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A Spoonful of TLC http://aspoonfuloftlc.com Tue, 03 Nov 2020 08:03:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.16 Keep Things Comfortable When Working Out http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/11/03/keep-things-comfortable-when-working-out/ http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/11/03/keep-things-comfortable-when-working-out/#respond Tue, 03 Nov 2020 08:03:44 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23430 Hi Everyone!  The following post is a collaborative post for A Spoonful of TLC.  As always, thanks for reading and for supporting this blog! Are you getting ready for your new workout routine? If so, then you must think about what to wear that is going to help you remain comfortable. There are lots of […]

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Hi Everyone!  The following post is a collaborative post for A Spoonful of TLC.  As always, thanks for reading and for supporting this blog!


Are you getting ready for your new workout routine? If so, then you must think about what to wear that is going to help you remain comfortable. There are lots of possibilities here so let’s explore some of the best options. 

Think About Your Shoes 

One of the most important things to think about in terms of comfort when working out is definitely going to be your shoes. You need to make sure that your shoes do provide the right level of support for your feet. The type of shoes that you need will change depending on the exercise routine that you are planning to complete. For instance, if you are lifting weights, it’s important that your shoes provide the right level of grip. If you are running, your shoes should offer a certain level of cushioned support, particularly, if you are planning to run on the sidewalk or the road. 

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Consider Different Materials

There are a lot of different materials that are used for exercise gear. It’s important that you consider the choices carefully. You need to guarantee that you think about everything from spandex to lycra materials. Different materials provide unique benefits. For example, some materials breathe more which means that you can stay cool while you are working out. Of course, if you are planning to exercise all through winter, then you could need something that conserves heat. Shop around the market and you’ll easily find the right choice for you. 

Choose The Right Glasses 

Next, you might want to think about selecting the right glasses for your workout plan. If you are working out and you wear glasses then it is important that your glasses stay firmly in place. You might immediately turn to the designers but you could find that a classic style of glasses could suit your needs more here. Alternatively, you might need a new pair of sunglasses. This will be an important purchase if you are planning to workout outdoors in the open. If you are intrigued by this option, then we suggest that you do look at lots of different choices. These days, you can even get glasses that utilize bluetooth technology to allow you to listen to music subtly without the use of headphones. At the same time, you’ll still be able to hear everything that is going on around you. That’s crucial for safety reasons. 

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Body Confidence

Finally, you might want to think about body confidence. It’s important that you are in a position where you feel happy with the way that you look when you are working out. If there are any issues here, then it is going to impact whether you can push yourself as hard as you need to. That’s why you should spend some time choosing exercises or workout clothing that makes you feel great and gives you the confidence boost you need. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the best ways to guarantee that you are comfortable when you are working out. Doing so could make it far more likely that you are able to reach your individual fitness goals

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A Tale of A Series Of Bad Turns http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/10/26/a-tale-of-a-series-of-bad-turns/ Mon, 26 Oct 2020 10:22:37 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23420 Hello fam!  But really, hello fam…Mom and Dad, my loyal readers.  I am checking in bright and early on Monday morning (not really bright and early…it’s almost 11 am) but I did wake up pretty early, unable to fall asleep because of DLST (which happened yesterday and REALLY put me into a panic when I […]

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Hello fam!  But really, hello fam…Mom and Dad, my loyal readers.  I am checking in bright and early on Monday morning (not really bright and early…it’s almost 11 am) but I did wake up pretty early, unable to fall asleep because of DLST (which happened yesterday and REALLY put me into a panic when I woke up and saw that the sun was coming up and HOLY SH!T I AM SO LATE!  I was out the door in 6 minutes and realized a few hours later that the clock in our kitchen was wrong.  Good times).

So anyway, I’m writing to your from “my office” with a hot cup of coffee and a finished bowl of Trader Joe’s steel-cut oats that I had with maple syrup and the slight taste that the oats were on the verge of going off probably tomorrow….but they still tasted fine.  Consider the last sentence I wrote to be “foreshadowing” for what is to come…. 🙂

I am writing this as something to look back and laugh about, and at this point, I am *mostly* over the shock of everything and just writing it for fun, but I will say that all of these scenarios just … took the words out of my mouth and were probably the first time that I have had uncomfortable situations since we’re opened.  Anyway, like I said, I’m over it…you live and learn and move on.  Oh, and you write about it on your public blog 😉

We will call this A Series of Bad Turns because that is exactly what led to these 2 situations taking place…

Story 1: Lady who told me she “honestly just can’t believe the horrible customer service we have” (while half yelling at me on the phone)

To set the stage: it’s Thursday morning.  The phone rings *before* we open and I usually don’t answer it, but I decided to answer it (bad turn 1) because I try to answer when people call.  So I answer and it’s some girl saying she wants to order bagels as a gift and have it sent to a friend. We will call the caller “Felena”….I don’t want to use her real name, but … remove the F.

Felena (in Spanish): Hi, I want to send a bag of bagels to a friend as a gift.  Can I have it delivered?

Me: if you place the order today, we can deliver them tomorrow as we are doing an extra day of deliveries tomorrow.  Does your friend live inside the M30? 

Felena: Yes, she lives in barrio de concepcion, which is inside the m30.

Me: (not knowing where barrio de concepcion is)- great!  go ahead and place the order.

Felena: I will place it right now.

Me, at 9:00 at night, after working 13 hours: *checking orders and writes confirmation email: “Hi Felena!  Thanks for your order!  The package will be delivered between 12 and 4 tomorrow and we will remove the receipt since it’s a gift”.

