weekend links

Hello, friends!

I’m pleased to report that we’re finding a routine now that school is in session here in Madrid. Todd usually walks S to school in the morning, and I pick her after lunch and recess at 3:00.  Next month the children will return for classes from 3:00-5:00 in the afternoon, but this month is a little shorter so they can adjust to the school schedule.

The shorter days have been helpful, since S comes home completely exhausted at the end of the day. It’s hard work to learn a new language, and she’s doing great! Lunch at school is optional but it’s quite a treat. It includes a three-course meal eaten at small tables of four children each. The lunch ladies come around and help the smaller children and make sure everyone is eating enough. Everything is fresh and healthy, and S (who is a picky eater) has enjoyed all the dishes. After an hour to eat  lunch (!) the children have an hour for recess before classes resume at 3:00. It’s a long day, but it’s so civilized! I just hope we can squeeze ballet and violin classes into the schedule at some point without feeling overly busy. Right now we’re focusing on the language, and we’ll add extra-curricular activities in a month or two. The children are delighted to have an American in class and are eager to speak English with her, and the teacher has even started to give S personal Spanish lessons to help her progress more rapidly.

Last Sunday we watched the Vuelta a España, which is the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France, pass through Madrid on the last leg of the three-week race. The course ran just a couple of blocks from our apartment.


WomenThe women raced early in the afternoon.


MenThe men finished as the sun was going down. Fabio Aru, this year’s winner, is in the red jersey.


I thought of Shelley as we watched the bikers fly past us; it was really impressive to witness their speed in person. Todd and S both shot a fun video, if you’re interested.

How are you doing? Getting settled into a workable routine? I hope so!

Pinterest picks

Hey, look! A plaid dress at Madewell to inspire your next Gallery Dress. (Thanks to our friend Callie for the link.)


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And here’s the bag I’d want to carry with that Gallery Dress. This darling shape may just have to inspire a new handbag!


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A lovely polka dotted Carousel Dress to inspire your weekend sewing plans.


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Such a simple, spare decor. Since we took very few things along with us on this move, I’m finding that living with less stuff really is pleasant. And it’s surprising how little we’ve found we really need! I’ll talk more about that soon.


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Your daily chuckle.


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Weekend reading/watching

  1. As a designer and small business owner, I often struggle with self promotion and with not feeling gross about doing it. This article has given me food for thought. What are your thoughts about it? What’s OK and what’s tacky?
  2. Very much related to 1. above, are these Instagram rules. I approve.
  3. (Video and article) In India, the ancient art of Rogan as a technique for textile decor has all but disappeared. This man has dedicated himself to practicing it and the results are stunning.
  4. Don’t miss this inspiring Dutch husband-and-wife design team and their colorful home.
  5. Vaccination via fungus inhalation? Amazing idea: half art and half science.

Have a terrific weekend! Any sewing plans?


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  1. Sharon k

    The school there sounds so lovely!! I wish our schools here were more like that and how exciting to see a bike race too. It sounds like a wonderful place to live.

  2. Oh, I LOVE the school schedule. An hour for lunch and an hour for recess is just what kids need. The schools in our town give 15 min for lunch and 10 min for recess. Crazy. I have been working toward having less stuff, but I find it difficult. I have found than any area of our house that has less in it, is much more comfortable and relaxing for me.

  3. You were right, I would have loved to watched the Vuelta with you! Did you see the women’s race was won by an American woman called Shelley? We could have both cheered our heads off!!
    The long lunch and recess sounds very civilised, but you’re right in saying there won’t be much time for any after school activities. In summer, no problem….
    I’m loving all your Madrid street scenes on Instagram. I’ll have to check out the “rules” now.

  4. Nicole Keller

    Well, I failed Instagram 101.
    I posted a photo of my sons spectacular footy arm break X-ray.

    1. Ha! I’ve failed plenty of times, too. But the x-ray sounds intriguing!

      1. Nicole Keller


        Silly boy played another quarter with it.

      2. How in the world could he have taken a single step–let alone continued to play with a break like that? Hope it heals soon.

      3. Thank you Todd.

  5. Sharon

    I love the article about self promotion. As a self employed Pilates teacher I have shied away from that sort of self promotion and tried to let my skill as a teacher build my name and reputation. But it’s just not enough. And it’s frustrating to see less skilled teachers with an online following that seems self serving rather than knowledgable. Thanks!

    1. I’ve always taken the same approach, Sharon, and I completely agree with your perspective on it. It’s difficult, isn’t it?

  6. What a wonderful schedule — my Singaporean cousin told me they’re training the 6 year olds at her son’s school to eat in 20 minutes, with prizes for fast eaters! Don’t know if that’s common in the region or particular to his school but it sounds not at all refreshing for the little mites.

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