Tag Archives: Finland

5 Things To Do For Free

The day to day drone of media marketing can be a daunting maze of ‘buy me’, ‘sale now’, ‘discount here!’ It seems like advertisements are constantly bombarding to get you to buy anything, at any time of day.

It is good to take time to remind yourself, that everything you are, and everything you have is ok. It is also good to remember your dollar is a vote towards the life you want to live, and the community which you want to live in, so by not spending, that shows you value your bottom line. Happiness doesn’t always have to be inspired by a purchase, and a purchase definitely should have any control over the way you live.

With this in mind, I have collected 5 things to do without spending a dime. Leave the wallet at home, no need to grab any spare change, everything on my list is for you to do on your own, no transaction necessary!IMG_5298.jpg

First up is to shop your wardrobe. We have all heard the phrase about retail therapy. And while you might be saving up for the special something in the store, you do not need to fill your weekends with endless shopping trips for random objects. One of my favorite things to do is dive into my wardrobe and start mixing and matching. The hours pass brilliantly as you try on old favorites, play with different combinations, and have some fun dressing up.

 

The second task on the list is to take a book. I suggest a proper book, so no online screens where any submissive adverts can slip through. Just you doing you with some analog entertainment. I keep my reading material on constant rotation by frequenting my local library.

IMG_5345.jpg

IMG_5362.jpg

Third to do is the ever classic, exercise! So many times I fall into the trap of wishing I had the trendy gym membership or browsing athletic equipment for the newest props, but actually, all of that is just bogus! You can get your workout without any props required. Plus, we all know that endorphins make you happy!

IMG_5366.jpgNext up, and one of my favorites, is to go on a photo mission. Originally I heard about this kind of activity through watching Youtube and people vlogging about ‘Instagram Missions’, but whether you post the picture to share or keep it for yourself, it is a great activity. Take the opportunity as an excuse to get outside and explore your neighborhood. No matter if you are using your phone, a DSLR, point and shoot, or just nostalgic for some film photographs, this is a classic activity. Enjoy your life while searching for those moments of joy to capture forever in a photograph.

 

IMG_5398.jpg

Similar to the previous tip, the fourth is on the creative side of life. Take a journal and draw something, or make a list if you’re like me and that gives you thrills. Even if the list is for groceries or next seasons wishlist for your closet, taking the time to be conscious about what you consume can help alleviate some of the anxieties from spending.

IMG_5449.jpg

 

Last on the list of freebies is to take a walk with a friend. Spending quality time with someone is one of those faithful and true activities that money can’t compete with. When life feels daunting with external messages and advertising trying to influence your every move, some one on one time could be just the trick to escape that toxic environment.

IMG_5474.jpgAs I created this list and then lived it on a Saturday afternoon, I spend the day listening to a new, and favorite, album by Troye Sivan. So a bonus tip for all of you reading is to make a playlist. Explore new music, or dig deep into the archives to pull out some of the old favorites. Incorporate this tip with any of the previously listed activies.

However, you chose to spend your time, keep in mind it doesn’t require you to spend any money at all! So maybe you spent a little too much money on vacation last month, and you’re trying to save this month. Maybe you want to incorporate this routine into your weekly schedule, say a ‘Spend-less Sunday, that is perfect too. The point of the matter is money can buy things like shelter and nutrition, but you have the power to create your own entertainment and happiness.

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.

IMG_5125.jpg

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.

IMG_5191.jpg

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.

IMG_5167.jpg

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

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

IMG_4436.jpg

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.

IMG_4396.jpg

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.

IMG_4424.jpg

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

Silja Cruise Line

A bucket list item was scratched off this week when I visited the city of Stockholm Sweden. On an overnight cruise, kindly gifted from my mother in law, I embarked on a very Finnish experience locals call “the booze cruise”. While my journey did not include as much booze as some of the other free-spirited teens, it did include breathtaking views of the sea.

IMG_3954.jpg

While spring air temperatures are still frigid, it does leave a glacial surface to the ocean water. A sight only appreciated for the chilly context in an image. While others enjoy taking a polar plunge between sauna sessions, my comfort zone will be at a distance only using my camera zoom to get in on the freezing action.

IMG_3922.jpg

From the inside of the ship, you can see small islands passing and the setting sunlight. On occasion, another ship will pass in the distance only to make for some sense of depth on an otherwise isolated journey across the Baltic Sea. Traveling has its perks, no matter what shape it comes in, and I do appreciate the views of being out on the ocean with only the wind and water to keep you on course.

IMG_4007.jpg-xx

Afternoon in the Library

Recently I became a member of the Finnish Public Library. To my understanding, my new library card allows me to have access to any library within the country. Such a large opportunity seemed overlooked my first couple years as a resident here, and I am eager to make up for lost time.

IMG_3800.jpg

The Rikhardinkatu Library is closest to my apartment. It is a beautiful building and a visual treat to explore the many halls. The spring light has returned to the city, and since there is still time before the warmth follows, these cozy corners will be my preferred place to stay. Like a cat basking in the beams of light, I receive so much pleasure enjoying these views.

IMG_3807.jpg

My first batch of books included The Collected Poems of Allen Ginsberg, You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski, and finally Hystopia by David Means. The latter is a novel and it has been an interesting change of pace for my traditional scientific sociological interest. It is a fiction piece based on American culture in the mid-west post-Vietnam war. Novels are not my favorite, but from time to time it is good to read something different from your natural attraction.

IMG_3814.jpg

Taking the time to be a member of the library has been a humbling way to grow roots deeper into the neighborhood. The benefits are plentiful in that I am able to enjoy reading without hoarding books and producing waste. This is also an opportunity to save money whilst enjoying the tangible experiences of reading. I also like the fact that I now have a cute little tangerine colored library card in my wallet. It is simple and may not add much to my resume, but to me, these little things mean the most. So I will continue to enjoy the smell of old books, watch my coffee table change from season to season with various titles, and continue to take advantage of what city life has to offer.

I made a few notes whilst sitting in the library today to prepare for this post, and I don’t believe much editing is required to express what I felt:

Although most of what fills the shelves here is foreign to my native tongue, the bones of any library can be comforting. I feel like I belong here.

-xx

Fat Ramen at Hietaniemen Halli

There is nothing better than sharing a warm meal on a cold day. In my case, a very cold week (below -20c as a matter of fact). Regardless, Fat Ramen is simply the place to be, no questions asked!

In other news, I will be spending the rest of the evening with my husband, and celebrating his 29th year. After a delicious meal and a bottle of wine, I am content and looking forward to enjoying the weekend ahead.

IMG_3602.jpg

IMG_3606.jpg

IMG_3613.jpg

Neon Lights

IMG_3348.jpg

Two corners of Punavuori are all I have to show for photo inspiration. A neon glow on a winters day.

IMG_3311.jpg

Until next week,

-xx