Sunday, April 15, 2018

Nothing but parties

Last time I wrote, I mentioned that I was going to celebrate the end of the basketball season with my team, and we had a really great time as always. We ate good food, drank lots of sparkling wine, reminisced about the season and discussed next season. I feel really lucky to be playing in such a great team where everybody is supportive and we all get along so well! Although the season is over, we've all agreed we'll keep on training through the summer, so that we're ready for Division 2.

Outfit pic taken on Julle's balcony. I was there doing her and her friends' hair for a party they were attending. Unfortunately forgot to take a picture of the finished hairdo's, but they turned out pretty good I would say!



This week has gone by super quickly, mostly because I worked another week at the kindergarten. This week I also got to spend a few days with the youngest group of kids, the 0-3 year-olds and Oh My Gosh, they were so adorable! Especially after having a nap, when the kids were all warm and cuddly ❤️ Also, kindergarten nap-time has to be the best thing ever. I wish we had those in adulthood as well!



Also, yesterday we celebrated Andre's 25th birthday! We had agreed not to get any big gifts for each other, since we're planning on going on a trip together instead. So in the morning I woke him up with a hug, a kiss, a song and a small present which included a magazine and two different flavors of organic dark chocolate. I also made him breakfast and baked him a cake, which I have to say turned out really well! I was a bit nervous, because the last time I attempted to bake a cake was for my dad's birthday, and it ended up with me having to run to the store after being in the kitchen all day to get a pre-made cake... But this time I decided not to make the batter myself, instead I bought a Betty Crocker cake mix which was honestly super delicious and moist, and then I just made the frosting and decorations myself. 


We took the cake to Cristel's and Reko's place, where we spent the evening watching football and eating homemade burgers. I had a great time, and most importantly, André said he had a fun birthday!


I have to say I slept pretty uneasy last night. I had a nightmare within a nightmare, basically I dreamt that I was having a nightmare about a demon or a ghost, and in the dream I woke up and realized I was having sleep paralysis (when you wake up from a dream and can't more or talk). Then when I woke up in real life, I thought I saw a figure next to our door. It was actually just a pile of clothes, but for a second I was sure someone had broken into out apartment. Then in the morning, I woke up at 8 because somebody rang our doorbell twice. Andre went to look, and it was some random woman. We didn't recognize her, so we didn't open. It was pretty strange, I think she probably just had the wrong door. Or maybe the building complex is haunted, who knows!


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Easter and April

It's been a while, and since I don't feel terribly inspired to blog, I decided to just do a quick recap of how my Easter went, and tell you what I'll be up to in April!

We spent this Easter in Ostrobothia with Andre's family, which was great! I also got to visit some of my relatives who lived close by, whom I haven't seen in ages! I definitely enjoyed spending time with all of my second cousins and meeting the newest member of our family, Leo!


I've spent the last few days at my mom's kindergarten, substituting for one of the teachers who is sick, which has been a lot of fun! I'll also be substituting there next week, and I'm definitely looking forward to getting to know the children in my group more. Plus, it's nice to do something other than just writing for a change.

Some fun things I have planned for April is a party to celebrate the end of the basketball season with my team, which is actually happening this weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to it, since we had such a good time last we went out together! April is obviously also the month both me and André celebrate our birthdays. This year we've decided not to exchange gifts, but instead go on a trip together later in the Spring. The plan is to book the hotels and tickets soon, so we have something to look forward to!

That's it for today! I'll try to check in again in a week, but I won't make any promises!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

17, 18 and 12

SAT 17.  SUN 18.:

Last weekend was spent at my parent's house. We didn't do anything special, just hung out and chilled, ate some good food and gave lots of love to the doge. 


WEEK 12:

Last week was nothing out of the ordinary. I spent most days writing on my thesis (what else?) and during the evenings I was either at basketball practice or at home. I also worked a couple of shifts which was a nice change from just doing school work, and met up with my friends for lunch. On Friday (yesterday) we had our last game of the season which we won despite a very tough start. This means we've officially won our series and will rise to the 2nd Division!

