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Senja, 20 years old, Helsinki/Finland
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cozy evenings

When the rain is pouring down and the air turns crispier, there really isn't much you can do (except buy plane tickets elsewhere) to avoid the fact that autumn is here. After the long, hot and sunny summer I feel like embracing the cooler weather and the grey skies. No red or orange leaves yet but soon, soon they will be clogging the gutter and turning into a brown mash that sticks to your shoes.

On a brighter note, the darker the evenings get, the better excuse I have for lighting candles.

Then there are things like apple pie and tea and friends and rererereruns of the Black Adder.

Apple pie recipe will follow, now I'm off to bed as I'll be working tomorrow... as usual.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Last days of summer

Here are the pictures of the outfit I wore last week when I went to town with Maria. Having woken up relatively early that morning, I opted for a relaxed and comfy outfit. It was a lovely and sunny day but as it was not extremely hot, I could wear the cardigan I knitted last winter. The romper was a sales find from Bik Bok back in June, I think. Most of my summer clothes were still in the Netherlands and I needed something I could just throw on and head to the beach. I have been wearing it quite a lot, as it's both cute and comfy.

It's already September and summer seems to be over. There are still some golden days left but it has been raining a lot more lately. Not that it makes any difference when you're working. I've surprised even myself by working almost every day this past week. I really don't know whether it's because of the money or because I don't feel like sitting at home while everyone else is either studying or at work. Maybe a little of both. I do however intend on clearing up a little more space in my calendar for my blog. (and your blogs, I really need to catch up!) We'll see how far my intentions bring me...

Anyways, I wish you all a wonderful week! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Glimpses of Helsinki

cafe succes helsinki korvapuusti cinnamon roll Senja Y

park helsinki ritaripuisto summer Senja Y

ritarihuone helsinki Senja Y

ritaripuisto helsinki park Senja Y

mariankatu helsinki Senja Y

I love Helsinki. It's my adopted hometown, since I don't really have one. My love for Helsinki goes as far as to say that I will never ever move to another city or town here in Finland (I know, never say never... if I ever wind up having six children and a hoard of dogs and cats, I might want to live elsewhere) as long as I live and breathe.

On Wednesday I went wandering about the downtown with Maria. We browsed through some interesting little shops and sat down for korvapuusti (or cinnamon roll, if you prefer that) and hot chocolate at one of my favourite cafes in Helsinki, Café Succès. I first went there with my dad when we were going to the Open Night at my future high school. He had been somewhat of a regular customer back when he went to the same school and the warm ambience on a somewhat cold and slushy February evening stayed with me and during my years in high school, I would frequently skip the lunch break and get myself a huge croissant and a cinnamon roll with a cup of hot chocolate to go. Sadly the service and the product quality are not quite up to the same level as before but there is always something very nostalgic about Café Succès.

After the short pause we continued walking. We walked through Ullanlinna, all the way across the Market Square and Senate Square, looking for a nice place to take my outfit pictures. Maria suggested the small park in front of Ritarihuone, the House of Nobility, but as beautiful as the flower arrangements and the fountain were, we deemed (or I did) it unfit for my outfit. I did however snap these pictures because the milieu was stunning to say the very least.

The last picture is from Mariankatu, right next to the House of Nobility. Throughout the day Maria and I had been admiring the old buildings and wailing every time a horrendous monster like the one in the picture scarred the otherwise picture-perfect scenery. I honestly don't know what they were thinking back in the day... ripping down beautiful historical buildings and replacing them with something "hip and contemporary." When traveling in Europe I always admire the way most cities have a very ubiquitous feel and look to them. Helsinki, however, has many beautiful streets and neighbourhoods that reflect the different eras and styles, but it also has these buildings that look simply out of place. I actually feel a little sorry for the misfit buildings. In some other company they might be even somewhat attractive but next to the neoclassical beauties they just appear even more plain and awkward. Sort of like when a tall person stands next to a short person. Then again, this is one of the features that makes Helsinki so unique and interesting. You can never know what you're going to find.

You may wonder where the outfit pictures are, but I thought I'd let them have their own post, or actually, I thought that these pictures deserved their own post without my face gawking at you a million times. Thus the outfit post will follow later...

Hard to believe it's already Friday but here we go again. I'm going to work today and tomorrow so no weekend for me just yet. We'll be celebrating Erica's real birthday tomorrow by going out so that ought to be fun. Other than that I'll be cleaning and organising my closet so I can finally take those pictures of my little apartment. I've lived here for almost 5 months and I still haven't shown you any pictures. Shame on me... I promise to get to it asap!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just a little catch-up

Senja Y selfie

One sign of a great party might be the lack of photographic evidence. You don't want to get your huge camera and start snapping pictures of others having a blast when you're having fun yourself, too. Last Saturday, however, at my friend Erica's birthday party, I did want to take a few pictures of our "amazing" '80s-themed outfits, but alas, my camera decided to stop co-operating. Since Trang hasn't sent me the pictures she took with her camera (and I doubt many of those pictures are worth showing to the world) this grainy and silly selfie (including a trout pout) I sent to D after Trang and I were finished with getting ready happens to be the only picture I can show to you.

