Archives for March 2015

do, eat, see: Santa Barbara

I recently visited Santa Barbara for a weekend getaway (my Christmas present courtesy of the boy) and instantly fell in love with the charm, architecture and feel of this California staple. Just a short two hours north of LA up the Pacific Coast Highway makes Santa Barbara the perfect escape from hustle and bustle of the city. Our visit wasn’t long enough (what vacation ever is?), but we managed to pack a lot into the weekend and I’ve made a list of my favorite things to do, eat and see while in Santa Barbara.

– do –

Wine Tasting Rooms

Santa Barbara = the epitome of wine country. While there are many vineyards in the surrounding mountains and valleys, look no further than the numerous wine tasting rooms in the heart of town. Similar to a brewery, you taste flights of local wine and enjoy the quaint open-air tasting rooms with friendly bartenders + people to meet. My three favorites were Municipal Winemakers (pictured above), Oreana Winery and Corks n’ Crowns. The best part? Most of the wine tasting rooms are all within the same few blocks of each other which makes for a fun afternoon stumble stroll.

State Street

State Street is runs through the heart of Santa Barbara and a good place to reference when you’re looking for a place to stay – the closer to State Street and the water, the better. It’s a great place to start your day and shop, eat, peek in galleries, people watch and just enjoy the pretty Spanish architecture and palm tree lined street.  

– eat –

The Lark

Santa Barbara, California; The Lark


Our first meal in Santa Barbara set the bar high. The Lark is located in the same part of the city as the wine tasting rooms and is beautifully designed with the perfect ambience. Our meal went as follows: Pimento Cheese Fritters with schrimshaw beer aioli + pickled chiles, Grilled Spanish Octopus with Israeli​ couscous, guajillo chile + avocado and Crispy Lamb Papardelle with butternut squash puree, goat cheese + rosemary. Need I say more?

Santa Barbara Public Market 



A mix between Chelsea Market and Krog Street Market, the Santa Barbara Public Market combines the wonders of a food hall and a supermarket complete with a bakery, an artisanal ice cream shop, a ramen bar and more. It was the perfect place to have a meal or pack a picnic which is exactly what we did for the next stop on our list which brings me to…

– see – 

Douglas Family Preserve 


I don’t know about you, but before I moved to California I envisioned all of the beaches with cliffs, breaking waves and surfers, which is exactly the picturesque scene you get at the Douglas Family Preserve. Seventy acres of undeveloped land, trails and views make this a must-see when you visit Santa Barbara.


This is sort of a given seeing as you drive this scenic highway when you come and go from Santa Barbara. I’m not saying I played California by Phantom Planet while we drove down this highway, but I’m not going to say I didn’t.

Have any of you ever taken a trip here? What were your favorite spots? Let us know in the comments!

green beer & good friends

Well, here we are. It’s Thursday and you still haven’t decided what to do for that big green holiday. St. Patrick’s Day is next week and you know we’ll be celebrating! Though the actual holiday is next Tuesday, all the fun stuff is happening this weekend – not sure who still has enough energy to go up on a Tuesday, but you’re not looking at her.

SPD Parade

Parading around in 2014.

Since St. Paddy’s Day is one of those holidays where everyone has a plan that sounds better than the last (the cousin of NYE), you’ve gotta have your schedule worked out before Friday rolls around, right? No matter what sort of fun you’re looking to get into this weekend, I’ve put together the best places to spend St. Patrick’s Day in Atlanta:

If you’re feeling crazy…

Head to Lepre*Con at Park Tavern in Midtown. Put on by party experts A Social Mess, this party’s got it all (cue Stefon voice): “The Spring Break Stage” – I’m not asking questions but it sounds like a good time, DJs and tons of debauchery. You’ll need tickets to get in and can purchase them online here for $20 – but quick, they’ll cap it once they sell out. Spoiler alert: it’s one of our best friends’ 24th birthdays, so I’ll be heading here to celebrate. See y’all Sunday with some advil and eggs benedict.

If you want something lively…

Check out Ri Ra in midtown. One of the best Irish pubs in the city, Ri Ra throws a great outdoor festival for those looking to get into the spirit. It’s held from 2-10 and features Irish dancers, food, drink and more. You’ll need tickets for this one too, so save $5 by buying ahead of time online here.

If you’re bringing along family or little ones…

The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Midtown is a perfect place to bring those from out of town or smaller kids if you’re looking for some non-green-beer fun. This year is the parade’s 133th year, giving it the title of Atlanta’s longest-running event! The route kicks off at noon from the High Museum of Art at 15th all the way down Peachtree to 5th street. We went last year and it was an awesome time with tons of fun things to see. I’d suggest taking Marta since traffic will be a nightmare – Arts Center or Midtown would be your best bets. For more info, see their website here.

