Sam’s Little Place

Remember when I said Samantha Balk lived in the cutest (and coziest) apartment ever known to anyone? Now you don’t have to take my word for it.

samantha bank32

If you follow her on instagram (and if you don’t, you really should) you’re probably very familiar with these beautiful frames accenting her dining space.

samantha balk 26

Sam operates her business from home, making it very understandable why she would wanna keep everything very neat and organized. Not to mention the attention to detail.

samantha bank31

And I’m not the only one who agrees she has a knack for interior decorating. The girls at Refinery29 were quite impressed themselves.

samantha bank30

Anyone out there inspired? I’m ready to rearrange some furniture! This brings us to the end of our “date with Sam” session. Hope you enjoyed getting to know this amazing girl, her dog Otis and her sweet little place!

Chatting With Sam

After finishing our afternoon coffee, Sam and I spent the rest of the day talking about Rose Vintage as she showed me some of her favorite pieces in the current inventory. Like the curious gal I am, questions came popping out about selling vintage, from buying, to using Etsy and shipping merchandise.

samantha balk 34

She does most of the shopping for her online boutique outside of Chicago. Why? In a city where selling vintage is at every corner, all the good stuff might not be easily found here. And surprisingly enough, she’s also shies away from Chicago Estate sales ” I shop during my travels so I’m never shopping in the same place. The most exciting part of this world is the “hunt” for treasures, you never know what you’ll find!”


Sam is always creating the most amazing photoshoots for Rose Vintage (like this winter wonderland inspired “Winter Frost“), most of which she photographs and styles herself. When asked where so much inspiration comes from, she immediately grabs her Kinfolk magazine saying “I swear my life by this.”

samantha balk 30

When it comes to creating an identity for Rose Vintage and maintaining cohesiveness throughout her Etsy shop, the adorable camper and personal styling services she provides to clients,  Sam does it like a pro. But it wasn’t always like this. “At first I didn’t really know what I was doing.”  Sam proved to be a quick learner.


When we arrived at the post office to ship a ton of new orders, she had all plastic envelopes (that she buys in bulk on eBay) pre labeled (which she told me were printed at home) ready to go. Sam owns a USPS scale to weigh merchandise before printing the labels and because it’s all done through Etsy, each package gets a special tracking number.

samantha balk 33

And that’s how she does it! Now that you know all of Sam’s vintage selling secrets, stop by once again next week for a peek at her-to-die-for apartment.

Coffee with Sam

You’ve heard me rave about Samantha Balk and her Rose Vintage here about a gazillion times. Now,  just get ready for more. Sam welcomed me in her cozy Old Town apartment for afternoon coffee and I took a billion pictures (worth three full posts just for you.)

samantha balk 24

I guess cozy isn’t exactly as fitting as “dollhouse” to describe her adorable nest. It all coordinates very well with Sam’s bohemian with a tad of vintage style. Her attention to detail puts me to shame, which makes me wanna move. Period.

samantha balk 3

Why Sam had me over for coffee? You’ll have to check with her (surely she didn’t anticipate I’d lick the spoon and deep it right back in the sugar bowl). I’m such a lady!

samantha balk 25

Turns out, the spoon licking incident shook our friendship and we haven’t spoken since. Just kidding! Our friendship stood up to be saliva-proof. We hit it off when we met last summer. She’s one of the most talented and inspiring girls I know and I just straight out love and envy her style. And she didn’t even care that I licked her spoon.

samantha balk 4

Sam, Otis (her shaggy Old English Sheepdog) and I had a lot of catching up to do. Sam and I discussed career move (she selling, me acting), blogging, blogging with pressure, wedding planning (she’s engaged and planning a beautiful fall wedding). You name it, we talked about it. Like the gent he is, Otis kept humble and quietly practiced his listening skills.

samantha balk 32

What was there to munch on? Yummynes! She prepared the most delicious, best-of-my-life yogurt bowl. I love you Sam!

samantha balk 29

No need to stress I had a great afternoon in Sam’s company. With the craziness of everyday life sometimes it’s hard to find time to catch up and connect with friends, but this showed me how important and re-energizing it can be. Thank you for coffee, Sam! Next time, at my place and I promise I’ll work on my manners.

samantha balk 31

But wait, there’s more! Stay tuned for a peak of Sam’s incredible shop inventory and her awesomely decorated apartment. Soon on Lulu Abroad!


Silent Film


As I mentioned in the last post,  my husband and I put together a little silent film that tells the story of two parents-to-be who went through a lot but persevered and now are getting ready to welcome a baby boy this coming may.We’re so happy to share their special moment with you.



Baby Shower

This past weekend I got busy putting together a baby shower for my sister-in-law. She’s always been crazy about elephants, so that and the French venue ( Le Petit Chou in Indianapolis) helped to shape up a theme: Babar, The Elephant.

babar baby shower 1

She’s expecting a baby boy but wanted to make sure the shower also reflected her personality, picking yellow and grey as the color scheme, which I love.

babar baby shower 3

babar baby shower 2

One of my favorite moments, the baby photo guessing game. Guests were asked for their baby pictures ahead of time and invited to match the baby photo with the other guests at the party.

babar baby shower 4

babar baby shower 5

The mom-to-be is not a fan of traditional baby shower games (no chocolate pooped diapers) so we opted instead for a celebrity baby name match-up game and the screening of a silent film (that I’ll be showing here fairly soon) personally edited by me for her and the dad.

babar baby shower8

And since photo booths are in, we couldn’t avoid but to play Babar, The king!

babar baby shower 6

babar baby shower7

babar baby shower9

The elephant cookie favors were just as tasty as they look and the invitations set the tone for the shower decor.


Valentine’s Day

I’m going to steal an idea from my friend Samantha Balk from Rose Vintage and share five fun facts about my husband and I in honor of Valentine’s day! Here it goes:

Valentine's Day Flavia and Elliott

  1. We met at Disney World
  2. But we almost didn’t because neither of us wanted to be there. I was a tired tourist wanting to leave the parks and  he had a hang over and almost called in sick (he worked at the parks).
  3. Our first official date was at a McDonald’s. So posh!
  4. Les Miserables is our favorite movie of all time.
  5. We both learned to speak each other’s language (English and Portuguese), aaand the universal language of love. Aw!

Valentine's Day Flavia and Elliott

Happy Valentine’s day!

photos: liga photography

Le Petit Déjeuner

tonis patisserie 2

Sundays are usually very relaxing around here. This afternoon we hung at Toni Patisserie for a very late brunch.

tonis patisserie 14

tonis patisserie 13

tonis patisserie 10

oliver people’s frames, dethrose vintage blouse, forever 21 cardigan, mac lipstick so chaud

tonis patisserie 3

Everything was divine, as you’d expect from a French café. I had a delicious ham biscuit while husband opted for the pork shoulder/duck fat sandwich. For dessert we shared a lemon bar, napoleon and chocolate chip cookies.

tonis patisserie 9