Day In The Life

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Buenos días from Barcelona, friends!

I’ve been getting so many emails, comments and messages these past few weeks from many of you, kindly been checking in on us with the situation here in Spain.  (Thank you. ♡)   So today I thought I would pop in today with a little life update.

I’m thankful to report that Barclay and I — as well as all of our close friends and neighbors here — are all still healthy and doing well right now.  But the situation in Spain is sobering and still getting worse, as the curve here continues to climb and hospitals are becoming more and more overwhelmed.

Here in Barcelona, we are now entering our third week of lockdown, which has become much more strictly enforced by the police as time goes on.  (We see them patrolling the neighborhood and stopping pedestrians every time we leave the house now.)  Locals are still able to go out to the grocery store, pharmacy, bank, doctor’s appointments.  And we are allowed to take the dogs outside up to 50 meters away from our front door a few times a day.  But by contrast to a few weeks ago when this all began — when everyone would admittedly make a grocery run each day just to have the “excuse” to go for a walk and get some fresh air — the vibe here has now become much more cautious and anxious, and everyone we know is leaving the house as little as possible.

So, like many around the world, we are definitely feeling the squeeze of having been cooped up inside for 3+ weeks now, without our usual friend hangouts and long walks with the dogs and time outside in the sunshine.  (Oh, how we miss our old Kansas City backyard right now!)  But, like many of you, we’re adapting to a new social life via Zoom and extra games of indoor fetch, and we are are appreciating the big windows in our apartment right now more than ever!  More than anything though, we are just deeply grateful for our health and for all of the amazing health and city workers here in Barcelona who are bravely putting their wellness on the line to care for the city right now.  There is an incredibly strong vibe here in Spain that we are all in this together, and everyone seems more ready than ever right now to lend a helping hand and make whatever sacrifices we all need to do to try and flatten the curve and get through this as quickly as possible.  So, as we say in Spanish, “a ver” — we’ll see.  Hoping for the best for this precious country and for the rest of the world right now.

How about you?  How is the situation feeling where you are right now?  Would love to hear how you doing and what your own “new normals” are looking like lately. ♡  Wherever you are, I hope that you are well, and know that I am sending a big socially-distanced internet hug your way today.  We will all continue to get through this together.

And now, for anyone interested, here are some snapshots of my “day in the life” here yesterday in Barcelona!

7:45am: Anyone else sleeping in a little later during quarantine life? :)

7:50am: For better or worse, the first thing that Barclay and I both do each morning now is check the latest statistics here in Spain.  The news yesterday morning was sobering.

8:30am: Like so many of you, I feel like the last few weeks have been a crash course into how to live every part of our social life now on Zoom.  But I have to say…online workouts with my Barcelona girlfriends have been one of my favorite discoveries!  Lol, one of my friends picked this “Island Vibes Cardio Dance and Booty Toning Workout” yesterday and it was so fun.  (I’m sure that my neighbors who live just a stone’s throw across the street were fully entertained.)

9:15am: Shower time!  I had an actual appointment out in the city today, so did my hair for the first time in days.  Small win!

9:50am: Fresh bluebs were restocked at the store this week, so we’ve been making our favorite granola breakfast parfaits the last few days and have been loving them.

10:00am: Barcelona residents are now required to carry proof of medical appointments, etc, if you have to be out and about in the city.  (We regularly hear the cops stopping people on the street below us to ask for proof of their destination.)  I had one of those waves of disbelief wash over me as I was printing this letter out.  It’s just amazing how much has changed with our doctors’ appointments since we began IVF 3.5 weeks ago.

10:30am: Unfortunately, you can’t find masks to buy anywhere in Barcelona right now (nor online), so I’ve been having to reuse this one that only provides light coverage.  The government has advised that scarves can really help too, so everyone you see on the streets is either wearing a mask or a scarf or both.

I arrived at our fertility clinic to find the entire place dark, with only one receptionist working the front desk.  When I mentioned that I was there for my 10:30 appointment, she smiled and said, “I know.  You are our only appointment of the day.”  Turns out, I was their final IVF patient to have an in-person appointment before everything shut down.  I totally cried — we still can’t believe how lucky we were to be able to complete the first half of IVF (you can read more about our journey here) before everything shut down.

