Moving in with the Boyfriend

Lifestyle

The past couple of months have been times of change, and when I say change I mean turn your world upside down, spin it round, shift it 142 miles down south and stick a boy in the equation.

Two pretty important moves have happened recently. My parents left our family home in Kenilworth to start a new life in Hampshire, and I moved into a flat with my boyfriend, Jack.

To those who know/knew me, this may come as a shock. I, Abbie Louise Gaunt, can confess that this time a year ago I was an absolute commitment-phobe. Everyone knows it takes at least 4 – 8 working days for me to respond to a text message. Making plans more than 2 days in advance used to be an absolute no no – far too much time to overthink about possible nightmare situations. And for every few hours of socialising, I had to spend an hour alone watching Parks & Recreation in the comfort of my own company…

… Now, I am never alone.

The thought of this didn’t frighten me when Jack and I decided to move in together, he had pretty much lived at mine when I had my own flat anyway. Aside from the occasional… conflict of interest let’s say, Jack’s presence has never been an annoyance to me (how romantic of me). We both find it easy to sit in silence without feeling awkward – something I think is very important in a relationship. Plus, we are both equally as ridiculous so we just seem to balance each other out. The majority of the time, we are quite happy just staying in with cheese toasties (probably our favourite of meals) and something to watch on Netflix that we have already seen 10 times. Clearly we are both extremely cheap dates. 

Fast forward to the third or fourth day of living together. This is when I realised there is absolutely no escaping each other. What I didn’t consider when I had my own flat is that despite Jack always being there, we both had the option to say ‘don’t come over tonight’ or ‘I won’t be there tonight’. Not that we ever did do that, but it was an option. Suddenly it occurred to me that for the next 8 months, we are tied into a contract that means we have to be together every waking hour we are not at work. Queue panic and turn on self destruct. I am well aware I was self sabotaging the situation because I became super argumentative, as if I was trying to cause a disagreement. I also had this overwhelming feeling of insecurity for no reason whatsoever, as if all of this was way too good to be true.

One of the many reasons why I love Jack so much is because he knows how to deal with my monstrous mood swings. Somehow, he manages to diffuse them before I go all out evil on his ass. So my unwelcome worries lasted approximately 2 days before something in me decided to snap out of it. And now I have never been happier!

Jack and I are the proud renters of a lovely little flat in Chelsea, a 10 minute walk from South Kensington and a 10 minute walk from the Kings Road. Our building has a 24 hour porter, a bar and a Gaucho integrated into it. 3 weeks later and I still don’t think it has actually sunk in that we live there!

Having never actually lived with anyone besides my parents before, I have tried to keep my clothes in my wardrobe instead of all over the floor, I attempt to make the bed every morning without hoping someone else will do it for me and I do my best not to get foundation on the bathroom towels. Jack however, does still leave his empty mugs on the floor expecting muggins over here to pick them up… 

Living with your best friend is the best thing ever. I am so excited to go home even though we do the exact same thing every night. I enjoy making dinner together and would rather do that than order a takeaway. I even do some of the washing up… I am truly a changed woman. 

Despite his 4am alarms for work and the occasional abandoning of mugs, I am the happiest I have ever been having committed to living with my boyfriend/soul mate/love of my life. No matter how awful my day has been, I always know that I have hot chocolate and cuddles waiting for me. 

The only thing that could possibly make it any better is a puppy.

 

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x 

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A London Staycation

Lifestyle

A year ago today I moved to London. And the best way to celebrate feeling like I truly belong here is by going back to the very beginning – being those all important, slow walking, picture-taking tourists on their holidays, enjoying this wonderful city.

This weekend Jack and I took it upon ourselves to do a variety of ‘touristy’ activities. It was probably the most productive weekend we’ve had to date and most definitely the earliest we’ve got up together on a Sunday morning.

We started Saturday by getting up at 9AM (unheard of) and going to our local cafe, Bread by Bike. It’s a super cute bakery around the corner from my flat that prides itself on its sourdough bread – it’s a real hidden treasure and I would definitely recommend going if you’re ever in North London. We got take out, took it home and sat in bed watching Friends.

