domenica 30 dicembre 2012

Week 52 - Waiting for Santa Claus

This is the last post for this year's 52 week's project. It was hard to choose one photo, but I chose Carlotta showing the drawing she made for Santa Claus. She made it while waiting for the evening when Santa usually leaves his sack outside our door. I put two photos because the drawing has two sides.
And these are a few moments of our Christmas.

giovedì 27 dicembre 2012

Week 51 - Visiting Rome

This 52 week's project is slowly  ending and I'm glad I managed to follow it through, althought I always was a bit late with my posts, but this way I have updated my blog at least with one post a week. Next year I'm sure I will do a similar project.
This week Sofia had two days off from school. We have a friend who is a tourist guide. She loves her job and has an incredibly good memory for historical things and details. Her son was in Sofia's class in the elementary school and in the kindergarten. She proposed to take the children to the centre of Rome and go to visit something and we went to the churches of San Giovanni and Santa Maria Maggiore - two of Rome's most important churches. She had lots of interesting things to tell and then we all sat down for twenty minutes to draw a picture of one of the apostles in San Giovanni. We really should take some time to do this more often! Carlotta's school wasn't closed, but I took her with us, because I wouldn't have been able to pick her up at 1 p.m. She appreciated it a lot and said that she could imagine the things Elisabeth was telling about.
On Friday it was the last day at school before the Christmas holidays. As the children get bigger they don't have so much shows at school, but Carlotta's class sang Christmas songs and Sofia's class had a little concert with their music teacher and his other classes. He is a very modern teacher and likes to teach the latest hits to his classes. They take a portable electrick piano to school and have learnt to play for example "Ma cherie", "Whistle", "Se eu te pego" and other hits of this year. I like this approach to music.

Week 50 - Christmas mail

We got Christmas mail from Finland this week. My mother had sent it quite a while ago and this week it finally reached us. There was Finnish chocolate and an advent calendar. Me and the girls saw the package when we came back from school and it made us very happy!
This week I started some serious christmas shopping hoping not to have to stress with it the last days before christmas. On the 13th, the Lucia day, I went to my friend who had invited me and two other Finnish friends for a Christmas brunch. She had made lots of yummie christmas goodies and we had a nice morning chatting in Finnish. On the week-end Sofia had the finals in the Pony Champions Winter Tour in show jumping and she came third, so the week finished nicely if we don't consider the fact that I got a flat tyre on our way home. On Saturday we also were invited to dinner to one of Armando's old school friends. He is married to an Icelandic woman and we used to see each other often before we got children and moved further away from each other. Now we just realized that last time we saw each other was 7 years ago , so let's hope we can meet a bit more often in the future!

domenica 23 dicembre 2012

Week 49 - A Friday evening at home and decorating the tree

It's been really cold this week and it has been raining and hailing. We have been scraping frost from the car windows in the morning, which is not so usual here in Rome. This week on friday evening we all stayed at home, the weather was bad and I was tired and didn't feel like going anywhere in the evening. I often go out eating on Fridays with the children and our friends and Daniele and Sofia were very disappointed that we didn't do it this Friday. But their good mood slowly returned when we had lit the fire, watched a TV series all together and made bruschettas and baked potatoes in the fireplace.
 On Saturday it was the 8th of December and on that day people decorate their Christmas trees here in Italy. We follow the tradition and I try to take some photos for our Christmas cards while we do it.
One of the big issues is who gets to put the star on top of the tree. Daniele felt so grown up so he let Sofia and Carlotta argue and about it this year. After that, in the evening, we had a nice pizza evening with some more mulled wine at our house with our good friends.

Week 48 - Afternoon with friends and mulled wine

Christmas is starting to come into our house. On sunday the 2th of December we invited our Swedish and Finnish friends we hadn't seen for too long a time to drink mulled wine. It's something that belongs to Christmas in the nordic countries. We made Finnish Christmas tarts and they all brought something christmassy like ginger bread or cakes and we had a very nice afternoon. I was glad everyone could make it this time and that I finally organized something. I had thought of organizing a barbeque when we came back from Finland after summer, but every week-end there was something else in the way. Even the bigger girls came. They are 18-19 already, so of course the are indipendent and have their own things to do, but as they wanted to see each other, they came too, which was very nice!

