Coachellapaloozaroo: Advice on Music Festivals (from a one-timer)

To quote a cousin of a friend, “I wish I loved anything as much as you weirdos love Coachella.”

Click Image for Source

When this rather impressive lineup was released a few days ago, my various social media outlets EXPLODED. Statuses like “Let’s just go to Coachella.” or “Can I fast forward the rest of my life until Coachella?” or “I will sell any and everything I own in order to get to Coachella.” hit my newsfeed. Admittedly, the lineup is something to be impressed with; there really is something for everyone. And for $285 a pass, you gotta figure that if there are even 4 major shows that you’d shell out $70 to see. Then, there’s the camping fees (most of which are sold out). They look to be $82.50 (though that could be per day). And trust me, at least one night (or, more likely, all nights) you’ll end up drunkenly buying 1-2 slices of $4-5 pizza. Clearly, the costs add up (hence selling any/everything you own.)

If Coachella is anything like Bonnaroo (or Lollapalooza or any of those other crazy festivals), then I can speak a little bit to the music festival experience.

For one (long) weekend in 2007, I was a Bonnaroo-ian.

Talk about the hippy cliche

With henna on my hands/feet, hemp around my neck, and tye-dye everywhere, I fit the part to a T.  I flew to Nashville, bussed to Manchester, and hoofed it into the campsite to meet my two buddies who’d driven.  It was intense, and I figured I’d share some tips/info/advice for any of you brave enough (or wealthy enough) to shell out the dollars for the FULL festival experience.  I’m fairly certain this could apply to any of them, but I’d love your input below if you’d care to share…

Admittedly, this is only relevant if you go the route I did (read: campsite, no hotel, whatevs).


You’re gonna get dirty. And, for a modest fee ($10-20 during my festival, but with the economy these days, who knows?) you can take a shower. Otherwise, you’re screwed. I didn’t really think about this (or know this). My recommendation: Bring baby wipes. Get creative with the sinks nearby. Invest in some of that dry shampoo that Sierra can tell you all about. Bring baby powder.

Or, alternative route, revel in the dirtiness.  Hug strangers who are just as dirty as you.

(not a stranger. Not a problem.)

(not a stranger. Not a problem.)

Pack smart. If you’re going to a festival in the summer, it’s going to be sweltering out. If you’re going to one in the winter, I can’t help you (I don’t know… invest in blankets… Bring layers?) But I can’t stress this enough: Pack lots of little things.  I wish I’d brought about 15 camisoles, because I’d sweat through one every 2 hours. Oh well, I guess this goes along with the dirty point. Just do you homework, know the weather ahead of time, and be ready for the elements. Rain and wind, we were unprepared for… but we made due (FREE SHOWER!)

Gatorade Mocktail Hour!

Gatorade Mocktail Hour!

On the subject of Do Your Homework, know the food/alcohol/grilling policy of your festival. This can help you avoid those pesky $40 spent on pizza with the help of a $2 loaf of bread and a $2.50 jar of peanut butter OR the $80 spent on beer with a $12 bottle of cheap vodka and some Gatorade (ELECTROLYTES!!).  However, some festivals (Coachella included) don’t allow outside food/drink. For some, this can translate to shelling out the dollars.

For others, it can mean smuggling in your PB&B (Peanut Butter and Bread).  Choose wisely, you never know how strict they’re gonna be that year (we saw HUNDREDS of beers snagged at Bonnaroo when we went, and I’ve heard absolute horror stories about people watching their food/drinks poured onto the dirt.  So sad.

Breakfast (and lunch?) of Champions

Leave the diet at home. If you can survive a festival while eating healthy the whole time, I’ll clap for you. But I’ll probably just assume you spent too much time or money or effort on it, and toss you a poptart.  Save that energy to rock out to your favorite bands.

