31 May 2011

Summer in the city

Happiness is... - part 8


The first days of summer are always my favourite. Those first warm evenings when you just want to stay outside the whole evening and enjoy the moment, not thinking about tomorrow. Today was one of those days. Happiness.

After work a friend and I decided to walk into town for a couple of ciders along the river. We stopped by the cathedral and sat on the big steps outside it and had a sandwich. Then we went to sit on one of the river boats and were joined by another friend and enjoyed a couple of cold ones in the shade.



 


30 May 2011

Letting go on the quest to finding the impossible

Waiting for my newly polished toe nails to dry is probably the best time possible to write down some random thoughts this day has given me.

Today I read a quote in my Facebook friend's status message from Paulo Coelho's blog:

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: 
tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. 
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person 
– nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.

Being me I immediately started thinking of situations when this is not true. And the only thing I could think of was losing close family, like parents or siblings. In those cases it is usually not true that there was a time without that person. And there is no way they can be replaced. Surely there are many things you have also had throughout your life but most of those you can probably live without or replace.

I do of course understand the point of the blog post. That you should learn to let go of the past and move on. And that you will survive. To linger in the past only hurts you, it won't help you. So you have to leave it. And with this I completely agree. It is not easy though, it can feel close to impossible from time to time too and sometimes just plain hopeless. And more often than sometimes you take those small small steps forward only to fall helplessly backwards again.

I have also noticed it is easier for some people to do this. To forget things that should be forgotten, or to hide them so well that even themselves can't find them. Then there are others who seemingly have moved on but let the bitterness or the sadness slowly take over from the inside. Or those who just let it all show and make their friends tired of hearing all their rambling...

I had not read Paulo Coelho's blog before. I quickly had a look at some of other blog posts and I will keep on reading. With the tag "love" I found a couple of quotes that I want to remember:

For the Warrior of Light, there is no such thing as an impossible love.

Love may lead us to heaven or hell, we all know. 
But I choose to take the risks, and fall in love. 
To remain an observer of life is not to live at all.

29 May 2011

Girls night in turned nail studio

I had a good friend over this evening for some tea, sympathy and ice cream. And then we started doing our nails! My friend usually wears mostly neutral nail polishes and doesn't decorate them in any way. But now I got to decorate hers (according to her wishes).

First she did her nails with Lumene Summer Rain. Then I stamped small flowers (Konad plate m3) with Isadora Hunter Green on them and put on a couple of light green crystals.



I painted my nails with OPI I Want to Be A-lone Star and added a little Essence nail art star dust in Rodeo Drive and a small crystal. On my thumb I put a dried flower. I just got these flowers in the mail the other day and this is the first time I tried using one. Pretty cool.

Green leopard nails with a twist and a bling

Recently I saw these amazing nails done by Charming Nails. I was inspired by them and wanted to do something in the same style but with my still a bit limited talents. It did take a little while to do these nails since I've never really done as many layers before.


Here is how I did it for those it might interest:

After the base coat I first I painted the whole nail with Orly's It's Not Rocket Science (two coats), then fast dry top coat (I usually use Seche Vite), then stamped the whole nail with the leopard print from Konad's m57 plate using Konad's black polish. Then another coat of top coat. Painted the tips diagonally with Pieces Accessories Kryptonite. Put a small ail art crystal on each nail (the polish was still wet so it stuck well to it). Then took a nail art brush and painted a line to cover the line between the two polishes with Alix Avien 169. And last another coat of top coat. 

And then I found a dress matching them colourwise pretty well too.

24 May 2011

Bang Bang Bang

I don't believe in revenge. Sometimes it would be easier though. And it's not like the thought never crosses my mind on occasion. But I guess I am one of those naive people who think people are good, that they don't mean to hurt others. Perhaps they just don't understand and that is why they do it. But time and time again? 

And at the same time I do want to believe in karma. What goes around comes and bites you or pats you on the back. If you treat someone well and with respect they will eventually see it? Some people just never do though. But. In the end.

These were just some random thoughts that came to me while listening to my favourite song of the evening. Christina Perri's Bang Bang Bang (figuratively speaking). I'm not plotting revenge on anyone nor do I wish bad things to happen to anyone (even though I've been in a weird mood the whole evening). But I do wish people in general, myself obviously included, would treat others with more respect. And when I think negative things about people I just wish I could switch off my brain.

