monday musings |7.19.16|

Another Monday – wasn’t it just Friday? All those in favor of eternal three-day weekends raise your hand. *raises*

It’s been a busy Monday for both of us – E is jetting off to NYC for work and I’m working on lots of 2017 planning whilst trying to prepare for a big blogger conference in less than 20 days. Eek!

Even amongst the chaos, I know myself well enough to know I can’t resist my early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I signed up for a Nordstrom debit card long ago and although I never spend enough to get the rewards ($20 for spending $2,000…LOL), I do love that it gives me early access to shop their exclusive sales.

Now, in keeping with my month of saving, I’m trying not to buy anything “frivolous” (AKA anything other than food) for the rest of the month, but that doesn’t mean you guys can’t…right? Here are my favorite picks from the #nsale, going on July 22 through August 8 (card-holders can shop today through the 21st):

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Anything you’ve seen that you’re loving so far? Share with us (but make me promise I won’t buy anything)!

xx, H+R

meal subscription services: blue apron

Chances are, if you’ve been around the internet in the past year, you’ve probably been inundated with ads for easy meal planning services: “6 meals for $20!” “Farm fresh meals without the hassle of shopping!” “Get your first box ON US!”…you know the deal. I can wholeheartedly admit that I’m the perfect candidate for these meal boxes.

If you’ve been thinking about trying Blue Apron, Plated, Greenchef or the like, consider these questions:

  1. Do you hate never having enough time to cook great meals?
  2. Do you loathe going to the grocery store?
  3. Do you want to learn to make new things?

If you answered yes to these questions, congrats: I think you’d love meal subscription and should definitely try it out!

I’ve experimented with a few, but my favorite has consistently been Blue Apron for a few reasons: the price point fits well into what I can reasonably justify for a week’s worth of meals, the meals are well thought-out and teach me new things and the website/app are super easy to use.

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Blue Apron’s cost comes to $60/week for the 2-person plan – 3 meals, 2 servings apiece each week. That comes out to $10 a meal. Now, I know what you’re thinking: I could just go to the grocery store and make something in the crock pot for less! Yes – I won’t argue against that. However, if you’re comparing it to going out to eat, which we do a fair bit on the weekends, then it’s definitely saving some cash.


The real pro for me with these meals is that I’m learning to make new things. I’ve made everything from chicken khao soi soup to black garlic ramen to spicy hoisin turkey meatballs. I would consider myself an average cook, but definitely steer away from the adventurous side – until now! One of my 2016 goals was to learn to cook more fish and Blue Apron is definitely helping me meet that. I’d suggest it for someone looking to expand their horizons – but that also likes to cook. There is a fair amount of prep involved, so if you’re not looking to spend time in the kitchen, a pre-prepared option like Freshly may be better for you.


The membership is super easy to understand on Blue Apron’s website and accompanying smartphone app. You’re not left wondering if you’re going to get charged for certain weeks or when your delivery will arrive – it’s all laid out on a neat calendar for you so you can plan ahead of time. There’s no commitment, either – I usually only do one box a month and it’s totally fine.

What to expect:

So what exactly does it entail when you get a box? For starters, I get the box delivered to work – that way, I don’t have to worry about getting it from my leasing office before they close for the night. There are a bunch of ice packs inside, so it’ll stay cool all day at your doorstep, but I always err on the side of getting it refrigerated as soon as possible! Inside, you’ll find ingredients for all three recipes, as well as three bags of “knick knacks” – the smaller things like garlic and seasonings that you’ll need for your meals. They’re labeled per recipe. You’ll also find the recipe cards, but you can also find the recipes online – I usually pull them up via my iPad app!

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The ingredients that I’ve received have all been pretty high quality – I know some people have issues, but I can’t say I’ve ever gotten anything like that. The meats are put in extra ice in the bottom for freshness.

As far as the recipes go, they’re always easy to follow. Most begin by chopping up the fresh ingredients, followed by cooking the meat or creating a broth then adding the veggies or other fresh ingredients. Like I said, the biggest advantage I gain from these boxes is learning to cook new things like fish or soups with Asian flare. They also make for great date nights without having to plan too much! 🙂

A few of my favorite meals are below – the app even contains an overlay you can use to put the recipe name on, which is helpful for those of us who are all about #doingitfortheinsta.

