Thursday, December 17, 2009

Let it snow

It's almost Christmas! December is flying by waaaaaay to quickly. There were rumors of a snow storm yesterday-classes were even canceled for the kiddies on Tuesday night in all of Galicia beucause of the approaching "snowstorm". But nothing...just a very cold, very rainy day. I guess it never really snows in Santiago. We have a microclimate-lots of rain and cool...perfect for moss growing. But it is snowing in the rest of Spain. It's so beautiful to see the images on TV of old city walls in Avila and the Retiro park in Madrid covered in snow.

But, snow or no snow, the weekend is quickly approaching filled with parties, shopping, baking, and finally time to make a few last minute Christmas (and maybe year long) decorations like this lovely felt wreath care of design*sponge. Isn't it pretty? Maybe I'll give one to my suegra too as a present.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Madrid me mata...

We took a quick road trip down to Madrid this weekend to hang out with Diego's college friends who are all soooooo nice-drank lots of cañas, ate a make-shift holiday meal (we had reservations at a Chinese place...hahah...but decided just a few raciones would be a better plan), danced like crazy all night long, heard the dish on Diego Luna from a friend who just interviewed him, ate fried squid sandwiches under one of the arches of the Plaza Mayor, shopped for a flamenco santa in the Plaza Mayor Christmas market but only found frech mistletoe and crazy nativity scene pieces too...some costing 165 euros!...and finally drove home past glowing castles and midieval walls on the Castillian plains. 27 hours of classic Madrid. Quite a nice weekend, I must admit. ;)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How do I look?

I'm thinking about cutting my hair...short like it was in high school and college. But, before taking the plunge I decided to look for a way to try out the look and found a seriously amazing and ridiculous way to spend an hour or two trying out your face with loads and loads of celebrity hairstyles (or vice versa). It didn't really help with my decision, but man was it fun...and a little scary.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I've been celebrating Dia de la constitucion this long weekend- shopping on Sunday-a rarity in Galicia until December, watching Sé lo que hiciste again, getting into the Christmas mood making cookies, having a few family and friend filled meals, getting a few ideas from blogs that I was behind on after a week without internet, and dreaming of snow covered trees and warm glowing windows. Unfortunatly the cookies burned, the stores closed on Monday and Tuesday, and I really need to turn off Sé lo que hiciste and get some work done for the new week. But, before here is a little peak into what I'm going to do with my recently returned wedding vases...I can't wait to have the bulbs blooms in the middle of the winter!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

There's nothing like coloring turkeys

It's been a while since I've blogged...time for a late November update. November was a long month without a single puente-long weekend. I was busy teaching up a storm and translating as well for my class. It was the first year ever that I've worked on Thanksgiving-and my body felt the need for the turkey and shopping break. So, my classes celebrated a little turkey day break too. In my beginners class where we were learning about food, we made Spanish style thanksgiving dinners-mainly serving octopus. The six year olds colored turkeys and left class with the idea that Thanksgiving is a holiday about turkeys flying off buildings-I tried to tell the the real story, but between the many random stories they told each other about birds while they were coloring the majority walked out with a new tradition in mind. And finally my intermediate classes- who were conveniently learning about numbers:percentages, fractions, and large numbers- had a fantastic lesson about Black Friday with the excellent idea of making an advertisement about the incredible sales. It was a hit. Finally we finished watching a Thanksgiving episode of Friends. I think I turned my first day working on Thanksgiving into quite a fun day and my students all love Thanksgiving now. I wasn't expecting more than a turkey sandwich after work-which I can't complain about, just ask my sister, the cold cut turkey here is wonderful- but much to my surprise Diego had prepared a turkey feast with what he could find here. There was a turkey leg to share, his very own gravy recipe,mashed potatoes, and the closest thing he could find to cranberry sauce- grosella marmelade. It was delicious, and best of all it was such an unexpected surprise! What a lucky girl I am. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Santiago becomes mecca for all independant/international movie lovers in Galicia every November for the film festival, Cineuropa. We've been wanting to go for weeks, but with our new late work schedules we can never make it to any of the movies we want to see that are playing at 6, 8, or 10. This weekend we finally had the chance to make it out. We were between getting tickets to see Yann Tiersenn in concert or going to the movies...we ended up at the movie, getting last minute ticktets in the nosebleed section of the old theater in Santiago. hehe...Diego was double checking that I wanted to go, telling me we were going to be really high up...I didn't realize we would babsically be above the chandelier on benches leaning over the rails to see the movie! In any case we saw Looking for Eric directed by Ken Loach. It was an enjoyable film about a man overcoming difficult circumstances with the help of Eric Cantona retired a French soccer player. Definately worth seeing. And going to cineuropa was so nice. I wish we could take advantage of more of the fantastic films they are showing-and see some of the local Galician diretors' debuts. We always have next weekend too. Cineuropa lasts until December 2-if you're interested check out the website.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Modern Beer

On a rare weekend that Diego wasn't working we had a leisurly lunch at a new restaurant next to the contemporary art museum CGAC and the Museo do Pobo Galego and while ordering our drinks we decided on a new beer. It arrived in a fancy bottle-without a price tag but with a little tag describing how it was developed by Ferran Adria of elBulli- the most famous,expensive, gourmet restaurant in the world basically-located where else, but in Spain. We decided not to worry about the price and enjoy. And we did. It was lovely. Soft, delicate, fruity, wheaty. Perfect. When we got the bill it was much less expensive then we had expected. Look for it: Estrella Damm Inedit. You'll love it. Avantgarde beer. And...check out the video about how to serve it-it's seriously the champagne of beers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

en el mundo...

