✖ life lately: handing in my notice, finding a new job & trip to Norway

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Well, well, well, it's been a while.

I feel like I want to update some of the big life changes I am going through at the moment. This time I've been away from writing anything on the blog has been going so fast. I didn't even realise that it was so long ago since I typed a post, so a little life update would be pretty damn great.

landing on a few job interviews
My hard work for finding a new job resulted in me in landing for a few job interviews which were pretty fabulous. After the first one, which was a group interview I felt like I lost my hope in some way. It went well, or so I felt but I don't think I was being social enough. The funny thing about group interviews is that they are flipping difficult even if you're the teeniest bit of an introvert.

the project madness at school
We are currently doing another project at school, for an actual customer. Like a real-deal customer so I've been focusing most of my energy in that. I'm already going to be away for a bit too much from school, so that's where I basically need to focus my energy into. It's also international, as we're doing the project with the exchange students from different countries which I find really nice. It's amazing to see the differences between Finnish and other cultures when it comes down to working in the same project together.

full stack web development course online
Course and online were probably the only words that rang any bells for you, but I'm doing a little extra coding-wise for the school and signed up for an extra coding course. It's been fun and it'll continue over the summer which is also nice. Coding is a funny thing as if you take a break, you'll most likely forget the touch you have for it and we don't have any coding courses at school at the moment.

taking care of our home
I've been on a full Spring cleaning mode lately. We've been selling a bunch of stuff, donated a lot more and I don't know, I'm still left feeling that there is too much stuff in our apartment.

spring flu
The Spring flu took me down for a little while during the past weekend. I had a temperature, my nose is stuffed and I've been coughing my lungs off so life has been pretty fun in the recent past.

finding a new job
I am proud to announce to you that I've landed on a new job. Was about the time already.

handing in my notice
Well duh, it's been a whirlwind of emotions this past almost five years but it was about the time already. If you ask me, I should've done it sooner, feels like a huge weight lifting from my shoulders.

I'm off to see my friend in Oslo after Easter and taking well-deserved time for myself before I'm starting in a new job.

✖ snaps from Whitney Museum of American Art

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Photoframe where Superman is trying to extinquish wildfire by blowing into it in Whitney Museum of American Art
4 photoframes in Whitney Museum of American Art vintage Apple logo, Paramount logo, a car
Whitney Museum Of American Art New York Woman in different colours

✖ basic coding courses for bloggers for free

Thursday, 4 April 2019

OKAY GUYS, it's time to have a reality check. I've been a bit quiet about the whole Pipdig situation and to be honest, I've never used their blog templates, even though I've been a bit tempted to try them out and perhaps when they get their shit together I will eventually try them. And that's my opinion as a blogger.

My opinion as a developer though. Oh boy, what a mess of a code. Or well, the code was pretty itself, or as pretty as a sketchy code can look like.

And that's all I am ever going to say about the whole damn thing.

Today I am here for you. As a blogger to another, to share some free courses of basic coding that are useful for bloggers. Whether you're using Wordpress or Blogger, these skills come handy in future and you know, for everyone to understand better what all the fuss around the code was all about. I do not profit anything from sharing these, I just personally believe that as people who provide content for the Internet, should know the basics on how websites are built.

Codecamy for HTML and CSS
Codecamy is my favourite place to go to when I'm bored. And I'm not even joking, what a geek am I.
In Codecamy you can learn the basics for HTML and CSS. And what are those like in human language? HTML is shortened from HyperText Markup Language, which itself doesn't ring a bell to any human being but it's the code that every website is body and content is build for. A great memory trick is, that HTML is for the insides and CSS is for the looks.
CSS, shortened from Cascading Style Sheets, is the code you want to use to style your website to look like you want.

Basic example from HTML-code:
    <p>Hello World!</p>

This will create a basic website, where states "Hello World!".
HTML tag, in the beginning, tells the website that it's HTML-code that you're using. Body-tag is which wraps all the content that is in the body of your website. They will teach this all on their free course for basics of HTML.

HTML & CSS go pretty much by hand in hand, so all the CSS courses can be found under the same link.

Udemy for PHP
Wordpress rolls on pretty much with PHP, which is stands for Hypertext PreProcessor. It goes hand by hand with databases like MySQLi. This Udemy course for it is free, at least at the moment. I don't know how Udemy's online courses roll, as all my knowledge about this programming language has been learnt in school.

✖ welcoming April: things I want to pay more attention to this month

Monday, 1 April 2019

Since I'm a massive fan on setting goals and planning things I have no intention to keep, this month is not an exception for that. Hey, at least I'm trying eh?

If you read my post yesterday, about how things didn't go as planned last month, I'm sure you know how awful March was for me. There were a bunch of great things as well, the ones I'm going to cherish and then there were some moments I'd gladly like to put behind me. I also did some very important and huge life decisions, which I will share with you guys a bit later on. However, this month I want to pay attention to things. I want to be present.

my own well-being
I'm going to go through some serious life changes this month, which means that I really need to stay on top of my shit and keep it together at all costs. It also means that some extra self-care days are going to be more than needed this month.

staying in the budget
I'm not going to lie here, I'm going to be broke as fuck which means that I need to pay some serious attention to the way I'm spending my money. I've been budgeting everything out during the past weekend and it's going to be hard. So very hard.

my yoga mat
I recently bought myself a new yoga mat, which has been amazing. Expect a blog post on that later on, however, I have been a bad friend to it lately. This month, I'm going to bond a relationship with it. Especially now that I'll be having plenty of time to do so.

I'm not going to set anything specific, as the times ahead will be a bit unsure. I just need a few simple things to hold on to while the things are getting tougher.

How does your April look like?

