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Hey there! Long time no blog :)


Here I am again. Will I apologize for being M.I.A.? Will I make excuses that life got so busy and hectic I barely had time to create blog content? 


Yes, of course I will. What type of blogger would I be if I didn't?


First off, I apologize for not being active on this blog and I have been thinking a lot about what I want this blog to become. Sure, it is still my law student lifestyle blog but I feel like I definitely have not niched it down. I currently talk about law school, skincare, alignment and personal growth on here. I feel like I am all over the place so let's see where this goes and how I will manage to save my little space on the internet from crumbling into a failed passion project.



The life is update is this...


  • Life has gotten so busy. I mean, I'm in my third year of law school. What would you expect? Day in and out, I hit the books, get buried in a mountain of cases and drown in liters of delicious coffee. I am sleep-deprived and dehydrated on most days (Believe it or not, this water lover FORGETS to drink her water smh). On the weekends, if I'm allowed and able, I take long naps during the day, do as much laundry as I can, binge watch some shows and vlogs, spend time with my family, talk to my friends and do some retail therapy. 

         My best coping mechanism is not to even think of the stress. Instead of stressing over the work, I just do the work. Then after a long hard day, my body hits my bed and I'm like "Okay, let's do this again tomorrow." then I drift off to dreamland

  • New normal is difficult to get used to. We took advantage of the world we live in before and didn't bother to think when we washed our hands, where we put our hands or what is personal space. I am literally writing this after coming home from the mall where they would not let me in because I was wearing a mask but I forgot my face shield in the car. It was the most embarrassing and scary experience of my new normal life. Take note to self (and the world): Don't forget the essentials: face mask, face shield, hand sanitizer/rubbing alcohol, tissues/wipes.

  • I have been very consistent and patient with my skincare routine. I am absolutely loving the improvement on my skin. Skincare is life! Also, this means I will be posting a skincare routine soon.

  • Update on my health: I was rushed to the ER on June 30 and they found an infection in my kidney. I had to go through several blood tests, check ups and an ultrasound. Nothing seriously bad is happening with me, no deathly disease. Being sick in a pandemic is not the best thing. I have to take medicines daily and watch my diet but me being me, I am stubborn and still have a pack of medicine untouched. Don't worry, I'm working on it. #SelfCare

  • I've fallen madly insanely in love and happy with someone. The best part is that they are in love with me too. Have I found my life partner? Okay, let's not get too excited. Love moves in mysterious ways. I always believed in love because your girl is a hopeless romantic. Just when I wasn't looking, here he comes changing my world and serenading my heart. I am a very private person and don't have social media or post about every single detail of my life and everything I feel so talking about my new relationship here is something special to me.
That is all folks. Took me an hour to write this. Just needed to update on my blog what is happening in my life.

Love, Bella


Photo Credits: Abby Chung via Pexels.com

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When you enter the hall ways of any law school, you must come prepared. But with today’s new normal going on, the common highlighters and fancy planners won’t really cut it. This is the Law School Supplies List 2.0. This is new normal edition y’all.


Law school will be the adventure of a lifetime. You will not only need the drive, strength and determination but you will also need to prepare the best weapons when you go into battle. Scared yet?


Don’t worry, there’s no blood shed in law school. Though, I will not guarantee there will be no tears and sweat, sleepless nights, caffeine fueled study sessions and mountains of law books and cases involved.


Just like all law students, I am excited and nervous for the upcoming semester. Now that we are in the new normal, everything is definitely changing. For one, my university has come up with a learning continuity plan and created schedules for classes which will solely be online.


Here are the top necessities I will be needing to survive online law school from the obvious to the “just good to have”.




Good and stable internet connection. It’s the best time to invest in a really fast and reliable internet provider since everything being online is becoming pretty prevalent and common. Here in the Philippines, the internet reliability is a big problem factor with the integration of classes and work online and hopefully, the internet companies will help the Filipino people in making internet more accessible through affordable subscriptions and great service.


Laptop/Computer. Any device which can connect to the internet and has a good quality camera is a must with online classes.


