Sunday, 29 December 2013

What was 2013 made of?

When the year started I was in Hamina. It's a small town in the South-East of Finland, near of the Russian boarder. My grandmother lives there, so we visited her. We have always spent New Year's Eve there, except for one year, when I was sick. It's a family tradition to be there. It was the first time when we celebrated New Year's without my grandfather, who had passed away some weeks earlier. :( 

Grandpa's grave

It was the second winter, when I was really interested in cross-country skiing. Mom and I went skiing almost every day. :) At first my goal was to ski 200 km during the winter, but it grew and grew all the time. My last goal was to ski 800 km, but I ended up skiing 30 km more. Well, we had a long winter with a lot of snow, so it explains some of this.

Snowwwww <3

During the first months I had to study for matriculation examinations. My goals were just suitable to reach, so I can be happy with the results. :) I was surprised to see such a good grade from Russian, though. I never thought I could do so well in the exam. :o While studying we had an event that we call as ''Penkkarit''. It's when the third year students celebrate the end of lessons and ''the studying period'' starting.  

Me with my pirate outfit. hahah.

In February and April I had to decide what to do after Upper Secondary School… I had no idea, so I just chose something. Next I had to study and prepare myself for the entrance exams. After the exams I thought I had no chance to get in, so I was very surprised to receive a letter saying I had been accepted as a student at HAMK Valkeakoski.

On June 1st I graduated from Upper Secondary School. :) The weather didn’t seem that good in the morning, luckily, the day turned out to be sunny. At first we had a ceremony with school, and then we continued at my dad’s place in Iittala. It was a nice day, which I got to spend with my relatives. It’s a day that I won’t forget.

On my graduation day

June wasn’t that exciting. I had my birthday and we also celebrated Midsummer (we call it as ‘’Juhannus’’) in Ylämaa. It’s a tiny place and a part of a town called Lappeenranta, which is situated just at the Russian boarder. We have always spent Midsummer there, so we did it this year as well.

Last summer I was lucky enough to get a summer job. :) I worked at a farm kind of a place. There I packed strawberries into boxes of 5 kg and 500 g. It was tiring to stand all the time, but I didn’t complain. I was just so happy to get that job!  

During the summer vacation I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s place, in Hämeenlinna. I visited my dad’s place rather often as well. I would have wanted to spend more time at our summer cottage, tho. I simply love to be at our tiny cottage!

I was hoping to travel during the vacation, but it didn’t work out as I wanted it to. I had three possible places to visit, where my foreign friends would have hosted me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit any of them due to different reasons. Maybe I’ll be luckier in 2014! At least I got to meet my lovely Polish friend in Lahti in September. :)


On September 2nd I started my studies at a university of applied sciences. I’m studying international business there. I have no idea if it’s right for me, tho – maybe I will know it one day. The beginning was very difficult for me, but soon I made some friends. :) What I like about my school is the multi-cultural environment. Now I have survived the fall semester. 

We still haven’t got any snow, which is so boring! I have been waiting for snow for such a long time already. I would love to start skiing again! Besides, snow makes everything look so much more beautiful! It’s so dark outside at the moment.

As you may have read from my previous posts, Christmas is my favourite celebration. :) I have always liked it more than my birthday. The whole package; lights, food, presents, candles, movies, TV shows, cards, stamps, etc. is what makes it so awesome. <3

During the whole year I wrote letters! :) It’s something that I do year after year. I’m not planning to stop this hobby anytime soon. <3

Overall, 2013 has been a year full of ups and downs. It went by so quickly, tho. Hopefully, next year will be as good as this one was! HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!!


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Meeting relatives

This day turned out to be rather busy. In the morning I was supposed to write a letter to my dear Finnish pen pal, but for some reason I didn't have enough time to do so. I only ended up decorating the envelope. Hopefully, she likes it. Fingers crossed! hah. There are still hours left today, so maybe I'll end up writing the letter after all. ;)

At 12:00 I went to my grandma's place. There I got something to eat, as always. There's no chance to leave her place with an empty stomach. I'm serious, my stomach is always like a balloon when I get home from grandma's. x) 

There I took some pics while waiting for my relatives, living in Sweden and Finland, to come. I also got to look through my grandma's ''man's'' (I have no idea how to call him, because they aren't engaged, but have lived together for years :o) stamp collection. I had no idea he used to collect stamps, so it was interesting to see him with so many stamps. It was so cool, I hadn't seen so old stamps before! On Christmas Eve I showed my stamp collection to him, but my stamps aren't nowhere near as old as his are. 

After some time my relatives came, which was nice. I hadn't seen them for a year! They did visit Finland during the last summer as well, but I happened to be at work, when they visited my hometown... Anyway, now we got to talk and laugh together even though it was only a short visit. Hopefully, I get to meet them again soon!

I want to end this post by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014 everyone! :) Have you got any new year's resolutions?

P.S. Please, do leave a comment! :)

Friday, 27 December 2013

Last week of 2013

Yesterday I made such a long post about Xmas, so this one will be much shorter. :p

Letters arrived from:
- Dora, Hungary
- Emma, Australia

Three Christmas cards arrived as well. :)


And were sent to:
- Ilona, Latvia
- Amit, Israel
- Ida, United Kingdom (Norway)

This card arrived earlier from Poland.

Thursday, 26 December 2013


It's the second Xmas day today, so I thought this is the perfect time for writing a Christmas post. Last year I didn't have a chance to do it because I left it too late. What can I say? I learned from my mistakes! :) 

I will start with a picture of a postcard that I forgot to show you last time. :) It's very pretty, I think. 

I started waiting for Xmas a long time ago. It's my favourite celebration! At the end of October I got first Xmas lights from the storage. Then when time went on I put more and more lights to our house. When December came all the lights were decorating our home, except for the lights of Xmas tree. 

Looking for Xmas trees....

We don't really celebrate advent in my family, but we do light up advent candles. It's like a nice tradition. I also had a calendar this year. :) Usually I have had chocolate calendars, but I didn't want one this year. 
On the last Saturday dad, brother and I went to grandma's forest to get a Xmas tree. There used to be MANY suitable trees, but now they are so high! It took us a while to walk through the forest and look for two perfect ones. heh. Eventually we found good ones. :) 

 Xmas tree at my dad's: 

My dad made the decoration when he was little. :)

And at mom's: 


Usually Christmas is celebrated on 24th in Finland. As every year grandma and her man came to our place for dinner. We talked a lot, ate delicious Xmas food and opened presents. + enjoyed each others company, of course! 

Our dessert :)

On the first Xmas day my brother and I went to dad's and celebrated again. ;) First we drank some GLÖGI, played our new board game (I absolutely love board games!!), ate and took a sauna. In the evening we watched a movie called 'Ice Age 4'.. It was as nice as the previous ones were. :)



Some presents that I got. :) 
A lovely necklace from my Polish friend :)
A gift from my sweet Finnish pen pal :)
You should try out this game!
Letter sets are always welcome!
I absolutely love this necklace! <3

Two more plates to my collection!
A heart rate monitor from dad - Now I definitely need to start doing more sports! 
My Christmas celebration has been lovely this year. I hope you all have had a great Christmas as well. And if you don't celebrate it, I hope you'll enjoy the celebrations that you do have in your culture. :) 

Here I will add some more Xmas pics, mostly of postcards. 

P.S. Congratulations to those, who read this whole post! ;))