Natural Solutions for Fighting Allergy Symptoms


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Austin, Texas is no doubt an AMAZING city to live in…but we do have to deal with some killer outdoor seasonal allergies.  After living in Houston, Chicago, and Kansas City, I deal with allergens here that I’ve never even heard of.  People here get “Cedar Fever” in January from the abnormally high & aggressive cedar pollen, as well as seeing endless days of categorically high mold spores.  Today’s allergy report, for example:  Typical Austin Allergy Report

I’ve learned that it’s the mold that gets to me and although I by no means have severe allergies, a long outdoor hike in all that mold can leave my energy depleted & my head all congested.  Most days aren’t bad enough to pop a Zyrtec D (I try not to take meds if at all possible anyway) so I’ve been on the hunt to find more natural ways to combat any reaction to allergy symptoms.

So, I guess this is where I should put a legal medical disclaimer…see bottom of this post for that legalese, ok?  Because duh — I’m a housewife, not a doctor.  Here are 5 things I’m using right now to fight off these symptoms and get through the day with the energy my life as a new mom demands:

1.  Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy oral spray:  At the very first sign of any cold-like symptoms, I reach for this quick & easy mouth spritz.  Rather than using traditional over-the-counter drugs for help with the common cold, I’ve been exploring the idea of more homeopathic solutions — all the products I’ve tried from Cold-EEZE haven’t failed me yet.  This stuff is formulated with zinc gluconate and proven to help shorten the duration of the cold by nearly half.  Just two sprays under the tongue and I’m out the door, ready to get on with my day!  Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy Spray

2.  NeilMed SINUS RINSE Complete Kit:  Neti Pots never work for me but this little squeeze bottle system does the trick.  Ugh, you’d be surprised to see what you can rinse out of your sinuses during a cold!  I use it at night to flush out the allergens accumulated from being outside, and then again in the morning to relieve pressure from nighttime stuffiness.  For the warm rinse, I recommend their brand of premixed packets…I’ve purchased drug-store brand generic ones and the solution is never as soothing as the one from NeilMed.

3.  USANA Probiotic stick packs:  I keep reading more & more about the wide array of benefits from taking probiotics.  Not just a digestive aid, they apparently help with all kinds of things, from mood to immunity.  You no longer have to eat a bunch of yogurt, either — I’m seeing them in pill form, liquid shots, etc.  Right now, I’m taking probiotics in powder stick form from USANA that conveniently pour & blend into my favorite drink.  I learned there’s also all different strains of specific probiotic bacteria and I need to do more research into what proprietary types are best for how I intend to use them.  However, the two types contained in this USANA blend claim to modulate the body’s natural immune response.  Plus, they are clinically proven to survive the harsh acidic environment of the stomach and remain effective for at least 18 months when stored at room temp.  –Which is great, because I worry the “live & active cultures” in the probiotics I buy refrigerated from the health food store are dead from the heat of my hot car by the time I get home!USANA Probiotic stick packs

4.  Diffuse essential oils:  Yes, I got on the Young Living bandwagon but I’m having fun!  It’s interesting to me to experiment in the world of essential oils.  I mostly just diffuse everything but that can be quite effective for me, anyway.  I hear the essential oil  ‘allergy trio’ is lemon, lavender, and peppermint.  I’ve got lemon diffusing right now, in fact — smells very fresh & energizing.  Also, Thieves is great for mold & RC can help with congestion, so there are more ways I can switch it up in the days ahead.Young Living Dew Drop Diffuser in action

5.  Arbonne Essentials Energy Fizz Sticks:  An on-the-go blend of green tea, guarana and ginseng, combined with B vitamins and chromium that mixes with water to boost energy, help promote alertness, enhance cognitive performance, promote endurance and enhance motor performance.  Adding these little stick packs can be a great kickstarter when feeling sluggish, which is exactly how I feel when these allergy symptoms get me down!  Somehow done without artificial colors or flavors, the Citrus version is a sweet tangerine flavor (not too sour/acidic) and tastes amaze.Arbonne Essentials energy fizz sticks

***Disclaimer:  The information contained on this website is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information represents what I, a lifestyle blogger, have chosen to do to take charge of my own personal health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

Information found on this site is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. Individual articles and information on other websites are based upon the opinions of the respective authors, who retain copyright as marked.

