Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oxford Exchange {giveaway}

Last week I was invited with the Tampa Bay Bloggers to enjoy a bit of holiday cheer, and also swoon over the beautiful location that is Oxford Exchange.

The night was full of festive inspiration. Entering through The Bookstore, I was greeted with a warm welcome, and a bit of bubbly. We could have stopped the evening right there, and I would have been a happy girl; books, comfortable seating, and champagne that was magically replaced when I was low. I mean who couldn't get used to such a thing?!

But meeting, and greeting was just the beginning of our evening. We were later led to the main atrium for Party Appetizers in a Pinch — Executive Chef, Erin Guggino showed off delicious pairings for holiday parties: Butternut Squash Shooters and Dried Figs with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts. Neither were bites I would think to prepare,  and both were delicious, lovely, and simple. I need to re-think a few holiday appetizers I am planning to make!

After a sampling of bites, and a bit more bubbly, it was time to learn about the Buddy Brew Coffee and Tebella Tea offered at Oxford Exchange. We learned how to pair yummy warm drinks with chocolate, featuring Dandelion Chocolate Co. and Mast Bros Chocolate. As Jason like to point out, I like my coffee sa-weet, and flavored. But after trying straight, warm coffee paired with chocolate, they may have made me a believer in savoring just coffee. Maybe not all the time, but it is something I intend to try again at Casa de Crews.

After eating, drinking and being, merry, it was time to learn about 7th Avenue Apothecary {also sold in the The Shop}. I had never heard of them, but after learning from the owner, Erin Grossman, that they were a fifth generation family business owned at operated in Ybor City, I was excited. They had some amazing scents! The only one I could not find in The Shop, was their Espresso + Dark Chocolate. In the end it was probably a good thing, because I would have most likely bought five.

Lastly, we were given the History and Interior Design Tour — A behind the scenes tour of Oxford Exchange with Designer, MaryBeth Courier, and Director, Allison Adams. There is no way I can even begin to try and explain the history and tour the way these ladies did, but just know that I want Jason to join their Commerce Club and study upstairs, where I can visit him for lunch, buying chocolate, and candles, and reading, downstairs. Naturally.

Emilee and I

Lydia lounging
The evening ended catching up with several blog pals, wanting to buy all the things at The Shop.

I want to be ALL the things
Not only did I leave with a bag full of goodies, but Oxford Exchange was generous enough to offer one reader a gift as well. I picked this gift for my giveaway because it seemed so fitting after an evening at Oxford Exchange, and because I personally love to give, and receive lovely handwritten notes any time of the year!


Enter below (open to all U.S. residents):
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I'm sad I never got a chance to visit this amazing gem. Looks fabulous! And looks like you all had a great time!

  2. That looks like a great night out! I also want all the things in the shop.

  3. Aw, man. I wish now I had gone to this. Looks like a great time and a great place. Thanks for sharing the experience!

  4. My favorite holiday memory is always drinking a lot of champagne. Cheers!

    1. Haha, a girl after my own heart. Cheers!

  5. I am so jealous. I don't know what sounds better, the book store, the food, coffee and chocolate, or the candles. I love candles. And coffee. And food. Arg :-/

  6. This place looks (and sounds) so cute!

  7. I had so much fun. can't wait to hang out with you again :)

  8. I love blog meet ups. And this place looks amazing! What a great spot.

  9. It was was to get to hang out again and makes me want to do it again soon!

  10. OH MY GOSH I could live in that store!!! I'm drooling over every single one of their pictures and I'm afraid to go to their website for fear of having a heart attack...!!! And what a fun gift for a giveaway, I LOVE giving/receiving handwritten notes and I think it's sad that kids don't really write thank-you notes these days. My mom would have KILLED me if I hadn't written thank you notes as a kid.

    Let's see, favorite holiday memory...honestly, one of my FAVORITE holiday memories (and it's still a continuing tradition of sorts) is going over to Juneau for a long Thanksgiving weekend with Isaiah. It's just nice to get out of town, have a quiet Thanksgiving to ourselves (my family is in another state and his isn't really into family dinners), do some Black Friday shopping and get all our Christmas shopping done. Plus, the ferry there and back takes 12 hours each way and there's no cell phone service for 95% of the trip, so it's nice to unplug and just spend time with each other.

  11. Ah that looks like such an amazing space!

  12. I think I commented and forgot to hit publish? Or my brain isn't working today? I have no idea. Anyway that store looks awesome! I want one!

    And my favorite holiday memory is actually from a year we had an ice storm right before Christmas. On Christmas day we had no power, no water, nothing. We had to eat spam and beans cooked on the camper stove. BUT, it was kind of fun and made us all appreciate being together and I'll always remember that year! Haha

  13. This place looks amazing, I have got to go here and soon! I have many favorite holiday memories and they are even more special since my dad passed away. I love the memories of being a kid and spending Christmas at my uncle's house in upstate New York. My dad loved taking us there... :)

  14. I still haven't been to OE, I should have gone to this! My favorite holiday memories all revolve around food, I love all the yummy food we make for Christmas day family dinner.

  15. I love that place, was so bummed I couldn't go. I always love spending Christmas Eve with family :-)

  16. I've never heard of Oxford Exchange, but those Dried Figs with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts look AMAZING! :)

  17. Cannon's first Christmas is a great memory. <3