Weekly Wrap Up #23 – Summer Begins

HI all, we’ve had an exciting week as we boarded a plane to Barcelona, Spain last Saturday and got settled in here for a long visit with family and friends.

Here we are getting ready to take off.  You’ll see our resident winker, aka Beckett, still up to his old tricks.  (Is the guy between Hedley and I photobombing?)

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Annaliese was most excited about her new ruffle sleep mask, which doubles as a head-band.

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My older boys pitched in more than they have in the past.  Here’s Hedley reading to the girls, their favorite Curious George.  He got worn out after about two books, but it bought his mama about 10 minutes of down time.

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Once settled, we headed to the grocery store.  This shelf of dedicated American goodies made us homesick upon arrival.  I couldn’t resist picking up the pancake mix.

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Here we are on the balcony of our little rental apartment enjoying breakfast.  The kids love to put their scrambled eggs onto their toast and they love the fruit here, which is flavorful and juicy.

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With the kids playing tennis and swimming in a day camp around the corner, mom headed out to experience Bikram yoga Barcelona style.  Unfortunately, here you don’t get the “party time” water break after the first set of exercise, and wiping your face with your towel is a huge NO NO.  Practiced in a nearly identical way all over the world, Bikram is a great work-out solution for travelers.  90 minutes later, I emerged from this class, drenched and having stretched off some of the stiffness from our flight. Cathartic.

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And last but not least, my first healthy meal of the trip, this yummy salad with arugula, endive and you got it, strawberries.  With a tasty olive oil on top and a dash of sea salt, it proved refreshing and light.

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So that about sums up our first week of living in Barcelona.  Tomorrow we are venturing into the city to see the city’s historical museum as well as visit the Museum of Chocolate… kids are psyched for that since apparently you’re given a chocolate with your entry ticket.  I plan to shoot my second video of the trip then… OH, and I almost forgot my goals for the week:

  • Get off the computer by 9 p.m.  Since the U.S. is 6 hours behind, and my sweetie not with me for now, I’ve been working late, and having trouble sleeping after that because of the light of the computer.  Resolving this week to turn off the screens by 9 p.m.
  • Finish my book.  On book 3 of the Elena Ferrante series The Neapolitan Novels, “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.”  Worried about how much I will miss this book’s characters once I’m finished with it, I’ve been savoring the last few chapters.  I’m anticipating serious withdrawal when I’m finished reading this amazing series.  Boo hoo.
  • Eat more avocados.  They are so good for your skin and hair and super flavorful here, plus they’re cheap.
  • Get my parents onto Skype.  We’ve set up an account and now we just need to guide them through their first call.
  • Keep reading Richard Scarry’s The Best Storybook Ever to Marielle.  I’ve been trying to do 15 minutes per night, not a lot per session but figuring that over the course of the summer we’ll get through the whole book.  For those with kiddos between the ages of 3-5, this is such a classic book which teaches little ones all the basics.
  • Peruse the discount stores.  There are some casual, funky looks on the streets here and I want to head into some of the discount stores to check them out and line up next Tuesday’s Fashion Post!
  • And here’s this week’s little healthy idea: almonds and raisins combined into a homemade healthy trail mix.  I don’t know about you, but my weak point of the day is about 4-5 p.m. when I am starving but not ready for dinner yet.  If I’m anywhere near a vending machine, that’s when I can be pushing the button for the chips or candy bar.  Or I dive into cheese and crackers.  Rather than do this, I’m trying to carry a little wax paper baggie (beats plastic!) of almonds and raisins in my bag.  With salted almonds, this tastes especially delicious because you get the mixture of salt and sweet.  This snack leaves me satiated until dinner and less yicky feeling than after a bag of chips.  Plus almonds are great for hair and for the brain!

So hope you enjoyed this week’s little wrap up, and don’t forget to enter our weekly giveaway below.  If you’re commenting, tell us what is your go-to healthy snack!

Sending love from Spain!



Weekly Giveaway

Prize: One (1) $50 Amazon gift card.


  • Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
  • Open to U.S readers.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • You have multiple ways you can enter to increase your chances of winning.
  • The giveaway ends on Friday, June 19, 2015 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time).
  • Winner will be announced on the widget below within 48 hours after the giveaway has ended.

