Friday, March 31, 2017

Brazilian Coconut Rice Recipe

I love finding old posts to share with you and I wrote this one for our Brazilian Coconut Rice Recipe almost 8 years ago. This is still a weekly staple at our home and even young Bella loves it. Oh Brazil how I miss you...enjoy.
In preparation for our trip to Brazil last year, we started to try to make AND eat as much Brazilian
food as possible. We found one amazing Bossa Nova Brazilian restaurant in San Francisco that played live music and had tapas. Their Classic Calpirinhas and the nut crusted goat cheese still makes my mouth water. I fell in love with the coconut rice and wanted to make it at home.

This coconut rice recipe has become a fast favorite side dish. When I make it in San Francisco for friends, they ask me if it was a side dish or dessert. Now that's a compliment!

1 tablespoon butter 
1 teaspoon brown sugar 
2 teaspoon of kosher salt 
2 cups jasmine rice, washed and drained well 
1 can of coconut milk 2 cups water 
1/2 a cup of chicken broth (hint: this gives the rice a wonderful flavor) 
*1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS: First drain jasmine rice in a strainer for 15 minutes. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add brown sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Then turn heat to high, add rice and stir until all grains coated evenly. Add coconut milk, chicken broth and water. Stir occasionally to prevent grains from sticking to bottom. When boiling, immediately cover with tight fitting lid, turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. (Remember to stir the rice occasionally or it will stick to the bottom.)

Remove saucepan from heat, but do not open lid. Let sit for 10 minutes. If you want to add coconut flakes while the rice is cooking, now toast them on a dry skillet over medium high heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Remove the flakes from the skillet as soon as coconut is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Put flakes over the rice. Coconut rice can be served with so many things. Such as chicken, steak, with pineapple or with a side of shrimp.

Maybe you can try this great and yummy recipe this weekend. Would you like our Brazilian shrimp recipe next?  Comment here if you’d like to swap recipes.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bella Link Back Roundup!

Happy Wednesday and Link Back Roundup! Let's have some fun and check out these beautiful blogs/sites and see what others are writing. I love getting inspiration from other beautiful posts. Such as these:

Four fun things by A Cup of Jo

Book of the Month…Stay where you are and go everywhere.
Where have you been all of my life Book of the Month club? What an amazing idea!

Please hold as I book my ticket to London just to see this coffee shop...of course see my family and go to Marks & Spencer.

My fav was the Dior Vernis Nail Polish in Sudden, at

Peanut Butter SwirledBrownies by smitten kitchen
Oh Oh Oh! Please go right now to smell this posts deliciousness.

Giant Moon Backdrop DIY by oh happy day!
Beautiful DIY ideas and creations.

Hi San Francisco neighbor…

Minnie Driver’s CottageCozy Ranch Oasis by the simply luxurious life
So cozy, so inviting and Minnie has a blue door.

Come back and tell me Bella, if you have a favorite link.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bella Dinner Party Ideas

I am a social butterfly, who loves to entertain and having guests over for dinner parties. Dinner parties can be warm, lovely new memories made, sample new kinds of wine and I don't have to drive far. So lovely, go light some candles, dust off the "good"plates and let's create some dinner party ideas.

Dinner Party planning central...forks and knives up and ready.

This dinner party idea was created on the UCLA campus and filled with ice breakers, networking and California views. Dinner for 12 Strangers | Huffington Post.

Dinner party themes can be a lot of fun. I love the library/book theme, Taco Tuesday, outdoor wine and pizza bar, game night, Japanese decor tablescape, boho-chic, tea party and Mojito & cigars.

How do I get invited to this gentleman's appetizer party?

Yes, yes, yes... let's plan a Bohemian backyard party. Remove all shoes please!

Please pass the hummus, pita chips, veggie's & dip, wine, bruschetta, gulp, I think I'm hungry.

Here's a cute example of fun party favors. Loot bags have changed so much!

So what have we learned? Your guests will not remember if your house was cleaned from top to bottom, but will remember your dinner party warmth. What menu is your dinner party going to have, Bella? And will you be wearing your apron when your guests arrive?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, March 24, 2017

French Madeleine Recipe

Have you noticed that French Madeleines are popping up everywhere? You can get them at coffee shops, supermarkets and at children's birthday parties. Not really...maybe just at San Francisco ones. Recently, young Bella was invited to a preschool buddies house for a Madeleine cooking party. I'm sure your asking yourself, that seems a lot for 3 & 4 years olds to make? But, her French Daddy was lovely, had the children put on paper chef hats and taught all of us his French secrets. Can I share them you?

There are many kinds of Madeleines, but below is my favorite recipe. (I usually add half of the lemon zest.) You an also make olive oil & sea salt,  jasmine tea, peanut butter, lemon shell, one side dipped in chocolate, orange zest and with a raspberry center.

Recipe makes 20 French Madeleines:

3/4 cup butter
1 2/3 cup wheat flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp of vanilla bean (or extract) 
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
zest 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of powered sugar

First,  preheat your oven to 425F. Next melt the butter - let it cool on the side. Spray cooking spray on the madeleine pan *the trick here is to butter and flour each tray so the Madeleines puff up and brown nicely. Using an electric mixer stiff the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, eggs and sugar. Now add the flour mix to the wet ingredient bowl,  add the melted butter and finally the lemon zest. 

Breathe your creation in deeply!

Quickly reduce oven heat to 400F and bake your deliciousness for 7-9 minutes. Cool madeleines on a wire rack. Once they've cooled sprinkle them with powered sugar.

Try to eat all of them within 3 days. I find that they lose their freshness if kept any longer, but I know you can complete this problem. So let's go make a cup of tea while our Madeleine's are cooling. Ah, you've worked so hard today Bella. Do you have a favorite kind of French Madeleine's? 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ah Spring Must be in the Air!

Can you feel Spring in the Air? Was there an extra spring in your step this weekend? Oh I hope so. Last Friday in San Francisco, our weather welcomed in Spring. I left my jacket at home and dare I say out loud, changed my boots to ballet shoes. It was lovely and warmer and all I wanted to do was walk through the city. "It's nice to wake up to birds tweeting instead of the President tweeting." Jimmy Fallon

Pinterest popstreetkidz trends 2016.

Get ready for shedding some layers by eating one of these Spring Quinoa bowls.

Tobias Sørensen Goes Retro for Siviglia Spring/Summer 2013 Campaign.

SLUGS Fleece Rain Boot liners with Watercolor Cuff. 

I have always been a sucker for Cadbury Easter Creme eggs. As soon as I see them in the store I know Spring is right around the corner.

Check out Sprinkles on Sunday's gorgeous blog!

Spring fever equals spring cleaning. She looks like she's having so much fun with all her pink. NowI feel the bug to clean. Watch out! Ah Spring must be in air! Which season do you love the most and how much do you love cherry blossoms?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Disney Ruined it for Everyone!

My bedtime story would usually end…and then the prince reached out his hand, helped the princess onto the horse and they would ride off into the sunset. I can’t remember my bedtime story ever ending with…and then my prince reached for the remote, turned on the ESPN channel and he stayed sitting on the couch... for hours. In this day and age, isn’t this ending more realistic?
I recently met someone at a cafe for a networking meeting. We both had a friend in common and he felt we could help each other in business. We connected over coffee and after a half an hour of chatting about work, our conversation turned personal and we compared notes on relationships, men and women, marriage and families. One of his comments has still stayed with me.

He said, “Disney ruined how women date and look for their mates. Women are still waiting for their prince on the white horse who can’t seem to find them.”

(photo from the movie Prince of Persia)

Shouldn't we be taught that relationships can be rewarding and difficult all at the same time? When I was a little girl, it never occurred to me that my Disney prince could have faults. If I wanted to be with someone exactly like me, then I should have just dated myself!

Disney teaches a fairytale image to little girls. Women tend to be focused on the magical wedding day and not as much on the marriage. It usually takes maturity and getting your heart broken, to learn that faults in a person can be a good thing. I believe there's a problem when you don't love that person, warts and all.

In college, I was given the best dating advice: ask yourself if you would leave your new puppy with your guy for the weekend. If you say no, ask yourself why you’re leaving the little girl in you, with him. Leave comment and let me know if you agree. Did Disney ruin it for everyone?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Face It: Growing Old Gracefully

Watching the Today Show is one of my every day morning rituals. I was getting ready for my day,
sitting in front of my makeup mirror, when I saw the segment about the book Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change. I put down my mascara wand and was glued to the T.V. Two former models wrote this book about what beauty means to women of all ages. They discussed their thoughts on how society doesn't teach us about beauty with growing older. How do we grow older gracefully if we never discuss this?

Growing older as a woman is a much needed topic. I believe that acceptance of where you are in life is key.