Felena: no reply.

Luis and me at 10:00 at night organizing routes for the next day: “shit, barrio de la concepcion is NOT inside the m30….do we cancel?…yes, no, yes, no….let’s just do it because we have other deliveries somewhat close by and we don’t want to lose a customer.  (bad turn number 2)

*scene change, it’s friday morning*

OK, now it’s Friday morning and Tamara is RACING around trying to make 300 bagels all alone as fast as she can before the store opens.  

8:30 am: Deliveroo order comes through for two sandwiches, which will be picked up by delivery driver at 10:00

10:02 am: phone rings and Gabriela answers the phone and tells caller- ok I will ask

Gabriela to Tamara: someone is calling saying they placed an order last night and they want to know what time it will be delivered

Tamara: *thinking this person placed an order ON DELIVEROO last night, which is why it came through SOOOO early, before we had opened*- tell them that the order is ready and we are waiting for it to be picked up by delivery driver.  The machine says 3 minutes. (bad turn number 3)

Gabriela: tells caller- 3 minutes 🙂


*hours later phone rings*

Felena: FREAKING OUT THAT SHE WAS TOLD HER PACKAGE WOULD BE DELIVERED THIS MORNING AND THAT THE DELIVERY DRIVER WAS 3 MINUTES AWAY AND THAT THIS IS ABSOLUTELY APPALLING AND SHE WANTS A RETURN RIGHT THIS MOMENT AND WANTS PROOF OF THE RETURN AND THIS IS COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS AND SHE HONESTLY CAN’T BELIEVE THE AWFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT WE PROVIDE.

Tamara: *calmly trying to explain what happened and saying don’t worry, will return money*….and thinking you stupid /$&$&””))$/%&

Felena: continues yelling

Tamara: barrio de la concepcion is not inside the m30 but we wanted to do you a favor and I think now there is a big misunderstanding.

Felena: no, it is inside the m30

Tamara: no it’s not, have a great afternoon- hangs up.

Tamara: *fuming*

Then I calmed down and decided I felt bad for her….someone who is angry for no reason.  That must be tough.

Tamara later: sends confirmation email to say money has been returned but attaches it to email from previous night saying package would be delivered between 12 and 4.

Felena: now she reponds…”ok”

The end.

Moral of the story: don’t make exceptions for deliveries outside of the m30 and let bitches be bitches.


Story number 2- I can’t go into as much detail on this one, but I can give some detail.

This story is called: Close the Damn Door When We Close

It’s Friday afternoon, 5:30 pm, and we were *already* closed- we had closed at 5.  I had pulled down the grate half way, like I always do, to signal that we are closed.  99.9% of people see that and understand we are closed.  I’m cleaning the display case and two girls I know came under the gate and came in and said “omg please tell me you have bagels!” and i said “we are closed, but you can have what’s left”.  So they took some bagels and we chatted for a few minutes (bad turn 1).

Some lady walking by sees that there are customers inside and comes under the gate and comes in and is looking at what we sell.

Girls I know leave.  Woman asks if she can buy some stuff.  I tell her we are closed, but if she wants any bagels, we have a couple left.

She browses for a bit and ends up taking bagels and a couple other things but first she is going to take one thing, then at the very last second, takes another thing and that other thing was our impending doom.  (bad turn 2).

* now it’s Saturday and there is a HUGE LINE OF PEOPLE*  I am taking order after order after order and just trying to stay afloat.

*looks up and sees lady with product she had purchased*  *lady goes on a tangent which I won’t go into detail about here, but tells me how far she has come just to tell me all of this, and goes as far as to pull out her ID to PROVE to me where she works and who she works for*  I tell her we just opened this year and we are still learning the ropes and thank you blah blah blah for taking the time to explain to us all of this…. meanwhile there is a line of 15 people behind her and she keeps going on and on and I feel like my stomach is going to fall out of my ass.  

In this case, I DO feel grateful that she came back to tell us what she told us because it will 100% help us avoid any issues in the future, but 1) standing in a line of 15 people just to do this on a Saturday morning and 2) pulling out your ID to…what…scare me? left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  She was nice in the end, but it definitely left me feeling frazzled. 

The end. 

Some photos for your viewing pleasure:

Reserved bagels on Friday mroning

Luis and I went to dinner on Friday night with some of his friends

First pumpkin pie of the season

A perfect bagel

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How To Fall Back In Love With Your Fitness Routine This Fall http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/10/20/how-to-fall-back-in-love-with-your-fitness-routine-this-fall/ Tue, 20 Oct 2020 18:30:04 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23416 The following is a collaborative post.  As always, thank you for reading and support A Spoonful of TLC! Even with all the health, fitness and aesthetic benefits, falling in love with fitness isn’t that simple – even for the most seasoned athlete. As with anything that’s worthwhile in life, working out regularly takes serious discipline, […]

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The following is a collaborative post.  As always, thank you for reading and support A Spoonful of TLC!


Even with all the health, fitness and aesthetic benefits, falling in love with fitness isn’t that simple – even for the most seasoned athlete. As with anything that’s worthwhile in life, working out regularly takes serious discipline, and there will be some days when you feel more motivated than others. But what happens when you lose the motivation and spark for an extended period of time, and you can’t seem to get it back? Here are three ways to help you fall back in love with fitness in these upcoming fall months, when motivation levels are prone to dropping as quickly as the temperatures. 

