Friday Night Home Alone

Good Friday evening everybody!

These last few weeks has gone so quick! I cannot belive we are already in December, the last month of the year. Christmas is right around the corner and so is uni deadlines and exams.

It has been a hectic month for me so far. Trying to prepare for everything at uni as well as keeping up with the social calendar of December is tricky enough, but in addition this bad cold has been going around and of course I caught it!

Tonight Greg is in Bristol with work and I have so many deadlines coming up so I have had to stay inn and working on them. Hooray for Friday night! No, all jokes aside – it could be age – or delusion but I am really enjoying spending some time indoors tonight, with Pizza, Pepsi Max and snacks. And even when it is spent working on my assignments. I must be growing up haha!
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Lately I have become so bored and annoyed at our living room furnishing. Something that is ironic since i am actually the one who furnished in the first place. Suddenly I realized that our place really lack that “homey” feeling and really is quite disastrous colour coordinated. Somehow as I was decorating it, I made it dark and look like a place two bachelors would share rather than a nice cozy home.
So at the beginning at the month I planned for and ordered new furniture and they arrive already on Monday! I keep talking about it as my master project. I am so excited! Earlier today I went and got some decorations and final touches for the living room at IKEA, and I cannot wait to show you when it is all in place!
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This was my little update for today! I am now about to watch an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, before continuing with my uni work for a bit before bed.

Will talk to you again tomorrow.

– Camilla

 

Last Week and a New Focus

Good morning beautiful people!

I am getting ready to head out to work, but before I do that I thought I would give an update and a summary with the highs and lows from the week that just passed.

I have been away for some weeks now. We have had some highs and lows here that I have been working through. But it is all worked through now and I am back to normal, and hopefully will be better than ever!

In the week that was I have worked towards getting myself healthy and feel my best. After a few health scares and feeling unhealthy my focus has gone from heating and working out to look my best, so eating, living and working out in a way that benefits my health.
It is a work in progress and I have had good days and days that I have been less successful but I am getting there!
I hope that in this week I will not have any setbacks and be 100% dedicated to being healthy. I have realized that being happy and healthy is much more important than being thin, or have great skinn or being well toned and that way I feel more relaxed and much happier.

Well, back to the week that was.

High point of the week:
On Thursday Greg took me out for a super nice date! We went to central and ate tapas before going for ice cream. It was great to get to spend some one on one time without any distractions. The food was amazing and the company was even better!
How lucky am I to be with this amazing man!

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Low point of the week:
The low point of my week must have been yesterday, when Greg and I was watching the Saints and the Broncos and just as we were getting super excited that they were about to win, the Broncos blocked the last field goal and we lost the game! We were so disappointed!

Surprise of the week:
Trump won the election! Like so many else I am just stunned that Donald Trump won the election in America. I was up watching some of the election and I could not believe he was in the lead. I was even more surprised waking up to the news that he won! Who would have though a year ago that he would actually be president. It just goes to show that anything can happen, so at least that is a good life lesson.

I have in general had a great week, and been getting on track with food, sleep and in general feeling very uplifted and happy.
Having said that I could not get to sleep last night, and ended up with only 3 hours of sleep so I am dreading spending 12 hours as a health care assistant today. Being on such a long shift in a job were you need to be very present for the residents and the people you are looking after is very challenging when being sleep deprived.
However I am determined to keep up a good spirit and just keep in mind that at the end of the day I will get a great night sleep. And keep the coffee coming!

Have a great day everyone!

– 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

Packing for Greece!

Good evening!

Tomorrow is Friday and I will finally be of for my holiday!
After work I am going straight to Gatwick airport to fly to Norway where our plane to Greece leaves the next morning.

I am now home trying to pack, while taking breaks to watch The Big Bang Theory.

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I was on a really good roll, until when I emptied out my suitcase and found a big spider in there. I have a huge phobia for spiders and there is no way I can continue getting the suitcase ready after seeing that beast in there! So the packing will go on after Greg has come home and got rid of the spider. Hope he wont be too late..

