Top Places in the U.S. I Want to Visit

Another week down and a new one beginning today, happy Monday everyone!

I have had a major itch to travel places in the recent weeks. I think it all began when Jack said he wants to move to England and my imagination ran wild with us picking up and moving across the pond. Ever since then I have been dying to go somewhere new! I thought I would list my top 5 places I would like to visit in the United States in no particular order, enjoy:

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Charleston, SC

I love the history and culture of the old South and Charleston, South Carolina has always been one of my dream places to visit. I have seen pictures of the old, historic homes and totally dream of walking the street (and one day owning one if I ever win the lottery). One of my favorite bloggers, Julia Engel of GalMeetsGlam, is moving there from San Francisco this month and I cannot wait to see the city through her blog.

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Hawaii

This one is a no brainer! I have never been to Hawaii and would love to visit. Everyone says you must go once… or twenty times in your life. It is said that they have some of the best beaches in the world. I would love to see the volcanoes, go snorkeling and really experience all of the nature activities it has. I do think I’ll save Hawaii for whenever I go on a honeymoon, it always seemed the like the perfect honeymoon destination.

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My absolute dream home in CT

Connecticut

Ever feel like you just belong somewhere? For me it is definitely New England! I feel like I would love the atmosphere, the weather, the people, the culture, just everything. I have visited Boston and New Hampshire (both with Jack) before and LOVE it! My family and I have always seen myself settling down on the East coast and Connecticut has been on the top of my list forever, first I just have to visit. Every picture I have seen looks absolutely gorgeous and they experience all four seasons. As a person from Southern California that is my dream.

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Maine

Maine is definitely at the top of my list for places to visit. Jack was born and raised most of his childhood in Maine and I really want to see where her grew up. When I first met Jack I knew nothing about Maine; it was kind of like one of those states you just forget about. I thought everyone either fished for lobsters or shot moose but according to Jack that’s not the norm (I’ll still need to see it to believe it). The slogan for Maine is “the way life should be” and I would love to see if it truly is. Plus I am a sucker for lighthouses!

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island is at the very top of my list of places to visit, specifically Newport, Rhode Island. I love small coastal towns (my very favorite is Portsmouth, NH) and Newport, RI looks like the perfect small town right on the water with a New England feel. To me it looks similar to Nantucket, another one on my list, and I love it. My absolute dream would be to go sailing in the water in a city like this. It looks like absolute perfection!

I hope to cross these of my list soon and add even more places! What are your favorite places to visit in the United States? I would love to hear about them. Soon I will be posting my top five places in the world I would like to visit so stay tuned.

Renae

 

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Beginning BBG

In yesterdays post I talked about the grieving period you may go through after leaving your significant other and coming back to your normal every day life. I also talked about how I pull myself back to being happy once I have finished grieving and one thing that has helped me a lot is fitness and the gym.

In all honesty once I get back home I give myself a couple days to a week or two off of the gym because I do not have the energy to go workout, I am just too sad. But I come to a point where I have to push myself to go once and then I realized why I love it and why it makes me happy.

Yesterday I began going to the gym and getting back into the swing of things, especially in regards to eating healthy and working out. Jack and I decided we should both try the program I have attempted a couple times, Kayla Itsines BBG program. It is insanely tough and completely kicks your butt! When I visited Jack a couple weeks so we tries just one day and our legs were so sore for two days after. The program uses high intensity resistance training, combines with low intensity cardio for a complete and easy workout. I love how short the workouts are (only about 30 min), and how you really feel it afterward.

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You can check out the BBG, aka Bikini Body Guide, site here. You can also find PDFs of the program online for a cheaper option (shh!). Check out Kayla Itsines Instagram to see the amazing transformation pictures she posts of completely normal people. They will totally inspire you to try it out.

Jack and I are going to be doing it together for 6 weeks, leading right up to my brothers wedding for me. Every other day I am going to send him the workouts for the day and we will be sending each other a sweaty snapchat saying we completed it. I love that this is not only keeping us healthy but that it is also a fun thing we can do together even though we are apart. I have always looked forward to when we are officially in the same place and can workout together, until then this will do for me.

I am going to try to post every week or every other week updates on how we are doing and progress pictures as well. I took the beginning picture today but want to wait to post it once we have some workouts under our belt so stay tuned.

Let me know below if you would like to hear more about us doing this together, I would love your thoughts. Have a wonderful day everyone!

-Renae

Grieving Period

Hello everyone happy Monday, this weekend went by with a blink of the eye sadly! 

I’ve been incorporating some ‘lifestyle’ posts into the blog but I do want to stay true to what inspired me to write the blog, my long distance relationship. I got back from a visit two weeks ago (to this day) and I have been reminded of the process of coming back and getting back into the normal swing of things without Jack by my side and it of course has been very hard. I’ve been way more irritable about things and just have not been myself so I’m whipping myself back into shape (literally and mentally) starting today!

