The Problem with Overthinking

I always want my blog to be a safe space where I can openly share what is going on in my life. While I love sharing all of the positive moments I experience, I am human and I struggle a lot as well. I always talk about the importance and beauty of vulnerability, and today I am going to be opening up a bit more about my personal life and some struggles that I frequently face.

I have always been an overthinker; to the point where it has stopped me from doing certain things that I have really wanted to do. I wasn’t always so aware of the fact that I was an overthinker, but I would say that in the past few years, it is something I have become more aware of. It can be really difficult to control your thoughts, but eventually you may get to a point when you’ve had enough.

Most of the time, I am a very happy and positive person, however, I feel my emotions very deeply. This means that when I am happy, I am really happy. And when I’m upset, I am really upset. Many would describe me as “emotional”, but I’ve come to accept this as a strength rather than a weakness. As long as you have control over your thoughts and emotions, there is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling. When something is bothering me, I let myself get sad, angry, or frustrated. But I try to move on from these negative feelings sooner rather than later, because I don’t want to stay stuck in that mindset.

When it comes to overthinking, I’ve realized I do have a problem. Even when I am happy, I will sometimes start to overthink. This is when it can be most detrimental. If you are overthinking or worrying when you should be enjoying life’s highs, you could be (consciously or subconsciously) sabotaging some of the greatest things you will experience in life.

It is really challenging to turn off those negative thoughts sometimes, but I am doing much better than I used to. I think that recognizing the fact that there is a problem is a really great first step. Every time I begin overthinking or worrying about something a little too much, I try my best to shut down those thoughts. I don’t necessarily feel that overthinking is always a bad thing though. I would say that it’s better to overthink things a little bit than to not think at all. Overall, you should never let negative thoughts take over your life. You will never allow yourself to be happy if you do. Whether it is a relationship, a job, or a once in a lifetime opportunity, I never want to be the person who ruins something good by worrying about it.

Sadly, there is no off switch to overthinking, but there are things you can do to stop these thoughts in their tracks. I think that many people can relate to this, but when I have a little too much time on my hands, that’s when my mind starts racing. I like to keep myself busy when these thoughts come up. For myself, I enjoy writing, dancing, working out, listening to music, spending time with loved ones, and going on walks or hikes. These are activities that I participate in pretty much daily. Not only are these things good for me, but they really do help me get my mind off of anything negative, even if it is just for a little while. School is another thing that keeps me busy. I am in my final year of college and school work does take up quite a bit of my time. You should look for the things that make you happy. Focus on your passions, your goals, and what brings you the most joy, and follow that.

Any time I struggle with these thoughts and feelings, I try to remind myself that I am still growing, and I am human. I am doing my best, and that is all that matters. I don’t believe in suppressing my emotions. Whether they are good or bad, I allow myself to feel, and I think that this is something to be proud of. If you are anything like me and you overthink and worry about even the smallest things, know that you are not alone in what you are going through, and these things do not and never will define you. Just remember that you have control over your thoughts. If you notice that your thoughts are not helping you progress, you need to learn to recognize when you need to back away and focus on the positives. It isn’t always easy, and I have my great days and my not so great days. What matters is how you bounce back and that you are actively working to become your best self. Growth in every form is so important to me, and I want to continue to flourish and become the woman I know I am capable of being. The woman I am becoming does not let negativity cloud her mind, and she does not allow anxiety to rule her life. While these things may still affect me in the future, they will never affect me to this degree ever again, and that is because I am growing and evolving every single day. And I refuse to let stress, worry, or anxiety win.

This has been on my heart for a little while now, and I am really grateful that I have this space to share my thoughts and feelings. I hope that you found this post helpful, and I hope that you will pass along this message to someone who you believe needs to hear it. Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post!

Celebrating One Year of “Compass to Confidence”

Today makes one year since I started my blog, Compass to Confidence! I seriously cannot believe how fast this past year flew by! I remember how nervous I was to create this blog in the first place, let alone announce it to the world. I had never shared my writing with anyone before then. I felt that it was personal and private. While I do still keep some of my writing to myself, I’ve felt more joy by sharing it with others. Being able to help people through my writing was and is always one of my biggest goals. And as silly as it may sound, it feels like a dream come true.

Like many young girls, I kept a journal. I would write about my days, my friends, and whatever popped into my head really. As I got older, I started writing about my experiences as well as important lessons I was learning in life. I very quickly realized how much writing helped me emotionally and mentally. My journal was a safe space for me to comfortably share any and all of my thoughts and feelings.

Before creating my blog, I had a vision of what I wanted it to be as well as what I wanted it to look like. I did some research on blogging as well. From the get-go, I planned on writing about many topics. Based on my research, this was not the best decision for me to make, however I went against the advice of sticking to a specific niche. I wanted to write about my interests, and I have more than one that I am passionate about. Fashion, health, beauty, travel, and entertainment. These are the things I wanted to talk about (as well as some personal writings found in the “Grab a Chair” section of my blog). The reason many people advise to choose one niche is because these are the blogs that are more likely to be “successful” and to gain a loyal following. Well, I decided to go with what I wanted to do. Even if that means that this blog will never take off, I will still be happy sharing my writing with whoever would like to read it. In its own way, no matter what happens, this blog with always be a success to me.

When I first started writing for my blog, I realized that I was no longer my audience. Anyone in the world could be reading my words. While I still wanted to keep my writing personal, I’ve had to learn how to transition my writing from “How is this going to help me” to “How is this going to help my readers?” While people may be interested in my personal life, I think many people would like to read things that not only interest them, but are written for them. That is where I come in, sharing my own tips and advice through my passions.

Although it may seem like I do not have my own niche, I think I’ve come to realize that I absolutely do; it’s self-love. The whole reason I created my blog in the first place was to help others gain self-confidence while simultaneously being on that journey myself. I want to uplift and inspire others. I wanted this blog to become a place where women could come to receive advice, motivation, and a little bit of a self-love boost. Not only did I feel that making this all about self-love would help others, but I felt that it would help me too. This blog has brought so much joy and confidence to my life. And I want myself and my readers to walk hand in hand, so we can guide each other in the direction of self-love. I have been on my own self-love journey for quite a few years now. I’ve seen the beautiful effects of loving myself and what it has brought to my life. Everyone deserves to know this feeling, and I hope that by being a self-love advocate, I can inspire others to start that journey to confidence as well. Once you start loving yourself, everything around you will change for the absolute best. It starts with that first step.

By sharing my passions, giving tips, and inspiring others to become confident, I have crossed an item off of my bucket list, reached a major goal of mine, and followed my dream. I have been connected with some incredible women through social media, and they have been so very supportive of me. It is such a beautiful and powerful thing when women support other women, and I am grateful for all that blogging has brought to my life.

One thing that I have always loved about reading other people’s words is the way it resonates with me. I always hoped someone would read my words, and it would have the same effect on them. I always get so excited to share new blog posts, so much that I constantly talk about it to my loved ones. I really try to share my best writing on my blog, and I am proud of each and every post that I share with you. I’ve grown so much since I first began blogging one year ago. I am very proud of how far I’ve come, and the fact that I chose to share my writing with the world despite being a bit fearful and nervous.

I wanted to share this post with you to celebrate one year of Compass to Confidence, and to say thank you! Thank you to my loyal readers who come back to read every new blog post, and thank you to those who stop by occasionally. If you’re new here, welcome! I hope that you will stick around and walk alongside me on this beautiful journey. I’ve had a passion for writing since I got my first journal, and that spark I had as a little girl has turned into the biggest and brightest fire. It’s a dream that I will never put out. I want to let that fire burn and burn for the rest of my life. It is a passion that I refuse to let go of or give up on. I have many plans and goals for my website, so I hope that you will continue to come back every week for more fresh content.

Thank you so much again. You don’t know how happy this blog has made me. And I can’t even begin to explain the good that has come my way because of it. Here’s to another year of blogging!

(Shoutout to my loved ones. Your support and love means the absolute world to me, and I hope that you are proud of me and where I am headed. I love you guys!)

If you find that your compass points to confidence, I hope that you will choose to follow it. Thank you for reading! Until next time!

The Thief of Joy

I am sure that many of you have heard the phrase, “comparison is the thief of joy.” As I have gotten older, I have realized just how true this statement is. Today I wanted to chat a bit about this topic, because I feel that I have learned a lot about it over the years, and I understand it well.

 I think that it is normal to compare ourselves to others. We seem to do it naturally, and even subconsciously at times. We compare ourselves to our family members, our friends, and even complete strangers on the internet. While a little harmless comparison once in a while is no big deal, it can have detrimental effects if it were to be continuous. But when does it cross that line?

While I was never one to let social media affect me negatively, I think that we can all say that we’ve compared ourselves to someone online before. The problem with this is that some people still do not see that social media is a highlight reel. I do not see anything wrong with showcasing your achievements or your best photos online. I don’t see a problem with sharing great moments you experience in life. I think that we all want to showcase our best selves to the world, and that is completely ok. The problem comes when people assume that someone’s life is perfect simply because they post about the good moments. Even the most beautiful person you follow on Instagram has their flaws. Their life is not 100% figured out every moment of every day. They have bad days, just as we all do. Never assume that someone or their life is perfect. This is never the case.

