Whether you watched Jersey Shore or not, I bet once upon a time you wanted to visit the shore and see the guidos get down. I wasn't a die-hard fan of the show...but...who didn't tune in when Ronny and Sam fought? Or when Snooki got clocked in the face?
While in NJ for a photoshoot, I decided to take a trip to the Shore and see what I've been missing.
Ghost Town on the Boardwalk
After spending my entire life picturing the Jersey Shore as this wild and rambunctious travel destination, I felt a little surprised by what I discovered when I arrived to the Shore. I sort-of forgot about how seasonal the Jersey Shore is; it's like The Cape meaning tourists flock all summer long but then it's quiet the moment the chill sets in.
It was a really unique experience walking down the boardwalk alone, seeing the occasional jogger. It seemed like a scary movie. One of those films about the young adults that go to some carnival or amusement park and some demonic force swings in.
In a way, it was beautiful to see the boardwalk in this light. Boarded up buildings lined the walk that once boomed with tourists.
Check, Check, Check Off the Bucketlist
Do I need to say much? I went to the Shore house from the Jersey Shore show. No, I didn't go inside or on the tour. No I didn't meet Snooki. But hey I saw THE house from the Jersey Shore show about people stuck inside a house together.
Fist bump, bro!
Mindfulness at the Shore
As I walked up and down the beach, I felt multiple emotions.
The peacefulness of the ocean waves lightly crashing on the shore. The stillness of the air. The lack of others on the beach as I was there. The shift of the day slowly coming to a close.
I felt so much admiration. This shore has seen millions of people yet keeps such a unique and seemingly everlasting beauty.
I felt so empty yet full of inner-peace at the same time. I felt fortunate to be here, in this moment, breathing in the shore's air. I felt so accomplished. I had never been to New Jersey...or to New Jersey alone for that matter. I made it. I conquered an obstacle. I made it to a new place.
I quietly admired the beach to myself before I left to find dinner. Darkness approached and it was time to seek out an Airbnb and choose the next state to head to.
Bites Before I Drive
Before I hit the road to the next leg on my road trip, I went to Aqua Blu for dinner. I had a 3 course meal of fried calamari, stuffed shells, and tiramisu. The bread and oil was a great snack after a long day of travel. The restaurant had great service and even better food.
I finished the meal with a shot of espresso, booked my Airbnb in Philly, and hit the road!
If I was to describe Philly in one word, it would be haunting. While in Philly, I felt an unshakable sense of dark, looming grief. Every where I looked, I saw signs of the emotions I felt. Was it the weather that brought on these sensations or is there something dark lingering in the city of Philly?
I arrived in Philly after a fantastic day of exploring New Jersey. I booked an Aibnb and I was kindly greeted by the host.
The space was perfect for my stay in the area. The room had space to put my belongings, a very comfortable bed, and even water and a light snack. I also appreciated how the bathroom included shampoo, body wash, and a hair dryer. I was also able to put my medication safely in a fridge downstairs along with my leftovers from NJ.
I rested up, had my leftovers for breakfast, and got ready to hit the road to explore the state for the day!
Paintings and Pain
As I drove throughout Philly, I noticed an extreme contrast throughout the area. One corner would be full of retail shops, colorful murals, and attractions flocking with tourists. Another corner would be full of decomposing buildings, homeless residents, and vandalized homes. There was something so somber yet poetic about the intersecting streets of Philly.
Fog added to the general eeriness of the city.
Murals brought life and an uplifting sense to the dark streets.
I loved the little quirky touches throughout the city.
Before there were modern marvels like "It" and "The Shining"...even way before Hitchcock... Poe made hearts race and bodies tremble in utter fear.
I recall being fascinated by the poet and short story master when I was younger. I was driving around, I took a corner and stumbled across his property. I hastily parked my car and hurried to the property. Let down, I found the property closed on the day I visited. Nevertheless, I was thrilled to be outside the historic site of the famous Edgar Allen Poe.
As I rounded the building, I couldn't help to feel the chills. Fog and Poe? Now that's a site to experience!
I knew long before I started my road trip adventures that I would someday land at Paddy's. To fans of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", this is a must seen while visiting PA. I stepped in the bar and admired the pictures and familiar faces in the pictures.
Cheesin' while mentally checking off another box on the bucket list!
I Like Big Bells and I Cannot Lie
Did you really visit Philly if you didn't see the Liberty Bell?