So Studious

So Studious

Bring alternative entertainment.  Whether it’s tiddlywinks, cards, an iPad (we didn’t have those back in my day) or the old fashioned book, you probably won’t go to a show every hour of every day. And there’s gonna be times when you’re waiting for your favorite group to go on, but they’re late (I heard Kanye was 3 hours late for one Bonnaroo). Be ready to entertain yourself during those times. You might even branch out and talk to a stranger!! But if you’re anti social, books are top notch. I read (cover to cover) 3 books when I went to Bonnaroo.  It is, to date, one of my proudest/lamest accomplishments.


If you’re going to camp, spring for a nice tent. Seriously, this is your home for the next 3-4 days. You’re already sweaty and dirty and maybe hungry. The least you can do is be comfortable.

Soak up every second. For some of us, going to a weekend festival is a once (or a few) in a lifetime experience. For others, it’s what you save up all year for… Either way, live it up, go to as many shows as you can, don’t just get so messed up/dehydrated/grouchy that you end up missing it all.  There’s much fun to be had, so pace yourself, and be awesome.

Gateway to Adventure!

Have you ever done a music festival? Which one? Any tips?

If not, which would you like to attend?

Carolina Blue is the Best Medicine of All

Ah, use of both nostrils, how I missed you…

In case you missed it, I’ve been sick. Really sick. But a little trip to the doctor, a lot of Sudafed, Nyquil, Dayquil, Orange Juice, Theraflu, and 4 naps within 2 days led to a woman on the verge of recovery.  Admittedly, this woman was probably not 110% last night (and still isn’t this evening) but it’s a work in progress.  I’ll admit, though, my desire for food has run the gambit, from ravenous to totally uninterested in anything edible, but tonight everything started shifting back into normalcy.  What’s more normal than breakfast for dinner?

For me, it doesn't get more normal than this.

Omelet containing all sorts of healthy junk.

On the fancy Sara Lee Delightful Wheat Bread, clocking in at 45 calories per slice. As much as I love a good sandwich thin as much as the next health-conscious broad, there’s nothing quite like bread that looks and feels like bread, not like flattened bread-like disks.

ANYWAY, onto the fun stuff. Last night, even though I was on death’s doorstep earlier in the morning (exaggeration is essential in any good story telling), I sucked it up (after the second nap of the day) because Roy’s Boys were playing!!

A sea of beautiful Carolina blue

I haven’t been to a Carolina basketball game since 2009 (ironically, I also haven’t been this sick since 2009). Why not just make it a perfect pair, right? With great sickness, comes great responsibly…. to cheer on UNC!!

Yeesh, I know, a little rough looking, but I made it out of the house!!

I took one of my oldest Carolina buddies, Katie, who recently just got engaged to her beau, out for a little engagement party cheering on our favorite team. You might notice the dark blue wall behind us.  Well that’s because we were seated in the VERY LAST ROW!  Needless to say, I’m glad I had my glasses with me.

We watched as UNC put a hurtin’ on some Miami Hurricanes, yelled as loudly as a hoarse alumna could yell, and, of course, jumped around.

(I promise, that jumbo tron says Jump Around)

It was a blast and a half and, despite getting home at almost midnight, I’d have to say it was totally worth it (even though we didn’t get cheap Bojangles biscuits since UNC didn’t score 100 points… rats.)

This weekend, I’m headed back to PHL for a little R&R with the beau, so I’ve got a lot of clothes-folding and dish cleaning to do before my flight!!

What team would you scream your heart out for, despite a sore throat?

Starve a Cold, Castrate the Flu

…That’s how the phrase goes, right?

UGH. Day two of being home sick (technically day three of feeling pretty rough) and I’ve got a doctor’s appointment at 2pm. In the meantime, though, I’ve made some serious progress.

I took a shower!

I’ve finished approximately half of my bottle of orange juice as part of my Get Better Cocktail from yesterday.

I changed out of my sweatshirt (and into a bathrobe).

Oh my lord. I look like a lunatic.

I actually ate very delicious and (fairly) healthy meals, so at least I’ve still got my appetite.

Thanks to tips from Twitter friends, I coated my pizza stone in corn meal.

Want a little ‘za with that cornmeal?

