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.

weekend scenes: double birthday

happy balloons // sarah sherman samuelWhat do you do when you, your son, and Johnny Cash all share a birthday? Duh… you throw a Johnny Cash themed party! And that is what we did for Archie’s first and my {cough cough} thirty fourth. If you follow along on Instagram you’ve already seen these few peeks from the day, but more to come soon! We had Birds of a Feather shoot the party, so you know they will have some good ones.

johnny cash birthday party // sarah sherman samueljohnny cash party // prison line-up photo booth backdrop // amuse booth // sarah sherman samuelthe duquense // birthday party // sarah sherman samuelWe all dressed up as our best Johnny and Junes, ate a mean BBQ lunch, got silly in the Amusebooth, danced, and listened to my new favorite band The Duquesnes as they covered Johnny Cash for the party.

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

Black and white rug from esalerugs // Skirt from Princepessa // Crop Top from Shopbop // Archer’s vest from H&M 

birthday giveaway ~ now closed

a sunny afternoon giveaway // smitten studioToday I turn the big (not big at all) 32! I wanted to celebrate my birthday on the blog with a little A Sunny Afternoon giveaway! One reader will receive one of my small Walnut Arrow serving boards, (of course lovingly made by my dad and me) perfect for hanging on your kitchen wall, throwing me a birthday party ;), or just styling up your afternoon tea.

To enter simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite A Sunny Afternoon item.

Entries must be posted by next Monday, March 3rd. One winner will be chosen at random. Good Luck!

Sorry, limited to US readers only. Winner will be contacted by email once comments close and then announced on the bottom of this post soon after.

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who entered, it was wonderful reading your favorite pieces and thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes! Congrats to Cassie who is the winner of this giveaway.

Images by Jessie Webster for A Sunny Afternoon, Styling by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Smitten Studio turns one

smitten studio birthday 1Happy birthday Smitten Studio!

This last Saturday marked the year anniversary of the creation of Smitten Studio. To celebrate the occasion what else could I do but partake in a little chocolate cupcake love fest?

I originally started the blog a couple of years ago (with a free blogger account at the time) but I only posted a handful of times and the template site just wasn’t me. A year ago is when I designed and launched Smitten Studio as it is today. It has been an exciting year around here, especially with the cabin renovation and leaving my day job and I can’t wait to see what the next year of SS will hold. You can find a little peek of what is to come on my updated about page here.

Here is to another great year!
x sarah

Image by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Party Pics

Sarah sherman samuel inviteAlso last month … 100 Layer Cake featured my Palm Springs 30th birthday bash. They did an amazing job compiling the photos but, as promised, I have rounded up a few of my favorites from the night.

sarah sherman samuel bar areaNo party of mine is ever void of pattern and this one was definitely no exception. I was able to incorporate all of my own textiles as table cloths, napkins, and table runners. I also framed the bar area out with a DIY gold geometric garland.

sarah party dining tableThe “Alice in Wonderland” theme was shown through over-sized bow headpieces, Alice and the White Rabbit Place cards, “drink me” labels on the glasses, top hats, cat mask, rabbit ears, gold painted flamingos, giant paper flowers, and the mix of fanciful patterns.

sarah-sherman-samuel-dining-table-2sarah sherman samuel tablescapeBlack bow ties served as napkin ties and double as party favors. As the party went on some of the guests wore them on their heads, around their neck and on their wrists as boutonnieres.

sarahs party …and what party is complete without a smilebooth?

sarah sherman samuel bowsgiselle-sarahsarah smileboothrupert sarahThis one will definitely go down in the books as one of the best birthdays ever.

Event Design and decor: Sarah Sherman Samuel / Invitation and Stationery Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel / Photography: Mike Carreiro of Studio Eleven / Fabrics: Sarah Sherman Samuel / Smilebooth: From the 100 Layer Cake Pop-Up Shop / Location: Casa Verona, Palm Springs, CA / Catering: Food Mechanic /  Make-up: Ximena Rolfe / DJ: Sven Barth