How to Get Ready for A (Non-Camping) Music Festival

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Congrats! You’ve purchased your ticket to go to a music festival! Now what?

When I attended my first two-day music festival I was WOEFULLY unprepared. This was way back in 2013 at Lights All Night in Dallas. I’ve learned so much since then. The mistakes I made could have been completely avoided had I done a little research. Don’t be like me and end up at a show completely unprepared. I’m compiling what all I’ve learned since then here. NOTE: this post is for a non-camping music festival.

Lodging:

  • Stay in an event affiliated hotel- If you’re not lucky enough to live in the same town as the event, you’ve got to plan somewhere to stay. Sometimes the festival works deals with local hotels in order to give the attendees a discounted rate. I would definitely check the event website to see if they have this option. I did this when attending Something Wicked in Houston a couple of years ago and it was kind of awesome because we were able to make friends with lots of other festie people back at the hotel.
  • Airbnb, but book way in advance- If you’re going to go this route I highly recommend booking it ASAP as possible (#officejoke hehe). The good ones book up fast and you don’t want to be left with slim pickings in a rough area or extremely far away from the event. Those uber rides add up y’all!
  • Utilize lodging that provides shuttles when possible (& DON’T forget to tip!)-Speaking of uber rides, think about your transportation. We especially prefer to stay in affiliated hotels if they offer a shuttle to and from the event. The hotel I stayed at for Lights all Night 2018 offered a shuttle to the event which was really nice. You get to ride over with all your buddies in one vehicle and again, save on Uber costs.

Also, tip the driver! From my friend John: “If you remember, we were on the last shuttle over to LAN and it filled up and our whole crew didn’t make it down on time to get on. When he dropped us off, I talked to him for a minute to ask how his night was going because he seemed a little grumpy. He said something about how they probably wouldn’t do this shuttle again because the tipping was terrible. It never even dawned on me to do this. Think about it, he’s dealing with a lot of crazy stuff going back and forth. I happily gave him a tip which put a big smile on his face. I mentioned our whole crew didn’t make it over and he said he’ll make a trip back to get them, call them and tell them to be waiting.” It’s important to tip if you’re not directly paying for the ride.

 

Preparations:

  • Exercise beforehand- You’ll be exploring the festival for a good part of the day, hopping from stage to stage, and most importantly, dancing to your favorite artists throughout the night!  Stamina is key here! Use this as motivation to get into an exercise routine if you don’t have one already! Besides the obvious day to day benefits (I feel so much better when I’m exercising regularly), I’ve noticed festivals are much more enjoyable when I’ve been sticking to my exercise routine than when I’m slacking. (And there’s the added benefit of feeling good in my outfit!) After a long day of walking around and dancing, you’ll still want energy for the most important part of the day; the headliners! They’re always the last ones on for the night and this is where you’ll notice your exercise paying off because your legs won’t be on fire!

  • Bring a Hydration pack Get yourself a hydration pack before to take with you. If you’re doing a lot of walking and dancing into the night you’re going to need to rehydrate. Purchasing water bottles and carrying them around with you is A. a pain and B. costs money. A hydration pack frees up having to hold anything and holds a lot more water than one water bottle so that way you don’t have to leave the crowd every time you’re thirsty and risk losing your spot and your friends. There are usually free water stations located around the event to refill up your pack between shows. Find those on the map and know where they’re at! Make sure they’re empty when you arrive, can’t bring them in full. Use the code HOLLYDAY10 for 10% off your order at Vibedration! 
  • Be mindful of what you do decide to take & consider a fanny pack- Be conscious of what you put in the pockets. At one festival during a set, I witnessed a man trying to steal a cell phone out of the girl’s backpack right in front of me. It’s uncommon but it does happen. Fanny packs are another great option for if you have an item you’re really concerned about. And don’t just get a plain one! Get one that stands out. I’ve got my eye on this sling pack from Vibedration, rn!
  • Must-have’s to bring in: These are some items I always bring: cash, ID, gum, earplugs, hotel key (or whatever you’re using to get back into your lodging), credit or debit card, your ticket if you printed it, and a mobile juice pack with a charging cord. I usually have them scan my ticket from my phone and if you would prefer to do this make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave!
  • Read the event website for prohibited items- Don’t be that person who waits an hour in line just to realize when you get to the security check that your bag doesn’t meet the requirements. Then you’ll have to either A. throw it away or B. have to go all the way back to the hotel and go through the security line again and risk missing a show you really wanted to see! It takes two seconds to find the list on the event website and read it.

