30 September 2011

La vuelta al mundo :: Gente de espaldas

Last day of the month, it's time to publish our work for the La vuelta al mundo challenge. There's a lot of photo challenges on the web, I wish I had time... But this was the one I decided to monthly take on, as personal commitment, to practice and improve my photography skills. "Gente de espaldas", people from the back, was this month's theme, and this is what Jackie had to say about:

"No puede haber rostros. Es gente de espaldas, no de lado, no diagonal, no solo piernitas."

"There can be no faces. It's people from back, not from the side, not diagonal, not just legs."

Easy, and fun right? Well, for me it was! This is a thing I do all the time, because I love how the pictures turn out with a bit of mistery. This was a great opportunity for me to search my archives for those pictures and play a bit, try new editing effects, light, texture... Hope you enjoy it!

all photos by me

29 September 2011

A pause to play... The Cure

I grew up in the 80's and have lots of memories of those times, but I think I'm more of a product of the 90's. Well, those were my teens, can't beat that! Those decades really formed my music taste. There was no CD's, no mp3, certainly no internet and few of us had computer at home... but wasn't it fun to record a cassette from radio broadcasts and share with our friends? We would get together in front of the TV, waiting for the show that played music videos to aired on Sunday afternoon. I wont say - those were the times - mostly because it makes me feel old! But it were great times.

In the early 90's we assisted a big cultural change in Portugal. It was the birth of the first private television channel (at the time there were only two public broadcasters) which would be followed by another, the fourth channel, a year later. TV competition absolutely started then. One of the new shows that marked those times featured extreme sports, and was called Portugal Radical. The show was all about cool videos of surf, bodyboarding, skating, mountain biking, and many other sports, always with great music on background, followed by interviews and sports info. I can honestly say that what really kept me watching was the music and the surf videos. It was like a beautiful dance.

This was one of the songs that frequently played along surf videos. I didn't know what it was, then, but it sounded cool! Then there was Baywatch, that series, and me and my sister became more 'surfaholics'. I think we both secretly dreamed of moving closer to the sea and marrying a cool surfer, or a charming business man with a surf hobby, that could work too*. I remember my father taking us to see surfing competitions, we even got to see Kelly Slater! And that song was always there, playing on the speakers. Up until today I cannot listen to it without seeing waves forming in my head.

Only later I got to really know The Cure, and dive into it's craziness. And I'm totally sold to it. It's just the right thing to put me in a good mood.

Nice to share with you a little more of the soundtrack of my life! Now, go ahead, make a pause and play it. Loud!

Band: The Cure
Song: Just like heaven
Check out the whole series of thursday's pause to play

*Turns out I ended up marrying a Forest Engineering man with a futsal hobby. That's not so bad, actually. Close enough.

28 September 2011

Steps to a wedding: Something old, something new...

... Something borrowed, something blue.

Can you guess what was our "something blue"? Yes, you guessed it right. The flowers over our heads. We didn't put a lot of though into what should be tossed when we were getting out of church, as opposed to almost everything else. We just knew we didn't want rice (it's the tradition here) for two main reasons, first I didn't wanted to be removing rice grains from my underwear the rest of the day (that can be pretty annoying... that and having it all over the head, after spending so much time getting hair done!), and second and most important, I think it's a waste of food, and I find it disrespectful to those who have none to eat.

I had an extra bunch of white chrysanthemums to remove the petals, cause white and simple is my thing. The place we rented for the party had lots (I mean tons) of beautiful blue agapanthus, so it occur me: something blue! We picked up a nice bunch and removed the little blue flowers. I loved the effect of the white petals mixed with little blue blossoms.

photos by our friends Pedro and Rita

27 September 2011

Lay down in our mother's arms

Today I'm missing lying down on the floor and looking at the skies. And breathing... deeply breathing. Inhaling the air and feeling it filling my lungs, and exhaling all stress inside me.

And then I would listen to this words...

