Luckily, we're pretty easy to please and a few simple things made this temporary space feel like home.
The first thing we did to make the place feel homey, strangely, is something I'm too cheap to do at home: buy fresh flowers. In the underground metro stations, elderly women sell small bunches of flowers for about $2.00, and we always buy a bunch when we pass through. Other luxuries we've indulged in include buying handmade local soaps (bottom left) and eating way too much bread. Baked goods are really inexpensive here, so the folks at both the neighborhood patisserie and both bakeries know us by name. Mmmm, now I want some more french toast. Although it's not the same sans maple syrup . . .
Because Mom and I both prefer table lamps and floor lamps to overhead lighting, we fought over the one floor lamp. So we trekked to Ikea and bought a little $11.00 paper guy (dibs!). He won't win a beauty contest, but he sure does make life better. Add some tea lights plus a kettle that boils water fast as lightning and has a light up base, and now we're bathing in glowly, comfy light. With a hot mug of tea in hand to boot.
Actually, buying these inexpensive candle holders and tea lights was such a nice idea, I might do it on shorter trips too! Although they aren't fancy pants, I'm taking these candle holders home as a sweet reminder of every day life in Budapest.
Working with what we had (we found random bits and pieces under the sink, in drawers, etc), we did our best to accessorize. Truthfully, most of our "accessories" are dishes, but that little bit of effort immediately made the place feel more like "ours" and less like a temporary rental. We've also collected wild chestnuts to display in bowls - anything will do!
I hate buying stuff I will only use for a few months, but there were a few practical things that we did buy, in addition to the electric kettle, including something for my bum and something for my Mom!
With my bum happy, my Mom was next on the agenda. Walking by a plush stand of towels, she couldn't resist, so we bought some for ourselves. The apartment came with some, but now we have fresh ones. Also, with a trip this length, not only was unpacking necessary for us, but so was "settling in". That meant buying a toothbrush holder, soap dish for our fancy soap, and even hangers. We picked up some sticky hooks to make life a little easier and tidier, but they went crash. I wish I'd gone with over door hooks instead!
Appreciating what I don't have at home (the amazing views, the amazing food) makes what I do have at home (TV to watch New Girl, backyard for spray painting fun, etc) seem, at least for now, unimportant. Although I would like to know what Jess is up to. But, with views like this out my front door, window and stairwell? I'll get caught up on TV later. (You can see more photos of beautiful Budapest here).
Okay, but someone tell me: is New Girl on now???