real talk, real moms: travel

real talk, real moms air travel // sarah sherman samuelTopic number three in our Real Talk, Real Moms series is all about Travel and you know I love me some of that. We have done quite a few weekend driving trips here and there with Archer but the biggest travel adventure was our first cross country flight to Michigan when Archer was around 4 months old. I was nervous about the plane ride, to say the least. Everyone assured me, “oh he will do great, they are so easy at that age” but I am already a nervous (and motion sickness type) flyer so adding a baby into the mix only got my belly churning even more. I usually pop dramamine and pass out, so staying awake alone didn’t sound all that appealing. I looked around for advice for first time mama flyers but didn’t find a whole lot so I am going to share what saved my life (and my back) on our first mile high adventure (wait um no, not that kind… clean it up guys, jeesh).

real talk, real moms air travel // sarah sherman samuel I can’t say enough good things about the Orbit Baby travel system. I saw people carrying their babies in the airport (you know I love to wear Archie too) but Rupert likes to get to the airport INSANELY early, like three hours minimum, so there was  no way I was going to be walking around with a near 20 lb monkey strapped to my body for that long. So I checked my carrier with the luggage and strolled through the airport. The great thing about the Orbit is that the car seat is the seat of the stroller and the fact that it swivels makes getting in and out of the car extra easy. We flew Southwest this time around and if the flight isn’t full they let you take the car seat on with you, giving your lap a little rest and taking up an extra seat, (hello entire row) without having to pay for it. Triple bonus. However if the flight is full, they let you curb check it, which means you get to push your little guy around in the stroller that also doubles as extra arms to hang onto your carry-on bags, right up to the side of the plane, drop it off and then pick it back up right after. Both ways are handy because having the stroller meant I was light on my feet while it did all the hard work of carrying our over-stuffed carry-ons with all the “just in case” things we could jam in and our heavy pride and joy. Yes, you could tell we were flying with a baby for the first time.

Anywayyyy, Orbit made the flight and the logistics of travel easy… other things we were glad we brought on were:
– a small cooler stocked with extra milk (Archer did do great on the flight btw. Although he did NOT want to nurse. He started crying and was hungry but refused to nurse. Rupert busted out a bottle quick sharp and that did the trick. He ended up fussing for all of three minutes the entire flight). We use Dr. Browns bottles and Kiinde storage bags, btw.
– my big giant squishy sweater/blanket which made a cozy bed for Archer on my lap when he crashed out.
– a toy or two. babies seem to love these links. Although a water bottle is still his all time favorite and keeps him busy for hours.
– a couple swaddles. For a million reasons… they can clean up messes, they make great sun shades, nursing covers, blankets and they also work well to cover your lap for in-flight diaper changes if you are like me and squeebed out by doing it in the airplane bathroom.
– oh and a pacifier if your baby is into them. Archer loved his wubbanub and those animals keep the pacifier in place SO well. (people recommend having the baby drink on take-off and landing to help with their ears. I have also heard that this is dated as the cabins are much better with the pressurizing these days but it sure as heck doesn’t hurt, and if they are not hungry because you have been stuffing them silly to keep them happy on the plane, then a paci works too).
– and I hope it goes without saying, loads and loads of diapers & wipes ;) Since we were going for a long trip I also shipped diapers and wipes ahead of time which meant I only had to carry what I needed for one day which was nice and saved me a trip to the grocery store that is not very convenient from the cabin.

So we made it to Chicago and had a two hour drive to the cabin ahead of us. Since Archer didn’t feel like nursing on the plane I was literally about to explode by the time we touched down and ended up pumping milk in the car rental parking garage (I have the medela pump in style that you get with your insurance in case you are wondering). Glamorous indeed. But we made it, and it was a heck of a lot easier than I thought, and since our stroller was also the car seat it made getting out of the terminal and into a car easy peasy (and probably saved us a lot of frustration from not having to figure out how to use the rental company’s different kind of car seat. Plus how many babies have pooped, peed, or threw up in the rental ones anyway? ew).

real talk, real moms air travel // sarah sherman samuel Once we got TO the cabin, I was back to my baby carrying ways and wanted to do nothing else but share lake michigan and all it’s beauty with Archer and take our nice walks on the beach as a family of three. Archie was just four months so it was his first time facing out in the carrier. They usually don’t recommend it for long periods of time until after 5 months so we kept it to short, 15 minutes at a time, before turning him back around. He then would usually conk right out and we would just keep on walking. The Ergo 360 is ideal for that reason. You can carry your babe in 4 different positions, I have yet to try him on my back, and it’s super easy to go from one to the other. Archer particularly liked chewing on the front of the carrier, since he was also teething, and that removable drool catcher kept things neat and tidy.

real talk, real moms air travel // sarah sherman samuelreal talk, real moms air travel // sarah sherman samuelArcher loved the trip, the only bugger was the time change, we tried keeping him on California time but since we were there for three weeks he kept creeping closer and closer to Michigan time which made for quite the adjustment when we got back home. You can read all about that debacle in the post on sleep! I am glad we started him early and here is hoping he continues to be a good little traveler. Any tips or tricks out there that have worked for you? I’d love to hear what’s handy for older babes too!

