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

monday musings |5.9.16|

Happy Monday! In case you missed our last post, we’re back in the blogosphere and starting a new weekly post, Monday Musings. From recipe inspiration to work tips, we’re bringing you our favorite things of the moment. Without further ado…

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Best Places to Travel in June

This list is #goals. It’s safe to say we both have a travel bug – K’s about to jet off to Asia + the Maldives (take me with you?) and I’m in the process of planning mini weekend trips and a potential trip to Cuba in September! Stay tuned.

Pimento Cheese Chicken Salad on Honey Butter Biscuits

Need we say more?

Bedroom Before + After

Summer always has us thinking of new design + home projects. Currently loving bright + simplistic spaces – this room is serious #decorinspo.

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower

‘Tis the season! We’ll take all the Paper Crown.

5 Ways to be Happier at Work

I think everyone can relate to the craziness in their career, not matter how much you love your job. Working in PR often means long days, unexpected mini-crises and being creative on-the-go. These tips are a great reminder to stay grounded + focused on doing what you love.

xx, H+R

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?

super bowl recipe roundup

Friday, Friday, Friday!!! Happiest of Fridays to you all and here’s to hoping your weeks felt much shorter than ours did (yuck).

Super Bowl Party Recipes

The Super Bowl is this Sunday and we’ve been prepping for quite a while. It seems like all we pin these days are fun dips and bites, but never have a chance to make any (because it’s not socially acceptable to make a dip for yourself then eat it all for dinner…right? Right?), so when the time rolls around fro the big game, we’re knee-deep in recipes that we’re dying to try. Luckily for you, we’ve collaborated on some of our favorites that we’ll be making this weekend to watch the Puppy Bowl Super Bowl and cheer on the Seahawks/Patriots.

1. Roasted Garlic & Pickled Jalapeno Guacamole

Roasted Garlic and Pickled Jalapeño Guacamole

If something has “garlic” and “jalapeno” in the title, there’s a pretty good chance that we’re going to go crazy over it. This recipe from Foodie Crush is all of the best things: simple, healthy (if you don’t eat the whole bowl) and tasty. Cold dips are always few and far between at Super Bowl get-togethers, so this is a perfect alternative if you’ve got to travel to a party and don’t want to carry around a hot dish.

2. Ham & Swiss Poppyseed Sliders

ham, swiss & poppyseed sliders

Speaking from experience, these are on our top 10 list of what you should always bring to every function you attend that requires food forever. My (Kristen) coworker who writes in an amazing food blog that you all should check out, Cody Uncorked, whipped these up for a football game earlier this year and we all had to restrain ourselves from eating five apiece – yep, they’re that good. Best of all, they’re easy to make in bulk and good for even the pickiest of eaters. Check out the recipe here.

3. Sweet Corn Cake & Chorizo Poppers

SWEET CORN CAKE & CHORIZO POPPERS

So, yes, we realize this makes two recipes with jalapenos…but if you don’t like that, then you’re probably looking in the wrong spot in the first place. It’s easy to find tons and tons of dips and salsas at Super Bowl parties, but finger foods often get overlooked – they’re so easy and convenient to eat on the go without having to heat up every 15 minutes. The sweet corn cake (similar to cornbread) helps to balance out the spiciness of the jalapenos, making for the perfect mix  – recipe can be found on The Wicked Noodle here.

4. Homemade Potato Chips with Sriracha Bbq Sauce & Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese

homemade-chips-I-howsweeteats.com-5

I don’t even think these need an explanation as they speak for themselves. These chips are next. level. Sure, we’re all about a good nacho, but if you’re looking to change it up a little, these chips from How Sweet Eats are the perfect thing – did we mention that they go well with just about any beer on the planet?

5. Slow Cooker Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Slow Cooker Spinach & Artichoke Dip

This one’s for the procrastinators – I know you’re out there, people who wait until noon on the day of the big game to frantically run to the grocery store and try to decide what to make. No worries. This dip’s got you covered. Throw spinach, artichokes, cheese and a few other ingredients in the crockpot, leave on low for 2 hours and you’ve got a classic dip that will be gone faster than Marshawn Lynch tunes out at an interview. It’s from one of our favorite bloggers, Damn Delicious, and we’re definitely going to be throwing this one in on Sunday afternoon. Recipe here.

