disney with a toddler

archie-disney3I can’t believe it but our little Archie is 2! This year we skipped doing a party (last year’s epic Johnny Cash Bash was enough to last us two years) and instead celebrated with a day at Disneyland. Before having kids I swore I wouldn’t take them to any of the Disney Parks until they were at least 4 years old so they would remember it and really enjoy it (theme parks aren’t really my thing) but now that I actually have Archie and know his personality, I knew he would LOVE it so we set off to the happiest place on earth, with a toddler, and we all had the best time.

I teamed up with Pure Growth Organic to share a few tips on surviving enjoying a day at Disneyland with a toddler.

archie-disney6smTip #1 Bring a backpack so you have free hands and don’t pack to much. (I love this one and it comes in a bazillion colors)

Tip #2 Ignore the second part of tip #1 and fill the backpack with snacks. ok maybe not totally filled, but snacks and more snacks were my best friend and Archie’s best friend and the families waiting in line around us’s best friend. I have Archie on a pretty strict sleep and eat schedule. He gets three meals a day and one large snack, at the same time every day. However when you travel, or say go to Disneyland, you are bound to go off schedule and we planned for it. We pushed his nap later to maximise our time, and when you have a slightly tired kiddo, you definitely do not want a hungry one.

I always am on the lookout for healthy snacks for Archie and when Pure Growth Organic introduced me to their line I  knew our trek to Disney would be the perfect place to try it out. They cater to kids with Disney characters (which btw was a happy accident) but Rupe and I were both unashamedly stealing biscuits and breakfast bars from Archie’s stash (Seriously the banana chocolate breakfast bar pretty much tastes like a brownie).

The benefits of bringing your own snacks is three fold… 1. It’s less expensive than getting park food (you can purchase them at Walmart or Amazon!). 2. It’s healthier. Instead of filling up on churros or buttered popcorn that is surely filled with a not so real buttery flavored substance, Pure Growth Organic is all organic (surprise!) real food snacks.  3. It’s one less line to have to stand in.

Also, a p.s. on the packing… bring some hand sanitizer to use before indulging in the snacks (I’m not a hand sanitizer freak but when traveling and Disney-ing it is pretty ideal). I like this one because it doesn’t have the harsh chemicals.

disney-sarahsamuel Which brings me to tip #3 Avoid a line if you can, but prepare for them at the same time. Disney is the land of lines but if there is one I can skip then it is a win. Buy your tickets on-line (it boggles my mind that some people don’t do this), bring your snacks, and get to the park early! I’m talking you can get there even before the park opens. Toddlers wake up at the crack of dawn anyway and even when the rest of the part isn’t open you can go through ticketing and the tram line and get all that out of the way without wasting precious toddler awake time. Plus the characters are usually out in the front area to greet you so you can meet Micky and the gang before hitting the rides.

Tip #4 Check  your “must do” ride off the list first. Days at Disney are unpredictable, lines are too, so you never know what you can fit in and what you’ll miss. The “It’s a small world” ride was the only ride I really had my heart set on doing, so we went there first and as I knew it would be was the best ride of the day. Really we could have just gone on that one over and over. Toddler heaven. Plus It’s so dang beautiful, complete with the most instagrammable wall and this little circle which was Archie’s seat of choice for our first snack break.

disneyland toddler survival guidedisneyland toddler survival guideTip #5 wear and dress your little in light layers. It’s cooler in the early morning and evenings so wearing something that you can peel off when the day warms up and easily pack away in the backpack is key.

toddler-boysm And finally Tip #6 Don’t forget the Micky Ears! We bought ours before hand (thank you amazon prime) because again it is one less line to have to wait in at the park.

This post was sponsored by Pure Growth Organic. All thoughts and ideas are my own. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!

Archie’s outfit sources: Stripe Sweater is old, find similar here or here // T-shirt Old Navy // Pants Rylee & Cru // Shoes from Old Navy 

Images by sarah sherman samuel

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pure Growth Organics. The opinions and text are all mine.

Archer’s Birth Announcement & Giveaway

archer-birth2archer-brith3Just a little baby love for your Thursday morning… I wanted to share what I did for sweet Archer’s birth announcements. I designed the cards around the photos we had taken with katherine and luke and with so many adorable ones, I couldn’t narrow it down to just one card so, of course, I made three! :)

I then had Artifact Uprising print the cards, using their “design your own” option. The cards were printed front and back so that each one had a full photo on one side, and then a photo with the type, his name, birth date, and info on the other. Going through AU made it easy because I didn’t have to pick out the paper, size, or envelopes (faced with too many choices while trying to navigate the first days of mommyhood and I probably wouldn’t have gotten them together). The cardstock they use has a beautiful feel and the kraft envelopes were perfect, easy peasy.

archer birth announcement with artifact uprising // sarah sherman samuelarcher birth announcement with artifact uprising // sarah sherman samuelI may or may not have designed these in my sleep, so when they arrived at our doorstep it was like Christmas morning with the cutest presents inside. That top one is definitely a framer.

archer lee fox // birth announcementAwe… my sweet pumpkin. I’m so happy we were able to get these together and I’d like to pass that on to you guys with a little giveaway. Just leave a comment below for the chance to win a $100 gift card to Artifact Uprising so you can get your special something printed.

Entries must be posted by Tuesday, May 26th. One winner will be chosen at random. Good Luck!

P.S. Get 10% off with the Smitten Studio readers code AUSS10


style at home: swan midi

style at home // swan print midi // sarah sherman samuelstyle at home // swan print midi // sarah sherman samuelstyle at home // swan print midi // sarah sherman samuelvstyle at home // swan print midi // sarah sherman samuelRupe got me this purdy skirt for my birthday, which he pulled from my “I want” pinterest board (such a handy thing for husbands, that pinterest), and of course I got all dressed up to sit around at home and take care of a newborn.  The full midi silhouette does kinda scream 50’s housewife after all right? So really I am just doing my part to fall into my new role.

Ok but seriously, I adore this skirt and will cherish these photos as our first family portraits. xo

Swan Print Midi Skirt from SheInside // Black Crop Top by Sugar Lips (sold out but find long sleeved version here) // Orange Onesie by Carters // Rupert’s shorts by Volcom // Shirt by The Original Penguin (sold out, find similar here)

Images by Katherine and Luke of Max and Friends

Meet Archer!

Archer newborn photosIf you haven’t noticed yet, I have been a bit MIA around here lately, but if you follow me on Instagram,  you will know it is for good reason. :) Baby Archer Lee Fox Samuel finally arrived and guess what… on my birthday! He came barreling into the world on February 26th, weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces. They had estimated him at 9 and a half pounds so I was quite happy he was closer to 8, for my V’s sake (insert monkey with his eyes covered emoji).

Archer newborn photosWe have fallen down a rabbit hole of newborn cuddles, mushy gushy love and SO much staring at the little guy. While we are trying to navigate this insane period of time as new parents, I hope you will forgive any nonsensical posts that might make their way up here between sleep deprived typing and half open eyes. xo

These photos were snapped by the same photo power couple that took my maternity shots, Katherine and Luke of Max and Friends.