I know people who share all of the good and all of the bad online. What you put out onto the internet is up to you, but I think we would all be better off if we spread a little positivity now and then. For myself, I use social media as a way to stay connected with friends/family, to find inspiration, to uplift and inspire others, and to share my passions. I never want anyone to think that I am perfect, or that I have everything together all of the time. I like being open and honest on social media as often as I can. It is important to me that I keep my content genuine because people can relate to that. It can resonate with people, and that is all I want. I choose to share content that is more positive because that is what I want to put out into the word. That is what I want my life to be about. I’ve gained the confidence to share my voice with the world through my writing, and social media has helped me share what I believe is my purpose in life. It will always be a goal of mine to stay true to who I am, both in real life and on social media.

Comparing ourselves doesn’t just stop at social media. We do it in real life sometimes too. It is important to remember that every single person in this world has their own unique timeline. If a friend of yours is having a baby, that doesn’t mean that you are falling behind in life. If your younger sibling gets their dream job before you do, that doesn’t mean that you are a failure. If your parents got married at 22, and you are 23 and single, that doesn’t mean you will never get married. Please understand that the right things will happen for you at the right time. We are all living completely different lives. You are your own person, and this is the way it should be.  We all have different priorities as well, so work on what is important to you, not what’s important to anyone else. While a little bit of jealousy is normal, you shouldn’t let it overpower your happiness for those you care about.

Remember to cheer people on. Cheer on your friend who got a raise. Cheer on your friend who is traveling the world. Cheer on your friend who just got engaged. Your time will come, I promise. For now, be happy for other people, and be happy for yourself. Be proud of where you are in your life right now. So long as you are making progress and working toward your goals at a pace that works for you, things are going to take off for you. And when you experience achievements and good moments, the right people will be by your side, supporting you too. And it is important to be there to uplift and support your people when they’re struggling just as much as when they are on top of the world. Be a present friend, girlfriend, daughter, etc. Be there for the people you love.

I hope that this message was helpful today. I think it something that people need reminding of sometimes (including myself).

Thank you so much for reading!

The People You Attract When You Love Yourself

For the longest time, I found myself connecting with people who treated me poorly. I felt like my heart was being taken advantage of time and time again. I used to put all of the blame on those who hurt me, but the truth is, I allowed them to treat me that way. Something I’ve learned over time is that the relationship you have with yourself, affects any and all of your relationships with others. When you don’t love who you are, you are essentially telling others, “You can love me as much as I love myself” and at times, this can be detrimental. At the end of the day, people are going to treat you how you allow them to. For myself, realizing this was a wake-up call.

Sometimes, we get into situations involving unkind people. Whether it is a love interest, a friend, a supervisor or peer, the list goes on. No one likes to be treated negatively. We all want to feel loved and accepted. We all want to find people who treat us with respect and like we are valuable. The problem is, you can’t really start looking for that love in others until you start looking for it in yourself. Truthfully, this isn’t always a problem. It depends on where you choose to focus your energy; on others or yourself. To fully accept who you are is such a gift. I have been taking my time to learn this and I have already been reaping the benefits of self-love.

I used to only focus on what I wanted. I failed to recognize my needs. Now, what I want and need is the same thing. I stopped putting in effort with people who don’t value me, and I broke free from those negative relationships that drained me. I know how I deserve to be treated now, and to rise from what I once felt broke me, is an incredible feeling. Of course, I am still learning and I am still growing. I am in no way perfect. They say that lessons are often repeated until they are learned, and I am sure that I will be tested with negative situations in the future. The difference will be how I choose to react to the situation. Will I let my love and care for others overpower their behavior, or will I walk away with the knowledge that I deserve better?

Self-love is a journey, and it is one that you need to continuously work on. You need to make it your job. It is not selfish to put yourself first when you realize that you aren’t being treated the way you deserve. There comes a point when enough is enough. You aren’t going to want to settle for people who don’t show you fierce and honest love and respect. Walking away from people who mistreat you can sometimes be difficult, but in the end, it is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. Choosing yourself takes courage and strength.

Remember that the right people are going to love and accept you for who you are, all while pushing you to be your best self. The right people will never put you in a position where you question your worth, and they will never let you stay stuck.

I am learning to forgive myself for putting up with people and situations that I once allowed to hurt me. It is hard some days, but looking back, I see so much growth. I have changed so much in such a short amount of time, and I will always be proud of that.

