Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 in review - the good, the bad & the ugly

As the year is approaching to its end, I can honestly say: it was about time!
What a year....

To me, it feels like 2016 was a roller coaster at the speed of light. Went from its best to its worst in a blink of an eye.

Still remember, starting 2016 full of hope, positive thinking and most of all, seeing it as a blank canvas where I could try to write the best story I could ever come up with.
Guess what? I didn't.
Not that I didn't try, because I did, but every time I tried to make something good of it, life had something else in mind.

In bullet points here's my 2016 in review:

The good:
Birthday in NYC
Became a home owner 
The project I've been working on it finally got out "for business"
Portugal won the EuroCup

The bad:
Had a trip planned for the day that the Brussels attacks happened; luckily I changed my flight...
My car was strained at Brussels airport
No summer vacation
No beach
Got a debt for the rest of my life
Got checked for breast cancer
Had a burglary in my house
My camera got stolen
Lost the sense of safety/security
The World is a f*cked up place
Trump became president
Miss my family (which gets smaller by the second) and true friends

The ugly:
My grandmother died 😢


So yeah.... It has been quite something this year.
Do I look back with a smile? No.
Do I look forward with a smile? No.
Am I looking forward for 2017? Not really.
Should I? Perhaps...

But you know what? F*ck you 2016!

Source: Google.com

And for you 2017 around the corner: you better nice!! 
Hope your 2016 had been much better. 

Best wishes for 2017!

P.S.: A big thanks to all the people that in one way or another were there with & for me throughout 2016. I will never forget....
Next post:January 1st 0am CET
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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!!!!

Hi everyone!

First of all, I would like to wish Happy Holidays to everyone celebrating them.
May your days be filled with joy, health, love, good food and drinks, peace in your hearts and surrounded by those who you love the most.

Well, like Santa is saying: we're closed for the next days!
Time to be together family and loved ones, and treasure these moments.

For those who may be crossing tough paths; here's a big hug! There will be brighter days ahead.


Source: Google.com


The blog will be back on December 30th at 9am CET and from that point on, every Monday at the same time with a new blog post online for your (and mine) entertainment.


Wish you all a Merry Christmas!



P.S.: Let's remember those who cannot be with us anymore; you will be forever missed....


Next post: December 29th 9am CET

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Rituais de “migras”

Isto de ser emigrante (soa tão a Linda de Suza...) tem muito que se lhe diga. Nada de novo para quem esteja a ler e o seja ou conheça alguém na mesma situação.

Nunca me ocorreu o verdadeiro significado de ser emigrante. Até que de vez em quando páro para reflectir no assunto, e não deixo de observar uns factos ou rituais bastante engraçados (pelo menos pra mim são haha).


Source: Google.com

Isto cada maluco com a sua, não é verdade?! 
Os meus rituais de emigrante mais marcantes e frequentes são os seguintes:
  • Viajar com malas vazias ou dentro umas das outras. 
Se for de visita apenas num fim-de-semana, 50% da minha mala de cabine vai vazia! Há que deixar espaço para trazer uns chouriços, queijos, pão, caldo verde... essas coisas boas que cá não há. 
Se ficar por mais tempo, a mala de porão vai garantidamente vazia e volta cheia... 
  • Combinar a periocidade das visitas com idas ao cabeleireiro 
De certeza que na cidade onde moro há bons cabeleireiros, mas também sei que só confio num onde ir! E calha ser em Portugal... Pancadas, eu sei, mas não há nada a fazer! Só corto o cabelo em PT, period!
  • Ouvir piadas do pessoal da segurança dos aeroportos assim que lhes digo o que trago na mala
Já perdi a conta ao número de vezes que me perguntaram se o caldo verde já tava feito, ou se levo os pasteis de Nata ou de bacalhau... Coisas desse género. Sempre temos uns 2 minutinhos de conversa e lá me desejam boa sorte, boa viagem e até breve.
  • Dar o discurso de emigrante ao pessoal do balcão de check-in na esperança de não me ser cobrado nenhuma taxa extra pelo excesso de peso (as garrafas de vinho pesam que se fartam!!!).
True story... não vale a pena! Isto de querer trazer o Jumbo, Pingo Doce e o Continente inteiros dentro da mala dá quase sempre chatice. Chego até a deixar coisas para trás (em casa da minha mãe) para evitar ainda mais kg extra. Chegou ao ponto de me dizerem no check-in que não valia a pena fazer “carinha de cachorro abandonado”. Também não tive que pagar extra pelos quase 3 kg a mais!! Hahaha Já inventavam umas garrafas de vinho ultra leve...
  • Dou por mim embasbacada a olhar para as bancadas nos mercados/supermercados 
Não gozem! Só quem já visitou um supermercado normal aqui na Holanda é que vai saber do meu suplício.... #dramademigras

