December 19, 2012


Dear readers, we are heading toward the end of another year and I want to use this last post to do a - very briefly - recap and thank you!
My posts have not been as steady and they used to be, but this is happening for several good reasons: new achievements, projects, travels, discoveries, friends, routine and celebrations. That's good, right? Of course I had my moments of sadness and disappointment, but nothing that compares to the joys of my life!

I'll come back next year with lots of new things to share with you. Thank you for being along with me on this ride and being part of my life.

Closing this post with a picture of me, but not because I'm narcissist (as you can see, this is not my best shot, not even the best angle ...), but to show you how I try to live most of my days and how life, despite all the bad things that surround us, should be lived: LOL! I do recommend!

I wish you all a 2013 filled with peace, health and joy! xoxo

December 12, 2012

My Favorites: Lemonade Restaurant

Here is a great tip for those who, like me, as hubby says, "love to eat strange food with different colors": Lemonade.

One of the most amazing places to eat healthy and delicious salads! The restaurant is very casual yet chic with unusual ingredients and combinations, such as quinoa, spaghetti squash, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, white beans, couscous, wheat and many others. They also have sandwiches, hot dishes, desserts and, of course, lemonade (traditional, cucumber and mint, watermelon and rosemary, blueberry etc.).

Perfect food for your everyday lunch. One of my favorites for sure!

December 02, 2012

In love: Table Lamp The Land of Nod

I'm looking for some table lamps for my house and I fell in love with this one from The Land of Nod!

On the website, the table lamp is under the kids decor session, but depending on the style of your home, I think it can fit in any room. I love the colors! And the fact that the wire stays inside the glass gives it an extra charm!

November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Very different from Thanksgiving 2011 that was just my hubby and me, this year I had 10 people (and two little people!) over to celebrate this amazing date!

Preparations began on the previous week doing the decor (and a great excuse to chat with friends, eat and drink!)

Each one was responsible for one or more dishes and I got the turkey.
I did the same process of brining and preparing the turkey. I also made cranberry sauce (this one was better than last year: I got a recipe with Porto wine!) and farofa (a Brazilian version of stuffing)
The menu included: caramelized root vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice with almonds, arugula salad with beets, goat cheese and hazelnuts.

As starters, we had a better version of my baked brie (with peach jam!), prosciutto, salami, fresh-baked breads and burrata.

Nobody cared much for dessert but we had fruits, ice cream, pie and I made a mint brownie that was very good!

We also gave special attention to drinks and prepared several cocktails, and sparkling wine which is a must in all my celebrations!

They were delicious hours surrounded by people we care. While away - geographically - from our families, we have friends we can count on. And because of that and all the other good things that happen everyday in our lives that hubby and I couldn't pass on this date, celebrate and give thanks!

November 18, 2012

The HAPPY movie

Yesterday I watched a really touching and interesting documentary called HAPPY (available on Netflix).

It presents the results of several studies on happiness and what people want / need to be happy. And four points caught my attention:
1 - of all the cases, people who have very simple lives and less money are the happiest.
2 - from the moment you have enough money for your basic needs, no matter if you earn $ 1 million or $ 10 million that it doesn't make you a happier person.
3 - everyday things are the ones that make you happy. Taking different routes to work, including something that you really enjoy doing (exercising, dancing, volunteering ...) brings more happiness.
4 - a community thinking makes you happier. Feeling like you're part of something bigger and that one act of yours can change the life of another person brings great pleasure.

Fortunately, I can say that I'm already practicing some of the points above for quite some time. I'm still far from what I'd like to be, but I'll get there! Others, I still need to work on and you bet I will (accepting that we need to improve is a first step, right?). Anyway, the documentary has a nice message which can actually be applied in our daily lives if we're open to it. Loved it!

November 13, 2012

This week's DELIGHT: Orange (or Passion Fruit) Sauce

With the holidays coming, nothing better than a quick recipe that can help you spice up your bird (be it turkey, chicken, turfey) and even your every day dish: Orange Sauce (in my case, Passion Fruit Sauce!)

My mother in law gave me this recipe after my hubby has tried at her house and loved it! I tested it and it really is a delicious sauce!
Since we had leftover, on the next day I made a sweet-savory brown rice: I added the passion fruit sauce directly into the water I cooked the brown rice with corn, grated carrot and shredded chicken.

The picture is not very good, but the rice... mmm... yummy!

November 04, 2012


After about 6 years, I returned to one of the most beautiful places in the world: Hawaii!

Some things have changed a lot, but the most important thing remains the same: the island is still amazing!
We went - again- to Oahu. Considered the most touristic island, Oahu is almost always the last option for those who want to relax, enjoy extreme outdoor sports and stay away from crowds. But I managed to do it all! (except for the extreme sports - I wasn't born with the adventurous gene ;)
The secret is to stay in a resort a little further away. And since the island is very small, you can get pretty quickly anywhere!
Here's a little of what this trip was. As you can see, there were no restaurants, bars, fancy places. Only beach, sea, bikini, sun, blue sky and informal food!

Tree with twisted and intricate stems

A tribute to Duke Kahanamoku (Hawaiian surfer who helped popularize modern surfing), Waikiki Beach

Believe it or not but here is where the giant waves annual championship happens! (Banzai Pipeline)

Downtown Haleiwa, North Shore.

Rainbow, North Shore.

"Pumpkin Trees" (don't ask me how...)

The most famous shrimp in Oahu: Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

Two of the three dishes they serve: shrimp with garlic and oil, and shrimp with butter (the third is a spicy one. And I guess it's very spicy because they have a sign saying they will not refund anyone...)

I don't know how I could have waited that much to return to this amazing island... Mahalo (thank you in Hawaiian) and see you soon!

October 29, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

This Saturday I had a very different experience: I went to Dia de Los Muertos celebration at the most famous cemetery in LA, the Hollywood Forever.

Before you think I'm a depressive person, for those who don't know, the "Day of the Dead" is a day celebrated with joy and celebration for many cultures, especially the Mexican one. And this event is basically for the Latino audiences.
It was a huge party with food, souvenirs, music concerts, folk dances and many altars honoring those who have passed away. But I have to tell you that the cemetery is an attraction in itself!

Many people dressed up. And my dear friend Tania and I got on the bandwagon and got our faces painted!

We also ate tacos, bought souvenirs and had fun!

The "Day of the Dead" (Nov. 2 in Brazil) can be a day of celebration. For sure we miss the people we lost, but instead of focusing on loss and longing, why don't we use that date (and many others) to remember the good and happy times lived with them, right?

October 16, 2012

Balthazar Restaurant, NY

Closing our NY 2012 Special with a trendy restaurant: Balthazar!

Frequented by celebrities, this restaurant is a truly delight! Not only because, upon entering the place, it looks like you're at some bistro in Paris, but also - and most important - the food and service are wonderful!
After several failed attempts to make a reservation (always packed - book it early!), we finally got to know this restaurant, well recommended by several friends.

We started our dinner with ceviche and a goat cheese quiche.

Then, the main dishes: I ordered an amazing duck on a bed of mushrooms (the best duck I've ever had!), steak frites, lamb and fish.

And, of course, we also ordered dessert: chocolate cream, apple pie and banana cream pie.

As you can see, this trip was filled with amazing restaurants like The Spotted Pig, The National and Balthazar.
All of them a little bit more expensive than the average restaurants (at least for the American standard) but if you have extra money and enjoy good food, these restaurants are perfect and well worth it (and don't forget those already mentioned here and not as expensive such as Burger Joint and Pastis). And I can not forget to thank my in-laws for providing us such delicious moments!