Preparing for my fully vegetarian October: recipes!

Hi guys!

Next month I'm gonna take part to Docventure's "Lihaton lokakuu" (erm, "meatless" October). I barely eat any meat anyways although I've eaten some fish and seafood every now and then. However, next month is gonna be completely vegetarian diet for me. I have cut the meat from my diet because of ethical reasons. I challenged few of my friends to take part as well and promised to share some ideas about what to cook. Here are some very simple recipes that I tried this week to give you some inspiration. I think all of us can cut the meat consumption at least a bit, even though you wouldn't give it up completely.

I am not so familiar with the "cooking vocabulary" so sorry for the interesting choices of words ;)

Marjaana's healthier version of famous avocado pasta

Avocado pasta is my favourite dish. It was all over the cooking blogs a year ago, although I learned about it from my friend, Heini. I like to make it so often that I actually developed a bit healthier version of it, without ruining the tastiness ;). It's very delicious and so easy to prepare. I used organic ingredients, but that's up to you.

You'll need (for 4):

1 clove of garlic
1/2 chili
1 lime
2 avocados
1/3 deciliter olive oil
Handful of basilica
Handful of parsley
A big handful of rucola
2 tomatoes
1/2 deciliter of shred pecorino cheese
1/2 deciliter of shred parmesan cheese
(if you want: pine nuts or other nuts or seeds to add some protein)
500 grams of pasta (I used gluten-free)

Note: You don't need to fry or boil anything else than the pasta ;)

Chop garlic, chili, herbs & rucola and put them straightaway to a serving bowl. Chop tomatoes and avocados into cubes & add them in the bowl. Add juice from the lime. Add pepper, salt, olive oil & the two shred cheese. Add nuts or seeds if you want. Mix.

Boil the pasta. Take 1 deciliter of the boiling water and mix it with the "avocado sauce" in the serving bowl. Add the pasta in the bowl as well. Mix.


Dinner served for one :)

I also prepared two different kinds of soups this week. I think it's so nice to eat soup now in the autumn when the weather has gotten quite chilly. They are also very easy to make and healthy :).

Delicious sweet potato-carrot soup

I was looking for ideas for this soup from internet and then I finally made my own version of all of the recipes I found. It turned out very well and it was so easy to make I could cry! This is perfect for chilly autumn nights!

You'll need (for 2):

2 sweet potatoes
3 carrots
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 deciliter of Creme Fraiche
herbs for decoration ;)

Peel sweet potatoes & chop them, carrots, garlic and onion. Boil them with the vegetable bouillon cube until they are soft. Add salt & pepper. 

Pour the boiling water from the kettle to a separate bowl.

Mash the veggies with a hand blender. Add creme fraiche. Add as much of the boiling water as you want and let it shortly boil again.


Damn proud of my soup :p

My super duper healthy messy mix soup...that looks weird

I tend to make this soup on Sunday and then I eat it at work for a lunch during the whole next week :D. A soup just doesn't get much healthier than this one. This soup is different each time so feel free to experiment with different veggies etc. 

You'll need (for...hmm, 4...?)

1 deciliter of red lentils
1 deciliter of quinoa
1/2 broccoli
1 red paprika
1 zucchini
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 chili
herbs (like parsley)
250 grams of Turkish or Greek yogurt (don't use low-fat, it doesn't blend in smoothly! I made this mistake....)

Chop broccoli, paprika, zucchini, garlic & chili. Boil them until they are soft. Add also herbs, salt & pepper.

 Boil lentils and quinoa in low heat in a separate kettle for 15 min. Take the water out.

Take the excess water out from the veggie kettle and add lentils and quinoa there too. Now smash everything with a hand blender. WRUUUUUMMMMMM. good.

Add turkish or greek yougurt in, mix and let it shortly boil again.

The IKEA herbs I've grown

It looks...errmmm, interesting. But its healthy!! :D Next time I'll take more excess water out...
There you go, I hope you got some inspiration to cook vegetarian food. I can post more recipes if I do something really good ;).

7 facts about me

Hi guys!

