A book tour, Clampett's style
First things first: My book is out! And I have been going non-stop ever since it debuted, TBH.
Here’s the thing about a book: Nothing else in your life magically stops. So, while I am busy packaging influencer boxes, sending emails and doing interviews, I am still working my full-time job. And it’s been really crazy switching from my normal day-to-day to speaking at events about BTE — but I am so thrilled and up for the challenge.
And now I’m on a book tour! We left Northeast Florida last Sunday (hence, no newsletter last week—sorry!) and have spent the past week in St. Petersburg/Tampa area. Next, we’ll drive North, to eventually make it to New Hampshire for events in Concord and then in Portland, ME.
Of course, my mom and Tom (and the dogs) are along for the ride. So while it might sound like I am on a very glamorous book tour….
Trust me. I am not.
We will make lots of stops and I’ll be sharing the journey along the way. But this week, I thought I would switch things up with my first ever BTE City Guide, this one focused on St. Petersburg, a city by the bay that is extremely hot this time of year (like seriously don’t bother with makeup because it will slide off) but also very cute with a great emphasis on culture and the arts. Oh! It is also incredibly dog-friendly. I have seen dogs inside every coffee shop and restaurant. Even at the museums! So, bring your pup if you visit.
Here’s where to shop, what to eat, some things to do (and what to wear!) in St. Pete.
Book + Bottle: This is the cutest bookstore-cum-wine shop in the world. It’s women-owned and happens to be where I held my first-ever ticketed book event (so I will have a soft spot for the place for years). They have a stunning assortment of books, a well-curated selection of wines — and cold brew, as well.
CASA Thrift Store: I was told by several of the attendees of my Book + Bottle event that this was tops for thrifting. It’s very well-styled with a mix of modern and vintage pieces. I left empty-handed but saw several pieces that caught my eye.
Deja Vu Consignment: With an overwhelming assortment of furniture, art, fabrics and even clothing, Deja Vu is truly a home decor paradise. The prices are steeper than a thrift, but still great TBH. Also, they have pet parrots here (by my count, at least five of them) who squawk and speak as you walk around the store. I got a really fun clay vase with a smiley face on it.
ARTPool Gallery: An eclectic shop with a huge collection of vinyl records, vintage ephemera, clothing, decor and some crafts.
Herbach’s Rattan Furniture: Rattan furniture is very now, making it a great thing to look for whilst thrifting. Or, you could go to Herbach’s, which has rounded up all the Paul Frankl pretzel chairs, rattan end tables and various accessories your heart desires.
Matteo Trattoria: Tom wanted gluten-free pizza, I wanted homemade pasta and a quick Google search lead us to Matteo’s. The chopped house salad was great (I love a chop) and you can sit outside or inside, which is a little cozier. Pro tip: Pay the upcharge to have fresh truffles grated over your pasta.
Mazzaro’s: To me, this is heaven. Mazzaro’s is a very large New York-meets-Italian style market, divided into various rooms (meat and cheese, produce, deli) with literally everything you could need for a quick lunch or a full dinner. There are steaks, chops, fresh greens and handmade pastas to take home. Or, you can grab a coffee drink and shop the store before taking home a truly perfect sandwich to eat in a nearby park. The #7 is just … WOW, as is the collection of truffle-infused potato chips.
Paradeco Coffee: We are big coffee drinkers and we love to grab lattes whenever we are on vacation. We went to Paradeco 4 times in 8 days because we loved it that much. It’s very Instagram-friendly but it also has great coffee, excellent smoothies and gluten-free French toast.
Black Crow Coffee Co.: Every day we didn’t go to Paradeco, we went to Black Crow. The location nearest our Airbnb (in the Grand Central District) was like a little magic land. You have to duck down under trees to get in and once inside, you’re greeted with various rooms, a hodgepodge of decor, friendly baristas and really fun coffee drinks (like a banana mocha). The cappuccino was truly perfect: not at all European, and brimming with so much foam you have to take the top off to drink it. The muffins (they have two standard and two gluten-free varieties) were also very good.
Cafe Clementine: Oh how I loved this place. Nestled in the lobby of the Museum of Fine Arts, this is a little hidden gem of a breakfast and pastry spot which offers views of the bay and some of the best croissants I have ever had. The menu rotates (my mom and I split the citrus morning bun and salted honey croissant) but in addition to pastries they have egg bowls and yogurt with homemade granola.
Museum of Fine Arts: A beautiful space on the water with a rotating selection of exhibits. Go to Cafe Clementine (see above) before you stroll the galleries.
The Museum of the American Arts & Craft Movement: This museum could go toe-to-toe with one in Europe, New York, or LA, based purely on the architecture alone. Inside, you’ll find five floors of pottery, furniture, textiles and tiles from the American Arts & Crafts movement (which, coincidentally, I write about in my book — think Frank Lloyd Wright and Van Briggle pottery).
Salvador Dalí Museum: An architecturally beautiful museum that always has a fun exhibit along with a stellar permanent collection.
Chihuly Collection: The perfect place to take in the glass artist’s dreamy interpretations of gardens, sea life, and various other flora and fauna. Behind the museum is a “hot shop” where you can watch experts blowing, melting and coloring glass.
St. Pete Pier: It is truly blisteringly hot this time of year, so I wouldn’t recommend this if it’s afternoon (which is exactly when I went), but a stroll on the pier is really nice. There’s a touristy shop at the end housed inside an enormous, very modern building, and a children’s play area in the middle.
Clothing-wise, you will want to pack some great sneakers (how great are these APLs?), comfortable shorts (I wear these Tibi nylons almost every day), a sports bra, an easy-but-chic bag and tons of sunscreen. It’s a walkable city for the most part but it is so humid you’ll just want comfort. Throw a white button down over the whole thing and you’ll look like Hailey Bieber.
PS. The response to Big Thrift Energy has been so phenomenal I could cry (have cried, multiple times). Multiple shops have sold out, the book is already going to be reprinted and it will be available in the UK soon, as well. I am also grateful for the press I have received because that is truly the hardest part! The book is mentioned among the “best books” in PEOPLE’s latest print issue, on newsstands now, and was featured in a recent House Beautiful round-up. PLEASE: Keep reading! And sharing! And reviewing! It means so much to me.
I’ll leave you with this…