Our Greenpoint Digs: Living Room + Kitchen

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hi friends! i know that it’s been a little while but between freelancing, filling an apartment, and navigating life in brooklyn in general, i’ve been a tad busy. but i’m finally excited to share a few shots of the apartment! it’s nowhere near done, but it’s starting to feel like home.

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i’ve shared my kitchen a million times because there’s a lot of natural light there, which made it easy to photograph. my living room? not a single window. but the other day we had an insane amount of sunlight after about a week of rain, and i had never seen the living room so bright. it made taking photos so much fun!

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if you’ve been following along on the apartment section of my instagram stories, you’ll know that almost every major piece in our apartment was found on craigslist. the lamp, marble nesting tables (you can only see one in the photo), rug, bar cart, terrace side table, and bookcase are from west elm via craigslist. the media console is by cb2, also found on craigslist. and when i say that i feel like i hit the lottery multiple times, i’m not kidding.

the white couch was gifted to us by my parents and while i love the fact that you sink into it, it also has no back support which can be problematic. the leather chair in the corner was gifted to us by tom’s cousin and might be the comfiest chair i’ve ever sat in. the rattan ottoman is by at 1st sight, also discovered through craigslist.

the tassel pillows are from leif and the velvet pillows (including the mustard lumbar pillow) are from adaptations. the tiger throw is by calhoun & co. and the huge monstera leaf is from homecoming, a local coffee + plant shop. the square prints are all photos i’ve taken, printed via parabo press, and the art is a combination of prints from society6, my own artwork, and things i’ve collected. the brooklyn print was graciously reprinted for me by the lovely libby vanderploeg.

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the photos above don’t show just how big the kitchen is, but there’s not much to see on the other side. the butcher’s block table was gifted to us by tom’s parents, and the leaning black bookshelf was gifted to us by my parents. all the plants i either brought from new jersey, or picked up at rooted, another local plant shop. the chairs are my favorite part. i had seen blu dot real good chairs online whether it be social media or different blogs, but never thought i would own them. why? they go for $200-$300 per chair.

until i found a pair on craigslist for $50/each. and then i found another one from another seller…again for $50. but it was weird having only 3 dining chairs so i obsessively checked craigslist every day. and then finally after a few weeks, 2 more for $50/each. they look beautiful yet uncomfortable, but that’s not the case! they’re super comfy but if you get them, i recommend getting the pad that goes with them. the bowls that the bananas are resting in are from also from leif and meant to hang on the wall, but i’m still waiting until i collect a few more. the lamp is awkwardly there because having the actual ceiling lights in the kitchen at night feels like overkill, so i’m still trying to figure out a solution for that. oh, and the rug is from urban outfitters.

it’s funny, i always thought i’d consult pinterest so hard when it came to decorating our first space. but it was fun figuring it all out on my own. and who knows, some people might think our apartment is hideous LOL. but we like it, and that’s all the truly matters. it feels cozy, colorful, and like home.


Days in DC

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hi everyone! i know it's been a while, and i honestly debated on whether i'd be coming back to blogging or not. life got busy in the most intense way with my move to brooklyn + adjusting to freelancing, as well as taking a position with common sense media. but as i was sorting through photos, i came across these photos that i took on a trip to dc a few months ago and i realized i'm still not ready to close the book on 'bursts of samm'.

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the reason sarah and i went to dc was to see the cherry blossoms. it was a bit of a zoo and it was super hot, but they were beautiful and it's something that i had been wanting to do for a while. i guess you could say it was a bucket list item? 

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we stayed at this airbnb and it was honestly the most wonderful experience. kim and her family were the most gracious hosts, and made us that beautiful spread you see earlier in this post. we were honestly floored when we went downstairs. if you're in dc, i absolutely recommend staying with kim!

we saw the blossoms, went to a brewery, bar hopped a little and just had such a good time. we're constantly rotating around the nyc area, so a change of scenery was so welcome. we also managed to have brunch at le diplomat - a place that's usually booked and if you don't have a reservation, you'll probably be met with a wait. totally worth it!

i'm still here, and it feel so good. chat soon!

