Barcelona

Vintage jumpsuit from M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona
Vintage dress from M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona
Vintage jumpsuit from M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona
Vintage dress from M.O.T.E.L. in BarcelonaYou know, it’s both a blessing and a curse that vintage clothing is such a trend now! For one, there are many more adorable thrift shops so you don’t have to hunt as hard for amazing pieces. But then again, anytime I see someone else in some wildly wonderful vintage dress I think “AH! If only nobody was into vintage so I could buy it all and relish in its beauty.” But that’s envious thinking. So I try to turn those thoughts off and practice compassionate joy, as my mother calls it. I know some people aren’t into second hand clothing (luckily hehe) but I love that someone else created a story for themselves in a dress that’s now mine. I wonder sometimes what their story was. One time I found a dress wherein the girl who made it had stitched her name, Helen, in red thread. Needless to say, I still think about that dress and wonder about the girl who wore. I hope none of this sounds strange. HAH!
M.O.T.E.L.
M.O.T.E.L.
M.O.T.E.L.
M.O.T.E.L.
M.O.T.E.L.
M.O.T.E.L.
M.O.T.E.L.Both Millay’s dress and my jumpsuit were purchased at M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona. If you ask any Davidson girl where the best thrift shop in Barcelona is, she (i.e. Millay, my mother, or I) will tell you about Barcelona’s little gem of a store! IT resides on a street, Riera Baixa, particularly dedicated to vintage shops! GENIUS, right? However, M.O.T.E.L. is special not only because of how wonderfully everything is displayed and how well curated the boutique is but because the woman who owns it is something special herself! She’s the grooviest dressed and kindest thing from any of our haunts in Barcelona. When I tried on the jumpsuit that day and loved it, she was as overjoyed as I was. After we made our purchases and chatted her ear off for a half hour, she tucked a hat in our bag that we had been admiring and smiled. If you’re ever in Barcelona, don’t miss M.O.T.E.L., whose dueña is as beautiful as the clothes she sells.

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Adventuring at Home and Abroad

by Tessa on August 14, 2013

in Barcelona, Millie&Me, Spain, Style

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I found these pictures on my laptop that I had intended to share months ago! As I was looking through them I was thinking about how when we lived in Spain, we would always go places and see things. We knew we had a limited time there and to us, Barcelona was new and amazing! When we felt bored we left the house because there was always something new to see and we didn’t want to waste time. We didn’t want to return home to America and have regrets about not taking advantage of our time and experiencing everything that we could have. I was talking to the woman that cut my hair and when I told her of the places I had been she said “I’ve lived here ten years and I still haven’t been there yet!”

We’ve finally moved into our place in Utah and in the past few days we haven’t done much, mostly because we’re unpacking which is a boring and odious job if you ask me. Multiple times each day I think “Wow. I’m bored! I just want to go to college already!” But I’ve realized that to me-to many of us-America seems so common, just like how Barcelona wasn’t anything particularly special to my Spanish hairdresser! I want to live in America the way I lived abroad. I want to see what the cities I live in have to offer. I want to adventure through my hometown the way I’d adventure through a far away city. I know that we currently live a few miles away from 2 adorable old main streets that I have yet to explore and there’s a charming train track that runs through the city. There may not be any grand and stunning cathedrals nearby but I’m sure Utah County has some gems of its own and I’m determined to find them!!

