Autumn in Italy

We made a quick trip to Italy, me and my boyfriend and our parents. That means six people! Travelling is always a little more complicated when there are more people involved. But as a bright side, you always learn something new of the others and something new of yourself with the others. But as compromises had to be done, we still had such fun time! I love the humor we have together!

We first flew straight from our hometown Lappeenranta to Bergamo. We spent the night there in a super cute and cozy b&b La Rocca. I can totally recommend that place. It was close to the airport and they only had three rooms, so we basically booked the entire b&b.

The idea of going to Italy came from this list, world’s 50 best restaurants. And restaurant no.3, Osteria Francescana is in Modena, just a couple hours drive from Bergamo. So, let’s rent a car and drive to Modena!

On our way to Modena we stopped in Sirmione, did some quick sightseeing and bought wine, bread and cheese to eat by Lake Garda.

Our hotel in Modena was also very nice, Hotel Castello. Two nights in this castle!

Modena seemed like a nice town. Too bad the weather was quite rainy for the whole time. They happened to have this food festival, La Bonissima, just when we arrived, so we tried to ignore the rain and enjoy the atmosphere. Italians sure know how to make delicious food. I can’t remember the name of this candy-like thing on a stick, but it was good! It seemed surprisingly difficult to find a pizzeria in Modena. Maybe we were at the wrong side of the town. But when we finally did, it was worth all the search.

As almost on all our trips, cool cars were watched. This time we got to see the production line of Lamborghini Aventador. Obviously pictures were not allowed at the factory tour, but here are some from the museum and in front of the building.

When talking about cars, V did great work driving our minivan through the labyrinths of the highway ramps and the narrow streets in the old towns!

Osteria Francescana was actually a mind-blowing experience. I had certain expectations of these super fancy restaurants. It really was super fancy, but it was so much more. The staff was kind and everything just worked. And I really got my stomach full from this nine course menu. The food itself was indescribable. You need all your senses to experience it. The courses were little art pieces, open-minded combinations of sweet and salty!

And back to Bergamo. We had about half day to explore Bergamo. Maybe a little research in advance would have put us in a better position to see as much as possible in such short time. Bergamo looked like a place I definitely want to go back and see all it has to offer. The newer part of the town was so clean and the old town was just like a fairytale.

And another reason to go back: I never got a chance to taste gelato!

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Inescapable Autumn Post

This turned out more like squirrel post. And this time I was even too lazy to exit our backyard patio. Didn’t even put the shoes on!
There were originally two squirrels behind the window, when I noticed them. The other one escaped and this sweet little rascal stayed, eating bird food and ignoring me. So, here are some fall photos from from Finland, spiced with cute animals.


Next up: Italy bound!

My Home Town

Last Saturday I took part in the annual Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk. That was third time for me and I like it more and more every time. Our local photo club also offered a lecture given by a talented photo journalist. That lecture woke me up thinking of how difficult street photography actually is. Not because of the quality of the photos (or maybe a little for that too), but mainly how difficult it is to snap a photo that actually tells a story. That gets you thinking, or even laughing by still leaving room for imagination.

Here is a set of some pics I managed to snap. I don’t know if they tell any kind of story, but at least they show something about my home town Lappeenranta.

 

I thought that maybe I could discover some other town next year by photo walking.

 

On the Edge

So I finally put one of my adventure dreams into practice. An over-night hiking trip in finnish nature. I made the trip with my cousin. She is a real backwoods(wo)man and was at least as excited of this trip as I was. We decided to go to Koli National park and do Herajärvi trail. We had this image in our heads where we would walk a little, make the camp, I would take some pictures and she would check some odd plants from her book.

Well, it wasn’t just like that. We learned that 10km in nature full of hills is a big deal. We also learned that 1km in that terrain may take over an hour. However, we had the best time.

I had my brand new hiking shoes on and was lucky to not get any major abrasions. Only some little ones on my toes. In both evenings it was quite a victory to see the campground… and just in time before the dark. On the first night our final leg went on duckboards through a swamp. I got so excited to see the campground that my foot slipped and I fell. Fortunately I only got some minor bruises on my wrist.

Our just-add-water-pasta tasted super good in both evenings.

First night we slept in a tent and the second one in this lean-to.

We also made an extra trip by car to see this cave system called Pirunkirkko. Totally worth going!

For the third night we had booked a room in Break Sokos hotel Koli. We got to wash ourselves in Koli relax spa, make facial treatment in aromatic sauna, have some champagne in a hot tub and still look at that breathtaking view. No pics from there, just relaxing!

I enjoyed every minute of that long weekend. Even those sweaty ones upwards the hills.

DIY MouseLamp

And another upcycled lamp is ready! Except now I can only take the credit for the design. We put this together with my dad and my father-in-law. This Marimekko mouse was on its way to dumpster. My dad saved it and asked if I wanted to make something out of it. And lamp it is!

I wanted to make it look like the mouse was just lifted up from the mouse pad. So my old Marimekko mouse pad was just suitable to cover the actual support of the lamp (which is a 3mm metal plate). A led panel was inserted to the hole where the ball used to be. It is even made so that the light can be switched on and off using the left and right button of the mouse. A very thin metal pipe keeps the mouse lifted and actual wire goes through it. We finally bended the pipe and painted it black to make it look more like an electric wire. And voilá!

Snowboarding

Last Saturday was nice. I started it with a quick facial treatment to be ready for the first sunbeams of the spring.

I spent three super fun hours snowboarding with my friend at Myllymäki ski center . We actually would have preferred to stay there even a little longer, but we had quite a tight schedule. So, a return trip will be made!

I finished that perfect Saturday with sauna and some cheese and wine. Ahh, totally relaxing day.

DIY Film Reel Lampshade out of Film Strips

I like to make lamps. We already have quite a bit of them and we only have two rooms! I may have to stop making lamps for a while..

This one is completely my self designed and I really like it.

This is how the process from a fuzzy idea to a finished lamp went:

  • “I wanna make something out of film strips.”
  • “Hmm.. Of course that something has to be a lamp!”
  • I went to a recycling centre to find a suitable frame and this one literally walked by me. I saw a man carrying it towards the backroom. I followed him and found out that the frame was on its way to a dumpster. Phew.. perfect timing!
  • Next I needed the material to provide the film strips a surface to attach. I found out that a thick self adhesive lampshade panel is the best solution.
  • The shape of the frame reminded me of an old-fashioned film reel, so I decided to try to make it look like one.IMG_0266 copy
  • I got some white plastic board from a hardware store for the bottom and cover.
  • Then I just put it together: Cut and hot glued the plastic discs to the frame. (It doesn’t look too much like a film reel, so maybe a little further design would have made it look more like one.) Next I taped the self adhesive material to the fame, removed the release paper and sticked the film strips on. Finally I finished it with dark tape on the edges and a little narrower dark tape to line the holes. Unfortunately I only have this one photo of the production process.