here we are again, at the end of one year. i think i managed to stick to my resolution this year to only sew what i needed, or what i knew i would wear over and over again. but with … Continue reading
… stands for a Surprise Short-trip to Singapore!
just like the name, it was a surprise trip–not something we planned for from a long time–and it was short. the main idea was just to meet my parents and spend quality time together.
and that we did!
and because that was the main idea, i don’t really have much to tell about the trip itself, nor that much pictures. we mainly stayed in, going out only to get lunch and dinner, talked & played cards. might be boring for you to see, but it was so much fun for us. 🙂 most of the pics we got was from our last full day together, when we visited the Botanic Gardens, the only place we went to other than restaurants/grocery stores. 😀 (okay, we also went to Mustafa Centre, of course, but that doesn’t count.)
though the jetlag left us tired but it was at the same time so refreshing and came at just the right moment when i was so fed up with work. i miss my parents again already now, but hopefully our next gathering isn’t too far away from now. 🙂
happy summer & mid-year (and soon midsummer), everyone! ❤
PS. the pictures were taken by 4 different people and 5 different cameras, hence the quality differences.
in case you’re wondering (which i’m sure you haven’t been doing) where i have gone to for the past month, here is the answer: nowhere. i haven’t really been offline, though i have been lagging in terms of reading other people’s blogs & updates. here’s something new: i haven’t been sewing either.
it’s not another case of depression this time. it’s simply the realization of just how much clothes i have vs how often i actually wear them. sounds familiar?
usually one would have this problem when one buys clothes, cheap ones, clothes on sale, etc. but when one sews one’s own clothes, is that really possible? well, yeah.
you know how it goes. you can’t seem to stop yourself from getting a nice looking fabric–same thing that goes for nice looking clothes applies as well to fabrics–and you end up getting a few too many. and when you finally have an idea to make something, you open up your fabric stash only to find that nothing there is the right one for your idea! you quickly have to go out and get a new one. repeat by a hundred times.
and then you finally get to make what you wanted. you wear it with pride once, twice, and then you already have another idea for another sewing project, and you repeat the same process all over again.
i’m not saying it happens overnight, of course. i’ve only been sewing now for about 8 years, and already i can see that i have a problem. so i started ‘throwing away’ my old(er) clothes that i bought from stores, and by this i meant either giving them up for charity or bringing them to H&M for recycling. but still it seems that my closet is just getting more and more clothes.
i don’t know yet how it’s going to end, but at least i can tell you that i’m trying to reduce it now before it’s too late. i mean… i’m sure we all know by now just how ‘dangerous’ fast fashion is, right? dangerous for the environment and dangerous for the human resources. now if you thought by making your own clothes you can at least reduce that danger, think again. where do you think the fabrics come from? not all of them grow on trees either. there are still human resources, other than you, the seamstress/tailor, involved in the making of that. it makes me sad sometimes, seeing somebody make dozens of clothes a month, either for him-/herself or for others, and this is just because he/she can. of course i can’t tell just how hollow or full his/her closet is, but still… i think it’s wiser to not be excessive in anything, don’t you?
with that in mind, i am trying to be more careful in what fabrics i buy & what i’ll make from them. i no longer set myself to sew at least 2 sewing projects a month or at least 20 projects per year, or whatever, but instead sew something i actually need & will definitely wear for a long time. i hear you, i’m saying “good luck!” to myself as well! 😀
so anyway, to really answer that question as to what i’ve been doing for the past month, here are some things:
- read the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book. i wish i could one day see the production of this, it looked great in my own imagination! 😉
- got a short social visit from my uncle and aunt, yay! it was their first time here in Finland and of course it had to be super windy when they were here. ergh! but at least the sun was shining, the foods were great (i again of course had to introduce muikkuja aka vendace to them), the talks were fun, and i was just so grateful that somebody from the family could visit me!we got to visit Suomenlinna – the Fortress island despite the harsh wind, enjoyed our walk in the city and the market square, and also went to the Helsinki City Museum, which is also very nice and surprisingly nostalgic for all of us (even though we come from a different part of the world!). they were really nice 2 days that i spent with them! and hey, that’s the second time this year already that i got to play tourist in my own (new) country!
