COACHELLA Survival Guide

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This will be our sixth year going to Coachella, and every year we get a little wiser in attending the festival. I can still recall our first Coachella in 2014, where we almost got our wristbands cut before even entering into the campground. We’ve camped for three years, stayed in a hotel once, and this will be our second year staying at an Air B&B, it’s safe to say we’ve been through it all (except our tent flying away, my husband is pretty good at staking down our tent).

Let’s start with the biggest key of survival, your stay. You can choose to camp, hotel, or airbnb, all are great options based on what you are looking for and willing to spend. We camped for three years, and it was the time of our lives, but now at 26 I will NEVER camp for Coachella again, it’s pretty rough tbh. Camping is rough because you don’t get much sleep, the sun and your neighbors wake you up at 6 am and you probably don’t go to bed until 1 or 2am. However, camping is a vibe like no other, and you are so close to the festival.

If this is your first Coachella, or your first time going all 3 days, or you’ve had a rough prior experience, here are some of my favorite tips to get you through this magical and hectic weekend.

 

1. Hydration

This has got to be the most important factors to your weekend. I’ve seen so many people pass out at festivals for not being hydrated. Aside from passing out, your body gets extremely sluggish when its not hydrated. The desert sun is no joke, and neither are the countless beers from the beer gardens. You have to make sure you are staying properly hydrated from the morning you wake up, to going to bed. There are two ways I love to stay hydrated.

  1. Liquid I.V-If we’re friends, it’s safe to say I’ve given you a Liquid I.V before, or you’ve seen me post about it excessively.  The reason why is because it works. One hydration multiplier is equivalent to THREE water bottles, More hydration, less trips to the bathroom! I always stock up before festivals and make sure the squad stays hydrated. Save 20% off your order & get free shipping with my code “Jessmarquezz” by clicking on this link -> Order Liquid I.V
  2. Vibedration CamelPack- If you don’t already own a camelpack for festivals or hiking, get yourself one now! My favorite company to order from is Vibedration! I’ve ordered two and have gotten two of my friends one as a birthday present so we all stay hydrated. They have super fun ones with designs and serve as a backpack to hold essentials like chapstick, gum, etc. The best part is, you’re wearing it (or your man is haha), and your hands are free slash you are less likely to leave it behind like you would a Hyrdoflask. I also have a discount code that saves you 10% off by using “Jess” at checkout Vibedration Hydration Packs
  3. FREE Water- The festival has free water refill stations, if you have a hydration pack you can fill it and have it for some time.
  4. $2 waters- You can also get water bottles pretty cheap at Coachella. They also offer a cool incentive, if you bring back 10 empty water bottles to recycle they give you a free water bottle. You’ll be surprised to see how many water bottles you’ll find in spots other than the recycle bin.

2. Surviving the Dust/Allergies

If you are someone that gets allergies, do NOT forget to pack your zyrtec or claritin! There is also a lot of dust floating around especially when walking in and out of the festival, pack a bandana or a mask to prevent sneezing and your allergies going rampant.

3. Sun Protection

Like I mentioned above, the sun is no joke! It might not feel as warm when you head into the festival that you think you can skip out, but do not! Not all of the tents are shaded so you will be directly under the sun for many hours. Apply facial sunscreen under your makeup and apply it to your whole body. I would even recommend bringing one in and sharing it with a group, just make sure it is one that is allowed. I believe they don’t allow aerosol spray but I could be wrong. Lipbalm with SPF is also key because your lips will burn. Sunglasses, and hats are also great ideas to protect you from a possible burn.

4. Portable Charger

Okay I’m including this on my list to remind myself. Every year we say we are going to bring one and forget. TBH my phone is on airplane mode most of the festival and I only pull it out to take pictures and record parts of sets. If you are planning on meeting friends at some point in the day, this is where a portable charger will be very convenient. Since the service is kind of spotty at Coachella, your battery will drain as it is searching for service, hence why I keep it on airplane mode. It’s also great to make sure your phone has battery in case you get separated from your group and you need to contact someone. Which brings me to my next point….

5. Designate a Meeting Spot

Losing a friend at a festival is one of the most worrisome experiences ever. This happened to us last year and I had the worst anxiety from it! Once you walk in pick a meeting spot in case one of you gets separated from the group. Having the meetup spot picked out at the beginning will also make it easier for you to meet before sets if you split up to see other people (which will happen, we all have different taste and you should never miss someone you truly want to see).

