Adding some layers

hairs

It’s a bit quiet here (again) as my mom has been visiting us for a couple of days (and I’ve been working long days) and will be staying over Mother’s Day. I really do wish I had more time for my blog these days!

For some reason, my hair cutting needs always surface out of nowhere and over night. One day, your hair will just remain a tangled mess, regardless of what you do to it in the shower or after shower. I was fortunate enough to get an appointment for the place near our home within a day’s notice. I was kind of debating if I should cut my hair into a bob that is longer at the front than at the back – or should I just cut in some layers. I asked my hairdresser which she would recommend (or both) and she suggested just starting with layers for now and that’s what we did – and I love the end result! Though I’ve enjoyed the all-one-length long bob, it was at its best when it was straightened, otherwise it’d give me a bad case of the dreaded pyramid head. Now, my natural curl can hopefully push through nicely.

What do you think?

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31 Day Blog Challenge – Days 26, 27 & 28

Day 26 – An old photo of me

minime

Does not get much older than this. I’m 1 years old in the picture with my blonde hair tied up on a bow! This photo is included in this little “piece of art” my sister made for me for last Christmas including the dress I wore in the picture and the shoes! I can’t believe I was once so small.

Day 27 – My favorite recipe

To be honest, it’s been a while since I reaaally cooked (husband tends to do it these days) and I don’t generally follow any recipes! I like winging everything in life, including my cooking – hah! I would have to say that the best recipes are the simplest ones, so I would choose one of my favorite dishes – salmon & potatoes.

Go and buy a suitable amount of salmon medallions (one per eater), rinse them lightly at home and pat dry with some paper towel. Pour oil of your choice on a pan and throw the salmons on the pan. Sprinkle fine sea salt and dried dill on top of the fish and flip the fish over after the underside has got some color on it. Spice up the other side and cook for a while again. Make sure the salmon has a nice, slightly crispy outside – with soft, delicious inside. Serve with simple boiled potatoes (preferably boiled in water with fresh dill in it) and fish sauce which can be made with sour cream / crème fraîche or even unflavored yogurt. I like to use a sour cream sauce that I spice with some sea salt, black pepper, dried dill, garlic and mustard that my mom makes (has a great kick!). Super easy recipe and super yummy! Serve with salad!

Day 28 – What am I looking forward to?

Honestly, we’re living in exciting times right now. I’m really looking forward to hear if Mike got accepted to the school he applied for because it will determine a great deal of our future for the next few years to come. It’s kind of nerve wrecking to just wait, but thankfully the years have made us veeeery good at waiting! We really hope he triumphs!

In other news, we are sort of looking forward to settling down in a new apartment. Yep, you read that right. We haven’t even lived in this one for a full year and we were fully planning on living in this one as long as we live in our current city, BUT. We learned that there’s going to be a huge piping and electrical overhaul and repairing coming up in the building which will last the entire next year – rendering our apartment unlivable for an undefined amount of time. It would seem that we have to move. Again. This will be my 4th move in 4 years. I have a love-hate-relationship with moving. It’s exciting (though tedious) to look for a new place and plan, but the actual moving part is hell. Then again, it’s great to get a new place – granted that the dust has barely settled in our current one… Hrmph.

(the long forgotten) 31 Day Blog Challenge – Day 25

To celebrate the actual 25th day of the month, here’s the 31 Day Blog Challenge’s day 25:

My 5 Favorite Blogs

As of late, I haven’t had much of a chance to follow blogs – especially English blogs – and it’s difficult to select just five from the vast amount that I browse through (mainly weekends), but here are the five that I immediately though of as awesome.

Essie Button
Because I think that if we met in real life, we could become great friends (despite our age difference). I especially enjoy Essie’s videos, because they capture her fun personality really well. I also like the fact that it’s not just exclusively a beauty blog!

Kendi Everyday
I go to this blog mostly for eyecandy – not that I’m oogling at the author (though she’s very pretty) (I’m digging a hole), but because I love the outfits I see on the blog. I love that she uses colors and prints too, not just all black or neutrals.

