results for christmas

Christmas Traditions – 12 Activities to try

holiday traditions // 12 activities to try // sss storiesI think I’ve mentioned a time or two how I am BIG on making new, and keeping old, traditions for various holidays. We didn’t have a ton growing up but the ones we did, I cherish. Growing up in Michigan meant the holidays were filled with all sorts of winter activities, sledding, making snow men and snow angles, ice skating etc and I can still remember exactly how the house smelled, with the wood burning stove going, as we would come in from playing outdoors for hours to thaw out, hanging the wet layers of clothes to dry and snuggle up in our long underwear with hot coco.

Just typing this out has me all weepy and homesick for Michigan. Thinking of Archie not being able to do these activities in sunny Los Angeles breaks my heart a little, so I’ve decided to really get planning on how I can make our holidays as a family extra special no matter where we are.

I came up with 12 activities for the 12 days of Christmas and in lieu of an advent calendar, each day we will pick an activity to do together. To get me in the mood, I pulled on my favorite pajamas, fixed up a cup of GODIVA hot chocolate and started checking #1 off the list. The activities themselves may change from year to year but a I am getting the warm and fuzzies just thinking about the fun we will have with Archer through the years to come.

holiday traditions // 12 activities to try // sarah sherman samuelhot-chocolate1#1 Ornament time capsule – cut a 1” strip of white paper, as long as you’d like and have each of your family members write down their favorite memories from the year. When everyone’s finished roll it up and tuck it inside the ornament. Now each year you will add a new ornament and can have fun looking back at the memories as the years go by.

#2 Hot chocolate stand – The lemonade stand’s adorable winter version… set up a stand and sell or give out hot chocolate to neighbors and spread the holiday cheer. Think vintage plaid thermoses, GODIVA hot choloate, Pendelton blankets, and kids dressed up Christmas Story style.

#3 Decorate the Tree – turn up the Christmas tunes and get at it!

#4 Ice Skating – Even in the warm climates you can find a rink around the holidays

#5 Baking Day – set aside an afternoon and bake all your favorite cookies and treats and then bring them around to friends, neighbors, and family. Sugar cookies, apple crisp, chocolate cookies… I’m dying to try the “GODIVA Triple Chocolate Chunk” cookies.

#6 Holiday Light Tour – jump in the car and drive around to see the lights at night

#7 Make a Gingerbread House

#8 Crafting day – Get out all your crafting supplies and make some homemade presents

#9 Put out the Nativity Scene and read the story of Christmas

#10 Present round up for charity – Round up your little’s toys they have outgrown or go shopping together for new ones to give to a local charity.

#11 Go caroling – No one really wants to hear me sing but I can lip-sink like nobody’s business

#12 Movie Night – Curl up in your holiday PJs and watch a marathon of Christmas Movies.

My hopes would be that having the activities lined up and making an effort early on will teach us to slow down a bit, enjoy the season for all it’s worth, and teach Arch the real meaning of Christmas.

If all this is too ambitious for you but you still want to give back, GODIVA is running a holiday promotion that makes it easy. For every cup of hot chocolate sold in their store, they are donating $1 to Toys for Tots. So add that to the list, or make it your whole list. Either way… I won’t judge. :)

Happy of Holidays from this sappy sally to you and yours. x

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

SOURCES: Mug // Hot Chocolate // RUG // Pajamas // Slippers 

This post was done in collaboration with Godiva. A as always, all thoughts and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting our sponsors. x

a dog’s christmas

 a dogs lifeSpeaking of fur kids… ours have adjusted pretty amazingly to having a baby in the house. Granted, they still both sleep in our bed and are still spoiled pretty rotten, but what I didn’t expect was how quickly they accepted little Arch as one of the pack. It is incredibly sweet to see them tip toe around him and let him yank on their tails without so much as a flinch.

Petco recently gifted Pikku and Cracker with all sorts of Seuss character toys from their new Dr. Seuss Pet Fans Collection and they have been loving them! Behind the funny looking characters and silly prose that Dr. Seuss was one smart fella. It is kind of impossible not to be a fan. Now, alongside my reading his books to Archie, the pups have a bit if their own Seussville.

a dogs lifeEven though they are easy to please… I’m pretty sure they’re their new favorites. How do I know this, you might ask? Well, I know this because they are the ones they hoard, and hide, and bring to us. It’s actually pretty funny to watch our two dogs with opposite personalities do what they do with toys. More often than not, they end up hidden in our bed! I am not sure if they are bringing them to us out of love or just hiding them from each other, but every once in a while I will crawl into bed and find the Grinch staring back at me. Or I find Thing 2 hiding under my pillow.

I am pretty sure Cracker does most of the hiding… she gathers them up and has a grand ole time with them until…

Pikku comes along, steals Thing 1, and tries to rip its’ head off!

a dogs lifepikku-holiday-640Either way, the pups are enjoying their early Christmas pressies and it has further cemented that we are all Seuss fans over here. Check out the entire line in stores or at petco.com/drseuss. I can’t wait until Archie is old enough to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” every year… on repeat.

One of my favorite quotes from sir Theodor Seuss Geisel is “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Now that is some truth to remember!