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hi friends.

i went absolutely radio silent again, but i have a good reason. as you saw in my last post, tom + i finally moved in together. we're living in greenpoint, which is a lovely neighborhood in brooklyn. it's right next to williamsburg, just not as chaotic. 

i also sprained my ankle right as we were about to move, so dealing with that was loads of fun. i'm still freelancing full time, but also just took a position working on development with common sense media. life is crazy. 

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the apartment is shaping up slowly, but nicely. i've scored pieces that i never thought i'd own in a million years (cc: those blu dot real good chairs pictured above) but i've consistently hit the lottery with craigslist. i'll do a roundup of all the pieces i've scored from craigslist at some point when the apartment makes a little more progress. 

chat soon!

 

big news!

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the samm + tom show is coming to greenpoint, brooklyn!

we've been talking about moving in together for such a long time, and honestly i wasn't sure if it would ever happen. we always had a million reasons for putting it off, with money being the primary. i think we both have this really horrid nightmare of moving out too soon, which is why we waited until the finances were right. and honestly, it was also time. we've been dating for five years and we both felt like the moment was right.

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it might seem slightly dated, but what sold us on the unit was the amount of space we'll have. the pictures really don't do it justice, but at $2,000 for 2br, a huge eat-in kitchen, and high ceilings, it almost feels like a steal. plus greenpoint is an amazing neighborhood in brooklyn next to williamsburg with a great sense of community.

these photos were taken by someone that works for the real estate company - it's currently completely empty. we're not keeping any of the furniture, and are decorating/filling the apartment completely from nothing. actually that's a lie - my parents have this amazing off-white couch that you just sink into that also fits in with the mid-century modern theme that we're both going for. it'll be great to build the room around it and honestly this just feels like my olympics. i finally get to fully decorate a space. i've been waiting my whole life for this moment, haha. 

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snapped these fun lil photos once we got the keys. we move in on the first of june and i'm trying not to go crazy with looking at furniture, but i'm just so fucking excited. just when i thought 2017 was the best year i've had to date. 

new beginnings are fun, aren't they? 

life is hilarious

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i feel like i've been putting off writing this post for a while. partially because i've been so busy trying to adjust to my new reality, and partially because i've been enjoying the adjustment. 

my company folded the day after valentine's day. 

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to be completely honest, we all knew something was up. working at a startup means you're very in-tune with how the company is doing financially and weren't a huge company to begin with. and i don't think people are truly ready to lose their jobs, but we weren't surprised when he told us. it happened all in one day - we came in, worked for about 2 hours, were all let go + told that we had to pack up the office in about 4 hours. i didn't really process it until the following week because i had a trip to hudson that weekend that i wanted to enjoy as much as possible. 

immediately after the meeting, i had a brief 10 second moment of panic after we heard the news, and then i just started laughing. i had gained enough experience and was confident in my skills that i told myself it would all work itself out. i'm currently freelancing and while it's been an adjustment trying to find my daily bearings, i'm so fucking happy. it's hard work doing it all, but also incredibly satisfying. because i fucking know i can.

this was always the path i wanted to carve out for myself, but i thought i had a few more years before taking the plunge into full freelance life. this has forced me out of my comfort zone in so many ways, and i've had to make some difficult decisions within the last month or so. but the thing about being self-employed is that all bets are off and you can't depend on anyone else to tell you what to do. all a part of the game. 

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life is funny. i went into this year with all these plans and expectations, all of which were dependent on me having a salaried job. then life threw me for a loop and i went from being a cd to unemployed to a freelance marketing consultant in a matter of 2 weeks. i told myself at the end of last year that i had no intention of slowing down this year, and that hasn't changed in the slightest. i have to work 300% harder, but i'm feeling + putting out nothing but good vibes. 

i'm determined to make this last for as long as i can, and plan to enjoy every second of the ride. i've also had an incredible support system in my friends, family, and tom - something i don't take lightly and keeps me driven every day.

oh, and these photos were taken from a little day trip sarah + i took to the brooklyn botanical gardens. we plan on going back when everything is in bloom, but it was my first time going and i just found everything so beautiful. 

i have so many upcoming trips + things planned for this year, so stay tuned! and again, thank you for following along.

