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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10 Must-See Movies

10 Must-See Movies

I love movies, but I love lists a whole lot more. After recently watching a movie (hint, hint… #1 on this list), I’ve been on a huge movie kick so here are my top 10 must-see movies.

**Disclaimer: It was extremely hard for me to cut it down to only 10!**

10. The Patriot: A historical fiction based on the Revolutionary War, Mel Gibson plays a farmer turned minuteman after his son is killed by a barbarous British colonel (Jason Isaacs). As a huge history nerd, this is one of my favorite movies. It also helps that I’m super patriotic, and hello Heath Ledger!

9. Any Harry Potter film: Seriously, even if you didn’t read the books, you have to see at least one, if not all of the movies from this series. In case you’ve lived under a rock for over the past decade, Harry Potter is a young wizard who gets accepted to everyone’s dream middle/high school, Hogwarts, to learn magic. However, not everything is sunshine and rainbows at Hogwarts because the evil Dark Lord put a curse on Harry when he was an infant and neither of them can survive while the other is alive.

8. Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Because everyone has to see at least one Audrey Hepburn movie in their life. Audrey plays Holly Golightly, a whimsical New Yorker who daydreams about one day marrying rich. If you love New York and fashion as much as I do, you are sure to love this light-hearted story.

7. Love Actually: Granted, I’m not the biggest fan of “lovey-dovey” films, but this movie is definitely one of my favorites. The film follows eight couples living in London, England a month before Christmas. While it seems like they all are living separate lives, all of their stories wind up coming together in the end. Much like the more recent New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day, the movie features big name stars such as Keira Knightly, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, and many more.

6. Titanic: I really think the film speaks for itself, it’s a classic. Featuring Kathy Bates (who just happens to be my sorority sister), Kate Winslet, and, of course, Leo DiCaprio, Titanic is the story of Jack and Rose- two people from opposing social classes who fall in love on a sinking ship.

5. Phantom of the Opera: Because I obviously had to throw my favorite musical into the mix! While nothing will ever measure up to actually seeing it on Broadway, having the dvd on had to watch whenever I need my musical fix definitely comes in handy. Gerard Butler plays the Phantom of the Paris Opera House who grows obsessed with young Christine Daae. Unfortunately, he has to put up with some serious competition found in Raoul (Patrick Wilson), Christine’s childhood friend and love interest. The music, the costumes, Gerard Butler’s voice, what more could you want?

4. Beauty and the Beast: Not only is it my absolute favorite Disney movie of all time, but in March 2017, the live action version starring Emma Watson comes to theaters! You could say I’m a little excited (but that would be an understatement). Long story short, a young peasant girl winds up at the castle of a beast (former handsome prince) after her father goes missing and takes his place as the beast’s “prisoner”. She goes on to discover that there’s actually a curse placed on the castle and all of its inhabitants, but it can be broken if the beast learns to love before the last petal falls off the enchanted rose.

3. Sex and the City the Movie: The perfect girls’ night movie, complete with cosmopolitans. The film follows Carrie Bradshaw and her friends much like the series, but this time there are big plans for Carrie, Big and the rest of the crew.

2. Dirty Dancing: Such a classic, and as a dancer, it’s obviously one of my faves! Johnny (Patrick Swayze) and Baby (Jennifer Grey) become an unlikely couple while Baby’s family is vacationing at the resort where Johnny works as a dance instructor. I dare you to not dance along while watching the finale!

1. Age of Adaline: This, by far, is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful movies I have ever seen. The viewer follows Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) on her journey through multiple decades after being physically unable to age after a freak accident. Eventually, she meets a man who turns her world around after decades of running from love.

What are some of your must-see movies? Paste a URL to your own top 10 blog post or comment below!

-K

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101 Goals Update

101 Goals Update

Hi all!

A little over a year ago, I posted 101 Goals (original post here) I had for myself to accomplish within the next 20 years. I decided to revisit this post to see how much I have crossed off thus far since this past year has been quite the whirlwind for me.

