SFO –> ABQ

New Mexico has been high on our bucket list for a while now, and I’m so happy that we were able to make it happen this summer. In just one long weekend, we were able to explore Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos, and discovered so many gems along the way. Keep reading to find out what we did and where we ate each day.

Day 1: As soon as we hopped in our rental car at the Albuquerque airport, we headed straight for the Tent Rocks National Monument. It was about an hour drive from the airport, but I promise it’s worth the trek. The formations were absolutely stunning—no photos could do it justice. Next time around, I’ll prepare a bit better with an extra water bottle and hiking boots (some of the rocks are pretty hard to climb!).

From there, we drove another hour to our hotel in Santa Fe, the Don Gaspar Inn. The people who run it are super nice and accommodating, plus it’s a short 15 minute walk to the central plaza. After freshening up (it felt so good to shower after that hike in the blazing heat), we walked all around the plaza before our dinner reservation. We visited the San Miguel Mission, which is the oldest known church in the country!!, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Because it was still 85 degrees at 7 PM and our legs were tired from all of the walking we had done, we dipped into The Dragon Room for guacamole and margaritas before our dinner reservation at La Plazuela. I’d highly recommend both spots!

Day 2: Our second day kicked off bright and early as we made our way to Abiquiu for a tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s home. This may very well have been my favorite moment of the trip—her house was seriously breathtaking and had Will and I second guessing every single item in our own house. I wasn’t able to take photos (I managed to just sneak the one of her studio room), but trust me when I tell you that her pantry organization was next level.

We learned on the tour that Georgia O’Keeffe was really inspired by Plaza Blanca, and that it was a short drive from her house, so we headed there before making our way to Taos. It was crazy hot outside, hence why I changed into a loose crop top, so we just admired it from the parking look out spot. Definitely still worth it!

Next, we made our way to Taos. On the way, we stopped at the 7th highest bridge in the country, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. We didn’t just drive across it though, but parked and walked too. Well, we attempted walking but quickly headed back to the car because one word: heights.

The weather in Taos was spotty, one minute the sun would be shining and the next it was pouring rain. We did our best to not let it get in the way of our day though because we only had a few hours in town. We grabbed a quick bite at Guadalajara Grill and oh my goodness, the shrimp tacos were out.of.this.world. I’d say it was the best meal we had in all of New Mexico. After lunch, we walked all around the Taos Pueblo, meeting the people who live and work there, selling their beautiful handmade goods. We spent about two hours at the Pueblo, which left just enough time to pop into a couple cute shops in the plaza: Chocolate & Cashmere and Common Thread. We wrapped up the day trip with dinner at the very quaint Love Apple.

As we made our way back to Santa Fe, I got a patch of strong cell reception (warning: the cell service is super spotty everywhere) and looked up fun night activities. Across the board, Meow Wolf was the most mentioned and without even knowing much about it, we navigated straight there. Turns out, people are traveling to Santa Fe from all over just for this “exhibit,” if you can even call it that. We learned that the creator of Game of Thrones funded the production of it and partnered with tons of artists to bring it to life. It’s pretty difficult to explain, but it’s sort of a cross between an escape room and an interactive art exhibit. If you’re in town, I’d highly recommend checking it out to see what all the buzz is about.

Day 3: Our last full day was filled with a lot of shopping and eating in Santa Fe. We started the morning with breakfast at Café Pasquals, a place that had come highly regarded to us and had a wait even at 9 AM. From there, we decided we hadn’t had enough of Georgia O’Keeffe’s art and went to her museum. While I’m happy we saw it and love the souvenirs I bought from the gift shop, it was a pretty small museum with a surprisingly few number of pieces.

The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping. We actually didn’t really buy anything on this trip—we usually buy a few home decor pieces when on vacation and even packed an extra duffle bag in preparation for this trip, but alas, we came home nearly empty-handed. Even though we didn’t score on an original Navajo blanket, we still loved walking through the plaza and admiring all of the art and jewelry. In case you only have time for one shop, don’t miss Shiprock whatever you do.

Once we had circled the plaza a couple times, we made our way over to Canyon Road. We popped in and out of a few art galleries and cute shops before getting drinks at The Teahouse. We ended our last night in Santa Fe with yet another round of drinks at Fire & Hops, followed by a deliciously authentic dinner at The Shed.

Day 4: With only a few hours to play with before our flight home, we grabbed breakfast at Modern General. I was in loooove with the decor here, and the green chile shortcakes for that matter, but the service was pretty poor. Be prepared to wait 30 minutes for your food if you go. We then decided to drive the hour to Albuquerque to be closer to the airport for our afternoon flight. Our last stop of the trip was Los Poblanos Inn, which was so so gorgeous. It reminded me of something straight out of Fixer Upper, which is basically the key to my heart. After stocking up on lavender skin care products, we sadly had to say goodbye to New Mexico.