Earphones. Buy a pair of good quality earphones so that during online classes, you can really focus and hear what your professor is discussing. It’s also best to wear them in order to avoid disturbance with what other people are doing in the same room or house as you. Your house mates do not need to know that you are discussing Chapter 3 of Banking Laws.


Planner (Digital and Physical). Oh, the good old planner. I think, when it comes to online classes, just have both. Majority of school work will now be online, so it is good to have all your to-do lists, reminders and notes on your computer or device.


As a precaution, also write down everything in your physical planner. Some stuff you must take note of:

  • Email addresses and passwords
  • Log-in details to online classrooms
  • Zoom Meeting ID and Passcodes
  • Deadlines for school stuff


Email address. It comes as a shock that some students do not have an email address dedicated to professional communication or school related emails. When you use your personal email address for school work, there is the tendency that your inbox will be filled up with spam mail, useless social media updates or notifications and subscriptions emails you never open.


Create an email address you will use solely for school work and communication with professors and classmates. If your university provides you with your own student email address, it’s also great to use that one.


Online Storage. Some of the best online storage services I can recommend are Google Drive and Drop Box. They are very easy to use and navigate to organize all your important files.


So, are you ready for your first online class?


I hope you enjoyed this post. Stay safe, always.




Photo Credits: Ylanite Koppens via Pexels.com

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Hi there! It's Bella, your broke full-time law student with some tips and tricks on how to save and earn money on the side.


I quit my job a few weeks after starting law school. All I had were some savings in my bank account and a dream lol. And also, the support of my ever-loving parents. 


There was tuition to be paid and also expenses for books, meals and travel. Aside from selling my stuff (clothes, bags and accessories) online, I try my best to look for ways to save and earn money while working my butt off in law school. Oh, sleepless nights and wounded feelings...


Now that we are in new normal, most of my classes are done online for the time being. I don't need to spend so much on travel expenses to and from school or buy lunch at the cafeteria.


These tips and apps can prove helpful for anyone, not just students.

 

Stop going to coffee shops


Do you really need to sit and study at a coffee shop and drink overpriced lattes?


No, not really.


I used to go to coffee shops and milk tea shops all the time to study. I would spend hours there reading and researching while getting odd glances from baristas and employees. I did get work done but I eventually realized that the cost of a drink adds up to a ton of money wasted on so much sugar and ice.


Instead of going to a coffee shop, find a good spot in your home to study or go to the university library. You are already paying library fees so might as well use the library and also, think about all the unlimited books you can borrow and read. Ooh la la.


Borrow books or buy them second hand


Law books are very expensive probably because they weigh so much. Just kidding.


The best way to save some money for books is to borrow or buy them from a friend (lucky you) or borrow from your university library.


Also, go online and search for students who are willing to sell or rent out their books. They may be old and already filled with highlights and notes but you are still able to read and learn from them and the big plus is you save some big money as well. 


Thrift shopping


Are you cringing yet?


Well, sucks for you because thrifting is an incredible and fun way to save money while staying stylish and helping the planet and small businesses.


I would say I am a passionate thrift shopper because there are so many beautiful and unique clothes you can find at thrift stores. Majority of the clothes I bought and are still in great condition come from thrift stores. There are even some designer brands you can find if you are lucky and willing to rifle through all the clothes racks in the store.


Sell Your Notes


Whaaaattttt?


Yes, it’s possible to earn money by selling copies of your notes. Whoever did this in the first place is a genius!


I personally have not tried doing this because for the love of God my handwriting is not the best and I don’t think anyone would be that interested and willing to buy my notes.


But check on Etsy stores and Instagram and you will find a bunch of student bloggers selling their notes, study cards and reviewers. For a good price too.


So if you are someone with well-organized notes and great penmanship or willing to format type written notes well, give it a go.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. When you decide to use my links, I will receive a commission but this will not cost you anything.


Use Shopback app


An avid online shopper?


Yay, this is the app for you.


If you are interested to join the app, click here to register and get Php100 Cashback Bonus.


Shopback is a cashback rewards platform and it also has coupons, promo codes and discount vouchers and deals for your online shopping needs.


