August 10, 2016

the dry shampoo struggle

the first dry shampoo i ever tried was bumble and bumble spray for blondish hair, i loved it. i've had medium to long hair all my life and washing/drying it every day is not only bad for it, but a pain and a time suck. over the last 10 or so years i feel like i've tried them all. my favorite spray is elizabeth & james black nirvana, even 3rd day hair is acceptable. for powders, it's oscar blandi i fear is discountinued. with no blandi to order and areosole shipping not allowed, what did i manage to find in budapest?

dry shampoo bumble and bumble lee stafford batiste aussie

bumble and bumble pret a powder is a good travel size and does nearly as good a job as the oscar blandi. i say nearly b/c it's a bit harder to get out of the bottle after a few shakes.

lee stafford was a co-worker reccomendation and is a close second to elizabeth and james. it's got good absorbsion for a spray, blends into my darker hair and doesn't have an offensive smell. the downside is the size of the can, it runs out pretty quickly.

batiste has a stronger smell. the original is fine but there's no 3rd day possibility here. the xxl volume is pretty sticky, like a hairspray with powder, which might be what you're looking for.

aussie miracle is pretty crap. the smell is the standard aussie smell which is a bit over powering. the powder also seems to separate from the spray, it needs a lot of shaking before each use.

July 26, 2016

garden of philosophy

i know i said i was doing a night run this past weekend, but life got in the way. specifically a co-workers going away dinner trumped a 7k for me, and it was totally worth it. instead of a 7k night run, i managed a 7k afternoon run to the foot of gellert hill and walked up to the garden of philosophy, something i've been wanting to do for months. totally worth it as well.

gellert hill garden of philosophy budapest hungary

July 12, 2016

July 6, 2016

mom and dad explore europe - budapest update

the first thing i got asked when i told my friends and family i was spending the year in budapest was "when can i visit?" my parents have both been to europe but at different times. they've been planning a trip to selvacava, italy, where my dad's grandparents immigrated from, for as long as i can remember. they finally got to take that trip, bookended by weekends with me in budapest.

i have to say, budapest - italy - budapest was the right way to do this. they got to visit me and had something to do during the week while i worked. we managed to make it out to a few places i hadn't ventured yet.

June 29, 2016

my skin and europe aren't always friends

a quick note to say i'm sorry for the delay in posts. i had company in town 2 weekends in a row and we are about to start filming at work so, my free time has been extremely limited. i will have some great budapest updates next week tho, promise! now, on to the good stuff.

my skin has been a problem my whole life. i've had eczema since birth and still will scratch a random patch in my sleep so that it's very hard to fully heal. i've managed to keep it a bay for the most part with a water filter shower attachment and a strict seasonal rotation of aveeno products. guess what they don't have in budapest: aveeno!

coming to europe without my trusty aveeno wasn't entirely planned or unplanned. i stocked up on the travel size gold bond cremes and eucerine because i like to keep those in my purse as my hands get very dry. having not had a real flare up in a while, it didn't really occur to me to worry about my body lotion. i had already scoped out shops on google maps, i knew i'd be able to get my lush dream wash and butterballs locally. i figured finding body lotion would be the easy part, oops.

it never occurred to me that i wouldn't be able to find fragrance free body products here. the stores are jam packed heavily with perfumed body wash, lotions and balms, (and 20 kinds of femme wash) but fragrance free was hard to find. same with laundry detergent. my beau thinks this is a hold over from when they showered less so needed to smell artificially clean, who knows. after fruitless trips to every supermarket and drugstore chain in town, i settled on nivea cocoa body lotion. i've used it before sporadically and knew it wouldn't break me out. for the most part i was right.

surviving winter in europe with dry skin la roche posay nivea gold bond eucerin

June 7, 2016

european rail trip - part 2 vienna

when last we met we had explored sopron and were on our way to vienna. i have to say, the train ride from sopron to vienna was much more scenic than from budapest to sopron. but moving on.

June 3, 2016

fitness friday 6.3.16

today i'm going thru some of my favorite apps, free and not.

map my fitness: an upgrade of sorts from map my run, b/c you don't need more than one "map my" from the same company. my friends and i like to give each other transatlantic encouragement. i'll be tracking my bike rides soon as i plan to purchase a bike this weekend. love the 30 second delay on the "start" feature, gives me time to get myself situated before the playlist begins.

favorite fitness apps: map my fitness

May 31, 2016

european rail trip - part 1 sopron

it's been a while since i traveled anywhere, i've been falling into a rthym of life in budapest. we had a long holiday weekend and lucky me, my best friends decided to make the trek from the us all the way to budapest just for little old me! it was the 10 year anniversary of us being friends so we felt it was appropriate to celebrate, we're kind of a big deal.

