PARIS, FRANCE.

I don't have to explain how hard it is to summarize a city as amazing as Paris. There are no favorites! But, without picking particular places or memories over others, I wanted to share some general but notable thing to do and see for those of you who may visit for your first time! What were your favorites when you visited? Or the most memorable parts of any of your travels??

A true French breakfast | What eggs, toast and bacon is to the American, a toasted baguette with butter and jam and an espresso is to the French. Um, yessss. I love that the French, as do most Europeans, don't rush a sit down meal. You're either eating on the go, or sitting for at least an hour, even for breakfast.  It was the best way to start the day. My favorite was Carette in Trocadéro for the amazing coffee and breads and Café Marly for the one-of-a-kind location in the courtyard of the Louvre.

Chez Julien | A dinner highlight... and in Paris, that's saying a lot. Great cocktails, dinner and dessert, but also a particularly great location and atmosphere. I loved that it was fairly upscale, while also being approachable and fun. Not to mention, if you order the truffle risotto, they shave fresh truffle on the top... a (very expensive) rarity in the States.

Buly | I initially heard about this shop from The Good Trade's Sustainable City Guide to Paris, never expecting to stumble upon it. But when we did, I was so happy to have visited. Founded in 1803, this beauty and grooming shop is traditional in it's products and service. I highly recommend stopping in to pick up a special gift for someone back home or yourself! Not only are the products high quality and all natural, but the time and service put into your purchase will make it feel like a million dollar steal.

A visit to Montmartre | Just north of Paris is the large hill located in the city's 18th arrondissement. This little part of town is home to a wonderful 'aerial' view of Paris, Sacré-Cœur, an iconic church, genuine artists and quaint places to eat and drink. It was a nice change of pace from the bustling city, and so charming! 

Experiencing the Eiffel Tower more than once | It may sound obvious, but believe me when I say that you are going to want to experience the Eiffel Tower more than once, at all times of day... Not only did we take the ride to the Sommet (Not recommended for those afraid of heights, the elevator ride to the top even made me uneasy!), but we sat in the park with wine to watch it sparkle at night, took photos in the morning, and also did as the Parisians did and had a picnic on the Siene at sun down. Stop by the boulangerie, fromagerie, and grocery for all of the things you need to sit on the edge of the water and live like a local. 

SUMMER INSPIRATION.

Now that it's almost May, is it ok to be in full-fledged spring and summer mode?! I say it is. I'm not sure if I'm being influenced by 2018 trends and style, but for the first time a long time, I'm really gravitating towards warm tones; browns, mustard, orange and pinks. Anyone else?

Whereas the year started out slow, we're sure in the swing of things now! May is starting with a week-long trip out of the country, and all of my weekends in June are already booked. I'm embracing the ebb and flow of it, particularly in anything linen and white. 

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest to see my entire summer 2018 moodboard, and everything else I'm loving right now. 
Summer Inpiration Collage.png

A NOTE ON FREELANCING.

So, I took the leap into freelancing last month. (And it's much different than freelancing here and there as a side hustle!)

It's freeing (of course) and terrifying and exciting and stressful, all at once. So why am I doing it and how did I get here?

Let me preface by saying that I am the biggest believer in two, somewhat cliche, sayings. First: 'every thing happens for a reason'. I've seen it be proven true many, many times in my life. So I've always remained confident that when something does or doesn't work out, I'm being kept on track regardless. My career path in accounting was never a detrimental one by any means, but I was never particularly happy or passionate about my jobs, only about the paychecks that allowed me to eat, travel and enjoy life outside of my cube. (No bad talking, I've always loved the companies and people that I've worked for and with!) And I'm sure a lot of people out there feel similarly... 

Second: 'if you don't like something, change it'. So I started to do any and everything to get experience and learn more in a field that truly interested me. The gritty truth behind the facade of social media is the I don't remember the last time that I wasn't working around my full-time job! I went back to school for fashion marketing, I was a visual merchandising associate (some of you know that those shifts often start at 4 or 5AM!), I starting blogging, I networked as an 'influencer' to collaborate with brands (air quotes due to the fact that I don't really consider myself one), I took on clients part-time and honestly, I don't know what I would do with all of my spare time if I wasn't doing those things at one point or another... (Maybe workout a little more, haha, but that's besides the point...) Making a career change in any capacity requires hard work, outside of the daily grind! 

Anyway, an opportunity presented itself recently to jump into this work full-time and I simply took advantage. Take it from me, and self-employed success stories like Jess Kirby, I don't exactly recommend this. Security and having a strong plan b, c and d are usually very important to me, but sometimes that methodology does not foster your growth and full potential. As mentioned in Jess' post, "leap and the net will appear", and I've had to believe in that whole-heartedly. 

