Treat Yoself

Treat Yoself: February Edition

Oversleeping, Patatas Bravas, books, pancakes, cerveza, long city walks, Icelandic bakeries, outlet stores, cappuccinos, a healthy bit of Spanglish, vino, time spent with the loveliest of friends, and checking off lists: if ONE of these things happens in a day, you know it’s been a good day.  Now, if they all happen in one day it can only mean one thing: today is a TREAT YOSELF Day!

The plan was to head to Tarragona this weekend, but due to the fact that the our dear Sammy was feeling under the weather and couldn’t join us, we decided to postpone this jaunt and opted for a homey Barcelona day.  We soon realized that the Barcelona bucket list we hoped to check off mostly revolved around food.  By our third food stop just decided to justify all decisions by inaugurating it our first “Treat Yoself” day.

Stop 1: Caravelle 
This has got to be one of my favorite spots in the city.  Doesn’t hurt that it’s 5 minutes walking from my piso in Raval. But honestly, I’d walk about 2 hours for their muffins and super-size (equivalent of a Starbucks “Tall”)  coffee con leche option any day, no problema!
The lovely Mona had a chai tea latte, I went with an oat milk cafe con leche which was upsized for free after one of those blessed mix-ups that cafes occasionally have, and cool-cat Kathryn went all in and treated herself to a “supersize” cafe con leche AND muffin.  GET IT GURL.

Stop 2: BarcelonaReykjavik

I didn’t know that Icelandic bread was a thing before I saw it in Barcelona, but I guess it is because this stuff is BALLIN’.  We made a stop post-Caravelle to gaze at their wondrous multigrain bread.  This place is an oasis in a land of very, very white Spanish/Frenchish bread.  Don’t get me wrong-I love the white stuff-but occasionally you just need a little pumpkin seed to your bread, you know?

*Bonus* They had a basket of discount day-old bread.  Can we say GET AT ME?!

Stop 3: Plaças and Streets of Sarriá

This lovely little Plaça can be found on Carrer Major de Sarriá just on the side of the Parroquia San Vicente de Sarriá.  There was a nun sighting so GAME OVER.  Maybe the whole nun thing should be normal by now, but I’m okay with the fact that it just never will be.  They could start singing “How do you solve a problem like Maria” at ANY MOMENT, guys!

Stop 4: Bar Tomas
Give me an A-I-O-L-I.  A for Aced it, I for Inches added to my waist, O for Oil, L for LIKE I CARE ’bout the inches added or oil, and another I for I AM IN LOVE.

After hearing tell of the wonders of the Bar Tomas patatas bravas plate, we knew it was a Treat Yoself Day must.  Turns out this was a fantastic decision and the Catalan force was strong with this classic bar.  Not to be overlooked were the classic croquetas, olivas, and last but not least-cañas of our beloved Estrella.

Stop 5: Urban Barbeque/Plaça Calçotada

We stumbled across one of Catalunya’s best traditions-the Calçotada-in a lovely little plaça near Bar Tomas.  I came dangerously close to kidnapping this old man and also stealing every freaking last grilled onion.

Stop 6: Hibernian Bookstore, Gracia 

This was the point at which my phone died.  But books are about words anyways, so you can use your imagination.  This little used bookstore on Calle Montseny is a little English lit-lovers paradise in this land of Catalan and Castellano.  I’m excited to get started on my 1,98€ purchase: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.  Since The Observer has described it as “a ripping historical yarn for the girls” and it is set in my almost-neighbor city Carcassonne, I figure this purchase can be nothing but a great decision.

Stop 7: Mama’s Cafe, Gracia

Obviously exhausted from consuming aioli loaded patatas and the choosing of literature bound to expand our minds-we stopped at Mama’s Cafe to recover.  All I’m going to say is if you’re within a 500 km radius you’re going to want to get on the closest airplane/train/moto and get yourself over here for these pancakes.  THEY COME WITH MAPLE SYRUP.  I’m crying just thinking about it.

Not pictured: Oatmeal heaven breakfast en casa, the blessed outlet stores of L’Eixample, and the bottle of wine and Spanish TV show that I am currently watching.

Wherever you are, I suggest you make yourself about this Treat Yoself Day business immediately.  Tienes que darte el gusto!


Siempre Tarde//Always Late

Remember that time I was going to move to Spain and start a fantastic blog that would regularly update an enormous following on my pinterest-level life in Spain?

L O L, me too.

Do you also remember that time that I arrived at least 30 minutes late to coffee/class/dinner/movie/party?

Yeah, me too.

So here I am-in classic form-writing after having now been in Spain 4 months.  Apparently I’m one of those God-forsaken folks who can’t do a thing till I’m sure it can be perfect, but seeing as one of my New Years Resolutions is not to be a God-forsaken folk, I figured I’d do my best to change things up.  So here’s a non-perfect, not-thoroughly informative or inspiring post from yours truly.

Here’s a little bullet point list to get you up to date on my life in Spain so far:

  • I was an au pair for 3 months, realized I’m apparently not cut out for the family life and am now looking for a new job. *Holla at me if you happen to live in Barcelona and know of one.*
  • Mi castellano ha mejorado mucho-puedo comunicar mas o menos sin dificultad, pero seguro que no es casi a perfecto.
  • I have discovered the Holy Vatican of cheap bars in Barcelona.  It’s the only address I have memorized other than my own.  El Gato Negro, Carrer de Sant Luis 47.  If you’re anywhere in this hemisphere you should go tonight.
  • I’ve got friends!  Plenty of ‘em!  Where but Barcelona would I make fast friends from Hungary, Austria, USA, Germany, Spain, France, Brazil, and the list could go on…
  • I had 3 Thanksgivings-perks of every American in Barcelona wanting to celebrate this very American Holiday.
  • I spent Christmas/New Years in Heaven.  Kidding-just Switzerland, Austria, and baby bits of Germany and France…so we can just go ahead and agree that those are pretty heavenly. Future post(s) alert!
  • I moved into a new apartment the day I landed back in Barcelona from Munich.  It was the last place I saw before Christmas and with the help of a bottle of wine and a couple of friends I made the snap decision to take it.  Based on how the last 2 days here have been, this may be one of my best snap decisions to date.  Future post alert #2.
  • I’m working on New Years’ Resolutions.  Future post alert #3.  One of them is to keep this thing going.
  • I have found a wonderful church family here and I cannot begin to say how much the Lord has used this place and the people there to help me fall more in love with Europe and what the gospel can bring to my city.
  • I’m teaching private English classes now and guess what-passive voice is now understood by some of my students!  (You get that if you’re a Grammar nerd).
  • This list could be a lot longer…like a LOT LONGER.  However, I am going to accept that nothing in this life will ever be full and complete (EVEN my prolific bullet point lists), and so my not-so-thorough, not-so-inspiring first post must do.
  • I’ve got 50€!  Yep.  That’s right.  50€ in total. Let’s do this!

*In keeping with the title-this post was written more than 2 weeks ago and is just now being posted-in all it’s unfinished glory.  Here’s to doing things that aren’t perfect this year!*