Christmas in Tampa

I was debating on posting these or not? I know Christmas was now a few weeks ago, but I didn’t want to skip a little iPhone photo recap of my trip down to Tampa for the holidays. As always, I love spending time with my family and this time was no exception. I felt very lucky this year because I got to spend a significant amount of time with them from November through December with Thanksgiving and my family coming to visit a couple of times.

Christmas Tampa

It’s so nice to be able to sit outside comfortably in Tampa during Christmas. It may not be a “traditional” Christmas weather, but it’s how I remember Christmases growing up and feels perfect to me! Especially after a month or two of cold up here, it’s nice to get some Vitamin D and not have to bundle up to go outside. It was actually chilly for the first half of my week there, like legitimately chilly, and I’d still take that any day over the freezing cold.

Banana Republic Sweater

I didn’t overpack clothing wise and kept things super simple. Jeans, sweater, ballet flats. Rinse and repeat.

J Crew Pajamas

I had to do a tiny bit of work while I was down there, but for the most part, could completely relax. My mom and I shot something together and matched in our glasses and pajamas.

Starbucks Croissant

Speaking of my mom, we considered making homemade croissants for half a second and then decided to not waste an entire day rolling out butter and just went to Starbucks for one. Not going to lie, Starbucks’ croissants are some of my favorite ones ever– especially the almond.

Christmas Morning

See what I got my family for Christmas here!

Star Pajamas

My sister and I always do matching pajamas. I had picked out a set that she did not like and we went to the mall to find a replacement but the mall was pretty much entirely WIPED OUT of Christmas pajamas, which is to be expected two days before, haha. We almost gave up on the idea, but then found these star sets at a local store in Hyde Park and we both LOVE them.

Steak n Shake

We ventured out for Steak ‘n’ Shake in the afternoon. I usually would never get a milkshake but had to go for their seasonal peppermint one. Can’t resist.

1905 Salad

I shared our Christmas dinner (super easy chili bar) and had a ton of questions about the 1905 Salad. If you’re ever in Tampa, you have to go to the Columbia Restaurant, where the salad originated. There are a few locations in Tampa but it’s the oldest restaurant in Florida– the original is in Ybor City.

Steelbach Tampa

My blog’s ten year anniversary happened while I was down and I got to celebrate with my family which was very special. We went to a new restaurant down by Armature Works called Steelbach. We heard rave reviews and loved everything. But if you go, you have to get the fried chicken. We unanimously agreed it was the best dish!!

West Tampa Sandwich Shop

One day for lunch we went to the West Tampa Sandwich Shop for Cuban sandwiches. Soooooo good.

Christmas Puzzle

One of our Christmas traditions is to set out a puzzle on the dining room table. We might do a piece if we’re walking by, or sit down to work on a section while drinking our morning coffee, or camp out at the table for hours before going to bed. We always do 1,000 piece puzzles, but there was something about this one that felt particularly difficult. I hated it… but we didn’t want to give up and I really wanted to finish it before I left. It was such a relief to put the last stinking piece in, haha.

Top Golf

We also went to Top Golf one night. What a fun activity to do with friends and/or family. (My dad is afraid of heights, haha, so we stayed on the ground level.) It sort of made me want to get back into golf. I used to love going to the driving range, but I didn’t love actually playing rounds of golf. This was a good balance of a driving range while still being competitive yet low-key.


And ending this recap with a funny story. Our neighbors across the street have a pet pig named Arnold. My mom and I were leaving the house and opened the garage door and THERE WAS ARNOLD. I jumped a freaking mile because a pig was the last thing I expected to see in our driveway. He escaped from their house/backyard and walked across the street to ours. He’s a big fan of Cheerios so we used them to keep him from crossing the street again until we got a hold of his mom. Just your average day in our neighborhood.

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Oh, hi, it’s me… Can’t sleep and legit cracking up over the Arnold story. Loved this recap — Take me to Tampa! xoxo!


I also spend Christmas in FL! White sandy beaches are my version of white Christmas. Columbia is my favorite restaurant EVER!!! I love love 1905 salad. It is seriously the best! Have you ever had the Good Rice?? It is sooo yummy, and I make it all the time at home. The recipe is so easy!!

xoxo Libby


Sounds like you had a great time. I for one would like to see you wear some mules, over the knee boots, etc. you’ve worked hard to get your legs to look that great. Show them off. Branch out on your shoe choices. You look fantastic compared to two years ago. Try to get your mom to grow her hair longer. She looks fantastic too and she’s so fun.


I love your Tampa posts! I’m biased because I’m also from the area and visit every Christmas like you do. We actually have a tradition of going to the Columbia on Christmas day – I highly recommend it! The Cava sangria and Fideua de Mariscos are the best things on the menu and basically spell Christmas to me, plus the Clearwater location (which we go to) has seating on the water, what’s better than that?


Starbucks croissants are totally my weakness. The Arnold story is amazing! Sounds like a great trip, overall – I am so jealous of those temperatures and the sun!!


Totally cute black V-neck sweater in the golf picture.
Do you remember where you got it?


The last thing I expected to see in a post about Christmas was a picture of a pig! Too funny! Thanks for giving me a chuckle this afternoon.

Ally Kmiecik

So glad you got to spend some time at home with family Carly! Those pjs with Stacy are TOO dang cute!! I am LOVING the current star trend 🙂