Sunday, December 31, 2017

that's a wrap 2k17

It’s crazy to think that today is New Years Eve—officially the last day EVER of 2017. Man, I feel like this year flew by in the blink of an eye. I always remember my Great Grandfather Johnson once told my dad that the older you get, the quicker time seems to go by. He was absolutely right.

2017 was a challenging, exciting, eventful, thriving, flourishing (I've worked on expanding my vocabulary, can you tell?), life-changing year for me. It was filled with all sorts of wonderfully happy and dreadfully sad moments. I created a new blog, I was in my first wedding, my sister got engaged, I moved to Park City… without a doubt, it’s been one amazing, wild and stormy journey. 

Moving across the country by myself to Park City, UT has been BY FAR one of the BEST decisions of my life. After Christmas, I couldn’t wait to get back. I told my parents that I felt like I was going home. I love it here that much. Going back to New York for the holidays felt very different, it was very bittersweet. There’s a quote on Pinterest that I found that describes exactly how I felt:

“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.”

I love my new life in Park City and I honestly can’t imagine where I would be had I not come out here. It’s true what they say, your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change. 

I feel very excited for 2018. I have a strange feeling that it’s going to be my best year yet, partly because I want it to be. I have many new goals that are scary and exciting all at the same time. It will be a year of beginnings, taking on new endeavors and putting myself out into the world. I want to leave the past behind, break bad habits, let go of limiting beliefs and cut the negative ties in my life. I hope to travel to a country I have yet to visit, meet new people, and create some really outstanding memories. I want to continue to read more books, use my phone less (especially social media), and start saving more money to invest into my future. I want to ski as much as I possibly can this season (fingers crossed for snow) and explore all the mountains that Utah has to offer. Most importantly, I want to become the happiest person I know and continue to fall in love with every aspect of my life. 

Well friends, just like’s time to call 2017 a wrap! 

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.”

Happy New Years Eve, everyone. 
& tonight at midnight, a very Happy New Year.

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

grown up grilled cheese

Last night’s temperature in Park City bottomed out at a warm and steamy 9 degrees fahrenheit. Can you say brrr? Although bone chilling, I actually don’t mind the cold temps. I was driving around looking at Christmas lights last night and it reminded me of when I was a kid sitting in the back seat next to my sister with my mom and dad up front. I have some really great memories that were made in some really cold temps. To me, cold weather is cozy. It’s a time to bundle up, cuddle up by the fire, sip on hot cocoa and embrace all that winter has to offer. That was the mood I was in last night, so I decided to make my own version of a “grown up” grilled cheese and tomato soup.

The soup I bought was from Whole Foods, by a brand called “Pacific.” It was their Organic Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. It comes in a little (or big depending on what size you buy) box and I poured it into a pot and heated it up over the stove.

For the grilled cheese, this is what I used:

2 Slices of Sprouted California Style Bread (Alvarado Street Bakery)
2 Slices of Organic Mild Cheddar Cheese
1 Roma Tomato, Sliced
2 Basil Leaves
1/2 Avocado 

Avocado Oil for Bread 

I don’t think I need to tell you how to make a grilled cheese, but I will…
  • Heat a pan/griddle/skillet over Medium High Heat 
  • Brush Butter, Olive Oil, or Ghee (I used Avocado Oil) onto 1 side of both slices of bread
  • Put buttered/oiled side down onto hot pan
  • Add a slice of cheddar to each slice (sometimes I cover with lid to melt faster)
  • Wait until cheddar starts to melt and then add 1 Basil Leaf on each piece of bread 
  • Then add slices of tomato to one piece of bread and mush avocado on the other
  • Carefully use a spatula to flip the avocado topped piece of bread onto the other 
  • Push down on top of bread with spatula to get sandwich to stick together 
  • Flip back and forth until it reaches your golden and toasty liking 
  • Slice sandwich in half and enjoy with soup. *Sandwich tastes even better when dipped in soup*
This was so simple, so easy and so delicious! Besides, who doesn't love a grilled cheese?