Depending on the online store you choose to purchase from, you receive a percentage of the purchase you made for each transaction.


Let’s say you bought makeup from Shopee. The current cashback for purchases on Shopee is 2%. If you purchased lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes worth Php2,500 from a store in Shopee, you will receive Php50 for the transaction. 


We interrupt this broadcast for some savings...


I have a referral code for Php100 off your first order on Shopee. Use Code RISCH224


Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...


Shopback is a really great and handy app to have on your phone to help you save a bit of money each time you go online shopping. You don’t have to pay extra fees at all.


Remember, if you want to join Shopback and get Php100 Cashback Bonus, click here.

 

Read and Earn with Buzzbreak


Whenever I have a few extra minutes I get on my phone and use Buzzbreak to read news and current events and get points. Once these points add up, I am able to cash out real money into Paypal or Gcash. It’s very easy but note, you won’t be a freaking billionaire from this app. It’s still good to have a bit of extra cash though.


To join the app and earn 1000 points, enter the referral code B08411215 


When you’re waiting in line, sitting in your car or the bus, waiting for your next class or just chilling at home, you can go on the app and earn.


You earn points by:

  • Reading news articles
  • Watching videos
  • Answering surveys
  • Doing tasks (installing/using apps, reaching levels on games)
  • Daily log-in
  • Hourly Rewards
  • Spin the Wheel
  • Free Points (every 30 seconds)


If you want to give Buzzbreak a try (and you should) and earn free 1000 points, click here to download the app and enter this code B08411215 upon registration.


I hope you got some inspiration and ideas on how to save and earn some extra cash. Times are tough nowadays because of the pandemic and new normal but I hope you keep safe and stay positive.



 

Photo Credits: Ksenia Chernaya via Pexels.com

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. When you decide to use my links, I will receive a commission but this will not cost you anything.


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Say hello to August. It's the season of the Leo's. And guess what? It's my birthday this month, so in dedication to becoming a year older and hopefully wiser, I've decided to list down the most life-changing, mind-boggling and close-to-my-heart words of wisdom and life lessons I've collected through the years of my life. Enjoy!

1.       You don’t need a lot of friends to be happy.

2.       Create with the universe, not against it. You are a strong, deliberate creator.

3.       There is no need to obsess over impressing everyone.

4.       Stop comparing yourself to others because it will make you insecure.

5.       Try new things. You’ll be surprised what you learn or enjoy.

6.       Be grateful for the people that help and support you.

7.       When no one is cheering for you, be your own cheerleader.

8.       Stay private. Stay humble. Stay low key.

9.      Be more private in the things you do so you can focus more on you and not on what others are thinking, asking or saying.

10.   Take more pictures if you can and preserve those memories and happy moments.

11.   But also, remember to be in the moment. P.S. get off your phone and live.

12.   Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Reflect on what you have learned and move on.

13.   Achieving dreams will require hard work, perseverance and commitment.


14.   The number of followers you have on social media should not define your happiness.

15.   Social media should not take over your life.

16.   Having clear skin is better than having flawless makeup. Skincare is life!

17.   Don’t keep or allow toxic people back in your life.

18.    Be kind to others. Treat them the way you want to be treated. You will never know the struggles and experiences someone is going through.

19. Healing takes time so be patient. You can't magically change overnight. This applies to a lot of things: skincare, hair care, diet, mental health, break ups and failures.

20. Work and succeed at your own pace. You don't have to hustle everyday because other people are promoting and doing it. Read #4 again, please.

21. Stop setting your expectations of others so high. If you do, you'll just be disappointed all the time. People aren't perfect so stop imagining they are.

22. Wearing sunscreen everyday is very important. Again, skincare is life!

23. It's okay to be single and happy but it's also okay to be single and sad/lonely. Feel your feelings but don't lose yourself based on not having a relationship.

24. It's just the beginning. You're young, ambitious and strong. You will make it!



Photo Credits: Marina Utrabo & Markus Spiske via Pexels.com

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Is your head most of the time, if not always, filled with negative thoughts?


I shoot my hand in the air. Yes, me—guilty.