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Switch it up and try a new workout

Unfortunately, humans are fickle creatures and novelty tends to wear off after a while when it comes to most things – and that also includes your fitness routine. Whether you workout in a gym, outdoors or from home, if you are doing the same routine week in and week out on repeat, you will eventually get bored pretty quickly. Not only that, but you will also stop seeing those motivating changes in your fitness levels and body that keep you going and give you that workout high as your body gets used to each exercise. Adding some new exercises to your routine, trying out a brand new sport, or signing up for a class will not only challenge you and your body, but it is also guaranteed to make your fitness routine versatile and fun again! Just remember to switch it up and inject new exercises regularly to keep your motivation on track. 

Get a buddy or become part of the community

It’s been proven that you will have a much higher chance of routinely working out and meeting your health goals when you are held accountable. The best way to do this is by either having a workout buddy or joining a fitness community to help you stay on track. Isn’t it funny how we are okay with letting ourselves down but not others? Not only will exercising with someone else motivate you to keep on going, but you will feel so bad for bailing that you will keep showing up (it’ll also be so much more fun!). If you want to become part of the fitness community, having a look online on platforms such as Facebook is the best way to go. This will allow you to find various fitness communities in your local area that you may not have known even existed. 

Get some new gear

As superficial as it might sound, there’s nothing quite like treating yourself to some new activewear to really make you fall back in love with working out and show off your figure and all that hard work. In fact, it’s been proven that what you wear can have a massive impact on how you are feeling and can alter your state of mind. When you put on some new sportswear, you are automatically getting into character, putting yourself in the right state of mind to smash your goals and perform better while making you mentally prepared for the challenge. Treat yourself to some comfortable, well fitted, and (of course) aesthetically pleasing workout clothes from retailers such as Curves N Combatboots that combine design with performance and durability. Not only will you feel more confident while exercising, but you will also feel more excited to get your gear on and go off to your workout. 

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Full Glass of Wine http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/10/17/full-glass-of-wine/ http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/10/17/full-glass-of-wine/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2020 19:32:23 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23411 I said I would be back with a full glass of wine, didn’t I?  And hey, what other plans would I POSSIBLY have on a Saturday night other than sitting here and chatting to you, or no one.  Luis is out to dinner with friends and I just stuffed myself to the brim with rice […]

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I said I would be back with a full glass of wine, didn’t I?  And hey, what other plans would I POSSIBLY have on a Saturday night other than sitting here and chatting to you, or no one.  Luis is out to dinner with friends and I just stuffed myself to the brim with rice and an egg that I cooked in the microwave because after 14 hours of work, I literally, literally could not be bothered to do anything more than that.  Oh, I ate a lot of blue cheese too.  Like half of a block of cheese.  And now a big glass of wine.  We aim for balance!

Today was a good day.  Actually, it was a f&/·%&$&$/ing GREAT day!  Actually, it was our best day EVER in terms of $$$ which is really awesome.  And it wasn’t our worst day ever in feeling like we are drowning in orders.  The day was heavy, but very very steady.  No one was angry, I didn’t cry, no one waited an obscene amount of time, I didn’t get overly angry at our employees (just a little……….) so … good things all around.

High points:

  • someone telling me they loved the food and they wanted to write a review right then and there
  • we didn’t screw up anyones order!!
  • I got to eat breakfast! (This is rare).  I had challah with peanut butter and jelly and a café solo (this is a like an espresso, but with more water in it, but not as big as an Americano).
  • Even though we were fully booked, we were able to squeeze in 3 extra tables
  • at one point I went outside to give someone their order (we ask people to wait outside) and there were so many people waiting to come into MY BUSINESS!  Weird
  • Some guy came in to get bagels, ordered himself one, then made a brunch reservation for tomorrow, then came back and got another bagel
  • An instagram profile with 14k followers made a post about us!
  • We made over 300 bagels for tomorrow (including 25 pumpkin bagels! Tis the season)
  • We sold an entire pumpkin pie and most of an apple pie.
  • we tasted our marinating salmon and it’s DELICIOUS!  homemade salmon, here we come!
  • And much more

Low points:

  • Our refrigerator (not the new one, thank goodness) froze yesterday so today….our cream cheese (over 8 kilos), all of our yogurt (20 kilos…22 pounds), our fruit and vegetables, and our french toast egg mixture were all frozen this morning.  It doesn’t really affect the yogurt, fruit, or french toast mixture, but we had to dump a lot of cream cheese because it gives it a cottage cheese texture. And in the heat of a lot of orders, we had to make more french toast mixture because the bowl of liquid was frozen solid.  Luis was thrilled.
  • After working 13 hours, I had to go to the supermarket and buy 30 packages of cream cheese to make sure we have enough for tomorrow.  I wonder what the cashier thought????
  • Some lady came in at 4 pm and we were sold out and she got all huffy puffy about it and asked “why can’t we make more??!!!! Can I make an order to pick up at 8 tonight???!!!!” to which I replied…. *smile* we close at 5…. to which she replied “nO! on Google it says you close at 9!” to which I said “really?!  Wow we have had so many problems with Google but I don’t think it says we close at 9″… lady: “yes it does!!” *pulls out phone and pulls up google and sees it says we close at 5 and says oh, well…nevermind! and huffy puffy walks out the door*. (and we sweetly told her we would be happy to reserve bagels for her tomorrow). Word to the wise: don’t be an entitled a$$
  • we sold out of bagels.  I mean this is GREAT, but would have been better to have more.
  • I spilled my wine all over the kitchen floor (this was at home)

There is always a mix of good and not-so-good, but today was overwhelmingly great and so…let’s cheers to that.

