22 Nov 2013

If I cannot have a cat, I want to design Eco-friendly stickers!

My lovely readers, I haven't been writing very much lately and I'm soooooo sorry about that.

I have a great excuse though, it is called Made of Sundays and smells like marshmallows and rainbows! Tadaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

www.madeofsundays.com
www.madeofsundays.com

Excuse me, what?

Yes, I have become a sticker-maker :-) and today I'm supper happy to launch our brand new online store where we will be selling Eco-friendly reusable fabric stickers! 

So, if you are looking for an instant makeover, today is your lucky day! Our stickers are super easy to apply and move around, you can quickly create wall murals or use them to tell interactive stories to your little ones. They can also be reused and moved around without damaging your walls. Cool, huh?

I had so much fun designing them as well as creating little stories for each sticker. You will find for example a bunch of birds that will teach you some ninja tricks or cute little monsters that will share with you all their secrets about mustache growing and many other useful tips.

(Ah! have I mentioned that we ship worldwide? yes we do!) 


Why, oh why? 

Well, we have changed apartment about 5 times in the last 6 years and wall decals have always helped us to quickly give a personal touch to a home. However, we didn’t like the fact that common vinyls contain nasty PVC and other toxic stuff. We were also really sad every time we had to move to another home because we couldn’t take the stickers with us (as they are not usually reusable).

While planing our last home makeover, we did some research to find alternatives to common wall decals and soon realized that this kind of stickers didn’t exist in Finland… so we got all brave and decided do it ourselves, just for fun. The result was so cool that we thought it would be unfair not to share it with the rest of the world, you are welcome!

Well, I hope you find in the store at least one thing that makes you smile!

I love you all! 


You can check more info about this little project at Madeofsundays.com!

7 Oct 2013

I would kill for a neighbor like Totoro

It took some time (OMG, a year!) for me to move out of my lovely tent in the middle of Moonrise Kingdom. I really enjoyed dancing on the beach and wearing beetle earrings, but it was about time to pick another movie I would like to live in.

After some serious thinking I figured that it would be nice to live in a house for a change, specially after a year living on a summer camp, that is why I choose Satsuki and Mei's house from 'My Neighbor Totoro', a movie I have seen at least 5 times.

from here
I'm not so much into Japanese manga, but Hayao Miyazaki films are special. Asides from being beautifully animated, all his movies have a magic touch that make me feel like a little girl every time I see them. I can even promise that 'My Neighbor Totoro' will make you smile at least once.

The main character, Totoro, is cuter than a bunch of sleepy kittens; he is huge, fluffy and has the cutest friends ever, like the miniature Totoros or the Cat bus.
Unlike other (Disney-style) kids movies, this one has a very simple and realistic story with the perfect amount of fantasy; there are no fights, no love affairs, punishments, scary monsters nor dark evil characters.

from here
By living in this movie, you could just spend the day listening the sounds of nature, admiring the watercolor lanscapes or simply taking a nap curled on Totoro's furry tummy.

A truly splendid movie that everybody, no matter their age, should watch.
You can start with the trailer: 



Btw, I strongly recommend seeing this movie in Japanese (with whatever subtitles you like), English dubs suck and totally ruin the atmosphere of the movie. 

18 Sep 2013

10 reasons to love Finnish summer

First of all, forgive me for not being much around this summer.
I have been very busy writing Helsinki travel guides, trying new restaurants, drinking gin & tonics and starting my new adventure as a freelancer.

Today I finally managed to take a long coffee break to tell you how awesome this summer was up here in lovely Helsinki. I honestly thought it would suck to come back home after being two months in India. But the warm weather, the midnight sun and Helsinki's urban life didn't leave me a second to feel sad. 
Believe it or not, I even went to the beach (in Finland!). What a summer.

I especially want to dedicate this post to all of you who think that it is better to escape to South for the summer. Guys, you totally should wait until November to get out of here.