✖ the round up: making small changes this month

Sunday, 31 March 2019

The small changes I planned to make this month:
✖ finish up a 30-day yoga challenge
✖ take care of my skin
✖ less coffee, more water
✖ take better care of my plants
✖ de-clutter the apartment
✖ plan my week on Sundays
✖ start taking vitamins
✖ practise handstands
✖ go to bed 9PM
✖ look for a new job

If you want to read about these changes I planned to make more thoroughly, I wrote a post at the beginning of this month about these changes and how I am going to keep them as flowing as possible. Despite my best effort, this month did not really go as planned. And today, I am going to share with you the reasons for it.

The changes, even the smallest ones take time. However, keeping up with a proper yoga schedule shouldn't be that hard if you just set your mind to it, huh? And I wasn't even ill this month.

the jet lag struggle
When we got home from Miami around 10 years ago, I slept the whole way back home. I slept during the flight from Miami to London, our 4-hour layover time in London, the whole flight from London to Helsinki and the 3-hour drive from Helsinki airport back home. Jet lag? No such thing!

This time, on the other hand... We had a direct flight from JFK to Helsinki airport. I happen to live "nearby" at the airport this time. I wasn't able to catch any sleep during the flight so I ended up watching movies instead. Went through every movie from Ralph Breaks the Internet to Star is Born, continuing to Bohemian Rhapsody. They're all flipping good by the way.
And when we landed at 9AM, by 10AM we were home and I did the worst anyone can do; fell asleep on the sofa. And that's how the cycle was created.

The next four days were spent me sleeping through the days and being awake through the nights. And I managed to get all the symptoms from not being able to sleep to spending my nights hugging the toilet because of nausea it caused me. It was super fun, would definitely recommend this experience for every single living being on this planet.

embracing my walking dead mode
Obviously, I was very tired throughout the month. Not that I already was, the jet lag struggle was adding its own bet for the game. Which actually led to the moment I forgot I had work one day. Not my brightest moments but sleep is vital on one's survival from the day to day life. So no, my plan on going to bed at 9PM didn't quite work out this month.

no sleep equals more anxiety
March was filled with so many new exciting things and experiences. The happiest I felt when was able to sleep, and not think about anything about my life in Finland when I strolled down the Brooklyn streets. I also realised that some bigger changes have to be made in order to feel that happiness again. I was content, I didn't stress, life felt pretty nice out there.

And while I wasn't sleeping, I was more anxious than I've ever been. Had panic attacks, tried to avoid situations that I thought caused them and ended up neglecting everything from drinking water, taking care of my skin and watering the plants. I also wasn't too fond to do yoga, clean up the apartment or basically do anything else than roll from one side of the bed to another. Vitamins? Haha.

the conclusion
My month was pretty fucked up.
Better luck in April.

✖ love locks & the Brooklyn Bridge | New York

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Before I tell you why I am obsessed about this bridge, let's hit the cold brutal facts about it on the table, provided us by Wikipedia. Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City. It connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, and previously it was called Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge, and it crosses the East River.

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States and it was the world's first steel-wire suspension bridge. Since opening back in 1883, it has become an icon of New York City, ranking among the city's most popular tourist attractions.

One of my childhood dreams, and yes this counts to my early years spent in my hometowns local library going through different maps and travel books, the Brooklyn Bridge came something that I was deeply obsessed about. If some of you don't know, I tend to go to the local library just to hang out and read books. I mean, I had friends but the library was my favourite place on Earth back then. I kind of miss that.

And the actual dream, which I casually left out of the previous sentence, was to walk across to Brooklyn from Manhattan via this bridge. Which I eventually did. Even my husband noticed it was a bucket list thing, considering how excited I was about it. Or how much I talked about it. You know, just like vegans have to say they're vegan (I'm vegan too, don't sue me), One Direction fans are going on and on about Harry's hair - that's my relationship to the Brooklyn Bridge.

While we were crossing the bridge, I overheard a conversation between two younger girls/women, who were wondering why you'd get a $100 fine if you attached a love lock into the bridge.

Don't get me wrong, I love when people show their love and love locks are a beautiful way to do so. If you want to destroy one of the most beautiful architectural pieces in the world. The thing is, if every single one of the tourists attached a lock to that bridge, it wouldn't be able to carry all the weight and then there wasn't a beautiful bridge anymore.

I mean, if you want to show your love in public, instead of a lock, what if you planted a tree somewhere? Like a love tree. You could watch it grow, go and chop it in your Midsummer bonfire if the relationship ends, and most of all, it would help the environment.

✖ stunning street art in East Village, Manhattan | New York

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

East Village on Manhattan, alongside the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, was the place I really wanted to visit in New York because of the stunning street art there is.

And oh boy, I am a big fan of street art and especially when it's done well. And New York is one of the places where you can experience some beautiful wall murals there are.

How about you, where's the most beautiful street art you've seen?

✖ is busy-living contagious?

Sunday, 24 March 2019

New York City, the city that never sleeps.

"Are everyone busier when the sun gets down? Feels like everyone is walking way faster to places!"
- "I guess they are, it certainly feels like that."

That's was our conversation on a Saturday evening last week when we headed to the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway to see Chicago, which was flipping amazing by the way.

In New York City, I noted two things. Out on the streets, people were speedwalking from a place to another and in the subway, everyone was sleeping like they've never slept in their lives before. I soon became to a realisation, that after they've been running around the city like maniacs, the only place where they were able to wind off, calm down and relax was the subway and that's when the sleepiness came in the picture.

In multiple occasions, I noted that we were getting sucked into the busy way of walking everyone else was walking around. It really messed up with my whole slow-living thing, as I intentionally try not to rush from a place to another to reduce stress. Of course, if I'm in a hurry you'll find me speedwalking in Helsinki, but it really hit me hard in New York. We weren't in a hurry to anywhere and yet we were walking from a place to another like we were late from a meeting.

I mean, how can one be late from a meeting with the Empire State Building? Just asking.

So is busy-living contagious? I would most definitely say so. Even though our trip to New York was absolutely amazing, I kind of hope we would have walked slower. We weren't in a hurry to anywhere. And that's why I loved our little Brooklyn strolls, they were calmer compared to Manhattan.

