Monday, December 14, 2015

Pelos caminhos de Portugal - part 9 - Palácio Mateus

Olá!! :-)

As I had written on my previous post about our stay in Vila Real, besides relaxing we went to Palácio Mateus, which is just a bus drive away from the city center. I believe it took approximately 20min to get there.
I was not sure if I had been there in the past, but I did know that it was a beautiful place to visit.
At the Palace, they have their own orchard where they grow all kinds of fruits which will be used for private matters but also in their own made Jams. Every time I visit Portugal,my suitcase is filled with these jam jars; the tomato jam is a huge success here at home! haha
We also had a stroll through the vineyards, gardens and the Palace itself. Unfortunately, we could not visit the whole Palace since there is still a family living there.
A guided tour through the Palace and Chapel was arranged and we could see how beautiful they are on the inside. Due me only having my phone with me, the quality of the pictures was not so fantastic, that's why you won't see any of them in this post. Sorry.
The Palace's gardens are equally beautiful with many different flowers. I think the best time to visit them is around Spring and not in July/August when it's damn warm...

Here's Palácio Mateus; I hope you like as much as we did! :-)
Pictures with Samsung A3

Whenever you are in Vila Real and need a place to eat, please do yourself a favor and stop by at Terra da Montanha restaurant (click here).
The service is great but the food is beyond what words can describe! They also have a great selection of wines. Perhaps, we had our best meals over there...... Yummie!

On the next chapter of our road trip we start our journey to Coimbra!

See you soon! :)

 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The road to Invisalign

Hello there!!

Today I want to talk about Invisalign and try to answer some of your potential questions about this treatment. I read so many reviews and other people's opinions that I find out very important to share mine as well. Who knows? Maybe there's one of you who also wants to get a nicer smile but is not aware that you can actually do it without having your mouth filled with metal wires.

Here are some FAQ's:

  • What is it?
Invisalign is a "new" way of getting your teeth straight without using the conventional metal braces.
These are plastic trays, transparent, that are custom made to your teeth.

  • How it works?
Each person's case is different and therefore the treatment plan is also different. In general terms, anyone could use this treatment (they have treated over 3M patients!!). Depending on the duration of your treatment, you will get a certain amount of trays. Each tray is replaced every two weeks, unless your doctor says otherwise.
You should wear them for about 20-22hours a day, meaning all the time except when having meals.

  • How do they get the aligners custom made?
Nowadays, some Invisalign providers have a digital scanner that takes pictures of your teeth. Imagine using a probe with a camera on the very end and take pictures of your teeth.
In case such system is not available, then they make traditional molds of your teeth.
You also have to take X-rays of your mouth and skull.

  • Restrictions:
No food, hot or sugary drinks while wearing Invisalign. Only water is allowed. If you do eat or drink while wearing them be prepared for the possibility that your aligners will get some coloring or may even break.
After every meal/snack, you have to floss, brush your teeth and your aligners. Like... always!

  • Is it really "invisible"?
Depends.
In my case, I think not. Why? I have some attachments placed on my teeth, therefore, you can see "bumps" on them and the correspondent bumps on the aligners.
If you do not need any attachments (in case your teeth only need minor correction) than most likely,
your aligners will hardly be noticeable.

  • What are those "bumps" on your teeth?
The bumps or attachments are small composite placed on your teeth to help them move better.
Some teeth may need more difficult movements (rotation or vertical direction - up/down) which a flat surface won't be able to do.
They will have the same color as your teeth or as close as possible of course.

  • Does it hurt?
Pain is a very subjective thing. I can stand quite some pain, but in my case, I have not felt any pain so far! Like, nothing!!
I do feel some pressure on my teeth, due to having a strange object placed on my teeth. Also, some of my teeth feel more sensitive than others, but I don't call this pain.
Pain for me is something that requires to take medicine and won't allow you to do your normal daily errands.
So far, I'm just fine! Could change in the future though...

  • Does it affect your speech?
A little bit. Some words get a funny sound but it's nothing crazy. Words with "s" or "f" are the trickiest ones for me.

