A Flurry of Festas

Well, it’s mid-2010, and it’s been a hard year, but there’s been a lot to celebrate, too. Especially this time of the year, when there are still plenty of Festa Juninas, but also many that were put on hold (along with the rest of the country) for the FIFA World Cup. Here’s a quick sampling of recent photos of the princess at some of these goings-ons.


July 14, 2010. Tags: , , , . Photos. 1 comment.

An Afternoon at the Beach

Here are some pics of one of our recent trips to Baixo Bebê, the family-style section of the beach right by our house. We usually hit the beach in the (late) morning, but on this one particular day, we waited until 4pm to meet up with the ever-present Cousin Camila, plus some of our friends.

February 22, 2010. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Carolina’s First Gingerbread House

Man, it took more than my usual amount of holiday gumption to keep the traditions going, but we did it! This Sunday we made Carolina’s first gingerbread house (and my first as head cook, for that matter). Besides the usual architectural and culinary challenges, I had a few more to overcome in order to pull this off:

  1. In Brazil, they don’t sell frosting out of a tub. You gotta make it yourself. Fortunately, it’s not that hard. Pass!
  2. In order to make it yourself, and keep it creamy, the recipes call for half a teaspoon of cream of tartar, which apparently is only sold in specialty stores in 2lb tubs. I ended up just doing without, sugar crystallization be damned! Fail!
  3. They also don’t seem to sell ground allspice in stores around here. The best I could manage (at Thanksgiving) was a jar of “kibe spices“, which is a bizarre mix of allspice, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper. It gave a nice kick to my pumpkin pie, but someone seems to have since disappeared with the stuff (perhaps intentionally…). Fail!
  4. What’s a gingerbread house without candy canes?! Well, now we know: after struggling to even find a translation in Portuguese for them, I was told they MIGHT be sold in some specialty candy stores. I didn’t have time to go a-hunting. Fail!
  5. The other participants didn’t even know what the hell gingerbread is, let alone that you can build a house out of it. When I mentioned it to one friend, he said, “Yuck! How about you take out the ginger, and cover it in chocolate instead?” Yeah, thanks for trashing a thousand-year-old recipe before you’ve even tried it. Anyway, I think curiosity and the desire to see my train wreck firsthand won out, because we got Dada’s cousin Carla and her family to come and help out. Pass!

Unfortunately, I also didn’t have time to do any pre-event prep work, so this little experiment turned into an all-day marathon. By the end, Dada had gone off to her night shift at the hospital, Carla and family had gone back home, and it was up to me to put on the finishing touches… which I didn’t. That’s what Christmas Eve is for anyway, right?

Carolina and Camila - the Gingerbread Ballerinas

The master of multitasking plays air guitar while inspecting the structure

OK, I admit I compromised. A little bit of chocolate was involved.

Well, maybe more than a little.

The 90% completed masterpiece

The ice skater (courtesy of the East Berlin Crosswalk Man cookie cutter)

Another view of the still-sparse front

Carolina did the roof on this side. In case you're wondering, that's a half-slobbered Disney Princess gummy shoe in the middle (Camila's), and another stuck to the edge (Carol's).

The back yard: no windows yet, but check out that firewood pile! (and Carolina in the background checking if Santa's dropped by...)

Can anyone tell me how long these things are supposed to last (ants notwithstanding) before you have to eat it or throw it out? How about if it stays in the fridge? I’m hoping to keep it around until the 25th, or at least Christmas Eve. Until then…

Happy Holidays to all! (everyone)

December 23, 2009. Tags: , , . Photos. 2 comments.

Fancy Pen Tricks

This one is for all my work friends (at least the ones that have had to sit near me in an office). Carolina will be putting you all to shame in no time.

(btw, the whole “I am Camila” thing is just a little game she plays. Not like she’s psycho for constantly pretending she’s her cousin or anything…)


November 10, 2009. Tags: . Videos. Leave a comment.

Sunday at the Pool

Now that summer’s officially on (or at least the sun seems to think so), everyone was out in full force around the pool. I’m not a huge fan of apartment living, but after 6 years in the same building, and 3 of them with a rather rambunctious princess, it turns out you really get to know everyone. So, an hour of drink-your-milk-put-on-your-bikini-ok-fine-your-one-piece-now-your-flip-flops-ok-no-flip-flops-yes-you-are-snow-white later, and a couple of flights down, and we found ourselves surrounded by 5 or 6 of Carol’s pool buddies and their families. I’ll have to remember to dust off that floating cocktail bar proposal that didn’t quite get passed through the council last year…

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Mariana, Carolina and Manu... not quite looking at the camera


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Carolina Cousteau uses her special lenses to analyze the chameleon's paw


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The captain always goes down with the ship. Fortunately, Carolina is not the captain.

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...except when she wants to be.


November 10, 2009. Tags: . Photos. Leave a comment.

Recent Beach Pics from my Cell

Summer just hit here with a vengeance! This is the first sunny November that I can remember, and we’re trying to make the best of it. We headed out to “Baixo Bebê”, where all the snazzy 30 or 40-something parents go to let their kids run wild in the beautiful but somewhat septic Leblon sands. We didn’t take our camera, but luckily Dada remembered that these portable talking devices everyone’s got these days come with some sort of built in imaging doohickey. So we were able to capture some shots of Carolina and her cousin Camila making sand mermaids (or would that make them “plagemaids”?) of themselves:

Mermaids of the sand

Mermaids of the sand



Feet? Is this The Little Mermaid all over again??



And, of course, the mermaid-princess pose


Stay tuned for more summer fun!

November 10, 2009. Tags: , , . Photos. Leave a comment.

First Birthday Pics

We still haven’t gotten the photos back from the photographer (yes, there was a photographer…), but I can at least show you some shots we took of Princess Carolina dressed as Princess Ariel, just before going downstairs to her party:

Ready to go! Where's the ocean?

Ready to go! Where's the ocean?

Oh my, oh me!

Am I dope, or what?

And just for good measure, here’s a recent photo taken over brunch at Parque Lage:

Daddy, Carolina and the class mascot

Daddy, Carolina and Noni, the class mascot

September 25, 2009. Tags: , . Photos. 1 comment.

Happy Birthday, Princess Carolina!

Carolina turned 3 years old on Wednesday! I should have posted this then, but only got around to putting it on Facebook… Here’s our most recent photo of Carol-as-princess. Stay tuned – her big Little Princess blast is coming up on Sunday. I’m sure in about 2 months or so, we’ll have a ton of photos to post 😛

Carolina in her latest princess incarnation

Carolina in her latest princess incarnation

September 18, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Visit to LA 2009 – Part 2

Here are more photos of our visit to LA back in June.

August 7, 2009. Tags: , , , . Photos. Leave a comment.

Los Angeles 2009 – Part 1

Princess Carolina made  her annual pilgrimmage to California last month. This one was pretty special. For one thing, she actually knew what California was this time (or at least, had heard of it, after incessant playing of the Sparks tune “Mickey Mouse”). She also got to make all her princess dreams come true this time: we took her to Disneyland to meet the princesses, California Adventure to meet any princesses she’d missed on the first  go-around, the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Catalina… just about everything a little princess needs to seem refined, yet worldly. Oh yeah, and she got to hang out with the family, too.

We have so many photos, I’m just going to throw them at you and see which ones stick. This first post focuses on, well, nothing in particular. It’s the “best” 50 or so photos of the first 700 or so shots out of the about 2000 we took on the trip. I hope you get through them all. If it helps any, just think of what WE had to go through to pick them out!

July 6, 2009. Tags: , , . Photos. Leave a comment.

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