Thursday, January 31, 2013

Iceland - Deildartunguhver

Since I grew up in Iceland I just LOVE hot springs, I used to play in and around hot springs when I was growing up. Yes that does sounds stupid and crazy but we knew what hot springs were dangerous and what hot springs were good for playing.

Some information about Deildartunguhver, the water that comes out of the hot spring is 97°C (207°F) hot and there are 180 liters (47.5 gallons) of water coming out of that hot spring per second! By that standard it is the highest flow hot spring in Europe! 

It is as well the only habitat for a type of fern in whole Iceland! Pretty impressive! 

It was pretty hard trying to take pictures of this steamy awesomeness! The colours were amazing, the reds were super red and the greens were luscious green. Just amazing! 


P.S. Check out my other pictures from Iceland. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Linking Loving Learning #3 - January

I did two posts in 2011 called Linking Loving Learning and after that I kind of forgot about it. I want to start it again. I am going to start writing these posts up now once a month. These posts will be mostly about things that I read, watch and otherwise notice on the internet that I would like to share with everyone. 

I am not going to set up rules about what I am going to post and what I am not going to post. The only rule I am going to set myself is to post about things I find amusing, interesting or otherwise intrigue me.

So, without further ado, five blog post that I found interesting this month. 

Did  you read any interesting blog posts this month?


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

25 Things Before My 25th Birthday - Twenty-one to Twenty-five

One of the reason I wanted to do a detailed list of my list was to have some posts when I was in Iceland, but since I am back I can focus again on writing about new things and actually doing the things that are on my list! So here it is, my last part of the list. 

21. Have over 250 published posts on my blog
Right now I have about 125 published posts! Right now there are 311 days until my birthday (time flies) so I need to write 3 posts a week to manage this goal! I think it is possible so I am really hopeful for this one! 

22. Start the free advertising on my blog
I started this and the first ads will go up on 1st of February! If you want to be a part of this please do e-mail me at contacttarteauxfraises at gmail dot com.

23. Be more organized.
I don't really know how to measure this one, except for how I probably will feel. At the moment I am procrastinating everything and that makes me feel bad! I just need to put on my big girl pants and do something about it! 

24. Do the 200 sit-up challenge
This is something I've tried before but always forgot about it and never finished! This year it will happen! 

25. Not gain weight
Well, not gaining weight is always great (unless you need to gain some weight), instead of begging the scale to go down I plan on just eating better and moving more and not be upset when I don't see a change on the stupid stupid scale! 

That is that, now I actually have to do these things! You can check out my other posts about my 25 things before my 25th birthday riiiiiight here.


P.S. Did you know you can follow me on Twitter and Bloglovin'

Monday, January 28, 2013

Iceland - Barnafoss

Barnafossar  is one of the many sights in Iceland that have a sad story connected to it. Barnafossar where previously known as Bjarnafossar, but they had a name change after two children died when they fell into the waterfall.

The story is that once up on a time there was a natural bridge over the waterfall and two boys lived with their mother on a farm nearby. The mother was a widow and had workers helping on the farm. One Christmas, the mother and the workers go for a mass in a church close by and the two boys got to stay behind. When the mother came back she noticed the boys were gone, they followed the footsteps in the snow and realized the boys must have fallen into the waterfall. The mother told the workers to break down the natural bridge over the falls and said that now no one could ever cross the waterfall alive ever again.

This part of the waterfall was completely frozen, it was quite haunting since it looked like the water was moving but it was just ice.


Check out my previous pictures from Iceland

Nail Polish: Bourjois - So Laque Ultra Shine Nail Enamel - Bleu Mystérieux 32 and Catrice Cosmetics - Frosting Top Coat

Part of my decluttering plan is to use up my ginormous make up stash, and that includes nail polishes! 
Without further ado, I want to talk about the Bourjois So Laque nail polish that I have. I only have one of the  colour from them and I know I won't be buying any more. I actually know that I won't be buying anything more from Bourjois because in my opinion they are shit. Yes, I said it. Bourjois products are just awful! I have tried their eye shadow (reviewed here) and I didn't like it so I can officially say no more Bourjois for me. 

The problem I have with the Bourjois So Laque nail polish is that the nail polish itself is just weird, the consistency and the brush are for me just not user-friendly at all. There is one thing that is good about the nail polish and that is the intensity of the colour, but I wouldn't buy it just because of that fact because there are other nail polishes with the same intensity of colour that don't have the issue that So Laque has. 