  • How much it cost?
The cost highly depends on the duration of the treatment. This means that there is no price that fits all, let's say.
In my case, the technical costs (getting your aligners manufactured) are a fixed value and what could make the whole treatment more expensive is the amount of visits required.
Invisalign says that in average, the treatment can go from 3.5 - 5.5kEur. Yes, I have been saving for some years in order to get my teeth fixed... It's an investment. So if you are planning on doing this, make sure you've got your finances in order.
Some providers may allow you to pay in equal parts; like a monthly bill. Just ask if that's possible.

  • Does the insurance cover the treatment?
In my case no. Depending on your insurance company they may have special agreements for orthodontics.
Always ask them in advance, just so you know what to count on.

My experience:

So far I am positive about it. I got so excited once I had seen my ClinCheck video (a computer simulation made by Invisalign on how your teeth should progress throughout the treatment), that I just couldn't wait to get started! :-)
I had done an extensive research about this kind of treatment and knew what the restrictions were.
It has been exactly 2 month since I have decided to go for this treatment and had my first appointment at the orthodontics and the day I actually got my first set of aligners. they have quite a busy agenda... haha

As I said previously, I have not had any pain so far. I do miss to be able to snack and drink coffee as
many times as I want.
On my purse, I always have to carry a tooth brush&paste and flossers. I wanna be able to do things I like regardless having these on my teeth. A little bit of preparation that's all it takes (and a purse big enough... hahaha).

If you have questions about Invisalign, please let them in the comments below and I will try to answer you.
I am no expert in this, obviously, but I can try to help you out.

When were not happy with something, you have to take the lead and measurements in order to change it!
I wasn't happy with my smile but didn't want to have my mouth full with wires; glad someone came up with this technique!

Before I forget, make sure you choose a certified Invisalign provider! Go to their website and search for one closer to you. If some doctor's name is not on the list, then he/she isn't certified!
Be aware that they may be people trying to fool you by waving with low prices and so on, but then, if something happens
you may end up in troubles.

Anyway, I will keep updating about my journey with Invisalign! If you are interested or know someone who is, then please come back. ;-)

For more info, please check Invisalign's wesite: http://www.invisalign.com/

 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:

Monday, December 07, 2015

Beatuy | A first time

Hello!! :)

There's always a first time for everything, correct?
So I also had one, this time at a MAC counter. Yes, it took me forever to finally go to a MAC counter and purchase my first MAC product.
Now, all of you beauty and MAC experts are like "Why did you take so long?!".
Let me answer that question for you! ;-)

I have a serious issue with spending a nice amount of money for things that are seen as "unnecessary". Make-up items can be seen like that.
Somehow, I felt that their products are on the pricier-side of the fence and never had the urge to jump over and see what was on the other side.
Was it worth the hype? Was it worth the money?

When my foundation finished, I made up my mind and head to a MAC counter. I was ready to see what they had to offer.
It was also a perfect timing to get the right shade for me! Yeah, even though I read all kinds of post about "how to check your right foundation shade" I was still not confident that all these years I have been selecting the right one... I hope I have not been walking around with a totally off tone foundation... LOL

Anyway, I went to the MAC counter closer to me and found a very kind sales assistant
whiling to help me out. "How can I help you?" She asked. I'm sure she had no idea what I had in mind for her! hahaha

I told her:
  • Don't know my right shade
  • Never bought any MAC product
  • Long lasting foundation
  • Good but not full coverage
  • Don't want to look like a porcelain doll
  • No time to touch ups during the day

Kind she was to find something that would suit my needs and even do my make up. Yeah, I went there with clean face (can't even imagine what went through her mind...).

She found the right shade for me and presented the MAC Studio Fix plus in NC20 to me.

I have been using it for 3 months, 5 days/week, over 10hours/day. Pretty intense test, don't you think?
Pictures - Sony Alpha 5100 | Flash ON

What I like about this foundation is that it does everything I asked for! This baby lasts the whole day on the sky, even after working out! Yes, I go work out with make up on. And as long as I don't touch my face too much, it will stay the same as I applied early in the morning.