 

weekend in hudson

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tom and i recently packed our bags (well i had multiple bags, he had a backpack) and took a drive upstate. we had talked about how we want to travel more this year, and i've come to appreciate small weekend getaways. hudson is far enough (about 2ish hours from new york city) to feel like you're truly escaping but also is an easy commute either by train or car. 

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WHERE WE STAYED

we stayed at the rivertown lodge. we absolutely loved our stay there, and you can see more photos of the hotel + read more about our experience in my last post. i know there are a few places you can stay at in hudson, but i would 15/10 recommend rivertown. 

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WHAT WE DID

i knew that our main goal in hudson was to explore. we unfortunately didn't get to hike because i didn't realize the one spot i wanted to hike at was about an hour drive from hudson - aka, i didn't plan accordingly for it. next time!

anyways, the reason i found hudson so charming is that it really is a community of locally owned businesses. antique shops, specialty food stores, and cute cafes/restaurants line warren street and it was almost a little overwhelming because i wanted to walk through each and every door. we stopped by flowerkraut, a floral design shop that also sells different kinds of sauerkraut. we walked a little further and popped into john doe records and books, where i found an original vinyl of john lennon + yoko ono's first album that they recorded together. (regrettably, i didn't buy it.) one thing i also appreciated about hudson was that there were black lives matter signs, LGBTQ FLAGS, AND REMNANTS OF SIGNS FROM THEIR WOMEN'S MARCH EVERYWHERE. FUCKING LOVE.one of my favorite shops that we stopped by was minna, a home goods + textiles shop that works with makers from mexico, guatemala, and uruguay. 

we didn't go into the antique shops, because i knew that i would just want everything and i 1) didn't have any sort of $ to pay for furniture 2) where the hell was i going to put furniture? lol eventually we'll go back because i saw so many pieces that aligned with my taste. 

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WHERE WE ATE

finally, the part of the recap that i was most excited to share: the food!

there are so many things about hudson, but i'd be lying if i didn't say the food wasn't the best part. after driving for about 2 hours, we stopped by talbott & arding cheese and provisions where tom got shepherds pie + i opted for the chicken pot pie to go. we also picked up a loaf of something sweet but i don't remember what it was - i just remember it being really delicious. we then grabbed dinner at backbar where we drank a little too much and enjoyed malaysian bites. those pork and shrimp wontons pictured above? incredible. tom also loved the burger he had. and we loved it so much that we ended up going again the next night after dinner. we had breakfast at the hotel we were staying at, and i really indulged in that dutch baby. we had dinner at wm farmer & sons and enjoyed every bite of our meal. i'd book a table well in advance if you want to visit! we stopped and had coffee at moto coffee/machine, which was a coffee shop that also had a full service motorcycle repair shop attached to it and ducati's scattered throughout. we also had breakfast the morning on the day we left at grazin' - incredible, especially when you're nursing a hangover. the last meal we had (and one of my favorites although i loved them all) was at lil deb's oasis. i read somewhere that lil deb's was basically an art installation with knockout food, and they were not wrong. everything about lil deb's, from the funky decor to the clear support of the lgbtq community to the amazing food, was incredible. that chicken tamale was also, by far, the best tamale i've ever had in my life. same goes for those arepas. i'm salivating just thinking about them.

i enjoyed every aspect of hudson, and already told tom that we're visiting throughout the seasons. if any of you have ever been to hudson, i'd love hear about it! 

rivertown lodge

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about two weekends ago, tom and i headed upstate for a small trip. going into 2018, i knew i wanted to take more weekend trips and hudson seemed like the perfect place. it was close enough that we could drive there (a little under 2 hours), but far enough where we really felt like we were away

when i was planning this trip, i knew i wanted to stay at the rivertown lodge. i had seen enough photos on social media, read enough stellar reviews, and perused enough design articles to know that this was where we were going to stay. based on photos alone it seemed like a thoughtfully-designed space, and it was. even the keys to our room were beautiful. 

