December 19, 2012


It's not difficult to make a list of films that are about or otherwise related to the Christmas holiday. With the cold weather to stay home and watch a movie with our family is a good idea for sure. I have some titles I watched over Christmas and every time I think about it they remind me of Christmas, it's movies like About a boy or Bridget Jone's Diary, or

Edward Scissor's Hands. This week I had the chance to watch Warrior and I think it will fall into that category also. It's an excellent movie, you can watch it any time of the year. Even if Warrior it's about the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting, this movie it's also about family. It has a good story. Even if you don't like fighting I dare you to watch it. It will surprise you, I really loved it.

Well, I just read that Critics' Circle announced the nominations for its 33rd Film Awards. Michael Haneke’s Amour and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master lead the nominations. I was surprised to find a Portuguese film on the list. It's TABU. It's running for FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR with Amour, Holy Motors, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia and Rust and Bone. Tabu was already nominated for Golden Berlin Bear at Berlin International Film Festival.

If you don't know what these Awards are, you can read more about it at the site of Critics Circle Organization.

December 17, 2012

Happy Christmas to all my friends

Hello friends!

The upcoming holidays and New Year celebrations are about spending quality time with your loved ones, gathering around the dinner table, unwrapping gifts!! I want to wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Maybe you are wondering how's Christmas in Portugal. Well, in Portugal children and adults get their Christmas gifts either at midnight on Christmas Eve or on early Christmas Day morning. It was like this when I was a child and with my nephew, it's just the same. Shoes are placed near the fireplace and that's where we place the presents. For many years I lived in houses without a fireplace. So the shoes were placed under the Christmas tree after they were properly cleaned and shiny to please the Pai Natal (=Father Christmas) - he's the guy who delivers the presents along with the help of Baby Jesus. Have you got all your Christmas gifts already? Well, I have. I bought several books because that's something I really enjoy giving. I hand made some gifts myself too. I have most of it ready to go.

Many Portuguese families set up a Nativity scene, called Presépio, with Mary, Joseph, the stable animals, and the Baby. Other characters can be the Three Wise Men and shepherds. Some cities or church nativity scenes can have hundreds of little clay figurines and movement.

On Christmas Eve we have a light dinner- it's called Consoada. Usually, we eat boiled (dried) codfish, and potatos, vegetables, and eggs as a side dish. Bacalhau (cod) is a fish with a bland taste that needs to be salted and dried in the sun, so it becomes the perfect foil for garlic and olive oil. After that we have cakes and sweet desserts to finish the meal. Bolo rei is the most famous - it's a round cake with glazed fruits, nuts, and sugar, quite colorful. And also rabanadas! Rabanadas are slices of white bread that have been soaked in milk and eggs and then fried. Then the fried golden slices get cinnamon and sugar and are dipped in sugar and Oporto wine sauce. In some places, a traditional Mess takes place at midnight and that's called The rooster mess or Missa do Galo. Families usually come together on Christmas Day and have lunch together. This meal is a meat one. And that's it!

December 11, 2012

Video : Belém Tower from the sky

Belém Tower was completed in 1521. Imagine the sailors who crossed the Atlantic or rounded the Cape of Good Hope to India returning home in their ships and preparing to enter big Tagus river mouth - that would be the first sign of land they saw. In 1983 UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage Site.

Belém Tower was built in the Age of the Discoveries as a tribute to the patron saint of the city, Saint Vicente. That's why she's called Saint Vicente's Tower. But most people know it as Belém Tower. This tower planted in the water was part of Lisbon's defense by the time of King João II. It's a beautiful monument that contains North African Moorish styled watchtowers, Manueline decoration, symbols of the King’s power like cables encircling the building terminating knots, armillary spheres, crosses of the Military Order of Christ. Also naturalistic elements such as the rhinoceros. This is the first rhinoceros representation in stone known in Europe. Later in time, Belém Tower would be a customs control point, a telegraph station, a lighthouse, and a political prison. The Tower's storerooms were transformed into dungeons, since the time when Philip II of Spain became king of Portugal (1580) and during periods of political unrest. Now it's one of the most popular icons of Lisbon and Portugal.