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packing painsSo we flew out of Barcelona to California almost  2 weeks ago and you know, it’s kind of a pain to pack everything you have and abide by certain weight limits. I spent hours weighing and re-weighing my suitcase, transferring my stuff among my bags or into other someone else’s bag and then lying prostrate on the ground for lengthy stretches of time. I’m so glad that’s all behind me!! Anyways, the above photo was taken at 2am the day before we left, well I should say the day we left. My sister was all packed and ready to go a few days prior but I hadn’t even started because it meant admitting to myself that we were leaving!
packing painsSomehow we pulled it all together and were out the door, at our designated “departure time” with 15 bags in a range of sizes all in tow. It was depressing to see our pre-furnished apartment void of any sign that we had actually lived there.
our Barcelona home
Adios Barcelona!When we first arrived in Spain, my dad and I picked this door off the street (people do that often, okay? It’s not weird.) and we chalkboard painted it. It was sentimental. But in the end we had to return it to the street in hopes that someone would come across this beauty and treasure it like I had. Taking it down 8 flights of stairs (it doesn’t fit in the elevator) and leaving it on the street was like my official Adios and Thank you to Barcelona for being such a wonderful home!
Adios Barcelona!
airplaneWe got to the airport on time buuuut it took us close to an hour at the check-in counter because they weighed all of our carry-ons as well as our check-ins and there were some weight limit troubles (GAH!). Nevertheless, we did NOT miss our flight! We got there just as they were loading the last passengers! Hurrah!! I’ll have to tell you about when we DID miss our connecting flight on our way to Budapest, Hungary.
Berlin, Germany airportSide note, I swear there’s a technique to dressing for the airport. Some people look insanely comfortable and adorable at the same time. How do they do it!? My modo is if I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing it to bed, I’m not going to wear it to the airport. Anyways, our first flight was only 2 hours from Barcelona to Berlin but as we took off, it started to rain; Barcelona was bidding us farewell! We and our beautiful city were sad to part ways.
Berlin, GermanyWe had a 13 hour layover in Germany; to be more specific, it was an overnight layover!! The Berlin airport was a small one and when we found out that the only terminal open overnight had about 5 benches, all of which were metal, we weren’t particularly overjoyed. To pass time, my dad, brother, and I left the airport and took ourselves on a little 2am walk around Berlin. The airport was on the outskirts of Berlin so it was more like a nature walk, but still beautiful.
Berlin, GermanyBefore the airport closed, and the last few flights were still coming in, we met the nicest man EVER. He was holding a bouquet of roses (which we later found at were for his mother!) but he set them down and played soccer with a bouncy ball with my brother for 45 mins. When his mother arrived and we began talking to him and he found out our situation, he was ernest that we come and stay at his apartment! We actually thought about it but his car was small and his mother was against the plan so in the end we all ended up sleeping on those metal benches even if it wasn’t the most enjoyable. Nevertheless, that guy was the nicest person; he gave my dad his email and asked us to email him when we got home and were safe!
airport sleeping
airport sleeping
airport sleepingThe terminal was also open to the public all night so there were some hobos camped out in the corners, one even had a cot all set up for himself! He had it down. On our benches, we were miserable and we grumbled about how our 9am flight felt like a lifetime away but these photos crack us up now!!
airport sleepingFinally, FINALLY, we boarded the plane and it was a looooooong flight.
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Newport Beach, CAAnd we’re back in California now!! We’ve spent the past week soaking in the heat of a familiar sun and squishing our toes in the California sand that reminds me of my childhood. I could sit with closed eyes and listen to the tide roll in and out for hours. And for now, I will.
Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach, CAI love California and I love Barcelona and I love that they’re so different. It’s definitely been a cultural shock; and I still want to start speaking in Spanish all the time!! Hah. It’s been exciting to be home in California and be with friends and family but it’s hard to be away from Barcelona which had become home. But home is relative. Home is where you’re with family. And I thank Barcelona for bringing me closer to my family. We’re actually moving to Utah now because that’s what my family does, move around and find adventures in many different places:) I’m excited to see what adventures Utah will bring and what people we’ll meet. Then I’m off to BYU Idaho in September and it’ll be the beginning of the adventures I’ll have on my own. In short, this is a big transition period, but change is always welcome; change brings growth and insight and I’m always open to that!

