HOW TO KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSER WHEN IT FEELS LIKE DISTANCE IS TAKING OVER

 
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If you’ve ever moved long distance away from friends, chances are you’ve experienced what it’s like to maintain those friendships. And more often than not, you may have even had some faded friendships due to the strain of the distance. When I moved to New York a little over 4 years ago, I was anxious to leave my friends behind for that exact reason.  And being that most of my friends were ones that I had met in my late twenties and early thirties, I was more determined than ever to hold on those friendships. I knew distance would play a factor, but I wanted to do whatever I could on my part to keep my closest girlfriends in my life. Because these wen’t just acquaintances, these were friendships in which we had all been through life’s highs and lows together. And when in you’re in your 30’s, good friends are hard to come by.


And like any relationship, I think if you can withstand the distance long term then you know those are your people. And luckily for me, distance has actually made my friendships stronger. Mostly due to the fact that we all make an effort to stay in touch. With that being said, it is a huge commitment for us to maintain friendships even though we are miles apart. It’s not easy and I definitely can feel like I’m missing out in their everyday lives sometimes. And because I know many of you may have in the past or currently experiencing this in your own friendships. I wanted to share some ways in which you can keep your friends closer even at a distance.

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Make a phone call/text

How many times do we say to friends;  “I’ve been thinking about you and just haven’t had a chance to call you”? Next time you have that thought, STOP and CALL that person. Because chances are if you don’t do it then, you’ll forget to later. If you’re not able to call, I personally love the voice message feature on iPhone that allows you to send a recorded voicemail via text message. It’s more personal than a text and easier to send when you don’t have a lot of time.  And if you’re not a phone person or maybe time in your day doesn’t allow for a phone call,  send a quick text just to say “I’m thinking of you, Let’s catch up soon!”. Or send a funny meme that you know your friend will get a laugh at. A simple message can help you and your friend be on each other’s radar, so to speak. This way it starts the conversation. And then you both can can be in touch to follow up on plans to have that catch up sesh you’ve been meaning to make time for.

Connect over FaceTime

Sometimes we just need that more personal connection with our friends especially if you don’t get to see them in person often. FaceTime or Video chat gives you both more of an opportunity to share real things going on in your lives.  And it also gives you a visual of what that looks like whether it be their home life or day to day life. You can even schedule a virtual wine night once a week/month to make it feel like you’re “hanging out” in person. Seeing each other over video helps you both to feel like you’re able to still have quality time together even miles apart.


Schedule a specific date and time to catch up

Discuss a specific date and/or time every week or month to talk over the phone. This will hold you both accountable and more likely to make good on the promise to catch up. Even if life gets busy and something comes up on that specific date, make an effort to reschedule to a new date & time right away.  We all have busy lives and realistically it can be hard to always make time for phone calls with friends. But I find that this helps to keep the momentum going by setting a specific goal.


Ask Questions

This is so important, especially when you might not get to catch up as often as you used to. When in conversation, make sure to ask your friend detailed questions. Ask about their job, kids, significant others, passion projects and any other relevant things going on in their lives. Asking specific questions helps to get a feel of their every day life and the current events that they are experiencing. It’s all about making the most out of the time that you do have when catching up via phone, FaceTime or even text. The more thoughtful your questions are, it will help make you  both feel invested in each other’s lives. And it also leaves you with follow up questions for the next conversation.

 

Send a note

Sending cards to friends is a great way to show them that you’re thinking of them. And it doesn’t have to be for any particular reason other than just saying, HELLO.  Or you can also send cards for fun holidays like National Friendship Day.  Handwritten notes are one of those things that always make you feel special when received by a friend. But if you have limited time and want something that is easy to send with a note attached, I love using INK cards. An app that allows you to send custom greeting cards straight from your cell phone and only costs $1.99 w/ shipping included! Sometimes the simplest gesture is the most appreciated.


Plan a trip in person

This may be a little harder to do with busy schedules, but I think it’s important to try and make an effort to have real face to face time. Make a plan to visit each other at least once a year. Or if you live really far away from one another, try to pick somewhere you can meet in the middle. Even if it’s only for a weekend. This will give you both something to look forward to, not to mention that you both can plan out the trip and discuss things you want to do when you get there. There is nothing better than spending real quality time your friend who you haven’t seen in what feels like forever.

