Thursday, January 11, 2018

Asian TV shows & Korean cooking

I've spent the last few days doing mostly three things: substituting, watching Asian shows and cooking. The substituting has been a lot of fun so far, and the good news is that I still have a couple of more days left of doing it. Now the 'watching Asian shows' I might have to explain. I've probably mentioned here on the blog at some point that I have occasionally in the past watched Korean dramas. This summer i also watched 'Good Morning Call' which is a Netflix original based on a manga series, and the second season recently came out so I've been watching those episodes as well.

But a few days ago I read an article about three Finnish men who became TV-sensations in South Korea recently, when they appeared on a show called 'Welcome First Time in Korea". The premise of the show is that a foreigner living in Korea invites their friends over for a couple of days, they film everything they do and then there's a panel that comments on the cultural differences or the reactions of the visitors. I looked up the show and somebody had posted videos of all the Finland episodes with English subtitles, so I ended up watching all of them. Apparently people all over South Korea fell in love with the calm and respectful Finnish men, and I must agree that they gave a very positive image of Finland in the show. If you're interested in seeing what I'm talking about, you can find the episodes here!

The three guys from the Korean show: Sami, Vilppu and Ville

One of my goals for January was to not only try to cook a lot of different dishes at home, but also try some new recipes. So inspired by Asian cooking (oh man I got so hungry watching the Korean series, I felt like all they did was eat food which looked delicious), I attempted making Korean chicken. It wasn't obviously like the real deal (and I haven't actually been to Korea, I've just had the dish in England and it was soo yummy) and I don't have a deep fryer but I think it turned out pretty good anyways! And obviously I forgot to take a picture of it, by the time I was ready cooking yesterday, I was so hungry I just went ahead and ate straight away!

Here are instead other things I've been enjoying eating, like natural yogurt with honey and müsli, and homemade sweet potato soup! (and coffee, lots and lots of coffee)  




It seems as if winter has made a comeback in Turku after a pretty warm Christmas in December. I haven't had to go outside today since I had a day off, and I spent most of the afternoon prepping for the lectures I'm substituting in. I do however have to print out some stuff, so I think what I'll do is that I'll walk to the University and do that. Sometimes is actually really refreshing to go out and have a walk in the subzero weather, and afterwards, you definitely have an excuse to just curl up in a blanket for the rest of the day!

Another psostive is that it's gradually becoming lighter and lighter in the evenings. This picture was taken right before 5 o'clock yesterday - one month ago it would have looked the same a couple of hours earlier!


Monday, January 8, 2018

I haven't done this in a year

(Yes, the title is a little bit clickbaity, but in my defense, I've been watching a lot of YouTube lately)

It's Monday again, but before I go into what I'll be doing this week let me tell you how last week ended. 

On Saturday we went to my parent's house for the night and we had a nice and relaxing evening with wok and Trivial Pursuit. It was a master's edition which meant that the questions were quite hard, but I ended up getting a lot of pretty easy questions and actually won the whole game. That being said, I was pretty impressed with how I did!

On Sunday the weather was absolutely perfect - the sun was shining for the first time in what has felt like months! So me and André decided to go ice skating which we haven't done yet this winter. I have to admit that I did feel a little bit like bambi when first stepping on the ice, but after a couple of rounds I definitely got the hang of it. They also had a stand where you could buy hot beverages, which tasted wonderful after an hour out in the cold!


This week will be very exciting, because I'll be working as a substitute teacher at one of the schools where I did my teacher training! My other goal for this week is to get some work done on my thesis. It doesn't have to be a lot, I just want to start somewhere. I'm treating every small step as a victory and hopefully in the end I'll be rewarded with the biggest price - a finished pro gradu thesis!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

50% procrastination, 50% work

Happy Weekend!

The first week of January is almost over, and in some ways its been a slow start. Mostly I've just been super tired in the morning which has resulted in me laying in bed much longer than I had initially planned. I was stressing out about sleeping in when I realized it's still only the first days of January. I mean most children haven't even gone back to school, so why am I stressing? 


Besides, sleeping in doesn't mean I haven't been working. In fact, I finished the essay like I said I would (and it feels so nice to know it's done and that I don't have to think about school stuff at all this weekend), I've been going to basketball practice and I just came back from a short morning shift, so I've definitely been keeping myself semi busy.

Tea and biscuits definitely helped me in the writing process // 5000 word essays, amarite?! // This morning I wished I could've just stayed in my red jumper, it felt so cosy!