Goodnight!  Time to shower, put on sweat pants, and GO TO BED!  Here is a pretty bagel picture for you:

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It’s Been Awhile http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/10/13/its-been-awhile/ Tue, 13 Oct 2020 09:26:27 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23391 Hello there, random people who read this blog and still check back even when I don’t post.  And hi Dad, this is for you. It’s been so long since I have written on here that I don’t know where to begin or what to say.  I can hardly remember the day before yesterday, let alone […]

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Hello there, random people who read this blog and still check back even when I don’t post.  And hi Dad, this is for you.

It’s been so long since I have written on here that I don’t know where to begin or what to say.  I can hardly remember the day before yesterday, let alone the last 33 days (I last posted on Sept 9 I think).  It’s like each day is so emotionally, mentally and physically intense that my brain only has storage capacity to remember the last day that passed.  Anything before that gets wiped clean…except for funny, sad, or infuriating instances.  Those stick out.  Actually I always say that I love when Sunday’s go really well at work because on Monday, I think about how well the entire weekend went even if it was only Sunday because I honeslty can’t remember Saturday or Friday! haha  So anyway, I’ll show you a collection of photos from the last 33 days (of food and bagels, but that essentially sums up my entire life) and share some other fun facts.  Sound good?  Then I’ll do my best to check in sooner rather than later because I do enjoy writing here and I enjoy even more having a diary of sorts to come back to, but with so little time and so little bandwidth for anything at all, I really have a to make an effort to get on here.  Maybe I will bring back Wine Wednesdays where I pour a big glass of wine and write until the wine is gone…. that could work, especially since I have a lot of wine to get through.  Two friends got me a bottle each for my birthday and then I became a Costco member and agreed to automatic yearly renewal so they gave me a bottle of wine (and I promply turned off the automatic renewal right after, sorry Costco, but thanks for the wine), and also Luis bought 15,000 bottles of wine for the shop and whatdoyouknow…nobody drinks wine in a bagel shop so we finally brought the wine home because it was taking up precious storage space sp now we have to do the work of getting rid of each bottle.  All that to say, I’ll try to update on Wednesday.

Ok where to begin…let’s begin with now.  I am drinking black espresso out of my Starbucks Philadelphia mug.  I think buying stupid junk to fill your house is ridiculous, but I love this mug and I sort of like the idea of collecting their mugs from various places, but for now I just have my Philly one and it makes me happy on every Monday (or in the case of today, Tuesday) morning.  I just ate entire mini challah that really wasn’t so mini, but I woke up with a headache and it’s probably because I barely ate yesterday because I was so tired after work that I just wanted to sleep. Oh and I barely ate anything but had a huge gin and tonic after work with friends.  We went to a Spanish bar where they give nice alcohol pours and the girl said, “tell me when” and I told her…”quiero mucho” and it made me quite tipsy.  But the challah got the job done and now I am very full of challah with cream cheese and butter and homemade apricot jam from my Dad.  As I mentioned, today is Tuesday and normally we work on Tuesdays, but yesterday was a holiday in Spain and so we decided to open and do brunch (and it was great!!) and close today but doing this is also our way of closing on ALL Tuesdays.  After this week, we will close on Mondays and Tuesdays and not open again for awhile.  I am looking forward to having TWO days off per week…wow, the idea of that!!!

On the work front, things are going well!!

 

People keep asking how their going and my answer is “everything is going really well, but it’s strange” and also that “we don’t know if it’s going well becuase this is our first year open and we don’t know if this is how it should be or not”.  Some days are dead quiet and I sit on my little stool in the kitchen and compulsively check Instagram and then call Luis and bother him at work and then think we should open Thursday-Sunday.  Then there are days like last weekend (Friday and Saturday and Sunday) where we have a line out the door, the delivery buzzer going off over and over, and every single seat full (that we can have full under the restrictions) and I feel like my head will explode…but in a good way.  We continue to get great reviews (online and in person) and on the weekend, the phone rings and rings with people trying to get a reservation (but because of stupid Corona, there usually isn’t much we can do). Things look great on Google, though.

Mazál Bagels & Café
 
23,446 PEOPLE FOUND YOU ON GOOGLE
     
 
Here are the top search queries used to find you:
 
 
bagel
used by 778 people
bagels
used by 453 people
mazál bagels & café, calle de alonso cano, madrid
used by 327 people
 
 
859
asked for directions
 
 INCREASED BY  974% FROM AUGUST 2020

 

375
visited your website
 
 INCREASED BY  232% FROM AUGUST 2020
46
called you
 
 INCREASED BY  411% FROM AUGUST 2020

 

 
Bulb See all of the keywords used to find your business.
 
 
 
WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT YOU
     
 
“Tenía muchas ganas de ir y hoy que he estado, me ha encantado!! Todo el brunch riquísimo,…”

 

We sold out on Friday and Sunday (and Sunday we sold out way too early!).  So, things are great.  This continues to be the hardest thing I have ever, ever done.  It’s so physically exhausting, but mentally and emotionally as well, but I also wouldn’t change it for anything.  I told one of our employees that the way I feel after a day like Friday (when there was a line out the door, we needed to make some extra bagels, we needed to make the dough for 250 bagels for Saturday, we needed to get challahs out of the oven before 12, etc etc) is that I am swimming against the current in a rough ocean and as I swim, trying to just get to a place where I can rest for a second, there are people that need my help all along the way.  So when I finally DO get to a place where I can rest, I am so, so tired.  Fun, right?

