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COLLABORATIONS

COLLABORATIONS

FALL DATE IDEAS WITH POCKY

With the chillier weather, it’s no surprise that this Fall brings loved ones closer together. Seriously, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up indoors or soak up the crisp Autumn air. Life can also get pretty busy and with the holidays coming up in full force, it’s more than important to put in that extra effort into spending quality time with the people that you love. In celebration of Pocky Day this weekend (11/11) and in collaboration with Pocky USA, I’m sharing my top three favorite date ideas this season. Whether or not you’re in a relationship, these are definitely fun Fall activities that you can do with just about anyone!

Take a stroll outdoors (with Pocky in hand of course): Take advantage of the cooler weather and admire nature’s beautiful golden hues! I don’t know about you but spending time outdoors around this time really gives me a sense of peace and instantly puts me in the holiday mood. Maybe it’s the sound of walking on crispy leaves or passing by storefronts with pumpkin spice everything.

Cook something pumpkin flavored: Picking out a pumpkin is probably one of my favorite fall-time activities and just because Halloween flew by, that doesn’t mean you should throw out those leftover pumpkins just yet! You can whip up some homemade pie, spiced lattes (did you know that Pocky makes the perfect stirrers!?), or roasted seeds. It’s no doubt that sharing food brings people together but cooking is a great way to connect on an intimate level and be creative together!

Stay-At-Home Date Night: If the weather is looking a bit icky, that doesn’t mean the fun has to end there. If you decide to stay in, light up a candle to get you in the autumn mood (think pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and apple!), binge on your favorite snacks, and get cozy on the couch to a movie of your choice! Nothing beats being in the comfort of your own home with the person you love!

And there you have it… my favorite Fall date activities! Learn more about Pocky USA here or locate the nearest store to grab some snacks for you and your loved ones asap. What are your favorite kind of dates to have in the Fall time? Share them with me in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

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COLLABORATIONS

Fall Movie Night

Fall is the perfect time to spend a cozy night indoors, cram in a classic holiday movie marathon, indulge in post-halloween treats (it’s good to #treatyourself once in awhile), and pamper yourself with an extended skincare routine. I’m teaming up with Avatara Skin to show you all the essentials to a perfect movie night this chilly season. What are you waiting for? Slip into your comfiest PJs, snuggle up in a blanket, and get ready for a night of fun!

Snacks
One of the best parts about having a movie night at home is being able to set up your own DIY snack bar filled with the classic salty popcorn and a boatload of candies. It also beats having to pay those overpriced theatre prices! Anyway, simply heat up some kernels and throw in a batch of your favorite sweet treats into the mix for a perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Beauty Essentials
With all your favorite junk food you’ll be pigging out on, don’t forget to show your skin some love too! Create your own little spa treatment at home by starting off with a simple face mask to refresh your face. The great thing about Avatara Skin is that they carry seven unique masks that focus on treating specific skin concerns so there’s something for everyone! For instance, if your skin is going through a dry patch this Fall season due to the colder weather, grab the Drink Up Mask or if your feeling a bit stressed, the Chill Out Mask is your way to go! After gently applying the translucent silky sheet to your face, massage the excess serum in the bag onto other areas of your body (ie. neck, hands) for extra hydration. While you wait 10-20 minutes for your skin to quickly absorb all the healthy nutrients, pour yourself a pumpkin spice latte, press play, and get ready to unwind.

Quick Tip: When your time is up, don’t rinse the remaining serum off your face! Instead, allow your skin to drink up all the moisture to ensure maximum benefits. You’ll be left with a soft glow for the entire night up until the following morning.

Movie Marathon
Movie nights this time around should make you feel warm and fuzzy inside so of course, I’ve compiled a list of my top five films you should watch to get you in that Autumn mood while you bury yourself in an oversized sweater on the couch:

