Spring, tattoo & Oscar hopes

Helsinki, -5 degrees

Today it finally felt like spring might actually be coming. Finally we're talking about minus degrees in one digit numbers, yey! Customers at work seem happier too since once again they can explore the city and its beautiful nature. So far the winter holidays that we are spending in Finland right now have not brought that much more visitors. I guess the rest of the world is not yet familiar to our holidays.

Thanks to the cold weather we've had, we have also received a number of odd questions. It's a wellknown fact that Helsinki's visitors mix Helsinki with other parts of Finland. They look for Northern lights, husky rides and some days ago for skijoring with horses. Anybody tried that?

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It seemed interesting, but unfortunately as bizarre for me as for anybody living in a warmer climate. Funny enough, I found this picture on a website saying that that's something done in Scandinavia. Wonder why I haven't heard about it then? In the picture I see American flags, haha. Well go figure.

I guess Helsinki has a lot to do in order to stand out among all the Finnish general stereotypes. Maybe in the nearby future, our visitors will understand that we have an urban reality here in Helsinki.

Lately, I have been planning a new tattoo. I've even heard rumors about me maybe getting one as a birthday present, yey. So I guess I have to start planning one, exciting.

Another exciting fact is that the Oscars are coming up on Sunday. I've always loved this dress party as I call it. I'm cheering for my recent fav' girl: Natalie Portman. Lately, she's done some fantastic roles, even though I've always loved her work. I especially like Closer, V for Vendetta, Brothers, My blueberry nights and of course Leon. I haven't seen the Black Swan movie yet, since it's only out in cinemas on the 4th of March here in Helsinki, but I've heard such good things about it that I hope Natalie goes home with an Oscar for her role as Nina Sayers. I actually saw an interview with Natalie today, where she was talking about her role in Black Swan and she made an impression on me also then. Isn't she stunning as well?

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I even found some pictures of her wearing H&M. Twice! How amazing is that for a Hollywood star?!?

Here in November 2010:

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..and here with her tummy showing in February 2011:

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Whatever she will wear for the Academy Awards, I know she'll be stunning. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Last by not least, I want to thank my readers again. Lately I've received so much positive feedback about my blog that it has really warmed the cockles of my heart.

The recipe for happiness

Helsinki, -15 degrees

As the care takers of our apartment building are chucking down snow from our roof, and therefore I'm stuck inside for a while, I thought I would write down some lines about an interesting article I read yesterday about true happiness.

I found the article in the latest issue of my favorite Finnish women's magazine Trendi. Basically it said that the formula for happiness is difficult to understand, but one can get started by stopping to chase good feelings. One should instead challenge oneself and do things one wouldn't necessarly do spontaneously.

Source: Howtofindhappiness


The article presented the idea that despite what our parents told us (to be happy ever after), we should not try to escape from negative things but embrace them. You might even find out that you are actually already happier than you thought. To find out how happy you truly are, you should follow the next three steps.

1) Question your idea of happiness
When normal women are asked what makes them happy, they often end up mentioning ordinary things like good coffee, days off work, work success, achievements or dear people. Happiness is therefore relative. It resembles your favorite childhood toy; when you first got it, you were in seventh heaven but once you came up with something new to want, you forgot it easily. The same goes for adults who seek one specific thing in order to be happy, e.g. weight loss, promotions or perfect relationships. In other words, what makes you happy today, might seem insignificant tomorrow.

As the Finnish saying goes, time makes memories golden. I don't know if there is a similar saying in English but basically it means that after some time, everything seems better than what it did when it actually happened. People can't follow patterns because the exact same things won't make you happy twice.

The article suggests that you should instead talk to people who have gone through similar situations as you are about to undergo, just to have a better idea about how good of an idea it really is.

I can personally assure you that people change. Many people seem to think that they have a clear understanding about what is important for them. Then, when time passes and they get to know new people, maybe new boyfriends/girlfriends, the importance of things change as well. I have been very surprised to see how easy it is for some people to throw their values and thoughts out of the window when new ideas are presented. I think that's why you need people who know your history around you. Only they can tell you that you are acting out of your character. And sometimes we really need to hear that so that we can understand the situation.

