Sunday, January 29, 2012

ORGANIC HAIR PRODUCTS

So what does a woman do when she has one hour lunch break? Goes to the nearest pharmacy and spend the entire hour in their new and improved beauty section and starts shopping. You might wonder why that Odwalla Superfood drink is in the picture and no, I didn't use it for my hair. It was the only thing I had time to eat/drink during my break after getting caught up in the world of natural beauty products. 
Anyways, I did some nice findings from Jonathan, Giovanni Organic Hair Care and Lacoupe Orgnx. Jonathan, which is completely new product for me, had two interesting products I had to try; thickening foam (I have very fine Scandinavian hair that always needs extra boost) and dry shampoo (washing my hair is a drag). Jonathan Products are Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, synthetic dyes and 100% vegan.
Lacoupe Orgnx had this lovely scented leave-in conditioner thats just so easy to use for lazy people like myself. Just spray it on and keep doing your thing. 
Giovanni Organic Hair Care's Brazenly Brunette color defense conditioner keeps the brown in my hair brown and really great product for ombre colored hair because it keeps breaking the line between the blond and brunette. Which is now more like light brown and medium brown after dying it darker last week.
 Hope you are all enjoying the last day of the weekend! Wish it could go on for just a little longer...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

HEALTHY SNACKS

I'm a big snacker and I've come a long way from being addicted to candy to choosing healthier snacks, like these gluten-free brown rice-tamari-seaweed crackers. Just a little peanut butter, hummus and vegetables of your choice (tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, pickles). 
When I crave for something sweet (like candy) I get a pomegranate. Way better than any candy! Another yummy sweet snack idea: grapes stored in the freezer. Pop individually for sweet cravings and be guilt free.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

WEEKEND

This weekend we've been staying warm inside the house avoiding the first real snow of the season and coldness. I'm not a winter person at all and dream every day that I could move somewhere warm soon (California, here we come!). The cats feel the same way. They tend to spend most time in our loft space on the top floor of our townhouse because all the heat rises up there. We use the area for storage, but I'm about to make it my nice and toasty office. Seems that all the heat escapes there.
On Saturday we also celebrated Miina's 6th birthday. We got her few special mice and treats from our local little pet shop down the street. She was my first cat ever and I remember how tiny and fragile she felt when I held her the first time. She was a lap cat from day one. And a talker. Or at least after she stopped being  afraid and came out from under the bed...
In other news; I'm a bit home sick and really wish we could figure out a way to live so that we could spend summers in Finland. Have more freedom. Mobility. Travel. Experience the world. Life is short, you know. I leave you with these thoughts and hope you'll have a purposeful week that's filled with joy and genius ideas.

"Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses." ~Proverb

Friday, January 20, 2012

MY WEEK IN PHONE SHOTS

My traditional Sunday breakfast; banana pancakes with blueberry jam. Homemade pina coladas from the scratch; fresh pineapple, banana, lemon and some rum. 
Traditional Saturday lunch at our favorite Korean restaurant. Hanging out at my sister-in-law's with her million kids. Ok, some of those are her friend's kids... Enjoying Pina Coladas in front of the fireplace. So exotic. Chilling with Miina in bed.
Great Thai food straight from the Thai Elephant Truck on my way home. I don't have time to cook. Except on the weekends. But then I'm allowed to be lazy. I enjoyed lunch outdoors. How crazy is that. It's January and I was not even cold. And I get cold very easily. Had wonderful dinner home made dinner at my friend's gorgeous loft in Chelsea. She is a fan of Finnish design. Stayed in a hotel in Manhattan on Sunday night. Just because. I'm so not a fan of sleeping out. Love my bed and my home
Bella Life Online Magazine's "Colorful Conversations" event with reiki healings and healthy snacks at Olivia's rooftop party room. Ever so gorgeous Nitika Chopra hosted the event. Photo source.
Have a beautiful weekend!
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” 
- Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CHECKING IN

Yes, we still have the tree up. It's going to be there at least until next weekend. It brings a feel of festivity to the house. It's been a busy week again and I cannot wait for the weekend. There may or may not be a house party with some cool chicks as well as really re-organizing my goals for the year. You know, making meal plans (resolution to cook at least two meals a week) and scheduling yoga classes. I've started the year off very loosely... Not good. 
When I get a moment this week I will let you know about my new skin care routine that's totally natural and 100% toxic free. I will try it at least for a month and see the effects on my skin. It's the cheapest thing ever and you know I'm all about saving money. 
Have a beautiful Thursday! It's the day for hope.
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." -Maya Angelou

Monday, January 16, 2012

THRIFT SHOPPING IN WILLIAMSBURG


Last weekend we decided to venture out somewhere not so familiar and leave the island of Manhattan behind. Just a few subway stops away, right across the East River, there's a hipsterville, also known Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It houses many old industrial warehouses that have been turned in to eclectic stores, cafes and restaurants. 
We started our day with a lunch at Wild Ginger that serves vegan Pan-Asian food. Delicious. See all that food on my plate? That was Malaysian curry stew and very reasonably priced under ten bucks. And that big glass of ginger ale made with real ginger. So refreshing.
With our bellies full and happy we started walking around and searching for treasures. Beacon's Closet opened in 1997 and now has three stores, two in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan. I found some pretty awesome, unworn looking shoes here for $13. I will introduce you to them later on, but I can tell you they have wild pattern...