What to wear:

  • Comfort above all else- you may think I’m crazy since I am totally all about servin’ up a ~lewk~ but I’ve totally learned my lesson that being in pain all night from cute AF shoes or freezing because you just had to wear that crop top is not worth it. You will be moving around a lot so you can imagine why most people wear stretchy clothing! When picking out my shoes I like to have my feet entirely covered. If you like to push up in the crowd it’s good to have your feet protected. And wear shoes that you’re not afraid to get dirty. My go-to shoes are my New Balance sneaks, Converse, or recently I purchased a pair of Vans and Doc Martens.

 

  • Then what do I wear?- Seriously, whatever you want. This is a judgment-free zone. If you’re wondering what I like to throw on for events, check out my Instagram page for a few options. I like leggings, bodysuits, high-waisted flares, COMFY shoes, BRIGHT colors, sparkles, and anything that people will actually appreciate at an event like this. Have fun with it but I’m serious about putting comfort first!

Some of my favorite brands are SeaDragon Studio, Forever 21, Victoria Secret (Swim & Sport), iHeartRaves, & Princess Polly.

  • Bring something to keep you warm- I’ve attended festivals before where I dressed for the day time temperature but once that sun went down and I was outside of the crowd, I was very much regretting my outfit choice. The best purchase I ever made was a pashmina. Those are the colorful scarves that you see at just about every fest. It is honestly is so versatile. And they’re fun to dance with! My friend John always stuffs a long sleeve Under Armour shirt in his bag just in case.  It’s thin, lightweight, doesn’t take up much space and makes a world of difference if you need it!
  • A bandana/face mask- I got a one of these as a gift for my friend when he first started coming to festivals with me. They’re really versatile. They keep your face and neck warm when it’s cold & I’ve used mine as a dust mask before. Lastly, they’re just a fun lil touch on your outfit.
  • If it rains: Clearly, check the weather before you go to see if there is any chance of rain. If there is you’re going to want to plan accordingly. Some of my good friends have started a company called (hugs:) Universe in which they’re creating the perfect festival poncho. Not only will it be fashionable but they’ve taken great care to craft it specifically for festival goers. Their company isn’t just about a rain poncho though, their mission is much greater.

From the (hugs:) website: “hugs:) Universe is a space for good people to create and share new experiences that develop and support mental fitness, health and total wellness.”

Make a game plan:

  • Plan who you want to see- Obviously, some of the acts on the line up caught your eye which is why you purchased your ticket OR your friends are going, you don’t know who’s on the line up, but you know it’s fun and want to go along (like me circa 2013 LAN). By now I usually know most of the top acts but there are always artists on the line up who I’ve never listened to so I like to take the time before the event and listen to the other artists to see if that’s a set I’d like to try to catch. You never know who your new favorite will be!
  • Look at the Event MapAfter narrowing down who you want to see, check the daily schedule set times so you can plan out the logistics. And YES it’s important to do this because they’re usually not all at the same stage! You’re going to have to map out who is playing where and at what time. Sometimes there are conflicting set times for artists we want to see and had split the set so we could see both.
  • Make the day’s set schedule + your name and a friend’s phone number your phone background- Honestly, the majority of the time I’m at the actual event, I’m looking at my phone for the set times to understand who is playing at the moment (yes, sometimes you’re not sure because their name isn’t projected on the screen behind them the whole time) or what time the next set starts so I know if it’s time to start moving that way in order to get a good spot or if I have time to go to the bathroom or refill my hydration pack before the next set starts! If you do happen to lose your phone, make it easy for whoever finds it to get it back to you. In the past, I’ve put my name and a friends phone number as my lock screen for this exact reason.  See example below!

  • Set a permanent meet up spot- It’s always a good idea to set a permanent meet spot for your crew. You need a game plan for if your phone dies, you lose signal, or your phone is lost/stolen. It really does happen. I did this when I attended Bonnaroo and I was glad I did because I did lose signal and was needing to find my people before the next show. I found them at the meet-up spot and was thankful we had that plan in place.

 

These are all things I wish I knew before my first event. It would have made my time much more enjoyable. I hope these help you when planning to attend your first festival! If you have tips or tricks you’ve learned over the years I’d love to hear them in the comments!