✖ why being yourself is the best way to grow your social media channels?

Friday, 22 March 2019

We are living in a world, where most of our lives are determined by something that is happening over at Social Media. We're living a life, where we want to post everything remotely interesting happening in our lives live on Instagram and Facebook just so others could see how interesting our lives are. It's like one big highlight reel, everyone is getting caught up into and it's making us feel all kinds of different emotions from being happy for someone into pure jealousy.

However, today I'm not here to chat about how the Social Media makes us feel, I'm here to chat about the need to grow our social media accounts. Followers are the thing, just like likes, followers seem to determine something in our lives. More followers, more value we seem to have. Although, we can't be sure if Instagram is up in 2020 and what if it isn't, has all the work gone to waste?

We are constantly finding more ways to grow on different platforms. Ways on how to become an influencer of some sort, constantly counting numbers, followers, likes and what time it is the perfect time to post, what kind of content we should post and how we should brand ourselves. Is there a niche of some sort, what if I'm used to posting pictures of home decoration on my Instagram, can I place a picture of my face on my grid? Our lives are revolving in the middle of thoughts like this. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others and trying to find solutions on feeling better of ourselves in a platform that doesn't want us to be what we are; our own selves.

Today, I am here to share a pro tip with you guys.
Being yourself is the best way to grow your social media channels.

And I'm not even lying. There isn't another person like you and that's what makes you special. Looks like we're living in an era, where everyone tries to be the next Zoella, or achieve the same social media status as Kardashians kids. We are constantly copying viral tweets from others, in a hope that they'd go viral too and give us followers. We are benchmarking other Instagram users with big followings and trying to figure out what it is that they do, in order to grow our own accounts. But is that all really necessary?

The idea of being yourself to grow your social media channels might sound a bit naive, but let me cut this up for you in small chunks so it's easier to chew. Do we need one more video in speed about how one styles different pieces of clothing? If you've seen three tweets about the same topic that are literally the same, a word to word, during the same week from three different users, do we really need to post those same things? Why do we want to be something else than we are, so much that we think that would be our key to our own success?

This might come across as a cliché quote from Pinterest, but the greatest superpower you have is that you are you and not someone else.

The twist here is, that it's easier said than done. It's easy for me trying to convince other people on being themselves on social media, even though I know that it's a very difficult thing to do. We are constantly told what we should be, where we should go, how we should talk and act on social media. We are constantly influenced by different lifestyles and it's easy to imagine it's something we should try to achieve.

What you should do, instead, is to let go of that feeling that you aren't good enough as you are. You shouldn't belittle yourself and your achievements, nor you should feel bad if there's something you want to share online. Every little thing matters if you decide so. And to be honest, your life probably doesn't differ from the life of a social media influencer as much as you think it might.

Being yourself is your greatest asset. There are billions of different people in the world, different things to offer. And while everyone is trying to be the same, there isn't anyone like you. Every single one of us has different things to offer.

I asked my friend once, why he went out with me for a beer. He told me, that because it's an experience he wouldn't be able to get anywhere else. And trust me, when you find that, everything begins to fall in their own place.

✖ Little Roy Coffee Co. | Brooklyn, New York

Thursday, 21 March 2019

One of my main goals was to write a blog post, sat in a coffee in Brooklyn, New York during our trip so here we go. This one is coming to you straight from Little Roy Coffee Co., Brooklyn, New York. Or well, a few days later, as when this gets published, I'll be at home in Finland already.

✖ Saturday 16th of March, 2019
What were the odds that I'd find the cosiest little coffee shop within 700 meters from our rented apartment? I guess pretty good ones, as seems like every corner in Brooklyn is filled with some of the most Instagram-worthy coffee shops in the world.

Walking down the streets in Brooklyn has been so far one of the most amazing things I've experienced so far. And we've been here for a day, managed to visit in Manhattan and do so many things one can imagine. Yet I'm still drawn to Brooklyn. I guess Brooklyn is the perfect place for an introvert like me, it's conveniently attached to Manhattan but it's not too busy. I guess I could write a post about the busy lifestyle the New Yorkers seem to have and how contagious it is.

In this little coffee shop, plays calm music. I can see a couple in a table in front of me, they're both reading the days newspaper. Having a cup of coffee in front of them looks like this is a ritual for them. Once or twice they say something for each other, but I'm not a fan of eavesdropping.

The lady behind the counter is smiling, taking in orders while other locals are entering the coffee shop. She brings my oat milk latte and a grilled cheese sandwich for my husband. Which in his words was divine. And then, for a little while, I felt like I had found a place where I belong.

I knew, that in that very moment, in that very situation with my croissant, that was where I was meant to be. And hopefully, Brooklyn is something we get to live in the future. As it was truly wonderful.

✖ in New York, New York | a playlist to listen to this week

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

HEY, GUYS, I AM BAA-ACK! Did you miss me? Ok, perhaps none of you noticed I was even gone. Except for my cousin whom I've heard checks my blog out multiple times per week, haha. Hello there.

Before I get into my posts about the good old Big Apple, I wanted to share my New York City playlist on Spotify with you guys as a song recommendations this week just so when you read my posts, you can get into a mood and hear what I listened during our trip to there.

Holy crap, NYC was simply amazing and to be completely honest with you, I wish I was still there. But uni and other duties are calling (+we are working on a super exciting social media project for a fab company, which I'm really excited about) so until now, I had to come back to Helsinki.

I can't wait to go back one day, perhaps this time it won't be taking so long. I also really want to take D out there one day, and when we go, we'll spend there for more than a week.

By the way, jetlag is a real deal. Holy crap, don't know how I'm going to survive our exam about the history of the Internet today!

