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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!

Beauty, Lifestyle, Outfits

A year away

July 15, 2019

How much a year away can change you? A lot! I didn’t plan on it, I didn’t know what will happen with me or to me but a year ago I took off to see my family in Croatia and due to my very fragile and at that point “incurable” health situation I was sure that I was about to see only few more days and that’s it…

Yes, it was that bad and I was in shock when the doctors told me that I was fighting for my life or that my life was hanging on the threads. Thanks to the love of my siblings, I have managed to fight through, I have managed to leave the hospital, start getting better and also for the first time in forever – just be.

My beautiful daughter came over for her Summer holidays and I was happy that us two got more time to be together, to put a “restart” on life as we knew it and make new rules and memories.

It happened to be that my health was getting better all the time, I was enjoying my Summer days by the beach with an ice cream in one hand and a great book to read in another. I was indulging in seasonal, local fruits like a crazy hungry monkey, I was inhaling the breeze of the fresh seaside air as if it was the first time I’ve ever experienced that.

But the Summer was coming to it’s end and I wasn’t ready to leave the place in which I have just started to feel so good, to finally relax and let go of all of the chains I’ve put on myself in all the previous years. I knew that I got a new chance on life and I was not going to play it out… I had to make a decision at cost of the life I knew for the past 11 years and at cost of my daughter’s life to stay in Croatia for a while.

We didn’t put any date on anything… We just started to live day by day as it comes. I’m a person who’s always thinking about the past and how I could have done this or that better. I’m also a person who’s living in the future, all the time questioning myself what’s going to be, I even visually picture something which haven’t and most possibly won’t happen at all, but of course that kind of thinking just lead me to an enormous amount of anxiety.

That was when I have told myself that I just need to slow down, let go of any rules, let go of any stupid thoughts which were choking me in now – the present.

That is when I started to completely break down the girl which I thought I was – a creation of tens of other people, living and functioning according to what I thought certain person wanted me to be, what I thought they were thinking about me and trying to please everybody so that I would be liked and approved by everybody because for a long time I thought that THAT is where my worth is. If everybody likes me, it means that I’m a good person, I am doing things right and I will be always understood.

Yea, my *ss! First of all, nobody cares about you that much, esp. if you don’t care about yourself and secondly, what anybody else thinks of you is none of your business. YOU NEED TO BE GOOD TO YOURSELF and that’s all that matters. See… I was brought up thinking that for TRUE LOVE you need to work hard.

I thought that in order for my mom, my dad, my siblings, friends, etc. to TRULY LOVE me I need to work really hard to have their love, acceptance and to be worthy of their time and love.

THAT IS SO WRONG! For the true, unconditional love, you don’t need to work. Love is NOT work, love is the true emotion which comes just by you being you, without hiding anything, without overthinking everything, without trying hard to impress somebody in order for them to love you back. Yes! I always am advocating to give and expect nothing in return, to love endlessly and to be kind to one other but there is a limit to all of that and also a realisation point when you figure out that not everybody is worthy of your time and love and that the more you’re beating the horse who doesn’t respond the more you’re hurting while they’re still indifferent towards you.

People who really love you will always be there for you! Even after you had fights, even after you have not agreed on things, even when you haven’t spoken in a while… People who really love you will always be ready to hear you out, to give you a second chance or will be very well aware of how much you’re worthy, how much you’ve done for them and how much you love them too.

Sometimes, your closest people stab you in the back the hardest. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept that some people you have spent so much time giving and loving couldn’t care less about you, about what you’re doing, how you’re feeling or perhaps, if they could somehow help you out.

What this year away has thought me is that I’m bendable! I was torn apart, practically faced the death bed and have risen up like a phoenix. I have for the first time truly looked at myself in the mirror, seen myself for who I really am and have decided to love myself… To fully embrace myself and give myself a hug when I needed it the most.

It was only then, when I started to accept myself that I have started to change the way I see others, how I respond in certain situations and what I really want from life at all.

I found it “funny” how things which had so much importance to me before, now I couldn’t care less about those. I have discovered that my connection to the nature and being in tune with myself spiritually was what made me find that silver lining. I have realised now more than ever how much the power of some things had over me and how I was slave to everything which I’m completely unbothered by right now!

I have realised how much more aware I am of my thoughts, my actions, my finances, my plans for the future. I have realised how much I DO accomplish when I set my mind onto it and how many things do fall into place when I don’t desperately push them to fall there.

