lisbon is one of my favorite cities that i’ve only been to during long layovers.

i went two years ago on my way back from a work trip in france. i didn’t sleep because i had no idea when i’d be back in lisbon, and wanted to see as much as possible. who knew i’d be back so soon


i won’t lie, when we got to the miradouro das portas do sol, i got slightly emotional. i didn’t know when i’d get to see that viewpoint again, and the last time i went it was slightly gloomy outside. when we went, it was a beautiful day and the colors were so vivid and i just felt overcome with all the happy feelings.



i knew we were going to visit Pastéis de Belém as soon as i realized that we had a few hours to kill in lisbon. they’re known for these small egg custards called pastel de nata. incredible. but before that, we were hungry for actual lunch food and trekked to get bifanas, aka pork stew sandwiches. they were salty and delicious and perfect when paired with a cold ass beer.

it was a great little trip, and i told myself i’d make it a point to actually see lisbon beyond long layovers.


this is going to a short one, as we only stayed in madrid for one night and spent most of our time in bars.

flying out of madrid was definitely not the plan until last minute, because we were dumb and only initially booked our trip to spain and waited to book a flight back. highly not recommended, haha. but we did have fun for the small amount of time we were in madrid, as there was a city-wide tapas crawl going on.



i loved ana’s apartment so much. it was clean, stylish, and available last minute. the only thing i wasn’t too crazy about is lugging our stuff up 5 flights of stairs. we were tired, haha. but she was sweet and had water for us in the room and the view out of the window was lovely. it was also located right in the middle of madrid, so walking everywhere was a breeze. and she was the one who told us about the tapas crawl.


i would say that madrid was beautiful, but i definitely would like to go back. it was a nice city to round off our trip, though.

what can i say about spain? it was special because it was our first trip abroad together, and it exceeded all of our expectations. i would definitely love to go back, but would want to spend time in the northern parts. have any of you ever been? be sure to let me know in the comments below!



we made it to the last major stop on our spain trip: seville.

if i were to rank the cities on our trip, it would be in this order:

  1. granada

  2. seville

  3. barcelona

i think it’s because barcelona felt very similar to new york, and both granada + sevilla both felt like another world. anyways, let’s get to it!



we stayed at this charming little spot in the heart of seville. monica was amazing and not only had great recommendations, but made sure to stay in communication with us the entire time (especially when we couldn’t figure out how to open the actual door to the apartment, ha). the apartment had a courtyard and amazing views from the roof. it was also straight out of an ikea catalog, and i loved it.



seville was absolutely beautiful. we visited the plaza de españa twice. the first time, we walked up to the gate and they weren’t letting people in - it had rained the night prior and i guess the plaza was in serious clean-up mode. it was while we were walking to a place to catch and uber that we were literally met with a swarm of flying ants. no joke, that was probably the worst part of seville. they would land on you and stay and they were everywhere. i think it had something to do with the rain, but i feel like i need a shower just thinking about those bugs.

anyways, we went back to the plaza the next day and it was beautiful. they also filmed a scene from stars wars there. we then saw the cathedral where columbus is buried (aka the colonizer). seville is another city that you can get lost just wandering the streets in, and that’s exactly what we did.

we saw a flamenco show in all three cities and although the one in barcelona was my favorite, watching one in seville was also special. why? because it’s the birthplace of flamenco. we saw a show in the guitar museum, which was pretty cool. tom was also totally enamored with the guitar player. he was pretty incredible.



“…and weak men will never rule dorne again.”


can you tell that enjoyed our visit to the real Alcázar de Sevilla? i never thought i would get to visit a filming location for game of thrones in real life. the water gardens (pictured right above) were the location of the dorne scenes. fun fact: no one else has been able to film in the water gardens except for game of thrones. seriously. everywhere you turned was an opportunity to see stunning architecture and details. our tour guide was also incredible and i give her so much credit because it was only her 5th tour in english. and that quote i included above by ellaria sand? i must have repeated it to tom about 500 times. visiting this place is a must if you’re in seville.



so after spending all that time in granada not paying for food, having to pay for tapas in seville made us a little sad, haha. but they were still delicious nonetheless. we couldn’t go to bar eslava (a michelin guide spot) because it was closed on a weird day. bodega santa cruz was hands down our favorite spot. the solomillo pork is incredible, and they calculate your bill the old-fashioned way by writing down your items in chalk on the counter. seriously, this place was so good that we almost went twice. duo tapas is where we had our last meal in seville and it didn’t disappoint. definitely order dessert!

i know, this post was long as fuck. but seville was the last major leg of our trip and we wanted to make sure that we experienced as much as we could before spending our last night in the country in madrid.



the next city on my recap of our spain trip: granada.

when planning our trip to spain, one of tom’s coworkers couldn’t recommend granada enough. we also heard great things from a couple we recently became friends with that visited the same exact cities we did during the summer. we were excited, we experienced, and quickly realized that granada would become one of our favorite cities ever.



we stayed in this airbnb and it was incredible. we had the entire apartment to ourselves, which was nice as we got in late a bunch of times and didn’t have to worry about waking anyone. there was a spanish guitar in the apartment, which tom decided to tune + play. rosa was super communicative and we felt super comfortable in the neighborhood we were in. it was also very close to the heart of granada, so we were able to walk to most of the places we needed to get to.



granada is smaller than barcelona, and i definitely encourage walking around and getting lost in the city. we wandered the streets with very few plans and loved it. we made it a point to see the alhambra, something you can’t miss when visiting granada. it’s also one of the main attractions (if not the main attraction) of the city. make sure to book your tickets in advance, as tours + access tickets book rather quickly. and if you’re like us and wait til the last minute to do everything, i have another option for you! our airbnb host was gracious enough to introduce us to the granada card, which gave us access to not only the alhambra + the gardens, and any other major attractions in the city. highly recommended.