For Vanity’s Sake
I adore the beautiful and stylish pictures as well as the beautiful author (seriously, who looks that good?) and again, I’m drawn to the colors and freshness of this blog.

Powder & Puff
A lovely blog mostly about beauty, but also with a good dose of life and DYI along – all with a sweet, personal touch from Anne.

Flux and Flow
This blog is quite different from the others on my list because the author of the blog is a young woman who has been through a hell of a lot and still manages to keep positive, be enlightening and seriously give perspective to the rest of us. She’s an absolutely amazing person and the blog is definitely worth following!

everyday

And above is my treasures of the day – fresh (Spanish) strawberries and some bananas! Yum! Also, my lunch… buttermilk, wheat bread with some cheese & strawberries… How has your day been?

Busy businesswife

That’s what my husband calls me. “Businesswife”. Currently, he’s a stay-at-home husband, taking care of the apartment, cooking & cleaning and stuff, while I’m working my ass off full days. This has been the case for about 3 months now, ever since Mike’s temporary job ended (he worked as the substitute for someone on a rather long maternity leave). Anyway, now that I’m the only one with an actual income, I have to work quite a bit in order for us to get the bills paid and as such, I’m often quite exhausted once I make it home. On an average day I have somewhere between 4-6 hours to myself in a day, which somehow seems like a very short period of time. Sometimes, I admit, I feel quite drained and on those days, blogging is the last thing on my mind. I have wanted to keep posting on a daily basis and I’ve thought of making a few posts ready on weekends, but honestly, when the weekend comes… blogging is still not one of those things I dive for. I do enjoy blogging greatly, but sometimes it still feels kind of exhausting, because I do want to write something of interest, instead of just posting those Polyvore sets… which I have now done for a couple of days. Krhm.

Anyway, last weekend was an extended one because of Easter and Finland being a highly Christian country – offering (almost) everyone Friday and Monday off work. Though after spending the first 3 days of my holiday visiting my mom & driving around, I still couldn’t just sit down and relax on Monday, so I decided to clean our balcony and get it ready for the summer since the weather was so warm and nice. Well… when your tools are pretty much limited to a handheld brush and a bucket of water and you have some 8 months of crap to clean up… it was far from productive or successful. I got some help from my husband and we got the furniture washed as well as the walls & we brushed and rinsed the floor underneath the wooden boards, but there’s still much to do. We still need to clean the wooden floorboards and wash the window and door area, for one. I need to pick out some flowers for the balcony as well. And yes, I need to get rid of the old fan that spent its winter stored on the balcony (hah) and the laundry rack that’s busted.

This week so far has also been spent helping out my husband with his project for the Media & Arts School he’s applying for, so I’ve had even less time for my blog (and recreational activities) and it’s unlikely that I get to take much of a breather before weekend. So, bear with me!

The Liebster Award x 2

Oh my oh my! I have had not one, but two wonderful Liebster awards handed my way so I think I better get to these! I was awarded by both the Budget Beauty and Seeking Subtle Glow who both have very interesting blogs of their own, so be sure to check them out!

liebsteraward

This award acknowledges bloggers with less than 200 followers, and allows us all to get to know each other and find new blogs.

These are the rules to participate:

  1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked.
  3. Nominate 10 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you love.
  4. Let the bloggers know that you have nominated them.
  5. Post 11 questions for them to answer.

Because I was nominated by two bloggers, there are 22 questions for me to answer:

From Budget Beauty:

1. Favorite brand for lipstick/gloss?
I had to think about this one for a moment, but honestly I can’t really say that I’m particularly brand-oriented. My current favorite lipstick is that Clinique one I’ve mentioned several times – which is unfortunate, because damn it, I don’t want to be supporting Clinique! It’s just such a perfect everyday color!

2. Show us your most used eyeshadow/eyeshadow palette.
I’m guessing this is in reference to which I’m using the most these days, so I would have to say it’s still my MUA Makeup Academy’s Pretty Edgy Palette:

MUA Pretty Edgy palette

MUA Pretty Edgy palette

3. Matte or dewy foundation finish?
I love a dewy look, but since I get oily easily throughout the day, I tend to at least try to go for a more matte look…

4. When did you start wearing makeup?
I think I wore like translucent eyebrow gel when I was about 13 and possibly some lipstick or gloss, but I didn’t really start doing makeup until I was around 16 I think? I don’t even remember. I’m so old.

