9 top tips when visiting Budapest… have you got a tenth?

  1. The pink-capped bottled water is the still one
  2. It’s a must to get funnel cakes* everyday
  3. You’ve got to visit the Szechenyi Baths*
  4. Expect unexpected thunderstorms (that may follow glorious days)
  5. Bus tours are two days of hop on hop off fun*
  6. Get yourself to the Ruin pubs*
  7.  The views at the top of the Buda hill are breath taking of the River Danube
  8.  You have to taste the Goulash*
  9. There is some hidden gems so always follow the local’s advice*

The pressure of having a tenth piece of advice I’ll leave to you…. please comment with your favourite moment or great find in Budapest.

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Fifty Shades of Grey

In search for that captivating summer read, Richard and Judy’s Book Club is often where I start, but with the growing almost underground popularity of British author E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey was the first on list to get stuck into.

The explicit content and erotic storyline has lead most to read book in secret, but the increased interest in the first instalment of the Fifty Shades trilogy, has encouraged more to openly talk about the hidden world of BDSM.

Set in Seattle, it follows a newly graduate college student Anastasia Steale, who experiences an awkward interview with a handsome, young successful business man Christian Grey, that she thought would never lead to a second meeting. The pair embarks on an enchanting relationship testing each other’s limits, exposing secrets and naivety to the sensual scenes.

The passionate descriptive prose is broken up by email-structured conversations between the lead characters, as their journey into a dangerous connection, makes this page turning novel an instant best seller.

Its consequence books: Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed promise to further explore the dark side of sexual tendencies.

Having long awaited the next Victoria Hislop novel, Richard and Judy’s Book Club summer reads present The Thread.

Both previous books The Island and The Return leaves me with high expectations for this Greek adventure into the countries untold past.

Lastly it was nice to see a very apt, Jubilee by Shelley Harris featured as a Jackie Magpie ‘Book By Its Cover’ in the 10 recommended reads. Find the rest of the Summer 2012 list here.

Lianna La Havas “Is Your Love Big Enough”

 

I’ve wanted to share this artist with you for a while, but doing Lianne La Havas justice has had me worried.

With her debut album being released on July 9, 2012 now is the perfect time to introduce her folk soul sound as I’m certain she’s set to explode all over the mainstream and some selected UK festivals this year. You need to experience Lianna now before commercial channels get hold of her unique voice.

 

“Nothing like Corinne Bailey Rae or Andreya Triana, but we all have similar hair.’ Lianna La Havas form her Facebook page.

Here is the first track that had me hooked…

Lianne wrote her first song at age 11 having been brought up in London, her Greek father and Jamaican mother’s diverse musical tastes have had a big influence on her music. Now 22, Lianne’s first TV performance on Later… with Jools Holland back in October lead to supporting Bon Iver on his North American Tour. Her next single ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’ comes as her album titled the same is launched this summer.

I’m very jealous that my little sister, Kelsey will be able to watch her first at Latitude Festival, Suffolk (July 13-15) but thankfully Lianne is also performing at this years Bestival, Isle of Wight (September 7), honestly I think I’m more excited to see her than headliner Stevie Wonder!

From listening to her EPs Lianne’s remarkable voice promises a unforgettable album pre-order now, and make sure you follow this one too @liannelahavas

on Cloud Nine…beauty review

The day most girls fear came with a bang last week… my beloved straighteners died!

Thankfully this was during my quarterly hair cut by my personal best friend hairdresser, I only trust her and being a top stylish takes about 6 months to get an appointment.

Having finally accepted the demise of my wide plated GHDs, which has been a faithful companion for the last five years. I was advised to get Cloud Nine straighteners, actually told I would be stupid not to get anything but Cloud Nines.

Having never heard of the brand, coupled with my unruly wavy and mostly unmanageable fizzy hair I was apprehensive of purchasing the newest super styler hitting the GHD saturated market.

Thanks to the power of blogs I came across this comparison table.

Available from sassybella.com

The Cloud Nine plates are made with a unique mineral that protects and nourishes hair creating a more glossy finish. Having spoken to numerous saloons there was an unconceivable consensus that Cloud Nines are the future.

