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Iceland: Heaven on Earth

When my sister suggested we visit Iceland, I initially wondered what we would do there. Our sister trips traditionally involved beaches, cocktails, and dressing up. However, after booking our tickets and planning our itinerary, I was pleasantly surprised by what Iceland had to offer. The country is about the size of Ohio, making it easy to navigate (they even drive on the right side of the road!). With several itineraries reviewed on TripAdvisor, we planned a 5-6 day summer trip, which is doable. Since it was nearly 24 hours of daylight, we didn’t see the Northern Lights, so my itinerary doesn’t include tips for that, but I found this post helpful for those interested.

Most itineraries recommend 70% of the same attractions, and here’s the list I chose from. Many suggest staying in Reykjavik and taking day trips, as most attractions are within 2-3 hours of the city. This approach allows you to experience the country without too much redundancy.

1. The Blue Lagoon
Iceland’s #1 tourist attraction, the Blue Lagoon, is a must-see. The architecture, connection with nature, and origins of the geothermal seawater create a unique experience. Day passes start at $90+, so budget 3-4 hours for a visit. If possible, stay a night at the Silica Hotel on the property. You’ll have access to both the Blue Lagoon and private lagoons. The contemporary hotel, nestled among volcanic rock formations, offers amazing rooms. See more photos and reviews here.

2. South Coast Tour
Tourism is Iceland’s greatest economic driver, resulting in excellent tour packages. Our South Coast Tour included a comfortable bus with Wi-Fi, well-timed stops, and a variety of sights. Highlights included breathtaking waterfalls, the black sand beach, and a glacier visit. Tour guides are well-versed in history and folklore, making the journey interesting and fun.

3. Downtown Reykjavik
While many food tours are available, I’d skip them unless you’re a foodie. Downtown Reykjavik is small and easily walkable by American standards. Popular stops include Rainbow Street, Hallgrimskirkja (the largest church in the country), Harpa Concert Hall, and more. The food scene is surprisingly progressive, with vegan/vegetarian options at every restaurant. One must-visit spot is The Bookstore, a bar that doubles as a bookstore with a great house band performing 3-hour sets from 8-11 PM.

4. Glacier Tours
There are various glacier tours available—by boat, foot, super jeep, or snowmobile. The weather in Iceland can change quickly, so our initial glacier and ice cave walk was canceled. We rescheduled for a snowmobile tour, which offered fun and amazing views.

5. Friðheimar Tomato Farm
A popular tourist stop, Friðheimar Tomato Farm, is easy to visit if you’ve rented a car. This unique restaurant is housed in a greenhouse that grows tomatoes year-round. The food is delicious; they even offer tomato beer and ice cream! It’s a short stop but worth it.

After much research, we stayed at the Reykjavik Edition Hotel. With water on one side and the city on the other, it’s centrally located for downtown sites. The rooms are spacious, the on-site restaurant is excellent, and the overall experience is luxurious (it is so nice we stayed here for multiple nights). We also spent a night at the ION Adventure Hotel, which was designed to view the Northern Lights. Located in a remote area, it’s ideal for adventure-based tours like glacier hikes and biking. We stayed at the Silica Hotel (pictures below) on our last night and ate dinner at the famous LAVA Restaurant located on the Blue Lagoon property (the best meal I ate in Iceland). The Silica hotel is just simply magical, 10/10 recommend.

There were several activities we didn’t get to do, such as snorkeling between tectonic plates and boating among glaciers. However, I plan to return someday to see the Northern Lights anyway.

All in all, Iceland is an easy-to-visit country rich in culture and beautiful landscapes. I was truly surprised by how much I loved our trip (we were there during an active volcano eruption, just wow!). I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected].

See some of my other travel posts here.

Your Chick,


Picking The Right Mascara

Choosing the right mascara can enhance your eyelashes and complete your desired makeup look. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a mascara:

  1. Definition vs. Volume: Determine whether you want to focus on defining your lashes or adding volume; some mascaras are specifically formulated to provide length and definition, while others focus on adding fullness and volume.
  2. Brush Shape: Different mascara wands have varying shapes and bristle arrangements, which affect the application and outcome. For example, curved wands are designed to lift and curl lashes, while straight wands can help separate and define them. Test different brush shapes to see which one suits your lashes best.
  3. Formula Type: Mascaras come in different formulas, such as waterproof, smudge-proof, or regular. Waterproof mascara is water-resistant, making it ideal for occasions like swimming or rainy days. Smudge-proof mascaras are designed to prevent smearing or flaking throughout the day. Regular formulas are easy to remove with regular makeup remover. Choose a formula based on your needs and preferences.
  4. Desired Look: Consider the look you want to achieve. Opt for a lengthening mascara with a lighter formula if you prefer a natural, subtle look. Choose a volumizing mascara or a thicker formula for more dramatic or bold lashes. Some mascaras also offer a combination of lengthening and volumizing properties.

Lancome has a collection of mascaras to help you achieve your desired look!

Here is a full comparison and review of their top-selling mascaras:

Remember to replace your mascara every three to six months to maintain its effectiveness and prevent the risk of eye infections.

Ultimately, the best mascara for you will depend on your personal preferences, desired results, and unique lash characteristics. Experimenting with different brands and types of mascaras will help you find the perfect one for your lashes.

I hope you enjoyed this review!

Your Chick,


#lancomepartner #lancomeofficial #macyspartner #macysstylecrew

For more Beauty, click here.

