What brought me here today:
Moving meant that we both had to divest ourselves of a lot of accumulated “stuff”. We knew many items could be replaced. And the stores where we me might find them. After four months, we’re feeling more settled. But are still noticing differences between Finland and the US. It seems odd to me that enough change has occured in such a short span of time to make us both feel a little ‘out of it’ as a buyer of products. (A consumer?)
I think that’s the just the nature of a capitalist economy like the US. Everything is in a state of never-ending change. New and improved items are the norm. Bigger! Faster! Longer lasting! New packaging! Larger size! It can become overwhelming at times. Perhaps my age has something to do with my inability (hestancy?) to ‘get with’ the program(ing)?
All of that being said, there are products I miss being able to easily purchase in FInland. Some of these products I can find for purchase online. But the price and the shipping makes buying them cost prohibitive for me. Amazon can ship just about any product anywhere in the world. If you’re willing to pay the price. I’ve chosen to try and find new products that I like in the US. And hope to someday be able to purchase those products of Finland that I miss.
Shampoo and conditioner:
Erittain shampoo and conditioner. I didn’t realise how much I missed it until I was trying to find a new shampoo and conditioner in the US. My hair (and my husband’s hair) looked and felt just awful when we tried using the same shampoo and conditioner we used in the US before moving to Finland. I cannot help but think that it’s not just the shampoo or conditioner’s fault. The water quality here may be playing a part as well.
We have been trying hard to reduce our single use plastic purchases. Traditional liquid shampoo and conditioner use plastic for bottling. I hunted around and found a shampoo-conditioner all-in-one in a bar form. We both like it a lot. Love Beauty and Plant has some a lovely shampoo+conditioner bars. It works well for both of us. And it’s reducing our plastics usage. I consider this a win-win!
Lotions and cleansers:
Lumene lotions and facial cleasing products are missed a great deal. I can find them on Amazon, but they are so much more expensive than Lidl or Prisma in Finland. Lumene products never irritated my skin. The cleansers, lotions, cremes, etc., never turned or smelled strange on me. And they never irritated my skin. No rashes or bumps. No incidences of itching or redness.
I was happy to see that Burt’s Bees continues to grow as a brand. Their cuticle cream was one of the first products I purchased many years ago to keep my art teacher fingers looking healthy. They have a nice selection of Burt’s Bees products at Target too. It’s not as easy as getting Lumene at Lidl or Prisma. But I can find them. And they aren’t cost prohibitive.
I still feel like Lumene is better over all though. Burt’s Bees will do nicely for me for the foreseeable future. I need some body lotion and have been looking over what the brand has to offer. I would like to purchase products that come in recyclable containers. Or a container that I can personally recycle and use in conjunction with my art practice.
Finding clothing that fits me in Finland was a challenge at the best of times. It’s not that there aren’t any people my size in Finland either. Clothing on the whole is more expensive there. I did shop at a specialty clothing shop called Zizzi. They had a lot of great pieces, and all in my size! Kappahl was another place that I would shop. There were Kappahl’s in every shopping venue. It was lower priced than Zizzi. But Zizzi had better quality clothing in my opinion.
Much of my outer gear was donated instead of bringing it with me. In fact, much of my clothing was parted with. My Zizzi insulated winter tunic came with me though. I call it my ‘boil-in-bag’ because it keeps me so incredibly warm. Sometimes almost hot! I also brought my warm wool socks and mittens. OH! And the amazingly well made dresses that my friends gave me as a going-away gift!
Finding clothes to fit me in the US is easier, and less expensive in the US. I just purchased a new water proof coat, new bras, and multiple pairs of leggings, and I didn’t break the bank. I’ve also gotten a good pair of closed-toe shoes that I can walk in. Believe ir or not, I was wearing sandals up until about six days ago! I brought a pair of winter boots from Finland that I can wear through the coldest part of the year.
What I wear now:
Finland changed the way that I dress. Leggings, thermals, and under shirts with a tunic or dress over the top is my standard now. Jumpers, scarves, hats, boots, etc., can be added or subtracted as the weather dictates. A good set of thermals (pants and shirt) with added tunic and socks, plus winter gear (coat, scarf, gloves, etc.) makes you toasty and warm at -10 to -15 C. Once you’re inside though, you need to be able to peel off the winter gear and still be comfortable and mobile. Leggings, socks, and tunics are fuctional clothing choices.
Dressing in layers was also the rule of thumb in New Mexico. It could be a frosty 30 F at 7 am, and then warm and sunny and 80 F at midday. I learned to layer up, and then peel down as the day progressed as an art teacher. Warm socks inside of clogs meant that I could easily kick them off if my feet were too warm. A cardigan could be peeled off if I was too warm. An under-tank shirt helped keep the chill off and didn’t become too hot to wear.
I still have a few items left to purchase. Land’s End has the thinner, “under socks” that I like to wear under a pair or two of thick, wooly socks. In fact, I’m wearing a pair of these Land’s End socks right now. Their almost eight years old! I would also like to find a cardigan and a new jumper. Most of the items I’ve found have weird logos on them. Or they’re in some insane colour that just would not work for me.
So now what?
Like I said, I have a few more items that I would like to find. There’s no rush on them either. I would also like to make myself some additional leg warmers. Not the kind you’re thinking of though. I wear them in the winter to cover part of the top of my boot/shoe and my ankle to keep the cold and snow out of my footwear. These can be crocheted on my own.
Thank you for reading, and I will see you again next Friday.