TOP 5 THINGS TO SEE IN BUDAPEST

I think one of the hardest things ever is coming back from not writing for a little while and trying to get back into it. I've been staring at a blank page for so long trying to remember my actual writing style and how to start off a blog post - so instead of actually doing it, I'm just gonna talk about the fact that I can't do it.

You may or may not know that I am not long back from Budapest and I had the most amazing time, I'd never been anywhere like it before. I usually just go for like poolside holidays and explore where we stay twice over the course of however long we're there for, so being up and at it all day every day definitely took its toll on me and I will probably be permanently exhausted until I can sleep for a full 24 hours.


GELLERT HILL

I was originally going to a sort of countdown to my favourite thing that I saw whilst in Budapest but I decided I was just too excited to wait to write this one. We did Gellert Hill on about day 6 and I've not been able to stop thinking about it since. Gellert Hill is on the Buda side and you literally can't miss it - it is just a massive hill with a pretty graceful statue on the top. When I first saw it, I thought 'no way could anyone ever climb up that'. Little did I know, several days later I would do just that. In 30 degree heat, it ain't no picnic.

I think you are able to get a bus or something up to near enough the top of the hill, but I think it's so much more rewarding when you climb it yourself and you can die a little bit at the top, but whilst looking at the most incredible view I have ever had in my life. Honestly, it was just breath-taking and I wish I could have that view in my eyesight permanently.

TOP TIP: Do not take one bottle of water/juice to share between you and your boyfriend. He will hog the juice and you won't get any more until you get to the top of the hill. (There is an overpriced little café and lots of tourist market stalls at the top)

CASTLE DISTRICT

Also on the Buda side, the Castle district provides some of the most incredible architecture your eyes will ever see. From the Pest side, the whole area just looks amazing and it's even better when you're over there. We crossed Chain Bridge and from there we got a little castle bus tour to the places we wanted to see - mainly the Fisherman's Bastion. I will admit that originally we thought the Bastion was the massive, spike shaped tower - turns out it wasn't but we didn't care because the view was spectacular.

With the castle bus, we had the option to hop on and off 3 times; we were given a little map of the places it stopped at and decided where to get off and where to walk to, to make the most of our time in Buda. I'd definitely recommend the castle bus to everyone, although you don't get the experience of walking up yourself, it saved my feet and my back from an otherwise horrible fate.


TOP TIP: Do not get off the castle bus because an old German couple are complaining that 4 buses have gone past with no room. Stand yo' ground and do not let those grumpy oldies take your seats without saying thank you.

HISTORICAL MUSEUMS (HOUSE OF TERROR & HOSPITAL IN THE ROCK)

We didn't really know about either of these until we arrived but boy, am I glad we read into them and decided to visit. These were both surreal educational experiences and taught me so much about Hungarian history. The hospital in the rock is exactly what the name says - it is a hospital built into a rock and into the underground cave system. It was used as a hospital during WW2 for both Hungarian and Soviet soldiers and then also as a nuclear bunker throughout the Cold War. There was also a very harrowing exhibit about Hiroshima and Nagasaki which featured some real items from the sites (the most hard-hitting for me was the little girls lunchbox, the girl was never found) and also drawings done by survivors of the bombings actually taking place.


The House of Terror shows the extent of the relationship between Hungary and Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It's also a memorial to all the victims who were killed in Hungary as a result of these regimes - mostly those who were held and tortured during interrogations in the building. As you walk around, you take a piece of paper that has a bit (or a lot) of writing on it relating to what you're seeing in that room. Both of these museums were completely jaw-dropping, knowing what has happened in the buildings and being able to see some of the rooms how they were when they were being used left me with quite a sad, empty feeling; similar to that of the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam.


TOP TIP: it might be warm outside but bring a hoodie or cardigan with you to the Hospital, it gets pretty cold down there! Although they said the temperature is permanently 18 degrees Celsius so you might need to use one of the jackets they have on offer, which just made me and Max laugh because we're from Scotland and 18 degrees is our summer.

SZECHENYI BATH HOUSE

You cannot go to Budapest and not visit at least one bath house, it would be inhumane. We opted for what is, I think, the most famous of all the bath houses - the Szechenyi bath house. We dedicated a whole day to the baths, so we could relax and sunbathe and accidentally get really burnt cos you fall asleep. We didn't spend much time in the actual baths but even just being there and taking in the architecture and the beauty was enough.

