Tips for Solo Travel

Hey everyone! I am back from my month-long trip to England and I am ready to get back into blogging. If you weren’t aware, I went to England to visit/meet my long-distance boyfriend for the first time! It truly was the best month of my life, and I am so excited to go back very soon! For now, I really want to share some fresh new content with you all. In today’s blog post, I wanted to discuss and share some tips for those of you who are planning to/want to do some solo traveling in the future.

Leaving for this trip was really nerve-wracking for me because it was my first time traveling alone. While I have traveled with family and with a study abroad group in college, I have never been completely on my own. I have traveled internationally before, and I felt like I knew what to expect at the airport due to my past experiences. Still, traveling on your own, especially through an airport and internationally can seem pretty overwhelming and intimidating. Whether you are going to be alone for your entire trip, or you are going to meet a friend, I am hoping to calm your nerves and ease your mind about solo travel!

My Tips:

  • Pre-Plan EVERYTHING

At times, planning for trips can get stressful, so it is very important to prepare ahead of time. This includes booking a flight and any attractions/activities, being aware of your own personal budget, checking the weather etc. You can make a checklist so that you do not forget any important steps. You can even plan out what days you want to accomplish certain tasks leading up to your departure. If you have your airline’s app, you can check-in and pay for luggage before you go to the airport as well. Anything that will save you time is worth it! Since the pandemic has begun, travel has become much more restrictive, so there are also factors relating to Covid that you must look into (such as booking any Covid tests, quarantining, mask mandates, etc.). Please remember that if you do plan to travel at this time, be safe and do your best to distance yourself from others, wear your mask, and definitely bring some hand sanitizer with you!

  • Keep all valuables in one place

When traveling, there are important documents/valuables that you may need, and it is essential that you keep these items close to you and in a safe place (but be sure that they are easily accessible as you make your way through the airport). An example of this would be bringing a laptop case and using this as your personal item. In the case, I had my laptop, phone, passport, and a folder with my negative Covid tests and other important forms. By doing this, it saved me from having to dig around in my carry-on. Constantly check to make sure that these valuable items are on your person, and never leave your bags alone or with a stranger.

  • Read about the airline/requirements beforehand

While airline rules and regulations tend to be pretty similar across the board, there is always a chance that you could miss some important information. Airlines will typically have certain rules in relation to the size and weight of your luggage for example, so it is best to look into these things ahead of time. I flew with United Airlines, and looking on their website as well as downloading the app was very helpful. I highly recommend downloading your airline’s app because it will be your guide for many things. You’ll be able to see any changes made to your flight, information on your luggage, and all of the details relating to your trip.

  • Be adaptable to change

Traveling can be unpredictable at times. There can often be delays, schedule changes, lost luggage, the list goes on. It is important that in moments like this, you take a deep breath and calm yourself down. Getting angry or upset is not going to help you in this situation, and everyone working at the airport is doing their best. These things are out of your control, so there is no point in panicking. Things definitely did not go perfect for my first time traveling alone! My first flight kept getting delayed, so I had to speak with someone to help me get on a new flight. Then when I arrived in London, my bag was missing (it took a few days for it to be located and brought to me). Things will not always go according to plan, but as long as you stay on top of these things and speak to someone right away, you are going to be alright.

  • Be aware of your surroundings

This tip should relate to your everyday life, and even more so when traveling alone. Never take your eyes off of your bags, and never leave it with someone you do not know/aren’t traveling with. As annoying as it may be to drag along your bags with you to the restroom or to grab a quick bite to eat, it’s better to keep your belongings with you. Also, keep an eye out for anyone acting suspicious. Since you’ll be alone, there won’t be anyone to do this for you. If you notice anything strange, be sure to tell someone working at the airport about it. Traveling alone can already be nerve-wracking, but you can’t let this distract you from your surroundings.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

I know many people who would rather have a complete breakdown trying to figure something out on their own rather than asking for help. Please never think that asking for help is a weakness (in any situation in life). When you are experiencing something new, you are most likely not going to have all of the answers. If you aren’t sure where your gate is, or if your luggage was lost, don’t hesitate to walk up to someone working at the airport. Chances are, they will know exactly how to help you (or at least they will tell you where to go to get the help you need). That is after all, what they are there for. Plus, it’s better to be absolutely certain of something by asking another person or people instead of thinking you know everything.

