Pelago

When my husband decides he is ready to buy something, he does his research, and roughly 6-18 months later, he decides to buy. With this kind of decision making, it can be assured that the product is worth the investment, and the patience. So when he told me about getting a Pelago, I was astonished by his proactive interest.

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To set the record straight, I am a bike enthusiast. I do not consider myself an expert, but I do get all the butterfly feelings when there is a little grease on my hands after a long ride, checking out other bikes in the streets, and like this day, when my husband and I were standing in the Pelago store as owners of our very own Pelago bicycle. Never before had I been so excited to hold an owners manual.

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For anyone interested in bikes, or Nordic design, the Pelago flagship store is a wonderful must see. Located on Kalevankatu, there you can find their sweet little set up with retail merchandise and bikes, and around back are the maintenance and mechanics. The building is classic, historic and compliments the detail and effort put into each and every product.

Now we just need to find the perfect rustic old crate to attach to the front. Once we do, running errands around town will never be the same. They say you shouldn’t conform to others standards, but when the standard is this gorgeous design blended with adding elegance to an otherwise mundane commute, why not jump on the bandwagon? I do not see myself ever driving a car again, so adding a traditional ride like this to our little family collection feels like the perfect way to cruise around on a Sunday.

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By the way, we named her Ruska, which is the Finnish word for autumn foliage. 🍂

Sushi Date Night

Today while my husband and I scrambled through the internet hunting for dinner recipes to inspire our weekly meal planning, I finally decided to give up and call for a date night!

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Located in one of the more beautiful buildings in the neighborhood, Sushibar + Wine is my favorite spot to go enjoy a meal. While they do have multiple locations throughout the city, I am biased, and adore the Punavuori location.

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The inside is something between a pop-up gallery, local design shop, and Scandi interior heaven. Before you even get a bite to eat there is already something to gaze upon to feast your eyes.

For dinner, we had the three rolls from the Maki menu, Spicy Tuna, Shitaki Thai, and the new Cold Smoked Shake Maki roll. I have never had mushrooms in a sushi roll before but I was beyond impressed. No surprise though since I have been digging ‘shroom recipes for about a year now.

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Visits to Sushibar + Wine are far and few between, but every time I leave it is always with 100% satisfaction.  The vibe is perfect inside, even for a Monday night date. I hope to convince my husband of more dates in lieu of grocery shopping. Even if it is only for the summer, it is nice to enjoy the neighborhood and soak up all the fun.

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Galaxy Pod Reykjavík

To conclude my solo journey around Reykjavík, I finished my days at the Galaxy Pod Hostel. After I packed all my things, I left Three Sisters Guest House, said farewell to my host and friend Thor, and began the 2.5-kilometer walk towards my newest accommodation. An easy trek considering luck was on my side and all I had to do was walk down the same street for 30 minutes. Through the tourist attractions and “gift shop district” of the old town, I slowly made my way. Passing the city to my right and to my left, through each intersection, the breathtaking views of the Icelandic geography.

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The hostel was easy to find since it is in a large developed area and my directions involved little to no complications. There I dropped off my bags and went out to do some more exploring before my 2pm check-in. Fortunately, this was one of the better days to be outside weather-wise, and I was also doing well with my budget, so I treated myself to a lunch at a restaurant and passed the time writing in my journal. After picking up a couple snacks from a grocery across the road, I returned to the hostel to check-in.

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Prior to this moment, I had no idea what to expect from hostel life, but after a little coaching from a well-traveled friend and seasoned hostel hopper, I felt mentally prepared for what to expect. Fortunately I got incredibly lucky at Galaxy Pod. As far as first experiences go, this one takes the cake! The staff was exceptionally kind and helpful. They offered discounted breakfasts and dinners all while there was a fully equipped kitchen to host any other meal planning needs you may have. With a fully stocked bar and a movie playing almost every night in the common room, I started to feel like I was in college again.

For the Zenon fans, this is what I imagined living on the main space station would be like in the year 2049. My personal pod was in a room of 24, but for others interested in trying, there are a variety of room options to choose from varying in sizes and privacy.

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In moments of needed solitude or travelers exhaustion, it is nice to go into the pod, with no windows and really absorb the moment of rest. While the world keeps turning, it feels like the human version of recharging. While the pods are not soundproof, it is still quite cozy to take off your outerwear, tuck into the pod, close the door and get a good nap, or just watch a movie on Netflix. Whichever your version might be of recharging, this little space makes you feel like once you are ready to emerge, you will have arrived in a future universe.

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I really enjoyed taking a few hours to myself in the pod during the days to rest or wait out bad weather only to arise at 10pm just in time to catch sunset pictures! At the end of the day, it was nice to enjoy the common area as well, take advantage of the happy hour special, and just watch the clouds pass through the mountains. Galaxy Pod is a special place, and I am forever a fan of this efficient accommodation service. Since returning from my trip, I have since seen pod style hostels and hotels from all around the world. So even if your plans are not taking you to Iceland this summer, be sure to check out if there will be a pod in your destination of interest. And if you are going to Reykjavík don’t forget to look for my tag on the community wall at Galaxy Pod!

 

Three Sisters Guesthouse Reykjavík

Located near the Old Harbor district in Reykjavik Iceland, the quaint space of Three Sisters Guesthouse offers a homely accommodation for any weary traveler. As I made my way to the city center from the airport, still flooded with adrenaline after arriving in 33mph winds, I am anxious to meet my host and see where my journey abroad will begin. My connection with Three Sisters came on a whim, but I was eager to know more about the guesthouse as the opportunity grew closer.

