Monday, August 31, 2009

Wizard of Oz (Mágico de Oz)

Just like Dorothy. Except for maybe in these shoes. Or are they too much? No matter. No time to think. I am a tapping my feet together. And I am going home. Not that home isn't here in São Paulo. They say home is where the heart is and mine is in two places. Here in Brazil with my oh-so-blessed little family unit (We are going to miss you Daddy/Hubby!) and in the USA, where, clearly, the rest of my heart resides.

Georgia and I will be away for 24 days. The blogging may be a bit scantier but ardent, nonetheless.

We're off.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Traveling Sales(wo)man

Rumor has it in the fashion industry that Ralph Lauren (formerly Ralph Lifshitz) got his start selling neckties door-to-door on Seventh Avenue. Decades later he has an empire. Go figure.

I recently got an order for a strawberry barrette (after seeing Georgia donning the very same at a play date). Inspired, I created some new pieces and put together my "sales kit." Friday, Lu got her strawberry, plus a fried egg and a couple of bows.

Question: Should I change my name?

Friday Play Date: Ditto

Friday Play Date: Ditto
You know the score
No need to add anything else or even say more?
Well except,
Georgia learned to say Turtle today
"Tut tell" "Tut tell"
Won't you come out to play?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fresh from the oven...

I need another project like the Octomom needs another diaper change. But why stop now? The more the merrier, no? So as I am finishing the barrettes (will post later) ordered at a random play date and the frosting from this week's cupcake tower has just started to fade in little Clara's memory, on to the next.
In fact, I schemed this one a while ago. And it has been cooking--in the oven literally. You see my sister-in-law is a budding ceramicist and I asked her to make some beads. And, well, they just came out of the oven. Yes fresh from the kiln. And ready for some stringing.
Can't wait to get started.
Lo lo, they look gorgeous!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spotlight Talent: Keka Morelle

1. Print Ad: "Only 7% of the Atlantic Rainforest remains"
2. Print Ad: Suplicy Coffee. "Grains so finely selected, we are looking for a headhunter just to find them."
3. Print Ad: Plastik Toy store. War. "For the love of God Jean-Baptiste, stop smiling. I told you already, we are at war."
4. Blog, Store, Brand: Nana Barriga (Nana "Belly")

Extremely talented and very humble, that is Keka Morelle. I knew she was "up there" in the advertising world. But I only found out about the awards and jury at Canne when she missed my exercise class and someone else told me why. Truly a girl after my own heart, with a plateful of projects and ready for more: Discovered today she is also doing post-graduate work in Fashion.

An interview:

Keka Morelle


I am the Art Director for the Ad Agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi. I also have a brand/boutique of maternity and children's products, Nana Barriga. I am very happy that I can make my living doing what I enjoy most. I spend my day creating ad campaigns, graphics for a product, picking colors for a new collection, thinking about the decoration in my home and helping a friend create a blog. I love the diversity. One feeds the other and opens my mind to new ideas.

My hometown is São Paulo, Brazil. But I am gaúcha (from the State of Rio Grande do Sul). I have been living in São Paulo for 9 years and like it. But I love having been born in the interior of the South of Brazil. I spent my infancy in a very simple, small town. This is where I learned many important life lessons. My birth town is called Bento Gonçalves.

Favorite color combination:
I love color combinations that don't seem like they belong together. Today I am in love with royal blue and pale pink, brown and baby blue and cream with flourescent lemon.

Favorite typeface:
I like the classics: Helvetica, Swiss, Trajan, and Times

Favorite Brazilian fashion designer:
Ronaldo Fraga. I think he is the most authentic designer we have. I love that he creates clothes using elements of our culture without falling victim to clichês or appearing foolish. I also admire the projects he undertakes with the underprivileged community in Brazil.

Favorite brazilian artist: Beatriz Milhazes. Her pieces make me happy!

Carlota. For the unbeatable dessert. Petit Gateau de doce de leite

A song: Today, Shoulder to Shoulder- Little Joy

Where would you spend all your money internet shopping?
Asos, Colette, Amazon, American Apparel

Salty or Sweet? Sweet. Always. My taste buds have grown so sweet that I don't even have to put sugar in my coffee.

Salty, favorite: I do like Salty, but, together with sweet! Risoto with fruits and meats with jelly. Delicious!

Sweet, favorite: Sweets that remind me of my childhood. Pudim de leite (Caramel Flan), Ambrosia, Doce de leite (Carmel), Creme Brulee

Coffee or tea?
Coffee. I love the smell in the morning in the kitchen.

Night or day?
I am a day person. Invite me to see the sunrise and I will be there ten minutes early.

Sleep in socks?
I can't. My feet need to breather. I sleep without socks and, sometimes, my feet outside the blankets.

Thanks Keka! xo

Imagine the pirouette?

