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.

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.