Kept On Ice

After seven years of hoping and plotting and wishing and scheming, I finally made it to the Icehotel in northern Sweden. A hotel consisting of mostly ice.

You didn’t hear me.

A HOTEL OF MOSTLY ICE!

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Our room.

They have cold rooms and warm rooms, but what’s the point of going if you’re not gonna spend at least one night in a cold room? We spent one night in a cold room and one night in a warm room. In the cold room, you’re basically sleeping on a slab of ice. A SLAB OF ICE! I don’t know why that was enticing to me…but it was! And you can’t deny that this hotel is sexy as f*ck. I mean, look at this bed/block of ice! I could do a music video here…if I were a musician. Oooh, Beyonce should do a music video here! Can you imagine?!

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The hotel provides you with an extreme weather sleeping bag, which doesn’t seem like enough, but it was definitely warm and toasty. And obviously, you sleep in your thermals and stuff–don’t be stripping down in the cold rooms, y’all. It ain’t that sexy. Wait ’til you get to the warm room for all that.

The temps inside the hotel are around 22 degrees. It’s cold, but you’re so taken with the novelty of the experience that it just doesn’t seem that uncomfortable. Also, the hotel provides you with your necessary outer layers (kinda like a snow suit). I brought some wool blend thermals and socks, and I was never too cold.

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The hotel bar

They serve you drinks in glasses made of only ice, too. And when you’re done drinking, you’re supposed to go outside and throw them at the side of the hotel. Can confirm that it’s good fun.

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You can’t get into your rooms until six pm, because the ice rooms and art rooms are open to the public for tours until then. And you have to leave your room early in the morning, too, because of the tours. Also, there are shared bathrooms (when you’re staying in the cold rooms), which I didn’t think I’d willingly subject myself to anymore after my study abroad days, but it was worth it for this experience!

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The chapel. People get married here!
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Don’t walk on these stairs! They’re just an art installment.
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yeah, it was pretty chilly outside

During the days, we went dog sledding and snowmobile-ing. There were only about four hours of daylight each day. We were also able to see the northern lights (aurora borealis) on our last night, and they were majestic. I’ve always had an obsession with the night sky, and these lights were breathtaking in person. Perhaps me compulsively taking any and all astronomy classes in college was leading me to that very moment!

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Oh, and by the way, if you’re thinking of flying to the arctic circle, it’s a lot cheaper to go in February–probably because it’s cold as hell–but it’s one hundred percent worth the extra layers!

Okay, I’ve gotta go figure out how to insert myself back into real life now.

À la prochaine !

Cookies & Marshmallows

Okay, so I failed at making the macarons. Quelle surprise! But my goddaughter and I did make delicious sugar cookies and cupcakes doused in edible glitter, and they were beautiful. I’m not saying that her snacks were better than anyone else’s, but… They were.

It’s obviously not a competition.

But if it were, we won. That’s all I’m saying.

I also volunteered to be one of the class helpers to assist with the Valentine’s Day party. My heart almost burst open because of all the cuteness going on in that classroom as they exchanged little cards and sweets with each other. Then they consumed all that sugar and turned into tiny psychopaths, so I got the hell out of there as quickly as they would let me.

I escaped (mostly) unscathed and went to Macy’s.

I’ve become extremely invested in making my bed feel like a cloud…or a marshmallow. I just want it to be so comfortable that one just relaxes immediately and completely. Saturday mornings buried under thick, soft blankets watching Three’s Company and King of Queens? That’s one of life’s greatest pleasures. So recently I bought a duvet cover that is so soft on the skin and gorgeous to look at. It’s by Calvin Klein and in the same material (modal) that they make their men’s t-shirts. I’m in love with it. I bought it from Macy’s, and since Macy’s was having a Valentine’s Day sale I went to see what else I could find to make my marshmallow bed dream a reality. I fell in love with decorative pillow shams that are the same color as the duvet (I’m going for a monochromatic look), but a different texture. I picked up two of them and continued shopping. When I finally noticed the price of the shams, I was stunned. One hundred and twenty dollars. For ONE PILLOW SHAM.

