Review: Pūrlisse Radiant Glow Illuminating BB Cream

It isn’t incredibly often that I find myself raving about a beauty product, but once in a while, I come across some amazing brands and products that deserve to be talked about and shared! In today’s blog post, I will be reviewing the Radiant Glow Illuminating BB Cream from the brand Pūrlisse (pronounced: pure-lease). Before diving into the actual review of the product, I wanted to start by telling you a little bit about the brand and its founder.

Pūrlisse (Beauty Through Asian Wisdom) is all about celebrating being different. The brand aspires to promote healthy skin while helping every customer find their confidence. This brand is unique in that they combine science and Asian botanicals to create formulas that are truly effective and beneficial. What I absolutely love about this brand is that it is not just about the makeup; it is about having healthy skin. I also admire their mission to bring confidence to every person who uses their products. The brand sells both makeup and skincare, so you can find all of your new go-to’s from Pūrlisse! All products are free of GMO ingredients, mineral oil, paraben preservatives, propylene-glycol, petrochemicals, phthalates, triclosan, sulfates, and animal testing, and this is not always easy to find. The brand is also incredibly supportive of the “Look Good Feel Better” Foundation, which helps to support women who are struggling with cancer.

The Founder of Pūrlisse is Jennifer Yen, and she created the brand to celebrate her heritage and to appreciate just how beautiful it is. As a young Chinese-American girl living in Alabama, she struggled to feel comfortable in her own skin. She found it difficult to appreciate her culture and the beauty of being different. As time went on, she learned to embrace her heritage once again, and this is when she discovered part of her purpose: “To help give women a reason to believe in their own beauty” – Jennifer Yen.

Jennifer is a former actress, and she has experience wearing heavy makeup under harsh, bright lights. Of course, this is not the best thing for the skin, so she rediscovered her grandmother’s Asian beauty secrets, and this ultimately led to Pūrlisse. I found this story to be very inspirational, and I think many can relate to Jennifer’s situation growing up. Sometimes, we have to reach a certain point in life to truly feel confident in who we are and where we come from. It is amazing that what she failed to see and appreciate as a child is what launched her career in the beauty industry. I am very close with my family and I am so proud of who we are, so it means so much to see someone bring their heritage into their career, and to make it such an important part as well.

Now let’s get into the review!

I first discovered this product through Ipsy, which is a beauty subscription service that I frequently use. One month, I received a sample size of the Radiant Glow Illuminating BB Cream from Pūrlisse. I wasn’t sure what to expect; normally I struggle to find a foundation/bb cream that I like.

I was absolutely blown away when I first used this product! This bb cream is super light weight, which I love. Over time, I’ve started to really dislike the feeling of heavy/thick foundation on my face throughout the day. I really wanted to find a great base product that is perfect for everyday, and I definitely found it in this bb cream! When I apply this product, I like to use a beauty blender and gently dab it into my skin. The end result is stunning! My skin is literally glowing, and I love that it looks so natural as well. I almost feel as if I am not wearing anything on my face with this bb cream, which is so impressive! The bb cream does not have a scent, which I think it great because sometimes this can turn people away from using certain products. I am no skincare expert, but I think scented skincare/makeup can cause irritations for some people as well. I try to avoid scented products if I can, so if you’re like me, this bb cream won’t be an issue!

Although this bb cream is not exactly full coverage, it is perfect for everyday glam and that is perfect for me! It works best for those with normal-dry skin and even sensitive skin. You can also build this up quite a bit if you prefer more of a medium coverage. It also has SPF 30 in it, which is really great for the skin, whether you’ll be indoors or outdoors, and it is oil-free! The formula contains: Goji Berry, Hawthorn Berry, and Jasmine. It even contains light reflecting pigments which will help to moisturize and brighten the skin; leaving the skin to look naturally radiant! With daily use, you will even start to notice improvements with your skin texture, which is something that I struggle with. I’ve struggled with acne since my early teens, and although I’ve somewhat got it under control, spots still tend to come up. When I use this bb cream, I never feel as if it makes my skin worse or that it irritates any spots. If anything, I think that it does a pretty good job at covering small spots and redness. The benefits of the product include: improves skin complexion, softens and evens the skin tone, hydrates the skin, reduces fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and dullness, and prevents UVA/UVB damage.

It is recommended that you apply one of the Pūrlisse moisturizers before using this bb cream. This will allow your skin to absorb all of the beneficial ingredients. Then go in with the Silk Glow BB Base Primer; this will give the skin a soft and smooth finish. Now it is finally time to apply your Radiant Glow Illuminating BB Cream! While the first two steps aren’t necessary, it will most likely give you the best results. I always like to apply moisturizer and a primer before any kind of foundation or bb cream, and I can definitely see the benefit of doing so!

The only downfall for this product that I can see is that the shade range is very limited. I am not sure why this is, and it is quite unfortunate. I love this product and want to recommend it to everyone, but anyone with a darker skin tone wouldn’t be able to try it for themselves. I wear the shade “Light Medium” in winter and spring and I wear the shade “Medium” in summer and fall. If you have a darker skin tone, there are a few products from Pūrlisse that you can still try, such as their new Ageless Glow Serum BB Cream, which seems to be extremely popular, or the Perfect Glow BB Cream. The shade range is much more broad with these products for some reason. Another important thing to mention is that as the day goes on, my skin does not look as perfect as it did when first applying the product. While this is true for many foundations and bb creams, it is something that you may want to keep in mind. As I’ve said, my skin is a bit textured, so I just notice that the texture is more noticeable after wearing this for a few hours, but maybe this won’t be a problem for you. Remember: all skin is different, and the only way you’ll know how this product affects you is to try it for yourself.

If you are interested in purchasing the Radiant Glow Illuminating BB Cream, I will link it here. If you want to purchase any other product from Pūrlisse, I will link their website here. Since these products are higher quality, the prices will reflect this. For example, a typical drugstore foundation or bb cream could cost anywhere between $5-$10, whereas the Radiant Glow Illuminating BB Cream is $37 (at the time of writing this post). While it is quite a bit of money, I do believe that it is worth it. I don’t wear makeup every day, but when I do, I always reach for this product and I never regret it! Plus, it seems to last a while too, so you won’t need to buy it too frequently unless you wear makeup every day. I would recommend signing up to their newsletter on their website. You will then receive emails from the brand, and you’ll also be notified of any sales going on! The full size of this bb cream is 1.4 fl. oz. / 40 mL. The travel size is 0.24 fl. oz. / 7 mL. If after reading this review, you are still undecided on whether or not you want to purchase this item, you may want to try the travel size first (linked here). Plus, they’re just good to have for trips and getaways. (At the time of writing, the travel size is $10).

There is also a Rewards Program that you can join. Once you sign up, you can earn points to redeem products. For example, you can redeem points by simply creating an account, purchasing items, following Pūrlisse on social media platforms, etc. You can even refer a friend for money off a purchase. You can give your friends $10 off a purchase of $35+, and you’ll get $10 for each successful referral. You can find this under the “Rewards” tab.

If you are unsure if this product is for you or not, the Pūrlisse website can be very helpful. You may want to take advantage of their tools, such as the “Skincare Quiz” option and the “Build My Routine” option. These can help you figure out what products will be best for your skin. When using Pūrlisse products, particularly the makeup, you really won’t have to worry about it negatively affecting your skin. This is not only a relief to know, but it will bring you confidence when buying, applying, and wearing the product!