Joie de Vivre on How to Survive an Austin Summer


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Thanks for the love, Luxe!

Originally posted on luxe apothetique:


We met up with Austin blogger Lindsey J. Wiese of Joie de Vivre and talked all things Summer. From style to sweets, we delved into this busy mom’s must-haves when it comes to surviving the Texas heat in style.

View original 492 more words

Hush Hush Music Bash: Free Festival for Kids this Weekend at The Domain


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Although the tunes never stop in the Texas state capitol (especially with the ACL Music Festival going on) the volume may get louder than usual this Saturday afternoon. On Saturday, October 3, The Domain is joining forces with and Spare the Rock, Spoil and Child to host Hush Hush Music Bash, a free music festival for kids. DomainConcert2

“ACL is one of Austin’s biggest attractions and it’s one of our favorite times of the year here at The Domain,” explains Lea Willingham, General Manager. “Thanks to the Hush Hush Music Bash, even the youngest of music fans don’t have to miss out on the influx of live performances and stellar lineups.”

Austin’s only after-party for kids is going down in Amy Donovan Plaza at Domain II on Saturday, October 3, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. With music sponsored by Austin Diagnostic Clinic, the afternoon features performers that will rock mini music lovers’ world—literally.

Elizabeth McQueen will kick off the bash at 4 p.m. Known for her beautiful and timeless vocal style, McQueen’s music brings together the best of multiple genres into groovy, danceable art-form. Next, Mario the Magician will hit the stage at 5 p.m. Part retro, part rock-and-roll, Mario’s uplifting, highly interactive and ridiculously funny performance is sure to thrill the kids. As part of a multi-city release for his newest album, Tim Kubart will perform “indie pop for all ages” with Mother Falcon at 6 p.m., finishing off a night that will have kids begging for more. Concerts for Kids at the Domain, Austin
In addition to getting down and funky at the main concert, kids will enjoy dance competitions, a gaming zone provided by The Microsoft Store, cupcake decorating with Baked by Amy’s, a music station and more.

Transitional Dressing: Summer-to-Fall ’15

Happy fall, y’all!  Today is the Autumnal Equinox, marking the official first day of the fall season.  Here in Austin we’ve got highs in the mid-90s…you could say it’s gone from ‘hottest’ to ‘hotter.’  Although we’ve got a tiny bit of reprieve from the hot hot heat of August, it’s still difficult to fully embrace all the beautiful cool-weather wares arriving in stores.  

However, one cannot resist getting in the fall spirit, am I right?!?  The arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, college football games on TV, kids’ back-to-school activities, and that certain crispness in the air are some of my favorite signs of the shifting seasons.  And of course, who can resist the temptations of fall fashion?!?  Since I’ve learned the hard way by burning up in my flannel button-down and sweating through my sweater one too many times, here are some tips for dressing for fall when it still feels like summer:

1.  Rethink Outerwear:  when you want to wear THIS [insert weather-inappropriate fall trend here], sub for THAT…at least until the temps dip below 70 ;)

Camo jackets?  –Go with an army-green utility vest.

Plaid blanket scarf?  –Opt for a statement necklace for equal sartorial flair.

Tribal-print Poncho? –Sub a colorful kimono for now.  (Kimono pictured below is from Luxe Apothetique at The Domain) 

2.  Keep the fabric, tweak the cut:  fall fabrics such as chunky sweaters, suede, raw selvage denim, etc. can be functional in this heat by adjusting the silhouette.