5. What inspires your makeup looks?
I sometimes take inspiration from pictures and makeup looks in magazines, sometimes looks I see on blogs, but if I’m honest, my daily makeup is usually just whatever comes to my mind in the morning. I stick to pretty neutral looks so it rarely shows much creativity. I think I would have much more elaborate and interesting looks on a daily basis if I wasn’t stuck behind eyeglasses!

6. Drugstore or high end makeup?
Drugstore. Didn’t even have to think about it. I have tried very few high end products to begin with so I guess I can’t say much about them, but since I keep finding pieces I love for the fraction of the price of the high end stuff, why bother? I’ll rather spend my money on something else.

7. What products are on your vanity/makeup table/bathroom counter right now?
Oh my dear lord. This would like… consist of every cosmetic product I own and that’s a list so vast that I don’t even want to go there! But, on a daily basis I use very few things really. I could say what I don’t have and that would be… any form of tanning sprays/lotions, fake nails, fake lashes, gel polishes… Hrmm. Yeah.

8. It’s midnight and you’re super hungry. What do you grab for a snack?
I would tell myself to stfu and go back to sleep, honestly. On weekdays I aim (and often succeed) to be in bed well before midnight and this tends to extend to weekends too these days because my job is currently quite hectic and draining and I loooove sleeping! I’ve never been one to eat at night anyways, but I would likely have a glass of water.

9. Nude or red lip?
Red lips win every time. I can’t even figure out what would be a nude lip for me!

10. If you could only wear one makeup product tomorrow, what would you choose?
Tough one. I would have to go with that lipstick. It could double as a blush and I certainly need blush…

11. Tell us three things that you love about yourself.
You’re asking a Finn to list off three things she loves about herself? Brave! Well. What do I love about myself? I love the fact that I can logic my way through pretty much any situation. I love my imagination. I love the fact that I have grown up – at least a bit. Do these count?

Questions by Seeking Subtle Glow:

1. Why did you start your blog?
I wanted to start blogging in English because I felt like there could be something that the international community could offer me / teach me that I wasn’t getting from the Finnish community – and boy have I been right! I also wanted to share my opinions on products… but most of all, I originally started my blog, any blog, as an outlet, as a way to document my life, granted that this one has turned out to be far more of a beauty blog than I originally intended!
2. What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
If you don’t count me turning off my alarm and I’m being brutally honest? I go pee. Then, I drink a glass of water and take my vitamins and proceed to get ready for the day.
3. Glossy or matte lips?
Can I have option C? I like a bit of sheen. If I had to choose though, right now, I would choose matte.
4. Jelly or jam?
Jam! It’s just more real.
5. Have you ever had bangs?
Weeeeell… I’ve had bangs for 10 years in a row now. I can’t seem to get rid of them!
6. What beauty product can you not live without?
Just one item? Eek! Lip balm?
7. What is you favorite kind of hat?
A sombrero. No, I kid, I kid. Probably a beanie. A warm, wintery-kind of beanie. I have a good head for hats, really. Is beanie really a hat? If not, I say stetson.

8. Do you have any pets?
I have a wonderful little poodle, Milo, who is 12 years old and 8 kilos heavy. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old. I wish to have more pets in the future!
9. What is your favorite piece of clothing you own?
Hah, realistically, I would have to say it’s my black, 3/4 length, cotton harem pants. That sounds so gross, and it kind of is, but they’re the most comfortable damn thing I own. And they’re not that harem-y, just a hint… And no, hopefully you will never see a picture!
10. What is your goal for you blog?
I’m not sure if I have a particular goal. I do this for fun, for the want to share things with people. I’m taking this blog where it will take me!
11. What is one thing your readers should know about you?
I naturally speak English with a very clear, American accent, though when I first met my husband, I spoke perfect British newscaster English. He found it hilarious, but it was what we were taught in school!
My nominees:
I  realized I have no idea how many readers most these blogs have and I’m still quite new to this English-writing blogging community, so I don’t know a huuuge amount of blogs, but here are my nominees!
  1. Pretty Little Grub
  2. All the small stuff and things
  3. Tangerine Latte
  4. TheMakeupWhoreder
  5. Powder & Puff (about 270 followers, but I don’t care!)
  6. – 11. …I’m sorry, but every blog I could think of / look up seems to have a ton of readers, so if YOU there are a blogger with less than 200 followers, snatch this challenge up and let me know that you did so and I’ll check you out!