Last night’s pizza was on Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza crust and featured that ever-popular Sockarooni sauce, sauteed onions and green peppers, a roma tomato, and pepperoni sprinkled with low-fat mozzarella cheese.

The cornmeal worked a charm!

No sticking?! No problem.

The last time I used my pizza stone, about 40% of the crust stuck to the stone. Didn’t really taste like pizza, as much as a dust of crust with some toppings.  This was much more pizza-like.

I’ve used the whole wheat pizza dough from Harris Teeter many times in the past and this was my first time trying the Trader Joe’s brand. Overall, I’d say it was a little chewier but MUCH easier to spread on the stone than the Harris Teeter kind AND it’s always $1.07 per ball (I’ve even seen it for $0.99 before!) Bargain, considering that makes up two pizzas for single-girl-living ME!

I’ve also found my new television show addiction.

AC, baby! [click for source

Thanks to the glory of HBO Go (free if you’re an HBO subscriber), I can watch shows like True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys, etc from the comfort of my computer, my phone, or my Nook tablet. Admittedly, I can’t get the actual App on the Nook tablet BUT here’s a fun little hack. Use your Nook browser in Desktop mode, and voila, it’s just like using it on your computer.  Ah, technology…

Having worked on the OCNJ boardwalk for several years, Atlantic City during prohibition is basically the exact same as Ocean City, America’s Greatest Family Resort, during the mid-2000s.

I have decided that my next future major life event will be in the theme of Boardwalk Empire, because clearly, I would make a gorgeous flapper. I could ask Cat for tips.

Now, since I just slammed some more NyQuil, it’s time to go back to sleep, making sure I don’t drone off about the perks of prohibition or how much fun highway robbery looks.

[the craziness has kicked in.]

What would you do on a sick day?

The Perfect Storm of Sickness

Oh no.  It’s happened.

After bragging about how much sick time I have because I never get ill, I guess fate (and, more likely, my immune system) decided my particular brand of cockiness will not be tolerated.  This morning, when I woke up, my throat was sore beyond words, the aches in my bones were starting to spread, and my body couldn’t decide whether it was hot or cold.  Luckily, I was sweating enough in my sleep that I didn’t have to shower this morning! (gross? gross.)

No bueno.

I knew the moment my eyes opened at 6:50 a.m. that it was not a day to go to work.  Unfortunately, I needed to handle some business, so I threw on some less-than-work-appropriate clothes (sweatpants casual Mondays aren’t a thing?) and head into the office. I wouldn’t normally do this, but I’m one of the blessed folks who lives a mere minute and a half commute from the office, so it made sense at the time.  An hour and a half later, I realized that if I didn’t leave the office, I was going to be coughing and aching all day. Minutes later, I was in Harris Teeter, rounding up supplies.

A cornucopia of cold and flu remedies!

OJ, NyQuil Cold and Flu, and the off-brand version of Theraflu are my go-to guys when it comes to sickness, aches, and pains. The Ricola was a last minute addition to the team, thanks to the folks at Ricola who heard my tweet of desperation the last time I felt a little off, and they sent me a bag of their new Dual Action cough and sore throat drops (in fact, if you tweet at them, you may be sent a bag for your personal consumption!) And, since a girl can’t sustain on medicine alone, I made sure a well-rounded breakfast was part of my morning. (Well-rounded in that my bread was round.)

Real butter on bread toasted from my REAL TOASTER!

Two scrambled eggs sprinkled with cheddar, a toasted sandwich thin covered in butter, a glass of orange juice and a NyQuil chaser.

Speaking of that NyQuil chaser, I think it’s trying to chase me to my bed….

Who am I to say no to NyQuil?

GC 2012: We Make This Look Good

I’m insanely exhausted, my throat’s sore, and I may be getting sick…  But it was all worth it to have so many brothers and sisters, friends old and new, invading my home!

My OTHER significant other

I was dapper by association

I may have been over served a number of times with these fancy cocktails... Oops.