Nevertheless, despite of my camera behaving like a proper diva and refusing to perform, we had a lovely time. '80s music, pizza, cheesecake and enough blue drinks, wonderful company and coming home at 4 am. No need to elaborate further, it was a very successful evening despite of the less fabulous state I was in the next morning. Luckily Erica and Maria came over to eat pizza and watch movies so I didn't have to spend the entire Sunday suffering alone. (even if I was the only one suffering)

On Monday I was supposed to clean but I ended up catching up with all the TV programs I had recorded on my Finnish version of TiVo. On Tuesday I was working and today I woke up early because of a doctor's appointment and afterwards headed to town with Maria. We walked around Helsinki pretty much the entire afternoon and visited interesting shops and sat down at one of my favourite cafes. This time my camera was working so I'll have pictures for you tomorrow!

How has your week been so far?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Words that are spinning in my head

Puukengät Senja Lapland marshland Finland summer

It is starting to become very clear to me that I simply can't blog when I'm in the middle of some inner turmoil. Usually it's because I'm not sure how I should address those deep, unfinished thoughts here on my blog, but as I can't ignore them either and blog about the superficial things in my life, I am left with no other choice than to neglect my blog. Or at least that's how it feels, and of course, it's not entirely true. I could just blog about how I feel. Some of you might wonder why I am going to blog about all of this. Wouldn't it be much easier to blog about how I had a lovely Sunday making and eating sushi with my friends? For some other people, perhaps, for me, not at all. Yes, it's very personal and some people won't like it but hey, it's my blog and I blog for my own pleasure. Not writing makes the words just spin around in my head and not blogging makes me miss my lovely readers. So, I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and try to blog about everything that's going on with me. (you should probably get yourself a cup of your preferred beverage as well, this might get lengthy)

It's almost September, my blog is almost two years old, and I am once again in a position where I have to figure out my next steps. I did not get into university, which, while not surprising with only 25 getting into the program of my choice, was a big disappointment for me. People around me have all been very supportive but I am disappointed. Disappointed in myself, disappointed in the system and disappointed in the world. Still, I don't feel like I failed, even though I threw away the letter bearing the bad news, and not without tearing it into tiny pieces. I did what I could and it didn't work out. This time, at least.

After all the minor and major setbacks in my life I have learnt to move forward. I have come a long way from last year, as this year I have a place of my own and a job to help me support myself. No more living in other people's homes for me. My job also keeps my mind occupied so that when I'm working, I am not thinking about anything else. I also have my friends and family around me and I get to spend time with them regularly. D still isn't here in Finland with me, and it's tough but I'm doing my best to cope.

Coping, however, seems to be a lot harder this time around. One night I can't sleep and I end up mopping the floors at 2 am, the next I could sleep 24/7. Some days I barely eat and my kitchen fills up with dirty tea cups and empty pineapple juice cartons. Then I try to get a hold of myself and I clean up, bake bread, cook and try to eat. Or I wind up seeking solace from the two men I know I can trust: Ben and Jerry. I watch TV for hours, get tired of it and then I clean up the entire apartment, make a dozen lists of how I'm going to be more active and then I get tired of it too and nothing happens.

I don't want my life to be like this. I want my life to be like my Pinterest boards or like life seems to be for those people who have it all. Yet I know that things will never be perfect. Something will always go wrong and things could always be worse. I have a home, I have a job, I have a wonderful man worth waiting for, I have family and friends to keep me going when things seem to go wrong and I know I am lucky or blessed or both to have the difficulties with trying to decide where I'm going to go with my life. Many people don't have the choice and I do. It's just very difficult to see it.

The other night I was watching a documentary film about Grace Kelly and they were showing footage of her being asked about happiness. She replied that she has had many moments of happiness but she doesn't believe that happiness is a permanent state of mind.

If things worked out the way I want, I would win the lottery tonight. 10 million euros (minus the taxes) would make it possible and easy to help myself, my family, and even people I don't even know but need the help. It would all be so easy and while money doesn't make you happy, it enables you to do things that make you happy in a way that you normally can't. In real world, when you are not a millionaire, you have to make sure there is still money left when the month is over and you have to wait and work for things. Yet somehow I think that having all the money wouldn't make me permanently happy either.

Patience. I want to win the lottery and have things handed to me but learning to be patient would probably be more useful. Taking each day as it comes and working towards achieving the things you want. I thought I was getting better at it but it's a struggle not to lose hope. Even though I'd like to keep the three unfit topics (as taught by a certain study counsellor years ago) of sex, politics and religion, out of my blog, I have to say that sometimes I wish I had more faith in God, or the church, or any higher power that might be out there caring for us. As Marx put it, religion is the opium of the people, and while people often view it as a negative thing, there is a lot of comfort in religion and faith. Especially in times like this when the future seems so unsettlingly insecure. (and there I venture into politics... must get a hold of myself!)

