eurotrip recap part 3: budapest
ahhhh, finally, i get to tell you all about my new favorite european city… budapest! up until this trip, paris had always been my favorite, so it kind of makes sense that budapest, also known as “the paris of the east” would win me over almost instantly. [please note that my actual favorite european city is lugano, switzerland, where i lived and studied abroad for six months in college, but that’s neither here nor there.]
we took the night train [sleeper car and everything!] from munich to budapest so that we didn’t spend an entire day traveling or waste any time in airports and it was actually a great experience. we boarded the train with a selection of bread, cheese, and wine, got some music going and had so much fun that the passengers in the cabin next to us had to come shush us at 1:30am… oops.
we arrived in budapest in the morning and took the metro to our hotel in the castle district. when we came above ground from the metro station, i looked to my left and the first thing i saw was the parliament building, sitting there on the danube, welcoming us to budapest!
as i mentioned, our hotel was in the castle district on the buda side of the city [the city is divided by the danube river into two sides, buda and pest… so budapest]. the rooms were really spacious, the hotel itself was clean, the staff was friendly, the location and the price were great, and i would highly recommend that anyone visiting budapest stay here. we were a short walking distance from shops, restaurants, matthias church, the fisherman’s bastion, and amazing views of the chain bridge, parliament, and the pest side of the city.
[fisherman’s bastion with matthias church in the background]
[view of pest from buda]
[detail on the chain bridge]
so, you can probably already see why i fell in love with budapest. the pest side was equally as beautiful as buda. we visited the dohány street synagogue, which houses a very unique holocaust memorial in its courtyard. there is also a cemetery on site and many stones placed around the grounds in memory of people who have passed away.
[dohány street synagogue]
[holocaust memorial; each leaf on the tree is stamped with the name of a victim from budapest]
[stones are placed throughout the synagogue, each in memory of someone who has passed away]
we also visited heroes’ square in pest which is home to the tomb of the unknown soldier and massive statues of the seven chieftains of the magyars and other important leaders.
[gang’s all here!]
after heroes’ square, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the széchenyi baths. there are bath houses located all over the city and this is definitely a budapest bucket list item! it was so nice to spend the end of the day relaxing in a giant pool of naturally hot water.
the highlight of pest is, hands down, the parliament building. i can’t even put into words how stunning this building is… not only from across the river, but up close. the detail in the architecture is amazing and it’s so massive… it’s almost hard to believe it’s even real and not just a painting.
[pretty solid travel buddies right here, hangin’ out by the parliament building]
so, i loved budapest. and if you’re ever traveling throughout europe, please go, even if it’s out of the way. the food [which i talked about here] is amazing, the people are amazing, the architecture, the culture… i could go on and on, but I’ll spare you. my next eurotrip recap will be my last [for now]… vienna!
fall favorites: vegan butternut squash soup
in addition to apple crisp and all pumpkin errthang, butternut squash soup is one of my favorite seasonal dishes. i wanted to make a vegan butternut squash soup and since i’ve never made it before, i followed a recipe from vegan holiday kitchen, which is what i’m sharing with you today! this recipe makes about 6-8 servings of soup and is a liiitttttllllleee time consuming, so make sure you start about an hour and a half before you actually want to eat. you can also make this ahead of time and re-heat later for a quick and easy dinner on nights when you don’t have time/are too lazy to cook!
you will need:
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium apple, peeled and sliced
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- pinch of nutmeg
- 14 oz. can light coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. kale leaves for garnish
first, you will need to prepare the squash:
- preheat the oven to 400° and line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil.
- slice the stem off of the squash [if applicable], peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise [you will need a fairly large/sharp knife to do this].
- scoop out the seeds and place both halves face down in the baking dish, covering with aluminum foil.
- bake for 45-60 minutes or until the meat of the squash can be pierced easily with a fork.
- remove from the oven and once cooled, slice into large chunks and set them aside.
once the squash as been prepared:
- heat about half of the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onion over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- add the apple, squash, broth, curry, ginger and nutmeg and bring to a steady boil. cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
- transfer everything into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
- transfer the puréed mixture back into the pot and stir in the coconut milk, bringing to a gentle simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- while the soup is cooking, sauté the kale leaves in a saucepan with the remaining olive oil until cooked through and slightly crispy.
