21 February 2015

G is for Greenery

It's still snowy, cold, windy, rainy, and generally really miserable outside, but I'm craving some greenery. At the moment we don't have any houseplants, because I'm scared that our cats would eat them. I don't want to bring anything potentially poisonous into our home because of them. At my parents' place they seem to love to nibble anything with long, hanging, grass-like leaves, but aren't very interested in succulents and cacti (or cactuses, if you'd prefer). Therefore I'm leaning towards getting some of those. There are so many different kinds, though! I've been browsing Pinterest to get some ideas on how to plant them.

Any opinions which plants I should choose? Oh, and if you have any tips on how to keep cats away from flower pots, please do share! ;)

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14 February 2015

F is for Friends

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Or "Hyvää ystävänpäivää!" as we say in Finnish.
Ystävänpäivä literally means friends' day. The concept of Valentine's is therefore a tad different than in, say, the US. We do celebrate Valentine's Day with our significant others, but we also like to remember our friends on this day.
My three best friends and I actually live relatively far away from each other, which is why we don't get to hang out as often as I'd like. We've known each other since we were 16: we all went to the same high school and were placed on the same class. We hit it off instantly, and have been close ever since. There is nothing I feel I can't talk about with them. They've seen me both at my best and at my worst and they know me better than anyone else (apart from the Boyfriend, of course). Growing up together has been a real blessing
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm happy and proud to be able to call them my friends and I love them more than words could express.

I wanted to insert a picture of us all, but I still want to keep the girls as my friends. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want me to post embarrassing pictures of us as teenagers all over the internet... ;) Instead, you get a snap of my best furry friends!
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12 February 2015

Theater Trip: The Light Fantastic

The Boyfriend and I went to TTT-Theatre to see Valokuvavarkaat (literally: Photograph thieves) yesterday. I got a considerable discount on the tickets, so we decided to take the offer up even though we didn't know anything about the play or its author, Orvokki Autio.

Valokuvavarkaat was actually interesting and surprising. It tells the story of an aging mother and two middle-aged daughters. The younger of the sisters, Anelma, is an artist and has lived in fear of her mother and sister Ansa all her life and is now starting to break free from them. Ansa, who has been their mother's favorite, is instead getting a divorce and seeing a younger man, which the mother cannot begin to understand. "I have to always be ashamed and suffer for what you do!", she constantly huffs. She has lost her husband and son, and has had a hard life raising the two girls on her own. Ansa has always been the spitting image of her mother, while Anelma (much to her mother's dismay) has taken after her father's side of the family. Valokuvavarkaat was funny, touching, and thought-provoking. We cannot choose our families, but we can choose how we treat them and how we let ourselves be treated. Nobody should have to listen to others belittle him or her.

Visually, Valokuvavarkaat was great! I found the staging, lighting, sounds and music extremely well done. Anelma's memories are presented with puppetry; some of the puppets portraying her mother and sister Ansa are terrifyingly huge and have booming voices. Sometimes they are tiny figures that nag at her about everything she does. Anelma's uncle Unto is a round-faced, happy-looking puppet with a soft, friendly voice. When he is on stage, even the lighting turns a softer, warmer shade of yellow.

The lights really made the mood of the play. The lighting was also used to make distinctions between the past and the present (and the transition between them). Sometimes I forgot to listen to the dialogue: I just stared at the beauty of the lighting. It's hard to put to words the magic of the play between light and shadow, really. If you get a chance to go see Valokuvavarkaat and experience it all for yourself, I'd highly recommend you do so.

What was the last play you went to see? I'm already looking forward to next fall: I have tickets for both Billy Elliot at the Helsinki City Theatre and The Phantom of the Opera at the Finnish National Opera!

[All the pictures in this post are from the TTT-Theatre webpage. I do not own rights to any of them.]
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8 February 2015

Sneak Peek of Bridesmaid's Dress

As I told you guys before, my best friend is getting married in the summer. She is a really talented textile artisan student and shr's making my dress for the wedding herself. On Friday I tried on the first prototypr of it, which was super-exciting! :) I can't wait to see the final work of art. And to get to wear it, of course!
Here's a little sneak preview of what Janni says dress should look like. (Pretty, huh?) 
P.S. The Alphabet series is going to continue, in case you were wondering. I mean, we haven't even begun, really. ;)
P.P.S. Go and follow my best friend's blog. She posts way more than I do, and the contents make far more sense than my usual ramblings (the blog is in Finnish, but the photos are nice to look at in any language). She is the one who designed the dress, drew it, and took the image above, so she owns the rights to all of it.
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1 February 2015

E is for Energy

I don't really make New Year's resolutions, but this year I did make one decision: to be happier. Not healthier or fitter or more good-looking or more hard-working. I just want to be happy with who I am and where I am without stressing too much. I was craving for some positive energy!
I therefore decided to take up yoga again. I used to do yoga about once a week and I can still remember how good, calm, and in control I felt after the classes. I felt empowered, as stupid as it sounds. Now that I'm a student and my parents aren't paying for stuff, yoga classes seemed a bit too expensive for my wallet. Where did I turn to? The wonderful world wide web, of course!
I've been doing 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene for 22 days now. I got ill for a week or so smack in the middle of January, so I'm a little "behind". Not that you can fall behind; the videos aren't going anywhere and you can take a break and go back to them whenever you please. My goal is to do the 30 days and then start from day one all over again!
Starting my days with yoga has brought so much energy back into my life. I sleep better, my brain works better (which makes my teachers very happy), and I think overall I'm a much nicer person to hang out with. Taking time for yourself is important. As Adriene says in her videos, find what feels good. I found the positive energy I was looking for. It was inside me all along, just waiting to be found.

Not long now 'til these guys reappear! Who's ready for spring?
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