food, food :: FOOD

I think I should have a food shop rather than clothing and accessories... I tell you, it's a real passion. I'm sure it stems from my mom, she has always been such a great cook and really obsessed with recipes and cooking and baking... all that! But what a great thing to pass onto her girls, both my sister and myself and crazy about cooking too! And when I became macrobiotic almost 20 years ago, she was right there into it as well. Although we are no longer macrobiotic that kind of cooking never leaves you - so we all look out for healthy recipes. My niece recently graduated from a Vegan cooking school (I'm spending the Holidays with her so more on that later for sure!), my mom is So proud of her! So my moms love for food and cooking has really gained strength through our families.

I have passed on many recipes to you from my mom, macrobiotics and just darn good food. I get a lot of inspiration from cookbooks, Martha Stewart, Bon App├ętit, and pinterest - you can follow me on pinterest and I have a really good recipe board! I also find some great blogs from time to time, like this one: What's Cooking Good Looking - I have made many of her recipes and her photos... amazing!! I will be making this coconut rice pudding with roasted cherries  and Zatar roasted butternut squash and chickpeas for my family during the holidays.

When I go on vacation with my family we spend the whole time in the kitchen! (I'm lucky my sister has a BIG kitchen) we have so much fun and laugh and make good food, to me that's what the Holidays is all about - well a good present here and there doesn't hurt either - haha! I don't know if you have figured this out yet but I use my blog as a memory bank for myself... if I need to remember it, bookmark it, keep a website in my mind, I write a blog! This is one of those... remember, What's Cooking Good Looking!


NEW :: Lucky Fish just arrived!

Just in time to get yourself something for the Holiday season... and the Edible Schoolyard Tea Towels make the best hostess gift for just about everyone on your list!

clockwise from top left: womens t's, rebecca atwood candle, les fleus d'bach flower essences, pink bird pillow, edible schoolyard tea towels, circus horse canvas bag, oilio e osso lip and body balms
The Womens T's are some of my favorites! I love these and want every one of them (but I'll let you go first!)
moon phases T

circus horse baseball t

close-up of the tea towels

brighten up any kids room! or any room! mi amor linen pillow

clockwise from top left: lucky elephant pillow. clare vivier grande pouchette natural leather w/neon stripe, lucky fish edible schoolyard tea towel, les fleur d'bach essences, lucky fish circus horse tote, wovenplay feather headband, olio e osso lip balm (in tints or plain)
(these new items are not included in the sale but all other past collections of Lucky Fish are included!)

get your Lucky Fish ON!


Holiday Shop!

Pleaee come to our Holiday Shop event this Wednesday, December 17 :: 4-7pm
At the shop in Matunuck
2717A commodore perry hwy

see you there!!


take 25% off!!

It's official... we are clearing out for the Holidays - This year, in stead of after the Holidays SALE we decided to give it all to you now! So take 25% off of EVERYTHING - get it while you can!

use code: 'merrymerry'
for 25% off everything!

Happy Holidays!

love - nonchalantmom

shop here


Projects Abroad

Ever wonder what you are going to do when your kids go off to school? I have a few friends/family who are in this situation and although I am not actually IN the situation, I have thought about it and I would love to volunteer abroad. Today I received an email from this organization, Projects Abroad and I think it looks amazing! This image is compelling enough for me to join... oops, I have to wait a few years I guess since my kids are in grade school.

Projects Abroad is an organization that places people together with their skills and facilitates your travels. They predominately work with kids out of high school and their gap-year but there is also a place for people like us older folks who want to help too.

You can choose your destination, length of stay and they will match up with your skills. It sounds like an amazing organization and who knows... maybe we will meet each other out there one day! It's a big world let's go help those in need.

Projects Abroad


Astragalus for your immune system

dried Astragalus root

Each year at this time I have a have a problem keeping up my immune system. Each year I try something new, dry brushing, oil pulling, etc... they all help and I really have had benefits from all but I have a problem keeping up on each, I do both dry brushing and oil pulling but not on a regular basis. SO, on a recent trip to our local co-op I found these pieces of dried Astragalus root I was sure I had found my new immune system booster.

