Looking for spring.

Happy first day of spring! Don’t you just love how that sounds? I’m so excited for some brighter and hopefully warmer days ahead! Last Monday was the first time in weeks I actually really felt like picking up my camera and taking some photos. I have been dealing with some health issues for the past few weeks and though they are still ongoing, they are now being addressed. Funny how that alone makes you feel better. Anyway, right now the whole of my Instagram is split into two halves: one of them is constantly posting photos of cherry and magnolia trees in bloom, snowdrops or daffodils – you get the idea; the other half is currently posting boomerangs of a thick snowfall. So I set out for a light constitutional just to see how we’re doing in that respect; I went to look for spring.

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Well. That doesn’t look very promising, does it?

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But: I am now woken up by the chirping of the birds every single morning and they were getting really loud during this walk as well. I love listening to them.

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The state of our lilacs.

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Looks more like late autumn, doesn’t it?

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No green anywhere in sight.

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But at least the ducks are having a great time.

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I’m longing for anything that’s green right now that even this will do. πŸ˜› Also fun fact: my grandmother was born in this house. ❀

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But I did spot some catkins (allergies ahoy!) so hopefully spring is not far off now.

Memories of Ostrava.

The end of January was super special because this year, the European Figure Skating Championships was in Ostrava and I was able to go. A part of me wants to comment on my favourite skaters but I’m afraid I’d never get this posted if I got into it. So I’ll just say this: even if you are only a casual figure skating fan, if you ever have a chance to attend such event, make sure you go! It’s absolutely incredible and incomparable to just watching it on the telly. You get to experience all the emotions first hand and I promise you won’t be bored for a second.
So let’s move on to the pictures, shall we?
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I didn’t really bother with photos inside the arena – we weren’t allowed DSLRs so I only had my mobile. I did take some videos of some of the warm-ups, though.

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This is pretty much what the weather looked like except for our last day when it was sunny. The smog was really bad all the time, though.

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Here’s the sunrise from our last (full) day there, which was Saturday.

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And a couple of photo of the sunset from the same day.

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One of my favourite breakfasts when we were there was this one from UGO. Can’t beat a baked avocado & egg!

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Costa saved the day with their coffee and snacks.

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And cakes. πŸ˜€

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Their 2017 Christmas cups were the cutest.

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Compulsory photo-op.

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We actually took quite a lot of photos this time around, which was nice as we sometimes tend to neglect it.

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These were taken during one of the breaks, that’s why the arena seems so empty. It really wasn’t, though!

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At one point, Nicole Della Monica and Mateo Guarise were sat in front of us so I sneaked a pic.

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Dinner was usually some sort of a salad, vegetable juice and some chocolate, because we were on a holiday after all. And also more figure skating because we just had to re-watch some of our favourite performances of the day.

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Saturday was the only day it was bright and clear (and very cold). The programme didn’t start until early in the afternoon so we decided to go and see at least a little bit of Ostrava.

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StodolnΓ­. Look it up. πŸ˜‰

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The old town is gorgeous, and the winter sunlight definitely helped, too!

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There was an ice rink in the square for the duration of the Championships. I’d really wanted to go but it was way too cold and windy, unfortunately.

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They still had a Christmas tree in the square at the end of January. Thumbs up!

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On the way home we experienced this charming weather.

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And I got myself a new pair of soakers as a souvenir. πŸ™‚

January so far.

This January I’ve been very busy with everyday stuff and haven’t had so many things to photograph, unfortunately. We’ve now had below zero temperatures for nearly a month in a row and so far it looks like it’s not going away or a while. I don’t really mind, except it’s now too cold for Eda to go for longer walks. It was -16 C almost every morning last week!

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We’ve been having a lot of sunny days and everything looks gorgeous covered in snow so it’s difficult not to like this weather.

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When it was still only about -4 C Eda would run happily in the snow but now it’s just too cold for her.

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That’s snow on her nose, by the way. πŸ˜€

Now, she mostly does this:
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As for me, I’m busier than ever but I’m trying to avoid the word hectic at all costs. It’s of course entire subjective but I feel like it’s working because even though I’m extremely busy, I don’t feel stressed. So maybe I’m on to something here. I’ll keep you posted.

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I’ve been working a lot on my lower back flexibility recently. The weather’s not helping much but I’m trying.

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And I still skate as often as possible. I don’t think I could be more in love with anything right now than I am with skating.

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The Saturday before last was the saddest day of all January – the day we took down the Christmas tree. We always keep it up as long as the tree looks nice. Anything else seems wasteful to me. But it was time.

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When I was packing things away, I finally managed something I’d been wanting to do forever: I sorted out all our Christmas decorations. I threw away some we hadn’t used forever and sorted out those that we do use – so there’s actually a system in place now. Is it very bad to be excited about it? πŸ™‚

Anyway, this week is going to be super exciting. This year, the European figure skating championships is in the Czech Republic so I’m definitely going. I’m so excited! This is the first time in YEARS we’ve got competitors in all four disciplines. And I really can’t wait to see some of my favourite sportspeople there. We’re not allowed DSLRs in there so there won’t be much to photoblog about, I’m afraid, but if you fancy some updates, you can always follow me on Instagram or Twitter.

What are your plans for this week? And how’s your January been so far?

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 -13Β°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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ˜€

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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. πŸ™‚

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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?