Good old Karepa beach

Hello! My inspiration level, mainly when it comes to blogging, is extremely low right now and writing this post has been a massive struggle but I'm still bravely doing it because after all I'm as stubborn as a mule :) So, more or less two weeks ago I and my fiancé repeated our own history and took a nice little road trip to Karepa beach, also called our paradise beach (look back on our previous trips from 2011 here and 2012 here).

We just love the place because it's truly peaceful, i.e. noisy kiddies and their unconcerned parents haven't occupied it; only some well-mannered individuals and sweet doggies have. Besides, it's beautiful, the sand is silky smooth and the seawater of the place is pleasantly warm. Which also means I swam for the very first time this summer and it was awesome! So I believe you understand me when I confess I didn't want to leave.. at all. I even wanted to move there, haha. But it was already late, we both got terribly hungry and still had to turn back.

Tommy Hilfiger Swimwear bikini | D&G sunnies | thrifted dress | gladiator sandals from Crete.

But now, several weeks later I discovered additional interesting information about Karepa medicinal plant gardens, Kalame Farm Museum and a couple of authentic local pubs in Altja and Palmse. Conclusion? Obviously we yet have a lot to discover and experience.

Anyway, we completed our day off with hamburgers (I tested Hesburger's Ruis Burger and quite liked it) and some "mandatory" sale shopping in a New Yorker store. As you can see I scraped up a pair of studded apricot tan colour pants (€29.95 6.95) and a pair of spectra green bikini bottoms (€8.95 2.95; I wanted the top part too but the only one left there was huge). But all in all the sales in Rakvere were quite boring and in most stores of course not even big enough to catch a glimpse of their goodies. Or I simply want to whine, who knows.

On a completely different note, about 28 days (including 19 workdays and 9 days off) to go and my second, 17 days long short vacation will be finally here.. or at least it should be. I bet I already sound desperate but I can't help myself, I'm in great need of my holidays! Oh and before I go, I have been tensely assorting and organizing my jewellery collection and can probably show you the result soon, of course if you're interested, so be responsive and let me know :) And by all means enjoy my summery photos because unfortunately autumn is not far any more. See you!


Discovering Valmiera in Latvia and Karula National Park in Estonia

So, almost exactly three long weeks ago (June 27) I, E. and my mom went to lovely Valmiera city in Latvia. It conjointly was my mother's first time there and our second time. Our previous visit took place last autumn and I wrote about it in this extra colourful post.

Without further ado, in the first place we of course conquered Valleta shopping centre and spent several very busy hours there. Mom was particularly carried away but my catch wasn't bad either. I got myself a skull pattern Stella LS sweatshirt (~€8.5), the cutest apricot shade Adrianna sweater (~€10) and an edgy Lexie top (~€10) from Cubus and accentra orchid shower gel (~€2.80) and mango-orange hand and nail cream (~€1.40) from a Douglas store. Oh, and I'm extra excited about the mysterious, today still undiscovered scents of the last two purchases!

Anyway, after all the tiring shopping we obviously sensed some serious hunger and decided to have lunch at a local pizza place called Čili Pica. Others had pizza, I didn't but my meal was still truly scrumptious and I know one day we will go back for sure. We also slightly discovered the cosy surroundings, visited a random massive thrift shop and photographed my favourite local fountain situated in Dzirnavu Lake. Valmiera is such a sweet little (actually the eighth largest in the whole country but oh well) town and as well one of the oldest towns in Latvia. But our time there was unfortunately over and therefore we had to drive back to our homeland Estonia.

Emporio Armani sunnies | thrifted New Look under-top | Link upper-top | thrifted denim cut-offs | gladiator sandals from Crete | Guess purse | Kids by Lindex sweatshirt.

Our initial plan additionally included exploring Rebäse off-road trail in Karula National Park, Valga County but the very beginning of the trail clearly was even too off-road and wild so we decided to ditch our overly enthusiastic ground plan. Instead we came across exciting Mäekonnu viewing tower in Mähkli village, Võru County that got its name from the old Mäekonnu farm.

Mäekonnu viewing tower sits atop one of the highest ranges in the Karula uplands, containing three hills: Saarikmäe, Savimäe and Kirsimäe. Together they form one of the most unique landscapes in the area. The surrounding land is home to some of Karula's oldest settlements: people have been living here and ploughing the land for more than a thousand years. The 25 meter high viewing tower certainly offered us a truly splendid panorama of the surrounding heritage culture landscape and well, high places simply seem to always attract us (but my mom - not so much, although she at least was sturdy enough to steal a swift glance at the very top).

