Live for the little things, they will make you realise that they are what life is about. This is what it means to feel alive.

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I met Leeni last Summer at Jenna’s bootcamp, and we quickly learned that we share similar interests and mindset. She is here in South Africa for few weeks now with her husband so we met up for lunch at Plant cafe, a new spot for me. Their raw pasta with avocado, basil, cucumber dressing and tomatoes was divine, as well as the chocolate brownie… I need to take A and others here asap as well. Was really good catching up with Leeni and we’ve shared many more lunches since. I also got a million dollar tip from her and headed to Rip Curl store to “just take a look”. As said, I’ve been hoping to a miracle happen and find myself with an own wetsuit and board to be able to join A for surfing at closely beaches. Well, I tried on a wetsuit and I immediately knew that this is the one.

It fit perfectly and is the thickest possible with an inside ‘fur’ as the Atlantic Ocean is freezing, and as a cherry on top it was on great discount already. After a quick calculation with the (extremely weak) rand exchange rates, I decided that this is the best possible Christmas present I can give for myself. I was a bit nervous of the feedback I’ll get at home of the spontaneous purchase without consultation, but it proved to be unnecessary worry. As we have some plans to hit the Atlantic coast at Norway later this spring, I also made sure that my suit is suitable for the ice water. Wifey, what’s the status of your suit? 😉

The next morning we hit Bloubergstrand for AM surf. I’m still very much a beginner, the waves were quite huge but I enjoyed the ocean as always. I simply loved to wetsuit as well. So warm too. Afterwards we headed to Oranjezicht market for breakfast with Leeni and Paul, A and Pia stayed for another surf session. This market… Everything a health foodie can hope for. Choosing a cake among the most delicious healthy option was the toughest choice I had to make. I went for chocolate quinoabanana cake and brought a chocolate brownie home. Both were divine and even mr liked the sugar and gluten free version. Me happy 😉

xxx

“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.”

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Yesterday we were sitting on a rock below Lion’s Head, overlooking a view of Twelve Apostles on the left, Atlantic Ocean on the right and lights of Camps Bay and Clifton in front of us. This view is simply breathtaking and I will most likely spend sunset after another sitting here on a rock and staring the sun melting to the ocean.
We had agreed to meet up here with Arne and his sister for sunset (19.54) as they were coming straight from a surf. Well, we were both too late, they even more leaving me there alone on a cliff. But there was no way I could be mad for a surfer who wanted to catch one last good wave.
Sitting there on a huge rock, watching the waves hit the beach on the spot he had just surfed, we realised something. We are living our dream now. A always had the dream of surfing but he didn’t see how it could be combined with a career in law in Europe. Well, he figured out a way, even if only for a year for now. This day was special as we had just left Stellenbosch behind and settled down in Cape Town. Now he can go for a surf using same amount of time than gym would take. Though I’m not AS ambitious with surfing, this period is very special time of my life indeed. Every day I step out of the door, I can’t help but smiling when I realise where I am. Cape Town is breathtaking and it offers so much to explore. I am every day grateful of the freedom I have right now, and on the other hand that I have someone special to share my everyday life with. And though life feels especially amazing right now, I’m not worried of its impermanency. This period is very special time of my life, but I believe life will only get better. Its a matter of mindset.
I realised this yet again the next morning while doing a vinyasa class. Chelsey encouraged me to think what I value the most in life. It is people and experiences that make life worth living, not possessions. I believe not only for me but for everyone. For me this means gratitude towards the people I share my life here with, but also knowing that most of my loved ones and friends are in Europe. And though South Africa is stunning and inspiring, so is many other places in this world, including my home city. I recommend doing this yoga class in yogaglo.com (called What Do You Value Most?), you might just feel very inspired and grateful after.

Enjoy your Sunday night and Christmas time ❤ I am home alone since I don’t remember when. Though I love sharing home with someone, these rare moments are much needed for a person like me who easily gets overwhelmed and needs time to reflect 😉

P.S. I love searching quotes for my post titles from my pinterest archives – this time I didn’t have to search for long as I spotted something that I liked in the feed. I then noticed that it was tagged by Satu – we often share some sort of mind connection and similar mindset, though at times physically world apart. 🙂

Collect moment not things.

 

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Overture’s balcony at Hidden Valley

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Dim Sum at Haiku

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Black Sheep is my number 1 restaurant in Cape Town. Have taken all my visitors here and will take. 🙂 The ostrich fillet is incredible every time. Will keep coming back here every time I manage to get a booking…

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This place gives me goosebumbs, so much it reminds me of Brooklyn and New York. The food is divine and vibes are great. My top1 breakfast spot in Cape Town.

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These sunset keep taking my breath away… The light half an hour before sunset is my favourite moment of the day. 

