My Least Favorite Things

For the final day of “Renae Week” I thought I would take a different direction from Wednesday’s POST and tell you about the things I really dislike. They say that the things you dislike tell more about you than the things you like, I do not know if I believe that but it could be quite possible. Without further ado here are the things I cannot stand:

Rosemary- I hate the herb in anything and everything, from food to soaps to haircare products I detest it. Progresso puts it in most of their soups and since this discovery I have vowed to never eat them again. Something about it is just awful in so many ways to me!

Spiders- Previously mentioned in Tuesday’s ‘Fun Facts’ post, I hate spiders. Ever since I was little and mistakenly saw parts of the movie “Arachnophobia” I have never been able to be within 5 feet of a spider.

Driving- Driving is the worst thing to me. I get really bad anxiety because I do not trust other people on the road. I am an okay driver but my anxiety can make me too anxious to really do well. I have told Jack countless times that he will have to be the driver in our relationship! I want to live in a city so I can take public transportation, like the subway or taxis, so I do not have to drive.


Scary Movies- I hate watching scary movies so I stay away from them as much as possible. I am more afraid of the realistic scary movies of kidnappings and murder, rather than exorcisms and dead people. The scariest movie (at least to me) was The Sixth Sense, I know most people don’t even think it’s a scary movie but the beginning scene where the man kills himself and the psychiatrist has haunted me ever since I saw the movie.

Tea- I have no idea how people drink tea, iced and hot. To me it tastes like dirty water and I have never been able to drink it. The one exception? Diet peach Snapple tea. It is amazing! I do not believe that is “real” tea though.


Berries and Melons- In my fun facts post I also mentioned how I prefer vegetables over fruit. My most hated fruits include berries such as raspberries, blueberries, and black berries and all kinds of melons. I dislike the texture and flavor of all of them.

Blood, Needles, and Anything Medical- I have medic phobia, which is a (bad) fear of medical things. I faint every time I have to get blood drawn, get a shot, or sometimes even when I just see medical things. I have read that is the only phobia where you can faint from it. I have tried everything to help me not faint but no matter what it always ends up happening. It has continued to get worse the older I get.


Quick Story: In my biology class last semester we watched a movie on aids research for cures. In the 20 minute video they showed about 15 seconds of a doctor pulling cells from a Petri dish. The sight of the needle ended up making me faint in front of my whole class. The ambulance was called and it was hands down one of the most embarrassing moments.

And with that we conclude “Renae Week”! I hope you all enjoyed getting to know about me a little more and feel a more personal connection with me. Please feel free to email me or message me if you have any questions or comments or would like to get in contact. Follow me on Twitter @Renaesbruce and the blog @1780milesaway. Hopefully I can convince Jack to start a “Jack Week” soon. Have a wonderful weekend and come back Monday for a brand new post!



Long Distance Relationships in the Media Part II

Hello everyone! I wanted to take a one day break from “Renae Week” to tell you about the second movie I discovered that had a long distance relationship in the plot line. Last week’s post discussed the lack of long distance relationships in the media and a movie that I found that involves a long distance relationship. If you missed it catch up here.


The second movie I found is “Dear John” starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, which was originally a novel by Nicholas Sparks adapted into a movie. The IMDB synopsis of the movie is:

South Carolina US Army Special operations soldier John is on summer leave from his German base, visiting his widowed father. Being gallant on the pier, he befriends college student Savannah, a college student, and her buddies, a terminal father and his angelic son. John falls in love with Savannah, who diagnoses his beloved, gentle but weird father as mildly autistic. He plans not to sign up again, but 9/11 changes that, and she won’t wait idly while their friends desperately need help.

The movie is a great way to see army long distance relationships and the ups and downs it has. A lot of long distance relationships are because of college or due to one person being in the armed forces. This movie shows both of these types of long distance relationships because of the two main characters. The character of Savannah is in college in the movie while John is in the US Army.

