28 Apr 2017

A note on swimsuits and sizes

So, I’m going to Corfu in a few weeks. Yeah I know, soz to just drop that in like a smug lil bitch but I needed to mention it cos it explains why I was online shopping for swimsuits the other day.

I moseyed on over to a popular clothing website to browse their swimwear and find myself something sassy to lounge around a pool in for a week.

I should say, for the record, that I have clothes in my wardrobe that are a size 10, size 12 and size 14, and this entirely depends on what shop I bought them from so I no longer spend much time worrying about what dress size I am.  When you can change a dress size simply walking between H&M and New Look, you learn not to be too bothered about that little number on the label. But on this shopping venture… I became very, very bothered about that little number.

23 Apr 2017

Welcome to New York

OH HEY POPPETS. How the heck are ya? I feel like I’ve been away from my little arm chair in this corner of the internet for ages. How was your Easter weekend huh? I hope it involved a hefty amount of chocolate, the new series of Doctor Who, more chocolate, and HOLY SHIT THE BROADCHURCH FINALE.


It really has. For those 9 years since I last said goodbye, and particularly in the 9 months since we decided to book flights, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of has been waiting to engulf me once again in its glittering arms.

And for a beautiful seven days, those streets made me feel brand new and those big lights inspired me (lol I’ll stop with the song lyrics now…).

I’m currently sat on the sofa wearing my NYC sweatshirt, drinking out my new Bubby’s mug, listening to Empire State of Mind and flicking through my photos of Brooklyn Bridge. No YOU’RE in denial.

16 Apr 2017

In Icelandic Water: The Steam Valley and The Blue Lagoon

Two reasons to remember to pack your swimsuit and two absolute must-have experiences if you’re going to Iceland.

Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Reykjadalur directly translates to ‘steam valley’ and you will understand the name once you get hiking. The valley is full of hot springs billowing out steam and mud pools which bubble and splash you (don’t wear shorts). And at the top, you’ll find a hot river that you can bathe in.

It’s a 45 minutes to an hour to hike to the top and it’s not majorly difficult but you will need to catch your breath at times. There’s loose gravel paths which are slightly nerve wracking (maybe not one if you’re terrified of heights) but the views are spectacular. There’s a waterfall about half way up and we saw ducks, of all creatures, swimming about in the stream.  There are moments where you can’t see in front of your own nose cos the steam is so thick (not on any of those loose gravel paths don’t worry) and it’s all a bit magical.

I’ve never felt more surreal, clambering over a muddy river bank (trying not to slip on my arse) in my swimsuit whilst the wind and drizzle gave me the mother of all goosebumps and then going to sit in a shallow, muddy river full of weeds.

But it was dreamy. Genuinely like sinking into the hottest, steamiest of baths (cept without the bubbles) with a very real view of the mountain top.

It’s pretty busy, which also feels quite bizarre, but we found that it didn’t feel overcrowded – it’s a big river and everyone could stick to an area. I think there was actually a suggested time limit for staying in the water (not that anyone could really enforce it) because the heat does start making you feel fuzzy after a while (definitely take a bottle of water in with you) and you do have to walk back down the mountain again. We stayed in about an hour altogether and that felt just about right.

The Blue Lagoon

Our final day of the trip was spent entirely at the Blue Lagoon. If you don’t know what it is – check this website out – but I suspect the majority already know of these creamy blue geothermal waters.

You can book different packages for your Blue Lagoon Experience and we decided to go the full hog. You get dressing gowns and slippers on arrival, as well a wrist band which you use to open/lock your locker and put drinks etc on your tab. There are also hooks by the waterside to hang your gowns on.

The water was just gorgeous. The colour is other-worldly and it’s so lovely and warm… which sounds a pretty pathetic way to describe it but I can’t describe everything as FLIPPIN’ MAGICAL all the time…

We spent the whole day floating amongst the water, or perched on the volcanic rocks. We’d mosy on over to the water bar (those strawberry smoothies <3<3) or brave standing under the waterfall – like getting a very brutal, painful massage but it did bizarrely loosen up your muscles. At one point we discovered a secret cave which was giving a history of the Blue Lagoon over the sound system (in several languages) and obviously at times, we'd step out of the warmth of the water to grab our cameras and stand on the little bridges to capture the magic.

We took a break to have a fancy three-course lunch, plus processco, in the restaurant. It was very weird being sat in such a classy environment in your dressing gown but you didn’t have to worry about un-doing any buttons half way through dinner *insert smug emoji*.