6. Meyer Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

You didn’t think we were going to forget about dessert, did you? While it’s not typically one of the main things we focus on at Super Bowl Sunday, it’s crucial to have something to satisfy that sweet tooth after so much savory snacking. We’re going with these classic lemon bars (again from Foodie Crush) to finish up our recipe roundup because you can’t go wrong with a classic. This recipe makes about 3 dozen, so you’ll have enough for the whole gang – or you can hoard them in a back room. No judgement.

There you have it, party people – what we’ll be making come Super Bowl Sunday. Got any other suggestions? Leave your favorites below or tweet them at us and we’ll be sure to share! Happy eating!

meal-planning for rookies

Another thing I’ve really wanted to get better at in 2015 is planning my meals. Emily is a planning master: I know she makes all her menus ahead of time, grocery shops and always makes sure to make the most of her space in her LA kitchen.

I, on the other hand, am not this person. I always start with such high expectations, but can’t carry them through for more than a meal or two. The biggest underlying issue here is how much I loathe going to the grocery store. It’s crowded, I can never find obscure ingredients and always end up spending way more than I had planned on. When you’re done with a long day of work, the last thing you want to have to do is go to the grocery store and meander around the aisles picking out a billion random things.

Sound like you? I’ve found the answer, me tested and approved.

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tastes to try: shake shack

If you live anywhere in the Atlanta area, chances are you’ve heard of the newest burger joint to come to town – the infamous Shake Shack, a descendant of its famous parent restaurant in New York. It started as a food cart outside Madison Square Park in 2000 and since then has grown to expand to 11 states (and counting).

The new Shake Shack is located in the heart of Buckhead on Peachtree – if you’ve driven by in the past couple weeks, you’ve definitely seen the giant lines out the door and down the block, even on chilly nights. When a friend was visiting from out of town, we finally got around to trying it to see if it would live up to the hype.

Shake Shack ATL

Image via Eater ATL

First thing’s first: I’m the realest the line. I pass the location on my way home and there always seems to be at least 20 people waiting to meet their burger match – to be honest, this is what scared us away for the first few weeks after the grand opening. After getting up close, though, I can assure you the line’s nothing to be afraid of. The ordering counter is actually right inside the door, so if there are more than a few people lined up, the line is going to stretch out the door – it’s a bit of an illusion. It only took us about 15-20 minutes to get to the front of a pretty long line of people, which wasn’t bad at all when you’ve got friends to wait with you (and milkshake choices to make).

We (not for lack of a long debate) finally made our choices and ordered our food. We all tried the Shakeburger, their original, plain cheeseburger, complete with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce. They’ve also got a vegetarian Shroomburger I’m dying to try and an entire selection of hot dogs that I can’t go into because I’m hungry at work, but if you want to check out the whole menu, it’s here. Since we got to expense it to a business meal for a friend (yep), we also got two things of cheese fries, because, well, they’re cheese fries.

Since it wouldn’t be complete first trip without desserts, we committed to the Shack (Is this a thing? I’m making it a thing.) with different concretes and milkshakes to quench the sugar cravings. Two of us tried the Campfire S’mores Concrete (pictured), as 1. S’mores are everything and 2. 5% of sales are donated to a great local cause, Camp Twin Lakes. (If you’ve never heard of them, please check it out – an amazing program.)


Shake Shack Burger Shake Shack Fries

A few things I didn’t get to try that I’ll definitely be back for: the ShackMeister Ale and the upstairs open-air patio. The ale is brewed specifically for Shake Shack locations by Brooklyn Brewery. If there’s one thing I’m not missing, it’s an original craft beer. It was too cold for us to go up on the patio, but on a beautiful day in Atlanta, there’s nothing better than some rooftop dining.

