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    A Weekend at Coachella Valley Music Festival

    After 4 years of admiring past line ups, poring over my friends’ pictures of Coachella and watching countless videos of what the Coachella experience is, I finally got to experience it for myself this year. Of course, the media can only do so much to capture these moments since it is honestly something that needs to be truly experienced, but I wanted to document some of the beautiful moments and struggles that made this first Coachella experience something special.

    So if you are curious, here’s a break down of what happened!

    THURSDAY

    PRE-COACHELLA // CAMPING

    TL;DR: We left Los Angeles at 5:00AM to get a camp spot at Lot 5, met some really cool and friendly camping neighbors, slept a LOT and explored the Coachella camping grounds.

    My boyfriend Austin and I left Los Angeles at around 5AM and managed to get a decent spot in Lot 5, which is only a 5-10 minute walk from the venue. We got two camping spots stacked on top of each other, so we had plenty of room for both of our cars, three canopies and one huge 8-person tent.

    One of the best things about camping at Coachella is the sense of community. It seemed that it obvious from the start to our neighbors that Austin and I were camping newbies at Coachella, but they were very welcoming and offered to help us set up our canopies and tent. We learned that one of our neighbors was from Arizona and the others were from near Santa Barbara. It still astounds me that so many people from all over the country, and even the world, come to Coachella.

    After we set up the campsite and recovered from our early morning excursion, we checked out the camping grounds and the camping center, which is the central hub for all of the Coachella campers. We found all the amenities such as the general store, food trucks, booths, artworks and an activities tent chockfull of things to do during our weekend stay. They also had a huge dome like structure with millions of lights for their silent and not so silent disco.

    FRIDAY

    DAY 1

    TL;DR: Day 1 SUCKED due to various reasons: a strong special brownie, dehydration, grogginess, hunger and boyfriend almost passing out from all of the above. Aka Coachella: 1 // Us: 0

    The rest of my group finally joined us for Day 1, excited for the weekend to start. Little did we know that this day would be a complete shit show.

    We left the venue pretty early in the afternoon (around 1 or 2PM). This turned out to be the HOTTEST time of the day. Five minutes into walking towards the venue and sweat was already dripping down my back. In addition to the intense heat, we had also eaten a special brownie before leaving. This made us tired and groggy the entire day.

    To get a sense of what the tiredness and grogginess looked like, here is a picture of us napping in the Gobi tent. Shout out to the Gobi tent for being our home base at Coachella!

    Because of the heat and the grogginess, Austin almost passed out due to dehydration during Francis and the Light’s set (very cool set, btw. I’m a fan). This was probably the worst thing that could ever happen on the first day of my first Coachella, but luckily the Coachella community looked out for us. Some passersby gave him water and calmed both of us down, while the security guards that were posted told us to get rest in the shade. I guided Austin out of the Gobi tent and into the shade next to the misting fans, which thankfully helped him a lot.

    Day 1 was also the day that I blew too much money on unhealthy, overpriced food. I remember eating an oily Cuban sandwich, Monster fries and a corn dog.

    To be completely honest, I was so tired and sleepy by nighttime that I hardly remembered the xx’s set except for Intro. I also remember attending Travis Scott’s set and hearing him say, “I better see all y’all mofo’s getting in that mosh pit.”

    And that was it. By the end of the day, I could sense that the overall mood of the group was ending on a negative note. Despite the day’s events, I still hoped that the rest of the weekend would be better.

      

    SATURDAY

    DAY 2

    TL;DR: This day was so much better than Day 1! Top highlights for this day were seeing Two Door Cinema Club, Bon Iver and Lady Gaga live. Also, shout out to our “sugar daddy”, Ricky, for hooking us up with drinks.

    After the dreadfulness of Friday, my group and I took what we learned from Day 1 and started it on a better note. We drank alcohol and took *other* recreational goods that would not have us tired and groggy like the brownie. We arrived at the venue much later in the day (around 4PM). We were immediately introduced to our “sugar daddy”, Ricky. Surprisingly, he got us all drinks at the Absolut tent (I’m still not sure how we ended up getting there).

    Much of the day was spent taking lots of pictures of each other and of the artwork, trying out moscow mule ice cream, hopping on to the massive ferris wheel and experiencing dope sets from Two Door Cinema Club, Future, Bon Iver and Lady Gaga. I made sure to keep myself awake by drinking coffee and only spent money on one overpriced order of two small Pilipino fusion tacos (can’t really avoid overpriced food at this point).

    Day 2 was hands down better than Day 1, and by the time I fell asleep, I was excited to see what Day 3’s adventures would bring.

      

    SUNDAY

    DAY 3

    TL;DR: SO LIT! This day convinced me to come back again and re-experience another crazy Coachella weekend. Top highlights: Kendrick’s set, The Antarctica dome and our amazing camping neighbors for helping my jump my car.

    Day 3 was honestly the perfect end to a crazy, illuminating first Coachella experience. I’m not sure how to put it into words, but I will try.

    We made sure to check out places that we couldn’t get to go to during the past couple of days, such as the Sephora booth and The Antarctica dome. The 360 visual experience inside the dome, Chrysalis, was so incredible that I saw it again at the end of the night.

    The line up was incredibly stacked, starting with Mura Masa at the start of our day, and Porter Robinson and Madeon later during the night, which was an incredible last performance even while sober. Austin and I *dropped* during this set and it finally kicked in once it ended. We jumped around from Hans Zimmer, Lorde, Kehlani and finally, Kendrick Lamar. I wish I could fully describe Kendrick’s set into words to recreate the experience, but these things are better experienced in person. AKA go to Coachella next year to experience the wonders of live music while on another level!

    Unfortunately, the night did not end without a hiccup. It turned out that the battery for my car died over the weekend, so I turned to a camping neighbor who happened to be awake at 2:30AM. Not only did she have jumper cables, but she also offered to drive her car over to mine and help us figure out how to jump it (we were all had 0 experience with jumping cars). After poring over the manual and getting all the cables to link up to the correct spots, my car was brought back to life.

    And so the hiccup faded and as we fell asleep, we left the serendipitous weekend behind us.

    THE LESSON

    Every trip has a lesson, and as I drove down the 10 Higway with music from the Coachella weekend flooding through my veins, I finally realized the purpose behind this experience. At the Antarctica, the 360* visual experience called Chrysalis shows incredible visuals that replicate a metamorphosis. I realized that Coachella was exactly what Chrysalis was – a metamorphic experience that acts as a vehicle for self-discovery, renewal, and creation of new life and feelings. Despite the obvious struggles at the beginning of the weekend, the music and the good vibes from the great people I was surrounded with uplifted everyone’s spirits. The weekend could not have ended on a more rejuvenated and refreshing note.

    Coachella also introduced me to drug culture in music festivals, and helped me fully recognize it on another level. It’s something that is not spoken about explicitly, but it is still silently appreciated and understood.

    All of these moments and memories have made me excited to see what the next Coachella will bring.

    Overall — Coachella, I am ready for you next year!

    If you have read this far, thank you so much for being interested and curious about my journey at Coachella. Please leave a comment below if you went to Coachella this year, or let me know if you’ve ever had a “metamorphic” experience similar to this. I know I have been on a small hiatus, but I promise to have more blog content (and hopefully more video content as well). Stay tuned!

    Lifestyle Minimalism

    How to Physically Declutter | Simplify Your Life Challenge: Week 2

    Hello lovelies! I’m wrapping up week 2 of the Simplify Your Life Challenge from MuchelleB and honestly — it’s been a long week! From balancing a crazy work schedule and keeping up with my personal and social life, it’s so difficult to find time to simplify. However, I can honestly say that despite the craziness of the week, week 2 is over and completed!

    For this week, I prioritized categories and areas in my room that needed the most attention, so there were some items on this challenge I didn’t get around to doing. What matters to me about this challenge is that the most important areas are completed, so skipping on some areas that don’t need much attention is completely fine with me. Always modify challenges to help it better your lifestyle!
    Without further ado, here is a recap of the decluttering that went down during week 2!

    Digital Space

    My main digital spaces are my work MacBook and my iPhone. Both of them were used to their capacity so I knew it was time to minimize. Since a lot of my work involves downloading and uploading large mp4 and PSD files, I started off by deleting most of my irrelevant downloads and freed up some space there. The bulk of my iPhone space was mostly due to old music I rarely listened to anymore and TONS OF PHOTOS. I am a complete photo hoarder and memory keeper, but to combat this I just uploaded all of my iPhone pictures onto Amazon Drive and deleted any unnecessary photos, music and apps.

    Social Media

    This is something I am honestly still working on. It’s hard to kill the social media addiction when it’s part of the job, but this article sheds insight on how to combat it. For me, I turned off notifications for all of my social media platforms, and unfollowed people that posted toxic or unnecessary things that did not bring me joy.

    Makeup

    For this category, I divided it in to several areas — my two makeup bags and my drawer. The drawer keeps the makeup that I don’t wear daily, while the two makeup bags hold items I use regularly. The black one holds larger items such as my contour kit and face powder, while the smaller one holds smaller items such as mascara, eyelash curler, eyeliner and brow pomade.

    Beauty Products/Bathroom Essentials

    I organized most of my regularly used beauty products in my bathroom cabinet. It still looks cluttered since it has limited space, but it does the job in keeping my bathroom counter clear and tidy. Regardless, I have found it easier to just grab what I need and replace it after I’m done. For beauty products I don’t use regularly, I place them in another drawer.

