A photo journal of my day yesterday here in Barcelona. ♡ (This post includes affiliate links.)
6:45am: Too early! Try as I may, I’ve never succeeded in turning into a natural morning person…
6:55am: …but this definitely helps. ♡ Iced pour-over, my absolute fave.
7:00am: Still at it with my early (online) Spanish tutoring each Tuesday and Thursday. A certain pup slept through the entire lesson, though.
8:00am: Found this handsome man in the kitchen making his signature kefir pancakes.
8:10am: Desayuno time! As they say here in Catalan, nyam nyam. ♡
8:25am: Getting an early jump on recipe photography today since these guys will need to “sun dry” in the oven for 4-5 hours.
9:00am: Alright, onto a few hours of post-vacay inbox catching up while the tomatoes do their thing.
11:00am: Morning workout break. It feels so good to be getting back into this routine after a summer with lots of travel.
Also, yep, Henry’s now in diapers. He had been having increasingly more accidents ever since he went blind two years ago. So we pulled the trigger on diapers a few months ago. And holy cow — game changer. He doesn’t seem to mind them at all, and Barclay and I are much happier. Win-win.
11:30am: Whew, good one. Time for a quick shower!
Noon: And…lunchtime. Lol, well for us at least. Most people in Spain don’t eat until about 2pm. But when we’re working from home and have the option, I’m an early bird and still much prefer to eat on an American schedule.
We were out of leftovers in the fridge and didn’t want to cook, so we resorted our favorite “snack lunch” — hummus (with everything bagel seasoning) and veggies, plus apples and homemade PB (which Barclay’s obsessed with making in bulk).
12:05pm: I also bid a fond farewell to the last of the smoky Nut Thins that I brought back in my suitcase from Kansas City. They are my absolute favorite crackers (well, let’s be honest, next to Cheez-its) and I’ve been trying hard to ration them out slowly over the past few weeks. Super sad to see this box end. So for those of you in the States — please enjoy a few for me this week!
12:30pm: Back to work. My “sun” dried tomatoes are ready to photograph…and so tasty! I’ve never really been a big fan of eating raw tomatoes just on their own, but I can pop these little guys like candy. The perfect way to use up an end-of-the-summer tomato surplus.
Also, yes, laurel (bay leaf) is sold in large bags everywhere here in Spain, which I love because it prevents the leaves from breaking.
2:40pm: Headed out for a quick bike ride uptown to see another potential new apartment. We’re still on the house-hunting search here in Barcelona — either to buy or to rent — before our current lease expires this fall. But the market here is crazy expensive and we haven’t found anything yet that we love. Maybe better luck today.
2:45pm: Lol, scratch that on the bike ride, it’s nearly 90 degrees out and an uphill trek to this neighborhood. Air-conditioned bus FTW!
3;00pm: I had really high hopes for this place after seeing the plans for it online. But the sneaky rendering artist failed to disclose the fact that the windows in the back of the house were completely blocked by a huge cement wall. Ugh, can’t do it. This girl needs sunlight.
The search continues.
3:45pm: Anytime we’re up in this part of town, it’s a given that we make a quick pass through the Asian market to grab whatever is on our list. (We keep ongoing grocery lists on our phones for the Asian market, Latin American market, and the American import store here in Barcelona in case either of us happen to be passing by. That is, of course, in addition to our usual ALDI, fruit and veggie stand, and neighborhood supermarcat circuit.)
3:55pm: Asian markets are pretty much the only place in Barcelona where you can buy good green onions, sweet potato noodles (and rice noodles), sesame oil, and other southeast Asian ingredients. I also snagged a new bottle of tamarind concentrate to make a batch of pad Thai this week.
As always, we ended buying a few more groceries than expected (with no trunk space to stash everything). Lol, so Barclay headed home to drop off this batch of groceries, and I headed on to our neighborhood supermarket to pick up some ricotta and kale to test out a new gnocchi recipe for dinner.
