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“All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl” – Shalini Parthiban

“All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl” with that note I would like to share our journey towards preparation for a challenging Volley ball tournament.

This season’s volleyball tournament was organized collectively by Geo Tf, Sudar Nila Venthan, Praniesh Ramachandran and IWF Ry. After hearing the news many of us were excited and wanted to try our hands on this awesome game.
Last year we had several teams within IWF competing each other and as usual we had fun. This season we grew bigger and wanted to fight with international teams. Thus the journey started, as usual fishing out members to form a team.
Volley Express – Vasu, Shalini Chandrasekhar, Neha, Jaya, Abinaya , Aparna and I ( Shalini Parthi) formed a team out of interest and were ready to face the challenges 😊 and of course with the help of our coach Sudar. He is the best coach one could get and one should learn sincerity and passion towards any sport from him 🙏

Vasu played an important role of organizing the practice sessions, coordination and also held the Captain’s hat of the team 🤝. Neha was the anchor of the team, as she was the only one who knew the game. Congrats to Neha for winning the best player of the tournament award in beginners category. We had our pillars, which is rest of the girls who gave their best. All of us were devoted towards the game and spent our weekends in learning the game. We have been coached for the past two months, during all weekends. When I say two months, it is still too little time spent in learning this beautiful game ( Warning: one could get addicted to this game😬)

The day arrived and we played the best we could. We did not win any, it is not fair to win against ladies who are training for the past years. But, it definitely gave us a good experience and motivation to do better next time. This is not over yet and now we are continuing to play beach volleyball until the next season snow arrives. Do get in touch with us and join us in this journey.

We are planning to start the next season indoor volleyball practice from September.

Also special thanks to the lovely chai and our very own cheer gals.

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LUAU!!…It was JAZZED up and Vibrant – Seema Jeeva


LUAU!!…WOW!! was my first expression when the event was announced by IWFians. Eyes twinkled and popped out with excitement seeing the flyers all over FB ¨Come dressed in Floral¨ .Don’t we ladies love shopping especially when we have an excuse 😉 so we have to give big huggy and wham-bam-thank you to all mams…..Lovely ladies behind screens for organizing such a fun-filled, colorful, energized and floral event. I should say it was EXTREME MAKEOVER and Winter special edition.
26th January ,it was a blizzards’ weather in Espoo , but nothing stops us ladies for a fun filled gathering Isn’t it.
As I enter the venue I looked flabbergasted by looking at the stage decors done by Daffodils (the same says it all – they have ranked toppedd in their creativity) – white screen with backlights , green & white pillars and flowers made with balloons – just the right way to warm up the theme. I was head over heels for them. Amazing gals! Keep rocking 😊
Our host for the day was our elegant superwoman as Mini Sharma. Games were hosted by Noopor and Chanchal especially the Bum ka Dum was hilarious. Evening commenced with ramp walk by gorgeous mommies and cute little ones , could anything else be more glamorous and adorable than this phenomena.
Whats next…Nightingales of LUAUs😉Karaoke!! Yes Indeed we sang (we tried though!), thanks to dear audience for their fortitude.
A party without dance unconvincing! It was Flash mob act -Stupendous and Rockstar moves by the group. All credit goes to our choreographer Abinaya Vishnuchinnan and now founder of Papilio dance Class.
After so much fun , tummy growled for food , and to our surprise we see Pina coladas wow what a way to end the day , with Hawaiian rice, Pinacoladas drink, cake,tacos, corn cheese balls, Pineapple curry
IWF – You made our day, we are indeed waiting for such dazzlilng razzling fun to hit us soon again.

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THE CRAZY BOOZE CRUISE ADVENTURE TO TALLINN – Jayalakshmi Shanmugam

I’ve always been curious about cruise holidays and wondered if they would be the kind of holiday that would appeal to me and when IWF announced an all night cruise party I jumped at the chance since there was always an excited buzz about the Booze Cruise. We departed from Helsinki via Viking line towards Tallinn and back the next day morning all the while never setting foot in the Estonian Soil.

The whole group constituted of woman from various backgrounds and ages, but one thing we all had in common was our level of excitement.

First Impression: It was astonishing see what it looked like from the inside, it didn’t feel like we were in a boat at all, more like a luxury hotel. The whole group disbanded to their respective rooms and were asked to assemble near the bar at 10:30PM. I for one went crazy shopping for booze and chocolates along with the girls post which we got ready with loads of bling for the actual party.

A month before the Booze Cruise we as a group played the age old game of Secret Santa where we were given a name and we had to give them tasks and anything funny while we tried to figure out who our secret Santa is. Each and every one were given tasks through the organizers Ramya and Sushma where the Santa – Child fulfilled those tasks/Dares. We got closer through this game and exchanged gifts at Midnight. It was really fun trying to figure out who our Santa-Mom was.

At 10:30, we played our first game, where we were split into teams of 4 and the Party Coordinators Ramya and Sushma gave us a checklist of task which we needed to complete by the next hour. We had so much fun doing each and every task like getting a stranger to howl with us, buying a drink to a stranger in a bar, Dance and sing at the corridor and so on. Two groups managed to finish it at the end of the hour, one being us (Aishwarya, Nithya , Anu and I) and Shalini’s team. We won by a fraction since Aishwarya doesn’t drink Alcohol and we made her drink it. :-p . We won gift vouchers of that cruise and let ourselves loose at the bar.

We spent half the night dancing to random Bollywood and Kollywood songs with each of us in a contributing a funny dance moves and the rest of us trying our best to dance it gracefully. It was the night we let our hair down, party heels on and danced the night away. Sometime later probably around 3AM we were all tired and sat down to rest as well as play a game of truth or dare. Suffice to say we all became closer that day, and about what secrets we shared– Shhhhh!!!!(What happened that night stays locked away that night). At the end We got a very cute gift from IWF & Organizers, a pendant which the whole group cherished. Then People went to rest or enjoy breakfast for the last couple of hours while the city of Helsinki was getting nearer bringing us all back to reality.

Last but not the least, I want to thank the Event Organizers and IWF for putting together a wonderful party, I had so much fun from the beginning to the end and it felt like I was with old friends even though most of us only just met. Can’t say enough about the party, the ambience and of course dancing the night away, I am pretty sure my piece hardly justifies the amount of fun we had. Can’t wait to do this Again!

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Soap Opera – a saga of colors and scents! – Anupriya Alur

On a cold November afternoon, a group of ladies got together to learn something special – the art of soap making. It was a fun and interesting experience for most of us, as we were doing something remotely close to chemistry now, like it was, back in school or college.

There are many methods to making handmade soap such as cold process, hot process, milk soap, and pre batching. Carmen Kekkola, a lovely lady who was our instructor, taught us the basics of soap making using the cold process, while being safe at the same time. Saponification or the process of soap making is a chemical process which requires us to be careful and take safety seriously.

Soap goes through the saponification process, converting fats, oils, lye, and water into soap and glycerin. After the chemical process has completed, the soap is completely safe and gentle on the skin. Even more, the glycerin coats the skin and gives it a silky soft feeling. The Saponification process takes about 48 hours to finish and about 5 weeks for the soap to be ready for use.

The great thing about making your own soap is that it is full of oils that are used while making the soap unlike store-bought soap where the glycerin from the soap is removed and sold as lotions. The other advantage of making your own soap is that you get to choose the fragrance and the color.

The first and most crucial step in cold-process soap making is to weigh the raw ingredients (fats, lye, water) precisely. Keep everything ready and in reach. A kitchen scale is you best friend when making soaps as all the measurements are done in weight, not volume.  Lastly being safe is critical, always wear rubber gloves and safety goggles and take extra care to keep your soap making area free from kids (and pets too for those of us who have furry family members as well).

All good things take time and effort – soap making is no exception. We set out on the process pouring our oils (coconut, shea butter and cocoa butter) into big bowls and gave them a good round of stirring till they got mixed completely. Then we measured the required amount of lye in plastic disposable glass and added it to room temperature water while stirring (yes you will soon learn that soap making requires a lot of stirring so be sure to get your arms ready). The water turned cloudy, we then had to let it sit until it became clear again. It is important to note that lye is added to the water, not the water to the lye. This mixture gets very hot, very fast so that needs to be kept in mind. Also, while stirring we were instructed to keep our face away from the mixture as the fumes are not good to breathe in.

While we were waiting for the mixture to clear up, we all settled down for a cuppa tea, some gupshup and devoured the delectable cookies that Carmen had brought for all of us. Once the tea and cookies were all happily sitting in our tummies and the mixture turned clear, we added it to the oils and started stirring again. We then went on to add the essential oils (18-20 ml for 1 liter of soap) and color as per our preference.

One of the observations that we had was that some essential oils cause the time spent exercising your arms i.e. stirring to increase. For example, the batches with lavender oil and eucalyptus oil seemed to be take longer. In the end, it was about stirring the oils and lye mixture until it thickened and closely resembled a thick pudding. While enjoyable and therapeutic in a way, the process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.  After all the good effort and time put in ensuring that the mixture has reached the thick pudding like consistency, we poured the soap mixture into old milk cartons (what a nice way to reuse those milk cartons), sealed it and our soap was ready to be stored in a warm place. Another thing to note is to use plastic bowls and whisks as they are least likely to react with Lye and go kaboom.

After some more delightful conversations for the ears, tasty cookies for our tummies, we packed our things (bowls and whisks in separate plastic bags). We were feeling very pleased with ourselves imagining all the creamy, fragranced soaps when cured. We all then sat pretty for a group picture which a cute little self-proclaimed “best picture taker” took for us.

I did say in the beginning of the article that it was like being back in school. And when in school, you get homework. 😊 After 2 days, we could wash the utensils as the saponification process was complete and after 7 days (from the time we started making soap) we could cut the soap in to bars. Once, they need to be stored in a warm place for additional 5 weeks after which they have lost the water content and are good to use. Hope you all did your homework on time and enjoy the results and that we meet again for some more arm training.

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DIY with our none other than DIY Expert “Smitha A” -Tulasi Punaganti

Winter is approaching here in Finland and you have long dark days to spend. With less snow around it feels more depressing and this was the time when I started to think, hmmm what to do to overcome this feeling here in Finland. Ideas running in my  mind …. here and there meet friends, have coffee chit chats and then thought these are not unique. This is what we do almost every weekend here away from your home country. Then uttered this beautiful idea why not we have a DIY concept with our DIY star from our own IWF group who is active and showing all her work selflessly in the page i.e, Smitha A. Just with few words of exchange between me, Smitha A and Ramya S the idea came into life and we ended up having this DIY event organized by Smitha A as part of IWF. This was a very nice event with few friends gathering and we ended up doing Magic lanterns, Wax and jelly candles. Remembered back my olden days what I used to do when I was new to Finland. It has been quite some time that I haven’t done much of these kind lately. So it was a nice change from the busy schedule and routine life 

😊

 I wholeheartedly thank Smitha and her family especially the littles ones for being so cooperative and supportive both online and offline during the event and coming all the way to greater Helsinki region. I extended my thanks to IWF as well for giving this platform to people where they cannot only share the ideas but also implement them. Nevertheless with the group effort from both organizers and participants we ended up having a fruitful event which ended up like below