Overall, I think this product truly stands out and is so worth buying! I also think it’s important to support a brand that has an inspirational message to share with the world. You really can’t go wrong when buying from Pūrlisse, and I couldn’t recommend their Radiant Glow Illuminating BB Cream more! I am looking forward to trying out more from the brand, and when I do, I’ll be sharing my thoughts right here on Compass to Confidence (.com). Thanks so much for reading! Until next time!

Encanto Review

Disney has done it yet again. Their 60th animated feature has been an absolute hit amongst Disney fans around the world (myself included)! I recently saw this fantastic film and immediately knew that I wanted to write about it. I watched it once for enjoyment and because it was new and then a second time to take notes for this post. I am so excited to share my review on this film with you all. Let’s get into it.

Encanto is a story that follows a multigenerational Colombian family. A family that, on the outside seems perfect, but inside the Madrigal home lies brokenness that is in need of mending (but we’ll get to that later on). The Madrigal family was once blessed with a miracle, and each member of the family is given a gift once they reach a certain age. For example, Luisa is super strong, Dolores can hear from miles away, and little Antonio can understand and speak to animals. Then we have Mirabel, who, as a young girl was so curious and hopeful when her gift ceremony came along. The night ended in confusion and disappointment when her own magical door disappeared as she stood before it. This is ultimately where the story begins.

The cast of this film did such a phenomenal job, and many of them are new to the acting world, which makes this even more impressive! I was familiar with Diane Guerrero and Wilmer Valderrama, however I had never heard of any of the other actors. This film had been in the making for quite some time, and due to COVID-19, the cast did their voice-overs from home, and were coached over zoom! It just shows that despite challenging times, the actors were all optimistic and made the most out of the situation. The film was released on November 24, 2021 in the US, and has seemed to have mostly positive reviews.

This film was very different compared to other animated Disney films. For example, rather than focusing solely on one main character, we were introduced to many different characters and we were able to understand some of them almost as much as Mirabel. I believe that side characters are just as important, and they can even make or break a film. Well, these characters definitely made the film! They all played their roles so well, and their voices fit perfectly with their characters. I like that each character was seen as an important part of the family, especially toward the end of the film. Something else that stood out to me is that this story seems to have a much deeper meaning compared to older and even some recent Disney films. There were meanings and messages that I don’t believe Disney has ever covered before, and this is important because it makes it more relatable and honest.

My favorite part about this film is that is focuses on family. Certain parts of the storyline really resonated with me, and I am sure that many people can find those things to be relatable, even within their own families. I am someone who is very close with my family, and to watch this with them was very fun and enjoyable. This film truly is for everyone, no matter your age. It is a story for everyone to enjoy and learn from. I also love that it focuses on such a vibrant and beautiful culture that deserves to be represented.

Representation in Disney films seemed to be non-existent for a long time. I appreciate and admire Disney for finally telling stories of other wonderful cultures. This is so important in our world today because people want to see people that look like them. Young children need to see and admire people on screen that they can relate to in some way, whether it be their lifestyle, their traditions, or their skin color. It is also important because the world we live in is incredibly diverse, and we all don’t look the same. Although I have never been to Colombia myself, I find the culture and country beautiful, and I think that this film can open new doors for their audience. We can all learn and appreciate those who are different from us. Since the theme of the film is family, I believe that it can be relatable for most people. I am looking forward to Disney working on more projects and stories that represent different people from different countries and cultures.

Disney songs are songs that stick with you for the rest of your life. We all grew up knowing every word to at least one Disney song. In Encanto, we are introduced to 8 original songs written by the talented Lin-Manuel Miranda and produced by Mike Elizondo. Lin-Manuel Miranda and the team actually visited Colombia, where the setting of the film is based, and they studied the music there. This truly shows us just how much they wanted the music to be accurate to the culture. It also shows how dedicated they were to the story and film. Some of my favorite songs from the film include: We Don’t Talk About Bruno, Surface Pressure, Dos Oruguitas, and Colombia, Mi Encanto. The songs in this film are incredibly catchy, fun, and authentic. They will 100% get stuck in your head, but you’ll never get sick of them! Whether you know a lot about music or not, everyone can appreciate the beautiful songs that were created for this film.

Now let’s dive into the characters and plot a bit…

There are a few characters that really stood out to me, and I wanted to write in depth for them. First, Abuela. Early on in the film, we get to learn about her past and how she got to where she is today. Her story is very real, because many people have had to leave their homes and start a new life elsewhere. It is a heartbreaking story, knowing that she lost her husband, was left with three babies, and had to start over completely. Luckily, their miracle found them quite quickly, and the burning candle stayed bright and strong for the Madrigal family. The miracle allowed them to have a home again, and soon after that comes the town of Encanto. Abuela had clearly experienced a lot of trauma in her lifetime, and we see that come out in many ways throughout the film. She lived on edge; terrified that their miracle would somehow be taken away from them. She relied so much on the miracle and her family’s gifts that she eventually lost sight of what’s most important.

Since Mirabel did not receive a gift, it was easy for her grandmother to focus on other family members and even put them on a pedestal. Although Mirabel seemed to be strong and ok with the fact that she did not receive a gift, we quickly come to find that she is still confused and upset many years later. Though she is proud of her family, she dreams of having a gift of her own. She believes that she truly can move mountains, if only she was given the chance. After constantly getting rejected and blamed by her grandmother, she finally stands up for herself and confronts her Abuela. Toward the climax of the film, she tells her grandmother, “I will never be good enough for you”. She even goes on to say that her Abuela is the one who ruined the family, not her. Although she could have worded this a lot better, I think it was something that she needed to say, and her grandmother needed to hear. For too many years, Abuela was living in fear, and she forgot to show as much love and appreciation to Mirabel as the other family members, which wasn’t right. She comes to recognize her mistakes and makes amends with Mirabel, and this was such a beautiful and heart-warming scene. The tears were definitely starting to fall at that point.

We don’t talk about Bruno… but, we HAVE to talk about Bruno! Throughout the entire film, we get a very small glimpse into the life of Bruno, or at least what others thought of him. At first his character was very mysterious, leaving the audience to wonder what happened to Bruno. The issue is, how is anyone supposed to learn from the situation if they aren’t allowed to talk about it? The Madrigal family, particularly Abuela clearly felt a lot of pain from the situation, and she felt it was best to keep it quiet. In reality, they may have been able to make amends sooner had more people known about what truly happened. In some ways, Bruno was very similar to Mirabel. Although he did have a gift (seeing the future), they were both sort of the misfits in the family. They felt a bit misunderstood and at times, left out. Everyone seemed to blame Bruno when his visions were negative or confusing, when he was ultimately just having visions of the future and trying to warn everyone. They made him out to be a not-so-great person, so it was more understandable when he decided to walk away from the family. We come to find that all along, Bruno was living within the walls of the family home! If you were shocked about this, you must not have heard Dolores sing: “I could always hear him sort of muttering and mumbling” and when the family all found out that Bruno was there, she then confesses that she knew it all along. I guess when you can hear everything, there are no secrets! I absolutely loved how Mirabel went to find Bruno and that in many ways, they both helped each other. I also loved that Bruno actually left because he was trying to protect Mirabel. This shows us that although he was frustrated with the family and what they thought of him, he still cared and loved them. The reunion at the end was exactly what I was hoping for, and I love that there weren’t many words exchanged between Bruno and his family, but of course, he did sing his apologies!