At the same time that things were lining up in my professional life, I felt as though I was truly discovering my values and how I wanted to live my life as an adult... my late twenty's came in HOT. Eesh. I've embraced minimalist mantras and zero-waste initiatives, which has lead me to the conclusion that I was not happy participating in the rat race that is 'socially accepted success'. Work, work, work to make money to buy things that put you in debt, take up space or just go to waste. If this sounds just way too out there for ya, check out this documentary. It may not change your life, but it will definitely give you perspective!

To very briefly explain the logistics of my transition, I just started to pick up part-time clients as a way to ease from salaried employee to freelancer. I will say that it is impossible to take on a full client list and put enough time into prospecting with a full-time job, so if you're considering working freelance, you have to embrace the unknown that comes with leaving your current position to focus on self-employment, hopefully with a little financial security in tow. It's been about two months since I've been working freelance full-time. Is it stressful? Yes. Am I often doubting myself? Of course. Am I unsure if I will always have a steady stream of clients to pay the bills? What will happen if I don't? I think about these things all the time. But do you know what else? I get to go outside and enjoy the fresh air any time of day that works for me. I create my schedule based on what I want, and have to, get done, which allows me to work where and whenever. I have the flexibility to travel more than I ever have. I am not forced to commute to a desk for a certain time to display that I am hardworking. (And maybe best of all,) I get to be my dog's midday dog walker.  

In short-- I may be working harder than I ever have been, but I've also been able to enjoy everyday life more than ever too. And to me, that's what it's all about.

MY BULLET JOURNAL.

I am a huge advocate for the traditional paper and pen. I saw someone post once comparing a creative's mind to a window with thousands of tabs open at once... and I could not relate more. I'm one of those people that if I don't write absolutely everything down, it will either consume all of my thoughts, hindering my ability to concentrate, or it's gone completely. IE -- I write everything down from remembering to fold laundry to the food I plan to cook for the week.

That being said, 2018 is the first year that I fully embraced the bullet journal method in its entirety. Up until now, any planner or journal that I have used just never seemed to be absolutely perfect. I ended up incorporating bullet journal theories where I could, but new year, new me and I started day 1/365 with a brand new Shinola grid journal. A few weeks in, and here's why I am absolutely in love:

IMG_9467.jpg

Flexibility | I don't know about you, but for me, some weeks are jam-packed, while others are very slow. In other pre-designed journals, I had too much room on some days and not enough on others. With a bullet journal being completely at my disposal, I can design each week based on what I have going on and what my needs are on any given week.

Creativity | Setting up and designing my journal is a creative outlet separate from any creative tasks that are tied to 'work' (IE: necessary). It's relaxing and freeing to be able to write, draw, collage and design whatever I feel like. And, at the end of the year, my bullet journal will become both a log and a visual representation of my year. (And for those who really want to go down a dangerous rabbit hole, look at bullet journal videos on YouTube, to see just how many possibilities are out there!)

Bullet Journal Inspiration.jpg

Efficiency | The general benefit of the bullet journal is the extreme efficiency that it provides. Outside of just the format, the idea is that the user spends a few minutes at the beginning of each day reviewing what needs to get done and writing it down, migrating tasks that have yet to be accomplished from previous days. Watch this video from the bullet journal's creator to hear it explained in full. 

Reflection | After the year, your bullet journal becomes just that: a journal of your highs and lows, successes and failures. What tasks kept getting pushed off? Which goals did and didn't get accomplished? This journaling method essentially creates a blueprint into your innerworkings. Pretty cool, huh?

Achievement | The bullet journal allows me to crush all of the things that I set out to accomplish by taking large, overarching goals and breaking them down to manageable steps. How? 1. At the beginning of the year, write down all of your yearly goals. 2. As each month approaches, look to your yearly list, and write down a few very specific items that can be accomplished in a month to get you closer to your yearly goal. 3. Finally, write down on your to-do list the daily action that accomplishes your monthly goals! It becomes a tiered system. The best way to exemplify this method is with my yearly goal of reading ten books in 2018. To accomplish this overarching goal, I knew that I had to finish the book that I was reading on January 1, by the 31st; it became a January goal. How did I ensure that I completed the book? Simple math and I knew that I had to read 12 pages a day to stay on track. I wrote 'read 12 pages' on my to-do list every day. It may sound slightly obsessive (or at least for my reading example it is), but it is also truly effective! 

Do you bullet journal or do you want to try? What methods work for you and what do you like or dislike about it? The journaling nerd in me would love to hear about it!

A BREAK AWAY FROM MY CAPSULE WITH COLOR.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to infuse just a little more color into my wardrobe. As someone who is constantly trying to pair down my closet, you can imagine how I'm still a little hesitant. But, thanks to my love of this duster, I've begun to incorporate brown/rust and beiges into my closet. I can still wear these shades as a neutral, and that's the end-game for me! 

I styled these sateen pants with a white and denim look to stay grounded in what makes me feel comfortable (um..basics and the gray scale). And, guys, if you haven't heard of Grana, here I am to introduce you. Ethical and sustainable but also completely price transparent, this brand offers awesome quality pieces for a steal. This one is their Mongolian cashmere crew neck

Jessica Lambi Madewell Spring Outfit .jpg
Jessica-Lambi-Vintage-Necklace.jpg
Jessica Lambi Spring Style Outfit.jpg

FINDING MY COMMUNITY: THE GLOSSARY.