I don't know what I want to become when I grow up. I'm going to try and hope that I will get accepted into an university of applied sciences here in Helsinki so that I can start studying journalism this coming January. I do know that I want to be happy. I would like to find out if there is a way to be permanently happy, and if there is no way, I will try to bring more happy moments into my life. Having D around every day would help but I am going to seize this opportunity to find seeds of happiness (as we say in Finland) in other places too. That way I won't have to rely on one person to make me happy. I also won't have to wait for anything to be happy. I can be happy today, if I try. I believe that happiness stems from your own attitude rather than from certain events and things. The challenge lies in being able to stop for a moment and breath in those small things like slow mornings, a nice cup of tea and a rapid flow of words streaming through my fingers. Life can be so hectic and often I forget to stop and remind myself of the little things that are going perfectly well.

To wrap up this rambling post (yay if you made it here!) I'm going to wish you all a very nice Friday. I hope that everything is going well with you all, and now I am going to head to town for a lunch date with Trang. Then I'll be off to work and tomorrow it's time for Erica's '80s themed birthday party. Lots of fun times ahead for me and I'm going to do my very best to let them sink in and work their magic.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hello there July!

Senja Y Puukengät outfit lace top neutral colours black Cambridge Satchel company 15" batchel

Senja Y Puukengät outfit lace top neutral colours black Cambridge Satchel company 15" batchel

Senja Y Helsinki Puukengät

Senja Y Puukengät outfit lace top neutral colours black

Senja Y Puukengät outfit lace top neutral colours black

This post is dedicated to my friend Erica who informed me that it was time to get blogging again...

I can not believe it is July already! Only one week to go until D is here again and less than two weeks to go until I get the much awaited letter from the University of Helsinki. Whether it will be a letter of acceptance or rejection is still unknown, all I know that on the 16th of July I will be getting mail. (of course, I will check the results online the very minute it is the 16th but still, I will be getting mail)

Waiting is driving me somewhat crazy. Yesterday I got the letter of rejection from the History department, which was not a big deal. My heart beats for the communications department anyways and considering that the application system for universities and universities of applied sciences is changing next year in favour of those who have yet to get accepted into a school, I was not entirely certain whether or not I should put much effort into a study I don't really want to do. If I had been accepted there, I would've had no other choice but to take the offered position and my dreams of studying communications would have become pretty much unattainable. At least here in Finland.

Good thing there are things like work and friends to keep me on the sane side. These pictures were taken two weeks ago when I was strolling the town with my friend. There are yet no other outfit pictures because last week was spent at work from Monday to Friday and during the weekend I could not be bothered to do any posing. Not to mention that the latest expansion pack to the Sims 3 came out last week so it was perhaps not entirely unexpected that I disappeared from the face of the Earth.

No matter how much I try to avoid thinking about it, July is here, and July will bring me either great things or great disappointments, or more realistically speaking, both. D will be here, we are planning on going to Lapland together, there will be parties with friends and visiting family. Summer-time in Helsinki is amazing, and I will do my very best to enjoy it while it lasts. 

Actually, tomorrow I will go to Suomenlinna with Erica. I haven't been there in over a year, and last year I didn't even visit it during the summer so it's going to be very nice to go there to lie in the sun *knocks on wood* and to hopefully forget all about letters and other grown-up stuff. 

Coincidentally it happens to be the 4th of July tomorrow so I hope all my American readers will make it a great day.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fit to be fit pink black training clothes sports bra fitness nike pink sports bra nike

I never really liked sports or exercising. Lying in bed with a bowl of ice cream is more my thing. Dancing I do like, walking is okay, cycling goes too, but everything else, meh. The fact that I did not own any sports clothes until today says a lot.

Still, I know I should exercise more, for my own good. Lately I have started taking long brisk walks and exercising a little at home. Squats, lunges, stretching, bedtime yoga and the like. My apartment building also has a free gym for the tenants so I have gone cycling a little more or less every other day. Baby steps. I even have a secret health and fitness board on Pinterest!

Now my friend Trang and her sisters are on a vacation so my friend Erica and I rented their aerobics studio cards. Today we went to our first class and it was not even as bad as I thought it would be. If the studio memberships were not so expensive I think I could turn it into a habit.

It is so much better to have an exercise buddy. Erica lives close to me so we take walks together and now we have each other for motivation. It is so much harder to cancel the plans when there is another person involved.

After the class this morning we went to do a little shopping with Erica. I have given up shopping for the most part but I decided that proper training clothes would be good motivation. I am much less inclined to give up now that I have invested money on this, and now that I can look somewhat cute while exercising. (or at least that's what I keep on telling myself)

Who knows, maybe I will end up buying myself a membership after all, but for now I am going to learn to like exercising.

Even if I only exercise to look good despite of all the ice cream.

Monday, June 17, 2013


rhubarb jam Senja homemade pilttipurkki raparperihillo rhubarb pie baking raparperipiirakka

Hey everyone, I hope you weekend went well! I spent mine with my friends, going out on Friday, watching movies on Saturday and just hanging out on Sunday.

