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long-distance

It's that festive time of year and even if your gal has decided to ditch you and move away – you can still celebrate.

These gifts have been selected so you can ship them to international addresses OR fit them into those pesky boxes to post.

So bring her some Christmas joy, even if you can only see her reaction over Skype or Facetime.

Ireland's Traditional Treat Box €86.00

Floral Christmas Pudding €59.00

'The Pamper Box' Letterbox Gift Set £32.95

Baltic Amber Pendant €12.00 per piece

Best Friend Definition Print €8.33+

Best Friend Gift Best Friend €10.90+ 

Christmas gift box €9.16+

 Heart Map Print €52.90+

Best Friend Initials Love €9.08+

Best Friends Gin Gift Box £15.50

Friendship Knot Silver Earrings £15

Photo Upload Print – Hanging Photos  £24.99

Retro Sweet Hamper £21.99

Strawberries & Cream Pamper Pack €‌16.00

Season's Greetings Gift Box €39.00 

Personalised Best Friend Ornament €20.07+

Christmas Bathtime Favourites £49.95

Barry's Tea Gin £28.95

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Stacey Solomon has had to say goodbye to her long-term boyfriend Joe Swash who has headed off to Australia to film I’m A Celebrity.

Joe presents the spin-off show I’m A Celebrity: Extra Camp which means he’ll be away from his loving girlfriend Stacey and his son.

Stacey shared a touching family photo of her, Joe and her two sons on Instagram. The Loose Women panellist revealed she had to say goodbye to her beau earlier this morning.

“And he’s off to the Ozzy Outback,” she wrote.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon) on

“We are gonna miss you so much @realjoeswashy but we can’t wait to watch you do what you do best,” Stacey gushed.

The mum-of-two continued: “No fun and Lots of trials please @imacelebrity @itv2.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon) on

Stacey couldn’t help but express her sadness over Joe’s departure. The duo recently moved into their first family home together: “Honestly though, our home will feel empty without you bub.”

“Except for the bed, the bed will feel wonderfully spacious and snore-free,” she joked.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Joe Swash (@realjoeswashy) on

Joe also took to Instagram to share a sweet message before he left for Australia: “Not long now until I have to leave this lot. I’m going to miss these guys,” the dad wrote alongside a photo of Stacey and her son Leighton.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Joe Swash (@realjoeswashy) on

The TV presenter will be in Australia for months as he films the spin-off show. There’s no doubt he’ll miss his 11-year-old son Harry, Stacey and her two sons, Zachary and Leighton.

I’m A Celebrity is rumoured to return on Sunday, November 18.

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Having a long distance best friend has become quite the norm over the past few years. 

As many of us look to travel and work abroad, sometimes our nearest and dearest can end up in a faraway land. 

And while no distance could break the bond you share, there are a number of struggles you're sure to come up against during your time apart. 

1. You get jealous whenever they have any fun without you 

But deep down you know they'd have more fun if you were there. 

2. No more borrowing each other's clothes 

The biggest betrayal of all. 

3. Having multiple conversations running at the same time 

You can't keep up with the various WhatsApp, Facebook and Snapchat conversations, but that's not going to stop you from trying. 

4. Getting sulky when they have to spend time with other people 

How dare anyone try to disturb your precious reunion. 

5. Weekend adventures are replaced by all-day skype sessions

Definitely not as exciting, but hey, at least you get to stay in bed. 

6. You don't get to hang out with their pet anymore

And sometimes you don't know who you miss more. 

7. Feeling offended when they hang out with people you've never met

'Em? Who are these people in your profile picture and why aren't they me?'

8. You need a night out but FaceTime and wine is the closest you'll get 

OK, maybe this one isn't the worst, after all it's probably the cheapest 'night out' you and your best friend will ever have.

9. Momentarily forgetting about the time difference 

You don't care if it's 4am where they are – you need to talk about the Game of Thrones plot twist. 

10. Thanking your lucky star that the internet exists

Sure, you'd have no problem writing letters or spending a months wages on a phone call to stay in touch, but the internet definitely makes the process a lot easier. 

Feature Image: Etsy

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There are few amongst us who haven’t lost a friend to foreign climes in the last decade.

Whether the recession forced them to seek work abroad, their chosen college course required relocation or they’ve always had a serious case of wanderlust, waving goodbye is never easy.

And maintaining the friendship through time zones even less so.

If you’re currently struggling to maintain your friendship due to the oceans which lie between you and your mate, fear not because we’ve got you on this one.

1. Send a ‘for absolutely no reason’ card

It’s a given that you should remember their birthday, but opting to use snail mail for no other reason than you saw a card that reminded you of them or thought it would give them a giggle is extra special.