Chunky knit sweater = drop the turtle neck & wool blend and find a short sleeve version in cotton weave.

Suede pants with flare leg = try microsuede shorts instead.

Skinny jeans = wear your denim shorts awhile longer…looks just as cute with your fall booties, too! (Boyfriend cut-offs pictured below are by Joe’s Jeans and from Luxe Apothetique)   

3.  It’s all about the accessories:  incorporate the colors of fall in small ways that carry big impact.

–Fringe on fringe on fringe:  loving it on skirts, boots & clutches

–Hats:  floppy fedoras in marsala or olive

–Booties:  suede & in a neutral tone such as clay or stone

–Scarves:  lightweight knit and colorfully saturated in fall’s folkloric prints

–Seasonal jewelry:  Austin-favorite  jewelry line, Kendra Scott, debuts a new collection each ‘season’ — a no-fail, all-weather way to stay on-trend seasonally.  (These Kendra Scott ‘Fran’ Earrings in Iridescent Opalite pictured below are from Luxe Apothetique at The Domain, too!) 


Austin Fall Activity Schedule (Babies age 6 – 12 months)


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Not sure about all you other new mamas out there, but taking baby out for little activities is our day-to-day bread & butter.  These little trips outside the home seem to be so good for my little one and let’s be honest:  they keep me SANE! ;) Even when she was first born, I’d joke that I’d have something booked on her schedule every day of the week if I could.  Little strolls around the neighborhood & reading books in our soft recliner are nice but my observant little one loves to get out & about, see new things, and interact with other kiddos.  Now that she’s past the newborn stage, there are so many options on the table and we want to get out there and take advantage of them!  This summer, the thought crossed my mind to post our daily schedule and I never got around to it…I wish I had because our weekly routine will be so different for this upcoming season!  The thing is, I work really hard to research field trips, classes, storytimes, and more that are age-appropriate, fit within her nap schedule, are truly enriching, etc.  Now that Fall is upon us, I wanted to share with friends & family what we’ll be up to for the rest of the year.  Additionally, maybe this will help other new moms with some ideas for getting out of the house with baby in tow — it can be daunting & frustrating at times but it’s been so very worth it for us.

MONDAYS:  Preschool!  Well, it’s really more of a Mother’s Day Out, but they’re calling it “Preschool.”  Most programs don’t take the littles until they are 12-18 months, but I found a church in my area that will admit them at 6 months.  I’ve taken a Mom-to-Mom Bible study class and attended Sunday worship services there, so I’m familiar with the leaders & feel that the facilities are top-notch.  I’m confident this time apart from me will be beneficial for baby’s socialization & enrichment, too.  Gotta admit:  I’m looking forward to having a half-day to myself to take care of personal stuff, ya know?  Babies aren’t exactly welcome at the dentist’s office.  Mostly, I’m pumped to start taking group fitness classes again!  It’s funny:  once you’re a mom, even a run to Target alone can feel so oddly exhilarating!

Indoor playground playdate held at the church where her preschool will be!

Indoor playground playdate held at the church where her preschool will be!

TUESDAYS:  Have you heard of MOPS before?  It stands for Mothers of Preschoolers and is a ministry out to serve that exact demographic.  After serving with MOPS in childcare at my old church in Kansas City, I’m thankful to finally get to participate in this program as a mom myself.  They serve brunch, talk motherhood, marriage, & more — all with a Christian focus.  Childcare is provided so baby girl will get to play in another ‘Sunday school’ for a couple hours.  I’ll be doing the program at a different church than her preschool, but this one’s close to our home as well.  It runs every other Tuesday, so I’ll be on the lookout for something fun for those alternate weeks.  If nothing regular pops up, a morning at The Thinkery or Little Land Play Gym are both excellent go-tos for high-quality engagement.

Baby in the ball pit! We love to play at Little Land Pay Gym -- all of their equipment is strong enough to hold babies and mamas (so I can swing too!)

