Thursday, March 26, 2015

Playing: The Order: 1886

Last weekend while I managed to watch the whole first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, we also played through The Order: 1886.

And when I say we, I mean Jake played and I watched.

This might seem weird, but I love watching someone play video games. Not fighting games like Guilty Gear (blergh), but games with nice graphics, interesting characters and good plot. It’s like watching a good movie. I have very fond memories from my teenage years of watching my brother play Metal Gear Solid 3, and me keeping a list of the animals you were supposed to hunt. As you can tell, I was so cool.

Anyway I just love weekends when Jake has a good game to play and we sit on the sofa side by side, he playing and I knitting. And pointing out all the things he missed and telling what I think he should do, haha.

Anyway, I really liked this game (as a backseat driver). The graphics were beautiful and indistinguishable from the cut scenes. The story was good, and none of the characters was annoying. Amazing! And I love the Victorian era. And steampunk.

Jake bought it used, because a lot of the reviews said it was too short, and it was. I think it only lasted about 8 hours.

Still, a very good game and I really hope the sequel will be a bit longer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Computer screen for better sleep

I thought I’d share something that has been helping me lately.

I’ve had a bit of trouble falling asleep. I can sometimes toss and turn for hours.

I read that one cause might be that I spent my nights at the computer and apparently that blue screen is really bad for you since it tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime.

So, I Googled around a bit and came across this free program called f.lux. It’s supposed to give your screen a yellowish tone, which is said to make falling a sleep easier. I decided to give it go.

I love it. I was a bit apprehensive that it would give the screen a sort of pee coloured tint… you know, how lovely. But instead the screen gives out this lovely glow, like the sunset in your room.

It does distort the colours a bit, obviously, but not enough to bother me if I’m just writing or browsing the internet. If I want to edit photos or draw on my tablet, I can just turn it off. Or do those things during the day.

You set your location in to it and it then activates automatically at night as the sun sets.

I’ve only been using it a couple of days, but I think it’s working, and I have been falling a sleep faster.

It might be just an coincidence of course, but I also sort of love that soft glow in the evenings.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Second-hand finds: A wooden cactus

Just when I talked about not buying any decorations…

I went to the Red Cross second-hand store and didn’t really see anything interesting, until I saw this cactus. I just… What is it even?

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It’s wood. It’s about 21cm high. I think it might be hand made, but maybe not. The branches (?) don’t really fit perfectly. It is painted very neatly, but I don’t really know if I like the colors. It looks like it belongs either to a kid’s room or a Mexican themed restaurant.

I’m thinking of painting it white, but the last time I wondered if I should paint a flea market find white, I got a unanimous “no”.

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I think I’ll just stare at for a while.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Watching: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ever since Pushing Daisies (my favorite TV-show ever) was cancelled I’ve been on a lookout for something similar.

I think I found it. It’s called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

It’s upbeat. It’s funny. It’s smart. The characters are crazy, but loveable. It looks beautiful.

I love how the series is wacky, but nothing very bad ever happens. I hate surprises and with this series I feel like I don’t have to be tense about what happens next. I can just enjoy what’s happening. And what is happening is awesome.

I watched the whole first season in about two days. The episodes are short, so you can just watch one, do the laundry, watch another… Oh, it’s Monday, already.

Definitely recommend.

Bonus: 14 Life Lessons We Learned From “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Friday, March 20, 2015

Clean: Decorating

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A bit weirdly, since we moved into this house, I’ve tried not to decorate. At least, I’ve tried not to decorate just to decorate: put up paintings to have something on the walls, or buy items to fill the top of the chest of drawers or the bookshelf, or to buy furniture to fill our much bigger living room… Instead, we just painted the walls white, put the existing furniture in place and left it at that.

I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. The clean surfaces, the bare walls. It feels calming, and clean, and easy. Tidying up is so much faster, when there are just a few pillows and blankets to straighten, and no decorative items to dust.

But… I do sometimes worry that our house feels too bare and not cosy and lived in. Maybe people come in and think “how boring”. Maybe I should have paintings and a decorated bookshelf?

But I don’t want to hurry and buy things either just to fill up the space. Ever since I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and got a rid of a lot of crap, I’ve felt this aversion to buying more stuff, knowing that in a short while it’ll just end up at a second-hand store, when I realise it wasn’t for me after all.

So, I’ve tried to curb any impulse buying urges, and just to stick to what I already have. Which, let’s face it, is plenty. There’s nothing new that we need. We have a bed, and plates, and clothes, and more. And maybe they aren’t the perfect plates and clothes, but they keep us fed and clothed (respectively), and having nicer plates and clothes is just extra.

There’s not really any point to this rambling, and I’m sure in a few posts I’ll tell about the new plates I bought : ) I guess, i just wanted to remind myself that I don’t need to buy anything, or to have a nicely decorated home. I can if I choose to, but I don’t have to.

My One Little Word for 2015 is clean. You can read more about it here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

DIY tinted moisturizer

This is a long ramble, if you just want the recipe, I bolded it for you (it’s a short one!)

For some reason I find it impossible to find a foundation/concealer/bb-cream/tinted moisturizer/any face make-up that suits my skin. I have tried a lot.

My skin just seems to be impossibly pale and dry to look good in anything available. Add in my allergies and I haven’t worn face make-up in years.

I have a pretty good skin, and being very low maintenance, don’t were make-up most days anyway. But on some days I’d like to be able to. You know, if there’s a wedding, or a job interview, or something else I’d like to look like I made a bit of effort for. And wearing make-up just makes you look more put together, and, most importantly for me, hides how horribly I blush when I’m agitated.