Last week I got some rhubarb from my grandmother and on Saturday I made a rhubarb pie. As I did not want to eat rhubarb pie every day, I had to come up with something else to do with the left-over rhubarb. Freezing it would have been an option had it not been for my tiny freezer. Since I also had plenty of limes left over from Friday, I decided to make a small batch of rhubarb jam. I did not quite master the recipe though, a little too much sugar I think, as the end result is somewhat caramel-like. It tastes good but I am still not entirely pleased. Better luck next time.

The rhubarb pie was made using a new recipe, which I did not quite like. I suppose I should have stuck to the recipes used in my family for decades, even if this pie was okay. Okay, but most certainly not spectacular. The recipe asked for too much flour in my opinion and as a result the pie was somewhat dry despite of the rhubarb.

I will definitely have to get some more rhubarb from my grandparents' place, summer is not summer without a proper rhubarb pie. If you have a chance to bake one, you can try my grandmother's recipe:

An old picture from last year

Rhubarb pie


250 grams of butter
3 dl of sugar
3 eggs
1 dl of rye flour/whole grain wheat flour
5 dl of wheat flour
3 tea spoonfuls of baking powder
1 tea spoonful of ground cardamom
1 tea spoonful of ground ginger

rhubarb finely sliced
jelly sugar

coconut flakes/rolled oats


5 dl of sour cream/Turkish yoghurt
1 dl of sugar
2 eggs
vanilla sugar


wheat flour
rolled oats

1. Peel and slice the rhubarb
2. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
3. Mix the dry ingredients with each other
4. Cream the butter and sugar
5. Add the eggs one by one while continuously mixing
6. Add the dry ingredients into the mix
7. Pour the mix into an oven plate coated with baking paper
8. Add the rhubarb slices and sprinkle some jelly sugar on the top
9. Add the topping of your choice:
a) sprinkle coconut flakes or rolled oats on the top
b) mix all the ingredients and pour over the rhubarbs
c) turn the butter, sugar, wheat flour and rolled oats into a crumble and sprinkle over the rhubarbs
10. 30-40 minutes in the oven
11. Serve with vanilla sauce or ice cream

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A touch of green

herbs planting gardening small planter

gardening home herbs basil spinach rucola cilantro indoors

I am not the biggest fan of nature, as anyone who knows me a little better can tell you. I do enjoy the seaside and flowers are pretty but plants and bugs and all that just creeps me out.

Yet, I do like my little herb garden. Coriander/cilantro, rucola, basil and spinach. I had a slightly smaller herb garden earlier but unfortunately they got infested by fruit flies so I decided to get rid of them. Poor things.

The plants I mean. Fruit flies can stay out of my apartment if you ask me.

Today I decided to give gardening another go after my grandmother bought me these charming little pots while we were shopping for a rug for my apartment.

Can't wait to see the first signs of green. I will definitely post pictures of my little plant babies as they grow.

Do you have your own little garden too?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The end of mean girls

This morning I was scrolling down my news feed on Facebook and came across this video by Laci Green on Upworthy. After watching it, I felt the need to write a blog post about it, as it really struck a cord with me.

Not entirely sure if I have ever mentioned this here on my blog, but I was bullied for pretty much all of the 9 years of primary and secondary school. It stopped only after I moved on to the upper secondary school. So I have experienced girl hate, as Laci Green put it on her video, first hand.

I do not want to turn this into a heart wrenching story that will make you reach for the nearest tissue box or a bowl of ice cream. I was bullied, it made me feel absolutely miserable about myself and the mental scars are still there, but I got over it, for the most part. I can thank D and my best friends for that. So just like girls/women can be unbelievably cruel to each other, we can be supportive to each other as well. We can help each other grow into the people we were always meant to be. Not just us girls, boys/men too.

As Laci Green mentions on her video, we have a lot of pressure on us these days. The pressure to be pretty, smart, successful, driven, sexy, independent, the perfect girlfriend/wife/mother, and all those other things we are told to be is a heavy burden. It is enough to make anyone snap. Depression, eating disorders, you name it, are killing people every year. Literally. We are bombarded by messages telling us that we are not good enough.

To make things even worse, it is not some alien enemy telling us these things. We tell each other that we are not good enough. Why do we spend the time and energy on putting on our make-up and choosing the perfect outfit before we head out the door? We do it because if we do not, someone else, most probably a woman, will either say something, or judge us by just looking at us. Well, that is what we think. Probably because there always is that one person who will make us feel worse about ourselves for not being "good enough."

I never fit in. I never said the right things, never wore the right clothes, never could find the balance of being smart but not "too smart." I never could please others, no matter how much I tried. Instead of blaming the others, I blamed myself. I had simply failed, again. If I tried just one time more, maybe this time I would not fail and others would no longer shun me out. Of course, I never succeeded. I was never "good enough." The funny, or actually, the sad thing is, no-one ever told me those things in those exact words, well except for a few times. Still, somehow the message came across.

