AFFORDABLE CHRISTMAS PRESENT IDEAS

It’s that time of the year again! Time for stressful last minute christmas shopping, that is. And since I hope that people would stress as little as possible, I thought I’d do my bit and share some very cheap ideas for Christmas presents that -hopefully!- might help you too! Some of these I’ve actually gotten as a present myself and absolutely loved them, if you spot yoursefl here thank you one more time <3

How to make a gift personal PLUS affordable:

Think about the receiver. What is she/he like? What might she/he need? When you have a theme, find an item that goes under it or to make it even more personal, find many small items that together make a nice combo. The receiver can tell that you thought of her / him with every detail! And to certainly put your heart into a gift; do something by hand. It doesn’t mean that you have to be an extra talented crafts – person nor know how to build a bird house or to knit a sweater, but even making the tiniest of changes on items that you maybe bought from the store and then pimped suitable for the receiver, will always make it more personal. Another thing that I’ve become a big fan of, is giving something recycled. What could be more affordable than finding a gift from a fleamarket or – even better – from your own cupboards? Yes, I know there are people who these ideas don’t really suite, but you might be surprised how many would also be positively surprised for getting one.

  

something personal

Maybe you know exactly what the receiver likes or needs? Then it’s obviously an easy case. But if you know what the person likes, yet not exactly what you want to give but you know it’s something you want to have extra special thought in, maybe these might work?

  • choose a book (maybe from your own book shelf!) that you’ve read and you know would suit the receiver
  • if the receiver is a baker, give something that has to do with baking and add your favourite recipe around/on the bottom of the baking item
  • if the receiver is a musician, write down (copying works too, but hand written is obviously even more personal) your favourite music sheets for them to learn
  • also for a music person; since mix tapes don’t really work anymore, maybe you could choose a CD from your own cupboard that you’re sure the receiver would enjoy, or if you want to give something definitely useful but something definitely not material, make him/her a playlist
  • a coupon for an acitivity that you promise her/him you’ll do together; a movie, a dinner at your place or in an a restaurant that you both wanted to try, a coffee date, a sports thing, a trip (if you’re not one for the affordable ideas) or what ever floats your boat
  • a photo album / just a photo – since these days everything is digital even though most people love these, they never actually go and print them. So it’s the perfect thing to do for them!

something funny

If you don’t know the person well enough/ you know the reciver is a true comedian, something funny is always a good idea. Of course, if you don’t know each other too well, don’t go straight for some inside jokes you might share with someone else! And even with funny gifts it’s always best if you can actually use them – at least somewhere.

  • An ugly christmas sweater (at least in Finland this has really become a thing and is a great thing to wear for ’pikkujoulut’!
  • funny shaped/pictured school things
  • … I’m clearly not one of the humorous geniuses, though I do love me some silly gifts!

something that works every time

One thing that most people adore as Christmas gifts, are all relaxing sorts of things- Not everyone, but unfortunately many, live a busy life where they forget to treat themselves. And that’s basically what gifts are about – about treating the receiver with something special. So why not give them something they can use to treat them selves? But be careful though, you’re not the only one thinking about these. If you can, make your simply choice a bit mre personal by choosing her/his favourite colour/smell/favour/etc.

  • chocolate (apart from like one of my friends who doesn’t like chocolate and one who can’t eat it) – you can’t go wrong with this, maybe you can also pack it in a nice package for it to bee a bit more personal than the orginal package?
  • alcohol – unless the reciver is an absolutist or a member of the AA club, this is also another thing that is hard to go wrong with
  • candles – there can never be too many of them, right? But mind with scented candles, for many it may cause migren! Bee wax candles are a great other option for them!
  • pyjamas/ropes/slippers/wool socks
  • face masks – there can never be too many of these either am I right or am I right?
  • a blanket
  • a special tea mug / smoothie glass / water bottle

something handmade

  • just add water – baking jars
  • a calender for the coming year
  • a tiny box for jewellery/other small things (old jewellery boxes are perfect for this when you decorate the by hand)
  • mittens, wool socks, hat, scarf, sweater…
  • something baked / cooked
  • for a poetic soul; a poem jar – choose/write a bunch of tiny poems for her/him to read on specific days
  • (christmas) decorations
  • photo album (pardon the repeating but it also goes under this headline)
  • cute cupcake tins
  • body scrub (an example of directions here)

something for men

Oh dear heaven someone please help me out here.

