• This is one of the commandments of maternity. You can deny it all you like, you can say this won't happen to you. But it’s a fact of life, and the high divorce rate in couples with small children only goes to prove it.

    I’ve already mentioned in other chapters how young mums feel tired, irritated and frustrated, and guilty. Tired because of so many nights without sleep and the extra work that comes with having a baby. Irritated because the kids so often push our patience to the limit. Frustrated because we want to do so many things – we want to be perfect mothers, wives and employees, but inevitably something has to give. Guilty because we often feel like running away or going back to the times when we didn’t have to worry about anyone except ourselves.

    And as most mothers are actually quite well-balanced individuals, they don't offload these burdens at work (although we often feel like ripping certain co-workers’ heads off, it’s true), or on the children (who may often be the cause of all the irritation with their tantrums and fixations, but they didn’t ask to be born after all), or our friends (we don't often see them these days anyway). Who’s left, then, to soak up all that negative static that we accumulate over the course of the day/week? Our poor husbands.

    I can almost hear the applause of all those men who’ve felt so wronged all these years. ‘Finally someone understands us,’ some men will say. ‘I always knew that but I never told anyone.’ ‘Well well. It wasn’t just me, then.’. But wait a minute, gentlemen. You aren't getting away with this so easily.

    On behalf of all women, even the ones who say it isn't true, I admit we will inevitably treat our husbands badly at some point in our lives (or at some point in the day, to be honest). You, fathers, are our punch bags. You are the ones who are at our side on the sofa at the exact moment we need to let some fury vent. Yes, it’s wrong for us to take out all our rage on you, and we regret it often enough, and realize we’ve been bitches. Although we’ll rarely admit that to you. But there are so many times when you lot deserve every extra decibel, every glass smashed against the wall, every ‘You can’t do anything right.’

    The fact is, no matter how ‘participative’ they may be, men can’t think beyond their own belly buttons. They just don’t think of the thousand and one things that need to be done in relation to the kids and the house, and that’s what pisses us off. You want some examples? I’ll give you some examples:

    Going on holiday
    Mum’s trying to pack her own bags and the kids’ bags too, with a three-page list in her hand to make sure she doesn’t forget anything, what with medicines, favourite toys, sunhats, towels, cardigans, chargers for this and that, toothbrushes, snacks for the journey, baby change bag, etc. etc. etc. Dad’s got his own bag to pack. He goes to the computer to look up the route or check the temperature at our destination or some other less important thing. Halfway through her three-page list, mum still finds time to pick out what she’ll wear for the journey, break up a fight over possession of the remote control and take the crusts off the little one’s toast, because ‘Daddy didn’t’ – and Daddy knows (or bloody well ought to!) she’s funny about her toast and won’t eat it any other way. Obviously it’s a question of minutes before mum comes out with ‘Do you mind leaving the ****ing computer for a minute and helping me out here?’ Dad’s taken aback. ‘You could have told me you needed help.’ Really? Did I really need to tell you?

    The end of the day
    Dad gets home. The kids are playing quietly in the living room, fresh from their bath. Mum’s making dinner. Dad comes in, helps set the table and sits down on the sofa. Two minutes later, in comes mum, shouting. ‘Look, why don’t you take your backside off the sofa and get the washing in off the line? You could at least put your own clothes away, they’re folded on top of the bed. Did you buy milk? Didn’t you? Don’t tell me you didn't notice we finished the last packet this morning? Why is it me who has to think of everything? Christ, you’d think you didn’t live here!’ At this point the reader may be thinking, ‘Isn't Mum overdoing it a little here? The poor guy’s just got home, he’s only taken a minute to relax on the sofa after a hard day’s work...’ Perhaps, reader. Perhaps. But what you don't know is that while Dad comes home in the same clothes he left in, Mum has changed three times that day already: the first time after a disastrous incident with a small child and a shower head, the second after the younger one threw up his milk, and the third after one of them flipped a plate of soup in the air. She’s also been mopping up a waterlogged bathroom, and making a new batch of rice after burning it the first time. If, instead of flopping out on the sofa, the gentleman of the house had gone straight to his wife and asked ‘ What can I do to help you?’, he’d have earned a smile – and some domestic harmony.