It was not until I met D that I started to realise that perhaps, as there was someone who saw so many good things in me, I was not that bad after all. Ever since I have been taking small steps on my journey to discover that perhaps I am good enough. Good enough the way I am. Not perfect, because there is no such thing, but good enough.

Watching the video I also realised something else. I realised that as much I have been trying to tell myself that I am good enough, I have not been telling myself that others are good enough as well, good enough the way they are. I should not judge when I see someone wear/do/say/like their thing. It may not be the same thing I would do, but they are not me. Their good enough is not my good enough, and there lies the whole point. We should never judge other people by our own standards because our standards are not theirs. We can not all fit into the same box, and why should we?

So, instead of trying to make others fit into our way of thinking, we should support and encourage them on their way to finding out just how amazing they are just because they are themselves. We should inspire others to love themselves because one can never truly love someone else before they have learnt to love themselves.

It is really that simple.

Learn to love yourself the way you are and learn to love others the way they are.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blogging again

herttoniemenranta senja helsinki finland suomi

black outfit senja helsinki herttoniemenranta finland suomi musta asu zwarte

black outfit senja helsinki herttoniemenranta finland suomi musta asu zwarte

Long time no see, my lovely readers! I'm finally back from my blogging break now that all the exams are over. Summer has arrived to Finland and I've been busy enjoying it with my friends.

I have missed blogging a lot, I didn't even realise how big a part of my life it had become. Now I hope to keep on blogging without any long breaks. The positive side of the break was that I now have plenty of ideas and inspiration, and I hope you will enjoy them.

More will follow, this was just a quick post to let you know I'm back!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Choosing books over blogging - why?

Anyone still here? My apologies for disappearing again, but my life has been rather hectic lately with moving, work and cramming for my university-level entrance exams. Hats off to those who manage to balance real life and blogging, because it is so difficult.

I've been missing blogging so much. My head is filled to the brim with ideas and words and texts and what not and I need somewhere to pour all that. The problem, however, is that I shouldn't be spending time on blogging at the moment. I'm applying to study communications at the University of Helsinki and it just happens to be one of the toughest faculties out there. It's extremely popular but they only take in about thirty new students each year so I really need to ace the exam.

So tough times require tough decisions. In order to be able to concentrate on studying, I hereby announce that I won't be blogging until the exams are over. That way I don't have to feel bad for not having blogged anything in ages, and you'll know that I will be back after the 4th of June, with loads of new things to share with you, my faithful readers. So watch this place and make sure to follow me on Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date on what's going on in my life. (okay, mostly what I'm eating...)

Also, if you haven't followed my blog on Bloglovin' yet, do it! Google Reader will be gone soon so make sure you won't miss my blog posts when I come back...

P.S. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this week's horrible incidents all over the world.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Oatmeal cookies

Last Sunday I posted a picture of oatmeal cookies on my instagram. My cousins had made them with my aunt, and Kelly, who writes a lovely blog called 'the Dutch Dauphine' asked if I could post the recipe on my blog. In Finland these cookies are quite popular, as they are incredibly easy and quick to make. At least in my family we have been making them quite often.

This recipe isn't necessarily the one my aunt used, but my mother uses this one, as do I when I make oatmeal cookies. My aunt and cousins decorated them with chocolate icing but that's entirely optional.

Oatmeal cookies

(good for 30 cookies)

50 grams (3,5 table spoonfuls) of butter (margarin works too)
2 dl (0,85 cups) of rolled oats
1 table spoonful of wheat flour
1 tea spoonful of baking powder
1 dl (0,425 cups) of sugar
1 egg

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. (392 degrees Fahrenheit)
2. Melt the butter in a pan.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and mix them with a wooden fork.
4. With two spoons make small round dough balls and lay them on a sheet of baking paper.
Make sure to leave about 10 cm (~4 inches) in between the balls.
5. Place the baking paper on an oven plate and let the cookies stay in the upper department of the oven for about 5 minutes.

(genoeg voor 30 koekjes)

50 gram roomboter (margarine is ook goed)
2 dl havermout
1 eetlepel tarwebloem
1 theelepel bakpoeder
1 dl suiker
1 ei

1. Verwarm de oven voor op 200 graden Celsius.
2. Smelt de boter in een pan.
3. Voeg de rest van de ingrediënten toe aan de boter en roer deze meet een houten vork.
4. Maak ronde balletjes deeg met twee lepels en leg ze op bakpapier. 
Zorg dat er ongeveer 10 cm tussen de balletjes zit.
5. Plaats het bakpapier op een ovenplaat en leg ze boven in de oven voor een minuut of 5.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Laughter and smiles

I rarely post smiling or laughing pictures of myself, not because I don't laugh or smile on a general basis, but because it doesn't come naturally to me to laugh or smile while taking outfit pictures. I don't know why, perhaps it's because the camera makes me quite self-conscious. Catching my genuine smiles on the camera doesn't happen often, but yesterday I was laughing so hard while Trang was taking my pictures that I couldn't help it. It was only too bad that the settings on my camera were a little off so the pictures came out extremely noisy and not very sharp.

