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Monday, December 2, 2013

Too Buti-licious for You?

I am in butifarra heaven.

It's almost time for me to leave Barcelona, at least for a little while. Except...I just tried a really amazing new restaurant.... So, maybe I'll stay a bit longer. ;)

I figure since I really do have to leave, I might as well share this gem with everyone else. Now you have one more reason to visit Barcelona (or one more reason to never leave!).

Butifarra is a really great Catalan dish, based off of sausage. But not your run-of-the-mill, boring sausage. No. The sausage I have had in Catalunya has been some of the best sausage I have ever devoured.

However, it's actually quite hard to find great butifarra-type dishes at restaurants, especially in the city center. The best butifarra is made by family, for family. Luckily, that's exactly how the "Classic" butifarra tasted at Butifarring!

It's buti-licious! Sorry, Beyoncé. I stole your word. And improved it. :P

Anyway, now that the cat's out of the bag, I'll sweeten the deal. 

These are gourmet-type dishes at affordable prices. I had that huge sausage in the picture (really, a sausage and a half) with cheese, potatoes with ailloli, and a Coke (it wouldn't be Lemon in My Coke, Si Us Plau without that!) for....drum roll.....6.90 euros!

So, next time you are near Pl. Sant Jaume or Liceu, stop by for some amazing food or even some Montseny beer.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Guten Morgen, München

I'm terribly behind on my postings. I'll get caught up...eventually.

In the meantime,  Munich has been amazing. We (my parents and I, as they've come to visit me and travel) are all sad to leave. Everyone has been extremely nice, and the countryside is gorgeous. We have enjoyed crisp autumn weather and colorful fall foliage.

We had a hard time deciding where to stay, but we ended up choosing Hotel Monaco ( It's only a few minutes by foot from the Central Station and where our castle tour left. The staff are quite friendly,  the room is cozy and nicely decorated as well.

Tomorrow we fly to Dublin,  and my parents are already mourning their departure from Bavaria. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Taiwan, Typhoon, Tired

Well,  we are leaving Taiwan.

We were supposed to fly back to Hong Kong on Wednesday, but that didn't work out. A typhoon was coming through, and half the flights back were cancelled. Of course, ours was one of those. After quite a debacle, which I will not explain in detail here, we were finally able get our flight exchanged for one today.

So, we stayed at the airport hotel and chilled.

Of course we had tons of fun visiting friends in Taiwan,  and I will post about our adventures soon! For now, it's time to try again to return to Hong Kong, but here's a sneak peek.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hong Kong: First Impressions

My first impression?

"..." - At first, I was speechless!

I'm a bit behind with my writing due to adventures and slow internet. After we left Tolentino, we went to Noci to spend some time with a good friend while exploring the area. We then traveled to Rome for a short time while preparing for our flight to Hong Kong. We had to lighten up our luggage quite a bit due to our flight carrier's regulations, but it was worth it.

Photo by Will
The view from the taxi on the journey to HK Island from the airport

We took a taxi from the airport to our temporary flat. As you can see from the photo above, HK has a ton of natural beauty. We were so excited to arrive! 

We have spent our entire first week here hunting for a longer term flat for Will's MBA exchange. Our home base, a flat near Sheung Wan, was located in the dried seafood area. We saw many interesting varieties of dried seafood. I'd tell you what they were, but the only ones I recognized were seahorses, octopus/squid, abalone, fins, and fish. There were many more than just those.

Photo Credit: Will
HK Skyline from IFC Mall - Gorgeous!
It has been hot day and night, around 90 Fahrenheit/32 Celsius for the most part. We explored Sai Ying Pun, Sheung Wan, Central/Soho, and Causeway Bay while looking for flats. We also went to Kennedy Town with a friend from ESADE. 

One night we took a walk along the bridges near Central that allow pedestrians to walk to various destinations without dealing with traffic or crosswalks. We were able to see all around HK from the IFC Mall's roof, and Will snagged the above picture there to show off the building where his classes will be held.

