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TRAVEL

TRAVEL

CAFES IN SEOUL

As you probably know, especially from all the photos I’ve been bombarding you with on Instagram, I recently took a two week long trip to South Korea with AJ. Prior to the trip, I came across so many ridiculously cute snapshots of the massive cafe culture there and being the coffee addict that I am, I knew I had to make it a point to visit as many coffee shops as possible. Seriously, I think we began every morning with a sweet iced latte. Anyway, I rounded up my top five cafes that you can check out below:

Style Nanda Pool Cafe (Myeongdong)
This place is probably one of the (if not the most) instagrammable cafe in Seoul so of course, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit it! The Style Nanda Flagship store is five stories tall and everything is designed around the concept of a hotel. Located in the bustling heart of Myeongdong – I just had to see it for myself. The first few floors are clothing/make-up focused but when you take the elevator to the fifth floor, you’ll be transported to the pool cafe and even have rooftop access to enjoy your treats!

Hoho Myoll Cafe (Hongdae)
This cafe is located near Hongik University, so you’ll find a ton of students mingling or studying with friends. Each section of the cafe screams coziness and the best part is you can enjoy your coffee inside of a retro Volkswagen van! We ended up spending 2-3 hours here because it was just so relaxing!

Sheep Cafe (Hongdae)
How often can you play with sheep while sipping on some delicious coffee?! I started my morning off with a vanilla iced latte and shared a sweet Honey Brick Toast with AJ. Since we arrived at opening, we were able to spend some quality time with the sheep in between munching on our food! The owner was also super sweet and made us feel at home!

Franks (Itaewon)
This cafe is most known for their Rainbow Cake Roll but I had my eyes set on the Wes Anderson inspired cake from the movie, Grand Budapest Hotel. Seriously, I could not contain my excitement when I heard about this place and although everything was a bit on the pricier end ($14.99 for personal cake), it was totally worth the experience. If you’re a huge Wes Anderson fan like me, I highly recommend checking this cafe out!

One in a Million (Itaewon)
This place was such a quiet and modern space full of beautiful greenery! I loved the touches of millennial pink throughout the cafe and the overall interior design was just amazing. As always, I ordered a Vanilla Iced Latte, which was extra creamy and sweet (just how I like it!)

Which one is your favorite out of the five?! Share in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

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FOOD TRAVEL

Summer Travel Essentials

FYI: This post is sponsored by Davids Cookies. All opinions are honest and my own.As exciting as vacations are, preparing for one can end up being overwhelming (especially when there’s one million things to check off on your to-do list before the big day). Whether you’re in it for the long haul or taking a quick trip across state, I rounded up up a few of my travel essentials that will hopefully make your journey a whole lot easier. I’m also partnering with Davids Cookies on today’s post to show you how perfect their selection of fresh baked desserts are for trips like these so rest assured, you won’t be leaving on an empty stomach. Keep reading to get the 411 on what to pack and munch on…

Capture Memories

When you’re traveling, it’s understandable to want to document every single thing but it can really take away from the overall experience. Instead of pulling out your smartphone every few minutes to edit a photo for the gram – use an instant camera! It’s quick, easy, and there’s just something extra special about having physical images to personally look back on. They’re also much more in the moment, which is a refreshing break from all the overly filtered and staged shots that we’re exposed to on social media. When your trip comes to an end, you’ll have a whole bunch of polaroids that you can either hang up on your wall or showcase in a scrapbook!

Snacks, snacks, + more snacks

Sometimes the food on a flight just isn’t enough so I like to pack a few extra snacks with me to indulge on. Luckily, Davids Cookies has a wide range of delicious bite sized treats to choose from. My personal favorites are Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Chocolate Chip Brownies (as shown above) because they automatically satisfy my sweet tooth cravings and are super easy to take on the go. They even have individually wrapped treats that you can easily pack into your carry on. A great thing to note about all of their products is that there are no added preservatives, fresh upon delivery, and they even offer gluten free options. Check out all the delicious goodness here. The process is simple: Order a tin (or two) via their website and expect a delivery at your doorstep within two days (perfect if you have a trip quickly coming up and want ultimate freshness!)

Take care of your skin!

Changing environments both within the flight cabin and your new destination can have a crazy effect on your skin. Like many other people, my skin becomes heavily dried out so bringing skincare items that give you a boost of hydration like a face mask, lip moisturizer, face lotion, and a refreshing mist are much needed. When you’re boarding off the plane and headed to an area where you’ll be exposed to a ton of harsh sunshine (even on cloudy days), sunscreen is your best friend! Trust me, your skin will thank you by the end of the trip. Lastly, don’t forget to make sure that all of your liquid products follow TSA policy to avoid having to throw them out (because let’s be real, skincare is expensive!)

