You probably know Fearless Restaurants, they’re a restaurant group with spots in Philly (Moshulu, Louie Louie, and White Dog Cafe), the Main Line (Autograph Brasserie and the other White Dog locations), and of course, on LBI! They invited some ~influencers~ to check out what the summer life is like at their beachy home, and I was thrilled to see what they had in store!
The LBI basics
Being a first timer to LBI, I had no idea what to expect from the beach spot I’d heard my Central Jersey friends talk about. LBI is an 18 mile loooong island, containing the towns (from North to South) Barnegat Light, Loveladies, Harvey Cedars, North Beach, Surf City, Ship Bottom, Long Beach Township, Beach Haven, and Holgate. There is one entrance point, Route 72, that brings you right to the middle of the island, where you’ll turn left or right to get to your town of choice.
Driving on the main road (Long Beach Boulevard) is actually part of the fun. Because the island isn’t very wide (you can see from the beach to the bay at some spots), you’ll be passing stunning homes (keep your eyes peeled and be prepared to gawk when you go through Loveladies and Harvey Cedars) on your left and right. The landscaping, the little mom & pop shops, there’s so much to explore.
If you’re not going during the “season” (which is typically around 4th of July til Labor Day), the town is a little more quiet than you may be expecting. We found a lot of places were only open on weekends while we were there in mid-June. And if you plan on drinking, keep your transportation in mind. There were very limited Ubers and Lyfts running while we were there – the ones we did manage to find had to come from off the island! There is a taxi service you can call, but that ended up being a bit unexpectedly pricey for us, too. Just a few things to plan for!
Where to stay in LBI
We called Daddy O (4401 Long Beach Boulevard) our home. It’s the longest operating hotel on LBI (but it certainly doesn’t look that way!). The hotel was remodeled after Hurricane Sandy, and it’s really modern and pretty.
Daddy O has 22 rooms and three restaurant/bar spaces. I love when a hotel goes above and beyond to accommodate at the beach (you already have so many things to remember to bring), and Daddy O certainly does. The beach is right down the street (literally, 5 houses away), and complimentary beach tags, beach chairs, and bikes are available for guests. They even have outdoor showers!
We loved the old-time beachy photos all over the walls (even in our room!), the comfy robes, big sinks, and the cool shutters on the windows. There was not a full-length mirror in our room, but I was told some of the larger rooms have them.
The hotel is open April – October and there’s a suuuuper convenient parking lot right across the street. We felt like Daddy O was right in the middle of the action for our first trip to LBI.
Where to eat & drink in LBI
We had the privilege of trying several of Fearless’ restaurants and bars during our trip. (The group also went to Tucker’s Tavern, but I had a party back in the city, so you’ll have to check out some of the other blogs, all linked on Marilyn from Philly Grub‘s site, for a look at TT!)
We kicked off our visit with a happy hour in Daddy O’s Garden Rum Bar. This was one of my favorite places we visited during our trip – it had such a fun, vacation-y vibe and delicious drinks! I’ve heard the rum flights are pretty incredible, too.
We bopped upstairs to the O Bar, Daddy O’s gorgeous rooftop bar with incredible views. They serve sushi up there all summer long, and I can see either bar fitting right into your LBI vacation plans.
Next we were off to dinner! Plantation (7908 Long Beach Boulevard) was the perfect setting to kick things off. The restaurant is covered in tropical palm prints (very Tommy Bahama-esque!) and ratan furniture – my kinda place.
For drinks, I loved the Owl Tree (a manhattan with pineapple juice instead of vermouth) and the Station 51 (all about jalapeno-infused anything). Jim & I got to sit with Camille, Alex & Mike, and Francesca, and we ordered a bunch of apps for the table – the Short Rib Wontons and Spicy Tuna Nachos were my favorite. For our entrees, I got one of the specials, a strip steak with brussels sprouts, and I can’t even tell you how delicious it was. I don’t normally order steak, but I was v glad I did. Jim got the local scallops – equally phenom.
The next day, we had lunch at Daddy O Restaurant, and Jim and I continued our carb fest. The Maine Lobster Bisque was incredible, as was the Applewood Bacon Risotto side (why we needed risotto on the side of carbs? Plz ask my boyfriend). We both opted for sandwiches, the Chicken Cuban and the Ribeye Cheesesteak.
