Major Life Changes

Hey everyone,

I’ve been MIA for a few weeks now as I haven’t feel like blogging and didn’t want to push it or do it because I feel that I need to. It has never been a task or a job and I really want to keep it that way.

I DO miss you all so much!

I’ve also been absent because I’ve had A LOT going on. I’ve been kind of working on a major 360. My life is about to change and I cannot wait to tell you about it. No, I’m not pregnant. People always assume that from women and I just wanted to get it out of the way. I’ll share very very soon, as soon as things are final and settled.

In the meantime, please remember me and maybe miss me a little?

Oh, and watch the Eurovision Song Contest. We’re hosting this year, which is really big for us. Go Portugal!

Love you all, always.

Chey.

❤️❤️❤️

Arbor Day in Portugal – International Day of Forests: Ways to protect trees and prevent deforestation and wildfires

March 21st is International Day of Forests as established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. In Portugal we celebrate Arbor day.

wood-3241848_1920

I do care about the environment but I must admit I care too much and do too little. This might have gone unnoticed, expect for the tragic events of last year. Our forests were devastated by wild fires on two different occasions, June and October. Fatalities: 111 people. Non-fatal injuries: close to 300. Homes were lost as well as businesses, cars, properties, animals, livestock, etc. We can think “at least those people are alive” and that is definitely true but imagine working for something your whole life, just a simple home, maybe a small business, and having it ruined in a matter of hours or even minutes. It was a very dark year for us and our forests. There were over 400 active fires at one point. Summer is coming and we’re getting scared and asking ourselves if enough was done to prevent a similar tragedy, if we learned something. I really hope we did.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_2017_Portugal_wildfires

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_2017_Iberian_wildfires

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41648932

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/19/portugal-interior-minister-resigns-wild-fires-dead

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/17/wildfires-trap-2000-people-in-macao-village-in-central-portugal

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/world/europe/portugal-spain-fires.html

fogo

What can we do to help prevent deforestation?

  • Do you really need to print that? You sure? Maybe you don’t. Save your printer for when you absolutely need it. Less printing = less paper = fewer trees are cut down.
  • If you must print something, can you use both sides of the page? Do it if you can.
  • Get your bills digitally. Many companies and service providers are willing to send them by email instead of a letter in the mail. It’s pretty much the same for you. Just save them in a folder instead of printing them.
  • Read digital books. I know, we’re book lovers. We’re not going to stop buying or reading actual books anytime soon. But maybe, just maybe, sometimes we don’t need a physical book. When I was a student, we often had to buy books only to read two chapters and be done with them. What’s the point? Besides, you’ll be spending less money and accumulating less clutter.
  • Go to the library. You don’t always need to own a book. You can get it from the library. If we all share, fewer books are printed.
  • Read magazines online. Yes, I do feel bad about this one too. I know magazines make money by selling printed issues but too much paper is wasted if we all buy magazines, read them once and throw them away. Maybe get an online subscription for your favorites? Your still paying and contributing but not polluting as much.
  • Reuse gift bags and bows. Does anyone care if a gift bag was used before? You save money too, Christmas themed gift bags, for example, can be pretty expensive.
  • Plant trees. Not everyone has the chance to do this but, if you do, this is the best way to make sure we have plenty of trees. Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Use reusable containers. Not only for trees and forests but for the environment in general. Same for cutlery. I understand that paper plates and cups can be really convenient but they’re not environment friendly at all. Just so wasteful. Maybe limit them for parties?
  • Avoid paper towels. Another very convenient item we should all avoid. It’s very easy to substitute, though. If you must buy them, get recycled ones. If you don’t mind parting with them, simply use cloth ones.
  • Same for napkins. Switching to cloth napkins which you can throw in the wash instead of in the trash is much better.
  • This is not for everyone and I understand that but many moms swear by cloth diapers.
  • Buy used wooden furniture. Cheaper and you help prevent deforestation.

