Post 52 of 52

To avoid cliché introductions, I am going to dive right into the meat of this post. I have now completed 52 blog posts, once a week, for an entire year. A resolution I had set for myself just over a year ago. To reiterate my feelings on resolutions, they are powerful! The beginning of a new calendar year is more often than not an emotional process for me.

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In years past, my only source of reflection and collection are the journals I keep. The retiring of an old used agenda-journal, the introduction to a fresh clean one, a lot crosses the mind. Memories or days, or weeks past, the souvenir stickers that decorate the cover, quote of inspiration that helped from the year, and water stains from days less inspirational. This year I am beyond grateful to say goodbye to 2017. Looking ahead, I mostly feel relief, because whatever may happen, I fully believe answers are on the horizon, and soon my year-long questions will be resolved.

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I embody the ability to completely engulf myself in nostalgia, for better or worse, and this blog is a great place to scroll endlessly of moments and thoughts that have come to pass. It is a modern medium far different from my analog style. The excitement is still here, I can still feel it just as I did 365 days ago.

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So for those of you who may be asking, ‘Will the blog continue?’, the answer is yes! In 2018 I will continue to upload weekly. I will continue to produce content, capture the images of my life, and write to express my passions, concerns, and interests. As for the complete vision of the new year, that is unclear. For now, I wish to ring in the New Year with my husband and focus on all that is good in the world and in my life.

xx – nasty trash

Post 51 of 52

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. In honor of that fact, I ventured out into the darkness and made some images amongst the glowing lights of the city.  To do this, a new tripod purchase was necessary. No matter how cold the temperatures may feel, you are not “freezing” enough to stand perfectly still and capture a clear image at a low ISO (I tried to deny this reality for months).

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Shooting in low ISO is new to me, but I had such a great time capturing the whirling lights of the trams and vehicles. The city was still surprisingly busy, being the last couple days before Christmas. Traffic was significant, by Finland standards. More fun than capturing the images was finding new angles to shoot from. With my new Gorillapod, I can capture images from perspectives which were not achievable before now. Plus there is the added bonus of cracking vlog jokes with my husband and doing my best Casey Neistat impersonation. Where is my Boosted Board?

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As my muse, the holiday lights keep the city bright. Although I have not technically seen the sun this week, and have not felt the warmth of its rays in months, twinkling lights keep spirits bright. This is one thing Helsinki does beautifully! With the downtown area in nearly uniform white lights, the streets feel all the more magical during this special time of year.

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This season marks my third holiday in a row here in Helsinki. To be honest, I did not know if I would stay here this long. To be even more honest, I do not know if I will endure this third winter. It is true Finns have an incredible sense of survival, even against all odds. Yet, I am not a native, and my discipline has been challenged this year. Since moving, I have found gratitude to be a critical lifeline.

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Counting blessings and maintaining personal practices and hobbies are crucial. Thus, I am beyond grateful for these images. My new tripod allows me to continue to feel the joy of creating content even when conditions are not ideal. So unless the temperatures turn too cold to keep my camera on, I will continue to capture the night.

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xx – nasty trash

Post 50 of 52

IMG_2401.jpgI am posting a little late today but in full festive spirit! Christmas trees have come to the city, and I have been anxiously awaiting to decorate. The inspiration struck a few weeks back to do an entire biodegradable tree. This may sound odd to some, but seasonal ornaments do not take high priority in our small studio storage.

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Biodegradable is not a term that usually pairs with Christmas. Yet, my 2018 resolution is to take conscious steps towards a zero waste lifestyle, and I want to get a jump start with the holiday season. It did not take long for my imagination to explore all the possibilities. The traditional stringing of popcorn and dehydrated orange slices to decorate are my ornaments of choice. Below the tree is a variety of recycled papers used to wrap presents.

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Although decorating a tree only takes one hand, the other hand is best used with a cocktail in it. I have been saving my new copper mugs for a special occasion. Gifted to me in a care package from my mother, what better way to get in the festive mood than with a holiday Moscow mule.

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I hope, no matter what you celebrate, that your year is coming to a humble end. May the last days of December be spent with those you love in warm places, and may the year to come be promising and bright.

Thanks for reading!

xx- nasty trash

Post 49 of 52​

December 6th, 2017 was the 100th anniversary of Finlands Independence. While I have been living here, this has been a huge celebration all year long. For those of you who may not know, here is my rendition of the celebration.

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Finns have a different mood towards December 6th, compared to other Independence Day traditions around the world. It is a solemn holiday here when citizens take time to remember those who lost their lives. Similar to Veterans Day in my home country.

