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Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

KOTI apartments

April 3, 2020

KOTI apartments offer you modernly designed and highly comfortable apartments in the heart of ever so popular area in Helsinki called Ullanlinna. 

Building itself is right next to the Design and Architecture museums as well as it’s surrounded by many cute and unique shops, St.John’s church, trendy restaurants and vicinity of the sea. 

With concierge-services and short or long term accommodation, KOTI apartments are perfect for those who wish to live like a local when visiting Helsinki. KOTI customers usually stay from couple of months to years but you can also book your stay for as short as one night only. 

Each of KOTI apartments are like a real home where you can make food, do laundry or invite your friends over. 

Sweet and welcoming KOTI staff will make sure that you’ll feel cozy and lively during daytime, and have your peaceful haven at evening and night.

KOTI apartments also provide you with once a week apartment cleaning, speedy WiFi, smart TV, possibility to have private sauna moments as well as breakfast delivery from next door restaurant Ventuno. 

Nothing is impossible at KOTI apartments and they’re your perfect choice when you want to have the comfort and convince of a hotel but privacy and coziness of your home in one. 

*This post has been made in collaboration with KOTI apartments. All of the opinions and photos are my own.

Lifestyle, My Work

Corroded

March 14, 2020

Corroded or destroyed is the word which comes to my mind when I think about the current moment. Who feels like it’s been only couple of days ago that everything was “fine” and fast forward to Friday the 13th of March, we’re all on our toes waiting on the latest updates on Covid 19 known as Corona virus. A virus which found us all unprepared for such mass madness and fear it has created.

I must say that I have my point of view on all of this and while I’m not afraid of anything or anybody and while I’m using my free will and common sense and I am refusing to be upset by the current situation in any way, I do feel for those affected or who’s families are in immediate danger and had to pause their normal day to day lives because of the virus.

Model : Alison, Clothes by Destiny Helsinki and Alison

I have been entertained by reading some of the articles in different media regarding hygiene, from how to wash your hands to how everybody should be more aware on personal space, sneezing and so on. I’m thinking, is it really necessary to point out something which is absolutely natural to me and goes under “normal” in my household? I guess that yes, because apparently, many people are not having the best of hygiene or aren’t aware how poor their hygiene is even though they might have been thinking that it isn’t so.

Washing your hands many times a day, drinking lots of water, using hand sanitisers and not touching everything and everybody is just most normal for my daily life and that is what I teach my daughter too.

Model : Alison, Clothes by Destiny Helsinki and Alison

Yet, the times we’re in right now are more than needed… I unfortunately think that this is just the beginning and some bigger and more lethal things might happen if we don’t learn something from this Corona virus situation. This world needs a reset and people need to stop volunteering their lives and minds to the media and mass control run by people who love to play God. People should be more aware of each other, less selfish, more conscious and more responsible. Poor is the human who blindly follows what they’re being told, not questioning and agreeing to be manipulated by the installed fear.

Model : Alison, Clothes by Destiny Helsinki and Alison

Nature never breaks it’s own rules… Why do we, humans who are so smart, so advanced, so perfectly created, so stupid at the end of the day? When did we become hypnotised masses and when are we going to wake up finally??

The time is now to DO SOMETHING and not let another, even worser situation than this one or the wild fires in Australia happen on even bigger scale. Think about it… You have the power to change the world, start with yourself.

All photographs by Natali K. photography

Lifestyle, My Work

Runaways

February 5, 2020

It’s been an “hour” since I wrote something more personal. My last intimate post was a cathartic unloading which indirectly marked an ending of a chapter which I don’t want to remind myself of much but I’m still very thankful for everything because in all of that darkness and tough situations, some of the most beautiful moments have happened, some faces came in, some left for good, some challenged me to look deep inside of myself and face some of the fears I had, as well as see my flaws and make me work on becoming the best I can be.

We all need that spark, a light in the dark to overcome hard times and rise up like a phoenix. Oh yes darling, I assure you that no matter how low you fall, only one little spark of light and a little wish of your heart to live happy and fulfilled life but on different terms than the usual patterns which brought you down, I can promise you that you will rise up again and live to see the day when suddenly, so easily everything starts to look much more clearer and starts to fall into it’s place.

