Friday, November 29, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Bonjour, ça va, my dear readers?

Last month has been crazy! But crazy in a very good way. I was reunited with my best friends in Paris, enjoyed Lyon, and been drowning with school work the past couple of weeks. This week I´ve been at school from morning till evening, so unfortunately blogging wasn´t my priority. 
As I told you in my last post, I have some big news. It took me a couple of weeks of thinking to decide, how to continue with the blog from now on. I don´t want to share too private stuff, but I like to keep you updated about what´s going on in my life. This balance can be a bit difficult to reach sometimes. 
Frenchie and I got engaged! I´m thrilled and beyond happy, and this is something I don´t want to keep secret. It took me quite some time to figure out how to balance this, but I came up with a solution, and I´m back to blogging! 
I´ll post a lot of wedding planning ideas, but I hope you´ll respect that I don´t go too much into detail about our engagement or wedding. I´ll share as much as possible with you, my readers, but I hope you´ll respect that some things are meant to be kept just between my family and friends. 

I have to return to school projects and studying, but here´s quickly a few pictures of our Paris trip, Christmas decorations that I´ve set up in our apartment, and of course, my ring. Enjoy!

I love Christmas, and I can guarantee I´ll be posting a lot of Christmas-inspired posts, bear with me, haha!

I´ll be back tomorrow, have a nice day!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Coat

I´m finally back, recovered, happy and healthy!
Yesterday I felt like a true French, for no specific reason I guess, but I felt very at home running through the wet streets of Lyon. My brother came to visit for the weekend, and his visit made me realize, that there after all does live a little French mademoiselle inside of me. Here´s a few examples:
I cross the streets like a pro (my brother, a law-obidient Finn did what I did in the beginning when moving here - obeyed the lights and crosswalks. Whereas I do like the French, aka cross whenever you want to, wherever you want to, who has time to wait for a green light anyways?), I point out when someone eats bread the "wrong" way, take cheap wine for granted and correct peoples French-pronunciation (not that I master the language, still a long way to go on that sector), I´m always late, think it´s way too early to eat dinner before 8pm (in Finland we do early dinners) and I´ve learned to complain that the weather is way too cold, when the temperatures drops under 12c (in Finland, whenever the temperatures hit two digits it´s luxury). 
Anyways, I want to show off my new Wollen Wraparound Coat from Zara, which I´m deeply in love with. It´s the perfect combination of sophistication and playfulness, to make it my favorite fall coat so far. 

I have some really exciting news to share with you, but you´ll have to wait a bit though. Have patience, it´s something worth waiting for!

I have a Skype-date waiting with my mom, dad and Nacho. Come back again tomorrow!
xx, Siiriliinu 

Friday, November 1, 2013

I´ve Been Defeated

This week has been absolutely horrible! I´m pretty sure I got a food-poisoning on Monday, or then a really resilient bacteria, because I´ve been close to dying the whole week. Not to go into too much detail, I´ll just say every single thing I´ve eaten came out and its been misery. I´ve been too weak to do anything, I even missed an exam. Although I´ve been laying in bed, I haven´t had any strength to blog, so hence my absence. But I´m finally starting to recover, there is light at the end of the tunnel after all. 
Today my brother came over to spend the weekend with us, and he brought some yummy Finnish souvenirs with him, believe it or not rye bread for Frenchie, which he loves. 

I´ll keep it short with pictures from my last weekend. I mentioned I´d be hiking and visiting Alsace, where Frenchie is from. We did a 20 km long hike, altitude up to almost 1100m, and the most magnificent views. We also visited several small towns that specializes in wine-producing. It was awesome driving through the endless vineyards, enjoying the sun and warm weather (25c in the end of October is something new for me, and I love it!). I´ll post about the small towns later on, they´re definitely worth visiting if you have the chance!

