Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Mallory Elise: food and wedding photographer

I've always dreamed about being a great photographer. With digital cameras, expensive lenses (which I have no idea how to use), photoshop and apps like Instagram most people can take a pretty good photo but to take an amazing photo takes some serious skill. We've just launched a new cupcake flavour, Strawberry Swirl and Mallory dropped by to take some photos of the new cupcake. She is a pretty exceptional photographer. If you are looking for a food or wedding photographer - check out her work.

And then I read her most recent blog post, and she is a pretty exceptional writer too. It's made me think alot over the past couple of weeks about, if we're going to live here long term, what do I feel most passionate about that I would want to change here. My second daughter is Brazilian, so this country's future is likely to be her future. Mallory says that she usually replies to an question 'How do you like Brazil?' with a 'Mais ou menos' answer. I always reply with a 'Gosto muito!' and yes, I do like it alot.  I'm a generally passive aggressive person (unless you meet me with very little sleep) but most of our dinner chat with our Brazilian friends are pretty generic: traffic, weather, cost of living. As we have moved from city to city we have not necessarily had strong community ties, and generally lived a pretty naive expat life. It's easy to ignore what's happening down the street when it doesn't affect your life directly.

I know that it's not that simple -  but I really believe that education is the key here in Brazil. How about rich people in Higienopolis who don't pick up their dog shit on the pavements, drivers who believe they have the right of way over pedestrians, or nannies that can't write or read (how are they supposed to read medication instructions for the children in their care?). I know every country has their problems but I will certainly take the time to think before answering the question 'Você gosta Brazil?'... it maybe a 'Mais ou menos' answer ... but certainly more 'mais' than 'menos'!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Watch out for the blondies!

A friend of a friend was robbed the other week in Shopping Iguatemi. She was at valet parking waiting for her car and a well dressed, good looking man started chatting to her (or chatting her up) but this was not just harmless flirting... After 5 minutes he pulled out a gun and asked for her purse, watch and jewellery without the valet guys even noticing! They had all assumed he was a (special) friend of hers since they had been speaking. Lesson learnt.

Lesson no. 1 :Don't speak to good looking men.

I was then sent this article last week: Brazil police hunt 'blonde kidnap gang' in Sao Paulo. This band of blondies take it upon themselves to relieve wealthy women of their new purchases, and hold them in their cars while the others go and use their credit cards. Since they are women there is no doubt that they are the credit card owner; a little bit sexist if you ask me, as they've already proved that women can be robbers too, not just men! Apparently one of these women is from Curitiba, married with kids, but comes up to Sao Paulo occasionally for a girly weekend and a spot of crime. I should offer my services too so the group can target all the "Orientals" in town - I mean, it's not fair that blondes get to have all the fun!

Lesson no. 2: Don't speak to pretty blondes.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


I'd like to think I'm adventurous with my food but I only tried my first avocado Brazilian-style dessert last week, and only had my first acerola juice today!

We actually have an acerola tree in our garden and it came into bloom about a month ago. Our empregada made me taste it and they were a little sour. The past week they have just been ripening and falling to the ground and being wasted (being covered in dog poo... not so delicious). So I picked a few yesterday to make into a juice and then a friend came over today and did the job properly by plucking the whole tree. They are really ripe and fragile and look like a cherry but you can crush them easily if handled too roughly.

They have seeds and little twigs but my empregada told me it didn't matter. So I just washed them and threw them in the blender with some orange juice and leftover pineapple. Ugh, all I got was some seed residue! bleugh. It made Sonia, our empregada, laugh as I had done it all wrong. She added a whole lot more water and blended it for minutes rather than seconds, and then strained the juice to collect all the seeds and twigs that I was trying to drink. It is SO delicious  - I think I'm going to have to alternate my juice order with acerola+laranja and my usual favourite, abacaxi-hortela (which I can never pronounce!).

Acerola is a berry that is most commonly found in this part of the world. It has 7 times more Vit C than an orange and is really good for children and babies. Unfortunately Sophie's response was 'yuck, I don't like this' but she says this about everything that comes across her little path in life at the moment. Luckily for Baby Olivia - it's going to be one of the first few flavours of her life!

1. http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/acerola.html
2. http://www.ceplac.gov.br/radar/acerola.htm
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acerola

Food delivery in Sao Paulo

Our oven ran out of gas the other night, and it was a Sunday in Sao Paulo... which means Pizza!

I had been recommended an online delivery website called ifood, so we decided to give it a try. We ordered from Pizzaria Braz which is one of my favourites here. The delivery charge was an extra R7, plus our R54 pizza and it arrived in 40 minutes. 

I would recommend it to people who either dont' know what they want (it gives you options of what is available in your area) and if you are not confident in ordering over the phone in Portuguese - God knows what you end up with!


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Brazilian Portuguese is the Best Language

My head can only fit one language. I already dream and swear in brazilian portuguese (badly, obviously) and forget words in English so thank god I'm already learning Brazilian Portuguese, the 'best language', soon to replace my English!

Read here.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

It's all about CUPCAKES!

Sophie & Theo's Cupcakes will be hosting a table at the INC Fair tomorrow from 10am - 2pm! Come try our new 'strawberry swirl' cupcakes made with real strawberries and covered in smooth cream cheese frosting. We also have our new easter cupcake designs on display!

There are lots of other stores - obviously the food ones are my favourite including the German bread man and the tortilla lady (who's not really from Mexico but I don't care!)

Time: 10h00 - 16h00 
Date: Wednesday, 7th of March 2012 
Location: Espaço Escandinavo 
Rua Job Lane, 1030 - Alto da Boa Vista, São Paulo, 04639-000, Brazil 
+55 11 5521-3356

Monday, 5 March 2012

Dame Death

I'm going off on a tangent away from Brazil here, to give some 'props', as you Americans say, to Kristie West, or 'Dame Death' as I personally know her as. She helps people heal from the grief after losing a parent. Whether it recently happened or awhile ago, it doesn't matter. You can have sessions with her in person, on the phone and of course on my beloved skype.

If you have a minute, take a minute to look at her website - http://kristiewest.com/. She tells her story of losing her Dad 6 years ago and how she dealt with it, and her client testimonials speak for themselves. I'm excited about the work she does even though I don't understand all the ins and outs (yet) but almost every week I talk to someone about the work she does, because let's face it,  it's pretty much a guarantee that our parents are going to die in our lifetime unless you die first yourself. I am already thinking of pre-empting the grief phase and having a session with her now! OK, I'm kidding (Mum and Dad....) I do think that the grief process, even as painful as I know it will be, is an essential part of letting someone go but I take comfort in the fact that I will be able to come out of it, with Dame Death's help of course!