Entries from September 16th, 2015

New Site Launching Tomorrow!

new-website-sarahshermansamuelTomorrow is the big day guys! I am doing it… out with the old and in with the NEW WEBSITE. Along with the new site is a bit of a re-brand, I will be saying goodbye to Smitten Studio! But don’t worry your pretty little faces off, all of the content will still be there, just the name will change and the site will look and function so much better. SO, please set your browsers, readers and the likes to www.sarahshermansamuel.com/stories for the new blog. Can’t wait to see you there on the flip side.

OH and I am re-launching my line too so all those cutting boards, picnic baskets, and kitchen textiles are BACK as well as some new pieces!  x sarah

Also how amazing is this wallpaper by Ellie Cashman… new home renovation updates to come!

rustic modern before & after

modern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelLast week I trekked out to timbuktu Santa Clarita to get to see, style, and shoot the space I designed for the lovely Eden, of Sugar and Charm, and I am SO excited to show you the final reveal! A while back I shared the initial design board I created for her, we honed in on her style and named it “rustic modern”. So here we go…

p.s. her house isn’t really that far away but us L.A. folks like to complain about driving and her picturesque “country” neighborhood does make it feel like a different world. I mean there were horses walking down the street while I was there.

modern rustic room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelI picked a fairly monochromatic palette of varying shades of blacks and whites which set the backdrop for that chair and its pop of yellow. Also, by keeping with a limited color scheme we were able to combine all the styles that Eden is drawn to (traditional, rustic, country, and modern), as well as infuse a little of my modern california eclectic aesthetic, without it looking too mismatched. And as per usual, I played up natural textures and patterns so the neutral palette didn’t fall flat.

modern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic room makeover // sarah sherman samuelThe “porcupine quill” mirror creates such a unique focal point for the entry, it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door and probably my favorite piece in the space. Heart eyed emoji for days!

modern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelIn the main seating/living area we swapped her large wooden coffee table for the smaller round one, which together with painting the fireplace white, opened up the space making it lighter and brighter.

modern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelWe moved the “landing pad”/console table to the other side of the room which made the space for a gallery wall and bench… a cozy place to pull on and off shoes. Eden also swapped out the old, not so great door, for an awesome dutch door, adding to the farmhouse feel.

modern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samueldon’t miss the side by side before & after’s, after the jump…


real talk, real moms on feeding

real-talk-feedingThis month’s “real talk, real moms” topic is on feeding! After Archer was born, suddenly talking for hours and hours about my boobs was completely normal and showing them to total strangers was acceptable! OK, it was only two and they were technically lactation consultants, but still… “hi, how are you?… oh good, take a look at this (.)(.)” Anywhooo, I will try and keep that part to a minimum but so far this is how our feeding is going.

Months 1 – 3
PURE TORTURE!!! Well not all of it but a lot of it. Archer started off great. He came out of the womb, eyes wide open and when they laid him on my chest I swear he started doing push-ups. I, having been too terrified to hold any of my friends newborns, was beyond shocked at how strong he was. With a little coaxing from my wonderful doula, he was able to find the milk makers within minutes. He did amazing wanting to nurse right away and frequently, so much so, that by his first doctors appointment on day 4 or 5 he had already gained back his birthweight and increased it by a 6 ounces! So everything was going swimmingly until the pain… SO MUCH PAIN. It started with a cracked nipple that turned into a giant fissure… I thought half of it was going to come right off. I googled and googled and cursed the people that said if you are doing it right there should not be pain. I wanted to slice their nipples open and see what they thought. I had the lovliest lactation consultant (erica of the mama’s circle) do a house visit, as I wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. She was amazing, assured me that I was in fact “doing it correctly” but that I had “extreme nipple sensitivity”. Great. Basically it meant I had to suck it up, wiggle my toes and count to ten while the worst of the pain subsided when he first latched and carry on. He was doing so well and I had so much milk, I just didn’t want to give up and so I didn’t. And then guess what? THE PAIN GOT SO MUCH WORSE! No joke, I was on antibiotics for the first two weeks (because of the catheters) which messed up all my insides and led to a terrible horrible case of thrush. It was bad, so bad… Something like shooting out shards of glass, while burning on fire, while getting stabbed with a knife repeatedly every time I nursed… every two hours. I tried pumping and that was even more painful. My mom thought I had postpartum depression because I cried so much, but I was crying from the pain, I was crying because I dreaded feeding the little guy which made me feel like a horrible mother and I cried because I wouldn’t let myself quit as he was doing so well. Finally we got it diagnosed and got a prescription, it was a long road to healing, but we made it. I remember after the first month I just kept telling myself, I will tough it out for six months and then be done. Erica told me that some people actually enjoy nursing, that it can feel pleasant. I looked at her like she was insane.