Of course, I could go on sharing even more tips, so please let me know if a part two would be helpful! I hope that this blog post has inspired you and encouraged you to think about solo traveling. Trust me when I say that it is not as scary as it seems! Plus, as you do it more often, you will become more and more comfortable. I will be traveling alone again very soon, but this time around, I feel much more prepared and less nervous. I guess it all comes down to what you really want. I knew that I desperately wanted to be with my boyfriend in person, so a little nervousness wasn’t going to hold me back. If you are set on the idea of going somewhere on your own, or you’ve dreamed about it forever, do it! You will never regret traveling, and taking a step toward independence can be such an eye-opening, freeing, and overall wonderful experience! Thank you so much for reading! Safe travels, and I’ll see you next time!

Travel Outfit Ideas + Tips

Hey everyone! I am super excited to share today’s post because it relates to two things I absolutely love: fashion and travel! I have been lucky enough to do quite a bit of traveling in my (almost 22) years on earth, so it’s safe to say that I have some experience spending long hours in a plane, a train, a car, a boat etc. Today I will be sharing five different outfit ideas for travel days, no matter how you’re traveling or where you’re going! I am also sharing a few helpful tips! Some are more casual whereas others are a bit more stylish (but all are comfortable).

Outfit #1: Cute + comfy

This look might be my favorite of all of them! I think that this is also going to be the most comfortable of the looks! I have been obsessed with wearing cute and stylish muscle tanks (that are not athletic) like this one pictured! They are so easy to wear and when you are traveling, you want to be comfortable. I purchased this one from Wholesome Culture, and I love the message on the front as well as the beautiful floral design on the back. The material is very breathable as well. For my bottoms, I went with a simple pair of straight cropped pants. Once again, the material is super light and perfect for warmer destinations (though I recommend wearing pants on an airplane since it can get pretty cold). I like the unique pattern on these, and they are great for lounging around, or being on a long plane or car ride! For my shoes I went with a pair of strappy brown sandals. When traveling, you want to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and take off, especially when going through airport security.

Outfit #2: Athletic

Many people love athleisure and this has been very trendy for travel. For this look, I went with a cropped black muscle tank. I enjoy layering up in case I get cold, so bringing along a nice warm hoodie or zip-up would work too! I paired the top with a white and gray zip-up. For my bottoms I went with a pair of black athletic leggings. I normally prefer to wear lounge leggings for comfort (the material is much different), however if the athleisure look is more your style, then go for it! For my shoes I went with a pair of black and white Nike sneakers. They are really comfortable and easy to walk in. I like an all black look and this one is great for long travel days!

Outfit #3: Casual + cool

This outfit is for those of you who want to keep the look casual while still looking put together. For my top I went with a simple light blue v-neck t-shirt. Once again, for me comfort is key when traveling, and you can’t really go wrong with a simple tee. You can pair this with pretty much anything, but I actually decided to go for jeans. For me personally, I would probably never travel in jeans; they just aren’t the most comfortable bottoms for me. I do know that some people prefer them and absolutely love them! I wouldn’t recommend them for super long plane or car rides, however for shorter trips they can be great, especially if you have somewhere to be when you arrive at your destination. The jeans I chose are straight leg and high waisted, and they are a darker wash. For the shoes, I went with my Adidas Stan Smith sneakers. I love the look of white shoes, and I really like the gold detailing on these! They are comfortable and easy to wear.

Outfit #4: Boho chic

I really love this outfit as well, and it is a bit different but very fun! For my top, I went with a white off the shoulder crop top. I love the twist design in the front, and it is very cute and stylish! The pants are my favorite part of this look! I really love the floral design as well as the fact that the colors are a bit more dark and neutral (it goes with most things). I really like the wide leg, and these almost feel like they could be pajama pants! I think they are a great choice no matter how you’re traveling. I have worn pants like this to travel before, and they gave me absolutely no issues! For my shoes I decided to go for the same strappy brown sandals mentioned previously. I think they complete the look perfectly. This look would be great for a warmer/tropical destination, especially if you aren’t into bright and bold colors.

