June 30, 2011


Olive trees (Napa Valley, CA)


Voluspa is a luxury line of scents, candles and oils with elegant packaging and delicious fragrances. I already bought their candles and they burn very clear and take more time than others. In addition to having them at home, they are great as a gift! Voluspa products can be found on Amazon, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Anthropologie and many others.

June 29, 2011

Simple Human

Simple Human is an amazing company that develops ultra modern stainless steel home accessories. They have trash cans (with their fitted liners), hand soaps, dishracks, shampoo pumps etc.. Some even have soap dispensers even come with open/close sensors. It's a good investment - and durable - for those who want a organized and beautiful kitchen and bathroom! They have some stores, but their products can also be found on Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, The Container Store among others.

June 28, 2011

Yoga for all!

Last Sunday I had a really cool experience that I'm going to share here, because I think it may serve as a model for other companies, I had yoga class in the middle of a yoga/workout clothing store, on a Sunday morning, with a great teacher and for free! This is a iniciative of Lululemon that hires teachers from different gyms to teach for free. They do this every Sunday and anyone can join. And at the end of the class, berries and crackers were available also free. In addition to this yoga program, they also offer other free activities during the week. I loved it and I will definitely go back. When ideas and intentions are good, we have to be part of it!

June 25, 2011

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen surprised me again with a creative idea in his new movie Midnight in Paris. In addition to the great and funny story, Paris is portrayed beautifully. Its 130 minutes fly by and you keep smiling from the beggining until the end!

June 24, 2011


We are getting to the end of the week and nothing better than a delicious drink to relax. Every Friday I will post here a classic recipes so we can start the weekend in a great mood! This week the drink is: Manhattan

40ml whisky
20ml red vermouth
2 or 3 drops of angostura
Marrasquino cherry

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain it into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish it with cherry. It has a strong flavor and the taste of whisky prevails. The cherry also gives a special flavor to the drink.

I am Ozzy

Last year Ozzy Osbourne launched his biography and I am Ozzy was a huge success! I had a great time reading it and I recommend. The book is written in first person, funny, full of bad words, and lots of rock and roll. I mean, a true portrait of Ozzy Osbourne! It's so entertaining that you will finish it in a few days!

June 23, 2011


Chicken pot pie (Long Beach, CA)

Etiquette - Part I

I find very helpful to learn a bit about etiquette and always have questions about how to behave in certain situations. So, I'll do some posts about that beginning with: when I should or shouldn't buy a hostess a gift.
You SHOULD buy a hostess a gift when:
 - You will spend the night at his house (and since you are not paying for the hotel, be generous!)
 - The party is for/about you. In addition to that (the gift can be delivered before or after the party) is even better to make a toast to the host during the party.
 - Formal and intimate dining. If the host thought of you to join a select group of guests, you must show him gratitude for that.
 - You asked to bring a plus one. This means more spending on food and drinks for the host. So he deserves a treat.
You SHOULD NOT buy a gift when: it is a party with many guests; an informal get-together during brunch or happy hour; or a party you can not attend (in this case, it's polite to send the host a thank you note)

HD Buttercup

For those who enjoy home decor, HD Buttercup is a must! The Los Angeles store (a giant warehouse) is super trendy and I am sure you will get out of there wanting to revamp your entire house. They have furniture and home accessories ranging from the classic style to eastern to rock and roll. Lots of leather, sofas, beds, tables, chairs, coffee tables ... OMG. Their website is not very good. It shows only a small part of the inventory and no prices (but here I tell you: it is a very expensive store), but it's worth visiting to see all the beautiful pieces they have over there!

June 22, 2011


When his daughter was little, film director and winemaker Francis Ford Coppola made ​​her a promise of naming a sparkling wine after her name. Today, Sofia Blanc de Blancs is a very popular wine and my favorite for quite some time! It caught my attention not only for its name, but also because it comes wrapped in a light pink cellophane! It's a light and refreshing wine that goes well with desserts, cheeses (like goat cheese) and at brunches.
They've launched a charming canned version that comes with a straw and it's sold in a box with four 187ml cans. They are both part of my grocery list!


On the road! (Los Angeles-Las Vegas)

June 21, 2011

Pastis Restaurant, NY

For those who are in New York here is a great tip: don't miss the delightful French bistro Pastis in the trendy neighborhood of Meatpacking Distric. Always crowded (the place is small and the tables are very close together), the bistro serves delicious food, wines and imported beers and it's a perfect place for a brunch. The waiters are very polite and the place is very lively. It's not the cheapest bistro, but you won't mind paying every penny!