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My husband, just over 2,000 miles away, is in Helsinki, and I am on my own traveling solo for the first time since we got married in 2015. My emotional levels ranging from a sense of vulnerability to a peaking awareness of independence. After getting from the plane to the bus, to the van, to the front door of Three Sisters Guesthouse, I am greeted by the kindest face a tired traveler can see! Thor, the owner of the facility, greeted me as family and escorted me to my room on the third floor. Although I have never been there before, somehow space felt familiar. As if walking into your Grandparents home only to sleep in what once in time was your own parents’ bedroom.

 

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In the entryway was the coat rack and bathroom and just passed that in the corner was a kitchen and opposite to that was a small coffee bar. Past the bed, on the opposite side of the room, two wing back chairs framed the coziest view of the neighboring corner store. Thor sat down with me on the wingback chairs and we talked about my travels, his company, and our spouses. As if visiting a relative I havent seen in a long time, it was comforting and easy to talk.

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Then all at once, I was alone, abroad, and amazed at the situation I found myself in. Gazing out the window of the overcast neighborhood, I wondered what the week ahead would have in store. First and foremost a meal was in my near future, since I was traveling on a budget groceries were needed. The following few days would be filled with window gazing and neighborhood wandering.

What started out as a spontaneous journey to the island of Iceland, turned into a surpriginly comfortable journey to a place of framiliarity. Three Sisters Guesthouse made traveling easy when every nightless night I could sit in the window ledge watching the moon and occasional pedestrian pass in the dusk light. Waiting for the streetlights to come on became an evening ritual as it would be well after midnight before the flicker of electricity would grow into a luminous light. Just enough to glow into the shadows in the sidewalk.

For anyone looking to have a cozy home away from home expereince, please consider this darling space. It truly is pleasure to stay here, and easy when all that you need is easily available in the various studio apartments to chose from at Three Sisters Guesthouse. Best of all, Thor will be your first friend in Iceland.

This post has been in collaboration with Three Sisters Guesthouse.

 

Travel Essentials

This week I am abroad on a solo journey around Reykjavík Iceland. So while I will share more detail about the city and my journey later with you on here, for now, I want to focus on my packing essentials. This trip is a seven-day expedition and without getting too cocky I feel this is my best packing job to date! When I arrived on Tuesday, the winds and rain were unlike anything I have ever experienced whilst living in the Nordic region. Much to my astonishment, I planned perfectly with exactly the right apparel to defend myself against the climate.


Some of my favorites with me on this trip include my Rains jacket for protection against wind and water. I also have my Lululemon jacket and merino wool sweater. These two together make just about any cold to freezing temperature a pleasurable experience. Also, in the essence of keeping things light, I only brought two journals and book for some paperback entertainment.


I am halfway through my trip and I could not be more pleased with how well things are going. As far as preparation is concerned, I did very little just to be sure spontaneity could be an option along the way. My best tip to share with you would be one, check the weather and prepare! And two, be honest with yourself. I am not the type to do a massive amount of wardrobe changes. So I know that I am going to wear a variation of the same outfit every day to keep mornings easy, packing light, and personal management simple. So if you’re traveling soon or planning to come to the great country of Iceland, I hope this has helped.
-xx

Summer Nights in Helsinki

Like walking on a cloud, summer air brings a sense of ease to the everyday life. When one can enjoy the simple things, sun-kissed skin, taking a nap in the grass and loving each day a little longer than the last

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Weather is a common subject on the blog, and this week is no exception. A heat wave has arrived in Helsinki, my first ever to witness, and the change it has made is astounding. When I step outside, the air smells different, the vibe feels foreign, like I have traveled to a new country, right in my own backyard.

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The feeling of the Twilight Zone in full effect, the characters in this series changed overnight from coldly detached pedestrians to sunbathing babes in barely cover anything bikinis. For the first time in a year and a half, I bought a new bottle of SPF, simply because I barely used half a bottle all of last year. I was joking with someone that if Finland were like this more often, it would be more bearable to live here. This is true, simply because to me, this weather changes the city entirely. Like Anne Hathaway in the Princess Diaries, the before and after of Helsinki is transformational. It was as if spring sprung in a matter of hours.

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Best of all I had the spark of inspiration and motivation to go out and take pictures. The lush spring blooms have transformed corners of the city and I am thrilled to capture the moment.

-xx

Bee’s Wrap

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This week I want to share with you all my new favorite sustainable swap! This new piece is something I have been eyeing for months at the whole foods stores and on Instagram. It did feel a bit pricey, to begin with, but since deli culture is such a big part of my life it seemed appropriate to invest. I am so excited to keep this sustainable wrap on hand versus using the single-use crinkle plastic and paper bags provided at the stores.

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It is amazing how a little bit of quality can go a long way. Taking a moment to admire the beauty of this product, I am so obsessed with design. The fragrance of the beeswax is also a lovely addition making the moment all the more rewarding in taking produce to-go!

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As picnic season is upon us in Helsinki, I am beyond thrilled to have this little tool in my bag at all times in case of spontaneous meals outdoors. Incorporating sustainable options is so simple and only requires the discipline to be prepared. A small task when you make your sustainable supplies such a joy to keep at hand.

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If you want to know more about the brand, follow Bee’s Wrap on Instagram or check out their website here. I will be honest with you, this product had me so excited I bought a 3-pack for my mom for Mothers Day. There are loads of other products similar to this brand, and to be honest any of them would be a great step towards using less plastic. My mission is to cultivate habits that depend on sustainability and establish a proactive attitude towards making the better decision towards avoiding single-use products.
-xx

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