Outfit #5: Professional

The last look is for anyone who is traveling for work. If you are going on a work trip that isn’t too long, this look may be perfect for you! I tried to make it as comfy as possible while still looking professional. I decided to go for a nice v-neck tank top. It is navy blue with white detailing, and it can be worn in many different ways. I also thought that my black wrap coat would look perfect over the tank. It is a light material but still great for layering. The details on this really add to the professional look. Since the top and wrap coat are darker colors, I decided to keep the bottoms light. I went with a pair of gray ankle pants. There is a subtle design on these, but it is noting over the top. I think these look very professional, however they would also be pretty comfortable to wear for a few hours. For the shoes, I knew that heels would not be the best option, so I opted for a pair of simple black loafers. These are flat and easy to wear, yet you will still look professional and put together. If you need or want to change into heels when you arrive at your destination, you can do that too.

Tips:

Get to the airport early

I know this is something that tends to annoy a lot of people, but it is a smart idea to arrive at the airport a couple hours early. This way you can check in, get through security, and do all that you have to do before leaving. Also, if you were to run into any issue, you can figure it out before you have to catch your flight!

Wear long pants on the plane

As I mentioned previously, it can get pretty cold on an airplane, so I always recommend wearing long pants; whether they are jeans, leggings, sweatpants etc. I do this even when traveling in the summer. Even if the pants are very light material, it will still keep you warmer than a pair of shorts or a skirt would.

Wear minimal jewelry

Whenever I travel, especially on a plane, I don’t like to go crazy with jewelry. I don’t think that the metal detectors at airports always go off when someone is wearing jewelry, but just to avoid that altogether is probably the best option. It just makes the entire process a lot smoother!

Wear shoes that are easy to take off and put on

Another simple thing that will help speed everything up! You don’t want to be the person going through security taking a long time to remove your shoes. Slip on shoes are the best choice here whether that’s flip flops, loafers, sneakers etc. You want to be comfortable and practical as well. You do not have to wear the fanciest and most complicated shoes you own (unless you really want to). If you are bringing a heavy, pair of shoes such as boots (for a cold destination), it’s best to wear them so they don’t have to take up space in your luggage. Besides situations like this, slip ons are the way to go!

Make a list of the things you need to pack

This is something I will always do, no matter what! I never want to leave my house, get to the airport or be on the road and then realize I forgot something important. Little things like toothpaste or even a hairbrush can be purchased when you arrive to your destination, but things like your passport and boarding pass obviously need to be with you. Be careful not to lose these things during your travels, and make sure to have it with you when you arrive. In the weeks leading up to your trip, you can make a list of the things you need as you remember them. Or, you can open up your suitcase, and over the last couple weeks before leaving, toss some things in the suitcase that are on your list.

I hope that you found this blog post helpful and that you were able to get inspired! Tomorrow I will be hopping on a plane and going on vacation for a couple weeks with my family! This will be my last blog post until I return from my trip. When I get back, I will be sharing my entire trip with you, which I am really excited to do! For now, if you’d like to keep up with my travels, check out my Instagram @sacchere14, for all of the photos and videos!

Thank you so much for reading! I will be back soon!

How to Pose for Photos

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

Hand in hair

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

Hold a prop

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

Leg up

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

Pretend to walk

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

Look off to the side or look down

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

Face away from the camera

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

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

Check out my Instagram for more: @sacchere14

Yoga 101: Warrior Poses

I am very excited to share the second post in my Yoga 101 series! I created this series to help beginner yogis learn all of the best yoga poses (though these posts can be helpful to any yogi at any level)! I encourage you to check out my Instagram @sacchere14 to see my Yoga 101 posts and highlights for videos of each pose! As I explain how to get into the poses, it may seem confusing, but I will try to explain things in the easiest way possible. If you haven’t read my first post, I would recommend checking it out before you read this one (though it’s not necessary). It will be linked here!

Today I will be discussing the warrior poses. These are such strong and empowering poses that are essential to include in your practice! I have been doing yoga daily for over a year now, so I do feel that I have the experience needed to help others, however I am not a professional or expert. I appreciate any feedback, tips, or advice (I am still perfecting many poses myself).

These poses are typically done in a vinyasa flow, however transitioning from pose to pose can be difficult at first. Try your best!