On Monday we decided on a flat, and on Tuesday we signed the contract, moved in, and made the customary journey to Ikea. However, by that time, the weather had changed dramatically due to the presence of a nearby typhoon. The wind was so strong that our umbrellas turned inside out, and the rain came down in full force. This was only a level three warning, and life and business seemed to go on as usual as we dragged our belongings to our new home.

Pictures of our new place and backlogged reports from our travels in Italy are coming soon!

Friday, July 12, 2013

How Not To: Speak Italian

Only having studied Italian for a short time in 2012 and again now that I am in Tolentino, I should have known better.

Perhaps I did, but from all of my linguistics studies and personal experience, I have found that one of the best ways to really become proficient in a new language is to speak it.

I have been here less than two weeks, and I have already made at least three grave errors (that I am aware of). I suppose the fact that I have realized I made these errors without anybody pointing them out to me shows just how quickly I am learning, but it doesn't make me feel any less shame for my accidental but controversial comments.

How I feel right now.
Photo credit:

Let the countdown commence!

My 3 Mortal Mistakes

3. You put fish in what????

Bottled tea is really quite popular here. I kept seeing tè alla pesca. I decided that pesca must mean "fish", but I was quite confounded by this and assumed  I had to be wrong. However, lack of internet and forgetfulness when I had it kept me from double checking this matter. Lack of pictures of peaches or fish on the bottles made it impossible to verify by sight alone.

One night we went go-karting with some of Will's colleagues. We sat across from two siblings who we tried to talk with in Italian as best we could. One said the word pesce, and I noted that it sounded different than what I thought pesca would. I found out from her that pesce meant "fish" and pesca meant "peach", much to my relief and chagrin, as she wanted me to explain why I was laughing so hard when she explained the two words to me.

2. Waiting for the call that never came...

I was talking to one of the many, very nice hotel workers here at Hotel 77. I was trying to tell her that I was waiting on a call from my father and imagined papa would be an okay way of saying it. I'm pretty sure that's exactly how I said it too, stressing the first "a". Another guest arrived for her to assist, so she never got to tell me just how interesting that was, since papa is the word for "Pope" and papà is apparently how "dad" is pronounced. 

My apologies to the Pope for inadvertently suggesting I was expecting a call from him which I never received.

1. Would you care for what Theon just lost on GoT?

I humbly come before you all to admit this last error. May my embarrassment bring you both laughter and knowledge, and may you never ask the same atrocious question I asked a colleague of Will's.

Everyone was signing their lives away consent forms at the go-kart track (they went 70 mph), and I had a pen. Another person needed to fill his form out, so I offered him my pen, only I said pene when I looked to him and offered it. Awesome. 

I was so confident I knew the right word because I had read it just the night before in my Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary

However, I was dead wrong. I had just offered one of Will's colleagues a penis. I am mortified. The man said nothing and kept a poker face. Penna is pen. 

That's one word I will never forget!

Have you had a similar experience with a language you are learning? Please share it below (you can even do so anonymously if it's terribly embarrassing!).

I miss this book, which I had to leave in the States because it was SO BIG and I *never dreamed* that I would get to stay in Italy for so long. Maybe if I had it with me, I would have actually offered that poor man a pen!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ciao Tolentino

We arrived in Tolentino last night by train after quite a hectic day.

We didn't sleep Saturday night as we were finishing up packing and storing things as well as cleaning our flat (we will miss that flat!)

Running late Sunday am, naturally, we had to take the taxi to the airport. I have never seen such craziness at an airport as I saw there at Vueling's desks. People were everywhere, weaving in and out, cutting, whatever.

We read that a passenger with the Optimal fare we bought was allowed to have more than one bag, so long as those bags together did not exceed 23 Kgs. We distributed the weight of six months worth of packed items in two carry on bags, one huge rolling luggage, one ESADE laptop bag, and one over-the-shoulder suit bag, in order to not have any one bag weighing more than 23 KGS. Will's rolling luggage was right under the limit. My two bags were 0.1 kg over, but that's not what caused the problem.

