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Activist Alert: Black Lives Matter & Anti-Racism Resources

Hello lovelies! I hope you & your families have been doing well in quarantine! In all honesty, this blog post comes after a period of lacking motivation & experiencing difficulties in my interpersonal relationships. Even though I’m still taking the time for myself to work though my emotions, I felt it imperative to share with you all the things I have been learning throughout the reigniting of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Today’s blog post is an addition to the Activism & Advocacy category that is included on my blog! As you all may know, I am very passionate about social justice & human rights issues. Currently, my main ways of advocacy are through my county’s youth council, my Fight Fast Fashion Project Instagram, & Twitter. In today’s post, I wanted to connect you all with some resources in regards to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Herstory of Black Lives Matter

  • There is no better place to learn about the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement than their own website -> https://blacklivesmatter.com/herstory/
  • Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi’s movement is not just “the moment”. It is an affirmation that Black lives do matter, they always have (even though the systems in our country that uphold white supremacy have failed in recognizing that) & they always will. With the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, non-black people of color & white people need to stand in solidarity with Black people in demanding racial justice & equity & an end to police brutality. Silence speaks volumes. It is extremely important to share resources & petitions & GoFundMes, educate yourself & your family members, engage in conversations about racial injustice, & amplify Black voices.

Resources You Need to Check Out

  • #blacklivesmatter
    • A Google Doc full of petitions, places to donate, information about protesting, & educational resources!
  • #BLM Carrd
    • Carrd is a platform that allows you to make a single website. The creator of this Carrd gives you the links to access petitions, places to donate, & additional resources!
  • Black Lives Matter Milkshake
    • If you are not familiar with Milkshake, it is an app/website that allows you to create cards of info that people can access all with a simple link! At this link, you will be able to access petitions, email templates to send to officials, educational resources about Black History, & get connected with Black owned businesses & brands!
  • Black Lives Matter Carrd – Ways To Help
    • Another great Carrd with resources for protesters as well!
  • Black History Month Library
    • A wide collection of informational & educational resources all put together in one, easily accessible Google Drive!
  • Anti-Racism Resources
  • Justice in June
    • An amazing resources of ways to learn, educate yourself, & act to support those in the Black Community, created by Bryanna & Autumn! It even has a breakdown of the month of June based on how many minutes you want to do a day!

6 Instagram Accounts You Should Check Out

Here are 6 accounts that have created slideshows & content that I have found to be very informative & reliable!

5 Black Female Bloggers & Content Creators You Should Connect With

  • @itsashleyjoyy – Ashley
    • “It’s Ashley Joy” is Ashley’s lifestyle blog where she shares her personal thoughts and interests with the goal of preaching self-love!
  • @simplylayxx – Alayjah Jordan
  • @nayelizabeth – Nay
  • @alanasvibe – Alana Marie
    • The main focus of Alana’s lovely blog account is to share her life with her followers & give inspiration!
  • @rikenyab – Rikky B.
    • “Rikky’s Blog” is a lifestyle/personal blog where Rikky shares her life experiences, her favorite music, & her journey as a student!

Vote, Vote, Vote!

Racial injustice is not only relevant in regards to police brutality, but in the education system, housing, public health, employment, sexual harassment, media, etc. It is important that we vote progressive people into office who are dedicated to dismantling these corrupt systems & who aim for equity & justice.

If you are 16 or 17 in New York (where I am from), you can pre-register to vote! For more information on getting registered, where you can vote, & requesting an absentee ballot, go to Vote.org!


I hope this blog post was helpful & informative for you! I will be doing more in-depth posts on important & relevant topics that I feel passionate about! Coming up will be a post centered on how to be an activist/advocate in a pandemic! Let me know in the comments if you have any other resources! Also, if you are protesting, stay safe, go in a group, be prepared! I will be protesting this weekend! Featured Photo Creds: Pinterest.

Bielle

Featured

The Do’s & Don’ts of the College Process

Hey lovelies! I hope quarantine has become somewhat manageable lately & that you have found some fun things to do in your abundant free time! I know I myself have been super busy with schoolwork, college commitments, and binge-watching Criminal Minds!

Today’s post is a collab with the awesome Natalie of Capturing Life of Camera! Natalie & I are both currently Seniors in high school who have just committed to college! The coolest thing is that we are both headed to the West Coast, which is going to be such an exciting adventure!

Senior Year can be a stressful one if you’re not too sure of what to do & what not to do. That’s why Natalie & I are going to be giving you the best tips for surviving the college process! On this post, read about what you should do during the college process & head over to Natalie’s post linked below to learn about some dont’s!


Do’s – Bielle

  1. Do: Make A College Email 

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to make a completely new Gmail solely for everything college related! Having an email for all the college’s your interested in (& for the ones that won’t stop sending emails) plus scholarships is so helpful and will keep everything nice and organized! I recommend Gmail because it’s super easy to make colorful folders and labels! Create folders for each college you apply to so you know where all their notifications are! I also suggest making the email your first name, last name, and the year you’ll graduate college! That way, when you send emails to college’s and sign up for the Common App, they immediately know who you are & what year you’re in (I also think it looks pretty professional too!). 