All in all we had a long amusing day together: mom and I got to shop like real madwomen and E. had the great honour to carry everything we bought (luckily my car was close by, haha). I also re-recognized that you don't have to go far to uncover something beautiful and unique. Sometimes the nearest environment simply is the best environment. So I hope you enjoyed my half Latvian half Estonian photos and of course let me know what you think because I always love hearing your thoughts!


Bits and pieces from my bygone June vacation

Today's quick post consists of entirely three different vividly illustrated thematics: an efficient two day trip to Tartu, Midsummer's Eve Fair in Avinurme and some summer meals from last weekend. The latter, by the way, was monotonically busy, filled with transporting our winter firewood, building and painting our fresh, vintage inspired shed (my fiancé took down the old, slightly rotten one while building the new shed and I was the extra crafty painter, obviously). We also finally completed our incredibly long-term DIY project imaginarily called Maiken's necklace holder(s) that you will probably see in the near... or not so near future after I have classified and organized every single necklace (the perks of being a perfectionist, you know).

Anyway, the first three images derive from June 21 when E.'s sister P. graduated from high school and there was a little barbecue party at their parents' place to celebrate the special occasion. But before the party I and E. managed to do some quick sale shopping. And my modest outcome was: two adorable tees (€ 9.99 6.49 x2) from Reserved, the doggie for me and the kitty for my granny's birthday; the neon goodies (€ 14.95 8.95+5.95 3.55) are from good old Lindex. Oh and I'm already considering wearing the doggie tee with my not yet worn absolutely wonderful DIY maxi skirt made from a thrifted fabric. But hey, this is already a completely different story for another time.. and another weather, too.

Emporio Armani sunnies | Cubus tee | H&M belt | H&M coral studded bracelet + an unknown black 
one | Hilfiger Denim mini | o.i.s sandals.

My next six photos/collages originate from June 23, Midsummer's Eve. We started our day together with my grandparents in small Avinurme borough where the annual Midsummer's Eve Fair took place (and my first collage is from there). Afterwards we drove to Rakvere, mainly for some food shopping. And since I love massive jeeps I of course succeeded in "hijacking" my grandpa's machine to be the driver for the day. Anyhow, it still was Midsummer's Eve and we finished the day properly with plenty of food, Midsummer bonfire and a sauna surrounded by wide forest. It indeed was idyllic :)

Emporio Armani sunnies | Lindex neon rhinestone earrings | Guess Los Angeles tank top | titiMadam swan brooch | H&M coral studded bracelet + a wooden one from a fair | thrifted DIY (children's) Crocker denim cut-offs | o.i.s sandals.

1 - Chanterelle pasta
2 - Grilled chicken salad with grilled peaches and salad cheese
3 - M&M's cookie cake.

Last but not least you could see those home cooked meals I brought up at the beginning of this post. What was your latest home cooked meal? And I mean the one YOU entirely made ;)
Before I finish up I would still like to reveal that my next post will most likely tell you about an awesome road trip we took to Valmiera in Latvia together with my mom. So be prepared for another photolicious post and see you next time!


Suomenlinna experience*

*(enriched with a very serious amount of photos and text)

Happy July, my sweetiepies! And bye-bye, my unbelievably short (barely 17 days... please do sense the sarcasm here) June vacation. Obviously I'm already secretly waiting for the next one which will hopefully and probably arrive in August and last for another fleeting 17 days. Anyway, since vacations normally stand for numerous road, sea and other types of trips, I therefore have quite a lot to tell you about and I'm immediately going to start off with our one day trip to Helsinki in Finland.

So, without further ado, two weeks ago, on June 18 we woke up crazy early (at least 5 o'clock in the morning if not even earlier) in order to drive to our metropolis Tallinn. There we quickly ditched the car and travelled to Finland's capital town Helsinki by Viking Line's ship M/S Viking XPRS. By the way, I purchased my new and sweetly pink Guess wallet (€ 49 19.60) from that ship. But now about the first and very exciting thing we did in Helsinki!

Emporio Armani sunnies | Seppälä chandelier earrings, snake necklace, cuff bracelet and sneakers | ancient XX by Mexx denim jacket | thrifted Hagenfeldt knitwear | H&M dress | D&G watch | Guess purse.