- ladle soup into serving bowls [or mugs!], season soup with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with a couple of kale leaves and enjoy!
motivation mondays: week 10
hi everyone! sorry for the lack of posts last week… things were a little crazy and i just couldn’t find the time to finish the posts and have them presentable in a timely fashion, but it’s a new week and I’m ready to be back at this in full force! so, it’s all gonna start with a motivation mondays post!
i love this. not only because this image is really pretty, but because of the message it delivers. it’s something that can be a pretty heavy thing to do or think about, but it’s put so simply here and i just love that.
is there something in your life that just makes you feel bad? it could be a situation you’re in, a project you’re working on, a person in your life, anything? you know, it’s that feeling in the pit of your stomach, the way your heart races [in a bad way], the overall uncomfortable feeling you get when something doesn’t feel right? these feelings, which i think we typically ignore or try to justify, are your intuition, your gut, your subconscious telling you that you’re doing something that isn’t serving you, your goals, your higher purpose and that you need to get out… now. holding onto things that don’t nourish you and make you feel good is one of the most unhealthy things that we can do to ourselves. bad situations and the feelings that they create not only impact our mental health and wellbeing, but as proven by that feeling in your stomach or the racing of your heart, they can manifest in your body physically and create even more problems for you. it’s a vicious cycle and one that you have the power to put an end to.
i encourage everyone to take notice when feelings of discomfort pop up and ask yourself what is making you feel this way and why. once you’ve been able to pinpoint the cause of the stress, anxiety, fear, shame or whatever it is you’re experiencing, get rid of it. don’t stick around because of obligation or fear of what will happen if you don’t. if something inside of you is telling you that it isn’t right, it probably isn’t, and your quality of life, your health and your mental wellbeing will thank you for it.
i think every week in my monday links i’m going to start including a man crush monday… because… why not?
i really love this list of things you should never, ever use facebook [or other forms of social media] for.
this article from elite daily was really hard for me to read, but i think that this guy’s account of what can happen if you work your life away is so important for everyone to hear.
alright my loves! have an amazing week! wednesday i’ll be sharing a recipe for this butternut squash soup and friday you’re going to hear all about my new favorite european city. see you back here soon!
image courtesy of imgfave
motivation mondays: week 9
hi, everyone! this monday is a little rougher than the past few have been. if you read my post from friday or you follow me on instagram and twitter, you might have noticed that i was in new orleans for the weekend celebrating halloween with some of my best friends… and wow, did we have fun. our group dressed up as dia de los muertos skeletons [also known as sugar skulls] and this was one of my favorite [and most time consuming] costumes i have ever done! i got back sunday afternoon, which left me with just enough time to recuperate from three days on bourbon street before having to make my way back into reality. by the way, if you ever get the chance to go to new orleans… do it! it was a lot of drinking, a lot of prettttyyyy unhealthy food [i don’t think i’ve ever had a more difficult time feeding myself], but it was also a lot, a lot, a lot of fun and something i think everyone should experience at some point.
pretty creepy make up, right?! what did you do for halloween? how did your costumes turn out?
up next: this week’s edition of motivation mondays, of course… and i’ll be honest with you, i’m basically obsessed with this quote, mainly because i can really relate to it and i think it’s such an important thing for all of us to remember.
sure. we all want to be pretty and beautiful. we all have different standards of what “beauty” is and what our personal ideal is. and it’s great to be able to look in the mirror and be truly happy with what you see; every one deserves this and as someone who has struggled with self-confidence, body image and accepting myself the way i appear, i know how hard it can be to do this.
the good news is that our appearance is only a fraction of what makes us beautiful. anyone can be beautiful on the outside, but being truly beautiful doesn’t just come from what our hair looks like, how much we weigh or we dress, it comes from how we treat other people, the energy that we put into the world and the way we carry ourselves. i’m sure we can all think of at least one person who is completely gorgeous on the outside, but is just a bad person who enjoys bringing down others or projects negative energy into the world… not so attractive anymore, right?
don’t let your appearance define you. be confident and do whatever you can to look and feel your best, but don’t get hung up on the outside. it’s what’s on the inside that really matters. if you love who you are, what you’re doing with your life and treat others with compassion and respect, that will manifest itself on the outside, as well. just as much as looking good makes us feel good, feeling good makes us look good, too.
things i’m into lately? well, one thing i’m not into is the cold weather and i seriously cannot believe it’s november… time is flying and i feel like there are so many things i want to accomplish and fun things i want to do before it gets too cold to leave my apartment like… ever. a few things are helping to make the transition a little easier…
shopping. i mean, literally nothing else can make me feel better about the cold like shopping in preparation, so why not? i’m thinking about grabbing these boots and i’m dreaming about this jacket, among other things.
this winter food tour of new york is also calling my name… i think i’m going to try to do every last one of these things this year… again, really needing reasons to look forward to the cold.
finally, i’ve been thinking about making a change in regards to my hair for a while, and lauren conrad’s new look was the last bit of inspiration i needed [seriously, i love her, and i’m not ashamed to admit that].
what’s making the seasonal changes easier for you? as always, would love to hear from you in the comments below or via email [email@example.com].
image #2 courtesy of inspire & instyle
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