Friday, 31 March 2017

Five Must See Things In Iceland.

Now I'm back to the 9-5 grind, it feels like absolute lifetime ago now that we were having the time of our lives in Iceland. I mentioned on an Instagram post yesterday that I was SO jealous of my past self,  the snowy island really is the most amazing place and if you were ever even slightly thinking about visiting, I'd wholeheartedly urge you to go ahead & bloody well do it!

The best thing we did was hiring a car & having the free roam of the county as it gave us the opportunity to see some pretty freaking amazing things, five of which I'm going  to be introducing you to today.



Kerio.
Being a volcanic Island, Iceland is packed full of huge craters, one being Kerio. We visited in early March when the crater lake was completely frozen over, & I've honestly never seen anything like it, it was truly beautiful. I'm sure it looks breath taking in non frozen form, but the icy glaze gave the experience SO much more pizazz. We were able to walk around the top of the crater 55 meters up, gaining an almost birds eye view of the crater, which later lead to a separate trail taking you to the base of the lake, both views being totally mesmerising! We paid 400ISK to visit the crater which at present equates to approximately £2.80 a price I'd pay time & time again for these spectacular views.




Raudholar.
If you're ever looking for anywhere to unleash your inner explorer, this is it! Raudholar, or the red hills as they're also known are the perfect place for rock climbing, lake exploring and crater viewing. We explored the red hills on our first full day in Iceland as it's only a 15 minute drive from Reykjavik & it certainly paved the way for the rest of the holiday. We even saw an organised horse trail while we were out and about exploring which was lovely, the guide even took a bit of time out to have a laugh & a joke with us. When we visited Roudholar was totally deserted which was a luxury, the vast majority of things we saw & did were very touristy, which is all well and good but sometimes the hidden secrets are the best ones!




Gullfoss.
Possibly the most popular attractions in Iceland, Gullfoss consists of two absolutely huge waterfalls in the Hvita river. When we visited, I was probably the coldest I've been in my ENTIRE life! In all honesty, there were times when I almost felt like I couldn't enjoy the waterfall due to how bitterly cold it was, but in seriousness Gullfoss was truly breathtaking. I'm pretty confident you couldn't find a similar waterfall in a million miles - It's truly sensational!




Black Sand Beach.
I love a beach as much as the next person. but black sand beach in Vik, is unbelievable. Granted it's a long ass three hour journey from Reykjavik down the south coast of the Island, but it's SO SO worth it! As the name suggests the beach is jet black, but is also home to stunning basalt cliffs and sea stacks which make for the most perfect pictures. As sad as it sounds too we scooped up a portion of the sand & have put it in a vase we have in our lounge. We've been collecting sand from our holidays together & the black pebbled section makes such an interesting contrast. We didn't do it as we were quite pushed for time, but you can also take a 4km walk to the famous Solheimasandur plane crash wreckage, which I'm sure is an amazing yet haunting sight.




Skogafoss.
I didn't want to bore you with a load of waterfalls, but the two on my list aren't to be missed! What I loved so much about Skogafoss, is the beautiful fricken double rainbow at the bottom. It was an amazing sight which instantly took my breath away, it was SO SO beautiful! We also got to venture up to the top of the waterfall, where all we could see was white snow for miles. It was a sensational view - I'd 1000000% recommend if you get the chance.

There's so much to see in Iceland, these are just five of my faves from our trip. Have you ever visited any of them? What was your favourite thing to do in Iceland?

Claire.X
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Friday, 24 March 2017

Why You NEED To Hire A Car In Iceland

If you follow my social media channels you'll no doubt know I've recently been to Iceland. Lord knows, I've been spamming my Insta with images upon images of beautiful Icelandic scenery.
We stayed in Reykjavik, which in itself is a beautiful city, and you'd definitely fill a few days exploring, but one of the best parts of the holiday for me was venturing out & doing the 'less touritsy' things the Island has to offer.

We hired a Dacia Duster from Lagoon Car Rentals which for a full weeks use was surprisingly affordable, especially split between the four of us, it was such good value for money. We could have hired a more affordable hatchback style car, but for what we needed it for, a smaller car wouldn't have cut it - Even in the 4x4 we got stuck in the snow at one point! Eeek!


In Iceland they drive on the right hand side of the road, so adjusting to driving on what we see as being the wrong side of the road was initially really strange. Thankfully it was really easy adjusting, much easier than we first thought, it only took driving a few miles and going over a few roundabouts to get accustomed to this new way of driving. So if you're nervous about it, don't be & don't let it put you off trying it, because it opened up so much more of the Island for us & definitely made Iceland the best holiday for us!

