Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Today was a beautiful, sunny day! Not a cloud in the sky and hot but not too hot. Being that Tiago is now working from 3:30pm - midnight, we decided to hit the beach before he had to leave for work! The water was nice and warm, although I didn't dive in like Tiago did! Bet all you Minnesotans are having fun in the snow! (is there snow yet?)

Walking 2 whole blocks to the beach!

Tiago enjoying the warm water and waves.

Is taking a picture of your feet in the sand an American thing?

Pretty pasty white... for now!

What did YOU do today?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Brazilian are you?

I found this fun quiz on fellow American/Brazil Blogger Brasilicana's page. (hope you don't mind!) I highlighted my responses in green for you to see. Enjoy!

How Brazilian are you?

Take this quiz to find out how Brazilian (or not) you are:


  • You eat all the parts of the traditional feijoada, including the chunks of skin, ear, and foot: + 7  
  • The idea of eating chicken hearts grosses you out: - 5 (I'm not a fan, but I try them at every churrasco in hopes of liking them!)
  • Lunch is the biggest meal of your day: + 4
  • You like your coffee Starbucks-style: - 6
  • You put farinha on everything: + 3


  • Your last name is only one word: - 5
  • You say “Ai!” and not “Ow!” when you get hurt: + 5
  • You’ve used “psiu” to get someone’s attention: + 2
  • Your Portuguese has corrupted your English to the point where you sometimes sound like a non-native speaker: + 4
  • You sometimes end your sentences with “…viu?” + 4
  • You accidentally order “poop water” (água de cocô) instead of “coconut water” (água de coco): - 6

Health & Personal Care

  • You shower at least twice a day: + 3 (depends on the day... in the hot, hot summer.. YES!)
  • You only leave the house “arrumada” (put together) and “cheirosa” (smelling good): + 4 (do I have a choice?!)
  • You feel uncomfortable in a bikini or sunga: - 5
  • You have a small scar on your upper arm from a childhood vaccination: + 3
  • You wear your Havaianas everywhere: - 2
  • You start complaining about the “cold” when the temperature dips below 70 degrees: + 2

Social & Lifestyle

  • You RSVP in a timely fashion: – 3
  • You spend time with your parents / in-laws at least once a week: + 5  (double that if you live with your parents / in-laws)
  • You don’t dance because you think you “can’t dance”: - 5
  • You think it’s normal to pay for a R$40 purchase in four installments: + 4
  • You don’t know who Faustão, Xuxa, Luciano Huck, Silvio Santos, or Ana Maria Braga are: - 1 for each
  • You do your own laundry, dishes, and cleaning: – 2
  • You have a favorite soccer team: + 5
  • Your devotion to your team is so great that you dress your baby in the team uniform, set off fireworks when a goal is scored, and may have gotten into fights with fans of rival teams: + 10


  • 61-70 points – Insanely Brazilian
  • 51-60 points – Very Brazilian
  • 41-50 points – More Brazilian than not
  • 31-40 points - Somewhat Brazilian
  • 21-30 points – A little bit Brazilian
  • 11-20 points – Not very Brazilian
  • 10 points or less – Totally NOT Brazilian

Looks like I'm still my American self. Gotta work on my love for Feijoada and die-hard soccer fan skills in order to get an extra 17 points! Does it count if Tiago's friend almost lost a finger last Sunday during a soccer game when a firework exploded in his hand?! No...?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Music for your Monday!

For those of you curious about the music here in Brazil, I think I'll start posting songs once a week...hence the "Music for your Monday" title.

Brazil's variety of music is just as diverse, if not more so, than the range of music we have in the US. There is of course Samba, Bossa Nova, Sertaneja, Pagode, Funk, Capoeira, and Reggae, just to name a few.

Today's song comes from the Sertaneja genre. Sertaneja is essentially the Brazilian equivalent of country music. In the past few years, the popularity of Sertaneja music has grown tremendously. Duplas Sertanejas (Country Duos) are all the rage right now! (Bruno e Marrone, Jorge e Mateus, Zezé di Camargo e Luciano, Fernando e Sorocaba...)

