Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Just this one post and then I promise to be quiet about food for a while! Warm apples + cinnamon + quark + more cinnamon = delicious!


Now back to the psychology books…

Monday, 29 November 2010

And the best spice is...

... cinnamon!


Cinnamon is the perfect addition to coffee, tea, yoghurt, fruit, ice cream, chicken, couscous, rice... you name it! It’s rich in antioxidants and it supposedly comes with lots of health benefits. Furthermore:

Participants at the annual meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences later this month will learn that cinnamon - as a flavour or fragrance - could boost the brain as scientists at Wheeling Jesuit University in the US, led by Dr P. Zoladz, report on their findings.

"Cinnamon, administered retronasally or orthonasally, improved participants' scores on tasks related to attentional processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response speed," report the researchers.



Which spice is your favourite?

Pyttipanna a la Zsuzsi

Pyttipanna is a traditional Scandinavian dish that that traditionally consists of leftovers: potatoes, meat, sausages and onion that are diced and then pan fried. Usually it is eaten with fried eggs, pickled gherkins and pickled beetroot. Nowadays you can find lots of variations, and today I made on of my own.
For this quick and delicious dish you’ll need:'
Root vegetables, cauliflower and broccoli. Boil until soft. (all these vegetables are not for this dish, the rest can be used for roasting).
Turkey breast (about 100 g.) and 100 g. of craterellus tubaeformis. Fry the turkey first, then add garlic, the mushrooms, soy sauce, paprika and some white pepper. Add the boiled vegetables.

Dear Santa...

... Santa has been very good to me this year, so it might seem like I´m asking for way too much when I keep putting these lists in the blog.

Nonetheless, Santa, if you think I´ve been a good girl this year, you could save a lot of time and energy by just ordering these things online, they would come in handy. Really.

1) The book I already wrote about.

2. A bit of Polish grammar will lighten up anyone´s day.

Friday, 26 November 2010


I got  a couple of comments that I never replied to, and I’m feeling so sorry about it so I’ll dedicate a whole post to it.

Knicknacks, I decided to visit home since it’s so close to Stockholm. I’ll be spending Christmas down south, though. Actually I’m on my way back as we speak. Smile Right now I’m visiting friends, and tomorrow I have to get up really early (like 3.30 a.m.) to catch the bus to the airport.

Наталия, спасибо за твое замечание. По-латышки я не умею говорить (хотя, по-моему он очень красивый язык), но эти друзья моей мамы- русские (как уже знаешь, в Латвии очень много русских). И как они все совершенно плохо по-шведски говорят (хотя вместе на курс шведскoго  ходят), мне надо быть переводчикой. Конечно, мне это очень полезно, так редко использую  русский язык.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Un día perfecto

After 5 hours of sleep, I wasn't exactly jumping with excitement when it was time to go outside this morning. It was (and still is) cold at 8.30 am, besides, I could hardly keep my eyes open. Now, 1 energy drink + 1 cup of coffee later, I really am looking forward to the rest of the day. This far I've enjoyed my morning coffee at the library, while reading the Economist (perfect way to start a day!), visited some book shops and sent my job application. Now I'll study for a while (or try to at least). There's also a parcel waiting for me at the post office, and after picking it up I'll have lunch with two of my oldest friends. 

But, since there is no such thing as unflawed perfection, I've also had a bit of bad luck today. Icy road plus clumsiness = accidents...

I'll answer your comments tonight. Have a nice day everybody!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Love this!

Everyone wants to go to heaven, but few want to die.

They want to rake in profits but don’t sow any seeds.

They want to have their piece of the cake, but they want to eat it too.

People want to take [things] back, but refuse to give.


русский вечер и снег идёт

DSCN4061It’’s SNOWING a lot!! Tonight has been great: I’ve been discussing very interesting matters with a couple of wonderful people. In Russian. My mum’s Latvian friends came to our house for some Finnish delicacies, and not only did I get to play interpreter, but we also talked about everything from politics to history. И конечно по-русски!

Monday, 22 November 2010


I present to you: the sweetest fur ball on this side of the Arctic Circle (even if she drools on everyone she’s in love with). But you already knew that. She’s been sleeping on top of me two nights in a row now,






Sunday, 21 November 2010

Do I dare…?

…to apply for a job that would be just perfect and fit my education perfectly? And let’s not mention the salary. Anyone else would jump at the chance, I’m just getting paranoid and neurotic. What if they turn me down and I feel like the world’s greatest loser? What if I and my “fancy” education are not good enough?

Maybe I just should brew a couple of liters of coffee and start updating my CV.


Hmm, what to do?I don't know smile

Christmas Wishes

Dear Santa: first of all I wish peace and happiness to everyone. For myself I want inspiration and motivation. But since some friends and family insist on wanting to know what I’m wishing for Christmas, here’s a short list. And no, I really don’t need anything else.