Next up, I want to talk about Luisa, AKA the strong one. I really found Luisa’s character to be interesting and entertaining. There are also many layers to her that start to unfold throughout the film. At first, we see her as the strong sister, physically and emotionally. She’s always helping the people of Encanto as well as her family. What we end up realizing is that she actually feels a lot of pressure in her life. When Mirabel finally gets Luisa alone to ask about what is happening to the miracle, Luisa finally breaks (out into song). If you pay close attention to the lyrics, you’ll hear a cry for help. Luisa is actually terrified of letting her family and Encanto down, and she feels like she constantly has the weight of the world on her shoulders. A few lines from her song that really stood out to me include, “I’m pretty sure I’m worthless if I can’t be of service”, “I hide my nerves, and it worsens, I worry something is gonna hurt us”, and “Give it to your sister, it doesn’t hurt and see if she could handle every family burden”. Sometimes, we can look at certain people and admire them so much for their strength, not realizing that they may be struggling. Strong people, whether the strength is physical, emotional, or both, need a break too. They feel just as much negative emotion as anyone else, and that is what Luisa teaches us.

Mirabel was such a great main character. What I love most about her is that she is relatable, brave, likable, and that she loves her family more than anything. She was fun and entertaining to watch, and I think that she was incredibly strong. Throughout the film, I began to piece together why she did not receive a gift, and what her gift may have actually been. I had a feeling that the house was ultimately her gift. When everyone came together to build the house back together at the end, I got emotional as they handed Mirabel the doorknob that they made for her. In that moment, it was clear to me that I was right, and that the house was her gift. I think it was a moment of realization for the family, and it was so nice to see Mirabel get the love and appreciation that she always deserved.

I briefly wanted to talk about Antonio, because I really loved this character. Although his part was quite small, I think he was just as important as the other characters. We are introduced to Antonio very early on, and we can sense his nervousness and fear about his upcoming gift ceremony. I just adored the relationship between Mirabel and Antonio. It was clear that she really cared about and believed in him. Since Mirabel’s ceremony was the last one before Antonio’s, it was easy for us to understand why he was a bit scared. Not only was Antonio nervous, but I think the entire family and the town of Encanto were nervous too. No one knew what to expect, and they were fearful that Antonio wouldn’t receive a gift like Mirabel (not that this would really be all that terrible). It was so sweet of Mirabel to walk Antonio up the staircase to his door. Everyone is relieved when his door lights up and his gift is revealed; Antonio can speak to and understand animals! Childlike amazement and curiosity cross Mirabel’s face when she sees this happening before her. The family had a new and exciting gift.

The story of Encanto is so inspiring, special, and charming, and I absolutely loved every second of it! There are so many lessons that were placed throughout the film, and anyone at any age can benefit from watching. More than anything, it shows how pain and trauma can be passed on, and if you don’t confront these things at some point, it can put the same pain onto those you love. The family needed to break and have things fall apart so they could come back together stronger than before. Of course, the most positive and uplifting message in the film is that family is everything, and I couldn’t agree with this more! I think my fiancé said it best: “If you wait long enough, you can get the whole house, not just one room.” Essentially, patience is key. If you are patient and you remain grateful, you will always be rewarded in the end. Never give up, hold onto hope, and stay strong in your beliefs.

Thank you so much for reading! I would love to know what you thought of this film, so please leave a comment below so we can connect and talk about it. Until next time!

My Best Travel Tips + Amazon Travel Essentials Part 2

This is part two of my travel tips + Amazon travel essentials! Let’s get back into it…

  • Use packing cubes

I don’t know why I am so late to the party, but I am new to the world of packing cubes. Normally, I just like to roll my clothes and try to place them in my suitcase as neatly as possible. The issue is, when I arrive at my destination and try to see everything I brought, I can’t really find what I’m looking for. This my first trip using packing cubes, so I am very excited to get more organized! I don’t know if packing cubes actually do save space, but at the very least, I know they will keep me organized. I recently got some from Amazon, and they were super affordable. This comes with 8 different sized packing cubes, which is amazing for the price! Of course, I got mine in pink, but it also comes in grey. My plan is to keep similar clothing items in one packing cube. For example, in one cube, I’ll put all of my bottoms, and in another, I’ll put my tops. If I am bringing some thicker sweaters, I will keep these separate from thinner tops. I’ll update on the packing cubes when I get to England, but I am looking forward to using them.

  • Store your makeup, skincare and haircare together

You might be thinking to yourself, “She just said she wants to be more organized”, and yes, that is correct. I recently discovered an amazing product that will keep you organized, but saves you from having to bring a million little bags for different products. Linked here is a toiletry/makeup bag that I purchased from Amazon. I absolutely love the fact that this bag has many different compartments for all of your necessities! I plan to bring all of my toiletries, makeup, and haircare products in just this bag! Of course, my liquids will be in a TSA approved Ziploc bag. This will make it easier when going through airport security (they often ask if you could take out your liquids and keep them separate from other products).

  • Bring travel sized toiletries

Even though I am going to be in England for a couple months, I still plan to only bring travel sized items (for the most part). Chances are, wherever you are going is going to have a store that you can go to in order to buy larger sized toiletries. If you were to bring a full-sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc., it is going to add weight to your bag, plus you’ll have to check it. Save yourself the hassle, and keep what you can travel sized.

  • Jewelry cases

I have two jewelry cases that I like to use for traveling. If I plan to bring a lot of jewelry, I like to use a bigger case that can easily roll or be folded. I have one that has a space for earrings, bracelets, necklaces etc. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep jewelry minimal, you may want to have a smaller jewelry case. I got a personalized one on Etsy and I absolutely love it! It is small, but it fits all that I need perfectly. By having everything in an organized case with different compartments, nothing will get lost or tangled up.

  • A purse in a purse

I recently saw a great idea for the girls who love to travel with different options. I love carrying different purses and bags, but they can take up some space. One trick to this is putting your bags in other bags. This works best if you are bringing different sized purses. Start by choosing which bags you want to bring. Then, empty them all. You’ll simply take the biggest bag and put the smaller ones in it! It is such a genius way to pack and you can easily store this in a suitcase or backpack because they will lay flat. You can also use the biggest bag as your personal item, but still get away with bringing more options for your outfits!

  • Bring an empty water bottle

While on my last trip to England, I purchased the cutest reusable water bottle. It is such a great size, and I can take it with me wherever we go! I recommend purchasing one because you are not allowed to bring any drinks with you through security, so by bringing this, you can simply fill it up at a water fountain or on the plane. Plus, it will keep you from drinking out of single use plastic water bottles.

  • Layer up

If you are traveling in the winter, or you are going somewhere where the weather will be quite unpredictable, be sure to bring layers! For this trip, I am going in late winter, but I will be there until early spring. I will be experiencing two different seasons on this trip, so it makes packing a little more complicated. My plan is to pack layers, but also keep the colors light for spring. For example, rather than packing a ton of dark colored clothing, try to keep it lighter, like wearing nude, white, or even pastel colors. I will be bringing a thermal top, thermal leggings, and fleece lined tights, just in case it is still chilly. Luckily, I feel pretty confident in knowing what the weather in England is like now, and I know for a fact that it won’t be hot! It is my goal is to not overpack… let’s see how that goes.

  • Bring a change of clothes in your carry on

If your checked bag happens to get lost, at least you know that you’ll have something to change into. If it takes some time for your bag to find you again, you can always go to the store to buy a few essential clothing items or do laundry more frequently. It may be a hassle, but it is best to keep a few small clothing items on your person because you never quite know where your checked bag will end up!