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we choose their smallest room, because the bed nook looked super charming + cozy. even though it was their smallest room size, there was more than enough room for us to wander around. the sheets are by frette, which i appreciate because they're like the gold standard for hotel sheets. i only know this because i was a social media director for a linen company and frette was always on their radar. i also was a little obsessed with the books that they curated for the room - not pictured was the book on boston murderers that i was reading. you know, as one does. 

the room also came with a marshall speaker that you could connect to via bluetooth. the bathroom (which i stupidly forgot to take photos of) was also beautiful, complete with products made by a local shop specifically for rivertown. love. our room was also conveniently located down the hall from their pantry, which was stocked with a bunch of different snacks, meats, cheeses, crackers, salsa, wine, and beer. oh, and did i mention that the tv had netflix? after dinner and drinks, we spent that friday night eating all the things and watching jim jefferies. score.

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one of the best parts about rivertown was that it turns into a breakfast/brunch spot on weekends. i dragged tom out of bed early saturday morning because i had a feeling that it was going to get really crowded. (i was right, by the way). i loved the linen napkins, and i especially loved that dutch baby pancake. they also serve freshly-squeezed orange juice which tasted like the nectar of life after an evening that involved a little too much alcohol. honestly not sure what tom had because he inhaled his food in maybe 3 minutes? 

if i were to give this darling little spot a rating, it'd probably be a 15/10. the staff was fucking lovely and so accommodating. i have every intention of coming back as hudson seems like a place i want to experience throughout the seasons, and i know i'm booking a room at rivertown. 

fighting + flowing

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hi friends. i know i haven't been updating much, but i also left any guilt from not posting regularly in 2017. 

life has been...good lately. and by good, i mean really fucking awesome. work hasn't changed much, and i love what i do enough to not let it become mundane. my sleep schedule hasn't improved much, but i'm working on it. but the biggest change in my life in the recent weeks is me discovering box + flow

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i discovered this GENIUS concept of a studio through my membership at the wing. i'd always thought i'd like boxing, simply because you get to hit things and it seemed like an excellent stress reliever - something i've always needed. 

i took my first class with the owner, olivia, and it changed everything. granted i was not prepared in any way for the class and got lightheaded for a few minutes, but i'd never experienced anything like the workout/yoga high i got from this place. a class that combines shadowboxing, hitting the bag, and yoga? i feel like i struck gold. 

but what i love most about this place are the people. no one's judging. no one is too big or too small. there are no mirrors, and you get called out if you look at anyone else during class. i love that. olivia made sure to create a space where judging people won't be fucking tolerated, where encouragement is key. when you're on the bag, they'll call you out but not in an embarrassing way. 

that one class inspired me to just completely change how i approach everything - from everyday tasks to my food choices. it's an amazing feeling, finally finding some balance. i'll keep you guys updated, but i feel like life is only going up from here. 

nola vibes in tribeca

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i'll always be that person taking a photo of their food #sorrynotsorry. recently i had the day off + tom was just leaving his firehouse, so we decided to have lunch at a new spot called 1803. their menu, drinks, and decor are all inspired by nola's french quarter, so i was obviously intrigued when i first heard about it. 

i took a small trip to nola about two years ago and it changed my life. it was one of those moments where i went into it feeling so defeated (creative-wise) and left feeling more inspired than ever. the crescent city will do that to you. 

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tom and i got there right as they opened, leaving plenty of time for me to wander + practice with my dslr. the high ceilings, vibrant wallpaper, surplus of plants, and checkered floor? it's almost like this place was designed specifically so that people would take photos. oh, and can we talk about those beads hanging around the bar area? love.

in terms of food, we shared the orange-chipotle spiced wings and the crackling slab bacon with spiced ricotta, beets, and microgreens. we were starving so those two appetizers lasted for all of 3 minutes. for entrees, tom got the louisiana style pulled pork sandwich and i got the jambalaya. both dishes had generous portions + were so good. we skipped dessert because #foodcoma but definitely plan on going back for drinks and more food. obviously. 

i'm always on the hunt for new places to experience here in this city + beyond. if you guys have any suggestions, feel free to let me know in the comments below!

studio tour: brian giniewski

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one of my best friends is currently working towards her phd at upenn (fancy). me + my other best friend sarah will spend a weekend in philly every now and then. it's nice getting out of the tri-state area, and philly is just such a great city. 

on one of our recent weekend trips, sarah told me she had dm'd this local ceramic artist about possibly visiting his studio. after browsing his instagram, i quickly fell in love with his work. brian's 'happy ceramics' so beautiful that i had to physically stop myself from buying everything. he told us the story behind the brand and how he used to teach art at the university level + decided to go all in with his passion (love that). him + his wife krista began a (now successful) kickstarter to raise funds for a new studio space/equipment. 