There's 3 massive outdoor pools - two thermal baths for just chilling out in, and one for actually swimming with the lane dividers and such. The surrounding slabs are pretty much first come first serve, you grab a sun lounger from a stack and the side and just plonk it wherever you see fit; remember to adjust it with the sun though for optimal tanning opportunities.


TOP TIP: Take flip flops because you don't want to end up like me and have to go into the bathroom bare foot.

MARGARET ISLAND

This island is a little piece of land in the centre of the Danube which you can access by bridge or boat - there's some lovely little towers and a fountain that does water displays to various songs. We walked the whole length of the island trying to find the Japanese Garden - we were kind of disappointed by what we found but we aren't in blossom tree season anymore, so that's to be expected. We then trekked all the way back down to find the rose garden, which I completely loved because roses are my favourite flower. I did not love the gardeners and builders that stared though.

There's also a mini zoo on the island, thermal baths and lots and lots of ruins - it's the perfect place for bloggers and photographers alike to get stuck in and come out with some really beautiful pieces. There's also the massive Budapest sign which, if you don't get a photo with, did you even go to Budapest?

TOP TIP: Don't eat lunch at the first place you come to, it will be crap and make you think you have food poisoning. (For further info, such as the name, please DM me so I actually Google it, otherwise we'll never know)

If you do even just one thing from this list, let it be Gellert Hill. Honestly, it's not comparable to anything else. Just the sheer relief you get at the top knowing you've worked hard to get there and can appreciate the view in all its glory.

I hope some of you found this little guide useful - I'm still trying to squeeze more content ideas out of my holiday so that it might inspire some of you to take a trip to Budapest! If you do go, tag me in your photos! I'd love to see what everyone else gets up to.

Have you ever been to Budapest?

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CITY BREAK ESSENTIALS

By the time this post goes up, my Instagram will hopefully be flooded with photos from my city break away to Budapest. I've never really done a city break holiday, it's always pool holidays, so this is quite a nice change (I hope, I'm writing this post in advance). City breaks seem to be getting increasingly popular and I can already tell that once I've had a taste of the city life, I won't be going back. So here's some of the things I've taken on my holiday that definitely come in handy.

First is a backpack, to keep all the crap in. Pick a good one because you don't want anyone going into it and pinching things off you whilst you're out and about. They're much better than a tote bag or handbag as well, because city holidays usually involve a lot of walking and you do not want to ruin your back AND your feet. If you can, stick your stuff in your boyfriends bag. That's what I do, and I have no back problems at all! (Just kidding - I have nothing but back problems.)

An obvious one - suncream. I'll be taking factor 50 after I fell asleep in the sun at my home in Scotland and got burnt, so now my mother will not let me leave the country without a 50. But hey, if it saves me getting burnt, it's a winner for me! I'll be keeping this in my boyfriends backpack to put on if I feel like I'm burning at any point during the day.

My camera is an absolute essential for me wherever I go, whether it's on holiday or just out for a walk. You never know when there's going to be a potential photo opportunity, especially in a foreign country, so take a camera EVERYWHERE. Of course, as a blogger, I'm going to be documenting every single second of my trip and Instagramming it all so my camera will definitely get a hell of a lot of use.

Hats are also an essential for me, my scalp always gets burnt when it's sunny, no matter what. I have two caps and a nice fancy floppy hat so that I can change it up depending on what mood I'm in. I've been getting really into hats recently, even though I'm not really brave enough to wear them outdoors yet, I keep buying them and just storing them in my cupboard.

My feet seem to always get beaten up when I'm doing a lot of walking - I did not take one pair of comfy shoes with me to London and that was the worst mistake of my life. We were only doing lots of walking for 3 days but my feet felt absolutely destroyed and when we got home, I refused to move from the couch unless it was absolutely essential. How will I cope with 10 days?! I'm prepared this time though, I bought insoles for my Converse which will hopefully make them a little comfier and I am ready to rock and roll.

I don't think I'll wear a lot of makeup when I'm over there (even though my travel makeup kit is a bit extensive) because it'll be so hot that it'll just likely melt off my face completely, so I'm also bringing a facial spray. This doubles up as a setting spray but when I decide not to wear makeup, I can bring this and give my face a little spritz if it feels like it's getting too warm and sweaty. Facial sprays are my saviour when it's hot; those two seconds of sweet, cold relief are better than anything else in this life.

Some cute little travel bottles.

This may seem extensive but I can guarantee I have gotten a hell of a lot of use out of these different objects over the course of my holiday.