You will never forget your scars and maybe time won’t heal anything, but YOU , your inner beauty, purity of heart and thoughts is what will create your 2.0 version. Strong, yet sensitive, smart yet open to flaws and mistakes, self-assured but very kind and receptive – that will all be you, because at your core, before anything bad had happened to you and before all of the losses have happened, that’s been you since the day you were born.

Nothing can change you at the age XY but you can completely reinvent yourself. Take your best qualities, learn your lessons and offer the 2.0 version shining strong! Being strong and happy doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t cry ever again it just means that you will know what or who’s worth your tears and that you won’t spend time after time overthinking everything and keep on giving chances to those who never gave you a chance to start with.

If you’ve ever felt like nobody will ever hear you or see you for who you are truly, if you were ever scared that you won’t ever be able to overcome some situations, I got news for you… It might take time, it might take convincing but God (or Universe or whoever you believe in) will send you the right people in the right moment to help you heal, to lift you up from the ashes and set you on the right road to being your best self and living the life to the fullest.

My circle is small, it’s almost a dot but the ones who are there in that dot with me, they are the most precious jewels, ones who have helped me in so many ways just by being there and themselves without even realising how much they make me happy, how much they lift me up and how much all of them in this way or another have healed all of the broken pieces of me.

When the healing happens on the inside, it shows on the outside and you radiate the energy which can heal others too. See! The game is taking a shift and you, who used to be broken have become a light, that little spark in the deep darkness that can help heal other souls which are on your path…

Next time you’re around your closest ones, make sure you’re keeping your eyes “open”, make sure your ears are hearing things left unsaid… Many of us suffer by ourselves and that’s fine but we all need that other person, even if only one but somebody who will see past the “bloody knees” and offer us a hand to get up.

Thank you to my people from that little dot which I’m mentioning. 😀 You have saved me in so many ways that I can never thank you enough! My darkness will always stay somewhere there in the back of my being just to bring the balance and remind me to be thankful for what I have now and to be able to recognise that same darkness in others and be able to understand others better.

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Visit Helsinki: Hotel Helka

October 8, 2019

Visiting Helsinki and looking for a discrimination free, filled with unique art pieces and a “very Finnish” style hotel, Helka is the right choice for you. Located in the Helsinki city centre – Kamppi, it’s very easy to reach hotel Helka no matter which transportation you choose. Immediately as you enter Helka you’re greeted by the lovely and laidback staff.

You can choose if you want to use an electronic, self check in or the traditional one. Whatever you choose, your check in and check out will be equally user friendly and rarely that you’ll have to wait long to do either.

Hotel Helka has gone through some renovations and got a nice facelift so now it shines like a new penny. 🙂 You can check my previous review of Helka here. Besides standard comfort and smart rooms, there are also junior suites, all beautifully decorated with a touch of pink and cute notes, such as “Spend a night with Alvar Aalto” as there are a lot of designer touches in the hotel rooms, from Alvar Aalto vases to the Design house Stockholm famous brick lamps.

Many visitors have stayed in hotel Helka since it’s opening back in 1969, from the random hotel guests to the public personas. Hotel Helka also has a bit of a “movie history” as it served as a Hotel Budapest in American movie Gorky Park.

When visiting Helsinki, from the outside, Helka’s building doesn’t look that much different from other nearby buildings and you would never guess how stylish, cozy and pretty hotel is hiding inside. 🙂

I loved my stay at a Junior Suite and it’s private sauna was very much appreciated as I happen to love Finnish sauna and to have one at your own disposal in your own room is one of those small things which make life beautiful.

There are no mini bars at the hotel rooms because Helka is the holder of the Green Key and is very eco friendly so by not having mini bars it saves 50 000 kWh annually.

Delicious and organic breakfast is served every morning. If you feel like grabbing a drink with your friends or have a meeting with a larger group, Helka’s bar is always ready to serve you. 🙂 If you’re feeling like snacking, there’s a chance to grab a sandwich from the bar as well.

Finally, hotel Helka’s prices are some of the best ones in town and rooms are most of the time sold out but if you book in advance and through the hotel’s website using the code pinkhelsinki you will get -10% off your reservation.

*This post was made in collaboration with Hotel Helka, all of the opinions are my own.

