Winter wonderland!

We’ve had temperatures below zero for over a week, it’s been snowing on and off and it looks like it’s not going to be over any time soon. That certainly is helping with the Christmas blues this year! I try to take Eda for a walk in the snow every day, as long as it’s not too cold. It was -13°C all day on Monday and I really didn’t dare take her out for longer than 5 minutes.

I have been thinking about why the Christmas blues tends to hit me so hard. For me, Christmas is quite literally the most wonderful time of the year. I love pending time with my family, slowing down and feeling the magic and peace of the season in my very soul. Christmas was the ultimate hygge for me before I even knew what hygge was.
It has been getting easier for me to overcome the Christmas blues in the past few years. Mostly because there’s just so much to look forward to and because I honestly try to find joy in every season and every weather. One of my goals this year is to incorporate hygge into my everyday life and I think that January is the pefect months to start with that. I’ll definitely keep you updated on how it’s going!

Today I’d like to share with you some snaps from my New Year’s Day walk. It was a snowy, frosty day and for the first time in years I actually saw children oce skating on a pond. It’s been ages since it’s been cold enough in the winter for people to do it. It warmed my heart; I loved skating on the pond with my sister when we were children. We always had so much fun in the winter and it’s so nice to see seeing kids today doing the same stuff we did.

I hope you’re enjoying January the best way you know how!

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It’s so nice to see people skating on a pond.

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That’s our Jewish cemetery, one of the most beautiful places in this town.

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Awkward photo alert. This is what it looks like when I try to pick up my dog (who doesn’t like to be picked up) and prevent her getting hit by a camera that’s hanging from my shoulder.

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I love her and her silly face.

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Hello, 2017.

I understand why people like the idea of a fresh start on January 1st, despite it being a man-made concept entirely. I do like the feeling of a new start myself. However, I don’t really fancy setting myself any concrete goals which I should set out to start fulfilling on one particular day. I believe that personal growth can happen every single day and I also believe that one must always work with their goals and adjust them because circumstances can change at any given moment. I don’t mean by that giving up on things you want to achieve; I very much believe in consisteny, dedication and discipline. But I also think that we all should strive to know ourselves well enough to realise what we are capable of at a given moment and that adjusting our own goals is not a failure but rather a sign of being present and aware.

That’s why I’d like to continue with what I’m already doing. I think, I hope, I am on the right track. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things I’d like to improve. Quite the opposite, actually. But I am happy with where I’m going. Right now, I’d like a little more balance and calmness; to be a bit more relaxed but not lose any of my enthusiasm. I’d like to be present more and never forget how much I have to be grateful for.

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I find so much joy in most things I do so I hope I never lack passion and enthusiasm in the coming months. Today, all I’m hoping for is some fresh perspective, because that’s always a good thing.

I hope you all have the most wondrous and joyous year. Here’s to 2017!

Christmas 2016.

This past week was one of the most beautiful ones this year, as I’d hoped it would be. Everything felt very festive, joyful and relaxed, and for that I’m very grateful. I wanted to put together a post that would always remind me of this week whenever I look back at it and I was also hoping to get across the overall feeling of Christmas I love so much.
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I’m so in love with our tree!

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That tartan wrapping paper is my favourite.

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A new addition to our tree.

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My sister came home for Christmas!

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Another new addition, a teapot from Fortnum & Mason. Love this little fella!

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Isn’t that bouquet just dreamy?

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I finally got a proper shot of our Christmas sweets. They’re really delicious!

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I hope you had the most wonderful Christmas and that the festivies are not over for you just yet — after all, we’re only on the 6th day of Christmas. What are everyone’s plans for New Year’s Eve?

Fourth advent weekend of 2016.

Hello everyone! I spent the last few days before Christmas in London and I’ve been trying to stay off the computer for the past few days in order to fully enjoy these festive days. But I owe you a last advent weekend post and I really don’t want to leave it off until after New Year’s.