Pink Floyd filmed the tower for a promotional video. Pink Floyd was here 22 and 23rd July 1994. 120 000 persons joined at Alvalade Stadium to watch the two memorable shows.

Cool video here!

December 5, 2012

Portugal is one of Globe Spots' Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2013!

For the fifth year, GLOBE SPOTS have captured what's happening on the travel scene. Globe Spots focused on destinations they think will be hot! As they say, "all this is of course based on dubious rumors, crazy speculations and a bit of travel experience." Well, it's nice to find Portugal on the Globe Spots' Top 10 for 2013!

Portugal oozes 'old European charm'. Medieval towns and historical quarters are full of squares, churches, and monasteries. Narrow lanes are flanked by old skew houses with crooked balconies draped in drying laundry. Here, neighbors still share the latest gossip or discuss politics from their windows. Pastry shops and taverns are found in such abundance it makes you wonder whether the Portuguese eat at home at all. The pace is soothingly slow and any day seems to be a good day for a drink. Chances are that after a few days in Portugal, you’ll find yourself sitting in a small square with a glass of tawny port in your hand, no matter whether you previously liked the stuff or not. It's just one of those things Portugal does to you.

2013 Sketchbook project - just got my sketchbook!

Do you remember this? I wrote about The 2013 Sketchbook project back in November. It's a creative project. I explained about it here. So, like I wrote, I signed up so for the project. In three weeks, yesterday, I got the package containing a custom-designed Sketchbook Project sketchbook with a barcode on it and detailed instructions about the project. Now, I can start filling the white pages!! In January I'll send the sketchbook back to them and it will be archived in the Brooklyn Art Library and exhibited to the public! My idea is to share my sketching with you! What do you think?

Mustache is king!

Better late than never! Do you know MOVEMBER?

During the month of November each year, Movember asks men across the world to grow a mustache with the aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health issues. Movember mustaches were first grown in Australia back in 2003 and since that time word of Movember and its men’s health messages have spread across the globe. Movember currently runs official campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, South Africa, Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. In addition, Movember is aware of supportive Mo Bros and Mo Sistas dotted around the world; all of whom have played an important role in growing Movember into what it is today.

Registering at, guys then start Movember 1st with a clean-shaven face and for the remainder of the month dedicate themselves to growing a fine mustache. Supported by the women in their lives, known as Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts. At the end of the month, it’s traditional for Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to celebrate their awareness and fundraising efforts by throwing a Movember party and awarding the highly sought after titles of Miss Movember and Man of Movember.

Mo Bros are helping to change the face of men’s health by effectively becoming walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by promoting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health. Together, we are truly changing the face of men’s health.

December 2, 2012

Portugal. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year?How?

Photo by Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

Portugal Passes Another Austere Budget is the title of a New York Times piece. It reads" Since the spring of 2010, Portugal has been battered by the debt crisis that began in Greece and has spread across much of Europe’s periphery. On Tuesday, it passed another round of tax increases and spending cuts." This appalling photo is just one of the 16 available at the photo gallery. This is my country one month before the year ends. Watch and read.


The more than 2,700 members of the European Film Academy - filmmakers from across Europe - have voted for this year’s European Film Awards. At the awards ceremony in Malta AMOUR won as EUROPEAN FILM of 2012. It's a France, Germany, and Austria ensemble, produced by Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz. "Amour", from director Michael Haneke won at EFA all the way. Best movie, best director, best actor (Jean-Louis Trintignant) best actrice (Emmanuelle Riva)! Here's the full Awards list.