Source: Finest quotes

2) Stop grumbling
Nowadays people talk about their feelings so much that it is difficult to stop analyzing one's life all the time. When one thinks long enough, one surely finds something wrong with one's life. One should instead try to listen to oneself. A bad feeling passes you way faster if you first come to terms with it. Try writing down you bad feeling, and understanding why you are feeling that way. I've notices that sometimes it's enough to just tell somebody else how you're feeling. Don't keep the bad feeling locked inside yourself.

3) Rejoice in misfortunes
Trouble and misfortunes are a part of life because they keep you down to earth and humble. Psychologists even talk about posttraumatic growth which means that you can grow and learn things from setbacks. Try to cure your mental displeasure tolerance by doing every day something outside your comfort zone. Act against your habits, resist a temptation or say what you think to someone even though you are afraid how the other person will react.

I think these three steps can help everybody in understanding their life better. Do you recognize yourself in the text? Good, then you know you did good by reading this insert :)

Haircut help needed!

Helsinki, -13 degrees

I seriously need a new haircut before my birthday coming up in just 1½ week! I want to keep the length of my hair more or less the same because I want it long for summer, but I need to do something new with it?!! Help, ideas, please!

Here are some pictures I found on the internet that have arisen my interest.

First, I look to my idol style icon Sarah Jessica Parker for advice...

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I like what she has done with it. Simple: warm brown but with some highlights in it and curles..

or should I go more in this direction? Warm brown, but with a simple straight cut...

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I guess what I'm after in the end is long wavy hair like this..

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or should the classic look be best eventually?

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Any ideas? Comments on these haircut styles?

If you like this post, please join the Facebook page of my blog!

Velvet lake

Helsinki, -20 degrees

Seeing as next year is approaching with big steps in the sense that already the Design capital year is on everybody's lips, it's becoming more important for us Helsinkians to have something to show next year when the focuse in on us. I don't see any problems with that, because Helsinki has been, is and will continue to be a trend setter. One proof of this is our designer Paola Suhonen who continues to stun fashion interested all over the world with her beautiful designs. Late Thursday evening, early Friday morning in Finland, her latest collection "Velvet lake" was shown in New York.

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Paola started the fashion show with a video of wintry Finland. I thought that was an excellent touch. The scenery in the video describes also her clothes; Scandinavian moods, Slavic melancholy, intense starkness and ballads filled with charming and soulful tones.

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Paola's personal style is showed in big details and prints. My favorite piece includes peacock patterns, which I'm doesn't surprise you because I'm nuts about peacocks! Look at this beauty piece!

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Which is your favorite?

Language polemic

Helsinki, -16 degrees

As you all know, I belong to a minority in Finland that has Swedish as its mother tongue. This is a fact that I always been proud of since I appreciate and cherish the culture that we Swedish speaking Finns have. I have been raised in Swedish so natuarally the language heritage is close to my heart.

Lately as Finland is getting more and more international, the obligatory Swedish in Finnish schools has been widely discussed in Finland. Right now Finland has two official languages, so both Finnish and Swedish speaking Finns need to learn each other's languages. Now some Eastern cities even want to replace compulsory Swedish with Russian. This even though it might make it impossible afterwards to move to the metropolitan area for work since here it continues to be necessary for all, not merely Swedish speaking Finns, to speak Swedish in everyday life and work. It's funny how the attitude towards the Russian language has changed during say, the last 10 years. Nowadays it almost trendy to learn Russian. Swedish on the other hand has suffered from a bad image change. It seems in Finland that Swedish is the least attractive language to learn, which is a pitty.

Like most of you know, I have recently started to learn Russian as well through my job. I absolutely think it is necessary for me, as a tourism actor, to speak Russian since the biggest amount of tourists we have in Finland come from our Eastern neighbor. We also have lots of Russian speaking people living in Finland, and it would be nice to know this group. Far too often it seems that the Russian speaking part of Finland is out of reach. I would like to understand its mentality and cultural heritage since it takes part in giving Finland its current form.