Warrior I

Let’s begin with warrior I. To get into this pose, you want to start off with your feet hip width apart in a forward fold. You’re going to step your right leg back (you can start with whichever leg you’d like), making sure that your left knee stays stacked above the left ankle (this helps to avoid injuries). Your right foot should be at an angle, facing slightly outward. For every single pose, I encourage you to engage your core by holding in your stomach (but don’t forget to breathe) and to lengthen your back. You do not want your back to be arched or hunched. The biggest challenge with this pose is that you want your hips to be squared, facing the front of your mat. It may be tricky as a beginner, but with practice you can get there. Try to avoid turning your hips when you bring the leg behind you. It’s important that you feel strong in each and every pose, and this one requires some balance, so make sure that you feel grounded once your feet are in place. Once you’re here, you can keep your palms together at your heart, straight out in front of you with your palms facing inward, or if you’re feeling strong, you can lift your arms up over your head with your palms facing inward. If you decide to lift your arms, check to make sure that you aren’t lifting your shoulders as well; keep them down. Remember to repeat the process on the other side of your body.

Warrior II

Now we can move on to warrior II. You can start off the same way you did for warrior I, or you can transition from warrior I to warrior II. Any time you transition, try to do it as gracefully as possible. Again, this won’t always be easy at first. You can practice by doing this pose on its own, rather than transitioning into it. To transition, you now want to face your right foot completely to the right rather than at an angle. The best way to know that your alignment is correct is by seeing if the heel of your front foot aligns with the arch of your back foot. If it is in a straight line, then you are doing it right. Your core will now be facing the right. You’re going to keep your head facing the front of your mat, and you will lift your arms; one straight in front of you, and the other straight behind you. Both of your palms will be facing downward. Make sure you aren’t lifting your shoulders in this pose. Always check to see that your front knee is right above the ankle. Remember to hold in your core and lengthen your back. Warrior II is a hip opening pose, however only the hip in front of you is opening, which should be a reminder to do the same exact thing on the other side!

Warrior III

To transition out of warrior II and into warrior III you’re going to now move into crescent pose. So, your back foot will now turn toward the front of the mat, and your toes will curl under. Your entire core and your hips will also shift to face the front of your mat. Your arms can lift up into the air once you’re here. Again, check to make sure your front knee is directly over the front ankle. Your back leg will be straight, though it’s important to never overextend your legs; always keep a slight bend in the knees (even when the legs are technically supposed to be straight). This will help to avoid any knee injuries. Now, you will bring your palms together right at your heart and slowly and carefully lift your back leg up off the ground. If you are a beginner, you can either step to the front of the mat or you can try to bypass the floor with that foot. You will slowly lean your body forward while your leg is straight out behind you. Your hips are going to want to open up, but try to avoid this. They should be squared and facing the front of the mat. Your back should be flat (not hunched or arched). If you are feeling strong, you can lift your arms and bring them out to the sides. This will help with your balance. Your gaze should be toward the ground, and you can try to focus on something that isn’t moving to help keep your balance. Although I have been practicing for over a year, there are still plenty of times when I fall out of this pose. Don’t give up! You can always come back and try it again.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, reading these explanations may be a bit confusing and hard to follow, so check out my videos on my Instagram in my Yoga 101 highlight. Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful day!

What poses would you like to see next?

How to Create Your Own Blog

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

Make a plan

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

Pick your niche

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

Pick your hosting site & register your domain

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

Think about spending some money

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

Keep your site simple & user-friendly

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

Create a blogging schedule

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

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

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

Promote your blog posts

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

Write for an audience

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

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

How to Pursue Your Dreams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Amanda Sacchere & Tom Patch

To my love:

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

Tips for Beginner Yogis

I have been on my fitness journey for almost 5 years now, and yoga is something I began to incorporate in April of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was getting really bad at that point, and we were all stuck in our homes. One day, a family member introduced us to a program that had a variety of fitness videos to try, including yoga. After seeing this, I thought that maybe I could give it a try. I mentioned it to a couple of my family members, and we have been doing 20-30 minutes of yoga every day since. We have not skipped any days whatsoever, and that is something I am very proud of!

Yoga is both challenging and relaxing, and I have seen and felt the many benefits from very early on. I think it is important to let people know that you do not have to be flexible or into fitness to get started! Literally anyone can do yoga because there are ways to modify almost every pose, and this allows you to grow throughout your practice. We all start somewhere, so please don’t let the idea of being a “beginner” scare you off or make you nervous. I never thought that I would be interested in doing yoga because I have always enjoyed lifting weights, but I have come to love it! I definitely recommend experimenting with different forms of exercise until you find what works for best for you! If you want to get started with yoga, remember to start slow!

