December 28, 2011

A TBA for Blooming Hearts stamp!

Blooming hearts stamp

«Love handkerchiefs» are a very old Portuguese tradition. Hearts, flowers, birds and small love poems were embroidered in handkerchiefs that girls gave to sweethearts.  My hearts and flowers cute stamps are inspired by these traditional Portuguese designs of Lovers Handkerchiefs!It's ideal to celebrate love on every occasion, any time!For a special anniversary or for Valentine's Day. For your girlfriend or boyfriend, for your wife and husband, for your partner. These stamps are just for those who wants to celebrate love the oldfashioned way - writting a letter, sending a card!It's still a romantic aproach and very special way to celebrate love hence everyone is using emails and sms! Thank you Zazzle for this TBA!

(This product is not available anymore.)

December 27, 2011

Animation Merry Christmas - Christmas lights in Oporto!

Oporto streets. Awesome!

December 26, 2011

Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright.

Beautiful photo from the Iberian Peninsula at night, December 26th! The city lights of Spain and Portugal define the Iberian Peninsula in this photograph from the International Space Station (ISS). Lovely.

December 25, 2011

Christmas food! Prepare Fake Scallops!

One has to be grateful for good food on the table. Yes, food is a great way to celebrate life and not only in Christmas. I am not a good fork but I like to try everything. Fish dishes is what I prefer. I love all kinds of sea food. If I can't afford the real thing I try another option. These aren't the real ones. They are fake scallops ideal for party starters, very  easy to do - again, don't come here for sophisticated food, I am not a cook! But if it lives on the sea I will cook it because I will certainly like it!  You can prepare these with any kind of fish or sea food.What to you need?

Ingredients for 5 shells
A bag of peeled shrimp - you can buy it fresh and boil it and then remove peels. But it's more work around the kitchen!
1 bag of Delícias do Mar - it's crab assembled in little rectangular pieces. Again you can use fresh crab for better results or any other sea food you like.
1 small can of mushrooms

Garlic, parsley, q.b.
For the béchamel sauce 
25 gr of flower
25 gr of butter
300 ml of milk
half onion
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
salt, pepper, nutmeg

How to prepare the béchamel sauce: 
Bring the milk to boil in a saucepan. Remove from the eat and drop the onion and cloves and bay leaves. Stick the cloves through the bay leaves into the onion. This way you can remove it easily when it's not needed anymore. Let it cool down for 5 minutes.
Melt the butter on a saucepan. Add the flower. Stir this for 2 minutes in low eat and then remove it from the flames. 
Add the milk. Careful now: it must boil but you must stir all the time or it will burn. Once it boils you low the flames and watch it gets consistent. Keep stiring. Drop the pepper, salt and nutmeg. Stir a bit more and its ready.

How to prepare the fake shells:
When the sauce is made, add to it the peeled shrimps, the mushrooms and the crab that you previously have mixed with garlic and parsley and put aside to rest.
Then fill the shells, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and get the shells on the oven so it get some color. It's done and it's always a success!

These are porc lambchops with roasted potatoes with peel in the oven. Wash the potatoes very well. Use a brush. Dry it and then make some tiny holes in it with a fork.  Put a drop of olive oil on top of each one. (You can skip these two details if you want.) Put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 200º.Turn it after 20 minutes. With a wooden spoon pressure on top of one potatoe to check if it's already roasted because it depends on potatoe size, temperature, etc. The lambchops were cooked in a saucepan, slowly, before going into the oven for some strong heat on the top of the roasted potatoes. No secrets to it.

And this is one of my favorite rice recipes - it has pinenuts and raisins. Also very easy to prepare. Just pay attention that raisins should go into the saucepan just when you add the rice to the water and not at the beggining, with the onion.

Red and White wine from Setúbal region.  Really, folks, I never enjoyed Coca-Cola or any kind of soda drinks. Natural fruit juices and wine and beer for me, please.
More about these Portuguese wines - Quinta da Bacalhôa Winnery

King Cake or Bolo Rei is our Christmas traditional cake. It's a wreath like fruit cake laced with crystallized fruits and pinenuts. When I was a child there was a tiny present inside the cake and a broadbean. Now there's just a broadbean. The person who finds the broadbean in one slice will pay the next "King Cake"!!(This one I did not make!)

December 24, 2011

Sweet Rice and Christmas trees!

Just finished some Sweet Rice and took a photo to show you. There it is with a big cup of black coffee! The rice isn't that yellow but I guess my mobile phone camera can't do better than that! Couldn't wait for dinner because I like to eat it while it's still hot! It's very sweet and has a lemon flavour. I posted the recipe bellow if you're curious and ever want to cook it one of these days! Very easy to prepare, see, I do not like the kitchen space very much...!

