[Music] Lindsay’s Favourite Brazilian Songs

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To commemorate two years of living in Brazil, I’m sharing my favourite songs from this wonderful country.  I adore Brazilian music, in its many forms and styles, particularly bossa nova, samba, pagode, and MPB(Popular Brazilian Music).  I feel I’ve only scratched the surface – there is so much more yet to discover – but this list is a start.  If you like new, good music, have a listen to my playlist of twenty songs from different genres of Brazilian music.

We have Natiruts, a talented reggae-pop group who filmed an entire concert on top of a mountain in Rio(it’s nice to watch as well as to listen!), Djavan, my current personal favourite, Tom Jobim, one of the fathers of bossa nova, and many other past and present artists and bands: Seu Jorge, Marisa Monte, Skank, Ferrugem, Max de Castro, Jair de Oliveira, Tim Maia, Axel Bahia, Vanessa de Mata, and Tribalistas.

Listen Here:

Here’s an overview of the songs:

  1. Quero Ser Feliz Também/Natiruts: “I Want to be Happy Too”
  2. Liberdade Pra Dentro Da Cabeça/Natiruts: “Freedom to the Inside of the Mind”
  3. Doidice/Djavan: “Folly”
  4. Maçã/Djavan: “Apple”
  5. Chega de Saudade/Tom Jobim: “No More Loneliness”
  6. Aguas de Março/Tom Jobim e Elis Regina: “Waters of March”
  7. Carolina/Seu Jorge
  8. Ainda Lembro/Marisa Monte: “I Still Remember”
  9. O Pato/Emilie-Claire Barlow: “The Duck” (This singer is Canadian, not Brazilian, but the song is Brazilian and I just love her version)
  10. Resposta/Skank: “Answer”
  11. Te Ver/Skank: “To See You” (To see you and to not want you/ it’s unlikely, it’s impossible/ To have you and to have to forget you/ It’s unbearable, it’s incredible pain)
  12. Embola Bola/Djavan: “Tangled Ball”
  13. Mas Que Nada/Tamba Trio: “But Nothing” – I’m confident you will all have heard this song.  It’s definitely in the first Austin Powers film.  Wonderful song.
  14. Climatizar/Ferrugem: This pagode song has a lovely happy sound.  I’m not really sure if the lyrics are good but I like listening to it!
  15. O Nego do Cabelo Bom/Max de Castro: “The Black Guy with Good Hair” (yes, really)
  16. Tiro Onda/Jair de Oliveira: “Take a Wave” – It is impossible not to dance listening to this song.  I love it.
  17. Que Beleza/Tim Maia: “What Beauty” – classic song from the 70s
  18. Danza da Mãozinha/Axle Bahia: “Little Hand Dance” – I included this song in one of my Zumba routines once.  It’s a fun song from the “Axé” genre
  19. Não Me Deixe Só/Vanessa da Mata: “Don’t Leave Me Alone”
  20. Velha Infância/Tribalistas: “Old Childhood”- This is one of the first Brazilian songs I was introduced to by my wonderful friend Annelise on my first trip to Floripa!  I love to belt out the chorus.

And if you’re craving more after that, I recommend all of the Putumayo Brazil CDs, some of which are on Youtube:

What would you add to the list?

You may also enjoy my other playlists:

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[Food] Vegan Gringas

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Before this year I hadn’t given veganism much thought.  While I’m not a huge meat eater,  I consume quite a lot of milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and honey – animal products that are essentially forbidden if you adopt a vegan diet.  I especially love milk.  Growing up, we always, ALWAYS had a four litre jug of 1% milk in the house.  It goes so well with cereal, with cookies, with coffee… it is an essential part of my diet.  For that fact alone, going vegan was never an option I considered.

In February I met Brittany, a university exchange student from California.  She is vegan, and she taught me how to make nut milk, which was surprisingly easy and delicious.  We had a number of conversations about veganism and I started to think about it.

A couple of months later I heard a podcast about Esther the Wonder Pig, a pet “micro-pig” that turned out to be a full sized (650 lbs) commercial pet pig.  She has an instagram account and her “parents” wrote a book about their experience with Esther and opening an animal sanctuary.  It is just wonderful and I highly recommend it.

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Derek, Steve, and Esther

Steve and Derek were not vegans or vegetarians before they adopted Esther.  But loving her as a pet completely turned them off eating pork, and gradually other animals and animal products.

I laughed out loud when I read this part, in which Steve talks about the decision to go vegan:

“If I can’t eat meat, what will I eat?  I hate salad.  I hate weird vegetables, which to me is most of them.  What was left?  Was I going to be stuck with seeds and nuts?  Would Derek come home one day to find I had morphed into a bird?”