Not convinced yet? Don't worry.
You will have about 7 months of winter & winter-winter to think about it. Here is some food for thought:

10 reasons to stay in Finland (at least) in July

1. Finnish berries

You will not know how a proper strawberry should taste like, until you get to try Finnish ones. Specially when they are on top of a lettu (pancake) and accompanied by freshly picked blueberries. I'm gonna miss you girls!

2. Outdoor kirppis 

Nothing makes me more happy than go treasure hunting in a Finnish flea market or kirppis on a sunny day. Kallio-liike organized quite a few this summer. There is also Siivouspäivä ('cleaning day' in Finnish), an event that happens every last Saturday of August and turns Helsinki's neighborhoods into giant kirppis. There is also one in May, to get rid of all those ugly winter clothes you don't want to see anymore. 

3. Midnight sun

It will probably keep you awake but sure is a beautiful thing to see.
Do not try to fight it, put a good amount of mosquito repellent and go to chill out in a park until the sun goes down (after 12:00).

4. Block parties

The coolests Helsinki's neighborhoods organize block parties during summer. You will get a day full of free concerts, performances, delicious street food, activities for kids... and even rollerskating! 

6. Summer terraces

You don't have many chances to sit on a terrace in Finland without dying of hypothermia. So, whenever you see a free spot in a terrace during summer do not hesitate to sit and and enjoy a beer. Never ever waste such an opportunity. You may need to wait many months until you can do it again and Finns know that very well, that is why terraces are packed during summer days.  

5. The mökki

Summer is the best time of the year for enjoying the mökki (summer cottage).
Basic mökki activities include blueberry picking, sailing, going to the sauna, swimming in the sea/lake, eating & drinking, reading decoration magazines and playing the ultimate Finnish summer game: mölkky.   

7. The parks

If the terraces are full (which happens 8 out of 10 times), the city parks become a totally valid plan B for the evenings. Less glamorous, yet nice and cheap, is to get a drink/snacks from the store and head to the closest park to have an improvised summer picnic.

8. Teurastamo

The guys at Teurastamo have been pretty active this summer. They built a "beach" with hammocks and barbecue in the yard and organized concerts and events almost every week.
They also had a Solar Kitchen during August, (which I proudly helped to build), where you could eat solar-cooked lunch. Definitely a nice spot to relax on a Sunday afternoon.  

9. Linnanmäki at sunset

Linnanmäki, Helsinki's amusement park, is a cool plan for summer evenings.
No need to go on a ride if you don't want, it is enough just go there an hour or two before the closing time and walk around the park. I love the old school charm and the nostalgic atmosphere of some areas. Go up the Panoraama (free of charge) to get a 360º view of Helsinki's skyline or ride the old-fashioned carousel, both are a must.

10. Festivals and random events

What in all countries happens throughout the year, in Finland needs to be squeezed within the summer months (unless it is the winter swimming world championships). That means that there is always a festival or event waiting for you out there: Midsummer, Helsinki week, Samba Carnival, Flow festival, Helsinki juhlavikkot... you name it!

Ah! If you want to find more about Helsinki, take a look at the guide I made about Summer in Helsinki, walking Helsinki in one day and Epic list of restaurants in Helsinki.


13 Aug 2013

If I cannot have a cat, I want a cat tipi!

This has to be the cutest cat house the internet has ever seen. 
The moment I saw these cat tipis I knew that would make a damn good replacement for the cat I will never have.

from here

I still have to figure out what I would put in there, obviously it cannot be a cat.
Maybe a dog? he seems more or less happy.

from here


1 Aug 2013

Cutest beach in Helsinki

Believe it or not, we got beaches in Helsinki.

I confess that for many years I refused to call them beaches. No way on Earth Finnish beaches could be compared with the beautiful Mediterranean beaches back home.
I soon realized that comparing Finland with Spain (or any other country) may lead to a very miserable life. Because if you keep on putting both countries side by side, Finland is always going to suck a bit, especially if you are talking about the summer, the sun or the weather in general.