❤ Holly

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Totally Bingeable Podcasts

Y’all. I’ve jumped into the podcast game hard. I’ve been listening religiously to and from work for the past 6 months. In that time I’ve been able to discern the good from the bad and I’ve compiled a list of the ones I think best uplift, inspire, and motivate 20-something millennial women, like myself!

 

  1. Melyssa Griffin’s Pursuit with Purpose — I’m not sure how I came across this podcast but I’ve listened to just about every episode. It looks like she stopped making new ones in June 2018 but she has over 30 episodes up and they’re all around an hour each. Melyssa is fantastic at interviewing her guests, leaving the listener with actionable steps when they’re over. She interviews some top names such as Deepak Chopra, Bobbi Brown, and Gabby Bernstein. Because of her, I’ve been introduced to so many more great entrepreneurs that have phenomenal advice on work and real-life issues. At first, her mission was to help women in their businesses but realized that in order to thrive you need to be well rounded as a person which is why at the end of every episode she asks her guests, “What do you feel people should do to live a more meaningful and fulfilled life?”
  2. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations I’ve only just begun listening to this podcast but I know I’ll be listening to more. I was first tipped off about it from another podcast in which a guest referred to her episode with Amy Schumer being very meaningful to her. So, of course, I had to go listen to that. And it was amazing. So I continued with the next “Best of the Podcast” and those episodes were with Ted Talk speaker, Brene Brown. I was not disappointed! Go listen right now if you need a little bit of a soul “awakening”.
  3. Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast — I love Jenna Kutcher. I love everything she stands for. If you don’t know who she is, go look her up. She is all about body positivity, teaching other women how to run their business better, and giving general advice on life that is SO helpful. She’s all about helping you reach your goals. I am so inspired by her work. She’s a photographer turned Instagram influencer and all around girl boss bad a$$. She has also shared her story with miscarriage. I admire her strength and she provides the best advice for an array of topics on her podcast.

 

This may seem like a short list but there are a bunch of episodes for these three so it’s a good start. As I listen to more I will post another list of bingeable podcasts in the future! 🙂

P.S. for my teacher friends! ….I also cannot leave you without mentioning Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers podcast. Last year was a really overwhelming school year and I was feeling pretty down about the profession…I found this podcast and it has helped me remember why I went into this profession to begin with! This helps so much in times of distress and addressing a lot of teacher specific issues. She also shares extremely useful tips on how to truly work a 40 hour work week! Which we all know is difficult because our job is never done! I’ve got a handle on my teacher work life balance now but if I was still struggling I’d be joining her next cohort!

Do you listen to any of these podcasts? What are your thoughts?

Are there any other podcasts I should be listening to? Let me know in the comments!

12 Tips to Help with Anxiety

If you’re an actual human being, then you have probably experienced anxiety. It may have been on a small scale or it might have been all consuming. Either way, it’s not fun to experience. I didn’t realize anxiety was what I was experiencing until this past year when I was officially told by the doctor. I went through some rough times and did not handle it well. After many months of helping myself and learning as much as I could, I’ve taught myself how to better cope with what I now realize is just a part of who I am. If you can relate to any of that, then this is for you! I’ve compiled a list of ways I’ve found that help with anxiety. Here we go!

Better ways to deal with anxiety than letting it consume you:

  • Diet- clean it up. Less processed foods and so many more fruits and vegetables! As one of my friends just reminded me: your gut is your second brain and if it’s feeling good it will send positive feelings towards your brain.
  • Exercise– Obviously exercise is known to release endorphins but when you’re doing it, it also gets your mind off your worries. An added bonus is confidence because you’ll be looking good and feeling better about yourself!
  • When you are feeling anxiety coming on, think of a time when you felt really great or something really awesome happened and how it made you feel. The key here is bringing back that feeling, not necessarily the thought. So that way you literally changed how you are feeling at that moment. You can take charge of the things happening in your brain and not the other way around. I’ve already been using this frequently since I learned about it.
  • Breathing- There are many different techniques out there but for example taking a breath in for 4 seconds and releasing for 6 seconds.
  • Knowing that in the past to stay alive as humans our automatic anxious response is negative because in the past we needed this to keep us safe from predators. However, in most cases now, you should not be in fight or flight mode on the daily.
  • Sleep- Make it a priority! This sounds so simple but seems to be an issue with quite a lot of people. Get serious about your sleep schedule and know when your body needs rest.
  • Mental health days- I’ve started learning my body better and I have sick days so I allow myself to take those for mental health because if I don’t I will make myself physically ill and end up taking them eventually anyway.
  • Only put as much on your plate as you can handle, everything else can wait. Gah, this is so huge as a teacher. Your job is never done. There’s always a million things you can think of to do but just know that they will eventually get done and not to overdo it or you WILL burn out. I speak from experience.
  • Be present. Stop thinking ahead and really be in the now. YOUR life is happening now. Do not wait for the weekend for it to start, do not wait for your vacation for it to start, do not wait for anything to really be present each day and enjoy it NOW or it will pass you by.
  • Journaling- I used to poo-poo this idea. But once I embraced it, holy sh*t I feel so much better. Sometimes it helps me process what I’m feeling and make sense of it and sometimes it’s just to vent when I don’t want to talk to another person about it.
  • Listen to an audiobook or podcast – I recently started doing this and it helps calm my anxiety on my way to work. I highly recommend The Anxiety Podcast by Tim JP Collins. I can almost always leave his podcasts and have actionable steps afterward.
  • Learn something new– Are you interested in something but have never taken the time to look into it? Do it now! Last April I started teaching myself how to set up and run a blog. Then for my blog, I wanted good quality photos so I have now started teaching myself some photography basics. It feels so good to teach yourself a new skill. Seriously, now I can add blogger and writer to my LinkedIn skills. 🙂 see? Even helps out on your resume.

If this helped you in any way, please let me know in the comments!

xo,

holly

Mini Pittsburgh Trip

Over the thanksgiving break I was able to join my boyfriend on a surprise visit to Pittsburgh to see his mom.

^ (Bae & his mom)

Listen, he is so sweet. He bought his mom and aunt tickets to a Penguins game. He led them to believe he just bought the two of them tickets but secretly he bought 3 seats together in order to surprise them at the game. We arrived in town a little later than we’d like so they were already at the game when he arrived. He said when he walked up he exclaimed, “Hey! I think y’all are in my seats!” At first they were mad but then realized who it was & he described it to me like this, “I think they scared the whole section, they screamed so loud you would think someone was being murdered!” Haha! I wish I could have been there to see their reaction but I didn’t decide to join on this trip until after he purchase the tickets! 🙂

After surprising his mother and extended family we were able to join them the following day for Thanksgiving and then do some quick sight seeing the following {black} Friday.

We didn’t have too much time in the city but while were were there our tops picks were as follows:

1. Randyland

Randyland is a a modern day instagrammers dream. This is Randy’s home in which he has hand painted the most colorful pieces of artwork. His goal is to bring happiness to his neighborhood but he was able to bring a smile to this out-of-towners face with his artwork as well! Almost everything in his little section of the neighborhood is garbage that he repurposed! Love the artwork and his inclusive message. This is a must see spot!

2. The Andy Warhol Museum

This was Barkleys top pick! It’s seven floors of artwork either by Andy Warhol or inspired by. I knew Warhol’s most famous pop art but he created so much more than that. One thing I learned was he actually had long career in film.

^ This right here is Barkley watching a film of one of Warhol’s friends just smoking a cigar. Literally all it was. He said this was his favorite lol!

One of my favorites. I love bright colors and flowers and this is a combination of both!

I won’t put too many pictures of the museum because I think you should go experience it yourself! 🙂

3. Food!

Aside from eating a fantastic thanksgiving dinner at his mom’s we also ventured out to eat at some local spots.

Barkley had made us reservations at the Whitfield but when I woke up I was in need of a Belgium waffle stat! Lol so I went to yelp and found Waffles Incaffienated so we had to try it out. It was a neat little spot on “the south side” which is apparently where all the college kids hang out. They have all kinds of variations of waffles but I ultimately wanted something sweet and savory so I got the chicken and waffles and he got raspberry crepes. Would recommend if your in the mood for a good brunch! Only downside is no mimosas! 🙂

After our sightseeing were in the mood for Mexican so we stopped by Bakersfield downtown. This is a new age Mexican restaurant. We got street style tacos and pineapple margaritas! It was delicious and honestly not unreasonably priced!

Lastly, I will also recommend the room service at the Omni William Penn. I ordered a quesadilla from them late night and it was surprisingly one of the best quesadilla’s I’ve ever had! Who would have guessed?!

4. Lodging

Barkley booked us a stay at the Omni William Penn. I honestly had no idea where we were staying until like the day before we left! Lol I left the trip planning up to him and was not disappointed! This was a beautiful hotel!