On the non-work front…not much to report!  Hahaha.  Luis and I go out to eat 1-2 times per week, usually on Sunday or Monday.  We like to get a drink after work on Sunday and that often turns into dinner.  On Mondays, I try to do something fun or new, or else I end up working all day.  I see friends occassionaly, but sometimes I feel like in this season of life, I see people more for them than for me.  Or to be sure that I don’t lose the friend, but most of me really just wants to rest when I’m not working.  I hope that closing on Tuesdays will give me a bit more bandwidth for getting out.

Luis saying “we just paid 24€ for THIS???”

Time to get a move on doing some of the things I need to do for the week.  I haven’t yet turned my phone off airplane so let’s see if we have any angry messages about us not being open today!  Then the rest of the day will include:

  • orders from all of our suppliers
  • cleaning out my inbox (inbox zero)
  • VOTING!
  • making fliers for an instagram giveaway and then our pumpkin pie sales
  • updating the website and our menus
  • calling Delta because they cancelled by flight TO New York (but not the return, so it’s nice and complicated…thanks Delta) (This is the email they sent…I almost deleted it without opening it because it could NOT look more spammy.  This is the entire message…no logo, no nothing: 

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has been felt around the globe by individuals, families, communities and companies. With the challenges brought on by these difficult and uncertain times, travel has been severely affected. Unfortunately, your itinerary ODW8S1 has been impacted and your flight 50 on 12/21/2020 has been canceled. To view your options, please visit the United app, united.com or call 1-888-825-7684.

We appreciate your patience during this time and look forward to welcoming you back on board in the future. On behalf of all of us at United, be well.

 
  • not cleaning the house because we hired a cleaning lady!!!! wooooohoooo!!!

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Gettin’ Beachy http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/09/07/gettin-beachy-2/ Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:52:10 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23354 (I wrote this a couple weeks ago and never posted it, so I will post it now, though it is unfinished). Hey there party people!  How are you?!  I am writing this post from a quiet house- no one is home and the dog is asleep upstairs, but there is the most amazing breeze coming […]

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(I wrote this a couple weeks ago and never posted it, so I will post it now, though it is unfinished).

Hey there party people!  How are you?!  I am writing this post from a quiet house- no one is home and the dog is asleep upstairs, but there is the most amazing breeze coming through the house (I am still in Philly).  My parents and I went walking this morning (and by morning, I mean like…11 am) and when we came back to our (air-conditioned) house, we realized it was cooler outside than it was inside so we opened all of the windows and turned off the air conditioner and it feels so nice.  That’s one thing I really miss about the states- the change in season and the breeze.  As I type this, I can see the trees moving and hear the gentle wind rattling through the leaves and I don’t know if its because I live in a city or because the trees just don’t rattle in Spain, but I certainly don’t ever hear this sound there.  My Mom asked the other day if the fall is nice in Madrid and I said it’s nicer here in Philly.  I told her that Spain weather goes from unbearably hot and dry to less hot to cold.  There is no fall crispness in the air, the leaves don’t change colors, and that breeze just doesn’t happen.  Or maybe I am busier and I notice it less, but there is nothing like the change in season that happens in this part of the US.

Anyway, how is that for an off-topic tangent?!  I actually came on here to share about our wonderful little vacation to Ventnor, NJ.

My Mom really wanted to do more elaborate vacationing this summer- longer road trip, new (to us) places, but everything was proving to be difficult (or, in the case of driving to Maine- off limits to Pennsylvanians) so I told her that I just don’t think 2020 is the year to do big travel and a simple beach vacation would check all my boxes.

2020 beach ready.

Plus, after living abroad for so long, I have actually come to love the Jersey Shores.  The soft, fine sand, the big waves, and the sunsets are something you don’t see in Spain (or at least not at the mainland beaches).  Jersey beaches are HUGE, there are extravagant houses to look at, and even when its sunny and hot and a little humid, it’s not as soul-crushing hot as it is in Spain.

I told my parents that I really chose the wrong friends because why don’t I have any friends with houses like that one and they told me I actually chose the wrong parents.  Haha.

 

We were at the beach for 5 days and spent most of that time eating (way more than we should), running/ walking on the boardwalk, and sitting on the beach.  And we ate a lot of ice cream.  

It was very relaxing and probably one of my favorite vacations yet, especially when my brother joined us for part of it.  My brother laughing makes me laugh and no one else will let me make a “spa day” while he is lying in the sand.  

He was thrilled.

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29. http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/09/07/29/ Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:49:17 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23378 I am very much procrastining going to the bakery to make bagel dough for tomorrow, so instead I will write this post for your enjoyment.  Well, I will probably start it and not finish it, but that will still allow me to procrastinate so it works for me!  It’s 4pm on Monday Sept 7 and […]

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I am very much procrastining going to the bakery to make bagel dough for tomorrow, so instead I will write this post for your enjoyment.  Well, I will probably start it and not finish it, but that will still allow me to procrastinate so it works for me!  It’s 4pm on Monday Sept 7 and I am still in my pajamas and still drinking my morning coffee. 

We had our opening weekend this weekend and it went very, very well (like the kind of well where I can’t look up and make eye contact with people because there is a line out the door and I am trying not to panic).  But no one cried (not even me!) so it was a success.  If you were wondering if the intense knee pain I was having before we closed for the summer went away during my 6 week hiatus from crouching and standing and walking and generally punishing my lower extremties, the answer is no, no it did not.  I thought it did, but in fact it was just that I haven’t spent much time on my feet in the last 7 weeks and the pain is still very much there, if not worse… so that is fun.  It probably also has to do with the fact that I am 29 years old and very quickly approaching elderly-ness.