Thankfully, my doctor said that everything looked good in my post-op appointment.  But she did have to officially tell me that the clinic is putting all embryo transfers (the IVF procedure when they actually implant an embryo) on hold until Spain is in a safer place.  It was news that we have been expecting to hear — and 100% support — but still, hard to hear that things are indefinitely on hold again.

More than anything though, we are just so, so, so deeply thankful that our 13 little embryos were able to be saved and frozen before our clinic had to suspend treatments.  Thinking about them often and excited for the day to come when we can hopefully transfer one of the little guys and see how things go.

11:25: Soaking up a rare dose of sunshine on the walk home from the clinic.  Man, how I miss being out and about in the city.

11:50: And….a late start to the workday today.  This is the not-so-glamorous behind the scenes of a very delicious sweet potato enchilada soup recipe that will be comin’ your way soon!

12:10pm: Photo time.

12:30pm: And…lunchtime, with Jimmy and Trevor. ♡  Anyone else watching the nightly shows now on YouTube?  It definitely took us a few days to get used to their monologues without the laugh tracks.  But now we’re totally hooked.  Something about seeing those guys continue to do what they do every day has been so comforting.

1:15pm: Settling in for an afternoon of photo editing and computer work.  But I also randomly decided to do an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A on Instagram, in between editing photos.  Henry and I answered a handful of questions all about IVF and infertility, quarantine, the dogs, our lemon tree, learning Spanish, cooking, singleness and more on Insta stories.  For anyone interested, the Q&A is saved in my highlights here.

3:45pm: Still editing photos, answering emails, responding to comments on Insta.  Feeling very grateful for a job that I can do from home with this fuzzy blanket and this (snoring) fuzzy pup.

4:30pm: Found Fiona by the door waiting for her daily visit to our neighbors’ place across the hall.

You guys, this has been the sweetest thing.  Our 10-yr-old neighbor absolutely adores Fiona and has been begging his mom for a dog for years.  So for the past few weeks, we’ve been sending Fiona over for a long visit (or two) each day.  And it is the cutest win-win!  Our neighbors love having her around the house for a few hours, and Fiona wags her tail like crazy when she sees them and has the best time.  We both leave our doors cracked open a bit, and whenever Fiona is ready, she heads back home to our place.  She’s loving it.

6:30pm: Done with work for the day!  Barclay and I have both been working overtime this week and had been looking forward to having a dinner date together on Friday night.  So I whipped up a batch of my homemade pasta to make cacio e pepe (still our fave)…

7:30: …and Barclay whipped up one of his famous salads and we opened our favorite Spanish red, and set the table for dinner with friends via Zoom.

8:00pm: Dinner was supposed to start at 8, but we all bumped things back a few minutes so that everyone could go outside for “aplauso” — Barcelona’s new tradition where everyone goes outside each night at 20h to clap and cheer for all of our health care workers.  (Here’s a better video that I posted to give you a sense of the vibe.)  It’s always one of my favorite moments of the day and I’m so happy it has continued.

8:05pm: Finally…dinnertime.  Omg, this pasta hit the spot.

10:30pm: Also had the best time with this crew. ♡♡♡  Loving our Zoom hangs so much lately.

11:00pm: This one was curled up in a ball on my lap the entire time, btw.  Fiona’s our independent girl who likes to be on her own, but if Henry had his way, life would be 100% snuggles.  (Well, with a bit of mischief mixed in.)

11:05pm: Time to get ready for bed.  Random recommendation — I’ve been adding 2-3 drops of this stuff to my moisturizer once or twice a week lately and have been loving it.  I’m feeling so pale and blah lately without time in the sun, so the extra color has been a really nice pick-me-up.  Highly recommend.

11:15pm: This book just came through at the library for me, so I was excited to dig in.  Are you all reading anything good lately?  Do tell.

