Iceland – The Beginning (Part One)

 

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.” Hans Christian Anderson

Iceland is one of those places that called to me. After watching movies like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,  hearing about it from friends and looking at pictures on many travel instagrammers accounts I just could not get enough. I knew I had to go.

 After much research we finally made the jump and decided to book the Intrepid 8 day Northern Lights Tour. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life and hopefully the beginning of many more adventures.

We booked the trip nearly a year in advance, which gave us plenty of time to organise what we would take and stock up on warm weather gear! When February finally came you can imagine how excited I was!

We both finished work a day before our flight so we packed all our gear together, dropped the puppy off at her holiday home for the week and headed to the hotel we booked in Heathrow for that evening just so we could relax before flying out the next day. I was so glad we chose to do this as it made the trip so much more relaxing and less stressful!

It only takes 3 hours to get to Iceland from the UK and the time zone is the same (flying anything over an hour makes me feel like I should change time) so we arrived by late afternoon. In the airport we met our coach driver and some of our group. From here he took us from Keflavik to Reykjavik. I could not believe (and still can’t) how beautiful this country was. Snow covered mountains in the distance called to me and I just could not get enough of looking at them. It was really happening, I was really there!

We were staying the first two nights of our trip in Hotel Fron right in the middle of the main centre of the city. The hotel rooms were lovely and we were more than comfortable. I would definitely go here again if I went back. After checking in, dropping everything off and getting changed we were to meet our group for dinner at 7. At the recommendation of our guide we grabbed our swimsuits in haste (along with 2 other women in our group) as the local baths were open till midnight for that evening only for the Icelandic Winter Lights Festival.

Our first meal in this wonderful country was at Geyser Bistro and was a great way to start. We met some more of our lovely group and ate some wonderful fish (when in iceland).

{Salted Cod and Local Fresh Caught Ling}

After the meal we took a snowy, fresh walk to the local baths to enjoy a relaxing evening in   hot geothermal water with two of our new travel companions. The baths were amazing and even though you have to follow some local customs (no shoes, naked showering and ensuring you are dry before re-entering the changing rooms) it was actually really liberating to just not care (don’t get me wrong it took a lot to build up to it). Plus the baths and changing rooms were spotless, which compared to many of the swimming places in Britain this was amazing.

After some relaxing we ambled slowly back to the hotel with some night views on the way.

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The next day we got up early for breakfast, a nice continental, and met the group ready for a city tour.

We learnt about the cities history, passed sites such as the Harpa Concert Hall, the frozen lake and the harbour.

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Our first proper stop on the tour was at the Perlan, which had a 360 view of the area. Truly beautiful. Also if you go up there in winter time make sure to be careful of the ice, I can attest that it truly hurts if you misjudge it (I had the bruise to prove it).

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Our next stop was to view a snowy village outside of the city.

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We stopped by the national museum but only for a brief time as we wanted to reach the final stop of Hallgrímskirkja. This well photographed and popular church was still amazing to see in real life.

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A group of us broke off from some of the others to head down the harbour and scout out lunch. We were in the mood for some lobster and the restaurant we choose provided exactly this (If you can’t tell from the title).

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We ate good food, chatted, drank cider and just enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere of being in this fantastic place.

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Once our stomachs were satisfied we made our way round the city by foot.After some souvenir shopping the boy and I broke off from the group to take a wander along the seafront.

We walked up to the sun voyager , a sculpture of a dream boat (often mistaken as a viking boat) in ode to the sun. It inspires thoughts of travel, hope, progress and freedom. All ideals that perfectly encompass the adventure we were on.

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After taking in this wonderful view we took a slow walk down to the Harpa Concert Hall where we watched the sun set over Reykjavik.

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It was a truly wonderful day and only the beginning of what would prove to be an awe inspiring trip. Already I was in love with Iceland.

Millie

Hi! I do exist! Apologies for lack of content for say 7 months! Life has been busy and this took a backseat so I could focus on work and some changes in our lives.

The biggest change was we got a dog! We took the jump to get a dog last August and this was the best thing we ever did (strong words I know)! We had been searching for a few months but things fell through or the rescue dog we wanted got snapped up before we got to view them! Unfortunately those dogs may not have been for us but it led us to get the lovely pupstar we have now.

