Wednesday, March 31, 2010
March showers bring April flowers here in Galicia...well, more like yearlong showers bring yearlong flowers-even in December camelias are blooming in the city. So, umbrellas are everywhere and they become much more than protection becoming an extra fashion accessory. After a sad (and wet) goodbye to my last umbrella-it busted into a million half open pieces Wednesday morning for no reason-I got a really cute umbrella by made by Clima, a Barcelona based based company that makes colorful rain gear. I'm excited to use it!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Pretty funny that a fashion magazine dedicates and issue to books. But really it's perfect-a little fashion, a little literature, and some travel ideas. Check out the April issue of Woman (not this cover-it has three models holding up the word "LEE"-translated READ).
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Princess Letizia of Spain used to be a national newscaster. She used to be a married and divorced civilian. And then, she met the prince. And the rest is history. Since then she's become one of the most popular princesses in all of Europe, a lot of that has to do with her style and support Spanish style. When Carla Bruni came to visit last year everyone was crazy about how the Spanish princess showed her up. Madrid Fashion Week Cibeles has created a new tradition showing t-shirts that say "I'm a real Spanish fashion fan"("real" being "royal" in Spanish) in honor of Letizia. She usually dresses less formal than the rest of the royals of Europe, always wears high high heels. I know it's not really politically cool to like the royal family-but come on I'm a Leo- it's part of my character to like royalty-and I think the Spanish princess is quite a nice example of a modern princess-with great shoes.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Chicken pot pie...so delicious but sooo bad for you (especially the cheapie frozen kinds that I loved as a kid). I just came across this recipe on Bitten, it looks a little healthier and delicious. We don't have pot pies here so making one on a cold spring night in the country house might be just perfect.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
It's always easier to think about the environment in the Spring when you really see all of nature's beauty blooming-and seeing the energy producing windmills on the hills throughout Galicia are pretty inspiring too. The WWF is hosting the global Earth Hour this Saturday at 8:30-do your part! It's the perfect opportunity for a candle lit dinner with friends...
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
SPRING!! It's here!! flowers are popping up all over the place, and th birds seemed to be singing more happily than they were yesterday, really! It was rainy all weekend so waking up to some sun was fantastic. And to top it off I stepped out onto the terrace into the sweet scent of hyacinth...it smelled sooo good. I'm pretty excited that my forced bulbs have been successful-even if they are blooming at the same time as the natural ones-and I'm getting more and more excited about making our terrace garden. We have a few new plants to add-Diego's mom gave me a Cala lily plant and some climbing jasmine. I'm excited to watch them grow and smell the jasmine on summer nights.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
No, this is not about the shaken not stirred drink. Martini is an Italian brand of Vermouth that is simply delicious. A cold drink of vermouth with a slice of lemon is a Spanish tradition before lunch-and I have to admit I really like it. You might recognize it from the vintage advertisements-and if you see it you should pick up a bottle to enjoy its but it is very refreshing mix of of wine, herbs, and sugar. I like the white bottle-but I really want to try the new Rosato flavor with pomegranate and berries.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
We've been sitting on a small uncomfortable couch for almost 2 years now...it's time to get a new one. We've had the Ikea Kramfors sofa in mind for a while, but taking a trip to IKEA in Porto with a vehicle to bring the sofa back can be complicated so we decided to head out to Milladoiro and have a look at some of the furniture stores there. We found this Teys Mito sofa with more pillows and a bit more price. So now, the debate...do we buy a designer couch for 300 euros more made especially for us? Or do we go down to Porto for the cheaper Ikea sofa? Anyone have the Kramfors sofa? Anyone have the Teys Mito sofa? Or those of you with Ikea sofas...how do they hold up? What should we do??
Friday, March 19, 2010
I read recently that although blondes are considered to be a little ditzy in the end most women who reach positions of power are blondes-like Hillary Clinton and Michelle Bachelet. One such blonde who also lived in the Cono Sur, like Ms.Bachelet, perhaps gained her position of power thanks to her hairdresser-Evita Peron. Maybe you watched the musical with Madonna. You know you've belted out the the song "Don't cry for me Argentina" once or twice. But, if you really want to know the story of Evita you have to read Santa Evita by Tomas Eloy Martinez- an incredible novel, report, biography, autobiography that focuses on the perpetual Evita- embalmed after death (four copies were made of her body for protection reasons) and haunting Buenos Aires and the lives of those who were involved with her after death. The book is an incredible weaving back and fourth of history, interviews, facts, and personal memories that will leave you in awe and a little freaked out by the magical realism that really permeates life in South America- and it will make you want to watch Evita for the first time or all over again.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
In Spain the Barcelona brand Tous is everywhere. The little teddybears are on purses, ears, watches, and belts. But I've also been noticing another luxery brand in Spain, Loewe. A brand based in Madrid it has a very high class following and reputation-and the bag to own from the brand is the amazon bag. A classic look that even the Princess Letizia wears (with her sky-high heels-more on her shoes another time).
