Category Archives: lifestyle

Celebrating Pride Helsinki 2016

Pride Helsinki: the one day when my city is more colorful than I could imagine and when my friends and I head to a wonderful summer-y picnic. Amidst all the hate and mistrust, which breeds things like Brexit and the attack at the international Istanbul airport, there’s nothing more wonderful than joining in to a celebration of love and equality!

pride helsinki 2016

The march was only an hour long but it went great: there were no hateful incidents (at least none that I saw or read about afterwards) and the weather was unbelievably sunny and hot. Most times that I’ve attended Pride, the weather has been great, which I take as a sign of approval from the universe…

helsinki pride

The main event of Pride Helsinki after the march was in Kansalaistori, a park area right in the center of town. A stage was set up for artists to perform and speeches to be made. The area is quite small though, and with the 35 000 attendees trying to squeeze there, it got very crowded very fast. We ended up choosing a more quiet area further away from the booths that had food, balloons, and various storefronts as well as from the stage. The music was background noise while we sunbathed on the grass. We even had ice cream that came with little “fortunes” and didn’t mind paying 4,5 € for the yumminess that came in the form of butterscotch ice cream in between salted peanut cookies.

pride helsinki

Did you attend Pride this year?

Helsinki Book Fair 2015: Books and Food!

I recently went to the Helsinki Book Fair, where I was performing in a panel discussion with my editor-in-chief from the literature magazine I work for, Lukufiilis. The magazine is transitioning from print to online, so we were there to discuss the changes ahead.

I absolutely love the book fair: I go every year and it’s there that I allow myself to go bonkers with my book shopping. There is also usually the Wine, Food and Good Living fair, where you can go get free food samples in between your book browsing.

book fair

I ended up buying a few comics I’ve heard really good things about: Saga Volume 1 and Rat Queens Volume 1. Now that I have read both, I can say that I LOVE THEM! The art in both is pretty and realistic-looking, and I’m a fan of anything fantasy-related. Plus, Rat Queens was hilarious and I loved having strong female leads. And Saga was intriguing and exciting. I recommend both of them!

book fair haul

I love stopping by at the food fair also, because they have great selection of food items you wouldn’t normally buy. I often get Christmas presents for relatives from there and maybe some treats for myself, too. This year I had some delicious bruschetta from the Italian food stand.

Later on you can also find a more in-depth article about the book fair on Her Campus University of Helsinki!

Do you go to book fairs?

Wooden Wisdom: Elijah Wood as a DJ

elijah wood compilation

I was recently lucky enough to attend Elijah Wood’s DJ gig at a local club here in Helsinki (Club Kaiku). The tickets were on sale last Spring and I knew I’d want to go. How many chances in life do you have to see Frodo DJ? ;) He is part of a DJ duo called Wooden Wisdom with Zach Cowen and according to the event info their sound is “paradise garage”. They played their own collection of old vinyls so the music was a fun mix of 70s and 80s beats. It was a delightfully eclectic bunch of songs and really got our dance feet going. I attended the gig with a friend and we both had a blast from the queue all the way to the gig’s end.

elijah wood

Sometimes we’re lucky even here in Finland to get major stars and it was a bit of a childhood dream of mine to see Elijah Wood in person so this was the perfect end for my summer (the gig was on my last day of vacation before this semester started). I love going dancing and this definitely made it so much more special. And even the price was an affordable 20 euros. If anyone has a chance to go see them play, I thoroughly recommend it!

Kissakahvila Helsinki: a Trip to a Cat Cafe

This summer we finally got a cat cafe here in Helsinki. There’s been one in Finland but none here in the capital so it’s great that Kissakahvila Helsinki opened here now. It’s right in the center of town and naturally I made a reservation there as soon as they started taking bookings. The cafe proved to be so popular that first two weeks it was booked solid before the place had even opened.

cat cafe

The cafe takes a 5 euro “cat care fee” which goes to supporting the cats that live on the premises. There are right now six cats living there: five kittens and one adult. The kittens were all really lively although they had a tendency to go nap a lot…but that’s what babies do, of course! Sadly we didn’t get to see the only adult cat, Pete, because he was away getting worm medicine.

The food was absolutely amazing: everything is made in the cafe, so all the food is fresh and home made. We saw some of the delicious looking sandwiches but in the end opted for carrot cake and cheese cake. They were to die for. It was like eating a little slice of heaven.

cat cafe 2

The cafe had instructions on how to interact with the cats on their menus, which I thought was an excellent idea. It’s good that they have established the ground rules because I’m sure many customers would just love to pick up the sleeping little furballs, which naturally isn’t very nice for the kittens. All the cats seemed to like the attention, and they were not disturbed by the hassle even when sleeping.

Hopefully soon I’ll have a chance to go there again!

Have you ever been to a cat cafe?

5 Fandom Friday: Lifechanging Songs

5fandomfriday

5 Fandom Friday is a weekly linkup hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick and this week’s prompt was songs that changed my life. My picks didn’t necessarily CHANGE my life but they have given me inspiration or influenced me.

I’ve never been a person who gets super into different artists. I often like a few songs someone made but hardly ever a full album. I don’t know too many artists and I have a completely random taste in music. But here are a few songs that really have influenced me:

Songs That Changed My Life

1. Fix You – Coldplay

My best friend sent me this song when I was going through a tough breakup and it somehow helped me. At least I knew that my friends were there for me.

2. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

I love these female power songs. This one made me feel like I could do anything.

3. Girls, Be Ambitious – Miyavi

I just love how Miyavi is always changing, always doing something new and different. That inspires me just as a person and, on top of that, his music is fabulous. I love when he combines e.g. jazz with j-pop.