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If any of you have ever tried Blue Apron, what do you think? If you’re interested in trying it, we’re giving away a full box worth of meals (three meals, two servings apiece) to one reader! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter and let us know your thoughts! (Giveaway is open to new Blue Apron customers only.)

xo, H+R

P.S. This post is in no way sponsored by Blue Apron. I just legit love them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

monday musings |7.11.16| (+ our blogiversary!)

Happy 7/11, everyone! Hope you’re enjoying your free Slurpees if you’re lucky enough to live in a state with 7/11s – sigh, Georgia.


Today is a very *special* Monday Musings because our little blog here has survived another year out in the blogosphere – we’re two years old! It’s been a long journey with lots of post edits, gchats and tweets in between, but we love getting to share little pieces of our lives with you guys (and have some great memories to look back on).

In my opinion, the best way to grow as a blogger is to familiarize yourself with others in the blogging community who you can relate to and who inspire you. This week, we’ve chosen a few links from some of our favorite blogs that we read every week – thanks for producing some of our favorite reads!

monday musings blog photo 7/11

The 13 Best Hotel Pools in the World

We’re starting off with this today because 1. I can’t with Monday and 2. would rather be at a pool than at my desk. These all look absolutely incredible – and one is even in E’s hometown! Looks like we’re checking out The Standard next time I’m in town!

To Blend or To Juice?

I’ve been trying to up my blending game lately – taking lots of tips from E and her awesome Vitamixing – but never quite understood the benefits to blending vs. juicing and vice versa. Because there’s no fiber left from juicing, the nutrients are absorbed right into the body – who knew? This article has some goods tips on how to know which one is right for you that day.

DIY Blanket Ladder Plans

Let me preface this by saying I am the FURTHEST thing from a DIY-er. I do a ton of work with DIY bloggers through my job, though, so I’m always checking out their neat projects and wishing I could make them for myself. I’ve always wished I had a pretty blanket rack, the likes of which we’ve all seen adorned in the ads for $300 Anthro blankets, but could never justify spending a bunch of money on one. In comes these project plans from Cherished Bliss and I think I’m finally ready to try my hand at DIYing this weekend…I’ll let you guys know how it goes!

What Not to Wear When It’s Super Hot Out

Does this even need an intro? Here in Atlanta we’re all experiencing some major heat waves. With so many fun festivals and outdoor events coming up, we can’t be kept inside, so these tips are great to follow. One of my new summer favorites is this sleeveless knit swing dress from Old Navy – perfect for pairing with a long necklace + cute sneakers.

Reading List: Lauren Conrad’s Top 10 Summer Books 

Our book club is one of the things I’m most proud of in my post-college days – we’ve successfully gotten through (about) a book a month and love getting to spend time together with our favorite girls. We’re always looking for new suggestions to read, though, so’s article comes at a perfect time! #1 on the list, The Girls, is our July book. I keep seeing it everywhere, so I’m hoping to discover a gem when I dive in. Anyone read it yet?

Thanks for sticking with us over the past two years, real friends + internet friends alike. Cheers to the next year to come!

xo, H+R

do, eat, see: Hong Kong

I recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong – and what a trip it was. Hong Kong was an amazing city to spend time in, but since it was somewhere none of us had ever been before, there was a lot of guessing and researching before deciding what we wanted to do…which is where I come in for you! I wanted to make sure I remembered everything to share with you guys and hopefully help some of you out on your future travels.

We stayed in the Central district for four days, doing our fair share of exploring…and lots of dim-sum eating. The city itself reminded me a lot of Singapore – very urban and modern with lots of things to do and different cultures blended together – but had a lot of differences as well. We did and saw a lot over our four days, so I’ll break it down in our typical fashion into my favorite things to do, eat and see:

– do – 

Take the tram up to Victoria Peak

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This was the simplest thing we did but also maybe my favorite. The Peak Tram is the world’s steepest funicular railway (scary!) and takes you up to the top of Victoria Peak, where you can see arguably the best views of the Hong Kong skyline. The view is just beyond – I couldn’t have imagined that many buildings all in one place. We heard (and read) the queue for the tram could get insane (if Asia can do one thing well, it’s queuing) so we went first thing when it opened – I would HIGHLY suggest this. Get there early and you won’t have to wait. There are some food and merch shops at the top of mountain – even a Starbucks – so you can get your breakfast fix once they open.

