Explore With Me as I Move Out West!

My plans to post on this blog monthly have sadly fallen by the wayside since summer as my life has been in overdrive with travel, writing for Metro Philly and Metro US, modeling, blogging for my other babies Explore-Philly.com and Explore-NJ.com and then some! I’ll try to do an epic recap of highlights here so you can follow along and see what I’m up to nowadays. As soon as I got back from the San Antonio press trip, I began writing freelance with Metro Philly and soon thereafter Metro US.

My mug on the front of Metro Philly when I wrote a controversial column about why your Philadelphia neighborhood sucks. Some loved it, some hated it but at least it got people talking.
My first column for Metro Philly which was my editor’s idea – not mine – about being a plus model/actress on the East Coast.

As I continued to write for Metro, a lot of travel trips were happening as well. I did end up going on that Bucks County press trip over my Jersey Shore birthday beach week and was so happy I went. I met some amazing travel writing women who made my birthday special!

The Virgo birthday girl and a medley of NYC writers who were all awesome and I consider friends now!

The beach didn’t disappoint either, check out my instagram page for all the pretty sunset pics and videos. And while you’re at it, me and my team at Explore created a media kit for both that blog and brand and my own Cassie Hepler influencer media kit, go check out my digital reach! That will be added to my website too soon so it’s easily accessible and it’s in real time which is fantastic. Thanks, Zine Me!

Of course there were some long-awaited photoshoots happening too, one with an old friend Drew Callaghan in a Chestnut Hill mansion. For truly amazing images, it takes a team. Here’s some behind the scenes action.

Having a fantastic MUAH is half the battle of a fantastic photoshoot. And doing it outdoors is even better.
Sonja Century of Danger Salon makes me look gorgeous.
Sonja Century and Cassie Hepler with finished professional make up and hair.
One of the finished candid modeling shots of Cassie Hepler in red gown. Drew Callaghan Photography, make up and hair by Sonja Century

Soon the west coast began pulling at my heart strings again. Ever since I was 16 years old, I wanted to live in the sunshine. So I satiated my travel lust with some mini trips to the west coast. First up was a hybrid press and personal trip where I found plenty of beauty in nature to keep me happy.

Always California dreaming in my space pants (and top) at Big Sur!
One of the many highlights of this trip was dinner and drinks at Carmel Valley Ranch which I will have to return to to taste the small vineyard.
Just stopping along the coast in my rented whip and a kind stranger took this snap in California.

If you want to read more about my California trip, check out the Explore blog for updates. Soon I was back in action and starting a brand new part time work from home job as web manager for NameEntertainers.com and soon to redesign the DJ loving website¬†ProMobileDJ.com. The nerdy part of me really enjoys working on the backend and problem solving of WordPress websites. And working from home meant I could finally move to the west coast! Ironically, a beloved board member lives in Arizona and a San Diego chapter exists with my new company and I took that as a sign. But wait, there’s more! So what about my babies, Explore-Philly.com and Explore-NJ.com? Well, it was time to expand and make this blog more global friendly with my team of East Coast writers and I’ll make moves on the west with the new and improved¬†ExplorewithCassie.com. Keep an eye out for a migration in the new year for both me and the blogs! However, I was still California dreaming when I went on my last press trip of 2017 to Arizona…

Visit Phoenix and Visit Mesa hosted our team of writers, bloggers and influencers from Canada and California… and me from chilly Philly. Here we are enjoying wine at Garage East in Gilbert, AZ.

The vibe was so good in Arizona I slept like a baby every night in multiple hotel and guest rooms which never happens to me. I started seriously considering making Arizona my out west home base as the price was right and the energy was fantastic…

Going up, up and away in the desert with Hot Air Expeditions.
Our media crew enjoying raw food at our Nature Made tour and cooking class.
Yes, there was a lot of eating thus the table shots like lunch at Queen Village Olive Mill.
One of my new Canadian friends getting excited over that caffeine at Superstition Coffee Roasters.
The perfect end to an excellent press trip was Outstanding in the Field at Agritopia, we got the end of the table by the sunset.

So by the end of the trip, I was leaning toward moving to Arizona. If you want to read about the whole trip to learn more, please do. I had friends out there and further west (San Diego/San Fran/Los Angeles), my uncle just moved and now my cousin and her family too. It made my spirit happy to finally be chasing my dreams so I did it. I’m moving to the Phoenix area on the new year and driving cross country with one of my besties! New year, new me indeed. If you want to follow along, follow me on my Insta stories. This should be a year to remember!