What are your city break essentials?

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BLOGGING: EXPECTATION VS REALITY

Like most people I'm sure, I came into blogging with a set of expectations that have pretty much been fully debunked in the year I've been doing it. For outsiders, I hope this gives you a full perspective into what blogging is actually like. When you're watching it from the side-lines, I believe it's completely different than when you're actually partaking in it.



GETTING A POST DONE IS EASY

I will admit I didn't consider how much effort actually goes into getting a post up onto your blog. I thought it was just write, snap a few pics, post, done! Oh how wrong I was. First you have to think up the idea. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to the entirety of your blogging career. Then you write. And if you're anything like me, you don't proof read. Thus ensuing a shedload of typos. Taking photos absolutely sucks; editing photos is slightly more fun. Compositions are hard, photos never look good, I hate photography (not really). Then you post and you have to promote that shit for the rest of your life if you want it to get out there. Post it everywhere, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, the town billboard - getting people to read your stuff is not easy and without promotion you may fall flat very quickly! Definitely not an easy job. Most bloggers have full time or part time jobs, or are students outside of their blog so fitting in time to get all of this done is tedious but so rewarding when you succeed.


The reality: exhausted, no longer able to act candid, still in gym clothes from several hours ago.

WE ALL LIVE IN LONDON AND ATTEND GLAMOROUS EVENTS

It does still feel like the majority of successful bloggers come from London, but I've spoken to people from all corners of the world that are producing content and smashing it. I love the diversity throughout blogging, although it seems like the media and brands don't appreciate this. And for the events, I've been to one. Which I bought a ticket for. And guess where it was? London. It's like, hello, we all exist in the world too! I wish I could plan events everywhere for everyone outside of London to go to because we should all get to meet bloggers close to us and have fun and get too tipsy on free Prosecco.

OUR BLOGGING STATIONS ARE IMMACULATE


When I first started blogging I was like OH YEAH I'm gonna completely tidy up my whole desk and sit there and blog and feel organised. I can't sit at my desk right now; I can't see the chair because it is buried in clothes. I couldn't even tell you what crap is on my desk because I'm honestly not even sure. I do all of my blogging from my bed; I take photos on my bed, I write on my bed, I don't think I ever leave my bed to be honest. I'm never dressed when I'm doing all of this either, it's either pyjamas or underwear or just my dressing gown. I am not a poster girl for 'photogenic blogging'.


A little embarrassed to share this. This is the current state of my desk, behind the wire baskets.

BEING SENT FREE STUFF

A massive misconception about blogging is that you get sent free stuff all the time and people only start a blog to get free stuff. Honey, you are gonna be at it a while before you even start getting spam emails to your blog account, let alone actual emails from brands. I will admit, it is a massive perk that I will never take for granted, but it doesn't happen as often as people think it does. You have to work your little butt off just to get noticed nowadays because of the size of the blogging community (which is not a bad thing, I love having so many blog friends to talk to) and even then there are dodgy PR companies that will just mess you around.



GOING FULL TIME

Full time blogging is, I think, a massive aspiration of so many bloggers nowadays. I don't work towards full time blogging but I definitely wouldn't say to if I was offered the chance to. The older generation and outsiders of blogging probably think you start making money from the second you start up a blog - the reality could not be more different. I've been at it for just over a year and I'm yet to make money from it. Full time blogging is a long way off for me at the minute, and I do really envy those who make this their lifestyle and work with really famous brands and seem to always be on holiday, but that is absolutely not the norm.



What misconceptions did you have about blogging?

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HAIRSTYLES FOR SHORT HAIR

Since chopping all my hair off, I've had to get a bit more inventive with hairstyles due to not being able to just tie my hair up anymore. In a way, short hair is a bit more of a nightmare because unless you have naturally Hannah Baker style waves, you can't just leave it au natural and expect it to look amazing. So here's several of the things I do to my hair to make it look a bit nicer!

CURLS/WAVES

My favourite hairstyle to do is loose waves - I favour my GHD straighteners for this but on a few occasions I have used my curlers. After using whichever heat spray I have on the go (today it's VO5) I place the hair in the straighteners and twist it either away or towards my face, and if all goes well, it creates quite a nice little curl. Sometimes I'll add a few pleats into the sides, or mess it up a little and add some salt spray, but I think curls definitely look the best on short hair.