Shop at Times Square

I thought we were used to big malls in Singapore, but whoa – Hong Kong’s very own Times Square was huge! The retail stores are spread over 9 floors and you can find everything from Zara to Louis Vuitton and even a Laduree when you’re trying to get your macaron on. It was a cool place to explore and we even found one of our favorite restaurants there (I’m getting to the food)!

Ride a speedboat to Macau

Hong Kong 2

Macau, considered “the Vegas of Asia,” is another special separate region of China that’s about an hour boat ride away from Hong Kong. The boats depart from Hong Kong harbor every 15 minutes throughout the day, so choose when you want to go and head to the Sheung Wan MTR station to get to the ferry terminal. It was super easy to get to Macau and it was honestly super bizarre to see it all – there is a Venetian that looks almost identical to the one in Vegas, along with a Wynn and even a replica Eiffel Tower! We moseyed around the Venetian for a while and even found our favorite snack, Lord Stow’s Bakery egg tarts – omg, get them – while wandering around. We just went for the night and it was a perfect amount of time to get to explore a little!

– eat –

Dim sum 

Dim sum is a popular type of Chinese-style cuisine traditionally prepared as smaller, bite-sized food served in steamer baskets or on plates. The food can range from things like steamed dumplings (my personal fave are xiao long bao), noodles, vegetables, rice dishes and more. It differs from place to place, but that’s pretty much the standard from where I’ve been. In Hong Kong, we ate at two places for dim sum: Tim Ho Wan and Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao.

Tim Ho Wan, famed as the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant, originated in Hong Kong and now has a few locations around the city. When I looked up online what to eat, the pork buns came up again and again (and again). We ordered these, a beef dish, some dumplings and vegetables. To be honest, I enjoyed the food, but it wasn’t the best I’ve had in HK/Asia – if there’s no wait, I’d definitely recommend checking it out, but I don’t think it’s worth the famed multi-hour queues. 🙂 The other restaurant we got dim sum style food at, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao in Times Square Mall, was, in my opinion, much better. Get two orders of the xiao long bao, the homemade noodles (omg) and whatever else strikes your fancy and you’ll be good. This was my favorite meal in HK and I’d highly recommend it.

Burgers at Beef & Liberty

Okay, so when you think Hong Kong, your first thought probably isn’t about burgers. Me either – until Beef & Liberty came along. One of my mom’s friends recommended it to us and it was close to our hotel, so we decided to check it out. Upon arrival, you immediately know this is going to be a cool place. The inside has a very modern vibe and the servers were all super nice. There are tons of craft beers to try and even a skillet cookie (looking at you, sis). I’d suggest the black pepper burger – it was so different but SO good. We ate at the central location, but there’s also a pop up in the PMQ. They also have sweet potato fries, which is always my fry of choice, which were great. I’d highly recommend this place if you’re searching for a taste of home in HK.

– see –

Lantau Island

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Lantau was definitely one of my favorite things we saw while we were in Hong Kong. To get there, we took the MTR to the Tung Chung station and took the Ngong Ping 360 Cable car – an experience in itself! Pro tip: buy tickets for the “crystal” (glass bottom) cable car – it’s a little more expensive but the queue was non-existent compared to the hours-long one for the regular car. Worth the money for sure.

Once you get off the cable car (it’s about a 30 minute ride), you’ll be in Ngong Ping village, a cute-but-touristy walkway with shops and restaurants set up for visitors to the real attractions: Po Lin monastery and the Big Buddha. They’re both hidden away in lush mountains (such a contrast to central Hong Kong) and are great to see. It’s amazing to think about monks practicing in such a remote area – and the Big Buddha sure lives up to his name! Be ready to climb lots of steps to the top for a great view of the surrounding hills and the monastery.