“THE DAWN OF A NEW AGE OF STYLING”

Convinced, I brought my pair in Leeds as they are only available online or in the saloons themselves for around £135. This was a week since the small explosion of my GHD’s, so I was pretty desperate.

The glide and ease of the Cloud Nine is what impressed me first, being able to change the temperate (they actually reach 200c, higher than the GHD’s fixed temperate). I use mine daily, and with the knowledge that you’re not damaging your hair (as much) at the lower heats is an added feature.

I highly recommend the Cloud Nines, even having brought the wider plate version; they’re very stylish with beautiful flecks of blue magic in the plates.

Having just finished university I’m still in student mode and £135 does seem very expensive, but seeing that GHDs aren’t much less I believe they’re an investment you won’t regret. Shop around I have seen the originals advertised on Amazon for just over £100.

Hunger Games

“Ladies and gentlemen, let the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games begin!”

In a dark vision of the near future, set in a rebuild metropolitan that has superseded the downfall of North American, its centre Capitol holds the dominant power over the other twelve residing districts.

To demonstration the nation of Panam’s control and to remind the districts that their lives lay in the hands of the ruling Capitol command. Two tributes, one boy and girl, from each of the starved districts, are forced to appear in a live TV show where winning will make you famous but losing means certain death.

Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute in place of her younger sister, as she is transformed, presented and trained to compete in the annual 74th Hunger Games.

Having supported and provided for her family by poaching and hunting in the restricted woods after her father’s death, Katniss gives hope to her district twelve as she enters the arena as ‘the world will be watching ‘ to battle to the death.

Entitled ‘The Girl on Fire’ Katniss confronts her components, in a journey of friendship, defiance, survival and a fight with imminent loss.

Having watched the trailer, my immediate reaction was to pick up the first in the Hunger Games trilogy. Being dubbed the next Twilight, the series’ narrative runs deeper then a teenage love-triangle exploring a disturbing future.

Of course I was at the front of the film’s preview showing to see the long awaited arrival of the Hunger Games, my preparation may have been a little extreme with flaming nails and Mockingjay pin on display.

The Hunger Games met all my expectations of the Suzanne Collins novel, with incredible casting, vivid imagery, and the story staying really true to the book, with obvious cues to the next to sequels.

“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favour!”

Ben Howard

This time last week I was eagerly awaiting the Ben Howard gig to begin, and he didn’t disappoint!

The performance was equally crowd uplifting, as it was beautifully silence at times. Ben Howard’s mesmerising voice has brought a unique sound to the masses. His popularly is growing and the whole album is one not to be missed.

If you haven’t had the pleasure, these two are my favourite.

And to top it off, what artwork!

And finally if you’ve fallen madly in love like I have, Ben doing his own headline tour in November after a Summer of appearances on the festival scene… honestly it was sooo good!

 

#instagood Photo a day!

Big things come from small ideas, and a few months on #marchphotoaday is the latest Instagram hashtag is producing imaginative and inspirational images daily on the photo sharing iPhone application.

User Fat Mum Slim created her monthly plan which has gained an international following the #marchphotoaday sets the theme of the days upload that has lead followers to offer their own individual interpretations.

#marchphotoaday

These titles have given me the enthusiasm to know that to post, I’m still getting use to having a camera constantly in the pocket, I do love my iPhone! I’ve been dipping in and out of the plan but it has made me think more about fun photo opportunities.

#febphotoaday

I wanted to share just some of my favourites from the last month… and if you want to see more follow me on Instagram @danielle1610

February 1: Your view today

February 2: Handwriting

February 3: Words

Six: Dinner- Brasserie 44, highly reccomended

Seven: Buttons- on my Levis

Number Nine: Front door- In a three bedroom flat, I have no idea why my door is 5!

February 12: Inside your closet

Happy Valentines: You may recognise from my last post!

February 16: Something new- Off to Amsterdam with friends

February 23: Your shoes- Amsterdam gift

March 25: Green- Just the one green nail

February 25: Green- Just the one green nail

Lastly the 27th: Something you ate- Chicken dinner you got to LOVE a Sunday roast!

And Finally it’s March, and lets hope the start of Spring!

March 4: Today's photo- Bedside