I originally read the novel by Nicholas Sparks and loved it, even more so than the movie but books are usually better about ninety percent of the time. If you have the time and are looking for an easy and quick read go and check out “Dear John”. It is perfect for a Spring Break beach read!

The acting is about as good as you can expect from a Nicholas Sparks movie, but the movie as a whole is so much better than people will expect. I know Nicholas Sparks’ movies get a bad rap for being cheesy and too romantic but this one is a realistic love story and has a completely unexpected ending. The movie does a great job at portraying the hardships of juggling college life and a long distance relationship through the character of Savannah. It also shows the struggles of closing the gap due to conflicts that arise throughout our lives.

This movie is a more recent one that you will be able to find anywhere so if you are free this weekend and looking for a Friday night movie to watch I highly recommend this one. But be warned, tissues will be needed! Have a wonderful Thursday everyone and come back tomorrow for the last installment of “Renae Week”.


Today’s picture for #ThrowbackThursday is from our high school graduation back in June of 2013.


My Favorite Things

I hope you enjoyed reading some fun facts about me in yesterday’s post. Today I wanted to list some of my favorites, allowing you to better understand what I like. Here are a few of my favorite things…


Color: White, but navy is a really close second. My whole wardrobe consists of white and blue basically.

Food: Steak, I could eat steak and a baked potato every day of my life if it was acceptable.

T.V. Show: I don’t watch too much television but it would have to be the Bachelor or Grey’s Anatomy, those are the only shows I keep up with.

Movie: Lincoln Lawyer, it is such a good movie! If you have not seen it do yourself a favor and go watch it as soon as you are done reading.

Instagram Account to Follow: @PrissyPig, they are the cutest brother and sister mini pig and how I originally fell in love with mini pigs. They dress up in cute little outfits and pose perfectly!

Song: It changes constantly and usually whatever is stuck in my head but overall my favorite song would have to be “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra.

Artist: Taylor Swift, I love every song of hers! I went to her 1989 tour this year with Jack for Christmas and it was hands down one of my favorite experiences ever.

Sweet Treat: Ice cream!! I have a bad sweet tooth for chocolate and ice cream but ice cream is by far my favorite sweet treat, I can eat it and seriously never get full.

Ice Cream Flavor: Baskin Robbins peanut butter and chocolate or Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie, both are so good.

App: Pinterest, I love getting to plan things and get inspiration through the pins. I have so many boards and love the idea of a place for recipes, planning ideas, dream wedding inspiration, and craft ideas.

Subject: History/Government, I loved history all throughout elementary school and that transitioned into government in high school and college.

Combination: Peanut butter and chocolate in any and every form, Reeses, ice cream flavors, etc. It is a match made in heaven if you ask me!

Spot in Southern California: Disneyland, besides the absurd prices it really is the “Happiest Place on Earth”. I am hoping to save up some money and get a season pass soon.

I hope you enjoyed today’s continuation of “Renae Week”. Come back tomorrow for a brand new post, have a wonderful Hump Day! You are half way to Friday woo hoo.


Fun Facts

If you missed yesterday’s post on my story, catch up here! To continue “Renae Week” I wanted to give you some fun facts about myself that not everyone knows about me. Let’s get started!

I love anything and everything politics– My dream job for a long time has been a political position, be it local, state or federal government. I also love following politics especially with the 2016 presidential election this year.

I hate spiders- Jack can testify for this one, there once was an incident with me, him and a spider in a kayak that I think he would love to forget. There are (very) few things that I hate more than spiders and I always say if I was given three wishes by a genie one would be to make all spiders disappear, it might even be before asking for a million dollars that’s how much I hate them!

My dream place to live would be the Boston– I have visited twice and it’s by far one of my favorite places. I feel like I would fit in perfectly with the atmosphere, the weather and the people. Ever feel like somewhere is just perfect for you? Plus the houses on Beacon Hill are my dream houses.