 

… and other random ideas

  • jewellery
  • scarf
  • a specific T-shirt
  • home decor
  • kitchen thingies
  • socks (especially for Dobby)
  • cute pyjamas
  • books
  • a polaroid camera (it can be affordable too!)
  • pillow cases

FOLLOW WITH BLOGLOVIN

100 REASONS TO LOVE FINLAND

Happy belated Independence Day Finland! Our dear country turned 100 years old on Wednesday. The whole year has been full of different kinds of celebrations, and the day before yesterday it all peaked at the Independence Day reception at the presiden’t castle and many firework- & choir shows around the country. Me and my friends celebrated it traditionally by watching the reception live from TV, and by toasting with a bit of champagne and eating blue & white (purple and white really, but we tried!) desserts. That’s why I’m late even on my country’s ”birthday”. But they have called this the ”festive year”, so I hope we can still celebrate it until the end of the year. Countries around the world were celebrating Finland as well by illuminating their buildings in our colours, blue and white, and just like about 5 million other people living here in the cold North – I’ve never felt more proud to be a Finn.

Too often I forget to be grateful for what we have here, and take my home country for granted. That’s probably why the Independence day has become such an important day for me – it’s a great chance to actually remind myself of the greatness of our country. It’s been fought for, it’s been basically built from nothing, and it has always fought it’s way to get people’s attention despite being so tiny. And nowadays it’s officially one of the best countries to live at. We have the kind of safety, nature, equality and many other things that most other countries can only dream of. We Finns are quite a strange people – we seem grumpy and mean, but once you get to know us we’re often the kindest and most honest people you’ll ever meet. And while most of us won’t show it, we’re often really patriotic. We still remember the one time we won the Eurovision contest, we surely remember the times Finland won the world championships of Ice Hockey, and we sure will be ready to mention that ”a Finn was second on the British X-factor”. We’re so proud of the silly things that it’s funny. But that’s how we are. The blonde and blue eyed (I’m totally generalizing if you didn’t catch that yet) people who voluntarely live in the cold, far North where in the winter you can’t see the sun for a few months, speaking one of the most difficult languages in the world. And we love it here. No matter where in the world I go, this place will alwas be my home – of which I am really grateful. So to show my respect to our wonderful country here you have 100 reasons to love Finland – in the form of text and photos. Visit us one day, I promise you you won’t regret it. It’s a strange experience for sure, and aren’t those just the best ones?

1.

2.  3. Salmiakki

4.

5.6. Sauna

7. 8. Finns are great at winter sports

9.

10. 11. We’ve got a bunch of great music festivals every summer

12.

13.

14. On Easter, the kids dress up, decorate willow branches and go door to door exchanging those decorations for candy

15.

16.17. It’s a tradition to celebrate Christmas in advance at ”pikkujoulut” drinking, eating ginger bread and other treats

18.

19. When we graduate from High School, we dress up in funny costumes, get into trucks int he cities and throw candy around

20. In the Universities and the Colleges the students wear matching jumpsuits, the colour of which tells you where and what do they study

21.

22. On the second year of high school, the students practice over a month for a traditional ball

23.

24. At mid summer in Northern Finland, the sun literally doesn’t set at all

25. You can skate on frozen lakes

26.

27.

28. Our old towns are beautiful, calm and picturesques

29.

30.

31.

32. The Finnish ice cream is the best in the world – right after gelato

33.

34. It’s never too hot

35. When you become a doctorate, you get to buy yourself a funny, black hat and a special sword

36.

37. Everyone (in the age to be able to do so) in Finland can read

38. School lunch is free until 13th grade

39.

40.

41.

42.

43. When you graduate from high school, you get to wear this sailor-like white cap

44. May Day is a special celebration when everyone gets on the streets, gets drunk, eats a bunch of munkki, and has fun together

45.

46. It’s okay even for really young kids to play by them selves outside after dark, because it’s so safe here

47. Marimekko (a lovely Finnish brand)

48.
49. There are almost 200 000 lakes in Finland

50. Every Finn has to study at least three languages; Finnish, Swedish (both the official languages of Finland) and English

51.


