28 Feb 2011

Oops she did it again... cupcakes that is.

Seriously, my friends are soon going to have to go on a diet (and me as well). Yesterday I felt like baking some cupcakes again. Chocolate with a piece of chocolate in the middle and then some chocolate vanilla topping with a chocolate heart and some blue sparkly sprinkles. According to my friend these are the best ones she's tasted so far of my bakings. And I think I agree.

Okay, I think I might need a new obsession soon. 

26 Feb 2011

Carrot cake cupcakes

Yesterday I had some animal rescue people over for a meeting to discuss an upcoming charity event we are organizing.

I baked some cupcakes for us. Carrot cake cupcakes with small white chocolate hearts.

24 Feb 2011

Ahoy! Hey Sailor. Nail polish haul.

Nail polish is one of my most serious obsessions at the moment. I admit it. I just can't help it that I get such a kick out of getting new polishes in the mail. Probably sounds sad to many but hey, we all enjoy different things in life. And thank goodness for that.

Lovely V. over at My Little Vanities helped me get my hands on these beauties and I got them today. And if you haven't yet, go and check out her amazing nail polish blog. You will not regret it (if you are at all into polishes and nail art).

The one I had looked forward to most was China Glaze's Ahoy! and of course I had to try it immediately. It met all expectations. The glass flecks in the polish will look even better in the sun so will be a perfect summer polish.

The other polishes I got (from left to right) China Glaze Ruby Pumps (been meaning to get this one forever), China Glaze Hey Sailor (better go down to the harbour in the summer wearing this and see if it gets any attention ;) ) and from a brand completely new to me: Alix Avien polishes 169 and 187 (boring that they have no names, but they look fabulous).

23 Feb 2011

Life isn't perfect but it sure feels good sometimes.

Happiness is... part 4

Most days I wake up and have no special expections about that day or think that it will be anything different from other days. Just another normal, not horrible, a little bit boring day. Same old same old. Well, I'm sure you know what I mean. Come on, it's Wednesday. Nothing ever happens on Wednesdays.

I start the morning with hitting the snooze button five times like most mornings. Great, I'm in a hurry to work again. Walk outside and realise I forgot to check the temperature. My breath is freezing. Minus twenty something celsius. Better walk a bit faster! But wait, it feels pretty refreshing actually. And yes, I was going to try out Sports Tracker on my phone, better turn it on.

Sun is shining. Nice!

I arrive at work and Sports Tracker tells me I took 1115 steps and used about 50 kcal. Cool. (how much chocolate is that?)

I sit down at my desk with my cup of green tea, like I do each morning, and look out the window at the snow and the sun. Beautiful. Then one of my colleagues comes up to me and hands me something. It's cupcake paper cups! The cutest ever! And in three different designs too. "So you can bake us some more". Awww. I give her a big hug after a moment's confusion over the kind gesture. And just a couple of days ago I was looking in the shops for these and found none. Or just found one very boring design.

It's things like this that make me really happy. Small unexpected things that cheer me up instantly. I mean I imagine she has been at home and perhaps looked in her kitchen cupboard and then noticed the cupcake cups on the shelf and suddenly thought of me. Of me and my silly cupcake obsession. It makes my heart warm.

So here I am smiling. Planning all the cupcakes I would make. Not eat (all). Make for others. Yum. (Hopefully.)

Then I see that the annual rock festival in my city, Ruisrock, is going to announce this summer's performers (or most of them) at noon. Ooh... who might it be? Fingers crossed for someone I want to see. I want to go this year since I didn't go last.

I go have some lunch, get a big cuddle from my cat. Sweet. Forget all about the festival. Check Twitter. Oh oh oh! Robyn! Is coming to Ruisrock. Better check the actual site just to be sure and avoid huge disappointment. Yes! She is!

I saw her last year at Flow Festival in Helsinki and she was absolutely one of the best performers I've ever seen live. She was so present and gave so much of herself to the audience. You could really feel the energy coming from her. And now I will see her again. Super! This summer is going to be another summer of great concerts and festivals. I just know it!

Pictures I took of Robyn at Flow Festival 2010


This day feels so great, I think to myself. But wait, usually when I feel really happy something comes along and destroys it (usually me). Better not be too happy now... No way, I'm going to feel as happy as I want. I'm not scared. Come on bad-things-happening-to-me. Show yourself. I'm not afraid of you.