I have realized that there are certain things that yoga instructors in the program I use have been encouraging me to do, but I never really understood how. After months of practicing, I’ve noticed significant changes and improvements, which has been very exciting and motivating! I have gotten much better at balancing and activating my core, and I am starting to do a few more advanced poses!

Please keep in mind that I am in no way a professional or qualified to teach yoga, however I feel that due to my own experience with the practice, I can share some valuable tips with those of you who are just getting started! It took me some time to learn these things, and I am continuing to learn as I go! I am sharing this in hopes that you can start practicing these skills even sooner!

Here are my tips for beginner yogis:

  • Go into your practice with an open mind

Sometimes, when you are trying something new, you may have preconceived ideas on what you will be doing. When it comes to yoga, you may think it’s simple and easy, or that it doesn’t do anything for the body. It’s also common to simply say “I can’t do that” or “I’m not good at this” when starting out. You have to remember that in order to see progress and gain strength, you need to get started. It’s ok to lose your balance, to fall over, and to get frustrated when you can’t do a certain pose, but as long as you keep at it and practice frequently, you will get better! It’s important to have an open mind and to think positively all the time, but especially when trying something new or challenging. You are most likely starting yoga to be active, to get healthy, or to try something different, so honor that and honor yourself by getting out of your comfort zone!

  • Get centered and let negative thoughts go

When you go into your practice, you may not always feel your best. Maybe you’re stressed about work or your feeling down about a personal situation. Whatever it may be, when you get to your mat, it’s time to let it all go! It can be really difficult to let these thoughts go and to simple be, but you have to try. Some days, I am just a bit more distracted or I have a lot on my plate, and that’s ok. But you have to remember that you’re allowed to take a few moments out of your day to focus on you and your overall well-being. Working out can really give you that time, and you will also reap the benefits as time goes on! Try to think about your breathing and how you’re moving your body rather than bringing all of that negative energy to the mat. Working out has always been a time for me to focus on my mental and emotional health, it’s definitely not just about the physical.

  • Focus on the breath

This may seem like such a simple tip because of course, we’re always breathing, and you would think that you would be breathing even better during a workout. This can actually be a challenge. When I first started weight lifting, it took me a bit of time to realize that breathing will actually help you perform better, and you will be able to do more reps. The same is true for yoga. Keep in mind that whenever you are exerting the most energy, that is when you should breathe out. For example, if you are in three legged dog, and you want to bring your knee in toward your nose, you breathe in as you lift your leg up, and breathe out as you pull that leg in. Really think about your breathing when working out, and you truly will notice a big difference! Never hold your breath, even when your practice is getting difficult.

  • It’s all about lifting and lengthening

When practicing yoga, one should never focus too much on height, but rather focus on lengthening and lifting your body. For example, if you are in warrior three, you should be lifting your chest and leg, however you don’t need to be doing a standing split. The height of your leg really isn’t as important as how you’re lengthening your body. Another example would be when you are in sphinx pose or upward facing dog. It’s not about bending back as far as possible; it’s about lifting up out of your lower back and feeling a stretch across your chest. While it is impressive to see advanced yogis lifting their legs super high in the air, it isn’t necessary in order to feel the benefits and to gain strength. Length over height, always!

  • Relax the shoulders and don’t collapse

This next tip goes along with the previous one. It can be very easy to lose focus and forget the point of certain poses. There are many poses which require you to use some upper body strength. For example, when you are in a side plank, you have to remember to lift up out of that bottom shoulder. The same is true for triangle pose. It all goes back to lengthening the body! You want to rise up and reach for the sky, rather than collapsing back down into your shoulder (this could cause injuries or discomfort over time).

  • Keep a slight bend in the knees

There are going to be quite a few poses where you are meant to straighten your legs such as downward facing dog, triangle pose, and any kind of forward folds. When your instructor tells you to straighten your legs, please remember not to lock out your knees; keep a slight bend in them instead. You should do this to avoid any injuries or discomfort. It is not going to hinder your growth at all, and it’s always better to be safe and to listen to your body. During any form of exercise, if you feel any discomfort or pain, you should stop and modify or skip that pose/exercise for a little bit.