(and today I was told I should ALWAYS as in all the time and every single time I write something use spellcheck. Well guess what? I never do. Oops and sorry)


22 May 2011

Becoming Eurocultured

This weekend there has been a festival called Eurocultured Street Festival here in Turku. Lots of exciting things happening along the river Aura. Music, art, sports... a real celebration of street culture. And it was free. Absolutely perfect in every way. Plus the weather was on our side. Sunshine and warm temperatures. I couldn't have asked for much more.

Maria Gasolina performing

There were artists from several countries all over the festival area


Felix Zenger doing his amazing beatboxing

French KKC Orchestra on the stage across the river

An old boring building on the market place got a new look during the festival

This one was my favourite of the artworks



Breakdance crew battle

BMX show

Jätkäjätkät closing the festival

My shadows and me


Walking home 
I found some shadows
of myself

 



 

20 May 2011

Big small wishes


I want a hug. 
One big one. 
Or small ones.
Will (try to) hug my cats 
and then my pillow.
And tomorrow.
Maybe I will get a hug?

17 May 2011

Matching nails to dress?

I got the idea of trying to do matching nails to a dress I have. And yes, they did match. Maybe even too much in my opinion. It just became too much, so once I had taken the picture I removed the polish. I think I am a little bit bored of the crackle polishes by now...

The polishes used are H&M Beige (from a Spring Nails collection with three other polishes) and the P2 Crackling top coat Black Explosion.

Flight of the Bumblebee on my nails

Some time ago I got a link sent to me by email to a nail art tutorial of bumblebee nails. Cute! At the time I thought I would never be able to make it look anywhere nearly as good, but today I decided to give it a go. I let my inner five year old do some painting again.

On one hand I did a bumblebee (or something trying to be one, it's smiling though!) 
click the pictures for a bigger and better quality images


...and on the other hand the bumblebee-wannabe has flown past some flowers and clouds. 



 And since my last nail art posting was about matching... 
Look, my nails match my newly bought leather bag!



The polishes used: Mavala Cyclades Blue, Wet n Wild Black Creme, Essence nail art Flower Power, H&M White (from Spring Collection), H&M Paradies Pink

Lovebirds printed on shopping bag

This weekend I had the honour of being invited to my friends' wedding in Denmark. They said they didn't want any gifts, but obviously I wanted to give them something. I had a couple of different ideas but then went for textile printing. I attended a course in textile printing a couple of years ago and haven't done any printing since so was a bit rusty. But it turned out pretty cute anyway. The wedding couple seemed to appreciate the gift as well.

I bought a simple cotton shopping bag and printed the pictures using stencils I made. The birds I had made earlier while I did the course (and the design is very much inspired by the bird in artist Robyn's logo in case someone thinks it looks familiar) but the heart and the Roman numerals I did now.


10 May 2011

Banana-nana strawberry-erry muffinsies

Yesterday my dear neighbour and friend came over for a cup of tea and some gossiping. I baked muffins. I tried to make my own recipe and while it might not have been 100% perfect (according to me) they were honestly delicious. The recipe was inspired by one I used when I made banana and cocoa cupcakes, I made some adjustments (maybe not improvements?) and liked these better than those.

I hope I get all the terms correct in English but here it goes... my first ever recipe (yes, it's okay to be shocked and to think I am kidding, but it's true).

For these yummy banana strawberry muffins I used:

150 gr saltless butter
2 dl sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ecological vanilla powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 ecological eggs
3 very(!) ripe fairtrade bananas
2 tablespoons lemonjuice (from a bottle)
3 dl ecological wheat flour
1 dl oat bran
frozen strawberries

And here is what I did with it:

I put the butter in the microwave on half effect for a short while because obviously I hadn't thought of taking it out of the fridge in time so needed to soften it. I let half of it melt completely and the rest was really soft, it wasn't warm though. Then I mixed the sugar and the butter in a bowl with an electric mixer.

Next I put the baking powder, vanilla powder and cinnamon in the bowl and mixed it. Then the eggs one by one and mixed even more. A lot. I had full speed on the mixer most of the time.

After that I peeled the bananas and mashed them with a fork on a plate and poured the lemon juice on the banana mash and mixed it a bit with the fork. The mash was then poured into the bowl with the rest of the stuff and mixed and mixed some more.

Lastly I added the wheat flour and the oat bran and everything mixed until the electric mixer broke. But you can stop before it breaks. Probably best to do so.

