Category Archives: D.I.Y.

Time for a Room-Lift

While I was in NYC, I got to spend one night with one of my best friends, Maria. This was my first time seeing her since she moved into her new apartment, a 3 bedroom on the Upper East Side, and it was a bit of a wake up call. I need to decorate my apartment.

While the quarters were tight- railroad style bedrooms (look it up), one bath for three 20-something girls, and virtually no storage- Maria, Betsey and Megan have transformed the apartment into an adorable space that looks and feels like home. Accessories neatly stored, bath products tucked away in useful organizers, and a hook for everything you could possibly hang- everything has it’s proper place. Undeniably, one has to be more organized when sharing small living spaces, but they did it with style. There’s a bevy of warm and happy pops of color, everything is perfectly stored out of sight until it’s needed, and yet nothing looks remotely utilitarian. They’d even found the time to hang things purely for decoration… in exposed brick walls. That’s commitment to a style of living.

Now, our apartment is by no means on refugee-camp-levels of disarray, but we’re far from what I would call “finished.” There are a few remaining unpacked boxes, plenty of unhung artwork and a pathetic excuse for organization happening in my room. Seeing the great job that these three had managed to accomplish on a New Yorker’s schedule and budget left me thinking: what the eff is my excuse?

Couple this revelation with the fact that my dresser literally collapsed in on itself as I was packing for fashion week and all signs point to: ROOM-LIFT

Room-Lift is actually a term I stole from my mom- it was the i
name of her interior design business when I was growing up-
and it’s exactly what I plan to do. Give my rooms a face-lift, starting with the bedroom.

Since I’m on a lease and a tight budget, I’m not going to invest heavily in anything I can’t take with me. So that means I’ll stick to elements like furniture, art and decor, like removable-window treatments and lighting. But the first step is gathering inspiration. A process that’s significantly easier thanks to sites like Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, Etsy and Design Sponge.

I’ll have plenty of inspiration for my RoomLift to share with you later in the week…

xoxo, SS

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How Pinterest-ing!

It’s official, I’m in an another addictive relationship with a website. I cannot get enough of Pinterest! I have literally found hundreds of great ideas and inspiration in a matter of days and now I’m like a monster for DIY.

Cut to me in 3 weeks, glitter in my hair, glue on my clothes and a special on TLC “Crafters. When DIY becomes D I E”

It’s true though, now all I want is a bajillion houses to decorate, boxes and boxes of specialty art supplies, and power tools, seriously. I am actually considering buying a drill. This shit is getting surriouss.

ANYWAYS! Follow Samantha Says on Pinterest here to see my latest inspirations and ever-expanding to-do list of DIY goodness. Have a great weekend!

xoxo, ss

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Filed under D.I.Y., Home Decor, Just Because

wtf halloween?

Oh hey there Halloween! When did you get here? Better question, where the eff do you get off? Yeah you heard me, you smug holiday chameleon. Why is it that every year you seem to think you’re a bigger and better holiday than you were the year before? Running around, all hopped up on pixie stix, like you own the place. Someone needs an attitude check.

When I was in elementary school, your sole purpose was to let kids dress up as their favorite character and eat as much candy as possible. Those were the good old days. Clicking down the street in home-made ruby slippers, leaving a trail of red glitter like Hansel and Gretel’s disco tranny cousin, and sorting out the candy that could be opened and re-closed since it was “probably poisoned.” Thank you mom for that crucial life lesson- everyone knows that Tootsie Rolls are nothing more than a vehicle for neighborhood-kid-killing poison.

Then before I knew it Halloween wasn’t about candy anymore, it was about a “candy” of the Mandy-Moore-song variety. Bam! 8th grade hit and from what I could tell the most popular costume was “Statutory Rape Bait.”  To this day I don’t understand how girls in my class made it out of the house dressed like they did for Halloween. My parents would have had a kanipsh.

Now in my early 20’s, it seems like my options for a costume are  depressingly limited. Unless I make something from scratch- I basically have a choice between “Slutty [insert blue collar job here]”  or a Giant M&M. Awesome. What’s doubly awesome, is that thanks to this plethora of costumes to pick from, the Halloween-powers-that-be have unwittingly divided all women in America into 4 categories:

1. a young slut

2. a mom, a spinster or fat

3. a mom/spinster or fatty that still tries to fit into the costumes meant for group one 

4. Young, non-repulsive girls that don’t want to walk around in their underwear, yet don’t want to wear the giant M&M costume, ala group 2.

All my ladies in group #4 can I get an effing AMEN?! Every year, I find myself searching for the elusive “fourth group costume” to no avail.  So here’s to all the girls repping the 4th group as Robots, Giant Pieces of Bacon and Grapes. Sure we slaved over our glue guns and sewing machines for hours just to look like a kindergartner’s art box exploded on our AmericanApparel tank and leggings – but it’s sure as hell better than a slutty cop.

Happy Halloween

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Tip of the day: Aspirin, not just for zapping headaches!

With mid-terms in full swing, packing on the brain and graduation looming only a few short weeks away, I’d say “stressed” is an understatement. For some people stress shows in their energy level or even their appetite but if you’re anything like me, it shows on your face. Now as a 21 year old, I can say that the days of acne are pretty far behind me (thankfully!), so I no longer have stockpiles of spot treatments at my disposal. Luckily, there’s a simple homemade remedy that works as well as any skin care counter cream I’ve tried… and the best part is, it’s sitting right in your medicine cabinet:  Aspirin! That’s right, painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen are also anti-inflammatories, used to reduce swelling. That means that applying it topically to a persistent pimple will reduce swelling and redness, without drying out your skin.