Haneke's movies are very good and often not easy because they document the not so beautiful side of our society. I watched La pianiste a long time ago. It's about a woman that works as a piano teacher. She still lives with her mother. She secretly watches porn movies and plays sadomasochistic games with herself. When a student falls in love with her, she wants to play her games with him, but he's disgusted. This year I watched The white ribbon a movie that won Cannes Palm d'Or in 2009 and that was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. This film is set in 1913 and deals with an authoritarian, fascist-like atmosphere in a small German city where children are subjected to rigid rules. As for L'amour I don't know much about it yet but I know it has great European actors and a Portuguese one called Rita Blanco plays a part in it too...

AIDS - the fight is still going on!

Video! "For this last Saturday, December 1st, World AIDS Day, an incredible group of people have shared the reason why they're in the fight against AIDS with ONE. These are their stories. Watch one. Share one. Join ONE.
On World AIDS Day, Saturday 1 December, we should all pledge to speak out, to sign and share the petition, share one film, tell one friend that the world must get back on track towards the beginning of the end of AIDS: it starts with you.T his year also marks thirty years in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and One's latest report shows that global progress is way off track – at this rate we won’t see the beginning of the end of AIDS until 2022. That’s not for the lack of thousands of activists trying, tirelessly, in the face of prejudice, discrimination, ignorance and often a lack of political will. " The evolution of AIDS epidemic in Portugal. The first case was detected in 1983, a man, Hospital Curry Cabral, Lisbon.

Source:INFECÇÃO VIH/SIDAA situação em Portugal - 31 de Dezembro de 2010
Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge, I.P
Departamento de Doenças InfecciosasUnidade de Referência e Vigilância Epidemiológica
Núcleo de Vigilância Laboratorial de Doenças Infecciosas

November 30, 2012

Portuguese Rooster Pillows!

Hi Zazzlers and friends!

I'll be short in words today because my cold got worse and I am about to go to bed with a cup of hot tea, honey and cinnamon.

This Rooster=Galo is the national non-official symbol of Portugal and its stands for honesty, faith, justice and luck. I forgot if I ever told you the legend of the Rooster of Barcelos on this blog. Barcelos is a small town in the north of Portugal. It is known for its pottery and clay sculptures. The most famous is the colorful clay rooster!!

There are several versions of the legend but they are all more or less the same. It goes like this. Once upon a time, Barcelos's inhabitants were alarmed with a crime - someone had stolen a silver piece from an important landowner. Suspicion fell on a stranger from the neighboring Spanish province of Galiza. He was just passing by on is way to worship St. Tiago of Compostela following a pilgrimage route also known as the Way of St James, which is still walked by devout Christians to this day. Nobody believed him but he kept saying he was innocent. He was imprisoned and condemned to death by hanging. As of last request, he asked to see the Judge once more to beg for his life. When he arrived at the Judge's house he was eating a fine meal with guests. Again, the magistrate did not believe him, he just laughed and said, So you say you're innocent?!! The pilgrim told him that he was, he was innocent, he could swear it before God! He looked everyone in the eye but no one showed him any mercy. All his pleas of innocence fell on deaf ears. Then he saw a servant carrying in a large platter with a roasted rooster. He reached him and fell to his knees. Good Lord, he implored, as sure as I'm innocent, so will this rooster crow! The Judge sent him to death as nothing happened the following minutes. But when the man was about to die in the gibbet the dead rooster stood up on the table and crowed! It was a sign of God! The Judge proclaimed that a lesson should be learned, that is, never to sit in quick judgment of our fellow man. The pilgrim was immediately set free and the rooster, henceforth, became a reminder and a symbol for honesty, faith, justice, and good luck. Years later the pilgrim returned to the town of Barcelos to carve the Cruzeiro do Senhor do Galo which is now housed in the Museu Arqueológico in Barcelos. The rooster of Barcelos stands for Honesty because the pilgrim was innocent and therefore God provided him a miracle. It also stands for Faith as the pilgrim had faith in God, so he was saved. The Portuguese Rooster also stands for Justice as we should avoid making snap judgments or accusations without proof. As for LUCK, Good luck rooster or Lucky rooster are also popular names for Barcelos Rooster. The rooster brought good luck to the pilgrim. So it's nice to have one around and that's why you can find it everywhere!

