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Post Thanksgiving Sales

30 Nov

Hola! After Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here we are!

I stopped doing Black Friday ever since it became an extreme sport. I prefer Cyber Monday now, but I normally only purchase electronics such as TVs or a laptop.

Although I like to browse through the offers offered on Cyber Monday, I prefer to do most of my shopping at an actual store because I like to see and feel the items that I’m going to spend my money on. There are a few things that I prefer to buy at the store:

  • LIBROS. I like to collect books. They are like little trophies to me; little reminders that I did something good for myself. I also enjoy having a small library that I can share with my friends and my girls when they’re older. As old as I may sound, I love the look, feel, and smell of my books. It’s all part of the experience, which simply cannot be achieved with an eReader or an iPad. I could order my books online because there isn’t much that could go wrong with the purchase, but I prefer to browse through the different sections in a bookstore and will usually purchase a book out of impulse, depending on what I feel like reading at that particular time.
  • MUEBLES. I’m a picky online buyer when it comes to house decor or furniture items, but not so much when I’m at a brick and mortar store. I think this is because I’m able to see the quality, colors, and textures first hand, which is not the case with online shops. For the past couple months, I’ve visited many online shops such as Houzz, AllModern, Overstock, West Elm, trying to find a good deal on a TV set and an accent chair, but haven’t purchased anything yet! I know all their items on stock by now. We ended up purchasing a new sofa from West Elm because I couldn’t make up my mind about the more economical options online; it was too much of a risk for me (plus the return process could’ve been a complete headache).
  • PANTALONES. In my case, there’s no way that I can purchase any type of pants or jeans online, not even leggings. I’m also very picky with the way my pants need to look. I need to feel comfortable in them, but I also need to look slim in them – Which is like finding a unicorn! I read somewhere that pants are in fact the hardest items to sell online, and I think this might be one of the main reasons.

The one thing that I regret not getting last week was a new Nikon DSLR. Mine broke and I desperately need a new one, but don’t want to spend too much money on a bundle since I already have some of the lenses they normally offer when you purchase a camera. I’ve heard from other people that there are other times during the year (other than post Thanksgining sales) when Nikon and Canon cameras go on sale. Anyone know when this might be?

Thanks for reading and see you next time! Hasta la proxima 🙂

 

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Dallas is Our New Home

9 Nov

Hola! This week is almost over, and I’m set and ready for a relaxing weekend ahead.

We moved to Dallas about 3 months ago and ever since we got here, we made it a point to venture out at least once a week to explore our neighborhood and learn about all the family friendly options available in our community, as well as in the Dallas downtown area. One of my favorite things to do here is to go for long walks and discover interesting places, cozy coffee shops, or just pretty neighborhoods with pretty houses to drool over. Doing this is pretty relaxing to me; it fuels my imagination and makes my creative side happy (I’m the epitome of a Pisces!)

To be honest, I initially was a bit hesitant on moving here as neither my husband nor I had ever been to anywhere in Texas. Surprisingly, when people started learning about our plans to relocate to Dallas, everyone was very eager to share their positive stories about the city and its suburbs, and how family friendly it all was.

Dallas

I can’t tell you how much we are enjoying our time here. There are plenty of things to do for absolutely everyone. We can definitely tell that the pace of things is much slower here, but it never feels boring, nor do we feel like we are lacking stimuli. It’s definitely something new for my husband and I, since we’ve always been on the go due to both our careers and personal life.  I used to commute for an hour and 30 minutes in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, and it was brutal, especially after my girls were born and every minute away from them was agonizing. So, as you can imagine, the slower pace is something that I’m very much embracing with all my might! Another thing to be said about people here is that they actually make an effort to strike a conversation with you, regardless of the subject or the place. This is also something new to me as I’m not used to striking more than a couple polite words or sentences with a stranger before I start feeling like I’m taking too much of their time.

Overall and so far, our experience has been very positive. One thing that I’ve learned throughout my years living abroad is that when you are tolerant towards others, carry yourself with respect, and are able to look at the bright side of things even when there’s no evident bright side, your experiences tend to be far more positive. This was true for us when we first moved to Italy as newlyweds and weren’t earning as much money as we would’ve liked to, and it was true when we were living in China and had to adapt to many cultural differences that didn’t come “naturally” to us, plus had to deal with the huge language barrier. I think this will remain true regardless of where you are, and it’s something that our world is begging for right now.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and bright weekend!!

Hasta pronto!

M

 

 

 

 

 

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A New Team Member

14 Oct

A New Team Member

I wanted to take some time off to focus on one very important thing: MY BABY!!
After years of being solo travelers, my husband and I decided it was time for us to add another member to our team. A girl to be precise 🙂
I’m sure it’ll be quite an adventure since we are planning on having our baby girl here in China!
But, then again, life itself is an adventure, right?!
Have a great one, everyone!

Dance For Us

14 Jun

It’s been a pretty hectic week, but we’ve made it!

I was in Shanghai for a couple of days and came back just in time for our very first Chinese wedding in Yuhuan. Both my husband and I felt honored to be invited to such an intimate event. We had lots of fun and we ate like there was no tomorrow! Everything was going well until the MC called us to come to the stage to perform some kind of dance in honor of the new couple… how can you refuse when they are all expecting you to do it IN HONOR of the newly married couple! Long story short, we ended up dancing to Psy’s Oppa Gangnam Style. Epic Fail!

fail

Anyways, the wedding was beautiful and the bride and groom looked very happy.

alice and neyo

Have a great one!

