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My Thoughts on Brexit in Spain: Finally Looking Forwards after Three Years of Living in Limbo

brexit in spain

 

 

Before I start, I need to be brutally honest with you.

I am not in the slightest bit interested in whether you voted to leave or to remain. I don’t care about the figures in the millions and billions being thrown around by opposing sides. Who knows what we should believe. Who we should believe. When the Brexit in Spain bombshell actually landed, I was on the point of saying that I didn’t care whether the UK was in the EU or not. But that would be taking it too far.

Of course, I care.

I care a lot.

But I’m a realist.

I grew up with the EU. 

snake in the tunnel theoryWho else remembers the “snake in the tunnel” explanation of the euro currency being explained in A level economics classes?

As an Erasmus student, I was fortunate to spend two years at university in France. What an experience! Without the Erasmus grant, this probably wouldn’t have been possible. (Please note that despite not earning over the required wage, post-graduation, I paid back every penny of my UK student loan!).

Since graduation, I have travelled and worked my way around most parts of Spain and the islands and many in France. My ability to work wherever I went meant my trips were self-funded. Europe has been my home and I never envisaged the day that it may not be for my children…

June 23rd 2016 I went to bed with a sinking feeling in my stomach.

The following morning I awoke into the land of the unknown. To face the aftermath of Brexit in Spain.  In Limbo Land. Little could we have imagined that Limbo Land would be our home for the next three years …

And so to current day, January 31st 2020.

Whether you love him or loathe him, Boris did get Brexit done (actually, he’s so far only done a half job but we’ll look at that later). Finally, it was time to look forward. For the main part, the part that makes our family life in Spain and the lives of others looking to relocate to Spain, at least until the end of 2020, things are finally much clearer.

Call me selfish if you like, but my priorities lie with my family, friends and many acquaintances. I am speaking about those of us who have endeavoured to follow procedures and play by the rules for living in Spain. The many couples and families who we have helped make the move to Spain have also followed our lead and played by the rules. And thankfully we can all now breathe a huge sigh of relief.

I am not saying obstacles may not lie ahead. But life would be boring without a few challenges along the way, wouldn’t it 😉

 

How has Brexit in Spain affected our lives so far?

 

We have literally spent three years living in limbo. Carrying on with life as best we can (and I must admit we do that pretty well!) swimming amongst the tide of never-ending misinformation flying around all media channels both on and offline. Always with hope and belief that everything would work out in the end. Just not knowing when that end would come.

One of the worst experiences was the ever-growing divide of “Them and Us”.

But, who is Them and who is Us?

Are we talking Leavers vs Remainers?

Or maybe EU Residents vs Non-EU Residents?

Or Brits living in the UK vs Brits living abroad?

No matter where you looked, there were constant battles. Nastiness. Bitterness. Accusations. Personal battles amongst people who had considered themselves friends. Not to mention the scenes witnessed against non-British people in parts of the UK.

For a long time, I was embarrassed to think that I was British. Having lived in the EU for more than half my adult life, why was my passport now going to make me only British?

So, after long deliberation, I decided to take steps to help my children obtain a Spanish passport. After all, they were born in Spain. But as many of you will know, it isn’t that easy. But is it worth it? I don’t know! How can I know?  I know the procedures, I know the rules but what I don’t know is if we should move forward or sit and wait.

 

So what will we do next?

 

We will do what we have always done. We’ll keep calm and carry on. We’ll keep updated and informed, to the best of our ability. We will be ready to take whatever action is required as soon as it is needed.

And, of course, we will keep you updated and informed about everything we learn, via our Facebook page.

Remember, all official updates can be found:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain

Our informative articles about moving to Spain & property purchase: https://movetomalagaspain.com/articles/

A fabulous Facebook Group for Brexit Updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/brexpatsinspain

 

Oh, and before I go, no matter what you voted, nor what you believe, I hope everything works out for you, your family and friends, wherever in the world you may be. Challenging times may lie ahead but we can all get through this together!

 

And then my friends, came the CORONAVIRUS … (to be continued!)

Easy Healthy Banana Bread Recipe: No Sugar & No Butter

easy healthy banana bread recipe

 

In this post, due to popular demand, I am sharing a really easy, healthy banana bread recipe with you.

This was today’s Day 6 lockdown in Spain achievement: Not only is it delicious, but it is also butter-free and sugar-free.

With the amount of cooking I am doing to fill in time, I need to look for healthier alternatives.