11:45pm: And that’s a wrap for the day. ♡  Abrazos and besitos to all of you from Barcelona!

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37 comments on “Day In The Life”

  1. Hey just wanted to say hello; I’ve been enjoying your recipes and then just discovered you live in spain, which is quite exciting because I’m an American living in spain, too! I’m married with 3 boys. We live in Northern Spain, in a city called León. We’ve been here for almost 9 years. My two oldest boys go to public school here and my husband works at the evangelical church in our city. We live in an apartment in the center of the city and really love it here. We visited Barcelona once quite a few years ago and really loved it-but on my list of cities to visit again! Anyways, just wanted to pop in and say hi.

  2. It may be time for me to make fresh pasta for the first time ever….I’m being increasingly convinced by your posts.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your recipes and personal recommendations. I just wanted to quickly mention how much I LOVE the Blondo booties! I bought one pair and walked miles and miles in them. Decided I needed more and noticed some of the colors are already OOS so I quickly ordered 3 more pairs. When I cook for my family I have a “perfect 10” rule. If no one would give the recipe a 10 I trash it. So far the dozens of your recipes I have tried have made it through to the “keeper” file. Keep them coming! Stay well.
    Beth

  4. Hi from Newfoundland, Canada
    I’ve been enjoying your recipes for a long time now; thank you!
    Thank you for sharing your day.
    Stay well.
    Jennifer

  5. What a great story. There video made me tear up. My daughter had acupunctor and is now expecting for October. I wish you and Barclay all the best and hope you become parents soon.

  6. Hello from South Carolina, sweet Ali! Your smile and thankful attitude is apparent from this post. I am thankful for the technology that allows us to all stay connected. I prefer to use to the term, ‘physical distance’ rather than, ‘social distance’. We need each other to get through this challenging time SO let’s be SOCIAL from a distance. Since I can’t be with my students, I am cooking yummy things for my hubby. Exercise consist of taking our English Mastiff, Aubie, for long walks on an empty college campus.
    Keep on cooking Ali. I am praying for you as you and Barclay continue in your journey to expand your family.
    Much love!

  7. I always love your posts. They always make my quiet day and give me ideas, not just for recipes, which are the best. Definitely 10’s!
    Keep safe. Best wishes with your IVF journey and God bless both of you!!

  8. Hi from Minneapolis
    This was a terrific post. We’re all in this together and your post, from Barcelona, confirms that. Thank you for sharing your day.
    Stay well!

  9. Very much enjoyed reading your post. I had wondered how it was going for you in Barcelona. It’s a surreal time for sure. Take care and I am looking forward to the Sweet Potato Enchilada soup!! Your are one of my faves when it comes to soup recipes. All the best to you and many thanks.

  10. This USA Today article gives a pretty good glimpse of how it’s going in the US:
    https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2020/03/27/how-old-coronavirus-patients-us-we-looked-hospitalization-data-19-states/2922646001/?build=native-web_i_t

  11. I’m so happy to hear they kept the office open for your visit! Wishing you the best of luck, health, and happiness!

  12. Good day just wanted to leave my comment on where I am and the virus. I live in Washington state by the capital in Olympia. We just went into stay in stay healthy mode this week. My work has started working from home. It’s getting harder to order food and supplies. It can take over a week to get a scheduled appointment to pick them up. I appreciate you posts.

  13. Thank you for being honest and open about your ivf journey.

  14. “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” is EXCELLENT. I really enjoyed it!!

  15. Hello, Ali! I’ve been following your adventures for quite some time now. I love you recipes and enjoy living vicariously through you in Spain. Viewing your recent update I felt the need to comment. Why are you wearing a face mask? Are you sick? Face masks are to be worn if you are sick since they keep the germs inside the mask. That way people who are around you are safe. What you are wearing is a petri dish inside the mask. Bacteria love that warm and moist environment! I’m a surgical nurse and we wear our masks to protect our patients from us! I just feel the need to do a little education. You and your readers take it for what it’s worth! Be safe!

