Search Results for: label/children's bug out bag

Not Fashion Related: Creating a Bug Out Bag

So the world didn’t end on December 21st. I never thought it would, but all the hype did get me thinking about the future. While I do think my family and I have a good plan for hurricanes and natural disasters, we never had prepared Bug Out Bags (also known as Go Bags). A Bug Out Bag is a bag you have prepped that will take care of you if you have to leave your house without notice and get by sans creature comforts for three days or so. This could be for a zombie apocalypse, alien takeover, Mayan apocalypse… just kidding, it’s for situations you don’t even want to imagine but could happen. Even FEMA suggests that everyone have a bag at the ready to get out of Dodge just in case. So this past month, I created Bug Out Bags for my family.

If you Google Bug Out Bag or Go Bag you will find a kazillion ideas on what is necessary in such a bag; each person’s needs are different and your needs will vary based upon your climate, family, health, and personal needs. In fact, Googling such a topic may freak you out a bit – there’s some major doomsday preppers out there and their “necessities” may be scary and/or overwhelming. I see a Bug Out Bag as less something to protect me on the Oregon Trail or from an alien takeover and more something to keep me and my family safe and healthy during a disaster until we have a safe and healthy place to rest.

I honestly don’t see what the harm is in preparing for a disaster in this way. I’d rather be safe than sorry, especially now that I have a human life for which I am responsible. We have stored our Bug Out Bags where we keep our emergency supplies (which is also where we meet in the house in case of an emergency). Nothing in the bags will expire any time soon nor is needed on a daily basis. Here is an example of what I have in our bags.

Adult Bug Out Bag: While online lists will encourage you to buy a Molle or Alice military backpack, you can honestly use any bag you have around the house. Again, something is better than nothing, and it doesn’t make sense to go into debt for something you hopefully will never need to use.  My bag is a backpack I already owned but never use. You don’t want it so heavy you can’t run or walk long distances in it, and something that will be comfortable when worn for long periods of time. Chest and waist straps will help with comfort and support.  Some things you may want in your bag:

  • Change of clothes (something easy to get on and off, warm if you’re in a cold climate, and something that can dry quickly or handle the elements)
  • Poncho (if you get a sturdy reusable one it can double as a tarp or a makeshift tent)
  • Flashlight (a crank one is great so you don’t have to reply on batteries)
  • Water (at least three liters)
  • Food (Clif bars, bags of tuna, Datrex bars, something that won’t spoil but has lots of energy)
  • Toilet paper
  • N95 Respirator face masks (sounds scary, I know, but I even would have liked these during the dusty years at Bonnaroo)
  • A sleeping bag (get one for backpackers since it will be light and take up less space)
  • Mylar blankets
  • Immodium AD, some pain reliever, and any meds you or your children are on
  • Bandanna
  • Purification tablets for water
  • Swiss Army Knife and/or multitool
  • I have some paracord, heavy-duty diaper pins, duct tape, dental floss, needles and a pair of cuticle scissors to be able to mend and jimmy-rig things if need be
  • Fire starter/waterproof matches
  • First aid kit
  • Waterproof note pad and pen
  • A metal cup or small container (like from a Boy Scout mess kit) to carry food and water and heat if necessary
  • Toothpaste and brush, some sort of soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s because it can be used for body, hair, and even clothes and dishes), feminine care needs, pack of personal wipes, hand santitizer or sanitizing wipes
  • Can opener (these are tiny, cheap, and get the job done)
  • Compass
  • A couple trash bags and Ziploc bags
  • Weather radio (even better if it’s solar or crank-powered so you don’t have to worry about batteries)
  • Phone charger (in case you get to somewhere with electricity; I also have this solar charger but I don’t always keep it in my bag)
  • Emergency whistle

Child Bug Out Bag: If your child is old enough to wear a backpack, he should have his own bag. You want to keep it light and comfortable, and be less about survival and more about a feeling of normalcy in an emergency situation. Emerson has this bag from Deuter, which will also make for a great backpack for school, camping, or everyday. I taught her it is an emergency camping bag; I had her try it on, snapped the chest strap and we ran around the main floor of the house playing chase to see if she could wear it and move quickly yet comfortably. I also had her try the whistle and told her the whistle is when she gets separated from us when camping. She now knows that if we need to go emergency camping, she is to wear this bag, but didn’t get freaked out about the whole process.  Some things good for a kid’s bug out bag:

  • Change of clothes
  • Diapers or pull-ups (if applicable) or toilet paper
  • A small favorite toy or two
  • A paperback book
  • Crayons and coloring book
  • Emergency whistle
  • Small flashlight
  • Water
  • Poncho
  • Food (unlike we adults who understand the importance over flavor, it’s good to have some snacks your kid would like – granola bars, fruit leather, candy that won’t melt, honey sticks, crackers, etc.  If younger, have formula/baby food.)
  • Laminated card with parents’ names, address and phone numbers as well as a couple other contact folks who are further away (relative in neighboring state, family friend in town an hour away)
  • Face mask
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, little pack of moist wipes/personal cleansing cloths
  • If your child is big enough to carry it, you can add a child’s backpacking sleeping bag


Office Bug In Bag: What if you’re at work in the city when something happens? Do you have what you need to be able to get back home to safety? I know my office is about 17 miles from home and I know two walking routes to get there. I have a bag with these things at the ready in case I need to hoof it out of the city:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Compass/map
  • Knife/multitool
  • Poncho
  • Face mask
  • Mylar blanket (while it can keep you warm, it’s reflective and can also be used as a beacon)
  • Water
  • Food
  • Headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Personal care (hand sanitizer, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Bandanna

There are likely things that are missing and things I would never use if such a situation would occur, but I can sleep a bit better at night knowing that my family is a bit prepared if the worst were to happen.  Many of these things you can find at your local CVS or grocery store or may already be hanging around your home. Many of these things I found on Amazon for ridiculously low prices. I know most Bug Out Bag lists online have far more on them than my list, but I am working with my budget, my ability to carry a bag, and I guess a little bit of hope.  It’s better to have some than none, so create as much of a bag as you can with the funds and supplies you currently have.

Update your bag every few months switching out things that expire, cold weather necessities (gloves, hat, hand warmers) for warm weather ones (sunscreen, bug spray, sun hat), etc. This way you also remember what is in the bag and what you may want to add/remove as your life changes. Remind your family about where to meet in case of an emergency, and the importance of leaving these bags alone so they are always at the ready. It may seem a bit obsessive, but a little preparation now could save you if, in the words of preppers, the SHTF in the future.

