A Day in the Life

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1. The sunflower booth at the Saturday Morning Market always has a line wrapped around the block. // 2. Homemade salted caramel brownie cookie sandwiches; the cousin to my famous red velvet cookies. // 3. Root beer floats under twinkling lights at Urban Brew & BBQ. // 4. Colorful cocktails overlooking Beach Drive at The Canopy. // 5. Checking out Scarlet Johansson’s newest indie flick “Under the Skin” at the enchanting Tampa Theater. // 6. Ridiculously delicious Nutella banana waffles at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe. // 7. Lady Gaga in Ft. Lauderdale kicking off the first night of her artRave world tour! // 8. Quiet afternoon underneath the wall of lamps at Mandarin Hide. // 9. French macarons and blood orange mimosas for brunch at Birch + Vine.

Tea Time

Oxford Exchange is pure magic. From the second you step into the main doors, you enter a place unlike anywhere else you’ve ever been. There’s brown leather couches and mustard chairs, marble counter tops where baristas whip up fancy drinks, tiny succulents adorning the dining tables, and black & white checkered tile throughout the space. Ever since I stopped in for tea last September, I have been hooked on this amazing spot.

Today, the OE celebrates their one year anniversary and I thought it was only necessary to dedicate a whole post to the most wonderful spot in Tampa!

^^The most delicious homemade potato chips.

^^The shop always has the cutest greeting cards.

^^You can sit under the glass rooftop and enjoy an “outdoor” lunch without the sweltering Florida heat. Props to whoever came up with this brilliant idea!

^^Soft pretzels with Parmesan truffle oil + a honey vinegar dipping sauce. I might have died a little.

^^Rainbows streaming in through the front bookstore windows.

^^The most regal staircase. One of my favorite spots in Oxford.

^^Cappuccino + chocolate pancakes.

^^Even the bathroom has fancy lighting.

A Day in the Life

1. Pumpkin spice coffee and a raspberry cronut from Piquant on a stormy morning. // 2. My first professional photography project for Luxxe Bands live on Fab.com. // 3. Mimosas at one of my favorite brunch spots in town. // 4. Chocolate cannoli from Lucky Dill Deli. Almost as good as the ones at Ferrara in NYC. // 5. Beautiful chandeliers inside the newly renovated Ritz Ybor. Fun night with Icona Pop! // 6. My first attempt at royal icing. Engagement ring cookies in honor of my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower. // 7. The most amazing dry ice martini at Ocean Prime. // 8. Spent two days with Giuliana Rancic on set at HSN for her fall launch of G by Giuliana Rancic. // 9. Strawberry donut and my new photo book by Elsie + Emma of A Beautiful Mess.

A Day in the Life

1. Spent the day by the pool with cold drinks + homemade guacamole. // 2. The wall of Pantone colors at Lowe’s. One of these days I’m going to paint stripes on my walls. // 3. My first cronut + cold brew coffee from Dough. // 4. Betsey Johnson at the HSN studios kicking off her new collection. // 5. A frosted mug filled with root beer at Woody’s Root Beer Stand in Ohio. // 6. Lena Dunham made the front page of the Tampa Bay Times for her comment about how all of the artsy people are leaving NYC for Tampa. // 7. The most amazing spinach salad + caprese sandwich at Alesia in St. Pete. // 8. My new autumn scent: Trish McEvoy’s Sexy No. 9 // 9. A massive raspberry mousse-filled macaron from Dough to celebrate Pretty Little Liars night.

For more updates follow me on Instagram {username: lifeisaredcarpet} or become a fan on Facebook.

A Day in the Life

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1. Homemade caramel corn since I’ve been constantly dreaming about autumn. // 2. Makeup + jewelry purchases from a recent shopping trip (obsessed with Dr. Jart’s BB Cream). // 3. “The Bramble” at Tryst Gastro Lounge– blackberries, mint + champagne. // 4. Weekend trip to Sarasota, view from brunch at Shore Diner. // 5. Berry crumble in a cast iron skillet at Boca Hyde Park. // 6. Shades, magazines + homemade peach mojitos by the pool. // 7. Posing with the obnoxiously large bath loofahs that looked like French baguettes at the Sponge Docks. // 8. Movie night + colorful ice cream sandwiches. // 9. “Outfit change.”

For more updates follow me on Instagram {username: lifeisaredcarpet} or become a fan on Facebook.

A Day in the Life

1. Thanks to Glitter Guide for the homemade doughnut idea. // 2. The sweetest greeting cards at Anthropologie. // 3. Missoni-inspired tile at the Ca’ d’Zan Mansion in Sarasota. // 4. Pink halls at the Ringling Museum of Art. // 5. A table full of delicious tapas at Tryst Gastro Lounge. // 6. The shape of these buildings reminded me of Santorini. // 7. Watermelon feta salad. // 8. Mimosas + brunch at Cassis American Brasserie. // 9. Chocolate pancakes at Oxford Exchange.

For more updates follow me on Instagram {username: lifeisaredcarpet} or become a fan on Facebook.

Mimosa Monday

Is there any better way to spend a Monday than at the sweetest Parisian cafe, sitting on the street under colorful umbrellas, indulging in mimosas, stuffed French toast, and a plate of macarons? Summer is officially here and there is something so wonderful about introducing friends to new restaurants, spending your afternoon sipping cocktails on a rooftop, and overlooking the beautiful city that you call home.

Happy July!

Shine Bright

During the month of December, I seemed to be constantly entertaining, stopping by unlimited amounts of Christmas parties, wrapping gifts, and overeating my mom’s famous cookies. I decided to make a weekend trip to Orlando to visit some college friends and reunite with my old town. It’s hard to believe that this was my first trip back to Orlando since graduating two and a half years ago.

I started off the weekend with tapas at one of my favorite places, Cafe Tu Tu Tango. The walls inside the restaurant were adorned with art by local artists and the passion fruit sangria was to die for. I spent the next afternoon perusing the Orlando Museum of Art, picking out a Union Jack teapot at The British Shoppe, and doing a little shopping at The Mall at Millenia. I was so excited to see one of my favorite bands, Marina and the Diamonds, that night in downtown Orlando. Before I headed home, I went for a walk through the farmer’s market and had brunch at Spice on Lake Eola. It sure was nice to be back!

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Our family friends had extra Disney tickets that were going to expire at the end of the year so my mom and I decided to spend one of the last days of 2012 at Magic Kingdom! I hadn’t been to the park in four years so I was excited to be back at Disney. It ended up being quite cold, although I refused to wear a hat or gloves since I was in Florida.

We rode Space Mountain, visited the Haunted Mansion, ate Mickey Mouse ice cream bars, watched the Electrical Parade, and even got a glimpse of the fireworks on the way out of the park. The castle was completely covered in twinkling lights and it was a truly magical way to end the night!

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Back to December

November ended up being quite the exciting month! I’m delighted to share some wonderful news- my younger brother Tyler proposed to his girlfriend Mariah out on a beautiful farm in Brooksville under the stars! My brother’s best friend, Rob, and I headed out to the farm earlier in the day to get everything set up for the big night. We lit the mason jar candles, got the bonfire crackling, strung pictures of Tyler and Mariah amongst hay bales, and set out the sparkling diamond ring.

Since my brother does concert and event lighting, he told Mariah he had to go scope out a venue for a “wedding” that week. She went with him to check out the Hitching Post Barn and much to her surprise, he got down on one knee and popped the question! I was lucky enough to see the whole thing and the look on her face was priceless. It was such a beautiful moment and I feel so blessed so have been a part of the day with them.

I found out one of my best friends from NYC, who now works in North Carolina, was going to be in St. Augustine for the weekend. Since I hadn’t seen Caryn since she left NYC, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for a last minute roadtrip. I drove to Gainesville to pick up Chelsea so we could spend the day in St. Augustine. I forgot how charming the town was. We stopped by several bakeries for fudge and rainbow colored macarons, popped into quirky little gift shops, and ended the night at the UNC soccer game to support Caryn and her team.

I decided to spend the rest of the weekend in Gainesville with Chelsea. She was able to escape her dental school studying so we could venture around town. We had Sunday brunch at a cute little place called Sisters. The area was full of quaint restaurants and white picket fences. We spent the rest of the day shopping, laying by her pool, watching movies, and enjoying the crisp autumn air.

I was quite thrilled to be home for my first Thanksgiving in 3 years. As much as I loved spending time in New Jersey with friends for the holiday, there’s nothing like waking up at home to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with family. I helped my mom in the kitchen before we spent the afternoon with family friends. I started the Black Friday shopping at 7pm on Thanksgiving evening. After a long night of battling lines and pushing through crowds, I ended up with two DVDs and some shampoo. Not one of my more successful shopping years.

On the day after Thanksgiving, a friend of mine told me I was on Perez Hilton. When I first moved to NYC in 2010, I met the cast of Gossip Girl and sent in the picture to Perez Hilton in hopes of it being posted in the fan section. Who knew two years later that photo would make it to the website! I can now say I was featured on a celebrity tabloid site.

All That Glitters is Gold

I was surprised to find myself so busy after my move back to Florida. I’ve decided after a week of unpacking shoes, purses, and clothes that I should never walk out of a store with another shopping bag again.

One of the coolest things to do on a summer night in my town is to head over to the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks and dine out under the stars at “A Night in the Islands.” The streets are filled with tables, lights are strung along the docks, the sponge boats are lit up, and the sound of Greek music fills the air. Alyse and I had a wonderful time catching up and enjoying one of my favorite Greek meals. Afterwards, we met up with our friends Lindsey and Nicole for some drinks at our favorite local bar, Peggy O’Neills.

I planned the last two weeks of my life around the Summer Olympics. My evening plans were determined by whether there was a big swim meet or if the girl’s gymnastics team was competing. I fell completely in love with the gymnasts (as I do every Olympic games) and felt like a part of the audience cheering along with my TV. It was absolutely amazing seeing these young girls win gold. I don’t know if it’s the good looking guys or getting to see them continuously breaking world records, but swimming is also such a fun sport to follow during the Games.

What better way to close the Olympics then with a Spice Girls reunion performance! I was belting out every word to “Spice Up Your Life” and wishing I had my old Posh Spice Halloween costume and inflatable microphone.

I spent last week in the lovely state of North Carolina. It was a long 11 hour drive but completely worth the trip. We spent the weekend with tons of relatives at our family reunion. It’s always fun when family from all over the country gets together. We spent the weekend telling old stories, swimming long past sunset, filling up on comfort food, and playing with all the younger cousins.

We took a day trip to the quaint little town of Mt. Airy for lunch at Barney’s Cafe and antique shopping. Mt. Airy inspired the town of Mayberry from “The Andy Griffith Show.” The cast of the show used to spend a lot of time in this cute Southern town. All of the shops and restaurants are even named after characters on the show. We stopped at the Andy Griffith Museum which I actually found quite interesting. I remember watching the old black and white episodes as a kid.

On Sunday morning, I got up early and enjoyed the spectacular view from the second story porch. Enjoying a cup of coffee while overlooking the mountains isn’t a bad way to start your day. We spent our final afternoon with my sweet little cousins Jeb and Elizabeth in Downtown Winston-Salem. We had Sunday Brunch in the outdoor garden at the Old Fourth Street Filling Station. I had unbelievable Caramel Apple French toast which might have put me into a sugar coma. After brunch, we explored the historic district of town called Old Salem. The weather was absolutely perfect for strolling through the sunflower-filled gardens, savoring afternoon milkshakes, and popping into the little shops.