Stripes in Spring

Top: COS (wearing XS) // Shorts: Levi's // Shoes: Adidas // Sunglasses: Eye Buy Direct

After a brutal and seemingly never ending winter I'm beyond grateful to see the sun and feel warm once again. I pulled out my shorts for the first time this semester a few weeks ago which came with mixed emotions. I was ecstatic to show my legs and not freeze to death, but these levi shorts which I've been wearing every summer for the past few years are now a pinch too tight. I blame all the ciders, and trdelnik, and pasta, and... let's just say I've been eating real well while abroad. 

I refused to let such a beautiful day go to waste so I rallied up some friends to go sit in the beautiful park down the street, sip some ciders, and bask in the sun. Growing up in Texas has made me a self-professed heliophile so i'll take as much sun as I can get.

It also happened to be National Stripes Day (as declared by J.Crew, of course) so I had to wear my striped top from COS, which is becoming one of my favorite stores. I also have my eye on this striped top by them (how cute is the red collar!)

Not that the weather is one the rise, and my days left in Prague are on the decline, I'm hoping to really get out and explore some of the more hidden parts of the city. 

Travel Guide: Brussels

Brussels originally wasn't on my list of places to visit, but when my old roommates asked if I wanted to join them on this trip, I couldn't say no. It's a beautiful and walkable city and I'm already planning on going back! Brussels is also a really easy place to do with Amsterdam (only 3 hours away via bus) or Bruges if you don't want to stay in the city the whole time. 

We only took public transportation from the airport to our apartment and walked the rest of the trip (although we took ubers at night after long days of walking). It really helps that a lot of the main attractions are all very close to each other. Cost-wise I'd say Brussels comparable to New York, it's not terrible, but compared to Prague or Budapest things can be expensive. Knowing basic French will definitely come in handy (everyone I was with knew French... except for me), but at most places people will understand enough english for you to place an order.

We spent two and a half days in Brussels which is definitely enough to see all the major sites, but I feel like an extra day would have been nice so I could have gone to all the places on my list, which is exactly why I'm going back for a day!

Again, I've attached my google map at the bottom of this posts with all the places I've mentioned and more for your convenience. 

TO SEE AND DO

  • Grand Place

    • Probably one of the most beautiful squares I've ever seen. The buildings are have so much gold detail, that they seem to glow in the sun. Also very beautiful at night and close to everything!

  • Royal Palace
    • During the summer there are tours for the public. We weren't able to go inside this time, but it's still a beautiful building.
  • St. Michael's Cathedral
    • We actually stumbled across the cathedral while walking to somewhere else. I've kinds begun to tire of walking through churches after going to so many, but it's still a beautiful building worth admiring. 
  • Brussels Comic Book Museum
    • Brussels is home to Tin Tin, Smurfs, and various other comics. I loved Tin Tin as a kid and walking around the museum learning more about comics was quite enjoyable. 

TO EAT AND DRINK

  • Fritland
    • You can't go to Brussels without having fries. For under four bucks you can get a huge cone of fries with one of their amazing sauces. I recommend their samurai sauce– but ask for it on the side so you can ensure that every fry gets some love. 
  • Maison Dandoy
    • Again, you didn't go to Brussels if you don't have a waffle. This place is quite well known, but beware that if you have a large group you'll have to wait a bit to get a table.  
  • Delirium Cafe
    • I didn't get a chance to go the first time around, but it's probably the most popular bar in Brussels with an incredible amount of beers on tap and other types of drinks. 
  • Goupil Le Fol
    • Also missed this place the first time, but it was recommended to me by a friend. She says that they do really cool wine infusions which sounds right up my alley.

KEY

Blue= Things to see/do

Green= Food

Purple= Bars

photo diary: brussels

Oh Brussels, I loved you and your fries so much that I've already booked a ticket to go back. I loved being reunited with my friends from New York and getting to explore the city together. Although our large group brought me lots of stress and frustration (#solotraveler4life), I got to enjoy some of the best fries ever, delicious waffles, and relive my childhood at the comic museum.  Can't wait to see more of you in a few weeks!

Recent Purchases

Madewell Tee (sold out) // H&M Bodysuit // Merci Bracelet // COS Striped Top // Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote

Since I've been abroad shopping has been the last thing on my mind. Mainly because I rather spend the money on a trip to somewhere and also because I already don't know how I'm gonna haul all my stuff back to the US without going over the baggage limits... I love that I've been less concerned about acquiring stuff and more focused on paying for experiences, but there have been a few items that I just couldn't pass up. These are the few items that I've picked up since the beginning of the year and I love each and every one of them! 

