// Tea Box Express - December Early Reveal!

One of my favorite parts of working at Tea Box Express is getting my hands on the boxes a month early! It's a small, but very exciting, perk. And since I had the December box just hanging out here at home, I figured why not do a little early reveal?! I know many of you have been on the fence for the past couple of months as to whether or not you should subscribe, but I'm hoping this might help push you over the edge haha Andrea did such an amazing job with the December box. Even if tea isn't your thing, this would make for such an amazing and thoughtful gift for someone you love. Just in time for the holidays, too! Full product reveal below!

The theme of the December box is "Tea and Cookies for Santa" and it totally hits the nail on the head! When you first open the box you're greeted with this gorgeously packaged arrangement with a white, sheer bow and the info card that explains this month's picks. Underneath is the best assortment of goodies! 

+ Candy Cane Tea: An asian black tea with peppermint leaves and actual candy cane pieces. This teas smells divine! Peppermint isn't normally my thing, but one cup of this cured an achey belly in no time.

+ Chocolate Toffee Cookie Brittle: Oh man, these cookie sticks are delicious. I was snapping the photos when Toby teetered back to the room and inquired about them. So naturally we had to open them up and sneak one out of the package to share.

+ Wheat/Gluten Free White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie: GET IN MY MOUTH! I know I'm fortunate to note suffer from any kind of wheat/gluten allergy, but I've never put much faith in something GF being delicious. Until now. I totally did not share this one with Toby. Sorry, kid.

+ TEA tongs: These adorable little tongs are perfect for scooping out the pyramid sachets and saving them for your next cup.

+ Teapot + Cup Ornament: I'm a huge fan of novelty ornaments and I was so so surprised to see one in the December box! I feel like it's so incredibly appropriate, but still so fun and attention grabbing. It's definitely going on our tree! 

Are you a believer yet? Well, regardless, I'm totally tickled with the December box. It really has me jazzed about the boxes that will be debuting in the New Year. And if you're still on the fence on whether or not you want to snag one of these for yourself or a friend/family member, maybe these coupon codes will help!

Tea Box Express is having a rad Black Friday - Cyber Monday promotion and you can save 50% off the first month's box when you sign up for a month-to-month subscription. Just use the code TBESALE50 at checkout. This code is active NOW (!!) and expires on December 2nd. -- If you want to give a one-time gift of TBE, you can use the code TBEGIFT5 for $5 off any box. (This code will only work from the "gift" page since it's a one time charge. You will not be charged again the following month! Huzzah for not having to remind yourself to cancel a subscription!

The deadline to get the December shipment in your mailbox before Christmas is December 15th! If you miss the Black Friday/Cyber Monday coupon, you can use the code CLUELESS20 for 20% off the first month (when buying a month-to-month subscription).

This is totally an easy gift to give, and I guarantee the recipient will be so totally stoked! What do you think of it?!

// Linden Atlas - Four Months

Our little Linden turned four months old on Sunday! So bittersweet! It's hard to see the months race by so quickly, even if the days feel so incredibly long. At this rate he'll be turning a year old before I can even wrap my head around it. I have such a hard time coming to terms with him getting older and bigger, because I want him to stay my sweet little baby forever, ya know? (All the while I can't wait for him to: sleep through the night, be able to feed himself, communicate with what's making him upset, etc haha! DREAM BIG, KB!) FOUR months! I just can't.

This month Linden:
+ weighs 13 pounds 10 ounces.
+ measures 25.5" long (holy growth spurt!)
+ decided naps and sleeping are like, so not cool. (wah!)
+ started really teething. (heaven help us all!)
+ slept in his 4moms Breeze for his first night away from home (we were still with him!)
+ moved into his sidecar crib in our room.
+ had his first ear infection. (boo!)
+ started wearing his cloth diapers.
+ experienced his first Halloween (and dressed up like a bag of popcorn!)
+ finally outgrew most of his "newborn" sized clothing (sad face!)