So without further ado let me introduce the new member to our family! Meet Millie the Siberian Retriever (Husky/Labrador cross)!

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She is the most wonderful dog ever. So sweet and fun.

We put her into training as soon as we could  (with some certificates won along the way – overachiever)  and she has passed her first course (puppy training) and she is now onto her Bronze Training! She is learning so quickly and I am so happy to have her in my life!

As you can probably tell we didn’t get her from a young puppy. We got her from a couple who couldn’t keep her anymore (we are 1 of 3/4 owners) so she was 8 months old when we took her into our family. I am a big believer of giving a dog a home that needs one be that a rescue home or taking them from homes that can not look after them. More and more dogs  are ending up without homes because people take on dogs they can not look after. One of the worst things I have seen of late is more and more Huskies in rescue homes because people think they are getting a Dire Wolf (Game of Thrones). This breed needs a lot of exercise which means many people take on too much! I think if you are going to get a dog, or any animal for that matter, you need to do a lot of research and make sure the animal would get the life and love it needs! They are living creatures and deserve happiness too so please think twice before you take on a pet.

I am sure there will be more puppy posts to come as she grows (and gets more silly..see below HA)

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My Happy Place

I grew up on the South West Coast of Scotland and no matter where I was there was always a forest near by. Usually within a 10 minute walk. Since living in the South of England I have to drive out of the city before I can reach a forest. Even though it is further away I like to make the effort whenever I can to head out for a walk in the woods. It is one of my favourite places to go and I feel at home when I am in my Wellies and wandering amongst the trees.

We recently took the camera on a walk up one of the local forests so I thought I would share a few pictures of our day. It happened to be a sunny and warm day. Absolutely perfect in fact.

As soon as I started walking I felt happier. I love the fresh air as well as spending time with my wonderful fiancé.

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It was a wonderful day wandering amongst nature. So many butterflies were out and we even managed to capture a bird of prey on the hunt.

I highly recommend getting out in the countryside every now and again. Its a great opportunity to refresh!

Overcoming Fear

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Fear is something that effects us all. It is something that we face on a daily basis be it something small or big, but it is something that I believe we can overcome and achieve amazing things.

This past year I keep surprising myself. I have come across a few situations which normally fill me with dread and if it were even a year ago I would have avoided it at all costs or I would have half attempted it with no confidence meaning the situation would end exactly how I expected it too. Which goes to show how negative thinking can really affect you. However in the past few months instead of running from the situation I stood up tall, took a deep breathe in and went in to the situation with all I had. I tried my damn hardest and you know what? I have never felt so good. the confidence It gave me and the feeling of achievement was amazing. There have been people who have doubted me and have tried to bring me down with their negativity. Instead of letting this stop me, I let it fuel me.

I have come to realise the power of positive thinking. I know this is a cliché that everyone says. It really works though. Every time I have failed it is because I envisioned all the bad things that could happen. Every time I was given an opportunity that scared me I would panic and think “what if this went wrong?” and would allow the judgements of others to influence me instead of thinking about all the ways it could go well and the positive outcomes.

The moral of this post is to say that no matter what the situation, face those fears. Take them on with confidence and don’t accept the voices of the naysayers. You ARE amazing! You ARE strong. No matter what others think, you CAN do it!!

Happiness is.. (Amongst the chaos)

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I decided recently that I would change the name of thankful Sunday to this! What do you think?

I haven’t been posting very regularly again but life has been chaotic as we are having to move out of our flat this week due to our tenancy ending before we move to our house. Unfortunately our house is delayed till the end of November so we have to move to a friends meaning our furniture and many other millions of accumulated bits and bobs are having to be stored in a number of places. This has meant a lot of my day to day regular have become more difficult to keep on top of but it’s all for an exciting future! So here is what happiness has been for me during stressful times!

– Early morning Sunday walks in the forest with a hot chocolate at the end. This is going to be a ritual for me now because it made me feel so happy to escape the city and reminded me of home.
– Friends pulling together to help us move or even just motivating and cheering us up.
– Amazing dinners that have been had. Roasts, Mac ‘N Cheese and more.
– Getting ready for our first competition of the season.
– Sitting with tea and reading in the early mornings.

