Budapest, Hungary.

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I think Budapest might be one of my very favorite cities, but I’m not sure I can exactly tell you why – just a feeling. I do remember driving into the city and instantly falling in love though. It just had such an old elegant charm. It is no wonder the city is known as “The Paris of the East.”

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Definitely, our experiences in Budapest don’t hurt my love affair with the city. The first night, we took a spectacular dinner cruise on the Danube River. We had a lovely dinner of traditional Hungarian food, had local wine, and viewed Budapest’s stunning illuminations (including Parliament and the Buda Castle). This is not something to miss, and I know I will remember the cruise for a long time. It was a romantic and special night.

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It was the next morning touring Heroes’ Square, Budapest’s “Buda” and “Pest” sides, driving over the Chain Bridge, and Castle Hill when I fell even more for Budapest. The cathedral, and Castle Hill in general, were amazing. The city has so many treasures, from the East and West train stations to the spas.

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That afternoon, we visited an excavated Roman city (which thrilled this former Latin student!) and traveled to Szentendre (St. Andrew). Walking past ancient walls on the narrow cobbled streets of this medieval river town was the perfect afternoon. I am not exaggerating. The streets are lined with decorated nice little Hungarian shops with embroidery, ceramics, and paprika.

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Wine tasting and dinner at a winery (sensing a trend here, huh?) ended our time in Hungary. I am not sure there is anything better than good food, great wine, and interesting company in a beautiful city.

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Budapest has delicate and lovely detail on what seems like every inch of the city. Most buildings rely on private investors for restoration, but I just know if Budapest was able to clean up and renovate, it would be that much more of a gorgeous marvel.

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It’s so fun to reminisce and share photos from the trip, and I am so glad you all enjoy following along too. 

Hugs,

Megan

Terrifying and Amazing.

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Hi darlings,

I plan to be back later today to share photos from Budapest, Hungary (trying to keep myself accountable, ya’ll!) but ran across this quote on Pinterest (of course) and wanted to share. It definitely strikes home and I kinda really love it.

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Hope you’re having a fantastic Tuesday!

Hugs,

Megan

Weekend links.

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I hope you are too busy laying on a beach somewhere to be reading blogs, but just in case you are exploring the internet a little bit today, here are some cool things I have seen around lately.

Of all the videos of fireworks from Friday (and there are a lot!), in my opinion, this one is the absolute coolest! Fireworks filmed with a drone.

Cocktail snow cones. Mmmm.

The reality of Instagram vs. non-Instagram life. Hah.

Describing color is tricky.

Floral office chairs are so pretty.

I have home decor on the mind, and am loving these minimal bohemian living rooms.

This guide to swimming holes in the U.S. and Canada could be very useful.

Rhubarb strawberry margaritas are on my to do list.

The 20-something nursery rhyme is funny and motivating. Thanks for sharing it Sarah!

Lovely nails.

Anatomy of a dance hit.

Hugs,

Megan

High Five for Friday.

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Happy Friday! And better yet, Happy Independence Day to those in the U.S.A.! I hope your weekend is fun and relaxing! My whole family will be under one roof, which I am so looking forward too. I’ll be getting ready for the move this week (in 6 days! Whaaat?!), but will be sure to squeeze in some pool/ bbq/ firework time too. What are you up to?

Here are some of my highlights from the week. Have a great weekend and be safe!

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1. My baby (read: one week away from 18 years old) sister swam in her last home swim meet at our summer pool this week. This makes me feel so old and brings back so many memories in that pool.

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2. That new car smell. Ahh. Car shopping somehow makes me feel more like an adult than I ever have before, while also making me feel more like a child than I ever have before. Go figure.

3. I had a farmer’s market/ dinner date with my mom last night. Wild ladies, right? We went to Black Sheep Burrito & Brews. Actually, I was there twice this week (the other time on Michael’s birthday), so I guess you could say it is pretty good.

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4. I’ve been working on refinishing this desk. It is a super tedious process and doesn’t look like much now, but hoping it turns out well in the end.

5. And for July fourth, I found these too funny:

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Hugs,

Megan

Recipe: Panzanella Bread Salad.

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I’m warning you. Once you’ve tried this salad, there is no going back. It delicious and the best part? It is also as easy as can be! My mouth is watering as I write this. It goes great with some grilled chicken for a meal, but if you’re anything like me, the panzanella is all you will want.

I’m not going to say that I split this whole recipe with just my mother for dinner, but I won’t deny it either.

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Ingredients:

A baguette, cut into 1 inch pieces

4 large beefsteak tomatoes cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup artichokes marinated in oil, drained

1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced

1/2 cup red onion, quartered and sliced

1/2 cup black olives

1/4 cup basil

For the dressing: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 3/4 cup leftover artichoke marinade (or olive oil), 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 chopped garlic clove, and many grinds of pepper (You will only use half of the dressing for the salad. Feel free to half the ingredients, or save the leftover for use as balsamic vinaigrette.)