Baby in the ball pit! We love to romp around at Little Land Play Gym — all of their equipment is strong enough to hold babies AND parents (so I can swing too!)

WEDNESDAYS:  Preschool, day 2.

THURSDAYS:  Waterbabies swim class at Emler Swim School.  Yeah, they hook you in with a super-cute Bathtime Babies class that’s free for ages 2 – 6 months.  That was one of our first classes to take together and it was a great bonding experience so the hubs & I ponied up for the next round of courses this summer.  But let me tell ya:  it’s so worth it!  My 7.5 month-old can have water splashed in her eyes & down her face without tears, is calm as can be ‘floating’ on her back with ears submerged, and can even ‘swim’ underwater with 6-second breath control.  You’ll notice my use of half-quotes because these activities are kind-of assisted, obviously, but still she amazes me in each class with her independence & improvement.  Plus, our community is sandwiched between Lakes Austin & Travis (not to mention, lots of neighbors have backyard pools) so it’s a high priority for our daughter to know how to be safe and feel comfortable in the water.

Bathtime Babies is the coolest class in all of Austin for babies under 6 months. Moments like this planted the seed for our love of swim school!

Bathtime Babies is the coolest class in all of Austin for babies under 6 months. Moments like this planted the seed for our love of swim school.

FRIDAYS:  Two options:  Storytime with Mr. Rudy at Cups & Cones or Mr. Will in concert at Brilliant Sky Toys & Books.  Storytime with Mr. Rudy is an easy casual choice because it’s right down the street and I’ll get to pow-wow with other neighborhood moms.  Plus, Cups & Cones is a darling family owned small business…always good to support people like that!  As for our other option, Mr. Will is our favorite local children’s music artist and now that our schedule won’t allow us to see him play Mondays at Whole Foods Market – Hill Country Galleria, we’re happy to drive over to a Westlake toy store for his upcoming Friday gigs.

Rockin' out to Mondays with Mr. Will at Whole Foods Market -- his Texas Country spin on children's music is the best.

Rockin’ out to Mondays with Mr. Will at Whole Foods Market — his Texas Country spin on children’s music is the best!


Fashion Trends for Fall ’15: my favorite looks


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Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting front-row for The Fall ’15 Trend Event at Neiman Marcus, Austin.  The evening centered around an intimate & comprehensive runway presentation where upcoming seasonal-appropriate looks were shown in addition outlining little details like earrings, tights, and even lipstick.  The main event was accentuated with sorbet cocktails by Frost 321 (think boozy ice cream!) and chic light bites.  Neiman Marcus has a way of not only cutting through the clutter by perfectly predicting next season’s big trends but also showing us ways to wear them.  Really, Fall is such a big season for both fashion in general as well as building a personal wardrobe so I always pay close attention to their annual fall forecast and plan ahead.  Here are shots of my favorite looks from their list of Fall 2015 fashion must-haves:

  • Folklorica:  A global array of embroidery, patchwork, lace, and fringeNeiman Marcus Fall '15 Trends: Folklorica
  • The Last Layer:  Dusters, ponchos, and capesNeiman Marcus Trends for Fall '15:  The Last Layer
  • Full-bodied Reds:  Crimson, carmine, claret (and for lips, too)Neiman Marcus Fall '15 Trends: Full-bodied Reds
  • White Out:  We’re forecasting a wintry mixNeiman Marcus Trends for Fall '15:  White Out (winter whites)
  • The Return of the Flare:  Jeans and pants with a leg-flattering kickNaiman Marcus Trends for Fall '15:  flare legs


Life[style]: August


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Sharing some late-summer beauty finds!