How to prevent wildfires:

Sadly, most wildfires are caused by people. We should all be educated on how to prevent them. Here’s what we can and should do:

  • Never leave a fire unattended. This one is pretty obvious.
  • Always make sure you have put out a fire when camping. Using water or dirt, never leave until you’re certain it is out.
  • Obviously do not discard cigarettes or anything that might cause a fire from your car. Some people think it’s okay to throw cigarette butts through the window. This is more likely to cause a fire than you can imagine. All you need is a few dry bushes.
  • Be informed about local laws when burning yard waste. It is forbidden to do so in Summer when the hot temperatures might help in spreading the fire. Be careful about wind and make sure you have water at hand.
  • Clean around your property if you live near a wooded area. You need to protect your home against wild-fire.
  • Please follow local rules and don’t think it won’t happen to you. Things happen and there are circunstances you cannot control when it comes to fire.

Health for days journey – June 22nd (Kind of random edition)

Good afternoon everyone!

Today I’m off my recent pattern that I’m trying as a schedule. I write my health for days journey post at 7.30 a.m. Then schedule the “Perfect Party Series” post for 11 a.m, after that there’s a random post at 3.30 p.m and then my update between 10 p.m and midnight. You may ask: “Why are you posting so much you annoying bitch? Stop harassing my inbox you blogging bully”. I totally understand. The reasons are the following:

  1. In my June goals, I wrote that I wanted to reach 15,000 views by the end of the month. I have reached 13,337  in May, and I would like to surpass that. Shouldn’t we always aim for better or higher? I like to compete against myself (I never compare to you guys, I get truly happy for your accomplishments, but I can’t help but trying to compare myself with myself lol) and win. Because I’ve been ill and slacking for most of the month, I’m trying to make up for it now. I don’t think I’ll be able to reach 15,000 with only 8 days left (I’m currently at 8,204), but that’s okay. I’m trying anyway. Why so many posts? I’ve told you before, on my video, that the more I post each day, the more views I get. So this is reason number one.
  2. I have my “Perfect Party Series” going, which takes one post a day.
  3. I’m still doing my health for days journey posts, 2 a day, planner and update.
  4. I’m really behind on awards and tags and want to get those done as soon as possible.

I’m sorry if this is too much for you. I definitely understand and you know you don’t have to read all of it. I just need to do it because it’s a matter of organization and goals for me.

I’m not showing my numbers and blog goals to offend anyone. I’m really just open about them and like to discuss and analyse them. I love when you contribute to the discussion because I hate when numbers or milestones are a taboo.

I’m not following this schedule today because I woke up late and I plan to re-blog all of the “Perfect Party Series” posts, so readers can check my friends’ blog if they haven’t already.

 

Botelho,_Carlos,_painel_de_azulejos,_Av_Infante_Santo,_Lisboa

 

I’ve been drinking more than enough water every day, which makes me quite happy. I aim for 1,5 l and I’ve been getting 2 l, sometimes more.

My lunch today was supposed to be: Frozen baby carrots, an apple, a banana, some crackers and my frappuccino (which I have watered down by using less milk and more ice) and my water. I ate my frozen baby carrots first (sharing with Rosa) because they are so fresh and yummy and healthy. Then I ate my apple. I passed on my crackers because I didn’t feel like eating them and then I ate my banana. I’m happy I started with the veggies and didn’t feel like eating the crackers.

Do you have lunch recommendations? I love raw, frozen veggies (no dips, ever). I was going to try raw green beans but I’ve read they’re toxic and was worried to eat them. Do you know anything about that? I love cucumbers too, but didn’t have any. Soon I’ll have our organic cherry tomatoes (straight from the garden) and those will become a lunch staple too. I would love some suggestions, though.

 

azulejos88

 

I’ve finished a book last night before bed. I’m happy because I hadn’t finished a book in months. I’ll go back to the second Harry Potter book tonight.

I’ve been wearing this night cream that is SO GOOD. It’s fragrance free, and so moisturizing. My mother has actually complimented me on how healthy my skin looked (yesterday) and I have only applied it the night before. It gives me an amazing glow, and it was a drugstore purchase. I’m really impressed. Beauty girls, can I wear it during the day as well, since it’s so good for me? I obviously won’t wear it outside because it’s SPF free and I won’t risk that.