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I spent the last advent weekend in London. It’s a tradition for me and my mum to go there before Christmas (if we can), as you probably know by now.

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We started the day off with a brunch at Ottolenghi’s.

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I’m sure you can imagine how delicious it was.

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I wished we could stay there much longer and eat much more but the portions were suprisingly big!

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And look at the size of the almond croissant!

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I did manage to eat the whole thing in the end, though. 🙂

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I managed to snap a photo of this wreath before the place got full.

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After the incredible brunch. we went to the Old Spitalfields market and continued to Borough Market. I saw this in a window of a house near Borough Market and absolutely loved the sentiments!

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Also, there are currently trees in bloom in London. Last December I could see why that was but it really wasn’t that warm this year so I don’t know what’s going on there.

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The weather was charming. 😀

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At laest we could pretty much observe all the Christmas lights at any time during the day because it was always dark and foggy.

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We wanted to get this hat for Eda but decided not to because her head seems way to small for it. I keep thinking we should’ve got it, though.

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The magical hour.

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In the evening, I got together with my dear friend Paya who I lived with all those years at the Uni.

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It brought back lots of memories and we had the most wonderful time.

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Also, the CitizenM Tower of London Sky Lounge offers the most stunning views of London so if you’re ever around, make sure you pop up there!

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On Sunday morning, we popped to the Fortnum & Mason Christmas Lodge at Somerset House for some pigs in blankets and mulled wine.

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An obligatoy photo-op followed.

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We also visited the F&M Christmas Shop at Picadilly because it’s just pure magic.

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From there we went to check out the Regent Street decorations which are just stunning this year.

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In the evening, we attended a Christmas service at the St. Martin in the Fields church. It was beautiful and very Christmassy and even though I’m not religious at all, I really enjoyed it.

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Then we made one last stop in Covent Garden.

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It’s not Christmas without the mulled wine from the Christmas cart!

I hope you all are having the most wonderful, peaceful and joyful festive season. Happy Christmas!

A December Monday in London.

Even Mondays can be magical when you’re on holidays in London! Here’s the proof.
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We started the day at the Fortnum & Mason skating rink, which is absolutely stunning. (These photos are from last year but it’s just as stunning this year – trust me, I checked!)
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We went skating first thing.

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It was my firt time ever skating in hockey skates. It was really awkward.

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That place is a dream.

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Afterwards, we went to warm up to the Fortnum’s Lodge.

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I could stay there all day, I’m not even kidding.

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We did some light shopping there afterwards, too. I bought a paper Advent calendar with the F&M skating rink and a Mulled wine & gold leaf preserve. I’m definitely going to have to buy it again this year, it was delicious!

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What an advent calendar!

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And then we ran into this huge reindeer.

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And I spotted another well-hidden skating rink. (It’s this one if you’re interested.)

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I had wanted to see St. Dunstant in the East for a long time and it did not disappoint.

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It’s utterly stunning.

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In the evening, we headed for the Royal Albert Hall. We got off a couple of stops earlier because we wanted to walk some more. I loved the wreath!

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Sloane sqare is just gorgeous at Christmas.

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The Natural History Museum ice rink is a fairytale. We went in 2015 and I would absolutely recommend it to everyone!

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Another thing I whole-heartedly recommend is to attend a Christmas concert at the Royal Albert Hall. I think it would get even the biggest of Scrooges in a proper Christmas mood.

What are your must-dos in the run up to Christmas?

Southbank, Spitalfields & St. Katherine’s Docks.

Following our morning at Borough Market, we headed to Southbank.
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First on my list was to check out the Christmas tree at the Globe because they always have a beautiful one.

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Hi Mum!

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London momentarily disappeared in fog.

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It looked kind of spooky.

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I raced to Wesminster because I want to take a foggy Big Ben photo but the fog had gone by the time I got there.

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Obligatory hot chocolate at Pret. Might have been mint tea but I’m 99% sure it was hot chocolate.

