An Irrelevant Birthday + The Big E

I turned 19 on Saturday. 

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If you ask me, that is such an irrelevant age – I’m already an adult but still a teenager. There’s no fun in being 19 so I’ll just lie to people and tell them I’m older.

I take back the no fun part – there was a little fun when my fam came up for the weekend and took me to The Big E. “The Big E” is a giant state fair in Springfield, MA that I’ve attended almost every year of my life, beginning when I was just a little fetus (but actually). Unfortunately Sunday was the last day but if you haven’t already been, I HIGHLY recommend you plan a trip next year – you’re tasetbuds will thank you. And if you don’t believe me, I have snapchat to prove it to you. Prepare to get hungry…

*Background Info* There are five “houses” (more like big brick buildings) at The Big E and each house represents a state in New England. The houses are full of food vendors selling food from their state. Example: the Vermont house sells maple syrup and the Rhode Island house has a bunch of seafood. Get it? Good, let’s continue.

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New Hampshire’s corn – a personal favorite.

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Donuts from… well, I don’t really remember.

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The line for this bad boy was crazy long but totally worth it.

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A little something to remind me of summer.

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Obvi not chicken, but kettle corn.

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And ice cream on the way out, just because.

 

It’s currently 9pm and I’m struggling to keep my eyes open – too much birthday, not enough sleep. Goodnight.

Samantha

Sneakers Are Taking Over

Why you should go buy sneakers. Now. Right now.

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via The Sartorialist  

I was scrolling through The Sartorialist the other night and could not help but notice that every single image portrayed an impeccably dressed woman… WEARING SNEAKERS. It didn’t matter how expensive the outfit or how exquisite the dress, everyone completed their ensemble with a sporty and very casual shoe. Up until now I had this idea that women who paired skirts with sneakers were more functional than fashionable but suddenly I’ve been forced to question that theory. Sneakers are no longer for the mere use of comfort and practicality but to actually make a fashion statement (what?!??).

If I really put my brain to work, it all kind of starts to make sense. That whole “effortless” look is in, right? So what says “I totally didn’t try, except I totally did” than a pair of fashion-forward sneaks (eek, never thought I’d say that); the answer is nothing. We must also accredit Stella McCartney for this trend, who paired up with Adidas to create her adidas by Stella McCartney line. Stella showed us that we can wear sneakers to red-carpet events as wall as/instead of the gym.

By no means am I protesting this trend that’s basically telling me it’s ok not to force my feet into a teeny tiny space with a super high heel. But I must admit this is all a little weird for me and will take some getting used to. Before this I thought sneakers were for moms and athletes, not the world’s finest fashionistas. Though I am very proud to announce that I’ve taken a baby step into the trendy direction and ordered a pair of white leather high-tops which I am super duper psyched about. My next step is summoning up the guts to pair them with my finest attire. We’ll see how well that goes.

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via The Sartorialist

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via The Sartorialist

Samantha

Half Marathon Training: Creating a Routine

I wish I could put into words how crazy this past week has been, but I can’t.

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I’ve started a new school year, in a new home, with new classes, and new faces – it is exhausting. With so many new things happening I’ve struggled to find a new training routine that works for my schedule. I’m slowly figuring out when I can run and where I can run but I still don’t have everything down-pat. Speaking of where to run, I got lost a few times last week while running outdoors, but then again it’s all part of the learning process. I also found myself unintentionally running an extremely hilly route and struggling to finish. On top of a new routine, my shins are struggling to grow accustom to my change in paths. At home I often run on dirt/gravel trails, but while at school I often run on the sidewalk or in the road. Hello shinsplints. While on my life-is-so-difficult rant I must add that I’ve been sick these past couple of days. There appears to be mold growing in my ceiling and my sinuses decided to go a-wall on me. Things got so bad on Sunday (my long run day) that I had to skip my run altogether. So now that I’ve bored you with all of my stresses, let me add that I am slowly but surely figuring my new routine out. Balancing classes, homework, training, work, and attempting to have a social like is very difficult – but then again, I love being busy. (That wasn’t sarcasm, I swear).

Samantha

Half Marathon Training: The Start of Something New

Half marathon here I come!

I started seriously running at the beginning of this year and ever since completing my first 5k in April I’ve wanted to push myself even further. I LOVE a challenge and there really is no bigger challenge than running 13.1 miles – I’m out of breathe just thinking about it. But eventually, in just 12 short weeks to be exact, I will be keeled over at the finish line having just completed my first half marathon. This weekly series will be a way for me to keep track of and serve as a reminder to how far I’ve come in completing one of the most physically and mentally challenging tasks of my life. I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF I’M SO EXCITED!

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My first training week down, I feel uh-mazing! The training schedule I am following starts off easy for the first two weeks then slowly begins to pick up. Also, since I spent my first week of training at home, my mom and I were able to run together. We decided to sign up for the half-marathon as a pair, this way we can motivate each other. And even though I’m three hours away from her right now :'( we plan to continue to train together, just in separate places. I must say, a running buddy does make the experience a whole lot better. I like to run at a pace that I am still able to hold a steady conversation and there truly is no better distraction from exhaustion (and a little suffering) than being able to have a conversation with someone. So, if you plan on running a race, or just running at all, my number one tip is to drag someone along with you. Even though my mom won’t be here to run with me everyday, we still serve as motivation to each other and hold the other accountable for sticking to the training schedule. That’s right mom – no skipping days!

About the shoes – it’s been a solid year since I’ve purchased a new pair of sneakers and my old ones just weren’t doing the job anymore. Sport’s Authority was having a huge sale Labor Day weekend so I picked up these flashy new pair of ASICS. I typically don’t go for super flashy but I’m hoping that when I “can’t run any further” I’ll take a glimpse down at these bad boys and gain a second wind.

So if you see a girl running with rainbows on her feet, it’s just me.

Samantha

Fambrini’s Produce – Santa Cruz, CA

It’s no secret that I am a sucker for some fresh produce.

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When the family and I were driving up the California coast, making our way from Santa Cruz to San Francisco, we passed the cutest little family farm and I insisted my mom turn the car around. She complied – and this is what it looked like:

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I wish I could crawl into this bucket of lavender and live there forever.

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And of course, my dad had to have his fun too.

 

Now I’m back on the east coast with come post-vacation blues.

Samantha

 

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