3.23.2015

A Little Bit of London

One of my best friends is visiting from the good ole US of A and I have been playing tourist with her for the last few days. It has made me realize I don't take advantage of London enough. I know one day I will come to regret watching reruns of 'Say Yes to the Dress' on a Saturday instead of going out and exploring.

I am definitely going to learn from this and do a bit more about London here on State of Sunshine. To kick it off, here is a highlight of some of the things we have hit up in the last few days.


 We ate ourselves silly at Borough Market. 


We took the river bus down the Thames and got some killer shots along the way.


We absorbed the sunshine in front of St. Paul's Cathedral.


 We enjoyed the geometry at the British Museum. 


 We found this killer view of Big Ben.


We stood on two hemispheres at once in Greenwich. 


Now, off to Paris and Florence. Get excited for those city guides to be coming your way. 


3.10.2015

4 Things to Make Your Day Go From 'Blah' to 'Brilliant'

Today started off as one of those lame days. Nothing went wrong, but it just didn't feel all that exciting and invigorating. You know that feeling? And as I was getting ready for bed I realized the day totally turned itself around. Thinking about is further I realized there were particular moment that helped the day make a U-turn.

Here are the 4 things that made my day go from 'blah' to 'brilliant'...


1. I read this on Pinterest



2. I heard about this on Vogue 



3. I ate this for dinner 


4. And I hung out with people that made me laugh, a lot. 


Some days start and end blah and some get better as they go on. I am glad today was the latter. 

3.07.2015

City Guide: Budapest

As you may know, we decided to celebrate our first anniversary with a trip to Budapest. We got married in February so we knew we wanted to celebrate somewhere that would be beautiful in the cold. Budapest was a perfect pic because of its thermal baths and rich food. If nothing else, this post will leave you hungry for Hungary (sorry, but I had to get that punch line in somewhere).


Stay
The Jewish Quarter

We were lucky enough to stay at a beautiful hotel in the Jewish Quarter thanks to all our BA miles. The Jewish Quarter is outside the main touristy areas, but still close enough to be anywhere important in about 15 minutes. The best thing about this part of town were the streets to wander through. Graffiti, bakeries, book stores - all part of a morning strolls.



Eat
Anything with Paprika

I don't know if I am alone here but paprika has never jumped out at me as an all star spice. Man, was I wrong. Pretty much everything here has paprika (it is the Hungarian national spice) and all the dishes have incredible flavor. Our favorite was the pork medallions with roasted veggies and slices of chorizo in the paprika sauce from Cafe Intenzo. So good we went back for seconds the next night.


Cake

We had probably 3 desserts each day and still didn't manage to try everything. The best baker we tried was the 160 year old bakery called Ruszwurm. We had the Vanilla cake and the Dobos cake - both traditional Hungarian dessert and oh my goodness these were good. The Vanilla was by far my favorite with its thick cream that was somewhere between English custard and whipped cream. Not to mention this was a cheap date - about £2 (or $3) for both.


Rose Gelato

Everyone we spoke to prior to our trip recommended we go near St. Stephen's Basilica and try the Gelarto Rosa. Everyone was right. Not only was it adorable but it was some of the best gelato I have ever tried. Husband got the vanilla and salted caramel cream. I was a bit more adventurous and tried the basil lime and the strawberry and elderflower. The flavors were just as wonderful as their creative construction.


See
Fisherman's Bastion and St. Matthias church

The Fisherman's Bastion is on the Buda side of the Danube and is well worth the walk uphill. Not only is the architecture stunning, but the view from the top is equally beautiful. It is also next to St. Matthias church with the most incredible roof - check out those colors.



Shoes on the Danube Bank

Just down from the Parliament on the Pest side is a beautiful tribute to honor the Jews who were killed during WWII in Budapest. The sculptor created 60 pairs of shoes that are period appropriate. The day we visited was very foggy and it gave an even more somber tone to the memorial against the stunning views of Buda across the river.


Do
Take a free tour

I have done these tours in Berlin, Barcelona and now Budapest and they never disappoint. The tour guides are knowledgeable and it is a great way to get a lay of the land when you arrive. Our guide gave us great tips for where to eat, when the best times were to go to museums and which baths were the best. The greatest thing is at the end you pay what you think the tour was worth. This insures great tours are available to rich and poor alike - you just give what you can afford.


Take a bath

If you do nothing else go to one of the many bath houses around the city. We went to the Szechenyi Baths in the city park and it was nothing short of stunning. We spend the majority of our time in the outdoor pools surrounded by the gorgeous architecture. The pools are heated to a lovely 36 C (about 96F) which is perfect for the Hungarian winter. Inside there is room after room with different pools at different temperatures. After a long day of walking around ad site seeing this is definitely the place to go and relax.


I am now looking forward to Paris and Florence later this month with one of my best friends from the states. Look out for those cities guides in a few weeks!

3.02.2015

February Favorites

Well hello March! I am hoping with the new month we will get some new weather (sunshine, please!)     and new adventures. Last month was a good one though - we celebrated one year of marriage and had a quick getaway to Budapest. Still there was time to put together a few of my favorites from the month...

Interior
Cho Family Portrait 
I dare you to find someone more adorable than Joy Cho and her family. My heart is so happy when I read each of her posts. At the end of Jan she posted about the family portrait cards she has made and how it is a grew way to document her growing brood. I thought these were a simple, but sweet way to celebrate as changes happen. Definitely going to start our own little portrait gallery sometime soon.


Food
Cheap Eats in London
There will be a whole post about Hungarian food we tried on our recent trip to Budapest, so I thought I would share my most recent list for best things to eat in London on a budget. I love trying new places to eat and I love it even more if they are a bargain. Try not to drool while reading this rad list.


Pin
Designer Dad Teaches 2-Year-Old Daughter about Typography with Food




Can't get much cuter than this. I just pulled out a couple of my favorites, but there is a whole alphabet to look at. Isn't the internet just the best? Things like this get me all excited about the creativity out there.


Fashion Statement & Blog
Hey Pretty Thing: Simple Weekend Outfit 
I am combining my favorite blogger and fashion statement this month with Hey Pretty Thing. She posted my ideal casual outfit on her blog earlier this month - Oxford shirt, skinny jeans and sneakers. Carolyn posts a lot of other great outfits and about her travels (she had an amazing honeymoon around Europe). Definitely check her out if you haven't already.

2.26.2015

And the winner is...



A little late off the gate, but we can blame the Budapest trip for that. This Elie Saab dress Emma Stone wore at the 2015 Oscars was an epic win. Bold color, perfect shape, sparkles (I'm a sucker for sparkles) and great lipstick. Well done Emma, well done.

Runners up: Reese Witherspoon, Rosamund Pike, and Anna Kendrick

2.21.2015

Year One



Today marked the end of the first year of our marriage. I can't believe that time has flown by so quickly. It has been a fun and eventful year - we moved into our first home together in West Hampstead, we travelled to five countries (the US, Mexico, Morocco, Spain and the UK), saw almost all of our favorite people either at the wedding or in the months following, and generally had a great time establishing our little family. 

To celebrate our paper anniversary we bought tickets to fly to Budapest tomorrow (we printed the tickets on paper so they count). We are excited to eat some goulash, experience the thermal baths and walk along the Danube. 

Any suggestions for what to see and do are welcome! Look out for the Budapest city guide on State of Sunshine later this week.