Posts in Life
What to Wear to a Music Festival

Ah summer! Time for beaches, picnics, and music festivals. I went to my first music festival earlier this year and LOVED IT SO MUCH that I'm going to another one this month! While the first festival was a little in the middle of nowhere, this next one, InCuya,  is smack in the middle of downtown Cleveland, which means I don't quite have to dress like I'm in the middle of a big field. But no matter where you're attending your music festival, here are some tips and ideas on what to wear.

Check the weather: The weather will definitely impact your clothing choices, particularly if you're expecting rain. If rain is in the forecast, carry a rain jacket or a fold up poncho- definitely DO NOT be that annoying person with an umbrella stabbing everyone around you in the eye.  If rain is not in the forecast, you are extremely lucky and YAY for you!

Jazz up your own style: You don't have to dress like it's a costume party unless you really want to, but adopting a rock and roll, boho, or 70s vibe is usually an easy way to make sure you will 100% feel like you belong at a music festival. Fringe, braids, florals, flared pants, sneakers -- they are all perfect. Please leave your business casual/cocktail attire at home for this one. 

 Photo credit:  Paige Moag .  Charity  modeling her own vintage jeans,  Banyan Tree  top and bag,  Bombay Taxi Boutique earrings . 

Photo credit: Paige Moag. Charity modeling her own vintage jeans, Banyan Tree top and bag, Bombay Taxi Boutique earrings

Wear comfortable clothing: A music festival involves a lot of standing and dancing and sitting in the grass, so pick something that you can move in easily. Separates are best, and if you're going the dress route, make sure it is something that you can sit and stand in easily without flashing everyone. DO NOT wear a romper - most music festivals have porta-pottys and trying to maneuver a romper while trying not to touch anything is more challenging than its worth. I'm a big fan of pants (short or long ones) or lightweight jeans!

 Photo credit:  Paige Moag .  Brittney  is modeling Banyan Tree jeans and top,  Bombay Taxi Boutique  earrings, and her own fabulous turban and shoes. 

Photo credit: Paige Moag. Brittney is modeling Banyan Tree jeans and top, Bombay Taxi Boutique earrings, and her own fabulous turban and shoes. 

If you're going the pants or jeans route, pick a top that is comfortable and flattering. A real vintage band tee is a wonderful alternative, but if you don't have a real one, can't raid your parent's closet or get your self to a thrift store, a vintage inspired non-band tee is also a fabulous option.

 Photo credit:  Paige Moag.   Julia  is wearing her own jeans. T-shirt, bag, and lightweight sweater from  Banyan Tree , and bracelet from  Bombay Taxi Boutique . 

Photo credit: Paige Moag. Julia is wearing her own jeans. T-shirt, bag, and lightweight sweater from Banyan Tree, and bracelet from Bombay Taxi Boutique

Keep your jewelry simple: pick something light and uncomplicated - you don't want your ears to start hurting with heavy earrings, but other than that, pile on as much or as little as you like. Incidentally, we have some incredibly lightweight earrings in our store right now, and you can never go wrong with a fun, chunky bracelet

Be smart with your footwear: If its going to be raining, closed toed shoes are your best option. A bootie with a low heel is an excellent choice. If you're getting lucky with the weather, wear a supportive shoe. You may think that ballet flats are a great choice, but so many hours without arch support spells foot pain. Supportive doesn't have to mean orthotics (unless you need them) and Dr. Scholls and Naturalizer both have some really cute shoes that will keep your feet nice and supported. 

Savings tip: if you don't need next day delivery, shop either brand on using the Ebates app and make some extra cash back. 

Add a fun accessory: whether its big hat or a flower crown or a fabulous turban, this is THE place to rock your fabulous accessory. Wear it with pride!

 Photo credit:  Paige Moag . Charity is wearing her own shoes, but the rest of her clothing, including her fabulous belt bag and turban are all from  Banyan Tree . Earrings from  Bombay Taxi Boutique . 