Made it to the top, altitude 1070m!
Pretty nice views, huh? 
Next week I´ll only focus on fashion related posts, I miss my outfit photo-shoots, haha. Enjoy your weekend, and I´ll hopefully be fully recovered by Monday!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall-Fab DIY

At the moment I´m sitting in a TGV speeding across France, while blogging. This train is so quiet, nobody speaks or makes any movements, I almost feel like I´m back in Finland again. At least I can focus, since I´m not surrounded by the usual French chatter (although I admit that I prefer the chatter to the Finnish silence).
Anyways, let´s talk about the topic of my post. I want to share a few tips and trick, on how to decorate your home easily, and with a small budget. What you´ll need can be found in a handicraft store and in the nature. We bought pumpkins from Monoprix and Carrefour, check out your local grocery/veggie store. Unlike the lucky Americans, we don´t have any pumpkin fares or markets here in Europe, where we could go pick them up Christmas tree style (at least not that I know of, since Halloween isn´t that big of a deal here). Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween you can decorate your house with pumpkins and other fall stuff, I prefer celebrating the fall by making my apartment look nice and pretty, instead of focusing too much on Halloween. 
We had a budget of 40€, so with that in mind Frenchie and I headed to Loisirs et Création  to get a good black marker, a glue gun (it was under 5€, and works pretty well), different color thin cardboards, a wreath model, glitter and some ribbon. You´ll also need pumpkins of different shapes and sizes, we got a big one we´ll carve next week, and a few small ones to use as decoration. So get the kind of pumpkins you like, cheap hairspray and candles and you´re good to go. 
My mom has taught me to use materials the nature has to offers, e.g. fallen leaves and branches, pinecones, and in general just all things you find beautiful, and that can be picked up without harming the nature. So with this in mind we headed to the park. Don´t be afraid of using different materials, if you´re not used to them. It´s super easy, just go to a close-by park and pick up some colorful fall leaves from the ground, pinecones etc., mix colors up. The evenings are getting so dark, so it´s nice to have colorful decorations at home.
Our nearby park happened to situate on a very, very, v-e-r-y steep hill, which we ended up climbing. Dragging around with our other purchases, completely exhausted, we got a bit lost and didn´t end up in the park we meant to go to, but nonetheless I found everything I needed. So if someone comes telling me there´s no parks close-by, I´m sorry but it´s a bad excuse haha.
After you have all the supplies needed, roll up your sleeves and get to work!

The Glitter Pumpkins

I got this idea from Martha Stewart, and made my own version of her beautiful glitter pumpkins. You´ll need small pumpkins, cheap hairspray, glitter and newspaper to cover up the floor.
Start with washing and drying the pumpkins. Make sure you dry them properly, if they´re still moist when you spray them with hairspray, the glitters won´t stick. Start with spraying a small area of the pumpkin with hairspray, and drizzle some glitters on the area. Use your imagination and get creative. I started with doing an all-glitter pumpkin. If you want the same look, put on a lot of glitter and smooch it on the pumpkin with your finger in a circular motion. It´ll stick on to the surface and form a paint-like finish. 
If the glitters don´t stick, try letting the hairspray dry for a few seconds, before putting on the glitters, it might be that you have put on a bit too much hairspray (I do this often). Simple and fun, you can do all kinds of patterns like this. My other pumpkin got a polka dot cover.

A few tips: remember to cover the floor with e.g. newspaper, otherwise you´ll have a sticky, glittery floor. And protect your mouth with either a mask or a scarf, since you´ll be breathing in a lot of hairspray, and as we all know this is not the healthiest thing to do.
The Fall Wreath 
I´m a big fan of wreaths. Back at my parents place, my mom always decorate the house with one gorgeous wreath after the other for Christmas. My original plan was to get an oasis base formed as a wreath. An oasis soaks up water making the wreath staying fresh for long. I didn´t find this, so I decided to go for a foam-wreath base. I only used leaves and pinecones as materials, so it should last pretty long. What happens is that the leaves dry out at some point, making them shrink a bit. But if this happens and there´s “holes” in the wreath, fix it by covering it up with a few new leaves.
If you want to do my version, you´ll need a glue gun, the foam wreath, leaves of different kind, different pinecones and a few chestnuts. If you´re not used to using a glue gun, be a bit careful the first times, so you don´t burn your fingers.
If you want to do it the logic way, start with the red leaves (I surrounded the outer circle with red and the inner circle with yellow leaves), take a small bouquet of leaves, put a bit of glue on the wreath and push the leaves on it. Continue like this all the way around, and after, glue the yellow leaves on the inner circle in the same way. Take a small amount of leaves at once, if you put on a too big wad, the glue might not hold well. 
If you want to do it the more difficult and un-logic way, do like I did and put everything on at once, I do not recommend this haha. 
Make sure to cut the stems off the leaves after you glue them on the base, otherwise they´ll stick out pointing in all kinds of directions. After you´re done with the leaves, it time to start decorating. 
Once again use your imagination, and decorate the way you like. I put on a lot of pinecones, and finished it up with a touch of glitter. Glue the pinecones on top of the leaves, I usually put a couple pinecones next to each other, since they support each other and are less likely to fall off, if the glue would happen to dry out a bit. I usually start with modeling out, by placing the pinecones on the wreath, trying out what looks best, and after that glue them on. This way it´s easy to get an overall look of the work, and make alterations if needed. I also had some branches which I glued on using the same method. 
If you want to add a bit of glitter as a finishing touch, do the same as with the pumpkins. First spray on hairspray, and then the glitter. You can e.g. only put glitter on the pinecones, or the whole wreath like I did. 
Et voila, it is done!
The Halloween Decorations
Frenchie designed our "Halloween Wall", he´s the one of us who´s good at drawing and artsy stuff. He drew and cut out the figures from the cardboard-papers we bought, so simple and fun to do. 
I hope you got some ideas from my post, I´ll be back with our pumpkin carving next week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Outfits From the Past