Tea Stack from Todaywasfun. I think this can be bought at Herbolorio Navarro.


Different kinds of coconut products from Body Shop.


Medicine balls.



Top for running.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Hej från Stockholm!

                                                                                  It’s cold, it’s dark and it’s a lot of fun. Yesterday this random man was squeezing my hands because they were so warm and in the evening I ate lots of spicy food and laughed at the news on SVT (they jumped at the chance of informing the citizens what  stockholmthe correct amount of toothpaste is). Today I befriended a couple of lovely girls (one from Iran and the other one about to move to Belgrade), ate some delicious elk with cranberries and root vegetables, philosophised, got lost in the cold and then warmed myself up with some ecological dry cider. Tonight I’ll eat more good food and read some deliciously funny and tragic stories written by a Sweden Finn.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Getting Prepared

The one thing you’ll need in Scandinavia at this time of the year.


From H&M,

Monday, 15 November 2010

De vs. dem vs. dom

This post is dedicated to Swedish personal pronouns, since so many people (especially native speakers) seem to have a problem with the words de (they) and dem (them). As you can see, we are returning to the eternal issue concerning subjects and objects.

The problem, it seems, is that these two pronouns have an identical pronunciation in standard in Swedish (unlike, for instance, Finland Swedish where the pronunciation is different), which makes writing more difficult. Both words are pronounced dom. Nowadays it’s accepted to use dom in writing, but in my personal opinion, it does not look very educated. 

De is translated into English as they. Dem means them.
  • De hittade en katt. They found a cat. De is used when "they" (the third personal plural) do something.
  • Katten hittades av dem. The cat was found by them. Couldn’t help myself, and had to throw in a passive.
  • Jag talade till dem. I spoke to them. Dem is used when "they" are the object of an action, when something happened to "them". 
Is this clear?


Today has been an effective day, and I’m quite satisfied with myself. I managed to complete two assignments, pass a psychology quiz, attend Hungarian class and work. There is nothing urgent to this weekend so I have all the time in the world to go the gym, spend time with important people, pack and travel. Tonight I’ll find the ultimate relaxation tool, drink liquorice tea, smell the candles and read something good.


The rest of the week will look like this:

  • Tuesday: gym in the morning + packing. Town with TT in the evening. E-mail a lot of people.
  • Wednesday: gym with Å. Work in the evening.
  • Thursday: get up early, catch the train to Alicante and fly to Stockholm. Enjoy a glass or two of good wine.
  • Friday: lectures & seminars @ Uni Stockholm. Girls’ night.
  • Saturday: ferry to Åland. Work.
  • Sunday: family time.

Nordic Girls Stick Together

I know I complain a lot about in this blog, but the the truth is that I’ve been blessed with some extraordinary people in my life. This weekend I had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with awesome, inspirational people, and it feels like my energy is back on top again.

One thing that I find quite funny is that the two friends I see the most are both from cold countries: one is Canadian and the other one is from Sweden. Not only do we have a lot in common, but it seems to me that we share a very similar outlook on life. Finding people like that can be difficult, and it’s even harder when you live abroad (yeah, I think our cultural and social backgrounds might have something to do with this), so I’m definitely grateful for having found these people.

Sunday, 14 November 2010


Last night we went to a German restaurant with our friends, and the food was... well, ok. But, the sauerkraut was impressive. Loved it, and wanted more (actually I stole it from TT’s plate and had to share sisterly with Å & S). So I might try to get/make some when I get back from Santa Land. I’m so excited about going and this morning I’ve been checking out the weather forecast, while trying to decide whether I’ll need gloves or not.
Does anyone else think it’s rather odd how they’ve skipped the important cities in Finland, but left Sodankylä? (the name of that town means "the town of war" by the way).
Conclusion: a pair of gloves is probably a good idea.
The maps are taken from SMHI and YLE.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Next Race

I just signed up for my next race: it’s even shorter than the last one, but maybe it’s the beginning of a new tradition, running one race each month?
In two weeks and one day from now I’ll be running a 4K. One day after a long and horrible trip across Europe. I think it’ll be a lot of fun, though.

This past week has been quite rough: now my head is hurting and I’d rather stay home and relax than go out for dinner. 

What are you doing this weekend?

Friday, 12 November 2010


Natalie over at Birdbrain has poetry night on Saturdays - I drink red wine and feel how the restlessness is taking  me over this very Friday... what´s the common denominator? Well, it tends to be Russia or the Russian language. I listen to this and get some odd sensation of... an inspirational kick.Or maybe it´s happiness. And the way he says спасибо at the end just turns me on.

Scroll down for lyrics in English (please note that the translation is NOT mine - I was feeling lazy)

Закрой за мной дверь
Они говорят: им нельзя рисковать,
Потому что у них есть дом, в доме горит свет.
И я не знаю точно, кто из нас прав,
Меня ждет на улице дождь, их ждет дома обед.

