Monday, October 28, 2013

Holidays on my mind.

15 nights. That's the nights left to my summer holiday. Last spring we decided we would save our holidays till the time of the year when it's dark and cold and wet and miserable. And so we've been waiting and planning and counting the days. And now it's only 2 weeks away!

And where are we going? Might be that I've mentioned about it here already before or not but after hard thinking and researching we booked flights to Miami about six months ago. I don't think I've ever planned any holiday so much ahead before. :P First plan was to just rent a car and drive wherever our noses point. But pretty quickly we noticed that our Finnish-German planning enthusiasm won't let that happen. So now we've booked hotels for every night some can be cancelled the day before, so spontaneous is still possible :D but that's fine for me, at least I don't need to stress too much. And I think we still have space for some extempore activities.

Our plan is that we fly first to Frankfurt and stay there in airport hotel for one night. Then in the morning we can easily get to the airport on time. From Frankfurt we'll fly to Miami where we will stay one night and in the morning we'll get our car from the car rental. From Miami our route goes Key West-Everglades-Naples-St. Petersburg-Orlando-Cocoa Beach-Fort Lauderdale-Miami.

www.fungraphix.com
So far we did not plan too much more than the route and hotels. Mostly I would just like to drive to some gorgeous beaches and see the nature. And of course eat! Oh, I'm so curious to know how the food really is  there in the big US. Is it all fast food and supermarkets full of frozen meals? I have a feeling that there might be something else too. ;)

We do have tickets to Universal Orlando Harry Potter World I'm coming! Oh, and we also have tickets to NBA and NHL games (guess whose idea?). And then I heard that we must see alligators in Everglades and I want to try surfing in Cocoa Beach. And of course we need some time to do some shopping. Hmm, I guess that's quite many plans already. Ooops. :D

Last week was quite busy at work which makes me want the holiday even more. At least it feels like I've earned it. :P I have started to get a bit bored with this 8 to 4 routine now this morning was very difficult to motivate myself  so some change is very welcome. Talking about change, I had some at work too. Since this week I'm not anymore only the Finland-Baltics-UK team, but now I am the complaint handling person for whole Nordics, yei! It's weird how excited can a person be to get more work to do. :P I will probably regret this later... At least I've already now noticed that my Swedish is non-existent. And that compared to that my German in pretty damn good. :D 

Please hit me with your Florida tips in case you have any, I think there might be still space for few plans! ;)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Amazing Alps.

When I was younger, I always dreamt about far-away countries, mostly Asia and Australia. I thought there was not too much interesting things to see closer. I was dreaming about beaches with white sand, weather so hot all you need is bikini and shorts, about brown skin and surf hair and a coconut drink in my hand while gazing at the endless ocean hmm, sounds still good :D 

First time I realized I might have been wrong was on Interrail, a train tour around Europe. I saw so many interesting places, beautiful cities and cute villages. Before that I thought "pläääh, France and Italy, how booooring" and the only place in Europe worth of visiting were the Greek islands. However on this Interrail we ended up spending one week in Italy, because my travel companion really liked the coutry. And I liked it too, not a bit boring, the gorgeous Tuscany, historical buildings in Pisa and Florence and of course Venice. I have to admit that I'm not huge Rome fan thou, but hey, I cannot like everything. Now I would go back anyday, I would really love to see the south, especially the food in  Napoli. And what about France then - we had to go there because I had few friends studying in Lyon. And I fell in love with that city, I actually would want to live there someday, but I guess I would need to learn some French first..

And so I started slowly, but steadily appreciate the history, interesting cities and breathtaking nature that we have right here in Europe. Now that I've been living here in the heart of it ;) for 1,5 years I've seen more and more and always there is something suprising and exciting to see. Maybe next stage from this is that I will finally appreciate the nature that we have in Finland and other Nordic coutries, but let's not go ahead of ourselves.


Last Monday I got couple of those "wow" moments that one can experience on our continent, when we drove south from Wolfi's parents to see the famous Neuschwanstein castle aka Disney castle. Already on the way to the castle I got to play Japanese tourist with my Sony while we were driving down Romatische Straße and Deutsche Alpenstraße. Amaaaazing Alps! I'm sorry for my boring adjectives, but there is just not word big enough to describe them. Just go and see it yourself! And it was gonna get better.

Neuschwanstein castle's premises are truly breathtaking and so is the walk up to the castle. And the fact that it was built there before all kinds of modern machines. Only thing that flattened the atmosphere was touristiness of the village down from the castle. But I don't wonder why so many people wants to see it, and where is people, there is business... Apparently the castle is somekind of pilgrimage destination for Japanese tourists. :P


After the castle we drove to the border of Austria to a small town called Mittenwald. The cutest place ever! On the way there, passing villages and cities, I was wondering if I would be different, if I'd spent my childhood in a town that is surrouded by Alps I have this similar thought quite often, for example "would I be different if I would have lived in a small village my whole life".

The more I'm travelling in Europe the more I want to see, and now it feels like one lifetime cannot possibly be enough for all of it. But how to pick? And my new born Europe-enthusiasm has not reduced my interest towards Asia. Unfortunately. :P


Please don't copy pictures without permission.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Well planned is half done.

I guess now would be good time to update the wedding planning situation. ;) That it would not be too dry with only text, you can see our newest decorations well, ok some old stuff too at home as illustration.

Last week we signed first agreement with Qubus Hotel that was already mentioned here some time ago. So the issue of venue changing has been solved. :) The ceremony is still supposed to be in the consulate; let's hope it'll be all fine.


Unfortunately the photographer from London, who took our "engagement" photos turned out to be way out our budget not so suprising. So last week we met a photographer recommended by one of our friends. Here you can see her pictures. We liked her work very much, so it was not very difficult decision to hire her. So that one is solved also.

I'm very excited about our invitations, which should be ready soon. My brother has been working on them for some time already, and the invitations only need some polishing. And then we only need to find out where to print them. Oh, and find envelopes in correct mint shade. ;)


Tomorrow we will visit Wolfi's parents, and apparently there is a lot of stuff for us as we've been ordering all kinds of wedding related things from internet. For example the wedding cake decoration! :)

As I've already told before, we have a band and I got my dress looong time ago. It looks like we are in schedule, so to say. And all the stress is gone at least for now. Wuhuu! :) Now I'm waiting for spring so I can "get my hands dirty" with all the small details. I hope I still have this same energy then.

