March 27, 2012

Easter - Part II

We have 2 weeks 'til Easter and ideas keep coming! Today's post will make your celebration even more enjoyable with lollipops, pancakes, cupcakes and cookies. In addition to that, eggs, candles, baskets and bunnies. After all, Easter doesn't have to be about chocolate only!


Many of the ideas shown here work very well as party favors. You can buy everything ready, but it will be such a delight to join the kids and make them together. Another good idea is to boil some eggs and paint them. You can use for decor during Easter lunch or as an activity for the holiday! (choose the paints carefully and don't forget they're true eggs - so you can't keep them!)

Here are other suggestions for Easter.

March 26, 2012

The Huntington Library

During my in-laws' visit, we spent a day in Pasadena (the home to the Rose Bowl Stadium - host of the 1994 World Cup and the biggest monthly flea market) to finally visit The Huntington Library.

We knew that we would see beautiful gardens and a great library collection. And that's exactly what we're given: nice walks through plants and flowers and, in the library, some of oldest manuscripts (and other materials) of our history!

Go in the morning and then visit Old Town for lunch. There is a cool street with nice shops and restaurants. Definitely a good day!

March 23, 2012


I'm sure most women will love this week's Cheers!: Baileys Affogato.

.5 cup coffee (espresso or American)
1 tbsp sugar or sweetener
60ml Baileys Irish Cream

Dissolve the sugar in the coffee and freeze it. Once frozen, scrape it with a fork or knife to make it like crystals. Put in a short glass and add Baileys. The sweetness of the drink will depend on the coffee (if you use espresso, it will be stronger and less sweet). And the sugar is also to your taste (more or less than a tbsp). It's a great brunch and cocktail drink.

Enjoy your weekend!

March 22, 2012

This week's DELIGHT: Brazilian Carrot Cake

This is a Brazilian classic! Who doesn't love a fresh carrot cake with chocolate glaze? I do! In fact, I also love the American version of carrot cake with grated carrots, raisins, walnuts and cream cheese (I'll post a recipe in the future), but the Brazilian version is much simpler and soo good!
I don't know why, but the last Brazilian carrot cakes I had made were not turning out right. I don't know if it was the quantity - or quality - of the carrots, or if I was doing something wrong, but my sister sent me this recipe, I tested and voilá. Hubby loved it!

Delicious, with a beautiful color and huge!

March 21, 2012

Getty Villa and Getty Center Museums

JP Getty was one of the wealthiest Americans in the world. An avid arts and antiques collector, his extensive collection is the soul of two great museums that bear his family name: Getty Center and Getty Villa. The two are quite different, but both have your own richness of content and history.
Getty Villa is the first of the two museums. It's smaller and beautifully located on top of a mountain overlooking PCH and the sea. It's dedicated to the study of Greek, Roman and Etruscan arts (including the gardens are Roman-inspired).

Getty Center, also located atop a mountain overlooking the entire city of LA, has a super-modern architecture and is huge! It's dedicated to Western arts from the Middle Age until today (I saw incredible temporary exhibits such as Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt) and the gardens. I was able to rescue a pic of my last visit, but I'll look into my archives and post others because it's beautiful. You can spend a whole day there!

When in LA, take some time to visit these museums. It's free! (you only pay for parking). You'll spend hours admiring not only the amazing collections and exhibitions, but also the view, the arquitecture and the pleasant environment that were designed to accomodate so much culture!

March 20, 2012

In love: Ipad and laptop ethnic covers

Since it's still cold here in LA (especially this week!), winter will arrive very soon in Brazil , ethnic prints are in, Apple has just released another Ipad and, last but not least, good taste is never enough, I'm in love with these laptop and Ipad covers by The Good Flock.
Made of wool, handcrafted in the U.S. and very affordable, these covers are a charming choice for your electronics.

Protected and trendy! (if you - or a friend - have manual skills and a sewing machine, this is a great DIY project. It might be pretty easy to make one similar to these at home!)

March 19, 2012

My Favorites: Toast Bakery Cafe

Toast is a cool restaurant that was on my "to visit" list for quite some time. We went on a Sunday morning and since we arrived a little earlier than brunch time, we didn't have to wait for a table and got one outside (which was great because as you can see, the day was beautiful!)

Continuing my favorite food saga, I ordered french toast and hubby ordered benedicts eggs (as the dishes here are always huge, we always order one sweet and one savory and share). They were so good! Well done and with fresh ingredients.

The result? One delicious morning and one more french toast added to my list!

March 16, 2012


Start enjoying your weekend with today's Cheers!: a delicious French Martini.

1 1/2 oz vodka
1/4 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
1/4 oz fresh pinapple juice
orange zest to garnish

Pour all the ingredients (except for the orange zest) into a shaker with ice and shake well. Transfer it to a martini glass garnished with the orange zest and enjoy it!

Have a lovely weekend!

March 15, 2012

Good idea: Microwave Chip Maker

This microwave chip maker is gaining more space in stores and in the press. At first, I thought it was just one more invention that would fade very quickly, but since it was launched quite some time ago and you can still find it everywhere, I think there might be something good about it (at least the idea is very good!)

It's very simple: you buy a kit that comes with a mandoline and a silicone tray. You distribute the sliced potatoes over this special tray and put in the microwave. That's it. After a few minutes, you have crispy chips!

Have you ever wonder what a delight to eat homemade fat free potato chips? (available in stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Sur la Table and Amazon).

March 14, 2012

This week's DELIGHT: Cauliflower Gratin

After several days eating out, nothing better than going back to eating healthy and at home. So, today the recipe is Cauliflower Gratin.

Even for those who aren't a big fan of cauliflower, this gratin is very tasty and creamy. You barely taste the cauliflower (between you and me, cauliflower has no taste!). You can also take/add any other ingredients so you make your own version. It goes very well as side dish with any meat.

March 13, 2012

Venice Canals, CA

You may have noticed that in the past two weeks I didn't post every day, but I'm back! My in-laws were here and, with them, I visited new places and restaurants, and I'll post them for you.

We started with a suggestion of my dear friend Edina: Venice Canals (right here in Venice Beach, California!)

The canals were built in 1905 by Abbot Kinney (one of the most famous street in Venice. I already spoke about it here) who wanted to replicate Venice (Italy) in California. Formerly there were several canals, but with huge changes in the American culture (like cars!), the canals were decreasing and today there are only six, which after a major renovation in 1992, became a tourist attraction.

Hidden amid the madness of Venice, near the beach, it's a nice walk and very different than we are used to in LA. The houses built by the canals are also an attraction themselves (after the renovation of the area, today they are worth a small fortune and are also being renovated).

It's not like the original, but it's a beautiful place to visit!

March 08, 2012

Easter - Part I

It's Easter time and the stores are already filled with themed goodies and home decor items. So if you haven't had time to think of anything special, here are some ideas for your home, fun games and, of course, food:

Bunnies everywhere!

March 06, 2012

In love: To Dry For Dish Cloths

We don't spend too much time thinking about dish cloth and when we need to buy it, we go for the cheapest and simplest one. And the most beautiful we have at home is that one given by some friend or relative in a special occasion (like Xmas), right?
But that's about to change with To Dry For: an online company that sells cool and beautiful dish cloths (over a hundred different designs).
Since they're made in England and sold in pounds, these cloths are more expensive than you're used to pay, but if you want a stylish dish cloth collection, you gotta pay the price ;)

Some of them would be really cool if framed and hung on the wall. So I won't be surprised if you use it as a piece of kitchen decor instead of dish cloth!