Nearly done.

Last week was all about painting the downstairs of our house and it was one of the most demanding and challenging weeks ever. However, we made it and now we’re almost done! Let’s have a look at how it all went, then, shall we?

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To take a breather, we did a little shopping on Saturday before the big event.

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This was my outfit for the day. I have a thing for tulle skirts.

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There can be no shopping without coffee and cake.

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We spent hours on Monday to make way for this: the Tuesday apocalypse.

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I popped to my favourite cafΓ© to get us some sustenance and came back with this heavenly chocolate cupcake. It definitely did its part in helping us through the day.

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That’s all we managed that day with regards to dinner.

But now we’re done, the weather forecast looks promising and I’m looking forward to enjoying some painting-free weeks to come. πŸ™‚

Currently.

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Lilacs are finally in season and I can’t get enough of them.

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We’ve started painting our house. The whole thing. Right now there’s a horrible mess in my bedroom and I can’t wait for when I finish work at 7.30 pm so I can clean the floors and start putting things back in. I intend to take my time, throw/give away all the things I don’t want and need and have some fun decorating. It will take time because there’s all the rest of the house to take care of and I still need to buy some things but I’m really excited about it. I feel like I need some change in my life and this might just do it.

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The main reason why I stress about the painting is that I have so little time in the evenings to do things. So I’m really trying to take it easy. We’ll see how long it will last. πŸ˜›

Switzerland 2017.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I was in Switzerland two weeks ago. The number one reason for this trip was the third edition of Ice Legends (because I loved last year’s too much to pass up the opportunity to see the next one). When it was postponed to 2018 in February, I thought it’d be a shame to waste a perfectly good plane ticket so we went anyway. This time, it was an all-girls trip – me, my sister and our mum – and it was one that had been long overdue.

Travelling always makes me realise just how much I need a break and what I need to change in my daily life. This trip, however, brought on other feelings, too. I felt like it was the first time in a while the three of us actually got to spend some significant quality time together. It also felt like we were on the same wavelength, so to speak, which made for an incredibly relaxing trip. We had the most wonderful time and I can’t wait to start planning our next trip together.

Here’s a little preview of the photos from the trip. I can’t wait to start editing!
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Bloomin’ marvellous.

I couldn’t have chosen a more dreary day to take photos but I saw the first blooming tree yesterday and I just couldn’t wait for the sun to come out. There’s not much sunshine forecast for the next few days and I didn’t want to risk it.
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I just love standing underneath those trees and listening to them buzzing with all the bees. It’s the sound of life itself. I adore bees.

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The linden trees are waking up now as well. It seems like spring is ready to come a bit sooner than usual and I couldn’t be more excited.

Massive food post.

The only thing I actually felt like photographing in the past few months was food. Go figure. πŸ™‚ Anyway, I ended up with a generous amount of food pictures and it’d be a shame not to post them.

In February, we had some family round for tea.
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Very hygge, isn’t it?

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We baked a cake and let me tell you, it was the best cake I’ve ever had. It was this one. We put much less sugar in it and didn’t actually make two stacks but it was still the most amazing cake ever.

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Another thing I baked in March was this lemon & polenta cake. This was the second time I tried it and it was utterly delicious. Recipe here. Again, I halved the amount of sugar, I almost always do.

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And I also made these mini apple bundt cakes.

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I served them with home-made raspberry & chia jam, a teaspoon of peanut butter and sour cream.

It should come as no surprise that breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I think these photos may illustrate why.
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Eggs, toast, cheese and veggies. Simple but oh-so-delicious.

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First home-made scones ever. They’re so easy to make, I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to try it.

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Courgette with eggs and tomatoes.

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The best avocado sandwich ever. The idea & recipe for it comes from Rosie and it’s a real winner.

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I tweaked mine a little bit, I used ham instead of bacon and put brown sauce on it instead of ketchup (I might have to do that all the time now because avocado with brown sauce is the best thing ever – who knew?) and I can honestly say that it’s the best avo sandwich I’ve ever had.

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Crumpets.

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Eggs & bagels. Is anyone else such a bagel fiend as I am?

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Egg omelette and avocado.

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And we celebrated British pie week with the most wonderful ham, leek & potato pie.

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!