Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Finds - Raising The Bar - Pane' Rustica's new addition!

Unless you're one of those people that never eats out or has been living under a rock for the past few years, it's probably pretty safe to say that you are familiar with Pane’ Rustica, the scrumptious restaurant and bakery in South Tampa. This wonderful eatery focuses on giving classic dishes that everyone loves, a European flair. If you are a frequent visitor of the restaurant you may have noticed over the past few months the sounds of construction on the adjacent space. Monica for one has been waiting with much anticipation with the unveiling of the restaurant expansion to include a bar, lounge and extra dining room!

Well, it’s finally here and Monica, of course, want to share her delight and experience of the new addition...

This past Saturday night the hubby and I were aching for a little food and fun. After eating a late lunch we decided we really weren’t all that hungry for a full meal but wanted a little snack and a refreshing cocktail without having to drive too far. Good news is, the new Pane' Rustica bar is less than a mile from our house and was exactly what we were in the mood for!

The bar is a large, beautiful U shape leaving lots of space for people to sit without feeling like the person next to you is breathing down your neck and listening into your conversation. They've also added cozy booths alongside the opposite wall and a few cocktail tables scattered throughout for those who would rather have a little more privacy. The decor is dark woods accented with shades of blue and the feel is much more contemporary than the adjacent olde world decor of the original dining room, but it still it blends well and the Saturday night ambiance was very chill with a twist of romantic.

The low lighting and electronica lounge music in the background set a perfect stage for an evening of sipping cocktails, relaxing and chatting. Just what  I was in the mood for! So while I am primarily a wine drinker,  I am always in the search of a perfectly made Cosmo! I like em made with top shelf vodka, light on the cranberry with a few chips of ice and really cold. The bartender that night hit it right on and my favorite summer drink was refreshing an satisfying. Louis' fave signature drink is a Ketel One martini straight up with blue cheese olives. They reproduced this classic cocktail  and we happily sipped our cocktails and discussed the week and our pending kitchen remodel! The stress of of DIY-ing our new kitchen of course had us ordering another round..the second just as great as the first! Besides an extensive liquor selection their wine list and beer selection is excellent offering something for everyones palate.

The full menu is offered at the bar and lounge and in addition they have a small bar menu that consists of small plates and appetizers. We chose the beef tenderloin satays and  asparagus with fondue cheese sauce off the bar menu and the Caprese salad appetizer from the daily specials on the dinner menu. The tenderloin was cooked perfectly and melted in your mouth. Great dish but I could have gone for a few more satays only 3 on this dish wasn't really enough. The Caprese was refreshing with big slices of juicy summer tomatoes.

As always, Pane' Rustica didn't disappoint with their food. They chose quality ingredients, didn't over season or overcook allowing for the natural flavors of the food speak for itself. I had a relaxing evening with my forever favorite dining partner. And definitely see myself enjoying many future evenings there for girl's night and of course my great hubby!

Congrats Pane Rustica on your new addition I know it is a sure success and think a new beautiful hip bar is exactly what Palma Ceia needed!

Right now it seems they are feeling out their customers and waiting to decide what their final hours will be for the bar. Currently it is open until the restaurant closes which is 10 on week nights and 11 on the weekends. The bartender assured us though, that as long as there are patrons,  the bar will stay open to serve up delicious drinks!

Cheers!! Eat well, drink up and be merry!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trend Tuesday - Go Nude! With Nude Shoes That Is....

We really can't believe we haven't dedicated a single blog post yet to shoes! Twenty-two posts and not a single shoe in sight! Well we're about to change all that by spending a few paragraphs gushing over one of the hottest trends of the spring and summer...nude shoes! Sorry fashionistas for the delay on this must have! Good news is, it doesn't look like this trend is going anywhere soon, as it's been listed in several premier fashion mags as a must have for fall, so if you haven't gotten a pair already, there's still plenty of time!

The obvious reason to love nude sandals, pumps and boots is that their neutral color makes them a sure bet to complete any outfit - finally Monica can stop worrying about what to wear with all those patterned dresses she has collected over the past few years! 

So besides the obvious, another plus is that nude shoes with a heel, platform or wedge give the illusion of a longer leaner leg! And you know what that means..... you look 10 lbs lighter! Forget about cutting carbs, just wear nude pumps all the time! Ok, so maybe that's not really a feasible answer, but c'mon, agree with us that it's a fantastic plus to sporting this trend!!

And now for the eye candy! Here's some nudes that have us drooling....

Jessica Simpson Astor Sandal at piperlime

Luck Wedge Sandal by Charles David on piperlime

Caryssa Pump by Steve Madden

Berkeley Flat by Report on piperlime

Stonee by Steve Madden

Happy Shopping!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Finds - Beat the Heat!

So Tampa girls and fellow Floridians, are you sick of the sweltering summer heat yet?
We know we are! So in  honor of (or maybe it's in spite of) the heat, we have put together some ideas on how to stay cool this summer! Enjoy!


There's nothing like wandering around an air conditioned museum and letting your mind soak up some incredible art and history.

