Saturday, May 30, 2009

Little shop of goodies

It all started from my mom, who always dreamed of starting her own shop... There's a tiny entrepreneur inside of me too, that has endless ideas of making something of her own, but never the guts to do it. Until now.

Mom and I decided to try having our own coffee-kiosk in Sweden for one week, when I go visit her and her husband at their summer cottage there. The house is by a cute little road, where people go biking alot, and the garage has a perfect window to the road, that can work as the counter. We're gonna bake some cinnamon rolls (korvapuustit in Finnish/örfil in Swedish) and make coffee and juice. That's all. If no-one comes, then we'll eat them by ourselves. (Not a bad scenario either.) So the businessplan is done, and our strategy is solid.

Well, I'm too eager to wait until then, so I'm gonna try it out this Monday in Berlin, when people are out in the Karneval der Kulturen! You can see foreigners selling their local delicacies in the corners of fleamarkets on Sundays, so of course I have to try it too. Also the whole unemployment situation in Berlin is pushing me to take charge!

How much do you think I could ask for these darlings?

I bought some ingredients alredy, and this is what's coming up:
* Banana-chocolate-cup cakes
* Cinnamon rolls
* Soft rice pasties (Kukkoset in Finnish. These are something my grandma taught me to make: a kind of bun with nice buttery rice porridge on top. They are easier to make from non-Finnish ingredients, than their cousins Karelian pasties, 'karjalanpiirakat', that are more famous & no Finn can live without)
* Juice

As a creative girl I also have a plan on how my stand is going to be! Sam's ironing board will by the table (how clever is that?!), and Rene will help me carry all the stuff in a cooler to Kreuzberg, where the Carneval is taking place. If the cops come checking if I have a permission, my delicious muffins ought to shut them up. If not, then I'll pack my things and eat them at home...

My helpful sister provided me with some Finnish flags and my good old Marimekko-table cloth is representing my homeland as well.
All set!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Theory of shopping

"I love lamp." -Brick Tamland.

I really don't call myself a heavy shopper. I own some nice clothes, and I love to combine them in weird ways, but compared to my colleagues and friends from the fashion school, I really don't buy new stuff very often. Maybe it's my recent new life as a blogger and growing fashion blog reader that has caused me to do some irrational findings lately. It also always happens when I've started an internship/job surrounded by clothes. I can't help creating all kinds of needs when I see them. (Maybe Maslow would have something to say about this.)

Conclusion: The best thing would be to stay out of shopping streets and malls! But my occupation kind of requires me to follow the scene you know...

Well you know these babies already, the scarf I got today. Outi was asking me about the shoes, they're from Bianco. So the Finnish readers can also go get them :)

(Not sure I wanna admit where this combo is from, but it was on sale, so you wouldn't find them anyways!)

Today I took Jessica who's visiting from Mexico out to see some shops, and I was the one carrying bags home. I keep reminding myself, my first salary will be coming in the end of June, and it won't be very big. So if you see me posting more about bargains that I've made, just hush hush...

Shirt: Oasis, necklace: Six, shoe: Bianco.

This lap-top-bag is a newbie from Marimekko's bag collection. I got it with the help of my amazing friends, who gathered me a voucher as a birthday/going away/winning a law suit against my evil land lady -present last year!! :) Thanks again, babies!

My spankin' fashion philosophy

Luckily I've always been a good bargain-finder, because I buy only few things, but focus on quality and uniqueness. When I lived in Helsinki, I mostly shopped when travelling, so I wouldn't see the stuff on everybody else back home. I don't like to be recognized of the H&M top that covers the billboards, I'd rather shop in fleamarkets and abroad. But, when I moved to Berlin, I finally tried shopping in Ginatricot, in Helsinki (as cheap and popular as H&M in Scandinavia), because I knew no-one would know their stuff here. Ha!

Earrings from We Are All Beautiful People, shades from the fleamarket in Mauer Park.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fruitful day, yay!!

Today I got a new job, a new haircut and new shoes! Yes! Guys, I got the little job that I've been excited about, and soon I'll be shoppin Nudie jeans and colorful trainers all day long! :) I mean shopping is not my job, it's just a benefit (If you can call it that after I've spent my whole salary on clothes).

Right now I'm still broke, and I won't be getting paid any time I can only dream on. But some how I was so happy with my first job in Germany, that I went and bought myself some shoes. Cute ones, and very practical too, because I've suffered from the lack of sandals and black shoes, so weren't they just the cleverest combination!


Afterwards I got a haircut as a hair model in Haareszeiten (Danzigerstrasse 56), which turned out great, and cost only 5 euros! I was so happy I paid her double :)

...and cuddly?

Asparagus rock 'n rolls!!

The only sad thing about asparagus is, that it takes loads of peeling. But it's worth it, just try this juicy reicipe...

