Tag Archives: advice

Dear Me: 4 Bloggers Share Letters to Their Younger Selves

Do you ever think about the advice you would give your younger self if given the chance? What words of encouragement you would offer? Warnings you might express?

I once heard that your most inner voice is a version of yourself that exists ten years in the future. Isn’t that a lovely sentiment? Like reaching back in time to offer yourself the most gentle guidance!

With that idea in mind, I asked a few of my favorite bloggin’-ladies to share what advice they would give their younger selves. I wanted to know, if you could go back in time and deliver a letter, what wisdom would you share with yourself?

I believe the resulting letters are not only inspiring…but EMPOWERING! Take it away ladies…

Whitney from Hello Whitney

Dear Whitney,

You are EXACTLY who and where you’re supposed to be right now. God created your generous heart, tenacious mind, and unbreakable will. I know you tend to stress about things, but “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” No matter what anyone says, you’re a child of God and perfect the way you are.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)
Whitney

***

Kanishka from A Silent Observer

Dear Kanishka,
Life is throwing random events at you. In all the chaos I still think you are making the right decisions. Yet you haven’t met you. Find yourself.

Don’t focus on the idea of a ‘career’ or ‘building a career’ just yet. Focus on your interests, talents and ultimate dream. You can write, visualize, create and inspire. Make that your life…

You are easily intimidated by people. Never confident. And trust only the things you already know. But maybe you should explore more. Don’t hide away; bring yourself out. It is okay to be honest, yet assertive. You don’t have to be straight out bold, but at least be a little courageous.

Apart from everything else and trying to find love, first learn to love yourself! You are most important to you and that’s all that matters.

With all my love,

Your future self

***

Helene from Beautiful Is My Attire

Dear Helene,

Time will fly and you will not understand how! You only have one life and you have to live it as best you can. You have to love each moment and whatever it brings to you; good or bad, joys or sorrows, failures and successes, it’s all for you. Don’t struggle to understand yourself and find your way instantly. You may never be able to do it, or maybe everything goes as you plan. Just make sure you enjoy the journey and live with the momentum and energy that youth gives you. You will never again be 20, 25 or 28.

Don’t forget something else very important: you are unique, there is no one else on the whole earth like you and that is your strength. Don’t care if others do not agree with what you are doing, what you think or what you say. As long as you do what you really want and love, as long as you mean everything you say and believe it and as long as you are true to yourself.

And as for the mistakes you make, these will become your lessons. For the mistakes of others the recipe is simple: don’t forget to forgive. The same applies to love. Love powerfully, embrace your feelings and your emotions! You may hurt and surely you will be hurt, but everything will pass, everything will be forgotten, new loves will come again and maybe they will last forever this time.

So, live your life to the maximum, live powerfully and with prudence, without any fear of tomorrow, and always follow your heart and intuition. 

Yours truly,
Helene

***

Kari from Life Kari Style

Dear Younger Kari,

I wanted to take a moment and let you in on a little secret. You marry a wonderful man. You’ll have your struggles here and there (everyone does), but you will be happy. Knowing that, don’t squander your young, single years worrying about finding him. In fact, you likely already have by this point. Enjoy living for yourself without having to make any compromises. Travel often. Invest in your friendships. Get a grasp on a healthy lifestyle now (you won’t struggle as much later). Cut back on the sugar. Do yoga (you’ll like it). Spend time with family. Save some of the money you’re making for some more great adventures later on. You are predisposed to working hard. Keep doing that. The experience you gain will be your bread and butter later. You’ve got this. I believe in you!

Your Truest Self,
Kari Chairez

What about you, dear readers? What would you tuck into an envelope to hand off to your younger self? I’d love to know!

Thanks so much to Whitney, Kanishka, Helene, and Kari for sharing their beautiful letters for this post. 🙂 If you haven’t done so already — go check out their blogs! And let them know I sent ya. xoxo 

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10 Easy Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

Chet and I got hitched a year and a half ago, and I loved every moment. (You can read all our wedding posts HERE.) It’s a relief when wedding planning is over, but it’s fun to think about what nuggets of knowledge I might pass on to couples in the throes of it. Those Spring and Summer weddings will be here before we know it! I think the thing I loved most about our wedding is how personal it felt. And that’s what I would encourage you to consider if you’re working on yours — find as many ways as you can to infuse the day with what and who you love, your personality, and the way you would truly do things. After all, it’s no one’s day but you and your partner’s! Here are ten easy ways to do so…

Create a wedding website

To curtail the number of questions you’ll no doubt get asked by guests, consider setting up a wedding website. This is the first element, besides your invitations (if you have ’em!), where you can really highlight your personality as a couple. There are tons of platforms that allow you to create a completely free website. Here’s a look at ours.  We included information about our venue, times, and listed a few housing options for the weekend. But we also included some information about ourselves and our relationship. One friend of my family remarked that watching our ceremony felt that much more personal because she had gotten to know Chet and our story a bit better before the big day.

Get creative with ceremony setting

If you’re not married (hee!) to having the ceremony in a religious setting, get creative. Consider lots of options, not just the ones that have hosted weddings on their property before. It never hurts to ask! Consider getting hitched in your backyard, at a museum, a library, or your favorite park where you got engaged. Plenty of spaces hold special meaning besides churches.

Gather your favorite folk

They say you’re the average of the people you spend the most time with and it’s kinda fun to make your guest list a reflection of that. A healthy mix of family, friends, and mentors who have seen you grow up, fall in love, and shape you into the couple standing before them. Sure there are some folks you’ll have to invite but don’t let them overwhelm the list. Gather your favorites as a reflection of YOU.

Make moments to play

I was beyond grateful to have someone in our corner who passed along this nugget of knowledge to us. And doubly grateful that this person was not just a dear friend but also our wedding photographer! She whisked us away for a couples shoot before the ceremony that felt more like an adventure than a check mark on the day’s to-do list.

Buck tradition (if it’s not your thing)

Keep the traditions you like and buck the ones you don’t. Nothing personalizes your wedding like setting your OWN traditions. And hey, they might stick! We totally loved that my brother and sister-in-law walked down the aisle together and decided to do it too.

Have a friend officiate

What could be more special and memorable than having a beloved fried officiate your wedding? Their words will ring so much more true than someone’s you hardly know. And more importantly, they can offer more than stock advice because they’re more familiar with your story and their words can paint a more accurate picture of you to your guests. Just have them hop online and get ordained!

Choose meaningful readings

This was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning but I’ve had friends tell me it was their LEAST! It can be a bit daunting to find the right words…especially written by someone else. Consider a broad scope of favorites (poetry, essays, excerpts from novels, etc.) and then read new material specifically for the occasion. You might find one perfect reading that does the job or you might want to include a bevvy! Then enlist some of those favorite folk to perform with gusto!

Write your own vows

The easiest way to really put your own stamp on your wedding is to write your vows…or even your whole ceremony! Create the structure you want and write it in your own words. If it feels daunting, remember formality doesn’t have to be the name of the game. Your vows can be written in the form of a letter or a simple conversation.

Serve your favorite food

If you’re known for loving a certain kind of food or your partner is famous for always baking certain type of treat, why not include it? I’m a firm believer that food can be an important part of one’s story. And often times the food we actually like is far cheaper than what’s offered on a catering menu. (Says the girl whose husband lovingly made 2 giant pots of gumbo the morning of their wedding while she just worked on getting pretty, haha!) Have a cookout style feast with burgers and hot dogs if that’s your jam. Serve slices of pie instead of cake. Mix up your signature cocktails. You followed your heart, now reward your belly.

Show off your last name

Finally, a super cute idea if you’re stumped for favors is to find a way to show off your new, married last name. We gave out Chet’s family’s signature seasoning – Breaux’s Bayou Shakedown. Google to see if you can find any products that share your last name or get crafty with a DIY or customize some meaningful trinket. Your guests will hold your new name in their heart when they look back at the item (or use it!).

Are you planning a wedding? (Congratulations!) What ways are you planning to personalize the experience? Already married folk – What advice would you give someone just setting off on their wedding planning journey? 

P.S. All photos above were lovingly captured by my wonderful friend and wedding photographer – Carrie Guggenmos of Sur La Lune Photography. She’s the best in the biz!

mid-week round-up

through the trees at sunset

How has your week been faring so far? We’ve been working on getting our Save the Date cards out in the mail and generally enjoying the cooler weather. We took a quick adventure through this Nature Preserve over the weekend and it felt like early fall. A little weird in the midst of February! Florida you’re full of surprises! The other night I watched a screening copy of a documentary about Malala Yousafzai and I’m excited to share my thoughts on it tomorrow. I hope you’ll come back then! May the rest of your week turn out lovely, and here are a few links for your enjoyment…

#IStandWithKesha

Taking a creative approach to educating students in mathematics.

My kind of horoscope.

Human trafficking is all around you.

This book sounds amazing.

19 secrets of IKEA employees.

The mothers of modern gynecology–Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy.

Hey! VINA is like Tinder for friends.

How to overcome and worry and be a friendlier person.

Children’s inventions come to life. (So cute!)

Adele and Ellen prank Jamba Juice.

Broad City’s jokes reward diehard fans.

Tech Gifts: For Holiday Binge Watching Sessions

 Chet is back today to bring you some more great tech gift ideas! Perhaps a little something to add to that Cyber Monday shopping list…

tech gifts: binge watching

Noticing sluggish performance in that Roku player? Smaller electronics are undergoing a kind of renaissance at the moment as mobile processors (the kind powering your smartphone) are getting massive performance boosts. This means your streaming box may be trying to run 2014 software on a 2013 platform. Normally, this hasn’t been much of an issue, but those advances mean noticeable performance degradation year over year. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay top dollar for a newer, faster streaming option. The trend now is the streaming stick, a very small Roku-type device that plugs directly into your tv. Roku offers a 50 dollar option, but it hasn’t been updated in a while and there are more affordable options this holiday season. The Google Chromecast is a 30 dollar streaming stick that plays Netflix, Hulu Plus, Youtube, the Google Play services, Crackle, and more. At 30 dollars, that’s the best bargain streaming stick on the market, though it doesn’t come with a remote. Instead, it uses a smartphone or tablet as a controller, which may be a little inconvenient, especially if your phone doesn’t get great battery life.


The newest product in this category is the Amazon Fire TV Stick. At 40 dollars, it’s slightly more expensive than the Chromecast, but does come with a remote. The Fire Stick also sports a blazing fast dual-core processor and more memory than any other stick on the market, translating to very snappy performance.

Thanks for the great info, Chet! Tomorrow we’ll bring you one more round of tech gift ideas so stay tuned! Have you guys started your Christmas shopping yet? Completely done? Did you take part in Black Friday? What about Small Business Saturday. Let me know in the comments below!