Acorn Street
I love veggies but hate fruit– With the exception of apples and green grapes, I hate all other fruit. On the other hand I can eat vegetables by the bucketful especially grilled. I love nearly every vegetable. Most people prefer fruit but for some reason I have never been a fan. Only super crispy apples and crispy green grapes have my thumbs up.

My major is Political Science– Originally it started out as business but after taking one business class I realized it just was not something I was passionate about. After taking a Business Law class I realized that government and law were what I was really passionate about and what I wanted my career to be.

I have a (MAJOR) obsession with mini pigs– Google micro mini pigs and trust me, your heart will melt. I fell in love with them after coming across an Instagram account and have been crazy about them ever since. I try to convince Jack to let me get a mini pig but he won’t budge (yet..). I have already decided my pig’s name would be Alexander HAMilton. Get it?

I also have an even bigger obsession with puppies– I love every single puppy in the world. Secretly golden retriever and pug puppies have a little more of my heart but don’t tell the other guys! If I ever want to have a huge mood booster I Google puppies and instantly I am absurdly happy. I think I have a better chance of convincing Jack of getting a puppy, he loves them too. I have a tendency to overload him with puppy pictures, but why not spread the happiness?

I love Gray Malin photography- A couple years ago I came across a Gray Malin photograph and have been stalking his work ever since. His photos are absolutely breathtaking and the color schemes are all kinds of perfect. My dream is to start a mini collection of his photographs and might just ask for one for my birthday next month. Look up his work!

I read all kinds of blogs– I love fashion and lifestyle blogs and read them religiously every morning before I get my day started. My all-time favorite is Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam, I secretly want to be her best friend!

My biggest inspirations are Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush– They are two of my favorite First Ladies. Regardless of your political party affiliation you cannot deny their class, love for their country, love for their husbands, and the grace they had serving as the First Lady. I want to be half the ladies they are/were.

When I was little I technically only had a “half case” of chicken pox– I had approximately three pox and that was it. My mother says there is still a chance I can get them again since I technically did not have a full case of it.

I hope enjoyed reading some “fun facts” about me. It was fun thinking of some out of things people may not know about me. Come back tomorrow for a post on my favorite things! Have a wonderful day everyone!


My Story

Happy Monday everyone, I hope Day Light Savings didn’t hurt you too much! I wanted to spend a good portion of this week on having you guys get to know me better. Jack dubbed it “Renae Week”. I wanted to tell you more about my life, my hobbies, and fun facts about myself so you are able to know me on a more personal level when you read my blog. Today I wanted to share more about my life and my story.

I was born and raised in Southern California. I have lived in the same house my entire life and could not imagine ever living somewhere else. As much as I dislike California now (I know, I know, California is supposed to be the dream place for everyone) growing up in our semi-small town was the best experience. I am the second youngest child out of six children; I have four sisters and one brother. Having so many siblings has it benefits but I always wanted to be an only child or just have one sibling, like my little sister. I prefer the quiet and having time to myself.

McKenzie (aka Mackie), Jack and me at my sisters wedding, Feb. 2016

My younger sister, McKenzie, is hands down my best friend in the world. We can practically read each others mind and somehow never get annoyed with each other. We get asked about once a week if we are twins but she is three and a half years younger than me, I blame it on the four inches she’s got on me. I ended up going to a different high school than my older siblings and not too long after my little sister followed my footsteps. Thank goodness I did because I would have never met Jack if I went to my local high school. McKenzie and I were able to spend my last and her first year together in high school and it was by far my favorite time in high school.

I currently attend college and I am in my third year. This coming Fall I will be transferring to a four year university and I am beyond happy! There have been a lot of obstacles to get there but I am so happy it has all worked out. I work at Anthropologie in a nearby mall and although it is work I love it. When I am not at work or school I spend my time at the gym, my mom calls me a ‘gym rat’. I absolutely love the gym; nothing makes me happier than feeling my absolute best. My favorite gym activity? Zumba, no doubt about it! If my schedule permits I will go to a morning and night Zumba class. I cannot get enough of it.

