Category Archives: Travel

A Brazilian-Style New Year’s Celebration!

Eating grapes or pomegranates at the stroke of midnight (then keeping the seeds in your wallet) are some of the many New Year’s superstitions followed around the world. They range from the simple to the elaborate and most are diligently followed in hopes of a better year. These superstitions are taken most seriously in Brazil, where I was born. Rio de Janeiro hosts the most spectacular New Year’s party around the globe.

rio2

Superstitious beliefs abound and dressing in white is at the top of the list. Thousands flock to the beaches to render homage to Yemaja, the deity of the Oceans. Little boats filled with white flowers and beads are thrown to the waves where the hopeful stand in white.  Fireworks explode in a myriad of colors and shapes. Throughout the city, parties abound and the bubbly corks explode in the air while all shades of white populate the landscape.

Reveillon_Rio_de_Janeiro

A Brazilian-style New Year’s party might be the perfect theme for you this year. After all the hurdles of years past, we are more than ready for a blessed and fruitful 2014. Why not try to help out the planets?

Ask your guests to dress in white. It is a must. As far as the underwear goes, there are some rules as well: white for peace, red for love and yellow for prosperity.

buffet

The table is usually a buffet decorated with white flowers and lots of bling.  Champagne should be at hand for the midnight toast. Green grapes are on the top of the grocery list, followed by lentils and pomegranates. The menu should contain foods that can be served at room temperature. This is not a time to be in the kitchen.

My perfect supper would be a delicious ham (I have heard that Martha Stewart has a great recipe for ham with pear and cranberries on her site), a lentil salad, a pomegranate salad and many bowls of green grapes. No heavy desserts. Buy assorted chocolate bites, like truffles, that pair beautifully with champagne.

Lentil Grape Salad

A couple years ago I took this Lentil Salad to a friend’s home and it was a hit:

For 4 servings

2 cups of dried green French lentils (lentils de Puy)

Cook the lentils in low sodium vegetable or chicken broth with salt and pepper and  2 bay leaves. Be careful not to overcook them. Drain pour over the dressing while they are still hot.

Also add:  golden raisins soaked in rum, candied pecans or chopped walnuts and green scallions

I also love to add some cubed roasted beets which you can substitute for halved grapes

Dressing:

Sweet curry powder ( I usually buy it at Penzey’s spices)

Rice vinegar

Maple syrup(make sure you get the real deal)

Mustard

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

cauliflower pomegranate salad

Cauliflower and Pomegranate salad:

For 4 people

Roast one head of cauliflower with olive oil and salt and pepper in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until soft, but not mushy.

Prepare a dressing using Tahini, lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Dress the cauliflower while hot and sprinkle some pomegranate over it.

alyssa_collection_1_1

You toasted the New Year with a flute of bubbly, ate the grapes and the lentils, the pomegranate seeds are already inside your wallet and now it is bedtime – white pajamas and crisp white linens should be waiting for you. Light a nice scented candle and think good thoughts before lights out. Happy 2014!

Now that you have done all of it and your next year will be fantastic, make sure to call your travel agent and book your next New Year’s in Rio to see in person what it is all about!

~Patricia de Niemeyer Kahane~

Up, Up, and Away

Now is as good a time as any to encourage your little one to explore all the beauties that this world has to offer, to encourage them that they can be anything they want to be. Our “Little Explorer” design is the perfect way to inspire your child to take adventures even if only in their imaginations.

With an actual world map on a few pieces from our Hermes Bedding Collection, your child can take a trip while relaxing and learning at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to get two things done at once?! Encourage your tot to take-off on an adventure with our explorer inspiration below!

Little Explorer OS

1234567

Destination Vacation: Escape to the perfect family getaway!

While winter’s chill lingers in the air, you can still add a spring to your step with an exotic island excursion. Whether it’s spring break with the whole family or a romantic getaway from the everyday, these dreamy destinations will inspire you to live life out loud.

Mark Twain once said, “”Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Heed Twain’s advice and don’t let too much time pass before you take a peek at travel enthusiast and avid blogger Jordan Rozum’s top picks for a great getaway.

1. Mustique Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Image Source: Paradise-Islands.org

The many islands of the Caribbean offer such a wide variety of wildlife, terrain, atmospheres and prices, it’s a daunting task to narrow in on just one island to visit. From the vast rainforests of Puerto Rico to the migrating whale sharks in Utila and the pulsing nightlife of Cancun, the Caribbean offers it all. One of my favorite dream destinations has always been Mustique. It’s a private island, technically part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, owned by the aptly-named Mustique Company. There are scheduled flights to several nearby islands as well as many operators that provide private charters. The island’s main draw is its beaches and its privacy, both of which have drawn celebrities and royalty from around the world. In fact, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently visited in January. Mustique also boasts some of the most gorgeous beaches in the region, like Macaroni Beach. The kids won’t be disappointed either with an equestrian center complete with pony camp, a tennis club and family-friendly films screened under the stars.

There are many villas and houses on the island varying in size; one of the most impressive is named Gingerbread. It’s a private six-bedroom home with an open floor plan perfect for enjoying the sea and its gentle breeze. The house comes complete with two private pools, a private vehicle, the most modern amenities and complete privacy.

http://www.mustique-island.com/villa/gingerbread/index.html

2. Mauritius

Image Source: mauritiusattractions.com

My second destination takes us halfway around the planet from Mustique to the Indian Ocean. No, it’s not that more well-known island nation starting with an “M” in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius is located east of Madagascar and south of the Seychelles; it’s remoteness makes it a bit more difficult to reach but that much more intriguing. Flights are available from several major European and Asian air hubs (like London, Paris, Dubai or Hong Kong) as well as many major cities on the African continent (Johannesburg, Nairobi). Mauritius was originally settled by the French and it’s quite evident in the island’s unique cultural identity. (While the official language of the island is English, French remains the de facto language.) The island is surrounded by calm, temperate waters that make exploration of the thriving coral reefs a must-do. When taking a break from water activities, hiking and enjoying the island’s dramatic landscapes and local flora will leave you breathless!

Unlike Mustique, there is a wide range of accommodation available on the island. Backpackers can find budget options, while those looking for a more serene getaway can escape to places like The Oberoi where you can enjoy a sea-view villa complete with a private pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_mauritius/index.asp

3. Koh Samui, Thailand

Image Source: FourSeasons.com

From the coast of Africa we travel next to the Gulf of Thailand, a region that has attracted travelers seeking fun in the sun for years. Koh Samui is the more well-behaved older brother of party-haven Koh Phangan, though good times still abound. Reaching Koh Samui requires travel through Bangkok or Singapore (the local airport has flights daily to both cities). Once on the island, be sure to explore the island’s vast rainforests and beaches, either by foot or by elephant. An easy way to do this is by arranging transport with a local tour provider to Ang Thong National Marine Park where the native fish and monkeys welcome visiting tourists. Afterwards, reward your body with a Thai massage at any of the island’s numerous spas.

While camping in the marine park is an option for the adventurous, The Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui provides accommodation that is a bit less rustic. Its villas carefully balance luxury with the natural beauty of the island – so you don’t feel quite as guilty sneaking in some time on your iPad while visiting one of the most stunning places in the world. The resort’s “Kids For All Seasons” program offers ample kid-friendly fun from coconut painting and seashell collecting to traditional Thai games and cooking classes.

http://www.fourseasons.com/kohsamui/

For more of Jordan’s amazing advice, anecdotes and adventures, check out his blog: http://noshirtnoshoesnoac.wordpress.com/

Have a travel story you’d like to share or a dream destination to add to our list? Let us know!

Taking a babymoon, how to honeymoon before baby comes.

You may be asking yourself, what is a “babymoon” and how do I get one? A babymoon is a vacation for the expectant parents to take alone together before baby comes. It’s meant to give them some time to sit back and relax and enjoy some peace and quite, before peace and quite is a thing of the past! I jumped at the chance when I first discovered this exciting opportunity to peel my husband away from work and put all of our priorities on hold, to decompress and relax in a nice weekend getaway. We took our babymoon this past weekend, to Savannah Georgia from Richmond VA. And while I’m no expert on this topic, I do feel I have some insight to share on the babymoon experience.

First things first, select a date and stick to it. We chose this past weekend because it was President’s day and we had a three day weekend. However as the time approached we both got anxious about all the balls we were juggling and if we needed to reschedule it for a future weekend. We ended up letting all the balls stay in the air and making it work for us. But it was something we tossed around back and forth until I booked the non-refundable hotel fee and there was no turning back. Besides the convenience of a three-day weekend, there are some other factors that need to be considered about when is the best time to travel. For instance, I didn’t realize that in my 28th week of pregnancy edging on the third trimester, I would be back to that exhausted state of my pregnancy (aka Zombie status), where I would need at least two naps a day, and even if I am resting, I may not actually be able to fall asleep. It was especially exhausting because I get so giddy and anxious about traveling that I cannot sleep even without the pregnancy sleep issues! Besides the lack of sleep, I’m also carrying a lot more weight, than I was even a couple weeks ago. This led to lots of sore body parts and many stops on the beautiful park benches in Savannah (which is not necessarily a bad thing!). According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the safest time for a pregnant woman to travel is between 18-24 weeks. If I could do it over again, I would definitely encourage staying within those time frames.


Savannah, Georgia; caped with canopied trees and beauty

Second learning experience, keep your ambitions to a minimum. I was so eager to visit all of the places I had researched that I wanted to knock out as many as I could and walked many miles, overextending myself on the first day of our trip. I didn’t listen to my body, and didn’t drink enough water or take enough breaks. When we finally arrived back to our hotel, I crawled in bed feeling crippled and sore, and to my demise that lasted the rest of the trip! The second day of the trip, we chose to use the trolley tour guides and let them provide the entertainment and travel for us. I wish we had done this the first day, as they would have familiarized us with the area, and kept my tired feet from being even more tired than they needed to be. Pace it out, listen to your body and try to relax (after all isn’t that the point?).

Third, travel somewhere close. It might not be as exciting or exotic, but it will make all the difference! We took a 7 hour road trip for our trip, and I think that was a bit much. It actually was about an 8-9 hour trip with all the extra bathroom breaks that were needed! And sitting for more than 2 hours at a time can lead to leg cramps and reduced circulation. I’d say a 3-5 hour trip would be much more realistic and comfortable for the expectant Momma’s.


Me and the Mr. on our Babymoon

My final suggestion, spend some quality time with your spouse. This was the most beneficial part of the trip, and when I look back 20 years from now, I hope it’s what I remember most about the babymoon. I lucked into not booking a room with wifi and had terrible cell service, so instead of focusing on what we were missing at home, we focused on each other. We read baby books, and rented a movie. We had some good conversation in the car and talked about our present and our future. It was just the dose of medicine I needed to tackle the third trimester, and I’m so glad we were able to fit it in.

Do you have any advice for a babymoon? I’d love to hear about your trip or your words of wisdom!

Thanks for reading,

Let it Stroll, Baby, Stroll

Flyer by Bumbleride in VitaAs a purveyor of all things pint-sized and posh, we are constantly surveying the parents we pass to gain some perspective into our products.  Hey, we love ALL of our products, but we can’t have everything.  So, we pick and choose our faves.  What’s interesting is seeing what faves are picked elsewhere.

This time of  year, our sights are set on the stroller.  Christmas shopping of its own accord is close to a nightmare, but add a kid or two and all their accoutrements and, well, you better hope your kid gear and gadgets are still holding up.

Navigating holiday crowds is hard enough, but add a bulky stroller and it’s madness.  When my children were babies (there I go again, sounding just like my grandmother always did), I had a double tandem stroller that was huge and bulky and heavy.  I had to push it bent at a 90-degree angle to gain the power necessary to make it move.

Times have changed.  Strollers now pivot and swivel and collapse and expand…very space-age considering what I had to deal with.  I vaguely remember standing on the non-collapsing stroller in the parking lot, trying in vain to get it to fold.  ALL.  THE.  WAY.  DOWN.

Strollers today give the city slicker (or suburban mall mom) sleek maneuverability.  We likey. Very, very much.

Baby Jogger City Mini Single Strollers

Expecting a baby?  Check out our whole collection.  There’s something for the city slicker or mall mom in all of us.

A New Season of Petunias

Petunia Pickle BottomPickle Bottom, that is.  Petunia Pickle Bottom has launched it’s Fall 2010 collection and it’s (as usual) delicious.  I’ve been a fan of theirs since my wee ones were still wee.  The hands-free backpack bags are ingenious, especially when you have other tots in tow.  And I dig the Touring Totes for their non-diaper-bag look.  After 8 years of diaper bags, I was ready for something with a more sophisticated vibe.

Fall’s fabrics are yummy, with a nod to goldenrod, gray and brown.  Many of the patterns have a vintage feel to me, and that I like.  My favorite is the Heirloom.  Delicious!  And these little guys truly render you “hands-free.”

Check out the latest collection, available on PoshTots.

What’s your favorite?

Festivals, Foliage, Fun

© Photos by DashOutside of summer vacation or spring break, is there a better time of the year to spend with the fam?  I mean, seriously, between the pumpkin patches and apple orchards and hay rides…not to mention perfect weather for exploring history, or even spending the day at an amusement park.  We heart fall family fun!

The fact that Halloween is thrown into the mix is nothing but a sweet bonus.  After the craziness of back-to-school, I’m ready for a break in the weather and a break in routine.  I’m setting off with my chickens in search of fall fun.

When.com and FamilyFun.com are great resources for finding fall festivals and happenings around the country.  Prepared to be scared?  Check out ghost walks, like this one.  A quick trip onto Google will net you a slew of family-oriented activities and getaways.

Have an idea for family time?  Or a fall getaway?  Do share!

Bermuda Babies

Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Just ask PoshTots design consultant extraordinaire, Lucy Roberts.

Greetings from BermudaLucky Lucy just returned from a well-deserved vacation in Bermuda (jealous).  Lucy, a preppy kind of gal (think pink madras and Bermuda bags), felt right at home amongst the colorful coastal cottages splashed with shades of pink, coral, turquoise, lime.  Bright, beautiful, beachy, happy colors.  The kind of colors that would be perfect for a child’s space.

Inspiration that Lucy is happy to share in one-on-one consultations with her customers.

Lucy and Mags – not in Bermuda
Lucy and her dog Mags
Lucy says, “I enjoy getting to know my customers during the exciting time of nursery planning.  I want them to feel like they know exactly what they are getting even though they are not walking into a store and touching/feeling the products.  I prefer to send samples before they decide on a custom order so that they have a little piece of what’s coming!  I never want my customers to feel rushed into making a purchase and to take as long as they need to make a purchase that they feel good about.  And I love the creative process and being able to make suggestions based on my experiences helping other moms decorate their children’s rooms.”

Lucy’s just one of a talented crew of design consultants on staff.  Need some design inspiration?  She’s always happy to share!  1-866-POSHTOT