I am so ready for a holiday!
My bad neck that started almost two weeks ago has continued until now and spread to my back and shoulders.
I have not been able to sleep well either as laying my head down hurts my neck and I have kept waking up because my neck tuggs in the middle of the night.
To make it even worse I tripped and fell over on the way to work on Tuesday, something that only I could manage to do. Guess at 26 years old I am STILL tripping over on my own feet.
So now my knees and arms are all scratched up and achy, not to mention that the fall did not exactly do wonders for my neck!

Because I have been so busy I havent got a chance to collect myself and given my body the rest to heal, I think that is why it still has not gotten better. Work has been so busy, that even on the worst day, calling in sick or taking it easy at work has not been an option.

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I do belive though that two weeks with relaxation, warmth and swimming will fix my body right up.
I am hoping to be fine within the first few days, and if I take it easy and listen to my body I think that is reasonable to believe that I will be.

Well, I better wash up a little bit before Greg gets home and then finish packing.

Talk to you later!

– Camilla

26 Going On 90

Worst possible start to the week!
Early this morning I got up to get some water and as I sat up in bed and looked to my side I felt a little click in my neck and a painful icing feeling rushed down my side.
That was it for the day, my neck locked itself and all day I have not been able to move my neck a milliliter without getting a shock of pain down my neck and back.

Today that I had planned to be such a nice day and great start to the week turned out a complete fiasco.

The first hour of the morning I walked around the living room in desperation to get my neck to stop hurting. If I stood up, sat down or walked around, it wouldn’t make a difference, I got such painful crams in the neck not matter what I did. Lying down was not an option as it was far to painful, not to mention that even with the help of Greg I could barely get back up.
I have had a stiff neck that could spasm a little a few times in the past, but it has never even come close to what it was today. After having put a hot water bottle around it for over an hour the spasms became less intense and I was left with a neck that I could not move but at least it wasn’t painful unless I accidentally moved it.

I struggled for a while to get my clothes on, and I had to get Greg to make my breakfast. (Isn’t he sweet) A shower was our of the question and so was putting any make up on.

So off to work I went, with a head tilted to the left, slightly gross, unwashed and with a pale undone face. I defiantly did not look ready for a work environment.
After walking three times slower than I normally would to the train station I arrived only to find out my train had been cancelled and therefore the next one was packed.

I was so terrified anyone would bump into me I kept putting my hands in front of me as for protection. I can only imagine how ridiculous I must have looked standing with a crocked back, a awkwardly positioned head and my hands in front of me.
I did feel like I was 90 years old, and I am sure I looked the part too!

Being delayed by the train I was 15 minutes late to work, so everyone was there as I came in and as I walked in the door everyone started asking “What happened too you?” A bit embarrassed I answered “Is it that obvious?” to what I got the reply “Oh my god what happened to your neck??”
When I left my house I thought perhaps no one would notice and my frail appearance was all in my head, but apparently not.

At work we tried everything we could possible do, the nurses brought me painkillers, heating lotions, muscle lotions, and lotions to ease pain. The OT gave me tips to exercises I could do to loosen my neck, but nothing worked! In fact the longer I sat at my desk, the stiffer my neck got and the more the muscles in my back started acting up. By the time I left work I felt so tired just from holding my own head up.

I tried going to bed at 9 today, as I am absolutely exhausted, both from lack of sleep last night and being so tired in my body. All I want right now is to relax my back.
But lying in bed my neck started cramping so much I had to get up. (something that took about 20 minutes to do haha).

So here I am sitting up next to Greg with my head staring forward and with my Pingu penguin water bottle strapped to my neck.
What a fantastic way to start the week! My body is starting my match the age of my old soul.

In all seriousness though I hope and pray it will be gone by tomorrow, so I can write a less complaining post and embarrass myself slightly less. How I miss mobility!

– Camilla

 

 

Mums Visit!

Last week when Greg was in America, my mum came to stay with me for 5 days. I was so happy, because it had been such a long time since last I saw her and Greg was away so it was really nice to have someone stay and not being all alone.

Most of the times when my mum has visited me here in London there has always been something happening that we have been busy with, so she has not really got to feel like she is in London. We have not gone to the center at all on most of her visits and therefore not seen very much.

Fortunately this time, we had the whole weekend, and we got to go to into the central and take pictures with some of the main attractions such as Big Ben, The London Eye and Westminster Abby.
We were so lucky to get some great weather whilst we were there that just made our time perfect.
We had lunch by Trafalgar Square, walked around and watched the buildings and the people and enjoyed the nice atmosphere.
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We also started a project to redo our entire living room as a surprise for Greg when he came home, and he got so happy! I will in a later post show you our new place.

