Mexico Shulo y Querido

From the leafy colonial streets of Coyoacán to the posh culinary and arts scene in Condesa, Mexico City is quickly dusting off its former image as a grim city. Tales of savory tacos, museums and tequila convinced me to trade Thanksgiving, for a weekend in the city.

Mexico City is the country’s largest and most important city, with a booming population of 21 million. Underestimating its immensity I gave myself 72 hours to explore. A week would have been ideal, but with friends like mine I got to experience plenty. Here’s how we spent our time.

DSC_0010We started the day by taking a stroll in el Parque (Park) de Chapultepec. The park has outdoor water activities, a zoo, a modern art museum, and its very own castle.

DSC_0013 DSC_0020 DSC_0168The footpath is covered with shops, lined up with handmade goods, souvenirs, and so many snacks! Fresh fruit, chips, candy and corn on the cob to name a few, all covered with lime and chile.

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One of the main attractions of the park is the Castillo (Castle) de Chapultepec, sitting at the top of a spiral hill overlooking the city. You can say it’s the Versailles of Mexico City. You can hop from room to room and see fully preserved palace bedrooms, paintings, glass murals and my personal favorite the French-style roof top garden.

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DSC_0083 DSC_0090 DSC_0094 DSC_0105DSC_0095From the Castle we continued to walk towards Paseo de la Reforma, a busy avenue that runs across the heart of Mexico City.

DSC_0110 DSC_0114One of the most famous monuments of Paseo is the El Angel de la Independencia.

Mexico City has various inexpensive forms of transportation that easily help you hop from site to site.DSC_0126Torre Latinoamericana.

DSC_0129FullSizeRenderThis is by far the trendiest coffee shop I have ever been in, Cielito Querido Café. After having a delicious cup of Café de Olla (Spiced coffee) and a piece of Guayaba Cheesecake. Across the street you will find the beautiful gold dome-topped Palacio de Bellas Artes, Its art décor interior will surprise you.

DSC_0131 DSC_0139 DSC_0151The Quincenera taking professional photos in front of the Palace did not surprise me.

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We continued to The Zocalo the main square, one of the largest in the world. Built over Aztec ruins of Templo Mayor discovered in 1978. Were we took a night bike tour, and did some shopping.DSC_0172 DSC_0178 DSC_0185 DSC_0195

The next day we spent the day in Xochimilco, a former city that has been swallowed up by the city. Its main attraction being its canals were tourists and locals ride the cheerful gondolas.

I’d say the tales are true! I fell in love with Mexico City, and only wish to visit again soon.

Muchas Gracias a Nico y Stefany por su hospitalidad, los quiero!

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DIY | LOOFAH DOG COSTUME

Hi!

Halloween is a couple of days away and even though my costume is still in pieces, my dog’s is on point.  I’ll admit my dog seems to enjoy them. Mostly because he gets treats and lots of attention, but obviously its just for my entertainment.  Make this ridiculous, adorable loofah costume for your dog for under $10! DIY LOOFAH

Here’s what you will need:

– 4 yds of Tulle

– 1/2 in Elastic

– 12 inches of White Rope

– Blue Embroidery String

– Rubber Duck Other

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Other Tools:

– Scissors

– Hot glue

Start by folding the tulle at about 15 in wide stacking one layer over the other.

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Once the whole 4 yds of tulle is folded at the same width, cut each fold at the ends to create individual rectangular pieces. DSC_0547

Place two tulle pieces one over and cinche at the middle. Cut a short piece of string and tie it around the middle to hold it in place. Repeat this step using all of the tulle pieces. DSC_0568

Measure your pups chest and torso using the elastic. Then cut and tie both pieces.
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Now attach each tulle bundle using the extra string around each elastic band.
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Once you have attached each bundle of tulle the elastic band will now look like a tutu.
DSC_0590Take the larger tutu and hot glue each end of the rope together to create the loofah’s handle. Then glue the rubber duck close by.
DSC_0593 DSC_0596Now slip it on your festive pup!
DSC_0649DSC_0650 copyDSC_0652DSC_0631 copyIsn’t he just adorable! Have a safe and fun Halloween everyone. Follow more DIY’s on my pinterest here.

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Adios Bungalow pt. 1

Hi!

