Sunday, 29 March 2015

Birthday week

End of March is always exciting for me as I have birthday and nameday three days apart. Celebrating these in spring means I get lots of beautiful spring flowers as presents. I also bought two different pink ranunculus plants myself.
Ever since I can remember, there were always yellow daffodils in the vase for my birthday - usually from our grandmother's garden.

There were cakes and home made pizza on the birthday menu, sushi lunch with my boyfriend and lots of presents as if it was second Christmas.

This year was even more special because I got to celebrate it with my boyfriend whose birthday is one day before mine. It was a first time in two years we could spend birthdays together and it was lots of fun.

The pile of presents below are mine and my boyfriends. He hasn't celebrated his birthdays properly and with presents in a long time. I was really surprised when I opened a box with iPad mini he got me :-O. Big thank you again XXXXXxx ! (It takes so much better photos than my HTC 500 phone).

I am one year wiser and I really was spoiled rotten on my birthday.

"Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake. - Edward Morykwas"

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Weekend links {4}

Happy weekend to everyone!

Here are few links I came across this week for reads, eats, things to think about and act on.

TED talks are cool and so are these 25 apps to make your everyday life easier I found there.

If you care about environmental issues, here is a big one. Australian great barrier reef is in real danger as the government approved mining near the reef area. This will mean more oil tanker ships ports, closer ship paths near the Great Barrier reef and higher risk of oil spillage catastrophy. You can add your name here in  Save the Great Barrier Reef campaign to help officially declare the reef as "World Heritage in Danger"     

I am craving  this chia pudding.

Metallic easter eggs?

Dreaming of having an English cottage looking garden like this!

Love these portable fire pits.

Something to munch on on Saturday night - langos that I have tried in Hungary during last weekend in Budapest.

my Instagram
And if you still want to fit into your skinny jeans afterwards try this excercise regime.

Enjoy!  :-)

Friday, 13 March 2015

Weekend in Budapest {Part 1}

I love road trips! Driving somewhere by car gives you a great advantage (you can pack more stuff) and flexibility of time and space (you can go whenever and wherever you want) to explore. My boyfriend loves to drive and we did two big road trips last two years.

On our first road trip in spring, we drove to UK from Slovakia via Italy (Venice, Lake Como) France (La Rochelle) to UK (Lincolnshire). Second road trip was at the end of summer and it took us to Albania via Croatia, Monte Negro and Bosnia Herzegovina. Last weekend we drove to Budapest for a weekend away.

Driving from Bratislava, we got to Budapest in about two hours. We took the Chain Bridge to enter to city which opens up in front of you when you drive through a tunnel under the Castle Hill. 

Our hotel (Mamaison Hotel Andrassy) was at the of famous Andrassy utca (street) that is lined with trees and with old houses with beautiful facades. If you drive to its end, you will find yourself at the Heroes Square and City Park area. 

Hero's Square is an Antique looking monument. We got to walk around the square in the golden hour light. There are museums to visit and exhibitions in the Roman buildings right at the square or at the City Park (VĂ¡rosliget) across the street. Not far from there is also Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden.

The statues of the warriors at the square are quite impressive and look as if they came from old legends and tales. (The Seven chieftains of the Magyars (or Hungarians) were the leaders of the seven tribes of the Hungarians at the time of their arrival to the Carpathian Basin in 895 AD.) It is a beautiful monument. It was nice to see it during a low travel season without other hundreds of people.

We walked to the City park across a bridge over an empty river bank. In winter, this is where you can ice skate on a rink next to the castle. It would have been fun to ice skate there but we came few months too late.

The City park (Varosliget) has a castle that holds exhibitions and is surrounded by park. Even in winter it looks pretty with lots of trees and one must wonder what the park will look like in summer.

While in Budapest City Park, my boyfriend took me to this statue called Anonymus. To me it looked quite spooky. As I learnt later,  Anonymus was the first medieval Hungarian chronicler.

When we got tired and hungry from walking on our first day in Budapest, we went back to our hotel for a snack before dinner. Later on, we drove to river bank to see the city lights at night. Budapest at night is maybe even more beautiful then in daylight but that is something to write about in my next post. :-)

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Weekend links {3}

I think I can sum up my last two weeks into three words: SUGAR, CHANGE, TRAVEL.
(Change sugar, travel? or Change travel, sugar?)

Sugar, because I read about it a lot in the last few months and what effects it has on human body and I feel like everything that I eat is filled with sugar. I am allergic to chocolate so I don't really buy sweets that much but I still eat it. So this week, just for a change, I only allowed myself sugar in the morning coffee and not in the afternoon one. (I am a baby in the morning and need to take baby steps to wake up. Le sigh.) I have read the latest sugar guideline by WHO and honestly, sugar is just one scary thing.

Changes, because I have been thinking a lot about changes in my life. The ones I know off and that will happen soon, to the changes that I feel like I need/ should do. Some changes are not easy to go through and with some, you just need to have the faith in yourself, courage to take the leap and jump. I have found some inspiration in these Richard Branson's Top 10 quotes on change.

I have stumbled upon these Lonely Planet Publications which gave me a serious travel fever. I have found myself searching for flights to places like Buenos Aires, New York and Hawaii via Sydney. 

Budapest by gipsy_quilt
I am a very lucky girl this weekend as I am being whisked off to Budapest - I have never been to. 
(My bf keeps teasing me that I have been to Indonesia, Japan and Australia but not to Budapest which is round the corner.)

Happy weekend!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

What we did today {31}

First day of March which is my birthday month. Our garden seems to be getting over the winter. It is quite muddy everywhere so I wear gumboots all the time when outside. Chocolate darling was quite happy to have me at home this weekend after busy last week at work when I didn't stay at home at all.

The sun was shining in the late morning. I have found tulip and daffodil bulbs awakening from winter sleep. Magnolia and cherry tree are preparing their flower buds to bloom soon.

Looking in the calendar, we have three weeks until Spring. I can feel it coming and I did some Spring cleaning last week already.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Snow sunset walk in the mountains

Snowy hills, fuzzy evergreen trees and skiing - that was our weekend in the Mountains in Northern Slovakia. I haven't used my skis in 2 years so I was quite glad that my muscle pain wasn't too bad to go for a walk.. 

Our accommodation was on top of the hill as high as where the TV and radio tower stand. Golden hour was a perfect time of the day to go for a walk. (I always feel like an astronaut when walking in the winter pants and jacket. I did have many Gravity flashbacks :-)

The path was easy to walk and the trees were snow frosted like in a fairy tale. The fog has lifted for a moment and you could see the valley below the mountains.

When we got to the other side of the hill, the sun was just starting to set. It was so beautiful to watch the snow covered country in the last golden light of the day. 

I loved the scenery and the white and quiet beauty of the nature sleeping under the snow. It was a beautiful walk, one to remember. (P.S. I am also glad we didn't get eaten by any bear!)