Home Alone: So much childhood nostalgia with this film! Follow all of Kevin McCallister’s (played by the iconic Macaulay Culkin) crazy antics after being left behind on a family holiday trip. Seriously, is it even the holidays without watching this movie at least once?
500 Days of Summer: Although this movie spans across all four seasons, it perfectly captures Tom’s happiest moments in the Spring to his eventual heartbreak during Autumn. I would also love to add that the soundtrack to this film perfectly captures that fall mood.
You’ve Got Mail: A classic 90’s rom-com follows two strangers who meet online and develop an anonymous romance. I mean, if you’re a fan of sappy love stories like me, then you can’t go wrong with this one! The depiction of Autumn is also incredibly charming and it will no doubt make you feel like a hopeless romantic this season.
Harry Potter: Although I could probably watch the entire series all year round, there’s just something special about watching it during the Fall/Winter months. Maybe because like these seasons, the movie is filled with magic, wonder, and enchantment? Whatever the reason, it’s a great one to snuggle up to with loved ones!
The Nightmare Before Christmas: I know Halloween is long gone but that doesn’t mean you have to stop watching spooky classics like this one! I would highly recommend any of Tim Burton’s films but make sure to put this one on the top of your list!
Honourable mentions: Edward Scissor Hands, Serendipity, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Step Mom, Hocus Pocus, Casper

This post was sponsored by Avatara Skin but all opinions are honest and my own. You can read more about Avatara Skin products via their official website or purchase them at your local Target® stores nationwide!

xo, Donna Belle

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COLLABORATIONS

SUMMER WITH POCKY

FYI: This post is sponsored by Pocky USA. All thoughts are honest and my own.

Summer is one of my all-time favorite seasons because it evokes so many feel-good memories and magically puts me straight into relaxation mode. Although the humidity can be wicked around this time, don’t let it drown out all the fun! I’m teaming up with Pocky USA to show you three fun ways to freshen up your Summer plans. Are you ready?!

REFRESH YOUR WARDROBE

Summer is the perfect time to freshen up your style and incorporate seasonal pieces into your wardrobe! Since it’s been scorching hot in California lately, I’ve been reaching for items that are loose, light colored (these reflect light and will keep you cooler), and minimal. I started off by throwing on a flowy off the shoulder top like this one from Zara to give myself a bit of room to breathe. I then paired it with a Distressed Denim Skirt from Zara, which added a bit of edge to all the feminine pieces I’m wearing. Since my shoulder area felt a bit bare, I tied a Star Patterned Handkerchief to my neck to absorb any icky sweat throughout the day. To balance out all the denim going on, I slipped on some Neutral White Sandals from ASOS. I then topped the outfit off with a Straw Hat from Madewell, which is light and helps block my face from the harsh sunlight. Lastly, I threw on a small Crossbody Purse from Fossil for easy Pocky storage (duh).

FRESHEN UP AT THE POOL

As much as I love a good Netflix binge, it’s good to be outdoors once in awhile! I know, it can be so tempting to just sit on your butt all day but swimming is a great way to get some exercise in while keeping you from feeling like a sweaty disaster. You can also use this time to catch up on a sizzling new book or jam out to your favorite Summer anthem! Plus, who doesn’t want to be surrounded by a ton of adorable floaties?!

EAT FRESH

This season, liven up your palette by picking up fresh produce at your local Farmers Market and trying out a fun new recipe! With all the delicious fruit I recently picked up, I was inspired to create a Fruit Yogurt Coconut Bowl. This recipe is delicious, healthy, and instantly transports me to a dream vacation at a tropical island. Keep reading for a full recipe below!

What you need
– Plain or Greek yogurt
– Fruit (I went with my faves: Mangoes, Strawberries, and Kiwis)
– Pocky sticks

Directions
1. Begin by drenching out the water from the Coconut by puncturing one of the three holes at the base with a cork screw. Once you’ve poured that all out, it’s time to cut the coconut in half! I tried several methods via Youtube like using the backend of knife against the most tender area of the coconut but unfortunately, none of them worked for me. I wish I had a good technique to offer for this but the only way I was able to crack one open was by throwing it against a hardwood floor.
2. With the two halves, clean out the inside and save the fresh coconut pieces for later.
3. Scoop in some yogurt and start layering each of the cut fruit gradually on top.
4. Garnish with Pocky sticks of your choice. I went with the classic Strawberry flavor but Pocky has a total of 5 different flavors to choose from! Learn more about what they offer here.
5. ENJOY!

This was just a snippet of my Summer plans but one things for sure, I’ll be snacking on Pocky wherever I end up going! If you want to add a little sweetness to your Summer plans too, check out Pocky and use their store locater to find out where you can get your hands on some delicious treats ASAP.

What’s on your Summer Bucketlist? Share your plans in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle




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COLLABORATIONS

I’M IN COSMO PH MAG!