6. Comfortable Shoes

I’m the queen of comfort when it comes to my shoes at Coachella. Pictures from the ankle up have been the motto, as I was wearing chucks or comfortable sneakers with a cute outfit. You know those influencers you see at coachella with heeled booties, yeah they’re not there most of the day, those people come into the festival for a couple hours and often change their shoes after getting a good picture. Personally, I would not recommend sandals either unless you want to end up with a broken toe nail and dirty feet. However there are some grassy areas where I’ve gone barefoot and let me tell you how amazing that feels. Last year was my first year wearing Doc Marten boots to Coachella and those were lifesavers, they make your outfit look even better and your feet are protected. Just try to break them in before, and wear thick socks.

7.  Rent a Locker

Renting a locker is SO CLUTCH. This last year was the coldest Coachella I had ever been to. I ended up spending $40 on a blanket because of how cold I was. I’m a wimp when it comes to the cold, and although the desert days are Hot, the temperatures can drop at night and the wind is pretty intense at night. If you rent a locker with some friends, you can split the cost and shove a light jacket to use at night. Also it’s a good spot to save your merch so you don’t lose it. Oh and buy your merch the first day, the lines multiply as the days go by!

8. Bring Cash

Card is accepted almost everywhere, but you will come across some water bottle stations or popsicle stops where they only accept cash. Having a couple single dollars makes it easy. Also if you happen to accidentally lose your card, having cash will be nice.

9. EAT

I know it is really easy to forget to eat when going to festivals #guilty. I typically make sure I eat something dense before going into the festival to hold me up just in case we don’t get a chance to sit down for food. I’ll make sure my breakfast is heavy on protein and carbs cuz carbs are energy. There are sooo many delicious food options at Coachella catering to all sorts of diets….I can already taste the crab fries.

10. Pack Bathroom Essentials

Wipeys are essential to festivals! Keep your hands clean and also take them with you to the bathroom. The bathrooms near the Sahara tent are always pretty clean and have toilet paper, but carrying wipeys and hand sanitizer just in case is a must. Tissues are also great to carry and can serve as toilet paper if there is none.

11. Take Breaks

Our first coachella we were savages who survived front row of A$AP Ferg. Now that I’m 26 I don’t feel the need to be so up close and crowded by people. The stages are massive so you can see and hear perfectly. Take breaks and sit on the grass, and look around it’s one of my favorite sights to take in. There are a lot of cool Air Conditioned lounges, my favorite is the Heineken House (21+), because they typically have some well known lit D.Js playing. There are also lounges exclusive to card holders like American Express. Another spot to get some shade and AC is the Yuma tent which is definitely a vibe.

12. Explore the Grounds

Personally, I like to go in with extra time to wander the festival grounds. Every year the artwork is different, I scope out spots to take pictures and play in the immersive art. If you’re staying at an AirB&B or a hotel, give yourself ample time to get to your shuttle and into the festival, it always takes more time than you think. We normally go in earlier the first day to explore because as the days go on you get more tired and lag.

13. Bring Some Sleep Aids

Getting enough sleep or rest is as important as staying hydrated. It can be difficult to fall asleep after a music festival, pack some melatonin, an eye mask and even ear plugs to tune things out. CBD is also great to pack to relax your body and mind.

14. Earplugs

This will be the first year I bring my earplugs to Coachella. Ever since I started doing Spin obsessively, I began wearing earplugs to class. I went to Escape for halloween and my ears were so sensitive to the sound. You know the ringing after festivals….thats noise induced hearing loss YOU WILL NEVER GET BACK. As someone who has taken Audiology courses, and has neglected protecting their hearing for years, I vow to protect my ears when I can. I already know I have some hearing loss, it only gets worse with age so pack them in case. The music still sounds great especially if you have a good pair, I prefer Eargasm Earplugs.