Curly hair is also something you don't see very often on me. I'm extremely bad (not to mention lazy!) at doing my hair but these curls were quite simple and easy. After showering and washing my hair I turned a high ponytail into two braids and made a knot of them. I let the braided bun stay like that for almost 24 hours and the next day I had curls. In the pictures the curls have gotten a little loose already, as these were taken in the afternoon.

The skirt I bought from Trang's sister Thao as it didn't fit her properly. For me it's the perfect fit and I'll try to get better pictures of it soon. These don't do much justice.

Even if my pictures are always more or less serious, I have been quite happy lately. Today I signed the lease on my new apartment, and I am moving in less than two weeks.. and tomorrow I'll be starting work. Things are definitely moving forward. So in that sense, the title of the post is more than suitable.

How has your week been?

See how I matched these items before:
Shirt and shoes: Flowers in the hall

Monday, March 18, 2013

It's not just old ladies who knit

Knitted sweater, H&M print pants, the Cambridge satchel company batchel, outfit

DIY knitted pullover

DIY knitted pullover, H&M print pants

Perhaps some of you remember that I have been knitting a lot during the past six months. Those who don't, well, I love knitting. I learnt to knit when I was about 8 years old and I have been knitting on and off ever since. I started knitting again last September and the pullover in the pictures is the end result.

I must say, I'm extremely proud of myself. Last time it took me over a year to finish a scarf (that ended up being way too wide so I made it an almost perfect square) and I still haven't finished the pair of socks I've been knitting for D. (one sock is almost done, one more to go) This time, it took me about six months to finish the pullover. I didn't knit all the time and there were periods of time when I was knitting other things but in the end, I finished it. Definitely makes me appreciate all those pullovers my grandmother has made me.

The pullover is truly perfect for these cold days. It's 100% wool, no synthetic fibres and it's obvious. It's so warm and soft, it doesn't itch and while it's warm enough to keep me from freezing in -15 degrees, it doesn't get too warm indoors either. I'll definitely be bringing this to NL next time I visit, finally a pullover to last me through those winds. The only downside is the fluffiness of the wool.

I love the look of the pullover too. I chose a more lively yarn on purpose, because this being the first pullover I have ever knitted, there were bound to be some minor mistakes and thanks to the yarn, it's not that visible. The model of the pullover is actually meant for men, but I wanted it to hang a little lose and add some laid-back fishermen sort of vibe to my wardrobe. I can combine the pullover with pretty much anything from dresses and skirts to jogging pants and it looks great.

The pullover required almost 6 balls of yarn (each 100 grams) so it cost me about 80 euros in total. (excluding the pins) Can't know for certain but I think that in total I spent well over 50 hours knitting. It was a lot of work and a lot time but the result is a quality pullover that should last for years to come. Not to sound too devout but it did teach me the value of handmade garments and traditional skills. A well-made piece of clothing that has been made using high quality materials does cost you more but you won't be disappointed. Clothes should be an investment and you should pay more attention the quality than what it says on the label.

Quality over quantity.

Other related posts:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Interior decor ideas: living and sleeping area

Interior decor ideas for a combined living and sleeping area
4. H&M, 5. H&M 6. H&M, 7. H&M, 8. H&M , 9. Ikea
10. Ikea, 11., 12. Ikea, 13. Ikea, 14. Ikea

In my previous post I announced the exciting news about my new apartment. I also warned you that there will be a lot of interior decorating on my blog and here we have the first interior decorating themed post of all the posts to come.

As I'm not rich and my parents won't be decorating my apartment, I will have to get most of the furniture second-hand. Luckily my aunt and her boyfriend are moving out of their apartment, back to my grandparents for some time, until they can find another small apartment to suit their needs, so I will be getting some things from them, at least for the time being. I also already have some things that might come in hand. D is happy to purchase things too, as he will be benefitting from them as well when he moves to Finland.

The lamp on my inspiration board resembles a lot the ceiling lamp I already have. I had it in my old room at my parent's place and when I moved to my grandparents' two years ago, I brought it with me. So I will definitely have a round lace ceiling lamp in my apartment.

D and I can't agree on a bed. As my apartment is only a little over 3 meters (about 9 feet 10764 inches) wide, I don't want a huge double bed to take over the entire living area. A sofa bed would be the most logical choice, since some seating would be useful for when I invite people over. However, sofa beds aren't the most comfortable beds available so we have been considering getting a real double bed. I'd be happy with 140x200cm (standard double size bed) but D thinks that it's too small. He wants a 160x200 cm (queen size) bed. Mind you, neither of us is really that wide so I don't get the point. According to D, a 20 cm (about 8 inches) difference won't be the end of the world but in a small apartment, 20 cm might result in not being able to place anything on the opposite side of the room because there would be no space to walk around. But if in the end we manage to agree on a bed, we will probably get a cute headboard wall decal like the one in the picture. Real iron frame beds are quite expensive so I love the idea, even if I say so myself.