Otherwise, when we are allowed to go out of the front door, we won’t be able to fit through 

 

 

Ingredients for the healthy banana bread recipe:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or olive oil (or a mix)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas about 2-3 medium bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups wholewheat flour or plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • big pinch of  salt
  • dark chocolate chips or chopped walnuts, raisins, pecan nuts (optional extras!)

 

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 170C / 325F.
  • Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sieve the flour, cinnamon/mixed spice, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil, honey, greek yoghurt and vanilla for a couple of minutes. Stir in the mashed bananas, flour mixture and chocolate chips (plus any other add-ins of choice.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, slice and enjoy!

 

healthy banana bread recipe

 

Full credit to the original recipe that I adapted slightly to suit our tastes: https://gimmedelicious.com/healthy-moist-banana-bread/

Casa Global Gift: Help Us Make a Difference for Children in Spain!

casa global gift

 

 

As I write this article, introducing you to Casa Global Gift, the world is in an unusual situation. Coronavirus pandemic is affecting people worldwide. How long it will last, nobody knows. Our lives are being lived from day to day, awaiting further instructions and guidance from the powers that be.

Here in Spain, we have been in self-isolation, housebound for five days so far. We were initially told it would be for 2 weeks, we now expect it to be for longer, a minimum of 4 weeks. We cannot focus on that though, we need to focus on how to better a difficult situation.

This may not be the ideal time to share this post about Casa Global Gift with you but I hope it makes you stop and think for a while.

We have so much to be grateful for. Let us look at what we can for others. Not only now, when we may have more time to do so, but also once life returns to as it was before…

The children and families that this charity is providing for, have a lifetime of worries and concerns. Sadly, for most of them, their lives will never be “normal”. They don’t have a 2 or 4-week window to survive. They have a lifetime. And every little effort to make this easier for them is very welcomed.

 

 

What is the Global Gift Foundation?

The Global Gift Foundation is an international non-profit organization, based in Marbella, Spain, created in June 2013 by Spanish entrepreneur and philanthropist Maria Bravo.

Declared of public interest, it was duly registered in the National Register of Foundations of the Ministry of Health, Equality and Social Policy, with the number 29-0090.

Their Mission:

  • To create a positive impact on the lives of children, women and families in need.
  • Empowering women and changing social mindsets and roles.
  • Promote and educate about the educational and social inclusion of children with special needs.

 

What is Casa Global Gift?

Casa Global Gift, located in Marbella, is one of the main projects of the Global Gift Foundation. Its objective is to provide state-of-the-art therapies and treatments to children with special needs and/ or rare diseases in a warm space where children feel at home.

It is a space of social innovation, collaborative work and training where other charities and social entities will be based, benefiting from the synergistic effect that allows us to share more experiences, resources, activities, and be part of a great team that contributes towards progress in equal opportunities, creating a major impact on society.

Their mission is to improve the quality of life of the children and their families, through therapeutic, pedagogical and leisure programs, to promote their development, independence and social inclusion. 

Casa Global Gift will offer the most innovative therapies and rehabilitation machinery, as well as workshops and leisure programs designed to promote social inclusion.  

It will also be the only centre in Spain with a copper-coated unit specially designed to treat children with Cystic Fibrosis. 

Casa Global Gift activities Casa Global Gift activities

 

Thanks to the enormous effort of generous donors, sponsors, collaborators and the entire Global Gift Foundation team, they are now close to the opening of this wonderful house where hundreds of children and their families can receive workshops and therapies.

How can YOU be part of the Casa Global Gift project?

You can make a difference and contribute to this fabulous project by donating your time and skills through volunteer programs. Now that many of us have more time on our hands, why not think of ideas of events you can organise when we return to normality? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below and we will pass them on for you.

If you cannot donate your time then you can help by contributing through financial support offering the amount that best suits your monthly possibilities.

ES94 2100 1755 2402 0060 5772 – DONATE NOW https://www.casaglobalgift.org/en/

Help us spread the word by following them on social media and sharing!

facebook.com/casaglobalgift/ 

instagram.com/globalgiftfoundation/ 

twitter.com/GlobalGiftFound 

youtube.com/globalgiftfoundationong

What are WE doing to support this project?

All proceeds from the sale of our book, Moving to Spain with Children, are being donated to this beautiful project. We are also offering consultations for monetary donations to Casa Global Gift.

moving abroad with children

We are also offering a 50% discount on our downloadable ENGLISH & SPANISH language learning materials on Cooking with Languages. All monies raised using the DISCOUNT code “CASAGLOBALGIFT” at checkout will be donated to them 

VISIT THE SHOP & DONATE NOW!

