A Day in The Zoo

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Today Greg and I spent the day at Auckland Zoo. It was yet another hot summer day and walking around the zoo was a perfect day to spend a day outside, getting some tan and enjoying each others company.

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I haven’t been to the zoo for ages, and I don’t think that I have ever gone there without any children but it turns out that it is a great place to spend time for adults too.

It is quite fascinating to see wild animals up close. Animals that is designed to live in the wilderness. Knowing that some of them would hunt you down and have you as dinner if it wasn’t for the fence between you. To think if you saw the animal that close in nature you would probably be in life danger, but here in the zoo you can just relax.

My favourite animal to see must be the elephant. I get obsessed with elephants from time to time. Their nature and their looks is just beautiful. They help each other out, are social animals and so big and beautiful.

My second favourite must be the giraffe, simply because they are so graceful and also harmless.

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Now my days here in New Zealand is starting to run out and my departure date is quickly coming up. I only have tomorrow night and then on Monday I am leaving. I have really felt the sadness of leaving today, knowing that I only have another full day before going back to London.

After the zoo today, Greg’s sister and her husband came over for dinner and it will be the last time I will see them during this trip which made me really sad. Greg has such a lovely family that is so friendly and easy to be around and that makes it even harder to say goodbye.

Tonight Greg had some friends to see and whilst i really should be studying tonight I nearly came with him. Just because I am so aware that I have very little time now and want to make the most of it. It wasn’t until right before he was going I realised that I really do have very little time on my assignments and decided to stay in.

Hopefully I will be able to enjoy my last day tomorrow, and not be dragged down too much by thinking of that I will soon be flying home.

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I am now all ready for bed, and will therefore say goodnight and wish for another great day tomorrow – the last of the year!… ….And my last full day here in New Zealand.

Camilla

 

 

Adventure around Devonport

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Today has been one of those days that makes me feel like I am 16 again. Being out with friends, in the sun, just enjoying each others company. Nowhere to be, nothing to worry about, just hanging out and having fun.

We went to meet Greg’s best friend James in the morning and spent the whole day out in the sun.

We were originally supposed to take the ferry to one of the little islands around here, but in the morning the weather seemed a bit unstable so we dropped those plans. Instead we went to wonder around Devonport and just do what we felt like without any specific plans in mind.

It turned into the best day, probably because we just did what we felt like and didn’t have a specific schedule to follow.

We climbed up Mount Victoria, one of the old extinct volcanoes at Devonport and took in the amazing view from up there. Looking out over the city from there almost looks unreal. As if a picture on a canvas is put down there. I am not normally one to gaze at a view, but since coming here I have just been amazed with them. I don’t know if it is me changing or if it is just because the views here are so spectacular that I cant help but admire them.

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After having a great lunch, we headed to the Maritime museum that is in Devonport. I love a bit of history and seeing the exhibits from different tours of the Navy, especially during the war always feels so special to me.

The museum also has these really cool “cabins” on display where you can go and get a feel of what it is to be on one of those boats. It made me really want to join the Navy being in there, trying on the uniform hats and hearing the stories of maritime history.

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Arholm reporting for duty

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Look at my handsome captain!

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How cool is it that you can have an interactive experience with the cabins like that? I think it would have been really fun being out at sea with your ship and sharing a cabin like that. Sign me up!

We later went down to the marina and spent a few hours sitting by the water and just having fun. We all went for a swim, me with my clothes on haha! When you don’t have a bikini with you what else is there to do?

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The boys both were super brave and got out on the beam, I on the other hand needed two tries before I even dared to step out on the thing
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That’s as far as I got…

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A little afternoon yam session at James’s house, Greg and I are pretending that we know what we are doing

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Now I am curled up on the bed at Greg’s parents place. Being out in the sun all day really takes your energy away, but it is a great way to feel tired!

Have a great evening,

Camilla

Happiness, Relationship and Christmas preparations

December!! Woohoo (or should I say ho ho ho), Christmas is officially upon us!
Well it is 5th of December so it has been upon us for a few days but surprise surprise I am a little behind. (Story of my life, ugh) But ahead for a new years resolution – be more on time, so there is a silver lining right?

