Archive for October, 2010

Max’s Cousins

31.10.10 – One of the advantages of moving to Finland is that Max and Emma are now closer to some of their relatives. Some of their relatives! A little farther from their cousins in Cleveland, Ohio but way more closer to their cousins in Lahti, Finland.

Aatu and Eevi took the train from Lahti to Helsinki, by themselves, and Max and I met them in the morning at the train station. One of the many great things about Finland is that young kids can travel about safely. When I was in the states, if the kids disappeared down a different aisle in the grocery store, I would have an anxiety attack. Here, it’s not uncommon to see kids under the age of 10 roaming the streets or riding the trams by themselves. I’ll often ask Max or Emma to meet me downtown and it’s great to know they will be safe.

The three had a great Sunday playing with the cats, hanging out at Max’s school in the playground and carving pumpkins. Maybe the next trip will be Max heading up on his own to Lahti?


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30.10.10 – I’ve been having to rely on my own cooking skills lately which are a bit rusty, possibly nonexistent. Spending most of my adult life on the West coast of the US, it’s always been easier and most times cheaper to eat out then cook at home. When I saw my sister Kim, who is an exceptional ninja in the kitchen, I asked her for advice. She recommended Mark Bittman‘s blog, How to Cook Everything. The blog is awesome so I downloaded his iPhone app, first the free Essentials and then the paid version.

I love his stuff because it’s simple, easy and understandable. I found myself spending time on the tram reading Kitchen Basics which a short and sweet, yet comprehensive, quick start guide to the kitchen. What are the essential items and techniques, what are the nice to have and then go the distance and get something awesome. Nothing seems to be driven by price either, he’s not trying to sell you anything. He’s also pretty reassuring.

I made my first recipe last night, Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style, and I have to say, I was really happy with the outcome. It took a bit longer then expected but I’m sure it was because it was my first time. Max was over and because my timing was a bit off, we didn’t eat until after 1900. We both wolfed down everything and Max can be a tricky customer.

I can’t wait to try another recipe. I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it turns out.

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JibJab has some hysterical e-cards I love to take advantage of for birthdays and holidays. Well worth the $12 a year subscription. They even have some free ones you can try before you buy. It’s really easy to use and everyone gets a kick out of them.

Incantation, Levitation It’s no secret how we got our witch to levitate in our Halloween Rap (black magic) but we thought it would be fun everyone to see our witch before and after our team worked their blue screen voodoo… Read More

via JibJabbin’

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29.10.10 – Halloween in Helsinki? I guess they celebrate the holiday here but it seemed to be more of a “20 something” thing. There seemed to be a number of nightclubs throwing parties with a Halloween theme. I searched on the web for some kid related events but didn’t find a whole lot. I know they are probably out there but we didn’t find them. Max and I were looking for another diabolo and it seems the costume stores are the best stores to find diabolos at. The costume store we were at was pretty small but seemed to be doing some business due to Halloween.

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28.10.10 – You could say we’re loosing a little over 5 minutes of daylight a day here on top of the world, but I prefer to think we’re gaining a little over 5 minutes of nighttime. Just to give you an idea of how that compares to the rest of the world, here are some other cities.

and on the opposite side of the globe

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27.10.10 – Ok, I had never heard of H&M before I moved to Finland, let alone shop at one, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite stores. Inexpensive and stylish clothes, me likes. I’ve always been a Gap kind of guy because I know I can go in there, find something that looks good and be out in less the 30 minutes. I don’t like shopping. There are no Gaps in Finland so I had to go with the next best thing which is H&M. Maybe it’s more like Old Navy because everything is pretty cheap there.

Wednesday is usually a crazy day because I spend at least 2 hours shuttling Max and Emma to their art classes on the other side of town. Near the end while I was taking Max back home the temperature had dropped quite a bit because the sun was setting and I didn’t have my gloves and hat. I left Max on the tram and I went into H&M to get some more winter gear. Everything is pretty inexpensive and still pretty hip and fun looking so I picked up a couple of hats, another pair of gloves and two scarves. I’ve never owned a scarf in my life.

I paid for everything but forgot to get some wool socks. The cashier had been speaking Finnish because I didn’t say anything earlier so he assumed I spoke Finnish. When I came back with the socks I told him, “Sorry, forgot these.” He rang them up and said in broken English, “Ok…. now you are warm!”

He was right. By the time Jaana got back to her place with Emma it was past 2000 and cold outside. I broke out the new gear for the walk and tram ride home and was snug as a bug 😉

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The union of my past and present, Converse shoes and Merimekko patterns. I’m going to have to nab some of these for Emma! If you don’t want to wait till next fall to pickup the line, checkout the Converse site where you can design your own!

Marimekko Chucks Websites for shoe companies like Nike, Keds, and Adidas have allowed customers to personalize their own shoes in recent times. Not so artistic? Never fear! Keds and Converse have been working directly with artists to make limited-edition custom footwear. Earlier this year, Keds launched a collaborative effort with the Whitney Museum of Art and young artists. Most were recent MFA graduates, who were asked to make work for Keds inspired by American … Read More

via hellosinki!

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