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

1 month in pc

It is absolutely and completely hard to believe that I arrived here in Park City, Utah 4 weeks ago today. To me, 1 month has flown by in the blink of an eye. To my parents back home, it has felt like an eternity (lol). In all honesty, some mornings I still wake up and think, “Holy sh*t I’m in freakin’ Utah!” I’ve done a lot of “ballsy” things in my life, but coming out here definitely makes the top of the list. 

I’ve heard from so many people since I’ve been here—all wondering WTF I’m doing. Truthfully, I’m following a dream, my ski bum dream. It’s been a heck of an adventure, no doubt. Driving 2,000+ miles away from the only life I have ever known has made me stronger than I ever thought I could possibly be. Many say I’m “living the dream,” which to some extent is true. However, they don’t take into account that although where I’m living and what I’m doing is cool, it’s most certainly not as fun without your family and friends. It’s true what they say, nothing good in life comes without sacrifice. 

All in all, week 4 and month 1 has been a success. I like to acquaint my journey to a quote from Eat, Pray, Love I saw the other day:

"If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself... then truth will not be withheld from you." 

1 month down, 5 to go…

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

asian sriracha meatballs

Happy Tuesday, my friends! Today was an absolute bluebird day in Park City. I mean, I would prefer snow…but since Mother Nature has other plans, a beautiful blue sky will do. Today was another phenomenal day starting from the moment my alarm went off at 5am. You know why? Because I decided it was going to be a phenomenal day…and it worked! I once read that when you wake up, you can’t just wait to see what kind of day you’ll have—you have to DECIDE what kind of day you’ll have. Call me crazy, but I believe it works! 

Anywhooooo, I’ll save that speech for another day. Today I’m going to share with you a MUST make recipe. I made it for dinner last night and it was to die! In fact, it also happens to be my leftovers tonight. Drum roll please……Asian Sriracha Meatballs!

I found this recipe on Pinterest. It’s by “Six Sisters’ Stuff.” I’ll link it below with the recipe. 


2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch crushed red pepper

For the sauce:
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons sriracha
3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Garnish (optional):
1/4 cup green onions, diced
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds


1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2 Lightly spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

3 In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients for meatballs until thoroughly combined. Shape into balls that are about 1 1/2 inches in size (should make about 35-40 meatballs). Set each meatball on the prepared baking sheet. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

4 While the meatballs are cooking, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat while mixing sauce continuously, then reduce heat to low and let sauce simmer for 3-5 minutes (or until it has thickened up).

5 Remove meatballs from oven and pour sauce over the top. If desired, sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve with cooked quinoa, cooked rice, mashed potatoes, or vegetables.

Okay, so there’s the recipe…and now, I’ll tell you what I did differently. 

First things first, for the meatballs…I forgot the dang breadcrumbs at the grocery store. So, I took Simple Mills Almond Flour Sea Salt Crackers that I had in my pantry and put them in a plastic bag and crushed them up. I also added a dash of sesame oil into the meatballs. 

Second, I HATE anything ginger. So, I left that out.

Third, I also left out rice vinegar because let’s be honest…how often does anyone use rice vinegar? Not often enough for me. 

Fourth, I replaced the soy sauce with Dr. Bragg Amino Acids. Personal preference. 

I served my gorgeous little asian meatballs over “cauli rice,” which is also known as, cauliflower chopped up into bits then steamed/cooked. Personally, I think the meatballs would also be equally good over white rice, or something of that sort. Not mashed potatoes like they recommend (woof). I then topped them with  sesame seeds and chopped green onion which added a little pizzazz that was totally worth it. 

So, yes…I totally recommend this and it was pretty dang easy and certainly tasty. 
Side note: I had a glass of white wine (Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio) with these…thought white paired much better with the meal than red. 

