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

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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

Feedback 

Hello everyone, I hope your weekend was wonderful!

Today I wanted to request feedback from the readers. With the slow switch over to a more lifestyle blog approach I wanted to know what you, the readers, thought about it. Do you like the weekly roundup? Do you want more articles concerning long distance? More recipes? More gift ideas? Anything will help. You can comment any thoughts, ideas, what you would like more of, etc. down below! It is so appreciated.

I would also love to feature people in or who were previously in a long distance relationship on 1780 Miles Away. I think it would be interesting and encouraging to hear more stories of how people handle and overcome the struggles of a long distance relationship, as well as all the triumphs and sweet moments. If you are interested please email me at renae_bruce@yahoo.com or comment with your email below and I will contact you. It would only be a blog post or two, however long you would like.

If you can and want to do either of these two things I would absolutely love it and appreciate it a ton. I want to continue to push this blog further! I may try a new posting schedule this week or next week so stay tuned. Have a wonderful Monday everyone and make this your best week yet!

Renae

Weekly Roundup 

Happy Friday everyone!! #TGIF As discussed last week, I wanted to take 1780 Miles Away into ‘Lifestyle’ blog territory. In an attempt to do so I thought it would be fun to deliver weekly round ups of recent findings, current favorites, and old time loves of mine. I will be (temporarily) testing this out for the next couple of weeks to see how it goes. Without further ado here is the first Friday Weekly Roundup!

  • Drake announced a tour earlier this week, along with a new album. Drake just so happens to be Jack’s favorite rapper and miraculously is playing in New Orleans on a Friday night so I snatched up tickets as an anniversary gift for him!

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PSA: If you’re reading this is it’s too late… (I had to), Drake tickets went on sale at 10 AM EST. Here is the link to purchase them.

  • Dyson, most popular for their vacuums, has made a prototype for a new blow dryer. It looks so cool! It’s slated to hit shelves this Fall and I will absolutely have to try this. Here is an article discussing the new blow dryer.

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  • One of my favorite bloggers, Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam, just finished up a road trip through Italy. She stopped in Venice, Tuscany, Montalcino, and many other places and the pictures are absolutely dreamy. One of my dream places to visit is Italy and it got me wanting to go even more! Check out her Instagram, snapchat (galmeetsglam), and blog to see more.

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  • I came across this recipe and I’ve been dying to try it! It looks so good and simple. I’m hoping to talk Jack into taking on more of a baking challenge when I visit out next month.

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  • Lately I have been oddly enjoying techno pop. I am never into any type of techno music so it’s quite shocking, Jack even said so. Here are few songs I can’t get enough of this week:

Don’t Let Me Down- The Chainsmokers // Never Forget You- Zara Larsson & MNEK // I Took a Pill in Ibiza- Mike Posner //T-shirt- Thomas Rhett // Work From Home- Fifth Harmony

I hope you enjoyed the first weekly roundup. I’m hoping to keep better track of things that catch my eye throughout the week so I have even more to share with you all. Have a wonderful weekend everyone, hopefully there is beautiful weather!

-Renae

Fit Bit 

Hello everybody, we have officially made it to Thursday! You may now take a deep sigh of relief because tomorrow is Friday! Last night I celebrated my birthday with my family. My parents gifted me a FitBit Charge HR (in navy, one of my favorite colors) and I’m beyond excited to try it out. Nearly all of my sisters and my mother have one and are nuts about it. My mom is always adamant to get her 10,000 steps per day and to win all of her challenges. She competes with her friends and children and absolutely loves it.


I love the motivation it gives people to work out more and become more active on a daily basis, it’s exactly what we all need. I have always been intrigued to see how many steps I would get in a day especially on the days I run or take a Zumba class, or even both!

I’ll be starting my FitBit tracking today. I’ve got my FitBit ready to go and I’m sure I’ll be checking my progress all day long. I’m planning on running today and then taking a Zumba class so we will see what my steps and calories burned look like after today.