  • Square off the hips

Again, it is so easy to forget what you are doing, and your body may naturally want to move a certain way when doing some poses. For the most part, when you are in three legged dog, any of the warrior poses, or any twisting pose, it is important to square off your hips. This means that whatever way your core is facing, that’s where your hips should face too. When facing your left in warrior two, you only want your head to move and look over the hand in front of you, however your hips should stay in place, facing the left. When you are lifting a leg in downward facing dog, your hip may want to open up, but you have to do your best to keep it from doing so (there will be times when your instructor may want you to open up your hip in this pose, but unless they say so, keep the hips still). When twisting, make sure that you twist from your core; your hips shouldn’t be twisting with you.

  • Activate your core

It took me a long time to figure out exactly how to do this. This is something that you will need to practice, and it can take time, but you’ll know you’re doing it right because you’ll be able to really feel your core working. Yoga truly is a full body workout, however the core is a very important part of it. Throughout each and every practice, you should be holding in your stomach (while breathing properly). You don’t want your gut to sag as you are doing these movements and getting into different poses. If you suck in your stomach and at the same time, continue to breathe properly, you will feel your core working the entire time.

  • Challenge yourself

I understand that some days, you just aren’t going to feel very motivated, and you may want more of a relaxing practice. These days are needed, so of course, I encourage you to have a couple of these practices throughout your week. However, you shouldn’t get too comfortable relaxing, because if you want to improve and see results, you’re going to have to put in the work. You can do this by staying in poses longer than you normally would, or as you progress, you can try to do more advanced versions of different poses. For example, instead of planking on your knees, you should eventually try to lift them up, or try to get off of your tippy toes and lift up a foot or leg when balancing. You won’t get better at something by staying comfortable.

And lastly…

  • Enjoy the practice

Yoga is meant to be enjoyed. Whether your practice was all about the core or it was a relax day, by the end of your workout, you should feel strong, confident, and even relaxed in the end. Make sure to throw in some resting poses in the middle and at the end of your session such as child’s pose or savasana. This will give your body a chance to cool down, and you can take a moment to appreciate all of the work that you just did. Use this time to better yourself, and trust me, your body will thank you!

I hope that my beginner yogis out there found this blog post helpful! Like I said, I never thought I would enjoy doing yoga, but I think it was because I didn’t understand it, and I just didn’t see it as a real workout. Well, sometimes you can surprise yourself, and all it takes it one step outside of your comfort zone! Thank you so much for reading!

Business Casual Outfit Ideas + Tips

Hey everyone! I am very excited to share this blog post with you all! I absolutely love looking polished and put-together, so I came up with five different business casual outfits. Whether you work in an office or you are beginning your first internship, these outfit ideas should spark some inspiration.

Depending on where you work, there may be specific rules when it comes to professional attire. You can very easily add or change certain pieces in each of these outfits if they do not follow your specific guidelines.

I know that I did not include a dress or skirt in this post, and this is mainly because I don’t feel that I own a dress or skirt that is necessarily “professional.” If I owned a simple black, navy, or nude dress/skirt that was about knee length, I definitely would have included it! If you prefer skirts and dresses (as I often do), you can definitely choose to wear them rather than pants!

You will notice that the color pattern I tend to stick with when it comes to business casual is black, pink, gray, nude, and navy. Although it is often best to stick to neutrals, I do like to include a few colors. The ones I chose are professional, and in my opinion, they make the outfits a bit more fun. Check out my Instagram: @sacchere14 to see a fun transition video I created while wearing these looks!

Here are the five outfits I put together…

Outfit #1:

For this look, I went with a navy and white top. These two colors always look so beautiful together. What I love about this top is that it can be worn casually, or you can dress it up. It is perfect for so many different occasions. I added a simple black blazer because you would most likely have to cover up a bit more. I love a nice blazer, and I like to wear them often, even for the most casual activities. I went with a nice pair of gray, patterned ankle pants. The pattern is not over the top or too bold, but it adds a bit of flair to the look. I decided that my nude block heels looked best with this outfit.

Outfit #2:

For this outfit, I wanted it to be a bit more girly yet still professional. I chose this light pink collared top. Collared tops are perfect for the workplace, and this one is a bit more fun with the ruffled sleeves and the zipper detailing in the front. If needed, I would recommend a black of gray blazer as well. I chose a pair of slim black ankle pants to go with the top. For my shoes, I decided on my black block heels (a pair of neutral flats would look great too).

