• celebrating easter in spain

    Celebrating Easter in Spain

    The Easter Holiday, otherwise known in Spain as Holy Week or Semana Santa, is undoubtedly the biggest religious holiday of the year. Celebrating Easter in Spain as an American expat has really opened my eyes to the different interpretations and traditions involved. All of which are special and sacred. Since our family has only been living abroad for two and a half years, we feel a certain tug of war when it comes to holiday time. We want to continue to celebrate the same traditions from back home that our children have come to love (and expect). Such traditions like Santa Clause, Trick…

  • 10 Things I’m Finally Doing While Stuck at Home

    Right now, the world is at a standstill. Shops and restaurants closed. Schools operating virtually or not at all. Only essential employees deemed necessary to head into work. From China to Italy, the United States to Australia – we’re all stuck at home wondering and waiting for what comes next. On my end of this global pandemic? Our family of five has been isolated to the fifth-floor apartment we call home in Barcelona. And while the days have been filled with preparing meals, homeschooling three kids, and cleaning (SO much cleaning!), I find myself more motivated than usual to take on some new…

  • 20 Ways to Battle Quarantine Woes

    When we first found our cozy apartment in Barcelona, I never thought it would one day turn into a quarantine headquarters. “I mean, how much time will we really be spending in the apartment anyway?” we first asked ourselves when moving to Spain. “Sure, it’s a little tight – but it’ll be fun!” we laughed to one another. Yet, here we are in the middle of the global pandemic called Coronavirus. Day 10 inside this little fifth-floor apartment with three young active kids. Day ten and counting… The irony sure isn’t lost on me! And I know, I shouldn’t complain. There are plenty…

  • 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

    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 cream would work best? It’s like starting over in a new relationship, for pete’s…

  • 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…