52. You can trust on the health insurance

53. If you don’t get a job, the government will support you to survive

54. It’s allowed to walk almost anywhere (not too close to private buildings or in farms) to pick berries or mushrooms

55.

56. Advent calenders are traditional even for adults

57. You can see the Aurora Borealis; the Nortehrn Lights

58.

59. Finland is in the top countries on the PISA- researches

60.

61.

62.

63.

64. When ever something amazing happens, like a victory in a sports event or a music competition, the Finns go to the market place to celebrate together, hence the saying ”torille” (= to the market place!) when ever Finland is mentioned somewhere

65. 66. We celebrate a tradition called Mid Summer on the lightest day of the year by lighting up a bonfire, by doing mid summer magic and eating well together with friends and family

67. It’s normal to have two houses – one to live at, and the other to relax at (usually located by a lake, we call them ”mökki” = summer cottage)

68.

69.

70.

71. We have snow every winter – and usually lots of it

72. Our stores have great sales several times a year

73. The minimum salary is higher than the average salary in some countries

74.

75. Finnish chocolate is ridiculously good

76.

77. Carelian pies

78.

79. Finns are honest, reliable and trustworthy

80.

81. Rye bread is our most eaten bread

82.

83. We are very ironic, and also use a lot of self – irony

84. We barely ever say ” I love you” , but when we do we really mean it

85.

86. Finnish gum is actually good for your teeth, and recommended by the dentists

87.

88.

89. We drink water straight out of the tap, because it tastes even better than bottles water

90. Sibelius

91.


92. Our air is unpolluted and clean – so clean that some travel to Finland just for the fresh air

93. Muumit

94. Freedom of speech

95. Gender equality

96.

97. We take care of our children – plus give motherly and fatherly leave for quite a long time

98. What is promised to happen, happens

99.

100. It’s the best possible place to call home, and it’s my home <3

FOLLOW WITH BLOGLOVIN

stressless morning

Okay so I could just as well name this blog ”the stress diary”, I keep getting back to the same theme. But hey, it’s an important theme at least for me and as I’ve said before too, while I hope that none of you go trought the exact same amouns of useless stressing, I’m aware that I’m still not the only one either. I find it really important that you actually try to so to say ”cure” your stress by getting to the root of the problem but also by taking extra good care of yourself. So, here you have my recipe for a stressfree morning, my favourite kind of mornings by far! Actually I might just have one today too, but after wards I’m really going to have to go for a run in the snow (!!) and finally study some chemistry.. But the best thing with mornings like this is that everything done that day feels a tiny bit easier and a tiny bit better when you’ve really started your day on a good, chilled mood. Obviously there’s no time for this every day especially since my stress free mornings include an afternoon breakfast, but how to start a day on a good mood in a hurry is a different story.

This weekend has been extra good since I got to start it after this period’s last exam by taking care of some things I needed to do, going to the gym and having a movie night with my dad (Would you rather was a really really distressing movie though, if you’re into that I’d recommend it but if not stay clear eh), and yesterday after orchestra & work we celebrated my dear friend’s 19th birthday. Yup there are these studying things and such in the back of my mind, but apart from that it’s been a relaxing weekend, I hope yours has too! xx

Okei joo voisin hyvinkin vaihtaa blogin nimen ”stressipäiväkirjaksi”, palaan jatkuvasti samaan teemaan. Mutta aihe onkin tärkeä ainakin itselleni ja vaikka toivon edelleen että te muut ette vie ongelmianne ihan tälle tasolle niin tiedän silti että stressin helpotuksesta olisi hyötyä monelle. Ja ainakin omasta mielestäni stressin hoidossa on varsinaisten ongelmakohtien korjaamisen lisäksi super tärkeää huolehtia itsestä erityisen hyvin, joten tässä teille oma reseptini stressiä helpottavaan aamuun. Ehdottomasti omia suosikkiaamujani tällaiset heh! Tätäkin kirjoitan sängyssä makoillen, sitä sunnuntai aamujen kuuluukin olla! Ajattelin nytkin noudattaa tätä reseptiä, vaikkakin seuraavaksi tiedossa oisi lenkki lumisiin maisemiin ja vihdoinkin sitä kemian opiskelua. Mutta rennosta aamusta saa hyvin energiaa loppupäivään, ja kaikki sen päivän asiat tuntuvat taas vähäsen helpommilta ja vähän mukavammilta! Tietenkään ihan joka päivä ei ole mahdollisuutta syödä aamupalaa keskellä iltapäivää, mutta kiireisten aamujen stressitön vietto onkin sitten asia erikseen.