I hope you all will have a very nice weekend! I'm planning to. ;)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rakkauskirjeitä

I wrote this text already week ago, but "did not have time" to finish it. This is in Finnish, so I'm sorry for you guys who won't be undestanding it... I will write short description in the end to feed your curiosity. ;)

Ikävä näyttää aiheuttavan omituista runollisuutta myös minussa, kuten niin monissa taiteilijoissa, kirjailijoissa, laulutekijöissä ja muissa hihhuleissa ennen mua...

Nuorempana mulla oli monen muun liikaa amerikkalaista saippuaa katsoneiden tavoin kovin dramaattinen kuva siitä mitä rakkaus on. Kuvittelin, että rakkaus on sitä kun sydäntä särkee, on koko ajan ikävä, itkettää ja tuntuu kuin maailma loppuisi joka toinen päivä. Jenkkisaippuan lisäksi tähän draamanhakuisuuteen saattoi toki vaikuttaa melko "aikuinen" teini-iän parisuhde, josta eroon päästyäni piti äkkiä löytää sitä O.Cstä, Gossip Girlistä ynnä muista tuttua menoa.

Noh, kyllähän sitä hakemalla saikin aimo annoksen draamaa, jos nyt ollaanko vaiko eikö olla-leikkiä ja yöllisiä itkupuheluita voi siksi kutsua. Tapana oli ihastua korvia myöten johonkin poikaan (tai mielikuvaan pojasta), joka ei varsinaisesti vastannut tunteisiin. Tälläisen pojan vuoksi oli näes helppo vollottaa, kun "ei se rakasta mua". Sitten sitä poikaparkaa jahdattiin about puol vuotta, kunnes se vihdoin joko sanoi hyvin selkeästi e-i-k-i-i-t-o-s (joskus muutamankin kerran) tai hommasi itselleen ihan oikean tyttöystävän.

Aina välillä vastaan sattui ihan mukava tyyppi, joka sitten otti ja ihastui muhun. Mutta enhän mä niistä tyypeistä tykännyt, sehän olis ollu ihan liian helppoa. Ja näin sitä mentiin uudestaan ja uudestaan, eikä sitä yhtä oikeaa löytynyt vaikka miten etsi.

Sitten tapasin erään saksalaisen, hurmaavan hymyn omistavan miehen. Mutta en ilmeisestikään ollut ihan vielä valmis, vaan säikähdin miehen kohteliaisuutta ja maailman ystävällisimpiä ruskeita silmiä. Niin, että eipä auttanut kuin yrittää sössiä sekin hyvin orastava juttu. (Siitä nyt ei sen enempää, loppu hyvin kaikki hyvin.) Onneksi tämä herra ei kuitenkaan säikähtänyt ihan pienestä ja onneksi ONNEKSI kukaan muu ei ehtinyt napata tätä kultakimpaletta sillä aikaa kun minä vähän mietin.

Ilmeisesti meidän välinen välimatka ja miehen eksoottinen kansalaisuus (sen hymyn ja silmien lisäksi) kuitenkin herätti mun kiinnostuksen, koska "eihän tämä tämmönen mikään ihan tavisjuttu oliskaan". Tiedän juu, että kuulostaa hirveän pinnalliselta ja suunnitelmalliselta, mutta väliäkös tuolla jos lopputulos on kuin parhaimmasta päiväunesta. Niimpä sitten parin kuukauden pohdiskelun jälkeen päätin, kuten olen saattanut aiemminkin mainita, että tuon miehen minä haluan. Ja sain! Vieläkin, suurinpiirtein joka päivä, mietin että mitä hittoa, ihanko oikeesti tuo maailman ihanin mies haluaa herätä joka aamu mun vierestä. Voin sanoa, ettei kiinnosta lottovoitot ynnä muut kunhan tuon saisin pitää.
Viimeisen vajaan kahden vuoden aikana oon pikkuhiljaa ymmärtänyt, ettei se ole rakkautta että pitää itkeä toisen perään, muuttaa omaa käytöstään tai tarkoituksellisesti riidellä niin että se kuuluu naapuripitäjään.

Rakkautta on, että alusta asti tuntee, että saa olla oma itsensä, mutta haluaa olla paras mahdollinen minä, jotta itsellä ja toisella on hyvä olla. Itse pidän itsestäni ehkä tuhatbijoonaa kertaa enemmän nyt kuin muutama vuosi sitten.

Uskon, että meidän suhteessa on jo eletty ensihuuman yli tai ehkä se jatkuu ikuisesti :) mutta meillä ei silti riidellä. Yleensä ei oikeastaan olla edes eri mieltä. Eikä se tarkoita, että meillä olisi tylsää. Ja kyllä niitä riitojakin varmaan aikaiseksi saadaan (ainakin jos se musta riippuu), jos ei muusta niin viimeistään siitä kuka tuo joululahjat lapsille Saksan ja Suomen jouluperinteet eroavat huomattavasti tässä asiassa. Ja kyllä meillä tunteita näytetään, niitä positiivisia. ;) Meillä on hauskaa, ihanaa, turvallista ja rakastavaa.

Meillä on alusta asti eletty sellasessa symbioosissa, että jotakuta aivan varmasti ällöttää. Mutta pitääkö väenvängällä tehdä juttuja erikseen, jos ei tahdo. Meidän on hyvä olla yhdessä, joten nautitaan siitä niin pitkään kuin saadaan. Ja tottakai meillä on omia "juttuja": Wolfi katsoo futista ja mä luen kirjaa. :D

Uskallan sanoa, että olen löytänyt sielunkumppanini, sen toisen puolikkaan. Sen kenen kanssa tunnen olevani täydellinen, juuri tarpeeksi ja jota ilman en enää halua elää. Juuri nyt uskon, että haluan jakaa elämäni tämän ihmisen kanssa ja että me selvitään mistä vain kunhan ollaan yhdessä. Meidät on luotu toisillemme. <3

This is basically a love letter to my handsomer half. Unfortunately he won't understand it at least not in a while ;) I had to kiss few frogs before meeting my prince, who taught me what real love is. He is my other half, who I could not live without anymore. We can do anything, if we do it together.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” *

This week has been extraordinary, very different from the normal work, gym, cooking, dvd-cycle which I happen to like very much, but it's good to shake up things sometimes. :P First of all I only had two days of work, and after Wednesday's office I got to start my long-time-waited mini-holiday. The reason for the holiday was that I had the pleasure of welcoming my very dear friend, my maid of honor for a visit. Last time we met was in March, quite exactly half a year ago. And oh gosh, there was a lot to talk about ! I really would have wanted her to stay I was almost planning to call her work and tell that she is on sick leave or something, but unfortunetaly after two wonderful days I had to let her go for now. (I hope that my newest acquaintance Whatsapp will help us to keep in touch more often. I have given up with the never-ending flood of new social networking apps and web sites, but this seems pretty useful. :))

Let's say, I've been very satisfied in the life situation that I have now, I might say that I'm actually happier than ever, but having a good friend over reminded me about the importance of having friends and keeping in touch with them. (Because who am I kidding, I have not tried my best lately). Nothing can compare to a friend who knows where you are coming from, who knows all the darkest secrets which I of course don't have, and to whom you can tell things that the boyfriend does not want to hear :P It's so refreshing to get other perpective on things that are going on in your life.


I know I'm not the best in keeping friends, and especially now when I'm living far away from them, it's very challenging. Even we have all the possibilities with internet to form friendships even without ever meeting. Still it seems somehow difficult with the friends you used to meet face to face. Luckily, with good friends it always feels like we met just last week, even it was six months ago.

And I guess it is normal that friendships come and go, but there is some I wish would stay forever.


  

I guess I am kind of unsocial person, I like to be with me and myself and I've never had huge group of friends. But now that I'm so used to being with another person feeling of loneliness hits harder than it did before. We, me and Wolfi have been together very tightly since I moved here, but today he left for training in Berlin. Now I realize how much I would want a friend whose door I could just knock anytime. I guess tomorrow I should start making some... ;)

Our Sunday breakfast

I was trying to figure out things that I like to do and cannot do with my boyfriend. Now I would finally have time for those things. But after two days of thinking zero things came to my mind. I guess we are just one of those yuckily sweet couples who loves to do everything together. ;)

Ok well, I can do two things: I can watch TV-series with Finnish subtitles (or of course Finnish TV-series, but no thanks :D I know, I'm so unpatriotic) and I can eat Turkin Pippuri as much as I want without anyone complaining how my kisses taste bad.

*Quote: A. A. Milne

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Woman cries before the wedding and man after.*"

Like said earlier, this week we've been searching venue for our wedding. We got invitation to check special wedding Sunday organized in one of the hotels we visited earlier. This was first time they organized such event, and I have to say that it is brilliant idea. They've prepared the room with all the decorations, they had tasting free lunch, yei!, few exhibitors and some dance shows. Even the burleski was not exactly what we want to have in our wedding, I think in general this was very nice event, and will for sure have influence in the decision of many couples. 


We also had tour around the hotel, and got to see the wedding suite (which is included to the price). They have pretty nice roof terrace too, that could be available for our use. 


After some negotiation between me and the much more generous fiance, I feel a bit less terrified about the prices. After all wedding is once-in-a-lifetime-thing. And anyways, I want it to be a nice party with good food and smooth service, so I guess I have to be ready to pay for that. Only thing that we did not agree quite yet, is the alcohol....or more like the price of it "Who will know that we bought the cheapest Polish vodka?!". I guess there is some Finnish stinginess in me. Maybe we balance each other just perfectly. :P

Despite the salty price, we both were more than happy with Qubus-hotel's service, and also the menu sounds (and tastes) quite delicious. I'm even starting to warm up for the idea of having huuuuge amount of food, like proper Polish wedding should. So dear guests, one thing is sure, you will not be hungry! :D

It is not 100% certain yet, but it looks like we might have found our place! :))

*Polish proverb...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's all about the money...

First of all I want to explode one stereotype about Poland - it is not cheap.

At least what comes to weddings. Seems like here weddings are a big business, or at least it is a good business. Maybe I could have expected that, seeing all the wedding dress shops that are in every corner (at least my dress was not too expensive..). But I did not. I thought we will have luxurious wedding with third of the price that would be in Finland apparently I think I'm in Romania :P

After the small setback we've been comparing possible wedding venues and their prices. Huhhuh, I say! And I hölmö thought that food is cheaper here. Or at least service. Well, that's not how it looks like. Or maybe they smelled that we are foreigners, we have money, and made special offers for us. :P

So what is this outrageous price then? For the menu the normal price per person seems to be something between 40 and 50 euros. It includes service, plates and utensils, non-alcoholic drinks + toast, ridiculous amount of food and sometimes wedding cake. I checked few examples for catering prices in Helsinki, just to compare, after I heard from several people that these prices are too high. And it looks like you can get the same package in Helsinki with the same price. That couldn't be true right?

Ok, I have to say that the amount of food that seems to be the norm in here is huge. And probably there is more staff included in the price also than in Finland. But still. I'm wondering how can average Polish couple afford any of this. If food for the wedding is already half of the yearly salary? Do they get some government money for weddings, or what?

Other thing that has caused us me some grey hair is the food:

  • Does it need to be so Polish? Don't get me wrong, I like Polish food, but it's not very festive for me, it's like makaronilaatikko and karjalanpaisti in wedding (ok these are probably traditional Finnish wedding dishes :P)
  • Can somebody seriously eat so much? Apparently wedding is the new Christmas in Poland.
First they serve three or four course dinner, then opens the buffet (Swedish table as the call it here) and after that the dessert buffet. Yes, dessert buffet! Not only wedding cake, nooo, but like 10 other cakes too. Crazy. And so that we would not starve after this humble amount of food there will also be night food. And night-night food.

One thing is for sure, alcohol is cheaper here. (I shouldn't say for sure. Maybe there will be some special tax for wedding wodka.) Not very surprisingly wedding in Poland means that everyone gets wasted for some people in Finland too, so of course it is natural to have never ending wodka service for the guests. However, we decided not to have open bar, and this seems to be shocking for Polish. :D

So if I did not have a culture shock before, then no worries here it comes! ;)

This post might include slight overreacting.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The relationship between me and couchsurfing.

Yesterday we got guests, which does not happen very often. Last time was probably over a month ago when Wolfi's sister and her friend visited us. These latest guests were not friends or family, but couchsurfers. Now, very short briefing to people who do not know what is a couchsurfer is there even people like that anymore?. Couchsurfer is a person who sleeps on other people's couches, mattresses, sometimes even beds while travelling. The point is that the host won't ask any money for this. The compensation is the joy of meeting new people, possibly from different countries and cultures. If you get lucky you might get a souvenier or the guest might even cook for you. And you might get a new friend. There is several internet pages that help the guests and hosts to find each other. These web pages also try to make it safe in different ways.

When I first heard about this idea I thought that it is brilliant - for other people but maybe not for me. :P I thought I cannot trust strangers so much that I would let them to my home. And I thought I'm not adventurous enough to sleep on other peoples couches, because let's face it, you never know what you're gonna get. And you cannot really complain. Because after all, someone is giving you a free place to sleep. I'm more like 3-star-hotel kind of type. :P

Then I met my fiance, and I got to know that he was very much into this couchsurfing thing. And I thought that he would probably think that I'm cool, if I also would support it. (Like I also prentend to be a "a little bit" more interested about Finland's ice hockey league than I really am. And like I also wanted to hide my age from Facebook, so that he wouldn't think I'm too young and then noticed that he can see it in the couchsurfing profile. I'm sorry, honey, if your first crush was based on lies, but I think you know the real me already. ;) ) So I gathered all my courage, made my profile and some time after that I had my first surfer.

After this first surfer I had a quite long break; the Romanian guy who stayed two night was very nice and polite, but also did not have any plans, so he was following me the whole weekend. And that was a bit, hmmm, disturbing. Some months later I forced myself to try again sounds like I really hate hosting :D and answered "yes" to one American-Russian girl's request. Again the experience was alright. Nothing bad, but also nothing fabulous...

Then I moved here. We've had few couchsurfers, and all of them have been nice. Especially these last ones, who left this morning. Turkish-German couple about the same age as we. We had a lot to talk about, and they cooked very nice dinner for us. We also had a very tempting invitation to Cyprus where the guy lives. I have to say that this was so far the most pleasant couchsurfing experince that I've had. :) 



It was nice to have guests, but I don't mind having some break again. I'm maybe weird, but having guests, especially strangers, takes so much energy of this antisocial little human being. So I'm still not convinced that couchsurfing is for me. Actually I'm not sure if meeting new people in general is my thing, but every now and then I make my self to go out and face the world, because after all we are gregarious animals. ;) Maybe someday I will change into social butterfly or just accept myself as I am. :P

Funny story: I tried to hide my intentions behind couchsurfing on the first time I was here. I asked Wolfi if his couch is free for me as he is couchsurfer and all, because I wanted to visit Wroclaw. Well, to be honest, I was never very interested about the city and I had no intention to sleep on the couch.... ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

"Treasure, that is what you are. Honey, you're my golden star."

You remember when I told about the photoshooting? We got the pictures almost two weeks ago, but I was just too busy to put them here. But now I will, because I want to show all of you how cute we are no, modesty is not one of my strenghts ;).  

Actually we were so happy with the photos that we asked the photographer to take the wedding pictures! Even she lives in London. We will see if this plan will become true, or if we'll come to our senses and hire someone who is already here. :D

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Please do not copy the pictures without permission.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bumps in the road.

Yesterday we had a "little" setback conserning our wedding.
The place where we were supposed to have the whole party, my fiace's workplace, is not possible after all. Apparently there is some administrative issues...

So, now we would need to find a new place before everything will be booked for next summer. I was already so into this garden party thing, that it's a bit hard for me to change my mind. But we'll see...

Easiest would be to have the wedding in some hotel here in Wroclaw: we wouldn't need to move people too far and we could still have the ceremony in the garden (for this we apparently have permission). Also organizing would probably be very smooth, when the hotel could provide catering etc.

But the garden.... :'(

We will meet with some of the event organizers in the hotels near by to see what they can offer. I hope it'll all turn out just fine...

As I'm a big time worrier about existing and non-existing problems I wanted to remind myself: 

www.lorensworld.com


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh, Berlin!

As I wrote before, my wonderful fiance got us tickets to Berlin Festival, and there it was, perfect reason to spemd another weekend in Berlin. It seems now that it might have been the last summer weekend for this year - and what a delightful weekend was it!

First of all the weather was P-E-R-F-E-C-T, could not have been better for some city touring and festival.
On Friday I finally got to see the Berlin everyone seems to be fussing about. My personal Berlin guide decided to show me something different this time, so we took the S-Bahn to Warschauer Straße. And there it was the noisy, graffiti covered party animal heaven with the crowd looking so weird it must be trendy. Oh, I wish someone would have showed me this when I was in my party phase. :P Bars after bars looking all so interesting you just couldn't stop staring. Something for every flavor.


We, as a people who prefer to get up when these crazies are still partying, skipped this time and just had a nice dinner observing others. Maybe next time some more party party.

On Saturday, as we were up so early at 7.30am :D thanks to taking it easy the night before, we wanted to do something before breakfast. So we were walking around, towards Alexanderplatz when Wolfi revealed that he never visited the most important tourist attraction no.2 in Berlin after Brandenburg Tor, the TV-tower! As I'm afraid of heights I was never too excited to get up there, but I agreed that if it's not too expensive we can go. At 9 in the morning the line was not too long and the price was affordable (with the 48-hours public transportation ticket we received some discount and paid ~10 euros per person). The view was worth it, so I do recommed to do this once when visiting Berlin. You can really see from the style of the buildings where the former East and West were. They also have interesting stories how each district has been developing. After the breathtaking views we took the elevator down and had already tradition-like breakfast in Alex. Later we went for some shopping aaaah German cosmentic shops!! and then we headed back to our apartment for a nap before the festival.


The Berlin Festival was very pleasant experience. In addition to interesting artists they had all kinds of food very important! : American hot dogs, noodles, burger, vege hot dogs, dampfschwein (pulled pork), ice cream, waffles, smoothies... Juuust a little bit different than the food section in the other festival we were this summer: Silesia in Love offered kielbasa and kielbasa with bread. :P


The area of the festival was of course extraordinary. It's an old airport terminal building, used last time in 2008. I had kind of a spooky feeling entering to unused airport; all the check-in counters and signs are still there, just the staff, stressed people with their suitcases and the planes are missing. Some might know that I love that kind of spookiness :D

They also had some art projects going on in the festival and one corner was reserved for this. All kinds of strange and stranger things could be seen and bought. It's cool that they have thought of something else than "just" music.


 And what about the music? Well, after the beginning with some technical problems Ellie Goulding was perfect. Ah I love that voice. Maybe it was the time of the day (afternoon) or I don't know what but the crowd did not seem super-exited though... We found some new stuff too: Dillon's Tip Tapping is still in my head and I also wanted to listen more of S O H N and German hip-hop miracle Casper. We of course also listened a bit of White Lies, My Bloody Valentine and ever-so-freaky Björk, but those were not really my cup of tea. Suprisingly however the finale of Fritz Kalkbrenner was. He made a superb party ending for the day. I'm afraid that the techno brainwash is working...

On Sunday we headed back to Simon-Dach-Straße in Friedrichshain to have breakfast. After Saturday's enourmous buffet-breakfast we unlike usually wanted something small... I never would have guessed that I would have an issue of finding a place that does NOT offer brunch buffet! The street is brunch lovers heaven! And after passing at least six restaurants offering all kinds of things you could possibly imagine having for breakfast we gave up and sat down to the terrace of Habana. And had the huuuge breakfast we were so not supposed to have. :D well, at least I know where I'm gonna go next time when I'm in Berlin: I wanna try them all! Maybe some magazine would pay me making reviews of every brunch.....

After the breakfast lunch we waddled around observing all the weird things for all the weird people who live in Berlin please note that by saying weird I don't necessarily mean anything negative. 

Salami pillows for vegetarians who love meat @Berlin's first textile butchery.
I'm already waiting what kind of Berlin we see next time. Who wants to join? ;)

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Maanantai taas saapuu aivan liian aikaisin kai..."

I wanted to try how it feels like to write in Finnish, so I apologize if this causes some inconvenience for someone ;) this post is about a Finnish band called Apulanta, and I thought you will probably not be interested anyways..

En ole ikinä ollut sen suurempi Apulanta-fani, mutta kun kuulin, että bändi on tulossa heittämään keikkaa tänne Puolan maalle asti, niin pitihän sinne päästä. Vaikka 150 kilometrin ajomatka kesti kolme ja puoli tuntia, koska täällä ei ole ollut varaa (?) rakentaa moottoriteitä edes isompien kaupunkien välille. Tosin kyllä Apikselta varmasti löytyy true-fanejakin, jotka ajavat tuhansia kilometrejä bändin perässä...

Apulanta on hassu bändi. Vaikka niiden musiikki ei olekaan ehkä kaikille mieleistä, niin sitä kuulee väkisinkin jos sattuu joskus avaamaan radion. Olen varma, että 98 prosenttia suomalaisista kaksi-viisikymppisistä tietää mikä on Apulanta. Apulannan sanoitukset on välillä aika rajuja ja musiikkikin rankemman puoleista, mutta silti jostain syystä tuntuu, että se on semmonen koko kansan bändi. Kaikilla on mielipide bändistä.

Olen muistaakseni kerran aiemmin ollut Apiksen keikalla; festareilla joskus viitisen vuotta sitten. Muistan, että silloin oli kova meno, yleisö oli ihan huumassa ja kaikki osasivat biisit ulkoa. Minäkin. Huomasin saman viime viikolla, kun kuuntelin muutaman biisin fiiliksen luomiseksi. Osasin monet sanat ulkoa, vaikken ole ikinä omistanut yhtäkään Apulannan cd:tä. Tällä kertaa keikalla ei yllättäen laulettu biisejä yhteen ääneen, mutta jonkunnäkösessä hurmiossa kyllä oltiin alkoholilla ja muilla iloliemillä saattoi olla vaikutusta asiaan. Puolalainen fanikunta oli hieman erilainen kuin mitä kuvittelen fanien Suomessa olevan. Puolassa tämä näyttää olevan jokseenkin erikoisten hevari-punkkari-äijien musiikkia, Suomessa enemmänkin teiniangstityttöjen suosikki. Nämähän ovat sitten ihan omia yleistyksiäni, mitään oikeaa tutkimustietoa mulla ei ole :D Jotenkin luulen, että Apulannan katu-uskottavuus suomalaisten tosi-punkkareiden silmissä on laskenut huomattavasti bändin ensimmäisten elivuosien jälkeen. Ehkä tuolla koko-kansan-bändi-statuksella on jotain tekemistä asian kanssa... Kun taas täällä se on varmasti yksi erikoisimmista bändeistä, jota kukaan voi kuunnella.

Ennen keikkaa huomasin, että bändi on levyttänyt joitakin biisejä myös englanniksi, ja pelkäsinkin heidän esittävän vain englanninkielisiä versioita. Mutta yllätyksekseni koko keikka vedettiin suomeksi! Ja sain laulaa sydämeni kyllyydestä. ;) Oli hauskaa käydä pitkästä aikaa mulle tutun bändin keikalla (tässä viimesen vuoden aikana kun on tullut nähtyä ja koettua vähän vieraampaa musiikkia, lue: teknoa). Fiilis on ihan eri kun tietää biisien sanat tai että niissä biiseissä ylipäänsä on sanat. Wolfikin tykkäs, kuulosti kuulemma hieman Die Toten Hosenilta, joka on yksi herran lempparibändeistä.

