winter

Two Thousand & Eighteen

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are ready to take 2018 on by storm. While 2017 was one for the books — for both good and bad — I am definitely ready to leave it behind and look forward to a bright new year.

While I pretty much never set “New Year’s Resolutions” for myself, I do always head into the new year with a list of goals and some quotes that I strive to live by. It just works best for me that way, and I almost think of it as more of a mood board than anything else. That being said, I wanted to share that with you today, and maybe it will even inspire you to make your own list of non-revolutions for the new year. Even if you don’t share it with anyone, I encourage you to create it for yourself. It’s always super interesting to look back on previous year’s lists and reflect on them — you get the chance to see how far you’ve come, in addition to what you still need/want to work on for yourself. Anyways here’s mine for this new year, if you’re interested:

  1. Relentlessly follow my dreams to turn them into realities.
  2. Continue pursuing a lifestyle centered around wellness and happiness. This includes meditating every day — without exception.
  3. Keep booking plane tickets. Maybe even book a one-way.
  4. Don’t stop fighting for what I believe in. #resist
  5. “Worrying will never change the outcome.”
  6. “Everything you can imagine is real.”
  7. “What you seek is seeking you.”
  8. “It’s not what happens; it’s how you handle it.”
  9. “Make every day count.”
  10. “Be the energy you want to attract.”

In honor of the new year, I also wanted to share some highlights from 2017. I posted these to my Instagram Story, and thought they summed up the year pretty well.

{january in new orleans}

{february spent protesting}

{march in the adirondacks}

{april spent by the sea in montauk…}

{…and above the clouds in a helicopter}

{maine in may}

{crossed off a bucket list item in june / banff, alberta}

{summer things in july}

{august by the pool}

{traveled across the globe by myself in september / bali}

{california dreaming in october}

{feeling fall festive in november}

{decembrrr in iceland}

{home for the holidays}

I hope this inspires you to create your very own mood board for the new year. I would love to hear all about your peaks and pits from 2017, along with your big plans for 2018.

The best is yet to come. xx

Winter in Iceland Travel Diary

{wheels up / yyz ✈️ kef}

Earlier this month, I crossed another major item off of my travel bucket list: winter in Iceland. To sum up the experience in one quick sentence: it did NOT disappoint. Iceland is like no place I have ever been or seen in my entire life; it truly looks like the moon or some far off planet. The whole trip we just kept saying, “This cannot be planet Earth.” I had also always heard that it was “The Land of Fire and Ice” and it turned out to be a very fitting nickname (I’ll let the photos speak for themselves). So, today I wanted to share a little bit about our trip and give you all of my top recommendations. I hope you enjoy! Without further ado, here is my Winter in Iceland Travel Diary…

{360º view of reykjavík from the top of hallgrímskirkja church}

{kaffi vinyl}

{reykjavík roasters}

For the majority of our trip we stayed right in the city of Reykjavík which is the capital city of Iceland, and the only city in the entire country — everything else is considered a town or village. It is a very pretty and safe city, and we loved being in the center of it all. We found a great vegan restaurant that we loved so much we ended up eating there three days in a row… I can’t figure out if that’s just sad or flattering, lol. It’s called Kaffi Vinyl and it has an entirely vegan menu accompanied by a great vibe complete with a record player for music, of course. We also stumbled upon an amazing little coffee shop, Reykjavík Roasters, which we fell in love with immediately upon walking in. It’s a cozy little place that was perfect for warming up with an oat milk latte in.

{the blue lagoon}

If you’ve heard anything — and I mean anything — about Iceland, you’ve most definitely heard about The Blue Lagoon. It is truly as amazing as it sounds, and we wished we had more time on the trip to go back a second time. It’s right near the airport, so we went there right after we landed and got our rental car. It was such a nice way to start off the trip and relax after the journey there.

We paid for one of the packages that includes a few extra perks, and definitely recommend doing so! I unfortunately didn’t get too many photos while we were there so bear with me as I explain all of the details! Although this was at the top of my to-do list for our trip, I admittedly didn’t know too much about The Blue Lagoon other than it was a big natural pool of hot geothermal water. Without even knowing anything else about it, I was sold! I didn’t realize how much more there was to it, including a swim-up bar (we got green juices that were some of the best we’ve ever had!), a swim-up clay/mud face mask bar (there is one complimentary for all guests, and an additional one if you buy a higher package with your ticket), and a sauna and steam room. It was incredible and we spent hours just relaxing in the warm water.