Apparently, you can have more than one over person, but you have to pay 35 euros for the second bag. Thus, a tiny checked laptop bag with less than 10kgs cost me 35 euros. That's fine. We chugged the last Mountain Dew left from my friend Danielle's voyage to Barcelona (thanks, girl!!!) before entering security, and I enjoyed my last Spanish pastries after collecting our luggage.

Then, my poor, sick and tired Will braved the Italian frontier with his caravan of luggage to the Malpensa Express train to Milano Centrale (central with a "CH", 10 euros each). After, while fighting off nausea and bad coughs with some mystery Italian lozenges, he single-handedly carried all the luggage (bahahahaha, wink, wink!) From line 1 to line 19, and we were off in first class style to Ancona (75 euros each). Otherwise, it was standing room only for 4 hours.

We met a nice mother and son who sat next to us and braved my bare bones Italian for the sake of conversation. I also met an Italian granny who fought several cars of standing people to get to the food car and wait for what seemed like 10-15 minutes...for a Birra Moretti. (Note to self: must try this beer).

After, we traversed the tracks to Civitanova M. in a smaller train and again to Tolentino from an even smaller one (10 each total for both). This last one had no A/C, and we had to stand in the in-between area as our luggage was too big to fit easily into the cars with seats. After a few hours, we exited at Tolentino and pondered how to get to the hotel with no 3G or WiFi to guide us.

We had a screen shot of the hotel address and guessed the partially missing hotel phone number from the fax number (front numbers were missing). The receptionist was nice, but she did not speak English. My Italian is "in process", but she understood Spanish, and said she would send a taxi to the station.

A few minutes later, a very nice man who worked for the hotel drove up in a VW Beetle. He saw our luggage (in the last post, I mentioned how important it is to pack light) and nearly fainted. We got all the luggage (and us!) in one trip. He was on his way in to work and didn't want us to have to pay a taxi, so he picked us up himself. We were very thankful, and we showed our gratitude with lots of "grazie"ing and promptly went to bed.

We woke up after about 14 hours and went to breakfast at nine. The pastries here are just as good if not better than the ones from Barcelona.

Life is good. :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Top 10 Secrets to Happiness in Barcelona

Perhaps  you are looking for some philosophically sound advice?

Life is like a box of chocolates...
(Or these super yummy Choco-Loco Brownie Batter Truffles

You won't find that here. :P

However, you will find some recommendations based on my own personal experiences and those of others. 

Top 10 Secrets to Happiness in Barcelona

10. Don't expect anyone to be on time (ever), but always be on time yourself.

9. I hope you like ham...but probably not ham like what you are used to...jamón. If you don't have any issues with eating pork, splurge at least once and try the jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn-fed) at least once. Beicon does not equal "bacon". Sorry. Try the pop. Don't ask what it is, just try it, especially if you are at a Galician restaurant. (I think that was 3-in-1, what a great value!)

8. Get to know Catalunya, not just Barcelona. Visit Montserrat and don't be afraid to visit other great places like Sitges and Vilafranca del Penedès and Girona.

7. Bring something to read while you are waiting in line when you have to go to the bank. I suggest the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, or make your own house sigil while you wait. ;)

6. After trip to said bank, indulge. I suggest the awesome dessert listed above. No oven necessary and only requires 3 ingredients. En serio. 

5. Maybe you'd rather eat some dog food though....

4.  Make sure you prepare everything you will need for your immigration paperwork and renewal and have extra copies of everything. I have documented some personal experiences here.

3. Always be on the lookout for robbers (or as my English students used to say, "stolers") on the metro and everywhere else. Guard your things well, especially in touristic places. Put the strap of your bag between your legs whenever you sit inside (except your house, maybe...). If somebody buzzes your apartment to be let in, do not let them in unless you know who they are. It is common here for people to ring buzzers and expect to be let in to distribute pamphlets or say they are the electric company, just to get entrance to buildings. Do not let anyone in that you do not know. Please!

2. Learn a little Catalan, it will come in handy and may just make someone's day (perhaps yours!). Get to know the culture of where you are living to maximize your experience.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand..... (drum roll please!)

This brief interlude also encourages you to visit Carcassonne.
It's pretty awesome.