    Sunday outings
    Dad gets up quite calmly, on mum’s third attempt to awaken him, and notices his ‘Good morning, sleep well?’ goes unanswered. She’s woken up in a bad mood, he thinks. Oh no, my friend. She didn’t wake up in a bad mood. The reason she’s in a bad mood is she didn’t get much sleep, what with getting up to change one of the kids’ beds and shush the other who’s had a nightmare, followed by an early awakening with ‘Mummy I’m not sleepy and I’m hungry but it has to be you who makes breakfast because Daddy doesn't know how I like my cereal.’ Then she’s hung out the clothes she washed during the night to make sure they’re dry enough for pressing in the evening. And while His Lordship loafs on the sofa watching sports programmes, she’s picking out clothes for everyone and making sure there’s a change of clothes in the baby bag because we’ll be gone all day and while I’m at it I better pack biscuits, and a sunhat, and the football in case we go to the park, and a jar of fruit pudding in case we’re late getting lunch.

    Women do mistreat their husbands. Once they’re mothers. It’s unquestionably true. They’re not as gentle, not as available for love, less interested in their husband’s day at work, less alert to his needs. Yes, we should examine our conscience from time to time, and say sorry, and be more tolerant and understand that men don't have the same natural way with kids that we have. For the kids, there’s nobody quite like mum. But guys, you could grow up a little and stop acting the victim. Open your eyes and enjoy the view beyond your belly button. And if you really are incapable of thinking about the duties your children and your home impose on you, even the most basic stuff like checking to see their pyjama bottoms haven’t slipped off during the night or making the bed every day, then ask. And above all, before you flop down on the sofa with the iThing, offer to help. It’s an offer that will be greatly appreciated, and you’ll find you’ll be mistreated less.

    illustration by Sofia Silva

  • For all of you who didn't read my new book on motherhood, you can free download it from Story Cartel for the next 15 days.
    Story Cartel is a new way for readers and authors to connect. Every book is free for a limited time. Readers support authors by leaving their honest review. For book lovers, Story Cartel is a resource to discover great books and fresh authors; for authors, it's a platform to build deeper relationships with readers.

    As for my book, its a collection of humorous texts about pregnancy and motherhood. Written in a sarcastic tone, it’s the perfect book for new parents (who will learn precious tips on how to deal with the unexpected), experienced parents (who will know they’re not alone), pregnant parents (just to get ready for what really comes ahead) and also for those who don’t want to be parents and needed new reasons to stay so. 
    Because being a mother is awesome, but a day at the beach with only a Mojito as company, doesn't come far behind.

  • Everyone knows I'm a shoe addict. Well, if you didn't know, now you do.
    I slob before each awesome collection by world class designers such as Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Roger Vivier, Jimmy Choo or Giuseppe Zanotti. But there's a Portuguese name which can (and should) be among those geniuses. Luís Onofre.
    His work is amazing and I've been following it since the beginning, long before he opened his flagship store in the most exclusive street of Lisbon. I can't wait to see what he does next.

    Check his website: http://luisonofre.com

  • Seems like Dolce & Gabanna read my essay The importance of a wardrobe makeover before creating their last Fall collection, thus showing a super romantic and glamorous vision of motherhood.
    It's not the first time the designers call upon the big Italian family imagery on their ad campaigns. But this time they went a few steps further, creating a collection that praises the mother figure, with breathtaking dresses embroidered with phrases such as "I love you mama" or " You're the most beautiful mother in the world". Plus, on the fashion show, models were invited to bring their kids to the runway (even the unborn ones) and on the print ads mothers are the absolute stars.
    What can I say? In two words: LOVE IT!
    And now I'm going to slob over the images of this beautiful collection. Bye, bye!

  • The big day has arrived! My new eBook "Things a Mother Discovers (and no one talks about)" is now available from Amazon.

    Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Things-Mother-Discovers-talks-about-ebook/dp/B011S6SBXM

    «In this humorous essay, embellished with fun illustrations, Amazon Top 100 author Filipa Fonseca Silva shares things no one talks about before you become a mom. Things she learned from her experience as a mother of two and wished someone had told her as soon as the pregnancy test got positive.
    Written in a sarcastic tone, it’s the perfect book for new parents (who will learn precious tips on how to deal with the unexpected), experienced parents (who will know they’re not alone), pregnant parents (just to get ready for what really comes ahead) and also for those who don’t want to be parents and needed new reasons to stay so. »

    WARNING: This book may contain elements that are not suitable for people with no sense of humor and for all those who believe that the best thing in the world is being a mom. If you don’t agree with affirmations such as “holidays with kids are not holidays” or “breastfeeding is boring”, read at your own risk.