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
-Well, not much St.Patty's celebrating here...but pistacios are green, right?? Happy St. Patrick's day to all enjoy green beer and green bagels and all that!-On to the blog...
I've been missing Greece lately...we only spent 10 days there on our honeymoon but it was amazing. It must be that this time of year is bringing back all the wedding planning memories-and it's fianally getting warm and sunny terraza weather. I bought a Greek recipe book last year after the trip and was flipping through the pages and found a baklava recipe. It doesn't look too difficult if you use a ready made dough. I'm going to give it a try!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We're planning to take a roadtrip down to Madrid for Semana Santa so I'm looking into the possible daytrips we can make from the city choice number 1-Segovia. Home to the largest and best preserved Roman Aqueduct and the Alcázar Castle which served as inspiration to Walt Disney. And it's only an hour drive north of Madrid. I can't wait!!
Monday, March 15, 2010
We had a fantastic lunch at the same place we celebrated our wedding dinner-A casa de Ana in Pontevedra. The night of the wedding we didn't really get the chance to enjoy the meal with all the festivities, so I was happy to go back and really eat! We had a few of the same dishes we ordered at the wedding for starters this time-a pasta salad and boquerones (like anchovies-I know for an American that doesn't sound great, but you have to try them when you come to Spain they're fabulous a light delicate flavor marinated in olive oil, a vinagrette, garlic, and salt.) The salad is sooo good that we decided to make it at home this weekend-and it turned out delicioso and soo easy! It's perfect for a light dinner on a warm night with a glass of white wine. Here's how to make it:
- A few handfulls of you favorite salad mix-I'm loving Lambs Lettuce (canonigos in Spanish)
- Half a red pepper chopped
- a sprinkling of raisins-
- a few little crab meat sticks chopped
- about 2-3 fresh slices of bacon (cut into bits after cooked)
- half a package of cheese tortellini (cooked and still warm)
- freshly grated Grand Padano cheese
- Oilve oil
- Modena Vinegar
- Sea salt
- Italian spices.
Mix it all together! the combination of hot (bacon and pasta) and the cold and salty and sweet is sooo wonderful! Enjoy! ps...I love the idea of a salad garden. The one pictured above is from Real Simple. Maybe I'll plant one this weekend!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
My first trip the the Prado museum in Madrid was so much fun. One of my amazing friends from Minnessota was my curator through the museum and showed be how to really enjoy a museum. That was in 2003. My second trip was in 2007 with a group of American high school students one of my best friends and I were taking around Spain-again it was so much fun to see the students reactions and hear their comments about the paintings. I can't wait to go back and revist Goya, Velazquez, El Greco, and el Bosco.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
As read in El Pais Semanal magazine last week (28/2-"Hablan los generales") when discussing the changing face of the Spanish military from Franco to Democracy: When the Spanish generals were sent around the world to learn the techniques of the British, Americans, Germans, etc, the Spanish were exceedingly good at relations with the civilians. Americans consulted with them about the 'sofisticated' techniques and the Spanish commander at the time (Varela) summed it up as "Jamón, queso, and vino. Treat them like people. The Spanish soldier knows how to do that."
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I'm planning a birthday party for Diego this year! I tried last year, but it was difficult still being new here and wedding planning too...but this year an overnight party at the country house with a delicious dinner, a night with friends, and a brunch in the morning is the plan. I'm excited about brunch because it doesnt really exist in Spain (maybe in the big city hotels)-most people are our on Saturday until 6 am, so waking up to have brunch isn't happening. Some delicious muffins, breads, fruits, and salty tarts sound delicious. I'm working on the perfect sweet and savory menu that can be prepared ahead of time. Any ideas?
Friday, March 5, 2010
I'm kinda bummed...rebajas are ending. Yea, they lasted for 2 months, but you get accustomed to walking into the shops hunting for a treasure for 5 euros (more or less). I found a few really nice things this year-so in the coming posts I'll share a few of my favorite compras. To start from the first compra: a super sexy fits like a glove dress that I'm hoping to wear to some chic summer party with martinis or champagne this year-jaja, grometted grey ballerina flats, and black suede ankle flats-all from Zara.
Ps...isn't my bonsai cute?
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Spain is not only a country with diversity in languages, but also with names. Since arriving I've been enjoying all the new names that go beyond the traditional María and Juan names we learn about in Spanish Class. Here are a few I've met and heard lately:
Girls: Amaia, Aroa , Antía ,Uxía, Aldara, Iria, Icía, Lúa, Nerea, and Nuria.
Boys:Airas, Xoán, Xoaquin, Xavier, Roi, Nuno, Lois, Aldán, Brais, Martiño, Nuño, Andoni, Caetano, Anxo and Teo.
(pronunciation quide-in Galician "x" is pronounced "sh"-most of the traditional "j"names use the "x" in Galician).
Which do you like?