Mom Eats a Cupcake

I’ve been busy.

I had intended on posting frequently while away but with sight-seeing, wifi issues,, and working on my second guest post for A Life in the Fashion Lane I haven’t had the time. And quite frankly, when I do get a spare moment I choose to spend it in the hot tub – priorities.

To keep you entertained in the meantime, here are a few photos I captured of my mom eating a cupcake. It’s a pretty hilarious sight.

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Samantha

Santa Cruz + Packing 101

Greetings from the west coast!

The family and I arrived in San Francisco yesterday and drove down to Santa Cruz for a cousin’s wedding on Saturday. We’ll be staying here for a few days before driving back up to San Fran for a couple more days.

First off, let’s talk packing. There are two types of packers in this world – those who pack properly and those who do not. For me, being a “proper packer” is one of my greatest struggles. I am up until 2am the night before a trip with a suitcase that won’t shut and a carry-on that doesn’t meet airline standards. I’ve been told on many occasions that outfit planning is the key to successful packing. As hard as I try to plan my outfits accordingly I always get the urge to throw a few extra sweaters, pants, and shoes into my suitcase until it’s bursting at the seams. This time around I was determined to not pack like a hoarder. And ya know what – I didn’t do too bad! I had to sit on my suitcase in order to zip it shut, but I honestly feel like I have everything I need – not too much, not too little. Here’s how I did it: First I made a list of the days I would be away including the weather and agenda for each day. Then I chose key items from my wardrobe that I knew could be worn multiple times like a great pair of jeans, white t-shirt, and a black sweater. Using these key items I continued to refer back to my list, planned an outfit for each day and set them out on my bed. The ability to see each outfit separately helped me to not take more than I needed while ensuring that I would also not forget anything. I then threw everything in my suitcase, making sure each outfit stayed together, and danced around my bedroom at 1am in celebration. I’ve become a “proper packer” WOOT WOOT! All I have to work on is the whole procrastination thing – four hours of sleep before a five hour flight isn’t exactly ideal.

Now that my suitcase and I have arrived in one piece, allow me to share some photos of my day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

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My dad and I rode the sky glider – he made faces while I freaked out.

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The fam and I played against each other in “Stinky Feet”, my mama won and I lost but stole her adorable prize (pictured above).

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We then walked over to the (very windy) pier to meet some sea lions.

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I ended the afternoon with a chocolate covered ice cream sandwich – OH EM GEE.

 

Samantha

Brighter Days Ahead

Life isn’t always flowers, rooftops, and designer stores.

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I know I’ve been quoted saying “life is good” in a few recent posts, but in all honesty life isn’t always “good”. Believe it or not, but my life isn’t always flowers, rooftops, and designer stores. As much as I like to glorify things and share happy times, I’d be lying to myself and to you if I said life was always like that. To avoid wasting time and getting too personal, I’ll just leave it at that – life is not good right now.

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Now that I’ve set such a terrible mood, allow me to share a story and perhaps a little advice. A few summers ago I volunteered at a summer camp for little kids. During training I learned an incredible life lesson. My trainer/boss told me to smile at all times. Every day I showed up to camp I had to be smiling. This sounded a little crazy and torturous (and maybe even a little creepy?) but my boss explained why, “eventually that forced smile will turn into a genuine smile.” I decided to try this out. Waking up at the crack of dawn to deal with three year-olds was not something I wanted to smile about but there I was, greeting the little maniacs with a forced grin. The day sped by and before I knew it I was wrapping up for the day and felt genuinely happy. I continued to take her advise and some days were harder than others but not once did I end a day in a bad mood. I will now take this valuable life lesson and pass it on to you – whoever you are.

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I usually wear black. Although today, attempting to turn my day/life around, I forced myself into brighter colors. And despite my newly developed insomnia and countless number of stresses I feel slightly better. Dress is from Express and sweater is from Zara.

 

The purpose of this post was not to gain pity (I pity myself enough) but instead to share my tips/advice/lessons/whatever-you-want-to-call-them with you, incase you find yourself in a similar situation.

Samantha

Shoes, Art, and Westport

Yesterday was a very busy day. Today? Not so much.

Thursday started off with an early train ride into the city to meet Alexa at the Gansevoort Hotel for a sneak-peek of Sole Society‘s new fall line. Whereas today started off with a bowl of oatmeal and my couch, that was after I slept in an extra few hours. After breakfast with Sole Society I headed to my office and began to wrap things up before my last day on Wednesday. Today, after oatmeal, I continued my time on the couch with roughly six episodes of Gossip Girl. Yesterday I worked straight through lunch but finished things up an hour early to head to the MoMA with my boss. Six episodes of Gossip Girl later, I made a trip to the kitchen, scrounged up some food, and headed straight back to the couch for, you guessed it, more Gossip Girl. The MoMA was great but I was in a hurry to head home and meet up with Nora for dinner. I then took a break from Gossip Girl to be just a little productive and sit at the mechanic for an hour while something got fixed on my car (I am the least car-savvy person ever). I was back in CT after the MoMA and off to dinner at bartaco in Westport on the water, we waited almost an hour for a table, but Nora and I did a pretty good job at entertaining ourselves (and the birds). Currently, I am back on the couch writing this post and waiting for dinner to be ready – some days are just more exciting than others.