giovedì 20 dicembre 2012

Week 47 -Beautiful Florence

On the last week-end of November we went on a marathon trip again - this time to Florence. It's not so far from Rome and our children had never been there, so it was a good occasion to go there. I had been there lots of years ago before I had any children and didn't even remember how beautiful it was. We were also very lucky with the weather. It was warm and nice the whole week-end. We went there on Friday evening and stayed until Sunday evening.
We rented a flat central enough to be able to walk in to the centre of Florence. On Saturday we walked around in Florence, first together and then Armando went to our flat and we continued and went shopping till we were tired enough to go back to the flat. The marathon was on Sunday and me and the children participated in the 2 km family run. I ran with Carlotta and we made it to the finishing line. Daniele became third in the run. In the afternoon I visited the Uffizi gallery with the children and in the evening we had a nice dinner out with a Armando's marathon friend who lives in Florence. After dinner we drove back to Rome.

martedì 18 dicembre 2012

Week 46 - the bread machine

We rediscovered our bread machine! It had been standing in our kitchen taking place and gathering dust. I had tried to make bread with it but every time the bread turned out all raw inside and it didn't grow, so I had given up and thought I would keep it to make dough sometimes. Daniele saw the same bread machine at his friend´s house and said they used it a lot and it made such good bread, so he asked them how they did it. It seems I had programmed it badly because when Daniele tried it the bread became just perfect. This week we made a chocolate bread from the bread machine recipe book. No big success, but we have made other sorts of bread and they all are really good. Hurray, we have a working bread machine!

Photo collage of Dublin

Here's a photo collage of our week-end in Dublin before I continue with my 52 weeks posts. Nice memories! Dublin in the end of October:

lunedì 17 dicembre 2012


I saw the idea of twelve photos on the twelfth in a few blogs and on the 12th of December 2012 I decided to do a collage of 12 photos i had taken during the day.
Daniele didn't have any school today. I had decided to go christmas shopping and he wanted to come with me, so we went to a shopping mall and had a nice shopping morning there. I got some presents for the girls and a nice red dress to Carlotta to wear at Christmas. She liked it a lot and wanted to try it on in the evening. At two o'clock we had to be back home as it was time to pick up Sofia from school and at four o´clock Carlotta. She tried a new riding school after school and liked it, so in January maybe she will start riding there. It was very cold and humid in the evening, but fortunately Daniele had lit a nice fire in our fireplace when we came home, so we could warm our cold feet and hands. We made bread in our bread machine and I finally figured out how to take photos with shaped bokeh and had some fun testing it in the evening.

mercoledì 5 dicembre 2012

Week 45 - Hobbies

Week 45 was a normal week of everyday life. Daniele had become the captain of his football team. we had our riding lessons and I did some shopping in Decathlon with the girls. The week-end included horse riding for us, running for Armando, football for Daniele and lots of eating and good food for all of us. Saturday evening barbeque at a friend's house and the day after lunch with the same group of persons at another friend's house, after which I felt it would be better to take a pause from all that eating and wine drinking and maybe also from seeing the same group of friends too often. It's a nice group of people, but as with most things, too much at the same time can be too much as everyone of us is so different. 
The photo is of the football captain.

Week 44 - Halloween

The photo of week is again of Carlotta. She was such a sweet little Halloween witch. Unfortunately when it was time to go out trick-or-treating the rain started pouring down, so the best thing to do was to stay at home. We had organized some sleep-overs instead. Daniele spent Halloween at his friend's house. Carlotta at her friend's house together with another good friend from school and Sofia had a friend of hers sleeping over at our house. Me and Sofia first had dinner at our friends' house and later on when it stopped raining the girls went out for some trick-or-treating and we adults took a nice evening walk, too.

Sofia and her friends out for some trick-or-treating to our neighbours before it started raining too much.