This next month is definitely going to hold some doozies. He'll be meeting several members of our family for the first time, and he'll be trying his first solid food! Hooray for new experiences!

// A Gentleman's Gift Guide with Mike

Mike was asked by Kohl's to put together this fun little gift guide for the "gentlemen" out there (or for their partners who might be looking for a nice Christmas gift this season). I thought it would be a fun way to let him take part in the blogging excitement haha Plus I figured it might be a good way to get some nice gift ideas for him, too. You know, to be sneaky and all. Is it just me or are guys notoriously difficult to shop for? Of course everything Mike chose is so very "him".... and I kind of love that. It definitely makes my job a lot easier. Whether you're shopping for your boyfriend, husband, brother, father, or just a snazzy dude in your life, hopefully you'll find something awesome in the men's accessories at Kohl's. There's always their handy Christmas gift ideas for any and everyone, too.

Here's what Mike added to his wishlist... I mean, gift guide! haha

What are you getting your fellas for the hoildays?! (I'm so open for suggestions! haha!)


Maybe my post title is a little overdramatic, but I totally feel like it's all I can say/think/feel lately haha Yeah. I feel like I'm drowning most of the time, if I'm being totally honest. This week was a tough one. Linden started getting really sick on Sunday, and I woke up with absolutely no voice whatsoever on Saturday. Between a nice little bout of laryngitis, and what turned out to be an ear infection for him, we spent most of the week cuddled up together in the rocking chair. Linden didn't want to sleep alone, and he would only nap in my arms. So that meant my laundry list of tasks got pushed to the back burner and I scrambled to do as much as I could after Mike got home for the night.

I guess it's just the nature of the season, too. Crazy quick deadlines that need to be met, signs that need to be painted and shipped, design clients that need tending to, and family obligations that just don't quit. How do people do it?!

Linden spent all of Wednesday screaming. Non stop! The poor little guy refused to eat, which lead to him starting to get dehydrated. Which led to belly pains. And a late night run for Pedialyte. Since both Mike and Toby were at school I just sat in the chair holding Linden and I cried right along with him. It was just one of those days, ya know? Yesterday I struggled to get Toby's birthday invites done so he could take them to school today... but some kind of miracle happened and they actually got done. Now to just plan the rest of the party... and do Christmas shopping... and and and.

I've been feeling just ever so slightly burnt out lately. I was starting to think I totally had a grasp on this whole "two kids" thing, but clearly I was sorely mistaken! This is the first "big" sickness we've had with Linden and man, it'll wear you out! 

Hats off to folks who have 3, 4, 5+ kids and still manage to make it work. Heck, all of you with 1 or 2 also! I'm hoping L will start feeling better soon as I'll be able to get him back in the habit of sleeping and napping alone in his crib. Then maybe my to do list won't look so terrifying. Though I'll totally admit it feels nice to have him fall asleep on my chest several times a day.

If nothing else, this experience is teaching me that the world will continue spinning if I don't get a blog post up everyday (ha. obviously!) or if a handful of emails go a day or two between responses. Luckily I feel like I have some super understanding clients, and I always try to be upfront if I'm behind a bit. Now if only I could kick it into overdrive and get it all done! Where's an extra set of hands when you need 'em?!

Got any tips on how to get it all done?! Can we start a petition for extra hours in the day? haha

// SHOP SMALL - 9 Small Businesses To Support This Season

'Tis the season to be shopping for your loved ones! There are so many amazing small businesses out there that deserve your patronage this season. I've made so many wonderful friends via social media over the years and a lot of them are making it their own way by being their own boss. I've chosen 8 of my favorite independent shops to highlight below (and I threw in my little sign side biz, too. Shameless plug!). If you're looking for something special to give this year, hopefully one of these shops will have you covered! You certainly don't have to only shop small this year, but it's kind of awesome to know that every purchase you make with an independent maker means that money is going to stay with them and their venture/family/whatever. I also own at least one thing from each and every shop below so I can vouch for the quality of their goods!