You go a bit crazy when you're cooked up in the house writing. I think this photo series is an indication of that 😆


Next week is Easter, and our plans are still a bit unclear. Most likely we'll be visiting Andre's family, but when and for how long is still under debate. Other than that I'll be writing, writing and writing. Although I've come quite far with my thesis, I still have a long road ahead of me. March is almost over and before we know it, it'll be summer and I'll be working full-time again! So I definitely have to keep on working if I want to finish this thesis my the end of the semester!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Homemade Cereal Snack Bars

Heya! I was making these homemade cereal snack bars the other day and figured I might as well document the process and post it on the blog!

I first saw this recipe on a Buzzfeed tasty video, so it is definitely not something I've just come up with on my own. I've made these bars quite a few times now, and the great thing about them is that you can totally make them however you like them, plus they're really easy to make. They're also perfect if you're like me and rarely feel hungry if you wake up early in the morning. When I was on exchange for instance, it took me about 45 minutes to an hour to get to my campus from where I lived. When I left in the morning, I was rarely hungry but when I got to the class, I was starving. So I started making these bars as an easy breakfast I could eat on the bus. 

Like I said, you can put pretty much anything you like in the bars. I've tried granola and dried fruits before, but I have to say that using cereals like cheerios (or the off-brand like I did) worked the best, as the pieces of cereal were large enough to hold the bars intact and didn't crumble as much as for instance granola. I also raided my cabinets and found bits and pieces which I mixed with the cereal, like walnuts and dark chocolate.


The thing that makes the bars hold is the sticky peanut-butter and honey sauce. Basically you pour equal amounts of peanut butter and honey in a bowl an microwave them for 30 seconds. Then you pour the warm mixture over the cereal/granola mix and stir the mixture. Once you feel like it's mixed, you put the mixture in a baking pan which has been lined with a baking sheet. 


Press down the mixture into the pan throughly, and put the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once the mixture has set, you can remove the mixture from the pan and cut it into the size bars you want. I wrapped each bar in saran wrap, and store them in the fridge. You can also store the bars in the freezer for up to 3 months! I'm not sure mine will last that long though, 'cause they're delicious.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

What I've been up to

I've been terrible at blogging lately and to be honest, even right now I'm not feeling inspired at all to jot down anything about what I've been doing lately. But since I have managed to snap some pictures of my life these past few weeks, here's a very short summary of what has been going on in March so far:


I've been able to see and hang out with my friends, which has been a lot of fun! We met up on international women's day and also watched the Melodifestivalen final together. Not doing anything special is my favorite thing to do with these ladies!

My team has been playing well and we won both of our most recent games. Now there is only one game left in the season, and if we win that one, we will for sure rise to the second division!


Writing on my thesis, what else? I'm almost up to 50 pages at this point, which is pretty good, but man it feels like I've been writing for forever and there's still so much to do!

Monday, March 5, 2018

I walk on water (but only if it freezes)

I'm finally starting to feel better, this morning was the first time I didn't wake up and cough my lungs out so that's a start, right?

Yesterday was a pretty perfect day - the sun was shining, it was finally a bit warmer (meaning that it was less the -10 degrees) and since I'm borrowing my mom's car while she's on in the States, we decided to take a mini roadtrip to Pargas. When we got there we saw a lot of people out on the ice, which we obviously also wanted to try out. Even though Finland is a cold country, it hasn't been this cold in a long time. Basically what that means is that the ice is so thick you can walk on it, even drive your car on it. I read somewhere that right now it's even possible to walk all the way from Turku to Åland on the water, which is pretty crazy when you think about it. 


After snapping some pics and enjoying the sun, we drove back to Turku and had lunch at Pizzeria Dennis. I had a pasta carbonara which was really delicious, and also a great way of loading up on some carbs before my basketball game which was later in the day. Because I had been sick, I took it pretty easy and focused more on cheering for my teammates. We won (our 6th win in a row!) which means that we're still leading our league and have a good chance of rising to the 2nd division!

Unlike many years before, this year I decided not to stay up and watch the Oscars which are aired in the middle of the night here in Finland. We did however watch two more of the nominated flicks, The Shape of Water and Call Me By Your Name. I really enjoyed both, and definitely feel they were worthy of their nominations and wins!