While I wish we could have stayed longer, this was a good introduction to New Mexico and I know we’ll be back. After all, we’ll need to make up for our lack of shopping success eventually.

Sweet Tooth: Coconut Blueberry Pancakes

My boyfriend and I are big breakfast people. As soon as the weekend rolls around, we whip up breakfasts easily mistaken for feasts with scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, and sides of berries and avocado. I told you it was a feast.

A few weekends ago, I woke up pretty early and decided to switch up our breakfast routine. After all, who can say no to pancakes?

I followed your run-of-the-mill pancake recipe, but added coconut flakes and blueberries for an added twist. I loved how the coconut flakes were just light enough to detect another flavor, but not overpowering in the slightest. As for the blueberries, they were a great–and healthier!–alternative to chocolate chips.

Tricks of the Trade: Folding Sweaters

I’ve written about sweaters in the past, and how you should always opt to fold them. But now I thought I’d dive into how exactly you should go about folding them. Follow along to learn how to fold even the chunkiest of sweaters!

Step 1: Lay your sweater flat, with the front side down.

Step 2: Fold one sleeve and side in toward the middle of the sweater. You don’t want to overdo this fold (as that will make your sweater pile much too tall). Instead, imagine the sweater is divided into thirds and you want to fold in just 1/3 of the way.

Step 3: Fold the rest of the sleeve down toward the side of the sweater. This will also help to prevent an overly bulky fold.

Step 4: Repeat on the second side.

Step 5: Fold the bottom the sweater up to meet the top.

Step 6: Flip it around and voila! I like to then pat the sweater down a bit, as to smooth it.

Now what are you waiting for? Go get to folding those sweaters! I know you can do it.

Tricks of the Trade: Closet Breakdown

 

Ready for a breakdown? I thought so!

As many of you know, I have two closets in my apartment. Though since my second closet is really like a glamorized coat closet, I thought I would focus on my main closet for the purposes of this blog post. You’ll soon see that this main closet is pretty sizable and through my efficient placement and thorough organization, I’ve only made it feel roomier.

When structuring your closet, you want to focus on practicality. For me, I have two long rods so I knew that I wanted to hang dresses, skirts, dress pants, and blouses on them. Though I knew that I would also need more storage. Cue: a dresser tucked beneath my blouses.

While this may seem like an obvious storage trick to many, that’s not always the case. Many of my clients have simply left the space under the hanging items underutilized, which is a miss in my book. The only exception to this is dresses, because these are often long and flowy so I would not recommend keeping any sort of dresser drawers underneath them. A shoe rack, however, could potentially work in that space.

In addition to my two long racks, I also have shelves in my closet. One level of shelves is very accessible—well, by very I mean I can reach everything so long as I stand on my toes—while another level is far too high to reach. Given this, I placed the items that I need at arm’s length on the first level, such as all of my jeans, shorts, and sweatshirts. Then on the upper level, I have more seasonal items like bathing suits, hats, scarves, as well as extra purses.

So now are you ready to tackle your closet? Once you’ve got the layout mastered, you can move onto color coordination. And lucky for you, I’ve got lots of posts about that very topic.

Over The Counter

You may have noticed from my last post about my kitchen that it’s not very big at all. Since we really only have a few feet of countertop to work with, I try to be super selective about what I keep on display vs. what is tucked away in our cabinets. Though even if I had a much larger space, I still think I would stick to this minimalist approach to keep things looking clean, fresh, and, of course, organized.

Oftentimes when I walk into people’s kitchens, I am overwhelmed by how many items they have out on their counters. Sure, items like a cutting board and a coffee maker may be necessary to have out at all times, but others—looking at you, blenders, crock pots, and mixing bowls—can easily be stowed away.

Here’s what I keep on my counters and why.

As I’m sure you’ll notice, I have a lot of white marble on my counters. I intentionally tried to keep my accessories minimal and light, so as to not make the space feel even more crammed and busy. In this white marble, I have a cutting board that doubles as a serving tray, a large holder filled with all of my utensil essentials, and a power towel holder.

I also have a few select cookbooks out on the counter largely for decorative purposes, though they are also very functional. They are nudged within a little cutout in my countertop that would otherwise go unused.

Across the kitchen on my stove, I similarly have only the essentials: dish towels, salt and pepper shakers, and a tea kettle in a fun color. My pans and pot lids, hung just above the stove, are within reach but do not clutter up either my cabinets or my countertops.

Because our kitchen is pretty tiny, we had to get creative with storing things like the microwave, toaster over, and coffee maker. We ended up finding a bar cart that fits perfectly between the end of the counter and the end of the tile floor, and it holds those items, plus a bowl filled with fruit and vegetables.

Last but certainly not least, we’re lucky to have a quaint built-in right above our sink and that’s where we house our dish soap, hand wash, and sponges. I like to hide my sponge within a cute bowl to make the nook feel more styled and pulled together.