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Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check back for more! xo

  • Atri

    Loved reading about your trip!

  • Dana

    HI! thx 4 the giveaway

  • Julie Wood

    I read your blog posts and they are very interesting! Thanks for another awesome giveaway! Have a nice week!

  • Shanelle Waters (Kumii)

    I always love reading about your trips and i think ur kids r soo cute

  • Nendo

    It’s always amusing to read in your blog 🙂 thanks for the giveaway 😀

  • Jonathan Khoo

    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  • iosif alexandru

    Awesome giveaway,i truly thank you xD

  • Wow! How are you guys able to spend weeks in Spain? I’m so jealous 😉 That’s actually my idea vacation—is to live there for a long time and truly get immersed in a country. Sounds fantastic, Melissa!

  • Suzanne King

    What a great trip to Spain! Enjoy your blog. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Stacey Grantham

    What a great trip so far. Ooh the Museum of Chocolate sounds fun and tasty. I bet the kids would really enjoy that one.

  • Rom Kruse

    enjoy your trip to Spain, looks wonderful

  • Vanessa Madrigal

    I love to put my scrambled eggs on toast, too! 🙂

  • julimi

    I would love to go to Barcelona!


  • Mary Vantil

    I would love the visit Spain this summer

  • Melissa Matters

    Wow, looks like an amazing trip. That salad looks delicious and healthy.

  • Jeanne Rousseau


  • Shay

    looking to win

  • Emily Smith

    That salad looks yummy! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Dandi D

    This would be so helpful to win!

  • Rebekah Miller

    Thanks for then chance to win!

  • Bradlee Wilson

    Thank you for the chance to win! Good luck everyone.

  • Šimon Slávik

    Thanks for your kindy giveaway 😉

  • SpasticPat


  • AmandaSakovitz

    thanks for the chance!

  • Kimberly DePalma

    That summer salad looks delicious in this heat ^_^ glad you guys had a memorable trip. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  • Elle

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • slehan

    I like your trail mix idea. Hope the Skype lessons work.
    Thanks for the contest.
    slehan at juno dot com

  • Susan Smith

    Thanks for the giveaway

  • Justin S

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  • Rebecca Kellerman

    Barcelona! That sounds amazing. It’s on my list of places to go. Hope you are enjoying your summer!

  • Ulrich Rudenz

    Thank you

  • markathy

    KNow you are enjoiying this immensely!

  • Michelle Thomas

    That salad looks so refreshing! Hope you have a great time in Barcelona. I’ve always wanted to go!

  • Prasert

    Great giveaway and post!

  • Sara

    I did it! I made a goal list for the week. I’m amazed by how much more I accomplished by writing out my goals for the week. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • BreanneT

    I’d love to visit Spain.

  • margaretsmith

    That summer salad really looks wonderful. I’ll have to give it a try.

  • mckim

    I’d love to win this. I would use it to purchase books for my daughter’s third grade classroom.

  • katkelly57

    I’m a wee bit jealous of your trip to Barcelona…I lived many years in Southern Spain, Andalucia, so I know you all are having a wonderful time.

    Have fun experimenting with all of the tasty tapas….have some Pulpo a la Gallega for me…octopus Galician style.

  • Shalonda

    Oh that salad. What I wouldn’t do for some strawberries right about now.

  • sherry Blamer

    Looks like everyone is enjoying Spain.

  • abfantom

    I visited Barcelona many years ago and it was great. I would love to live there!

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  • Kathy Luman

    I love shopping at Amazon.

  • Cassandra Eastman

    I love Summer, looks like you’re having a great trip!

  • mommyto2girlz

    I hope you guys enjoy your trip! Sounds like you are going to be busy. thank you!
    crystalfaulkner2000 at yahoo dot com

  • jeand

    Wow, what a summer! Congratulations on a beautiful family.

  • Sand

    You look like you’re having a wonderful time!

  • Terry Cross

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  • rajee

    Thanks for the chance

  • Lisa

    Wow, how fun your trip must have been! That salad looks delicious!

  • guettel78

    Loved reading that one of your goals is to get your parents on Skype! I recently did the same with my folks, and it was a challenge – but they eventually got the hang of it and now they’re on the way to being seasoned pros. 🙂

    Geoff K
    gkaufmanss at yahoo dot com