There is a great show on Spanish television called, Españoles en el Mundo. The show goes to cities all over the world to see what it is like to live there, following a Spaniard who lives there around for a day seeing the important sights, and going into their houses. It's a pretty excellent idea. You have a travel show and you get a bit of reality seeing what life is really like and hearing about how these average people left Spain to explore some new place...maybe for love, maybe for work, or maybe just for the adventure. One of the most interesting to date was Alaska. It was pretty incredible that they could fill an entire program with Spaniards living in Alaska...who knew?? And, they were all very happy making a new life there. We keep saying they should make the same kind of program for Americans living around the world. Would you watch it? Here's a little clip of a city I love, Athens. Enjoy (if you speak Spanish...sorry no subtitles).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Out to dry

Wintery weather has arrived here in Galicia. It's rainy and humid and cold. Not nearly as cold as it will get, but it is as rainy as ever, and the realities of living in an old apartment that doesn't have central heat or insulation are back to being as uncomfortable as before. I've started to let the dirty clothes pile up, not due to laziness, but because I don't want to have humid clothes hanging around the house for a week. The last laundry we did was wet for about a week until we dedided to turn on the heater and put piles of clothes on the heater...not the safest choice. So, we have decided it's time to buy a clothes dryer. We have the space and we really need it. I am sad that the romantic ideal of the clothes hanging on the line will be lost, but really in the winter the clothes are just hanging in the house. And, I am sad that the eco friendly ideal of not having a dryer will also be lost, but we'll get a eco friendly dryer, and once the rain stops we will go back to hanging the clothes on the line. But, alas, mildewy clothes are gross. A house with clothes hanging all over it is annoying. And soft, warm, dryer fresh clothes are soo nice. We're off to start shopping tomorrow.

And another reality that is setting in Spain isn't all siestas and tapas. Working hours are a bit crazy. Last year I started to see how it was with Diego's late schedules, but now I have the same schedule-coming home everyday at 10:30pm working in the morning and the's a bit pesado/heavy. We do have a long lunch break, but between getting back home, making lunch, eating, and then getting back out by 4 pm, the break winds up being quite rushed and exhausting. What are the options? Well, classes until 10pm are totally normal here. The daily schedule is so different from the Anglo-saxon world, but, not everyone is working mornings and rushing back to work in the afternoon. In order to have a normal 9-5ish (9-3 here) schedule you have to become a funcionario-a public servant. In order to get this job, you must study for a year, pass the oposiciones tests, and then wait for the government to give you a job placement. This is how the public school system works, or any other normal job. We've been thinking about doing oposiciones-Diego would need the time to take a class and study (usually one year to prepare) but I would need to homologar (translate, literally and educationally, all my degrees which can take up to two years to complete) and prepare oposiciones. What are we going to do...not sure just yet, but at least we'll have dry clothes while we work out the details!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

on paper...

Diego recieves many comics to review for the bi-weekly culture extra he writes for and of all the comics he's received Ciudades de Papel by David Pintor published by the Galician editorial El Patitio is my favorite. It's a small book, with no text except for the names of the cities in the drawings, but the images are playful and imaginative and relaxing and evoke the perfect memories of the cities included. I leave the book out on a table to inspire my future travels and remember the old. Click on the link above to see more of his work.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

there's nothing like...

starting the day with a warm cafe con leche and a crunchy tostada with olive oil and salt. It's even better when you share it with the one you love. What a perfect way to start the day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Speaking of dates...

It's our six month anniversary today!! I figured it's the only time we'll really ever celebrate 6 we're going to celebrate as much as we can! I got Diego a few little things and he surprised me with a weekend in Ourense-getting lost in mountains, eating grapes in canyons, and watching the sunset from a castle. Then, to top it off we went to a halloween party! Not a house party, a real whole town in the plaza for the pumpkin carving and queimada! Fantastic! The town Rivadavia just south of Ourense celebrates October 31 to remember the celtic roots in Galicia-after all Halloween suposedly comes from the celtic celebration Samain. I can't get the party pics we took off my phone, but as soon as I figure out how I'll put up a few of them. Until then, bask in the hidden treasures of Galicia. Canyons of the river Sil, Ourense/Lugo
Ribeira grapes-not albariño, but the other famous wine of Galicia comes from the grapes grown on the river. A bit more earthy than the sweet, oceanic albariño, it's mostly known as a white wine, but can be a red wine too.
We tasted some of the grapes that we left after the harvest from these vines-one of the best parts of getting lost is finding hidden treasures like these quiet vines right off the river. A statue on the top of one of the hills pays tribute to the harvesters who climb up and down the hills to gather the grapes. It's chestnut season!
And, the sunset from a window in the remains of the castle Castro Caldelas.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


It's November! We need a new calendar! This one found on little brown pen found care of Cup of Joe is great! Diego and I have a new pet project.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I love this look a la justbecausefashion from Spain. I missed out on getting this blazer at Zara, but they have a few similar one's at Stradivarius now. Perfect for a little Indian summer that has decided to pay a visit- and teacher appropriate.

