Friday, February 28, 2014

{fashion} chic pink & shea mcgrath photography

I'm so excited to blog about this fun photoshoot I did in Retiro Park last weekend with Shea from Shea McGrath Photography. I met Shea at a Madrid blogger meetup at the beginning of the month. While the rest of us talked about our (less than professional) blogging lives, Shea introduced herself not as a blogger, but as a photographer with a brand new company. She told us that she really wanted to expand her portraits portfolio, and we gladly agreed to help her out. After all, who doesn't like getting dolled up and spending a beautiful day outdoors taking pictures with friends? :)

I asked Shea to a few questions about herself and how she came to open up her very own photography business. Click through for more!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

{food} my favorite restaurants in madrid

Charcuterie platter at Taberna Almeria.

It's no secret that I love to eat. Not only do I love to eat, but I love to explore. Trying new food and new restaurants is always top on my list not just when I travel, but also on the weekends I stay in Madrid. I pinch pennies in other aspects of my life (*cough*i miss shopping*cough*), but really... it's totally worth it in this city filled to the brim with such a great culinary culture! This list is certainly not exhaustive or meant to portray 'the best restaurants in Madrid', but simply a collection of some of the most memorable meals I've had around the city.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

{recipe} lentejas con chorizo

You guys... I have the winter blues. I know, I know. I can't really talk to you northerners and midwesterners about my #spainproblems considering the whole Polar Vortex thing has been dumping way too much snow on you this winter, but I really do. If it isn't raining, it is cloudy. If it isn't freezing cold, then it's windy. If there is sun, well... that's a miracle and you will definitely find me outside. Winter in Madrid is certainly not the coldest, wettest, or snowiest place to be, but it certainly gets old after a while.

The Spanish dish that is absolutely my number one comfort food during the winter months is lentejas con chorizo (lentil soup with chorizo). There's nothing quite like curling up in a window seat in a warm restaurant with a glass of Rioja and a huge bowl of lentejas. I have attempted Spanish lentils before and failed miserably. But this recipe? This one tastes exactly like my favorite restaurant's soup.

Ps. Do you want to know a secret about comfort food? It never photographs well. Get past the beany texture in the photo and make it for yourself. You won't be disappointed, scout's honor.

Monday, February 10, 2014

{travel} day 5 road trippin' USA... or at least the lowcountry

Today is a big deal. I am finally caught up on my road trip blog posts! Only a month and a half later.... oops! After this one I will finally get back to Spain postin'. Our final day of the trip was extremely busy. We started off the day by exploring St. Augustine, and then took to the road again to go see my favorite singer in concert in Orlando. We didn't feel like paying for any more hotels, so after the concert we drove back to Tampa. 207 miles plus lots of activities in one day? We were exhausted.

I have mixed feelings about St. Augustine. I used to love going as a kid because the old fort was exciting to explore, and it is on the water. It is certainly a beautiful and charming little town, and it used to feel like a step back in time in Spain. However, after living in Madrid for an entire year, "historical St. Augustine" just feels like a fraud! Although I will say that I have never been outside of the tourist quarter because I never have enough time to explore further. Is St. Augustine outside of the tourist quarter cool? Anyone?

Fun fact for the day: St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European established city in America. It was originally discovered in 1513 by Ponce de Leon, and founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles. The city actually still has ties with the Spanish government. We found out that the king and queen of Spain are set to come visit and give a speech from a balcony of the oldest hotel in the city in 2015.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

{travel} day 4 road trippin' USA... or at least the lowcountry

My handsome guy is taking over my blog for the day to talk about his favorite day on our road trip. :) I've edited in the pictures and links, but the writing is all Alex. Say hi, everyone!

Hello all. My name is Alex. This is my first venture into the blogging universe. Jennifer asked if I would like to be a guest-writer. I am going to write about one of the days of the road-trip that she and I took last December.  Jennifer thought it would be interesting to get my perspective and point of view about the trip (between you and me, I think she is just too busy living big-city, fancy-girl, European life so she wanted me to take a little load off). Regardless, I am happy to do it and contribute to her great blog. So coming to you from my modest old Gainesville house is Day 4 of the road trip.

Friday, February 7, 2014

{travel} day 3 road trippin' USA... or at least the lowcountry

{catch up on the beginning of this incredible road trip through the low country in these posts: day 1 & day 2}  aaaand we're back. Let the road trip posts recommence. Our third day traveling began with a bit of a hangover and a terrible brunch. However, it was an absolutely beeeeautifulll day so we pushed past the discomfort and made some touristy moves. This post will be short because all we really did all was wander around and obsess over all of the regal mansions and the stunning view of the Charleston Harbor from the Battery and Waterfront Park. Charleston is just such a relaxing place to be, especially on a day as warm and beautiful like the day we were there.

Monday, February 3, 2014

{life} an open letter to kitty


You slipped into our lives so quickly and effortlessly, it was like you had always been part of the family. You were supposed to be a patio cat. Mom said that there was no way and no how that you were going to go from the resident neighborhood stray to sleeping on our couches and beds indoors, but you totally knew that wasn't going to fly. You snuck in as much as you could, and eventually declared your permanent presence not just inside, (oh no, you wouldn't settle for just that), but on couches, chairs and beds, and all of your weird sleeping spots too - the stereo speaker, on top of the cable box, under Dad's desk as he worked, and in the plants (Kitty, seriously.. how was that comfortable?!). This is why we eventually settled on the name Queenie, because you just came and conquered our house like it had always been yours. Little did our vet know that we never called you that at home. Kitty suited you much better.