It is something special to have ones mum stay, it feels very homely and cozy.
I was even so lucky to get some of my favorite foods from Norway from her, such as Bearnaise Sauce and Norwegian bread spread.

In the evenings we would watch old crime series and drink tea just like we did when I was younger. I felt like I was 16 again!
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I was so sad when she left, but it wont be long until I see her again. In two weeks we are packing our bags and travelling to Greece for two weeks, so I wont have to miss her long.

Two days after she went home, Greg came back from America. It was so good to have him home, like I could finally relax again. So my time “alone” went quite well, and fortunately passed quickly.

Now life is back to normal. Greg is recovering from his Jet Lag and I am enjoying a relaxing weekend before work starts again tomorrow.

I hope everyone has had a nice end to the week!

– Camilla

Furnishing on a (very) low budget

Last week I said I would write a post about furnishing a flat on a budget and I though I would put that out for you now!

When Greg and I got this flat in July, most of our savings was used on the deposit and we had little left over for furnishing.
We got the place unfurnished and therefore needed basic furniture such as a sofa and a bed in order to move in.DSCF1074

We still have a lot of furniture to buy to make it a cozy home, but by now we have the basics in place that we need to live here.

Here is my tips for you if you are furnishing your flat on a low budget.

Some of the stuff we got we bought new, and some stuff we got used.

The bed:

With our bed we decided that we would prefer a new bed over a used one. This was mostly because we did not want to risk getting bedbugs, especially where we sleep. Also I felt that I would be more comfortable with a bed I know no one has used before, after all it is where we sleep every night and I wanted to know that I would feel comfortable.
Most beds that you can buy at department stores end up getting quite expensive, especially with delivery. We searched for online stores and found our bed at Sofaworld for £120. For that we got a new double bed delivered to our house the same day we ordered it. It is a comfortable bed with two drawers in it, and although it is not a luxury bed at all it is a bed we can sleep well in.
DSCF1059Our bed was only furniture we got (except for the TV) that we spent more that £100 on, but for a bed £100 is really not very much especially considering it is new.

Buying Second Hand:

If you are looking for second hand furniture, there is a lot to find online. We found Gumtree to be a very good page to get second hand stuff and we got both our sofa and our closet from there. In addition to Gumtree, there are plenty of facebook pages where people sell their furniture. There might even be a group for the area you live in, so I would recommend searching for not only your city, but also your area.

We got our sofa from Gumtree for £35 with free delivery, and we bought a canvas wardrobe for £5 also on Gumtree.DSCF1225DSCF1226DSCF1062

Both the sofa and the wardrobe we will probably look to replace when we can, but it was a great solution to get the basics so we could live here and it works perfectly for now.

Two things to keep in mind:

1. Staying safe whilst paying for your purchase
One important thing though to keep in mind when buying through Gumtree or any online page where people can post privately is to make sure you pay when you receive the purchase, as you cannot be sure who you are buying from over the internet. Some of the ads can be a scam, even if they look legit.

2. Can you pick it up?
Another thing to consider when using these pages is if you have a vehicle to pick the furniture up. We saw so many amazing deals that we could not get, simply because we dont have a car. Neither Greg or I have a car and as we live in London were everyone uses public transport we have no one that can help us pick the furniture up. Some things are small enough that it can be brought on the tube or fit in an uber, but for larger furniture this can create a problem.
Our solution to this was to look for ads that said free delivery, or that delivers for a small extra price.

Buying from Department Stores:

I have got two places that I have gone to for cheap new furniture and that is IKEA and Poundstretcher.

Ikea is such a great store with heaps of affordable and good furniture. Not to mention it is a very fun store to go shopping in with its showroom displays and their restaurant that serves delicious foods!

From IKEA I got our little coffee table for £5, which was way cheaper than anything I could find online.DSCF1216
The table is tiny, and after a while we will probably want a better one, but for £5 it is a great deal!