15. Plan, yet go with the Flow

Going with a group is the highlight of Coachella, however it can be pretty difficult at times. If I could tally up how many hours we spent at the Beer Gardens last year waiting for people to meet up, I would have seen 4 extra sets, not going to lie sitting down with an IPA is also nice. The truth is you and your group are going to have different music interests, don’t be afraid to be eager to watch an artist you have been anticipating. Since I’m a Virgo, I plan out my whole weekend set list the moment it drops on the app. I just have them planned out in case, but once you are there, be ready to let things go out of plan. Check out a new artist you’ve never seen, last year was my first time seeing Rufus Du Sol & now I listen to them weekly. That’s the magic about Coachella, it’s such a versatile festival, you can discover so much new talent!

With that being said my biggest piece of advice to survive Coachella is to get lost in the music, take all the pictures you want, catch the sunset, dance with all your closest friends and tell the people around you that you love them, catch you on the Empire Polo Grounds in April!

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xoxo,

Jess

 

 

 

Whitening Sensitive Teeth at Home

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I’ll start this out with my before and after….

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If you know me, you know I love big, white, pearly teeth like Pauly D’s. Something about a big, white smile, that stands out makes me happy. As someone who drinks coffee 5 times a week, I noticed my smile getting a little dull. I decided to do something about it, which led me to try Smile Brilliant. I am honestly so happy I began to use Smile Brilliant, because the results were immediate.

I’ll preface this by saying that I have experience in whitening my teeth before. I’ve used crest white strips in highschool, and I can recall some of the shivers I felt from the sensitivity. I have also whitened my teeth at a whitening center, which was an amazing experience but more costly. I got the same results from whitening at home with Smile Brilliant, than I did when I went to a teeth whitening center. The best part about it was the ability to do it from the comfort of my own home, before getting ready for the day or night!

The best part about Smile Brilliant, was that you whiten using customized trays designed for your teeth. In your smile brilliant kit, you will receive product to create your own impressions. The instructions are easier to follow than I thought! Once you create your impressions you send them to the lab, where they make your custom trays. Having custom trays ensures you whiten your teeth in the most optimal way! The whitening gel is able to get into all the crevices of your teeth.

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This is what comes in your whitening kit. You get the Base and Catalyst to create your own impressions for your teeth. Once your impressions come in then the fun part begins….the whitening. As you can see from this picture, your kit comes with whitening gel as well as desensitizing gel which is used after whitening.

 

The desensitizing gel was such a great component to the kit. Sensitivity is one of the biggest worries when it comes to whitening your teeth. I have areas on my teeth that are pretty sensitive from over brushing (the area by the root of the teeth near the gum). I’m not going to lie, I was worried I would experience discomfort in that area of my teeth when whitening and I did NOT get any tingles or shivers.

 

I did about 7 whitenings with the product spread out over the course of three weeks. What I love about this product is that you can create your own schedule for whitening based on what you want. If you have a big event like a wedding coming up, you can whiten day by day leading up to the big day in the comfort of your own home and pajamas. I also like the fact that I have a couple syringes of product left so I will use them to touch up my smile before a social event.

 

Here is my before and after of using the product

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Because I loved my results so much, I want to share this with my family, friends, and followers to give you an opportunity to try Smile Brilliant.

Click the Link : www.smilebrilliant.com/g/jessicaochoa

ALSO use “jessicaochoa15” to receive 15% off sitewide!

 

Couples Getaway: Mexico (Baja,California).

I always refer to this region as Baja, California, because when we go we typically move through the peninsula. There are so many different cities you can choose to stop at. If you want to party and drink on the beach, Rosarito is your spot. If you want seafood (lobster), Puerto Nuevo is your spot. If you want wine, aesthetic views, and gastronomy, Valle De Guadalupe is your spot. Finally, there is Ensenada which is a stop on many cruises from the U.S. Personally, I would not take a cruise there, when you could drive there. Ensenada is full of adventures, from quad riding, to La Bufadora, there are a lot of options on how to spend your day there.

In this blog, I will highlight our recent weekend adventure into Baja. We did a day and a half, ideally if it is your first time I would carve out two or three days to explore the region. However, if you are a busy person this weekend guide will be perfect for you. 

 

The First Day….

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-My husband had to work, so I drove down to his work and from there we drove down together. We drove straight down to Puerto Nuevo to eat our first meal of the day….LOBSTER. I am obsessed with the lobster meals from Puerto Nuevo. This town is cute, and colorful, and full of 31 restaurants which serve a similar menu. My personal favorite one is Villa Ortega’s (it is all the way to the left, and end). This one has a beach view, and you can dine on the outside while you hear the waves crash and feel the sun shine down on you. We normally get Lobster for two and it comes with lobster, rice, beans, tortillas, and tortilla soup!