Acho que estes são os mais comuns... LOL

E vocês também têm alguns rituais, caso sejam emigras? Ou conhecem os rituais de alguém?? Partilhem; não me quero sentir só neste meu drama... Maluca sim, mas acompanhada, sff.

Até breve!




Next post: Decmber 24th 9am CET

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Photography | A new adventure

Hello!

Ever since I got my camera, I have been trying to take more photos and get better at it, but like with anything else, I have realized that it really takes time and effort to see some results.
In the beginning, I basically just shot in auto and slowly changed some settings to see what would happen; never I thought about JPG/RAW formats. If only I knew....

Since a few weeks, I have been spending some time reading information about all technical specs of the camera and understand every single mode.
At this moment, I have the kit lens only, which for my level is quite good I think; at least there is still room for improvement and learning with this setup I've got now.
So far, my favorite mode to shoot is Aperture mode, though, I sometimes still get a bit confused with those funny numbers and all. I think should refresh my knowledge in optics... :-) *shame*

The photo below, I had to do some touch ups on Lightroom since the original was a bit over exposed due to high ISO, but here the goal was to play around with the night-shooting mode that the camera offers.

Maastricht - December '15 - by Miss B
My goals on a short term are:
- Always shoot in raw format.
- Learn how to use the Shutter mode.
- Improve night photos.

Please, leave your feedback not just on this picture, if you will, but also let me know some tips & tricks. I'm still a newbie, so please keep that in mind. :-)

Have a good week!

See you soon!!

Photo details:
Sony a5100 25mm f/4.5 1/8s
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Monday, December 05, 2016

Então e os coffeeshops?!

Para o comum dos mortais, morar na Holanda ou visitar o país é sinónimo de visita obrigatória a um (ou mais para os amantes da coisa) coffeeshop.
Compreensível para quem vem de países onde o consumo é proíbido e gosta de fumar a sua “joint” de vez em quando.
Agora para vosso espanto, as coisas não são assim tão simples!

Comecemos pelo princípio, já lá dizia o outro.
Quando me mudei para a Holanda, em 2011, coffeeshops eram como outra loja qualquer. Abertos a qualquer pessoa, residente ou turista, em qualquer vila ou cidade do país, sem restrições. Afinal de contas, a Holanda sempre foi conhecida por ser um país p’ra frentex, e portanto, ir a um coffeeshop era quase como ir beber uma bica com os amigos assim ao final de um dia de trabalho.

Mas a coisa mudou!
Calma...
Não mudou em todo o lado.

Pra quem visita as grandes cidades, não há qualquer problema (tanto quanto sei!), portanto não precisam de desmarcar a viagem para A’dam (diminutivo para Amsterdão em Holandês).