Lifestyle, Music

The Superwood Festival

September 25, 2019

The Superwood Festival , best of Nordic oddity, pure beauty and Woodland vibes can be experienced on 4.-6.10. in Helsinki at Hotel Rantapuisto area. The best of local music, art and food will come together at The Superwood Festival and make all of your senses enjoy the enchanting sounds, great tastes and a beautiful sight for the eyes.

The Superwood Festival brings you artists such as Mirva, Pink Chameleons, GLDN, Chaos Lab, Sofa, Jari Sillanpaa, Nightbird, The New Tigers and many many more. Fireplace restaurant, Woodland cafe or Sandwich club will make sure that you enjoy some delicious food and don’t stay hungry while digging the festival vibes.

The Superwood Festival will inject you with an insightful workshops, art, Q&A’s , special DJ sets, etc. so you will get two days filled with so much entertainment that you won’t have a moment to be bored, the schedule is pretty filled up so take a look at it here and find the right times of the happenings that interest you the most.

This festival has been incredibly popular for the past two years so the tickets are running out as you read this post. Take a look at different packages/ tickets here. I would personally suggest you to consider a crazy good offer of VIP package which includes two nights at Rantapuisto hotel with breakfast and entrance tickets for TWO at a bargain price for a maximum VIP experience. 🙂

The Superwood Festival will make you break out your best dancing shoes, your sparkly “going out-out” clothes and make all of your senses go wild!

*This post has been made in collaboration with IvanaHelsinki/ The Superwood Festival.

Lifestyle, My Work, Outfits

How to dress for Autumn with Ivana Helsinki

September 23, 2019

How to dress for Autumn? Yes, want it or not, the Summer has finished and the season of layers is here. I must say that I’m happy to feel the breeze in the air, put on a coat and light scarf… After all, the Summer in Croatia was insanely hot, end of the Summer was also hot in Helsinki so I had it enough, officially. 😀

As soon as the Autumn arrives, I become more creative and playful with my outfits. I start to dig out the clothes which I have totally forgot about, some new, more Fall like colours start to dominate in my outfits and first thing which comes to my mind when somebody mentions Autumn are forests, trees and that golden sunshine hour which is so magical and only specific for Autumn.

This year has been the year of “Trees” for IvanaHelsinki. Their main designer and founder, Paola was inspired by the Red Wood forests in California as well as the nature in her homeland, Finland. Trees and forests have a mystical grounding power that is channeled into the prints of this collection. Forests are spiritual, intelligent, enduring yet very delicate and vulnerable.

I couldn’t agree more with Paola, ever since I was a little kid I’ve been wondering in the forests, that’s where I would find the best inner peace, my inspiration would blossom on my long walks in the forests, I had many “realisations” about life, solution to my own problems and so on exactly in the middle of the majestic forests in Russia, Croatia and finally in Finland too.

I’m happy to have partnered up with IvanaHelsinki to collaborate together and spread the word about everything that IvanaHelsinki is and stands for as well as, in my mind, one of the best collections the brand had to this date. You still have time to shop “Trees” collection at THIS LINK with a discount of 15% by typing IVANAXNATALI at the checkout.

To those who remember IvanaHelsinki flagship store on Uuudemankatu in Helsinki, it has moved to a new, much bigger and more functional space , an architecturally unique Finnish atelier house built in the 70’s on Palopirtintie 15. When you arrive to the shop, you can not just explore the newest collection but also have a cup of coffee or tea and talk to the lovely girls which are working there, check out an exhibition because the space also serves as a mini gallery or just wonder around and admire the beauty of the wooden house with a calming and elegant atmosphere. You will feel very welcome either way. 🙂

I will link some of my favourite pieces from the “Trees” collection here, happy shopping! NORMA , SYLVIA , JOCELYN .

Food, My Work

Minato sushi

September 13, 2019

Minato sushi is a lovely little restaurant located in the city centre of Helsinki, it has opened a little over a year ago and is ran by two very passionate foodies and professional chefs, Tuomo and Riina. Riina has 17 years of experience and is very specific about sushi rice, fresh fish, perfect cuts and giving an own signature twist to the dishes.

Minato sushi has a small but very satisfying and delicious menu which will definitely leave you enough of choices to satisfy your cravings.

Minato sushi is a welcoming breeze of “fresh air” in the sea of wanna be Japanese and sushi buffets which have taken over Helsinki food scene.

