December 31, 2009

I am very upset with Facebook

Just discovered that this postcard that I created and published at Zazzle store is part of the New Year Gift Facebook application! No one asked my permission, no one informed me about it. I think this is very, very wrong thing to do. I would have said yes to the developer, of course. What can we do to protect our work from this unethical behavior? Any similar stories you want to share?

December 24, 2009

December 21, 2009

Learn how to make RABANADAS! (Traditional dessert for Christmas)

Portuguese celebrate Christmas with a rich table of sweet cakes and biscuits, dry fruits and good wine and liquors. The traditional Christmas cake is 'Bolo Rei' (which means 'King Cake') and is placed in the center of the table. It's a wreath like fruit cake laced with crystallized fruits and pine nuts. There is a tiny present inside the cake and a broad bean. The person who finds the broadbean in one slice will pay the next "King Cake"!!Some of Christmas popular desserts are rice pudding with cinnamon, fried desserts,-"filhoses"- pastries made with honey - "broas de mel" -pumpkin fritters - "sonhos".

I'm about to go to the kitchen to make Rabanadas. These are also a regular presence at our table. Do you want to try some Rabanadas?

What you need to buy:

1baguette loaf of bread - 1 egg - 200 ml (3/4 cup) milk - Olive oil - Sugar and cinnamon

How to prepare it:

1. Cut a baguette into 1 cm (1/2") thick rounds; remove the crusts;

2. Dip into an egg beaten with milk - 1 egg to approximately 200 ml (3/4 c.) milk;

3. Fry in hot olive oil in a skillet for a few seconds on each side;

4. Drain it and then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon;

5. Eat a lot, forget about diet and wish Christmas never ends!

December 18, 2009

My nephew's school Christmas party

My nephew dancing to one of my favorite Christmas songs - Jingle Bell Rock!

December 17, 2009

A Poem and a Letter on the Lisbon Disaster of 1755

My eyes' dark circles are getting bigger and bigger. Two nights in a row losing sleep is just too much. Two nights ago the responsible for it was a strong wind blowing on my window. Too much noise around my building. It was really a wind festival. As a result yesterday I was on coffee all day. I lost count on how many cups I drank. As a result of too much coffee, I was still awake 1.37 AM and so I felt an earthquake! 

Its origin was at the south, in the sea - 190 km (115 miles) WSW of Faro, or 265 km (165 miles) SSW of Lisbon, our capital. You can check the link above for more information on it. It was felt as far as Braga, in the north, Madrid, capital of Spain and Marrakech, Morocco. Magnitude of 5.7. No damages but enough shakes to scare good people.

As some of you might know in 1755 Lisbon had an earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake. It took place on 1 November 1755. Geologists think that it was a Magnitude 9 episode and its epicenter was also at south in the sea. Learn about here. It was one of the biggest in destruction history. It was followed by a tsunami and fires and destroyed the capital almost completely. Some say it will happen again. 

I must confess, earthquakes scares me a lot. That episode took away any of my will to sleep! I went to make some tea and switch the TV on. On the moments that followed the earthquake I just wanted to know what happened out here. The TV showed little information but people were Twitting about it. Now I'm again on the coffee regime. Let's hope this night I finally get a good night sleep!

Poem and a Letter almost as famous as the Great Lisbon Earthquake itself!

1. Voltaire:"Poem on the Lisbon Disaster, or: An Examination of that Axiom 'All Is Well,"

Oh, miserable mortals! Oh wretched earth!
Oh, dreadful assembly of all mankind!
Eternal sermon of useless sufferings!
Deluded philosophers who cry, "All is well,"
Hasten, contemplate these frightful ruins,
This wreck, these shreds, these wretched ashes of the dead;
These women and children heaped on one another,
These scattered members under broken marble;

One-hundred thousand unfortunates devoured by the earth
Who, bleeding, lacerated, and still alive,
Buried under their roofs without aid in their anguish,
End their sad days!
In answer to the half-formed cries of their dying voices,
At the frightful sight of their smoking ashes,
Will you say: "This is result of eternal laws
Directing the acts of a free and good God!"
Will you say, in seeing this mass of victims:
"God is revenged, their death is the price for their crimes?"
What crime, what error did these children,
Crushed and bloody on their mothers' breasts, commit?
Did Lisbon, which is no more, have more vices
Than London and Paris immersed in their pleasures?
Lisbon is destroyed, and they dance in Paris!

