The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2011-11-06

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kitschtastic Doo-Wop Motels of Wildwood, NJ

Last week I was in Cape May, NJ and I did something brand new.   The night before I left I came across the Doo Wop Preservation League website.

The next town over from Cape May is Wildwood and since the 50's 'The Wildwoods' have been visited by families looking for beach and boardwalk vacation fun.  The cool thing .... the really cool thing.... is a lot of the wacky buildings and signs remain.

The site is a tacky feast of retro kitsch and I loved it.      

Here is some information from the site:

The Origins of Wildwood's Fabulous Doo Wop

Postwar 1950's America was an optimistic, confident, enthusiastic society and an economic colossus where people enjoyed increasingly greater wealth and leisure time. TV overtook radio as the most important cultural influence and began broadcasting ads for a device that would transform society: the automobile.
Families wanted to get in their cars and go! The Wildwoods accommodated them with a dynamic seaside boardwalk, amusement piers and nightclubs that became a proving ground for the period's biggest music stars. The prosperity and vitality of the 1950's provided the impetus for an exciting high-voltage visual style that transformed the Wildwoods' architectural landscape. The island resort's architecture built in this era reflected the spirit of the people: brash, bold and boastful, and the popular culture of the times. The dense building fabric presented a varied and exaggerated spectacle of designs, all competing for the passing motorists' attention. Angular elements, space-age imagery, tropical themes and colors, with spectacular neon signage turning up the volume even more, combined to form a sensational display that can still be seen in the Wildwoods today

"The Doo Wop Motel District, officially recognized as the "Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District" by the State of New Jersey, lies primarily in the municipality of Wildwood Crest, along a two mile stretch between Atlantic and Ocean avenues.

Within this district, you'll find the largest concentration of Doo Wop, or mid-century commercial, motels in the nation! Block after block features motel after motel after motel, each with its own unique fantasy theme, eye-catching sign, vivid color pallette and kitschy ornamentation.

Over 50 vintage motels still stand today within this unique district. Up until the late 1990s, nearly 100 motels stood within this district alone, virtually untouched since their original construction in the 1950s and 60s. Between the years 2000 and 2005, unchecked real estate development & speculation in the area led to the demolition of several noteable motels, while others have undergone significant renovation. Today, the Doo Wop Preservation League works with local business & property owners, city planning & zoning officials, and the state historic preservation office to help ensure that the remaining historic structures in this district will be preserved and celebrated for generations to come."

I visit Cape May in the off season and there is plenty to do, Wildwood isn't like that.  It was all but shut down.  

Most motels were closed for the winter; even the boardwalk was closed.   I found one open store on the boardwalk which was oddly, a surf shop.

I wanted to find an open gift shop, and to find one, or more, of the books I'd read about on the Doo-Wop site...

But all I found open was a Rite-Aid and I had to drive some...   It wasn't a total loss though, I got some great pictures.   These hotels are like peeking decades back in time.

The motel pictures are mine, so I'd appreciate credit if you decide to take them (But asking's better.)

blue marlin motel wildwood nj

The Blue Marllin

seashell motel wildwood nj

Sea shell Motel

The signs were amazing.  I haven't seen that much neon in one place - EVVVVV-AH!

bristol plaza, wildwood, NJ

The Bristol Plaza

Look at The Bristol Plaza; the colors and design.  So 50's... 

tiki Vacancy sign, wildwood nj

Wild vacancy neon and lot's of palm trees of every type.  Neon, plastic, painted...  It was tikitastic!

pink champagne motel, wildwood nj

Pink Champagne Motel 

Bel Air Motel Wildwood NJ

The Bel Air

surfcomber motel, wildwood nj

The Surf  Comber Motel

seagull motel, wildwood nj

The Sea Gull Motel 

seashell motel, wildwood, nj

surf comber motel, wildwood, nj

starlux motel wildwood, nj

Starlux motel vacancy sign Wildwood, NJ

Star Lux Vacancy Sign

Dawn Motel Sign Wildwood, NJ

The Dawn Motel

VIP Motel Wildwood, NJ

Ocean Holiday Motor Inn, Wildwood NJ

American Safari Motel, Wildwood NJ

Wildwood NJ, Doowop Motel Signs

The Doo Wop Museum and Neon Garden

I hope some of these places are open in the spring; that's when I plan to go back...  It will still be off season but I hope Wildwood will have a bit more life to it.    I'm sorry so much was closed down, I'd totally go this time of year...

In fact, I did.


RSV/ Preemie Awareness sponsored by MedImmune

November 17th is Preemie Awareness Day.  Worldwide this year, one million babies will die from complications of their early birth. Millions more will struggle to survive. World Premature Day is about much more than just numbers, though. It's a time for people of all nations to join together in support of healthier babies.   

When I found out I was pregnant ...way back in 1990...  I thought constantly of my growing (healthy) baby.    Premature labor, an early baby or the medical problems associated with preemies never occurred to me.  

Not until my twenty-seventh week, anyway.

I'd had mild contractions all day but I didn't go to the hospital for probably, eight hours?  Things always seems worse in the dark....  I didn't really believe it was happening; but there I was,  laying in a Labor and Delivery bed, contracting.  The   nurses were talking about what was going on, what would happen...  What all these things meant.   I looked at them as if they had two heads.   

Thinking back on my level of denial and shock, it was ridiculous.  I was a Respiratory Therapist, make that a Respiratory Therapist who'd spent years working with preemies in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.   

Because of my work experience I knew how big my son was likely to be at that point (less then 2 pounds), I'd seen enough babies born at twenty-seven weeks.  Knew the challenges he'd face, the months to come in an NICU and the years of playing catch up, if he was lucky enough to make it the first week.  It was probably just too overwhelming for me to contemplate and I defaulted to denial and optimism.  

I'm happy to say that after much intervention, and repeated hospitalizations, he was born by emergency C-Section at 36 weeks; still technically a preemie.  He was not alone:   "According  to CDC’s  National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), 440,082 preterm births (10.8% of all live births with a known period of gestation) occurred in the United States in 1991." 

The thing about having a Preemie is, you're not in the clear if they are born" pretty much okay" as my son was.   Some  preemies  have difficulty with breathing, feeding and maintaining temperature but all preemies haven’t had time for their immune systems to fully mature.   Preterm infants are more likely to develop infections, and because their lungs are underdeveloped, they are more susceptible to respiratory problems.   

Nearly every baby contracts respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by age two. In most full-term babies, symptoms are similar to those of the common cold and parents may not even know their child has the virus. However, because they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight off infection, preterm infants—even those born just a few weeks early—are at increased risk for developing an RSV-related infection, often requiring medical attention or hospitalization.

click for larger image

There are things you can do during RSV season which varies by area of the country (to check your area go to the RSV Website Interactive Map) but since there is no cure the focus is on AWARENESS and PREVENTION:


Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
Avoid large crowds and people who may be sick
Never let anyone smoke near your baby
Speak with your child’s doctor if you believe he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available


Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following: 
Persistent coughing or wheezing
Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
High fever 
Extreme fatigue
Difficulty feeding

To learn more about RSV, visit rsvprotection. For more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit preemievoices.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”


Thursday, November 10, 2011

J.Jill hugged me

I've posted about J.Jill before (here) because everything about them works for me; the clothes are comfy and easy to wear without a hint of sloppy (in lots of sizes), they last forever, they have great sales, I heart their leather goods and there is a website, a catalog and store fronts.  Something for every flavor of shopper.

N'est-ce pas y'all, right?

Look what I got recently...

Soft and cushy and my first reaction was, So me!  FYI, the cute blonde  is not me but the sweater?  That is me in every way.  Here is a full shot, also not me.

It's the perfect length, got the perfect squish, and is the perfect weight for current state of New Jersey weather which  is cold, then colder, then not quite so cold, then freezing.  To summarize: Not cold enough for a coat, not warm enough for nothing.  So I always have something on me, with me or in my car...

J.Jill sent this to me and if you're wondering what their gift wrap looks like, it's easy and classy (without being sloppy) just like their clothes!

jjill wrap

And Ginger agrees though she was all, Great sweater! But unless I can sleep on it how 'bout we move it off my bed already!

jjill ginger

I love the patchworkean aspect of knit.

jjill pathwork cardigan

I have a black and white sweater that is now retired  because this one is all the things that one should have been, but wasn't.

This one is simple in color, but interesting because of the texture..

patchwork cardigan

C'mon...  look at it.

jill patchwork cardigan

It's just fantabular!

jjill patchwork cardigan

This one has more weight to it and structure - And it looks classier.  The other one is out of shape and I look like a bit of a box in it...  Not my best shape.  

If you're looking for a warm squishy sweater that looks fantabular,  check out this sweater...  Wearing it's like being hugged.  I don't know about you but I can't get hugged enough.

Just sayin'...

They have a Holiday Sale going on now too.  You can't go wrong with a sale....

*J Jill sent me the sweater version of a  hug to review*


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Media, Alerted!

Last week in my  Nutrisystem  post I wrote about finally losing that pound I've been zipping my pants over for EVVV-AH!   Some days I thought that thing would never go,  took so long  me and that pound (A.K.A  Her Royal Jiggliness) were on a first name basis - Charlotte Marie.

  I even tweeted @Nutrisystem to, Alert the media! The pound is gone!  

And bless their portion-controlled hearts, they did!

And they did one more thing, they sent out my Nutribear right away.    

There's a lot of things I love about Nutrisystem but the Nutribears are up there in the Top Five (along with  Nutrisystem Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal, their Toasted Ham and Cheese,  the Mac and Cheese with Beef and the cheese puffs.  I heart those crunchy orange things)

I kept my first bear downstairs next to the computer but Ventura's tall, counter-surfing tall....

venturas face

You know I'm right, don't be eye-ballin' me....

 I moved Pound (the first bear's name)  a bit higher recently because Ventura loves all things stuffy - Loves them to an inside-out horrifying  death.  

I named my second bear (What else?)  Charlotte Marie, and they now sit together on the shelves in my room.

I've got the makings of an adorable little stuffed family.  The best thing about it is, the stuffed one isn't me anymore!

Check out the Nutrisystem website, they have some great specials now!  If you haven't visited  their Facebook page, it's terrific .  And you don't have to be a member to ask questions!    

Check them out on Twitter @Nutrisystem.  because you never know...  Someday you may want them to Alert the media when you lose Her Royal Jiggliness too!

And they will cause that's how they roll over at  Nutrisystem.

If you want to lost weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem click HERE! or call 1-888-853-4689

 Subscribe and don't miss a crazy suburban word

*This post was sponsored  by Nutrisystem who is providing me with the food and program materials in exchange for blogging*


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Favorites - Eco Emi

Eco-Emi is the best gift I've given in long, long time.  Self-described as  "Chic eco-friendly products delivered to your door once a month" but it's more then a good for the environment thing... It's just good!  

For $15 dollars a month you get a box stuffed to busting (unlike another monthly subscription box which shall remain nameless... that I used to get but don't anymore because it wasn't stuffed to busting or fun) ... And the things inside are wrapped like gifts.   

Some things are dressed in pretty, pretty colored tissue, some in reusable fashion forward bags; this months pretty pink velour bag was fantabular (a combo of fantastic and spectacular.

This is a picture of September's packaging.

Lest you think all that attention to detail is a fluke, here's what October's box looked like.

Pumpkin confetti!  And It looked especially adorable stuck to Ginger's nose.

Sorry no shot of that, she ate the pumpkin to fast.

If  you're not into the whole  'green' aspect or think green's as much fun as a dried out Tofu Turkey, Ha!  

Just look at some of my personal favorites from past boxes...  Fortune cookie soaps (click the items for buying info)

A sample of Dr. Watson's Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Body Lotion 

A sample of Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Face Wash and Mask (okay this looked odd but I really love it.)

Acai Super Vitamin Chews

Bubble and Bee Organic Coconut & Lime Lip Balm

Read the story about how Eco-Emi got it's name (here) -  Hint: Emi is a dog's name!   I bought the subscription as a gift for someone and with the holiday's coming up I wanted to add Eco-Emi to my favorite posts.   

Giving something like this as a gift is so much fun, every month I hear all about what came and it's as fun for me as the it is for the person getting the boxes.    

Follow Eco-Emi on Facebook and Twitter!



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