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You can walk around and explore the town, this is a good spot to shop for souvenirs, and get free tequila samples. There is also a really yummy ice cream shop and panaderia which has different kinds of bread.

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from there, I recommend driving to your hotel or AirBnB to check in! 

For our stay this time, we chose AirBnB and we had an amazing experience. I will link our stay below! We were nestled in the Valle De Guadalupe and we were so close to the wineries. My favorite part was the breakfast that came with our stay, it was fresh and cooked specially for us.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9202418?source_impression_id=p3_1582053997_zuI%2F5x%2FFOmuPJAhP

Bed & Breakfast located at Quinta Monasterio

 

Most things in the Valle close early like typical wineries they close around 7pm. There are two location which I recommend and are close to each other.

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-Casa Frida is open till midnight. You can get in without a reservation, but it will be for their outside lounge or the restaurant. If you want to go to their indoor terrace, make a reservation.

-King & Queen Cantina. We got here around 11pm and they weren’t seating anyone without a reservation, so we didn’t get a chance to visit.

 

The Next Day (full day of Mexico)….

This was our full day in Mexico, and I had the day planned out from stop to stop to strategically maximize our time, since everything in the Valle is spread out.

 

Stop 1: Bruma (reservation required)

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This is one of the most gorgeous and unique wineries. There is a beautiful tree in the middle which goes underground and above. The tasting is 17$ pp and includes a tour of the facility, with 3 wine tastings. A little overpriced in my opinion, but you pay for the photo ops. There is also a restaurant called Fauna, which I have heard great things about.

Stop 2: Finca Altozano

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(reservation strongly recommended, if you get there before 12 you can get seated, depending on your party size. Either way I would make a reservation). This restaurant is like no other, its beautiful and has amazing selections of food. The restaurant is situated on a large spread of land, so you can walk around the property and see their animals. There are also a lot of photo opportunities! Our favorite thing to order here is the Oysters, Lengua Tacos, and Seabass Chicharones. We’ve tried other things on the menu, like Octopus, Milanesa, and Tuna. If you are lucky you might even see the two pigs walk past your table. There are also 8 or 9 dogs which live on the property and their name and photo is pictured on the menu. Save some room for desert, there is an ice cream shop located here as well.

 

Stop 3: Casa Frida

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(reservation required). Even though we came here at night, I HAD to go back to explore during the day. We reserved the wine tasting experience, which was $40 for the both of us. Wine tasting is in a separate room that is immersed in art and paintings. If you do not do wine tasting, you can hangout at the restaurant, or hangout in their outdoor lounge which plays funky house music all day. Since we had extra time, we asked if there was space at their Mixology Terrace. I would highly recommend making a reservation for this area, there is a minimum consumption limit, but it is worth it. The views of the Valle are gorgeous, funky house music is playing, and there are delicious hand crafted cocktails to indulge in. Aside from the views, there is even more art to see and take pictures with. Make sure to check out the bathrooms for even more fun photo-ops. Basically this place is an Instagram heaven.

 

Stop 4: Bar Bura @ Cuatro Cuatros

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(reservation required, or take your chances on waiting to get an opportunity to ride the shuttle to the top). Bar Bura, is located on the top of Cuatro Cuatros, and it is the most picturesque bar I have ever been to. You pay to ride the shuttle to the top of the mountain and you get to choose between a soda, water, or beer. You immediately feel like you are transported to somewhere in Greece. I always strategically plan the reservation around sunset hours, the sunset here is breathtaking. You can also order food here, I love their Ceviche. If you need some coffee, there is also a coffee truck at the top, which would be great for your drive home.

 

GETTING HOME

Crossing the border can be a nightmare, because of the waiting time. We’ve waited as much as 8 hours before. On average I would say it takes 4 hours to cross back on a weekend. Just recently on this last trip, it only took us an hour and a half on a Holiday weekend, because my husband figured out how to enter the Ready Lanes! Watch this video and save yourself time! Warning: on the weekends there is a higher volume of traffic, which makes it harder to enter the Ready Lanes, just drive back further and enter in. OH AND YOU CANNOT GET AWAY WITH GOING THROUGH READY LANES WITH NO PASSPORT. Technically you should not even risk going without a passport, however people do many times, in the ready lane they don’t mess around because they use RFID technology to process you faster.

