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Coachella Survival Guide: 10 Tips & Tricks To Help You Survive

Coachella is right around the corner and while I won’t be going this year, I wanted to share a few things that worked for me (and tips I wish I knew!) prior to going.

 

1) KIMONOS & SCARVES WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND

While kimonos and scarves are a great addition to every outfit, it’s so much more than that. I didn’t realize how useful my kimono and scarf would be and had I known, I would’ve brought more. They were my multi-purpose tools throughout Coachella weekend.

I used my kimono as a scarf: This is crucial! The walk from the shuttle to the actual location gets so dusty that you really want something that will cover your nose and mouth. And if you’re like me and you’re allergic to everything (& you get asthma!) having a kimono or a light scarf to wrap around your face is so important. Others use bandannas as well. You’ll also find that when there’s a lot of smoke around you and it gets hard to breathe, having the kimono, scarf, or bandanna will help!

I used my kimono as a mini-picnic blanket: While sitting and laying on the grass is a part of the experience, if you have a kimono, you can use it as a mini-picnic blanket, too! And when it gets colder at night and you’re waiting for the next artist to play, you can use it as a blanket.

 

2) BRING YOUR OWN HYGIENIC PRODUCTS

The restroom situation: I’ll start by stating my deep hatred for porta potties. So you could only imagine my dismay, thinking about having to use the restroom at Coachella. Most days, I made sure to use the restroom at the house we rented before going to the festival, but lucky me, the year I went was the first year they had REAL bathrooms set up.

Pros: There were a TON of stalls and it was much “cleaner” than the porta potties. Also, the line moves faster compared to the porta potty lines.
Cons: It’s located in the middle of the festival, pretty far from the stages. So as long as you buddy up, it’ll be safer to go.

There is one section with restroom trailers that was clean as well, so that’s another option.

The porta potties will be easier to get to and there are more spread out throughout the festival, but I definitely prefer and suggest the real bathrooms, even if I have to hold it and sprint across the festival to get there!

Now enough of my neat freak rant, let’s talk about hygienic products you need to bring with you to feel fresh and flowery throughout the festival.

  • Cleansing cloth wipes: The tissue-paper won’t be the best quality and some stalls run out, so having wipes in your purse will be the best thing ever! My favorite would be Summer’s Eve’s cleansing cloths because you can buy the cloths in one big pack or get the individually packed cloths.
  • Deodorant spray: If you need to freshen up your underarms, a travel-sized deodorant will be good for you but the kind of deodorant spray I’m talking about is the kind for down under. My favorite would be Summer’s Eve’s deodorant spray. If you have a teeny purse, this might be annoying to carry, but it’s really good to have! A great refresher.
  • Face mist: Depending on the weather when you go, the heat can really get the best of you and dry up your skin. A face mist is nice for skin re-hydration and it’s a good pick-me-up when you want to feel refreshed. I actually use MAC’s PREP + PRIME Setting Spray as my face mist; it re-hydrates my skin and sets my make-up!
  • Sunscreen: You’ll be under the sun for so long you need to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Try to find a travel size one and just refill it!

3) WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES

This is supposed to be a given but if you’re like me and you sacrifice comfort for fashion, DON’T.

If you’re not camping and you rent a house, you’ll  have to walk from your house rental to one of the shuttle pick-ups then walk from the shuttle drop-off to the entrance.

In other words, there will be a lot of walking. When you get to the festival, you can absolutely take off your shoes and dance around barefoot, but for all the pre-walking you do to get to the festival, you really want to have comfortable shoes on.

4) BRING A FAN

If you can bring one of those little battery-powered fans, bring it. If it’s too heavy, then a paper, folding fan would do the trick! This was one item I really wish I brought, but didn’t. I saw other people have them and I really wished I did the same.

It’s not a problem at night when the breeze hits and the weather feels cooler but it makes a difference during the day and it’s warm! Especially being in the center of a crowd, waiting for the next artist to perform.

5) BRING A BAG THAT STICKS TO YOUR BODY

By that I mean: Fanny-packs and cross-body bags! Don’t bring a clutch or a handbag because it’ll be such a pain to carry and you might end up losing it.


6) BRING A PORTABLE CHARGER

Who doesn’t love taking photos nowadays? Even though it’s important to immerse yourself in every single one of your Coachella moments, there’s definitely nothing wrong with documenting it. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t know what they’re talking about. There’s no Wi-Fi (or phone signals for that matter) so it’s not like you’ll be wrapped in your social media accounts.