I am so proud of my new blog layout that I just have to try it out by posting something :D. I llllove it, what do you think about it? As there are few readers that don't actually know me at all, I decided to take this chance to share some facts about me.

Selfieeee :p

Fact 1
I love my new blog layout. Just kidding ;D. Ok, seriously now, so, I love colours! That's how I came up with the name of my blog, too. I also like to wear very colourful clothes and I don't have any rules, like "you cannot wear pink with red" etc...I feel more energetic when I'm wearing lots of colours so EXCUSE ME if  you confuse me with a rainbow. My favourite colour since I can remember has always been mint!

Fact 2
My favourite books are Harry Potters! No matter how awesome books I read I'll never get the same feeling as I got when I read the first book and I got to know about this magical world that muggles only rarely get to take part of ;). I used to pack the first three books (in Finland they published those three at the same time and then we had to wait for the fourth one FOREVAHH) in a plastic bag, in case our house would set on fire and I had to escape fast. Logic of a 9-year-old...

Fact 3
In social situations I'm normally either easy going, telling jokes and trying to steal the show or very awkward. Luckily those awkward moments come only rarely nowadays but gosh do I hate those moments :D!

Fact 4
I've had East African land snail (that died after one day) and an African Clawed frog (that disappeared from its terrarium one day!?) as a pet. Now I have a dog but it's more my parents' now as she lives in Finland with them. She's getting old ad lazy. No, actually just old, lazy she has always been. Anyways, she's very dear to us. I'd like to get African pygmy hedgehog (are all the animals African-something in English!?) as a pet, but I'm too scared it will die, disappear or get lazy. Besides, I'm not sure if they come along with monkeys (Ben).

Fact 5
I have some kind of unconscious attraction to countries starting with letter B. I lived half a year in Brisbane, Australia, another half a year in Barcelona, Spain and now I live in Berlin. And I'm actually dreaming about moving to USA, to Bew York City next :P.

Fact 6
I have one older sister, Jenni, who has the loveliest daughter ever, Isla. Jenni is a super woman! She gets so much things done (like building & decorating a house and organizing a wedding) and yet has time to be an awesome mum. AANd she still manages to look good through all this. I mean, we all know what happened to my looks when I had to concentrate on only two things at once (job and thesis).... I have also one younger sister who is a city girl and a world traveler trapped in a small city called Teuva. She will be famous one day, not sure if its by making sounds with cups (her new hobby :D), youtubing or just being a successful business woman, but the time will show. 

Fact 7
Finally something totally random: When I was six, I put a pearl up my nose and let it be there a whole day until I told anyone. Why? I was embarrassed. I'm pretty sure the pearl is still somewhere inside my head though. Sometimes I just feel it, you know, I just do... :p

Okay guys that's it. I hope you like my new layout!


My goals for the rest of the year

Hi Guys!

I had a flu with a horrible high fever since last Saturday which got me to think of my goals that I set myself for year 2013. It's a thing that I started few years ago, to take the time to clarify what I want and to stay focused in reaching them. So every year or every half a year I write down what I wanna gain that year. It has worked fine for me so far, but this one point I don't really seem to reach even though it has been on my list quite a while now...being a healthy person, FAIL!! I decided to fix my goals for the rest of the year and prioritize them too, it's time to start working on that "healthy person" -issue of mine.

First of all I wanna explain a bit why I'm doing this. You might have heard about some studies stating that people who write down their goals are more likely to reach them. I think it's true. When you think about your goals, they are normally just some kind of idea floating in your mind, but as you write them down, they immediately become more tangible. It also helps you to clarify for yourself what you actually want and encourages you to take action. Seeing your goals in the paper motivates you and when you read the sentences again and again the impression in the mind becomes deeper. Therefore you start to act towards your goals also subconsciously. 

Some tips that I used to write down my goals:

  • Write it in present tense, first person, as if it had already happened to you. If you write it in future tense, it might always just stay in the future unreachable. So instead of writing "I will lose 5 kg", write "I weight 55 kg".
    • Write them down in detail. Instead of "I have a new work", write "I work as a fashion journalist in Japan's Vogue". This gives your subconscious detailed instructions to work on.