November 27, 2012

Blessing Bags for the Homeless - please, spread the word!

Photo of one of the bags ready to be delivered!

Today I learned that two young American teen children (13 and 16 years old) from Florida are working to help the homeless of their residence area with small gift bags filled with necessities they want to deliver the weekend before Christmas. Their mother is a fellow Zazzler. As I opened my Facebook today I was appalled by what I read. The kid's mother sent a message to a local online newspaper and asked if they'd be interested in running a story on her 2 boys. They need a little exposure to their cause, of course. The message must go out and as far as possible. It's not just about asking money. It's about putting together concrete actions to help people have a better Christmas.

The online newspaper guy just wasn't interested. First, because kids are just using Facebook and somehow Facebook must be an instrument of the devil, it seems the online newspaper guy disapproves its use to do good. Then he considered that these kids aren't doing nothing special. That's not a story, he wrote. They are just begging for money on Facebook. Ok, teens, please go to the streets and smash some windows, do some graffiti on city walls, step on the grass... or just get fat in front of TV and computer screens. Maybe then you can get Mr. Newspaper Man's attention.

Now, read this one, this is the story inside the story. If the boys could find some actual homeless people and then find homes or jobs for them then he would be interested in covering the story! What a bright man. I never thought that the solution for homeless and jobless people could be solved by teens! These are revolutionary ideas!! Someone must tell Obama about this social strategy!! I would be laughing now if I wasn't too shocked with the guy's lack of sensibility or humanity or whatever. Of course, he can do what he wants with his newspaper but I was a newspaperwoman myself once, so I can't understand his reasons completely. Was he high on drugs when he wrote that email? Why so rude on this mother and kids?

Maybe he was but I hope you are not when you read about Devon and Breydon's project. It's called Blessing Bags for the Homeless. How can you help? (Continue reading for contact details)

1. Send some goods;

2. Send a small donation;

3. Promote on Facebook, Blogs, and Twitter.

I sent a small donation.

This teen project is inspiring and should be cherished.

I challenge you not to be indifferent!


Our names are Devon and Breydon and we're brothers who are on a mission. Our mission is to deliver Blessing Bags to the homeless this holiday season. We are 13 and 16 years old and we want to make a difference in someone's life. Do you know what it feels like to live on the streets? Do you know what it feels like to go hungry? Do you know what it feels like to not have a blanket when you're cold? Do you know what it feels like to not have socks on your feet? Do you know what it feels like to never brush your teeth? Do you know what it feels like to not have a comb to brush your hair? Neither do we! We are blessed with these SIMPLE things every day. We are fortunate enough to have parents to help make these small things a part of our every day living.
So we have decided to make blessing bags for the homeless full of things we take for granted. We will fill gallon size Ziplock bags with things like soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc. These are small things we never think we'll go without and never give it a second thought. We will be collecting a list of items to put in the Ziplock bags and BLANKETS. We will collect these items and deliver them to the homeless the weekend before Christmas. IF we get enough supplies to fill a LOT of bags, we may even be able to hand some out for Thanksgiving. If this does well, we will continue to collect these items and hand them out throughout the year.
Can YOU help? Can you buy a pack of 4 toothbrushes at the Dollar Store for $1 and donate? Can you buy an 8 pack of crackers for $2 and donate? That would help EIGHT bags for $2. Your donation would be greatly appreciated by us brothers and the homeless.
We have put together a list of things to include in the bags. If you'd rather donate a small amount of money and us do the shopping, that would be great too. ANY help from you will be put to great use. We thank you for taking the time to read this and hope you can help in any way.