Sain sitten sen ensimmäisen Apulanta-levynkin "suurta" cd-kokoelmaani rikastuttamaan. Voitin jonkun kilpailun, ja itse Wirtasen Toni ojensi palkinnon. Oi että. Jotekin aina luulin, että se on kauheen laiha, mutta ilmeisesti keski-ikä alkaa painaa, kun herralla oli ihan kiitettävä vatsakumpu.

Tällä viikolla sitten vähän erilaista, mutta vieläkin mieluisampaa keikkaa tiedossa! Ellie Goulding lauantaina Berlin Festivaleilla. Can't wait! :)

Hmm...Finnish feels good, might be that there will be more of that. Sorry. :P But I promise to still continue in English too. Ps. I have finally revealed name of the fiance, so from here on he will be called Wolfi. Or fiance. Or which ever name I feel like using. :P

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shoe problems.

For few days now I've been searching shoes for the wedding. I've checked Polish, German, Finnish, American and British internet shops, and also Ebay and even Amazon. So far I did not have luck. It might be though that I'm juuust a little bit too demanding. As you already know I wanted our theme colour to be mint, and so I've developed an obsession of mint green shoes. Right now as it is/was kinda trendy color, it should not be so difficult. But I still could not find shoes that would be the perfect shade. And on the computer screen it is pretty hard to evaluate whether the colour is the correct one. They should also have some kind of glitter, diamonds, other decoration that would make them special.

What I could not decide yet is if I want heels or no heels. The rational side of me says no heels - I'm not used to wearing high-heels, and in the garden they would definetely not be the easiest choice. So ballerinas? Or some pretty sandals? It seems to be hard to find fancy enough flats. Now that I have my princess-dress the shoes should be "on the same level". My first idea of simple Greek-style sandals of course won't fit anymore. As I feel that the dress is very feminine, heels would feel appropriate and also more "festive" than ballerinas that I use almost every day. But with heels I don't mean moderate wedding shoe heels, but really high ones. I don't usually like heels that are less than 8 cm. :D

I was also thinking that maybe I would be able to make some DYI decorations if I would find simple ballerinas/high-heels in the right color.
 
I found unbelievably pretty ballerinas with handmade decorations from Etsy...

www.etsy.com/shop/BeholdenBridal

Golden Vines Bridal Ballet Flats Wedding Shoes - Any Size - Pick your own shoe color and crystal color
www.etsy.com/shop/BeholdenBridal
...but unfortunately they are waaaay out of my budget. 

These Tamaris pumps would be nice with some decoration, and they even have reasonable heels. But I'm not completely convinced of the color (too light?)...

Tamaris
Or maybe I will do something "crazy" and, ah so trendy and go with these :D

converse.com
Anyway, I'm still waiting for the right ones, so if you have any ideas where to look, tell me! :)
And I know, I have time...

Monday, August 26, 2013

The dress.

Do you remember my first inspiration post? There I was dreaming about a dress that would be kinda simple, sleek, Greek goddess like. But along the way ~6 weeks :D I started to like more and more "classic" style. And with this I mean a bit bigger dress, with slim upper part and quite big skirt.

On Saturday we went to see this wedding outlet that I'd heard of. It's about 10 kilometers from Wroclaw, in a small village. I heard that you can buy dresses there in half price from the ones in the boutiques in city. So of course I had to see it.

I was being sceptic though, because all the dresses were suppose to be the same size, and I did not think that it would fit. So we went there with not too high hopes. The outlet was very far from my image of outlets - it was a small building on the sales person's backyard. I was also expecting there to be a buzzle on Saturday afternoon. But no, luckily we were the only ones.

After showing some pictures of dresses I liked the sales lady brought me some for trying. She was saying right in the beginning that she does not have these Greek-style delicate, elegant dresses. But I still wanted to try something. Apparently the lady thought that the dresses in the shop would be too big for me, so she brought some special ones from the house. But like often happens, I'm not so petite as people think :D so the first dresses were too tight. As we had "a small" language barrier me not speaking Polish and the woman knowing two words of English and a bit of German I could not really tell what I liked in the dresses and what not. Well, actually I did not really like the first dresses...

Then I saw one dress hanging there, ready to be tried. And immediately I knew I would like it. So I tried it and it was perfect despite the fact that I should wear 12cm heels that it wouldn't be too long. It fit very well, thanks to the corset on the back love it! It was beautiful! All my fears of looking like a 5 year old stuck in her mother's dress flew out from the window. That was it, I had to have it even it was nothing like the ones I was first thinking. The only thing I was thinking was that "I was not supposed to buy the dress on the first attempt!" but then I thought why not. Who says I shouldn't. So I did. And I'm so happy. It's gorgeous. ;)

I GOT THE DRESS !!

There will be no pictures, because I don't want to reveal such a big thing already now. And the few pictures taken quickly in the shop, wouldn't do justice to the dress. But if you want you can try to guess which one it is, it's on the outlet webpage at least for now. ;)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We have a band!

We've been looking for a band for the wedding some weeks now. First my fiance was asking from his work contacts if someone knows some nice band. But unfortunately all of them were either already booked (!) or way out of our budget.

After that I found maaany bands from internet, and sent maaany messages for them. The first one who answered was Tweenings. Their price was affortable and we like their sound. They also have a lot of English songs in their repertuar. So we did not need to think much further. After that I received many answers but we had already made the decision.

Last Thursday we met the vocalist; she was very nice, and seemed like a professional. We have actually heard them playing, they sometimes play in the city center. But at that time we did not know who they are.

I'm sure they will help us to create perfect party :)

Ps. They even agreed to play one song in German, but unfortunately no Finnish that will be guests responsibility then ;)

Here & here you can listen some songs.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Surprises.

I love surprises I love lots of things nowdays. And I've found the perfect man on my side who loves to suprise me. <3 Sometimes rarely I feel a bit guilty because I'm not very good in organizing surprises, or at least I suck in keeping any secrets :P

Yesterday I got two, both of them including Berlin. It's a bit funny how before last year I never visited Berlin and now in 1,5 years I've been there so often that I lost count. I really like Berlin, there's food, interesting events, interesting looking people, interesting buidings... I could imagine living there someday which is likely to happen, but for some reason I still don't have a clear picture of the city. Maybe it's because I was always trusting the navigation skills of my travel guide, following him blindly, or maybe it's because Berlin does not have a clear city center. Anyway, this makes it more interesting to go again and again. It seems like going to different city every time as we always have a bit different reason to go and we are staying in different places.