  16. I loved reading about your day. Thanks for sharing it. I’m a dog person too and have four but wish I could have (and handle) ten! It’s sort of surreal to imagine the entire world is having this experience in common. We are all connected, not just by the virus but also by humanity and a desire for thousands of strangers to survive and thrive. Please stay safe and well. I’m going to try your peppery pasta and salad dinner this week. It looks so comforting. All the best………
    Cherie

  17. I truly enjoy your recipes snd beautiful pictures!!! I just wanted to say, Stay healthy and safe!!!

  18. Finally have a little sunshine in KC. That seems to help.

  19. Thank you for letting me know how people are doing in Spain. I live in New Brunswick Canada. We live out in the country away from the city and feel safe here. We only go to town when we really need too. Very interesting blog. Love all of you clapping video. Stay as safe as you can. I know your mother is worried about you. I like your dog visiting the next door neighbor. I hope soon you can get back to your IVF treatments.
    Be safe and take care of yourselves. I am sending you love and hugs.

  20. Hi Ali, enjoyed ‘A day in the life’. We live in the north Georgia mountains in Blue Ridge, a small tourist destination. The county and city have been closed for any non fulltime residents. Even cabin owners that are not full time residents cannot stay. If you’re driving on the main highway (515) just keep on moving. I feel badly for all of the small shop owners but the county is trying to keep everyone safe. We’ve only had 1 reported case of CoVid-19 but our little hospital is a rural hospital with only 5 ICU beds. We’re retired so staying in isn’t a real problem for us. We live in the mountains with a beautiful view to enjoy and I love working in the yard so get plenty of sunshine – when it isn’t raining! Many of the areas of the country, including Atlanta have a lot of virus cases and deaths. You’re right it is all very sobering. We watch the news at night and 1st thing in the morning I’m checking the email and internet. ;~{ Y’all stay safe. Have enjoyed your food blog for several years.

  21. Hello! Thought I’d drop you a line and let you know how grateful I am for you posting this. It really puts things into perspective for me here in Texas. I do wish you all the best health and blessing – especially with your IVF. I did have a question, though. Regarding your photo with the Kavita, Master Brew… Pineapple & Peach drink, I wanted to know how does that taste? It seems like it would be a great combination for a flavored beverage. I may have to try and make something similar here at the house, while we’re on lock-down. Lol!

    Well, please stay safe, and keep us posted. Thanks, again!

  22. I love your recipes, almost every recipe post I try to duplicate. Thank you for helping give great and yummy ideas! I greatly enjoy reading your Day In The Life, and catching us up on your adventures, and the pups while living in Barcelona. We were hoping to visit Spain this year, hopefully towards the end, or next year. You give great tips I’ve been bookmarking ☺️

  23. Hello from Carlsbad, California! I love your recipes and Pinterest! I’ve never read an entire post until now. Your “buenos dias from Barcelona” from a few days ago caught my eye and I started reading; the timing is ironic. My daughter and I were in Barcelona exactly one year ago this week and it was wonderful! I lived in Madrid years ago and we went there and then lovely Barcelona – and the food there is so much better! I went on to Italy for three weeks after that. My heart goes out to Italy and Spain and the rest of us! Strange times… Stay safe and good luck on your future mission! I’ll check back for updates…

  24. Thank you for the wonderful update. I love your recipes and I am glad you are staying safe and have a full day! I loved the coordinated clapping for health workers – Kudos! I love my zoom meetings with friends, family and co-workers!

  25. Hi Ali,
    Your site has been my go-to for quite some time now and I am incredibly thankful for all of your tasty recipes and thoughtful insights! I too am from Kansas City, but now live in Oakland CA and reading your posts helps me feel connected in so many ways. My husband and I have also been grappling with fertility issues and were saddened that we weren’t able to start our initial processes for IVF last week as scheduled. Sigh…we fully acknowledge how fortunate we are however and are trying to remain optimistic as we know that there are people grappling with so much hurt right now. I wanted to thank you for opening yourself up about this, as I know that it isn’t easy. While it has been difficult for me to talk about, it has also been incredibly cathartic when I do, and it is always helps to feel as though you are not the only one experiencing something like this. So again, thank you for your amazing culinary expertise and your candor. Best of luck to you and please keep cooking!

