Living like a princess-Creating my own customized gown with Design Formal

Have you ever wanted to look like a princess? Ever since seeing Princess Diaries and Beauty and the Beast as a little girl, I’ve always wanted to live out my own princess fairytale. Growing up, I did a lot of theatre shows and pageants where I got to dress up in ball gowns and dresses and it was so much fun. I always had a dream of working with a brand one day to create and design my own fairytale dress. I had the opportunity recently to work with Design Formal and design my own princess ball gown. I wanted to share what my experience was like working with them along with some pictures of this gorgeous custom gown.

The Fit

This gorgeous evening dress has the perfect fit. When working with Design Formal’s design team they take everything into account to make sure that the fit is perfect. They got my exact measurements for the dress along with details on how I wanted the dress to fit. When emailing back and forth with their design team they asked me specific questions about how I wanted the bodice to fit and the full dress as well. I was also able to send along photos and explain the look I was going for. This dress definitely fits me perfectly and has the most gorgeous floral details on the bodice.

Working with the Design Team

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to design your own wedding dress and work with a design team, I’m here to share what it’s like. Tansy was my designer and she was absolutely amazing! She did not miss any details and was very fast at communicating with me. She sent me some sample pictures of material she was thinking of using after I sent her photos and explained the kind of dress I was going for. They have several gowns they design on their website and you can get ideas from those as well and send them those photos as well. Tansy also helped me with the direction that I wanted to go with the dress. I wanted a bodice that had a sweetheart neckline, but was still modest. Tansy helped me achieve this goal with the dress and did an amazing job with capturing the design.

The Results

I am so incredibly happy with my dress and love the way it turned out. It was exactly what I wanted. I was going for a similar style dress to the one Anne Hathaway wears in Princess Diaries 2 and I definitely was able to achieve that goal. I am so grateful I got to work with Design Formal and their team and loved the opportunity to be able to design my own dress. If you’re looking for something different for your wedding and have ever wondered what designing a dress would be like, I highly recommend checking out Design Formal to help you design your dress. They have an excellent team and truly accomplished the design I was going for. See all of my photos in this post and feel free to leave a comment with any questions about my dress and designing this dress. I am so excited to wear this dress and cannot wait to design another dress with Design Formal.

Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa

We had the opportunity to partner with Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa for a hosted stay this past weekend and had the best time. It was our first time in downtown Tampa and we loved it! There is so much to do and see in Tampa and we are sharing all of the details about our stay and places to visit while in Tampa.

We had the opportunity to partner with Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa for a hosted stay this past weekend and had the best time. It was our first time in downtown Tampa and we loved it! There is so much to do and see in Tampa and we are sharing all of the details about our stay and best places to visit while in Tampa.

Stay

Embassy Suites is a beautiful hotel made up of all suites. We got to stay in the King Suite and it was so gorgeous. All of their rooms have a full living room area with a couch, chairs, desk area, and a tv. They also have a full length mirror and a small kitchen area with a fridge, microwave, sink and storage for food. Their bathrooms are super spacious with a walk in shower. Each suite is complete with a comfy bed, window with a view of the bay, and another tv.

Amenities

Some of our favorite amenities include their beautiful heated pool with a view, Starbucks shop, complimentary breakfast, and Taste their full restaurant. The complimentary breakfast was amazing and complete with an omelet station. The best complimentary breakfast we’ve ever had. We also loved having a Starbucks to grab our coffee both mornings before heading out on our adventures.

Restaurant

Taste is their full restaurant that has some delicious food. We got to try items from their upcoming summer lunch menu and it was amazing! So many great flavors and they also made all of the dishes gluten and dairy free for me. My favorite was the plantain cups that had fish, avocado, and spices in it. Corbin’s favorite was definitely the ahi nachos and bread pudding. Sharing some photos below of all of the delicious food.

Location

The Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa is connected to the convention center and conveniently located near the Amalie Arena, River Walk, Sparkman Wharf, and the Aquarium. The street car stops right in front of the hotel as well for easy access to different places in downtown Tampa.

Things to do

There are so many different activities in the downtown Tampa area from restaurants, to events, to shops, to fun activities. We got to enjoy Zoo Tampa and the Florida Aquarium while visiting and both are such fun activities! We also got to sail with Yacht Starships and experience their dinner cruise. The riverwalk is also close by and is always hosting different events.

Disney Springs Guide

Disney Springs has so much to offer from restaurants to shops to events and great photo spots. We love visiting Disney Springs and hopping in for a quick dinner date or after a day at the park. I wanted to share our favorite spots. You really can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in Disney Springs.

Restaurants

The Boathouse (this is our absolute favorite restaurant, it has great food, music, and outdoor eating.)

Raglan Road (this is a great atmosphere, they have Irish dancers, amazing fish and chips that they can make gluten and dairy free, and outdoor dining too)

Paddlefish (we haven’t eaten here yet but have heard the food is great and it’s on a boat)

Blaze Pizza (if you’re looking for a more casual option and affordable this one is great! It’s a make your own pizza place that offers gluten and dairy free options)

Frontera Cocina (has great mexican dishes)

Shops

There are so many great shops to check out!

The World of Disney Store (this is a must and you can’t miss it, it’s the biggest store and has so many cute disney items)

Disney’s Days of Christmas (this one is so cute and great to find Christmas ornaments)

Francesca’s (this is one of my favorite stores and they have a lot of clothes in this one)

Star Wars Store (Corbin loves going in this one and always finds some fun stuff there)

Lego Store (this is also a neat store if you enjoy looking at legos)

Dessert

There are so many great places for dessert and I really wanted to share our favorites with you all!

