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

Day Trip out of London: Windsor Castle

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This weekend Greg and I decided to take a day trip out to Windsor and visit Windsor Castle.
If any of you living in London or visiting London and want to make a short trip out of the city to see something else I highly recommend this trip.
Greg and I have been talking about going to see the castle ever since he first came to London but only now got around to it.

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The castle was built in 1070, by William the Conqueror and has since them been kept in the royal family and built on by the reigning King or Queen of the times.

Britains current Queen, Queen Elisabeth || has been using the castle frequently during her life and comes up there on her free weekends, and during the spring.

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I think it is so cool to walk around historic places like this and take in all the history and think how many people has walked on those grounds! Not only in today’s society but also hundreds of years ago. To think that the most powerful people of 1000 years ago walked on those exact grounds we are walking on.

Whilst we were at the castle we walked around the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel.

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In the State Apartments you can see all the rooms that the old Kings and Queens used for their bedrooms, their dining halls and their ball rooms. They also have old gifts given throughout the centuries from other state leaders to the royal families.
I wanted to take so many pictures, but both in the State Apartments and the Chapel you are not allowed to photograph.

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In St. George’s Chapel many of the old Kings and Queens are buried and their tum is displayed next to the history of the one laying there. Greg and I was talking as we walked though the Chapel that it is amazing to think that these people are laying right were we are standing. These once very powerful people, who shaped the course of the world we live in, are now right by we are standing, centuries after their death.
In a way it is a nice thought and in another way a very sad and aerie thing to think about. It suddenly makes them seem just like you and me. Mortal and human – as we all are.

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Not only is the castle beautiful and so enriched with history, but the town of Windsor is beautiful as well.
It has a small town vibe to it and at the same time you can find any store here, big or small. If you do go to see Windsor Castle make sure you set of some extra time to walk around the town.

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If you want to go to Windsor Castle from London you can take direct trains from Waterloo station. The train takes 50 minutes to Windsor and leaves every 30 minutes. The train you need to board is Windsor and Eton and it takes less than 5 minutes to walk from the station to the Castle. The train costs 21 pounds in peak our but only 12 pounds return of peak. The Entrance to the Castle is 21 pounds, 19 for students.
Be weary though that lines getting in to the castle can be long. When we went we were only in line for about 15 minutes, this was probably because we got there around 2 pm when the castle is less busy.
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So there you have it, a recommendation of a great outing and how to get there. I hope you all have a nice week, and we will “talk” very soon!

– 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

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

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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