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Don’t Search For The Answers

June 11, 2015

Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
– Rilke, Rainer Maria. Letters to a Young Poet
A quote that really resonates for me. Words of wisdom that seem so much like common sense, but a common kind of sense that we easily forget and need reminder of day after day. Let’s take this as a reminder today to just keep living in the present and juggling all the answers as options for ourselves. Some good, some bad, a few somewhere in-between. The best one for you will be there waiting. But don’t let your idea of the best answer be the one and only in your head, because it might not actually be the best one for you. The best one might be the most unexpected. So just know that it will come when it wants to come, and that it might just be worth the wait. 

Leftover pictures that I took on my trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico a few months ago. A week of some of the most magnificent exploration I have ever experienced. 

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An Ode To Childhood

May 1, 2015

How much of your childhood do you remember? How vivid are your memories? Do you get flashbacks sporadically or often? How much of your childhood influences you today? And what parts exactly? I do sometimes find myself thinking about my life now and how I envisioned my life to be back when I was say . . . 8 years old. My 8 year old self would probably be super disappointed, because I thought I was going to be prom queen at 18, married by 26 and with child by 30. And the truth is, I never went to prom (instead I went skateboarding and got stoned with my friends in a hidden nook in the valley) and I’m 27 and I am definitely not even a speckle close to saying “I DO” to anyone, let alone give birth. But you know what, my 27 year old self is totally okay with these facts. When I was 8 years old, the idea of me being 27 felt light years away. I had all the time in the WORLD to accomplish my dreams. Everything felt possible, yet my future was still one big haze in my head. I couldn’t imagine what it would actually be like to be an adult. And then all of a sudden, you wake up, and BAM . . .  there you are . . . in your mid-twenties, single, working too many hours, going on far too many bad Tinder dates, bags under your eyes feeling far too heavy, the book on your bedside table left unread for way too long, and your roommate is still taking her sweet time in the bathroom even though you are 15 minutes late to work. Where did the time go? WHERE?!? I’ve had many a moment where I’d stop and just stare at myself in the mirror and be like, “What the fuck am I doing with my life. This is not right. Say it ain’t so.” But then a little flash of sunshine sprouts up somewhere and you get on the roller coaster of happiness for a little bit, and then up and down you go all over again. But that’s just life. Not the life we expected out of ourselves when we were just kids, but life nonetheless. 

I still have so many vidid memories from my childhood that even my parents are alarmed at how well I can remember. Getting my first tutu for dance class, and pretending I had ballet shoes on everywhere I went. The grass stains on my knees as I rolled down the hill at the park and my mom yelling at me because I messed up my best pair of jeans from Limited Too. Being chased by the neighborhood dog with my sister all the way home. We even jumped the fence and I totally wrecked my knee. Building my own hut in the backyard from the leftover branches as my parents did some tree trimming. My first and last pet, a tiny tadpole. That pet didn’t last too long at all. The very first beat I made on the electronic drum set my dad kept around the house. My very first kiss in kindergarten. My first crush. Everything small felt so big at the time. Every sense we had felt extra amplified. Every feeling felt tenfold. We were so excitable. Everything mattered and had reason to be inspected. Today, as an adult living in a big city, things fly past us so fast. An hour feels like a second. Things go over our head and we don’t even realize. 

When did we start overlooking the small things? When did that switch happen exactly? And I realized that the things that we do pay attention to the most seem to lean more towards the negative. A subway ride so packed that you can hardly breathe at all. The horrible date you went on last night and can’t stop taking about to your friends with. The 5 bills you forgot to pay this month. Repeating “shit, shit shit” over and over again our heads because everything in our life just feels like complete, well, shit. When it comes down to analyzing these nit-picky situations, these things that are really so short-lived and changeable, yet so gnawing on our brains that we think they become life or death situations when really they are far, far from such a thing. As adults, have we really lost all aspects of our childhood vulnerability and imagination that getting the life sucked out ourselves has become a daily ritual we fall to so easily? 

