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!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Decorations

Halloween is right around the corner, and the nature is starting to look fall-fab, with all its beautiful colors. In honor of this, I´ll do a Fall/Halloween Decoration DIY - post. It´ll be pumpkins, easy-to-do flower decorations, Halloween stuff, candles and a student-friendly budget. The real challenge will be to find some of the products I´ll need for this in France, since I have no idea where to look for. But luckily I have a local guide/bag-carrier, so I´m hopeful. 
Here´s some ideas of what will be.

Stay tuned for my fall-fab-DIY- post!


(pictures from Martha Stewart and Pinterest)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Barcelona - The Rain

Salut à tous!
I have to start with an apology for being a lazy blogger. I have a ton of beautiful pictures and ideas I want to blog about (needless to say, Lyon is full of inspiring blogging ideas), the time seems to be my only problem. Acknowledging that I´ll start scheduling a daily blogging hour in my agenda, so that all my pictures and ideas don´t go to waste!
Today I´ve spent a lazy Saturday walking around the city doing a lot of window shopping. We did a little "shopping" at Hermès for my Luxury Marketing class, oh if all my university classes would be as much fun...
Anyways, we spent a lovely few days in Barcelona with Frenchie. I had never been there before, so I was really looking forward to it. We had a very early flight, had to wake up at 3am to get to the airport on time. Our plan A was to walk down to the bus stop, take the bus to the train station and from there take the first airport shuttle. Well, it was a good plan, but we ended up doing plan B. There was no bus, since it had already left (clearly written timetables Finnish style is a luxury I dearly miss), so we ended up walking/running about 4-5km with our luggage to catch the first shuffle to the airport. On the road we had a few detours trying to find the shuttle, since of course the train station was closed and we had to run around the building until we found the right place (no, there wasn´t a clearly marked route to the shuttles, we had to cross a shady parking lot and run around office buildings). Mais c´est pas grave, when in France, do as the French. All ended up good, and we made it to the shuttle and the plane. 
A very tired but happy couple landed in rainy Barcelona at 8am. It was my first time flying with EasyJet, and I have to give them credit for being the best low-cost air company I´ve flewn with so far. Anyways, we dropped off our luggage and headed down town for lunch and a walking tour around the city. We did a free walking tour with this company, I can highly recommend it to anyone visiting Barcelona. We visited the old city, gothic quarter and got a good overall look over the city and learned a lot about its history. It´s a tip-based system, so at the end of the tour you can tip your guide, if you felt like you liked the tour. 
It was pouring rain after we finished our lunch. Rain and cold. I mean, there´s palm trees and it was colder than in Finland at that time. I had to buy a hat to not completely freeze. As we walked to the starting point of our tour we were already drenched, and wanting to skip the tour and crawl under a warm blanket. But a "little" rain wasn´t gonna stop us. All in all, the tour was really good and the sun came out at the end. So that´s definitely something worth doing while there. 
A tired-happy tourist.
We ended up our day with some more walking and the best mussels I´ve had so far, at la Lola which is located in the beautiful Las Arenas shopping mall. It´s a must visit place while in Barcelona, thanks to the gorgeous roof top view over the city. 
I´m back to enjoying my lazy Saturday. I´ll be back with more tips of Barcelona tomorrow. 


Friday, October 11, 2013


As the fall is taking over for good, it brings along one of my new favorite colors, oxblood. I absolutely love this seasons must-have dark shade of red/burgundy, and lately my wardrobe has started turning very red. I love mixing different patterns and textures, and oxblood is perfect for this purpose. Finish the look up with red lips and nails, and your good to go. Who said fall equals grey weather and boring colors?
As I mentioned earlier, last week my bestie and dad visited me in Lyon. Saturday we walked around the city and Parc de la Tête d'Or, which is a huge, beautiful park with giraffes, lions and the whole shebang.  We got lucky with the weather, since Saturday wasn´t pouring rain nonstop (unlike Friday), although we did end up wading home through the rain. 
It´s around 3.30am and I´ll be leaving for the airport, to head to Barcelona for the weekend. I´ve always wanted to go there, so I´m super excited. The less glamorous part is the 7am flight, but I´m hoping that the cup of coffee I just poured will keep me awake until I reach the plane. 

Stay tuned for updates from Barcelona!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Last Days of Summer

This fall has been filled with new things and experiences for me, apart from a new country I also have a completely new climate. I´m used to the cold Northern Europe climate, more specifically Helsinki´s cold climate. September and October are  already cold months, and it´s time to dig out the fall coats etc. But not here, here I´ve been pampered with warm sunshine and beautiful weather. So I´ve enjoyed it as much as possible. 
Here´s some pictures from my more chilled, summery outfits. It seems that fall has taken over Lyon this weekend, it´s been raining cats and dogs and the temperature has fallen below 20°C (yeah I know all my Finnish friends, it´s still warm haha). So here goes, the last summery pics from Lyon.

Hope ya´ll are enjoying the fall!