Week 1 Recap: Winter 20x20

Week one and done! This has already been such a fun challenge to participate in. So many incredible women are contributing to the #winter10x10 feed, which now has over 1,000 posts. It is such a thrill to scroll through each morning and see what everyone is wearing that day - thank you Lee and Caroline! In addition to being majorly inspired, I'm also comforted by the fact that I'm not the only one who has a hard time photographing themselves. Why is it so tough?!

In terms of my outfits- I'm super happy with what I've come up with so far. I'm trying lots of new things... like a dress over pants (look 2) and a button down layered over a long dress (look 4). I've also discovered the killer combination of a short sleeved silk layer over a turtleneck (looks 3 and 5). Finally, I'm glad I chose my booties- they are a bit high for me to pick out normally, but this is encouraging me to wear them more, and I love the way they look!  

I'm going on a quick trip to New Orleans next weekend, and I'm pretty excited about how easy packing will be with only 20 items to choose from. I'll post another update with my next batch of looks when I get back. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Winter 20x20

My 10x10 challenge was so much fun that I decided to take it up a notch and try a 20x20 for the winter. I got really lucky -  a gift from my mom coinciding with a discount code at Elizabeth Suzann allowed me to get three beautiful new ES pieces, and I have incorporated those new items into my winter wardrobe along with a blush beauty from Jamie + The Jones (purchased via The Garment popup) and a shirt I've been wanting FOREVER that I finally found second-hand!!

I also got a pair of black jeans as a hand-me-down and turned them into fringy goodness using this tutorial from Honestly WTF. Everything else I chose is something from previous seasons/years. Below is a breakdown of what I picked. I've linked to the pieces if they are current, and tried to find similar alternatives if not:

9 Tops | Elizabeth Suzann Eva Top - Jamie + The Jones Blank Canvas Top - Steven Alan Black Turtleneck (similar) - CDG Play Striped Button Down - J. Crew Striped Long-sleeved Tee (similar) - Uniqlo Burgundy Cropped Sweater - Uniqlo Black V-Neck Sweater - Madewell Grey Turtleneck Sweater (similar) - Navy Cashmere Sweater (old, similar)

3 Pairs of Pants | Levi's 711 Jeans - Dickies with DIY fringe (similar) - Acne Studios Skin 5 Jeans

3 Pairs of Shoes | Rag & Bone Newbury Booties - Superga Sneakers (similar) - Chanel Flats (similar options)

3 Dresses | Elizabeth Suzann Georgia Dress - Ace & Jig Shift Dress (similar) - Elizabeth Suzann Marlena Midi

2 Coats | Zara Camel Coat (similar) - Elizabeth Suzann Ida Trench

Goals for this challenge:

1 | Up my winter style game. When it gets colder and rainier here, I tend to forget all about style and just wear cozy leggings and a big coat. I didn't include a raincoat in this exercise, so we'll see what happens if it rains a lot in the next few weeks...

2 | Get better at creative layering. This is very related to the above goal, but isn't necessarily winter-specific. I realized in my recap of my last challenge that my layering skills were a bit lacking. Some serious layering goals courtesy of Style Bee here and here... seems like a boxy crop-top would be a good addition to my closet.

3 | Figure out a good base for my winter capsule wardrobe. I'm not sure I'll blog about a full winter capsule, but I would like to have a good idea of my most useful/worn/loved pieces for the season. Just from choosing my pieces, I've already realized that raw silk is one of my favorite fabrics!

This also coincides with a 10x10 challenge from Lee of Style Bee and Caroline of UnFancy, so I will be using their hashtag #WINTER10x10 to follow along. Let me know in the comments if you are playing along as well so I can see what you're up to! My plan is to style these 20 looks over the next 4-5 weeks and share 4-5 outfits per week - stay tuned...

