Monday, November 7, 2011


i am of the faithful sort.

people who shop by visiting random stores or even the ones they frequent without a pattern baffle me a little. don't get me wrong, i like to wander and flaneuring is oftentimes fun, but i just do not make decisions when occupied by vagrant thoughts.

i like routine where it makes sense: my mornings are simple because all my underwear is exactly the same and i do not have to start fussing over outfits when i'm just starting to wake up. having to change my facial care pattern arouses anxiousness. the thought of trying out different perfumes quite honestly scares me.

'sense' here equals, of course, 'sense to me'.

i like novelty, but for me to venture off my beaten path requires research – for example a suggestion somewhere online that there is a spot that hosts things that might interest me and looking into it. beforehand. of course.

i should not, then, feel surprised that i seem to find my wardrobe originating from the same brands since years ago. even if collections and years pass, i return to certain stores and designers regularly. i may stray occasionally and find new favorites, but the lineage my closet hides is quite easily compartmentalized.

and, yeah, it somehow manages to surprise me. this has not been an intentional process. i seem to be more focused on discrepancies than constants to realize that some things stick.

one of them is prada in shoes. i realized when my latest pair arrived that in addition to converse chuck taylors, zara and marc jacobs heels, most of my shoeboxes are adorned by one of the recognizable logos of the italian fashion house whether the main line, linea rossa or miu miu.

it's funny because have not considered myself much of a fan of prada. moreover, i do not like most of their shoes at all. i actually find the majority of them pretentious and overdone. nevertheless, it only takes the one pair, the either properly ott one or the subtle and understated specimen of the collection.

i have been looking for a flat shoe with some oopmh for a couple of years now, and although basic brogues were the sensible thing to get, they have just left me cold. hence, i was thrilled to find my newest acquisition from the linea rossa line.

the perfect combination of 90's clumsy walking shoe, dr martens, the classic brogue, the over-the-top lacquered leather and, i kid you not, girly bows. light as air.

there is so much wrong with them that they are just amazing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

any excuse to see ya.

sometimes it seems that bloggers get to live a life of parties with endless champagne being poured down their throats and gift bags cluttering their shoe-crammed hallways. in some ways it is true: invitations to press days, openings, previews and such come regularly and there are bubbles and bags to be expected at most places.

i respond to invitations rarely because i am already jampacked with events through work and my social life outside the blogging world suffers as it is. but sometimes these events are the perfect catchup moment with friends who also happen to be fellow bloggers – brief encounters that provide an opportunity for an update without the fuss of officially setting up a time in everyone's heavy schedule.

meself, mikko and luna the most adorable little smiling wiener.
me wearing silk blouse by t by alexander wang and scarf by marc by marc jacobs. spider fingers and smirk by mother nature, thank you very many.
pic by stella <3.

and no, free champers never hurt anyone.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


when el bulli closed its doors last july, i was amongst the innumerable people who regretted the fact that we never took the proper steps to secure a seat at one of the extravaganza of servings they offered for the 24 years chef adrià was in charge of the kitchen.

as i read around twenty articles about the last meal served to a special crowd of invitees, my feelings fluctuated from grief to bitter rage. why did i not just once do something i intensely wanted instead of putting it off indefinitely?


there are spots around the world where the talent can still be experienced – such as tickets in barcelona – , but it is a tepid consolation for missing out on the grand spectacle of the original.


if i were talented in the kitchen, i could always try the cookbook. for voluntary and utter mortification, there probably isn't a better source, unless i wanted to venture to the most passé of things and got myself a molecular gastronomy kit: not sure if playing a chemist for the sake of a circus was arrogant or just plain stupid. it's as if i forced my family to endure a set of opera arias after two weeks of singing lessons...


phaidon's newsletter around the same time as el bulli was closing intrigued me. they announced a new cookbook from adrià: the family meal. it was to be a collection of recipes the staff enjoyed at the restaurant.

i placed a pre-order without hesitation, but when the book finally arrived about a month ago, my expectations were surpassed intensely and manyfold.

