Hello 2019!

Gearing up for the year ahead

Happy New Year, everyone! I can hardly believe it, but 2019 is here and I’m gearing up for a big year ahead of me. Not only do I currently already have big plans in the works, but I have some BIG expectations for 2019. I’m not usually the girl to claim that this will be “my year”, but I have a really good feeling about this year. Heading into 2019 with a positive mindset, solid goals, and enthusiasm is the formula for creating a great year for yourself.

Goals

It’s safe to say that I have the tendency to get a little too ambitious when setting goals for the year. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it doesn’t allow me to actually focus on achieving these goals, and I tend to slack on more than one (oops). As a means of holding myself accountable for these goals, I discovered and downloaded the HabitBull app on my phone. I’m using the free version that allows you to track up to five goals (there is a small fee to upgrade to the premium version that allows you to track more). It’s only been about a week, and I already feel as though I’ve progressed a lot in such a short time with these goals, so I’m excited to see how the rest of the year plays out!

  1. Be Mindful // This is my biggest priority this year. My intention with this goal is two-fold: to be conscious about what I’m putting in and on my body, as well as who and what I’m giving my energy to. Last year, despite physical and mental health being a major goal, I didn’t get where I wanted to be with it. I looked at it more as a chore, rather than a blessing that I have the ability to work out and choose what I eat. This year, I’m being hyper-conscious of what I’m eating, what workouts I’m doing, and how my body feels every day in order to be a healthier person; after all, we are only given one body, so why not take the best care of it. Additionally, in being mindful of who and what I’m giving my energy to, I plan to accomplish tasks one at a time and slow down in order to enjoy what I’m spending my time doing and who I’m with. In doing so, I’m cutting out negative people and tasks that aren’t necessary/don’t help me achieve what I need to or nourish my soul.
  2. Meditate, pray, and/or journal everyday // While I did this for the past few years, I didn’t make as much of a conscious effort as I would have liked to, and certainly didn’t go it every day. This year, I’m making it a part of my nightly routine. So far I’m finding that it is incredibly peaceful sitting down with my journal and Bible before bed and taking that quiet time for myself and God.
  3. Continue to expand my knowledge through an online class and Duolingo // I’ve said it before that if I could be a professional student, I would! Since I can’t, however, I plan on continuing my post-grad tradition of taking another online course to expand my knowledge. I adored the PRISM course by PR Couture that I took last year, so I’m debating if I want to do something similar to that, or take a different route with a field I’m not as knowledgable in. Additionally, I learned that one year is not enough time to become fluent in another language, so I’m continuing on with the Duolingo app this year.
  4. Be kind to myself // It is easy to get angry with yourself when things don’t go as planned or you’re not hitting your goals you’ve set as quickly as you’d like. I know I’m guilty of this and beat myself up about my shortcomings last year, so I’m making an effort to change that. This year, I’m not going to be as hard on myself — taking a rest day if I need it (not a rest week), eating a sweet treat on special occasions, etc. This way, I’m helping myself both physically and mentally.

Health Goals

  1. Drink more water // I’m really good about this most of the time at work; however, when I’m home and running around, this is something I’m HORRIBLE at. I’ve started carrying around a water bottle at all times so that I don’t have an excuse to not drink it. Also, I eliminated pop and most fruit drinks and cut down on (and mostly out, save special occasions) alcohol, so water, coffee and tea are really all that I have to choose from at the moment.
  2. Be active for a minimum of 30 minutes 5-6 days a week // Fun fact: I HATE working out, but I love the feeling after a good workout. I have a hard time with clear cut workout plans because I get bored with them. Plus, I do not like going to the gym so all of my workouts are done at home. Luckily, YouTube has a ton of FREE workout videos ranging from yoga to pilates to Barre and so much more, giving me the opportunity to switch up my workouts daily if I wanted to. By using this free resource, I’m saving money while still getting my sweat on.
  3. Cut out pop // This is a big one for me because I love Coca-Cola! So far, I’m doing well with this and not even craving it — then again, it’s only been a week, so we’ll see where it goes from here.

What’s Next?

