Bumbershoot 2015: A Look Back

As a self-proclaimed “sun goddess” and someone who enjoys all things California, there are multiple reasons why I love visiting all my college friends in Seattle. While I’m sure this won’t be my last post on the Emerald City it is my first time attending a music festival outside of California. During my last visit to Seattle I attended Bumbershoot a three-day music festival held at the Seattle Center featuring music, comedy, film, theater, and dance. With sunny days, live music, and picturesque views of the Space Needle my little gypsy heart was in heaven.

As a frequent festival goer I know which artists have made the festival circuit this season. As one of my last festivals I decided to take it a bit easier and enjoy the amenities of the festival and the ambiance. While the first day’s lineup was stacked with artists such as Fitz & The Tantrums, Flying Lotus, Chance the Rapper, and Kacey Musgraves, the one artist I was beyond excited to see was The Weeknd. I have the BIGGEST crush on Abel Tesfaye, I could go on and on about how much I love him, but I truly feel we could be a power couple because of our great hair. This was my first time seeing the Weeknd live and I can assure you it will not be my last. With a new album, pyrotechnics, and a voice smoother than butter The Weeknd was most definitely one of my top performances of 2015. I’m hoping one day he’ll play a special concert at the Hollywood Bowl and truly make all my dreams come true.

My dream job would be to create the lineup for a music festival one day. I admire the insight these people have to not only curate a good line up that compliments each other but that pulls from various genres of music featuring emerging artists and established artists. Day 2’s lineup was a perfect example of this featuring artists such as Brand New, Zedd, and Khelani. On a weekend trip with my friends to Vegas I had seen Zedd perform at XS and was not too jazzed on seeing him again. But I am so glad I did because his performance was 100x better. As a fan of live music you can tell when an artist gives it their all in a performance and that’s exactly what Zedd did.

The last day of a festival is always bittersweet. It’s the end of a great weekend that you wish could last forever.. Musical highlights of the last day were BØRNS, Hozier, Ellie Goulding and Bassnectar. I mentioned above how this festival was more about enjoying the activities of the festival than rushing from set to set. As a VIP ticket holder I was able to enjoy VIP lounges, free and drinks, an exclusive viewing area for performances, and tickets up to the Space Needle. It was the first time that I had focused my festival activities on the “amenities” they offered. After living the posh life and seeing The Weeknd up close from a VIP point of view I am now questioning how I can go back to that General Admission life.

Featured image credit: spin.com

Cuddling with cute puppies at a music festival. PERK.

Cuddling with cute puppies at a music festival. PERK.

First Adventures as a Bridesmaid

Adventures-of-a-Bridesmaid-1

It seems like one can’t mindlessly scroll through their Facebook newsfeed without seeing an engagement announcement. Check out my guest blog on Cavin Elizabeth Photography on my thoughts and feelings of being a bridesmaid for one of my best friends.

 

F*CK YA FESTIVAL: FYF Fest

 

FYF Fest

I have dubbed 2015 the year of the music festival. This year I have been to four music festivals, starting with Coachella and ending with KAABOO. What I love about the months April-September aka Festival Season is that music festivals not only let you experience phenomenal live music but there’s a whole culture behind festival-going. From the fashion to craft beers and food trucks, to the traveling, Festival Season has Danie California written all over it.

This year’s FYF Fest was one that is going to have attendees talking for years. The original lineup for the two-day music festival included headliners such as Frank Ocean and Morrissey but due to unknown reasons Frank Ocean pulled out two days before the festival, upsetting a lot of festival-goers who have not heard any music from him since his Channel ORANGE album in 2012. But this is the biggest PLOT TWIST of them all. With their main headliner gone, and people assuming the festival organizers are scrambling to find someone to replace Ocean, they announce the new headliner will be Kanye West. Bravo FYF organizers, bravo! Unless you’re getting Beyonce there is probably not a better replacement to headline a festival.

