A new chapter will begin in my life come this Saturday, as I will be doing something I’ve never done before (and let me tell you these sort of “cherry popping” situations get rarer and rarer with age).

I, a twenty something random ass Laura, will be moving in with my boyfriend.

Oooh, she sounds stressed, she’s not ready yet” you may think.

But actually? Quite honestly? I feel completely ok about it as it feels like a very natural step to take. Not because of age or other modern pink fluffy female factors you can read about in Cosmopolitan; but because of him. He suggested it. I shrugged (wonderful girlfriend as I am), and eventually said yes because I had no reason to say no. After all, we love each other and loose so much time commuting to our respective soon-to-be ex-flats (damn you London!), so… What’s the big deal?

Speaking to friends and family, the general response is surprise, as I haven’t freaked out yet, because “OMG you’re moving in with your boyfriend” (so what, am I like supposed to faint and pee my pants?). Cue another Laura-shrug, and out of my mind such comments go.

Eventually, following a couple of wine glasses and a particularly annoying phase of PMS, I did wonder whether it was normal to not freak out. The outcome of that introspection was “naaaah girl, chill; ya good“.

I also asked Him whether we should go mainstream and freak out a little. Feedback – nahh. We’re happy and that’s all that matters. Simple and oh so true (bless this boy’s thought process).

Nevertheless, it’s not all rosy; the Physical Act of Moving stresses me out so much that my glass of wine needs a glass of wine of its own.

“Shit – I’m going to loose a chunk of my deposit because of that candle soot stain on my WHITE wall (update – I painted over it. With the wrong colour. Why am I allowed to be an adult)”

“How many back & forth trips in shitty London traffic will it take?”

“The new flat is amazing but OH MY GODD it’s actually quite small when you make two human beings share, especially if one of them has SO much non-emotional baggage (can you guess who)”

“I have too many shoes and clothes but I LITERALLY can’t throw anything more out (cue internal sobbing which makes me look like a constipated philosopher)”

“He’ll need to put me on a leash in IKEA because otherwise #ripcreditcard ”

But then, all it takes is one hug from my future flatmate, chief in charge of anti-stress cuddles & glorious Saturday breakfasts, and everything sort of feels.. Feasible. The hurdle shrinks and the frown turns upside down (bloody hell, who am I and what have I done with Laura!).

I also tell myself that as we won’t be commuting to each other anymore, I wont have to deal with bachelor pads that don’t have conditioner in their showers and my hair subsequently & quite inevitably looking like the fur of an ungroomed dog; or waking up with partially hairy legs and damning yourself to the bottom of the earth because you and your hairy legs agreed to spend the weekend there & there’s no shaver in sight (legit 21st century female probrems!).

So I guess, the bottom line of this rambling I started writing during my commute halfway underground London is that even though I will dearly miss my hood, my flatmates and my current understanding of home; I feel happy and ready to explore this new & shiny chapter in a new & (less) shiny part of town, in our very own nest. After all, I will get to fall asleep and wake up next to someone that defines a big part of what home represents for me right now, and that’s a pretty damn great thought.

What about you dear Reader, how did you transition from flatmates to The Flatmate?

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It’s not often you get to say you popped your cherry at the same time as your mother, and before you get too cheeky dear Reader – I’m talking about our Mulberry cherry.

Whilst my mother is quite The Savant when it comes to the finer things in life (proud moment for me and my sister there), she very surprisingly had not gotten acquainted with timeless British luxury.

A quick, relatively accidental trip to Selfridges, and we quite accidentally turned that around (in case my step-dad reads this – I promiise – cue the angel emoji).

My mother, ever so classic and monochrome, was immediately yet surprisingly drawn to this beautiful fiery red shoulder piece.

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And as the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I ended up as the happy owner of its smaller but just as fiery and just as red counterpart. If there is one tradition for the women of our family, it is to trust the wisdom of the Chinese and buy red wallets, as it is believed this colour brings prosperity (and anyone purchasing Mulberry will need the financial luck).

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Finally, there was a nice touch waiting at the bottom of our shopping bag.

Ever so British, ever so polite – the Mulberry edition:

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What about you dear Reader – what was your special cherry?

I’ve long thought I needed to have a proper audit of my closet, and get rid of some items I’ve been hogging for various reasons yet never actually made an effort to wear. Nevertheless, as I’ve considered this to be a daunting task and an emotionally challenging one, I’ve managed to expertly put off doing it. Until today.