Monday, October 26, 2009

new scents

I can't wait to get to Sephora to smell these new scents. Very rosy-I wonder if I may find another favorite to add to my growing collection...
Parisienneand rose-the one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Every girl in Spain has a little leather bomber jacket-a leather cazadora-or in slang a 'chupa'. I've tried a few on at Bershka, Mango, and other places, and for some reason or another, even though all the girls look super cute in them, I can't see myself wearing the same jacket as every other girl. So, I've been on the hunt to find a cute more original leather jacket-and with some inspiration from my bestie's blog, I think I may have found the 'chupa' for me at Mango Online.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I've been wanting to fix up our office lately...there's so much empty green wall and the desk is a mess. Framing art is out of the budget for I've been playing around with the idea of getting a big cork board, painting it to add a contrast color, and filling it with pictures that we love or anything else that inspire us. After seeing this on design*sponge this week I feel validated, it's not my college apartment corkboard anymore! I'll update you soon.
(yes...2 d*s posts in one week. It's been inspiring me this week:)

Friday, October 16, 2009

more books!

I´ve been looking at bookshelves lately...our big shelf is filling up quickly and it´s getting time to invest in more shelves. But before we buy new shelves I´ve been thinking about a few books I´d like to top off our present shelf with...beside the book of Juan Rulfo photos I´d like to add this one thats been winking* at me from the display windows of bookstores here in Santiago: Avedon Fashion 1944-2000. Not only do I love the photos, but the cover is great...a perfect book to display and inspire. Good thing Christmas is just around the corner...
*if you haven´t seen this book yet, it really does wink! The right eye opens and closes as you move the book! Soo fun and cute!

Big Brother??!!??!!

Seriously. What? Do people watch this show? Did it ever make it on American TV? Is it really popular here in Spain? I think its the most annoying show on Spanish television. Maybe it's supposed to be a socialogical experiment. Maybe you can watch it to learn real Spanish. But, seriously? And to top it off the host of the Spanish version, Mercedes Mila, used to be a very famous Barbara Walters-esque journalist who now spends all her time watching bored people in a big house. What? Alucino, tio. De verda.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


What a great idea-tie-dye kitchen towels as seen on Design*sponge.
I love the color combinations and they look so easy to make...

Sunday, October 11, 2009


On my Chirstmas list...

Rummikub- memories that hold a special place in my heart-evenings in Margarita spent playing with my family- evenings spent playing the week before our American wedding with new family-it's a necessary addition to our life here in Spain!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I've been sooo busy with the new job teaching English at an academy!

I'm finally getting a steady paycheck, have great work mates, and I'm cotizando-meaning that part of my paycheck is going to the government to cover my healthcare and my retirement. Phew. It's great!!

I'm on my feet all day, and in the need of some new cute, comfortable, Spanish shoes. I still want Campers. From the new season these are in the running as my new shoes-comfortable for walking through the city, being in my feet all night entertaining and chasing kids, and being in the rain.
Too bad they all cost at least 150 euros. I got a job, but I'm still not rich.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunny September

The two Septembers I have spent in Spain have been oh so sunny and filled with everyone wearing shorts and skirts in a weird mixed up "why is it hot now and not in July-how long can I really pull off wearing my sandals?" way. My dreams of boots, scarves and red lips have been on's been too hot. But I bought Conde Nast Traveler magazine on Friday and have been enviously dreaming about other things all weekend:
Rome-Diego and my next big destination. He's never been, I can't wait to go back with him and eat pizzas, pastas, and gelatos next to ageless statues on stoney streets.
Wine Routes in Spain-One of many routes featured, here in Galicia white wines are king- following the trail of Albariños and Ribiero. A perfect weekend trip driving through the autumnal country side, stopping at wineries, smelling the vines, and spending the night at a rural inn.

Barcelona- Another place Diego's never been. It's so close-one of my good friends lives there-and there is pan con tomate, amazing markets, and Gaudi. I think it deserves an annual trip.

Finally, I can't stop thinking of Santorini. We loved it soo much on our honeymoon. The greek isles are so amazing, blue, friendly, delicious. We'd buy a little place on Perissa beach like Ntomatini, a wonderful organic restaurant we discovered owned by a bicultural couple-he's greek, she's American- who packed up and moved to paradise to open their cute and seriously delicious restaurant. But while we keep dreaming I'm on the search to find the scent Santorini (bergamot, verbena, vetyver, rosewood, sandalwood and cardamom) by Antica Farmacista for the house.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red Lips

I'm jumping on the everyday red lip bandwagon this fall. I don't really do red nails, but there is something about red lips that seems so perfect with nerdy glasses, big knits, boots, and falling leaves. Don't you think?
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