Guest Bloggers

Sparkling Ink: Favorite Things

August 12, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Sparkling Ink

I’m Tiina from the Sparkling Ink blog, and I’m so happy to write a guest post for Holly while she’s moving! I’m a food and home editor living in Finland, and I share my favorite finds from magazines in my blog. I write about my projects and ideas in entertaining, cooking and home – many influenced by both of my home cultures, Scandinavian and American.

Sparkling Ink: Favorite Things

I wanted to share a piece of my summer paradise with you all. I like to escape the city life to the loveliest little cottage by the lake. A weekend at the cottage is only for simple things we love like cooking, picking berries, swimming, reading in the sun, going to the sauna and spending time with family and friends.

Sparkling Ink: Favorite Things

A memory that pops first in my head from the cottage is gathering chairs at the dock and having lemonade. My favorite touch for a tray of classic lemonade is pansy ice cubes. This lemonade blooms!

Living a creative life and being able to do things I love, became important to me a few years ago. I decided to go for my dreams of having a career in media, magazine and online editing. I get courage and inspiration from people who have done what they have dreamed of, and work in a field that they have a passion for. I have met so many strong women who have chosen to do things they love. I look back and admire my writing teacher from Toronto who is passionate about telling stories and hasn’t let anyone stop her. I take example from a food editor friend of mine who can see life outside of the box with no limits. I love to hear life stories told by people who have done things in life “at the wrong age”, “at the wrong time”, “in the wrong place” and found happiness. I want to be a person in 30 years who says that age is only a number!

Sparkling Ink: Favorite Things

Holly asked the bloggers of this August guest series to talk about inspiration. I work with inspiration in my editing work and with my blog, so it is difficult sometimes to be able to come up with new ideas and feel creative. I think inspiration happens especially when it’s shared. And that’s what blogs are all about; sharing thoughts, ideas, finds and inspiration. Food is my passion. I get food inspiration from blogs, magazines, cookbooks and cooking shows, but also from everything around me, restaurants, friends and traveling. Everyone has a favorite recipe and story behind it – remember to share them! On vacation, I love to spend time exploring the pantry testing new things. Allowing yourself time to try things outside of “the recipe” is also good in other places too, not just in the kitchen.

Sparkling Ink: Favorite Things

“Don’t spend your life watching other people live it” is my favorite quote and guideline in life. We all see people who inspire us, and give us that little spark. The best thing is to act on it, and do the things you admire in other people. Most of all, it’s good to remember to be proud of those leaps of faith we have made!

Thank you Holly for inviting me over. It was fun! You are all warmly welcome to visit my place of inspiration and dreaming, Sparkling Ink. I would love to hear from you! –Tiina

(images: sparkling ink)


  • Reply leslie August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I love this post…my goodness what wise words!!! Thank you. Gorgeous images too…I want to drink that lemonade!
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..Jumping at The Getty =-.

  • Reply leni August 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    that lemonade looks delicious!
    .-= leni´s last blog ..A Happy Place. =-.

  • Reply Bess August 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    What a lovely post! I just got home from Finland yesterday where we were vacation at our family cottage in Merikarvia. We did many of the things you described, my favourite of course being picking raspberries and blue berries, having saunas and swimming in the sea.
    .-= Bess´s last blog ..Animal Alphabet Print =-.

  • Reply diana strinati baur August 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Your evocative photos speak to me of everything Scandinavian, remind me of midsommar spent drinking elderflower juice and being carefree wondering thru little seaside towns like Torekov and Bastad. I share your philosophy, find it wonderful and uplifting. I live in the south of Europe now, but often find myself missing the north this time of year. I will love visiting your blog, I am sure.
    .-= diana strinati baur´s last blog ..Baur B&B on Apartment Therapy =-.

  • Reply cara August 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I have to admit that i’ve mostly been skimming these guest posts, but yours was so charming + warm + inviting (and pretty) — looking forward to hopping over to your blog :)!

    • Reply decor8 August 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      Cara pretty please don’t skim!!! I did a lot of work to prepare these guest posts for everyone and to approach each of my fantastic guests. Please value them as much as you do posts from me, because in an indirect way, each of these are… and they are all very special to me personally! No skimming!! LOL :) :)

  • Reply Katja August 12, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    So nice to see you here Tiina, your writing and photos always inspire me! :)
    .-= Katja´s last blog ..New Cushion Cover =-.