I’ll finish this by saying, people who can cook/enjoy cooking are my favorite kind of people. I mean, who doesn’t love a good meal? So many people say “I can’t cook,” and I want to say to them, “Have you even tried?” Granted, some are better than others, creatively and what not…but do you know how easy it is to follow a recipe? Super simple and super worth it. I love people who can cook and other people love people who can cook. I challenge you to learn at least one recipe—chicken picatta, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken and rice, stir fry, heck…tacos!! Learn to make a mean taco! Anything goes. 

Cheers, friends.
Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

three weeks in pc

Hard to believe that yesterday marked three full weeks of living in Park City, UT! Time sure has flown by. I have to admit, I had my first “sad” day—Thanksgiving. Fortunately, I wasn’t sad in the sense that I didn’t want to be here, just that I was missing my family. Thanksgiving has always been a fun holiday in our house (actually every holiday is fun at our house) and Thursday I was missing home, my parents house and simply, just a meal with my family. After a tearful conversation (or two…lol) with my dad, I felt much better. I had to remind myself that Thanksgiving is just one day and there will always be more. Also, how grateful I am to have such an amazing family to miss. Besides, it was my choice to be out here by myself. 

This past week I was reflecting back on a comment that a guy said to me in Starbucks a few weeks ago. He had overheard that I was new to Park City and wished me good luck and said, “The first year’s always the hardest.” At the time, I didn’t think much about it. Well, three weeks later I now understand what he meant. It is damn hard starting a brand new life. Back in my hometown, I was guaranteed to see at least one person I knew every time I left my house. Here, I walk around and don’t know a soul. Fortunately, PC is an area filled with a lot of newbies from out of state like myself but there is also a good majority of people who have lived here for their entire lives. People have established friendships, jobs, circles, etc. I am longing for group ski days and nights out on Main Street but have yet to find my kind of people. Like I said in a previous blog, I knew this was part of the gig. Loneliness is to be expected when starting over in an unfamiliar place. I know the friends, drinking buddies and companions will come in time, just like the snow.
Yes, today is a mere 60 something degrees! Mother Nature—WTF is going on! We had a huge blizzard the other week and accumulated 5 fresh inches of snow. Now, it’s all gone. Park City is dry like the Sahara Desert. Somehow, PC Ski Resort opened on Thanksgiving Day but I can’t imagine the snow is very good. The only good thing about no snow is that it has given me more time to hike and explore while building up my lungs. Today I did a 7 mile adventure on the trails behind where I live. My legs were dead by the time I got back but I know that every mile is helping to build my muscles up for ski season. Aside from that, something about that mountain air filling up your lungs is pretty hard to beat—my favorite kind of high. 
Being so far from home, away from everything that’s familiar, I have really started to appreciate the little things. I set my alarm every night to wake up before the sun rises so I can make a hot cup of coffee and be ready to see what brilliant colors the Utah sky decides to wake up with that day. Same goes for sunsets, as I am not always home to catch them, but I look forward to watching the sun set every chance I get (sometimes with a glass of red wine). I already have quite the collection of pictures of the beautiful sunrise and sunsets that Utah displays—although the pictures don’t do the colors justice. Aside from the sky, I also appreciate phone calls and conversations with my family more now than I ever have. Hearing their voices brings a sort of peace and calmness to me (in a non-corny way). 

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Monday, November 20, 2017

rebel with a cause

Holy heck-a-roni—what a Monday! Park City is officially in holiday mode. I took for granted empty parking spots at the grocery store last week and minimum traffic up and down 224. Women in (real) fur vests filling up their carts at Whole Foods with Thanksgiving goodies, Christmas lights strung through the neighborhoods and a whole lot of kiddos running wild. I love it though—makes PC feel like home, even if I am 2,000 miles away from mine. 