I love this time of year, not just with it being Christmas but the whole thing. The cold, dressing up with big scarfs and lighting candles and staying warm inside, after a long day out in the cold. It is such a cosy time of year.
When I was younger I hated the winter and loved the summer. Now I am starting to become a real winter person and as soon as September starts I get in a really good mood, knowing it is heading towards winter. The temperature dropping day by day, having to dress warmer and warmer and watching the leaves on the trees change colour and start falling down until they all are without leaves – portraying a beautiful winter landscape.

Life at the moment feels divided into two. In some aspects life is great, better than ever. Things I have emotionally struggled with for a long time is starting to fade from my mind, my anxiety is much better, my previous depression i have had is so to speak gone and I am sleeping better than ever. I feel that I have got such a better life quality especially as I lately have not had any insomnia or trouble getting up. I have started to get tired at 10 at night and I wake up be myself some time between 6 and 8am. Just to have been able to go to bed at the same time as Greg and fall asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow makes such a difference. I don’t sit up being lonely watching TV until the late hours, and I don’t lie in bed wallowing over little issues. Not to mention I get much more daylight and a better feeling when I get up early.

I don’t think my relationship with Greg has ever been better, and I am so in love. I feel that we are such a team and I feel that I can more than ever bring up stuff that I  need to talk about or resolve issues like a team with him. I feel more wanted in his life than I ever have and I cannot imagine my life without him. It is like we just work, and it makes me very happy.  In one week exactly, I am flying to New Zealand and we will spend Christmas together with his family and I am incredibly excited!

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In other aspects I feel that I am doing really poorly and that life is stressful and tiring.  I have been trying really hard to get in a routine of healthy eating and excising, but I keep struggling with it. Especially with the eating. In addition to that I have not been able to fully control my diabetes, making me incredibly tired. It feels like a bad wheel going, and I am using a lot of energy trying to get it on track.

With uni I feel behind already, I am currently stressing to secure a  supervisor for my dissertation, and time is ticking away because I am leaving next Tuesday so I need to have it sorted by then. I also have the worst concentration at the moment and combined with being tired from my diabetes it feels very challenging as I am reading and writing on my own for uni. I can defiantly feel that a master is much more challenging than when I did my bachelors. I feel that I struggle to meet deadlines and that what I am doing isn’t good enough. I feel behind with other projects as well, such as the blog and this vlog I am working on. As if I cant gather the focus to get it of the ground. I am taking steps to improve it though, and this week I have some doctors appointments lined up, an eating plan and I am meeting with the tutor at work to sort my stuff out (hopefully).

I guess that I life, as some things go well others will not. I am in general really grateful though, because overall I am really happy and I feel much calmer and centred than I did before.

I hope everyone is having a great December and wishing you all the very best!

Camilla xx

Things to do in London: Notting Hill

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Good morning!
Today I want to make another recommendation for those of you living in or visiting London. I realize that my previous post was about the same thing but yesterday Greg and I went to Notting Hill to look around and I just have to share these cool pictures with you guys and give you the recommendation to go here! It as absolutely a place worth visiting!

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I am sure most of you have seen the movie Notting Hill, a classic from the 90’s starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It is so romantic and a movie that always made me want to visit London long before moving here.

We both had a day of yesterday and planned on going to Richmond Park for the day but the day turned out so windy and rainy, we figured our feet would get soaked walking around the park. So I suggested that we could go to Notting Hill to see all the sites from the movie, such as the bookshop and the famous blue door. None of us had been to Notting Hill before so it was about time!

I didn’t realize thought that there were so much more to see in this area than just the sites from the movie. We saw all the little shops, the blue door, the bookshop and last but not least the beautiful, long and colorful Portobello Road.

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I loved how long Portobello Road is and how beautiful it is. Not just on the actual road but also the little side streets are so colorful and gorgeous. We were both freezing walking around here – non of us had dressed sufficiently but nonetheless it was completely worth it. We kept taking about how great it would be to live here, with so many shops, cafes and pubs around but also what an effect living with such creativity and beauty around would have on your soul and general mood. We walked around on a relatively cold grey day and had a blast, just imagine how nice it would be in summer!

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I was stoked to find The Travel Book Shop from the movie Notting Hill. The place were Anna Scott and William Thacker first meet and where Anna eventually confesses her love for him with the words “I am also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”. It felt like such a iconic place to see and for a second I felt as though William Thacker would be standing inside, selling travel books and going about his day.

