Festival Prep

How to get ready for a music-filled weekend with your squad

It’s festival season! The days are getting longer and it’s time to get ready to have some serious fun with your squad. There’s nothing like the excitement before a big, memory-making adventure with your best friends. If you’re planning a trip to a music festival this season, here are a few tips to make sure you and your squad have the best time possible.

What to Wear
Outfit planning is a critical part of preparation for any event with your friends. Someone is bound to bring the same crochet top, and it’s best to get those kinks ironed out before you leave. Make sure to pack for different weather conditions, like rain and extreme heat. Light jackets are a must and bring boots or sneakers in case things get muddy. Don’t forget about festival accessories, like pretty metallic flash tattoos to put on each other.
The Essentials
There are some things your simply can’t enjoy a festival without. You can reference our Festival Fundamentals checklist for this one.
Pre-Festival Playlist
Road jams! A good playlist will make you and your squad dance and laugh together before the festival even begins. Be sure to include all of your favorite tunes from back in the day and throw in some new ones from the artists you’re all dying to see live.
Behind the Music
Take some time to learn about the festival schedule before you and your squad gets going. Figuring out what artist is going to be on what stage and when will ensure that no one misses out on seeing their favorites. You can also scope out some of the performers you’ve never heard of before, so you know which new music to add to your playlist for the way back home. There’s bound to be some overlap, where you’ll want to see two acts that are performing at the same time, but that’s what friends and FaceTime are for. ;)
Sound Mind & Body
Make sure you and your friends take care of yourselves while you’re festing. Keeping your mind and body on the up and up can be the difference between getting an autograph from your favorite artist and cutting your trip short. Make sure to stay hydrated and stretch when you can. It may sound weird, but jumping up and down for hours and sleeping on the ground for days can take its toll on your body. 
Bring Friends, Make Friends
Music festivals are an experience best shared, with both new friends and old! Introduce yourself to your neighbors when you set up camp and see if any of you are planning to go to any of the same stages at the same time. Who knows, you may even find a new addition to your squad. The more the merrier!

Festival Fundamentals

Must haves for you and your squad so you can fest with the best of them

Festival season is upon us, everyone! This is the perfect time of year to hit the road with your squad and hit up one of the awesome music festivals on the horizon. The sun is high and the music never stops, but you and your girls could have a really rough fest experience if you aren’t properly prepared. Here’s a checklist we put together of things you should bring along to make sure your bases are covered concert-wise.
  1. Earplugs – Don’t get stuck too close to the speakers without these babies! Earplugs will keep your ears from ringing days after the fun is over.
  2. Fanny Pack – A hands-free hot 90s alternative to dragging around your standard bag. Dance as hard as you want to without a care in the world.
  3. Toilet Paper & Shower Wipes – Have you ever used a Porta Potty? We rest our case.
  4. Reusable Water Bottle – Stay hydrated without losing your spot at the Main Stage by keeping a CamelBak or other refillable water source on hand.
  5. Solar Phone Charger – No selfies should be lost to the hands of a dead phone. Solar chargers are a great option for festivals. Stay charged and ready all weekend long!
  6. Mini Fan – Stay cool with a handheld fan and enjoy the sun without the sweat.
  7. Selfie Stick – This one is pretty self(ie)-explanatory. Put that stick in the sky and capture every moment of fun with your squad!
  8. Sunglasses & SPF – Festivals are all fun and games, but sun damage never takes a vacation! Protect your eyes with a cute pair of sunnies and your skin with an SPF like JAFRA Sun Spray Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30.
  9. Hand Sanitizer – This one is a no brainer. A quick squeeze will de-germ your hands in all of the many festival scenarios where there is no running water around.
  10. Blotting Wipes – Sure, you’re going to get dirty, but that doesn’t mean you have to be shiny.
  11. (ALL the) Snacks – Keep you and your squad from getting hangry by packing tons of healthy snacks to keep you going, like granola bars and trail mix.
  12. Temporary Tattoos – One of the most fun things on this list! Get into the festival spirit with metallic flash tattoos on your arms, hands, ankles, around your eyes, anywhere!
  13. Dry Shampoo – A good way to keep up with your locks for the weekend. Pulling your hair up and out of your face, or rocking a festival appropriate fishtail braid will keep it a little cleaner, too.
  14. Walkie Talkies – Are you ready to rock? 10-4. Bring some walkie talkies to communicate with your squad on the festival grounds just in case the cell phone reception is lacking…or just because they’re really fun. ;)
  15. Boots and Ponchos – You and your squad can have fun in all kinds of weather, so pack accordingly. Bring a light rain jacket and comfy boots in case things get muddy so you can have fun, rain or shine.