There are so many excursions (that are so flipping expensive btw) that you can book once you get to Iceland, but prebooking the 4x4 gave us SO much more freedom. We could set off when we wanted, stopped off where we wanted & took unexpected detours where we wanted... And there were a lot of unexpected detours! There's so much to see in Iceland, it seems such a shame to see select parts of the Island from a tour bus window.


I'll be going into a bit more detail over the next few weeks of what we saw in Iceland, so watch this space!

Have you been to Iceland before? What's the best thing you did on the Island?

Claire.X
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Friday, 17 March 2017

My 'If Money Was No Object' Wishlist.

I'm a paycheck to paycheck type of gal. Since buying the house a few years ago, I've found it really difficult to get back on my feet & back into a routine of saving money.

Needless to say, my financial situation hasn't stopped me from lusting over those hard to reach, higher end items & if money was no object, I'd definitely be picking these items up.


Valentino Rockstud Leather Sandals.
Rockstuds are up there for me as being one of the most iconic shoes of all time! I see the stiletto & the flat ballet pump style so often however these mid height heels not so much, and I think that's what makes me love them even more. They look amazing, I bet they're comfortable as hell & I'd imagine they'd make me feel a million dollars wearing them. In fact, I've set up a separate savings account for these bad boys, as they are going to be my wedding shoes. Good job I've got 14 months to save for them!

Gucci Wool Coat.
I'm really into tailoring at the moment & this coat is the perfect piece to throw over a well put together outfit. I love the simplicity of this coat, with the added detail of the Gucci stripe we've all come to love. Gucci seem to be having a bit of a moment right now, and for me this coat is the best of the best!

Philip Lim Pashil Tote.
Isn't this the most gorgeous, wearable bag that you've ever seen? Bags aren't particularly my thing, I'm much more of a sunglasses & coat type person, but this leather tote is right up my street. I love the versatility of it, the size, the gold hard wear. There's nothing I don't love about this little bag.

Dior Origins Sunglasses.
Like I said, sunglasses are my thaang. I have a few designer pairs but the vast majority of them are high street. Something totally different to anything in my collection are these Dior Origins. These are going to be a marmite style pair, you'd either love them or hate them. Me. I flipping love them. I think they're such an iconic, statement pair of sunnies, in fact, these would also be great for my wedding. Eeep!

Gucci Leather Belt.
How many times have we seen this belt circling the blogersphere? Well, there's a reason for that, and that's because this belt is so frigging amazing. The simplistic double G's and black leather would go with pretty much any outfit. I think the price is pretty reasonable to be fair, if we're thinking of it in terms of cost per wear. It's such a brilliant piece.

If money was no object, what clothing items would you have on your wishlist?

Claire.X
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Monday, 13 March 2017

What I Want From My Blog.

They say 'I want never gets'... Well when it comes to what I want from my blog, why the heck should I not get what I want? This is my iddy biddy slice of internet where I express my thoughts and feelings, so the saying 'I want never gets' really doesn't comply.

I've come on a journey with clairemac.co.uk, we've had name changes and city changes to name a few, but this little blog of mine has always been by my side. It's my safe haven; where I can be myself, express my creativity & develop both personally and mentally.


As time's passed, my aspirations for clairemac.co.uk has changed. I've fallen out of love, and back in again, about 50 times over but right now, as of today, I am well & truly back on it. One part of me (the devil on my shoulder) was thinking 'oh why don't I wait till I get back from holiday' but that was over powered by my second thought; Why the heck don't I do it now? Live for now! Get off your arse now! And so on, and so forth. So here I am, writing down what I want from my blog.

Creativity | I'm massively into design, I've had a heavily design based education, I've even completed an interior design degree, but I don't feel like that comes across in my blog. I want to be more creative with my photography, expressing my passion for fashion & securing super sharp top quality images.

Consistency | This is something I dip in and out of. I began clairemac.co.uk posting as and when with no hint of a schedule, some weeks I'd publish five posts a week, others I'd only manage one. My aim from now on is to post twice weekly, on a Monday & Friday evenings ensuring my readers know exactly when a new post will be live.

Networking | I want this blog to take me to more events & give me the opportunity to explore different brands some more. I love connecting with bloggers and companies, it's the best thing about blogging and something I'm excited to continue doing.

