Browsing Tag

Chryssa Skodra

Books, Children, Reviews

A mother and son letter adventure!

 

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” ― Emilie Buchwald

I’ve always been fascinated by fairy tales. My mother tells that I was a bookworm from a young age. She used to read fairy tales to me when I was an infant and I would be fascinated by the pictures and the different voices my mother made. She kept reading my favourite books over and over to the point where I eventually knew them by heart. By the time I could speak, I would pretend I was ‘reading’ the story book by myself simply by turning the pages and narrating the story as I remembered it from my mother using the illustrations to navigate me through the plot! I would even imitate her tone and expressions to add tension and drama! Funny little girl I was.


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Business, Innovation, Start Ups, Technology

Hosting the Innovation Luminary Awards 2015

After my work experience in the Olympic Games Athens 2004, it has been hard to find any other event -of any budget or level- as demanding as being part of the world’s largest event. This spring I was honored to win a tender by the European Commission through my PR agency –PR Lounge– in order to offer communication services for the Open Innovation 2.0 Conference and hosting of the Innovation Luminary Awards 2015 gala!

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Food & Drink, Reviews

May Day Brunch onboard M/S Aava!

Welcome onboard restaurant boat M/S Aava!

On May 1st I invited a friend couple -Liisa and Jan Wallenius- to join me and my fiance for lunch on a cruise to enjoy a delicious lunch buffet menu surrounded by the beautiful archipelago scenery around Finland’s capital, Helsinki. We met our friends at 10:50 at Helsinki Market Square (Kauppatori), where this cute boat was waiting for its guests to arrive and at 11:00 we embarked on our journey. The sea was calm and peaceful and the staff pleasant and polite. This looks like a promising trip!

May Day is known as ‘Vappu’ in Finnish. This is a public holiday that is the only carnival-style street festivity in the country. People young and old, particularly students, party outside, picnic and their high school graduation white caps, just like the one I’m wearing in the photo below!

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Food & Drink

Sunday brunch in Helsinki!

After a long working week with projects, deadlines, a rainy weather that does not help with our well-being, a sunny Sunday is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the end of the week and crown your weekend enjoying a relaxed Sunday brunch! For those living in Helsinki, at the heart of Helsinki you will find Fransmanni restaurant on Kluuvikatu. We went down to Fransmanni with my fiancé for a relaxing brunch a few weeks ago.

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Consumer goods, Electronics, Health services, Internet, Press, Tech & Gadgets, Watches

Insights from Fujitsu Forum 2014

One of the brightest minds in today’s IT world is Dr. Joseph Reger, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) with various Fujitsu entities since 2002. As of August 1, 2014 he was appointed as CTO for Fujitsu’s Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region. I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Reger for the first time four years ago and ever since I always make sure to get a front seat to attend his keynotes. This year the opportunity to listen to his brilliant thoughts filled with unique insights and humour happened during the Fujitsu Forum 2014 in Munich, Germany.

On Day 0, during the press conference, Dr. Joseph Reger spoke about the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation and distinguished between ‘Digital Business vs. Digitalized Business‘. For instance, Starbucks offers an analog product (coffee) with a number of digitalized services developed around the analog product which include wifi, online meetings, big data analysis, products will become services.

Dr. Reger’s contribution in developing Fujitsu’s Cloud Computing Strategy is instrumental and in currently he is focusing on the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 topics. Industry 4.0 is a term coined in Germany but it has rapidly spread in other nations to be defined as such ‘Industry 4.0 is part of the entire Digital Transformation value chain using IoT technology (not industry automation)’ In German, he term ‘Industrie 4.0’ refers to the fourth industrial revolution, a new wave of technological changes that will decentralize production control and trigger a paradigm shift in manufacturing. The first industrial revolution was the mechanization of production using water and steam power, it was followed by the second industrial revolution which introduced mass production with the help of electric power, followed by the digital revolution, the use of electronics and IT to further automate production. Continue Reading

Hotels, Interview, Travel, Weddings

From the Olympic Games to managing a 5-star Spa Hotel!

This summer I had the pleasure to meet with Anastasios Mexas the General Manager of Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel in Halkidiki, Greece. We sat down for a cappuccino freddo by the pool and we also walked around the impressive 5-star hotel talking about this background and how he found himself running the prestigious Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel, which is all about an atmosphere of ‘relaxed elegance’ for demanding guests.