  1.  Japonesque:Japonesque Pro Performance Lipstick, Color Correcting Crayon, and Radiance PrimerI was recently sent a sampling of Japonesque’s latest products, including the Pro Performance Lipstick, Radiance Primer and Color Correcting Crayon (my favorite!)  I’ve tried drugstore-brand color-correcting concealers before & of course they’ve never worked so I figured that type of cover-up wasn’t for me.  As in, when it comes to covering my spots, I’ve never looked at color correcting concealers twice.  Even after splurging on the pricey but effective Cle de Peau Concealer, I am still frustrated when my super dark red spots aren’t concealed.  After using the Japonesque Color Correcting Crayon with success, I’ve discovered my problem was that I was trying to cover the pigmentation when I should’ve been trying to correct it.  Using their pale green stick after foundation but before concealer has really been so surprisingly effective!  I chalk it up to the precision of the crayon tip and the exceptional product formulation.  Thank you Japonesque for re-introducing me to the art of color correction!

2.  Purifying line from derma e:Purifying Oil-free moisturizer by derma e

This is my new favorite moisturizer, no joke.  The idea behind it is that it’s a silky, lightweight, rehydrating formula that detoxifies skin, replenishes nutrients and defends against micropollutants.  Now, its black color was surprising & caused me to wonder if it would show up dark on the skin, but not in the slightest.  That hue comes from the Activated Charcoal & Marine Algae and both are deeply detoxifying!  Plus, the lightweight formula absorbs quite quickly — a plus for me because I have no patience these days for the lengthy application of products…it’s basically gotta be one swipe & go.  In the past I’ve had problems with lesser quality moisturizers just sitting on top of the skin, clogging pores & looking all greasy.  This formula doesn’t feel heavy on my face at all or look the least bit shiny once applied — PERFECT for my oily skin this summer!

3.  SeabuckWonders Ultimate Hair, Skin & Nails supplement:Seabuck Wonders Ultimate Hair, Skin & Nails supplementAfter being kinda shocked by postpartum hair shedding (which I found out is totally normal), it’s time for this little mama to begin thinking about a quality Biotin supplement.  As hormones balance back out to prepregnancy levels, I’ve been searching for ways to support the health of my hair, skin & nails.  Apparently, this new formula from SeaBuck Wonders is the only one on the market to combine Biotin with rare Omega-7.  The Omega-7 comes from Sea Buckthorn (a super fruit from the Tibetan Himalayas) which helps promote skin hydration, elasticity and regeneration.  I mean, I’ll never regain that amazing pregnancy glow but I suppose every little bit helps.  ;)

My finds from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale


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Have y’all checked out the this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yet?  It’s my favorite sale of the year and we do a lot of our Fall shopping during this time.  My picks this year are just no-fail closet staples:  tees, workout wear, and classic cashmere.  It’s always a win when you can find high-end basics at a reduced price!  Slide1

Clockwise beginning from top left:

1.  Nike ‘Venom Tempo’ Dri-FIT Shorts & ‘Tempo’ Track Shorts:  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to commit to a regular gym routine since my baby was born.  BUT, what we do love are our regular evening walks around the new ‘hood just before her bedtime.  These shorts will serve me well outdoors during our hot Texas summers.  I went with a fun print (hello, hot pink leopard!) and a classic black.

2.  Nike ‘Performance’ No-Show Socks (3-pack):  Quality no-show socks are hard to come by!  I’ve tried several cheaper brands and they usually slip off at the heel or the elastic wears out prematurely.  My other Nike socks are the best I’ve got — slow to wear out and quite breathable.  I don’t ever see them marked down, so this was a solid buy in my book.

3.  Nike ‘Free Flyknit 5.0 TR’ Training Shoe:  Because, new shoes.  And if I’m going to be doing the utilitarian mom look in public, I might as well have fresh clean kicks.  Grocery store runs deserve a dose of cute, too.

4.  Halogen Relaxed Slub Knit U-Neck Tee:  Another great Anniversary Sale staple!  I nabbed this classic white tee because of the nice lightweight cotton fabric and the super-flattering fit.  Trust me, the V-neck tees at Target aren’t cut as well or feel as soft — this one is on sale at a similar pricepoint so definitely check them out!

