Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to Eat Vegan in Barcelona

There is a huge misconception that Spain is not vegan friendly but that is simply not the case. With the help of these resources, I was able to find plenty throughout Spain. (See my Bilbao & Madrid vegan guides.) While in Barcelona, we were in the Poble Sec neighborhood so the dishes I found are local to that area. 

Calle Blai (a pedestrian street with many restaurants) had a handful of options for vegan tapas. Pictured above is from Pincho J a restaurant bar on Calle Blai. They always seemed to have grilled vegetable tapas & always satisfied.
I also found shishito peppers (a common tapa in Barcelona) & a quinoa/magno dish at La Esquinita de Blai. This bar restaurant has great costumer service so don't be afraid to ask if they have more veggie options at the tapas bar.
Cooking your own food while traveling is always a more affordable and healthier idea. La Boqueria (described further here) has so many options to cook up a meal on your own. Pretty frequently we'd gather ingredients at La Boqueria to make paella for dinner.  
Juices & fruits are a great option for breakfast!
& there are plenty of snack options at La Boqueria, too!
This is our homemade paella. We grabbed a few different types of veggies, veggie stock, rice, beans & paella spice at La Boqueria & shops to make for dinner. Recipe to come!
Another restaurant we frequented was Dostrece. It's an omnivore restaurant with vegan brunch items. You can see above that when I went to Barcelona the first time the menu was rather small. But when I returned in June, it more than doubled! So many yummy options. We probably went to Dostrece probably 6 times for brunch. 
We loved it so much. 
& there are pastries! 
See? So many options!
Gopal is a completely vegan restaurant & deli. It's a burger joint with many options to build your burger. Lots of vegan cheese and burger patty options. & you can have patatas bravas! Patatas bravas are fries with a spicy sauce that is mayonnaise based. So Gopal has a plant-based sauce so it's nice to be able to participate in a traditional Spanish dish!
They also have patties and cheese to take home with you! Another great option.
Don't miss out on the donuts & desserts, too!
gelaaati! DI MARCO can definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. This gelato shop has many dairy free options with great customer service, so just ask which ones are dairy free. (I cannot remember if they are labeled.) When I asked for chocolate the employee suggested I get another flavor because it's rather rich. I got it with mango & it tasted delicious! They give you a healthy portion with a size small ^pictured here^.
Tacos Tacos! We loved this place. I feel like I'm constantly saying that these Barcelona restaurants have great costumer service & it's probably because everyone is just so friendly in Barcelona! But yes, Tacos Tacos (no "!" but every time I mention it it makes me want to shout it. ;)) is an omnivore restaurant but they did a great job modifying my tacos so they could be vegan. They were just beans and guacamole but super delicious! They have a few different group meals where you can get something like 20 tacos for the table, with nachos & drinks. Great restaurant for groups.
I wish I had more photos to show you Flax & Kale. Such a beautiful restaurant with beautiful food. Next time I'll go for lunch so I can get better photos. ;) (They have great natural light see their Instagram!) Flax & Kale is a flexitarian restaurant with plenty of vegan options. See their well labeled menu here. I got the kale chips, the Green Power Ravioli & DESSERT! :)
La Heladeria Mexicana is a pleasant surprise. It's a Mexican ice cream shop by the beach with A LOT of vegan ice cream options! I got the small horchata flavor. Did you know that Spanish horchata and Mexican horchata are different? The person helping me informed me that I was ordering Mexican horchata not Spanish. I didn't even know there was a difference! Mexican horchata is rice based whereas Spanish horchata is nut based. Don't miss out on stopping by at La Heladeria Mexicana when you're by the beach!
More burgers & patatas bravas in Barcelona. Got no problems with that. I've been wanting to go to Cat Bar Vegano for years. I discovered this blog post & because it had to do with veganism and cats, I was in. It was a priority for me to go Cat Bar when we were in Barcelona. It did not disappoint! My mouth waters just looking at these photos. The environment is great, too! A lot of cat art. & they also have a huge selection of Catalan beer.
I was not expecting to find a little vegan snack at the BlackLab Brewhouse. You've probably seen your share of spring rolls so it's not groundbreaking but it's nice to know you have an option! They're near the beach and open during siesta so it's a great place for travelers.

& that rounds up my post of vegan options in Barcelona. Whew! (I didn't even name them all! We also went to Juicy Jones for breakfast, too! But choose Dostrece over Juicy Jones for breakfast in my opinion. :))

I absolute LOVE Barcelona & CANNOT wait to return. To be completely honest, I think about Barcelona & these meals all of the time. This is the 2nd of 4 posts I have about Barcelona. See what we did in Barcelona here. & stay tuned for a post about Barcelona cocktails & things to do for FREE in Barca!

- Christina

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

3 Social Media Tips & Tricks: Snapchat, Instagram & Twitter

Since I've been hired as a social media manager, I have done a lot of research on how to have appealing platforms. So I've applied a few things I learn into my own blogging/lifestyle social media. 
I'm excited to share, so let's get into this!

Are you ever annoyed by not being able to fully express yourself on Snapchat? All the woes, haha. Well I have a hack for you! (Disclaimer, all of my tips are iOS 8.)
Go to your Notes app and hit "return" for a few lines. Select All of the blank lines & Copy.
Paste your blank lines into Snapchat and type up your wise words. ;) As you get to the end of your first line, your words won't push to the second line, so you will have to choose the next line to continue your statement. 

Click "Read more" to make your Twitter more visually stimulating!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

My First Wedding Video + Wedding Videography Tips!

I first became interested in wedding videography when I assisted Melissa from Video By Melissa. I've always been interested in videography because I majored in film (& I like vlogging!) but that was my first professional experience. (These are the weddings that I assisted with Melissa, Natalie + Joe & Brandon + Courtney.)

A few months later my sister, Ashley introduced me to the opportunity to shoot a wedding on my own. (She did photography for the wedding. You can see some of her photos here.) I'm so thankful that the Sherwood's gave me the chance to experiment with wedding videography during their special day.

I learned some tips about wedding videography that will serve me well for the next wedding I shoot. 
Here's some things I learned the hard way:

Stick to minimal camera movement. Being a smooth (camera) operator is hard! (Get it? Get it? ;)) Do not move the camera too too much. Some camera movement is good but the subjects will move for you, so don't be consumed by it. & when it's all said and done camera movement takes practice. 

Have extra batteries. This is a "no duh," but I didn't think about this before the Sherwood wedding. It ended up costing me not getting any footage of the ceremony! 

Talk to the bride & groom about surprises. It's also a "no duh" to talk to the bride and groom but be sure to ask about the details. It's good for the videographer to know if there's going to be any flash mobs, special dances or anything special that needs to be caught on video.

Once again, I am so thankful to the Sherwood's for this opportunity. I hope you enjoy their highlight video! I know it's a little late for wedding season, but if you are local to the Orange County/greater Los Angeles area, & are looking for a wedding videographer feel free to shoot me an e-mail!

- Christina