Hello all my lovely readers! 
I´ll post my much promised DIY-post later tonight, we´re heading up to Frenchies parents place for the rest of the week, so I´ll be a bit busy (hiking in the beautiful mountains). But I´ll keep you updated as much as I can. 
Here´s a few outfit pictures to go, some of them you might have already seen, the pieces have been my go-to clothes this fall. I think it´s really important to buy clothes that go with the rest of your wardrobe, and that you know you´ll look good in, even if you pull them on in a hurry, running out the door without having the time to check yourself in the mirror (like me right now being late for school). Anyways, here are some of my favorite so far (the last pic is not from this fall though, and there´s not much running in the shoes either haha). 
Which one is your favorite? 

I want to thank for all the lovely and encouraging comments, I´ll answer you all back asap. 
Have a nice day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Barcelona - The McDonald´s OD

Our fall decoration-project is in full swing, and I can´t wait to post the results of what we´ve done! 
Until that, here´s some more tips for Barcelona. 
The second day the rain was gone and the weather was perfect for some serious sightseeing. We started the day off at the beautiful Maremagnum mall, close to Barcelonetta. I must say, they probably have one of the best-located Starbucks, since it has a open view over the harbor, what better way to start your morning? 
As some of you might know, I have celiac disease, and therefore have to follow a strict, gluten-free diet. When traveling this can be quite tricky, since eating in most restaurants become a bit difficult. Especially in countries that are mass-consumers of stuff like bread and pasta. But "luckily" there´s McDonald´s, which in some countries have a safe gluten-free menu. I guess we ended up at McDonald´s around 4-5 times, yup. Well at least I didn´t have to starve, and not being used to eating at McDonald´s, I have to admit the food was pretty good. And cheap. So to all my celiac diseased readers, don´t underestimate McDonald´s, as long as you do a lot of walking afterwards and burn off those calories, haha! 
Besides eating at McDonald´s we did a lot of sightseeing around the city. We did a Gaudi-walking tour with this company, once again a tip-based system. Barcelona is filled with free walking tours, I highly recommend using these. The Gaudi-tour was alright, but since we did it on a Saturday it was quite packed, and I would´ve wanted more specific details about the different buildings and Gaudi. But all in all a very informative and worth-doing tour. 
We had purchased hop-on, hop-off - tickets in advance, which is a easy and cheap way to explore the city. We took the funicular up to the Montjuic Castle, where you have a stunning view over the city. Otherwise there isn´t that much to see, since it isn´t a castle-castle, but more of a fortress. The funicular was 10€ back and forth (if I remember correctly), but there goes a path up to the castle, so it´s possible to also walk up.
We ended our busy day with a breathtaking concert at Palau De La Musica Catalana. It was four Catalan guitarists, they were the most amazing guitar players I´ve ever heard. So if you have the time, do visit the concert hall, it has been named as one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world. 
I ran out of glue-gun glue yesterday (that was a difficult word-combo), so I´ll run to the store to get some more and continue with my decorations. Enjoy your day!