1. Pack light. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SACRED AND GOOD. Now that I am preparing to leave for the summer, I am miserably deciding what I will try to store here, and what I must throw away. Resist the urge. Pack light! You can get almost anything you want here if you know where to look. You will thank me at some point.

Any other tips? Please post comments below to share with others. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Translation Woes and Saving Dough

You need something translated into Spanish for your paperwork for school and just found out it will cost almost 100 euros.

This has been happening to many of my friends. They don't have many options, so they cough up the cash. 

Awe, don't be stressed. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Those days are gone. It's like Christmas in June...

Gus and Dash are ready for the holidays...

Only...a more Catalan one, since that's where I am right now! :)

Tió de Nadal. He's got his own song. He's kind of a big deal.

I saw what a pain in the nalgas it was for my friends to get these translations, and I said, "There has to be somebody in my department at the university who is a certified translator". You know...the kind with the stamp and all that jazz.

And there is!

Boris is a doctoral candidate from my department, and he is qualified to translate your English documents into Spanish. He knows what it's like to be a poor college student, and he is dedicated to charging fair rates to those who need his help.

You can contact him here for more information. 

Autorización de Verano

Summer is here!

This means sun, fun, and traveling. For some of us, it means traveling to other countries for internships. 

If you've been following along, you know that I submitted everything I needed to renew my TIE (the card with my personal ID number that shows I am here legally). After turning everything in, I waited for about two weeks, checking the status of my application religiously, and finally saw that it was approved. The catch, however, is that I can't continue with the application process until the card actually expires, and I have to travel before that date. Other students are from countries that require them to have a visa in order to enter the country and are also waiting for their cards to expire before they can finish renewing them.

This guy got his A2R, and you can too!

So...the Autorización de Regreso (Authorization to Return) might be something you will have to get if you are in a similar situation. One thing you will need is the Ex-13. A form that my friends and myself have had trouble getting from any source. When clicking the link from the police station and from university sources, they only get a "Please wait..." message and a prompt to download the newest Adobe Reader. 

Well, I have that, and despite trying multiple sources, I still couldn't access the file. So, when I finally found it, I thought I would share it. Note that I cannot guarantee that it is the most up to date one! This one is from my university, but you should be able to access it. As of this writing, it was accepted and allowed me to get my Authorization to Return.

*One tricky note*: There is a La Caixa across from the office you must go to (as of this writing). They will not let you pay your tasa (fee) unless you are a member of their bank. The BBVA next door on Selva del Mar will only let you pay on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Catalunya Caixa will let you pay whenever you please.

** Additional note: It doesn't seem to matter what time your appointment is. You must have an appointment....but I arrived an hour before mine and still had to wait two hours. Yayyyyyyyyy! (not!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

You Just Don't Stop

This is what I have been hearing non-stop for the last several days.

After the third or fourth time, I finally stopped to reflect. Friends and neighbors have been asking about our summer plans. After taking nearly a full time schedule for my master's degree, teaching multiple private classes this year, interning as a language teaching assistant and managing the intern blog, interning elsewhere to manage a linguistics study and doing some interpretations and transcriptions, I am ready to relax.

Bubbles in the air @ Parc de la Maternitat
Last day of class with the 4-6 year-olds
However, when I tell people that Will and I are traveling to Italy and then Hong Kong this summer, they don't look surprised at all when they respond, "You just don't stop." When they say, "So, are you learning Italian now too?" I respond, "I actually started my Italian lessons before we moved to Barcelona". I only stopped because I wanted to get a head start on Catalan before we arrived.

City Wall of Girona
from Recent Travels...We're Always Traveling!
And what about Mandarin? Yes, Mandarin too. We want to travel in mainland China, and I am excited to practice. Cantonese? Well, I haven't found many resources for that yet, but maybe once we arrive. :)

Maybe I "just don't stop," but I am ready to relax a little. I already started by fixing some holes in my jeans. I'd like to thank my good friend Selena of Saving with Selena for being my personal consultant on the matter! I'll get back into some classes that I have been meaning to play around with, maybe some Code Academy tutorials like Selena and Will suggested. I'll start thinking a little more about my final project for my degree. I have some great books to read, and this wonderful blog to update! 

