T is for Teamwork!

I am super excited to announce to you all that Samantha Says is officially a member of the up-and-coming Chicago Blogger Network! What WHAAAT! Click here to follow the hip happenings of the CBN and then take a brief dance break to celebrate this day-making development! That is all.



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Cleaning House Like Kim Jong Un

Mementos, souvenirs, theater tickets, parking tickets, gum wrappers… I have a habit of hanging on to literally everything that passes through my hands. It’s a terrible tendency. Some call it nostalgic. I call it a hop, skip and a dead cat away from hoarding. It’s not that I have a hard time parting with, let’s be honest, junk, but more so that I seem to live in a state of “rush.” So when I don’t have time to make a proper decision about an item, I set it aside until I have a moment to consider it further. Well if you’ve ever met me, then you know that time will never come- so this indecision can lead to a terrifying build up of crap. Which is why sometimes, theres nothing more fulfilling than cleaning house.

Set rules.

For instance if you haven’t looked in a bag for the last 2 months, you may open it to make sure there’s nothing vitally important in there (i.e. your inhaler or college diploma) and if none of the contents qualify, TOSS IT.

Beware the trap of “Good Catholic” logic.

 “But people in Africa would kill for this half-used tube of hand cream.”

Would they? Really? That seems awfully presumptuous. And disproportionately violent in regards to the actual value of said hand cream. Let’s maintain some shred of reality here. At some point, letting something sit unused for that long is just as wasteful as throwing it away. Especially considering you will probably continue to buy more hand cream, regardless of how much you already have. “Good Catholic” logic can be detrimental to a hoarder on the brink.

Same goes for clothes. Give yourself two categories

1. Worn in the last 6 months or 2. Baptism Gown.

If it falls under neither of these categories, donate it. (Wedding Dress, see: Baptism Gown)

Another trick I use is this: how much pleasure has said item brought you in the recent past? For instance, if the only time you think about that old belt is when you’re screaming in agony from stepping on it for the umpteenth time, TOSS IT. If it were really important, it would have a more logical place for storage than under your foot.

If you think about it, spring cleaning or cleaning house, is one of the few activities in your life where you get to make all the calls. No one else will mind if you throw away that nasty old poncho. And even if they do, they can’t say shit about it. Unless the poncho was really theirs, not yours, in which case- you owe them a new poncho and should apologize for calling it nasty. But as long as they are in fact, your belongings… Be ruthless. Be unfeeling.

This is your personal North Korea.

Kim Jong Un-clutter your life and make no excuses for it. Rule with an iron fist. Because this is not a democracy, it’s a bedroom. and until that pile of magazines, old underwear and and broken hair elastics starts paying some goddamn taxes, what you say goes.

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Weekend Snapshots

It has been a delightfully low-key weekend, punctuated by long brunches with friends, the first real snow fall, and a few too many bellinis at our favorite local restaurant, Angelina’s. To keep the relaxation going strong, Roomie #2 and I have devoted today to watching footage from Men’s Week in Milan and making fun appetizers for tonight’s Golden Globe’s party at the apartment. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the weekend…  xoxo, SS

Off to a lazy Saturday brunch

Roomie 2 + Larry

First Snow ❤

Bellini-induced PhotoBooth Session (we ❤ PanAm)

A little Burberry Prorsum from the comfort of the apartment

Minty Fresh Manicure

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Besherit, the Hebrew expression for “meant to be” is my word of 2012.

My mom hates when I use it because “we’re not Jewish,” but the chosen people really nailed this one so I’m giving credit where credit is due. I’m calling it my “word of 2012” because instead of making resolutions only to break them a week later (I’m looking at you 1 yr old yoga ball and free weights), I’ve decided instead that 2012 should have a theme, a motif, a motto if you will, and that motto is to embrace the besherit.

Lately, it has come to my attention that I spend far too much time predicting, planning and questioning the future. Where will I live, where will I work and why on earth isn’t it all happening right now? A practice that is nothing more than a frustrating exercise in futility, for, through some recent reflection, I have realized that the best things that have happened in my life were anything but planned. Sure there’s been a general path I’ve followed- highschool, college, job, etc.- but all of the truly great opportunities I’ve had, decisions I’ve made and experiences I’ve accumulated have been the result of good timing, good luck and gut feeling.

