A Low Key Thanksgiving

We had THE BEST time and it ended up being our most low-key holiday yet… and we loved it. I go home to Tampa quite often and honestly, we do the same things over and over again. We’re at home 90% of the time and then go to our favorite places. I’m not going to Tampa to venture out or plan a packed vacation, I’m pretty much going to hang out with my family, even if it means going to Publix 400x with my mom.

Thanksgiving week is also a little bit different because it coincides with “cyber week.” In the past, it was limited to Friday and Monday but now it’s an all day, every day kind of thing. I worked a lot. (At one point I literally went to get an eye exam because I felt like I couldn’t see well and figured it was some sort of almost-thirty transgression. Turns out I just had SUPER dry eyes from staring at my computer screen for so many hours 🙈I’m glad I was with my mom though, she was a huge, huge help and I’m so grateful that she’s always more than willing to roll up her sleeves and help.

Buddy Brew

We were planning on going to our friend’s son’s preschool performance… but we literally missed it by five minutes because of delays getting our suitcases at the airport. So my mom and I headed off to Buddy Brew for cappuccinos and avocado toast.

New Hair Cut

I always get my hair cut when I’m in Tampa. I was ~this close~ to chopping it off, but then chickened out when I got there. Even taking an inch or two off though makes me feel like a new woman; nothing better than nice clean ends!

Royal Tea Room

My mom and sister and I have a tradition of doing afternoon tea the day before Thanksgiving. We’ve missed a couple of years, but it’s been fourteen years since we started. In fact, before her cake pop business, my mom had a little party decorating/catering business that she called “Tea for Three” after our tea tradition.

I had a few people DM me asking where we go. It’s called The Royal Tea Room and it’s right on MacDill almost to Bay to Bay!

Stacy recently moved into a house with a couple of her girlfriends and it’s the most darling little house ever. Isn’t the porch adorable??


Tampa 5k

Last year, I dragged my mom and sister to the Thanksgiving 5k; they did the one-mile walk, I ran the 5k, and my dad was our Uber driver. This year, Stacy tapped out completely, my mom offered to snap photos/video, and my dad Uber’d us again. I didn’t train at all for this. In fact, I think I have only done five runs total since my last 5k last December. I figured I was in decent enough shape to finish it because of BBG. I wanted to do it under 30 minutes and ended up finishing at 29:06, which I was pretty happy with.

Meesh and I went for coffee right after dropping my dad off at the gym. She got me super hooked on Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks right now. They are so good and I’m trying to have them only once a week, but do I think about going to get one every day? Yes, yes I do.


Thanksgiving Lunch

We always do hotdog lunches before the official Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t know when it started but we love it!!! Chips and hot dogs… can’t beat it!

Thanksgiving Dinner

My grandma was visiting one of my aunts who lives in a different state and everyone else who usually comes also was out of town. So it was just the four of us (my mom + dad + sister). It was the first holiday, I think ever, where it was just the four of us. It was really nice that we didn’t have to put anything away or worry about what the table looked like or even making dishes for other people. We did our favorite food, kept things super casual (we didn’t even change into clothes for it!), and had the quickest clean up afterward of all time.

Hasbro had sent us a giant box of games after they heard we had a Thanksgiving game night tradition. We tried a bunch of them, but The World Series of Yahtzee was the clear-cut winner (followed by Don’t Lose Your Cool, which had my mom SHRIEKING with laughter to the point where she legit almost threw up).

This new Yahtzee game took a few practice rounds for us to get the hang of it, but it actually ended up being so much more competitive and intense than the regular game. We played it every night and even my sister (who is usually the first to tap out of game night) kept suggesting “just one more round.”

World Series of Yahtzee

Peppermint Tea Bark

Someone (rudely) DMed me asking why I go to Oxford Exchange every day. Well, I go every afternoon when I’m in town for the TeBella tea! Driving to Davis Island is way more of a hassle so Oxford Exchange it is. In the winter they have my ABSOLUTE favorite and, no joke, I would go twice a day if I could for it because it’s only out for a limited time. They do a Peppermint Bark fog and it is heaven in a cup. Get it!!

My mom was going to an engagement party and needed a gift, so it was a kill two birds with a stone deal. And we tried on glasses just for fun. But of course, I fell in love with a pair…. Guys, I got these pink + tortoiseshell glasses! I can’t get over them.

Warby Parker Eyeglasses

PS this is my shirt + earrings, both c/o.

Palma Ceia Sunset

Is this not the most beautiful sunset?


I also crashed multiple date nights with my parents because, why not?? I haven’t been to a Bartaco since I moved out of Connecticut. Still as great as ever.

Meesh Prepster

Tampa Holiday

My favorite house in my parents’ neighborhood. The square wreaths are so perfect.

Oxford Exchange

Ashley Brooke

And one last trip to Oxford Exchange right before my flight to have lunch with Ashley and Ryan. Ryan is actually having a surgery today and could use any and all prayers and positive vibes. ✨

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Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

The most low-key Thanksgiving I had was last Thanksgiving. My group of friends has a tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving in NYC because one of the girls in our group lives there. The five of us crash at her apartment for the long weekend and her parents spoil us rotten! Anywho, about last Thanksgiving… It was our senior year of college and by the time Thanksgiving break came along, all we wanted to do was sleep. So that’s what we did. And when we woke up, our friend’s parents would have food ready for us. And that was l i t e r a l l y all we did. // Winter always brings my peppermint/chocolate obsession back. I always get the peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks 🙂 This past weekend I all of a sudden craved peppermint bark. Yesterday I bought a lil packet of peppermint bark Ghirardelli chocolates at CVS :3 I’ve never heard of peppermint bark fog, but I am very intrigued. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s


I worked on Davis Island for about two and a half years in college and no joke, would go EVERY DAY to get TeBella. Sorry someone was rude about it, they clearly don’t understand how great OE/TeBella really is 😉


I just have to say every time you write about your family it feels like a warm hug. And Meesh is such mom goals!

Grace K

Last year my fiancé’s parents took us for a family-feast style meal at an Italian restaurant (they usually eat out for Thanksgiving!).

While part of me was horrified to not be eating the traditional foods ON Thanksgiving Day, I have to admit it was delicious. And I was pretty sad when they said they were cooking a turkey this year, ha!

Grace K.

Also, I love your family/Meesh (let’s be real, we all fangirl over her) posts. Thanks for sharing with us!


I always love your fun posts like this with little life and trip recaps! I love that you and your Mom have such a great relationship, I can see where you got your adorable style <3


Sending: prayers and positive thoughts for Ryan.

Cute shoes . . . love all your cute flats and shoes w/ jeans it really dresses things up over sneakers.

Question: how do you keep your ankles warm.
when ever I do shoes with out socks my ankles get so cold . . ..

Shannon Mahaney

It looks like and sounds like you had a relaxing visit home for Thanksgiving. I love visiting my family in Florida (east coast by Cocoa Beach) for the holidays. We live in SC so it’s not a bad drive. This year my family came up and we hosted for the first time. Everything went well!

Kristen from Pugs & Pearls

Ah, how I wish I knew how much I would miss being with my family all of the time! It’s so nice to be together, and do normal things again like how you guys had dinner just the four of you.
I love seeing your mom on your Instagram and blog posts-she is so cute and reminds me of my own mom! Moms are just the best.
Next time I’m in Tampa, I’m def trying the Oxford Exchange on your recommendation.


Have you tried using a pair of those blue light blocking glasses? I have been wearing a pair at work for the past few months – while not a miracle cure, they really do make a difference, at least in my experience. My eyes feel less blurry and tired at end of day.


I would love to hear what your favorite things to do and places to eat in Tampa are! My mom recently moved to the Tampa area (after I graduated college) so I visit every Thanksgiving and one other time during the year. My favorite restaurant so far is The Columbia (near clear water)


Also forgot to mention in my previous comment, I’m not sure if that Bar Taco is in the Hyde park area (I think that’s what it’s called), you should try the Exchange! It was delicious!!


Can your mom do a regular feature on your blog? Your insta stories with her are adorable. She seems like such a hilarious, positive, and fascinating person – I feel like her column would be a must read!


Sounds like a great trip! I’m older than you (41) and your relationship with your family reminds me of mine. This sounds like many of my trips home before I had kids. It only gets better!