I've been looking for some new artwork or similar to have on my wall for a while. And then I see one of my favourite Finnish bands add a link on Facebook to the Finnish Amnesty Store that now has four different photos of them for sale as limited series prints. And all proceeds go to Amnesty. And the photos are amazing and it's for a good cause. Obviously I order my favourite of the photos. Yay!

I get a sweet sms from someone important to me that I worry about a bit. Feels good.

After I come home from work I decide I want to test the Sports Tracker thing a bit more and ask if my sister wants to go on a walk with me. We end up walking 6,62 km according to Sports Tracker and 8049 steps. 344 kcal. Not too bad. I ask again: how much chocolate? The (pretty big) nerd in me loves applications like this.

When I come home after the walk I can hardly feel my thighs. They are so cold. And incredibly red. Ouch! Good thing I bought a bar of chocolate. And for once I have milk at home. And cocoa powder. I'm drinking hot chocolate under a warm fleece blanket on the sofa and eating a bar of chocolate. Heaven.

And I realise many of my days turn out great even though I don't expect them to (maybe that is why they do?). And here I have been thinking I don't like unexpected things happening. I do. (Nice things.) Go on, Tomorrow, please surprise me too. Or the day after tomorrow. Or... Just let it be a surprise.

Yes, I think it really is the small things in life that are the big ones.

(and I'm going to pretend not to remember I really should clean today. Tomorrow can be a not so great day instead.)

edit: Oh oh, I forgot another happy thing. New Foo Fighters song. Rope. Very much like it!

21 Feb 2011

Song of the day

A friend thought I might like this song and she was right! 
I need to get my dose of country music every now and then.

Is it weird that this song makes me want to go out and buy some super funky shoes?

Winter walks

Walking is one of my greatest pleasures. I enjoy taking long walks either with a friend or alone. If I walk alone I have my headphones on with some great music and can really empty my head from all things.

Yesterday I was on a two hour long walk with my sister during the day and today I walked for over an hour by myself. It really is beautiful with all the snow so I had to take some pictures with my phone. I would've taken more pictures but because of the freezing cold I could hardly feel my fingers after a while so had to stop eventually.

Winter is beautiful.

20 Feb 2011

It is nothing like The Hobbit

Friends is one of my favourite television shows. Probably my all time favourite if I had to pick just one. 

For a couple of different reasons I came to think of this one particular episode where Monica and Phoebe have read a feminist book about how women let men steal their "wind".

Some classic lines in these two great scenes. (embedding has been disabled for these so you have to click the links to watch them on youtube) 

And now I think I'm going to start working on those windkeeper skills a bit.

19 Feb 2011

Dream on and keep on dreaming.

Today I was supposed to go to a birthday party but it got cancelled because the birthday girl unfortunately got ill. Since that meant I now had a Saturday with absolutely no plans I quickly needed to make some other plans. Fun plans. So I asked a good friend of mine if she wanted to go to the movies with me.

We went to see Tangled. One of the best animated films I have ever seen. It was hilarious and the characters were really great. One of the main themes of the film was dreams. Not the dreams you dream at night but dream as in what is your greatest ambition in life. What is your dream?

This same theme then continued in the episode of Glee that was shown on Finnish television this evening. One thing that was said that if it is something you can imagine then it can happen. That somehow made an impression on me. I am not sure why exactly but it got me thinking. What is my dream? What is it that I want most in life? My most cherised desire.

Glee (Idina Menzel and Lea Michele) - I Dreamed a Dream

Deep stuff to think about when you sit home alone on a Saturday night. And now I'm going to watch some Swedish people trying to perhaps fulfill their dream in Melodifestivalen.

17 Feb 2011

NP means Now playing and not No problem (today anyway)

PJ Harvey's new album Let England Shake just came out 
so it's only fair she makes the list this month as well as last month's post
The new album can be found on Spotify as well.
I love her, I don't love all her albums, but this one I do.

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

I love Danish. 
One of my favourite Danish artists is the duo Hej Matematik.
Every now and then I start listening to them on repeat.
That happened again today when I walked to work.
This is such a cool video too!
Hej Matematik - Du og Jeg

I like her. I like the song. 
Who cares if it's similar to some other song.
Hello, which song nowadays isn't?
(I am a huge Madonna fan btw ;) )

Cover version of Lady Gaga - Born This Way


Rumer - Am I Forgiven

Nevermind the odd censorship going on in this video.
It's a breast. Quick! Close your eyes!
Loved this song from the first time I heard it about a week ago.
Looking forward to hearing more.