Suggested Items:

Gallon size Ziplock Bags - Chap Stick - Toothbrushes - Toothpaste - Combs/Brushes - Soap (travel size is ok) - Bandaids - Hand Wipes - Mouthwash (travel size ok) - Deodorant (travel size ok) - Wash Rags - Gum - Trail Mix - Granola Bars - Crackers - Socks - Gloves - Hats - Non Perishable Snacks (fruit cups, apple sauce, etc) - Disposable spoons - $5 McDonalds Gift Certificates - BLANKETS!!

*TIP* Save those small bottles of shampoo and conditioner, soaps and lotions that you are given when you stay in a motel. Those come in handy!!
ANYTHING else you think can be beneficial.We will pick up the items you donate.
If you would like to send the items through the mail they can be sent to Devon and Breydon Roberts PO Box 1482Bronson, Florida 32621
PAYPAL donations can be sent to:
Thank you and God Bless!

FB Page:

November 26, 2012

Unique Christmas gifts - adopt a star!

While browsing the internet I found this page about adopting a star. It's almost Christmas. What better gift to offer ourselves than a star? The idea is so lovely and funds go for star research. It's just 10$. 10$ for a star...not much is it? Who's the father of this idea? Travis Metcalfe. Travis Metcalfe is an astronomer at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He started White Dwarf Research Corporation in 1999, while he was a graduate student at the University of Texas-Austin. There are no paid employees - WDRC is run entirely on a volunteer basis by himself and the board of directors.

The Pale Blue Dot project was launched in January 2008 to help raise research funds for the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium, which does not receive any funding from NASA even though our work is central to the science goals of the Kepler mission. The KASC is an international collaboration, and NASA is not allowed to fund foreign organizations. That's where you come in.

Adopt a star- pale blue dot is an experiment in grassroots fundraising for a major scientific project. Travis came up with the general idea in 2003 when thinking about how to fund a global telescope network. The details are simple: if they can recruit about 100,000 people to donate $10 each, they can establish an endowment to fund our research over the lifetime of the Kepler mission at a level comparable to the grant support that NASA could provide to a large U.S. research group.

Travis is professional astronomer, and WDRC is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. He says we can feel confident that our donation will actually support cutting-edge scientific research on the stars that we adopt. So let's select a star and join the team! Who knows? Maybe a Pale Blue Dot will be discovered around the star that we adopt. How cool would that be?

November 25, 2012

Until death do us part horrible campaign

Hello friends and Zazzlers!

I'm with a big cold, no patience for Zazzle or anything. But I just came across this fresh campaign and felt like showing it here. A bit shocking, it really makes you stop to think about it. It reeds: Until death do us part. On November 25th International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is celebrate so Portuguese APAV - The Portuguese Association for Victim Support marked the anniversary by launching this tremendous awareness campaign on violence against women.What do you think about it?

How do you imagine domestic violence across Europe?

- 98% of people are now aware of domestic violence across the EU compared to
94% in the previous survey.
- Awareness of domestic violence against women is very high across the EU,
thanks to media such as television (92%), newspapers and magazines (59%)
informing the vast majority of EU citizens about the problem.
- Domestic violence remains very common: one respondent in four across the EU
knows a woman among friends or in the family circle who is a victim of
domestic violence. Since the previous survey, the proportion of Europeans (on a
comparable EU15 basis) that say they know a victim of domestic violence in
their circle of friends or family has increased from 19% to 25%.
- One person in five knows of someone who commits domestic violence in their
circle of friends and family (21%).
- Women are more likely than men to know a woman who has suffered from
domestic violence. They are also more likely than men to be aware of people
who commit this crime, and more likely to view the problem seriously and to
advocate tougher penalties for those responsible.
- 78% of Europeans recognise that domestic violence is a common problem. SPECIAL EUROBAROMETER 344 “Domestic Violence Against Women”11

- Attitudes to domestic violence have generally become much tougher, with far
more people (86%, up from 63% for the EU15) now saying that domestic
violence is unacceptable and should always be punishable by law. In the
European Union as a whole, 84% consider that domestic violence is
unacceptable and should always be punishable by law.
- Sexual and physical violence are seen as the most serious forms of violence
suffered by women with 85% of respondents in both cases considering that
these are “very serious”.
- There is strong support for EU involvement in eradicating domestic violence
against women (87% of respondents feel that the EU should probably or
definitely be involved).
- However, while most people believe that laws are in place to prevent domestic
violence, very few (14%) are familiar with specific EU measures to tackle the problem.

