Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Old Year...

I'm not really into resolutions in January, I always feel like September is really the new start. But, in any case, I do love the year in review, so here are some of my highlights:
Many trips with my handsome, funny, and loving husband...Lisbon, Madrid, Chicago, Miami, Huelva...where to next?
Traveling through Spain with my Mom! And celebrating Spain's World cup victory!
Visiting the family in Miami's sweltering heat and scary thunderstorms
Making friends at work jumping over bonfires
Discovering the art of Spanish cheese in Asturias
Recovering from jet lag on a beach chair in Huelva with a many shrimp filled meal and a beautiful wedding
Speaking Gallego!
Getting a new couch and coffee table
Seeing, holding, and loving on friends' babies
Summertime in Michigan with friends, lakes, and kayaks

What will the next year hold?

Ps...don't forget to eat 12 grapes in the first 12 chimes of the new year and wear a red underware-both good luck for the new year in Spain.

From Paris...

Diego is a bit under the weather, so new year's plans may be out...but if we do go out I'll be wearing this necklace he brought me from Paris. What are you wearing tonight??

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh Iker...

The best Spanish holiday commercial this year, "Because some of us lifted up the country once, but they lift it up everyday."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Just a few of the lovely presents I received this year! And Reyes is only a week away!
What did you get?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Santa Baby

Christmas is the time to dream, and while I know neither Santa nor the 3 Kings will be bringing me a new house or decor soon, I'd love to have anything on Vintage&Chic one of my new favorite Spanish blogs. I'm all for art deco, opulent, painting covered walls in my dream house.

(all photos from Vintage&Chic)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And to all a good night...

Merry Christmas, Bo Nadal, Feliz Navidad! Hope you're having a wonderful holiday filled with love.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I've got red hair!

The no obligation to-do list

Ahhh...finally on holiday vacation!! Yesterday was the official start of the holiday season in Spain with the Christmas Lottery but today is my official start...and I love looking at the calendar and knowing I wont have to get up at 8am for the next two weeks...and I won't fall asleep by 12am and that I can finally dedicate some time to: finally finish Bolaño's 2666, trying out some recipes in the many books in the kitchen, savouring some magazine time, going to the suegra's house to use the sewing machine, finally figuring out how to curl my hair with a straightner, watching movies (and seeing the end!), and walking around Santiago doing nothing more than taking pictures of this lovely city. What are your plans for some holiday down time?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The annual Christmas haircut is scheduled for tomorrow! I'm going to let it keep growing out...back to some choppy messy long layers and I'm going to keep the bangs...but I'm thinking about a non-permanent color stylist sister said I should try a reddish auburn...I'm feeling brave!
Imagine new years a la Rita Hayworth look...or easy everyday pretty.
Or should I go darker a la Helena? (btw, this is about my length right now)
Or should I go crazy and get a few honey highlights like a beach babe?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

3 days...

All the shopping is finished...the packages sent...and the presents wrapped. Now we only have to enjoy the next three days until Christmas on the new sofa and with the cutest little tree ever.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

tabla de quesos

The perfect dinner. Coming home from work around 10:30pm after a long evening teaching, cheese, pates and apple membrillo with a glass of wine makes the perfect escape. Thanks Asturias for your delicious cheese. (ps...sorry Francophiles out there, but France has nothing on Spanish wine and cheese. I'm considering making it my new job to let the world know...a cheese and wine research road trip for a new book may be in store.) What's your favorite late night light dinner?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Con duende

Christmas carols are a bit different in Spain, not as many jingle bells and snowmen and not quite so commercially successful and 24/7 as in the states. But, I have to admit my favorites, and maybe the most surprising, are the flamenco Christmas carols. And, I do like how the songs are about the real Christmas story, usually centered on Mary and Jesus and the shepherds.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Portion Control

European portions are smaller?? Myth.
Proof: Gigantic Palmera. Seriously the size of my head...or bigger.


I finally found a Styrofoam wreath and some time to make my version of this wreath, it was so easy. I'm starting the red one now...perhaps for a present or for the door.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

with love from Paris...

Christmas came early via the prettiest and most delicious macaroons fresh from Paris from mon petit amie toujours.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eating-Asturian Style

Everything was so delicious in Asturias, especially the cheese and pastries! Asturias is famous for Sidra-alcholic apple cider that isn't sweet or fizzy like you might expect but subtle and best tasting when hand poured from a stretched arm into a tilted glass splashing everywhere. The first restaurant we went to even had sawdust on the floor to keep you from slipping on the splashed cider!

Cheese-The first thing we discovered. Incredible aged goat cheese, smoked cheese, blue cheeses (Cabrales), and some weird spreadable orange cheese...all served on lovely wood boards with nuts and apple jelly. Heavenly. (Check out the list of cheeses here)

Casadielles-the typical sweet treat of Asturias, flakey pastry, filled with nutty sweetness and sprinkled in powered sugar. I'll just say I had one every day and brought home a box...they were that good. (Try the recipe)
And of course, Fabada. Special white beans from Asturias (a kilo can cost up to 20 euros!) stewed with bacon and chorizo. The fabas really are incredible...such a smooth delicate flavor.