The Rewards of Uncertainty

Do you take enough risks? Don’t be afraid to read this article and find out.

It’s not uncommon to be frightened by the idea of pursuing new opportunities, intriguing offers or your wildest dreams by throwing caution to the wind and taking a risk. Big risks, like deciding to move away from your hometown, quitting your job to get an advanced college degree or buying a home on your own, all come with a long list of unknowns,  but the upside of taking a risk may be a satisfying, positive and exciting difference in your life. Yes, there’s that worst case scenario called, “failure”, but truth be told, more people regret having never taken a chance than  do going for it and falling short.  At the very least, you’ll have tales to tell and lessons learned from trying something new. Here is a breakdown of risks you should consider taking.

Little Risks
No risk, no reward; it’s really as simple as that. Some people just let things happen to them in life instead of taking chances, and believe it or not, that behavior is risky, too.  If you are looking for love, tell all of your friends you are open to being set up. Who knows? You might meet someone special that’s been an acquaintance away all along. Why not ask that intelligent looking guy you’ve eyed for months at Starbucks about the book he’s reading? Sure you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and of course there will be some bad dates, but maybe one of them will lead to something more.

Calculated Risks
When it comes to making big, scary, risky decisions, understand what you are risking and what you might receive as a reward. Make a list of pros and cons. The bigger the risk, the more research you’ll want to do. Knowing what twists and turns you might run into while taking the road of uncertainty will make you smarter and more resilient.

Committed to the Risk
Taking a risk means making a commitment to seeing your decision through to the very end. You may have a good idea of what you are about to sign up for, but you certainly cannot predict the future. Stay committed to the risk you are taking and give it your full attention. As opera singer Beverly Sills once said, “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.”

Attention Overthinkers!

Help is on the way

You know that feeling when you’re going around and around trying to decide between chicken or fish, the red dress or the blue dress, or whether you should marry him or break up? “It feels like you’re a dog chasing its tail,” says Shelley Row, author of Think Less and Live More: Lessons from a Recovering Over-thinker.

Overthinking, also known as decision paralysis, is a burden in the lives of many women in both their personal and professional lives, says Row, a former engineer who now runs her own consulting company. The pitfalls of overthinking include taking far too long to make decisions, missing out on opportunities, making worse decisions than necessary and causing a whole lot of stress in the process.

The first step toward conquering overthinking involves no technology, no learning curve and no money. All you need is quiet. Once your mind is still, you’ll start to uncover messages Row says. “You’ll see that your indecisiveness is usually coming from deeply embedded experiences or fear.”   

“The first time I had to fire someone, I really overthought it,” says Row, but once she was centered, she began to verbalize to herself what the problem was; she was afraid her boss wouldn’t agree with her decision. “I was giving my boss control of my self-esteem,” she says. “I realized that there was no way I would move up in my career if I constantly second guessed myself and allowed someone else to impact my self-esteem.” A deeper message, however, was an even bigger disabler. “Growing up, my mother would always say, ‘Now, Shelley, be nice.’ Being nice had become part of my value system.”

With these deeper feelings exposed, Row was able to grow from her realizations about her behavior. “For that decision, I had to understand that my mother was teaching me how to be nice on a playground. But being nice in business and adult life is different.” As Row grappled with this new information, she decided that firing her subordinate was indeed the nicest thing she could do. The situation wasn’t working out for either party and the employee would be better off moving on. Armed with this knowledge, which Row calls information mixed with intuition, or infotuition, she let the employee go and felt completely secure in her decision.

“The first time you work with this process, it feels so introspective and like you’re untangling a morass. But the next time it’s quicker and the next even quicker,” she says. Getting quiet and listening to where your stressed out mind takes you when faced with a difficult decision is key. Row likes walking, running and meditating. Others might achieve the same clarity by journaling or just sitting quietly. Whatever method works for you to truly hear yourself out, Row says the effort is worth the payoff. “You’ll make the best decisions of your life because they’ll be based on a combination of rational thought and feeling, and that’s really powerful.”
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