Hi friends! Welcome to another Friday Five [check out last month’s if you missed it HERE]! This one is going to be centered around London categories, per your request, and in an effort to tackle all of the questions you guys have about this move! Here we go!
Five Things You’ll Miss About Living in America
Okay, so I was told to not include the obvious like friends, family, etc so these are very trivial but I think that’s what makes the list fun!
I mean, who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s? I am definitely sad that I’m not able to pick up cauliflower gnocchi, jalapeño chicken sausage, kale cashew and basil pesto, or everything but the bagel seasoning on the reg anymore. Those were truly my favorites and they will be missed but I’ll definitely be bringing what I can [the seasonings] back to the UK to enjoy.
The TODAY Show
Ugh, this might be one of the hardest ones. If you’re a long time follower, you know my love for Savannah and Hoda and the gang. While they deliver the news, I just love the camaraderie between everyone. It’s so obvious how well they all get along and they make watching the morning news pretty fun, most of the time! I’ll miss tuning in to them every morning! I used to be able to stream full episodes here in the UK with a VPN but they don’t put the full episodes online anymore.
There’s tons of great shopping here so I’m excited to discover new places to shop and share with y’all but, there’s just nothing like home. Sephora is forever the best online beauty retailer. Nordstrom is an obvious gem. LOFT and American Eagle are also retailers I’ve grown to frequent and love. None of these are going to be easy / possible for me to shop while living in the UK. BUT, I will make it back to the states from time to time [quite a lot this year, actually!] and I’ll be able to get my fix!
Okay … so, I’ve shared this before but I will DEFINITELY miss having a dryer to dry my clothes when doing laundry. Now, there are dryer’s here in the UK. A washing machine unit can have a dryer within it. BUT … I have found that my clothes always shrink a little bit so, that’s not fun. And, when I air dry them, which is how John and I dry our clothes, they dry fine but … they’re a little stiff and crispy, if you know what I mean. There’s just something so nice and fluffy about your clothes when you take them out of a US dryer so, I’ll miss that. [No hate to my UK loves. Just sharing something I’ve noticed!]
Only having to pay taxes in one country
Ha … I don’t know what the damage will be but … I know this is something I’ll miss by this time next year!
Five Things You’re Not / Can’t Take To London With You
my mom’s urn
I know she’ll be safe in my brothers’ home but there was a sense of pride and comfort in having her at mine for so long. I will miss seeing it everyday but I know she is with me here. I know she has somewhat lead me here. She was such an Anglophile so I know she wouldn’t miss out on this adventure.
Speaking of my Mom, I actually drove her car for the first three or so years after she died [as she died driving my car and left me without a car]. I worked really hard and saved up for my dream car, which I finally purchased in 2018. I customized it to satisfy my personal preferences and everything. I was so proud of that purchase because it truly was hard earned. I will, sadly, have to let her go but … she was good to me and I know I will find a new owner for her that will love her just as much. If you know anyone who is [seriously] interested in purchasing a black [with tan and black interior] 2018 Mercedes GLE 350, please email me!
This is silly and I’ve already started to get over this but I’ll be having to sell a lot of my furniture. I love everything that I purchased to decorate my home with so it is really sad for me. I invested in a lot of those pieces so they are hard to part with, especially this piece that’s underneath my TV in my living room:
a crap ton of clothes
Y’all … I’ve shared two closet clean out videos on my YouTube channel [one is HERE; the other one will go live today at 11:00am EST] and if that doesn’t tell you I had too much stuff, I’m not sure what does. Maybe the fact that I’m a blogger gives that away, as well. But, regardless, there are SO MANY clothes that simply cannot make this move with me and, if I’m honest, I’m really happy about it. There was no need for me to have that much stuff. I’m so excited about downsizing, as mentioned in this post from earlier this year, and even though I have quite a few things left to move over .. I am really excited to have less stuff to manage but MORE stuff to wear, if that makes sense. Having less will allow me to get more wear out of the things that serve me the most in my wardrobe, so I’m excited about that!
the comforts of home
I know, over time, London will become more and more my home. It has already felt like home in so many ways over the years, which is one of the reasons I went after this visa in the first place. But, what I mean is … there are so many comforts of the home I grew up in that I can’t take with me. I can’t take the ease of being a national with me to the UK because I’m not a national here. Until you live in another country, you never even think about how easy it is to live in your home country. But, when you live in another country, there will always be challenges for you … at least for the first few years … maybe more, we’ll see. I can’t take the comfort of how easily my business runs from there. My business will continue to make money – with your help and the confidence that my brand partners have in me – but, there will be challenges. I can’t take the comfort of being able to see my family by taking a short drive or a short flight. Whether they’re down in Palm Coast, Florida or Maine, it’s always going to be quite the trek to see my parents and will require crossing lots of time zones and experiencing some jet lag. Worth it? Absolutely. But, I’ll miss the comfort of that.
Five Things You’re Excited About Living in the UK
being with / living with john
This is probably an obvious one. I love that man so much so, it’s exciting to me to think that I’ll be able to see him everyday now. No more long distance! I’m thankful for the time we spent apart. I know it made us stronger but, now, it’s time for us to grow and deepen our relationship in only the way that it can be by being together on the day to day.
sunday strolls with the boys
This one is probably strange. But, one of the things I love the most about the UK is how beautiful and green it is. There are so many beautiful parks throughout every area, not just London. Sunday strolls are a favorite amongst Brits and I cannot wait for Sunday strolls to the park with the boys. I can’t wait to see them get to romp around, get their exercise and meet new friends.
living in an international city
While John and I currently live quite a ways outside of the main city area of London, I have spent quite a bit of time there over the last few years. My experience has obviously afforded me a huge love for the city and one of the things that I love the most is how international it is. I think I’m a city girl anyway but I just love how you can literally be from anywhere and live in London. It allows you to get to know people from so many different backgrounds, opening and stretching your mind to consider new ideas and cultures. I absolutely love it!
This might sound strange but I am so excited to have less in the UK. I mentioned in yesterday’s Q&A that I’ll likely be living in places with far less space than I’ve been used to throughout most of my life. Decluttering, in an effort to get ready for this move, has truly made me hope I never acquire that much stuff ever again. More than half of my wardrobe gets worn regularly. That’s so sad and so wasteful. I’m so happy that this move made me get in there and downsize. Having less is so attractive to me right now. I’m not saying I won’t continue to shop and share new things – I will – but I think living in a small space will always encourage me to constantly be refining my wardrobe and encouraging me to really question my purchasing decisions.
While I don’t think travel is something that is huge on anyone’s radar at the moment, I am excited at the thought of how easy it will be travel to so many places that I’ve been wanting to tick off my bucket list. This is probably not the year for that. I’ll be going back and forth between here and the States quite a bit this year to finish up this move [when appropriate and safe to do so] and also for some of my college besties’ bachelorette parties and weddings. But, it’s an exciting thought that John and I could set off to Paris for a weekend getaway if we wanted to or take the boys over to Spain for a little holiday. I love that thought.
Five Retailers [Based in UK] You’re Excited To Share With Us
Y’all, I know how I’m going to continue to keep y’alls interest while I’m living over here but I think you’ll be surprised at how many great retailers that the UK has to offer people.
This is one of my favorite UK retailers. I remember buying a couple of things from here when I first visited London back in 2004. It’s where I, most recently, purchased this relaxed cardigan coat that I shared the other day. They always have really beautiful classic pieces that can be worn tons of ways!
I’m pretty sure New York has a few & other stories locations. This store has romantic dressy and cozy knits and is very much the lovechild of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.
Reiss is a premium, more high-end clothing brand that offers beautifully made garments for the most classic and chic modern woman. They’re a little pricey but I always pop in to see if I can find anything that might elevate my wardrobe. I’m always tempted, I must admit! Everything is always so beautiful!
I may have already introduced you to ASOS over the years as I have been shopping there for years and years now. They have the best arrangement for 2-day shipping for Americans. You just have to pay $19 a year, which is so worth it for someone who frequents their site and makes at least six purchases there a year. I absolutely love the variety of styles and price points. There’s truly something for everyone!
I believe it’s pretty easy, as an American, to shop Net-A-Porter but because I had Shopbop, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus … I rarely found the need to. But, here in the UK, there’s a little more of a need because there aren’t as many large online department store type retailers to shop on. Net-A-Porter is that for the UK and I absolutely love that, through them, I’ll have access to so many brands I was afraid might be too difficult to get my hands on.
First Five Things You’ll Do When You Get There
Ha, being that I’ve been here for a week, I have a lot of insight into the first five things I’ll do. I’ll make some things I’ve done and some things I still need / want to do.
This was something I needed right after I got in but something that I didn’t realize my body needed so much of. I shared on IG stories this week that I have never felt more exhausted or unmotivated ever in my life for that many days in a row. I was starting to get concerned. Thankfully, I am on the other side of that now.
So, I had told John that this was the first thing I wanted to do after getting here last weekend, ha! The second bedroom has absolutely zero storage and John’s closet is full so we needed to figure out bedroom and bathroom storage situations for me. Thankfully, we went in on Sunday and figured it out within a few hours and, as I type this, I am looking at all of my luggage in my suitcase that is just waiting for me to get in there and hang up! I can’t wait!
figure out business stuff
Because I’m on a business visa, there are some things I need to set up here in the UK to make my visa legitimate here. What that is .. I’m still trying to figure out. I will be chatting with my immigration lawyer about that very soon now that I am here and have gotten a little bit more settled. Thankfully, they give you quite a bit of time to get it all figured out. Once I get that figured out, I want to speak with an accountant that has knowledge of both the US and UK tax systems to figure out how to restructure my financial accounts. Fun stuff, isn’t it? 😉
pick up my BRP card
This card is basically my visa and will ensure that, if a customs officer asks for it, I have proof that my visa is legitimate. I have my temporary visa to show in my passport but this card is actually the golden ticket so I always have to have that on me as I travel in and out of the UK.
enjoy quality time with JM
Now that I am here, I am obviously going to be soaking up as much time as I can get with John after having spent so much time away from each other over the last year. We are actually coming up on our one year dating anniversary and I’m so excited that we’ll be able to be spending it together without having to also face another long bout of separation. Now, we just need to get the boys here and my heart and my home will feel complete! 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by today, friends! I appreciate it so much! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Please be safe and be smart amidst all of this craziness and be good to one another! xo.