Tai O

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Tai O was a smaller destination on our journey, a quaint fishing town on Lantau Island. After finishing up at the Big Buddha, we decided to take a local bus here to see what life would have been like before the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong arrived. They’re famous for their dried fish markets (see: the worst thing I ever smelled), but even if you aren’t planning on buying a dried pufferfish, it’s a nice place to spend an hour or so.

Take one of the small fishing boats out to try and catch a glimpse of the famed “pink dolphins” – the Chinese White Dolphin, as they’re scientifically called, are known to swim around the island and make appearances every once in a while. We didn’t have the good luck of seeing any, but if you plan your times right and do a bit of research, you should have a good shot!

Rooftop bars

Rooftop bars are popular in most big cities nowadays, but with Hong Kong’s impressive skyline, they’re a sight not to be missed. Ozone, the bar at the top of the Ritz Carlton, takes the title of the highest bar in the world. We wanted to stay more in the Central district, so we decided to try out Sevva, a restaurant and bar with a great view of the surrounding area. Their drink list was absurd – pages upon pages of every sort of cocktail you could imagine. We enjoyed taking in the sights from a great couch and had more than enough room to move around – a luxury in Asia! There was no cover, either, which is helpful to know if you’re trying to save a little $$.

Nan Lian Garden

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I couldn’t conclude my post about Hong Kong without mentioning the Nan Lian garden. One of our last stops in the city, the garden is a great place to relax, walk around and take in beautiful scenery in the middle of a hectic metropolis. Entry is free, it’s easy to get to on the MTR and you can even get a great meal at the restaurant or cafe inside = win.

While there’s countless things to do, eat and see while visiting Hong Kong, those were my favorites from this trip – I hope they serve you all well and definitely would suggest a visit if you’re in the area…or even if you’re not. What else should I add to my list for next time?

xx, H+R

monday musings |6.20.16|

Monday…where’d you come from? Wasn’t it just Friday? Today’s post brought to you by lots of tea, coffee and a little delirium after staying up to watch Game 7 of the NBA Finals last night. 🙂

I’ve been getting back into the swing of real life after an extended Asian vacation and a much quicker one to Florida this past week. It was nice to disconnect a bit, but I’m ready for the official #FirstDayofSummer (yay!) and lots of pool time reading my favorite sites:

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9 Habits That Will Make You Smarter

2016 seems to be the year of working on yourself, something we’re both very keen on. Putting in the effort to learn new things and stretch yourself each day can do more for your psyche than any dress you’ll buy or restaurant you try. My fave? #9 – set aside time to do nothing at all. Can we all set a summer resolution to do this more?

Chickpea Shawarma Dip

Status: currently searching for something to make to bring to our girls pool happy hour this Wednesday. Answer? This dip. Anything that takes 30 minutes and involves lots of chickpeas is fine by me. Definitely going to add some chili garlic sauce to my version!

The One Workout Playlist You Need This Month

Summer is now officially here (or will be in a few hours) and the hot weather here in Atlanta makes it even harder to push yourself to get to the gym. E is a big fan of ClassPass in LA, while I ride here at Flywheel’s midtown location – we’re both on unlimited monthly plans, which means we only get out of it as much as we’re willing to put in! Music is one of the best ways for me to get going before those early morning rides – I’ll definitely be cranking this up in the car on the way to ride this week.

10 Furnished Tents to Stay In Around the World

Um, glamping in Bali, anyone? Yep. Now that I need to start planning daydreaming about my next vacation, I can’t resist clicking any link that sends me to an awesome list of places to go. These tents seems like the perfect mix of low-key and luxe travel…sign us up!

IKEA Hacks That Will Totally Revamp Your Kitchen

After moving into our apartment with our shiny new kitchen, I thought this would be the time when I’d really “adult” up our space. Fast forward a few months and I’m quickly realizing that all that trendy accessorizing comes at a (big) price! These hacks from Brit + Co. on how to take IKEA items and make them useful in new ways is absolutely perfect – just the right amount of DIY. Make sure you check out #7!