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such a beautiful studio! so much natural light + space

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i ended up leaving with a mug + a bowl, both unique in their color scheme. brian and krista were so welcoming and hearing them talk about their business was nothing short of inspiring. 

i'll also probably buy more pieces because a) they're beautiful and b) i have no self control. check out his website + all his available pieces here

keeping it simple af for 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

as cliché as it sounds, there's just something about ringing in the new year that has me ready to hit the ground running. 2017 ended on a good note personally, and i'm determined to keep up those ~good vibes~ in 2018.

like many, i'm always caught between working to establish routines and wanting exciting adventures. i've decided that this year, i want both. 

EXPLORE MORE

again with the cliché resolutions, but i traveled a healthy amount last year + would like to continue that this year. i used to see vacations as these big trips that require a plane ticket. but as i'm getting older, i find that day trips, weekend trips + staycations are just as exciting. i have a few domestic trips planned, as well as 1-2 international trips possibly happening this year. i also just want to continue to explore new york as much as i can because it's one of those cities where there's always something new to discover. 

HEALTHIER DAILY ROUTINES

ugh, i could go on about everything i should change about my routines, but i'm trying to keep it simple + focus on changes i can make that'll have lasting benefits. first, i need to establish a better sleep routine. (i can hear tom yelling "sleep study!" behind me) with a better sleep routine comes more time for me in the mornings. i'm definitely a morning person, and want to have more "me time" before heading into the office each day.

towards the end of last year, i unfortunately realized that i've developed a mild lactose intolerance. i'm still in the process of testing out what i can/can't have, but dairy isn't necessarily good for you anyways so i'm not too heartbroken. building on me cutting out 90% of dairy, i know that i need to chill with the damn carbs. i also just need to get back to cooking all my meals and be smarter about my snacking habits. 

in terms of fitness, the gym is great but i do better in high-intensity group classes. there's something about working out with a bunch of people that motivates me to push myself even harder, so i'll keep you guys posted on the classes i try, etc. i'm particularly looking into kickboxing (because stress) + might even try y7. i also want to stop using car services like uber + lyft less and make it a point to walk more. 

MORE TIME WITH FRIENDS + FAMILY

i feel like i missed out on a lot while i was a teller because of the weird weekday + weekend hours. now that i have a "normal job", i want to take as much advantage of my weeknights + weekends by spending as much time with my friends/family as i can. whether it be cooking dinners together, watching movies at the local theatre, or meeting up at the local coffee shop to get some work done, time with loved ones does so much for my mental health. 

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SAYING "NO"

one of the many titles of my non-existent biography would probably be "how being too nice fucks up your life". a little dramatic, but if you know me in person then you know that i've had trouble saying no in the past. but 2017 gave me opportunities to be assertive, and i took them all. i'm still slowly building my confidence, and with that comes having to work on saying "no" to people, projects, etc. i have a newly-found dedication to life/work balance, and don't want to spread myself thin anymore than i already have. 

USING MY DSLR MORE

part of it comes from not having a proper bag, but i let my dslr camera collect dust for way too long. i learned how to ~properly use it last year and the difference in my photos is night + day. i'll write a separate post about my experience in photography/editing, but i want to stop relying on my iphone so much + make it a point to shoot more. practice will only make you better, right?

