Trip: Atlantic City

Atlantic City BeachEvery year in August, my mom’s side of the family gathers in Atlantic City to reunite and enjoy the beach. (Technically, we go to Margate, which is right next to Atlantic City.)

Packing

Don’t you always have trouble figuring out what you’ll ACTUALLY wear on a trip? I feel like I’m getting better at it, and this trip I brought almost exactly what I ended up needing.

It was really hot there, but I’m a chillbaby, and I always have to have a bunch of layers with me to keep warm in air conditioning, shade, late evening breezes, etc. It makes packing a special challenge for me, but I have my strategies.

Atlantic City Trip Outfits

Lots of layers and items I could mix and match. I considered packing a light, casual dress for really hot days, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to layer it well. In hindsight, it would have been helpful, but oh well. Next time. I also forgot a hat for the sun. Boo!

Notes on my favorite clothing items from this trip:

-My swimsuit is Modcloth’s Bathing Beauty Swimsuit in Cherry Pie, and it’s seriously the cutest dang thing. Buy it!

-The blue tube dress is so versatile, I wear it constantly, and I love it. I can wear it as pajamas, for getting ready in the morning/at night, as a beach cover-up, etc. I got it from Target a few years ago, but similar ones can be found all over the place.

-The pink long-sleeve shirt is THE GREATEST SHIRT EVER MADE. It’s from Alloy, and it’s really soft, has a nice neckline, a lovely ruching-cinch on one side, and thumb-holes! They’re available online (in various colors), though they’re currently sold out (I understand why!). Get it in their tall size, and it’s like a tunic!

-I had been searching for shoes that I could wear with casual skirts/dresses, but that I could also walk in for a while, but everything was either too casual for a dress, or uncomfortable, or just plain ugly.

Then these Roxy Rory Lace-Ups came into my life and the heavens opened up and the angels sang. They’re comfortable and cute, and they’re slip-ons! My mom had to listen to me gush about them for a little too long. They’re the best.

Trip Recap 

On our first full day, we visited Cape May, which is a quaint touristy town about an hour away. The town is a National Historic City, and all new construction has to meet aesthetic standards that match the charming antique look of the original buildings. So the whole town is like a dollhouse village.Cape May HousesOne interesting tidbit: Cape May is where Harriet Tubman lived, worked, and started the Underground Railroad.

We spent the next two days on the beach.

Atlantic City OceanAtlantic City DockFeet in OceanI found some great shells, including a conch. It has some holes, but I actually think that makes it look cooler.Sea ShellsWe took a walk along the beach to visit Lucy the Elephant, an elephant-shaped building that was originally built in 1881..for…reasons…?Lucy the ElephantWhile on the walk, I had a mini heart-attack when I stepped on something jellified. You know when you step on something you’re not expecting and your body just flips out?Moon JellyApparently it was a moon jelly, which is like a dying jellyfish. Myeah, with all due respect to this presumably lovely creature, I’m just not into that. But it was interesting. Coming from a land of lakes and no oceans, I don’t know much about the ocean, so it’s interesting learning things like this.

As a side note, I had 3 count ’em 3 cones of cherry ice cream during the trip. These east-coasters know how to do ice cream. YUUUUMMMMCherry Ice CreamIt was a really fun trip of family and sun, but it’s nice to be back home.Jane and Me

Trip Post #5: York

YorkThis is the second to last trip post; aren’t you so sad it’s almost over??

So. We took the train from London to York, checked into our hotel, and visited Clifford’s Tower, an old fortress-castle thing.

Clifford's Tower York
That’s Aunt Lyn waving to me from across the castle. We decided to take pictures of each other taking pictures of each other. We’re so cute.

The tower was on a big hill, and we looked down from the top and saw this older couple literally crawling up the hill. I believe they didn’t know that on the other side was the actual entrance with stairs. An elderly, disgruntled Jack and Jill. It was odd and amusing.

Next to the tower was a little traveling carnival (or just, like, three carnival rides).

Fair YorkSo we rode on the carousel!

Carousel York 2We got dinner at the Golden Fleece, York’s “most haunted” pub.

Golden Fleece York 2I included the building on the right to show how warped the old buildings were. Look how slope-y the floors are!

During dinner, we had a fun chat with some crusty old [tipsy] local guys.

After dinner, we walked around the city. I kept my eyes open for some of the cats on York’s Cat Trail, which is basically just little cat sculptures and images on the buildings around town, a la this one at the Golden Fleece:

Golden Fleece YorkSee the little white kitty exiting the window frame above the golden sheep?

We caught a bit of live traditional music coming from the over-crowded Last Drop Inn, but we were only there in time to hear one song before the musicians took a break. Thwarted again!

Last Drop Inn YorkOur first full day in York, we got breakfast at our hotel (a Hampton Inn), and visited The Shambles, which is a small street with a bunch of cute shops.

York 3We visited a fudge shop, where they tried to give me a sample. I explained that I don’t like fudge, and that I’m just picky, and the lady behind the counter said, “I think you mean you know what you like.” You know what? You’re right, fudge lady, I just know what I like! Harrumph!

Here’s a cute tea shop on the Shambles:

Hebden Tea York

We also visited Bowler, a vintage clothing store, and had THE best time looking at and trying on the cutest vintage and vintage-inspired clothing.

Bowler York 5

Bowler York 3We also wandered around an outdoor flea market, and had lunch at Betty’s Tea House.

Lunch Betty's York
Yummy tomato basil quiche at Betty’s.

It was pretty rainy, so we decided to stay indoors and checked out the National Rail Museum.

Railway Museum YorkThen we napped forever, apparently. I don’t remember that, but that’s what my notes say! Apparently it was a much needed nap.

We got dinner at a place called Nicholson’s Cross Keys. Many of the restaurants in York were named after objects/animals, and they all had images of their names on the outside- a remnant of when most people were illiterate.We had wanted to eat at a place called Old White Swan, but their oven had broken! What?!

We then caught a performance of Morris Dancers in a town square area.

On our last morning in York, we had a very tight schedule and lots of things to get done before catching our train, so it was a fun little challenge. After breakfast at the hotel, we stopped in at the Shambles again so I could pick up a gift for my mom at the tea shop, then we ran over to Bowler, the vintage store because our social media fans had seen our pictures of the dresses we tried on and convinced us to buy them!

But we didn’t know when the store opened and we had to make sure we caught our train. So we waited, practically pressing our noses to the locked front door until the saleswoman finally showed up. Poor girl was probably so annoyed with us for making her rush, but we explained our situation, and she was very nice, and it took us less than 5 minutes to get in and buy our dresses. And THEN we made the poor saleswoman take our picture. 🙂

Bowler York 7

And we high-tailed it to the train station for our last city: Edinburgh!

 

Sweater Jazz!

Sweater Collage

I got this plain gray sweater on sale at Target, and jazzed it up a bit with fabric paint. It was fun and easy!

Here’s the How-To!

Materials:

-Sweater

-Fabric Paint

-Paint Brush/paint pot

-Cardboard sheet

-String

-Annoying cat

Step 1

Slide the cardboard sheet into the sweater. This gives you a smooth, hard working surface, and ensures that no paint bleeds through to the back of the sweater. Lay out your piece of string the way you want your design to look.

Photo (5)Step 2

Kiss and cuddle your cat until she gets fed up and lets you get back to work.

Photo (4)Trace your string with a pen.

Photo (3)Step 3

Squirt some of your fabric paint onto another surface, and using a small paintbrush, trace your pen-line with the paint.

Photo - CopyThis is the kind of paint that I used:

Photo (2)Step 4

Look all sassy in your new jazzed-up sweater.

Photo(As per the fabric paint instructions, you’ll want to machine wash your sweater inside out before you start wearing it.)

 

How to Make a Belt Purse

Also called modern fanny packs or bum bags, these are way more convenient than traditional purses, especially if you’re plodding around a festival or a fair all day.

Here’s how to make one in 3 Super Easy Steps!

Materials:

-A belt

-A small purse/bag/pouch

-scrap of leather/other strong fabric

-needle and thread

Photo1 (16) - CopyStep 1:

Put your belt on and hold the bag/purse against your belt. This will help you to see where to put the scrap of fabric. I didn’t do this first, and just sewed it on the only way I thought of:

Photo1 (17) - Copy

This made the bag stick out from my hip too far. So I had to rip it out and start over again. :/

Step 2:

Sew the scrap of fabric to the back of the bag. You’ll sew the top and bottom of the scrap, leaving the middle open.

Photo1 (18) - Copy

This will create a loop to slide the belt through:

Photo1 (19) - Copy

Step 3:

Wear your belt bag and marvel at your handiwork!

Photo1 (32)(Bonus: The way I made it, I can still use the purse as a regular purse because I can just loop the strap through the links on the sides whenever I want.)

Among other crafty things from today, I re-decorated my front door wreath. Not a minute after I put my wreath on my bed, Jane curled up inside of it and was instantly the happiest cat in the world.

Photo1 (31)And then after I decorated it and put it back on the bed, guess who came back immediately.

Photo1 (21) - Copy