I have always given my kids Astragalus,  apparently it's easier on the stomach than Echinacea so it's easier for kids (and frequently comes in drop form without alcohol). It's also easier because it's effects don't diminish after seven days as happens with Echinacea. Both of these have always been very helpful with a variety of ailments for our family, we never use over the counter.

I simply put a 1 inch piece in my tea a few times a day, if I'm not feeling well, if I am 100% then I just take it in my morning hot water and lemon. There is very little flavor so you will hardly notice but the effects are really great.

The woman at the health food store said that she puts it in her soups and stews! (great idea but I haven't tried it yet) and another friend just chews on it! Any way you use it I think it's a great thing to give a try... it's natural, unprocessed and it really works! If you can't find it in your local store drop me an email and I would be happy to send you some!

Astragalus for health!


My moms cardamom bread

This recipe is so easy - even I can do it! I never really make bread, something about working with yeast.. Freaks me out a bit. But this recipe is so easy that I can overcome the fear of yeast. It's perfect for a snowy day activity, or in the case today .. A rainy day - I like anything that has the oven on a bit to keep our house cozy!

Cardamom Braids
2/3 cup butter
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg
6 1/4 cups flour

Melt butter add milk and heat to 115 degrees. Put yeast in the bottom of a large bowl and add a little of the milk mixture and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients, but only 3 1/4 cups of the flour. Knead the dough until its shiny and elastic. Knead in the remaining flour by hand (save some if the flour for later). Knead until dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Sprinkle with flour and cover with a cloth and let rise for 30-40 minutes. 

Knead the dough again on a lightly floured surface until it's smith and elastic. Cut into three equal parts, then divide each piece into three pieces and roll/knead into smooth even ropes and braid them. Place the braid with enough room to double in size on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and covered with cloth and let rise until it's doubled in size (about 40 minutes). 

Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with almonds and pearl sugar and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. 



all jewelry on SALE :: 25% off!

If you are on the fence about any of these pieces now is the time!!
J E W E L R Y   S A L E

use code: 'winterjewels'
at checkout and take 25% off all jewelry!!

Melissa Joy Manning
Robin Mollicone
Margaret Solow

ends monday 12/8/14


Getting to The Nutcracker

This looks like a great movie for your young dancer - lovely how nice it is to be a part of a larger project - Happy Holidays!

It's playing at our local art center (Jamestown Art Center - December 4th at 7pm)
find out where it's playing near you!

UPDATE :: we watched this last night and it's FANTASTIC! If you have the chance don't miss it to watch these talented kids and their determination - such a good lesson for any child


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Use the code for great shopping deals!

use code: 'thankyou'

not included: new pip-squeak chapeau holiday collection, jess brown, melissa hoy manning and sun shades - everything else... take 20% off... if it's already on sale... take and ADDITIONAL 20% off! (yaya!)

shop here


If it's black... I'll take it!

I don't know about you but if it's black, I know I will use it. It even follows through with kids, I think my kids look great in black, which isn't a color most people would think looks great on kids but it DOES!

These are some of my Favorite black items at the moment:

clare vivier gosee bag (w/strap or as clutch)

atsuyo et akiko castle (or there is a pirate sweatshirt too!)
ryan roche fringe sweater
sandqvist hedda small backpack
rustic black cashmere scarf
melissa joy manning raw black tourmaline earrings
melissa joy manning oxidized silver/gold horseshoe ncklace
erica tanove shag pillow
my pottery... salt and pepper 'shakers'

This list could go on!! maybe someone who is so in love with black shouldn't have a store... but I think there are so many of us... it's a good idea!


shop all these items and more at nonchalantmom


You can find a list of my HOLIDAY favorites at Tada! Shop

I had a little conversation with Lizelle Green who runs the fabulous website Tada! Shop - a one stop link to all your favorite stores (nonchalantmom is three too!). She wanted to know my current 'favorites' I told her it was too early for a Gift Guide but what the heck, that's basically what I gave her!

my list includes, melissa joy manning, Aesop, Bryr clogs and more... and more.. .and more!