If you ask around about Sertaneja, people either love it, or they hate it. Just like our own country music. If you ask me... I love it!

Michel Teló has made a name for himself as a solo artist. Here's one of his songs I just can't seem to get out of my head! :

 Se Eu Te Pego- Michel Teló

Hope you liked it!
Come back next Monday for some more MÚSICA!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Brazilian appliances

Some of you lovely readers have been asking for a home tour lately. I've been planning on doing a video tour and posting it on the blog, but haven't gotten around to actually making the video. Today however, after yesterday's post, I thought you might like to see some Brazilian "appliances".

So here goes...

Our washing machine.

Our dryer.

Our dishwasher. (complete with luxury "quick dry" option)

Our 2011 edition coffee maker.

Our central air conditioning system.

Our hot water heater aka electric shower head.
(I agree... I thought electronics in the shower was supposed to be dangerous...)

*Our totally modern walk-in closet. 
           Not Pictured: The Brazilian doorbell. (Clap your hands together loudly... and voilà!)

*Not a Brazilian appliance, but still worth sharing!
Hope you enjoyed a sneak peek of our home...more to come soon!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for...

My husband.

My family.

My second family.

My friends...You know who you are!! You don't all fit into one picture!

My front yard.

A roof over my head.

Food on the table.

A warm bed to sleep in.

An internet connection/laptop allowing me to stay connected to the world!

The wonderful education I received over the years.

And I will NEVER EVER again take for granted the following:

Washing machine/dryer


Sanitary water out of the tap

Hot water heater

Air conditioning/Heat

Public safety

Smoothly paved roads

Screened windows

Quality health care

US wages/salaries

Clean streets, sidewalks, rivers, etc

What are YOU thankful for?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mutuca Month

It's November 7th and for the last 7 days, all I heard about is this mysterious insect... Mutuca. Everyone keeps saying... oh, you live at the beach? Watch out for the mutuca. They infest the areas near beaches, rivers, lakes, etc in the month of November. From what I've heard, they look like flies, but bigger, and they bite! Not like a mosquito bite though... a bite that bleeds and hurts! So for the last 7 days, anything with wings or that somewhat resembles a fly has scared me half to death! They only come around in the month of November and then they go away. I debated closing up the house and staying inside for a month ...but it's hot and I like the beach! Anyways, I encountered my first mutuca today. It was big and very scary looking and it definitely wanted to bite me. Too bad for him, he met my little friend chinelo (flip-flop). Upon closer examination, it looked a lot like a fly disguised as a bee, or vice versa. I decided to google it. How could I not have guessed!? You probably already have! This mutuca insect is none other than what we Americans call the horsefly! This really does not ease my fears though. Although my contact with the horsefly has been limited, I remember being bit as a child and it bled and hurt a lot! I also think the Brazilian version of the horsefly is somewhat different. See here:

Mutuca, butuca, has many names.

I'm already hoping the month of November goes by fast and without any mutuca bites!!!!
Wish me luck...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Foreign Language FAILS!

If you've ever tried to learn a new language, you know it's no easy task. It takes a lot of time studying, reading, writing, listening and practicing in order to really get a hold of it. The hardest part for most people is speaking. It may sound silly, but it can be embarrassing to open your mouth and speak a foreign language when you're not 100% sure of whatever it is that you're trying to say! Especially when you're not in the classroom speaking with other struggling classmates... instead, you're out there talking to native speakers! It can be very intimidating. You never know if :

A. They'll be able to understand you.
B. You'll make some embarrassing mistake.  
C. They'll laugh at you/be rude.

I'll tell you from LOTS of experience that you will probably experience all 3 at some point in the process of learning a new language. Hopefully C doesn't happen to you...I think it's really only happened to me once or twice, but you just have to think to yourself... "I'M the one trying to speak your language. If you're so smart, why don't you speak to me in MY language?"

There are people who don't have the patience it takes to make the extra effort to try to understand what it is you, as the foreigner, are trying to say. They also don't have the patience to help you understand what it is they are saying to you in response.

