Tuesday, November 26, 2013

pants on fire.

superb Lanvin wannabe, 3 euro from Lefties / too bad mine's not giant but I repeat: 3 euro

Tricking other people into thinking you are is as easy as wearing a necklace that says so.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

one to ninety-two.

I held off for as long as I could, as simply seeing the stand on the corner makes me sing Christmas carols aloud, but I broke down this week and bought a bunch of roasted chestnuts wrapped in newspaper from a street vendor.  Ugh it tasted like straight up holiday spirit.

In other news, you should make homemade peanut butter cups.  They're so easy I could faint.  If children help you, it is possible that they will turn out a little amorphous in terms of shape.  But listen: we filled one half with crunchy peanut butter and the other with Nutella, and the world was good and right and just.

Friday, November 15, 2013

tin roof, rusted.

Uniq sweater; BDG denim; Patagonia socks; Steve Madden boots; Brandy Melville necklace

Do you ever wake up, get dressed, change your shirt, change your pants, change your shirt again, drink some tea, eat a plum and walk all the way to the train station before you realize you forgot to put on a bra?

I didn't do that today...but I did do it yesterday.  Yikes.

I'm looking down so much because I want you to have the best possible view of my topknot.
One day soon I'll wear color again.
And undergarments, with any luck.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

five words for scarf.

H&M sweater; Madewell cords; vintage scarf; Robert Zur loafers

Some thoughts:

Now is the first time in my entire life that I have lived more than 40 minutes away from a big time body of water.  Its weird.  Where's the water?  Why can't I see any water?

Isabel Marant for H&M launches in the flesh in 4 days.  My mom and I accidentally went shopping in San Francisco on the day the Lanvin and H&M collaboration hit stores in 2011, which I had no knowledge of prior to our arrival, and we were met with astonishingly rabid hoards of people hungry for ruffles.  It was not a good time.  Do the IM/H&M sweaters look wonderful?  Yes.  Will I wait until the dust has settled, people have stopped biting each other, and at least one restock has occurred before I venture to the Gran Via megastore to cop one?  Absolutely.  And cop one (or three) I will.

If you pretend you're visiting one of the big art museums in Madrid, they let you use their free coat check area, where you can have your backpack and all of your belongings guarded by a security person while you...leave the museum and go for a run in Parque Retiro instead.  -3 points for taking advantage of a cultural institution, +5 for winningggggg.

I want to go so many places in this world, and its impossible.  The amount of hours I spend googlemapping my dreams is not insignificant.  I just want really cheap, really beautiful high speed trains to take me ALL OVER THE PLANET AT WILL.  Ok?  Who can spearhead this project.  Somebody spearhead this project.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

solo uno.

Remember birthday treats?  Was that a thing everybody did?  To celebrate turning seven, you fed other children sugar?  You (but really your mom) made a metric ton of blue frosted cookies, which you loaded into a big tupperware container, dragged to school, and then benevolently allocated to each member of your class and to all of your teachers before recess.  Yes? You did this.  You understand what I'm saying.  I'm imagining you nodding your head.

My sister and I (because we are jerks) enjoyed requesting wildly complicated birthday treats.  There were definite highs (the year of the ice cream cone cupcakes) and lows (the popcorn ball incident of '99, from which I'm pretty sure we still have burns) but we were invariably sent to school each birthday with a box full of bitchin sweets that incited jealousy and hunger amongst our friends and enemies alike.  jk lawlz we didn't have enemies, we brought POPCORN BALLS to CLASS.  Big ups to my parents for making us cool and/or obesity enablers.

I may be turning twenty-three today, which is long past grade school, and I may be in another country, but I still totally brought birthday treats to class.  The humans at the language academy were like, "Wait, it's YOUR birthday.  Why are YOU feeding US?"  And the answer is that sometimes if you want brownies on your birthday, you gotta take matters into your own hands.