UPDATE: I can’t believe I forgot to mention a pet bug-out bag!  We have food, water, and collapsible bowls for Cindy plus a leash; don’t forget that your pets too need sustenance in an emergency!  Thank you all for the reminder!

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Blogger Burn-out: How to Get Reinspired for the New Year

The fabulous Kat at Ginger, Adorned recently asked on Twitter what fellow bloggers do to get through burnout. It reminded me that I had started a post on this very subject a few months ago but never did anything with it. Kat inspired me to finish my thoughts, and made me realize that my experience may help those of you who have a blog, site, or similar project.

I’ve been blogging for over seven years, and have experienced writer’s block and burnout more times than I can count. I have almost shuttered Wardrobe Oxygen a couple times, and if you go through my archives can see many times where I just went MIA because I had nothing to offer. Over the years I have gotten better at finding ways to quickly get out of a blogging rut, below are the ways I fight blogging burn-out and writer’s block.

Write for Yourself. When I am in a rut, I open up Word or a journal and just write. Maybe it’s a list of what I’d love in my dream wardrobe, possibly it’s documenting a dream I remember, a rant about a situation at work or in the blogosphere, maybe it’s some random rambling fiction that I make up as I go. Just putting the fingers on the keyboard or the pen to the paper is the important part – making the words. Then I save it to my desktop or close the journal and move on. A day or so later, I re-read what I wrote and often learn a lot from it. Sometimes it turns into a blog post, often it gives me a fresh view of how my mind works and recharges the writing part of my brain. Sometimes it’s just nice to write just for yourself; it’s freeing. You can be wild and creative and sloppy and silly and not even make sense like running down a hill screaming and laughing. We all need a bit of wild and silly and sloppy in our life from time to time.

Check Your Stats. Can’t think of a topic for a post? Hit up your blog stats and see what keywords are bringing people to your site, and what are the posts with the highest traffic. The keywords are great for a new topic, the popular posts give you an opportunity to revisit that topic and add detail or update for the new year. Not only this, seeing how your reader’s mind works helps you know what to deliver to keep them as readers.

Create a Series. Maybe it’s a Friday link-up, possibly it’s a monthly feature on a brand or fellow blogger. Having a series means at least one day a week or month you have guaranteed content. Keep it simple and keep a uniform template to these posts so your readers get that it’s a series and they will look forward to it. Often the content of the series will inspire you in other ways in regard to blog content.

Be Real. While it’s lovely to look at gorgeous photos of gorgeous outfits and collages of drool-worthy goodies, it’s also nice to know about the person behind the blog. Have writer’s block? Why not let your readers know and ask them what they would like to see or read on your site. Why not write a post about your life instead of your wardrobe – it brings depth to why you wear what you wear or why you feature the fashion and style you do on your blog. A great example of this is Alison at The Average Girl’s Guide – she has a “Vent Sesh” series where she steps away from style and vents about something in her life. This provides a great human element to her site, and also engages her readers to also vent and realize they aren’t alone in their personal frustrations.

Do a Review. You don’t have to just review what brands send you in the mail. An honest review that you’re not paid for can be quite refreshing these days in a blogosphere. Maybe your top five beauty products, your experience at a new mall in town, or even a concert or restaurant you recently attended. Even if you always write about fashion or beauty, the occasional review of a book, CD, concert, restaurant, or exhibit can be refreshing and help your readers understand how your mind works.

Poll Your Readers. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are a great way to promote your blog, but they are also a great way to connect with your readers on a more intimate and honest level. Use your social media channels to ask your readers what they want more of. Maybe use Formspring or Survey Monkey to get anonymous feedback or what they like, dislike, and want more of. Accept that you may get negative feedback, but negative feedback can push you to improve your blog and toughen your skin. Such feedback can really help you step back and assess yourself, your blog, and its future as well as inspire you to write.  I did an anonymous survey when I changed the direction of this blog a few years ago and the feedback was invaluable; some a bit painful, some brought happy tears, all of it inspiring.

Step Away from Social Media. I sometimes take a Twitter break so that I can be a better blogger. Spending a lot of time with fellow bloggers can get you competitive, make you doubt your direction or ability, and get you frustrated. By taking a vacation from social media (as well as your blogroll) you can get back to the person you were when you started the blog. Returning to writing for passion instead of fame can quickly bring back your blogging mojo and the best way I have found is to distance myself for a short bit from my peers.

Start, Stop, and Save. I must have a couple dozen half-written posts on my computer. I start, I lose track, I save and close it. Sometimes I come back in a week when I have inspiration, sometimes it’s even a year. Heck, this post started six months ago, I was re-inspired by Kat, went back to it, closed it and came back a couple days later. You don’t have to write everything in one sitting, sometimes the best inspiration comes after letting an idea marinate for a bit.

Talk About It. I remember a few months after having Emerson I was burned out. Fried to a crisp. I had no desire to blog any more, no time, nothing. I had a baby blog, my personal style blog, my fashion advice blog and I just wanted to delete all of them and run screaming from my laptop. At the time I was part of a monthly women’s circle and that month we met at my house. We were drinking wine and chatting about life and I shared my frustrations with them. One suggested I pare down, concentrate on just one, maybe merge them together. I couldn’t believe I had never thought of that, and within a month I had merged the two fashion blogs and dropped being a proper baby blogger. Gosh, it was so freeing, and it brought back my enthusiasm for the craft. I also have a group of amazing fellow bloggers I consider friends; they (especially my dear friend Alison) are there for Gchat, an email, a drink after work to vent about blogging, to discuss the technical aspects, and to reinspire. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns or frustrations, your loved ones or a fellow blogger may know just the thing to get you back on track!

And now I ask you, what do you do to stop writer’s block or get over blogger burn out?

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Friday – Put a Bug on It

Dress - Ann Taylor (similar)
NecklaceSpring Street
Shoes - Nine West via Marshalls (similar)
BraceletLauren by Ralph Lauren
Bag – Forever 21 (similar)

As soon as I saw this necklace I loved it and knew my sister would hate it. My sister is a strong woman… a strong woman who hates bugs. So much so, several years ago I got her a bug vacuum as a gift. However I think this necklace is fun, and Emerson LOVES playing with the wiggly legs.