 




SPACE BUNS


This is a hairstyle I've seen floating around for ages, but I've just never tried it for some reason. I think they look really cute on short hair even though it takes a few goes to make the buns look acceptable. I usually just section off two bits at the top of my hair (because it's not long enough for me to take the whole hair) and twist it round into a little bun. Sounds easy, it's not. The buns just never want to look right!



DUTCH BRAID


I used to do French braids and Dutch braids all the time when my hair was longer, but I've found it a bit trickier now that my hair is super short. I braid the hair as normal but leave the bottom layer out, once I've tied the braids with a bit of elastic I then make a loop with the remaining hair and tuck the ends of the braids in, hiding the ends and the elastics. It's a nice elegant twist on the very popular braids. Of course, you can just leave them as the normal braids but I find they stick out to the sides a little too much and I end up looking like that little emoji girl with the pigtails.




LOW BUN


A messy bun is also something I used to do all the time, just for a lazy Sunday or if I couldn't really be bothered to do anything else, but now my hair barely reaches halfway up my head, let alone the very top. So I've had to reconsider my buns and do them just at the nape of my neck. Instead of the regular twisty bun, I tie a very loose ponytail and flip it in on itself until the end is hidden. I pop a few bobby pins in, pull some front bits out and there we go! 


HALF UP


My go-to lazy hairstyle has now become the classic half up ponytail/bun thing. It's about as simple as it sounds, you just grab half your hair and tie it up into either a ponytail or a bun - it requires minimal effort and it's done in about 2 minutes. I usually sleep in this hairstyle too because it's the only one that doesn't hurt the back of my head. #shorthairprobs


What are your go-to hairstyles?


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BLOGGERS MADE ME BUY IT

We all know just how influencial bloggers can be, amount of following doesn't matter (well, not to me personally). I don't care if you have 20 or 20,000 followers, if you recommend something, odds are I will buy it. And because I am so succeptible to recommendations, I never have any money. I try to save up but then someone's like "you need to try this" or "this completely cured my acne" and I'm like YUP, sold, that's getting bought.


My first big foundation splurge was on Estee Lauder's iconic Double Wear foundation, almost exactly a year ago, and I haven't looked back since. I'm pretty sure that it was MARIA who raved about it and convinced me to buy it, but I have no doubt that so many other people unknowingly influenced me. It's the best coverage I've ever had and the only foundation that lasts all day without being shit - I have written a post about a possible drugstore Double Wear dupe that I found which you can find HERE, but I haven't actually written a standalone review post, I don't think..Ah well, I'm sure it's tucked away in a favourites somewhere.


Sticking with foundations, another one I tried but did not take to at all is Rimmel's Wake Me Up foundation, which was massively popular with a number of beauty influencers including but not limited to Zoella. So being the clueless 16 year old I was, if Zoella said it's good, I'm gonna buy it. So I did, and it doesn't really suit my skin type at all so it just pretty much falls off my face. The same thing happened with NARS Sheer Glow, it looks amazing on my skin but after just a few minutes the oiliness shines through and it ends up looking tragic. Note to self; do research before buying literally anything.

I think almost every teenager has, at some point, tried Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, just because of how hyped up it was everywhere. Literally. I have been using this stuff since it was called Collection 2000 and I'm only now beginning to accept that it might not be right for my skin. I know, I'm heartbroken too. I love the coverage, it's the best coverage I've ever had in a concealer, but it just does not last on my skin and it's gutting. So, I am in the market for a good, inexpensive concealer. 


One of the most recent things I've gotten hold of because of influencers is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette. I actually didn't buy this myself but after seeing the response on the palette from within the blogosphere, I asked for it almost every day in the run up to Christmas. I use it pretty much every day and I still just cant bear to remove it from it's little cardboard box because it's still too precious. I did a full review post on the palette complete with a little makeup tutorial which you can find HERE.


Thanks to the blogging community, I very nearly bankrupted myself buying myself the best camera for bloggers to have ever existed - the holy grail Olympus Pen (which I used to take these photos so it's not pictured). It was well worth it though, this is top of the list of the best things I've bought thanks to bloggers. You can find  an extensive review post HERE which will maybe make you also bankrupt yourself but honest to god, you will thank me.

I'm quite thankful that most of the things on this little list have been successes - I can't usually say that about many things. I love being part of such an influencial community, I love that there's always someone to help when you need recommendations for things or if you're having trouble with a product. It is genuinely such a friendly, nice community.



What have bloggers made you buy?

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