Source of this postage data:

Domestic Violence against Women Report - Special Eurobarometer 344
Fieldwork: February – March 2010
Publication: September 2010 

This survey was requested by the former Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and
Security (after an administrative reorganisation now DG Justice) and coordinated by the
Directorate-General for Communication (DG COMM "Research and Speechwriting" Unit).
This document does not represent the point of view of the European Commission.
The interpretations and opinions contained in it are solely those of the authors.

November 23, 2012

Buy gifts with flowers for your lady online

See another Drawstring backpack


So you have a problem. You are romantic. You like to offer flowers on special occasions. But the lady in your life says it's a waste of money. Flowers soon will die. She says that flowers belong to the garden! She is a practical woman that loves Nature. She may have a point! No problem. There are plenty of Zazzle products with beautiful illustrations of flowers or flowers photography!

These are great products to offer on a special occasion, like an anniversary, Valentines or just because you enjoy making a nice surprise now and then. If your girlfriend, wife, or lady friend does not like flowers here's the perfect list of gifts! You will find backpacks, Messenger small bags, tote bags, Samsung iphone 6 Cases, beautiful notebooks - and don't forget you can customize the words - mugs, plates, pillows, keepsake boxes, luggage tags and more!, Lots of ideas for a gift you can easily buy online. This list of products will save you time. From Zazzle of course!

This post was refreshed in 2015

"Julia Bubble" Drawstring Backpack
"Julia Bubble" Drawstring Backpack by Claire_Jones
Find more Fractals Drawstring Backpack at Zazzle

Flower girl Tote Budget Tote Bag
Flower girl Tote Budget Tote Bag by CashOriginals
Check out Flower Bags online at zazzle
Doodle flowers Mini Messenger Bag
Doodle flowers Mini Messenger Bag by ValeriAtelier
Check out more Doodle Messenger Bags at Zazzle
Floral bouquet courier bags
Floral bouquet courier bags by yumeus
Look at more Flower Messenger Bags at zazzle
Boho black white hand drawn floral doodles pattern
Boho black white hand drawn floral doodles pattern by girly_trend
Browse Hand drawn flowers Wallet Cases online at
Whimsical White Daisy Flower Pink Backpack
Whimsical White Daisy Flower Pink Backpack by artbymar
Look at Daisy Drawstring Backpack online at
Custom Name Pretty Floral Red Colorful Girly Mug
Custom Name Pretty Floral Red Colorful Girly Mug by pinkpinetree
Shop for Pattern Mugs online at

retro floral pillow
retro floral pillow by TheModSquad
View Retro Pillows online at zazzle
Cute floral, flowers keepsake box
Cute floral, flowers keepsake box by Boopoobeedoogift
Browse Cool Keepsake Box online at
Modern turquoise red pink floral watercolor accent pillow
Modern turquoise red pink floral watercolor accent pillow by girly_trend
Find other Modern floral pattern Accent Pillows at
"Flowers on Lacy Background" Wristlet Purse
"Flowers on Lacy Background" Wristlet Purse by hallmarkvintage
Browse more Hallmark Bagettes Bags at Zazzle
Vintage Rose 85th Birthday Celebration Guest Book Note Books
Vintage Rose 85th Birthday Celebration Guest Book Note Books by PBsecretgarden
Browse more 85th biryhday rose guest book Notebooks at Zazzle

Motivational girl poster
Motivational girl poster by GaiaMarfurt
Find other designs of Art & Posters at

Modern Chic Floral Pattern Pink Teal Watercolor Wristlet Clutch
Anemonies Poster
Anemonies Poster by Botany_Boy
Browse Anemonies Posters online at