30 September 2010

Goodbye to an Era

Life will never be the same again.

You know how I never know what to cook? (And I mean it, it's a struggle every single day). Well, my sad days of yet-another-sandwich-for-dinner are over. OVER. Because an angel named Yotam Ottolenghi disguised as a cookbook (and for the price of 25 EUR) arrived at my door last week. It's full of green, healthy, non-fuss, vegetarian dishes and I am convinced it'll make me live longer (if not longer, then at least healthier).

I've already tried out a few and they have been WONDERful. I highly recommend. You can buy one, for example, here (free worldwide shipping). If you are local, I'm also happy to lend it to you.

Yotam Ottolenghi is an Israeli who came to Britain, then teamed up with a Palestinian to create a highly succesful restaurant chain in London. I love that. His recipes are Middle Eastern with European influences.

[Note: the recipes use European measurements.]

... His column at the Guardian (with lots of free recipes).
... His website.

29 September 2010

Funky People.

Not quite as cool as lilla a's, but so much fun on a daddy-has-a-busy-day-at-work night. I can't believe how much the Miss loved making these collage people! (And Sisie cherished all that rustling paper.)

Cut out and glue, cut out and glue. Look at end product... and there, Giggles is in town again! :)

28 September 2010

Pops of Color

Hi, how are you? I'm doing much better. Color has been popping back into my life (a lot of lilacs and pinks, too!) I've decided to stop worrying about the things I can't change... to let go... ah, letting go... what a relief (I should do it more often).

You know, I've been listening too much lately to that inner voice of mine that keeps telling me I'm no good. Do you know that voice? On some days she seems to be my best friend. What a silly best friend to have. I'd like to shut her out of my life for good. (I don't think that would be rude, would it, given she is rather rude herself).

I want to surround myself with friendly people instead. Kindness, Self-respect, Faith, ... and Giggles. (Fé, Sisie and I are especially fond of Giggles, she comes by for visits every day, especially right before bedtime.)

PS That print is by Jeanette Lunde of Fryd + Design. For the girls. Pretty, isn't it. (I bought mine here.)
PPS I really, really want this rug. And this bag.


27 September 2010


"Once more the liberal year laughs out
O'er richer stores than gems or gold:
Once more with harvest song and shout
Is nature's boldest triumph told."
(John Greenleaf Whittier)

There is nothing like an extensive nature walk with the family to refresh your mind (something I learned from my mother). Welcome, welcome, new week!

25 September 2010

Days Like These...

... and how are you doing today? :D
... und wie geht's Euch heute so? :D

{And btw, I really appreciated all of your comments. To each one of you, thank you, for understanding, for dropping by, for leaving a note. It isn't that I'm saying we should be sad all the time, but I'm saying that sadness is also part of life, and there is a certain kind of beauty in it. There is no reason to hide it. There is no color without gray. :) And I want to be honest on this blog, and not come across like Santa Claus on Prozac, or as one of the commenters put it, a Stepford Wife. Some of the blogs I read make me feel inferior and incompetent because they only let me see their perfect side: happiness and bliss all the time. It's tiring, and a bit frightening. We are women, let's inspire each other with honesty, not pull each other down by pretending we are ever so perfect. So here you go. I'm not perfect. Quite the opposite. I haven't slept in over a week, trying to calm a fussy baby during the night. I'm cranky during the day. My eyes fell shut today while nursing, and it was the hardest thing, to force them to open up again. Our house looks like a pigsty, and I feel like hibernating for winter. Does all of that mean I'm not happy? No and no. I am very happy, very blessed. Happiness is a long-term thing, the joy you have in your heart, deep down, despite unpleasant circumstances. The last weeks have simply been rough, and that's okay, too.}

Oh, and I miss creating, I have a list of things that I've been wanting to make (among others, that no-sew pillow, Stine!)... but our place still isn't finished, and all my craft supplies are stored away in a box somewhere... and right now, honestly, I'm operating on pure survival mode. But having said this, I hope the rest of fall will see some creativity. And if nothing else, pictures of our loft... the girls room... hopefully before Christmas! :D

{Hallo, ich wollte einmal Danke sagen, an eine Jede von euch, für eure lieben Worte, euer Verständnis. Ich wollte nicht sagen, dass man immer Trübsal blasend durch die Welt gehen soll, sondern, dass Traurigkeit auch teil des Lebens ist, und dass man sie nicht immer verstecken sollte. Ohne Traurigkeit gibt's auch kein Glücklichsein. Beim Lesen mancher Blogs fühle ich mich inkompetent, weil dort immer nur ewige Perfektion vorgeführt wird. Und ich will hier nicht perfekt erscheinen, wie eine der Frauen von Stepford, oder ein mit Aufputschmitteln bestückter Weihnachtsmann. Im Gegenteil: ich bin ganz und gar nicht perfekt, und dass das bloss keiner denkt! Ich habe seit Wochen nicht richtig geschlafen, meine Augen fallen mir beim Stillen zu, und es verlangt mir sehr viel Selbstdisziplin ab, sie wieder zu öffnen. Tagsüber bin ich oft mürrisch, und wenn's ginge, würde ich gerne einen wohligen Winterschlaf abhalten, so wie dicke Brummbären. Bei uns zuhause sieht's derzeit aus wie bei Hempel's unter'm Sofa. Und heisst dass jetzt alles, dass ich unglücklich bin? Nein, sondern nur, dass ich normal bin. Dass die letzten Wochen ein bisschen holprig waren. Und das ist auch volkommen okay so.}

20 September 2010


Ah hello, it has been a while. (Warning, this will be long and personal, and possibly rant-like)

I have so many things to say, and then again, nothing really. I could talk about how an old friend of mine became a father this weekend and how I have felt strangely emotional about it. I have been mindlessly happy for him... He used to sometimes walk me home, with his bike, and we'd talk about the girls he was in love with (mostly that one girl), and I'd talk about anything, but never the boy I was in love with (that one boy, him). He made those first years in Finland, as an insecure teenager, much more bearable and I feel indebted to him, somehow, for being a friend when I felt very lonely. And now, he is a father! It's miraculous, to see the boys around us grow up.