Be sure to keep these folks in mind for Small Business Saturday (November 29) and Cyber Monday (December 1), too! Here you go!

Shauna and Stephen make some of the most amazing bow ties, neckties, and handkerchiefs. Mike and both of our boys have their own Forage pieces and they look so dapper in them! The quality is above and beyond, and they're just really cool people. It's always nice to know the folks behind the brand are genuine and kind!

Kelley was recently featured in one of my Rad Gal, Rad Gig segments, talking about being a candle maker! We have a few Candelles around our house and they smell so good! The Pomegranate Cider is my absolute favorite! I love seeing what new scents she comes up with.

Carolyn dreams up some of the most adorable costumes and creations for the littles ones in your life! Linden has been a strawberry, a cupcake, and a blueberry, too. Toby and Linden also have matching letterman cardigans (left) and they're so soft and sweet!

Jenny and Aaron are so incredibly talented, I can't even! They released a book earlier this year (It's fantastic!) and their paintings are the perfect blend of novelty and realistic. The three shown above are ornaments (!!!) I love their pastel aesthetic!

Nicole is a caramel whiz! She has made an entire career out of creating delicious caramels, sauce, and caramel popcorn. The popcorn is what dreams are made of, I'm telling you! We just won't talk about how many late night bowls of ice cream and caramel sauce I've had, okay?

If you've got a baby, you've heard of Little Hip Squeaks. Amy blows me away with how she's built LHS over the years. It's so inspiring to see something take off the way her business has. The prints and patterns of her pieces are so fun and perfect for babies!

Beca and Doug are unstoppable. Just when you think they can't possibly create anything more amazing, they go and do just that. They're the creators of the original wood veneer sunglasses, and now they're whipping up these adorable "tiny knives" and camping utensils.

Elizabeth is the creator of yet another super fun kid (and adult friendly!) clothing line. Those pants in the center are by far my favorite pants of L's. I'm so sad he had a growth spurt and has almost outgrown them! She's the whiz behind the super popular "As Seen on IG" shirts, too!

And of course I had to throw in my custom painted signs. I mean, they are kind of perfect for the holidays... I'm down to just 3 remaining sizes though so if you're interested, check out a sampling of paintings on Instagram (#kbsigns) and give me a shout!


If you're looking for special gifts for your loved ones, this is a great place to start! I promise you won't be disappointed by any of them! Do you have any small businesses or shops you'd like to suggest for awesome gifts?!

// OrbitBaby G3 Infant Car Seat + Base Giveaway

All other car seats just need to go home. We've only had our G3 from OrbitBaby for a few days, but I can tell you we are SOLD! We were totally in love within the first 15 seconds of it being out of the box. It's just so NEAT! I had seen OrbitBaby products floating around when I was pregnant, but really didn't pay much mind to just how exhausting (and hard!) it'd be to get a baby in and out of a rear-facing car seat. Had I known then what I know now, I absolutely would've sprung for the G3 from the start. I feel super fortunate to be working with OrbitBaby and having the chance to make up for lost time. 

Just in case you know about the G3's most incredible feature, it turns a full 360 degrees and locks into place (every 90 degrees). This allows you to turn the car seat to face the door opening when putting the baby in or taking him out. No more back breaking and bending to try and finagle them into the right position. (How's my elevator pitch?! Haha!) This also can be said for the G3 stroller base! (Another thing I highly recommend! It's super utilitarian and works like a dream!) Since we didn't have a travel system for our original car seat, we'd have to get Linden out every time we wanted to go into the store. While we could've carted the seat in and popped it in a buggy, I didn't feel like that was a safe option. All I could see was the buggy tipping over or something falling from the top part and hitting him. Not to mention the plastic handle on it was SO. UNCOMFORTABLE! Toting an infant seat is never fun or easy in my book, but at least the G3 comes with a padded arm strap that makes carrying it in the crook of your elbow far more comfortable. Even if it's just from the car to the house, those bruises can add up haha

Our OrbitBaby ride. This is the Drive + Stroll package, which allows you to use the car seat with the G3 stroller base until your baby graduates to the toddler seat. We really love the setup! -- * This giveaway does not include the stroller or toddler seat as shown on the left!

