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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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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.

“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..

It seems only yesterday that I last wrote, all excited for my upcoming holiday and big move, yet life has kept me rather busy in its whirlpool and time has literally flown by. From coming back to work after two weeks in paradise & being thrown into the deep end, to having to organize my relocation to London in the space of two weeks (which can be quite challenging if you’re pretending to be an adult and your everyday life consists of work, work, coffee, and work).

Wishfully looking to the future. Or, just a picture, y'know.

Wishfully looking to the future. Or, just a picture, y’know.

So here’s a quick recap of my most recent life discoveries slash all of the great wisdom I’ve acquired (err, mainly about myself?):

  • My feet get swollen on flights longer than 6hrs. Yup, I am officially old
  • Snake meat tastes like chicken
  • Things rarely go according to plan (like that schoolnight you planned on being home by 8pm, and you get home at 4am. Wise life choice, Laura)
  • I wear a lot of lipstick. Like “I-feel-naked-if-I-don’t-have-any-on” a lot.
  • It’s hard to go against your vices – cutting down my caffeine intake is a right pain!
  • I apparently own enough apparel to live out of my suitcase in a hotel for three weeks (not sure whether this is a positive thought, or one to worry about?)
  • I am most definitely a dreamer, and always will be. And that’s perfectly ok
  • Music gets me through anything in life – the happiness, the sadness, the loneliness, the stress.. #addicted
  • I cannot survive navigating in London without the citymapper app
  • New dream slash life goal: enjoy a glass of champagne with Steph & Dom from Gogglebox (considering our mutual love for this fine drink, we’d get on juuust great)

And now – off to have some coffee

As I sit writing this, heavily influenced by the day of the night before type of symptoms (damn you wine, I thought we were friends), I have exciting news that have kept me on my toes these last two weeks.

Life presents you with opportunities, whether they’re just means to have a random adventure or something you’ve always wanted to do, and you’ll have a decision to make – to jump or not jump (and this is illustrative, mkay).

I fundamentally believe that whilst we are all in charge of our own lives, sometimes life has to intervene too. And so it did, through a very unexpected 5pm phonecall on a Thursday. And I said yes.

I was told I could move whenever I wanted to, whether that was the next day or the next month. As I have my holiday coming up, it wasn’t a really practical option and I opted for a later date. And so it seems that I will be moving to the Big Smoke, a city so exciting and lively yet frightening at the same time due to its sheer size, on September 27th.

I am very excited as it is a new chapter in my life and I can’t wait to see what it brings. I also look forward to this as it will enable me to produce more interesting content in this blog, because let’s face it – London is a lot more exciting than Luxembourg.

So here’s a list of things that preoccupy me currently:

1) Finding a flat. I have two weeks to sort myself out once I arrive there, and I’m hoping it is enough time as I will be working during the day. But hey – challenge accepted.

2) Transport. Zone 1-3 monthly travel card, you killing me!

3) Clothing. As I have no proper home in my first two weeks there and I will be living in a snazzy hotel, I will be heading over with one suitcase. For any girl, this is reason enough to have a small panic attack. And to be super selective.

4) Shopping. The upside of going with only one suitcase is the inevitable excuse that, you know, you just have to go shopping. And London is a wonderful place to do exactly that. RIP credit card.

5) To bring my skateboard over, or not to bring my skateboard over. Hmmm.

In addition to these particular 5 points, there’s of course more food for thought. And speaking of food, it’s time for me to go grab breakfast – miam.

Once upon a time, I moved away from the city I pursued my bachelor’s degree in. As goodbye’s generate great sadness, my friends and I celebrated accordingly – in true student style, things went from classy (champagne in the park) to hazy (cue the morning after; it took us a good 15 minutes to remember everything about the previous night).

Over time, I had come accustomed to filming some of our random moments spent together, as I wanted to have as many memories as possible. And then one day – I was hit by a million dollar idea (sadly the million dollars remained in my head, and not in my bank account) – why not put all of the memories together in a single video?

I taught myself how to edit on my crappy undergraduate laptop using Windows Live Movie Maker, and soon published my first video. Whilst the editing wasn’t great, nor were the special effects (I am pretty sure it included some pictures I had re-touched in Paint for the LOL’s), it is something my friends and I re-watch every so often and laugh at (a. because of the low level of dignity involved in said video, and b. due to the above-mentioned poor editing).

Luckily, over time I have upgraded my laptop and evolved as a video editor (mainly due to using iMovie instead of WLMM), and I take great pleasure in creating little videos that make for fantastic memories (and make one cringe less). Whilst I ain’t no Sofia Coppola, it feels satisfying to see myself get better and be able to do more things with the program. I recently also purchased a go pro camera, which I cannot wait to play around with come my big trip to Cambodia and Bali.

The latest video I did was about the wonderful time I spent in Rome, and watching it makes me so happy.

If you are interested to see some more of my work, have a look at my time in New York & San Francisco, as well as my last couple of weeks spent living in Edinburgh.

Now for some poll – dear reader, have you taught yourself anything useful?

Whoa, whoa – mic drop – Laura, you haven’t written in over a month!

Indeed, my work-life balance got heavily disbalanced, largely in favour of the former, but this blonde is back (quite literally as I got back from a business trip from London yesterday)! And what better way to buy your readers’ love back than with a little recap from a beautiful weekend spent in the baguette capital, err, an undisclosed amount of time ago.

Paris is where my mother and I embarked on our life adventure; it’s where I first went to school and learnt French; it’s where I started rollerblading; it’s where I got my first kiss from my first crush. It is at the same time a very clear moment in my life, but also one with very few, hazy memories as I was so little.

Since a long weekend was fast approaching, we decided to escape Luxembourg to wander around a very summery Paris. Each time I’m back, I feel like an inbetweener; inbetween being a tourist and a local.

The weekend was perfect. Full of sunshine, fine wine and family, as even my sister joined us all the way from Amsterdam.

It consisted of sightseeing,

getting lost in the city,

cute cafés & being a victim to The Man (self-confessed Starbucks fan speaking here),

random finds

and one regret – not having bought this GAP dress.

I do have to admit that whilst I usually pester about Paris because of its busyness and occasional rude locals, this time I have nothing bad to say.

Paris, maybe we are friends after all.