it was as if adrià had realized that those of us who never got to enjoy the art of his kitchen could not attain consummation from attending copycats of molecular gastronomy, but needed gentle, warm comforting to ease our distress.

thus, he built a book of 31 meals worthy of the regular home kitchen, a great cookbook in the detailed instructions it provides and something that unassumingly reassures someone like me that "no, the fact that you had no idea how to cook caramel does not mean you're not worthy of enjoying the best cooking and dining experience."

the amount of pictures, the lists of essentials in both utensils and ingredients, and the basic recipes provide a solid foundation for anyone wanting to know the basics of cooking. the meal recipe ingredients divided into buy fresh / in the pantry / in the fridge and a timeline for organizing the menu come together as an experience only the best mannered company can provide: effortless and cordial.

i will enjoy one of the meals – perhaps #5: polenta and parmesan gratin, sesame sardines with carrot salad and mango with white chocolate yogurt –  watching the el bulli movie with the regret a procrastinator only is capable of.

and then i'll just move on, just that much wiser.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


the warmth is gone and i am spending a few days inside trying to cope with a series of colds that have conquered me this fall. a small office with plenty of visitors and long days have attacked my immune system and left me defenseless with the viruses.

fortunately, nothing too serious that rest and plenty of liquids could not cure.

while i cocoon myself between the blankets and fall asleep watching yet another movie on apple tv, these photos from a couple of weeks ago remind me of the perfect shades of fall.

mushrooms. again. i promise these are different ones from last time.

tomatoes in four stages of ripeness.


pumpkins taking over the field.

perfect shades of fall.
i hope you're enjoying the ripening weather.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

weekend freewheeling.

a beautiful fall day in the city. a bicycle. some shopping.

last weekend i took my new bike out for a proper spin. working in a pressing schedule and spending 14 hours at my desk tapping away more often that is humanly possible, there are perks: our office bikes arrived from pelago with their little blue bells and customized to our own personal needs.

light gliding through the foliage covered streets has never felt so invigorating.

i rolled by helsinki10, one of my favorite stores in town, and got something i had my eye on since the summer. luckily the sales people also remembered my object of fancy since i was stopped at a party a couple of weeks ago with the message:
"your sweater is still in the store and it is on sale. just so you know... come and get it."
little things that make you happy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


sharing life with animals comes so natural to many of us. our anthropomorphism fools us into thinking they share our complex emotional conundrums or that they love us with unconditional devotion. nevertheless, we often miss the more obvious similarities.

aging shows in our companios in a similar way to us but in acceleration. the signs are the same: greying fur and feathers, spots, warts, sagging skin, and so forth. cataract, hearing loss, aching joints and diminishing muscles. it's all there. terminal.

photographer isa leshko brings us a series of animals in their dusk. elderly and fragile, it is impossible to ignore them as beings with life experience. even when we're aware that they probably are not nearly as preoccupied with their demise and the collection of experiences they've gathered so far as we might be looking at them.

Rooster, Age Unknown

Marino, Bronze Turkey, Age 5

Handsome One, Thoroughbred Horse, Age 33

Violet, Potbellied Pig, Age 12 
Phyllis, Southdown Sheep, Age 13
all photos above © isa leshko

my dear little critter is showing so many signs of aging that every single time she takes more than half a minute (which is a long time, mind you) before waking up, i prepare myself for the worst.

she cannot see anything because of cataract, her hearing is almost gone and at her last vet's checkup her muscle mass had vaporized. she still has her smell and her appetite – and boy does she like to eat – and she loves going outside for walks and runs. everything's good so far, then.

but her grey snout reminds me that there is a day when a companion will be gone.

Jorma-Irmeli, Italian Greyhound, Age almost 13

Monday, October 17, 2011


a few weeks ago i got a sneak preview of forthcoming firmament when i visited the construction site of kluuvi shopping centre. a murky, stuffy and dark labyrinth of a mall was to be redone completely, and already while under renovation it looked brighter and more fresh.
cables, concrete and tile.

heads will roll.

i haz a helmet! wearing makia. (and a safety vest.)

last thursday i got to experience it fully. it was lighter and brighter definitely, but the celestial bliss waited in the depths of the basement...

tradition meets urban.

butchers who know their business.

genelec for soothing sounds.