I was most excited about finding the blue door from the movie, but that was sort of a let down. I must have built it up in my head, as this very recognizable iconic door, but even though we were looking for it we actually walked past it a few times before even realizing that this was the door we were looking for. But oh, well at least we found it and I got my picture taken in front of it like I wanted.
We rushed the picture though, because it looked like there might be living someone inside, and we kept speculating on this on the way home wondering what that would be like, having people come all day taking pictures of your door.

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Not a great picture of me, tired and on a sugar high but oh well, at least it is us in front of William Thacker’s home.

After the door was found, we just kept walking around Portobello Road and explore it’s little side streets before heading home.
I love how artistic the streets are, like a little creative sphere in West London. I wonder what it is like to live here and how expensive it would be. A great motivation to work on getting a great job, that’s for sure.

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I am of to start my day now! Not in Notting Hill unfortuantly but in the very charming South and East London.

– Camilla

Perfect Private Valentine

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Hello from South London!
I hope everyone had a great valentines day yesterday with friends, partners of family.

We did not go out for valentines, but stayed home instead. We figured the restaurants would be fully booked and it seemed like more hassel than fun to get out in the crowd. I am someone who likes to celebrate as things happen and not on a later date. Both with Christmas, birthdays and valentines I always feel bad celebrating it before or after the actual date.

Greg ended up making a three course meal when he came home from work and it was excellent!
We have been watching the British show Dinner Date,  show where people go on blind dates and cooks each other a three course meal and then they rate one another.
Our valentines were heavily inspired by this show so we made valentines our own private Dinner Date. We are not exactly strangers but well well.
In between courses we snapped each other the “interviews” as they do on the show where they tell the audience how the date is going. It is killing me that I do not have Greg’s snaps because they were hilarious!

Anyway, here is some picture drizzles from our Dinner Date/ Valentines date;

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Getting Greg’s snaps from the kitchen!

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My valentines present a bathrobe!
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So comfy! 

That was our Valentines day! I hope you all had a great day or night!

– Camilla

Girls time in Manchester

Hello from Manchester!

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Picture is from visitmanchester.com

I am at the moment in Manchester City, visiting Rosie my old roommate and one of my very best friends.

I am only here for one night, and will be on the late coach back to London tonight to make it to my lecture tomorrow.
Before coming here I hadn’t seen Rosie for over a year since we live so far apart now, so it was amazing to see her again!
I had also never been to Manchester before, so it was about time after living for four years in the UK!

When I first arrived we looked around the city center for a while before heading back to her flat. We had some wine and food, chatted and watched a movie.
I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard! I did not even realize how much I missed her before I saw her. I felt like my old self for the first time in a long time which was great!

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Picture from  visitmanchester.com
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Rosie’s lille kitten

Today Rosie has been showing me all around Didsbury, the area of Manchester where she lives. We went to lunch with her sister and then walked around the canal and the parks.

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First time trying Egg’s Benedict’s – it was a success!  
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Picture from visitmanchester.com

Now I am getting ready to pack my stuff up and take the coach back to London. It has been a short visit an hopefully it will be longer next time, but it was so worth it seeing Rosie and getting some good laughs!

I will catch up with you back in London!

– Camilla

Improving in 2017

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New Year, New opportunities!
We are starting the new year a bit late here in Arendal.  I mean that in the sense that we still have not put the Christmas decorations away, I am still in Norway on Christmas holiday and we are still eating Christmas sweets. I  am still very much in a holiday mode.

Tomorrow we are clearing the house of Christmas in every way and embracing the New Year. 6 days late but oh well.

I return to London on the 11th of January and Greg and I have agreed that we then will talk and write down our goals and ambitions for 2017. We have places we want to see and things we want to do and we want to work together to make them happen.

Meanwhile while I am here in Norway I have over the holidays figured out what I personally want to change and things I want to accomplish.

I want to develop as a human being and have some personal growth.

Taking Better Care of People Around Me:
During the church service on Christmas Eve, the priest talked about treating every person we meet as we would treat our selves and how we would treat God or someone we look up to. He talked about how whilst we treat other people well and do what we can to help other human beings we are also treating ourselves well.
During Christmas this we something that I experienced and the more I thought about it agreed more and more with.
When we came here my goal was two things. That Greg would have a good time this Christmas even though he if far from home and his traditions and the second was that my mum who has not seen us for a long time would have a wonderful Christmas with us as we will be in New Zealand next year. I had decided that I would do everything to make that happen.
Seeing how happy they both were and making sure that they had a wonderful Christmas was really the entire reason why this Christmas was the best I have ever had.

This made me think how happy it makes me to see the people around me well, and made me think of how small acts of kindness can make someones day that much better. I have my self experienced this year and felt how just one or two people around me caring for me and taking a little time aside to make sure that I am ok and taking an interest in how I am doing can lighten even the hardest of my days.

I think that it shows how powerful one person can be, how powerful we all can be in making someones time better and I want this year to go more out of my way to take time to bring joy into the lives of people around me.
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Take Better Care of Myself:
One thing I have realized during the past year is that it is hard to be there for others when you are not doing great yourself. In order to be a good friend, girlfriend, student or employee you have to take care of yourself.
In the past year have struggled with my health, both with my diabetes and with my general health.
To be there, follow through with plans and making sure you are a good presence in others life it hard to do when you are feeling drained and unwell.
There are things outside our control that can make us feel that way of course, but for me personally I want to do everything I can to make sure I am feeling well.

So often during the year I would skip on having a good diet, I would go back and forth on keeping fit and the times when I was heavy into a fitness routine I would have the wrong focus, and taking a more extreme diet and exercise something that would give me less energy and that would health-wise not befit my body or mind.

This year I want to focus on being healthy. Not because I want to be thin, or strong physically, but for my body to be well and focus on working as best as it can. I want to forget about weight, but making sure I get all the nutrients I need and remove or at least cut heavy down on stuff that is not good for me.
I want to wake up feeling well and treat my body in a way where I am not worried about future illnesses or go through the day feeling drained.

I do want to get in a better routine with my exercise, but not to give in to the fitness pressure on social media, but because I know it will give me energy and it something that my body needs.

I want to treat my mind likewise and continue to get back into a positive mindset and try not to stress or over think stuff.

I feel so lucky to be healthy, the only issue I have right now is my diabetes. But when that is poorly controlled and I am not doing my part to make it better, then I am treating my body the wrong way and not appreciating the fact that I am as lucky as I am.

Not to mention when your body and mind is feeling unwell, it is that much easier to get stressed, sad and that much harder to focus, concentrate and being there for those I love.
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Be More Social and Staying Better in Touch with People:
I can be very bad at staying in touch with people. I am one of those people that need time to answer to a message and it is such a bad habitt! This year I will start doing things straight away instead of waiting a full day.
I also want to start reaching out to people. I am someone who often can underestimate the importance of a quick chat or a message to hear how someones day has been.

Too often I feel that I would be just annoying reaching out, and I often do not suggest meeting up with people, not because I do not want to see them but because I convince myself that they would not want to meet up with me.
Like I said above, I have realized how significant a message or a small conversation can be on a bad day. I want to start being that force, and getting in touch. Show people that I care, instead of just sitting thinking about it.

I have also this year been become so fond of being at home and spending the evenings inside snuggling up to Greg.
Although that is all nice and well, I have been far less social this past year.

In the new year I think that it is important that I get more out there, and not spend all my evenings just at home. To go to a cafe with friends, or a gathering or even to a bar or pub. In the last few years I have had less of an interest in going out drinking. It makes me feel unwell, even if it is only a drink or two and the amusement I found a few years ago is just not there anymore. That being said just because I dont drink doesn’t mean I cant go to a pub for a few hours with some friends. If I dont feel like drinking I can still spend time with fun people and have a dance or two.
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Blog and Vlog:
Last year I started this blog and the plan was to grow it and blog every day. That was something that I so absolutely failed at.
If you look back at my posts you can see that the blog posts do not have a continuity and often gets left behind.

I have plans on where to take the blog this year, and I want to “find my voice” this year, something that doesnt happen when you dont blog continuously.
It is like so many other things, in that ideas just stay an idea, when what is required is action. This is the year, with the blog and so many other aspects of my life where I plan to take action and put ideas into reality.

I also plan to start vloging. I have since the middle of the year started to watch more and more You Tube channels and  as I have done so the idea of having my own channel has aspired.
I start filming already tomorrow and within the following week I will put out my first video!

