Friday, 30 November 2012

November

November was definitely a weird one. I spent several weeks of it being sick - literally, illness upon illness in various forms, as soon as one was over another virus attacked me! So not the three-day deathly sickness kind, just weeks of being tired and miserable. And then I was so happy about the house at the start of the month but the mortgage process was taking so long and it felt like all we did was send more bank statements, more proof of having money and so on. University work suddenly showed up and was all 'hey, this needs to be completed in a few days' after lazying about most of October. All in all, parts of this month felt a little frustrating, but there was good times too.

Image from my Pinterest.

I finished all three seasons of Downton Abbey, and the Christmas special. That show totally stole my heart and I still catch myself thinking of how much I want to watch it. Luckily there's a final Christmas special on and I would sell my kidneys in exchange for watching it asap... Towards the end of the month I went out twice in Belfast with my friends and I had the best time. It's exactly what I needed after weeks of doing nothing. I finished The Handmaid's Tale and started 1984 (recurring theme of dystopian novels anyone). Steve and I had several little trips, we had breakfast around town and we went to IKEA and Lisburn. These trips really cheer me up. November mornings are cold but beautiful. Driving is still coming along nicely (theory test has been booked!) and best of all, Christmas is upon us. Yes. I am in full Christmas-mode from now on because now it is socially acceptable for me to go Christmas-mental. So naturally, I will.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Progress

Good news! The last few days (weeks?) I've been feeling a little down because the whole house-buying-process was taking ages and at times, looked as if it might not happen at all. But progress has been made and there is a chance we'll be in the house by Christmas anyway, hooray! (It has an open fire. We can make an open fire on Christmas morning. Imagine that!)

Also I'm going out tomorrow night to one of my old favourite places ever in Belfast with good friends. The bar that I basically spent most Tuesday nights at my first year in university. Life is just SO good.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Birthday wishes and Christmas planning

And another weekend has passed, too quickly. (I had a brilliant night out on the Thursday but ended up not doing much the rest of the weekend - it's safe to say that I was exhausted). Today is my brother's birthday, Happy Birthday Johannes! I can't believe you're 19 today. Also I realise that the chance of you ever reading this is not very big at all (because you don't follow my blog. Why don't you follow my blog?!) but if you do; I'm very proud of you. For the person that you are and all the great qualities that you have, like loyalty, honesty and courage. (If I was the sorting hat, I'd put you in the Gryffindor house, I just realised. Just a little bit of nerdy Harry Potter-applied-to-real-life, you're welcome.)

(My brother last Summer when I was visiting Sweden. Dancing, I believe.)

I feel like I'm on a roll here because I spent a large part of the Sunday working on uni projects and then I wrapped another bunch of Christmas presents. There's still a few more to buy, among other's Steve's gift which is the biggest and the worst one. There is a whole list of things that I would like to buy for him - but I do realise that I enjoy giving them more than he does receiving them. To be fair, Christmas presents are about making the other person happy so I'm going to have to prioritise his happiness over my gift-giving urges.

As I said, I was on a roll, so I counter-balanced my rolling (?) by then doing some online shopping. Sunday night split-second decisions were made, uh-oh. I only bought three items, but the third happens to be a pair of shoes that I might not be able to walk in. After years of only buying lower heels or wedges, due to the fact that my sense of balance is non-existing, I decided that I wanted a real pair of dangerously high heels and this decision was made after seeing a pair of budget-friendly, strappy heels with some festive glitter added. Resistance was futile. And I decided that they were worth getting, even if I might have to crawl to the bar when I'm out with them. 

P.S. Can you believe it's almost December?! I'm so excited.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thankful for having small things to worry about

It's been a bit quiet the last few days. I've been a bit quiet the last few days, and very little blog-reading-or-writing has been done. Just real life catching up, you know. And Steve came home from his trip, which was good. But I haven't left the house in three days and now I have a headache. I know myself well enough to realise that this is not a symptom of illness in me, it's too much staring at a screen and in books (and really, what I was expecting from third year in uni, but still) and lack of fresh air.