Step aside Swan Lake. We need some new tunes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Modern Woman

If this were only
all it took.
I'd be so there.
I love to take baths.

Sixteen Candles and cake

Maybe it's the recent passing of film director John Hughes. Or am I just having a Sixteen Candles moment? After all, I was fourteen going on sixteen when Molly Ringwald had her birthday cake on top of the table with her dreamy costar. 1984. I can hardly believe it myself.

Nor can I believe that I am thinking floral dresses, denim jackets and motorcycle boots. Then again, does the motorcycle boots/floral dress combo belong to the 90's grunge movement? No matter. It is all part of my somewhat distant past. And I am feeling nostalgic.

I won't repeat the trend second time around. One serving is sufficient.

But I just might rent
Sixteen Candles this weekend. And eat some cake...sitting in a chair.

Sugar Wars II

Clara likes Purple, Blue, Green and little flowers. No pink, kindly!
And Clara is going to be seven tomorrow.
Feliz Aniversário, Clara!

I disappeared for a bit friends. Couldn't help it. Happily hired to make a birthday cupcake tower. Sugar on the brain, again. Got to run as I haven't eaten (aside from frosting) all day. More later tonight. And do pardon the amateur photos.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Refrigerator Magnets Begone

I still don't know if Georgia is left or right-handed and she doesn't have her own box of crayons nor easel (yet). But I am looking so forward to her first doodles. The curator in me has already chosen the perfect wall for our "MOMA-esque" installation. Because you can bet they won't be hanging on the fridge.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Beach Weekend

It was a tough journey to the beach. Six hours of traffic (three more than the usual trek). Complaining kids. Square bottoms. Antonio, the oldest in my new set of Spanish friends' brood, declared, upon arrival, that he was never going to our beach home again.

But he changed his mind the next day.

Because, well, everything was wonderful--in multiples.

Cultures (Spanish, American and Brazilian)

Kids. The weekend was really all about them. Of course, us adults ate, drank, and were (more than) merry. But what I thought might be a "grab me the birth control pills, honey" kind of weekend for us with, currently, one child and another newly-married pair was so not. There were four boys, (ages 2,4,6,8, as mentioned, the fruits of one brave Spanish couple) each of them so sweet and well behaved and, of course, Georgia (thrilled with the company). The air was seeping happiness. The deserted winter beach was alive with children's squeals, pealing laughter, goosebumps and mouthfuls of sand. In multiples and in matching outfits (minus Georgia).

Matching Outfits? It was like twins--times two. As explained by Spanish mom, the tradition in Spain is to dress your children identically--every day. At first I thought it was oddly amusing. But two change of clothes later, I couldn't deny the practicality. Think of packing for four boys. Imagine one outfit and multiply. See? Practical. Then I couldn't deny the charm. Envision four rugby and dungaree wearing little gentleman. But when they came out in swim trunks and flip flops. I died! Viva España! I am ready for multiples.

PS: My newly married friends (O and J), we are ready for your multiples, too.
PPS: My new friends (R and A), keep adding to the brood.
PPPS: Honey, and you?

Thank you all for a wonderful weekend. xo

Friday, August 21, 2009

Winter-ish Beach Weekend

We should have gone last weekend. When the sun was hot and nary a rain cloud in sight. "Shoulda, coulda, woulda"....didn't. But we are going this weekend. Even if it is cold and drizzling. It has been planned for quite some time now and the mini vans are packed. So much stuff for one measly weekend. But then again, the head count:

Adults: 8
Boys: 4 (ages 2, 4, 6, 8--fruits of one brave Spanish couple)
Girl: 1 (age 16 months--Georgia)

See you on Monday. Have a good weekend. xo

Thursday, August 20, 2009


There once was a Harvard educated cardiologist. He was really, really smart (obviously, no?). Only, according to a reliable source, (his wife) he often left his brain cells in the pocket of his lab coat, which hung on a hook at the infirmary. So, outside the hospital, his wife did the thinking for him. Only one day, she forgot. You see, her family was in town visiting and she was really excited and busy. That night, they all decided to go out for dinner. Arriving at the restaurant, the husband (Harvard educated cardiologist) looked down and realized. He forgot to put on his shoes.

Moral of this true story: Ladies, when your husbands ask you to help find his belt/wallet/keys/cellphone. And Junior comes back from an outing with a sodden diaper. Smile. It can always be worse. And love them anyway. They deserve it.

Chic Maman

Chic Bébé

Broke Papa. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I have a sunny disposition in general. But I like melancholy. And the ache that partners it.

Not to be missed for the mood: the photos of über, über talented 17 (yes, seventeen) year old Soviet Federation native, Careenin.
Soundtrack and prose to go along: Her live journal is a must.

Green is her color of choice. And I am aching with envy.

Laugh Happy

photos via my flickr. Imaginarte, Rua Oscar Freire, no. 48

Brazil's version of the American mega store, Toys-R-Us, is called Ri Happy. Ri means laugh in Portuguese. And well, happy is happy (not in Portuguese but I think one can understand that English words are popular the world over). Anyway, Ri Happy (nee Laugh Happy) is the usual mega toy store. Barney, Backyardigans, Dora the Explorer, and lots of plastic, plastic, and more plastic. So much plastic, that a few years back when the store caught fire a good eight blocks away, the air oozed that melty caustic stinky stuff for weeks. I washed my hair and smelled chemical rubber. Eek. It makes you think that just maybe this stuff is not good for the environment, for you, and definitely not for your precious offspring.

However, I pride myself on being a balanced parent. Or at least I try too. So along with a little sugar here and there and a bit of toddler TV, I don't freak out over plastic, non-educational junk toys. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have only charming wooden objects, handmade dolls, and art supplies in the toy box. However Georgia wouldn't. Even so, as parents, we scheme and we plot. We divert our little one's attention to shops like Imaginarte. We take them to the art classes they offer. We ask Grandma to buy their birthday gifts there. We control their little destinies. And we Ri Happy. Laugh Happy (until they become teenagers).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog Love

fan gab
My computer is vibrating with blog love. Like me, girls living in different countries--the fault of intelligent boys.

1. Gisela, my Brazilian counterpart. She took my place in NYC and grabbed an American mister to even the score. Gisela=in the know: reporting all the latest culture, arts, and savoir-faire in Portuguese from her intuitive yellow cab/taxi amarelo. Blog love and big thanks for the entry this week.

2. Andrea, my Canadian "cousin." Moving her lovely lens, talent, and prose across the Canadian Prairies par amour. Blog love and big thanks for the invite to guest blog on your inspiring Miel et Cannelle, this week.

Who says technology is a cold companion? I'm honored girls. xxx

Produce Aisle

Today is Farmer's Market day in my neighborhood. I try to stay away from it. But I just can't. Some days I buy a lot and sometimes I just leave in frustration--wanting to buy a wig. My blonde hair must glow florescent in this sea of tropical fruits and veggies. And, even if I try to solely state the names of the products desired, my accented Portuguese invites attention from the malandros. I am always charged more than EVERYONE else, sold more than I want to buy, and forced to overhear comments on my "gringo-ness and skinny-ness."

Portuguese lesson:
Malandro as an adjective = double-dealing, cunning
Malandro as a noun = scamp
How often do you use scamp in English? "Malandro" is a common word in Portuguese--especially by me at the farmer's market.)

Anyway, as I march home, the plastic bag handles lined up my arm (kilos of oranges and everything else) arrest my circulation and dig into my flesh, and I vow never to return. Aside from feeling ripped-off, the shouting from the vendors is too loud, the pastels (fried stuffed envelope things) are too greasy, and my big toe pulses in pain from all those ladies who can't steer their shopping carts.(Shouldn't charming baskets or canvas earth-friendly bags be de rigueur carrying gear?)

But it's hard to stay away from this one stop shopping for orchids, vibrant fruits, and exotic, leafy greens (quite a visual for an East coast girl used to apples, bananas, roses and iceberg lettuce). Plus there are farm fresh eggs, whole fish (with eyes) dried beans and much, much more. You may also have your pressure cooker fixed, scissors sharpened, and find a new whatchmacallit for your drain. It might be pure confusion. But perhaps next week will be different. I'll show them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Counting Kisses

After begging Georgia for the umpteenth kiss of the day today, I got to thinking about the subject. How many kisses do we plant in a lifetime? If you live in a "we kiss on the cheek in greeting" country the numbers are astounding. If you are the mother of an adorable toddler (and live in said country), the numbers are astronomical. Add to it: I come from a family of kissers. Once you are will be smooched often and on the mouth. Smack! My poor husband--he was scarlet the first time my Aunt "missed his cheek." But take it as a sign of how well you are liked. It's when the said embracing stops that you should worry.

Then I got to thinking about variety. There is the eskimo (nose to nose rub), butterfly (eyelash flutter on your cheek) and the "movie star." The "movie star" kiss is the child's version of the French one. I named it when I was about four watching soap operas at Grandma's house. In demonstration, I would put my tightly closed lips against yours and move my head in circles for a good minute and say mmmmmmm.

With time, practice on my pillow, and a first boyfriend, I figured out that things were just a wee bit different. And now before I lay my head down on my pillow I shall quietly sneak into Georgia's room and peck her warm forehead. And, hopefully, follow that with an authentic movie star smooch on my darling husband. Who's counting anyway? Night night. xxxxx

Sewing 101

My mother always told me:

1. One day high heels will be uncomfortable
2. One day you will go shopping for yourself and end up in the little girl's department
3. One day you will want to sew for your daughter

Two print blouses, one pair overalls, linen pants and a pile of fabric to go....