BEING BETTER OVERALL

this entire posts comes down to me just aiming to be better in all aspects of my life. i know it'll require work, but i'm finally in a place where i can really start focusing on these things that i've put on the back burner. 

what are some of your goals + resolutions for this year? if you have any tips for me, feel free to send them my way! 

the photos in this post were taken during a lunch/catch-up date with my friend emma, who went back to france that same night. we went to old rose, which is located in the jane hotel where cafe gitane used to be. the food was great, and the interiors (as you can see) are very instagrammable. 

work trip to nice, france

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how this trip happened

i love telling this story because it's just so ridiculous. this work trip that i took last may to nice, france happened completely by accident. i came into the office early and heard my boss speaking to someone in french (he's from france). i asked who he was speaking to, and he said he had a friend who needed social media help with his restaurant...in nice. i joked around and said he should send me. 

about two hours later, he calls me back into the office and asks if i want to go. i won't get into the rollercoaster that the next two days were (was i going? was i not going?) but it ended up happening so quickly + is still one of the highlights of my life. 

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what my days looked like

the beautiful thing about this trip is that while it was a work trip, the client also wanted me to see nice. he knew it was my first time in france (or europe, for that matter) and wanted to make sure i got a decent amount of exploring done. 

so every morning i'd wake up + head to the boulangerie around the corner of my hotel. being able to have fresh croissants and coffee without the annoyance of new york prices was such a delight. then i'd head to the restaurant (which was a 5 minute walk from my hotel) during lunch and spend a few hours photographing dishes as they made their way from the kitchen to the customer. and when the restaurant died down during the purgatory hours between lunch + dinner, i'd explore the city. 

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things i recommend

strolling along the promenade des anglais
the palm trees, pebbled beaches, and striped parasols will give you all kinds of french riviera vibes. one of my last moments in nice was lying by the ocean + soaking up the sun. truly wonderful.

eat all the food
since my client was the #bestclientever, most of my meals in nice were at the restaurant. but that doesn't mean they were any less delicious because i would've gladly paid to eat there. my morning ritual of croissants + coffee were provided by a place called aux délices de la buffa. 

burn all the calories by climbing the castle hill
climbing the castle hill stairs were absolutely a workout, with an even sweeter reward. once you make it to the top, you're greeted with the ultimate panoramic view of nice (see the first photo of this post). i recommend doing it during the day when the sun is fully out, so that shadows aren't blocking any of the buildings.

venture into veiux nice
the old city is, unsurprisingly, one of the best parts of nice. at every turn you'll see older, colorful buildings and local shops. it's also the location of cours saleya, nice's everyday market. i'll expand on that in another post, but absolutely make it a point to get lost in the old city. 

when i went to nice, i was nervous because it was my first time traveling alone. but this little city by the sea is not only beautiful, but also felt incredibly safe (despite that incident that happened a few years ago). as i loaded my bags into my uber, i knew i wasn't saying goodbye. it was more of a 'see you later'. 

this time last year

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this time last year, i was signing off my job as a bank teller for the last time. i accepted a position as a community manager at a manhattan-based pr agency, and thought that my career was finally starting. i should've heeded those glassdoor reviews because six weeks later, i left that position. and then 4 days after that, i landed a better (and higher-paying) position at my current company. i went to lisbon, france, and monaco for a 5 day trip. it was my first time traveling to europe and traveling alone. i was promoted to creative director before i turned 25 this past september. and i'm going into 2018 with more career ambition than ever. 

this time last year, i was drowning in credit card debt. mind you, i didn't owe hundreds of thousands. hell, i didn't even owe tens of thousands. but what i did owe seemed impossible to pay off on a teller's salary and i'd be lying if i said i was nervous about whether i'd ever be able to pay it off. and i'm going into 2018 with zero credit card debt.

and finally,

this time last year i was debating on shutting down 'bursts of samm' for good. i was so focused on building my career that blogging was often neglected and to be honest, i wasn't doing it for the right reasons. recently, i was staying late at the office every night and started to feel worn out when i got home. and in those moments of exhaustion and silence, the idea of blogging slowly made it back to my mind and here we are. 

this year has brought me so much frustration, happiness, fear, anger, and excitement. but most importantly, 2017 brought me knowledge. i know so much more about so many things. work taught me important lessons about dealing with people, time management, and being assertive. last year i wrote a post swooning over the interiors at the wing and now i'm a member. i've met so many interesting and amazing people. each adventure has reinforced the idea that i want to live and experience as much as i can while i can. 

this time last year, i had no idea what the future had in store. this time around, i'm excited.