It’s been almost three months since we’ve moved to the East Coast and Florida is finally starting to feel like home. The time has flown by and we’re loving it here (fur babies included!). The weather has been incredibly warm and we just went through out first couple of thunder and rain storms. I’m doing an Instagram roundup with some snapshots from our time in Florida so far over the past few months. Some of you have asked for more info on items I’ve done a sneak preview on Instagram and also about some shoes I’ve featured.
I am still testing sunscreen. I know it’s taking me a long time but I’m working my way through over a dozen formulas. Recently I’ve been testing the Clarins Sunscreen Oil Spray with SPF30 which is a nice lightweight multi-purpose oil. It’s good for skin, hair and face and absorbs quickly into the skin leaving it soft, hydrated and non-sticky. I’ve also been testing the new Supergoop! Sunscreen Mousse with SPF50 and love it. It’s a unique long-wearing formula that offers moisturizing ingredients, has anti-oxidants and is water resistant. It has a very nice lightweight refreshing scent but it’s not overpowering. It does not contain synthetic fragrance or oxybenzone. Also shown above shorts from STS Blue, sandals by Havaianas, Clarins Lip Oils reviewed here, iPhone case Gray Malin, sunglasses Marc Jacobs.
I’ve found that Tampa has quite a few good beauty shops. It’s still not like San Diego or Los Angeles, but there are a couple of great Sephora stores, a Nordstrom, a Neiman Marcus and a Blue Mercury store as well. The Nordstrom beauty selection is great and I’m in love with the setup inside (peek at NARS below). We went to Orlando for a day a few months ago and stopped by Disney Springs. Inside they had the prettiest L’Occitane store with an amazing sink in the middle. This was my first time inside a Blue Mercury store and it’s just AMAZING. I was only able to go inside for a few moments to pick up sunscreen (yes more, lol). They have Darphin, La Mer, Molton Brown … basically more than a handful of my favorite brands.
The food here has been quite an experience. We’ve found some really amazing places thanks to Yelp but the reviews of course can be hit or miss. Much to our dismay we tried a couple Asian places that had high ratings but really were not good. People here are really friendly – extremely friendly! When people find out I’m from San Diego they always say the one thing I won’t find here is good Asian food like in California. There are other places to make up for it though and we love exploring. One of our favorite spots is Bartaco in Hyde Park Village. We’ve been back multiple times and love that the menu is set up a la carte so you can try a bunch of things. They have a secret menu item going on for the month so if you have a location near you definitely ask them!
Top left a closer look at Bartaco. Some other places we love include The Oxford Exchange especially for coffee and brunch (top right). They also carry Cire Trudon and Aesop in their gift shops which is a plus. The interior decor is to die for gorgeous! Bodega in Saint Petersburg has the most amazing juice bar (bottom left) and also incredible Cuban sandwiches. They’re so good my brother cried when he took his first bite when he came to visit us, lol. Life would not be complete without Sprinkles. We found one in Orlando and I was really excited to find one in Tampa as well. Their new Cookie Cupcake is the best one I’ve tried.
Two more places worth mentioning are Fresh Kitchen which is like a healthy non-Mexican version of Chipotle where you can create your own bowls. I love their juices even though they’re really pricey. Their tables inside are just the cutest! We also discovered this placed that has fresh gourmet popsicles called The Hyppo and I am obsessed. In three months even with all these food places I’ve somehow managed to lose weight. When I had my wisdom teeth removed in February I couldn’t eat anything solid for about a month. I lost around 10 pounds in a week and dropped two pant sizes. Since moving here I gained a little but lost it and then some. I’ve pretty much have maintained the same weight. We don’t eat fast food anymore and with the exception of cupcakes or ice pops, I attribute it to us cutting out a lot of sugar from our diet and the fact that we’ve started running again.
The beaches here are amazing! We took a drive to Anna Maria Florida which is about an hour south of Tampa and the water is just beautiful. We went swimming one day when my brother came to visit but we all got stung by jellyfish! Luckily it wasn’t too bad and although we did get a reaction it disappeared within 30 minutes or so. Becca Sunlit Bronzer on the right in Capri Coast. We still have Miami on our list but if you have any other beaches you recommend please let me know in the comments! We’ll put it on our weekend exploring list 🙂
My favorite beach is Clearwater Beach which has the softest white sand I’ve ever seen. It’s a bit of a drive from where we are and gets busy on the weekends but I love it. I did an Instagram post in partnership with Kopari to try their Coconut Body Glow and Coconut Melt – both are really good. Their coconut melt really does melt into the skin and adds the perfect amount of rich hydration. With the swimming, sun and different water in Tampa my body skin has felt more on the dry side and the coconut oil has been a lifesaver. If you’re unsure about what to try from the line they have a cute Coconut Multitasking Kit which has four minis of their Body Glow, Melt, Sheer Oil and Balm for $38 which you might want to check out. On the toes below was Chanel Le Vernis in Gitane.
Sunsets in Clearwater Beach:
For some Instagram roundup snippets:
- Top left: we stopped by Elevage at the Epicurean Hotel for brunch one weekend. The decor inside is so pretty! Shoes are Tory Burch Millers in a color from an older season, current white leather version here
- Top right: The La Mer Glowing Body Oil is just amazing, if you find it buy it immediately. By the time I decided to get it the oil has sold out everywhere. It popped up online at Nordstrom and since then it keeps coming back in stock every now and then so keep checking. I hope it restocks everywhere because it has the prettiest soft shimmer and smells like a lightweight soft floral. Shoes are the rose gold Havainas, on the toes is Chanel Le Vernis in Coralium from their cruise collection.
- Bottom right: I found some new sandals from Joie A La Place Nice in Black and am obsessed. The reviews say they run small but I found they were more true to size (I’m usually a 6 and 1/2). Still I bought these in a 7 just for a little more room in the front and they fit perfectly. Toes is the same color as the photo above Chanel Le Vernis in Coralium, Rouge Coco Gloss is Douceur (swatched here), body oil is from NARS.
- Bottom left: Rag and Bone launched new perfumes, I just started testing Bergamot which is a light fresh kind of scent, Ouai launched their new Rose Hair and Body Oil, the mini is from a kit called The Morning After Kit which I found instore at Sephora (haven’t seen it online yet!). Lipstick is the Tatcha Cherry Blossom swatched here. Mirror is from Anthropologie.
Last but not least a look at one of this weekend’s OOTDs. With the warm weather I’ve finally felt that I can wear off the shoulder tops. I’ve been loving this one from Paige. You can dress it up or down. I’ve been loving the STS Blue Shorts I found at Nordstrom. My YSL Wallet on Chain has lasted for over two years now and even with regular use hasn’t shown any signs of wear. A number of perfumes have been in rotation and the Byredo Bal D’Afrique is still one of my favorites because it’s so unique. And because I loved the Joie A La Place Sandals so much I ordered a few other colors (found these on sale here!).
That wraps up my Instagram/Life Lately roundup! If you have any Tampa recommendations for food, shopping, where to find fresh flowers I’m all ears! Hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend 🙂
Press samples featured from Clarins, Supergoop, Becca, Kopari, Rag and Bone and Tatcha.