monday musings |6.27.16|

Happy Monday! Anyone else have a short week ahead? I’m jetting off to Austin for a long-weekend full of friends, Tex Mex + lake time and K’s hanging around Atlanta enjoying all the red white + blue activities around town. But before we check out, we’ve got our favorite links of the day to wind down this Monday.

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Handy Chart to Tell Which Shape of Sunglasses is Right for Your Face

Happy #NationalSunglassesDay! A guide to tell which sunglasses look best on you – where has this been all our life? This is something I’ve always struggled with. While trends can be fun (hello colored mirrored lenses), investing in a pair of sunnies that look fab is always in season.

Why Blogging is Good for Self-Development

Creative outlet? Check. Reason to go to yet another brunch? Check. Self-empowerment? Check. There are many reasons we started this blog, but this article really shines a light on the major #girlboss benefits.

14 Tips for Traveling on a Budget

For those of you who are loyal H+R readers (we <3 you!), it should come as no surprise that travel is always top of mind for us – and we’re always looking to get a good deal out of our tips. (ICYMI: Kristen recapped her AH-mazing Hong Kong adventure here). These tips are great and we’re all about #4 and #14.

Edible Obsession: Palm Tree Donuts

Whether you’re beach-side or pool-side this weekend, these fun treats are sure to be a crowd pleaser and are totally insta-worthy.

What are your plans for the long weekend ahead?

xo, H+R

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

[http://www.thelarksb.com/]

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 

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[http://wanderandwine.com/]

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 

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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.

PCH

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!

california pt. 2

I am slowly yet surely becoming one of those people who abandons their blog for the sole reason of being too busy. Eek! Don’t let it happen, H & R! You are far too cute to abandon because of work.

That being said, I still owe you all a little catch-up on the second half of our trip to California (and I promise, after this, we’ll get back to things that enhance your lives instead of the story of mine). There were just too many amazing sights not to document them all in the travel folder we’re building up here.

//monday//

We’ll go ahead and call this what it was: tourist day. As Emily and Drew had to go back to the real world of work, Andrew and I headed up to Hollywood to see the sights and see if we could catch a celeb sighting to cap off our quintessential Cali experience.

One of the things I had wanted to do while we were there was hike at one of the many outdoor areas in town to get a view of the city and the Hollywood Sign. Emily had suggested the trails around Griffith Observatory which turned out to be amazing advice. If y’all ever make it out there, I highly recommend it for a fun walk-around with amazing views. We walked around the outside of the observatory and ventured up the hilly trails for a while before snapping a selfie in front of the Hollywood Sign, because obviously, and getting ready to down head down into Hollywood.

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After Griffith, we drove through the Hollywood Hills down to the center of the action to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Andrew found his favorite star for #mcm (Kevin Spacey) and I made sure to find Meryl Streep’s during our adventures. We saw the Chinese Theatre, walked up and down the stars (they stretch for miles on both sides of the street) and eventually decided to take the touristing to a whole new level with a tour of stars’ homes (when in Rome, right?). It turned out to be a great investment, as we saw tons of really neat celeb homes, including Madonna, the Beckhams, Ellen Degeneres, Michael Jackson’s last residence, the Playboy Mansion, Steven Spielberg, Morgan Freeman, Justin Timberlake and, obviously, Lindsay Lohan (among others). It was a fun way to spend the afternoon on another beautiful day in Los Angeles.

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Justin Timberlake’s house. Yep.

For dinner, we headed back to Venice and checked out the infamous Whole Foods that Emily has described to me as the most amazing thing…which was not an exaggeration. This thing’s hot bar put my Whole Foods to shame! We picked up assorted meats and cheeses and snacked on the lifeguard stand as we watched the sunset – a true Venice dinner.

Venice Sunset

And yes, that’s #nofilter.

//tuesday//

Not really much to report on here as I sat on the beach all day – which is perfectly fine with me! Emily and I grabbed lunch, I got to see her office, try her favorite snack at Sunny Blue (omg, omusubi, google it) and drink a few beers at Venice Ale House before bidding goodbye to our friends after a wonderful, amazing time in Los Angeles. Everything was wonderful (how could it not be), but the best part was getting to put a picture to so many places I had heard Emily describe in their lives and feeling like I could picture her life now instead of just imagining it.

//wednesday – friday//

Early Wednesday, we left L.A. for a small vacation from vacation off the coast at a place called Catalina Island. Guys…I don’t even have words for this place. Quaint, beautiful, peaceful…all of the wonderful things. We stayed in the main town on the island (there are only two), Avalon, all of which is walkable. Everyone on the island knows each other and was so friendly to us during our stay. Catalina is a popular stop for cruise ships during the week as well – we saw a boat docked off the coast on our last day.

We stayed downtown at a small hotel, Hotel Vista del Mar. I’d recommend this place over and over again, as the staff was so nice and helpful – and look at the view from that lobby! The lobby/hallway is all open-air and the rooms are beautiful, complete with fireplaces. I’m going on and on, I know, but seriously y’all – yes.

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Our main outing on Catalina was to take their island zipline, a course of long lines that goes through the high hills of the island and provides unreal views of the ocean and scenery. We’re both a little scared of heights, but it was absolutely worth it! Such a cool experience.

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Overall, we beached it, walked around and enjoyed time together – a perfect, lovely few days in paradise.

//friday – monday//

While this doesn’t technically fall under the title, we did visit another state on our vacation – Texas! One of our good friends from college moved out to Ft. Worth after graduation, so it was only fitting that we stopped and saw his life, too, on the way back home.

In true Texas fashion, we did everything big: a Billy Currington concert at an absurdly large megabar called Billy Bob’s (yes, it’s a thing.), a sleepy breakfast at the Ol’ South Pancake House and, of course, a big W by our Dawgs on Saturday.

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So there it is – you did it! If you’ve made it this far, congratulations – you can now relay Kristen’s vacation to anyone who asks. Like I said, we’ll be getting back to useful things soon, but wanted to document our amazing time. Traveling is such a wonderful, fulfilling thing, isn’t it? I’d rather spend all my money on a plane ticket than anything I can touch and hold. The memories from exploring new parts of the world are truly things that, to me, are priceless.