Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Making Long Distance Work

A few weeks ago, I shared how my boyfriend, Parish, and I met. And while it was unconventional, it has been working for us. But this week, I wanted to share how we make long distance work.

Any distance can feel like long distance. But when you’re across states or even countries, it make it that much harder. The coordination of trains, planes, and long road trips can take months to plan. The time together feels like it flies by, leaving you saying goodbye all too soon.

But to me it’s 110% worth it.

I have never been happier or more secure with someone romantically in my life than with Parish.

What do we do to feel together physically, when we’re hundreds of miles apart? It’s the little things for sure. Small things throughout the day that remind him that I am always thinking of him, and vice versa.

For us, social media helps A LOT. I’m not really sure how people did it back in the day. Whether it’s a quick good morning text, a funny snapchat or a quick venmo for a $5 coffee. It makes me feel a little closer to him.

We carve out time to talk on the phone and FaceTime. But another thing that we’ve found helps a lot is taking time to watch something together. We either countdown on the phone or start a show on “Netflix Party.” This is a Chrome extension that is free and helps play and pause at the same time. It sounds silly, but keeping up with a series or watching a movie on a Friday or Saturday night makes it feel like a date night. The quality time helps us feel like we’re still doing things together.

Since Parish and I decided early on that we would try long distance until I move to New Orleans, it felt secure and I knew he was committed to me. We had nothing to lose and all the time in the world to get to know each other. We figured that we’d rather try to be long distance than end things and be without each other.

There was a feeling in my gut that told me that this was worth a try, and that I could let my guard down with him.

I had never dated anyone longer than a few months, so the thought of someone committing to me for at least a year and a half was profound to me. But I can wholeheartedly say that I have never felt more secure and cared for.  

This will make us stronger in the long run, which is something I didn’t realize until I had experienced it myself. We’ve worked through a lot of issues that can come up in a relationship- trusting one another being the main one. We can’t always be in constant contact, but knowing each other and having faith in one another makes our relationship stronger. I also think being long distance has helped us have separate lives. Obviously I want to be a part of his life and have relationships with his friends, but I know that this time apart has helped me realize how important maintaining all relationships in my life are.

Not every day is a walk in the park, no relationship is. When I have a bad day and just want him to hold me, he can’t. When I would like to surprise him with lunch at his office or breakfast in bed, I can’t. When I just need a hug or someone to help me get something off of a high shelf, he can’t. Sometimes if we argue or there’s a miscommunication, it can be harder to resolve than if we were face to face. We can’t do things last minute or spur of the moment. But we don’t like focusing on the negatives. This is only a phase of our relationship, and we will be stronger because of it.

Since we’re both saving money for our futures, we have to spread our visits out. And it can sometimes feel like an eternity. But it makes it all that much better when we do get to see each other, and I appreciate our time together immensely.

I’m excited to see where this goes and how we will make it work in the same place. I know that it will be worth it. And until then he’s only a phone call or text away. I want everyone to know that this isn’t something I look at negatively or think of as a “problem.” I am so lucky to have Parish in my life.

A lot of ladies have reached out to me and have asked me what we do to help the distance, and I wanted to shed a light on what we do. I also want to hear from y’all, how do you make long distance work? I always love hearing other people's stories and the different ways couples have gotten through it!

Friday, July 20, 2018

My NSale Picks!

As you have probably heard the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is available to the public today and it has the blogisphere shookith. I have gathered my personal picks from the sale all in one place it make it easier for y'all to shop it!

The sale is a really good deal on brand new merchandise for the fall, however please don't feel the pressure to buy everything you see! It is a cool sale but there's tons of sales every day, so please don't get caught up in the FOMO - there will be other sales my beautiful people!

A lot of this stuff still has a lot of color options and sizes but you need to act fast my beautiful butterflies.


Who doesn't love a good cardigan? You can wear them all year round, you can make any outfit work appropriate. Basically: they save lives.


So many great jeans and jeggings are available in this sale! I'm especially excited about these Free People jeans. They didn't fit me, they run kind of small. But I'm still hoping that maybe this time next year they'll be a staple in my wardrobe!


Y'all know that this is my favorite department, I wanted to narrow it down to my absolute must haves! These booties are waterproof which is essential in the winter here! I also have had my eyes on these studded mules from Chinese Laundry. I'm also really excited about these Marc Fisher buckle bootie. I also added some other shoes I'm mad crushin' on!

Some of my other faves!
I am IN LOVE with this moto jacket, I had to link it to be sure that people could find it because it will sell out. I bought it in the olive color. Zella leggings at killer discounts and these faux suede leggings with the side slit will be great for work! I also linked some good basic leggings and tees.

I hope you have a great NSale and I can't wait to see what you get! Let's rock this sale ladies.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Lifestyle Changes

About a month ago, I shared something really personal: my weight. I've always been a little self conscious, and have always tried to conceal it. I've always been told weight is just a number and although that is true, it wasn't a number I was happy with and I wanted to do something about it.

When you're "bigger" or "curvy" sometimes a number feels really limiting. I knew that I personally wanted to make a change, and see where it would take me. My mother has done Weight Watchers on and off for most of her life and we decided to try it together this time.

See I love veggies, fruits, whole grains, and I've always eaten them. However, I also love pizza, beer, and chicken fingers. So it wasn't that I was always eating bad, but what I've mostly realized is that my portions were way off.

Weight Watchers has given me the tools to control my portions and notice what I'm putting into my body. For example, you could have a croissant with butter or eggs, ham, and steamed veggies. Around the same calories but which is going to leave you more full?

Watchers lays out a point system based on nutritional value. You are assigned daily points that you can use at your leisure throughout the day, but you also have weekly flex points. These give you the freedom to go out to dinner, enjoy a night out with your friends or enjoy a family party.

I think what is making this work for me, it that there's freedom. A lot of diets today have such strict limits and rules and I know that I personally can't carry that along for a long period of time. This allows for cheat days, or when I have certain cravings I can still do those, maybe fall of the wagon a bit since I'm still adjusting but my whole diet isn't thrown off.

A major change I've noticed is that I listen to myself and stop eating when I'm full. I used to finish my whole plate at a restaurant and never thought twice about it. Now, I've slowly stopped doing that, and making sure that I stop eating when I'm full rather than when the food in front of me is gone.

I am down eight pounds this month. Since I'm still eating a lot of what I always have but just different portions, I know that these results are something that will last. I'm excited to continue along on this journey and I feel like having these posts to look back on will be a great reminder of where I have come from and my progress along the way.

When I visited Parish in New Orleans I didn't follow WW as closely as I could have, and because of that I did gain a little weight back, but at this week's weigh in I am down four pounds. It's all about balance. Sometimes I'm going to go on vacation and enjoy myself. Sometimes I'm going to work out 5 times in a week, But overall, it balances out and that's how I feel you succeed.

All the other diets I've tried throughout my life limit or completely cut out usual food groups which make them hard to stick to for me. With Weight Watchers, I am in control of how I choose to use my points and I always know that I have a group of people keeping me accountable.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How We Met

Last week, I posted about my boyfriend on Instagram. We’ve been dating long distance most of our relationship, and while it’s been hard, I’ve always felt that it was 100% worth it.

So many of you reached out and shared your long distance relationship stories with me. You all inspire me with your strength, honesty, and commitment. I was so touched by all of your stories, and figured we would have more of a way to connect and share, if I shared ours.

Parish and I met about eight months ago. I was about to graduate from LSU and move back home to the Chicagoland area. Basically, back across the country. I have always wanted to move to New Orleans and figured it would happen within the next few years. But at the time, I had all four grandparents and wanted to be sure that I got to spend time with them while I was lucky enough to. My whole family also lives here in Chicago and I see them at least weekly - we’re a close knit group. So I was set to pack up in the next few weeks, say my goodbyes, and move back to the loving arms of Chicago.

I was in my own world. Getting things done and ready for my move with the help of my mom, dad and brother. I was on track for moving, packing and going through all my stuff. I wasn’t in the mindset of finding love, because how well would a relationship work if we started dating right before I moved across the country, right?

Well, along came Parish. When I say Parish and I met eight months ago, I mean that we matched online. I remember getting the notification on my phone. Like many of my friends, I had dabbled in dating apps in the past, but nothing serious had ever come of it. It’s a dating app. I thought he was cute and liked him back on the app, and figured that would be that. Because nothing serious ever happens on dating apps.

Then a message popped up. From then on, we chatted about a bunch of things. I really couldn’t tell you what exactly, but I remember that it flowed effortlessly. I didn’t want to take anything too seriously because, in the past, I tended to romanticize things. And I really didn’t think this was going to pan out. I mean how could it? I was about to move.

I always seemed to cling to the tiniest bit of hope that something could happen, analyze it for weeks, then ultimately cry to my friends over pizza and ice cream. I was in a cycle and I wanted to break it. So I wasn’t looking.

We loosely made plans for brunch. I asked him to go when I had a little liquid courage, and it didn’t pan out. He had to go help his boss with something that day. But I kind of shrugged it off because I hadn’t been taking it seriously. “Maybe he really did have to help his boss” I thought. I didn’t even tell my friends I had asked him because they were used to me getting overly excited about things that would never pan out and I was embarrassed.

But then we made plans for the following Sunday. I lived in Baton Rouge at the time and he lives in New Orleans, so he was going to hang out with his friends that weekend and stick around to have dinner with me.

Expectations were still low. I didn’t know what to expect. We were hitting it off and had been talking for weeks but I couldn’t have predicted what would come of this. We had only been talking online, and talking face-to-face is way different.

And then he told me he made a reservation.

And then he parked his truck and walked to the door to pick me up.

I was used to college guys who took you out for a dinner at Whataburger or maybe Newk’s if we were getting fancy. I had never gone to a nice local restaurant for a date. Let alone had a reservation made for me. And forget about a guy coming to my front door. I was amazed. Even though this is supposed to be how typical dates go, in my experience with college guys, nothing had ever really come this close to a real date. I wasn’t used to being treated with forethought and care.

I had never really experienced what it felt like for someone to put in effort, because I had always chased after the tiniest glimmer of hope.

We drove to BRQ. I was so nervous. But once we sat down, that all melted away. We talked until we were the last people in the restaurant. The conversation was easy and free and I was being myself; I was laughing; I was happy. Like butterflies, can’t stop smiling, warm cheeks happy. Then we migrated to a bar so we could talk more. We laughed and laughed, and I couldn’t help but think that this was the best date I had ever been on.

After he dropped me off and kissed me goodnight, I walked into my apartment and closed the door. It felt different; I had never felt like this. In a moment of courage I texted him, “I think that was the best date I have ever been on.”

Was I too bold? Did that make sense? Would he think I was a loser? Did I ruin this?

Within minutes, he texted me back and agreed. A wave of relief washed over me.

“But I’m moving,” I thought. “This isn’t going to go anywhere. It can’t. Why would he want to date me when I’m going to live so far away?”

And whenever I got nervous and brought that up, his answer always was, “let’s make the most of the time we have left”.

After a few more dates, it was my last day in Louisiana. The next day, I was going to pack up and move. I tried to put that thought out of my mind as he picked me up for our date. We had gone out with my friends the night before and we weren’t in the best shape.

We were casually talking and he said something along the lines of, “well all the other girls I dated before you…”

“Wait, we’re dating?” I asked.

“I thought so,” he replied.

And just like that. We were dating.
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