50 Random Facts About Me

Hi there!

January has been quiet here on the blog but I'm back and thought it would be nice to start the year by sharing a bit more about myself. Here's 50 random facts about me!

1. I'm 27 years old.

2. My middle name is Tuulikki after my mother's mother. The name comes from the word tuuli which  means wind. In the Finnish national epic, Kalevala, Tuulikki is a forest goddess.

3. My favorite number is 5.

4. I have met only one of my grandparents.

5. Growing up, my family had an icelandic sheepdog called Pyry (blizzard).

6. I'm a middle child.

7.  After Finnish, Japanese is my favorite language.

8. I have always been drawn to arts, but I stopped practicing drawing at the age of 15 as I thought of it as an useless skill.

9. I made my first website at the age of 11. It was a personal blog where I shared my "deep and dark teenage thoughts".

10. Amadeus is my favorite movie since already 10 years. My husband and I never watch it without a good bottle of wine and snacks.

11. I have lived one year in Japan at the age of 17.

12. I own a full Japanese archery equipment.

13. I dislike team sports and have never felt comfortable in a sports club apart from my Japanese high school's Kyudo club.

14. I know in 2 seconds if I like a person or not.

15. I don't idolize anyone.

16. My favorite bands are Haloo Helsinki! and Nightwish.

17. I have a strict moral code but I have no idea where that comes from.

18. I'm definitely a cat person. Dogs make me uneasy with their excitement.

19. I can't whistle.

20. I have green eyes.

21. I can still remember some of the scary dreams I had as a kid.

22. I don't believe in ghosts but I have maybe seen one.

23. I believe in love at first meeting.

24. I'm a Taurus and behave accordingly once angered.

25. Small talk is one of the most boring things I know. I need real content.

26. I never believed in Santa but had fun playing along anyway.

27. I'm a fan of anime and manga. My favorite series is Hunter x Hunter.

28. When I was a kid, I used to steal brown sugar from the kitchen and eat it secretly under my bed.

29. I run on coffee.

30. Sometimes when people are on their phones in social settings, I feel like grapping their device and throwing it "there where the pepper grows" as we say in Finnish. Have never done that though as I'm not rich enough to pay anyone a new phone.

31. I'm currently reading Anna Karenina.

32. I used to be a safari guide in Lapland.

33. I would name my daughter Aino and son Viktor.

34. I usually eat porridge with some coconut oil mixed in for breakfast.

35. I met my husband at the age of 22.

36. I wish I was more skilled socially but I also kind of like being an awkward weirdo.

37. In people I value originality, kindness and loyalty.

38. I curse a lot.

39. My biggest shock growing up was realising that most people are easily corrupted.

40. Countries I want to travel to: Slovenia, Scotland, Iceland, Japan.

41. I haven't dyed my hair in three years.

42. I learnt to crochet, knit and sew in elementary school.

43. I dislike shallowness.

44. I got my love of travel from my parents.

45. As a teenager I would spend nights watching my favorite anime series.

46. I learned my English from anime subtitles. 

47. I love everything caramel.

48. I space out constantly. This makes it sometimes hard to focus on precise practical tasks.

49. I can't sing. At all.

50. One of my life missions is to have waist length hair, but I always end up cutting it.


I find this kind of posts really entertaining so I hope you enjoyed my version of this "challenge". Being the curious person I am, I would like you to share five random things about yourself in the comments below!


Looking Back At 2018 // Almost 3 Years Of Expat Life // What now?

Another year is nearing its end and already 2 years and 9 months of expat life has passed. Almost 3 years. My sole goal during these years has been to reach a state of stability and wellbeing in this new country of mine. Did I get closer to that goal in 2018? Let's see...

One of the best decisions we took in 2017 was to enroll me to French courses in the University of Avignon. I had reached a dead end trying to master the language by myself and I needed to level up in order to compete for jobs alongside the natives. I was successfull in my studies and I got back in touch with my intellectual side which allowed me to gain back some of my lost confidence. I finished the last semester in May 2018 and successfully obtained a C1 certificate which is the second highest of all the levels. I was feeling pretty good about myself and I was less than two months away from leaving on holiday to Finland!

Right after having finished my studies, the plan was to start applying for any interesting jobs, but then I was offered one by a friend. I felt like the universe was finally smiling at me! In June I went through some initial training for the job I was supposed to start after our return from Finland. However, this didn't occupy me for long and Q was still working full time in June. I had a lot of free time and I started to feel restless as there were lots of days I didn't have anywhere to be. I'm someone who needs to stay active in order to stay more or less sane, but I'm not good at staying occupied by myself. So, even though I had worked hard on my studies all spring and had a job waiting for me in just a few months, I felt empty and without direction.