That’s all until later this week, when I’ll be sharing my favorite tips on what to do, eat and see in Hong Kong. Talk soon!

xx, H+R

monday musings |5.16.16|

Monday…how did you get here so quickly? Wasn’t yesterday Friday? Siiigh…it was a big weekend around here, as baby sis graduated from college (still can’t believe it). I definitely wasn’t ready for Monday morning when it rolled around, but there’s nothing a fresh smoothie and some great reads can’t fix, right? If you missed last week’s post, we started a new weekly roundup of some of our favorite links that week around the interwebs called Monday Musings. This week features some tips on how to live your best week, an awesome new app from Google and of course…sprinkles.

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How to Make Your Week Feel More Like the Weekend

There’s a reason this one is first, guys – in strong need of some weekend vibes over here! We love Emily’s tips on how to avoid the #sundaysads.

10 Coffee Shops You Need to Visit in Paris

Always Paris dreamin’. Thinking I’ll settle down with a good book (our book club is currently reading Me Before You, if you want to follow along with us!) and sip some tea while imagining I’m sitting at one of these. If only I had saved some macarons from my boss’s trip to France a few weeks ago…guess I’ll just have to find some more!

Confetti Cookies

Because whose Monday doesn’t need sprinkles?

Google’s Weird New App (That Might Change Your Group Message Forever)

We might just need to transition all of our group messages over to Spaces, Google’s new app that lets you share links you read with your friends with the touch of a button. Group chats = life at this point – for how many links we share, this could definitely be a game changer. (And speaking of Google apps, if you haven’t downloaded Gboard yet, get on it. ASAP.)

5 Ways a Digital Detox Will Leave You Feeling Refreshed

E and I will be the first ones to tell you we’re never more than a few heartbeats away from our phones. That being said, I think digital detoxes could do a lot of us some good. I’m heading off to Asia in a few days (more on that in a second) and it’s one of the nicest opportunities to turn off my phone and live in the moment.

Bonus link! Tips for Long-Haul Flights

Okay, this is totally cheating because it’s ours, but you guys get an extra link today because I’m heading to Asia again in THREE DAYS! EEP! The fam and I are heading back to their home in Singapore with a few other stops along the way – check with us on Insta to see where I’m at throughout the next two weeks.

xx, H+R

long-distance relationships: BFF edition

It’s that time of year again: graduation. Every May, the dreaded bittersweet last moments in college towns give way to first steps in the real world for many seniors. It seems like that was E and I just yesterday…but can you believe three years has passed?

I think I speak for both of us when I say the biggest transition (other than not being able to take mid-day naps) is adjusting to the inevitable fact that your friends aren’t going to live next door anymore. Friends that used to be 30 seconds away are in different cities, on different coasts and in different time zones.

E and I at graduation, circa 2013 (eek!)

E and I at graduation, circa 2013 (eek!)

Annual reunion trip in 2015 <3

Annual reunion trip in 2015 <3

Our friend group spread far and wide after graduation – a tight-knit group that had lived together for three years is now a plane ride away from one another. One thing we can say, though, is that after three years, we’re still best friends and stay involved in each other’s lives on a daily basis.

Staying friends and supporting your BFFs from across the country takes time and effort, but it’s always worth it. Co-authoring a blog is one way to make sure you stay in touch (hint hint), but if that’s not your scene, here are our best tips to stay in touch with long-distance BFFs:

1. Make Gchat your new best friend – Gchat is the lifeblood of young professionals everywhere. Think of it as AIM, but for grown-ups (and without cute Dashboard quotes in your profile). I use the Hangouts extension for Chrome, allowing my chats to stay docked at the bottom of my screen. Emily and I use this as our primary way of communicating – it’s a great way to stay in touch as everyone is usually in front of a computer screen all day!

2. Set a standing phone date – Yes, young people, even we have to pick up the phone and call people sometimes to keep in touch. It can be hard to connect online with friends who don’t have a desk job or are in different time zones, so pick a time that works for both of you and set an hour out of your day to catch up. The most important part? Sticking with it! Things come up from time to time, but be sure to make your friends a priority before canceling to catch another episode of Scandal.

3. Snail mail – Sending small, thoughtful gifts can be one of the best ways to let your friends know you’re thinking about them. Flowers are a great way to celebrate life events (like graduations – proud of you Pharmacist Gin!) and can be affordable if you find a coupon from Gilt or Groupon. You can even split amongst friends to make it cheaper – ain’t nobody got $50 to spend on a bouquet, am I right? Another fave? Cookie delivery. Whether it’s a breakup, a promotion or, let’s be real, any day of the week because cookies are everything, treats are always welcome and a sweet (pun intended) way to appreciate your friends.

