Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It was a hit!

After a few weeks planning and lots of trips to the airport...we were blessed with another perfect day to celebrate our new life together with loved ones!! It was soooo much fun to have everyone in town and all the little details came together perfectly in the end. Again we didn't have one professional photographer, but had friends send us or facebook the shots they took, so again, I'll have some organizing to do, but here are a few of my fav's soo far...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yes, Michigan!

We're off to visit friends on the west side of the state to see our old stomping grounds at Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo to enjoy some Oberon in the garden at Bell's, and while we're on the west side of the state stopping at Lake Michigan for sun and picnic on the beach and Holland for some fudge and wooden shoes!

Have a lovely weekend!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

En casa

Our cute little apartment in Santiago...take notes for wedding presents!
Bathroom--old, olive green, orange accents, with a bidet.
Dining room, entry way...tan with doors to all the other rooms...

Kitchen--citrus colors, with my little windowbox garden and a view to the terrace...
More to come...hopefully with a few little changes!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The planes in Spain

I found this at a Spanish fashion blog lady addict...Vueling-a low cost airline based in Barcelona-and MTV had the label Custo Barcelona decorate two of their planes...cute! What a fun way to travel.

Ps...Diego arrives to the states today!!:) and so does his brother!

Monday, June 15, 2009

For the boys...

We made the boutonnieres almost exactly like the one above for the boys in the Spanish wedding. I think in Michigan we will do without them since it's more casual. But, I loved the simple green look. Here are some other cute easy to make boutonnieres I found on the Knot...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

night lights

I always save my glass jars with the hopes of one day doing this.
What pretty lights for a summer evening...and sooo easy!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


After spending 8 months of my life living in Mexico, in beautiful Queretaro Mexico, I've come to love tequila. the bite of the salt and the lime and the warm taste of the tequila...mmmmmm. Soo good.

I also love watermelon especially when it's ice cold on a hot summer day....

I found this recipe in the July issue of Martha Stewart Living and it is on the list of things to try this summer...perfect for a picnic, the beach, a wedding...and so inconspicuous.

Tequila-saoked watermelon-
-Cut watermelon into slices and arrange in baking dish
-Bring 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup tequlia, and 1/4 cup Triple sec to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves
-Pour tequila syrup over watermelon
-Refridgerate watermelon at least 45 minutes
-Remove watermelon from baking dish and season with lime and salt!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hug a tree

Since I started thinking about the Michigan wedding I have been wanted tobe sure to be eco friendly. I'm planning on using potted perrenial flowers as the table centerpieces-beautiful flowers that can then be planeted in my mom's yard and come back year after year. We are going to the Detroit Eastern Market this weekend to see what we find. And when thinking of favors I started thinking about the tree seedling idea. I've always been crazy about trees and to think that we can give a little seedling to each guest who maybe will plant the tree...I think it's a great idea. And in the sentimental vein, planting a tree that grows and strengthens with the years is a nice metaphor of what marraige is. So, I've been looking online and as I suspected the best deal is with the Arbor Day Foundation where you can get seedlings in a variety of tree types in 50 count bundles- if you are a member or not the price is between $39(member) or $60(non-member). A membership is only $10 and you recieve 10 free tree seedlings and any other little extras they throw in at the end. What a perfect cute favor! (but...beware shipping dates are limited!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The making of...

Our Spanish wedding was planned quite quickly and we stayed on a very tight budget, under 2,500 euros for everything. I think we did quite a fabulous job and in case you are planning a far-away wedding or even if it's in your back yard, I wanted to share some of what we did with you all- and in case you are an American marrying a Spaniard, give you a heads up on the bureaucratic hurdles that you are about to come up against.

Diego and I were engaged shortly after I arrived to Spain last fall. We had the idea of eloping quietly, having the little courthouse wedding, sending the announcement with a little black and white shot of us, me with a little birdcage veil and a white trench coat him in a white shirt and skinny tie...

But, upon going to the town hall to set the date for the wedding we were given a paper with a 'short' list of papers to turn in in order for them to approve.

1. Fill out the application for marriage. Check.
2. Be empadronado (registered) in the same town-we were told we just had to go to the building next door, and fill out a paper. This really was very easy, fill out a paper with the address and my signatue and I was registered. Check.
3. A copy of my passport. Easy. Done and Done.
4. A notarized copy of my birth certificate, translated to Spanish (the translation would need to be certified by the nearest American Consulate-by appointment in A Coruna from 10-1 Mon-Fri). My mom sent the birth certifcate with the seal that it was notarized and legal, we translate, make the appointment (Diego taking a morning off work), get to the consulate, hand over the certificate, they look it over and say "Where is the seal?" Yes, much to our surprise the birth certificate needed an Apostille de La Haye, a seal you must get from the Secretary of State for $1 on documents that need to be legal not only in the US but also aboad.

