Category

HEALTH

REFLECTIONS

27

I turned 27 yesterday and as I move towards the latter end of my twenties, I feel like I’ve experienced an incredibly amount of growth, both internally as a person and in my career. Of course, there are still years of experiences and life lessons ahead of me but here are a few things that I’ve learned so far:

1. Things don’t always go as planned and that’s okay. Our interests, goals, and passions are always evolving so don’t be afraid to take risks when needed and be ready for whatever life throws your way (good and bad).
2. It’s never too late to do what you love and don’t let the fear of failure get in the way of doing so. Rather than dwelling on the amount of “time lost,” I view my experiences out of college, magazine internships, and my marketing job as stepping stones to where I am today.
3. This goes hand in hand with the above but if you aren’t content with something, take strides to change that area in your life. Seriously, life is too short to be spending your time doing something that doesn’t give you sincere happiness.
4. Comparison gets you nowhere. People are constantly highlighting their successes on social media so it’s easy to think that everyone has it all figured out. The reality is, everyone is probably feeling just as confused about the future as you. Don’t let someone else’s successes discourage you from moving forward with your own life.
5. Spend valuable time with your loved ones as much as possible. As another year passes, I begin to notice the wrinkles that have appeared on my mothers hands and it reminds me how fleeting time is.
6. Always find time to take care of yourself. I’ve always struggled with dealing with my Anxiety/Depression but it has only been in the past few years that I learned the true importance of practicing self-care.
7. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that nothing good comes easy… and it’s true. I could count more than a dozen times when I felt like giving up but I know that with enough hard work and passion, I’ll eventually get to where I want to be.
8. Believe in yourself, your strengths, and dreams (even when it feels like no one else does).Growing up, I’ve always been the type of person who avoided being the center of attention and in turn, I always sold myself short. If there’s anything I’ve learned from blogging and putting myself out there on social media this past year, it’s to be confident in whatever I do.

Can you relate to any of the above? What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your life so far?

xo, Donna Belle

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MENTAL HEALTH

HOW TO BE HAPPY

It’s easy to slip into a space full of negativity when life presents you with so many challenges. However, it’s important to remember not to let it consume you. Here are a few simple ways to change your perspective and improve your own sense of happiness:

  1. Taking a few moments to reflect on life can really help shift your focus. I personally like to devote 5-10 minutes of my mornings to jotting down 3 things that I’m grateful for and this ultimately helps set the tone for the remainder of my day. Something simple as breathing, having food on the table, or feeling the sunshine are all perfect examples of what to be thankful for. Sometimes, we get so caught up on all the bad things going on in our lives that we forget about all the good stuff right in front of us. Once you incorporate this into your daily routine, you’ll begin to see how impactful it is on your long-term happiness.
  2. The friendships/relationships in your life play a huge role on your overall well being, too. Surround yourself with positive, inspiring, and healthy people. If the people in your life don’t empower, encourage, or lift you up – it may be time to let them go.
  3. Doing at least one thing that gives you or someone else joy can be an instant mood booster.
  4. When you’re going through a tough time, it can be difficult to drag yourself from under the covers (especially during the grey winter months). But try to take a few minutes to walk outside and soak up some Vitamin D. When your body is exposed to sunlight, the serotonin levels in you body that help to elevate your mood actually increase!

What do you do to maintain happiness? Share your tips in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

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HEALTH

HANGOVER TIPS

The New Year weekend is almost over and like most people who might’ve had one too many drinks, chances are you’ll be waking up looking like a zombie. After swearing you’ll never drink again countless times to everyone around you, here are a few tips to tackle your hangover. Don’t worry, I’ll keep this short and sweet because let’s be real, who wants to be reading in this state?!

HYGEINE

First things first – take a shower and brush your teeth to refresh yourself. This will also makes you feel more alert!

HYDRATE

Drink plenty of mineral rich water post-party (for preventable measure) and the following morning if you pass out too early before you can do the former. Alcohol causes dehydration so I can’t stress enough how crucial liquids are during this time! You can also drink sports drinks that are packed with electrolytes (a natural alternative to this is coconut water), fizzy vitamin Cginger tea to soothe your voice, or whip yourself up a healthy cold pressed green juice.