These smittenkitchen one-bowl brownies (I found vanilla extract at Taste of America! Praise Taste of America) are ruhl good.  Super chocolatey, minimal mess and a negligible time commitment.  Pretty drama free.  So really nothing like the birthday treats of yore.  Though I did step away for ONE SECOND and return only to find that someone had dragged their small child finger across the top of the pan I'd poured batter into.  I was like, "Are you serious?"  And a little Spanish chica screamed, "I DIDNT DO IT!!!!!!!!" She had chocolate all over her face.  I said, "You have chocolate all over your face."  She started crying and ran away.  And that was that.  I'm hoping she felt really guilty and prayed to Dios for forgiveness but I'mma be real with you, she probably forgot all about it when she turned the corner.  Kids, dude.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Nollie shirt; BDG skirt; Hue tights; Frye boots; Lagos elephant; ferral cat

The people of Madrid casually murder the boots and coats games every day.  I ride the metro all over the place positively drooling over foot- and outerwear.  Nevermind that it is clearly still too hot to wear a jacket of any sort and I could probably get away with sandals if I wanted to.  MadrileƱos live in a state of perpetual fall.  Which like, is just the best way to live.

Its also apparently kosher here for everybody to wear leggings as pants all the time.  This is great news because it makes it ok for me to keep doing what I was doing pretty much everyday anyway!  Guys.  Spain rocks.

New boots.

New friends.

Same idiot.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

a bone to pick.

So. Baking in a foreign country!
Tip: Don't try it.

That's not fair.  You can definitely try it.  I've done it already and I'll do it again.  I made chocolate cookies last week and iced them up all nice and Halloweenish and they didn't kill anyone.  And yesterday I made pumpkin muffins because I'm going to La Mancha and need a hostess gift, and they turned out perfectly, all cinnamon-y and light.  But the cultural exchange that is my life in this house does in fact infiltrate the kitchen; until recently, I had never eaten a ripe chirimoya (oh my god I have been changed), and I had also never been told in a grocery store, "No, you are mistaken, there is no such thing as powdered sugar."

Things that aren't readily available in Spanish grocery stores besides powdered sugar: baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate powder, vanilla extract, and unsalted butter.  So like if you want cookies you should just fly home.

Conversely, Maldon sea salt, which is generally more expensive in the United States and comes in small boxes and tins, is sold in Madrid in large sacks.  Also they have more types of fruit than I have ever seen anywhere, like fantasy novel status varieties of fruit.

Things that aren't readily found in Spanish kitchens: many spices, electric mixers, whisks, measuring cups, ziplock bags.  I took ziplock bags for granted my whole life.  Also, and this is my favorite because it involves math: GRAMS.  Grams.  Measurements in grams.  See ya later late night chocolate-chip-cookie-making binges.  I don't even want to think about the kind of conversion ratios I'd use post-pitcher of sangria. 

HOWEVER.  Thanks to some internet tools, a calculator, a big spoon and some patience, 30 mini glazed pumpkin muffins came into my life.  And in about ten minutes, they will come with me on the train.  Is this a weird hostess gift?  Whatever I'm over it.

These are stupid easy and taste like fall.  I don't know what you're waiting for.

Glazed Pumpkin Muffins
made 30 miniature muffin nuggets, but could easily be big ones, or a loaf

for muffins:
1 can pumpkin puree (I bought mine at Taste of America, which is a place)
2 teaspoons vinegar (to make up for no baking powder)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
lots of cinnamon and nutneg (allspice and cloves too, if you have them!)

for glaze: a whisked together mix of:
1/2 cup powdered sugar (I used a thicker, vanilla flavored thing called Candy Glass, which worked, but you should use powdered sugar)
2 tablespoons whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 175 degrees CELSIUS omg).

Mix all wet ingredients in one bowl, and all dry in another.  Add dry to wet, and stir to incorporate.

Fill a lined muffin tin (or greased loaf pan) with batter 3/4 of the way, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.  Wait until completely cool before drizzling with glaze.