So what about the surprices then? First one was that we will go to Berlin for a weekend that is not yet decided, who wants to join? and sleep in Scubes in the middle of Berlin. Not the common hotel/hostel accomodation, is it? Will be interesting for sure. I wonder if I will then know how the aquarium fish feel like. 

The other surprise was that my fiance bought us tickets for Saturday in Berlin Festival! And I will get to see Ellie Goulding finally! We were thinking about this festival already earlier this summer, but for some reason buried the idea. Cannot remember why... But now I'm so happyhappy and cannot wait to go! Also the fiance has some entertainment for himslef as Paul Kalkbrenner will be there too. ;)

Maybe I can make my Berlin picture clearer with these two upcoming trips. And if not that's ok too.

 
Ellie Goulding - Burn

Travelling means food.

I love travelling and travel planning, and I'm so glad that I've found a man by my side who loves it as much. We like to do all kinds of trips, and quite often we travel to see some event. But one thing is always a big part of the trip - food.

Usually we are checking in advance what kind of interesting restaurants and other food related things like markets, the destination has. I've had few bad experiences along the way, usually these happen the first evening when you're super-tired and mega-hungry and just want to go to the first restaurant on the tourist path. WRONG. Of course planning ahead does not always save you from mistakes and sometimes it's good to be spontaneous, but in general it does make the travelling more enjoyable. And if you've made your research, you will less likely pay rip-off price from frozen food warmed in microwave.

I am almost always first thinking about the food and food culture when choosing a destination. Any destination can be exciting if there is good food! Events, sightseeing and that stuff comes later then. Only beach and sea and sun can go ahead of food. :P

But were not fine dine kind of foodies, more like great value for your money kind. Which does not necessarily mean eat-as-much-as-you-can buffet, but more the good quality of the food. Sometimes I do dream about going to upscale places I was brainwashed in the university but then the voice of sanity tells me otherwise.

Thanks to the university (I have bachelor degree in Culinary Management), the people I met there and my "career" as a waitress, I might sometimes be a bit difficult company when having dinner. I do eat everything I mean EVERYTHING so that's not it. I've just become much more critical when it come to the quality of food and service. I really hate paying for bad food or service. In the other hand I believe that I can appreciate more the hard work the restaurant staff is doing in order to serve us a nice dinner, or lunch, or breakfast.

I thought maybe someone would be interest if I would list few restaurant that we really liked, so here we go..

Sztrass Burger, Wroclaw, our new favourite, is perfect for lazy Sundays. They have huge and tasty burgers, made from fresh ingredients. And very affortable prices.

Sometimes I still dream about the northern-Asian food of Gaijin, Helsinki. It's a bit pricy, but for sure worth of the money.

In Gingerboy, Düsseldorf we had some excellent home-made noodles and delicious duck. I could go back just because of this restaurant.

Brunch in Rigoletto, Dortmund makes me wait for the next football trip there. ;) They have everything I wish to have on perfect brunch. With that price they should.

Also brunch in Hotel Barcelo Raval, Barcelona was very cool. You can enjoy cocktails in the roof terrace with view of BCN, and they also have DJ.

Honest Burger, London had very delicious burgers and fries in cute, home-like atmosphere.

Transit, Berlin has affortable, delicious Asian food. They have a lot of quite small portions so you have a chance to try more.

I'm was not a huge fan of Schnitzel before, but in Marjellchen, Berlin I saw it's true soul. DELICIOUS. In addition the owner knows every language yes, even Finnish, and goes from table to another just to chat with the customers. Like it or not. ;)

U Babci Maliny, Krakow has the best pierogies I've eaten. Service is non-existent, but food is cheap.

I was positively surprised about El Rodizio, Dresden as it was the first restaurant we found when we were super-tired and mega-hungry in Dresden few weeks ago. Very nice salads with fresh seafood. Don't know about their steaks though...

We had very tasty tapas in La Bombeta, Barcelona. I heard it was once "an insider" place, but when we visited there was a big group of Asians and other non-Spanish people. I hope the owners can still keep it as authentic.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The list is ready!

Aaaand here are the finalists:
  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Boston
  • Moscow
  • Kampala
  • Addis Ababa
  • Chengdu
  • Guangzhou
  • Beijing
  • Singapore
  • Taipei
  • Lima
  • Santiago de Chile
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Tokyo
  • Bangkok
  • Jakarta
As you might notice we purposely left out Europe well, I guess Moscow is technically Europe.
There's no turning back now.

What's your favourite? ;)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Söpöilyä.

Last week we noticed a post of one of our friends - her photographer friend was coming to Wroclaw, and she was looking for clients. I had been thinking about taking some professional pictures already before as it's kinda affortable here.

So here the possibility was delivered right in front of our noses! Last Sunday we had the session in the Japanese garden. Weather was perfect and the photographer - oh, she is just lovely. Got us relaxed in front of the camera and had nice ideas. I don't have much where to compare to, but she was very good. I wish we could have her in our wedding too, but she lives in London...

As she is now on holiday, we were supposed to get the pictures in a month. But yesterday she suprised us by sending us one to relief the anxiety.

Picture by Ewa Slusarek


Can't wait to see the rest! :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Decorating ideas.

After some serious future planning, I wanted to fall back to the wonderful world of weddings which is actually also future planning. So I was searching for some inspiration for table decorations.

As far as we now know, here the catering can also handle the table decorations, so it might be that instead of these do-it-yourself ideas we will have a ready "package" included in the catering price. But I hope we will still have few words to say about the style of the decorations.

For table numbers I was thinking something like this, but we will probably have max. 6 tables so I'm not sure if numbers will be needed.


