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2017, Au pair

Happy Holidays!

Today has been filled with so many activities, countdowns, and, of course, Christmas feeling! I was in such a good mood when I woke up this morning. I've slept so bad the past couple of nights... and even though I only got 4 hours of sleep last night, I was feeling pretty good. As I was waking up at 6.10am, the oldest knocked on my door to say good morning and give me a 'good morning' hug (yes, that's a thing here, as well as 'saying good bye in school' hug, 'after school' hug, and 'good night hug'). It was a nice thing to wake up to. While I was doing breakfast, I was drinking the well-needed coffee with the fire burning in the background. A very cozy morning!

I also had my dreaded final exam today. I was so nervous. I had studied a lot, but almost all the material that was going to be on the test were things we hadn't gone through in class, so it was a lot of reading and studying on my free time. It went really good though, and I'm really happy with the results. There was one girl in the class that tapped her foot throughout the whole test. It was the only thing I could hear, I couldn't even read the question because it was annoying me so much. Luckily it didn't affect my result on the test, so I guess it's all good...

After the exam, I went to IKEA. It was nice walking around in a store that was decorated in a Swedish way, more discrete... If it wasn't for all the English speaking people, I would actually have believed that I was back in Sweden. I actually went to IKEA to buy 'julmust'. I have had a craving for it for a couple of weeks, but guess what, THEY DIDN'T HAVE IT. I was so disappointed. Although I found some mulled fruit wine (*glögg), saffron buns (*lussebullar), and Marabou, so the trip was not a total waste. When I got home I had 'adventsfika' by myself. It was a very productive day to say the least ;)

Today, it's also the five month mark of being in this family! I say it all the time, but it's insane how fast the time has gone. Although this is super duper fun, the best thing about today is that it's only one week left until I'll see my family <3<3<3 It feels like we have been talking about them coming here for so long and now the time is actually here! I'm so excited to see them and for them to come to Columbus, so they can see where I live now. I can't wait!!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, wherever you are :)<3



I made some saffron buns to an international Christmas party with my au pair group. I've never made these by myself before so I never realized that it take such a long time...



Yes, we kind of tortured Bo a bit to get these pictures. Worth it though ;)



❤ Philippa

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2017, Au pair

The snow has finally come to Columbus! Yesterday, it snowed from 1pm through the night. I was in the best mood yesterday. I felt so festive, and I wanted to go out on a long walk in the snow. Unfortunately, there was no one that wanted to come with me so I had to settle with going with Bo to the mailbox. Bo was soooo happy to be playing in the snow. He ran around like crazy! It was so cute :) When I woke up this morning, there was even more snow than it was when I went to bed yesterday. I enjoyed my breakfast sitting by the big windows, watching Elf and drinking coffee out of my Santa mug. It really feels like it's Christmas now!

It's barely a month left of 2017. This year has gone so fast! I don't even know where half the year went... The year 2017 has always been the year I was going to do the IB exams. That's the only thing that I've thought about when I've heard '2017'. But when I think back on the exams, it feels like I did them years ago, not seven months ago. It kind of feels like I haven't had any time off during this year. I went to school from January to June, worked throughout June and a bit in the beginning of July, and July 10th I left for the U.S. Time has just flown by! But because this year has been so eventful, I'm super excited to see what 2018 has to offer!




❤ Philippa

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2017, Au pair

December is here, and I couldn't be more excited. I've waited months for it to be acceptable to Christmas decorate, to wear Christmas apparel, watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music. This is literally the best time of the year. It's only December 5th, and I've already watched three Christmas movies, wrapped Christmas presents, gone to a Christmas concert, and been to a Christmas party. I'm super excited for what's about to come... So far, it has been a great start to the month of December. The only thing that I'm missing is the snow. I would die for it to be cold and snowy here! Usually I HATE the snow and the cold, but now when I don't have it, I want it. The grass is always greener on the other side, right?

The Christmas party was actually at our house. It was really nice. The day before we spent the evening decorating the tree and other parts of the house, so everything was very festive! It was a pretty chill Christmas party. There were sooooo much food and desserts, so the evening was mostly spent eating. There were kids there as well, so we ended up downstairs watching "Arthur Christmas". I had invited one of the au pairs from my au pair group and it was nice catching up with her too. The Christmas concert was at my boys' school. The oldest one is part of the choir, so they sang a few songs. The youngest has his concert next week, but this time it's cello so that will be exciting!

