SUNDAY BEST

Sunday best at blackboard and brush, favorite links of the weekHappy Sunday everyone! Before we get started with this week’s Sunday Best, let me just give you a big BIG THANK YOU for all the support you’ve given our new website Little Green Kettle which was featured in last week’s Sunday Best. The response has been unbelievable and I simply can’t thank you enough! I hope you continue to enjoy the posts, recipes and stories we’ll be sharing in the Little Green Kettle, and of course we’ll still be writing and updating Blackboard and Brush on a regular basis for all our followers and readers. Again, THANK YOU!

Ok, let’s get to it shall we?

For teachers and parents that are looking for children’s stories or songs that have video animation, I’ve been visiting and using Muffin Songs and Muffin Stories this week and I love their selection. Many of the animations have beautiful drawings and the lyrics or words are clear and at a slow pace, perfect for very young learners. They also have some of the less famous songs which I love such as Kukaburra and Kum Bah Yah. Young students love looking at the visuals while singing and they provide a lot of help where lyric comprehension is concerned. What are some of your favorite classroom songs?

For lovers of great design, fabulous spaces and home decor, I’m so excited to share this absolute gem of a website with you. This is Covet Garden, an online magazine you can flip through that takes you through tours of the actual homes of very interesting people. It’s such a joy to flip through their pages and look at the beautiful images. What’s even more special is that they choose spaces that have not been styled by interior decorators. It’s truly inspirational if you’re looking to make some changes in your home. The stories behind each home are also pretty special.

For a good old fashioned time snuggling in a warm and cozy blog that has a little bit of everything, enjoy Fern and Feather. They have everything from inspirational thoughts, beautiful photography, recipes, design posts and much more. I absolutely loved their post on how to roast ‘everything’. I think I might just make one of these yummies for lunch today.

Many of you loved the creative packaging link I posted a few weeks ago. It was one of the most clicked links that week (yay!). Today I have some more of that original packaging goodness… here is Lovely Package.

Today I’m leaving you with some Winnie the Pooh wisdom to counteract those Sunday blues. You know what I’m talking about, the slight nostalgia, pre Monday jitters and general laziness… we have all gone through it from time to time. Guess what? Sunday isn’t gone yet and it’s half of your weekend! HALF of your weekend! So to fight the Sunday blues, do as Pooh, and enjoy today… his favorite day.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful and fun filled Sunday!

SUNDAY BEST

la fotoHappy Sunday everyone! This week went by so fast! Especially this weekend. Could we please get an extra day? You read all about my busy Saturday yesterday and today has also been a fun day full of things like yoga, cooking (a delicious citrus tabbouleh is marinating in the fridge as we speak!) and some not so fun things like cleaning up the house and doing laundry. I did however come up with something today to enjoy our endless mountain sized piles of pending laundry. I’ve been listening to the amazing podcast Food for Thought by the super talented Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Suddenly doing laundry became the excuse to listen to the podcast with no interruptions! Win win. The new blog I want to write about sustainable eating and living is becoming more and more unavoidable. If I could only come up with the perfect name for it…any thoughts? As soon as I can name it I think it will go from idea to reality.

This week I was walking in the center of Madrid and saw this beautiful flower shop called Kaloto. I loved their street display and the inside of the shop was beautiful as well. You know how I can’t resist photographing flower shops!

Moving on to our task of the day, here are my picks for this week’s Sunday Best:

For foodies, the environmentally conscious and lovers of beautifully photographed blogs, you must hang out for a bit in The First Mess. I can’t wait to try their cashew labne or their pot pies topped with crispy sweet potatoes. The writing is wonderful as well so I’m sure you will love it as much as I do.

For design and diy fans, Design Sponge has some great ideas. You might need to browse a bit because they have so many different aspects to their blog, but they have beautiful diy projects and wonderful and unique photos of beautiful spaces (looking to remodel maybe?).

My last link this week is basically meant to make you twist and turn on the floor laughing (you’ve heard that it’s the best medicine and all that right?). Here are some ridiculously funny culinary Pinterest catastrophes.

I hope you’re still laughing from that last one and that you continue having a lovely Sunday! See you next time…

SUNDAY BEST

SnowIf you read yesterday´s post you know that we had our first snow of the season this week which made me (and a furry friend of mine) extremely happy. This weekend was all about the farmer’s market, doing some yoga, cooking up a veggie storm in the kitchen and spending time with friends. Watching Django was also a very special treat this week…Tarantino did it again! But that’s no surprise is it? What was your weekend like?