So what are you weekend plans? Tomorrow night my sister and I are taking our mom to see Chuck Berry at the Howard Theater. I am so excited, I mean, CHUCK BERRY! He’s 86 and still rocking! Sunday I will be assisting my husband on a photo shoot, but otherwise I hope to have some R&R in between events.

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What’s In My Bag?

This weekend when I was taking pictures of my haul from the Hobo International sample sale, I figured I should take some pictures of what is inside my own purse!

The bag of the day was my leather hobo from Sabina:

This is what I carry on a regular day – the only thing missing is my engagement calendar. Yes, I am living in 2011 and still carry a paper calendar (with small address book in the back of it)! Calendar missing because my husband was borrowing it to make sure he and I were on same page for the next few weekends.

  • I learned from my sister to keep everything in pouches for easy switching of bags and organization of tiny items.The aqua pouch (a freebie from an Estee Lauder gift with purchase) is for cosmetics, the leopard faux fur (bought at Arden B in the late ’90s) is for my “emergency kit.”  
  • The sunglass case carries my silver aviators from Ray-Ban – classic, lightweight, my regular go-to shades.  
  • The black box with the teardrop on it are my business cards – I got them from MOO and the box has little dividers so in there I can store my mini cards, my full-size cards, and my “real job” cards.  I also have a place to store cards I collect from networking events.
  • I always carry two memory cards – when my husband takes my picture in the morning I hand him one, he takes the pics, gives it back to me and I edit photos on my lunch hour at work.
  • Eclipse gum – it was on sale at the grocery store and I have a dozen of these packets everywhere.  I like that they can’t fall out of the case and get all grody on the bottom of my bag.
  • Two retractable pens so they don’t ink up the inside of my bag
  • SmarTrip card – a given if you live in the DC area.
  • A notepad to capture ideas, SKU numbers so I can go online and find it cheaper, and random ideas.  I have had this same notepad for years and love going through it and remembering different moments in the past.
  • My wallet – you can see the inside of it at this post.
  • Keys – I used to have a bigger keyring, complete with a flash drive but recently simplified.  House, car, office.  The rest are stored at home.
  • Camera and phone.  A given.
  • Not seen – my snack.  I usually carry a 100-calorie pack of almonds or a Weight Watchers bar in my bag to I don’t succumb to a high-fat treat in a moment of weakness, but had yet to replace from eating the last one a couple days prior.

The contents of the leopard pouch – hair thingies when I can’t take it any longer, a Tide-to-Go pen because I am always spilling on myself, contacts rewetting drops, Bliss Spa lotion (this has a smell that doesn’t make me want to gag), a lighter (I don’t smoke but back from my wedding coordinator days I carry one because there always seems to be a situation where one can be useful), BodyGlide (for days when my shoes or thighs are rubbing), Sephora comb (the BEST! My sister got this for me one year for Christmas and it doesn’t cause static like other plastic combs.), face wipes (they also take off makeup, and have even taken stains off clothes in a pinch), crayons (have toddler, will entertain).  I usually have a few quarters in here as well in case of an unexpected parking meter.

My cosmetics pouch, which is in need of replacement – Urban Decay De-Slick (for oil slicks without too much makeup), Philosophy The Supernatural in Beige (for long days as a makeup refresher – goes over other makeup without looking cakey), Colgate Wisps (I keep a toothbrush and paste in my office, but when out and can’t brush I always have a couple of these in my bag), Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Rose (works as a blush in a pinch), two Smashbox lip glosses (one bright pinkish red – Tease, one shimmery sheer pink – Radiant), black Avon eye pencil, DiorShow black mascara, Tarte Indellible Wink in black (black shadow on one side, liquid liner on the other).  With this kit, I can redo my face before an after-work event, freshen up my face mid-day, or easily take a day look and glam it up for evening.

***

Not too exciting.  I keep my purse pretty simple and organized, even more so now that I have a child.  With Emerson I often also carry a wetbag with some cloth wipes and a diaper in case of emergencies, a sippy cup, a couple toys, maybe a pair of mittens.  It’s far easier to keep her stuff separate from mine by having all my stuff compartmentalized. On a work day, I may also add a book, a small travel umbrella, and my travel mug after consuming my coffee (I put a page from the newspaper in it to keep it from leaking and then can compost or recycle the paper at the end of the day)

How do you keep your bag organized?  If you have a post about the contents of your bag, be sure to link to it in the comments!

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What’s In My Bag: Forecastle Edition

This is the second in a series about my experience at the Forecastle Music Festival. I already wrote about what I wore, I will also be writing a festival recap.

For my first Bonnaroo, I purchased the Kelty “Tecate” hydration pack. I wanted something small that would fit pretty much between my shoulder blades, and this did the trick. Problem is, once the bag has a full bladder of water, there’s not much room to hold anything else. Over time, I have switched to attaching a Camelbak reusable bottle to the bag’s strap with a carabineer – this makes it easy to refill, I can take a sip without detaching the bottle, and I have plenty of backpack space for festival necessities.

Since 2007, this bag has attended four Bonnaroos, a trip to Vermont, various hikes around the region, a few smaller local festivals and now Forecastle. My husband says it’s bad luck to wash your hydration backpack; I have only washed it once when a bottle of bug spray exploded in it. It was fun to pull it out of the closet and see it still coated in Tennessee dust from Bonnaroo 2011. The buttons I have gathered from different festivals – I lost two since last Bonnaroo and will have to get some new good ones soon!

This year my husband and I said we were “festing like a boss.” Over time we have learned what is a necessity, and what is superfluous; what will increase our comfort level without leaving us burdened with a heavy bag. Never during the festival did I feel I lacked for anything, and had many people wanting to try out our chairs!

