Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Heat wave

It's been disgustingly hot the past week. Too hot even for the beach, and too hot to spend much time outdoors. The above was my comfort outfit to survive the heat last weekend. I tried to spice up the otherwise blah getup with my new bright red patent leather Tory Burch sandals. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Travel Diary in Pictures III / Tallinn, Estonia

Pretty late in the game we decided to do a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia, to visit with our New Yorker friends there. It had been quite some time since I had visited Tallinn last time, and my two younger daughters had never been there. The day we had picked for this excursion was cloudy and rainy, but it didn't matter much. We had a wonderful day and learned a lot about the very long and colorful history of Tallinn, which has been occupied by a number of neighboring states and has only had its independence since 1991 after the Soviet Union collapse. Tallinn is quite different now from the time I first visited in 1985.

We took the Eckerö Lines ferry, which was the cheapest option.
Not very luxurious, but it was fine for getting us to Tallinn and back. 

Did I mention it was rainy and cloudy? 

Coming off the ferry at Tallinn this hanging thing is what first catches your eye. Apparently it's a restaurant. Not sure how it actually works..and not too keen to find out either. You would have to pay me a lot of money to eat up there! 

Our Tallin Squad (minus one)

Love the old Tallin and its pretty houses

Tallinn still has a very strong artisanal culture, with a lot of arts and crafts hand made items for sale

The houses in the old town have been beautifully restored

And there is so much nice detail in them

The legendary Wabadus Cafe has been around since the 1930's and sits on the side of the Freedom square

The independence / victory cross memorials flanks one side of the Freedom square. Out tour guide told us that Estonians hate the statue (not least because of the slight resemblance of swastika..) I didn't think it was that bad. But I guess if I'd been grown up in a country that had fought for independence for hundreds of years, I'd a bit underwhelmed too.. Although it does look nice when it is lit up at night. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Travel Diary in Pictures II

One thing every self-respecting Finnish person does in the summer time is spend some time in the country side, preferably at the family summer cottage. My yearly pilgrimage to the mother land must also include a trip or two the summer cottage. It's literally a summer cottage (I've actually never been there in winter), and in true Finnish tradition, it has no modern luxuries, i.e. no running water. This is part of the charm for the Finns, as the lack of amenities forces you to slow down, to live a more simple life, and really get back to the basics. It's good for the soul to take a break from the news, the social media, the constant compulsive need to check emails, etc.

And since I got to this down time mode and restricted myself from cellphone, camera, etc, I don't have pictures of the forest trip, or the blueberries I picked, or the pie I baked, nor the mushrooms the kids picked, or the quiche my mom baked with the mushrooms. You just have to believe me that we all thoroughly enjoyed being in the forest and then utilizing our pickings for our delicious nourishment.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Travel Diary in Pictures I

Bye Coco, we will miss you lots! 
Midnight in Iceland

Finally asleep on the second leg of the journey

Sun rise somewhere east of Iceland

When in Finland, first things first. Fresh food from the farmer's market, i.e. TORI. 

A little jet lagged but not much worse for the wear. 

Three generations

Uusia perunoita! Metsämustikoita! Superfood!

Haven't used a VIHTA for years. Should have bought one! 

Käsityön taidonnäyttöjä. Tyttärilläni oli mansikkahattu ja siitä saivat aina New Yorkissa isot kehut ja ihastukset.
I'm not so sure about the piggy hat... 

Tapolan Mustaamakkaraa NAM!

First stop - Pingviinijätski

Next stop - Wayne's Coffee

Yay Vacay - it's slowly sinking in... 

And BTW - Wayne's Coffee's skinny vanilla latte is better than Starbucks' version. 

Pikkukakkosen puisto is a must every day we are in Tampere. 

And finally - here's the real deal. New potatoes, butter, herring, turnips & onions, wild mushroom salad.
This meal is everything.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Pom Poms & Tassels

Our annual 4th of July barbecue party took place on Saturday. I don't have any photos from the actual party, but here's my outfit.

I'm in love with these new Sam Edelman sandals.
I promised to share them with my daughter though, so let's see how that will work out... 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

TBT - Fig & Olive

About three weeks ago we went to the Fig and Olive restaurant at the Meatpacking District for dinner. The dinner had two purposes; to celebrate my daughter's graduation from Middle School, and it was also a goodbye party for my au pair. Very bittersweet. The Fig & Olive is one of the well know NYC restaurants, and not least because it's the favorite of Fredrik Eklund of Million Dollar Listing, or at least it's where Fredrik often meets with clients. I'd been there a few times but had kind of forgotten about it before seeing it on the new season of the Million Dollar Listing NYC. Anyway, it's a very nice restaurant, with great atmosphere and of course superb food.

We started with a cheese platter. This stuff was gone in about 10 seconds flat. 

Then we ordered these caramelized onion and goat cheese crostinis for everyone. Yummy! 

For the longest time I had been looking for an opportunity to wear this eccentric ring and wrist jewelry piece I got from my sister-in-law. It's not your everyday going to the local kind of look. But it was perfect for this occasion. 

This was my daughter's salad with salmon. 

And my order was this super delicious sea food paella. 
It was a great night - good times with good people in a good place. I probably won't go there anytime soon again, but if I see Fig & Olive again on the Million Dollar Listing, I'm sure to get a bit nostalgic.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Midsummer's Eve - Juhannusaatto

The Swedish midsummer festival takes place at the Battery Park every year on Midsummer's Eve. I used to go with friends every year when I still lived in the city, but I don't think I've gone once since I moved to Long Island. Too much traffic and too much hassle. This year, however, we had to be in the City on midsummer's eve, and I figured, let's show the kids what the Swedish midsummer is all about. The swedes erect the midsummer pole (juhannussalko) and dance around it in traditional costumes (kansallispuvut). A band plays traditional music, and you can buy Swedish goodies, beer and vodka shots. People bring their picnic stuff and meet up with friends. Since we were schlepping around the city all day, we couldn't bring much picnic stuff, but no worries, there is a gorgeous new food market at the world financial center, by the new Brookfield Place mall, called Le District. We got a couple of sandwiches, a salad, and some drinks there, and picnic was set. The kids got to make the flower crown (kukkaseppele) and we had a great time telling stories and relaxing in the beautiful sunshine gazing out over the Statue of Liberty and the Jersey City skyline.