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

Date Night in Soho

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Good evening!

After a day of some studying and some TV watching, I met Greg after he finished work for a date night in the city.

Because I dont have any lectures on Fridays and this is the first week back at uni, I allowed myself to a bit of a relaxed day. After a couple hours of light studying, I spent the day with some day time TV watching whilst I made a slightly unhealthy but delicious lunch.

A few days ago Greg suggested that we should go to Soho after work today and eat dinner out. It has been a while since I have gone out on a date with Greg, as I said in my previous post I have been in a mode lately where I have wanted to stay in an just relax most days. But as I am changing that now, we went out and I had such a nice time!
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We met up in Piccadilly Circus and walked to this Greg restaurant that makes pizza and pasta. You simply order by the counter and chooses your choice, which they heat up and you bring to your seat.
It is like a canteen theme, only the food was so good and it looks like a restaurant with really nice interior.
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After dinner we walked down Oxford Street and looked in a few shops before heading to Trafalgar Square for a look around.
When Greg first moved to London Trafalgar Square was one of the first places I took him to and it is one of his favorite places in London.
It is quite nice, it is lively yet it has far fewer people than busy places like Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus.
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Now I super full after dinner and then snacks that we had after coming home. Greg is sound asleep but I am still wide awake – snoozing half the morning today was probably not the greatest idea.

I am so excited for the weekend now. I haven’t made any plans yet, because I thought I was going to work this weekend but it turns out that I have this weekend of!
I probably will do a bit of exercise, a bit of study and the rest just do what I want. Unless we decide to go out and see something.

I wish you all a great weekend and hope you will enjoy it!

Talk to you tomorrow!

– Camilla

A Holiday for Realization, Reflection and Inspiration

Now that our holiday in Crete is over, I have safely landed back home and a new routine has started. I have already been home for a few days, settled from my trip and even had my first days at Uni this new semester.

Our holiday has been great! A lot did not go as planned, but it was a holiday that I am so grateful for and that I needed.

The plan was to go on many trips, exercise, spend every day in the sun and soak up the Greek culture.
That is not really what happened. I spent a lot of the trip with what must have been the flu and only had a few hours a day on the beach, some I did not even make it to the beach. Often it was cold, and I did not make it to any excursions.
I had this whole plan to turn my blog into a well being/tour guide of Crete – well, obviously that did not happen.

But although it did not go according to plan, I am so happy I went, and I had such a great time! The holiday did not turn into an adventure of the island, or a cleansing trip for my body but it turned into a trip where I got a change to truly reflect on my life and How I live. A soul cleansing instead of a body cleansing!
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Not being able to go out every day and often getting tired quickly at night, I spent a lot of nights sitting drinking tea on the veranda alone with my thoughts. Sitting outside, listening to the sound of the ocean is so cliche, but it is true that it does wonders for your mind. Sitting in those beautiful surroundings and still missing home and being excited to come home is a true blessing. One that I often take for granted.
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I started thinking a lot of how I live my life, how I think, how my attitude is and how lucky I am with so many things in my life.

The truth is that my thinking can very often be negative, and especially lately I have been easily stressed, agitated and just had a bad energy.
It happens in life, we get so busy and caught up in all our responsibilities to reflect on how we think. If it then is something stressful or difficult we deal with often we can get in a bit of a funk.

I started watching these youtubers videos about positive thinking, and it hit me how right they are, and how much I have to learn from this.
The last few years I have been negative. I have let little things ruin my day, and put me down. I often expect the worst. I have felt tired and become to comfortable sitting inside.

I started thinking about why I do this, because it is really so silly!
I realized that I am simply afraid of being disappointed, therefor I have never got my hopes up about things I really want, and just believed that I wont get them. But by doing that, I have also not tried to go for what I really want. Winther it be a job, a friendship or just small things.

The same goes for how I talk about myself or the things I do. For instance if I am doing something well and someone tries to compliment me for it or show an interest, I always drag out the negatives. Not to complain, but to make sure I wont disappoint. I am so scared of that I might fail, so I dont tell people the goods. I always think that this could get away from me so quickly so I better not give anyone the impression that it is going super well, how will I then look if I fail?
And by doing so, I talk so much negative about my self that I am putting that negative energy out there and then of course start to doubt my self. Not to mention that I start focusing about these negative things.

Most importantly, I started thinking about those around me, those who my negativity impacts. For instance Greg, who always try to build me up, always is positive and tries to get me to do so many fun things with him. I feel bad that although I am not negative about him, having a girlfriend who had been looking at the negatives, questioning herself and often does not want to do much at all, it must be so hard!
Because although I want to do so many things in theory, when it comes down to it I often have had an excuse. Especially the last few months. Such as I am tried, I need time, I dont look good. And always the same thinking – tomorrow I will feel better, look better -have more time.

The things is that I want the best for those in my life, and I want to give them joy. Too often I feel that I want to please everyone, but I end up disappointing everyone.
I want Greg to be happy, and have a fun girlfriend. I want to be a good friend, a good aunt and a good daughter.

I always put happiness in the future and believe if I just reach this goal or that goal, then I can start to relax and be truly happy. I just need to loose some weight, I just need to get a hair cut, I just need to settle in at work, I just need my skin better. Always something.

I want better relationships, but often I shy away from social encounters. Especially with those I really like being with. It is like I have a fear that if they spend too much time with me, they might be disappointed. And it is so silly! Those who are meant to be in your life will want to hang out with you, but I have not given many people the chance, because I worry to much about myself.
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The most silly thing of all is that I am actually a very positive person. Just lately I have forgot.

But now I feel that I have had some time away, and made some hard realizations about my self. Dont get me wrong, it is not like I think I am a bad person, it is just this energy I have had lately, the energy I did not even think about.