I have also started preparing for my trip to meet my family. Even though it's about two and a half weeks left, I've made a list about the things I'm going to pack... Today, I actually thought of starting packing but I had to stop myself, haha. I also spent the day looking over photos I've been taking these five months, and oh my... I've experienced a lot! It feels like I've been here for ages so it would be weird if I hadn't, but when you think that it's only been five months, it's much more impressive!

Finals week is also just around the corner, so studying is a daily thing now. The not so funny thing is that it reminds me so much of the IB exams. I was so stressed out before/during/after the IB exams, that these feelings come back as soon as I hear the words "final exam", talk about classical conditioning... Although I think the course is pretty simple so hopefully the exam will not be too difficult. Wish me good luck! :)




❤ Philippa

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2017, Au pair

One of my boys found this video and wanted me to watch it. I thought it would be like a sketch but it is so much more. While it is incredibly funny and heartwarming, it also has an extremely important message. It really made me think twice about our society. Zach Anner shows this in a comedic way and tells us that we need to do something about it.

Watch this video if you want your day to be brightened! :)



❤ Philippa

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2017, Au pair, TRAVEL

Hello!


It's been a looooong time since I last wrote here, and so much has happened since! So what have you missed? I have been sick for a couple of days, a really bad cold. But since there's no one that can take care of the children I had to stick it out. It was not that bad, but it was really difficult not to hug and cuddle with the boys! The oldest one wanted to hug all the time and he said he didn't care if he got sick in the process, haha.

November 23rd was thanksgiving, an American holiday involving food and family. I was super excited for this holiday that is portrayed in so many movies and series, but that you actually know nothing about. My host family always go to the boys' aunt for the holiday since there's no school or work. The boys were off school from Tuesday to Sunday, and it was really nice to have them home. They didn't have that much homework so the time was spent chilling and preparing for the trip. Their aunt lives in Atlanta with her family, so on Thursday morning we got on the plane to Atlanta, Georgia. I had not met their aunt, her husband, and cousins before so that was really nice. Their grandparents were there too. I've met them plenty of times before, but it was a while ago since their last visit so it was nice seeing them again too. The family had the cutest greyhound and cat. They were cute but not as snuggly as Bo ;) Thanksgiving dinner was served at 2pm, and let me say it was a feast! There were so much food and desserts! After two hours of eating and talking, I was so full and tired... We spent the rest of the evening just chilling by the TV, where they showed an Indiana Jones marathon. It was a really relaxing day.

On Friday, it was Black Friday! That's when stores have an incredible discount, and most people go shopping for Christmas presents. My host-mom, her sister, and their mom have a tradition of going to an outlet mall at 6am (!!!), and this year they asked if I wanted to join. Of course I said yes, because although some stores in Sweden has started with Black Friday, it is much bigger in the U.S. So at 6am, we sat in the car on the way to the outlet mall. We bought coffee and breakfast on the way, because we didn't want to waste any time. When we arrived, there were already people there, and the parking lot was starting to fill up. We went to the Kate Spade store first and there was already a line (?). It was insane. But it was so worth it, going early and standing in line for the stores. All stores had 50-75% discount, and many stores had buy 1 get one 1 free. I didn't bring a big bag to Atlanta, so I had a hard time fitting everything in when it was time to go back home. I didn't buy a lot of stuff, but I bought big things, like a bag and knitted sweaters. We left the mall at 3pm, so it was many hours of walking and shopping. When we got back, we were all super tired so we ended up back in the couch. This evening we watched Christmas movies.

This weekend was my weekend off. So I had half the day off in Atlanta, before we had to go home. I had found that there was a Coca Cola museum there, so that is what I decided to do. It was amazing. I'm not a big fan of Coca Cola as a drink, but the museum was so cool. When I got in, I received complimentary Coca Cola (of course), and then we had a small guided tour and a movie before we were led into the exhibitions where it continued as a self-guided tour. I went around 10am, so there was not a lot of people there, but the tour-guide said that they usually gets around 7000 (!!!) visitors per day. Since it is Christmas time, they had decorated the hall with Christmas trees and Christmas-themed Coca Cola ads, and you could meet the Coca Cola polar bear. The exhibitions were very broad; old ads for the drink, the secret recipe, how it was served in the past, a 4D movie, how it was made in the factory, Coca Cola in pop culture, and a taste center. They had everything you would ever like to know about the brand Coca Cola. It took me about 2.5 hours to go through it all, much more time than I had intended to spend there. I'm so glad that I decided to go. There were a lot of Swedish things there as well, which is never wrong ;) After the World of Coca Cola, I went walking around in downtown Atlanta for a while, and then it was time to go to the airport. When we got home around 6pm in the evening, I was so tired that I went to bed almost straight away. I slept for 11 hours, so today I'm feeling very well rested!

Today is Sunday, and I have some errands to run, i.e. Christmas shopping. My host-family has started to decorate the house and I'm feeling extra festive today, so it's a day where the only music playing is going to be Christmas music! Tomorrow everything is back to normal. The boys are going to school, and I'm going to roam around the house. It feels a bit weird because we have been on vacation for almost a week now, but at the same time, it will be nice with some routines again.

Fun fact, I calculated yesterday that before the year is over, I will have gone on 19 flights! 19 flights in five months! That's insane! But I shouldn't complain because I've gotten to see so much. I really love traveling so it has not been the worst thing in the world. Before I came here, I hated flying. I was terrified of it, and even though I don't particularly love it now, it is not as bad as it was in the beginning. This could be due to the fact that I'm flying with two little boys now, so I have my mind mostly occupied, haha.

I hope everyone at home is feeling great! It's almost "första advent", and think it is so sad that they don't celebrate it here... because it is then you know that it is Christmas time! I also hope that everyone is enjoying the cold weather! It's cold here too, but I'm waiting for the snow.

Ok, that's all for now. Now I'm going to continue drinking my gingerbread latte 🎅🏼🤶🏼

❤ Philippa

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2017

It's already November 8th and I haven't listened to any Christmas songs yet?! This is the longest I've waited to do that... I usually like to ease into Christmas music in the middle of October, but since Halloween is such a big thing here, it felt weird to start with Christmas things among all the fall things. Although, every store have had Christmas decor up since September, so I guess it would have been ok. I thought the stores had a lot of Christmas things up before Halloween, but oh my, I was wrong... Literally the day after Halloween, the stores were covered in trees, Santa Clauses, Rudolphs, Christmas clothes, and decor. It was insane/incredible! I'm very excited for Christmas! I'v tried all the Christmas drinks at Starbucks, and I've bought myself some Christmas pyjama and decor for my room. I've also started watching Hallmark's Christmas movies with my host-mom, so the only thing missing is the Christmas music, right?

AtHome has one of the best stores at Christmas. I love going there. They have anything and everything for everybody. They have different names for the types of Christmas decor there is, e.g. Yuletide Lodge, Seas & Greetings, Winter's Garden, Magical Merriment, Cozy Traditions, Ethereal Season, Holiday Hoedown, Forest Fairytales, Santa's Elfie, Fa La Fabulous, Seasonal Sparkle, and Enchanted Eve. I love it! They also have so much more, you literally get lost in all that Christmas sparkle! I wanted to buy everything but I settled for some Christmas wrapping paper. I'm so excited I might explode... Here is some insight of the mighty store called AtHome!




❤ Philippa

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2017, Au pair

Hello everybody!

I have now been in the US for about three and a half months. It's insane how fast the time has passed... It feels like I just got here, but at the same time it feels like I've been here forever. The funny thing is that I have yet not realized that I actually live here. It's difficult to explain because it doesn't feel like I'm on vacation either, I'm just being here. I got used to the routines and 'fit' into the family pretty fast, and since our life has just kept on rolling on, I haven't really had time to process everything. I think that's why I haven't been able to wrap my head around it yet. The longer I live here, the more I learn about the area. I know how to get to places without Google Maps and I know short-cuts to some of those places as well. Columbus has become a second home to me and I'm so happy to be here in this family.

