Let's Get This Show On The Road

I was going to wait until I was super ready, but that day will probably never come. So I'm excited to say I've finally finished and published my photography portfolio. You can see a link to it up on the top navigation bar, or you can click on over to Everle.com to have a look. 

There are some photo collections in there (like this one) that I've been wanting to share for so long, but have been keeping under my hat for well over a year while I waited to find the time to put a portfolio together. I've also posted a lot of photos from my trips, some you will have seen and others not, I really tried to keep what I thought was best for publishing on my portfolio. And I've still got more to add!

I've been working on Everle for more than five months, but a massive thanks must go to the lovely Maja for helping me with all the design stuff that I just can't comprehend - and also for giving me the encouragement and nudges to just publish it already! But also a massive thanks to anyone who has ever commented here to compliment my photography - I would never have the courage to even think of pursuing it of you hadn't said something. Your kind words really do mean a lot, so thanks.x

Have a look and let me know what you think?

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Sundays at Home

It's about this time towards the end of February where I can feel myself shutting down a little bit. Getting up in the morning is harder and harder, I give up on making an effort with my outfits and live pretty much in jeans, and the urge to just cosy up at home is overwhelming. I'm not down about it - a long winter just sees me want to sleep my way through it like a bear in hibernation... But because staying home all the time isn't an option, Sundays are now dedicated to leggings and jumpers, cups of tea and homemade bread, and watching the sun trying feebly to poke it's nose through the clouds.

I've always spent a lot of money on candles, but these days I feel like I can't live without them for how much they warm up a room and relax the people in it. I also splashed out on some new incense and sage because why not? And sage is meant to be really good for cleansing a home of negative energy - I don't know about that but it's fun to walk around with it lit saying "cleanse the demons" in a deep booming voice while doing your best zombie impression.

Because that dog of ours must be walked, no matter how cold and dark it is outside, trips to the flower market help immensely to make our home feel a little more loved. They also offer some great foliage for my heard of elephants collected from various countries.

And fresh baked bread, not pictured, because Adam is so wonderful and will bake it for me (usually) whenever I ask. He's so good at it, and it's so delicious and completely worth the effort - unless Molly steals it and wolfs the whole thing before it's even cool. 

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Travels in Iceland :: A Short Trip Guide

When we arrived back in London, Adam and I both agreed that we did Iceland really really well. We had a lot of help for sure with our own personal tour guide, but with the limited amount of time we had we sure packed a lot in.

Blue Lagoon :: a bit pricey, but totally worth it. We had a great time bobbing around in the water and trying to take photos while not dropping the camera! It can get really crowded so going early is a good plan. Also towels do not necessarily come with a ticket, you have to pay extra. And it's a really good last day activity as it's close to the airport, so you can have a pre-flight soak!

Airbnb :: always airbnb it! There are so many cities in the world Adam and I would never have been able to afford to visit if we had attempted to stay in a hotel. I often get asked how I can afford to travel so much, and that's a post for another time, but saving money on accommodation has a lot to do with it. Here's the wishlist I put together for Reykjavik. 

Music :: there are some really good bands coming out of Iceland these days. I already mentioned Ásgeir but while were in Reykjavik we managed to catch CeaseTone  a the Loft who were just awesome. We found out they were playing by looking in the paper but you can also check out.

Snacks :: food in Iceland is super expensive. We grabbed coffees in the morning and had dinner out (sometimes just a hot dog) but that's about it - the rest I bought in my backpack from the UK before I left in the form of granola bars, those mini brioche buns from tesco and hobnobs. Note to self :: next time pack healthier snacks.

Drive yourself :: I think if Adam and I hadn't rented a car, much of Iceland would have been off limits to us. Those tours are really expensive and for the price of around one ticket we managed to rent a car, and a 4x4 no less so that we felt really safe driving in the snow. Also, the satnav came with tours already on is so if we hadn't had my friend as a tour guide, we could have driven ourselves easily.

Ion Hotel :: we really enjoyed our stay here, and it was really worth the price tag. The food, the rooms, the bar - all of this made it worth it. But also, if we hadn't stayed there then we never would have seen the northern lights.

South Coast :: it's worth going to see the lava fields, the ocean and the little fishing villages all along the south coast. It's a good first day activity because it's quiet and relaxing, and also gives you an idea of how sparsely populated Iceland can be in parts!