One day hopefully in the near future I will be a proud homeowner. With an extended backyard, tall ceilings with exposed beams, countless windows, old charm, a dream homem naturally it will be everything I’ve wished for. A girl can dream! But until then, we’ve all likely found ourselves living in a wide variety of apartments, tiny homes, sublets that are usually less-than-ideal. Being a tenant can be tricky, because while paying your rent on time is important, so  is making sure your place is personalized and stylish. Depending on your landlords rules, there are cheap and simple options that can help make your new space feel like your own.

Even though I recently moved into a new place I wanted to share some tips on how I spruced up my bungalow’s kitchen. Check out these before and after pictures.

BEFORE: 

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The kitchen was not terrible. The space was a little awkward, but it defiantly lacked color other than blush pink. Depending on your landlords terms and your budget, here are some ideas to consider for your space.

AFTER:

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Walls: If you are willing to repaint or sacrifice part of your deposit, paint will be the most affordable way to brighten up your walls. Especially if the walls have texture, since wallpaper takes a longer process. I used two different shades of paint to cover up the pink walls. Using some painters tape, I created clean lines on the wall over my sink by first painting the base white then layering two coats of grey. On the opposite end of the kitchen I decided to paint only half the wall grey at an angle, using the same tools.

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Hardware:  Replace all of the outdated doorknobs. Most doorknobs can easy be unscrewed and replace in a matter of minutes, plus you can always switch them back at the end of your contract.
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Lighting: Using the existing light hardware, replace the shade by simply unscrewing the typically glass top. Again you can switch this back later.
IMG_9473IMG_9465Storage: Lack of storage can be a problem in any kitchen. Luckily your walls/counters can easy support your kitchen supplies with some nifty help from Ikea.
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 Decor: Use what you’ve got, DIY or go shopping to redecorate your improved kitchen! I have a ton of plants, that are easy to maintain, affordable and look great in any space.

I wish I could have ripped out cabinets, the sink, changed the floors…etc! However with the changes I made I was able to personalize my space, get back my deposit back and live happily in my bungalow.

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Paint: White, Bit of Sugar from Bher Paint  /Grey: Pencil Sketch from Bher Paint @ The Home Depot

Hardware: Liberty 3/4 Milk Bottle Knob @ Knobs

Lighting: NYMO  @ Nymo Lamp Shade

Storage: Grundtal, Magnetic Knife @ Magnetic Knife Rack

Photo Crede to Ryan Walters on my before pictures! @ Something Standard

A little place called Aspen

Most only think of winter when Aspen is mentioned, yet when the snow melts and wildflowers blossom, summer comes out to play in this town in the mountains of Colorado. Thousands of miles covered in crisp pine trees, creeks and rivers come to life and critters roam freely. A town perfectly nested between the mountains with its highest peak reaching 11,212 feet. This is where you find your bliss.

The town is a mere 3 hours away from the City of Denver and the road there could not be more gratifying. The narrow highway that takes you through Independence Pass is surrounded by several charming ski villages. This route goes over the Rocky Mountains exposing you to steep ridges, lakes and unbelievable views that lead to Aspen.
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Meet my travel buddy and dear friend Karla. Excuse our tired, but excited faces.DSC_0058

Downtown Aspen. The population fluctuates with constant tourists from all over the country (including A-List Celebrities) that sustain the high-end shops, restaurants and outdoor activities.

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DSC_0064DSC_0071Now meet Marisol! A now local, great friend and the sole reason of our trip.
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Nothing but. Everyone is happy! There is no real need for a vehicle in Aspen, we roamed the streets, hiked into town day and night without a care in the world simply enjoying our surroundings. DSC_0046 DSC_0080 DSC_0081 DSC_0085

Wildflowers.
DSC_0094Aspen must: Ride the gondola’s up to highest peak at 11,212 elevation. The ride up was pleasant, coming down was challenging for me (to say the least).DSC_0112DSC_0130 DSC_0117At the top of the mountain there is a calm chilly breeze, with a view that will make your head spin. Literally the elevation is alarming.
DSC_0139 DSC_0141 DSC_0149 DSC_0155 DSC_0168 DSC_0170The best thing about Aspen is being able to enjoy the great outdoors then eat, then continue to appreciate the lush vegetation that overpowers the town.
DSC_0176Paradise Bakery & CafeDSC_0177 DSC_0179Saturday, local farmers market stroll.
DSC_0194#godmadethis DSC_0185Vintage shop in Glenwood, CO.
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Brunch at Justice Snows, inside the historic wheeler opera house.DSC_0236 DSC_0243 DSC_0251

John Denver SanctuaryDSC_0253Thank you Marisol for being such an amazing host. We had a great time!