The colour I chose was The colour that I have is Bleu Mystérieux 32, and as you can see the colour is great. Finger number 1 and 3 have the Catrice Cosmetics Frosting top coat and finger number 2 only has So Laque.

However, I actually wanted to focus more on the topcoat I am using, it is from Catrice Cosmetics and is called Frosting. I love it! When I first bought it I kinda forgot about it and didn't really use it, but, luckily I accidentally stumbled upon it when I was looking through my nail polish drawer and I just knew I had to use it more! It both brings the colour of the nail polish out and gives it something extra! It helps as well how amazing the consistency of the top coat is!

You will definitively see me use the Catrice Frosting Top Coat again and you might see the So Laque polish in my decluttering posts of things I have thrown away or I might use it for some crafts! Do you know any crafts that I could do with awful nail polish?


Sunday, January 27, 2013

100 Days of Decluttering Update #1

I was going to write and post this on Friday but things happen and this is being posted today! So, here is my first update for my 100 days of decluttering challenge.

What have I accomplished this week:

- My Memory Keeper's Daughter By Kim Edwards (You can buy it here)
- City of the Beasts By Isabel Allende (You can buy it here)

Thrown away 
-Woolen Gap cardigan (had been eaten by moths and seriously shrunken during laundry)
-Random paper things that I don't need

Otherwise Accomplished 
- Going through my make up drawers (I have 3) and sorting things.
- The mountain of laundry is getting smaller.
- Starting cooking food again instead of just getting take out.
- Finding things that I haven't used in a while and starting to use them again.

I am starting way to slow! But nothing is coming in so everything that goes out is a small victory! I feel like I am as well just mentally preparing for a big decluttering that hopefully will happen this week!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

It took me such a long time to get into this book! It just starts in a such an awfully slow way! I really don't remember why I decided to pick up this book but I did! As mentioned before the book starts really slow and the book itself is really slow it isn't a complicated read it is written in a simple manner but the story just goes on in such a slow way!

Every time I picked up the book I read couple of pages until I just gave up, it was such a boring book! The concept is great! But the writing is just tedious! But when I was traveling back to Geneva and had nothing else to read for 12 hours I managed to finish it (with some naps in between)

On the back of the book it says:
Families have secrets they hide
even from themselves...
It should have been an ordinary birth, the start of an ordinary happy family. But the night Dr. David Henry delivers his wife's twins is a night that will haunt five lives forever.

For though David's son is a healthy boy, his daughter has Down's syndrome. And, in a shocking act of betrayal whose consequences only time will reveal, he tells his wife their daughter died while secretly entrusting  her care to a nurse.

As grief quietly tears apart David's family, so a little girl must make her own way in the world as best she can.

I find the blurb isn't at all accurate for what is happening in the book, yes, David does give the nurse the baby but it is the nurse that decides to take care of the baby. Furthermore, when I was reading the book it didn't feel like it was grief tearing the family apart it was selfishness of them all. The little girl didn't have to make her own way in the world since she was very well taken care of by the nurse and the nurses husband.

The book starts in March 1964 and the last chapter takes part on 1st of September 1989. The story starts with Norah going into labor and her husband David, eleven years older than her, delivers the babies. The story starts slowly and the delivery takes about 20 pages of horribly written back-story that really doesn't give anything towards the plot.

I never felt any sympathy towards any of the characters, they were all selfish in their own ways and didn't evolve throughout the 401 pages, yes 401 pages of complaining. The book wasn't about grief, it was about how families can't stick together without having faith in each other. It felt like it was supposed all to be David's fault and he could just never catch a break. 

At last, some quotes from the book itself.
"Despite herself, Norah felt a surge of pleasure. She had given up on hope of such an invitation years ago, after Bree's scandalous marriage and divorce." Page 129
"He saw Paul a block before the party, walking down the sidewalk with his hands shoved into his pockets, his shoulder hunched. There were cars parked all along the road, no place to pull over, so David slowed and tapped the horn. Paul looked up, and for a moment David was afraid he might run." Page 199
"Caroline caught the corner of the Polaroid between her thumb and first finger as it slipped from the camera, the image already emerging. The table with its white cloth appeared to float on a sea of dark grass. Moonflowers, white and faintly luminous, climbed the hillside. Phoebe was a pale blur in her confirmation dress. Caroline waved the photo dry in the fragrant air." Page 221

All in all, I would say that it is a bad book, but the concept is great.


