Valentine’s Day 2014!

I know that many people have pretty mixed emotions about Valentine’s Day – as in, most people don’t like it – but in the Harper household we always have a lot to celebrate.

For one, it marks our Brazilversary! Michael and I can’t believe that yesterday we celebrated that 2 years ago we boarded our flight to move here! It’s amazing how time has flown by and crazy to think of all that has happened in these two years. So incredibly thankful.

Secondly, it’s Arizona’s birthday. (No offense Zonies, but this one is actually lower than second on my list.)

Thirdly, House of Cards season 2 is out. This is no small thing.

Finally, it’s a day to celebrate LOVE! and anyone who knows me knows that I love love.

So, this year we had a great time celebrating. It all started on Monday the 10th when my sweet friend down the street, Michelle, had a Valentine’s Day party for the little ones! She had a spread of delicious red, heart-shaped treats, pink sparkling champagne AND a woman there to give mani/pedis on her balcony! Pretty sweet, right?

Getting a pedicure & drinking bubbly with friends & babies!IMG_5699The babies — all just weeks apart!IMG_5700Michelle’s yummy and pretty spread:IMG_5702Colt’s Valentine??IMG_5684

The babies – not loving the pit of balls in the play area. IMG_4751IMG_4755

Then, on Friday (actual VDay), Michael being ever the romantic, planned a fun surprise date-night for us! He came home from work with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and had the babysitter scheduled to arrive at 8pm. IMG_5796I didn’t know where we were going for dinner, but I was ecstatic when we pulled up in front of Mani, one of the top 5 best restaurants in South America, top 50 in the worldIMG_5795

Mani is known for putting a modern, refined twist on traditional Brazilian food, and it was the best culinary experience I’ve had since moving to Brazil. Highly recommend.

Appetizers:IMG_4162“The perfect egg” cooked for 90 minutes at 63 degrees. Seriously amazing.IMG_4163Happy.IMG_4165IMG_4166

XO! ashley

Beach Weekend (& Colt 7 months)

Last Friday, on Culhane’s 7 month birthday, we headed to the beach – Praia da Baleia – to join 12 other friends + 2 more babies for a beach weekend! We had a blast with our friends, but it was also a bit of a wake-up call that our baby boy is in a new stage that makes him a little less “portable.” Culhane’s current schedule is packed with him constantly feeding or eating something – often requiring some type of food preparation and high-chair set-up. It’s generally something like this:

7:30 am – Wake up and nurse
8:30 am – Fresh juice (which he doesn’t really like – so weird)
10:00-12:00 – Nap
12:00 pm – Lunch: Homemade veggie & meat soup (which he LOVES – even weirder)
12:45 pm – Nurse
2:45-3:15 – Nap
3:15 pm – Snack: Fruit
4:00 pm – Nurse
5:15-5:40 – Nap
5:45 pm – Dinner: Homemade veggie & meat soup
7:30 pm – Nurse
8:30-7:30 – Night sleep

(He’s in the midst of transitioning towards just 2 naps (merging the last 2) but that’s still a work in progress.)

Some of our “parent-fail” moments over the weekend included:
**Having to pull over 3 times on the 3 hour drive to the beach either to nurse, feed or just to try to get him to stop crying (little man doesn’t like to be cooped up in a car-seat during his play time!)
**Colt getting 5 mosquito bites upon arriving the first evening
**Trying to take Culhane to the beach Saturday morning and ending up getting sunscreen in his eyes causing quite the sad, swollen situation
**Trying to take Culhane to the beach Saturday afternoon to sit under an umbrella but the heat proved to be too much and it was nothing but tears
**Generally trying to get Colt (and ourselves) to sleep in the HEAT (90s during the day, maybe getting to the 70s at night) with no AC.

All that being said, we did still have a GREAT time with our amazing friends, and we had a TON of fun taking Colt to the beach Saturday evening after the sun had gone down. Here are some pictures from the weekend:
The whole group!P1090364revMichael, Trent and Campbell:IMG_4645 Paige, Mailey, Culhane and me:IMG_4733Colt’s Blue Steel:
IMG_4746 IMG_5677Trent and Mailey:IMG_4735 IMG_4732IMG_4743Coppens Fam:IMG_4689Harpers:
IMG_4742 IMG_4741 IMG_4740 IMG_4737 IMG_4667

PS: Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Up Next: Our Valentine’s Day celebrations!

Back in Brazil!

After a few weeks in the US visiting family, it was nice to return to São Paulo. Although we are enduring the hottest summer in 61 years without AC (although we do have portable units in the bedrooms which allow us to sleep at night!), it has been really fun being back home. Here are a few pictures of some of what we’ve been up to lately!

VIsiting the awesome Little Prince exhibit at our mall:IMG_4082 IMG_5565

Harper family trips to the park:IMG_5346 Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.06.54 AM IMG_5436 IMG_5405 IMG_5426 IMG_5453 IMG_5598

Fun with friends:IMG_5592 photo 3 IMG_5653

Food:IMG_5622 IMG_5621 IMG_5620 IMG_5364

Sweet baby Colt!IMG_5667IMG_5539 IMG_5508 IMG_5462 IMG_5513IMG_5458 IMG_5443 IMG_5375IMG_5548 IMG_5611 IMG_5675 IMG_5673So much to be thankful for!

**Up Next: Beach Weekend!

São Paulo Photo Shoot

So this post is super late, but on December 7th, Culhane’s 5 month birthday, Michael and I met with our super awesome, talented, dear friend Jana to get some pictures for our Christmas card. We took the pictures in “our” park, Parque do Povo, on quite the windy, even misty day, but Jana was still able to capture some great moments. Here are some of my favs!

DSC_5145DSC_5217 DSC_5140 DSC_5284DSC_5334 DSC_5338 DSC_5323DSC_5115DSC_5367DSC_5380DSC_5601 DSC_5564 DSC_5542DSC_5618DSC_5622DSC_5692 DSC_5664