So, let's get rid of comparisons and forget Spanish stuff for a moment.
Finland seems much more beautiful now, right? ... allow me to say that we got pretty decent beaches up here as well. One of my favorites has to be Mustikkamaa beach.


Yes, the water is freezing cold and looks like pea soup, so what? You can still swim, take sun and listen to the sound of splashing waves. Children can still make sand castles. You can definitely eat an ice-cream while you look at the lifeguard's biceps. Technically, Mustikkamaa is a beach, a pretty cute beach. It gets even cuter when they told you that Mustikkamaa means 'blueberry land' in Finnish.


This beach is not far away from Helsinki center, you just have to take the Metro to Kulosaari station and walk from there. Here you have the map.





Asides from going to Mustikkamaa, there are many other nice things to do in Helsinki during the summer. I absolutely recommend that you check this Helsinki in one day super awesome guide. 

Enjoy!


22 Jul 2013

Tapas guide & other cool stuff

It is time to leave India aside for a while to present you my newest and most awesome adventure:


I'm so excited.
This project is born out of our love for food, Sundays and everything that makes us happy.
From now on, Taste of Sundays it is going to be our little space to share all the amazing things happening around us.

To kick-off the page, we published this amazing Beginners Guide to tapas, which for sure is going to come in handy in your next visit to Spain.



Aside from tapas, we are promoting local cultures and good food. We want to tell you about that little store or that small bar around the corner that puts a smile in every person that walks in. Our hope is to publish stories that will get you thinking, talking and hopefully inspire you to get out there and try for yourself.

Want to show us something great?

We wish you to support your local community by participating and sharing. Do you have a hidden gem up your sleeve? if you happen to know some cool local product or service that you feel is adding something special to the society, go ahead and give us a shout! We are always on the lookout for inspiring things made with love, and fascinating places that will leave us yearning for more.

Interesting cities are only interesting because of the people, and in the end it's you who have the power to make things great!




15 Jul 2013

Chapter 8: Happy Indians in Mysore

From all the Indian cities I have seen, Mysore is by far the nicest.
Nice in an Indian way of course, so don’t expect a honking free city with big squares, green wide avenues and very few people. However, Mysore has its charm, one of those cities with personality, where you will find a story and a smile in every corner.


In here I found many examples of what I call the ultimate happy Indian. I’m talking about those guys that stop you in the middle of the street simply because they want to say hello. They ask your name, shake hands, smile and continue with their business. They don’t want to sell anything to you, they just want to say hello for the sake of saying hello.

If you think that is weird, let me tell you that sometimes it doesn’t stop in there; some of them also ask you to pose for a picture with their family. Those are my favorite type of Indians; I just love to see their proud faces after the photo is taken... Maybe it is like I would take a picture of myself with a snake around my neck, I guess I’d feel as cool as them.

Try to do the same in the streets of Helsinki.
No, not the snake thing, I mean randomly approaching people you don’t know, just to ask their name or take a picture with them. Everybody will definitely think you are crazy (unless you do it on a Saturday night at 4 a.m.) and will probably feel so embarrassed.

Anyways, this random acts of sympathy are the main reason why I like this country.

But now, lets get back to Mysore.
If you are wondering what do to in there, here you have my top 3 favorites: The Tipu Sultan palace, the Devaraja market and the Mysore Zoo.


THE TIPU SULTAN PALACE

Even if it is the main tourist attraction, the Sultan Palace is a must see. Not only because is beautiful and you can walk barefooted but also because you will find plenty of those random Indians that want to take a picture of you... and that is something you have to do at least once while in India.

 

 THE DEVARAJA MARKET

You know that I love markets and this one is so cool. 
The difference with other Indian markets is that most of the stalls in here are not at ground level, but inside cubicles in the wall. Looks like an Indian dollhouse or maybe a real-size colorful diorama. I love it.