Dress accordingly

If you get major anxiety during flights like me, I can’t stress how important it is to dress comfortably! Bring an extra pair of accessories like an oversized scarf, eye mask, and cozy socks. Oftentimes, the plane ride can be a chilly one, so having these all handy can really make your experience much more comfortable. Wherever you’re headed, make sure to also check the weather report beforehand to get an idea of what type of clothing pieces to bring. I’ll be heading to Seoul in a couple weeks, where temperatures will be 84 degrees and up so you’ll find me in floppy hats, shorts, and sunnies!

And there you have it – all my essentials for having a fun, stress-free Summer vacation. If you have any tips of your own that you would like to share, feel free to mention them in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to check out Davids Cookies and treat yourself to some sweet treats on your next vacay!

xo, Donna Belle

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JULY4TH WANDERLUST

ROAD TRIP WITH POCKY

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Pocky. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep SHESELLE going!




What better way to kick off Spring Break than to embark on an epic road trip with your best friends?! Although I’m a homebody at heart, I have major wanderlust and have always loved traveling to new destinations.Whether you’re in it for the long haul across the country or simply exploring a different city nearby, it’s good to plan accordingly so that you have a more than freeing experience! I’m working with Pocky to share my top essentials for when you hit the open road:

Sunnies

Block out those harsh sun rays and shield your eyes from dusty roads with a cute pair of sunglasses!

Beauty Staples with SPF

Keep your skin fresh, healthy, and camera-ready with beauty products that are packed with SPF! Avoid a major sunburn by lathering sunscreen lotion on exposed areas of your body every couple of hours. The recycled air in the car can also be very dehydrating so bring along a lip balm to moisturize your lips. Your skin will thank you at the end of the day!

Smart Phone

This probably goes without saying but I’m just including this here because it’s arguably one of the most important things to have in case of an emergency! If you get lost – whip out google maps to find your way. If you’re hungry – open Yelp to find a bite to eat. Side note: Don’t forget the charging cable and/or an external battery charger!



Light-Weight Clothing

Wherever the road takes you, make sure that you’re wearing comfortable clothing that can be easily thrown on/off, re-worn, and is easy to mix with other pieces. Anything soft, oversized, and with a bit of stretch is perfect to tackle any type of weather. When you’re not sitting in the car and exploring the unique road side attractions, it’s also crucial to have comfortable sneakers to trek around with.


Snacks, snacks, and snacks

Obviously, Pocky should be on the top of your list! Satisfy your sweet tooth with a variety of their delicious flavors like Chocolate, Strawberry, Matcha Green Tea, and Cookies & Cream. They’re also super easy to snack on and don’t leave any chocolate mess behind. Toss a few boxes in the car and you’ll never go hungry in between meals! FYI: You can find them at any of your local Target or Walmart stores. Luckily, Pocky makes it super easy to find out which retailers nearby sell a specific flavor that you’re looking for via their new store locator on their website.

Blanket

A large cozy blanket is essential for those extra chilly nights and can come in handy for any surprise picnics along the way.

Good Soundtrack

Playing DJ in the passenger seat? Prepare a playlist ahead of time or click here for a fun Road Trip Playlist I put together on Spotify. There’s a little everything from classics like The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” to recent chart toppers like Lorde’s “Green Light.” Whatever you choose to play, make sure it energizes you so that you can beat the lulls of the long drive ahead. The good thing about this is that you won’t have to deal with the annoying lack of radio connectivity as you drive through any rural roads!

Instax Camera

There’s just something about having physical photographs that give me so much nostalgia when I look back on them. With everything digital and social media focused, it’s also a good reminder to live in the moment and not through a filter 24/7.

Book

You’ll be spending hours on the road so why not take advantage of this free time and catch up on a book that you’ve been wanting to read but never had the time to start!? Travel Journals are also a perfect way to document special memories throughout your trip, which you can easily look back on later on.

On top of all of this, don’t forget to stay hydrated and get some much needed rest throughout your trip! Click here to learn more about Pocky and let me know in the comments below if you have any exciting travel plans coming up this season!

