Sunday afternoon on the couch with a delicious cup of Portuguese coffee, writing postcards to send to random people around the world through Postcrossing, a fantastic new project that I found that connects people around the world through postcards. The more you send, the more you receive! I have sent to China, Malaysia, and most recently, Fond du Lac, WI, just a few hours north of my hometown, and I have received postcards from Finland and Poland as well! If you like sending mail, check out their site!
Monday, April 16th
One thing I love about living in Portugal is the large variety of natural food products available, like vegetables, fruit, and eggs, and I also really appreciate that people are so generous in giving them away! We regularly get eggs from one of our neighbors and one of our friends, but for some reason we were out of them last week. I bought a half dozen from the grocery store for a cake, one day before our neighbor brought over a dozen that her mom had just collected fresh from the chicken coop! We decided to use the store-bought ones that were left, and were amazed at how different the coloring was between the two! Care to guess which is which??
Tuesday, April 17th
During a pretty stressful week, my dear friend Cristi decided to not only meet me for lunch, but to make and entire home-made lunch for me! It was the most delicious chicken salad sandwich, and I'm pretty sure the Craisins had something to do with it... I can't remember the last time I had Craisins!!! Once she graces me with the recipe, I will definitely send it to you! (and hopefully I can reproduce it with some ingredients that are available in Portugal!)
Wednesday, April 18th
I've got mail! Forever on time with their good wishes, a birthday package designed by my dear mother and including not only a lot of lovely treats and gifts, but also some American necessities that I had asked for as well, arrived today! I also got an Easter package from my family and a card from my Grandma, but may have forgotten to take a photo of them before they were taken apart/eaten/used. Obviously the small pack of Cadbury mini eggs did not last long enough to make it into the photo... :)
My dear friend Isabel, one of the first to make sure I felt welcome and included in the choir I joined here in Coimbra, one who shares my love for all things vintage, and generally one of the kindest people I have met in Portugal, is unfortunately leaving us for an adventure in Spain for a year! We took this photo with her snuggly shawl, which she was never without (and which is usually accompanied by another scarf and 2 jackets!), and which makes me feel like I'm not the only person who is always freezing in Portugal! I will miss her dearly, but as an adventurer myself, I am almost always in favor of going out on a limb when the opportunity arises... After all, isn't that where the fruit is?
Friday, April 20th
Though there aren't anywhere near as many ways to save money/be thrifty in Portugal, we are very, very thankful for store-brand items! In our entire purchase this afternoon, only the two items on the left - Kleenex and ground turkey - were not the Continente brand! Granted, it was a small shopping trip, but still... we're grateful!
Saturday, April 21st
My wonderful husband surprised me this weekend with a road trip to Guimarães, a city a bit north of us that has been named the European Capital of Culture this year, and reserved an "apartment-hotel" for us so that we could save money, promising to cook me dinner and pamper me for two days! We left Coimbra in a huge storm, with rain predicted all weekend from the north to the south, but since we had a little apartment and had already reserved it, we packed a few books, a few games, and took off with a prayer that the Lord would bring us some sunshine, or at least stop the rain for a few hours. No dice, but a stop at IKEA kept us busy for an hour and a half (Swedish meatballs, anyone??), and sure enough, the Lord in all His goodness brought out the blessings! We arrived in Guimarães with blue skies, big, fluffy white clouds, and enough sunshine to leave our coats in the car while we explored for 3 or 4 hours! The entire weekend is definitely blog-worthy, so the rest of the photos will have to come later, but I thought this one at the famous Guimarães castle was fun and worth sharing!