We collected a capacious Helsinki related briefcase compiled by my dear (blog) friend Elisabeth from The Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau. She also kindly left us two Helsinki cards and a beautiful white swan brooch from titiMadam (all their products are made only in Helsinki and London). I proudly wore my new brooch on June 23 and will now leave you a little sneak peek of that outfit.

I already found out where to buy titiMadam's products in Estonia and I'm particularly excited when it comes to their new, doggies by titiMadam collection. They even offer an incredible chance to get a custom made set of jewelry of your own dog, and believe me, I would SO wear Elvis-shaped brooch, earrings and a necklace! Such a shame I didn't know about their doggies' collection when we were in Helsinki. But all right, I'm going to tame my overly joyful emotions now, move forward and tell you about our trip to Suomenlinna.

Since we were in fortunate possession of two Helsinki cards we could enjoy Suomenlinna (ferry rides, multiple museums) free of charge. Suomenlinna (Sveaborg in Swedish) sea fortress is a cultural treasure founded in 1748 on islands off the coast of Helsinki. Its construction began in the 1700s when Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden. In the 19th century it was under Russian rule. Nowadays Suomenlinna has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site (since 1991), to be preserved for future generations as an example of the European military architecture of its time. It's also a lively city district and one of Finland's most popular tourist attractions.

So, now a bit about a couple of fascinating museums we visited there. The first one was Military Museum's Manege that showcases weaponry and Finnish national defence from the time of independence but also a section on Finnish coastal defence (the artillery manege was built in 1880-81 and renovated in 1987 by the way). Secondly we stopped by at Suomenlinna Toy Museum where reside thousands of old toys, dolls, teddy bears, toy cars and games. The oldest of these date back to the beginning of the 1800s. Wartime toys and games are one of the specialities of the museum (but unfortunately taking photos was not allowed there).

Anyway, in the third place we explored a restored 1930s Finnish submarine Vesikko which gives visitors a great chance to see the amenities of a submarine crew and the submarine technology of that era. I'm pretty sure it was my first time being inside a real submarine and gosh it was extremely tight but still such an amazing and educational experience! Vesikko was used in the Second World War by the way.

Last but definitely not least we decided to browse Ehrensvärd Museum that is located in the official residence of the fortress commandant and showcases the (Swedish) period of Augustin Ehrensvärd (1710-1772), the first commandant (and also the creator) of the fortress. Building the fortress of Sveaborg was a life's work for Ehrensvärd and he continued expanding the fortress until his death in 1772. I completely adore the historical interior decoration, especially the stunningly embellished and delicately painted fireplaces seen below.

Whereas our time in Suomenlinna was up we couldn't visit Suomenlinna Museum and Customs Museum but what can you do when a girl is eager to shop too, even a little bit. Therefore we visited Stockmann wherefrom I bought my very first Maison Scotch item. It's a La Femme Selon Marie long-sleeved tee (€ 49.90 29.90) from Maison Scotch's women's collection for Scotch and Soda. Besides, how could I not buy something as awesome with a meaningful massive letter M on top of it anyway, right? :)

Naturally we also stopped by at a couple of "mandatory" H&M stores and I detected only three likeable things: a beautiful coral imitation leather bracelet (€ 3.95), a black & gold imitation leather belt with two buckles (€ 14.95 7.47) and a cute soft bra (€ 12.95 7). By the way, H&M stores look rather terrible (=some people become brainless barbarians and devastators) during sales if you know what I mean. But I still wanted a comfortable but striking pair of sandals for summer. So we visited Aleksi 13 in addition and it indeed was a great success because I found them! An outstanding pair of fuchsia/neon pink sandals (€ 39.95 23.95) from o.i.s. My following two outfits will also include those vivid cuties which can only mean one thing: they already serve me well for sure!

But I believe I should really put everything in a nutshell now (even though I have so much to say in addition). We were seriously lucky with the weather since it was simply perfect. Elisabeth's help also meant a lot and it certainly made our trip breezier than it would have been otherwise. Helsinki is my kind of city and it was a great change for us. So I genuinely hope you enjoyed the story and my photos (the excellent ones who read it are obviously my favourites so you can let me know if you did because I'm curious ;) Definitely let me know what you think and I wonder if any of you have been to Suomenlinna?