 

 

Thanks for reading! Hope to see more of you venture off into Mexico. If you would like to book a tour, click on my Guide to Valle De Guadalupe Blog, which has my favorite company linked!

xoxo

Jess

Why I’m Hiding My Scale This Month (and why we sometimes need a break from it).

The Scale……ever since I could remember I’ve had a terrible relationship with the scale. It started in my childhood; I always dreaded going to doctor check ups because that was the first thing they checked. I would feel my mom’s eyes dig into my back as the nurse repeated the number out loud, crap there goes my chance of asking for McDonald’s on the way back to school.

The relationship only intensified as I got older and went through high school. By this point I would go to my mom’s room when no one was home and weigh myself. I wasn’t aware of what a good weight was, I only went off the comparisons of the weights mentioned by other friends. I managed to find my groove towards the end of my junior year of highschool and found myself in a good spot mentally and physically. I didn’t depend on a number to make me feel good.

until……

I went to college and my weight got out of control. I could easily look back to my first year of college and reflect on how depressed I was. I struggled to find my niche, but the dining hall and snacks were always there. Steadily, I gained the freshman 15 times two. I tried so hard to change things my second and third year of college, but I was stagnant. My junior year of college is where I found myself in an obsessive cycle with the scale. I shared a bathroom with a housemate, who had a beautiful digital scale right when you walk into the bathroom. It became an E V E R Y D A Y cycle. Wake up, use the bathroom, weigh myself, feel bad about myself; this is how I started my everyday. Things only got worse when a frat douche bag decided to make it his mission to taunt me about my weight. Being bullied + feeling bad about myself for a number of mass, didn’t result in the best thoughts. In my head, I struggled and internally thought of ways to provoke an eating disorder to lose the weight. Too bad I’m too much of a pussy to make myself throw up, and I couldn’t imagine not eating and not having energy to make it through school and work.

Even though its been 5 years that I’ve been consistent with my weight loss journey, and I’ve managed to lose and keep off 40 lbs I found myself in a similar cycle…  I have a beautiful digital scale in my bathroom and I began putting too much significance on the number reflected. I know the advice, but as a human fall victim as well. I know to “ditch the scale, take progress pictures, take measurements, and focus on how you feel”. I tell people this same advice, yet will find myself in a time where I can’t seem to follow it. I’ll go through periods where I’m great and don’t put too much significance on the scale and won’t use it. But just recently in the last month (maybe the pressure of a new year?), I found myself falling into the same vicious cycle. It became the most detrimental on  Monday mornings, weighing yourself after a weekend of travel or drinking with friends. Getting off the scale and being unhappy with the number and yourself is not the best way to start your week.

Things only get more frustrating when you’ve had a great week working out and eating well and you are soooo ready to hop on the scale and see a big change. To only see a pound or two difference, really gets you in a negative mindset. You begin to contrive ways in your head to shorten your caloric intake throughout the day. This always happens to me when I have weeks where I’m lifting more than doing cardio. You could wake up looking lean AF, booty looking round from hitting legs 3 times that week, and once you hop on the scale and not meet the expectation in your head, you find yourself upset. It honestly is not a good way to start your day….I began to recognize the patterns and the way I was starting my day. So that’s when I decided to say goodbye for now.

I do believe the scale is helpful, and to some people it may be motivating. Unfortunately, to some of us it can be very detrimental and we do not realize it. Many of us have had weight struggles from our childhood, and there are a lot of internalized feelings whether we are aware of them or not. One of my biggest pieces of advice for someone on a weight loss journey, is to not be unhappy while you are doing it. Unhappiness will not lead you to success, find something in the journey that makes you happy and focus on that. If it means taking booty pictures of your progress, go for it! If it means scheduling your spin class 3x a week, go for it!

So if you are finding yourself in a rut, and feeling bad about yourself because of the number displayed on a scale, say fuck the scale for a bit, hide it somewhere and bring it back whenever you are ready. At the end of the day you are SO much more than the number reflected and if you need to remove something from your life to believe it, do it.

xoxo

FlexWithJess