 

Yesterday I took Satu to the airport, and headed to Stellenbosch myself to return my keys. The past days were memorable, we definitely made a full Cape Town experience. We hiked up and down the Table Mountain, ate in The Black Sheep and Haiku (must tries! eat ostrich in black sheep and thai panang beef curry or beijing duck in haiku) and witnessed yet again stunning sunsets. As tourists, we also drove a day around Cape Town with the Hop on Hop off bus, from city centre to Kirstenbosch and to Constantia wine tour, and back via the scenic route pass Lladudno and Camps Bay. I recommend this as a way to get around and see the city in one day.

 

Though I had to let my wifey go, I was happy to do this as I know how much she loves Christmas at home. I will greet Christmas by hitting the waves, doing yoga, decorating our new flat and baking something that reminds me of Finland. And very soon welcoming another missed visitor. ❤ Sadly I also have to, friend after friend say goodbye to people I’ve spent the last semester with and who are flying home to Europe for Christmas. Also, there are some dear Finns here right now that I want to catch up with at least once. Happy by all this flow of people and luckily it will continue like this for the next weeks as well.

 
Now I’m continuing with my essay for competitive intelligence, and then heading to see the sunset to my favourite spot. Arne and his sister will come there straight from a surf at Clifton. I couldn’t join as they don’t hire boards at this beach. My motivation for buying a board is only increasing every day…. Maybe a Christmas present for myself? 😉

Enjoy the Christmas time to the fullest wherever you are ❤

 

Explore.

 

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Sunday Brunch in Kirstenbosch with Florentine and Rupert’s family

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I call this home Hogwarts. 😀

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Spring blossom in Stellenbosch

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Brekkie date at Schoon de Companje. Had missed this so much after meditation!

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Beautiful Summer breeze at our back garden

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First lunch with wifey at Long Table

 

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Beach day and stand up paddling at Clifton with Satu and Rupert

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Hydrating watering can 😉

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First stop of First Thursday at HQ

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We found the perfect spot for sundowner

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Trying to choose between salted peanut butter and chocolate spread…

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Introducing Schoon de Companje to Satu. We went again the next morning. 😀

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Wining and lunching at Ernie Els

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Could spend an entire here learning about the wine making process…

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Hidden Valley

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My car & I vol X

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Seafood at Blues in Camps Bay

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Barre deserves its own post

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Brekkie at Nü

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Sunday sunset falling against Chapman Peak at Hout Bay

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Lunching at Groot Constantia. Lovely wine estate, though we agreed that this particular wine did not have enough personality 😉

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Haiku. This was my third time and I cannot appraise this restaurant enough. Must try when in Cape Town.

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Oranjezicht market in Granger Bay. Mecca for every Saturday morning for me. Fresh & local food lover’s paradise.

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Hangover cure for day after wine touring ;D

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Wifey’s favourite spot at home

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World Sevens Rugby Cup at Cape Town stadium

Seasons are the opposite to Europe’s here and thus the South African Summer falls from November to February. Our MBA graduation took place few weeks ago, which officially meant the start of vacation. Though my biggest project here is only starting – few papers to hand in and thesis to finish – I’ve taken some time to enjoy the Summer time with my dear visitor.

After the graduation night out and Sunday in Kirstenbosch, I had couple of days time to start my papers and get back on track with sports. It was then time for 10 days of meditating, which was far away from vacation though. 🙂 Then it was time to pick up wifey from airport. We’ve had a lot of fun as always and she has seen a lot of Cape Town and Stellies during the past weeks, so I consider myself a decent host. I also got to check something out of my bucket list when Rupert invited us to Sevens Rugby World Cup on Saturday. Though Sevens is not traditional rugby,  I’m now a bit more sophisticated in this regard. We’ve also developed an addiction to Thai Panang beef coconut curry at Haiku, developed our business ideas further and got some new ones, done best barre workouts ever, surfed in varying conditions, witnessed breathtaking African sunsets… And beyond.

Today is Satu’s last day. I’m soon waking her up, doing a quick yoga, introducing my favourite breakfast spot in Cape Town to her, and then taking a history lesson at District Six Museum. Then it’s time to take her to the airport and for me to drive to Stellies to pack my last stuff and officially move out. The next five days I’m dedicating for WORK. I’ve missed working. And working out of course. Want to get back on track with meditating, yoga and barre.

xxxx

Wine and friends make a great blend

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My three greatest food indulges are chocolate, coffee and red wine. The quality makes all the difference. Luckily South Africa is passionate about all these three so exploring has been easy and satisfying. Wine is such an fascinating topic, I’d happily do an entire masters degree of wines. In South Africa, I have mostly done practical research. 😉 I’ve found pinotage, a red wine grape, South Africa’s signature variety. It typically includes earthy and smoky flavours, and has often been a safe choice with dinner. My favourite red wines here so far are Rust En Vrede’s.

We spent few days touring the wine estates with Satu. Lunch at Long Table restaurant at Haskell wine estate was delicious and peaceful, next to endless vineyards. For few moments, I could swear that Woody Allen was lunching next to us… Our favourite wine estate however was Ernie Els, with its stunning views, beautiful airy architecture, white wines, lunch burgers and simply great vibes. We also visited Hidden Valley – scenic but the estate was too modern for our taste. We also visited Delaire Graff – beyond beautiful and worth a visit. I’d happily dine at Indochine, their Asian inspired restaurant, but the main restaurant did not seem cozy at all. I’ve visited Tokara couple of times – beautiful but nothing too special.