My favorite part of 'Call Me By Your Name' was definitely the 80's dancing

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March 1st in the past

Before I get into what I've been doing today (spoiler alert: It's not much and also not exciting at all SO STICK AROUND WON'T YA) I thought I'd start this post with sharing a picture I snapped of myself yesterday before meeting up with some friends for lunch. Also, since I'm very bad at wearing my glasses and people are at times surprised when they see me in them, I put two pictures of me wearing glasses as a little child as reference. These are just a few examples of the very fashionable specs I've been sporting for the last 20 years or so!


So today I woke up at 5:30 and felt awful - my throat was even worse then yesterday. So I decided to get up and have a cup of tea (which honestly didn't help much), and since I was already wide awake and didn't feel sleepy at all, I ended up watching some morning cartoons, which I honestly probably haven't done since I was a teenager. I spent most of the day laying on the couch, once again alternating between watching TV (Grey's anatomy this time) and writing on my thesis. By afternoon, I felt much better and also super bored. I've spent the last couple of days at home (well, I did go to school yesterday for lunch and a study date) and I already feel like I need to get out of the house. I was snapping my friends about this and one of them who is pregnant and due in a couple of weeks replied with: "Now you know how I've felt for the last 3 weeks". So maybe 2 days isn't so bad after all! 

This morning when I was checking facebook, the 'on this day' feature (which shows you posts from the past) included a picture from March 1st where I was wearing A LEATHER JACKET! Meanwhile in the present, we're still enjoying -15 weather. It inspired me to check the blog to see what else I had been up to on this day in the past, and here's what I found:

2017: Had lunch with my fellow exchange students at the Tier in Nottingham.
2015: Bought some tulips (note to self: buy tulips)

2014: Wore a leather jacket (I should note that I did say it was a little bit too chilly still to wear it. Also wrote on a literature assignment.
2012: Got ready for Emppu's 18th birthday. Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Cristel and Emppu who are celebrating their birthdays today and on Saturday!
2011: Celebrated the arrival of spring weather (I feel like I might have been a little bit too optimistic here, you can clearly see that there is still snow on the rooftops in this picture. This just proves that it's the same thig every year!)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Caught a cough

Happy Tuesday readers! This morning I woke up feeling pretty awful, my throat was itching and swollen, and I realized that after months of successfully avoiding getting a cold while everyone else was being sick, I had finally been infected. So today I have not left the apartment, I've basically been curled up in a blanket on the sofa, alternating between watching trashy reality TV (Ibiza Weekender and Married at First Sight Australia, for those of you who are wondering) and writing on my thesis. 

-18 but feels like -28? Thanks Siberian blast chill

Last week was somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster for me. First I was delighted with the news that one of my friends from exchange who lives in Germany is coming to Turku to do an internship in March! I'm really excited to see her again, and show her around my home city and country, I've already started to compile a mental list of all the things I want to show her!

I'm not sure if Kerstin (my friend from Germany, sitting in the front) will be as impressed by Turku as the Lake District though :D

Last week my mom also called me with a rather crazy suggestion - she asked me if I wanted to come with her to Florida for a week.. in a week! I quite honestly didn't know what to say, and after speaking for a while she told me to think about it. Even though I currently don't have any courses per se, and not even that many work shifts, I knew that if I left for a week, it would be difficult to keep up with my writing schedule. Also, me and my boyfriend have been planning on going on a trip together for quite some time now, so this whole time my mindset has been to finish the thesis before summer, and save money for our trip together. At the same time, I definitely miss my family overseas, especially my cousin whom I haven't seen in over two years now! I'm the type of person who has a hard time deciding what to order from the menu at a restaurant, so you can imagine the anxiety this decision was giving me. I'm also very conscientious and in the end I decided that the responsible thing to do would be to stay here, but it was definitely a hard decision to make. I wasn't sad because I was missing out on the Floridan heat (don't get me wrong, I would much rather experience the humidity than the Siberian blast chill be have going on in Europe right now), but because I wouldn't get to hang out with my family, as we always have so much fun together. But I'm glad that my mother and brother get to go (they're leaving this Thursday and they literally booked the tickets two days ago), and my mom assured me that we would all go together as a family soon enough!