 

casa global gift discount

 

Please watch out for details of future fundraising events to raise money for this charity, on our Family life In Spain Facebook page: HERE

Keep safe everybody!

#YOMEQUEDOENCASA

#QUEDATEENCASA

Best-Selling Nu Skin Products in Spain

In a culture that greatly values youth and beauty, skincare is a huge priority for Spaniards. Of all the countries in the world, Spain ranks 13th among the top 15 spenders in the skincare market. The country’s consumers are constantly on the lookout for the most effective and scientifically-backed products, which explains why products from Nu Skin Spain are rising in popularity. 

 

Spain ranks 13th among the top 15 spenders in the skincare market. #nuskinspain Click To Tweet

 

Everything Nu Skin does is driven by science and the desires of its target audience. As a global distributor, Nu Skin has many cultures to appease, but by combining aspects of science and nature, the company is able to appeal to a broad audience. Its product range has something for everyone. This article will overview some of the most popular products in Spain’s market and how they’ve been proven in clinical trials. 

 

Spain’s Beauty Ideals and Practices

 

When walking the streets of Spain, you’re bound to see bright, dewy, and seemingly age-resistant complexions that appear to defy environmental factors and the passage of time. While Spaniards are minimalist when it comes to makeup, skincare is something they take very seriously — especially in their constantly sunny country. Natives are careful to avoid sunbathing, knowing that the sun is a huge factor in ageing and skin cancer. They’re diligent with using sunscreen and moisturizer; they eat a well-balanced diet, and they follow a strict skincare routine to keep their skin as youthful as possible.

 

Spaniards also make an effort to stay informed about potentially harmful ingredients in skincare products. There’s a new demand within the country for botanical ingredients and formulations that have been proven to work. Nu Skin’s product lines support this growing demand, and here’s how.

 

Carefully Selected Ingredients

 

Spaniards value high-quality raw materials and potent ingredients, and Nu Skin delivers exactly that in all its products. Its scientific teams actively search out “all of the good,” meaning they work around the clock to identify the best high-quality ingredients for its skincare lines. By utilizing naturally derived materials and synthetic boosters for over three decades, the company has seen marked results in clinical trials

 

Spain’s Best-Selling Skin Care Products

 

Nu Skin ProductsEpoch Baobab Body Butter

 

Two aspects of life in Spain make this all-over moisturizer so popular; the first is that most people bathe in hard water, which can have a harsh drying effect on the skin. The second is that oil is a huge commodity there, especially in beauty products, and Epoch Baobab Body Butter is abundant in natural oils that support smooth, supple skin.  

 

Scientifically speaking, the baobab fruit pulp extract is a humectant and emollient that prevents dryness and conditions the skin to help it retain more moisture for longer. Together with the macadamia nut oil, which mimics the effect of the skin’s natural sebum, this monounsaturated fatty acid can easily be absorbed and maintain the skin’s natural water barrier. 

 

Nu Skin Products180 Face Wash

 

Skincare isn’t just for the women of Spain. Men, too, are conscious of their skin health. The 180 Face Wash was designed with both genders in mind to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture while minimizing the impact of spots caused by Spain’s ever-blazing sun. When combined, vitamin C, sesame oil, soybean oil, grape seed extract, and ginseng extract work together to even out skin tone, prevent moisture loss, reduce free radicals, and tighten the skin.

 

Nu Skin Products

ageLOC Radiant Day SPF 22

 

Spain is sunny for 295 days of the year on average, which doesn’t make it easy to maintain the light complexion favoured by those who live there. As such, the ageLOC Radiant Day SPF 22 has become a must-have product for a Spaniard’s skincare arsenal. This SPF contains a powerful anti-ageing blend of ingredients (including jojoba, shea butter, bamboo extract, and ageLOC) that scientifically stimulate youth cell turnover, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and ensure easy absorption by the skin. 

 

Scientific Research Leading to ageLOC Product Line

 

Anti-ageing science is a hot topic in the beauty industry right now. People all over the world are desperately seeking the secret to eternal youth, and Nu Skin is making strides toward revealing those secrets and making solutions available. 

 

Wrinkles are a direct result of extracellular matrix depletion, which causes the skin to lose its elasticity. This depletion can be attributed to environmental factors including the sun’s UV rays or smoking, which can destroy the elastic tissue that keeps the skin looking young. Science has discovered that select antioxidants and vitamins can reduce the appearance of ageing and protect the skin from sun damage.

nu skin spain

In 2017, Aging Cell published a study conducted by scientists from LifeGen Technologies and Nu Skin. The purpose of the study was to determine healthy patterns of gene expression in various tissues and use them to discover ingredients for their formulas with the same healthy-ageing patterns.