2. Rousseau's Letter to Voltaire Regarding the Poem on the Lisbon Earthquake,August 18, 1756

All my complaints are . . . against your poem on the Lisbon disaster, because I expected from it evidence more worthy of the humanity which apparently inspired you to write it. You reproach Alexander Pope and Leibnitz with belittling our misfortunes by affirming that all is well, but you so burden the list of our miseries that you further disparage our condition. Instead of the consolations that I expected, you only vex me. It might be said that you fear that I don't feel my unhappiness enough, and that you are trying to soothe me by proving that all is bad.
Do not be mistaken, Monsieur, it happens that everything is contrary to what you propose. This optimism which you find so cruel consoles me still in the same woes that you force on me as unbearable. Pope's poem alleviates my difficulties and inclines me to patience; yours makes my afflictions worse, prompts me to grumble, and, leading me beyond a shattered hope, reduces me to despair....
"Have patience, man," Pope and Leibnitz tell me, "your woes are a necessary effect of your nature and of the constitution of the universe. The eternal and beneficent Being who governs the universe wished to protect you. Of all the possible plans, he chose that combining the minimum evil and the maximum good. If it is necessary to say the same thing more bluntly, God has done no better for mankind because (He) can do no better."
Now what does your poem tell me? "Suffer forever unfortunate one. If a God created you, He is doubtlessly all powerful and could have prevented all your woes. Don't ever hope that your woes will end, because you would never know why you exist, if it is not to suffer and die...."
I do not see how one can search for the source of moral evil anywhere but in man.... Moreover ... the majority of our physical misfortunes are also our work. Without leaving your Lisbon subject, concede, for example, that it was hardly nature that there brought together twenty-thousand houses of six or seven stories. If the residents of this large city had been more evenly dispersed and less densely housed, the losses would have been fewer or perhaps none at all. Everyone would have fled at the first shock. But many obstinately remained . . . to expose themselves to additional earth tremors because what they would have had to leave behind was worth more than what they could carry away. How many unfortunates perished in this disaster through the desire to fetch their clothing, papers, or money? . . .
There are often events that afflict us . . . that lose a lot of their horror when we examine them closely. I learned in Zadig, and nature daily confirms my lesson, that a rapid death is not always a true misfortune, and that it can sometimes be considered a relative blessing. Of the many persons crushed under Lisbon's ruins, some without doubt escaped greater misfortunes, and . . . it is not certain that a single one of these unfortunates suffered more than if, in the normal course of events, he had awaited [a more normal] death to overtake him after long agonies. Was death [in the ruins] a sadder end than that of a dying person overburdened with useless treatments, whose notary and heirs do not allow him a respite, whom the doctors kill in his own bed at their leisure, and whom the barbarous priests artfully try to make relish death? For me, I see everywhere that the misfortunes nature imposes upon us are less cruel than those which we add to them....
I cannot prevent myself, Monsieur, from noting . . . a strange contrast between you and me as regards the subject of this letter. Satiated with glory . . . you live free in the midst of affluence. Certain of your immortality, you peacefully philosophize on the nature of the soul, and, if your body or heart suffer, you have Tronchin as doctor and friend. You however find only evil on earth. And I, an obscure and poor man tormented with an incurable illness, meditate with pleasure in my seclusion and find that all is well. What is the source of this apparent contradiction? You explained it yourself: you revel but I hope, and hope beautifies everything.
. . . I have suffered too much in this life not to look forward to another. No metaphysical subtleties cause me to doubt a time of immortality for the soul and a beneficent providence. I sense it, I believe it, I wish it, I hope for it, I will uphold it until my last gasp....

I am, with respect, Monsieur,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

December 14, 2009

I miss summer so much!