Week 43 - Dublin

Trying to catch up with lots of things and one of them is updating my blogs and the 52 weeks project, which has been a good way for me to update at least with one post a week, although I'm always late. Anyway, on week 43 we went to Dublin with another family we don't see too often, so it was a nice opportunity to spend some time with them. Especially Daniele and Oscar who are of the same age got along very well together. When we didn't stroll around in Dublin they spent all their free time in our room playing with Nintendos, Ipods and Ipads.
Now that our children are quite big already, we even left them all in our hotel room one evening for a couple of hours and went out for a beer in a pub near our hotel. They had their cell phones of course, so they could phone us any time they wanted, but it all went just fine. And the beer was good! I'm not a big beer drinker, but the beer I tried, which was called Smithwick's, was really nice. The next evening we went out earlier and Carlotta came with us. Before 9 a clock p.m. children were allowed in the pubs and she very much enjoyed sitting on the high pub chair drinking her sprite in the cozy pub.
The main reason for our trip was Armando's marathon which went very well. The weather was normal autumn weather in Dublin, I think, some rain, some clouds and some sun too, cold compared to Rome, but all in all Ok if you had the right clothes.
Dublin is a nice city and not too big. My children liked the Penneys department store where you could find quite nice clothes at very reasonable prices and where we went shopping while the marathoner was resting.
One of my favourite photos of the week-end is this one with Carlotta in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral. I have lots of photos, so I'll try to make a collage of them later on.

domenica 11 novembre 2012

Week 42 - Chocolate delight

On week 42 Daniele's friend from Finland came to visit us for the week-end. He brought some Finnish chocolate to the children. I wasn't at home so much during the week-end because Sofia had show jumping both on Saturday and Sunday quite far from our home, so we spent almost the whole day there. She did well and got third prize on Sunday. In the evening we all went out for a pizza on Friday and to a Chinese restaurant together with some friends on Saturday. Armando took the boys to the centre of Rome on Sunday. I hope Daniele's friend had a good time here in Rome with Daniele.
The photo of the week is of Carlotta with the chocolate. A delighful moment! 

Layouts about San Casciano

I did some digital layouts about our day in San Casciano. Here they are:

lunedì 5 novembre 2012

Week 41 - Day trip to S. Casciano

This week we had two birthday parties - one for Sofia with her riding friends at the barn restaurant and one for Carlotta with her classmates at Mc Donalds. We had promised her a birthday party with her friends in Italy (her birthday was in July) and finally in October we did it. But the nicest thing of the week, I think, was our day trip to S. Casciano dei Bagni in Tuscany together with our friends. It's a small village with a lovely scenery over the Tuscan hills and there are hotsprings, both free ones outside in the nature and a spa. We went to the free baths and had a pick nick lunch there with red wine and it was so relaxing. We spent a few hours there in the warm water in good company chatting and laughing. Then it started raining, so we went up to the village and waited for the rain to stop drinking a coffee in the bar. We had a walk in S. Casciano and went to a wine cellar to buy some wine and then we went to see another village called Cetona before driving back to Rome. The only bad thing about the day was that, unfortunately, there had been a car accident on the motorway which had caused a traffic jam so the trip back home took quite a while.
In the photo of this week we are going down to the hot springs. The scenery is so beautiful!

giovedì 18 ottobre 2012

The children's Best in Finland

It's always a bit sad to leave Finland and I'm already thinking about when we will be able to go back. Next time would be for the christmas holiday, but the prices for the flights are really high now. I asked the children which were the best things of our summer in Finland. They all liked the days at the cottage that we rented together with my parents. Carlotta's favourites were also her birthday and when her friend Hilma slept over, Daniele liked his time spent with his friends in Lovisa and Sofia her riding camp and going to the wood to pick mushrooms and blueberries. I think these are things they always will remember, although they are getting bigger and soon might not want to spend so much time of their summer holiday away from their friends here in Italy. Carlotta keeps asking me when we will go back to Finland and often says that she misses Finland and her grandparents there.

martedì 9 ottobre 2012

Week 40 - Sofia's birthday

This week was Sofia's 12th birthday. It was on Tuesday so we only celebrated it with the family and will have a party with her friends later on. In the evening we went out for a pizza in our favourite restaurant near our house. It was a nice warm evening so we could eat outside. In the photo of this week Sofia is opening her birthday presents in the restaurant. She got horse things that she needs for her riding competitions. She got a pair of spurs from Daniele, a small brooch with a grey horse (like the horse she usually rides) to put on her competition jacket from Carlotta and from us a shirt for the competitions. From her grandparents in Finland she got a new riding helmet that we still have to go and buy. At home we ate the birthday cake that I had made together with Sofia. 
As a treat for her birthday she got to stay at home from school today, which her father wasn't too happy about. We also made a chocolate cake to take to the riding school when we went riding in the afternoon.

giovedì 4 ottobre 2012

Week 39 - Meeting place

Before we go to the show jumping competitions we always meet at a café where we eat breakfast if it's early in the morning or otherwise just have a coffee. Then we drive to the stables were the competiton is held and distribute the girls in the cars so that everyone is as happy as possible and no one has to be alone. This period is very intense with lots of competions for Sofia. This week-end we had to meet very early as the competion started at 9 o'clock in the morning. It was a yearly competion that's called Coppa Lazio where different riding schools of the Lazio region partecipate with their own team. Our team didn't do too well this time, they became sixth out of seven teams. It's not so strange though, because one of the horses from our stable (not in the pony team) hurt his leg badly in the trailer on the way to the competition and we were all really upset about it and felt so sorry for the horse and his owner. We really hope the horse will get well again.