Coverage is good; not too strong but not too sheer either. I usually apply 1.5pumps all over my face and it evens out all imperfections. For more coverage I should use a concealer, but I like the fact that I can still see my freckles but the skin looks even.
I sure don't look like a porcelain doll, which is a plus to me!
Looks natural and light on the skin. Most of the days I forget I'm wearing it.

After 2 months, I believe the jar is still quite full. It comes in a 30ml glass jar which can be a problem for travelers. It didn't have a pump; I had to buy it separately for 5Eur extra.
The foundation costs 31Eur here in Nl.

Will I repurchase it? Most probably yes!
Do I think it was worth the money? Sure! Nothing beats having the right shade and a foundation that does what you need/want.

Totally recommend stopping by at a MAC counter and get some advice. I'm sure next time I'm there I will bring another item. It's very difficult not to go crazy in that store, but one has to stay focus!
There are other bills to pay... hahaha

Still hoping to win the lottery one day.

What about you? Which foundation do you use? What makes a good foundation to you?
Any recommendations on which product should I bring home on my next visit?

Let me know in the comments section below!


See you soon!!


 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Pelos caminhos de Portugal - part 8 - Vila Real

Olá!!! :-)

Ready for Vila Real??
Well, back in Vila Real we didn't do much for two reasons:
  • Too tired; legs and feet were crying out loud for some time off.
  • Not much to do in there.
With this saying, it does not mean that Vila Real has nothing nice to visit or see. On the contrary!
The way to and out of Vila Real is just breathtaking, as you drive through the mountains; Serra do Marão.  You have beautiful views to the Douro river and the vineyards along the river.
It is just soooo beautiful to see how everything is planted and how organize it looks. almost like a painting.

In Vila Real we stayed at the best hotel of the whole trip (Hotel Miracorgo), which turned out to be just great because we were in huge need of some comfort. The facilities were great if you need to rest and don't do much. A little swim was also possible! 

Even though Vila Real is the capital of the province Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, it is cozy and rather small. Over there we had great meals and wine! Mr. man became a huge fan of the regional wine! Plus points for me! hahaha
I still think that the extra kilos I've gained during the whole vacation came from there! hahaha
During the only full day we had in town we went visiting the Palácio Mateus, which is just a little bus trip away. The palace is soooo beautiful; we had a tour and were mesmerized!
My favorite jams are made with fruits coming from this Palace!!! :)
But hey, enough talking and let me show you some of the pictures. 
 While driving to Vila Real, through Serra do Marão
View from our Hotel 
Vila Real's center 

 Serra do Marão seen from Vila Real. Despite the clouds it was very warm!
Up next: Palácio Mateus!! 

Come check the blog soon; I've got tons of good stuff in the pipeline! ;-)
Also, don't forget to subscribe; links are on the right bar. 

 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fitness | How to avoid unwanted talks

Hello!!! 

Are you ready to talk fitness?? ;-)

How annoying is to be at the gym, minding your own business while working out, and having people staring at you or even coming to talk to you with "silly talks"?!
Yeah, it happened... and I don't like it.
What does make some people think that just because you're there that you have a "2nd agenda"?!
It is a fact that some people go to the gym not really to work out but to just socialize or even
to try to find a girl/boyfriend. That's fine for them, but just let me be...

After some thought and experiments, I came to a very nice solution that sort of "repels" those guys at the gym that think they can actually get something from you.
The solution was right there, in my closet.
I'm talking about those "bad ass" (some, even ugly one could say) metal festival (or band) t-shirts!
Yes!!

I have quite some of these t-shirts, thanks to my man's job, lying around totally useless.
Unless I'm doing a major cleaning in the house or moving houses, I won't wear them but now, they have a new purpose/mission!

It works like a wonder (unless your gym is full with metalheads!)!

Here some examples:

Put one of these on and nobody will even dare to say a word!