My mom loved the dress I bought her and she texted me saying it looks really great on her. Bonus points for me. I really do know her taste and sizes and we love shopping for each other.

 

depositphotos_4329831-stock-photo-traditional-portuguese-glazed-tiles

 

My plans for today are:

  • Answer all of the letters and postcards I have received, mail them tomorrow;
  • Vacuum the house, I mean, our dog hair factory;
  • Watch a movie;
  • Put away the remaining laundry, mostly towels and kitchen towels.
  • Make dinner;
  • Making a shopping list, we need to do a big shopping trip on either Saturday or Sunday;
  • Read blogs;
  • Cut my hair, shave, do my eyebrows, do a face mask, exfoliate my body and maybe put on clear nail polish so I won’t bite my nails;
  • I would love to take a walk but I’m lazy;
  • I’ll try to do my yoga, at least.

 

5cd2cd11a7758af8f2d52006d5fe015f

 

I have a questions for you and I would appreciate your answers:

  1. Should I do a video, this Saturday, talking about my recent diagnosis, my mental health in general, how it all started, the several doctor’s I’ve been through, different medications I’ve taken, ups and downs, etc? Maybe some people wouldn’t be comfortable with me talking about mental illness, so please tell me.

 

ponte-da-arrabida-1

 

Thank you so much for reading, dear friends.

P.S In Portugal, we have an old tradition of using tiles as decoration or in construction in general. I thought I would fill this post up with some gorgeous creations. These are all images I found on google.

 

00b7ad883c1c842f879105f84887d4ef

Health for days journey – June 19th (update)

Good evening everyone,

First of all I would like to thank you for your kind words regarding my recent diagnosis. It’s really not as bad as you think. I’m fine. I’m not happy that I have to take a pill for the rest of my life but, if that’s what it takes to be healthy and happy, I would take 10 (which I currently do, but it won’t always be like this). I will do a full post to explain more about Bipolar Disorder Type 2 but, until then, and because I noticed that some of you are worried about me (which makes me feel loved and I thank you for that), you could read an article or two, so you can understand that it is not as bad as type 1 and that I could be much worse. I

‘m feeling positive and trying not to let it get to me. I know I’m sick right now and that’s just what I have to deal with, so I will. But I’m fine and happy and being well taken care of. Don’t you worry about me, please.

It broke my heart that my best friend called me from Vienna crying because she was worried about me and wished she was closer.

(Catarina, you’re a true friend and I love you with all my heart and miss you every single day. I know you’re reading this because you always do)

Please feel free to ask me ANY questions, I have no issues in answering them and I’m happy I’m strong enough to talk about this. Maybe I’ll help someone realize that they might need to get checked or that they need help. Maybe I’ll make someone feel less lonely. If I reach one person, I’ll be happy.

I’m sorry if you don’t like to read about mental illness, some people are so scared of it that they even refuse to acknowledge it and others are bothered by the subject, because it tends to be quite negative. But this is my blog and I will mention my struggles and be honest and open.

I would also like to update on the situation in my country and thank you so much for your prayers. We are doing better, thankfully. The number of deceased is now 64. The injured count has come up quite a bit, from 62 yesterday to over 100. The fires are being controlled and I don’t think any villages or homes are in danger at this point.

We are an amazing country and we’ve pulled up our sleeves and began to donate money, food and water (some people have even donated clothes, furniture, construction materials, appliances) and doing everything we can so this people can get back on their feet as soon as possible. We have donated so much that it got to a point where we were told to stop sending supplies, as the fire departments didn’t have enough space to store so much food.

Everyone has come together to help and it makes me so happy. We’ll be fine, although we are mourning those who lost their lives. The suffering their families are going through, we can’t take away, unfortunately.

I’ll update you on my to-do list now:

  • Take out the recycling; – Oops, I didn’t, it was too hot to go up the street;
  • Do some gardening. I have two new plants and I need to plant a few more seeds, along with moving and transplanting some plants; – Again, too hot. I did wet my plants a little during the afternoon so they can endure the heat and I’ll water them in a few minutes;
  • Do some laundry. – Did two loads;
  • Get Betty to work on some dishes; – She did;
  • Cook dinner; – I did;
  • Fold and put away all the laundry; – Not all of it, but yes;
  • Bathe Rosa and give her the flea medicine. Clean her ears; – Mr.R did this;
  • Study for Classic Ancient History for at least 3 hours, with as many breaks as I need; – I haven’t touched it. My new medication is making it really hard for me to focus on studying and reading but I’ll try to study later tonight, maybe I’ll be able to get into it.
  • Drink enough water, 2 l as it is extremely hot; – I did;
  • Do my yoga; – Haven’t yet;
  • Read blogs and respond to comments; – Will do so now;
  • Get my materials ready for tutoring on Tuesday; – I’m actually not doing it, as the lady who was supposed to contact me (my friend’s boss), didn’t;
  • Read 30 pages of the book I’m trying to finish; – I’ve read a few but I don’t think I’ve read 30 pages;

It didn’t go that bad, considering my doctor has just increased my medication and introduced a new medicine. This change in medication, along with the depressive period in itself, take away my energy and make me really tired, sleepy and week. What I do is alternate my tasks with little naps or laying down for a while.

I’ll finish with a few random photos because I know you like them.

P_20170617_193819

P_20170617_193710

P_20170617_194014

P_20170617_193759

P_20170617_193847

P_20170617_193445_BF

P_20170617_194116

P_20170617_193958

P_20170617_194109

P_20170617_193857

P_20170617_193949

P_20170617_193942

P_20170618_210044

P_20170617_193901

P_20170617_193435_BF

P_20170617_193842

P_20170617_193838

Thank you so much for reading!!

Hugs and kisses.

Chey

Say a prayer for Portugal, please.

Dear friends,

I come to you with a heavy heart. I believe you may haven’t heard about it, but Portugal is going through an extremely difficult situation right now. A tragedy has fallen upon us. Forest fires are killing and hurting our people or leaving them homeless.

The country is literally burning, with huge fires threatening many villages and towns.

The death count is 61 so far along with about 62 injured. And the number will probably go up, as the worst fires are yet to be controlled and many villages have yet to be checked for casualties. We’ve been going through hell.

My family, friends and I are all fine, lucky to be where we are, since the fires are threatening mostly the interior of the country. There’s a huge fire somewhat close to Rui’s hometown, so we’re not without worry and fear.

We have never been through such a tragedy and we’re currently mourning as a country.

Firemen, police, and civilians are doing whatever they can to control de fires that are country devouring acre after acre of forest and getting to houses and fully destroying towns.

Extremely high temperatures, wind and a thunder storm are mostly the culprits for our situation. Literally a series of unfortunate events and unfavorable conditions.

Will you please say a prayer for us? We need all the help we can get.

Thank you so much for reading.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/18/portugal-more-than-20-people-killed-in-forest-fires

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/18/world/europe/portugal-pedrogao-grande-forest-fires.html?_r=0

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/18/world/europe/portugal-pedrogao-grande-forest-fires.html?_r=0

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/18/europe/portugal-fire/index.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40316934

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/18/least-19-killed-portugal-forest-fire/

 

Catching up – Monday 12.06.2017

Hello everyone,

How is everything going? Tell me about your Monday.

I decided not to go out after all. I scheduled everything for Friday. Tomorrow is a religious holiday and the city and there’s a lot of partying and there were probably more people everywhere today. Also, I was lazy. My mother was not available for dinner after all, so I decided to schedule everything for Friday instead. So, on Friday, I’m going to get a blood test, run some errands, meet my friend and student Ery (I just love her) for lunch and to wonder around a book fair, then I have my psychiatrist’s appointment at 4.30 p.m and then I’ll go to mom’s for dinner. Since I’ll be at the city, I will try to schedule a psychologist’s appointment too, taking advantage of being there already. I haven’t gone in a long time, but I need to keep going if I do want to get better.