The beautiful new Tampa Museum of Art has some great things happening this summer in addition to their fantastic exhibits. We think these little events look like a blast...

Inspire Yoga, on Saturday mornings with vinyasa style certified instructor Laura Tillinghast from Yoga Etc. If yoga classes taught in the museum exhibition space isn't chi-chi zen, then we don't know what is.Classes run through the end of August and are $8 for museum members and $12 for non-members.

The museum also offers art classes for every age group from pre-school to adult and everything in between. Summer sessions for adults have already begun, but classes for children, tweens, and teens are ongoing throughout the summer. Check out their class options here.

While your child is learning how to become the next Monet or Degas, you and the hubby can dine at TMA's newly opened, Sono Cafe. It overlooks the Hillsborough River and is operated by the culinary geniuses from Mise en Place. Mise en Place is one of Monica's favorite restaurants in Tampa!

Want to know a little bit more about the great city we call home? Check out The Tampa Bay History Center

This newish museum is conveniently located in Tampa's Channelside district and they have a ton of special events, lectures and classes going on all summer long. They also have a great little cafe, Columbia Cafe which is an off shoot of the historic Columbia restaurant, and serves great sandwiches and salads and overlooks the water.


The heat and humidity has made it virtually unbearable to exercise outside! Not only that, but the summer has left both of us with a terrible case of the  BLAHS!!  We think we have the solution though...indoor rock climbing! 

We've never had the pleasure of experiencing this indoor gym but we're super excited to check it out! Vertical Ventures has a slew of classes and opportunities for just about everyone on just about every day of the week. Don't know the first thing about indoor rock climbing? Don't worry, they'll teach you everything you need to know on your first visit! We think this is a great way to get your workout in, have some fun, AND stay relatively cool. Grab a group of girlfriends and head out to their Ladies Night on Wednesday night where women enjoy 50% off. 

If your still aching for some sun and sand....Hit the beach! Monica's favorite is Siesta Beach in Sarasota Florida. Just rated by Dr Beach as #2 on his top 10 Beaches of 2010. Sandy white beaches that stretch for as far as the eye can see and the beautiful water is perfect for boating, snorkeling and scuba diving...what more could a water loving Floridian ask for?? 

No matter what you decide to do, don't forget to stay hydrated....and most have fun!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trend Tues - Sexy Shoulders

One of the hottest styles in dresses and tops right now is the one shoulder trend. This asymmetric neckline is both playful and sexy, highlighting the shoulders and giving classic dresses and tops a suggestive edge. The one shoulder appeal has made its mark on everything from casual tops to cocktail dresses.
Here are a few of our faves...


BCBG does everything right with this dress. The red is striking and sexy while the applique one shoulder detail adds a sweet feminine touch!


A few more dresses for your viewing enjoyment:

This Super Sunday Surprise dress from ModCloth combines two great summer trends in one - the one shoulder trend and ruffles.

The Feliciana Dress from Anthropologie is a one shoulder dress on steroids. We love how the extra shoulder strap provides a little additional support for those well endowed ladies out there...

The Limited puts this dress under their "Guests of the Wedding" category which we think is perfect. Love the color too!


Pair this global inspired top with a pair of satin black shorts and sandals for the perfect summer night out!

 More ruffles from Arden B! And you can't go wrong with this color! It's extremely versatile...pair it with black, white, denim, shorts, capris....just about anything! 

Love the print on this top. Makes us think of crisp cool tea and a vast English rose garden...

The trend has even extended into bathing suits. How glamorous is this little number!

 Butterfly One-Shoulder Bandeau Bikini from Victoria's Secret

Already in its second summer, we hope this one shoulder style is here to stay....It's a nice alternative to the standard halter or strapless necklines we are used to!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Finds - Fresh Eats at The Refinery

The following blog post is written by Monica =)

So every once in awhile I am compelled to venture out of South Tampa and explore the rest of the Bay area restaurants - contrary to what Jen believes....there really is life north of Kennedy! This past Wednesday night I grabbed the hubby and another couple for a double date at the newest Seminole Heights resturant, The Refinery.

At The Refinery, their motto is..."We believe good food and good drink are a necessity...not a privilege." A statement I whole heartedly agree with and appreciate!

 The Refinery prides itself on using produce, meat and seafood that's fresh, in season and purchased from the local farming community. Their small, but creative menu changes every Thursday to reflect whatever the local Farmers have to offer for the week. Last weeks menu was dedicated to all things Americana.  Think innovative twists on American classics like "Mac 'n' Cheese with chevre and bacon, and Corn Dogs with housemade chorizo and Chipotle BBQ sauce .Yum!

The restuarant has a simple unpretenious feel with large wood tables filling up the dining room. It was nicely busy for a Wednesday evening with the happy chatter of diners and I felt like I was spending the evening at a friends house....everyone seemed to linger, enjoying each others company. The staff was attentive, knowledgable, and friendly.