  1. Do: Make A Timeline of Your Deadlines 

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! There’s so many of them! If you don’t get into the habit of mapping them all down in a place where you check regularly, you might find yourself being overwhelmed and shocked by all the tasks you have to complete on TOP of school work. Write down the deadlines of when you’re touring college’s if you are, when the applications open, when you have to apply by, when all your documents are due, & when important scholarships are due! I know it seems like a lot but once you chart it all down, you’ll find that you actually have quite some time between when applications open and when they’re due so give yourself enough time to organize your apps! 

  1. Do: Research About Your School

Whether it’s a top choice or a safety, make sure you know all there is to know about schools you’re interested in! Being knowledgeable about a college will not only benefit you when you’re on a tour but also with college supplements! Many supplements are unique to the school and these admission offices want you to show that you know your stuff about the specifics of the school and have researched them thoroughly. For instance, if a college asked me what I liked specifically about their school, I made sure to mention the specific school events, traditions, and clubs I was interested in! Researching and familiarizing yourself is so important because remember: this entire process isn’t about a school choosing you but you choosing a school that fits! 


The entire college process can be very overwhelming, but I hope that you will find these tips helpful! Make sure to check out Natalie’s blog & this same post on her website!


Hope you enjoyed this read! Do you have any tips for the college process? What did you think of this post? Let me know in the comments below!

Bielle

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award!

Hey lovelies! Hope you are all doing well! I’ve been doing pretty lately as I have been focusing on correcting my sleep schedule & eating consistently. I have been doing this because throughout quarantine, having an inconsistent sleep schedule & missing my meals has thrown my whole routine out of whack & affected my mental health more negatively than I expected. #puttingyourselffirst, am I right?

I am excited for today’s post as Anushka from Time of Trials has nominated me for the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award”! Thank you so much for the nomination! Check out Anushka’s fabulous blog here!

Q & A Time!

  1. How would you describe your writing process?

I absolutely love writing! When I’m writing for a blog post, I write out a couple of blog post ideas & some points I want to include in them & then come back to them at a later time. I do the same when I’m writing short stories or (fan)fiction. I like to write all of my thoughts out first (plot points, timeline, format) before beginning to actually write! I also recently started using playlists to guide me when writing! I’ve started compiling songs in a playlist that I feel captures the vibes of the story I’m going for then applying the songs to scene ideas I have!

2. How did you come up with the name for your blog?

The main purpose of my blog from the beginning has been to be a sort of “How-To” Manual on topics like high school, college applications, mental health, positivity, & beyond! To sum it up, I try to share the things I have learned from my own experiences in order to guide my readers. And that’s how I came up with “How To Live Your Life”!

3. What are your favorite hobbies (other than blogging)?

As I said before, I absolutely love writing outside of blogging so that’s one hobby of mine! I also love to read! Growing up I was a huge bookworm – The Percy Jackson Series, The Princess Diaries Series, & The Gallagher Girl Series were some of my childhood faves. I still love to read fiction, specifically YA Fiction, but I also like to read poetry (Flux by Orion Carloto is *chef’s kiss*) & books focusing on politics, feminism, & activism! Another favorite hobby (because why not share 3 to even it out?) is pinning! I have an addiction to Pinterest & I am not ashamed! I love creating boards, creating pins, saving pins, all of it! Go check out the latest blog post to check out my Pinterest Boards hehehe!

4. Are you introverted or extroverted?

I would usually say extroverted but I really do appreciate my alone time so I’ll maybe say ambivert! Sometimes I love to steal the show & make my friends laugh when I’m in a group but other times I get emotionally drained from being around people too often. My social battery runs out depending on the environment for sure! I also just love being in my room & spending time with myself!

5. What is your favorite book series?

I am totally not that person who rereads book series frequently (I usually just reread chapters or scenes from books I like that cause me to have a memorable emotion). HOWEVER, if there is one book series I reread at least twice a year, it would be The Young Elites Series! This is a pretty dark YA fiction series (a mix between X-Men & Game of Thrones), but I love how Marie Lu focuses the story around the villain. This series also most closely resembles the fiction series that I have been writing since I was 10 & for that reason, I love it all the more! Highly recommend!

Nominees

Throughout my blogging journey, I have had the pleasure of connecting & collaborating with so many bloggers! Here are a few I would like to nominate:

  1. Alayjah J – https://www.simplylay.com/
  2. Kyra J- https://kylj2003.wixsite.com/wonderfullymade
  3. Ashley Joy – http://itsashleyjoy.com/
  4. City Girls – https://nycgirlslifestyle.blogspot.com/
  5. Emma Claire Ritter – https://emmaclaireritter.wixsite.com/lostinthought
  6. The Savvy Teen – https://www.thesavvyteen.com.au/
  7. Rikky – rikkybblog.com
  8. Raffaella – raffaellaaa.wordpress.com
  9. Mahek Sawhney- www.maheksawhney.com

My Questions For You

  • What has been your favorite blog post so far?
  • What is a topic you are passionate about?
  • If you could guest star on any TV Show, what would it be + who would you play?
  • What has been your proudest blog accomplishment?
  • Who has influenced your life the most?

Rules for the Nominees!