I’ve always had this feeling of inadequacy, not in life, but in myself. I’ve always felt like I had more to grow, to learn and to improve but even after taking steps to change who I was or become a better person, I was never enough. For every bad thing that happened to me in my life, I would tell myself things along the lines of:


…well, of course this happened to me. I have bad luck.

…I don’t deserve anything good.

…Don’t worry, I’m used to bad things happening to me, and my absolute favorite

…This wouldn’t have happened to me if I was prettier, smaller, smarter (just picking out all the ugly things I saw in myself)


My negative mind always made me tell myself that the world was against me, that I couldn’t do anything right and even when I felt empowered, I still felt lacking in what I wanted to do. When I wasn’t negative and angry, I was lost.


But I, like so many others, really want to change that way of thinking. Growing up scared of the world and the judgment of others made me realize how stronger I needed to be.


I truly believe that we can all escape the negative mindset we have. I’m working on it and so should you.


How do you stop these negative thoughts from overpowering and affecting your day to day activities?


I’m a firm believer that thoughts are so powerful. What we imagine and think to ourselves greatly affect our actions, which then leads to a result—success or failure.


When we are always with negative thoughts, we feel negative emotions such as fear, uncertainty, or anxiety towards the situations in our lives, even the non-threatening ones. These negative thoughts cause us to look at situations in a negative light and we lead ourselves towards a path of failure.


Instead of doing the work, we spend too much time worrying and wondering how to finish our tasks. We stress over every little detail and question our judgment and capabilities of doing the job.


There are a ton of negative thoughts that can go through our head in one go but the most popular of these are:


  • What we assume people think or say. No one on my team believes in me. No one cares.
  • How to stop caring what others think of you (link)
  • Towards the situation. Everything is going wrong.
  • Towards ourselves. I can’t do this. I’m not good enough.
  • Towards past mistakes. I’ll always fail.
  • Unknown. Nothing as scary as this but it’s inevitable so don’t put energy onto this.


Why I hate negative thoughts?


Well, who doesn’t really? Negative thoughts have robbed me of happiness and opportunities to better myself and to live life to the fullest. I wasn’t shy. I was afraid, I was angry and at times, I just gave up on even trying to be happy.


Negative thoughts can…


…make me feel bad about myself. When I have negative thoughts, I get irritable easily and when I get irritated, I feel angry at everything and everyone. Even when I know I shouldn’t be, I just feel angry and frustrated with everything in my life. This makes me feel bad about myself. Like I’m a bad person.


…make me lose focus on the situation or problem. It is difficult to find a solution or do a task when you can not clear your head because they are just full of negative thoughts.


…affect my relationships. I may lash out at people because I need someone to blame. I blame myself, get mad, blame other people, get mad at them. It’s a vicious toxic cycle that I hate being in.


…make me feel ungrateful. I think the world is against me and I focus a lot on what I do not have thinking that if I had that thing, my problems would go away and I would be happier and less negative.


How to stop of negative thoughts


These are the things that I did and still do. It may or may not work for you but give these tips and practices a try if you can.


There are two main steps.


Really? Only two?


Yes, only two. But I also wrote down below what I did to better implement these steps in my life. I focus on these two steps because I don’t want to complicate things for myself. So, I stick with simplicity.


Pause and shift.


Pause- catch yourself with the negative thoughts and tell yourself to stop. You are in control of your thoughts.


Shift- find a positive side to the situation or problem. It may be something obvious or you may need to do some reflection.


That’s it.


Want more?


To further supplement and enhance the pause and shift, keep on reading.


Here are some techniques that I hope can help you stop the negative thoughts from coming back and keep your mindset on a more positive note.


Be conscious of your thoughts and reactions. You are reading this so I assume you have become aware of your negative mindset. Yay! I think that’s what they say: The first step is acceptance or something... (I hope you know that saying and understand what I mean)


When I realize that I’m being negative is when I catch myself being rude, angry and just in a foul mood. So, I hit pause and ask myself one of these questions or something similar:


  • Is it possible to not bitch about this?
  • Can this be solved even without getting mad?
  • Is there any way to say or do this in a more positive or compassionate way?