After all that was mixed I used big so called American muffins cups and filled 14 of them about halfway and put one frozen strawberry in the middle of each. Then put some more batter on top so that the strawberry was covered.

Had them in the oven for about 20+ minutes when the oven was 200°C (turned off the oven about halfway through to save some energy).

And here they are straight from the oven.


I'd say these might be perfect as breakfast muffins because of the oat bran. I still have many ideas about how to change the recipe and make different kinds of muffins so once I get myself a new mixer there might even be more recipes!

9 May 2011

High on life - Limitless?

Tonight I went to see the film Limitless. I gave it 7/10. I am very intrigued by the main theme of the film but somehow it didn't go all the way and some things didn't make sense. Not really going to talk about the movie itself so much, but in case you don't want to know anything about it and the main theme etc:

*warning, warning, all kinds of blinking lights, possible spoilers ahead* 

In the film Bradley Cooper (he's quite yummy yes, especially with long hair when he's supposed to be super-mega-unattractive-lazy-ass-good-for-nothing-hobo-looking guy) takes this drug that makes it possible for him to use the whole capacity of his brain. That would be quite trippy I can imagine. To suddenly know everything you have ever read and understand everything you have ever seen or heard and combine all this knowledge so you'd soon know pretty much everything. Plus how to use it all to your own advantage. Not bad, eh?

Although that might be absolutely wonderful to experience, I'm pretty sure I'd never have the courage to take that kind of drug even if it existed. Never say never of course but so far in my life I've never taken any kind of illegal drug and I am very unlikely ever to do so. I am even scared to take normal prescription drugs if there is any chance they will make me feel weird in some way. I had to stop taking mild sleep aid medicines because of this. Seriously freaked out once because of them and I'm guessing it wasn't even the medicine, it was probably just all in my head. Plus, what would be the fun in knowing everything (keep telling myself that).

Well anyway, what I was going to say was that when the main character (yumyum) took the drug and all of a sudden saw everything "clearly" I could recognize that feeling. Yes, the fictional character was supposed to act like that because he used the whole of his brain but to me it looked the same as I sometimes (very briefly) feel when I'm feeling completely happy. High on life. Walking very lightly and proudly, almost with the nose in the air because you feel like you are the queen of everything. Those short moments, that sometimes can be hours, even a day maybe. When everything looks and feels clear and you know everything's going to be all right. You feel invincible. Nothing will bring you down. But then something does. Reality.

Films tend to easily affect me in different ways (hey, what doesn't?). I guess this one did that too. Or it wasn't just the film, but I'm sure it played a part. I had been on a pretty okay high since Friday. Had a great weekend and fun evening today. Then when I came home the effects of the imagined drug wore off and I just felt very empty. But you know. In two minutes a new day starts and new possibilities lie ahead. New chances to get that great feeling again.


To take the pill that'll make you feel limitless is perhaps not the answer after all?

 
picture taken from here (lots and lots of spoilers there) 



Am very sorry for the quite objectifying comments about the main characters appearance. 
Well not very. 
Just a bit. 
A tiny one. 
After all he was a pretty convincing actor too.

8 May 2011

Nature (and me) waking up

Happiness is... - part 7

Today the weather was absolutely amazing. Really summery! Nature is really waking up fast now. It's gotten so much greener this past few days it's unbeliveable. I once again remembered how much I love late spring and early summer. Definitely my favourite time of the year.

I first spent some time with a dear friend and her lovely daughter in the park and had some ice creams. And even if I might've mentioned it before I have to say that her baby is seriously the cutest and most loveable in the world. If all babies would be like her everyone would want to have one. Yes, even me! (Omg, what did I say? Faint!!) So I guess it's good not everyone is as adorable. This planet is overpopulated as it is. 

In the park I was wearing jeans and trainers and a t-shirt and felt that was too much. It was really warm! Well okay, it was like 20°C, but that is warm for Finland and early May. So before heading to my parents' summer house I changed into a summer dress and sandals. And then I walked around barefoot at the summer house. Happiness!

This weekend has been a really good one. Thank you to all who helped make it good. And thank you to nature for doing the rest to make it even better.

Lo and behold! My first ever (blog) picture collage.

5 May 2011

The battle of the wolves

 

A Cherokee Legend (source)

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.


"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."