The hubs and I split the 1772 Peanut Soup and followed it up with the Fried Catfish. The peanut soup was rich and creamy and oh soo peanut buttery! The Catfish was perfectly fried and the okra side was crisp and fresh, perfect for a steamy summer night. The guys drank beer from a local brewery and my girlfriend and I shared a great bottle of Cab. Like their dinner menu, The Refinery's wine and beer list changes frequently. Our great bottle of Cabernet was $18! Gotta love that! In fact most bottles are around that price point.

All in all it was a great evening with great food and company. I am firm believer that beauty is in the details and this restaurant has perfected the art of details. Their committment to quality, service and community is comendable.
I know one thing's for sure I will definitely be stepping out of my 'hood more often to see what this little gem is cooking up!

Happy Eating!

Visit their website for more info and events


Find them on Facebook (where most of the photos in this blog were shamelessly stolen from)...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trend Tuesday - Denim Jackets

For a long time now, Monica has been a firm believer in the fashion power of the denim jacket! Dress it up, dress it down, no matter how you do it, a denim jacket is a classic staple accessory. We highly suggest that you have at least one, if not two in your wardrobe!!

You're probably wondering why we are even mentioning  jackets in the middle of summer. Currently it's a balmy 90 degrees in Tampa Bay and for most of us, the furthest thing on our minds are jackets! Well hear us out....while temps are skyrocketing outside, our favorite local restaurants, offices, and movie theatres are cranking down the air to keep us cool. Sometimes these places are downright frigid! So this is where our all time favorite accessory comes in! Keep it on hand to throw over any outfit. And since its denim it pretty much goes with everything from tank tops to maxi dresses.

It's also a perfect accessory to have on hand with so many of us traveling to escape the heat. FYI folks, San Fran evenings in the summer average 60 degrees, which for a lot of native Floridians is COLD! Even the mountains of North Carolina can drastically cool down in the evenings. So here are our suggestions on styles of denim jackets to tote around with you all summer long! The best part? They work in the fall and winter too!  

Nothing screams summer like the perfect white denim jacket. Do it right with this classic cropped Gap style...

Currently on sale at the Gap

We LOVE the rugged feel this ripped denim can add to a simple black dress!

Julia Jones of one of summer's hottest movie, "Eclipse" wears an American classic Levi's denim jacket with a mini cocktail dress. What do we think about this?? Rock it girl! The jacket adds a little rock n roll edge...LOVE it!

Image from Denimology

Happy Summer Ladies!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Finds - VIP Deals and Discounts!

We are so super stoked to announce the launch of our new VIP Text Messaging Club!!

We love to be "in the know" when it comes to just about everything and figured you do too! When you join Sweet Emotion/Why Not Boutique's VIP Text Messaging Club you will be the first to know about special discounts, deals, new products, and parties. How sweet is that?? 
Deals and Discounts that ONLY VIP Members will get!
Stay connected with all the happenings at Sweet Emotion/Why Not Boutique and receive VIP exclusive news and updates.

Hurry and join because for a limited time only we'll give you:

15% off your next purchase when you sign up AND you are entered for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to either boutique! 

Just  Follow THIS LINK to sign up.
You can text WHYSWEET to 84700 if you prefer!


And don't worry,we promise we won't spam (we hate spam too!)

We hope to see you soon! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Trend Tuesday - Summer Shirtdresses

We think it's fairly safe to say that we've made our love of dresses pretty clear on this blog. But just in case we haven't...let us reiterate...we LOOOOVE dresses!  One of this seasons hottest shapes in dresses is the Shirtdress. Seen on Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, and Katie Holmes, the shirtdress is a classic tailored dress with the bodice styled like a shirt. They are a  great go to when you want to look crisp and pulled together but at the same time, they are simple, crisp and feminie. A favorite item to slip on when you want to look polished and put together. They come in all different colors, patterns and are our favorite pics...

I love the bold print on this Anthropologie shirtdress. I suggest a big black belt around the middle to break up the pattern and define the waist.

This short sleeved military style shirtdress has a sexy and edgy feel. Perfect with some killer heels for date night!

Create a western look by pairing cowboy boots with this classic denim and chambray dress.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Frinds - Patriotic Goes With Everything

Some of the most famous words in American history go a little something like this....

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

And we think there is no better way to pursue happiness this 4th of July then by dressing your fashionable self in some classic and classy patriotic garb...but in moderation. There's patriotic and then there's something akin to rivaling the cheese factor of your grandmother's Christmas sweater collection...

We HIGHLY reccommend sticking to classic, all American prints and fabrics. Nothing screams classic summer like gingham or madras.

This cute little shift dress is so adorable in navy or red.

Madras shorts are perfect for a backyard get together.

Don't be afraid of stripes this summer. They are so in and done correctly, they can be super flattering. Obviously try the item on before you purchase, but something simple like this wrap dress fits and flatters in all the right places...

Add a punch of patriotic to your otherwise normal outift with fun accessories! Nautical accessories are so summery. All you need now is a boat to look stylin' on!

Have a fabulous 4th Ladies! Remember your sparkling smile is the best accessory you can wear!! We will be closed Saturday July 3rd so stop in before then to get your last minute wardrobe fix!