I’m not sure who decided to have an outdoor music festival in the middle of August in downtown Los Angeles but the organizers must have forgotten how bloody hot it can get. That being said I typically don’t like to go to a festival any time before 4:30 pm anyways, to avoid the heat. Luckily for those who live and grew up in the LA Metro area the city has a great public transportation system(cue sarcasm).  Minus getting off at the wrong stop and having to take the bus down to Exposition Park from Koreatown, navigating through the subway was a breeze. The genuinely cool thing though, is the amount of work that the FYF organizers go through to make sure those you do decide to take the metro can safely get home. Snaps for getting LA Metro to keep their subways open until 1:30 am.

Day One

Like all music festivals FYF had multiple stages set up: The Lawn, The Arena IMG_6500
aka the Los Angeles Sports Arena, The Trees and the Main Stage. Saturday evening’s entertainment included Tennis, The Drums, Goldroom, Shlohmo, Run the Jewels, Chet Faker and of course YEEZUS. While I want to give the respect and applause to all the artists I know everyone wants to know about Kanye West. For being announced as the headliner 2 days before the festival he put on quite the show. But really what did you expect from the great and powerful Yeezy. Every song you wanted him to perform, he did. The best surprise at FYF Fest was during Kanye’s  set, while performing four five seconds the camera pans to Rihanna sitting front row. She grabs a mic and starts singing with Kanye and proceeds to get on stage. As if one song from Kanye and Bad Girl RiRi wasn’t enough, they decide to grace us with a duet of All of the Lights. At 11:50 pm, 10 minutes before his set time was suppose to end he got on the mic and said “I’ve got 10 minutes left and 10 years of hits for you,” then proceeded to do what I like to call the Kanye shuffle, where he played a minute or show of songs ranging from Gold Digger to No Church in the Wild. After such a dynamic performance full of surprises it would be hard for Day 2 to top Day 1.

Day Two

For me I was not as stoked on the Day 2 lineup as I was with the Day 1 lineup IMG_6554but that tends to happen at music festivals. There will always be a day or so that is better than the others. Musical talents ranged from Toro y Moi, Flume, Solange, Belle & Sebastian and the headliner Morrissey. Flume absolutely killed it in his performance. Not only was Flume killing his set list, his good friend Lorde decided to surprise him on stage. While FYF is definitely not on the level of Coachella or Lollapalooza its location is perfect for impromptu celebrity guest appearances.

While the Fuck Ya Festival has been around since 2004, I truly believe this was the  biggest year to date. From getting Kanye West to perform last minute to having to making sure attendees were well fed by having vendors such as the After’s Ice Cream and a whole variety of international cuisines this festival will remain firmly in its spot as a summer bucket list item.

Image via: FYF Fest Facebook Page

Smoothies

Smoothies are great meals for on the go. Enjoy one in the morning on your way to work, refuel with one during lunch, or savor one on a hot day. Create seasonal and refreshing smoothies from Danie California with inspiration from The Juice Solution.

Mean Green

Mean Green Smoothie

There is something attractive and appetizing about brightly colored juices. Instead of weird looking juices mixed with random ingredients you know a brightly colored juice has everything you need for your nutrition while also looking delicious. It’s all about curb appeal! The Mean Green smoothie pulls from the sweet flavors of fruits with a green base. This recipe only calls for a few ingredients so you can either prepare it the night before or blend it up in the morning.

Ingredients:

-½ R.W. Knudsen Morning Juice Blend

-1 Handful of Spinach

-1 Kiwi

-2 cups of chopped pineapple

-2 sticks of celery

Directions:

Measure out and chop all ingredients

Mix in blender or juicer

Pour and enjoy

 

Shavasana in the Sea-San Diego Paddle Yoga

Paddle Board Yoga

As the mid-August heat wave hits San Diego I’ve been finding myself spending more time by the ocean and finding ways to bring my favorite hobbies to the beach. San Diego Paddle Yoga brings my two favorite hobbies into one and is the perfect activity to strengthen your core, get a good workout in, and take in the breath-taking views of America’s Finest City.

