Y’all, there are not enough good things I can say about Oxford Exchange – short story, you should go there. However, if you’re looking for that OE vibe on the other side of the bridge, look no further than their sister property, The Library.
In case y’all didn’t know, I’m a total scaredy cat and hate commitment without A LOT of preparation, which is why it’s amazing that I somehow ended up with three tattoos. Even though I haven’t ever gotten permanent or semi-permanent treatments, I’ve always wondered about lash extensions — I hate how clumpy my mascara gets. When Lash Spa Studio in South Tampa invited me in, my response was heck yes.
I had a ton of questions — I hate how tired my eyes feel when I wear false eyelashes, so I needed my lash extensions to be gorgeous without feeling uncomfortable or inconvenient. Tallia from Lash Spa Studio assured me that I’d be in good hands, so I went in with an open mind and was super excited with the results.
Olá! Eu gosto de batatas. (Hello! I like potatoes.) There you have it, folks! The only Portuguese I know by heart — even though I’ve known Vagner for nearly a decade. (Any Portuguese you see in this blog post is courtesy of him — bless his heart.) Thankfully, food is a universal language, and Vagner has shown me the wonders of Brazilian food in the years since we’ve started dating. I’m a very picky eater, so I was pleasantly surprised when I first ate with his family and loved everything!
Naturally, we were both thrilled when Terra Gaucha Tampa invited us to try their menu in celebration of Vagner’s birthday! It’s become a bit of a tradition for us to visit a rodizio restaurant every year, and I was thrilled to learn that we had a new option in Tampa. If you’ve never been to a Brazilian steakhouse, you’re in for a treat. Calling it an all-you-can-eat restaurant is a bit of an undersell. It is an experience.
If you ask me where we should eat lunch, I’m going to tell you to find an aesthetically pleasing place with a lot of natural light. (I never claimed to be an easy date, okay?) There’s so much debate about whether visiting a place solely for Instagram is a vapid thing to do, but I’m firmly in the “live and let live” camp. Even if you visit a restaurant or store because it looks great on the ‘gram, you’ll likely find something you love about it — which is one of my favorite things about blogging.
When my family moved to Wesley Chapel in 1997, it wasn’t much more than a couple of subdivisions and a lot of fields. Growing up, we’d sometimes visit downtown Tampa, but there wasn’t much to do except for a handful of restaurants and a lot of office buildings. So when Oxford Exchange opened in 2012, it was a big freakin’ deal. It looked like a space you’d find in a huge city like New York or Los Angeles, but it was local.
During the summer of 2015, we found out we’d be starting our marriage in the Fort Lauderdale area instead of our hometown as we planned. I can’t lie to you –– I wept because I was scared. I’d only be four hours from home, but Fort Lauderdale and Wesley Chapel are very, very different places. Nearly three years since we got that phone call, we’ve moved back home, and I wanted to share more about our reasoning with y’all!