While sitting at the hairdresser's, I came across this delicious looking reicipe and decided to try it at home. This is what I remembered/customized of it:

500 g fresh asparagus
2 shallots/small onions
1 clove garlic
1 dl white wine

6 thin slices of bread
6 slices of ham

3 eggs
1 dl cream
black pepper
nutmeg (muskottipähkinä in Finnish :)
grated Parmesan

Fry the onions & garlic in plenty of butter. Add the asparagus and wine and let simmer for 8 minutes. Add some lemon juice and salt. Put the stock aside, and roll the asparagus and ham in slices of bread. Use coctail sticks to tie the rolls together if they tend to break (as in my case).

Mix the eggs, cream and spices into the stock left from the asparagus. Poor the whole lot on top of the rolls in a casserole. Oh! And as always, sprinkle some Parmesan or other good cheese on top. Fry in 180 degrees (Celsius) for some 15 mins. until it looks like in the picture below. Voila!

Oh god, it was good! I served the whole ordeal with some baked butter-potatoes (in the background).

Monday, May 25, 2009


Senior fashion now and forever

Granny lettin' loose in Karneval der Kulturen, Berlin, 2007.

I was so inspired to write about old ladies today because I woke up sounding just like Bea Arthur (may she rest in peace). What's been on my mind for a long time is what describes the fashion among the elderly. It seems it stays the same regardless of surrounding trends, but in a certain age we will all just be taken away by that fad, and start wearing curler rolls and pleated skirts.

The friggin legendary Golden Girls: Blanche, Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Ma/Sophia (Estelle Getty) and Rose. (Picture source here.)

My both grandmothers died when I was just 8, but I had the pleasure of spending quite some time with them. My dad's mom (Mammu) was the elegant urban type, who wore pleated beige pants and starched blouses, whereas my mom's mom (Mummi) was the cute curly haired, round woman in a dress, who smelled like pancakes and home-made strawberry jam. They were both awesome! (I take the risk of sounding like an American, 'awesome' is the only word that describes them.)

I dedicate this article to Mammu and Mummi (and the Golden Girls of course).

Mammu and me.

Mummi with my big-sis and me. She looked like alot like Estelle Getty, right? :D

Comfort and class
It seems that comfort is the biggest factor in clothing for the elderly. When you've lived for so long, you simply don't wanna waist your time sweating in skinny jeans or getting blisters from your new majorly cute but uncomfortable shoes. In that age you might say, they give a new meaning to the saying 'to-die-for'... Nevertheless the overall view is lady-like and classy.

Colors and patterns
Flowers are an all time favorite among the ladies, also all kinds of abstract combinations of dots, lines and geometric patterns are popular patterns. Beige and gray are the timeless colors, but the bolder ladies also go for light yellow, berry colors and pastels. A lady always wears stockings, that are thick and tanned to give the legs a smoother look.

Many grannies like a straight line, in a two-piece they go for long jackets with slacks. Others create the hour-glass form by e.g. wearing a dress with a ribbon in the waist. The hemline is below the knees. An older Finnish lady also once told me that sleeves are important, because seniors tend to have something they call "allit" in Finnish, the wobbly part in their arms, that they'd rather not show. Shoes are quite sturdy, because oldies sometimes tend to fall down.

The urban granny wears slacks.

Best friends out on the town. Check out the matching bags.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Top 5 jobs I could never do

1. Pedicurist. I love going to one, but I honestly couldn't work as one, it's just plain gross. Every time I go, she tells me such horror stories of guys who have been walking for weeks with a bottle cap carved into their sole, or this one guy, who had to have his whole leg amputated, because he'd just let his "cut" get a little too deep. I give a big up to pedicurists, who can actually take a foot at its worst in their hand, look at it closely and touch it every day, and call that their career.

2. Border Control. Deciding which asylum seeker has to go back to their miserable life running for their life is maybe the most horrible situation I could imagine. I'd just let everyone through, and we all know what hell that would raise.

3. Yellow Press. Making a living out of making up superficial shit of people who no-one really should care about, and destroying their reputations, seems maybe like the biggest waste of breath I can think of.

4. Shop girl at Fragrance Department. The smell makes me dizzy.

5. News reporter. I can't keep a straight face, I can't help laughing at peoples mistakes, and I humiliate myself on a regular basis, so you can imagine what a mess that would be. Just check out this video.

Now how 'bout you? All angry pedicurists, please post your top fives!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

brain freeze

I just got home from another pretty long and winding day of trying to impress new people to hire me... apparently job interviews aren't a big hit in Germany, the fashionable thing to do is to have people working for you for free and to see who lasts the longest. Well, I have to say it's actually a pretty good way also for me to see what the atmosphere is and how things feel, because I've now been to 2 places, and they were totally different. The shop I went to today was way nicer than the previous one, the people were really sweet and welcoming to me (whereas in the previous one some of them were vicious - thinking back, that must've been the reason I felt like a 14-year old yesterday, because I got treated like one). I really hope I get it, now I just need to wait til Monday to see who they choose, keep your fingers crossed!

The dress is an oldie from Carlings, the milk shake is from a censored source.

My old Kowalskis still keep me standing.

After my day was done, dispite a searing head-ache, I picked up a huge-ass chocolate milk shake and felt preatty good and free walking back home. I'll have the coolest trip to work, if I get that job... just check it out:

I get to walk under a bridge: (As a kid in Vääksy that was the coolest thing ever.)