This year I learned some cool baking tips to make the cakes even softer and tastier. Some of them are very basic and others I haven't tested yet, but here they are:
- Always preheat the oven 10-15 minutes and follow recipe's timing and mixer speeds
- Measure liquid ingredients at eye level
- Use large eggs (about 1/4 cup)
- Still in the pre-heating, place a bowl (that can go in the oven) with a inch of water inside the oven, on the lowest rack (not to close to the cake pan), and keep it there while baking. It makes the cake more moist, softer and grows evenly (good for decorating). Do not do this if you want your cake with a peak top.
- Each oven has a different cooking time. If your oven heats up quickly, use a temperature slightly below the one indicated in the recipe. Otherwise, increase it (slightly!)
- Place you cake centered in the oven
- Wrap the sides of the pan with foil (here in the U.S. there is a Bake-even Cake Strip). The cake will rise evenly and avoid cracking the top.
- Do not check the cake before completing 20 minutes of baking (you can change the rising process)
- Use a toothpick, knife or cake tester to know when the cake is ready (place it right in the center)
- Let the cake cool completely before unmolding it. If you want, you can freeze it. Just wrap it in foil.

Summer concerts

Summer has officially began and with him comes the concerts! Paid or for free, excellent options are available to all. A venue that I go every summer is Hollywood Bowl. With amazing shows, pleasant ambience and a beautiful view, you can bring drinks and food. As the vast majority, you should arrive early, spread your towel and have a picnic with your friends and even strangers. The summer calendar varies and you can have a little bit of jazz, pop, sing a long, orchestra etc. It ends in September!

June 20, 2011


Las Vegas, NV

The Beauty Detox Solution

Today is Monday, also known as cleaning/dieting day. So it is worth mentioning the "it" diet here in the U.S.: the Glowing Green Smoothie developed by celebrity nutritionist, personal chef and yoga instructor Kimberly Snyder. According to her, clients who's drunk the juice regularly started experiencing visible skin improvement in just few days.
This March she released a book called The Beauty Detox Solution on diet, health and beauty. For her, proper nutrition has the power to leave the skin brighter; hair and nails stronger; increase energy and get the body you desire. The recipe and other tips can be found on the nutritionist's website.


Want to know another word for "the best tweezer in the world"? Tweezerman! Its tweezers are number one every year - for a long time - so I decided to buy it. What I can say is that since I bought mine (a slant model), a few years ago, I got rid of all the other tweezers and I don't miss them at all! They are also very stylish and you can find in different patterns, colors, special editions, with crystals etc. In the U.S. they are sold in almost every drugstores, supermarkets and beauty stores.

June 19, 2011

Thank You Notes

A very nice way to say thank-you is by writing a Thank You note. Thank you cards are handwritten and used very often by Americans (many of them are made to order with one's initials, name etc). Receiving a thank you card makes all the difference because demonstrates that that person spent some time and attention thanking you for a gift, a job, a dinner and so on. Today, entire corners and shelves are dedicated to thank you notes and I think they do bring a little more warmth among people who use them.


Sculpture made of steel and chains (San Francisco, CA)

Shoe organizing...

No matter the amount of shoes we have, it's always a good idea to store them properly so they last longer and you do not get crazy looking for a lost pair! Here are some tips to keep your shoes organized and protected:
1 - Analyze your closet: Is the size appropriate? Is it functional?
2 - take a look at all your shoes and ask yourself: which models do I like? How often do I wear them? Which ones I haven't wore for a while? (in this case, donate them. In addition to creating more space, you'll feel good!)
3 - Keep all your shoes in a transparent labeled box or bag. So you will be able to see every pair and much easier to identify them.
4 - Shoes that are not used frequently can be stored on higher shelves or even in another place (still in transparent packaging and labeled);
5 - Keep your shoes clean (upper, sole, insole). Boot shapers are useful to maintain the shape of tall boots (tip: if you do not have boot shaper, roll a thick magazine and place it inside the boot. The result will be the same!)
Follow these tips you will surely find more space in your closet to buy that dreaming new pair of shoes!


Departures is a beautiful Japanese movie about the amazing delicacy and respect Japaneses deals with death. Very touching, the movie is available for rent. I recommend it!