Tämä viikonloppu on taas ollut extra hyvä, perjantaina jakson viimeisen kokeen jälkeen hoidin muutamia asioita loppuun ja kävin salilla sekä vietin iskän kanssa leffaillan (Would you rather oli ehkä ahdistavimpia elokuvia mitä olen nähnyt mutta jos sellaisista pitää niin suosittelen tätä! ) ja eilen orkesterin sekä töiden jälkeen juhlimme ihanan kaverimme 19-vuotis syntymäpäivää. Tänään tosiaan ajattelin ottaa ihan rennosti ja hoitaa elämää vähän eteenpäin. Toivottavasti teilläkin on ollut ihanat, rennot viikonloput! xx

– sleep in // nuku pitkään

– wear something cozy // käytä mukavia vaatteita – housuttomuus parasta!

– wear as fluffy slippers as you can find (mine are from Ted Baker) // käytä niin pehmeitä tohveleita kun kaapista löytyy

– eat breakfast as late as possible // syö aamupalaa niin myöhään kuin mahdollista

– eat a colourful & nutritious breakfast // syö värikäs & ravinteikas aamupala

– drink some tea with milk // juo teetä maidon kanssa

– light candles // sytytä kynttilöitä

– drink lots of water // juo paljon vettä

– put on a facemask // käytä kasvonaamio

– read some // lue, itse luin Jussi Valtosen He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät ja suosittelen ehdottomasti!

– open a window // avaa ikkuna

– stay clear from your phone for a while // pysy poissa puhelimesi luota

– give yourself a hand scrub & paint your nails (yup I later found out that that Maybelline nailpolish is tested on animals..) // tee itsellesi käsikuorinta ja lakkaa vaikka kyntesi (vaikkakaan en enää suosittele tuota eläintestattua merkkiä..)

– make a fresh smoothie // tee tuore hedelmäsmoothie

– forget all your responsibilities for a while and rather think of the things your grateful for // unohda velvollisuutesi hetkeksi ja sen sijaan ajattele niitä asioita joista olet kiitollinen

let’s say no to animal testing

Hey from snowy Finland! Ah I’m so excited for Christmas season (actually I’ve started it already about a month ago, even now there are Christmas songs playing in the background while I’m writing this), I can’t be the only one can I? Hopefully that season will also bring me some more time for blogging, it’ll be very much needed.. I’ve got so much to say but so little time! But I’ve decided not to stress over this, I blog because I enjoy it so I want it to stay as an enjoyable thing rather than a stressful obligation. But out of all the things I want to post I’ll start with something really important. That is, as the headline says, animal testing on cosmetics.

I’m not going to lecture you about how wrong animal testing is, I trust that you know it already. But let’s just say that people who try to be pretty with makeup tested on animals, are not as pretty from the inside as they could be. And yes I’m raising my hand here, I have so much to change to make my ways of acting more ethical, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

It’s been on my mind for a long, long time, but I’ve always been shamefully lazy to actually look into it, and since I barely use nor buy any makeup, always when I do I just go for the easiest choice without giving it a second thought. That came to change now, when I finally got inspired and looked trough all my makeup to see what kind of products I’m hiding in my closet. Half of them were from brands tested from animals. I was so, so disappointed when my favourite lipstick brand Sephora and the brand of my only favourite perfume Hugo Boss were both marked with a big yes on animal testing. Also Dior, Victoria’s Secret, Elie Saab, Lancome, L’oreal, Clinique, Clarins, Maybelline, OPI and Essie were on the same list, with a bunch of others. Even though I shouldn’t have been surprised I got very sad, and I swore that moment that I won’t ever be buying their cosmetics products. But luckily many other brands like Urban Decay, Lumene, Lush, BareMinerals,  ( I’m a big fan of this one by the way!) H&M etc have got the cruelty free- check.

It’s surprisingly easy to find out if your products are cruelty free or not, you can use for example this http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/cruelty_free_companies_company.aspx

and this site

https://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/companies-that-test-on-animals/ .

