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!

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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!
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Easy & Tasty - Codfish quiche

Hello everyone!

This other day, I was browsing around for a quick and easy Portuguese recipe. I wanted to prepare something new, with codfish, but that wouldn't require too much work.You know, after a whole day at work, I don't have time, energy or patience for complicated stuff. So, a quiche seemed a very good idea; it's easy to prepare and it doesn't take too much time to cook. This was my very first time making such thing, so I didn't know how it'd turn out. Well, let me tell you: I will make more!! :-)
I have to confess that I made too much for my quiche baking pan, therefore, instead of throwing it away, I made little quiche cupcakes which are great for on the go and to have as a fast lunch snack if you don't have that much time. Also, I used frozen quiche dough instead of making the real deal. I have to say that it turned out pretty good and if you're like me and afraid of not being able to make proper dough, this is a good solution.

Ingredients:
Unsalted  & raw codfish
1 orange paprika - cut in small cubes
1 medium onion - finely chopped
2 garlic gloves - finely chopped
black olives - finely sliced
1 package of cream cheese - I used Philadelphia light
1.5dl milk
4 eggs
salt & pepper to taste
capers to taste

How to:
Pre heat your oven at 180C. In a large bowl, mix the all the ingredients. I added all of them, no order, and just gently mixed them together. Cover your quiche pan with the dough. Pour the mix over it and add some rasped cheese if you like. Let it bake for about 20-25min. Once it gets a nice golden outer layer, get it out of the oven and let it cool down before serving.

And here it is; ready to eat! For on the side, you can just prepare some salad en voilá! A quick and tasty dinner is ready! Here at home, it was gone in no time. haha
I hope you give it a try! Totally recommend it.
Recipe adapted from here: http://www.cincoquartosdelaranja.com/

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Portuguese Milk Tarts | Queijadas de leite

Hello everyone!
Today, I've got a recipe for you that I had promise on Instagram to share in case it was successful.
Guess what? It was! yahoooo 
Some time ago, we had this BBQ and since I don't like to come with empty hands, I thought about preparing something easy but tasty at the same time. After some browsing, I had found the right thing to make:
Portuguese Milk Tarts.
Click to enlarge

Like with many other traditional recipes, there are tons of different ways of making them.
I bring you the crunchy outer layer version.
Everyone liked them, and surprisingly, even myself. Hahaha, yeah, I am not a fan of sweets (chocolate doesn't count!) but these were not as sweet as I expected so, for me, that was a big plus!
It goes well with a cup of coffee/tea or just as a little desert.

As an expat, for me it's always a true pleasure to bring a bit of my country and culture to others who may not be so familiar with how diverse our cuisine (and country) is.
My heart was filled with joy when the Dutchies said the words "Ohhh lekker!!"; mission accomplished!
Ingredients' list:
  • a package of puffy pastery
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream (I used Crème fraîche)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (or a bit more if you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to:
  • Pre-heat the over at 180C.
  • Grease your cupcake an and distribute the puffy pastry over the cups by pressing it with your \thumbs.
  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, starting with sugar and egg yolks, and then the liquid ingredients.
  • Fill up each cup for about 2/3 of the its height.
  • Let it bake for about 25min or until you see a golden outer layer.
I hope you like it and if you try them out, please let me know how did it go! ;-)
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Monday, October 05, 2015

Eu e as eleições

Primeiro que tudo, não votei. 
Não votei não porque não quis, mas porque simplesmente o boletim de voto nunca chegou até mim.
Sim, tenho a morada actualizada no CC (fui eu própria que escrevi a morada porque a funcionária da Junta ia tendo um AVC quando lhe disse o nome da rua... "ah menina é melhor ser você a escrever isso") em como não sou residente em Portugal e sim, estou inscrita no Consulado/Embaixada de Portugal na Holanda.
Fico espantada como nunca recebi nada... Mas fico chateada? Não!

E por que não fico chateada? Porque a meu ver, quem deve votar para eleições legislativas são os Residentes e não aqueles que só porque têm nacionalidade Portuguesa mas residem noutro país, podem votar. Os Residentes pagam impostos, vivem o seu dia-a-dia de acordo com as regras impostas pelo Governo em posse.
Os emigrantes não.
Ora, seguindo esta mesma lógica, acho sinceramente que eu deveria votar era para as eleições legislativas do país onde resido; se sou "boa" para pagar impostos (que não são nada baixos) também deveria ser "boa" para poder escolher quem "dita as regras aqui no burgo"! Parece-me óbvio...
Caso contrário, é apenas mais um exemplo do "Paga e não bufa". Claro está, que se quiser votar para as eleições legislativas daqui da zona, tenho que me naturalizar.
O problema é muito simples; eu não quero ser Holandesa! Não quero. 
Não me identifico. Eu sou Portuguesa e ponto final!
Posso cá viver muitos anos, mas nunca serei Holandesa. Posto isto, vou continuar a pagar e a não bufar...
Mas adiante que a conversa de hoje é outra.

Ainda no rescaldo das eleições legislativas em Portugal, não posso dizer que fico espantada ou surpresa. Afinal de contas, já lá dizia o ditado, "cão que ladra não morde".
E o resultado de ontem foi mais um exemplo disso.
Se formos a ver bem o mapa, o país está claramente dividido, a diferença de votos nem foi assim tão além quanto isso, mas a verdade é que todos aqueles que se fartam de reclamar de tudo, dizer que "ah isto tá tão mau", fazer greves e sei lá mais o quê, foram os mesmos que quando lhes dá a oportunidade, não sabem aproveitá-la.
Ou não foram suficientes... Poderá ser isso? Eu sinceramente, não sei o número de cidadãos pertencentes à classe média de Portugal, classe essa que é a que mais sofre com todas as medidas de austeridade impostas nestes últimos quatro anos. Mas estava certa de serem suficientes para dar a volta e votarem de outra forma.
Claro está, cada um vota de acordo com a sua opinião, e a bom da verdade, se eu tivesse recebido o belo do boletim de voto, não saberia em quem votar.
Mais do mesmo?! acho que não... Mas CDU e afins também acho que não seria solução. Numa coisa o Passos e amigos tinham razão: Portugal não é a Grécia!

Gostarão os Portuguese de austeridade?
No café, em casa e na rua, respondem não. Nas urnas dizem que sim!
Resumindo e baralhando; por aqui, continuaremos a pagar e a não bufar e por aí, continuará tudo igual; mais greve menos greve, mais manifestação menos manifestação.

"O Povo é ordeiro"
 
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