If you knew me as a kid, I was completely obsessed with magazines and for a long time, I dreamt of becoming Editor In Chief of my own magazine one day. Although I ended up switching my career path later down the road, having the opportunity to be featured in Cosmopolitan Philippines Magazine is an absolute dream come true. Not only do I feel incredibly fortunate to be printed alongside so many inspiring talents from my homeland, but I also got to be a part of a special issue that encourages self care. Below is my full interview but if you’re interested in reading the actual featured article, you can purchase a digital version of the magazine here (I’m on page 104!)

Tell us about yourself. How did you get into graphic design? Were you always into design and the arts as a kid?

I’ve always been interested in all forms of art since I was little, which stemmed from my mom’s love for music. She encouraged creative expression in our home so I eventually grew passionate with singing and found myself sharing the stage with my sister for years to come. At the same time, I would spend hours flipping through fashion magazines or in front of the computer screen. I even taught myself Photoshop when I was elementary school just to design fansites dedicated to my favorite ‘90s celebrities. It sounds crazy when I think about it now but I’m so glad that I found something that I enjoyed doing at such a young age and that I continued to cultivate my creativity as I got older.

In high school, I was fascinated with the idea of working for a magazine but since a majority of my cousins worked in the medical field, I never really thought a career in the arts was a possibility. It wasn’t until after I graduated college in 2013 that I decided to pack my bags and move half way across the country to New York to pursue a career in design. I interviewed for an Art Internship at Family Circle Magazine on a whim and luckily, I landed the job. I remember being instantly swept away by the creative energy of the city and I think that’s what really sparked everything.

What came first: your blog or your Instagram? How did you decide on the content and look of both platforms? Your aesthetic is so distinct and eye-catching! 

I’ve had my Instagram since 2009 when it was more of a highlight reel of my college years. I began using Instagram more artistically when I launched my blog in September of 2015 but I didn’t take both platforms “seriously” until August of last year. At the time, I was working at a tech company based in San Francisco as a Marketing Designer and my blog was sort of a creative escape for me outside of the corporate world.

My content is highly representative of my multi-faceted interests. I’ve always been drawn to vibrant colors, clean lines, and quirky patterns. If you were to look at my feed, you’d find a mix of edgy outfits, pops of pink, and curated confetti thrown in for good measure.

Asking for our readers but also for ourselves (lol): where do you find all your cute props?

My props are essential to creating visually stimulating content and really help to enhance my brand’s overall aesthetic. Some of my favorite resources are Asos, Etsy, eBay, local homeware department stores, and stationary shops. I also like to support growing accessory brands that I come across on Instagram, which is where I find most of my unique pieces.

Who and what are your design inspirations? Do you also get inspired by places, such as the Bay Area? 

I draw visual inspiration from pretty much everything around me – places, people, movies, music, and magazines. To be honest, there are moments where I struggle with feeling inspired but I found that looking beyond my computer screen and changing my environment helps to spark creativity. I love to travel and be outside of my element because it really challenges me creatively.

Outside of aesthetics, I also look to creative powerhouses like Jen Gotch of ban.do, Bri of Design Love Fest, and Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal. Their journey into entrepreneurship is incredibly inspiring in itself and I hope I could follow a similar path in the near future.

You’ve had an online presence since the heyday of Myspace. From your perspective, how is blogging different these days? 

I began sharing content online via Xanga since my preteen years. Back then, I didn’t feel pressured to create high quality content, figure out the perfect filter, or even think about how many likes a post would get. It felt much more like a hobby than anything else.

The blogging game has changed drastically over the years. For many others, including myself, it has given me the opportunity to create a potential business out of it. I’m now able to work directly with companies that I love on sponsored content. Because of that, I have the creative freedom to execute larger scale projects that I wouldn’t have been able to fund on my own. It’s definitely challenging at times but well worth the time and effort that I put into styling, photography, and writing.

With all these changes, I feel like our social feeds are oversaturated and it’s easy to fall into a comparison trap. However, I’ve learned to continue creating content that personally excites me and that I feel perfectly captures who I am regardless of what everyone else is doing.

This issue is all about self-care. What does a self-care day look like for you? And how do you take care of your mental, physical, and emotional well-being? 

There’s a huge stigma surrounding mental health that’s deeply rooted in traditional Asian culture so like many others, I never truly knew the value of self-care until I was much older. It’s also something that is often overlooked, especially in the midst of our busy and overwhelming lives. However, I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to look after your body, mind, and soul on a consistent basis in order to improve your overall well-being.