 

 

Jack napped whilst I put my glam on and we headed to Notting Hill. When we first got together, Jack was desperate for me to watch the film Notting Hill; I had never seen it and never intended to because of my hostility towards rom-coms. Of course, I eventually gave in and I can now begrudgingly say I quite like it. We walked the length of Portobello Road Market, got milkshake and found pretty coloured houses to take pictures with.

 

Next, we got the tube to Westminster and walked along the bridge to the Southbank. Our next choice of tourist attraction was either the London Eye or the London Dungeons. Because I knew how happy it would make my mother – she’s wanted me to go for the past year – we went to the dungeons. I was slightly terrified of people jumping out and any talk about blood or gore is abhorrent to me, but nevertheless, I had a wonderful time. It was also super interesting to learn about London before artsy vegan restaurants, boozy mini golf and pretentious cafe’s.

Our next stop was Wagamamas before we decided we had spent far too much time out of  bed. I introduced Jack to the wonder of yasai kastu curry, then we went back to Camden in time to have a Saturday night in, complete with snacks and a film.

 

Sunday was a bright and early start as well. We woke up, got ready and went straight to Camden market. I usually do my best to avoid Camden on a weekend because of how busy it gets, but it was only right to do the tourist thing and have a browse. There is a ridiculous amount of food choice round there and I had to make the decision as to where we went for breakfast. We found a cute little Mexican cafe and settled there. Jack had breakfast tacos and I had a blueberry cinnamon loaf. After food, we were raring to go for day 2 of our tourist staycation. Jack wanted some posters so we searched the maze that is the market for some cute vintage movie posters.

 

Next, we went to Brick Lane market. We had a look at the vintage stalls, strolled the street and Jack played chess with the man who ‘plays chess for fun for free’ every Sunday. Next, we went to Old Spitalfields market. All the browsing was absolutely exhausting so we did the true British thing and stopped for tea. After we gained a bit of energy, we grabbed a doughnut – obviously a photogenic one for the pics – and I made Jack take a million photos of me. Honestly, that man is a saint. If he doesn’t complain when taking outfit pictures, he’s a keeper.

We stopped at our third and final market of the day – Petticoat Lane Market. To Jack this probably seemed like a horrifying, typical dirty London street selling fake Gucci and what claims to be vintage (really just dirty and used) clothing. But to me, it’s an absolute wonderland. If you look hard enough, there are some real bargains, including brand new things from Mango and Topshop. I spotted a dress for £10 that is still full price at £42 in Topshop. I would definitely recommend going there every now and again to see what they have. Whether you are a tourist or not, if you can get past the slightly scary Londoners and dingy streets, it’s a really great shopping destination when you are on a budget.

 

To bring the weekend to a close, we went back to my flat and began watching Harry Potter; our plan was to watch all 7 this week then go to the Warner Bros studio. Jack however, fell asleep whilst I edited the hundreds of pictures I got (I will be posting them for the foreseeable ever). He woke up with a new lease of life and we decided the weekend was not quite finished after all. We got ready and went to Pizza Union at King’s Cross. We then got the tube over to Tower Hill to take a Jack the Ripper tour around Whitechapel. It was so much fun and super interesting whilst being a slightly morbid way to spend your Sunday night. It made us feel like real life tourists, following a man around with an umbrella in the air with a bunch of people from around the world.

I have had the most incredible weekend. It’s so easy to get caught up in work and general daily life that you forget where you are. I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most amazing cities in the world. If you are too, I would highly recommend taking a day off from the ‘rat race’ lifestyle and really try to appreciate your surroundings.

I just want to say a big thank you to Jack for making me the best possible version of myself. You make me laugh, cry, smile and love like never before. This time one year ago, I could never have imagined myself being as happy as I am now.