As aforementioned, my calendar for this year is already filling up. I’m super excited to return to Europe this summer on a girls’ trip to take on FRANCE! This means that I’ll need to be more diligent in completing my Duolingo French course these next few months. In other exciting news, next week, Ry and I celebrate five years together, but that’s not even the best announcement… 2019 marks the end of long distance for us! Furthermore, I’ve received a few save the dates for weddings this year, plus I get to be the Maid of Honor at my best friend’s wedding this fall! My heart is soaring just thinking about how many exciting things are happening this year, and I can’t wait to share my stories with all of you for yet another year!

What are some goals/things you are looking forward to in 2019?

-K.

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How to Survive & Thrive in a Long Distance Relationship

My guy and I on my recent trip to his new town.

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on social media for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve been in a long distance relationship for the last three years, with another 10 months to go before we’re living in the same state. It wasn’t always this way, we were together for a year and a half prior to making the decision to go long distance in order to pursue our career goals. 

Since we’ve been doing the long distance thing for so long, I like to consider myself a subject matter expert in the topic. I’ve had a number of friends and acquaintances come to me asking for advice on how to deal when they end up in a long distance relationship, so I thought I would put my primary tips together in one place. Please remember that every couple is unique, and has their own way of coping in various situations. That being said, what has worked for my relationship may or may not work out the exact same way for you. 

The Goods: LDR Tips + Tricks

Trust your partner. I feel as though this is a relationship basic regardless of distance, but I CANNOT emphasize this enough! If you do not trust your partner, you are bound to run into so many issues in the future that will jeopardize your relationship. 

Communication. Communication. Communication. This is just as important, if not more important than trust. In long distance, communication is the foundation of your relationship because you don’t have the ability to hang out together or to go on dates regularly. If something is bothering you, talk about it ASAP so you can remedy the issue before it becomes a much bigger problem. Ry and I also talk to one another (or at least text) once a day at a minimum; never underestimate the power of a good morning and goodnight text. 

Be Patient. This is something I’m still working on because I am seriously one of the most impatient people in the world. I constantly have to remind myself that we took a much different path than most people, and we will be together again in just a few short months. It’s difficult right now, but it will be so worth it in the long run!

Make time for your significant other. Life gets busy and it’s so easy to get caught up in everything going on around you. Do not let “out of sight, out of mind” set in. Schedule a weekly FaceTime date and stick to that “us time”, call them on your way home from work or on your lunch period — whatever it is that works best for both of you, plan it out and stick to it!

Have a strong support group behind you. I honestly leaned on my friends and family so much when Ryan initially moved away. I booked up the vast majority of my time with friends, work and extracurricular activities so that I wasn’t spending too much time thinking by myself. It is so important for you to have friends and family that support both of you and your relationship. Furthermore, if you’ve met your SO’s family and you plan on being in the relationship for the long haul,  foster a relationship with them.  When Ryan moved away, I decided to still stick to our Sunday breakfast and church routine with his family while I lived close to them, and I still make an effort to hang with them every so often. Not only did this help with coping, but I have a great relationship with his family!

Look at the distance as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to travel and visit wherever your SO is living and it’s surrounding areas. It’s an opportunity to focus on yourself a bit more, and to grow and nurture yourself individually, so that your relationship can be that much stronger. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about your SO on a deeper level — yes, this is possible with distance, reference”communication” section for details.

The Bottom Line

I’m not going to sugarcoat it — long distance is HARD, and it will not work out if you don’t work at it every. single. day. Initially, people are going to doubt it. I chose to be naïve to it for the longest time until it was recently brought up to me by several people that they were surprised that we lasted. Seriously, I’ve had people say this to my face! Take it with a grain of salt. Much as with everything else in life, you get out what you put in to it. Stay positive, stay strong, and don’t let anyone control your relationship but the two people involved.

Are you in a long distance relationship, and have a tip I missed? Comment below! I’d love to hear your solutions.

-K

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24 Hours in Annapolis

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that last week I visited my boyfriend at his new home in Maryland. As always with long distance relationships, the week together wasn’t nearly as long as we would have liked, but we had so much fun! During my vacation, I had the opportunity to explore Baltimore, DC, Frederick, and a spontaneous Memorial Day trip to Annapolis.

