Tuesday, 24 April 2012

As Of Late

TT went to Spain yesterday morning, so I’ve been messing up the whole house. A couple of hours have also been dedicated to exercising and once in a while I’ve found myself scribbling on some university assignment. It’s deadline after deadline and exams are coming up. The rest of the time I’ve been eating candy and trying to convince myself that exercise gives two points and the candy only minus one, so I’m still getting in shape. Positive thinking will take you far, let’s believe in that Smile

All of this in 2 days. Oh, and every morning I have spent an incredible amount of time swearing and cursing, while throwing clothes on the floor. How hard can it be to find something decent to wear?

Today’s desperate outfit (desperate in the sense that it was the only clothes I found at 8 a.m.)


Don’t fear. I do take pictures of other things too.

Like flowers (you’d better appreciate this, I had to invade the neighbours in order to demonstrate that spring is arriving). How cool isn’t it, by the way, that it’s still fairly light at 10 pm. Nothing beats the white summers of the North. Nothing.



Tuesday entertainment: Hungarian literature and tea. It doesn’t take much to be happy Smile

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Smoothie Season :)

Last night I secretly started the season with a plain strawberry smoothie, today – as it’s the official season opening Smile - I dared to be a bit braver and added some instant coffee into the mix. Coffee and strawberries actually go really well together. Yummy!



Ingredients: de-frozen strawberries,  3 tbsp. whey protein (strawberry), 1 tbsp. instant coffee and 1 cup natural yoghurt (fat-free). At the end some muesli was added.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Raiding the Freezer

Last night at 10 pm I  promised my partner in crime, K, to cook her a vegetarian lunch for today before the gym. The initial plan was to go crazy at the supermarket, but then it hit me: why not check the freezer instead? After poking around for a while, I found chanterelles and green beans in the freezer, and there was cheese, oat cream and onion in the fridge. At the end I just had to buy some zucchini. The lunch – spaghetti with chanterelle and zucchini in a cream sauce -  was delicious, and I will definitely cook this again.






Thursday, 19 April 2012

Hungary: A Love Story

I found this post in the draft – some of the events mentioned below have passed to history a long time ago, still, I think this is something that might be worth sharing with the world.
As most of the readers of this blog will know, I’m a great fan of Hungary and the Hungarian language. I’m thinking that this might be a good moment to dwell a little further on this topic.
The first thing I wrote in my facebook status when I got to Budapest was “I feel like home”. This statement has different meanings for different people: in my case it’s a strong one because I never feel like home anywhere.

9 years ago I went to Hungary for the first time: that time I spent a couple of weeks in Debrecen and also did some travelling in the eastern parts of the country. I instantly knew that there was something special about the country – it might sound silly, but I experienced a couple of moments of “freedom” and other vague things that I had never felt before.

(I’m writing this at the airport – and I just need to comment that there is a Spanish guy sitting next to me who’s wearing a hat made of fur, and it’s only like 20 centigrade outside).

Back to Hungary and Hungarian. So, I experienced a couple of moments of bliss. Next thing I knew I got to know some Hungarians, not many, but a couple, and it instantly felt like we understood each other. We had the same kind of mentality. Now, I know that saying that a whole nation has the same kind of mentality is gibberish, because it’s just not plausible, but on some rare occasions you find people from one culture or another who are like you.

Then, when I was living in Spain and yearning back to school (I had recently graduated) I found that the University of Uppsala in Sweden was offering Hungarian as a distance course. I applied, got accepted and now I’m in my third year. To be honest, I’m not dedicating as much time and energy as I should to this language, but it feels like a part of my life now.

I think that we’re not always born in the right place. Cultures are different, societies are different and they form and affect the people living within them. I know that seeing a country from a tourist’s point of view is always different and unrealistic. Every place has its downsides – the way I experienced Debrecen and Budapest was coloured by specific events and specific people. Yet, that feeling of belonging was very nice and I know that I will be returning there someday. In the meantime I can study the language and maybe even hang out (or at least communicate via the web) with people I like and get along with well.

A Lot of Work And No Play

The articles, government propositions and books are piling up on the table (and the floor and under my pillow). It’s probably time to start doing something about them soon so that we won’t drown in paper. At the moment I’m in a phase where I want to do a lot of things: arrange and re-arrange our home, be creative, write, read, start/change/develop a/the blog, train, cook delicious food… I’d probably need my own time manager, or perhaps an assistant Smile Anyhow, I’m not complaining because I’m doing exactly the things I want to do. The best way to enjoy life is to enjoy the things you do, it’s as simple as that.