Austra - Beat and The Pulse

"There is no silence
I will keep following the sirens"
Serious love for this artist.
She is going to be big soon. I just know it.

Oh Land - White Nights

16 Feb 2011

Dreamy baby blue cakes

So last time I made cupcakes I wasn't too satisfied with the frosting. So I googled... and googled and found a recipe (only in Finnish sorry) that sounded very interesting. Marshmallow tasting frosting. Fluff!

I wonder what these will look like tomorrow when I take some of them to work. Hopefully they still look fluffy and nice. And taste good too. First I put just a little bit of the frosting on, but then I realised I had plenty left and the last ones got a whole lot more. Sugar shock warning big time!!

And just for fun I made the fluff light blue. Cute!

Does everything really happen for a reason?

That is the question of the day in my mind. Is it really true or is it just something we keep telling ourselves to make us feel better?

15 Feb 2011

Just like a tattoo

Marina and the Diamonds - Obsessions
1. the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
2. the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
3. the state of being obsessed.
4. the act of obsessing.

Some days obsession is my middle name. Today it was "Obsessed-with-tattoos". For years I have been playing with the thought of a tattoo. Always dismissed it because let's face it: me and pain - don't go well together. Hello, I don't even have my ears pierced! Oh and then the problem with how could I ever decide what I want to have painted forever and ever on my skin. I'm definitely not the most decisive person in the world.

One idea I had a long time ago was to have a letter tattooed on my stomach. But which letter? And stomach? Crazy! A newer idea was to have a word or piece of text written on me somewhere. Problem is the texts I've thought about usually mean a bit too much to me. One strong contestant (but the text is far too long! think of the pain...) could be one of my favourite phrases: "you're gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul" (major depression city!) from one of my favourite songs of 2010 Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. (no, I'm not actually going to tattoo this text on me, it's just an example) But perhaps you understand the problem with texts and me... those with meaning are basically too strong. 

So yes, today my mind has been pretty much occupied with tattoos. And thinking about the questions that are probably most often asked. Would it hurt really really bad? Can I take it? What happens if I can't? It can't hurt THAT bad since so many have one. Or many! Right? Where would it hurt the least? No but wait, I don't want a tattoo on my butt. How would I then see it? Oh, you are supposed to have it so you can't see it so you don't get bored with it. But what is the point then? I want a tattoo for me and not for someone else to look at. No one would be looking at my butt anyway. I want to have it somewhere so I can look at it without having to be an acrobat please.

While I was working I was drawing on my hand and arm. And my favourite result can be seen below (actually that was made with a blue pen and didn't look too great, I redid it with a black permanent marker when I came home, much nicer). A heart that is just a black outline. And in a place that I can see when I want to, but that isn't visible all the time and can be easily hidden under my watch or a bracelet. See I was thinking practically as well! The meaning of this heart is much more complex than it looks, but I will not go into it at the moment. Perhaps if I do ever decide to have it done for real.  

My friend at work showed me this amazing blog with tattoos today: TATTOOLOGIST . I've spent so much time looking through the pictures. Less is definitely more when it comes to most tattoos on the blog. (you can also find the blog owner on Twitter @naridyard) And after you have a look, I'm guessing you'll be thinking about tattoos as well.  

And yes, it did cross my mind to want a parakeet tattoo. After all, I've been called Parakeet online since the late 90s. But you know what? I don't really like parakeets too much. I just got the nickname because someone's (dead) parakeet had been called my real nickname. And then the new nickname stuck after that. But if anyone can draw a really cool (and small) parakeet then I might take it into consideration. Selfish as I am. 

And fear not, I would never ever have a tattoo made just because. If it ever happens it will be because I am sure it is something that is important to me.

Gorgeous Jordin Sparks - Tattoo

14 Feb 2011

Friends are like stars - you don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Happiness is... - part 3

The Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You

I guess I have had a pretty easy and happy life so far, which I am very thankful for. I do tend to be a bit overly dramatic at times but most of the time I have a smile on my face. Of course I do have some moments when I don't feel so great. Last week I had been feeling really down for some days and talked about it with some close friends. They made me feel better like they always do. 

Then one evening I was suddenly in a great mood again. I am not 100% sure where that good mood came from, things had not really changed, but I guess I just decided not to feel so down anymore because let's face it, it's not so much fun. 

This great feeling continued to the next day and I was on a super high. It was almost scary how good I felt! I told a friend at work that I was in a really really good mood and she replied with a huge grin on her face: "Good! Because usually you are in such a bad mood!". Haha, yeah, I guess I'm normally a pretty happy and positive person. 

