Tips on Traveling in Iceland, Part 1: Driving/Renting a Car

So, I’ve had a lot of people recently mention they are planning a trip to Iceland soon and are looking for recommendations for when they travel. I figured it might be best to blog about my thoughts/tips instead of writing to each individual person. I was going to try to do one big ol’ blog post, but then I ended up writing nearly 2,000 words on just driving alone, so I figure I’ll split these up and spread them out (making them more digestible AND making me feel more productive on the blog front)!

Hopefully this information will prove useful to people, though definitely keep in mind there is much more to consider beyond my experiences and opinions. Also keep in mind that I am currently traveling during their spring/summer period, so the weather conditions are considerably different than if you are planning to come here in the winter. I’ll try to note some additional considerations you’ll need to make for other times of the year, but since that falls outside of my own experience, you’ll probably want to do some additional research if you’re coming here during the winter months.

For a little background on me for those who might have found this blog through a friend or an independent search: I’m currently in the middle of my 2nd trip to Iceland. The first one was more of a quick, tour-heavy, pre-planned excursion, which was perfect for the 4-day venture me and my travel companions had set out for (we found a pretty reasonably priced deal through Travel Zoo that include airfare, hotel accommodations in Reykjavík, and a Northern lights tour that brought us here in November 2013).

The trip I’m currently on is a month-long tour of the country, though I am primarily based in Southern Iceland, fairly close to Rt. 1, the main road in the country, also known as the Ring Road. Although one of my main intentions while being here is to write, I’m also trying to see as much of the country as possible. And considering that Iceland is about the size of Ohio, there’s plenty of opportunity to achieve this in the time I’m here!

This particular blog deals with getting around in Iceland, specifically with my experience of renting a car. I know many people debate doing this, both because of the fear of driving in a foreign land and because of the price, but based on my experience, I think having your own vehicle is worth the expense. Continue reading

Good Grief…

Alright, another shameless plug/plea…

I posted about Grief: A Life in 5 Stages last year when the first volume came out, and now we’re at it again…


Peace, by Heather Shaw

Because I paid for that one out-of-pocket, and can’t really afford to do so again this year, I launched a Kickstarter in the hopes of raising the funds needed to come out with vol 2.

So, if you liked what you saw last year, please consider donating to the cause this year. And if you’d like to be a part of the project, send your submissions my way! Looking for original art, photography, and writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essay)! You can send submissions (jpeg files for art or Word docs for writing) to sara @



When they love you and they will, tell them all, they’ll love in my shadow…And if they try to slow you down, tell them all, to go to hell

The past couple of months have been such a crazy whirlwind, and although I’d like to believe that will slow down soon, with the holidaze almost upon us, so I’m finding that hard to believe. Continue reading

Oh, deer.

Happy Halloween, deer friends! (Like what I did there?)

Apparently this last-minute costume idea was a winner. Many people, including my own brother, did not recognize me when I posted pics! And considering this was a last-minute idea that came together using about $5 worth of supplies, I’d say it was a success! Special thanks to Moose for use of the headband and Kristine for the white and black face crayons!Halloween

YOLO, mutha truckas.

Hello Friends of the Internet!

I realize that I’ve been doing so much stuff in connection to the blog that I’ve actually been neglecting to WRITE in the blog. D’oh.

Apologies for the cliché, but I really hit the ground running in 2013. As I’ve noted earlier, I feel that, although good things did happen in that time, the past 2 years have been a bit stagnant for me and it was time to start really getting my shit together. My friends are half-amused, half baffled by my only-sort-of joking adoption of the now-passé adage of YOLO (or “You Only Live Once” for those of you not into silly Internet slang). But I appreciate the sentiment, and instead of using it to create silly internet memes or drink to excess, I’m using it as a light-hearted reminder that life is indeed short and there’s a lot of shit I still want to get done before my time is over.

Original image from:

Continue reading

What are men to rocks and mountains?

This weekend we headed up to Bear Creek Mountain with a bunch of friends to try our hand at some night snow tubing.