Закрой за мной дверь.
Я ухожу.

И если тебе вдруг наскучит твой ласковый свет,
Тебе найдется место у нас, дождя хватит на всех.
Посмотри на часы, Посмотри на портрет на стене,
Прислушайся - там, за окном, ты услышишь наш смех.

Закрой за мной дверь.
Я ухожу.

Close the door behind me
Translation by Marva

They say that they can't afford any risk
Because they have a home
And in it there is light,
I don't know exactly which one of us to trust
They wait for their dinner at home,
The rain's waiting for me outside

Close the door behind me,
I'm leaving now

If you'll one day be bored with your beautiful life
You can find a place close to us
Everyone can have some rain
Look at the clock, at the picture on the wall
Look out the window at the street
You'll hear us laugh once again...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Ég er með spurningu! [Ice: I have a question]

No, sorry, there are probably two very urgent questions that need to be answered here. Why on earth is the headline in Icelandic?

And: do we [human beings] ever act unselfishly? Aren’t all our actions fundamentally based on self-serving motives? 

If you have the answer, please share! Come on... we won’t bite you. 

Just a random thought on that Icelandic phrase: does it literally mean "I am with a question"? Does anyone know?


Today is Thursday (in case you didn’t know), and this far I’ve exercised three times this week. Yesterday a certain John Stuart Mill seemed a lot more interesting than running in the dark. He’s one of my favourite philosophers, so it was definitely worth it.

Monday: tempo run (total: 40 minutes más o menos)
Tuesday: Bodypump + running (intervals: 21 minutes)
Thursday: Bodypump + running (intervals: 15 minutes)

And what else is going on? To tell you the truth, nothing much: uni, work, uni, uni, uni. I need to finish the assignment on normative ethics, write a short essay about tea in Hungarian, and start the next psychology module.

I’ve noticed that exercise really might combat the potential stress. Well, usually I’m cool as a cucumber anyway. Once a month I’ll have a semi-breakdown, but for the rest of the time I wouldn’t even notice the sky tumbling down on me. Getting out of the house and doing something is so much fun, though. I love the feeling of blood, sweat and... endorphins. And yeah, it clears the head too.

Now... misters Mill, Kant, Locke, Rawls, Nozick & co. are waiting!

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tytöllä on ihme huvit. [FIN: The girl’s got strange amusements]

I was supposed to go shopping today, but after spending hours looking at shoes, red lingerie and faux leather pants, the most interesting thing I found was a bright pink hairbrush. Now I’m back home, warming my feet under a blanket while watching Fringe in Hungarian, working on the assignment for normative ethics and drinking coffee. Something strange must have happened to me since I think this is so much more fun than walking around in the shops and drowning in stuff.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Breaking News!

If you know Swedish and want to get a good laugh, you should read the article linked below. If you haven´t discovered that fascinating language just yet, I´ll tell you what the article is about anyway, because you just don´t want to miss this.

A driver was stopped by the police and had to pay a fine for... just wait for it... endangering traffic security. What did he do? He drove some extra laps in a roundabout. Oh, and he might have left some black marks in the asphalt as well.

Körde flera varv i rondellen - Ålandstidningen

Όσο ζω! [Gr: as long as I live]

Sometimes you just have to fake it! My body is tired from a lot of exercise and my mind is more dead than alive after hours of studying Hungarian verbs and adverbs. But, let´s forget about that now, find some cheerful Greek dancy pop, turn up the volume and party (or clean :)) like there´s no tomorrow. Cheers!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Flying Away?

In 30 minutes it’s time for a (short) run and I’m childishly excited about it, even if it’s really dark and windy outside. The plan is to do a 30-min tempo run. Now it’s time to get changed, charge the MP3-player and then go go go!


Saturday, 6 November 2010

An addition to the 7-week challenge

I made a small addition to the 7-week challenge: taking the stairs at least three times a day. We live on the seventh floor, so going up and down the stairs three times a day results in 690 extra steps a day.

Now I’m going for a run. The initial plan was going to the gym but I feel like running now!

Nem tudom miről beszélsz![Hu: I don’t know what you’re talking about!]