I feel I owe a huge deal of my happiness and positiveness to my friends. I count myself very lucky for having so many great friends who I feel are really close to me. Friends who I can laugh and cry with. Friends I feel I can tell things to without being judged and know I get honest advice when needed. Friends who tell me I am not the idiot I sometimes think I am (or tell me that yes, I'm a bit of an idiot and then say it's okay, it's only human). Friends who confide in me when things are rough. Friends who tell me about their day.

Friends who listen to me even though I keep going on about the same old things time and time and time again (say hello to the insecure drama queen in me). Friends who call when I feel lonely or bored and ask me to come over for dinner. Friends who live far away geographically but feel like they live next door. Friends who I haven't met (yet!) but still feel like I've known forever.

Friends. You make me happy. The fact that you want to be my friends and want me to be yours. Thank you!

Yes, I know. I'll stop now. This post is already far too cheesy as it is. This is what this day (Valentine's Day or VD as people seem to want to call it on Twitter and then take it back in the next tweet when they realise... oops) makes me do. 

Okay, just a little bit more cheese (cheese is good after all, not all cheese):

I went to have dinner to a friend's house yesterday and she gave me this card. 
I don't think she knows how much it meant to me. 
'A friend is like a star in the sky. You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.'

13 Feb 2011

Cupcake Mania

On Thursday I was reading a newspaper at work and there was a piece on cupcakes. From that moment on I couldn't think about anything else (well not foodwise at least) and knew I just had to bake some. Thing is, I'm not good in the kitchen and haven't baked anything in years.

But once I put my mind to something there is no stopping me. I ended up making many different kinds: chocolate, raspberry and carrot cake, with different frostings and decorations. They turned out all right tastewise. The frosting was very improvised and far from perfect though. And I can tell you that all people who ate the cupcakes are still alive and well.

All pictures are taken with my mobile phone (Nokia N8)

10 Feb 2011

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

It may sound odd to people from other countries but in Finland it's not very common to know your neighbours very well. It certainly would be good to know your neighbours a whole lot better though. I only know one of my neighbours well enough to stop to chat.

Today she came over for tea and a small bite to eat. We had a very nice and long chat getting to know each other better. And of course we gossiped a bit too. Seems we have some weird neighbours... a bit scary too. But it's really good to have each other and know there is at least one door in the building I can knock on if something happens or I need help with something.

All in all a very nice evening and hoping for many more.

For some reason this song came to my mind... I don't think I've heard it since the early 90's

8 Feb 2011

Maybe everything won't be all right, all the time.

Happiness is... - part 2

Last month I posted the first post about happiness and thought what a better way to cheer myself up than post about it again, right? 
I love music. Music makes me happy. Listening to music. Not singing or playing. 

When I was little one of my dreams was to become a singer, I soon realised no one wants to hear my singing voice. Then I started playing the piano. I was too lazy to practice and honestly, I was terrible at it anyway.  Okay, so I didn't have any musical talents.

But you know what? I've actually participated in recording an album. Yes, I have sung on an album. Or I probably mainly mimed so I wouldn't completely destroy it. That's what I did when I was in the school choir. I loved being there but couldn't really sing, so I sometimes mimed. It was our choir that made the album. 

I still know a couple of Hungarian folk songs in Hungarian(!) by heart (our teacher was from Hungary). This was over 20 years ago (I feel so old!). But I'm sure we sold like a couple of hundred copies at least of it. Wow! I know my parents bought several! It's not every day their daughter records an album. Or anyone in our family for that matter, we aren't exactly know for being musical geniuses.

I had to google to see if I could find the songs (not sung by me then obviously, but in general). Here's the first song. It's called Kis Kutya Nagy Kutya and that means either big dog, small dog or small dog, big dog. I have no idea. Something with dogs anyway. I am guessing that is what inspired the video... 

(don't watch if you don't like dogs, just listen. 
Unless you know Hungarian, then don't listen either. 
I'm pretty sure some of those words mean dog.)

Okay, here's the other song I remember. Megismerni a Kanászt. And now I'm starting to think these might not be folk songs after all. Perhaps they are kids songs? Kids folk songs? Haven't got the faintest idea what this song was about. But I do know the children are singing it wrong in a couple of places. Or then again maybe I don't remember all the words correctly...

