Thursday, August 28, 2014

Beauty Blog: Makeup Shopping in Spain!


One of the things I was most excited to do in Europe was shop for beauty products.  Dissapointingly, the economy is really global, so I saw lots of Chanel, Dior, Revlon, Rimmel, etc. and not a lot of the cool Europe brands I had looked up online before like Catrice, Scheleckers, and Parfumeria Gal.  But I was able to find Flormar.  On a tiny tourist store in Barcelona, I spotted a whole shop full of testers galore and beautiful products.

I tried to show restraint and only spent around $44 euros, including some gifts, but I easily could've spend triple!  Here's what I picked for myself:

 Glamour UK Magazine: Confession, I liked it even better than the US version.  The size is cute and oh so portable and I found myself cornering over half of the pages to look at later or use for social media posts.  I looked up getting a subscription shipped: $76.  Ouch.  So if anyone ever finds them in airports, buy one for me please!

Fusion Baked Eye Shadow in Magnetic Black: Their recommended application was to prime first then use a damp applicator.  It went on amazingly with a damp angled liner brush in the store.

Supershine Lip Gloss in Cheeky Fuchsia: "High shine gloss with stay put shine."  I love it, the bright bright pink color goes on as shocking as it is in the tube, it'll pair nicely with the liner I picked or look amazing layered onto of lipstick.

Paper False Lashes: Haven't tried them yet, but they look oh so delicate and gorgeous, will be fabulous for Halloween or if I ever get to go to the Mad Hatter's Ball.

Excited after my purchase.  All my traveling companions were happy I finally found a shop too as we'd trekked through SO many shops looking for some of those brands.


Bow Tie DIY: Not as easy as it looks



Earth Rated sent Ella a cute bandana and has been making tutorials on how to create it into cute things...like a bow tie.  I followed the cute instructions, but it's not as easy as it looks :)


The good news, Earth Rated still thinks Ella is cute:


Legos Go To Spain


Taking a page out of Chase's Mom's book, Chase and I build little Lego mini-figures of ourselves for cute photo snapping potential.  I loved it!  They always look cute and happy and never have their stomach stuck out too much :)  Here are some of my favorite Lego moments in Spain.  Above, the whole Lego clan in front of a City of Arts and Sciences building miniature.

In the aquarium map

A Chase shot of some Lego love at the Oceanografic restaurant. 

Aqua de Valencia

Laundry Day

Best. Dessert. Ever. 

Lego Kirsten LOVES food.

On the way to Barcelona via rental car.


Bike Rental Day.

Travel Day.

I definitely recommend a stop at the Lego Store to make Lego versions of yourselves.  The cute photo potential abounds.



My Favorite Spanish Thing: OCEANOGRÀFIC




 The City of Arts and Sciences is home to Europe's largest Aquarium: The Oceanografic.  There were the traditional stars like penguins, belugas, and tons of fishes.  I have mixed feelings about aquariums as I don't like the idea of animals in captivity, but this complex was beautiful.  One of the best features was their restaurant which let you dine underground surrounded by thousands of fish, some tiny sharks, and sting rays.

And no, I didn't eat fish (fish are friends, not food) but confession there was some tuna in the appetizer.  It was quiet and tranquil and made me want a fish tank :)
Gorgeous light fixture in the restaurant.


After lunch, we went on a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium.  It was amazing.  For 13 euros a person, we had a 4 person private tour with two of the aquarium staff - a vet and a marine biologist.  How educational!  We learned all about how they store shark and fish embryos, got to see the turtle rescue section, and walk the catwalks above the shark tanks.  The most fascinating?  The section where they track who everyone is and what they've eaten.  All the big sharks and fish have names and identifying marks on charts.  Did Mr. Jason eat yesterday?  You can find out.  As our guide said, sometimes you have to watch incase Mr. Jason stopped eating because he could be sick, or have eaten someone else. 



 And of course, my favorite part: gift shop!  Check out all those cute little shark guys.




Summer Vacation: Spain!


Our longest vacation to date just came to an end.  We spent 12 days visiting Chase's parents in Valencia, Spain with a little day trip to Barcelona.  It was my first time to Europe and Chase's first time in Spain.  Passports were stamped, high school Spanish was brushed off, and we began our foreign adventure!  Of course, some of my favorite parts were gift shops (as seen above).

Fabulous food was a theme.  This yummy dessert was from a Spanish fusion place in the neighborhood we stayed in called Refugio.  Goat cheese ice cream topped with shaved parmesan. Delicious.

Cafe hopping was something we were very good at.
This one we snapped on our "date day" at Cafe Saunt Jaume - a bar created in the tiny space that used to be an apothecary, with excellent Aqua de Valencia.  The "aqua" is a traditional drink there created with booze, orange juice, and cava, right up my alley.

One of my favorite things to see: how dog friendly the cities were.  Pups rested and chilled in cafes, under tables, and even went to work with their people like this cute dog who hung out on the cool marble steps of a cafe in Plaza de la Virgin.  He even came over for some rubs (don't tell Ella).

Another cool thing to do was shop for groceries.  There weren't any huge grocery stores in our hood, but I still got my fix.  We munched on great cheeses, amazing jamon (thinly sliced, cured ham), and unique things like BBQ frozen pizza and Sabor de Jamon chips (which translates to flavor of ham....a Chase find).  Cava was available everywhere (huzzah!) and the little neighborhood connivence store was a much stopped place by us.  At left, some of the snacks we grabbed en route to Barcelona at a Spanish Oasis on the highway.

Chase's parents stopped to consult a map in Barcelona.  It was HOT, so the 2 euro fans Leslie and I picked up at the street stalls in Valencia were used often.

Are those Legos?!  Yes! We made mini Lego versions of ourselves for cute photo ops.

My favorite day was when we rented bikes and headed to the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia.  We romped through the Aquarium and even took a behind the scenes tour!  Check out those pictures here.





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