"the right to clean food."

eat & joy farmers' market opened a large store downstairs the entirely renovated downtown shopping mall. shelves filled with local and seasonal produce, their own cheese maturing facility, a bakery, a smokery, butchers, grain mills and a potato cellar where genelec speakers play ambient music to the pleasure of the veggies and roots – talk about some rutabaga boogie...

the first night and the weekend were filled with people just browsing and lingering, tasting and, at times, complaining about the prices... as could be expected with finns who are used to eating distantly grown food cheaply and thinking that they are being ripped off because they have a hard time understanding how relatively high prices are formed in an environment where the weather is everything but suitable for human inhabitation let alone farming and where two corporations monopolize the food industry. (whoa, was that a sentence?) constraints come in forms that bind the mind sometimes.

needless to point out, this is no whole foods. we're still up north and awkwardly situated and it just does not make sense to have a selection of tropical fruit and other whatnot on offer year round. if ever, that is.

as far as trying to take the prices down, i have to side with thinking that we should learn to pay for what we choose to eat according to the real toll it is taking on our entire (eco)system although i feel uneasy with the elitism the thought might provoke. i actually believe that a healthier food chain can and should provide us with more affordable food, but it may just change our eating patterns drastically.

and if i understood correctly from my chat with the owner of the store, they are not single-mindedly promising to cut prices with more demand, but intend to grow the portion going to the producer – supporting healthily profitable agriculture and artisan food production.

swallowing that will be hard for those who believe in simplified interpretations of economics... but yeah, such is life.

the market also serves food and today i had my first lunch. a welcome addition to the neighborhood, it seemed some sort of normalcy arrived with monday.

in regard to nourishment, this fall has promise. such promise.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

true blue.

last night was all about glam and glitter: elle finland organized their third annual style awards and a bubbly crowd of fashionistas gathered to mingle.

i went for the counterintuitive look for what i felt like: bright satin is not necessarily the best option when pizza seems to have dominated your life lately... nevertheless, i ended up loving the voluptuous look that is fairly unusual in my style portfolio.

my adorable companion, vesa, looked impeccable, as always.

dress by design by katri n, tights wolford, sandals miu miu, bracelets kalevala koru, h&m, some random jeweler and stuff. vesa's mask by gtie. pic courtesy of elle, click to see more guests.

the night was fun and filled with warmth; there were so many friends that quiet moments were nonexistent. as a highlight, i even stumbled into an acquaintance from 15 years ago only to find out that he was awarded accessory designer of the year for his work at nina ricci – it's amazing how old high school buddies succeed.

little, precious world.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

sister act.

the lovers of monochrome and minimalism often tackle with the pitfalls of dressing as in costume. waiters or officers are a common reference. additionally, the clergy is also a surprisingly frequent connotation.

it was a beautiful sunday, a sumptuous brunch and my friend, a fellow virgo, celebrated his bday. although he is over a decade my junior, we happened to wear some scarily similar nunlike outfits. by accident, of course.

both wearing ann demeulemeester shirts, acsu's bottom probably givenchy, my leggings from american apparel and shoes camilla skovgaard.

viva la sisterhood!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

mi chiamo putte.

ever since i moved to helsinki, i have been looking for my pizzeria.

i love pizza and have been pretty preoccupied with the fact that i did not have a regular destination. my faves in my old hometown were trattoria romana – where i actually had my own pizza put on the menu – and sergio's with their authentic short italian service. now they've even got tintå with some pretty exclusive flavors that almost compensate for the unfortunate, slow and the most inattentive service i have ever experienced.

sure there are places in helsinki to get a flatbread with stuffing that resemble the italian leftover dish that took over the world. some are better than others. some serve the purpose of gratifying my need, but there just wasn't a place i'd call home.

that is, i did not have a spot to go to when a craving for a quality interpretation of my favorite food struck like a lightning.

no more.

the restaurant visionary behind hel yes and lapin kulta solar kitchen concepts, two excellent restaurants kuurna and ateljé finne, and a fountain of ideas for years to come, antto melasniemi, put together a casual pizza joint called putte's bar and pizza.

a short menu of a handful of pizzas, salads and cocktails can be ordered from the bar and are served in a minimalist, urban environment.

a short quiet moment shows the sleek interior.

putte di mare.


there's also a downstairs.

i killed the flower. clumsy girl.
and the most important point? yes, delicious.