Personality | Especially when it comes to fashion & beauty posts, I'd love for my personality to come across in my posts. This probably means the odd bleep word, or a bit of a ramble, but hey, that's me. This is who I am, and exactly what my blog's all about.

Positivity | This place has always been a happy place & I want it to continue to be that way. Don't get me wrong, there have been some posts on here reviewing products that I haven't gotten on with, but they're a balanced review and I always explain that just because they don't work for me there's no reason that you're not going to love them.


So there's five things I want from my blog, that I'm going to bloody well go out and get. Just watch me!

What do you want from your blog? What do you enjoy most about your slice of internet?

Claire.X
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Friday, 10 March 2017

Snake Print Tailoring.

There's something about being totally (and I mean totally) skint, that drives me to look at luxury, designer clothes. It seems that whenever I turn my laptop on, the same four tabs are open in my browser, Selfridges, Net-A-Porter, Mytheresa & Farfetch, but unfortunately for me at present I have champagne taste & beer money
Something I've been on the hunt for, for a while is a khaki blazer, ideally like the Balmain double breasted blazer, only without the Balmain price tag (Eeek!) Finding something perfect has been really difficult, so it got me thinking & evaluating what's in my current wardrobe.
An oldie but a goodie is this monochrome snake print blazer. I've had this in my wardrobe for such a long time now - It must be around nine years old, which to some fashion bloggers I bet sounds crazy! But when something fits & you love it, why the heck not would you not keep a hold of it.
I also adore how clothing items take you back to certain moments or memories. This blazer for example takes me back to my University days, buying it with my first student loan way back in 2008 with a bunch of new Uni pals when we were first getting to know each other.
I don't think i'll ever fall out of love with this blazer, even if I did manage to get my hands on a Balmain.




Even though I'm wearing a structured blazer, todays' look is pretty casual & one I absolutely love to wear. I love teaming tailored pieces with jeans and basics as I think it makes for a really interesting yet put together outfit. Something that's both simple and effective is always going to be a winner!
Under my blazer is a simple chiffon black tee which falls perfectly on my frame, I'm terrible for doing it, but I think it's great investing in basics. They're not going to go out of fashion & they're going to last.
My trusty black jeans are an absolute God send at £8.99 - If you're on the lookout for new jeans, definitely check out H&M, I still can't believe their denim starts from £8.99. That's literally the price of a takeout coffee and cake. They're so so affordable!
To accessorize, I'm wearing simple black block heeled sandals & the most adorable faux fur cross body bag from Zara. I debated for ages on whether to buy this bag as it's so small, and only fits in your phone, cards & keys, but every time I look at it, I know I mad the right decision - It's so dreamy!

What clothing items can't you get rid of? And what clothing item would you be buying if money was no object?

Claire.X

Blazer - River Island.
Top - Primark.
Jeans - H&M
Heels - Office
Bag - Zara

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Friday, 3 March 2017

Shitty things about being an adult.

I still get IDed and I'm so often mistaken for a teenager, rather than a twentysix year old woman with a mortgage and a dog. Yes I'm adulting hard! And I have been for a while now. However there are a few things that really ruffle my feathers when it comes to being an adult & that's what I'm going to discuss with you today.


* Bills. Bills. Bills.
* The ridiculous price of car insurance.
* Dodging trolleys during the weekly food shop.
* The weekly food shop in general.
* Decorating.
* The fact that time goes by so quickly - Blink & you'll miss it.
* Road tax. Where does our hard earned cash actually go?
* Rationing your money for the month.
* House prices! Gahh.
* Your body's not quite what it was.
* Missing bin day.
* Taking the dog out when it's pouring down & you really CBA!
* Finishing that Netflix series you've been addicted too.
* Clothing sizes. In one shop you can be a 10, in others your a 14. How does that even work?
* The expectation that you should have your shit together by now. Eeek!
* Full time work, actually sucks! Hard!
* Being constantly tired.
* 20 minutes at the gym no longer cuts it.
* Not being able to understand new slang terms.
* Hangovers get so much worse.
* Paying back your student loan.
* You don't get as many gifts on Birthdays or Christmas.
* Having to make your own appointments.
* Keeping track of said appointments.
* Recycling - Why has it got to be so difficult!
* Chores.
* Thinking you've got more money in your account than you actually do. Story of my life!
* Hating your job, but having a mortgage to pay for.
* Responsibilities.

If any of these things even remotely grind your gears, then & I'm afraid to say it, you my dear are a fully fledged adult!

Whats the best & worst thing about being an adult?

Claire.X
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