  1. Thank the person who nominated you & provide a link back to their blog.
  2. Answer their questions.
  3. Nominate up 9 other bloggers & ask them 5 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees
  5. List the rules & display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.
  6. Provide the link of the award creator of Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award as Rising Star from https://idealinspiration.blog/

Latest Posts Below!

quarantine tv show binges

hey lovelies! hope you are all doing well!

lately, i’ve been feeling super unmotivated & tired. i’ve been trying to get into the habit of completing my daily quarantine routine but my energy is constantly zapped. i think i may have solved my lack of energy though because I’ve been pushing off things i need to do & have not been drinking enough water. being active is tough & living a consistently productive lifestyle isn’t easy either but i am determined to keep up!

that being said, i was going to sleep at 5 AM a couple of weeks ago, but that’s because a few TV Shows have been consuming my day! look below to find my 5 latest quarantine binges! I found these Alternative Movie Posters on Pinterest that I absolutely love so credit to whoever made these!

  • Criminal Minds – ☆☆☆☆

  • Sex Education – ☆☆☆☆
    • Waiting for Season 3 like : )

  • Outer Banks – ☆☆☆☆

  • Brooklyn-99 – ☆☆☆☆ 1/2

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender – ☆☆☆☆☆

let me know what you’ve been watching in the comments below! check out the latest posts below too!

Bielle ❤

all my pinterest boards

hey lovelies! hope you are all doing well! i’m going to be trying something a little different for this post! I usually write long posts but this is going to be a short & sweet!

if you follow me on Instagram (@bloggerbiellev), you’ll know that I absolutely LOVE Pinterest! for this post, I’m going to be sharing with you all my Pinterest boards!

my pinterest account:

How To Live Your Life –

  • Place to find my blog posts & pictures from my Instagram!

Spring & Summer Outfits Board –

2020 – Seasonal Fashion Trends –

  • Every year, I like to research all the seasonal fashion trends based on what’s seen at fashion shows during the year!

Character Inspiration –

  • For all the creatives out there in need of inspiration!

Aesthetics –

Style Icons –

Fancy Fits –

Instagram Feed Ideas –

Collages –

Film –

  • Scenes from movies I have seen or have to watch!

Art –

Self-Care –

Live Better –

  • Place to find resources on how to live a more sustainable life!

Room Decor –

Luxury Looks –

Vintage Outfits –

School Hacks –

College –

Blogger Central –

Fight Fast Fashion –

  • Learn more about the environmental impact & the human rights injustices that the Fast Fashion Industry perpetuates! Find brands & information on how to be a more conscious consumer!

Photography –

Places –

Life Hacks –

Writing Prompts & Tips –

Hope you all liked this post & that you’ll connect with me on Pinterest!

The Guide to Making a Quarantine Routine

Hey lovelies! Back at it again with ANOTHER routine post! This time, I think this is something a lot of us can benefit from right now.

New York, where I live, has been hit especially hard by Covid-19. My high school was closed down for social distancing practices on the 12th & my family & I have been self-isolating ever since. It’s been hard sometimes thinking about how my Senior Year of high school has been impacted by this & how so many of the events we were all looking forward to (Graduation, Prom, Ditch Day, etc.) have basically been thrown in the air of uncertainty. That’s all we feel right now: uncertainty.

It is a very scary time right now, but the most important things are to stay home & practice social distancing in order to flatten the curve. Donating to organizations if you can & calling your representatives are other things to do during this time as well!

That being said, you may find yourself with way too much time if you’re in quarantine just like me. However, during my daily scroll on Twitter, I came across a super helpful tweet to spice up my daily schedule attached below!

First off, huge shoutout to @plntbasecutie for letting me feature her tweet in this blog post! Her Quarantine Routine has been the basis for my own Quarantine Routine & of this blog post! The reason I loved her daily breakdown was because she has specific things to do for the soul, brain, heart, body, fun, & productivity.

The key to making a Quarantine Routine requires some planning & consistency. Despite this, I want to stress that motivation also plays a role into your daily routine! If you haven’t been feeling the best during this time or have been struggling with motivating yourself to do things, don’t pressure yourself to be productive if you can’t be. For some, structure is good but for others, taking time for yourself is best, so keep that in mind! That being said, @plntbasedcutie’s schedule is pretty different from mine because I have classes randomly placed from 8:30 to 3:00 but her routine still has some basic things that can be included in any routine. So let’s get to mapping it out!


Start Of The Day

  • Choose a time where you plan to wake up.
    • On certain days I have to wake up earlier because I have a morning class, but on days when I don’t have a morning class, I still wake up at around 8:30.
  • How do you wake yourself up & get motivated for the day?
    • For me, I make sure to drink a cup of water to wake myself up. Then, I proceed to put on Spotify’s “Yoga and Meditation” Playlist & do some Sun Salutation Yoga to stretch. After that, I meditate to the same music but with a timer. I’ve been slowly increasing the time that I meditate for & it’s a nice way to reflect on the previous day & prepare myself for the new day, especially if I didn’t have the bestest yesterday. Then, I write in my Writeaday App “five minute journal”. Having a mini journal in the app is super helpful to me & pretty quick so it’s not something that I dread doing. I write in my answers for the prompts “Grateful for…”, “Today would be great if…”, & “Daily affirmation, I am…” The app also has a spot where you write your Daily Focus & I do that every morning as well.
  • Make time for making your bed & cleaning your space
  • Get dressed (even if it means put on some other chill clothes than your PJ’s)
  • Eat breakfast

Something for the Soul

In @plntbasedcutie’s routine, she sets out specific time for set her day on a positive path. Some activities for the soul that she lists are meditation & reading. Journaling is also another activity that you could do, as well as brewing a cup of coffee or watering a plant. Find activities to do during your day that put your soul at ease. For this part of your daily routine, do something short for around 30 mins.

