Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Leopard Shoe Dilemma

Do you remember this recent blog post about some things I've been wanting pretty badly? There is an amazing pair of leopard print shoes on Delia*s website that I'd been eyeing ever since I saw them on another blog. They even ended up on my Pinterest style board, and I could not stop obsessing over having them in my closet. I rarely ever get this excited over a piece of clothing or pair of shoes.

One day I was checking stalking these shoes and thinking about just putting them on my credit card. {Dave Ramsey please don't be mad at me} I noticed that they were on back order for a date of April 9th. I thought "well that's not too bad". I suppose if I order them it won't be too long before they'll ship. Wrong! A few days later, to my absolute horror, I discovered they were back ordered until May 9th! My jaw hit the computer desk, and I hightailed it to the bedroom to grab my credit card. I didn't really think, which is always a good thing to do before using your credit card to purchase something you clearly don't need, and I ordered these babies before they could be on back order until June! No way was I going all summer without them. Summer in Florida is bad enough, and there is no way I would survive a hellacious another summer in the Sunshine state without these puppies on my feet. I mean a sweaty and red face doesn't exactly look good on anyone. It's clear I am not made for hot and humid, but maybe with some leopard print Sperry sneakers on my feet it will be easier to tolerate. At least maybe I'll look put together from the knees down this summer.

Needless to say, after ordering these shoes I was a little worried that my husband would be disappointed that I used my credit card in this very desperate shoe crisis. I thought maybe I would let him know eventually, but it just flew out of my mouth while eating dinner one night... "I ordered those shoes!" He knew the ones. I'd been talking about them for weeks. All he did was laugh. I said that I was sorry for using my credit card because I know we're trying to get out of debt, but I just couldn't stand the thought of letting these shoes out of my virtual grasp!
I told my husband that I might die if for some reason the shoes run out of stock before they ship my order. He definitely did not understand that, but that's okay. I don't always understand the importance of having the "best landing ever" while at work, so we're even. I also encouraged him to go ahead and charge some new navy blue work pants to his credit card, so now we're really even. We both got something that we needed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A More Simple Time {New World Brewery}

It was a couple weeks ago that we finally visited New World Brewery located in the Ybor City area of Tampa, Florida. The name is a bit deceiving since they do not currently brew beer at New World Brewery, but you can find great beer there nonetheless. The bar features over 20 draft beers and numerous bottled beers too. There is a style of beer for almost every beer drinker. Aside from the drinks, the atmosphere is incredibly laid back and relaxing. The only thing we regretted about our visit was not eating some of the delicious looking, and smelling, food that was offered on the menu. There will be a next time.

We visited New World Brewery on a very lovely spring day in Florida. The sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot. That may be something of a rarity in Florida, so we took full advantage of the balmy weather by sitting at a table in the courtyard area. Basil plants, old brick walls,  and gurgling fountains surrounded us on all sides. It was an inviting and homegrown sort of environment, almost like we were drinking beer in some one's backyard. We felt right at home.

There's something nourishing about enjoying a cold beer outside in the sun while streetcars zoom by on the cobblestone road outside. It almost takes you back to a simpler time. One where people actually sit down and take time out of their busy day to converse, leave their social media behind, and maybe even tend to their homegrown basil plants. New World Brewery offers an escape from the busyness of everyday life.

Like I mentioned in my blog post from yesterday, New World Brewery offers one of the best beer selections that we have found in the Tampa Bay area. Not only is the beer great, but the environment allows you to slow down for a minute. Our life has been so busy that we rarely feel like there's time to sit down, relax, and have a nice conversation. We did just that while spending a relaxing afternoon enjoying a few brews at New World Brewery in Tampa.

Operation Find A Good Beer Spot in Tampa : Mission Accomplished

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Life Lately { Planes, Polish, and Pubs }

Lately our life has involved a lot of work and little play,
but we're working on that.  ( literally I suppose... )

In between work, sleep, and eat we have enjoyed a few fun things worth sharing.

We also have some family here to visit this week,
so I see more fun things to share in the near future. (:

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We recently spent the afternoon
at a great pub in Ybor City, Florida!