But at this point, things started sinking in.

“I’d always pictured milking a cow as happening on some beautiful farm on a lovely green pasture among rolling hills.  Some sweet little girl with pigtails heads out with a bucket to milk ‘ol Bessie.  Poor ‘ol Bessie probably wants to be milked.  She’s happy to provide milk for the family, and they love her for it.  That’s the story of milk, right?”

*Sigh*.  Maybe that was the story of milk for some people, at some point in time.  But I don’t think it is today.  It made me think about the animal product industries and what I want to support/not support.

Vegan Gringas

In June I met Erna through a Facebook Group for Expats; she is from Kosovo and has lived in Brazil for the past four years.  She and I have been spending lots of time together, talking about our interests and passions – namely, vegan cooking and baking!  Erna makes amazing hummus, and I love to experiment in vegan baking.  When we decided to start selling our products, “Vegan Gringas” was born. (Gringa is a term for a female foreigner in Brazil)  Although Erna and I are not 100% vegan, we embrace the philosophy of veganism – to promote ecological and kind environmental and animal practices.

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Erna (and Sombra)

We’ve started selling our goodies at different feiras(markets) which has been a lot of fun.  It’s a wonderful way to build community and meet interesting people!

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To me, being a vegan isn’t about giving up every animal product forever. To me it’s a philosophy; a school of thought that says “By not eating animal products I am fighting for a healthier, kinder world.” If we all moved towards a more vegan lifestyle, we would be helping the environment and saying no to unfair living conditions for animals raised for meat/milk/eggs etc.  Each time I choose a vegan meal or recipe, I feel like I’m helping the world if only by a tiny amount. I’m also helping myself to stay healthy by eating more plant based foods.

Our goal with “Vegan Gringas” is to spread this message. We make and sell yummy vegan food in the hopes of raising awareness, starting conversations and forming community based on this idea.  We would also love to sell natural homemade home and body products like soap, shampoo, detergents, etc.

We encourage others to join us. If you want to make and sell things at the Feirinhas with us, do it! (You don’t have to be a vegan or a gringa)  Liking and sharing our posts on Facebook/Instagram is also helpful.

This is about doing something we love(baking, cooking, creating) and sharing it with others in a positive, collective way, in the hope that we can make our world a better place.

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

Be a part of our journey by following us on:



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[Photography] How To Encourage Your Gift

A walk around my university campus in Sackville, New Brunswick.

A walk around my former university campus in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Are you stuck in a photography rut?  Do you want to improve your skills but aren’t sure where to start?  This post is for you!  I was recently asked this question by a friend of mine and thought I’d share my thoughts.


My wife is really good at photography.  I love the pictures she takes.  But she doesn’t seem to pick up her camera for months and I want to inspire her and encourage her gifting.  What did you do to motivate your self?  What things did you do to encourage your gifting?


  • THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO: Keep your camera out of the bag and in an easy to reach place.  You will be much more likely to take pictures if your camera is accessible.
  • Project 365: A project that challenges you to take at least one photo every day for a year.  I completed my first Project 365 in 2014 and it was a very worthwhile and helpful experience.   If that seems like too much you could do a Project 52, which is one photo per week.
  • Daily Photo Challenges: There are many daily challenges that give you a prompt for inspiration.  My favourite one is from Fat Mum Slim.
  • Come up with your own project.  I started The Most Important Thing project a few years ago to develop my portraiture skills.  Take your passion and turn it into a documentary project.
  • Go for a walk every day and bring your camera.  Try to explore as many new streets and places as you can!
  • Keep yourself accountable: share your images on social media and with your friends.  People’s likes and comments always encourage me to keep going!
  • Get a good editing program for your computer like Lightroom or Photoshop(I recommend Lightroom for beginners as it is more user friendly)
  • Do free portrait sessions if you are interested in portrait photography.  There is no better way to get better at portraits than just going and practicing!  I gave so many free sessions when I was starting out and it definitely paid off!  Offer a session for a family, a friend with a newborn, or a couple who just got engaged.
  • Similarly, get involved in an existing project like Help Portrait in which you do a portrait session for someone in need.  I plan to take part in this year’s event which is happening on December 3rd.
  • Hire me!  I am starting a portfolio review service in which I will review twenty of your best images and lovingly critique each one, helping you to know what you should work on and how you can improve.  I am offering this service for $30 CAD right now!  Contact me for more information.