For the past few years, I have been pouring so much love back into myself, and it has truly been life changing. Not only have I been feeling more confident and accepting of who I am, but I have been attracting the most amazing, supportive, and loving people into my life. I feel more at peace and happy with myself and my life than ever before, and I want to continue working hard to make sure this feeling stays.

Everything I shared today has been on my heart recently, and I am happy to put it out there. I hope that you found this message helpful today. If you feel that someone you know should hear it too, I would appreciate it if you shared this post with them. Thank you so much for reading!

Fitness Update: June 2020

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to share a fitness update with you all because it has been a while since I talked about my personal journey! I am going to be sharing my current workout split, new fitness goals, healthy eating, and how I am motivating myself to work out during a global pandemic.

I have been working out for about 4 ½ years now, which is absolutely crazy to say. Time really does fly. I feel like it was yesterday that my dad was teaching me all of the basics of weight training. In reality, I have grown so much since my first time in the gym.

The last time I spoke about my personal fitness journey (not just sharing tips and tricks) was in February for my 4 year anniversary. Well, a lot has changed since then. Very soon after I got back from my trip to France in March, COVID cases were spiking and states across the country were telling people to quarantine in their homes. This virus led to the closing of restaurants, stores, and of course, gyms.

Fitness

I was never one to enjoy at-home workouts. I always felt that I lacked the motivation to get through them. When I am at the gym I feel so much more focused. I had to learn to push myself, especially on days when I wasn’t feeling it. This was actually a somewhat difficult transition for me. It took some time, but after a few weeks I got so used to working out at home, and it just became a part of my daily routine. It’s like forming any habit; if you continue to do it daily, eventually it will become a part of your daily routine. Once I got into that routine of simply working out at home, I decided that I needed to change things up and make it a bit more exciting.

 There are many different forms of exercise. What I’ve found works for me is a combination of weight training and cardio. Since I do not have any cardio machines at home, I have been incorporating HIIT into my routine even more than I used to. Before, I would go to the gym, stretch, do cardio, and then begin weight training. Now, I’m doing something a bit different. Instead of doing HIIT before or after weight training, I’ll do it at the same time. For example: if I am working out my upper body and I finish one set of shoulder presses, I will quickly get up and start doing something like jumping jacks, or I will run in place. It is somewhat hard to explain, so I’ll leave it to Google.

According to Google, HIIT is “a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue.”

I hope that makes sense! But basically I alternate between a set of weight training and then I’ll complete a HIIT exercise for 30 seconds, and repeat.

My workout split

Luckily, I own a workout bench, weights, and resistance bands, so I have access to a bit of equipment which has been extremely helpful. My dad actually bought a set of weights that range from 5-25 pounds, and I’ve been using this during every session. I know that many people don’t have any gym equipment in their homes, but there are always alternatives!

Keep in mind that my schedule does not look exactly the same every week. I like to change things up, but also listen to my body and what it needs. Also, this is a schedule that works for ME. Find what works best for you, and go by that! Here is an example of what I do in a week:

Sunday: HIIT

Monday: Back + biceps (with HIIT)

Tuesday: Lower body (glutes, quads, calves + hamstrings)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Chest, shoulders + triceps (with HIIT)

Friday: HIIT

Saturday: Full body (with weights)

The reason you do not see abs or core anywhere in this schedule is because I have been doing yoga every day. In many of my yoga sessions, I am working on my core and my abs!

Yoga has actually been very surprising to me. In January of this year, I told myself that I would try a new form of exercise, and yoga happened to be what I chose. I started using a program that has a variety of workout guides and videos, so I have been using this to learn yoga. I watch a different video every day, and I follow along with the instructor. I have been doing yoga for 10 weeks now. I feel so much more toned, and I have been getting better at the practice! I made a post all about my experience starting yoga, so if you’re interested in that, you can click here after reading this post!

I am a very determined person and I am very easily motivated, so I am proud that I have been able to stay on track lately. Somehow, even while quarantining at home, I’ve managed to become even more physically active than I was before COVID!

Healthy eating

I’ve never had a bad relationship with food, and I’ve never had any issues relating to my weight, but to me, eating healthy is still the most challenging part of living a healthy life. I feel like I have been doing ok this year, but I could do better. Any time we make a grocery trip, I have a list of my go-to items that I eat every week including: apples, yogurt, grapes, and salmon, to name a few.

I normally do not have a problem keeping my main meals of the day healthy. For breakfast, I’ll often make eggs or oatmeal. I may also eat a banana and some multigrain toast with avocado or peanut butter (depending on what we have). My lunches are pretty random, but I’ll usually eat an apple, some turkey, and a salad. For dinner, there are some days when I will just eat whatever my mother makes, however there are quite a few days when I will make my own healthy version or a completely different meal.