June 18, 2011


Delicious parfait!

Las Vegas - Attractions

To finish the posts about Vegas, here are some attractions that I recommend: Cirque du Soleil (I've watched almost all of their shows: Ka, O, Viva Elvis, Mystere and The Beatles-Love. In December 2011 they will start Michael Jackson-The Immortal, definitely a must!); steady concerts such as Garth Brooks, Celine Dion (Elton John will be touring there for two months), Blue Man Group, David Copperfield; the fountain at the Bellagio hotel; M&Ms and Coca-Cola stores; a gondola ride at the Venetian; shopping at Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace; a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon and so on ... Regarding restaurants, I will not list here, because there thousands of it - from fast food to top chefs (the busiest restaurants must be booked in advance). In addition to the hotels' own websites, Vegas.com is an excellent source. You will find detailed information about hotels, nightlife, concerts, and they also offer great attractions + rooms combos. Have fun!

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

I've never found a fragrant body oil that sticks to the skin without leaving it oily until I find Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. An "it" product among Parisians! Besides being used as a body oil after shower (yes! you do not need to rinse!), it can also be used on the hair and face. With a delicious scent, leaves the skin silky, soft and hydrated. I haven't tested it on my face because I have oily skin, but it really works on the body and hair! And to our joy, you can get it from Amazon. On their website you can find other great products such as Shower Gel Fondant which is also approved!

What a great initiative!

TOMS is an good example of a company to be followed by many others: founded in 2006 after a trip to Argentina, the founder noticed that many children had no shoes to wear. With the help of family and friends he then created TOMS. A shoe manufacturer but with a plus: every pair one purchases, another is donated to needy children around the world!! More than one million pairs of shoes have been donated already! With this success, they extended to other segments and now they are doing the same with glasses. Visit the website. Over there you will find more information on this and other projects including helping in the distribution of shoes to children abroad. And if you have the opportunity, buy a pair! They are sold online and in stores. Have you imagined their happy faces when getting a pair of shoe/glasses?

June 17, 2011

Las Vegas - Hotels

Accommodation costs in Las Vegas is very affordable with rates ranging from fifty to several thousand dollars. Most important casinos/hotels are located on the Strip (main street of Las Vegas with about 7.2 km that you can go by taxi, on foot, by limo or shuttle service between hotels). The most famous and classic hotels are: Bellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM, Mandalay Bay, Venetian and Paris; the fancy Wynn/Encore and Trump; the newest and also fancy Aria and Cosmopolitan; the great Treasure Island, Mirage, New York New York and the simple Harrah's, Imperial Palace, Flamingo. Any one you choose, you'll be presented with a tons of attractions. My only suggestion is that with so many options on the Strip, is not worth go further away because the traffic close to and on the Strip is heavy and it is too hot during the summer to walk a long distance (Las Vegas is in the middle of the Mojave Desert)

Cinnamon Rolls

I have a sweet tooth and one of my favorite pastries is the cinnamon roll from Cinnabon. Founded in 1985 by two Americans who were seeking for the best cinnamon roll in the world, they tried hundreds of recipes and went to Indonesia in search of the tastiest cinnamon. And they did! The rolls are always warm and delicious! Today the chain is a worldwide phenomenon and you can find variations of the traditional version - my favorite! (the photo "was" mine. I always order it without the glaze so I can feel the taste of cinnamon even more - and they are not shy with the cinnamon!)

June 16, 2011


For coffee table books and limited editions' lovers, good news: from tomorrow until Sunday the book shop and publisher Taschen will have its warehouse sale with discounts up to 75%. I am a loyal customer and I can guarantee that you will find something interesting at a good price or even pay the suggested price for autographed and limited editions like the hot (and very expensive) Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs.
If you do not have a Taschen near you, it is worth checking out their website and maybe get something online. If not, including this book store in your next trip might be a good idea!


A few months ago I went to Paris and Portugal (more on this in future posts), and couldn't avoid to notice several differences between Europeans and Americans in regards to mobile technology. I realized that Europeans still appreciate a personal, non-virtual coexistence. Over there is very common to find people with cel phones that "talks only" and I saw very few people preferring to give their attention to electronic gadgets over real people, mainly after business hours. In the U.S., Brazil and many other parts of the world, everyone has their high-tech cell phones all the time. They're almost like an extension of the arm and ears. And many "conversations" are actually texts (the speed this generation can text is jaw dropping!). I know the world is not the same, information fly and most of the jobs requires people to be connected all the time. I wouldn't give up many of the great tools we currently have (internet, msn, blogs, skype, google, google maps, facebook, linkedin etc.), but wouldn't it be healthier to try to get the best of both worlds and still have a good time meeting a friend in person, writing notes in a notebook or sending a card from time to time?

