How to Be True to Yourself 

Hi friends!

I’ve been working on this post off and on for quite some time, so I’m excited to finally share this with you. The past few months have included a lot of change for me – job changes, moving, engagement, wedding planning, family obligations, etc., and I’d be lying if I said it’s been smooth sailing! Thoughout these months however, I’ve had an important lightbulb moment that I think might be helpful for some of you.

That realization in summary is that so many of us (including me!) spend way too much time focused on pleasing other people and being “the person” other people want us to be. We loose sight of our authentic selves and our goals and life plans end up intertwined in the expectations placed on us by others. But the fault lies not on those who place expectations on us that don’t align with our true identity. The fault lies on ourselves for accepting those expectations as our own.

Let’s Rewind

Throughout my childhood, I often heard from my mom four particular words. Be true to yourself. These words would come most often when I struggled to make a decision. I would tell my mom how torn I was, how I felt like I had to choose one friend over another or how I wasn’t sure how to move forward with something because I knew it was the right thing to do but that it would make someone else upset.

As a child, I was super concerned about upsetting other people — family, friends or teachers. But I also had a strong sense of self. I knew exactly when I didn’t believe in something. So in those moments, when I was torn between upholding my integrity and maintaining my relationships, my mom would always say those four words. It is something that has stuck with me, something I hear replay in my mind all the time.

Fast Forward to the Present

I reflected on this advice and had my lightbulb moment when I stumbled across a TedTalk, “The art of being yourself” by Caroline McHugh. McHugh talks about how easily we get wrapped up in what others think of us. It made me realize how often I am concerned with what other people are thinking and how other people are feeling, that I often lose sight of my own thoughts and feelings. My desire to please other people can be damaging when it means I am not maintaining my authenticity; when I am not remaining true to myself. Of course, there are times when our thoughts and feelings must take the back seat, like if a loved one is sick and wishes to be taken care of in a way that we would not have chosen.

But all too often we function on auto-pilot and put the thoughts and feelings of our friends and family at the forefront.  We let their vision of who we are dictate our lives, and we loose that clarity we once had as a child. When that happens we risk loosing touch of who we are. And as Caroline points out, we cannot be content with ourselves when we do not know what rings true in our hearts.

Almost in synchronicity, soon after I watched McHugh’s video, Will sent me an article, “Why We Love Ourselves But Care More About Other People’s Opinons.” It discusses how we place more importance on other people’s opinions than on our own opinions. We seek acceptance from others, and in many ways it’s natural to do so. But as I’ve mentioned, we loose contentment with ourselves when we don’t place enough importance on our own thoughts or we shy away from being true to ourselves.

So what?!

This revelation may seem irrelevant to some of you. It may seem like a no-brained. I may also sound like a crazy person. But the important thing isn’t my lightbulb moment. It’s figuring out where I go from here, and how to stay in touch with my authentic self.

I’ve realized just how much I overthink what I’m doing. I wonder what people will think. I question whether or not people truly understand me. I question whether or not I unintentionally offended someone. And I’ve realized how much extra stress that puts in my life and how much time it takes out of my day to day life.

My goal now is to recognize those moments when I am overthinking things and redirect my thoughts into a positive direction. I reaffirm my authenticity, but reflecting on the things that align with my true nature and letting go of the things that are not me.

It’s unfortunate we live in a society where individuality and differences aren’t celebrated more; where so many people copy each other and accept someone else’s identity as their own. We should aim to be more accepting of different people’s thoughts and not expect everyone (including close family and friends) to live or think the same way we do.

Authenticity is a quality of high importance to me. I look for it in the people I surround myself with. I know this post may seem idealistic, but I hope some of you can relate.

Cheers to YOU!

Sarah Camille

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Inside FabFitFun’s Summer Box 

what's inside the FabFitFun summer box

Hi friends!

Summer officially began last week, and with perfect timing arrived my FabFitFun Summer box. I have talked about this subscription box a couple times before, but if you haven’t heard of it you may be surprised with what a great value it is! I love getting a few fun seasonal items in the mail that I would not think to buy for myself and/or are from brands I have not yet heard about.

what's inside the FabFitFun summer box

Cargo HD Picture Perfect Highlighter in Bronze, $30

Highlighters are hot this year, and this was on my list of things to purchase. This one does not disappoint – I’m already in love with how shimmery and silky it is!

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Way of Will Post Training Massage Oil, $29.50

I opted for a fitness themed item and got this post-workout massage oil. The oil is a mix of peppermint oil, chamomile oil, and lemongrass oil. I have used peppermint oil for pain management before, so I’m excited to try this!

BKR Bottle in Rosie, $35

This 16 ounce bottle is dishwasher safe, and the silicone is BPA and phthalate free, too.

Understated Leather Travel Set, $28

I also opted for a travel themed item, instead of the artist and chef items, and I got this awesome, rose gold leather travel set. It includes a luggage tag and passport holder.