Three major things that I want to point out if you plan on going: 1. Buy tickets ahead of time. They sell out fast so plan ahead! 2. Purchase an early morning ticket time. We got there early in the morning since it worked out best with our flight times, and we were so happy with the way it panned out.  It seemed to just get more and more crowded as the day went on, and — for obvious reasons — the less people there were, the more enjoyable it was. 3. Be mindful about your hair! Something in the water can make your hair stiff and unmanageable, but if you’re careful then you will have no problem. You’re supposed to rinse off in showers before you go into the water, so when I did that, I took a bunch of the conditioner provided and put it all over my hair. Then, I left it in my hair without rinsing it out and went in to the water just like that. Afterwards, I went over my hair a few more times with the same conditioner, and my hair felt just as nice and soft as it did when I arrived 🙂

{skógafoss waterfall}

{mýrdalsjökull glacier}

{gullfoss waterfall}

{vík}

{vík’s black sand beach at sunset}

{the great geyser}

{diamond beach}

{jökulsárlón lagoon}

{vatnajokull glacier + ice cave}

{the friendly wild horses}

One of my favorite parts of the trip was seeing the beautiful wild horses all over along Ring Road. They were so incredibly friendly — it was so different than coming across wild animals anywhere else I’ve been. Every time we got the chance, we would pull over and get out of the car, and every time we started to get out, they would all come walking right over and come right up to us. We would just stand there and talk to them and pet them for so long… They would never leave until we did. We had heard before that it’s important to be gentle and talk quietly because some of them have never come into contact with humans before so you don’t want to scare them. Too cute — I loved them.

{fire + ice}

{random sights}

I’m not sure if the photos do it justice, but as I mentioned before, Iceland really looked like a completely different planet. It is such an amazing mix of mountains, volcanoes, streams, lagoons, and fields — unlike anything I’ve ever seen! I can 100% understand why so many movies are filmed here. We spent a lot of time just driving along Ring Road (Route 1) both north and south, and had such a good time doing that. It reminded me a lot of driving along the Icefields Parkway in Banff if you’ve ever been there. We could just drive aimlessly for hours pulling off and taking it all in every chance we got. We came across so many cute towns with friendly locals, amazing geography, animals (including reindeer. Yes, really!), and even a handful of turf houses.

Another interesting part of the trip comes with traveling there in the winter: short, short, short days! It was so interesting to experience! Iceland has only a few short hours of daylight in the winter, and almost 24 hours of sunlight in the summer (something I would also really like to experience!). The sun didn’t come up until 10 or 11 am while we were there, and it would start to set around 3:30 pm (but didn’t actually get completely dark until 5 or so). One thing I actually really enjoyed about this was that almost every hour was golden hour — a photographer’s dream! It cast such a beautiful light orange and pink light all day long, which made everything look even more beautiful.

Another perk of traveling there in the winter is the northern lights; it is the best time of year to see them there! Sadly, we got very unlucky and didn’t get to see them, though we were very close on two nights! However, it’s just another reason to go plan another trip back to Scandinavia, right? 🙂 We did get to witness the biggest meteor shower of the year while looking for them one night though, so that certainly was a silver lining.

I hope you enjoyed my Iceland Travel Diary! Have you ever been The Land of Fire and Ice? What are your favorite hidden gems on the island?

 

Valentine’s Day Favorites

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to put together a little shopping guide for you. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for a gift for someone else, I think all of these items would make the perfect purchase. From festive tees and gummies to glitzy jewelry and lipstick to match, I think I have everything covered in one single guide. So without further ado, here are my Valentine’s Day favorites… I hope you enjoy!

lace bralette //glitzy cuff bracelet // pretty earrings
(vegan!) lip gummies // lips & lashes tee // perfect pink lipstick
nude heels // blush crossbody bag
glowy highlighter // rose-tinted watch // scented candle

 

If you’re going out for a date night this holiday, these pretty nude heels and blush crossbody bag are both must-haves. Pair them with a pretty bracelet or watch and eye-catching earrings, and your look is pretty much complete. Top it off with the perfect pink lipstick and this highlighter that gives your face just the right amount of a candlelit glow. It just doesn’t get any better.

If you’re staying in for a cozy night at home, a comfy but pretty lace bralette and festive tee is the ideal combo. Light a nice scented candle and stock up on these gummies that are too perfect for Valentine’s Day. They are like the grown-up version of Sour Patch Kids and they don’t contain any gelatin — that’s a winner in my book.

 

What are your Valentine’s Day favorites?