Solehestar Horse Riding :: if you feel like going on a horse trek then these guys seemed pretty great. They came to pick us up from where we were staying and dropped us off, the horses seemed well loved and cared for - not over-ridden or over-worked like a lot of tour horses. While we're on the topic, if ever you're overseas I urge you to consider the welfare of the animals working in tourism. Just have a look over a horse or an elephant or whatever before you accept a ride, take a peek under their equipment, make sure they aren't over burdened - here's a good page to read over if you want to learn more.

Layers and leggings :: if you're traveling to Iceland in the winter do not underestimate the amount of layers you need to wear. I wore about two pairs of fleece lined leggings every day and I'm really glad I packed so much. It was that cold. 

Saegreifinn Restaurant :: this place comes with some mixed reviews but I really loved it. It's not super comfortable and it's a bit dark, but the lobster soup is really delicious and the fish is to die for. If you don't mind stuffing your face with fresh fish whilst perched on a barrel, I highly recommend this place. Get there early though because it fills up quick!

The Landscape :: I just thought I should mention that a lot of my photos are very selectively taken, like all photos are, but there are quite a few factories around Iceland that kind of make you do a double take. They really rely on the thermal springs for all sorts of power and heating solutions, so next to areas that have a lot of hot springs you will also likely find a hydro plant. There is one right next to the blue lagoon, there was one next to our hotel. There are a lot of pristine landscapes, but there is a lot of industrial elements too - I just wanted to mention because it was a surprise to me when I got to Iceland. I wouldn't say it detracted from the beauty of it all, it's just part of the country.

And finally, if you're ever looking for a tour guide in Iceland, let me know. I know a girl who is pretty great :)

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Travels in Iceland :: Day Three and the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle in Iceland is very much a classic tourist activity, but it's kind of a must. When we went there were loads of tourist buses making the rounds and people snapping away with selfie-sticks, and as much as we like to avoid that kind of scene - sometimes you just can't otherwise you'll seriously miss out. It's popular for a reason, right?

We started out with the geyser which, as predicted, shot straight up in the air after a few minutes. Apparently it didn't go as high as it normally does because it was too cold - immediately the water turned to steam and all my photos turned out to be just white steam against white sky. And the whole thing smelled very sulfuric, which had Adam making funny faces and me laughing like an idiot. It was so amazing to see how boiling water was collecting just under the surface and you can't help but picture all that lava bubbling away not too far below.

Obviously we had lots of fun road tripping, stopping for coffees along the way and just generally goofing around. I couldn't resist a silly handstand shot, which was hilarious because I haven't mastered handstands beyond the two-second-balance-topple since I was about twelve. I have a theory that if I practice handstands every day for the rest of my life I'll still be able to do them when I'm 80.

Next was Gullfoss Waterfall which was immense, beautiful and absolutely freezing! And then we moved on to the Þingvellir National Park where we had been the night before to see if we could catch a second sight of the Norther Lights - we didn't really. Getting too greedy I guess. 

There's something about spending time around nature when it's power is so apparent that always takes my breath away. And the Golden Circle does exactly that, by the end of the day I just put my camera to one side because no photo is ever going to make up for seeing it all with your own eyes.

If you haven't made plans by now to visit Iceland, definitely try to do it if you can. Tomorrow I'll post a list of recommendations of must-do's when planning a trip to Iceland along with some photos of the Blue Lagoon! Which incidentally I didn't realise was a World Wonder until I was sitting in it... Nice one, Freya.

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What to Wear For a Date Night in Dalston :: Crop Top and Boots

 Top from ASOS :: Jeans from Top Shop :: Boots c/o Jones

Adam and I don't often do dinner-out date nights, we much prefer to cuddle up at home with a bottle of wine and some music - which I suppose is it's own sort of date night. But Valentine's Day gave us the perfect opportunity to head out into Dalston for drinks and dinner. 

Our first stop was a local bar which we've never been to before but which is officially my new favourite. If you're ever hovering between Dalston, London Fields and Hackney Downs I suggest you check out Pinch - it's a really tiny wine bar that reminded me so much of Brooklyn. And if you're ever there, tweet me and I'll pop over and join you! Any excuse to go back ;)

Next we bundled up and walked on over to Mercie Marie, it's not quite a pop-up and it's not quite a supper club, but it's the tiniest French restaurant serving delicious food and lots of it. Because it's Dalston it's located in some industrial building cooperative that only adds to the charm. 

We considered heading back to Pinch after dinner and grabbing another drink, but we opted for home because Molly deserves company on Valentines Day too, after all. 

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