Iceland is home to a variety of animals that you don't see every day: puffins, reindeer, tiny horses, and seals. If you ever make it to breathtakingly beautiful Jökulsárlón, the island's largest glacial lagoon, head to the southern side of the water. There, a colony of a few dozen seals will inquisitively observe your every move. These guys (and ladies) came within 15 feet of the shore, only to dive underwater as soon as they knew I was on to them. Aside from the occasional sound of ice breaking apart, it was just me and the barking seals — a total one-with-nature morning. Check them out to see why I'm still laughing over their little faces.
Talk about a marketing strategy gone wrong. Business Insider posted a commercial that the now defunct Icelandic bank Kraupthing released before the worldwide economic meltdown. You'll see video snippets of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Nelson Mandela being sworn in as president, the moon landing, some war footage, and yes, The Matrix. The ad might make for some kind of feel good inspirational message, but it definitely doesn't work well as a bank promo.
Check out our newest BellaTV update, then read some of our top stories from the week that was:
- Journey to Iceland's world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa.
- Get a behind-the-scenes peek at the makeup looks in Black Swan.
- Stumped on what gifts to give this holiday? Try these back-to-basics beauty items.
- Find out how Olay's new advanced cleansing system measures up.
- Ring in the holidays with Bella's December must haves.
- Did you know that Natalie Portman has naturally curly hair?
- Touching up your makeup at work is easy with this kit from Benefit.
- Nine cute gift ideas for bearded guys.
- Simple tips for alleviating puffy eyes.
- Guess which stars love the skin they're in?
- Which hair color suits Anne Hathaway best?
If you've never been to Iceland, there's a good chance you've never seen one of these Icelandic horses up close. After all, by law, no imported horses are allowed in and, once a horse leaves, it can never return. Lucky for us, BellaSugar took off for Iceland to check out an awesome spa and snapped these photos while she was there.
Ranging from 730 – 840 pounds and around 54 inches high, they have short legs, just like BellaSugar's beloved munchkin kitty, Milo! While we'd consider them pony-sized in the US, Icelandics are always called horses possibly because of the breed's spirited temperament and large personality . . . and the lack of a word in Icelandic for "pony." Let's just agree and call them cute.
See the rest of the pictures and read more
Not many countries can claim a spa as its main tourist attraction, but in Iceland's case, it's easy to see why so many people flock to the Blue Lagoon. The milky blue waters of this geothermal spa draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and it's as relaxing as it is picturesque. I'd heard of this beautiful place, but never dreamed I'd see it with my own eyes. So when the Blue Lagoon invited BellaSugar on a trip to see the spa, what could I say but "já"? Read on for a tour of this must-visit spot, but you've been warned: once you've seen Iceland, you'll want to go there. (I'm planning my next vacation already.)
It's important for people to know how and why our global economy came crashing down in 2008. Inside Job, a documentary by Charles Ferguson, makes the concepts behind the financial meltdown easy to digest. At the same time, it's hard to swallow the fact that several key people in the government worked for the best interests of the banks and not the greater good of the American public. In fact, the financial crisis wasn't created in the last few years. The seeds were planted decades back and were largely brought about by the merging of Wall Street and the government. Too many finance executives took high-level government positions, and supported the wallets of bankers.
In addition, the film not only highlights the intermingling between the interests of banks and the government, but also unexpectedly reveals the links to academia. Many prominent professors wrote papers on topics in which they were given financial incentive to skew it a certain way. In fact, a current professor at the business school of Columbia University, Frederic Mishkin, wrote a paper touting Iceland's financial stability in 2006 that he was paid $124,000 for. Iceland went bankrupt October of 2008.
I talked to Audrey Marrs, producer of Inside Job, who had also worked with Charles on a previous documentary called No End In Sight. To find out what Audrey had to share about the film, read more after the jump
You probably remember Eyjafjallajökull, the ash-spewing volcano in Iceland that grounded flights all over Europe some months ago, but did you know that it's getting its own perfume? Icelandic brand Gydja is coming out with a citrusy fragrance called Efj (a handy abbreviation of the volcano's name) that'll be made with water from the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. The line's designer, Sigrún Lilja Gudjónsdóttir, says the ads that accompany it will feature "the power of nature and the power of the goddess," since Gydja means "goddess" in Icelandic. So will you be interested in giving this scent a sniff, or are you more a Vatnajökull kind of girl?
Ready for a trip to the top of the world? Many visit Iceland for its wealth of hot springs, its experimental rockers, and its huldufolk. Whatever your reason for flying due north, you can be guaranteed a good night's sleep if you stay at Reykjavík's fabulous 101 Hotel.
Recognized as the first boutique hotel in Iceland, owner and designer Ingibjörg S. Pálmadottir put her Parsons School of Design degree to good use when designing the hotel's look. Using clean lines, local artwork, and a palette rich in blacks, whites, and grays, the hotel exudes a cool, Nordic vibe. Don't worry though — the cool vibe doesn't extend to the interior's temperatures, thanks to heated oak floors, a roaring fireplace in the lounge, and an onsite sauna.
Pálmadottir has filled her hotel with works by artists including Brynhildur Þorgeirsdóttir, Böðvar Gunnarsson, Daníel Magnússon, Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, Hulda Hákon, and many other native artists whose names you may have trouble pronouncing. There's no difficulty in understanding the talent of the artists, though, nor in the hotel's natural ability to provide an elegant, welcoming, and beautiful stay for its guests.
- The baby carrot's embarked on a $25 million campaign to become cool again.
- The baby carrot's embarked on a $25 million campaign to become cool again. — Salon
- Gourmet's not-so-lustrous Quick Kitchen isn't too speedy, either. — Eater
- Grant Achatz's new memoir, Life, on the Line, will drop in March. — Grub Street CHI
- The provisions that Icelanders call street food. — Serious Eats
- 19 dishes that commemorate the Jewish High Holidays. — Chow
- Cook more economically with vanilla bean paste. — The Epi-Log
- Get to know the different cuts of pork ribs. — Huffington Post
- Narcotics-laced cocktails: Yes, they exist. — The Atlantic Food
Peep this post madmoiselle shared in the I'm Addicted to Mixing/Matching Outfits w/ Sugar Lists! group.
I have always dreamed about a trip to Iceland. It's my dream country. Musicians like Sigur Ros, Bjōrk and Emiliana Torrini come from there. So I'm really excited about Iceland's culture. And I also love the nature. It seems so quiet there. And If I will go to Iceland someday, these will be the things I wear. But now I wear stuff like this in my place when it turns minus 20C.