If you’ve ever read anything about horoscopes, you’ll know that an Aries can be very competitive at times. This is an aspect of my personality that I’ve been trying to suppress, because I believe that it’s not a very good characteristic, it just puts you under lots of unnecessary stress. And let’s face it, competitive people are usually really annoying. Seems like those attempts haven’t been all that successful: yesterday I realised something very important: I thrive on competition and challenges. For me it’s a way of life to pick a person who’s really good at what she or he does, make a huge effort and win the battle. (don’t worry, the battle is usually one of skill and knowledge, and the winner is the one who’s the best). And, thanks to the double-edged stubbornness my Finnish ancestors passed on to me, I usually do win. During those moments of focused effort I feel like I’m on fire. Without this element of competition in my life, I’m completely lost.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Zsuzsi's 7-week challenge: a little bit of work and a lot of play

Here it comes: the challenge that will keep me motivated and busy until Christmas. First, the motive is to introduce some routines into my life, as well as make some new discoveries.
In the next seven weeks, I challenge myself to the following (in no specific order):
  • Exercise "properly" at least 6 times a week: 3 x running and 3 x strength training or pilates. One of these should be interval training.
  • Go for a daily walk and enjoy the sunshine as much as possible.
  • Run for 90 minutes straight at least once.
  • Dedicate 20-30 minutes to self pampering everyday.
  • Discover new cuisines: try a new recipe (from a new country each time) once a week.
  • Read at least one book that makes me laugh out loud.
  • Go to the swimming pool at least once.
  • Avoid candy, including chocolate.
  • Visit a quiet place and just be.
  • Do 1000 jumps.
  • Create something...

Does anyone feel like joining this challenge? Or maybe do one of your own?

Ich bin so durcheinander

I’m being such a mess today: this far I’ve managed to break things, lose money, walk around in socks that don’t match... but... today is being a wonderful day. I had a gym/almuerzo date with the best Åsa in the world. First we did some serious sweating in the gym, after which we spent an hour or so talking crap and having breakfast in a random bar. That’s the perfect Thursday ritual and I hope it will continue for a long, long time. It's also really sunny and hot outside: this northern girl is quite excited about 27C in November.

No play without work, though, so now it’s time to translate an ad from Swedish/English –>; Finnish. Whoop!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Multiculturalism and immigration are hot topics up in Scandinavia right now. The debate on immigration and how to deal with it is intense, and the process is something that will unavoidably change those small, and until now relatively homogenous countries.

In my opinion multiculturalism is something positive, it enriches society. Thinking that a country "belongs" to a certain people seems irrational to me. However, and of course there’s a "however", the welfare state belongs to someone: the people who are maintaining it by their hard work. I don’t mind giving away a big part of my salary if it guarantees free education, effective health care, and so on. It’s OK that foreigners benefit as well, as long as they contribute to the general welfare. The problem is that there will always be free-riders who will enjoy the benefits while lying in the sofa, smoking pot. 

There is, however, one thing that annoys me beyond exasperation: people who come to a country, excepting to have everything given to them and then they dare to criticise the local people. They say that the locals are idiots and that it’s impossible to talk to them, but do they try make any contact? No. They claim that everybody hates them because they come from country X and that all the locals are racists. Are they friendly to the people who approach them? No. Are they trying to learn the language? No. They say that all the local girls are sluts because they like going to the local cattle market every Saturday. Have they tried to meet girls in any other places? No. The food is horrible, and so is the weather.

Moving to another country and adapting to the culture is tough, yeah anyone who’s been in the same situation knows that. It’s incredibly scary, not knowing anyone and having to deal with a lot of strange things at once. But it’s no excuse for self-pity and it definitely doesn’t justify the claim that all local people would be racists, because they’re not. They might not be welcoming you with open arms because they are busy with their own lives, but usually, if you’re nice, cultured, hard-working and make an effort, they’ll end up liking you. We are all responsible for our own happiness, both in our own country and in foreign lands.

Milego sluchania!

There are lots of great songs out there, and this one by Schiller always cheers me up.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A little challenge!

On Friday it’s exactly seven weeks until Christmas Eve, so it’s the perfect moment for an end-of-the-year challenge. Lately I have been feeling a bit glum and uninspired, so it’s time for some a-c-t-i-o-n to spark things up! Nothing is as effective and inspiring as planning and completing a fun challenge.

I will write more about this tonight, so stay tuned!

Monday, 1 November 2010

First week of November

This past weekend was strange. Nothing really happened, but I feel the need of a good rest now. I took and passed a psychology exam this morning, and now I’m just sitting here with a big cup of cappuccino, listening to the wind and planning the week ahead. As it looks now, I’ll be enjoying a week full of reading, work and exercise. Nothing new, in other words,

  • Monday: psychology exam. Work meeting. Work a couple of hours on assignment on normative ethics (utilitarianism).
  • Tuesday: gym with Å at 8 a.m. Work in the evening. Also need to translate a chapter in Hungarian text book.
  • Wednesday: running. work. Repeating Hungarian vocab + normative ethics (egoism)
  • Thursday: gym with Å. work. Hungarian grammar.
  • Friday: running. spoken Hungarian. Concert with some random Canadian singer + birthday party.
  • Saturday: gym. Girls’ night in/out. Work on final assignment for decision theory.
  • Sunday: pilates. run. Hungarian grammar. Decision theory.