Check out my favorites on her blog.


this is what you find...

my feet are in there for size reference
Rooting through my husbands studio I found these small paintings! I'm not going to tell you that I don't LOVE his work, because sometimes I don't. But I am completey and totally in LOVE with these!

His portrait-type work (that is some serious art-lingo) are my favorite! He jokes with me that I always ask him to paint the way he did when I first met him in San Francisco almost 20 years ago! I remember walking into his show after I had met him and we had gone out for a few weeks. I had never seen his work, and driving to the show I was thinking "oh my god, what if I hate his work!" When I walked into the Diego Rivera gallery at the Art Institute where is was working on his Masters in Fine Art, I almost started to cry, never had art looked so beautiful.

And today, I found these... "Amazing!" I yelled - "these are amazing!" Alas they will go off to Art Miami in just a few weeks. But I am enjoying them now. I just wanted to share them with you so you can enjoy them too.. for just a few weeks!

Karim Hamid he shows with Aureus Contemporary


ryan roche :: finalist in CFDA's fashion fund

Congratulations to Ryan Roche for being a finalist in the CFDA's Vogue fashion fund!  Way to go RYAN! Ryan is amazing, for one thing... I don't know any designer who has won an award by sticking to one color! talk about breaking barriers... her collection of air-light soft cashmere knits is a fresh approach, giving 7th avenue a 1-2 punch of artistry and beauty. We are lucky enough to have some of her pieces in the shop or see her entire collection on her website here.

I stuck with the pieces that sang to my practicality but there are so many amazing pieces in the collection. The scarves are something you can't live without really.... Light and soft and easy to wear for everything with a gorgeous touch and we also have some of the sweaters too - don't miss them!

shop the collection on Nonchalantmom here

New :: Jess Brown dolls just arrived!

This is my favorite time when the new Jess Brown dolls come in!! I immediately call a few of a my friends that I know go crazy for them and let them know to start thinking about a new doll. Unpacking them... you have NO idea! Each doll is carefully wrapped and opening them up is so exciting - I like to do it with Franny, she usually wants them all and can never decide. We like to take a photo of her with all the dolls -- and honestly I make her wait so that YOU have first choice! (it's only fair right)

Most of you know the story of the Jess Brown doll told very famously in the pages of all of our favorite magazines, including Martha Stewart Living. What I like about them is that no two are ever alike, and did you know that jess likes to create the face of each doll herself! She has an amazing artists hand and it comes out in her combinations, her slight tilt of the eye, pucker of the lips... they are all so very unique.

This season there are some very special collaborations with Wovenplay and Atsuyo et Akiko, her Fall 2014 dolls each have their special touches of fur, herringbone and tweed. The gypsy doll is my favorite! and we have only ONE of the *Coco* dolls, which would make such a sweet gift together with the Kiki and Coco book!

This is it for the Holiday season too... so if you are planning on making this your holiday gift make your decisions now!

Thank you Jess for making these lovely dolls, each unique, by hand and with *LOVE*

shop the dolls on Nonchalantmom by clicking here


It's time to SHOP! :: and get 20% off!!

 If you say it with a Minnesota accent it sounds better... "Oh for Sale sake..."
 For a short time we are offering 20% off most of the website...

use code: 'shop' and you will receive 20% off (even if it's already marked down!)

Now's the time to find what you need and get 20% off while doing it!

not included:
jess brown
Heidi Baron Godoff
Ryan Roche
Melissa Joy Manning
w//r//f lab
Hollie & Harrie

EVerything else... 20% off!


nonchalantmom :: my daily routine

my entire beauty routine

It's been a long time since I have shared my daily antics when it comes to my routine. But being a crazy fanatic about products and creams, etc.. is what brought me to have my store so be thankful! My sister and I could not be more different when it comes to this kind of thing, she could care less. I can't even think of getting into bed without cleaning my face, brushing my teeth etc... The morning is the same, since I was in high school and had pimples I had to brush my teeth before I got in the shower or... I would get pimples! (I swear it worked! I rarely had a pimple) - that and my secret remedy for pimples; Aveda infusion for oily/acne (I think they still sell this in their stores but not online), put it on at night and wake up and they are GONE.