There was a speakeasy on the bottom floor but unfortunately not open during our stay!

Their lobby was already decorated for Christmas so of course we had to get some pictures in front of their tree.

I chose my my actual thanksgiving outfit wisely! Knit poncho sweater (This one is a couple of years old but I have my eye on this one next!), wool hat (similar) , and leggings! I did not regret wearing my stretchy pants.

I made sure to dress super comfortable on our sight seeing day. I needed to be fashionable, comfortable, and warm and this sweater fit all 3! It’s longer and it’s so soft and warm! Currently going to buy it in more colors! And best part is it’s half off right now! Only $25!

I also brought an old vest (similar under 20$ rn!) that I bought when I worked at Loft back in college. This vest is such good quality and I’ve worn it for several winters already. You seriously cannot go wrong with LOFT vests they are very good quality! Currently eyeing more puffer vests like this!

Leggings

These are seriously the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever owned. If you need comfy walking shoes GET THESE!

Since we were going to Randyland I had to have my pop of color, too! Brought my trusty beanie.

I hope this helps ya out if you’re wondering where to go or what to eat if you ever make it to Pittsburgh!

Hope you all had a great thanksgiving!

Xo, holly

Fall 1970

Ok if you’ve not been living under a rock you’ll know that 70s style is making a huge come back! I see it everywhere now. Good thing, though, because I am deft feeling it.

I saw this cord skirt at express a month or two ago and I had to have it. I deft struggled forever though when I bought it because I couldn’t decide if I wanted it to fit tighter or looser and I’m glad I went for the tighter fit. I’ve learned my lesson from purchases in the past in which they stretch out and then I never wear it again. Ok I searched for my exact skirt but could not find it since I got it at the express outlet, but here is a similar one! It’s a hot item I suppose because I found a ton of these skirts in all different colors!

I’m surprised I even own this turtle neck bodysuit. Never really been a fan of turtle necks but I down for it now. The only reason I have on short sleeves with this is because it was randomly 80 degrees this day so I would actually prefer it with a long sleeve top like this.

{these boots were made for walkin!….but not v far}

My shoes (similar) are a year or two old but I swear I’ll never stop wearing them because they have glitter on the heel! 😁 can’t stop won’t stop with the glitter 🤷🏼‍♀️

What’s your fave fall trend this season?

-holly

{jump}suit for joy

Lately I’ve been looking for ways to bring more joy to my life. Like for example, I have a lil bit of a commute to work. I now take that time to listen to podcasts and audio books to learn new things when before I would just listen to npr. And while I like hearing the news, I just needed a news detox. The world can be so negative.

I also used to spend a lot of time on social media just looking at things and wasting my time. But this summer I decided to be more of a participant and started this blog and made an insta that was public so I could start interacting with people who enjoy clothes as much as I do.

Lastly, I stopped taking myself so seriously at work. Like, our job as teachers can be tough at times but I’m making it a point to really find the joy in everyday and focus more on connecting with the students than being so entrenched in data. Like seriously, these are little humans we’re dealing with. Not scores on assessments! I really get so much enjoyment watching them grow in character as much as academics.

Ok now about this outfit. I cannot tell you how comfortable this jumpsuit is. The outside is velvet. And it’s stretchy, too! I really took a chance on this because I NEVER wear yellow. But, it’s time to branch out.

Ok for some reason this outfit made me want to do this pose. Maybe to show you how stretchy it is?! Haha. 🙃 I feel like this would look cute with flats as well but for the pics these heels won out.

I hope you can start finding joy in the everyday grind of your life, too.

Holly

Fall wedding

Yesterday I attended my cousins wedding out in my hometown. It was at 9:30 in the morning followed by a brunch afterwards and I must say it was absolutely beautiful! Since the weather decided to take a turn back to summer temperatures I made sure to wear something light and airy as I knew everything would be outside.

This dress (similar but diff color/print) was actually bought for my graduation from grad school and I hadn’t worn it since so I thought it was time to pull it back out. The only thing I didn’t like about it was I wish it was a little more fitted. However, I really like the high neckline so I could wear this statement necklace (similar)I love but never get to wear!

I considered wearing flats because the wedding was outside but my heels (similar style) worked out okay because the heel is chunkier so I didn’t sink into the ground!

The rest of my day was spent watching football and celebrating my friends dirty 30!

How cute is my friend kenny with her balloons!

Alright, until next time💕

Holly