Quick Snaps from Tampa

Just sharing some quick snaps from my trip to Florida today. I went for ten days which I think may have been the longest time I’ve been there in one trip since I graduated college. It was definitely a long, but really great ten days. November and December are the highest stress months as a blogger (and I would imagine any small business owner trying to make the last quarter numbers) so it was the perfect time to regroup down there. I still worked while I was down there, again ten days, but I’m thankful I can work from anywhere. The seventy degrees and breezy weather can do wonders for my mental health and sanity! 
(Plus just being with my family in general! I hate living so far away!)
As much as I love getting the chance to go to Florida for the holidays, there is someone else who loves it more. Teddy. He runs around like crazy in the backyard and I personally relish the mornings when I can let him out while still wearing pajamas. He is constantly go-go-going around and barely catches a break for a snooze. (When we get back home, it takes him at least three days before he’s fully rested again!) Teddy really bonded with my mom this trip. As a cat family, it truly warms my heart to see my mom throwing the ball with him or to watch Teddy trot behind her throughout the entire house all day long.
It’s become a tradition to go watch our little Emerson in his preschool program for Thanksgiving. He goes to the preschool in our temple and the classrooms are where my sister and I went to Sunday School. Lots of memories in those hallways and classrooms from over the years. I always get super emotional when I see him on stage. I already know I’m in trouble when I have my own child in a program like that! (Look how much he’s grown!)
Emerson’s mom is married to my mom’s best friend’s son. (This is very #SouthTampa.) She’s also our hairdresser and THE only person I trust to cut my hair. I kept closing my hair in my car door and knew it was time for a trim. I was close to getting a major cut, but chickened out.
I’ve been really itching to re-read Harry Potter. Whenever I go to start, I always feel like I might miss out on reading a new book instead. I decided to give it a go and see how it went… let’s just say, I opened that first book again and immediately fell back into the magic of it all. Even though I read the series later in life (my senior year of college), I still have forgotten a few parts and it feels like I’m reading it afresh! 
Most of our holiday traditions seem to happen around Thanksgiving. One of the things my sister, mom, and I look forward to the most is having tea the day before. We were trying to figure out how many years we’ve been doing it… and can’t remember. But it’s definitely been going on since we were in middle school. We always leave the tea room jittery from sugar and ready for the holidays!
I already shared the table from Thanksgiving earlier this week. I couldn’t help re-sharing. I arranged the roses the day before to get them to open up a bit. I wish I had done it earlier because they were gloriously huge the next few days. 
One of the most fun parts of the whole week was getting together with one of my friends from high school and her husband and her six month old cockapoo Suzy. We send each other snaps of our dogs and knew we had to get them together for a playdate. Teddy and Suzy had a ball romping around in the backyard. They were just about the same size and the exact same color; when they’d sprint across the yard, I had a really difficult time telling the two apart! The matching tongues hanging out though. I die. I’ve never wanted a second puppy so bad.
My ninth grade language arts teacher and I are friends on Facebook and she sent me a message asking if I wanted to meet her and her daughter (a TCP reader) for brunch while I was home. It was an absolute treat getting to catch up with her and meet her daughter and friend. Mrs. Bell was the hardest class at my high school and everyone knew it. (I swear the only reason I got an A in her class first quarter was because we had hurricane days every week that year.) It was really nice to see her outside of the classroom and get to chat.
I also had to re-share this photo of my grandma and me. I can’t even tell you how great it was spending the day with her. 
Since my trip, I’ve gotten a handful of emails about things to do in South Tampa. You can find a full list/post here. An absolute not-to-be-missed place? Oxford Exchange. It’s by far the “coolest” place in South Tampa. I was swinging by every day to pick up my favorite Buddy Brew vanilla iced coffee. While having brunch there with my mom and sister on Sunday, one of the owners introduced himself saying he had seen my Instagrams. He invited me back the next day and I got to meet more of the team and his sister and co-owner. They’re an awesome team of creative and passionate people. I love it!
And last but not least… I got to hang out with my sixth grade homeroom (and middle school PE teacher) and her daughter, another TCP reader! It’s slightly terrifying but also really cool because I used to babysit her when she was born! I even helped out at a few of her birthday parties throughout the year. And can you tell in the picture?! She’s taller than I am now! On one hand, it makes me feel pretty old and on the other hand it makes me realize how special this blog is. I really do love getting to connect with readers, whether she’s a mom or an eighth grader!

I’m so thankful I had the time to go back to Florida and spend it with friends and family! One of the best trips “home” for sure!

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Audrey Lin

I can imagine how stressful Nov-Dec must be for v/bloggers! It's a lot of fun as a viewer/reader though. So much holiday cheer to de-stress over 😛 // I hardly ever re-read books. The last time I read Harry Potter must have been several years ago! And I still need to read A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones for the first time. So many books! So little time! I'm reading The Interestings right now, but haven't had too many chances to read b/c of finals coming up. // It's so cool that you got to go back and have your online and irl world fit together like that 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Tori A.

Looks like you had a much-deserved trip! Teddy is adorable; I always look forward to hearing about him on your blog!

Tori A. from Prep For A Day

Sarah Gouin

Glad you had such a good trip and were able to reconnect with so many people. The photos of you baking with your Grandmother are priceless – my uncle gave me many of my Granny's recipes but sadly, I never actually baked with her.


I followed your Tampa advice last summer, and it was top notch! Brought some Buddy Brew back to Canada and had a fabulous lunch at the Oxford Exchange. All good things!