I've had my eye on this madewell top because breakfast is hands down the best meal of the day and I decided to pick it up before I left for Europe when it was on super sale. I'm generally not the type to wear shirts with words on them, but this is just so cute and fun to wear on casual days. Before my trip to Brussels, my friends insisted that I bring 'going out clothes'. As a self-professed grandmother, my going out wardrobe is nonexistent because I much rather stay in on the weekends, but I gave into their peer pressure and bought this low-back bodysuit from H&M. I think this is actually the first purchase I've made from H&M in over a year! The low-back makes it qualify as "going out clothes" in my book, but it's something that I would still wear during the day.  It's also an item that makes me feel more feminine especially considering that I have more of a boyish frame.

I let Paris be my "ball all out" trip and let myself pop into as many stores and boutiques and I wanted to. I had to stop by Merci, which is what my dreams are actually made of, and bought matching merci medals for my best friend and I. It's a little something that will always remind myself of the few days I spend there and serves as a little reminder to always say 'thanks'. Of course it wouldn't be a trip to France without some stripes involved so I finally picked up a red and white striped top to add to my arsenal. Nowadays, red is really the only vibrant color I wear and I know that this shirt will be worn till it falls to pieces. Paris was actually the first time I've ever stepped into COS and their sister store & Other Stories (they're both under the H&M family) and I think that I may be obsessed. 

The last item was something that I had been thinking about for a while and I'm really glad that I finally pulled the trigger. I've been using my Everlane tote for over 3 years now, and although I love it and it has served me well, I hate that it doesn't have a zip closure. Everlane has updated it to have a zipper now, but I wanted to replace it with something that looked a bit more classic. Longchamp, as a French brand, is much cheaper in France– my bag was 2/3 the price compared to if I bought it back home! I mean, financially it made sense to get it in Europe if I was gonna get it anyways. I've been using it a lot since I got it and it holds everything and anything. I think I'm gonna start using this instead of my duffle bag on short trips. It's definitely more spacious than my Everlane tote and it's something I know I will never tire of. 

Although I'm trying to curb my shopping, I seriously feel the need to overhaul my closet after being surrounded by some of the most stylish people ever. What purchases have you made lately? What do you currently have your eye on?

it felt right.

paris terrace- toyosi oyelola

You know that I'm on cloud nine when I'm so happy that I take the time to sit down and write about it. 

I'm in a really good place right now. 

Everything about right now just feels right.

And there's a bunch of unknowns and I have so much to figure out, but I can feel myself progressing and improving and I am so happy with some of the work I've created and the things I've done in the past few weeks. I travelled solo and took some of my favorite pictures to date. I finally found an editing style that evokes all the right feelings. I've made more attempts to cook and have really enjoyed being back in the kitchen, from trying not to cry while cutting onions to plating a big bowl of pasta or wiping down the counters, I've enjoyed every moment. I'm hitting my creative stride and I couldn't feel anymore at ease. 

My game plan this summer is to really work on myself and things that make me excited. I want to revamp the blog and hopefully find a way to mesh it together with my personal portfolio (which doesn't exist yet). I want to spend more time trying new recipes, and shooting more photos, and trying new things. I want to learn more about SEO and social media branding and engagement. I know I'll also need to have a summer job to help save up some money, but I'm hoping to find one that engages me creatively as well. If I learned one thing from last summer, it's that working 9-5 doing mundane things in an office is not good for my mental or physical health and I vow to never do that to myself again, even if the pay is great. I love myself too much to not be devoting time to the things I feel I was meant to do. 

It's exciting to feel excited again–and I can't wait to see what will come from this new found energy. 

Budapest in Style

Top: Uniqlo //  Scarf: Old Navy // Jeans: J.Crew (similar) // Shoes: Adidas (similar)

I've been thinking a lot about the content I want to create a post on the blog and whether or not I want to continue doing outfits. Although I don't like writing about outfits as much as I did when i started blogging, I still feel like they have a place here on Unmapped Territory. 

I wore this in Budapest which seems like forever ago when I was really working on getting my travel style down pat. It's still pretty cold in this part of the world, and that combined with the fact that I spend a lot of time walking means that I have to be very practical with what I wear. I've been obsessed with turtlenecks ever since they came back in style and this HeatTech top from Uniqlo is ideal for keeping in body heat. I also really love my blanket scarf because it's great to wrap around myself when I'm inside and it's too warm or awkward to wear my coat. I used to be all about the infinity scarf, but blanket scarves are definitely more practical and I've had to stop myself from buying a million and two more since I've been here.