Photo credit: Paige Moag. Charity is wearing her own shoes, but the rest of her clothing, including her fabulous belt bag and turban are all from Banyan Tree. Earrings from Bombay Taxi Boutique

If you're looking to attend a music festival in Cleveland this summer, I invite you to consider attending one or both days of InCuya on August 25th and 26th, 2018. Text INCUYA to 474747 to receive a special discount code. 

Big thanks to Banyan Tree for letting us play dress up in their store. 

what to wear to a music festival

So much love to photographer Paige Moag and my friends Charity Crawford of I Heart Cleveland, Reena Goodwin of Facteur PR, Brittney Moffat of According to Brittney, and Julia Kowalczyk of The Beard & The Broad for modeling these looks! 

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with InCuya. Thank you for reading and supporting posts like this one that allow me to continue creating fun content and to support local businesses and community initiatives. 

Why I'm Wearing a Dress I Hate

This past weekend, I wore a dress that by all accounts looks pretty - it photographs well, is very instagrammable, but the truth is, I HATE THIS DRESS. 


Why would I wear a dress I hate so much? 

A few months ago, I found myself inundated with Facebook and Instagram ads for a New Jersey based apparel company - the clothing looked very cute, and the prices were so unbelievably low, that after about 3 weeks of constant ads, I had reached by breaking point. I clicked through. The sheer volume of pretty summer clothes... I ended up buying 2 dresses and a bathing suit, all for a whopping $50.

About 10 days later my packages arrived. Dress 1, in a large, was so tiny that I'm not sure any normally proportioned woman would be able to get herself into it. The chest-to-shoulder ratio was so absurd that there was no possible way for it to fit well, or frankly, at all. The bathing suit, also a large, fit ok, but didn't look nearly as cute as it did online.

And then there was the tropical print dress - the one I hate. This was not one bit like the photo - completely sheer, this dress had the most absurd proportions of all. Another large, this one had regular to slightly skinny arms, but a chest cavity so impossibly large that I'm not sure how it was even remotely possible that the dress could fit well. Terrible cut, cheap fabric - I was 0.5/3 not this whole experience. 

And then there was the fact that I had spent $50 on this debacle. And if the retail value of this was $50, then what was the person making this dress even paid? And the environmental impact of having this clothing made, shipped from Asia, only to immediately end up in a landfill?! There was no choice - I had to wear the one dress I could actually get into. I had to make it work, if only to lessen the guilt I felt at all this waste. 

I wore it for a photoshoot, and then wore it again this past weekend, styled with a floral crown, flash tattoos, a fun Bombay Taxi Boutique bracelet, and amazing makeup - it was a look that worked, even in a dress I absolutely hated. 

Now, I am going to tell you who made these outfits, and even give you a link to the dress. But BE WARNED: if you click on the link to the dress, you will be served up non stop ads on Facebook and Instagram. With that warning in place, the dress came from SheIN (formerly known as She Inside - I know -- who came up with this horrible name?!) and you can find the object of my loathing here

Moral of the story: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 



Beach Reads

I have been reading A LOT this year. My goal was to read 25 books this year, and I've already blown way past this at 27 books and counting. As the temperatures rise, Nick and I have been spending more time at the beach. And besides falling asleep and playing in the water, I enjoy nothing more than a good, fluffy, light, beach read.

Here are my picks for the best beach reads I've read this year. These are not all necessarily new books, they just happen to be books I've read over the past few months.

Love and Other Words - Christina Lauren

I really enjoyed this book - it's a love story that flips back and forth between past and present. This is a slow burn kinda book, with a happy ending. There's a ridiculous "thing that happened" that causes the conflict, but honestly, it could have been easily avoided with a conversation. But, some of that realization comes with maturity, and well, let's just say that you shouldn't let this diminish the enjoyment of the book. If you remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time, or if you vividly remember falling in love with your current significant other, you will probably enjoy this book. 


One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter - Scaachi Koul

It's entirely possible that I have a bias towards this book because it is written by the child of Indian immigrants in Canada, and an Indian immigrant myself, there are a lot of very South Asian things that I relate to. The author, Scaachi Koul, also writes for Buzzfeed, so she has this breezy, conversational voice that I particularly enjoy. The book is a collection of charming, funny, and touching essays - you could fly through it in a few hours. 