So it's a good thing that I'm taking the train to Belfast tonight to stay over at a friend's house, where I'm going to have a few drinks and we're gonna watch another friend play live in the student union. I have a feeling that this is exactly what I need; a break from being responsible/nerdy. I am the worrying type and damn, things have not been going my way lately! I could write a list but it's useless because there's no point in dwelling on things and it's all gonna work out anyway. It's nothing life-threatening. (Did I just reach this conclusion? Clearly I'm like a brand new person nowadays.)

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving all you people from the other side of the ocean. And anyone else as well, of course. (Quite a big chunk of my readers are from the U.S. apparently according to Blogger statistics. How did that happen? Is it because I write most of my posts late at night when anyone in this timezone is sensible enough to be asleep? Are you never the same people visiting here more than once? Am I speaking to myself?) This year I am thankful for Steve always being there for me, for my family who are decidedly the best in the world, for kind strangers who are willing to help me even if they don't know me and for Steve's family for treating me like one of their own. And for shortcake biscuits. Because, you know. It's awesome.

P.S. I am also thankful for having a cancelled class tomorrow morning.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Chairs

I just realised that I've pinned 800 pins on Pinterest. I'm not entirely sure whether it's an achievement or a sign of something being seriously wrong with me. I'm celebrating that by showing the last six chairs that I've pinned.

All pictures can be found on my Pinterest.

You see why it takes me ages to decide about anything regarding the house?! I want all these styles incorporated in my home!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

This is why I don't want to spend time alone with me

Since Steve left to catch his flight I have:

> Eaten two buns, six biscuits, a piece of toast with cheese and a cup of tea. 
> Studied.
> Watched Xfactor with his parents. (and sent numerous of "ohmygod did you see that" texts to Steve. What can I say, apparently I get heavily emotionally invested in TV?)
> Chatted with my mom on Facebook.
> Studied some more.
> Looked at lots of pictures of gray couches.

I'm a wild one. 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

A letter

Today was a pretty good day. We woke up at a reasonable time rather than halfway through our Saturday (which is what we usually do) and then we went to the bank and then you took me to a bakery for our breakfast. We ordered tea and Ulster frys (and then you bought, like, seven buns because they're so cheap. We've managed to eat one. Who's gonna eat the other six?) You told me about the previous owners who used to babysit you and you'd spend your afternoons watching buns being made. I asked if you were a chubby child and apparently you were.

In the afternoon we ended up having to write important letters because of this buying-house-business and time ticked away. When we were driving home after buying stamps and posting letters I said there was no point in going to Lisburn today after all because it was too late if you wanted to be back in time for football and I know you didn't really want to go to Lisburn anyway. You drove past our house and when I asked you what you were doing you said "We're going to Lisburn." And we didn't get back in time for football but you never said a word about it. We ordered a giant pizza and watched TV.

In 16 hours you have to leave for a business trip and it SUCKS. Hurry back, please.


Love,
Nicole

Friday, 16 November 2012

Fridayness

As sad as it sounds, I've spent the majority of my Friday night planning for Christmas presents. I've now bought more than half of my gifts (although not all of them are wrapped yet) and I'm thoroughly enjoying organising my Christmas way in advance. I'm hoping that this means that when December actually comes around I'll be able to squeeze in enjoying the Christmas spirit without any stress on top of painting and decorating the house, end-of-term coursework, driving test and exams. Speaking of Christmas, this gift is by far one of my personal favourites. It's just a small thing for one of Steve's superhero crazy nephews, although I'd like it for myself.

In fact, I found myself wanting a lot of the toys when I was browsing through them... Retro groceries for pretend play? Yes, please.

Picture from my Pinterest.

My brain is mush tonight. Other things I've done the past two days:

> Finished Downton Abbey and it was magical. Have I raved about this already? I watched the final episode of the third season and I was so pleased. Now I can't wait for the Christmas special... Or for time machines to be invented.

> Wrote an essay and a leaflet for it in two days. This is what I've spent the majority of my last 48 hours on (apart from sleeping). I had started a couple of times beforehand, but I couldn't get a grasp of the task and when I finally did I decided to start over entirely. It wasn't easy but at least this one is over. I have a presentation and another essay that I should probably get started on though.

> Went driving and it went terrible. At some point my brain stopped working and I nearly drove on the wrong side of the road. There's not much more to say... Apart from maybe good luck future pedestrians with me on the road.