Something for the Brain

Surprisingly, I’ve found some new activities to do for this section that I never used to do before quarantine. When I have free time in between classes, which can be 20 minutes to an hour, I make sure to do some of these activities!

  • Do my Daily Solitaire Challenge on the App
  • Play Chess
  • Do some Sudoku
  • Homework or Study
  • Any type of puzzle
  • Practice Language skills on Rosetta Stone (They have a 3 month trial right now so make sure to take advantage!)
  • Read an educational article
  • Listen to a podcast

Schedule in Time for Meals & Snacks

Having a daily schedule that can sometimes feel like way too much free time, I forget to eat & find myself being super hungry for hours! Setting aside time to make sure you’re eating can allow you to try out new & healthy recipes!

Outdoors Time (30 minutes)

Going outside is a risky thing because there are not only matters of your health to take into consideration but also the health of others. If you do go outside, keeping your distance from others & taking precautions is of the highest importance. That being said, there are still things that you can do outside!

  • Reading
  • Sun Bathing
  • Watering Plants/Making a Garden
  • Going for a Walk
  • Bike Riding/Skateboarding/Rollerblading

Something for the Body (1 hour)

Biking, hiking, & yoga are things that you can do for this period of your day as well.

  • Boxing (I’ve been doing online YouTube boxing classes or watching Rumble’s IGTV & Livestreams!)
  • Dance Tutorials
  • Exercise (I’ve been doing 8 minute ab workouts!)

Something Productive (30 minutes)

  • Do chores
  • Clean up your room
  • Get ahead of your homework
  • Study for upcoming tests
  • Prepare projects
  • Spring Cleaning

Something for the Heart (1 hour)

This is the time for your hobbies, especially hobbies that you haven’t had time for recently!

  • Bake
  • Cook
  • Paint/Sketch
  • Garden
  • Knit/Crochet
  • Read (This is time when I read my comics on Webtoon hehe)
  • Practice an Instrument (aka Ukelele Time)
  • Write Letters to people on the Slowly App (Super cute app where you can send letters to people all over the world & they deliver depending on how far away you & your penpal are!)
  • Making a Playlist

FUN TIME (2 hours)

This is the time to be lazy & unwind

  • Netflix (or Netflix Party with some friends!)
  • Hulu or Disney Plus too!
  • Play Card vs. Humanity on playingcards.io
  • Board games
  • Social Media
  • TikTok
  • Catch up on your fave YouTube channel
  • Makeup Tutorials
  • HouseParty

Time to Relax Before Bed (1 hour)

Rushing to get myself prepared for bed can sometimes ruin my sleep. It is super important to set time to unwind before bed so you can have a restful & relaxing sleep.

  • Shower (if you do this at this time)
  • Face Mask
  • Skin Care Routine
  • Nice cup of tea (Chai Tea Latte has been the move lately)
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Nightly Journal & Gratitude
  • Set up Diffuser & Sound Machine

I hope that this little breakdown of activities you can add to your day during quarantine was helpful! Creating your Quarantine Routine by actually making a schedule has been extremely helpful for me. I haven’t been sticking to it as well over Easter Break but I’m hoping to get back to it soon! Feel free to comment below if you’ve found any new hobbies during this time or what your latest favorite song is!

Bielle ❤

Self-Care: Finding The Perfect Skin Care Routine

Hey lovelies! Hope life has been going well lately! I know I’ve been going through some tough days this Pisces Season, so I want to dedicate a post to some Self-Care lifestyle tips. Now, I’m no esthetician but from my own research & personal journey of skin care, I have found myself being a lot happier with my skin as a result.

But long after my skincare journey began & I was between night routines, my face started breaking out again, I decided to go to an esthetician to get a facial. I learned that I have combination skin, which will help me a lot when choosing new products! Finding out what kind of skin type you have can help you find a skincare routine that helps your skin more! Know that the routines below & the products that have helped me may not be the best for your skin, but they are an overall review.

The Basic Nighttime Skincare Routine

Image result for skin care routine

The most important thing that I have learned throughout my skincare journey is that you have to layer your products right to see the best effect on your skin. LABeautyologist’s has a helpful routine on her website that consists of toning after every step but the one above is also good! This article also gives great instruction on how best to layer your skincare products!

The reason I wanted to focus on skin as one of the topics for a self-care post is because my skin is something I’ve always been very insecure about. I have freckles so a lot of the time when I get acne, it’s very noticeable & sticks out on my face. I also touch my face way too much, which may be a weird thing to say, but since learning the effects of frequently touching your face, I have been enlightened to say the least. To start off this post, I’m going to tell you guys where I started on my skincare journey!

Zendaya. Periodt.

Image result for zendaya skin no makeup

No, I’m not kidding. Zendaya, besides being one of my fave celebrities of today, has some very beautiful skin. And why does she have such beautiful skin? I’m betting it’s because of her skincare routine, of course!

Skin Care Routine #1

Zendaya’s Nighttime Skincare Routine, which you can find on her website here, consists of 3 things: 1. Make Up Wipes, 2. Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner, & 3. Vitamin E Oil. I tried the first two products and went without oil when I tried Zendaya’s routine. I loved the makeup wipes because they’re biodegradable & super soft! I also loved the toner & I saw a lot of positive reviews about it on Twitter so I trusted it! Although, I think to truly benefit from this routine my skin definitely needed a nice oil to complete ite because my skin wasn’t really changing.