✖ for the good things ahead | 5 songs to listen to this week

Monday, 11 March 2019

This week has begun very exhaustedly with me, but I'm good knowing that I'll be hopping into an aeroplane in a few days. Even though I'm dead scared of flying, so that's going to be one hell of interesting 8 hours there and back. Funny thing though, I was trying to change some euros to dollars earlier today and I forgot my euros home. Have to make another trip to Forex tomorrow between uni and work! Oh well, you can't always win, can you?

In our series of weekly song suggestions, I'm going to share some feel-good songs. I mean, as per usual the lyrics might not be as uplifting as the songs are about to sound, but you know - feel-good songs in my very own scale of what is feeling good. That was put weirdly, I've been spending too much time reading for an exam instead of procrastinating my life away, as I usually am.

Here's a book I won't recommend: The history of information technology by Armand Mattelart. No, it's a good one, but it's so flipping heavy to read.

// As per usual, the headlines of the songs are links to Spotify so you can listen to them directly by clicking them! //
Tell me what you need, I can make you more than what you are. Come and lay the roses on the floor, every single Sunday, don't get bored. I just want to freeze, I can give you more than what you are. Now I see you standing all alone, I never thought the world would turn to stone.
✖ "11 Minutes" by Yungblud ft. Halsey
This is something I discovered around 8 days ago and I'm absolutely loving it. Even though the story in the lyrics is rather sad in its own way, the melody and rhythm of the song gives me an uplifting feeling. You know those songs, the ones that are depressing in an uplifting way? And that sentence, my dear friends, describes perfectly how fucked up my mind is.
But its not the way you can't afford your time, or the envy of the friends you've left behind. So whenever you go they can have everything you lose. Is this it? This is it.
✖ "The Dream's in the Ditch" by Deer Tick
Deer Tick is my ultimate go-to band when I want to listen to some chilled music. I mean, my usual playlist is kind of heavy with quickly beaten punk songs, so this is basically kids music to my ears Also, it gives me this instant feel-good feeling and it kind of feels like it's going to be Summer soon, so it's perfect for the Spring.
He said, "I've been to the year 3000, not much has changed but they lived underwater. And your great, great, great granddaughter is pretty fine, is pretty fine."
✖ "Year 3000" by Jonas Brothers
I recently wrote a blog post about how the teenaged me would be heartbroken if she heard the new song Jonas Brothers did a comeback with, so I relieved her pain by over listening to this song through the whole last week.
Will you come a little closer? I've got something to show ya. Look at my friend in California, she really likes the freckles on my face.
 "California Friends" by The Regrettes
For some reason, I've been listening to this song in the morning when I'm getting ready for the uni and I've found myself "childishly" in front of a mirror pretending I am a rockstar. Hey hubby, if you're reading this, this is what I'm doing when you are not home.
She was gonna be an actress, she was gonna be star. She was gonna shake her ass on the hood of White Snake's car. Her yellow SUV, is now the enemy. Looks at her average life, and nothing has been alright.
✖ "1985" by Bowling For Soup
This song has the best lyrics I know. Okay, there are better but this describes perfectly how not everyone adjusts in the change as well as one could think and how things were simpler when music was still on MTV.

✖ 5 feel-good series in Netflix you should watch

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Sunday, how did you get here so soon?

How has everyone's weekend been so far? Today, I'm planning on being as useless as "g" in "lasagna" and binge-watch some Netflix! What are your go-to feel-good series on Netflix?

✖ ModernFamily
Modern Family is a classic by now! And its season 9 just landed on Netflix Nordic (was about the time already, tbh!) and I was there for it. And I'm not even ashamed to admit that I already watched it. And oh boy it was perfect wind off.

✖ Working Moms
Working Moms is a rather new Netflix add, and I was hooked since the very first episode. It's about these different mum's who are, as the title says, working. It's hilarious, it's relatable, the episodes aren't too long. It made me laugh, cry and laugh to tears.

✖ The Mick
Ever wondered how rich kids survive with their "not so successful" aunt when their parents go to jail? Then this is for you!

✖ Don't trust the bitch in apartment 23
There's James van der Beek, do I have to say more? It's about this small town girl who moves to New York, ends up as roommates with a girl whose best friend James is. They have this creepy, but a very nice neighbour in the building next to theirs and a crazy lady in downstairs.

✖ Sex Education
This is one of the weirdest setups I've seen on Netflix in a while. The characters seem to be British, but be in the American school system, which cracks me up a bit. But this is such a hilarious one and yet super educational, in its own way.

✖ teenaged me would be heartbroken

Saturday, 9 March 2019

The news of the long-awaited return of beloved Disney fanatics daydream pop/rock band, Jonas Brothers spread like wildfire on the 1st of March this year. Like others, I was flipping over excitement. Or at least the twelve-year-old me still living inside of me was.

Jonas Brothers, Nick Jonas especially (who caused my inner 12-year-old's emotional death when he got engaged, but the adult I was very happy for him, of course...), was one of my favourite bands back in the days when Disney Channel was still producing great content. This doesn't mean they aren't creating great content nowadays, but I'm referring to the good old Hannah Montana, That's So Raven & The Suite Life of Zack and Cody days.

So obviously I was excited about their new song, "Sucker", which was released at the very same day the news about their return embarked. And, I went and listened to their old albums. And, I got even more excited about their up and coming song.

what I loved about the song?
✖ it was catchy
✖ it had some small similarities with the old Jonas Brothers songs
✖ its music video

what I didn't necessarily like about the song?
✖ it's like every other song on the radio, but I guess it's going to sell
✖ they're drifting away from pop/rock and turning into pop

And I really do love rock songs.

I personally believe that they have made the decision together as brothers, and together with their label and start bringing their music from 2000's pop/rock to more into 2019's pop genre, but I'm necessarily not enjoying it. However, that's what is selling now and they are still having more meaningful lyrics than the songs that are hanging at the top charts currently. Oh, and actual instruments.

Teenaged me would be heartbroken if she heard their new song, but then again past is in the past and now is now. Things change.

✖ what I am planning to take with me to the Big Apple?