P.S. Have you checked out the delicious Hot Chocolate Bar I created with Pocky back in December? Learn how to make Pocky Marshmallow Stirrers here!

xo, Donna Belle

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TRAVEL

NEW YORK MINUTE

New York was nothing short of amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t document everything during my weekend long trip because I really wanted to soak in all the moments I spent with my family (especially since my mom is moving back to the Philippines in a couple months). I did manage to snap a few shots here and there while we were exploring Soho on Saturday, though! Get ready for a lot of pink…

We started the day off with some sweet matcha treats at Cha Cha Matcha. This place is pretty much every Instagrammer’s dream – a pink color palette, neon lights, palm tree patterns, and pretty green drinks. To be honest, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Matcha BUT I wanted to give it another try since I’ve heard so many people rave about this place. I ordered an iced matcha latte with whole milk and a touch of honey. The final verdict? It was creamy, sweet, and had the perfect balance of matcha that didn’t leave me with the usual overpowering taste. If that isn’t enough, they also sell matcha infused pastries like banana bread, cruffins, and croissants!

The rest of the day was spent admiring the beautiful streets and shopping like no tomorrow. The sun peaked through a bit but being the California girl that I am, I was still freezing my butt off at 40 degrees. I tried my best to wear as much layers as I could to stay warm without looking too frumpy. On top of all the heat protected clothing (thanks to Uniqlo!), I wore a black turtle neck sweater from Nordstrom Rack, pink satin floral embroidered bomber jacket from ASOS, three layered black tulle skirt from Zara, sparkly ankle socks from Pacsun, and black leather buckle boots from & Other Stories.

Are you traveling anywhere anytime soon? Let me know your plans in the comments below!

xo, Donna Belle

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TRAVEL DIARY

NEW YORK BOUND!

Happy Friday!

I’m headed to New York tonight with my family and I’m beyond excited because I haven’t been back in ages. When I was younger and crazy obsessed with magazines (okay, maybe not much has changed), this was the city I dreamt of living in. After years of daydreaming , I eventually bought myself a one way ticket to the big apple a couple years ago! Before this, I was definitely jaded by television/movies and had unrealistic hopes of living a glamorous lifestyle like Carrie Bradshaw once I moved there. Despite this realization, I can still remember how incredibly breathtaking, inspiring, and full of energy this city was.

As I finish packing the remaining bits and bobs of my carry on, I thought it would be useful to share a Travel Checklist that you can easily refer to the next time you’re planning a trip. Click here to download it!

Lastly, if you have any recommendations of cultural spots, restaurants, or coffee shops to check out, let me know below!

xo, Donna Belle

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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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TRAVEL DIARY

LABOR DAY IN LA

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! I recently got back from mini trip to Los Angeles with my boyfriend. Let’s just say it was filled with a lot of delicious food and beautiful sunny weather! A few highlights were spending the entire day relaxing at Santa Monica beach, exploring the Getty museum, and trying out all the unique coffee and food spots LA has to offer.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t take too many photos but I was able to document everything through video! For a more detailed look at what I did and what I wore, check out my Youtube video! I had so much fun putting this footage together and editing everything as a whole. Feel free to subscribe, comment, and give it a big thumbs up if you enjoy the content!

xo, Donna Belle

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TRAVEL

SUMMER WISH LIST

One of the things that I’m hopefully planning to do once things settle down at home is to check things off my travel wish list this Summer. I’m still getting into the flow of freelance work and have slowly been trying to develop a consistent work schedule at home (but oh man, it’s even more difficult to wake up in the mornings when there isn’t anyone telling you what to do). Since I haven’t done too much traveling in my lifetime, I definitely want to go to places within closer proximity to me first until I get more comfortable traveling farther distances on my own. Here are a few locations that I’ve had my eye on for awhile:

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Marfa, Texas: I first learned about this small town through Bri of Designlovefest and after seeing all of her post travel photos filled with beautiful scenery and modern art, I was immediately drawn to it! Apparently, on the drive down (about 26 miles before hitting Marfa), there’s an iconic Art Installation Prada Store located on U.S. Highway 90 created by artists Michael Elmgree and Ingar Dragset. Another must for me is staying at one of El Cosmico’s tents, teepees, or trailers, which they described as a “nomadic hotel and campground.” Photo Credit: Salty Canary

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Madonna Inn (San Luis Obispo, CA): I’ve been wanting to book a room at this kitsch hotel for so long! The interior design might be a bit tacky to some but I absolutely love how much character it has. You can choose from hundreds of distinctly unique themed rooms. The detail put into each of them is incredible and it’s kind of like entering a time capsule of some sort. To get a glimpse of what they offer, check out this Buzzfeed article. Photo Credit: Smash Box Studios

Big Sur (Central Coast, CA): I can’t imagine how breathtaking and dreamy this place is in real life! Everytime I come across photos of it online, I can’t help but daydream that I’m here! Photo Credit: Wild and Free Blog

