Happy Monday! We’re all heading back to work here in Spain after enjoying the ‘Puente’ (4 day weekend). I took this as an opportunity to have a couple of lazy days. I’ve neglected self-care lately, working every day and not taking any time out for myself. It’s important to remember that self-care isn’t selfish. It’s just the opposite. So over the weekend, I ate some good food before another week of freezer tupperware meals and packed lunches. I curled up with a good book and a mug of tea before another working week.
This weekend, I also wanted to reflect on some favourites from the past couple of weeks. So, what better way to do that than with a Little Things post? I find these posts so much fun to put together, preserving the little joys that will surely become a haze in this goldfish memory of mine.
Lots of things have made me smile lately, so here’s a list of my 10 favourites from over the past few weeks.
1) A Food-Filled Weekend
Would it really be a round-up of favourites if I didn’t kick the post off with food? My friend came to visit and besides the sightseeing, it was a weekend filled with tapas, fajitas and good grub. On Saturday night we went to Oven Mozzarella Bar, an Italian food lover’s paradise. After devouring the salmon and avocado salad, I indulged in the crème de la crème of desserts. The Biscotti was a warm chocolate chip cookie lounging in a pool of chocolate sauce topped with chocolate coated stracciatella ice cream. The description itself is enough to leave me drooling.
Friends, family, if you’re reading, be ready for me to drag you there when you come to visit.
2) The Sinner Season 2
Who would have thought The Sinner could get any better? After flying through season 1 over the Easter holiday, I couldn’t wait for more. I thought it best to set my expectations low, not thinking it could possibly top season one. But, there was no need. I was hooked straight away. Ambrose returns to his hometown to investigate the murder of two parents by their 11-year-old son with no apparent motive. I haven’t enjoyed a show that much in a long time. I flew through the eight parts in days. If anyone has any suggestions for something on par with this Netflix drama, please let me know!
3) Purple Skies
After work during the week, I headed to Madrid’s central square, the Puerta del Sol. I hoped to feast my eyes on the Christmas lights and have a mooch around the markets. Shortly after exiting the metro station I was greeted by the most incredible sunset. While the days may be getting shorter, there’s no denying that the cotton candy pink and periwinkle purple blanketing the evening sky was stunning.
4) Christmas Lights
How can a sunset possibly be any more beautiful? Throw some Christmas lights in the mix and you have yourself a winter wonderland dream. The frosted white lights from the tree surrounded by the glow from the markets finally lit the festive fire within me. It makes me so excited about being sat at home in front of the Christmas tree in little under two weeks.
Since summer I’ve preferred listening to podcasts whenever I’m commuting. Lately, I’ve been enjoying Rhiannon Lambert’s ‘Food For Thought’, a new insightful podcast in which she interviews celebs on their relationship with food, exploring how it makes us feel and how it can change our lives forever. It’s refreshing to hear their unique experiences and inspiring to listen to how they overcame their past struggles.
Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place has also returned for a second series, brightening my early mornings as I traipse my way from the train station to work.
6) Batch cooking
I love cooking. I could easily spend hours pottering in the kitchen throwing meals together, even if they don’t always turn out perfect. However, after an early start and a long day of work, I’m hungry. The last thing I want to do is cook when my stomach is growling. So over the past couple of months, I’ve spent every other weekend batch cooking some cosy winter warmers. Some favourites for the colder months have been my chillis and curries. They’re simple to throw together and I love how you can switch it up when it comes to serving. A chilli can be enjoyed with a sweet potato, some rice, a chunk of sourdough bread or even on its own with a dollop of guacamole and a mountain of cheese. Just call me Nigella.
Guess who reached their Goodreads goal? At the time of setting it, I thought I was being over-ambitious with 50 books. I was behind for a month or two, but over summer I didn’t go a day without getting lost in a new story.
Does anyone else find that they go through fits and starts with reading? I can read 3 books in a matter of days or spend 2 weeks traipsing through another. Lately though, I’ve loved nothing more than spending an hour before bed snuggled up with a good book.
8) Winter Walks
It may not officially be winter yet, but it sure does feel like it. I’ve never been one for the cold. My fingers turn yellow as soon as the temperatures duck beneath 10 degrees and I’m always layered up like a Russian doll if I’m to step foot outside. Nonetheless, with the weather comes the scenery.
Retiro Park is the epitome of a winter wonderland during the colder months. The trees are bare, the leaves golden brown while the skies remain deceptively blue.
9) A Creative Spark
A sudden bout of inspiration jolted me awake on Thursday night. At 2:30 am I was scrawling down blog post ideas before I lost them to my sleepy haze. I’ve been in somewhat of a creative slump since arriving in Madrid, finding it difficult to schedule the time to sit down and write between the repetitive days of teaching. Having compiled a list of over 20 blog post ideas, it’s given me a boost to my blogging mojo and I’m ready to up my game come 2019.
10) New Music
Besides listening to podcasts, there have been so many amazing new releases lately. First, can we talk about how amazing Hozier’s new music is? ‘Movement’ is one of those songs I could play on repeat 100 times and never tire of. Bastille also released new music over the weekend with their long-awaited ‘Other People’s Heartache Part 4’. Listening to the mixtape for the first time made me even more excited than I already was about seeing them live. Roll on February 28th.
What have you been loving lately? TV recommendations, foodie finds, podcasts you’ve been listening to, let me know in the comments!