Thursday, 7 March 2019

To be honest, all I would take with me to New Yor City is my passport, some money and my ukulele. But since we are living in a world where I at least need a few pairs of underwear with me, this blog post is kind of pointless. However, I'm not going to bore you with the contents of my suitcase, as that's irrelevant.

The most important things that I'm taking with me, are in my head.

 an open mind
I tend to think of myself as an open-minded person, and that's not the open mind I mean here. The open mind that I mean, is that I'm going to open my mind and soul to all new experiences. The ones I'm going to cherish for the rest of my life and the ones, that might not be as good as I have imagined. The mind that turns everything into something to reminisce for.

 grateful heart
I'm going to spend my every minute out there, with a grateful heart. I'll be grateful for every opportunity, moment, happening, event, coffee shop and a food truck that comes to my way. I'm going to be grateful for every single experience I'm going to be experiencing out there.

 ears that will listen
I want to hear stories. Stories from real life people, living in New York City. For me, it's like this place from a storybook, I need to hear what it's like in someone's perspective who is actually living out there. I want to hear every sound of music from a street artist, I want to hear the traffic jam noises, the sound of the subway, the sound of people.

 the perspective
I'm going to wander around with my camera, shoot every little detail, use my perspective to capture NYC in the best way I possibly am able to. I'm going to take the perspective, to put things in perspective, see the tallest buildings scrape the sky and look at every single wall mural that crosses my way.

 the nose that smells
I want to smell the city. It might not smell good, but I want to smell the Spring in New York City. I want to smell the bagels, the coffee shops. The flower shops.

Those are the things I'll be taking with me to the Big Apple.
And I can't freaking wait.

All these pictures are at my saved folder on Instagram.

✖ my top tips for de-cluttering your social media this spring

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

I'm not much of a cleaning person, I mean I clean stuff up if I have to. But every three months I tend to do a full social media de-clutter which covers everything from Facebook to Twitter. Instagram and WhatsApp in the middle. In fact, those four social media platforms are the only ones I'm using at the moment if you don't count in LinkedIn for online CV purposes and connecting to people out there.

 why you should de-clutter your social media applications frequently?
For the sake of change. For the sake of limiting the amount of information, your brain has to handle. For the sake of your own well-being. The thing is, we get hit with a bunch of too much information each day for our brain to handle. And now that I said it out loud, you want to know how to save your brain from overheating? Ok, it depends on the brain which is too much and there's no such thing as a certain number of things our brain can handle. But my point is, it's easier to scroll through things without the fear of missing out on something if the amount of information keeps decent.

 it's okay to unfollow people you've been following
Let's cut the crap. I'm not saying following and unfollowing for your account growing purposes is acceptable, but I'm saying that if you've been following for someone for a while now and you're not feeling like you're getting anything out of following them, it's absolutely okay to unfollow them. I tend to go manually through everyone I follow every three months (it was awful at the very first time, took me ages but I'm glad I did) but I'm sure you are able to find some apps out there that will do it for you. However, I wouldn't use those "follow tracker"/cleaning apps for instagram, as in most of them you are giving the app the permission to follow and unfollow people for you. Just a little heads up about those. Let me know if you want me to dig into this deeper in a separate blog post!
But my main point is, you don't have to feel guilty for unfollowing someone. It's your social media, you decide what you include in your daily digests.

 it does fresh up your home feed
When you de-clutter the people you're following, it feels like you have a completely new feed on your hands. It's exciting, there are things from people you didn't even know you were following and it's brand new fresh content at your fingertips.

 why every three months?
If you'd do this weekly, the change would be constant. If you did this twice a year, the number of people you follow would grow so big it took you ages to go through every one.

How do you de-clutter your social media? Do you even de-clutter?

✖ embracing the increased daylight

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

It's so odd when you realise you're up at seven in the morning, and you can actually see what's happening outside already. The dark times are slowly passing by us, and the sun is getting out behind the clouds more often. I can honestly say, that it's such a refreshing feeling.

I really do love Winter and the fact that it's dark during most of the day, like a dark soul I am. But this year everything was different. I found that I wasn't enjoying the things I used to enjoy as much as I once did. I don't know if it's some sort of self-development, or if it's simply the fact that my mental wellbeing hasn't been very good this Winter. Well, let's give it another go next Winter because I can smell the Spring and I am embracing the sunlight!

A few days ago, I did some self-photography which doesn't necessarily fall into the category "photography", but I want to track my own development in front of the camera. I'm used to being behind it, so while I'm acting as my own photographer now that my dedicated buddy is living in Norway for next few months, I want to get more comfortable on being photographed once in a while.

Also, I'm looking for photography buddies for the next few months, so hit me up, please.

My mantra for the week is to embrace the daylight. And go out more often, just not for work or uni but to shoot some pictures of Spring in Helsinki. What's your mantra for the week?

✖ like you were in a movie | 7 songs to listen to this week

Monday, 4 March 2019

Before getting into my weekly song recommendations, I want to thank every single one of you who have been asking where have I been lately, why I've missed one or two of these recommendation Mondays and why it's been so quiet around in my every social media platform I'm using.

The thing is, I'm still very ill and I'm having a hard time finding the energy for the things that I'd love to do. But here I am now, ready to kick off a new week with my fresh cup of coffee & let's get into the song recommendations!

Do you ever hear a song and feel like it could be from a movie? Or a song that gives you the feeling, that you are in a movie in that very moment? I've got seven of those for you. It's a funny feeling, isn't it? And yet very uplifting, in its own kind of way.

