids in advance and work up to the day, OR if your kids like surprises you can surprise them... you know your kids, but figure out your approach ahead of time. I find that when I tell them in advance, "I just got a brand new collection and it's SO cute you are going to love it and we are going to photograph it tomorrow!!" they are ready to perform. It IS a bit of a performance, we put on music (loud!) and start the show.

here's what happens when you use a flash... or what I call a Terry Richardson moment
 You don't need fancy photo equipment, when I started my website for YEARS I just worked with a pocket camera. You are not going to blow these up to poster size so any camera is fine! But NO flash! unless you want to pretend you are Terry Richardson. You will adjust them in your photo tool so don't worry if they are not totally bright yet.

It takes a while for them to warm up, so get them used to you photographing. For each collection I take about from about 100 to 400 photos. Most of them are crappy but this ensures you get some good candid shots (because we all KNOW they really like to pose!). After you do this a few times you will find angles and positions that work nice for your kids. When they do a good pose I say "Oh, that's for the cover of the magazine" and I think they think that's funny. Remind them to 'smile', or 'close your mouth' or 'show me your teeth'... they love it! My favorite look is 'come forward to me with your face' leaving their body behind you get a really fun face shot, it's really nice!

this is a 'come forward with your face' photo - see isn't it nice!

The important thing is that you have fun, it can get a bit grueling and at these times you can think of me because I need to photograph a whole collection! You... can just say... okay we are finished!

 Post Production:
I think it's fine to use iPhoto or whatever you have on your computer, you don't need fancy photo tools. I work with the brightness and make sure the white background pops white and then it usually looks great. From time to time you will need to work with warmth or coolness to get some nice colors or tones. I don't usually correct any crazy scars or bruises because I think it's kind of fun to remember them. Don't forget to CROP! my best advice from a professional photographer is crop more than you think... only show what's important.

nice cropping

This can make a great gift or present for Grandparents and other family members... just remember to have fun with it and do it every year!



Halloween SALE!

use code: 'halloween' and take 20% off all order over $200!!

This offer will disappear faster than you can run through a GRAVEYARD... so JUMP on IT!


(fine print: cannot be applied to past orders - free shipping applies to UPS ground/domestic orders only)




halloween idea... (hint: it's EASY!)

Okay we had a dry-run for Halloween because we have PUMPKIN NIGHT at our local school. It's a night of games and fun and costumes galore! So we pulled together this Devil costume with a red leotard, red tights and I made the hooded cape (okay it's the easiest thing ever!). Then we made horns and attached them to a headband... easy DONE! (red shoes would have helped but we didn't have any so we glitterified some old shoes!) - there is a tail back there too!

I like the costume because there is no makeup and painted faces, and SHE likes the costume because it's kind of scary!


Happy Halloween!!

favorite thing of the week! :: TUSS cashmere hoodie!

tuss cashmere hoodie
Yes, this is our favorite hoodie! Perfect for kids because it's cashmere... so NO comments of -- this is itchy... NO WAY, this is probably the softest cashmere hoodie you will find. High quality and made for kids. Easy zip and they can wear it layered under jackets, it makes an excellent warm and cozy skiing underpinning and well.. because once you see it you will want one TOO!

Favorite thing of the week :: Tuss cashmere hoodie! - click here to shop

There is also a matching cashmere cap.. (I am pretty sure XL will fit adults.. just in case...)

Shop the entire incredibly cute TUSS collection here


NonchalantDAD recipe :: fish spaghetti

This recipe will sound familiar to those of you who make the same traditional Southern Italian dish with Sardines (I can't remember what it's called but it's delicious!) I would say that my husbands version is more kid-friendly. Our kids gobble it up and we love it too! You can serve it with fresh garlic bread (always a treat) or sometimes we put some olive oil on bread, with a bit of salt, and flip it in a cast iron pan which makes a delicious toast.

Fish Spaghetti

Tilapia (or any mild white fish) (we used 4 small pieces)
fresh sage - chopped
kale - chopped (I like to steam it a bit in the pasta water)
onion - chopped
garlic - chopped

topping: one piece toast, parsley, salt, pepper, pepper flakes to taste - buzz in food processor

cook pasta al dente (it's important that it's not overcooked)
start with onion, then add garlic and saute in olive oil or sesame oil (in a large enough pan so you can put pasta in at the end) until onion is translucent. Then add Tilapia and break up, add kale, sage, salt and pepper. When pasta is done add to the fish and add a bit of pasta water and toss together for about 3 minutes - turn off flame and drizzle a bit of good quality olive oil and taste to see if salt is needed.

spoon into bowls, and serve with toast or garlic bread and the bread crumb topping.



Lucky Fish Halloween Masks!!