4. Travel! – My one rule about missing long-distance friends is to try to plan the next time you’re going to see them before you separate from the last trip. I find this helps with the sadness, as you can say “see you in a few weeks/months!” instead of “not sure when I’ll see you again.” I recently went to visit E in LA (more on that later) and our goodbye was made less upsetting by knowing I’ll see her in Atlanta for Labor Day! One of the benefits of the real world is real money and even though we don’t have a lot of it, travel to see friends has been one of the best things to spend it on so far. I recommend searching on sites like Kayak or Expedia and subscribe to the emails from your favorite airline to see their deals.

No matter the way, a little effort goes a long way to keep in touch with those who will always have your back. What are some of your favorite ways to stay in touch with long-distance friends? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @highlandandrose!

Miss us?

So…this is awkward.

The inevitable return from a blogging hiatus always is, though, isn’t it? I wish we had a better excuse other than the fact that life has just been…BUSY! If you’re not familiar with our lives, Emily and I are both full-time PR girls working in agencies. For those of you who work in agency life, you get this; if you don’t, google it and you’ll start to get an understanding.

That’s not to say, however, that we’re not absolutely in love with what we do. Even throughout long days and too many emails, we’re lucky to get a chance to flex our creative muscles and collaborate with amazing people every day. Working in PR gives you opportunities you never knew were right around the corner. Digital PR in particular is a constantly evolving field – getting the opportunity to learn something new every day is invaluable…and getting to make decks about Snapchat while you’re working on numbers in Excel ain’t too shabby either.

But back to blogging – to give you the rundown, the two of us are sitting in a coffeeshop in Venice and planning our return to the blogging world. It’s something that we both run into every day with work (hi, blogger relations) and something we have a passion for – and you should stick with the things you’re passionate about, right?

Tom's Venice 3

Tom's Venice 2


Fellow blogger friends, any ideas on keeping up to blogging speed while trying to juggle full time jobs (and some semblance of social lives)? We’re working on planning content, designing a new logo and ramping up our social channels to keep you guys updated on what’s new. Fingers crossed we’ve figured it out this time!

taste of atlanta 2015

In all honesty, this post would probably be more accurately titled “ALL THE FOOD”, but for the sake of propriety, we’ll keep it like it is. This past weekend brought with it Taste of Atlanta, one of Atlanta’s favorite events for culinary lovers and casual snackers alike. The festival, now in its 14th year, is held in the heart of Midtown and serves food, beer, wine, cocktails and more to thousands of festival-goers.

Despite living in Atlanta for 14 years (and loving food for 24), I had never been to ToA, so when a few coworkers of mine suggesting getting tickets, I jumped at the opportunity to try it out! We got general admission tix for Saturday – VIP is a whole different story, with an entire separate tent, but ya girl’s living on a budget. The great thing about the tickets is that while you pay $25 for admission, you start with 10 “points” to try, so that’s $10 of tastings included with your admission. This year, they used a cashless wristband system – THIS. WAS. THE. BEST. Props to whoever thought of this, because it was a game changer. To sample items, all you had to do was scan your RFID wristband on a reader – no cash, no cards and most importantly, no messing around worrying how much you’ve spent on tiny fried mac and cheese balls.

We started our day with our pre-loaded 10 points, as you can re-up your points inside the festival if need be. There were tents with food as far as the eye could see – little bites from some of Atlanta’s favorite and best-known restaurants. Because a. we were starving and b. we have very short attention spans, we stopped at the first tent we saw…but were not disappointed! The Barrelhouse was serving up Buffalo Mac & Cheese Bites with Avocado Ranch – as our friend Kevin so perfectly put it, “that’s basically just a bunch of buzzwords of things that I love” – and it was! They were super yummy and a great start to the day. Let’s put avocado ranch on everything from now until forever…k?