This is what I thought snow tubing would be like:

This is actually what it was like the first time I went down the mountain:

This is what it was like after I worked up the courage to do it again:

All in all, it was a good time, albeit initially terrifying. But I’m glad we went, I’m glad I didn’t give up after the first go-round, and I’m grateful that the only major injuries incurred were to my boots and not my body (or Donnie’s body, being that he hit a tree after his first run down the mountain).

There’s a beautiful parable wrapped in all this about trying something even when it terrifies you, and trying again, even when the first time did not go as planned, but you all are smart people, so I won’t spell it out for you. (Beyond that, I’m too distracted looking at clips from Cool Runnings to say anything too terribly poetic…)

Things I’ve been doing (Weeks 2-4)

OK, so clearly, I haven’t been keeping up my blog-end of my resolution, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on the rest!!!

Below are some photos of some of the projects that have been keeping me busy…I’m trying to break these among a few posts (so not to bore you with 20,982,309,823,902 photos and also to provide me with guaranteed content for a couple more postings…)


Getting the fancy cheese sauce ready while the water for the pasta boils....

4-cheese mac and cheese!!! Not necessarily a "new" project, per se, but it's one I keep working on perfecting, so I'm letting it count 🙂 This time around, I used smoked cheedar and orecchiette pasta (I think the shape complements the consistency of the sauce well...)

Slicing up the mushrooms for our tasty hummus bread (hummus spread, sauteed spinach and mushrooms, and parmesean cheese layered on fresh French bread and then baked to make it warm and crispy!!)


The finished product!! We made some with just mushroom/parm cheese, some with spinach/cheese, and some both!

Ridiculously easy--and delicious--monkey bread!!!

I couldn't help myself--I had to steal a piece before I snapped a photo! >-<

OK, so it might seem sacrilege to start a Chia pet herb garden while living on a farm, but it was ridiculously discounted after Christmas, and I figured it might be a good start since I've never tried growing my own herbs before! (I'll have to post an update pic of these, since they've grown considerably in the past month and a half!)





Naše lomenice je mezi lomenicemi ta nejlomenicovatější.

Not a whole lot going on right now, aside from the fact that it’s once again snowing… (Oh snow, how I’ve come to loathe you, especially since relying on public transportation 5 days a week…). Trying to get back into a “normal” routine post-holidays isn’t easy, especially when dealing with the mounting fatigue from the past few months, the snow days, and the still-new, considerably earlier weekday morning routine finally taking its toll.

The biggest excitement to report is that I finally bought my plane ticket for my Eastern European adventure this March!! I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull it off this paycheck, especially since rent was due, but I was able to *just* scrape by with enough to get me to next week. SO excited! And happy too, since I got a better deal than the prices I saw this summer when we first started looking (looks like Kate and her article were right: you should wait until about 8 weeks out before buying your ticket). Now that the dates/airfare are settled, it’s just a matter of determining hostels/transportation between cities. So much to do, so little time!

So, that’s really it for now… aside from that, D and I have been watching the last season of Reno 911 on Netflix and I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that the Christmas Tree and decorations are still patiently waiting to be put away. I love how I’m justifying not actually physically taking the tree down by not plugging it in anymore… “Well, at least it’s a step…” Sigh. Who said I could be an adult?

Anyway, I should really get to bed…actually, I should have really gotten to bed 3 hours ago. Even though the chances are high I’ll be working from home tomorrow, I still need to be up and ready to work at 8:30 a.m…although I am admittedly tempted to take a PTO day and take advantage of free mimosas at PYT. Oh work, won’t you call it a snow day? For me?

‘Til next time… Goodnight, dear readers!

things making this Friday awesome

  1. Woobs got up early with me to make me a delicious breakfast sandwich and walk me to the train
  2. Co-worker brought in bagels this morning (2nd breakfast? I feel like a hobbit! And aside from likening Houston to Mordor, this is the only time you’ll hear me making a LOTR’s reference)
  3. Free massages at work! Apparently this is a regular thing??
  4. Silk City date tonight with Q & Matt to talk about the wedding!
  5. John Legend’s “Green Light.” This song has been my Friday jam for awhile and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
  6. Co-worker posted the mix from last week’s Christmas party on the server. Now that I’ve listen to that one John Legend song about 20 times, it’s time to move on to more pump-you-up tunes!

What are some things getting YOU through the workday??