Fruit trees and forts mark the passing of another summer

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It’s almost the end of mango season here in Central Florida. I’ve been carefully watching the blooms on my tree for several months, waiting for when the fruit is large enough to pick. The mangoes haven’t reached their yellow or orange stage yet, so I want them to stay on my tree for a few more weeks. It’s hurricane season here, and even if there are no hurricanes, there are tropical storms or at least very windy storms that knock the fruit off the tree.

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Dining at Noble Crust is for all the Southern feels

Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was treated to a three course meal with wine and cocktails at Noble Crust Wesley Chapel. All opinions are my own.

I had the opportunity to try out the Noble Crust Wesley Chapel last night. I drove almost an hour and a half to get there, but it was worth it! There is also another location in St. Petersburg on Fourth Street.

I really liked the warm decor and the juxtaposition of the gleaming chandeliers against the raw bricks at Noble Crust Wesley Chapel.

 

 

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Safety Harbor’s Parts of Paris Bistro always a great dining experience

It was a very special night for us tonight.

We were almost giddy as we headed off to Safety Harbor to our favorite local restaurant – Parts of Paris Bistro. We first found “PoP” in December 2015 when a local friend and Safety Harbor resident told us she had had one of the best steaks ever.

A very unstuffy and quaint entrance on fourth avenue in Safety Harbor, with French and Floridian flags to greet visitors.

We fell in love with it the first time we visited. We’ve been for a Sunday brunch, or to pop in for a couple extra large hand-crafted martinis, and often for an amazing meal of steak, boullebaise, grouper or mussels.

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A fresh take on white linen dining at Armani’s in Tampa Bay

Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was invited to Armani’s to try their new Happy Hour, where they shared several menu and cocktail options with us. All opinions are my own.

In Tampa Bay we are blessed with a never-ending roster of restaurants from the beaches to Ybor City to South Tampa. When most people think of a restaurant in Tampa, they think of Bern’s, but most people who live here know that one of the best special occasion restaurants is Armani’s, located atop the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.

 

 

It is perhaps one of the top three restaurants one thinks of when they think of anniversaries or other special events. The restaurant, known for its Northern Italian cuisine and floor to ceiling windows with amazing views, has been awarded 4 Diamonds award for many years.

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Purple vintage glass plates pair perfectly with antique glass collection

Most collectors can remember their first collection. Perhaps it was stamps from your grandfather, paperweights, trains, or even something more quirky like rocks or bugs.

I’ve found it’s a distinct personality type – those that like to collect and those who don’t.

Sometimes the same circumstance that makes a collector, makes another person a non-collector. Both my parents and my husband’s parents lived through The Great Depression….

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Checking out the new Wyndham Grande Clearwater Beach

As a member of Working Women Tampa Bay, I was invited to the new Wyndham Grande Clearwater Beach on a weekday evening to tour the Pallavi Spa.

Located just north of the Hyatt Clearwater Beach, the resort opened late last year. Rooms seem to run about $228 a night during July.

Of course I had to explore other parts of the hotel too, including the pool and the restaurant, Ocean Hai.

The entrance:

As soon as you pull into the drive, you step up several steps to see this:

And believe me, you feel like you’ve reached nirvana.

 

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Yellow and blue florals set off summer green tablescape

I’ve been searching Pinterest for blue and yellow floral arrangements to find some pretty versions for an upcoming luncheon I am making 15 floral centerpieces for.

I visited Trader Joe’s in St. Petersburg because they usually have a good assortment of hydrangeas, as well as tulips, roses and sunflowers.

I made two versions – one simple with tulips and eucalyptus, the other with hydrangeas and tulips. I’m pretty sure I know which one everyone likes best. 🙂

They were so pretty, I decided to set my table with them. I used a new lemon tablecloth from HomeGoods along with my green cabbage Bordallo Pinheiro plates,  which are made in Portugal.

The cabbage plates are surprisingly easy to use and go with summer, spring and Christmas settings.

I think it turned out very cheery!

 

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Finding pink peonies in South Florida

Living in Florida, we have a lot of gorgeous fauna and flora. However, there’s a lot we miss out on in not having four seasons and that includes some of the gorgeous flowers that Northerners enjoy in the spring and summer.

So when I saw these huge colorful peonies at the St. Petersburg Trader Joe’s, I gasped out loud.

I was there to look for blue hydrangeas and yellow tulips, so I had to stick to my budget and just get those. (You’ll see those in a another blogpost.)

I could just picture these with Limoges pink rose china, turquoise plates and a lace tablecloth. I’ll have to visit again soon.
peoonies

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Getting a taste of 8 new ciders at 3 Daughters Brewing

Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was invited to 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg, where we were given a flight of the eight new ciders produced at 3 Daughters, along with a nice treat of Red Mesa tacos. All opinions are my own.

We are lucky in Tampa Bay, where breweries dot the map in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, throughout St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa.

Recently I was invited along with other bloggers from the Tampa Bay Bloggers group, to taste test the new ciders at 3 Daughters Brewing.

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