- my husband & i and my mum-in-law taught our nephew to say our names, and he succeeded! he remembered who we were, and whenever we ‘tested’ if he knew which one of us was which, he always got it right! and he liked our names so much that my sister-in-law sent us a video a week after that, where it showed that he just kept saying our names over and over again. ❤ that feeling when somebody small who couldn’t really say much of anything yet suddenly kept calling your name is just unbearably lovely!!
- i learned how to make my first lasagne! also how NOT to make it, LOL. i only followed a recipe though, so it really wasn’t any rocket science. the first time i made it i only managed to put in 2 layers of the lasagna sheet, because the sauce were all already used up, ahahaha…. needless to say, i had to make another one, pronto, and with advices (and okay, a little bit of help) from my husband, i finally got it right this time. no picture of the first lasagne because it was quite embarrassing, haha! not that this second one is a good looking one either, but whatever! it’s a vegetarian lasagne with spinach and cottage cheese as the main content. it was really good for a beginner’s attempt!
that was pretty much it. of course there are other boring things like going to work and doing house chores some time there in the middle, and oh, watching some series in Netflix, but really… nothing else worth mentioning. :p
it’s time for me to take it slow and enjoy life as it is.
i’m not sure when it exactly started, but for years now i’ve had quite a lot of white hair. yeah, i’m sure you’ve noticed them in my pics. 😀
when it started coming out, i tried picking them out. but then they started to grow everywhere on my head, so i couldn’t keep picking them out!
i tried colouring my hair. it was great… for about 2 weeks. the colour went away in the blink of an eye, and i was back with my white hair. i gave up trying to colour it, because no matter what brand i tried, the colour wouldn’t stay longer than 1-2 weeks.
so i tried living with them. it’s nice sometimes because though my face may look young (which means at work some customers may think i’m a junior) my white hair tells people that i’m older than i look. or so i hope, at least! :p but most of the time it bothers me because the white hair look so striking on my deep black hair! too much contrast, even for my taste.
so i then decided to do it the other way around: bleach my hair. i figured that if i bleach it, at least it will ‘forever’ be lighter coloured and there’s no risk of the colour running out after 1-2 weeks… because it’s not really colouring! it’s bleach! ha!
since i would be doing it at home, to minimize the risk (in case i turned too blonde… which is actually quite impossible) i decided that i needed a haircut first. of course that was also done at home.
i chose the same hairstyle i had 6 years ago, since i had run out of ideas on what other style i can do to my hair! so as you can see from the pic, the white hairs are quite visible… and that is just from the front. the sides are much worse and i will spare you the nightmare.
after doing some research, i found that DIY bleaching kits tend to make your hair turn yellowish, so i needed to counter that by adding cool colour to my hair. even though i had my doubts that my hair would turn any lighter than just light brown, i fell in love with the packaging of this Finnish brand KC Professional’s Color Mask and decided to buy the Pearl tone–which is actually meant for seriously blonde hair–before even knowing what my new hair colour would be!
i just didn’t want to risk having to go out of the house looking like a freak (in case the bleaching failed) just to get a tube of this hair colour mask. isn’t it always good to be prepared? (plus it was on sale and was 7€ cheaper than usual, so with that kind of bargain i just couldn’t bear to miss it!)
anyway, for the DIY bleach kit, i went to get the extremest blonde set i could find. plus i have used this brand many times in the past, and they seemed to always work fine.
ah, except that you don’t know my hair’s structure. they’re quite bulky (like 1 string of hair is already very thick), and quite stubborn like the bearer herself. :p
the instruction says whatever happens, DO NOT let the bleach stay longer on your hair for more than 45 minutes. i, of course, obeyed this. the result, which i unfortunately did not record, was a somewhat reddish orange light brown hair. nowhere near the blonde that was shown on that packaging’s image, at least.