Before I went to the US, people warned me about the two to three months point. That's when you usually get homesick. So far, I haven't really been homesick. I've felt a bit sad not to be home for two occasions but other than that I've not missed home that much. Of course I miss my family and friends, but not Sweden itself. It's weird. Sometimes I think about the things I'm doing here and how obvious there are to me, but at home I wouldn't even think about doing them. I'm living a completely different life here. It's definitely not a negative thing! I love being here and experiencing a different lifestyle than the Swedish one. I feel so lucky to be able to do that. You could say that life is pretty awesome right now :)





♥ Philippa

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2017, Au pair

Fall has finally come to Ohio! Today it was only 13 degrees!! Everyone else says that fall has been here since September but I wouldn't call 30 degrees fall... Everything is so much prettier and cozier in fall. Yesterday, we turned on our fireplace and read our books, it was so cozy! I was in such a fall mood this morning that I exchanged my coffee (!!!) to a cup of tea, and my morning 'phone-time' was exchanged for reading a book. For breakfast I made oatmeal, yeah you see, I got all fall-y today. After my class, I took out Bo for a loooong walk. We were gone for almost two hours. I brought my camera too. Bo was my model for the day :) It was the hardest thing ever to take nice photos of him... He didn't want to sit still... Always wanting to run around rather than sitting still and smile for a photo (who could blame him though?). At least I got a few pretty photos of him!

Last Sunday, I went to Lynd's Fruit Farm (where the corn maze is). They have a beautiful market there, so I roamed around there a while. I also took some photos there, which I will publish here too :) Something else that happened on Sunday that's super exciting is that my dad and I booked my plane ticket to San Francisco for Christmas!!! I'm going to meet my family there, and I'm so excited!!! In two months I will see my mom, my dad, and my sister again after five months apart!!! :D We've been trying to figure this out for a while now so it was nice to see some progress. Now I only have to book my ticket to Columbus-home :)

I hope you are not freezing to death in Sweden! <3





♥ Philippa

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2017, Au pair

Good morning!

I have had problems knowing what to post here since I pretty much do the same thing everyday. Nothing new to rapport... but you don't really know what I do all day, except taking care of the boys. So here is a treat for you (not so much), a photo collection of my day! Enjoy! :)

6.10am Waking up

6.30am I start working

6.40am Waking up the boys

6.45am Breakfast time

~7.00 Emptying the dishwasher and cleaning up in the kitchen

Cuddling with Bo is an important step in our morning routine!

7.35am Drive to the boys' school

On Tuesday's and Thursday's, I drive into Downtown where CSCC is, to attend my own classes

Putting on my make up in the car in the parking lot because I don't want to get up earlier in the morning just to do it...

9.30-10.50am Class

Drive home and do whatever I feel like doing that day + some laundry

Going on a walk with Bo

My daily visit to Target ended up, like always, with me buying things I don't need

3.30pm Picking up the boys from school

~4.10pm Snack time!

~4.30-~6pm Helping the boys with their homework

6.30pm Dinner

7pm Cleaning up after dinner

7.30pm I'm done for the day

After I finish, I sometime study, watch a movie, read, or meet up with Victoria, which was what I did yesterday. We went to Cold Stone Creamery (an ice cream place) :)

10pm Home again

Depending on how tired I am, I either go to bed or watch a movie.



So... that's my day. This repeats itself Monday to Friday. On the weekend the schedule is slightly different but still kind of the same things. Except on Sunday's when I'm off.

I hope you enjoyed this insight in my glamorous life here! Even though it might not seem as I'm doing that much, the days fly past in super speed... I can't believe I've been here for three months already! 1/4 of my year is done. It's insane... The boys have already started talking about how sad it is that I will go home soon. Personally, I wouldn't say soon because I still have nine months left! Haha! At least it's really sweet that they don't want me to leave :)

❤ Philippa

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2017, Au pair

The last day of my weekend off was spent studying, reading, and going to a museum. Although, the studying did not go that well... I was too tired, but I finished writing one of the two analyses I have to send in by Wednesday, so at least that is one less thing to do. 

On Friday I started to read a book called 'Behind Closed Doors' by B.A. Paris, and it was so good so I didn't want to put it down, hence me not doing that much studying. I finished reading it yesterday, and the ending gave me chills! It was such as good book. It's very dark (a man holding his wife prisoner) but I would recommend everyone to read it! I re-read the last chapter twice because it was such a good ending.

Later in the afternoon I went to the Nasher Museum of Art, which is a part of Duke University. There were a few different exhibitions there. My favorite one was the modern art section. I took a bunch of photos of the pieces I liked so I thought I would share them with you :)

On Tuesday evening, we're going back to Columbus. It has been a really nice stay here in North Carolina, but as always, it wil be nice coming back home! :)


Duke University is so pretty!


My favorite painting



❤ Philippa

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