My questions:

  1. What is the best beauty tip you could give to a girl/woman of your own age?
  2. Do you have any bad beauty habits? If so, what are they?
  3. What is the most horrifying beauty trend that’s currently IN STYLE, in your opinion?
  4. Do you feel that you have found your own style, be it in terms of makeup or clothing?
  5. What is the one item of clothing that you would never be seen in public in?
  6. What do you look like, when you feel that you’re looking your best?
  7. If you could only wear one shade of lipstick or lip gloss for the rest of your life, which shade would it be?
  8. What do you think is the most useless beauty invention of all time?
  9. What do you think is the most useful one?
  10. Would you like to blog for a living?
  11. If you could do absolutely anything you want right now, what would it be?

Now, have at it!

31 Day Blog Challenge – Day 24

My favorite childhood book

viisipientahevostaThis is such a tough one because I loved to read as a child! I was also read to a lot, before I could read myself (and after). Mom had signed up for some kind of a children’s book club when I was little and I must’ve had hundreds of small story books through that. One book really stands out though, out of that collection. It was called Viisi Pientä Hevosta (Five Small Horses) and it was a story of the lives of five little horses who started their adventure in this world together, ended up all going to their separate ways and then being reunited again beyond the rainbow bridge on the eternally green fields of poetry. As I child I thought it was a beautiful story of my favorite animals, with gorgeous illustration but somehow it was also quite sad and I couldn’t pin point as to why. Now, that I could and ended up reading the last poem over again, I admit, I cried. This blog here features some beautiful pictures from the book (which is in Finnish).

Other than that, I loved reading about facts. One of my favorite books explained the birth of the Universe, illustrated all of the planets, told me about how stars are born and then went down to Earth to see how the tectonic plates move, how oceans flow and so on. Light reading for a 6-8-year-old, right? I also treasured my book that went through all of the world’s horse breeds (I believe it had like 300?) as well as the evolution of horse and horse’s many purposes. I still remember that book vividly. I have a mild photographic memory, so I tend to remember images and texts associated with them really well for many many years. I also always remember everything I’ve heard really well.

31 Day Blog Challenge – Days 22 & 23

Day 22 – The best thing to happen this year

I’m assuming that this means the best thing so far. It hasn’t been a very spectacular year, but it has gone well enough so far. I’d probably say the best thing has been getting a raise, which was desperately needed since my husband’s temporary work contract came to an end (he was filling in for someone on a maternity leave). The year is still young however, I hope for many good things – there’s certainly room for some!

Day 23 – My dream job

I’m not sure I have a very specific, particular dream job. I’ve just always wanted a job where I have some creative freedom, at least at times. I have many dream jobs. I wouldn’t mind doing some form of writing for a living. Blogging or writing for a magazine. There has also been a time when I dreamt of becoming a photographer. I love creative and free-flowing things and honestly, sometimes it’s hard to spend a day staring at excel sheets. Thankfully, my current job does allow a good deal of independent thinking and also some creative freedom at times.

One dream of mine has also been to work in a horse-related job. I could see myself working with the horses themselves more easily than with people, so it’s very unlikely I would be a riding instructor or trainer. I don’t mind a physical job, such as cleaning the stables or grooming the horses, it’s good excersize and very satisfying as you can instantly see the results of your work.

31 Day Blog Challenge – Day 21

My 10 favorite foods

This is actually really hard! I can’t place foods in a certain order and I’m not sure if these should be actual dishes or just food items… Perhaps I’ll use both!