thanking the stars that i had bought the hair colour mask, i put it on right away. it’s basically like a conditioner: you put it (with gloves) on clean hair that has been dried by towel, and leave it for a while before rinsing it off. it says on the packaging that 5-10 minutes should do the trick, but i believe that is for blonde hair. since mine was a strange shade of light brown and i did want the reddish orange tint to go away, i kept it on for 15 minutes.
and finally, i was quite pleased with the result!
i would say that even when the DIY bleach kit was almost a total flop, the hair colour mask saved my day. it makes my new hair colour look much more natural than reddish orange, and i am still very pleased with the fact that my white hair is now almost like some highlights on my hair. they look like they’re meant to be here & there and to look that way. yaaay!
the Color Mask is something i would need to re-do after some washes. the tube i bought was a 200 ml size and i only used about 3 tablespoons of it for that first time. so far i’ve washed my hair 3 times after applying the hair mask to my hair, and this is what it currently looks like:
still healthier looking than reddish orange! 😀 i’m gonna see how long/many washes it takes until i finally would need to re-apply the mask, but i can warmly recommend the Color Mask product to anyone who needs healthier & more natural looking hair after a possibly disastrous hair colouring/bleaching experience.
and then, we’ll see which comes first: buying a new tube of the Color Mask or my hair’s grown too long that i would need to re-bleach it! oh, this vicious cycle.
“if i were to visit you later this year, would that be okay?” asked a friend of mine, V, some time early this year. mind you, we live half a world apart and hadn’t seen each other since 2010. and even then we only met for like 10 minutes. before i moved to Finland, we used to meet everyday, or at the very least every weekend because i was in a long distance relationship with you-know-who and she was single at that time. we accompanied each other in our singledoms. 😀
so of course you can guess how i answered her question. everything was just a crazy idea at that time, but after months of plannings and messages back & forth, it finally came: the moment she was finally here in Finland to visit me!
it was a short visit among the rest of her Europe trip, but we had lots of fun! it’s not everyday (not even every month, or year!) that somebody from Indonesia comes to visit me, and then i get to show her/him around. for me to talk freely in Indonesian and see the city like a tourist felt like travelling without moving… because i didn’t actually go anywhere, just experienced the same city/things in different ways, in ways a tourist would.
Marimekon tehtaanmyymälä (Marimekko’s Factory Outlet)
would you believe it if i tell you that all these years i’ve lived here, i had never once gone there? well, i made it my personal goal that we went there right away on the 1st day, because i knew she would just love it. and she did. i think she died a little there from seeing all the lovely things, LOL.
Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum
one of my all time fave museums/galleries. currently they show Choi Jeong Hwa’s Happy Together collection, which i really love, along with Ernesto Neto’s and Jani Ruscica’s collection. (there are other artworks by other artists as well, but the main/solo ones are what i previously wrote.)
we had a great time here, touching things, smelling things (yep, there’s an installation for your sense of smell!), and just being wowed by the fun artworks.
Ateneum Art Museum
we came here on the very last day of her visit and barely made it before the museum closed. they currently showcase Alice Neel’s artworks which are just fantastic! there are also Finnish artists’ artworks in Stories of Finnish Art and Italian print artworks in the Great Rider collection.
we met up with my other friend, E. it was kind of surreal for me to actually witness my 2 friends from different parts of the world & different times of my life meeting each other!
Other Places & Foods
at first i had planned to introduce Finnish foods to my friend, but i guess that’s too idealistic… because to be honest, the best place to find Finnish foods is from people’s homes! meaning: i would have to cook them myself. and i was too lazy for that, LOL! so i scrapped that idea and just followed my tummy when it was time for us to eat.
i really enjoyed playing tourist as i get to do things i don’t normally do. and having someone you know getting excited over something you’ve been taking for granted allows you to see it differently, and gets you excited as well.
thank you for coming, V! hope to see you again real soon! 🙂
PS. most of the pics here were taken by V and used by permission.