What’s in my Bag:

  • Packable poncho. My sister got this one for me several years ago from Bed Bath and Beyond; it’s fun to have a change from the typical blue, yellow, or clear ponchos and it’s a ripstop fabric that has held up nicely over the years.
  • Alite chair. This thing is totally awesome. It’s the size of a Camelbak reusable bottle and not only fit in my Kelty bag, but also the J. Crew tote I carried the first night. Not too tall to piss off those in the field behind you, but tall enough to keep you out of the mud and dirt; you can also recline in it for a very comfy outdoor concert experience!
  • Sunglass case. I wore my sunglasses until sunset, but didn’t want to get them scratched or lost. Ray Ban makes a nice slimline case that makes it easy to fit in the bag. I also had the cleaning cloth tucked in it.
  • Saline solution. I used to carry moisturizing eye drops, but usually I just need something to wash funk out of my contacts or rehydrate if it has been a long day. I have found that saline solution does it better.
  • Barrettes and elastics. I start the day with hair down, but if it gets too hot, too sweaty, too whatever it’s nice to be prepared. I usually do a messy updo and clip back my bangs, but I always want extras in case I lose or break one, or if a fellow attendee is in need.
  • Safety pins. I even take a couple diaper pins which could secure heavier fabrics or even hang things from my backpack.
  • Pen and Sharpie. Pen to jot things down or share info with new friends, Sharpie in case I meet an artist and want their autograph.
  • Plain lip balm. With SPF.
  • Tinted lip balm. Give the sweaty bare face a hint of color.
  • Philosophy mineral foundation. This is only there in case I get a chance to say, meet a musician and get a photo op, go backstage, end up leaving and going to a place where a sweaty bare face may be a bit much. It can go on sans mirror and look like me, just a bit more polished and it doesn’t itch or drip when I sweat.
  • Gum. One pack of minty, one pack fruity. A day in the heat, drinking a lot of water and the occasional beer can leave a gross feeling and taste in your mouth. Gum is amazing, and you can make a ton of friends by offering gum to those around you!
  • Business cards. To share contact information with new friends.
  • Face sunscreen. Small so it fits in the bag, dry so it will go on the face and stay there. One in our group will carry a can of spray sunscreen for all of us for the day.
  • Comb. My sister got this one for me from Sephora and I adore it.
  • Non-essential wallet stuff. On my person will be my ID, cash, and credit card. However, in my bag I will have things such as my insurance card or fan club membership card and festival schedule.

Not seen: carabineer holding my Camelbak water bottle

And here’s how everything fits in the bag. There’s still room to fit a can of sunscreen, a bandanna, a snack. There’s bungees on the back so I can attach a tee shirt if I buy one, or even strap my empty water bottle back there (I tuck the base in the mesh pocket to keep it from jangling around). Sometimes I take a waterproof blanket or groundcloth instead of a chair; for that I usually bungee it to the outside of the pack. If I know I will be using grody porta-potties I will have a sandwich bag of Clorox wipes and one of toilet paper.  If it’s a more rural festival, I will also pack a headlamp.

Wearing my backpack with Camelbak bottle attached – hands free to dance… or enjoy a beer!

My husband says I look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with my “shell” on my back, but it’s very comfortable, doesn’t dig into my shoulders, nicely disperses the weight, and I can dance without having to put my stuff on the ground.

I know many may find this to be excessive; I see many a festival attendee having a great time with just that which is in their pockets or a small crossbody bag. And it’s true, you can have a blast without all these creature comforts. I personally like to have these creature comforts so I can better enjoy the shows and not have to spend unexpected cash on things like disposable ponchos or bottles of water. It works for me, and it helped me have a fantastic time at Forecastle!

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What’s In My Bag? Clutch Edition

Yesterday I carried a clutch to work and a reader emailed me asking,

How can you carry such a small bag to work? My work bag is almost the size of a suitcase to hold all I need, and yesterday there was a chance of rain in DC. I’d love to see what is in your clutch and smaller bags so I can see how I can pare down my own work bag. Thanks Allie!

Yesterday I carried this bag:

And here are the contents:

  • Sunglasses (not in case which I don’t recommend on a regular basis)
  • Comb
  • Keys
  • SolarOil for my cuticles (trying to stop chewing them, and this helps keep them soft and less pick-able)
  • Umbrella
  • Urban Decay De-Slick powder
  • Engagement calendar with address book
  • Two phones (work and personal)
  • Retractable ball-point pen

In the pockets I have:

  • SmarTrip card
  • Check card, emergency credit card, driver’s license, insurance and AAA cards, cash
  • Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose (the lip color I wore yesterday)
  • Kohl eye pencil (what I wore yesterday)
  • Tide-to-Go pen
  • One Kleenex 
  • Camera memory card

So while it doesn’t hold all my regular purse contents, it’s everything I need for a day away from home!

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What’s In My Bag? (and what is in yours?)

I shared the contents of my purse a few months ago and since have realized the post took at a very minimalist point of my life. 2012 has been extremely busy, many days where I would be away from the home for 12 hours or more, traveling to three different locations without being able to stop home. Because of that, my purse contents have grown.

Today I am carrying my yellow leather tote from Nordstrom (last seen here). I love this bag because it’s more polished looking than a reusable tote, but can carry just as much. Along with all these contents, I also had a frozen meal and a return to Ann Taylor tucked in here, and could still fit the bag comfortably over my shoulder. I highly recommend Nordstrom brand bags – they are well made, stylish without being trendy, free of logos, and very reasonably priced (I got this one on clearance).

The contents of my bag:

I used to carry crayons for Emerson, but they got really grody over time. Lately she has been so creative, she can make a toy out of the most random things; I can give her a napkin and a pen and she has a blast.  However, you can usually find a small toy or action figure deep in the bottom of most of my purses.  My Metro SmarTrip card is in my jacket pocket, or else it would be in that front pocket with my keys!

So what’s in your purse?  I’d love to see – if you decide to do a blog post or Twitter pic sharing the contents of your bag, come back here and leave a link in the comments!

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Special Dedication Going Out…

…to the talent behind the lens.

He’ll do most anything to get the right shot… some pictures from a wedding we shot together a couple weeks ago… 

I work hard on this blog, but there’s no way it could be where it is if it weren’t for my husband. Seriously, check out my posts from 2005-2008, if it weren’t for his talent, his patience, and his support I would have probably stopped outfit posts.

The Man in Black at another event we shot together

His father was a photographer by trade, owned a camera shop in the town where I grew up. My mom even took photography classes from him years ago and remembers a little blonde boy playing with his Tonka trucks in the back room (we obviously didn’t know one another back then). He grew up with a darkroom in his basement, and when he decided to leave his miserable stressful job he knew it was the right decision to go into business with his father. Together they shot everything from weddings to high school soccer matches until his dad died unexpectedly in 2008.

Whether it’s jimmy-rigging an umbrella to get my outfit shots in the pouring rain, or taking OOTD shots of Emerson to entertain her during my shoots, he knows how to make the best of a situation!