Então em que é que ficamos?! Ficamos naquela grey-zone.
Acho que foi em 2013 se a memória não me engana, as regras mudaram e foi introduzida uma restrição a quem pode ou não ser cliente dos coffeeshops. O problema levantou-se porque vilas/cidades fronteiriças tinham o chamado “coffeshop tourists”; pessoas que se deslocavam exclusivamente para irem a estes locais. O que tinha isso de mal?! Também não sei...
Foi então proibido o acesso a quem não fosse residente, e passou a ser obrigatório ter o “weed pass” ou “coffeeshop pass”...... No comments.
Resumindo e baralhando, pelo menos na cidade onde moro, os donos dos coffeeshops revoltaram-se e fecharam durante tempo indeterminado como forma de protesto.
Consequência?? A óbvia; começou a haver tráfico na rua....
Source: Google.com
Lá se devem ter entendido, e agora, alguns já reabriram (mas muitooo menos). Nunca mais se ouviu falar do “weed pass”...

Agora assim a jeito de resumo:
Nem toda a gente que mora na Holanda é cliente assíduo dos coffeeshops.
Nem todos os turistas são “coffeeshop tourists”.
Se querem jogar pelo seguro vão a A’dam; lá tenho a certeza que continua a ser livre para todas as pessoas, residentes ou não.

Moral da estória (sim!! Estória e não História):
Complicaram algo que não valia muito a pena complicar.
Mais burocracia.
Mais tráfico nas ruas nas vilas/cidades em que a restrição ainda se impõe.
Há muito mais para ver/visitar na Holanda que os coffeeshops ou A’dam! 

Boa semana!

Até breve!

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Não deixes para amanhã...

For English, please use translation tool
... o que podes fazer hoje.

Os ditados populares e a sua sabedoria.
Cliché? Talvez, mas não deixa de ser verdade.

Quantas vezes não deixamos algo para fazer noutra altura, porque agora não dá jeito?
Quantas vezes não falamos ou mandamos um olá a alguém querido, porque hoje não tivemos tempo? Mas há sempre tempo para a porcaria do supérfulo, para o inútil, mas para o que realmente importa, a tendência é adiar.
Eles vão lá estar amanhã, pensamos. Eu pelo menos às vezes penso.

E depois arrependo-me. 😐

Arrependo-me do que podia ter feito e não fiz.
Do que podia ter dito e não disse.
Porque nem tudo é para sempre, e muito menos as pessoas. 
Elas vão-se e nós não estivémos, não dissémos, não mostrámos.... 
Por isso, o melhor é não deixar para amanhã!

O amanhã poderá ser tarde.

"Guiding skies" - Lisbon - October '16 - by Miss B.

Photo details:
Sony a5100 16mm f/10 1/100s ISO100
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Last trip to Portugal for 2016


View at the Castle from Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara - by Miss B

Hello!

At the end of October, me and Mr. A, went back to Porty-land for a few days away.
Took advantage of the long weekend and off we went!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Locks from Paris - how did it happen?

I have never been to Paris, and in all honesty, I don't plan on going.
But technically, I have been to Parisian soil, at the airport, though. Does that count?! LOL
Anyway, even though I have never been there, the thousands of locks on a bridge (example), are quite well know all over the world. 
Till today, I don't get why fixing a lock on a bridge will mean anything. Or that any wish will become true. Or that your feelings will be "forever"....
Might be just my skeptical side being a bit prominent.
Also thought that maybe it was some kind of tradition linked to Paris, with a background story that I have yet to find.
Surprise to me, I have found some locks, on what I believe to be a sewer lid, in Portugal.
The location is very nice as well, to me, nicer than Paris (no offense), but totally random.
It made me wonder:
- was this imported by some tourists, that thought "oh wait, here's some metal part, let's fix a lock here, like in Paris!"
- some Portuguese people thought "why not a bit of Paris over here?"
Not that it bothers me, on the contrary, found it quite amusing. But, the question remains; why to fix a lock?
What is the point?
Has anyone ever done such thing?
I would be glad to know what were the reasons.
"Small bits of hope" - October '16 - by Miss B
With or without locks, let's just make our dreams & wishes come true.

Have a good week!