  • When we think about a Nobel Prize winner, we think of someone with a superior intellect. Someone who worked for many years or even decades on something that contributed to the advance of humankind, whether on the field of Medicine, Economics or Literature. We hardly think of someone prejudiced and sexist who would make statements like “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry.” Plus, someone who openly defends segregation in labs.

    Unfortunately, that was precisely what Nobel Prize of Medicine and University College London professor said. Tim Hunt, ladies and gentlemen, showed the world that a fool will always be a fool, whether he has an IQ of 90 or 150, and that feminism can't be outdated, because there's still a long way to go to reach gender equality (the number of women on the top of the hierarchy, whether on companies, labs, parliaments or universities, don't lie).

    However, the best outcome of this episode is not finding just that, nor finding that there are people who still never heard of nose scissors (please look closely at the Laureate photo). The best is what women scientists from all over the world did on Twitter under #distractinglysexy. That's what I call fighting stupidity with humor.

  • Have I ever mentioned SKOG Eyewear in this blog? No? Shame on me!
    Well, SKOG Eyewear is a Portuguese brand of wooden and bamboo sunglasses, which has everything I love: good design, high quality and sustainability.

    But just when I thought it couldn't get any better, SKOG presents a special limited edition, designed by one of my favourite Portuguese street artists Vanessa Teodoro, (aka The Super Van).

    The artist was invited to pick one of the classic SKOG models and create without limits, so she chose to crave her signature drawings with laser cut. The result is awesome and limited to 50 units. You can order your pair here and start walking around with an art piece on you.

    photos ©Lia Ramos

  • As a copywriter, it's hard to deal with all the clients' and colleagues' comments on our hard work and ideias. But as the final work is for the public, not for me, I just let it go and move on to the next brief, hopping that next time I can do something worth keeping in my portfolio.

    Now, imagining that kind of feedback on my fiction writing it's simply nightmare! It could look something like this ads from the Winston Fletcher Fiction Prize to promote a British fiction contest for advertising writers.


    Continuing the Kennedy Center's exploration of international arts, IBERIAN SUITE: global arts remix is a major festival highlighting the many cultures that comprise the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking peoples—the impact they've had throughout the world, and the vast influences they've embraced from other cultures.

    The festival, curated by Alicia Adams, Vice President of International Programming and Dance, includes dozens of performances by some of the world's best contemporary music, dance, and theater artists, many who are making their U.S. or D.C. debuts. Visual arts are highlighted in exhibitions and installations around the building, and additional events focus on literature, film, cuisine, and more.

    Here's a bit of what you can see from the "Portuguese team":

    Installation “The Stone Raft” by the Portuguese, Pritzker Prize winners, architects Souto Moura and Siza Vieira.
    The installation “The Stone Raft”, made of Portuguese stone, is based on Jose Saramago’s book with the same title and will be in exhibition at the exterior front of the Kennedy Center.

    Installation – Hall of homage to Fernando Pessoa - “A journey of Imagination”
    A real size cork tram, which symbolizes the power of the books and literature in transporting us to journeys of our imagination, basically alluding to Lisbon and Fernando Pessoa as well. The tram conveys Fernado Pessoa’s message, used as Arte Institute’s motto since the beginning, “the man has the size of his dream”. With this installation Arte Institute also intends to show the American public a way of employ a traditional Portuguese material, as cork, but giving it a modern and contemporary usage.
    In that hall, there will be a cork station with panels from the artist Manuela Pimentel who works the idea of Azulejo (painted, tin-glazed tile work) in a contemporary way. The artist also has an installation where we can listen to Fernando Pessoa’s poems and Portuguese popular sayings.

    Installation: So Blue So White--Fashions Centuries in the Making
    This installation relates the fascinating tale of how Portuguese trading ships brought Chinese porcelain to Europe, where it became extraordinarily popular and widely imitated, eventually by manufacturers such as Royal Delft. The international passion for blue-and-white porcelain that began in the 16th century continues to this day, influencing leading fashion designers throughout the world. A selection of their exquisite creations, inspired by blue-and-white porcelain and ceramic tiles, comes together in a dazzling display in the Hall of States. Highlights include two whimsical gowns created by Portugal's Storytailors atelier, both commissioned especially for this festival.