  • Don’t forget your passport

My final tip is to triple check that you have your passport on you. Always keep this in a safe place that is easily accessible (you may need it multiple times at the airport). Never put this in your checked bag. Even if you are flying domestically, it is good to have this for ID. Of course, if you’re going international, make sure that it is always with you. I recently got mine off of Amazon, and I love it because it has a few card slots for any cards you want to carry, as well as a little pocket where I keep my vaccination card. My passport fits securely in its space.

Whether you are new to traveling or you are a pro, I hope you found these tips helpful. I definitely recommend looking into the Amazon travel essentials that I mentioned because I really love them and find them useful. Thank you so much for reading! Safe travels, and I’ll be back with a new post shortly!

My Best Travel Tips + Amazon Travel Essentials

In just a few short hours, I will be leaving for the UK again! If you aren’t aware, I am in a long distance relationship with my Fiancé Tom. Since travel is a bit easier now that the Pandemic is (very) slowly fading, I have been able to go back and forth to England quite regularly. Tom just experienced his first trip to the US, and after three months we are heading back to his home together. Traveling has always been a big passion of mine, and I am grateful that I have been able to do it all my life.

Obviously, getting into a long distance relationship means that traveling is going to happen more frequently, so after a lot of practice, I feel much more confident when packing for trips. Today I will be sharing how I like to pack for an extended trip. Packing can already be a pretty overwhelming experience, but for the most part, I really enjoy it! I love choosing which outfits to bring, and of course, going on a trip is very exciting too! I will be sharing some tips and advice that I have learned over the years in relation to packing for a trip. This blog post will mostly relate to flying, however these tips can work for any form of travel! There will also be two parts, so be sure to click the link at the end of this post to continue reading.

  • Check to see what documents you need

Before traveling to another country, you need to do all of  the research you can! Tom and I know this all too well, especially since we began our long distance relationship during a pandemic when paperwork, testing AND quarantining was required. Thankfully, now we just have to fill out a couple forms and we are good to go! If you are not vaccinated, you may be required to do more than this, so keep that in mind. You may also want to do some research on how long you can stay in the country you are traveling to. For example, I can only stay in the Uk for 6 months, and Tom can only stay in the US for 3. Plan your trip accordingly, and try to avoid staying around that limit, it may cause complications if you plan to visit again. Keep all of these important papers together. I like to bring a folder with me, so I can keep these things there, and the folder can easily fit in my backpack.

  • Check with your airline for baggage allowance

If you are new to flying, or you need a light reminder, always check with your airline to see what baggage is allowed. Typically, you can have a checked bag, a carry-on, and a personal item. Your checked bag will be taken at the airport and sent to your final destination, and your carry-on is typically a slightly smaller bag that can be taken with you to your seat and stored in the overhead compartment. Your personal item can be a backpack, a purse, a duffle bag etc. and can usually fit right under the seat in front of you. of course, you don’t NEED each of these. try to pack light and avoid having to pay for a checked bag. If you really want to bring a checked bag, try to avoid bringing a carry-on. I always recommend having a personal item so you can easily access things you’ll need while in the air, and also valuables will be on your person at all times. Remember that the size and weight of your bags matters, so double check with your airline to know what to bring.

  • Check the weather before packing

Be sure to check the weather before you travel so you can get a better idea of what you’ll want to wear. If you’re staying for a longer period of time and you can’t be 100% sure of the weather, do some research. I always like to google: weather in (location) in (month(s)). For example, before my upcoming trip, I would search: Weather in England in February and March.

  • Pre-plan your activities and excursions

Before you pack for any trip, think about what you’ll be doing a lot of. If you’re doing a lot of sightseeing, bring comfortable sneakers. If you’re going hiking or taking part in a lot of outdoor activities, bring some sturdy hiking boots. If you’ll be relaxing by the beach 99% of the time, some nice sandals will work perfectly. For this trip, I plan to bring my hiking boots, a pair of comfortable athletic sneakers, pointed-toe ankle boots, and everyday boots. If you are trying to pack light, try to find shoes that can be worn for multiple occasions.

  • Know what goes in a checked bag

While every airline and airport is different, one thing is for sure: anything sharp should not go with you on the plane. The same is true for full sized liquids. When I travel, I always like to have razors, tweezers, scissors, etc. with me. When I pack my bags, I always know that these items need to go in my checked bag. If you don’t want to check your bag, you may have to wait until you arrive at your destination to buy these things. It’s better to be safe and to make your airport/flying experience as easy and stress-free as possible.

  • Use a backpack or carry on suitcase rather than a duffle or tote bag

If you plan to bring a personal item or carry on bag, don’t let it be a duffle or tote bag. I have tried traveling with these things and let’s just say it was painful. It doesn’t make sense to bring these items because they only go over one shoulder. It is very common to find yourself rushing to your gate, and some airports are HUGE. You may find yourself walking for around 15-20 minutes just to get to your gate. Trust me, you want that to be a comfortable walk (or run). I understand wanting to look stylish when traveling, but I think that you can do this while still being practical. Last fall, before my second trip to England, I bought this beautiful backpack on Amazon! I love how stylish it looks, and it has many compartments and SO much room! This comes in quite a few different colors and color combinations, but I just adore the back and gray combo. There is a space for my laptop, my toiletries, my jewelry, and my water bottle with room to spare! This backpack is also very nice quality, and I love using it for travel. I recommend bringing a backpack rather than a duffle or tote because once it is on your back, you don’t have to worry as much about it. The weight will be evenly distributed rather than bringing your one shoulder down, and it also won’t fall down as you’re making your way through the airport.

  • Lay out all of the items you want to bring

My first step every time I travel. I do this a week or so before traveling because I just love planning these things out ahead of time. Plus, it will help you to feel more confident and WAY less stressed! It is much better to know and plan out what you’ll wear while away rather than throwing a bunch of random pieces into your suitcase and hoping for the best. 

  • Pack neutrals

I am outspoken about wearing neutrals lately! If you haven’t heard me say it already, neutrals will never let you down. By packing neutral colored clothing, you will be able to pair every item in multiple ways, leaving you with many, many outfit options to choose from! On the other hand, if you only pack vibrant clothing with bold and crazy patterns, it will be much harder to style your outfits. Unless you are in love with wearing a lot of color, my best tip is to keep it simple. Bring classic pieces that you can style in many different ways.

Part two of this blog post is linked here! See you all there.

Valentine’s Day Outfit Ideas

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you still don’t know what you’re going to wear, I’ve got you covered (literally)! I love this holiday because I just think it’s fun to spread a little extra love to those closest to you. Plus, any excuse to wear my favorite color! Today I’ll be sharing five different outfit ideas for Valentine’s Day! No matter what your plans are, one of these outfits should give you some style inspiration!


Outfit #1:

I truly love this outfit because it is not only stylish but it is comfortable as well! I decided to keep this one mostly neutral, but with the addition of my favorite color. To start, I decided to create an outfit surrounding this gorgeous top! I spotted this when shopping at Windsor, but when they did not have my size, I decided to order online and I am so glad I did! This top is just beautiful! The material is very nice, and while this piece can be described as somewhat trendy, I feel that it is something I will reach for very often. It is also very flattering on! It is slightly cropped, but with some high waisted pants, it wouldn’t be a problem. For my bottoms, I chose to go with a favorite pair of mine! These black high waisted flare pants are from H&M, and they are so incredibly comfortable. It’s so funny how flare pants have come back in style. I just love how these fit me, and once again, these are very flattering. I think flare pants also look amazing with pointed toe shoes, which is why I styled them with my black pointed toe ankle boots. To complete the look, I added a cute white and black bag that I purchased from Kohl’s quite a few years ago now. If there is a certain part of your outfit that you would like to stand out, try making the rest of the outfit simple. This outfit is the perfect example.


