Sunday, August 24, 2008

Who's turned Two?

It has been just over two years since I first started trading as ArcticRainbow. I cannot believe how time flies!

Around that time, my Finnish Best Friend Minna gave birth to her daughter Sara. Consequently a few days back.. she was two also!

The celebration took the form of 'Open House' and we, that is my husband Mark and I went round to spend some time with them.

Here is Sara waiting for guests to arrive...

Its actually quite hard to know what to buy a two year old for a birthday present, clothes are always an option.. but not so much real FUN for a toddler. Most toys are for over 3 year olds however, so toy options are limited.. so I opted for the good old standby of crayons, colouring book and a nice Winnie the Pooh zip up container for her to keep the crayons in.

Sara really enjoyed them and she hadn't had them before, which was great! I think Mark enjoyed it just as much as she did...he happily got on the floor and helped colour in! :D

We shared Minna's home made strawberry juice drink, coffee and traditional pulla bakes and blueberry cakes! Naughty but nice. Blueberries grow pretty much everywhere in Finland.. I have them growing, along with other berries.. right outside my house!

Some of the local children were outside in the communal play area, playing the traditional Finnish game called Mölkky. It's a cross between the game Skittles and Boules, except that instead of those pieces, there are twelve little logs, all cut on an angle with the faces marked from 1-12. It's a points game..and the first one that gets to 50 wins - the catch being that they have to get exactly 50 points and scoring more gets you penalised by half! It's a little complicated to explain, without playing it... so here is a good page to read about it:

Mark went and joined them and snapped a couple of pics of the lads having fun.

Keeping score...

Of course, we also had Birthday cake! In fact this was the second Birthday cake during the 'Open House'!! Sara loved blowing out the candles! It was a lovely cake with the hugest strawberries on them and a lovely rhubarb filling!

I have to say that Birthday cakes in Finland are NOTHING like the ones in the UK.. whereas Brits have cakes generally smothered with a very sweet butter icing, fondant icing or even rock hard icing..and even more often shop bought, here in Finland, it's a fresh cream topping on layers of cake (often akin to Swiss Roll slices) with fruit layers...most often sliced bananas. 99.9% of the time homemade. REALLY nice.. and more like a gateaux.. eaten with a small spoon instead of your hands.

It was also a nice chance to practise our Finnish..and I happened to meet a work colleague of Minna's - who asked what I did for a living - it turned out that her Saami mother makes and sells her own traditional I hope to make a new contact there for my Arctic Rainbow customers!

So, it was a nice afternoon spent together. Here's to many HAPPY returns!