Week 38 - Aperitif at the beach

A good start for the week was an aperitif at the beach with my friend and the girls. The weather was so lovely and I love the golden hour before the sun goes down. It's especially beautiful at the beach. I think this is the best time of the year to enjoy the beach here in Rome. It's still warm, but not crowdy anymore as people are already tired of going to the beach and everyday life with work and school has begun. We should do it more often!

martedì 25 settembre 2012

Week 37 - School Start

Slowly back to everyday life. I only got a photo of Carlotta going to school because Sofia and Daniele had already left when we got up in the morning. Carlotta started a bit later on her first school day. She said she had a good time at school. She also remembered how she got the sad news about our dog Milla last year after her first day in the elementary school. I had to take the sad decision about taking her to the vet the first day when the children were at school and although they knew it was going to happen, for Carlotta it was a big shock.
This week also the weather turned really autumnish, rainy and about 10 degrees coooler for a couple of days, but on the week-end it was sunny again and on Sunday we had a nice day at the beach.

mercoledì 19 settembre 2012

Holiday in Sardinia

Here are some photo collages of our holiday in Sardinia. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. So many nice memories! As you can see the weather was very changeable during the week.

martedì 18 settembre 2012

Week 36

And week 36 finally our beach holiday in Sardinia! We had a lovely week, even if the weather wasn't so nice all the time. This week happened to be a week with some rain, but fortunately only one day was really rainy. On all the other days we managed to go to the beach although we had to escape a few times when it started raining. But holidays are always holidays and we have lots of nice memories from Sardinia and loads of photos, of course.
We went there with our friends and stayed in apartments in the village of San Teodoro. Our apartments were in different parts of San Teodoro, but both in the centre so it wasn't a problem. It was nice because in the evening you could easily go out to have a stroll and look at the stands and shops selling jewellery and other things.
The photo of the week is of my favourite beach there, the beautiful beach of Lu Impostu. You had to walk a few meters in the water to get there.

lunedì 17 settembre 2012

Week 35

On monday the 27th of August we flew back to Rome. As always it's a little bit sad for me to leave Finland. Carlotta was sad, too and in a way also Sofia and Daniele, but they were eager to meet their friends in Italy again.
We still had two more summer weeks to enjoy before schools started in Rome. It was over 30 degrees in Italy when we got back, so the contrast was big from Finland where it had been very cool already. Daniele's project for this week was to paint his bicycle. Together with his friends he disassembled it, hanged it in a tree and sprayed it with black paint. The difficult part was to assemble it again, especially the brakes, but with the help of his friend's grandfather he managed to get everything to work and now he has got a cool black bicycle.

giovedì 13 settembre 2012

The summer holidays are over

Preparing the school bag! The summer holidays are over now and today school started here in Rome. Carlotta started the second grade in "Scuola elementare", Sofia her second grade in the "Scuola media" and Daniele went to a new school a bit further away and started his first year in the "Liceo scientifico", which lasts five years. The first day went fine for all of them. Daniele thought his new school seemed quite nice, Carlotta said she could have stayed in school even a bit longer and Sofia got three new teachers and already some homework to do today, which she wasn't so glad about. The weather was cooler and a bit rainy today, so right now it feels like summer really is over.

lunedì 10 settembre 2012

Week 34 - sweets

This has become a tradition now - bying sweets before leaving Finland. There's a big choice of sweets in the Finnish supermarkets compared to the Italian ones and we don't buy sweets everyday, so the choice is always difficult. Everyone gets to buy sweets for a certain sum of money, but this year Daniele decided to have less sweets and take part of it as money instead.

