Year 2011 clearly and concisely

Helsinki, -2 degrees

Ironically only on the last day of the year we find ourselves with some minus degrees here in Helsinki. This year has been exceptional in many ways. I've seen that many blogers have written some kind of summary of their year on their blogs, and even though I don't care of making one with merely pictures, I think it's a good idea to recap the year with some lines as new readers might learn something new about me, and for me it's gives me the chance to get some closure to the year.

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So here it goes, a recap of what has happened to me during year 2011:

In January I made an amulet for the new year and it had two parts, the first having the form of a boy. For me this stands for my godson that I met for the first time in June 2011 when he came for a visit from the United States and we celebrated his birthday and baptism. You can read more about that in my blog post about it. The second one had the form of a dog, which I think stand for my mom's new dog that you've seen pictures of in my blog post about it.

In February I changed my blog layout which I'm still happy about since it looks sooo much better now! My blog used to have a black background as my oldest blog readers might remember. I was also discussing the eternal topic in Finland; languages that is. Since I belong to a minority in Finland, language issues have always been and will always be close to my heart. I also went to some blog schooling thanks to my workplace for the first time, and started to think about my coming hair change. I also realized that I own the same H&M dress as Natalie Portman in this blog post. How cool is that?

In March I had my birthday and turned 25! I also went on one of my first work related business trips to the Finnish cities Turku, Tampere and Mikkeli! I also went from being a black haired girl to a semi blond, what an incredible change! Read all about it in the blog post about the change! I also started to fix my eye lashes and nails at beauty saloon Blue Lagoon, and I have been doing so once a month ever since!


In April me and my lovely boyfriend spent our first anniversary and went on a cottage holiday to the middle of nowhere in Pukkila, about one hour away from Helsinki. Read the whole story in the blog post about it.  I also noticed the onepieces for the first time, that came to become one of the biggest new fashion trends in 2011. I also visited some Finnish castles and manors thanks to my workplace. If you want to read more about the beautiful castles and manors we have in Finland, please read the blog posts about it here and here

In May we celebrated first of May, in Finland called Vappu. This is one of the biggest celebrations in Finland throughout the year, read all about it in the blog post about it. I also got my second tattoo as a birthday present from my boyfriend! I even had the chance to host some Swedish journalists that came to visit Helsinki through my workplace. I also went on my first business trip abroad, to our neighboring country Sweden! I joined the Finland days at the Central Railway Station in Stockholm! Read all about the trip in the blog post about it. I also had the pleasure of witnessing the wedding of one of my best friends! She was so beautiful! I also went on a work related trip to Tuusulanjärvi, an area about 30 minutes from Helsinki, to see one of the nicest settings for unique museums, houses and villas in Finland. Read the whole road trip story in this blog post.

In June me and my boyfriend went for a one-week-long holiday to Crete, Greece. Read all about the wonderful romantic holiday in this blog post. I also started to plan my junior high school reunion which was exciting. Unfortunately we also met a terrible tragedy when my boyfriend's father went into coma in the end of the month and later on passed away. Due to this, I didn't write on the blog for a month.


In August, I went on a work related trip to Fiskars, that was great! Read all about the road trip we made in car in the blog post about it. I also went on another business trip to Turku which was the European capital of culture this year. If you want to learn more about it, please have a look at the blog post about it here. I also saw the Dalai Lama when he was visiting Finland! This had been a long time dream for me, ever since I first read the book "Seven years in Tibet", of which I wrote an essay on in senior high school. Read more about it here. I also attended the very first quality day at my workplace, organized at the world heritage site Suomenlinna. More about that here.

In September I was inspired by the fashion weeks of New York, London and Milan. Enjoy the pictures from those here and here. I also created a new kind of brochure, about typical Finnish dishes to my workplace, that I have been developing ever since. I would still love your thoughts about that if you have any suggestions about how to improve it. You can leave your ideas under the blog post about it. Thousands of tourists in Helsinki will be thankful for your help.

In October I visited the renewed and enlarged Finlandia Hall. You can admire its beauty here. Me and my boyfriend also stayed one night at the only five star hotel in Helsinki, Palace Kämp Hotel Kämp. Read all about modern luxury here. I also finally got to see the venue for my junior high school reunion. More about that here. I went to the hair dresser to lighten up my hair a little bit. Read all about that here. My boyfriend also got a new car which you can see here. I also went to the fashion weeks in Helsinki, biggest book fair in Finland and visited Flamingo spa with my boyfriend.