Yesterday I went to local mall to buy the rice to make the Sweet Rice  - and a last minute gift, that's right, there was on still missing - and there was this display of Christmas Trees decorated by local kindergarden children. Very cute! 

How to prepare Sweet Rice? Check it righ >> here! <<

December 22, 2011

Pablo Alborán e Carminho sing the hit Perdóname

Instead of a Christmas song I am sharing a beautiful and romantic song by Pablo Alborán and Carminho. Carminho is a Portuguese fado singer. Pablo is a young Spanish singer only 22 years old and he's the voice of the moment in Madrid. This duet is climbing music tops in Spain and in Portugal we're enjoying it too. It's not fado but the video was shoot in Lisbon.

"Fado" was also the name of the first work of Carminho released in 2009 in Portugal. It was considered by the British magazine "Songlines" one of the ten best albums released this year. Fado has now been published in the British market. Check this song and video from Carminho if you want to listen to some more of this incredible Portuguese voice and also watch a bit more of typical Lisbon. 

Si alguna vez preguntas el por que
No sabré decirte la razón
Yo no la sé
Por eso y más
Ni una sola palabra más
No más besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Ni una sola palabra más
No mas besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Si alguna vez
Creíste que por ti
O por tu culpa me marché
No fuiste tú
Por eso y más
Si alguna vez te hice sonreír
Creístes poco a poco en mi
Fui yo lo sé
Por eso y más
Ni una sola palabra más
No más besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Ni una sola palabra más
No más besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Siento volverte loca
Darte el veneno de mi boca
Siento tener que irme así
Sin decirte adiós
Siento volverte loca
Darte el veneno de mi boca
Siento tener que irme así
Sin decirte adiós
Ni una sola palabra más
No mas besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Ni una sola palabra más
No mas besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí

December 21, 2011

Are you ready to celebrate the New Year?

How do you celebrate the arrival of the New Year? Today I went to the post-office to send my Christmas mail. I bought all the gifts already. Everything is done. Now I start to think about the New Year's Eve.  I've tried several things to celebrate the arrival of the new year along the years. Several times I went away to a visit a new place and mix with total strangers; on several occasions I met with friends for dinner at local restaurant and then we went to pubs and then roam the streets waiting for the fireworks; when I was younger I also went dancing all night but it's not a good choice as houses are often too full. I went also to small  private parties; I went to friend's houses and stay up all night eating and talking about memories shared! I stayed home alone watching movies! I went to bad, sick with fever...and more! Everyone has a way to spend the last hours of the year and welcome the new one. The important thing is to enjoy that time.
This year I'll stay home. I am going to decorate the house a little with streamers and balloons as my nephew will be here. And the dog too, Davis, the shar pei, he usually eats the confetti !! We'll have an end-of-the-year meal. Maybe my nephew will bring one of his favorite animation movies and we'll watch it together. At midnight we'll open and pour champagne. We'll eat the 12 raisins, make 12 wishes and have a toast to a better year. Quite simple. If the fog does not show we will be able to watch the fireworks from the window. I checked meteo and it will be very cold over the last week of the year. So I guess we'll stay home all night.
Inspired by the festive thought of New Year's Eve I made a small search on Zazzle for some New Year's t-shirts and buttons. Here it is!Enjoy it!
2012 Year of the Orange Dragon Toddler's T Shirts shirt


Happy New Year button

Sweethearts and fireworks button

December 17, 2011

Portuguese Christmas desserts I like

By José Conçalves (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 
(], via Wikimedia Commons

MEXIDOS RECIPE that I learned from my mother 
(A typical recipe from the north of the country, it's also called FORMIGOS.)


3 small common breads (two days old or more)
1,4 L water
200 gr sugar
50 gr of butter
1 small glass of Port Wine
1 small glass of honey - you can had more if you like
Half a lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick
a pinch of salt
100 g pinenuts
150 g walnuts
100 g raisins ( you can use almonds too)

How to prepare it:
Cut the bread in fine slices.
In a small bowl add the Port wine and the raisins.
In a pan put the water to boil.
When the water is boiling add put the bread and cover. Let it rest for some minutes. Then use the blender.
Now you have a paste. Add the pinenuts, the walnuts, the sugar, the lemon peel and the cinnamon stick to this paste and let it boil always stirring. Fire must be slow so the water evaporates slowly.
When this paste is smooth add the honey and keep stirring. The paste must be consistent till the end, sometimes it takes more than half an hour to get there.
At last you add the raisins and the Port Wine. This must be done in the very end so they keep in shape. Keep stirring for more 5 minutes.
Add the salt and taste the paste to see if it needs sme more.
Put in a plate. Eat cold.
Some people make decorations with cinnamon.I don't do that.
Bom apetite!
By Carlos Botelho (Susana Monteiro) [GFDL ( 
or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

RABANADAS (It's like French toast)


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

How to prepare it:

Cut a baguette into 1 cm (1/2") thick rounds; remove the crusts;
Dip into an egg beaten with milk - 1 egg to approximately 200 ml (3/4 c.) milk;
Fry in hot olive oil in a skillet for a few seconds on each side;
Drain it and then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon;
Eat a lot, forget about diet and wish Christmas never ends!