Today I’m stepping back into what made me happy before and my routine of life; I’m going back into the gym and getting back to eating well and being happy. I allowed myself two weeks to grieve being away from Jack again and feeling alone. I think it’s very healthy to ‘grieve’ or be sad for a period of time but in the end you mustn’t let it take over you.

I gave myself time (maybe a little bit too much) to just be sad once I got back from my trip. Cry if you want to, mope around, be quiet, you deserve it. You’ve left someone you love and you may be feeling alone. You cannot just leave your significant other and come back like nothing happened (but if you can I applaud you), but for most that is just not possible. Give yourself a week or two and eat ice cream, lay around, watch movies and just do what makes you happy BUT then turn it around, pull up your boot straps, and get tough. Do what you have to, find good and healthy things to cheer you up. I have come to learn many times that you cannot let your sadness define your life.

People will push for you to heal quickly but do not go according to their schedule, you know your heart better than them.

Today’s post was a little bit of word vomit but the grieving period of a long distance relationship is an important one in my opinion and is often pushed aside. Tomorrow I will be talking about something I do to help push me out of my sadness and how Jack is joining me this time so check back here tomorrow.

Have a wonderful rest of your day! Let this Monday set the tone for the rest of the week, so make it a good one.

-Renae 

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone, can you believe another week has passed?

I cannot wait for the weekend, with a birthday celebration for my little sister and a dog adoption even at my work I can’t wait! Let’s jump right into my ‘Friday Favorites’, these are becoming my favorite things:

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The Good Place- I watched the first episode of this new show with my younger sister this past week and I laughed so many times during the episode. Kristen Bell is hilarious and completely relatable. It’s about this not so good gal that gets put into heaven by mistake; she is surrounded by all of these perfect people and tries to change her morals so she fits in and stays. I highly recommend you get into the show now! There has only been one episode and the second one is on tonight on NBC.

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 Travel Blogs I have had the biggest itch to travel and explore new places lately. Many bloggers and Instagram’s that I follow have been traveling all over the world and it has not been helping. Lauren Wells of Laurenstephaniewells.com has been traveling through Portugal and it looks absolutely stunning! There are so many places I haven’t even thought of to travel like Portugal. At least until I saw Lauren’s pictures, now it is at the very top of my list. Lauren travels all over the world and documents it on her blog and Instagram and I am absolutely captivated. It’s making me want to travel that much more.

Travel Blogger Suggestions: Lucy Laucht of TheseForeignLands.com, Jenny Cipoletti of MargoandMe.com, and Julie Sarinana of SincerelyJules.com. (some are fashion, lifestyle, and travel bloggers and some are solely travel bloggers).

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Dinosaur Boy Video– If you haven’t seen this video yet your day will be made. The little boy in the video, Noel, lists off the large names of the dinosaurs his mother shows him. Between his little glasses and heart melting accent you will want to squeeze the little boy. I only recently found out his mother has a YouTube page of Noel videos and I cannot wait to watch more!

Emmy’ s 2016 Award Show- I do not follow award shows too often, I mostly watch the red carpet and bits and pieces, most likely I will watch highlights the next morning. For the 2016 Emmy Award Show I was able to watch bits and pieces. I loved Jimmy Kimmel as the host, he was so funny and it did not feel like the show was hours long like they tend to do. I wish he would host award shows more often! My favorite part? His mom making PB&J sandwiches and the “Stranger Things” kids passing them out to the crowd.

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Hands down the BEST dressed was Kristen Bell in Zuhair Murad. Oh my god this dressing was stunning!  I absolutely fell in love with it the second I saw it. A close second of mine was Mandy Moore in Prabal Gurung.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! It is officially the start of Fall (as of Thursday) so go and do something fun and festive to kick the season off. Come back Monday for an all new post on Long Distance.

-Renae

 

Photo Album

Hello, I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far!

One of my favorite things I have made for Jack is his scrapbook. My mom was and still is a huge craft lady. When I was younger my mother made all of her children a baby scrapbook that went up until our school years and then a schoolbook one that documented all of our school activities. All of my siblings and I hold them very near and dear; they allow us to look back easily on all of our memories and it is nice to not have to go through boxes of pictures. We are able to just flip through a book. (Plus my mom was the best at decorating pages adorably)

I love crafts almost as much as my mother and love making things for Jack. Once we began long distance I wanted him to have something to be able to look back on all of our memories and ones we will make. I originally just sent him some frames with pictures of us together but then really wanted to start a scrapbook. I began with a little one to start, we did not have too many pictures in the beginning because I was always too quiet to ask to take pictures everywhere.  I always wanted to live more in the moment! Once we began taking more pictures we collected a ton.

