March/April 2021 | Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine

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March/April 2021

Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine


From the SS21 collection of Amina Rubinacci



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Timeless Classics for Throughout the Year

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CONTENTS March/April 2021

In Every Issue


Make self-care a priority with these helpful picks.


Build your own Thai basil bowls that are loaded with colorful veggies and unwavering flavor.

66 | 48 HOURS

Pleasant ways to spend sunny days in Santa Barbara.



This fresh Mediterranean concept is a huge hit at the Mar Monte Hotel.


Savory to-go dishes worth ordering again and again.


Curbside cocktails to indulge in at home.



Sporting top-notch street style with the top down.


A mid-century modern home opens the door to bold spring looks.


The habit of sprucing up can be surprisingly uplifting.



Utilizing the mind-body connection as a means to heal.


Create sustainable joy by focusing on life’s simple pleasures.

56 | THE FUNGUS AMONG US How to reap the benefits from these power plants far beyond your dinner plate.


Simple ways to improve digestion and mend harrowing stomach issues.



A beachfront escape to awaken your soul.


A cozy, wine and pastry-filled getaway makes an ideal place for recharging.

Photo by Jacqueline Pilar Model Liza Kei Zimmerman dress, Earrings & rings, Sandy Moss Jewelry 12 | MARCH/APRIL 2021


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SB LIFE & STYLE covet & crave



Drench dry lips with the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm for the ultimate dose of hydration. It’s formulated with plantderived butters that work hard to seal in moisture while adding a glossy sheen to your lips. $22, S U M M E R F R I D AY S .C O M


Add some extra oomph to your workouts with the 1 1/2, 1, or 2 pound Bala Bangles. Wear them on your wrists or ankles while jogging, doing yoga, or even while you’re just lounging around the house. The constant yet light resistance will help tone you up in all the right places. $ 4 0 A N D U P, S H O P B A L A C O M


Dry brushing offers up countless detox benefits. Before you hop in the shower, use this Dr. Barbara Sturm Body Brush to sweep away dead skin, increase blood circulation, and promote lymphatic drainage. The brush is made with natural bristles—and you can double its use by sudsing up with it in the shower. $35, COSBAR.COM


Keep track of your meals, supplements, exercise, and more in the Goop Well Journal. There’s even a dedicated spot to track your daily mindfulness practices, making it more tempting to squeeze in (then record!) some “me time.” $ 2 8 , G O O P. C O M


Score a smooth, glowing complexion with the Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer. The gadget uses micro-steam technology to deeply hydrate and purify your skin. After a quick steam sesh, you’ll feel like you spent a day at the spa without even leaving the house. $149, SEPHORA.COM

14 | MARCH/APRIL 2021


SB LIFE & STYLE dining


COSTA MAKES ITS DELICIOUS DEBUT AT MAR MONTE HOTEL As a creative, culinary, and cultural hub, Santa Barbara is constantly exposed to new talent within our community. Despite its profound sense of loyalty to the long-standing institutions of the area, the Santa Barbara culinary scene is also known for rearing a handful of breakout stars yearly, the freshman class of our new mainstays. Consider this an official nomination of Costa Kitchen & Bar, the fresh Mediterranean concept opening at Mar Monte Hotel this spring, as the top of such a class.

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Whole Roasted Snapper

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 17

Handmade Tagliatelle 18 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

Costa is where you take your cavalier friends when they announce they have tried all that Santa Barbara’s dining has to offer; where you plan a grand cocktail party, just to hear the harmonizing of your closest acquaintances, praising your superior taste in both cuisine and ambiance. It is the place you suggest when meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time, for its daring pairings, yet down-toearth methodology. It is the bite and cocktail you want on your way home from work and it is the only place you could imagine entrusting with your best friend’s milestone birthday party. Lemon-print wallpaper is a vehicle to Sicily, while velvet mustard club chairs ooze Californian panache. The space houses woodpaneled ceilings bookended by glossy white brick arches that allow the scents and songs of the kitchen to waft to every corner of the restaurant. With East Beach as the backdrop of this Italian time machine, Costa is all at once highly cultivated and charmingly laidback, contemporary, and nostalgic. As cocktails arrive—an Italian mojito with lemon that successfully fools me into believing I am somewhere with my toes in the sand—I am told Chef Nathan Lingle will be sending out the spot’s standout dishes. My favorite words to hear. Naturally indecisive, and when it comes to food, aggressively so, I am relieved and elated. A spectrum of appetizers is laid before me, spanning the entirety of the rainbow and then some. Heirloom carrots of crimson, indigo, and gold are blanketed in a hearty drizzle of yogurt and sprinkled with pistachios, dill, and green olives. Yellowtail crudo with red chilis complements the creamy-sweet brine of the carrots, and sourdough pita triangles soothe the spice of the red chili with the help of three dips: eggplant tahini, butternut squash hummus, and red pepper hummus.

“With East Beach as the backdrop of this Italian time machine, Costa is all at once highly cultivated and charmingly laidback, contemporary, and nostalgic.” A roasted snapper (eyes and tail intact) is set upon the table as appetizers are whisked away, the plates licked clean. Instead of cowering at the intimidating specimen, I cannot dig my fork in fast enough. After my palate bears witness to the meal’s first act, I am frantic for my next taste. Olives, often the star of coastal Italian cuisine, mingle seamlessly with salsa verde to put an American Riviera spin on the traditional dish. Squash blossoms stuffed with cashew cheese steal my heart, not in small part due to the chef ’s heeding of my dairy-free preferences. Olive oil cake, apple tarte, and a plethora of homemade gelatos signal our meal is coming to a close, albeit a cacophonous one. In an act of divine intervention (or, rather, our astute waiter sensing my aversion to leaving), espresso martinis arrive to an appreciative applause. The chef ’s compliments are paid in the form of homemade macarons, bursting at their seams with fresh strawberry cream. The French delicacy realigns itself with Mediterranean values in its flavor profile, which bears a likeness to buttered sourdough with fresh strawberry jam. Martinis are polished off and cake crumbs are salvaged from empty plates as we successfully close down Costa. I am the last to float out the door, levitating on the knowledge that I have found my new goto hotspot and glued to my phone, furiously typing to each of my contacts how they must let me take them to Costa next weekend. *

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 19



20 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

Little Dom’s Seafood Squid Ink Mafaldine Candlesticks & glasses, The Blue Door

Little Dom’s Seafood I nestle myself on a blanket on Carpinteria Beach as the scent of garlic wafts out of my to-go bag. Little Dom’s Seafood on Linden Avenue is an expansion of a Los Feliz staple, bringing Italian seafood specialties to Carpinteria. Train horns blare in the distance as I start with my appetizer, roasted Brussels sprouts. You don’t have to tell me to eat my vegetables twice; these perfectly charred Brussels are smothered in bacon bits, leaving my tastebuds beckoning for more. Next, I indulge in squid ink mafaldine, an endeavor that exudes Japanese influence. The black pasta is coated in a glossy layer of uni butter and topped with sesame seeds and green onions. My initial bite is an explosion of unique flavor, culminating with a kick of spice. My final dish of the evening is a fish piccata served with French beans and glazed in a lemon butter sauce. The golden fillet is flaky and pairs well with the tangy sautéed French beans; it is an understated dish with bold flavor. As the sun sets on my picnic dinner, I head back up the coast and break into the bag of housemade almond biscotti, polenta cookies, and zesty orange ricotta cookies. To no surprise, the treats did not manage to make it through the end of my drive.