Pictures are memories. And these will be memories you definitely want to remember!

So bring a portable charger. There are charging stations at Coachella, but let’s be real, who wants to hang out at the charging station? Doesn’t sound fun.

7) BRING WALKIE-TALKIES

I was such a nomad at Coachella and walked around by myself to explore (which I totally recommend you do) and as I mentioned, there’s no signal, so the only way I could keep in contact with the people I was with was through walkie-talkies.

Multiple people overlap on the channels so having clever code names will help make sure you’re talking to the right person.

“Eagle one, come in & stop drinking that mojito”

8) BRING SUNGLASSES

This helps with the dust again! & the sun, obviously. But I’m telling you, that dust will get you. Bring a few pairs just in case you lose one.

9) BRING EPSOM SALT

Bet you didn’t expect this on the list because I know I didn’t.

After all the walking you do, soaking your feet at the end of the day in hot water with Epsom salt will help your feet and legs recover for the next day! I promise, it makes a huge difference.

10) BRING TISSUES

You won’t even notice how much dust you’re sniffing and ingesting. You’re going to blow your nose and you’re gonna see SO. MUCH. GUNK. Bring packed tissues and toss them in your bag so you can blow your nose throughout the day. Trust me, you’ll want to.

So there you have it! I hope this guide helps you survive Coachella.

Drink watermelon frescas, dance around barefoot and wear as many flower crowns as you want!

❀May the Coachella gods be with you.❀

Headshots for Zoe Marie ♡

That really awkward moment when you realize a 5-year-old knows how to pose in front of a camera better than you.

Meet my baby cousin, Zoe Marie Paman, who’s a natural in front of the camera!
Here are a few head shots I took of her:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love taking photos of children that adore and revere being in front of the camera! I’ve mostly done photoshoots with kids and it’s truly so enjoyable. The confidence they end up exerting in front of the camera once they get comfortable is incomparable. Insecurities don’t exist for them. They just have fun. And I think that’s what really shines in front of the camera.

Preparing For The First Day of College

Well everyone, it’s that time of the year again. The new school year is about to begin and it’s time to get back to the same ol’ routine of doing homework, running to the coffee shop, getting extra espresso shots, and doing some more homework.

For those who are just starting college for the first time ever, I decided to share some tips that worked for me (& tips I wish I knew prior) to starting my first day of college!

Tip #1: Know where your classes are before the first day.

The first day of school can be nerve-racking enough without having to walk in late to a class. Print out your school schedule & print out a campus map. Mark which buildings you need to go to and write what time you need to get there on the map. (My university has a school app for smart phones, but those online maps can get pretty confusing so I opted for the old-school version). I know it may seem pretty lame having a map; but I promise you, it will make your day go by smoother, especially if some of your class times are only 15 minutes apart. 15 minutes isn’t always enough time to get from one end of campus to the other so knowing where to go is crucial. You’ll be maximizing your time. Nobody likes feeling lost!

(Extra Tip: Arrive on campus an hour before your first class even starts & do a walk-through of which buildings you need to go to using your map. It’s a lot of walking, yes, but think of it as exercise & a favor for yourself! You’ll be familiar with how your building looks, where your classroom is, and how to get there before your first class even starts).

Tip #2: Get to school early & get to your classes early. 

I’m not just saying this because being late is an unlikeable characteristic. I’m saying this because-

1) PARKING WILL BE TERRIBLE. If you don’t live on campus, you’re most likely driving yourself or commuting to school. You have to find parking & it is TERRIBLE on the first day of school. On top of that, there’s traffic! Get to school early.

2) Some classes are so packed that if you arrive late, there are either no chairs & you have to sit on the floor (this is especially true if it’s a lecture hall!) or you have to walk past 40+ people then squeeze your way through 15+ people to get the chair in the very back corner. Not fun. Get to your classes early!

Tip #3: Make at least one friend in each class.

Now I’m no social butterfly but I do make an effort to introduce myself to at least one person in each of my classes. I’ve gotten fairly good at this because I rarely have old classmates or friends in my classes. Being in a room full of people you don’t know may sound intimidating, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise. It’s forced me to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people!

So try to make at least one friend in each class & exchange numbers with them. When you start to have questions about homework assignments or you miss class & need notes, you’ll be glad you made at least one friend!

Tip #4: Check the weather before getting ready for school & dress comfortably.