It's alright, it's okay. It's alright, it's okay. You're not a demon, there's a reason you're behaving that way. It's alright, it's okay. It's alright, it's okay. And I believe, yes I believe that you will see a better day.
✖ "It's Alright" by Mother Mother
This song gives some hope, in a very lovely way. It's also one of my favourite songs currently and it does make me feel like I'm in a movie of some kind when I'm on my way home from work and sat on a train. This is also such a travel song, don't you think!
Laugh about how every good song that we sing along, they all use the same words. So we'll make up one, with beautiful woman, and heartbreak, and sex and that love, love, love.
✖ "We Should Be Friends" by Josh Ramsay
This one is the ultimate bus ride song. You know those scenes in a movie, or in a series where the main character is sitting on a bus, headphones on their head, looking outside the window and listening to some sort of indie pop shit. This is exactly what it is and why I love it so flipping much. Also, even better if the day is sunny!
I used to think that Romeo was full of shit and the Notebook was just my favourite chick flick. But now I get why Sarah was so hard to forget, it's this feeling that I'm feeling more than it.
 "Pumpkin" by the Regrettes
I discovered the Regrettes when they were warming up 21pilots in Helsinki back in February. The thing is, when I'm at gigs I tend to follow bands I'm not familiar with on Spotify and I didn't remember this up until the last week and it's the best thing that I discovered, as their new track "Pumpkin" was a perfect fit for this "feeling like you were in a movie" list I had on my mind.
You know that it would be untrue, you know that I would be a liar. If I was to say to you, girl, we couldn't get much higher.
✖ "Light My Fire" by The Doors
What would be a song recommendation list without any good old 70's music in it? Looks like I'm following a pattern here. But well, oldies are goodies, eh? I can see this in a scene filmed in a cafe, a book shop and then when the character is walking down the street. Or perhaps, it's because last time I listened to this, I picked up my Starbucks cuppa, visited in a book shop and then wandered around the Helsinki streets.
So let me go now, 'cause time has made me strong. I'm starting to move on, I'm gonna say this now, your chance has come and gone. And you know, it's just too little too late.
✖ "Too Little, Too Late" by JoJo
It's all over the place, I know haha! But I was recently listening to a playlist I created for my friend, or I actually burned a CD for her 15th birthday back in 2009 and this song gave me major "if I was in a movie vibes". It was like a trip down to a memory lane, and I saw some memories flashing in front of my eyes. If you want to have a sneak peek to my 2009, check out the list on Spotify over here.
By now we thought that there would be Jetpacks and flying cars, robots to do the cleaning for us and help with the shopping. We'd all be famous for a bit, that's what Andy Warhol said. Thought we'd all get our coloured hand. Well, the truth would rock him.
✖ "15 Minutes" by Tim Minchin
This is actually quite funny, even though it has a very accurate message in it when you pay your attention to the lyrics. Though I can see this as a perfect hungover scene song, and even the lyrics say everyone will have their 15 minutes of shame.
Should I take the pill to numb the pain? Change the chemicals inside my brain. I worry I won't be the same, but I guess that that's the point.
✖ "Medicate" by Gabbie Hanna
This is for the tragic moments, and apparently, I'm ending this list of recommendations in a tragic way.

Which songs make you feel like you were in a movie? Share with me in the comments or tweet me about them, I'd love to know!

✖ making small changes this month

Friday, 1 March 2019

I'm a huge believer in small changes. And when we're making small changes, they'll have this huge snowball effect and it becomes something huge. And trust me, I'm in a need for a change. No, even better, I'm in a mood for a change.

Last month was physically and mentally one of my hardest months. I went through a few too many panic attacks which apparently were triggered my anxiety towards my current workplace. I also was ill, a lot. Like a lot. And then D was ill and I started falling behind on everything that was holding my personal routines together, like uni and yoga. Yeah, alongside my son, uni and yoga are my top priorities in life. I was living mostly on 3-hours sleep per night, caffeine and cigarettes and if that isn't the highway to hell, I don't know what is. I mean, I'm not saying I don't want to go to hell, I just think I haven't achieved enough to go there to brag about my successes to other dead people.

So this month, I'm going to make some changes in my behaviour and you all can come over, say hi to me on Twitter and watch me successfully fuck it up during the first week of March. Nah, just kidding, I have a good feeling about this.

instead of forgetting the whole damn thing, I'm going to begin a 30-day yoga challenge again and finish it up
In January, I began the DEDICATE - 30-day yoga journey with Yoga With Adriene youtube channel and I'm ashamed to say that I still haven't finished it up. Okay, not even ashamed, my flu which began in the middle of January lasting until the end of February really took its toll on me. But this month, I'm going to kick some ass yoga-wise. I'm also treating myself with a brand new yoga mat, to get me going and actually dedicate into this. I got this.

instead of neglecting my skin, I'm going to actually take care of it
I've been so bad at taking care of my skin and oh boy it shows. My skin has never been in this awful condition as it has been since the beginning of 2019 and I really need to do something about it. I mean, I probably wouldn't care but it all shows up on my face, and I kind of like my face even though it doesn't sound like it at times so I really need to get my shit together on that area.

less coffee, more water
I can't believe I just wrote that. Okay, let's scratch the whole less coffee part and focus on the more water part, right? I was on fire when it came to drinking water for a couple of weeks in February. It really decreased my bloating (which is awful as I'm typing this because guess who has forgotten to drink water again?) and it improved the condition of my skin. So yes, a shitload of water to my way, please.

take better care of my plants
I've been Instagram influenced and I'm currently obsessed with plants. Or well, obsessed with the idea of having living plants in our apartment. So, this month I'm trying to bring our flat into life and head over to Ikea or Plantagen and pick up some cool plants I need to take care of. I tend to forget to water them, and then they die. I think I should try to save those all three plants I already have, but then again if they die I'd have a lot of pretty and new plants around the house? Can you see the issue here?

trying to find the time to declutter my home from all unimportant shit that is floating around
Don't you worry guys, I'm not turning into those "I'm sorry I have to let you go as you're not bringing me joy anymore" but I'm turning into this "I could sell this for a few euros, so I'd have a reason to buy a new pair of shoes". But in all seriousness, I feel like we are drowning in all the stuff we have. And while I'm being extremely minimalist, it makes me anxious. And I really want to reduce everything that is making me anxious. I used to love all the ads that came through our mailbox, but the amount of them made me feel anxious so I had to put a tiny note above our mailbox which says "no ads, thank you." It's been awful, but relaxing, thank you for asking.