This morning I went for an hour walk on the hiking trails. I listened to a podcast by Lewis Howes where he interviewed a woman named Gretchen Rubin. She is the author of a book called The Four Tendencies. Boy oh boy was it interesting. The “Four Tendencies” describes how we respond to expectations. We all face two kinds of expectations:

outer expectations, such as meeting work deadlines or observing traffic regulations

and inner expectations, such as quitting napping or keeping a New Year’s resolution

We are all 1 of the 4: 

Upholder: “I do what others expect of me—and what I expect from myself.”

Questioner: “I do what I think is best, according to my judgment. If it doesn’t make sense, I won’t do it.”

Obliger: “I do what I have to do. I don’t want to let others down, but I may let myself down.”

Rebel: “I do what I want, in my own way. If you try to make me do something—even if I try to make myself do something—I’m less likely to do it.”

Wouldn’t you know, I took her quiz online and I am a complete rebel (shocker!). 
Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.

They choose to act from a sense of choice, of freedom. Rebels wake up and think, “What do I want to do today?” They resist control, even self-control, and usually enjoy flouting rules and expectations.

Rebels place a high value on authenticity and self-determination, and bring an unshackled spirit to what they do. Rebels work toward their own goals, in their own way, and while they refuse to do what they’re “supposed” to do, they can accomplish their own aims.

But Rebels often frustrate others because they can’t be asked or told to do anything. They don’t care if “people are counting on you,” “you said you’d do it,” “your parents will be upset,” “it’s against the rules,” “this is the deadline,” or “it’s rude.” 

In fact, asking or telling Rebels to do something often makes them do just the opposite.

The people around Rebels must guard against accidentally igniting their spirit of opposition—particularly challenging for the parents of Rebel children.

In fact, Rebels sometimes frustrate even themselves, because they can’t tell themselves what to do.

Man—if this isn’t me to a T! I have always hated being told what to do. I hate being under someone else’s watch. Having independence and the ability to be spontaneous is when I thrive. I have never liked trends, joining a sorority was NEVER on my to-do list and I hate planning too far in advance. 

From the words of Dita Von Teese, "I’ve always loved the idea of not being what people expect me to be."

I never knew there was such a thing as the “Four Tendencies” but I am so glad I found that podcast today. I believe that the more we learn about ourselves and how we thrive in society, the easier life becomes. I know the “rebel” in me will someday be an entrepreneur, self-employed… or something, somewhere with no rules but my own. 

Try the quiz for yourself to see where you fit:

Keep on keepin’ on—
or in my case, rebelling.
XX, Laura 

Thanks to Gretchen Rubin for this sweet information.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

learning to dance

This weekend officially marks 2 weeks in Park City. Honestly, I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. Everything is still going steady eddy for me, except for the weather. I’ve experienced 60 degree sunny days and an all out blizzard during the short time that I’ve been here. Watching the snow come down for hours on Friday and turning my backyard into a winter wonderland was nothing short of amazing. Something about the first big snowfall of the season will never lose it’s magic. Now, I’m just waiting for the resorts to open so I can ski. 

I finally purchased my EPIC ski pass—which includes unlimited, unrestricted access to 15 different ski resorts all over the country and Canada (Park City included)—for $899. Considering a typical 1 day lift ticket is around $100 across the country, the epic pass is truly..EPIC! Not bad, not bad at all. I almost purchased a season pass to Deer Valley as well until I found out they were a whopping $2,685!! I guess I’ll stick to day passes when I shred DV. 

I’ve continued to meet a variety of different people since I’ve been here. I go out of my way to introduce myself, because well, what choice do you have when you know no one. People can’t fathom that I drove 2,000 miles across the country by myself to move to a new city where I know absolutely no one.  

However, I truly believe that when you desperately want to change your life, you’ll do whatever it takes. For me, that meant packing up my car to drive 4,12hr days to reach a new state, to start a new life…all by myself. My parents have asked me if I’m lonely. I’d be lying if I said I never get lonely, who wouldn’t? No established friends (yet), no family. I prepared myself for this feeling, I knew this was a part of the gig. So, I don’t let it bother me too much. If anything, this move has a been a tremendous reminder of the incredible people I left back home—especially my family. 