Shoes

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Breakfast + Shoes = Happy Sam. I’ve been on the hunt for a new pair of booties and I think I found just the pair at Sole Society yesterday morning – score! The Gansevoort was the perfect location for this event – I’ll never get sick of rooftops.

Art

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There are some exhibits at the MoMA that could’ve used some explaining, I had quite a few of those what the heck am I looking at?! moments. Nonetheless, the classics were beautiful and Jackson Pollock never fails to amaze me.

Westport, CT

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The Westport harbor at sunset is the place to be. Nora got friendly with some swans and I hopped on a bench and pretended to be “Queen of the world!”

 

Yesterday was so fun and exciting while today was spent “recovering” from all the excitement and yet again, lack of sleep during the work week. Now I am off to go check on when dinner will be ready – doing nothing all day is exhausting!

Samantha

Goodbye Ingrid :(

Bergdorf’s, Barney’s, and Cipriani’s.

That’s right, no more lunch dates in Central Park, visits to designer stores, spending all of our money at Starbucks, or “browsing” through Zara. It’s sad knowing this summer is coming to an end and no longer having a work-companion, but it is also very happy to reflect on how great this summer has been. And what better way to reflect than over refreshments, pizza, and cappuccinos?? Here’s how Ingrid, my boss, and I celebrated Ingrid’s farewell…

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First stop – our favorite department store! The three of us ditched work early for refreshments at the Bergdorf Goodman Restaurant. This place was de-vine – the definition of classy. The chic interior design and stunning view of Central Park made this restaurant something special. A second visit for high-tea will definitely be happening sometime in the near future.

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My boss then suggested we visit Barney’s for pizza and even more city views. My mother, who was working in midtown, grabbed a cab and joined us for some introductions and a few embarrassing childhood stories. We had a great time and the pizza was yummy, but with a slightly more modern and simple design, the restaurant itself was less impressive.

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Ingrid’s family, who have flown in from Texas, had just arrived in the city and met us in midtown for even more introductions. Our first choice was too busy to seat six people so we ended up at Cipriani’s in Grand Central. Ingrid and I ordered cappuccinos while our parents and boss chatted away at the other end of the table. As a commuter who walks past Cipriani’s twice every day it was fun to be the observer for once, as opposed to the frantic girl rushing to catch her train. The cappuccino’s were yummy but nothing could beat my wonderful company. It was so great chatting with Ingrid for one last time and getting to know her parents who I have heard so much about.

And before I knew it, my mother leaned over to me and told me it was time to catch our train home, which meant that it was time to say goodbye. Though Ingrid and I agreed that this was not a “goodbye” but rather a “see you later.” I know she will be back in the city next summer, as will I, and I know that we will be seeing much more of each other in the future as we both work to build our careers in the industry. (I also hope Ingrid plans a visit during the holidays – Ingrid, if you’re reading this, I know I’ve told you a million times before but you must see the city during Christmas time – YOU MUST!)

 

Samantha

Saturday Morning

A trip to the farmer’s market.

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With a super busy, chaotic, and sleepless week behind me I had planned for a day on the couch and (yet another) Gossip Girl binge session. Though, when my mom suggested we take a trip down to the local farmer’s market I figured maybe a little physical activity wouldn’t hurt.

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I took in the freshness of everything around me – produce, breads, pies, flowers, etc. The farmer’s market was exactly what I needed after a week in the concrete jungle. As much as I love the city and it’s subsequent high-number of pollutants, I was desperate for some greenery and this bouquet of flowers was the perfect fix!

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And yes, I buy flowers for myself – after the week I’ve had, I deserve them.

Samantha

Food Photography

When Ingrid, Alexa, and Sam go out to dinner.

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Last night after work, Ingrid, Alexa, and I met up for dinner at The Smith in Midtown. Now you must remember, each one of us has our own blog and each one of us enjoys food just as much as the other. So what happens when you mix food and blogging? Pictures – lots and lots of pictures. We first order an appetizer to share and before the plate even hits the table, Alexa and I prep our phones for some food photography. As we both struggle to find the perfect angle, aesthetic, and lighting, Ingrid whips out the big guns. That’s right, in her tiny little satchel bag was her not-so-tiny DSLR camera and as she snaps away I slowly tuck my iPhone camera away in shame. This process continues for our main courses as well. I ordered the roasted tomato soup and Mexican corn off the cob – it hit alllllll the right places.

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Alexa and Ingrid in their natural states.