> Convinced Steve that we should spent our Saturday in Lisburn. I haven't been there since I finished my summer job and I definitely miss the town. I could easily see myself living there.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Christmas wishlist for our home

Today marks the day of getting better! I felt so well today that I managed to get outerwear on (after about three different types of pain killers) and walked down to the butcher's and bought meatballs. (Because they make the best meatballs ever - and yes, this village has a butcher's. The family-owned-since-a-million-years-ago kind, so quaint!) Unfortunately I have not felt so well that my essay is finished. It's possibly the slowest written essay of all times, partly because I've been sick but also because I have no motivation.

Instead I've been on the H&M website (I want a pair of yellow jeans, why not?) and realised that their Home section isn't too bad. It's quite small, but I do find things here and there that I'd like for our new house.


Cushions for our bedroom and a storage box to throw stuff into. (I figure the best way to tackle our messiness is to provide us with lots of easy ways to keep our house tidy). Is it just me who wants to decorate everything in neutral colours and with lots of textures? Must be something about the holiday season that's about to start.

I'm also starting to realise that my kitchen may not turn out as the white Scandinavian dream that I've always wanted. The cupboards in our kitchen are new but in an orangey-wooden colour (possibly teak?). I've decided that I'm going to try to balance it out with a lot of metals. So here's some pricey and less pricey things that I'd like for our kitchen.


Vase from Zara Home, clock from Vandashop and an Advent candleholder from Georg Jensen (found at skandium.com, my new favourite unaffordable place.) Stark contrast from what I want for my bedroom. I clearly don't believe in having a coherent interior style in my house, I just see every room as an opportunity for something different. Or maybe it is all very much one style, I just can't see it myself. Sometimes it's tricky to be objective when discussing one's own taste. (In one of our many discussions about which way to decorate our house Steve blurted out that everything I like looks so "New York" and "bloggy"(??) - he's got some serious inside knowledge of my brain, that man.) 

Everything can be found on my Pinterest product wishlist board where more stuff can be found that I would like in our house. How did people live their lives without Pinterest?! So 18th century, writing stuff down on paper.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Quick list

Lists like this used to be my favourite thing in the world around 2007-2008! Here's one for nostalgic purposes.

Picture from my Pinterest.

Ten years ago... 
...I was twelve years old. First year in what would be the equivalent to junior high/lower secondary school for you guys in the UK, and I was worried about not growing up fast enough. And discovering listening to music.

Five things on my to-do list...
1) Essay
2) A second essay
3) An application I have to post
4) An e-mail I have to write
5) Another e-mail I have to write
(This stressed me out.)

Five snacks I enjoy...
1) Grapes.
2) Coffee (is that a snack?)
3) Cheese crisps.
4) Cheese and ham toast.
5) Just cheese. Yes.

Five favourite things...
1) Food.
2) Steve, for being the kindest person I know.
3) Kittens for sale on Gumtree.
4) Quotes.
5) Pinterest.

Five places I have lived...
1) Belfast, Northern Ireland.
2) Ystad, Sweden.
3) Vienna, Austria.
4) Zagreb, Croatia.
5) Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Five things most people don't know about me...
1) I can be really really silly. Kitchen-dancing-silly. But only around a very select few people.
2) I used to be very into painting and stuff. I fancied myself good at it too, ha!
3) I have a bit of an obsession with the 90s. Movies and music in particular.
4) I don't like thinking about the reality of space, but I love sci-fi. (A tad contradicting!)
5) I make lists of everything, and I add things that I've already done solely for the satisfaction of having a list that looks half-finished.

Ten reasons to smile 7.0

The last few posts have been a bit full of misery and complaining (kind of) and unfortunately this is another gray day spent in bed served with misunderstandings that require lengthy phone calls to clear up. (The bed and the misunderstandings have nothing to do with each other, it's just unfortunate that both happened on the same day). So I think it's time for a happy blog post!



One - Three of my Christmas presents are wrapped and another three were delivered today. Is it too early for going into full-blown Christmas mode? I think not. A month a year is not enough of Christmas anyway.

Two - Today it is exactly two weeks since we found out that we're getting the house. In other words, two weeks less to wait!

Three - My Christmas tree was delivered today, and oh my, I received the display tree that was used in the shop and they couldn't even bother undressing it before packing it into the carton. Free silver baubles? Why not, I say.