When we decided it made more sense for him to stay home with Emerson during the day and stick to weekend shoots, he threw himself into supporting this blog. We switched from my Point-and-Shoot to his fancy-dancy DSLRs. As Emerson has gotten older, he has learned how to both entertain her and capture pictures of my outfit prior to driving me to the Metro every morning.

If I don’t mention him, it’s not because I don’t appreciate him and his skill, but because he does it for me, not for fame. But he does deserve some major props – for his great photos, his great attitude, his great soul, and for putting up with me and my crazy outfit photos every morning.  We make a pretty great team!

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Check Me Out at Coutorture!

If you haven’t stopped by Coutorture, I highly recommend you do. it’s a great place to learn about fashion, style, beauty and to investigate a ton of blogs on these very subjects. Well the lovely ladies (and gentleman) of this site did a little interview on Moi yesterday and I have linked it here if you care to read it. Thanks!

Check me out at Coutorture!

If you haven’t stopped by Coutorture, I highly recommend you do. it’s a great place to learn about fashion, style, beauty and to investigate a ton of blogs on these very subjects. Well the lovely ladies (and gentleman) of this site did a little interview on Moi yesterday and I have linked it here if you care to read it. Thanks!

Night Out on the Town

Nice restaurant, but no where you need to wear dressy clothes. After to a bar where you see anything from sweats to couture. My friends are pretty normal – middle of the road when it comes to these things. It’s cold outside, hot in the bar, comfortable in the restuarant. I may be walking a lot, I needed a versitile, sassy yet comfy outfit.

White ribbed tank from J. Crew. Black velvet blazer with ribbon/bow belt from The Gap (last winter). Vintage washed low rise bootcut jeans from The Gap.

Silver hoops, silver cuff. White gold necklace with black pearl pendant that my husband bought me several years ago.

Makeup was the day’s look buffed up. A bit more powder, a bit more liner, a bit more gloss.

Hair the same as earlier, just re-curled around the face.

Out and About: The Shindig Festival in Baltimore

Last weekend, Karl, my sister, and our two friends headed to Baltimore, Maryland for the 2014 Shindig Festival. It was the weekend before Karl’s birthday (the big 4-0 yo!), and the festival was featuring some pretty great bands that he and I both love: Clutch, Jane’s Addiction, Gogol Bordello, Fishbone, and more.

Since it was Karl’s birthday, we splurged for VIP tickets (regular were $35, VIP $70) and I say if you can swing it, VIP is the way to go. There were two VIP areas with shade, seats, trailer bathrooms in place of porta-potties, separate food and drink vendors, and all the bottled water you’d like was included. The VIP areas had space to the side of each stage where you could get a decent view without being in the crowd; there were also observation decks for each stage just for VIP. The ticket also came with a merchandise packet of one of those backpack/string things, a mix CD and a Shindig tee shirt.

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Karl resting his foot in VIP, wearing his “steel toe boot” c/o CastCoverz! and me in my “OOTD.”  Wore a white tee from rag & bone with my old battered and better with time self-distressed Target shorts, my “festival boots” (the DUO boots I bought in 2007 and wear to every music festival and most concerts), and I tied my Gap plaid flannel around my waist to put on when it got colder after dark.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, though I’ve shared on Instagram and Twitter, but Karl got a stress fracture in his foot a few weeks ago and has been rocking a boot and had to stop teaching yoga for a while. While the boot helps, he really should keep off his foot as much as possible and I was worried about this festival. However, with VIP (not just the seating and close locations, but closer parking and a shorter line to get in), he was able to rest his foot between must-see sets.

We arrived 1pm and got a lay of the land. The fest was pretty dead at that time, but I wanted to see Charm City Devils. We got there in time to catch a bit of Bad Seed Rising; gotta love young talent and this band rocks it. And Charm City Devils was just as great as I thought; I’d like to see them again in a dark club where the music would be more appropriate. We then went to VIP to get drinks and a snack but returned to see Larry and his Flask. I never heard of this band before but LOVED them! What a fun group, I would totally see them again if they toured the DC area!

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The crowd at Fishbone, that yellow dot is Karl (being the shortie I am and in front of K you can’t see me)

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A picture I took of Fishbone lead singer Angelo Moore crowd surfing during the Fishbone show; we then met Angelo during the festival and Karl got a photo with him.

One of the must-sees of the day was Fishbone. When Karl was stationed in Mayport, he saw Fishbone live and it was one of his most memorable shows. Though few of the original members remain, Fishbone’s performance was tight and terribly entertaining. The crowd was also amazing. We were in deep, just a couple people from the pit and the energy was infectious. The pit was one of the most… is courteous a weird word to use? Well it was a courteous pit, where people were aware of one another, having a blast instead of getting angry. I think it helped it was earlier in the day, fewer drunks. There was this one woman on the edge of the pit and she was totally my hero. With my arm and Karl’s leg we had to stay a safe distance away but she was raging for me and it was an awesome sight to see. She probably found me crazy but I had to give her a hug after the show, she proved that you don’t have to be young or male to enjoy a hard rock show.

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Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, photo via the Shindig Facebook page

This woman was one of many badasses at this festival. The woman power was fierce at Shindig, from female rockers in Bad Seed Rising and Halestorm, to the amazing staff and attendees. I saw a woman wearing a baby in an Ergo rocking the heck out of denim cutoffs, fishnets, and Doc Martens. I stopped a gorgeous woman with white pigtails, a gauzy white dress and combat boots to compliment her on her look, and was in awe by the personal style of so many female rock fans of every age, size, and style. Saturday was such a great reminder to not let the age on your driver’s license dictate your wardrobe, your taste in music, or how you choose to spend your free time.

So back to the festival! We wandered a lot during the day, caught Lucero (who was great), Halestorm (who was phenomenal), J Roddy Walson and the X (they were fine, I know their music and it’s good but it’s not my jam), and returned back to the Babe Stage for Clutch.

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Photo credit: Cassandra Mullinix of Bucket of Rock Blog

Clutch was another awesome crowd, we saw faces we recognized from previous Clutch shows, one guy even recognized me from the Clutch show at Forecastle! We befriended a couple from North Beach and again were near the pit so we totally vibed off that energy. The crowd was a bit older for Clutch, and since it was later in the day we encountered a few drunk and disorderly people, but we as a fan group took care of one another and quickly got rid of those causing a disturbance. Clutch was awesome as always; I’m sad their 9:30 December show is New Years Eve because I always look forward to it every year but am not going to spend NYE with a bunch of drunk men in a mosh pit and then attempt to drive home.