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 21

Sushi|Bar Omakase 22 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

Sushi|Bar Montecito My finger presses a small white doorbell as I watch three chefs slicing sashimi through the frosted glass at Sushi|Bar Montecito. I’m presented with my Omakase box, a fine Japanese tradition translating to “I’ll leave it up to you.” I cozy up on my patio and unpack the moving parts of this elaborate takeout experience: their famous pickles and edamame, an array of sauces and pipette, and welcome and after dinner cocktails. I unveil the Omakase, containing sixteen perfectlygarnished, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of nigiri. Inscribed on the lid is a comprehensive tasting list and dressing menu indicating which condiments (soy sauce, ponzu, chili ponzu, and lemon) go best with each piece. In an effort to preserve the exquisite presentation of the embellished nigiri for a few more moments, I sip on my ginger-saké cocktail. Pipette in hand, it is finally time to dive into the box. Each piece of sushi is extraordinary in its own uniquely crafted style. They’re delightfully fresh and flavored with expertise. The tenderness of the scallop jumps out at me immediately. The richness complemented by the tang of lemon and ponzu leaves my taste buds in awe. The salmon, although a simple nigiri staple, is undoubtedly the best I’ve ever tasted; it melts in my mouth and lingers with subtle spiciness. As I move through the box, the flavors become more and more exciting. The king crab not only visually radiates with a sweet pink sauce and lemon, but it is bright and flavorful with a wonderful bite to it. Its neighboring piece, escolar, is equally flamboyant. The fish is scored, topped with roe and green onion, and deliciously buttery. The eel, requiring soy sauce, ponzu, and lemon for optimal experience, is a baked classic with a sweet crunch. As I pick and choose my endeavors, I find myself left with my last piece. The “smoked” albacore, a delicate cut of tuna accented with seaweed and topped with crispy onions, is a showstopper. The soft albacore juxtaposes the crisp onion and leaves me wishing I had a second piece to graze on.

“The soft albacore juxtaposes the crisp onion and leaves me wishing I had a second piece to graze on.”

Sushi|Bar blew my expectations out of the water (no pun intended). Not only was the top quality nigiri prepared with true artistry, but the take-out experience as a whole was unlike any other. If you choose, you can even watch a YouTube video of Chef Phillip Franklin Lee preparing and explaining each course as you eat. I settle into the remainder of my evening, slowly sipping the post-dinner green tea cocktail. There is nothing more I could ask for in this moment—except to indulge in it all over again.

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 23

Loquita Churros Books & playing cards, The Blue Door

Loquita I dash home as the lingering scent of cinnamon tantalizes me from the back of my car. I arrange my beautifully-prepared take-home boxes from Loquita on the dining table and explore the evening’s tapas. I begin with the hongos, a dish composed of maitake mushrooms stewing in mojo verde, an herbed chile pepper sauce. The distinct, earthy taste of the maitake mushroom is gracefully enhanced by the tangy sauce and sherry vinegar, and is complemented by crispy shallots atop. I must admit I’ve never been the biggest fan of mushrooms, that is until now—I simply can’t get enough.

24 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

I venture onto my entrée, the mar y tierra—or the “sea and land” paella. The Spanish classic is prepared with black tiger prawns and grass-fed beef brisket, intermixed with manzanilla olives, roasted garlic cloves, and a pippara pepper aioli—the description alone upstages any old surf ‘n’ turf. I spritz lemon juice across the plate and dig in. The balanced tang of the pippara aioli with the spiced rice is refreshing. The prawns are divine in flavor and texture—slightly sweet and succulent. The brisket has a subtle smokiness to it, and is cooked to perfection.

Loquita Mar y Tierra Paella Zimmerman dress, Candlesticks & playing cards, The Blue Door Ceramic bowls, Letter Perfect Peachy nails,

Last, but certainly not least, I indulge in Santa Barbara’s renowned dessert—Loquita’s churros. The churros are accompanied by a rainbow of mouth-watering dipping sauces: dark chocolate, dulce de leche, and raspberry vanilla. I grab the first churro (of many) and dip back and forth between the sauces, my favorite being the raspberry vanilla, evoking playful flavors of the county fair. Before I know it the sauces have disappeared and naturally, I am satisfied beyond measure. This at-home tapas dinner was not only impeccably tasting, but fulfilled my craving for an authentic dining experience. *

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 25

take Th a eL

The La rk O ax a

rk C

i gron e nN ca


las sic M anhattan


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ur wondrous city is home to an inspiring cocktail scene—skilled mixologists bring masterful creations to our restaurants and bars routinely. On a quest to discover the freshest cocktail offerings, I visit Bettina, The Lark, and Flor De Maiz and convene my prepared drinks to enjoy from the comforts of my backyard. First up on the tasting: a Black Manhattan from Bettina. Crafted with bourbon, nocino, sweet vermouth, aromatic bitters, and Amarena cherries, the cocktail is a lively and robust start to this tasting. The warm tones of the walnut infused nocino round out the libation, giving it an earthy appeal.

Be tt i n a Pa p e r


t Be

tin a

Playing cards, The Blue Door


Glass & book, The Blue Door Paper, Letter Perfect



@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 27

Sweet aromatics from the bourbon play off nicely with the citrus forward Amara Rossa and lemon juice. It tastes like summer in Sicily.”

The next cocktail is a crowd pleaser: not too sweet, not too spicy. The blood orange hue of Bettina’s Paper Plane libation reminds me of an Aperol Spritz, but this aperitif is much more complex—a boon to warm day cocktails. Sweet aromatics from the bourbon play off nicely with the citrus forward Amara Rossa and lemon juice. It tastes like summer in Sicily. An enthusiast of all things spicy, my next sip, from The Lark, gets my taste buds tingling. A bracing blend of bell pepper infused vodka mixed with a kick of chili, balanced by ginger, lemon, and yellow chartreuse, makes the Mission Bells a refreshing and bright drink, yet one strong enough to awaken the senses. I’m enticed by the blushing pink hues of JP’s Paloma. Visually appealing as it is tasty, the equilibrium of citrus and spiciness from the jalapeño, grapefruit soda, and citrus infused tequila makes the flavors even more profound—a quintessential afternoon sipper. Speaking of afternoon sippers, this next one’s a spa in a glass. Bringing together meyer lemon infused vodka, persian cucumber, ginger beer, and brightened with a sprig of mint, The California Mule is a delightful refresher. From spa to spice, my taste buds are kicked back into gear with Margarita Tamarindo Con Chile from Flor De Maiz. The chile de arbol garnish echoes the spice of the serrano infused tequila and the lime juice gives it a sour bite. An ideal finale, the tasting comes to a close with the tart and tangy Blackberry Casis Margarita, which is like a liquid Jolly Rancher. Sure to satisfy any sweet tooth, the libation pairs blackberry casis, Patron, and organic agave syrup with piquant flavors of mint and lime juice. I sip my final cocktail to the harmonized frolic of the pink and orange skies, yet another awe-inspiring sunset in this paradise we call home. Whether you’re inspired to do your own at-home cocktail tasting or enthused to add on a cocktail (or few) to your next takeout order, you’ll be supporting our local restaurants and treating your taste buds to some magic. Just add ice. Cheers! *

28 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

Playing cards, The Blue Door

B ettin a Bl a ck




tt a n

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 29

SB LIFE & STYLE recipe

30 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

THAI it at HOME Recipe & Photograph by RILEY YAHR Mixed & Measured |

Thai Basil Bowl Serves 4

INGREDIENTS Calrose rice, for serving 1 block extra firm tofu 2 tablespoons cornstarch 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 2 shallots, sliced 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger 1 Thai chili, minced 2 red bell peppers, sliced 2 heads broccoli, chopped into florets 1/3 cup vegetable broth 1/4 cup vegetarian oyster sauce 1 teaspoon vegan fish sauce or soy sauce 2 teaspoons sugar 1 1/2 cups basil leaves, packed

DIRECTIONS Cook rice according to package instructions. Keep warm until ready to serve. Using a clean dish towel, wrap tofu and press to remove excess liquid. Crumble into a bowl with the cornstarch and toss to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add the crumbled tofu and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly crispy. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, and Thai chili and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and broccoli florets and sauté for another 10 minutes. Add the tofu. In a small bowl combine the vegetable broth, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Add sauce to skillet, toss to combine, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are done and sauce has thickened slightly. Add the basil leaves and mix until wilted. Serve with rice and enjoy. *

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 31

SB LIFE & STYLE fashion


32 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

On Leif: Scotch & Soda sweater, Whiskey & Leather Banks Journal pants, ShineUP Alexander McQueen sunglasses, Marcus Giles & Brother rings, ShineUP On Laura: Peter Cohen dress, Allora by Laura

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 33

On Laura: Just Bee Queen top & skirt, Coco Cabana Kai Linz necklace, bracelets & earrings, Allora by Laura SeaVees Monterey sneakers, On Leif: Parallel x League jacket, Whiskey & Leather Mother jeans, Whiskey & Leather Giles & Brother ring, ShineUP SeaVees Monterey sneakers,

34 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

Peter Cohen dress, Allora by Laura Kai Linz bracelets & rings, Allora by Laura @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 35

On Laura: Studio Constance t-shirt, IRO jacket, Marcus Hammies shorts, Coco Cabana Kai Linz necklace, ring & earrings, Allora by Laura On Leif: Scotch & Soda shirt, Whiskey & Leather Moto Fabrica jacket, ShineUP Devil-Dog jeans, ShineUP Giles & Brother rings, ShineUP Gucci sunglasses, Marcus

36 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

Seventy shirt, Allora by Laura IRO jeans, Marcus Artesano hat, Coco Cabana Kai Linz necklace, rings & earrings, Allora by Laura

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 37

IRO dress, Marcus Kai Linz necklace, rings, bracelets & earrings, Allora by Laura 38 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

On Laura: Extreme Cashmere top, Allora by Laura Kai Linz necklaces, rings & bracelets, Allora by Laura Gucci handbag, Marcus On Leif: Scotch & Soda shirt, Whiskey & Leather

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 39

On Leif: Frank & Eileen shirt, Whiskey & Leather Banks Journal jacket, ShineUP Railcar Fine Goods jeans, ShineUP Giles & Brother rings, ShineUP On Laura: Devotion dress, Coco Cabana Frame belt, Marcus Kai Linz necklace, ring & bracelets, Allora by Laura Prada tote, Marcus

40 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

Scotch & Soda shirt, Whiskey & Leather Moto Fabrica jacket, ShineUP @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 41

Eywasouls dress, Coco Cabana Earrings, necklace & rings, Sandy Moss Jewelry 42 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

SUN a place

in the

Photographs by JACQUELINE PILAR Model LIZA KEI with WILHELMINA Styled by OTTOCINA RYAN Hair by ADRIAN COBIAN Makeup by COLLEEN KONOWITZ Location listed with BOWEN LEE at COMPASS 20/TWENTY GROUP Contact BOWEN@COMPASS.COM | 805-900-0995 Architect/Designer ROBERT HECKEL General Contractor HURKA CONSTRUCTION

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 43

Oceanus bikini top, Coco Cabana Grlfrnd jeans, Coco Cabana Earrings, necklace & rings, Sandy Moss Jewelry Respiro handbag, Coco Cabana Keychain, Coco Cabana

44 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

Suboo dress, Coco Cabana Earrings, necklace, bracelets & rings, Sandy Moss Jewelry Serpui clutch, Coco Cabana Amanu net bag, Oranges & lemons, Sweet Wheel Farms @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 45

Suboo dress, Coco Cabana Earrings, necklace & rings, Sandy Moss Jewelry 46 | MARCH/APRIL 2021

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 47

Suboo top, Coco Cabana Earrings, necklace, bracelets & rings, Sandy Moss Jewelry

48 | MARCH/APRIL 2021 Seea dress, Coco Cabana Earrings, bracelets & rings, Sandy Moss Jewelry 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Convertible, Milpas Motors

Seea bikini, Coco Cabana Necklace, Sandy Moss Jewelry

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 49



t is safe to assume that many of us have had that lurking feeling of guilt throughout this quarantine: you look longingly into your closet, at the myriad outfits you haven’t been able to wear in a year, and know that it is due for a thorough spring cleaning. You then glance back at your three-day old sweatpants and tattered college t-shirt and decide to watch another season of The Hills reruns. And that is completely fine! Your neighbor and your neighbor’s neighbor are probably living out different versions of this cycle as well. But, if you would like to emerge from quarantine more refreshed than you entered it (or at least a tick more stylish), we have all the motivation you need from Santa Barbara-based stylist Elissa Williams. Williams is the founder of the Virtual Closet Concierge, an online service where she “creates outfits for women based on their next-level self from clothes already in their closet.” Elissa conducts her sartorial magic remotely, which is especially helpful under these social distancing circumstances. That deep clean you pushed aside during the chaos of last spring? There has seldom been a better time to follow through with it than within self-isolation. Williams recommends a closet overhaul, “Do a virtual try-on party with a friend. Get Zoom or FaceTime up and start making outfits from the clothes you have in your closet to bring some freshness in.”

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Though a complete closet clean-out can be overwhelming—especially when layered atop the stress that has already mounted around the world— Elissa promises the exercise can be therapeutic when done right. “Have an inspiration board of styles that inspire you. That’s your gold standard,” she advises. “Pick out your five favorite things, get rid of the things that don’t make you feel good. It’s okay to be ruthless in what you’re getting rid of. At a time like this, you can donate things, you can sell them, you can do an exchange.” Giving back and getting our lives together at the same time? Okay, maybe we will lean into quarantine. Although what we put on in the morning to wander through our homes is the last thing on our minds these days, it may be beneficial to our mental health if daily outfits once again became something to be considered. Williams explains the concept of enclothed cognition, “When you put something on that you feel good in, it can change your whole disposition.” Elissa offers, “When we’re all stuck in quarantine and we still need to get work done or feel good, we have the power to do that with our own closet. This can be something as simple as putting on a bright red lip or something super feminine, or whatever that feeling is that you want to evoke. You can do that with your clothes every day.” If a pick-me-up in the form of a fun jumpsuit or a tutu your co-workers cannot see over Zoom is not enough incentive to wake up and play around in your closet, the sheer entertainment encapsulated within the creativity of keeping up your personal style may be. “I’m so social. Yet I’m working from home now. No coffee shops, nothing,” remarks Williams. “Style has been a way to feel good every day and stay motivated. It has been helpful for me to create beauty in spite of any circumstance and to use clothes as a catalyst for creativity. I get on Zoom with a bright red lip and everyone else is in pajamas, but I don’t care, I feel my best.” It may take thirty seconds or thirty minutes— keeping up appearances amidst a global crisis has nothing to do with vanity, but everything to do with the maintenance of one’s personhood and sanity. Fashion in this trying period, and throughout any of life’s hardships, should act as a personal outlet rather than an inhibition. Even in the case of stylemaven Williams, clothing morphed from something difficult to navigate into a tool. “It’s such a helpful method to dress for the body that I have and not for a body that is someone else’s. I have had weight gain and weight loss due to health issues, so fashion is the avenue through which I’ve learned to love my body in all seasons.” In this season particularly, and under the “safer at home” order, Williams suggests a few comfortable yet classy pieces that can seamlessly make one feel human again. “I would recommend a nice silk jogger or feminine, breathable dresses. I also love to mix in metallics, especially to bring a little edge to your quarantine, or any bright accessory that makes you feel like you.” In the comfort of your own home, what better time is there to get experimental with your appearance? “I just wear my normal wardrobe in the house— skirts, whatever. What’s today, Saturday? I’m in a sweatshirt and metallic silver shorts because I still want to feel like myself and edgy and fun.” Finding ourselves at a global impasse, it is important to locate the simple things in our lives that make us the happiest. “There is a lot of uncertainty in the world but that does not mean you can’t be one hundred percent yourself,” Williams concludes. “The question I am constantly asking is ‘How can we love ourselves more?’ Fashion is just a way we can love ourselves under any circumstance.” *




La Bouche Rouge lipstick THEWEBSTER.US


Anissa Kermiche pearl and diamond unit earring THEWEBSTER.US



@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 51

SB LIFE & STYLE wellness

CE 52 | MARCH/APRIL 2021












brush my teeth. I get facials. I routinely visit the doctor. I take good care of my body in many ways, but I’ve realized that I’ve continuously left out the most important part—caring for my mind. If you sense that you’re in the same boat, you might feel like you carry your stress or emotions in certain parts of your body, leading to discomfort or pain. For me, it’s often a 3:00 p.m. migraine on busy work days, after I’ve convinced myself that I can’t step away from my computer. It’s like my mind has become accustomed to the idea that the world might stop if I don’t cross everything off my to-do list. Other times, a heightened emotional state is the culprit for feeling not so great. If I’m sad or going through a challenging season, I can almost expect that my stomach will hurt. It’s the saying “worry yourself sick” come to life. I know I’m not the only one who recognizes that the mind can play a role in physical discomfort. And the science behind it rings true. Dr. Jennifer Salcido, ND, founder of Santa Barbara Integrative Medicine, explains that pain is a messenger communicating from the mind through the body. “Instead of looking at pain as a nuisance or something to get rid of, it's best to dialogue with the pain,” Salcido says.

She explains that while you might hold your stress in certain parts of your body, it’s best to focus on how you can align your mind and body so there’s no reason to hold your stress at all. So how can we get in tune with our emotions and begin to heal? Sachs says the work is simple, but not easy. She has an online course, Freedom From Chronic Pain, which focuses on three facets of healing: 1) Believe 2) Do the work 3) Have patience and kindness for yourself. The “believe” portion of her method is centered on the idea of letting go and truly believing in the mind-body connection. “It’s about understanding that your brain and your nervous system are seeking to protect you with physical pain because it’s a lesser predator than your emotional world.” By understanding this, you’ll be in the right mindset to process your emotions. “Do the work” is what Sachs refers to as the JournalSpeak practice. JournalSpeak is a daily journaling practice followed by meditation. “The key is to pull out all of the unabashed, inappropriate, impolite truths about different topics in your life. It’s about starting to invite repressed emotions to arise,” she explains. Sachs says you might be surprised by what you discover about yourself. While it can be an intense practice, it will ultimately help you deal with stressors or trauma that you’ve never fully addressed.

“While it can be an intense practice, it will ultimately help you deal with stressors or trauma that you’ve never fully addressed.”

She recommends acknowledging and listening to the messenger, then asking yourself what the pain might be trying to tell you. “Maybe a person is pushing too hard and not getting enough rest. Maybe another person is not moving their body enough. Oftentimes, physical pain mirrors a deeper emotional or psychological pain. There can be anger, guilt, sadness, and other emotions that are being expressed as pain. In these cases, the pain will not go away until the underlying emotions are processed,” she says. Nicole Sachs, LCSW, a psychotherapist who has dedicated her practice to the treatment of chronic pain, believes that people become the content of their long-term stress.

The final aspect of her work is “patience and kindness for yourself ” which is a way of understanding that you’re doing the best you can. We’re all living a human life and we have to practice self-compassion to help us on this healing journey. Start meditating, make time for exercise, schedule in your self-care. The more time you spend working on your inner self, the more you’ll benefit from these practices— but you have to do the emotional work (journaling) in order to fully discover what’s going on in your mind. If you’re struggling with physical or emotional chronic pain, you have far more power than you realize to affect your wellbeing and day to day stress. Pain is not a punishment, but rather a way for your body to tell you to pause and listen. There are things we need to feel, but there are also ways we can work through those feelings to get better—both physically and emotionally. *

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 53





s we face the challenges of the current climate, many of us find ourselves seeking solace in external pleasures. This instant gratification comes in many forms— food, alcohol, online shopping, TV, sex, relationships, work, or any temporary fix that changes our state to one of pleasure. So, how are you finding happiness? Are you using external routes, which focus on actions and the world outside our skin? Or internal routes, which concentrate on mental means of achieving happiness? I want to preface by saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with the external pleasures listed above when used consciously. Only when they become our default means to happiness do we need to pause and reflect on our actions. If we are seeking happiness outside of ourselves, whereas genuine happiness is well-being that does not depend on anything external, the question we need to answer is: how do we find internal happiness instead? The first step is to note our mental state when we reach for that stimulus. Are we stressed, anxious, sad, depressed? These are natural human emotions that need to occur within the human body to function in society, so it's important to not judge ourselves when emoting. Instead, allow your body to process these emotions without feeling the need to numb them with food, alcohol,

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shopping, etc. Then notice what happens when you seek these happiness modalities and you don't have access to them, and how your mood might go up or down. Note whether your habits are internal or external, healthy or destructive, and then consider where else you can go for happiness. Since external sources of joy aren't consistent or always available, what might be more constant? Without further ado, let's find sustainable happiness. I recommend writing down a list of what brings you joy, focusing on actions that are simple pleasures and convenient, like going for a walk, yoga, exercise, talking to a friend, or meditation. These are great ways of feeling good and bring us a more constant state of happiness within ourselves, instead of reverting to things around us. Because, ultimately, everything around us is always changing. If we have stable routines that are always accessible to us, then we are living our lives with a happiness safety net that we can always refer to in times of chaos. So, as we move farther into this unknown territory that is 2021, the continuation of COVID-19 and political unrest, I encourage you to make space for yourself by creating a happiness toolbox that brings you joy and is available anytime. Here's to a more awakened and conscious year of internal happiness and inner peace because the happier we are as individuals, the happier we are as a community. *

“If we are seeking happiness outside of ourselves, whereas genuine happiness is well-being that does not depend on anything external, the question we need to answer is: how do we find internal happiness instead? ” @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 55

n Fu guS the

among us


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f you have recently strolled through your local Whole Foods, Erewhon, or Bristol Farms, you have probably seen products extolling the magic of mushrooms. Mushrooms, roots, herbs, and other natural adaptogens have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing. Luckily, they are enduring a modern revival due to creative rebranding and convenient incorporation into the products we already know and love.

These functional mushrooms are not your typical truffle or portobello, nor are they psychedelic mushrooms. Adaptogenic mushrooms are special in that they are completely natural and can be consumed in a variety of forms—powders, supplements, vitamins, and as additions to recipes. Their benefits are extensive and diverse, supporting overall wellness. Almost every functional mushroom variety is proven to strengthen immunity and aid inflammation. These adaptogens maintain balance by buffering our response to cortisol, an adrenal hormone that is often the culprit of stress and anxiety, immune suppression, weight gain, inflammation, and exhaustion. Exotic mushroom varieties can be intimidating, so here is a breakdown of how to better incorporate feel-good fungi into your daily routine. Your guide begins with the four main mushrooms that are justifiably taking the wellness world by storm: Chaga, Reishi, Lion's Mane, and Cordyceps.

CHAGA Chaga mushrooms, referred to as “King Healer Mushrooms,” support balance and wellbeing across the board. Rich in antioxidants, Chaga effectively fights inflammation and free radicals. This mushroom grows on birch trees for 15 to 20 years until it is harvested at full maturity. Over time, Chaga accumulates an impressive arsenal of B-vitamins and zinc, which fuel our cell function, energy levels, and metabolism.

REISHI Reishi, praised as the “Queen Healer Mushroom” is celebrated for its adaptogenic and spiritual potencies. This mushroom is linked to stress and anxiety relief along with improved sleep and skin complexion. Reishi is a key player in balancing our cortisol response, making it the perfect addition to a bedtime tea or snack. The benefits of Reishi are great thanks to triterpenes and beta-glucans, which combat high cholesterol.

LION’S MANE Lion’s Mane is recognizable for its hair-like appearance. Best known for its brain support benefits, these mushrooms can improve cognitive function as well as treat anxiety and depression. Lion’s Mane also stimulates the production of nerve growth factor to help keep our mental clarity sharp. This variety makes for the perfect coffee substitute to increase productivity—free of the caffeine jitters and dreaded crash.

CORDYCEPS Cordyceps specializes in boosting energy levels and stamina, whether it be at work, in fitness class, or in bed. This natural energy shot aids increased oxygen circulation and absorption, which perfectly explains why it is frequently used by endurance athletes.

To help navigate the flourishing mushroom market, we’ve hand picked a few products from Spore and Sun Potion that will check the boxes for a happier, healthier you. Spore specializes in functional mushroom vitamins, which are sure to outshine the Flintstones alternative from your childhood. Spore’s Mike’s Mushroom Mix is a wellrounded concoction that captures all of the benefits of ten functional mushroom varieties into one daily supplement. Each capsule is packed with a mix of Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Resihi, and Cordyceps. Other Spore products feature Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps, which are the key ingredients in the Focus Performance for cognitive support. Spore’s Chill Out is a great alternative to melatonin or other sleep aids as it includes Reishi, natural chamomile, and herbs to help you calm down and relax. Sun Potion products promote the magic of mushrooms and other adaptogens from their headquarters in Santa Barbara. Their mushroom powders are thoughtfully sourced and versatile, making them a perfect addition to teas, smoothies, soups, and other recipes. The Sun Potion Cordyceps Mushroom Powder promotes improved oxygenation, endurance, immunity, and cognitive function. The Reishi Mushroom Powder is a proponent of immunity, stress and anxiety relief, and skin complexion. The Chaga Mushroom Powder is perfect for steeping a slow-cooked tea in order to extract its maximum benefits. Mushrooms are rarely perceived as glamorous and often associated with undesired fungus and garden eyesores. However, it is truly worth experimenting with the power of these plants beyond your dinner plate. By simply adding these functional mushrooms to your morning coffee, midday smoothies, dinner soups, and nighttime teas, you will experience how small changes to your daily routine can revamp your wellbeing. *

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 57




ou know that gut feeling? We have all had it. While sometimes this gut feeling is for an exciting occasion, other times it’s an upset stomach or uncomfortable bloat as a result of poor gut health. Understanding how to take care of the microbiome within your belly can positively transform your health. When it comes to improving digestion, sleep, weight control, and skin, it’s truly what’s on the inside that matters. Trillions of bacteria and microbes reside within our gut microbiome. The foods we consume and the habits we have significantly influence the diversity and wellbeing of these flora. A thriving gut flora is essential in maintaining efficiently functioning body systems—far beyond the stomach. In order to further explore the microscopic events of our gut and their profound impacts on our health, we asked the professionals at Santa Barbara-based organic apple cider vinegar company Bragg to break down the truth behind gut health. Signs that your gut could use some TLC include poor sleep, gas and bloating, abdominal pain, unintentional weight changes, and irritated skin, according to Courtney Puidk, a nutritionist at Bragg. As with most health-related topics, the approach to healing our gut is two-fold—starting with daily habits and our food choices. The basic, frequently repeated reminders to stay hydrated, avoid processed foods, and minimize sugar and alcohol consumption are the foundation. While you have likely heard these all before, we want to share the best, lesser-known ways to take control of your gut health.

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“A thriving gut flora is essential in maintaining efficiently functioning body systems—far beyond the stomach.” ACV IN YOUR H2O Elevating your water is as easy as adding a tablespoon of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to your glass. While simultaneously hydrating and reaping the benefits of the vinegar, this small addition has been proven to control appetite, manage weight gain, and stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Linda Boardman, CEO of Bragg, loves to consume her recommended daily tablespoon of ACV by adding it to smoothies, salad dressings, or even marinades.

BENEFICIAL BACTERIA/ FERMENTED FOODS Foods high in probiotics and prebiotics, such as fermented and fiberrich foods, support the growth of healthy bacteria and diversify your microbiome. The fermentation process relies on living yeast or bacteria and a sugar source to create byproducts that range from postbiotics to various acids. These byproducts are essentially gut superheroes that feed the cells lining the stomach, which boost vitamin production and improve digestion. While there are numerous supplements on the market for purchase, natural fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are great and accessible sources for fiber and postbiotics. Swapping conventional pasta for a chickpea alternative is one simple way to increase your fiber. Some fermented foods to include on your gut grocery list are: sourdough bread, sauerkraut, tempeh, apple cider vinegar, kimchi, kombucha, and cultured dairy products. Experimenting with kombucha cocktails, Bragg ACV Prebiotic Refreshers, homemade sourdough, and pickled vegetables are all simple enhancements you can have fun with. Bone broth is another powerful “gut health guru,” as nicknamed by Isa Bourbon, owner of Wishbone Wellbeing, a Santa Barbarabased broth company that locally sources and prepares a variety of broths with the gut in mind. Bone broth is known to be a potent source of collagen, glucosamine, adiponectin, and other nutrients. You can expect strengthened bones, anti-inflammatory benefits, maintained insulin sensitivity, additional protein, and improved nutrient absorption. It’s essentially a heath elixir.

GOOD for the GUT 1 Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar BRAGG.COM


Pacific Pickle Works Pickled Cauliflower SWEET WHEEL FARMS


The Coconut Cult Probiotic Coconut Yogurt BRISTOL FARMS


Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Prebiotic Refresher BRAGG.COM


Wishbone Wellbeing Broth WISHBONEWELLBEING.COM

The gut microbiome, while difficult to see, affects all aspects of our health. Although this is a lot of information to digest, the grocery list is a perfect starting point to improve your health. So, listen to your gut feelings and apply these tools to settle the stomach. *

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 59


SB LIFE & STYLE travel

back on


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n distressing times, it calms me to dissociate, to daydream. I transport myself to another time and place, what seems like another dimension, where whales tread the water over which I glide and the embrace of the sun never releases me, not even, it seems, in the balmy, breezy nightfall. My current escape is Montage Los Cabos, which inhabits the former site of the world-famous Twin Dolphin on the carved coast of Baja.

specials, I choose from about eight different delights, consisting of cinnamon rolls, kouign amann, conchas, or the world’s best blueberry muffins (if you don’t believe me, try for yourself). Flourishes of fruit follow, with the juice of the day close behind. If there was ever a time to indulge, this is the place to do so. Yet, when such indulgences include fresh pineapple, green smoothies, and a touch of lemon curd filling, they fall strictly under the category of self-care, and thus consumption is compulsory.

I first stepped foot on property in its infancy, during their soft opening almost three years ago. Not even fully formed, the space and its staff offered a flawless experience. When revisiting I worry that, if anything, I have set my expectations too high by judging the property on its first performance, when only I and four other families called upon the staff. The Montage of today pales my initial (still flawless!) experience in comparison. The gem of a property, now alive with families, honeymooners, and residents alike, refracts twelve hours of brilliant, dancing sun, setting this slice of the world aflame in celebration of natural beauty and community.

It seems my days are ruled by my eating schedule, which, to be clear, is around the clock. Breakfast is obviously followed by my first Casa Dragones Ginger Margarita, which precedes lunch, which I wash down with a popsicle. The on-property coffee shop, Paletas, crafts artisan ice cream bars (think Orange Mezcal and Coconut Cream with Mango Jelly) that fuel an affinity for sweet treats I did not know I possessed. At 4 p.m. each day, Paletas moves poolside with a popsicle cart that dethrones the neighborhood ice cream man. An excuse to remain poolside until at least 4 p.m. plus free dessert? I guarantee you I will be there every day.

Days begin at 5:30 by my choosing. I cannot imagine losing even an hour participating in all that the Montage has to offer. Sunrise kayaks depart at 6 a.m., leaving more than enough time to paddle out at my leisure, be rocked (nearly back to sleep) by the gentle lapping of early tides, and marvel at the sun cresting the horizon.

A playground of pools characterizes the hotel’s bayside. Cabanas are furnished with their own plunge pools, and the flat screens tucked behind the swim-up bar flip between international sporting events. The adult pool takes the shape of two infinity lagoons and two jacuzzis that cuddle up against the expanse of the bay, allowing me to take in whale tails and spouts with a cocktail in hand. Each time a majestic mammal is spotted, children rush down from the kids’ pool—perched above and equipped with a view just as spectacular, as well as sunken couches fit for a doze—to ring the ‘whale bell.’ Whales migrate through the area from fall until early spring each year and take a particular liking to the welcoming shores of Montage’s bay.

“The day’s progression brushes the landscape, punctuated by neon cacti and infinity edges, which swallow surfaces in reflections of the sky.”

Vacation may not be the place for existential epiphanies, but the middle of the ocean in early morning certainly is. Enclothed in the first golden embers of the day—and a life jacket, of course—I am dwarfed and humbled, awed by the surrealty of an everyday event. The day’s progression brushes the landscape, punctuated by neon cacti and infinity edges, which swallow surfaces in reflections of the sky.

Montage is one of the first resorts in Cabo to adopt modern, minimalist architecture. Defined by clean lines and muted tones, the buildings capitalize upon texture and material—like the behemoth sand-colored marble staircase cascading from the lobby—to communicate quality and deference to the divine land on which they rest. Intentionally blank spaces allow Baja to speak for itself. The unwalled stretch of the lobby that faces the ocean, or the uninhibited views of the bay and its twin mountains unfurl as a tapestry, painted and repainted each day with the visual tales of this cove. A bountiful breakfast unfolds at Mezcal, the resort's upscale eatery, which serves inventive local cuisine come dinner. Each morning, Mezcal’s French pastry chef concocts a cornucopia of confections, making up their signature pastry box. Warning: no bread basket will suffice again. Depending on the day’s

What I find to be the most attractive facet of this dynamic property is its ability to appeal to all ages, to convey both sophistication and playfulness that bolster each other instead of subtracting from the overall ambiance. Montage properties worldwide have pioneered a merit badge program for the kiddos (or very enthusiastic, very competitive, adult significant others) that keeps young travelers active and engaged during their stay. For each challenge completed (kayaking, hiking the Twin Dolphin Trail, catching a fish), a badge is rewarded and proudly worn on lanyards provided by the resort. If someone completes every badge before departure, they are said to have “conquered” Baja and receive an extra-large merit badge proving their triumph. Kids are relieved of the boredom that adults yearn for while on vacation, parents earn a few hours of quiet time on their lounge chairs, and I get to finish reading my book while my boyfriend tries to catch a fish with his bare hands and a cup full of tortilla chips.

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 61

While I need no incentive to dip into the crystalline waves, Montage’s menagerie of water gadgets makes the salt water positively irresistible. With one of the only swimmable bays in an area becoming increasingly populated by hotels, Montage holds a monopoly on water sports that is cemented by their construction of a beachfront diving center. An excursion outpost is also being built alongside the resort’s boutique and will offer 8-hour ATV trips and snorkeling adventures. A raft the size of a putt-putt golf course carries me out to sea, my own desert island. Here, I gaze into twenty-foot depths that I would otherwise have to tread and still be fully submerged in the rich marine life that thrives just feet from Montage’s shores. I float ashore and disembark less gracefully than I would have liked other beachgoers to witness, but no matter! The Veuve Clicquot lawn games and oceanside champagne cart metaphorically cushion my fall. Montage’s ongoing partnership with the iconic champagne label brings cornhole, ping-pong, giant Connect Four, and Jenga to the beaches of Cabo, all branded in Veuve’s (and Montage Los Cabos’) signature orange hue. I recommend you wash down losses and wins as I did—with a frosty glass of bubbles. Who knew seafoam and champagne foam paired so nicely? Of all the incredible collaborations hatched on this property, the resort’s Thai food truck may bear my favorite success story of them all. Talay began as a pop-up without a name, manned by Thai chef Marc Narongchai Muangkaew, who knew no Spanish upon his arrival in Los Cabos. Within months, the restaurant has earned a concrete placement at the Montage and Chef Marc has been named the number one new culinary talent of Cabo. The chef ’s dedication to authentic Thai cuisine while maintaining the integrity of traditional Mexican ingredients is the tentpole of Talay’s success. He admits that in an effort to fortify Mexican roots within this fusion fare, he studied cooking practices at Mezcal, specifically the formulation of their signature mole, and realized that the preparation of this popular Mexican sauce and his own pad thai are almost identical in ingredients and process. Each cog in the wheel that is Montage Los Cabos works tirelessly to honor and reinvent the customs of the region, as well as to source as locally as possible.

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“Each cog in the wheel that is Montage Los Cabos works tirelessly to honor and reinvent the customs of the region, as well as to source as locally as possible.”

The superior service I receive in all corners of the property is beyond description. Needs are not anticipated, but created in the sense that I did not know I needed a poolside foot massage in my spa cabana, but the spa staff certainly knew. Montage Los Cabos is home to one of the largest spas in Mexico, spanning 40,000 square feet. The sanctuary encloses a boundless outdoor pool, palatial enough to be the resort’s sole means of soaking. The soothing refuge is healing in its own right. My CBD Four Hands Massage is performed in synchronicity by two therapists who must have been dancers in their youth. The sheer artistry with which these women locate and unravel my most coiled muscles causes me to surrender to their movement within the first three minutes of my hourlong massage. I have never been so actively relaxed than while at Montage Los Cabos (or any Montage property, for that matter). Whereas other holidays necessitate a mindless and nearly motionless state, it is partaking in Los Cabos’ abundance of enterprises that ushers my physical and mental renewal. To carry on some semblance of laziness, I retire to the suite’s soaking tub with a Mexican rosé. I bury myself beneath the bubbles and put off the real world for a few hours more. Though, I think this utopia is a more authentic world than the one I encounter day-to-day. In Mexico, my screen time plummeted by half. My eyes tired from squinting at the Sea of Cortez, rather than the miniscule text of a caption. My back is sore from rowing myself through the current each dawn, rather than poor posture advanced by hours on the couch, lamenting national news. In the rainy evening, an outdoor shower strikes the perfect balance between redundant and harmoniously therapeutic. The stars play ceiling, screen, and shower head as I close my eyes, not wanting the daydream to end, willing myself to remain within this dimension. *


Take a dip in the sea while sporting the buttery soft yet supportive So De Mel Montecito Top + Bella Bottom. $260, SODEMEL.COM


Explore the coast of Baja without sacrificing style in these durable Seavees Coronado Espadrilles. $98, S E AV E E S .C O M

These cat eye Harper Sunglasses add a chic touch to a laid-back vacation look. $178, B O N I TA L I F E S T Y L E.CO M



Just one spritz of the fruity and floral Jo Malone Yellow Hibiscus Cologne will leave you feeling fresh and oh-so tropical. $ 74 , J O M A L O N E .C O M


Hygge for the WEEKEND by AMY DONG





s I laugh with my sister, sitting on a quaint balcony sipping California pinot noir, I forget the hardship that has accompanied this past year. Allee and I take an annual trip together, and this year, rather than feeling deterred, it felt especially important. Accordingly, we weaved up the coastline to Solvang, the charming Danish town in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. The check-in process, as well as our entire stay at The Winston, is invisible. Yes, you read that right. The hotel prides itself on providing impeccable service with a hands-off approach (unless, of course, you need anything). Check-in is virtual and as we make our way to the room, armed with our digital lock, I am transfixed by the vibrance of the interior design. Bright hues

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and unique decor fill the halls. We pass an honor bar that is fully stocked for guest-only use; take what you need, leave what you don’t. Naturally, we need pinot noir. Perched on our private balcony, we realize this will be a trip to write home about. I wake up to a soft knock at the door. Another perk of staying at The Winston: breakfast delivered directly (and invisibly) to your room. I open the door to an appetizing spread of local Danishes, coffee, and fresh squeezed orange juice. I savor every bite of what has to be my new favorite pastry, and take a moment to appreciate our room in the morning light. High vaulted ceilings feature large wooden beams (original to the building) and our accent wall boasts an incandescent shade of turquoise. It’s an imaginative mix of fairytale meets California surf town. Though I’m partial to our abode, each room at The Winston is completely different, designed with the intention to amaze and delight.

Centrally located in Solvang’s picturesque downtown, we leave the hotel to explore our surroundings. You’d swear you stepped into the streets of bygone Denmark. The town is speckled with windmills, traditional bakeries, and charming boutiques. I am this close to purchasing a pair of wooden clogs that I absolutely don’t need. As we browse unique stores and snack on more pastries (when in Solvang!), I could not feel farther from home. Post-pastry we make our way to Sunstone Winery, a Provencal French-inspired villa ten minutes inland from Solvang. With views of the valley, fields of lavender, and a glass of 2018 cab franc in hand, we feel, yet again, whisked away. Sitting in the fading afternoon sunlight, we discuss the gravity of the year; the unexpected moments of pain and separation. We also recognize the ways that it has tied us together, all of us. It has been colored with moments of connectedness, selfless acts towards strangers, and a sense of unity that I’ve never experienced before. We relish in it all; taking the sorrow with the joy.

“Though the hotel has a hands-off approach, there is an undeniable level of thoughtfulness and care in each detail.”

We close out our day at the V Lounge, tucked inside the Vinland Hotel at the other end of Solvang. All I’ve consumed at this point is pastries, so we are ready for a meal. We nibble on baby roasted potatoes dressed in tahini, orange scented olives, and vegetable flatbread, then round out dinner with warm, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies and a glass of local pinot noir. I end the night with a sense of ease, a feeling that has been a rare and delightful treat lately. It’s clear that Solvang is a hub for innovative cuisine, wine, and a unique re-imagined California experience. The Winston pulls inspiration from the town’s rich history while adding flair to its evolving culture. Though the hotel has a hands-off approach, there is an undeniable level of thoughtfulness and care in each detail. I’m grateful that it allowed me and my sister the space to reconnect. This year has not defeated us, after all. It has shed light on areas that need appreciation, the importance of people we love, the thrill of a new adventure, and the kindness of strangers. It’s true that you can experience this anywhere, but Solvang is at the top of my list. *

WINE NOT? Women and wine are a match made in heaven, so what better way to celebrate Women's History Month (March) than by visiting Napa Valley wineries founded by women. Visit Napa Valley teamed up with West Wine Tours to offer a “Women in Country” tasting tour at three female-run wineries. Guests can spend the day sipping on fabulous wines and enjoying the luxury of being transported in a private restored vintage VW bus on a scenic route. Stops include Fantesca Estate & Winery run by Heidi Barrett, who began winemaking at age 25. She is known as "The First Lady of Wine" and is behind California's most notable cult vinos, such as Screaming Eagle (which starts at $700/bottle). The tour also visits St. Clair Brown Winery & Brewery run by Laina Brown and Elaine St. Clair, who is the only woman in the U.S. to hold the commercial title of both winemaker and brewmaster. Together Laina and Elaine have brought wine, beer, food, and music to their unique winery and brewery since 2013. The menu offers food made with 100% organic ingredients from St. Clair’s gardens. Last but not least, the tour stops at Crocker & Starr, where 40-year winemaking veteran Pam Starr crafts her sauvignon blanc using sustainable farming practices. by MELISSA TROELLER @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 65

Photo by Silas Fallstich



The Caldwell Snyder Gallery expanded from its roots in San Francisco to the heart of Montecito on Coast Village Road. The gallery features a dynamic collection of landscapes, abstract works, and figures, maintaining their original identity and aesthetic base that has attracted connoisseurs for the last forty years. @caldwellsnydergallery



Have your cake and eat it too at Merci Montecito, a French-inspired café nestled in Montecito Country Mart. Alongside a delectable selection of pastries and coffee, their mouth-watering savory menu of legumes, salads, and poultry is perfect for to-go lunch and dinner. The pristine spot also hosts a Burger Pop Up on Sunday afternoons, serving housemade cheeseburgers with French dressing, fries and whipped garlic, and banana pudding. @mercimontecito

Yes, we’re all dressed up with nowhere to go–and that’s exactly how we like it. Spend your afternoon browsing the collections at Allora by Laura, a boutique carrying European designer clothes, shoes, and accessories. Curate elegant outfits with help from the mother-daughter owners, who are arguably the most fashionable women in Santa Barbara. @allorabylaura



popular Rocky Canyon Fried Chicken Sandwich on house made brioche, and Dungeness Crab Fritters with a spicy old bay aioli. @rosewoodmiramarbeach


Whether you’re up for the weekend or planning to stay a little longer, Miramar Lane provides stunning ocean view vacation rentals. Sit and sip by the firepit, or play a friendly match of ping-pong at your private cottage—the options are endless. @miramarlanesb


Street-food is as elevated as it gets at the Rosewood Miramar Food Truck. This blue beachside canteen is back in action, serving comfort food such as their


Explore the American Riviera via horseback on a Los Padres Outfitters beach or trail ride. Majestic, well-trained horses will lead you through canopies of coastal live oaks, breathtaking beaches, and dramatic ocean bluffs for the scenic ride of a lifetime. Better yet, opt for an overnight mule-led pack trip where you can discover watering holes and hot springs, and relax by the glow of a campfire. @lospadresoutfitters @lospadresdayrides



Photo by Jacqueline Pilar

Get back to your roots at Full Moon Farms in Santa Ynez by engaging in workshops such as sourdough making, painting, or cooking classes, as well as shopping the mercantile. Visit for a day or stay several nights at their luxurious farmstead, taking time to enjoy the natural beauty of the farm and its animals that grace the property. @fullmoonfarms

in Santa Barbara

Photo by Silas Fallstich


Start off the morning with local goodness from Sweet Wheel Farm and Flowers, an open-air farm cart featuring produce and treats. Indulge in a buttery scone or red corn tortillas made with ingredients sourced from the farm. Stock your pantry (or picnic) with their selection of artisan honey, jam, olive oil, and everything in between. @sweetwheelfarms

Sand and surf isn’t just reserved for the summer months; dip your toes in the water at Santa Claus Beach. Enjoy a sunset takeout-picnic or catch some mild waves, that is, if you’re feeling brave enough to bear the cold.


Griddled paninis and woodfired pizzas? That’s amore. Lucky Penny, located in the Funk Zone, serves a unique selection of handmade pies, some favorites being the Salty Surfer—with prosciutto, fresno chile, and pineapple, and the Special Pizza— with mushroom duxelle, caramelized onion, fuji apple, and brie. @luckypennysb

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