… has ended. i swear, if there’s any 4 weeks in a year that goes by too fast, they’re always during the summer holiday! pffft.
here’s a quick recap of all that was done, minus the trip to Singapore because that one already had 3 separate blog posts.
Summer cottage, re-painted
as usual, we went to my husband’s grandparents’ summer cottage. but this time we went there with a mission, and i don’t mean to have fun: we had to re-paint the main building and the warehouse building next to it. don’t get me wrong, painting is fun (yes, even painting a house), but the part that was tough was the preparation. first we had to brush, brush, brush off the old paint & green moss with a mini metal brush, and brush them some more until they are evenly non-coloured…. and then and only then we could start painting. huffff! we were so busy, we didn’t have time for pics on the brushing, but there are proofs of the painting! (plus my fashionable country-side get-up, ha!)
seeing the result & the scenery around the cottage, i suppose it was worth all the work, and i can only say: thank goodness the paint ran out in the middle, otherwise we would still be working there! 😀
on the last pic, though the 2 buildings are quite far, i hope you can see the result of our paintings. if you compare the colours of the building from the first 2 pics while i was painting them and this last pic, you can clearly see the darker paint… and how lovely it is painted, right? 😉 we managed to do the staircases too just before the paint ran out.
my mum-in-law and her husband lost their dog 3 years ago. we had been trying to persuade them to take a new one for years to no avail, but suddenly when we were in Singapore they made an announcement: they were adopting a cat!
H is a bengal cat and he is very shy. i don’t remember now how old he is, maybe around 2 years old? at first when we came around for a visit, he didn’t want to come near us and only hid under the sofa. but after a while, he realized we posed no threat, took a nap beside me, and even let us pet him. ❤ welcome to the family, H!
summer equals fresh berries here in Finland, and there’s really nothing better than Finnish strawberries and blueberries! i have always been fond of strawberries, so of course a strawberry pie was called for.
i used 1 liter of strawberries (yep, that’s how we measure strawberries here, by liter), and in my opinion i could’ve put some more! 😀 the best way to eat it (the Finnish way) is with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, of course. it was quite successful, except that the crust was too thick on the sides–or maybe it just needed more strawberries, like i said. but the taste was superb!
we planned to make another pie after successfully making this one, to give to my husband’s granddad. but this time we decided to try the blueberries, because he happens to love blueberry pies. and so, the experiment began again.
for the blueberry pie, i used 600 grams of blueberries and just a very small amount of sugar. the first pic shows the pie before baking, and the second pic was the result! it was an even better success, and my husband’s granddad loved it. 🙂 for Finnish blueberry pies, it’s also good to eat them with hot caramel sauce. mmmm….
Turning 35 (!!!)
can’t believe i’m already halfway through my thirties! but anyway, there’s always a reason to celebrate, and my choice of celebration this year is sushi. AGAIN.
woot! they were gone in 60 seconds. 😀 just kidding, of course it took longer than that, and i did not finish them all by myself!
that is all we had the time to do this summer holiday. didn’t i say it went by so quickly?
here it is, the last post of our trip to Singapore. phew!
Singapore Art Museum and Bras Basah Complex
i ran out of ideas on what else to do that doesn’t cost anything (not even an MRT ticket), so i finally gave in and went along with my family to the Singapore Art Museum near the City Hall and Bras Basah area.
the ticket is 10 SGD for an adult (and half price for kids and seniors), which is i guess normal and around the same as for museums here in Finland. the museum consists of 2 separate buildings, and you would have to exit the first building & cross the street to get to the other one. i suppose this is okay on a normal day, but for some reason it made me so tired that day. i couldn’t see all the exhibitions due to my fatigue & headache, so in the end i sat down and waited for my family to finish looking around.
