Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tasty Tuesday/Cupcake Chronicles: Happy Day

 (*Sorry this post is late - better late than never, right?  I thought I published this yesterday, but as it turns out, I only saved it. XP  Apparently I'm still recovering from the massive brain cell massacre I suffered in Sororityland.)

Oh, Happy Day!
(Oh, Happy Day...)
Oh, Happy Daaay!!!
(Oh Happy Day...)

As promised, I have lots to tell you about Spanish cupcakes!

Monday, November 22, 2010

F*ck You; I'm So Beautiful.

Hi friends!

As you can see, I've abandoned NaBloPoMo for a couple days.  After doing it for just over half a month, I've discovered that the mandatory daily format really isn't for me - when I have nothing to say, I really don't want to be writing just for the sake of writing.  It really brings down the quality of my posts - like when I start writing about tweezers, for cryin' out loud.

So I've decided to stick to a more realistic posting schedule - basically I will only post when I actually have something of substance to say, and I will try to post 3-4 times a week.  If you come here via Facebook, don't count on that to always alert you of my posts, because I don't always remember to post a note there!

I'm back today, because I have something important to say, in case you haven't already deduced from my title. :P

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Good Friend

We've known each other forever, pretty much.  Okay, we've known each other since we were four.  Well, I suppose that's not entirely true, either, because my mom actually enrolled me in kindergarten late so I technically started school in April (which was hard, since everyone already knew each other at that point - thanks, mom!) so I was technically already five.  But she was four, because her birthday's in June.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Meaning of Wife

One of my new roommates - who looks about 17 but is actually 26 - is apparently married.  I'd had conversations with her before where she brought up her "pareja" (partner) - which led me to wonder if she was a lesbian or if she was just trying to be cool and not get married.

But married she is.  To a dude.  And her hubs is in Fontainebleau studying for an MBA or something.

"But that's impossible!" I exclaimed to my mother the other day over Skype, "She's such a slob!  How can someone so messy be a wife?!"

"Why can't slobs be wives?"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tasty Tuesday/Cupcake Chronicles: Big City Cupcakes

Okay, let's take a break from Spain for a second, because this post is way overdue. Remember my mission to find the best cupcake in Toronto? Well, it wasn't going so well, so I decided to broaden my scope a little bit last summer, when I was in Vancouver for a few days...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I get approached for advice every so often by people who are going to study or work abroad, and there's one main piece of advice that I always pass on no matter where the person is going, no matter why they're going there ...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What I'll Miss About Madrid

As per tradition, I'm doing my nails on a Saturday morning early afternoon after waking up and munching on chocolate-topped butter cookies, while David Tao is making love to my ears.  I can listen to Just Friends (普通朋友) on repeat for hours on end while I do other things - paint my nails, knit, fold laundry, read... Youtube it if you've never heard it before.  You don't even need to understand the lyrics (it's about a guy's sadness that the girl he loves only wants to be "just friends" with him) - the melody is so beautiful.

As I step into the second half of my second last month here, I'm starting to feel a little sentimental.  It was the same situation last time, when I went to live in Nice - I have a love-hate relationship with living in Europe.  On the one hand...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Working in Europe

This sign needs some Spanish on it!
So this is what working in a European office is like.

A couple days ago the head of HR brought around a new colleague to sort of orient him and introduce him to everyone quickly.  She does that from time to time so we're used to it.

My department also happens to be the most gregarious one in the company, so we were trying to talk to him a little bit.  One of the opening questions was, "¿Qué idiomas hablas?" ("What languages do you speak?")

Thursday, November 11, 2010

El Día conmemorativo

It's so strange to be living somewhere where no one is wearing poppies.  In Canada, poppies grace many, many coat lapels and breastpockets right after Halloween.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Are you single?"

When I first started my Youtube channel, I made a video with tips for visa applicants.  I had just applied for my second European visa in preparation to come here (Spain), and I thought the information I learned might be useful for anyone going on exchange or thinking of working abroad. 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hi, guys!

Tasty Tuesday has to take a break today because I'm very, very excited about something that I absolutely must tell you all about:

Sephora's new flagship on Gran Via is now open!!!  Before this, there were a few small Sephora stores here and there in Madrid, and there were some Sephora sections in El Corte Ingles (the only department store here).  But now there's a huge flagship on one of the most important streets here, and it is huge and beeeautiful.  It's almost as impressive as the Sephora on the Champs-Elysees.

