Happiness, Relationship and Christmas preparations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Camilla xx

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

Christmas in Norway

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Greg and I have planted ourselves in the sofa with each our computers, Tour De Ski is on the telly and the fire place is creating a pleasantly warmth and an even better atmosphere.

This is how we are sitting now and this is how every day has been spent here in Norway during Christmas.

We traveled from London to Norway on the 23rd of December, just in time to wake up here in Arendal for Christmas Eve. In Norway we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, with Church, Dinner and Presents. For the rest of the days until New Years Eve we just relax, eat Christmas food and enjoy each others company.

For Greg this has been an unusual Christmas, with many new traditions and ways of celebrating but he seems to have loved it.
For me, this has been the best Christmas of my life. Spending time with my family, being back in Norway – back home, and to spend it with Greg – finally!

We have eaten out weight in food and sweets, watched a years worth of movies and just enjoyed spending the time together without the distractions of work and uni.
I feel like I have fallen in love all over again!
Sadly the snow has yet to appear, so we have not had a white Christmas this year but that is the only thing missing.

Here is a few pictures from our Christmas celebration in Norway
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My Sisters Turtle Franklin!

That was a little summary of our Christmas here in Norway.

Now we are sitting down to write our resolutions and wait to celebrate the New Year. We are excited to start the New Year stronger and better than ever before!

I hope you have all had a Great Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!

– Camilla xxx

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

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

 

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