Saturday, October 23, 2010


I was actually thinking to write some other post today, but then I went to one of the local stores to buy some fruit. When I passed the fridge with milk products, something caught my eye. I stared. I could not believe. What I had stared at was so very familiar to me, yet it belonged to my images and memories from some other Nordic country. There, on the top shelf, there was a pile of pots with the very real and the very Icelandic SKYR!!! Woow!!!

This surely is the news of the day as I am so very happy that Finland has started to import skyr from Iceland. Now what is skyr and how have I fallen in love with it? According to Wikipedia, skyr is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yoghurt. Technically it is a very soft cheese. It is very popular in Icelandic cuisine. It seems to have originated in Norway and been brought to Iceland by the Vikings. Skyr has a slightly sour dairy flavor, with a hint of residual sweetness. Commercial Icelandic manufacturers of skyr have added flavors such as vanilla, berries, etc. common to yogurt to the final product, to increase its appeal.  

Skyr is exactly what I was longing to taste even before my first trip to Iceland in 2003; you must know that I have always been a big fan of Iceland, anyway. During my first trip I ate really a lot of skyir; I guess I don't need to repeat how much I liked it. This summer I went to Icleand again - and the first thing I did when I came to Keflavik airport was that I had bought a skyr in the shop on the airport and ate it  outside while waiting for the bus to Reykjavik. Strawbery skyr. Then, I dragged my two friends all over the city to the biggest shopping center in Reykjavik, Kringlan, just because I had read that somewhere near that shopping center should be an ice-cream shop, which sells skyr ice-cream. I took a map and walked and finally found ÍSland, the place with great home-made skyr ice-cream. And of course the last thing I ate in the morning before leaving Iceland in August 2010 was again a big pot of skyr. 

I have missed skyr. Until now. I really like such cottage cheese/yogurt-like products; however, skyr is, at least for me, something special. It should be also very healthy, low on calories and with lots of proteins.  My favorite flavors are vanilla and strawberry, but I also like others. However, it seems that the economic crisis has affected Iceland also in the way that they have started to export skyr to Nordic countries - first, I think, it was to Norway in 2009. Well, I just hope Finland will like skyr, and that the product will remain here in our shops. For the benefit of the Icelandic exporters - and just because skyr rules. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I was away from Finland for 9 days - on holiday in Slovenia. While I was away, all the birches in front of my building had turned golden yellow. The birches, so typical Finnish trees, grow in the park here, and my balcony looks directly to the park; thus, I have a nice autumn view, especially if the day is sunny. Just too bad that the trees will soon be black and bare, all the leaves on the ground. However - Finnish ruska, the time of colored trees, is really beautiful. 

Otherwise I have brought some autumn flu from Slovenia with me, which is totally annoying. Not to mention that I am on sick leave right after I have returned from holiday... now how clumsy is that... 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Whenever I am visiting Slovenia, I have to, of course, do some shopping. Usually, I pick up the shops/stuff I cannot get in Finland; however, in case of Lush I realized  I also have to buy their products in Ljubljana - or in Tallinn. I was actually quite surprised when I had find out that cosmetics of Lush is actually cheaper in Ljubljana (and in Tallinn) than in Helsinki. Whereas the prices in Ljubljana and Tallinn were the same, the difference between Helsinki is much cheaper - from 2€ for soaps up to 7€ for Dream Cream and even 10€ in case of some more expensive creams (which I don't buy, I have just noticed the difference).

The thing is that Lush is a big worldwide chain, and according to my experience with other big chains I would expect similar prices everywhere; at least H&M does not do any difference, and prices are the same either in Ljubljana or in Helsinki. The Body Shop is similar everywhere in Europe as well; also in Tallinn. The Lush example is interesting; however, I did not shop in any other Lush store to do a more exact comparison, just in Helsinki, Ljubljana and Tallinn.