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Fortunately, the centennial celebration brought a new mood. Blue and white themed the streets, shop windows, and light displays. Hundreds of thousands of people were out enjoying the day. As my third time in Finland for this holiday, it was a rather shocking detail. In years past people tend to keep to themselves. Stores close and the community stays rather quiet. I am hopeful that those traditions are in the past, and now the people have taken a new attitude to their achievement.

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Although hard times were faced so many years ago, I feel a positive celebration is what sustains progress. In my experience, celebrations bring communities together, verses mournings that tend to separate individuals. Among the fireworks, festive lights, and a whole year of pride leading up to this moment, Finland has a lot to be thankful for! As for me, I am thankful to be witness to something so special.

xx – nasty trash

Post 48 of 52

Slush has taken on a new definition since moving to Finland. In a life before Helsinki, slush was a word used to describe some sort of summer dessert. A frozen drink with “red” or “blue” flavor (because a color is a flavor). These days, it is the typical forecast for walking around town. Frozen skies meet barren streets.

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I was reluctant to go outside this morning and take pictures. The days have blurred together only to be divided by a few grey hours that separate the long 18 hour nights. As I fiddle around during my usual home routine, I watched the whipping wind out the window as snow flurries fell in every direction.

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Despite the weather, I made an honest attempt to go outside and create something. To my surprise, I was greeted by delicately frozen branches and snow-dusted roads. The magic of a winter’s snow can be forgotten far more easily than any summer memory.

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Although, as the tip of your nose begins to freeze, the urge to escape sets in. At least for the holiday season, a little crisp air and snowy scenes make the wintertime better.

xx – nasty trash

Post 47 of 52

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Last Saturday, Helsinki Metro opened its brand new metro line extending from the city center into the large suburban area of Espoo. This has been a long-awaited moment for locals after a year of delays in construction. Commuters finally get to enjoy the new and beautiful underground line.

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In true Nordic fashion, the visual design did not go without deep consideration. As you can see from the abundance of content I have this week. there was a lot to look at. My husband and I began with a morning ride to the very last stop and checking out each station on the way back to the city center.

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Each metro station had its own unique appearance, and these images are simply my favorite moments captured. What I failed to capture, but thoroughly enjoyed, was the number of families, photographers, and interested locals out and about riding the new transportation.

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At one point I turned to my husband and said, “This is one of my top favorite days in Finland, ever!” As a suburban kid, metros, subway lines, and general urban transportation still fascinates me and ignites magic movement into any city. Although, Finns do not feel this same giddy sensation about local transportation. A normal commute, at rush hour, would usually consist of a full ride and not a single sound. Everyone tends to keep to themselves or maintain whispers of a conversation. No smiles, chit chat, or excessive expressions.

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In stark contrast to that stereotype, the metro grand opening was a happy affair. A family event none the less, and one that left smiles on faces of all ages. Crowds dressed in all orange to commemorate the moment. No groups appear in this particular collection of images, but it is still a memory I will cherish of the Finnish people. Knowing the citizens of Helsinki and Espoo do truly enjoy their community amenities, and it is something of a celebration to participate in this collective experience.

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I hope you enjoyed these images as much as I enjoyed making them. To any travelers, locals, or modern marvels, the Helsinki Metro is a must see! Not only will you get a break from the frequent cold and winter winds, but it is a unique way to explore a more intimate part of the city’s veins.

xx – nasty trash

Post 46 of 52

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It is strange how you can wake up in a new mood, almost feel as if you are in a new place whilst standing in your bedroom. That’s not to say Fridays aren’t a great day, but there was something different about this morning. My energy felt good again like everything could flow naturally.

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I understand the hard times, the moments of low energy, the mood that turns into a day, a week, a month of distress. It encompasses more than a persons sleeping pattern, it affects who you see in the mirror. To be honest, sustaining positivity it is one of my biggest obstacles.

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Underlying all of that, I maintain a firm foundation in the belief that energy connects us all. Good thoughts go beyond conversations in the head. It takes work, energy flows based on the effort you put into it. Although it may feel the negative takes less effort, it could just be that it has become a habit. Any habit will feel effortless based on the theory of practice and repetition. So at first good thoughts feel like an uphill battle, but then suddenly, it happens naturally.

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Basically what I am trying to share with you this week is to keep the faith. If the energy in your life feels dull, dark, or negative, acknowledge it, and move on. All we can do in moments like that is be better in the next moment ahead. Like The Four Agreements state, simply do your best. The energy will respond accordingly.

xx – nasty trash