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!

Brian Giniewski's Happy Ceramics

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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

Simple Resolutions 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.