ARROZ DOCE - Sweet Rice

December 6, 2011

Christmas shopping for sea lovers!

This will be my final Christmas Zazzle gifts showcase. This time I dedicated my search to sea lovers like myself. I live in a small seaside city for the moment and I like that. I know that I would feel miserable if I had to move to some interior spot of my country. I love the fact that we have a big coastline to the west and south. I like ocean's proximity, the color and smell of it and the sound of it. At night I can year it sometimes when the wind blows in my house's direction. Once  I actually could watch a small bit of the sea from my window but some buildings ruined my view! 

Here it is! Find bellow a big selection of Zazzle products with marvelous beaches photos, mugs with transatlantics memory, several creatures from the sea, nautical designs, sea glass, inspirational quotes and more. 

From cute illustrations to serious photography, here's my suggestion for a sea lover's gifts! Hope you like it! Zazzlers are just fantastic, don't they?

Hey! Have you missed my previous Christmas gifts showcases? 
My kingdom for a book! - For all those who loves books!
A bunch of cuteness! - For all those who cant't resist pretty things!
For computer lovers! - For all those who say computer is their best friend!

This post was refreshed in 2015.

Sea Life Cotton Pillow
Sea Life Cotton Pillow by UniquelyUnusual
Browse other pillow designs on Zazzle.
under the sea mug
under the sea mug by dennisthebadger
See more Whale Mugs at
Squid Ship Flasks
Squid Ship Flasks by gamago
Shop for another hip flask online at
Creatures of the Sea Short Table Runner
Creatures of the Sea Short Table Runner by Home_Sweet_Home
Check out more Fish Table Runners at Zazzle
shrimp in the sea party plates
shrimp in the sea party plates by eterietten
Check out Fish Plates online at zazzle
Sea Life Plate
Sea Life Plate by UniquelyUnusual
Check out these Platesat Zazzle
Under The Sea Fish Accent Pillow
Under The Sea Fish Accent Pillow by mishmoshmarkings
View Mishmoshmarkings Accent Pillows online at zazzle
Puffer Fish Melamine Plate
Puffer Fish Melamine Plate by littleandthegirl
Find more Puffer Plates at Zazzle
Beach Coral Reef Pattern Nautical White Blue Soap Dispensers
Beach Coral Reef Pattern Nautical White Blue Soap Dispensers by FancyCelebration
Browse Beach coral reef Toothbrush Holder and Soap Dispenser Set online at
Navy Blue Stripes and Sea Horses Bath Sets
Navy Blue Stripes and Sea Horses Bath Sets by DancingPelican
Find more Sea horses Toothbrush Holder and Soap Dispenser Set at Zazzle
compass/wind rose wristwatches
compass/wind rose wristwatches by mixedworld
Check out Bússula Watches online at zazzle
fisherman crab plate
fisherman crab plate by Gnoppoletta
Look at other Crab Plates at
Under the Sea in Turquoise Table Lamp
Under the Sea in Turquoise Table Lamp by McLeroys
Browse more Turquoise Lamp-In-A-Box Lamp at Zazzle
Cute Sea turtle magnet
Cute Sea turtle magnet by LyndasLines
See other Animals Magnets at zazzle
Gulls landing plate
Gulls landing plate by fineartbyjen
Browse Birds Plates online at
Hermit crab plate
Hermit crab plate by Gnoppoletta
View more plate designs from Zazzle.
Tropical Seahorses, Seashells - Blue White Journal
Tropical Seahorses, Seashells - Blue White Journal by sitnica
Check out Seahorse Journals online at zazzle
SEA BIRDS White on blue Hanging Lamp
SEA BIRDS White on blue Hanging Lamp by Coastal_decor
Check out another lamp online at
Cute Blue Whales Pattern Ceiling Lamps
Cute Blue Whales Pattern Ceiling Lamps by ironydesigns
Check out more Cute kid design Lamp-In-A-Box Lamp at Zazzle
Hibiscus Surfer iPhone 4 Case Cover speckcase

Catch Fish mug
Catch Fish by bigspl
Join one of the biggest artist affiliate programs
Beach photo 2012 wall calendar calendar

Sea Creatures in Bowl Pink iPad Case speckcase

Take Me To The Beach Photo Typography Flip Flops
Take Me To The Beach Photo Typography Flip Flops by JunkyDotCom
Look at Beach Pairs of Flip Flops online at
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