And there’s my short, but sweet story! If you have any questions, comment down below or contact me on Twitter at @Renaesbruce or @1780milesaway. Come back tomorrow for a post on facts about me!


Long Distance Relationships in the Media

Long distance relationships are not portrayed in the media often, this does not do a good representation of how many people are currently in one. Occasionally you get celebrities complaining about the distance from their significant other when filming movies or the distance being the reason for their breakup but I’m sorry they have got it so easy; they have so much more access to transportation and money than the average person does in a long distance relationship.

In very few movies the main characters are going through a long distance relationship which can I can find to be very discouraging. Does society think it is not normal? Is it not as common as I thought? After giving up on a movie or show showcasing a long distance relationship I stumbled upon two really good movies about long distance relationships. I’ll inform you of the first one in today’s post.

The first movie of the two is “Going the Distance” which stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. IMDB’s lengthy synopsis of the movie is:

Erin’s (Drew Barrymore) wry wit and unfiltered frankness charm newly single Garrett (Justin Long) over beer, bar trivia and breakfast the next morning. Their chemistry sparks a full-fledged summer fling, but neither expects it to last once Erin heads home to San Francisco and Garrett stays behind for his job in New York City. But when six weeks of romping through the city inadvertently become meaningful, neither is sure they want it to end. And while Garrett’s friends, Box (Jason Sudeikis) and Dan (Charlie Day) joke about his pre-flight calorie cutting and his full-time relationship with his cell phone, they don’t like losing their best drinking buddy to yet another rocky romance. At the same time, Erin’s high-strung, overprotective married sister, Corrine (Christina Applegate), wants to keep Erin from heading down an all-too-familiar road. But despite the opposite coasts, the nay-saying friends and family, and a few unexpected temptations, the couple just might have found something like love, and with the help of a lot of texting, sexting and late-night phone calls, they might actually go the distance.

In short the movie follows a couple that meets in New York City but is soon separated when Erin moves across country to San Francisco to finish her degree at Stanford University. The movie portrays the highs and lows of a long distance relationship perfectly in my opinion. They showcase the worries people have, the sadness of being so far apart and the struggles of intimacy and “closing the gap”. At the same time the movie understands the appreciation of time together and how strong people in long distance relationships truly are. Here is the trailer for “Going the Distance”.

The acting is fantastic, although I may be biased because some of my favorite actors and actresses are in the movie (Drew Barrymore and Jason Sudeikis). I highly recommend if you have any free time this weekend and do not want to be stuck thinking about how much you miss your significant other, go out and rent this movie. Let me know if you think the movie accurately portrays long distance relationships! Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

** Be warned it is rated R and is inappropriate at times!



Communication is Key

Happy Thursday fellow LDR pals! Today’s post is a great extension off of yesterday’s post. If you did not get a chance to read it, you can catch up here. I have said it previously but communication is key. To any kind of relationship: boyfriend/girlfriend, mother/child, siblings, married couples and no matter if there is or is not any distance between the two of you. Since the beginning of our relationship, even before there was 1780 miles between Jack and I, I have always struggled with communication. For some reason I hate discussing feelings or why I’m mad/sad to Jack. This applied to all relationships in my life; I am not much of an “emotions” type of person.

I did not begin to see how important communicating was in a relationship until I began dating Jack, and it really hit home for me once we began long distance. When you are face to face you can tell when your partner is mad by certain things they do. Maybe they give you the cold shoulder or make a face when they are mad. From there you instantly know they are mad or sad and try to find out why. In long distance it is even harder to distinguish when your partner is mad, angry, frustrated, or upset because through text and phone calls it is hard to pick up on these signals, especially when your partner is not expressing it to you. I am sure I have certain actions when I am mad or sad, just ask Jack I bet he knows them all by now. I know I tend to be much more quiet and shorter in my responses when I am upset and snarkier when I am angry but even then I can be very good at hiding it.

