Category Archives: living in madrid

Pride and Pig

So this has been quite the eventful weekend here in Madrid.  Some big things took place during the past few days:

1.  Spain won the European Cup title

2.  Madrid hosted one of the largest gay pride festivals in the world

3.  And I experienced a whole new way of enjoying pork

There is not much to be said about the Euro Cup Championship other than Spain proved, once again, to be the best football team in the world, and in my opinion, also the best looking.


The big win was only the conclusion to a wild and crazy weekend in Madrid.  Every year the city is flooded with men and women from around the world to participate in the Orgullo celebration (orgullo means “pride” in Spanish).  While the celebration lasts about 3 days, the main attraction is the parade on Saturday which hosts ….. pretty much all walks of life.  One thing I loved about this celebration was that even though it is advertised as a gay pride celebration, the entire city got involved to show their support.  It was a really fun event and definitely brought an exciting energy to the city!

Orgullo 2012 – gay pride weekend in Madrid

Lastly, the weekend was made complete by a visit from a few American friends.  As they were ending their European tour, I was excited to show them around the city during the last few days of their month-long excursion.  While completely unnecessary, the boys were kind enough to invite me to dinner with them to Sobrino de Botín as a thank you for the unofficial tour.  In case you didn’t know, Sobrino de Botín is also known as the oldest restaurant in the WORLD.  The specialty at this restaurant is cochinillo,or suckling pig.  And even though it is a six person requirement, the four of us ordered not just a portion, but the entire pig.  I will say that it was a bit odd to have my dinner looking at me while I ate, but the taste of the pork was unlike any I have ever had before.  The skin was super crispy and the meat was tender and juicy and the entire restaurant smelled like bacon sizzling on the stove.  I also took a taste of a couple more unusual parts of the animal that were considered delicacies, specifically the brains and the tongue.  I don’t necessarily recommend getting as adventurous as I did, but I definitely recommend visiting this restaurant if you ever find yourself in Madrid.  Reservations are easily made (we made our Friday reservations for the same night) and the price point is extremely reasonable considering the restaurant’s fame.


cochinillo at Sobrino de Botín

It was a great weekend in Madrid and I hope you enjoyed a little peek at it!!

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It’s all in the Name

In case you missed the massive lettering at the top of the page, the name of my blog is Life with a Fork.  I chose this name for a number of reasons.  First, I knew I wanted my blog to be somewhat food related (hence, “Fork“).  Secondly, I knew my blog would be more than just food.  I am no chef and I honestly don’t like to compile recipes so there was no way I would have enough material to have a food blog.  Enter “Life“.  I mean, I did move across the world as you know so surely you’d like to hear a bit about that, right?  Last, and most certainly not least, by including the word “Life” it allowed me the perfect excuse for those times when I would go days…err weeks….without posting.  Because you know what?  I was out living my life.

Bad excuse, I know.  Honestly, it was a bit about living my life, but more lack of creativity, inspiration, motivation, and wit.  So sorry friends.

Anyways, as I mentioned before, I am no chef in the kitchen so I don’t have any excited food-related updates for you.  Still eating the same ol’ meat, veggies, and my weight in avocados.

I will, however, update you on my life by broadcasting a series of pictures from the past few weeks!  These pictures will include multiple evenings out in the city which inherently also include alcohol.  Here is my rule, people:  any clear liquor of your choice, on the rocks, add a lime.  I promise you that you can not suck it down fast enough to get drunk. Why?  Because it tastes like shit, that’s why.  No one actually likes the taste of straight vodka.  This has saved me from fitting the “American girls come to Madrid to get drunk every night” stereotype on numerous occasions. You will also avoid the “ohmygodddddddd why aren’t you drinkingggggggg” questions from your not-so-receptive friends that seem to become increasingly less comprehensible as the night conspires.  I hope you enjoy.

I also hope I will gain a little more creativity in the coming weeks.

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La Mejor Frutería

One of the best things about living in Madrid is the availability of seasonal fruits and vegetables. I’ve talked about this before but I just felt the need to write about it again after my visit to one of the best local markets in town. This little frutería will probably never be visited by tourists or even most Madrileñas.  Hidden away in Barrio Lavapies, this little market sells some of the most delicious and fresh produce I have tasted to date. They also stock their shop with amazing seasoned Spanish olives and other sorts of pickled vegetables. However, despite the lush racks of vibrant fruits and vegetables, the real reason I visit this little stand is for the eggs. No, they aren’t anything special, but they come in bulk – a concept that is practically unheard of here. For only €2.40, I can buy myself 30 eggs as opposed to the dozen in the normal market for one Euro less. Such a steal!!! Located on Calle Santa Isabela near Aton Martín metro, this market deserves a visit if you ever make your way into Madrid.

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Excuses and Cheating

For the purposes of this post, I will consider these words to be mutually exclusive.


Hello.  Remember me?  Probably not.  My name is Sarah and I am the owner of this little blog.  If you scroll down a bit, you will see some (self-proclaimed) inspiring and down-right hilarious posts all about health and fitness.  That’s because it is my passion.  Makes sense right?

  Not knowing how to turn your passion into a career (yet) = make a blog

So here you are (thank you for coming) and you might be wondering, “Well, why haven’t you been posting regularly?  This is your passion, right? Don’t you have anything to say?”

‘No.’ would be the simple answer to that.

I have literally had the worst writer’s blog of all time during the month of February.  I would literally think about my cute little site everyday and go blank.

‘I have nothing to write about.’

I was completely uninspired and for that, I apologize.