Anyway, I have bought a few of my favorite products and spent quite a lot at once - well, I hope I have also managed to save some money as I have chosen a cheaper Lush-franchise. ;)

P.S.: For all of you that come to this page while searching for any info about Lush store in Ljubljana- you can find the shop in the old town, right next to the famous Robba fountain, the address is Ciril-Metodov trg 21. However, more info is here.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

NOTD - Nails Of The Day

Just because I have become a nail polish fan and because I read more and more nail polish as well as make up related blogs. :D Not a perfect swatch at all, but one has to learn, right? Oh, btw - the black line on the edge of the fourth finger was removed later.

Depend 019, IsaDora Graffiti Black Tag and Essie Good to Go on the top

Thursday, October 07, 2010


While I was writing posts within one internet forum, I also had to mention, every now and then, that I live in Helsinki, Finland. Well, I am not boasting with this - it's a fact, I am an immigrant, at least at the moment. However, the reactions of other members were something like "ooh, Finland, I envy you, such a beautiful country" and "ooh, Helsinki, I envy you". Yet - are Helsinki really so great and the best city and all?

Newsweek magazine recently ranked Finland as the best country to live in - mainly because of very good educational system - but still. I surely do like living in Finland, it's clean and naturally beautiful country. The salary is in general good - but on the other hand, the taxes are high, and that hurts. Further more, there really is a big difference between Helsinki and, for instace, Jyväskylä where I first lived. Helsinki is, of course, much much bigger - here lives half a milion of the population, whereas in Jyväskylä it was less than 100 thousand. So, all the good shops are basically located in Helsinki, all the biggest bands come to Helsinki; the city is a capital and, as most probably elsewhere in the world, everything aims to the capital.  

However, it also looks like that it is much easier to find a job in Helsinki. Thus, people have to move from other parts of Finland - and that causes a shortage of proper rental apartments. So, there is a big competition among tenants, which make rents very, very high. I mean, the difference between Jyväskylä and Helsinki is almost 60%  regarding rental costs. For instance, one can easily pay even 900€ for a small one-room flat in Helsinki, whereas in Jyväskylä the rent could be 400€, or even less. Of course there are possibilities to get a municipal flat, where the rent is cheaper etc. - but for a young individual just starting to work and with no family, small flats on the rental market seem to be the only option. And thus, one has to take the situation as it is, and get over it.

As Helsinki is much bigger than other cities in Finland, I also sense some kind of metropolis-feeling. Sometimes, the city feels too crowded, and one cannot be alone. People squeeze on vacant seats of public trasport, and sometimes I get this feeling that they really don't care about others. There is much more rush and ignorance in general; quite hard to explain. Annoying and loud teenagers, people all the time talking on mobile-phones, no silence. Drunks, and lately beggars from Romania. All in all - Helsinki can be too big and too crowded place, where one can hardly maintain her or his own little personal space. 

Anyway... I like Helsinki, and I like living in Helsinki. I like green suburbs, I like the sea, I like the fact that people have so many dogs here - and I also like the fact that I can get much more stuff  here than in Jyväskylä, or even in Ljubljana. Helsinki is trendy and up-to-date; Helsinki is, afterall, very cool -  but still no fairyland.   

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Ulmiel has just created a fresh and colorful nail polish blog Did Someone Say Nail Polish? - and handed me two blog awards. Kiitos, thanks, hvala! :) The awards are Sunshine Award and Happy 101.

The rules are:
1. Save the image above and post it on your own blog.
2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees.
4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from. 
The rules are:
1. Post who gave you this award.
2. State 10 things you like.
3. Give this award to 10 other bloggers and notify them with a comment.

   more or less random order
  1. dogs <3
  2. metal music with good lyrics
  3. traveling (consequently, Iceland and Finland)
  4.   Japanese martial arts (or visiting a fitness club, heh)
  5. good movies
  6. water
  7. foreign languages
  8. nail polish
  9. independence 
  10. ice-cream
Now I should pick up some nominees, but I am not sure how many bloggers still read this blog as it had slept for a while...  Well, let's try. I pick: 

OK,  it's Sunday, I have time and so I should go and apply one of those three nice and also nicely expensive nail polishes I have bought last week. ;)