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Photo Credit: Cassandra Mullinix of Bucket of Rock Blog, via the Shindig Facebook page

Anyway, back to the fest. We didn’t dig deep into any crowd after Clutch. It had gotten dark but not cold, the moon was shining and we really enjoyed just walking through the fest seeing the scene. We headed over to the Bird Stage to catch Gogol Bordello but missed the beginning and the crowd was super packed so we stayed on the edge. Karl’s foot was starting to ache and while we really wanted to see Jane’s Addiction, we saw them a couple years ago with NIN and didn’t think it was worth possibly hurting Karl’s foot further. So we headed out after Gogol Bordello and went to a nice dinner with our friends. I heard Jane’s Addiction was amazing, but with so many shows under our belts and how busy our lives are, having a leisurely and delicious meal with some of our best friends was the perfect way to end a very fun day.

We usually hit a big music festival every summer, but with my arm and Emerson starting kindergarten that didn’t happen. Going to Shindig got our music festival fix, but it also makes me super excited for the next show on our calendar!

Out and About: Spirit Animal at the W

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As a blogger, I receive many invites in my inbox, but having a job and family means most of them I decline. However, when I received an email from Brandlink to see the band Spirit Animal perform at the W, I immediately emailed my mom to see if she could watch Emerson so Karl and I could have a fun date night. And fun it was!

This wasn’t our first event at the W; they often hold fashion shows, book signings, and live performances. Karl and I always start or end our W Date Nights at the Old Ebbitt Grill bar, enjoy a bourbon and ginger and a dozen or two oysters. Wednesday night was packed with tourists and business men, but we were able to snag two stools for dinner.

The P.O.V .Lounge at the W is on the top floor of the hotel with huge windows providing a view of the Washington Monument. Events here are great because it’s an intimate setting and the performers usually mingle with the crowd before and after their set.

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I came straight from work, so I needed something that was appropriate for the office as well. I wore the ASOS Swing Dress in black with my old Miss Sixty black heeled booties, a couple silver necklaces, my silver cuff, and my leopard Rebecca Minkoff bag (which is a crossbody so I can dance and hold a drink even with my cast).

Spirit Animal Band photos by Karl Gary

Spirit Animal has ties to the DC area; lead singer Steve Cooper grew up in a Maryland suburb not far from me and bassist Paul Michel spent much of his childhood in the District and previously worked at DC institutions like the Black Cat and the Tabard Inn. The band also includes guitarist Cal Stamp and Ronen Evron on drums. I read one review that stated they were a fusion of Red Hot Chili Peppers and LCD Soundsystem, another that said they sounded, “like Rage Against the Machine in an unusually good mood.” I think both are pretty good descriptions, I danced all night and had a blast.

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It was great to get out; I’ve been on the DL since the arm incident and this was my first time out on the town wearing the cast. It was totally worth it; if Spirit Animal’s playing at a venue near you do check them out!

Photos by Karl Gary <3

Ask Allie: How to Clean a White or Light Leather Bag

I just splurged for a gorgeous cream and beige leather bag. But now I’m wondering, how do I best care for it? I’m almost afraid to take it outside for fear that it would get dirty. Is there a way to treat it so that it lasts longer? And what if I do get a spot on it? Are there any products that I should avoid using on leather?

I have a gorgeous off-white leather bag from Banana Republic, got it for an insanely low price on eBay. A year later I was embarrassed to carry it because it was so dingy and stained, mainly from propping a newspaper on it during my Metro work commute, but also denim dye transfer and a few splashes of coffee. I researched ways to clean it, and if I can offer any advice from my experience, try spot test cleaning the bag now in an inconspicuous spot to see how it reacts so you’re prepared when dirt happens. Below are processes I tried that didn’t ruin the finish of my leather bag:

  • Dish soap diluted in water, gently applied with a soft cloth and quickly blotted dry. This is a good method for occasional cleaning to prevent set-in stains since it’s gentle, easy, and you likely own all you need to do it. Err on the side of too little soap, and the cloth should be slightly damp, not soaking.
  • Spray hair spray and wipe off with a cloth – the hairspray often grabs the stain but not the dye; be sure to wipe off while it’s still damp
  • White Wizard Stain Remover – this stuff is amazing and good to have on hand for all sorts of stains in the closet and around the home
  • Ink stains can come out with a bit of plain white toothpaste and a soft toothbrush (I have a child’s toothbrush just for this); be gentle and try to scrub only the spot because it could affect the finish
  • Equal parts Cream of Tartar and lemon juice (fresh lemon juice seems to be gentler and doesn’t smear as much as bottled) gently rubbed into the stain, left for 10 minutes. Use a rag damp with diluted soap to remove and buff dry with a soft cloth
  • Chamberlain’s Leather Milk – This stuff is gentle and conditions as well as cleans. It’s another great product to have on hand, I’ve used it on our couches, vintage leather coats, boots, and more.

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I Think I Figured it Out!

Blue cheese. Those who are allergic to mold and such are often allergic to things like blue cheese. Recently I have been eating every day for breakfast, oatmeal with blue cheese, some hot sauce and pepper. May sound disgusting to many, but for me I love it and look forward to it. I also often put gorgonzola or blue cheese in my lunchtime salad. I have always liked this kind of cheese, but only int he past month or two have I been consuming it almost daily.

It reminds me of college where after a night on the town, the next morning my neck would be swollen and stiff and I would feel swollen under my arms. My doctor said it was the large quantity of yeast I was consuming in the beers. Since college I haven’t drank such large quantities of beer at one time so I forgot about that problem.

One week until i see the doctor, one week to go blue cheese-free. Today i haven’t had any… let’s see if taking it out of my diet will heal me!

Blogger Favorite Beauty Buys of 2013: Mixed Bag Edition!