Subscribe to my blog by plugging in your email on “Subscribe” box on the right. Keep posted for changes to come!

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DIY | Concrete Stool

Hi!

And my love for natural “raw” materials continues. This time using wooden dowels, concrete and a cake (sort of) to make a concrete stool.  This project was inspired by the Homemade Modern one of my favorite bloggers with my some tweaks. I loved the idea, but didn’t particularly want a smooth concrete top. So I decided to use a cake lid as the mold, this idea only came to me after a potluck at my office. The pattern of the clear cake lid was perfect! The stool is durable, simple to make and more importantly very affordable!

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Here’s what you will need:

-2, 5/8 in. x 36 in Wooden dowels

-Quickrete Concrete Mix

-Cake display container lid

– Spray paint

Other Tools:

-Jigsaw

-Water

-Sand Paper

-Empty tape ring

-Masking tape

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Start by cutting three equal 16 inch wooden dowel pieces, using a hand saw or jigsaw.

You can add or subtract inches depending on how to tall you would like your stool to be.

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Once your pieces are evenly cut remove any excess wood chips by sanding down each end of the wooden dowels. Then begin to mix the concrete. Pour about 3 inches of concrete mix without the pebbles into the empty cake lid or a separate container, then slowly mix with water.

Now let your concrete mix let for about 30 minutes. Then take an empty masking tape ring and push it into the center of the concrete mold. Then carefully stick each wooden dowel piece angled into the center of the ring. Let the dowels rest on the edge of the ring, this will help support the weight of the dowels while the concrete dries.

Refer to Mix Concrete for more details about mixing concrete. 
DSC_0325DSC_0329Let the concrete dry overnight.
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Once the concrete is dry remove the lid mold!
DSC_0373DSC_0380Now add some details. Flip your stool “legs up”, wrap masking tape around each dowel 3 inches from the ends and spray paint whatever color you’d like. Let the paint dry, remove the tape and your done!DSC_0371DSC_0237DSC_0234

My favorite thing about this project is that you can personalize the stool in so many different ways by making the legs taller, use different cake lid patterns, or paint the concrete top and legs in many colors.

 I want to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment below and keep posted for pictures of my previous before and after rental home!

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DIY | Leather Luggage Tags

Hi!

Maybe you’ve noticed my recent obsession of using all natural “raw” materials in my current DIY posts. I know doing it yourself isn’t always the easiest or more affordable option, but honestly there is no better feeling than making something with your two hands. Specially something that you will ultimately need or want. On my last trip my luggage tag was destroyed by luggage claim, naturally I decided to make my own.  Using natural “naked” leather.

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Here’s what you will need:

– Natural Tooling Leather, $4

– Alphabet Leather Kit

– Suede Leather Cord, $2

Other tools:

– Hammer

– X Acto Knife

– Cutting Mat

– Rotary Hole Puncher
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Start by cutting 3″ leather rectangles using an x acto knife. Leather can be tricky to cut, make sure to go over your cut a couple of times over a sturdy cutting board.

You can make about 4 luggage tags with one single leather strip. 
DSC_0242DSC_0244Make a second cut at an angle across the top of the leather tag.
DSC_0293DSC_0295Using the rotary hole puncher make medium-sized hole on the top/center of the tag.
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Leather is more receptive to being stamped when it’s damp. Dip your leather pieces into a bowl of water. Do not soak the tags, just damp them.
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In order to stamp on the  leather you will need to hammer each letter using the leather kit. Start by lining up the first letter of every line on the end of the tag and work your way across. Make sure do your hammering on a steady surface. You will not need to use that much force — one sharp tap, straight down on the top of the letter punch will suffice. If you didn’t apply enough pressure, you can carefully realign the stamp and do it again. Then cut 8-10 inch pieces of the leather cord, pull through the hole in the stamped leather piece and make a strong knot.

And you are done, how chic is your new luggage tag! You can make different sized luggage tags according to what information you want on it.

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Let me know what you think of this project? Leave your comment below and make sure to follow me!
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DIY | Chalkboard Message Box

Hi!

You’ve likely seen your share of cute decorative boxes for your home/office lately. Along with a lot of household goods made from simple, natural, organic materials. A trend that I predict will last, and love.Many of these items are made with leather, wood, concrete and metal objects; it is a wonderful time to be a DIYer. Specially because all of these materials in the raw are relatively inexpensive, last forever and are easy to manipulate.

After being inspired by the two trends I created this simple chalkboard message box for my office space. That only took me about 30 minutes.

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Here’s what you will need:

– Wooden Box, found at Target or Hobby Lobby

– Chalkboard Paint

– Chalk

– Rock, Gem, Quartz of your choosing

Other tools:

– Paintbrush

-Screwdriver

– Glue

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Paint the top of the wooden box.DSC_0174While the paint dries, carefully unscrew the existing hardware on the wooden box.
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I decided to add this beautiful green quartz that was originally on a necklace I stumbled across at Goodwill. Glue the top half of the quartz on the top of the lid.DSC_0224

And…done!

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Now add a message with some walk and change it up as much as you want.

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Have a great weekend Shulos!

Keep posted for more trendy DIY’s for your lifestyle, coming up next week.

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The Bayside

Hi!

It’s Tuesday, not nearly close enough to the weekend. Yet I am sitting here reminiscing about my recent trip to the Bayside. Oakland, San Francisco and the City of Berkeley! Much like Austin the bay was a place I hadn’t visited yet, but knew I would love. Home to liberals, hippies, hipsters, techies, immigrants, yuppies, and every other now trending generation. A place where you must come hungry, and ready to hike.

 I had the fortune of visiting two of my girlfriends who lived in the area. Which helped immensely with navigation (sort of!) and local spots. Even though I was on tourist mode with my huge camera.

Here’s my take on the bay:

San Francisco is incredibly picturesque. The City of Berkeley is young and creative. While Oakland keeps it real.

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-Ferry Building, San Francisco
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-San Francisco, Chinatown #werk

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– Bob’s Donut & Pastry, San Francisco

Where else would we have been on National Donut day in the Bay. This shabby shop is family owned and still makes their donuts from scratch. These donuts are classically fried, taste sweet and have lots of texture, amazing! But no dogs are allowed.
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Having a full on FAT meltdown.DSC_0359-Lombart Street, San Francisco

The world’s most winding street.
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Every corner of San Francisco is charming. Its streets can challenge you with steep hills or surprise you with beautiful views.
DSC_0372DSC_0375DSC_0387-Ghirardelli Square, San FranciscoDSC_0391DSC_0389-The Fox Theatre, Oakland
DSC_0406IMG_0244I strongly believe that Berkeley is the capital of food porn. You will find the most unhealthy and creative food combinations. Like these ridiculous cheese fries, from Smoke’s Poutinerie. Or this cookie ice cream sandwich from Cream.

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The Golden Bridge, San Francisco
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Ilana and Abbi, also known as Taylor and Charlotte, from Broad City. (The now local and used to be local girlfriends)
DSC_0450DSC_0433DSC_0436DSC_0443I had never sat by the ocean with 3 layers of clothes on. Over the weekend the weather was between 60 – 75 degrees. Takes some getting use too.DSC_0461

-Dolores Park, San FranciscoDSC_0491DSC_0508DSC_0501DSC_0514-Billy Goat Hill Park, San Francisco

DSC_0532DSC_0529Seafood brunch in San Francisco, with 4 different types of oysters. Oh lord!

-Mission Rock Resort, San FranciscoDSC_0552DSC_0537DSC_0539

I promise to come back bay bay.

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DIY | Concrete + Copper Towel Holder

Hello! Its been a while.

Lately I’ve been posting more trips than diy’s, I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos!

My roomate recently moved out and I’ve noticed things I miss that we shared. Such as her towel holder. Afterthought for me. Case in point – I should make my own. After a quick trip to Home Depot I came up with this chic, industrial Concrete + Copper Towel Holder.