Without further ado, I give you my picks for this week’s Sunday Best…

For foodies and photography fans, you should immediately visit Kiss My Spatula. It’s a feast to the eyes, offers some great edible inspiration, not to mention a recipe or two! The photos alone…my oh my!

One of my favorite and most recent discoveries is Unruly Things, a blog done to perfection simply to inspire. Stop by their about page to meet the blog’s Oregon based creator and the idea behind this site. It has everything from beautiful products to wonderful links, passing thoughts and magical moments. It’s one of those places where you’ll want to stay for a while.

For parents, teachers and diy fans, here’s a link to my favorite diy project this week. We all played with them, tormented our parents with them, drove our dogs crazy with them…yup! Bouncy Balls! Here’s a recipe to make your own with very simple ingredients. How fun is that?!

Enjoy the links this week and have a wonderful Sunday! I’m off to the movies to watch Silver Linings Playbook. I’m hearing amazing reviews about the two lead performances (with two of my favorite actors might I add…). I’ll tell you all about it later! What are your Sunday evening plans?

WINTER BEAUTIES

Winter photosHi everyone. I’m just popping in for a few seconds today to share some of the winter beauties I’ve been photographing lately. When I take our dog to the park in the mornings I find that it’s a little bit different with every passing day. The leaves have almost left the trees entirely, little berries are making an appearance, and the few leaves that are left have this very rich color, just as they are about to fall. The sunsets are also surprising me these days. Very different from the summer sunsets we can see from our terrace which always seem to be on steroids. In the Winter, they are light and soft, but just as beautiful. I hope you enjoy them!

fall leaves

autumn

winter sunset

sunset in Madrid

 

SUNDAY BEST

Sunday BestI started my day by driving through the rainy streets of Madrid listening to The Shins. Everything was screaming “Sunday”, especially when I walked into the bookstore I was going to, and started browsing through the bookshelves while watching the rain outside. Now I’m back home and after a run, a yummy lunch and giving my dog a much needed bath, I’m about to get cozy on the couch with a chai, some movies, hubby and doggie. Who ever said Sundays were awful?! I leave you with my picks for this week’s Sunday Best. Enjoy!

For teachers, some great ideas at Elementary ESL. I’m dying to try their french fry synonyms, compound word eggs, not to mention their story sticks which I’ve been hearing wonders of!

For parents looking for some easy craft projects to do with their kids, Mr. Printables has tons of beautiful ideas you can simply print out and assemble. A great source of party invitations as well. Thank you to our reader/fellow teacher and friend Estela for that one!

For the little wannabe chefs that live inside you (wait…is that just me?), check out Love and Lemons. It’s a great place to find all those healthy delicious recipes you’re always looking for. Their photography is so bright and colorful it will make you run to the kitchen to cook and eat some healthy treats.

For a wonderful ride through color, design, architecture, lifestyle and photography. A little feast for the eyes, especially when you need a little creative boost, here’s Fox on the Run.

I hope you enjoy mi picks for this week and your Sunday of course! I leave you with a little ‘blast from the past’ photo I took this week. Did anyone else have this very unique deck of cards as a child? I was so excited when I saw it in a window display! Sorry it’s so blurry, I had to take it without anyone seeing me.

POP UP

Shops in Madrid SpainHi everyone! A long weekend plus an important errand on Monday and several days of being sick kind of threw me off the teaching/bloggging arena for a few days. After some much needed rest I’m finally back to show you some photos I’ve been taking with my phone and which I just realized have one thing in common: pop up books. The photos aren’t exactly of books so lets call them pop up moments. Remember those wonderful children’s books that had a new surprise in every page and it seemed to jump at you and fill you with giddy laughter as a kid? It turns out that Spain is full of those moments if you pay attention.  I seem to be obsessed with the image of something unexpected popping up as if out of nowhere. Madrid and many other Spanish cities are filled with these beautiful sights since the old seems to be fighting with the new for central stage, and the small streets usually have a hidden agenda if you look close enough. I wasn’t doing this intentionally, but today while I was browsing through my photos I noticed a pattern. Take a look…

Here’s a beautiful park in San Lorenzo del Escorial where we went to last week for the day, and its “pop up book” cathedral.

San Lorenzo del Escorial

Two blocks away behind a huge wall you think has nothing beyond it, you walk through a very tiny alley and find this little beauty below as you look to your left.