A New, Tall Spanish Sister!

Heavenly dinner

Time to veg out, watch so much TV my brain turns to mush, and sleep VERY early!!

Ain’t That a Kick in the Pants?

New Years are all about changes, right?

Well, my New Year’s Eve plans weren’t ALL that different from last year.  There was more beer, tastier food, 3/4 same people, but I still got to kiss my beau when the ball dropped!


I spent the night with two of my favorite people, Ryan and Rachel, my best friend since middle school.  Coolest part of this NYE in Philly?

We didn’t even have to bring jackets!!

Those summer nights...

Which was great, because there’s no way I could’ve fit a coat into that purse.

I’ll admit, my favorite parts of the night were the dinner before and the champagne and hanging out in comfy clothes after we got home from the bar, but that’s probably because New Year’s Eve always has those ridiculous expectations and expensive cover charges that Thought Catalog summed up so nicely…

Funny thing about this new year. I don’t really have any major goals, at least nothing that I want to put into words. More just a general feeling, or general life directions.  That didn’t stop someone else from inspiring me to kick my fitness back into gear.

Text from my brother on Monday:

Connor: Hope your ride is going smoothly… question…. why did you stop using your heart rate monitor? I thought that was a cool thing.

Me: Battery died, just gotta get one and replace.

Connor: Bummer. Looking forward to its rebirth.

Knowing that my little brother had a) noticed my blog and b) recognized that something was different with my workout regime was just that kick in the pants that I needed (Check out my first Kick in the Pants which jump-started my 40lb weight loss in 2009!).  I popped over to the grocery store and, two super sales later, I nabbed a new CR2032 (the battery needed for the Garmin FR60) and was hard at work.

I only read later how difficult replacing your own watch battery and that most folks recommend taking it to a watch-person (Watch-fixer? anyone have a name for that?)

I’ll tell you what, these tools are NOT recommended for replacing your FR60 battery:

No, No, and NO!

Not my key tool, not some multi-headed screwdriver, and not the utili-tool that Ryan left here…. I felt hopeless.  Until, like a beacon in the night, I spotted it!

Glasses kit to the rescue!

This tiny tool is a precision eyeglass repair tool that I actually got the last time I bought a new pair of glasses. Well, as you can see in the image, I got it working again!! It was itty-bitty work for my giant banana fingers, but it just goes to show that being a four-eyes nerd AND a workout Barbie can pay off.

Ready for action

I guess I just needed someone to remind me why I started using that HRM in the first place.  And the only fair thing to do tomorrow  [despite having to host 3 friends during my fraternity convention weekend and picking two up from the airport (oh and working)] is to hit the gym running. Elliptical-ing. Whatever.

Have you ever experienced a kick in the pants?

Any big plans for the weekend?

You Don’t Know What You’re Missing…

Good morning, folks!

It’s nice to get back to some semblance of normalcy, even if it’s temporary. This weekend, I have my fraternity’s annual conference and, in addition to picking up a few folks from the airport, I’m also playing hostess to three different fraternal friends. Should be pretty exciting considering my apartment is still in a state of post-holiday chaos and hardly big enough for two people, let alone four. But hey, it’ll be cozy.

My stomach has been getting a much-needed break from some fairly indulgent holiday treats and instead having THIS for dinner:

Bubbly meaty goodness.

Last night, I enjoyed a fantastic stir fry courtesy of chicken, chia seeds, soy sauce, and Trader Joe’s Harvest Hodge Podge veggie mix.

Most delicious Hodge Podge for moi(dge?)

It may not look as savory and mouth-watering as it tasted. I kind of just tossed the chia seeds into the mix last second and, though they didn’t add anything taste-wise to the party, they certainly boosted the Omege 3 in the meal, right? That’s gotta be good.

Mysterious thing about trips home, while I’m there, I never even realize that I’m missing the vegetables that are conspicuously absent from my diet.  Then it’s a glorious reunion.

This got me thinking of other things in my life that I don’t realize I’m “missing” in my life, until I get home (or try something new… or whatever.)


