Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day Trip

As tempting as it is to spend the day migrating from hammock to beach and swirling a caipirinha with your finger, I felt my New York friends were craving a bit of camera-around-the-neck tourism (and local shopping). So we headed out on a day trip to the port/colonial town of Paraty, with a pit-stop off the highway to buy some goods from local weavers.

It happened to be my longest day away from Georgia. I'd forgotten how focused one can get when shopping for handcrafts, how valuable girl time can be, and why you should only eat fish when you can dangle your big toe in the water.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Pizza Hut

What to do at the beach in the pouring rain? Eat. Put the wood burning oven to use, smoke out the house, and have a pizza party.


1. (My father-in-law) How many pizzas should we make?
(friend) How many people?
(My father-in-law) Maybe 35 or maybe 50?
(friend) How big will the pies be?
(My father-in-law) I don't know.

2. Wow, Georgia eats anchovies.

3. Teamwork don't seem work. High five.

4. (Husband) I am just going to lay down for ten minutes.

5. It's like Jesus and the multiplication of bread. What are we going to do with all this dough? Maybe we should bake bread? If we stuff the left-over sausage/pepperoni in it we can make calzones (American speaking). What are calzones? (Brazilian speaking)

6. Turn that frown upside down.

7. Danielle, I am going to call you Luigi now. Is that okay?

30 kilos of flour and every cup in the house later, we all went to bed with smoky smelling hair and cheesy caipirinha breath.

Only problem: It is raining again, today.

Boy are we going to get fat.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


The goal of my ocean vacations as a teenager was light hair and dark skin (baby oil and lemon juice). I'd plant my sticky, slithery self in the sun--careless and ready to toast.

The goal of my ocean vacation as a mom: searching the hot sand for shells with holes to string on a rosy strap and around the neck of my daughter's pale neck.

Wouldn't you know that the second scenario produces a pretty good tan, too?

Crafting at the beach

My mother-in-law started the first session of beach crafting.
Circles of sea water blue on a red rope. Light, fresh and perfect with linen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Whilst Walking this Week

Happy Holidays

Dear Family and Friends,
Another year has passed and it wouldn't be the same without your presence (
whether near or far away) in our lives. Here's wishing you the loveliest holiday season your heart can handle and a 2010 that surpasses your greatest expectations.
Beijos. Kisses. Boas Festas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sugar for Sand

This is it. I'm done. My apron is on the hook and I'm not sifting sugar until 2010. I promise not to post cupcakes for a while. I am heading to the seaside in one hour. I'm trading sugar for sand. Hope you won't tire of beach photos.

Most importantly, a wonderful happy holiday season for everyone. More love than your heart can handle, a few extra calories, and plenty of kisses from the little ones at the parties.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Feliz Natal e Bom Ano Novo!

Happy Birthday Iris

A birthday sweet.
Delicate like you.
My friend.
May your year be filled with love, happiness, health, and peace.
and more playdates with Gabriel and Georgia!

Welcome Michelle and Danielle

My dear friends Michelle and Danielle are arriving tomorrow to defrost and spend their winter holiday with us at the beach. Michelle is a fashion designer and Danielle is a photographer. Both are at the top of their fields in NYC--successful edgy young women. At first I fretted about their agenda here in Brazil. I wanted to show them everything cool. But then I remembered that I am a mom who bakes a lot and I haven't stepped inside a hip bar in years. But then I also remembered when I lived in NYC all I wanted to do was escape the cold in December and expose my white skin to the sun. So I relaxed (a little) and decided to list some of my favorites.

The plan: They are spending four days in São Paulo before meeting us at the beach (Litoral Norte) and then they are on to Rio.

A mini guide on the fly:


Carlota-Rua Sergipe, 753 Higienopolis-Brazilian Food
Mani-Rua Joaquim Antunes, 210 Jardim Paulista-Brazilian Food
Allez Allez-Rua Wizard, 288 Vila Madalena-French Bistro
Due Cuochi-Rua Manuel Guedes 93 Itaim-Bibi-Italian
Carcamano-Rua Pedroso Alvarenga 1127-Itaim-Bibi-Best Pizza
Nagayama-Rua Bandeira Paulista 369-Itaim-Bibi-Sushi


Adriana Barra-Rua Alameda Franca, 1243 Jardins-Brazilian Designer
Gilda Midani- Rua da Consolação 3058A Jardins-Brazilian Designer
Surface to Air- Al. Lorena N1989 Jardins-Cutting-edge Fashion and Art
Ronaldo Fraga-Rua Aspicuelta, 259-Vila Madalena-Brazilian Designer
Isabel Capeto-Rua da Consolação, 3358 Jardins-Brazilian Designer
Osklen-Rua Oscar Freire, 827 Jardins-Brazilian Designer
Alexandre Herchocovitch-Rua Haddock Lobo, 1151 Jardins-Brazilian Designer
Espaço Havainas-Rua Oscar Freire, 1116 Jardins-Brazilian Designer
Loja do Bispo-Rua Dr. Melo Alves, 278 Jardins-Brazilian Artist Publisher
Farm-Rua Harmonia, 57 Vila Madalena-Brazilian beachwear
Marcenaria Trancoso-Rua Harmonia, 233 Vila Madalena, 233-Brazilian crafts and home goods
Coisas da Doris-Al Ministro Rocha Azevedo, 834 Jardins--Crafts and more

Malls: (I know but trust me here.)
Shopping Cidade Jardim-A pretty incredible place with an open air top floor and incredible view of the city.
Daslu-The infamous...

Parque Ibirapuera (Great Museums and Niemeyer work inside the park)

Nightlife: (I'm not too good here girls!)
Dry Bar-Rua Padre João Manuel, 700 Jardins
Bar Secreto-Rua Álvaro Anes, 97 Pinheiros
Pandoro-Avenida Cidade Jardim, 60 Jardim Europa

Museums and Galleries:
Galeria Vermelho-Rua Minas Gerais, 350 (restaurant Sal is great option inside)
Fortes Vilaça-Rua Fradique Coutinho, 1500 Pinheiros
MASP-Modern Art Museum-Avenida Paulista, 1578 Paulista
Pinacoteca-Avendia Tiradentes, 141 Centro
The Museum of FAAP-Rua Alagoas, 903 Higienopolis (Os Gemeos on exhibition)

It is a daunting task to do any sort of mini guide for such an enormous, diverse, cosmopolitan city. Whew! Here is a link that explains in detail the various neighborhoods.

Enjoy this city that I have come to love--especially the wonderful people.

See you at the beach. Pack some sunscreen!

Boa Viagem. Beijos!

PS: If any of you readers have some tips...much appreciated!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The last weekend before Christmas

I suppose we ran around like everyone this last weekend before Santa takes to his sleigh. But we really tried to take some time to enjoy being together. After all, how often is Georgia surrounded by all these Grandparents. Is it possible for a child to be kissed too much?

In between kisses:

1. Vovó V and Vovô P thought it would be too much to haul the little kitchen they got for Georgia to present at the beach (where we will spend Christmas Day). Personally, I think they couldn't wait any longer to show her its working faucet and mini stainless steel sink. We almost put it in her bedroom but decided it belonged in our kitchen. She is assistant chef, after all.

2. We went and saw The Little Prince exhibition at the OCA Art Museum (Laying down and looking at the solar system was magical.) Georgia is thinking the Prince is a good candidate to marry one of her Princesses.

3. My seamstress came for the last sew-a-thon of 2009. Georgia has some new frocks and a terry cloth bathing suit cover up for her new navy blue ruffled bikini.

4. My mom helped me bake and bag cookies in all the spare moments (no surprise here). I think the cinnamon smell will last until next holiday season. One more big delivery on Tuesday and the apron goes back on the hook.

I hope you all managed to enjoy a moment in the mad dash last weekend. xo

Friday, December 18, 2009


Wouldn't it be nice if this enthusiasm for housework continued into the teenager years?

Orders filled

In case you aren't "christmas-ed out."
I promise to return to other subject matter soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Love is in the air

I have a crush on gingerbread men.

And I am most grateful for my mom and stepfather. They stepped off a long international flight today and, quite literally, into my kitchen. Mom, two aprons are so much better than one. You put the frosting in my genetic code. Cookies at Christmas are our heritage. Thank you.

Love is in the sleepy air. G'night. Sleep tight. Visions and aroma of sugar cookies and gingerbread men waltzing by....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fortune Cookie?

I suppose you looked at the title and thought I was going to post about cookies again. Don't worry. While it is true that my fingers spent another evening and day (and tonight, too) hugging a frosting tip, I figured we could use some sodium in our diet. And what is more salty than Chinese take-out?

The window of my first apartment in NYC had a (neon sign) view of China Fun Restaurant and if I squinted I could see the veggies in the woks and the deep fryer at work 24/7. And, of course, I could smell soy sauce and grease 24/7. Naturally, I ate too much Chinese. As the portions were so big I only needed to eat one meal a day. It was cheap and I was broke. And although I wasn't much of a drinker, my roommate was a bit of a slush. She swore MSG was a great hang-over cure. China Fun loved us. They knew our order by heart. It was always Sesame Chicken and extra fortune cookies (cookies again oops...)

So here's a link to a researched and tested recipe for Sesame Chicken. This is the closest to China Fun I've found. (Tip: I usually don't submerge the chicken in oil á la deep frying--just put a smidge of oil in the pan. It's just as good and way better for you.) The calorie savings allows for some extra cookies (Did I say cookies?) for desert, ya know.

Naturally, I'm working on the fortune ------ (I cannot write that word again) recipe.