 I also snack quite a bit during the day, and while I try to keep it healthy, sometimes I’ll crave some chips or even a bit of ice cream. I often allow myself to indulge in my cravings, however I try not to go overboard. My addiction to chocolate and ice cream is as strong as ever, but I am learning to limit myself and have some self control.

I never really tracked my macros or kept track of my daily food intake, partly because it stresses me out and sometimes (depending on the person), it can lead to a negative relationship with food. At this point, I feel like I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I just try to listen to my body and eat as healthy as I can while still enjoying my favorite meals/snacks at times.

On the weekends, my breakfasts and snacks stay the same, but my family likes to eat out on Saturdays and Sundays. Many restaurants are allowing people to dine in now, but we don’t feel comfortable doing so just yet. We’ve been picking up our food and eating out at different parks. I have to admit, I enjoy eating outdoors when we have nice weather.

I stopped drinking soda in 2018, though I do drink it on special occasions. I’ll occasionally drink juice, but water is my go-to. I drink 4-5 bottles of water a day. This used to be such a challenge when I first started, but now I can get through it with no problem. Working out definitely helps me drink more water, though this also means more trips to the bathroom…

My current fitness and health goals

Since gyms will most likely be closed for a little while longer, my goals right now look a bit different. Usually one of my biggest goals is to gain muscle but right now I’m focused on maintaining the muscle that I have. I am going to continue doing 20-30 minutes of yoga everyday as well. And lastly, I am trying to eat as healthy as I can. I am not being too hard on myself and I have been listening to my body and what it needs. This is enough right now.

I am very proud of the progress I have made on my fitness journey so far. While I do feel that my progress has been slowed down a bit due to the closing of my gym, I am doing everything I can to be physically active at home, and it feels really good! I am going to continue with my routine and even if my gym opens soon, I will not be going yet (just to be safe).

I hope you enjoyed reading this fitness update! Stay safe and healthy!

How to Build Self-Confidence

Hey everyone! As I am sure many of you are aware, I am all about confidence and self-love. That is, after all, what my blog is centered around. I did not just create this blog for myself though; I created it for other women like me. For the women who are trying to gain confidence in themselves. For the women who are working on loving themselves unconditionally. I created this blog to stand with you, and to let you know that I understand exactly how you are feeling. Today, I wanted to share my best tips on how to build self-confidence.

I feel as if I have been on this self-love journey for so long now, that at times it can get really frustrating. I say this all the time, but I am not where I want to be in life just yet. I still struggle with confidence and I still struggle with self-doubt. I have grown so much in recent years, and I have gained quite a bit of confidence in myself, despite the struggle. I am proud that I was never the kind of person to pretend to be anyone other than myself. I always stayed true to who I was and what I wanted, even if that meant that I didn’t fit in. This still rings true today.

Part of me felt that it wasn’t right to share these tips with you all because I am not the most confident person out there. But then I thought, if I am feeling this way, there is bound to be other women who do too. Plus, these tips that I am sharing with you today have definitely helped me gained confidence in myself, so I hope that this helps you too!

My tips:

  • Be prepared

One thing that always brings me a bit of confidence is being prepared for anything. Since I am a college student, this is a tip that I have learned in the past few years. Sometimes, you need to be ahead of the game. For me, this means getting my school work done and being productive. If that means going over something the day before class, I do it because I know that by taking the time to look over a reading or do an assignment, I will know exactly what my professor is talking about. I like to know what’s going on, and I like having a plan. This is just a personal example. Find what that is for you, and stay on top of it! Whether you are studying for your driver’s test or you are getting ready for an important interview, being prepared will always bring you confidence and calm your nerves.

  • Compliment yourself daily

Self-affirmations are a great way to start your day. You do not necessarily have to believe the positive things you tell yourself, but you should! I try to do this every day because it makes me feel confident. It may seem a bit silly to look at yourself in the mirror and say “you’re beautiful” or “You’re strong”, but I am telling you that it works! Embrace the awkwardness and show yourself some love. Soon enough, you are going to believe the words that you are saying.

  • Get out of your comfort zone

This is something I tend to struggle with a lot, however I’ve been doing this more often lately. I am the kind of person who enjoys routine and planning things out. I find comfort in a daily routine, and getting out of it can be challenging for me. Well, I recently went above and beyond with this tip, and I was able to go on my dream trip to France! This was a huge step for me, and it brought me confidence as well as independence. Although I wasn’t alone, I did go with a group of girls from school who I did not know too well. I ended up having an amazing time and I learned that sometimes getting out of your comfort zone can be the best thing for you. This is a big example, but there are smaller things that you can do in your everyday life that will lead you to a similar result. Do the things that scare you. If it is going to help you grow in positive ways, take the risk.

