Praying for Galicia

Praying for Galicia

Heartbroken by the tragic train accident in Galicia. Although we are in the states my heart is with my family and friends in Santiago de Compostela. So proud the solidarity of the city and the work of rescuers and medical staff. Praying for the victims and their families. Ánimo Galicia.

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What to buy: Spain

shopping-in-Spain

Spain is a bargain shopper’s paradise. With Zara, Bershka, Day a Day, Pull & Bear and Mango (to name just a few) on every corner, you’re bound to find some great clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories. If you make it to Spain during the rebajas in January and July, even better. But, if you want to get something more typical but not the average key chain and torero t-shirt, here are a few of my ideas of what to pick up when in Spain.

1. Alpargatas/Espadrilles – They are everywhere! This year Chanel’s alpargatas are all the rage, but if you haven’t got the dough for those almost every popular brand has a flat or heeled, solid or striped version, for men or women. In Spain, look for a Mom and Pop zapatería or a shop that makes them if you are in Madrid or La Rioja and you can pick up a pair for 15-25 euros. I’m getting some black heels this year, and Diego has a blue pair that he’s been wearing all summer. If you aren’t in Spain, but want the hand-made real deal espadrilles, check out espadrilles.ca and have them shipped straight to your door.

2. Jerez / Sherry – I had the chance to visit the birthplace of the strong, sweet wine in Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucia when I first studied in Spain, but even if you can only get to Madrid, you’ll see Tio Pepe smiling down at you from the rooftops in Plaza del Sol. While there are so many good wines to try in Spain, a bottle of Sherry is perfect for a hot summer aperitif or for a special sauce in the kitchen. Tio Pepe and Osborne (those famous bulls planted around the Spanish country side were once advertisements for this brand!) are the most famous brands. A bottle of Tio Pepe Palomino Fino will cost about 10 euros.

3. Olive oil – Spanish olives and olive oil are amazing. A staple in the Spanish diet, when you head south of Madrid the landscape suddenly becomes dotted with endless acres of beautiful olive trees. In Spain you’ll have it with everything, jamón, veggies, or just bread. I’d pick up a 5 liter bottle of Carbonell to savor on my toast every morning for my favorite breakfast tostadas con aceite with salt. If only you could get cafe con leches in a suitcase too…that would be perfection. (In case you haven’t got the hint, order “tostadas con aceite y tomate, un cafe con leche y un zumo de naranja natural” for breakfast at least once next time you’re in Spain. It really is the best breakfast in the world.)

4. Nenuco Baby Cologne – Oh baby cologne, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… soft, fresh, clean, citrus -perfect for hot summer weather. Why don’t we use baby cologne in the US? Every bottle I’ve smelled is always amazing. It’s pretty common in Spain, Latin America and Italy to douse the little ones in some cologne after a bath, I do the same with the Spanish original Nenuco. A huge bottle costs under 3 euros at the supermarket.

5. Abanicos/Spanish Fans – So, this one is a pretty stereotypical souvenir, but I can’t recommend buying one more. Most people visit Spain in the hot summer months, and a little investment will keep you feeling cool and fresh wherever you may be. Perhaps it’s a little old ladyish, but I’m all about breaking stereotypes and during this hot weather more than a few of my friends have been more than delighted to see me pull out a fan to cool everyone off. You can get a cute, brightly painted wood fan in a tourist shop for a few euros, or go all out and spend a bit more at the Corte Inglés or an abanico specialty shop to get a fan fit for a queen. Wherever and whatever you get, get one, you’ll thank me later.

6. Saffron – A key ingredient for a paella, I know you can get it everywhere, but the price of pure saffron is a bargain at a Spanish supermarket. Pick up a pack and try making a paella back home!

7. Avarcas/ Mallorquina Sandals – The typical sandal of Mallorca, you’ll see everyone (kids, women, and men) in Spain wearing these cool comfortable sandals. Simple style and colors, and made of leather, they will cost you about 25 euros or less. Look for them in the same mom and pop shoe stores or get them at espadrilles.ca if you aren’t in Spain. I want a red pair!

What will you be picking up on your next trip to Spain?

Links for le weekend and an Award!

Collage-Summer-Galicia

1.Santiago de Compostela- Old Town 2. Beaches on the Rias Biaxas 3. Blue Hydrangeas in my In-law’s backyard 4. Pulpo a Feira- Galician Octopus

It’s our last weekend in Spain before we take off to the states next week! Time really is flying! It has been so great to see old friends, meet their new babies and just chill at the beach and the pool with a good old Spanish gossip magazine. The temperatures have dropped a bit for the weekend (it was scorching this week!) so we’ll be spending some quality time on the terraces in the old town of Santiago enjoying some last tapas, soaking up some pre-Miami rays on the sea, and I’ll be making my way back to the rebajas (week two is always better than week one, don’t you think?). What are your plans for the weekend?

In other good news, I am happy to be nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger award! It’s great to be able to share my experiences with all of you out there, and even better to get to know a community of fellow bloggers! There are a few rule to complete for the award…

First: Link back to the page that nominates you : Thanks Anjana over at At the Corner of Happy and Harried for the nomination!

Second: Post the Award image.Voilà! 

Third: Share 7 facts about yourself.

1. I can drive an automatic and a stick (and, I passed my Spanish driving test this week! Hurray!)

2. I love perfume. My favs are Stella and anything by Chanel.

3. I always go to local supermarkets on vacation to get a peek at local flavors in the candy and junk food aisle, such surprising flavors (mango curry potato chips in France were amazing! Rotisserie chicken chips were not.)!

4. Christmas is my favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. My apartment is filled with  plants and flowers. Can’t wait to one day have my own garden!

6. I love cheering or horn honking after a beautiful sunset on Lake Michigan.

7. I’ve read all of Don Quijote…in Spanish!

And finally, Fourth: Nominate 15 other blogs and inform them about it. So this week’s links for le weekend will take you to  some other great bloggers (in no particular order) whose inspiring posts deserve an award too! Be sure to check them out!

I’m not lost, I’m just exploring

The Liberated Traveller

Mickey’s House of Style

Style for Style

My Custard Pie

Teapots and Twine

¡Hola Yessica!

Glamourous Traveller

Weaver Wellness

Terence S. Jones- A  Guy with a Camera

Lou’s Labyrinth

Mila by C.

Katrinka Abroad

A bit of Culture

De Lalin a Pekin

Thanks for reading! Thanks for your comments! And don’t forget to join me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Bon Weekend! Buen Fin De! See you next week!

Dianne