At the end of each year, I share what I found to be the best beauty buys from the past 12 months. Some are new products, some are just new to me. Many of you tell me you find the posts incredibly helpful, and I must say I also find them helpful when I read them on other blogs. This year, I decided to ask my favorite bloggers to share their single favorite beauty product from 2013 and I must say their choices have made my shopping list a mile long! I was honored to have so many bloggers share their faves, I have broken it down into six editions; this one is the lovely women who couldn’t narrow it down to one item.  Be it for the lips, eyes, face, or even fragrance, here’s their top picks:

“I’m a bit of a whore for concealer and my favorite this year by far is Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. It’s super pigmented and stays put so it’s great for undereye circles. Like Marianne (see below), I’m fickle when it comes to makeup but I’ve rebought Maybelline The Colossal Mascara several times this year and it’s definitely become a staple. It’s black-black, holds curl and it’s cheap! Finally, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Chic Honey is my favorite lip product of 2013. This color is a bit of an update on the classic Black Honey, but still sheer and easy to apply in the car without a mirror when you’re running late to work. (Um, not that I do this. Much.)”

“For skin, Kiehl’s Midnight Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It’s not cheap, but a little bit goes a very long way, and a small bottle lasts forever. It smells amazing, and my finicky skin feels like the proverbial baby’s bottom in the morning.

For color, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic. Your recommendation, obvi, and one of my finds ever. So much impact for so little money – and key for this lazy makeup girl – so little effort. A few swipes (so easy to apply, it’s mirrorless), plus a pat or two of powder, and I go from exhausted mama to grownup.”

- Alison, DC Celine

- Angelica, Clarendon Moms

“My favorite beauty buy is Parachute coconut oil. I am obsessed with what it does for my hair and skin. I have always heard about all the benefits of coconut oil but like everything I assumed it was just a lot of hoopla. I have naturally dry hair and skin (probably because I dont drink enough water) and this has been a life saver.

I also am in love with Pink Sugar Eau de Toilette. I was at the movies a few months ago and this lady sat next to me and I immediately was drawn to the way she smelled. So much so that I just had to ask what she was wearing. She told me about this perfume and I immediately got on the internet and was ordering it. It definitely has a super sweet scent but everyone remarks positively on it.”

- Jennifer, Comme Coco

“I’m a pretty fickle pickle when it comes to beauty products, constantly moving from one favorite to the next, but for 2013 a few products stand out. First of all, my Clarisonic Mia has been a game changer. I almost feel like I wasn’t getting my face completely clean before I started using it. On the makeup front, I switched to a full coverage foundation (Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Foundation) and whoa. It looks natural, stays on ALL day, and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to tinted moisturizers! Lastly, this year I splurged on the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette and I use it almost every day. I love that I can go from natural to dramatic all in one product, and the colors are rich and lasting.”

“My Favorite Beauty Buy: Kiehl’s Mint Lip Balm. This lip balm is the best remedy for chapped lips and it also smells divine. I wear it all the time. I also use a tiny bit before applying lipstick especially during the winter months.

Lola’s Favorite 2013 Beauty Buy was Kiehl’s Cuddly-Coat Grooming Shampoo. After a luxurious 5-minute bath with this shampoo, Lola feels beautiful and her coat is incredibly soft and shiny.”

- Rosa (and Lola!), Rosa Loves DC

I always say I learn the most from you, readers.  Some of my Holy Grail beauty products are ones you recommended in the comments.  So let me and everyone else know, what were your best skincare buys in 2013?

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Getting More For Your Money – Ebates

Wednesday, I made $7.00 just for buying the regular stuff I need. Toothpaste, baby-friendly (and eco-friendly) bug spray, toilet paper, teething oil, a couple extra sippy cups, mascara, shower gel. Last week I made $3.00 for ordering me and my daughter some clothes from Old Navy and $4.00 for purchasing a dress and shoes from Nordstrom. Last year I made over $700 for just shopping for the regular purchases I make. I don’t need a taskbar, I don’t need to collect points, I don’t have to scour the Internet for codes, I don’t need to buy from shops I don’t know or regularly frequent.

What I do is use Ebates before shopping online. Ebates is a site where you can get cash back from online purchases. Anywhere from 1% to 20% cash back. You visit the Ebates site, search for your favorite online retailer, and visit their site through their link at Ebates. An extra 30 seconds in your day. Then four times a year, you will receive a check in the mail from Ebates. No contracts, no giving all your personal information, no strings attached.

Ebay, Nordstrom, Target, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Kohl’s, Drugstore.com, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, JC Penney, The Children’s Place, Diapers.com, Lands End, Home Depot, Buy.com, Overstock, SmartBargains. I could keep going. The list is amazing and encompasses most of the best online retailers. Not only that, Ebates will keep track of promotions and coupon codes taking place for these retailers so you can get your cash back AND save as much as possible on your order.

And why am I telling you about this? Well, I am because I love this site and love to share fabulous bargains online. But I am also telling you because Ebates offers a referral bonus. If you sign up for Ebates and love it as much as I do, you can tell your friends and make a bonus off each of them when they sign up and use the site.

There’s no risk. If you sign up for Ebates and don’t love it… then stop using the site. No worries. And whether you make $6.00 or $600 of the site, you will still get your check for your cash back (or a deposit in your PayPal account – your preference).

Worried about privacy and security? Ebates was founded by two former Deputy District Attorneys who take privacy and security very seriously. Only a very limited number of Ebates employees ever have access to your personal information, which is only used to track and send the cash back payments you earn. Ebates uses an SSL connection on all pages where you access or transmit personal information. Ebates sends two types of emails to its members: customer service emails required to maintain the Ebates program (like cash back credits & payment notifications); and promotional emails featuring especially good offers. You may choose not to receive promotional emails at any time from your account page or by clicking the “unsubscribe” link in an email. Ebates will not sell your information to any third party.

Interested? Click here to sign up for Ebates and start saving money!

Out and About: Jack White at Merriweather Post Pavilion

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This past Sunday I had the pleasure of seeing Jack White live at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. I’ve been a huge fan of his for a long time; while I never got a chance to see the Racounteurs, I did see the White Stripes (Bonnaroo 2007, festie recap here), the Dead Weather (Bonnaroo 2010, fest recap at this link), and Jack White (Virgin FreeFest 2012, recap here) and I own all of his albums. So when I saw he was coming back to town to promote his latest album, Lazaretto, I snagged the presale code and bought tickets.

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What I Wore, via Instagram: I just took what I wore that day (Thursday’s outfit post) and replaced the fancy cashmere poncho and Fossil bag for this poncho from BP. (wrote about it here) and a tres old J. Crew bag (seen here from waaay back when I went to Lilith Fair).  Switched the gold bracelet for my silver cuff. The cap is Karl’s and was brilliant, kept me toasty warm without having to carry a ton of stuff or being too bulky to rock out.

