Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lilacs

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One good thing about this constant rain: there are blooms everywhere.

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Every yard seems to have at least one lilac bush, some have a whole hedge.

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They are mostly these pale purple ones, my favorite.

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But we have this dark purple one.

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It’s pretty, too.

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There are a few white ones as well.

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I used to think lilacs were a bit granny-ish, but nope, they are beautiful.

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Pots and Pans

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Isn’t that exciting! Ha-ha. But it is very exciting for me.

It just feels so fancy to have new pots and pans, instead of hand-me-downs. Almost like an adult.

We’ve been talking about buying some new ones, since our old ones are indeed old, probably from the eighties, and they are pretty beat up and the handles are falling of.

I was reading the newspaper on my lunch break at work and saw that Iittala had the very pots I’d been eyeing on sale for 30% off. Iiiih. I send Jake who was at home a message to look up their website. He did.

“Which ones should I get?”

“Hmm, let me think…”

“No, I bought them all.”

There’s a guy who hates indecisiveness. So now we have the whole set of five.

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So shiny.

I just love them. They are so pretty! I like the glass lids, so you can see what’s happening without lifting the lid. And there’s that tiny hole that let’s the steam out. And best of all you can wash them in the dishwasher. Hooray!

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

I raked the backyard

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Yep. Feels like such an accomplishment.

I wish I’d taken a “before” picture, it was full of pinecones. That’s a huge pine at the back corner. But maybe this will serve as a “before” picture for later on, when I hopefully get more done to this.

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In addition to the pine there are just these two black(?)currant bushes and an unidentified bush at the back. When you buy a house in the winter, it’s difficult to plan when you have no idea what the yard looks like in the summer.

I’d like to have a lilac in the corner (seriously, I’m turning into a granny). I’m thinking it would block the neighbouring yard a bit. But what do I do with the bush that’s already in there, maybe it’s pretty?

Well, at least I’m going to get a raspberry bush between the pine and the storage unit. And some herbs and salad somewhere, in big pots maybe. I’m also thinking of hanging a strawberry and a tomato on the porch. And maybe some perennial plants somewhere.

Does this sound haphazard? Haha. Clearly I’ve never owned a yard before!

Apparently, I also have to get some gardening scissors and start by pruning that hedge. Huh. Did I mention I had to borrow the neighbours rake? Well, I’m going to do something and then build on that next year!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Years Resolutions: Get Work

Sorry for the radio silence over her. When it rains, it pours. I’ll start with the thing that’s been keeping me most busy: I got a job!

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Woot, woot!

The economical situation being what it is, it feels like everyone is looking for a job. And no one is looking for a translator. Whatever. I decided that this year I was to get some work. Not necessary a job, but something.

And I did. So happy.

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When I got the phone call I had to pull out out the “hooray” and “congratulations” banners I made a few years ago. Jake thought it was hilarious, but you have to celebrate the little (and not so little) things in life, right?

The job is just for six months, but it’s a nice office job and hopefully it’ll lead to something else.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Kinder Pie

This pie is a huge hit at the moment, and I love Kinder eggs, so of course I had to make it.

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It doesn’t actually contain any real Kinder chocolate, but the taste is spot on. So even if you can’t get your hands on Kinder eggs, you can make this pie!

It’s sooooo good! Definitely worth making.

I mixed together a few recipes, the cake batter from here and the filling from the comment section of this post.

KINDER PIE (eggless)

6dl flower

2dl sugar

3tl baking powder

6tl vanilla extract

4rkl cocoa powder

150g butter, melted

1 1/2dl water

2dl milk

Mix together the dry ingredients, add butter, vanilla extract, water and milk. Mix together. Pour in to a high edged baking tray. Bake for 15 min at 200 °C. Let it cool completely.

1 can of condensed milk

150g white chocolate

Put the condensed milk in a microwaveable bowl and heat for 5 minutes stirring every minute or so. Do not let it boil over! This is to thicken the milk up a bit. Melt the white chocolate and add in to the milk. Spread over the cake. Let it cool completely in the fridge.

130g milk chocolate

100g white chocolate

Melt the milk chocolate and and spread over the filling.

Melt the white chocolate and spread it on top. You can make fancy patterns or just swirl it about like I did.

Let it set and cut in to squares and serve!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Happy Easter!

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We had several little Easter witches, or trulli, at our door this morning. In Finland kids, dressed as witches, or sometimes as cats, go from door to door, giving out willow branches decorated with feathers and receiving candy in return. A sort of like trick or treating in America on Halloween.

Everywhere else in Finland the trullis went around last Sunday, but for some reason around here in Ostrobotnia they go around on Holy Saturday.

I did notice that some kids looked more like Harry Potter type wizards instead of the more traditional colorful witches. Times change.

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We gave out Geisha and got several pretty branches.

Jake is allergic to willow, so we couldn’t have them inside. So, instead of putting them in a vase I stuck them on out door wreath. I thought it looked very festive.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Things I’d like to fix

I’m very happy with our new home. I think it’s lovely, clean and nice. But, there are a few things I’d like to fix, especially now that the spring light is illuminating everything.

  • I want all the yellowed doors painted white. Against the white walls, they look dirty. Also one door looks like some one kicked it, hard.

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  • I want all the doorsteps fixed and/or replaced. The floors the previous owners put down are lovely, but they didn’t finish the job and there are gaping holes between all the rooms.

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  • I want the living room wall painted white. We run out of time before Christmas, when my parents were here painting up a storm, and this sole wall was left brown. It bugs me every day.

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  • I’d like this mess hidden behind doors. This is all necessary stuff. Tools, clothes, biking stuff etc., but I just hate that it’s so visible. And it’s pretty much the first thing you see when you walk in from the door. Ugh.

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  • And I want these electric cords snaking around the apartment hidden. Those two white ones are our internet cables. Necessary, but annoying.

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Whew.  I hope that didn’t sound like complaining!

I’d like to think of it as more like a to-do list.