Fall trees in Spain

In the same town, right behind the famous El Escorial Monastery lies this beautiful mountain that seems to be leaning in to take a peek. I had always stood there looking straight at the incredible building but this time I found myself wondering what life in the houses on the hill was like.El EscorialAfter years of searching for the famous prince gardens in Madrid, I found them when I wasn’t looking. The garden was a lot smaller than I thought, but beyond the beautiful and really old trees was the sight of the roofs that peeked through. It was incredible to see that terracotta orange behind those bright greens and you know how I’m obsessed with contrasts right? The photo doesn’t do it justice because there was so much light there that day, but you get the idea…Prince garden in Madrid

Below you’ll find my second obsession in photography, tunnels and bridges and alleys oh my! The quintessential pop up moment, the first peak at what lies behind the passing of a bridge. Another view of El Escorial featuring my hubby and our friend Daniel strolling the stone path.

Let’s not forget the little surprise I got a few weeks ago as I turned a corner and saw the beautiful floating stationary in a shop in the center of town (top photo).

I’m still obsessed with pop up books and can’t help myself whenever I’m in a bookstore, but if you look closely, you’ll start seeing little surprises catching your eye. I’m going to start collecting some of these and maybe it will make me even more aware of those contrasts I love.

SUNDAY BEST

PinxtosIs it the fact that I’m doing these weekly posts or are the weeks flying by for everyone else too? The summer seems to be flying by without any warning, and in no time I’ll be hauling our winter clothes back up from the basement. It’s still summer though, so I guess we need to enjoy it as much as we can! In this week’s edition of Sunday best I have some great refreshing summer-lovin’ sites and blogs, and I thought I’d add a couple of extra features from my own experiences with some things I’ve been testing out. These Sunday posts are a peek into my lazy Sunday mornings, and these days, they come with a bit of experimenting in the kitchen, the garden, the studio, and everything else that comes with being a busy-bee like me.

Cooks, gardeners and fellow health nuts, you’ll love the whole food, natural cooking blog Good Things Grow, I found it a few days ago and I’m hooked! Great ideas for natural healthy cooking and you know what I love… some gorgeous photography to go with it.

For design and illustration fanatics, you’ll love meeting Amanda Wright, the gal behind Wit and Whistle, where she shares behind the scenes projects, beautiful photos and sketches. Stop by her shop as well while you’re there, her gift cards and stamps are a thing of beauty.

For all you fellow foodies out there, pay Matt a visit at Matt Bites, an amazing blog that will give you a wonderfully severe overdose of color and design through food and incredible photography.

Here’s a couple of things from me to round off our Sunday Best…

Best new flavor discovery: The itty bit of magic that happens when you combine tomatoes, feta cheese and strawberries… mouthwatering! I mixed these with some greens, drizzled olive oil and red wine vinegar on top, added salt and pepper and magic happened.

Inspirational quote of the week:

“Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow”  Mary Ann Radmacher.

Since we’re talking so much about food today, enjoy a photo of the incredible Basque Country pinxtos we had during our recent trip to Bilbao to see Radiohead. A trip you’ll be hearing about very soon.

Happy Sunday everyone!

SUNDAY BEST

Happy Sunday everyone! No, I’m not going to Church, I’m simply popping in for a short post today with this little idea I had yesterday. Since the day Pinterest was invented became the day I officially stopped sleeping, I now have these crazy amazing links on everything from food to teaching, to design and architecture, to really wonderful and creative artists that are out there somewhere. Lazy Sundays have become those great relaxing days in which I get to spend some quiet time looking around some of these amazing websites, getting inspiration for all of my weekly endeavours. What a better way to start a weekly post than to share these with you!? Drumroll please…. I give you our “Sunday Best”.

Here are some of my favorites this week:

– On cooking, Spoon Fork Bacon is one of my favorite blogs of all time. Amazing recipes and such a beautiful website as well!

– On photography, writing, design, jewelry, cooking and so much more all the way from Seattle, the fantastic Elephantine blog.

– On amazing children’s books for our readers who are parents, teachers or gift giving aunts and uncles, the great Children’s Books Guide, with amazing titles to inspire your next purchase. I’ve used many of these for teaching little ones back in the day and this selection is quite good!

– On great empowering books for young girls, the wonderful and confidence building selection of Almighty Girl.

– On photography, teaching and life in Spain, I introduce you to the very funny Owain Shaw P.I. and Republica Presente blogs, where my friend, photographer for the Edinburgh Theater Festival, and English teacher Owain Shaw will entertain you with his eloquent tales of an islander turned madrileño and show you some of his wonderful photography.

More to come next Sunday! Please note that I’m not affiliated with any of these blogs or websites, I’m simply a big fan! Hope you like them as much as I do and that the next few hours are filled with some much needed couch potato time. It’s what these doggies needed yesterday after a walk around Madrid during the hottest day we’ve had so far this summer. Dog walkers and their beautiful dogs always remind me of life in NYC and I always have to take a photo, even if it is out of focus.