Back to School – FIN 270 Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design at the University of Toronto 


I love to learn. While I may have left formal post-secondary education more than two decades ago, I have continued to be a lifelong learner both formally and informally. The University of Toronto’s Finnish Studies elective courses have always been on my learning wish list since both my parents emigrated from Finland to Canada as well as most of my family were born and continue to live in Finland. When I read about the Finnish Studies and the Embassy of Finland to Canada’s brand new course in Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design, I knew I had to enroll. I grew up surrounded by Finnish design and on a construction site too. I believe both inspired my love of architecture, design and photography. I work professionally full time, I decided to audit the course by creatively using three vacation days to attend this class to learn more. My first class completed and I am very excited about the lectures and guest speakers including a few who will travel from Finland for this course that celebrates Finland’s 100th anniversary of Independence. Finland is a young nation but it has made an amazing impact through its architecture and design in both Finland and around the world. Look forward to all my learnings and sharing my insights in the weeks ahead. Join me on the journey. Tervetuloa.

FIN 270 Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design at the University of Toronto 

I love everything Finnish and I love to always be learning. This autumn I am creatively using three vacation days and heading back to school. The University of Toronto Finnish Studies Program in partnership with the Embassy of Finland to Canada are introducing a brand new course – FIN 270 Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design to celebrate Finland’s 100th year of Independence. Finnish Architecture and Design is well known throughout the world and is forefront in Finland’s identity. The course will welcome guest lecturers from Finland which is very exciting. Since I don’t need an undergraduate credit, I decided to audit the course which means all the joys of learning without the stresses of studying, assignments and exams. If you love design and architecture or everything Finnish, definitely consider joining this course or one of the other courses offered by the Finnish Studies program. I am very excited to learn more about Finnish Architecture and Design and hope to share some of my findings and insights along the way. 

Discovering Finnish Design in Toronto and Beyond 

I have always loved Finnish design and have been surrounded by its beauty my entire life since my family originates from the lovely country of Finland. I love how much of the inspiration ties back to the lakes, nature, Finnish folklore, the Kalevala and nordic simplicity. Finnish design is truly timeless design.

Since I was a child, The Finnish Place has been my resource in Toronto for all things Finnish. First located on Yonge Street in the heart of downtown North York and now a bit farther north at Yonge and John Street in the lovely community of Thornhill. They have a great selection of items made by Aarikka, Arabia, iittala, Kalevala Koru and Marimekko as well as other Finnish brands.

I have always loved the vase designed by the famous Finnish Architect Alvar Altao. It reminds me of the Finnish lakes and the Finns love their time spent by the lake at their mökki – the Finnish term for summer house and definitely not to be confused with a Muskoka summer house. I own two smaller versions of this vase but definitely hope to add a larger one to my collection in the near future. 

Happy to discover on my recent visit that one of my favourite pieces – Kastehelmi tealight candle holders – have returned to Canada and are available again at The Finnish Place. I love lighting these on dark winter evenings as my own form of hygge.

The beautiful Marimekko prints always bring happiness. I own a few of the prints as pillow covers and also have used fabric stapled to a board to create a colourful kitchen print. The Finnish Place has an extensive selection of fabric as well as clothing and accessories in these fun and colourful prints.

You don’t need to be Finnish to add some beautiful Finnish design elements to your home and luckily you don’t need a voyage to the land of the midnight sun either. Always visit The Finnish Place website to make sure they aren’t travelling back home to Finland for new items for the store. If you are not in the Toronto area or may prefer to shop online, these are two websites that specialize in Finnish brands  – Finnish Design Shop and FinnStyle. However to really experience Finnish design, definitely plan a holiday to Finland and immerse yourself from the moment you step off the plane. 

This year Finland celebrates 100 years of independence and design has been in the forefront of its identity since 1917. May this be the year you are inspired to explore, discover and hopefully fall in love with Finnish design. 

Bobbi Brown Peace, Love, Beach 

It is always fun to try a new makeup look especially in the summertime. Thank you to Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Makeup Artist Tamara Spence Vega at Murale – Shoppers Drug Mart‘s awesome beauty store – at CF Shops at Don Mills for inviting me to your summer Peace, Love, Beach makeup event. Fun to try a few products outside of my makeup comfort zone and to go uncomfortably bright with your awesome new better than sleep Instant Full Cover Concealer. I have been wanting to try this since I found out about it months ago and it didn’t disappoint. If you are looking for a new look or to learn something new and live in the Toronto area, definitely book into see Tamara. She is awesome and always teaches me something new. A bonus of today is an Optimum point redemption this weekend at Murale. Happiness for any makeup lover like me. 


Makeup: Tamara Spence Vega (@tamsvega)

Brand: Bobbi Brown (@bobbibrown)

Shop: Murale at Shops at Don Mills

Makeup Products * Instant Full Cover Concealer in Cool Sand * Sand Foundation Stick * Golden Pink Long Wear Shadow * Peace, Love, Beach Eyeshadow Trio * Baltic Blue Sparkle Liner * Smokey Eye Mascara * Nude Finish Illuminating Powder in Bare * Pretty Pink Blusher * Sunrise Glow Highlighter * Crystal Lip Gloss with a bit of pale pink creamy lipstick

Junior League of Toronto For the Love of Cooking Event

Dear Toronto,

Do you love indulging in cooking shows? Are you always searching for recipes to make something new? When you travel, do you like to visit local grocery stores, markets and food shops? Do love food, wine, conversation and a fun evening out? 

If the answer to one or more is a definite YES, please join us for the Junior League of Toronto For The Love of Cooking event on the evening of Thursday April 6th. The evening will include hands-on cooking lessons and dinner led by Chef John Cirillo (a former head of Canada’s culinary Olympics team) and his team. Olive Oil Sommelier Karen Rapp will run a tasting and Noble Estates will provide wine pairings. A silent auction and special surprises are also in store. This event is open to Junior League of Toronto, friends and the Toronto community. Men are also most welcome to join us too. Please share with anyone you think may be interested. 

The Junior League of Toronto is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Funds raised from the event will help support an array of programs for youth and families living in shelters and vulnerable individuals facing mental illness. 

To purchase tickets – https://www.jlt.org/?nd=p_event_detail&event_id=729