Filed In: Local

Local Highlight: Naples: Organically Twisted

HIGHLIGHTSo I think I am a little late on this game, but I am so excited to have finally tried Organically Twisted in Naples. SO AMAZING!

Seriously though, if you haven’t been there yet, get on it.

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According to their site,  their mission “started for the love of people, our earth, life, growing and creating food.”  This is very apparent in the  atmosphere and the vibes within the restaurant. Everyone we came across was very energetic and friendly, and had a big smiles all around.

The restaurant was covered in beautiful art, crystals, and plants, and reggae music boomed throughout. We received some great recommendations and ordered the Avo-Loco, “Avocado, roasted sweet potato, tomato, mixed greens with garbanzo-black bean salsa & cilantro sauce”  and the Mung Bean, “Mixed greens with mung beans, tortilla chips, tomato, sweet peppers and roasted sweet potato. Topped with salsa & a spicy cilantro sauce”. It was so refreshing to be able to order something healthy, organic, vegetarian, and local!

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The food was nothing short of delicious and VERY filling. We were also happy to see our favorite 221 Kombucha offered there too!

More Menu Details

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They even had an adorable little kids table set up to entertain the kiddies! (How cute are those chairs?!)

Organically Twisted started out as a food truck and still serves out of the truck at various locations throughout the Naples area. They also have a permanent location on Livingston Rd. and are open Monday – Thursday 11am-6pm.

13040 Livingston Road #10 Naples, FL 34105

To see where they are at each weekend, follow them on their Facebook Page!

Organically Twisted is definitely one of my new favorite restaurants in Naples

Check it out!

All for now,

xoxox

Meg

Three Days in Naples, Florida

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Naples, Florida is my hometown. Unlike most of the population, I was born and raised here. I have been called “a rare breed,” a “unicorn” and other strange things because of where I was born. You see, most people migrate to Naples from up north. But not me– I’m truly a local! Naples, Florida is mostly a vacation spot, and I will admit, it is a beautiful place to vacation. I wanted to create a guide to this beautiful town, something from a true native and from someone who takes pride in their hometown.

If I had a three day weekend, and I could spend it however I would like in Naples, this is pretty much how it would go.

FridayBegin your day how it should always begin — with a cup of coffee, of course!

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Head over to Kunjani, a locally owned coffee shop and art gallery. The mother and daughter duo that own the shop and very sweet, and very kind people, and they create a  peaceful ambience in their shop. According to their site, they “constantly strive to make a long lasting positive impact.” This is the kind of place where you can sit for a while and hang out, whether it be outside on the patio, or inside their gallery.

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When you’re done enjoying your coffee, take a stroll across the street to Waterside Shops. There are some great stores to shop in, and a few great restaurants too. You’ll find high-end stores like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, as well as stores like Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn, and Anthropologie. (PS- there’s a new Free People here, and it is beyond gorgeous!)

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Plus, its a generally beautiful walk through the shops. You’ll see gorgeous water features, and you might even spot a few local pups walking around.

You can grab lunch at Waterside at True Food. This place is delicious, and full of lots of healthy veggie options! They also make some awesome cocktails, (I highly recommend the ginger margarita) and have a great outdoor seating area.

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Another option for lunch would be to  grab some Pub-Subs (especially if you have never had them before– you won’t know what you’re missing until you have one!) Publix subs are sort of a Florida tradition. I’ve linked the closest location here.

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If you’re looking for a healthy snack or juice, check out Delicious Raw on your way to the beach! Delicious Raw says, “Our drinks are unharmed by additives, preservatives and pasteurization, which otherwise destroys natural nutrients in juice products bought off the shelf. Nothing is hidden – what you see is what you get.”

Looking for a place to grab an acai bowl? Delicious Raw has some great ones, but you can also check out The Bowl over on Pine Ridge Road.

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After you’ve decided what you want for lunch, you’ll head over to Clam Pass for an afternoon at the beach. (I mean, what is a true Florida day without the beach involved?!) Parking is $8.00, so be ready with cash for that.  

You can take a tram down the boardwalk or you can take a gorgeous leisurely walk down to the beach, both are pretty enjoyable. (PS- If there’s no parking at Clam Pass, make sure to check out Seagate Beach, just down the road.)

