Things to do in London: Greenwich Park – The Middle of Time

DSCF3769Good evening guys!

I hope you have all had a great long Easter weekend!

I had work the first three days of holidays but yesterday I finally had my first day off. Greg and I hadn’t got to spend a lot of time together for a while as we have had such different schedules, so yesterday we decided to spend some quality time together.

We went to Greenwich Park, which isn’t too far from where we live. I first thought we had had some bad luck with the weather, but as the day went on it cleared up and we ended up having a great time at Greenwich.

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Greenwich Park is so beautiful and it has a great view over the city of London. With Canary Warf in the background and the city itself a bit further in the horizon it is a perfect spot for a day date in the city!

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For those of you who doesn’t know (I didn’t make the connection until we were there) this is where the GMT, the Greenwich Mean Time is set. Meaning that the time of the worlds is set from that point. Anywhere that is 3 hours before us is GMT +3 and somewhere that is 5 hours behind us if GMT -5. Pretty cool right? As Greg and I was talking about, it is as if we are standing in the middle of time, right where it starts. Not only is time set from Greenwich, but also longitude and latitude is based of Greenwich Park. The longer longitude and latitude it is on a map, the further away you are from Greenwich. So being at the top of Greenwich park, one can think that you are not only where time is set from, in a way you are also in the center of the world. I thought that was pretty amazing to think about!

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We walked around the park, philosophized about time and distance, grabbed a coffee and sat down watching all the people and dogs in the park.

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We saw this beautiful Golden Retriever and I started nagging Greg for a dog again. He said something about us not having a garden but I chose to ignore that and continued my campaign to get a Golden Retriever haha.

After the park we went for lunch in Greenwich before heading home for a cheat day of Chinese food, chocolate, cheesecake and a couple of movies.
All in all it was the perfect day.

I think it is so important in a relationship to take time to spend quality time together, such as going to the park, to lunch or just for a walk every now and then. It is so easy to slip on that especially when living together. I would hate for us to just fall into a routine of work and home, not really appreciating each other.
I can tell already after one year of living together that that is an easy trap to fall into so these dates is important to me.

Today we are back to weekdays, Greg has just come home from work and I have spent the day studying. I went a bit overboard with the sweets last night so I have been feeling a bit unwell today. But as yesterday was Easter I will give myself a pass on that.

I hope all you guys have had an amazing weekend and a great start to the week!

– 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

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