Monday, December 24

hyvää joulua!

Happy holidays!

Hope you all have a nice and relaxed holiday full of good things.

Saturday, December 22


On the darkest day of the year it was actually sunny here in Eastern Finland. I'm at my parents' for Christmas. No photos though, I was lazy and didn't go out. Instead I've been knitting a lot and sleeping enough for a change. The white hyacinth in my old room is in full bloom. Getting ready for Christmas...

Thursday, December 20

mr snowman

Hey Mr Snowman, where are you going?

I'm going to the North Pole to visit my friend the Polar Bear.

Hurry up so you won't melt!*

*The newspapers tell there will be a white Christmas only in Lapland. Right now it's above zero in the whole country.

Yesterday was another busy but happy day. My sister sings in a choir and they had a concert last evening. It was held in the Church of St Lawrence in Vantaa (real close to Helsinki), and it was nice to get to see the church as well - it dates back to 15th century and is really beautiful. The concert was good and it was nice to meet my brother-in-law's parents briefly.

After the concert I whipped up Mr Snowman for my nephew. Last year, when he was still a baby, I thought it'd be nice to make him a Christmas ornament every year, so when he's old enough to really get excited about Christmas, he'd have a small collection of ornaments all his own. However, last year I was feeling pretty miserable and dead tired right before Christmas, so the ornament idea didn't lead anywhere. I'm not promising annual ornaments, but I also bought him a stuffed mushroom ornament by Maileg. Cheating, I know, but I happened to see some Maileg ornaments in a florists', and they're really cute.

I've been thinking of making a different kind of hot air balloon for my nephew's room one day, and that plus seeing this inspired me. I made the top hat with the instructions at The Small Object. I'm fairly pleased, though maybe the ball should be something else than polystyrene - it has so many dents already, I wonder what it'll look like later.

Mr Snowman has a present for the Polar Bear with him.

The photos are best I could do without daylight - didn't have time to take photos today, although it was nice and sunny. Maybe I'll get better photos of Mr Snowman after Christmas...

Tuesday, December 18

cookie tuesday

I spent the weekend mostly sleeping. I felt slightly bad about it, as I have lots to do, but then I reminded myself I'm officially on a break. Funny how hard it is sometimes to just relax, even after waiting the break for so long! Anyway, now I'm finally in Helsinki, for a couple of days, and hope to see as many friends as I can.

Right now I'm baking cookies to give as presents for friends. I think I got the idea from Amy of angry chicken* (though I'm not as ambitious as she is and do not attempt to bake more than one kind of cookies, and do not have that many people to bake cookies for) last year. I like to give small gifts to friends, and cookies are perfect: suitable for student budget and you can't really go wrong with edible gifts, I think.
Last year I made cookies with dates, this year it's chocolate & chilli cookies. They're super delicious, which has probably something to do with the amount of chocolate that goes into the dough. :) I think I should've added more chilli powder though... (Well, I had to have a taste so I know if they're good, didn't I?)

Just took the last batch from the oven. Now I've got dozens of cookies to pack, so I gotta run!

*By the way, did you see those funny gift tags she made?
And I love Camilla's tags - I'm dying to use them, but I haven't got a chance to use a printer here.

Thursday, December 13

more frost

From the bus stop - didn't have time for better photos, 'cause there's my bus coming. :)

Today was a lovely, frosty day. I dragged myself out of bed and went to the last meeting of our English to Finnish translation course, and walked back home just after the sunset. Took a lot of photos, but alas, many of them are crap because there was not enough light for my poor Canon. (I'm dreaming of a new, better camera, but only dreaming a the moment...)

I've been waiting for this week to be over since it began, 'cause it means the end of the semester. Sure I still have tons to do (especially now I couldn't take all of the exams this week), but I plan to do nothing study-related next week. I'll do Christmassy things instead, like bake a ton of cookies to give away. Sorry to spoil the surprise for you, friends who are possibly reading this! :)

Let's see if we get a white Christmas this year. When I was a kid I didn't ever think of the possibility of there not being snow by Christmas, and that's why it's still a part of a proper Christmas for me. Though in the past few years there hasn't been much of it even in Eastern Finland where my parents live. Well, maybe I wouldn't mind green Christmas so terribly if there would be few sunny hours and frost, like today. That I can live with. Grey clouds and rain, not so much.

Wednesday, December 12


Kind of crazy that this was taken a week after the photos in the previous post!

Sunday, December 9

tampere on a cold december day

Thursday was independence day here in Finland, so I had four days of which I meant to use effectively. Unfortunately the flu attacked with a vengeance, so I haven't done much. I have four exams next week (I meant to use the weekend studying for those) so I might continue being quiet... But after that I'll try to stop whining about the flu and blog about more cheerful things!
Here are some photos from last Wednesday. It was a lovely day, a bit chilly and the sun even came out for a little while. Sadly the snow is gone now.

There are a lot of buildings in Tampere city centre which have formerly been some kind of factories or mills. Nowadays there's only one cardboard mill working. When I first moved here I found it really odd there's a mill in the middle of the city! I do like all the old industrial buildings though, I think they are really beautiful. I wish people would think of beauty when designing modern factories, too...

Tuesday, December 4


From my window today. It snowed last night and today. I wish the snow would stay, but we'll be getting some rain later this week.

After lots of sleep I'm feeling a bit better, so I walked to the post office in the evening. It looked quite Christmassy with all the lights and snow.

Becky, these are especially for you and your family. :)

Monday, December 3

more from the weekend

A certain someone I know really likes cars.

I'm feeling pretty crappy, got a cold coming - all those clementines didn't help, after all. Even my new comfort food no. 1, Mövenpick's creamy caramel yoghurt, didn't help. Watching The Queen on dvd helped a bit though (Helen Mirren is amazing!) - since one of our teachers had recommended the film, I told myself spending the evening in bed watching it was almost like studying.

Sunday, December 2

greetings from helsinki

Edit. It's best to click on the first photo so you'll see it...

J and I shared the biscuit and I broke it in half before I thought of taking a photo. Nevertheless, I like the way how the shape of the biscuit is repeated in my latte...