Minato sushi delivers to your doors too, so if you’re living in Helsinki you can order their delicious sushi via the delivery services too.

While visiting Minato sushi, it was such a pleasure to talk to Tuomo a young, very involved and proud force of the restaurant. We had a delicious chance to indulge in miso soup with grilled salmon and portobello pieces, sashimi and sushi platter including signature roll, Kolari with smoked reindeer.

Just a little bit before we have dined at Minato, they had two special days of fresh tuna and they promise to have more of those kind of surprises in the future. 🙂

*Thank you Tuomo for this opportunity. This post has been made in collaboration with Minato sushi but all of the opinions are my own.

*Natali K.photography

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Radisson Blu Plaza : Visit Helsinki

September 11, 2019

Radisson Blu Plaza is one of 4 Radisson Blu hotels in Helsinki. I haven’t stayed at the Radisson Blu Plaza previously but I knew that it’s one of the nicest looking old buildings in the heart of the city.

Radisson Blu Plaza

Radisson Blu Plaza is located right next to the Central Railway Station and it’s hard to miss on not spotting it as it’s facade is grandiose. There’re 302 rooms in this hotel which have been refurbished back in 2012 so now they’re decorated using the most impressive classics of Finnish design, for example some of the suites are decorated with Alvar Aalto’s most famous furnishings.

Hotel Lobby

Big ball room is perfect for events and weddings, there’re guest saunas, gym and hotel lobby is a perfect place to chill at or work on your laptop while you’re waiting on the room or on your private chauffeur to take you to the airport.

Radisson Blu Plaza has some of the services which aren’t so common in Helsinki such as concierge, bell boy and private chauffeur as well as a possibility to pick your own pillow (there are 5 different options).

I must say that the bed was one of the most comfortable ones I’ve slept in and that’s something that is very important to me when I’m staying at the hotels.

I also found it very convenient that all of the lights in the room could be adjusted on different “modes” on a mini electronic screen right next to the bed. Bathroom was well set up with the Radisson’s own toiletries and the TV screen in the bathroom mirror was a nice touch.

I sometimes like to test room service by requesting either a meal or something random like a set of cutlery or tea just to see how quick they are and how willing they’re to meet your needs. I did it this time too and Plaza’s room service was 5/5.

Radisson Blu Plaza is getting more and more recognised for it’s big breakfast buffet. The selection was plenty, various and thoughtful, meaning that they have served different variations to suit different diets. The restaurant’s design was incredible, very beautiful ceiling and lots of art photos everywhere.

If you’re stying at the Business Room or suite, you have the exclusive chance to have a more private breakfast at the hotel’s Business Lounge/ terrace. If you’re arriving with the car, Radisson Blu Plaza has its own parking garage.

It was a short but sweet stay at the Radisson Blu Plaza which I would recommend as a great choice for a weekend getaway or a very convenient place to stay at in Helsinki at a competitive price. 🙂

*This post was made in collaboration with Radisson Blu Plaza but all of the opinions are my own.

*Thank you to Miss Annukka for making this possible.

*Photos by Natali K. photography

Food, Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Hotel Katajanokka : Visit Helsinki

September 3, 2019

If you come to Helsinki by boat, chances are that you’ll arrive right at the Viking Line port and a hotel which is conveniently located nearby is hotel Katajanokka. Hotel Katajanokka is a very unique hotel and one of those experiences which you can put on your “bucket list” and the reason for that is because it used to be a prison!

Hotel Katajanokka entrance

Hotel Katajanokka was “made” in 2007. when it had been transformed from a prison into a hotel. Restoration lasted for a while and once it had opened it’s doors to the visitors it immediately became hyped up and a wanted place to stay at! You can still visit original group and isolation cells in the hotel but other than that and some prison like metal doors or window rails, you would never say that it served as a county prison previously.

Hotel Katajanokka goes by the motto “escape the ordinary” and you definitely do feel everything but ordinary staying at this modern, stylish and incredibly sweet hotel. The staff is one of the nicest I’ve encountered in my numerous hotel stays around the world.

Escape the ordinary

In 2018, hotel Katajanokka joined to chain of Mariott hotels which sets them a level up higher and a certain standard which they’re meeting flawlessly. All of the bedrooms are simple, practical and the walls are decorated with the photos and small details like “lockets” to portray the hotel’s past.