Asturias: natural paradise...and foodie paradise.

Oviedo Cathedral

The cathedral in Oviedo is probably one of my favorites. Subdued and elegant, the gothic lines and symmetry were stunning on the floors, the windows, the alter, and the relics.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Girly weekend in Oviedo was a perfect start to the Christmas season with the most lovely gothic cathedral, pretty Christmas trees and lights strung up around the city. More food, coast, and culture and to come...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Weekend

We have a long weekend in Spain for the national holiday to celebrate the constitution. Me and some ladies are off for a girly weekend in Oviedo. I'm hoping to snatch up some lovely presents...maybe a few for me...and spend some time bundled up on snowy streets with twinkling lights. I finally pulled out the Christmas carols this week, and this is one of my favorites. Enjoy it, and enjoy your weekend! besitos

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Qué frío!

I've heard its snowing back in the states...and all over Europe people are also waking up and dealing with snow. Here in Spain, Galicia has been the worst affected, but so far nothing but a tiny dusting last night in Santiago so I'm off to work. But it is freezing...good thing I bought my hot water bottle for the bed...classic, cheap, and so warm!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This summer I read What is the What, an incredible novel by Dave Eggers about the life of a lost boy, telling his memories while he struggles in his new life in the states. I haven't cried so much in a long time. I was moved to see this story of a lost boys returning to Sudan as a man and hear his struggle with purpose, culture, and the future.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Not being home for Thanksgiving it's funny the things you miss...
-waking up late to the smells and sounds of mom in the kitchen
-wearing PJs all day and channel surfing between holiday parades all morning
-searching for the deals that we aren't going to get in Black Friday ads(well, we've gone once or twice and man was it worth it! haha)
-eating the second warmed up helping of everything at about 7pm on the couch watching some marathon on cable.
-baked beans all week(my mom's recipe is the best-similar to these dark molasses beans...mmmm)

Miss you Mom and Michelle!! Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a bunch of flowers...

Whoa...Stella McCartney got a garden (complete with a house, tepees and galloping horses) as an
anniversary present. Nice. See more photos here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

stockings and totes

I'm thinking about making felt stockings as presents this year, filled with some sweets and maybe a book, it would be a nice surprise here on Christmas Day as the stocking tradition doesn't exist. If I were back in the USA these tote-stockings are a great idea. Better than a basket too!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


December in Spain's holiday season is all about golden luxury-Freixenet Cava always has a golden holiday commercial, Ferro Rocher golden wrapped chocolates are everywhere as the luxe of the luxe of holiday sweets, and Elle's December issue cover features actresses dressed in golden Swarovski crystals. Elle's cover-Yay or Nay?


I finally got new glasses!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

World Heritage Gems

Flamenco, Cataluyan human towers (Castellets), and Mallorcan Christmas song (Canto de la Sibila) just made it into the books as cultural gems of World Heritage. We all know (and probably love-I know I do-flamenco), but check out the other two...impresionante!

(Notice that a little kid climbs all the way to the top! It makes me soooo nervous!!)

(The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


William and Kate are engaged! I have to admit I love a royal wedding and the British royals have a special place in my heart since Lady Di is my namesake. I love that William gave his lady his mom's huge sapphire ring. Gemstone engagement rings are lovely, do you think this will start a trend? week's Hola is a must...the royal engagement and Paulina Rubio's baby boy...hehe. We all need some escape from reality, right?


I love rooftops. Maybe because in my hometown we had more treetops to gaze at (not a complaint! Wouldn't change that for the world!) But I love do love rooftops too, and the these French rooftops are so dreamy! Look at the angles! They're like a storybook.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It rained and rained and rained buckets all weekend, perfect timing for blog posts about stylish rain boots popping up lately. I got out my rubber riding boots to go out on Saturday night and the bars were afloat with other cute rubber rain boots, some bright, others with golden button details. I've been thinking about getting some more (it rains a lot here in Santiago). If only I could afford some Burberry rain boots. Have you seen them?? I want them all, but I'll just keep my eyes open for some cute red plaid ones at the traditional boot shops around the city (or put some metal details on a traditional pair? Would it work?)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Film Fest

It's that time of year again...time for Cineuropa! So excited to get out of work at 8 a few nights a week so we can see a few of the films featured this year!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tree Time

I would love to spend an afternoon reading in one of these.
(details at BlackEiffel)

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The Real Academia-the experts on the Spanish language who define grammar and vocabulary for the millions of Spanish speakers-have recently announced a few controversial changes to the Spanish language:the loss of accents on some words, like sólo-which will now only be solo. But more troubling for Spanish speakers around he world the change of the letter Y-before called "y greiga" and now called "YE". Ye??? Now ye know.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I was watching a Spanish travel show last night and learned about the tiny island in the Canary Islands called Gomera. It's famous for avocados and bananas (I could live there forever with that diet) and other typical dishes, but I was most impressed to learn that it is home to a language of whistles! The terrain is mountainous, the people were goat herders and so to communicate from one peak to the next they whistled. The whistles even have a defined phonetics and it are taught to the children at school. Amazing. Enjoy the videos below, the first in English, the second in Spanish.

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