Speaking of the blog. Ages ago I mentioned the possibility to start a multilingual blog (or, to be more precise, I asked if anyone knew how to create one). This blog is like a personal diary and it’s very dear to me, but I have thought about the possibility to start a more impersonal blog about things that interest me (but it wouldn’t be about me per se). And this would be done in at least Finnish/Swedish/English. Now, what do you guys think, would it be a really bad idea to start combining various fields (something along the line of politics, psychology, well-being, travelling)? The argument usually goes that the blogger should stick to one or very few topics, but that thought doesn’t appeal to me at all!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Yesterday’s Dinner (Diet Style Plus Some Cheese)

Life is crazy in the playground. These days I actually weigh everything I put in my mouth. Geez. It’s incredible how heavy food actually is – I’m quite sure that I’ve always eaten too much because I basically thought that it would be less. But the below portion actually fits the diet plan I'm following (well, except for the cheese… but cheese has plenty of protein..) Smile



Spaghetti (45 g.), oven-baked salmon (125 g.), any amount of veggies (pepper, tomato, onion + garlic) and then the cheese (feta cheese + grated cheese). It was delicious!!

And see now… even carrots are heavy! You can only carry 100 of those in your hand luggage on the plane.


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Week Ahead

The throat is finally getting better, so I’ve spent a good 30 minutes doing what I like most: planning! Smile (the throat needs to be OK because I’m planning my training for next week…).

The plan is as follows:


I’ve got two different kinds of training plans that I could follow, including this one. I’ll give this a try for a week, and then decide which one is better. The morning walks are a new addition, but there is no longer any excuse to omit them, considering that the sun rises shortly after 6 am. The place where I work is also only a 7-minute walk away so walking to work and back doesn’t give enough exercise.

Today’s lunch was delicious, yet extremely spicy


Bulgur, chicken breast, mushrooms, chili, garlic, lots of cilantro and feta cheese.

Friday, 13 April 2012

So In Love With…

…polka dots. One of the few fun things today was the parcel that was waiting for me at the post office. The dress is very short, but it’s perfect for summer Smile




Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Things I Really Like At The Moment

A reader asked me to post about my favourite things. I started writing that post a while ago, but then it suddenly disappeared. Let’s give this another shot. My taste is usual quite simple when it comes to most things. The things I like are usually the ones I feel passionate about: people, places, thoughts, ideas, knowledge… Good food is also very important, as well as laughter, challenges and physical activity.  Recently I have also noticed that I’m starting to pay more attention to clothes and appearance – maybe it’s because summer is knocking on the door? Drink-wise I’m in love with red wine, and chickpeas and feta cheese are the essentials on my plate.
Three life-savers: foundation from Clarins, concealer from Lumene and red lipstick from Clinique

Fitness mags + training

Travelling + places…

Skirts + high heels… taking pictures of oneself in the ladies’ room is optional

Green tea saves the day – this one, from Clipper, is very smooth and very, very delicious

I cannot leave the house without pen and paper

Turkish yoghurt is also oh so delicious


Favourite colours this spring: bright yellow and navy blue. Polka dots and red are also nice!

A Quick Update

It’s Thursday already. On Tuesday I started my internship at the local parliament, and this far it has been really interesting. I’m attending the plenary sessions as well as meetings behind closed doors, meaning that I get a good look into what politics really is about - seeing how everything works and also being able to observe and analyse the decision-making process is a great opportunity. I’m really happy about being where I am, and I feel that I definitely want to work in a field related to politics. At the same time I’ve been feeling quite poorly all week: it might be the stress caused by the new situation or something else, but everything is hurting me and I’m constantly feeling cold. As soon as I've finished this hot cup of tea that's on the table, I’ll crawl into bed where I’ll read some articles on generating research hypotheses for psychology and then just doze off. The weekend will be spent sleeping.

Today’s outfit.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Bucket List

Today is my birthday. I have tried not to think of my "new" age, even though there has been a bit of a twentytoomany-crisis looming in the air. There is so much I want to do, but I honestly don't know where to start. The trip to Budapest gave me lots of energy and ideas - I want to stick to that energy, turn it into something good.

In order to remind myself, I'm re-posting my bucket list. When reading it, I can think of some things to add, and maybe some things that could be deleted. For the time being, though, I will let it remain the same as it was a couple of years ago. However, I'm stunned that I can't really tick off many things. Maybe it means that it's time for me to start living?