4:15pm: Bahhh, Spain. Pretty much everyone here takes the entire month of August off. And, as I discovered today, the one store in our neighborhood that always carries ricotta has apparently decided to close for the month too. Thus, the day’s ingredient scavenger hunt commences. #storyofourbarcelonalives
4:20pm: I couldn’t remember if our new neighborhood ALDI carries ricotta. But they usually carry kale. So I stopped by for a quick check…
4:30pm: Double negative. Turns out — no ricotta or kale (boo). I did take the opportunity while I was there, though, to stock-up on diced tomatoes since they are strangely not available at any other stores near our house. (I can easily find cans of whole and crushed tomatoes, but diced tomatoes are much more rare.) Also picked up some fresh tomates to make a batch of sun-dried tomatoes for some friends. Plus some heavy cream for the ricotta recipe tonight, which is sold shelf-stable instead of refrigerated here in Spain.
4:45pm: The kale and ricotta search continues. Struck out again here.
4:50pm: Also here, which was surprising. This fruitería isn’t my favorite one to begin with (our usual fruit/veggie stand is a 10-minute walk in the opposite direction), but they usually at least carry the basics. Nope, no kale today.
4:55pm: That said, while I was already at the fruitería, I went ahead and stocked up on some red onions since pretty much every other store in the neighborhood only carries “pink” onions (which are much more popular in Spain).
If you’re sensing a trend here, you’re right. Grocery shopping for us in Barcelona is basically an unending game of “welp, while we’re here, we might as well pick up that one thing that particular store carries that we can’t find anywhere else.” It can be super time-consuming and frustrating at times, especially when we’re crunched for time, since it’s basically the polar opposite of the large grocery store (much less, Instacart) efficiency that we were accustomed to back in the States. But at the same time, these smaller markets are part of the charm of Spain, and they have forced me to slow down and be more patient and actually experience what it’s like to support small local markets on a daily basis. Plus, I love the fact that grocery shopping practically counts as its own workout here, since we do so much walking between stores and have to carry everything home by hand, which all feels really healthy and good.
Definitely different than the States…but we are constantly reminding ourselves that different is exactly why we moved here. 🙂
5:00pm: Ah ha! Finally tracked down some ricotta at this little supermarket! Still no kale, so I gave up and just brought home some spinach.
5:15pm: “You’re home, you’re home, you’re home! Now belly rub, please.” ♡
Back to computer work for one more hour before dinner.
6:15pm: Finally, wrapping up the workday with some recipe testing, which will also double as our dinner tonight. I’ve had so many of you make (and love, yay!) my new recipe for ricotta gnocchi. So I’ve been wanting to develop another good sauce that you can make to serve with it. Tonight’s experiment — a creamy, dreamy, tomato sauce with sausage and
kale spinach. With a side of Handmaid’s Tale while I cook. (Love this show so much, but whew, sometimes I need to multitask it with an activity that’s a bit lighter.)
6:40pm: Note the sausage sprinkled on top for my serving, not my vegetarian husband’s. 😉
Holy cow, this was GOOD. Recipe will def be coming on the blog soon.
6:45pm: Also put some of those sun-dried tomatoes to use in our everyday salad tonight. (After all of my grocery shopping lamenting today, I feel like I should note that pine nuts are refreshingly cheap here in Spain. So we use them often!)
7:45pm: Finally, a nice long walk around our barrio to end the day now that it has cooled off a bit.
8:30pm: Love our neighborhood so much. ♡♡♡
10:00pm: Skincare time before bed. I’ve really been loving this mask lately from The Ordinary! It costs less than $8 and makes my skin feel amazingly smooth. It goes on red, though, and looks super creepy on. So haha, sorry no photo. 😉
10:15pm: I impulse-bought myself the “All-New” Kindle (formerly the Paperwhite) on Prime Day this past month, and I have to say that I am loving it. Ever since my last Kindle Fire died a few years ago, I’ve just been using the Kindle app on my iPad to read books. And while that totally works, I was getting increasingly tired of staring at a glowing screen each night while trying to unwind with a book (esp after staring at a computer screen for so much of my workday). So a friend talked me into taking the Paperwhite plunge, and now I totally wish I had made the switch it years ago. This little guy is crazy lightweight and fits perfectly in my purse. And most importantly, it doesn’t feel like I’m ending each day with screentime.
Love it. And currently loving Eleanor Oliphant too.
Buenas noches, everyone, and thanks for reading! I hope that your Tuesday was a good one. ♡