  • Pizza (I’m being honest here.)
  • Fresh (homemade) bread. (come on over, carbs!)
  • Blueberries (Fresh!)
  • Smoothies (especially mango-banana-pineapple-coconut)
  • Grilled salmon & boiled potatoes with some dill (somehow summery & delicious)
  • Waffles (well come on now.)
  • Orange chicken with rice (my dad made really great chicken in orange sauce with porridg-y rice…)
  • Feta salad (feta cheese, greens of choice, cucumber, red peppers, avocado, cherry tomatoes & a garlic or vinegar dressing – yum!)
  • Breakfast (can I just say breakfast?) Okay fine, my dream breakfast: Earl Grey tea, croissants, plenty of fruits to choose from & a cup of natural yogurt… perhaps scrambled eggs.
  • Chocolate (yep.)

Here’s what I use for my favorite homemade pizza base:

1,5 dl of warm water
2 ts of dry yeast
4 dl of wheat flour (give or take some to achieve desired consistency)
a pinch of salt
2-3 tbs of olive oil (or other such oil)

Mix the yeast into the warm water and then add the rest of the incredients. Mix well and throw it on the table top for some rolling pin action. After the desired thickness has been achieved, top the base with your favorite toppings and shove it into 225 degrees (celcius) for about 15 minutes. Deeeelicious! (ps. This recipe makes approximately 1 large pizza – ideal for sharing!)

31 Day Blog Challenge – Days 19 & 20

Okay, at first, I was just slacking and then I managed to forget that I was doing a blog challenge… oops.

Day 19 – What do I collect?

To be honest, I don’t collect anything. Not really. I hate clutter so much that I don’t want to collect stuff that could cause it. I do however have a soft spot for tin cans, which I do have quite a bit of… Any metallic container actually is something that I really love. Not sure why exactly. Come to think of it, in general containers of various sizes are something that I’m drawn to. I probably have some kind of a really strange OCD. In a way, it’s actually a bit of a love-hate relationship that I have with containers, boxes and cans. I love the idea of them de-cluttering my space, yet I hate how difficult it is sometimes to get anything out of those containers, boxes and cans.

I think I need therapy.

Day 20 – A difficult time in my life

In the grand scheme of things, I’d say my life has been quite easy. To me, it feels like there have been several difficult/hard times, but in comparison to the problems many face around the world with being homeless, not having enough food, living in the midst of war etc. my troubles seem quite insignificant. I’d say one difficult time in my life was perhaps when the depression and inflation hit Finland in the early 90’s. I was only an elementary school kid at the time, but this caused quite a bit of bother to many families, including my own. We went from a very comfortable life to a more uncertain life overnight. It wasn’t so hard for me, since I was just a child, but I could see the tension in my parents. Another hard time was when my dad ended up being pushed for a retirement too early thanks to his company screwing him over. We would’ve been financially secure by the time he was supposed to retire, had this not happened and caused us to sell our wonderful home and move to a different city and into an apartment about third of the size of our old home. This was really hard for my parents, but less so for me. I was about 16 at the time. Despite having lived in the same town and same home all of my life, I wasn’t too unhappy or devastated about the move – I guess I would have been more so, had I foreseen it leading to my boyfriend and myself slowly drifting apart (we did manage a 5 year relationship in our teens!).

Despite being financially very tight since the move, my family somehow managed to always offer good and versatile foods, a comfortable and attractive home as well as the opportunity to have hobbies. Financial struggles have been my biggest struggles as well as due to my family suddenly ending up in debt, the savings that had been put aside for when I’d be 18 and going through college etc. had been spent to dig our way out fo debt a little bit. Had I had that money, I wouldn’t have had to take out a loan for my studies. Studies in Finland are pretty much free, but living in my own apartment etc. had its expenses. Thanks to Finland’s social security system, I’ve never ended up on the very bottom, but I know what it’s like to try to make 10 euros stretch throughout the week… Thankfully, in the case of an absolute financial emergency, my parents were always there to hand me an extra 50 or so to get me through. I owe them a lot, because I know it was hard for them too.