on Sundays, I'll plan ahead my week and I stick to that plan
Unless the life gets in the way, of course. But the fact that I've been neglecting so many things because I just haven't had the motivation or energy for it, I became into a realisation that I'm one of those people who need to plan their shit out in order to keep their shit together. Or at least I could try if it would work out. I'm all in for new experiences and if it's another trial and error, I can say that at least I tried.

 start taking vitamins
I'm not a fan of different pills but as my immune system which is as stable as an IKEA table, I'm going to have to find a way to boost it so it can hold itself together. Also, I believe it would do wonders to my skin and hair as well. In case if you didn't know, I'm suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, so my body is all kinds of fucked up when it comes to fighting different ill bugs. I'm just going to help it out a little.

keep on practising that handstand
It's been one of the funniest things I've done in for so long time! Practising handstands also made me realise how unexistent my upper-body strength is. I always thought it's there, but it isn't. It sure as hell isn't, there. Not at all. So keep on practising and I'll get there!

go to bed at 9PM, no exceptions
Except when I'm in New York and if I happen to have social activity outside home throughout the weekends. However, I have nothing really planned for March except that little trippy-trip to the Big Apple, so that should work out well. Why am I exactly doing this? I'm going to create a routine for myself. A bedtime routine. What, are you serious Jasmin, you? I hear you ask and I answer, yes me.

dedicate two days in a week for looking for a new job
I really need a new job and I can't keep living like this. It doesn't even have to be a new job, it can be another optional resource of an income. But I need to figure out something before I lose my mind completely.

Do you have any goals for the month? Do you think my goals are achievable?

Tomorrow is going to be a bit quiet around here, as we are celebrating my baby's second birthday. Damn they grow up so flipping fast.

✖ how to divide your picture for your Instagram grid? | Adobe Photoshop tutorial

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Welcome back for another Photoshop tutorial.
Remember when we used the slice tool back in the post about how to split your picture for Instagram? We're going to use that same tool again, but this time for dividing your picture into twelve slices, for your grid.

Let's begin.

step 1 - beginning immediately by setting the guide layout
After importing the picture you want to slice for your grid, you want to begin with setting the guide layout. There's no need to crop anything, like in the previous tutorial and we can divide them straight away to as many pictures as you like. There might be some previous settings for "gutter" once again, and once again, you can just delete them all.
This time, we're using both - columns and rows. Columns are the vertical lines and rows are well, rows aka horizontal lines.

step 2 - slicing the picture by using the slice tool
From the left side of your screen, you can find the crop tool. Right-click the crop tool and choose to use the slice tool. Then, at the top of your screen, you'll find the button for "slices from guides". Click that and you're good to go.

step 3 - exporting the pictures
File -> Export -> Save for Web
Adjust it to a jpeg file, set quality to 100 and hit that save button!
Transfer them to your phone, upload them on your Instagram and you're good to go.

✖ dear men, I'm not interested in your penis

Sunday, 24 February 2019

This blog post was originally written in 3rd of May, 2018 for Little Things With Jassy and I decided to bring it up to date over here at overdosed on caffeine as well because I think it's still relevant as fuck. 

Last Thursday, I woke up in the morning and noticed I had a request on my Twitter DM's like I do each morning. Yup, each morning there's always a new request. Either way last Thursday was the day I had enough. Also, if talking about penises, vaginas or anything sexual disturbs you in any way please stop reading now & move on to something more comfortable for you. Even though I'm okay with everything mentioned above, it doesn't mean everyone else is too - so a little heads up before I start my rant.

Last Thursday I did not receive a picture of a penis. Not only a picture of a penis - the penis was stuffed inside to woman's anus. It was a pretty close up picture of anal sex. It all leaves me confused wondering why. Why would you as a male want to send a picture of anal sex to a woman? What are you trying to achieve with it?

You see, dick pics I understand. Or I've learned to understand, as they're usually sent to women when men are trying to boost their ego or grow their self-esteem. Either way, my answer is always "I've seen bigger ones than that" or "what's that little trash on my screen?" then following with "I've reported you, that qualifies as sexual harassment."

In the headline, I referred to "Dear men" which obviously, doesn't mean that I mean that every single man on this planet is a filthy pig - I don't know all men and yet I happen to know very lovely men in the real life and in the Internet life. So no, not all men, just the filthy pigs who think they can achieve something by sending nasty pictures to women.

I've been thinking about this since last Thursday. Not because I enjoyed what I saw - everyone does what they want in their own bedrooms, but because I've been trying to figure out what they're trying to achieve. What kind of answer he would have wanted?

Did he want me to answer that "oh boy, I wish you could do that to me right now" or "mmm that's good is it yours?" As you see, I don't understand what he was trying to achieve with that. And it disturbs the crap out of me. Like I mentioned above, dick pics are sent because they want to feel proud of their junk. Make themselves feel better by fishing compliments from random women to boost their own self-esteem. But how does a picture of a dick inside an anus fall into the category? Because it doesn't.

This is something that happens on a daily basis to multiple women. Even for me, I've received 3 dick pics last week plus that one picture of sexual intercourse. And not every woman is like me. Some might feel insanely uncomfortable after a dick landing into their DM's just like I feel anxious on a plane. Yes, dicks are the normal thing in the world but please, keep them in your pants cowboys as nobody doesn't want to see that half standing hot dog sausage in their DM's as a first thing in the morning.