  • Self-care

I always feel my best when I take care of myself. I like to take some time to pamper myself, and keep up with my appearance. Although I know that looks aren’t everything, it does make me feel more confident when I look presentable. I also enjoy dressing up and doing my makeup and hair. I’ve noticed that when I am wearing an outfit that I love and feel comfortable in, that is when I feel most confident. I know that everyone is different, and not every girl likes to get glammed up. If this is not your style, I would suggest wearing what you want to wear. Whatever you feel best in, wear it. I do not look at the word “self-care” and think that it only applies to appearances. I work really hard on taking care of my heart and mind as well. Take care of yourself all around. It makes a world of a difference.

  • Surround yourself with good people

This is easier said than done, I know. I feel lucky that I have an incredible and loving family to fall back on. They are my everything, and I am so grateful that I have the relationship with them that I do. I am aware that not everyone has this though. I always struggled to make friends, so I never had very many, but right now, I know that the ones I do have are true. As long as you remain true to who you are, you will attract the right people, however, there is a good chance that you will attract the wrong people too. Be careful and be aware of who you surround yourself with. Some people will only get close to you to use you, to hurt you, or to bring you down.  Trust me, you don’t want or need people like that in your life. Cut the ties, and find people who truly love you, support you, and care for you. And remember to be that person for them as well.

  • Work toward your goals and passions

This is something that I have been working very hard on, and I have to say, not only does it make me feel confident, but it makes me happy. Creating this blog was one of the biggest steps that I have taken that is helping me reach my goals. Since I love to write, I now get to do it often, all while helping others, and nothing makes me happier. If you take some time to think about your goals and what you want in life, you can start working toward those goals right now. There is no reason you have to wait around. Go after what you want in life, and even with the setbacks, please keep going. If you are passionate about something, and if you believe in yourself, you can reach your goals. And don’t forget to celebrate your victories, no matter how small!

  • Envision the person you are trying to become (essentially, fake it til’ you make it)

As I have learned, gaining confidence can take a long time. It also takes a lot of work. Even if you aren’t 100% confident in yourself, it is ok to act like you are. There is a difference between confidence and cockiness or arrogance. No one is better than anyone else. Just try to imagine the person you are trying to become, and work every day to get there. This does not mean copying anyone else’s lifestyle or comparing yourself to anyone else. While it is great to be inspired by others, I simply mean that you should strive to be YOUR best self. When I imagine the woman I am becoming, I see that she is strong, confident, and kind. While I would describe myself with these words right now, I know there is always room for improvement.

  • One last tip from my momma: There is no deadline

I was recently speaking to my mother about confidence, and how I wish I was further along on this journey. What she told me is something that I think everyone should hear. I told her that I was worried about never reaching that point of being 100% confident in myself. I was worried that I would not be able to have the things I want in life if I am not confident in who I am. She reminded me that there is no deadline, and that people have their dreams come true at different points in their lives, and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, by taking your time and working on you, the right things will come to you at the right time. She said that life may seem long right now, but it is actually really short. And lastly, she reminded me that it isn’t about the destination, it is about the journey.

I know that this may seem overwhelming, but we would all be much better off if we gained more self-confidence. Know that it takes time, but you will get there eventually. I haven’t given up hope, and I hope you don’t either. I am right there with you. Thank you so much for reading!

Healthy Hair for Spring: Artnaturals Argan Oil Hair Mask Review

Hey everyone! Today I NEED to talk to you all about this hair product because it has very quickly become a favorite of mine!

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my hair. It honestly depends on the day… and the season. In the hotter months, my hair can get a bit frizzy and dry whereas in the winter I feel like I can tame it much easier.  My hair is a strange mix of wavy and curly. I try not to use too much heat on my hair to avoid damage, so I often leave it natural. If I brush my natural hair… well, I don’t even want to go there!

Let’s talk about the product! Last year, I was looking online for a decent hair mask to try. I was reading about a celebrity recommended hair mask, but of course, it was little expensive. I looked at the ingredients included, and found a hair mask that was much cheaper on Amazon, but it still included many of the same ingredients. This product contains natural and organic ingredients such as argan oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, and keratin. This hair mask claims to repair, hydrate, and moisturize your hair.