TREAT YOUR BODY

A hangover not only affects you internally, but also has visible affects on your appearance. Dehydration results in dry skin, puffiness, and dark circles. It’s good to take care of your skin on a daily basis but it’s even more important during a hangover with the loss of necessary antioxidants that protect your skin from things like UV Rays. I recommend incorporating the following into your beauty routine: Apply a gentle cleanser, a serum with topical antioxidants (such as Vitamin C + E or Ferric Acid), a heavy face lotion (preferably with Hyalurnic Acid), and a hydrating eye cream for dark circles. You can even go the extra mile by relaxing with an oxygenating eye/face mask. To add some life back into your face: Pat some concealer to brighten your eyes, highlighter for some glow, and tinted balm to moisturize your lips.

EAT HEALTHY CARBS

People often recommend eating a huge greasy meal but I found that this makes me feel even worse in the long run! If you have an upset stomach or nausea, eating bland things like egg over toast or crackers should do the trick! Fruits and veggies are probably the last thing on your mind but can also speed up your recovery (think bananas, berries, and/or pears).

MEDICINE + VITAMINS

If you have a headache, go ahead and take some ibuprofen for some pain relief. B-Complex Vitamins also do a great job at restoring your body’s energy.

REST

Last but not least, get some much needed rest! Remember to relax and catch some Zzz’s after a crazy night.

What do you do to cure a hangover? Share your tips in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

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REFLECTIONS

2016 RECAP

As 2016 comes to an end, It’s about that time to reflect over everything that has happened over the past year. Personally speaking, I was feeling unhappy for quite some time and one of the contributing factors to this was my day job. Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful first job straight out of college but after working there for three years (which I hadn’t anticipated in doing but that’s what life does to you), I realized that I was slowly beginning to lose my passion. The breaking point was when I would consistently find myself uncontrollably crying in the passenger seat of my boyfriends car after a long day at work. I lost that fire I once had and longed for that feeling of doing things that make my heart come alive.

Mid way through the year, I decided to call it quits and take on freelancing in order to dedicate more time towards Sheselle. I invested countless late nights editing photos and creating content with a limited freelance budget. Although there were moments of stress, it was a good kind of stress. Ya know, the kind that doesn’t really feel like stress because you’re doing what you love.

It’s only been half a year since I decided to really focus on the potential of Sheselle and I’m so grateful for all the little opportunities that have come my way so far. I got the chance to collaborate with amazing brands like Aeropostale, Fossil, Pocky, Revolt Clothing, and Scentbird. I also got features by Nylon Magazine and GAP (and yes I fangirl every time this happens). Through it all, your support and engagement has been so positively overwhelming. It’s scary to jump head first into something new and try to build a career out of something deemed unconventional but the creative community I’ve found on Instagram has definitely pushed me to keep going!

This is still the beginning and I can’t wait to see where next year takes me. In 2017, I’ll be working even harder to create colorful and inspiring content for Sheselle. Thanks again for following me on this crazy little journey of mine so far. What are you hoping to see from me next year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

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REFLECTIONS

5 Lessons in 5 Years

5 years ago today, I had my first date with my boyfriend. I can distinctly remember having to borrow a floral dress from my roommate at the very last minute because “I had nothing to wear.” We decided to meet at the street corner where our apartments met to take the bus to downtown. We ended up eating at a Dumpling House (because we’re fancy like that and hey, what do you expect from two broke college students?) and strolled around downtown with hot cocoa in our hands. While going down memory lane, I began to reflect over the last five years and what I’ve learned from this relationship:

EMBRACING THE WEIRD

The longer we’ve been together, the more comfortable we’ve become around each other. We fully understand each other’s weird quirks and don’t ever have to explain our witty jokes or mannerisms. There’s comfort in knowing our true selves. I think Dr. Seuss said it best: “We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love.”

DOING LITTLE THINGS

As we’ve aged through different stages in our lives (from college into work), we began to deal with a lot of our own personal stresses. Life is tough and sometimes we get so overwhelmed by it that we forget to take care of each other in the midst of it all. I learned that it’s important to continually put effort into nurturing each other and occasionally planning special moments for one another. Whether it’s cooking each other a meal or listening to a one hour vent session after a tough day at work – it’s the little things that matter.

SUPPORT EACH OTHER

Whether it’s switching careers or moving across the country, AJ has always been supportive. Sharing encouraging words and helping each other out in any way we can to achieve our goals has been something we always strive to do.

FORGIVENESS

We occasionally have arguments over petty little things. I’ve learned to push my ego side and not get swept up over who’s right or wrong in these situations.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY

You’ve probably heard this everywhere but this is probably one of the most important lessons I’ve learned and is something that we’re actively working on. I’ve never been the best at confrontation and grew up avoiding it at all cost. I can’t tell you how many arguments have stemmed from miscommunication but overtime, I’ve learned to openly express myself when I’m feeling sad, angry, or even happy.