"Nine planets round the sun
Only one does the sun embrace
Upon this watered one
So much we take for granted
So let us sleep outside tonight
Lay down in our mother's arms
For here we can rest safely..."

One sweet world 
Dave Matthews Band

PS: you may be glad to know that today I got my computer back with pretty much everything recovered! Can you just imagine my state of happiness?

photo by me

26 September 2011

Steps to a wedding :: A kind of engagement session

Yes, kind of. It was not truly a photo session, there was no photographer involved. Actually, let's not call it like we got engaged because, really, we were engaged ever since we knew in our hearts we wanted to spend our lives together. There was just the matter of the date. One day we just knew, it was time.

First, about the engagement session thing, we don't have that tradition here in Portugal, it's not a thing people do, and it was not a thing we intended to do. One thing, though, we knew from the beginning. We wanted our pictures on our wedding invitations.

So, we grabbed every excuse we could to get away by ourselves (as if we needed any...), take the camera and shoot lots of pictures. We took them ourselves, first using the machine timer, then we ended up buying a remote four the camera, which I can say it was the best thing we did. Still, you may not believe, the best pictures ended up being the ones taken with that 10 sec timer! Go figure...

Those were really great moments, and we could not be that comfortable and happy if there were a photographer in the middle of it. It was about being together, enjoying ourselves and trying to capture our essence, if that is anyway possible... And the result were not professional, but really happy pictures, just as we wanted.

all photos by me

22 September 2011

A pause to play... Mike and the Mechanics

Summer is past and we're surfing fall in cruise speed now. Yey! I love fall! Well, I love every season and I'm always very excited when time comes for a season changing. (yeah, totally like a kid) Truth to be told, I was a bit disappointed with mister summer, but I do not hold grudges, next year he will have the opportunity to redeem himself, right??

Autumn always brings me back school days because it's when it all starts. Here we're at the second week of school. New friends have already been made, school changes aren't new anymore, all new books have been opened and the family schedule is now rearranged. Everything falls into its normality. I like normality. I like routine. I don't think it has to be boring. Having rituals is good to have things in order in your life, and that's when everything gets exciting! Then you can add splashes of fun stuff, and sometimes turn your days upside down, break your routine.

Whenever I dreamed of having a family of my own, with a house, husband and kids, this was what came to my mind. Those regular everyday moments. Kind of like an end of a good family movie: everybody having breakfast together, the kids running out the door with their backpacks, and then the door is closed. The house stays in peaceful quiet waiting for everybody to return... Except for the cat. Meow! I know, I'm flying back, right now!

I think I'm lost... where was I? Oh, school, yes. Right, so, when I think back to my high school time there's one song that always plays in my mind and this is the one:

In 1995, when it was released, I was in my 10th grade, which means it was the first of the three years of preparation to college. I chose studing arts, I was in a new class, with all different people from my former collegues. It was a life changing time for me. And this song was playing everywhere all the time. On the bus, on the school radio, on TV, and people were whistling it over the school corridors. It was cool being a teen.

All in all, is a nice vibe song. So, make a pause, and play it!

Band: Mike and the Mechanics 
Song: Over my shoulder
check out the whole series of thursday's pause to play

21 September 2011

Steps to a Wedding: gathering thoughts

A year ago, before I started this blog, I  was trying to organize my thoughts and my memories of all we've done for our wedding. I wanted to report everything so that we would be able to tell our children one day. Also, I wanted to share our experience, because 'listening' to other people's experiences all over the web was what got us going through the whole thing, so it felt like something I needed to do.

I thought of starting a blog. Later came the idea of showing our crafts and my design work, and why not start a little business? Then again, the easy way was to start with a blog.

So, both the ideas came together and this place was born. The business thing is a bit on hold, just because I have some big things in hands right now, but it will come out in full strength! About the wedding sharing thing... If you ever got to read my about page (look at the top. yes, right there.) you already know that our wedding was a totally DIY thing. I must say those were some quite overwhelming months we had, and I needed to be fully recovered to properly be able to have organized ideas to share. Then came my sister's wedding... so, a break was definitely in order.

