Tag Archives: vacation

An artisanal ice cream boutique

This week my friend Texas and I took our little cowboys with us on our weekly exploration of Miami (weekly exploration described here).

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We took in a little Cuban culture and visited Azucar Ice Cream Company on the “main street” (8th Street) in Little Havana, less than 10 minutes from my  house.

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Azucar is an artisanal ice cream and sorbet boutique.  Normally I would not indulge an ice cream parlor by repeating their marketing material’s fluffy words, but the creator of Azucar went to Penn State’s Ice Cream University and has her  abuela’s (grandmother’s) passion for creating tropical ice cream flavors “tattooed on her soul”, y’all. These Latino sabores are for real!

The Cafe Con Leche (coffee and Oreo) was to die for and the Elvis(peanut butter and banana) looked fabulous too. My little niños did not venture too far from chocolate and vanilla and honestly, I think both flavors could have received a gold medal for best in their class they were both just perfect (oh the fruity sorbet looked wonderful, but even so I always go for the chocolate, it’s just who I am).

So fellow Miamians if you haven’t been to Little Havana since last July (when they opened), run! Azucar is the ice cream bomb.

And to all the others, when you find yourself in this corner of paradise, Azucar is the sp0t where you can get a little taste of Heaven!

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Find all of the information that you need on Azucar here on their website.

If I wasn’t going to the PTA meeting…

If I wasn’t going to the PTA meeting but rather meeting a few friends at a wine bar that I’ve been dying to visit, I might wear this skirt from the new line at Target, Kima Zabete, with a v-neck white t-shirt, my favorite accessory of the moment, a yellow necklace from Francesca’s and these awesome black booties by Diane Von Furstenberg.

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I will, however, be at school; like I was last night and will be again tomorrow. 3 kids, 3 Meet the Teacher Events.

So I am going to wear my old animal print loafers instead, which I believe are Sam Edelman but I can’t be sure because the label has faded.

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I am glad to get a glimpse of the class rooms, and think it is cute my daughter can’t wait to send me back to first grade, but a glass of wine with a few girl friends sounds pretty nice… plus, I really love my DVF shoes.

On the bright side, 3 Meet the Teacher Night will definitely be helpful for my quest of new friends… 100 parents, in a captive audience, that I at least have one thing in common: the school. By tomorrow night I hope to have perfected my pick-up line.

I was inspired to write this post because one of my favorite bloggers, Melissa from I Pick Pretty, is hosting a link-up and I finally figured out what that means. I don’t know why, when it comes to computers something has to be explained to me at least 3 times before I can understand… I should have asked my 8-year-old to explain it to me a long time ago…

Anyway, it is pretty fun. Melissa and her friend at Forever 29 (which I haven’t read but look forward to checking-out) invited fellow bloggers to post outfits for a girls night out. I just post this cute button here, and then share my blog link on the Forever 29 website, and you readers can go there and get several ideas.  Its fun to see what other ladies around the country might wear when they go out with their friends.

See the “link up” here on Forever 29

Footnote: If you haven’t seen the Kima Zabete line at Target yet I would go check it out! KZ is a boutique in NYC and Target partnered with them as part of their second round of “Shops at Target.” There are also some great dresses.

Second Footnote: Go check out Melissa’s blog, I love her because she (1) is an attorney in Austin and reminds of my cute friend Lisa who is an attorney that went to school in Austin (2) talks about fashion and her two-year old “Master P”- I think the “two” talk makes me feel better about my 3 adorable but somewhat wild kids. They might be difficult sometimes, but when they were two… (3) says things like “Sweet Neiman Marcus, I thought that child would never take a nap” and (4) has a super sassy writing style that reminds me of the Southerners I love that can give someone a tongue lashing without her even realizing it until 20 minutes later. Here is the link to I Pick Pretty

Oh those summer nights

Today I went to school and helped with the back to school teachers’ luncheon. The end of school year luncheon was in the same room, run by the same volunteers, with the same guests in May. It felt like we were just in that cafeteria yesterday saying goodbye to another school year. Did the summer really go by that fast?

I drove away from school feeling so sad. Had we done everything that we planned to do during the break? Did the kids have fun? Why did I have to yell at them so much? My husband says that being an only child I just don’t understand that the bickering is normal… maybe I should have brushed it off more. And I can’t please everyone, right? Why did I let it get to me when just one of them was complaining when I took them somewhere fabulous… couldn’t I have rolled with it a bit better?

When we were on vacation last week I got to see my children through my friends’ eyes. They are wonderful and kind and precious and their manners don’t seem to be as bad as I thought they were (I was convinced Emily Post would have Child Protective Services arrest me if she ever happened to walk in on dinner at our house). I was so sad today that they are about to leave me for 5 days a week to go back to school. And I was feeling guilty that maybe I had been too harsh on them and that I wasted time on discipline/reprimanding that could have been spent having fun.