  26. Glad you and Barclay are managing well with these surreal circumstances. I found your blog last summer when I was headed to Barcelona. I loved your writing style! It felt like I had a friend guiding me. Wishing you continued health and strength. Phyllis from California

  27. Hello. Thank you for all the great recipes. I am staying home and using your blog to cook. Everyone in my family loves your recipes. I hope Spain will recover soon. Stay safe.
    With love,
    From Seattle, WA.

  28. Hello and thank you for the update ! We were concerned for you both and so glad that things are going as well as they can be. What a blessing you are to so many of us, dear Ali. As always, your blog and your recipes are delightful and encouraging. Especially now. God bless !

    Lestie Ann
    California

  29. No one in our family is sick, so we are enjoying the time together. Our three girls said today was the best Easter ever. Which was really funny — we caught a kids’ online Easter service from some tiny church in Florida while in our pajamas, ate canned cinnamon rolls, cleaned up the yard a bit, and welcomed the Easter Bunny’s baskets. We chowed on lots of chocolate. Nobody dressed up. No parent screamed for kids to hurry up and get dressed. Now we are anticipating a crazy late ham dinner.
    The days are fairly unstructured here, but we get in what we need to do and can. Things are scary outside our little house. We don’t know what’s next or what’s on the back of this, including our already precarious economic survival. But there’s a freedom in knowing you have zero control over any of it (aside from impeccable hygiene), and living in the moment wasn’t really a thing here until now.

  30. Love all your pictures and recipes, my name is Martha, my husband of 61 Years and I live in No California. We are still housebound here also. They say the curve is getting better. Stay safe where you are. Good luck with your future babies.

  31. Where are those sunglasses from in the first pic? So cute!!!

  32. Thank you for this update, and glad to hear you’re both safe and well. The numbers in Spain, and so many places around the world, are very distressing. Hopefully the worst is starting to pass.
    Your apartment looks amazing and light- not too bad a place to be locked down in to wait this thing out.
    And 13 is an amazing number to have in the freezer. Best of luck when the lockdown eases and you can put one back (3 iuis and 9 rounds of IVF over here)

  33. I baked chicken breast using your recipe for the fifth time this evening and I’m starting to like it even more. Mashed potatoes and chardonnay with that. Wow, and I returned to your website when I was doing my nightly diary entry and became engrossed in your Spain blog. What an interesting life you live. And then at the end there were Hershey’s Kisses, and that’s where I live is Hershey, PA! The Sweetest Town on Earth, right? Spain is a wonderful place to live. I visited Córdoba in 2001 with my high school class and still remember it to this day. que te vaya bien.

  34. LOVED TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR LIFE IN SPAIN, SOUNDS GREAT. I LIVE IN PALM DESERT, CALIFORNIA. IT IS 112 TODAY. A COOL ONE. DOING GREAT OUR LOCK DOWN IS A LITTLE
    LIKE YOURS . ONLY NOT SO RIGID. I & MY FAMILY & FRIENDS ARE ALL DOING GREAT.
    LOVE YOUR RECIPES. STAY SAFE. LOVE, WANDA LE BEAU

  35. Hoping your IVF experience is successful. Will keep you and your baby in my prayers.

  36. Hi Ali (or should I say “Hola!”?) ;0)
    I was searching for granola recipes since it’s fall and those little bags have gotten so expensive! Found your PB Granola… and started copying down many of your delicious recipes for my stash. Always dreamt of visiting Barcelona/Spain–particularly for the architectural designs I studied in history of architecture, so imagine my delight to read your blog and discover that’s where you are living!! How delightful.

    Love that book “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” both for its humor and authenticity. Hope you enjoyed it too. I’ll admit I bought it for an ex-boyfriend… LoL. But ended up loving it myself! ;0P

    Best wishes for your pregnancy and life as new parents. Keep posting… and creating delicious healthy recipes. (((Hugs))) from Colorado