So, we left with no quick wedding on the horizon after we talk to my mom who talks to secretary of state who says she has to order a new birth certificate from the court who will process that send it to her so that she can take it to the secretary of state, who will then place the seal and send it to her. A process that can take up to 2 months. Uffffff. Not expecting that. We placed the paper work order, but didn't get the birth certificate with the seal until two months later after all the mailing back and forth in Michigan and finally to Spain.

Once we had the legal Birth certificate we made another appointment, headed to the consulate, got the ok, and were ready to get the wedding planned 6 months later! In the end the wait was not a problem, our wedding was perfect and it was so special and important to celebrate with friends and family!
(Extra info: The civil marriage in Spain, when completed with all these steps, is considered legal in the US, there is no extra work to be done, and no registration or extra liscense needed. If you are going to change your last name you will need to take some extra steps at the county clerk and secretary of state where you live . Also, in Spain we asked for an international marriage certificate, with all the stamps and signatures and English translation. And one last detail we did was, just in case, get the Apostille of La Haye on this international certificate also. We got the Apostille from the Tribunal Superior de Xusticia de Galicia. Getting the Apostille could be done through the mail, or in person-although most likely if you go in person you will have to go more than once as getting a signature takes longer than you'd expect.)

But, just a reminder, bureaucracy is slow where ever you maybe, but if you have to have a legal document from the states considered legal in the European Union (or vice versa), before ask about it and get the Apostille de La Haye, it's only $1.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wedding parties!

I've been in quite a few weddings, and being a bridesmaid is always fun, but there is the same dilemma at the end of the party with what to do with the bridesmaid dress! We always say, I can make it shorter to wear it again...but who really does? The last wedding I was in, my beautiful friend decided on a modern ceremony at an art gallery and our bridesmaid dresses could be the black dress of our choice. I got a little strapless Gap dress that I love and can still use again, and the look was great to see each of our styles on display. The next wedding I'm in, other than my own, I'll be maid of honor. I remember always having the idea of a Zac Posen purple dress with pompoms on the hems as the perfect maid of honor dress...but alas I'm still not quite rich enough to afford that. This bride has decided to be quite modern also letting us choose our own dresses, colors, etc. I'm planning on using a purple vintage grecian gown of my mother's. When it came to my wedding, I was always saying that I wasn't going to have bridesmaids, just my maid of honor was the witness to sign the papers. But, when it came down to it, it was so important to have my sister and my best friend by my side in the week before the wedding at that day. I'm so glad they were my madrinas. Another very special friend of mine who is now living in Barcelona also made the trip out to Santiago for the wedding, and the day of the wedding it was wonderful to have her there. But being that they weren't official bridesmaids, I didn't really give them any guidelines on what to wear except to look guapas, and they did. With no planning they all wore short dresses in a bright, happy color scheme with hot heels. Diego's brothers wore cute modern cut suits with skinny ties. In the end we had a really chic stylish modern wedding party that made everyone in the Plaza Obradoiro talk. It pays off to not be picky!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

From the Farmer's Market

I'm back into wedding mode, planning wedding #2 and thinking about what flowers to use here. The flowers in the Spanish wedding were simple and fun. Purples, greens, and white daisys. But beyond the choice, the event of getting the flowers in the Farmer's market in Santiago on a rainy morning was also part of the encanto.

We went on the Tuesday before the wedding, to "order" the flowers. But the order was more like telling the lady we like these and these, and her telling us, "I'll bring extra bunches of those and some of these othere things i think you might like, and some fresh leaves from my graden too, and you can take what you like." We also stopped by the ladies with their lettuce, rabbits, and eggs, and wildroses and orange blossoms, and bought a few of those just to have. The orange blossoms were so lovely and delicate and smelled wonderful.

Thursday, the rain hadn't stopped so we headed to the market on another rainy morning with some big mexican bags to get all the flowers. As she told us the flower lady had all the flowers and more, including the leaves from her garden that still had snails attached to them. We got bunches and bunches of flowers: zinneas, daisies, irises, paperlike flowers, another white kind, green leaves, and orange blossoms.
On the day before the wedding we made all the arrangements, the orange blossoms were looking limp so we did without them, and then we headed to the ceremony site to decorate. One a budget of just 50 euros for flowers we made the place look lovely, simple, modern, and elegant.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I ended up doing a special scent on the day of the wedding. I wasn't planning on it, but a very sweet girl working at sephora who helped with the makeup choices offerend me, my sister, and my best friend free perfume samples. I ended taking Miss Dior Cherie Eau...yummy! A fresh, light, sweet scent of strawberry leaves, Jasmine, caramel corn, and Patchouli. Strange but lovely.

On the day of the wedding I ended up not using Miss Dior Cherie, and used a magazine sample of Theirry Mugler Angel Sunessence a warm bergamot, sweet hibiscus, chocolate, honey, patchouli scent (strange but lovely, again).