sabato 25 agosto 2012

Night of Ancient Bonfires

Our summer here in Finland has gone too fast and it's time to start packing again. Hot Italy is waiting for us. Here summer is already ending and schools have started. On the last Saturday of August there's a tradition in the archipelago of Finland were people light bonfires to celebrate the end of summer and now it's organized in Kotka, too. This tradition has expanded to other parts of the Baltic coast and the idea is to light the fire at the same time in all the Baltic countries so that it forms a chain of bonfires and gets people to think about the well-being of the Baltic sea. As we still were here I decided to take Armando and the girls (Daniele was visiting his friend in Lovisa) to see the bonfire that was lit at 21.30 in the park of Katariina. There were lots of people, a very nice family event!

giovedì 23 agosto 2012

Week 33 at the summer cottage

Difficult to choose this week's photo from all the nice photos and memories from the summer cottage where we went with the whole family and my parents. The week before had been so cold, but for this week we had ordered good weather and beautiful it was! No wind, no rain and about 23 degrees, so we could go swimming in the cold water, have barbeques in the evening, go to the sauna, go out rowing, pick blueberries and mushrooms, go fishing (with very bad fishing luck) and enjoy the lovely sunsets on the sea. My pick for this week is Sofia and Daniele rowing one of the evenings when the sunset was amazing. That's the real color without any photoshopping!

martedì 21 agosto 2012

Week 32 - The imperial lodge of Langinkoski

Tourists in my own birth town. One day I took my not so enthusiastic children out to see the imperial fishing lodge of Langinkoski. It's a natural reserve where you can see the house and the surroundings where Alexander III used to go to fish salmon. It's a beautiful place by the rapids of the river of Kymi and you can walk around in the woods surrounding the house for chilometres. The weather was very cool and not so summery this week and none of the children wanted to go to see any tourist attractions and I felt very lazy too. But sometimes it's really worth the effort to take them and myself away from the computer screen, because we all returned back home in much a better mood. We took a long walk in the wood and went into a house where a nice artist exposed his paintings of the sea and told us about them. Carlotta kept asking questions about the paintings and he thought that I had very lively children. Hahaaa, don't know if it was a compliment or not, but I guess he thought it was nice to see a child who was that interested in his paintings.

Week 31 - Trip to Varissaari

The weather finally had got warmer in Finland. One of the hightlights of the week was our trip to the isle of Varissaari that's an isle where you can get by boat from Kotka in just ten minutes. It's so close, but really like another world with it's beautiful nature and cliffs where you can have a nice pick nick. First we all went swimming and then we went to our usual pick nick place where both Daniele, Sofia and Carlotta like to climb on the stones and watch the see. We have got used to sleeping late and staying up late in summer, so we got there only in the afternoon when most people were already going away. But the days are still quite long, so we took the boat back in the evening and had a really nice day out.

domenica 19 agosto 2012

Week 30

The best thing of week 30 was our long riding tour with lunch out in the woods. The only thing that bothered us and the poor horses were the flies, but otherwise we had a lovely time! 

giovedì 16 agosto 2012

Week 29

I have lots of photos for week 29, but the most important thing was Carlotta's birthday. She is 7 now and not so little anymore. We gave her our birthday presents in the morning and she was very happy with her bag, sunglasses and other girly things. Then we made the birthday cake and in the afternoon she had a little birthday party where she had invited my friend's children. Sofia was at the riding camp and her father was in Italy, so we will have to celebrate another time with them, as well.
The birthday guests slept over, too so the day was perfect.

mercoledì 8 agosto 2012

A walk in the park "Kumparepuisto"

Today me and the girls went to a very nice park near our parents house called "Kumparepuisto". We bought a warm "posso" at the marketplace and went to our usual little pick nick place there to eat them and then just walked around there. The weather was strange. If you looked in one direction the sky was blue and in the other direction drammatically dark. No big rain or thunder came here, though, only a few small rain drops. One of my favourite photos of the day is this one where the sun is shining and the sky behind is dark. I know it's a overexposed on Carlotta's jacket and trousers, but I like it anyway.
Other photos from our pick-nick

venerdì 3 agosto 2012

Blueberries and raspberries

Out in the woods today with the Daniele, Sofia and my father. Daniele and Sofia hoped to find some mushrooms. We didn't find many of them this time, but lots and lots of blueberries. You could really get a lot fo them if you had the patience to pick them. We get tired of it after a while, but we got enough of berries to make a blueberry pie. We also found some lovely raspberries. The weather was sunny and nice and the air out in the nature is so fresh.

This scrapkit is a nice summer freebie from Lilypad.