I would much rather have the feelings I do now towards my unforeseeable future than the hopeless confusion I had at home. Life change is scary but you know what’s scarier than change? Regret. I love waking up in the morning with no “what ifs.” Because I took a chance, everyday I get to wake up with “now what.” 

Talk about new beginnings, nobody knows who the heck I am here, and it’s been very refreshing. Out here I can be whoever I want to be because people know nothing about me. No labels from back home attached to me. Out here, I am just Laura from Upstate New York, 24 years old, here to ski bum. Sounds simple, but to me, invigorating. 

I am learning to take each day as it comes. Having a strong, go-getter personality, sometimes I can get 10 steps ahead of myself. I have this bad habit of expecting to be further ahead than where I’m at. For example, last week I found myself getting frustrated that I didn’t have a friend yet…after being in PC for 5 days (lol). It’s true, patience is a virtue. Being in a hurry to improve yourself only slows down the process. So, I have begun to appreciate each day for what it is. Being in a new city, everyday I learn and discover something new. I remind myself that that’s what I need to focus on—what is being accomplished, not what isn’t. Everything will happen at the right time. So for now, I am immersing myself in the change and learning to dance. 

2 weeks of adventure down & a helluva lot more to go. 

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

my first week in pc

Whooooop well it’s officially been 1 week in Park City, UT! I know this might be a little premature considering it’s only been a week, but I feel like my decision to move here might be THE best decision I’ve ever made. For the first time, almost ever, I feel like I fit somewhere. 

There’s been a few snow flurries since I’ve been here, but nothing too heavy yet. I love it here already and the ski season hasn’t even started—I’d say that’s a pretty good sign. 

Park City is the opposite of a typical “city.” It’s cozy, quaint and cute…and actually pretty small. In 2015, Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards voted Park City is #3 in the "Best Small Cities in the U.S." category. I can definitely see why. 

I have been utilizing the hiking/walking trails that are all over the place and have enjoyed filling my lungs up with the cold Utah air. The most challenging part of moving to Park City has definitely been the change in altitude. The elevation of my hometown is about 393ft and here I’m at 7,000ft! Exercise is one of my hobbies/passions and I would consider myself to be in decent shape (I mean, I’m certainly no pro athlete). However, my workout routine that I once considered “easy” at home, is now having me huff and puff all over the streets of PC. It’s been a fun challenge though. My first day here, I wanted to turn around by mile 2 on an uphill hike. Nevertheless, I persisted because Lord knows I don’t want to be the out of shape girl by the time skiing starts. The quicker I can get my lungs adjusted to PC, the better.

One of the first things I noticed as soon as I got off the interstate and into Park City, was the cars. The first car I saw as I pulled onto 224 was a Maybach. I mean, I have no idea what model it was but I do know that that car ain’t cheap. In March 2017, Bloomberg rated Park City one of the wealthiest small towns in America. Everywhere you go, it’s Land Rovers of all sorts, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Cadillac, Mercedes, Infiniti, Lexus, Volvo. Bloomberg was right, there are a lot of people here with money in the bank ($$$). 

Second thing I’ve noticed after being here for a week is that everyone is pretty nice. Everywhere I go, people have been quite friendly. I have a feeling it's a lot of the locals, the people who live here year round. They say hello to you, they acknowledge your presence, they take the time to talk to you. I had heard that people are much friendlier out west and although (like anywhere) I’m sure there’s 1 or 2  assholes out there, I have yet to run into any during my first week. So far, so good. 

Third thing, the Mormons. One of the first things almost everyone said to me when I announced I was moving to Utah was “Oh..the Mormons.” Supposably, Park City was founded by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons). However, I don’t think PC is as populated with Mormons as the Salt Lake area. Even so, for all I know my next door neighbors could be Mormon and I would not have a clue (nor would I have a problem with it)! I have not found it to be as big of a deal as everyone on the internet makes it out to be. 