5.  Halogen Zip Back Cashmere Sweater:  A go-with-anything, dress-up or dress-down topper.  With temps in the 100s later this week, I won’t be able to wear this Fall find for awhile, but the cashmere material stretches it between seasons.  Love the longer length & all the prints & colors.

To my baby girl on her 6-month birthday…a first-time mom’s reflection on making it this far


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Baby A at 6 months

Dearest Alexandra August,

Happy half-birthday, my girl!  I can’t believe we’re already halfway to your one-year birthday.  Today was a big one for you:  first, we gave you ‘real’ food for the first time!  You sure made some funny faces upon tasting that spinach puree and well, we could tell it wasn’t your favorite.  At one point, as Daddy was walking away from your highchair & back up the stairs, you gave him this look of longing, like:  ‘take me with you — this green goop is yucky!’  But, there were no tears and you kept trying out your new food with each spoonful given.  Mother’s milk is still your preferred food and to my surprise, our breastfeeding is still going strong!  Initially, I gave myself permission to stop by this milestone — after half a year of feeding you in this way every two hours, my new goal is to continue for a full year.  However long we make it, I’m very proud to have gotten this far in providing for your nutritional needs in this special way.

Next, we took you to church.  Mama and Dada are in the process of finding a church home and are visiting places of worship near our new home.  Besides looking for a place to worship, learn & grow in Christ myself, I strongly desire for you grow up within a community of brothers & sisters in Christ.  Even though we struggle to reconcile our somewhat liberal social views with select religious-right stances, we are guided to find a church home for reasons more important than politics:  we know you will be blessed in life by the influence of Christian fellowship.  Aside from our personal religious preferences (style of the preaching, type of songs, what particular Protestant-based denomination a church is, etc.), we find ourselves gravitating to whatever place we feel that’s best for YOU.  Mama prays for you everyday and hopes that one day you will reach the age of understanding and desire to follow Jesus!

So, after your interesting baby food brunch, a visit to the church nursery, and being good for us during a little lunch out, you are currently napping peacefully.  You take one nap a day, usually about two (sometimes 3!) hours long.  You sleep through the night and been doing so since you were about 6 weeks old.  ~Mama is soooooo incredibly thankful for that!!!  I wasn’t handling sleep deprivation well and feel so lucky that you began sleeping for longer stretches at such a young stage.  Nowadays, you go to bed at 8:30 p.m. and wake on your own each morning at 7:30.

Physically, you’ve mastered rolling over and are now yearning to crawl…we’ll even catch you in full-on plank position, trying to figure out how to move those little chubby knees up under your belly.  You can sort-of sit up…you definitely can sit upright in my lap but unassisted, you usually topple over after a minute.  I recognize your rapid growth when I examine how big your little hands are getting or when I realize you’re ready for size 3 diapers.  We’re so proud of how you’re thriving but I’m crying right now just thinking about how fast you are changing.  Dada loves to watch your eyes wander inquisitively around a room.  Mama loves when our eyes meet and you immediately respond with a sly smile.  In this action, you remind me to snap out of any kind of cranky or anxious mood I might be in…to smile and choose positivity in each and every moment.

In fact, your influence on my life has been nothing short of monumental.  It has even altered my concept of time.  The saying about motherhood is so true:  ‘The days are long but the years are short.’  As a stay-at-home-mom, it’s like I have all of the time but none of the time (if that makes any sense).  I’m fortunate to get to experience baby swim school, music class, and more with you but on the other hand, I now grapple with what feels like zero personal time.  I’ve given up even part-time professional pursuits, put my charitable committees on the back burner, my goodness…I even struggle to fit in a shower for the day.  However, despite sometimes wondering where a shred of my old life is, I thank God literally every day for my new life as your mother.  (You know you were an answer to three years of fervent prayer for a child, right?)  When I feel overwhelmed, I remember what I hear time & again from random people who see us out & about:  “it goes by so fast — in the blink of an eye, she’ll be 18.”