Don't get me wrong; I'm no anti-social or whatsoever, but I just don't like to be bothered. :-)
I go to the gym to work out and that's it!

If you don't have any of these t-shirts then I wish you good luck...
No matter what, go work out, get active and stay in shape!
Your body and mind will appreciate (and maybe even your ego/self-esteem, in case you hear
unwanted compliments every now and then).

 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A new adventure starts today!!!

Hello there!!!

It has been a while since my last post, but life has been busy as well. How have you been on that side of the screen?

Well, today I'm writing about a new chapter in my life that I am very happy to start. It took me a while to take this step for several reasons but now I'm on a roll!!
If you follow me on instagram or FB, you may have seen a picture of mine saying that I was about to start a new adventure, a 9 month adventure.
99.9% of people thought the same, but I'm very glad to tell you that, you WERE WRONG!!!!

No, my 9 month adventure is not called "pregnancy" but instead is called "Invisalign"! :D
I have decided to get braces and my treatment lasts for 9 months, in a total of 19 aligners (38 weeks). Today is my first day and so far all is going great! I do feel a little pressure on my teeth but no pain AT ALL!!

I am planning on keeping a little journey update as I know several people look for this kind of orthodontic treatment. I also read TONS of blogs/reviews and lost count on how many Youtube videos I watched.

But for now, that's all! :)
I hope you had as much fun with the prank as I did!


 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:

Monday, November 09, 2015

Pelos caminhos de Portugal - part 7 - Food in Guimarães!

Hello again!!

I hope you are not hungry when you read this, because I am about to show you some of the super delicious foods we had in Guimarães.
All our meals were at S. Tiago's Square because over there there are plenty of great restaurants and it's very easy to find. This square is right in the center so you can't miss it. On a square "next door" called Largo da Oliveira you will find nice pubs to grab a dinner!

In all places we went, the service was great, as quick as possible and the food was just damn delicious!! You always get a lot for the price you pay.
The most difficult part was always to chose what to eat; the options are endless and most of them I had not have in a while. Difficult...
Part of this trip was also meant as a new "food experience", especially for Mr.man. Portuguese cuisine is very diverse and "homey" and I was so happy to see that along the way, Mr.man was enjoying it. Mission accomplished! :-)

On to the food:

  • Caldo Verde + Polvo à Lagareiro = happy me!!! Mr. man had for desert a little Toucinho do Céu which is an abbey pastry. We topped with some great wine and coffee afterwards.



  • For lunch with had a great Gilt-head bream (aka Dourada) on the grill with black eyed bean salad. Enough to keep us going the whole afternoon.
  • For dinner, I had squids in tomato sauce with potatoes. 
  • As a snack, with a salty pastries with different fillings. We call them empadas.


Did I make you hungry?? hahaha
On the next chapter: Vila Real!!!

See you soon!!

 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Beauty | Hair routine - silicone free: Yes or No?

Hello there!

Warning: this is a long post!

A while ago, in one of my Youtube marathons, I came across a very interesting video from Julia Graf. If you are not familiar with her two options apply:

  1. You've been living in a cave
  2.  You're not from this world

hahaha :-)

No seriously, she's one the best Youtubers out there with very interesting videos and not only beauty related.
One of these days, she talked about going silicone-free with her hair routine and why she has decided to do so. This is of course a very personal thing and each person does whatever they like, but when Julia described her reasons I realized that we shared quite some issues regarding hair.

Let me tell you more about my personal take on this subject.

First of all, I have long hair and never had issues regarding oiliness. Dry scalp yes, but oily nop!
In the past, my hair could handle a week between washes without looking greasy or anything. When I wouldn't style it, it was also not a big deal. It looked funky but good, if you get my point.
It is worth to mention that during this time, I was visiting the hairdresser on a very frequent basis, just to keep it in good shape.
Long hair needs care!

