New Year’s Resolutions

Although many say that people never change, I’m still trying. Another year has passed, and as we saw last week in my Year in Review, most of my resolutions were huge successes! So in light of another new year, here are my new resolutions:


Learn to be independent financially don’t begin to pay off my university debt. That’s right, as a soon-to-be graduate, I have my fair share of debt, so this year marks a new opportunity for a more financially responsible Brittany.

Practice photography and focus on documenting my life. I would like to better capture my favourite moments and learn to take pictures in manual mode. Also these pictures will ~preferably~ not be blurry.

Visit my friends abroad do continue to see the world. With a few friends scattered across Europe and Asia it would be great to visit them.

Be more interesting- even more then last year.

Cut down on baggage. Emotional, material, etc. *snip snip*

Practice my Dutch. Hopefully become conversational.

Try and save money for a rainy day.

Try and work on my bullet journal everyday. (At the very least, not miss a month at a time).

Stop eating like trash. I’m not 18 anymore and adult acne isn’t cute.

These may seem pretty easy, but I like my resolutions doable, if not inevitable. I hope this year brings hope and a light at the end of last years dumpster fire… happy new year!

B.

Year in Review: 2017

Well, it’s that time of year again… time to write down how I will do better next year and review all of the ways I didn’t do it last year. Here is how 2017 looked for me:


Drink more water: This year I actually decided not to write this down as a resolution, because every year I write it down and almost every year I don’t. So instead, I started trying to carry a water bottle with me and keep a glass of water next to my bed. Between the two I have drastically increased my intake.

The year of the good skin: if you know me, you’ll know that I have quite dry and acne prone skin. So this year my goal was to treat my skin better, I have actually invested time into researching products for my skin type rather than just buying random ones from Shoppers when I need them. This year I have bought products that work for me and continue to try and wash my face twice a day.

Buy new underwear: this may be too much information and I know it seems pretty easy. But the premise was this: I have been holding on to the same old undies for years to the point where they are falling apart. Since the New Year I have completely reinvented myself-only new undies for this gal.

Be more interesting/ try new things: I mean, I didn’t learn to embroider like I had hoped to. But I did successfully complete a bullet journal, I watched more vine compilations that I care to admit and I posted on my blog more consistently.

Complete masters: I set the bar high, perhaps I forgot about my insane tendency to put things off, but it looks like completing my master’s degree will be a 2018 thing.

Along with these *attempts* to change myself I also learned:

Memories are souvenirs too: you don’t always need to buy a postcard, a t-shirt or that tacky ornament that you see on vacation

Nor do you have to capture every moment on your camera, memories are the heart and soul of travelling and they don’t cost a thing.

Life isn’t perfect: this year was filled with many ups and downs, but overall I feel like I learned to make the best out of shitty situations and try and enjoy as much as possible.

My drag queen alter-ego: her name is “Dedna Ditch” and her slogan is “ I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time”.

I hope that 2018 offers you all a chance to grow, try news things and most of all- buy new underwear.

Cheers!

Introducing: Brunch Book Club

We are rearing the end of 2017, and with that comes preparation for the coming year, and the great things to come. The end of this year brought me to thinking about ways to expand my horizons in 2018 and help engage online, and what better way than to do something together with my readers.

Brunch Book Club is an idea of my own devices. I currently have quite the stack of unread books accumulating on my desk from friends and colleagues that require my attention. However, in my day to day life, sometimes sitting down and cracking open a book can seem like an unachievable mission, as reading is truly something that requires your full attention. You can’t get ready for work while flipping pages.

Really I hope this will be me reading a book every month and giving you my slightly sarcastic, intrigued fantasy into what I thought about the book. Obviously, I would love to see you join in, which is why each month I will announce the next book in my post.

So to begin, the first BBC (whoops I may need rights to use that) book will be:

Little Women by Louisa Alcott (1868)

I know it is a classic and its accessible at your public library, or grandma’s house. So, from here on, I will be sitting down and reading each book as I announce them, month to month, and leaving my thoughts in a stream of consciousness style blog for you all to read. Perhaps, it will function as a cliff notes summary for your 12th grade English class, or maybe it will give you a laugh or two… Only time will tell. Let’s meet and discuss back here, the last Friday of January.