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Here’s what you will need:

 – 13″ Copper pipe

– 4″ Copper pipe

– 2, Copper caps

– Concrete Mix

– Cardboard

– Medium sand paper

Tools:

– Box cutter or Precision Knife

– Pen or Pencil

– Duck tape

– Strong Adhesive

– Piece of String

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First you will have to create a mold as a base. Start by making a 7″ diameter circle on your cardboard. I traced the bottom of a pot plate to get a perfect circle, then cut it out using an x-traco knife. You will also need to cut a long strip of cardboard that is at least “4 thick. DSC_0087 DSC_0089

Trace the edge of the circle with the long strip, creating a cardboard bowl.  While you hold the two together, duck tape all long the bottom of the bowl. Tape the ends, cut any extra cardboard off, and secure the mold with more duck tape.DSC_0097DSC_0092

Pour 2 cups of concrete mix in a plastic container, use a container you can dispose.  Then slowly pour in water as you stir the mix. I was a little nervous mixing the concrete, but I found that just like baking brownies all you have to pay attention to is the consistency of the mix. The mix needs to be thick, and wet through. I mixed one batch with rocks and another without, using only the concrete “powder”.
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Pour the batch with the rock concrete mix into the cardboard mold first. Then spread the mix evenly to create a smooth surface. Just like a cake!DSC_0144

While the cement mold dries glue each of the copper caps to the cooper pipes.
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After about 2 hours later your concrete mold should look a little sturdier. Stick the big copper pipe in the center and align the smaller one an inch away from the edge. In order to keep the pipes straight, wrap a tight string around the two and tape each end to the side of the mold.DSC_0145Once the concrete has set, it should look like this.
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Remove the cardboard mold then sand down the rough edges and surface of your concrete base. I wanted a raw industrial finish which did not require a lot of work. However you can use a finer sandpaper to achieve a much smoother surface.DSC_0233DSC_0239DSC_0224

I am so happy with the final result. And am excited to make a second one for my friends outdoor kitchen. DSC_0225

I want to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment and keep posted for more DIY’s!

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Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette

Bonjour Y’all!

Let me tell you about Lafayette, Louisiana. Where I spent yet another weekend at a festival, the Festival International de Louisiane. This festival is known for their variety of unique and up-an-coming performers all based from Louisiana that took place in downtown Lafayette. The festival is spread across the old downtown streets of the city where you can bar hop, shop,visit museums, enjoy local art, and their southern hospitality.

In addition to their amazing international lineup the family oriented festival also features workshops, theatre performances, art and mouth slobbering food. Influenced by France (of course), Spain and Africa. Honestly this festival’s food is the best! They had shrimp kabobs, crawfish pisolettes, shrimp friant, philly chesse steaks, pulled pork nachos, crawfish etoufee, jambalaya, gumbo, alligator balls, boudin balls….. yea! Just a couple of their options.

After a morning of steady rain spent having the most amazing brunch at The French Press. Where I had cajun benedicts…Oh lawwwd! The dish has toasted french bread, Hebert’s Boudin, two poached eggs topped with chicken, gumbo and french scallions. A must! The festival finally started at 2 p.m due to the weather. And after a couple of drinks at Marley’s Sports bar me and my girlfriend were ready to fest! With our drinks at hand because its Louisiana.

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JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound- amazing jazzy beat!

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One of the many friendly locals!

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While we listened to JC Brooks, we ran into Meduza from Nomadic massive. Gorge!

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Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate killing it! Literally making the whole crowd dance.

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The crew of shulas! We had an amazing time, as you can tell their empty City Bar cups.

From left, Sylvia, Charlotte and Lainee.
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Turnt… maybe! Also I am blonde now, my hair is not a fan of the humid south and this van is rad.

What I wore:

Mumu style dress, H&M | Purse, Marc by Marc Jacobs | Sneakers, Air Force 1 Nike | Sunnies, Ray Bans |

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On the way back to Texas we were able to stop and take a stroll and explore the swamp lands of Louisiana.

I wish I had more pictures, but fun got in the way. Still, Lafayette’s southern hospitality is unforgettable. The music was lively, unique and international, with so many combinations of sounds! And that food thoooo, I will continue to rave about for months. We highly recommend Festival de Louisiane at Lafayette.

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