Two (and a half) Days in Santa Fe

Over Veteran's Day weekend I took a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico! I have wanted to visit for a long time, and it was a perfect chance to meet up with some friends who moved to LA a few months ago. I'm sharing our itinerary- so next time you have a long weekend, I highly recommend following these tips and taking a trip to Santa Fe. In November, the air was chilly and crisp, the tallest peaks were barely dusted with snow, and there were lots of vibrant fall colors still on the trees.

We flew into Albuquerque late on Thursday night and drove our rental car to our VRBO near downtown Santa Fe. Your itinerary begins the next morning!

Day 1

Wake up and stroll to breakfast near the plaza at Palacio Cafe. They have great New Mexican influenced breakfasts (think red and green chile) but also breakfast standards like eggs benedict and simple pancakes. After you're fed and caffeinated, drive an hour and fifteen minutes to Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O'Keeffe had her home and studio. The drive gets prettier and prettier as you near the ranch.

If you plan your trip right, you can take a tour of O'Keeffe's home and studio. Unfortunately, we visited on a weekend when this tour was not offered, but I would go back to New Mexico just to visit Ghost Ranch again and see where O'Keeffe lived and worked. You should plan ahead and purchase tickets here. The two other museums on the property aren't spectacular, but the Museum of Paleontology has a few cool fossils and lots of information about how all the different layers of rock on the property formed. There are also a number of hikes that start near the visitor's center - we chose the Chimney Rock hike, a quick 3 mile out-and-back that offers spectacular views of the Piedra Lumbre basin.

After your hike (and on the way to your next destination), stop at the unassuming Mamacita's Pizzeria. The owner told us that it was voted second best pizza in all of New Mexico, and it was pretty darn good for a tiny spot in the middle of nowhere.

Now, make your way to Ojo Caliente. This is a beautiful resort and spa out in the desert with pools, saunas, a restaurant, cottages, and a hotel. With more time, I might have booked a massage or spa treatment, but for the afternoon it was nice to just spend time in all the pools. They have a lithia spring, an iron spring, a soda spring, and an arsenic spring. I didn't get any pictures of the pools, but the buildings and the grounds are all very lovely and tranquil.

Once you've turned into a prune, drive back to town and have dinner at Harry's Roadhouse, a favorite with locals.

Day 2

Wake up early and head out on another hike for the morning. Nambe Lake is a 6.2 mile out and back trail that will get your heart pumping and ends at a beautiful mountain lake. After your hike, you'll spend the rest of the day exploring downtown Santa Fe.

First, refuel after your hike with lunch at Cafe Pasqual's. This was our favorite meal of the trip! We had delicious soup, a killer chicken sandwich, and mac n' cheese with chiles and spinach. After lunch, wander the Plaza which has cute shops, and tons of Native American vendors set up along the edges. If you are in the market for turquoise jewelry, fossils and minerals, or cowboy boots, you are in luck. The architecture is also fascinating and mostly adobe-inspired.

Be sure to visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum before it closes at 5pm. I learned a lot about her life - her early art, her marriage, and her eventual move to New Mexico. The museum isn't huge but has a lot of good info and great examples of her different artistic phases.

Before you call it a night, get dinner La Choza. If you can't decide between the green and red chile, just go Christmas Style! 

Day 3

Spend your last morning at Meow Wolf. This is an old bowling alley that is now filled with an amazing interactive installation called 'The House of Eternal Return'. It was incredibly fun, and you can spend hours in this one big mystery/art piece. I don't want to say more about the installation- it might spoil the mystery, so you will just have to go and check it out yourself! (For GoT fans, note that the permanent space was secured in part by George R. R. Martin, who lives in the area.)

Have lunch at Maria's before you head back to the Albuquerque airport. They have great New Mexican food- sopaipillas and blue corn enchiladas and chile rellenos. Drive back along the scenic route through Madrid, NM on the Turquoise Trail. This is an adorable old ghost town that now has lots of art galleries, jewelry stores, and restaurants.

And that is the end of your trip... Farewell, New Mexico!

All images in this post belong to www.baytobaltic.com.