3 Jul 2013

Chapter 7: The other side of Goa

Goa during monsoon is beautiful.
Especially when a storm comes and goes all of a sudden. It pours for few minutes and then moves away leaving the jungle in that bright neon green color that hurts your eyes. I just love it.


Most of people thinks that Goa is all about crazy beach parties, drugs, hippies and tits.
However, I can tell you that by the end of June, the rain has already washed it all out. All is left are colorful landscapes, angry sea, friendly locals... and a bit of mud.

Well, there are still few tourists that doesn't seem to get it.



If you are not into beaches (and you don’t mind a bit of rain) rural Goa is the perfect place to relax during June-July. You can spend your days taking naps or enjoying a cup of masala tea while you watch the rain.


In the strange case that you get bored of taking naps and drinking tea, you can adventure to do some volunteer work. I was taking care of monkeys in the Primate Trust, but there are many other charities in Goa that will appreciate your help such as the International Animal Rescue Center or the Children Walking Tall.

You can also visit some of the rural villages with its smiling inhabitants, markets, Portuguese villas, catholic churches and cobbled narrow streets.

19 Jun 2013

Cava Sangria & monkey nappies

This not a real post.

This is a post about a post I wrote for Boolit.fi.
I tried to explain the way I spend Sundays back home - which of course involves lots of eating and drinking - and how everybody can easily make their own DIY Spanish Sunday.

I don’t know how I ended up being an “alcohol blogger” but it was great to write about Spain for a Finnish blog. I bet that as you read this, there are many Finns enjoying my wonderful Sangria de Cava recipe, which does wonders during hot summer nights!

Be nice and check the post & recipe here!!


As you know, I’m pretty busy changing monkey nappies, preparing milk bottles and waking up every 2 hours at night to feed the little monster. So I hope you all forgive me for not having much time to write…


I’m I forgiven now? Good.
Let’s see if I manage to get a babysitter soon so I can post some pictures of Goa!

Take care!


10 Jun 2013

Chapter 6: The market hunter

I’m not the kind of person that looks for monuments, museums or churches when traveling. If you want to make me smile, just give me a nice food market to wander around and I will be the happiest girl in the world.

Asides from all the delicious and exotic food you can find in there, you will also get an instant feel of the city’s vibe. Markets are cool.


I love to walk around the food stalls and get soaked with the market atmosphere.
I like to buy stuff I have never eaten before (I totally got this from my father).
I like to imagine what kind of breakfast that nun is going to make with a kilo of bananas.


I like to watch that old lady poking all the avocados until she finds the ripe one, that vendor who gives a free lichy to a kid and that man who tries to sneak to the front of the bread stall line.


When I grow up I want to be a market hunter (because being Anthony Bourdain is already taken), travel around the world looking for the best markets.

I have no doubt that the Indian ones will be high up on the top 10 list. They are a festival of colours, smells and interesting people. I feel I’m in the right country.

5 Jun 2013

Chapter 5: It's a girl!

A man brought a little cage few days ago.
Maggot was very curious to see what kind of food was in there. 


But all he found was a tiny little baby monkey, not older than one month. What a disappointment.
The mother was killed by a dog, fortunately the little one managed to escape.


The poor thing was scared, hungry and exhausted.
We gave her some milk and a few cuddles, which seemed to calm her down.


In the wild, these babies do not separate from their mothers during their first year of life. That means that she is going to require 24-hour care in order to survive, just as she would get from her natural mother.

I haven’t been to mom school yet, but this poor hairy monster did not have much choice.
For the next 3 weeks I’m going to be her adoptive mother, I will have this little monkey hanging from my neck day and night... so far she seems happy about it.


Mommy’s tasks - asides from giving lots of love – involve grooming, changing dippers and feeding the baby every 3 hours (also at night time). I have done that for less than a week now and I have only one thing to say: Mothers out there, you should be thankful that human babies do not jump. Seriously.


By the way, if you happen to be around Goa in July and feel like babysitting this cutie, please contact The Tree House, they will really appreciate a bit of help!