The Plot Twist

While I was doing this skincare routine as my nighttime routine, I came across an interesting tweet that kind of scared me. This tweet introduced me to the power that is Nayamka Roberts-Smith, an esthetician who regularly shares her wisdom on Twitter (and YouTube).

So consider me surprised when I saw her tweet above a picture of the Witch Hazel Toner I had been using saying this: “Witch hazel is an astringent. This means it removes strips all oils (+dead skin, & makeup).”

Stripping my skin of oils?! I definitely did not need that! So I continued to search LABeautyologist’s page & found other toners that were better for hydrating your skin. Unfortunately, I could not find the one that I wanted to try in any Target near me, so I added Dickinson’s Enhanced Witch Hazel Toner in place of the Thayer’s Toner.

Skincare Routine #2

This skincare routine worked for a little bit but then I realized that my cleanser was EXPIRED so it was not working to the best of its abilities AND that I needed an acne solution to help with the breakout of my pimples. I used Clean and Clear’s Acne Spot Treatment for a while to target those red pimples that appear out of nowhere and really liked it, so I recommend! But other than that, the only other part of this routine that I loved was the serum which is super lightweight & hydrates my skin SO MUCH.

Skincare Routine #3

Warning: This routine dried out my skin so much & caused my skin to turn red for two days! I showed up to Christmas Eve celebrations literally the color of the decorations, it was so not cool. I definitely think it was the cleanser, as it was too harsh on my skin. Luckily, Christmas came & my mom bought me a new cleanser that I was able to use instead. Learning more about skincare routines & how to correctly layer your products helps to have a better eye for what does & doesn’t work for your skin!

Current Skincare Routine

Drunk Elephant’s Cleanser is really nice and doesn’t irritate my skin at all! However, the one I got was a sample from Sephora so it won’t last me a long long time & is quite expensive so I’m planning on buying a new cleanser soon. LABeautyologist recommends oil cleansers so I tried out a sample of Boscia’s Cool Cleansing Oil & loved it! Boscia also has a great exfoliator that I’ve tried a few times so I’m planning on adding both of those items to my skincare routine soon! Exfoliators are recommended to only be used 2-3 times a week, so make sure you’re watching for frequency. Overall, I love my toners & I love toning. It really sets a nice base for the serum & moisturizers & makes my skin GLOW!

So there you have it! The development & trials & tribulations of my skincare routine in the past few months! When introducing new products to your skin, make sure to be intentional & attentive to how your skin reacts & take note for future additions! I have learned so much from following the advice of estheticians online, like LABeautyologist & Westchester Esthetician, so make sure to go check them out! Putting more focus onto taking better care of my skin has allowed me to become more comfortable in it, seeing its parts less as flaws & understanding it to be part of growth & adjustment.

If you have any skincare tips or want to share some of your own routine or brands that you like, comment down below! If you end up trying any of my skincare routines, let me know how it goes!

Bielle

Romance Series: It’s Not Like The Movies

Hey everyone! Today you are tuning into the crazy & chaotic show that is my life. Seriously, sometimes I swear my life is something scripted from the cosmos. In this blog post, get ready to dive in to probably one of the craziest romance stories ever. And hint: it’s not like the movies.


 

What image comes to me when you see the word “romance”?

For me, couples like Troy & Gabriella always came to mind. I simply loved the idea of high school sweethearts standing up against the world together. But then I woke up each day & interacted with boys & my belief in love like that diminished.

That’s really harsh to say but growing up I was an extremely judgy child. Boys and I had always disagreed. I was often too bossy, independent, and sassy for their tastes. And as much as I wanted to avoid love, it was all around me. On the movie screen, on my TV screen, in my favorite books. Yet, it still was…unrealistic. 

Don’t get me wrong, my Pisces self was consistently getting crushes on celebrities and I had always been a sucker for rom-coms (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is my weakness). Despite this all, my opposition to the stereotypical middle school/high school romance manifested itself in a promise I made to myself – A vow to never date until I was 17.

And when I was 16 years old, I semi-broke this rule and ended up in a situationship for 7 months.


 

Over those 7 months, I became well acquainted with the terms situationship, red flags, and ghosting. The beginnings of this crazy high school romance of mine are detailed in my blog post 3rd Time’s the Charm: An Overview of Junior Year, which you can read about under The Fall section. {Situationship: a relationship in which the people involved are not openly dating. They may be talking to other people but consider each other their “main person” OR they may not be talking to anyone else. Some people consider a situationship to be the odd limbo space where neither party or one party does not want to commit to a relationship.}

My expectations of a modern (high school) romance consisted of hangouts with your significant other, dates that your parents didn’t need to drive you to, movies and cuddles, spontaneous sightseeing trips, you know, typical movie stuff.

The reality was…quite different.

After the Halloween Party where I met (let’s call him: Pluto) Pluto, he “slid into my DMs” (the act of one person sending another a message via Direct Message on a Social Media App) asking me for my Snapchat. I fortunately do not have a Snap, so he asked for my phone number. We started talking about the party we had both attended and the conversation went into things that we liked and it turned out we had a lot in common, which was pretty cool!

{Side note: Conversations consisting of both you and the person engaging and asking each other questions about each other is a good sign! The term “dry” is used for when conversations consist of one worded replies or someone leaving you on read (which is no bueno). When convos are “dry”, you can either infer that the person maybe isn’t having the best day OR they’re not interested.}

Pluto and I skyped and texted frequently and planned our first date to be about 6 days after the party. We ate at a pizzeria, got some cupcakes to munch on at Central Park, held hands when we were walking, and then…tsk tsk.

