Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Random Tuesdays 01/31/12

Southern Finland, 2012. Husband took a photo from our backyard, so beautiful!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yellow-green dining area

We got our dining area finished the other day and I'm quite happy with it. We re-painted the walls in two shades of yellow. The green faux-silk curtains are from Amazon, they were a steal!

Ignore the wrinkly table cloth :-)

Anniversary flowers from my husband :)

These three wooden wall hangings were a find on some super market's sale pile. Love the colors!

I bought the table lamp for my student apartment years ago, my mom brought the coasters and the holder as a souvenir from Tunisia. I think they fit together just great

I think the dining area looks pretty darn good, but I'm biased :) What do you guys think?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random Tuesdays 01/24/12

Somewhere near Winter Park, Colorado. 2009. Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. The Rockies are breathtaking and I absolutely love the mountain lakes. My husband wants to live in Colorado someday and it's definitely one of my top 5 states as well :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why don't friends with kids have time?

When I was expecting our bundle of joy, I figured I'd go back to work after 9 months. I figured I'd go crazy if I didn't. I was a homemaker in Germany for a while (without children) and it almost drove me nuts. Idleness does not suit me. What I didn't realize was that Moms are not idle, quite the contrary :) The lil man keeps me so busy I haven't had time to finish my thesis. My friends, who don't have kids, wonder what on earth am I doing every day. I confess, that's exactly what I wondered when I didn't have kids. I figured they were just lazying at home or something haha. I wish I had read the following Washington Post article back then, it pretty much explains it all:
In Finland we have this amazing maternity leave system, the government basically gives you money to stay home with your child until they're 3. Not a whole lot of money after 9 months, not enough to pay a mortgage, but enough to buy food etc. And it goes without saying that you don't have to stay at home, we have a very affordable daycare system too. In the United States, the system is quite the opposite. You usually get 6 weeks unpaid, and if you come back, you might even get to keep your job (yes, that's my attempt at sarcasm:). Quality daycare is super expensive, in fact daycare cost more than I earned as an archivist, so I didn't even dream of going back to work, nor did I want to. Here's my controversial two cents: I don't understand why people have kids, if they take them to full time daycare at 6 weeks. I mean accidents/surprises happen, and I admire people who take responsibility, but at the same time most of the time having children is a planned thing. If you don't have money/time to be with your children at least until they're 1, why have them? Perhaps I don't understand the biological need some people have to reproduce, and that at the same time they don't have the need to raise their own children. I will also never understand women (aside from those with health issues) who take their young, under 3-year-old, kids to full-time daycare, but stay at home as stay-at-home-moms. In my opinion, stay-at-home moms take care of their own kids. My controversial two cents ends :)

I contemplated long whether to post this entry or not, since it could be understood the wrong way. So as an end note I'd like to point out that I do not think ill of people who put their kids to daycare at 6 weeks and go to work, I just don't understand them. We all make our own choices. Also, I'm definitely NOT saying going to daycare is bad for children, I'm just wondering why parents make certain choices. My husband was put to daycare at 6 weeks and he turned out fine :)
P.S I voted :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

What will you be when you grow up?

When I was younger I dreamed of becoming a model, a beauty pageant winner, a dancer etc. all very little-girly professions :) My Mom always thought I'd become a doctor, and my Dad thought that I'd become a lawyer. Well, I ended up first graduating from business school and then graduating again and becoming an archaeologist. Now I'm working on my Master's in History. I still have no clue what I want to do "when I grow up".
Being an archaeologist, I'm the one with the pale blue top :)

I know I don't want to be an archaeologist anymore, at least not a field archaeologist. It's not that I don't love archaeology, I really do. In fact I love it very very much, it fascinates me endlessly. It's just that I have a family now and being a shovelbum just won't do anymore. I can't just leave wherever the job take me and come back whenever it ends. Having young children and being a full-time field archaeologist just doesn't work out. And is a lab archaeologist a real archaeologist? Perhaps, but full-time lab archaeologist positions are almost impossible to come by, they're pretty seasonal. I focused on osteology and paleopathology (I wrote my thesis on diseases and cause of death of a certain group of mummies), so perhaps someday I might be able to work in forensics. But probably not in Finland, and that's where I currently live.