After circling streets for nearly 20 minutes, I finally found a spot diagonal to the massive piece of history. After getting through what looked like a mini TSA, I briskly read a bit about the history of the bell before checking it out.
Is it dumb if I saw I didn't expect it to be so massive?
Abnormalities and Medical Mysteries
When I was little, I used to spook myself out and watch the creepy TV shows on the Travel Network and the Discovery Network. I remember, so clearly, when I saw the Mutter Museum featured on one of my freaky shows. Bulging face tumors, Siamese twins preserved in casts, a giant colon the size of a couch! Everything bizarre and stomach-turning has residency at the Mutter Museum.
Unfortunately, photography is prohibited. In my opinion, this is one of the best museums I have ever been to. It is interesting and memorable, and you'll surely learn something new.
FYI - there is a student discount, too ;)
Last Stop is a Spooky One!
Towards the end of my little East Coast road trip, I slept in Pennsylvania on my last night. I had been driving up North from South Carolina and I decided to stay in PA. I always try to experience unique and memorable places...
Sleeping Above A Bar
As I drove further away from South Carolina, the winter beast showed its teeth! I decided to stay in an Airbnb above a bar in PA. I thought this was super unique and bizarre opportunity and I enjoyed myself (minus the chill in the room!).
How many people do I know that have spontaneously slept above a bar?
Chilly + Creepy = Peace Out, PA!
As I continued on my last leg of my road trip, the fog from a week prior changed into snow. The more I drove, the more graveyards and grey buildings I saw. If I wasn't so anxious to get home, I would have explored this creepy part of the state. I did enjoy my time in the state and look forward to the next time I return!
11/18/17 and 11/19/17
The holidays are here which means so is gift giving. A stocking full of clunky, dollar store toys and candy are a thing of the past!
Making sure stockings are filled with little wonders will make the holidays extra special!
Today, I am giving you some ideas that'll be perfect for your friends or family that are BA's, travel lovers, or models in the making!
Posh Lip Scrubs
Posh Lip Scrubs are a product created by Michelle Oliva. They are 100% vegan, cruelty free, and paraben free and gluten free. They smell irresistible and they truly are!
The three I have are Matcha (tea), Lemon Drop, and Rose Mint.
These goodies make the perfect stocking stuffer because the brutal winter weather will cause lips to be chapped. Posh Lip Scrubs are the solution to the problem of chapped lips.
Make sure your loved ones avoid painful, unsightly, chapped lips this winter season. Check out Posh Lip Scrubs!
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Doctor Plotka's MouthWatcher's
Candy canes and gingerbread calls for cavities this time of year! Protect yourself, and the ones you love, from vicious tooth aches and repeat dentist appointments.
Dr Plotka's MouthWatcher's are made with long-lasting polyester bristles which gently brush away food and plaque. Created by Dr. Ronald Plotka, these brushes will revolutionize the toothbrush industry.
Dr. Plotka has an incredibly successful Boston-based practice and Mouth Watcher's are made in Swampscott, MA!
Get your Mouth Watcher's by visiting mouthwatchers.com
Savvy Travelers Travel Kit
As a girl on the go, Savvy Travelers' kits are a necessity for me and they make the PERFECT addition to any busy girl's life. Therefore, they're on my Stocking Stuffers Must-Haves list!
Each kit comes with six packs of goodies that don't require water. They slip easy in any purse or car glove compartment. The six packs are...
-IN THE KLEAR – Brilliantly Flawless Lens, Screen & Camera Lens Cleaner (Grey).
-SPEAK EAZY – Ridiculously Refreshing Teeth, Lip & Mouth Cleanser (Red)
-TAKE OFFZ – Fabulously Fast Facial Cleanser, Toner & Moisturizing Wipe (Purple)
-KLEAN OFFZ – Extremely Free Surface Cleaner Wipe (Green)
-KLEAN UPZ – Super Sanitizing Antibacterial Hand & Body Wipe (Yellow)
-NO SWEAT – Positively Powerful Antiperspirant & Deodorant Wipe (Blue)
Whether you've smudged your lipstick on the way to a date or you need to take your makeup off after a long day, you'll LOVE Savvy Travelers!
Visit https://www.savvytravelers.com/ to purchase yours!
Luxe by SPIbelt
Whether you're going for a jog or you're like me (one of those girls who wear pants without pockets), Luxe might become your newest favorite fashion accessory!