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Joshua Tree National Park (Mojave Desert, California): This is generally a tourist stop on the way to Coachella for people so I’ve always heard great things about this place! On the way here, I also would love to stop by Salvation Mountain, a beautiful piece of art work installed by Leonard Knight. Photo Credit: The Modern Day Explorer

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Yosemite: I’m not much of a hiker and I’d probably run out of breath trying to make my way to the top of El Capitan but it would definitely be nice to spend the night here and wake up to the beautiful sights and sounds of nature! I would also definitely love to see Yosemite Falls, which is apparently the largest waterfall in Northern America (and the 6th largest in the world!) Photo Credit: Sean Carr Photography

Do you have any travel plans this summer? Have you been to any of these places? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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TRAVEL

DIGITAL NOMADS

I love Instagram – it’s an amazing platform to share your personal life experiences, art, and connect with like-minded creative people. It’s also full of never ending inspiration! Since I have yet to travel much outside of the United States, I like to live vicariously through some of my favorite travel creatives. Check out these beautiful Instagram accounts for some serious wanderlust:

@taramilktea Hands down, my favorite Instagram account at the moment. All of her photos are so vibrant, fun, and creative! Her flat lay styling throughout her travels are also on a completely whole other level, where she jam packs heaps of delicious food into a single photo.

@leahliyah This is one that I came across recently but instantly fell in love with. Her photos are chalk full of adventures and she clearly isn’t afraid to take risks! I also really love the visual storytelling aspect of her feed, in which she writes captivating stories of her travels in combination with breathtaking photos. 

@gypsea_lust Her photos are clean, minimal, and I can’t help but daydream about taking a vacation to some secluded tropical island while looking through her feed.

@candyminimal Matt Crump’s collection of photos puts a super colorful twist on your basic travel imagery. The name says it all, his feed is full of wonderful eye candy!

Their photos also make me realize how tiny of a speck I am in the universe and just how much this world has to offer outside of my bedroom walls and office desk. Travel, explore, and create as much as you can! I’m constantly scouring social media for creative and travel inspiration so if you have any accounts or blogs that you follow, please share any in the comments below!

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TRAVEL

In-flight Essentials

I absolutely love traveling but preparing for a trip can be overwhelming. Especially if you’re like me and you always find yourself waiting until the very last minute to start packing (welcome to my life as a procrastinator). To help reduce stress and time in the future, I developed a short list of essential items that I found have been useful to have during flights. I hope you find this list helpful and i’d love to hear about any trips you have planned in the comments below!

  • Bag/Backpack: First off, you need a hefty bag to store all of your in-flight essentials. My favorite is this Madewell tote bag because it’s huge and essentially fits everything that I would need! I also like bringing my Herschel Backpack for bigger trips.
  • External Battery + Charger: This comes in super handy in the event that there is a flight delay and I need to wait at the airport for a long period of time. Many planes also have outlets now so you can charge your phone during the flight! 
  • Headphones Drown out any noise or zone out by listening to some music or watching an in-flight movie.
  • Toiletry PouchThe air during a flight is very dry due to being at such a high altitude so I like to bring a few items to combat dehydration and bring moisture back into my skin. This includes: lotion, lip balm, eye drops, and face masks (of course this isn’t necessary but I always find this to be incredibly relaxing during a long flight, no matter how silly I look!) I also like to bring a few key make-up items such as concealer (to hide those designer bags), a perfume roller ball, hand sanitizer, and a toothbrush to freshen up before landing.
  • Sleeping Mask or Sunglasses: I like to bring these in case I need to catch up on sleep during the flight and i’m distracted by any bright lights (sometimes you don’t get the luxury of sitting by the window). These also come in handy for covering my tired eyes when I get off the plane.
  • Notebook + PenI spend a lot of my time reflecting and thinking of ideas while i’m traveling so I like having a notebook with me to jot down anything that comes to mind. Of course, I could always use my phone for this but it feels much more permanent on paper!
  • A Good Read: I almost always buy a magazine at the airport before a flight but I also like to bring along a book since this is the perfect time to catch up on any books that i’ve been wanting to read but haven’t had the time to.
  • Water bottle: Again, hydration is important! A good friend of mine recommended the S’well water bottle to me because it maintains it’s temperature for up to 24 hours (bring an empty one and fill up past security point!)
  • Small snack: When you’re flying domestic, sometimes peanuts are just not enough so it’s good to bring an extra snack or two in case you get hungry during the flight. Plus, airport food can be expensive!
  • Cozy accessories: Since the temperature on the plane is never consistent, I always bring an oversized scarf and/or socks since it could also function as a blanket if it gets chilly.
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