Erin Mckenna’s (this is my favorite and has the best allergy friendly desserts, I love the cookie sandwiches)

Sprinkles Cupcakes (this is my husbands favorite!)

Ghiradelli (this is so good if you love chocolate, they don’t have any allergy friendly options though)

Gideon’s Bakehouse (we haven’t gotten to try it yet but I keep hearing really good things about it)

These are just a few of my favorite places in Disney Springs. One thing I love about Disney Springs is they have a lot of live music that is free throughout Disney Springs and they also just opened back up Cirque du Soleil. Stay tuned for more travel guides and places we visit throughout Florida this year.

The Karol Hotel

Looking for a great quiet place to stay In Clearwater, FL as a couple? We have your back and are sharing all of the details on this gorgeous hotel below. We had the opportunity this past weekend to be hosted by The Karol Hotel located in Clearwater, FL and we had a great time. This has been one of my favorite stays so far.

The hotel is located in Clearwater about 30 minutes from Clearwater beach and 30 minutes from St. Pete. It’s about 15 minutes from the Tampa International Airport as well. This stunning hotel is a AAA Four Diamond hotel has an elegant and modern look to it with beautiful rooms and lots of amenities. Those amenities include a lobby bar and restaurant, rooftop bar, resort-style pool, a fitness center and a beautiful event space for conferences and weddings. One of our favorite things about the hotel is even though it was busy, it didn’t feel too busy and was nice and quiet.

The restaurant is amazing and has the most delicious and decadent food. They were also excellent with my food allergies as well. I got the Salmon Cedar Plank dish and Corbin got the Filet Mignon. Both were very delicious entrees with lots of flavor. We also got to try a Charcuterie Board for the first time and it was amazing. The dessert was Corbin’s favorite part! He got a cookie dessert with ice cream and whipped cream and they even brought me some sorbet. I highly recommend dining at their restaurant while you visit.

The staff was all very friendly and they had great customer service.

We loved that the hotel was only 30 minutes from Sand Key Beach which is one of our favorite beaches to visit while there. We would love to go back and visit again soon and would highly recommend that you check out The Karol Hotel for a nice quiet couples getaway!

Follow us along as we share more destinations and things to do in Florida for couples!

Ocala, FL Travel Guide

It has been such a blast getting to know our new home town Ocala, FL and finding all of the fun activities and best places to eat around the area. I wanted to share with you all why you shouldn’t miss Ocala, FL when visiting FL and also share with my local audience some fun things to do in the local area. If you live in Orlando, Tampa or Gainesville visiting Ocala would be a great day trip as we have a lot of things to do and see here.

Things to do:

Kayaking at Silver Springs or Rainbow Springs

We love both of these springs and they each have something different to offer, if you do go kayaking I recommend booking through Get Up and Go Kayaking as they have clear kayaks that you can see through.

W.E.C (World Equestrian Center)

This is such a neat experience and one you don’t want to miss! They have several free shows throughout the year, restaurants, a five star hotel, pool, and don’t miss their Christmas Spectacular at Christmas time.

Ocala Civic Theatre and Appleton Museum

These are right next to each other and are both great experiences. The Civic Theatre has theatre shows year round to see. The Appleton Museum is a neat place to view art.

Downtown Art Walk

This is such a neat experience. There is music in the town square and tons of different artists there each time and the shops downtown are open at night. It happens the last Friday of every month.

Sholom Park

This is our favorite park to visit and there is so much to see here. It’s great for a nice walk outside or a picnic.

Biking on Greenway Baseline Trailhead and Santos Trailhead

You don’t want to miss biking or walking on either of these trails. The Greenway includes part of the FL National Forest and Santos is beautifully covered with tons of trees as well. They are both unique trails and we love biking on them.

Light up Ocala

This event is a must see in our area! Several people travel from places in FL to see this event. Our whole downtown is lit up in Christmas lights and we have several vendors at this event.

Zip the Canyons

This is a really fun experience right in Ocala, FL. There are several zip lines on this course and the views are amazing.

Restaurants

There are so many different restaurants here in Ocala. I wanted to share my top favorites along with places that are great with Gluten and Dairy Free options.

Brunch

The Gathering Cafe (this is my absolute favorite! It’s a local coffee shop that has amazing coffee and breakfast)

First Watch (this is a chain, but has such great food!)

Symmetry Coffee (they have great coffee and some good brunch too! I love their lunch options too)

Lunch

Pie O’ Mine and Greens (they have great build your own salads and wraps)

Latinos Y Mas (they have great salads as well)

Brick and Iron Cafe (great smoothie bowls)

Ivy House (they have a great lunch menu with salads, sandwhiches, burgers and such a cool atmosphere)

Salyulitas (they have great tacos and guac)

Dinner

Braised Onion (this is by far one of my favs here and so good with allergies)

Latinos Y Mas (has great mexican food and you can sit outside)

Mojos (they have a great menu and you can eat here at lunch or dinner)

Mesa de Note (this is a great Italian restaurant and they were great with my allergies)

Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille (this has great seafood and New Orleans style food)

Pie O Mine (great stone fired pizza, they have Gluten and Dairy free pizza options)

Blue Highway Pizza (great casual place and great pizza, they have Gluten and Dairy free pizza options )

Dessert

Sarafey’s Gluten Free Bakery (I love this place and they have great gluten and dairy free baked goods)

Happy Pineapple (amazing dole whip)

La Dolce Vita Gelato and Pastry (don’t think they have non dairy options)

Hope you all enjoy exploring Ocala and all of the many things to do and see in our local area. Check back for more travel guides coming this month!