Posted in Blog Stuff, Strawberry, tagged blog, indecision on Saturday, 9 April, 2011 |
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Every once in a while I get to contemplating the state of my blog — why I do this, is it worth it, should I change something… should I change everything? I’ve been blogging for a pretty damn long time (since the summer of 2007!), and yet I don’t feel that “well-established”. I know that’s because I don’t post regularly and I also don’t go to great lengths to gain readers. After almost four years this blog still feels like something I do just for myself, and most days, I’m really OK with that. But the fact that this blog is my own little project is also the reason I struggle with the idea of changing it. I’ve thought about starting a whole new blog with a slightly different focus and new structure. A clean slate, plus I could get rid of all those awkward old posts I’m embarrassed about. But at the same time, those posts have documented parts of my life since I started living in Estonia three and half years ago, and I absolutely don’t want to lose them! (This may be a stupid question, but is there a way to un-publish posts, but still preserve them in some kind of archive?). I think starting anew would make me feel lost, rather than more confident.
Then there’s the name of my blog. I know having a foreign word in the name is somewhat impractical, and people change the names of their blogs all the time — it’s no big deal. But it took me so long to think of this one in the first place, and I’m indecisive, so picking a new name that I don’t think is lame would take approximately forever. If I decide that a new name is needed to feel more confident in my blogging space, I’ll do it, but until then my good old Strawberry/Maasikas is staying.
One blogging friend recently started a new blog, and two other friends recently started blogs as well. That’s part of the reason I’ve had all this blog stuff on my mind. But even before that, I thought about change. With your permission, dear readers, I think I’d like to expand the focus of my blog just a tiny bit past food and travel. Without becoming a fitness blog, I want to write more about running and life in general. I’m never going to write about everything — I’ve realized that I’m a private person and the thought of sharing too much of my life on a blog REALLY freaks me out — but I may start to share a little bit more. And perhaps the natural progression of things will lead to a name change. We’ll have to see. If anybody reading is a blogger who changed the name of their blog: was changing the name a hard decision to make? Did you feel better about your blog after you did it?
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My, I’ve been a lazy blogger lately. My apologies! I have some catching up to do. Last weekend J and I took an overnight cruise to Stockholm, spent several hours in the city on Saturday, then took the ferry back to Tallinn on Saturday night. It was a nice mini-vacation and of course there was some fun food involved, which I’ll get to later!
We didn’t really do much for Valentine’s Day, since our trip over the weekend was already pretty indulgent. However, my honey did make me a sweet and healthy Valentine’s dessert with the newest gadget to join our kitchen– a blender! We’ve had it for a little over a week and J is totally on a smoothie kick, so on the 14th he made a delicious thick smoothie with kiwi, banana, frozen strawberries, milk, and a touch of honey.
Perfect color for Valentine’s Day, right? I topped mine with a little Nutella granola for some crunch and sweetness (and chocolate, which is practically a necessity on Valentine’s Day). Perfect! For now the blender will continue to churn out diet-friendly concoctions, but as soon as warmer weather hits you can expect to see some yummy frozen cocktail experiments!
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My fiance’s mother is well aware of my strawberry obsession and bought me these awesome chocolate-covered freeze-dried strawberries on the boat from Helsinki to Tallinn when they came for Christmas. Both bags have of course been consumed, so here comes a review!
There were two different kinds, milk chocolate and yogurt. The product is made in the Netherlands and in the top right-hand corner of the front of the package it says “Green-All-Natural”, which sort of looks more like a brand name than a claim (but a glance at the ingredients reveals that they are indeed all natural).
I was surprised by how big they were! Each one is a whole freeze-dried strawberry with a healthy coating of chocolate or yogurt. The milk chocolate was very, very sweet. It was tempered somewhat by the natural tartness of the crispy, light-as-air strawberry in the center, but overall the sugar was still too much. They actually made my teeth hurt. In a few of them I came across strawberries that weren’t completely dried and retained some chewiness (they still tasted fine).
The yogurt coating was also quite sweet, but ultimately I found it less overwhelming than the milk chocolate. The berry and coating were somehow in better harmony (of course– berries and cream are a natural combination!). Their size, sweetness and the resealable bag mean that even the small 100 g bag could last a while, as it only takes one or two of these unique “candies” to satisfy a sweets craving.
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Posted in Strawberry, tagged family, holidays, maasikas, Strawberry on Thursday, 23 December, 2010 |
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J’s family arrived in Tallinn on Tuesday, so for us Christmas pretty much started then (even though I still had to work Wednesday and Thursday this week). J’s mother had bought me a little gift on the ferry they took from Helsinki to Tallinn:
They’re freeze-dried strawberries covered in yogurt and chocolate. I didn’t even know such a thing existed, but I think they’re going to be amazing! I love that she saw the strawberries and thought of me . Later on that same evening she asked me where my whole strawberry obsession came from (she knows about the blog). I blushed a little, as I do when I’m put on the spot, and said I don’t really know. She asked if it’s a long-running thing and I said yes, that one of my grandfathers (who passed when I was very young) had called me “Marika Maasikas” and maybe it started from that. I’m still shy when talking about the blog, but at the same time it’s awesome that my future mother-in-law (feels so funny to type that!) knows about my blog, understands why I take lots of pictures of food, and tries to understand why I like the things I like. Even though we can’t converse on the level that I would like to (my spoken Finnish is very elementary), I feel that she “gets” me. She’s always asking me questions about myself, not just related to the blog or to food (although she knows that asking me any question about food will get me talking, regardless of my awkward Finnish!), but about work, family, life in general. I can safely say that the mothers of some of my ex-boyfriends (with whom I was able to speak easily, in English) did not ask me as much about myself as J’s mother does. And that’s nice, those questions that let you know that somebody is interested and truly wants to know more about you. While it can get frustrating not being able to talk and express myself in the exact way I’d like to, sensing that J’s mother knows who I am (and likes me!) in spite of that feels really great.
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Posted in Expat, Strawberry, tagged fall, Strawberry on Tuesday, 12 October, 2010 |
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I’m totally a summer girl, so in general the changing of the seasons gets me a little down. However, I’ve actually been enjoying the fall this past week or so. I’m no longer complaining about how it’s still so much warmer in America and I wish we were still there, or whining about how I had to switch out my summer wardrobe for my winter gear. We’ve been having some absolutely beautiful fall days– the leaves have hit their brightest hues and the trees are still thick with them, though there are plenty crunching underfoot as well. The days have been crisp but sunny with fluffy white clouds.
Sometimes the clouds in Estonia are just unreal.
I take walks and all the concerns I have before stepping outside (will I need gloves? Should I get a thicker scarf?) disappear, and I just enjoy being outside, watching the colors, the sky and the people. It’s not yet too cold– it’s just right. It’s nice to like where I am– that’s how it should be, no? (I may not like it so much anymore when November, month of wind, rain and darkness rolls around. But for now I’ll live in the moment).
As usual when the weather grow cooler, I’ve started drinking more tea. This year I have an extra incentive to make myself a cuppa– the cutest tea infuser in the entire world, which my mother bought for me back in June.
I love this thing so much.
It’s made of soft, flexible silicon, easy to use and wash, and did I mention super-cute? It’ll definitely make easing into the cold winter months a bit less traumatizing.
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