Christmas in Tampa

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Holidays you guys! I'll warn you now, it's a long post today, but Christmas was a busy one this year! And successful if I do say so myself. Not only was it my and Matthew's first Christmas as husband and wife, but it also happened to be our first Christmas EVER. I know, crazy right? But that's life in the military.

With all the moving around these past several months, it was best to stay put for the holidays this year.  The original plan was to cook up a low-key, decadent dinner for two and enjoy these nights in watching Christmas movies. But of course plans change and I'm so glad that they did! 

A couple of weeks ago, I met the lovely Carissa of Wisp and Whim for the first time ever at one of our favorite coffee places - The Oxford Exchange in downtown Tampa. I discovered her blog a few months ago and instantly felt connected through her words. She's a newbie wife in the military like myself and just so happens to live close by.  Not only is her blog beautifully written, but Carissa herself is a beautiful person inside and out. And I'm not just saying that because of our shared love for booties ;)  As soon as we met, it felt like I was chatting with an old friend I've known for years, except this time it was someone who completely understood the motions and emotions of life in the military. I swear, if I hadn't gone to work that morning we would've been on our third latte...HIGHLY caffeinated and chatting the day away! Our husbands were lucky this time ;) 

Fast forward to Christmas Eve - we invited Carissa and her hubby Greg over for dinner and they graciously accepted. I hadn't met Greg before, but I felt like I already knew him! I'm pretty sure I called him "G" when they first arrived :)

I finally got into the holiday spirit and took a trip to Home Goods where I found this lovely centerpiece. The perk of going right before Christmas? DISCOUNTS. I added cute little red ornaments to the display instead of candles - didn't want to get too fancy!

I was so happy with how the table turned out! Simple and festive. We even used the Christmas plates from my in-laws. 

Matthew made a stuffed pork with herbs and spices and I took care of the sides and dessert - bacon wrapped dates, green beans and red velvet cake. Not my best work, but hopefully Carissa and Greg enjoyed everything! They brought over an Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta and Snickerdoodle cookies, both which were AMAZING. I definitely helped myself to multiple servings :) 

I had to go with Red Velvet cake for the red and white colors! So festive and decadent. I went with a vanilla buttercream, but next time I am totally making this with cream cheese frosting. 

How cute is this couple! The night was filled with laughs and great conversation and I'm so happy they decided to spend Christmas Eve with us.

Christmas Day was finally here! We opened presents that morning before heading over to Gary and Carolyn's for Christmas lunch. Gary is the British General who works with Matthew over at CENTCOM. 

Matthew got a carry-on bag from Tumi and this style book from Mr. Porter. If anyone knows my husband, he is VERY difficult person to shop for. Lucky for me, he enjoys a bit of fashion.

And guys, dreams do come true - I finally got a Burberry Trench coat and it's PERFECT in every way. I'm a very lucky woman and so thankful to have such an amazing hubby. 

After a few phone calls with family and friends, we were off to lunch! It ended up being a cooler day so I decided to go with this winter white ensemble. 

Sadly I didn't take any pictures at lunch, but let me be the first to say how fun it was! Gary and Carolyn were as welcoming and hospitable as you could get - plenty of conversation, food, music and of course wine. I'm going to have to move my Parisian love aside and make room for the Brits! I mean it's only fitting now that I have my classic trench ;) 

Christmas is over and 2014 is quickly coming to an end. So much has happened this year - moving, buying a house, our wedding and somehow all the stress now just seems like a vague memory. I feel settled for the first time in a long time and it feels so good to say we're finally home. 

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  1. Aww yay thanks Carissa! I hopped over to your blog and your photos are just as AMAZING. You know how to work that iPhone if I do say so myself :)

    And oh my gosh, a Kindle Fire?! G did awesome! My sis got one this year as well, which is funny because I mentioned to you that you remind me of her :) Except for the whole not being Asian part haha!


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