Currently

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Feeling all kinds of relief after finally turning in our mountain of visa paperwork to the Spanish government last week, which included a hot-off-the-press lease for our first tiny little apartment in Barcelona!!!  (Can’t stop staring at this charming photo from our soon-to-be balcony.)  If all goes according to plan, we will be packing up the dogs and our suitcases and moving over there on October 15.  Which is getting so close!  We’re definitely starting to feel all the feels about leaving Kansas City…but more than ever, we’re also just feeling so excited to finally be there.  💛

Crushing hard on all of FashionABLE’s bags lately.  They’re ethically made in Africa, and they are freaking gorgeous.  I’ve been carrying around one of their camel totes (my specific model is discontinued) full-time for about a year and a half now, and absolutely love it.  But I think I’m going to treat myself to a fresh new tote before moving to Spain.  Now, the question is just which one to choose!  😊  On that note, I’m also…

Stocking up on a few other essentials from home before our move.  We’re literally each only bringing 2 large suitcases with us, so both Barclay and I have been ultra-minimizing our clothes and shoes lately down to the most capsule of capsule wardrobes.  But that said, I did just order a new pair of Girlfriend leggings (<– my absolute favorites, plus they’re ethically made), semi-matching pairs of Allbirds for Barclay and I (<– yep, totally going to be “that couple”, plus we needed some good new walking shoes), and two new supersoft dresses from Lou & Grey (<– because…comfort) to pack in my suitcase.  Ha, we’ve realized over the past few months that most of our favorite brands do not ship abroad.  So from here on out, get ready to hear about random finds we stumble upon in Spain!

Starting to try and learn more about best practices for bringing dogs along on overseas flights. We have all of Henry and Fiona’s international medical/legal paperwork taken care of by now.  But I’m feeling super-nervous about their wellbeing on the actual flights themselves (one 3-hr flight to NY, one 7.5-hr flight to Barcelona), especially since Henry has always had terrible anxiety in kennels. 😕 Have any of you ever flown with your furry friends before?  Any good tips?

Loving DuoLingo lately, along with my new favorite way to practice Spanish…by watching Netflix!  Did you know that you can search shows to see which ones offer Spanish subtitles?  (Or any language, for that matter, just pull the little dropdown bar to see your options.)  Turns out practicing Spanish is way more fun with Jim Gaffigan and Bridget Jones and Jessica James.

Researching options to create an album book from our wedding photos.  I spent about an hour the other night looking at options on various websites…annnnd it was enough to make my head spin.  Halp!  😂  Any great recommendations out there?

Marveling at this new little Moment wide-angle lens that I purchased for my iPhone.  If any of you are wanting to kick up your phone photography game, I totally recommend it.  It just snaps on and off of your phone whenever you’d like to use it, and gives you nearly 2x the viewing range in your photos.  (And by comparison to wide-angle lenses for dSLRs, this puppy is a freaking steal.  Just be sure to purchase a clip-on case to go with it to fit your specific phone.)  We’ve been tinkering around with ours on a few trips lately, and really love it.

Following along closely with all of the big grocery news lately.  Google and Walmart joining forces?  Amazon lowering prices at Whole Foods on Monday?  I’m totally fascinated by how quickly our grocery industry is evolving lately.

Freaking out over the ending to House Of Cards.  No spoilers here, but wowza, that got dark.  Annnnd totally hooked me in for next season.  (P.S. A friend who’s online dating recently ran across a profile of a guy who said he was “looking for his own Clare Underwood.”  Um, really? 😳)

Listening through every episode of this podcast this week.  So many of my favorites have been guests this past month.

Feeling very, very ready for fall soup season.  I mean, if it were up to me, summer would last forever and ever.  But I’ve been making a list of all of the new soups and stews I’d like to try next season, and they are sounding mighty cozy and comforting right now.  (Also, as always, if you have any requests — I’d love to hear ’em!)

Continuing to read and watch and listen and learn as much as possible lately — and stretch beyond my usual new and information bubbles — to better understand the perspectives of everyone living in our country right now.  (As well as those grieving in our country-to-be.)  Barclay and my friends and I have had countless conversations lately trying to learn what actions are actual helpful — and what actions are not — when it comes to standing up for justice and seeking to build unity in our communities.  And goodness, we all have so much to learn, don’t we?  Still, I’m so thankful for the brave voices speaking truth right now, and find hope in seeing the hundreds of big and little ways lately that I see humility and courage and kindness leading the way.  More thoughts on that to come.  💛

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26 comments on “Currently”

  1. Allbirds are the best!!! You’re going to love them!

    Also, THAT VIEW. I can’t wait to follow along with your move! :)

  2. I moved my dogs to South Africa and back. It’s stressful but we had no problems. My vet suggested feeding them and giving them treats in their kennel for a few weeks leading up to the trip. It seemed to help them get used to the kennel. Also get them calming collars. I used the Adaptil Comfort Zone collars. Good luck!

  3. I just had my second wedding anniversary and I still haven’t put together a photo book. I’ve started on them a few times but get frustrated with the platform (shutterfly was the most recent) and give up. If you find a great platform, please share!!

  4. Are you not able to take Henry in the cabin with you on an overseas flight? I flew domestic with my Westie once in a soft sided carrier and a doggy Quaalude. She stuck her head out of the top of the carrier for a brief moment during the flight, sleepily looked around and then retracted back into her cave. Never heard or saw from her the rest of the way, and she did fine. Good luck!!