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Chocolate Box in Barcelona, SpainChocolate Box in Barcelona, SpainOne my parent’s favorite thing to do is go around to chocolate boutiques in the city, try the chocolates, converse with the owners, and take photos that my mom uses for her blog.  I don’t mind being dragged along;) There’s a chocolate boutique in Gotic by the Barcelona Cathedral that my parents and I are frequent customers of called Chocolat-Box.  The women that work there are the sweetest things and so attentive!! We bought the most delicious chocolate spread and they brought out a complementary loaf of bread for us to have with the chocolate. Also, all of their chocolates are delicious!! I particularly liked the strawberry truffle. One word? Divine.Chocolate Box in Barcelona, Spain^^^Someone’s a little jealous of our tasty meal. . . which, I’m sorry lady, but that makes no sense considering you’re in a chocolate boutique and can buy some of your own.^^^Chocolate Box in Barcelona, SpainStripesThe weather has been heating up and it’s been one of the first days I could leave my coat in the closet and I’m SO grateful! Spaniards are diligent followers of the no-colors-in-the-winter rule and it’s been killing me. I don’t think America abides by any fashion rules so my tendency to mix florals with hot pink coats and my blonde hair sometimes makes me feel like a big flashing red light when I’m sitting on a metro car filled with dark-haired people in browns, blacks, greys, and greens. Sometimes, I’ll adapt my outfits to Spanish standards and wear dark colors (but not without my flash of color)! SO, you can understand my excitement when it seemed as though spring turned on like the flick of a switch! The trees that lost their last leaves months ago turned green over night and I could have jumped for joy when I saw colored pants and floral scarfs on the metro!
StripesStripesStripesStripesStripesTUohIz on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs I love spring! I could kiss it:* So, my dear sky, please make my day (well, life) and keep the clouds at bay.
Provecho!!
Tessa Lynn

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A Spanish Christmas

by Tessa on December 20, 2012

in Barcelona, Culture, Daily Life, Family, Trips & Travels

Barcelona Christmas Lights In Spain, or at least Barcelona, Christmas decor and lights aren’t strung on peoples’ apartments but hung across the streets. Every street has different lights; it’s like community christmas decor!! Fun, right?Barcelona Christmas LightsBarcelona Christmas LightsBarcelona Christmas Lights My favorite time to be out and about in the city is at night. Eeeeveryone comes out at night… Maybe they’re all nocturnal. Anyways, it’s like a big party from 6pm to 10pm and everyone’s invited!!Barcelona Christmas LightsBarcelona Christmas Lights

Barcelona Christmas LightsBarcelona Christmas Lights As they say it here, Bones Festes!!

Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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Fashionable Trash (aka Trashion)

by Tessa on November 17, 2012

in Barcelona, Shops, Spain

Vaho Bags Vaho is a company based in Barcelona that takes old billboard signs that would otherwise have been thrown away and turns them into hip new bags. They’re part of a fashion movement referred to as Trashion, recycling old and unused materials into something new and fashionable.Vaho Bags I fell in love with these bags the minute I laid eyes on them! No two bags are the same, if you buy one, it’s yours and ONLY yours! They only have stores in Barcelona but lucky for you, you can purchase one on their website if you like:) You can also create your own Vaho bag online by selecting the banner and model you want!!

Vaho Bags Vaho Bags Vaho Bags Vaho Bags

I love these bags, they make me want to be innovative and run my own highly unique and successful business!
Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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Wall Humor

by admin on November 6, 2012

in Barcelona, Spain

Cemetery

Ok. This wall. By golly, I cracked up! I LOVE the faces of these two men. Basically, this painting made my day! Still laughing. I hope that you find this at least slightly comedical as well. I think I can safely say we’ve all been in both of the men’s positions, so then, tell me that you agree that their expressions PERFECTLY convey every feeling and thought that’s gone through your head in a moment like this. (Personally, I’d like to be the cat . . .  the little creeper!) Also, the fact that the characters are dressed circa WWII just makes me love it ten times more!
Honestly, I would like this anonymous artist to come paint this mural on my wall so I could wake up to it everyday! I’d be starting every day off with a smile. I’d also use the image as a reminder that I can choose who I want to be and what attitude I want to have. Am I going to feel bad for myself or go out there and have a blast? Am I going to be like the women in this painting and go where the party is or am I going to make a sad chum’s day? If you were to pick a character in this mural that reminds you most of yourself, which one would it be?
Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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Kokua (aka The Shoes I Wish to Die In)