For all of the hungry bellies, on the 1st floor of the hotel, there’s a well spoken about restaurant Linnankellari which serves you delicious Nordic cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had a chance to enjoy fine dinner testing some simple but full of flavour starters such as sprout salad, local blue cheese with rhubarb jam, new potatoes and broiled fish.

Main courses are hearty and perfect for sharing if you ain’t too hungry. 🙂 Linnankellari serves classics such as hotel’s own burger and fries as well as cooked pork ribs or something lighter like spelt risotto with asparagus.

There are three desserts but all three were very light and different, from deconstructed Pavlova to creme brûlée Linnankellari style, all three were worth the sugar spike. 😀

If you need a hotel in Helsinki which is nearby the best of local attractions but enough “tucked away” to give you sort of privacy and peace, hotel Katajanokka is the right choice for you, not to mention that if you’re into that whole “bucket thing” list, you simply must stay here!

*This post was made in collaboration with the hotel Katajanokka but all of the opinions are my own!

*Photography by #natalikphotography

*Thank you to Ms.Heli for this opportunity and Ms. Anni for the warm welcome.

Food, Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Marski by Scandic : Visit Helsinki

August 15, 2019

About 12 years ago when I’ve first visited Helsinki, there weren’t as many hotels as there are now in the very heart of the Helsinki city centre but one of the first hotels I did stay at back then was Scandic Simonkentta.

Swedish chain of 4 star hotels right away “got” me with their minimalistic design, effortless check in/out and great comfort. Couple of years after, I have stayed at hotel Marski as well and while it was not any different looking than the other Scandic hotels I’ve been to (in other cities such as Turku and Oulu) I did love the very central location of it, right on the main street Mannerheimintie and right across the best department store in Finland, Stockmann as well as the historical Swedish theatre and 3 blacksmiths square.

Scandic Marski hotel lobby
very stylish and cosy Scandic Marski rooms

About a year and half ago I have heard that hotel Marski is under the reconstruction and the whole new look and concept will be given to it!

Oh and it was so! Beautiful new hotel Marski by Scandic was (re)opened couple of months ago and the new , very stylish and fancy design had complemented the “old fame” of the place.

I love the cozyness of it, the upgraded bedrooms and amenities as well as the restaurant Kuusi Palaa which served us amazing dinner and a wonderful breakfast table. I found the rooms to be very stylish, more spacious than before and I have loved the new “splash” of colour it got versus the other Scandic hotels I know of.

Marble walls and golden details in the bathroom!

Gym, sauna access, parking garage and super friendly and helpful staff would be definitely what I’m looking for when staying at a hotel in any city’s centre. Something that is also great about Marski by Scandic hotel is that WiFi is free of charge, pets are allowed and it also proudly carries the Nordic Swan eco label for the sustainability.

Thanks to already mentioned hotel’s restaurant Kuusi Palaa, I have dined well and have enjoyed to the max Noridc / Finnish cuisine at it’s best. The name of the restaurant is quite entertaining as it can mean many different things and some of them are: “Burning Tree” or “6 slices”. You even get a small pamphlet on your dinner table explaining the name and all of the variations of it. 🙂

Restaurant Kuusi Palaa

It’s rare that I like any of the hotel’s own restaurants, but Kuusi Palaa has definitely satisfied my foodie standards as well as my tastebuds. 🙂

From the starter plate or so called Finnish tapas to the main course and finishing off the dinner with a rich but just perfectly combined brownie with coffee cream and popping candy was nothing short but great!

I can definitely recommend you to try out the Marski bar, besides live music played by the DJ you can also enjoy many great cocktails among which I’d like to point out Grandma’s pickle cocktail and Raspberry boat, both of them you can also get as a mocktail. 🙂 For avid beer lovers, there’s an extensive list of local and Finnish beers as well.

If you find yourself visiting Helsinki sometime soon and are looking for a 5 star hotel treatment and vibe but at much affordable rate, give a chance to Marski by Scandic, you won’t regret it!

*This article was made in collaboration with Scandic hotels / Marski hotel but all of the opinions are my own.

*Photography by Natali K. photography

*Thank you Ms. Elina and Mr. Jouko for this opportunity!