Getting post (that doesn’t contain a bill) is always appreciated, and is one of the easiest ways to make your friend feel appreciated.

2. Pay attention to the names of their local hotspots

When your friend mentions a restaurant which she goes to on the regular or a new bar which blew her away, don’t just nod along.

Make a note of the establishment’s name and organise a gift voucher for the place. You mightn’t get to wine and dine her in person, but doing it from afar is the next best thing.

3. Make an effort with their family

If you’re close with her family, be sure to pop in to them every now and again as this will mean a lot to your pal who probably wishes she could get home more often.

If you’re not that close to the family, tea and chats may not be an option, but there’s a lot to be said for sending a Christmas card or giving a quick call to let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them during your friend’s next visit home.

4. Video call while attempting a joint activity

Why not decide on a time when you and your friend can Skype and get busy with a joint activity? Prop the laptop on your respective kitchen tables, and get busy making cupcakes together.

Flour, eggs, butter, sugar and Avonmore Super Milk is all you’ll need alongside a desire to watch your mate get busy baking from thousands of miles away!

5. Record messages from the gang

When you live abroad, you’re used to hearing you were missed at special events, but actually seeing your friends gather together during a big event to record a message for you means the world.

At the next birthday party, hen night or wedding day that your pal can’t attend, take 15 minutes to record messages from everyone to remind them that they haven’t been forgotten.

6. Don’t flake on catch-up dates

There will always be a time when you can’t take an impromptu call from Down Under or delay responding to a text sent from Canada, but if you and your friend decide on a day and time for a catch-up call, do not flake on it.

Time distance makes it hard enough as it is, so if you agree to an allocated time, be sound and stick to it. Your time isn’t any more valuable than theirs.

7. Make an effort with their new friends

Take the time to find out more about their new housemates and work mates so you have a point fo reference that isn’t firmly rooted in the comings and goings of the gang at home.

Remembering your pal’s work mate is an absolute melter or enquiring after their new gym buddy goes a long, long way.

8. Accept their method of communication

If you’d much rather ping tests back and forth all day long, but your friend is all about the scheduled 60-minute phone call, accept it and compromise.

If your pal would always rather voice-on-voice action, but you can’t spare an hour, phone her first and explain you’re free for 30 and hopes she can chat,

9. Don’t hold lack of contact against each other.

There will always be times in your lives when you’re busier than others, so chances are weeks might pass when checking in with friends is neither yours nor her’s number one priority.

Accept that as part of life, explain when you get a chance, accept her explanation and remember that it takes more than a few weeks of radio silence to ruin a friendship as strong as yours.

 

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They move away straight after their Leaving Cert; embark on an Erasmus year during college, or pursue their career on foreign shores – whatever the reason, it’s likely that at least a few of your closest mates are currently living in a country that isn’t Ireland.

And, as yet, there's no sign of them returning.

Overall, you can cope with keeping up with most of them on Facebook and having a decent catch-up in the pub at Christmas.

However, there is a particular type of heartache and sorrow that comes with the absence of your BFF.

They announce, through tears, that they’re leaving you. Still, it’s only when they’ve actually departed AND given you their new – foreign – mobile number that you finally accept they’re actually gone.

Not that a true friendship has to fizzle out simply because you live in different countries: life-long buddies transcend time-zones, continents and a lack of daily hugs.

Here, SHEmazing! rounds up the eight signs that your long-distance BFF relationship is the real-deal…

 

1) You still WhatsApp and SnapChat as often as ever:

Obviously, you spend hours on Skype – you nattering away at 1am; her stuffing a bowl of cereal into her mouth before work. But day-to-day, you still WhatsApp and SnapChat every random musing, every annoyance, and every little thing you spot that you know they’ll love.

Same goes for outfit approval before an event or advice on what to do with a guy: if you’re unsure, they’re still your go-to.

2) You’re a time-zone expert:

You know precisely what time it is in San Diego, Moscow, Nairobi, Hong Kong or Perth. You know their timetable pretty much exactly too – and, more importantly, how your schedule fits into it. In fact, you have your respective free-time slots, lunch-breaks, and weekends rostered to tee.

3) They’re your go-to TBT stable:

Your Debs, Sixth Year holiday, graduation ball or simply a great memory created together: when it comes to #tbt, you’d never consider anyone else.

4) You send each other care-packages:

Sure, technology and social media means you’re rarely out of touch – but there’s something so special about receiving a postcard or parcel through the letterbox. That and you never get anything in the post from anyone else.

For birthdays and special occasions, you put together a mean care package too: a haul of vests and accessories from Penneys, Tayto crisps, their favourite fake tan and teabags.

5) You know you shouldn’t, but you kinda hope they lose their job/their visa isn’t renewed:

You’d obviously never say it out loud, but when they’re stressed about securing a visa for another year, or finding work, you secretly hope they’re unsuccessful and they’ll have to come home after all.

6) You still know all each other’s secrets:

They might be thousands of kilometres away and you may not have seen them in months, but you still know everything about them – and you still share everything with them.

7) When you see them, it’s like they never left:

They’re back at Christmas or for their brother’s wedding, and you’ve both spent weeks and weeks counting down to your reunion. You’re nervous and excited at the same time beforehand – and within ten minutes you’re right back at where you left off.

8) As envious you are of their lifestyle, you know they really miss home:

Another day at the beach; another day-trip to somewhere incredible. Not to mention that their weeks off are spent exploring some incredible neighbouring countries and territories.

In fact, on a miserable Irish January evening, it’s easy to think, “I really wish that was me.” However, much as your life can seem a bit mundane by comparison, you know that when they see you tucking into a proper Sunday roast (as made by mammy) and enjoying cheeky afternoon pints with your mates, they’d love to be there too. 

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In this age of communication, long distance relationships are becoming more and more common. As well as more people meeting online, with so many young people leaving Ireland to find work you might find yourself suddenly in a different country from your beloved.

There are ways to make it work though, and app developers are on the case. Here are three relationship apps which will help the two of you stay in touch.

Couple

Couple is basically just a social network, but for only two people. You can send messages, share photos, and schedule important events – from you anniversary to your nightly Skype call.

Cutest of all, it has a feature called “Thumb Kissing” where it will show you where your partners thumb is pressed on their screen so you can press your there too. Aww.

Avocado

With Avocado you can send messages between the two of you, share lists and archive special moments.

You can also create personal emoticon – “photocons” – shared just between the two of you.

The sweetest part is the name; avocados only grow in pairs.

2Life

This is the most comprehensive couples app. With this you can not only chat privately, create lists and record events, but you can share a daily journal between you to record your feeling while apart.

It’s the next best thing to being in the same room.

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What with J1s and travelling, sometimes couples just need to go their separate ways. But if the thought of dumping your beau is too much to handle, here are some ways you can make a long-distance relationship work for you:

1. Control that jealousy
So what, he is in a photo with a super hot blonde American girl in a bikini with an amazing tan and really white teeth…it means nothing.

Control2. Trust
Don’t listen to those negative thoughts – you know your boy better than anyone and you should trust him if he says it’s all gravy.

Trust3. Avoid drunken messages or phone calls
These are guaranteed to end in super awkward phone sex or a massive fight.

dd4. Phone sex
Do it sober and you’ll have nothing to cringe about. Well, you’ll have less to cringe about.

ffff5. Don’t post suggestive photos which look like you’re cheating
Don’t play games with Facebook. If you post a photo of yourself in a Dirty Dancing lift pose with that guy he hates, you’re gonna have a bad time.

pp

6. Keep yourself busy
You probably miss your other half, but try to keep yourself occupied and you’ll be seeing your beau in no time!

Busyvia our content partner CT

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In today’s world it’s a common occurrence to be on the opposite side of the country or even the world to your other half.

Long-distance relationships are really hard and that is why so many of them fail; but maybe with some easy tips you might be able to be the exception.

1. Communication is key
With so many great technological advances such as Skype, Facetime, Viber and Whatsapp, there is a way to stay in contact with your beau throughout the day for no more cost than WiFi.

2. Trust
It will never work out if you are constantly worried that your partner is going out and cheating on you. You need to trust them completely and not run the risk of turning into a paranoid mess. If there are issues, talk about them and don’t hold back.

3. Know when to let go
It may not work out and you need to be aware when you are doing nothing more than flogging a dead horse. Take a break and see what happens. You might be happier or you might not; either way you’ll know which way you need to go.

4. Spice it up
Just because your not there physically doesn’t mean you can’t have sexy time. Read an erotic novel over Skype and send some cheeky messages or pictures. Be careful about that though, you don’t want to end up naked on Facebook. Unless you do, whatevs.

5. Send letters and care packages
Letters will last forever, unlike emails and texts so write down your day and any news you haven’t mentioned on Skype yet and post it off. If you live in Ireland and your partner is abroad why not send them a lovely package of some Taytos and Barry’s tea? If your other half is somewhere more exotic than say, London, get them to send you some of the interesting local sweets, fun!

Writing good night message for her may not be very easy to do. These messages tend to be very difficult especially if you do not know what the person you are writing to loves. However, you can still write the best message especially if you are writing for the girl in your life.

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