When I was a kid my father used to call me kalkkilaivan kapteeni, “captain of the chalk ship”. And I haven’t gained much more color since. On my ballet class, where there is a mirror covering one hole wall, I’m definitely the palest woman in the class. And this is Finland. Foreign companies add extra lighter shades to the make-up ranges just for the Finnish market. And I still can’t find one that suits me! Also, for some reason a lot of the pale shades tend to be yellow toned, which makes me look ill.

However, I finally found a shade that suits me. It’s pale. It’s slightly pink. It’s perfect.

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Everyday Minerals, Semi Matte Base, Rosy Fair 0C

The trouble is, it’s also a powder foundation.

Did I mention my skin is dry? It’s so dry. My hair never get’s dirty, because I don’t seem to produce oil. I don’t have dry patches on my face, my whole face is a dry patch.

Good news: my skin isn’t oily and I never get pimples. Bad news: put powder on it and I look like I put flour on my face.

But I think I have a solution.

Powder foundation + moisturizer = tinted moisturizer.

!

This is working amazingly. The color is a perfect match for my skin. It’s moisturizing, so you can’t really tell I have make-up on. And it’s so easy. It pretty much just looks like my skin is flawless. Yes, thanks, I’ll take it.

I don’t really have an exact recipe for this. I just sprinkle about a half a tea spoon of the powder foundation on my palm, add about a pea-sized amount of my moisturizer, mix and just slather it on. Easy.

I though this might be helpful if, for some reason, there is someone else out there who can’t find their match in the available foundations. You can switch the measurements around depending on how much coverage you want.

Personally, I'm in love.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

5 things to buy in Finland

This is a bit of a different post from the usual stuff, but I was asked some recommendations on stuff to do and buy in Finland. I thought maybe some one else might find this interesting, too?

So, if you are travelling to Finland and wondering what you should buy, here are five Finnish things that I personally own and love, and think you might enjoy, too.

All of these are easily available all around Finland, in department stores and big grocery stores.

1. Moomin mug

As you may or may not know the creator of Moomins, Tove Jansson, is Finnish. Hence, Moomins are a big deal in Finland. There are of course the books, but also all kinds of Moomin merchandise: toys, sheets, toys, towels, bags, cosmetics, coffee, candy…

However the mugs are a classic. I’m willing to bet that almost every household in Finland at least one Moomin mug. And a lot of people collect them and buy each new mug. There is one of all the characters, but also themed ones. For example, they release a new winter themed one each year (I personally collect these).

The designs are usually sold for a few years, except the seasonal ones which are usually available only for a few months, and then replaced with new ones. Some of the older ones have been auctioned for quite high prices, around 1000 €.

You can find these at about 10-15€, but some of the seasonal ones can be more expensive, such as the Tove Jansson 100 years mug last year, which was around 25€.

2. Finnhook

This one is a bit hard to explain, but it’s basically a massage, pressure point thingy. And It's amazing. You hold the straight bit and use the hook part to find sore spots in your body and then just gently press on them. You can see a video on how to use it here.

This is hands down the best home massager I’ve ever tried. It actually works. You feel so light afterwards, that’s the only way I can describe it.

It also hurts. The Finnish name for this thing is Kipukoukku, the pain hook, but I guess they wanted to go for a different name for the foreign market. The first time I used it felt like I was all a sore spot, but as you use it more you’ll find less and less sore spots. I think this is pretty much a must if you do any type of sports or sit a lot at the computer.

There’s a plastic version in fun colors, but I suggest you get the wooden one. I find it feels nicer and sturdier. It doesn’t weight much and lies very flat folded, so it’ll fit easily in your suitcase.

You can find this at around 30€.

3. A Book

A bit vague, but buy a book you like! Finland has some great literature. There are classic novels such as Mika Waltari’s The Egyptian and Nobel winner Frans Emil Sillanpää’s Meek Heritage.

However, I especially recommend Finnish children's literature. There are the Moomin books (of course), but there are also other wonderful children’s books you might never have heard of. A lot of books are available not only in Finnish, Swedish and English but in other languages, too. I suggest you head over to a book store and have a browse.

If you don’t know what to buy, I suggest books by Mauri Kunnas.  I think nearly all of his books have been translated to English and some are also available in other languages, for example, in German, French, and Russian.

The Canine Kalevala tells the story of the Finnish national epic Kalevala in a humorous way, depicting the characters as cat’s and dogs. Kunnas also has several books about Santa Claus (who of course lives in Lapland in Finland).

10-30€, depending on the book.

4. Fiskars scissors

Another item that I guarantee every Finnish household has. Maybe you don’t think there is that much difference between types of scissors, but there is.

The classic Fiskars scissors are sculpted to the shape of the hand, so they are very comfortable to use. You can find different ones for left and right handed people. They are also very good quality and cut well.

The basic color is orange, but you can also find them in many different colors and patterns, including Moomin (of course). I have the orange ones and pink breast cancer awareness ones. I also have their craft scissors and nail clippers (not sculpted).

These cost around 15-25€ depending on the color and pattern.

5. Salmiakki

Ok, you can not leave Finland without having tasted salmiakki. I know it’s an acquired taste, but just try it, you might like it! Or at least shock your friends with it.

There’s a lot of different kinds, hard, soft, hot, mild… And there’s also salmiakki chocolate, ice cream, soda, alcohol, gum etc. I suggest you get a small box at first to see how you like it.

1-5€ depending on the brand , size etc.

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That’s just five things I came up. If you are a Finn and want to recommend something, or if you’ve travelled in Finland and bought something awesome, please comment below!

This is not a sponsored post (none of my posts are), these are things I felt I could genuinely recommend.