When I tell people how much I enjoy paddle board yoga the first thing that comes out of someone’s mouth is “isn’t that hard? I can barely balance on land, let alone on the water.” But I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s really not that hard at all! Don’t be intimidated by the girls who are doing crow position or headstands on top of their paddle board (I admit sometimes that’s me).IMG_6316 Let me assure you this is only achieved after countless hours of practice and many spills into the ocean. I’ve fallen more times on my face than I’ve actually done crow’s pose. Most of the moves done during a class are the same moves you can easily do in a regular yoga class on land. Plus yoga is a practice so if you just want to lay in shavasana and feel the waves lightly move your board side-to-side by all means go for it – yoga is all about following your bliss.

Before the start of each class the instructor will ask you what moves you want to practice or what body parts you want to focus on. There are only two rules to class. 1. that you must have fun. You can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re doing yoga on a paddle board in the middle of Mission Bay. 2: You have to cheer/clap for anyone who falls into the water. Because you’re not above losing your balance and accidentally taking a quick dip into the water either. To begin, we start on land. The class does a few practice vinyasa flows so everyone knows what to expect once they’re out on the water. Once you’ve paddled out to the middle of the bay the real fun begins. It’s like a typical yoga class but with a bit more fun. When everyone gets the groove of the practice we all test out our balance by jumping around the board and moving the board side-to-side to get our toes wet. Even as a somewhat experienced paddle board yogi some days are just so hot that I purposefully try to fall in so the salt water can cool me down.

At San Diego Paddle Yoga they like to do things a little differently. Not only do they offer regularly scheduled paddle board yoga classes throughout the week IMG_6430but you can take a live music paddle board yoga class or a glow-in-the-dark paddle board class. If you sign up for a live music class be prepared for a super relaxing yoga flow with some great local talent. During the music classes participants surround a floating dock in the middle of the bay, where the performers hang out and coordinate their music to your practice. If this isn’t what Southern California living is all about, I don’t know what is.

The glow-in-the-dark paddle board class is definitely an experience I recommend. The paddle boards in this class are a bit different and not as wide but have LED lights attached to the bottom of the board. You paddle out to the bay right before sunset and the light from your board illuminates the water where you can see plenty of fish and stingrays. Although this class doesn’t involve any birds of paradise you do paddle for quite a distance so be prepared for that. Paddle boarding at night is a completely and unique experience that appeals to all your senses. You’ll feel relaxed listening to the waves against your board, you’ll feel connected to nature seeing, hungry from the delicious smells of the local luau, and in awe that as a Californian this is technically your backyard.
The next time you’re looking for a new activity, sick of your boring exercise routine, or want to hang out in a group setting, head to the beach and try a paddle board yoga class. With such a wide variety of offerings there’s something for everyone!

Good Morning Sunshine!

Mixed Fruit

The juice and smoothie trend  has taken over the world, especially for those who are healthy and those who want to seem like they’re healthy,  I am most definitely in the latter group. For me the great thing about juicing is I get my daily dose of fruits and vegetables without actually having to eat celery, kale, and rainbow chard.

I’m a big fan of fruit. Seriously, I could eat fruit for every meal of the day but vegetables not so much. In this juice I make sure to add a medley of frozen fruits to balance out the distinct taste of the celery and plant based protein powder. Follow the instructions below to really get you going in the morning.

Ingredients:

-1 cup of Dole Mandarin Sunset Blend Frozen Fruit

-1 cup of R.W. Knudson Morning Blend juice

-1 Stick of Celery

-½ cup of Unflavored Greek Yogurt

-1 pinch of Vega Protein Smoothies Powder- Plant Based (found at Whole Foods)

Directions:

Measure out and chop all ingredients

Mix in blender or juicer

Pour and enjoy

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Belmont Park: San Diego’s Historic Beachfront Amusement Park

Belmont Park

I really truly feel bad for Monday’s. I just don’t get the massive worldwide hatred toward the first day of the week. When Sunday night rolls around and my Twitter feed gets filled with tweets such as “Hey Monday! Let’s not but say we did” or “UGH MONDAYS,” I feel sad that my friends and cohorts are dreading the start of something new (can you tell I’m a yogi?).  But I have a way to turn every Monday into a somewhat better day! By doing something fun and out of the ordinary on a Monday you’re not only setting yourself up to have a mini adventure but you’re setting yourself up for a fun week.