But now that I have, I am all ready to start positive thinking! In fact, I have already started.

I have quit thinking that everything will be great tomorrow, just not today. Why not today? Happiness and positivism is not tomorrow, it is now – in this moment!

  • I wont think that I will not tell people or think about what I am so happy about right now. It might go away tomorrow, but I trust that it wont and if it does go away my being negative wont stop that. Why would I take away the joy of it today just because of the fear of tomorrow?
  • I am starting to say yes to things, as long as I dont have a gut feeling it is wrong for me. But try new things, enjoy what I am doing.
  • I am realizing that whatever is going to happen to me, nothing will happen that I cant handle. And whatever happens will happen for a reason, what matters is how I deal with it.
  • I am focusing on the good, not the bad. I dont put myself down, I focus on my good sides and I believe in myself.
  • I think everyday of what I am happy about

I must say, ever since I came home and has been conscious of my own thinking, I have been feeling really happy. It is the perfect time for it too, a new year is starting at Uni, I have missed home enough to truly appreciate it, and I am more ready than ever to tackle this third year of uni.

I truly believe that we often get what we need, not what we planned for and I am so happy that the holiday did not go according to plan. This was just what I needed!
I feel so inspired and excited!
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I am so excited to share with you how this will go, and to be open to new things and see things in a new and brighter light.
I am excited, because I feel that I have my old self back and now that I realized I had lost myself a little, getting back to my old self is so much easier.

Now I will go to get some sleep, tomorrow is a new day, that for me will be spent studying so I need my sleep!

Goodnight to you all, sweet dreams,
– Camilla

Last Nights Outfit

Good evening guys! dscf1737

We are in full packing mode here in Crete. Tomorrow evening we get picked up for the airport and yet another wonderful holiday is over.

I wanted to make a post about my outfit last night. A little because I finally got dressed up to go out and a little because I love this outfit and I got it so cheap!

The dress is from Primark. I bought it in June for only £14! I was so happy with it I had to have it.
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I love it because you can use it as a dress with heals when going out, to a party or to dinner but it can also be used if you feel like dressing up a bit more in the everyday. Get some more everyday shoes, some black tights and a jacket and you are set to go!

The jacket it just a normal black blazer from H&M and I bought it a couple of years ago.
Even though it looks like most other blazers I love it because it fits my body.
Because I am quite petite it is SO hard to find a blazer jacket that looks good and not boxy on me. So when I finally found this I was thrilled!
I think I payed £20 for it if I remember correctly.

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The shoes are from ASDA and I got them for £12 less than a month ago.
I really like them because they are really comfortable, so I can use them all nights and also put them on for work if I feel like it.

I really love shopping in London for the fact that you can get nice clothes for very cheap if you just take some time to look for it.
Even if I have a month that I am really poor and have an event, I can go out and get an outfit for it if I need to.

So there you have it – a complete outfit for less than £50!

– Camilla

 

July – hopes and goals

July is here!

I cant believe we are in the 7th month of the year already!

After having reflected on June last night, I am now thinking forward to July.
On my walk to work this morning I started planning the coming month. I think that thinking back to what went right and what went wrong last month, I got in a space where I want to keep improving month by month.

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This is a big month for myself and Greg too. I have to sort out everything for the next year of uni, I have a lot of training to pass for work and most importantly, Greg and I have to find our apartment this month, sooner rather than later as we must have moved in somewhere by the 5th of August. So pressure is ON!
That of course also means that we both have to save most of our income, as getting a place becomes very expensive with rent in advance, agency fees and deposits.

Here are my 5 goals and hopes for July:

Finding an apartment:
This is the number one priority. Most of what I do this month will be in order to work towards getting a place, we are in a bit of a time crunch, BUT we will do it! And of course keep you updated on our way there!

Saving money and reducing spending.. ..Like a lot!
As I said above, finding a place is expensive and this month we will need to pay rent where we live, pay rent where we will be going and put down a deposit. So a lot of budget dinners, less Costa coffees and I will be trying to use less public transport and walk where I can. On the positive side, you might have fun watching me trying to live of more or less nothing.. Good budget tips coming up this month!

Eating healthy and cutting down on sugar:
I terrible when it comes to watching what I eat and I defiantly eat far too much sugar. This last month when I watched it more and was living on better food I could absolutely tell how much better I felt. Last night after writing about how good I have been on watching the sugar and what food and drinks I have, I broke my diet and had so much chocolate and sweets (and right after I said I have been so good arg) and I started feeling really sick and tired. That in it self should be enough motivation to keep me on the good path this month. If not that, the fact that I am saving and probably cannot afford to buy too much sugar and fast food should do the trick. There is an upside to everything right?

Staying active:
I have a goal in my head that I will run everyday and walk and run both ways to work on days that I am working. I dont know yet if it is doable, especially since each way to work is a two hour walk and we do 12 hour shifts where we are basically on our feet constantly, but I will try and see. If that is not doable, I will want to t least run 4 days a week and walk at least one way to work. And again, it saves money too right?

Avoid complaining and do what I can for others:
Lately I become such a negative Nelly and I complain to Greg about all my worries and always tell him whatever negative has happened to me that day. And on so many days I focus on the negative. I dont want to be like that! I used to be very positive but lately I have not really been. So I will focus on what is good instead. And both at work and in any encounter I have with people in my personal life, I will do my best to be a positive contribution and not bother to go out of my way to help people. We should all do that, but sometimes I get so caught up in my own things that I forget all the stuff I could do for others, even without too much effort sometimes. We are nothing without each other so we really must treat each other as best as we can.

Now my break at work is nearly over and I better get back.

I would love to hear some of your goals for July, I do need the inspiration.

Have a great day!

– Camilla