As I will be moving flats in approximately February, I’ve been a bit nervous about the storage that I will have at my disposal. Currently, I am very spoiled with a huge closet, which is rather full. Yet in February, even if I will be lucky to find a sizeable closet again, I will have to share it with The Boy (and he’s got shit too).

So, after 2.5hours of shutting my emotions off and upping my rationality levels, I managed to fill three big bags with clothes I am finally ready to say bye to.

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From an ex-boyfriends windbreaker, passing by a dodgy 70s XXL flower coat, to a cardigan I spent £50 on yet never wore (I seriously deserve a slap for this one), these bags are full of items that hopefully will make someone else happy as I will be donating these to a charity shop.

So this goes out to anyone who’s also been putting this task off – go raid your closet! It’s hard to say bye to certain items, but this blonde cheered herself up with the thought that it also means there’s more space for new clothes (hellooo January sales).

This morning, whilst sitting fabulously disheveled in my living room with a perfect hot mug of coffee, I smiled to myself. I smiled because I caught myself thinking what a good year it has been (which is surprising as previous even years haven’t been the kindest with me).

So what were the best parts of this twentysomething blonde’s year?

I travelled to three different continents, both for work and leisure, discovering two new countries (Japan & Ghana) and two new American cities (Los Angeles & New Orleans). I always tell my friends I will fly anywhere for them, and much to their surprise – I actually do. Here’s to many more adventures around the world.

I met my two dear friends’ baby boy and witnessed them get married. It almost felt unreal as I still remember their fresh student faces from when we met years & years ago, and all of a sudden a new chapter has started for them. I still feel so much love just writing about this.

Speaking of love, I also found it. An honest, incredibly funny and wonderful version of it. I feel whole.

I also got a new job. A wonderful new job that brings the right challenges and an important step forward in my career. It took some time, but time that was rightfully invested.

I started singing in a choir. Despite showing up hungover to the first practice, I reconnected with that beautiful feeling of overwhelming happiness I feel when I sing (though let’s be honest, I’m no Whitney Houston; not even a measly Britney Spears) and met truly beautiful people that feel like a family. It’s the little things..

Through all of this, I also fell in love with London again. Last December, I considered ending my chapter here as I felt a little lost and confused. Luckily, life (yet again) showed that after the rain, the sun truly does comes out. And my oh my how it shines.

Finally, to end this year – my best friend is coming from Brussels so that we can celebrate together. I feel nothing but sheer excitement and love at the prospect of spending the coming precious 48hrs with her.

2017

Dear Reader – whatever your 2016 was like, embrace it and be thankful. It’s made you exactly who you are, and a brand new exciting year with 365 opportunities is starting.

Having recently flown out to L.A for a birthday party (who am I and what is my life like), our beloved 6ft nuthin’ Chief Party Commander also made sure we got the low-down on local life, even though, y’know, she’s actually from New York herself.

Whilst this did involve some occasional roadtrips and other responsible adult things one does when in California (I added the second part of this sentence here for my parents – hi guys), it mainly included eating. Eating like a BETCH.

Weeks prior to our big reunion, J taunted me with the knowledge of eggslut. I mean when you hear eggslut, you can’t help feeling extrigued (that’ll be acute excitement mixed with a healthy dose of intrigue) without being quite sure what it actually entails, right? As she was not willing to elaborate on the topic to preserve the surprise, I did spend an actual evening drinking wine and analysing just how eggs can be slutty (or maybe more like half an hour on a casual evening with wine).

D-day for eggslut ended up being the morning of ‘Murica’s most patriotic day, which initially threw us off as most places seemed to be closed on the 4th of July (I mean fair enough, right?). Nevertheless, the gods of cholesterol seemed to be on our side as a little while later we found ourselves in the longest queue known to mankind in Downtown Los Angeles.

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Eggslut is essentially a niche fastfood restaurant, priding themself on making the ultimate breakfast sandwiches. You don’t need to have an IQ of 138 to guess from their name that the whole concept revolves around eggs, as it is the staple ingredient of each sandwich.

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Since J had not shut up about eggslut for so many blue moons,  I was rather excited to taste mine after such a long time of being an ignorant European.