  • Reply Anne Marie August 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I love today’s post. What beautiful sentiments about choosing to live the life you dream of rather than watching other people live it for you. I, too, have sat on the sidelines for a long time watching the parade, but at 41 am reaching for the courage to join in the celebration. Holly and her friends are such an amazing inspiration. Blessings to you all.

    Anne Marie

  • Reply Marie August 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post and it was very inspiring. Great recipe for the lemonade as well!!
    .-= Marie´s last blog ..Your Dwelling =-.

  • Reply tiina August 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Thank you all for the lovely comments. Inspiration is something we all have to look for sometimes, and especially remember to share it. I was so happy to be a part of this guest series! Such a fun idea to have people sharing their favorite things – Thanks again Holly!
    .-= tiina´s last blog ..{ iittala birds } =-.

  • Reply Marie August 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post and it was very inspiring. Great recipe for the lemonade as well!!
    .-= Marie´s last blog ..Your Dwelling =-.
    Ooops, should have said good post! Waiting for the next one!

  • Reply Kärt August 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I found a new blog to follow every day. Nice work, Tiina.

    Greetings from Estonia

  • Reply Kelly Grace August 12, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Raiding my neighbors lemon tree as I speak, going to make me some of that lemonade! Sadly, I have no pansies (nor does my neighbor) to make those pretty little ice cubes :(

  • Reply Elyse August 12, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    How fantastic!!! I’ve seen roses in ice cubes, but I never thought about pansies! Sooo great. <3
    .-= Elyse´s last blog ..Matthew and Cassie’s Wedding. =-.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente August 12, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    SO lovely and romantic! I don’t think I have ever seen a more beautiful beverage :) Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration and this lovely, lovely place! Full of sunshine indeed!
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..For my readers: Bailey doesn’t bark =-.

  • Reply J from Boston August 13, 2009 at 9:30 am

    When I first saw those photos I knew it had to be Finland, my lovely homecountry! I just got back from a 3 week vacation there and have been terribly homesick since I got back. This post was indeed very inspiring! I’m at a point in my life when I really would like to move back to Finland and do something completely different (career wise) and give my daughters the gift of knowing their other home country like they know America, but convincing my American husband to do so is very hard and even having the courage myself to go through such big move after living in the U.S. for 13 years. It has been wonderful to read about Holly’s move to Germany and after reading Tiina’s post I realize I’m watching on the sidelines other people live their lives…

  • Reply michele August 13, 2009 at 10:07 am

    lovely pics, reminds me of where I live, in Muskoka, the cottagey feel, the many lakes, red geraniums, just wish we could grow lemon trees up here.
    Can’t wait to try the lemonade recipe this weekend, perfect temperature for it. Thanks!
    .-= michele´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply Laura Gaskill August 13, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Beautiful, Tiina! I so want to go to Finland and see your sweet little lake cottage! And sip blueberry lemonade! I also loved what you said about inspiration being shared – that’s one of the things I love most about blogging :)
    .-= Laura Gaskill´s last blog ..Daily Mood: Dramatic And Chic =-.

  • Reply Mrs. M August 13, 2009 at 11:02 am

    what a beautiful post! that cottage looks so inviting and now I have a serious hankerin’ for lemonade :)

  • Reply Meg August 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I love this post! It gave me exciting little butterflies in my chest. Such beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..In the Kitchen: Summer Treats to Beat the Heat! =-.

  • Reply ermy August 13, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I love your post tiina, especially the pansy ice cubes!! thank you for sharing

  • Reply jess August 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    That lemonade looks amazing! I’ve frozen mint in ice cubes before but I’ll have to try pansies next time – it will make a nice pick me up when I’m missing summer in the winter/fall!
    .-= jess´s last blog ..Cute Alert: Urban Sapling =-.

  • Reply stephanie August 14, 2009 at 4:27 am

    That blueberry lemonade looks wonderful – what a unique idea!

  • Reply Penny Patten August 16, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Oh so wonderful photo’s. It reminds me of here. I live in Maine, we have lakes every where, and try to soak up the nice weather while we have it because it goes by so quickly. I’m going to try the pansy ice cubes, its looks so pretty. Thank You for sharing such a fun receipe!
    .-= Penny Patten´s last blog ..So our Chicken Coop is complete! =-.

  • Reply malo August 22, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I love sparkling ink and this post is great.
    .-= malo´s last blog ..friday =-.

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