Outfit #3:

This look is for those of you who prefer something comfortable yet still pretty. I chose a black pussybow top. I love the sleeves on this top because they flare out at the end, and I have such a love for big sleeves! It is great because it looks professional and stylish at the same time. If you aren’t a fan of blazers, this kind of top is perfect for you because it keeps you covered without the extra layer. For my bottoms, I went with the same gray patterned ankle pants from the first outfit. Lastly, to complete the outfit, I chose my black block heels (once again, neutral flats would be a great option as well).

Outfit #4:

This look is the most bold out of the five, however I feel that it still gives off a professional vibe. I wanted to include it in case the rules at your workplace are a tiny bit more casual. For my top, I have a long sleeved pink turtle neck. I feel that turtle necks, mock necks, and high necklines in general look very professional and they make any outfit more polished. I then added a patterned blazer. This may be a bit bold, but you can always use a neutral colored blazer (such as black or gray) instead. For my bottoms, I chose a simple pair of black ankle pants. I love the look of a sleek pair of pants, and these are pretty comfortable as well. Lastly, for my shoes, I chose the same pair of black block heels (again, if heels aren’t your thing, you can wear a neutral colored pair of mules or loafers). If you are going to add color to your business casual outfits, try to stick to one item of clothing and keep the rest of the outfit neutral.

Outfit #5:

I think that this last outfit is my favorite of the five! I love that it is simple yet classy and put together at the same time. For this look, I chose a gray, mock neck sweater. The material of this sweater is light, so it wouldn’t be too hot, but it would still keep you warm if your workplace is a little cold. I paired this top with my favorite ankle pants. I adore the windowpane pattern of these pants, and the navy and white look beautiful paired with the gray top. If the pattern is too bold for you, a nice pair of black pants, or a skirt would look just as nice! I decided to go with my nude block heels to complete the look!

Tips for women:

Stick with neutral colors for the most part

Wear heels that aren’t too tall or if heels aren’t your thing, a nice pair of mules, loafers, or ballet flats would be perfect

Wear a blazer or a nice cardigan over a tank top/sleeveless top

Ankle pants/capris are a stylish yet professional choice

Skirts and dresses should be 4 inches above the knee at most (knee length is perfect)

Go for a nice blouse

Nothing too tight or short

Keep the jewelry minimal and simple

Avoid bright colors

Avoid sneakers and flip flops

Tips for men:

Neutral colors are best

Sweaters, button ups, or collared shirts are the best options

Dress slacks or semi-formal pants

Tie-up shoes and loafers

Avoid t-shirts and sweatshirts

Try to stay away from very bold prints and patterns

Avoid  boots and flip flops

There are definitely ways to look fashionable while wearing business casual attire. It isn’t too complicated to know whether or not something is inappropriate for the workplace, however I felt that sharing a few outfits and tips would be helpful, especially for those of you who are just starting out in the workplace.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post! Thank you so much for reading!

A Guide to Glute Growth

Disclaimer: I am in no way a personal trainer, nor am I an expert on this topic. I just wanted to share my experience with lifting and shaping my glutes, and talk about what has worked for me! I have been weight training for around 4 ½ years, and even though I have experience, I do not know everything. What I am sharing with you today are some things that I have learned over the years. If you want to learn more about the glute muscles, what a calorie surplus/deficit is, or what any of these exercises are, I highly recommend you research them further, and make sure the information is from a reputable source. (I am aware that many gyms are still closed due to COVID-19, including my own, but you can still work your glutes at home!)

While it can be difficult to lift and shape your glutes, you WILL get results so long as you are taking the proper steps (keep in mind the the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body). When I first started weight training, I didn’t really have a set goal in mind. I just wanted to learn how to lift weights correctly. After a couple years of learning and creating new goals for myself, I decided that I wanted to start changing things up a bit. I started going to the gym on my own and changing my exercises as well as my workout split.

I’ve found that shaping and lifting your glutes takes a lot of hard work and discipline. While I have seen great changes when it comes to my glutes, I am continuing to learn and work harder to get to where I want to be.