Once you’ve had just about enough of the beach, and you are ready for dinner, rinse off and head over to Mercado.

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You’ll want to start at Masa for dinner and margaritas.Their happy hour is 3pm-6pm on Fridays, so catch it if you can! They have $5 bottled beer, select wines, and select margaritas, as well as a $6 food menu. Their guac and chips are amazing, and I highly recommend their Quesadilla con Camarones or their tacos! (PS- This place isn’t super Vegetarian friendly, but you can always substitute things to make it work. We are Peskitarian, so we eat fish while we are here.)

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After dinner, have fun exploring Mercado. There are tons of places to check out. But let it be known, many places in Mercado turn into a club-like atmosphere after dark. FullSizeRender-9You can grab a drink and a cigar at Burn, or grab a boozy milkshake at The Counter, whatever your heart desires.  If you aren’t feeling Mercado, check out the live music until 10pm at Paradise Wine across the street! The dancing is so much fun to watch, and if you’re feeling up to it– or if you have a little too much wine — jump on in!!

Saturday

Head on down to 3rd Street, bright and early. If you can, check out the 3rd Street Saturday Morning Market. (7:30 – 11:30)

After you explore, try and get a seat at at Jane’s on 3rd for brunch. IMG_7651

Jane’s has great food, and great service. Plus, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house, this place is adorable!

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After you are full, make your way over to the Botanical Gardens to explore for the morning. This place could really take a while to go through, it is HUGE! It is truly a Naples gem.

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For the rest of the afternoon I am going to give you two options:

Option #1 – Relax:

Take a stroll down 5 Ave, and grab some Afternoon Tea at Brambles Tearoom. This place is seriously adorable. I am not much of a tea drinker myself, but I highly recommend the Velvet Fog. IMG_7815

After that, just enjoy 5th Ave. There are lots of little shops to look in, and there is a great park just behind 5th. (Cambier Park) Often times, they have Art Fairs and concerts going on there during the weekend.

Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up? Check out The Brick or 5th Ave Coffee Company

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Also, don’t miss one of the best ice cream spots in town, Regina’s!

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Option #2 – Adventure:

If you’re up for a little adventure, and feeling a little outdoorsy, head over to Bayfront where you can rent kayaks! Have fun exploring, and make sure you wear your sunscreen!

Get cleaned up and ready for dinner. 

Tonight you’ll be eating at Campiello‘s on third for dinner. It’s a bit of a splurge, but it is one of the most well known amazing dinner spots in Naples. It is very delicious, and the atmosphere is breathtaking.

After dinner, go out for drinks on 5th!

Places to try: 

Hob Knob: Great drinks, live music, lively youthful atmosphere

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Bar Tulia: Small bar, mostly filled with locals, with excellent cocktails.  (I recommend The Last Dragon)

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 12.03.30 PMSheas at Lansdowne Street : Fun Boston-themed bar with friendly staff and a fun atmosphere

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Sunday

Wake up slow and enjoy your morning, then get ready for brunch at The Continental. (They don’t open until 11am, but it’ll be worth the wait.) This place is known for their steaks, but they serve a mean brunch too! Plus they have live music!

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Get ready to see an amazing show at around 2pm. The Naples Players has matinees every Sunday. You might be thinking… a community theater show? But, really, you have to trust me. These guys are top notch- every show I have seen there has been truly wonderful. The people there are really passionate and they really put so much time and effort into their work. (PS- I basically grew up doing shows in this theater, so I am a bit biased. But don’t take my word for it– go see a show! Seriously!) Check out tickets and show times here. 

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After the show, enjoy your last moments in Naples at The Pier for sunset. (AKA – the most “Naples” thing you can do)

A Powerful Moment in History

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Saturday was an encouraging day for women in America. 2.9 million women were said to have marched across the world yesterday (according to politicususa.com), which is incredibly impressive. It is said to be the largest one day protest in U.S. history. That’s the power of the internet at work, folks.

 of Politicusus said, “An estimated 60,000 people marched in Atlanta. 250,000 are marching in Chicago. There are estimates of 250,000 people in Boston, and 200,000 more in Denver. In New York, the estimate ranges from 200,000-500,000. City officials estimate that 500,000 people participated in the main march in Washington, DC. In Los Angeles, the estimate is anywhere from 200,000-750,000. There were also protests of 60,000 in Oakland, CA, 50,000 in Philadelphia, 100,000 in Madison, WI, 20,000 in Pittsburgh, 20,000 in Nashville, TN, and 60,000 in St. Paul, MN.”

