Tag Archives: Helsinki

Tampere – Day Trip

IMG_6971.JPGRecently I took a day trip north to the city of Tampere Finland. This came as an opportunity to meet with some of my friends who live there. It is the ideal little day trip from the city. After booking my ticket the night before with Onni Bus I was on my way the following morning before the sunrise.

To be honest this was my first ever bus trip. Traditionally I avoid the bus in Helsinki because I get carsick. This is due to the stop and go motion and it can be very unsettling. Yet, this was a long distance ride and it was a surprisingly easy journey. I enjoyed the double-decker feature and had little to no discomfort along the way (being 6ft/180cm in a small cabin seat means no leg room… ever). Yet I managed to catch up on some podcasts and enjoyed the sunrise over the Finnish countryside.

IMG_6967.jpgOnce I arrived to Tampere my plans were unclear. So I decided to just get to the closest coziest coffee shop. I have been to Tampere once before, so I had a decent understanding of the layout of the city. Forever grateful for my good sense of direction, especially while traveling. I found myself in a cozy corner at Kaffila. Where mind you, I made my entire order in almost perfect Finnish! Count your small victories friends.

IMG_6975.jpgLater I met with my Young Living Sponsor and new friend Ashley. She has been such a blessing and this trip would not have been the same without our long afternoon talk and the tour of her beautiful shared workspace with Store of Hope. Later I caught up with my colleague and new bestie for a quick lunch by the river.

IMG_6983.jpgWe were quickly rained out so we said our goodbyes and I was off the bus station to head down south again. For a quick trip, it was full over great conversations, beautiful sights, and soul filling moments. I sometimes get lost in daily routines and forget how deeply necessary these little moments away are for my mental health. While I scrambled the night before trying to organize bus tickets and itineraries it all ended up being as perfect as possible despite my worrying. Finland is a wonderful backyard to explore, and I want to make a bigger effort to see more than just my little neighborhood. My Finnish life has been a wave of up and downs the past few years, but new friends and new places make it all inspiring and worthwhile.

 

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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Q&A

I asked my husband to conduct an interview with me, these are the questions he thought to ask…

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Q: How did you get into photography?

A: My first memories of photography started when I was a child and my dad would take pictures of the family, flowers, landscapes, and vacations. So in that time, I remember the process of developing film and the mechanics of the camera. Later I got a digital camera in high school and around that time I started to use photography as a way to document moments during my travels. Nowadays, I am trying to advance my skills and overall be better at photography. It is difficult sometimes with the internet because it feels very competitive. I definitely think that little girl is still inspired by me, just trying to carry a camera around and document memories.

Q: Did the idea to start a blog come naturally to you?

A: Starting a blog was terrifying. It took me a long time and it kind of turned into one of those thoughts “I could easily do that but everyone else is doing it”, but I was still excluding myself so I don’t know, then it turned into the whole, “you can’t knock it ’til you try it”.

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Q: What is the next trip you want to do?

A:  So the next trip I want to go on, other than the one I have planned this May, is the Faroe Islands. It is a big bucket list one for me. For now, I am in the mood to travel more of the Nordic countries and see more of Scandinavia. I want to soak up this corner of the world while I am here.

Q: What city has a special place in your heart? Why?

A: Amsterdam is forever my soul mate city. It is hard to describe, I didn’t know the culture would compliment my personality so well, but it does. The architecture in the Netherlands is something that inspires me and gives me butterflies at the same time. Every day waking up there is very magical. It reminds me of a part of my life that took a lot of bravery where I cried, I laughed, I loved, and all the things that change you and make you who you are as a person. That all happened in Amsterdam.

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Q: You live in Helsinki now. What makes Helsinki weird? 

A: I think the fashion. It is not weird, because it is normal for the culture. But compared to Stockholm, Copenhagen, or other Scandinavian cultures, the fashion here is very unique. In Helsinki, it is such an underrated artsy city, you get a lot of that local design, self-expression, like the high cropped pants or the very short bob hairstyle. I tend to follow a more Scandi style, more clean street style. In our neighborhood, I have definitely seen some more funky looks. It is also warmly welcomed here. There is also no judgment about the way people carry themselves so those people could be fathers or business owners, but their self-expression is welcomed here so they can be free with their lifestyle choices. Even though Finns think they are confirmative culture, and a humble people, their self-expression can be very loud at times. That is what makes Helsinki weird and entertaining on a day to day basis.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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