Tuesday, September 30, 2008


About a month ago we started shopping for our Halloween costumes. Nuno and I go all out for Halloween and we quite often go together as a theme (this also includes our pug, Hot Tot). We have tons of fun with it. I'd love to spill the beans on our costumes, but I think I'll hold back until the day.
While shopping at thrift stores for costume pieces I've stumbled upon some amazing deals!
Like these shoes - Steve Madden's hardly worn (b/c the label on the soul was in pristine condition). OK, shoes, I know, kinda gross to pick up used, but between the spray Lysol and Lysol wipes, I feel pretty good that they were alright to wear. I all but stopped shopping at thrift stores past the 90's, but I'm now going nuts finding great items.

This month's Martha Stewart Living is the Halloween issue. Every year her Halloween issue is my favourite. Her ideas are just killer, this issue is no exception. As well, this month's issue of Everyday Food is probably the best they've ever produced. I swear they have a window into our kitchen as we have so many favourite recipes from Everyday Food's back issues. Basically, our favourite recipes have been reinvented into new and delicious ideas. She has the most creative and inspired people working for her, regardless if your a fan or not, you have to admire her crew.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Christina & Emanuel's Wedding

We attended Christina & Emanuel's wedding this past Saturday. It was a slightly drizzly and overcast day, and I only note this because Christina can't stand the heat and humidity - so the weather on her day was perfect!

This was my favourite moment of the entire day. Ever since he was young, Emanuel sang in the St. Micheal's choir (the Catholic mass that you see televised on Canadian television). After signing the register the St. Micheal's men's choir sang. It was beautiful and gave us all chills.

The wedding was full Portuguese - the first in a very long time. You know what that means? A Midnight Seafood Buffet! If you haven't experienced this type of wedding - I'll explain to you. After having a dinner of soup, salad, fish, chicken, beef and dessert - rows of tables are placed out at midnight with piles of lobsters, crabs, shrimp, codfish croquettes, mussles, suckling pig, pasteries, desserts, cakes - and of course, wedding cake. It's over the top.

Christina and Emanuel have been together as long as Nuno and I, just short of ten years. Emanuel and I were the staples at every family function for a long time now. Man, Christina & Emanuel are one of those marriages that everyone's been waiting so long to see. They are so happy and perfect for each other.

Friday, September 26, 2008

so sweet

Yesterday Katie asked Tot if she takes classes in sweetness.

Our little Tot is so nice, she's helping to inspire a children's book about pugs.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Steve Perry Pereira

Imagine our excitement this weekend when Marcie's step father told us that former lead vocalist for Journey, Steven Perry's, birth name was Steven Pereira with a family originally from the Azores.
How perfect to be with the family for the great reveal - right in the peak of my love for Journey. Nuno & Miguel were getting razzed by all of us asking for some sample vocal stylings, but with no pay off. I might just have to invest in a pair of crotch tight jeans for Nuno.

Oh! It looks like Steve Perry & Nuno Bettencourt have been jamming together. If they were ever to release anything I think Nuno should do the album artwork.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nuno's been working on an illustration for the Film Junk site. Now that it's done I wanted to share it. It will be used for their podcasts and some T-shirts will also be available using this design. I love the way it turned out and it was really neat to stop in and see all the faces emerge over the past few days.
While Nuno was working he had iTunes on shuffle and we both kinda rediscovered Built To Spill. They had three albums that meant a lot to me at the end of high school and into college, There's Nothing Wrong With Love, Perfect From Now On and Keep It Like a Secret.

Monday, September 22, 2008

grand bend weekend

I sometimes feel like I could gush about being born into the fantastic family I have, but I have to also add that I married into the most amazing family as well.

Nuno and I were invited to spend the weekend in Grand Bend at my sister-in-law's family cottage. I have to giggle when you hear 'cottage' these days - then you arrive to a gorgeous home nicer than your own. So we spent the weekend with the entire Pereira clan. That meant an entire weekend with the sweetest little boy of all time, my nephew, Ronan. This guy is so adorable I can't bring myself to have the next child in the family knowing it will be compared to the most perfect little guy Ronan - hehe.
Each of Nuno's siblings families took care of a meal, which meant we were given the task of supplying the Sunday breakfast. We bought fresh nectarines, peaches, raspberries and strawberries from a local Niagara stand & brought our 2 waffle irons to make waffles with whipped cream. I also couldn't help but bring some baking - Anna Olson's 'Smores Squares which were everyone's guilty pleasure.

This past weekend's weather was so crazy sunny and warm - not seasonal, especially taking into account the sort of weather we have experienced from this summer's weekends. So, I think that may have heightened our enjoyment. We spend the weekend walking, bike riding, laying on the beach, eating extraordinary meals, drinking rare beers courtesy of Miguel and, of course, enjoying each other's company. The cottage had a Nintendo Wii with Wii Fit, which I immediately became addicted to and unlocked all kinds of new stuff. I'm tempted to buy one - but must curb... the urge...
The only damper on the weekend was when my thoughts turned to my dad. He's in pain after his surgery and when I went to visit Friday I felt so sorry for him. I felt guilty having so much fun while he was in so much pain.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Run for the Cure

I've been saying that I wasn't going to do CIBC's Run for the Cure again this year. The reason is because I didn't want to go alone again and I didn't want to disappoint myself if I didn't raise as much money as last year. Then, today I thought - why not just get a group together? I hope Hot Tot and Nuno will join me - and anyone else? It'll be cool, we can make up a name for our gang. I'll ask my mom to hang out at Madame Curie Park and hand us water as we walk down the Welland Canal Parkway. It'll be lots of fun for a great cause.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

pear spice bunt

I have to keep this quick because I'm on my way to visit my dad after his surgery. I'm a little nervous because I'm not good with hospitals and seeing the ones I love in pain. But I'm almost 30 and these things are part of life - I gotta meet them head on and strong.

For our last Sunday dinner I made this cake for my family. It is my first ever bunt cake - Pear Spice with Cream Cheese Icing. My dad liked it, so that makes me happy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

mighty mistake

We went to Mighty Taco last night and they have a brand new item on the menu, the Buffito. "Buf-Mex at its Best!" The idea behind it is a buffalo chicken wing flavour with bleu cheese dressing wrapped in a flour tortilla. We decided to give it a go and it was truly horrible. There was no spice or heat and the bleu cheese dressing was WAY overwhelming (I am admittedly not a fan of bleu cheese dressing). It just doesn't work.
But the MT setting made up for it. On the radio we enjoyed easy listening 70's and out the window we dined over a view of K-Mart. See the green hill behind K-Mart - it's the dump.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Honey Marsala Pears with Gorgonzola

My first attempt at baking away the pear onslaught was this Honey Marsala Pears with Gorgonzola. I found it in my Nigella Express cookbook, here's the link.

The great thing about this recipe is it doesn't use any refined white sugar, so Nuno could enjoy it. All of the natural sweetness (besides the pears) is from honey, so I got the chance to use Karissa & Kevin's honey wedding favour. I bought the cheese at Olson's on Ravine - very pricey but was so amazing! Since I have a freezer full of pecans, I used them instead of the walnuts the recipe calls for.
We had it as a cheese course for Sunday night dinner with my parents. This probably sounds totally shi-shi, but we sometimes do food and wine pairings with Sunday dinner - only because Katie's at Inniskillin and has the know how. So we paired it with Riesling which was perfect! Looking at all the ingredients, it seems like a strange mix, but together - it's a very surprising and unexpected flavour. Really delicious!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

perfect pear

Our neighbours are all retired and completely adorable! There is something about having older neighbours that makes you feel very safe as they are always on the look-out for you.
Henry and Flavia across the street coaxed Nuno over for a visit and when he returned he had 20 lbs of pears! I mean, really, what will two people do with this many pears?
So I'm making this a bit of a personal challenge of finding every possible way of baking up these pears.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

you tube gold

I have so many VHS tapes of music videos I obsessively recorded throughout my teenage years from the Wedge & City Limits. I can't imagine these videos in particular were aired more than once on Much Music. You Tube pretty much eliminates the need to spend hours fast forwarding these tapes from beginning to end. These were a couple of my favourites at the time - and they are still great.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

maybe I shouldn't admit to this but...

There's this shabby Vietnamese restaurant Nuno and I enjoy. The service isn't friendly but the food is just delicious. Last visit I found this posted on the wall of the bathroom.

After going home I decided to make this replacement poster which we hung in the mens and ladies washrooms tonight.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The series premier of Beverly Hills 90210 was on last night

... and I loved it!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

labour day party

Last night was a bar-b-que
& bonfire at our friends Karissa & Kevin's place. Nuno and I brought along this broccoli salad I saw on Anna Olson's show 'Fresh'. What do you know but Jaya brought a variation of the exact same salad! But you can never have too much of a good thing.

Looking back I think I should add that although this was a bbq
& bonfire, it was also a dessert party. There were two different delicious cakes. Karissa made a spiced bunt with a fragrant apple compote and Katie made a rich (which I wouldn't normally use to describe a cake - but for this - it was appropriate) strawberry cake.
I don't know, but this summer feels like it's going out with a bang with this killer weather. Nuno and I are going to try and get the last little bit out of it by picnicking tonight. We deserve it after a grueling day of car cleaning and back breaking weed pulling.

the retaining wall

I must admit, I've spent next to no time in the garden this year. I planted only a couple perennials up front and allowed all our annuals to spring up. The garden really just grows and then overgrows. The lack of inspiration stems from the 'retaining wall'. When we bought our home the previous owners had timbers lining the driveway. Because they weren't treated, they didn't weather well. Then one day, one of Hot Tot's doggie friends came over and chewed up an entire piece of wood. It was so unsightly that we just tore up all the wood and had it hauled away.
Fast forward one year later and still nothing has been done. That is until now. We've hooked ourselves up with a guy who is not only putting up a brick retaining wall, but will create a really nice pathway up to our front door step! He's going to be doing a lot of work to help with a drainage issue we had in one garden by digging a trench to the sewer - it's really going to be a big job which I am so pleased about.

I just can't believe this is happening - having something done on the outside of our home to help reflect how beautiful our home is inside. I've been admiring these brick walls on other homes and now we get to have our own. It really makes homes look so finished and cared for. I can't wait to share the end result later this month.