Xoxo

Determination

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I was told something today that completely goes against everything I believe in. I was told to aim for average and hide my drive. Not only did I think this was wrong It cemented my beliefs to always aim high and be passionate and driven.

I am an extremely passionate person and have always been ambitious. My high school motto was “Aim high and hold that aim” instilling in me from early on to achieve. I feel aiming for average in order to always look like you excel is a bad outlook to have. It’s almost like saying you can not do any better so why try!

I will always be a driven, highly ambitious and a motivated individual and no matter what I will never hide that. I am who I am and personally I see being this way as positive and beneficial!

What is your opinion on this?

Xoxo

Taking Stock (2)

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Making : plans for upcoming events.
Cooking : pork and veggie pasta.
Drinking : tea (of course).
Reading: blogs, game of thrones and the body.
Watching: It’s Revenge eve and I can’t wait.
Wanting: ice cream really badly. Especially salted caramel flavour.
Looking: forward to the weekend.
Playing: Spotifys My Favourite Coffee House Playlist.
Enjoying: a relaxing chill out this eve in my PJ’s.
Liking: when the sunshine appears.
Wondering: whether I should do something productive?
Loving: avocado on toast ALOT.
Hoping: my back feels better soon (really hurts after work today).
Needing: a massage.
Wearing: PJ’s… Bliss.
Noticing: the difference in my mood when the flat is tidy.
Thinking: not a lot.. after such a busy day.
Feeling: sleeeeepppy.
Bookmarking: recipes.
Opening: letters.. Lots to do with future house plans.
Excited: for training tomorrow.

Happy Friday!

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It is the end of the week and I can say that I have had a fab week and am really excited for the weekend!

Work has been going really well and after a lot of stress in that area it feels good to feel happy!!

On top of that I have been working hard on my fitness with some 6 am runs in before work plus yoga, pilates (via blogilates) and conditioning. I have been more involved in cheer as my knee is much better and have seen a major improvement in my overall strength and flexibility! Plus my weekly pilates class with Everybody Pilates has been fab and even through the ache I have felt like I have worked hard!

So all in all it’s been a good week and am looking forward to some quality time with the boy as well as a good relax!

Here’s some blog posts I have also loved reading this week:

Rosie from Rosie Outlook talked about what she would like to do everyday to improve her days! What you do everyday.

Carly from The College Prepster talked about The Oxford Exchange in Tampa and I want to fly over there right now! Oxford Exchange

Becky from milk bubble tea updated us with some snapshots from her iPhone. Her photos are always so beautiful and inspire me to not only redecorate but take more styled photos. iPhone Snapshots

How has your week been?

Xoxo

Happiness is..

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•Banana and honey pancakes
•Our 7 year anniversary
•Meeting new people and having a fun eve
•Eating salted caramel ice cream while wandering around the sea front and shops
•Green tea
•Cheerleading again and doing well at
•Improving running technique
•Choosing kitchen, tiles and flooring to house
•Bank holiday weekends
•Pilates
•Spotifys my favourite coffee house playlist.. So perfectly me ❤️

Sorry I have been gone a while blogging world. It’s been a tough few months so took a break from things. Posts are going to start coming back I now.

Much love xxx

Loving lately

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So I thought I would let you in on what I have been loving this week!

  • Philomena: My friends and I have our own mini book club and this is our current choice. I have only just started it but loving it. Will definitely review!
  • Tea: No changes there but I made a tea run to the local provider All About Tea and it always makes me happy to support local business! Plus the tea is fab!
  • Taking pictures of the fog.
  • Doughnuts
  • No 7 BB Cream
  • Bare Minerals make up for fuller coverage
  • My Clarins make up pallette! Beautiful nude and natural browns
  • Christian Diors mascara and my classic perfume J’adore (never gets old)
  • PJ’s- always
  • My new cardigan from matalan
  • Spring flowers to brighten up the flat
  • A day on the beach with ice cream, hallo brief summers day
  • Balance me skin care products!! Life savers in my current facial crisis

What have you been loving?
Xoxo
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