Oxford Exchange - Coffee, Books & More

oxford exchange caramel latte

You would think that after ten weeks in New York I would have been able to find a coffee shop that I like better than OE.

Nope.

Maybe it's because theres not enough space to have a nicely decorated coffee bar / bookstore / Anthropology-ish store / restaurant all in one place in Manhattan. But I mean I feel like there should be one somewhere.

Either way, Oxford Exchange is no doubt one of the perks of living in Tampa. (Even if it takes a 20 minute drive on the highway to get there).

It's perfect. I've written about OE before in my post about how to be more of a "morning person" but it deserves a whole post of it's own because literally anything you can order there is good.

Beachy Hair Without Heat

bumble and bumble products

I've been back in Florida for a week now. It's humid, hot, rainy–and I started my senior year yesterday.

I'm also in desperate need of a haircut. Combine that with re-introducing exceptionally high humidity, and my hair has been a mess. (It's fine, I needed an excuse to try new products anyway).

I want to love Bumble & bumble, I really do, but the price makes it difficult. The only products I've convinced myself to purchase were travel sized bottles of their gentle shampoo (on sale!) and super-rich conditioner. They smelled great but were apparently too gentle and not rich enough for my stubborn, curly hair.

I've been wanting to try their invisible oil line since they came out with it, and then their introduction of "Don't Blow It" (one of the few hair products designed for air-drying) finally convinced me to just do it since I needed something new anyway. (And I promise I'll get to the beachy hair at some point).

Culture Espresso – Were Have You Been All My Life?


This is my last week in New York, and therefore my last New York coffee shop review. It's only fitting that I've just now found my favorite one. 

Last week, I thought I had found the perfect coffee shop, but this one is even better!
Culture Espresso is a little bit small and crammed (basically, it looked a lot bigger online) but it has a bar and some corner seating. There are marble counter tops (my weakness) and chandeliers!

I ordered an iced latte (something I haven't tried at previous places and don't usually order) and it was really good. Usually iced lattes are too milky for me and I prefer to actually taste my coffee, so I order iced coffee or cold brew instead. 

Two Products for Soft Skin


Everyone wants soft, smooth skin. It's popular now, because it's summer and everyone is wearing tank tops and shorts; and it's popular in the winter because we're all trying to combat the try cold (well, Florida isn't, but everyone else is).

As a disclaimer, I'm known to have super soft skin. I can't tell you why (except for that maybe I do a decent job taking care of it), but every time someone has grabbed my hand or brushed against my arms I get some variation of "Oh my god, you're skin is so soft!" So thanks guys, it does wonders for my self-esteem. 

But even though I always have soft skin, it's always really dry. I can't explain it, I know it doesn't make sense, but at least I can use this information to prove that these products actually work and it's not just my good luck. 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

stumptown cold brew coffee

I only have a week and a half left in New York. The past ten weeks have gone by incredibly fast––like, so fast it feels like just yesterday I didn't know how to parallel park.

(It's debatable on whether or not that might still be a true statement, my parking is horrible).

I'm ready to go home, but I'm also ready to come back even though I haven't left yet. 

Yes, I know. This post is supposed to be about coffee. I'm getting there.

Anyway, cold brew coffee has become pretty popular but a good one is still kind of hard to find. It's super strong and sometimes it tastes super strong. I like the taste of coffee, it doesn't have to be to be sweetened too much for me to drink it; but I don't like bitter coffee that tastes like someone mashed up coffee beans, added a tiny bit of water, and brewed it for way too long. 

Unfortunately, that's the definition of a lot of cold brews. Even more unfortunately, I still take the risk and order cold brew because it's so ridiculously hot outside. 

I walked past Stumptown Coffee Roasters on the day when I thought it would be a good idea to walk the ten blocks from Penn Station to my job after coming straight from a less-than-24-hour-trip to Long Island. Then (because I couldn't remember the name) I decided to just wander the vicinity of those ten blocks until I found the shop (8/10 would not recommend––it took a while) so I could try it.

August Nail Polish Picks

essie colors

When I think of August, I don't think of summer––but maybe that's because I'm from Florida and my whole concept of seasons is all kinds of messed up. I mean it is in the nineties today, so I'm not really sure why I'd even question it.

By this point, though. I'm way past having any interest in super bright and summer-y nail polish colors. Anything coral, orange, or pink is most likely shoved in a drawer somewhere to be avoided until spring break comes along. But at the same time, I'm not at the point where my nails stay a shade of purple that's so dark it's basically black (don't worry, that will come later).