Variety is the spice of life, so this past Monday my friend Charlotte and I went on a local adventure to the world famous Belmont Park located oceanfront in Mission Beach. Opened on July 4th, 1925, many of the original rides in Belmont Park are still in operation today. While Belmont Park is not the size of Disneyland you can ride the historic wooden roller coaster, the tilt-a-wheel, the carousel, play mini-golf in a tiki themed course, and in true San Diego fashion catch some waves at The Wave House Athletic Club.

At Belmont Park you can buy a single-ride ticket or buy an all-day pass. Since there are not that many rides, I suggest you buy single-ride ticket to the ride you most want to enjoy. In our case it was the roller coaster. Let me preface this IMG_6406experience by saying I hate big scary roller coasters. You will never find me at Six Flags riding the latest ride that goes upside down, inside out, and in circles. I’ve been to Mission Beach a handful of times and have stared upon this ride thinking how small it is for a roller coaster. But boy was I wrong. This roller coaster is great for people who don’t like roller coasters like me and people who LOVE roller coasters unlike me. The turns and dips will have you screaming and feeling the drop in your stomach as you loop around this ride.

After taking a spin on a few rides head to the arcade to win some prizes, or put on your bathing suit and try surfing the waves at the Wave House. Mission Boulevard is lined with snack shops and restaurants. If you get hungry you can stay at the Wave House Beach Club and enjoy the beachside views with a slushy alcoholic drink and a sandwich. If you’re looking for something else grab an ice cold local San Diego beer and nachos from Draft. The only option (in my opinion) you have for dessert at Belmont Park is to get a giant ice cream in IMG_6399either a waffle cone or a waffle bowl. Each waffle cone/bowl comes with two GIANT, like Clifford the Big Red Dog, giant sized ice cream scoops. If you’re worried about your ice cream melting all over you or don’t have enough room in your stomach for two scoops just go with one … or live on the edge and get two anyways. I dare you.  
When you visit Mission Beach don’t just set up your umbrella and lay out. While that is always relaxing explore the Historic Belmont Park and enjoy some purely San Diego fare.

Sweet as a Peach

Basket of peaches

Peaches are to Summer as Pumpkins are to Fall. We are in the peak of peach season! For many peaches are a symbol of long summer days. But for others they have another connotation, just type in #🍑 on Instagram and see what comes up. Peaches are delicious when you’re enjoying one in original form, putting it in a cobbler, or even topping on a sweet and savory pizza. To honor this seasonal fruit I’ve topped some of my favorite dishes with this sweet fruit.

First up is the Raspberry Peach Smoothie. I have so many peaches in my home that I wanted to get creative in how I was eating them. It was a no brainer that I would mix my favorite fruits together to create a morning smoothie. This recipe comes from the Ninja Blenders blog and is simple and quick to make before you head out the door to work.

Raspberry Peach Smoothie

Ingredients:

-6 oz of plain nonfat yogurt (I used plain greek yogurt)IMG_4518

-1 medium peach sliced

-½ cup of raspberries

-¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Once you have the ingredients blend thoroughly, pour, and enjoy!

My second venture in adding peaches into my meals was creating a Three Cheese Peach and Prosciutto Pizza topped with basil and honey balsamic reduction. I know I’ve featured a pizza before and you are probably thinking dang this girl eats a lot of pizza (and you’re right)! But I just had to make it once I saw it on Pinterest (thanks for the inspiration and the #foodporn Cooking Classy!) Just an FYI I omitted the honey balsamic reduction because I am not a fan of balsamic vinegar. Instead I drizzled honey on top of my pizza before putting it in the oven. #GETINMYBELLY

Ingredients:

-1 pizza dough (I used Boboli’s premade pizza dough)

-1 Tbsp olive oil

-1 clove of garlic (the recipe calls for 1 clove but depending on the surface area of your dough consider using 2 which you will finely mince).

