Monday, August 31, 2015

in August

  • The days were warm, and the nights cool and most importantly, dark. I just find it so hard to sleep in the summer when the sun just refuses to set. August is definitely my favorite month!
  • For the first time, we really appreciated having a yard. Maybe because…
  • We got a giant trampoline! Sooo much fun. But Jake threw out his back jumping and had to stay home for a week on sick leave.
  • Jake also hurt his little finger badly (not on the trampoline), there was an audible crack. Luckily it wasn’t broken, but it was black and blue for a long time.
  • Our red currant bush made a nice amount of berries, which I picked up and froze for the winter. Also one of the blueberry bushes my parents planted in the spring made four berries!
  • I met a friend from art school I hadn't seen in about 10 years for dinner and we had a lovely catch up.
  • I went wild blueberry picking with some neighbours and was eaten alive by mosquitos. But I did get some blueberries for the winter.
  • We went to the beach for the first time since I moved here! And I swam for the first time in years. It was super cold, but so nice.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Two valets

My old valet on the left, the new one on the right.

I've been thinking a lot about getting rid of things, ever since reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpBut I wasn't thinking about it when I got a new valet. It just sort of happened.

I remember when I got my old valet, I thought it was the perfect one. So many pockets and places to put things. How I could organize all my cards and carry stuff like stamps and an extra hair tie. I loved it, so I wasn't thinking about getting a whole new one.

What I was thinking was that I’d like to get a smaller additional valet for those occasions when I don’t want to take my handbag with me, when I’m just running quickly to the store or when I want to take some money with me for a walk.

So, I got one.


It has just room for my debit cards, drivers license and some money. That’s it.

No bonus cards, no library card, no insurance card, no union card, none of the eleven cards I was carrying with me. And it turned out that was enough.

I haven’t used that new valet just when I don’t want to carry my big one. I've used it all the time.

And I love it.

Yeah, maybe occasionally I’d like to go to the library and I don’t have my card with me or maybe there is a great offer and I don’t have my bonus card with me, but actually, I've used my smaller valet for three months now, and those occasions have not yet happened. I haven’t once wished I had more with me.

So, I guess that old valet is destined to be the place where I keep all those cards, for the off change I’ll sometimes need them. But, mostly, I don’t think I will.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Reader Pictures

I thought it would be fun to share pictures of amigurumis people have done from my patterns! I really enjoy seeing how they turn up and always love when someone sends me a link!

I tried to comb up all the pictures people have send to me.
If yours is missing send me an email at riikkael (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll add you. And if you want yours to be removed shoot me an email and I'll take it out. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

What I’ve been reading

Ehem, so the monthly reading lists aren’t obviously happening. So, here are the books I’ve read since, er, March. I think. Because I might have read something else, too. But let’s just go with these.

Atul Gawande: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things RightVery interesting. As someone who has a very scattered brain and relies on lists a lot, this made a lot of sense.

Atul Gawande: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the EndVery thought-provoking and moving. I think this should be required reading for everyone.

Gretchen Rubin: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday LivesI really like Rubin’s books, they are somehow very relatable. But I still can’t decide what tendency I am.

Amy Poehler: Yes PleaseGood. But what I kept thinking was, wow, American comedians do a lot of drugs and are so casual about it. Same with The Bedwetter later on this list.

Sophia Amoruso: #GIRLBOSSI wasn’t going to read this, despite all the hype, but ended up having nothing else on my reading list. I liked it much more than I thought I would, I thought it was going to be just an memoir, but there was a lot of advice, too.

Chris Baty: No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 DaysLoved this. Very useful for other projects than just writing. I really liked the positive “just get it done, you can do it” attitude.

Robert C. Atkins: Dr. Atkins' New Diet RevolutionI read Gary Taubes’ books on carbohydrates and insulin last year, I think, and thought it made a lot of sense. I didn’t really want to read this book, because you here a lot of bad things about Atkins diet, but decided to give it a go. It was actually a lot more reasonable, than the “eat all the bacon!” versions you here about.

Myquillyn Smith: The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be BeautifulA nice relaxed decorating book, basically telling you to ignore all the “rules” and just do what you want in your home.

David Perlmutter: Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers Ok, so after the Atkins book, I pretty much went on a low-carb book bender. I really like well sited books. This was excellent.

Maria Emmerich: Keto-Adapted: Your Guide to Accelerated Weight Loss and Healthy Healing I liked this, but it seemed to be mostly the authors opinions, and a lot of the time when she said to do something I found myself asking “based on what”? I’m sure she has researched the subject a lot, but there were just a few studies sited and that made me feel unsure.

Sarah Silverman: The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and PeeListened to this as an audio book, and liked Silverman’s storytelling. But again, all the drugs!

William Davis: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to HealthDidn't care for this one as much as the other books, not sure why. But the bit about wheat being so selectively bred that it’s not even natural anymore, was very interesting.

Greg McKeown: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of LessReally liked this. I’m really starting to feel minimalism is the way to go.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sauna clothes line


I love sauna. But. It’s basically a whole room you use once or twice a week, and the rest of the time it just sits there, empty.

So, the last time my parents visited my father installed this clothes line.


The white contraption on the left houses the bar with the lines on it when it’s not in use, and then when you want to use it you pull it out and attach it to the hooks on the right.

This was not an original idea, a lot of Finnish families do this. We had a clothes line like this in my childhood home. Dryers in Finland, by the way, are quite rare. Everyone line dries their laundry. However Jake is very allergic to outside, I mean pollen, so drying stuff outside is out of the question.


Here it is in action. It’s working great and I don’t have to look at laundry hanging in my living room.
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