✖ Things to do if you receive a sexual picture from a random dude:
- report them
- block them
- don't lose your sleep because of them
- also, at least that qualifies as sexual harassment in Finland so you can also report them to the police, though depending how much resources they have they probably won't go after a dick pic sender, especially if it's received in anonymous messaging app; at least you have reported it so it goes to the stats

✖ If you're underaged and receive sexual pictures from random men:
- reach out to your parents/or another trusted adult and talk about things if they make you feel uncomfortable
- report them to the app
- block them in the app
- also, consider if that's something that qualifies as sexual harassment in your country & report them to the police (+ all the things I mentioned at my last point above)

The Internet is a place for all the weirdo's around the world. All we can do at this point is to raise our sons to be better than this. Raise them to these grown-up men who really appreciate women, who appreciate themselves and who accepts them as they are. And when they fly out of the nest, trust that everything you've taught to them stays in their minds through the rest of their lives.

And lastly, to the men who do this; stop it for fuck's sake.
Learn to love yourselves. Find some dignity. As for me (and probably all the other women) you come across as pushy and insecure little boys who are out there seeking acceptance their parents never gave to them. You won't find love unless you love yourself and you definitely do not respect yourself or any women you're sending these pictures out to. That's not the right way to get anywhere in life & that sure as hell isn't the way to get the acceptance you seem so desperately to want.
In reality, only the acceptance you need is that you'll accept yourself. You accept the penis that Mother Nature has given to you and you learn to love yourself just like that. And average boner is around 14cm anyway, so you sure as hell don't need a 50cm stick to be able to please a woman or a man, whatever floats your boat. Take your time, learn to know yourself, prioritise your values, accept yourself & you'll notice you don't have to send out those pictures to anyone ever again.

I feel like the people who do this, send out the pictures and make women uncomfortable ruin the sex from so many people. Sex isn't meant to be uncomfortable, it's supposed to be something both parties involved enjoy and the most importantly it's something that requires the consent of both parties involved.

Did it ever cross your mind that the woman you're sending your pictures doesn't want to receive them? It's not something that is done with mutual consent. And that's what makes it sexual harassment. It's not okay.

How do you deal with dick pics? Sick of them already?

✖ my favourite Instagram hashtags to use at the moment

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Because I believe sharing is caring, I've spent the past few weeks looking through some flipping awesome Instagram hashtags for anyone to use to get their pictures out there. We all know Instagram algorithm can be quite bitchy, but it's more about accepting the fact that it exists and moving on, continuing the life as it was before and hope something we are doing is going to be the right thing.

What have I tried with Instagram and found helpful?
✖ exploring and analysing different hashtags & repeating it once in two months
✖ during my vacation I basically lived in the application and it boosted my following and engagement (which was kind of a bummer, considering that I'm not able to spend all my time in the app liking and engaging posts.)
✖ not giving a shit about numbers, no stressing over the creating and doing what feels good for you - and oh boy, it's a relief

Today, I'm not here to chat about the Instagram algorithm and find you ways to get on top of it and beat it. The funny thing about algorithms is, that us humans know how to create one, not how to control one. We can examine it all we want, but it's all computer making it's decisions, learning through the user behaviour and making its own decisions based on its previous experiences on how the user behaves. Even though it's repeating the same pieces of the code, it learns to behave the way it believes we want it to behave. What we can control, on the other hand, is our own behaviour. 

We can make decisions on which hashtags we want to use, we can make decisions on which types of pictures we want to like and we can make decisions on what kind of pictures we want to engage with. But in an app containing more than billions of pictures on billions of different things, it's hard to get yourself out there and that's why curating your own hashtags for your content is extremely crucial.

Please note, the following list of hashtags is created based on my own Instagram content. Those are the ones I've found useful, for my account. I'm sharing them, as they've boosted my engagement and I truly believe that sharing is caring. I also share some tips in this post, on how to find the perfect hashtags for you and does the amount of pictures under the hashtag mean anything.

How to choose the right hashtags for your Instagram posts?
✖ don't use generic hashtags
✖ choose hashtags with a decent amount of pictures in them
✖ change your hashtags at times

What are the generic hashtags?
The generic hashtags are the ones with multiple millions of pictures in them. Let's have an example: #love has 1 525 664 636 posts under it. Generic hashtags are usually one-word hashtags and ones that are overused. I mean, love is a wonderful hashtag, so beautiful and simple even but it's way too oversaturated for anyone to use. Once you post your picture with that hashtag, it'll disappear under the new posts within the minutes and no one is going to see that post unless you're someone with the same following as one of the Kardashians or Ariana Grande and be able to get the engagement to make your post to reach the "top posts" category under that hashtag.

Does the amount of pictures shared under a hashtag mean anything?
It does indeed. The more popular hashtag, more quickly and more likely your pictures will disappear under the newer pictures within the minutes. When there's a hashtag that is incredibly popular, like the #love, it's more likely that there are thousands of people placing a picture under that hashtag at the same time as you are. Don't get me wrong, you can use popular hashtags if you want but I don't recommend you to base your whole hashtag list on the most popular ones as then you end up getting no exposure for your pictures at all. This is also the reason why I find all the websites with those copy+paste "top most popular hashtags on Instagram" lists bullshit.

Is changing your hashtags effective?
There have been rumours about getting shadowbanned. Shadowbanning on Instagram means, that if you use the same hashtags too many times, the Instagram algorithm considers you being spammy and then hides all your content from the hashtags that you are using.
Let's skip the whole blabbing about Instagram shadowbanning and consider simply the fact that the change is good at times. I tend to have three or four sets of hashtags for the same type of pictures just so I could change them up a little. And more the merrier as they say, so it's basically more exposure to you.

Hashtags for life in general
✖ < 10k posts published

✖ 10-50k posts published

✖ 50-100k posts published

✖ > 100k posts published

Hashtags for travellers
✖ < 10k posts published

✖ 10-50k posts published

✖ 50-100k posts published

✖ > 100k posts published

✖ > 1m posts published

Hashtags for coffee-related content (obviously)
#overdosedoncaffeine (MY VERY OWN HASHTAG! Please share your coffee-related pictures with me on Instagram!)

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