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Spread bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toast in a 400 degree oven for about 10  minutes, or until golden. Wisk dressing ingredients together. Place fresh ingredients in a bowl, add toasted bread, drizzle with half of the salad dressing, and toss. Serve immediately – I highly recommend accompanying a glass of sangria.

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Hugs,

Megan

June 2014 Ipsy Bag.

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Another month of Ipsy and I love it just as much as ever. There were some good items this month so I’ll get right to June’s “Pretty in Paradise” products.

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The fun bag was designed by Rebecca Minkoff and screams Hawaiian summer! (It actually has the same print at the RM Dev Dress.)

What I don’t always mention is that Ipsy always comes with offers for brands included in your bag and others – from discounts, to free shipping, to free gifts. Since this month’s bag was designed in collaboration with Rebecca Minkoff, Ipsters received 20% Rebecca Minkoff purchases (with code IPSYRM). It is taking everything to not splurge on a bag, that’s for sure.

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Nicka K New York Shimmer Eyeliner in Blue

Colored eyeliner is definitely a thing right now and I love the look of a colorful winged line. From my use, I can honestly say that this liner is water, smudge, and fade-resistant. The foam applicator makes it really easy to create a thin line, which is great because it would be really easy to go overboard with blue glitter.

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NYX Butter Gloss in Éclair

True story: I was on my way to Ulta and was planning to finally pick up a butter gloss when I saw Ipsy’s sneak peak that butter glosses would be in June’s bag. Fate, right? They have a cult following, so of course I was looking forward to trying the butter glosses out. It does melt into your lips and is not sticky, but can get gloopy if applied too thickly, if that makes sense. Éclair is a lovely baby pink and has a magic way of giving a nice burst of creamy, shiny color. Looks great over lipstick, too.

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Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare Anti-Breakage & Anti-Frizz Styling Cream

This is an interesting mix of hydrating and styling cream. It makes hair feel softer, but gives hold and structure too. I’m always weary to give reviews of hair products after only a couple uses, but I liked this. The long list of oils and powerful ingredients is impressive with no parabens, phlalates, petroleum, mineral oil, or artificial colors which is always a plus.

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OFRA Universal Eyebrow Pencil

This is not “universal” by any means (definitely too dark for lighter hair), but it is just the color I look for. I adore the wax base for staying put all day.

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Realtree for Her

So, Realtree, I’ve found out, is an outdoor and camo company. I don’t know what they are doing creating fragrance. Let me tell you, though, this smells great! “Realtree for Her opens up with the sweet taste of pomegranate, a hint of persimmon and an exotic scent of orchids. It blends with lotus blossom and champaca flower and is followed by the rich scent of amber, the transient scent of violets and the depth of mahogany wood.” It is floral and beautiful (to be fair, I love floral and fruity scents but had no idea how much I would like this). I keep getting compliments on it and also find that it lasts all day. Who knew?!

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If you are interested in trying out a subscription, you can subscribe HERE. Ipsy offers 5-6 full or deluxe sample size beauty products in a cute bag to your door for only $10 a month. Whether I repurchase products or not, I am always glad to have tried some new things. You can see my past bags, if you are interested, by searching Ipsy in the search box to the right.

Hugs,

Megan

Saturday Happenings.

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This week, I have a boyfriend’s birthday to celebrate, posts planned every day, a mile-long to do list ready to be tackled, and Fourth of July to look forward to, so it is looking like a good one, but first, I want to share a little bit of this weekend (gosh, whatta run-on sentence).

My town has an annual week-long series of events call Festivall. There is SO MUCH packed into ten days – theater productions, concerts, art walk, foodie events, riverboat rides, galas, a chili cook-off, wine/beer/music festivals, and other events of all kinds. I had been feeling a little bit under the weather but was so glad to be up to going out Saturday afternoon for the Capitol Street Art Fair and “Go to Hale” events. Here’s a little bit of what I saw.

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There is the Festivall catfish display (say what?) and the painted Rain Barrel Tour. Both are decorated by local artisans and groups, which is pretty cool.

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There were so many great vendors this year, including one who would make custom beads on the spot! I am always impressed at art fairs, but this one really was quality. Love those cards made with vintage napkins.

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I had been looking forward to shopping at Kinship Goods since the store moved into the area, and this weekend pop-up shop was the perfect chance! I snatched up this t-shirt and card, but loved everything!

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After the fair, we headed over to the farmers market and a local bakery. (I can’t wait to share a recipe using the bread and tomatoes on Wednesday!)

So, that’s all – a simple Saturday. I was glad to spend an afternoon with the fam walking the streets of my hometown before the big move to Phoenix (coming up in under two weeks!). Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Hugs,

Megan