-Salt and ground pepper

-3 oz prosciutto

-4 oz (½ cup) of ricotta cheese

-5 oz of fresh mozzarella

-2 oz (½ cup)  of shredded asiago cheese

-1 medium fresh peach

-1 cup balsamic vinegar

-¼ cup honey

-⅓ cup of fresh basil leaves

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 450°

-Pour balsamic vinegar and honey into a large skillet and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes.

-Finely mince the garlic cloves

-Pour olive oil into a small bowl and add in the garlic cloves, mixing together.

-Brush this mixture evenly on top of the pizza dough

-Season pizza dough with a light layer of salt and ground pepper

-Layer prosciutto side-by-side in an even layer

-Dollop small amounts of ricotta over the pizza, then sprinkle the mozzarella and asiago cheeses

-Cut peaches in half and core

-Layer peaches side-by-side on top of pizza

-Sprinkle basil on top of pizza

-Add honey (in the Cooking Classy recipe they suggest adding the honey balsamic reduction after the pizza has been cooked)

-Bake 10-12 minutes until the crust is golden

-Let cool, slice, and enjoy!

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photo: via photo pin

The Orange County Fair

The Orange County Fair

There are so many things that I love about Southern California in the Summer ranging from various outdoor activities such as movies at the Hollywood Forever cemetery to taking advantage of water activities such as paddle board yoga or snorkeling in La Jolla Cove. But my favorite activity is going to the county fair. From June to September one can visit the San Diego County Fair, the Orange County Fair, and the Los Angeles County Fair. After years of attending the fair on dates, with my family, and my closest friends I’ve become quite the fair aficionado on what to eat, how to easily win a prize, and everything in between.

This year is the 125th anniversary of the Orange County Fair. My favorite time to go to the fair is in the late afternoon. It’s quite the site seeing the giIMG_6159ant ferris wheel against the backdrop of a cotton candy sky. To me the fair comes alive with all the lights and sounds of carnival rides and games. I have three goals when I go to the fair: try a new fried food, see the animals, and win a prize. Luckily for me, my good friend Ann also shares those goals. We’ve been fair hopping since high school.

New to the OC Fair one can try deep fried coffee, deep fried Reese’s cups, or a deep fried SlimFast bar. In order to eat everything in sight Ann and I prepare for our fair adventures by eating light the whole day so we have plenty of room in our stomachs to indulge. If you’re heading to the fair I suggest heading over to Charlie’s Chicken for their Pineapple Chicken Bowl, teriyaki chicken served with white rice, chunks of pineapple, and served in a hollowed out half pineapple. Picking out a dessert at the fair is always hard for me. I love everything from dipped ice cream cones to funnel cakes. If you’re feeling like a baller try the $125 caviar topped Twinkie, an OC Fair special. While this delicacy comes at a steep price all proceeds go to the Orange County Children’s Hospital.

Growing up in Southern California we aren’t really exposed to the grit of the country lifestyle. As evidenced by this commercial for the LA County Fair in 2005.

That’s why it’s such a treat to visit the petting zoo and seeing all the adorable livestock. At the fair you can see cows being milked, Hercules the giant horse (for $1), pet the goats and llamas as well as witness the All-Alaskan Pig Races. If you’re a fan of adorable piglets make sure you get to the pig races early as it fills up fast. These little creatures will make you swoon with their size and agility.

As fun as carnival rides and games are they are a ripoff in my opinion. Paying for the tickets isn’t the issue. The issue is that the games want an outrageous amount of your tickets for one toss or to come close to losing your life on a ride. The good news is that now in 2015 fair rides are a lot better quality than they used to be. The bad news is that they are still scary as ever. You definitely won’t find me on the ride that spins me upside down then throws me 50 feet in the air. Instead I like to use all my tickets on winning stuffed animals that I regift to my younger cousins. The easiest way to win a prize is by playing the balloon pop game. All you need to do is pop 5 balloons in order to win a “large” aka regular sized stuffed animal. If you’re looking for more of a challenge spend your time trying to throw a ring around a rubber ducky or attempt to make a basket at one of the basketball games.
The Orange County Fair is one of the smaller fairs in Southern California but it packs a big punch. Sample award winning wine, walk amongst exotic butterflies, eat a new fried treat and delight in the bright lights and smells of the fair until August 16th.