Outfit #2:

Fancy dinner plans? You can’t go wrong with a red dress for V-Day! Red looks good on pretty much everyone, and there are many different style dresses to choose from. Whether you like mini or maxi, sleeves or sleeveless, there is a red dress out there for you! Plus, if a bright candy apple red is not your cup of tea, you could always try a burgundy or maroon. For this outfit, I chose a gorgeous red midi dress that I purchased from Fashion Nova last year. I love the ruching detail all over the dress, and it is super flattering without being too tight. It hugs my body without showing off too much, so it can still look classy. The neckline is unique as well. Overall, I always feel very comfortable in this dress, and it gives me a boost of confidence too! Since it is still winter, you may want to layer up just a bit! I think that this black wrap cardigan is the perfect piece! I wear this so often because it goes with so many different outfits. Since the dress underneath is quite fancy, the black wrap cardigan pairs so well because it has a nice collar and it ties around the waist, making it even more flattering for any body type! For my shoes, I went with my go-to black block heels. These are from the brand Madden Girl, but I purchased them on Amazon.


Outfit #3:

This outfit is perfect for those of you who may not have anywhere too fancy to go, or you may just have a more casual style, which is just as great! This top was purchased from Kohl’s toward the end of last year. I think it is simple yet stylish and perfect for cozy winter days. It is easy to layer this piece as well if needed. Purple fits into the Valentine’s theme, but it isn’t too out there or too bold. It’s casual while still a bit festive! I felt that jeans went best with this casual look, and these are my current favorite pair. These are actually mid-rise boyfriend jeans (or in my case, fiancé, lol) from Old Navy, but they definitely seem to be more high waisted. They also have a straight leg, which I currently love to wear. These are super comfy and they go with everything! For my shoes, I went with my white and gold Stan Smith Adidas Sneakers. These are so cute and I think everyone should own a pair of simple white sneakers. These can be worn in many different ways, and they always look fresh and stylish when worn with the right outfit. To finish off the look, I added my adorable crossbody. I got this at target and what I love about it is that it is perfect for running errands, going to an appointment, or if you simply don’t want to carry a bigger bag. This easily fits your phone and a few cards, which is all you really need to head out quickly.


Outfit #4:

This just might be my favorite outfit of the five! It’s fun and flirty, and perfect for a Galentine’s Day with the girls or a fun date night. Off the shoulder tops always look very nice, and I love the mauve color of this one. I purchased this from Windsor, and I am obsessed with it! The simple details truly make this top amazing. Plus the material is comfortable and even a bit stretchy. When wearing tighter tops such as this one, I like to keep my bottoms more loose. So, I decided to wear this gorgeous midi skirt. My fiancé Tom bought this for me when we were in England at a store called Sassy and Boo. I fell in love with this the second I saw it! I love the cream color and the polka dots are a nice and classic touch. The little ruffles that go around the skirt add some layers too it, which is beautiful as well. This skirt can be worn during any season because it will look great with any top you pair it with! Whether it’s a warm and cozy turtleneck or a stylish summer top, you will look amazing! For my shoes, I went with these beautiful heels. I bought these at T.J.Maxx recently, and I just love the baby pink color and the little studs. Pointed toe shoes always look classy, and these are easy for me to walk in, which is a big bonus when it comes to heels!


Outfit #5:

For the last outfit, I wanted to share a more professional and classy option. I started off with a white turtleneck that I purchased from H&M. This is a nice piece because it is so easy to style and it is great for layering! I have such a love for turtlenecks, and this one does not feel too restricting or uncomfortable. I love an all neutral look (plus pink of course), so I went with a pair of nude flare pants, also from H&M. These are another favorite pair of pants! They are just amazing and they fit me beautifully. The material is very nice as well, and these can be worn for any professional look, however I would wear them to go anywhere! With this outfit, I decided to pair the same heels from the previous outfit with it because the light pink goes along with the neutral and soft look. In case you’ll be going out, I thought a nice pink double breasted jacket would be a perfect piece to throw on. This is a favorite jacket of mine because not only is it pink and super classy, but my fiancé bought it for me in England! He knows me very well, and it was such a thoughtful Christmas gift! The soft pink color completes the look beautifully. Lastly, I thought that adding a bag to the outfit would give it a little something more. This bag was also given to me by my fiancé, and I just adore it! I did not have a nude bag previously, so I was grateful! This one is on the larger side, so it’s great if you have quite a few things to carry with you. Plus, it has a pretty floral bow wrapped around one of the straps, which I love! The rose gold details are also very me, and this bag can be worn with so many outfits. It’s the perfect every day bag for the girl who has it all (to carry)!

Thank you so much for checking out today’s blog post! I hope that it gave you some Valentine’s style inspiration or in the very least, that it put you in a festive mood! Be sure to check out my latest reel where I show each of these outfits and how they look on (@sacchere14). Have a lovely day!

How to Establish an Elegant and Classy Style

Hey everyone! I am very excited to share today’s blog post because it relates to something that I am currently trying to do. If you read my 2022 Goals and Resolutions post, you would know that I am currently trying to elevate my style and build a classy, elegant, and feminine wardrobe. I know my style, and I want to express it with confidence, so I am changing things up a bit. If you have found yourself in the same boat, or you really feel like you need a change in relation to fashion, this post is for you! Today I will be sharing some tips on how to build a classy and elegant wardrobe.

Give away or sell what you no longer wear

I have always loved shopping, but I’ve discovered something about myself recently: I get rid of clothes SO often. I do this so much that I end up filling large garbage bags of clothes to giveaway. I am not proud of it, but I am working on it now! This will be your first step to building a classic wardrobe. Take some time to sit down and go through your entire wardrobe (including shoes and accessories). I like to stay organized with these things, so I fold the clothing into piles. Long sleeved tops, short sleeved tops, tank tops, jeans, shorts etc. all go in their own piles. Giveaway items will obviously be put in a separate pile. Once you’ve decided what you’d like to keep and what you’d like to get rid of, you can start to put things back in your closet. I like to hang items in categories, so once again, long sleeved tops will all go together, and so on.

Find your favorite places to shop

My favorite clothing stores have definitely changed over the years. I’ve recently discovered my go-to shops. A few of my favorites are: ASOS, H&M, Old Navy, Target, and Kohls. I find myself shopping at these places most often. Of course, this will depend on your budget as well as what you have access to. Not everyone has a ton of money to spend on clothing, so if this is you, maybe stick to less expensive stores, or even try thrifting! If you do have a bit more money to spend, you will have a larger scale of options, so choose your favorite places! A great tip that I’ve learned is to spend a bit more money on quality pieces that you’ll wear frequently, and less money on trendy pieces. Remember that you do not have to have a lot of money to be stylish. Most importantly, you need to be confident in yourself and in your fashion choices. When you are confident in your style, no one will question it.

Back to basics

Some may call it boring, but when creating a new wardrobe from scratch, you’ll want to focus on purchasing basic pieces first. This means buying some nice turtlenecks, button down tops, t-shirts, jeans, classic trousers, etc. Basically, you want to focus on items that will never go out of style. This is not the time to go and buy all of the trendy and new pieces (I’ll get to that in a moment). This is best because you will easily be able to style many of these pieces in multiple ways. I used to say that I did not like outfit repeating (and social media made this even more of a struggle for me). I almost felt like once I got a photo in a certain outfit, I didn’t care to wear it again. With classic pieces, you will have a variety of ways to wear them, so it won’t really feel like outfit repeating. Plus, if you find a great outfit that makes you feel super confident, why not wear it again and again?!