See you soon,

Photo details:
Sony a5100 40mm f/5.6 
1/400s ISO100
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Shop is open!!!!

Hello everyone!

So, we are back to business!! *CONFETTI*

As you may have noticed, either from checking the blog out or from my last post  (HERE), the lack of posts the last months was obvious.

This year has taken some funky (to put it in a nice way) twists and my attention was diverted to other subjects.

Lost my view on what I would like to write about, some call it inspiration. As if I got lost along the way; lost the vision.
"Finding the way" - Lisbon - October '16 - by Miss B
But, some time away made me realize that I missed blogging. I missed writing about things that mean something to me. It may sound very selfish but a personal blog is somehow selfish. Or else, you are just being bombarded with another marketing campaign... Not here, fellas!

So, I grabbed my thoughts, paper and pen and tried to remind myself why I started this blog, what went wrong (as if there's right or wrong when it comes to a blog) and how I can prevent this absence to happen again.

As you can read on the About page (which got an update), there it is stated what my interests are and it is a clear indication on how I envision this blog.
It's all about going back to the roots.

But let's see what we've got new over here:
New layout: what would it be a fresh start without a new outfit, right? :)
Language: I am seriously going to try to write more in Portuguese; not just because it is getting rusty but because I would like to reach out more to my fellow Porties out there. English posts will remain.
Frequency: The plan is to have a weekly story; if time allows or life gives me lemons, I'll make more lemonade (aka new posts haha).
Main Subjects:
  • PT - NL life related posts
  • Travel: I'll keep my trip diaries.
  • Food; might not be just recipes! Tips and Suggestions will also be included, with a strong connection to my Portuguese origins.
  • Photography; I am counting on you for feedback on my journey through this new but very interesting World.
  • Beauty: occasionally, some post will pop-up. Sorry; I'm still a girly-girl! :)
There will still be room for any random posts, but I am going to try to keep this blog as active as possible. 
So yeah, stick around, leave your feedback (kindly appreciated), if you will, follow via the social media (links available on top + side + -bottom bars) or if you prefer, subscribe via email and get my latest posts directly on your inbox. Easy right? :-)
I am very excited to restart this Diary and share my adventures, thoughts, experiences and tips&tricks with you!

Hope to see you soon!


Photo details:
Sony a5100 50mm
ISO 125 f/5.6 1/80


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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Remotely connected

Hello there!

It has been 131 days (today included) since my last post on this blog. Sorry for my absence.
Many reasons lead to my silence during the last months, and I am still not ready to be back to "blogging world".

When you want to have a somehow personal blog (hence the name Porty's Diary), sometimes is just difficult to come out here, drop a few words of what you hope to be a nice content, when all around you is a bit of a mess. And that was the case.

I am still grabbing the pieces and put this puzzle back together, knowing that some of those pieces will be forever gone. It might (most probably, will) change the tone of what I will write in the future.
Yes, I will keep writing.

That brings me to another point I would like to address today; for a limited time, this blog will be "On Hold".
I need to figure out what I want to do with it, what content I would like to share with you that could be interesting for both sides.
Some ideas have come to mind, but still nothing is clearly planned. And without a plan, nothing succeeds.
Also important to mention: suggestions are welcome! :)

One thing is for sure: I do not want my blog to be just another blog. I want to keep it personal, since those are the type of blogs I like to read the most; and they became rare in today's blog-World.
There are already thousands of bloggers out there trying to sell you something. That won't be me.
I do not intend to become a "blogger".
Just someone who likes to blog and share. Get the point? :)

Anyway, this is not a goodbye. It's just an "Até Já!"
Source: Google

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Friday, July 01, 2016

Fruit Pudding - NO sugar!

Hello there!!!

Today, I would like to share with a recipe I tried some time ago and was a huge success.

Back in March, I got this vegetarian-only recipe book from a Portuguese author; no, I'm not transitioning to become a vegetarian or vegan, but sometimes is good to have a meal without meat or fish, or dessert that doesn't contain tons of sugar or other bad (but tasty) stuff.
It's all about the balance, right?