Another great feature is the built in sunshade/privacy screen. There's a white cover built in to the seat hood that can unroll and shield the baby from curious eyes/hands, sun, wind, etc. We took advantage of it Saturday while walking into and around the mall since Linden was snoozing and it was a bit windy outside. Isn't the Mocha color stunning? If brown or any variation of brown is ever an option in something, you can almost bet that's what I'll be choosing. We love how decadent the color is on the car seat and the stroller cargo basket. 

Honestly, if you knew Linden at all I could just say that the car seat speaks for itself. He's never been fond of riding in one, much less sleeping in one. On Saturday he was all about the snoozes. In his original car seat, he'd scream and fuss the moment he woke up (on the off chance we actually got him to fall asleep while riding). While we were out and about this past weekend, he woke up from his multiple naps as happy as a clam. Totally okay with just chilling in the car seat. That alone is worth all the money in our bank account! 

With alllll that gushing being over and done with, now comes the fun part! The giveaway! OrbitBaby wants to give one of you lucky moms (or moms-to-be) a G3 infant car seat and base! Whoever wins this is going to be pinching themselves through the new year, I promise.Feel free to check out the entry options below! Feel free to enter for yourself or for a friend. Good luck! xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Note: This giveaway is for the G3 infant car seat and car seat base only. The stroller base and toddler seat (as shown in the group photo in Linden's nursery).

// BAGGAGE: v.2 - Lesley's Bag

Details (clockwise from top left): Target gold mini pouch to hold Photojojo iPhone lenses // Target wallet // Roots bag (limited edition color no longer available, similar here) // Apple earbuds // Target sunglasses // iPhone 5 with Speck iPhone case and gold heart sticker // Lots of lip balms and glosses (this isn't even close to all of them actually living in my purse) // Listerine PocketPack // Etsy pencil case and art supplies // Smith's Rosebud Salve (my favorite!) // And Sophie the Giraffe. (Because, babies - mine included - LOVE Sophie)

Hello there! I'm Lesley Myrick - collage artist, interior designer, and new mom. Between a full time job, owning a freelance business, and taking care of my little dude, I'm on the go a lot and need a great versatile bag for all my stuff and things. It's gotta be stylish enough for work, but casual enough that I can throw a burp cloth in there, you know?

I love this shoulder bag from Roots - it feels put-together but not too fancy. Plus, ALL THE POCKETS. I call that a win.

Lesley's Bag Essentials

Lip gloss - I'm completely addicted. At any given time there are usually about 5 balms, glosses, and salves living in the front pocket of my purse. A girl needs variety!

Apple headphones - I commute about 2 hours per day for work, so I like to use that time wisely by catching up with friends and family on the phone. I call my mom, who lives about 2500 miles away, almost every weekday morning.

iPhone - I can share photos on Instagram AND run my Etsy shop AND check my baby monitor with this thing. I think a smartphone is one of the most valuable tools for a business owner and mom.


BAGGAGE is a new feature on The Clueless Girl's Guide where I invite folks to share the contents of their bags. We all like a little sneak peek at what others are carrying around, right? If you'd like to share what you tote around in your purse/backpack/makeup bag, feel free to get in touch! I'd love to have you!

// Dream Tree Decorating Tips

Mike and I had a lot of fun decorating our Dream Tree this year, and because it was such a unique and exciting opportunity we decided to go all out and just have fun with it. Since we didn't really want to just pick up off-the-rack ornaments, we had to get a little bit crafty. For part two of November's Michaels Makers challenge, I'm going to share a few of our tree decorating tips!

