My 2020 Goals and Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! 2020 is already looking good, and I am so excited to share some new content with you all! Now, I know that people tend to laugh at the idea of “New Year’s resolutions” because sadly, a lot of the time people do not stick to them.  Well, I have always been very determined to reach my goals, and I am very easily motivated, so I am going to do my best.

First, I plan on continuing my once a month hikes but I want to do things just a little different this year. If you read my “2019 Year in Review” post, you would know that my uncle and I went hiking once a month for twelve months in 2019. This is something I plan on continuing, however I want to make it a bit more challenging. I am hoping to incorporate a few more intense hikes throughout the year. Last year, our hikes were not always incredibly challenging, but we did find new places every time we wanted to hike! If we are unable to find new places to do these intense hikes, that’s ok, as long as we get one hike in every month!

This next one may seem so simple, but it will be a bit of a challenge for me personally. I want to try to get more organized; this includes things such as my room and school work. I love to plan out my days and I like having a set schedule. I’ve already written down a schedule for this coming semester of college, and although I am going to have a lot on my plate, I think that I will be able to handle it. Making time for the things I need to get done is important, but I also want to make time to do things that I enjoy such as writing, relaxing, and going to the gym. When it comes to my room, I tend to get a bit lazy when it is time to clean. I am going to try to keep my clothes in order, and if I do not use or wear something, I want to give it away. I think many of you will be able to relate when I say that putting away clean clothes is NOT fun. I’ll usually leave it next to my closet until it piles up. I am going to make sure to keep my room neat because it makes me feel much happier when everything is where it should be. Plus, it’s aesthetically pleasing to walk into a clean room every day.

As many of you know, I am a total gym rat and I have been weight training for almost 4 years! I love everything about weight lifting and living a healthy life has made me incredibly happy and confident. In 2019, I did struggle with a loss of motivation when it came to the gym and with healthy eating, so this year things are going to change big time. I am still in college and managing my time has always been difficult for me, so I am going to come up with a schedule for myself that includes my college classes, the gym, work, and spending time with family, friends, and myself. I plan to try to get to the gym at least 3 times a week, but I will work out for a total of 5 (meaning that I will do 2 at-home workouts a week plus the 3 days in the gym). As for food, I am creating a list of healthy foods that I enjoy and I will try to incorporate them into my daily meals. This includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, protein, and water!

Toward the end of 2019, I woke up every morning and I would compliment myself and tell myself that it was going to be a great day. Doing this absolutely changed my mood and set good intentions for the day ahead. It made me feel happy and a bit more confident as well. I am going to continue doing this daily, because you get to choose how your days go. Yes, we all have bad days, but you can always start over the next day, and you can start it on a more positive note. I also noticed that I sometimes talk down about myself and lately when I notice myself doing this, I stop talking. Starting now, if I want to say something I don’t like about myself, I won’t say it. We all have flaws, but it is so important to accept them and love ourselves anyway. I have talked about the power of your mind on my blog before, and it is something that I truly believe in. Your mind is a very powerful thing. Feed it love and good thoughts, and it can change your life. Ever since I made the decision to be happy and to love myself, things started to change in the most amazing way.

I’ve always enjoyed staying in my comfort zone. The problem with this is that you won’t ever grow by staying comfortable. I am going to share some very exciting news with you all soon and it is about an opportunity that I said yes to. I am nervous about it because it is a big step for me, but I am proud of the decision I’ve made and I am so excited for the opportunity! In 2020, I am going to try to step out of my comfort zone a bit and do things that scare me (only if they are going to help me grow).

Lastly, in 2020, I am going to continue writing as much as I can because the only way to get better at something is to actually do it. Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl. Little did I know then that it would turn into my dream. I love being able to write about my passions and share it with the world. I want to be able to write and help others, so I am going to continue doing that this year and for all of the years ahead.

I am very focused on my own personal growth right now, and I am going to continue to love myself unconditionally, and I am going to do my best to gain as much confidence in myself as I can. Thank you again for coming on this journey with me. You don’t know what it means to me. I’ve said it before, and I will always say it: the purpose of my blog is to share my passions, to inspire others, and to help me as well as my readers  gain confidence in ourselves. So, if you’re new here, welcome to Compass to Confidence! 2020 is here and I want to continue to show myself and the world around me nothing but love. Leave me a comment below telling me some of your New Year’s resolutions!