I was surprised by how easy and tasty this turned out. It was gone in a blink of an eye... :-)
What you'll need:
  • approx. 1 kg apples, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water
  • 6 strawberries
  • a bit of salt ( a tiny tiny bit)
  • 1 tbsp agar-agar (I used regular powder gelatine)
  • 3 tbs agave syrup
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • fresh fruit of your choice to decorate

How to?
  1. Bake the apples, in low heat, for about 10-15 min, with the 1 tbs of water.
  2. Add the strawberries, 1/2 cup of water, the salt, the agar-agar (or powder gelatine) and let it boil for about 3-5 min.
  3. Remove it from the heat, add 2 tbs of agave syrup and the lemon zest. Put it in the blender until you get a creamy consistency.
  4. In a tray of your choice, add the remaining agave syrup and pour in the apple cream you just prepared and let it cool down.
  5. Once it is a room temperature, put it the fridge until solid.
  6. Whenever you are ready to serve it, slice some fresh fruit and decorate as you please. Mine turned out like this:

This was definitely a winner on any front; taste, preparation, and guilty-level hahaha :-)
I totally recommend it; it is also a nice way to use your fruit once it starts to get too soft.
All pics with Sony a5100 w/ kit lens

Original recipe here: LINK

Bom apetite! ;-)

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

A day in Delft - pt 3

Hello!!

On my last post about Delft, I'm bring you along to the Botanic Garden of Delft.
A nice little garden with cute flowers, where you can just hang out for as long as you like or even have a picnic if the weather allows you.
The Botanic is within walking distance from the city center but you do have to pay a small fee to get in (I believe less than 5Eur/person).

So, sit back and enjoy the picture overload! ;-)
The bird section
I had never seen such pine tree
The Duck family
All pictures with Sony a5100 w/ kit lens.

So, I hope you have enjoyed Delft as much as I did. Totally recommend visiting this city if you are planning to come to the Netherlands.
After all, there's much more to see in this little country then just the Red Light District or the Anne Frank House (with all the respect, of course).

Part 1: CLICK ME
Part 2: CLICK ME

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

From Pt to you - Arroz de Tamboril

Hi there!!! :)

I am back and once again and this time with a Portuguese main course. #surprise #surprise

This dish, like many of the ones I sometimes prepare when time allows, came to mind for some reasons:
  • I am a fish lover;
  • I miss having other fishes but salmon on my diet;
  • This brings me back memories;
  • Makes home closer.
Before I continue with my babbling, the dish I'm talking about is called Arroz de Tamboril (in PT) or Monkfish's rice (literally translated to English).
Here where I live, there's a fish market once a week where people can buy all kind of fresh and smoked fishes, as well as seafood. The problem is the market is on a Friday morning... Very convenient for those poor mortals who have to work 5 days/week.... like me! So basically, I can only visit this market once or twice a year if I'm lucky with my days off from work.
Therefore, as soon as there was a chance, I grabbed my PT-ENG fish names' list and translated the ones I was planning on getting to Dutch. Also brought my personal Google Translator, just in case... hahaha

Long story short, they did have Tamboril (or monkfish, or zeeduivel for the Dutchies out there). I believe I almost jumped of happiness when the salesman said he had the fish I wanted! Yeah, I know... weeeeirdooo!