by Tessa on November 3, 2012

in Barcelona, Shoes, Shops

Kokua Quite a few months back, before my family had even considered moving to Barcelona, my mother and I were in raptures over a post about Kokua on Design Mom‘s blog.  Fast forward to a few days ago, during one of our many walks through the city.  My mom and I turned a corner, and the very boutique we had been dreaming about for months stood right before us!! I must have done something good in life because my karma was at its maximum capacity, I believe!! Kokua I love love LOVE that there are a million designs of the same simple shoe in every color, pattern, texture, and material! OH that I could have a pair for every day of the year!! The only problem would be picking which pair would be on my feet the day I die, for I would be a happy angel with any one of those pairs!! Unfortunately, they don’t sell shoes online but if you go to their Facebook page here, you can see more photos of these marvelous shoes and may consequently decide to come visit Spain!! Kokua

As my mother so eloquently put it in her blog post about these shoes, “Move over, Dorothy. Your ruby slippers are so last century.”

Provecho! Tessa Lynn

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1 Compliments make everyone’s day. EVERYONE’S!! I know, I’m right–you don’t even have to tell me! Plus, it’s the best way to meet new people! I know from experience… if you offer someone a compliment, then you can ask their name and even chat a little longer! Sometimes they’ll even give you a compliment in return! Soon, you know everything about them, like, that they have three fish and that they like wearing only one sock to bed, which is such a coincidence, because you do too!!  (Also, ladies! This is a great tip if you see some attractive fella! Just casually tell him you like his shirt, or what not, and there you have it! A love connection!!;)

Anyways, the point of my little tangent is simply that a fellow vintage loving girl made my day!!! My family and I were biking through some gorgeously narrow side streets in downtown Barcelona.  We had stopped by a fountain and were about to start pedaling again before we were stopped by this cute girl. After asking if I spoke spanish (which frankly I do not… at least not enough to hold a lengthy conversation), she proceeded to tell me in a beautiful English accent that she loved the shape, material, and style of my tunic. She explained that her name was Kate and she was from Oxford, England and loves recreating unique pieces! So, I told her that I’m from California but living here for a year and that I had picked my tunic up from a vintage store in L.A.! She pulled out her iPhone and asked if it was okay to take a picture of me so she could see if she could recreate my tunic. Of course I obliged and in return, my mom snapped a photo of both Kate and me. After we set off again on our bikes, I kept smiling because Kate had made my day with her compliment!! I thought, “Why can’t everyone be like Kate and be brave enough to compliment the people they see on the streets?” So… it got me to thinking, there are sooo many times I see someone on the street and admire what they’re wearing. I’m thinking it would be fun to have my own street style column, but rather than just taking photos of others, I’d take photos with them! It’d be a fun opportunity to get to know other people, make them feel great about their style, and learn about their favorite stores, which I could hit up!:)

Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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Magnolia Antik Is there anything that gets your heart racing?? Anything that your thoughts keep turning to?? Usually, my mind races a million miles an hour, but anything vintage can hold my thoughts like nothing else can!! A few weeks after we arrived in Barcelona, I sat down for an evening and googled all the vintage stores in Barcelona and filled two pages!! Many vintage boutiques are in downtown Barcelona, but luckily, one of my favorite shops is on our street. Magnolia Antic is a dream for vintage collectors, let me tell you!! They have a wall filled with vintage hats like nothing you’ve seen before!! Magnolia Antik 1947 Magnolia Antik Magnolia Antik Because they’re a higher end vintage boutique, the owners of Magnolia Antic are cautious about the photographs taken in their shop. So, if you head over to their website, you can find more images of the shop as well as this season’s collection:) Also, I just have to say that I’m in love with their glowing sign out front! So cute right?

Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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