First, I am always curious to get an insight into the person sitting across me by asking about their background. Anastasios takes the opportunity to highlight some of his careers early steps. He was born on the island of Corfu -one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean- and from an early age showed interest in the tourism and hospitality sector. At the age of sixteen, he got a job as an assistant waiter at a French hotel in Corfu. This experience further strengthened his interest in a career in hospitality and after completing his army service, he studied for a year at the Alpine Center in Switzerland, one of the most reputable hospitality focused schools in Europe, and also got his Bachelor’s degree in Switzerland. He then completed internships at Schweizerhof hotel in Germany and Mövenpick in Switzerland and worked at one of the most elegant restaurants in Zurich for two and half years before returning to Greece in 1993. Continue Reading

Food & Drink, Travel

Greek gastronomy: Your immune system’s antivirus!

Greek cuisine is a galore of tastes and aromas! What makes Greek gastronomy a unique culinary paradise on a global level?

Well, it must be the unique micro-climate of the Aegean and Ionian seas with the sun shining 250 days a year, the refreshing wind as well as the fertile soil that give birth to unique produces. Local specialities with a strong character, shiny olive oil, aromatic herbs and spices: those are just some of the ‘delicious’ reasons why the Greek cuisine is so magnificent in its simplicity!

At Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel the emphasis on gastronomy is on meals made from the freshest ingredients and true care. Fine meat and diary products produced by small farmers, fresh fish and seafood, healthy fresh vegetables served with brilliant wine, and mouth-watering fruits all serving to create a kaleidoscope of tastes!

At the Poseidon Tavern of Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel, during our holidays, we had a taste of delicious Greek dishes and fresh fish on a daily basis with a view of Mount Olympus and a gentle sea breeze.

Fresh fish was delivered at the Poseidon Tavern daily and we were lucky during our stay to witness the catch of the day that would later be served to us!

The Greek cuisine that is part of the well-acclaimed Mediterranean diet has obvious nutritional benefits, too. “Greek gastronomy is of high nutritional value. Here at Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel cook with ingredients of the highest quality. Feedback from our international repeat customers suggests that after holidays in Halkidiki and at our Hotel our guests and their families had fewer colds throughout the winter months! Iodine from the swimming in sea, the Greek sun and all the vitamins of our local and fresh ingredients are the best anti-virus for our immune system in the cold winter months!” explains Konstantinos Pavlidis, Guest Relations Manager at Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel (photo below, on the left).

Text: Chryssa Skodra

Photos: Kim Ekman (Vision51)

Food & Drink

A taste of Italy on your plate!

A while back on a Friday night, I invited my good friend, colleague and fellow blogger Liisa Wallenius to a dinner at Italo in FORUM Shopping Center. Italo opened its doors on the renovated 3rd floor of Forum in the end of September 2013.

Liisa and I are fans of Italian cuisine and experiencing the food of Italo was a must. For starters, we ordered the Antipasti platter for two. A variety of delicious delicacies such as salami, prosciutto ham, green olives, pecorino cheese, figs, grilled red and yellow bell peppers and artichoke served on a wooden platter with grilled bread.

Italo (Kim Ekman Vision51) (13)

Of course, we ordered wine to accompany our meal. For me, a glass of La Piuma Orvieto Classico, light, fresh, fruity, aromatic white wine with a twist of ripe apple, citrus, peach, and a sophisticated nutty flavour. Liisa ordered a glass of red wine. Cin cin!

For main course, I ordered a grilled whole trout with horseradish crème fraiche. The dish is served with pine nuts but because I am allergic I asked the friendly waitress to let the chef know. As a a side dish at Italo you can choose between rosemary potatoes, roasted vegetables, Italian green herb salad, parmesan potatoes  or risotto. I chose the parmesan potatoes for my trout that tasted heavily dipped in the horseradish crème fraiche!

Liisa ordered grilled pork cheek, with beef broth and pesto. “The pig’s cheek ristotto (risotto con guanciale di mailae) was buono! The pig’s cheeks were really tender and delicious. The risotto al dente as it should with distinct taste of Italy – hints of white wine, lemon and Parmesan. The portion was generous, plenty for two I thought,” writes Liisa on her blog.