I had forgotten tomorrow was a holiday (St. Anthony’s day or “Dia de Santo António”) which is the Patron Saint of Lisbon. There’s a huge party happening all over the city. I’ve been there a few years ago but it’s just too much for me lol Too many drunks and trash all over the floor (mostly plastic cups). There’s music and a huge parade and contest. Each neighborhood is represented in the parade and, in the end, one of them wins best “Marcha”. The parade is called “Marchas de Santo António” or “Marchas de Lisboa”. Here’s a few pictures:

Alfama-Fotos-por-José-FradeEGEAC

Castelo-Fotos-por-José-FradeEGEAC

lisboa

ng6948996

It’s a nice party and people like to get there to watch them go down the Avenue “Avenida da Liberdade” or watch on TV, if they can’t be there. Oh and they sing while dancing and going down the avenue, I forgot to mention that. I’ve been there to watch, when Rui and I first started dating but we mostly watch it on TV, as we’re doing tonight. The winner is the group or neighborhood with best costumes, song and routine.

There’s also a group wedding. Oh yeah, people apply to be married on this specific day and there’s a whole party too. It’s called “Casamentos de Santo António” or “St. Anthony’s weddings”. I think they choose about 16 couples and they all get married together.

13435584-1206041229415825-5870139772826065646-n

5Kaj4WhB,e-90NU2iT6s85ZQ_

Casamentos-St-Antonio8

The tradition started in 1958, to help couples who really wanted to get married but couldn’t afford a wedding. Here’s a picture:

saassa

There were more couples back then, they do choose only 16. They don’t have to pay for anything. I’m not sure but I think the couples are still chosen based on their financial difficulties, having no means to pay for a wedding. I think it’s a nice and cute tradition.

It’s traditional to eat roasted sardines, which the Mister is making for himself and I hate, so I’m eating pizza. You eat them with your hands, on bread, or on a plate with boiled potatoes and roasted bell peppers.

Mister is outside doing his and I took a few pictures:

P_20170612_210510
Dummy told me to take a picture that looks like he’s lighting the fire with his hands, while wearing socks and flip-flops. I swear he doesn’t go out wearing those
P_20170612_210154
The nice grill and fire, where the sardines will go
P_20170612_210603
His t-shirt…

Oh, I want to show you my new plant, the cute shoes I’m mourning because I have to return and my cute lunch bag that Rui takes to work every day (and doesn’t even care) because his lunch bag was old and needed to go. This was a few months ago, by the way. He has been rocking it ever since.

P_20170612_210136

P_20170612_210055

P_20170612_210117

I guess that’s it for today, guys. We’re about to have dinner and ice cream. Tomorrow Rui doesn’t work and we’re going out. I’ll tell you what we’ve done tomorrow night. I’m also catching up on blogs and comments, as always.

Love you guys, I hope you have a nice evening.

Chey.

Happiness is… Winning Eurovision!!

And…. we won!!

I don’t usually care so much about these things but we are such a small country, most people have no idea about us and some of them even think we are some small part of Spain. I think we deserve to get a little love and for people to get to know us a little better. That’s why I’m happy. Not only because we have won an amazing contest with a pretty song by a nice quirky guy with a lovely sister, but because we have won a little recognition. Can you understand it?

Also, I sort of got into a Twitter fight hahahahaha. This girl or woman was bashing on all of the countries, all night long. It was either the clothes or the voices or the lights, she was just being nasty, so I decided to be nasty back. Not my personality and I ended up apologizing but I got mad that she said so many hurtful things about Portugal and was super mad because we had won. I lose my shit sometimes, just like everybody else.

My soccer team, which is probably the biggest team in the country also won the National Championship 5-0. A considerable part of the country is partying for one thing or the other. Maybe both haha. Thank God tomorrow is Sunday. We won The European Cup last year on a Sunday and MANY people didn’t show up to work on Monday. Some companies even closed because they knew people would be partying haha. Work har, play hard.

So, I’m happy today!! Really happy!!

I spent time with Rui, grocery shopped, baked cupcakes, ate good snacks, watched an amazing game and the Eurovision Contest, winning both!! Even if we hadn’t won anything, we had so much fun. I needed it. Really bad.

I hope you all had a happy day!!

A big hug!!

Cheila