Monday, October 10, 2011

neighborhood recommendation #21: grocery store.

it's hard to explain the deprivation one feels when thinking about the situation with local grocery stores in helsinki. after living in nyc and london, it feels even more desperate: a mere thought towards trader joe's and whole foods, and i feel like weeping.

there are a few – anton & anton, juuren puoti, eat&joy farmers' market and even my local little store, kaartin kotikauppa – that show the example of serving the neighborhood with quality, mostly organic fare with a heart.

i love the fact that the people whom i deal with daily recognize me, as i do them, and know what i like. although i am not one of those people who start a discussion with strangers, familiar friendliness comforts me. my heavy lids get a boost in the mornings from the sunny greeting and chatter from the guy behind the counter at sis.deli, and the classical music and attentive but informal service at kaartin kotikauppa win me over every time.

it's the sort of hybrid of anonymity and familiarity that entails what urban life at its best is all about. having your own neighborhood, your routines, people you share them with and thousands of others who walk by utterly unaware of who and what you're about.

about two weeks ago a very welcome newcomer opened a few blocks away. called aitokauppa ("real store"), it is a local attempt to provide everyone with fresh locavore food and serve the neighborhood with the sort of genuine interest that is rare but, oh, so treasured.

because we are not located in a transport hub such as new york nor in an area where year-round crops are possible, eating sustainably changes drastically how we plan and shop for food. aitokauppa's shelves are filled with dry goods and seasonal fresh products – gone are the days of just browsing a cookbook for inspiration and selecting whatever suits one's mood.

i, for one, welcome the new way of planning my daily menu. inspiration that builds from living in the moment is truly food for thought.

monday doc.

a great little piece of film about flow festival history and present by nokia. for english subtitles, click to youtube and press cc.

there's a short duck hat presence at around 4.30 mins from the beginning...

Friday, October 7, 2011


there's something that intuitively pleases me about holy ghost! and their simple disco vibe. it isn't challenging in any way and their style has remained pretty much the same since 2009.

and there's nothing wrong with that, i might add.

here's their latest single with a video that chronicles every band member's past in a photo montage. the song starts with a loop that takes me back somewhere i cannot identify... anyone have clue what i am referring to?

have a great weekend y'all!

northern mad max.

new finnish fashion talent seems sprouting allover, and there's one that especially pleases me these days.

r/h is the label of two of my friends, hanna and emilia, and it is their impeccable eye for detail that transforms sometimes the most basic shapes into interesting, fun and wearable items.

i fell in love with their joan d'arc/femme militante/mad max top with reindeer leather shoulder pads – naturally on the outside of the top.

at a boat party for nhl magazine a couple of weeks ago. good posture is everything...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


my monochromatic style evolves in steps that makes the changes in the biological world look like a high-speed car chase.

in other words, i wear black, grey and white with the occasional crazeee input of olive green, brown or (yikes) red.

no color blocks, no colorful patters (unless you count camouflage and leopard which i wear perennially whether or not they're trendy), none of that crazy irrational color combining i used to master...

my office gear consists of an easily boring set of a collared shirt and jeans, but to keep it even slightly interesting, i try to select the best tops.

one of them hangs here.
blouse by maison martin margiela 1.

margiela hardly lets you down (although the image above might).

i love clothing that does not reveal itself on a hanger. a little mystery is always good for the soul – even the soul of a blouse.

the shirt is created from two front pieces that button down, a single side piece that hangs behind like a little cape and a back piece that folds over the cape-like side piece. sound complicated? yeah, it is.

here's what it looks like.

pants by cos. moose jorma's.

all soft and delicate folds in almost transparent and airy cotton that is cut meticulously to a structured finish.

paradoxical genius.