Here are some tips that I wanted to share with you:

  • EAT (enough)

If your goal is to grow your glutes, this tip is especially important. When I first started trying to grow my glutes, I had no idea that I would have to eat more than I already was. I was also surprised and a bit discouraged when I learned that it’s not very likely that you will grow your glutes and flatten your stomach at the same time. I have often heard that if you want to grow your glutes, you need to be in a calorie surplus. At first, I really did not know what this meant. I haven’t looked into it very much because I prefer not to track my calories. Through trial and error, I have found what works for me and what doesn’t. I allow myself to trust and listen to what my body needs, and I often go by that. Since I started working on my glutes, I have been eating a bit more than I used to, but the change was not too drastic. Decide what your goals are, and decide what you want to focus on right now, and go from there. Just make sure that if you are going to be eating more or less, to do it safely and make sure to eat healthy foods that will help you reach your goals!

  • Mind to muscle connection

My dad taught me this very early on: when performing any exercise, you need to think about the muscles you are targeting. If you are targeting your glutes, really think about your movements and think about working the right muscles. If you are simply squatting without much thought, you will most likely not get the results you are hoping for. Mind to muscle connection is a very real thing for any exercise, so make sure you are focused on what you are doing.

  • Slow down

All too often, I see people rushing through their workouts. While I understand some people want to squeeze gym sessions into very busy schedules, rushing through a workout will not lead to great results. Not only that, but you can hurt yourself in the process. If you are running low on time, try to pick a few exercises you know you want to complete that day. By doing this, you can take your time and really focus on your movements.

  • Glute activation

Glute activation is when you perform quick and repetitive movements in order to wake up your glutes. Many people do not work these muscles on a daily/weekly basis, so activating them can be difficult at first. Resistance bands have been very helpful to me for activating my glutes. Before I start any lower body day, I grab a resistance band. You want to place the resistance band right above your knees and you can warm up by doing glute kickbacks, fire hydrants, squats, etc. I use a resistance band for most of my lower body exercises. They help you target your glutes and it makes the exercises a bit more challenging. I wouldn’t recommend using these at first. Learn how to correctly perform the exercises and practice it for a while before using any resistance bands. You will still be able to activate your glutes a bit without them.

  • Hip thrusts

This exercise has absolutely changed the game for my glutes. I’m not going to lie, this exercise is going to look and feel pretty awkward and maybe even a little uncomfortable. I would recommend practicing it at home beforehand.  Make sure that your form is correct before doing this exercise in the gym (this will make you feel much more confident). I felt and sometimes still feel awkward when performing this exercise, so if you can, go to a corner of your gym and do your hip thrusts there. Make sure your movements are controlled, and that you are breathing through it properly. I would also like to say that when starting any new exercise, you should always start with lighter weight. However, you should have a goal to continue to add more weight over time. If your goal is to grow your glutes, you will need to be lifting heavier, just don’t overdo it.

  • Hip abductors

This is another exercise that will help grow your glutes. Many people do not realize that we have three muscles that make up our glutes: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. Many people are familiar with the maximus because it is the largest muscle of the three (and in the human body in general). If you are only activating your gluteus maximus, you may not see the results you want. You want to be doing exercises that target all of these muscles. The medius and minimus make up the top and sides of your glutes. Hip abductors are just one way to target them. By using your legs to push the weight outward, you will be targeting your medius and minimus, leading to better overall growth.

  • SQUEEZE

Squats are probably one of the most popular exercises for your lower body. What some people don’t know is that squats are a compound movement, meaning that your entire body is working hard during this exercise, not just your legs/glutes. However, squatting is really great to incorporate on lower body days. When you are coming up from a squat or deadlift, squeeze your glutes together. By doing this, you are activating the muscles and engaging them. Don’t neglect them, because even though you will see that your legs are getting stronger, your glutes will not be on the same page. You want to have a balanced proportion.

  • Be patient

Ugh, I know, but hear me out. When I first started working on my glutes, I wanted to see results right away. Obviously that is not going to happen. It takes hard work and time to grow any muscles. In order to lift and shape your glutes, you need to be eating enough of the right foods, performing the correct exercises, and working hard in the gym frequently. It is going to take time, but you WILL get there. The tips mentioned above have been so extremely helpful to me over the years, and I have seen incredible results! Work hard and don’t give up.

Thank you for reading! Until next time!