Näytetään blogitekstit, joiden ajankohta on 2016.

Independent Finland 99 Years

Having been born in Finland I am one of the few lucky ones on this planet who has had the best sort of starting blocks for life. Today my country celebrates its 99th year of complete and unquestionable Independence so I think it’s time to note some basic points about this extraordinary country. The truth is that if I had been born in some other country, whatever other country, my life would have been very much different, and probably not in a positive way.
Finland has belonged under great kingdoms and empires but still the Finns have always held on to their own language, own culture, and their own way-of-life. And because of that my country has been able to rise from the ashes of the crumbling Russian Empire, civil war, two World Wars and multiple recessions. It is a big country with a very small population, but still it has been able to keep its independence for this long and will probably continue to do so no matter what the future brings.    

Finland is not officially part of Scandin…

Christmas Market in Tallinn, Estonia

Another November is behind us, the most devastatingly lame month of the year is over! And that means that Christmas is literally on our doorsteps. A little comfort is brought into the crushing darkness all-day everyday by Christmas lights twinkling in people’s windows and at the markets. The Central European Christmas markets are world-famous but what about doing things differently this time and visiting a proper Northern atmosphere with genuine Christmas treats like glögi (aka mulled wine, a better option for the hot wines served in the South) and traditional Christmas tarts shaped like stars with plum jam. Finland has recently brushed up its game when it comes to Christmas markets and there are all kinds of performances and handicrafts on sale. But they are still missing an enormous beat: Christmas markets are all about good food and drink! So, while Finland contemplates whether serving alcoholic glögi in their Christmas markets will ruin the country completely or not you might want…

Christmas Present Roulette

It’s here! December and the 24 days when you are allowed to start with a chocolaty breakfast! I could list dozens of positive points that spring to my mind about this last month of the year but this is also probably the most stressful month for those families where Christmas celebrations include giving presents. It’s not always easy to come up with something to buy your parents or siblings who are also already adults and who are not in need of anything particularly. Buying useless gifts especially at a time like this when our over-consumption of all resources is threatening our own lives gives me shivers. I want the recipient to feel content when they open the packet rather than indifferent; "Oh, another candle, this time purple..."

I don’t believe in this wasteful consumption where people just go and buy whatever for their family and friends and after Christmas all those items end up in Ebay or back to the store. I have personal experience of this, and not particularly posit…

Christmas Crazyness: Decoration Overload

When starting to plan my flat's makeover in regards to a Christmas look, I straight away knew that the best place to start from, when looking for ideas and inspiration, is my parents' place! They have 30 years' worth of Christmas knick-knacks, baubles, glittery stars, candle holders, Santa figurines from all decades starting from the 80's. Since my money situation hasn't improved much since I announced the Project Bedroom open I decided to start small and find some decoration items from home rather than buying my own. 

So, when I went home for a week I ransacked their closets and drawers looking for something, anything, that would catch my eye. I have an eye for outfits but with interior design I am still trying to find myself and my taste, so I count on my instinct: if I see something that makes me go "oh, how about that one?!", it's a good place to start. With Christmas decoration, though, it's easier: I believe that nothing succeeds like excess …

Details at Home

It's amazing what a boost a piece of new furniture can bring! Lately I have been extremely down. I knew when I moved here that Autumn and Winter will probably be a completely shit time for me but still it surprised me how badly it has affected me. It was really cold for October and it's only 3rd November and Estonia is already engulfed in never-ending snow storm. On top of that my only colleague has been working from abroad for a month so I have been completely alone, which is bad... It's really really bad! Thankfully I have had friends visiting every now and then but after two weekends alone at home I really struggled to find anything positive about each day. But then, finally, my brother brought me a new, proper couch and all of a sudden my flat looks like a real adult apartment!

I've loved my apartment no matter how shabby and unfinished it has looked with the tiny, red wine-soaked, white sofa which left a lot of empty space unused in the living room. But now that th…

Things That Make Me Happy Right Now

Lately Estonia has been covered under a thick layer of depressing gray clouds day and night. Darkness arrives earlier every night and it is already really cold for October, it even snowed yesterday morning! Since there are only couple days a week when I am required to be in the office I have started taking a lot of home office to be able to sleep longer. And I also want to avoid going out into the coldness as far as I can. This means that my weekends have sort of stretched to three days long and all of those three days I just lie on the couch either staring at my laptop or TV... I can't remember when I have felt so useless and as if there is absolutely no point to my life anymore. Even if somebody asks me for a drink or whatever I take one look out of the window, see the depressing clouds and people walking with thick hoods drawn over their faces and I return to the sofa... But I am not yet completely defeated! There are still some things that brighten my days in addition to the k…

What I Learned From Being a Broke, Unemployed Graduate

It’s a common joke in Finland that people who graduate from Universities graduate to be unemployed. Unfortunately more often than not this is very true. In my case as well as many other cases. I had a job when I was nearing graduation but in the end if I wanted to graduate by Christmas 2012 I had to finish my thesis and in order to do that I had to sacrifice a lot more time to the research and writing. So I quit a job as a sales assistant in a clothing store. Thankfully I already hated the job a lot, so quitting it wasn’t a big shock, moreover it was a positive thing.

So, I graduated and after New Year had gone by I found myself “standing on nothing”. At that moment it didn’t much matter because I still had plans. And money left in my savings account to realize these plans, like going to Paris for a long weekend. But after the trip the harsh reality started setting in when I had to start applying for all sorts of jobless benefits and proving to all kinds of entities that I really was j…

Friends Visiting: Formula for a Successful Weekend

I love having friends over. Whether for a weekend or just for one night, I love hosting and everything that comes with it. A big part of hosting are the preparations; cleaning, cooking, arranging. As a project manager this is a very natural state for me to be in, organizing. This weekend my best friend is coming over to relax and for a girly weekend. The only plan we have is a table booked for Saturday evening in Kaks Kokka and that there will be shopping. I always want people to feel as much at home as they can and it all starts with preparations.

I always start from cleaning. Vacuum, wipe the dusts, do the dishes, change the sheets and clean the bathroom. Once upon a time I wondered what was the point of cleaning before a party because you will have to clean up the day after properly anyway. But the truth is that nobody would feel at home coming to a place where every surface is covered in dust and there are clothes hanging everywhere and dishes in the most imaginative places, like t…

Autumn in Ruissalo National Park

After a very slow summer things have gotten quite hectic at work, on top of which my colleague is working from another country until the end of October. Most of our communication is done through Watsapp, and since text messages don't have expressions or a tone of voice, sarcasm doesn't always work in text form when you are rushed off your feet anyway. Communication difficulties on top of multiple projects and huge recruiting campaigns (in a language I am not fluent enough in) have caused a lot of stress which has come out as a lot of bickering and arguing. And I don't want to argue with my colleague, we're supposed to get on, which has added another level of stress. I must say, I am rather good at stressing out, so I was in serious need of a break. And as if Tallink was thinking along the same lines they had put boat tickets into a very nice sale last week and I got a Tallinn-Helsinki-Tallinn cruise for 30€. Unheard of! So weekend at home it was.

I didn't even tell …