{ more photos to come }

{ I'm calling this place a pub since I have some serious alliteration going on in this blog post title. }

New World Brewery has one of the best, if not the very best, draft beer selections that we have found in the Tampa Bay area. Not only do they have a large number of draft beers, they also offer a great selection of hard to find bottled beer too. If you enjoy drinking quality brews, then visit New World Brewery! We also hear they have great BBQ, but we didn't have any while there. (I hear their pizza is nothing to scoff at either.) I guess we have plenty of reasons to make another visit soon. Twist our arms.

Even though this is "work",
my husband might have the coolest job ever.

 { See what I mean? }

He might get excited over airplanes,
but this girl gets excited over pretty nail polish.

To each his (or her) own, right?

{ sorry this one's so blurry, but Photobooth doesn't take photos quite like the dSLR does }
I painted my ring finger just like I painted all of my nails in this blog post

It's fairly simple to do and much easier to paint just 2 instead of 10 digits in this pattern.

Like I mentioned earlier, we're having visitors this week and will be taking part in some fun Florida activities.

I know I'm looking forward to a few days off of work... (:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Florida's Oldest Restaurant

The Columbia Restaurant (est. 1905) is not only the oldest restaurant in Florida,
but it's also one of the largest Spanish restaurants in the world.

An occasional passerby or coworker had mentioned the Columbia Restaurant before, but I never put much thought into making the drive and actually eating there. Embarrassingly enough, we unknowingly drove by it multiple times on our way to the home makeover mecca of Ikea.

The Columbia Restaurant is incredibly difficult to miss at some 50,000 square feet and an entire city block, but we remained oblivious to its location for almost an entire year of residence in Florida. However, we did redeem our ignorance with a first time visit to the 100 year old Columbia Restaurant and were not disappointed. We left happy and with full bellies.

We started our dining experience with a cold beer and a glass of sangria. I already knew I wanted to eat their cuban sandwich, but when the menu claimed they were one of 10 great places to make a meal out of a salad, I knew I had to try the Original "1905" Salad. We each ended up eating the Original Cuban Sandwich with salad and soups. Let me tell you, we had plenty of food with some to take home.

The Original "1905" Salad is not a joke. I'm pretty sure that no woman on a diet is going to order this one for lunch, and that's exactly why I had to try it. You'll find juicy beefsteak tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, ham, Swiss and Romano cheese, and their incredible garlic dressing. This truly could have been a meal in itself. No joke.

Our Cuban sandwiches were fantastic too. We found ham, salami, pork, cheese, pickles, and mustard sandwiched between two pieces of pressed Cuban bread. It was enough to leave us smacking our lips and knowing that we will definitely eat at the Columbia Restaurant again.

Not only was the food great, but the architecture and atmosphere were enough to leave me wondering what kinds of people roamed the halls of this restaurant in the past. Walking through the front doors is like taking a step back in time. There were plenty of things to look at, and the ornate details included beautiful colored tiles, gorgeous chandeliers, and skylights.

If you have never experienced the Columbia Restaurant, I suggest you make a trip there as soon as possible. Aside from food and atmosphere, they also feature flamenco dancers on certain evenings. Next time we may get more adventurous and order an assortment of tapas, the grilled snapper, or even some flan for dessert while watching the dancers! For now though, I'll be thinking about that meal of a salad I enjoyed. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wants vs. Needs { My Spring Wish List }

Yesterday I spoke of a spring fever that has taken over.

preppy   +   leopard print   =    love

{ Throw in a little neon and I'm sold }
Spring 2012 Wish List
left to right :  shoes  //  ring  //  top  //  skirt  //  necklace  //  bracelet  //  wristlet

I've been feeling a serious need to buy these leopard print Sperrys that I found while browsing the internet recently. It doesn't help that we live dangerously close to beautiful beaches, and I obviously need those shoes in order to fulfill my mind's idea of a picture perfect preppy (sort of) nautical life.

I've been having a serious problem lately determining my fashion needs from my wants.
I obviously need everything in sight right now.

It's clearly not safe for me to be working in retail sales!

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Of the items on my 'spring wish (need/want) list' : I did buy the Tucked Tiered Skirt
and the Celadon shapes necklace from Anthropologie.

Here's the necklace.... isn't it "purdy"?

Please tell me I'm not the only one with
a serious case of 'the wants' right now.... please.

Oh, and just in case you didn't get enough 
of my nail obsession yesterday...
Yeah, I'm a little late jumping on board the ring finger trend train, but who cares.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oops... I Did It Again!

There must be something about the month of March
that makes me go crazy for color.

I either have spring fever
or a different kind of March Madness?!
One that involves nail polish... not basketball.

Around this same time last year
I posted a blog about all of the different nail polish colors I tested on my finger nails

If you ask me, I notice quite a difference in my favorites since last year.
Move over pretty pastels... hello dark, rich colors!

I like my nail polish the way I like my men... dark and rich.

{ Totally kidding! }
My husband isn't exactly dark...
and we're working on the rich part. ;)

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These are the colors I ended up
purchasing yesterday while at Target.
{ please ignore the layer of dust on my desk }

{  left : no more film  //  right : a crewed interest  }

Olé Caliente came in a very close third.

I could not wait to take off my current polish and try my new colors,
so here's a peek of A Crewed Interest over top of my ring finger which is covered in Lilacism.

Is there such a thing as NPA (nail polish anonymous)?
I may have a problem.

disclaimer : I may appear to be a bit of an Essie snob, but I promise I'm not. They just have amazing colors to choose from, and I always end up being drawn to their products while in the nail polish aisle. I don't discriminate, but I do love a quality item with great color and coverage. So sue me. ;)
{please don't actually sue me}

Monday, March 5, 2012

Places Are Like People

What is your favorite city? Today I found myself thinking about how I would answer that question, and I'm honestly not sure I could ever choose just one place. Places are like people to me. I don't think it's fair to choose a favorite.

Every place I have ever visited has at least one lovable quality, and people are the same. As a human, I want nothing more than to be loved, and I at least attempt treating others with that idea in mind. Great cities like Chicago and New York City may have obviously glamorous activities to partake in, but have you ever felt the wind whip across your face from the open plains of Nebraska? Have you ever listened to a rushing mountain stream just after the snow melts? In quite the same way that some people require a little extra digging to their truly endearing qualities, places like Alamosa, Colorado may require a second glance when it comes to finding their greatest charms. The best treasures don't always appear knocking at our front door.

Returning to that question about my favorite city. I can tell you something I love about each place I've visited. The smells while driving across Nebraska may make you think twice about eating beef ever again, but some of the most peaceful and welcoming places I've visited have been in the Cornhusker state. Sometimes the greatest strengths of a place lie in the spirit of its people and not always in the tangible evidence. Like I said before, take a second look and you just might find something that you like about the most unsuspecting of places. Keeping an open mind never hurts either.

Friday, March 2, 2012

When Pelicans Attack!

My mom recently visited from Michigan, and we explored quite a few places around the Gulf coast. One of those places just so happened to be the quaint little town of Dunedin. My husband was at work, so my mom and I had a girls day out. Pelicans stole the show.

After browsing the shops in Dunedin, my mom and I worked up an appetite. We grabbed lunch at the Olde Bay Cafe which is next to the Dunedin Fish Market. The cafe's covered seating area overlooks the marina and gives you views all the way to Caladesi Island. The Olde Bay Cafe is a great place to enjoy a meal, beer, and a lovely view.

Adjacent to the Olde Bay Cafe you'll find a boardwalk that takes you to a small pier. It's a great place for a stroll after filling yourself with fresh seafood from the Olde Bay Cafe. My mom and I walked out onto the pier, which we shared with fishermen, locals, tourists, and birds. We came within inches of pelicans, and I had no idea I would ever come so close to a live pelican in my life.

These pelicans were a little too comfortable with humans.

I'd been taking pictures of one pelican (see above photo), when it took flight. That bird's flight path included the space where I just so happened to be standing! I experienced one of those slow motion moments, where you have time to think about what's happening and you're not sure what to do. After images of being impaled by a pelican beak flew through my mind, I ducked as quickly as possible while back pedaling my way out of the pelican's flight path!

My mom still laughs about the stunned look on my face in that moment. I can only imagine it was one of shock, horror, and amusement all at the same time. This pelican came inches from my head. I'm still not exactly sure what that bird was trying to do! The attempted attack on my head was either premeditated, or that pelican had bad eyesight. We may never know.

I hope you enjoy this video!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Made You Laugh

This video is too funny not to share.
Laughing at yourself is never a bad thing.

I got temporarily stuck in our office window
while taking a 'shortcut' to our balcony.

I hope you have something to laugh about this week! (: