Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All is Love, Indeed

How could a Spike Jonze film based on such an incredible children's book not be the subject of many a favorite blog of mine? Check out the photos of the pop-up store in LA. Thanks Clarice!

A pity the film will probably launch much later here in Brazil. But I am counting on all the American bloggers for a few sneak peeks and opinions. In the meantime, I will have to satisfy my curiosity with the soundtrack...downloadable everywhere via iTunes.


Calming this photo, no? Unpolluted and serene. Did I mention in an earlier post that I bought some acid colored pillows for my bedroom? Here I go thinking of the store's return policy....would they understand my dilemma?

Every time I buy color and pattern, I follow with a longing for simple and clean. I used to have only black and white cotton underpants but yesterday, after realizing I forgot all my underclothes in the States, I replaced them with colors and patterns from a lovely little shop called Verve. But today I am thinking of Hanro cotton or Calvin Klein tulle---neutral, of course.

And since I have an all or nothing personality (sprinkled with practicality), I want to define my style and my tastes and then not think about it anymore. So which is it? Rococo or Zen?

Frosted Youth

Scene 1: A whitewashed teenage bedroom, sunlight creating shapes on an ashen wood floor, and the Beach Boys playing on a vintage plug in record player....

Can you picture it?

I'm in the mood for a full-bottomed retro swimsuit, pale frosty lips, and squirting some lemon juice in my hair for streaky summer highlights.

A bright red lollipop and a few years subtracted from my date of birth, might be nice, too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hold the Bananas

I headed out this morning for the Brazilian fabric with the bushels of bananas. But came back with ready-made Indian pillows--bursting with acid colors and nature. The perfect "pop" for our neutral bedroom. All family members seem to enjoy the make-over. Georgia keeps repeating "bee" which is short for subir (pronounced sue beer) or "up" in Portuguese and proceeds to fall back into the neatly arranged row. And Bogart, our fat feline, won't stop sleeping on the bed (and was quite perturbed with the photo session). Finally, Felipe mmmmm'd approval--but how many husbands understand their wife's obsession with accent pillows?

Mission accomplished, I'd say. Now, I just have to get started on the headboard I posted a while back.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Banana, banana...

You might not necessarily equate good taste in interior design with images of bananas, I know. But give me a chance here.

I brought back a new duvet cover (anthropologie) from the States and, while away, had a bedroom accent wall covered in gray cement. But something is missing. So in an urgent rush to pull together the new look, I did what every decorator does: shop for pillows. So in my swatch carrying, color coordinating obsession, I discovered an amazing new source for fabrics (whilst walking) called, againdecor. You can imagine the tongue-in-cheek good taste of the above dapper duo who design all the graphics. Fresh and fun and very Brazilian. Have a look at the fabrics (tecidos) under the Brasil section on the site. I am deciding between the black and white bananas or palms and the windows of Salvador. And its not that I am into theme decorating but I do think that tropical goes well in the tropics--the velvet pillows from NYC just look hot and heavy below the equator.

Any opinions?

Just One Product

I have a lot of friends and family who are pregnant. As I watch the baby registries fill up, I think about the multitude of products and presents that I neatly stacked and oohed and awed over those final days of my pregnancy. The marketing out there and the millions of gadgets and thingamajigs (especially in the USA) is as limitless as first time moms are insecure victims with credit cards. But we only learn this later--about the time we figure out that babies don't like cool toys---but prefer your cell phone, microwave, keys or computer.

So as I try to squish my state-of-the-art stroller into a corner in my apartment, I ponder pushing it out the window. But then I remember how good it is for hauling groceries while Georgia happily giggles in the Ergo. Ergo? Yes. The one product I couldn't and still can't live without. It took me five carriers to get it right and still (at 24 toddler pounds) doesn't have me running for a chiropractic adjustment. I could go on and on about the benefits of "babywearing"--which is a facilitator for the most important thing a baby cannot live without: our love.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Whilst Walking this Week


I have a few confessions to make now that I no longer live in NYC nor work in the fashion industry surrounded by hipsters who spent their angst-ridden rebellious youths as artists, pubescent rockers, chain smoking poets and fashion nymphs.

I was a small town cheerleader and a baton twirler in high school. And I wore saddle shoes.
I wish I kept them. Because they are in style now. (Urban Outfitters is selling them.)

What remains in mom's attic are my batons. I have already tried to impress Georgia twirling a broomstick. And after she went to bed tonight I reminisced with this video on youtube. Brazil doesn't have cheerleaders nor baton twirlers so I'm hoping Georgia will be an artist (just not rebellious).

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Back in town and on the social circuit.

It always been a bit hard to get me out in the late evening. It's not that I am a couch potato. TV is not my relaxation mechanism of choice. Actually relaxation is not my choice. I like to be busy all the time. So come nightfall, I am usually sleepy and like to putz around the house in my PJ's. It does make me feel boring. And I suffer with every party invitation--more in Sao Paulo because the parties here begin after 11:00. I am a day person and Sao Paulo is a night town.

But even though I felt the party malaise coming on last night, I knew I couldn't miss this event: a celebration in honor of the lovely Gi and Thomas (another Brazilian meets American love story with marriage resulting in wife relocating to husband's town and blogging--in NYC). Naturally, the party was a festive polaroid-snapping and merrymaking event. The fete was hosted at Mari's spectacular artist's abode. And I came home wanting Gi and Thomas to move back. And also wanting to hang every single piece of Mari's organic sequences on our walls.

I just might have to start going out more at night.

Congratulations Gi and Thomas!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

18 Million + 2 blondes = We're back!

I invite you to click on the above photo link. My town. Kinda large, huh? Well, two small blondes are back in our oasis--smack in the middle. Nossa Casa. And I can confirm definitively that the best part of traveling is coming home (minus missing USA family, obviously).

Two hours of sleep on the plane (germ box) have left me feeling worse than the previous NyQuil post. But my wilting cerebrum can confirm a few things for you:

1. Managed to get my 210 pounds of paraphernalia through customs on a cart (one handed) with Georgia hanging from me in the frontal carrier (hands-free) whilst pulling a suitcase and dangling pillow (one handed) behind. And they didn't stop me to collect exorbitant duties and taxes. But, really, can you tax 400 ziploc bags and a whole bunch of Barney junk?
2. My darling husband was there to save his girls and Georgia was deee-lighted. Did he get cuter?
3. Spent day watching Georgia laugh exuberantly at all the things she forgot she owned.
4. Felipe didn't eat boiled hot dogs for dinner. I got my apron on and served leek risotto and mushrooms.
5. I went directly to the salon (I became a cave woman in the States as G was glued to me.). Rid myself of my "clawnails" (toe nails), bushy brows, and (now this is embarrassing) hairs on the upper lip. I also cut my bangs. (I can see!)
6. Unpacked all the stuff. And realized that it is just a lot of stuff. Feel an anti-consumption zen mood rapidly approaching (even before credit card bill arrives).

But I am back. And happy. Cannot wait to get back into the glorious routine again.
I heart routines.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I once read that the best part of traveling is coming home. And it's true. I am looking forward to being, once again, in my little nest with my dearly missed husband and my daughter. Minha Casa. Que bom.

But it would be that much better (No, it would be perfect.) if I could crinkle my nose like Samantha from Bewitched and zap my American family into my living room. I wouldn't have to say anymore goodbyes. I wouldn't have to watch Georgia blow nary a kiss goodbye. And nobody would cry. Ever.

However life on TV sitcoms is fiction and the season always has a finale and an end--just as my trip does. So tonight is the end--the last hurrah from Ohio. I drank NyQuil an hour ago, for my cold and to put me to sleep. I won't blog sadness.

So goodnight my dear family. I won't mention all the names lest I wake up on the keyboard in the morning. You know who you are wonderful siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, grandparents. Georgia has never learned so many names so quickly and she won't forget. We'll be back soon. Thank you. Love you. Goodnight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


My suitcases are filled with new clothes for Georgia. (Bargains are dangerous.) And, be sure, she'll be cute this season. But when I see things like Periwinklebloom, I want to throw away everything from Baby Gap and start over. Start over with all organic cottons and simplicity. Just like Periwinklebloom which is hand sewn in the USA, too. The good news? I still have a little pile of cotton and linen fabric back home. It won't be exactly the same....but maybe next trip...

My King

We are down to our last evening skype sessions. It's like watching the Late Show for Georgia and I, only Felipe is a much better host than Dave. There are puppet shows, house tours (to remind us of what we are missing) and imaginary taste tests. Georgia shares her snacks with Dad and, well, tonight he tried to share his dinner with us. And boy am I glad technology is still limited i.e. the taste remains phantasmic. Because tonight's menu was boiled hot dogs. And even though I was proud he didn't dial a dinner (take out), I couldn't feign enthusiasm for a boiled greyish dog with a line of mustard, housed in a white bun--unless maybe it came from a cart, was at the ballgame, or, had "char-lines" on it from the grill.

Actually, I have never seen Felipe eat a hot dog--not even from famous Nathan's or at Coney Island. But, then again, I never left my husband for a month at a time. And I am feeling bad--even though he's a tad spoiled--for I have happily assumed the homemaker (domestic manager) role. I relish his slightly added girth and gourmet tendencies. And although we aren't food snobbies (have junk food cupboard), I work hard putting together home cooked square meals for Felipe and Georgia. And we'd never eat just boiled wieners for dinner--unless Felipe made them. But that probably won't happen when I get home.

Honey, Cannot wait to get out the pots and pans. xo

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fashion and Photography

1. The Sartorialist 2. Testino 3. Valentino

I am working on packing my suitcases and it is a sorry state of affairs. Like all good Brazilians and foreigners living in Brazil, I have shopped up piles of goodies and haven't room for an extra set of tweezers (although those might get me caught in customs for possible weaponry these days).

But if the airlines allowed just a wee bit more weight allowance, I'd pack up a few more books from the ultra edited selection at Anthropologie. (Do those folks do anything less than perfect?)
I suppose a wardrobe for Georgia and a few items of clothing for mom and dad are more important in fashion terms than some lovely books on style?

You can't go around naked, after all.

Uncle Todd

When we arrived in the States, Georgia's English and Portuguese vocabulary were neck and neck and pretty standard fare. (baby, mommy, daddy, shoe....) No longer.

How am I going to explain to her Brazilian grandparents her perfect pronunciation of beer?

Thanks dear persistent brother.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Yogurt. Olives. Feta Cheese. Spanakopita. Lamb. I can just smell the simmering pots in Vefa's kitchen. And I want the book. I am thinking of having a Greek banquet on my table when I get back home--a belly stuffing celebration of the mother of Mediterranean food and my mom, who heads to Greece this week.

We will all be on international flights on Wednesday. And since the destination isn't the same, I am hoping the frenzy of travel will lessen the aches and shorten the goodbyes.

Mom, your patient is a lucky one as I know what it is to be in your care. May your assignment in Athens be wonderful. xo

PS: I have been speaking with the Greek God of Hope, Elpis, about a possible visit to Greece (and to Felipe, too). The Gods are conspiring!


Can you believe that Chupa Chups lollipop logo was invented by Salvador Dali? Georgia isn't too concerned about the trivia but is really enjoying the sugar rush. I think she makes a great poster girl...a real masterpiece.


Whenever I tell Brazilians I like to bake, they always say with hope: Cheesecake? So even though it isn't New York Style (this one is coming at you straight from Ohio), it is very homemade. My mom whipped up a blueberry and raspberry version for today's picnic. I am coaxing the recipe out of her before I head back home. And more details on the picnic and my last weekend in the states to come. But I am just too busy rubbing my sleepy eyes and full belly. Catch 'ya later. Night night.

Living Room Accessories

I imagine most of us have a bit of Pottery Barn, Ikea, and Crate and Barrel in our home. But how do we differentiate our abode from the Smith's next door? Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize. And David Wiseman's nature inspired pieces are beautiful baubles that guarantee to banish the generic in your interior decor.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Iceberg? No thanks...

I have been eating far too many restaurant salads with iceberg lettuce and shredded cheese these days. I vow to change that as soon as I get my apron back on in Brazil. And I am hoping to try at least a few of the NY Times 101 combinations.

Paper Lilies

A cathartic rush of feelings has burst forth thanks to the gorgeous photography by paperlilies.
Can you believe she is only 15? I love the beauty and gracefulness of the hands and feet. So young.

Georgia and Reese

I know. I know. Another Georgia post...
I just can't help myself.
I hope you don't feel like I do when people wax poetic about their chiwawas.
Anyway, another playdate today with another blonde cousin.
Bubble blowing...divine.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I dare you.

Watch this groovy-ness. Now I dare you. Stop what you are doing, crank up some tunes, and get your funk on. I guarantee your day won't be more of the same.

Thanks to Marvelouskiddo for the inspiration.

Play Date

You know your daughter is growing up when she doesn't take off her sunglasses. Perhaps it is because she is wearing wayfarers? Or could it be because her younger cousin Emma has shades, too?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Fashion Week in NYC

It's Fashion Week in NYC. I am wearing black today to celebrate.
And tomorrow I will bake cupcakes for cousin Reese's 3rd birthday.
They won't look like this, though. But maybe next batch.

Skype me a puppet show, daddy!


Georgia misses her daddy. We have been away for 15 days now and all parties are feeling it. So, tonight, after a particular long round of confused "Daddy?" utterings, I kept G awake to catch Felipe on skype. Georgia greeted him wearing her new Wayfarer sunglasses. And he upped the entertainment ante--a private skype puppet show. The roster of stars included just about every toy in her sorely missed box. And if there were to be reviews in the morning paper, you can bet tonight's performance would be sold out.

Honey, you are a star. And I love you for it. xo

Saltwater Sandal

Summer is rapidly approaching in Brazil and I had hoped to find Georgia some great sandals on sale here as the States welcomes Fall. But the sale shelves are filled with sparkly/tacky, glow in the dark "pleather" numbers. And they are all pink and ugly. But late night Internet shopping has unearthed these little leather lovelies: Saltwater Sandals. They aren't on sale (naturally) but they are exactly what I had in mind. And I got them in brown, too.

Parenting 101?

Every time I read an article on parenting, I want to never read another article on parenting. It scares the living daylights out of me. I quiver in fear of raising a child who devotes the latter half of his/her life and salary on an analyst's couch complaining about me. But I only feel this way when I read these articles, which is exactly what happened today when I finished the latest study in the NY Times. On a daily basis, I smother my child with love and follow my instinct. That's what my mom told me she did. And I came out alright, I think.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Magic Beans

Since we are on the subject of beans and we routinely eat the healthy Brazilian staple, the guilt factor in, say, cupcakes and ice cream, is significantly less. But why not make these sweets out of the best ingredients and stick to the bean theme? New project: homemade vanilla extract. Another mmmmm.

Magic Beans


I miss my pressure cooker. Well, actually I don't miss that nerve-racking-about-to-blow-a-hot geyser-hole-in-your-ceiling-contraption. I just miss the beans and the rice, too. After two weeks of kiddy menus filled with fried chicken fingers, spaghetti, hamburgers and fries, fries, fries, Georgia must, too. Or probably not--she's a kid after all. But I really hope she does. Because that's what she is getting when we get back home. Period.

In Brazil, the lunch menu for the majority of the population, and especially the children consists of: rice and beans, chicken, meat, or fish, and a vegetable. And this is served day in and day out and usually without complaint. Because it's tasty. Because it's healthy (protein, carbs, iron, vitamins--check, check, check, check). Because it's economical. And because it's easy.

As the USA continues to struggle with obesity, I have to wonder if it is because of the lack of a food culture. Without a culture of food, you are left to choice. And there are so many bad ones to make. After several weeks of trying to think of nutritious choices for Georgia (and often not ordering off the kids menu), I feel like just another exhausted mom contemplating the drive-thru in a quest to spare my brain another round of decision making.

So I'm not preaching here. I don't know the solution. I am empathizing--and looking forward to serving a heaping portion of rice and beans to my family. Mmmmm.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nana is 30


Happy Birthday Nana! Parabens! Kisses! Beijos!