I also hung out with my friends the other night, which was super fun. We played Monopoly which I haven't played in ages, and even if I was the first one to file for bankruptcy I still enjoyed the game very much. It might also be proof that I was right in choosing to study humanities rather than economics. 

Cristel was the worthy winner this time!

Today after work I quickly went out to check some of the sales, and just bought a few fun pieces. Well, most of them are not really anything special, but I am really interested in trying the foot peeling pack. I get calluses on my feet from playing basketball, so I'm hoping this peeling pack could be the solution to making my feet as soft as a baby's skin! I'll definitely let you know if it worked once I've tried it :)


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Resolutions and what not

Good morning everybody!
(or should I say good day?)

The last two mornings I've woken up pretty late and felt super tired, and I don't know why? Usually I do that in January because I'm jet lagged after a trip but this year I obviously cannot use that as an excuse. But that doesn't mean I haven't been working! I promised myself I would finish my horror essay (yes, I'm still working on it) this week and I have about 1,500 words left. My motivation to write this essay hasn't been the greatest but I'm gonna push forwards and hopefully I'll get it done by the end of this week.

I've also been getting into a new show called The Good Place, which tells the story about Eleanor who gets into "the good place" after her death, although she probably shouldn't have. I think the show is really funny and easy to watch, the first season is available on Netflix and the episodes are really short so I basically binged it in two days. Me and André have also been watching Black Mirror and I have to say I really like the fourth season so far! The one show I'm gonna get into but haven't started yet is Liar which is a show I was recommended by a friend. Do you know of any TV series you think I should watch in 2018? 



I'm usually not big on new years resolutions but i guess it is good to set up some goals for yourself every year. So here are my resolutions for this year:

Blogging: My blogging was quite up and down this year, I did post throughout the year but in for instance November I posted three times. So this year I'll try to be more consistent!

I would let André write a blogpost but he just comes up with the wildest stories (which are definitely not true)

Thesis:
I'm determined to have my thesis ready by the end of this semester. I literally have no other courses (other than this horror essay which will get finished this week) so there is no excuse as to why I shouldn't get it done!


Trip: Me and André have been talking about going on a trip together later in the spring somewhere in Europe. This is a fun resolution, but also works as a motivator for me to finish my thesis!

Monday, January 1, 2018

First day of 2018

It's the first day of the new year and I actually feel great! 

The days leading up to New Year's Eve were pretty busy, and I spent most of my time planning, cleaning and decorating our place for the dinner party. I also tested out the avocado peeler I got from Emppu and it worked like magic. Definitely perfect for a avocado lover like me!

This New Year's I wore all black.

Speaking of decorating, I was really happy with how the table setting turned out. I had gotten a new table runner on sale, and I also used some fairy lights we got for Christmas. We put together our two tables which meant that everybody had room around the table, which was quite good since we were eleven people all together.

The only picture from last night featuring everybody!

I had asked everybody to bring something to eat or drink, so that I wouldn't have to be in the kitchen the whole day. In the end the spread was huge! I had made meatballs, pulled chicken and pigs in a blanket, and my guests brought homemade bread and focaccia with hummus (which was heavenly btw) and olive tapenade, homemade pizza, salad, key lime pie and smores (which were so yummy). We also got some punch and drinks like Ivan Collin's and Moscow Mules, there was Bailey's and sparkling wine... so yeah, there was definitely enough of food and drinks to go around. Surprisingly enough though, I have no hangover today! Everything tasted good and I'm super thankful that my friends were so helpful with preparing stuff for the party, and helping me clean up afterwards!




I had also made a little quiz about 2017 which the 'boyfriend team' ended up winning. and we played some other drinking games as well. At midnight we walked to a little hill close by and watched the fireworks. It was quite foggy outside, so we didn't really see a lot of them, but we had some small sparkles of our own which were enough for us (plus there was some idiot shooting fireworks just a couple of meters from us, which was definitely not aloud in that area, so we got to see some from up close). Afterwards we came back to our place, and hung out for a couple more hours before people staring heading home.




I for one had a really great NYE, probably the best so far! Today I woke up with a huge pimple on my cheek, so not the best start to the New Year. Luckily I'm not planning on doing anything special today, so no one will have to witness this huge monstrosity on my face (except all of you readers, but that's only like what, a little under 200 people? no biggie).

I've already cleaned up the last messes from yesterday, and had leftovers for lunch. Next I'll put on the Disney live action movie 'Beauty and the Beast' which I have not yet seen, and that's pretty much all I have planned for the rest of the day. But tomorrow it's back to business with essay writing and basketball practice! One more day of being lazy won't hurt anybody, right?


Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: Year in Review

Although 2017 overall has been a flaming dumpster fire, for me personally 2017 was all around good. 2016 for me felt very rough, I was dealing with a lot of stress from school, I was always feeling worried and my birth control made me an emotional wreck. Why am I even mentioning 2016, this post is all about this year and what happened, so here we go!

January

- I started off Jnaury the worst way possible - throwing my guts out. It is to date the worst stomach flu me and my family members have experienced. The only good thing that came out of it was that André stayed in Finland a couple of more days than he had previous planned. But once he got better he flew off to England, and I didn't see him for a month. 

- Julle, Isa and I went to Pori to visit Emppu. We saw the Scandinavian Hunks and planned an epic night out, which ended up with me not being able to go 'cause I was still feeling weak from the stomach flu, and the others staying in the club for well, an hour or so. Maybe we'll try again this year with better success?
- My dad turned 50 and I baked him a cake which totally failed and I had to run to the store to buy premade cake. I was in the kitchen for 8 hours that day, luckily the sushi turned out alright!


- The girls (all except Sofie) reunited at Ella's housewarming party!


February 

- It was my time to pack my bags and I was off to Nottingham!

- André came and visited me the first weekend I was there and I was so happy to see him, but it was so hard to say goodbye again!


- I met all the other international students and made so many new friends!


- I visited André in York for the first time and had a belated Valentine's date


- England was cold and rainy but I did fun stuff, like celebrate International Pancake day, and visit a taxidermy museum.


March 
- While most of the other internationals were in Scotland, I went out with Betul and Elle and had one of the most fun nights out in Notts!


- for the first time, I felt really homesick after spending a weekend alone doing nothing

- Luckily I got to see André often and he cheered me up with some pancakes!


- Andrea, Anne, Lotte and I went for coffee at the cutest cafe in Notts :)


- I celebrated St. Patrick's day for the first time!


- The weather was starting to get a lot warmer and I felt genuinely happy!


- I climbed up mount Snowdon and the views were breathtaking! I cried on the way down because I'm absolutely terrified of heights!


April

- Easter break started and it my favorite part of the exchange (haha)

- I went on an Easter Pub Crawl and experienced Rock City which was definitely the best club in Nottingham in my experience!


- Me and André went to Scotland together and had such a lovely time there!


- We especially enjoyed the whiskey tasting...


- and the stunning views


- but mostly we just liked being there together


- We also loved visiting Glasgow!


- but the travelling wasn't over because for our birthdays we went to London!


- We went to the London Zoo


- and saw the Phantom of the Opera which has been a lifelong dream of mine


- Coming back to Nottingham after London felt pretty shitty, to be honest. 


- But fun extempore trips with friends made it all better!




















May

- Vappu was a whole lot different this year, and although I missed my friends I had a really great time in York with André


- I made sure to hang out with my international friends as much as possible, because our exchange was almost over and people were staring to go home!


- I took a day trip to the Lake District and the mountain hiking went a lot better this time!


- We also went shopping to Leeds


- Our families came to visit us in Nottingham and it was the hottest weekend yet!


June

- It was time to say goodbye to everybody and go out for one last time :(


- and before I knew it I was back in Finland!



- I sang at Esa's 50th birthday


-  and we moved into our new apartment where we mostly hung out on the balcony


- I spent most of June working!
July

- In July,  my aunt Tessa and her husband Adam came to Finland!

- We had a housewarming for my family

- I didn't get to go to Ruisrock this year because I was working, but that didn't stop me from dressing up like I was going to a festival!

- My brother had his confirmation party


- And I FINALLY got a new phone


August

- I got really sick in August but continued working


- Tessa and Adam threw a sushi party at our place


- our place started looking like a home


- There was a terror attack in my hometown, right next to where I work. It was truly a sad day and something that really affected not only the people in the town deeply, but the whole nation.

- I attended my first ever crayfishparty


- Åbo looked beautiful in late August


September

- School started in September and so did basketball!


- Me and André explored our own city and went to see art at VAM


- We won the first game of the season!


October

- Me and André celebrated 3 years together 💗


- and we had a super spooky Halloween party



November

- In November I played basketball, worked and wrote. that's pretty much it!


























Now

Now I'm getting ready to host a NYE party at our house, and there's still lots to do. Looking back I can not be anything but grateful that I've gotten to experience so many fun things this year, and meet so many new poeple while still knowing that I always have my family and friends back home!

Hopefully you all have a wonderful New Year and may 2018 be not so garbage!