Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Intro to Iceland, and Gorgeous Gullfoss

One year ago, I went to Iceland for an awesome whirlwind of a long weekend. And for some reason, I never shared it here on the blog! So here's my first post about the gorgeous country of Iceland! There's not a whole lot of information in this post. But there's a bunch of pretty pictures. The adventures and stories will be coming in future posts.

This first photo is right around the corner from our hotel (Icelandair Reykjavik Natura).

Obligatory money shot (Icelandic Krona):

Picturesque random street downtown Reykjavik:

Our giraffe friend:

The Hallgrimskirkja. This church holds the record as the tallest building in Iceland, at 244 feet.

The interior is pretty sparse and basic, but houses a beautiful pipe organ. It's rumored that the bell tower has the best views in the city, but we were too late in the day to find out.

This may seem like a random photo, but it's the one that best captures the strange feeling I had the whole time. Unlike any other place I've been, the sky in Iceland seemed so close, the clouds so low, like I could reach out and touch them if I wanted to. Like the sky loved Iceland too, and was giving it a big hug.

After this little walk our first day in town, we were exhausted, but it was too early to go to bed. The hotel TV only had 5 channels (only 2 in English), so we were going to crowd around the Kindle except...

Sad day!  We wasted away the hours flipping the channels and trying to figure out how to order a pizza. That was our first adventure in Iceland. The website was only in Icelandic, so we called, and the man who answered the phone didn't know our hotel by name. So he asked for the address....which we couldn't pronounce and I attempted to spell....until: "umm, I don't have that letter in my language. It's like a curvy 'd' with a cross?" Thankfully, someone there knew where we were and we got our pizza!

Our first excursion was to the Gullfoss waterfall. But even before we got there, we had beautiful sights! Like these random hot springs seen from the bus:

The tour made a quick bathroom and coffee stop at this little strip mall that happened to be the victim of an earthquake several years back. The powers that be made the best of it by lighting the crack, laying some thick glass, and making it a tourist attraction. I felt super brave standing over this 6-foot-deep crack!

Then it was onto Gullfoss!

Fun story: see the first group of people in the above photo? That's approximately the spot where I slipped on the ice and slid downhill a good 10 feet, briefly wondering how Chrissy and Kathryn would explain my death-by-icy-Icelandic-waterfall to everyone back home (this would not be the last time this trip I had that thought...but those stories are for another post).

It's easy to see why this place is one of the top tourist destinations in Iceland. It's stunning.

So. Stinkin. Beautiful.

So I leave you with a group shot.

Have you been to Gullfoss (or Iceland in general)? What did you think?

Friday, October 17, 2014

"The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee"

I usually use stock photos of book covers for my reviews, but look at the cute certificate that came with this book (adorable old dog just for because he's asleep on me)! You can find the book here.
Okay, on with the review.

Some people label Candice as being "on the spectrum", but she just knows she's different. She takes things literally, she's caused her pet fish to have a religious crisis, and her best friend is from another dimension (maybe). On top of all that, her family is falling apart and she's the only one who can save it. Well, with a little help from her dad's estranged brother, Rich Uncle Brian.

I don't usually go for middle reader books (I didn't realize that's what it was when I requested it), but I really enjoyed this one! Jonsberg has written a witty kids book featuring a lovable, quirky character that's a little out there, but still relatable. It was an entertaining read as an adult, and I definitely would've felt the same as a kid! Go ahead and pick this one up.

3/5 Stars

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Impact: Get Rich! Be More Awesome! Change The World!"

I really enjoyed this book, and read the whole thing in one day of flights and airports. Casey Lewis draws on his personal experience to demonstrate what a healthy financial plan can do for even the most dire circumstances. He lays out a step-by-step process to get you in financial shape, no matter where you are in the journey, making it easy to get your money in order. More importantly, he makes a case for why you should get it in order.

This might get me in trouble with the FPU crowd, but I like Lewis' book more than Dave Ramsey's (if I get trampled by a gazelle or run over by a snowball, you all know why). Why can I say that? They share pretty much the same information and have a similar plan, but Lewis is very relatable in his writing style, it's quick to read and implement, and he makes it really easy to understand how to handle your money in a wise and responsible way.

If you're looking to get your money in order to have a healthy financial future, you need to read this. As grateful as I am for Ramsey's resources helping me get started on my own financial journey, Lewis' Impact is the book I'll be recommending more often than other financial books.

Highly Recommended, 5/5 Stars
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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