The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"


The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


-------------------------------------------------------------

One of my Facebook friends posted this story as her status today and I got chills down my back when I read it. The reason is that it is so true. I have felt this struggle quite often and actually am very aware of it most of the time. I can feel the wolves struggling inside my head and my heart. I do my best to feed the good wolf but sometimes the evil wolf gets the upper hand for a little while. Sometimes it is much much stronger. I get angry at myself for that, which of course means I am feeding the evil wolf even more. But really, I should try to be kind to the evil wolf too. The evil wolf cannot be fully won, but I can treat it with understanding. I can accept that it is a part of me.

I do hope that it is clear to most, including myself, that the good wolf usually is stronger in me. And that I manage to show this to the people around me. Sometimes when I meet a person whose evil wolf seems to be stronger than the good wolf at the time I do try to understand them and not let their evil wolf feed the one in me. This is not always the easiest thing to do though. If someone is mean to you, treats you badly, it's usually easiest to treat them the same way. You are hurt and you want them to be in pain too. The two evil wolves are the ones doing the fighting and feeding themselves to each other. It can sometimes be so much easier to feel anger, hate, bitterness and self-pity than to show acceptance, compassion and kindness when someone is not treating you with the same.

I don't believe that either one of the wolves every fully win in someone. The wolves never die. No one is just good or just evil. Both wolves play their own part but we can decide which one we want to be stronger. And I think the presence of the evil wolf can also be seen as a good thing. Why? The good wolf has to struggle to show its characteristics and by doing so, make them stronger. Each wolf also has their own strengths and weaknesses. I would say self-pity and bitterness are often the specialities of my evil wolf. Yes, along with inferiority mixed with superiority.

I guess the message of the legend can be seen as (what at least is supposed to be) the core message of many religions (and please do correct me if I'm wrong, I'm certainly no expert in this area), to show kindness to others, to treat others how you want to be treated etc. I am not a religious person, not so many are in my country. But my father, who is quite religious from time to time, once said to me something along the lines of: "you believe in the same thing as I do, your religion is love". And yes, this is very true. I have a wise father. So in that way I certainly am religious.

I believe in the good wolf.


4 May 2011

Sparkly strawberry nails

I was doing my nails while watching Finland play the Czech Republic in the Ice Hockey World Championships and they came out this summery and sparkly. Not really inspired by the game in other words.

I have wanted to do strawberries on my nails for a while now but don't really have a good green creme polish. Then I thought I'd make them sparkly instead. The green is slightly too dark for my liking, but I do still think they look pretty cool.

The red is Zoya Lisa, green is China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, and the gold is Beauty UK Metallic Gold.

1 May 2011

With these lyrics on my mind

Lyrics are texts - fictional or sometimes not so fictional, but always, always, open to interpretation. No one text means the same to the person next to you as they do to you.

Here are lines from some of songs I've been listening to lately.


I've got another confession to make
I'm your fool

Foo Fighters - Best of You (live 2008 Wembley Stadium)


Not sure I understand
This role I've been given

Robbie Williams  - Feel (live 2003 Knebworth)


För jag har trillat dit, jag har fallit, jag har vaknat.

Veronica Maggio - Jag kommer (live 2011 on Danish television)


So you can make me come
That doesn't make you Jesus

Tori Amos - Precious Things (live)


Jesus is my virtue
and Judas is the demon I cling to.

Lady Gaga - Judas (live 2011 The Ellen Show)

Baking macarons - not really a piece of cake

I admit, I've never eaten macarons before. I have only seen pictures of the little cute looking small cakes and drooled over them in shop windows. But no, never actually tried them. They seem to be the new "cupcake" and everyone is baking them. I've heard they are really difficult to bake and for that exact reason it is still a huge mystery to be why I decided to try to make some myself. I am not usually the one who wants to take on an impossible food related challenge. But I guess everyone can change?

So I read a couple of different recipes on some blogs and then settled for one and tried to follow that as closely as possible. This is the recipe I used (in Finnish) for the shells and it is apparently taken from this blog originally (in English). I used ready ground almonds, but it would probably be better to ground them yourself, but since I don't have a food processor I had to to it this way for now. The filling I used was whisked butter, powdered sugar, some vanilla, some cream together. And also raspberry jam.

I think they came out pretty well. I gave some to friends last night and they seemed to like them and thought they were successul. It really was a bit of work to bake them though. Might not be doing this as often as I've been baking cupcakes...


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