In Cape Town we did a wine tour in Constantia on our tourist day (driving around the city with the hop on hop off bus 😀 ). I was positively surprised – I did not have too high expectations as Stellenbosch does take the title of best wine estates. We only had time to have lunch at Constantia Groot and visit Constantia Beau. Both were beautiful – Groot is bigger and thus slightly touristy, but cozy and the restaurant was idyllic as well. Beau’s tasting room and restaurant is on a hill. Go for sushi or enjoy wine at the terrace overlooking the valley of Constantia.

 

In conclusion, my recommendations for wine estates in Stellenbosch:

Rust En Vrede: great wines, scenic and classy and beautiful architecture, good steak lunch and lovely outdoor restaurant

Ernie Els: great wines, lunch and stunning views, beautiful architecture

Delaire Graff: luxurious, beautiful and well maintained surroundings, views over Stellenbosch all the way to Cape Town

Constantia Beau and Groot in Cape Town

Vergelegen in Somerset West: prestigious, beautiful surroundings and historic atmosphere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Summer

 

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No words for this.

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New look.

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Kirstenbosch botanical garden and exploring Hout Bay

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Exploring new hoods… De Waterkant is full of cozy shop and cafes

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Neighbourgoods Saturday Market in Old Bisquit Mill

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Surfing at Big Bay, our coach already in the ocean

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My car & I. Driving to Lladudno beach.

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It’s been a week since I got a special delivery from home: wifey. Though I’ve loved to be the only Finn around and not talking Finnish in months, I had missed company of someone who knows me inside out and can have talks about life and future. 😉

 
We had our first lunch at Long Table at Haskell. Perfect spot for long catch up lunch overlooking vineyards with burger and wine. The next day we drove down to Cape Town for beach and first Thursday. 1st Thursday takes place once a month – art galleries, restaurants, bars and street pop up shops welcome people for art, design, food and partying. It was my first time and we loved it! We met up with Rupert for cocktails at HQ and ran into other friends there as well. Such a cool vibe restaurant/bar where we ended up for steaks the next day. We then started exploring art and design popping into art galleries and shops. The streets were full of people and the city felt more alive than ever. 🙂 We had burgers for dinner at Latitude 33, and found an pearl upstairs, a shop full of discounted Australian clothes, perfect for the summer in Cape Town. I finally found a white dress!

 
Friday we started off with a vinyasa class and breakfast at Skinny Legs, another discovery from the previous night. Super fresh food and interior. Later we drove to Llandudno beach, which is my favourite close to town, such beautiful scenery with huge rocks and mountains surrounding you, and not as packed as Clifton and Camps Bay. Later, we wanted to enjoy the sunset and my new lovely roommate gave us a million dollar tip. Few minute drive and we found the most stunning spot just below Lion’s Head, overlooking Camps Bay… The African sunset overlooking Cape Town is simply one of the most beautiful moments you can experience, if you ask me. Later steaks at HQ – good but I’ll stick to Hussar grill and Carne. 🙂

On Saturday we hit Neighbourgoods Marker at Old Bisquit Mill in Woodstock. Love this market! We also ran into most of my friends still in town 😀 This market serves all kind of food you can hope for and some local designers have their shops there as well. We then hit the beach again, to Bloubergstrand. Though waves were lame, was so nice to surfing after too long time. Satu had not surfer since our excursion to Portugal few years ago but she did well. We found Arne from the water and he had the honour to help us catch the waves 😉
On Sunday morning we took a barre class close to my new home in Green Point. What a workout! I feel so lucky that we found this studio, this sport is everything I hope of my workout. At least body wise, mind will still need more meditation.  We also found Nü from downstairs, a healthy fast food restaurant perfect for breakfast, lunch or grabbing a juice.

 
We then drove to Kirstenbosch, the botanical gardens. Such a beautiful, peaceful place. Go here for a romantic, peaceful picnic, next to the mountains and above the city. On Sundays you might get jazz tunes for background music. Take the top gate instead of main gate.

 
After enjoying the sun we drove down to Hout Bay for a pool party. The drive from Kirstenbosch to Hout Bay, like many others in Cape Town, feels like from another world. Also while waiting for Arne we wondered to Sandy Bay beach and were stunned by the landscape. How can you find such a remoted  untouched place so close to a city? I find myself asking questions about the nature and evolution every day and wishing I concentrated more on geology classes. Thank god for Google. Anyway, we went to a pool party on Hout Bay hills, a village that looked like a hobbit land, and the terrace facing Chapmans Peak. What a scenic day and great ending for the week. We drove back to Stellenbosch as Monday was dedicated for admin and deadlines. Hope my visitor enjoyed her first days ❤