And giiirl, let me tell you. This shit tastes goood.

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Would I eat this on regular? Sadly, yes (goodbye non-existing bikini body).

Can I eat this on a regular? Sadly, no – there are currently only 4 eggsluts on this planet, and they’re all in California.

So dear reader, next time you’re in CA – make yourself a favour, and go have an eggslut for me. I’ll be busy crying over here, withdrawal effects and all.

June ‘16 was a crazy month as it involved travelling somewhere every single weekend. Contrary to my credit card, I’m not complaining (ehhhhh).

On one of those trips, I found myself in Stockholm for two of my very good friends’ wedding.

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I will let you imagine all of the tears, wine and dancing involved (life tip: never not see your friends for 5 consecutive years, and then observe them walking down the isle; no mascara stands that).

Being a master time planner, I also made sure I could squeeze in some shopping in the 48hrs spent there, as anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with the Swedes and their street style. I mean I could sit down in a coffee shop, listen to music and people watch for hooours (seriously).

The only promise I made myself was to not enter any shop I had access to in London, which I was semi-successful at keeping (why look at the glass half-empty if you could look at it half-full, right?).

Here’s what I picked up & currently baptise as a the Swedish swag section of my closet:

  1. A sheer white top from Bik Bok (or what your conservative uncle Joe may call a slutty top). Whilst this certainly doesn’t fall under my work wear category, it is the perfect top for summer ’16 (shout out to Drake) and I bought this with my upcoming trip to LA in mind.
  2. An airy white jumper from Bik Bok (or how to be one of those people that spends a good part of the year missing summertime and then voluntarily wears knitwear). With its sheerness and floatiness, this jumper has easily become my favourite white item I desperately try not to pour my coffee onto (legit life problem on any given day I madly decide to wear anything white despite previous questionable success rates at keeping things white).5
  3. An oversized stripy dress from MTWTFSS Weekday (or what your boyfriend may consider a pyjama). Much like my mother, I have an incurable illness when it comes to stripes and I deliberately choose to embrace it rather than seek any medical care. Honestly though – can we talk about how this garment allows you to ooze kewlness whilst basically chilling out in the cosiest dress there is? Bingo. Ya girl is a comfortable bish.
  4. A salmon pink bomber jacket from Monki (or how to pretend to be a thug and embrace your not so discreet love of pink). I’ve wanted a bomber jacket for so long. SO LONG! Yet each time I tried one on, I thought I looked like a fat bear (life issues, I tell you). Whilst Monki most definitely falls under the category of shops I promised myself to stay away from, I most happily obliged to follow my friend who needed to pick a few things up from there. The main reason I love this jacket is because L picked it for me, telling me you’re a bomber jacket kind of girl and that the colour would be perfect for me. I still feel like a fat bear wearing it, but at least a very style conscious fat bear (and how many of them do we see around, huh?)6

What about you dear reader? Any summer swag you wanna talk about?

“Silence is a source of great strength” – Lao Tzu

The last 10 months seem like a blur in my life, and it has definitely left a mark on this blog too – a big e m p t y mark.

I believe we all have our trials and challenges, which we must overcome to move forward in life (I know, I know – cheesy), and I have focused on taking care of myself, because as wisdom goes – no one else will take care of yourself better than you.

Without victimising myself and by analysing my simple yet complex existence, I also realised through this semi-voluntary leave of absence that one of the simple things that gives me joy in life is writing.

So – I think it’s time to hop back on the horse.

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Whilst 93% of my closet is full of clothes with no particular background stories, there are a few items that have the ability to draw a wide smirk across my face and take me for a temporary trip down memory lane.

Here’s a story about one of them.

When in New York in September 2013, I had exactly one pair of old jeans with me. The City, as always, was experiencing an Indian summer and I mainly lived in shorts. I did not think I would be wearing my jeans much, until a faithful Tuesday when my hot Australian hostel roommate invited me to bike through Central Park (and apparently take me out on a date, but that took me a lot longer to figure out). Cue 20 minutes into our urban cycling (as well as constant car dodging), and my darling pair of skinnies mercilessly ripped right by my crotch. By the time I got off my bike, I had sadly reached an unsalvageable territory.

The following day I undertook a pilgrimage to the local H&M to find a new pair of trademark Laura jeans (or, y’know, your average pair of save-your-life inexpensive black skinny jeans), and $30 later I was the proud owner of vaguely greyish trousers with too many zippers (I consider this purchase a desperate action).