    For items that I use every single day, I keep it in this handy basket from the Container Store (if you didn’t notice, I went on a huge shopping spree at the Container Store). This is where I keep some beauty essentials, contact solution, mouthwash and toothbrush.

     

    Decor

    There wasn’t much change for the decor in my room except for rearranging and buying storage items to make everything look more aesthetically pleasing. I have my painting from PaintNite lying against the wall that I have yet to hang, and a basket from the Container Store that holds my new jewelry box (also bought from the Container Store. Container Store is great, y’all). I also bought a cute fake plant and a warm, Cozy Nights candle from Target.

    Sentimental items

    I placed all of my sentimental items in a black storage bin on my drawer shelf. It’s accessible and easy to pull out when I want to reminisce.

    Cleaning Supplies

    My cleaning supplies used to be all over the place, but with the help of the trusty Container Store, I was able to place everything in their own sections so that they would be easier to find whenever I go cleaning. Bless the Container Store!
     

    Nightstand Items

    Not much changed here except for discarding, reorganizing and storing somethings in a mini basket I bought from Target.
     
    Overall, I have to give a shout out to Target and the Container Store for providing me with the proper storage items to keep my room looking both tidy and aesthetic. I also got them at affordable prices since most of it was on sale, which is always amazing in my book.

    Now that my room is finally at a place where I feel very happy with, I am transitioning on to simplifying mental clutter. My mind has been filled with project and content ideas, travel plans and future plans on top of work, family and social life, so a lot of things  tend to get lost. I hope that with the last few weeks of March, I will be able to hone things down and focus on the things that matter, which hopefully means more blog content!

    Until next time <3
    Creative

    NaNoWriMo Week 2: A Loss for Words

    To put it simply, this week was awful. Not just for my word count, but for my well-being. Half of America — and nearly the whole world — reacted heavily to the Elections that transpired this week. I won’t go into too much detail — that will be for another blog post. I cannot deny, however, that it has personally taken a toll on my mood and writing.  I neglected my story and grieved. I cried for myself and for the community, ate too much pizza and shrouded myself in the comfort of my bed, knowing that the outside world was a battleground that I did not want to face. I was at a loss for words.

    However, at the end of the day, you do have to face it, and words need to be the anchor to your voice.

    Addressing the impact of these events contributes to the larger role that writers and artists play in this world.

    Regardless of what stance you take on major issues, regardless of how you feel and how you want to represent yourself, it is vital to express it through your art. If you can’t write because of grievances and sadness, then it’s okay. You are allowed to grieve from any sorrow. But at the end of the day, remember how you feel and channel it to the art form you feel strongly about. It is through art that people spill their inner intricacies to the outside world, and begin to understand and connect with one another through the vulnerability and strength of art.

    Several days later, after many of reflection, I began to write again. It had nothing to do with my plot, my characters, nothing about the story at all. Instead, I channeled something that accumulated from the events and spilled it onto the pages of my story. I colored my story with my own inner emotions and conflicts. It had nothing to do with my story, but it was what my story needed.

    This past week was terrible, but I am grateful for the terrible things that come to our lives. It reminds us that happiness is still around the corner. It reminds that the race is hard, but the finish line will be easy. It reminds us that when we are at a loss for words, we can create them and mold them into something that we stand and fight for.

    Lifestyle Seattle, Washington Travel

    A Summer of Unfamiliarities

    If I had to sum up this summer in one word, it’s unfamiliar.
    Some of the new and unfamiliar things I experienced was Seattle, the Emerald City. Here it is in 72 seconds (shameless plug):

    72 Seconds of Seattle in the Summer from Janna Macatangay on Vimeo.

    But the unfamiliar is not limited to new sights and smells. This summer I experienced unfamiliar feelings of leaving behind a chunk of my life that consisted of being an undergrad, which was all too familiar for me, and moving on to become an adult in the real world. For a brief moment, I left behind the familiar comfort of the UCLA community in search of another community, hoping they would be accepting of me as a fresh college graduate. The familiar voices of friends no longer ring as much in my ear and instead have been replaced with unfamiliar new faces of people I will be working with on a daily basis.

    It’s a scary thought of moving from one familiar place to an unfamiliar one. But it is sometimes necessary.

    I think we sometimes tend to shy away from unfamiliarities and overlook the beauty of it all. Yes, the unfamiliar is raw and strange and unknown, but we should embrace the idea that something so unknown can be considered a fresh and brand new start. Growth fosters in unfamiliar environments And that’s why I love the unfamiliarity.

    So here’s to the summer of unfamiliarities, to new faces and places, to a new chapter in my life.