You Think It, I'll Say it - Curtis Sittenfeld

Another selection of short stories - if you're a fan of Curtis Sittenfeld, you will enjoy this book. The stories move quickly, some of them are funny, some of them are awkward, all of them are good.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

I LOVED this book so much - such a sweet and charming story of friendship and finding one's place in the world. At first the title character Eleanor seems extremely particular and unfriendly, but as you get further into the book and peel back the layers, you find there's so much more to her than initially meets the eye. I found myself flying through this book, and although there are some sad bits, it has a happy ending.


Origin - Dan Brown

Look, the Robert Langdon series of books have a formula, and if you've read Angels and Demons or The DaVinci code, then you know what that formula is. Origin doesn't stray from that formula, but has the added allure of highly advanced AI. All the Dan Brown books feel like a race against the clock, and I read this one in a day.


This Love Story Will Self-Destruct

Another romance, this one is a modern romance - sweet without being nauseating. Boy meets girl in college, they reunite later in life. There's a conflict, and a satisfying resolution. Nothing fancy or particularly complicated, but enjoyable nonetheless. 

Cleveland beach Edgewater

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase any of these books using the links included, I receive a tiny commission at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

My Summer Bucket List

I had such a fun time checking off my Spring Wish List that I decided I'm going to do one for each season this year. So, without much further ado, here's a summer wish list to help you (and me) make the most of this summer! 

Go on a picnic:  I did a couple of these last year - one with my girlfriends, and the other with Nick. And I liked it so much that this year I want to do some more. A summertime picnic doesn't have to be fancy - some sandwiches, fresh fruit, crackers and cheese, some wine... it doesn't have to be complicated to be fun! 


Snuggle up and watch a movie outdoors: There are so many venues for outdoor movies in Cleveland - from the drive-in movie theater, to outdoor movies at my favorite local ice cream shop that it's a damn shame that I haven't done this yet. But this is about to change. This is my summer to do this. 

Ditch your car for a bike (even if it's just for a few hours): I bought a super cute bike this year, one with a basket. I have a fantasy of riding around with flowers and a baguette in my basket, except for one, small problem. I am scared of the traffic. So, I'm taking this nice and slow, but the plan is to end this summer comfortably riding around the city on my cute bike.

ice cream cone with sprinkles Masons Creamery Cleveland Ohio

Master a summer cocktail: This is a really achievable goal, but I really want to master a few simple, classic, summer cocktails this year. I've already mastered the Aperol Spritz - next up, margaritas! 

Margarita at Pearl Columbus Ohio

Attend an outdoor concert: Nick and I are already doing a lot of these this summer, but one of my favorite outdoor concerts is the Orchestra Series at Blossom. This year, the Orchestra is playing the score to Star Wars: A New Hope live, and since Nick and I are both huge Star Wars nerds, naturally, we are going to this event. 

Plan a Beach day: We live so close to the beach that every day can be beach day, but it is really nice to plan a whole day at the beach in the summer. Cleveland has a number of great beaches within a very short drive -- we may not have an ocean, but our Great Lake is a pretty good substitute. 

Toes in the sand Cleveland ohio beach lake erie

Attend an outdoor yoga class: I did this last year with a bunch of girlfriends on a farm, and it was so much fun that I definitely want to do it again this year. Last year's event also included brunch and flower crowns, so I've got my eye out on a similar brunch/yoga type event this year too!

Flower crowns outdoor yoga spice acres farms cleveland ohio

Go on a hike: This is the biggest stretch goal for me this summer because Nature and I have a tenuous relationship at best. I'm allergic to everything (including the sun) and I will likely get bitten by insane bugs, but I'm hoping to challenge myself and do this, even if its just a teeny tiny one on a mostly paved trail. Baby steps you guys.

I'd love to hear your summer bucket list ideas if you have any, so please share them in the comments below. And keep an eye out on my Instagram stories to see how I'm making progress towards these summer wish list goals!