November 22, 2011
I don´t even know how to start this again…
Let´s see… Has it been 4 months since last post? We are almost in the end of November!! Gosh, this year is definitely going too fast…
Some of you already know we sold our old apartment and moved to a new one in the end of Summer. Moving was a total madness, the place is bigger but feels there´s not enough space for all our stuff… and the furnishing and decor are still half done :P
After a short summer vacation (bothered immensely by our moving) my Luonnonvoima started pre-school. That meant… changes in our daily routine and schedules. Also, no need to make bentos: sadly (or… luckily?) LV gets her meals at her day care place.
Anyways, I want to keep making bentos :)! I might not be offering them so often, but the idea of giving my daughters a fun, nutritious and balanced meal can’t be easily forgotten right? ^^
I planned to make a come back to my blog on October. Unfortunately we fell ill and could only spend time fighting off a nasty cold that seemed to last forever. Cough and sore throat coming and going… husband got really sick, followed by my two daughters and I myself. Argh, more than a month. I still have a sore throat and very low energy, guess I am still recovering from this nightmarish times.
But here I am! Christmas is coming… I had some ideas in mind for the traditional crafts I try to do every year… I really hope I can execute them and show to you guys in the next blog posts!
Have a great week friends!
PS: The pictures in this post were taken in early September at a park located very near our new home. The park, called “Arboretum”, is a forest research area founded by the Helsinki University, situated very close to the “Old City Bay” (Vanhankaupunginlahti). The whole area is a nature reserve and you can go there for a walk, go biking, watch birds (there are two towers for observation), flora or just relax. It is a really cool place to be in the craziness of the city :).
May 24, 2011
♩♫ “Lily, my one and only. I can hardly wait till I see her” ♩♬
Hi everyone! Hope you all had a super weekend! We finally had a relaxing one after so many hectic days… No house showing scheduled at the last moment and no running around like a mad lady getting the house presentable. Uh… yes, you got it right… we are trying to sell our apartment.
It has been very difficult to cook and use my kitchen properly with all this “stand by” mode, so no food for this post, just pictures I snapped on a sunny spring day walk :).
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) might be one of my favorite flowers. Its lovely scent in the air makes me sure Spring has arrived. Places were all covered by its leaves… but not much flowers bloomed yet.
“Kielo” (in Finnish) is the national flower of Finland. It is so tiny, so cute, smells so good and it is highly poisonous! ^__^ So “lily”! *grins*
Gorgeous day wasn’t it? Weekend was so sunny and warm… (we had rain on monday, bleh :P) Luonnonvoima could practice her skills with her brand new kick scooter and Pikkusiili enjoyed to discover the birds at the park nearby.
And we saw a cute mother duck and 10 little ducklings! Oh wow… I asked to my girls “Imagine if mama would have 10 children” … hubs added “you would be mad”. Ahahaha :D
Let’s see if I can still blog something else this week. Maybe a bento or a recipe… I am so needing to relax a bit >.<.
Have a great day friends!
April 27, 2011
After posting some random pictures on twitter during my staying at the countryside I decided to show something here too.
Weekend was very fun, sun appeared every day… so warm and cozy. The lake was still frozen but snow melted away from the most of the fields. My girls could enjoy the good weather and went outside to play with grandpa´s cat Moona. It is so nice to see them running around free :).
It is quite often that we still play with snow on Easter holidays and I need to pack winter clothes for the girls. This year was different… Easter was late and we could all experience the Spring awakening in the cottage. I enjoyed it, reloading the energy and seeing beauty after cold months made me good.
The small yellow flowers are the very first ones to bloom in Finland on Spring. They are called “leskenlehti” (Tussilago farfara). The purple flower surprised us on Sunday morning… there wasn’t anything on its spot when we arrived … A beautiful purple Crocus woke up to say hello :).
Luonnonvoima showing her baking skills helping grandma to make pulla (Finnish sweet cardamon bread). Grandma was making “korvapuusti” (Finnish cinnamon rolls).
A swan couple. They are pretty… but man… they make such ugly sound! *lol* One day LV was playing outside alone and those birds started “singing” it scared her to death…. poor little one, she never listened to that before, she ran insides telling she got afraid :P.
Those swans are called “laulujoutsen” (Cygnus cygnus)… “laulu” refers to singing/song in Finnish… Can’t understand the name, they sing really bad. >___<
After good company, good food, good resting and clean weather… back to the routine…
Hope you’ve all enjoyed your Easter weekend!
April 15, 2011
Update on 27.04.2011: The box has been sold for $107,50! I am so happy it reached such price :). Thank you very much for everyone who got interested about it and specially, to the auction winner! The set is already on its way to WA ^_^!
As I posted here before, a group of bento lovers across the globe got together to raise funds for Japan. My fabulous fellow bento bloggers have been working hard keeping the Bento4Japan alive and at full steam.
The charity auctions on eBay have been terrific! Lots of bento boxes and gear had found new owners and I can only thank to the beautiful people´s generosity.
Everyone knows that I wanted to offer something to be auctioned for the cause. The problem is that I really can’t find anything suitable for the theme where I live. Bento gear is rare, most of my personal purchases were made online.
It is true I selected stuff from my own collection to offer in the Bento4Japan raffle (by the way! The winners had been picked already, just give us a little more time and we will announce them :). My contribution is already traveling to the lucky one!).