      • Give your subconsciousness positive instructions. Don't write about what you want to leave behind but about what you wanna gain. If you're thinking "I don't want to do this job" it only gives you more negative thoughts that don't take you anywhere, whereas if you think "I work as a fashion journalist", it will have more positive impact. Positive thoughts bring positive results ;).
      • A tip that I just recently found and I am about to do just now: Re-write your goals, adjust them, rephrase, add motivational adjectives etc. This way the words will have maximum impact on you ;).

      I copied down my new goals for the rest of the year. Some things I could take away because I had reached them already. There were points about writing an excellent thesis (this is the main reason why I then ignored the "healthy person" part :D), and about putting an effort for my distance relationship (we live together now, so no need for that anymore). There was also some work related points but this time I decided to leave them out since those goals we set at work anyways. 

      As you can see they don't seem huge ones, I'm not going to build a house or anything, but let's remember these are for the rest of the year and the biggest goal of this year I've already reached, that was the thesis thing. Also, being healthy has proven to be more difficult than I thought, haha.

      My Goals For Year 2013

      I'm healthy:
      * I eat the best food
      * I buy only organic food
      * I eat mainly vegetarian food
      * Back to my porridge and smoothie routines
      * I use the superfoods I have
      * I do yoga and other sports regularly:
      * yoga once a week
      * Other sports twice a week (running outside & gym)
      * I’m a member of a gym
      * I meditate once a week
      * I go to bed before 12
      * Once a week wake up early in the morning to meditate, do yoga or sports

      I live in harmony with Ben :)
      * I speak German with him daily
      * We follow our cleaning plan like a bible
      * We spare some time in the evenings for golf, movies, eating out, cooking etc.

      I read the best books
      * I read every evening
      * I use computer only until 22:30 ;)

      I enjoy life, relax every now and then and do the things I love
      * I travel and see new places
      * I pamper myself, with some nice food, magazines and stuff
      * I walk around the city and parks, find new places in Berlin
      * I eat slow, lazy brunches and read in comfy cafes
      * I write my blog and I'm good at it :)
      * I take a lot of nice photos & videos with my new camera

       Now I just need to print that out and put somewhere where I see it every day... and I'm sure the message starts to sink in!

      Laters, bitches! (yes, I said that)

      What do I do at Zalando?

      Hi guys!

      I've been working at Zalando for over a year now. First in the UK team and now in the Finnish team. All the time in the same department though. Even my mum still asks me frequently to explain what was it again that I do. For those who don't know what Zalando is, it is that huge Berlin based online fashion store with striking TV commercials.

      I first started as an intern for the UK team. It was absolutely a dream come true for me to work in a fashion company and in an exciting city like Berlin! After I finished my three months internship, I decided I wasn't ready to go home back to my studies yet so I was lucky enough to be able to continue as an assistant for three more months. After that I had to return to Finland to finish my courses and exams in my uni. I stayed in Finland for three months finishing everything with über super speed (I'm still running with that speed, ooops!). In February this year I then made my famous come-back, but this time to the Finnish team and as a junior manager. Yay!

      I work at CRM (Customer Relationship Management)/ email marketing department. Basically my daily work involves sending out email newsletters to our Finnish subscribers communicating the latest trends, campaigns, new items and offers. If you're a subscriber you might have seen my name or, scarily enough, even my face there every now and then, hehe.

      Here's my  "15 mins of fame" (more like 15 sec...):

      I'd like to know how many try to use that voucher code :DD

      Here's some "Working at Zalando" video:
 can subscribe to our newsletter here ;)


      Hiking trip to Saxon Switzerland national park

      Hi guys!

      Me and Ben did a small hiking trip to Saxon Switzerland this Saturday. The place was awesome! In case some of you wants to visit this beautiful national park as well (and I really recommend you to do it), here's some info.

      We took a two hour train drive to Dresden on Friday night and stayed in a hotel called Tryp by Wyndham. We paid 60 € all together for one night. We didn't have that much time to look around in Dresden, but for what I saw, it's a very pretty city. You should check it out while you're there! On Saturday we took S1 (train) from the main train station to the national park. The trains go every hour or so. You can get out in many places, we chose to get out in Kurort Rathen, but on our way back to the city we caught the train back from Stadt Wehlen. There are many trails where to choose from, but since we wanted to see the medieval town, or what is left from it, and the Bastei rock formation and bridge, we simply chose the one that was leading us to "Bastei" direction ;).

      There was some restaurants by the trail but we decided to eat in a small village near Stadt Wehlen S Bahn station before we took the ferry over the Elbe. We ate at Pasta Lucia where they make the pasta themselves. I paid 7 euros for my portion and OH MY GOSH how good it was! The best pasta I've ever eaten I must say...

      Berlin tips for visitors

      Hey guys!
      I thought these tips might be useful for some of you if your're planning to visit Berlin. I originally wrote these tips (except the bars & clubs -part) for my sister and her family, so now I just translated it into English. If you have ANY questions about Berlin, I'm more than happy to help! 

      My favourite Restaurants (and many others' favourites too, so make a reservation :) )

      • White trash: "Berlin’s best steaks plus German-Asian-Mexican-French-Swiss-Army Fusion, with guitar". A BIT like Hard Rock Café… See the link
      • Yumcha heroes: so good dumplings, SO good. See the link
      • Bird: The best hamburgers in Berlin for sure. They also use very good, fresh ingredients. For many this is a MUST when visiting Berlin See the link
      • Schwarzwaldstuben: German food. Especially food from Bayer. Take maul tachen mit kartoffel salat (my favourite!) See the link
      • For lunch grab Berlin’s traditional dish, curry wurst or döner. the best Döner place is Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab, but be prepared to line up for half an hour or so. It’s totally worth it though, I’ve done it three times, no regrets J

      A lot of restaurants where to choose from in Kastanienallee and Torstrasse

      Other things to do (than to eat…)

      • Berlin Zoo in Tiergarten (My sister said there was sharks too, unlike in Sea Life :p). There’s also another zoo called Tierpark.
      • The lakes! (see my previous post for these…)
      • Shopping: in Kürfurstendamm, or "Ku'ddamm" Also a huge department store KaDeWe is there. See the link
      • Take a river cruise in Spree, you can catch one almost anywhere in the city (next to the river Spree of course). At least in Friedrichstrasse there are many…
      • Museuminseln: An island with museums, the buildings itself are very pretty. At least Pergamon museum is good, I heard. See the link
      • Potzdamer platz/Tiergarten: in this area there are all the most important sightseeing stuff, like the Holokaust memorial, Brandenburger tor, Reichstag and so on. Also Museum Inseln and Checkpoint Charlie are in a walking distance. Here’s more about the landmarks in berlin See the link
      • Alexanderplatz is the center of the city, I suppose ;). Also the hallmark of Berlin is located there, the TV tower. Btw, don’t eat around this area, it’s expensive and the food is not that good…
      • East side Gallery. The longest remaining piece of Berlin’s wall. Decorated with graffiti by various artists J
      • The flea market in Mauerpark on Sundays, definitely worth to experience!
      • Berlin’s street and graffiti culture: take Alternative berlin city tour. I really recommend this tour, I’ve done it twice! Takes around 3 hours, it’s free, but you might wanna give some tip. Starts from Alexanderplatz every day at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00. See the link
      • Potsdam (outside the city, Unesco world heritage) See the link

      For something special (both are good for non-German speakers):

      • Blueman group: errm, blue men play drums and make a mess with blue paint ;D See the link
      • Show me: Dancing, acrobatics… See the link

      Clubbing & Bars (seriously, there's so many that I'll just mention few...):
      Be prepared to line up…
      • Berghain (the most popular, almost legendary I’d say, not an easy task to get in)
      • Katerholtzig

      Bars & clubs in general you find in:

      There you go! As I said, I'm happy to help if you want to know more :)

      My top 5 reasons why Berlin is the best city on earth

      Hi guys!