Now time has gone by, everything is where it should be, and I'm ready to start. So, fasten your seat belts, there's a new series starting over here! This is just the prelude. If your searching for inspiration for your wedding I'm hoping to see you back here soon. In the mean time, if you care for some good advices and some really good wedding reading, grab a cup of coffee and read what this smart ladies have to say: Mindy, Meg and Amanda. I really recommend this for a start.

I'll be updating this post with links of the entire series to come, so come back!

Check them here:

photo by our friend Pedro

19 September 2011


Hello everybody! I've been away for days and it feels like ages! I missed this place.

I have no computer at home at the moment. Yeah, really sucks. The guys where I work are trying  to rescue anything from my hard drive after the virus attack. I'm crossing my fingers on that. All I have is the office computer, but I only work from monday to thursday, so that leaves me three and half days without computer. Adding to that I'm over my head with work, and the time I have on this computer is not enough for all I have to do.

Anyways, I  had some fun days this past week. I've left the dark side! So, I thought I would give you an update of what I've been up to lately.

First there was that game...

I cannot begin to describe how it was to be in a stadium that full! More than sixty thousand people! And hearing the champions league music as the players get in the field was unique.

Can you tell how close we were from the field? We were on the third row, it was fabulous watching the players that close. It looks so different from what we see on the TV! Everything was amazing, too bad it ended in a tie. But well, not so bad, we were facing Manchester United and we got to scream GOAL!

After that there was a day with the boy staying with me in town, where I work, with lots of weird stuff happening such as we almost ending up sleeping in the street.

And then, there was a wedding we attended, which was lovely...

all photos by us

15 September 2011

A pause to play... Train::Marry Me

Hi, everybody! Today is time for a Pause to Play. I'm so excited about this series! I think I already have dozens of videos on my youtube playlist to share. The hard part is to decide which will be this week's song/artist... but, somehow, I managed to do that yet again, so, let's do it!

There's not much of a story behind this music. Again, it's one of the songs we've chosen for our wedding soundtrack (I'll be talking about this in a near future), so of course it is a special song for us both, but that's pretty much what there is to say about. Unlike most of the songs I'm planning to share with you in this place, this is not from a band I listen usually. To say the truth, after discovering this song and falling for its simplicity, as usual, I got curious about the band's work, but after listening to some more songs they didn't gain my heart. Still, there is something special about this song, and that alone is enough for me to share it with you.

Why today? Well, I though about this song when I read Amanda's post this week, about her (their) wedding anniversary. It came to my mind that these dates are important for us to rearrange ideas, to think about what has been and what will be, and to remember the promises made to each other. But it is also important to feed the love every day, as the song says, marry each other today and every day. So, Amanda an Mark, this one is for you. Wishing you two all the happiness!

"...Together can never be close enough for me
Feel like I am close enough to you
You wear white and I'll wear out the words I love you
And you're beautiful
Now that the wait is over
And love and has finally shown her my way
Marry me
Today and every day..."

For every two of you in love, out there, in every corner of the world. Marry each other, today and every day.

Make a pause, and play it!

Band: Train
Song: Marry Me

13 September 2011

Time to overcome

Yesterday I got here a bit bitter, that's the result of being forced to stay away. I still am a little, I confess. Sometimes it gets hard to overcome those pieces of rage growing inside ourselves. I'll get there, till then I'll still be wanting to send malware developers to the moon with a kick in the butt. Well, I gess that's a thing I'll never be able to change.

I'm looking forward to know if it will be possible to recover anything the damn virus deleted, in the mean time there will be a few things happening that I hope (I'm sure) will cheer me up. On saturday there will be another wedding of two dear friends of us (and I still don't know what will I wear... Oh, well, I'll think of something) and I'm hoping it will be a fun happy day. But first, tomorrow, we've got tickets to the game!! Oh my, I can't wait!

photo by Gabriel (thank you!) took on another friend's wedding

12 September 2011

Pissed off

Usually I'm a very peaceful and understanding person. I say usually, that means most of the time. The remaining time I can be really neurotic about things that pisse me off and absolutely not understanding, nor sympathetic (why should I?) with people that harm other people. That's me.