Just some days ago we got a letter to the tourist information office from a 70-year-old Russian lady who was searching for a Finnish man of her age. This fact stunned me, because she had sent us some pictures of her, at the age 70 as well as a picture of her at the age 25. What makes a person contact a tourist information office in a different country for company? The picture of today was set, I mean she had dressed herself up and stood against a wall on the picture so it was especially taken for this purpose. It made me sad to think that a women of that age would have to reduce herself to something like that.


I do see some light in the end of the tunnel for us Swedish speaking Finns though. Recently a Finnish speaking colleague of mine asked me at work where she can get to know some Swedish speaking Finns. That made me so happy. I told her that we are everywhere, in just the same places as the Finnish speaking. She just has to make the first move. I told her that we could speak Swedish together too, if she would want to. But she seemed not to want, maybe we had already crossed that border somehow. I know it's difficult to change one's language after one gets used to speaking a specific language with somebody. I hope one day we do speak in Swedish though.

Another interesting fact is that one Finnish speaking woman has started up a Facebook site called "Senja teaches you Swedish/Senja opettaa sinulle ruotsia" where she tries to get especially young Finnish speaking Finns excited again about learing Swedish. I have followed the site now for some time and I think she's doing an excellent job. The site many times makes me laugh, because Senja writes in a humorous way. And learing a language should always be related to having fun.

The whole idea of starting the Facebook page started from the fact that Senja wanted to come up with new swear-words in Swedish. I think Senja has showed a creative way of approaching the Swedish language. The fact that nearly 4 000 people like this site makes me think there's still hope for us.

Diesel

Helsinki, - 22

For some years now, since I first moved to Italy, I've had a Diesel addiction. I just love, love Diesel jeans! When it comes to jeans, Diesel is just the best and leads the market. Others follow years after Diesel.

One of my favorites is this pair!

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What I love about Diesel the most, is its ability to dare. I especially like that the jeans don't look the same as they did years ago - but they're evolving just like us users. Girls don't have to wear skinny jeans anymore - I really like boyfriend models like this one.

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The wilder the pattern or wash, the better for me. For summer 2011, I need to get my hands on some Diesel shorts like these. Denim-wise, does it get better than this?

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I hardly ever buy Diesel jeans from their store, they are so widely expensive there. I try to find second hand goodies from different places, e.g. Finland's version of Ebay, Huuto.

Just today, the Diesel store in Helsinki informed me that they have launched the shoes that combine Adidas and Diesel. What do you think?


Can the street wise Diesel combine its urban knowledge to Adidas sports wear?

I must say, I got more excited when I heard about Finnish Marimekko teaming up with Converse All Stars. Can't wait to see those shoes in stores! Finally, Finnish Marimekko will be on the streets worldwide!


Can you honestly say that you can resist these shoes?

A thank you shout out

Helsinki, -16 degrees.

The saying goes; new year, new pranks. Well, I have decided to start my year in February and renew my blog layout. What do you think?

This might have something to do with the fact that a week ago or so I attended my first personal schooling event through my working place. Since I've got my current position, I am allowed to make suggestions also concerning schooling events and courses. I was looking through the range of courses the municipal of Helsinki is offering and found one that catched my interest. The course was about producing texts adapted for Internet use and taking full advantage of the social media. Since I've now been writing for three months or so for my work place's blog as well, I felt schooling was needed in this subject. The course was great, I learned many things about how to make titles, be userfriendlier when it comes to backgrounds and pictures and many more small etiquette rules concerning Internet. I hope my blog is now easier to read with a blank background instead of the black one I had before. Hints and tips are always welcome!

I was proud during the schooling to be a part of a working environment that actually provide courses in Internet use. After all, nowadays in Finland and I would assume more or less all over the world; if you're not on the Internet, you don't exist.

During the course, I started thinking about why I write a blog. I guess it started as something meant for my friends back home, a tool to let them know how I am while I was travelling in Italy. But now, since I find myself at home, in Helsinki, that reason doesn't really exist anymore. Instead, I've given a new angle to the blog. I have lots of friends all over the world, and I want my blog to be a tool for me to keep in contact with them. Besides that, anybody can read my blogs, also friends here that I haven't had the chance to see that much lately. In the end, I would say that my blog is for everyone who wants to know how I'm doing and cares about me. So thank you to all my readers! Lets make this the best blog year ever!