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COLLABORATIONS

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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”]

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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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COLLABORATIONS FASHION TRAVEL DIARY

Birthday FT. FOSSIL

I turned 26 yesterday. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of how precious our time is and how we choose to spend it. Simply being surrounded by the people I love on this day is all I could really ask for (everything else is just icing on the cake!) To give you a quick recap, my boyfriend treated me to a day trip in Napa County. We’ve never really been “wine people” so this was definitely an interesting experience to share! The weather was beautiful (albeit 100 degrees), the landscapes were breathtaking, and my palette for Wine has definitely expanded.

First, we stopped by The Boon Fly Cafe to gulp down some breakfast in preparation for a day full of drinking. We shared the usual eggs benedict, pancakes, and their signature mini doughnuts. Next, we ventured to Domaine Carneros for our first flight of Wine paired with a Cheese plate. The combination was perfect and my favorite was the Rose! Round two was spent at Artesia, where we were also able to admire the amazing view of the vineyards. Before heading home, we also indulged in some delicious oysters at Harbor Bay. Throughout the day, I wore my new Fossil Q Smart watch, which made it super easy to keep track of texts and reservations. Scroll down below to see how you could win one of your own!

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I’ve partnered with Fossil today to show you their newest collection of display smartwatches. For a chance to win one of your own, take a snap and tag your photos with enter #FossilStyle and #Contest via Instagram. There will be four winners this month. Click here for more information and good luck!

xo, Donna Belle

FTC: This post was sponsored by Fossil but all opinions are my own.

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COLLABORATIONS FASHION

Camp Fossil

A few months ago, I began my exciting partnership with Fossil (see my previous post here)! I’m back again with another collaboration featuring their Emi Saddle Bag and Original Boyfriend Sport Chronograph Watch from their new camp inspired Fall campaign. When these beautiful products arrived at my door step, I was incredibly excited to start incorporating them into my everyday style. They’re just so effortless and pair wonderfully with classic pieces like denim. See how I decided to style them below!

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I love the fringe detail and beautiful cognac color of this cross body bag! I paired these Fossil accessories with a dark navy off-the-shoulder floral shirt from American Eagle, ripped skinny jeans from Top Shop, my go to chunky buckle boots from & Other Stories, necklaces from Urban Outfitters, and topped everything off with my floppy hat from American Eagle.

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A big thank you to Shannon of Sunshine Shannon Photography for taking these beautiful photos. It was such an adventure shooting with her at the infamous Andy Goldsworthy Woodline located in the Presidio area of San Francisco. FYI: This is not a sponsored post. Fossil kindly sent these products to me but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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COLLABORATIONS HEALTH

DIGITAL DETOX FT. FOSSIL

Time is so precious and how we choose to spend it is incredibly important. Being a full-time marketing graphic designer and building my own personal brand outside of work means i’m actively on my laptop and present on social media. I can get so caught up in the digital world, that I end up taking away from the present moment. Once in awhile, it’s good to just stop, unplug from all the noise, and simply enjoy whats right in front of us.
How many times have you caught yourself checking your text messages while in a social setting? Or trying to perfect an Instagram photo while you’re on a vacation? Or scrolling through your e-mails on your way to work? When you have a million things to do, it’s so tempting to multi-task and go on your phone but it’s important not to lose sight of what’s truly important.

Even if it’s just for a few hours out of your day, try putting away your phone, laptop, or whatever digital device you own. You’ll be surprised how much more connected, grounded, and balanced you’ll feel.

This post was created in partnership with Fossil for their new #fromwhereistand campaign.

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COLLABORATIONS Uncategorized

AEROPOSTALE’S SPRING COLLECTION

aero-4-blogAeropostale reached out to me and was super kind enough to let me pick out a few items from their new spring collection. I headed over to the Aero store in downtown San Francisco and was surprised with how affordable and trendy all the pieces were! It’s still a bit cloudy in the Bay Area but I can’t wait to rock these pieces once the weather heats up!

Click through to see how I styled these pieces!

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