I cannot stress how important it is to check the weather so you can dress accordingly. I live in Vegas & we locals are no strangers to the bi-polar weather. One spring day, I wore a dress with gladiator sandals. Of course, it rained that day. It was terrible trying to avoid stepping on puddles & wet grass. Then one autumn day, I wore jeans, boots, & a thick sweater with a scarf. It was extremely warm & sunny that day & even though I took off my scarf, I was cooking underneath all of my layered clothing. Check your weather app or the weather channel while you’re eating breakfast or waiting for your shower to heat up. You won’t regret it.

No college student is ever lucky enough to have their classes in one vicinity so make sure to wear the proper shoes! Comfortable shoes don’t always mean Skechers or Crocs (but if that’s your kind of shoe, then power to ya!) – but I recommend closed-toed shoes & sandals that have ankle straps. A big no-no to flip flops. They hold no real support for your feet & if you’re not used to walking so much or walking fast, they can do real damage to your ankles. (I’m speaking from experience)

Tip #5: Buy a planner. 

With tons of reading assignments, homework sheets, online exercises, quizzes, tests, & papers that are due; it gets really overwhelming, really fast. Having a planner to write down all of the important dates will be of tremendous help. You’ll get your course syllabus the first day of school filled with significant dates & you can write those dates down in your planner. If a notebook planner isn’t your thing, there are plenty of homework apps for smartphones & laptops that you can use (i.e. myHomework, Evernote, iStudiezPro). Being organized is crucial if you want to do well in college. Procrastination is hard to shake off but if you’re at least a teensy bit organized, it will help!
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So there you have it, those are my tips for preparing for the first day of college! These don’t just apply to incoming freshman. I’m going to be a junior and I still prepare this way every semester. I hope these tips work for you!

& if you have any tips of your own to share, feel free to comment below!

 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before // P.S. I Still Love You: Book Reviews

Let me begin by stating that Jenny Han is a master at making her readers fall in love with her characters. Even characters you think you hate, you’ll find yourself genuinely liking and characteristics that are usually unbearable, you’ll end up liking about a character. It’s killer. (And one of the reasons why this book is such a page-turner).

Lara Jean, the protagonist of the story, writes letters to boys that she once loved with no intention of sending them. She writes the letters to essentially give herself closure. Being a letter-writer myself, I immediately felt drawn to the plot and wanted to see where it would go. And let me tell you, it goes. You’ll see Lara Jean grow from the first book to the second. She started off as a homebody who keeps to herself, stays home to read or bake, and spends majority of her time with her two sisters and her widowed father. Until one of the boys she wrote a letter to, Peter Kavinsky, the “It-Guy,” of the school, brings about a change in Lara Jean she didn’t think would happen.

The popular guy and the not-so-popular-girl; when is a story like that ever boring? If you’ve never fallen in love, reading,“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” and “P.S. I Still Love You,” will make you smile in anticipation for when the day comes. If you have been in love, you’ll remember- even miss– the feeling of falling in love for the first time.

In, “P.S. I Still Love You,” Lara Jean thinks that her letters have done all the damage it possibly could have until another handsome, dashing boy from her past resurfaces (yes, one she wrote a letter to as well).  Not only is that new conflict exciting but the growth of her character is so satisfying to see.

So to cover all my bases with this book:

Great family dynamic: Check.

Cute boy characters you wish existed in your nearby neighborhood: Check.

Friendships that will remind you of real-life friends you have (or had): Check.

Relatable conflicts and resolutions: Check.

A book that you’ll most likely want to read again & recommend to others: Check check.

I really don’t want to give away more than that because this book is a nice, easy read. If you’re looking for something life-altering, this book’s not it. Sure, it definitely has lessons that mature readers can still get out of; little reminders to be more bold, to live a little more, to indulge in the simple pleasures of life (there’s a lot of baking in this book, so prepare to crave some sweets!) and many more. But overall, just like there are feel-good movies, this is a feel-good book.

And frankly, it doesn’t need to be any more than that.

(P.S. (*pun intended*) Buy both books at the same time. I almost died reading the first one, thinking it was a stand-alone book, only to be left with the worst (because it was the best), unexpected cliff-hanger ever, followed by the realization that I wasn’t going to be able to read the sequel until a year later. Buy it both; save yourself the frustration).

(P.P.S. I really have my fingers crossed that this is a trilogy. Please Jenny Han, let it be a trilogy.)