In November I went again on a business trip to Stockholm, Sweden. Read all about that here.
My mom also got her new dog Taika during this month. I won tickets to go to see the pre-premiere of the movie New Year's Eve which I went to see with one of my best friends. Read about the movie in the blog post about it. I hosted some Italian competition winners one night in Helsinki, that was fun. Read about the places I took them to here. I also had some of my first presentations for students concerning my work. My junior high school class met after 9 years and we had our very successful, I might add, class reunion. Read all about it here. I finally got a permanent position at my work place after four years! Yey! 

And finally in december, Finland celebrated its 94th birthday. See the best dresses from the annual Presidental ball here. We also had the annual St. Lucia celebration in the center of Helsinki. See the pictures here.  This month has has Christmas written all over it. My workplace had its annual Christmas party at the newly opened nightclub Namu. See the picture from the club here. Finally I spent Christmas with my family, and started to plan my New Year's Eve outfit.

How many blog posts have you read over the year?

Friday feelings

Helsinki, 4 degrees

Since it's my first day off since Christmas, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to share with you some of my Christmas presents, these from my mom. My mom knows of my deep love for Italy, so she had got me a silk scarf from Milan for Christmas by Giovanni Luigi. I think it's so pretty that I might put it on the wall as a kind of painting, but maybe it's too pretty not to use, hehe.

I also got some new Nike gym shoes that I love and a beautiful pink Halti fleece shirt. Excellent since I intend to be even more active next year than I've been this year! Do you know the Finnish brand Halti?

My first day off is spent at lunch at my mom's, browsing through fleamarkets with my sister and at the beauty saloon getting ready for tomorrow! Happy Friday!


New Year rush!

Helsinki, 3 degrees

These last couple of days have been exceptionally busy at the office - over 600 customers per day! That's great concerning that we are less people working now at the office than during e.g. the busiest time of year,  summertime that is. We are also waiting for one of our busiest seasons to begin during the winter half of the year - the time around New Year's Eve when we await over 300 000 visitors, especially from Russia, to Finland and a great deal of the amount to Helsinki!

This awakes also some media interest as we noticed today at the office when we had TV channel YLE visiting. I knew that I was going to be a part of the interview so I selected an outfit for today that I thought suited the occasion. The light blue circle I have on the shirt is a part of our work outfit, it's the logo for next year's big theme: World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.


The interview was actually concerning the fact that all permanent employees at the Helsinki Tourist Information Office are studying Russian once a week. This on a city level is quite an enormous investment in one language I think so I am proud about my workplace. Of course, I wish all permanent employees would learn Swedish as well, seeing as its my mother tongue, but the fact that they all at least try to speak even Swedish, keeps me happy.

For those of you readers who know Finnish, you can watch the complete interview here


Since I think the interview went well, I'm excited about going to work even tomorrow. I'm always a bit nervous about what material the journalists end up editing and putting on the news since it's national news. Tomorrow's my last day at work before New Year's Eve. After that I'll be off for four days, then work four days, and then be off for a complete 9 days! Who knows what I'll be up to during those days, I haven't had that many days off since June this year! I would call that a well deserved winter holiday!

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Helsinki, 3 degrees

Beautiful sunrise. Tree branches hitting windows, doors and streets. Wind pulling building tarpaulin. Cutting wind falling down trees and causing a windy sound through the window. This is how Boxing Day looked and felt like in Helsinki this year. Someone has said that stormy weather can feel cosy seen from the inside, and that is somewhat how it felt today at the office. We had a record amount of visitors today if one compares it with the average number we've had per day throughout December. I thought it was nice, that even in stormy weather, people find our office. Maybe our office can be seen as a point of security when other places are closed due to holidays and the weather gets rough. That's heartwarming.

Heartwarming is also the first word that comes to mind when I think about this Christmas. Even though this year's Christmas occured on a weekend, the two days spent with my family were exactly what I needed. I spent Christmas Eve with my family (including for the first time my sister's boyfriend) and Christmas Day with my boyfriend's family. I think Christmas is all about feelings. Feelings of warmth, togetherness, quietness, and above all love. After all, people might forget what you say, but they will never forget how you make them feel.



Christmas

Helsinki, 2 degrees

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.


Merry Christmas!

Helsinki, 0 degrees

The time has come to wish all my lovely readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2012!