We also got our dining table and chairs from IKEA. We was originally not supposed to get a dining table for a while, because we felt it was not a necessity as we could eat on the sofa and dining tables are quite expensive. However I really dislike having all our meals on the sofa and I got a bit creative so we could have a table to eat at.
At IKEA I found a white desk for £15 and folding chairs for £5 each so I bought that to use as a dining table. And when putting a tablecloth over it, it does not look half bad!DSCF1154DSCF1048
And for the time being it operates as a desk when it is not being used for a dining table.

IKEA is also great for buying what you need for the kitchen, they have super cheap quality dining wear and kitchen utensils!

Poundstretcher is another great store that have great furniture for very little.

As we do not have to much space to put our stuff yet I went out and got some cheap plastic drawers and containers from there!

I got some plastic drawers, a clothes rack and some extra boxes. I got the plastic drawers for £12, the rack for £7 and I got a hanging mirror for £6! Bargain! DSCF1068DSCF1060DSCF1005

Of course over time we want some proper furniture and not having to resort to plastic drawers and canvas wardrobes, but this really is a great way to buy furniture if you find yourself in a need to get a place furnished to live in, but dont have the money to get it all done in one go!

We still have heaps to do here, it still has a bit of an empty feel to it, as you can see in the pictures, but it will come with time. For now we can relax with what we have, and slowly fill in what is missing, knowing we have the essentials in place.

I hope this post gave some inspiration of how to get furniture way under budget, and even if you do not have a whole place to fill from scratch with minimum of spending money, there are little tricks you can do to get your basics without paying too much.

Now I am of to work, before going to meet my mum at the station later!
Wishing you all a very good day!

– Camilla

 

 

 

 

Lonely Flat, Lonely heart

Today was the first day in a long time that I came home to an empty flat. And it is my first night sleeping in this flat alone.

Greg and his best friend James has packed their bags and on their way to Florida for a ten days vacation. I am so envious of their trip, and I know they will have an amazing time. I am really happy for Greg that he gets this experience with his best friend, after he has been working so hard ever since he arrived in London in January he truly deserves it.

Although I must admit I am sad to be without him for that long, and last night I felt anxious thinking of being here alone. I am getting so used to having him here every night and seeing him every day that I think I am experiencing some separation anxiety.
Last night I got that same feeling I had when we were doing long distance and it was the night before one of us would fly back to our home country. Of course this is very different, back then we would face two or three months apart and now we are only having ten days apart but I still got that same anxious feeling in my stomach as I did back then.

The whole day at work today I just kept thinking of the empty flat I would come home to, knowing Greg and James is so far away. It nearly killed my motivation for the day just thinking about it and it felt so weird and empty coming through the door after work having no one to greet me and knowing no one is coming home later in the evening either.
Especially after having James here for two weeks, I am so used to having people around and having company in the evening. Going from having days being three people at home to being alone is such a strange feeling.
Since I came home I have just been moping around the flat not really knowing what to do with myself.
I am normally someone who enjoy spending time on my own and I enjoy my own company. I think this is one of the first times that I know I have some time to myself and I am not feeling really happy about that! It is so strange how we can change like that, to me it is a whole new feeling and very unlike myself. I am not sure if it is age or just missing Greg that makes me feel so lonely sitting here alone. It is odd to think about how dependent one can get on another person!  DSCF1183

However I do think it is good to have some days apart, even though I am not liking it as it happens. I think it is good to be able to truly miss one another and feel lonely being apart.
Often when we get used to having someone around we get so comfortable that we forget to stop and think how lucky we are, and often can take those that matter the most for granted.
it is nice once in a while to realize the importance of the person we love and just how much we love them. Not to mention that I think this is so good for Greg to get to see what he wants to see and have some time with his friends from New Zealand that he hardly every get to see.
I know I am moping about being alone, but deep down I am so happy for them.

I realize I am getting a bit sentimental here thinking of Greg somewhere over the Atlantic, but it truly is reminding me of how much I love him and how much I love seeing him everyday.

Fortunately I wont be alone for very long, because my mum is coming on Wednesday to London and staying with me until Monday. It will be really nice to have some mother and daughter time together, see some of London and have some good old Norwegian food again. We haven’t seen each other since February so I am quite excited to see her! Not to mention it will make time go a lot faster until Greg comes back home!

Now it is time for this lonely soul to get to bed in order to survive a full on day tomorrow.

I hope you all are well and get a good night sleep.

