Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What to Pack for Memorial Day Weekend

Although I just came back from Jamaica and am thoroughly relaxed, I am looking forward to the 3-day holiday weekend.   I'm heading back to Oklahoma to see my family and my adorable niece and nephew for Memorial Day, but most of our time will be spent outside by the pool.  Here's what's on my packing list:

I'm a sucker for a good Target bikini.  I personally can't seem to justify the more expensive options like Agent Provocateur or Marysia because every summer I want a new look and it doesn't make sense to splurge on a swimsuit.  However, I am open to spending on cute, versatile summer pieces I can wear season after season like this loose Splendid number and Anthropologie's denim dress.  A cute beach tote seems to be the "it" beach accessory this year, as well as sun hats with cheeky sayings.

Shop My Packing List:



Monday, May 23, 2016

A 300 Sq Ft Apartment in the Lower East Side

Over the past 10 months of residing in New York,  I've become fascinated with watching design-conscious apartment dwellers take a small space and turn it in to a place they can call home.  As I struggle to arrange and then rearrange my own 100 sq-ft bedroom and make it a space I feel good about,  I love reading stories and seeing "before" and "after" photographs of small-space transitions.  One stylish New York apartment I recently came across is shared by two best friends from Austin-  Dustin O'Neal and Valerie Nguyen.  They both moved to New York after graduating from the University of Texas and chose to settle in to a small, 300 sq-ft Lower East Side apartment.  The space has 2 bedrooms and 1 tiny kitchen that they share.   As you can see from the photos, the apartment is TINY, yet every inch has been carefully considered and designed with an effortless, Austin-Texas vibe:


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sam Loves: 11

Happy Wednesday!  I arrived home late late late last night in New York from Jamaica and I'm not ready to face the real world yet.   The Jamaican weather was perfect.  It was sunny every day until about 3 pm, and then it would rain a bit, just in time for us to go back to our room and take a nap before dinner.  By sunset, it was always back to clear skies and tropical weather.  I went with my best friend from college, and it was the perfect chance for us to catch up while also celebrating her new masters degree (she graduated earlier this month).  With clear blue waters still on my mind, I'm inspired by all things seafoam and coastal right now:



From top to bottom, left to right:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Highlights from the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse 2016

Last Thursday evening I toured this year's Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse.  The buzz among the design industry is that this year's showhouse is one of the best that's been seen in many years, so I was eager to walk through and take a peek myself.   The Kips Bay Showhouse is one of THE  most important events of the design world and can really catapult a new designer's career. Each designer was given 6 weeks to transform their room, which began essentially as a white box.  Although every room was remarkable, I have included only a few of my favorite spaces in this post because I don't want to picture overload (and also I'm still in Jamaica and want to get back to lying by the pool)!



The hallways leading up the staircases were designed by Kati Curtis, and I love that she chose a classic de Gournay wallpaper to line the walls paired with lacquered cobalt woodwork:


Alex Papachristidis's Dining Room:



{a bar cart displaying all the essentials}

Suzanne Kasler's Living Room (one of my favorite rooms!):


Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday's Worthy Links



Happy Friday!  Today I am heading to Jamaica and the minute I step foot in Montego Bay can't come soon enough.  But first, a few noteworthy links...

- There's nothing I love more than a peek in to an interior designer's office.  Here are Four Swoon-Worthy work spaces from Atlanta design gurus.

-  The 44th Annual Kips Bay Showhouse officially opened yesterday in New York and I keep hearing it's incredible this year.  The show house will be open through June 9th so if you're in the area, you have to stop by!  Tickets are $35 each and benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.  Heather featured one of the bedrooms in up-close detail yesterday, as well!


-WTF is up with the new Instagram logo?  I'm all for progress and change, but not when it looks like an acid trip gone wrong.

-Speaking of WTF moments, don't even get me started on this.  My blood is boiling.

-But back to prettier things.  Like this stylish rustic retreat.

-I love a good Church Lady and last week's SNL cold opening had me in tears.

-I'm a sucker for good quotes, and I loved this one.  You dig?

-What's one thing you need to stop hating yourself for?

-Completely obsessed with all things Halogen.  The price point is great, too!


Happy weekend!

XOXO,

Sam


{image via The Washington Post, room designed by Phillip Thomas for Kips Bay Showhouse}

Thursday, May 12, 2016

4 Ways I Increased My Productivity in 2016

My life has changed immensely since moving to New York last July.  I came here wondering if it would be a good fit for me or if I'd even survive my first winter.  I also had a healthy fear after hearing a few apartment horror stories and knowing how expensive city life can be. However, to my surprise and delight, I've had the time of my life!  The fast pace is energizing and exciting, and I love the passion here.  No one can live in New York and not be a hustler or go-getter.  It's just too damn expensive!  The main adjustment for me has been the process of simplifying and streamlining my lifestyle and getting back on track with my goals.  I began by parring down my clothing and belongings to fit in to a tiny bedroom with a 3' wide closet with a lot of help from Marie Kondo.   Once my apartment was in shape, I learned about the 50 thousand apps New York has that make life just a tad easier in the city.  Seamless for food delivery, Postmates for any/all deliveries, Minibar for wine deliveries in under an hour, Handy for house-cleanings and handyman services, and Fresh Direct for grocery delivery.  My favorite app is the Starbucks app which lets me order my coffee before leaving the apartment and grab it from the pick-up area on my way to the subway in the morning.  So efficient and perfect for me, as I am perpetually running 5 minutes behind.

{via instagram}

So with all the conveniences available in New York, you'd think my productivity would be through the roof!  Unfortunately, I learned quickly that after working all day I usually just wanted to go reward myself with a hearty meal and a dirty martini at one of the million restaurant recommendations I have saved in my phone.  I quickly got in the habit of eating a large meal, having a few drinks, and falling in bed only to do it all over again the next day.  Working out, reading, getting enough rest, and just taking good care of myself in general were no longer priorities and by Christmas I was ex-haus-ted.    I wanted to start fresh in 2016 and get back on track with feeling good about myself and working towards my longterm goals.  Here are 4 specific things I've done so far this year that have helped me get back on track.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jamaica Packing List

I am counting down the hours to the weekend (already) because Saturday I'm flying to Jamaica with one of my best friends from Houston!  We are heading to an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, and I can't wait to spend a few days lounging in the sun and catching up on some reading with a cocktail (or two) in hand.  Have any of you been to Jamaica?  If so, please let me know the must-dos and must-sees.  I feel a bit clueless as we've tried researching happening spots, but I'm coming up a bit empty handed. Of course the hippie in me wants to see the Bob Marley museum and the adventurer in me wants to climb Dunn's River Falls.  However, I'm a bit worried I won't be able to lure my bestie away from the resort!  Even if we never step foot away from the hotel property, I definitely plan to pack all my resort essentials.  I get my resort inspiration from this book and this book, as well as a few classic beauties, like Grace Kelly:



Audrey Hepburn:


and Brigitte Bardot, of course:



Here's what's on my packing list:



Shop My Jamaica Picks:
Ray-Ban Aviators $175/BB Dakota Peplum Tank $55/"Rose All Day" Floppy Hat $86/Arrowhead Pendant Necklace $42/Cotton-gauze dress $250/Women's Laser Cut High Neck Flounce Bikini Top $20 and Bottoms $15/Women's Quarter Strap Sandals $28/

Share in the comments any vacay recommendations you might have!  I'd love to hear. :)


XOXO,


Sam






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