Artists and Fleas is a weekends only artist, designer and flea market where over 60 independent artists, designers, stylists, vintage collectors and food makers come out to play, shop and sell. Lots of unique jewelry and clothing.
After we had enough retail therapy it was time for a rewarding cup of something warm. The Surf Bar invited us in with the offer of hot glogg. How amazing! It was pretty cold day so that was just the perfect end to it.
Photos 2,5,6,9,11 by Saara

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

MACROBIOTIC FOODS AT SOUEN

Souen is slowly becoming one of my favorite restaurants. I had dinner here with my mentor again before our Vortex healing session in the West Village. I felt a little nauseous from coffee I had earlier in the day, so I asked for something refreshing with ginger and got this delicious ginger ale made of fresh ginger. What a huge difference compared to those artificially flavored ones. 
For appetizer I had miso soup to stimulate digestion and warm me up. Miso is actually extremely beneficial food for your health (B-12 vitamin!!!), read more about it here. We also had some warm seaweed salad my mentor introduced me to, but I forgot now what it was called. Very good as well. For main course I had crispy tempeh (or was it seitan?) cutlets with brown rice and beetroot sauce. So frigging good!
"Macrobiotics is a means to live comfortably in harmony with nature. The basic idea of Macrobiotics is very simple.It is thought that by eating balanced foods such as grains and vegetables that are more local and in season, we can maintain good physical and spiritual health and live in harmony with nature. A typical Macrobiotic plate for our area will consist of a large portion of grains, beans, seaweed, vegetables and vegetable protein, such as tofu, seitan, beans and tempeh. Following the traditional Japanese food model of a simple and natural diet, macrobiotics dictates eating food in a natural way – unrefined and unprocessed. But what does unrefined and unprocessed mean? It means for example, eating whole foods such as vegetables together with their skins and stems. It means not eating husked, processed rice but whole grain brown rice. It means, we living people should eat from a living land – taking food in season, in its entirety." source

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WE LOVE BEACON

Yes, we love this restaurant and might never dine anywhere else again, but the food is just so darn good every time. We actually came here at the end of December last time, for happy hour after work to say cheers for the New Year ahead of time since we were spending NYE in different places. The above photos although are from mid December when I took my very dear friend for her birthday dinner. For appetizer the pumpkin apple soup with spiced spun sugar melting on top, for entree the heavenly fall vegetable risotto, we shared some delicious mashed potatoes (we both love mashed potatoes) and for dessert a huge huckleberry and pear crisp that we could only eat few spoonfuls, because oh boy, we were stuffed. They had to roll both of us out of there. Happy Hour this week again!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

MEMORIES AND CIDER IN DOWNTOWN

Even it's quite touristy at times, I still enjoy coming down to South Street area. When I first moved to NYC in 2004 I lived in the Lower East Side and would always take a walk down to South Street Seaport by the water on my days off from work. Wow, that was long time ago. Back then I didn't even think about staying here for more than four months. I lived in a crappy roach filled apartment in the housing projects of Delancey Street. My friend's friend had agreed to rent a room for me in his apartment as a favor for few months. I was happy I had roof over my head. And the rent was just $500/month. Those were very exciting times in my life. Didn't know much anybody in this city, did as much overtime I could at work and volunteered to work even my days off if needed, because the pay was so much better than what I was used to at $21/hour. My lifestyle was quite modest and I saved as much money as I could. I've always been great at saving money, minus the past four years. There were many dates though, with men I met through online dating sites. All good experiences, not one crazy person. 
Same year I met the man I am lucky to call my husband today. We went to so many great dates, wonderful restaurants and saw each other very intensively for few months until it was my time to return back home to Finland and finish school. But we kept calling and emailing each other every single day and eventually I decided to spend my entire summer vacation with him back in New York. That was great summer, no work, just fun. And that summer convinced me to come and live here once I got my thesis done and graduated. 
So this is what comes to my mind when I visit the places from my past that have now become my present. Thank you universe for guiding me this way.
Drinking cider outdoors in December (Smorgas Chef at Stone Street)
Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind,
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine,
Memories, memories, sweet memories…. (Elvis Presley)