 

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What have you found helpful when it comes to long distance friendships?! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


XO, Rae

5 PODCASTS TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED IN 2019

 
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I'll admit, I'm new (ish) to the obsession with listening to podcasts. I've seen so many other bloggers, female entrepreneurs and friends rave about how much they LOVE podcasts. As well as how they use them for motivation in their daily life. So over the past six months, I’ve been doing some listening of my own. And I’ve discovered some podcasts that I really enjoy and think you will too!  Each of these podcasts bring something different to the table whether it be career advice, business savviness, entrepreneurship realness or big life goals motivation. And what I found most in common with all of these podcasts, is that they are each driven by amazing women. Who are determined to share empowering messages and create more conversations amongst other women no matter what life phase you are currently going through.

 

1. SKIMM'D FROM THE COUCH

If you read theSkimm, then you'll love their podcast. if you're not a reader already, you should be. This podcast discusses everything from starting a business, career advice and how to be successful as an entrepreneur. And it all comes from powerful females who share their highs and lows of their careers and business ventures. Each episode is around 30 minutes, so it's a great podcast to listen to even on days when you don't have a lot of time. 

 

2. OFF THE VINE W/ KAITLYN BRISTOWE

Former Bachelorette contestant Kaitlyn Bristowe talks candidly to everyone from Hollywood stars, country artists to current and past Bachelor/Bachelorette cast members. I love how she just keeps it real and doesn't hold back from any topic. She is all about empowering men and women to be themselves. Oh and there's lots of wine involved which always makes for entertaining moments.

 

3. SECOND LIFE 

This podcast is an extension of one of my favorite websites, MYDOMAINE.com. Who What Wear and MyDomaine Co-founder Hillary Kerr, interviews women who have embarked on a whole new career at all different sages in life. And these women tell their story of how they did it and started their second life.  This podcast is always inspiring an will leave you motivated to take on your passion project.

 

4.  GOAL DIGGER W/ JENNA KUTCHER

Jenna Kutcher is all about teaching women how to turn their passion into profit. She was once a corporate girl turned photographer, now entrepreneur who teaches other creatives & entrepreneurs how to live their best life. She discusses everything from finding your passion, how to make money, building a brand, social media strategies and more. She also shares her personal life in which she openly talks about her struggle with infertility and how she hopes to help empower other women to love their body at any size.

 

5. Rise Podcast by Rachel Hollis

You may be familiar with Rachel Hollis from her NY Times Best Selling Book Girl, Wash Your Face. In her podcast she discusses and gives real life examples of how to live your best life both personally and professionally. It’s hard not to walk away feeling empowered and motivated after listening to each episodes.

 

 

Do you have any favorite podcasts?! Drop your podcast recommendations in the comments below so we can all have a list of ones to try!

 

XO, Rae 

YEAR 4 OF LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY

 
YEAR 4 OF LIVING IN NYC

October 10th, 2014 at 3AM was the start of a new chapter for me as I became a resident of New York City. Living here the past 4 years has brought me so much happiness, forced me out of my comfort zone and has given me experiences to last a lifetime. It still feels surreal to call this city home. And it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my adult life. My love for New York City has only grown with each year of being here. So, in honor of celebrating 4 years in New York City, I’m sharing a round up of all my favorite places in the city. Whether you live here, visit often or are planning to travel to New York for the first time, there is something for everyone! I hope you will enjoy these places as much I do.

You can take a look back at YEAR 1 and YEAR 2 here.


BRYANT PARK 2018

Favorite Park:

Bryant Park is an oasis to New Yorkers placed smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest intersections of the city. It's a great place to eat lunch, work remotely or grab coffee with a friend. And Bryant Park hosts a ton of FREE events in the park throughout the year including yoga, movies in the park, Broadway shows and a Winter village during the holidays.

 
Jacob's Pickles

Favorite Bar:

Jacob’s Pickles located on the Upper West Side, known for it's comfort food and craft cocktails. With it's cool industrial vibe and their killer playlist of r&b and throwback jams, it's a great bar to grab drinks after work or on the weekend. And also makes for a great first date spot. It’s also one of my favorite places to bring friends when they visit. It reminds me of home with it’s southern comfort food and ambience.

 
brunch maison pickle

Favorite Brunch Spots:

Brunch is pretty much a requirement of living in the city. And with so many restaurants around, it's hard to narrow down to just ONE. So here are a few of my go-to brunch spots.

Maison Pickle-The sister restaurant to Jacob's Pickles serves up the best French toast amongst other brunch favorites. Located on the Upper West Side.

Foragers Tabe- This farm to table restaurant serves up a rotating menu per season. My go-to is their smoked salmon tartine. Also, make sure to check out the market attached to the restaurant. Located in Chelsea.

Clinton Street Bakery- This brunch spot always has a line out the door and for good reason. They are known for their pancakes, which are AMAZING! Make sure to go early especially on the weekends and bring cash, as they do not take credit cards. Located in the East Village.

 
BLUESTONE LANE coffee

Favorite Coffee Shop:

Bluestone Lane is an Australian-style coffee shop & cafe. Outside of my usual Starbucks runs, this is my go-to coffee place. They have a wide range menu of both hot & iced coffee options. And there are several locations throughout the city.

 
book culture

Favorite Book Store:

Book Culture is a quaint neighborhood bookstore located on the Upper West Side. Along with books, they also have an assortment of stationary and unique gifts. I always love to stop by here when I'm in the neighborhood.

 
gapstow bridge

Favorite Spot in Central Park:

Central Park has so many scenic views and iconic spots. My favorite is the Gapstow Bridge near 62nd street. This picturesque spot includes views of The Plaza Hotel and surrounding buildings that align 5th Ave. It's always one of the first spots I walk through as the seasons change.

 
Upper West Side

Favorite Neighborhoods:

Upper Westside is where you can find me on most days running errands or grabbing groceries. I love that Central Park is nearby and there are so many shops and restaurants in the area. And it’s home to some of the city’s most popular places i.e.; Natural History Museum, The Bow Bridge in Central Park, Tavern on the Green and so many more.

West Village is also a favorite of mine. With it’s charming streets, unique shops, hidden gems and iconic streets. It never gets old exploring this popular neighborhood in the city.

 
Grimaldi's pizza

Favorite Pizza Places:

Grimaldi's in Brooklyn is a must. Italian style pizza in an authentic environment. Usually there’s a line out the door to get inside, but it’s definitely worth the wait. And the Brooklyn Bridge is within walking distance.

Artichoke Pizza in Chelsea is a great local pizza spot. Very casual dining. And their Margherita pizza is delicious.

Two Boots Pizza or Bleeker Street Pizza for those late nights out when you just want a slice before the cab ride home.

 
Dumbo Brooklyn

Favorite Tourist Attraction:

Dumbo, Brooklyn is my favorite place to explore and bring friends when they visit from out of town. Although it’s known for being an iconic spot, it never feels too touristy. This part of Brooklyn is still up and coming and has so many local shops, restaurants and some of the best waterfront views of the city. A few places to stop at: Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn Roasting Coffee Shop, Grimaldi’s Pizza, Atrium Dumbo (for oysters & cocktails) and Cecconi’s for dinner.

 

I would love to hear about your favorite places, restaurants and things to do in the city! Tell me in the comments below.

XO, Rae

NOBODY TOLD YOU YOUR 30's WOULD LOOK AND FEEL LIKE THIS

 
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I distinctly remember the 6 months leading up to my 30th Birthday and the immense pressure I felt to have it all figured out. And by all, I mean LIFE. Thirty seemed like this magic number. Where everything I had ever mapped out for my life, would somehow all start aligning and fall into perfect place. And here I am, more than half way through my 35th year of life and I'm far from having it all figured out. In fact, in most areas of my life it feels like I'm starting over. 

Lately, in conversations with friends I've noticed that many of us are going through similar changes in our lives. And the one thing we all have in common, is that we're in our early to mid thirties. There's something about this decade that causes you to have uncertainity about yourself and also makes you question your path in life. And you often find yourself asking the question: "Am I happy?" 

In your 20's, you graduate from college, start choosing a career, date with the intention of marrying one day, make friends with everyone and start to discover who you are as a young adult. In your 30's, you no longer feel fulfilled by just working a job to earn a paycheck, you find that spending time with yourself is just as important as being with someone else, your group of friends get smaller as you become more selective and you really begin to discover who YOU are as an individual. And all of this somehow starts to unravel little by little and you realize that life is really just getting started. Your thirties are a time in which you feel more eager to not settle for the things you once wanted and to go after the things you never knew you needed. I myself, can vouch for this. Over the past few years, I've undergone many changes in my life. But it's brought me to a better version of myself ultimately.  

You see, your thirties are a time in which you can REINVENT yourself. It all starts with discovering who YOU are and figuring out what IT is you truly want in life. And it looks different for everyone. Sometimes it's moving to a new city. Maybe you're contemplating quitting your job to pursue a passion project. You may choose to stay single to focus on your career. Or maybe you want to settle down to start a family. You may discover that you want to travel rather than stay in one place. And you may find yourself starting over in several areas of your life.   

However, no matter what changes your thirties may bring, you owe it to yourself to figure out what truly makes you happy. And even if you feel the immense pressure by those around you to do things a certain way, don't apologize for wanting to take a different path. My best advice for anyone going through this phase of life, is to be open and honest with yourself. Throw out the life timeline you once created for yourself and just live in the moments, days and months ahead. Don't be afraid to color outside the lines. 

Nobody tells you that your 30's will be some of the most challenging, significant, best years of your life that will bring you so much strength and growth. But I promise, you will be so much better for going through it all. 

Dana Cancun

 

XO, Rae

 

TUESDAY TALK: THOUGHTS + LIFE UPDATES

 
Tuesday Talk

Do you ever have one of those days where you have a million things to do, yet you have no energy and can't seem to focus for five minutes, let alone five hours to accomplish everything?! Yeah, that's ME today. Most likely due to the fact that I stayed out wayyyy to late last night. A night out to see a friend perform at a comedy club turned into drinks afterward, then turned into staying to watch a Drag show (always a good time) and then turned into late night food shopping at a local deli. Because drinking + 1am = hungry. 

So here I am, writing this post from bed, still in my pajamas and drinking a large cup of coffee at 2pm. #struggleisreal Although I really should be checking emails, packing for my trip to Boston tomorrow and deciding what to wear for a concert I'm going to tonight. But since I have so much on my mind. I thought I'd just do a brain dump of everything and share with y'all things I have coming up, a few beauty products I've been trying lately, Summer plans, etc. 

 

On my mind....

This week in therapy, I learned that I need to work on accepting the outcome of things whether good, bad or indifferent. So, I'm practicing telling myself that "I will be okay no matter the outcome of  ______________". This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it's something I struggle with. I came across this quote this morning and it resonated with me. And I felt compelled to share it with y'all in case any of you are needing the same reminder. 

Quote

 

 

Things I'm looking forward to...

1. Concert with a friend tonight to see JoJo 🎤perform LIVE for her #LeaksCoversandMixTapes Tour. This will my second time seeing her in concert and I can't wait to hear her sing all the songs she never got to release on albums. Follow me over on IG, I'll be posting stories tonight while at the concert. 

2. Taking a trip to Boston tomorrow and staying overnight. This will be my first time visiting MA. Hoping to do some exploring through Boston Commons, Back Bay and check out a few restaurants that the locals eat at. I'll be doing a future blog post to round up everything I do, see and eat while staying in Boston. ⚓️

3. Going to my FIRST Yankees game this July. ⚾️ Full disclosure: the YANKEES are playing the BRAVES. And as excited as I am to be going to my first New York Team sporting event, you know I gotta rep the ATL. So wish me luck.....because I’ll be THAT girl in my Braves tee in a stadium full of Yankee fans. Always a GA Girl at heart. ❤️

 

Beauty products you need....

This mascara primer is my new favorite. If you haven't been using a primer before applying mascara, you should be! It's a game changer, especially if you have short lashes and are wanting that extra volume. 

My holy grail facial spray. You may have seen me talk about this product on Instagram before. But seriously, I can't say enough good things about this facial spray. It's great for using as a setting spray for your make up, or to freshen up your skin throughout the day or to give your skin that extra hydration. I typically use it morning and night and I carry a travel size bottle in my bag at all times. I've definitely seen a difference in the way my skin looks, clearer complexion and super hydrated. 

The best shampoo if you have colored or highlighted hair. I've been using this shampoo 1-2x a week for a few months now. And it's made a major difference with my hair. Red hair color always seems to fade quickly and tends to get brassy, but not anymore with using this product. I instantly see a difference after each use and it helps my highlights and overall color stay longer. 

 

 

I hope y'all enjoyed this post! It was fun to share a bit of real life in the making. I always want to just keep it real around here and share what's going on IRL. Also, I'd love to hear what your plans are for SUMMER. You can check out my full Summer Bucket List here

 

 

XO, Rae 

 

HOW TO COPE WITH DIVORCED PARENTS AS AN ADULT

 
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Divorce is something I am all to familiar with. At the age of two, my mother divorced my father. I don't really remember much other than my father not being around afterward. But years later, I remember reading something my mother wrote in my baby book. She wrote how she hoped that the divorce wouldn't screw me up. 

My Mom remarried when I was 7 years old. And my stepfather essentially became the Dad that I never had and took on the role of raising me. They both have helped shape me into the person I am today and we have always been close. But no family is perfect and ours certainly wasn't. After 25 years of marriage, they separated last year and have since divorced. 

I knew it was for the better but it broke me down in ways I never could have imagined. I wasn't prepared for the aftermath and how it would effect me not having the parental unit I was accustomed to having all these years. The first six months I felt depressed and sad by everything that was taking place. One parent was moving on too fast and starting a whole new life and one parent was still struggling to deal with the reality. I felt torn between the two and neither one of them seemed to notice my feelings at all. 

And to make it worse, there was little comfort or understanding from friends and family. Everyone seemed to have the same attitude of "oh well, life happens". But it was MY life and it did matter. And trust me, I never thought that being in my thirties and having divorced parents would be such a big deal. But the truth is, divorce is hard no matter what age you are. You are not bullet proof to the emotions of something just because you're an adult. 

I've had to learn how to set boundaries with both parents all while trying to rebuild my relationship with them individually. How to factor in holidays and visits and everything in between. And because there is no manual on how to deal with it all. I felt like I needed to share the things that helped me in the process. 

1. TAKE A BREAK IF YOU NEED TO

By this I mean, distance yourself if need be. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Both parents have to deal with their new reality and you have to allow yourself the time to do the same. And don't feel guilty about it. We all need a break from time to time.

2. SORT THROUGH YOUR FEELINGS

You may feel a sense of loss and sadness and it's important to recognize those feelings and deal with them. Talk to someone, write down how you feel and be honest with yourself. And know that you're allowed to feel this way even if others don't understand it.

3. FIND ONE PERSON YOU CAN CONFIDE IN

Your friends may not be sympathetic to your situation. And like any big change in life, you will need someone who can be a listening ear when needed. I am so thankful for my friend, Jackie. She took my calls at any time of day and was there for me when ever I needed a friend. I told her things that I could barely admit to myself. Having someone there you can trust and confide in will help you to get through the worst of days.

4. BE OPEN TO THE CHANGES YOUR PARENTS WILL MAKE IN THEIR LIVES

To be honest, this is still something I am getting used to. It's not easy to see your parents move on and be with other people. And they often start to live a completely different life than they did before. But if I've learned anything through this process, it's that everyone deserves to be happy. And although you may not agree with their new life decisions, it's their choice to make.

5. SET BOUNDARIES

At some point you will have to set boundaries with each parent. And it can often feel like you're putting them in "time out". But in order for you to have a healthy relationship with them individually, you will have to let them know when they are crossing a line. And it's okay to not want to hear every detail of their divorce, or who did what wrong and even things about their new significant other. YOU get to set the boundaries of what makes you comfortable.

6. ESTABLISH INDIVIDUAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH PARENT

Now that each parent has moved on in different directions. You will have to reestablish your relationship with each parent individually. You will also have to find ways to communicate, share holidays and factor in visits. Dedicate some time to spend with each parent separately to re-familiarize yourself with one another. 

It's been a long year of high emotions, changes and accepting the reality of my family's new normal. But I'm thankful that we each seem to have found some sort of peace within ourselves amidst the chaos.  

 

If you've experienced divorce, what helped you to cope?

 

XO, Rae