Link Love: 67

Bambi in the van

We’ve been fixing up our van for camping and travels this summer. As you can tell, Bambi approves. This has been a long week and I’m so looking forward to the weekend. So let’s get to relaxing, people! On with Link Love! Continue reading

Make Do and Mend: DIY Healing Face Lotion

DIY Healing Face Lotion

I get into beauty habits. I find one product I like and then use it forever. It’s a fault, but I generally feel no need to stray from my tried and true staples. I had been using Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream for years. Years! With no complaints. Continue reading

Link Love: 66

Morning at the Airstream

I’m thinking of trying something a touch different with Link Love and using a photo of what’s going on in my life that week. This semester I had the chance to change my work schedule so I get up much earlier. I see the sunrise most mornings from the Airstream and I try to enjoy it. :)

I also think it makes more sense to publish Link Love on Fridays. It’s a delightful, almost-weekend treat and it gives me more time to discover the best of the web for that week. Let me know if you like the new format! Now on with Link Love! Continue reading

Our Iceland Trip & How to Save Money in Iceland!

How to Save Money in Iceland

One of the main reasons George and I live in an Airstream is so we can save money to travel. I’ve never been overseas and I wanted desperately to do some international travel before my 30th birthday. After much worrying about the cost, we decided that we could afford it and we booked a trip to Iceland.

Why Iceland? Well, it’s gorgeous! And flights, in comparison to many other countries, are relatively cheap. Iceland has it’s own airlines, Iceland Air and with the help of a connecting flight, we could fly right out of our home airport. The tickets were about $600 per person. That’s only $100 per person less than our flight to California will be this summer! Iceland Air even does this stopover program where you can stop in Iceland for up to a week before heading to another European country. It’s definitely something I’m going to consider if we ever make it to Europe.

Geysir, Iceland

Geysir, Iceland

We booked our hotel through Expedia because we stayed in Reykjavik, the capital city, for the entire week and simply commuted to various locations throughout the island. I like to check all the major booking sites using Kayak before I choose one. Our hotel was a budget hotel and we paid for 6 nights at $557.81. Not too shabby. It also helps that we visited in the winter when prices are cheaper. If we really wanted to cut costs, we could have stayed in hostels. We did stop by a few hostels for coffee or maps and were truly impressed with how clean they were! We stopped at this hostel on the way to Geysir and wanted to stay!

George with the horses, Iceland

Iceland’s magic small horses!

Horses, Iceland

We simply jumped out of the car to see these cute friends. No tour needed!

The one thing I really did cheap out on was a rental car. I found SAD cars online and I should have known it was almost too good to be true. We rented a car from them for about $300. The other rental cars from well-known companies were over $1,000 for the week! The car we rented never broke down, luckily, but to keep it from overheating we had to run the heat on full-blast the entire time. Not fun when you have on four layers of clothes!

Many of the sites we wanted to see in Iceland were accessible by car. By having a car, we were able to go out on our own schedule and we didn’t have to pay for a tour. We drove the Golden Circle by ourselves, visited a glacier and the black sand beaches in Vik— all without a tour guide. That being said, gasoline was very expensive. I knew it was going to be quite a bit, but it cost about $130 to fill up our tank. And we filled it up twice. Ouch!

Vik, Iceland

Vik, Iceland

Pebbles, Iceland

We did splurge on relaxing in the Blue Lagoon and one tour with Arctic Adventures. There were a lot of awesome tours available– like snowmobiling, cave exploring, a Game of Thrones tour(!) and many, many more. We decided on snorkeling in Silfra. It’s an internationally recognized dive site and you swim between two tectonic plates. It was truly amazing and well-worth the $150 per person price tag. And it truly wasn’t cold. They put you in puffy, down suits and wet suits to keep you warm. Our tour guide was really lovely and and took great care of us.

We snorkeled there!

We snorkeled there!

The water was insanely clear!

The water was insanely clear!

The other pricey part about Iceland is the food. Much of the food is imported and every meal we ate at a restaurant cost over $100 for just us two. To save money on food we picked up dinner from the grocery store several times, ate breakfast at our continental hotel breakfast and brought snacks with us in our luggage. We also ate chips (or fries for us Americans!) for dinner one night and ate hot dogs for breakfast one morning when we needed to sleep in! Not the healthiest of meals, but hey, Iceland is famous for hot dogs and we were on vacation. :)

Melanie at Gulfoss, Iceland

Gorgeous and cold!

Gulfoss, Iceland

Prior to our trip, I did buy a few things that I considered travel costs, like a few pairs of long underwear. I bought a cheap pair and a more expensive pair. For snorkeling they recommended a synthetic fiber to wear under the suits, so I bit the bullet and bought some fleece CuddleDuds. They, of course, were more flattering and warmer than the cheapo $10 pair I bought. 90% of the time I wasn’t cold. The only time I did get chilly was when we went out to see a glacier and the Golden Circle. I was slipping and sliding everywhere. I even ended up falling once. Do’h! The one thing I did wish I bought were Crampons. Word to the wise: They are worth it if you decide to visit Iceland during the winter.

Overall it was an amazing/beautiful/unforgettable trip that was well worth the money. I’ve got the bug and I can’t wait to travel more in 2016!

love,
melanie

Make Do and Mend: Key Lanyard

Make Do and Mend- Key Lanyard Lately I’ve been making a conscious effort to buy less and do the best I can with what I have. I’m sure I don’t buy as much as the average person and I do consider myself quite the minimalist, but it’s still really easy for me to think I don’t have any groceries, when I have plenty of cans in my cabinet or think I have no clothes to wear when I really just need to do the laundry. In an effort to keep up my accomplishments, I want to start a new series on the blog cleverly titled: Make Do and Mend. (Inspired by the ever inspiring series, With What You Have.)

Made Do and Mend- lanyard I recently started a new job at work. I’ll no longer be working the night shift and it’s much closer to my house. (Horray!) I’ve only been at this new position for a few weeks, but I’ve noticed that I use keys much more than I had previously. Hence, the need for a lanyard. I wanted something I could wear around my neck for convenience, but I ask wanted something fashionable– as fashionable as a lanyard could be. My first instinct told me to start looking around on Amazon. I was instantly met with 5,000 lanyard options. But I don’t need all those options. All I need is an old necklace and a forgotten key ring. Make do and mend.

How are you making do and mending? I love to hear from you.

love,
melanie

Link Love: 65

Link Love: 65 Ya’ll, it is so hard to get back into the habit of blogging and working and doing all the things. I took such a nice, long break, but it’s time to get back to it. I read so many good things during my break. Books! Entire books! And Internet goodies, of course. This is going to be a long one, folks, so settle in!  Continue reading

Lessons I’ve Learned From Living Tiny

Lessons I've learned from living tiny For over 2 years my husband, my dog and I have lived tiny. We went from living in a beautiful (and big-to-me) 1,200 square foot loft to a 188 square foot Airstream Sovereign. I’ve learned so many lessons during that time. Some of those lessons were expected and some of those lessons were totally unforeseen. Some of the lessons have been easy and some of them have been hard. But more than anything I’m thankful that I’ve learned them. Living tiny has made me a better person. So today I’m going to share just a few of the lessons I’ve learned by living tiny. I’m sure there are so many more lessons in store. Continue reading