Thank goodness for memory. Without memory we might all be a lost cause when it comes to getting our acts together and actually taking the time to enjoy the good things in life, no matter how small or how over-the-top spectacular they are. Whether they last one minute or one hour or one year or an entire lifetime. The good should never be over-looked or under appreciated. The kid version of yourself would never let that happen. He or she would hold onto that good and never let go. That’s the thing with us adults nowadays, we get let down to easily and let go to quickly. Our patience can’t stand alone very long and our grasps are too loose on everything because we never really are sure what we want. To speak the truth, there really is a lot of shit out in the world we have to deal with, and our experiences have unfortunately weakened our trust. But that’s all okay. That’s life. Just remember that things can always be put into perspective through memory and reliving. Think back to your happiest moments as a kid. What were the things that made you completely happy back then. How do those things fit into your life right here and right now? Are they even a part of your life anymore? Do you wish they still were or have you forgotten about them? Do they still make you smile? Figure out why they’re overlooked and do something to reverse this. Have no shame in indulging in the things that made you the happiest as a kid. They can make all the difference in the big picture of your life today. 

The imagination and nostalgia can be our biggest tools. Use them. 


Music Festival Tips

April 18, 2015
So for all of you who haven’t made it out to a music festival yet might have a whole lot of questions. Your mind is boggled. What to expect? What are musts to bring into festival to ensure ultimate survival? What can to do to avoid heat stroke. Is it possible to look cute while still being gross and sweaty from dancing in the sun all day? What shoes should you be wearing? Body jewels or flash tattoos or henna or everything? Hair up or hair down? No bra or bra? To bring snacks or to not bring snacks? So many questions, so little time. Usually, when it gets down to it, there really is no real way to prepare for a full weekend of music festival madness, because you can be sure to always run into the unexpected. You will definitely be thrown off your game, but this just ensures ultimate music festival radness. Here are some tips from me to you, from my own experience, of course. I’m no music festival pro, but with four Coachella festivals in a row under my belt now, I think I have learned a little something to say the least. And thanks to American Eagle Outfitters, my weekend was made even better. Hope my little tips help!
Get your group together BEFORE heading into the festival. It makes it far easier to make plans within the festival throughout the day, such as setting up meeting points after certain shows, etc. Especially since the service is so bad int he festival, it’s best to have an idea of what everyone’s plans and directions are before getting inside. And make sure everyone sticks to the plan! 
Drink a lot of water and pee before going into the festival. It’ll keep you from getting too dehydrated early on, and the bathrooms aren’t the greatest in the festival, so the less you have to use them the better.
Check the weather ahead of time while packing. It will always be hot during the day, but you never know once night hits. Layering pieces like a plaid shirt or a denim jacket will always be a must. These can also double as blankets for the grass if needed. 
Bring sunscreen with you. Apply before and during. A burn on the shoulders, nose, etc. is never fun. Carry around a little stick applicator of SPF. It’s light and easy to use. 
I totally believe in swimsuits under your outfit during music festivals. You never know when it’s going to get too hot, and you’re gonna want to take some layers off. I love a bikini with an interesting neckline paired with shorts or mini skirt combination. When the heat is high, anything goes. Live and dress free! 
Bags! Cross body bags or backpacks are the best bet. You will want full use of both your arms while dancing to your favorite band! Don’t let overpacking weigh you down either. Bring just the bare necessities . . . like lip balm, your ID and a phone recharger!
Listen to some of the bands on the lineup that you have never heard of before heading to the festival. You never know who else is out there that you will love! Music festivals are the best reason to discover some new, awesome music. 
When it comes to day drinking . . . PACE. YOURSELF. PEOPLE. You don’t want to be passed out asleep on the grass in the middle of a huge crowd during the headlining act. Especially since it was that band you were waiting to see all day. Sip your drinks slow, enjoy the company, and keep the buzz going at a steady pace. I’ve been at festivals before and taken shots before noon. WORST IDEA EVER. It’s never worth it in the end to get too crazy. Don’t you want to remember your festival memories?
Everyone thinks that music festival dressing has to be over the top and bohemian to the max. You know I love anything boho (see crochet dress by American Eagle Outfitters featured here), but I also love some more toned down, minimal looks for festival season. If you want to keep it more simplistic for a music filled weekend, but still want to embody that free spirit feeling, then accessories are where it’s all at. Chokers, layers of long and short necklaces, piled on bracelets and rings, a hat with a standout brim, a sick belt and sunnies combination. This way you can keep true to yourself, but still fit in with the vibe of the weekend that everyone loves. 
Here’s to more music festivals to come!