After lunch, we bopped over to Daddy O Restaurant’s indoor bar (that’s right – three bars!), where Andy gave us some cocktail lessons. We tried their Strawberry Daiquiri, Mojito, and Revenge of Paloma. The bar keeps all their glasses cold and uses fresh ingredients as much as possible (helps eliminate your hangover!).
What to do in LBI
One of our favorite things we did on our trip was definitely climbing to the top of the Barnegat Lighthouse (208 Broadway). We did this as soon as we arrived, and I was so, so happy we got it in.
After a short drive through all the pretty neighborhoods, you’re there. There’s a free parking lot and a museum to stop in (which I recommend!) and then a long pier and the lighthouse. Admission to climb is $3 in the summer, and it is 217 steps to the top! There are fun signs along the way that tell you how far you’ve gone and what you have left. The view from the top is incredible – and quite windy! We did find one perfect spot where the wind doesn’t hit, so keep going around until you find it!
Side note: Hi. How are ya? I’d like to start off with a quick story, that I’ve been getting inspired to blog again lately, decided this would be my post in question, sat down to write it Monday night, logged into HP, and just updated a plug in or two as one does, and my site crashed. An extremely kind sir at my office helped me bring it back up this week, and here we are, and I’ve given you no notice to get out and make your plans for today. However, I know some of you are a spontaneous bunch, and I thought this event was still important enough to share, so here we go.
I know many of you are just like me, and finding any good reason to go out to eat at one of Philly’s incredible restaurants is a welcomed treat.
Philly PR Girl recently invited me to a preview of this year’s Dining Out For Life event, benefitting local HIV/AIDS service organizations, and I was truthfully so surprised everyone I knew wasn’t participating in this.
Dining Out For Life is a national day & night out (raising about $4 million in total!), with amazing participation in the Philly, NJ, and Delaware. It’s a pretty simple (but hugely impactful) concept. Today, Thursday, April 18th, dine out at any of our area’s 150+ participating restaurants, and 33% of your bill gets donated to Action Wellness. Some restaurants are offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and some even are donating 33% of their alcohol sales as well.
Action Wellness has 4 offices in Philly, and their goal is to raise $200,000 this year. I really loved hearing that all of the money raised in Philly stays right here to support the 19,000 Philadelphians living with HIV.
La Calaca Feliz – I’ll take their elotes loco for a good cause any damn day.
Center City East
Double Knot – because who needs an excuse to go to Double Knot?
El Vez – 33% of your nachos AND your margarita pitcher go towards the cause.
Varga Bar – a little more casual but just as delicious.
Center City West
Good Dog Bar – just get the Cuban andddd a beer.
The Love – use this as your excuse to finally try this place!
Frankford Hall – invite a bunch of your friends and eat and drink for a cause.
Yards Brewery – donating $1 per pint of their Action IPA.
Fork – a fancy night out with the most delicious food.
High Street on Market – your breakfast, lunch, or dinner bill goes towards the cause!
Lucha Cartel – a v under estimated Mexican joint.
Society Hill/South Street
Pizzeria Stella – looks like dinner time could be sitting outside weather!
South Philly/East Passyunk
Bing Bing Dim Sum – grab some dumplings and bao for the cause.
Brigantessa – the most delicious pastas ever.
Noord – everything is great here, but never skip the bread.
Taproom on 19th – never disappoints.
Villa di Roma – I know these are fighting words, but probably my favorite Italian in the city.
And yes – one more special deal to tell you about! If you’re out dining today and make an extra $25 donation to Action Wellness, you get a card, good for 20% off at select restaurants every Tuesday for a year. There are other great restaurants on the list, but I know some of you are all about the Giorgio and Bocco life, so this is really amazing deal to take advantage of.
Let me know if this event was new to you. I’d love to hear where you’re dining out!
In dating in Philly over the years, I’ve run into my fair share of things that have shut down my prospective relationships. From an unhealthy obsession with cats, to a very severe lack of common interests, to, of course, the occasional UDP (if you know, you know), sometimes matches just aren’t meant to be. But lately, the issue that seems to be plaguing my budding romances most stems directly from be me being confident about what I’m looking for, and that, for the most part, making the guy run the other way. And this all manifests itself in the planning. of. freaking. dates.
That’s honestly it. The “things” I’ve had with the last several men I’ve gone out with have ended when I’ve asked to confirm a date. Right now, at this stage of my life, I’m not looking to go on one date a month. I want nothing less than a texting buddy. If the date went well and we’re both looking for the same thing, it’s impossible for me to think (and, has been programmed into my brain by every magazine since birth) that a guy can’t make time for another quick date soon after. When we have trouble nailing that down, that’s where I get uneasy, which usually gives them, an easy out.
I know that asserting what I’m looking for (which, as a reminder, is to go on actual dates) early on is risky. I forever struggle to keep the balance of sharing what is important to me, and making sure I don’t come off too aggressive. Like I explained this summer, I’m efficient and organized, and, translated to my dating life, I’m slightly uninterested in investing months of time in a so-so thing. It’s tiring! As I’m saying, sure you can let me know by Thursday night if Friday works, I’ll keep my whole night open for you, or, no I don’t care that you want to reschedule without giving alternative dates, my night I held open for you (and, when I was dating more frequently, other men I pushed back to keep this date) is NBD. My life is busy, it’s not NBD to me.
In addition to my planning personality, I struggle with the fact that the stating of this alone is something that makes men back out. I always want the other person to be up front about what they’re looking for. I know this has come likely out of years of “failed” romance frustrations, but also from maturity. As I was thinking about this post, I was reminded of a time years ago when I kept floating potential times to hang out by a guy I was slightly intimidated by, but never confirming a date. And after a few of his attempts to solidify something, he explained he didn’t have time for the games, and ended things. It stung, and I felt horrible for wasting his time.
I feel like I’m saying more of what I want and feel across the board in my life right now – at my job, with my family, and with my friends. It’s been really good for me. And while my friends may agree with everything I said above (we don’t want pen pals), and my family may think I shut things down too quickly, maybe it all comes down to the fact that I haven’t come across the right guy that responds to that, that I’m equally interested in, just yet. But I am going to continue to work on the balance. And that’s the best I can do right now. xx
I stopped by Philly’s new location Tuesday night to take a little tour while their Friends & Family soft opening was in full force. Despite the store being packed on their first night on the job, all of the employees were so helpful and sweet.
The building is huge, built in an old train shed. The natural light shining through from the ceiling complements the store throughout the day – they’re open from 7am-10pm daily.
Sprouts does not claim to be a specialty store. Since they’re very promotional and a ton of the store is on sale at any time, they feel they are “competing” more against conventional grocery stores than speciality ones.
On to the tour
The produce is b-o-u-n-t-i-f-u-l. They told us produce made up 23% of their sales, which sounds like a lot, but the prices were still very reasonable. I really did like the whole “farmers market” vibe of the produce section – and I’m excited to take my time and really stock up on things other than avocados and lemons.
Some of my favorite things when walking through the tour: the beauty section (I shared more clips of this section on my instastory), kombucha on tap (omg) or in 7 zillion more bottles if you prefer it that way, and the Fresh Finds section, which was stocked with all the brands you keep hearing about, like Hail Merry bites & tarts, Perfect Bars, Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots, and fermented everything.
Any of these sections would be the perfect place to take Sprouts up on their “try before you buy” policy – they’re literally open anything (even vitamins!) to let you sample right on the spot.
I really can’t wait to explore the rest of the store when I have more time, especially the infamous bulk section, all the drinks, and Sprouts Brand products. I just actually love #products in general and love finding new gems at the grocery store.
I know I’m definitely going to be staying up on the weekly ad – you can clip coupons and see what’s on sale each week.
I’m really excited that Sprouts is giving me a $50 gift card to their new store just for you! Here’s how to enter:
For a bonus entry (and this one should be easy for you guys):
Subscribe to get my new Her Philly blog posts delivered to your inbox. Use the box on the right of this post to subscribe. Once you’re subscribed (or if you are already), make sure your Instagram comment includes your email address, and your chances to win will be doubled!
I’ll pick a winner this Saturday at 9am. Good luck!
I hope you enjoyed my Sprouts store tour! Thanks for following along, and happy shopping! xx
I go through shifts in how I dress based on trends, comfort, and how I’m feeling about my body at the time. But these shifts can last for quite a bit, enough that I find myself gravitating towards certain styles and completely away from entire trends I used to love and have filled my closet with (jumpsuits, hello?!), until I’m wearing the same 5 things over and over and need some variety in my life.
And lately, we’re talking a year or so, I’ve been noticing this: I’m wearing less of my dress and skirt collection and piling. on. the. denim. So, I obviously needed a few new pairs.
I am blessed that I spend my days at a casual workplace and get to wear jeans, so my denim gets a lot of wear. But after gravitating towards light jeans and rips in the spring, I realized my work appropriate denim choices were slim.
I put out the call on Instagram (if you were with me back when I filmed this Instastory in oooooh, April, you have been waiting for this post foreverrrr, so thanks for your patience): help me find the best dark jeans.
And, I mean, naturally, I’m pretty picky, so I had a few requirements.
My dream jean requirements:
No feathered lines
Tight to the ankle
Petite or short (this was not a prerequisite, but I am 5’2, so I didn’t want to have to roll my jeans 17x)
But you all came through (duh). I stocked up and ordered a variety of styles (even some light jeans because #icanthelpmyself) and sizes (10-14) from a few different stores (American Eagle, Old Navy, GAP, Ann Taylor, and Torrid). Once I got all the jeans home, I tried on each. and. every. one. of them. And I think you guys loved it, so here is 10 minutes of me trying on denim for your enjoyment.
PS: if you want more real videos that are not Instagram stories transformed into YouTube, I can start spending time perfecting a setup – let me know!
My Perfect Dark Jean Quest! - YouTube
So after alllll that research, there were a few standouts. And now that I’ve been wearing them for months, I have even more insight into what these jeans are like.
Brand: Ann Taylor Size: 12 Petite How they felt after a few months of wear: So I like these AT jeans because they’re very high waisted and very stretchy. Yet a claim written directly on their product page, “Looks as good at 9 P.M. as it did at 9 A.M. (A.K.A., it doesn’t stretch out),” I’d say has not been true for me. Maybe I needed a smaller size to start, I would say these jeans definitely stretched themselves out. I also have seen some slight pilling/wear between my thighs, which I haven’t really experienced with any other denim besides maybe Forever21 before, so that’s a bit off putting. However, I do say in the video it’s not the best quality I’ve ever seen, so if the stretch and the idea of keeping you in is appealing and you can get them on a deal, just maybe size down! Price: $89 full price, but do not purchase without a 40%+ off code.
Brand: GAP Size: 31 Short How they felt after a few months of wear: My favorite thread-to-denim-color comes from these GAP jeans, they give a very nice classic denim look that matches with a lot. But, I will say, the wash on these continues to be a problem for me. Living in an apartment with $2.75 washer cycle in my basement, putting them alone multiple times through the washer is a tough task (I tried my best). And yet, these babies keep on bleeding. They’ve definitely retained their shape the best of the 4 pairs and are extremely structured. I do have to roll the shorts a few times at 5’2, but they look cute like that. Price: $99 full price, but do not purchase without a big discount code.
Brand: Torrid Size: 12 XS & 12 S How they felt after a few months of wear: You know Torrid, you really threw me off by having two completely different tags for what are allegedly the same pair of jeans, but I have seen some differences in these as it is as well! The XS has definitely been a bleeding problem. They are jeggings, not jeans, but the definitely look the cheapest of the bunch. I wear the XS when I really don’t want to roll the denim – and I don’t have to! The three button closure is also a bit different for me. I don’t hate it, but because there are so many buttons, there have truthfully been times I have forgotten to pull the zipper up because so much time was already spent buttoning. Roughest life. Price: $59 full price, but again, use those codes ladies.
Overall I mean, I’m happy with the pairs I kept. I do think they were the best of the ones I purchased. Maybe not #dreamjean material, but they’re getting the job done.
I also wanted to include some of the suggestions you all sent along on Instagram, in case any of these would be a better fit for your body. Here’s what the ladies had to say.
Your dark jean suggestions:
J Brand Skinny Leg in Ink. They are the best thing I’ve ever found for my muscular semi/petite legs. – @Philly_spartansurfaces
Madewell the high rise or curvy high rise. They are a game changer. Just bought two pairs. Obsessed! – @crzycourt06
Flying Monkey. I’ve gotten mine at Century 21 or Amazon. I’m not kidding, they are legit the best and most comfiest jeans ever!!! – @beckyshindell
J Crew factory skinny jeans are my favs (I have three pairs). And you can order them for your size and inseam, too. – @smthngcreative
Check out the Universal Threads line at Target. I was sooo surprise at the quality and they’re under $30! I got a pair of mid rise and high rise skinny and they were tight to the ankle. Dark wash, no fading/rips. – @christina.durante
AG farrah high rise. They have them at Anthro, Nordstrom, etc. Not cheap but so worth it. I’ve bought like four pairs and wont buy anything else anymore. – @lmpayne
No joke my favorite jeans are jeggings from Tablots – the colors and fit are fab. They also have petite section and high waisted. – @farbie0830
The best: PAIGE Hoxton High Rise Ankle Jeans in Mona – @jnickas
Lucky Brand. I wear their cigarette ones and they are good for petite! – @laurenstern13
I have these and they’re the best. So comfy and stretchy: PAIGE Verdugo Dark Wash Skinny Jeans. I got mine at Lulus. – @kristinababore
They’re technically jeggings not jeans, but they are amazing nonetheless. Democracy 30/10 AB solution jeggings in indigo. I found them at Nordstrom Rack and then bought a second pair on Amazon! – @luisaphl
My fav pair are Citizens of Humanity but have a little feathering. But as far as the perfect stretch and rise and fit, they’re amazingly comfortable. I also have J Crew jeans that have a good ankle length and ankle fit. – @victoriabvlam
This post is part of a partnership with Sprouts Farmers Market. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Her Philly possible!
Last week, I told you that Sprouts was coming to Philadelphia (Broad & Washington, to be exact!). And from your comments and messages, I know some of you have been privileged to have grown up or moved from an area with a Sprouts (and you were all very, very excited).
But for the rest of us, learning the shopping intricacies, coupon cadence, and best house brand products is a tough world to navigate at a new grocery store. There are entire. blogs. dedicated to cult supermarket shopping! So this week, with the opening of Sprouts Philadelphia a mere one week away, I’m sharing the things you must know as a new Sprouts shopper.
First of all: the Farmers Market in Sprouts’ name is for good reason. Their farm-fresh produce department (priced 20-25% cheaper than most supermarkets) carries the staples like apples and avocados, but aaaalso, the real gems like lychee, star fruit, and, say it with me: cotton candy grapes. You can also sample anything, so don’t pull the Sephora sample shyness, and get in there and try some cotton candy grapes!
As soon as I shared my partnership with Sprouts, so many of you mentioned the Bulk Department. It’s filled with beans, grains, granolas, spices, nuts, sweets, etc. – and it’s up to you how much you want to buy.
I do love a private label, and the Sprouts brand is filled with innovative things sure to become your new kitchen staples. Sprouts sent me a few things to try out (in my small baby city kitchen with no counter space – plz be kind). The honey? SO good. The pineapple salsa? Devoured it. The chocolate coconut rolls? More, please! There are some more creative things, like avocado oil spray and peanut powder, that I’ll have to play around with – but with 2,400 Sprouts brand products in each store (including natural, organic, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO items – AND body care!), there’s a lot to explore.
For the app lover in all of us, download the Sprouts Farmers Market app (Philly won’t be available to set as your store til next week though) for pre-shopping coupon clipping, or, if you’re lazy like me, instant savings at checkout by scanning your barcode.
Wednesdays are a pretty big deal at Sprouts. Because the weekly ad prices run from Wednesday to Wednesday, you can save even more when the ads overlap. And I love stacking me some coupons, right? They also have some sales with great names I’m already a fan of: Vitamin Extravaganza (25% off, which includes the Body Care department – hey now!), Frozen Frenzy; Sprouts Brand Sale; Better For You Brands Sale, and more. You can get the scoop by subscribing to their newsletter online.
To give you the countdown again: Sprouts will open Wednesday, September 19th at 7am. There will be muffins and coffee while you’re in line, and reusable bags with your purchase. If you are blessed to have a flexible schedule and you want to do your shopping at a ~party,~ the first 200 shoppers in line will receive 20% off their initial total purchase, and every 15th shopper will get a Sprouts coupon book. If you need to wait til the weekend, there are also a few surprise promos running both days. Next week, I’ll have one more post in my parternship with Sprouts – a SNEAK PEEK of the store before it opens to the public. I can not waaaiiiit – grocery shopping dreams! Let me know in the comments if there’s anything specific you want me to capture in the store! Talk soon! xx