I actually already own the bed sheets in the picture, D and I got them as a Christmas present from my grandparents.

Pillows are such an easy and inexpensive way to spice up the room. As long as I'll be living on my own for the most part, I'll definitely be creating a more feminine feel to my home with pink, sequins, sparkle, lace and what not. My home is supposed to represent my style and until D moves in, or we move to a different place together, I won't be hiding my love for all things pink and sparkly.

As you know, I love knitting, and as soon as I'm done with all my other projects, I might knit (or even learn to crochet!) a blanket like the one in the picture.

I'm so happy that my aunt loves mirrors as much as I do. I had been considering buying the big Ikea mirror either new or second-hand but as it turns out, my aunt has the same one and she is very happy to let me have it for the time being. Saves me money and saves them (and my grandparents) storage space. It's a win-win situation for everyone.

Usually I like sleeping in dark rooms so dark curtains would seem like an obvious choice but dark and heavy curtains would make my apartment look so much smaller. There's only one (big) window so light curtains are the smartest choice. The lace curtains in the picture are from Ikea but my mum might have simple white curtains hanging around somewhere. At least in the beginning I'm happy to accept any donations to save my little money. I'll upgrade when my budget allows me to.

My parents have an old dining table, much like the one in the picture, stored somewhere and I'll be getting that one. It's a nice table and it should match the wooden floors quite well.

Not sure how smart it is for me to get any real plants, as I tend to forget to water them, but I think I'll manage one or two plants. I'm also thinking of growing my own herbs, and the cute little greenhouse from Ikea would be perfect. Of course, it's not the first thing on my list, but it's cute.

I will be getting two chairs matching the dining table and that's about the amount I need on a daily basis, but for when I have guests, some fold-up chairs would be nice. These chairs from Ikea are quite price-y for my budget at the moment but perhaps I can find them second-hand. (on a side note, I hate how messily I added the picture to the board... but can't be bothered to fix it anymore)

Fairy lights are such a cliche at the moment, considering the amount of fairy light pictures I can find on weheartit and the like but I'll risk being cliche because I think they are so cute. I might feel different in a few years but who cares!

Among other things I'll be getting from my aunt, is a bean bag chair. The one I'll be getting (or holding for them) is not as dark as this one though, it's more of a light-brown colour. Not the most comfy choice of seating, but it saves me from having to buy a sofa chair or something like that, and it's better than sitting on the floor.

A lot of mix and match, just like the clothes I wear, but I'll take the challenge gladly. Getting everything right away would be a little boring, now I'm forced to use my imagination and creativity. The bed is the only problem at the moment, but if I can't come up with anything else, my aunt has a bed that should last me until D comes to Finland and we can go bed shopping. (I already feel sorry for the salespeople at Ikea or wherever we head for mattresses and such)

Can you tell I've been nesting ever since I heard the news?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Let the adventure begin

Holly Golightly's apartment Breakfast at Tiffany's

Holly Golightly's kitchen drinking milk from a champagne glass in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Holly Golightly's vanity table Breakfast at Tiffany's
picture credit:

Last time I wrote a more personal post was when things weren't working out the way I would've liked. This time however, it seems like I have finally found the right path and good things are coming my way. First of all, I got a job! Sure, it's a part-time cashiering job but it's a start and a possibility to set my own schedule. Then, the most incredible thing happened.

I am moving to my own little shoebox apartment in the beginning of next month. Less than three weeks to go.

My future home might be small and not situated in the city centre but I don't think a penthouse in an old 1910s building could make me happier than my little shoebox does. Got to start somewhere and at this stage of my life, a little studio apartment is all I need.

The thought of living on my own is very exciting. My initial reaction to the news was pure joy but soon it was changed to freaking out. Change is always a little scary and I've been worried about everything from beds to finances. Now I'm getting excited again and I've been browsing IKEA catalogue and such almost non-stop. You can expect a lot of interior decorating themed posts in the near future.

As good as this all is, the timing isn't the best. I should be putting all my time and energy into studying for my entrance exams but with all this excitement and meetings and training I've been doing for my job, I have barely opened my study book this week. Definitely not good as I need to know the book and the other study material by heart by early June, preferably earlier. Last year only 10-11% of the people who took the entrance exam got accepted. The pressure is on, but I'm ready to face it. Unlike last year, I'm actually motivated to do my best.

Why Breakfast at Tiffany's? Other than the fact that it's my favourite movie, I somehow feel like my own little Breakfast at Tiffany's adventure is starting to happen. Sans the call-girl looking for a rich husband part, and I'm afraid I won't get a cat. I'm no runaway teenage bride either. (and D isn't a kept man) But I will be looking for my own place in the world, trying to make the ends meet, dreaming of a place where I will feel safe. (not to mention that my little apartment will probably filled with mix and match thrift-store finds and hand-me-downs just like Holly's is) Too bad there's no Tiffany & Co store in Helsinki. However, I will drink milk from a champagne glass.