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How gorgeous is the window at Ottolenghi’s?

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The Spitalfields market is also very magical this time of the year.

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There were some amazing carol singers and I got teary eyed more than once.

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The only good thing about i tbeing dark so early is that the lights start to pop up by about 3 pm. 🙂

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We stopped to take a look at people skating at the tower of London because I literally have to stop and stare at every single ice rink I pass by.

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Can I take him home with me?

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I adore St. Katherine’s docks.

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More Nutcrackers!

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Top notch decorations, if I say so myself.

Third advent weekend of 2016.

I had a very busy weekend and a very few photos to show for it, which is mainly because I spent it wrapping presents and baking. So here are the few snaps I managed over the weekend.

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On Sunday made this wonderful brunch.

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Sauerkraut & sausage roll. Yum!

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I made a lot of Christmas sweets.

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I’m all done with baking now.

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I’ve got ONE present left to wrap and that’s only I because I’ve just received it.

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How are your Christmas preparations going?

Borough Market: Christmas 2015.

To be completely honest, I don’t think I can imagine being in London (especially before Christmas) and not popping over to Borough Market. It’s one of my favourite London locations regarldess of the season but before Christmas it’s especially magical. Here’s what it looked like last year.

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Early on a weekday morning is the best time to take photos. The later it gets the busier and more crowded it gets, of course.

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It’s best if you come there on empty stomach.

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They sure know how to deck the halls!

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What’s your favourite way to spend an advent morning in London?

Second advent weekend of 2016.

My second advent weekend was very different from what I’d imagined it to be. I certainly didn’t think I’d spend the entire Sunday morning sitting in the ER. But I have to say that everyone was really nice and kind and I’m now on the mend so hopefully things will continue to improve. Despite that uncomfortable and rather painful Sunday morning, the weekend as a whole was very nice and festive. Here are some photos to give you a better idea.

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I set up our Nativity scene.

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It’s definitely something I can’t imagine my Christmas without. It was made by my mum’s grandfather and it was maintained and repaired and improved by her father. I always think of my gramps a lot when I’m setting it up.

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I’ve got a new headband!

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Just kidding. 😉

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The small tree we’ve got in the hall has been up for about 2 weeks now. It’s very bright and pretty this year.

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It wouldn’t be December without an advent calendar!

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Saturday morning was a frosty one.

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Smoked salmon, avocado, croissant, yoghurt with home-made festive granola and blueberries. I love Saturday mornings!

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I made a wreath for our front door for the first time ever. For some reason I’d always thought I’d hate it, or at least find it boring. Wrong! I had so much fun making it I think I’ll make it a tradition!

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Not bad for a first try, eh?

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DSC_4922This was Sunday brunch, after I got back hom from the ER. I basically just whipped up an omelette with veggies – I’d been starving by then because I hadn’t eaten all morning.

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And then we started baking!

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We’re now about halfway done with our Christmas baking, which is pretty good going!

What festivities did you guys get up to last weekend?

First advent weekend of 2016.

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On Friday, we brought home our advent wreath. Lots of red berries and pine cones this year. I love it!

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We also made the first eggnog of the season!

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On Saturday, I put on some Christmas music and wrapped some of my presents. I’m not finished yet but I’m definitely at least halfway through all my wrapping. There are I think two or three presents that I haven’t received yet but I hope I will do by next weekend so I can finish up.

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And I had a very cosy evening in.

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On Sunday, I had my skates sharpened first thing in the morning (yay!), helped my mum pick a new coat at Marks&Spencer and then we had a cup of coffee at Tchibo. And 2 mini donuts. 😉 (The picture is actually from last week but you get the idea.)

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We also bought these gorgeous Narnia-like lamp decorations for our tree.

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And then I had this amazing, sparkly (late) brunch in bed.

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Then it got dark.

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And I lit the first candle on our advent wreath.

How did you spend your first advent weekend? Are you feeling festive yet?