Coachella Fashion for the Chic-Minded

Happy hump day loves! Wednesday is my saving grace every week. Coffee is too don’t get me wrong, but it’s something I need everyday to function as opposed to something I look forward to. If I can get through a Wednesday though, I can definitely make it through Thursday and Friday! 
 Coachella style tipsIf any of you pay attention to the music world, you’ll know that Coachella, a huge music festival near Palm Desert in California, is going on. Many fashion bloggers I follow are attending and stay at the stunning Saguaro Hotel. Before I go any further, can I just say staying at that hotel is serious #goals? The fun, vibrant colors throughout the place just makes Instagram photos that much better. I’m assuming that’s why so many bloggers conveniently stay there. Anyway, more importantly than where bloggers and music lovers stay, is what they wear to this music festival.

Buzzfeed did a roundup of celebrity fashion for the event and I’m sorry to say it, but most of the outfits were a flashback to Woodstock. There are certain things I just won’t wear and most of those things are well-worn at Coachella. I get it though, this event is a little hippie and eccentric so the fashion will be too. For anyone who might be a little preppier but is thinking of going next year, I have a few style picks for you! I promise you’ll fit in but still look like your chic self! Enjoy!

Tres Chic for the Weekend

Happy Friday loves! I’m so glad the weekend is finally here so we can all stay inside and bundle up with our pjs on. Or you can go out and enjoy good weather if you’re lucky enough to be in a climate with it! It’s a bit chilly where I am and there’s nothing I’d love more than some California sunshine. An afternoon on the Santa Monica pier sounds divine at the moment!
For those of you who plan on venturing outside in warm weather I suggest including “winter tones” in your style choices. Bold red and black speaks volumes on any lady while an animal print adds interest and incorporates the fur we all love to see and wear. By no means do I expect any of us to be able to afford Bvlgari or Prada, but there are many retailers, such as Target or even H&M that have similar items at half the price. The crazy thing about designer labels is that you’re paying for the name and slightly better quality than what you might find in Forever 21. I’ll pay for quality but I don’t like to pay for a name. Shop around and find great options similar to the ones you see above and recreate this look for less.

The Dress

Speaking of clothing, have any of you seen “the dress” everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds are blowing up with? The debate is whether it’s blue and black or white and gold. I thought this would be simple to solve by looking at it but apparently there’s an optical phenomenon going on and not everyone sees the same thing. Regardless, I want to draw attention to how silly things like this somehow make much bigger news than say, all the religious minority women that are being kidnapped and sold at markets by ISIL (don’t believe it, then read for yourself). How on Earth are we as a culture and society more interested in a dress than we are the well-being of women in another country? True, we can’t personally do much about it, but we can give our time in drawing attention to this horrifying act. It’s something to think about. 


Touring Santa Barbara, California!

Santa Barbara

santa_barbaraA few years back, I took an awesome trip to California for a conference of young leaders from around the country. I ended up getting a full travel scholarship to fly there from Maryland. It was a long weekend full of great speakers and meeting some really neat people! Unfortunately, I also lost my luggage full of favorite clothing items on that trip but whatever. I’m over it. Almost. Ok, I’m not. I fought with American Airlines over where it was for a couple months and then they finally just gave me money for reimbursement. They never found my luggage.

Anyway, moving on! Santa Barbara was wonderful. The people were incredibly nice and had nothing but good things to say about their town. The main street with all the shops and restaurants was called State street and it was always bustling no matter what time of day it was. If I had been 21, I might have taken advantage of the classier night life there. However, I didn’t want to be caught for sneaking in and then have it ruin my career. I’ve worked too hard to let alcohol take it all it away.

The mountains were absolutely stunning and they drained into the sea in such an incredible way. The west coast reallysanta_barbara_beaches does have a little bit of everything- dessert, ocean, mountains. I took several walks during our free time to just explore and look at the landscape. It was rugged in spots. Other places looked like something out of a magazine. I really enjoyed that time to just walk and think about how amazing our world is and its beauty.

young_americas_foundationOn a particularly fun outing, the organization sponsoring the event, Young America’s Foundation, took all conference attendees on a trip into the mountains above Santa Barbara to visit Rancho del Cielo meaning, “Ranch of Heaven.” It was originally owned by President and Mrs. Reagan and they visited often during his time in presidency. We toured the ranch house, which was surprisingly small and modest, and a few of the other buildings including the trailer where secret service would hang out and the tack barn for the horses.

reagan_ranch The ranch house was my favorite though. It was western themed obviously and had some old relics from the past few hundred years. One thing we learned about the Reagans was how frugal they both were. There was apparently a stove in the kitchen at one time that was prone to being a bit dangerous due to it’s age. Mrs. Reagan refused to throw it away because it still worked to a degree (she actually cooked for both of them when they were at their home). To get rid of it, a secret service agent had to tell her that they had found a “dead rat” in the stove and it was no longer healthy to use.

From another area on the ranch we could look down into the valleyfog_in_california behind the mountains and see some of the riding trails the president would take to get exercise with his horses. It was so stunning. On the other side of the mountains we could see the Pacific Ocean if the fog hadn’t rolled in. That was a very strange thing about southern California. The fog would be incredibly thick at moment’s notice and you literally couldn’t see a thing in front of you. The humidity did a humdinger on my hair when that happened. It would go from straight to messy beach hair in about 10 minutes.

During the evenings, a few of us would walk out onto the pier to listen to the seals bark in the distance and watch the birds dive bomb for little fish. Those were the quiet moments that reminded stearns_pierme of how far I was from home. 3000 miles is a long ways to be from the place you love. California just had a certain way of making it still feel ok. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the people. The food made it easier too. Mahi Mahi Tuna fish tacos are amazing in case you ever want to try something a little different.

Something else unique I encountered was the pelicans there are quite friendly. The one pictured here, eyed me the entire time I was on the pier. I don’t know what he wanted but he had no trouble coming very close topelican_on_a_pier me and scrutinizing what I had in my hands. It made me a bit nervous but he was kind of cute in his little bird-like way. He was an awkward animal though. It was right about this time when the fog rolled in and my hair was ruined. The girl I was with understood my troubles and we went back to the hotel we were staying at.

It was a really wonderful trip full of memories and I was really lucky that I got to go. If you’re interested in what the organization does and when these kinds of conferences are going on visit this website for more information. I’ve been involved with them since I was in high school and have gotten to do some cool stuff and meet really influential people.

I hope you enjoyed this little peak into Santa Barbara, California and my trip there. Honestly, a blog post doesn’t do it justice and I really can’t give you all the details of my trip because it would take way too long. All I can say is go to California and see what all the hype is about!