Not too long after, I needed a new book to put our pictures in! I purchased a Creative Memories book similar to this one and began filling it. It is the perfect size for pictures and decorations but they do offer smaller ones if you want to keep it simpler. I highly recommend looking on the Creative Memories site for items such as page protectors, predesigned albums, and pages. We are still on the same book (its big) and after every trip I like to collect our pictures and fill up the book for Jack. I want him to have something to look at and make him feel better when we are apart. He has said he loves having it too remember all of our good times when he is down and that alone makes me so so happy I made it for him.

 

Here is a page from our book

Scrapbooks can be a big task with decorating and pictures, etc but do not worry they can be easy if you want. Instead of a scrapbook try a photo album. They have less decoration and only showcase the pictures so they are easy to make, all you have to do is print pictures. This is a great option if you are not the crafty or creative type.

Another great alternative is using an online scrapbook. Companies such as Shutterfly allow you to upload your pictures online, choose pages/decorations, and then they will print it and ship it to you. This is a great option if you want decoration but do not know how or where to purchase things. They look professionally made but have such a personal touch. I have linked the website.

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Example Shutterfly page
Photo albums and scrapbooks are an amazing way to show someone you care! Photos are one of my favorite things in the world because they allow me to relive a special moment and every moment I have with Jack is so incredibly special to me. Your significant other will appreciate a kind gesture like this so much, even if you just glue pictures of you guys on card stock paper trust me (especially sentimental girls like me)! Just do not forget to take pictures together.

PSA: This is the perfect anniversary gift for your significant other!

Renae

Trip Highlights 

Hello everyone! Exactly one week ago I was coming home from visiting Jack for nearly 2 weeks (12 whole days together!). This week has surprisingly flown by, I feel like it’s been a day. I’m hoping this continues until I see him again.

We had so much fun together and I loved every second of it! It’s tough having the best two weeks ever together and feeling like a ‘normal’ couple for a little bit and then having it end. We did a couple big activities while I was out but also hung out a lot and just spent time together. Here are some highlights from our trip:


LSU Football Game- Thankfully there was a non SEC football game one Saturday that I was there and Jack was able to get a guest ticket for me! I went to a game last year but after waiting for the game it was postponed due to lightning and then cancelled. I was so bummed! Thankfully this game was only postponed by a little and not cancelled and LSU won! I love getting to see the tailgating and experience an SEC game, they are pretty awesome.

 


Drake Concert- As many of you may remember from my  Weekly Roundup post I got Jack Drake tickets for out 4 year anniversary. The concert was on the second night I was there and it was amazing! Jack was a big fan of Futures part but I loved Drake. He was pumped and chose the perfect songs, he played every major hit of his and nearly all of my personal faves. The Summer Sixteen tour is definitely a must see!

 

This was my favorite room in the plantation, it was gorgeous

Plantation Tour- After seeing this plantation on Pinterest it has been a must visit for me, especially once I found out it was in Louisiana. Jack gave me the mission of finding things I wanted to do while we had free time so I googled to see how far away it was from us. And thankfully it was only a 30 minutes drive! Jack booked us tour tickets and I was beyond happy. Jack knows I love historic places and old architecture. The plantation was perfection, hands down the prettiest plantation! (Oak Alley Plantation is a close second) The inside is beautiful and the history has been upheld so well. Our tour guide was very well educated on the house and her enthusiasm for the plantation was infectious. I kept telling Jack I was ready to buy the place, if only they would accept $10 as a down payment.

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Cooking- Like last time we were able to continue cooking meals together. This time we made chicken Parmesan sliders (we used this recipe) and they were delicious. Despite burning the bun a little we both really liked them! We also baked cookies but kept it simple and used store made cookie dough.

We also watched Narcos, had way too many ice cream dates, got to have a couple real Friday night and Saturday night date nights (loved these), and watched sports for Jack. This trip was the absolute best! I savor every second we have together, I’m always my happiest when I’m with Jack. Now back to reality again until December.

Have a great week everyone, make it the best one!

Renae 

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so happy this week is over and I’m ready for the weekend, if only I did not work. Since I have not done a ‘Friday Favorites’ post in a while it was tough to narrow it down to only a handful but without further ado here are some of my favorite recent finds:

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Narcos- Jack told me I needed to watch this show once he had finished season 1. When I visited him last week we decided he would re-watch season 1 with me. I only got halfway through the season but I finished in in one day once I got back and holy heck it is awesome! I’m not a huge violence fan but totally didn’t care with this show. It is so good and completely captivates you with the story of Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug cartel. I highly recommend this show, season 2 just came out and they’ve already confirmed a season 3.