+ Choose a color palette and/or theme for your tree. Let the color palette set the tone for the look and feel of your tree. We wanted to do something super rustic and cabin-inspired, but still "pretty" and "stylish". This helped us narrow down our color palette to creams, browns, and shades of ivory, and then we added in gold glitter.

+ Always start with the ribbon! If your tree isn't pre-lit, obviously do the lights first. But lay the ribbon as a base so you're able to build on top of it and fill in the negative spaces. Try to match the thickness of your ribbon to the size of the other major ornaments on your tree. That way you don't have wide ribbon with tiny ornaments or vice versa.

+ Mix and match textures. One of my favorite things about our tree is the wide variety of textures that hang on it. Everything from burlap to cork, wood, kraft paper and silk. The varied textures add depth and warmth to the tree.
+ Don't be afraid to decorate with everyday objects. A good 90% of our ornaments weren't actually ornaments to start. We simply searched for objects that fit the color palette and theme of our tree, and then we fashioned them into oranments ourselves. We chose things like cork gift tags, tiny wooden spools, cinnamon sticks, silk flowers, and decorative potpourri pieces to adorn our tree. A little bit of hot glue and twine go a long way! You can also use the little green ornament hooks so they'll blend in with the tree and the ornaments will look like they're floating.

+ Use filler pieces to help round out the design. Since we wanted to make our tree as rustic as possible, we used small "boutonniere" style bouquets of pinecones (3 per group) and we twirled them around the ends of some tree branches. This helped give a more realistic look to our tree. Then we took similar bouquets of golden foliage and added them in as an accent.

+ Have an eye catching tree topper. I love how large and attention grabbing our burlap bow is. It not only fits in perfectly with the theme, color palette and texture of our tree, but it acts as the perfect "cherry on top" for us.

+ Make it personal. The most important part of a Christmas tree for us is making it personal and allowing it to represent our family. Every year each member of our family picks out a new ornament for themselves, and then we get a "family" ornament, too. Normally the family ornament has the year on it, and often includes a photo of us. It's such a fun way to look back on how much we've grown over the years. For our Dream Tree we opted to hang wooden initials for each of us, and then I made some Instagram ornaments with some small balsa wood pieces and mod podge. 
+ Keep the theme going below the tree, too. Don't stop at just the ornaments and tree topper. Keep the theme alive in the tree skirt and the gift wrappings! Since Linden isn't crawling yet and Toby is old enough to follow directions, we opted to do something pretty different for our tree skirt. We used three bags of dried Spanish moss and created a nature inspired tree skirt. Then we wrapped our gifts with kraft paper (to match the kraft paper ornaments on the tree) and used brown and ivory/glitter ribbon to round out the look. Since there were so many textures on our tree, we opted to use wooden baskets, crates, and weathered metal baskets to hold extra gifts. And how perfect are those cork wine containers?!? (They were only $2 each at Michaels!)


These are just our tips and ideas for our Dream Tree. The awesome thing about dream trees is that everyone has a different vision of what theirs will look like. Whether you're envisioning rustic or modern or ultra shabby chic, don't worry about what is traditionally accepted and just go for it!

And don't be afraid to throw out every single one of these "tips" and just do your own thing. Some of the very best trees are those that are truly personal. Every "First Christmas" ornament, every Elmers-glue-covered popsicle stick snowflake your kid brought home in elementary school, and every silly, novelty ornament you could ever get your hands on. Your tree doesn't need to look like it waltzed out of a department store to be special and beautiful. 


If you haven't seen the dream trees from the other Michaels Makers yet, be sure to drop by The Glue String. They're all so unique and beautiful! You can also check out the wide range of Make It Merry projects made available for you and your family to get crafty this holiday season! If you want to spread some holiday cheer, share a photo of your favorite dream tree on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (or share your own if you're part of the "decorate before Thanksgiving" crowd like me!) and be sure to tag it with #TagATree. 