I had my first kiss.

First kiss on the first date is different for everyone. Personally, looking back on it now, a bit too soon for me. {It was a very weird experience because it was my first kiss and I probably should’ve WikiHow’d it before. But also WikiHow is like my religion so.}

But after that first date, we never hung out. Again. Literally. In the entire 7 months we talked. {Craziness, people, CRAZINESS.}

I tried to continuously plan things and he was always cancelling on me {HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS/RED FLAG: If they never make the effort to make plans with you, it may mean they’re not interested or are talking to other people.}

After a month of rarely talking, I asked him if he still liked me. And he replied with (I kid you not) “Idk tbh”.

People, I lost my mind. Both out of hilarity but also because oh my goodness, the audacity?!

When I proceeded to tell him that that was okay and we could still be friends and talk, he then replied (after quite a few minutes of chatting) “I do like you”.

So wait…he does like me? Then what the HECK was going on? {Looking back on it, this was a clear RED FLAG: He was saying he liked me in an attempt to insure that I would still communicate to him, “leading me on”. If someone says they like you but doesn’t support it with actions, then you know it’s not real.}

After that, we were still rarely talking, he didn’t wish me Happy Birthday (literally so RUDE) and when I told him “I don’t consider people who don’t wish me Happy B-Day to be my friends” (I was upset about it, okay? Don’t judge me.), he replied that he was “unsure” about it. {RED FLAG: Excuses. Frequent and bad excuses = they don’t care about how they speak to you, meaning they do not care about you.}

My months of frustration and confusion and uncertainty and crying all came to a halt when I found out some information from a friend.

This guy, Pluto, who I had been talking/flirting/investing my time & energy into the maintaining of our “situationship” with, had supposedly had a girlfriend since before I met him.

I know. I know.

INSANITY.

So the person who told me this was someone who I hadn’t told that I had been talking to Pluto. So when I did tell this person, they were completely in shock because they were friends with Pluto and had no IDEA about me (a girl who Pluto had been talking with for 6+ months). {It’s not even red flags at this point, it was a whole red flashing alarm and siren.}

When I confronted Pluto about this, he simply claimed “Idk what you’re talking about”. *Sigh*. So I proceeded to tell him to stop sending me Instagram Posts, of which he listened, and that was it. He never confirmed nor denied this rumor that had been told to me, and it was quite a confusing moment. No closure or clarity what so ever.

I moved on and tried dating/talking to other people but it didn’t work out for other reasons. This experience did hurt me though and I struggled for a long time with what happened and what was actually the truth. To this day, whenever I see someone wearing a beanie that Pluto frequently donned, I feel an oncoming panic attack & have to calm myself down. But I’m growing and I’m currently talking to someone who is really great and who I appreciate a lot.

Pluto came back around last year actually out of the blue saying that it wasn’t true and that he had pulled away because he had been mad at me for believing the other person. {Still a RED FLAG because why so late, what?} We’re cordial now and barely speak, but when he does, my replies are very “dry”.

Basically, this experience has taught me the signs of someone who may not be the best partner for you and how to have a thriving and mutual relationship.


 

So together, we’ve assessed my craziest high school romance for red flags and the big “Do Not’s”. Everyone’s relationship is different, moves at a different pace depending on how comfortable you are with the other person. Evaluating your own relationship under the timeline of what society considers is normal can be dangerous though because then you may start to doubt your relationship, something I almost did. My biggest piece of advice can be to get outside of your expectations, think about where you got them from. If you’re expectations are built on media relationships or stereotypes from your fave high school movies/books, then you may want to try asking a trusted friend who is currently in a relationship what it’s like.

But for some more advice, check out these romantic relationships tips from my followers!

-“Let things happen at their own pace! Things will come when they’re needed most!”

-“Be true to yourself and if you feel like it’s going downhill (ex: being ghosted repeatedly), drop them.”

-“Communicate. Periodt.”

-“You can’t force anything to happen, if it’s meant to be, it will be.” {If you feel like you’re forcing a relationship, take a step back and think about if it’s worth it or if it adds value to your life.}

-“If they don’t feel like giving you 100%, they deserve 0% from you.”

-“All relationships are different! Just have fun – you’ll know what’s best!”

-“Enjoy your solitude!”

-“Don’t get into a relationship with someone just because they like you. Make sure you actually like the person.” {Make sure you trust them, that you’re comfortable, that you have the energy to into it. Put yourself first.}

-“Respect each other even in anger. Build each other. Honesty.”

-“Communication is key. Without that, your relationship will fall through.”

-Take a break for yourself sometimes. Let your s/o know you’re taking the day for yourself. Space gives you clarity & freshness.”

-“Don’t overlook your happiness because you want to make the person you love happy.”


Hope you enjoyed this crazy & chaotic blog post! Let me know in the comments what you thought, if you have had any crazy romance experiences, or if you have any romantic relationship advice! 

~ Bielle 

 

 

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide To Activism

Hello lovelies! It’s been a while! Since you last saw me, I’ve been accepted into 2 colleges, one being one of my top choices! I’ve also been featured on colorSHEpretty, the blog of my fellow blogger Tanesha Sands! You can check out my interview here! Overall, 2019 was an interesting year of growth, new friendships, and self-love! Going into 2020, I want to put more passion into this blog. That’s why I want to start the year off by talking about a topic that’s important to me: Activism.