Some other ideas you could try for a week or month:

  • Shoot everything with one lens.  If you only have one lens, consider buying or renting a new lens.
  • Process everything in black and white.
  • Take a picture of a stranger.
  • Shoot everything at the lowest aperture your lens will go.
  • Shoot at night with a tripod and slow shutter speed.
  • Shoot everything that is colourful.
  • Enter Contests – online, magazines, Jones Soda Labels… do a search!
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A couple of years ago my Dad suggested I submit a photo to the Jones Soda company.  I sent in two, and this one was chosen!  I was over the moon!

One of the best things you can do is just bring your camera with you everywhere you go.  I caught the following images because of slugging my camera around.  Yes, it’s heavy and cumbersome, but it’s usually worth it😉

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I didn’t have the best light in my apartment where we used to live so I would bring my children and camera to the park where I had lots of beautiful natural light.

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I love capturing natural scenes like this.  If I have a friend with me I’ll ask them to sit near what I really want to take a picture of and then snap away.  Yep, I’m sneaky like that.

What do you do when you’re stuck in a photography rut?

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[Personal] Rainbow Christianity

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Until this moment, I’ve stayed quiet about this controversial topic.  I feel like it’s been bubbling inside of me for years and years, and in light of recent events, I know it’s time to say something.

I grew up attending the United Church of Canada. Though I don’t recall it being mentioned in a sermon or in Sunday School, I remember that the congregation as a whole did not discriminate against homosexuality.

I have relatives who are gay, and my family has loved, supported and treated them as we do our relatives who are not gay. In fact, my grandfather, a retired minister, has been an influential advocate of rights for people who are LGBTQ, even receiving the Order of Canada award in 2004 for his efforts.

I am so, so glad I was brought up in a church and in a family that treated people equally, regardless of who they love, because that is what laid the foundation for my opinion on this matter.

My first encounter with Christians who strongly opposed homosexuality happened at an InterVarsity Christian retreat during my university years. I must have brought up the topic in conversation with someone and they suggested I talk to a leader about it. I don’t remember the details of the conversation, only that my arguments were considered invalid. Homosexuality was a sin, end of story.  I wasn’t convinced, but I was sad.

In the following years at university, in my time as a missionary, in personal relationships and in various churches I encountered the same views.  I deeply considered what the Bible said about it. It never felt right, and I never adopted the belief of homosexuality as a sin. But I went silent  whenever the topic came up, and hoped the conversation would change quickly. I suppose I was afraid people would think I wasn’t a “good Christian”. I also tend to avoid confrontation, and I don’t enjoy debating with people whose minds are made up.

I love Jesus, I love the Bible, and I do not believe that being LGBTQ is a sin. I have a number of arguments for my belief, (which I would be happy to have a respectful discussion about), but the primary one is that I believe love is good, whether you are a man who loves a woman, a man who loves a man, a woman who loves a man, a woman who loves a woman, or anything in between.

In researching for this blog post I found an amazing article and video that you MUST watch if you are a Christian struggling with what the Bible says about homosexuality.  It might just change your mind.  Here’s the article: God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same Sex-Sex Relationships.

I know I’m not alone. Let’s speak out and hopefully encourage healing for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. If you agree with me, please share this post or write your own message of love and support.  We can use our voices to change the attitudes of others and hopefully shine some light in this troubled world.

love is love

Dear Ones who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Queer:

You are amazing.  You are beautiful.  You are wonderful as you are.  You don’t need to change, you only need to be yourself.  Celebrate the things you love and what makes you YOU.  I love you, I accept you, I support you, I cheer you on.  God loves you, He accepts you, supports you, and cheers you on.  Now press play below and rock out to this song.


I do encourage respectful discussion about this topic.  Hurtful comments will not be approved or allowed on this blog.  Feel free to contact me personally.

rainbow christianity

[Personal] Shasta is four and he is hilarious.

Our sweet, silly Shasta is FOUR!  If you have had the pleasure of meeting him, especially in the last year or two, you know how special he is.  He has said a LOT of hilarious, cute, and inappropriate things this past year and to celebrate this wonderful boy I’m sharing a few gems with you.  You’re welcome.



Shasta Q4







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Shasta Q11









A few more:

S: What’s that mommy?
Me: It’s a tampon.
S: For the mommy boo boo?
Me: Yes.
S: It’s not a cookie?
Me: No, it’s not a cookie.
Thank you mom. You’re so helpful.
Can you be the hurt lady and I’ll be the sad doctor?
Me: I’m sorry for being in a bad mood.  I’m just in a funk and I need to snap out of it.
Shasta: Is it an uptown funk?
I used to play with it a lot when I was a kid. 
I’m not happy because I’m sad. 
This hexagon has a lot of mass. 
I can hardly wait to hear what he’ll say as a four year old.  Thank you Shasta for helping me to become a better person, for being yourself, and for making me smile every day.  You are a blessing to everyone you meet!
Thank you for my birthday party, Mom!