    Free Concerts:
    Rodrigo Leão. António Zambujo. The Gift. Sofia Ribeiro. Luisa Sobral

    The play “Ode Marítima” by Diogo Infante is also part of the program and will be played both in DC and New York.

    But there is so much more!!!

    Full calendar HERE or  download the brochure

  • Colleen McCullogh's words and characters fulfilled my adolescence and young adulthood. She wrote romantic stories of strong, determined and adventurous women. From Thorn Birds to Tim, from The Song of Troy to The Touch, her books were page-turners that made me travel through time. 
    Thank you, Colleen, for so many hours of pleasure and inspiration.

    1 June 1937 – 29 January 2015

  • نحن لا يمكن إسكاته. Não nos podem calar.
    No podemos ser silenciados. Ons kan nie stilgemaak word nie. Ne nuk mund të heshtin. մենք չենք կարող լռել. Biz susdurulub bilməz. мы не можам маўчаць. Ne možemo da se utišaju. Ne možemo biti ušutkani ние не може да бъде спрян. nemůžeme být umlčen. Vi kan ikke bringes til tavshed. 我们不能沉默. We kan niet worden uitgezet. Me ei saa vaikima. Emme voi vaientaa. Nous ne pouvons pas rester silencieux. Wir können nicht schweigen. Nem tudjuk, hogy hallgasson. Við getum ekki að vera þögul. 私たちは沈黙することはできません. Mes negalime būti tyli. Tsy afaka ny ho mangina. Aħna ma tistax tkun siekta. Vi kan ikke være stille. ما نمی توانیم ساکت. Nie możemy milczeć. Nu putem fi tăcut. Vi kan inte vara tyst. Biz sessiz olamaz. Ми не можемо мовчати.

  • There's a universal truth that women should learn as soon as they can: men suck at choosing the right gift for a special occasion. Of course, there are exceptions, but as always, those exceptions only prove the point.

    They don't mean to disappoint us, and it's also not a matter of budget. It’s just because they are terrified of everything related to women's territories, and they deeply believe that if we say we need a new coffee machine, we'll be happy to get one for Christmas. Poor devils... Do you have any idea what it means for a woman to receive a home appliance as a gift? Years and years of fighting for equal rights going down the drain by one single daily-use object.

    I know my husband will not be happy after reading this, but I have to share two episodes that clearly show how the best of the intentions can end up ruining a special moment.

    The first one happened when we were still dating. I've been whining about how out of shape I was, and how little time I had to exercise for a while, so my beloved boyfriend showed up with four Christmas gifts for me. I was so thrilled. Four gifts, all for me? How thoughtful... But then I opened the first one: an exercise game for PlayStation. Ok. It might be fun. Second gift: a Yoga mattress. Humpf.... Third gift: weights. By that time, I couldn't disguise my disappointment, but there was hope. The fourth gift had a book shape. You can't go wrong with a book, can you? No, unless it's a book with tips for slimming! I won't get into details about how it went from there, but it was something between a nervous meltdown and hysteria.

    The second episode happened on my 30th birthday. A date to remember, especially for someone like me, who takes birthdays very seriously. In that particular year, I was in love with a Marc Jacobs handbag, and I wasn't hiding it. My husband was committed to making my day super special, and he was doing quite well. First he gave me a bicycle, the one I still ride every day. I was happier than a child. Then, during a dinner party with all my friends and family, he gave me a beautiful Birthday cake, with a shoe on the top, and a lovely dress. I couldn't be happier and looking back, I wish the day ended there, at that magical moment. But it didn't. There was yet another gift, which came in a big card box. The first thought that crossed my mind was that inside that huge box was my desired Marc Jacobs handbag. However, as I took the Styrofoam out of the way, I found a foot massager. Are you serious? Who gives his thirty-year-old wife a foot massager, which cost the same as two Marc Jacobs handbags??? But baby, you love foot massages, he said. Really? A foot massager? Forget it. I'll store it somewhere far away and keep on dreaming with my unachievable handbag...

    So, there it is. No matter how good the intentions, choosing the right gift for a woman can end up in an epic disaster. That's why all men reading this article should remember these five little precious tips:

    1) Never, ever, give her a home appliance, not even a hair curler. Ever!

    2) Never, ever, give her sports equipment, unless you want her to think that you think she's fat. And that's not good for you.

    3) Stay alert to every hint she gives. Every woman gives precious and subtle hints about what they want for a special occasion.

    4) If you still can't figure out what she wants, ask for help. Ask your daughters, in-laws or her best friend. These women know better than the helpful shop assistant, whose only interest is selling you something.