First off: What exactly IS activism?

To quote Eve Ensler, a playwright & feminist:

“An activist is someone who cannot help but fight for something. That person is not usually motivated by a need for power or money or fame, but in fact is driven slightly mad by some injustice, some cruelty, some unfairness, so much so that he or she is compelled by some internal moral engine to act to make it better.”

I really like that little summary of activism. But, what about advocacy? Is that different from activism? Can you be both an advocate & an activist?

The definition of advocacy I like is this one used by Eva Lewis, an activist and advocate –

“To be an advocate is to speak and learn about social and political issues. It is to bring attention to an injustice, subsequently aiding the activist in their fight against that same injustice.”

I got this quote from the article What’s the Difference Between an Advocate and an Activist? Have You Been Mislabeling?, and I highly recommend for you all to check it out.

So, advocacy & activism are different, but yes, you can be both!

Activism and advocacy have become such important parts of my life as in the past few years I have seen the inspiring rise of so many activist movements. As we know, the 2010’s was a decade of activism, but more specifically youth activism. The Occupy Wall Street Movement, Black Lives Matter, March For Our Lives, and Fridays For the Future were all impactful movements from the past decade that were greatly influenced by youth.

But many of these movements have experienced their fair share of slacktivism or “the practice of supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort or commitment” (according to Google). Many of my friends who I proudly marched with at March For Our Lives posted the pictures on their Instagram and never took action again. Some of my friends never marched. Some didn’t see the importance.

That is dangerous. Apathy is dangerous. Inaction is dangerous.

My generation is Gen Z. I’ve frequently seen articles say that my generation is supposedly the one to “save the world”. And I see it all the time, the potential for a global shift. I’ve seen in it Malala’s inspirational words, Greta Thunberg’s actions, and the dedication of the Fridays For the Future activists in NYC. But too often, social justice movements take off, call out the inaction and injustice, but fizzle out as supporters lose interest.

Posting a video of the Amazon on fire will not get much done. Sure, it will raise awareness & alert your followers (if they even tap on the video on your Instagram Story & watch it all the way through) about what’s going on, but action needs to be taken to complete the circle. Advocacy + activism is the only way things will get done.

So yeah, post that video, story, article. But send out that petition on Change.org, the link to that GoFundMe page, & attend a strike organized by a local activist group. Tweet at your local representatives, call their office demanding change, let them know that you want to see them vote yes on that Climate Action policy in Congress. There is too much inaction in our world today, too many people who give up and feel that things will never change, so why bother? I’m just one person, I can’t possibly have an impact.

But giving up & doubting your power is exactly what people expect you to do. That is why political representatives never listen and why corporations are never held accountable and why the Fast Fashion Industry still thrives. It’s because people expect the ignited passion in all of these activist, in all of these youths, to fizzle out so they continue doing what they are doing. And they are proven right when large scale movements lose traction and tragedies continue to happen.

Advocacy & activism require consistency & dedication. A livable & just future requires consistency & dedication.

So now let’s talk about how to combat this.

  1. What are you passionate about?

There’s a lot of injustices that exist in the world. Sometimes it’s very overwhelming to dissect them all & what to do to help. But find what you are passionate about. It’s better to center your focus than to be dedicated to too many causes. Burnout in activism is frequent & can take a toll on you. For me, women’s rights and gender equality were issues that I first became passionate about back in 2016. Latinx issues, the Climate Crisis, and gun control were also issues that I began to learn more about & became dedicated to in recent years. Find what matters to you.

2. Research

From now on, I will be dong “Activist Alerts”! These blog posts will be centered about issues that I feel are important. In those blog posts, I will be including what is going on pertaining to that issue, petitions you can sign, and actions you can take to help! One of my favorite parts of being an activist/advocate is connecting people with people. With the information I have learned, I’ll be able to connect you all to other resources that will assist them you their activism journey. These resources will consist of other activists/advocates I recommend following on social media, books, articles, petitions, and organizations. While the resources I’ll provide will be subject specific, you may want to research on your own by watching documentaries & listening to podcasts to gain knowledge about how these issues affect you locally.

3. Participate

As I mentioned before, social media is a widely used tool for social justice and activism, but it certainly isn’t the only one. Use your voice, use your vote! Sharing on social media is great but use the knowledge you have gained to educate others or fill in the gaps on some information or a perspective that might be missing. Find local chapters of organizations near you. If you’re able to, think about joining. Even if you can’t do that, try volunteering or using your social media as a platform to assist them in raising awareness for some initiatives they may be taking.

Participation comes in the form of supporting nonprofit organization dedicated to change, attending a city council meeting, taking part in a protest or rally, and living a lifestyle of conscious activism (ex: supporting local brands over fast fashion ones & choosing more sustainable items for your daily life).

While these 3 steps are some of the ones I think are most important, your own ability is a major factor as well. While the Climate Crisis is a major issue of concern to me, I’m not always able to strike & leave school. My education is expensive & is something I am very grateful to my parents for supporting. However, despite my inability to frequently and consistently attend the FFF Strikes, I continue to share their events with all my friends, sign their petitions, and urge my Congress representatives to vote for Climate action policies.

Your part in all of this matters, so never doubt it.