After lunch we headed over to the facemask hut in the water to try out the two different types of facemasks, all made of completely natural ingredients from the lagoon. They did make you look a bit like a sea creature lurking in the water but omg my skin felt so super soft for the next couple of weeks.

If I had to give you one tip about visiting the Blue Lagoon in the summer it would be this: sunglasses and sun cream. That water is freakishly bright even when not particularly sunny and I was bemused to discover I had major tan lines when I got out at the end of the day. It was fun telling people back home that I was tanned from a trip to Iceland…

Things to do on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland

As you read this, I'll probably be curled up in a bereft heap as the jetlag and post-New York blues hit me during Easter weekend. I only hope future me has the foresight to stock up on Easter eggs before she sets off to the Big Apple. In the meantime, I'm writing my final two Iceland posts because it makes sense to finish talking about one travel experience before moving on to the next. Soz for being that person.

I think most people head to the Reykjanes Peninsula to go to the Blue Lagoon, which is why we were there, but it’s well worth visiting as a standalone place; and it’s about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik so you can easily go for a day trip.

We drove over on our second to last day to set up camp in a new hotel for our final two nights of the trip. We planned to spend our final day at the Blue Lagoon so, by the time we got to the hotel, we had an afternoon to fill on the peninsula. Here’s what I’d recommend doing:

Gardskagi Headland 

If you drive through the village of Gardur, you come to this gorgeous piece of headland. It’s wind-battered yet tranquil, rugged yet beautiful. Apparently, it’s a great spot for viewing wildlife although I can’t say we saw much more than a few seabirds. There’s a little beach and two picturesque lighthouses, one of which has a tiny cafĂ© inside and you can climb to the top of the lighthouse for free if you buy something from there. The food was basic and very Icelandic so you may prefer to simply pay to climb to the top – I’ll leave it to your judgement. The views at the top are very dreamy.

The Bridge Between Two Continents 

What it says on the tin. The peninsula lies on one of the world’s major plate boundaries, the Mid Atlantic Bridge, and this is a small footbridge over a major fissure which was built as a symbol for the connection between Europe and North America. Essentially you can walk between the two continents (supposedly, it’s lucky but if not, it is very cool) as well as walk in the mini canyon itself (yeah you will get black sand in your shoes).

The 100 Crater Park 

Miles and miles of lava fields and wild volcanic craters – dubbed the 100 crater park. You can drive through it and feel a bit like you’re on The Martian movie set. There are power plants dotted about which use geothermal heat to produce salt from seawater and generate electricity (I think you can arrange visits to look round the power plants). In my opinion, the best place to stop is Valahnukur which is the most wild spot; a multi-coloured geothermal area with hot springs. The mud pools and steam vents are collectively named Gunnuhver, after a female ghost that was supposedly laid to rest there. We saw a lot of hot steam billowing out the ground in Iceland but this was by far the most aggressive one. The steam was exploding out so big and fast and loud. There were warnings everywhere telling you to STICK TO THE BLOODY PATH but you weren’t remotely tempted to disobey the rule. Mainly cos, when you got right up close, you could see the remains of what we assume was the original bridge for tourists to walk across; I’m guessing the hole in the ground began to expand, and the hot lava/steam destroyed the bridge. I’m also guessing no one was stood on it at the time…?

Obviously there will be other things to do on the peninsula but obvs I won’t recommend somewhere I didn’t get chance to go. There’s more on the visit Iceland website here. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in the evening, I recommend the restaurant Kaffi Duus. And this was the hotel we stayed in, which was genuinely one of my favourite hotels ever. It looked over the harbour and had big glass windows everywhere, so you could always enjoy the sunset.

9 Apr 2017

Flying to New York

Hey kids. I’m currently snaffling on pringles and some free sour cream and chive pretzels the air steward just gave me whilst looking at a pretty dreamy view of plane wing, clouds and endless blue sky.

Yup, it’s happening. The moment has finally arrived; I’m off to New York. That’s sorta all this post is tbh. Me and G on a plane. We decided to fly with Aer Lingus when we booked this trip all those months ago, via Dublin. Basically cos it was A LOT cheaper which left us money to spend on, ahem, helicopter rides. I don’t regret it so far but it did mean that we left the house at half six this morning and by 4pm, we’d only got as far as Ireland.

1 Apr 2017

Video: March Vlog

March Vlog

Alright, important questions first, have ya seen Beauty and the Beast yet? Cos ooohhhh my god is it good. I may have downloaded the soundtrack and may have booked tickets to go see it again...