Funnily enough, I didn’t think of it at first, because the situation is now fixed, but the early years of my relationship with my husband could definitely be categorized as difficult time. We first met in January 2005, but it took us until September 2011 to finally be able to never have to say goodbye again (until death or divorce us part, ha). For six long years we traveled between the two continents whenever we could, which was 1-2 times a year only, since neither of us was exactly well off and my husband couldn’t even get time off work. The longest we went without seeing each other was about 11 months. Whenever he would come to Finland he would be able to stay for 2 or maybe 3 weeks if pushing it (and accepting the financial loss) where as I could stay for 3 months when I went to USA. During those years, I calculated that I had lived in USA for 2 years total – in chunks of 2-3 months at a time, which actually seems like quite a bit now. It was always so wonderful to go there, despite the fact that my first trips I lived from out of a suitcase, pretty much, back when my husband still lived with his mom and grandpa. Later on, he got an apartment, which I was supposed to move to, but well, that’s a whole different story of how the US has now taken oooh, only a mere 6 years to process our visa application… Krhm.

The last and definitely the most difficult time of my life was last summer when my father died, quite unexpected, from my viewpoint. My father struggled with cancer for years. Many years. Watching him become nothing but skin and bones in the end, needing help getting off the couch and spending his days sleeping hurt me worse than his death did. He had always lived a healthy and active life, regularly excersizing and going swimming even in his 70s and looking 20 years younger than he was. Quite quickly it seemed he was becoming but a shell of himself. That beautiful sunny Monday evening in the summer when my sister called me in tears and told me my dad had passed away, I couldn’t believe it. My actual first words were “are you kidding me?” – though of course nobody would joke about that. The last I had seen him was a couple of months ago when he was helping us move (by driving the van), he had been tired, but not as badly as sometime before. He had been hospitalized a few days before and I was destined to travel to see him later that week. (I didn’t have a car back then so traveling wasn’t as easy and quick due to being approximately 200km apart) He had been feeling ill at the hospital earlier that day and mom had asked him if she should get the kids to come over now, but he had waved his hand dismissively and said there’s no need. He was certain that whatever this set back was, it could still be beaten. A couple of hours after that, he was gone.

31 Day Blog Challenge – Days 17 & 18

My most proud moment

I was trying to think back to a single most proud moment, but I couldn’t really isolate one. Honestly, I can’t really say I’ve had many prideful moments as in Finland, it greatly goes against the cultural and social norm to take pride in something that you have accomplished. To my American husband, this seems crazy, but here, if you are openly proud of something that you are or have done, you are instantly viewed as arrogant, selfish and/or showing off.

I have been proud of myself…

  • For never being drunk & never doing any kind of drugs.
  • When I’ve managed to be proud of someone else for their good fortune or accomplishments (another thing Finns struggle with).
  • For being an easy child and an easy teenager.
  • When I graduated from high school.
  • When I got my driver’s license (at the age of 18 here in Finland).
  • When I got accepted into college.
  • Every time I’ve done well in a test or an exam (especially considering I never really studied for anything).
  • When I’ve done well in a riding competition – though I’ve never won anything.
  • When I’ve succeeded at something that is important to me and that I had worked hard on.
  • When I stuck through the years of extremely long-distance relationship without going completely bonkers.
  • For growing up.
  • For turning out to be a pretty decent human being. (Not perfect, but who is?)
  • For never being overly emotional and managing to reason/logic myself through most scenarios.
  • Every time I’ve kept a cool head in a stressful situation (such as when my dad suffered some kind of a brain stroke and I was the only one from my family to be able to handle the situation at the time due to being the only one in town).
  • Pushing through the hardships in my life, even when the going has been grim.
  • For learning to play musical instruments (I played the piano and the flute for several years, but I also manage to play several other instruments).
  • For being bi-lingual. (Finnish/English)
Ruta (or Taru, "story", as we call her), one of my all time favorite horses.

Ruta (or Taru, “story”, as we call her), one of my all time favorite horses.

The meaning of my blog’s name: Jennificient

Well, my name is Jenni, so there’s part of the name. The “ficient” -part comes from efficient, which I think I am with most of the things I take on. I also enjoy efficiency in life in general and I can’t stand inefficiency, when it would be so easy to just do better. I sound like a horrible person…