My answer to these is YES.


Can we control our thoughts? I say no and yes. In every situation, we always form thoughts whether we choose to or not. We cannot control the act of thinking or forming thoughts but we can very well control the thought itself.


We have all the control and power in us to create and think positively.


Reflect on the situation.


In shift, you may not see the positive side right away so ask yourself: What does the situation call for? Not your negative thoughts or energy, I hope. Take the positive route. It's better and bright.


Meditate.


I include this in so many posts of mine but it’s just so great. Something you can do to ease away not just negative thoughts but also negative feelings. I love meditating and it is just so beneficial to me and my health. I know. Crazy right?


But yeah, I love it. If you haven’t tried meditation, you definitely should.


Be rational. Discuss with yourself or someone you trust. Two heads are better than one.


I haven’t met a problem that has been solved by being negative. Honestly, thinking negatively and acting on these negative thoughts can even make things worse for you. But we are human and we can become engulfed by so much emotion sometimes. We can’t think straight.


When you can and really need it, sit down and really think about the situation. Put down the pros and cons and how your outlook on what is happening can really affect you and what you might do next.


Hope you had a great read and are on your way to being better and happier!





Recommended Readings:

How to stop caring what other people think of you

How to enjoy life

Remove fear and social anxiety

How to become the Right Kind of Confident



Photo Credits: Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels.com 

 


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The title says it and I will say it all over in this post because this message needs to be out there: Do not use soap on your face.


Don’t laugh because this needs to be public knowledge that soap is not good for you face.


In this post, I will talk about:

  • The acid mantle
  • How to protect and repair the acid mantle
  • Importance of pH levels of a cleanser
  • Why soap is bad for the face
  • How to choose a good cleanser


We all dream of beautiful, glowing skin, right?


We continuously search for products and routines that can give us the skin we want. We buy all these creams, cleansers, moisturizers, serums, sunscreens, and tools and get special treatments in hopes that the day we’ve all been waiting for arrives that we can actually post a woke up like this photo in the morning without the need to edit out a single pimple or dark spot.


You might think you’ve got the routine down but then boop—new pimple forms. Then one more, and another! It’s crazy. What are you doing wrong?


If you are using soap as a cleanser, then mystery solved.


Take a bar of soap and look at it. That bar is alkaline.


Being alkaline means that it has a pH level above neutral. Water, which has a pH level of 7, is neutral. Any substance with a pH level below that is acidic and those above that level is considered alkaline or basic.


So, soap is an alkaline substance and the natural pH of the skin is mildly acidic, between 4.5 and 5.5.


What is the biggie? Why can’t alkaline and acidic be friends?



The Acid Mantle

First, we need to talk about the acid mantle.


The acid mantle is a thin film that guards the skin against bacteria and contaminants. What composes the acid mantle?

  • sebum that is secreted from the sebaceous glands
  • sweat


The combination of these two form the slightly acidic barrier that sits on top of the skin and plays an important role in protecting the skin from bacteria, viruses and contaminants that may try to penetrate into the skin.


The importance of pH levels of a cleanser

In order to keep your acid mantle healthy and intact, you have to maintain that slightly acidic pH level of the skin.


A face cleanser which is not pH balanced will weaken the structure of the acid mantle and expose your skin to all the dirt and contaminants. The more alkaline a cleanser is, the more chances of irritation on the face brought about by the stripping of moisture a.k.a. natural oils can occur which then leads to a whole set of problems for your skin.


Why Soap is Bad for the Face

When you continuously use alkaline products such as soap to wash your face, you are actually damaging the acid mantle and whacking up your skin’s pH level.


By using soap as your cleanser, you are leaving your skin in a worse state than it may already be in by:

  • Stripping it of all its moisture (natural oils)
  • Drying the skin
  • Sensitizing the skin
  • Allowing bacteria and dirt to infect and breed on the skin causing pimples and other skin problems


How to Protect and Repair the Acid Mantle

To keep the acid mantle healthy and intact, it’s important that your skin is not stripped of moisture and that you maintain its natural pH level by using the proper products.