i’ll preface this by saying that most of these photos will probably look like complete shit, and i’m totally okay with that. granada is the original part of spain where tapas come free with every round of beer that you order and holy shit, did we take advantage. yes, you read that correctly. free tapas with every goddamn round of beer. besides the alhambra, most of our time in granada was spent drinking and eating. luckily, those are the two things that the locals encourage.


i’m pretty sure “dos cañas por favor” is now a permanent part of my vocabulary. our first stop was at taberna la tana. it was crowded and we had no idea what we were doing. some internal questions included “do they know we’re here for the free food?”, “do we ask for the free tapas?”, and “shit this is so fucking stressful”. we started by ordering two glasses of wine and a minute later, we were handed a plate and it was on. 5 more rounds later and we decided to tap out. we then headed to bar los diamantes. from what i remember, if you ordered wine then you got a specific set of tapas and if you ordered beer, you got a different set. it was the first time either of us had fried, whole anchovies but that saltiness combined with cold beer? heaven. the most tapas + beer we had were at rosario varela. hungover and in search of food, we ended up at cafe lisboa and it was just what we needed. bar poe was one of the last places we visited before leaving, and also one of our favorites. it’s owned by this british expat and his wife who loved their 3-day vacation in granada so much that they decided to stay there for the last 13 years. it was a great conversation, the food was amazing, and he said something to me that stuck with me:





there was a revolving conversation about where we would go for vacation, dating back to early last year. we hadn’t gone on a trip together and had been dating for five years, we were due. but life happens, the big one being that the startup i worked for folding shortly after the new year. we also ended up moving in together in june so between rent/security deposits/furniture, taking a trip was a huge question mark.

and then we just did it. we booked our flight straight to barcelona and set off on a 10-day adventure, exploring a country we both hadn’t been to before. we went to 4 different cities in spain, and first up is barcelona. this is gonna be a long one, so buckle up!



we stayed at this gorgeous airbnb, which was located right off la rambla + right behind la boqueria market. finn + beatriz were gracious hosts that lived in barcelona for about 15 years, so they also had some amazing recommendations. i fell in love with the decor of the apartment simply from the photos on airbnb, and it was just as stunning in person.





when visiting barcelona, i absolutely recommend seeing allllll gaudí that you can. we saw casa milà and casa Batlló, but unfortunately couldn’t make it to Park Güell, but i’ve heard it’s beautiful. we also were not prepared for the magnitude of la sagrada familia - it’s something you just need to experience in person. we also went through la boqueria but it’s a tourist trap on crack. i would advise going just to see it, but definitely avoid eating there because it can be overpriced. we also walked down la rambla (their version of times square) a few times, mostly because of the location of our airbnb. la barceloneta (their beach) was also beautiful. for the gaudí exhibits + la sagrada familia, i recommend booking tickets in advance.

there were a few things that we didn’t get to do (picasso museum, Park Güell) but i guess it’s good to leave a few things for your next visit, right 😉



now you guys know that i’ve been dying to get to this part! the food. we absolutely indulged (and made a pact to eat better as soon as we got back to new york) and have no regrets.


our first meal is the first photo under ‘what we ate’ - it was incredible and incredibly overpriced. we were so hungry by the time we set our bags down that we were unfortunately roped into eating at la boqueria - something i had been told to avoid. don’t get me wrong, the food was delicious but it’s the equivalent of eating a meal in times square. (hint: don’t)

our dinner the first night was at la dama, a recommendation from beatriz. dining here was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. a man waits outside of the building and has to open a door with a key to let you into the restaurant. it felt so fancy that we were almost uncomfortable. and it still cost less than a nice night out here in new york. oh, and that porn star martini pictured above? best cocktail i’ve ever had. we had tapas + beer at el xampanyet, and it was the best tapas experience had in barcelona. don’t be intimidated by the crowd, it’s absolutely worth it and they’ll find a way to serve you. we had paella at can sole that was also delicious, despite tom normally not being the biggest fan of seafood. our last dinner in barcelona was at bodega la puntual and it did not disappoint. absolutely recommend the rice with iberian pork. we also visited an insane bar called sor rita that had the most wacked out decor (slutty nuns, a confessional bathroom, barbie dolls having sex, panties hanging from the ceiling) and a fun bar in the hip el born district called bar sauvage that played hip hop + gave condoms out with certain drinks.

we also had an unhealthy amount of croquetas, Jamón, and cañas. if either Jamón or croquetas are on the menu, order them. and take full advantage of their cheap beer!

memorable moments


seeing a flamenco show at palau dalmases is an experience that’ll stick with me for the rest of my life. i was so overwhelmed at how incredible this show was that as soon as the singer began his performance, i started crying a little. there’s so much history and beauty to flamenco, and this show felt special. another beautiful recommendation from beatriz. and it helps that the show is located in a 17th century palace.

i also got a tattoo. surprise! i think all of my tattoos have been done impulsively, which is why i love them. and this one holds the most meaning, as it’s the sun on the filipino flag. i got it done by carlos at saudade tattoo, and am so obsessed with it. carlos + the staff were amazing, and i definitely recommend if you’re feeling bold enough to get ink in another country.

and there it is! a recap of our days in barcelona. and if you thought this was fun, i can’t wait to tell you guys about granada.

Our Greenpoint Digs: Living Room + Kitchen


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.


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!


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.


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


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'.


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? 


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!

sunday assembly / 01

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. 


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!


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.


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. 


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


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. 


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. 


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


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. 



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. 



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 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. 



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


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. 


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.


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


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


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


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. 


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


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. 


such a beautiful studio! so much natural light + space


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


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 



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. 


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?


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 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. 


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


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.