There are so many different forms of self-care. Personally, I like to take a moment to disconnect from social media and engage in activities that bring me sincere joy. Whether that’s indulging in my favorite Wes Anderson film, treating myself to a well-deserved coffee break outdoors, surrounding myself with uplifting people, or even something as simple as squeezing in a few extra hours of sleep. However, self-care is much more than just self-indulgence. I also try my best to process my emotions by physically writing in a journal, letting go of self-deprecating thoughts by shifting my mindset, and reminding myself of what I’m grateful for each morning. I think it’s also important to point out that self-care is not in any way selfish. Don’t forget that the relationship that you have with yourself is the most valuable one to have.

Last but not least, a big thank you Cosmopolitan Philippines for reaching out to me about this opportunity of a lifetime and my sister, Ruby for helping out during the photoshoot!

xo, Donna Belle

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COLLABORATIONS STYLE

POPSUGAR EVENT RECAP

A big thank you to Pop Sugar for having me at their #collectiveconversations event in San Francisco last night. The main purpose of the event was to announce the fact that they have joined forces with Shop Style to create a new platform for influencers – Shop Style Collective. They served delicious cocktails paired with cotton candy and there was also an assortment of mini foods like chicken n’ waffles all thanks to Straw SF. One of the highlights of my night was getting the opportunity to talk to Lisa Sugar (the creator of Pop Sugar) and linking up with fellow bloggers in the area. Needless to say, I left feeling incredibly inspired!

snaps

To top it all off, everyone came home with Pop Sugar’s November Must Have Box. See below for the full list of items but my favorites were the Elaina Rose Gold Bracelet by Kendra Scott and Dawn to Dusk Eye Shadow Palette by Stowaway Cosmetics. This box retails for $165 but you can sign up for a monthly subscription for only $39.95 per month here or you can purchase the items individually at the bottom of this post.

items

xo, Donna Belle

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COLLABORATIONS FOOD

Witches Brew ft. Zevia

I snagged this skull glass at Target a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love. And when Zevia sent me an entire crate of their zero-calorie soft drinks (which by the way have no artificial sweeteners), I knew I had to create a colorful spooky drink to show it off. It’s kid friendly, delicious, and simple to make. It’s also a great addition to any Halloween bash or if you’re like me, would be perfect for a night in watching scary movies with your besties! I made individual serving sizes but feel free to alter the proportions to better suit your needs.

[kindred-recipe id=”4580″ title=”Witches Brew”]

What are your plans for Halloween? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

FYI: This post is not sponsored. Zevia kindly sent me their products.

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COLLABORATIONS FASHION

#DoYouGap

I was so excited when Gap sent me one of their limited edition logo tees a couple weeks ago. It’s oversized, minimal, and definitely gives me major 90s vibes when I wear it. To go along with this retro feel, I paired it with high waisted black denim shorts, a black choker, superstar adidas, and a red plaid flannel around my waist. What I love about their new campaign is how much they advocate for individuality when it comes to fashion. It’s so easy to feel pressured to dress a certain way based off what we see in magazines or to compare ourselves to others on social media. It’s definitely been a long journey to finding confidence in my own personal style but I’m happy to say that I’ve found comfort in what I choose to wear everyday. I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing campaign and highly encourage you to always dress and do whatever makes you feel good, too!

gap-2

gap-3

How #DoYouGap? Let me know in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

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COLLABORATIONS DIY

BLOODY NAILS

Verameat reached out to me a couple weeks ago and gave me the opportunity to choose a few items from their shop. When I lived in Brooklyn, I remember briefly visiting their store since it was walking distance from my apartment so I was thrilled to hear from them years later! One thing that instantly stuck with me is their unique handcrafted designs that you wouldn’t be able to find anyplace else. I kid you not – they have everything from baby hands, teeth, skulls, pop icons, to mythological creatures. I ended up picking up their Bunnicula, Helping Hands, and Phases of Moon rings and found myself wearing them nearly every single day since I received them! Since they’re adjustable, I didn’t have to worry much about sizing and can mix and match them in endless ways.

I was inspired by these rings to create an equally haunting nail design. I’m not the best at painting my nails but this tutorial was super easy to create and the best part is, it doesn’t have to be perfect!

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[kindred-recipe id=”4567″ title=”BLOOD DRIP NAILS”]

nailtut-final

Each week leading up to Halloween, I will be doing a Halloween related DIY so look out for more spooky fun this entire month of October (hint: I’m brewing a delicious drink recipe and tv character inspired costumes). If you also have anything you’d like to see, let me know in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

FYI: This is not a sponsored post. Verameat was kind enough to send these items to me at a special discounted rate.

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