• coronavirus lockdown

    What One Week in Coronavirus Lockdown Has Taught Me

    To date, more than 233,000 people across the globe (NY Times) have contracted the COVID-19 Coronavirus. And 17,000 of those cases have been right here in Spain, which is now considered one of the top three most badly affected countries battling the epidemic. As Spanish residents like us wait at home in lockdown mode, the world is bracing itself for what comes next. Being isolated from family, friends, coworkers – it all feels so confusing! And turning on the TV or reading news articles doesn’t exactly provide clarity and comfort. It’s hard to decide what source to believe anymore! So, I’ve taken a…

  • 30 Ways to Enjoy Barcelona with Kids of Any Age

    Congratulations! You’ve finally made the decision to stop talking about that family trip to Barcelona and just do it. Now the fun of planning and organizing travel details begins. And if you happen to be traveling with little ones, the question of how to enjoy Barcelona with kids often follows. While this is truly a fabulous city to visit filled with rich culture, inspiring history, amazing architecture and delicious food you’ll want to have some creative ways to keep the little ones entertained. They simply won’t be moved by the Barcelona Cathedral the same way you are. Our three children are 8, 6…

  • tips to help anyone learn the basics of catalan

    An Introduction to Barcelona Language (And It’s Not Spanish)

    One of the biggest misconceptions about Barcelona is that Spanish is the primary language. But contrary to popular assumptions, there are several other languages spoken in this country other than Spanish depending on what region you come from. Like many things, we didn’t find this out until after relocating here! Different Languages of Spain In northern Basque region where Bilbao and San Sebastian are, the language is called…Basque. In our home city of Barcelona the first language is Catalan. Cata-who?! Yes Catalan, which comes from the region of Spain known as Catalunya including Barcelona, Girona and stretching as far south as Tarragona. This…

  • best european beauty brands

    7 European Beauty Brands to Fall In Love With

    Discover the pharmacy grade skincare brands that dominate the beauty industry here in Europe I never meant to cheat on all of my old favorite beauty products from the states! But I had no choice. When we moved abroad to Spain and I eventually ran out of my regular supply, I knew it would be ridiculous to wait nine months for our return trip back home before replenishing! Imagine – on top of countless other “expat” things I needed to adjust to and make decisions about, now I had to tackle everyday personal stuff. Like, what face wash to use and which eye…

  • How Not to Look Like a Tourist in Spain

    When my family and I first moved abroad and became expats in the amazing city of Barcelona, we didn’t take notice to how we may have…”stood out” amongst locals. I mean, with so many other things to worry about and decisions to make, there simply wasn’t time to NOT look like a tourist those first few months. Looking back now two years later, it amazes me to this day that we never fell victim to pickpocketing – since we didn’t exactly blend in! And here’s the thing. Standing out in a world of wallflowers is never a bad thing. But when you’re an…

  • 6 Barcelona Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of

    Before moving to Barcelona, I used to think Americans holidayed more than any other culture. Always a party, always a get together, always some reason to celebrate! And while that is certainly true and one of my favorite things about being American, the Spanish are in a whole different category when it comes to holidays or festivals. It seems like every two weeks our children are off from school for one holiday or another. Most of which I had never heard of before living here. It was so confusing the first year of our expat assignment. Who are we celebrating? Why are we…

  • 5 Perfect Date Nights in Barcelona

    After more than two years living in the vibrant city of Barcelona, one thing is for sure. I love city life! Of course I can appreciate the peace and quiet of suburbia with it’s rolling hills and crickets chirping at night. But something inside me is drawn to the electricity that the concrete jungle offers! After all, there’s constantly new restaurants to try, shops to pop into, a cafe on every corner, simplicity of transportation and always a festival with something to celebrate. Living in the city as a single has loads of benefits and ways to meet people. And if you’re married,…

  • Expat Advice for Choosing an International School

      When you are preparing to move abroad, the list of decisions and things to consider seems endless!  And when children are involved, understanding what the best option is for their education is top on the list.   In this featured podcast with The Expat Cast, I loved sharing my advice for choosing an international school for our two older children and a local trilingual school for our youngest. Check out more of the podcast on Choosing an International School here and my high-level tips below for making this big decision as an expat family. *Listen on the website, on an iPhone with the…

  • 4 Smart Tips for Visiting Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia

    Like Times Square in Manhattan or Big Ben in London, Barcelona has its iconic Basilica de Sagrada Familia drawing in millions of visitors per year. It’s an awe-inspiring structure designed by the late Antonio Gaudi and whether or not you’re into architecture – it’s a must see! When you have the chance to live in a foreign city, you quickly learn the “dos and don’ts”, the “secrets and scams” of landmarks such as this. I’ve put the following tips together for Triptipedia, the online encyclopedia of travel tips, to make your visit to Sagrada a delight instead of a mess, trust me. 1.…