Let the summer begin! And, yeah...everyone is right. I just don't stop.

Awww, I remember Muzzy from first grade! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

TIE Renewal DONE!

Yay! I did it!!!!!!

It makes me feel like celebrating....I feel like dancing!

"Jump on It" dance from "Apache" song (The Sugar Hill Gang),  from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (posted  here originally)
I was an avid Fresh Prince fan, but I forgot ever seeing this dance. One night, they played the music at a Pacer's game. While the lyrics are...questionable, the dance is hilarious. It's even more hilarious to see lots of Indy bball fans imitating it, as I am right now! Celebrate with me, I finished applying for the renewal of my TIE!!!!! Yes!!!

Kip Dynamite understands (posted here originally)

Here's to waiting one week from Thursday to see if I was approved (fingers crossed!).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Want You...In My Language Lair!

You have just entered The Language Lair! (you know, like a Batcave...only for this dorky linguist)

Right now, the song on endless loop in my head is "Help" by The Beatles. Of course, Silverstein did a cover, which you can check out on my Guilty Pleasures blog entry about cover songs.

Anyway, you can listen to The Beatles version to get you in the mood to read the rest of this entry if you'd like below!

You have not entered The Language Lair (a.k.a. El Laberinto de la Lingüista Loca) by accident.  'Twas fate that brought you here...or curiosity, or perhaps you thought this was a site to look at funny animal pictures or a hateful cat.

Happy now?

Okay, now that the formalities are out of the way...I need your help! You can help if you speak English, Catalan, Spanish, or any mix of these. (Easy, huh?)


Simple. Think of words with suffixes that you know in any of these languages. 
  • Example: "Nation" becomes "Nación" in Spanish and "Nació" in Catalan

I'm working on a paper about learners using their knowledge of word derivations and suffixes to guess what a word they need to use might be in the language they are trying to speak. 
  • Example: I need to say "priority" in Spanish. I know that many words in English that end in "-ity" and in "-idad" in Spanish, so I would hypothesize that "prioridad" is the word that I need. (Correct)

Now...what I am looking for are words that don't fit these general patterns.
  • Example: "rarity" in English --> "rareza" (Spanish) --> "raresa" (Catalan)
  • Example: "scarcity" in English --> "escasez" (Spanish) --> "escassetat" (Catalan)

Can you think of more words that don't fit the patterns (any suffix)? More words that are like those right above? Let me know in the comments below!

Running a Praat Script
If you like linguistics type things like this, check out What Should We Call Linguistics?

Okay, one more for good measure!

When I Figure Out the Difference Between Presupposition and Entailment
What Should We Call Linguistics?
Don't forget! Leave your comments about your own linguistic observations below. :)

To clarify:
There seem to be a lot of cases where people can generalize endings/suffixes in English to Spanish or nacionalidad/nacionalitat/nationality, same with words that end in -ogy/-ology, -gist, -omy, -ity, -ence, ent.....(or many of them). I want to see if people end up coming up with many instances where these patterns of the endings being the same across languages do not exist (happiness..the -ness ending here correlates with -idad(Sp) and -itat (Cat), but for sadness, the -ness ending correlates with -eza/-esa endings. I'm suggesting a strategy for students of these languages to make educated guesses on what words they don't know might be, based on the ending of the word in their L1....however, I want to find the exceptions in order to see if those follow a pattern too (like word origins maybe). I did lot of Google searches but apparently didn't use the right keywords to find many results.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Proof of Entitlement to Graduate Studies

I'm entitled, and you probably are too!

Entitled: Gus thinks he is entitled to steal the blanket and the recliner. Jerk!

In order to apply to grad school in Spain, it was necessary for me to show some kind of letter to "certify" my degree and show that I was "entitled" to pursue graduate studies. 

It sounds simple enough, but it was difficult to explain to my alma mater. 

Apparently, I am not alone in this! Some incoming students have voiced questions about what this letter needs to contain, so I am posting mine here (with personal information blurred out). This way, you may be able to show your university an example for them to work from. 