Luxe belts are a slim and modern play on the fanny pack. They great if you need a space to slip some cash during a concert or need to tote your phone during work.
Luxe will make your life a little easier. They're also incredibly trendy and unique, too!
Available in several different styles, you can grab yours on spibelt.com !
I hope my post gave you some ideas for stocking stuffing! Happy holidays from Dress to Express!
My favorite element of fashion is bringing vintage pieces together with my own twist. I love 60's and 70's fashion all the way to modern. Transforming a look with unique pieces is how to make a fashion statement and I'm so excited to introduce you to my newest favorite online shop, Predisposed Vintage.
What is 'Predisposed Vintage'?
Bringing Nostalgia and style together, this online store brings you one-of-a-kind t's directly to you. No need to raid the shelves of your local thrift shop; Predisposed Vintage brings the vintage to you.
Creator and owner, Scott Randall, took his hobby and made it into a business. He spends his days rescuing t's that scream out memories and nostalgia from decades ago.
Why not shop small and support a business based on passion and utter enjoyment for nostalgia?
Just In Time for the Holidays
More and more, I hear from adults "I should have saved my ___ because the style is back"! They're right. Fashion is a revolving door and styles from decades ago are back. High-waisted jeans and bell bottoms, hippie dresses with bell sleeves, big fur coats.
Give the gift that keeps on giving. Millennials are bringing back fashion statements from decades ago. Rather than buying a T that looks like a remake from a retailer, why not buy an ACTUAL T from decades ago instead of a remake? Authentic and stylish, what's not to love?
Get My Look!
I'm rocking my canary yellow New York Predisposed Vintage T with some modern and vintage elements.
For jeans, I've thrown on my Momma Jeans from Saver's. LL Beans from the '90s. No matter the modern retailer, nothing can beat my '90s LL Beans.
To add a modern twist, I've added my sweater heels from DSW's clearance section. The heel is high but chunky, so you can maneuver throughout the city in a breeze. Soft felt hugs the outside leading your toes to be warm all season long!
I topped off my look with adding orange lips and eyes (Wet and Wild cosmetics) as well as throwing my hair in a Beehive (lots and lots of Eco hair gel).
Check Out Predisposed Vintage
Look your best and buy your own one-of-a-kind t-shirt! You will LOVE you Predisposed Vintage shirt. Maybe you'll start a collection of your own ;)
Check out the full website by clicking here
Shop the whole collection here
Follow on Instagram by clicking here
Like on Facebook by clicking here
Huge Thank You - Michaela Salvo
A huge thank you to Michaela Salvo of Msalvo Photography for assisting me with this blog post. Mickey is an incredible photographer who can capture amazing images. Check out the rest of her work and reach out to her for services.
Michaela's website: click here
Contact Michaela by clicking here
Follow her Instagram by clicking here
Like her Facebook page by clicking here
Special Thanks - Brattle Books
Special thank you to Brattle Books for allowing us to shoot there. We LOVED your outdoor (and indoor) bookstore and we hope the best for sales this holiday season! We appreciate your hospitality.
A Week of Thanks: Visiting a Giant Rock, T-Day Style Guide, Black Friday Shopping, and Time TravelingRead Now
Thanksgiving. A holiday only Americans recognize. A day to proclaim you are grateful by partaking in hedonism. We dress up in our best to sit in the house and to engorge in food until we’re stuffed beyond words.
Then, (if you’re insane or a thrill seeker), we rise like the Mayflower over the raging waves and we ‘venture off to our mall to terrorize minimum wage paid employees by raiding the shelves of our consumeristic society.
Who doesn’t like to give thanks and then throw those values out the window to shop, shop, shop, and shop some more?
For me, this time of year is one of my favorites. As you may know, I am currently not enrolled in college due to my lil’ Lupus procedure. Therefore, holidays are the BEST because I’m no longer the only millennial stranded in town. I finally get to see friends and catch up before they ship back off to school.
Visiting The Rock (No...Not Dwayne)
I am so grateful for the friendships I have and the people who have came into my life. From high school to now, I feel as if I’ve lost people but also gained so many genuine, kind friends.
To start off the fabulous week of Thanksgiving festivities, friends Ryan and Lauren and I traveled to Plymouth Rock to see the rock in all its glory!
Not really sure what else to say...it's a rock surrounded by an enclosure. It's like the Lincoln Memorial besides this makes no sense at all...really a spectacle to be seen.