Months 3 – 6
Just around the three month mark, it got so much easier. I felt like I was getting the hang of things and the pain was pretty much gone, slight discomfort at times but nothing like before. Archer was feeding about 6 times a day, he was gaining weight and growing like a champ and getting so much more efficient. We finally fell into a rhythm and turns out I have come to enjoy the quiet time in the rocker with just A and me. Erica wasn’t so crazy after all. I do feel incredibly lucky to be able to experience it and am SO glad I stuck it out. And now… here we are, a little past 6 months and I can’t believe how the time has flown by. We started introducing some fruits and veggies around 5 months old, giving Archer tastes here and there. Sweet potato was the first, then avocado, and banana. Now we have been feeding him solids alongside nursing 3 times a day, with a final solely breastmilk feed before bed. Introducing solids has been hilarious, see what he thinks of bananas here, and I don’t blame him since we learned the hard way just how constipating they can be for the little guy. And on that note… I think I shall wrap things up as there are five too many mentions of nipples,  one too many of poop (or the lack there of), and if I carry on who knows where it might lead.

And in closing… although not very informative, I hope anyone struggling with breastfeeding woes finds solace in this post and knows they are not alone. Oh and how freaking adorable is that little buddy in his highchair up there?

If you missed last month’s real talk on sleep, catch it here, and make sure to check out my other real mama friends chatting about feeding today, listed below:

Sacramento Street
Ave Styles
Parker Etc.
The Effortless Chic
Our Style Stories
Could I Have That
The Refined Woman

style: seven days of denim

a week in denim, seven looks 20 // sarah sherman samuelOne thing I have always appreciated about having a career in the creative world is that denim can be a wardrobe staple on and off the job. Even when I went into an office everyday, there was no dress code, no frowns if you showed up in your favorite pair of distressed jeans… and now that I work from home it goes without saying that most days you can find me in denim.

seven looks with denim // sarah sherman samuelTarget has recently upped their game in denim land and they invited me to share my favorite picks, so I am going to walk you through a full weeks worth of outfits starring jeans, jeans, and jeans. Yep, that’s right… buckle up for SEVEN glorious days of denim.


a week in denim, seven looks 7 // sarah sherman samuela week in denim, seven looks 1 // sarah sherman samuela week in denim, seven looks 8 // sarah sherman samuelOn mondays I am hanging with Archer and working from home. Jeans and a button down blouse (perfect for nursing breaks) are the norm around here and I just have to pop a shiny shoe on, to dress it up, for a meeting or lunch date. READ MORE

saturday picnics & $500 giveaway

the-perfect-cheeseboard7Last week I was over on Lonny sharing about how to make the most of a Saturday afternoon. I chatted about elevating the everyday with a backyard picnic and there is a pretty fab giveaway going on so you can do the same! Here is a peek at a few things you could snag.

the-perfect-cheeseboard8picnic-backyardThe blanket, market tote, and hammock are all up for grabs (from The Citizenry), as well as pieces from Lunya, the lux loungewear which you can see me wearing here and here. The deadline to enter the giveaway is September 5th so hop to!

And in case you missed it… see how to build that perfect cheeseboard here.

Sources: Blanket, Tote, and Hammock from The Citizenry // Cheese board and napkins are from my collection (shop re-opening next week!) // Pillows from Little Korboose // Archer’s jumpsuit by June & January // My dress from Madewell

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