But then, I came home.

The sitter arrived at 9 a.m. and I asked her to limit the “screen time” today both on the tv and gaming devices (my iPad, her iPhone, or whatever electronic device they can get their little grubby paws on) and gave a few instructions on lunch. She was staying until 3 o’clock so that means I challenged her to 6 hours in my home with no TV or games. She did it (yeah!) but she was so frazzled.

When I walked in the door the kids reeked of chocolate (I don’t think I’ve ever used those two words- “reeked” and “chocolate” in the same sentence) after a later confessed reconnaissance expedition into the pantry. The playroom was littered with thousands of puzzle pieces and plastic horses. My 4-year-old had not changed out of her pajamas nor her night-time pull up for the entire day and decided that this had been a good idea because she did not have to waste any play time to visit the toilet (which she has been trained to use for at least a year and a half). AND reportedly my oldest had been yelling “this is boring, I would rather be at school” at the babysitter, for most of the day (note to self: plan boring day with sitter a week before 4th grade starts so son is dying to start back to school).

Don’t they sound like little angels? Well, they are, REALLY, they are… but I think it is time for all of us to have a little change of scenery. And maybe a little academic stimulation (I’m afraid Phineus or Ferb could be sucking the brain cells out of their precious little heads every time someone turns on the Disney Channel).

As I waved goodbye to the babysitter, whom we might never see again, I thought IT IS TIME. We are all ready for school to begin. And next week, when that bell rings, and the kids are safely in their new seats in class I can reminisce from my quiet home about the Summer of 2012. I’ll forget about any fighting, whining, crying, complaining or disrespectful craziness that might have happened, and just appreciate the good stuff.

It is official. The Summer of 2012 will go down in Kallaher history as fun and exciting, yet relaxing and filled with great family bonding moments. We laughed hard, tanned well (we still don’t know where Chloe gets that dark skin) and tried a few new things too (golf, horseback riding, reading…).

And tomorrow… we are going to iron all of the uniforms, and get their new backpacks packed and if you are looking for us on Monday morning, we’ll be the smiling family in the first car in the carpool line.

South Beach

My favorite parts of vacation

Last week, my family and I travelled to Estes Park, Colorado from our home in Miami, Florida. We were able to escape the humidity and enjoy the beautiful mountains while spending time with our closest friends. It was a wonderful week.

19 of us stayed in a gorgeous house plus guest house on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park.

First One Up

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite moments via my Instagram photos. (My Instagram posts sadly ended on Thursday when I dropped my phone from the gondola bridge on the mountain and it smashed into several pieces. At least I was able to save the hardrive):

There were 5 six-year-olds with us, the girls and Max.

the 6 year olds

Max was such a great sport and really got along great with everyone, except when we went bumper boat riding with water guns!

About half way through their ride Max stood up in his seat and seemed to be yelling at the other kids while his brother still navigated their boat around the pond. All of us on shore kept yelling for him to sit, but he just wouldn’t seem to listen. Finally, the driver ended the ride and Max’s boat came ashore and we realized that he wasn’t yelling at the other children, but the parents: “how dare you shoot me in the eye with water,” he scolded. “I will never listen to any of you EVER AGAIN.” Not only the boats armed with guns, but the off shore observers also got their turn. It appeared Max took a shot straight in the eye from someone on land and he was not amused. We (the adults) soon received a puppy dog-eyed apology for the tongue lashing after our belly laughs at the tow-headed’s tenacity.

When a bear ran across our back yard for the week two moms ran for pots and pans while the other two grabbed their cameras. Can you guess how this blogger reacted? I was armed and ready to make some loud kitchen music before my friend got this shot! It turned-out no noise was necessary.. He just ran on by!

19 of us went fishing and came home with only one fish!

the 4 year olds

Estes Park

While the kids were at camp we hiked and conquered Deer Mountain.

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2 moms and 6 kids went river rafting and our guide said it was the lightest “8 load” he had ever navigated down the Poudre River!

But my favorite part was just living and eating at this wonderful house in the beautiful place with our family and close friends!

Sandals from Capri in one hour

Last week I grabbed my July 2012 Southern Living and followed their retail therapy advice in Miami. My 3rd stop of the day, and their last recommendation from Lincoln Road, the grand avenue of shopping on Miami Beach was Tuccia Di Capri.

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(I sure wish there was an antique Vespa, or maybe a Ferrari parked in front of the store on my shopping day, rather than a serial-killerish no window white van. It would have given you more of the South Beach feel).