Steer clear of trends (unless you are VERY into them)

Trends will always come and go all to quickly. While they can be fun to take part in, they shouldn’t be what you base your wardrobe on. For example, let’s say you fall in love with statement cut outs. Maybe you’ll buy a dress or two with cut outs, a couple tops with the same theme, and the trend continues. When the trend starts to die and no one is really wear statement cut outs anymore, you will find that you have nothing else to wear. So you’ll move on to the next trend. I understand the excitement of buying trendy pieces (I still do it from time to time as well), but I would recommend taking part in trends once in a while. If you are the kind of person who truly has a passion for fashion trends and you really enjoy keeping up with them, please continue to do you! This advice is best for those wanting to build a timeless and classic wardrobe. To do this, my best tip is to stick to neutrals. Once again, you will be able to create many different looks this way. Plus, neutral outfits will always look very chic and put together. Focusing on blacks, nudes, whites, tans, taupes, grays etc. will make getting dressed in the morning super easy and effortless! When all else fails, go for a monochromatic look!

Stick to a color palette

I know I mentioned that neutrals are the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear colors once in a while! I would say that my favorite color combination is black, white, and pink. I would recommend wearing mostly neutrals, but if you love the color green and you want to incorporate it into your looks, there is a stylish way to do it! For example, if green is your go-to, try an emerald green top with some black pants and a black blazer. You can even match your accessories to your top. This way, your outfit is mostly neutral, but you still get to enjoy wearing your favorite color. Let’s say your favorite color is pink, like mine. You can easily throw on a white top with some nude bottoms and a light pink coat. This look will be very soft and feminine, and choosing a light pink over a hot pink will complete the look perfectly. It is not really easy to stick to a specific color palette, so if you enjoy wearing colorful outfits, this tip may not work out for you, and that is ok!

Keep jewelry minimal

I love the way that jewelry can elevate an outfit. You could be wearing a basic t-shirt and jeans and adding a nice necklace and some beautiful earrings can automatically change up the look! I would recommend sticking to one kind of metal, such as gold, rather than mixing and matching. You can never go wrong with a simple and dainty gold chain necklace and some tiny ear huggies. of course, a string of pearls will always add some class to your look as well. Always remember that less is more (in most areas of life). A gorgeous watch is a staple for me now, and my fiancé just got me the most amazing watch for Christmas! The can really add to any outfit and bring it all together. Big and chunky jewelry may be fun and trendy to wear once in a while, but it is best to stick to minimal jewelry for an all around elegant and classy look.

There truly are no rules to fashion, and you should wear whatever makes you feel happy and confident. If you are anything like me, a classic wardrobe is what you are hoping to achieve, so I hope you found today’s blog post helpful and inspiring. I will be writing more on this topic so be on the lookout for part 2! Thank you for reading!

Tips for Fitness Lovers

Hey everyone! I am back with a new fitness post. Quite a while back, I posted a blog called “Fitness Tips for Beginners”. I wrote this in the hopes of helping those of you who were just getting started in the gym. I’ve decided that there are some more tips that I wanted to share with you, however these tips could be for any gym lover of any experience! As someone who has been on their fitness journey for almost six years now, I realized that I had learned many things during that time, and I really wanted to share some helpful tips and advice with you all!

  • Working out harder does not mean better/quicker results

It is so easy to hurt yourself during a workout. I know people close to me who have had gym injuries years ago that they still struggle with today. Sometimes, we think we can take on more weight or we can go a bit harder but the reality is, our bodies will always let us know what we can and can’t handle. There is no shame in stepping back and saying that you will try it again another day. In order to see results, you need to be consistent, determined, motivated, and patient. Along with that, you do need to challenge yourself once in a while in order to progress. This doesn’t mean going up another 10-20 pounds. Maybe it means 3 or 5, and that is perfectly ok! By rushing through your workouts and working “harder” you could be doing the exercises incorrectly, let alone hurting yourself. Results will come with time and correct form. Take a breather and remember what your goal is. Listen to your body, because it is always giving you signs on what it needs.

  • Move your body every day

Sitting down all day will not only make you feel fatigue, but it could potentially lead to laziness. No matter what form of exercise you enjoy (or maybe you don’t enjoy exercise at all), you need to be up and moving, even if it is just for half an hour. For many people, it is difficult to find a form of exercise that they like, so going for walks may be a great option. Whether you walk around your neighborhood or you go to a local park and/or hiking spot. If you get bored easily, take a friend with you, or play some music. It can be really good to be alone with your thoughts and out in nature. If you love lifting weights, doing yoga, swimming, running etc. make a schedule for yourself so that you have a plan. When you write down your goals and your workout schedule, it can help you to stay on top of things. Prioritize your health and do what works for you.

  • REST

Working out is beneficial in SO many ways, and it can be very exciting to see results. However, it is so important to remember that rest is key. No, it will not diminish your progress or bring you backward. If anything, it will keep you on track and moving forward. It may not feel like it, but your body needs to rest in order for your muscles to develop and grow. If you continue working out, even when you are super sore, it may do more bad than good. If possible, try to take a couple rest days throughout the week. For example, let’s say you do a lower body workout on Monday, and on Tuesday your legs are really sore. On Tuesday, it may be best to do an upper body workout, and take a break on Wednesday. Trust me when I say your body will thank you for taking the best care of it.

  • Workouts don’t have to be long to be effective

This is something I only learned recently. As I am slowly getting back into my normal workout routine, I have decided to make my workouts a bit shorter. This will allow me to take my time and still get my workouts in. When I begin a leg workout for example, I think about some of the exercises I enjoy doing most or ones that I’ve noticed give great results over time, and I will simply focus on those few rather than doing every leg exercise I can think of. When I have more time, I can try new exercises and experiment, however now that I am working, I have a little less time, so this is a solution I came up with that works great for me and my lifestyle.

  • You don’t have to spend a ton to look cute and stylish in the gym

Lululemon may be what everyone is wearing, but honestly, you don’t have to spend $100 on leggings when you could spend $25 for a pair just as great! I personally like to buy my active wear from Amazon, Old Navy, and T.J.Maxx. My all time favorite workout leggings are from the brand 90 Degree by Reflex. Many people even compare these to the famous Lululemon leggings, and I highly recommend looking into these yourself. They are squat proof, comfortable, flattering, and they come in many different colors! You will be able to find really great quality pieces that are also affordable. These leggings will be linked here. The brand offers a variety of leggings, so be sure to check them out to find what works best with your style! Don’t let anything convince or tell you that you need to be wearing expensive clothing, especially if you are on a budget. These stores that I mentioned have such cute workout gear, and you will look incredible!

  • Avoid wearing jewelry when working out

This may seem random and obvious to some of you, but this piece of advice may be new to others. When I first started working out in the gym, I would maybe wear a simple pair of earrings and a couple rings that I wore daily. While this may not seem like a big deal, there is always a chance that you could lose or ruin your jewelry. Over time, as I began lifting heavier weights, I noticed that my rings were changing shape. While I was still able to wear them, I did decide to put them away while lifting weights because I did not want to ruin them any further. There is always a chance that bigger earrings such as hoops can get caught on something, so it is best to keep them simple and small. If you wear very nice and even pricey jewelry, it would be smart to leave them at home while you get your workout on. If you love to wear rings, and don’t like the idea of leaving them in a locker room, I was recently given the perfect gift for this situation! Linked here is a wrist band that has a little zipped pocket for your rings! When wearing this, you can have your rings on your person without having them on your fingers. I am obsessed!