 

Snow Much Fun

Being back home during the holidays has been so much fun. I really had missed having down time and spending time outdoors in the snow. As much as I can’t stand the colder weather (we get temperatures of -20 degrees Fahrenheit!), I definitely missed having a few feet of snow and watching the snow come down like you’re in the middle of a snow globe.

This past week I took Charlie to one of my favorite forests for some winter fun. It’s a little ways out of town, but so worth the drive! There are snowshoeing trails, cross-country skiing trails, hiking trails, sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and so much more. Charlie had a ball running around and meeting the Clydesdale horses.

ShopthePost_2

pink coat // navy pants // white gloves (not online, similar here) // bean boots // socks

 

What do you wear for a winter staycation?


check-these-out-too

01. Deck the Halls
02. Winter Wonderland
03. Signs of Winter

Hot Cocoa, Warm Hearts

I am in love with having bonfires in the summertime. I always have s’mores and love the smell of the fire and sound of the popping/cracking wood, and of course watching the lightning bugs light up and listening to the sound of the crickets. But, that’s all stuff that’s saved for the warmer months.

Lately it has been so cold and chilly here that it made me crave summer nights like those, and that’s when it dawned on me: why not have an outdoor bonfire when it’s cold outside, when you really do need to warm up by a fire the most? So, that was exactly what I decided to do. I got everything together to have s’mores and hot cocoa (both vegan versions, of course) and dusted my fire pit off which had been stowed away for the colder months.

It was snow much fun to spend a little time warming up outside, and it was quite a different environment than I’m used to when sitting by a bonfire. So, today I just wanted to share a few photos and give you a little inspiration, and also share my easy peasy vegan hot chocolate recipe. I hope you enjoy!

(for one cup)

01. 1 cup almond milk
02. 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
03. 1.5 tablespoons dark chocolate, chopped
04. 1 tablespoon raw sugar
05. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
06. 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
07. Coconut milk whipped cream (optional)

01. Pour almond milk into mug and microwave for about a minute.
02. Pour in cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and sugar, then whisk until combined.
03. Put back in microwave and heat to your preferred temperature.
04. Stir in vanilla and/or peppermint extract then top with coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!

 

What are your favorite ways to spend snow days?


01. Vegan Christmas Cookie Recipe
02. Holiday Gift Wrapping Party
03. Snow Day Survival Guide
04.
Peppermint Patty Recipe

Deck the Halls

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One of my favorite annual traditions during the holiday season is going to get our Christmas tree with my family. This is something we don’t go a year without doing, and it’s always so much fun. There is such a festive feeling in the air at a Christmas tree farm — everyone is excited, there is hot chocolate brewing, and the smell of pine needles is blowing in the air. You just can’t beat it!

We got our tree a little late this year since I wasn’t in town until this past weekend, but it was just as fun as any other year. Without further ado, here is a little look at what I wore to deck the halls…

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coat (old, similar here) // sweater (new favorite!) // chambray shirt // navy pants
hat (on sale for $8!) // mittens (from Ireland, similar here) // socks // boots

I bought this sweater while shopping in a few weekends ago, and I am absolutely obsessed! I need to buy it in the other colors before it sells out — it’s just that good! It’s super soft and oversized, which I love. I have been layering it with a collared shirt underneath for a little extra touch; I love rolling the cuffs of the sleeves to show the color of the shirt underneath, too.

This hat is another winter staple, and it’s currently on sale for $8 — um, hello! It’s also the perfect Secret Santa gift or stocking stuffer if you’re on the hunt for a few last minute gifts. It’s insanely soft and fuzzy, and the neutral gray and cream match any winter outfit.

 

What do you wear for a day filled with winter festivities?


check-these-out-too

01. Winter Wonderland
02. Signs of Winter

Gift Guide | For the Guys

Happy Saturday! You know what that means… It’s time for another gift guide! This week I am back with a gift guide for the guys.

I find that people typically think the guys in their life are either the easiest or the hardest to shop for — there is no in between! Whatever your opinion is, I thought it would be helpful to round-up a few of the top gifts for your guys, whether you’re shopping for a dad, boyfriend, brother, or friend. Hope this helps you out.

gift-guide-for-the-guys

ShopthePost_2

ankle boots // shave kit // stainless steel water bottle // digital camera
 leather watch //  leather passport holder // baseball hat // quarter-zip sweater

What are your favorite gifts for him?

xoxo


check-these-out-too

01. Dear Santa…
02. Gift Guide | Wit & Whimsy
03. Gift Guide | Stocking Stuffers
04. Gift Guide | For the Guys
05. Gift Guide | Little Luxuries
06. Gift Guide | Bestie

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