What the biggest thing you learned from being with your significant other? Let me know in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

Disclaimer: I’m not here to give you advice on how a relationship should be or claim that mine is perfect in any way – It isn’t and every relationship is different. This list is more of a personal reflection of our growth together.
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REFLECTIONS

MY MOTHER

It’s been challenging day for many of us as we process last night’s election results. With everything going, I just want to take a moment to shower my mom with love on her Birthday. She was the first of her family to immigrate to America from the Philippines in order for us to have a better life, worked tirelessly at countless jobs, and faced a tremendous amount of daily injustices as she navigated unfamiliarity – all while raising two children on her own. Through out all of this, my mother was a pillar of strength, courage, sacrifice, and resilience. I love you and thank you for always inspiring me.

With that said: To any of my readers who are and/or are allies of POC, Immigrants, Women, Muslims, LGBTQ+, and other oppressed communities – let’s spread love and solidarity more than ever moving forward. This has been an ongoing battle for marginalized groups and this election is a strong indicator of how much work still needs to be done. Do not let them erase the progress we’ve made and continue to fight.

xo, Donna Belle

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MENTAL HEALTH

SELF CARE

I never understood why it was so difficult to use self care/mental health as a plausible excuse to be granted a day off work as opposed to a physical ailment. I’m actually quite surprised at how negatively looked down upon this practice is, when in truth, it’s healthy and highly benefitial for one’s well-being. It has taken me years to realize that it’s OK to dedicate a day to bettering yourself nor is it considered selfish or lazy to do so.

I am a huge advocate for daily self-care and with everything going on in our lives, it’s easily something that we forget to do. I urge you to carve out some time in your schedule (whether it’s simply an hour in your day) to care for yourself. Here are ways that I practice this and how you can begin to slowly incorporate it into your routine:

Rejuvenate your body

Taking care of your health is crucial during stressful times. Staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water, pampering yourself with a bubble bath or long relaxing shower, and/or going outside for a walk are all great ways to recharge.

Rest

There are days when I get as little to 3-4 hours of sleep and 100% of the time, I end up feeling crappy. You’ll be surprised what a full night of sleep can do! Not only does it reduce stress levels, but it also stimulates creativity!

Feed your mind and soul

I have a handful of inspirational podcasts that I like to listen to when I’m feeling stressed, anxious, or down. I found that they allow me to really reflect on how I’m feeling and helps put everything into perspective. I also put together a list of songs that energizes, relaxes, and inspires me. Listen to the Spotify playlist here.

Reward yourself

Do something that brings you joy and brightens your mood. Whether that’s binge watching your favorite show, indulging in your favorite food, or taking that long-awaited trip you’ve been putting off for months. Don’t be afraid to recognize your hard work and don’t limit yourself to “special occasions.”

Let me know in the comments below what you do or plan to do to care for yourself.

xo, Donna Belle

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PRODUCTIVITY

EXAM PREP

I’ll be speaking at my high school alumni college panel for students tonight and was inspired to start some sort of school series on here where I offer advice based off my own personal experiences like preparing for exams, dealing with stress, and more. For those of you who are in the quarter system at school, you’re probably in the midst of preparing for your first set of midterms. I graduated from Uni a couple years ago and over the years, I found the following tips to be incredibly useful during exam season:

  • Use a calendar or planner to document the dates of all of your quizzes and exams in advance. When I received a syllabus from my professor during the first week, I instantly write down all of the important dates of quizzes, midterms, and finals so that I don’t forget in the future.
  • Write down your notes during lecture. I actually found using a laptop to be unreliable (it’s never guaranteed that you’ll be sitting next to a power outlet) and distracting (I couldn’t help but check on my social media outlets). The biggest advantage to physically writing down your notes is that it increases muscle memory.
  • Summarize all of your notes into a google document one week prior to your exam so that you have one sheet that you can easily refer to. If you’re on a time crunch, you can consider splitting sections to cover with your classmates and combining your knowledge. Depending on the course, professors sometimes provide you with a set of possible questions on the test as well so take advantage of that. I found my memory retention to be better once I rewrote my notes on laptop.
  • Use note cards to test your knowledge. You can easily create some online via Quizlet as well!
  • Study with a group of friends. I tried my best to avoid all nighters but if I found it absolutely necessary, surrounding myself with people in the same headspace as mine really helped motivate me to study. Take breaks whenever needed (McDonalds run, anyone?) but don’t get too distracted!
  • Have a well balanced meal before your exam! I can’t stress how distracting it is to take a test on an empty stomach – it ends up being the only thing you can focus on. If you’re in a rush, bring a snack on the go!
  • Be well rested. If you need to pull an all nighter the day before, make sure to at least give yourself a couple hours of rest. Just make sure to set alarms or have your roommates wake you up so you don’t oversleep!
  • Buy multiple scantrons and pencils. You never know when you or anyone around you may need an extra one at the very last minute!