Stroller/Car Seat system by Orbit Baby // Carrier by Ergo Baby // Dress by LuLu’s // Hat from J.Crew // Denim Shorts from Madewell

And don’t forget to check out the rest of my cohorts chatting about travel…
Apartment 34
Could I Have That
The Effortless Chic
Ave Styles
The Refined Woman
Parker Etc
A Daily Something
Sacramento Street
Our Style Stories

And, And… keep an eye out on Instagram for a pretty great giveaway all of us mama’s got together for. x

Laundry Room Plans

laundry plansThe last room of the house to get any kind of love is the laundry room. Poor, poor laundry rooms. Even though we started from the ground up with ours, it has been a plain white box with a washer, dryer, and a collection of crap that slowly grew over the last year or so. Even when I was searching on pinterest for pretty laundry rooms I came up fairly empty handed (with the exception of this one… I mean WOW). Our laundry room opens up right into the kitchen… so I’m looking to make it a special space that looks like the rest of the house, instead of what has been incredibly mundane.

First things first… THAT WALLPAPER. Ellie Cashman, created the gorgeous jumbo sized floral wallpaper and the colors are just like woah. You may have seen on instagram, that it recently went up. I couldn’t wait to share. My inspiration board is above and now the rest of the plans are to… unstack the washer and dryer, put some sort of countertop over it, build some shelves, find some hanging storage (those hooks are to die for but $$$), and create some closed storage.

It is hard matching the functionality and reality of what a laundry room is with a stunning space but dang it, I’m going to try.

To see all of our home renovation posts check here. 

Ceiling light by Cedar & Moss // Wallpaper by Ellie Cashman // Wire Baskets // Wall Hook by Lawson Fenning // Turkish Towels

Iphone photo editing 101

iphone photo editing tutorial // sarah sherman samuelOne of the most frequently asked questions I get is “what filter and/or photo apps do you use” for instagram. I don’t have one specific recipe as every photo is different but I thought I’d put together a little tutorial with examples and give you my go to filters and apps. And who knows, maybe you can pick up a little nugget of a trick to apply to your own photos. Here we go…

iphone photo editing // sarah sherman samuelFirst I should say… all of my instagrams are iPhone photos and edited on the iPhone. The only exception is when I pull an image from a blog post to announce that there is new content on the blog, which I label with either the photographer (if it isn’t by me) or a “link in profile”.

Secondly, some photos just take a little bit of editing and some I end up spending way too much time on. Here is what I did for this first photo. On the left is straight out of the camera, and on the right is the photo I posted. I usually start with pulling the photo into VSCOcam. In there I choose a filter, for this one I used M5 (other favorites are C3, F1, and G3) and usually I dial it back a bit from the full +12. If you are scratching your head right now I can explain. When in VSCO, select a filter and that automatically puts it on full power, now tap the same filter again and there is the scale from +1 to +12, now you can play with how much of the filter you want to be on the photo.

Once I am happy with the filter choice I save it and then open it in Afterlight. I like the control that Afterlight has on brightness, contrast, and sharpening so I do all that there. I also use afterlight to create the white border around mine to keep them landscape or portrait. You can do this by hitting the bottom right button  that is a black circle inside of a white square. Once in that menu hit the icon that looks like two vertical bars and voila.

iphone photo editing // sarah sherman samuelFor this photo, I skipped Afterlight and went right from VSCO to instagram (I posted this one as a square originally so didn’t use the white bars). I picked a filter, and then brightened and sharpened it right in Instagram. Done!

iphone photo editing // sarah sherman samuel Then there are some photos that need a little extra help. For this one I did my thing in VSCO, followed by Afterlight, then I wanted to get rid of a few of those brown pine needles so I pulled it into touchRetouch. This app is great for getting rid of little unwanted things in a photo. I used the lasso tool, circled the pine needles that I wanted out of there, hit the “play” triangle button and like magic, they disappeared.

iphone photo editing // sarah sherman samuelHere is one more example where I used all three apps. Of course not all photos go through this entire process, many I use a little bit of a vsco filter and then bring it right into Instagram but I wanted to give you my full arsenal. So once again… here I used VSCO for the color (their filters are my fave), then brought it into Afterlight for brightness, contrast, sharpening, and the borders. Then I touchRetouched that little boat right out of there and THEN I posted it in instagram, for a semi-insta instagram. PHEW!

Happy iPhonography x sarah


introducing sss product collaborations

sarah sherman samuel x melanie abrantes // cake standsI am thrilled to announce the first of a special series of SSS product collaborations. This has been in a works for a while now, so it kind of feels like I am sending my babies off to college, but dang it… they are ready. I am teaming up with other makers and artists to co-create some limited edition objects that will be sold exclusively in the Sarah Sherman Samuel shop and first up are these gorgeous wooden cake stands.

I haven’t turned wood since high school, so together with Melanie Abrantes (wood & cork turning extraordinaire) we brought these beauties to life. I drew up the three styles, the geometric shapes giving a modern twist to a traditional item, and Melanie hand turned them from solid wood. In a nutshell… they’re my design, by her hands. We only made a small batch of them, so head on over to the shop for something truly unique.

sarah sherman samuel x melanie abrantes // cake standssarah sherman samuel x melanie abrantes // cake standsAs I’ve grown quite used to working alone, it has been wonderful to team up with other artists to see what we can create together. Now enough about me, here’s a bit more about Melanie and her beautiful craft…  READ MORE

weekend scenes: mama staycation

sss sleep inlemonade-stand-parker-sssRupert held down the fort at home while I snuck away this weekend with a gal pal to Palm Springs for massages and spa time at the Parker and a night at the Line hotel in Koreatown. It was the first time I have been away from Archer for longer than just a few hours but I have to say the TEN hours of uninterrupted sleep made it pretty easy on me. The entire weekend was such a treat, while I filled my depleted energy levels and caught up with an old friend. The house was still standing when I got home too, so kudos to Rupe. Must do this more often.

Images by me via instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)

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