Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Travel Therapy: Istanbul, Turkey

I always get asked how I am able to travel so much. As I mentioned in this post, "Amsterdam + how to travel the world on a small budget", there are many tips and tricks one can apply, and my Istanbul trip in November was one of such.

I planned my travel for the fall, as I could not afford to go in the summer (peak season). I already had a 4 day weekend for thanksgiving, and I  figured I'd take some few days off before the holiday and have a long nice vacation in Europe. Barcelona and Lisbon were my main destination, and when I started looking at airlines, Turkish airline offered the cheapest option to Barcelona. Turkey had never rated high on the list of countries I wanted to visit, but a 3.5-day lay over (to and fro) was all the convincing I needed. For return lay over, Turkish airline was responsible for the hotel and breakfast, all I had to do was pay for a night hotel for the arrival lay over. 

Istanbul has great transportation and getting around was a breeze. It also helped that most of the old tourist sights are located in one central area, and  my hotel was right smack in the middle of the Old District—Sultanahmet Square.

As a black woman in Istanbul, I stuck out like a sore thumb! Uncomfortable stares, warm smiles, not so warm smiles, advances from men, and people surreptitiously (and not so discreetly too!) taking pictures of me, were just some of the things I had to deal with.

Istanbul is indeed a magical place, and I could not fit all the pictures into one post. For now, I am sharing pictures of my second day in this amazing city. Pictures of my other adventures in this city will be posted up soon. Enjoy….
Top of my to-do list was seeing the sun rise from the rooftop of my hotel, and I was up bright and early to see this

The view was amazing, and one of the hotel employees was kind enough to take my pictures. Side note: You do not need a selfie stick or tripod in Istanbul; there are nice people in every nook and cranny waiting to help you
I could live on this roof top forever!
Once I was done taking in the view of Istanbul from the roof top, I headed out for a morning stroll. It was still very quiet and I wandered a bit and took pictures of the monumental Blue Mosque.

Then I made my way to Hagia Sophia
 Check out this stray dog photo bombing my shot :-)
I am not sure what this building is, but I thought the wall design was really cool
I took a nice stroll in the Sultanahment District and headed back to my hotel for breakfast and to change to a pair of comfy jeans
When I got back out, the streets were bustling with activity. Street vendor were setting up their wares, while workers and school children were rushing off to catch the tram
Roasted chestnut and corn filled every street corner. Unfortunately, I was still stuffed from breakfast and I couldn’t indulge in this local delicacy
I made my way to the interior of the Blue Mosque
Women are required to cover their hair, and everyone has to take  their shoes off
The interior of the Blue mosque is as amazing as the exterior. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture the beauty
A pretty neat sign post I  came across
When I was done at the Blue Mosque, I headed to the Grand Bazaar. 
So many colorful sights to behold as I made my way to the legendary market    
Look at all that color!
Seeing this shoe shiner on the street corner reminded me so much of my home country, Nigeria

There are stray dogs all over the city
...and stray cats too!
How charming!
This really nice guy wanted to take a picture with me. I obliged him, and then took a picture of him
Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice seemed to be a staple in Istanbul
Then I finally made it to Grand Baazar
This traders wanted to take  pictures with me
All they do is offer you yummy apple tea in Istanbul. 
When I was done at the market, I walked back to the Sultanahmet Square, sat for a while and took in the view around me, including the German fountain  ( a gift from the German emperor). Once I was done, I headed back to the hotel, picked up my luggage and hopped on the train to go catch my flight to Barcelona. 

I will be posting picture from day 1&3 before the month runs out. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encourages you to maximize your flights and travel time. 

Happy hump day.


Friday, February 05, 2016

BrownBelle

Hi all, hope everyone’s week has been great so far. Today's blog post features Mariama Bramble of BrownBelle. I have silently followed her blog for a few years, and I thought she'd be the perfect blogger to kick start this year's blogger style feature. Apart from her dope style and amazing natural tresses, Mariama is a creative entrepreneur and is the brain behind a fabulous line of quirky bowties. Here is what Mariam had to say about herself and blog.

Mariama says:
A little about me, I am a creator, nurturer, and problem solver. I’m the one that all my friends come to with questions about everything from food & style to sex. I love to help people, create unique vibrant spaces, and eat well. I just don’t like to spend all day doing it. A stylish life can be had simply.



Brownbelle.com is a resource for food, home, and style inspiration. Follow me on snapchat (brownbelle1) for a look at my process. I like to cook live a lot on snapchat and share tips that have improved my life in some way.

Check out Mariama below
...and her accessories and shoes slay as well

Mariam's make up and hair game is on point too!

Fab fab style! Can you see why I absolutely love her?

Monday, February 01, 2016

Vested in Print

In my London post, I mentioned that I stopped by Old Spitalfields Market and did a little bit of shopping. This fab vest was one of the items I picked up. My initial thought was to pair it with skinny jeans, but when I was taking pictures of  items for my online store Chic Therapy Accessories, I thought the vest would compliment this new maxi print skirt. And was I right, the vest worked perfectly and added a chic vibe to the ensemble. What do you guys think of this look. Would you rock a long vest with a maxi skirt?


Skirt available is available at  Chic Therapy Print Store. Use code "Jan25" to get 25% off everything in store.

Have a fabulous week chicas!