(slightly-annoying-children-singing-warning over this one, 
but I guess it's pretty cute at the same time)

What makes me really happy is when the lyrics of a song make sense to me. I admit that I sometimes listen to songs without paying attention to the lyrics and I think that's perfectly all right too. I mean in some pop songs (and others too I'm sure) the lyrics don't have a huge meaning to them after all. But then sometimes I just suddenly hear the lyrics to a song and they make perfect sense to me. 

One song that did that to me today was a song by Gary Go. I've listened to Gary Go since before the debut album came out but only really noticed what this song is about today. I was listening to another song of his on my phone when I was out walking: Heart and Soul : "If you don't follow your heart and soul / Nothing will matter anymore". When I came home I had to listen to the whole album and noticed the lyrics of Open Arms for the first time. Gary Go - Open Arms (Live At Mayfair Studios) (for some reason it doesn't let me embed it here now so just click the link to watch the video, okay)

Gotta look myself in the eye,
And say it's gonna be alright.
Maybe everything won't be all right, all the time.

Daydreaming away

I'm a person of ups and downs. Today is pretty much a down. The only good thing about it is that I know that there probably will be an up somewhere in the future. So much I've learned about myself through the years. If there's a down, there will be an up. So don't feel bad for me, it's going to be all right, one way or another (okay, now I'll have that song in my head all day, it's a great song though. Blondie's One Way or Another.).

When I was getting ready in the morning I did what I usually do when I'm getting dressed, look out the window to check what weather this day has brought us. I must say I was a bit surprised. I am aware of the fact that it's winter (you can't really miss it) but lately we haven't been getting much snow even though there still was plenty on the ground. Anyway, apparently it had snowed all night and everything was white and it still was snowing. The trees do look beautiful all covered in snow. It is so pretty but at the same time I can't help missing spring and the sun.

This picture is taken several years ago during a camping trip somewhere in Finland.
I'm going to go about my day and daydream away to summer and this peaceful place.

7 Feb 2011

Every day I crucify myself

I tested Spotify Premium on my mobile phone for a month and that month ended just a couple of days ago. For some reason I can still listen to some songs on my mobile. Tori Amos's Crucify is one of those songs. Such a powerful song with so much meaning.

3 Feb 2011

Inspired paws

A couple of days ago I saw this super cute manicure done by Playing with polish called Paw prints. I knew I wanted to try it out at some point. Today when I had tried on a new polish I bought in Switzerland during my recent visit there I thought I wanted to do something more and decided to take out my dotting tools.

First of all I've only used my dotting tools once before and second of all I put the polish I used for dotting on a magazine that gave some additional (purple) dots. So not a very successful venture but still. The thumb (that was the first nail I did) turned out pretty good I think.

Catrice Spruced Up as the main colour
dotting with Make Up Store Maria

2 Feb 2011

Nail stamping with red, black and white

I did this nail art a while ago. Actually just after I had written this blog post about my favourite colours. It didn't quite turn out like I had imagined it in my head but I still think it's one of my favourites manicures I ever did despite of its obvious imperfections. I think it's really "me" both in colour combination and also the design.

OPI Red Hot Ayers Rock as the base colour, 
nail stamping with Konad plate m57 
with Konad's special polishes in white and black. 

1 Feb 2011

What's on today's programme?

Today is apparently a day when I freak out over the smallest things for no very obvious reason. Oh if I could only understand the mysterious wonders of the mind a bit better. But on the other hand, think how boring it'd be if every moment would be a happy happy joy joy moment? How would I then be able to enjoy those good moments as much and fully as I do?

Yesterday I thought I was ended for disaster this week when the day began with me knocking over my tea mug at work and ending up with tea all over my desk (and everything on it). But in the end the day ended up being a great start of the week.

Last night I had the most lovely night visiting some dear friends. I was going there just to pick up a book about Paris and hear some tips on what to do there but ended up staying the whole evening. We ordered Indian food, had some lovely wine, ate Swiss chocolate and watched American Idol. And in addition to that I was both good and scary entertainment to their little baby daughter. Seriously, one minute I was the funniest person in the world and the next I was the scariest and then the next I was the loveliest again. Those who know me know I'm not a baby person at all, but this one baby, I swear she is the cutest in the world (no offense to all other babies). Oh and I also got some insider information about a lovely restaurant that is opening later this year. How exciting!

So I should just remember that even though I might be freaking out now, when it's not even noon, this day can also turn out to be something good. Maybe today's programme isn't decided before it happens and all is possible?

I wish you all a great day today and many more to come!
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