How to use: Simply boil water and crush up a few tabs of aspirin to make a paste. Apply the paste to the blemish and let it dry. Voila! Your pesky pimple will be visibly smaller and the redness will subside without irritating the area from squeezing. Plus, unlike the pimple creams of our formative high school years, you won’t dry out your skin leaving a crackly mess underneath your concealer! This works great for those extra-annoying pressure-pimples too… ouch!

**If you’re short on time, you can simply run the pill underneath hot water and rub with your fingers to release its paste-y contents.

Now, if only eliminating the causes of my stress was as easy as getting rid of its effects. What are your favorite blemish beating remedies?

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Filed under Beauty, D.I.Y., Health, Tips, Uncategorized

And the winner is… me!

Just in time for the end of awards season, I was lucky enough to snag one myself!  Lisa F. my wonderful reader, teacher and mentor was kind enough to present me with this Beautiful Blogger Award! Lisa is my Capstone class instructor which means that usually, through no fault of her own, she is the woman behind all of my “stressed out” remarks. We all know it’s the class and not you Lisa!! Well, anyways it’s nice to know that someone out there other than my wonderful mother is reading this and that’s just fab! So now that I have this award, I have a few requirements to fulfill before I pass it on to other bloggers that I adore. First, make sure you check out Lisa’s blog. She’s an uber-talented and all around awesome Advertising Professional and one classy lady!

Now I have to share 7 things about me that you readers might not have known before… hmmm here goes!

1.  I love love love middle names. It has been my experience that middle names tend to be pretty revelatory about a person and it’s one of my favorite things to learn about someone! …in case you’re wondering, mine’s Kate

2. I am a product junkie. A makeup artist of 5 years now and intern at a fabulous makeup company I have cabinets and drawers overflowing with spritzes, serums, creams and compacts. I’m lucky enough to have gotten lots of swag over the years and I can never bear to part with a great product!

3. Music makes my world go ’round. I believe that life should have a soundtrack and I have spent 21 years perfecting mine. A good song says so much more than just it’s lyrics and has the amazing ability to touch people’s hearts. Music is something that was passed on to me by my mom, an amazing singer, songwriter and musician herself, and it is something that I love sharing with people! Coming from a musical family makes everything from holidays to rainy days that much better and I can’t imagine it any other way! I see as much live music as possible and I’m always up for a good show.

4. Sort of on that note, I am at my absolute happiest when I’m performing. Whether I’m singing, acting or miming for that matter, give me a stage and I jump at the opportunity to be smack dab in the middle of it!

5. I have an amazing family. We’re definitely not your traditional, nuclear, family unit, but we like it that way.

6. My all time favorite movie is White Christmas. Danny Kay, Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby are simply classic.

7. And for lucky number seven… my favorite time of day is around 3:30 when the sun is glowing orange and the whole world looks warm and happy like a cup of hot tea.

Now I’m supposed to name 15 blogs that I’m passing this award onto but I narrowed down to my fave 5. Here they are!

Teen Fashionista: Casey Lewis is friend of mine and fellow J-schooler. Meeting her Sophomore year and reading her delightful blog has always been my inspiration to start blogging. Sweet and bubbly with impeccable taste, reading Casey’s blog is like sipping a glass of sparkling lemonade… how can you not smile?

Cupcakes and Cashmere: Not like she needs an award from me, but Emily is my blog idol. I have been reading daily for I don’t even know how long and I’m constantly inspired by her refreshing personality and fabulous style. Plus I think we’re kindred home decor spirits… we have the same bedding and bed side furniture!

Daily Pep Talk From a Best Friend: In a world full of competition and cut throat colleagues (even in college!) it’s nice to feel like someone’s on your side. Reading Rachel’s blog is exactly what it says, a pep talk from a girl that feels like your best friend and the perfect positive start to my day.

Pretty Little Things: Love this site. They strike the perfect balance of classic and quirky to keep things refreshing, fun and all around pretty! The perfect pick me up to any drab day.

Lovely Homes: Exactly what the title says. I love being inspired and uber jealous of the beautiful rooms featured on this blog! Plus there are great DIY and recipes!

So there you have it! I’d like to thank the Academy for this award…. okay so maybe it’s not an Oscar but I sure feel like Sandra Bullock right now! PS– check back later for my fave fashions from the red carpet. *Ellie Saab, swoon*

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Filed under Beauty, D.I.Y., Just Because, Music, News, Tips

Getting Lucky on Valentine’s Day…

With my signature fortune cookie valentines, everyone gets lucky on V-Day! In high school I was reading an article in InStyle Mag all about creative valentines when I stumbled across these adorable fortune cookie Valentine’s treats. When I saw the steep price tag for a dozen cookies, I realized I could easily make these adorable gifts on my own and I’ve been giving them out as my Valentine’s gifts ever since. All you need is:

a box of plain fortune cookies


A bag of melting chocolate

I like to use Wilton’s Melting Chocolate available at your local Michael’s. For this batch I used a combo of white and milk chocolate. Follow the simple melting instructions on the bag and start dipping! Make sure to work quickly as the chocolate is best to work with when it’s hot. Also be careful to melt the chocolate discs little by little, if you burn the chocolate you have to dump it and start over! Then add some festive jimmies and voila…

an original and adorable Valentine!

This year I even slipped a personal fortune into each cookie and dipped pretzel rods just in case I ran out!

All in all, this makes for an easy and creative Valentine’s gift and requires minimal time to make! What’s your signature V-Day treat? Love you all and hope your Valentine’s Day has been a happy one! xoxo SS


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Filed under Cooking, D.I.Y., Holidays