It ended up being Ladies Night, as I went with my sister and best friend S. We decided to make it a bit of a Date Night for us since we don’t get together as often as we’d like and went to nearby Clyde’s for dinner in place of tailgating it in the MPP parking lot or chowing down on hot dogs and Beer-a-Ritas on the lawn. Clyde’s was having lobster (sorry, I mean lobstah!) night and our friend saw a woman drink a yummy concoction with fruit in it and we ordered a pitcher (it was some sort of sangria made with peach puree and chunks of fruit that was insanely delish) and had a great catch-up session over shellfish.

Because of our extended dinner, we missed the opening act, Olivia Jean. I don’t know her music but our friend’s husband said she was a not-miss. I think I would have loved her, but time is so strapped these days I’d take a leisurely dinner with my best gals over the most stellar artist. I’ll have to catch her another time! But we arrived in plenty of time to grab a drink (getting all classy with the plastic cup of Chardonnay) and get seated before Jack White began.

Before the performance they stressed us not trying to capture the concert on our phones, and to be honest, iPhone photos of live shows always look like ass so I didn’t even try. Anyway, they encouraged us to go to Jack White’s site to capture quality images, so those are the ones I’m using in this post. And I’m glad I didn’t watch the show from my phone’s screen because JACK WHITE MELTED MY FACE OFF! As Dave McKenna of the Washington Post wrote, “By now it’s clear that White could tour with an entire orchestra or a volcano and he’d still be the one thing on stage nobody could take their eyes off of.”

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The man is so talented, and watching him perform is a pleasure because you can see how much he enjoys it, but also how serious he is about his art and giving a great experience to his fans. Everything, from who is in his band to what they’re wearing to where they’re placed on stage to the lighting is very carefully crafted to match his concept for the tour, his current album, his current personal style.

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And speaking of personal style, as I tweeted during the show, they often say shoes make the man but Jack White is proof that the hair is what matters. I don’t fall for an artist because of his looks (okay, maybe that’s what drew me to Father John Misty initially…), and Jack White was never the kind of guy to make my heart race. But then he went and cut his hair and seeing him on stage Sunday night rocking out with that new ‘do I must say the man was downright sex-ay sexy! He even went and combed his hair back in place between songs and I utterly swooned. Karl has been growing out his hair (as he says, he’s almost 40, he better do it while he can) and has a similar swoop on top and I must say I dig it on K and I did it on Jack!

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Anyway, back to the show. He did a brilliant combination of songs from his entire library, starting with Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, playing solo hits like Sixteen Saltines and Hall Ball Stepper, bringing a grin to everyone’s face with We’re Going to Be Friends, and ending with the fist-pumping Seven Nation Army. One picture I tried to capture from the event was this tall man in front of me with long hair; though I never saw his whole face, his posture and style so reminded me of Andrew WK. At the end of the show he raised his fists in the air a la Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club and I thought, that’s right dude. You just made a pose that summed up what all of us were feeling after one of the best shows from one of the best artists.

Out and About: Robyn & Röyksopp at Wolf Trap

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Robyn and Röyksopp

Living in the DC area, we’re lucky to have several awesome music venues, and come summer there’s a type of venue for any type of music fan. One of my favorite places in the summer is Wolf Trap; it’s not close by, but they have a shuttle from the Vienna Metro station and it’s worth the trip. The acoustics are fabulous and they let you bring in picnic baskets and coolers of your own food and alcohol (no bottles, but these days you can find fab beer in cans and wine in boxes). We usually try to grab a weekend day festival there each summer, and it’s a great place to see classic artists, plays, and orchestras. However when I heard Robyn with Röyksopp were coming I HAD to go!

I’ve liked Robyn since the late ‘90s (yep, same gal), but after seeing her at Bonnaroo in 2012, Karl and have become mega Robyn fans. Our friend Nicole is a fellow Robyn lover, so the three of us decided to go. Nicole suggested we get pavilion seats and we decided to splurge. Gosh am I glad she suggested that!


Thursday, August 21 was the Robyn/Röyksopp show and if you’re from this area, you know it wasn’t the best weather. It rained in the morning, cleared up some, but the rain returned by rush hour. By time I arrived at Wolf Trap it was rainy, humid, steamy, and disgusting. We hid under a tree to enjoy a drink and then quickly retreated to our pavilion seats to stay dry.

The opening artist was ZHALA and well, I felt bad for the gal.  While she likely would be awesome in a smaller, intimate venue like the 9:30 club, performing on the big stage of Wolf Trap before sundown was a bit depressing and felt as though we were spying on someone dancing in her bedroom in front of her mirror.  She manned her own smoke machine and got down while the crowd was busy texting their friends, finding their seats, and chatting with one another.  We decided to take the time for a restroom break (the perk of a Robyn show is the crowd is primarily male so no line for the facilities) and get a drink (can’t bring anything but water into the pavilion so I ended up splurging on a $9.50 cup of Pinot Grigio).

When Röyksopp started we went back to our seats.  It was dark and they started strong.  While most of their songs are instrumental, they kept the crows riveted with a light show that rivaled Pink Floyd.  They got the crowd in the right frame of mind for the headliner, and when Robyn came on the stage the crowd erupted with cheers.

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Images via Robyn’s Facebook page

Robyn is just as animated and awesome in person as she is in her videos and TV appearances.  Her energy level is astounding, she dances all night long while maintaining a strong singing voice, which is even more impressive when you realize she’s 35, not in her early ’20s like most pop stars.  I love how she doesn’t give a fug and dresses how she wants and dances how she wants without trying to look sexy or cool and totally gets into the moment.  Robyn kept the crowd going all night and it was fun to see folks from all walks of life dancing with her, the energy was so positive and friendly.  I didn’t get any good photos because it was dark, and because I was too busy dancing!  We decided to leave just before the end so we could get out of the parking lot at a decent hour since the next day was work for all of us!

For more photos from the show, check out this post from my friends at This is Our Jam!

Check Out the #NewFaceofHawaiianTropic

Bikini contests are so passé. I’ve always hated such things, where a woman is solely judged by her body and not her mind, personality, or contribution to society. So when I heard that Hawaiian Tropic® brand decided to drop their bikini contest I was thrilled. They are now holding a contest for the “New Face” of Hawaiian Tropic® brand.

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