If you’re trying to get your workout on…

While normally I’d say take a break from your crossfitting-quinoa-eating-yoga doing lifestyle on a holiday about beer, if you’re tryna get your fitness on so you can put down a few more drinks and snacks later, you’re good in my book, so keep on reading. The inaugural St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run/Walk is being held from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and runs through the streets of Midtown, Piedmont Park and finishes near the parade route on Peachtree. It’s a partnership with Ri Ra, so all finishers 21 and over will receive a complimentary Guinness after the race – see: will run for beer. It benefits the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for cancer, so it all goes to a great cause. 🙂 Register here.

If you want an awesome, non-Buckhead scene…

Sorry, but you know you were wondering (I’m not sorry). With one of the best patios in Grant Park (and the city), Republic Social House will be serving up $3 green beers to go around all day. You’re welcome.

If you’re in it for the eats…

As we all should be. On the actual holiday (Tuesday), Virginia Highland favorite Murphy’s will be serving a special Irish menu complete with smoked haddock and onion soup, Irish soda bread, Guinness lamb stew and more. You won’t miss out on any fun, as they’re also having traditional Irish dancers and music, starting at noon. via Zagat

Added bonus for making it this far:

Shake Shack is featuring their special “When Irish Fries are Smiling” dish – crinkle-cut fries topped with horseradish cream, scallions and bacon from Friday 3/13 to Tues 3/17, SO YOU SHOULD ALL PROBABLY DO THIS. Yep.


St. Paddy’s Day, circa last year. Hellooo VaHi.

Did we miss anything? What are you guys doing for St. Patrick’s Day?

March roundup : what we’re loving 

Well, it looks like I’ve been stuck in another world, as I blinked and it’s already MARCH. With the exception of the last weeks or so, we haven’t even really had a winter in Atlanta (and I know from Emily’s beach snapchats they’re sure never having one in Santa Monica).

It’s exciting, though, to be moving toward spring with so many exciting things coming up! One of our good friends from college is getting married in May, which used to seem so long away but is now right around the corner, so expect many pictures of the gang reunited after that! Emily heads to her heart’s home away from home, Sayulita, this month, too, but I’ll let her tell you about that later.

With the onset of March, I feel like we can finally start to embrace a bit of springtime, color and make an escape from all-winter foods; hence, the need for a new mood the set the month. Here’s a roundup of things we’re loving this month:

1 // bloompop – this adorable site allows you to ship blooms from local florists to tons of zip codes in the U.S. I love the variety of the arrangements – it’s a definitely more personal than your average bouquet! Beautiful flowers are a must to brighten up a small space in springtime.

athleta2// athleta – after I got my first pair of athleta tights from my sister for Christmas, I was sold. Their workout clothes are absolutely top-notch: durable, comfortable and (obviously) stylish. I am obsessed with their “Be Free” knickers – these things take a beating during my workouts and are still good as new. I just picked up the Chain pattern in dress blue & coralade – now that it’s warm out, I’ll be wearing them around to more than just the gym!

BL Nails

3// spring nails! For some reason, I can’t get down with having my nails dark all winter – it seems too stuffy and harsh for me (plus as soon as it chips, it’s terribly obvious, right?). Butter London has been my favorite nail polish for a while and I’m sticking with it this year – they have so many great shades to take you from winter into spring. My all-time favorite is All Hail the Queen, but I’m about ready to spring it up with a little Macbeth.

Messy Nessy Chic4// messy nessy chic. I’ve been reading this blog for a while after discovering it from a friend who I studied abroad with and can honestly say this site does no wrong. Written mostly about everything Paris, MNC always highlights the coolest hidden treasures in the city. I absolutely love her “13 Things I Found on the Internet Today” series. The only problem is that once I’m there, I’m in an spiraling black hole clicking-spree because everything is so worth reading.

Hot Dudes Reading

5// hot dudes reading. While this needs no explanation, whoever came up with this is a genius and probably worthy of best friend status. The best part (okay, the second best part) is that they donate to First Book, a non-profit providing books to kids in need, which also happens to be a partner with our sororities’ national philanthropy! Promoting literacy instead of the endless stream of basic – yes.

Anything else we should check out this month? Leave a comment or tweet us @highlandandrose and we’ll make sure everyone sees it. Check in next week for where we’ll be on the best day of the month (hint: better wear your green)!