I hope that you have found these tips helpful and that you find a healthy balance in your life. Fitness CAN be for everyone so long as you experiment and prioritize your health. Thank you for reading! Until next time…

My 2022 Goals + Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are all happy, healthy, and staying safe. I also hope that you are feeling optimistic about what this new year will bring (I know I am)! I always look forward to a new year because it feels like a fresh start. I feel like it is a time when I can truly focus on me, my goals, and being productive. I even like to try forming new habits and making new goals in December; that way, I can go into January feeling like I already know what I am doing and need to do in order to become my dream woman. We are a few days into the new year, and I am feeling so good!

 Today, I simply wanted to share some of my 2022 goals and resolutions with you all. I take my goals and resolutions seriously, and although many people laugh at and/or shrug off the idea of doing these things, they really can have an impact on your life. I found a quote recently that says, “The secret to your future is hidden in your daily routine” – Mike Murdock. To me, this quote reminds me that habits are not formed  in one day. If you want to change your life and make a better future for yourself, you need to take a moment and reflect. Reflect on your habits, your lifestyle, and your daily routine. Then you can take action from here. I find this so empowering and inspirational because you ultimately get to choose how to live your life.

Here are some of my goals and resolutions for this year:

  • Create a healthy morning routine

When you wake up in the morning, you make a choice. Your attitude will affect your day, whether you want it to or not. Choosing to be happy and excited for the day ahead will allow you to let light and hope into your heart. You are much more likely to enjoy the day, even if it isn’t perfect. I have been doing great with this so far, however on rainy or dark days, I tend to feel much more tired and not as happy. I think this is something that a lot of people struggle with, but we shouldn’t have to! Your mind is a very powerful thing, and smiling goes a long way. As soon as you open your eyes tomorrow, try to think of all that could go right and all that you are excited for, even if it is something small. I also use my 5 minute journal every morning and night. This gets you into the habit of expressing gratitude and it trains your mind to think positively. I highly recommend purchasing one, and it only takes (in total) 5 minutes out of your day. It is so worth it because the shift in your mindset will be noticeable to yourself and those around you. You can purchase a 5 Minute Journal here. Besides journaling, I also plan to stretch as soon as I get out of bed, as well as drink more water and say positive self-affirmations. I love waking up every day even more now!

  • Elevate my style

I have found so much style inspiration lately, and it has made me want to completely elevate my style. Whenever I share fashion blog posts, I always mention that my style is “all over the place”, meaning that I tend to dress differently day-to-day (not to say that there is anything wrong with that).  After Christmas, I bought myself a few nice pieces of clothing that match my vision for my 2022 style. If there is one style that I always come back to I would describe it as: classy, elegant, feminine, and professional. I have always had a love for dresses, skirts, blazers, feminine trousers, etc. so I plan to incorporate these pieces into my wardrobe whenever I get the chance. Part of this new goal is also looking put together, neat, and clean each and every day, even if I am just staying home. Doing this always brings me confidence, so why not do it daily? I also plan to wear more neutrals, spend money on quality items, and focus less on trends and more on classic and timeless pieces.

  • Keep a positive mindset

I’ve always described myself as a positive and optimistic person, however, toward the end of 2021, I began struggling with this a bit. I am not sure why, but my mindset was not at its best. Little things started to frustrate me and bring me stress, and overall, this brought me down. This year, I’ve made it a goal to continue keeping a positive mindset. Of course, not every day is going to be amazing; sometimes negative things will happen in life that we have absolutely no control over, and that is ok. It’s about seeing the good in everything, and staying positive despite setbacks, downfalls, and challenges. I want to wake up each and every day, and choose happiness. We all deserve to feel that, so I am going to make a habit to choose it daily. I’ve gotten better at recognizing negative thoughts, and stopping them in their tracks, so I want to work on doing this even more in order to prevent myself from going in a negative spiral. It is not healthy to dwell on negative or upsetting thoughts and feelings for too long, so I am doing my best to keep things light.

  • Get organized

I am sure that this has made it to many people’s 2022 goals, but seriously, I do struggle with this! When I say I want to organize my life, I mean my clothing, my money, my work, my room, etc. I want to start doing this in small and simple ways, such as buying drawer organizers for my clothing, makeup, and hair care. Something as small as this would already make me feel more on top of things. I would like to budget my money better as well. I love shopping, but I don’t want to form any unnecessary or unhealthy habits, so I am working on being wise with my money. I also want to keep my space tidy and clean. I feel like I can be more productive and at peace in my space when it is clean, so this means putting things away after using them. For example, I struggle to put away laundry when it is done. On top of that, I will sometimes take off my clothes and add them to that pile, until it gets too big and I eventually have to put it all away. It would make things so much easier to simply put things back right after I use them.

  • Live a healthier life

As many of you know, I have such a love for fitness and health. I have been working out for almost 6 years now, which is mind blowing to me! I have been struggling with living a healthy life lately, so I am making it a goal to prioritize my health more often. I am planning on going for daily walks (unless of course it is storming and/or pouring rain). There are many benefits to walking, and I think many people don’t see it as important. Fresh air is needed, and if you’re spending day after day indoors, a little walk will do you good. When it comes to other forms of exercise, I plan to continue weight lifting, doing HIIT and doing yoga. For weight training, I would like to do this 3-4 times a week. It may seem difficult to do cardio from home without any machines, but along with walking, I will do HIIT 4-5 times a week to get my heart rate up. And of course, I will continue to do yoga daily. I do this most evenings with my fiancé and a couple family members and I truly love it! Lastly, I will continue going on my monthly hikes with my uncle and fiancé. When it comes to food, I would really like to work on incorporating more fruits and vegetables in every meal. This may sound simple, but I believe that making small, attainable goals is wise.

  • Work on building confidence + self-love

You must have seen this one coming! Confidence is what my blog is all about, and I am outspoken when it comes to this topic (online and in real life). Building confidence is such an important thing that not enough people prioritize. For myself personally, this is something I have been working on since I was a teenager, and truth be told, this is a never ending journey (this is how I came up with the name “Compass to Confidence”). Throughout our lives, we are all going to experience days, weeks, or even months when we may not be feeling super confident, and that is all part of the journey. However, it is not good to fall into a self-deprecating mindset or get too used to negative self-talk. Your mind will eventually start to believe what you tell it, so I am going to speak and think confidence into my life more frequently. I will think more about my strengths and positive attributes rather than what I think I may be “lacking”. I will do the things that bring me confidence, such as dressing up, writing, getting out of my comfort zone, working out, and continuing to surround myself with people who make me feel good.

  • Expressing gratitude

This is something that I have been practicing lately, and I have to say, it truly has changed my life. Being thankful for what you have, rather than seeking more and more will bring you more joy than you could ever imagine. I always tell my fiancé how grateful I am for him as well as other aspects, people, and things in my life. I think it is so important to share these things with others, God, or even to write them down. Once again, my 5 Minute Journal really helps me with this because I get to start and end each day with gratitude. If we get into the mindset that we are constantly lacking or that we never have enough of the things we want, we will never feel at peace in our lives. This is why I believe it is so important to be grateful for the things we have while also praying for and working toward the things we desire. Good things will come to those who are patient, determined, motivated, and hard-working. Nothing in life will ever be handed to you simply because you want it. Focus on the good, and the good will get better.