I get to cross another bridge, and a river:

I get to see bears:

I mean ACTUAL BEARS, dudes!!!

I get to see tweety-freak's car with its tweety-collection:

PS. Boyfriend is also working tonight is his friend's bar, fingers crossed that one of us get's a job!!

PS 2. You really need to excuse me for lately writing about nothing more than my simple little life.. I've been reading too much Erlend Loe I think, he's my favorite Norwegian person (and I love Norwegians, they're just so down-to-earth, strange and funny, just like Finns, but with a wicked accent). I'll come back to you soon with a kick-ass article about grandma-fashion, that I'm working on... :))) In the mean time, write ideas or comments right here, yall!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

You lost me at 'hello'

Struggling in German

I've now done 2 long 'test-days' in a clothing store, speaking only German, and boy was that tough! I felt like 14 again, all super insecure, as if I'd never worked with people before... and all because my German really isn't that excellent. It really makes you feel retarded when you have years of experience of that exact same work, but you just can't ever be sure you understood what your colleague just asked you to do, and feel like you can't get a word out. (Don't look at me like that, German is REALLY difficult, and so is Finnish, so you can't expect a person to know both.)

And as all of you know, who have worked in customer service, it gets hectic and friggin tiring! After this 10 hour day my feet hurt so much I wanna chew them off, and they smell so bad I feel like sprinkling them on a pasta portion. The customers were very understanding though, that's the great thing about this city, everyone welcomes foreigners (hell, they really don't have a choice, not with the history this country has!). I was so tired of speaking German though, that I actually felt relieved getting to speak my lame beginner Spanish to some Latin customers, because that was something cool and unexpected. and my boyfriend are now struggling to find work in this city notorious of its unemployment, and we have damn well decided to do it. As we're starting our German careers, we're most likely gonna work in shops and bars first. I don't really care, as long as the language starts flowing, and I can be my talkative self again. Now that I had my chance to practice for my future job, we also created Rene a chance to master his likely future job: bartending. As we couldn't afford a massive coctailparty with all sorts of booze and mixers, we innovatively filled our collection of recyclable bottles with water, tagged them with the needed names, and sliced an orange to perform the role of lime and lemon wedges. Sam didn't let us cut leaves off her fresh mint for "our crappy fake-drinks", so I stole some pathetic dead leeves.... Hahaha. Sad and pretty disgusting, but sneaky!

This is how delicious a fake-drink lookes like - pretty pro, huh?

Would you buy a drink from this man?

Ps. Please, people, feel free to comment, give feed-back, ideas, questions! It's free and easy, and anonymous if you wish. I'd love to hear what you find interesting and what I should just shut the hell up about.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Turn-ons: Window shopping in P-berg

I went for a spin in Prenzlauerberg, Berlin, looking for my friend's new shop... and I found some other inspirational sights aswell. As an unemployed wannabe I just had to settle for window-shopping, but I had a really good feeling about these places, and I may have made some good contacts aswell. In the end of the day I even got an invitation to go do a test-day at a possible summer job. :) But more of that later...

For all Berlin-goers the area of Kastanienallee and U-Bahnhof Eberswalderstrasse is a funky must-see with its huge amount of creative shops and people, but also going to the other direction on Danziger Strasse might be interesting. It's not so aware of its "coolness", it's more down-to-earth and there are still some really cool small designer shops and cafés. Some of the most gorgeous breakfast places and terraces are in the opening on Kollwitzplatz.

Danziger Strasse and its side streets:

I'm proud to present: Ina's cool and cute shop - pushGalerie, Kollwitzstrasse

One of my favorite items in pushGalerie, the seatbelt-bag I keep dreaming of.

Scandinavian Objects, they had some cool Finnish stuff that my mom has had in our house forever! Corner of Rykerstrasse/Danziger Strasse.

With Lena and Lise in one of the breakfast places in Kollwitzplatz (am Wasserturm).

The cafés serve breakfast and brunch till late in the afternoon, and it's usually very inexpensive and good. Portions of cheese/continental brekkies are like 5 euros and the brunch buffet's are from 8 to 10 euros. So basically coming back from a club late in the morning you can just wonder into a terrace, have some brunch, chill there all day eating and afterwards just crawl back home into bed. Love it!

Area of Kastanienallee and Eberswalder Strasse:

Too bad I own like a million hundred suitcases... I would've wanted to identify myself as an American Tourister with this cutie.

The best food on Kastanienallee is in Babel. A huge plate of Mediterranean delicacies (hummus, falafels, schawarma...) for 7 Euros - this you should share with a friend.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summertime in the hood

This weekend was really sunny and nice. My nephef and niece spent it with us and we pretty much just hung outside all day as Berlin gave its best.

But first let's get those summer toes done.

Climbing trees in the bear park by Märkisches Museum.

Beach bar by Jannowitzbrücke.

Our mascot was slackin off in the sun. Bärenzwinger by the Märkisches Museum.

Some other summery shots I've taken in May in this kick-ass city:

Kids enjoying the streetparty on Oranienstrasse on the 1st of May.

A family spending the hot day by the window.