4. Demons – Imagine Dragons

I think this is a perfect song about the inner darkness we all have. Sometimes I feel like listening to this when I feel really bad, because the son itself is beautiful and it makes me think that even the darker sides of us can be beautiful too.

5. Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles

I don’t even know exactly why this song affected me so much but it did. I love the Beatles and this is my favorite song from them. It’s full of sadness but it’s somehow just so ethereal that you can’t help but love it.

5 Fandom Friday: Conventions

5fandomfriday
I decided to finally start participating in 5 Fandom Friday: a weekly linkup hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. Considering my love for fandoms, I just had to start participating (before I’ve always been too busy).

I just love the idea of conventions, they’re so great for meeting like-minded people and they have such a sense of community! Unfortunately, we hardly have any here in Finland but it’s my goal to someday go to a proper huge convention either in the UK or the States.

5 Fandom Friday: Conventions I’ve been to or wish to attend

Animecon: A Finnish anime convention with so much fun stuff to do! From video editing and cosplay contests to dance lessons and art shows, this is the place to be if you like Japan-stuff! I have gone couple of times and it’s always a lot of fun.

Tracon: another Finnish anime convention with a very similar style to Animecon. I’ve usually found that Animecon has a better, friendlier atmosphere though. But both are fab!

Finncona free science fiction and fantasy literature convention in Finland, that changes location from one city to another every year. I’ve been there a few times and I just love the atmosphere. No better place for a bibliophile!

Charmed Convention: There’s a Charmed convention that has been organized a few times (if I remember correctly) in Paris and I love love love Charmed so obviously I’d LOVE to go!

Any Comic Con or Doctor Who convention: I think it’s obvious why I’d want to go to a Comic Con – they’re the best conventions! And there’s so much to see (I always read the programs even though I don’t ever get to go – boo to living in Finland!). Also, anything Doctor Who related is amazing in my books!

 

If you want to know more about 5 Fandom Friday or participate in the linkup go check out The Nerdy Girlie!

What conventions have you gone to/would like to attend? :)

Tallinn Haul

Finally I managed to transfer all my photos. It was a long time coming :) I wanted to do another small haul post since I got so much great stuff from my Tallinn trip!

tallinn haul

White peplum top from River Island, 60$

They have run out of the blue skirt in Zara but there’s a pink one with the same shape and fabric here!

Reserved still has those joggers. :)

Flow Festival 2014

I was SO meant to post this last week but somehow time just flew by and I forgot. But here it is: very simple recap of Flow Festival! It’s a great summer festival that often features both mainstream and underground artists – in fact, I go there pretty much every summer.

flow 1

One of the best things about Flow is that you can hop on the metro near my house and take it to the festival area in 20 minutes…no need to sleep in a crummy tent!

flow 2

flow 3

I hope I can continue to go every summer – so far I have not been disappointed. And the price range is great: usually for 80 euros you can see 3-4 great artists (plus some you didn’t even know you wanted to see!).

Throwing a Surprise Party: Friends, Food and Fun!

party punch-cake-chips

During the weekend we threw a surprise birthday for our friend Oskar and I have to say it was one of the most successful surprise parties I’ve been a part of. Oskar’s girlfriend organized the party and asked our help in setting everything up. She had gotten amazing foods for the party: croissants with cheese, basil and strawberries; chocolate cake; blueberry pie as well as chips and chili nuts.

recipes-by-susan

The secret to throwing a surprise party seems to be balancing the line of not telling the birthday girl/boy and not alienating them. I have once organized a surprise party and during the planning period the birthday girl started thinking that her friends didn’t like her anymore because we couldn’t hang out with her as much (since we were busy planning and setting up the party). This time it was a close call since many people had to blow off meeting up with Oskar but in the end, everything went great and no one ended up ruining the surprise.

We had gotten him a gift basket – kind of like a summer care package – with a jump rope, comics, sun screen, and other things. Me and Ari also made the punch, and here’s the recipe if you want to make some:

  • bottle of white wine (something fruity)
  • liter bottle of apple-grape juice
  • 1,5 liter bottle of apple-flavored mineral water
  • half a liter bottle of vodka
  • bag of frozen berries (we used a mix with strawberries and raspberries)

It was such a fun party – even though I was suffering from a migraine earlier during the day – and it was fun seeing so many of our friends there! HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSKAR!

Introducing Merlin: Our New Kitten

merlin kitten

If you’ve followed my Instagram and/or Twitter, you know that we recently (less than two weeks ago, in fact) got a little kitten, who at the time was only 12 weeks old. We named the little guy Merlin and he is officially the cutest fur ball EVER. He is light orange with tiger stripes and, even though he was very shy at first, he has turned into a very sociable and cuddlesome kitty.

sleepyhead kitten

Merlin has already started to recognize his name and about half the time he even listens to the word “NO!” He cried a lot during the first days but now has settled down and accepted that there’s no use running away from the people who provide the food three times a day. He has had his first vaccinations and is a healthy kitten all around.

Things we have learned so far:

  • It’s good to have several drinking places because cats don’t always recognize their thirst and might not otherwise drink enough.
  • Kittens might seem to completely forget how to walk when you put a harness on for the first time (WARNING: you might actually die of laughter just watching your kitten wobbling around trying to learn how to walk again).
  • Milk might actually cause stomach problems for cats.
  • Get a climbing/scratching tree as soon as possible if you want to save your furniture.
  • Some cats are clearly entertained by the sight of their owner picking up poop from the litter box (maybe it’s a power kick for them).

More updates on Merlin later – that’s guaranteed!