  5. If you have the time and patience to do it, Blurb is amazing for wedding albums. I made ours for our first anniversary a few years ago, and downloaded the software so that I had total control over every page. Once I finalized it, I sat on the project until they were running a 50% off promo, then uploaded and ordered. I got two beautiful albums for around $300 (included shipping). I also added on pdf copies of our books and I love having them on my ipad – I scroll through every few months =)

  6. We used Blurb.com to print off our wedding books. The quality is fantastic.

  7. My husband and I recently started using DuoLingo based on an older blog post of yours for our upcoming trip to Paris! Its a great way to refresh my memory. Thank you! :-)

  8. Re: your dogs’ travel to Barcelona – our friends are currently on flights to Frankfurt and then to Istanbul (moving there for three years) with their 8 month old sweet as can be lab mix aboard and he’s never flown before, so I’ll happily report on how he does on the flight legs and recommend or not recommend their airline and handling of him as soon as we hear they’ve arrived! It’s always so worrisome with our furry family members!

  9. I have a friend who just moved her VERY anxious dog from Chicago to Bucharest. She used CBD oil to calm him during the flight. You can read about her adventures here: https://brookereavey.com/2017/08/07/made-it-to-bucharest/ You can contact her through the blog.

  10. Just purchased my first tote from Fashionable. Thanks for the recommendation. Their products are beautiful.

  11. How have I never heard of FashionABLE before?! Holy smokes. You’ve created an addict already. Your soon-to-be balcony is something of dreams, BTW! Thanks for sharing all of these great things!

  12. Buy a new bag in Europe! Always more fun to get things over there!!

  13. Be careful with CBD oil if you end up using it for your pups — some dogs (including one of mine) can have a real reaction to it — wouldn’t recommend for the flight. Hopefully your pups are small enough to travel in-cabin with y’all. Acclimation to the crate with food and treats over a few weeks is the way to go!

  14. That balcony—I’m loving it! Can’t wait to see the pics that follow! Thanks for all the info on your fave items; think I need to try those shoes!

  15. I’m obsessed with my Girlfriend leggings! I got in on their kickoff campaign awhile back and am so happy their full line is now out. Best. Leggings. Ever.

  16. P.S. Which Allbirds did you order?

  17. Mulligatawny soup is so amazing, I would love to see what you could do with it! Good luck with the furbaby flights, we only flew our cat once and it was a hooper flight with him in the cabin, so no advice there. Have the best time in Spain!

  18. Allbirds are the best! My son bought a pair and I liked them so much that he bought me a pair for Mother’s Day. I then bought my husband a pair of Father’s Day and my son wanted a second pair for his birthday. So comfy! Also, love Fashionable bags! I have the Mamuye tote in cognac (I get tons of compliments on it) and the Alem tote in chocolate , plus the Emnet pouch. I bought my best friend a bucket bag and my daughters mini bucket bags during their sale. The leather is such high quality, and I love their mission! Thanks for the heads up about Girlfriend leggings. I will give them a try :)

  19. My husband and I (and our two small kids) are moving to Brazil a week after you all. :) I have diligently been using DuoLingo, but had no idea you could search on Netflix to see what shows were available in different languages!!! There is not a ton in Portuguese but at least there are some children’s shows. I have enjoyed following your blog and trying some new recipes. Best wishes to you all (including your dogs!!) as you enjoy your adventures in Spain!

  20. I have just returned to US after 43 yrs. in Europe—I have a sticky about traveling internationally w/dogs—I always have 2 with me on the flights—check out the Spoiled Maltese forum—you will find it there listed as a sticky.

  21. Loved reading this Ali! Your apartment view is darling, and I can relate to the nervous anticipation mingled with excitement (I’m about to head off to my sophomore year of college, and I’m having all the feels). Loved all your recommendations, esp. the fashion stuff and the Oprah podcast! And I had no idea about the Google and Walmart merger!

  22. For wedding album: Artifact Uprising all the way! Their core values around beautiful, tangible memories and sustainability are enough to garner my support, but the products are super high-quality and really amazing keepsakes. We’ve ordered everything from large scale framed prints, to 4x6s, to our wedding album from them. Their print quality is much higher than other sites, and the paper quality is unparalleled. They feel like pieces of art! Plus their book creator is easy to use, with plenty of great layouts to drag and drop your photos into, or the option to create your own. They’ve been running lots of sales lately so just hop on their mailing list and I’m sure you can get an even better deal!

  23. I flew across the country with my cat. The luggage scanners were not working at our small airport so we had to go through security when we got to the next airport – OUTSIDE! When they told me I had to remove the cat from her carrier bag and walk through the metal detector, both of us were in a panic. The cat was clawing it’s way over my shoulder and I was scared to death she was going to get loose and be running down the runway. The rest of the trip was a piece of cake after getting through that experience. Tip: Expect the unexpected!

    Good luck on your new adventure!

  24. I’m right there with you on fall soup season! Go away, miserable heat!

  25. I’m so happy for you and Barclay!! :) Barcelona is an incredible location. I’ve started to pick up on Spanish just from watching the show “Narcos”, although it’s probably different because that’s set in Colombia. I totally recommend it!!

  26. I found this wedding album from Etsy shop Starboard Press and plan to order for photos from our upcoming wedding… you might like it as well! xo

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/480615324/navy-and-gold-wedding-guest-book-with