 In little old Collier County, a small version of that march happened, and I have never been so proud of my home town. This March was truly inspiring, and gave me a breath of fresh air. It felt so good to know that I, as a woman, am supported by my own community.

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(Photo above courtesy of Victoria Surr: Collier County)

For those of you who don’t know, the Women’s March was for those who support equal rights for every woman and every human being who wanted to march for social justice. This was not an explicit Anti-Trump march. Rather, it was a march to tell the world that we will not let discriminatory policies be passed, and we will not give up our rights as women and as human beings.

Let me make this clear: I marched because I stand for equality. I stand for equality for every race, color, religion, sex, gender, and sexual orientation.  I marched because I  want every woman to have equal opportunities to men, because that is not the reality for many women across the country and the world. I marched because I believe it is a woman’s choice to do what she feels is right for her body. I am fortunate enough to have the choice, and my insurance covers my healthcare. Unfortunately that is not the case across the country. I march for the people and women who do not have the means to get annual check-ups and examinations because healthcare is too expensive… and they have to choose between food for their children or a visit to the doctors… and to those of you who are worried about women and children in other countries who do not even have as many rights as us here in the U.S…. we marched for them too. On the Monday after the march, Donald Trump signed an executive order to take away funding for international programs giving parenthood planning, HIV testing, and health screenings if those programs also help women with abortions… even if our U.S. dollars are not being spent on abortions. This is exactly the kind of thing we are marching against.  Yes, we are concerned with women around the WORLD, not just here in the U.S. This march extended far beyond the borders of our country. 

 I did not march because I am not personally heard, but because others are not heard.  I did not march because I feel like a second-class citizen, I marched for those who feel they are.  I marched for every woman who has been sexually assaulted and raped, and had to stay quiet. My marriage to Jason will never be questioned by the Supreme Court, but my very good friends still do not have that same security, and so I march. 

I am fortunate enough to have grown up in an environment where I was told that I can be anything I want to be some day. I have a great job, and I am covered by health insurance. I am supported by both of my parents, and I was never told that there was a limit in what I wanted to get out of life. I am so lucky, and for no reason…. because the color of my skin, the town I grew up in, the education I could afford, the success of my parents. I did not march for me. I marched for all the men and women across the world that do not share the same luck. 

If you don’t agree with me, if this upsets you, its okay. Protests are not meant to make everyone feel comfortable.

The Collier County site said, “We want to send a clear message to our community, that we are standing together in support of equal rights for all women, minorities, and immigrants. Women’s rights are human rights and as people we all deserve to be treated equally. We will not tolerate hatred, racism and sexism and we will fight for respect, dignity and justice for all. Our community is a welcoming community to all people and we want to keep it that way. Together as a unified community we can do it. It’s time that we get out and make our voices heard, it’s time that we join forces, it’s time to stand up for what we believe in. One fight – One voice – One people.”

Equality. That’s what I came for. Equality for all.

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(Photo above courtesy of Jeanie Camosy: Collier County)

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Unfortunately I came a little late to actually march in the streets because I wasn’t feeling too well, but I stayed around Cambier Park to see all of the different organizations that attended, and to hear all of the speakers. I went alone to this event because everyone that I knew that would be interested was working. 🙁 BUT I never felt alone while I was there. I saw some old friends and I even made some new ones!

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(Photo above courtesy of Victoria Surr: Collier County)

Men and women, young and old  attended this march. Muslims, Christians, Jews, black and white all came up to speak and represent our community.

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Groups like Planned Parenthood, National Organization for Women, Coalition for Quality Public Education, and SWFL Showing Up for Racial Justice, and more were all there gathering new members and speaking about how they reach out.

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They also had the Women’s March in DC live streaming, which was awesome to get to see.