Knowing that Mr. A had never had this before, and me craving it for a long while, I didn't wait too long until I got my apron on! ;-)

So, this is what it takes to cook this recipe (serves 4)
  • 1 medium size monkfish, chopped in big chunks.
  • 1 medium red onion.
  • 2 garlic cloves.
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced finely.
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced finely.
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • 5 medium size tomatoes.
  • 1 small can of Heinz tomato pure.
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Coriander.
  • White wine.
  • Rice of your choice

 How to?
  1. Prepare the veggies in advance, by chopping all of them in fine slices, except the tomatoes. I cut mine in 1/8 pieces.
  2. Add olive oil to your pan and once it gets warm, add the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Wait until getting transparent while stirring it every now and then.
  3. Add the peppers; stir until almost soft.
  4. Add the tomato pure and pepper to taste. Let it cook for a few minutes in medium fire/heat.
  5. Add the tomato cubes and let it cook until soft.
  6. Time for the fish; gently involve it with the veggie mix. Add a bit of whine and top it with water and let it cook for about 7min.
  7. Add the rice (I added 1.5 cups) and some salt to your taste.
  8. Let it cook until rice becomes soft and creamy.
  9. (Optional) Add some shrimps.
All pics taken w/ Sony a5100 w/ kit lens

I seriously had to hold back and not to eat too much (once again...)! :-)
The smell was divine and the fish turned out as soft as butter. Monkfish is not your everyday fish but totally worth to try, if you have the chance.
Mr. A loved it and so did I (but that's no surprise, right??).
This is the kind of food I always had back home, and therefore, it brings me lots of memories...
Ask me what I miss the most, and I think my answer will be "food"... (no worries friends and family: I miss you too!!!)

I hope you try & like this one.



Bom apetite!

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Monday, June 13, 2016

A day in Delft - pt 2

Hello again!!! :-)

Ready for part 2?
In case you missed part 1, here you can find it: PART 1 

Delft, like some other cities in the Netherlands, has plenty of canals which makes it even more charming, in my opinion.
It's amazing to see how the Dutch embraced this feature and use it in so many ways. I have never been to Venice (it's on my to-go list) but it kind of reminded me of such city.
Plus, I found it WAY more interesting than Amsterdam. 
In Delft, you don't have the red-light-district tourists, neither the coffee-shop-tourists. Nop, it just feels right over there, welcoming and cozy.

 So today, I am giving you some of my impressions on Delft's canals. Hope you like it! ;-)
On the way to the city centre.
A restaurant's terrace on a boat... why not?!
Boat houses!! #lovelyyyy
The East Gate #likeapostcard
And another restaurant on a boat
All pictures taken with Sony a5100 w/ kit lens.

Still not convinced about visiting Delft? Then come back for part 3! ;) 
Should be online soon!!

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

A day in Delft - pt 1

First things first:

HELLOOOOO!!! :-)

Long time no see, hum?
Oh well, life has been happening and just not enough time or inspiration to write.
But I hope whoever is reading this, is been having a great time and enjoying the Spring/Summer time.
Over here, the Summer last a few hours/month... 
And today's post is about one of those days, where a Spring day just felt like Summer.
What to do in such days? Well, go explore the country you live!

Hopped on the train, with destination: DELFT!

Delft? Where's that? Well, somewhere between Rotterdam and Den Haag.

Before heading there, I asked several people if they knew the place and had some tips, but got 0! Made me doubt about going there, but I'm so glad we did...

Delft is know for the blue and white porcelain (to all my Porties out there: like our traditional tiles!), the famous painter Vermeer, connections to the royal family and for being one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands (750 years old).

I took too many pics in one day therefore, I'm splitting this Delft post into a few (possible 2, 3). Don't want you to get a photo-OD! ;)
On the way to the city centre, I came across this one; H-A-D to stop and get a good Portuguese espresso. No Pastel de Nata though... #disappointed
Yeah, the building is tilted!
The Huyterhouse
Seriously fell in love with this building!
At the Markt Square - Town Hall building 
Live street music!
A nice restaurant's façade
All pictures with Sony a5100 w/ kit lens.

I hope I made you curious about this city.
Because the Netherlands is not just Amsterdam, I totally recommend you to visit Delft, if you are planning to come this way.
Also, recommend you to come check out the next posts as there is more to see about this beautiful twon! ;-)
There are some fun stuff coming up, as well!

See you soon!!
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