This the artnaturals Argan Oil Hair Mask ($11.90 on Amazon). To use this hair mask, you simply apply a quarter size amount onto your palm and distribute it throughout your hair (after using my fingers, I grab a comb and brush it through). When I use this product, I’ll typically wash my hair normally, using shampoo and then conditioner, and then I’ll apply the hair mask. The directions say to leave the mask on for 3-5 minutes or 20 minutes if you have damaged hair. I found that 10 minutes works best for me personally. While letting the hair mask sit for 10 minutes, I will shave my legs. Once the time is up, I simply rinse out the hair mask. After using this product, I don’t like to put anything else in my hair.

This mask smells so good! When I first started using it, I wasn’t sure if I would see much of a difference, but I was hopeful. What I quickly noticed is just how soft and silky it made my hair. I could easily run my fingers through my hair, and the texture was not dry, hard, or greasy. I also think that this product gave my hair some shine which was needed!

It has definitely taken me some time to learn how to manage my hair. I still deal with a bit of frizz, especially during the hotter months, but I have been trying out quite a few new hair products lately, so if I come across anything else that stands out, I will be sure to share it with you all! As for this hair mask, I highly recommend trying it out for yourself! If your hair is in desperate need of a revival after the winter months, this product is for you! Let me know if you try out this hair mask, and leave me a comment telling me what you think of it!

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!

Valentine’s Day Eye Makeup Tutorial

Hey everyone! I had so much fun creating this eye makeup look for Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to share it with you all! In my January Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate, I received a new eyeshadow palette by theBalm Cosmetics, and I have been obsessed with it! This is the “What’s the Tea?® Ice Tea Eyeshadow Palette” ($36). I decided that I could create the perfect V-Day makeup look using this, and that is what I am going to be sharing with you today! This is a somewhat natural eye with a pop of pink!

When I first saw this palette, I thought that the theme was adorable. The palette as well as the colors all relate to gossip. If I am being honest, I probably would not buy this palette if I were walking through an Ulta or Sephora because I do not typically go for bold colors. I definitely prefer browns, golds, or taupes. This palette includes three matte brown shades, and six shimmer shades. Although I would not buy this for myself, the different shades of pink and blue are gorgeous. If you have read a couple of my other makeup tutorials, you may know that I am a little afraid of using bold colors in my eyeshadow looks, but I’ve been trying to get more experimental, and I have actually been having a lot of fun with it! I used to do the same eyeshadow look every single day, but thankfully that is not the case anymore (thanks to Ipsy)!

The eye makeup tutorial:

  • I started off by applying the neutral eyelid primer that comes in this palette. I gently blended this onto my eyelids. You want to ensure that your eye makeup lasts all day and night for Valentine’s Day, so primer is essential! I also feel that primer makes applying eyeshadows a bit easier because it gives the color a smooth base to stick to!
  • The first color I took was this beautiful pink color in the shade, “The 411”. I simply applied this onto my eyelids. I was immediately impressed by the color payoff with all of the shades!
  • Then, I took the light brown shade, “Oh Snap” and blended this into my crease as a transition shade using windshield wiper motions.
  • I then took the middle brown in the shade, “The Run Down” and applied this to the outer “V” of my eyes. Make sure to blend out the shadows after this step. These shadows are incredibly easy to blend (with just a little bit of fallout when applying them).
  • The last step for the eyeshadow is highlight. I took the shade “He Said, She Said” and lightly applied this to my inner corners and my brow bones. In my opinion, highlighting these areas complete an eyeshadow look beautifully. It brightens up the eyes and makes you look more awake. I love this shade because it seems to be a mix of light purple and gold, making it more unique (and stunning).
  • Next, I lined the outer half of my lower lashline with “The Run Down”, and then lined the inner half of my lower lashline with “The 411”.
  • Next, I took my L’oreal Voluminous Lash Primer, and my Maybelline Lash Sensational Curvitude mascara and applied a few coats. I love this mascara because it always does a beautiful job of lengthening and separating my lashes. If you prefer to wear false lashes, you can do this as well!
  • Lastly, I took my usual black eyeliner by Essence and lined my waterline and tightline. I do this pretty much every time I do my makeup because it adds a bit more drama to any makeup look, which I love!

Thank you so much for reading! I am so in love with this eyeshadow palette, and if you are interested, I highly recommend looking into buying it! Let me know how you’re planning on doing your Valentine’s Day makeup in a comment below!

My Pamper Routine

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so why not show yourself a little extra love by taking a day to pamper yourself? Even though I have a lot on my plate right now with school and work, I still think that it is important to take some time to relax and pamper myself. I am not able to have nights like this too often, but when I do I enjoy it. Today, I am going to be sharing my pamper routine with you, as well as the products that I will typically reach for on these nights.