Note: My letter was for Universitat Pompeu Fabra, so I can't guarantee this letter would work for every university that requests one of this nature.

Student Residence Card Renewal 1: Proof of Financial Means

AKA, the NIE/TIE (a misnomer of sorts)

The NIE is the "Número de Identificación de Extranjeros". It's a number you get for tax and legal purposes.

The TIE is the "Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjeros". This card card has your pic, personal information, fingerprint, and NIE number. It will expire. 

People often refer to the card as the NIE or TIE, or student residence card, but whatever you call it, you will have to renew it if you plan to stay more than a year. As a non-EU citizen studying in Spain, I will have to renew mine in order to continue finish my degree.

Yay!d....I can't wait to deal with all this paperwork and jump through these hoops like a circus animal (not!). If you are reading this, I bet you will have to do the same too. So, as I did with the post about getting your empadronamiento and making your appointment for the empadronamiento, I would like to tell you how this process goes for me as I do it. 

Maybe I can even save you some headaches...maybe.

I made Oreo Puppy Chow to prepare myself for what I assumed would be a terrible experience...

So, the Proof of Financial Means... 

Because it is possible for this information to change, and because some requirements are different depending on how long your program is or if you have family with you, I won't state exactly how much money you need to show proof of. However, I will tell you that a cute letter signed by your parents stating they will help you and give you money each month (like what I needed for my visa) will not cut it!  A single person could have to show a current statement of more than 6k euros, students applying with a family member (or members) more. You also have other options, like showing a certain amount of money deposited monthly (around 500 euros) for the last six months with a balance maintained above a certain number.

Let's just say, many of us were shocked and immediately began thinking about how we were studying and didn't have jobs to help keep that much in the bank, let alone some fairy godmother who graciously sends us 500 euros of allowance per month.

What to do:
  1. After you find some way to meet the requirements (and way before the card expires, please. UPC just posted a notice that you can be fined 500 euros for turning in documents late! See this link.), go to your bank with your current TIE and your passport. A copy of the passport worked for me, but I wouldn't push it.
  2. If you go to Sabadell Bank in Pedralbes (ESADE students...) you can walk up to the guy who sits next to the caixa workers (you know...the guy who doesn't bother to look busy) and tell him you need to renew your student card. He will contact the appropriate person to help you.
  3. A nice lady (who spoke English) brought us to her office, and we explained to her what we needed. She was very nice and said there is a charge of 6 euros to make the stamped certificates. She took down information from our documents and told me to return to her office on Monday (it was a Thursday I think, not bad! Maybe I got extra points for speaking Catalan).
  4. I returned the following Tuesday directly to her office (I'm sure the not-busy guy was happy I didn't bother him). She knew exactly who I was and had everything ready except for printing my bank statement. I received the certificate which states when I started my account with them and that it's still active (stamped and signed) and then my statement for three months with current balance (stamped). Note that if you want to show your fairy godmother deposits instead of your current balance, you need 6 months for your statement. I am hoping that it won't be a problem to have these two documents versus just a letter that states my balance. We'll see.
  5. I was ready to pay her, but she took the payment directly out of the account. Easy enough, but I'd come ready with cash just in case your bank isn't so lenient.

That's it! I'll continue to update with each hoop I jump through. ;)

PS, check out this adorable IU piggy bank. Too bad I can't get him to make my certificates. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do You Eat Dog Food?

Not anymore, but I love Puppy Chow!

Chocolatey, peanut buttery delectable Oreo Puppy Chow
Wait! Hold up....not anymore? Well, for any of you that have older siblings like me, maybe you experienced the same thing. Maybe you big sisters big brothers out there know too...shame on you!

I remember it like yesterday, unfortunately.

It all started in a Wal-mart parking lot, which could be said about a lot of scary and just-not-right things, I'm sure. I don't remember how old I was, but I was definitely in elementary school or lower. My family, including my two older sisters, had just finished our shopping trip. We were pulling out in our purple Astro van (ah, those were the days...) and my sisters had bought a tin cookies. They offered to share some with me. 

