February 28, 2012


Cafebrería El Péndulo (amazing book store + coffee shop in Mexico City)

February 27, 2012

Lazy Ox Canteen

Gradually, my hubby and I are discovering more and more fun places in Downtown and, past weekend, we went to a restaurant called Lazy Ox Canteen.

It's a casual restaurant in Little Tokyo with cool waiters and a delicious menu!

Among so many good dishes, we ordered a pasta salad and roasted brussels sprouts. The dishes were so flaverful! The salad was refreshing, with a hint of lemon, and the brussels sprouts, with sausage and cheese, super tasty!

Downtown surprises again!

February 24, 2012


This week's Cheers! is a delicious drink called Mint Julep:

3oz Bourbon Whiskey
mint leaves (about 10)
sugar (to taste)
ice cubes
water (optional)

Using a whiskey glass, muddle together the mint, sugar and a small amount of Bourbon. Add some ice cubes and fill it with Bourbon (if it's too strong, you can add some cold water). Garnish it with a mint leaf and enjoy it!

PS: if you use sweetener instead of sugar, this is a low calorie drink (if you drink it in moderation, of course!)

Enjoy your weekend!

February 23, 2012

In Love: Pig Money Bank

I'm in love with this "adult version" of a pig money bank, created by the American designer Harry Allen.

Made of resin and available in different colors, you can use it not only to hold your bills and coins, but also as an amazing and modern piece of decor.
The production is limited (200 units for each color) and if you buy one, $10 will be donated to humane society for the prevention of cruelty to animals anywhere.

Curiosity: the designer, an animal lover, used a real piglet to sculpt this piece.

February 22, 2012

And the Oscar goes to... (Part 2)

As I said here, hubby and I are in this race to watch the Oscar's movies, and this past weekend we saw The Artist.

I confess I wasn't too excited. After all, silent, black and white movie isn't my favorite style, but The Artist is completely different.
The filmmakers had the courage to do something that entertains you - a lot! - without all the visual and sound effects of a "normal" movie.
I suggest you to watch it! It will be a totally different cinema experience.

February 21, 2012

HotCakes Bakes

I don't know if you remember this, but for Christmas I bought some mini-cupcakes from HotCakes Bakes. I got to know this shop through a friend who was already a customer, and even had ​​her wedding cake made by them.
It's a small shop (they don't even have a space for you to sit and eat), but the attendants are super nice and the cupcakes are delicious.

I bought a dozen (red velvet, carrot, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, lemon, cookies, among others), and they were freshly baked, beautifully decorated and really good!

For those who need an extra push, Hotcakes Bakes was a winner of the Cupcake Wars aired on Food Network (which, of course, I am a huge fan of!)

These mini cupcakes are winners!

February 20, 2012

Flower of the Week: Poms

It's been quite some time without posting about my flowers, but here's a lovely bouquet that I bought right from the Flower Market in Downtown, LA: Yellow Poms

Spring right around the corner...

February 17, 2012


It's Carnival in Brazil, and here is a perfect drink for those who are lucky to be part of this amazing party: Disaronno Breeze. It's a very easy and refreshing drink, great for sunny days.

1 1/2 oz Disaronno
1/2 oz vodka
Cranberry juice

Using a tall glass, pour Disaronno and vodka over ice and top it with cranberry juice (you can substitute cranberry juice for any other juice of your choice).

For those enjoying Carnival, have fun but drink responsibly! For those living in the States, most of you don't have to work next Monday, so here is your reason to enjoy this drink!

Enjoy your weekend!

February 16, 2012

Levain Bakery, NY

In this trip to NY, one of the places I wanted to visit was Levain Bakery.

I had heard about this bakery from blogs that I follow and I was curious, because many people had said that they have one of the best cookies in the world!
With a line formed in the street, the bakery is a small door that opens onto a tiny basement where they bake - no stop - cookies and some quick breads.

I chose a walnut chocolate chips and a chocolate peanut butter chips (both were still warm!). When I saw the size of the cookies, I was shocked: they were huge! I ate half of each and, I have to confess, I almost had a sugar overdose. But in a good way, because they really are delicious and certainly one of the best cookies I have ever had.

Perfect for that craving time when you need some sugar to give you a boost!

February 15, 2012


Beverly Hills, CA

In love: Dotted Porcelain

I loved these dotted porcelains created by the Singaporean designer Hans Tan. They look like those classic Asian porcelains, but the dots add a modern touch to them.
It's a very limited edition since the whole process is hand-made by the designer.

Giving a new face to old pieces!

February 14, 2012

This week's DELIGHT: Devil's Food Cake

Today is Valentine's Day, and nothing better than to celebrate this day with a delicious chocolate cake. And this one has a very suggestive name: Devil's Food Cake.

This recipe was another suggestion from my friend Bev, and is one of the most delicious chocolate cakes I've ever tasted! Dense, moisty, you can really taste the chocolate but is not too sweet.
Can you imagine your hubby/boyfriend/friend coming home tonight and finding a fresh cake? What a surprise! And if you serve it with ice cream and chopped berries, you have a delicious Valentine's Day dessert!

Slightly adapted from this recipe. (I didn't make the frosting and I used one bundt pan). You can find more of my recipes here.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

February 13, 2012

And the Oscar goes to...