This water-bottle friendly water fountain?! THIS IS GENIUS!!

I never really paid too much mind to the fact that my water bottle never gets truly full from standard water fountains. That tilt always gets me…  Well, this fountain has shown me the light. It’s basically ruined all other water fountains for me.

Wawa: Where Dreams Come True

I regularly think about Wawa, so this one is kind of cheating.  But honestly, I never TRULY remember how much I love their diet raspberry iced tea until I get some of it.

Note to anyone trying to get me a gift: Gallon jugs of this work just fine.

Hot enough for ya?

Why my gym doesn’t have a sauna is just beyond me. And, I’ll admit, this photo was actually taken from an old Six Pack Sunday and in a steam room, but you get the idea.  There’s nothing to compare to a great sauna session after a particularly tough workout.  My family’s gym has a fantastic dry sauna, but it’s ALWAYS packed and I figured taking a picture in a room full of sweaty men might not be received too well.

Tool of torture?

Ok, I PROMISE this is not a picture what you may be thinking it is. And, if you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking… well, pardon me for my dirty mind. But what this IS a picture of is some sort of spiked leg roller. I’ve seen oodles of posts on the perks of foam rollers, but this is a little more of a massager. And this is how I use it.

Sweet sweet relief.

I rub my legs, my arms, my back (well, I get someone to rub that for me), and my butt. And it is heavenly. I never would’ve known that I needed this. And now that I have it, I’m never letting go of it.

Do you have any goodies that you never realized you needed until you got a hold of them?


Founders Breakfast Stout

Think about breakfast.  It’s night-time as I write this, and I just enjoyed dinner, so that’s a little tough for me.  But I’m asking you to do me a solid and think about it anyway.

Golden orbs of yummy.

Mmmm. Doesn’t that look good?

When I think about breakfast, I think about the standards. French toast smothered in syrup, breakfast sandwiches piled high on everything bagels, omelets full of spinach and tomatoes, gooey with cheese.  It’s time to think about something else for breakfast.

Liquid Meal

Founders Breakfast Stout is a super hyped imperial stout that I’d heard touted by beer snobs and infrequent drinkers alike. When I saw it for $10/4-pack at Whole Foods (and had a gift card) I couldn’t say no.  So I didn’t.

I saved the bottles for a rainy day, which actually just meant a visit from the beau. I really think that I should have waited for this very cold, skin-biting weather that hit North Carolina the moment I returned from my long holiday break.  I think it’d be the perfect beer for a cold night by a fire (a tiny one inside of a Yankee Candle glass.)

The beer is described by Founders Brewing Company as:

The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever. 8.3% ABV

It’s interesting thing about this beer… I don’t like coffee. In fact, I don’t drink it at all, never have, never will. But, for whatever reason, coffee beer just fills my heart (and mouth) with joy. Founders Breakfast Stout poured a dark brown, basically opaque glass of beer. The smell is rich, intense, and reminds me of a romance between a brewery and a coffee house.

Are there any hybrid brewpubs and coffee spots around?  I bet there’d be a number of intriguing regular customers frequenting that joint.

ANYWAY, the aroma was intoxicating, like a sweeter version of the bitter coffee of which I’m not a fan.

I can’t say anything about a Kona or Sumatra coffee and what that might taste like, but the sensations that hit my tongue were heavy, creamy, and VERY coffee-like (says the non-coffee drinker, basing that opinion on nothing but imagination). It was also pretty sweet and, frankly, a little too rich for my tastes.  It didn’t beat out my very favorite coffee brew, Big Boss’ Aces & Ates, but for a one-beer drink with a loved one, not too shabby. I wouldn’t say it lived up to the almost fanatical hype I’d heard about it, but I’d totally enjoy it again.

What’s your favorite pairing with a coffee flavor? 

Mine’s definitely the beer + coffee combo.

Once, I tried a coffee frozen yogurt, and hated it more than I’ve ever hated any frozen yogurt flavor. That’s just depressing.