 

The experiment was successful; Nu Skin identified some of the genes that impact how we look while we age. This led researchers to conclude that healthy ageing can be supported by combining ingredients that mimic healthy ageing in a variety of tissues and applying them to skincare products. 

 

These ingredients were named super markers, and today, Nu Skin’s ageLOC science targets those super markers to influence the way people age. ageLOC technology creates a balance of super markers with their youthful genetic patterns and applies this science in Nu Skin product development.

Nu Skin Products

Browse Nu Skin Spain’s Anti-Aging Product Range

Whether you live in Spain or elsewhere in the world, you can browse Nu Skin’s product range to find a solution that suits your needs. With more than 200 personal care products, you’re sure to find exactly what you need to look and feel great — inside and out.

Save Money on Electricity in Spain: Introducing Bulb

BULB say they can help us save money on electricity in Spain: We’ve already signed up, have you?

 

What would you say if we told you that there was finally a way to  Save Money on Electricity in Spain? Yes, you heard us right, we said … Save Money on Electricity in Spain!

A few years ago we shared our disgust and dissatisfaction about the service or lack of service provided by Spanish electricity companies and the extortionate charges (read here). Finally, four years later, there may be some light  (no pun intended 😉 ) at the end of this tunnel.

When Bulb contacted us an offered to explain their services we were all eyes and ears and ad impatiently waiting to learn more. By signing up to their website you will be on their waiting list …

Join BULB waiting list

 

Over to you guys …

save money on electricity in spain

Bulb is coming to Spain. Who are we and what do we believe in?

We’re Bulb, a new electricity company that is about to launch in Spain. Our mission is to help people reduce their bills and carbon emissions. We’re currently the fastest growing supplier in the UK, with over 1.5 million members. We have recently switched our first member in Spain and are excited to have more family, friends and beta testers join us before the end of the year, followed by a full launch next year. If you want to be one of the first to have access to the service in Spain, you can join the priority list at www.bulb.es. If you register with this special link, you’ll receive €20 credit when your switch completes. 

 

Why Spain?

We’re expanding internationally to help even more people lower their bills and cut carbon emissions. When we started Bulb in the UK, we saw the same problems at lots of the big providers – poor service, high tariffs, inefficiency and little support for renewables. We wanted to give people a better choice about where to get their energy from. We looked closely at countries across the world when deciding where to take Bulb next. The most important thing was to work out where we could be most useful. Spain (as well as France and Texas) were the best bets for saving members a significant amount of money on their bills, whilst providing carbon neutral energy and an excellent member experience.

 

100% green electricity sourced in Spain

We provide our members with 100% renewable electricity from Spanish generators. For every unit you use, we make sure a unit is produced and put on the grid by a renewable source – solar, wind and hydro. 

This helps people cut down on their carbon emissions. By being with Bulb and using green electricity, all our members are helping to protect the planet. Every year, the average Spanish Bulb home lowers their carbon impact by 906 kilos of CO2 per year. That’s the hard work of around 314 trees.

save money on electricity in spain

Illustrations by Aurelia Lange

 

One smart tariff for all

By keeping things simple, we help members to reduce their energy bills. We have been working on delivering a competitive tariff that will help people save money. We’ve done the maths and our smart tariff is 125€ cheaper than the Big 3 stable plans for an average home in Spain. It’s one of the lowest on the market, renewable or not. Our tariff also reflects the real cost of energy. This way everyone is always on the best possible price.  

 

How can we be cheaper? We’ve developed in-house technology to help us keep our costs low. We have also automated many of our back-office activities to increase team efficiency. This helped us keep our costs low and we decided to pass these savings on to you. We believe that’s what’s fair. 

 

A simple electricity bill

Energy does not have to be complicated. And, if you have any questions, you should receive the best service. You shouldn’t have to wait thirty minutes, or speak with five different people, to reach a solution. For us, it is important to provide outstanding service and take care of our members. All of our support is available in both Spanish and English. In the UK, we are proud to have more than 24,000 reviews on Trustpilot with a score of 4.8 / 5.

 

Join Bulb before anyone else

If you want to be part of Bulb in Spain from the beginning, join our priority access list here.

Sign Up For Updates and Save Money on Electricity in Spain!

 

Hope to hear from you soon,

Team Bulb

 

 

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