after resting and drinking something sweet, i felt a bit better and we continued to Bras Basah Complex, where there are plenty of bookstores (selling old and new books & magazines) and art stores. however, i again got painful ache on my leg, so i didn’t get around much nor did i take any pictures. (the pics i put here are from my sister’s camera.) i only made a point to visit Art Friend and Basheer Graphic Books. in Art Friend, you can get any art supplies you had ever dreamed of, but for example when i saw what i would have wanted (copic markers) they cost around the same as in Finland. Basheer is a bookstore that also sells all kinds of fashion & design magazines. i found lots of back issues of Lula magazine, sold for 10 SGD, and was so tempted to get one… but decided not to in the end, because i figured that for fashion stuffs i can still pretty much browse the internet from time to time. (i feel so proud of myself for being able to say no so many times to my temptations there! :D)
tip #1: if you’re an art enthusiast, the museum is worth a visit. most museums, including this one, close down at 6 or 7 pm, so don’t go there too late!
tip #2: if you love books, i definitely recommend going to Bras Basah Complex for the whole day. you can immerse yourself in all the lovely books they have there, and even buy or sell some old ones. i’m sorry i didn’t get to spend more time there as i only went on my last day in Singapore, but hopefully i can come back again next time.
as you probably might have guessed, during our 9 day trip we also had some days where we just rested inside the apartment. 😀 here are a few pics of our apartment and the nearby mall where we spent our times.
tip #1: there are plenty of options for apartments in Singapore that you can book through Airbnb. our criteria was that we had our own bathrooms for each of our bedroom so that nobody would have to wait too long in case of emergency. 😀 the apartment we got did not have any ‘living room’, but that was easily fixed with spending time together at one of the rooms’ balconies, or in one of the rooms, or even the swimming pool area. there was also no TV in the apartment, but a very strong Wi-Fi connection, so if you have to, you can watch something instead from your own tablets or laptops. another thing we wanted was an apartment that has a strategic location. luckily the one we got was right in the middle of everything, so even on a resting day we could easily go to the nearby mall to grab our lunches/dinners. decide what is most important to you that the apartment must have, and go search for the right one from there.
tip #2: we actually booked another apartment before landing on this one, but the owner cancelled it due to some new rule there that the apartment may not be rented to a 3rd party via Airbnb. always be prepared for something like this to happen, as Singapore generally tends to have strict rules.
Changi Airport and Crowne Plaza Hotel
the moment was finally there when we had to depart and say goodbye to each other. we spent the last few hours together at the airport, and before catching our own flight at midnight we had a few hours of good rest at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
tip: if your flight is late at night and you already need to check out from your hotel/apartment way before that, the bad news is you can’t wait inside the passengers terminal at the airport until like 3 hours before your flight. Singapore airport has weird policy on that, which i don’t really care to elaborate here. luckily for us there’s a last minute resort, though it is quite pricey but it was worth the few hours of sleep/rest before a long flight. so be sure to have a late check-out time at your hotel or be prepared to do what we did. :p
yay, i finally finished this super long post! no more editing pictures/writing for a while, i need a rest from my jetlag and all that. 😀
but before i wrap this up, there are still a few general tips for visiting Singapore as a whole:
-while it is very handy to get from the airport to your hotel/apartment by the MRT (they have very clear maps, you can’t get lost), i wouldn’t advise it to be done in the rush hour (around 5-7 pm). we did this, of course, and let me just say that it was not a nice experience.
-depending on how long your stay is in Singapore, you might not want to rush into getting a Singaporean phone sim card. we were offered a standard set at the airport, but decided to wait until getting downtown for better options. and it WAS better to get it from downtown, as it was not only cheaper, but we got more data than the one offered at the airport, unlimited local SMS and unlimited local calls.
-even at shopping malls and restaurants, for some reason most of the shops/food stalls do not accept payment with cards. the only places i could use my card was at the airport, 7-Elevens, Mahaco Silk store, and supermarkets. oh, and taxis! so prepare enough cash for your whole trip, or if you don’t mind going to the ATMs from now and then this can also be a good option as they seem to have ATMs everywhere and anywhere.
that’s pretty much it. feel free to add if you have any other tip, but otherwise it was pretty easy to get around & enjoy Singapore.
hope you like the posts & pics, and thanks for reading! 🙂