Four - I Skyped with my mom yesterday (is this a new emerging habit of mine, Skyping with my parents on Sundays?) and it was nice to hear her voice. Generally we're not very good at doing anything but texting.

Five - I finished The Handmaid's Tale and it was brilliant. One of the better books I've read lately and Margaret Atwood writes in a way that makes me swoon. Swooooon.

Six - This is shallow, but I think I'm winning the Sofa Situation. Don't tell Steve, let's keep him blissfully unaware of his defeat as long as possible.

Seven - This is also shallow but I wore my new patterned trousers from previous blog post and I received compliments! Three of them! Maybe it's not such a bad purchase after all...

Eight - My throat is starting to get better, but while it was sore I only drank tea after being coffee-obsessed for a while. And I think I regained my love for tea. (Living in the UK can make you pretty tired of it, sorry.) A funny bonus with getting better is that I can now drink coffee again. It's the never-ending battle of hot drinks.

Nine - Steve's sister left food in our fridge last night so no one has to cook dinner tonight!

Ten - It's gray outside, but I'm not outside. And I'm not planning to be either, because I have essays to write and the last few episodes of Downton Abbey to watch. Life is not too bad after all.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Words from a non-real viking

I've got a cold, ladies and gentlemen. This means that I feel sorry for myself (in abundance, I might add). I'm quite a whiny person and thank goodness that I'm not sick more often because I'd just not get anything done. Since last night for example I've done nothing but read magazines, eat unhealthy food (although I've lost my appetite because of this illness, obviously) and drink tea. I also went driving this morning and then applauded myself vicariously for undertaking such a project when having this deathly cold.

My mom's words springs to mind. "You're not a real viking!" Yes, she used to shout that when we were making a fuss about sickness. As in real vikings would suffer their sickness stoically, like her. My mother, ladies and gentlemen.

I've done a serious amount of shopping these days though, on Tuesday after university as well as online. Guess who's gotten six out of thirteen Christmas presents sorted? S o r t e d, and it's not even mid-November. It's possibly because I don't want to end up stressing in December with exams, essays, new house and Christmas, but also because I have turned a page. I'm this new, well-organised human being. In the midst of all the unselfish Christmas shopping I also bought a pair of patterned trousers. Was this a good purchase? I'm not sure.


Check out the patterned trousers (but ignore my hair). Take note of the sneaky bag of sweets behind my Elle magazine. Also note the front cover of Elle Decoration UK. I saw it and said (triumphantly) to Steve: "See, a British magazine with a cover that I love. Don't you dare say that I only like Scandinavian interior style." When I had bought it and opened the magazine I found out that the cover is actually from a Swedish home. They're just everywhere, those Swedes.

P.S. Remember my rules for buying clothes that I made up a while ago? These trousers is a crime against them but they were on sale. Eh, an exception to the rule!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Sofa-Situation

In bed, with a cold coming on and I have already watched two episodes of Downton Abbey (yes, I managed to get a hold of season two, of course I did.) And the so far nothing has happened in the election. So my sleepy mind cannot stop itself from debating the sofa-situation.

Ah yes. The sofa-situation. A situation that wasn't a situation at all until me and Steve started deviating from our original decisions and now it is most definitely a situation. The issue is, what sofa are we getting for our front room in the house? 
The first option is IKEA Klippan. Klippan means "The Rock" (inexplicably cool name for a couch really) and this couch is named so for a good reason. Economy-efficient (in other words cheap) and it really isn't too bad in real life. We tried it out at our IKEA trip last week and it is pretty comfortable. But most of all, it's cheap. It's so cheap that we could get two couches to place in the corner of our room which would give extra places for people to sit during our cocktail gatherings. Plus me and Steve can get a couch each to nap on after particularly strenuous take-away sessions. The issue is that I'm not even sure I want two couches. We very rarely have people over anyway and we managed fine with one (tiny) sofa last year. Our room would feel a lot more crowded. Plus it's not my dream couch by a long way. We could only get it in black, which is a bit harsh in our room, or white, which is impractical. 
The second option is IKEA Karlstad. Can you hear the choir of angels singing? Because I can. This sofa is exactly what I dream of at night and particularly with this fabric. Big enough for us, yet not clumsy. It would look great in our front room. However, it is a lot more expensive. We could actually afford two and a half of the Klippan sofas for the same amount as the Karlstad sofa. And when we have guests over we'd have to fake a bohemian atmosphere and ask them to sit on the floor. Is more sofas a good or a bad thing?