I'm super excited to share that as of recently, I am the Boston-based ambassador for The Glossary! The Glossary is a collective of creative, talented women and a platform to connect, share stories and build community-- and one of my favorite sites.

I am completely in love with the talent and vision of every woman featured on the site and am always finding myself in admiration of their creativity, entrepreneurship and aura of empowerment. To be honest, I don't know how I was even considered for this role, as every ambassador from around the world is completely impressive, but I'm so glad that I was! (Check out all of the ambassadors here.)

I'm super excited to share the 'strength in community' message and play a small role in the connection of female creatives from every walk of life through The Glossary.

Read my interview with them here!

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 2.46.56 PM.png

Photos by Madeline Heising for The Glossary

VETTA CAPSULE // One Sweater, Three Ways

For brands that create true capsule collections, the goal is for one piece of clothing to work in a multitude of ways, so it can multiply your closet ten-fold. Enter this season's pieces from Vetta Capsule. (My love affair with them continues...)

The Oversized Sweater in particular was a piece that I just had to have. It's a turtleneck, pullover and cardigan all in one. No need for another sweater this fall! Check out how I styled it three ways:

As a crewneck sweater with a knit midi skirt and belt...

As a turtleneck with ripped jeans and sneakers...

And as a cardigan over a jumpsuit.

Plus, it's safe to say I can wear this piece 100 more ways. (So worth the $$!) What item in your closet can you style with almost any outfit?

Button-down: Uniqlo | Belt: Urban Outfitters | Knit Skirt: Uniqlo | Booties: Frye | Jeans: Madewell | Crossbody Bag: Madewell| Sneakers: Vans | Jumpsuit: J. Crew

A NOTE ON ZERO-WASTE.

Let me start by saying that I certainly cannot say that I live a 100% zero-waste lifestyle. I produce trash, but I have tried really hard to cut out any excessive trash production. Prior to working on this initiative, I noticed that at work alone, I used a plastic stirrer for my coffee every morning and plastic utensils for my breakfast and lunch, which were both usually stored in cling wrap or plastic bags...yikes.

So, where to even begin making small steps in the right direction? #1: assess where most of your waste is coming from. For me, it was 100% food consumption. Buying packaged food, cooking it, storing it and consuming the leftovers has probably contributed to 80% of my trash. The other 20% is household products like cleaning supplies, beauty products and clothing.

With that being said, I've taken small and super easy steps to reduce my waste that are not  intrusive to my life. You can adapt these practices to reduce your waste too, and if your biggest waste production comes from a different area of your life, I'd love to hear how you have taken small steps to start your zero-waste lifestyle!

Just say no to straws | After two consecutive days of not reaching for a stirrer at work, it became habit and I haven't done it since. It been about three months: five work days a week x twelve weeks = SIXTY plastics straws that I've saved from going to landfill.

Invest in reusables for your desk/car or wherever you spend more of your time | If you can invest some $$ up front, purchase reusable items to replace the one-time-use products that you're used to using. (It will actually pay for itself after a while.) At my desk, I have a mason jar for water, my own coffee cup and a set of utensils wrapped in a cloth napkin. These super easy swaps have weened me off one-use cups, plastic utensils and straws.

Keep reusable bags on hand | My day tote or backpack to and from work always has a net bag and two organic cotton produce bags in it for when I'm spontaneously stopping at the drugstore or Whole Foods to pick something up last minute. (You can keep reusables in your car if you drive, too.) We used to have that infamous 'plastic bag full of plastic bags' under our sink and guess what? It's been empty for weeks! 

Jessica-Lambi-Zero-Waste-Initiatives.jpg

Take a look around your local grocery store | Since most of the trash I consumed is based on food consumption, I wanted to take a critical look at where it all starts: the grocery store. Even up until this year, we were using plastic bags for things like garlic and avocados... (Why?!) The first easy switch: ditch plastic bags and stray away from packaged goods. Most grocery stores even offer produce like mushrooms, herbs and green beans package free. I'll be honest, this lifestyle takes a liiiittle more effort, (yes, we cut a full watermelon as opposed to buying the pre-chopped version and yes, I pre-plan what I'm going to buy so I can bring the bags that I need) but the result is less waste and a healthier diet! Second step: research what is offered in bulk. Whole Foods offers an awesome bulk section with rice, grains, nuts and beans. Bring a cotton produce bag or mason jar from home (note the PLU number on your phone) and fill up, zero waste!

Overall, I think my biggest tip is to think ahead. Prepare with reusable bags when you go to the grocery store and stock the places you spend time with sustainable items. Then, it's as easy as *that*.

And stay tuned, my next endeavor is into less-waste kitchen and bathroom products. I was highly skeptical at first, but here I go!.....