So there's the reason why it's been a little quiet on my blog. Big changes require a lot of processing but now my head is a little lighter again and I can get back to blogging and cramming for the exams. Good news for a change.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Checkers and tulips

Men's shirt with a tulip skirt

Men's shirt with a tulip skirt

A funny thing about this outfit: only the shoes were bought by me. The rest is donations and borrowed. This sort of mix and match is very dear to me, I get to use my imagination.

I wore the outfit to a job interview on Tuesday and while my mother thinks the skirt is too short, I thought it was doable with the otherwise prim look. The shirt is actually my brother's, he was kind enough to borrow it to me when I couldn't find anything to wear.

The skirt I got from Trang. Orange isn't really my colour but combined with other colours it's not too bad. I think I pulled it off rather nicely.

This week my life has been all about reading and stuffing my face with candy. Okay, I did have the job interview on Tuesday, and I'm quite hopeful about it, but other than that, losing my public transportation card has been the most remarkable event this week. Luckily that's about to change because today I'll be going to town to get a new transportation card, and to buy the new expansion pack for the Sims 3... and I'll be meeting Maria for a coffee too! Tomorrow I get to spend the whole day with my littlest brother and it should be fun because he isn't sick this time. A trip to the library is in order perhaps... and the playground too, depending on the weather.

How has your week been?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's in my make-up bag?

I love doing my make-up. It's so much fun to accentuate the good features and hide the not-so-good. However I can go outdoors and see my friends without feeling the need to do my make-up. I have no problem posting make-up free pictures of myself here on my blog. Make-up makes me feel prettier and more confident but some days I couldn't care less about it.

When I buy make-up I tend to buy things recommended to me by friends or by other bloggers. Make-up can be so expensive at times and if the product doesn't prove to be worth the money... well, I'll get extremely annoyed. So I try to stick to products others have tested for me, even though I still wind up disappointed every now and then. Things that work for others might not work for me.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with foundation. Usually they are the wrong shade, they feel too caked on the skin, they aren't good for my skin etc.  Currently I'm using Diorskin Nude by Dior in the lightest shade (Ivory 010) and it's pretty much the perfect match to my own skin tone. I'll probably stick to this one for the rest of my life. (or at least as long as they manufacture it) I also use a highlighter/concealer, my current one is True Match Touche Magique by L'Oreal. I got it as a freebie from somewhere and I've been using it even though it isn't the perfect shade for me. It's a tad too yellow but it's doable. We'll see which one I get once this one is finished.

I'm not as picky with my mascaras as I'm with foundation etc. I got the Extra Super Lash Mascara by Rimmel as a freebie and I could actually consider buying it when I need a new mascara. The Chanel mascara I got from Trang, because it's brown and not water-proof. I quite like it though, it's perfect for those natural looks. A lash curler is a must for me, otherwise my lashes will stick to my glasses.

Considering that I love eyeliners, I haven't invested much in proper eye-liner products. I have tried so many eyeliners: liquid, gel and what not, yet I haven't found the perfect one. My current liquid eyeliner is from Primark and I got it as a Sinterklaas gift. It works surprisingly well, it's easy to apply but it gets a little dry and cake-y. Luckily it doesn't flake as bad as many other products I have tried. The black kohl pencil is by BeYu, a cheap German make-up brand. It's not too bad, even though it does smudge a little. I also use a white kohl pencil by We Care Icon, which is a Finnish household brand for one of the biggest Finnish department stores. It works well enough and it was quite cheap. Nothing extraordinary.

Ever since I learnt to do my make-up somewhat properly, I've been a fan of subtle eyeshadows. For a long time I kept on switching brands, looking for the perfect one until D got me the Naked 2 palette by Urban Decay. I truly love it, except for a couple shades and I can't imagine how I did without it.

I love Dior lipsticks and I would love to get more of them. I usually start by applying some vaseline (brand doesn't matter) and then I apply lipliner (also by Dior) and then lipstick. My go-to lipstick is Rouge Dior in Ara Red (999) but when I want to get a little more vampy look, I choose for the Dior Addict Extreme in Sunset Boulevard (829). I'm dying to get a lovely pink shade for spring and summer and I'd love to get the infamous Dior Addict lip glow.

Finally, there's my only perfume. I'm not a perfume-lover, as scents give me migraine but I got a sample of Nuit Pour Femme by Hugo Boss at the Vogue Fashion's Night Out in Amsterdam and I found myself liking it a lot. I actually liked it so much that I decided to buy it too! So whenever I go out of the house or even when I just feel like I want to be more glamorous, I add a whiff of the perfume.

Of course I have some other tidbits in my make-up bag but these are the products I mostly use. This post was not sponsored by anyone (I can only dream of being sponsored by Dior... that's the stuff dreams are made of!) and I am only sharing the links so you can find out a little more about the products in case you get curious.

What's in your make-up bag and are there any products you'd recommend to me?

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