Sponsored by Petco

Christmas in LA

living-room-holiday5 copyHere’s a peek into our house as decorated for Christmas. Better late than never right?, and who knows I may never take down that little white tree…

living-room-holiday-treeliving-room-holiday-tree2living-room-holiday2-640-2… and certainly not this DIY wall hanging. :)

DIY-eucalyptus-wall-hangingliving-room-holiday-shelvesI wanted the holiday decorations to blend with the decor but still add all that extra sparkle that makes the season special. Usually I like to err on EXTRA Christmas flair but being this pregnant I wasn’t sure how quickly the decorations will actually make it back into their boxes after the fact, so better to do it with a restrained hand. I did this by using a lot of metallic gold, a white tree, white lights, some natural greens, and then spread it throughout the house so most surfaces had a touch of seasonal love.

It is also the first time we have spent the holidays in the renovated space! To see how far we’ve come, check out the living room before we knocked through a couple walls in the before photos here, and all of the renovation progress so far, here.

Sources for everything that I can think of below:

Top Photo:
Coffee Table (the the white tree is on) from CB2 // White Tree by Vickerman // Gold Ornaments by Ikea // Hanging Chair (yard sale!) find more options here, and here, and here and here // Mill Console Table by CB2 // Door by AAW (stained with 1 part Light Walnut & 2 parts Provencal by Varathane) // Rubber plant (by door) & planter from Home Depot // Vintage Hardoy Chair from Surfing Cowboys // Sofa from HD buttercup // Coffee Table is Vintage found at the Long Beach Flea // Rug from The Rug Warehouse // Chandelier by Jonathan Adler // Paint color is Snowfall by Behr // Mid-century stool, vintage // Sheepskin from Ikea // Basket from Chicos // Pillows by Little Korboose // Glass Terrarium from Urban Outfitters // Candle Holder, Vintage // Gold Bowl by CB2

Bottom Photo:
DIY built-in shelves see post here // Coffee table (vintage) from Surfing Cowboys // Rug from RugsUSA.com // Chairs (vintage found at Long Beach Flea) // White VasesSquirrelDog Bookends and Whale Pitcher from Jonathan Adler // Gold Starbursts from Waiting on Martha // Gold Bowls and Cube Wire Sculptures from CB2 // Bronze Cats (vintage from Rosebowl Flea) // Framed Photo by Max Wanger // Art Deco Clock (vintage) // Ceramic Hand // Starburst Mirror from Target (old) find similar here or here  // Paint Color: Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball // Gold Animals by Dwell Studio from Wayfair // Black Faceted Vases by Dwell Studio from Wayfair

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

candlelit christmas table

AdvertisementAdvertisement
candlelit christmas table // smitten studioAs I mentioned before, Rupe and I are staying in California for the holidays this year, so I am planning on making it as close to a white Christmas as you can in a LA bungalow. I’ve teamed up with Target to share this wintery white, candlelit Christmas table using pieces from their latest holiday collection.

candlelit christmas table // smitten studiocandlelit christmas table // smitten studiocandlelit christmas table // smitten studiocandlelit christmas table // smitten studiocandlelit christmas table // smitten studioWire brush trees make up the majority of the centerpiece while mercury glass candle holders round out the rest of the non-floral tablescape, giving it just the right amount of sparkle. I’ve also used my favorite trick of layering on different textures, giving dimension to all of the white on white. Once the lights are turned down, all the candles are lit, and we are gathered with a few friends, Christmas in LA will be pretty special too!

Ceramic Deer Head from Target // Small Wire brush trees from Target and Large // White Round Plates from Target // White Scalloped Plates (old) find similar here // Gold Chargers from Target // Gold Candle Holders from Target // Gold Ornaments from Target // White & Silver Flatware from World Market // Large Gold Mason Jar (used as candle hurricanes) from Target // Extra Large Gold Mason Jar (used as candle hurricanes) from Target // Faux Fur White Throw from Target

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.

Happy Christmas Eve

Dart Dj Holiday Party // smitten studioOnly one more sleep until Christmas! This year Rupe and I weren’t able to have a Christmas party at our house because of all the renovations, but oh how we made up for it by attending a whole lot of them. Of course Smilebooth was present at most of the soirees, which is always a hoot. At this one, my fellow girls in gold and black and I turned it into a dance booth to properly document our accidental coordinating outfits. Clearly Santa Rupe wouldn’t be left out.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Images from Smilebooth from the Dart office holiday party.
Post-it tree backdrop by Jesi Haack Design

Shop the look. On me: Black quilted faux leather skirt from Asos // Gold top by BcBg (old) find similar in silver here // On Kendra: Black & Gold dress by Adam, find similar here // On Catherine: Shimmer skirt by Madewell // Leather top by Helmut Lang

Smitten Christmas Party

rupert sarah christmas smilebooth // I'm with SantaHappy Christmas Eve you guys! Remember the holiday party I mentioned here and how I lost my voice from all the laughing and screaming? Well, having Smilebooth in our home was a big part of the fun that night. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the night and make sure you look after the jump to see me doing my best santa impersonation.

smitten studio party smileboothamanda sarah smitten studio smileboothYou may recognize this pretty lady… Amanda and I were party ready in our twin sequin dresses that night. You can find mine, by Dress the Population, here or here.

santa and reindeer smitten studio smileboothSee more after the jump…

READ MORE