For those who are tired of reading paragraphs:

  • Choose a good cleanser (Check list and recommendations at the end of this post)
  • Do not use soap (soap is not a cleanser, that should be clear by now)
  • Do not over wash your face (two times a day maximum)
  • Do not over exfoliate
  • Moisturize your skin (even oily skin types)
  • Avoid products with drying ingredients (alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)


The first and most important one is to choose the right cleanser. There are a gazillion cleansers out there. At the end of this blog post, I have provided a checklist for picking a proper cleanser and some recommendations of products from bloggers and skin coaches I trust and also from my own personal experience.


For the hundredth time: Do not use soap as a cleanser.


When you got a good cleanser, remember to not over- wash your face because even a good cleansing can be overdone and destroy the skin. Same thing when it comes to exfoliating the skin. Overdoing is overkill. If you wash your face more than twice a day, you continually disrupt the natural pH level of your skin.


Keep the skin healthy and happy by using a moisturizer. Remember that I said stripping the face of its natural oils is bad because it ruins your acid mantle and disrupts the natural pH level. The one thing that helps the acid mantle strive is by keeping skin moisturized.


Lastly, by all means, never use drying alcohols on your face. That sht is ultra-stripping and drying for your skin. Some examples of drying alcohols or bad alcohols are alcohol denatured, isopropyl alcohol, Benzyl alcohol, methanol and ethanol.


Repair the Acid Mantle

Want some good news? A damaged acid mantle is not permanent. It may take a few hours or some months, depending on the damage done, for the skin and the acid mantle to be healthy and restored.


The key word in repairing your acid mantle is hydration.


The best way to do this is with moisturizer, of course. Get a moisturizer with really good hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin.


Another way is by using a toner.


Fun fact: Toners became popular for balancing the skin’s pH level after cleansing.


However, if you have a really good cleanser, toner is no longer necessary. But if you do decide to use a toner, make sure it has no alcohol in it. So many brands put alcohol in their toners because it gives a refreshing clean feeling after use and helps the product penetrate better (but it’s actually just drying your skin).



Choosing the Right Cleanser

Have you ever noticed after using a particular cleanser, that your face feels tight and less greasy? That’s actually a bad thing. It is a sign of dryness because all the oils have been washed away. Your skin is thirsty.


The skin does not need to be squeaky clean to the point that it is rid of all the natural oils that help protect it. This can happen when your cleanser has high amounts of alcohol in it or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a very common surfactant ingredient in soaps and cleanser but is so bad for the skin because it strips all the goodness, leaving skin tight, dry and irritated.


The cleansing step, being the first step in a basic skincare routine, is very crucial. It is the make it or break it stage. With so many cleansers out on the market, it’s difficult to make a choice as to which one is the best for you. Don’t be fooled by advertising and gimmicks though because skincare is all in the ingredients and formulation.


A good daily cleanser should:

  • Have a slightly acidic pH level (5.5 is ideal)
  • Gives an excellent clean
  • Alcohol-free
  • Is not or does not contain soap
  • SLS-free
  • contain no fragrance/essential oils (will irritate the skin)


Cleanser Recommendations:

  • Bioderma Sensibio H2O recommended by Olena Beley (pH level: 5.5Just make sure to wash it off. Cleansing means removing dirt and grime from the skin and you gotta take all the product off too. 

  • Himalaya Purifying Neem & Turmeric Face Wash (pH level: 5.5I personally use it and it’s been so good to my skin.

  • Human Nature Nourishing Face Wash (pH level: 5.0This isn’t the best with removing stubborn makeup in my experience but it’s still great for morning cleansing or cleansing at night if you wore no makeup during the day.

  • Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser recommended by Kenna Whitnell (pH level: 5.5


A master list of cleansers with their pH levels 


If you read the entire article and reached the end, thank you, you’re a real champ! If you have been using soap on your face, no worries, I’ve been there too but now we know better.


I hope you can share this with all your friends and loved ones, especially those who still use soap as a face cleanser.




Photo Credits: Polina Tankilevitch via Pexels.com


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