Enough about pimples (plus I haven't had one in years!) and onto more important things... You get the message, I am a constant beauty 'guinea pig' - my parameters is that it has to be natural, clean, sometimes organic, few ingredients and these days I like things that are made local (but if something works, I might let this rule fly). I have used Dr. Hauschka since I was 18 years old, I have always loved it and I always come back to it. In fact, there is something about it when I stray from using it for a year or two and then come back it it, WHOA! it works even BETTER. But right now I am in a cycle of other products, oh, and another parameter I don't want to have to go into a department store to buy it - I never go into department stores and I would like to keep it that way! If it's available in a health food store... I am SET!

My biggest new favorite is Aesop, I have been a fan of their products for a few years now, ever since my friends at Turpan carried their creams. It's one of my favorite stores to go into because it smells so great AND they love it when you try everything (which I do!). It is not entirely 100% natural, but hey... I'm getting older and sometimes I need some help. It's possible that they are masking malicious chemicals behind the best most gorgeous packaging, products and an amazing website - but I don't really think so, I trust them (if you sign up for ONE emailer blast besides MINE you should request this one.. it's filled with super information and I just love it!). My new favorite product by them is this Purifying Facial Cleanser I use it twice a week and feel totally and completely radiant afterwards. I have it photographed with the Kiehls Midnight Facial Oil which is probably not new to you and you are probably already using it, if not, it's great! delicious scent to go to bed with (on your face).

Let's now talk about Coconut oil, I must confess, I haven't spoken about it before but have been using it for YEARS! Secretly I was formulating a product to sell that I made, but I just can't do everything I think I can or want to, so this had to fall by the wayside (contact me if you want to do this!). Besides, I think it's truly best in it's plain old Coconut Oil form and why mess with something perfect. Do you already use it in the kitchen? GREAT, now slather it all over your face, body and hair! Thank me later :) You can use Virgin Oil de Coco Creme or Extra Virgin Coconut oil but just make sure it's Organic, take the extra splurge, this is a place to do it. You will just buy this in your local Health Food Store, try different kinds and see what you like best (and don't pay more than $20 for a big jar!). Coconut Oil has so many properties that you will love, not only it's amazing natural scent but it also has antiseptic properties as well (this could obviously be a whole separate blog and I think I will do so but for now, just do it and start using it for everything!) It's great for "oil pulling" because the flavor won't make you gag like some oils. AND there is nothing better for kids and baby, NO harmful chemicals to worry about - it's just Coconut oil pure and simple! (the one above is made by a local Rhode Island company, that's why I use it, it's terrific though, nice and easy jar to use also).

If you know me you will probably say, "Carina, why the heck would I follow your make-up tips you never wear any make up!" I will respond by saying, if I was stuck on a deserted island I would want my RMS Beauty (Rose-Marie Swift) - UNcover up #22 and Buriti Bronzer (and maybe a jar of coconut oil!). I love her products, because I can cleanse my face with a "polisher" like the Aesop cleanser and I would never want to put something on my face with any kids of chemicals, so I turn to Coconut Oil and RMS Beauty. You could actually EAT her products they are so clean... I love them and I would look older without them, let's just say that... and the Bronzer, I think of Bo Derek every time I put it on, it's super natural looking and just gives you a clean and natural glow! If I go out at night I might use the living luminizer but I think that's more for the younger set. (see my previous RMS beauty blogs here including my interview with her back in 2010)

I have recently added the Jao products to my repertoire, I love them for their versatility - I use them for everything and perfect for travel, kids, hair, body etc.. The scent is amazing and brings you to a relaxed and beautiful place every time I use them. I was putting some Goe Oil on today and my daughter came in and said, "Is that the stuff we used in Florida when I had a sunburn and it felt SO good?" and I said YES :) - side note, my daughter gets a rash from everything which is great because I can never cheat with her skin and we slathered this one every day in Florida for her sunburn and after to soothe her dry skin. I love it on my hair and skin too.

I keep the Olio e Sasso (they recently changed their name to Olio e Osso, same product new name) lip and face balm in my bag, I keep one with color for my lips and the clear for a balm for my hands and for the kids quick touch-up for dry skin, you know when you are dropping your kids off at school and you look and they have white dry skin all around their mouth... what the heck! slide on some clear balm and they are set to GO! I use them for everything from cuticles, hands, face... etc.. and the applicator, I think I am equal parts addicted to the applicator as I am to the balm! It feels OH so good!

There you GO all my current obsessions and tips in one handy blog!

My last tip... if you have dry brittle hair from being a blonde as long as I have... you need Aveda Dry Remedy daily oil, you will not believe it... instant calming of the frizz!


recipe :: Daily Elixir

some days it's green and sometimes it's yellow (from the tumeric)
 Since my juice cleanse I have been addicted to making these elixirs, I don't have a juicer (yet... I'm saving up!) and I make these with my blender. I got the idea from the juices I used to buy at Whole Foods, I paid up to $10 for some of these, I love them but I can't keep doing that... So I have been mixing and working on different recipes. It's so much fun to try them each day - I share them with my husband and we never like the same thing so it's funny. I am a nut about tea and I drink mulitple kinds of tea's every day, but this is a nice way to change things, and what if... it made me skinny! haha... I love them and I hope you start to make your own too! If you do please share the recipes with me and I will post them!

As usual with my recipes I don't measure anything so this is just a general idea, you will make yours to taste and you can add or delete anything, but try it first this way and then make your adjustments.

Carina's Daily Elixir
1 cup purified (or ph) water
1 cup coconut water
1 small piece of tumeric (1 inch) peel and cut
1 small piece of ginger (1 inch) peel and cut
1/2 lemon (I cut the peel off but you can also leave it on)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh spearmint
pinch cardamom
pinch seasalt
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1-2 tsp coconut nectar

sometimes I add a pear (yum) or an apple or pomegranate seeds, etc...

throw all in a blender and blend until it breaks all down and warms up the oil enough to mix it into the juice. Then use a strainer and pour into glass. I drink one glass first thing in the morning, I give one to my husband and then I put the rest in a jar and refrigerate for later in the day.

I use these ingredients because it's what I have in my garden, so sometimes I put in parsley instead of spearmint, etc.. use what you have and what you like!

hey... this might make a good cocktail... I'll try it and get back to you!

Kalon Studios Furniture for Kids and more....

My favorite furniture studio is Kalon, they just keep on top of things by creating beautiful, sustainably made with sustainable materials, furniture for your kids that ingeniously grow with them and can move into your home and be cherished forever! They make all kinds of gorgeous furniture for your home too, I just tend to focus on these great kids pieces. If you don't know Kalon yet (we have posted some of their limited edition items in the past) I think you should take a look (and I would suggest to get on their mailing list - so fun to hear from them whenever they create something new!).

They have just come out with this piece, the Caravan Divan Twin - which can be a twin bed and then move into a seat of whatever you like - effortless, generous and comfortable, this piece will live in your home forever. The pared-back styling and simplicity of the piece allow it to mix well in any setting. Sharing the proportions of a standard twin bed, the Caravan Divan can be used for lounging and seating or for sleeping.

It's a good place to start, with your kids, purchasing furniture that is made in USA in a sustainable, beautiful way that you can be proud of and will last forever!


'BOO' sale!

take 10% off - just about sitewide (not included: melissa joy manning, ryan roche, w//r//f lab and hollie and harrie)

use code: 'boo'
PLUS FREE SHIPPING (we will apply manually when you use the 'boo' code)

on now until Halloween!

Should we do a costume contest again? We forgot last year but the past 9 years we have held a costume contest (my kids pick the winner) - let me know if you are game and if so I am game...