I slept for 12 hours last night and have been sitting all day (on the computer, but sitting nonetheless).  I will bike to the shop, work for an hour or two and maybe walk home, but that will be the extent of my movement and I am happy about it.  

In other news, it was my birthday this weekend!

Mazal bagels madrid 

Actually, our first day open was on my birthday and while blowing out the candle on a little cake I made for myself, I wished for a smooth, busy weekend, and that’s exactly what I got!

Mazal bagels madrid 

Just like last year, I wanted to write a post with 29 things- 15 things I learned in my 28th year and 14 things I hope to do in my 29th year.  For fun, I will copy my 14 things I wrote last year and see how much of it I did (also I look so much younger in my 28th year- hahaha).  Here is me this morning, at 29 years old and after 12 hours of beauty rest:

lookin like a bug but with 0 grey hairs!

29 Things- 15 I learned and 14 I hope to do

  1. drink water, even when you don’t want to.  Make it taste better with some lemon or lime or cucumber and mint.  
  2. use chemicals on your face, every single night.  And expensive face cream.
  3. if there is something you want, save money for it and get it, but budget for it.
  4. small, short trips are better than long, big trips.
  5. if you want to sleep until 12 in the afternoon, sleep until 12 in the afternoon.  Sleep is good for you!
  6. popcorn makes movies so much better. (but not buttered.  Just with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and salt.)
  7. playing scrabble with my family is one of my favorite things we have ever done, especially when we used the word “gina” and it cracked me up for days.
  8. having a lot of plants makes me happy.
  9. everything is relative.  don’t make judgements based on what you see because you certainly don’t see everything.
  10. invest in things that are important to you: good soaps and shampoos, a great pen with a great agenda, high quality food, new plants, some art for the walls, comfortable shoes- see point 12).
  11. see friends, even when you don’t want to (I can be fairly anti-social …also called introverted, but I also get a high from seeing people)
  12. your feet are your most important appendage, take care of them.  Get pedicures, wear good socks, and buy those 80€ Skechers, even if it hurts your soul that you are wearing grandma skechers with built-in arch support (and your feet will still hurt).
  13. Take a break.  You don’t have to be doing something productive every damn second.
  14. Plan to see your family.  If you don’t, life just happens.  Buy the plane tickets, make the call, send the note.
  15. bonus: eat whatever the hell you want, but in moderation.  The big bowl of cheesy pasta won’t make any difference.  But still get in those 10,000 steps.

Things I hope to do:

  1. hire a cleaning lady (this list is in no particular order but this is definitely top 3).
  2. limit work to 40 hours per week (this is a HUGE goal because I am currently working closer to 80).  This will involve hiring more people eventually.
  3. see my family twice this year
  4. reach some new goals at Mazál
  5. sleep 8 hours per night (lol)
  6. invest the max amount in 2020
  7. host a party or a dinner at home
  8. do something that I am afraid to do
  9. get a massage
  10. do something extraordinary.  Not sure what this means but check back in 2021 to see if I did it.
  11. walk 10,000 more steps per day (that would be 3,650,000 steps)
  12. eat at the restaurant Fayer in Madrid
  13. go to a show or something
  14. See someone in my extended family (I don’t see much of anyone, unfortunately)

From my 28th year:

  1. Set aside 350€ a month for investments – yes
  2. See a movie in a movie theater – I think the last time I saw a movie in a theater was october of 2019, so yes! I don’t remember what movie it was, but I ate a lot of popcorn
  3. Open a bagel bakery in Madrid – yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. Don’t completely lose myself in the process of opening that bagel bakery – haha….I don’t know…. undecided.
  5. Travel to 4 new places – Rome, Crans Montana Switzerland, Paris with my Mom (I had been, but we saw new places), Dallas TX (the airport)
  6. Walk 10,000 steps a day – I lost my Fitbit (but just got a new one for my bday!, but I would say most days yes)
  7. Make some new friends – I did!
  8. Donate some money to a good cause – I donated a small amount this year
  9. Buy new expensive face products – I bought new face creams, but time to buy more
  10. Have a picnic in the park – I had a picnic in the grass next to my house and Luis complained the whole time that we were probably sitting in dog poop.
  11. Travel with my family – Ventnor, NJ 2020! 
  12. Adopt a new fish or two –unfortunately, no
  13. Stretch more often – not at all.
  14. Have fun and stay positive – it makes a huge difference – yes and no…i have my moments

Mazal bagels madrid

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Musings from the USA http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/08/23/musings-from-the-usa/ Sun, 23 Aug 2020 19:41:54 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23329 Hello! It’s been a hot minute since I have checked in but that’s because I have been doing a whole lot of not much and so I feel like I really have nothing to say, but my favorite posts to look back and stalk myself are the ones where I talk about all the “nothing” […]

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Hello!

It’s been a hot minute since I have checked in but that’s because I have been doing a whole lot of not much and so I feel like I really have nothing to say, but my favorite posts to look back and stalk myself are the ones where I talk about all the “nothing” that I have been doing (because when I look back, that nothing is really something and also, it’s very easy to forget the mundane, normal days.  The big eventful days stick out in my mind normally, so why blog about those?  I should blog about the boring stuff so I remember it when I’m old(er)). 

Anyway, I have been home and things have been really nice.  Really, really nice, to be more articulate.  I was actually lying in bed last night thinking ‘I could get used to the US again’.  And then we went to Atlantic City for a family stroll and that squashed that thought in the bud 😉

I am thoroughly enjoying the nothingness and emptiness of my schedule, and while I do enjoy seeing friends and catching up with people, I honestly enjoy being at home, going for walks, and generally being a hermit just as much (or a whole lot more) than seeing people. 