And just for fun: if you're near a Michaels store, they're hosting a Pinterest Party tomorrow, Saturday November 15th from 1 to 4pm. Pop in and create a fun holiday project with the help of a Michaels associate!

Do you have any handy tips or tricks for decorating your tree that you'd like to share?!

PS; I responded to all of the comments on our Dream Tree reveal post! Sorry that took so long!

// Things I Love Thursday v.207

this back windshield wiper (+ decal) is the most amazing thing i've ever seen ha! ♥
♥ love the colors in this living room ♥
these paper origami foxes ♥
this ceramic planter ♥
this bedroom is DREAMY! ♥
♥ this is gorgeous ♥
these idioms of the world are fascinating (love the illos too!) ♥
these pinecone gnomes are so cute! ♥
these micro photos of individual snowflakes (!!!) ♥

♥ this little romper from kissy kissy
this romper is SO SOFT! like, unbelievably so. there are so many cute styles that i'd love to dress linden in. they'd also make for the perfect baby shower gift as the quality is amazing!

// Ben + Sadey wrote a review on the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas! If you're thinking about paying Sin City a visit, be sure to check it out!

// Shauna is totally one of my idols and I loved this little peek into her day to day on the Little Hip Squeaks blog.

What are you loving this week?

// Sidecar Crib

Linden is officially too long to fit comfortably in his moses basket. I was not looking forward to that day (especially since he's only been sleeping in it for about a week). I had no idea what we were going to do when he outgrew the bassinet because we weren't quite ready to put him in his crib in his room. Even though he has never slept through the night, we're able to anticipate him waking and we rush for his bottle and feed him while he's still (mostly) asleep. This means he goes right back down (!!!) and the whole feed only takes 15-30 minutes. Of course that's 15-30 minutes every 3 hours, almost on the dot. But it could be worse. Anyway, we wanted to ensure he was close by so we could continue our routine, but we were so relieved to finally get him out of our bed. He started sleeping really poorly when we were cosleeping, so I was desperate for some solutions.

Our 4moms Breeze playard was an option, but I ideally wanted Linden within arms reach so I didn't have to get up and out of bed each time he stirred. He has a nasty habit of spitting out his pacifier and then getting really upset (a habit we're trying to break!). That's when I came across turning the crib into a "sidecar" for the parents' bed. Since Linden's crib converts into a toddler bed, we knew it'd be stable without the one side. That's when we got to work. Mike fashioned the mattresses at the same height, affixed the crib to our bed frame, and took care of the (very small) negative space between the crib mattress and the back crib rail. We tried it out for the first time Sunday night, totally unsure of what to expect.

Luckily, it seemed to work like a charm. Not only was Linden less than an arm's reach from me, he was also directly at eye level so I could ensure he was breathing properly (Do moms ever grow out of checking for this?!) The only major inconvenience is that I'm no longer able to just pop out of bed and instead have to slide down to the foot of the bed to get off. A small price to pay for a baby who sleeps well, is safe, and nearby. It's the best of both worlds in my mind... cosleeping and crib training. 

I'm not sure when we'll transition him into his own room (sooner rather than later, I hope) but for right now this seems to be the perfect answer to our problem. It takes up a bit of room, but normally you'd just find my discarded dresses there anyway haha! 

I know they make sidecar sleeper cribs which are much more space efficient, but we had no desire to shell out more cash for another piece of baby furniture. At least this way we get our money's worth out of his Babyletto crib!

Today I had planned on sharing his nursery tour, but since we had to resort to this I didn't manage to photograph it. That's why you're getting this post haha! Here's to hoping he's in his room before long and I can finally share it! 

Have any of you ever done a sidecar crib? We're already anticipating what we'll do once he can crawl, climb, etc... provided he's still in this sleeping arrangement. Guess we'll be getting rid of our boxspring to accommodate for a much, much lower mattress haha!