Now, I hate shopping with my mom because she is truly shocked by the price of everything, so tell me honestly if I’m slowly becoming my mother, but… I don’t think I am! Do pillow shams on average usually cost $120?! Have years of exclusively shopping at IKEA and TJ Maxx skewed my perception of real prices? Jeez. Whatever, I sucked it up and bought them because they were half off, but I still believe sixty bucks for one pillow sham is kinda steep.

Today I steamed the wrinkles out of them and put them on my bed, and, kids… I still feel like I was extorted but they are gorgeous and I’m very happy with them, so… I don’t know–I suppose I got what I paid for. I also bought a mattress pad (for added comfort) and a blanket (for layering). I think I’m almost there. Perhaps some really soft sheet sets are all I need to complete the dream. I just wish I had known ahead of time how much this dream was gonna cost me!

G’bye!

The City That Never Sleeps & Pilates

This past weekend we went to New York on a whim. I love New York, but it’s not a city for introverts like me long-term. A short trip is perfect, though, and I love dressing up in glam clothes and pretending like I’m a native New Yorker. It’s one of the few times my (faux) fur jacket and (faux) leather pants make it out of my closet. You can be anyone you want in New York! I choose to channel Tracee Ellis Ross. And Rihanna.

The city was even crazier because of Fashion Week, but I don’t know–maybe it’s always like that. I’ve certainly never seen it calm! Part of its appeal, I guess. Mostly all we did was walk around, eat, take pictures, eat, and walk around. I finally got to dine at Balthazar, which is a French restaurant that’s been on my list for a while. It was magnifique and worth its spot. New York is filled with French restaurants, and I have about twenty-three on my bucket list. That’s gonna take more than a weekend, though!

Back at home, I went to Pilates this evening. It was fun, but I don’t understand why Pilates classes have to be so extortionate. Like gimme a break–a girl’s just trying to lift her ass and cinch her waist.  I bought the most beautiful yoga mat a few weeks ago.

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Look at that red! I live. This mat was the subject of much controversy among my group of friends. A couple of them thought the price was ridiculous for a yoga mat and so I shouldn’t get it, and a couple of them thought the price was just right for something so stunning. Guess which friends I listened to.

Yep.

You guessed it!

Alright, it’s late and I still have to watch an episode of Barbie in French. I read this article a while ago that said things you learn right before you fall asleep, you are more likely to remember. I need all the help I can get.

À plus !

Saint Valentine

You know how whenever Valentine’s Day rolls around there are always people who are like “Valentine’s Day is stupid because you should be showing love every single day and it’s just a commercial holiday and also kakjsbvdbvdsbfkdsfsbvbvbjdbvd!” Which always makes me go:

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and

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and

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Valentine’s Day is my shiiiitttt. I used to love picking out the best assorted Valentine’s Day cards to exchange with all my classmates and conversation hearts–don’t get me started on those because they are the greatest. And to this day, I make heart-shaped cookies for all of my friends, and when I bring them the cookies (and candy hearts) they’re like:

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It’s like casting pearls before swine with these jerks. They don’t deter me, though, because I know a good holiday when I see one. And this year my goddaughter is three so I have someone who (whom?) I can indoctrinate to take on my valid beliefs.

Next week we are going to make cookies and cupcakes for her classmates, and they are going to be the prettiest and most elegant (don’t three-year-olds care about elegance?) treats they’ve ever seen. I guess I should also mention that I’m oddly competitive about things that don’t matter at all. Anyway, I’m going to pick her up from school today so we can ransack Target for all the things we need to make this happen. We may have to go to Michael’s too. Buckhead traffic will not dissuade me or my mission!

We’re gonna try to make macarons, which is risky because I know those are even difficult for an experienced cook, but I found this recipe that claims to be foolproof. I’ll let you know if it isn’t!

Vive la Valentine’s Day!