A year away can change you and teach you so much! I don’t advise you to take a year away from everything you know or have been living a certain way for over a decade but I have always been an exhibitionist and only doing drastic moves could open my eyes, smash me but also build me up in a very short time.

What’s one year of living, learning and changing? Not much really, I had 11 years of living by the same rules and patterns, so I thought that I owe it to myself to give this one year away a try…. A try to do everything differently and see what happens!

While none of your problems will just disappear by snapping with your fingers, they will be looked at from a whole different perspective! You will gain the strength and a new outlook on them and how to solve them.

Right now, a year later, I can say that I didn’t have it easy going through this transformation but this year has brought me some new amazing people in my life and have also make me see people who have always been there and loved me differently (in a positive way). It also made me realise which relationships needed to be broken off and to stop over romanticising some of them for what they’re not and have never been.

A year away has also thought me that sometimes, all you have is yourself! You are the only person who’s with you there at the end of the day. Sometimes you will be the only person which you can rely and trust on but that’s not tragical, that’s exactly where you’ll find what you’re made of and how much strength you have which you weren’t even aware of.

So thank you life for everything you’ve put on my path, I now see and understand things and people differently! I have learned not to take everything too close to heart but I have also learned to listen because I’m not always right and sometimes the answers you’re looking for are exactly in what you’re running away from or not wanting to hear.

All photos by Valerio Baranovic, make up by Katarina Maglov, session for YSL beauty

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

NOVA Rent A Car

March 15, 2019

NOVA Rent A Car is my favourite rent a car company in Croatia. When I’m not in Finland and I want to relay on a good, safe and modern cars for the local trips in Croatia, I go to NOVA Rent A Car!

NOVA Rent A Car has the best selection of rental cars at the most affordable prices! I have been using their services for a long time to be able to stand behind my words when I assure you that there was not a single time I had any issues with NOVA Rent A Car, actually quite the opposite. Every visit to NOVA Rent A Car in Sibenik has been one of the most pleasure filled “client services” experience.

From getting to the office, to getting a car, payment, driving the car and to finally returning it, it is all so easy and comfortable which is the main reason why I keep on coming back to NOVA Rent A Car and don’t go elsewhere.

Great fact about NOVA Rent A Car is that they have many offices through whole Croatia, from Zagreb to Dubrovnik but you can also always book your car online too! Another cool thing is that you don’t need to stress taking the car back to the original office where you have picked it up from. If you need car from Sibenik to Zagreb for instance, you can drop off the car in Zagreb NOVA Rent A Car office and continue on with your trip.

NOVA Rent A Car offers you 2 different options when renting their cars, you can take a full on package, meaning you prepay for the insurance of the car or you can take it without one but then it’s bit more riskier because in case something happens on the road, you’re responsible to pay for the damage no matter what the price will be.

There are also car extras which you can choose according to your needs and you can also always check out NOVA Rent A Car website for the special deals which could for instance get you a 15% discount on certain cars for a specific period.

*Thank you to Mr.Ivica from NOVA Sibenik and Miss Vanja for the best customer service.

*All of the opinions are my own/ all of the photos by me.

Lifestyle, My Work

Portabile phone cases

March 6, 2019

Phones are something we’re all attached to on daily basis, some of us more, some less, but I don’t think that any of us can imagine a day go by without using our phone. 

I also drop my phone on daily basis… A lot! I know, not something to brag about but I am wishing to explain you the importance of a great, high quality phone cases. 

Costumised phone case

The ones which I’m using, Portabile phone cases are exactly that, high quality, durable phone cases which are protecting my phone but they’re also something I have “designed” myself and you can too! 

Portabile phone cases are Croatian based company which allows you to create your own phone case, costumise it just how you want it in 3 easy steps:

1.Pick the model of your phone (iPhone, Samsung, Huawei)

2.Upload your preferred photograph

3.Fix/ scale your photo to fit the phone case and add text if you wish.

It can’t be easier or quicker to create a new “coat” for your phone be it something more trendy or something more personal like a photo of your significant other or a child. This could also be a beautiful and unique present to your friend, family member, etc.

Check out Portabile phone cases website here and order yours today!

*At the moment, Portabile phone cases are available only in Croatia but the plan is to start a worldwide shipping too.