I MISS YOU NADYA! Ok now I have to stop writing this post before I get emotional again 😀


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A glimpse into my weekend

FRIDAY:

I didn't have practice because the gym hall where we practice on Fridays was occupied due to the 'Eldest dance', where the juniors celebrate becoming the eldest in their schools when the seniors are studying for their matriculation exams, by performing traditional ballroom dances such as the wiener waltz and the tango. I've written about this many times before, but since I really loved dancing the eldest dance back in the day, here's a couple of pictures from when I got to do it:


Later in the day we went to visit my family and spent some quality time with them. I also contemplated getting up in the middle of the night to watch The NBA All-Stars Rising Star Games as Finnish basketball player Lauri Markkanen was playing for the world team. Although I didn't set up an alarm, I randomly woke up at 5 and saw the last quarter. The world team won, but I have to say the game wasn't really that exciting to watch, as there was practically no defense at all. I'm still super stoked that our only NBA player is doing so well, and I'm also stoked that so many more people are getting into basketball in Finland!

My parents with their daughter who has replaced me.

Homemade burgers, YUM!

SATURDAY:

On Saturday evening we met up with some friends at Julle's place for a Mary Kay beauty night, where a representative from Mary Kay told us about the products and we got to test them out. There was obviously the option of buying the products as well, but they were quite pricey and as a student, I don't have the best financial situation. I did however end up buying an eyeliner pencil! Every eyeliner pencil I've ever owned has either been too smudgy, too hard, or broken immediately after purchase, so I figured it was time to buy one which was actually good quality. I'll have to try a smokey eye with it once it arrives in the mail!


The whole beauty thing was fun and it was great to get pampered, but the best part was just hanging out with the girls. We'll definitely have to plan more nights like that!

SUNDAY:

After what seems like weeks, the sun finally came out on Sunday, so me and Julle decided to go out for a walk. We walked around the river and up the Vartiovuori stairs which were very slippery, and met lots of cute dogs on the way. A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon if you ask me.



Later in the evening me and André watched the Oscar nominated film "Florida Project". I definitely enjoyed the film, I think it was a good reminder that although USA is considered a first-world country and a world leader in politics and economics, there are so many Americans who live in poverty and frankly, in third-world conditions. What I liked about the film was that it didn't highlight this issue in a "sob-story" way, but through the eyes of children, who maybe didn't quite understand how their lives differed from so many others, which made the tone of the movie playful and innocent. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing some of the other Oscar nominated films as well, like Ladybird and Call Me By Your Name!



Been rocking the white, fluffy hat this past week and will continue rocking it, as it's only getting colder and colder. Maybe winter will be over in time for my birthday in April?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Valentine's or Friend Day

It's been a while since I last wrote, but to be honest, my days have mostly consisted of working on my master's thesis and playing basketball. Not that they're is anything wrong with that, I've really enjoyed writing and I've felt really inspired about my thesis lately, and I always look forward to going to practice. Plus we've won all of our games recently, which obviously has been even more fun!

Tuesday was 'Shrove Tuesday' so obviously I had to eat a Shrove bun, I like mine with a jam fillin instead of the almond paste//The Swedish ESC competition 'Melodifestivalen' is back on, and i'm definitely keeping up with the show every week. This year Finland has no competition per se, as Saara Aalto has been chosen to compete in Portugal. We will however get to vote for which song she'll compete with, so I hope we'll end up with a good song this year!

Feels good to be number 1, right ladies?

Valentine's day was this week, and I was surprised with flowers and a card from my wonderful boyfriend. I hadn't gotten him anything which made me feel a bit bad, but we did go for an extempore dinner at Nerå later in the day, so I hope my company made up for the lack of presents on my part. The pizza we had was really delicious and the salted caramel creme brule I had as dessert was really good as well!

My Valentine's outfit and the delicious prosciutto & fig pizza 💗



Later in the day I had a date with my teammates, as we went to see a men's 1st division basketball game. In Finnish and Swedish Valentine's day is actually called 'friends day', so I'm glad I also got to spend the day with some good friends.