  1. Graduate college – completed April 29, 2016!
  2. Swim with dolphins
  3. Get published
  4. Visit all 50 states – Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, Pennsylvania, bonus: DC
  5. Travel to Europe multiple times – Currently planning my first trip to Italy in 2017!
  6. Go sailing
  7. Be spontaneous for a whole day
  8. Rescue a dog from the shelter
  9. Buy a puppy
  10. Get married to the man of my dreams (he knows who he is;))
  11. Have children
  12. Start our own family traditions
  13. Own a boat
  14. Be a role model
  15. Take up yoga regularly
  16. Eat more vegetables – try to have them with every meal!
  17. Try a new food/drink every week – I’ve actually been very good with this one
  18. Own a house
  19. Be generally successful in all of my endeavors
  20. Become an exceptionally strong writer
  21. Learn not to get frustrated over mistakes
  22. Live a happy life
  23. Own a pair Louboutins
  24. Make six figures before I die
  25. Finish reading the Outlander series – I’m nearly finished with book 3!
  26. Write for a magazine
  27. Have a fun career
  28. Get a tattoo– BIG maybe
  29. Make at least one person happy every day for the rest of my life
  30. Make a difference in someone’s life
  31. Host a holiday meal for my family
  32. Cuddle a pygmy goat
  33. Make a second job out of blogging
  34. Donate a copious amount of money to charity
  35. Complete at least five Pinterest projects I’ve pinned by the end of the year
  36. Read at least half of BBC’s Top 100 Book List – Pride & Prejudice, HP & the Goblet of Fire, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, Catcher in the Rye, HP & the Sorceror’s Stone, HP & the Chamber of Secrets, HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Hobbit, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, The Great Gatsby, The Count of Monte Cristo, A Christmas Carol, Of Mice and Men, The BFG, Black Beauty, Artemis Fowl, A Tale of Two Cities, Holes, The Princess Diaries
  37. Take my mom on the vacation of her dreams
  38. Buy my dad a boat
  39. Be in Times Square for the ball drop
  40. Go on a wine tasting tour– Italian wine tasting tour?
  41. Spend an entire day without touching my phone or laptop – I’m discovering that this is more and more difficult especially being in my field of work
  42. Sleep under the stars
  43. Take a cooking class
  44. Read the Bible in it’s entirety
  45. See Les Miserables on Broadway
  46. Go to Disneyworld and ride every single ride
  47. Make diamond boards for my littles  – Became an alumna 
  48. Take the train to Chicago
  49. Speak French fluently
  50. Win the lottery
  51. Have excellent credit
  52. Pay back my student loans by the time I’m 40
  53. Watch the sunset in Hawaii
  54. Honeymoon in Paris
  55. Start an IRA
  56. Perfect my ice skating skills
  57. Maintain a budget
  58. Road trip to Alpha Delta Pi’s Executive Office
  59. Learn to sew
  60. Make my future husband breakfast in bed
  61. Learn to drive a manual
  62. Visit Nantucket
  63. Obtain my CPL
  64. Have my own business cards
  65. Volunteer at least once a week
  66. Purchase a new laptop
  67. Get an international phone plan– lame goal, but necessary for my long distance relationship – We’re making it work with different messenger apps!
  68. Give up caffeine for a month
  69. Meditate regularly
  70. Stop biting/peeling my nails
  71. Purge my bedroom at my parents’ house before I move back in – Done!
  72. Leave a lasting impact on my sorority; I want to be remembered – Became an alumna
  73. Have a date night at least twice a month (girls’ night when Ryan is away)
  74. Strive to learn at least one new thing a day
  75. Keep a journal of something I learn every day
  76. Buy coffee for a stranger
  77. Send flowers to a friend
  78. Answer the 50 questions that will free your mind – Completed on my blog in two separate posts (first and second)
  79. Write a freelance article
  80. Get a massage – Treated myself post-graduation
  81. Drink only water for a month
  82. Explore New England/the east coast in it’s entirety
  83. Perfect my handwriting
  84. Attend a conference (nothing that has to do with my sorority)
  85. Actually bake cookies instead of just eating the cookie dough
  86. Try Tropical Smoothie – Done and I’m obsessed!!
  87. Get head-shots taken
  88. Go on a spontaneous trip
  89. Attend New York Fashion Week
  90. Attend the Kentucky Derby
  91. No fast food for a month
  92. Become a morning person
  93. Strengthen my Instagram game
  94. Get a professional blowout
  95. Read for 30 minutes every night – So far, so good!
  96. Upgrade my iPhone – Done this past Christmas
  97. Throw diamonds with Luke Bryan
  98. Go on a road trip with Ryan
  99. Make a blog friend
  100. See 10 classic movies – Half way there! Gone with the Wind, Wizard of Oz, Schindler’s List, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Jaws, Westside Story, 
  101. Buy a monogrammed stationary

How do you make sure you accomplish your goals? Comment below or share a link to your own blog post containing your 101 goals.

-K

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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

As I reflect on the past year, I realize what all I have to be grateful for. This past year has been quite the roller coaster ride for me, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today with out those trials, successes, anxieties and everything in-between.

  • My Parents// First and foremost I owe my parents the world. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their constant encouragement, love, and support in everything I undertake. You guys inspire me to work harder everyday and be the best version of myself. I can’t thank you enough for the sacrifices you have made for the boys and I. Every minute spent with you both is a reminder of how loved I am, and how honored I am to be your daughter.
  • My Brothers// Owen and Ethan, thank you for bringing intense laughter and an unusual sense of humor to everyday occurrences. I’m so lucky that we share such a strong sibling bond that I know will never falter regardless of the circumstances. Thank you also, for not being born female because we all know I don’t share so I don’t think that we would be as tight as we are.

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    La Famille
  • My Extended Family// Although this year has been plagued with a slew of health issues, I’m so thankful that we all managed to band together through the tough times, and allowed our faith to be bigger than our fears.
  • Ryan// My rock, my love, thank you for pushing me to believe in myself when I was at my lowest, and for always loving me unconditionally. Everyday, we grow stronger together and I cannot wait to see how we flourish as a couple. The miles between us seem so small when you care about someone so immensely. I truly am the luckiest woman in the world.
  • Kelsey// Although we don’t see each other as much as we used to or would like to, whenever we are together, it’s like nothing ever changed. Thank you for the memories, laughs, not judging me (especially freshman year when I thought I was losing my mind & in my rebellious stage), the list goes on and on, but, above all, thank you for 16 years of friendship and many more to come. I’m so proud of you for kicking major ass in the nursing program; you’re going to be an absolutely amazing nurse!
  • My Sorority Sisters// Where to being? Thank you for inspiring me everyday. Thank you for giving me confidence and leadership skills that will last a lifetime. Thank you for giving me sisters I never had. Thank you for life-long friendships and memories. A thousand thanks to Eugenia, Ella, Sophronia, Octavia, Elizabeth, and Mary for courageously starting an amazing legacy that will live on forever.

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    My Alpha Class
  • Vitality Dance Team// Thank you for a second chance at doing what I love, and giving me such a fabulous team of women with such immense drive and passion. I don’t really know what I’m going to do after graduation without dance in my life, but I definitely will never stop doing what I love.

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    OU Vitality Dance

While I could go on and on about how much my life has been impacted, I’ll save that for a later date. These are just a few of the major things that have aided me in my growth this past year in spectacular ways.

What are you thankful for this year?

-K