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Ry & I capitalizing on the gorgeous scenery

Annapolis, Maryland is an adorable historic, seaside town on Chesapeake Bay, and happens to be the capital of Maryland. Being the capital, I was leery about it being crazy tourist-y, but that wasn’t the case at all. We had a bit of a late start, so we didn’t get to see nearly as much as we wanted to, but we enjoyed our short time so much, that we are already planning a return trip in the future. Needless to say, it turned out to be our favorite part of the trip!

Continue reading for some of our suggestions of places to see when you visit:

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William Paca House from the garden

William Paca House & Gardens // Take a peek inside the what it was like to be a member of high society in the 1700s by touring this grand home! What’s significant about William Paca? One of the four signers of the Declaration of Independence from Maryland, Paca was a wealthy member of Annapolis society from his birth in 1740 until his death in 1799. He also served as governor of Maryland from 1782-1785. This house was one of the first Georgian-style houses in Annapolis, and had quite the history before being restored to its original state in the 1950s. 

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Maryland State House

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The exact spot where George Washington resigned

Maryland State House // Did you know that the US capital wasn’t always Washington, DC? The Maryland State House served as the capital from November 1783- August 1784. Though the reign was short-lived, the building has housed various historical events, and remains the oldest state house that is still in legislative use. You can also see the exact room where George Washington resigned from politics here. 

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Our lunch spot on the trip: Middleton Tavern

Eat seafood // If your lunch or dinner plans include beer and excellent seafood, then look no further than Middleton Tavern. Established in 1750, the tavern has played host to several renowned historical figures; you can check out their website for the full history of the establishment. One of my sorority sisters also recommended checking out the Chart House on our return trip. 

Sail Chesapeake Bay // Learn how to sail or rent out a sailing charter to fully take in the beauty of Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to actually partake in this activity, but it’s definitely on my bucket list!

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View of Memorial Circle from the top floor of the history museum

Shop ‘Til You Drop // There is some great shopping in Annapolis near Memorial Circle. Some of my favorites include Sperry and The Pink Clam. Also be sure to check out the local shops; you never know what treasures you’ll find!

Visit the Naval Academy // We did not have the time during our day trip to tour the Naval Academy because of our late start, but the campus looks spectacular!

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Sailboats on Chesapeake Bay

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For… // ICE CREAM! There are countless options around Annapolis to satisfy your sweet tooth. If ice cream isn’t your thing, check out the local froyo and fudge shops, as well.

Have you been to Annapolis or surrounding areas, before? Let me know what your favorite activities are in the comments below!

– K.

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Note: The historical information included in this post was attained from tours, brochures, and plaques located at the historical site by the Maryland Historical Society and Historic Annapolis. 

Italy Recap

Whew, it is good to be back to the blog! Those of you who follow me on social media know that I’ve been MIA for the past month due to my travels and preparations for said travels. Upon returning home from my work trip to Chicago, I came back to the office briefly only to head out on my two week trip to Italy to visit my boyfriend shortly after. Although I just returned home on Saturday, I’m itching to go right back!

We traveled to several cities including Venice, Verona, Turin, Rome, and Florence. The country is absolutely spectacular! I could make this post super long about how beautiful each city was and how much I love the history that was teeming within each one, but, instead, I will show you.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our first big trip together:

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I’m finding that I’m having a difficult time readjusting to long distance, but I wouldn’t trade the past two weeks for the world. Traveling with your significant other, especially when you haven’t seen each other in months is absolutely incredible. I’m so grateful to have spent this time with Ry exploring this beautiful country, and I can’t wait for more adventures!!

– K.

Date Night Destinations: Coach Insignia

Date Night Destinations: Coach Insignia

If you follow me on Instagram  or Twitter, you’ll know that Friday night Ryan and I celebrated our two year anniversary before he travels off to Europe for the next couple years at Detroit’s premiere restaurant, Coach Insignia located in the heart of downtown Detroit on the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center.

Dressed in black and ready to hit the town, Ry and I were greeted with breath-taking views of Detroit and Windsor, Canada, phenomenal food, and an absolutely scrumptious dessert! If you’re in the area I highly recommend checking it out for yourself!

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What’s your favorite date night destination? Comment below and Ryan and I will check it out when we’re in your city!

-K

**2017 UPDATE: Coach Insignia is no longer in business. Another restaurant is to be taking it’s place some time in 2018.