For example, Mizzou was the only university I visited, I moved into the first studio I looked at in Chicago, and not getting accepted into the sorority I thought I wanted led me to my best friends today. All uncharted, unexpected or un-fretted over, and all for the absolute best.

It turns out there’s a reason we have the expression, “better than I could have imagined,” because we aren’t supposed to see the best things coming. At least not in perfect 20/20. While all the worrying, planning and predicting comes from a good place- a place of wanting the best and trying to avoid regret- even the best laid plans will never be able to trump what’s meant to be.

Not to mention, if you spend all day trying to spot the next best thing coming, there’s a good chance you’ll miss all of the already-great things around you. And that’s something to regret.

So even though it’s hard to let go, give yourself a break. Have a little patience and embrace the besherit. You may just find something you didn’t even know you were looking for. Here’s to a year of unexpected adventures.

xoxo, SS


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A look back!

To say I love WordPress is an understatement. I think it is hands-down the best platform for blogging that I have ever used- which is why I’ve stuck with it for so long. And to celebrate new years they sent me the coolest break down of stats about Samantha Says over the last year. It is so amazing to see that people are reading my blog as far away as Singapore and Australia! So I thought I’d share their report with you guys too! 2011 was a wonderful year and all of my Samantha Says readers have helped make it great. I can’t wait for the wonderful things 2012 has in store!

xoxo, SS

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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…okay, I know I have some ‘splainin’ to do about my lack of blogging the last couple of days (weeks?). But in my defense, I had a wonderful Christmas with my family that was delightfully technology-free. Except for the Kindle I surprised my mom with- she loves it. Suffice it to say, my gift to myself this year was “unplugging” for a little while, and it felt oh-so good. The good news is, after a week or-so sans writing, I’m simply bursting at the seams with things I can’t wait to share with you all!

…So why is it that all I can think about is JCrew’s new years arrivals? Oh, right. Because they’re adorable, per usual. Fitted fisherman sweaters, horizontal stripes and a slew of better-than-basics that are just begging me to click “Add To Bag.” Here are a few of my favorites:

Ripplestitch Sweater, $88.00

Jackie Pullover, $65.00

Toothpick Jean in Garment Dyed Twill, $108.00

How I have survived 23 years without pale pink pants is now a complete mystery to me. I can already feel my Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket.*

*I once had a yoga teacher that used the visual of “birds flying out of a nest” as a tool for clearing your mind. Well right now that would be a more appropriate representation of my wallet than my mind.

Plenty of Holiday stories and details on the gifts I can’t stop wearing, coming soon.



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More Beauty Solutions!

Today, I shared two great tips on AmazingCosmetics’ fabulous blog, AmazingLand, on how to rock lower-lash mascara without making a greasy, black mascara mess. Check out my post below!

Holiday Beauty Solutions 8 & 9: Luscious Lower Lashes

#8:  The 60′s are back in a big way and one of our favorite beauty trends from this era is bottom lash mascara. Frequently rocked by Blake Lively and practically trademarked by Kim Kardashian, this technique was originally made famous by Twiggy back in the 60′s and is still a great way to add drama to your eyes… but there’s a fine line between bottom lash mascara and an unruly black streak. In order to keep from looking like your ready to hit the football field, try this trick I picked up from Michele Phan. Take an index card and place it under your eye, lifting your eyelashes away from the skin, and apply the mascara to the lashes on the card. Now you can go mascara-crazy down there and no one will ever mistake your Twiggy for Tebow! If you want to get extra fancy, cut the end of the index card into a slight crescent shape (ala the curve of your under eye) to get a better contoured fit.

#9 If you are planning on wearing mascara on your bottom lashes, do the bottoms first! It may seem out of order, but in order to apply mascara to the bottom lashes, most of us have to look upwards. If you do this after you’ve applied mascara to the top lashes, your lashes will touch your lid and leave a smudge. It’s a super simple tip that has changed our mascara-wearing lives.

There you have it- two quick fixes for giving you lashes to lust over!

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