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Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate, $29

I had not heard of the Juice Beauty brand but I’m excited to try this product. The formulas is organic and the product has a subtle green apple scent!

Kris Nations Mystic Bar Necklace, $58

This necklace is adjustable in length, from 16″ to 18″. It looks great paired with other neutral or colorful necklaces.

Avene Eau Thermale Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion, $24

This is another brand I’m not familiar with, but with an initial try it works nicely under my makeup. The formula is fragrance, paraben, and oil free, too!

Michael Stars Ruana, $54

This ruana is a multi-use product that can work as a scarf, sarong, or wrap! It may be my favorite item in this season’s box (I can’t decide yet!). And I can’t wait to wear it at the beach next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The total value of my box is $287.50. I think that’s pretty impressive given the high quality of the products included and the low cost of each box. If you would like to try this out or gift a FabFitFun box to a friend, the cost for one box is $49.99. If you buy an annual subscription, the cost per box is $45, and you get to pick which types of themed items you’ll receive (like a beauty item vs. a fitness item).

Click here to receive $10 off your first FabFitFun box!

Have you ever used any of these items? Are you a FabFitFun subscriber? Have you tried a similar subscription box program? I’d love to hear your thoughts on subscription boxes like this one.

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

 

 

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5 Wedding Planning Tips for Every Bride to Be

Will and I got engaged on April 2. That means we are now eleven weeks into planning our wedding and (WHOA!) it has been a roller coaster ride so far. But, I hear this is only the beginning! So today I would like to share an update on the planning progress I have made so far and share my top five most helpful wedding planning tips for my fellow brides-to-be.

The Update

So far, I have gotten a handful of things locked down. We have a venue for the ceremony and reception. Our venue, the Goodstone Inn, also includes catering so this was sort of a three-in-one decision. This also means we are locked in to get married on April 28, 2018 (eeek! :-)). We have also secured a photographer – Jof Panlaqui, aka Joffoto – and we are super excited to be working with him.

This past weekend I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, and we found a perfect dress! I’m quite excited about it because my dress will incorporate lace from my grandmother’s wedding dress, which was also on my mom’s dress and I’ll get to wear the veil my late grandomother made for my mom. I was named after my grandmother, so it means a lot to me to have her be a part of my wedding day.

In addition to these big things, we have drafted our guest list, chosen our wedding party, made some decisions on the timing/agenda for our big day and have come close to solidifying our band. Outstanding items for us to figure out include a florist, cake/dessert, our send off, specialized signs, our officiant, stationery, our hashtag and the list goes on and on!!

The Wedding Planning Tips

  1. Prioritize!  Before you book or buy anything, think about what’s most important to you. A lot of timelines will advise you to book things in a certain order but remember – timelines are guidelines! If something is “the most important thing” for you, then book it first and let that be the foundation for your other plans.
  2. Pick a theme that’s true to you and your fiancé.  You’re planning a BIG day that revolves around the two of you. Avoid creating a false personality for your wedding. Think about both of your styles at the very beginning and pinpointing an authentic theme. This will help with so many decisions along the way. You may like many different styles, decor and ambiances, but if you’re indecisive think about think about which element matches your identity best. Ideally guests will come to the wedding and think, “Oh! This is so them!”
  3. Brainstorm!  Whether it’s Pinterest or bridal magazines, dive into a resource that will get you thinking creatively. Save anything you like for plans that you still need to solidify. There are great websites too that can help you think about fun personal touches you can add to your wedding. Southern Weddings, which a friend recommended to me (thanks Emily!), has amazing profiles of real weddings. There are tons of great resources out there though. Check them out, find out what you like and maintain a way of organizing your creative brainstorming sessions so that you can easily find the information later on.
  4. Take a break!  I try to have a couple days each week when I “forget” about the wedding planning. This helps prevent burnout and maintains the element of fun. There’s no right or wrong cadence for breaks. It is important to have some time away from the wedding plans throughout the process. Some people want to wait on the wedding planning and have a break for a few weeks once they get engaged, while others (like me) want to dive right in,  get a few things solidified and then take a break. Think about what’s most realistic for you and have your fiancé hold you accountable (he/she will probably enjoy distracting you from it!!).
  5. Expect to feel overwhelmed.  At some point (if not several times) you’ll get overwhelmed and that is 100% normal. There’s a learning curve with wedding planning and SO many different things to figure out. Just work through the overwhelming feelings and remember why you’re planning in the first place. This is an exciting time, so have fun and enjoy the crazy ride that is wedding planning!

Before you start any wedding planning, check out these five tips that will help any bride to be get through the beginnings of the wedding planning process.

So, these are my tips for anyone who recently got engaged, has recently started planning their wedding or those of you who are friends with a bride-to-be. Have you planned a wedding? Or have you been part of the planning process with a close friend or family member? I woul d love to hear about your personal experiences and if you have additional tips.

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

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