Has anyone used a FitBit? How did you like it (or dislike it)? Any suggestions? I would love to hear what you have to say. I’ll be posting a review on it in the coming weeks. Comment below and let me know!

Have a wonderful rest of your day and come back tomorrow for a new type of weekly Friday post.

-Renae

In honor of #ThrowbackThursday here is a picture of Jack and I during a trip in October of 2014.

October 2014

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

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Hello everybody I cannot believe it is already Wednesday! With Mothers Day right around the corner (it will be here before we all know it) I thought I would help everyone out with some reasonably priced Mothers Day gift ideas. Everybody says they have the best mother but my mom is amazing. She managed six children, all fairly close in age, juggled a job, always made homemade meals, and gave us all the love and attention possible in the world. She always had our back, encouraged us to anything we wanted, and was there for us when we needed her. She is by far one of the best things in my life!

So what do you buy your mom who deserves the world but you can’t quite afford that? Spoil her with great things you can afford. Here are a few things for different types of moms:

  1. A Cute Frame

Buy an adorable frame and put a cute picture of you and your mother when you were young or put a family picture in it. This is great for moms who are super sentimental or love photographs around the house.

2. A Cookbook

Does your mom love to bake? Add a cookbook to her present so she has new things to try. I highly recommend this one as well, it has great recipes!

3. A Candle

A ton of women love a good candle. At the store I work at, people go insane over THIS candle (even the men love it). It is insanely popular and comes in a bunch of different jars, colors, and even comes in a room spray, hand lotion, and soap if they end up loving it.

4. A Beautiful Robe

If your mother loves baths and spa trips, splurge with a really nice robe. Silk ones are great for relaxing! This robe is a splurge but you can find a ton of great ones at stores such as Target, Nordstrom, and many more.

5. A Planter

If your mother loves to garden or admires flowers and plants then buy her a pretty pot, to top the gift off plant her favorite flowers or vegetable. Its a gift that keeps on giving!

Hopefully some of these gifts helped point you in the right direction for Mother’s Day. If all else fails or money is tight, mothers love homemade gifts from the heart. A handwritten card is always a super sweet gesture! Comment below with what you will be getting your mother this Mother’s Day I would love to hear.

Next week I will be discussing some anniversary gift ideas for your significant other. Have a wonderful rest of your day everyone!

-Renae

‘To Do’ Lists for Visits 

Hello everybody! Before my previous visit to see Jack a couple weeks ago, I wrote down a couple things I really wanted us to do during my time out there. I ended up loving having some things in mind so we knew what to do instead of trying to think of things on the spot. I do not want our precious time together spent asking “what do you want to do?”. It’s also great because when we are apart I always think of fun things I would love for us to try but completely forget when it is time for me to see him. Writing them down as a list enables me to not forget!

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For my list I wanted to include some of our usual favorite activities, something new, something involving fitness, etc. Our list included: bake a dessert, cook a homemade meal, watch a movie together, go on a hike around lakes, workout together, go golfing, and go to a sporting event.  We were not able to cross off everything on our list but crossed off a lot. I decided anything we did not accomplish would then roll over onto the next visits list.

I am visiting Jack again at the end of May (yay!!) and I am already trying to decide on some fun things to add to our list. So far some ideas I have come up with include go dancing, go one day without eating out (it’s tough when you’re on vacation), and try a cooking class. We most likely won’t accomplish everything because I am out there for a shorter time and our days will be filled with country concerts (we are headed to a country festival), but we will try our best and anything we don’t accomplish will again be put onto the next list.

It’s fun to think of new things to try or something you have secretly always wanted to do with your significant other. Between visits jot down any ideas you have, I suggest the notes app in your phone because it is always on hand and will not get lost as easily as a notepad.

Comment below on any fun activity ideas you and your significant other have done, I would love suggestions, or tell me if you write down things to do before a trip as well. Have a great Tuesday everyone and come back again tomorrow!

Renae