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Best Type of Earrings for the Beach

Girl relaxing at the beach
Did you know there is such a thing as the best type of earring for the beach? Yeah, I didn’t either until I moved to Brazil. I found out when I was chatting with a street vendor buying yet another pair of the many, many (many) pairs of earrings I've bought in Brazil and he commented on the ones that I was wearing. He said that they were great, but that the hook was all wrong. It was cheap and wouldn’t work on the beach. He went on to ask if he could fix it for me at no cost. Curious more than anything, I agreed. Earrings with new hooks He took off the standard French hook and made a pair of kidney hook for...

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Happy husband and wife
Tired of looking at "World's Greatest Dad" t-shirts and mugs and hunting for something that has a bit more staying power? Thought so. Every year I take my niece to go buy something for her Dad/my brother, and it's exhausting trying to come up with a good idea. We've done sheets, bathroom towels, kitchen towels, beer subscriptions, and a range of clothing. Some of it hits the mark, and some of it does not. You know the best gift we've ever given him? A handknit Jayne hat (Firefly reference) -- I think it's the only present we've ever given him that has been posted to Facebook. If you also know the pain of sorting through mass-produced gift ideas to find just the right thing to...

Jewelry Gift Guide

Hand crafted capim dourado (golden grass) bracelets and necklaces by Brazilian maker Helenice
Finding the perfect gift for the Mom in your life can be a challenge. Jewelry is almost always a winner, but it can be super-stressful for the buyer. What is the right style? Will it go with their clothes? Will they wear it? All great questions! To help you choose wisely, I've put together a short gift guide with some questions that will help you choose the right thing for the lucky recipient. I have to admit, I'm rather partial to golden grass jewelry as a gift, so have included suggestions to it throughout the guide. But if for some reason you don't want to buy golden grass jewelry, the questions and guidance apply to jewelry of all types of materials, so read on! 3...

Wish Ribbons of Bomfim

Ribbons of Bomfim
The ribbon of Bomfim is now a tourist item that is sold by street vendors in Salvador, but this humble ribbon has an origin in miracles. Printed on the ribbon is “Lembrança do Senor do Bomfim da Bahia”, which is "reminder of the church of Bomfim in Bahia" (Senor do Bomfim = church of good ends). The church of Bomfim is in Salvador and has a long history of creating miracles. When you go to the church, there is an alcove tucked in the right back corner of the church that is filled with notes and photos, and even prosthetics, from the the families and groups that went to the church in search of a miracle. Some of the notes are thank-you notes for the...