And then one of the authors talked about her modeling days. She was only fifteen when she started to feel like she was aging. She was on a photo shoot with another model who was only two years older then her. After the pictures were taken another model came over to give some advice. Something about how she only had a few good years left and enjoy it while it lasted.

The model was aging at the ripe age of fifteen!

I identify with these two quotes from the book. It's almost as if the authors are speaking directly to me.
"Take back that power and you will feel more beautiful. Our culture has given beauty power over women. We are told who and what is beautiful. We know that youth is beautiful. Most people see babies as beautiful. But grandmothers can be beautiful as well. Some of the most beautiful women in the world are those who smile, engage and appear happy at any age. If you take back the power of what makes you feel attractive, you will become more attractive to yourself and others."

"Put your beauty in your identity, not your identity in your beauty. Your identity is made up of many aspects of yourself"

We don't often hear that our identity is made up of many different aspects and until we grow older. It's then that we realize we had a lot tied up in our looks. 

I finished watching the Today Show and felt torn. I wondered if I should continue to put my mascara on after being re-taught this lesson or stop what I was doing. I decided to continue because I know how I feel about beauty and what I want to teach others. Can I get a hall pass since I sat down and wrote this post about Face It! What are some of your thoughts about growing older gracefully?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Day In The Life...

How do you appreciate every day? Well, taking a stunning ferry ride into San Francisco can help. Today, it was the battle of the brunettes vs. the blondes as our friends joined our adventure. My apologies East Coast as we've heard what weather you are about to go through. Unfortunately, this is how our week has been looking lovelies...

Riding a ferry into the Port of San Francisco to spend time at the ferry building has to be one of my most favorite things to do in San Francisco.

Ahoy Matey...our chariot awaits!

Being on the ferry is magical in all kinds of weather. Sometimes the Spring sun is bouncing off the water or the sun sets over the Bay to reveal pink skies or you can watch the fog rolling over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Not even a cloud in the sky! Sorry if I'm rubbing it in.

Hi Golden Gate Bridge and can you imagine the view that boat has?

Here's young Bella soaking in the beauty of the ride/day. Her favorite things to do at the ferry building are the Book Passage Store, get a cup cake from Miette Patisserie and pick up some cheese from Cowgirl Sidekick. Oh, what a life! Have you ever been on a ferry lovely?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Calling All Retro Fashionistas for Style Inspiration

I got my retro children's bella fashion inspiration from the lovely Couture Carrie. If you haven't seen her blog it's always filled with beauty, photography and we've been blogging friends for years :) If only I could dress young bella in dots, stripes, black & white with red accents every day. Tell me Bella... which is your favorite pic?
Girl Dress Brand New 2016 Fashion Europ Retro Print Princess Baby Girls 
Rockabilly Pinup Kids on Pinterest
Mod 1960's Style Retro Lauren black and white by faithworks4u
Retro Pinterest Toddler Fashion
Arch & Line TOKYO/ Arches, Tokyo and Children Style
Vintage Kids Clothes on Pinterest
Kira Kids.: Organic baby and Kids Clothes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, March 10, 2017

Is Canada the New American Dream?

I am often asked what it was like growing up and being from Canada? Most of my American friends are curious about how friendly Canadians are, want to know if the school system is the same (yes) and how paying higher taxes are put towards everyone’s health care? But my favorite question has to be… did I know Drake?

Believe it or not… yes he did live near, but sadly my singing career hasn’t taken off in the same way.
You can usually tell the difference between our countries by the Canadian smiling and apologizing and knowing about ketchup chips & smarties. The sarcastic humor, proud to learn French & ice skating to school.

But how does Canada view America now? Canada, our cold friend, seems to be happy to put their arms around our shoulders, but not fully committing to being our parent.

As we changed Presidents a lot of American citizens crashed the Canadian Immigration website, but maybe Canada is on to something with a happier, but much much colder way of life. All I know is the second I get onto an Air Canada plane the apologizing and kindess comes flying down the aisle.

Has Canada taken over the American Dream? Last weekend I saw this segment on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and overall Canada does sound like they are doing pretty well. Higher percentage of college degrees, higher rate of life expectancy and the sixth happiest place in the world.

Have you ever asked yourself what would our society be like without citizens going bankrupt due to health care and education costs? That’s basically how to have a caring country that watches out for one another. J’adore California and the stunning beauty of the Bay Area. We are nestled in magical views, gorgeous backdrops and nearby wine country, but what would it be like if we married the two countries? Do you think Canada is the new American Dream?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...