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[Photography] The 100 Strangers Project: #10 Diane & #11 Breno

Read more about The 100 Strangers Project here.

#10: Diane

This lovely lady is the owner of my favourite consignment shop(Brechó) in Floripa, Brecho de Marte.  It’s on the way to my bus stop, so I pop in there frequently.  Diane is always very friendly and helpful and on this day, which happened to be my birthday, I was in the mood to take a Stranger Portrait, and she cheerfully agreed.

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#11: Breno

I met Breno at the Lagoa Craft Market.  He was selling bracelets, earrings and other jewellery he had made.  Right away I noticed that he was a very sweet, soft spoken man.  He showed me how he made the bracelets, and talked about how much he enjoyed creating things.  Halfway through our interaction I asked, “Qual é teu nome?”(What is your name?)  He looked at me for a moment with bewilderment.  He said, “You took those words right out of my mouth.  I opened my mouth to ask those exact words and you said them.”  We talked about how important it is to be kind to people, even and especially people we don’t know.  Our world is going a bit crazy but many good people exist, and we need to connect with each other.  Breno said some very kind words to me and I felt like we bonded over that short time.  During our conversation I thought, “I want to remember this connection.  I’m going to ask him for a photo.”  I then explained my project and he was very willing to take part.

With Breno I learned something.  While this project is meant to improve my portraiture skills and feel comfortable approaching strangers, it’s about more than that.  It’s about connecting with “strangers,” who really are only strangers until you start having a conversation.  It’s about acknowledging and connecting with other human beings.  It is one of my personal goals to try and acknowledge people more, even if it’s just looking at people in the eye and smiling at people I pass on the street.

Of course, we have to be safe and cautious when we speak to people we don’t know.  But let’s not allow fear to rule.  Let’s connect with our fellow human beings.  You might even meet a gem like Breno.

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See my other strangers here!


[Music] Top Canadian Sounds 2016

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Happy belated Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!!!  To celebrate I’m sharing my favourite current Canadian musicians with you.  I am a forever fan of Joni Mitchell, Michael Buble, and the Barenaked Ladies, but these lesser-known artists and groups deserve a listen.

  1. Folk/Bluegrass/Harmonies: The Good Lovelies are one of my all time favourite groups.  I love their use of instruments and harmonies.  Plus they seem like really cool people.  They won a Juno award for Roots and Traditional Album(Group). GoodLovelies.png
  2. Folk/Soothing: Jon Bryant is my friend Candace’s brother in law, which is how I found out about him.  I love his voice, songs and style.    jon-bryant
  3. Folk/Fun: David Myles is a Mount Allison Alumni(so obviously we share a special connection).  His songs are just lovely.   David_Myles_Riley_Smith-MG3-websize-copy-1024x683
  4. Folk/Children’s: Helen Austin/Big Little Lions I mentioned Helen in my post on Children’s Music – she played at a small event on Vancouver Island when Nuni and I were there in 2010.  Then this year I found out she is a JUNO award winner for her Children’s CD, Colour It.  I bought it and the kids and I love it.  She is also in a band called Big Little Lions and they are great too.  bll
  5. Female A Capella: Chic Gamine is a group I heard on an episode of the Vinyl Cafe and immediately I was blown away.  We bought their self-titled album on iTunes and Nuni and I love it. chic gamine
  6. Male A Capella: Cadence – oh how I love thee!!  I saw a show of theirs at university years ago, and absolutely fell in love.  I enjoy everything they create.  They are so fun and talented.cadence
  7. Country: Meaghen Blanchard is a very talented lady I went to university with.  I remember watching her perform at a university event and approaching her afterwards.  I told her if she ever made a CD, I wanted it.  Well, now she’s made three albums and is an accomplished artist.  She’s also won multiple East Coast Music Awards.  Her first album is my favourite, and my favourite songs are “Mothers”, “Mazie”, and “Great Big City”.  meaghen
  8. Jazz/Swing: The Brothers Arntzen is a wonderful duo/group that I saw performing at a swing night in Vancouver in 2013.  They have an amazing sound.  So great to see this kind of music alive and well! bros.jpg

Here is a playlist I made with one or two songs of every artist mentioned!  Enjoy!

Those are my current favs but I am always on the lookout for new ones!  Who are your favourites?

You may also enjoy:

natkingcole     raul midon

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