So I thought… would it be bad to offer something handmade? Inspired by my friends who always support and keep me going ahead, I decided to craft my offering for Bento4Japan ^__^.
Bento box food play set – eBay auction
I handcrafted this lovely take away style bento box meal, perfect for pretended play or for display. The items are about life-sized and hand stitched with love and care for details.
I really try my best to make things in a way they last but felt and yarn creations are not as plastic ones, they won´t probably last as much as they would have been made from another “long lasting” material.
This set will be a joy for your little one to serve you obento anytime! (And you can also sneak to the play and practice making your bento too ;))
Most of the items which belong to the box were featured in my previous post , with addition of these little ones:
So… without further ado, what is inside the box!
- 1 lettuce leaf
- 2 onigiris (rice balls)
- 1 shiozake piece (salted salmon)
- 1 lotus root (renkon) slice
- 1 kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) wedge
- 1 broccoli floret
- 1 shiitake mushroom
- 2 tamagoyaki (omelet) slices: spinach and traditional
- 1 carrot flower
- 1 edamame pod
- 1 cherry tomato with wooden pick
- 1 usagi ringo (apple bunny)
- 2 grapes
- 1 strawberry
- 1 orange slice
- 2 food cups (paper and felt polka dot)
- 1 pair of bamboo chopsticks – not disposable type
- 1 origami chopstick “envelope”
The full description of the materials and other important information can be read in the auction page for the bento box.
I hope this can raise some money. Remember, 100% of the proceeds will go to to GlobalGiving’s Japan Relief fund. If you win, be sure you are getting something made from the heart.
Please take a look, this is the auction page! Check out the other Bento4Japan auctions too ;).
March 18, 2011
As part of our ongoing efforts for bento4Japan , a fundraising campaign page was created on JustGiving to raise money for the disaster relief efforts. Our nominated charity is the British Red Cross, which is rallying resources to help the people in Japan.
Note that if you are a UK taxpayer, JustGiving will reclaim 28% of your total donation and the Red Cross will end up with 123% of what you donated.
(JustGiving & FirstGiving takes 5% off all donations to help pay for continuous innovation in online fundraising to help more charities raise funds online)
In an attempt to boost our JustGiving collections and offer an opportunity for people in the UK and the rest of EU to participate, me and my friend Mils have joined forces to set up a teeny raffle! We have four items up for grabs for anyone who donates, no matter how small the amount.
- 1 onigiri mold, Pikachu shape
- onigiri mold set : faces ( bear, girl and boy)
- oshibori and case (little towel with a case)
- pack of small animal forks
- pack of small animal spoons
- Chinese Zodiac animals picks
- Animal themed baran
- 2 sauce containers, pig shaped
(All items are new and from Japan)
- a Thermal bento set! It has two inner containers, the bigger holds 300ml and the other 220ml. The smaller one has a permanent compartment division.
(I opened the box for photo purposes. It is new and unused )
- 1 double-layer bento box (cars design)
- 1 pack of oversized picks
- 3 nori punches – bunny, car & bear shape
- 3 sauce containers – pig-shape,bottle-shape & tomato cover
- 1 mini-cutter – butterfly
- 2 blue silicon food cups – heart and star
(all of the above are new and have been sourced by my friend Mils on a variety of bentogear shopping trips)
Bonus prize (x2)
- Oversized food picks
Anyone can donate, being necessary a debit or credit card to do so – or paypal account. The donation are in sterling pounds (the British currency), but the transaction will be automatically conversed from Euros by your credit card service.
We will randomly select 4 recipients (using http://www.random.org/) from the list of people who donate on bento4Japan‘s Justgiving site before April 3rd 2011 (2359h GMT). The first person can choose between my set or Mils‘; the second will get the other set and the third and fourth person will receive a packet of picks each.
We hope that this will boost numbers a little and make the event worthwhile. We will announce the winners on our blogs, on bento4Japan HQ and obviously email the winners as well.
Please note that whilst we are not allowed to publicise this raffle on the bento4Japan JustGiving page (as we are bound by terms and conditions).
Anyone who donates will be eligible for this raffle. In order for us to contact you, it is important to make sure your email address is available to us on the JustGiving fundraising page.
Thank you for your help and please dig deep and give as much as you can. Please also spread the word around, the success of this fundraising event relies on our collective effort.
P.S: The fundraising page will be active till 2016, but only donors who contributed to this page before April 3rd 2011 (2359h GMT) will be considered for the raffle. The reason is to encourage as many people to donate soon as the relief efforts are ongoing and urgently needed. Please donate here!
To find out more about why are we doing this and to check out other ways to help, please visit our bento4Japan HQ.
March 12, 2011
My best thoughts and my wishes for strength go out to the people of Japan and other countries that are affected by this disaster.
Family and friends in Japan, stay safe. I am thinking of you and praying you are all well and hope from the heart this chaos will be soon over.
For those wondering, all my family (except dad, mom, sister and lovely niece) live in Japan. Fortunately they are located in places less affected by this tragic disaster. Still, we are all worries.
If you want to help, I suggest you to check the Red Cross organization nearest you (I think it is the most reliable channel to offer your contribution)
To donate in Finland, please check the official Finnish Red Cross site:
And to donate online (for Finnish people):
I have no affiliation with this organization nor do I benefit from any contributions.
But help if you can .