The Verdict

I’m giving Shake Shack a 7.5/10 in my book. Burger: The burger was good – it’s no H&F burger, but definitely solid. I’m a big In-N-Out fan, but since we don’t have any nearby, I have confidence SS is going to deliver solid burgers quickly and not-too-expensively in my times of need. Dessert: The concrete was good, but a little too heavy for my taste – I think I’ll stick with a shake next time (as I probably should have done in the first place – hence the name)! Sides: However…if we’re giving the cheese fries a score, it would be 10 million/10, because y’all, if you go and don’t get them, you did it wrong. Overall, a great addition to the new Buckhead Atlanta shopping center and something I think will stick around in Atlanta for a while.

october mood board // welcoming fall

As much of a cliche it is, I just LOVE fall. And no it’s not all the Pumpkin Spice Lattes on every corner (fyi, how I feel about the coveted #PSL). This is my first fall on the west coast, and while the temperatures are slower to drop here and the palms trees are evergreen, there is still a crispness in the air that reminds me of the changing season. Bring on the seasonal eats (um, butternut squash everyday), sweaters and apple cider!

Here’s my mood board with some of the things I’m loving/dreaming of this month.

 

[1/Not Without Salt] [2/Cereal Magazine] [3/My Name is Yeh] [4/Style Me Pretty]

[5/My Ideal Home] [6/Pinterest] [7/The Fresh Exchange] [8/Pinterest]

 

That apple cider rum punch looks like the quintessential fall libation, am I right?  I’m thinking about taking a special trip to Big Sur in late November, but may be putting it on hold; I have been dreaming of driving that PCH route forever and am looking forward to it someday. Speaking of rum punch, that bar cart is perfectly styled for hosting a fall get together – I can’t wait to have a backyard to host outdoor dinner parties. A book and coffee in bed is exactly what I need to relax and fall style is all about staying comfortable – I’ll be rocking some combo of a big sweater, skinnies and booties all season long.

What are some things you’re loving this month?

tastes to try: canoe

Birthdays are great, aren’t they? While I’m not one to make a big fuss over them, it’s a great excuse to get together with friends and family and do a lot of good eating (and drinking).

Mine was earlier this month, but let’s rewind a few weeks before. Cue the incessant “where do you want to eat?”s and the menu-searching for weeks, right? Isn’t that a quintessential part of the nice-dinner-search?

Thank me later: I’ve got the answer to your next date night/parents in town/#treatyoself meal (if you haven’t been already, since I realize I’m behind the crowd on this one) for my first “tastes to try” feature – Canoe. A lovely restaurant with great food is nice, but the atmosphere and gardens (yep) surrounding this place make it something else entirely.

Canoe

Does it not look absolutely perfect, y’all? This is a view of the back patio and it’s just as sweet as it appears (including a not-pictured river on the right side of this…and a riverside bar).

Back to me: I picked this place pretty easily for a birthday dinner after hearing rave reviews from many, many people (thanks, Erica!). We got a Friday reservation and we headed on over – to a perfect night. Our server was fabulous and so helpful, even among my nonexistent knowledge of game.

Since it was a birthday, we decided to try…well, everything.

We started with the caesar salad (boring, that wasn’t me) and crab cake appetizers, because if crab cakes are on the menu and you don’t order them, you’re doing it wrong. The salad was a salad, but the crab was perfect – not overloaded with breading and topped over some cabbage slaw.

CrabCake

Photo cred to the other half of the table – thanks, Andy!

Now the real meat (pun intended) – the main course. I had promised myself (and my foodie friends) I would be adventurous and not waste a great meal on pasta, as I usually would. New year, new age and some new branching out: I ended up ordering the Slow Roasted Carolina Rabbit. Guys…it was fabulous. Rabbit & swiss chard over bacon ravioli (yes, you heard me correctly) and sweet potato with a candied garlic sauce. Our server told us they’ve been serving it for 19 years and I can see why. Andrew ordered the Roasted Springer Mountain Chicken over a grilled corn and basil risotto with (his favorite part) the spiced green tomato relish. Both awesome, wonderful and great portion sizes.

RabbitChicken
Rabbit on left, chicken on right.

Now, you might think we’ve seen it all…but what kind of birthday meal would it be without dessert? These pictures need no explanation other than the most basic: popcorn sundae and peach crisp with honey ice cream (yes, they even included a special birthday note).

Popcorn SundaePeach Crisp

Needless to say, we couldn’t get close to finishing them both, but still so good.

Overall, a wonderful culinary experience for my taste buds and a great atmosphere for a sweet night. Already looking forward to my next visit — I hear they have a mean brunch, and you know I’m not missing out on that!