I’m not planning to start a demonstration right now, but I hope that I might have made a few more people to think twice before buying products from certain brands. It’s the small things that start big changes.

May it be our Christmas present for animals this year <3 Have a wonderful week!

 

// Jouluisia terveisiä Tuusulasta! En kai ole ainut jonka mielestä joulukausi on alkanut jo noin kuukausi sitten? Nytkin taustalla soi joulumusiikki ja tämän kirjoitettua olen menossa hakemaan varastosta joulukoristeita! Odotan joulua super innolla, toivottavasti rauhallisin vuoden aika tuo myös vähän aikaa bloggaamiseen, sitä kaivattaisiin! Oisi niin paljon sanottavaa mutta niin vähän aikaa. Olen kuitenkin luvannut itselleni että tämä on iloinen harrastus eikä lisästressiä tuova velvoite, joten kirjoittelen tänne edelleen kun tuntuu siltä että siihen on aikaa. Tänään niistä kaikista mielen päällä olevista asioista ajattelin kuitenkin kirjoittaa jostain erityisen tärkeästä, nimittäin eläinkokeiden käytöstä kosmetiikka-alalla.

 

En aio alkaa saarnaamaan siitä miten väärin eläinkokeet ovat, sillä uskon teidän tietävän sen jo. Mutta sanotaanko vaikka että ihminen joka yrittää näyttää kauniimmalta käyttämällä eläintestattuja meikkejä, ei ole ihan kaunis sisältä kuin mitä voisi olla. Ja nostan tähän oman käteni pystyyn! Mulla olisi vaikka mitä muutettavaa tehdäkseni käytöksestäni eettisempää, ja ajattelin aloittaa tästä.

 

Aihe on ollut mielessäni jo vuosikausia, mutta olen aina ollut häpeällisen laiska tekemään asian eteen mitään. Nyt kuitenkin lauantaina sain vihdoinkin inspiraation katsoa kaapissani lojuvat meikit läpi. Ja järkytyin. Puolet meikestäni ovat brandeilta jotka suorittavat eläinkokeita. Ei se kai yllättävää ollut huomata, mutta surullista silti. Olin todella pettynyt huomatessani että lemppari huulipunamerkkini Sephora ja sen ”minun” tuoksuni omaava Hugo Bossin hajuvesi ovat molemmat eläinkokeita tekevien brandien listalla. Lisäksi Dior, Victoria’s Secret, Elie Saab, Lancome, L’oreal, Clinique, Clarins, Maybelline, OPI ja Essie sekä monta monta muuta olivat samaisella listalla. Vannoin itselleni että näiltä yrityksiltä en tuotteita osta enää ikinä elleivät he joku päivä onnistu todistamaan lopettaneensa eläinkokeet kokonaan. Onneksi hyviäkin yllätyksiä löytyi, nimittäin mm. Urban Decay, Lumene, Lush, BareMinerals (oma fanitukseni kohde!!), H&M ja moni muu ovat saaneet cruelty free- merkin.

 

On yllättävän helppoa tarkistaa mikä kunkin kosmetiikkayrityksen tilanne on, sitä varten on useita nettisivuja kuten

http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/cruelty_free_companies_company.aspx

ja

https://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/companies-that-test-on-animals/ .

En ole aloittamassa aiheesta mielenosoitusta juuri nyt, mutta toivon että saisin ainakin muutan mielen miettimään ensi kerralla vähän pidempään kyseisen tuotteen ostamista. Olkoon se meidän joululahjamme eläimille. Muistakaa, että suuret muutokset tapahtuvat pikkujuttujen kautta.

 

 

Ihanaa viikkoa, nauttikaa joulun tulosta!

 


BRANDS THAT TEST ON ANIMALS

Victoria’s Secret

Sephora

Dolce & Gabbana

Dior

Hugo Boss

Lancome

L’oreal

Maybelline

L’occitaine

Prada

Estee Lauder

Elie Saab

Tommy Hilfiger

Guerlain

Clinique

Rimmel

OPI

Essie

Mavala

Clarins


BRANDS THAT ARE CRUELTY-FREE

Anastasia

Urban Decay

Smashbox

Lumene

Lush

Bodyshop

Too Faced

NYX

Essence

Kiko


P.S. If I’ve gotten false information on some brand please feel free to correct me and any additions to the list will be greatly appreciated!