Let’s back up a bit and  I’ll share a bit of the somethings and everythings that I have been up to since I touched down in the USA (and speaking of touching down, the flights were great- nearly empty, row to myself, huge pour of wine, and slept like a baby on both flights … madrid to dallas, dallas to newark.  The 22 hours of travel was not so fun but the time passed quickly in blurs of airplane meatballs and mashed potatoes so I was happy).  I spent the first few days following my Mom around like a puppy. 

Speaking of puppys… he is the sweetest.

She took me grocery shopping with her (where I filmed many videos to display the over-the-top-ped-ness of all things American grocery store (billions of cereals, cookies, frozen pizza, a grocery store robot???), we got pedicures, I went for about 10,000 walks, and proclaimed 25 billion times that everything is so green and looks exactly the same.  I gave myself permission to do 0 work for those first few days of being home and just generally hung out…and dodged any bullets that required social interaction “oh sorry, I am soooo busy”.  I took a few dips in our new (above ground) pool!  Super fancy and really nice- a great choice from Walmart.  And I ate many dinners at home with the family-my favorite.

We have had: mac and cheese, eggplant parm, grilled burgers, hot dogs, homemade pesto and pasta, and more- but those stick out in my mind.

In the first few days that I was home, I made executive distance decisions about our new refrigerators which Luis purchased and transported with poise and grace and I am excited to say that Mazal will have 2 brand spankin’ new (used) refrigerators and a new dishwasher!!!  Exciting stuff.

We visited a local bagel shop to snoop a bit and try the bagels and were all very impressed.  Other than that, I have been eating like a Queen and if you look at my photos on my phone, it will tell you that that is basically all I have been doing.  My Mom spoils me, and so does Wawa. 

My Mom tricked me into making a few batches of bagels, but I have also been trying to do some experiments for Mazal that we are SUPER (caps necessary) excited to unveil when we open again. 

I’ve seen some friends and it was nice to catch up and see where life has taken them in the last year (or in the terms of Corona, where it has kept them) and my friend Ancy spoiled me rotten with homemade Indian food.

 

It was dee-lic-ious.  I also went to the beach with some friends from Madrid and it was a lovely day, but freezing cold, I got nice and burned (wear sunscreen on overcast cold days they say, why should I listen???), and I had my first Wawa hoagie in a very long time. 

I schooled the Spaniards that follow my Instagram on the anatomy of an American Bocadillo.  No offense to the Spaniards but they just don’t know how to do bocadillos (hoagies) – but they do have a lot more going for them so it’s all good.  After that, we packed up and headed back to the beach, this time with my family, but I will leave that for another post.  Wouldn’t want to bore you to tears in one fell swoop!  We have to spread that out 😉 !

T-minus 1 week until I will be back in Madrid.  I plan to spend the next 6 days sleeping as much as I can, seeing a few friends, stuffing myself to the brim with my Mom’s food, and also maybe I will get a little work done.  We shall see… I will leave you in suspense!

 

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Well hello there http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/08/11/well-hello-there/ Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:49:42 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23315 ….it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  I am writing to your from the kitchen of my house in Philly (side note: I always find it strange when people say “at my parents house”…like this is not my home too.  It’s my house and always will be.  I guess if my parents moved one day I might […]

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….it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  I am writing to your from the kitchen of my house in Philly (side note: I always find it strange when people say “at my parents house”…like this is not my home too.  It’s my house and always will be.  I guess if my parents moved one day I might say “I am at my parent’s house” *visits parents in nursing home and someone calls and I say *I’m at my house*.* lol.

I have been *trying* to get some work done on the computer this morning since we have mmm, a lot, of work to do before we open again in September.  It’s been tough though- I am extremely unmotivated to do much of anything productive while I am visiting and after sleeping 10-12 hours most nights, I find myself urgently needing a nap in the middle of the day.  So between my Instagram scrolling, podcast-listening walks, cuddle sessions with Teddy (the dog), and my 1-2 hour siestas (oh, and 9 pm bedtime to ensure I get those 10-12 hours of sleep), I am left with very little time to do anything productive.  You see my dilemma, right?

But today I have pushed through and have been on the computer for 5 hours working on something that is not very important, but is something nonetheless.  We are going to be doing some hiring, so I had to make some fancy Instagram ads to put up tomorrow and I wanted them to be perfect, so it’s taken quite a bit of time.  As soon as I finish this, I’ll think long and hard about getting up to go get dressed and will probably do so after about 30 minutes of contemplating it, and then I’ll go for a walk and by the time I get home, it will be naptime.  I don’t have much I feel like saying, so here are some photos from the past few weeks since I last graced you with my presence.

gourmet meal on the plane

my Dad at his farm picking tomatoes and getting eaten alive by mosquitos

I wanted this very American meal.

Teddy.

Bagel test #1.

Breakfast on the first morning home.

A dip in our new pool.

Lots of walks and runs.

America has no shortage of cereal options.

First dinner home.

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Hello From My New Office http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/07/23/hello-from-my-new-office/ http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/2020/07/23/hello-from-my-new-office/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2020 09:47:14 +0000 http://aspoonfuloftlc.com/?p=23298 aka the extra sh!t room of the house.  For so long, Luis and I have been using this room to store boxes, Bruja’s Bakery and Mazál things, leave extra shoes, all the stupid papers we have to keep, while I have been using the living room as my “office” since Luis has been home working.  […]

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aka the extra sh!t room of the house.  For so long, Luis and I have been using this room to store boxes, Bruja’s Bakery and Mazál things, leave extra shoes, all the stupid papers we have to keep, while I have been using the living room as my “office” since Luis has been home working.  Then!  I had the genius idea to clean this room up just the slightest bit that seeing the mess won’t give me hives and voila!  my new office was born!  And I have to say, I am really enjoying having a space of my own! 