National Georgraphic Society will promote ALTO DOURO WINE REGION

Photo source: see link below

Today Alto Douro is celebrating the 8th anniversary of Alto Douro Wine Region Inscription at Unesco's World Heritage sites. The wine region in northern Portugal charms visitors with historic and natural attractions. It's an iconic region for wine production.Beautiful landscapes and relatively little tourism have kept cultural authenticity in the region.

An International Conference "Douro Destination - Tourism, Sustainability, and World Heritage", is taken place today in the city of Vila Real. A partnership with the National Geographic Society to promote the Douro as a destination for "Geotourism" in accordance with the principles of sustainability defined by that international organization will be signed at this conference.

Some photos for you to take a look, here and here.

CONFIANÇA´S soap bars giveaway winners are here!

Jenna(Mariposa Soap) and Tammy(O melhor) ,both from Ohio,and Frannie (O meu sabonete),from New York are the lucky winners! Congratulations!In a few hours they will be on the mail on its way to you!

December 11, 2009

I got my first Christmas greeting card!

It comes from The Portuense Centre for Photography, Directorate-General for the Archives. I get a Christmas card from this cultural institution since 2001. I attended a photography workshop there. I keep all the cards because they are old black and white photos reproductions just like this one. This old photo was taken maybe around 1910 by Aurélio da Paz dos Reis. He is known as the father of Portuguese cinema. His first movie is similar to the one brothers Lumière made in France. It depicts workers leaving the factory at closing time.

Just sold 10 pins!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 button
Just sold 10 pins! 
It's a wonderful sensation to know that people will be wearing it in New York! Happy New Year to my buyer! This product isn't available anymore!

Oldest cinema director in the world turns 101 today

Since 2001 Manoel de Oliveira is the oldest cinema director in the world still in business. He was born in Oporto on 11 December 1908. He was a member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1981. In 1942 he made a movie about children that lived in Oporto's Ribeira near the Douro river. It's called Aniki-Bobó. I enjoyed it when I first saw it many years ago and I still do. A poetic tale and a simple story shot black and white in beautiful Oporto city. Watch the footage below. It has no captions but you can easily follow what's happening with Carlitos and it's cute. He has filmed a lot but his cinema isn't that much appreciated in Portugal. He seems to be more popular in other European countries like France. Some say it's too personal...others say it's too slow and too boring. Others say it's too artistic! I enjoy some of his movies but not all of it. What I find really amazing in Manoel de Oliveira is his longevity. He's quite active and everyone who thinks that old people should retire and stay home should learn from that. And he must be as happy as anyone can be as he lived and lives for his lifetime passion: cinema. Happy birthday Mr.Oliveira!

December 7, 2009

Only three days left to enter Confiança's soaps giveaway!

THE SOAPS : O melhor - O meu sabonete - Mariposa - read about it,here!



1.Confiança is a brand of reference for Portuguese cosmetic industry!
2.It has lots of history as it was funded on 12th October of 1844
3.Confiança is the only Portuguese company to obtain the ISO 9001:2000 quality certifications in its field!
4.All soaps ingredients used are natural and 100% vegetable.
5.No animal test is conducted.
6.Quality control is made in all production stages and the final products are evaluated by external certified laboratories.
7.Confiança produces even today according to its traditional methods passed from generation to generation.
8.To Confiança each of its products is more than a cosmetic. It’s a piece of history, a memory and a small part of each one of its co-workers.
9.It's so easy to enter Confiança's portuguese bar soaps giveaway!
10. You get an extra quality gift this Christmas!


1.Make your choice! Pick your favorite soap!

2.Do one of three things:

A. Follow me on Twitter

B.Join my Facebook Fan page

C.Subscribe to my blog A portuguese love

3.To qualify for the giveaway you must also click on the link below and leave a comment on my fantastic Giveaway hoste DZ Fantasy's blog. Name the soap you picked leave your email for contact.Best of luck!

START DATE: November 10. 2009

END DATE : December 10, 2009 - 12:00 Midnight CDT

OPEN: Worldwide

December 6, 2009

I love Twitter's Whale...

...but I hate to see it! (Do you know what I mean?!!)

The advent calendar greeting card: it's Christmas countdown!

