Archive for the ‘Rio de Janeiro’ Category

9000 BC (approximately) Migrants from Asia are thought to have crossed the land bridge that formed during the Ice Age and eventually made their way down to Brazil.

1502 Rio de Janeiro discovered by Portuguese explorer Gaspar de Lemos

1555 French settle the area, call it France Antartique

1567 City of Rio de Janeiro founded by Portuguese and the French are expelled

Late 1500s Rio de Janeiro becomes an integral part of trade route between Europe, Africa and Brazil.

1720 Rio de Janeiro’s importance grows as gold and diamonds are found nearby.

1763 Rio de Janeiro becomes the capital of colonial Portugal.

1808 – 1821 Napoleon’s troops invade Portugal, Portugal’s royal family flee to Brazil and make Rio de Janeiro the capital of the entire Portuguese Empire.

1825 Brazil becomes an independent country.

1840 The first carnival is celebrated in Rio de Janeiro.

1889 Brazil becomes a constitutional democracy.

1930 Revolution of 1930. Brazil moved towards more of a dictatorship with politics mirroring fascist European nations at the time. During WWII, the government sided with Germany, while the citizens sympathized with the Allies. After German U-Boats attached Brazilian ships, Brazil declared war on Germany. After the war, Brazilian leaders created a more liberal government allowing even opposing parties to participate.

1945 – 1964 Brazil’s Second Republic

1960 The capital of Brazil is moved to Brasilia.

1964 Military coup leads to a military dictatorship in Brazil

1985 Brazil moves towards re-democratization.


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Regardless of  your preferences, you will find it in Rio de Janeiro. Which also means you will find things you probably wouldn’t have sought on your own. To me, that means one thing… inspiration.



I love comfort. Who doesn’t? I think Brazilians, especially those from Rio de Janeiro, perfected comfort. An easy way to add Brazilian comfort flare to a normally stuffy life (not pointing any fingers, just making some generalizations)? Buy Havainas! These are the flip-flops many Brazilians swear by. They are often imitated, but your feet know the difference! The best part? They’re affordable. More expensive flip flops set you back quite a bit, but Havainas are cheap enough you can get a pair for each bathing suit… or at this time of year… wool coat?

{Photo Credit Havainas}


rafaelRio de Janeiro has style and Rafael Simoes Miranda exemplifies. A design Renaissance Man. He works in more than one field, but there is one common thread – innovation. Check out his website to get a glimpse of his other projects.

{Photo Credit Rafael Simoes Miranda}



The Campana Brothers have used the connection they have with their home country to create the Favela Chair (the top image). They continue to impress the design community with their originality. Check them out below and purchase their products at Moss.

{Images From Moss}

Here are some more links to Brazilian artists:

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Here’s a random sampling of YouTube videos of Rio de Janeiro.

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riodejaneiroHere are some recommendations for books and movies set in Rio de Janeiro! I suggest that you read a book or two and watch a movie or two to get a nice feel for the Rio de Janeiro vibe.



Central Station
Favela Rising

City of God

Get the Family Involved

It’s my personal desire to encourage kids to learn about other cultures. It’s never to early. Whenever possible, I will add kid and family-friendly options for anything we do. For Rio de Janeiro, I have found some great stories for kids about Brazil. Add some of these books to your kids library and see what conversations they inspire!

Do you have any suggestions you’d like to add to my list?

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Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil. It came to Brazil via the Portuguese (and interestingly variations of this dish appear in other former Portuguese colonies).

Like any national dish, especially one with so many ingredients, each region, city, restaurant, family and person has their own variation. Once again, I used the recipe at Food by Country. I added more of the ingredients I like, and less of the ingredients I’m not too fond of.


So, what was the verdict? Well…

My husband loved it! It literally had every thing he loves in food. Beans, beef, bacon, sausage, mustard. For me… I added too much salt. It’s my own fault. When I made the Paprika Chicken last week I forgot to add salt, so I more than made up for it with this dish. Other than that, it was delicious. It was easy to put together and I’ve added yet another dish to my arsenal of recipes.

If you want to join in the fun of making a new dish from a different country every week… and be held somewhat accountable for it… join the TFH Food Challenge. I’ll send you a new recipe every week and you are left to interpret it in a way that suites you and your family. Just leave me a comment and I’ll get you set up!

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Though not Rio de Janeiro specific, Made in Brazil is a perfect resource to see what’s happening in and around Brazil. It’s not the political happenings, it’s the fun stuff. Celebrities in Brazil, fashion, models. They even brought it to my attention two things I might have overlooked.

1. This season of Survivor takes place in Central Brazil!

2. Giselle Bundchen


{Photo Credit Wikipedia}

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intro1{Photo credit laszio-photo, quote credit riotur}

Rio de Janeiro… what does that mean to you? Literally, it translates to “River of January” but what it should translate to “is a little of everything for a little of everyone”.

For the next week we’ll take a look at some of the food, arts, movies, books, history and travel information that make Rio what it is, and makes us interested in learning more.

Before we do that, let’s take a look at the geography.

Rio de Janeiro is divided into 4 main sections.

  • Centro: Historic and Financial downtown area
  • South Zone: The typical tourist area, home of the popular areas Copacabana and Ipanema
  • North Zone: Sports hans may appreciate that they world’s largest capacity Futball stadium is here
  • West Zone: Farthest from downtown
geography{Photo Credit Rodrigo Soldon, Phillie Casablanca, laszlo-photo, wikipedia}

If I were traveling to Brazil for real, I would go to the beach… immediately. As I’m sure anyone suffering through cold weather at the moment would. But, unfortunately for us, we can’t go to the beach. The next best thing


Brazil is the birthplace of the Samba! I don’t know about you, but I have no rhythm so the only way I would even CONSIDER taking samba classes was from the comfort of my own home. So, here’s a video if you are interested in getting up and feeling the Brazilian rhythm… SAMBA!!!

(See you tomorrow for a delicious recipe!)

Watch it on Dancing With the Stars

A short lesson with information on purchasing more lessons!

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