100layercake.com

unitedwithlove.com
rusticweddingchic.com

lovemyweddings.blogspot.com
What comes to the decorations on the tables, I would prefer something simple, self-made looking and cute. And colours would of course be something like light pink, white, beige and then some spots of mint green. Like this:

ruffledblog.com

weddingsbylilly.com

marthastewartweddings.com
www.marthastewartweddings.com
 I don't know much about flowers but while searching for inspiration I have noticed that I really like peonies and roses. I was also thinking about making somekind of "pom-poms" myself. I found quite clear instructions here, in Finnish.
notonthehighstreet.com
I also tried to find nice idea for place cards, you know those ones with people's names in them, but so far I did not find anything very exciting. Maybe this?
collectivepearls.wordpress.com
Who has can-not-go-wrong macaron recipe? ;)







Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Truckloads of heavy thoughts.

Now that being diplomat's spouse is becoming more and more reality than one nice fairytale, I've spent time thinking about my future. How exiting, adventorous and unexpected it will be! But also uncertain, scary and even lonely. Recently I've every now and then tried remaind myself to maintain positive attitude. So I'm trying to stay positive, and think how amazing opportunity has been given to me to explore different cultures and countries, but still have some of the "home-country-security-feeling" that I would not have if I would  have to travel all by myself. I have been given an opportunity to experience different kinds of lifestyles and jobs. For someone very career-oriented this could be a nightmare; short-time jobs from different industries is not usually the easiest way to management position. But for someone like me who was already before lost searching her own place in the work field this is a perfect opportunity. And if there's no possibility to work, which might be the case in our future "home"countries, I can try volunteering, I can study or I can housewife. :D

But 'cos I'm a hard-core realistic, side effect of growing up in Finland, I have also thought about the not-so-ideal sides of the life as diplomat's (future) wife. Right now, here in our safe collective EU where I get to work, I have nothing to worry about. I am insured by the company where I'm working, and they pay my pension (will be interesting how I'll get that when I'm 65 75). But in our next destination, which will most likely be outside Europe, it might be difficult for me to get a job. In some coutries I will not even have permit to work. For some people (me) this might sound totally ok, and I already got a taste of housewife's life when I moved here, but in the long-run there is few things that might become issues. First thing is the career - in our world where experience is everything, it might not be the best asset on the labor market to have a CV full of gaps, or CV with 4 years of housewifing every now and then. Second thing is the insurance - who will cover my doctor's visits if I get run over by tuk-tuk in Thailand. Third thing is the pension - with what money will I live when I'm old and frail well, that's the question for all of us right now, eh?. Of course insurance and pension issues can be fixed with loads of money, but my cash flow will be most likely rather limited. And anyway, why I should pay much more than fellow EU citizens for those things that should be our privilege.

So unfortunately it seems that this kind of dream life has it's downsides too.

For some time now I was childishly thinking that I must be the only one "struggling" with these things. How wrong was I? Of course with thousends of diplomats, only from Europe, there is also thousands of spouses moving around the world with them. And apparently in some countries 50% of the spouses are from some other country than the diplomat. So I'm definetely not alone. Just today I found an interesting web page of European Union Foreign Affaires Spouses Partners Associations, more friendly EUFASA. There I found some answers to my questions, which unfortunately led to more questions. But at least I know I'm not alone. ;)

Ps. I'm terribly sorry about such long (and boring?) text, just had to get it out from my system.
Pps. There will probably be more this coming in future :P

And finally one positive thought, so it would not be so heavy:

theberry.com
























Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Pay attention to where you are going because without meaning you might get nowhere."*

About three weeks have gone since we got the list. You remember the list I told about before. The list from which we are supposed to choose the cities where we would like to live the next three or four years. Now we have 1,5 more weeks time to decide. Over four weeks is quite a lot of time for decision making, and we have not been actively thinking about it all the time. First week of course went by searching all kind of information from Internet I can't even imagine how would we make any decisions without! but after some time something called "informaatioähky" took over my brains and I concentrated more on the wedding planning. Now I've had long enough break to get interested about our future again...

www.skintnation.com
What I have noticed is that it is not that simple. I thought "yeah, easily there is at least 10 places where we wanna go". Well, yeah there sure is, and a lot more in the world. But it turned out to be a bit more complicated. First of all, we have to choose at least 12 places. Second, the places are categorized as A, B and C places, from A being easy-to-adapt to C being not-the-places-I-always-dreamt-of. Places like South-Sudan or Afghanistan. But also a bit more "friendly" places like Kuwait, Moscow or Addis Ababa. What I did not know, was that we have choose 4 places from each category. And with the C places it has been a bit trickier. Some of them I could not even move with my fiance. We've tried to look them from all different angles, safety being the most important. 

www.theitinerant.co.uk

When we first got the list there was some places I was sure I would wanna move. Then I did a bit research and these places turned out to be not so good ideas. Mostly because of some serious safety issues. Places like Venezuela, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. Our research has had opposite results too. We have been seriously thinking about Kazakhstan, Moscow and Kuwait, which were not on top of my mind.

www.flickriver.com

From the A and B lists it is much easier to find four places. But yesterday I started to think that some of the A places might be difficult, because they are very expensive. And what if I don't get a job right away. Will we have enough money to live in such places like Tokyo, Singapore or San Francisco?

www.8thingstodo.com
We will dedicate next weekend for the final decision making, but already now our C list seems quite clear. Kampala, Addis Ababa, Chengdu, Kuwait and Moscow are current choices, but we will most likely drop one out to reduce the chance to get C place. We will still have to look a bit more in the A and B places, but my favourites now without too much of research would be Taipei, Kanton, San Francisco, Tokyo if it would not be so damn expensive, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Jakarta. Quite many favourites, I hope we will get one of them. But I'm constantly trying to remind myself to be open to anything. Because it might as well be that we will move to Uganda. And I need to be prepared.

www.uchinatravel.com


*Quote by A.A. Milne

Monday, August 5, 2013

New theme colour love.

What kind of woman would be a woman who wouldn't change her mind? None-existent.

I have found a new love for the colour theme of the wedding already approved by the fiance ;).
The old inspiration was slightly different.

May I present - Noora <3 MINT

eastidahoweddings.com

burnettsboards.com

bridalmusings.com