  1. Visit all European capitals. (Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, London, Madrid, Tallinn, Riga, Moscow, Warsaw, Athens, Budapest)
  2. Visit Kamchatka.
  3. Get back to my „Russian” weight. -> changed this to GET INCREDIBLY FIT
  4. Try pole dancing.
  5. Discuss current affairs in 10 languages. (Finnish/Swedish/English/Spanish/Russian/Polish/Hungarian/Czech/Dutch/German)
  6. Read a book in above mentioned languages + French.
  7. Read Camus and Sartre in the original.
  8. Manage doing a split.
  9. Match my clothes, at least once in my life.
  10. Kiss a girl.
  11. Own a Finnish Lapphund and name it Frunze.
  12. Get married.
  13. Run the Budapest marathon.
  14. Run the Prague half-marathon.
  15. Have my own library
  16. Throw out a TV or a laptop through the window in true rock'n'roll style.
  17. Invent my own cocktail.
  18. Get an advanced university degree, or three. 
  19. Get visible abs.
  20. Stand on my hands.
  21. Translate a book from Hungarian.
  22. Lie on a beach in Dubrovnik.
  23. Cycle through a country.
  24. Fix my nails.
  25. Buy an unnecessarily expensive bag,
  26. Go skinny dipping.
  27. Grow my own herbs.
  28. Talk to a stranger on the street.
  29. Learn to dance. Anything.
  30. Survive a week of serious detoxing.
  31. Invite friends over and make them a Georgian meal.
  32. Walk the „Camino de Santiago de Compostela”
  33. Learn to drive a motorcycle.
  34. Go hiking in the Tatra and Caucasus mountains.
  35. Swim in the Black Sea.
  36. Write a book, it doesn’t even have to be a good one.
  37. Throw an “exotic food” party.
  38. Visit Allie (and anyone else who wants to be visited) in the US.
  39. Travel through South America on a motorcycle à Che Guevara.
  40. Sip on a Pina Colada under a palm tree in the Caribbean.
  41. Have my own company.
  42. Study the Tao.
  43. Do voluntary work with immigrants.
  44. Try boxing.
  45. Finish reading the  "Quiet Don". (The Don is very quiet indeed, it’s a bit like War and Peace)
  46. Get better acquainted with Denmark and Norway.
  47. Buy a bicycle.
  48. Take the DELE-exam at advanced level, and pass.
  49. Take the Polish version of above exam.
  50. Visit the dentist.
  51. Finish a 3000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
  52. Get lost in a strange city.
  53. Make a dress for myself
  54. Attend a tea ceremony.
  55. Pass a course in macroeconomics
  56. Get my driver’s license.
  57. Get a plant and keep it alive.
  58. Get rid of all the stuff I no longer use. 
  59. Join a political party.
  60. Learn statistics. 

Friday, 6 April 2012


While listening to some random Russians chatting in their native tongue at a table nearby, I was struck with a sudden feeling of…. love, maybe? Being in love with languages might sound like a very silly thing, but I cannot think of a better word to explain this feeling. Languages just make me emotional.
I quickly updated my facebook status with the following summary:
(Irish) English is sexy, (the Savonian version of) Finnish is hot. Spanish can make chocolate melt. Catalan and Dutch are the funny ones, French is the language of philosophy. Swedish is compulsory and German is kinda cool. Polish makes me happy and Hungarian feels like home. But the most beautiful of them all is Russian.

How do languages make you feel?
(I know, I know… I’ve written about this before!!)

Monday, 2 April 2012


Drinking coffee, re-discovering old favourites and watching the snow fall… This is what holidays are all about Smile This girl is so talented, and just listening to her makes me want to go out there and discover the world.

Monday Food: “Salsa Mexicana” & Chicken

As part of my new eating habits, I’m trying to increase the amount of protein and veggies in my diet. After some digging on the internet I found an interesting veggie recipe here (in Swedish) and decided to try it with some chicken and feta cheese.


Ingredients: 4 tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 chili, 1 garlic clove, cilantro and some squeezed lime juice.


Sunday, 1 April 2012


Remember my Beach 2012-project? Well… I’m halfway through it, and this morning it was time to use the measuring tape again and check if there’s been any change compared to January. And all I can say is: wohoo! Now, I have been far from self-disciplined so I was really happy about the results. The progress is slow, but it IS happening.

Waist: –4 cm

Chest: –2 cm (this was the saddest part Smile)

Hips: –3 cm

Right thigh: –4 cm

Left thigh: – 4 cm

Right bicep: 0

Left bicep: 0

Now I’m going to start with a new training program and also change my eating habits a little bit. We’ll see where that will take us Smile