Hope you all enjoyed this post & feel inspired to do your part to educate yourselves about activist movements happening all over the world! What issues are you passionate about? Who inspires you? Let me know in the comments below!

My College Trip to Cali

Hey lovelies! Apologies for the late posting! Hope life has been going great! I am been a little swamped with schoolwork, volunteering, work, & college applications so life…has been a little overwhelming. I’m not ready for the week to start but I’m keeping my positive mindset. What’s giving me a lot of happiness right now though are all the pictures I have to share from my summer trip to Cali! Let’s get into it, shall we?


College Hunt

When I first started looking for colleges back in Sophomore year, I told my mom “East Coast or West Coast. Nothing in the middle and nothing in the South”. My pickiness with location actually helped a lot in choosing schools that I wanted to visit.

From the start, my college list was East Coast heavy and I found myself getting worried. I had always wanted to be a filmmaker and creative writing, but was New York City the place for that? California had Hollywood and a lot of opportunities! I felt like NYC was more TV Show and Broadway focused. So I made up my mind and began some college searching in the West Coast.

This summer, I set out to California only having 3 college visits in mind. I wasn’t expecting to like California that much, as New York City had stolen my heart so many years ago.

But then, the plot twist came…

I fell in love with Cali!

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The Betrayal (or The Arrival to California)

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Considering the above picture was my view in Cali, it’s understandable why I fell in love so easily. The palette of the landscape struck me so intensely and I could not stop taking pictures to preserve the memories. My family and I landed and stood in a hotel in Palo Alto for a few days. The little town was beautiful and the hotel was absolutely gorgeous! I had so much fun lounging around in the sun, watching “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, & eating an Avocado BLT by the poolside.

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My literal peak! I was GLOWING!

During our stay in Palo Alto, we drove to San Francisco!

San Francisco

If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’d know that I posted SO MANY PICTURES from San Fran already, but it’s because the shots I got there were absolutely beautiful! My family and I drove to Fisherman’s Wharf and the spent the afternoon roaming around and stopping at souvenir stores. We also ate at this fancy little Italian restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf and it was very delicious! In San Francisco, it was actually so so cold and I was so glad I wore my bell bottoms. I was trying to channel Julie, the American Girl Doll in the photo shoots, and I think it worked. Below are some pics from my San Fran stop!

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Santa Barbara // UCSB

On my Instagram, I’ve also posted some pictures in Santa Barbara! The town was so cute and the boardwalk was nice! There, I visited the University of California: Santa Barbara! The campus was nice and sunny and so close to the beach, which I thought was amazing! Apparently, the college is ranked as one the happiest in California, which was very interesting! Overall, I enjoyed the college, but it wasn’t one of my favorites! After the tour, my family and I ate lunch at a cute little Mexican restaurant across from the beach. In Santa Barbara, what really caught my were the beautiful flowers! I included a picture of them below!

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Los Angeles // Loyola Marymount University & University of Southern California

After Santa Barbara, my family and I drove many hours to Los Angeles! From the very beginning, I had been so excited to go to LA. Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the major studios, oh my! My family and I dedicated one day for college visits and the rest for touring and lounging around. My college visits started with Loyola Marymount University. I put this college on the list completely by random because I only really had one college I wanted to visit prior to our trip and I wasn’t really expecting too much.

The most surprising thing about all this in the end is that I ended up loving LMU, and it’s the only school I’m applying Early Action to! LMU was beautiful! It’s view of Los Angeles was stunning and the campus was so cute! The mascot of the school is the Lion & the entire tour consisted of lion puns that I appreciated way too much. The School of Film & Television caught my eye as soon as I walked on campus and when the tour guide said that LMU allows all students to have the rights to their works, I was really excited! I spent about 10 minutes alone taking pictures of the cliff view! Another factor I really liked was that LMU was a gated school and it wasn’t located directly in bustling LA!

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The next school I visited was USC. I am not applying to USC anymore as 19,000 students is a bit too much for me, but I have to say, the campus was beautiful. It gave of Northeastern campus vibes with all the bright buildings and greenery. I’ll admit that I was blown away by the Film school, as part of it had been made to look like a studio set, which was so cool! I also freaked out a little bit after finding out that Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel, was an alum! USC’s campus was truly beautiful, though it had more of an urban feel to it!

The day after my tours, my family and I took a tour bus to see the rest of LA, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, & Venice Beach! I thought Santa Monica was so so cute and I had a blast in LA seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Los Angeles Observatory! Enjoy the pictures I included below!

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College Overview

My college tours were awesome & I enjoyed them so much! In order of my favorite to least favorite, I’d say: LMU, USC, & UCSB! I definitely recommend checking out all these schools if you’re interested! College tours are so much fun because they really give you an insight into what it would be like attending school there. As soon as I step on a college campus, I immediately can tell from the vibes what the school is like. A tip I have is to make sure to ask good questions! How are the dorms? Is it easy to have a good relationship with your professors or are they required to spend time on research? Are the classes taught by TA’s?

If you can’t make it to a college tour, I highly recommend visiting Campus Reel! This is an amazing website filled with college students making videos about their schools and basically giving you a virtual tour! Often, campus tours don’t take you into the dorms but with Campus Reel, you can get an inside look! If you also want some insider information, visit College Confidential to hear from the students themselves!


Hope you enjoyed this post! Are you currently looking at colleges? Got any college touring tips? Have you ever visited any of the colleges in this post? Let me know in the comments below!

Bielle