Aesthetics & French

Guys! IKEA has black matte flatware now. Black. Matte. Flatware. All of my aesthetic dreams are coming true. How long have these been a thing and I’ve not known about them? I was watching this YouTube haul and they were one of things that Suzie bought. Love at first sight. So I went on the IKEA website to read the reviews, and they’re pretty good except that a few people say the black finish has started to rub or chip off, and that would really piss me off. So, I’m looking at reviews from other stores trying to find a set that holds up to wear because BLACK MATTE FLATWARE! I guess I should have known that these were a thing because a while back when I went to price refrigerators, black stainless steel fridges were making a splash.

Did I just say “making a splash”?

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Anyway, for an hour today I’ve been working on French pronunciation and mouth and tongue placement. You have to really enunciate, practice in a mirror if possible, and do speaking exercises like just saying “oooo” or “eeeee” continuously. I’m home alone right now, and I’m still embarrassed. But what’s a little humiliation when trying to reach an important goal, right? What’s gonna be really embarrassing is if at the end of this year I’m still having to think about and translate everything I want to say in French. So…discomfort now. Happiness later!

S.O.S

Guys, I keep trying to do these scarf looks and my scarf keeps slipping off like ten minutes after the twenty minutes I spend trying to tie it just right. Ugh. Help! I need to look cute like these ladies!

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This morning I wasted good Twitter-scrolling and smoothie-making minutes trying to tie on a scarf, and then, when I finally had it on satisfactorily, I continued getting ready only for it to slide off again. I’m losing my patience, so I may just have to call it quits and buy the already-tied versions. It feels like a failure to not be able to do something so seemingly simple. But sometimes you just gotta take the L, right?

Last week I ordered a dress from Nordstrom that looked kinda pretty and interesting online, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sold on it and wanted to see it in person. It was delivered today, and ohmygod it’s the prettiest dress I own now! I almost don’t want to show you guys a picture of it, because the picture (and the styling) just doesn’t do it justice. And I don’t want you all to be like, “um, that dress is not all that what are you even thinking?” because it is. It is all that. It’s everything.

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via Nordstrom.com

I can’t wait to wear it. I even thought about going out to dinner tonight just so I’d have an excuse to put it on, but it’s 31 degrees out, kids. I don’t wanna wear it that bad. I also ordered a reed diffuser from Nordstrom and now my place smells just like grapefruit when I walk through the door. Living the dream.

What else, what else, what else? Oh, I took a look at the screen time feature on my iPhone to get an idea of how much time I spend on my phone on various apps. I’m not going to share the screenshot of last week’s total time, because I am legit embarrassed. So I’ve imposed a one hour limit on most of the apps on my phone. I wish I could say that I’m getting so much more done now, but I’m really just going through withdrawal at this point. WHAT IS HAPPENING ON TWITTER?! HAS STEPH SHEP POSTED ANY GORGEOUS OUTFIT PICS ON INSTAGRAM? Gah. Help.

À plus, my loves!

Grown

I just texted my friend with a picture of my new rose gold chrome nails, and her verbatim response was, “Biiiittttcchhhh.” That means she likes them.

Tomorrow I’m going to a friend’s birthday dinner, so of course I’m conditioning my hair with an egg right now. I don’t remember where I heard about it, but last time I tried it, it made my hair extremely shiny. Try it. You’re welcome.

Earlier today I came home and decided to make fried chicken for dinner. On the fly. No prep. It was a whole disaster. I’ve been taking classes, but, er, um, I’m still not ready for the impromptu-no-recipe-no-preparation-dinners. It was depressing, so I went online and bought another silk robe. What does one have to do with the other? Thank you for asking! When I prance around the house in a silk robe, it makes me feel like I’m killing it at this being-an-adult thing. I mean, only adults do that, right? See? My logic is airtight.

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Alright, I’ve gotta go rinse my hair and get back to this Golden Girls marathon I’m watching on TV. When I was a kid, Dorothy was my favorite character, but now I’m kinda vibing with Blanche. However, I think both of them are too mean to Rose.

G’bye!