Sweet dreams, Camilla

 

 

 

Things to do in London: Hyde Park and Kenisngton Garden

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Today has been such a great day and a perfect end to the week!

Because Greg and James are leaving for America for 10 days tomorrow, we wanted to get the most out of the day today and spend as much time together as possible.

We took advantage of the great weather and had all day in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

These places are so beautiful, like a little oasis in the middle of London.
Kensington Palace is where Diana used to live while she was alive and where the royal family occasionally stay.
There are so many memorial monuments in this park, celebrating royalties from hundreds of years ago, as this was a very historical garden for the royal family.

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We went to see all the memorials, the gardens, the park and the palace.

It was so nice to just look at the pretty scenery, have some laughs and just enjoy each others company.
And we got to take so many nice pictures!

Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park is located near Kensington in West London. The best way of getting there I think would be the route that we took today, witch is to take the underground to South Kensington station and walk from there. But of course it depends a little of where in London you are coming from. I would absolutely recommend to make the trip there though, it is a location that must be seen, you would not regret it!

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In the spirit of having just visited this beautiful garden, when we came home I baked an apple cake and we watched the old classic “The Secret Garden”.

It was the best day I have had for such a long time, the only bad thing with it was that it made me feel super sad and dreading Greg being away for 10 whole days!
I am really dreading going to work in the morning, knowing I will be coming home to an empty house and Greg being somewhere over the Atlantic.

Now I am casually sitting on my computer with a big moan, as Greg is packing.

Although I am so happy for Greg and James that they get to go on a fun boys trip, I am also so sad to be alone without them here at home.

Talk to you tomorrow,

– Camilla

Time Pressure and Management

This month I am working normal office hours 9 – 5 something I am not used to.
Being a carer I normally work 12 hours shift, something that means that I work only 3 or 4 days a week when I am full time.

Although I dont get time for anything else than waking up and going to sleep in between those long shift, when my work week is over I have 3 or 4 days completely of.
Now that I am in five days a week I am suddenly feeling this time pressure every Londoner talks about.
20160317_080009I though that being used to 12 hours shifts, going to 8 hours a day would leave me with so much extra time every day. But even though my days are relatively short, with travel time I end up not getting much time to do much when I come home.

Lately I have been trying to get a run done in the morning before I get ready for work, although it means my alarm goes of at 5 am. It is great getting an early start, however that does leave me tired throughout the day unless I get to bed at 9 or 10 at night.

Living in London travel can easily at times take more than two hours in rush time, meaning that at times we get home at 7 or even 8 leaving us with two hours to make dinner and have some quality time before heading to bed.
Of course two hours is not bad, we have time for dinner, conversation and what else we need to do.
But like everyone else we have so many extra things that needs to be done, such as housework, fixing whatever we need to do online and general chores that I can tell at least on this end is suffering.

I defiantly feel the need to manage my time better, the last few weeks working office hours it has become clear that that is really not my strength. Surely when families with full days of work and children in the house can manage it well, I should be able to too!

Doing my workout in the morning has been the first step, now I just have to work out how to manage the rest of my day! Anyone having any tips for this is very appreciated, lets just say that.

Dont get me wrong, I am loving this new challenge at work, learning to do some administrative task. Having been a carer since I was 18 both full time and next to uni this is brand new to me and I love the challenge and learning to do that as well. It is the first time I am heading to work in office clothes rather than my carer uniform, it feels strange as well as fun. Learning how to do new things is always exiting!

I find is so funny how one always thinks that everyone else’s days seems much easier to manage until we get our days changed to what they have and then start to see that there are challenges with that too.

When I worked 12 hours a day, I was always so jealous seeing people on the commute heading of to their days that would end well before mine. Always thinking how much they would get done in a day.
I am sure in October when I am back to working 12 hours I will quickly go back to thinking that same thing, but for now am defiantly starting to understand the challenges of time pressure that most people experience. Especially in big cities where the travel time can be half a working day!
DSCF1152S0021126S0031129DSCF1154Today after coming home I have been making dinner for myself, Greg and James, before catching up on my blogging and that has been it for today. Now I am headed of to bed before an exiting and busy day tomorrow.

I hope you have all had a lovely day, and that you managed to manage your time better than me!

Good night!

– Camilla