There are massive flat screens on either side of the wall at the entrance, the store is absolutely MASSIVE, it's now decorated for Christmas, all the samples are still pristine, the gay salesmen in there are gorgeous...

It's a must-see.  Go check out it!!!


Monday, November 8, 2010

My Dream Home

I've been a little stuck with finding a topic today, so I'm accepting the help from NaBloPoMo and I'm using the writing prompt du jour, which is:

What would your dream home/apartment/condo/yurt look like? Where would it be? Who'd live in it with you?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Language Hubris

One of the things I love most about Spain is how welcoming people are, and, most notably, how there is no language hubris among them, unlike in France. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Chocolate Rhythm

When most people say that they are addicted to chocolate, other people just think that they just must really, really like to eat it.  It's goes further than that with me...I think I might really have a problem.  I'm surprised that I haven't written about it more here, actually.  I'd inject Nutella if I could, although I suppose that would defeat the purpose of tasting it. 

Just like at home, Commercial Land is kind of hyperactive here.  Several days after Todos los Santos (November 1st, which is a holiday here), stores start getting stocked with Christmas things.  Now that December is getting closer and closer, all the supermarkets here are getting filled to bursting with chocolate sweets, most notably an absolute ton of turrón, which is basically nougat, and all kinds of chocolates.

All kinds!  And it's all the good stuff from Europe that I love to eat at home, but it's cheaper because Spain is closer to Belgium and Switzerland and Germany and Italy than Canada is.  I just bought a 16-piece box of Ferrero Rocher for 3.90 €, which would retail at home between $6-8.  ¡Olé!

But that was when I started missing the Chocolate Rhythm at home.  Did you know that chocolate has a rhythm in Canada?  Because there is.  And it's a beautiful one, with its graceful ebbs and flows of brown, creamy deliciousness.

Friday, November 5, 2010

If I Won the Lottery...

My family's favourite game to play is the If I Won the Lottery Game.  Every so often, when we're all together, one of us will initiate it randomly and tell everyone what they'd do if they won the lottery.  One of my aunts has always said that if one day, she calls us and says to meet at the airport, we'll know what's going on.  And no one even has to bring anything but their passport - we'll all decide where to go once we meet up.  I love this game!

For as long as I could remember, I knew exactly what I would do, and I have my decision down pat...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Facebook Literacy & Etiquette

"Stace! Stace!!! He Facebooked me back," I enthused excitedly to one of my best friends about some boy I was fascinated with circa 2008.

"Really? I don't see anything on your wall - did he send you a private message?" Stace asked.

"Ugh, no, he replied to me in a comment to my post on his wall," I replied disappointedly.

"Ah, that's because he's from Europe. They're really Facebook-illiterate that way," Stace told me sympathetically.

And that made me wonder - how did Facebook etiquette get established?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Superwoman!

On dating:
"Feel free to go out with a different boy every day of the week - but save Sunday, because Sunday is for the Lord! [big smile]"  

-->This precious piece of knowledge was bestowed upon her by Sister Xavier, one of the nuns that ran the Life Experience class for the non-religious kids in her school, while the religious kids had Bible study. :P

More after the jump...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: El Brillante

Calamari sandwich with World Cup special edition Spain-coloured peanut M&Ms :D

Cholesterolly foods are delicious. Don't lie, because I won't believe you.

And one of my favourite forms of it is seafood - clams, mussels, crabs, shrimps, lobsters - especially calamari!

Seafood plays a big role in Spanish cuisine because they have a lot of access to the sea, being a peninsula. There are all kinds of seafood tapas, appetizers and main dishes here, and I LOVE them.

So when I was doing my research before coming to Spain, I read up on (affordable) must-try foods in Madrid, and one of them happened to be calamari sandwiches (bocadillos de calamares) from El Brillante.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Person --> Alien

Hi guys!

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who participated in my mini-giveaway - the winners have been contacted by e-mail and the postcards were sent out on Friday, as promised!  It was awesome hearing from you guys and seeing who reads my blog.  :D  Thank you all so much for the support - you mean the world to me!

Next thing I want to address is - it's November, which means it's NaBloPoMo!  

In my...2?+ years of keeping this blog (and another 2, 3 years before that using LiveJournal) I've never participated in NaBloPoMo before, so I'm really excited to try my hand at it this year.   That means I'm going to be posting every day this month, and so I really hope you guys will keep up with me and come back here every day to see what I've been up to. :)

So last night was Halloween!