But if you do not communicate how is it helping your relationship? It only hurts you, your partner and your relationship. When I would not express to Jack that I was upset for whatever reason, I would keep it in and only begin to get more upset or treat him wrongly. Once he picked up on the fact that something was wrong he would have to chip away at me to finally find out what was the problem. After a million “nothings” from me he would eventually figure it out on his own. I could tell how much it wore him down and how frustrated he would get that I could not communicate to him my feelings. I vowed to work on it and tell him when something is the matter. Am I a professional at it now? Not in the slightest but I like to think any progress is great. I am more willing to tell Jack when I am mad about something or if something he did or said may have hurt my feelings. I still have the natural instinct to keep everything to myself and let it manifest but I resist that urge (most of the time) and talk to him.

If you do not communicate your feelings to your partner how will they ever know that something they said hurt your feelings? Or, how can they help you through your sadness? If you keep all of your feelings inside nothing will come from it. You will be stuck in the same place, and the same things that made you upset, hurt, or mad, will continue to do so. Your partner is there for you. You may not think they want to hear you spill your emotions, but I have learned through Jack how much they do. Allow for them to right their wrong, fix your troubles, or just be there for you. Communication can help strengthen and deepen your relationship in so many ways.

Even if you have not been the best communicator in your relationship thus far, try to change that now. But most importantly, be grateful if you have an amazing significant other, like Jack, who is willing to stick by your side and help encourage you to talk.

In honor of #ThrowbackThursday here is a picture of Jack and I in New Hampshire from a trip with Jack’s family in July of 2014. I can’t believe this will be two years ago this Summer.

throwback pic 2
July 2014, Portsmouth, NH


Keeping in Contact, But Not Overdoing It

Communication and contact is extremely important with so much distance between you and your significant other. Jack and I text all throughout the day and every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday we set aside some time to call each other and hear each other’s voices. Facetimes are another way I love getting to mix it up; you get to see their face and for an hour or so it feels like you are actually together. Jack knows if I had it my way we would Facetime every single day, but sadly it is not realistic.

Teenager looking at red phone

In the beginning of long distance we talked every day on the phone but soon it became too hard and too much work and stress for the both of us. Of course you want to carve out the time to talk but between school, work, and other activities it is hard to set aside an hour every single night to talk. Jack is two hours ahead of me so it was even harder; when Jack was getting ready to go to bed I finally had some free time for a phone call. He ended up suggesting we try a different schedule instead and only talk on the phone about every other day. Although sometimes it is hard not being able to talk on the phone every day it fits our schedule so much better and you come to enjoy the phone calls that much more. I always have something to look forward to!

When we talked every day we soon began to be consumed by our phones, I felt like when we were not texting we were talking on the phone. Although talking to your significant other is the best if it begins to take over your daily like it can hurt your relationship. Do not let your phone or computer rule your life just because you are in a long distance relationship, or any relationship for that matter. This does not mean phone calls, texting, and Facetime are bad for you and your relationship, just keep in check how glued you are to your phone.

Find the perfect balance of keeping in contact and overcompensating contact because of the distance. This does not mean you and your partner have to talk every other day. Maybe it’s a couple times a week, possibly more or less, but find what fits for your relationship and communicate to your partner what you want and need. If you need more time to yourself so you are not being stretched out too thin between work, school, a social life, and your relationship, talk to your partner. Trust me when I tell you they want what is best for you and your relationship!

Happy Hump Day, come back tomorrow for another post on communication!


Q&A a Day

Congrats you have all made it to Tuesday; I hope everyone’s Monday wasn’t too bad! In the beginning of the New Year Jack and I began a 3 year Q&A book that I found through the store I work at. Every day for three years you and your partner answer a question; the questions range from what’s up to what would you ask you partners mother? The questions can be serious, silly, honest, and compelling. (When we remember) At night we ask each other the question and one of us writes it down in the book and there are three lines for each person per question. In the beginning I had the book and filled out all of the answers. Once Jack came out to visit me last month, I gave him the book to take home as well as the job of filling out our answers each night. I would tend to forget to ask him the question before he fell asleep because he is two hours ahead of me, so I thought I would give him a chance to fill it out and it turns out he is just as bad at remembering it as me!