I could talk about how another dear old friend got married, to somebody I don't even know... is she happy?, I wonder, because we haven't really talked in ten years... because I've moved away... I suppose, and left her there alone, and never thought to check back on how she was doing, although, in heart, I always was with her.

I could talk about how yet another friend, fellow first-time mother, fellow foreigner (although she has long since moved back to her home country) got a divorce last week. How it's made me sad, for them, for couples everywhere that used to be happy. I don't know any details because I haven't been in touch and it feels hypocritical to ask now.

I could talk about how I have been feeling a little tired lately, and a little blue, too. Everybody offers their help when you have a newborn, but you don't need it, because they sleep all the time and you are full of love and wonder. And then, by five months, when everybody expects you to have adjusted to your new situation with a baby, you start feeling like you stop handling it all that well.

I could talk about how I have been feeling like shutting the door to my soul for a little while. Curling up in my snug home, shutting the blinds to the outside world. You know, that feeling. I could talk about all of this, and yet I don't (really) because I feel a sense of shame over my emotional ups and downs.

Why is it that women are expected to be rational and reasonable (or are they?). I've never been good at being a steady stream of emotions, mine are more like little whirlwinds, and they hit at unannounced times. [I was once in class, the professor saying something about the Gulf War, and whatever it was he said, about military strategy, he said it with such cool rationality that it made me sick to my stomach and I yelled something like this, loud and clear, for everybody in the auditorium to hear: How dare you talk about war like that? People die! People die every day! Afterward a friend patted me on the shoulder and said: Aww, poor you, is it that time of month again? And I nodded and said, yes, yes, it is, finding myself highly embarrassed about my emotional outburst among a class full of serious students of political science. Only that, it wasn't that time of month. I simply felt like crying that day, that minute, for all those people that died that day.]

So, my question is, is it bad? To be emotional? To cry when we feel like it, and laugh when we feel like it? I have never had a depression (I think), but I have noticed that people who do are ashamed of it, and they treat it as an enemy, something foreign to them. And once they come out of it, they say, hey look, it's me, I'm back again! But isn't the blue feeling, the sadness, the grief, also part of who we are? And why do we need to hide that part?

You see, I think it's beautiful to be sad sometimes. To be emotional. To be warm. To be woman. There is beauty in gray. We took a walk by the waterfront on Sörnäisten rantatie yesterday and saw the most stunning double rainbow against a backdrop of the grayest sky. Semicircular arcs, with two golden ends. I think seeing that may be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and the beauty of its sight made me cry...

So, you see. A lot of everythings and nothings. I don't know why I am telling you all this. Oh wait, I do. I felt like it.

(And I will very likely feel embarrassed about this post tomorrow... but oh well).

Es tut mir leid, ihr Lieben, ich hab jetzt keine Zeit das Gelabere hier zu uebersetzen. Alles ist in Ordnung, bei uns geht's zur Zeit ein bisschen drunter und drueber, ich bin auf einer Achterbahn der Gefuehle und mache hier den Punkt, dass man, als Mensch, als Frau, manchmal emotionsgeladen sein darf (oder etwa nicht!). Es gibt Schoenheit, auch in Traurigkeit. Grau ist manchmal ganz schoen toll.

15 September 2010

Inspiration Files 7... For Little Girls.

Top image via Madebygirl. second: the lil bee. third: © Jeanette Lunde, Fryd + Design. Used with permission. Fourth via Jojos room. Fifth and sixth via emmas designblogg, here and here. Seventh via Fryd + Design. Eighth via Procrastination Mama. Bottom image Divaani, 4/10, p.68-69.

My two girls are getting a girly room, can you tell. And, apart from the girls, guess who'll spend a lot of time there with them, loving every girly minute of it? (Oh, I'm thinking of tea parties, and cupcakes, frilly dresses, big bows, fairy wings, sleepovers under vanilla skies, cotton candy, pinwheels... and very cool Japanese paper lamps.)

Btw, I am a new proud owner of that gorgeous paper garland (by Fryd + Design, you can buy one here). I  can't WAIT to see it hanging in the new girls' room... as well as something else, most wonderful, by Fryd + Design that I will reveal later (once I've found a fitting frame for it). :) 

Ah, sometimes [and I mean always] it's just so great to be a girl!

14 September 2010

Afternoon Of The Same Day

I have a new chair. LOVE. I need to find a place for it (other than in front of my dirty windows...). Everything is messy in our place right now, but that chair, wherever it stands, well, it looks like it's supposed to be right there. You almost (but only almost) forget it's there. Like a ghost, truly.

PS There are some exciting things happening around here... a little give-away, soon... and an interview with me about motherhood (if I'll ever manage to e-mail her back my answers... hehe).


I like the word fall. How fitting. The year falls to an end, the leaves fall, everything falls (softly). I am falling, too...

It was a beautiful day. Almost warm. We took a walk to "our" farm (again... are you tired of seeing pictures of sheep yet?!). We saw lots of mushrooms. And leaves. It's ruska-aika, the time of autumn-colored leaves. We had a picnic, we hung out with friends. We got cranky on our way home (every outing must end with crankiness or it isn't a real outing). We came home and drank a cocoa (with oat milk and thick chocolate syrup).

Dear Fall, yes, I'm falling for you. :)