Lucky Fish masks

I have just a few of these Lucky Fish Halloween masks so I am just offering them on my blog... first come first served!! These cute hand-made masks were the BIG hit at the Martha Stewart Made in America sale last week - so I took some home to offer for YOU!


They are made of sturdy cotton canvas, printed and then overlock stitched. They tie in the back so they are totally adjustable and can be used on kids as well as adults! They look cute on or you can put them up on your head when traveling from house to house! ooohhhHH.. scary! retail $28 (+ shipping)

email me with requests





email me if you want one!!


Happy Halloween!!


Utility Canvas - 3/4 sleeve dress is BACK in STOCK!

I know this was a favorite dress for everyone, I know that I wear mine CONSTANTLY. It's just that perfect thing to feel put-together and nice for anything - fast and easy... just the way I like it! Well these dresses are back in stock! I got everything I could so this is the LAST of them for awhile!

The Utility Canvas 3/4 sleeve dress is made of easy weight cotton canvas - made in USA and is really perfect for every season, I used it in the summer and then last week! get yours here

Shop Utility Canvas here with it's great bags and clothing!! yay!


Martha Stewart American Made

Stop by at Grand Central station and do a bit of handmade American Made shopping! So many amazing people here showing (and selling!!) their wares today and tomorrow!! I'm here with Jann (Lucky Fish) and we just happen to have a booth next to the wonderful (smellingn) Juniper Ridge people

and on the other side of us is Nonperishable Goods (love her.. Shay is amazing and I am sure you will find her wonderful 'goods' on Nonchalantmom soon!

And I LOVE the guys at PARCEL!! (Soon at NCM too!!)

Come see us at Grand Central Station!! 


Childrens Portraits by Karim Hamid

For the Holidays, my husband is going to paint a portrait for a friend of mine of their daughter, it's such a cute idea and will make an amazing gift to her husband (shhhh! it's a secret). Then another friend is doing their whole family, a portrait of each of them... I love the idea of these small portraits, approx. 9" x 12" hanging together on the wall. I asked him if it's okay to offer it to everyone on my blog (and offer a special price). He thought it was a great idea since he is already making these others (yep so do I!!).

So, here's your chance... The painting will be oil paint on board, 9x12 inches in size - you can frame later if you want (I prefer them unframed). He will be making these paintings over the next month or so until Thanksgiving, so first come, first served! All you have to do is send in a picture of your child and he will create the painting, much like these....

Just send me an email and we can go over the details. This could be an AMAZING gift for grandparents, husbands, wives or just someone special... like yourself!

Email ME!


NEW :: Erica Tanov handbags!

Our favorite clothing guru has now jumped into handbags... and I, for one, am in LOVE with them! These are the bags to wear and love - Erica has the ability to mix a beautiful delicate look with a rugged feeling.. I am so happy to have her things in my store.

Erica Tanov shoulder bag... black, Metallic Sapphire and gold... the only hard part is deciding the color... LOVE them all!

shop Erica Tanov at nonchalantmom here

and a wallet that will come in useful!


Monocle :: speaker/microphone

I am always looking for way to get out of holding my phone up to my ear... I think we are all unanimous in the thought that holding that thing to your ear/brain is not a good idea. SO, when I saw this little guy I thought... well FINALLY someone came up with something that looks pretty cool and seems pretty darn practical. This is all from a company called Native Union and the device is called Monocle (um, do they know that that's also the name of a pretty amazing Mens magazine... I don't know!?), but it LOOKS like a monocle!

The device is a speaker/microphone in one... you can also daisy-chain a few together to party a bit with the music, or for those of you who do business on your phone you can have a conference call in the same way. You can hold the device to your ear and the microphone enable you to have a conversation, all seems pretty cool right!?

looks cool right!?

get one by clicking here

roll up and throw in your bag when not in use.. n i c e...

columbus day SALE! 15% off entire store...

We are offering 15% off the ENTIRE STORE for Columbus day.

for a short time we are offering 15% off the ENTIRE STORE

use code: 'columbus' at checkout

no stacking of codes
not available on past orders

shop NOW

NEW :: Wovenplay Aventuur

Aventuur costumes in beautiful gift boxes

Wovenplay had a wonderful idea... what if we made our cherished costumes, packaged them in a beautiful gift box and focused the collection so that they could offer better prices on all of these AVENTUUR items... well what a great idea that WAS... and now they are here in the store!

the pirate or the knight costume add in the sword and GO!
fairy wings!
Wovenplay AVENTUUR has arrived!! These sweet boxed costumes are great for Halloween but go FAR beyond that with costumes your kids can dress up in every day! These super cute items are made to last in durable cotton that is hand dyed and hand printed in the USA (we love that!) and create a space for your kids to go on adventures every day!

cowgirl costume.. adventures await!

shop ALL the new Aventuur costumes at Nonchalantmom