Dumpling Obsession

31 May

There are several foods that I just can’t live without. One if them being Guacamole, which you probably know by now since I mention it in every other post!
But now I’m adding a new entry to my list: dumplings.

dumpling collage
I still haven’t figured out what makes them so irresistible to my taste buds. I guess it’s the combination of different flavors without ever being overwhelming.

This obsession of mine took me to a restaurant in Shanghai that everyone praised for having the best dumplings in the city: Din Tai Fung.

dumplings in shanghai
Din Tai Fung is a Chinese/Taiwanese restaurant chain with several restaurants around the world, including the US and Australia. According to their website “The New York Times selected Din Tai Fung as one of the top ten restaurants in the world

They have several locations in Shanghai, but I visited the one in Xintiandi.

spicy dumplings

Although I’m no expert, I can humbly say that these dumplings really live up to their hype. They are light and full of flavor, never overwhelming. It’s like a subtle explosion of flavors.

shrimp dumpling

Tapas on a Hot Shanghainese Night

28 May

Last Wednesday my husband and I were craving some serious Jamon Serrano (Spanish Ham) and Pinchos (a kind of tapas). We have some beautiful and fun memories from all our trips to Spain, but my favorite ones usually involve some kind of gastronomic action 😉

Jamon y queso

Well, since we were in Shanghai for a couple of days, we wanted to eat as much good food as our bodies could handle before coming back to Taizhou and resuming our rice and vegetables diet. It was a painful task but one that had to be done if we wanted to survive until our next visit to Shanghai 😉 The result 4 lbs. of extra baggage (not in the right places, as usual!) and a very happy tummy.

tortilla

There are several Spanish restaurants in Shanghai, but I’ve only been to a couple of them: El Willy and La Finca.

El Willy is more of an upscale tapas restaurant, although their website’s “feel” suggests differently (it’s a pretty cool website). It’s located on the Bund, and has a spectacular view of the skyscrapers in Pudong and the Huangpu river. The food is good, especially all the seafood dishes and their amazing black rice paella. The only tapa I didn’t enjoy much was their Patatas Bravas, for they had too much cream/mayo (not sure what it was). I prefer my Patatas Bravas very bravas ;). Overall, El Willy delivers delicious traditional dishes with a twist.

La Finca one the other hand, is a more simple restaurant, nothing too opulent. I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from this restaurant in Xintiandi, but their simple Tortilla Española and shrimps with garlic and spicy sauce were delicious. We also ordered some Jamon, but it wasn’t quite what we were expecting, for the meat was a bit tasteless. Their terrace is small but quite welcoming, especially during these hot Shanghai nights!

Camarones

taizhou

Have a great one!

Some Blogs I Like

23 May

It’s been a while since my last entry. I finally managed to get the issue fixed, so I will be able to post more often now 🙂

Last time I wrote about the Liebster Award that the lovely Monique from A Reel Chick, so kindly nominated me for (Thanks Monique!). As part of this activity I had to answer Monique’s 11 questions, nominate another 11 blogs/bloggers with less than 200 followers, write 11 random facts about myself and create a list of 11 fresh questions for my nominees to answer.

Well, I answered Monique’s questions and shared 11 random facts about myself. You can see the first part of my award acceptance here!

Now, I will share with all of you my newly nominated bloggers/blogs and my list of 11 questions for them to answer.

Let’s start with the wonderful blogs!!

nominees

1) When Judit Bakes… Bread and Better… And When She Bakes Some More
2) Dushonok
3) OMG I DIY
4) The Posh Dish
5) WHATTHEFKH
6) Serendipity Musings
7) Salt&Paper
8) The Pippin Girl
9) More Fun With Ems
10) I Heart Sweet Peas
11) What Katya Does

Congrats!!!

Now, here are my 11 questions for you to answer

1. Why did you start your blog?
2. Where do you find inspiration?
3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
4. How would you best describe your style?
5. 3 places you would like to visit
6. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
7. What are your favorite dishes / food?
8. What kind of music are you listening to lately?
9. Which qualities do you believe every human being should possess?
10. Which has been the best advice you have ever received and which one do you like giving out the most?
11. If you were ever interviewed by a professional reporter, which question would you like to be asked? (it can be on any topic)

Now, this award is somewhat of a peer to peer award, which I think is actually cooler because it helps spread all the LOVE among all of us bloggers 😉

So, here’s what you need to do if you decide to accept this award.
Dedicate one blog entry with the following:
1) Nominate another 11 awesome blogs with less than 200 followers (this is to support and encourage each other)
2) Create a list of 11 questions for them to answer
3) Answer my 11 questions
4) And finally, share 11 random facts about yourself
5) Please don’t forget to give a shot out to the blogger who nominated you, me 😉 (thanks in advanced)

You will need to notify your nominees about the award, and they should follow the same steps should they decide to accept the award.

You can also visit Monique’s blog to see how she did it.

This is just a nice way to pay it forward and support each other. If anyone says thanks, but no thanks, it’s totally fine. No pressure. This should be enjoyable and not a shore 😉

PS. Here’s a little reminder 😉 Sometimes things can be a bit challenging, but in the end it is always worth it if it’s what you really love doing. Have a great one!

little reminder