      Lately I've been so hyped about Berlin that I decided to post my top 5 list about the reasons why Berlin is the best city in the world :P. In the past few years Berlin has become more popular place for tourists to visit, but I think it's still quite well kept secret that this is actually an ideal place to live. Don't share this secret with too many friends though, they already have demonstrations every now and then about the rising rents and all that stuff. Real "Berliners" are starting to be rather rare. Bless them.

      Reason 1.
      On my way home today I bought a sandwich for 99 cents. NINETYGODDAMNNINE cents! A döner in Berlins best döner place (also most probably the best in whole Germany) costs 2,90. If you pay more than 15 € for a dinner, you've been robbed. It's so cheap to eat outside you have to consider whether it is worthy to even ever cook yourself. Also the rents are still fairly low. Extremely low compared to most of the other (European) capitals.

      Berlin's best döner place, Mustafa's Gemüse Kebab, and the queue..

      Reason 2.
      There are sneaky stuff on the streets. In Berlin you should never stare the ground or your phone while walking outside. I learnt this when my Lumia was broken (erm, it still is, for 2 months now...). Once you start paying attention to those sneaky little stuff around you, you'll find them everywhere! You've probably noticed the smiley faces all around the city, or the little "cork men" in yoga poses on top of the street signs, or the "I love you" graffitis high on the walls of the buildings. The sneaky people behind these sneaky things are street artist Prost, yoga teacher Josef Foos and the street art group "I love you" who are specialised in making heaven spot-graffitis (named because if you fall from there, you go straight to heaven...). If you don't know these, you're either not from Berlin or you are too attached to your iPhone. I said "iPhone" cause Nokias are shit and broken all the time. However, it's not just these "small" stuff, but also the abandoned theme park and buildings that you can discover if you have the guts.

      Prosts smiley faces around the city

      The "cork man" in a yoga pose. They come and go...

      "I love you" graffiti, you ask yourself; "HOW?"

      Reason 3.
      You can drink beer whenever, anywhere. You can drink it in a metro next to a police man and he doesn't care. He's most probably more worried about the horse that is in the same wagon. Yes, that happened. In Finland you cannot buy beer before nine o'clock in the morning. How would it work here if one decides to go to Berghain in the morning? I am not talking about just beer here folks, its the relaxed atmosphere in general. Visit Munich and you can tell the difference. People here don't care how you act or dress, they are used to weird stuff (like horses in the metro).

      Horse in Berlin metro.

      Reason 4.
      FOOD. Its cheap and its good and it's everywhere. It's not just döner and curry wurst, there's all you can imagine. I highly appreciate the vast range of vegetarian food now that I'm trying my best to be more ethical ;P. The food is also delivered straight to your door without any extra costs when you most need it (Check out Lieferando if you haven't yet). My favourites are the brunch places in Prenzlauer Berg though. Le midi, Zuckerfree, Butter and Anna Blume to mention few ;).

      Brunch in Le Midi, so delicious, but vegetarians, don't bother.

      Reason 5.
      Living in the center of a big city, having all the perks of that yet being able to run away to "countryside" whenever I feel like it. In my last blog post I went on an on about that outside stuff. So enough of it. The perks of living in a big city you might know. It's like living in Teuva but having all sorts of activities, cinemas, concerts, people (worth to mention, in Teuva there's just 5000 of them...), festivals, restaurants, clubs...all that shit you see in the movies. I could probably start yogasurfingpaintingfarting here if I wanted to, cause surely there is a small community for this activity as well. Let's take for example last weekend; on Friday we went to see a popular Finnish band, Apulanta, in a bar. We paid almost nothing for the tickets, bonded with the drummer and stood (=danced, screamed, jumped, acted like the biggest fans) right in front of the stage...while they played the songs we wished for and sang happy birthday auf Deutsch for Taija. To top this, we went to see David Guetta for free on Sunday.

      Here's a video and some pics from David Guetta:

      There, IN YOUR FACE!


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