I look forward to bringing you on my journey.

B.

Who is Brittany Melton?

The specimen in question, she is spotted leaving her apartment every few days. Many ask (well many may be a slight over exaggeration) who this IS Brittany Melton? And I am here to tell you…

She is a dancer who was never professionally trained.

She love her plants more than anything else.

She drinks wine while cooking in order to feel like Amy Adams in Julie and Julia.

She enjoys travel, but can hardly afford it.

She loves laying in bed and binge watching the Office.

She is a forever student, she is almost twenty three and still studying.

She is unfit, hasn’t workout in years.

She owns every Frank Sinatra album on vinyl.

Her bedroom aesthetic is her top priority.

She carefully watches the weird mole on her right foot.

She has a killer sense of humour, in the sense that it could probably kill, she is quite mean.

She is a real every woman, striving to be that relatable, quirky voice you read on your lunch break.

She enjoys writing in the third person, a true qween, because Brittany Melton is me, hi.

My Favourite Day

It’s ya girl, coming at you from her apartment, she is home, but her heart still longs to be on vacation. So instead of sharing all of my days on my blog, I figured I would save my journals for me, but share some of the highlights. So the first of these: my favourite day.


My favourite day in Budapest was perhaps the most unusual, it was my fifth day there and up until this day we had been doing the more tourist-y sights in the city, and today was different.

As with the rest of my trip, I let my friend Tom make all of the plans, as the leading tour guide/local for my time in the city. Every once in a while I would be charged with the task of making small decisions, such as the type of food we would eat or whether or not we should stay in or go out. This day was no exception, this day was all at the hand of Tom’s guide. I believe he had heard about the chairlift from a friend and that was enough- we were off with some directions in hand.

We had to tram across the city, from the centre to the Northern corner. But I found this an exciting part of the experience, I was ushered around to places I am unfamiliar with and upon arriving I was always faced with a great experience, each better than the last.

This day exemplifies this, as this city is filled with beautiful lookout points, this was the hardest to get to. First a tram to the station, then a 45 minute bus ride through Buda and up Buda Hill. I may be one of the few, but I find taking transportation to be a great part of the experience, as it gives you the time to relax and see the city. In this case, it offered us a chance to see the residential side of Buda, with large houses and vast gardens. It was something that you may assume doesn’t exist if you spend your time in the city centre. Plus, the bus did half the work for us, bringing us up the hill, so we didn’t have to walk it. A great plus when the person you are traveling with is equally as lazy and slightly hungover as you are. Which brings us to the chair lift, or “Zugligeti Libego”, which was an unexpected experience. As we arrived at the chairlift we bought our return tickets for our trip up and back down, but I quickly realized that this was more than we bargained for, we were quickly scooted up onto the lift and forced into a 1040m lift up the side of the hill. Photo Apr 23, 9 14 25 AM.jpg             This, though simple, was a lot of fun. Well at least for a little while. Tom and I are both scared of heights and were greeted by a great challenge of fear vs. laziness in our decision to ride up instead of walking. It was so different from everything we had previously done and although scary, it was really funny and entertaining to watch Tom squirm in his seat as the lift bumped and slowed. Photo Apr 23, 9 24 39 AM.jpg

By the time we were nearing the top, we began to see snow, if that is any indication of how high we were. When we arrived, we hopped off the lift and vowed to find a different way down. From there we were on our way up, yes, more up than the 500m we had already gone. After walking up a little further you are greeted by a lookout point better known as “Erzebet Kilato”. This is the highest lookout yet, it is a small castle-like building with four levels. However, as we reached the top, it began to snow. That didn’t stop me from continuing on the theme of “facing my fears” and going to the top level while barely surviving being blown right off by the wind and snow. We wandered around, but there wasn’t a whole lot going on up there, and as it had been decided that we wouldn’t be taking the chairlift back down, we set off to find our alternate way down.  IMG_6295 copyPhoto Apr 23, 9 38 08 AM.jpg

Instead we took a nice long walk through the forest to find our alternate way down- the children’s railway. But first a small hike, where I found myself constantly hoping we were going the right way. A 200m walk became no less than 1.4km. But the walked offered us a new break from the city and it’s smells. We took in the sights and smells of the hill as we made our way to the railway.