Never mind the cookie was shaped like a dog bone. Shaggy ate Scooby Snacks, right? Never mind that siblings sharing cookies should always be suspicious! I ate one. Much to my dismay, its barbecue flavor was not strong enough to overpower its...umm...uniqueness. It was a dog treat. Yuck! (Note: Looking back, it was actually really funny and should have been on America's Funniest Home Videos. Thanks Kylee and Amber for the silly memory).

So, I don't condone tricking your siblings into eating dog food; however, I was reminded of this story when I got a weird reaction from Will upon asking him if he wanted Puppy Chow. 

Maybe I should have just told him it was dog food so he wouldn't eat it all!

My dog, Gus!
No matter how much your dog begs, don't give him or her the Puppy Chow from this recipe!

The Recipe 
Peanut butter and chocolate...It's a match made in heaven, and now its even more divine!

  • milk chocolate bar (I used 16 squares, and the squares here are a bit bigger than those on a Hershey's bar)
  • white chocolate bar (I used 10 squares)
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter, plus a little more for good measure. ;)
  • 4 cups of Cereales Rellenos de Cacao from Consum (this is kind of like Chex cereal that is filled with creamy chocolate in the middle). I used this since I couldn't find Chex here.
  • Two 17x22 cm ziplock bags (or a thick Tupperware with lid). I had to use two of these bags because they were the biggest I had. 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Oreos!!!

1. Melt chocolates and peanut butter over low heat (3 on my stove top) and stir them fairly frequently to avoid burning. 

NOTE: I don't recommend to use the microwave as some recipes suggest. Although it usually works well when the chocolate is in contact with peanut butter, once the chocolate kind of...exploded.

2. While stirring, measure out 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into each of your two bags (or a whole cup into a bigger bag if you are lucky.

3. Crunch up some Oreos (I smashed 4 inside of their package, but next time I will try 8) and place them in the bag(s) with the powdered sugar.

NOTE: If you want a more Cookies and Cream idea like the link above, you could try the Cereales Rellenos con Leche. It's the same cereal I used, but it's filled with Oreo type filling, and you could use one bag for "cookies" and one bag for "cream", with milk chocolate in one and white chocolate with the other, mixing them when you are done.

3. Take the melted chocolatey peanut buttery goodness off the heat when smooth and start pouring cereal into it 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time, stirring gently to cover the cereal.

4. Once all cereal is smothered in melted amazingness, start spooning it out into your two bags (one if you're lucky). Close bags very tightly, and shake, shake, shake, Señora!

5. Pour into a different container if you like, and relax as you chow down on that delectable (fake) Puppy Chow.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Guilty Pleasures

Ok, I confess...

I love covers.

So, in celebration of that and the fact that I only have one more final to do, here is a Grooveshark playlist I made. It's composed completely of covers.

Did I forget any good ones? Let me know in the comments below, and I will add them!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm a Poser

In fact, I try to strike some new poses at least once a week.

Source: via Kimber on Pinterest

I'm taking a short break from posting about travels and burgers (Yes, soon I will post about going to Paris, Brugge, Brussels, and some new restaurants!).


I've been *trying* to do yoga for a long time. I signed up for classes at my university last fall, but I had to move them to this term due to a professor changing the schedule of one of my classes. I'm still *trying*, partially because I am working on some projects that keep me from going every week, and partially because, well...I don't always quite get the right pose. 

But that's the beauty of it. 

Why do yoga?
  • It's relaxing
  • It's a good workout (No, really it works your muscles like crazy)
  • It forces you to concentrate on something other than work and projects
  • It forces you to make time for yourself

I'm sure there are more reasons, even scientifically proven ones about decreasing sports injuries, being more flexible, what have you. The bottom line is, I finally found a work out that sculpts my body and my mind instead of just making me sweat and turn red. An added benefit? No running!!! (Sorry runners, it's just not my thing to run for the sake of running.)

So here are some more resources for finding fun poses so you can enjoy being a poser like me! 

Source: via Kimber on Pinterest


Source: via Kimber on Pinterest

Check out my Pinterest work out board for more poses.

If you have any yoga sites you'd like to share, please post them in the comments below!

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