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J. Crew showcase 2017 Spring

New York Fashion Week- I love when New York Fashion Week happens in the early Fall and Spring. All of my favorite bloggers usually attend and I get to see through their eyes the different shows, trends, and fashion. Some of my favorite shows included Tory Burch, Oscar De La Renta, Lela Rose, and the J. Crew showcase. They were all beautiful and have me excited for next Spring already.

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College Football- College football started back up a couple weeks ago and I forgot how much I love it. Jack and I were able to go to an LSU game while I was visiting (pictures and a recap of our trip to come next week) and I loved it so much! Being able to attend an SEC game and go to the tailgates is such an amazing experience, even if it was a blowout and felt like 110 degrees. I can’t wait for more games and I’m hoping to go to a USC game this season.

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Fall activities I am so excited that Fall is quickly approaching. There’s a couple weeks left of Summer and I will savor those but I’ll be happy once Fall arrives. I can’t wait for cooler weather (even though CA doesn’t cool that much), pumpkin flavors everywhere, Fall activities like the pumpkin patch, Apple picking, Halloween, etc. It really can’t come quick enough! If you have any fun Fall suggestions please send them my way.

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The Bandana Trend– I don’t know if many of you have seen this new Fall/late Summer trend but I am obsessed. It’s out of my comfort league but I’m so tempted to try it out. I found this one at J. Crew and I’m waiting to bite the bullet. I figured if I get it in my favorite color Navy I’ll most likely wear it. What do you think of this new trend?

These are just a handful of my current favorite things. I am hoping with the return of 1780 Miles Away I’ll be able to keep up with this weekly segment so it can be current for my readers. Comment below with some of your own ‘Friday Favorites’, I would love to hear them! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

-Renae 

Recipes I Want to Try

Happy Thursday everybody, the week is more than half way through! I’ve been in a major baking mood! Usually when things get tough or I’m going through a rough patch baking can really make me happy and since I’ve left Jack I’ve been looking for things to cheer me up.

Pinterest has been my go to for all things recipes. There are so many great find for sweets and meals as well. Here is a list of some baking recipes I’ve been really wanting to try:

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Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies (DoSiDo copycats)- I love Girl Scout cookies like any sane person and crave them all throughout the year. Sadly they are only available in the Spring (depending on your area). Do Si Dos are one of my favorites, along with Samoas and Tagalogs, and I am dying to try to make these at home to fix my Girl Scout cookie itch during the non cookie season. Here is the recipe! You can also find more Girl Scout cookie copycats on Pinterest, like this copycat Tagalong recipe.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins- With Fall being right around the corner I always begin wanting everything pumpkin flavor. This recipe combines my love of all things pumpkin and my love of muffins. The pictures alone make me want to bake these! These are at the top of my “to bake” list. You can find the recipe here, the recipe looks easy enough.

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie Pops- I LOVE the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, to me it is the dream team. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are my all time favorite candy (Jack can attest, I will eat anything Reese’s). When I saw this combination of multiple desserts put into one I immediately wanted to try them. They would be perfect for picnics or outings too because of their sticks!

When I go visit Jack’s family I love to bring something to bake. They all loved this recipe of Oreo stuff chocolate chip cookies and an Oreo balls recipe similar to this. For my most recent trip I gave Jack my ‘desserts’ Pinterest board and told him to choose one thing for me to bake for him. He ended up choosing this recipe for Chocolate Monster cookies (we both have a bad addiction to Target’s Monster trail mix) and they were even better than I expected.

Do you have any recipe recommendations? Tweet me @1780milesaway or leave a comment below. I would love recommendations! Later next week I’ll post food recipes I want to cook. Have a great day everybody!

 

Renae

Take Three

Hello everyone! 

They say the third time is a charm, well I’m going to test this and see if I can truly stick to writing blog posts for a third time. After coming home from visiting Jack last night I got to thinking about what has helped me get through the difficulty of long distance and saying goodbye to my best friend. Jack is the #1 thing to help me with that but I thought of what else could help pull me out of my slump. I was reminded of how much blogging about my long distance relationship helped me get through this. I used the blog as my own type of journal and had hoped to help others through long distance and even be encouraged through other people’s stories.

I was then baffled as to why I quit (twice..). Life gets in the way easily and with work and school, relationships and a social life it’s hard to find time for things. But I realized that’s just an excuse, if it’s important to me I will find time and make it a priority.

So for a third time I am going to try to tackle a long distance blog, bear with me it may not be easy but I am going to give it my all and try to my best this time. For now I will be posting periodically with no set schedule until I figure out what’s right for me but new posts will follow shortly.

I can’t wait to begin again, have a wonderful day everybody!

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Renae