Santa Barbara Life & Style | February 2016

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Vol 4. Issue 2 | $5.99



LINGERIE Romantic Getaways

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(805) 569-1610 36 W. Valerio Street Santa Barbara, CA This Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast Inn has been owned and operated by the Dunstan family for over 30 years, and no expense has been spared to ensure the best experience hospitality can provide.


MAGAZINE February 2016 Volume 4 / Issue 2 Editor & Publisher Ottocina Ryan Lead Photographer Meadow Rose Staff Photographer & Writer Silas Fallstich Art Director Riley Yahr Director of Marketing Frances Rozhko

On this


PHOTOGRAPHED by Meadow Rose MODEL Christina Cauchi with L.A. Models STYLED by Paula Parisotto at Dettamoda STYLING ASSISTANT Melissa Laine HAIR & MAKEUP by Kristabelle Marks with JosĂŠ Eber Salon LOCATION Ellwood Bluffs DRESS Free People from Plenty Boutique SCARF from Plenty Boutique SNEAKERS Madden Girls

Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine is published by Santa Barbara Life & Style, Inc. 26 West Mission Street # 5, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 For distribution, advertising and other inquiries:

Contributing Writers Christina Burch Taylor Hurles Marisa Hutton Madison Ludlow Jenna Newburn Contributing Photographers Joshua Curry Shannon Jayne Paige Keyser Carly Otness Riley Yahr Stylists Paula Parisotto Michelle Sanchez Director of Advertising Lisa Wright Account Managers Jordan Donohoe Angie van der Merwe Operations Interns Robin Berger Kayla Hernandez Marley Savin

/CONTENT February 2016

14 / WOMEN MAKING WAVES Victoria Strong’s inspiring story of how the power of parents’ love can ignite a community and initiate action.

16 / FIELD OF DREAMS Keep it casual by lacing up white sneakers with soft garments and clean lines.

26 / THE ITALIAN WAY Indulge in the Italian cuisine you’ve been craving with pizza, pasta and everything in between.

36 / LACE IS MORE These delicate undergarments will leave you feeling sexier and bolder.

50 / LEARN TO FLY A workout that defines gravity and leaves your heart rate soaring.

52 / WELCOME TO THE ABLITT HOUSE Discover a piece of fantasy inside the walls of this whimsical hidden gem.

70 / JOAH BROWN—SEWN FOR SUCCESS A look behind the scenes of a Carpinteria-based fashion brand.

72 / RAISE A GLASS Let the Santa Barbara Wine Collective guide your glass through the local countryside.

78 / BIG SUR Free yourself from the urban jungle, and adventure through the peaks and waves of Big Sur.

90 / DISH IT UP The perfectly simple and well-rounded meal to wrap up a long day or a romantic Valentine’s Day.

92 / GET THE LOOK A slicked back bun and peachy makeup combine for a sleek look.

WHATwe LIKE Staff Picks for February 2016

Frances Rozhko, Director of Marketing Photographed by Shannon Jayne

CHOKED UP Crowheart Leather Choker with Quartz Crystal, Antoinette




BEST SCENT Christian Tortu Forêts Candle, Legacy

SO CLUTCH Leather Clutch, Maison K

4. SWEET SPRAY Elizabeth and James Nirvana Eau de Parfum Spray


PRETTY PAGES The Gospel According to Coco Chanel & Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Legacy

12 | FEBRUARY 2016


PURE MOISTURE Lush Magical Moringa Facial Moisturizer


from the

Editor February is not only a time to cuddle up with your valentine, but also one to spoil yourself—this issue reflects both. We all know that lace screams sexy, and I can’t think of a better way to welcome in the day of romance than with the alluring Lace is More editorial. From pretty bralettes to seductive lingerie, we’ve got you barely covered. Then, in Field of Dreams, it’s all neutral everything. Warm sweaters and simple dresses are complemented by the dry fields of the Ellwood Bluffs. Next, travel to the fantastical and concealed world of the Ablitt House. Follow us down the rabbit hole to this hypnotizing architectural masterpiece, which we complemented with colorful food and fashion. The striking colors strategically splattered throughout the house fill this feature with light. And this place is rentable, just book it and thank us later. Apart from walking up and down the Ablitt House steps a thousand times at each shoot,

aerial acrobatics is the most exciting workout. In Learn To Fly, get inspired to throw on your coolest activewear and get toned and flexible at a trapeze or aerial silks class! In an effort never to leave you hungry, The Italian Way features one of my favorite restaurants, Via Vai, and the carbo-loaded meal of a lifetime. Dough both on and off the pizza, seafood splendor and sweets to boot, you’ll find yourself wishing these images would spring to life. And nothing pairs better with Italian food than wine. Look to the Santa Barbara Wine Collective for a flawlessly tailored variety of wine made to enrich any occasion, such as a rainy day. Finally, we round off this issue with the tranquil outdoors, the Big Sur skyline and landscape will leave you daydreaming about your next weekend getaway. This issue is the perfect way to send off winter, and look forward to, what is sure to be, a dazzling spring.


Ottocina Ryan Editor in Chief Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine


profile NEVER GIVE UP. T-Shirt Sally LaPointe Skirt Freelance Shoes Lara Noel Hill Necklace


1269 Coast Village Road, Montecito 805-563-2425 14 | FEBRUARY 2016


Hair by Sir-rye Cook, Makeup by Vanessa Regalado 1250 Coast Village Road, Montecito 805-969-6700

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Never Give Up Victoria Strong’s Quest to Help Change the Future of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Photographed by Carly Otness Written by Madison Ludlow The Journey Matters When two people received life-altering news about their firstborn baby girl, they never would have imagined the news would influence the world. Victoria Strong and her husband, Bill Strong, found out their six-month-old daughter, Gwendolyn, had a debilitating recessive gene called spinal muscular atrophy, also known as SMA. Blindsided by this discovery, the Strongs were told her disease was incurable and that the best thing for them to do was take Gwendolyn home and love her abundantly because her life would be short. At that moment they could not have predicted how Gwendolyn’s life would influence the local and global community impacted by SMA. With the mindset that Gwendolyn’s life could help save others, Victoria and Bill altered their careers in order to start the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (theGSF). Pouring every ounce of energy into educating themselves about SMA, it was clear to Victoria and Bill that information available to the public regarding this terminal disease was scarce and limited. The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation was created to serve as a touchstone in the community to provide much-needed information and resources about SMA. Innovation through Purposeful Change TheGSF has raised over $2 million for research and support programs and granted funds to 25 different research institutions in less than eight years. “Like all of our other programs, we’ve always focused on areas in the nonprofit world where gaps exist,” says Victoria. Through their Project Mariposa initiative, they have granted 250 iPads to children and adults who have been severely disabled by SMA. While running the foundation, the Strongs simultaneously developed the NEVER GIVE UP. nonprofit apparel brand that gives 100% of the proceeds from purchases to help fund programs and empower supporters of theGSF. “Gwendolyn’s effect on others is what spawned the foundation. She was never able to say a word—but she made people listen,” Victoria shares. Gwendolyn’s story was shared on TED Talks and on the floor of Congress. Her picture is mounted in research labs worldwide, spreading awareness of this neuromuscular disease. Their successes and innovation didn’t stop there. The Strongs built a first-of-its-kind communication application for the iPad called Say Hi! AAC, designed to help the severely disabled communicate without having to touch the iPad screen. This application is not only relevant to those with SMA but its use extends to many other communication challenges in children and adults. With a download count of 150,000 people globally, this application brings people together like never before. Wave of the Future The Strongs found that running the foundation grew out of their passion to create meaningful change and stemmed from their irrevocable love for their beautiful daughter, Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn passed away, just shy of eight years old, on July 25, 2015. The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation was created to educate the public and provide tangible support to the families and friends affected by SMA, but this “never give up” mentality was something that Victoria wished to strongly convey. Victoria urges those affected by SMA to not “let their diagnosis define their life. Listen to your child and help them live the life they want.” Anyone who knew Gwendolyn would say she never gave up on life. Gwendolyn's legacy and the Strongs’ efforts do not go unnoticed locally in Santa Barbara or globally by those affected by SMA. Their journey and accomplishments are not about them, but about the impact they are creating every day in thousands of families locally and nationwide. * For more information about the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, go to SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 15


Field of Dreams Photographed by Meadow Rose Styled by Paula Parisotto at Dettamoda Styling Assistant Melissa Laine Models Christina Cauchi & Vera Wu with L.A. Models Hair & Makeup by Kristabelle Marks with JosĂŠ Eber Salon Location Ellwood Bluffs

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We want to see where you take SB Life & Style! Tag us on Instagram @sblifeandstyle to get reposted.

the ITALIAN way


Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Christina Burch

26 | FEBRUARY 2016



ave you ever noticed how truly happy people are while gathered around a table for dinner? A joyous family celebrating a birthday; a sweet couple smiling at each other from above their menus; a rowdy bunch of co-workers shaking off the workweek stresses—these are the common mealtime scenarios in which people seem to be completely in love with the company they’re with. I’m fairly sure I’ve figured out this phenomenon of eternally blissful table-mates. One might be tempted to say it has all to do with quality of the food or the carefully selected dinner specials.

Calamari Fritti

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Others might want to credit the venue’s ambiance. Although diners do appreciate these noteworthy factors, I’m convinced that their hearts are beaming with joy because they’re getting to reconnect with their people. Okay, and the basket of warm fresh bread definitely doesn’t hurt. This brings me to my chilly Friday night dinner excursion with three friends, all gathered around a table at Montecito’s gem of an Italian eatery, Via Vai. We’re just settling in—giving our drink orders, peeling off our coats and excitedly diving into conversation—when the owner, Pietro Bernardi, walks up to our table to greet us with a “Buonasera.”

Insalata Cappuccina

If we were a little unsure of the restaurant’s heritage, this affirmed it. In his thick Italian accent, Pietro goes on to recommend, with passion I might add, a variety of dishes. Penne Rigate con Salsiccia e Cipolla. Orecchiette alla Tirolese. Pizza Napoletana con Mozzarella Fresca e Peperoni. It’s in this moment, as he’s vividly describing the intricacies of the calamari sauté that I’m reminded of just how beautiful the Italian way is. Not only do they treasure gathering around the table to eat, but they’ve perfected the meal, drinks and dessert to follow. It’s simple: they love the food, they love the company, they love life. I’m no stranger to this mentality of la dolce vita. My mother’s side is loud, warm and 100% Italian—tomato sauce practically running through their veins. Ever since I can remember, they’ve hosted four-hour dinners and explained to me the importance of good quality salami and cookie assortments. Trust me, I have the

chubby toddler pictures to prove it. The four of us finally agree on the Calamari alla Livornese and Pizza Siciliana, and Pietro smiles to applaud our choices. Before we know it, we’re dipping bread into rich olive oil and volunteering stories of our travels abroad—Rome, Paris, Florence, and Israel—practically sighing with wanderlust. We reach for more bread and additional sips of our I Sodi Del Paretaio Chianti. The appetizers, as if to accompany our daydreaming, arrive in no time. The pizza, a crispy thin-crust, is topped with sausage, capers and hot gooey cheese, the kind that holds on for dear life as you try to steal a slice from the rest of the pie. The calamari dish is sophisticated, sweetened by the fresh basil in the marinara sauce and topped with grilled polenta—an Italian staple.


Margherita Pizza

Capricciosa Pizza

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Stufato Di Vitello

Our waiter, Luiz Felippe, greets us with a charming toothy grin and an authentic eagerness to discover our selections per Primi e Secondi. Craving a little guidance, we ask Luis for his top three choices, meals that would provide the perfect snapshot of Via Vai cuisine. He nods and then pauses in deep thought. He seems to be crafting the perfect answer—perhaps a mental hierarchy ranking each exquisite entrée appropriately. He reveals his

favorites in a rich Italian accent. But then, he smiles to add another. And another. “Wait, you must try this.” “Oh and this is worth a taste, too.” We smile to ourselves. “Oh! But do you know what is really good?” he adds. We can no longer hold back our laughs, realizing that he might unintentionally guide us through the entire kitchen if we didn’t stop him. Clearly his passion for the menu is just as bona fide as the food we’re anxiously awaiting.


Spaghetti Al Coccio Con Frutti Di Mare

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And did I mention that it’s completely encapsulated in a pizza dough crust? That’s amore.

We collectively order some of Via Vai’s finest: the Spaghetti al Coccio con Frutti di Mare and Capellini con Pomodoro Fresco, among others. We continue to unravel details of our European adventures, and I admire the hustle and bustle of the restaurant as if it were my own family’s full kitchen. The phone appears to be ringing steadily with takeout orders, and the lively group next to us accommodates their late-comers by squeezing in additional seating. I’m presented with my Spaghetti al Coccio con Frutti di Mare, and it’s transfixing. Steam is seeping through the top of a pot-pie-like bowl, and beneath it, a fresh tomato broth awaits, filled with spaghetti and a nautical sampling of salmon, shrimp and mussels. And did I mention that it’s completely encapsulated in a pizza dough crust? That’s amore. My friends appear to be just as delighted with their choices, and in no time, we’re passing around helpings of each dish. I dip my fork into the angel hair pasta and twist,

recalling the careful lessons my Grandpa Guiseppe gave me on the proper pastaspoon-twirling technique. We polish off our dinner with decadent dolci like hazelnut gelato, panna cotta and Bigné al Cioccolato. Mint leaves, cookie straws and oozy dark chocolate ganache adorn our treats, and we pass them around until they’re a shared experience. Pietro returns to insist that we try the Cantucci di Prato con Vin Santo, the almond dipping cookies with aged Trebbiano wine before calling it a night. In no time, we’re nibbling on biscotti and asking Pietro of his hometown. He’s from Asolo, Italy, he explains, a beautiful town where it’s customary to hop from one house to the next, breaking bread and sharing life, before heading out to do it all over again. He hopes to carry on this tradition, he explains, at Via Vai — meaning “coming and going”— a place where family and friends can enjoy the goodness of life and, of course, the divinity of food. My Italian pride soars.


...Via Vai—meaning ‘coming and going’ — a place where family and friends can enjoy the goodness of life and, of course, the divinity of food.

Bigné al Cioccolato

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And just like that, our evening is complete with wine, biscotti and an anecdote to hold onto. We thank Pietro and Luiz for their hospitality and wave to the remaining wait staff with our full stomachs and overflowing hearts. It looks as though we’ve proved my point; we’re just another case of completely content people huddled around a dinner table, mimicking the Italian way. And although we promise ourselves to return to Italy sooner than later, we know that Via Vai is always there—welcoming us with open arms and all the pizza doughcovered-pasta-soup concoctions we could ever desire.




1483 East Valley Road, Santa Barbara, CA 805-565-9393



Lace is More Photographed by Meadow Rose Styled by Michelle Sanchez

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La Perla Lingerie, Antoinette Petit Fours & Cookies, Andersen’s Danish Bakery & Restaurant

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Santa Barbara Centre for Aerial Dance provides a unique opportunity to challenge your body from the floor to the air. Photographed by Joshua Curry Written by Taylor Hurles Model Tara Blanchard with L.A. Models Makeup by Rose Serrano with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Hair by Krysta Withrow with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar

Varley Sports Bra, B-fly Activewear Alo Yoga Leggings, B-fly Activewear

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verybody dreams of flying at some point in their life, but unfortunately we were not born with the natural ability to glide through the sky. However, thanks to the Floor to Air Choreography class with Ninette at the Centre for Aerial Dance, I learned that with a little muscle work, flying is possible. I walk into the dance studio and am captivated by the circus-like scene. To the right, the mesmerizing aerial silk dancers liquefy themselves with each movement. While they make it look effortless, I know the trapeze class I am about to take will prove otherwise. I make my way to the left and see three metal trapezes placed equidistance apart. My nerves kick in, but I take a deep breath, and relish in the idea of “New Year, new experiences.” When class begins, Ninette reassures us to go with what our bodies feel, and to not push ourselves to a level of discomfort, but rather allow the moves to flow through us. Her encouragement and support give me the confidence I need.

completely around and put both arms on the trapeze. It is a cold Tuesday evening, but there is no better way to keep warm than hoisting my body on to a trapeze with the strength of my arms. With each new move increasing in difficulty, Ninette allows us to decide whether we are ready to challenge ourselves or remain in our comfort zones. Unlike a conventional arm workout, this class explores the different ways to awaken muscles I rarely use, and engage my core. This is a group effort, each classmate inspiring one another with different interpretations of the moves.

“Swinging through the air on a trapeze gives you a sense of freedom that is unparalleled.”

Ninette explains the first dance move—holding the middle of the triangular trapeze bar with our right hand. After, we turn our bodies

Ninette explains that with each week a new dance move is introduced, allowing dancers to practice and test themselves against the wonders of gravity. With classes from beginner to advanced, there is always an opportunity to progress and dare your body with new workouts and fresh experiences. An hour passes, the class is over, and I walk out reflecting on my liberating experience. Swinging through the air on a trapeze gives you a sense of freedom that is unparalleled. I smile, realizing that a workout that allows you to fly is worth the sweat.


SANTA BARBARA CENTRE FOR AERIAL DANCE 810 East Gutierrez Street, Suite B, Santa Barbara, CA 805-284 - 8785



welcome to the

ABLITT HOUSE Photographed by Carly Otness and Silas Fallstich Written by Silas Fallstich Styled by Paula Parisotto at Dettamoda Model Sany Fedorenko with Next Model Management Makeup by Carolina Miranda with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Hair by Katrina Barraza with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Manicure by Quang Pat with Aqua Skin & Nail Bar using LVX in Nu Location Ablitt House


’m standing on the cusp of an abyss. The threshold I’m passing is real yet the feeling and energy conveyed here has transported me elsewhere. I’m in a magical and majestic place where every corner, nook and cranny offers the hope of something fictional. I’m cozying up in the Ablitt House. A dainty little leap off of State Street, this residence is by far Santa Barbara’s best kept secret. Negligently reserved for tourists, Segway tour-goers and architecture buffs. But that will be no more, this space, this majestic castle, this 20-square-foot tower, which must have been built with a SoCal Rapunzel in mind, will no longer stand vacant.

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You’ve walked within feet of this place and never realized it, I’m guilty. The facade goes unnoticed as if it sarcastically disappears into the sky. The gate keeper to this abyss, Neil Ablitt, meets me at the foot of his tower, glimmering gold key in hand. Rapunzel must have let her hair down. I arch my neck and strain upwards. As if stretched by Dr. Seuss himself the tower careens into the sky bending and unfolding before me. Whitewashed exterior walls, jagged edges and a massive yellow clay pot set into a corner. All cast against massive looming gray rain clouds, my stay is already questioning reality. Neil is a warm and friendly home owner; just a few moments into meeting him his passion for his space is apparent—from his classic purple “Ablitt House” t-shirt to his almost rehearsed breadth of knowledge. He opens a beautiful arched wooden doorway lined with blue and white tiles and begins a retinue of stats. One hundred percent is built by local craftsmen. The home consists of 800,000 pounds of poured concrete (zero wood was used), four and quarter miles of rebar…his eyes are twinkling with joy but suddenly he stops. He offers me a courteous farewell and departs, the twinkle in his eyes is the last thing I see, as if he has a secret and it’s up to me to figure it out. Once inside color, texture and light wash over me. Vibrant oranges interact with subtle blues and greens. The floor tiles in the garage remind me of a film in which a man and woman are looking at a colorful avant-garde piece of art. The woman asks the man, “What do you see?” The man responds with “Headlights,” she shrugs and says, “I see the female orgasm.” The whitewashed walls and colorful array of tiles assert themselves to me, neither of the aforementioned come to mind, yet the semblance of an idea is beginning to formulate itself. Rightfully so the tile work has already received one national award for its design. My self guided tour begins. The ground floor of the structure is the garage and laundry room, with enough space for a compact car and a compact load of laundry. My favorite part is the manual wooden garage door, which slides in and out of place by the power of my own arm, secured with a wrought iron latch. Mediterranean influences are already beginning to echo throughout the structure.


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As I climb the marble steps inlaid with tile I become overwhelmed with feelings. Joy, excitement, curiosity, marvel, and sophistication all slide over me. The bedroom boasts the most custom queen sized bed in all of California. The bed took five months to build and was quite literally built into the space by contractor Dan Upton and his crew. While in the bedroom I know I’m downtown but the feeling isn’t “downtown.” I don’t feel here or there, I imagine I’m floating on a vessel with no boundaries and no anchor. Neil and his wife lived on a sailboat for 14 years before moving into the Ablitt House; it’s clear that architect Jeff Shelton made conscious personal choices towards every single detail. The bedroom is a subtle salute to a captain’s quarters with expansive windows, built-in book shelves, a ceiling reminiscent of a rolling sea, and a tidy jar of orange ear plugs for the noisy nights in the downtown Santa Barbara sea. Above the bedroom, the kitchen is full of natural light. Light that beams in from all sides and grand windows. There is so much light in the kitchen it seems as if the seams of the building are coming undone to let more light in. A sophisticated design, tone and character exudes itself in the kitchen. Ultra-modern appliances, delicately inlaid into the structure, transition to casual wine storage and blown glass light fixtures. My first deed is to 58 | FEBRUARY 2016

open the grand wooden windows. Before me lies an expansive view of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The sounds and smells of State Street are ushered up to me, I can almost smell the possibility of meals, hear shop owners calling me down and in the distance is a bellhop with a hand at the ready. As I climb to the living room my fascination grows with every detail. Each tile and peek-a-boo window carries within itself the potential to incite feelings of magic and wonder. What’s most captivating about this place is how effortless these feelings are. It’s as intrinsic as the framework of the structure. The living room boasts two symmetrical key hole windows, magnetic colors and more apparent geometric tile work, harkening the design elements towards a Moroccan feeling. The space is enhanced by a minimalist approach with a love seat, living room chair and hideaway flat screen. There are not one but two stairways leading to the rooftop patio. Just before the entrance to the rooftop I come to the end of the 108-foot-long black walnut handrail, a serpents head. The magnificent handrail winds its way nearly 50 vertical feet up through the entire structure. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, curving and undulating, a piece of art in its own right.


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The patio has one of the most uninhibited views of Santa Barbara I have ever laid eyes on. It boasts a 360 degree view of downtown, TV hill, the Santa Ynez mountains, city college, the Pacific, and the Channel Islands. On this evening as the light starts to fade from the sky, clouds crest the mountain range. The quickly fading daylight and clouds race over the city as if instructed by an orchestrator to usher in night. After sunset my appetite and partner arrive at once. We welcome the proximity to State Street and take an early evening jaunt to Joe’s for a cocktail. Patrons are radiating energy and robustly consuming their drinks; we settle in to the revelry and up-beat feelings all around us. Before long we are eager for dinner, and the Ablitt House kitchen is all but calling us home. I hope Rapunzel isn’t offended by a female dinner guest. Our return is instantly dominated by a spicy aroma of chorizo. Chef Courtney Ladin from Nuance Restaurant is waiting in the kitchen. She’s preparing a private dinner for the two of us. Crispy loup de mer, with purple sweet potato puree, sautéed swiss chard with chorizo, and gorgonzola gnocchi. Paired with a seasonal order of Fizz Sparkling Shiraz from Municipal Winemakers. Chef Courtney infects the space with potent aromas, charm and dishes that please the eye before they even meet the plate.

The fish is cooked to a perfect golden brown. The first bite ushers in an immediate expression of gratefulness. In the last year I’ve had chefs from all over town reference the ultimate ingredient in their food: love. This ingredient is subtly referenced but always apparent in Chef Courtney’s food. Whether she’s preparing breakfast at home, brunch at Nuance or a private dinner at the Ablitt House her fare is always infused with love. The sweet potatoes may be the best I have ever had. Pureed to a cream like smoothness and as vibrant as the colored tiles around me they are almost sweet enough to be labeled dessert. The natural flavors of the fish and spiciness of the chorizo salad have my tastebuds feeling like a jackhammer of flavor is in my mouth. My girlfriend’s shared enthusiasm for the space and food confirms my infinite fondness of this experience. We are dizzy over the flavors and the Fizz vino is making it all that much better. Our dinner and chef retreat into the night and we retire to the patio. With no inhibitions we infuse the night with a second bottle of vino and a sophisticated backgammon board. Our night is spent wading in and out of sobriety, the ongoing flow of games contorted by debates and instruction over backgammon, gammon and exacto. I’m slowly learning the dialect of the backgammon board. The games are countless in number but charged with a grand lethargy towards victory. When the bubbling red wine catches up to us we are halfway down the 61 stairs and headed to bed.


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Joie Blouse, Wendy Foster Los Olivos Love Sam Skirt, Wendy Foster Los Olivos Calleen Cordero Boots, !Romp Los Olivos Necklace, Lily


Joie Blouse, Wendy Foster Los Olivos Floral Headpiece, Stylist’s Own Necklace & Ring, Lily

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In the morning we wake early and walk to French Press for a sunrise coffee. The warm embrace of caffeine infects us with energy for the day before us. Our brief walk to and from the coffee shop ushers in the closing of my shared time at the Ablitt House. My girlfriend departs and I have this space once again to myself. I jump up each step to the top. Unfinished glasses of wine and backgammon are on display. Just as I find a rooftop seat, light starts to dance and play along the mountains. In the sky to the north an enormous rainbow arches over the city. It stretches from the Mesa to the Mission. Perfectly visible from my vantage point. It radiates throughout the rest of the morning. Hours after I’ve checked out it remains in the sky, the longest standing single rainbow I’ve ever seen. You can’t be sad when you leave the Ablitt House, if you never have the opportunity to stay here that would be sad. If you never see this space, whether from a distance or from within, that’s sad. In staying here I not only discover the space but discover Neil’s secret. This space will captivate you, it will leave you wanting more, but more important than anything else this tower will make you feel grateful. Grateful to have experienced it, grateful to have lounged in a fictional world of wonder and merriment if only for a day and a night.



13 West Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA


fashion Joah Brown Free Me Dress Joah Brown Soleil Cardigan Madden Girl Sneakers, Macy’s Hammered Hoops Necklace Joah Brown Silhouette Slip Dress Madden Girl Sneakers, Macy’s Necklace, Model’s Own Hammered Hoops Bracelet

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JOAH BROWN sewn for success Self-Taught Entrepreneurs build a successful clothing brand Photographed by Meadow Rose Written by Taylor Hurles Styled by Paula Parisotto at Dettamoda Styling Assistant Melissa Laine Models Christina Cauchi & Vera Wu with L.A. Models Hair & Makeup by Kristabelle Marks with José Eber Salon Location Ellwood Bluffs


hree years ago, Joah sat in her apartment in Carpinteria sewing headbands and selling them on Etsy. These bohemian headbands became a success that ignited her interest in the fashion industry. After a year of sourcing her own fabric, hand sewing the headbands and selling them at markets, a clothing brand started to evolve. With the help of her team, Brian the Sales Director, and Sydney the Marketing Director, this brand became what we now know of as Joah Brown. I approach the small antique living room area in the middle of their Carpinteria warehouse, an inviting nook in the chilly structure. The purposely worn white chairs invite me to take a seat and a sign above a small rack of clothes has the words “Joah Brown” on it. An arrow underneath the sign intrigues me. It is plowing forward in one direction, and my mind wanders as I think of its possible meaning. On a desk behind me, canvases display black and white images of carefree models in their Joah Brown attire. Joah, Sydney and Brian settle in around me as their dog, Henry a Maltese Yorkie, struts around, licking my palm, excited to greet a new guest. Joah tells me that the arrow in their logo I have been eyeing represents their motto: to always move forward and keep progressing. I listen in admiration as Joah explains the evolution of the brand’s style. “We call it ‘athleisure,’ it is fashion and workout apparel,” she says. “We wanted the fabric to cater to any body shape and to look great on anyone.” They use a modal and spandex blend of fabric for the upmost comfort. It took time and a lot of trial and error to achieve their ideal look. “We had no industry experience. We make mistakes, but we don’t take

‘no’ for an answer,” Joah explains. Despite all of the challenges they have faced, from finding the right manufacturer, to breaking into the market, they triumph and continue to excel. “In a business it’s important to be able to transform quickly,” Joah notes. From the fabric to the designs, “Selling a brand is being able to relate to the buyer,” Joah says. Because of the relatable and consistent branding, falling in love with their Lazy Day Tanks and For Keeps V-Necks is inevitable. Their style inspiration comes from the relaxing and healthy lifestyle that Santa Barbara embodies. They all laugh as they tell me about their favorite Santa Barbara activities: tranquil walks on Carpinteria State Beach and dinners at Arigato. “We want to stay here!” Joah explains, “We could not do what we do in any other location, the serenity of the Santa Barbara area allows us to focus.” Despite the obstacles of running a business with a small team, they truly love what they do. Creating clothes that they are passionate about, and working hard are central to their brand ethics. The team assures me that any new company is a learning process, but what started out for them as a creative endeavor in an apartment, has developed into a brand with showrooms in New York and Los Angeles and stores in multiple countries. Each fashionable and functional piece they create reflects their passion for comfort and style. Even though they are always busy, they would not have it any other way. “A lot of people have a dream of doing their own things, but you have to be willing to sacrifice and work hard,” Joah advises. With the reassurance that anything is possible with the right amount of effort, I can’t help but leave with a newfound drive, energy…and a few of the softest t-shirts.





GLASS Photographed by Paige Keyser Written by Marisa Hutton

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have always thought of wine as something to complement an evening, or enrich a dinner, but never as the main event. And so, as I walk into the Santa Barbara Wine Collective, I know I have a lot to learn. With its stunning collection of hanging lights clumped overhead, this old warehouse has been transformed into a modern rustic tasting room. Polished cement on the floor, wood everywhere, and one long table laid out in the middle gives the impression that I’m walking into a wine boardroom. I see a lone figure standing behind the wooden bar, and I sense he is my guy. I walk over to the bar, sit on a metal stool, and eagerly await the journey. Alejandro Medina, the general manager, introduces himself and I immediately know by his layered necklace, sleek black t-shirt, and undercut-styled hair, that this isn’t going to be the buttoned-up experience I have been expecting. I can tell Alejandro has a full evening planned when he starts me off slowly, with some Fess Parker bubbly. The 2013 Fesstivity Blanc de Blancs goes down like syrup and I try not to get ahead of myself by taking another sip. With a selection of Jessica Foster truffles laid out in front of me, pacing myself is going to be a struggle. Over the glasses of sparkling

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liquid, Alejandro begins to explain the “new world meets old world” concept behind the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. His passion seeps out of him as he takes me on a Santa Barbara wine country journey. He describes the Santa Barbara Wine Collective experience as a “tour in a glass through Santa Barbara County.” As the first and only communal tasting room in Santa Barbara, this warehouse is anything but limited. The floor-toceiling shelves are filled with bottles from five different wineries, spread across the County. Alejandro pours me a second glass, this one a 2014 Rosé of Pinot Noir from The Paring. Clearly, judging by its refreshing acidity and depth, he is easing me into richer wines. I continue to enjoy my Rosé while watching Alejandro tend to the “girls night out” at the table next to me. The baguette and cheese platter he serves the women leaves me envious…that is, until I look down and see the truffles I have yet to devour. Alejandro follows my gaze and informs me that the room behind me, lined with ovens and mixers, is the bakery awaiting its opening. When you read this, the Helena Avenue Bakery will be serving warm bread, pastries, and café foods. I begin to daydream about watching my bread being baked while watching my wine being poured; it is not a bad picture.


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I continue to travel through the Santa Barbara countryside. My next glass is a 2013 Riesling from Grevino Vinyards. One sip, one truffle, another sip. I have the routine down pat. As I’m wallowing in the notes of crisp lime and sweet peach, Alejandro directs my focus to the large map to my right. Pointing out the features of the county, he explains the uniqueness of its landscape. Its range of climates and environments produces an array of wines from Pinots to Chardonnays to Syrahs, all with exquisite quality. I never thought hearing about microclimates would be so interesting—until I was able to pair the information with alcohol.

I know I’ve made it to wine adulthood when I am given my first glass of red. The ethereal 2013 “Slice of Heaven” Pinot Noir from Babcock Winery has a sexy and bright taste. A young couple sits beside me, and I look around the bar for tasting notes to quote. My attempt to impress them fails when I realize that there are no notes to be found. Alejandro, once again, senses my movements, and assures me that their absence is for the better. The Santa Barbara Wine Collective’s model is based on immersing yourself in the experience. Every visitor has to rely on either their own receptors or the knowledgeable sommeliers. Each wine here is meant to be understood and acknowledged, not mindlessly sipped. Then, all too soon, Alejandro pours me my last glass—a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Notary Public. I nurse the smooth and smoky wine to extend my evening—an excellent decision, since I am soon greeted by an unexpected guest. Bryan Babcock, the maker of the Pinot Noir I had earlier, walks over and introduces himself. I am almost star-struck. Alejandro had just told me the history of his converted convent winery; seeing him in the flesh feels like meeting a celebrity of sorts. It is the perfect bow tied on an already beautifully wrapped evening. Full of wine and chocolate, I sit on my stool fawning over the open tasting room. The romantic lighting, the dark wooden décor, and the soft Jack Johnson playing in the background have all enhanced my experience. As I say goodbye to my guide Alejandro and walk out through the garden picnic area, I feel accomplished and energized. I’ve elevated my wine IQ and I cannot wait to return. I eagerly anticipate the next monthly Sunday brunch, in which Alejandro creatively pairs a local chef ’s four-course meal with different wines. Thanks to the Santa Barbara Wine Collective’s vast inventory, I know that I will always have more to learn, and a variety of wines to enjoy.


SANTA BARBARA WINE COLLECTIVE 131 Anacapa Street, Suite C Santa Barbara, CA 805-456-2700



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BIG SUR Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Jenna Newburn


he wildness is what attracts me. The unexpected. The jagged rocks and broiling cauldron ocean, icy cold and electrifying. The thick forest of majestic redwoods, its tall trees fed by the fog and damp air. The curve of pavement that brings your car precariously close to it all. This is Big Sur. The “Big South.” Explorers named this part of our California coast “el sur grande” because of its southern proximity to the bustling port of Monterey. They knew close to nothing about the wilderness that lay south of their fishing and trading hub, and due the lack of park maps, marked roads, and secretive locals, neither do we. But this doesn’t keep us out, it only draws us in.


My boyfriend and I leave Santa Barbara on a cold, winter Friday. Post burritos. After a busy week, a spirit of adventure enlivens us as we pack the car and climb in. Once we close the doors, everything falls away. We know we have a full weekend ahead of us. It’s just us, our cooler of food, and our tent. Oh, and a plethora of puffy jackets. It is winter after all. As we head north, the cell service evaporates and we are simply there. All of the excitement and giddiness of a road trip is present, with the added bonus of hoping to uncover something new in one of our favorite places on earth. As my mind races a million miles an hour, filled with Big Sur thoughts and daydreams, we arrive at our first stop, Ragged Point. We fuel up on overpriced gas and walk out to the edge of the cliffs to gaze upon the wild ocean below. The icy wind reminds us we are no longer in Santa Barbara. While standing on the cliffside, we ask each other what we hope to gain from the weekend. Adventure. Tranquility. Exploration. The possibilities

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are endless in this magnificent land where the redwoods meet the sea. We gaze upon the vibrant sunset from high above and as the darkness gets deeper, the stars make their debut, brighter than you’ve ever seen. It’s astonishing how fast it happens. We arrive at Limekiln State Park in the wee hours of the morning, stars glittering through the canopy of trees. We pitch our tent in silence so as to not wake the other campers. The only sound is the rushing creek, the running water echoing in the darkness. The earth is soft from a recent rain and provides a lovely platform for our tent. Limekiln is what I imagined Fern Gully looked like when I was a kid. It is a lush, velvet green; redwoods and ferns threaten to take over the trail if you turn your back. It’s like seeing the world through emerald colored glasses. When we walk up the trail in the morning to see the old limekilns, the trees deafen our footfalls and as we gaze upon burned trunks from a recent fire, the mystery of this place grows deeper.


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We pack up our nylon home and fire up the camp stove for some hotcakes. We dine on steaming pancakes swimming in maple syrup before hopping back in the car. The minute we pull out of our campsite at Limekiln State Park, we are blown away by the massive surf pounding the craggy shore. The whitewater crashes violently more than forty feet into the air and we stand speechless, dwarfed by nature. After gazing upon the ocean’s fury for longer than we realized, we are on the road again to McWay Falls. This waterfall stop cannot be missed, no matter how many times you visit Big Sur. Watching water shoot off a cliff and land on the sand below is enough to make you fight for a parking spot. The trail leads to a lookout point; you can’t reach the beach below but the view is mesmerizing. Waterfalls are my outdoor scenery of choice; I think they are the most breathtaking feature of the forest. They prove that beauty exists whether humans are there to gaze upon it, photograph it, talk about it or

not. This waterfall flows for no one—it is simply part of the landscape and that, to me, is the epitome of nature. Later that day, we pull over at Nepenthe, one of Big Sur’s most famous roadside cafes. In Greek, Nepenthe means “isle of no care,” a fitting name for this idyllic retreat. Perched on a looming cliff, the restaurant was originally built by the Fassett family in the 1940s and later owned by Hollywood stars, Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles. With its locally sourced wooden redwood walls, it’s long been a place to dance under the stars and forget your troubles. Now, all travelers can stop for a cold beer and tasty lunch while they rest their weary legs. Sitting on the deck, the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean glitters before you. The breeze catches in your hair. You stop for lunch, but spend the afternoon. Patrons linger around the massive fire pit to share stories, inspired by the simple inscription, “I remember when…”


As Saturday morning gives way to Saturday afternoon, we continue north along Highway 1 and arrive at Andrew Molera State Beach. We stroll through Creamery Meadow and have a failed attempt at a family photo underneath an old oak tree. Huge fallen leaves blanket the trail and crunch loudly beneath our feet. Thanks to a recent storm, the trail to the beach is washed out but we can still see the surf hammering at the coast. On our walk back to the car, we notice a sign pointing us in the direction of the river yet again. Our curiosity is peaked and as we reach the shore, we can easily continue on another path to the sand in our bare feet. Every time we visit, we discover something new.

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Once we reach the beach, we spot a trail sign pointing up the bluffs and we promise ourselves we’ll embark upon the 10-mile walk on our next visit. After a day spent admiring the sights and awesomeness Big Sur has to offer, we roll into the parking lot at Pfieffer Beach, home to an infamous arch. People from around the world jockey for the best spot, waiting for the sun to shine through the arch and illuminate the lavender-tinted sand. We take a few steps away from the crowd and are rewarded with our own private viewing of the sunset. We share a romantic kiss, another icy cold brew, and head back to the car.

After sunset, we decide it’s time to camp. Cooking dinner on a road trip may be my favorite part of it all. Food simply tastes better outside after a day well spent. When in Big Sur, we like to cook gourmet meals to match the rich sights we feast our eyes on. As we slice up the Brussels sprouts to add to the cast iron pan, we laugh about the days when we were kids and hot dogs were the standard camping fare. We feel like we’ve come so far, yet the allure of the wilderness never fades. As the boyfriend tends to the fire, I fill

our coffee cups with red wine, and we zip our puffy coats tight around our chins. Smiles rest gently on our lips, our bellies full. The fire crackles warmly and right now, Pfieffer State Park is the best place to call home. As the fire loses its flames and the orange glow of the embers takes over, we drink hot tea and climb into our tent. We succumb to the down loftiness of our sleeping bags, so grateful to have spent the past twenty-four hours in this magical land.


The dripping dew and singing birds wake us and as we doze lazily inside the comforts of our tent, the need for caffeine drags us from our warm cocoons. We look at our battered road atlas and dream of adventures yet to come, the coffee warming our bellies and reminding us of how many roads have yet to be explored. We bid farewell to our home nestled under the trees and begin to head south again. Sadly, we skip the Big Sur Bakery, where they serve the best almond croissants outside of Paris— not for lack of desire, but because they are taking their annual winter break. Maybe doing some research in France? We opt for yet another scenic jaunt up Nacimiento Road and are again amazed by the sweeping vistas of land and sea. We delightfully crunch our carrots and enjoy our hummus before heading down the hill to Sand Dollar Beach. Many places in Big Sur are too rugged to get close to the ocean, but Sand Dollar Beach is a wide open beach just waiting to be combed. Chunks of sea glass and the occasional piece of jade keeps our eyes trained on the sand below our feet. We feel like little kids on a walkabout, curiously peering into the tide pools filled with bright creatures, scouting for treasures. As Sunday afternoon begins to wane, we climb back into the car with Taylor Swift blasting, take one final selfie with the ocean behind us, and head south on the 1. The

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rain begins to blow in sideways and we decide to stop at the cozy seaside town of Cayucos to enjoy some freshly baked cookies from the Brown Butter Cookie Company. The sugary treats tide us over until we make it to San Luis Obispo. After a stop in SLO for some belly-warming pho from Lotus Asia, we are back on the road to Santa Barbara. A calmness spreads over us; the conversation ceases as we fall into a comfortable silence that only a road trip can offer. As I gaze out the window at the rolling hills of Los Alamos, I can only hope to return to Big Sur as soon as possible. Around every bend in the infamous Highway 1 there is another trail to be explored, a view to be admired, a waterfall to gaze upon…and a mystery just waiting to be uncovered. It’s amazing what can be packed into a weekend in Big Sur. Snuggle time in the tent, beer in a home built into the rocks, walks on the beach, sunsets, crackling fires, and sense of awe and amazement unparalleled by any other locale. Big Sur evokes mysteries of the past and future. Information is difficult to obtain, the locals hold unnamed places close to their hearts. There are roads off the 1 with no names, promising an adventure if you are bold enough to follow them.




DISH IT UP A simple monthly recipe, to try at home, from our team to you.

Grilled Tuna with Tomato Spaghetti Recipe & Photography by Riley Yahr



Yield: 2 Tuna: 2 ahi tuna steaks 1/2 cup olive tapenade 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Zest of one lemon Juice of one lemon Handful of basil, chopped

Salad: 3 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 1 1/2 cups baby arugula fennel, thinly sliced

Spaghetti: Spaghetti or bucatini 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp fennel seeds 2 cloves garlic, sliced 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

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Combine the tapenade, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped basil. Cover the tuna with this mixture and let sit for 30 minutes. While the steaks are marinating, begin making the spaghetti. Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat. When the water begins to boil, add spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, garlic and fennel seeds. Cook for 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and continue cooking until garlic is golden and tomatoes are soft. Drain the spaghetti and add to the tomatoes. Place the tuna on a heated grill and cook each side for 2-3 minutes for rare. Lastly, prepare the salad. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over arugula, add sliced fennel and toss together.









MAKEUP by Carolina For Sany’s fresh look, I began with Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer, and then applied the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk as a base. Afterwards, I used Physicians Formula Extreme Shimmer Custom Eye Shadow Palette, and applied a light coat of Make Up For Ever Mascara. I filled in her brows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Taupe. For her face, I started with MAC Studio Fix Moisturizer, and followed with MAC Face and Body Foundation. I set the foundation with Make Up For Ever HD Loose Powder. I brushed her cheeks with Sephora’s MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio in Sophisticated. I completed the glowing look by lining her lips with Milani Lip Pencil in Satin Rose and applying MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Shy Girl.

HAIR by Katrina

Peter Cohen Dress, Allora by Laura Earrings, Peregrine Galleries


For this sleek look, I first gave Sany a strong center part. Next, I slicked back her hair into a low ponytail using Davines Invisible Serum. To create the perfectly polished bun, I wrapped the ponytail onto a hair donut and secured it with bobby pins. The final step was setting her hair with Davines Strong Hairspray for great hold and shine.

THE LOOK Photographed by Carly Otness

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Carlyle Salon & Style Bar For appointments call 805-963-8787 350 Chapala St #101 Santa Barbara, CA

232 Natoma Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Reservations: 805-965-3586 or

Escape to The Eagle Inn

for your romantic getaway! Share Champagne on the veranda, relax in the whirlpool tub and cozy up to the fireplace.

232 Natoma Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Reservations: 805-965-3586 or No blocking fee for bridal parties and wedding guests.

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