P.S. Check out my other book reviews here 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January Favorites

I love reading other people monthly favorites so I decided that I wanted to try to write one myself! I don't want to make these to long so I plan only on choosing five things each month!

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is what saves my skin in the winter, I do use my regular moisturizer but my skin just needs so much more during the winter. I use coconut oil on my face before I go to bed and frequently in my hair because that suffers as well in the cold. I always buy cold pressed organic coconut oil.

Clinique High Impact Mascara 
For about a year now, this is the only mascara that I use daily! I used to switch around and use different mascaras but since I started using this one full time it is hard to turn back to some other mascara. One of the main reasons I started only using this one was that it doesn't irritate my eyes like the others all of a sudden started doing.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick Sheer Tint - Transparent
This is a lifesaver for my lips (or one might say lipsaver). My body just doesn't really handle any weather very so this one has been in my pocket all month long and I use it all of the time. (Reviewed here)

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof - #40 Violine
I just LOVE this eyeliner, I sometimes even use it as a eye shadow. This has been my go to eyeliner since 2011. I just love how purple it is and how well it stays on and how smooth it is. I swear by this eyeliner. (Reviewed here) 

Yves Rocher Intensive Moisture Mask Botanical Hydration 
I wrote a review about this face mask in January and it is definitely something that I use a lot. Just how it feels on my skin when I lather my face in it makes it worth it. (Reviewed here) 

So this were my top five products for January! We will see what February has to offer! Hopefully it won't be the same month after month, but there will possibly be things that will appear often!

50 GFC Followers - Chocoholic Giveaway!

I am super exited to have my first giveaway! The prize will be chocolate from Switzerland! Whomever will win will receive a e-mail where I ask couple of chocolate related questions and then I will pick up some amazing chocolate that I will send to the winner!

The giveaway is international! And will end on 31st January.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Productivity Tuesday - My Bedtime Routine

I want to start a new series of posts here on my blog. These will be about my challenge to become more productive!

I want to start with my bedtime routine. I must confess that I am a raging insomniac, there are nights when I go to bed and when my alarm rings I stand up and I haven't managed to sleep at all. But I feel that when I manage to follow my bedtime routine and just lay there for some hours I feel a bit rested and more ready to tackle the day than when I don't.

I know that bedtime routine is most of the time something for babies, but having one as an adult is pretty awesome.

I like to start getting ready for bed about one hour before I go to bed, I as well try to go to bed at the same time every night. Both of these things help my body to realize when I am going to bed. 

I try to start my bedtime routine at 9:00 PM

09:00 PM - 09:15 PM 

A quick tidy up around the apartment, it is strange how much you can accomplish in fifteen minutes.Usually I just put things in their right places, do some dishes or even quickly clean the floors.

09:15 PM - 09:30 PM

I like to drink my magnesium about this time, I really do feel that the magnesium helps me to sleep better! And read some blogs, answer e-mails and other internet related things.

09:30 PM - 09:45 PM

I use my boar bristle brush and start brushing my hair. I brush it through from the roots to the ends and braid my hair, then I start washing my face, brushing my teeth etc.

09:45 PM - 10:00 PM

My alarm clock has a special go to sleep setting and I just love to use it. I put the go to sleep mode on 15 minutes and read until the light has dimmed too low and then I put on couple of episodes of something I have already watched frequently and drift to sleep.

Next week I will be writing about how to get better sleep!


25 Things Before My 25th Birthday - Sixteen to Twenty

I really feel by writing a more detailed list of my goal I can start to visualize how I will be able to manage to do them all! It is a strange feeling trying to plan something so far in the future since my life is quite fickle at the moment. Hopefully things will turn out well! 

16. Publish on my blog 5 cookie recipes
I love baking cookies but and I don't do enough of it! 

17. Publish on my blog 2 Do It Yourself
I love DIY! I love making them, reading about them but I never seem to post about them! Well, that will not really change since I plan on only to do it twice this year! Hopefully it will give me the confidence to do it more often!

18. Publish on my blog 12 soup recipes 
Same with the cookies, I love soup! LOVE IT! 

19. Take 12 outfit photos
Outfit photos are something I really enjoy doing but I just never seem to do it! So, I plan on trying to do one at least once a month! Maybe I manage to make it a habit and can do it more often! 