In Finland my options are pretty limited, I probably won't be able to work in my own field. In the U.S there are more options, but the pay is horrible, I probably wouldn't be able to support myself with that amount of money. It was fine when it was just me, living in a shared house with 3 roommates, but it won't be fine now when I have a family. And I don't want to live off my husband forever, even if he'd be totally fine with it (which he is btw:).

 I never in my wildest dreams imagined myself as a homemaker, but that's what I am right now. Well I'm still working on my thesis and taking a class this semester, so I guess I'm a homemaker-graduate student or something haha. I never thought I'd say this, but I love being home with our lil man :) Seeing him grow, it's such a privilege! But also, I don't want to be home forever, so I've been giving my future some serious thought. In fact I believe my homemaker days are numbered, I hope to employ myself one way or another within the next year. And I'm hoping to find a part-time job first, so I still could be there for our little man. Since I have that business degree, I'm probably going to end up working at some office. If I could choose, I'd want to work in a learning environment, but we'll see :) 

 Anyone have any good career advise for me? :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Favorite Christmas presents

I had been a very good girl in 2011, at least judging by the amount of presents I got :) I meant to post something about my favorite Christmas presents a bit earlier, but never got around to it. Better late than never, here are some of my favorite Christmas presents:

Darling husband got me the Guess Sundance satchel in grey that I had been eyeing for quite some time. I bought the matching clutch as a Christmas present to myself :) I have to admit that I really like Guess bags, although I do feel like some of them are hugely overpriced. There are, however, times I just can't resist buying one :)

I really needed a jewelry-tree, so my amazing sister-in-law gave me this for Christmas. I had a bit of a tough time getting it to Finland intact, but it arrived in one piece thanks to my hard Samsonite luggage. I've had other jewelry-trees before, but this one (finally) has enough branches. At least for now... :)

My mother-in-law got me this Caboodles Black In My Case, and I love it! It's spacious enough and it's leak-proof, which is really important since I'm storing my nail stuff (including gel polish remover) in it. It's a lil more pink-ish than it appears in the photo and has handy compartments and places for marbleizing tools/brushes on the sides. I might get another one for my make up :) The case also had a nice surprise inside it: a gift card to Sephora!

And here's probably the most useful Christmas present I got :-) I really needed a vacuum upstairs, since I had trouble carrying the big vacuum we have upstairs due to my bad back. My parents got us Electrolux Ergo Rapido 2-in-1 in metal yellow and I love it! It's super-handy and I don't need to look for a electric outlet, since it's cordless :) It's also really pretty and matches our yellow kitchen.

I also got other wonderful presents like gift cards, external hard drive, clothes, jewelry, a planner, and a Star Wars keychain :-) Hope everyone else got amazing presents as well!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Random Tuesdays 01/17/12

Lake Champlain, Vermont 2006. There's something really beautiful about a frozen lake on a sunny winter day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bridal jewelry pt II

I rarely wear necklaces, but I love big earrings. For our first wedding I was planning on having huge chandelier earrings and no necklace, but ended up wearing these, and I loved them. In fact, I loved them so much I was planning on recycling them for our second wedding. Well, I ended up wearing something totally different.

Our theme for our second wedding was red (Christmas) and silver (winter wonderland). Since I was already wearing a silver wedding dress, I wanted something red too. I dyed my blonde hair strawberry blonde and decided that the bridal jewelry should be red too. Here's what I wore:

A red heart/flower Austrian crystal necklace and earring set with red crystal flower hair pins. In order to prevent it from looking too red, I also added some clear crystal hair pins that I wore for the first wedding. I got the necklace set from Amazon.com and the hair pins from Ebay. I was a little worried I'd look too much like a Christmas tree :-) but in the end I think I looked just fine :)

And here are my gorgeous rings :)

Love them!

Hope everyone is having an amazing week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Random Tuesdays 01/10/12

Southern Finland, 2007. I love the sunny winter days, when there's a lot of snow on the ground. I also love the sea. The best dog ever, Lilli, also enjoyed walks by the sea. Miss her so very much.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Beauty potions

I admit that I'm a beauty product junkie, I love moisturizers - a lot. I also admit I have no beauty school background and know very little about the chemistry behind all these products. But I've tested a huge amount of moisturizers, toners, eye creams etc. (I love free samples), because I have very dry skin, atopic eczema, and not a whole lot of products work for me. I've nevertheless found my absolute favorites, products that work on my extremely picky skin, and here are some of them:

My beauty routine starts with Biotherm Biosource clarifying cleansing milk and hydra-mineral lotion-toning water for Normal/Combination Skin. Both are amazing, especially the toner, I've yet to find a better one. It's refreshing and the skin feels clean afterwards. During the summer I use the toner several times a day to get that refreshed feeling.