I have so many plans this year both here on the blog and on You Tube that I think you will really like and I hope you will stay tuned and join this journey with me.
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Most importantly, I just want to go out experience life and be happy. For the people around me to be happy and to enjoy every day, and this is small steps towards that.
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I am so excited for the following year! We have so many fun plans and stuff coming up and I am excited to share it with you.

This is also the year I am finishing my bachelor degree and it will be a new journey fro there wither with work or with continuing studying for a master.

I am excited to see where it all leads and where we stand at the end of this year!
And of course I hope you will be here with us to see it!

– Camilla

 

 

2016 – From a Long Distance Relationship to Sharing a Home and a City

Now that a new year has come and 2016 is officially history, I thought it would be nice to have a look back at the year that just passed and reflect on that.

Last year was a year of many changes and for me and Greg it was the year that we worked on settling in to our life in London. It feels like we spent the whole year getting settled and set up a new life, a new home and a new routine. Here is a throwback to the year 2016.
On this day exactly one year ago the day we had been waiting for arrived. Greg moved to London.
I remember the trip to Heathrow airport so vividly as  went to pick him up. I had not seen him since September and I was stoked! I was both nervous and incredibly happy. I was nervous about the big step of moving in together and having our relationship go from long distance to one where we not only would see each other every day but also living together and sharing our lives. Would we meet differences that would be to hard to live with? Would we see sides of each other that we were not prepared for? I was also very excited to be living with the person I love and sharing my life with my best friend. To after missing each other for so long to finally be able to wake up together every morning and go to bed together every night.
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When Greg finally stepped out to the arrival hall at Heathrow airport, all my nervousness disappeared and I remembered just how good it felt to be with him. I had almost forgot how handsome he was and how much he made me laugh.
Finally we were together again.

Greg didn’t stay for many days before we went on a two week holiday to Norway. At that time Norway was covered in snow and the temperature went as low as 17 degrees. I can imagine it was quite a  shock to Greg, coming from sunny New Zealand. We spent time with my family, took a trip to Oslo and just fully enjoyed ourselves.

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Sightseeing in Oslo 

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Back at my mums house in Arendal

20160116_16181220160114_11493220160116_18594212540017_889299587857616_592658098_n20160116_16141820160116_161807Coming back to London we started looking for a place. As Greg didn’t have a job yet, getting a place by our selves was difficult and therefore we ended up renting a room in Stratford through Air Bnb. We moved into a family house with a family of three that rented our their spare room. Our plan was to live there for one or two months, ended up being until July.

At first we were just fine there, but over time being two people sharing one room where we would sleep, hang out, eat and spend all our time on the bed it grew less charming.

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Our new “home” a bedroom in Stratford

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Back in London – spending the weekends exploring the city!

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My handsome man outside the British Museum 

20160122_20472920160122_201734Greg got a job impressively fast and had his first day only a few weeks after we returned and is in this job today, working as a paralegal.

I continued with Uni and worked part time as a Health Care Assistant at a local Dementia Home.

In July we finally got our own place. I cannot even begin to express my relief! I felt like someone that just won the lottery must feel. All that space and privacy after months of living in a small confined space was an incredible feeling. I think it took me about two weeks before I finally could relax and believe that this was actually our new home!
When we moved in we spent most of our savings on the deposit and therefore had little left over for furniture. Our place looked empty for months, only filled with basic second hand furniture of what we needed the most. I must say however, I still loved it!
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Newly moved in!

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December – Finally furnished after living there for 6 months!

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During the summer I went from working as a Heath Care Assistant at my job to covering for the Home Administrator for two months, suddenly working office hours Monday – Friday, shorter shifts but more days a week than normal. It was a lot of fun and gave me an sight of what it is like having a normal 9 – 5 job.

When my time in the office was over, I went for two weeks to Greece with my mum for a holiday before returning to London to start the 3rd year of Uni.

I felt that over the summer I had gathered new motivations for Uni and was excited to start and continue to learn. After the summer holiday I have enjoyed Uni more than ever before so I think the summer gave me just the motivation and  excitement I needed.

I honestly dont even know what we have been up to from October to December. The time has just flown by whilst we have been busy planning for Christmas holidays and doing work and Uni.

I did however finally get to decorate the living room how I wanted in December and I am to this day still so excited for it. Finally it looks like a home!

Finally, as you know we flew home to Norway on the 23rd of December and spent the holidays here. I am still here and Greg flew home today where I will join him on the 5th.
I mentioned it earlier in a post, but during this Christmas holiday I feel as we have fallen in love all over again and got a better connection than ever before. Living hectic lives in London and feeling tired and stressed when we get home can make you disconnect and take each other a little for granted. I think we both want to take this holiday with us home in a sense and make sure we make time for each other, disconnect from all the rest occasionally and just enjoy one another’s company from time to time.
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Like said earlier, I feel that 2016 was the year of getting settled in and setting up our new life.

I hope 2017 will be the year of accomplishments and having fun with, work, uni and travelling!
Tomorrow I am posting about my hopes for 2017!

All that is left for me to do now is say thank you for a very interesting and good year!

–  Camilla

Re-Decoration; Living Room Interior

dscf3149dscf3150Good morning!

I am now finally finished re decorating our living room, with the exception of the curtains that are currently in the wash.
It is more light and open now and I am so pleased with it!

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Welcome to our home!

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I wanted a beige theme to make the room lighter, I also feel that it goes better with the colour of the floor, as opposed to our old grey one.dscf3142

We got the Ektorp 3 seater sofa fro IKEA, a very nice and affordable sofa. The covers are easy to remove and can be washed in the washing machine. Greg loves to sit with his feet stretched so I also got the foot stool that is great because it has storage room inside and can be moved when we have company if we want more seating space. dscf3113

I decided to decorate with some pillows that goes with the theme but also breaks the all beige colour. And they are so comfortable when snuggling on the sofa!dscf3151

I was worried that the carpet might be a bit to dark, but when it all came together I thought that it was actually a really good colour to go with the room as I feel white might make the room look too cold. The carpet is HEMP from Ikea and it is only £40 pounds.

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Our table is JOKKMOKK From IKEA, only £85 for the table and the 4 chairs!dscf3145

I love how the room is that much more open and convenient, and it feels much more natural structured.

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One of the things that I didn’t like about the way we had it before was that we covered up the mantle piece with the sofa and our windows with big long curtains. Now I feel that they both really have come into place and make great decorations in them selves. Blinds was defiantly more appropriate for these kinds of windows and the mantle piece is no longer covered up.dscf3108dscf3088dscf3093

And lastly – some decorations;

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So there it is, our new living room. The project is done!
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I am so happy with it, I feel like I can relax much more here and get my spirits lifted. Thankfully Greg was very happy with it as well! Now we are working on tidying our guest room, or the “spider room” as I call it after finding a huge spider in there 5 months ago.

Have a lovely day everyone!

 

 

Interior – Before Livingroom Changes

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Happy Sunday everybody!

This has been an unsocial weekend for me, with Greg away and me being swamped with upcoming deadlines and exams at Uni. I wish I could say that I have got a great start to it this weekend, but my concentration has not been great, so much work to be done tonight and the upcoming days!

However, I am so excited for tomorrow because our new furniture is finally arriving! Like I said in the previous post, I was at IKEA on Friday to get some decorative stuff to add the final touches to it but they are all still in the bags waiting to be brought out on Monday!

This is entirely my own project – I say that as if it is a highly important work project I know, but it is my own in the sense that Greg does not know what the result will be or know what any of the furniture is. I wanted to show him that I have great interior design skills and add a bit of a feminine touch to our home. In other words show him how great I can make this place. I want to wow him.
Now I am getting slightly worried that it will not look like what I have had in mind, that the colours will clash or that it just wont look right. Hopefully though, it will look very homely and beautiful. I want a place where we can truly relax and feel at home. A place to lower out shoulders, and give us peace in this very busy city we live in.
Before the “transformation” I want to show you the before pictures of how the place looks like now.
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As for the rest of yesterday, after giving a million tries to study well, I took a little break to spend some time Greg when he came home. He has been gone with work so much this week, so it was so good to have him home for a while.
I made us some propper weekend food – Tacos, and afterwards we had cheesecake and cookies and watched a few episodes of Ellen. I LOVE that woman!
Here are some photos of our evening:
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I hope you all have a great end to the week and wishing you a fantastic week to come!

– Camilla