That same night, I was invited out for drinks with random people I had never met in my life before, but who have since become very good friends of mine (bless the age of facebook and friends of friends of friends).

Long story short; the cocktails we had were lethal and my new friend, busy risking a DUI, was dropping all of us off at our respective addresses. And that is when I parted ways with my brand new, unworn jeans, merely a few hours after having acquired them as I gracefully forgot them at the back of my friend’s car.

At the time, it didn’t seem like much of a problem as I had plans to meet my new compadres the following night. Nevertheless, as life tends to be funny like that, roles were reversed the next evening and it was my previously semi-responsible friend who had to be put on a taxi back home, as he was in no shape to drive his car.

During my inhumanly early flight to San Francisco the following morning, I accepted the fact that I would never see those jeans again and would have to part ways with another $30 in the next H&M I would stumble across.

A few days later, my NYC friend, who was alive again, surprisingly told me he was going to ship my jeans cross-country to his friend in SF, and as such I would get the chance to both recuperate my jeans and go for a drink with another Americano (isn’t he the best?).

Sadly, as I mentioned above, life’s funny like that and the jeans arrived after I had left the States.

Little did I know that the story between those average overzipped jeans and myself wasn’t over yet.

In April 2014, I planned a whirlwind weekend to Rome to meet up with one of my best friends (click here in case you’re curious!), and I was very unexpectedly reunited with my jeans; still in the same H&M plastic bag, receipt and all. And suddenly, Rome became New York in the haze of our wine glasses and pizzas.

To this day, these jeans fit me and I love those zip monsters despite them not even being my favourite pair. Hence the smirk on my face each time I wear them.

What about you, dear Reader? Own any clothing items with quirky stories?

As autumn came knocking on London’s door rather early this year, this blonde took an executive decision to escape the Big Smoke and soak up the last rays of sun before properly enjoying the falling leaves.

I spent all of this week in paradise with my two best friends, and I am currently waiting to board my flight to Pisa to spend another week in between vineyards, under the Tuscanian sun.

Lots of good stories coming up, dear reader – grab yourselves a nice glass of wine in the meantime..

Upon entering my bedroom for the first time, a recent flame of mine expressed in a sincere state of surprise and unexpectedness “wow – you have a lot of shoes” (all of this, of course, under a romantic wine haze).

Little did he know, that whilst yes, it may be arguable that my shoe collection is somewhat sizeable (and we’re currently only talking about those I have in my London home), he should’ve seen my how many handbags dominate my life.

See, the thing is – with shoes, I am currently fully satisfied. I believe I have all of my necessary basics – I mean we’ve got a fair representation of the sneakers, the ballerinas, the wedges & heels, the boots and those polite office shoes with a twist.

However, with handbags it’s a different story (it always is).

If we take a second to think about life (and handbags) in practical terms (aka the way my step-father chooses to live his life), I’m covered. There’s a bag to fit every situation, ranging from the day-to-day grind to evenings out on the town (as well as that bag you reaaally wanted, you love to own but are not sure where to actually wear it – looking at you, rusty coloured clutch!)

But – and there’s always a ‘but’ somewhere in the female logic – so many bags just catch my eye, flirt with me and taunt my mind! Remember when I obsessed over this bag?

So I suppose, all I (currently) want for Christmas autumn.. is the following:

  1. Whilst I find Victoria Beckham’s clothing line sartorially appealing, her bags have never caught my eye. That is until this fatal leopard print bucket bag popped up in my life. Credit card – run whilst you can!
  2. Mansur Gavriel is a relatively new discovery for me. Introduced to me by my lovely friend Anna, I have been obsessed with this tote bag since I laid my innocent blue eyes on it. Sleek yet making a powerful statement, this would be a perfect new office friend. Small problem – upon each restocking (which happens every seldom new moon), MG sells out within hours and I haven’t been fast enough so far.
  3. Currently, I use a large Longchamp shopper bag for my (proud moment here) daily trips to the gym. Nevertheless, in my ideal Laura world, I would add this smart and somewhat minimalistic Herschel duffle bag to my collection (which would match my beloved sneakers oh so well).

What about you, dear reader? Spill your beans – what are your lust-haves?