Santa Beard Advent Calendar Cards
Santa Beard Advent Calendar Cards by noboringwhite
Create a greeting card online

While rain was pouring down I was having some fun creating this funny Santa Claus. He's checking numbers in his beard to keep track of the time left to Christmas!
My idea is that we use the postcard - or the other products - to really countdown to Christmas by checking numbers with a real pen.

Santa Beard Advent Calendar Post Card
Santa Beard Advent Calendar Post Card by noboringwhite
Look at more Christmas Postcards at zazzle

It's raining cats and dogs!

I remember high school English class about the idiom "it is raining cats and dogs", referring to heavy rain. We all laughed a lot at this expression, it was really a funny one. Well, today it has been raining cats and dogs and that's not funny at all. I do not like winter time. But I do like to wake up to the sound of rain pouring down. I found a cool illustration of this cats and dogs thing(Wikipedia).In Portugal, we do not have this expression. We usually say: "Está a chover a potes.""Potes" are recipients. So nothing funny about our expression. In Brazil, they say "Está chovendo canivetes." "Canivetes" are penknives! Their expression is funnier than Portuguese expression! A killer,I say!

December 2, 2009

Portuguese design - Water bottles from Pedrita Design Studio


Pedrita is a Lisbon-based design studio and has since 2005 been collaborating with other creative structures, individuals and clients from different parts of the world. These bottles are irresistible. Cute and well thought.

Portugal has 4th place for agri-food products according to Qualigeo Agri-food Atlas

"Progetto Qualigeo realizzato dalla Fondazione Qualivita; in particolare verrà illustrato il primo Atlante dei prodotti agroalimentari europei DOP, IGP e STG che rappresenta una vera e propria mappatura dell’agricoltura di qualità europea. Con i contenuti dell’Atlante è stata realizzata una piattaforma web con la georeferenzazione delle zone di produzione, delle aziende che costituisce il primo social network di settore a livello internazionale per le produzioni agroalimentari ad indicazione geografica".

Qualigeo Atlas is Qualivita Foundation project. It's the first world editorial work that describes 850 European PDO PGI and TSG products through exhaustive product fiches written in an easy language. The atlas turns out to be an indispensable tool both for specialists of the sector and for consumers who want to know new healthy products.

An agri-food product database shows 116 hundred Portuguese products listed. Portugal occupies 4th place in agri-food excellence. Criteria are tradition and quality. No wonder foreigner visitors fall in love with our food.

December 1, 2009

Confianças's portuguese bar soaps giveaway

10 days till closing time on A portuguese love first giveaway.You still have time to grab one of this these soaps.Read previous posts for detailed information on this giveaway products and Confiança's rich history.To acess more information on lots of marvelous products visit Confiança's site.I am very pleased that Confiança’s offering three fine soaps to my blog visitors. They are quality products and full of tradition and carry Portuguese history of success.What an excelent Christmas gift,I just wish I could enter it myself!

O meu sabonete - This line of soaps doesn’t dry your skin and leaves it perfumed and with a soft touch. An exuberant combination of Art Deco sensuality for your body.O meu sabonte Individual Soap Silver.

Mariposa - With the restyling of an original dated from 20 th Confiança re-launched the Mariposa in a refined and traditional Portuguese packaging. Mariposa embodies the spirit of the butterfly spreading joy over the fields. The soap has an enriched formula with a 100% vegetable base. Mariposa is dermatological tested to respect most delicate skins.

O Melhor - O Melhor is a product range specially formulated for men’s skin care. Transla“The Best” it includes shaving cream, exfoliating soap and balsam after-shave. The stylish retro packaging is the result of the restyling of an original logo dating back to 1920’s.The strength of this line is reinforced by a back to basics old-school fragrance with notes of musk and marine!

Now that you have made your choice please do one of three things:

- Follow me on Twitter - Join my Facebook Fan page - Subscribe to my blog

To qualify for the giveaway you must also click on the link below and leave a comment on my fantastic Giveaway hoste DZ Fantasy's blog. Name the soap you picked and leave your email for contact.Best of luck!
START DATE: November 10. 2009 END DATE : December 10, 2009 - 12:00 Midnight CDT
OPEN: Worldwide

Information source: Confiança's catalogue