Thank you all so much for reading today’s blog post! I am really proud of it, and I am very excited to continue reaching my goals this year. I have made some more goals that were not included in this blog post, however I really wanted to discuss a few in more depth. I would love to know what some of your goals and resolutions are, so please leave me a comment! Until next time…

2021 Year in Review + Thank You

I’ve always recognized the importance of reflection. When I stop and think back to all that happened in 2021, I feel grateful. I’ve learned a lot, stepped out of my comfort zone, grown as a person, and matured very quickly. Of course, this year and my life is not perfect, however I think it is important to focus on the good and to live a positive life. Today, I wanted to share my 2021 highlights! Some wonderful things have happened in my life this year; some you may know about, and others you may not. Please keep in mind that while I am only sharing the good, that doesn’t mean that every day was perfect.

  • Went hiking once a month for twelve months

If you have been following my blog since my first “Year in Review” from 2019, you would know that earlier that year, my uncle and I decided that we wanted to hike at least once a month for the entire year. Since then, we have succeeded in doing exactly that. This year, I was away from home for a while, so I was doing my hiking elsewhere (I’ll get to that soon…). Other than the time I was away, we went back to some of our favorite hiking spots in our area. Our hikes aren’t always incredibly intense, but we really enjoy getting some fresh air. I especially love our hikes in spring and fall because I think the weather is just perfect; not too hot and not too cold. A couple other family members have also joined us on a hike or two this year! I am looking forward to continuing this tradition in 2022!

  • Celebrated my five year fitness anniversary

Fitness has looked very different to me this year. Since we are still living in a pandemic and things seem to be very up and down, I decided not to go back to the gym this year. I really do miss the environment and feeling of working out in a gym. I find it to be much more motivating, and I think I work my hardest when in the gym. Although I am fully vaccinated and had my booster for COVID, I felt it was best to continue working out at home. I have been doing weight training, yoga, and some HIIT. As the year has gone on, I’ve found it difficult to do certain workouts. While I was away from home, I really did not do any weightlifting. I am trying to find a way to continue doing the workouts I love while traveling, but it is challenging. Despite this, I have been working out more often now that I am home again, and I truly do love the way it makes me feel! When I complete a workout, I feel strong, confident, and empowered. So, in the New Year, I will continue weight lifting, doing my daily yoga, and throwing some HIIT in there as well! Yoga is pretty much a part of my daily routine, and I’ve recognized some incredible benefits. It helps that it can be done anywhere and everywhere, so there are no excuses! I am hoping that 2022 will be the year when I can finally get back in the gym and feel on track again.

  • Graduated from Queens University of Charlotte

I really can’t believe how fast my four years of college went by! I remember first stepping onto campus for a tour, and also for my first day. It was a lot of hard work, and I remember feeling stressed and overwhelmed as each new semester started. It got easier every year. In many ways, I really enjoyed my time at Queens. I really grew as a person, and I was able to do things that I don’t believe I would’ve had the opportunity to do had I chosen a different school. I met some great people, learned so much about my chosen career path, grew as a writer, and I traveled abroad. Most of all, Queens has given me the confidence and preparation to step out into the real world. I graduated in May with honors, and this is an achievement I will always be proud of. Also, I am SO thankful to be done with school!

  • Traveled out West

My family has had plans to travel somewhere very special since 2020, but of course, that trip had to be canceled. It was canceled yet again this year, however we were still able to do some traveling around the country! It felt so nice to go on a vacation again! In June, we traveled out west to a few places we had never been to before. I won’t go into detail since I wrote an entire blog post about the trip (linked here), but I will say that it was incredible! I really enjoyed seeing Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons! Yellowstone has always been on my bucket list, and I was so excited that I was finally able to go and experience this magical place in person. I had never seen anything quite like it! If you have the opportunity to go, I highly recommend it. You will enjoy every moment, and there is SO much to see and do there. Also, Grand Teton National Park is the most beautiful place I have ever seen! I am not sure if I had ever even heard of it before, but it is now one of my favorite places. Being there felt like I was surrounded by one giant painting. It was surreal. It is also right next to Yellowstone, so if you are going in that direction, you can’t miss it! This trip allowed my family and me to travel to a few different states such as South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. It is a goal of mine to travel to all 50 states, and I am almost there!

  • Started my career working in marketing

I remember so many people saying that once you graduate from college, it can be really difficult to find a job in the field you want. I was fully prepared to work in retail or in a similar job before actually working in the field I studied four years for. Earlier in the year, I applied to a few jobs, but they were not for me. Then, I happened to get an email in June that I was invited to an interview. The timing couldn’t have been any more perfect. I felt really confident about it, and I got the job! It is a remote job for a marketing company, and I am surrounded by skincare! I really enjoy what I do. My job involves: moderating our social media, creating content (photos, reels, tiktoks, captions etc.), and communicating with some of our partner skincare brands. I was also just given a new title with more responsibilities. I am now a Marketing Communications Specialist! I am looking forward to seeing where my career takes me in the New Year.

  • Celebrated one year with Tom

On July 22, Tom and I celebrated one year of our relationship! Sadly, we were apart at that time, so our celebrations occurred over a video call. We made the best of it though, and very soon after that, we were finally together in person. I couldn’t believe that a year had gone by, but we were and are so thrilled and excited for many, many more years together!

  • Traveled to England to see Tom (twice)

For the past couple years, I’ve made it a goal for myself to get out of my comfort zone more often. When making this goal, I wasn’t sure what I would end up doing down the line, but looking back, I am proud of my courage. For a start, I traveled with my university to France, which was a dream come true. And this year, I traveled completely on my own for the first time to go and see the love of my life. What I thought would be a terrifying and intimidating experience turned out to be amazing. Not everything went right (for example, my luggage was lost for a bit and my flight was changed), but I somehow got through it all and ended up in London to meet Tom in person for the first time after waiting for a little over a year! Since then, I traveled back to England once more. I had never spent so much time away from home or my own country. In 2022, I plan on doing some more traveling, and it is still a big goal of mine to do the things that scare me, because it is always worth it in the end.

  • Celebrated two years of “Compass to Confidence”

I truly can’t believe that I have been blogging for two years now! I still love it as much as I did in the beginning, even though I have not been doing it as often. My life has been a bit busy lately, but I will always enjoy and love having this space to share whatever is on my heart. I am grateful to be able to share my passions, give tips, and inspire others to become confident through my words. It is my mission to guide my followers to confidence, and I will not give up on it. My blog has even allowed me to gain more confidence in myself, and I couldn’t be prouder of how far I and my blog have come. I am looking forward to the content I will make in 2022, and I hope you will continue to follow along on the journey!

  • Got engaged

Last but not least, the biggest highlight of all: Tom and I got engaged! After speaking about engagement and marriage for a while, Tom proposed to me on November 24th soon after we arrived in the US. I always imagined what that moment would be like in my life, and it couldn’t have been any more perfect. From the very beginning, even before we started dating, I never had a doubt in my mind. I knew that he was the one for me very early on. I have never felt anything quite like Tom’s love before, and it was and always will be so special and precious to me. I am grateful to have found my forever person. Now… who is going to help me plan the wedding?!

This year has taught me so much, and overall, it has been wonderful and very enjoyable. I am looking forward to accomplishing more of my goals in 2022, and I can’t wait to bring you along with me. I will be sharing more about fashion, beauty, fitness, travel, entertainment, and more about my personal life! I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who have read my blog posts this year. Whether you have been following along from the beginning, or you are new to Compass to Confidence, thank you. Writing and inspiring others has always been my biggest goal in life, and every time I upload a blog post, I feel like I am reaching that goal. I am forever grateful. Be on the lookout for a blog post in the New Year, and I wish you all the best in 2022! Until next time…