 

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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Feeling Uninspired

Lifestyle

Pinterest. I swear that app solves 98% of problems in my life. I go on it for everything. Sad and fancy a cheering up treat? Here’s a recipe for 2 ingredient unicorn fudge. Not sure what to do with your hair? Try this faux hawk tutorial. (Legit things and if you’re interested I have linked them).

But jokes aside, where do you go when you’re feeling uninspired? Without realising, I have felt like it for a good few months now. It was only until I went to write when I realised. I had no perspective… Nothing to say whatsoever.

My first thought was why? I usually have so many ideas flying around my head I don’t know where to start. My friend once challenged me to have a conversation with him without stating my opinion; we ended up sitting in silence for 10 minutes. So how had I suddenly come to a place where I didn’t have an opinion on anything?

In my case, I concluded I was feeling uninspired because for a little while now, I have been in a job that hasn’t challenged me enough. Of course it’s nice to feel comfortable in your work, but I had got too comfortable. I ended up making my bed and very much snuggling down and sleeping in it, presumably for the long haul.

Ordinarily, I don’t think you must have a reason for feeling uninspired, it can just happen. The most important thing is fixing the problem.

I’m not a complete novice to rediscovering my flare and creativity, but I can definitely say that I am yet to master the art. After spending a lot of time in my own head, I have put together a list of things that I think personally, help me to get back on that ‘rise and grind’ mindset.

 

Health

Since living in London, I have found it super hard to keep on top of everything. Actually, I lie when I say it’s since I moved to the city; I have been struggling to get myself together since ’99. But something I have let slip significantly is my health and well-being. At home, I would go to the gym at least 4 times a week, eat nutritious food that would leave me feeling energised and practice an actual skin care routine. Nowadays, I am lucky if I can be bothered to make something other than a cheese sandwich for dinner, the very thought of the gym makes me queasy and my skin is a hot mess.

To feel more in control of my overall happiness and therefore feel inspired in life, I know I need to take care of myself – inside and out. Lately, I have been trying my best to do a face and hair mask once a week, to cleans my body of toxicities, including negative thoughts. Exercise and getting the vitamins you need is also important to give you the capacity for a much clearer head-space so you can let new ideas flourish.

 

Reading

Because of how lazy I have gotten, I tend to find the easy route in everything. I’ll re-watch the same television show instead of reading a new book, or I’ll online shop instead of attempting to write a new blog post.

This is where my love of Pinterest comes in. After spending just 20 minutes reading through random articles that sparked my interest, I felt so much more open to new ideas. That website is literally a portal to the unknown, you can search for a smokey eye look and end up finding the best dress shape for your star sign. No matter how random, it’s good to let your mind wander, instead of scrolling through the same people’s Instagram pages day in day out.

Online shopping – I’m a fine one to talk with this one. I get most of my inspiration from online shops. I can actually confess that as soon as I wake up in the morning, I look on Topshop and ASOS new in. It’s a problem and I need help. As good a tool it is for fashion inspo, it’s incredibly hurtful to the bank account. Instead, I have started to read more fashion blogs. I find this gives me ideas and also benefits my own writing skills. After all, us bloggers need to help each other.

 

Indulge

It doesn’t hurt to indulge in your favourite things every now and again. My favourite thing to do is wander round London streets and go for afternoon tea. As much as I would love to spend the rest of my days doing just that, I know that I would eventually begin to resent it, just how I did with work. To begin with, I absolutely adored my job. I was learning new things and every day was more exciting than the next. As time went on, I became less and less productive because everything was familiar to me; I was so comfortable that I had no desire to do more. It’s good to keep yourself on your toes and indulge in the good stuff in order to reiterate your passion for the things you enjoy.

 

I’m not sure how informative this post has been. It’s easy enough to read about getting inspired but it’s a completely different story putting it into practice. But as my therapist once said, if you know the route of the issue, it’s easier to fix. Thanks for that hun – unfortunately I never found the deep, complex route of my inexorable sadness but as long as I have the inspiration to put a cute outfit together, all is well in the world.

 

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x