Things I adored about Iceland


A picture Mr. Chokkattu took of me while we were on a kayak.

This will be my last post explicitly about Iceland!

So we all know now that I adored the country of Iceland, and I want to go back some day really, really badly, with maybe a job long enough to support me for a few months or just some more cash in my pocket. And that the scenery is beautiful and the landscape breathtaking, etc. But I have to share some of the specifics I jotted down. Some of them are important, some of them are surprising, some are less about Iceland and more about trips in general, and some are pretty stupid but whatever they seemed important enough to write down at the time. This list is a little long, so let’s get started:

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Wix Breakfast: Brand Personality!

Actually called: Wix Breakfast: Life Attracts Life- Give Your Brand a Personality Boost!  IMG_20150114_081015

School’s getting closer, so I decided to retrain myself for it by going to bed ridiculously late and waking up ridiculously early for a lecture! Yay! I found it on Eventbrite while browsing and took a chance.

And I’m really glad I did. It was a really interesting seminar, a little on the short side, full of little tips I would have never thought of, like how important emotional touchstones, big and small (“anything from a big brand experience to a tweet”), are to a customer base. There are tons of examples of these connections with consumers that I can think of. Some smaller gestures include Xbox’s (T, F) and T-Mobile’s (T, F) avid usage of their twitter handles and Facebook support apps to annual events like Krispy Kreme’s Day of the Dozens, Talk Like a Pirate, and National Doughnut Days. Everyone remembers larger political gestures like Oreo’s support for gay pride, to well-established, company-wide policies like Starbucks’ C.A.F.E Practices (they work with Conservation International to keep the farming sustainable) and TOMS Shoes policy of donating a pair of shoes for every pair purchased. All of them work to improve the perception of the brand and endear its consumers to it, while actually decreasing a little of the bad in the world at the same time. And of course, little gestures like that are key for small business owners to create their own communities; Milk Sugar Love’s content on their Facebook page regularly attempts to engage users with questions and relatable expressions.

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Mast Brothers Chocolate Tour

This is painted on the left wall.

I took a tour of the Mast Brothers’ factory on Friday. It was brilliant. I’ve taken “chocolate themed” tours before, and visited the Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco when I was a teenager, and neither of those visits made me feel as excited about chocolate as the ~45 minute walk around the factory watching things being made did. I feel more educated now, and not in the way Starbucks or Teavana wanted its employees to feel and to make the customers feel when I worked for them (apologies to the, honestly, really great people who complimented me on how genuine I was), but more like when we visited the Kitchen at Grove Station and talked to the guy serving Modcup coffee near the door about how cold it was to be right next to the door during a late autumn grand opening. I still need to try honey processed coffee.

Sorry for the potato.

I tried to take some pictures, but my new phone’s camera is kind of a potato (thought apparently an improvement on the old camera), and my hands are not the most stable. I should ask for a new camera for Christmas.

I like the wooden flag. The bags with the color on them are sugar and the bags with no visible markings are cocoa beans. I convinced my boyfriend not to go lay in them, somehow.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures after passing the counter, which is understandable, as the ideas behind any number of their machines is fairly simple and easy to steal with a few good pictures, and they have a policy of a human touch being most important, which means many of their machines aren’t perfect automatons. If they did, I’m sure someone with fantastic business sense and fewer ethics could probably drive them out with a few tweaks to make the machines perfect. Although the idea of keeping the machines imperfect and stressing out the employees is a little odd, they did make a comment about how the latest they’ve worked until was maybe midnight, made it sound outrageous, and confirmed that their job was way, way better than retail in that regard at least. Anyway, the machines obviously don’t hold them back. Read More

Prada Candy L’eau Review!

My roommate uses the Prada Candy L’Eau and she’s a little apprehensive of the day when she actually has to shell out for an actual bottle it since all she uses now are the little samples of it she’s been hoarding. She let me try a bit and I thought I’d finally update with another fragrance review since it’s been so long 😀 

Wet, I get lychee in cooking sugar, and at first it’s actually quite similar to Hanae Mori Hanae Mori with its fruity and flowery bursts. It is, however, lighter and there’s a bit of violet that I get that I really like. It doesn’t open up my palate like Hanae Mori Hanae Mori does either. Fragrantica says the top notes are citrus-y, but I don’t really get that at all. It’s more like the citrus acts like the citrus when making apple cider; it doesn’t speak for itself, but it does add an important layer that lifts the entire scent.

As it dries down, I mostly smell cooking sugar (not quite the caramel listed on Fragrantica) and this faint, rubbery off-note, probably a side effect of the musk, that disappears fairly quickly. I get a lot of vanilla, and the scent really gets creamy and round.

After a few minutes, it smells like cooking sugar, vanilla, wildflowers and violets, and musk. It’s now much less fruity and much more mellow than the Hanae Mori Hanae Mori. It does actually make me feel a little hungry because it’s such a sweet scent. It’s been about an hour and I can still smell it on my wrists while I type even though I’m a good foot and a half away from my keyboard.

It’s very sweet and feminine, and a rather tasty scent, and if that appeals to you, definitely check it out. I can’t say it’s particularly sassy or flirty. I think it’s even a little too saccharine, without a lot of contrasting or sparky notes, for its name. Candy evokes a cute, innocent cheekiness for me; Prada Candy L’Eau was strong on the cute and innocent, lacking on the cheeky. Still, my roommate wears it contrastingly with moto jackets and acid washed pants and pulls it off splendidly!