Then, about halfway through June I thought to myself: I have all this time in my hands so might as well eat even healthier and exercise even more. What I didn't realise at the time was that I had put my body in starvation mode and all the healthy eating nor exercising in the world wouldn't make me reach my goal. I didn't eat so much under my need on purpose, but I honestly had no idea how much and what I was supposed to eat at that point. Already the fact of moving to France had drastically changed my eating habits as the French eat three big meals per day and the Finns prefer 4 to 5 smaller meals. This change obviously resulted to some weight gain as especially the huge dinners were completely new to my body.

Well, this obsessing lasted only a few weeks and came to an end when it was finally time to leave for Finland. The trip did so many good things to my self-esteem and I felt reconnected with myself. I understood that I was completely lost with my eating and I needed to pass the ball to someone else. So, I took the decision I should have taken years ago: hiring a professional nutrition coach. There's a well known company called FitFarm in Finland that does online coaching whether your goal is to learn to eat right, lose weight or gain muscle. I chose a program that focuses on learning to eat right and giving a kick to the metabolism. It was so incredibly liberating to admit that I didn't know what I was doing and now someone was going to take care of me. I decided to trust blindly (which was easy as they really made lots of sense) my coaches, faithfully followed the program... and it worked! During 12 weeks I learned to eat again 5 times per day and all the right things. I gave up my fear of carbs and healthy fats, stopped over exercising while eating at least three times more than before and I still lost 6 kilos. More importantly, I learned how a normal person is supposed to eat and that I can eat much much more than I imagined. It's such a huge personal victory to be able to finally stop guessing what, when and how much I should be eating each day. 

During our 1 and a half month stay we made sure to make as many little trips as possible while also catching up with some old friends. Among other things, everyone was obviously interested to find out about my work plans and I was relieved to tell people I was going to start working once back in France. I was myself so eager to get back to working and living a "normal life" that it did really feel good to think things were going to work out this time. Well, at the end of August it was time to head back and we were in for quite a surprise. For privacy and other reasons I unfortunately can't tell you in detail what happened, but a long story short is that the company for which I was supposed to start working for had over the summer shown a new side of itself. If you are a regular Finnish person, you don't really imagine to ever get involved in such matters so I didn't want to have anything to do with it. So, I was left with the question: What now? I didn't have a plan B because I thought I didn't need one!

Then, in September I started the infamous grape picking which was extremely hard but also helpful as at that point it was important that I stayed busy and felt like I did something. It's when my contract ended that I had to face the reality of my situation: I had absolutely no idea what direction to take next. I was mad at my useless Bachelor's degree and concidered going back to school but in October it was already too late. What frustrated me the most was that I felt like I was losing time as I didn't see how we could stabilize our situation quickly in order to finally start a family. The only available jobs included working evenings, weekends and holidays, multitasking under high pressure and all that for a minimum wage. Of course, I'm very lucky that I get to choose as my husband works full-time so even a part-time job would be fine for me. The society's opinion is that a woman should first have a permanent job, then give birth and go back to work after her maternity leave like any good citizen. However, in the end I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't wait any longer. I know women in my family have had hard time conceiving so I didn't want to wait until I'm over 30 and "have a perfect stable life" before even starting trying for our first kid. Sometimes you just got to go for it.

After having taken the decision to no longer postpone our baby plans, it was clear to me I wanted to try working from home. We thus came up with a plan of me starting my own business in 2019 as a freelance translator. I will be using an online platform to find translation projects. It seems like a good plan so now just keep your fingers crossed that the paperwork will go smoothly...

It's been another quite turbulent year, but that's life, isn't it? How's your year been?

Q and I are excited to be spending this Christmas in Finland and enjoy time with my family. We'll have to clean the house and pack for already tomorrow as we'll be staying a few days at my in-law's place to keep company to our cats before we take the plane on Sunday.


Winter 2018 Capsule Wardrobe

My winter 2018-2019 capsule wardrobe is here! It has taken me the whole year to make and thrift garments to build it but it's worth it. There are only two brand new ready-to-wear pieces which include a shirt dress and a pair of shoes. I often end up buying my shoes new as it's hard to find the right style and size (and condition) in second hand shops. I'm fine with buying new as long as it's something I haven't been able to find second hand or I don't want/it doesn't make sense to make it myself. My new items are often from Monoprix as it's the only somewhat ethical brand I can afford at the moment.

So, this capsule has 33 pieces but I'm not really so strict about the number. As long as all of my stuff fits on one Ikea clothes rack, it's a capsule for me. I live in the South of France so my garment choices are adapted to the local climate. For example, it's already December but we still have days when the sun shines and you don't even need a coat!

Anyway, without further ado, here's my winter 2018-2019 capsule wardrobe:

There's still gonna be a few me made add-ins but I got to say I'm pretty happy with this year's winter capsule! It's funny how I feel the most confident about my style during the winter months and a bit lost during summer time. 

Do you find it easier to dress according to your personal style during certain seasons?