I've started using the Dior Cherie as a daily scent, a new married fragrance...haha, I do feel like I'm floating with balloons now. But, I do still want the Angel fragrance too. I think I'll get them on the return in Chicago and take advantage of the strength of the Euro compared to the Dollar. I'm excited!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm back!

After a few lovely flights and a megabus ride (that I nearly missed), I'm back in Michigan! Just in time to celebrate my mom's birthday and my good friend's baby shower!! I've already made a stop to target...and can't wait to go back to really take some time to look around and consider adding a few more little things to the registry list!
I also wanted to take the chance to share that flying with Aer Lingus was great! I was a little unsure about the company as I dont know many people who have flown with then and their prices are really good (my flight was $350 one way madrid to chicago!) but if you are looking for cheap flights to Europe check out their website and prices. The flight was excellent, the food was pretty good for airplane food, they gave out scones and tea, and we had the personal TV's with a variety of movies, TV shows, and radio. And, Irish people, the few I met in the airport (customs, perfume store, and flight attendants) are really nice. So fly Aer Lingus if you can.
And finally, I'm watching the Today show, and they are about to have a little bit on Tapas! They have a big leg of jamon...let's see what they say.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I'm crazy about sheets. It all started when Target started to have designers create lovely designs on quality fabrics at affordable prices a few years ago. Since then, I love sheets. As I was creating my mini-suitcase packable registry a few weeks I registered for about 10 sheet sets, I was a little out of control, I have edited the list since then. But, recently as I was passing Zara Home, I decided to step in and look at the baby stuff hoping to find a gift for a friend's shower...but what I found instead was a table with sheets and duvets for 5-10 euros a pack. Yes. I bought a little set. Super basic, but nice. Chocolate brown sheets with deep turquoise pillow cases and a chocolate brown and orange duvet. Diego thinks I'm crazy...especially since I hate the actual act of changing the sheets, but the job is so much better when you have something pretty to put back on the bed. (not the best picture, but you get the idea...)

Friday, June 5, 2009

little changes...

I made a few little changes to the look of the blog...let me know what you think...

and I´m on my way to the USA...wedding number 2 is only a few weeks away!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Greece...to Santorini

When heading to an island in the Aegean I recommend taking the afternoon ferry...a chance to see the Pireaus Port in Athens, a lovely ride past soo many little whitehouse covered islands, and a chance to see the sun set and the moon rise. The fast ferry takes 5 hours from Athens to Santorini with stops in Paros, Naxos, and Ios, the slow ferry takes 9 hours, but leaves in the morning if you want to arrive earlier in the day. Upon arriving to Santorini, you find yourself in the Caldera, the cliff side of the island carved out by the volcanic erruption that created the island hundereds of years ago. At 10:00 at night it looks like your being enveloped by black rock, but as you get in your taxi you start the ride up the cliff, on tiny winding roads lit only by the headlights and the breaklights of the car in front of you, and wind up at the top of a mountain with views to the sea on the other side of the mountian and the lights of the baloconies of Fira in your left. From here, we took a right and headed down the mountain into the lovely, relaxed beach village of Perivolos.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I'm moments away from receiving a residency card, which will give me the legal right to work in Spain! It's quite a complicated matter being an American working in Spain. Work visas are almost impossible to come by, as you muct get an employer to file all the paperwork for you, then return to the US to actually get the Visa..etc. Most Americans here end up working a bit illegally in academies or private English classes. I'll post more on that later.
But, now that I have my papers, the opportunities are limitless...well not quite considering Spain is suffering from higher rates of unemployment than the rest of Europe. But, being a native english speaker with a teaching degree in languages I do have some advantages. I can't work at a public school unless I do oposiciones-formalized tests that you have to take to be considered for a secure funcionario job-after this teachers have to continue taking tests and racking up points, at the risk of being moved from one school to another each year depending on their scores, until one day they reach a level and get a permanant position. I, however, I have taken my CV's to the private schools in Santiago, where being privately funded they can hire whom they choose. I hope they are looking for an English teacher and they choose me! If not there are always other plans in the works such as translationwork or a private academy. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Press Pass

Summer fun continues....
Last night we went to see Wilco as guests of Diego´s newspaper...seats in the press box, oh yea. A fun way to see Midwest meets Spain...and for the 2nd encore the crowd yelled -Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole- you know, that song from soccer games. I think the band thought it was pretty funny...I sure did, I´ve never heard an encore quite like that before.
What adventure will come next? Not quite sure, but it´s time to pack my suitcase...

Monday, June 1, 2009


Summer has started! The weather is hothothot and sunny! and we spent the weekend at Playa Paxariñas, just south of Santiago o the rias baixas, with some friends- grilling, swimming, sunning, and good conversation. I´m soo excited to start the summer-and now only a few days are left before we head to the states for wedding number two!!
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