Some might say eye creams are for the more mature, but I disagree. I love eye creams, they work miracles. I apply every morning and evening, except when I'm on an airplane. There I apply before each landing (or whenever necessary) and feel instantly refreshed. This is my absolute eye cream favorite, Clinique All about eyes rich, it does wonders to dry, tired eyes.

My daily moisturizers: Biotherm Aquasource during summers, and Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion during winters, when my skin needs the extra moisturizing. Both moisturize amazingly well, I haven't had an eczema on my face in years. The only sucky thing about these two is that there is no SPF on them. And with a super-fair skin like mine, I have to wear sunscreen all year round. Biotherm's Age Fitness and Clinique's Superdefense both have an SPF, so I might try those at some point.

I also have a separate night cream, which is Biotherm's Skin.ergetic night. It's a detox night cream and I've only used for a while, but so far I'm liking it. It smells really good (well, all Biotherm stuff does) and seems to be working well. The only complaint I have is that the jar is odd shaped. I have trouble getting stuff out with my long-ish nails.

I also use Clinique's Turnaround skin renewer every couple of days. I noticed that they now have Turnaround Overnight, which I might try next.

And here are my trusty companions from The Body Shop. I lovelovelove the Almond Oil hand and nail cream. Most hand creams smell yucky to me, but this one is very tolerable. I love the pump bottle and apply multiple times a day. The Body Shop's Vitamin E Lip Care Stick is the best there is! It has yet to meet it's match and I've probably tried about a 100 different lip balms. It doesn't sting even when my lips are red raw, and it's not sticky. Couldn't live without it :)

Basically I like Biotherm and Clinique :) But that doesn't stop me from testing other brands. For example, I've really liked some of Philosophy's stuff and I might take some into regular use.

I'm not much of a make-up person, I've just never been very good at applying it. But I sure do love my beauty products. I also have a ton of nail stuff, but I'll save that for another entry :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Random Tuesdays 01/03/12

Happy New Year on Random Tuesdays! Here's a collage of 2011 photos, such an awesome year!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Happy New Year 2012 everyone! I hope you've all had a fantastic start and have lots of exciting things planned for this brand new year :)

2011 was an amazing year for me! Some of the memorable events were:
- We moved to Finland (and this is something really special for me, since I have not lived in Finland since 2005)
- Our lil man turned 1! It is such a privilege to watch him grow, I wish we all could get as excited as he does when he encounters new things :)
- I got married, twice, to a wonderful man, whom I love so very much!
- We went on an amazing honeymoon to Greece
- Husband got a permanent position in his own field right out of college!
- We moved into a wonderful new home
- We were able to celebrate Christmas with both of our families

We celebrated New Year's Eve at home, since our little man went to bed way before the year changed :) We bought a bunch of unhealthy foods like chips with dip, cookies, chocolate and candy and had our own little fest in the living room :) We also opened a bottle of champagne and played some Africa's Star, which is a Finnish game from 1951, lots of fun!

New Year's Eve. Notice the very mature living room rug :D Actually we are planning on buying a new one, this is just temporary, I swear :-)

Fireworks from our living room window

In 2012 I hope to:
- finally graduate as a Master of Arts! I just have my thesis left so I hope to finish that by December the latest
- potty train our little man (should be achievable)
- get my back fixed
- lose a few more pounds through Pilates. I'm not exatcly overweight, but I do have this slight spare tire that showed up after I had the baby. I want to get rid of it :) I can't do a whole lot because of my bad back, but I love Pilates and hopefully my back will too
- travel to NYC to celebrate our first anniversary. I've been to the city several times, but my husband has never been there. This must be corrected :)
- start saving money, for no reason really, just to have some savings
I'm sure I'll come up with many more things along the way :)

I also wanted to thank everyone who has taken time to read my blog, I really appreciate it!
May the year 2012 bring you all the very best life has to offer!