2019 Year in Review + Thank You

Well, 2019 has come to an end. Another year has come and gone. It’s crazy, but the older I get, the faster the years seem to go by. It’s kind of scary to be honest, but I’m so excited for my future and to simply live my life that I don’t let it scare me too much. Today, I wanted to share my 2019 year in review with you all. I only created my website and started blogging in August of this year, so I didn’t get to share some other big moments that occurred earlier in 2019 with you.

Before I discuss my highlights for 2019, I wanted to mention that these are just my highlights. This year was not perfect, and I definitely had some bad moments, but overall this was a pretty great year for me. I always want to be 100% honest with you all, and I believe that vulnerability is what connects us. I don’t want those of you who had a difficult year to read this post and think that ONLY good things happened to me because this is not true. I am human after all, so my life is in no way perfect, but I wanted to share some moments that I am most proud of, as well as moments that simply made me happy. If this was not your best year, try to look back and celebrate your victories, no matter how small. Even if you didn’t accomplish every little thing you wanted to do, it is OK! Be proud of where you are today, and try to do better in 2020!

When 2019 first started, I had no idea what my life would look like when it ended, and although nothing absolutely insane happened, I feel different in the best way. I completed many of my goals, one of which was to go hiking once a month for twelve months. My uncle and I decided to do this together since we both enjoy hiking and he is very outdoorsy and adventurous so he was the perfect person to do this with. Our hikes were not always very strenuous (most of them were fairly easy), but being outdoors for a bit and using this time to exercise made me feel good and I always looked forward to those Sunday morning hikes.

Another thing that I have accomplished this year is something I am extremely proud of. On February 23rd, I celebrated three years of weight lifting! I truly cannot believe that I have been weight lifting for almost four years now! Time is going by so fast, and honestly, when it comes to the gym, it hasn’t always been easy. If you’ve been keeping up with me for a while now, you would probably know that I got a bit off track with the gym and with eating healthy this year, but I refuse to let this stop me from continuing my fitness and health journey. I fell in love with weight training so quickly thanks to my dad who taught me everything when I was sixteen years old. I am now twenty and so much stronger and more confident than I ever have been and the gym has played such a major role in my life. I have learned so much about myself because of it, and I have realized how easily motivated I am as well as my loyalty and dedication to reaching a goal that I really wanted to reach. In January of this year, I also celebrated two years of (mostly) healthy eating. I changed up my diet in January of 2018, and even though it has been difficult this year, I’ve stuck with it pretty well.

This year, I got to cross quite a few items off of my bucket list, one of which was going to Nashville! I had been to Tennessee a couple times before, but I never got to see Nashville until this past spring! I loved walking down Broadway and hearing the live music everywhere we went. The food was great, and although it rained most of the time we were there, I didn’t let it ruin my time. I had so much fun and I was able to see The Grand Ole Opry and The Parthenon.

My family enjoys traveling often, and we usually go somewhere new every year. This year, we were surprised with a trip to Alaska! I had always wanted to go on a cruise, and I was able to check this off of my bucket list! In June, we spent one week on the Norwegian Jewel, and then we spent another week in Alaska traveling on our own. The cruise was so much fun, and Alaska was absolutely beautiful. We got to see Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Anchorage, Denali, and Fairbanks. I am incredibly grateful that I get to travel often and see such breathtaking places with the people I love most.

This year, I turned twenty which was very exciting for me. I am no longer a teenager, and I feel both excited and nervous for the next decade. It’s crazy to think that in ten years I am going to be thirty! My life could completely change in these next ten years. So much could happen. I am proud of who I am today, and I am really looking forward to blossoming into the woman I am becoming. I know she’s going to do amazing things.

I had been wanting to create my own blog/website for so long now, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure how or where to start. I wanted to find a way to get my writing out there, but the idea of other people reading my words made me anxious. I obviously got over that fear, and I absolutely love blogging and being able to write about my passions while helping others. I feel like I am already fulfilling my purpose in life, and I am so excited to continue blogging in 2020.

This year, I started my junior year of college. College is definitely not easy, but I feel that it is rewarding and exciting. As a junior, I am finally getting to take more classes related to my interests and I really feel like I am learning so much information that is going to be very useful to me and my future career. I am proud of what I have accomplished in college so far, and I am looking forward to finishing my junior year strong.

Another highlight of this year is something that I never thought I would have the guts to do, and that is get a tattoo. My best friend and I had been talking about getting tattoos together for a while, but we never ended up doing it. Finally, in September, we went to get our first tattoos together and I am still so in love with it. This was another item on my bucket list and I was really excited to check this off with my best friend by my side! I am already planning my next tattoo, but I don’t want to go crazy! I want my tattoos to be mostly dainty and feminine.

Lastly, I was able to attend another concert this year! I had been to a few concerts before, but I definitely think that this one was the best! One of my best friends and I went to see the Jonas Brothers in November. I grew up listening to their music and watching them on TV, so seeing them live was like a childhood dream come true! I am so glad that they are back together and their new music is amazing.

2019 was a really great year for me. I really wanted to focus on growth and self-love, and that is exactly what I did and plan on continuing not just in 2020, but for the rest of my life. The purpose of my blog is to share my passions and to help me gain confidence in myself, but it is also about you, my readers, because I hope to help you gain confidence in yourselves as well. I want us to walk this journey of self-love together, because it is not easy, and sometimes you need someone to help you along the way.

I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who come back to read my blog posts every week, and to those of you who have supported my website since my first post. I am very proud of what I have been able to do with my website so far. I get so excited when I see a like or a comment from you guys, and I hope to get to know you, my readers, a bit better as time goes on. I plan on sharing a bit more about myself with you all, and I have some exciting posts coming up in the new year. (If any of you have any recommendations or posts you would like to see me create, let me know in a comment below! I would really appreciate it if you shared my blog with your friends and family as well!)

I am so excited to head into 2020 feeling the way that I do. I am feeling more positive and confident than I ever have, and I want to share it all with you. Thank you so much again. You don’t know how happy writing makes me, and being able to share it with you feels like my dream is coming true. That little girl with her diary in hand would be thrilled to see her future self living her dream. I’ve always been scared to share my writing with the world, and maybe that’s why I held back from creating a blog, but I’m not scared anymore. Two of my biggest goals in life are to write and to help others. I truly feel that this is what I am meant to do in my life, so nothing is going to hold me back. I hope you all have a Happy New Year, and I’ll talk to you all soon! Thank you!

(I wanted to briefly share that in 2020, I plan on changing up the look of my website just a bit. This is going to be a gradual change. The whole concept of my site is going to stay the same, but the look of it may change a little. I wanted to let you all know so that there wouldn’t be any confusion!)

Saying "Yes" to New Opportunities (And Why You Should Never Fear Growth)

I recently said yes to an opportunity that is going to lead me to one of my biggest dreams. I don’t think I’ve fully processed the thought that it is going to happen, but I am still very excited for this experience. I am not going to share it with you just yet, but I will be posting all about it on my social media accounts and of course my website in the near future!

Anyone who knows me knows that I can be very quiet and introverted a lot of the time, especially around people I don’t know. I don’t have many friends, and I often keep to myself. I prefer to be at home with my family over anything else. I like having an everyday routine, and I love planning. I enjoy staying safe in my comfort zone, to put it simply. The only problem with this is that opportunities will pass you by when you constantly choose the safe option. I saw a quote recently that said, “The safe option could fail too” and it stuck with me. I don’t want to be the person who says no to opportunities that are going to help me grow; I’ve done it enough already. When I think of the woman I am trying to become, I imagine her saying yes more often to things that are good for her, and I imagine that she is extremely confident in herself and her choices. This is the woman I want to be. And maybe deep down I am her. Maybe she’s finally shining through.

Lately I feel like many great things have been coming my way. I have so much to look forward to. I think that this has been happening because I have been putting so much positivity and love out into the world for so long and it’s making its way back to me. I have been focusing on constantly bettering myself, loving myself, and being kind to myself. If you know the purpose and goal of my blog, you’d know that it is all about finding confidence in myself, and for you, my readers, to find confidence in yourselves. This self-love journey that we are on together is rocky and imperfect, but I know in my heart that we could all benefit from showing more love and kindness to ourselves. Saying yes more often is one way that I am bettering myself and pushing myself to grow.

I have thought long and hard about making this decision that I cannot wait to share with you all. It is something that I have been dreaming about for so long now. Just because I have been dreaming about this, it doesn’t mean that the decision was easy for me to make (eventually, I will discuss why). I turned to my family and friends to get their opinions and advice. I am so extremely grateful to have good people in my life whom I trust and value the opinions of. They helped me weigh the pros and cons, and they supported me. This decision may have seemed like a no brainer to some, but to me it was important and it required me to think. I believe that you should never make big decisions on a whim, but you also shouldn’t over think it too much. I am still trying not to stress or worry so much. It’s good to be aware of the consequences of our choices, just don’t let them consume you.

I am proud of myself for choosing to take a risk. For choosing to do something that absolutely terrifies me, because even though I am terrified, I am excited as well. One of my biggest dreams is about to come true. This is a big step for me to take, and I am a bit nervous for what’s to come, but I know this opportunity is bound to bring me good things. It is going to help me grow.

Don’t be afraid of growth. Don’t be afraid of failure. I am learning this now, and I am so excited to see where this journey takes me. I will be sharing this decision with all of you in the new year, so stay tuned! If you are stuck trying to make a difficult decision, this is your sign. If it is going to help you grow, take the risk. Thank you so much for reading! I know this isn’t a holiday related post, but I wanted to share it with you before the year is over! Be on the lookout for more holiday posts coming very soon!

The Holidays in My Home

There is no denying that this is my favorite time of year! I love it for so many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is that I get to relax and be with the people I love the most. I get to enjoy fun holiday treats that I may not eat at any other time of the year, and my room is decorated with Christmas lights and garland. Today, I wanted to chat a little bit about this time of year, my family’s traditions, and how we celebrate the holidays in my home!

I’m not going to lie; it can be difficult for me to get into the holiday spirit when I am still in school! I am in my third year of college and I am currently studying for finals, which can be pretty stressful. I am trying to get into the holiday spirit, but I feel like I will fully get into it once the semester is over (2 more finals to go)! During the holidays, I love to just be at home, watching Christmas movies and wearing cozy pajamas. I used to drink hot chocolate almost every day because I was so obsessed with it. Now I really only drink it occasionally, but even more so around Christmas time!

My family has quite a few little traditions that we follow every single year. Most of them are small, but they’re meaningful to my family. Every year, my mom will get us Christmas pajamas and fuzzy socks on Christmas Eve (they’re usually matching in some way), and we have a little party for my immediate family. We always do our own version of “The Feast of the Seven Fishes”. My Grandma and Mom will always make clams, shrimp, and sometimes lobster tails and we will also have cheese plates, fruit and vegetable plates, bowls of chips and dip, and all of the desserts including cookies, ice cream, and pie. We’ll play some Christmas music and just hang out in the dining and living room for a bit. After this, a few of us will sometimes play a bored game like Pictionary (my uncle and I are always a team and we always win). This is actually a more recent tradition, but my siblings and I will also play Mario Kart or Mario Party before we all go to bed on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Even though I am getting older and some of that Christmas magic is no longer with me, I still end up waking up early on Christmas Day. I still get excited. My parents have actually told me that before me and my siblings were born, they used to open presents on Christmas Eve, but I never really liked the idea. On Christmas, once everyone is awake, we will start to go through our stockings and open gifts. Christmas music will be playing in the background as we open our gifts one by one. Every year we end up laughing so much because my family will sometimes write “To: (insert embarrassing or random nickname they call us here)” on our presents. There’s nothing better than seeing your loved ones reactions when opening gifts that you picked out for them and with my family’s sense of humor, there is bound to be some weird/funny gift exchanges!  I feel extremely grateful to receive gifts on Christmas from my family members.

After this, we will just spend some time together and I’ll definitely be eating all of the chocolate in my stocking! Every Christmas dinner has been the same for us for quite a while now: stuffed shells (because you can never go wrong with pasta)! My Mom usually makes the shells with ricotta and mozzarella cheese with marinara sauce. It is so delicious and I always look forward to having it! Then a little while later we will take out some of the leftover cheese plates, fruit, chips, and desserts from Christmas Eve! We also have a variety of drinks out on the table.

For New Years Eve, we celebrate later on in the day. Once again, we will put a few snacks out on the dining room table, and we will have the TV on to watch the ball drop in New York City at midnight. We’ll take some photos and get our noise makers and whistles ready. At this point, I am already in my pajamas. We also follow another tradition on this day: before the stroke of midnight, my family needs to eat 12 grapes for the 12 months ahead, and if you finish all of your grapes before midnight you will have good luck in the New Year! I am not sure where this tradition really came from, but we’ve been doing it all our lives. Once midnight hits, my family goes around the room to hug each other and say “Happy New Year”.  On New Year’s Day, we always go to one of our favorite Italian restaurants for lunch, and after this, the celebrations come to an end and we begin the New Year with each other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me and my family and how we celebrate the holidays! Leave me a comment below, and tell me how you celebrate the holidays or if you have any traditions you follow! Thank you for reading!

The Consequences of Not Loving Yourself

If you are familiar with my website, you would know that it is all about finding confidence and self-love. This is because I have struggled with it for so long. I have found confidence in myself through my family and friends, my passions, and simply by experiencing life. Over the years, I have become so much more confident, and I am working hard every day to become the woman I want to be. This is not an easy goal to reach though. Something that I’ve realized is that NO ONE is confident 100% of the time. There are things that I am very good at/things I enjoy doing such as weight training and writing. Even something as simple as being able to put a stylish outfit together can make me feel confident, however I am not good at everything, and I still struggle with many things.

Due to my lack of confidence over the years, I have directly seen what not loving yourself can do to you, and it isn’t pretty. Luckily, I have always been good at being myself and doing what I believe is right for me. I rarely followed/follow the crowd, and I am proud of that. But just because I have always done my own thing, does not mean that I was/am always confident. When you don’t love yourself, you sometimes settle for things you don’t deserve. Sometimes you let people use you and hurt you, and you don’t understand why they keep doing it. What I learned is that it kept happening to me because I let it. Because I didn’t love myself enough to say “I don’t deserve this. I deserve better”.

Recognizing your worth is so important, yet many people don’t talk about it. When you don’t recognize your self worth, you are going to find that you are unhappy a lot of the time. Something that I’ve realized is that happiness comes from within you, and you should never place your happiness in anyone else’s hands. It is completely OK to have people in your life who bring you happiness and joy. You should have these people in your life. You just have to be very careful and selective of who you share your happiness with. What I believe is that you, yourself should be able to make yourself happy. It can be hard to trust other people because not everyone wants you to be happy. Not everyone wants you to succeed. Do not let anyone take away your happiness or your confidence. Sometimes, I will randomly feel extremely happy for no particular reason, and I believe that this is the best kind of happy to be. No one did anything specific to make me happy, so no one can take it away. It came from me, and I love experiencing those moments.

There are so many simple ways to practice self-love. I do things daily that make me feel good. They could be as simple as relaxing for a little bit, or something more exciting to me such as weightlifting or pampering myself. I also try to compliment myself daily, particularly on the days when I am not feeling so great. Getting enough sleep, getting some work done, and ranting about your day to a friend are all ways to practice self-love. I tend to talk down about myself sometimes, and I used to not think twice about it, and now I recognize when I do this. I am trying to stop the negative self-talk, and either replace it with love and kindness, or not say anything at all. When you want to say, “I can’t do that, it’s too hard” replace it with, “I know this may not be easy, but I am going to try my best”. Instead of saying, “I suck at ___” say, “I need to practice ___”. I have trouble doing this, but I am going to try to start. When you tell yourself that you aren’t smart, beautiful, or strong, you WILL start to believe it (check out my post titled “The Power of Your Mind” for more on this).

When you don’t love yourself, you may find that you are constantly going through the same old cycle. Dealing with the same people who don’t lift you up. Feeling like you aren’t worthy, or beautiful, or smart. If you choose confidence and self-love, you are going to go so much further in life than if you were to continuously put yourself down. It isn’t easy, and I believe that it is a journey that we will be on for the rest of our lives. Even when we get to a point in our lives where we feel incredibly confident, there will still be moments where we may not feel that way. We are forever growing and changing. When I look back, I can’t believe some of the things that I put up with, but I have since changed, and for that I am so grateful. Don’t fear self-love, because on the other side may be everything you deserve and more.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope that my message sticks with you today, and I hope that you continue to better yourself and walk in the direction of confidence and self-love. Know that you aren’t alone on the journey, and I am right there with you. Your passions and your confidence will lead you to your dreams.  I feel like mine are beginning to come true already.

How to Keep the Magic of the Holidays Alive

Today, I wanted to chat about this time of year and how the holidays can feel somewhat bittersweet as we get older. Don’t worry; this is not going to be a completely depressing post! I want to share the ways that you can still keep the magic alive during this time of year as well.

There is nothing like waking up as a kid on Christmas morning and seeing that Santa Claus stopped by. It is such a magical feeling and nothing can really compare to it. As children, we believed in so many things; Santa, The Easter Bunny, and if you were in my family, maybe even a leprechaun and the Sandman. Sadly, this magic doesn’t last too long. We end up finding out that all of these magical creatures do not actually exist and it can be very upsetting. I remember my first Christmas when I found out that Santa wasn’t real. Even though I was happy and excited on Christmas day, it just didn’t feel the same. The holidays have always been important to me and I have always enjoyed this time of year, however as I am getting older I feel like the magic of all of it is disappearing. I am a full-time college student and sometimes, even though I am technically on “break”, I may still have work to do. I want to be able to relax and participate in fun holiday activities, but I am not done with the semester just yet, so it can be a bit stressful. If you are a college student like me, or it is a really busy time at work right now, try to manage your time. Every day, I make sure to get a good amount of school work done, so I can somewhat enjoy my weekends. Weekends during this time of year are usually when I can feel a bit more festive!

How to keep the magic alive:

  • Decorate

This is my first tip because it is such a simple thing to do, yet it can really get us into the holiday spirit. Decorate your home for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! If you do not celebrate one of these, just decorate for the season! Even when I am drowning in school work, being surrounded by a string of lights or holiday scented candles can really boost my holiday spirit.

  • Bake or cook holiday related recipes

You do not have to be a professional chef or baker to make some fun holiday treats. If you are not very experienced in the kitchen, go out and buy holiday themed cake mix or those ready to bake holiday sugar cookies! If you do have some great cooking/baking skills, try googling a recipe for something pumpkin spice, apple cider, or cinnamon flavored, or come up with your own recipe and share it with your loved ones!

  • Spend time with children

If you have younger siblings or cousins, take them out to go trick or treating, or bring them to meet Santa at the mall. Even though you may not believe in Santa or monsters anymore, they do, and it is still a very precious thing to see the look in a child’s eyes when they see Santa Claus, or when they get home from trick or treating and pour out their giant bag of candy. Don’t ever ruin the magic that children feel , and let them enjoy it as long as they can!

  • Attend or throw a party

It doesn’t have to be a big party, and you could just invite friends or family. I love to plan small parties for my friends and family, and it gives you a moment to be with the people you care about during the holidays. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to do this either. You can also try DIY (Do It Yourself) decorations or holiday clothing if you wanted to. (Pinterest can be very helpful when planning a party!)

  • Spend time with the people you love the most

 I feel lucky to say that I have the most incredible and loving family, and I always love spending time with them. They are the most important thing to me. I always spend the holidays with my immediate family, and that is all we need! I know that not everyone is close with their family, or sometimes you may have to see family members that you’re not incredibly close to at this time of year. If you can relate to this, spend time with your friends or just the people that matter most to you, whoever that may be!

  • Watch holiday themed movies

As a college student, I feel like there are times when I don’t even have a minute to breathe, but if you’re not on break and you manage your time well, you can definitely fit a couple holiday movies in your schedule! There is nothing better than sitting down with family to watch a Halloween or Christmas movie. At Christmas time, I absolutely love putting on Christmas pajamas, making some hot chocolate, and sitting by the lit up Christmas tree while watching movies.

  • Follow your traditions (or make your own)

My family has little things that we do every year during the holidays. One of my favorites is on New Years Eve, before the stroke of midnight, you have to finish eating 12 grapes (I think I may have finished mine only a couple of times)! I am not entirely sure where this tradition came from, but I am pretty sure we’ve done it my whole life. If you don’t really have any traditions, make some new ones to follow!

  • Go out and find holiday related events in your area

By simply googling events in your area, you are bound to find some kind of holiday event. You could go ice skating, visit haunted trails, get lost in a corn maze, go to a pumpkin patch, go apple picking, or go sledding. Also, there are many things that you can do for free such as driving around to see Christmas lights. Find an event that interests you, and show up with your friends or family.

  • Do something kind for others

Whether this means buying your family gifts or giving back to those who have less, a small act of kindness can really go a long way. Nothing beats the anticipation when your loved ones are opening gifts that you picked out just for them. If you can’t afford to buy gifts for your loved ones, tell them you love them and let them know just how important to you they are. Since I love to write, sometimes I will write my family cards that simply remind them how much I love them. Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter the most.

As we get older, the holidays can feel bittersweet. I think every adult and teen misses being a kid and experiencing that magic again, but it doesn’t have to disappear. I hope that this post was helpful to you, and I hope that you fight to keep that holiday magic alive no matter how old you get! Thank you for reading, now go make the most out of the last few months of the decade/year!

My First Tattoo Experience

I have wanted a tattoo for such a long time now, and I kind of can’t believe that I can look down and see PERMANENT ink on my body. I was probably around the age of 15 or 16 when I started looking at tattoos online, and thinking to myself “I want tattoos one day”. Deciding on what to get without over thinking was definitely a challenge for me. A tattoo is something that I knew I needed to think long and hard about because I didn’t want to regret it or decide on a whim, but I also didn’t want to over think it completely. For a long time, I sort of thought that tattoos should always have a meaning, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that they don’t have to have any kind of meaning, and you could just simply get the tattoo because it looks cool and you like it.

After talking about it for a while, my best friend and I decided that we would finally get serious and look for a professional, clean, and trustworthy tattoo shop. We did our research, and it took a bit of time, but we both eventually agreed on a local tattoo shop. We started thinking about the tattoos that we wanted, and I honestly was not 100% sure about my idea. I changed it twice within a short time period, so I felt a bit unsure throughout the process. We never ended up going to get our tattoos, and summer was right around the corner. I knew I wanted to go in the ocean and tan at the pool, so we decided to put off the tattoos until summer ended. I told myself that I would do it for sure in September. Summer came to an end and we started talking about getting our tattoos again. I had a lot of time to think over the summer and I finally decided on a tattoo that I knew I would love, and I knew that there would never be a reason to regret it. This time it felt more real. I started watching videos about getting tattoos and I was reading about the most painful body parts to get tattooed and I have to be honest, although doing research is important, it didn’t really calm my nerves.

Once we visited the tattoo shop that we agreed on, we were able to speak to a tattoo artist and we showed her what we wanted. We got her contact information so we would be able to schedule an appointment and she began drawing our tattoos. I was a little nervous about this part because I wanted it to be original, and I already had a good idea of what I wanted in my head. I was just hoping that our tattoo artist could create my vision. After a few days she sent us her drawings of our tattoos, and we spent some time explaining to her the things we liked and the things we wanted to change. It took a few tries, but she sent me another drawing and I knew I had my tattoo. Our appointment was coming up quickly and with each day that passed, I got a bit more anxious.

It was finally the day of our tattoo appointment and I was feeling jittery and nervous. It was all I could think about. Days leading up to the appointment, I would randomly text my best friend things like, “In a few days, we are going to go to sleep with tattoos on our bodies!” After my classes, I drove home feeling excited and terrified and I called my best friend to let her know that she could come over.

We could not have picked a better place or artist to get our first tattoos. We walked in, and our artist and the shop owner greeted us and made us feel very welcome. They made us feel more comfortable, and they were extremely kind and professional. Our artist took the time to explain everything she was doing, and she made sure that we loved what she designed. We were very nervous to get our tattoos, but my best friend decided to go first. My nerves went away while I held my best friends hand as she got her first tattoo, but they quickly came back as I sat down to get mine.  It is very scary to have to put all of your trust into a stranger, but she did an amazing job!  I did not really know what to expect pain wise, but it was obviously not a very pleasant feeling. I would say that at most, the pain was a 7 out of 10 and at the lowest it was about a 5. There were a couple spots that hurt more than others, but I had my eyes shut almost the entire time. We ended up making the blue shading a bit darker for my tattoo, and once it was over I was incredibly happy. My tattoo really doesn’t have any kind of personal meaning. I honestly just thought that it was beautiful and simple, and it is exactly what I wanted and planned on getting. Our artist explained how to take care of our tattoos, and told us to stop by and say hi any time. I do plan on getting more tattoos in the future, and if I am able to, I am definitely going back to the same shop and artist. Overall, it was a pretty exciting experience and I am grateful that I got to do it with my best friend by my side. I know that a tattoo is a big deal, but I know for a fact that this is not something I will ever regret.

Healing Update: My tattoo began scabbing over a couple days after getting it, and then the itching and peeling began. The itching was on and off, but it was SO annoying ( it only lasted a few days)! Then the top layer peeled off. I have been using A & D ointment three times a day on my tattoo, and I am still so in love with it! I kind of wish it was completely healed already, but it’ll get there!

Thank you for taking the time to read about my first tattoo experience!  If you have any questions for me, leave a comment below! Don’t forget to subscribe and share with your friends!

Creating “Compass to Confidence”

Those closest to me know that I have always had a passion for writing. As a little girl I would write in a diary often and before I could even fill up one journal, I had already bought my next one (I am almost positive that none of those journals were ever filled completely). I would write about my days; what I did, the friends I saw, etc. As I have gotten older, I have changed so much and so has my writing. For me personally, writing has been my way of reflecting on the things that I have learned/am learning. We are human, and we are always growing and learning. No matter what I am going through, I always like to keep a positive mindset and writing has helped me with this so much. Have you ever read something and it stuck with you? Or you felt like you understood exactly what the author was saying? When I read poetry or work written by other people, I often feel a connection. The thing I love the most about writing is that you don’t have to speak to connect with people. This connection that I often feel has inspired me and made me want to help others as well. If I could live my life helping people through my writing, I would feel extremely fulfilled. I decided to call my blog “Compass to Confidence” because something that I’ve struggled with, and continue to struggle with at times, is self confidence. Although I am a much more confident person than I used to be, I am not where I would like to be just yet. I created this blog to help others and to share the ways that my passions have led me to become a more confident woman. I am still becoming the person that I am meant to be, and I would love it if we helped guide each other in the direction of confidence and self-love.

What I Wear:

I have loved beauty and fashion for as long as I can remember, and it is still something I adore to this day. Over the years I have learned how to dress myself properly for any and all occasions. On a budget? No problem! Don’t forget that I am a college student who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on my clothing (although I do still want to look put together and fashionable). My main focus will be on my favorite affordable clothing stores! I plan on sharing new purchases, ootds (outfit of the days), styling tips, and so much more!

Here and There:

There is absolutely no feeling like traveling somewhere new, and I am grateful to get to experience that feeling often. Over the years I have been lucky enough to travel with my family and I have seen so many beautiful places. I plan on sharing travel tips and tricks, and telling stories about my past vacations. It is a goal of mine to travel as much as I can in my life, and my dream vacation is Paris! Although travel may not seem like it can make a person that much more confident, seeing the world has definitely made me feel very appreciative and more aware of other cultures.

Makeup and Hair:

I fell in love with makeup at a very young age. Every Christmas I was given a Barbie or Bratz makeup kit and my go-to look was chalky blue eye shadow, bright pink blush, and a deep red lip (thank god things have changed)! Around the age of 10 I discovered the beauty community on YouTube and learned everything I needed to know from the popular beauty gurus. (Anyone remember Juicystar07 or Macbarbie07?!) I began to wear makeup more often, and I have made all of the beginner mistakes. I wore foundation that was too dark and too light. I did not blend my eyeshadows enough. I was way too rough when removing my makeup. Skip to present day, where I am still just as makeup obsessed, however, I now feel much more confident in my makeup abilities (granted, I am still learning how to perfect a few different looks). I will be giving beauty tips, reviewing beauty products, and teaching you how to create the perfect everyday makeup look (among many other things)!

I would also like to mention that drugstore brands are typically what I purchase, so the products that I share with you will be affordable!

Entertainment to Share:

I am very much in tune with pop culture and I love following celebrities and keeping up to date on new music and movies/TV shows. I am constantly listening to music and finding new songs to workout to, and I love the way that art can connect with so many people across the world.  I plan to share posts that relate to my current music faves, movies/TV shows, and books I’ve been loving! Entertainment is another interest of mine that may not bring me a ton of confidence, however I think it will be fun to share my interests and find people out there who are interested in similar music, books, movies/TV shows as me! (I am a big Top 40s fan, and pop music is my favorite, but I do listen to and enjoy many different genres of music, so stick around!)

Fitness and Self-Care:

 In February of 2016, I began my fitness journey and I fell in love with weight lifting thanks to my Dad. He taught me everything that I needed to know about training.  My overall health has become very important to me over the past few years and it has changed my life for the better. I want to share my fitness journey with you, and I plan on giving tips for my fellow gym goers, healthy meal ideas, and ways to take care of your mind, body, and soul. (Focusing on my overall health has been one of the biggest steps I took that led me to becoming much more confident!)

Grab a Chair:

For this section of my blog, I plan on sharing many of my random thoughts. When I write about my feelings, I could go on forever, but I’ll try to keep it somewhat short for you. I sometimes feel that I have a better way with words when I am writing rather than speaking. If you care to read some of my deeper and slightly more personal thoughts, feel free to check this section out, and I hope that you feel a connection.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first post, “Creating ‘Compass to Confidence’”! I would appreciate it if you would like this post and share with your friends! Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when I post something new! I can’t wait for you to come on this journey with me!