June 15, 2011

Food Inc Documentary

A few days ago I watched the documentary Food Inc. It draws attention to some important  issues about our food, such as the way animals are treated from slaughterhouses to the supermarkets; the concern about what these animals eat, how they sleep and the amount of hormones they have to take, and the relationship between buyers (fast food chains, supermarkets etc.) and slaughterhouses/farmers. I'm not going into details about the documentary, because I do think it is interesting to watch, but it is important to say that it's not a kind of brainwash to turn us into vegetarians. It only reports the striking facts and gives some suggestions which are very easily to use on a daily basis. If you are interested, below I list some of these suggestions (it's important to say tha it is a documentary made for and about the American market, but many things can be applied to any other country):
- Know the origin of your meat, eggs and dairy products (doing this you might have a better idea of how the animals are treated and the quality of the food)
- Go meatless once a week
- Choose meat from grass fed animals
- Buy organic food
- Buy free range and hormone free eggs
- Buy local
- Ask for healthier lunches at your kid's school
- Read the labels. You should know what you're buying
For more information about the documentary or what else you can do to improve the food you put on your table, visit the official website.

Las Vegas - Overall

Vegas is a very controversial city. People love it or hate it. I like it because the city offers an  incredible amount of attractions and shows (I already saw almost all the shows that Cirque du Soleil has in town!). I also like to see the change in people's behavior when, unlike many other U.S. cities, you're allowed to drink on the streets and smoke indoors (and I can say that it makes a huge difference and, unfortunately, not for the better!) What also strikes me in Vegas are the casinos/hotels, of course! Gigantic buildings; tons of attractions that can keep you without seeing sunlight for many days; gambling; bars; restaurants; shopping malls; nightclubs, concerts; spas; gyms and so on. Swimming pools are also a big deal there! They would make any water park envy! In the next few days, I will talk a little bit more about the city and its attractions. So you can make your own conclusion and add (or not) the city in your list of places to visit...

June 12, 2011

Cake decoration

Last week I started a cake/cookie/cupcake decorating course. The first class was theoretical with very good baking tips. But today's class was hands-on! I was surprised with what I could do in less than 2 hours. I'm still far from being a professional, but I'll get there! Patience, steady hand, practice and the right materials on hand are very important. Speaking of materials, Americans have great supplier stores: just one visit to any baking supplier and you will be delighted with everything available to do a great job. Here's a pic with the result of my class today. Next week: cupcakes! Can't wait ...


Those who know me know that I love the store Anthropologie. There you can find beautiful things for your home and also for your closet. Clothes are a little bit expensive but they have pretty good sales every time. And the home department is phenomenal! It has a kind of vintage vibe, colorful, beautiful and affordable! My new acquisitions were these beautiful mugs ($ 12 each). I'm in love with these mugs because besides the vintage feel, the handles are so charming! If you've never been there, it's worth visiting (and don't forget to bring the credit card anyway!)

My Favorites: Frozen Yogurt

In Los Angeles there is a frozen yogurt store every corner. But they've just landed in Brazil. Americans are crazy for it and have it all year round. There are several different flavors and in many cases ythey are so creamy and tasty that you cannot even remember they are made with yogurt, and the best part: with half (or less) calories than a regular ice cream! I am a huge fan of frozen also, and whenever I feel I need some sweet I go to Pinkberry for a classic frozen yogurt with fruits, and The Bigg Chill when I want something, let's say, more substantial. It is a simple place that offers delicious low and fat free options. It's always packed but is very fast and easy to get your frozen. My favorite is peanut butter, but they also have mocha, Ghirardelli chocolate and so on ... The frozen in the pic is small size, half mocha half peanut butter from The Bigg Chill. Humm ... My mouth is watering!


Today is a very happy day for me because after a lot of time thinking about how to share some of my experiences with others, I decided to create this blog. I'll share here pictures; books, music and movies suggestions; places to visit and many other good things that I hope might be useful in some way for those who follow me! Welcome and let this be the beginning of new and positive experience for everyone involved in this new project!