And, Kim who took these lovely photos, had the 200g Black Angus sirloin steak with thyme herb butter sauce, olives and tomatoes.

Italo (Kim Ekman Vision51) (7)

For dessert, I had the Misto di Chocolato, a chocolate extravaganza that consists of Italian chocolate ice cream, chocolate mousse and a chocolate petit four.

Liisa went for a light and refreshing dessert, a lemon ice-cream and sorbet (gelato di limone e sorbetto di limone)..

..while Kim had lemon sorbet with Limoncello served in a cocktail glass as shown below.

I recommend Italo for a dinner out with friends in a cosy atmosphere with feel-good food and friendly customer service. “Every one can come for lunch, dinner, coffee, or wine. It’s easy to come, stay and enjoy!” explains Leila Koski, restaurant manager of Italo, whom I had the chance to talk to. Leila’s favourite Italo dish is pork cheek risotto, the same Liisa had. Leila has been working in the restaurant business for almost 40 years, and as she says this is her “life”!
According to Leila, the strengths of Italo are its central location, quality of food and friendly staff and wants to welcome everyone to enjoy Pasta and Risotto weeks until 31.3.2014 at Italo in Forum as well as special menus for larger groups.
Italo, Forum Kukontori, third floor or Mannerheimintie 20, 00100 , Helsinki

Tel. no: 010 76 64410

Website: http://www.hok-elanto.fi/syo-ja-juo/italo/

Bienvenuti!

Beauty, Make up

Beauty Olympics for eternal youth!

If there would be Beauty Olympics, Yves Rocher products will rank on the first places! I discovered Yves Rocher botanical beauty products a couple of years ago and I swear by their name!

I have turned 30 this year, the big 3-0! Not having a 2- in front of my age. It is the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, though.

So, in my own Beauty Olympics here are the frontrunners for eternal youth:

1) Elixir 7.9 (Gold Medal)   

The result of 12 years of research and the combination of 7 plants and 9 patents is now available for your every day skin care.

Botanicals are the greatest source of energy in the living world and Yves Rocher has developed the Elixir 7.9 Complex, a combination of 7 plants with anti-aging power recognized by 9 patents captured in cute jars. Check out the impressive properties the 7 plant extracts can offer to your skin.

“This unique complex boosts skin’s energy reserves and re-activates its youth*,” explains Xavier Ormancey, Director, Research and Development, Yves Rocher.

*In vitro test

xavier

My favourite: Youth Energy Roll-on Eye Care

I apply the gel in the evening around the eye area gently massaging with the roll-on applicator balls that offers a wonderfully cooling sensation to tired eyes. The gel gradually lowers eye bags and fine lines as well as dark circles under the eyes. Try it every night and wake up to a more youthful complexion!

Olympic-Medals (2)2) Sebo végétal (Silver Medal)

Baikal skullcap is a plant, whose root was used to make medicine in Ancient China.

Yves Rocher researchers have developed Baikal has a cleansing powder, which evens out the skin mixed to oily skin and gives it a perfect matte finish. Baikal’s cleansing and purifying properties have been known for a long time. Yves Rocher’s baikal powder is made from all-natural methods, it is derived from supervised plantations and production, which is fully traceable.

My favourite: Purity Mask 

Cleansing facial mask for oily freshens and mixed skin in an instant. The mask contains clay that effectively absorbs excess sebum and makes the skin able to breathe again.  My skin looks fresh and beautiful all day long plus it smells really nice. My fiance said to me when I came to bed the other day, “you smell nice!”

Olympic-Medals (4)3) Un matin au jardin – Cherry Bloom fragnance (Bronze Medal)

After lemon blossom, lily of the valley, fresh roses and spring lilac, a cherry blossom fragnance is created by Yves Rocher to glorify spring that is coming. A season is characterised by the awakening of the nature. The new Yves Rocher Cerisier en Fleurs is inspired by Japan, where cherry blossoms symbolise the arrival of spring.

My favourite:  Shower Gel

The perfume Yves Rocher Cerisier en Fleur is accompanied by perfumed body care products—Body Lotion and Shower Gel of 200 ml each. I love the Shower Gel! Plus I got inspired to have a Japan-inspired photo-shoot with cherry blossoms in the background!

Text: Chryssa Skodra

Photos: Kim Ekman (Vision51), Yves Rocher media center