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The Future of Blogging

March 10, 2015
The future of this blog is always something to think about. Many bloggers I have talked to have this exact same thing on their minds. As many of us enter our late 20’s, the drive behind our careers may or may not change drastically. Where exactly will we grow from here? Will we want to be doing exactly what we do now in our futures? How will our current digital presence mature as we mature as individuals? Do we think our careers will revolve around fashion for the rest of our lives? Will we still be having the same urge to share our outfits with you all? Currently, for me at least, this is all left in a big pile called the great unknown. Things have changed so much since I started this blog way back in 2009, which was right around the time I graduated college. I started this blog just as a hobby and as a creative outlet. Never in a million years did I think I could make a living running this thing. But thanks to a little thing called social media and Instagram (INSTAHAM as I like to call it sometimes) everything I do on here has gotten the chance to gain a whole lot of exposure. But a lot of times I miss how blogging was like before social media blew up and Instagram took over. None of this existed way back at the beginnings of DYLANA/SUAREZ (previously Color Me Nana, and before that Dylana in Wonderland . . . cringe). It started to make me wonder, do people even care to visit the blog to read more beyond just a pretty photo? Or would they rather just see something quick on Instagram and call it a day? 
To me, social media is a both a really awesome thing and also a really not very awesome thing. It’s awesome because I wouldn’t be writing you right now from the comfort of my own bed and actually saying this is my job. It’s awesome because I have the freedom to share as much or as little of my life as possible on here, and actually get quite a meaningful response to what I put out there from a good amount of those who visit. Whether it be via a comment, a tweet, or an email, it really is crazy to think that some of you out there really take the time out of your day to put in some extra feedback and thoughts. It’s also awesome because I get to do a lot of different things I love to do on a daily basis and I never feel limited. I’m my own boss and I have a lot of control and it feels amazing. Not a lot can say that. 
On the other side of the spectrum, sometimes (maybe a lot of times) social media can lend a superficial aspect to how we view the lives of others in relation to our own. This superficiality can definitely force one to lose focus on the authenticity of the content put out there. Social media (Instagram in particular) is designed to showcase a perspective that will get a positive response from viewers (a.k.a. a lot of likes). And especially today, brands work with bloggers based solely on the amount of followers they have as opposed to the actual quality of the content. In reality, numbers-wise, I am nowhere near some of the girls who run fashion blogs out there. But at the same time I am consistently working, and I feel like the quality of my work is the game changer for me. I work hard, I’m passionate, and I just happen to have a blog that connects me to more people than if I didn’t have a blog. As a blogger, it’s not my main goal to work with the biggest and most influential brands out there (although at times I do have the opportunity to do so, which is quite amazing), but it’s not the driving force behind the growth of my blog and of my work. 
Personally, I feel like I get the most out of what I do when I am working with the smaller brands, even start ups, who build up these amazing ideas from almost nothing. To be a part of something from the tiny beginning to the end product on a smaller scale level is far more interesting to me. Mostly because it means that I am so much more involved from the get go. I appreciate the industry more when I am actually down and getting my hands dirty. You know, doing the grunt work, as opposed to signing a big contract with a big brand for so and so number of social media posts. Hey, those are nice, too, and I love to support big brands I believe in and who think I am influential, but personally I get the most out of projects I can be thoroughly involved in. I learn the most that way, too.
I work hard to keep it as real as I can on here. Behind the cool outfits, fun parties, and prettier side of the industry is a whole lot of work, organization and spreading myself thin a lot of the times. I do get comments here and there about selling out whenever I put a sponsored-style post out there, and I can’t deny that I do this. But as times changed, a lot on here will have to change, too, especially with me doing this full-time. But I promise that everything you will read and see on here is real and true. 
So as a follower of the social media/digital world, what do you guys think? How many of you are actually coming here to learn, read beyond the pictures and dig a little deeper? And how many of you prefer just the visual aspects and inspirations; to be constantly updated with just bits and pieces via other social media platforms, such as Instagram or (dare I say it) Snapchat. Where do you see blogs in five years? This last one is always interesting for me to think about. I think blogs will still be around. There will always be those dedicated readers who will keep on coming back, as others come and go at a much more exponential rate. But in the long run, I think those bloggers with something actually meaningful to say beyond just the chic outfits, designers digs and glistening vacation snaps will survive. Quality over quantity. I like leaving a blog feeling inspired not to just dress well, but to live well. Those blogs that help me think about more meaningful things than just the best ways to layer in winter. Those are the blogs I’ll keep on reading five years from now. 
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