Fourth thing, PC peeps are into healthy living…which I totally dig. For a smaller town, there are SO many different fitness and exercise options available. Just down the road from me, there’s a Pilates studio, Orange Theory Fitness, Cycling, Cross Fit, Yoga Studios…not to mention, a variety of gyms. Also, anytime I go anywhere, there is ALWAYS people walking/running/biking outside. PC also has a brand new Whole Foods. I believe they outgrew their other location that I went to in October when I was visiting with my parents. Being a health junkie and foodie, I love having a Whole Foods 5 minutes down the road. For a gal that loves to cook, this completely works out in my favor.

I most definitely put my Christmas tree up yesterday afternoon. I bought a fake pre-lit Christmas tree at Michael’s that was on clearance and added 2 extra strings of white lights, and voila…it looks perfecto! I honestly decided to put it up yesterday because my work schedule is going to be crazy from next week on and I wanted to be able to put it up and enjoy it while I had the time. It makes my rental place feel a bit more like home, as well. Oh, and you best believe I had those Christmas jams on. 

SHOCKINGLY, I have NOT ONCE felt homesick. I’m an adventurer but also a homebody, so it’s a huge surprise to me that I have not cried (lol) once about missing home. That in itself is reassuring to me that I made the right decision by moving out here for the season. 

When people ask me where I’m from and I tell them my story, they all say, “You moved out here alone not knowing anyone?” Yup, I suppose I did. I guess it sounds kind of wild and strange to most people. However, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me because I have always been content with spending time alone. I love people but I also love my alone time. I once read that when you learn to love your own company, you will never be alone. I find that to be true. It’s also helped to build my confidence over the years. I know friends will come in a matter of time.

As for any troubles I’ve had…my washing machine was broken when I got here, and finally fixed yesterday. As someone who does a load of laundry almost everyday at home, not being able to do laundry since I left NY (9 days ago) was unfavorable. Yesterday afternoon, I washed my first load of clothes and boy oh boy did it feel good. Secondly, I set off the fire alarms on Wednesday night…from baking a frozen pizza. However, in my defense, nothing was smoking or burning…I think it was from using a brand new oven for the first time.The next night I was so nervous to use the oven again, that I roasted brussel sprouts with both my front and back doors wide open (lol). Lastly, I have found two spiders in my room this past week. You know...the thick, black, real fast ones (yuck!). Thankfully, I have some weirdo girl super power where I can kill them quickly without flinching and move on...but still, so gross. Aside from that, it’s really been smooth sailing. After a few wrong turns and U-turns my first few days here, I’ve got the city down pretty well now. 

Other miscellaneous things I’ve noticed about Park City:

—They LOVE Patagonia. Good golly, I’m from the Northeast so I understand the Patagonia trend…but everywhere I go, Patagonia shirts, Patagonia jackets, Patagonia vests. PC peeps REALLY love their Patagonia. 

—Everything is dry. Dry air = dry skin, dry hair. You bet your boots I’ve already invested in some great lotion to slather on every morning and every night. 

—Like anywhere, people can’t seem to grasp the concept of Upstate NY vs. NYC. 
1 week, 2 scenarios: 

Girl: “Where are you from?” 
Me: “Upstate NY…Lake George, Saratoga area.” 
Girl: “Oh that’s awesome! My uncle just took a job in Manhattan.” 
Me: “……………”

Guy: “Where are you from?” 
Me: “Upstate NY…Lake George, Saratoga area.”
Guy: “You’re too nice to be from the city.”
Me: “……………” 

I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I feel here. I am so stoked for an incredible winter and ski season. People back home have started complaining about the cold temperatures (why are you still living in Upstate NY) and I’m out here in Utah like bring it on, baby! I can’t wait for a Park City winter wonderland. Stay tuned for more to come! 

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura