Leading a Life of Positivity

Leading a life of positivity is by no means an easy task. This is especially true during difficult times, however it is extremely beneficial, and you can feel the impact it has on your life almost instantly. Being a positive or optimistic person does not mean neglecting your negative emotions; it simply means that you choose to fight through, despite the obstacles that lie ahead. While it is important and natural to genuinely feel any emotions and feelings you may have, it is also hugely beneficial to actively keep positive thoughts within reach. Excessive negativity is a slippery slope, with the way back becoming more and more challenging the deeper you may slide. A balance then, is a good and safeguarded idea.

The term “toxic positivity” has been floating around the internet for a while now. This refers to the way that an individual may neglect, deny, or reject any of their negative emotions and instead, feeling the need to excessively have a positive attitude. We as human beings are complex, and at times, this may mean that we need to look deeper within ourselves to truly understand why we feel the way we do. It may not always be comfortable to be alone and to sit with your own thoughts and feelings, however in order to learn more about the person you are, this is essential, and even more so if you want to live more positively. Don’t be afraid to dig deep under the surface to get to your soul.

While it is never a good thing to repress feelings, it is important to come back to positivity. There is always light to be found, and sometimes you have to look a little harder. Accepting yourself and your emotions can give you the space and peace you need to move forward. It can take time; some obstacles you face may take days, months, or even years to battle through, but being positive is a choice you get to make every single day.

The learnings and self-discovery elements of feeling all emotions are among reasons why it is important to experience both sides of the attitude seesaw. Just as with growing-up and adapting to ‘the real world’, growing through our experiences is necessary for personal development. Time itself and our thought processes should fuel debate in our internal monologue, eventually leading to understanding, acceptance and perhaps answered questions too – whether independently or dependently. A person’s explanatory style (the way you describe and explain the events in your life) can dictate the outcome of the aforementioned process. Collectively, the results can vary significantly from one person to another.

Not straying too far from the path of positivity is often a challenging thing to do amidst trouble, but with habitual glances in this direction, it can be made easier. Believing that things happen for a reason is a great way of feeding optimistic rationale into your explanatory style. There are many circumstances that we cannot control in life, so relinquishing that grasp will lift a weight from our burdened shoulders. Letting go of the things that are out of our hands is often a tricky thing to do, but when you master this, you will be free. There are certainly some situations in life that we do have control over as well, so once you find the root of the problem, or the spark that started the fire, don’t be afraid to ask for help or speak up about how you are feeling. This can be the start of a new view on life, leading you down a positive path.

Practicing gratefulness can heavily influence our mood, both presently and prospectively. Although not always obvious, there is always so much to be thankful for and sometimes we need to remind ourselves and others of those beautiful things. There may be moments when we forget about the many blessings in our lives, and instead focus on all that we don’t have. Try not to get stuck in this mindset that you are lacking, because this is not the case. You have all that you need within you to become your best self, to succeed, and to reach positivity with bravery and strength. You lack nothing.

Engaging in self-care routines, prior to, during and after our difficulties is a wonderful way to build resilience and to steadfastly pursue an elevated perspective. By investing quality time in ourselves, we look at life through a more truthful lens, revealing just how beautiful and capable we really are. In particular, capability in perseverance to run with endurance, in this marathon we call life.

– Amanda Sacchere & Tom Patch

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post. Tom and I hope that you found it engaging and inspirational, and we really appreciate your support with our writing. We truly believe in uplifting and supporting others, and that is always the hope and goal with my/our blog posts. We both see the importance of leading a life of positivity; we hope that you see it too!

To Tom:

I can’t thank you enough for writing this blog post with me. I love learning more about your view on life as well as your own personal thoughts and opinions on such important topics. It allows me to understand your soul, and it is a soul that I am so deeply in love with and I admire to pieces! Thank you for always reminding me to come back to who I truly am: a positive and optimistic person. I love you!

How to Pose for Photos

There are some people who will do absolutely anything to avoid having their picture taken, and then there are people like me. I actually like having my photos taken! Over the years, I have figured out what works for me when it comes to posing for photos, so today I will be sharing some of my go-to poses as well as a few helpful tips! These are also great for those of you who would describe yourselves as a bit more shy or awkward in photos. They are all very simple to do, and I am very excited to be sharing them with you today! All of these are standing poses, however I will be making a post for sitting poses soon!

Hand in hair

If you follow me on Instagram or you know me well, you’d know that this is my go-to pose. It’s simple, but I think it’s really cute! It also works really well if you do not have any kind of prop with you. I especially like this pose up close. I believe that it works best when your hair is down, but you can also play with a pony tail or a bun, so you can really make it your own!

Hold a prop

This is one of the best ways to get a great photo of yourself because it’s so easy to play around with a prop! You can use anything from sunglasses to a purse to flowers! Sometimes I like to put one hand on my sunglasses whether they are on top of my head or on my face (it can often look candid or as if you were moving while the photo was being taken). Most of the time, I am carrying some kind of purse (I typically go for crossbody bags). This is another cute prop for any photo because you can have your bag in your hands, over your shoulder, or just down by your side. You can also look at your surroundings and go from there! In the photo above, I saw these flowers close by, and decided to use them for a photo. I understand how taking photos can feel a bit awkward at times, but you can get really playful and creative when you have something to hold!

Leg up

This is another very cute and flirty pose that anyone can do! I like it because it’s in moments like this when a genuine smile can come out. I like to have fun when getting my photos taken, and I never want to seem like a robot. Movement in photos can often be a good thing, so when you’re not sure how to pose next, pop a leg up and smile! (This is also a great way to show off your cute new shoes!)

Pretend to walk

This is a great pose for those moments when you just aren’t sure what to do! I like to start a little further away from the camera. Whoever is taking my photo will stand in one spot, typically off to the side and not straight in front of me. Then I will simply walk confidently while smiling at the camera and sometimes looking away. You can ask the person taking your photo to just keep taking them as you walk, and you are bound to get a good one in there! Be sure to stand tall and stride forward smoothly.

Look off to the side or look down

Another classic. This one is great for my girls who are a bit more camera shy! It’s pretty self explanatory (as most of these poses are), but I really like it because it makes it seem like you are looking out at something or someone important. When it comes to looking down, I normally do not tilt my whole head, I typically like to just look down with my eyes (but you can do it either way).

Face away from the camera

Lastly, this is another pose that’s great for those who are still getting used to the camera. It’s so easy because all you have to do is turn your back to the camera and face away! It makes it even better when you have a really pretty and picturesque background! You can even turn your head to the side as if you are looking at something beside you, giving anyone who sees the photo a peek of your face.

I really hope that you found this blog post helpful! I have gained a lot of confidence over the years, but there are definitely still times when I just can’t get a great photo (it happens to all of us). Don’t let it get you down or make you feel insecure. At the end of the day, you should do what feels right and natural for you in photos! I am planning on making this a mini series and I will be posting a few parts to this in the near future, so be on the lookout for that! I will include sitting poses as well as more standing ones. Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!

Check out my Instagram for more: @sacchere14

Reflecting on my Time at Queens University of Charlotte

At 17 years old, I had to decide where and how I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. I always knew that my parents wanted me to go to college, however this is something I truly wanted for myself as well. I’ve always enjoyed school, and I really had to think about my future at this time. In high school, I made the decision to work toward my goal of becoming a writer. When it was time to apply to college, I wanted to stay in my area, close to my family. I applied to a few different schools, but my number one choice was Queens University of Charlotte, a small private school right in the vibrant city of Charlotte in North Carolina.

I remember going back and forth on the pros and cons. I was hesitant due to the cost of this school, however it seemed like the right fit for me. It was smaller than most universities, it had the major I wanted, and I loved the area. It was also very close to home, and I felt comfortable with this. Going into it, I knew that attending Queens would be a big step for me. During campus tours and orientation and registration, I learned that there were many things that were required of Queens students. For example, each student had to complete a mock interview (which I was so nervous about) as well as two internships during their time at Queens. There was also the option of traveling abroad, which at the time I didn’t believe I would ever do (because it was just too nerve wracking to think I would be doing that without my loved ones). College is a time for people to step away from what is comfortable and to grow into the person you are meant to be. Despite my hesitations, I said yes to Queens, and it’s safe to say that I don’t regret it. I knew my future self would be proud of the decision I made.

Luckily, I had older siblings who were in/went to college before me, so I felt like I knew what to expect. Well, nothing could prepare me for the amount of work that I had to do. My freshman year was difficult to say the least. I remember crying with each new semester because of how overwhelming it felt (though once I became a junior, I did not let the stress get to me that much). It took some time, but I got used to all of the work, and although it was a lot, this is to be expected when attending college. It isn’t meant to be easy, but in the end, you feel very proud of all that you’ve accomplished.

I went into college as a journalism major, however at the end of my sophomore year, a new major was introduced: multimedia storytelling, and I felt that this was a better fit for me. I was able to take courses relating to photography, videography, journalism and writing, social media, and communication. All of this was right up my alley, and I really enjoyed many of my classes. During my first two years of college, I had a lot of general education courses to take. These weren’t always my favorite, however I understood the importance of taking them. In my last two years of college, I was able to take more courses relating to my major, which I found to be very interesting. What I love about my major is that it does not put me in a box. It has allowed me to explore different pathways within my desired field.

As I have mentioned, I was really nervous about so many of the requirements that I would eventually have to complete. At a smaller school, you are much more likely to have to participate, and I was always the quiet shy girl. I did not know if college would help me get out of my shell, but I certainly hoped it would. I also did not know just how much I would grow in my time at Queens. Through each experience, I gained more and more confidence in myself and in who I am becoming. I was a member of many group projects, which allowed me to meet new people and to learn how to work with others and to share ideas. I completed a mock interview, which taught me some helpful tips for future interviews, and it gave me more experience and practice. I completed two internships relating to my field, which gave me the experience I needed as well as some important lessons in relation to the workplace. I also did something that as a freshman, I never saw myself doing, and that was traveling abroad with my school. While I have done quite a bit of traveling abroad with my family, I had never done it alone or with people I did not really know. Well, when I was given the opportunity to go on my dream trip to France in March of 2020, I could not refuse. While I was a bit sad that I could not experience this trip with my family, they were supportive and very happy for me. Why on earth would I pass up this opportunity? I had such an amazing week in France (a group of us went to Paris and Lyon)! I will never forget the experience! It allowed me to gain more independence and confidence. Somehow, even miles away from home, I felt so comfortable walking the streets of Paris, and although I was not alone, I still had to take care of myself while I was away. This made me realize just how ready I was to get out of my comfort zone and to take some time to do something for myself without depending on others too much. I had many responsibilities, and I am proud of myself for taking such a big step; one that I never imagined I would take in my time at college.

There were many moments when I surprised myself during these past four years. I was able to find the courage to speak up at events such as the scholars luncheon, and I finally began to feel brave enough to speak up in my classes toward the end of my junior year. I found that a lot of my anxiety went out the window and was replaced with confidence in my own knowledge and experience. Being around the right people really helped as well. One of the many things I loved about college was just how accepting and kind everyone seemed to be. This was pretty different coming right out of high school, where this was not always the case. I loved that people were more mature and I think it’s because everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is experiencing similar things at similar times, like being away from family and being out on your own. While I have gotten much better with my social skills, I still would like to work on this some more, and I am hoping to get better at public speaking as well.

The COVID-19 pandemic began during my second semester of my junior year, right when I got back from France. Since then I have been learning virtually. I’m not going to lie, I have been a little upset that my final year of school had to take place on zoom, but I am glad that Charlotte has become a bit safer, and that I am able to have my graduation ceremony in person.

As my time at Queens comes to a close, I truly do feel like a completely different person walking out than I did when I first stepped onto campus. I was 18 years old when I took my first class at Queens, and now I will be gradating in two days at 21 years old. On Saturday May 8th, I will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Storytelling. I am so proud of the work that I’ve done at Queens, and I cannot believe how fast these past 4 years have gone by. I remember my first day as a freshman, and now I am a graduating senior. While I am a little nervous about the future and where I will go after graduation, I believe in myself and the skills and lessons that I have learned at Queens, and for that I am grateful.

I wanted to end today’s blog post with a thank you to Queens University of Charlotte. I truly believe that this school has made me a better person overall. I feel that everything I’ve done and everything I’ve learned has helped shape me into the woman I have always dreamed of becoming. My growth does not end here. Life does not end here. While I may not be learning in a classroom anymore, I will be learning for the rest of my life; through any and all of my future experiences and endeavors. I look forward to the many life lessons ahead of me.  Thank you Queens, for all that you’ve brought to my life. I feel prepared to step into the real world with confidence, bravery, and of course, my education.

And to my 17 year old self, you were right. Thank you for being brave, and for making a choice that scared you. It was worth it, and I am so proud of you.

How to Create Your Own Blog

Hey everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely day, wherever you may be! For today’s post, I thought it could be helpful to share some tips on how to create your own blog! I first started blogging back in August of 2019, and I have continued working on it ever since. It is something I am very proud of, and as a writer, I love having a space to share whatever is on my heart. Before creating my blog, I put a lot of thought into what I wanted it to truly be, and I’ve learned so much along the way. Please keep in mind that I am certainly not an expert and I do not know everything, however through my own research and experience as a blogger, I believe that these tips may be valuable to you.

Make a plan

Before ever creating my blog, I thought long and hard about what I wanted my blog to look like, what I wanted it to be about, and who I wanted it to reach. There are so many questions you need to ask yourself before you start. I had been wanting to create my blog for a long time, but I only started to seriously think about it in early 2019, so I made a plan for myself. I thought about my own passions and what I believe to be my purpose in life. I truly feel that I was born to write and to help others, so that was going to be my top priority. I was also at a point in my life when I really recognized the importance of self-love and confidence. I knew that it was a journey that I was so happy to be on, and I wanted to share that with others. After so much planning, over thinking, and dedication, I started to create my blog, Compass to Confidence, where I would share my passions, give tips, and inspire people to become confident.

Pick your niche

When I began researching about how to create a successful blog, I remember reading up on “niches” and how this can help you find your true audience. Well, I had a different idea for my blog. I have so many interests and passions, and I knew that I did not want to create a blog that was only about fashion or fitness; I wanted to share it all. The only downside is that by writing about multiple topics, rather than one or two, it could be difficult to attract a large audience. I understood this, and I knew that it might hinder my chances of having a successful blog, however I am still glad that I made the decision that I did. I am able to write whatever I want, and this is what makes me happy. I know not everyone who checks out my website will be interested in beauty or health, but I believe that there is something for everyone. Although this is the direction I decided to go in, I would recommend picking your niche. I would try to narrow it down to one or two topics, making sure that they are things you can write about frequently. However, if you’re like me and you are determined to write about multiple topics, you definitely can (as long as you understand how it may affect your blog).

Pick your hosting site & register your domain

The first step to actually create your blog is to pick a hosting site and register your domain. There are a variety of hosting sites out there, such as Wix, GoDaddy, or Bluehost, to name a few popular choices. I chose to create my blog with WordPress and I registered my domain through this site (most of the time, your hosting site will help you register your domain). Once a year, I have to pay not only for my domain, but also for my hosting site, and there are different plans you can choose from (such as basic, business, etc).

Think about spending some money

If you’d like to take blogging seriously, you may want to think about spending some money to enhance your blog. Most of the time, if you choose to create a blog that is completely free, you are very limited in your options, and your overall site may not look exactly how you want it to. Also, there are many widgets that will not be available to you. You really do not have to spend a ton of money, but if you hope to create a successful blog, this may be the right step. If you want to create a blog simply as a hobby, and it is not something you want to take very seriously, then spending money may not be your priority, and that’s ok!

Keep your site simple & user-friendly

If you were to go to a website where you couldn’t locate the menu, there were too many pop-ups, and it was overall difficult to navigate, would you choose to go back to that site? Probably not. Think about your readers. It is ok to make your website your own and to have fun creating it with different widgets; you just don’t want to go overboard. Your website can be aesthetically pleasing and professional while simultaneously being user-friendly. At the end of the day, your readers want to see your content, but if it takes them 20 minutes just to find your latest post, there is a good chance they won’t be subscribing to you.

Create a blogging schedule

From the very beginning, I decided that I would share a blog post at least twice a week. I like to post every four days, and I try to change this up often. For example, if I share a post about fashion, then my next few posts are most likely going to be about a different topic (such as travel, entertainment, or beauty), though it doesn’t always work this way. If you are sticking to your specific niche, the same rule applies. People want to see something different, so do your best to plan out your posts, and don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things! I feel that creating a blog schedule will really help to keep you on track. Successful bloggers post frequently and they are always coming up with new ideas. I like to jot down a ton of ideas in my phone and I plan out blog posts for the months ahead. By doing this, I give myself time to plan out my posts, to write them, and to take photos/videos for them. I recommend having a planner for your blog as well!

Create eye-catching content (photos, videos, etc.)

This is something that I am still working on, however I would say that I have definitely gotten better with it! Taking great photos/videos will help attract your audience, plus, it makes your blog look more professional. You do not need any fancy equipment, especially if you are just starting out. Using your cellphone should work well! If you have great editing skills, then you can also use this to enhance your photos. You can stick to a theme, or change things up often. I like to change the photos on my homepage every season, and I stick to a certain theme with these photos as well.

Promote your blog posts

Social media is a fantastic way to promote your blogs. I share each new post on all of my social media platforms. By doing this, I can reach more people who have similar interests. I also try to utilize the different tools on social media such as Instagram reels, hashtags, and stories. I also like to look at my analytics (for my social media and my website) to see where my followers are coming from. I really like to plan out my posts ahead of time by figuring out the best way to promote my blogs.

Write for an audience

This is something I was able to learn pretty quickly, but I feel that many writers who are just starting out may struggle with this. As someone who has been writing in journals her entire life, I knew that when I started blogging, I needed to know how to write for an audience. I feel that through writing, I am always able to help myself, however it my goal to inspire and uplift others. I have found a way to not only write for myself, but for my readers as well. Something I like to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t always get too personal, and you should remember that most people will read your blog because of how it will benefit them. As a blogger/writer, you should ask yourself: what can my readers get out of this post?

I really hope that you found these tips helpful, and I highly recommend creating your own blog! It gives you the space to share your writing, no matter your interests/passions! Make sure to do your research ahead of time, and plan, plan, plan (just don’t over think too much like I did)! It does take a lot of effort and time, but if this is something you truly want to start, then you should definitely go for it! Thank you so much for reading!

How to Pursue Your Dreams

Some of us grow up and discover our purpose early on in life. We recognize some of the goals and dreams that we have, and we make a plan on how to reach them. Of course, this is not the case for everyone. Others are still trying to figure out what their purpose is. They are still wondering what their dreams really are, and how to pursue them. As we get older, we may change our minds or choose a different path, however we all have a light within us. The trick is to believe it and to never let it go out.

My boyfriend Tom has collaborated with me on this post, which I am always very thrilled to say! I love what he had to share on the topic, and his writing never fails to amaze me! We are sharing advice and words of encouragement, not because we are perfect or because we have it all figured out, but because we continue to grow and learn throughout our own experiences. We are hoping to inspire any and all readers with our words. This is a topic that will always remain relevant, and it can be helpful to anyone, no matter where you are in life. At times, people can be very hard on themselves and their journey, but there is and never will be a deadline or age limit when it comes to reaching your goals or pursuing your dreams.

It’s really important to discover what motivates you. When you close your eyes and imagine your dream life, you have to tell yourself that your goals and dreams are attainable, however, you can’t sit back and wait for the magic to happen, you have to work for it. Remember that motivation comes and goes, and while this is completely normal, you have to press forward in order to get to the other side. Motivation can come from a variety of things, but it shouldn’t always be centered around money, recognition, or material desires. More than anything, focusing on your passions will lead you to success. Always remember that success looks different to every soul you come across, and there truly is no clear definition of the term.

Pursuing dreams in life is healthy, motivating and ambitious. However, success is not only measured in calculated steps. Along the way to achieving goals, there will be wins and setbacks located at tangents, all of which should be embraced with positivity as part of the challenging yet rewarding journey. It isn’t about a perfect succession of planned events but rather the recognition that difficulties and unexpected opportunities are all part of the process. In addition, each person’s journey is uniquely mapped, often looking different to others’, but of course in no way inferior or superior.

The difficulties or surprises in question can either be seen as obstacles or as disguised open doorways. It really is a matter of perspective. A positive and accepting attitude produces an open mind, while relinquishing full control generates resilience and a renewed perspective despite the prevailing circumstances! 

A very common emotion that many people experience when it comes to their dreams is fear, or more specifically, the fear of failure. While this emotion is valid and understandable, you must do your best to ignore these intrusive thoughts. The moment you begin to doubt yourself is the moment you will start to fall back. We’ve all done it at some point, and we will likely do it again, but it’s so important to think positively. No one said it was easy, however when you truly want something, you’ll work hard to make it happen. Dreams and plans may change throughout your life as well, and that’s ok. You don’t have to stay on one path forever. You can always turn around, make different choices, and grow from the overall experience. Share your passions proudly. You should never feel as if you’re tiptoeing around your dreams. It is a good idea to keep to yourself when planning out your next steps (remember, you don’t have to share every detail). Don’t let fear get in the way, and more importantly, don’t let it win. You have power over your thoughts, so do your best to let go of the fear, and believe in yourself wholeheartedly. At the end of the day, you should be your biggest cheerleader.

In setting goals and working towards them, it is important to not compare yourself to others but rather to surround yourself with the right people, those who genuinely support and encourage you, lifting you up all the while. There may be other people who offer nothing but judgement, but those people know so little about your life and they are walking a different path, one that meanders towards a different goal. Everyone is unique and therefore everyone has a unique pathway, so it’s important to accept the obvious differences. Time is also a factor which isn’t worth worrying about. Not only do people’s actual goals differ but so does the timeframe in which they’re achieved. Measuring success is individually bespoke, with no ‘one-size-fits-all’ set criteria.

It is natural for us to want to be liked by others. No one likes to feel judged; we all want to be accepted. Maybe it’s a thought that’s simply floating around in the back of your mind, or maybe it’s recurring and persistent, bringing you anxiety and fear. Either way, pursuing your dreams becomes a lot more challenging when you’re too concerned about what others think of you. To worry about the way others perceive you is to live a life that is not your own. When you believe that your passions aline with your purpose, no one can tell you otherwise. It can be difficult to change your mindset, but as you grow and experience life, this fear of judgment will slowly disappear. And when you look back to see all of the progress you’ve made, those who judged you, doubted you, or laughed at your plans will be unseen through the fog of your past struggles. What lies ahead is much more thrilling, and you will find incredibly supportive and uplifting individuals who can turn your life around for the better.

At the end of the day, you deserve to feel happy and fulfilled with your life. While we are all going to face obstacles at one point or another, testing your motivation, determination, strength, and courage, you must work through them and think about how you will feel when you reach your goals. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it in the end. The decisions that you make and the path that you go down are ultimately up to you, but remember to take some time to pause and appreciate how far you’ve come. You don’t have to be striving toward your goals every day and night. Go at your own pace. Relax, breathe, and take care of yourself on your journey, otherwise, you won’t be at your very best, and your dreams may begin to pass you by.

Above all, going after what you want in life should be adventurous and exciting! It will take hard work, dedication and perseverance. But if you can muster a smile regardless of what comes your way, then you’ll always feel like you’re more than halfway there.

Thank you so much for reading! We hope that you enjoyed today’s blog post, and we hope that you found it helpful and inspiring! We plan to share more of our writing in the future, and we appreciate the support very much!

– Amanda Sacchere & Tom Patch

To my love:

Tom, I can’t thank you enough for wanting to share your gorgeous words with me and with the world! I love the way that we work together, making up the absolute best team. I’m more than excited to live out our dreams together! I love you!

Lessons from Love

A gift to my love.
Photo by: Tom Patch
(@notapatchontom on Instagram)

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and I have been thinking about sharing a post relating to romantic love. While I am no relationship expert, I have been experiencing what I believe to be true love, and it is honestly the most beautiful thing I have ever felt. Today, I will not be the only writer in this post; my boyfriend Tom is going to be sharing some of his gorgeous words as well. We collaborated on this blog post to share some of the things that we have learned from being in a strong, happy, and healthy relationship with one another. Everyone deserves to be loved, and today, we hope to remind you of that.

Every relationship is different, and every person is unique. We all look for different qualities and characteristics in a partner, and this is normal. However, the things that we share today could be beneficial and very helpful in any relationship. The most important thing is to simply to show love to one another. Today, Tom and I are sharing some lessons we have learned from love.

Love will never try to change you. It is all about accepting your partner just as they are. While we all have what we believe to be “flaws” whether they relate to our physical appearance or our personality, we have to remember that love is about opening up and being vulnerable. More importantly, it’s about showing compassion and acceptance, and being understanding.

We may not always see it, but everyone is special and we all have a purpose in this life. Sometimes, almost like magic, someone will appear in your life, take you by the hand, and remind you of why you are special. It’s important to believe it for yourself, but to have someone stand by you and be there to constantly remind you, is such a powerful thing. Confidence and bravery will come in waves, and it can spark something deep inside of you. Rather than judging, we should all focus more on listening and accepting. This will allow your partner to be seen and heard, and they will feel even more comfortable opening up as time goes on. Never be afraid to show your true colors, because someone out there is going to see the brightest shades of love in you.

– Amanda Sacchere

A healthy and beneficial relationship is built on trust and confidence, in each other and together. The trust and confidence to talk about anything and everything, even the taboo or controversial, is a powerful and sustaining path to an unshakeable partnership.

 It can often feel like many aspects of life sadly encourage a diluted way of communicating, therefore neglecting depth and sometimes resulting in feeling misunderstood and underappreciated. A loving relationship on the other hand, should facilitate the opportunity to come as you are, to speak openly and candidly, without the fear of being judged or ignored. Think of it as both a physical and emotional safe place to be, where the world’s clamorous distractions are faded into insignificance like the diminishing background noise in a potent film. With a comfortable space, loving partners are empowered to discuss anything and everything they wish, ensuring that words spoken will fall upon a caring, listening ear. Love tones don’t need to be pitch perfect, but the simple act of regular, deep conversation is enough to strengthen an already beautiful bond.

Tom Patch

Reassurance is important. Even though your partner may know that you love and care for them, you should still remind them daily. You don’t have to go all out with grand gestures. You can simply use your words to let them know how you feel about them. You can even get creative and use your passion to express your love; whether that is through writing, photography or even singing! If you let time pass you by without telling your person that you love them and that they are the only one for you, they may begin to feel lonely, or as if they are not important to you. Challenges will arise, as they often do in life, however when you put in the effort and work on building a strong relationship, you can get to the other side, and you will be victorious together. Never stop showing love to your partner. There are so many beautiful ways to show someone that you care.

– Amanda Sacchere

Actively encouraging and supporting your partner in every good thing they do is a very beautiful and selfless demonstration of care. This continuous, conscious act produces far-reaching benefits and outcomes even greater than the sum of the effort invested. Social media is awash with motivational reminders of the importance of kindness and encouragement. The intentions behind those lovely words on screen are clear, but putting those words into daily practice is hugely rewarding for everyone, particularly your partner. The words and actions you use to lift people up are powerful and effective, offering peace, joy and empowerment to both you and your recipient!

Isn’t it remarkable how the language of love can raise people up to heights they never thought they’d reach and engage with people on a level they’ve so earnestly been waiting for!?

– Tom Patch

And lastly…

When someone loves you, you’re going to know it. You will feel it not only in your heart, but in your mind, body, and soul. You will be radiating gratitude, positivity, and fearlessness. Falling will be effortless, and showing love will forever be the goal. Love does not leave you questioning your worth, and love certainly does not make you feel lonely, insecure, or weak. You won’t have to question their heart or their intentions for you because they will make it as clear as day. You should be able to wake in the morning with the confidence and belief that you are loved. People often put in the effort when it comes to those they care about. Sometimes, that will mean phone calls throughout the day, and it can even mean crossing an entire ocean to get to the one you love. Words are powerful, but actions speak for themselves.

– Amanda Sacchere

Love is a journey that two people choose to take together, hand-in-hand. There is so much more to experience and learn. There may be challenges to overcome, but there will also be incredible and momentous occasions that you will share. Choose each other daily, and always choose love. Tom and I are looking forward to creatively sharing more of our relationship with the world in the future.

As many of my followers may know, my blog is all about finding confidence. So, I wanted to remind anyone and everyone that self-love and self-acceptance is what will lead you to finding romantic love. While it can be very difficult, I encourage you to take that first step. When you find confidence, and when you practice loving yourself daily, you will attract all of the right people into your life. I say this because I truly have experienced this first-hand. By loving yourself first, your romantic relationship will flourish and bloom, like a bud turned to a rose, and it will be so much stronger as a result. You will give and accept love freely, and there will be no holding back.

We hope that you found today’s blog post helpful! Tom and I enjoyed writing it, and we hope that our words will inspire someone out there to stay positive and to never give up on finding a real love. Thank you so much for reading! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

For Tom,

I am forever grateful to have found my person in you. I am the luckiest girl in this world to be able to experience your wonderful love. Thank you for everything! We are still growing, my love!

“Your heart is my home.”
A beautiful gift from Tom.

My 2021 Goals and Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! I am very excited for 2021 and all that it has in store for us! I know that 2020 was a very difficult year for so many people, but I truly believe that things will be better this year, and that there is so much to look forward to!

I always get so excited when a new year begins because I feel so much hope for what’s to come. I also start thinking about goals I would like to reach and resolutions I would like to make. I know some people tend to laugh at the idea of “resolutions” because it is common for people to forget about them as the months go on, but I happen to be very determined, and I am not the kind of person who gives up easily on things that I really want. With that being said, I would really like to share some of my 2021 goals and resolutions with you all!

  • Go hiking once a month for twelve months

If you have been following me for a while, you may recognize this goal. This is something that my uncle and I have been doing for two years now, and we plan to continue again this year! I have a love for nature, and going on hikes really helps me to stay present and even get some exercise outdoors! We don’t live in an area that has too many intense hikes, but in the past, we have been able to go to a few different places. While I love a gorgeous mountaintop view, there is something serene and beautiful about flatland hikes as well. I am looking forward to another year of monthly hikes!

  • Stop procrastinating

I always knew that I was a bit of a procrastinator, but I didn’t realize just how much until recently. I noticed that I was putting off every little thing (even some things that I wanted to do). I started to get frustrated with myself! I recognized that if I keep making excuses for not doing these things, I will obviously never get them done. Whether it is cleaning or writing, I really want to stay focused and get on track to reach my goals. So, this year I want to stop making excuses and get things done, no matter how small.

  • Stay organized

I was looking back at my goals and resolutions from last year and realized that I wrote the exact same resolution for 2020. I wouldn’t say that I am very messy or someone who is completely disorganized, but I could definitely work on it. I tend to be a bit more organized with my school work, but at times, I will forget to do something small. I am not so organized with my room, so I have a plan to clean and organize my space once a week (including my bathroom). If life is stressing me out, a messy room can add to that stress, so I would like to keep things as tidy as possible. I also really love to plan things out, so ever since I got to college in 2017, I’ve kept a planner. Even though I’ve mostly used it for school in the past, I decided that this year, I would use it for everything in life. I want to write down any and all plans for the day/week/month, and I feel that by doing this, it will keep me on track. I love crossing things off my list, and it can feel really great and satisfying after a productive day.

  • Say positive affirmations daily

I have been on my self-love journey for quite some time now, and I am really proud of how far I’ve come. Of course, self-love can be difficult at times, but it is important to keep going. I feel like I stopped doing this for a while, so I decided it would be good to start saying positive affirmations again. It can be really beneficial to start your days off with positive thoughts about yourself or about how you want your day to go. You don’t have to say them out loud, but as long as you are thinking them, that is all that matters. Your mind is a very powerful thing, so what you believe, you will become. I’ve noticed that I will bring myself down at times by discussing the things I don’t like about myself. We’re all human though, and we all have things we may not necessarily love about ourselves, and that is ok. As long as you are working on loving yourself, then one day, those flaws will no longer negatively affect you. I hope to speak positively about myself more often, even if it is just in my own head. Remember: confidence is different than cockiness. Yes, it is amazing to love yourself, but you should never walk around thinking that you are better than anyone else.

  • Prioritize my overall health

As many of you know, I am very much into fitness. I have a plan to try to stay on track this year. In 2020, I ended up losing my motivation, especially in the second half of the year. My gym was not open for most of the year, so I was stuck with at-home workouts (and I still am). So, my plan is to do weight training and HIIT at least four times a week, and to continue doing my daily yoga. I have set up a workout split and I am hoping to get my motivation back once again. Hopefully sometime soon, I can go back to my gym, but for now I think it’s best to stay safe and stay home. Healthy eating has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I first started eating healthier in 2018, but over the past couple of years I realized that I was getting so bored of my usual healthy meals and snacks that I slowly stopped thinking about eating healthier. This year, I want to try to change things up a little bit, and find new ways to eat better. Of course, I won’t be jumping into it too quickly, but I really want to put healthy and delicious foods into my body, because I have experienced the overall benefits. I am also going to continue focusing on my mental health. I’ve been in a really great place these past few years, so I will do my best to continue taking care of myself in all ways. Happiness looks beautiful on anyone and everyone!

  • Weekly pamper nights

Sometimes we just need a little self-care. I recently bought a few new items to add to my pamper routine, and I am so excited to use them! I decided that I would have a pamper night at least once a week. While outer beauty isn’t everything, it is nice to keep up with my appearance, and it makes me feel beautiful and confident when I do. On this day, I can take my time, using things such as body scrubs, hair masks, and nail polish to make me feel pampered. Everyone deserves some time for themselves, and if you use that time to take care of yourself, it’s even better!

It is only the second day of 2021, and I have already learned quite a bit. I was speaking to my best friend and I was talking about New Year’s resolutions, and I questioned why we all wait until January 1st to start forming these new habits. It can be difficult and nearly impossible to change your life overnight. If anything, we should start in December! If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or upset because you are struggling to turn things around and do better this year, you aren’t alone. Take it day by day, and don’t be too hard on yourself. It is important to be motivated and inspired, but of course this can come and go. Take your time forming these new habits, but stay disciplined. You don’t have to have it together all the time, but you should do your best to accomplish your goals, and work on bettering yourself daily.

Thank you all so much for reading my first post of 2021! I am feeling very inspired to create some fun and interesting content for you all this year! Everything from beauty and fashion, to fitness and health, to travel and entertainment! If you haven’t already, I would really appreciate it if you would subscribe to my blog, and share it with friends and family! I am wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

What are some of your goals and resolutions for 2021? Leave me a comment below!

2020 Year in Review + Thank You

As 2020 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on these past twelve months. This year, many unexpected events occurred; both good and bad. I know that many people around the world have struggled a lot this year due to COVID-19, and this was something that absolutely none of us saw coming.

For me personally, I was able to take a step back and relax, spend time with my loved ones, take care of my overall wellbeing, and start/continue some projects that I had been wanting to work on. I am so extremely grateful that I live with a big family, and they made being in quarantine so much easier. I feel lucky to have them because I recognize the fact that not everyone has been able to be with their families, and some people have had to spend this year completely isolated from everyone they love. This crazy pandemic has affected everyone differently, but one thought that has been helping me through is knowing that the entire world is going through this challenging time together, and that (for the most part) people have been doing their part to stay safe and end this pandemic.

Today, I wanted to share some important moments and milestones that occurred in my life this year. While these events are all positive and exciting, I want to say that I don’t want anyone to think that I am being insensitive to all of the sadness that occurred this year. My heart sincerely hurts for those of you who have experienced pain, loss, and grief this year, and I recognize that this has not been the best or easiest year for a large number of people. 2020 may not have been the year that we expected, but I truly do believe that a lot of good has come out of it. It can be really difficult to focus on the positives at a time like this, but we have to try. I often describe myself as a positive person, so with all of that being said, I would really like to share some of the good moments that I went through in 2020!

  • Went hiking once a month for twelve months

In 2019, my uncle and I decided to try going on at least one hike a month for the year, and we completed that goal. I am happy to say that we reached that goal again for 2020! Every month we found a place to hike; some hikes were more intense than others, but we sadly do not have a ton of great hiking locations in our area. Still, there are some beautiful places to hike, and I really enjoy being out in nature from time to time. It always feels good to get up and get moving, and really anyone can go for a hike or walk! It was especially nice to do this when I felt like I was just in the house for too many days at a time. Some days, quarantining took a toll on me, so I was thrilled to spend some time outside!

  • Celebrated my four year anniversary of weight training

On February 23rd, I celebrated my four year anniversary of weight training! I truly can’t believe that I have been on my fitness journey for over four years at this point, and now more than ever, I am feeling ready to get back in the gym and push myself! Of course, this year my fitness journey took a bit of a turn and my motivation dropped significantly. I persevered and I did my best to continue working out through at-home weight training, HIIT, and even yoga! I began doing yoga daily in April, and I am proud to say that I have not skipped a day since! Yoga really became my main form of exercise this year, and while I do enjoy it, I miss weight training. My gym opened back up in September, but I won’t be going back until I feel safe to do so! I am feeling ready to reach new fitness goals in 2021!

  • Went on my dream trip to France

This was truly the trip of a lifetime for me! I had always dreamed of traveling to Paris, and in November of 2019, an opportunity came my way and I simply couldn’t refuse. On February 29th, I left for a week-long trip to Paris and Lyon! I was hesitant and nervous to go on this trip for multiple reasons, but I am so happy that I decided to go, and I have zero regrets! I am very fortunate to attend a university that allows for students to travel through multiple study abroad programs, and I never imagined I would have the confidence to actually go on one! It was my first time being away from my family for that long, but once I was there, I realized just how ready I was for something like this. I learned to be more brave, confident, and independent. One of my biggest dreams came true, and I was able to check the biggest item off of my bucket list! Click here to read about my trip to France!

  • Traveled locally

Sadly, our big family vacation was canceled this year due to COVID-19. We stayed hopeful, however things had not gotten much better by June (when we would have been leaving). I will not share exactly where we were going to travel just yet, but I am excited to share it with you when we reschedule the trip (hopefully for the summer of 2021)! Hint: it is a country in Western Europe! We safely booked a two week trip to the beach at the end of June, and we were able to get away from home for a bit! At that point, I was happy to go anywhere, because being at home all day everyday was getting frustrating. We stayed in a nice beach house at a private beach, staying as safe as possible. In November, my family and I also went on a weekend getaway to the mountains. Although our original travel plans were canceled, I was very grateful to be able to do some exploring this year!

  • Celebrated my 21st birthday

On July 14th, I turned 21, surrounded by my family and my best friend! It felt really nice to simply dress up and feel special for the day! Every year for my birthday, I always choose to eat dinner at The Melting Pot, which is a delicious fondue restaurant! We hadn’t been out to eat since early March, but we decided to eat out on this day. We did this as safely as we possibly could by going a bit earlier in the day to avoid crowds, wearing our masks, and sitting in a private room. Later on, we had some cake and I opened a few thoughtful gifts. The years seem to go by faster and faster the older I get, but I was never one to be afraid of growing up. I was excited to turn 21, and I am happy to be in such a good place in my life, surrounded by some amazing people!

  • Fell in love

They say that the best things happen when you least expect it, and I can say that this is 100% true. Over the past few years, I’ve really been taking the time to learn how to love myself. It hasn’t always been easy, and it is something I am working on each day. Little did I know that by starting my self-love journey, it would eventually attract the right people into my life. I ended up connecting with someone who now holds such a special place in my heart. I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and I wake up every day feeling confident, happy, and grateful, and he is such a big reason why! He is patient, understanding, generous, loving, kind-hearted, funny, witty, and everything I could have ever wanted in a person and more! I have felt things this year that I didn’t even know a person could feel. At one point in time, July 22nd was just another day, and now it is the most special day!

  • Celebrated one year of “Compass to Confidence”

On August 15th, I celebrated one year of blogging on Compass to Confidence! It is so crazy that I launched my website over a year ago now! I remember how nervous I was to put my personal writing out there, but now my words have a home in this world, and I am always very excited to share more content with you all! I have always had a love for writing, and I have big plans for my blog in the future! I want to continue to share my passions, give tips, and inspire anyone who reads my writing to be confident. I am very outspoken when it comes to self-love and self-care because I have directly seen the benefits in my life, and I think everyone deserves to feel this way. I have a lot planned for my second year of blogging, so I hope that you will stick around, or if you are new here, I would really appreciate it if you would subscribe, and share my blog with your friends and family! Thank you so much for the support! Click here to read about my first year of blogging!

  • Started my senior year of college

My second semester of my junior year ended differently than I had planned. After I got back from my trip to France, everything changed and we very quickly switched to virtual learning. Although it was a little bit sad, stressful, and even confusing at times, I got through and completed my junior year! I truly can’t believe how fast my college experience is flying by! I’ve been working really hard, and I just recently finished up my first semester of my senior year, and I will be graduating in May of 2021! This is an accomplishment that I am already so proud of, and although I am nervous, I am also excited to see where life takes me after school!

I feel like I’ve learned so much this year about patience, self-care, love and relationships, and even myself. While of course this year was not perfect, I’ve been able to find so much beauty in it. If I’m being honest, I was a bit hesitant to share this blog post because I feared how others would perceive it. I don’t want anyone to think that absolutely nothing went wrong for me this year, or that I never had a bad day, because this wouldn’t be true. But I do believe in expressing gratitude and sharing positivity, so that is what I am doing.

I also wanted to share this blog post to say thank you so much to those of you who read my blog. It means the world to me to have your support! I know in my heart that helping others through my writing is my purpose in life, and I will never stop working toward that goal. Whether my writing reaches ten people or ten thousand people, I will be living my dream! I hope to grow my blog and the Compass to Confidence community. If you are a returning reader, I hope that you will continue to follow me along on this self-love journey, and I hope to help guide you through yours. If you’re new here, welcome! If you are curious as to what “Compass to Confidence” is all about, click here, and I hope you will stick around as well!

Thank you all so much again! I am feeling so positive and hopeful heading into 2021! I know beautiful things are coming our way. I am wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2021, and I’ll be back with fresh and exciting content in the new year! Until next time!

Gift Giving Tips + Ideas for the Holidays

The holidays are coming up quickly and sometimes, finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones can be difficult. At times, we can start to overthink things, when in reality, it shouldn’t be all that complicated to find a meaningful gift. Today, I wanted to share some of my gift giving tips for the holiday season! Many of these tips are great for those of you who are on a budget as well!

  • Know who you are shopping for

This is probably the most important thing when buying someone a gift. Some people are very specific with what they like to receive, whereas other people are more laid-back and happy with the simpler things. There is nothing wrong with either of these things, however, if you do not know the person well, it can get challenging. Get to know their interests, hobbies, and their likes and dislikes. Even knowing the smallest facts about a person can be helpful. This leads into my next tip…

  • Ask people what they want

Sometimes it can be best to simply ask a person what they want. That way, you know that they will love your gift. If you happen to come across something that wasn’t on this persons list, but you just know they will appreciate it, then that can be great too! I am the kind of person who loves surprises, so if I find something that reminds me of someone I care about, there is a good chance that I will get it for them, even if they didn’t ask. And I love surprise gifts in return! If you are someone who worries about whether or not a person will like your gift, the safest option would be to ask them what they want.

  • Create a budget

If money is tight, and you aren’t able to spend a lot, this tip is very helpful. This is something that you can also create with your friends and family members. For example, if you and your best friend want to give each other gifts, but you don’t have a ton of money, you can try to agree on a price range or a specific amount to spend that works for both of you. This way, you can avoid the potentially awkward moment of giving or receiving “too much” or “too little”. I understand that it can be uncomfortable to speak about money with others, so if you don’t want to do this, then just give what you can. The people who love you aren’t going to care how much you spent on their gifts! They should be grateful and appreciative no matter what.

  • Think practically

Sometimes we will buy gifts for people, and they never end up using them. While it can be fun or exciting to plan out gift ideas for all of your people, try not to get too caught up in the excitement that you go overboard buying things that they don’t really want or need.  Try to think about whether or not the person will actually use this gift often, or if it will end up sitting in the corner of their room for months at a time.

  • Get sentimental

Many people love these kinds of gifts because they speak to the heart, and it is the perfect way to remind someone of how much they mean to you! Whether it is an old photo in a gorgeous new frame, or a book of all of your memories, this person is bound to love it because it is a very thoughtful gift.

  • Personalize, personalize, personalize!

This is always a fun way to make something your own! I recently bought myself a gold bar bracelet and I got it personalized with a very special date. This is a perfect gift to give anyone special in your life. You can personalize with initials/names, dates, coordinates, or phrases/quotes that mean something to you and this person. You can pretty much personalize anything these days, though it does tend to cost a bit extra. If you have the means, this is a great idea for anyone you have a close connection with!

  • DIY gifts

If you describe yourself as crafty and creative, then this is a nice option! Even if you aren’t very crafty, you can still try to make something on your own with the help of YouTube or Pinterest! The ideas are truly endless, and you can get extreme, or keep it simple. For example, grabbing some tools and making your own home décor is fantastic, but so is creating a scrapbook of memories with a loved one.

  • Gift card/money

When all else fails and you are completely out of ideas, or if you just prefer letting people pick out something for themselves, gift cards are something that most people will appreciate! It can be for their favorite clothing store, favorite restaurant, or even their go-to grocery store! This is another surefire way to know that they will love what they get, because they can choose it themselves!

  • Bigger isn’t always better

While it can be exciting to unwrap a giant box on Christmas day, sometimes it’s the smaller gifts that stand out the most. Big gifts can be great, but it doesn’t mean better or more meaningful. Take a moment to appreciate the fact that you were given a gift in the first place.

And lastly, I think it is important to remember that no one is obligated to get you a gift. People are most likely giving you something because they love you and want to see you smile. Material items should never be a top priority, especially at this time of year. But it is a part of the holiday, so I wanted to share this blog post.

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, and as I get older I really recognize why that is. I love cuddling up in warm Christmas pajamas and fuzzy socks, I love sitting by the fireplace and watching festive movies, I love baking holiday treats, and I love giving gifts. But to me, the most important thing will always be the people I share these moments with.  If I take a look back at past Christmases, I do remember a few of the gifts that I’ve been given over the years, but if I am being completely honest, what stands out the most to me is the time I spent with my family.

I hope that you found this blog post helpful, and that I was able to give you some ideas on what to get someone for Christmas! Remember to practice gratitude and show appreciation for those who love you. Thank you for reading! I’ll be back with more holiday content soon!