(Notice I tried to make up for it by uploading a picture in my last post.  Poor form, Sarah.)


So after my 21-Day Detox, I was feeling great!  I was feeling healthy, fit, and inspired.  I was also feeling slightly leaner and more focused in the gym.  You can read all about that here.

But…. (you knew that was coming)

But, the sights and smells and tastes of Europe got the better of me.  Passing by the pastry shop everyday on my way to work is no easy task, and I dare even the strictest of Paleo followers to not just consider stopping in.

Make that a double dare.

As you might expect, I did stop in once.  And then twice.  And then before I knew it, the “control” over my sweet tooth had sprinted out of my body, nowhere to be seen.

The past month I have found myself really struggling to battle the evil sweet tooth.  It sounds dumb but for those of you who love sweets, you know what I am talking about.  It’s like another person in your brain making excuses for why it’s acceptable to indulge ‘just this once’.  But it’s never just once, is it?

So maybe those two words are not mutually exclusive after all….

I think I was having trouble being inspired to write because I was feeling a bit out of control of my health.  It’s hard to write a health blog when you aren’t living a healthy lifestyle.  Anyways, this post is serving not only as an update for you as to where I have been, but as a reality check for myself.  An honest update about why I haven’t been writing.  There. I said it.  Moving forward.

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Life as of now

Just a few updates:

1.  My body is so sore from being in the gym, I could barely wash my hair.  I love that feeling!!

2.  My very best friend arrives in Madrid tomorrow morning so expect a lack of posts for short time

3.  I am very excited to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Madrid.  I’ll be sure to post about the festivities

4.  For now, I don’t like ground beef anymore and my new addiction is pork.  My tastes change quite frequently and violently.

5.  I have been listening to rap music nonstop and channeling my A-town roots.

6.  I have been addicted to raw cabbage and eating some variation of a slaw for lunch everyday.  I also have been making my broccoli casserole a lot and still loving it.

7.  This is my last week of work and then I have a 2-week Christmas vacation!  I forgot what that was like!

That’s about it for now.  Stay tuned for some holiday updates!!

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Thanksvember 2011: sleep tight

While I may be seriously missing my Queen size bed with Ritz-Carlton feather top mattress and down comforter…

I am thankful for the 1.5″ thick piece of foam I bought to go on top of my twin size bed here in Madrid.

48 hours in madrid

I came across this lovely video which will give you a brief overview of where I live.  Madrid is amazing so don’t let this video substitute for a visit to this lively city.  You even might see a famous restaurant that I reviewed recently…


48 Hours Madrid from Stark Content & Crew on Vimeo.

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street soccer

So I had a small debate with myself as to whether or not I would post about this mainly because I didn’t take my camera and literally could not find a suitable image to borrow from Google.

I had the opportunity to play some street soccer last night in the middle of urban Madrid.  My roommate invited me to play since he knew that I played soccer in the States, but I quickly came to realize that soccer as I have known it and street soccer are not the same.  If you are at all familiar with 1992 blockbuster White Men Can’t Jump starring Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes, then you can envision street soccer.

love the clothing

It is essentially the same setup in a caged hard court, graffiti encouraged but not necessary, with everyone from the block circling around waiting for their turn to play.  The teams are made on the spot, 5 versus 5, and each game goes until one team scores two points.  The game is extremely fast paced and if your team keeps winning then you keep playing!

I’m gonna get a little “spoiled brat/ATL” on you here but when I walked into the court, I was sure I was either going to get shot or get robbed (and I didn’t even bring anything with me!).  It was just one of those scenes that makes you feel a bit…unsafe.  I was so wrong!  Everyone was so welcoming and even though the games got intense, everyone playing was just there to have fun.  I felt like such an idiot for jumping to conclusions when I walked in.  It was a very humbling experience for me.  Despite the fact that no one spoke English, I met some really friendly people and really enjoyed myself.

I won’t go into detail about my skills on the court because I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone.  No really, my ability to play street soccer was embarrassing.  Did I mention I was the only girl as well?  But what an experience that was!  I would have never done something like that if it weren’t for my roommate pushing me to go.  Next time I will be sure to bring my camera so I can take a few shots.  For now, here is a picture of a similar court.

Image by Peter Visontay - this was taken in NYC, but the court was very similar to this.

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tourist day

So after nearly a month living in Madrid, I finally did something touristy on Sunday.  I went for a three-hour walking tour throughout the city center that hit all the big landmarks.  Oh, and it was free!  It was a great day and I really enjoyed the tour.  The guide was from Australia and hilarious!  Here are a few pictures from the tour:

I hope you all enjoy the photos for now.  This is my last week of TEFL school so after that I am a free girl unemployed.

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the “schwa” is a bit of a slut

(little phonetics lesson for you there.)

So I am nearly halfway through my TEFL course and ohmygod I am exhausted.  It’s like I have just completely lost focus during this week!  Unfortunately for me, losing focus is not accepted in a course like this so I just keep moving along.  I have so many projects/lesson plans/flash cards/materials/papers coming up that I literally can not see the end in sight.  I guess I can find solace in the fact that I am halfway through after tomorrow. However, I must mention that I am really not looking forward to my upcoming assigned topics for the next two class I teach: time travel and Harry Potter.

Aside from that, my social life (what minimal life there is) is going great.  My roommates are turning out to be even better than I expected and I am really enjoying their company when I come home from a long day.  Also, my classmates are incredible.  It is amazing how close we have all become in the short time we have spent together.  I am really loving learning more about all of them every day.  I can’t wait for our graduation night together!

Random fact:  Contact solution costs €8.50.  Do the math.


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