To get our bearings, we wanted to see more of the festival before making any more decisions. We wandered up and down, stopped at a few more places (Woody’s Cheesesteaks – one of my favorites in Atlanta!) and played in the Coke SocialBox for a little while. Another great thing at ToA were the free samples – though the smaller plates from restaurants cost points, there were lots of vendors sharing free takeaways which added to the fun: Whole Foods, Barefoot Wine, Sabra and many more. We even walked away with a block of Havarti cheese (hellooo, happiness)!

The rest of the day was filled with a bunch of awesome choices, including:

Oh, and gratuitous pic of these “Gangster Fries” from Bellwoods Social House because our friends ordered them and they were too good not to share.

Overall, even in the pouring rain, it was a great event full of too many great choices to try. I’ve definitely added a few new places to my radar and will be putting this event on my list for next year. What were some of y’alls favorite dishes?

our favorites for fall: atl edition

We made it! Fall is my favorite season of the year, complete with all the basic awesome things we’ve come to know and love: booties, sweater weather, college football and (because I’d be lying if I didn’t say it) pumpkin everything.

Fall is also one of the best times in this state of mine: the leaves are changing and it’s getting cool but it’s not cold enough to avoid the outdoors. With so much going on, though, it’s easy to feel totally overwhelmed with all the events coming up. It’s completely wonderful, but does anyone else feel like every weekend until December is already booked up? For the Queen of the Homebodies over here, it can be stressful to look at your calendar, even when you’re excited for everything that’s to come.

So where do we come in? Not to worry, fellow organizers: I’ve laid out my top five events to hit in Atlanta (and the surrounding area) this fall so you can hopefully plan ahead for fun…just don’t forget to schedule in some down time too!

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1 // Taste of Atlanta — Apologies because this one’s coming up (0 to 100) reeeeal quick, but I just couldn’t leave it off the list! Now in their 14th year, TOA is being held Sept. 25-27 at Tech Square in Midtown. Attendees will get to enjoy eats from tons of amazing Atlanta restaurants, live cooking demos and more. Depending on whether you get regular or VIP tickets, your day can consist of a bunch of different tasting experiences. I’ll be there on Saturday and am planning on trying out options from 1Kept, Bangkok Station (satay! ahh!), Bhojanic, Gu’s Dumplings and more. General admission tickets are only $25 and you can get them here. I’m sure I’ll have more than a few food pictures to share after this weekend!

2 // Ponce City Nights — This might be my favorite one of the whole list. You know we’ve been waiting for Ponce City Market to be open and in all its splendor for quiiiite a while…and it’s finally here! There are more than a few stores open now, including Anthropologie, West Elm and J.Crew, along with the Central Food Hall. They’ve also recently launched a concert series, Ponce City Nights, taking after New York’s Chelsea Market, held every other Thursday from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The best part? It’s totally free (other than inevitably running into Anthro and picking up a few things)!

3 // Little 5 Points Halloween Parade & Festival — If you’re a Halloween lover at any level, you can’t miss L5P’s holiday parade & festival – one of the top 10 Halloween events in the country! Held on Saturday, October 17th, the festival will feature loads of local artists, food from Atlanta vendors and of course,  the best parade in the Southeast. The festival runs from noon ’til 11 p.m., but you can catch the parade starting at 4:00. Get there early for a good time and enjoy some of the official festival beer from Wrecking Bar Brewpub!

4 // Chomp and Stomp — Cabbagetown’s annual Chomp and Stomp is one of the few Atlanta things I’ve never done, but I’m thinking of trying it out this year after reading about it. Stick with me, y’all: the day begins with a “an easy, flat 5k” followed by a breakfast of beer and a chili-tasting for lunch. The festival also features an artist market and a stage for games like BRUSSELS SPROUT BOBBING. Running, beer, eating chili and bobbing for things. Isn’t that what fall is all about?

5 // Oktoberfest — Alright, so this is technicalllly not in Atlanta, but if you’ve ever been around in fall, you know it’s the place to be. This year is Helen’s 45th Oktoberfest (crazy!) – it runs from mid-September through November 1 and features German-style bands, dancing and lots and lots (and lots) of beer. Tip: Sundays are free, so head up there if you’ve got one to spare!

Friday fatigue is calling me to limit it to five, but if we missed anything, leave it in a comment below – can’t wait to see you all out and about this fall!