Yes, I hate that I sometimes pine for the next step –maybe I’ll be changing a diaper and wish for the day you’re potty trained or I’ll be carrying you up the stairs for the 20th time and hope for when you can climb up them yourself– so I’m training my mind to focus on the ‘now.’  Admittedly, it’s been quite an exercise in strength & patience, but since having you I’ve never appreciated the present moment more.  I witness in awe how my journey here on Earth will forevermore be navigated by your gravitational pull.  You truly are the light of my life.

I love you,


How to: festival style with a sophisticated spin


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Living in Austin, a.k.a. the Live Music Capital of the World, concerts are a regular part of life.  Besides hosting widely acclaimed mega-festivals such as ACL Fest and SXSW, there are more live music venues per capita here than any other place on Earth.  You can even stumble upon free shows (GOOD ones, too!) at the local grocery store.  Safe to say, us Austin gals know our festival style.

Let me preface:  I’m not hipster or boho or rocker-chic or whatever-enough to pull of those badass outdoor festival looks a la Coachella.  I never go costume-y; I just dress like a more eclectic artsy version of myself.  Also, now that I’m in my 30s and have a tiny breastfeeding babe at home, gone are the days of raging for a 2-day outdoor live music scene. –That ish requires a more utilitarian/camper-girl uniform aimed at enduring the heat & other smelly sweaty conditions in order to survive until the headliner each night.  Nowadays, I beeline for a tent to stand under, map out exact stage times for my fave bands, and only stay for a set or two.

At the last couple of fashionable festival events I attended, I had the honor of my ‘street-style’ being captured by photographers from some of fashion’s most fabulous retailers.  First, let’s talk the biggest media/music gathering around and one of the first big festivals of the year, SX:  CUSP by Neiman Marcus was on the scene for #NMMakeSomeNoise and their stylists shared their top ensembles to forecast looks for the rest of festival season 2015.  –I was thrilled to find I was included in their list!


Next, came the R29 Style Festival hosted this past weekend weekend at The Domain.  It was super innovative and quite interactive:  they had a DIY band tee styling station, braid bar, flash tats, and pop-up shops from indie designers.  All the fun was capped off by an intimate show by the band MAGIC!  If you live in any of the cities remaining on the tour –Miami, Philly, Boston-area, or D.C.– I highly recommend you make it out to this free event.  It was pretty cool to see that Simon Malls reposted my Insta from this fest on their web site:

Simon Mall

simon mobile

Photo credit: Lauren Cevallos, Director of Photography, Luxe Apothetique

So, if you’re wanting to create a more sophisticated festival style look, I would steer clear of the overdone booty jorts, cut-off tees & combat boots.  I tend to gravitate to trousers in a lightweight fabric with a tank & vintage hat or a breezy printed dress topped off by milkmaid braids & sunnies.  Other stylish yet fest-functional pieces I love are:

  • Kimonos:  packs a beautiful sartorial punch & keeps those shoulders from burning
  • Booties: keeps those toes grass & mud-free; bonus if they’re faux (because shoes get stained & stepped on at these things)
  • Cross-body handbags:  Holds essentials so you can throw those hands up in the air
    • Recommended packing list:  driver’s license, medical insurance card, cash, lip balm, sunblock stick, and Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths (because you have no idea how handy wipes can be out there!  These are awesome & come lightly scented with a powder finish.)

Also, current trends that I think translate well onto the music festival scene are fringe (on boots, bags & more) and tassels (on long necklaces & at the ends of boho sleeves). Whatever festival look you’re going for, don’t leave home without a hat, sunscreen, and closed-toe shoes.  Drink lots of water and rock on, ladies!


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