502 pc budapest hungary best friends european travel wanderlust

May 27, 2016

fitness friday

i'm getting a bit ambitions by naming this "fitness friday." it's put me in the box of posting fitness items on friday. i'm not a fan of boxes, unless i can make them into a fort, but here i am.

the official motto of 502

May 24, 2016

minimal-ish travel beauty bag

while i've never been the full on face of make up type, i don't consider myself a minimalist either. my skin is too dry for that!

on my recent overnight trip to prague i was only packing in my backpack so i knew i'd need to streamline even further than i usually do. here's how the packing in went:

minimal-ish travel beauty bag nars glossier laura mercier nest bobbi brown hourglass rimmel max factor aquaphor clarins sephora first aid beauty nintendo orelia gillet wildfox adidas cottonelle calvin klein goddess yoga target wanderlust
the whole load

minimal-ish travel beauty bag nars glossier laura mercier nest bobbi brown hourglass rimmel max factor aquaphor clarins sephora first aid beauty the balm
my face

May 17, 2016

one pot chicken couscous

i had some friends coming to town last week which meant there would be no cooking during the week. to avoid the work commissary, i decided to try a big one pot meal that would take care of me for a few days.

i found this tasty (looking at least) recipe from brit + co (click for original post and recipe)

saturday after pilates i grabbed a water and headed to the central market hall, the largest market in budapest, which i hadn't visited yet.

it goes on forever

May 10, 2016

28 hours in prague - part 2

since i made it back to the hotel a bit earlier than i had planned saturday night, i was up bright and early sunday to pack in a full day of exploring.

prague czech republic wanderlust travelblog europe charles bridge am 1

prague czech republic wanderlust travelblog europe charles bridge am 2

May 3, 2016

28 hours in prague - part 1

i'm not the least bit embarassed to admit that all of my "europe on a whim" expectations come from the mandy moore movie "chasing liberty." naturally prague, where the movie begins, was at the top of my list.

i've nearly run out of long weekends for work, the next and final one coming while my friends are visiting me, that will be an adventure! but back to prague. since i was only going to be in the city for about 28 hours, i challeneged myself to pack everything in my work backpack.

prague czech republic wanderlust travelblog europe north face swell kater spade uniqlo
totally worked, but that's another post

April 26, 2016

10 favorite travel apps

as i've mentioned before, the prospect of a year in budapest initially bummed me out. but then i got on kayak and saw all places i would go for a quick weekend trip and cheered up pretty quickly. i've been in budapest nearly 3 months now and have found some apps i could not get thru this year without. wether going on holiday or spending a year abroad, here are my most used apps for travel. (i'm not including google maps, b/c i use that everyday everywhere, even at home)

bonus - they're all free!

April 19, 2016

spiralizer: thai chicken zoodles

i finally ordered a spiralizer and spent a good part of the week saving every zoodle recipe i could find to pinterest. for my first attempt i chose a thai chicken with spicey peanut sauce from the blog joyful healthy eats. i also tried out a new market near me that is, shockingly, open on sundays. all the produce for this meal was purchased here. the chicken was from the grocery store, i haven't been brave enough to try the meats stands. maybe this weekend.

zoodles spiralizer budapest hungary fresh markets organic bio wanderlust
lehel market

April 12, 2016

easter trip to paris - part 2

i know i said "next week" when i first posted but i had some personal requests to update on mallory...she's kind of a big deal.

on to day 2 in paris, also know as: the day i spent with dead stuff.

there are 2 places in paris i've wanted to go for a while but was never able to do to either time or co-travelers not being interested. this trip it was all about me! 

i got up very early on easter sunday, 7:30am is early when you're on vacation ok, and took the train down to the catacombs. i tried to go on saturday but the line was massive and i wouldn't have made the cutoff time. when i arrived at 8:30am for a 10am open, i was the 10th person in line. by the time it opened, there as already a 2 hour wait. that's right, people line up to see a bunch of bones just like they do to purchase a new iphone.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france catacombs
am i actually gonna do this?

April 6, 2016

mallory in budapest - update

this is going to be very long

i've held off on this post, probably for superstisious reasons. i'm afraid any update will cosmically turn everything down hill. but here we go...

mallory update cats wanderlust budapest hungary helping
she likes to help me work

shortly before we left for budapest mallory was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma. to put it mildly, i freaked out. all i was hearing was "cancer" and tho obviously not genetically related, that didn't bode well as the women in my family don't have a great track record with cancer.  i mentioned i'm slightly supersticious right?