Please keep in mind that although I am using the term “self-care”, “self-care” is not just about the physical. Self-care is also about your mental and emotional well-being. You can look good on the outside, but it doesn’t matter if you’re not taking care of the inside. What I am sharing with you today is just a part of my self-care routine; the physical part.

When it comes to the inside, I try to speak positively about myself and do a lot of personal reflection. I have quite a few hobbies, many of which I often share with you on my website. I like to make time to do the things that make me happy, such as working out, writing, and even just relaxing and watching some Netflix. Please remember to take care of your well-being and not just your physical appearance. On nights like this, I just want to do something to make myself feel a bit more confident and taking care of myself has always been and always will be my top priority.

I try to have nights like this at least once a week, but I practice internal self-care and self-love daily.

When I get home from a long day, I always remove my makeup. I will NEVER leave my makeup on while sitting around at home or going to sleep (I don’t care how tired I am)! So, before anything else, I’ll grab a fresh makeup wipe and gently remove my makeup. After doing so, I like to cleanse my skin to remove any extra makeup. Sometimes I will apply a hydrating cream or face mask afterward. Then I will typically relax, have dinner, get some school work done, and then I continue with my pamper routine.

The first thing I do is blast some of my favorite music. It makes the routine even more enjoyable this way. My pamper routine always starts in the bathroom. I like to take a hot shower, and I will wash my body, my face, and my hair. I wash my hair about twice a week, so this isn’t anything special, but I seriously love the feeling of soft, clean hair. After shampooing and conditioning, I will take one of my favorite hair masks, the Artnaturals Argan Oil Hair Mask, and gently comb it through my hair, letting it sit for 10 minutes. (I plan on doing a review all about this hair mask in the near future because I am so in love with it!)

While the hair mask is sitting, I’ll grab one of my best razors and I will shave my body. I think I can speak for all of us ladies when I say that getting into bed with clean, cool sheets and shaved legs is one of the greatest feelings. I have seriously been loving body scrubs lately, and I enjoy exfoliating before shaving. I have been using the Cela Seed to Skin Scrub Natural Grain Polish. I like to rub this in circles all over my legs (if you know of a great exfoliating brush for the body, let me know in a comment below). This scrub has a sweet scent to it that makes you want to apply more and more! After my shower, I like to apply a bit of lotion to my legs to moisturize them.

Next, I begin my skincare routine. If I am being honest, I really don’t have a set skincare routine. I have been trying out a ton of different cleansers, moisturizers, and serums. Sadly, I struggle with acne, and sometimes it can get pretty bad. I am always a bit anxious when it comes to trying new skincare products because I don’t want to irritate my acne-prone skin. Most products usually work fine for me, but I like to be careful anyway.

I start by using my Biore Charcoal Acne Cleanser. I love this product, but it does tend to dry out my skin a bit. I then move on to serum. I have been using this Sweet Chef Beet and Vitamin A Serum Shot. And lastly, I apply the Ahava Daily Moisturizer. I love this moisturizer and every morning I wake up with such smooth skin! I know my skincare routine does not include all of the proper steps right now, but I am still on the hunt for all of the right products.  I want the products I use to be affordable, I want them to include healthy ingredients, and I want to love them. Once I find this, I will share a full skin care routine with you all!

After taking care of my skin, I will paint my nails. I prefer to get my nails done at a salon, but if they aren’t done, I will simply cut them and push my cuticles back. I will sometimes paint my toenails, but as I am sure many of you can relate to, my toenail polish lasts a very long time. This is a step that I will sometimes skip in the winter, but I like to make sure my toes are always done in the warmer months.

Next I will be tweezing and trimming my eyebrows. While I am lucky that my hair grows back long and fast, I wish this was only true for the hair on my head and not the hair everywhere else on my body! I also have darker hair which doesn’t help, so it can be a lot to maintain. I actually have to tweeze my brows a couple times a week, but I really like to take my time to maintain it.

After this I will head downstairs to have a late night snack and I will get ready for the next day. The last step to my pamper routine is applying my Skin Regimen Night Detox. This is a mask that you apply and wear over night and wash off in the morning. It protects, repairs, and strengthens your skin while you sleep! I don’t use it every night, but I have been enjoying it lately!

I hope you all remember to always take some time for yourself, even if you have a busy schedule. When I plan a night like this, I always look forward to it because it allows me to relax and just focus on myself. Everyone deserves to relax every once in a while, so this Valentine’s Day, please take that time and use it to pamper yourself (and let yourself indulge on some chocolate a little, I know I will)! Thank you so much for reading!