I have a mortal hate for virus and malware developers (those and people who park the car in the middle of the street). It's the kind of thing I cannot put myself to understand, no matter how many turns I give to it. Why would someone spend their time creating something that is only meant to harm other people. Why??

Please, don't answer me with philosophical dissertations about how the big software companies are ruling the world, oppressing our freedom, bla bla bla, and for that they need to be punished. I'll feel free to curse you. And you're totally free to think I'm a maniac. We're even.

Yes, I've been hit.

Thursday night, we turned on the laptop and BOOM! A rain of windows and system warnings begun. From there, no turning back. I've no idea were did it came from. It was the first time it happened to me and, as you can imagine, I'm pissed and not in an alchoolic way.

I work at a computer consulting company, I should know better. I do. I hear all sorts of bizarre stories, all the time, about malware infestation, about important docs worth a lot of money being lost, about folders of all life photos vanishing... and all the frustration afterwards. I take my precautions, allways backing up stuff, and due that I won't loose too much, still, there will be losses. Only with time I'll be able to tell what actually is lost, or if it will be by any means possible to recover anything from the drive. Till there, luckily I have this computer at work and my external hard drive to recover my old pictures.

What do I have to say? Those people are sick. They know they're ripping away pieces of peoples lifes, and they don't care! Whether they do it for money or just for self-satisfaction, it's sick.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking the world would be better off without these kind of people, and I almost agree that cutting the hands from stealers and sending hackers and virus developers to a no return trip to the moon would be the right thing to do. Then I feel like a bitch. And then there's that forgiveness thing. Not sure I can do that.

photo by me

08 September 2011

A pause to play... Sade

I planned to write today's post as a goodbye-summer thing, cause the last days have been colder and colder... I was facing it: it's the end. Well, as I write this I can see through the window the sun shining hard, and the sky so blue it hurts being inside behind a desk. I'm pretty sure the termometer is already over 30ºC. So...

Dear St. Peter, they say you are the one controling the skies and the weather... Are you done kidding with us?? Wait, I'm not complaining. At all. I'm fine with the warm weather. Serious, we'll have enough cold months ahead, and frankly, was that even a summer? Never mind... let's go back to what I've started with.

When I think of songs that sounds like summer I always think of Sade. Don't know if it's her warm tone of voice, the sax solos, or the swinging rhythm. Probably it's the sum of it all. Her songs feel like sunset on the beach with a fresh fruity cocktail. Believe me. Make a pause, and play it.


"... There must have been an angel by my side
Something heavenly came down from above
He led me to you

He built a bridge to your heart
All the way
How many tons of love inside
I can't say

When I was led to you
I knew you were the one for me
I swear the whole world could feel my heartbeat..."

I could have chosen another dozen of her songs, but this one speaks dearest to my heart. Simple lyrics, but beautiful and intense. This is one of the songs we chose for our wedding day soundtrack, so it will allways be special.

Go ahead, enjoy this last summer days.

07 September 2011

Discovering Portugal :: Almourol Castle

Today I'm feeling better than I did yesterday, so, as I promised (I'm that kind of girl, or I try hard to be, haven't decided on that one yet) I'm starting a new series today. Yes!

Discovering Portugal will be our travel journal through the lands of this place where we were born. You guessed this one, right?

You all know I'm portuguese, so I'm skipping that part (if you don't, just go the the about page, thank you!). For those who have no idea where Portugal is, we are this little rectangle country, located in the southwest corner of Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula, right next to Spain. Though small, this little place has tons of history, for it was born on 1139. Let me leave that Portugal history for another day (there I am again, making promises). Have you ever been here? Well, you must.

I love travel, discover new places, and if there's something we are always planning and dreaming, is the next trip, and the next, and the next... One thing I learned from my father is that there's no point on knowing the world if you don't know the place where you're from. Me and my siblings share all kinds of memories from places and places along this country where my father took us. By his hands we discovered amazing places and I started feeling this itching for descovering more. One things he taught me too is that there's no need for a big budget, we don't need a five star hotel to get to know a place. The boy goes along with me on this one, and it's a blast to have someone with whom to share these little conquers and moments of joy, because this is what every little trip means for us. A new piece of land we've conquered.

Of course I cannot recall every place I've been with my parents, and we both wanted to discover (or rediscover) the places together, through each other's eyes, so we crumpled the map and started from scratch.

Back on the time when we were sweethearts, we compromise on a weekend out every month. This going out thing had only two rules: just the two of us and always head to a place we've never been together. The purpose was for us to have time with each other (I was, and still am... 200 km away to work most of the week, and the weekends were short and full of things to do) and to have goals to conquer together, something we could plan and look forward to.

Proudly we can say we kept that as planned for one and half year, till we decided to get married. You know what happens to the short amount of time you have when you decide to put on a wedding. And that gets even worst if you're planning a whole DIY thing. You get the idea. Then, after the wedding came the new house to put together, new compromises... shopping and more shopping... The fact is, obviously we cannot compromise on a weekend out per month anymore, but we promised each other we would keep on having those moments from time to time whenever possible. And we are doing it.

We are inviting you to embark this journey with us. I just need to warn you: you may get tempted to travel here. Hey, who knows, why not?

One goal we have is to set foot in every portuguese castle. Boy... this task will take us our entire lifes, I'm pretty sure! As far as I know there are over 150 castles and fortresses in Portugal. Yeah, that's right. Our countdown goes somewhere near 10. We are on track! Right??

Edited to add: In Portugal a castle is a military fortification once used for territory defense - not to be confused with the Scottish type castles. The glamorous buildings where kings and nobility lived are called palaces, there are hundreds of those. We will share a lot of that too.

This first place I bring you it's not a new one in this blog, but I thought it would be a good place to start. Remember the island over a river, with a castle and a roster guarding it? That's the Almourol castle.

The castle is located on an island, in the middle of the Tagus river (rio Tejo), near Vila Nova da Barquinha, Praia do Ribatejo and Constância, all three beautiful picturesque villages that are worth a visit. And you don't wanna miss the river beaches in the area.

The age of the castle it's unknown but "It is certain that in 1129, when Portuguese troops conquered the land, the castle already existed and was called Almorolan" (wikipedia).

For this once I wont say much and just leave you with the pictures, they speak for themselves.

Almourol in details

How to go: The closest city is Entroncamento and from there you can easily get to Almourol. If you have a car, the best way to get there (from anywhere) is to get the highway A23 that travels between Torres Novas and Guarda and crosses the highways A1 and A25. You can also get there by train from Entroncamento.

GPS: 08º23’02,301’’W – 39º27’43,126’’N

Fees: Nothing is charged to get in the castle, but you have to pay the boat travel to get to the island, although there are times when the water low enough that you can easily cross by foot from one side. If you are like me, you wont miss the boat trip. From the bank near the castle you only pay 1,5 € per person. From Vila Nova da Barquinha you can also take a boat, mostly on weekends, for 2,5 €.

Where to stay: In Constância you can find traditional and cozy Boarding Houses. There is also a camping parque there. If you're looking for an Hotel you can go to Entroncamento, Torres Novas or Golegã.

all photos by me

06 September 2011


Today I feel uninspired. Probably I'm just tired, or is this thing of being paid to be inspired all the time that dries my head from time to time. Whatever. I don't know what to write, still, I feel the need to share it with you, is this nonsense?

I have several posts planned and started on drafts, but today is not the day to finish anything.  I can promisse you, though, that following the started thursday's series a pause to play, more series will come. I can only say that it involves wedding stuff, travels and more about the place where I'm from. If you're brave enough to put up with my nonsense from time to time, hold on.

photo by me
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