20. Open up an online handmade shop 
Right now, the goal is it to be ready at the end of February! 

Oh, and you can check out my other posts about my list here.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Yves Rocher - Intensive Moisture Mask Botanical Hydration

I love Yves Rocher and I have written several posts about them, I especially love their skincare range. My skin is very sensitive and luckily all of the Yves Rocher skincare range doesn't give my dry patches and hives (I am looking at you Body Shop).

I have used the Intensive Moisture Mask for now about five years! Yes, it has my five year stamp! It is really the thing I go to for my face! I as well use it on my dry patches and it helps a lot!

I usually put quite a lot of the mask on my face before I take a shower and when I step into the shower my skin has almost absorbed it all! I rinse the rest of during the shower and my face is amazingly soft and re-hydrated!

The mask feels almost cool to the touch and it is super refreshing, it smells as well really fresh. I don't really know how to explain the scent but it isn't overpowering but it just adds to how refreshing the mask actually is.

The ingredients of the masks are

All in all I would definitively recommend this face mask to anybody looking for a re-hydrating, refreshing face mask. I use mine twice a week both during winter and summer and it is something I buy again every time I run out! 

Intensive Moisture Mask Botanical Hydration - Yves Rocher - $16.00


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

25 Things Before My 25th Birthday - Eleven to Fifteen

Today I will be talking a bit more about my 25 things before my 25th birthday list. My previous post on it can be seen here

11. Go for a road trip
I loved the road trip Mr. Handsome and I took during the summer 2011. It was amazing. I did blog about it a bit and you can see that here. I really would like to go on another road trip, it doesn't have to be long! I think the only rule I will set to this goal is that it must be an overnight trip and it has to be with a car!

12. Go camping
I love camping, I used to camp all of the time when I was younger but I stopped when I moved to Geneva! I really want to start camping again but I just don't like camping in Switzerland! 

13. Write and publish a short story
Yes, this is a repeat of my 24 things before my 24th birthday list. But, since I didn't manage to do it last year hopefully I will manage this year! 

14. Write and publish 5 poems
I love poetry! I love reading it, I love writing it and I do love analyzing it (to a certain degree) 

15. Write and publish a small poetry book
This is pretty much same as number 14. I just wanted a smaller goal and a bigger goal with poetry.

Stay tuned for next weeks post where I keep on talking about my precious list! 


Monday, January 14, 2013

Sponsor Tarte Aux Fraises - It's FREE!

I am super exited to change things up around here and I wanted to start with offering free sponsor spots for everybody!

The advertisements will go up on the 1st of February and stay at one month at a time. It will be first come first served and every month I will as well have couple of posts about the sponsors.

I am offering 2 large ads and 3 medium ads. I will probably add more later on if there will be a demand for it.

The large ad should be 280x210 pixels and the medium ads 280x105

In 2012, my blog grew like I couldn't imagine and 2013 has a lot to offer!

You might ask yourself why you should want to be part of this minuscule blog. Well, first of all, you have nothing to lose. Secondly, it is going to be fun! 

The only thing that you have to do is send me an e-mail at contacttarteauxfraises at and we will go on from there!

In the middle of the month I will have a post introducing the sponsors and some other fun things!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

And it started to snow - Iceland

Since I got here it has been raining the entire time but this morning when I woke up there was no wind and it was snowing like mad. I went out and  took some pictures. I still have about 2-3 posts from Iceland that I need to finish writing and editing but I just wanted to let these pictures speak for themselves. 


Friday, January 11, 2013

100 Days of Decluttering

As I mentioned on my 25 things before my 25th birthday list I wanted to do a 100 days of decluttering challenge. I plan on starting this challenge on 15th January which is a Tuesday until Thursday 25th April!
I am a cluttered person, unorganized and I never want to throw anything away. It can be problematic.

The biggest thing is that it bothers me tremendously. I don't need all of these things, I don't use all of these things. That is why I have decided to go on a mission. A mission of decluttering. I have one clear goal in sight, that all my personal belongings can be fitted into a 23 kg (50 lbs) suitcase! I am not talking about big things like my sewing machine or that kinda of things, I am talking about clothes, books, films, pens (I hoard pens), make-up, paint, shoes and that kind of things.

I have couple of mini-goals to accomplish my main-goal:

- Every week I will donate, trash or sell my clothing and books.
- Not buy anything except if I desperately need it
                  - Desperately in context of if I have no tights left and that kind of things.
- Every month I will put money into savings
                  -When ever I get my salary I will put what every I didn't spend the last month into savings, no                      
- Waste not, want not.
                   -Have to me more careful about trowing away food and just general wasting.