The desk is a lot more comfortable than the dining room table and I feel more productive here.  I also enjoy NOT seeing the computer and my papers all over the dining room table when I walk into the house.  It invites us to dump our junk onto the table all week so that by Sunday, it’s a compelte disaster and hey- it’s already Thursday and that table is still clean.  So…long story short, I have a desk!  

Honestly I started this post a week ago but then I lost my mojo halfway through.  I will give you a little review of what it said: things were very busy at the shop.

 

We sold a lot of bagels.  It was a really great last week.  People were excited to come in and we had our busiest days ever.

We made pretty lemonades and they very very popular.

The weekend was very busy and add in the fun of having our refrigerator stop working AGAIN, it was a grand old time.  Ok, the refrigerator was not fun.  I cried on Sunday morning….like sobbing….when we saw that about 75 bagels were destroyed.  I was also very tired from the day before.  We worked about 16 hours.  It’s not just the work that’s hard for me, but the STANDING for 16 hours.  But Saturday was an insane, insane, insane day and by 4 pm, we hadn’t even started to make bagel dough for the next day.  To make 275 bagels, we need about 2 hours of uninterrupted time, but with the shop still open, it was not uninterrupted.  And then we had to make 40 mini challahs for a this new partnership (ok, not partnership, because it’s basically a one way thing that we have going on), and THAT took forever (side note: we went incognito to try these challahs at this place where they are being sold!)  

So needless to say, we didn’t leave work until 10 pm on Saturday and then still had to organize delivery routes when we got home, shower, eat dinner (which was non-existant because we had NO food at home for the entire week.  We actually ate salads every single night last week, which has never happened in all of the months of busy-ness that we have had so that tells you something).  ANYWAY, I was exhausted after 5 hours of sleep and then to see that some of the bagels can’t be used…I was not happy.  But we got over it and found a solution that worked out quite nicely and  we all survived.  I was a bit upset because I really wanted to close for the summer on a “high note” and in the morning, I was panicking, but I can safely say we ended the day on a high note.  Sometimes I need to remind myself that what *I* feel (regarding that things are out of control/ slightly disasterous, that we are running around like chickens, that the bagels aren’t perfect), is certainly not what the customers feel.  I have to remind myself that when I feel like OMG HALF THE BAGELS LOOK TERRIBLE BECAUSE THEY OVER FERMENTED TODAY WAS AWFUL!, that hey, we didn’t actually give those awful bagels to anyone and the customers only got the beautiful bagels and everything is f-i-n-e.

Despite being a little (or very) worn out, I am actually sad that we are closed for so long.  I knew we were going to close in August, but closing half of July was just a decision we made out of thin air and while I definitely think it’s a great decision, I know these next few weeks will be quite long and I will be itching to get back fairly quickly once mid-August hits.  The work is hard, and stressful (at times), but I do love it.  Luis and I were just talking about how having my own business really fits my personality.  I don’t like anyone telling me what to do or where to be, but on the contrary, I can be pretty bossy.  I like to be creative (having your own business is the ultimate form of being creative.  I get to control every aspect of this and it’s probably my favorite part).  I deal with (some) stress well and having a business provides no shortage of stress.  I am competetive with myself and (secretely, I think, with others)- because of this, I work hard to make things the best that they can be and to always be the BEST, whatever that means.  I like to talk to people and help people out-  I used to love working as a hostess and I was always the “nice hostess” that would try to get you the table you want for that special occassion, etc.  Now I get the be the nice one every day 😉  And finally, I like projects.  I like seeing this grow bigger and stronger every single day and know that it’s purely because of what we have put into it.  I keep track of certain stats (online growth, financial growth, pageviews) and it’s so exciting to see how things develop in just a few weeks.  I really don’t think I could ever have a desk job ever in my life.

There are also downsides to all of that, of course. 

I can be overly competetive (with myself, with others).  Solutions: unfollow every single person that I feel competetive with.  If I just competetive and get nothing positive, goodbye.  But also remember: just because there is a pretty girl in the room doesn’t make you less pretty. 

I can focus too much on pleasing every single person. Solution: have “rules” and follow them 

I can be a little….mean….to Luis (when being bossy) (but in regards to that, we are pretty good about being our work selves at work and our home selves at home, which is good.  And also, he is very good at letting me be bossy.  If he bossed me around the way I boss him around, this business thing would certainly not work.  

_________________________________________________________

I am excited to have time to work on our website, work on the menu, work on the financial/Excel side of things and to gear up for a very busy year.  Hey, and maybe Luis and I will write that book we have been talking about 🙂  It will be nice to have a break for a bit and then come back bigger and stronger!  

In the meantime, I have a nail appointment in 23 minutes and then a bunch of errands to run before VACATION tomorrow!

Catch ya later.

I made nicoise salads!  But with farrow and guindilla peppers.  They were great.

Our disasterous kitchen last week.  It (as well as the rest of the house) was to the point of being so messy that I didn’t have the energy to make it better so it just got worse and worse.

Two years ago, in Yosemite.  Amazing, isn’t it!?

Off to get my NAILS DONE!  Something I haven’t done in 9 months for fear of getting nailpolish in the bagel dough!!!

 

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