Make an Impression Anywhere and Anytime: 5 Tips for Making it Happen

Since starting Chicks And Salsa I have found myself in new and unfamiliar situations so many times.  Five years ago if you asked me to walk into a room full of strangers and indulge in ‘small talk’, I would have run for the hills.  Now, the prospect of meeting new people excites me! 

Being forced to step out of my comfort zone has taught me a lot about myself. Here are a few tips I have learned along the way to make uncomfortable situations more… comfortable. Some of these tips you have probably seen before but trust me, repetition is how to make it stick.
Make An Impression

Dress The Part

This is first because playing the part means looking the part.  Nothing helps me put my best foot forward like feeling confident in the space I am occupying. Dress for the occasion and feel good in what you wear, it will reflect in your mannerisms.  Our Mom always taught us that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed — you will never feel out of place.  That has stuck with us throughout our lives (and probably explains a lot about us for those of you who know our family).

Here are a few versatile picks perfect for a multitude of occasions all under $50:

Do Your Research

Nothing makes me feel worse than not knowing about the host of an event or facts about the event itself.  Knowing what you are walking into is so important for nailing a conversation.  Finding a way that connects you to the space and the people within it is a true life hack for making an impression. Even just quickly browsing information on your phone in the Uber or in the bathroom can give you information that could create a real impact on someone later in the event. 

Listen (Mirror and Label)

I am a sharer and have a tendency to talk more than I listen.  Since ‘small talk’ does not come naturally to me despite practicing for years, I have finally found a technique that works wonders for getting other people to talk.  I recently watched a lecture on Masterclass on a technique called “Mirroring and Labeling” in which you repeat back key words from the conversation to help keep the conversation active and engaging.  It has changed my conversation game tenfold.  If you need some help in this department, check out this lecture: Masterclass with Chris Voss

Know Your Story

We all have heard about an ‘elevator speech’ and even if you are not a business owner or don’t work, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a story.  Almost 100% of the time people will ask, “So, what do you do?”  Are you prepared to answer this question in a way that is concise and coherent? If not, then now is a good time to get your story straight so that you can dig into the next level of the conversation. Preparing a quick FYI can be simple but make it unique. As women in this world, we are all trying to find our place. Take a moment to figure out what space you occupy and how to communicate that with others.

I have only recently gotten comfortable with my own story of discovery from being a stay at home mom, to a blogger, to a self-employed social media content creator and manager. It took me several years to put the pieces together in a coherent way, but I finally have my story down.

Stand Straight
Shop This Dress Here | Shop My Heels Here

Stand Straight

Sonia and I have TERRIBLE posture. In the past few years as we have become more confident and practiced sharing our story, dressing the part, and listening, we have started standing straighter.  In the same way a firm handshake is important, so is posture.  We have learned so much from Blush with Parmita, her YouTube tips for standing out have really changed the way we walk into a room and handle a conversation. This did not come naturally for us, but we practiced and reminded each other to do it so many times over the years that now it feels automatic. Without saying a word, how you stand and present yourself to the world can create the strongest and most lasting impression.

Hopefully, you needed to hear some of this, I know we need reminders all the time.  I would love to hear about your life hacks that have made you a better and more productive person.

Thanks for reading.

Your Chick,


#MomsOffDuty – What Does That Mean? Celebrating 100 Posts!!

This is our 100th Post!!! That is more than two years of Chick Picks, Fashion Posts, Motherhood Rants, and Party Tips and we could not have done it without you!! Thank you so much for supporting Chicks And Salsa!!

One of our most frequently used hashtags is #MomsOffDuty.  It was brought to our attention that ‘life outside of motherhood’ and ‘Moms off duty’ implies that we did not have children or did not care about them. This could not be further from the truth!  It just means that we are not going to beat ourselves up about taking a little ‘me time‘ every now and then.

Yes, we are moms and yes we are obsessed with our kids (as most Moms are). BUT the blog is a way for us to find an avenue outside of the realm of crafting, cooking, and career. Chicks And Salsa is a way to use creativity and media to connect with other women in a way that encourages us to develop ourselves as members of this society.


As women, especially those of ethnic descent, we have a tendency to place ourselves last — behind spouses, kids, career. If there is anything I have learned in these past few years, it is that putting yourself first can feel good sometimes, too. It is also important to realize that ‘mom guilt’ never goes away: we will always wish that when we try a new restaurant with friends, that our husbands were there or when we discover a new park to run at, that we could exercise and watch the kids at the same time.
Moms Off Duty—that is how we feel when we squeeze in a coffee with friends during the day or get a babysitter and vent to a friend over cocktails after school. It is all-encompassing. It is the food that we eat, the activities that we participate in, the civic work that we do, the obligations we have at work, and our responsibilities at home. It is about taking a moment to build yourself as a woman, no matter what corners that life brings your way. Stringing together the moments outside of our routines are often the ones that we remember and cherish.
Celebrating Each Other
You Do You
We challenge you to be ‘off duty’ once in a while and do something for yourself with or without someone else. Push yourself to a new limit and rediscover an old hobby. Or listen to some old tunes and dance like no one is watching. It is possible to be a great mother, an influencer, a career-builder, and an independent woman — find your way to putting yourself first and in doing that, find yourself.
Lastly, thank you for all the love that you have shown us these past few years, hopefully we have more to offer as we learn more about all of you!!
With so much love, your chicks,
Rina and Sonia
Shout out to Neema, one of our contributors and Mom-extraordinaire, see her posts here.
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