I have opened up a small shop on Storenvy where I will be posting 2-3 pieces of clothes weekly until I am back to owning normal amount of clothing. There you will as well be able to find some books and soon the things I make myself!

Every Friday I will do a small update on how I am going, sharing what I have trashed, put in the shop

If you have ever done anything like this please post the links so that I can read it! 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Review: City of The Beasts by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende was one of my favorite author when I was a teenager so I jumped at the opportunity to buy City of The Beasts when I saw it.  The book was published in 2002 and is the first part of a trilogy

On the back of the book it says.

With his mother in hospital, Alex Cold is sent to his fierce, wonderful grandmother Kate - a pipe-smoking, vodka-drinking old reporter with blue eyes "as sharp as daggers' points". Kate is about to embark on an expedition to the dangerous, remote world of the Amazon rainforest, but rather than change her plans, she  simply takes Alex along wit her... In a novel rich in adventure, magic and spirit, internationally-celebrated novelist Isabel Allende takes us on a voyage of discovery and wonder, deep into the heart of the Amazon.

The plot of the story starts well, it is believable and tragic. However, as the story goes on you start to wonder what kind of drugs she was taking when writing the book! I know that the book is a fiction book but it is just too much of a fiction. I'm not sure why I feel this way but I do think it has something to do with my experience with Allende's other novels. I was expecting the novel to walk the line between reality and fiction better but instead it just jumped into the fictional side and drowned.

I felt as well the fact that Alex was feeling attracted to a girl that was much younger than he (he was fifteen) and still comparing that girl to his younger sister quite disturbing. Just the fact that her boyish body is described in one place and in the other how grown up she seems and how Alex has started to look at her in a different way and you know she is the same age as his sister that is around 12 years old. For me that really damaged the book a lot.

"One day the crew shot a couple of monkeys, and that night when the boat was tied up along the riverbank they were roasted. They looked like couple of burned infants, and Alex felt queasy just seeing them." Page 59-60 
"The rain was warm as soup, and it turned the narrow little streets into steaming mud pits." Page 70 
""I set him free," César Santos replied with awesome serenity" Page 107 
"In a movie or a novel, this would be the moment that the helicopters arrived to rescue him and he looked toward the sky, but without hope; in real life, helicopters never come in time." Page 218 
"They had to brush away from their eyes the delicate spiderwebs embroidered with mosquitoes and dewdrops suspended like lace among the leaves." Page 253

I don't think I'll read the rest of the trilogy and I think I will stick with her books that are aimed at adults. I can't deny that Isabel Allende is a great author but this book just didn't do it for me!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

25 Things Before My 25th Birthday - Six to Ten

This is the second part of a more detailed look of my 25 things before my 25th birthday list. My previous posts about it can be found here.

6. Start an inspirational book.
I have made an inspirational book before and it is really something I enjoy both making and looking over to feel inspired. My previous book is over 5 years old so I want to make a new one.

7. Sew seven pieces of clothing.
I love sewing and I do way to little of it! I believe 7 pieces over a year is something that I am capable of doing! I have decided on some of the things I might want to do and I will definitely share all about it later on!

8. Learn how to draw
I am not good at drawing and it is actually something that annoys me to no end! This year I want to try to make some effort to learn how to draw!

9. Improve my handwriting
This is something I have just always been bad at! I have no idea why. It might be a mixture of me just sucking, not practicing enough of good handwriting (I do write a lot by hand but I don't focus on how it looks)  and maybe how I hold the pen (I hold it wrong).

10. Make and write Christmas cards AND send them
I have wanted to do this for some time but I never have time in November-December. I might start making the cards super early and then writing them in October and sending them in November-December.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Iceland - Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar are a series of waterfalls that come from rivers that are flowing underneath the lava fields around  it. In Icelandic hraun means lava and fossar is waterfalls. The water joins a overground river after these magnificent waterfalls that is called Hvítá (meaning white river).

The water is glacier water and comes from the nearest glacier Langjökull  (meaning long glacier). The water has this amazing blue colour that these pictures don't show well enough and you just really want to jump in because the water looks so welcoming.

It has been super cloudy and rainy here in Iceland since I arrived, it is nice and warm today (10°C/50F) and raining! Strange for January! 

There will be a lot of more picture posts from Iceland since I will be here for 10 more days!


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