I hope you found this useful and good luck!

xo, Donna Belle

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REFLECTIONS

LETTER TO SELF

I came across this video of Uzo Aduba speaking words of wisdom, advice, and encouragement towards her eighteen-year-old self. Having gotten another year older, I’ve been in quite a reflective mood these past couple of weeks and was inspired me to write a letter of my own:

Dear Donna,

You’re struggling to fit in and don’t quite know how to be yourself yet. You feel awkward, quiet, and different. It’s okay to be all those things – they’re what make you, you. But don’t be afraid to use your voice – it’s powerful. Keep writing, creating, expressing yourself, and sharing your stories. There will be times when people around you (even those closest to you) will put you down but don’t let their negative opinions define who you are and what you’re capable of.

You’re applying to college right now and amidst all this stress, you’ll experience your first anxiety attack. It’s scary and something you’ll unfortunately have to deal with throughout your life. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You’re 18 and you’re not supposed to have everything figured out yet. These next few years will be a chance to explore your interests, figure out your passions, and navigate your way through life. You’ll also realize that there’s so much more to high school than you think. This is only a small fraction of your life and a bubble outside the real world. Those people who bullied or never gave you the time of day aren’t important. You’ll be entering college soon, where you’ll meet an refreshing community of people who inspire you to be yourself and embrace your identity. This brings me into my next piece of advice: Surround yourself with people who inspire, encourage, and challenge you to be a better person. It’s also equally important to learn how to let go of the toxic people in your life.

With regards to love — you’ll get into your first relationship soon. You’re young, naive, and it will take you awhile to realize how unhealthy it is. You’ll also fall in love for the first time and experience your first big heart break. Because of this, you’ll go through a lot of self blame and will struggle with trust. However, you’ll realize that these experiences are not a reflection of your self-worth and will slowly learn the importance of loving yourself first.  Somewhere down the road, you’ll meet someone who loves you the way you deserve to be loved and sees your beauty at all angles.

I just want you to know that whatever difficult things that you’re battling in your head, at school, or at home, don’t let it get in the way of achieving your dreams. Everything you want is within arms reach as long as you work hard, stay passionate, and be kind. I love you, I’m proud of you, and exciting things are coming your way.

xo, Donna Belle

I highly recommend that you write a letter to yourself – it really puts everything into perspective and reminds you of how far you’ve come. What advice would you give your younger self? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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REFLECTIONS

ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY

It’s officially been 1 year since I created this blog. At the time, I was feeling incredibly uninspired from working 9 to 5 at a mobile gaming company in San Francisco. Although I was designing, everyday was a routine and I felt no sense of fulfillment from it. I would wake up at sunrise, come home at sundown, commute hours to and from the city, and spend the remaining time I had creating content for my blog. It got to the point where I was at my absolute lowest so I finally took the plunge mid July to quit my job.

I still have a long way to go (this is only the beginning!) but I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities that have come my way these past few months such as locking down a long term partnership with Fossil, collaborating with amazing brands like Aeropostale, and most importantly, being able to do what I love. If there is anything that I learned this past year, it’s that if you’re ever feeling unhappy with any aspect of your life, you have complete control over it. Don’t ever feel pressured to follow a conventional career path, let monetary value define what it means to be successful, or compare your individual journey to anyone else. To celebrate this feat and to thank you for following me on this crazy journey of mine so far, I put together a mini giveaway for my readers.

prizes-final

Here’s what you can win:

  • Set of 3 Rifle Paper Co Lined Notebooks (these are my favorite!)
  • Set of Decorative Pencils
  • Anthropologie Letter Mug of your choice
  • Collection of Stay At Home pins and decorative cards
  • Sock Smith Lucky Cat Crew Socks
  • Tiny Little Sprinkles of Joy Confetti Pop
  • An additional surprise!

Guidelines

  • Follow me on Instagram @sheselle
  • Comment under the giveaway photo what your proudest moment this year was
  • For an additional entry, leave a comment below with your Instagram handle letting me know you entered
  • Contest starts at 1PM on September 21st and ends on 11:59PM on October 20th
  • 1 person will be chosen, announced, and contacted via DM on Instagram on October 1st

Good luck!

xo, Donna Belle

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