Then, us food-enthusiasts all agreed that no amazing meal is complete without an equally as incredible dessert. Ingrid has been wanting to try out the cupcake ATM and Alexa insists that we try this weird place with a name I cannot for the life of me pronounce. I am intrigued by both, and with a route mapped out we decide to give each a shot. First stop – the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. Unlike dinner, everyone else around us is equally as amused by this vending machine serving fresh cupcakes. So we (just like everybody else) take videos of the process of purchasing a cupcake from an ATM. The process was pretty cool, but I must say – not as magical as I envisioned it to be.* Then was Momofuku Milk Bar – home of “cereal milk.” What is cereal milk? Well, now that I’ve tried it I can tell you – “cereal milk” is cereal milk. It’s really that simple. It’s corn flakes soaked in milk then strained to create that sweet tasting milk we enjoy after a bowl of cereal. It was interesting and a fun little thing to try but far too sweet for my liking. I also picked up one of Karlie’s Perfect 10 Kookies which I enjoyed on the train ride home. This I thoroughly enjoyed every last crumb of – nearly guilt free thanks all natural ingredients!

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*I imagined something more along the lines of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, maybe Johnny Depp would throw on a wig and some cooky sunglasses and hand out cupcakes himself?! With golden tickets in the wrappers??!!!!? When Sprinkles comes out with something like that – puh-lease let me know.

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Ingrid <3 cupcake & proof that Sam doesn’t just photograph food, she eats it too.

 

Samantha

P.S. I linked to all the food places I mentioned incase you are interested in checking any of them out (which I highly suggest you do).

Pajamas at Work

I wore pajamas to work today – well, kind of.

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I slept through two (yes, two) alarms this morning. Now, the last thing I want to do in that 10 minute early (too early) morning blur of rushing to get ready is put on a pencil skirt and heels, or anything of that uncomfortable nature. *CUE THE HAREM PANTS AND COTTON T-SHIRT.* These babies were made for those roll-out-of-bed mornings and if you’re someone like me, those mornings happen more often than not.

I would like to give a shoutout to the creators of slouchy silk pants and “dressy” cotton shirts. If you happen to know these genius creators/designers give them a nice warm hug for me and let them know the comfort-seekers of the world l-o-v-e them.

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Pants I stole borrowed from my mom’s closet, t-shirt is from Banana Republic, shoes are by Franco Sarto, and jewelry is by Susanna Galanis.

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I am finally home after a very productive day at work and headed to go change into my actual pajamas – until next time!

Samantha

The New “IT” Flower

It’s an orchid invasion!ddd

I feel like I can’t walk a single block in New York City without spotting an orchid. These things are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Don’t get me wrong, these delicate and easily mantained plants are beautiful, but it’s gotten to the point where one showed up in my dream last night and I’ve become officially creeped out.

There are three in my office alone, one of which sits directly infront of me. There’s also one sitting downstairs in the lobby of my building as well as one in the lobby of another building just a few doors down. There’s also that huge bouquet of orchids I found on the upper level of Louis Vuitton a few weeks ago (pictured below). Oh, and then there’s an entire wall of them at Dior’s Fall 2014 Haute Couture runway show in Paris (pictured above).

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What I found most fascinating about Raf Simon’s (creative director of Dior) decision to create a backdrop of orchids for his couture collection, was how closely the flower mimicked his designs. The structure of his couture gowns are exactly that of the shape of an orchid petal. And the pure white color of the fabric is an exact color match to the orchids surrounding the runway (as well as the orchid on my desk – I’m so “in”).

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I’d also like to aknowledge the scrutiny Mr. Simons recieved for his Dior couture collection – yes, his designs were completely understated compared to previous Dior Couture designs and the collection would’ve been better off shown as “Ready-to-Wear.” Though, nonetheless, every single piece was beautifully designed and I would still kill to get my hands on any one of them – especially the set pictured below.

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Have a “haute” weekend!

Samantha

Food On a Roof

Food and NYC makes for the perfect evening.

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After work last night, Alexa, Ingrid, and I headed over to ACE’s First Annual Foodie Ball hosted by E! Entertainment on the TOWN Private Roofdeck. With a beautiful view of the city, an array of food, and two very sweet girls – I had an amazing time.

 

Let’s talk about the location for a minute…

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I look to my right and what-do-ya-know, it’s the empire state building.

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I look to my left and what-do-ya-know, it’s the high line.

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And if that’s not good enough for you, the roof was in-between the Diane von Furstenberg building. P.S. Ingrid’s the girl in white with the super pretty blonde hair – she was pretty fun to look at too ha ha.

 

Now, on to the good stuff – FOOD….

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The lovely Dean & DeLuca catered.

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This tattooed man was assembling a sort of sushi.

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There was honey lavender and sweet cream ice cream – let’s just say, I went back for seconds.

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These little French pastries and I bonded on a personal level – so yummy! I’d also like to acknowledge the people who were handing them out for being so fun and sweet.

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Now, when the cute bartender recommends you try the Spicy Pina Colada – you try that Spicy Pina Colada. And I’m glad I did because it was deeee-lish!

 

And then there’s me…

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And incase you were wondering – peplum top is from Express, jeans are from J.Crew, shoes are from ALDO, necklace is Susanna Galanis, and the nail polish is Essie’s “Bikini So Teeny”.

 

As for today, I’ll be frolicking around in my sweatshirt and boxers with a huge grin on my face because life is too good.

Samantha