Two Person Q&A Journal

I won’t lie to you; we do not always remember every night to answer the question and occasionally have to do two questions in one day and today is one of those days. I cannot wait in three years when we look back to a question we answered and see how our answers have changed or are reminded of memories we shared at some point. Some of our answers will absolutely make us laugh in the future. Jack tends to make his questions funny ones and usually have me laughing hysterically as I would write them down.

If you cannot convince your significant other to join in on the questions or are happily single, there is a single person question book that lasts 5 years. My sister is currently doing this one and highly recommends it. I highly recommend you give the book a try, whether it is you and your partner or you alone. It is so interesting to do and provokes you to think about things you may not normally. A lot of the questions are really positive and the answers your significant other may give you just might make your day. Jack has had plenty of heartwarming, sweet answers that can turn a bad day around in an instant. Having a special daily activity we can do together really unites us despite the distance. Taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to focus on one thing the two of you do together can make you feel not so far apart.

Go out and buy the book and let me know how you like it! Here is the link to purchase both the two people and single person book, just choose a different color to select the specific one you want. You can also find the book at Urban Outfitters, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.  Comment below if you are already doing a Q&A book, I would love to hear about it. Come back tomorrow for another brand new post!


Occupying Yourself Between Visits

Hello readers, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

The most important thing to do to make a long distance relationship easier is to KEEP YOURSELF OCCUPIED. When I have a lot of free time to myself I tend to dwell on the fact that Jack is not there and how much I miss him. I have noticed when I am busy with school, work and hobbies I have less time to dwell on the sadness and have a better outlook on long distance because of it. Since beginning a long distance relationship I have started college, found hobbies, really gotten into exercise, and now have a job. Find things that make you happy and fill up your day. Here are some tips on finding things to occupy yourself between visits with your significant other.

  1. Find something beneficial to you. A little after Jack and I began long distance I started going to the gym. I have heard countless times exercise is the perfect thing for if you are sad or mad or anything, and I can completely attest to that. I first began with running and absolutely loved that. A little later on I began taking classes at the gym; Zumba became my all-time favorite thing to do and really helped me through the post trip depression. Zumba and exercise are beneficial in multiple ways including helping make me happy and keep my mind of things, as well as keep me healthy. It always makes me think of Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”
“Legally Blonde”. (One of my all time favorite movies)
  1. Stick to your favorites. I have always loved crafting, from scrap-booking to making little holiday crafts and everything in between. I took an art class in high school and really enjoyed it. My mother, who is the biggest crafter I know, bought me my first watercolor set for Christmas a couple of years ago and I instantly fell in love. It’s so soothing and you end up with masterpieces at the end. I have even painted a couple for Jack!
  2. Keep yourself busy with school and work. I began working not too long ago and although working isn’t as fun as we would all like, it fills my days between school and it pays, can you really beat that? I have also made a lot of great friends through work who can cheer me up when I am down and always make me laugh. School is another half good/half bad time filler. Between school, homework, and work I barely have a minute to think about the distance.
  3. Find something new and out of your comfort zone. When Jack suggested the idea of a blog I instantly jumped at the chance but soon realized it was completely out of my comfort zone. While nervous (Jack soon calmed my nerves) I was ecstatic to have something fun to do on my down time. I am only on week two of blog posts but I love coming home from work or just finishing up homework and jumping right into blog posts and ideas. When you go out of your comfort zone you might just be surprised how happy it makes you!


Hopefully these ideas inspire you to try something new, something beneficial to you or remind you of a hobby you used to love. Keeping your mind off of the distance in a long distance relationship is the key to remaining happy. Always look on the bright side of things and know the end is soon, until then keep yourself busy!