It is a very cool concept. You can walk into this store in Miami and within the hour have custom-made Italian leather sandals (starting at $130)! I was lucky, too. On the day I was there they had about 50 pre-made beauties on sale for about half the price- $65).

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I loved this store!

1.It smelled so good. Fresh leather.
2. Very uncomplicated. The many shoe styles were displayed so they were easy to choose from and the large selection of leather colors and widths was sure to please everyone’s tastes.
3. The 2 cobblers in the store that day were so accommodating without being overbearing.

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I think this YouTube video gives you the whole picture. Tuccia Di Capri was featured at Henri Bendal on Fifth Ave in NYC cranking out sandals in 30 minutes!

Tuccia di Capri

Definitely add this store to your list of stops when visiting Miami Beach.

See my first two stops on my Southern Living Adventure:


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A goat cheese tart with summer berries and lemon sorbet

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WOW! I had such a treat last night… and again for lunch today. My husband surprised me with a little brown bag from a business dinner at the newish, 2012 James Beard nominated restaurant on Miami Beach, Yardbird.

He walked in the door at 9:00 with a little brown bag, as I was finishing up reading a chapter of Harry Potter to the kids and considering jumping in bed myself. As soon as the words chocolate escaped his mouth the bag was in my hands and I was headed to the kitchen. This chocolate craving I’ve been having lately is killer…

I had to have a bite, JUST ONE BITE, of each dessert before I went to sleep. I am a chocolate LOVER so I thought I would save that for last and start with the one with fruit on top. A BIG BITE… “Is that goat cheese?”

I honestly wasn’t sure what I thought about this…

My husband gave one of his, “I’m up to something smiles” and said, “YUP, I know you love goat cheese.”

“Well, yes,” I thought to myself, but in a dessert?” I needed to investigate and go in for one more bite. “Maybe I should see what is in that little black container as well. LEMON SORBET? Now this is getting interesting!” I carefully managed to get the perfect bite of tart, blackberries and lemon sorbet on my spoon and VOILA, magic happened in my mouth!

The combination of the subtle goat cheese flavor with the super tart lemon sorbet plus fresh berries was probably the best non-chocolate dessert I’ve had IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! Y’all have got to go!

I feel comfortable with my use of Southern slang because Yardbird is Top Chef Finalist, Jeff McInnis’s answer to the lack of Southern influenced restaurants in Miami. Chef McInnis is from the pan handle of Florida, close to the Alabama line and I suspect he considers himself more Southern, than the local Floridians he has met in Miami. His concept is based on the Southern table where guests can share tapa-like small plates or family style bowls. Vince said the chicken biscuits and shrimp and grits he ate were fabulous.

I called the restaurant today to find out exactly what the deserts I had were called since I did not find them listed on their online menu. The hostess explained that the menu had changed LAST NIGHT and we were one of the first to try the new selections! After this small taste, I can’t wait to go back and I hope to see you there!

Oh by the way, the chocolate was of course divine! It is true that I haven’t met too many chocolates that I did not like, BUT the dense mouse like chocolate in the Yardbird s’more was just stellar. The dessert itself didn’t work great as a take-home. There was a marshmallow topping that had been browned but wasn’t so great cold. No worries, the chocolate did not go to waste and I am sure this would be a fabulous option for in-house dining.

All Hail the Queen

The Queen of the Flowering Trees… the Royal Poinciana.

located in South Gables

the first Royal I saw in bloom in May 2012

I took this picture in Coral Gables at Riviera Park, in front of my son’s school in early May. I have never seen anything like it, have you? I watched as a few red flowers began to grow then … POW, the tree erupted in red!

I had to get a better look!


I had just enough time before school let out that day to walk under the tree and feel what it was like to be engulfed in red flowers; to almost be wrapped in her arms.

Enchanted

I went straight home that day and did a little research (GOOGLE!). This flowering tree can be found in tropical climates all over the world. It is also called the Flamboyant tree, which seems more appropriate than the regal alternative. After my discovery of this red goddess in early May, I was shocked when I woke-up a week later to find she has strutted herself all over this town. Red flowers bloomed from a tree on every block. As time marches on toward summer she seems to show her beauty for anyone that will notice, without regard for the mess of leaves and pods that she leaves behind.

Nevertheless, last week, when the little red flowers began to sprout in my yard, it didn’t matter how many others I had to share her with- I am in awe and am willing to pay a high price for the mere moments (or maybe a month or so) that I get to spend in her presence.

Next weekend is the 75th Annual Royal Poinciana Festival in Coral Gables. And although its not exactly the red double decker bus that my 6 year old has been dying to climb aboard, I think we’ll jump on the free trolly to get a grand tour of Miami’s Loveliest Ladies.