Last week, me, hubby and my in-laws, made ​​a bet for the Oscar: the couple who guesses more nominations will win a dinner paid by "the loser couple". That's because we love watching the Oscars and this year, as my in-laws are here with us, this was a great idea to make the ceremony even more interesting (menu to be defined!).
So we're are trying to watch as many movies as possible (at least those nominated for best picture, actor and actress), and this past weekend we saw:

I'm not a film critic, but as a film lover, I can say that the three of them are worth being watched. One movie is very different from the other, but all of them with captivating stories and great cast.
If all the other nominated movies are as good as these, this year's ceremony will be exciting!

This cinema adventure to be continued next weekend...

February 10, 2012


We're celebrating this week's Cheers! with Crystal Head Vodka.

This vodka has an interesting history: 13 crystal skulls were mysteriously found in different regions of the world (from American southwest to Tibet), and to this day nobody knows neither how nor by whom they were made. It's also said they transmit spiritual power and enlightenment to those who possess them.
And because of this whole aura of mystery, the actor Dan Aykroyd decided to create a vodka and sell it in this amazing skull-shaped bottle.

Since I lived in Mexico, where skulls also have this meaning of life and not death, I am slowly getting used to it and I already have some items in my home and closet. And, of course, this vodka is one of them!
If you don't drink, you can have it as a decor item, but it's also a pretty cool gift to a vodka - or skull - lover!

A very lovely weekend to all! (and start enjoying Valentine's Day!)

February 09, 2012

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Ready for a quick lesson on nutrition? So here we go:

Here in the U.S., dietitians are suggesting the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to replace other vegetable oils and butters, because it's healthier.
I'm not an expert, but what I've read and heard about this is that studies with people who have coconut as the basis of their diet have an excellent cardiovascular health. According to these studies, the saturated fat found in coconut oil is good for heart health, gives thyroid a boost, improves metabolism and, unlike vegetable oils and butters which, when heated, oxidize, causing problems to your body, coconut oil can withstand the heat of cooking.
I was curious so I bought a jar. It's twice the price of a canola oil, it's solid and has no taste or smell whatsoever. I've used a lot, but I think it won't work as salad dressings, and I haven't had the courage to bake with it.
If coconut oil has all these qualities, I don't know, but if has one more than the others, that's fine to me. Oh, and don't be fooled, this oil has tons of calories and is composed mainly of saturated fat (healthier than others, but still saturated fat).
If, like me, you're interested, do the research, talk to experts and make your own conclusions. Be open to try new things, but don't be radical. After all, everything in moderation is good!

February 08, 2012

My Favorites: Lette Macarons

I don't know if you remember, but for Christmas dinner I bought some macarons. They are from Lette Macarons and are certainly included on My Favorites list.
I am their customer for quite some time, since it's one of my favorite gifts to give to friends, party hostess, coworkers etc. But this time I decided to give my family the chance to try these little pleasures! I bought almost every flavor available (about 13 or 14) and one is better then the other. The dough is very delicate and the filling is light and creamy. Perfect for an afternoon with family and friends sipping some tea or liqueur.

Stop by at the Beverly Hills shop. I'm sure you will be dying to try one of each!

February 07, 2012

This week's DELIGHT: Salads

I don't know you but, even during cold seasons I eat lots of salad (after all, I need to compensate for all the sweet I make and eat!). So I decided to share with you some easy, simple and tasty suggestions.
PS: there is no recipe. I make them by heart and change them up depending on what I have available in my fridge that day!

Baby spinach, tomato and dried cranberry

Cherry tomato and avocado

Cannellini beans, tuna and balsamic drizzle (I use this)

Red quinoa, corn and raisins (I had nothing in the fridge that day but I generally make this salad with tomato, and chopped cheese and turkey breast)

Baby arugula, cherry tomato, shredded carrot and cannellini beans.

These are my "basic"salads, but I have many others that I will post in the future. I use balsamic vinegar or lemon; love mixing sweet and savory by using dried fruit (raisins, cranberry, fig, apricot), and I also use lots of beans (chickpea, cannellini, corn), and tomato and avocado almost every time!
Don't forget the crunchy broccoli salad (I made again this week. So good!).

February 06, 2012

Pitcher Anthropologie


Besides amazing for serving refreshments, it can be used beautifully as a vase, home decor, centerpiece etc. (Anthropologie)

Calafant - Cardboard Toys

Some time ago I found Calafant, a company that sells toys made ​​of recyclable cardboard, but with a very creative idea: they sell the toy without any color on it so that the kids can paint it the way they want. That is, more than a toy, is an art project!
They have animals, castles, cars, ships, houses, robots etc.. The toys are sold disassembled and are available in different sizes - some of them also come with washable markers for the kids to start playing - and painting-right away!

Fun and arts for all the kids! (also available at Amazon)

February 03, 2012


This week's Cheers! is a strong drink (to please those who are facing the cold weather), but refreshing (for those who are enjoying the sun): Orangesicle

1 1/2 parts Disaronno (or any other almond liqueur)
1/2 part vodka
3 parts orange juice
ice cubes
splash of cream (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker and pour it into a martini glass garnished with an orange peel.
As I said, this drink is a little bit strong, but refreshing with a citrusy taste. You can add a splash of cream if you want it creamer and sweeter.

Have a beautiful weekend!