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Finding the railway was like finding Narnia, it is a small building hidden in the forest with a few children playing on the tracks. (I guess here I should explain that the railway wasn’t made for children, but was made by and run by children). So here we found another delightfully weird experience. Being ushered onto the train by young children in uniforms who take their job extremely seriously. The ride down was more comfortable, we rode through the hills, with views of the countryside and the city as well as journey through the green surroundings.

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Once at the bottom we rode back to the city. At this point the sun was already beginning to set. We headed back to the apartment where we stayed until Tom’s phone had enough power to go on and from there we went out for dinner.

We made our way back to the Buda side of the city for dinner to a cozy grill place, which was a great change from the Italian-Hungarian places that we had been eating at. (the most popular food style here). Here is where I realized how good of a day I had, I was tired, but in a good way and I was in good company. Yes, it was simple and nothing typically exciting happened, but it was good. A nice change from the super populated city, filled with many random experiences and new views. We chatted over dinner about our day and it was comfortable and relaxed, a feeling that I hadn’t really felt since arriving. And this feeling stretched over how I was feeling in the city, comfortable, relaxed, excited. The city’s weird secret places make it a trip for the books and this day especially.

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The evening was no exception, we took tram #2 along the Danube to see the beautifully lit castle hill by night. Budapest is strange, its busy, populated and has a crazy night life but it is also home to many great attractions that they put on display by night for everyone to see. We ended the night like any friends hangout- watching Grease in the apartment. Once again, I realize that this may seem too simple to be part of my favourite day, but this is a small privilege that our cross border friendship lacked, being able to just chill together and watch movies. So there you have it, my favourite day. By the way, the simplicity of this day doesn’t mean my other days were boring, but in its casual nature triumphs over the rest. However, there are many other exciting experiences to share yet!

Alternate Snow Day.

If it looks like this outside where you are, this post is for you. For those of you without 20 cm of snow, you may be thinking “snow day… in March?”, but yes, the unfortunate truth is that the weather has been an unpredictable rollercoaster at best with record breaking highs and crazy wind/snow storms. Thanks global warming.

We might as well make the best of this, so pull on your thick socks and turn the kettle on, because you are having a snow day. Unfortunately I will be taking today to catch up on school work, but I can tell you all the things I’d rather be doing today…

  1. Build a fort. A classic snow day activity, piling all the crap from around you house in one spot and hiding from your responsibilities.
  2. “Spring clean”. Get ahead and purge, but also clean the house top to bottom with cabin fever induced speed.
  3. Take a bubble bath. Although an activity I indulge in weekly, today would be a great opportunity to warm up in the tub.
  4. Give myself a makeover. It is almost better that I don’t have time. so I don’t spend an entire afternoon doing unnecessary things to my look.
  5. Lay in bed and watch the Office. I have gotten hooked on the Jim/Pam romance and would love an excuse to watch nothing but that.
  6. Bake something. Tale this opportunity to make something yummy for all that studying I am attempting to do.
  7. Eat Something. I stocked up on food before the 20 cm of snow that hit, so I’d love to just eat some comfort food and relax.
  8. Plan a Trip. Sure I would love to spend an afternoon with 8 Pinterest tabs open, my lonely planet book and an empty journal to plan my next trip.
  9. Catch up with friends. (Virtually of course) Like hell I am going out for coffee in this weather, you can plan to see me in 6-8 weeks when the snow melts.
  10. Do nothing at all. Although most of these classify as “nothing” but I would love an afternoon set aside for pondering and doing whatever I feel like.

But I digress… I only set aside 20 minutes for this and now I have to go back to work. Hope all that have a snow day are enjoying it!

B.