Tomte

Helsinki, 3 degrees


"A tomte (Sweden), nisse (Norway and Denmark) or tonttu (Finland) is a humanoid mythical creature of Scandinavian folklore. The tomte or nisse was believed to take care of a farmer's home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the housefolk were asleep. The Swedish name tomte is derived from a place of residence and area of influence: the house lot or tomt. Nisse is the common name in Norwegian, Danish and the Scanian dialect in southernmost Sweden; it is a nickname for Nils, and its usage in folklore comes from expressions such as Nisse god dräng ("Nisse good lad"). Other names are tuftekall, tomtegubbe or haugebonde ("mound farmer"), all names connecting the being to the origins of the farm (the building ground), or a burial mound. Those names are remembrances of the being's origins in an ancestral cult."

Do you believe in these creatures in your countries?

"I believe you make your day. You make your life. So much of it is all perception, and this is the form that I built for myself. I have to accept it and work within those compounds, and it's up to me."

Helsinki, 3 degrees

I want to give a shout out to Brad Pitt for his 48th birthday that he had yesterday! This man puts S in style! Those of you who know me well, know that I have defended and spoken for him for as long as I can remember! Defended him in the sense that I've always known that he is more than "just a pretty boy" as people called him in the late 90's when he became famous. Nowadays most people have understood that that is the undeniable truth. He is an actor in the word's true meaning. Brad Pitt never seizes to astonish me - look at his new style! Again: stunning!

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Snowflake

Helsinki, 4 degrees

Today at work it seemed like Helsinki's Christmas spirit was melting away as it just kept on raining throughout the day. In the newspaper today, I read that a year ago we had snow up to our knees and this year: rain. None of us can still say if this is how Helsinki's Christmases are going to look like also in the future or if this is just an exception, a once in a lifetime experince.

Discussing the matter today with some customers at work it seems the weather is alike in most parts of Europe, how strange is that. For years people have been saying that Finland has to work to change its "cold image" but if the temperature here is the same as in rest of Europe, nature has worked in our advantage. Nevertheless, the visitors we have, search for that cold. In fact, many customers have commented on the warm winter we have. People travel to Helsinki only for snow. I would like to think that there would be even other aspects; it's a European capital, Helsinki's food supply, Helsinki's design & architecture, Helsinki's Christmas markets or even cultural events, but today an Irish couple told me what I was fearing: snow was their main motive for coming to Helsinki this time of year.

Should we change the image of Christmas so that it wouldn't be so strongly related to snow? I mean, after all, Christmas is spent also in warm countries. Maybe it's too early to say, but I think all Helsinkians will remember winter 2011 as exceptional.

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Last Thursday my workplace had its Christmas afterparty at a newly opened lounge club here in Helsinki. The place is called Namu (in English: treat or sweet) and has used the sentence "for sweet people" as its slogan. The club is very centrally located, opposite to the Helsinki Central Railway Station, and has a stunning terrace of almost 400 m²! It has a restaurant part, concentrated on the Nobu philosophy of eating with all one's senses, a lounge part where there is an after work during the week and then also a nightclubish part where there is dancing.

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I think they did a good job with the interior- I like it!

Returning to the Christmas season, this week's best Christmas season dress that I have stumbled upon is by far Taylor Swift's! This princess like creation is of Reem Acra, and looks like a Christmas season snowflake! Also the jewelry of House of Lavande is a master stroke of brilliance! Wonder what a piece of that jewelry might cost, but a girl can always dream...and take inspiration! I think it's cool that the collection has its own blog.

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If you like this post, please check out the my Facebook page dedicated to this blog!

Santa's little helper

Helsinki, 2 degrees

I've spent my last day off work before Christmas visiting my mother and running errands, quite naturally. Even though it feels like this year I have less than usual a so called "Christmas spirit", I've tried my best to organize everything for the holiday. I've decided to work the second day of Christmas, and instead get some days off around New Year's Eve. After all, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the only two days a year when our office is actually closed! How about you? Have you already organized everything?

Even though this is the season of red color, I've found myself crazy about pink colored clothes. I found this beautiful tunic at H&M. I think it's a great piece of casual wear. I've also been searching for a classical little black dress, and this is the one I've found so far. Again, from H&M. I think it's elegant enough to wear both for business and parties.


Nevertheless as I mentioned, this is the season of red and when I saw this red shirt, I thought this looked just like me! It even has polka dots! This from Vero Moda.


Even though it's way to early, I thought I would share with you my New Year's Eve dress since I love it! Again, pink!


And last but not least, I think it's important for all Santa's little helpers to allow themselves small Christmas presents, seeing as the year is coming to and end and all...

I found this super stylish phone case with snake skin pattern from Friis & Company


I also had to get this stunning bracelet from Stylesnob since it went so well with my other three bracelets that I wear on a daily basis.



Don't take stress over Christmas presents, the most important thing is to enjoy oneself and bring happiness to others!