Once I moved to Brussels, 5 years ago, my hair started to slowly change. The Belgian water was harder than the Portuguese and my hair slowly lost its shine.
Still no troubles with oiliness; on the contrary, I had to get special shampoo (from my PT hairdresser) and other products to bring the shine back and moisturize the scalp.
Once I moved back to PT, the problems slowly faded away and hair was back to normal!

Then, the time came and I moved to NL, knowing that most probably I would have the same issue with the hardness of the water, so I started to use all kind of products that would promise "sleek, shiny hair". If I only I knew...

Honestly, it never occurred to me to read the ingredients list.
But it seems that all these shampoos/conditioners/styling products that promise shinny and sleek hair, are piled up with silicons.
What silicone does to your hair, is that it creates an outer layer around the hair fiber, which will make it look shiny and sleek but in fact it's not really doing anything to the hair itself.
It's like applying a heavy duty foundation when you have a skin full with acne scars; you're not treating it, but covering it up.

I also did not know that these ingredients build up on your hair&scalp and that you need special shampoo in order to get rid of them.
What happened was that along the way, my hair besides losing its shine, it started to get greasy much faster than usual (second day after washing was already looking terrible!) and when I did not style it than it would look like a total mess!
And then, Julia's video came online right on the moment I was starting to get worried about this and didn't know what to do.

Well, if you have the same issue, I totally recommend to watch the video. Click here to watch.

It was a true wake up call!
I had now a mission: get rid of all those nasty products and find alternatives that on the longer term would bring my "good old hair" back.

Let me tell you; it's not an easy thing to do! Your hair won't look good for a while and you may wonder if you made the right choice.I had those moments, but decided to keep trying.

At the moment, I'm using Herbal Essences' silicone free shampoo and conditioner, and every week I do a hair mask using The Body Shop's Rainforest Moisture.
To help out with blow drying and give extra shine, I have been using coconut oil. This does not make my hair greasy at all.
It smells good and does not build up; I did look through the ingredients' list and it seems to be okay.
Shampoo&conditioner 
Hair mask 
Shine


So far, I'm happy with the results!
The hair is slowly recovering and even when I let it dry naturally, it does not get so fuzzy anymore.
Not perfect yet, but I'm hoping that it will get better.
Worth to mention that I can now wait 4 days in between washes; it may sound a lot but for my hair that's fine.

One of my concerns is still regarding heat protecting products (those you apply before you curl or use flat iron). So far, I have not found a silicone free one. So, if you know any, please let me know!
Specially now that Winter is coming, I tend to style my hair more frequently so this kind of product becomes more important.

Long story short:

  • Always check the ingredients list of any hair product you buy
  • Mind what you apply... If you decide to stick with products which contain silicone, make sure to use a shampoo that can remove them.
  • Visit a hair dresser to ask for more information in case your hair is not looking/behaving as usual.
  • I am very glad I decided to go silicone-free!


Thanks Julia!

 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pelos caminhos de Portugal - part 6 - Guimarães day 2

Hey there!! :-)
 
After a little break, I am ready to continue reporting our trip to the North of Portugal and today, I would like to finish up the Guimarães chapter.
As you may have seen on my previous post, the city center is just beyond charming and it totally brings you back to old Historical times. If you don't know what I am talking about, please check out this post.
 
Day #2 in Guimarães:
  • Cable car trip to Santuário da Penha; a breathtaking spot with marvelous views over the city and surroundings.
  • Visited the Ducal Palace.
At both locations we walked a LOT, so legs were very heavy at the end of the day and seriously asking for some rest.
So, without further dues, here are some of the pictures taken during this exhausting but marvelous day:
All pics taken with Samsung A3
On the next post, I will share info about where to eat in Guimarães (plenty of good options!) and show you how our trip to Vila Real was.
One of the good things about doing this posts, is that I have the chance to look at all those amazing places we visited and great memories run through my mind! #loveit
I will do my best to get the next episode online ASAP!
See you soon!
 photo post_sign2_zpsbyxhlovf.png
 photo post_sign_zps7sxwwduy.png
SHARE:
© Porty's Diary. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig