Long Distance Lovin' | Lessons and Things I've Learned

Monday, July 31, 2017



I am currently in a long-distance relationship.

My boyfriend Cody is currently a student, and he is also a student assistant football coach. During the school year, he's 4 hours away. 

Having to adjust to this distance after being just 20 minutes apart was certainly not easy, but we have done it before: the "talking" phase of our relationship took place long-distance before the summer started. But it doesn't make the miles feel any shorter when we are apart. I miss being with him and having constant adventures together during the week. But, when we're long distance, we've made it work, and it's made us stronger as a couple.

So, what have I learned? What advice would I give to a couple literally going the distance?

The first day apart/the day you leave is always the saddest. It is absolutely okay to miss your significant other like crazy the moment you're apart. Goodness, the day my boyfriend left to go back to school was hard. But I promise that it gets a little easier after that dreaded goodbye. But for now, ride those feelings out. It's okay to feel sad that they're gone. 

Stay busy. My boyfriend and I are both busy people; I write and publish stories and blog while he coaches. Staying busy helps you cope with the distance, and it gives you tons to talk about when you do talk during the day or night. Speaking of talking...

Communication is key. Everywhere you look for long distance relationship advice, you will hear this, and I'll be seconding all the blogs and Pinterest boards to the letter. You have to stay in contact somehow, some way while you're apart if you want to make a long distance relationship work. You have to voice your concerns, give all the compliments and encouragement, rant about the day's stresses and frustrations, and just talk. Tell your significant other all about your day, and tell them how proud you are of their chasing their dreams. Talk out your disagreements. Just do it all over phone calls, Skype (which is the biggest blessing in an LDR in my opinion), letters and gifts, and social media as often as you can, or as part of a routine you two establish. Just do it. You need it while apart. 

Strengthen each other spiritually while long-distance. I love the She Reads Truth app and devotionals. I love that there's also the guy's counterpart, He Reads Truth. During our first month together, I told Cody about a devotional book that I figured would pique his interest; it involved great American hymns (he loves music and is involved with song-leading at our church). So, being the awesome boyfriend he is, he surprised me and ordered a set for us to read. I am so, so grateful that he cares for me in this way, and I'm grateful that I get to grow closer to God with him.

Trust each other. This is absolutely paramount when your relationship spans great miles. Remember, your significant other loves you, and that's why they're in this with you. When you love each other, trust each other, and maintain open lines of communication, you two will be unstoppable.


Finally, you will cherish the time you are together so much more. I appreciate the days I spend with Cody consecutively so, so much. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that he's worth waiting for.  

Friday Five: 7/28/17

Friday, July 28, 2017

This has been an interesting week for sure. And I’m SO glad that it’s Friday. But here are some things I’ve been loving a whole lot.

Caramel Coffee


A whole lot of early mornings this week have meant I’ve been getting a lot of coffee out. But it’s certainly not a bad thing; I got to get some of my favorites (hello, Starbucks Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel), but I revisited Coffee and Coconuts in Franklin and got their caramel latte, and it was good. Fun fact for my Columbia, TN readers: they serve Muletown coffee!

Lipsense


As far as beauty is concerned, I’ve been wearing Lipsense a lot. I’m not a distributor, but I know two people who are. Lipsense is the longest-wearing lipstick I own, so it’s been a great thing to have since I’ve been so busy this week.

The color I’m wearing here is “She’s Apples.” It's a bright coral shade.

Creative Writing Blogs

I’ve been writing like a bandit lately. As such, I’ve been scouring Pinterest for tips and tricks, and wanted to give a shoutout to a couple of blogs I’ve used to glean tips: well-storied.com and Jenny Bravo.

My New Short Story!

Speaking of writing, and y’all probably saw this coming, I’m launching a second short story to Amazon called “The Pirate College”! And I am SO pumped for y’all to read this story: I love the characters and the plot (and don’t worry, it’s not because I’m slightly biased ;] ) For more info, head on over to my author website. Preorders will start closer to release.

“Tasty” App!


Last, but not least, this week, Buzzfeed’s “Tasty” division launched an iPhone app. My boyfriend and I use Tasty a lot for our own cooking adventures, so this was definitely a welcome and exciting addition to my app arsenal. I can tell y’all right now that the next time Cody and I cook, we’re using this. It’s insanely easy to access specific recipes, and it’s so much easier to use than having to cross-reference Facebook and YouTube. Plus, there’s a “step-by-step mode” that breaks down each of their videos by step so you don’t have to rewind their videos just to make sure you added that one ingredient correctly. It’s awesome.

The app is not available for Android yet, but you can find it here for iOS.

I hope y’all enjoyed this week’s Friday Five! What have y’all been loving this week?


Quick disclaimer before I go: I was not paid by any company mentioned above to mention any of their products; I just want to share what I love with you guys. :)

I Self-Publish Things (AKA What I've Been Doing Since Roughly March-April)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My name is Savannah. Y'all knew that. But what y'all probably don't know is that I'm a self-published author.

Let me tell you a little story spanning all the way back to March/early April of this year.

I've been writing short stories for a good while. In lieu of traditional NaNoWriMo, I took on the task of writing 30 short stories, one for each day of November. But even before that, I've loved creating stories, long or short, fluffy or more serious. Storytelling and crafting has been and always will be a passion of mine.

But let's talk about those November stories. Up until this point, I had been researching literary magazines to try to get my work out there. That is, until I thought about a freelance editing project I'd worked on. The author I edited for self-published his work through Amazon. He had sent me a copy of his book as a thank-you gift.

And that's when the wheels started turning.

At the time, I was working on a short story called "Turn the Town." As I was writing it, something about it just felt right. I had a gut feeling that it would be a good first work to publish after failed attempts to try to put something together as my "debut."

That's when I took the plunge.


I finished that story. I put my graphic design knowledge to use and designed a cover from scratch. I spent hours researching and fiddling with Kindle Direct Publishing until I had a product I was proud of.

And, on April 20, 2017...



...I launched "Turn the Town" on Amazon on Kindle and Paperback.

My dreams literally came true the day I held a copy of my short story for the first time. I can't accurately describe the euphoria I felt when I flipped through the book I'd put together. Even though it wasn't a full novel, it was out there. And it was mine.

And I was ready to do even more.

Speaking of even more...


I'm launching a new one! This next one is titled "The Pirate College," and it's a pirate comedy that I'm super excited to share. It will be available for Kindle and paperback on Amazon on August 15th.

If you want to learn more about and read my work, the easiest ways to access it are through my Amazon Author Central page and my author website.

I am so, so grateful and thankful to my family, friends, boyfriend, and everyone else in between who's picked up, read, and supported my writing and my dreams. This girl is one happy author. And I can't wait to see where God leads me on this grand adventure.

"A book is a dream that you hold in your hand." - Neil Gaiman

My Erin Condren Life Planner Setup | Summer 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017



I've been using planners for a long, long time. I get it from my mom. :)

I'm no stranger to Erin Condren, either. Literally. I've heard her speak twice now (once at Geaux Wild in New Orleans, the second time at GO Wild in Nashville), and I've used her planners before. I keep coming back to these planners because of the layout and how easily it fits in with my life (more on that in a minute).

So, how do I use it?

Tools I Use

These days, I'm using colorful Sharpie art pens to write in events and things. I use stickers from The Glam Planner (YouTube beauty guru followers will be familiar with shop owner Elle Fowler, AKA AllThatGlitters21), and I use a variety of washi tape to mark off longer spans of time (like a river trip I went on recently).

Color Key

I've been using this color key for years...at least since college.  I was inspired by this video by - surprise! - Elle Fowler/AllThatGlitters21.
  • Pink - work
  • Orange - social
  • Green - travel
  • Turquoise - blogging
  • Royal blue - dates
  • Purple - misc. items
  • Black - to-do list items
  • Red - appointments/urgent


The Layout




My actual planning is very simple. I use my color key to write events (often putting them in clouds, pictured above), and then punctuate them with whatever "icon" stickers I have. I love these from Glam Planner because I can't get over how cute the anime-style characters are, and it's not too overwhelming on the page whenever I consult my planner on a day-to-day basis.

I also categorize my days. The Erin Condren vertical layout is separated into three boxes per day. The top box is To-Do (or important holidays, like birthdays and anniversaries), the middle box is work, the bottom box is social.



And that's pretty much it! Like I said, simple, but I love it. It fits my life the way I need it to. Do you use a particular planner? Let's talk in the comments! :)

Friday Five: 7/21/17

Friday, July 21, 2017

I hadn’t ever heard of a “friday five” post until I came across one from a blog I follow. But I love the idea…as busy as I’ve been, I sometimes don’t have time to just sit down and collect all the favorites I’ve had over one month. One week? Easy

We shall see how long/well this goes (and don’t worry, I’ll still do monthly favorites!). So, let’s get into what my favorites were this week! It's a Friday Five, [Savannah] in Wonderland style.

My Erin Condren Planner


I’m no stranger to the planner community (I’ve been to a few planner conventions and have written about Erin Condren before), but this past month, I’ve really gotten back into using my EC planner again.

I’m going to post an updated planner setup very soon (just because I love the way it’s going so far), but I’ll say for now that this planner was well worth the buy.

Kool-Aid Slushes

I had my wisdom teeth removed this Monday. I know that having them removed at 25 is a tad late, but hey, it was something that definitely needed to be done. My mouth (specifically, the left side) is still thanking me for it.

That being said, eating soft foods have been a challenge for me since I’m a girl who loves meat and substantial things like that. While I was still recovering, Cody, my boyfriend, made us some kool-aid slushes to try while I was still a little extra tender from the surgery.

Y’all. One cup water. Once cup ice. Half-cup Kool-aid mix (the kind with sugar mixed in). Blend on high until smooth. Then add two cups ice, then blend (pulsing) until smooth. Do it. These slushes are awesome.

Sriracha on Everything

Speaking of wisdom teeth, another thing I’ve been doing a TON more is putting Sriracha on stuff. I mean, I’ve been doing that already, but it doesn’t hurt, right? ;)

Blogging

If you haven’t noticed, I did a bit of rebranding on this blog and my author website. I’ve been experimenting with things like content scheduling, ad integration, and different post ideas to get back in the swing of blogging on a regular basis again. 

Truth be told, I’ve missed blogging. A lot. And I can’t wait to share a ton more of what I’ve been doing with you guys.

Imagine Dragons!


Finally, a random musical favorite: Imagine Dragons’ latest album “Evolve.” Y’all, it’s good. 

The very first album is a classic in my opinion, and the second is pretty good. But this one…I love the 80’s-style synths, the lyrics, and the overall general upbeat nature of this album. And yes, I bought the vinyl. ;)


So what have your favorites been this week? Let’s talk in the comments! :)

My Favorite Middle TN Coffee Shops

Thursday, July 13, 2017


I'm a coffee hound. People who know me can absolutely vouch for this. I love a good cup of joe, whether it's something I make at home or something I choose to go buy at a local coffee shop or chain.

Speaking of local coffee shops, I've enjoyed trying new ones lately. In fact, one just opened up near where I go to church (more on that in a minute). But there's something about local shops that warms my heart (pun may or may not be intended), and hey, it's always good to support local businesses.

So, what are my favorites in the Middle TN area?

Barista Parlor

I wasn't about to write a coffee post without writing about this place. I've mentioned this place plenty of times before here on [Savannah] in Wonderland, and my opinion of it still hasn't changed...it's the best. From specialty coffee with fruit notes to homemade pop-tarts and other goodies, you can't go wrong. :)

Location: East Nashville, Downtown Nashville (The Gulch), Germantown
Website: https://baristaparlor.com/

The Frothy Monkey

This one's a frequent spot for me and my girls. I love getting caramel lattes here (hot and iced). My friends also adore their turtle latte. Also, they serve a great lunch and dinner here, so come hungry for a great time with your girls or your significant other.

Location: Downtown Franklin, Downtown Nashville
Website: https://frothymonkey.com/

Coffee & Coconuts

This is the new coffee shop that just opened near my church. I've only been once, but I can already tell this will be another coffee place for my girls and I. The beachy atmosphere is adorable, and the caramel latte I tried was pretty great! I'll probably plan on trying one of their specialty coffees next time I visit.

Location: Franklin
Website: http://coffeeandcoconuts.com/
Muletown

This great coffee shop is one that's run by some family friends of ours, and their coffee is nothing short of phenomenal (If you're familiar with Puckett's in Columbia, this is where they get their coffee). I asked for a recommendation when they didn't have a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and they suggested a latte made with locally grown honey. Y'all, it was awesome.

Location: Columbia
Website: https://muletowncoffee.com/

Do y'all have any favorite coffee shops, in Middle Tennessee or otherwise? Let me know in the comments! :)

Quick disclaimer before I go: I am not paid to review these coffee shops, nor was I asked to review them. I am just here to share what I love with you guys. :)

Adventures in the River Country

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I’d stayed on a lake and on the beach, but never on a river. So, when my boyfriend invited me to spend the July 4th long weekend on the river with his family, I was super excited.

I normally don’t spend a ton of time outdoors doing outdoors-y things, but I was excited for the adventure and willing to try new things. 

So, what did we do?


We fished. I caught my very first bass! (Cody also caught a Bluegill). We also swam. The lake water is the best on a hot day, and I even jumped off a high dock (again, something I normally don’t do, but hey, what’s a vacation without adventure?)




We hiked. And we may or may not have chased waterfalls (specifically, Fall Creek Falls and Burgess Falls).



We cooked. A lot. We made Eggs Benedict the last morning of the trip! (Not pictured: the one-pan chicken and asparagus, carrots, and Dr. Pepper ice cream from a few nights prior.)


And we celebrated our 1-month anniversary on the 1st of July! If that doesn't add the icing on the cake, I don't know what does. :)

Mountain Dew Ice Cream!

Friday, July 7, 2017



My boyfriend and I like to cook. It's something we've gotten in the habit of doing, and I absolutely love it. He also finds the best recipes, so when we were driving in the car one day and he showed me a recipe on YouTube for Mountain Dew ice cream...you bet I was excited.

So, first of all, why Mountain Dew? Why soda? Wouldn't that be hard to mix together in ice cream? Well, you'd be surprised. And you'd also be surprised to find out that you don't even need an ice cream maker or even an ice cream attachment for your mixer for this recipe. All you really need is a standing or hand mixer.

Also, if you don't like mountain dew, no worries! Substitute your favorite 2-liter bottle of soda and any food coloring (In fact, we made a Dr. Pepper version of this that was PHENOMENAL). That being said, let's get right to this!

Mountain Dew Ice Cream

You will need the following:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 bottle (2-liter) of Mountain Dew
  • Green food coloring (optional...it gives it a great seafoam color)
  • 1 large metal or glass bowl (can be the metal bowl in your standing mixer)
  • Standing or hand-mixer
  • 1-2 plastic containers with lids
  • Plastic wrap

1. Prepare your ice cream bowl by freezing your it for a few hours (four should be fine...you need a cold surface to mix with).

2. Next, add your heavy whipping cream to your frozen bowl. Beat the heavy whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks.

3. Once you have your cream ready, fold in the sweetened condensed milk.

4. Now, the fun part. Add your Mountain Dew. The original recipe my boyfriend and I used only called for one cup, but we used 1 and a half liters at the end of it just to get more of a soda taste. Just know that the more soda you add, the more volume of ice cream you will have. Fold that soda into your cream and condensed milk mixture.

5. At this point, add your food coloring if you would like.

6. Get your plastic containers out. Take your mixture and pour it in said containers. Once they are filled, take plastic wrap and set it on the surface (not too taut, just enough to cover). Place lids and freeze overnight.

7. After a good sleep and freezing, enjoy your new ice cream! It should be a light texture that should scoop out easily. Add soda to your ice cream to make amazing floats.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know if y'all try this. :)