    5) Lastly, don't try to be creative. Most women love surprises but controlled ones. Like, oh darling what a surprise! I was wondering if you would give me my favorite perfume or that book I was telling about for months. Unless it's a trip to New York. In that case, you can surprise her. (I must say that after those two episodes, my husband redeemed himself by taking me on a wonderful trip to NY)

    As for the ladies:

    1) Go straight to the point. Unless is sex, men rarely get the hints.

    2) Tell your kids, sisters, best-friend want you really want. It's likely your husbands will ask them for help, especially if they read this article.

    3) Write Santa a letter. But make sure you are very precise about the model, size, color and store location. A bag is not just a bag. There's the texture, and the shape and a whole world men will never understand.

    Happy holidays and happy shopping!

  • LOVE Magazine is known for it's super sexy covers and editorials, but this Advent Calendar is something else.
    Each day features a beautiful woman, from supermodels like Miranda Kerr and Isabeli Fontana to sex bombs like Pamela Anderson, filmed by a talented photographer or filmmaker. Short, sexy, and trendy films which will make you wish it's Christmas all year round.

    (click on the calendar to go to the website)

  • Malala was born in Pakistan in 1997. Her father, a poet and teacher, taught her the importance of education, especially in a girls life.
    In 2009, when the Taliban took control of the area where she lived, banning television, banning music, and limiting women’s education, Malala began writing an anonymous blog for the BBC expressing her views on education and life under the threat of the Taliban.
    A climate of fear prevailed, and Malala and her father began to receive death threats for their outspoken views. After the BBC blog ended, Malala was featured in a documentary made for The New York Times. She also received greater international coverage and was revealed as the author of the BBC blog. In 2011, she received Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, and she was nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Her increased profile and strident criticism of the Taliban caused Taliban leaders to decide she had to be silenced.
    Thus, on 9 October 2012 a masked gunman entered her school bus and
    shot her with a single bullet which went through her head, neck and shoulder. Like a heroin from an adventure book, Malala survived. Doctors say it was nearly a miracle. I believe it was meant to be.
    As soon as she recovered, Malala continued her work  as a global advocate for the millions of girls being denied a formal education because of social, economic, legal and political factors.
    Her speech at the United Nations, the day she turned 16, is simply inspiring. But to me, one of the most remarkable things she ever said in another speech was this: "this children they do not want an iPhone, an X-box, a PlayStation or chocolates. They just want a book and a pen". Today she won the Nobel Peace Prize. More than deserved.

    If you want to help Malala, you can join the Malala Fund.

    PS: The Prize was shared with another beautiful human being, Kailash Satyarthi, who's fight for children's rights in India has already taken more then 80.000 children off slavery. 

  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and to celebrate it Stella McCartney created a beautiful set of pink lacy lingerie. A portion of the proceeds will go towards a new mammography suite at the Linda McCartney Center in Liverpool, which treats patients suffering from the disease. The cause is very dear to Stella, since her mother Linda passed away from breast cancer in 1998.

    “If you can prevent this illness coming into your life and destroying your family unit, then there is nothing more important," said Stella. She also explained why her friend Kate Moss is the face of the campaign: “She kindly agreed to be part of it on the day of our Winter 2014 ad campaign shoot. It’s also a big deal for Kate to bring awareness to this cause."

    The campaign was shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

  • In 1854, Louis Vuitton founded his House and in 1896 his son, Georges Vuitton, created The Monogram in honour of his late father. It is one of the first exercises in elevated branding and a defining sign of a global culture to come. It quickly became an icon.

    Louis Vuitton’s ‘Celebrating Monogram’ project is a collection of works that shows the distinctly personal side of the Monogram. Six creative iconoclasts – the best in their individual fields – who blur the lines between fashion, art, architecture and product design, have been given carte blanche to dictate and make whatever they see fit in the patterned canvas.

    Echoing the special Louis Vuitton centenary collection of 1996 – where Azzedine Alaia, Manolo Blahnik, Romeo Gigli, Helmut Lang, Isaac Mizrahi, Sybilla and Vivienne Westwood contributed individual and distinct designs – for 2014’s collection, the participants have progressed even further. Here, Christian Louboutin, Cindy Sherman, Frank Gehry, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Newson and Rei Kawakubo radically, personally and playfully realise an unparalleled collection.

    To die for, I must say.