Not sure if I'm really overwhelmed by it or really underwhelmed. All I know is that I dressed up to MATCH a ROCK.
Turkey Time & Style Guide
Given the opportunity to slay, you know I will. Taking my style guide from my previous post, I implemented it in my T-Day look.
I may look like something off the menu (at Mcdonald's) but I'm rocking my ketchup dress, mustard legs, and patty brown clog heels. I even have a Victorian figure ring in orange to match.
Looking ready for the autumn season.
Here are some moments from my Thanksgiving.. from my family to yours!
Cutting the turkey with a turkey hat...snapping my shoes during a game of Heads Up.. the usual holiday spectacles.
Black Friday (aka, Black Cryday)
Finally...for the first time ever, I adventure and live the Black Friday adventures with friends, Ryan and Vic.
Are you smart enough to NOT Black Friday shop? If so, I covered my other-worldly experience while shopping.
Round One: 10:30-3 am
Here...in my prime. Thinking Black Friday shopping was a good idea. Oh, how very wrong I was.
Here is a moment I captured. A moment where everything would change forever. Minions at the mall to market ANOTHER minion movie. STOP. MAKING. MINION. MOVIES. GOD DAMMIT.
Here...in all its glory. Chaos at the mall.
As the time passed at the mall...all of my senses were lost. Why am I here? Where am I? Will there be leftovers left in the fridge by the time I get out of this hell hole?
Look at all these lines. For what? All these deals are available online. But here I am. One with the chaos. I am chaos.
The chaos has set in. I am laughing at nothing. What time is it? Did I leave my wax melt burning? I should buy more wax melts.
Lines...lines...lines...lines to where? We will never find out.
Lines to NO WHERE
Here we are. Vic, Ryan, and I waiting in line for the Target deals. Excited. Enthralled. Ready to get the deals unlike any other customer has ever before.
But then...disaster struck. We noticed Target didn't open until 6 am. People waiting in line scrambled. Children jumped the gate. And we turned around solemnly and left the mall.
Round 2 - 10:30 am-5 pm
After sleeping for a bit, I felt ready to return to the alternate universe we call Black Friday. Juice box in hand, tears in my eyes, I was ready to make like a bald man and get out of hair.
And we're off...
Like the western cowboys on the frontier land, we set out for more deals. Kohls, the Apple Store, the world wasn't prepared for our deal craving selves.
Was I prepared to set out for more deals? The answer is no, probably not.
The PEAK of the Day
At one point, we ended up at the holy land. Toys R Us. Not only did I get through the Christmas check list I had made, I was overpowered by nostalgia and pure joy.
Vic and I found Fur-Real-Friends (I used to have the cat) and we found plenty of claw machines and gumball machines. Vic even won a puppy at the claw machine!
It was all fun and games until we arrived at IHop.
Dear God, why. Why was this IHop established? Why were we brought here?
We should've went to Friendly's...
This was haunting. Dear God...I will forever be traumatized. This IHop had no music. No customers. We could hear the employees fighting in the back. I felt bad for the server.
If I didn't take photos, I would have thought I dreamt this...
I'm going to suppress it again now.
Ready for Bed
Did this day even happen? I needed sleep. But what is sleep? Have I ever slept before?
Even the signs at the Hanover mall were asleep. At least I made a new friend named Ryan's cat.
Time Travelin' To Plymouth
We slept. We recovered. Ryan and I were ready to take on the newest adventure.
We took to the streets of Plymouth to enjoy the day. First stop, Crabby shack. Why not fuel up on delicious seafood?!
We arrived to Plimouth Plantation on the LAST DAY it was opened.
It was like the pilgrims of the past whispered,"...go, my child...".
All I have to say is "Fudge yeah" to free fudge at the plantation.
We made it through the ripples of time to meet Native Americans before the pilgrims settled.
Before traveling to the settlers' land, we took a pit stop and saw pottery being made and cranberries being prepped for dinner. Yummy, yummy.
Ahhh... the beauty of the pilgrims' land,
We went into pilgrims' homes. We saw relics from the past. And, a pilgrim made Ryan help him bring a pail of water up a hill. Just call us Jack and Jill!
Finally! We bought a house together. Best friends forever and we've finally got a house together!!!
Who wants an invitation to our Christmas party?
Aww, we're all moved in and we just adopted some new goats for pets! The neighbors are lovely and just peachy!
It was a great Thanksgiving week! I hope you had a great T-Day as well!
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