However, there are also MANY people who are very understanding in these situations. From my experiences in Brazil, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Puerto Rico, Portugal, and Paraguay, most people are more than willing to have extra patience with us extrangeiros. Sometimes, they are even curious as to where you're from and how you ended up on their side of the world!

But back to what I originally meant for this post: B. You'll make some embarrassing mistake.

It happens to the best of us. Some of you readers (ahem, Allie and Sarah) may remember a certain time in Spain after a night out at a discoteca that I inadvertently ordered a "shawarma de polla" instead of "shawarma de pollo". For those of you who don't know, a shawarma is a middle eastern pita-style wrap of shaved lamb, chicken, turkey, or beef with various vegetable toppings and sauces.

I was trying to order the chicken shawarma but accidentally ordered a shawarma of male parts. Just like that, changing the "o" on the end of pollo to an "a", and had I ordered the most vulgar shawarma the shawarma guy had ever heard of. After everyone dried their tears of laughter and my face faded back to white from beet red, I got the CHICKEN shawarma I ordered with no harm done. This definitely falls into the B category, wouldn't you say?

Here's another good one... While teaching Spanish to High School kids back in the states, I heard this from a male student:

"Estoy tan embarazado!"

What he was trying to say: I'm so embarrassed!
What he really said: I'm so pregnant!

See how languages are confusing?!

And now for my inspiration for this post:

Tiago would kill me if he knew I was writing this. We were on the ferry boat headed to Guaratuba the other day (see post here), and it was pretty windy/chilly on the ride over. Tiago turned to me and said in English, "Hot me!"
I died. I knew what he was trying to say. Poor guy. It makes sense, doesn't it?
What did he mean, you ask? "Warm me up!"
This falls into categories B and C. I couldn't help but laugh!

One last foreign language fail:

A loooong time ago, Tiago and I were talking to my mom on Skype. Tiago was trying the best he could to speak some English and he was doing a pretty good job! That is until he said, "I love your son very much."
We laughed as he instantly realized his mistake and she said "That's sweet of you, but he has a girlfriend!"

Do YOU have any embarrassing foreign language fail stories to share?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bieber Fever in Brazil

Bieber fever is alive and well here. He's the token teenage heart throb and he happens to have had a few concerts in Brazil awhile ago.

J.B. sporting Brazil's flag.

 I know this because there were thousands of tweens sobbing with joy all over the news for days! They even had a Justin Bieber special and aired his concerts live! Although J-Beebs is famous internationally,  he does have some competition here in Brazil, and his name is Luan Santana.

His hair-do didn't make headlines like Justin's, but he seems to have a signature style of his own goin on.

Luan Santana on the cover of some teen magazine.

A lot of people love to hate on Luan Santana, but just like Justin Bieber, his songs are all over the place and without fail, get stuck in your head. I wouldn't say he's a musical genius, but his songs are catchy and I have to admit, I don't mind listening.

See for yourself!

Amar Não é Pecado

If you liked that, you'll LOVE this video of my adorable niece singing Amar Não é Pecado:

Isn't she cute?!?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Soul's Day

Today was another feriado here in Brazil. Some of you may have already known November 2nd to be "All  Soul's Day," but I doubt you got the day off of work! This day is very special to many Brazilians, as it is a day to honor all those loved ones who have passed. It is a day to remember happy times and memories with those loved ones and to bring flowers to their graves. This particular All Soul's Day marks one year since my sweet Nana passed away. I thought about her a lot today.

Nana and I - Puerto Rico 2006

Since Tiago had the day off of work today, we decided to visit a nearby town called Guaratuba. It was a beautiful, sunny day- perfect for the ferry boat ride to get there!

On the ferry boat! (Car parked on lower deck)

Enjoying the view of Guaratuba.

It's no Cristo Redentor... but it's a Jesus statue and I like it.

Tiago and I 
Almost hot enough to jump in!

We met up with friends at the beach! Tiago and Neneco.

Elis and I.

  What did YOU do today?