Monday, October 3, 2011

studs of circumstance.

stretching the limits of what it means to be a photographer, the project of cosmin bumbuț brings forward intimate moments of life into which a male photographer could not otherwise have access.

he gave cameras to the inmates at tîrgșor women's penitentiary in romania and received a collection of content from life within forced borders. he then created a video (i cannot embed, but urge you to go and watch it) with the following description:
girlboys are women who, during prison detention, assume a male identity. they have “wives” who tidy up, do the laundry and wash the dishes. girlboys protect them, fulfill their emotional need and offer them sexual pleasure. they have men nicknames, cut their hair short and wear masculine clothes, clench their fists and demand respect. some of them have children at home and they do this only while they are imprisoned. other, continue their relationships after they are released. most of them are old offenders. almost all have suffered sexual abuse.
the selected set of photographs shot by the women themselves portray a world where elaborate gender systems flourish, but is in no way a stereotypical portrayal of prison life turning women into lesbian predators and victims. the longing for everyday aesthetics – frilly sheets, flowers –, privacy and close relationships is so evident, alive and yet constantly at peril.

from degetoaice 2011 © cosmin bumbuț

Friday, September 30, 2011


there are little girls who love barbies and ponies, but who are anything but barbie-like and fear real live horses.

there are adolescent girls who, instead of dressing up in frilly costumes and riding to the sunset their hair flowing wild, hide in the attic reading edgar allan poe and crime scene depictions.

there are ripening girls who build their soundscapes around faerie dreams and wild yelps.

there are grown girls who find the boxes surrounding them tangible and mutilating, but fight back with redefinitions and the full strength of their mind.

wednesday night i relived 20 years of what a life as a girl like that can be.

pic courtesy of tori.

a musical timeline facebook cannot even dream to provide...

fall barlotto.

the best purchase of this fall has without a doubt been our vegetable dryer.
yellowfeet + trumpets of death. gotta love the names of these delicious little fungi.

with limited freezer space, a flourishing garden and a shared love of mushroom picking, our stocks are overflowing. drying shrooms and veggies feels almost like cheating: vast piles shrink into diminutive heaps that promise a year long pleasure.
all dried out: mushrooms and leek.

since we had not dried anything previously, i had to make sure everything turned out all right. hence, i took a bag of organic barley – local, nutricious and much smaller in both carbon and water footprint than rice – and simmered it with dried leek and mushrooms until a creamy "barlotto" decorated my plate.
barley, veggie stock, leek, mushrooms, butter, salt and pepper. that's it.

simple and delicious.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


about a fortnight ago i entered the company of people who can round their age up to the four-oh. yes, i turned 35.

needless to say, i do not feel any different nor am i in any way obsessed with age (or lying about it, as you can well see).

i guess i should believe that i have reached a point which somehow sums up my life's direction: i am definitely on the adult side of things and past certain points of no return. i guess the stress is on the "should" since i might feel all grown up, but am too much of a ditz and way too preoccupied with my happiness to consider any path unalterable.

i still have the insecurities and strengths that come together as the personality i am, and i remain quite convinced that growing older will hardly eradicate any part of my persona even if i mellow out.

dress by rodebjer, earrings by chao & eero.

nonetheless, bdays are always a good excuse to get some happiness action going and that is something i was excited about.

therefore, i threw a brunch party at shanghai cowboy on a bright saturday. beautiful food, a bit of bubbles and the company of friends is all a bday girl really needs.

glass noodle, tofu and chillies.

goat cheese, raspberries and rocket.


when the restaurant opened for other clients, we fetched the doggie from home and walked over to glo hotel.

i had booked a corner suite to enjoy the weekend uninterrupted by mundane matters, and continued partying with a small group of my closest ones. i fell asleep on the sofa with jorma on my lap still surrounded by happy chatter.

Lisää kuvateksti

in the morning the sun was bright and i woke up in soft sheets to the smell of room service brekkie.


p.s. in case you're not following oo on facebook, go clickety click. since i am, despite my firm intentions, slightly too busy to update as often as i'd like, i post links and all sorts of stuff there in between actual blog posts.