March 29, 2016

easter trip to paris - part 1

when my company landed on budapest for our basis of operation, i was pretty bummed out. we had been looking at london for several months and i was super stoked about that. i had previous co-workers in london, the language barrier is zero and the eurostar is right there. but budapest it was to be.

i quickly jumped on kayak and google maps searching for quick weekend trips. if i was going to be in europe for a year, i was going to make the most of it. the first 3 day weekend we had i decided to stay in town to get my apartment settled. traveling now is a bit more complicated since my kitty requires medication each day, but that's another, longer, post for later.

i'm not a terribly religious person, but i've always enjoyed the easter service at the church i grew up in. i haven't done much besides dinner with friends for easter since i've been in los angeles, i figured with the 3 day weekend, paris was as good a place as any to spend the holiday.

i've been to paris 2 times before, i've hit most of the typical tourist spots, so you won't get much of that here. this trip was all about what i wanted to see.

i had 2 days to get it all in. i landed in paris around 12:30pm and left monday mid-day. somehow, i managed to get everything that was really important to me taken care of.

when i began planning, i discovered that my carry on suitcase, which i've had for 7 years, is technically too large for many of the budget airlines. just to play it safe, i purchased a north face base camp duffle. i'd seen a family navigating the christmas crowds carrying them and thought it seemed like an excellent idea, i was right.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france the north face basecamp duffle
do i look legit?

March 22, 2016

how to live in budapest and not gain 50 lbs

50 pounds may be an exaggeration, but i don't think it's far off.

weight gain comes from 2 places

1. my metabolism is in constant conflict with the overwhelming availability of pastry
2. my west coast aclimatized body doesn't want to run outside in the cold

seriously, every morning i come into the office and the assistants have got fresh baked goodies for breakfast. it takes everything in my to not eat them all.

the portion sizes here also put american portions to shame. the girls in the caffeteria laugh at me when i say "that's enough" as they're loading up my third pasta dish of the week. pasta and cheese sauce, it's a thing here. a very tasty thing.

March 15, 2016

from the west coast to eastern europe, how do you dress that?

since i was taking off from los angeles and landing in budapest, i had 2 completely different climates to adjust to. when i left la it was cool and rainy but i was totally comfortable in my leggings and flannel tunic. but i knew when i land i was going to need winter gear.

i have a fairly standard travel outfit: leggings, tunic/pullover top, blanket scarf or zip hoodie and uggs.

is works regardless of the time of year. if i'm doing somewhere very warm, i'll wear sneakers instead of uggs. i tend to alternate between a flannel tunic and a linen one, both from j.crew, depending on the season. i usually take an oversized hoodie because, while not the most stylish, it's not binding when moving around in the air plane seat and the hood also covers most of my head, keeps the light, and other people, out of my face. i left that hoodie in california this time and opted for a sleep mask to block the light.

travel outfit clothing organization international boots scarf

March 8, 2016

packing for a year in europe ...

if you thought the ... would be followed by a "in 1 suitcase," you've come to the wrong blog.

there's no way i was going to budapest with just 1 suitcase. i have mallory with me after all.

packing for a year in europe in one suitcase
i did pack for this trip to north carolina in one suitcse

March 1, 2016

budapest so far

i've been here a month and am finally feeling like i'm getting the hang of things.

i have a car and can now get from my apartment to work without google maps. obviously, i have an apartment so, no more tiny hotel fridge for me!

budapest hungary beer travel blogger
now thats a beer!

February 23, 2016

traveling with my cat

yes, i travel with my cat. i've taken her a number of places, by car and by plane. she's stayed at the homes of friends and family, hotels rented by production and occasionally, under much protest, a kennel. before you balk at the girl with a pet carrier walking her cat thru security let me assure you, my cat is way easier to travel with than most of the kids i've shared a plane with. also, mine fits under the seat!

travel pets cats organization international sleepypod

February 9, 2016

posting delayed - traveling this week

was planning on only taking one week off of posting but the jet lag / housing move / work schedule has me a little upside down. i'll get something up next week but until then...

mallory at cdg airport

January 26, 2016

high end on a budget

while this post may seem unrelated to my move, it came about because of it. i've spent a great deal of time moving around various bank accounts, comparing fees and rewards, as well as holding off on some purchases to make them more cost effective so, here we go.

i'm a frugal shopaholic. i grew up pretty poor and while i learned the value of a good deal and coupon/sale shopping, i didn't get the talk on credit card debt. while i got in a little deep in college, i managed to climb my way out. i'm not going to go into all the hows, that's a little too personal for me, but i will share some personal insight i've learned along the way.*

rewards credit cards: check out points guy, he's got the most comprehensive run down and tips, especially with travel rewards. i haven't been traveling much the last few years but i'm about to start. i also love any rewards points. amex allows points to be turned in for cash, flights or (most bang) gift cards. i've purchased many a nike gear, william sonoma cookware, clothes from nieman marcus and shoes from zappos. the available store has gone down but there's still good value. about a year ago i cashed in all my points for my garmin.

american express amex rewards garmin runner

January 18, 2016

2016: cha-cha-changes

how many times has that title been used on the overshare sites of the interwebs? i'm willing to bet it's most frequently used on "it's the new year" blog entries.

recently (ok fine, ages ago when i actually posted stuff) i've made brief references to some work changes happening "soon". i've been vague so as not to jinx the whole thing and have it called off. but here it is...

i'm "moving" to budapest.