So what sofa should we choose? Two of the mediocre-but-okay Klippan ones, or one of the dreamlover Karlstad? (Did I hear you suggest going to somewhere else than IKEA? I thought not.)

P.S. Sorry about my constant switching between "sofa" and "couch". I mean the same thing, I just can't stick to one version of English apparently.

Monday, 5 November 2012

First November weekend

Once in a while you need a weekend that is the best even though very little happens.

> After Skyping with dad I got a real urge to watch an episode of the first season of Downton Abbey which I bought ages ago. It took me three days to finish the first season and the only reason that I haven't started the second one is because I don't have it yet. That shall be remedied tomorrow at HMV. Who else wants to plan a Downton Abbey-themed wedding? 

> The previously mentioned Skyping session with my dad on Saturday. (Best thing all weekend obviously.)

Picture from my Pinterest.

> Went to Tesco. I know that this may seem like a ridiculous thing to enjoy but I really like going to Tesco, okay? Plus I bought a couple of things. (Such as candy canes and "Nordic traditional Christmas decorations". In Sweden they're known as just "traditional decorations".)

> Had taco night. Taco night is the most amazing thing I've brought to Steve's life so far and he has completed my life by introducing me to sour cream. We're such a couple. (chubby couple)

> Watched Chernobyl Diaries which is the worst movie I've seen this year.

> Had dinner with Steve's sister and her family on Sunday night which was gorgeous. Pulled pork and BBQ beans would make any weekend brilliant. 

> Also I drove this morning and I failed when trying to break. On a hill. With cars behind me. Thankfully my driving instructor's super-speedy reflexes stopped me from rolling straight into the car behind me. Maybe not a great event but lets count the rapid rescue among the good things that belong to this past weekend.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Favourite hobby

Yesterday I convinced Steve to use some of his flexi-time so that he could leave work early and then go to IKEA with me.

This is what we do on our IKEA trips:

- Eat meatballs. I've calculated that Steve had about 27 of them. I had six. I'm not exaggerating for the sake of a dramatic post here people, it's a wonder he could stand up after such a meaty dinner.

- Buy an unnecessary kitchen tool because I flip and suddenly decide that I desperately want one. This time it was a garlic crusher.

- Try out couches and beds. To be fair, this time we really do need to get both a couch and a bed, so I think we're excused. I also have a little daydream each time we're there in which we lived in one of those rooms that IKEA style (like in 500 Days of Summer you know? Unfortunately Steve refuses to play along).

- Argue about what lamps to get. I think my boyfriend just argues for the sake of it at this stage though because I always end up winning the argument and getting all the lamps I want.

- Stroll around the food market, complain about the fact that IKEA sells almost exclusively their own branded food and then Steve bans me from buying Kalles Kaviar and I eventually agree. Because I guess processed fish eggs is gross when I stop and think about it.

P.S. I also got two throws, lots of wrapping paper, a cushion and the bedding that I really wanted (and my bedroom plan is now entirely back on track, woo!) Final result: Successful IKEA-trip, because now I have to go back in a month and get the rest of the stuff that we need.

P.P.S. This was a completely unnecessary post. I just really like talking about IKEA.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

October

I have such a soft spot in my heart for October. May, September and December used to be my favourite months of the year - but I'm starting to wonder if October isn't pretty high up there on the list as well... Not only is October beautiful in this country (Northern Ireland, you're looking well in that orange outfit of your's) but there is so many great things that come with it; fall clothes, appropriate amounts of coffee- and teadrinking, amazing colours, Halloween and school is still exciting after the long summer hiatus.

All pictures from my Pinterest.

In October I finally received the news that we would get the house that we really wanted. In October me and Steve looked for our inner nerds and created a Star Wars themed Halloween costume. In October I started taking driving lessons again for the first time in six years. In October I finished Swimming Home and Brave New World. October was a really good month.

Here's hoping that November is just as good.