// Casetify Giveaway

I'm a sucker for a phone case with a sentimental picture on it. I have quite a few with our wedding photos, as well as several of Linden and Toby. I love having that little reminder on my phone every time I look at it. Back in the middle of the Summer I subscribed to Casetify's (formerly Casetagram) monthly subscription service which allowed me to get a new backplate for my phone case every month for only $10. That seemed like such a steal (it was!) so I quickly ordered a handful of my favorite photos to swap out. Recently I switched to an iPhone 6 (well, I'm waiting for it to be delivered... still... a month later haha) but sadly the subscription service isn't an option just yet for the 6. (But I did snag the classic snap case on the far right with all of my boys on it!) It kind of breaks my heart to get rid of my iPhone 5 because I'm so attached to the cases haha! I'll just have to wait for the subscription to launch for the 6 and then start my collection again!

If you're not big on photos on your phone case, Casetify offers a HUGE selection of artist designed cases for you to choose from. I've come so close to ordering a gorgeous watercolor and glitter one like five hundred times, but I always go back to photos!

Anyway, I was super stoked when they contacted me to offer up one lucky winner a $100 credit to their site! That means you can get a handful of fun new cases for your phone, no matter where you live in the world! They have a pretty large selection of devices that the cases fit, so even if you're not an iPhone person, they've got you covered. The subscription service is only available for iPhone 5 and 5s (in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia) right now, but this $100 can be spent on anything!

Feel free to enter below if you're interested! xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

// Rad Gal, Rad Gig: NIU Sousaphone Player

Hello! My name is Brooke and I blog at You’re In Brookelynn. I am a college senior at Northern Illinois University, where I study psychology and dance performance. Oh, and I also play the sousaphone in the NIU marching band.

A sousaphone is essentially a marching tuba. If you’re wondering why an extremely short girl (I’m only 5 feet tall!) chose to play an instrument that weighs almost 50 pounds and is about as tall as I am, you wouldn’t be the only one! I started playing tuba 6 years ago, when my high school marching band needed a tuba player and I got bored of my original instrument, the flute. Although transitioning from playing the flute to playing the tuba may seem extreme, it was actually surprisingly easy. And, it was surprisingly fun!

The beginning of the marching season starts at the beginning of the fall semester with a weeklong ‘band camp.’ Yes, there really is such a thing as band camp, and it’s one of the most important parts of the season! While many people think that marching band is just for nerds, it’s actually an extremely athletic activity. We spend our 11 hour days at camp learning marching basics, show music, and our pre-game and halftime drill.

The rest of the season is spent cheering on our NIU Huskies at football games! Performing at football games is one of the best things about being in the marching band. We parade around the stadium and perform for tailgaters before kickoff, and play in the stands throughout the whole game. While we take music and marching very seriously, cheering on our team from the stands is where we get to let loose and have fun! We perform cheers, dances, and popular songs to pump up the team and entertain the (usually drunk) football fans. We also perform pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows at every game. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun!

How to get started

At most colleges, anyone can join the marching band! All you have to do is be able to play an instrument and want to join! Keep in mind that some college’s marching bands may require an audition to join, but not all. At NIU, you don’t have to audition to join, but you do have to audition for a spot on the field. But, it’s not usually as bad as you would think!

Joining the marching band was one of the best things I could have done in my college career. I met so many new people who helped me break out of my shell and enjoy college. Plus, I learned a lot about college football and have started to enjoy watching it! There’s no better way to spend a crisp fall day!


Rad Gal, Rad Gig is a new feature on The Clueless Girl's Guide where I invite really neat gals to share their really cool stories. Whether your gig is a full-time job or just a hobby, I want to hear from you! If you think you'd be perfect for Rad Gal, Rad Gig, feel free to get in touch or view the information on the Submissions page! Just submit a short description of what you do and why you think it's rad!