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It was great to see our locals coming together in unity to stand for something we all believe in. I truly didn’t expect anything like this to happen in my community, which is made up of mostly conservatives. So this was a pleasant to surprise to see.

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(Last five photos above courtesy of Victoria Surr: Collier County)

My favorite part of the day was when my Dad called me. Now, my Dad is a pretty conservative man, who unfortunately voted for Donald Trump. He and I always have interesting political debates. But my Dad called me towards the end of the event to let me know that he was proud that I was standing up for what I believe in, and that he fully supported me and women’s rights. (Yay Dad!) In the same moment, a man was getting up to speak at the event. His message was to remind MEN that this is their battle too. We are only strong when we stand together. Gender equality is not only a battle for women, but for men as well. Men, stand strong with your ladies! It was a really happy moment for me.  

It was great to see our locals coming together in unity to stand for something we all believe in. I truly didn’t expect anything like this to happen in my community, which is made up of mostly conservatives. So this was a pleasant to surprise to see.

When I got home, I was really happy to see all of the photos on my feed about the marches in other cities! I have friends scattered across the U.S. and it was super cool to see what the march looked like across the country. In fact, it was truly amazing to see all of the different stories from all around the world after the march.

My girl Carly in St. Petersburg, FL with her friends: 

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“It was a privilege to stand with other men and women who are committed to fighting for justice in our country. As exhausting and scary as the election season was, it was so energizing to see 20,000 people march in solidarity for equality and truth, right in my own city! I felt so lucky to be surrounded by friends, and to have my hand held by a man who loves and supports me and this movement. Women are powerful, and this march showed a glimpse of what we can do – when we stand together.”

Victoria Surr and her father at the March in Naples, Florida:

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Cathy Doherty alllllll the way from Ireland to little old Naples, Florida:

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My good friend Laycee and her fiancé Ruby, who were unable to march, because they were on a plane home from California:

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“We are unable to march today, so we rock our pride shirts while we travel back home. We can’t help but feel so overwhelmed by all the people coming together today and we truly wish we were marching in the streets with everyone”

Adnerb Ettecuod from Naples, Florida: 

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“I am so hopeful. I feel so much better knowing all of these smart, creative and passionate people are out here with me. “

My friend Jacqueline from Asheville, North Carolina:

16237197_10208516368447348_1598065882_n“I marched last Saturday in Asheville, 28 weeks pregnant, thinking about my unborn baby and the world he or she will grow up in. Especially if she’s a girl. I want her to feel valued and respected by those around her, safe when she walks down the street, and in control over her own body. I also thought about the expense of maternity care. I have good insurance and it’s still expensive. Look up online what it costs to deliver a baby, it’s crazy! I want under privileged women to have access to birth control, maternity care, and financial assistance when caring for an unplanned child and I’m 100% ok with my tax dollars supporting that through Medicaid. Just a few of the reasons I decided to march. I also want to be able to tell my child that I participated in the Women’s March and that he or she was with me.”

Chloe Fishell-Creviston from Naples, Florida:

“After Friday left me feeling so shitty and defeated, yesterday let me know that there is still hope and change can be made. I live in an extremely conservative city and couldn’t believe the number of women AND men who turned out for this march. This is just the beginning!”

My great friend Alexander in St. Petersburg, Florida: 

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 10.39.09 AM“It’s a beautiful day to smash the patriarchy!”


For those of you who came, marched, and conquered, I encourage you to look at this: https://www.womensmarch.com/100/

It isn’t over yet. Yes, we’re successful in raising awareness, but the real battle is in the policy and how we can make a difference.  Check out 10 Actions for the first 100 days Campaign to see where to start. 

Pursuit of Exploration

It has officially been two years since I started my journey with Jason. It has been such a beautiful ride, and I’m so lucky that I can continue to make memories with him. To celebrate our  anniversary, Jason planned a surprise picnic at The Sunken Gardens in St. Pete. I have been wanting to explore there, and it definitely lived up to expectations. Once you enter the gardens, it feels like you are transported into the jungle, no longer in St. Petersburg. It was a wonderful little escape for us on our special day.

IMG_4300According to their site, the Sunken Gardens were created over 100 years ago.  “In 1903 a plumber by the name of George Turner, Sr. purchased the six acres that would become a world famous botanical attraction. Using an elaborate maze of clay tiles, he drained an ancient lake on the property, leaving a rich muck soil that was ideal for his favorite hobby – gardening. Neighbors so enjoyed strolling through Mr. Turner’s garden, that by the early 1920’s, he was charging a nickel for tours. Three generations of the Turner family continued the vision that created this unique tropical garden, with its flowing ponds.” Eventually the city bought the grounds in order to preserve this little gem.

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IMG_4219Jason and I had a lovely time exploring and peeking at the birds and fish.

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IMG_4237This little number was the perfect outfit for the occasion. I felt girly yet classy, and also felt pretty cool in this crazy hot Florida weather.

IMG_4296Keeping the color palette monochromatic made this outfit pretty simple to put together. Black and white has been a go-to for the past couple of weeks, simply because I know it will always look put-together, classic, and in-season.

IMG_4336 IMG_4232By the way, this skirt is on SUPER sale from Anthropologie. (We’re talking $29.95 with an extra 20% off, you can’t beat that!) This piece is something I can wear again and again, and will get great use out of.

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After seeing a picture of Taylor Swift in a very similar (but Oscar de la Renta) skirt, I knew I had to have this one. I had been eyeing this skirt for a long time before purchasing it, and  it was truly a steal after being marked down. This skirt is a classic piece that will never go out of style. (See what I did there?) My outfit was inspired by this look:

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.53.02 AMNow my skirt is known as “the Taylor Swift skirt,” which I am totally okay with. Of course I was not on the red carpet, so I toned it down to stroll through The Sunken Gardens. I traded the pumps for flats, threw on a casual tank tied at the waist, and a statement necklace of the same color palette.

IMG_4339If you live in the St. Pete/ Tampa area and haven’t explored The Sunken Gardens, it truly is beautiful.  To me, it would be the perfect way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon, strolling along, and enjoying the gorgeous gardens surrounding you. There is so much beauty hidden within this city, and I am slowly uncovering it all.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.12.09 AMTo the man behind the camera: I love you, Happy Anniversary love 

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Pursuit of Creative Loafing

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I have just found out that I was nominated for “Best Local Blogger” for Creative Loafing Tampa for Best Of The Bay 2015, along with some other nominations!

It would make me the happiest lady in the world if you could take a few moments and vote for my blog. I have put so much effort into this project, its my baby.  I truly appreciate all of the support and love that Everlasting Pursuits has received over time.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, take a second and vote for some of the other great and talented people on the lists of nominations!

VOTE HERE 

Thank you!

Pursuit of Being Thrifty

IMG_2218I am all about the dresses and skirts in this warmth, hello spring! But who says that being fashionable in a new season needs to break the bank? This whole look was found while digging through a local thrift store! Fashion re-fresh! If I can do it, so can you.

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Pursuit of Festivals

Pursuit of Festivals… but mostly of strawberries.

I have been interested in going to the Strawberry Festival for some time now, and this year I was determined to go. This year, they also had John Legend performing, and you bet I was not going to miss that!

We ended up eating too much deep fried food, saw tons of characters, danced to John Legend, and had so much fun.

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Pursuit of Local Spotlights

IMG_9764I have been looking into going to Green Bench Brewing for quite some time now, and I now regret not going sooner! So many people around Tampa have recommended this place, I had to find out what all the hype was about. Some friends and I decided to explore around St.Pete a little on Tuesday, and our first stop was Green Bench.

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Pursuit of Being Festive

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Happy Holidays! Its that time of year again, and I am loving it. There are so many reasons to get all dressed up and fancy around this time of the season. Holiday parties are in full swing, and I am taking every opportunity to wear my favorite tulle skirt.

IMG_1529Tulle skirts are so much fun, and can make for a really special elevated outfit for parties and dinners. I found a couple of skirts that are similar to mine here, here and here.

IMG_1525Tulle skirts are actually pretty versatile, and can be outfitted a handful of ways. I love to wear mine with a simple chambray tied at the waist, and flats for a more casual look. Another favorite of mine is wearing my black Dolan turtleneck tucked into the skirt with opaque tights (and to dress it up I can add a sparkly belt like this or this).

IMG_1542For this outing, I chose to outfit this skirt more casually. I love the look of tulle with a flannel, but I wanted this look to be just a bit more elevated than that. This top from Anthropologie was the perfect in-between. The pattern and colors made the look very festive, and because of the material, it made the outfit look a little more polished than a regular old flannel.

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To complete this ballerina-esque look, I paired it with my favorite camel colored lace-up flats from Urban Outfitters.

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My best friend Becca and I did a little adventuring for this shoot. There are some really beautiful spots around Tampa Bay this time of year. The Henry B. Plant Museum outdoes itself for the holidays, and we thought it to be well worth the trip. Plant Hall was used as a hotel until 1930. This grand hotel boasted 500+ rooms, and special treasures collected from around the globe. The building was built in 1891 alongside railroad tracks, and housed plenty of famous names including, Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, Sarah Bernhardt, Clara Barton, Stephen Crane, the Prince of Wales and Babe Ruth, to name a few.

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This building is loaded with amazing history, and it is beautifully preserved with all of its Late Victorian furnishings.

IMG_1536For the holidays, the museum makes the tour a very special experience with beautiful decor throughout. It really is a sight to see, and if you live in the area and have not been, I strongly encourage that you see it. (That’s not just the History major speaking, it really is just plain beautiful)

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Pursuit of Fashion

B__L0038This season I am loving maroon! It feels like when I am out and about, this color is everywhere, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It is the most beautiful color for fall. When this dress came into our Anthropologie in this print and color, I knew I had to have it.  I had tried on the other colors, but this one was the best. This dress is perfect for being dressed up or down, and can be worn in all seasons, SO versatile.

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B__L0004 I decided to showcase this dress by shooting at the fabulous Oxford Exchange with Miss Catherine Coons. This has been a favorite spot of mine (and most of south Tampa) for some time now. The architecture, the coffee, and food is so beautiful, its hard not to love it.  The Oxford Exchange is also a great place to people watch. Every time I am there, I constantly see people with gorgeous fashion influences. I get a lot of my own fashion inspiration from simply people watching, and The Oxford Exchange is the perfect place to do just that. At The OE, you can indulge in some hand crafted Buddy Brew coffee,  complete with latte art.  If coffee isn’t your thing, they also serve Teabella tea, which is also incredibly delicious.  The tea makers are adorably dressed in individualized aprons, adding to the intricate detail of the whole experience. The OE is complete with a book shop, and another shop full of trinkets and such. The restaurant side is a whole other experience on its own. You can either be seated in the inner room, set up as a traditional restaurant, or be seated in a room that is similar to a greenhouse. The brightly lit “greenhouse room” is complete with a fountain that doubles as seating for multiple tables. Every piece of this place is detailed and attended to. Even if you only stop in for a coffee, the atmosphere makes you feel elegant, and hip. How could you resist?  I felt like I fit right in with the whole feel of the Oxford Exchange when wearing this adorable shirt dress. If you are in the Tampa area, and have not been to The OE,  I highly recommend checking this place out.

B__L0006I chose to outfit this look very simply to give it a more casual appearance. I wrapped a braided brown belt around the waist line, and wore my high brown boots, with some high socks. I think this outfitting is just right for this time of year in southern Florida. The colors of the dress and the boots really give it that touch of Fall.  This dress is super lightweight though, and is sleeveless, making it realistically cool enough to wear around town.

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I’ve really fallen into the habit of wearing dresses all the time, but I think I’m completely okay with it. Dresses are the most comfortable for the hotter weather here, and I think its absolutely fine to wear dresses every day if you please.  As long as I outfit the dresses differently each time I wear them, its a fresh new look. I think the best part of this particular dress is the ability to build on it and the ability to change the whole look by just mixing up what you wear with it. For now, this is typically the kind outfitting you’ll catch me in around Tampa. I suspect more posts about cute little maroon dresses to come.

 (PS- If you have not seen checked out Catherine’s site, you’re missing out on some beautiful photography. Check it out at www.catherinecoons.com )