Iceland

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I just returned from an incredible week-long vacation to Reykjavík, Iceland so I thought I would throw together a quick travel journal to share some of my experiences. I hope this little sampler platter of Iceland inspires you to book a trip. It was truly incredible – breathtaking, awe-inspiring, rejuvenating… i could go on. But I’ll pause.

I’m all about short and sweet lists these days so here are my favorite memories from our unforgettable trip.

Sights: tough to narrow this down, but here are my top three

#3 Blue Lagoon
We spent a full day at this popular attraction and honestly I would have gone back again if we had the time. Soaking in silica-saturated sea water, rejuvenating algae and silica face masks, indulgent dinner and drinks at the onsite restaurant – this day was heavenly. We followed the sage advice of friends who had been to Iceland before us and did the Blue Lagoon on our first day. It was the perfect way to recover from flying and relax into the week.

#2 Golden Circle
To be fair, I was torn on including this one. I loved the sights, but being stuck on a bus with the most stereotypical tourists for a full day was pretty rough. The saving grace was a day jam packed with sights outside of Reykjavík – including exploring the rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, watching the “original” Geyser erupt every few minutes, learning about greenhouse farming, and taking in the Gullfoss waterfall.

#1 Sólheimajökull Blue Ice Glacier Hike
This was by far my favorite day. I didn’t really know what to expect from a glacier hike, but we had an amazing guide who taught us so much. We learned about Iceland’s fire and ice – volcanoes and glaciers that are so much the heart and soul of the country. We did a full day hike across the Sólheimajökull glacier with full on crampons and ice picks. Our guide even gave us the chance to repel down and climb back up a shear wall of ice. Stopping at the Skógafoss waterfall on the drive home was the cherry on top.

Eats: let’s be honest, I’m already planning dinner as we’re sitting down for lunch

Fish Market – high end spot for mind-blowing dinner
Public House Gastropub – delicious high concept tapas with an asian twist
Perlan – incredible views of Reykjavík and the surrounding vistas in slowly rotating (360 degrees every 2 hours) glass dome high above the city
Lava (Blue Lagoon) – decadent and delicious
Nora Magasin – great place for a quick beer and bite (lamb bigger to die for)

Nightlife: if you’re looking to fall in love in a hopeless place, Reykjavík’s nightlife scene consists of cozy bars where folks drinks and dance till dawn

Kiki Queer Bar (I know… eye roll… But! – amazing music, mixed crowd, dance till 4am when the sun is bright in the sky
Dillon – chill whiskey bar
Kaffibarinn – small bar but fun music

I have so much more advice – so if you’re planning a trip, just shoot me a note and I’ll give you some pointers!
IG: @champagnejason

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Like Kanye Loves Kanye

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Say what you will about his tirades and life choices, but there’s a reason why Kanye is such a tastemaker.

Dude’s got some style savvy.

His past two Yeezy collections have been brilliant and “season 3” is no different.

Did I just call Yeezy’s baggy sweatshirts and borderline hobo-chic aesthetic BRILLIANT??

I did.

And here’s why: It’s simple. He has a neutral color palette with lots of monochromatic combinations. Putting things together is a no brainer. There’s no fuss. It’s classic American sportswear with a high fashion undertone without coming off as pretentious or overly stylized.

You’re going to beg to differ with me about that pretentious point when you see the price tags for torn up ribbed sweaters and basic hoodies.

But what I mean is that you can essentially pull these looks off without actually shelling out the dough. Update your color palate, try some monochromatic looks, and you’ll look like you just walked off the runway… but without dealing with the insane rules Kanye imposes on his models.

Go for camel, army green, grey, beige.

Go for slouchy fit tops.

Go for monochromatic.

~j

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Where Have I Been?

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Good question!

It’s been an incredible start to 2016. I do this blog as a fun, creative outlet so from time to time I need to step away to focus on other life stuff.

For instance…

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I manage advertising solutions at Hulu by day (hi, work friends!) and the past few weeks have been insane-o drano. Long days and longer nights – and weekend duty. But that’s how I can afford my shopping habit ;)

Fitness Game Strong
I’m back in the gym with the goal of gaining 20 lbs of muscle by my birthday in April – which means three nights a week I’m getting ripped a new one and then racing home to devour enough calories to make Michael Phelps squirm.

So that leaves me with about 5 minutes a week, laying in bed with my eyes half shut, to squeeze out a few coherent thoughts and edit some photos.

Life’s about balance and I know I need to find more time for my creative outlet.

For now, thanks for checking in on me. I promise I’m still on Instagram while riding the elevator, waiting in line for lunch, or sitting on a conference call.

And with that – I leave you with my tip o’ the day: SHEARLING (Asos) SHEARLING (Nordstrom) SHEARLING (Coach)

It’s been big this year and I think it’s going to be around for a little while. Get a sweet shearling coat to cozy up in – like this one I snagged from Asos.

~j

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No More Mean Muggin’

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I swear I’m not a cynic. I like long walks on the beach and babies who giggle and happy endings in movies. But at this point in my life I think I’ve been around the block enough times to distinguish between optimism and fantasy.

For example, I totally applaud all of the fitness fanatics that are reborn every January. But the realist in me knows that their “new year, new you” intentions will soon fade.

Is that an asshole-y thing to think??

It’s not that I doubt their desire to improve. I applaud that! I just think it’s funny that the gym is PACKED in January but when the month closes out… I can finally find room at the squat rack.

So here’s hoping that 2016 is different and all those renewed fitness goals have some longevity.

But for those of you among us (like me) who also enjoy some attainable and easy new year makeover goals – how about givin’ that mug of yours some love!

I loooooove love love laugh lines and crows feet. I think they show the world that you live a life of laughter and contentment. But let’s not take it too far and end up looking like the Marlboro man!

I snagged these cool firming eye gels on Amazon and they’re fantastic to throw on after a long day at work. After about 10 minutes I definitely notice those little lines and dark bags under my eyes fading into a firmer, tighter situation.

This isn’t an endorsed post – just me sharing a little tip from me to you ;)

~j

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NYE 2016

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New Year’s Eve is just around the corner so you know what that means. Yep. All the usual “new year, new you” nonsense and people packing the gym for the next few weeks.

I’m still enjoying the all-you-can-eat lifestyle I enjoy so much around the holidays so there simply isn’t time to think about fitness quite yet.

But I am thinking about what I’m going to wear on New Year’s Eve!

I’m going with a dark navy velvet dinner jacket with an open collar shirt and some rad new cuff links that my brother and his girlfriend got me for Christmas. We’re doing a semi-fancy dinner out and then some drinks and games back at home. I think this is just the right level of dressy for dinner and then taking off my jacket and rolling up my sleeves will bring me into 2016 in comfort.

Do you have your NYE plans sorted out yet? Not that I should add to the hysteria of finding NYE plans. Honestly there’s so much pressure to make it an amazing night – but really I think as long as you’re with people you love, you can’t go wrong.

Happy New Year!!

~j

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