467  //  backyard baby shower

backyard-babyshowerbackyard-babyshower2Remember that baby shower I gave you a glimpse of a few weeks back? Today I’m sharing the rest of the sweet soirée. My friend Lauren Bradshaw of Walnut Animal Society (the cutest stuffed animals you ever did see) is expecting her 2nd baby boy very soon, so I teamed up with Audrey Woollen and Melody Hansen to throw her a celebratory shower in my backyard.

backyard-babyshower3backyard-babyshower4backyard-babyshower5Melody made the strawberry shortcake for dessert after we all dined on delicious grilled chicken and carnitas tacos homemade by fellow friend Bea Schlatter.

backyard-babyshower6backyard-babyshower8My backyard was transformed when I brought out the dining table from our previous house (currently stored in the garage) and rented those gorgeous bentwood chairs from Yeah Rentals. I found those white vintage fiberglass chairs that sit at each end of the table at the Long Beach Flea Market which make great captain’s chairs.

backyard-babyshower7backyard baby shower // smitten studiobackyard baby shower // smitten studioI made a few changes in the lounge area, just for the party, by switching out my cushions for some rentals and adding the pattern backdrop. I also swapped out the fireplace for a wicker peacock chair to give Lauren a proper throne that the expectant momma clearly deserves. :) It was our first time getting to entertain in the new patio space and I couldn’t love it any more.

backyard baby shower // smitten studiobackyard baby shower // smitten studioI hope you enjoyed seeing this fun fête, and my backyard, in a whole new light. To get all the details and see a ton more photos head over to 100 layer cakelet where it is being featured today!

Photography: Meghan Kay Sadler // Event design and planning: Audrey Woollen from Urbanic Paper, Sarah Sherman Samuel from Smitten StudioMelody Hansen // Food: Beatrice Schlatter // Stationery: Smitten Studio // Linens: A Sunny Afternoon // Florals: Audrey // Rentals: Yeah Rentals

466  //  my style: little black fringe dress

little black fringe dress // smitten studiolittle black fringe dress // smitten studiolittle black fringe dress // smitten studiolittle black fringe dress // smitten studiolittle black fringe dress // smitten studiolittle black fringe dress // smitten studiolittle black fringe dress // smitten studioIf I was to rate this dress on the scale of twirlability it would be a solid 100! (And girl likes to twirl). I am starting to think I should only buy evening wear based on how big the urge is to spin while in the dressing room. I’m pretty sure it guarantees a fun night ahead.

Shop the look: Dress by Kate Moss for TopShop // Shoes by Ferragamo // Clutch by Zara (old) find similar here // Cuff Bracelet by Young Frankk // Sunglasses by illesteva

465  //  from the weekend: backyard dinner party

peonies // sarah sherman samuelWe flew back from England Saturday, arriving home in LA in the evening just in time to climb our jet lagged arses into bed and then wake up the next day to throw together a dinner party! (as a totally sane person does ;). I had already agreed to host the LA dinner party, with Anna Watson Carl for her cookbook road trip/tour, before our unexpected trip to the UK and there was no way I was going to give up a chance to have her to come and cook at my house. So, Sunday morning I went to the Santa Monica farmers market and found these gorgeous peonies, set up a table in the backyard, and welcomed some friends over for what turned into a really lovely evening.

Anna has been traveling the country since June 1st stopping in various cities and co-hosting dinners like this one to promote her cookbook project. She has collaborated with some hugely talented folks to create a beautiful cookbook and has a kickstarter going to raise money to self-publish!  To read more about the project check out her kickstarter!

Shop the look: Skirt by Topshop // Blouse by J.crew (find similar here)

Image by me via instagram/iphone (i’m @sarahshermansamuel)

464  //  smitten travels: michigan

lake michigan - sarah sherman samuelThis time of year, around the cabin, is pretty stunning. We arrived at around 7pm to a glassy calm lake with a non-existent horizon. It created this otherworldly scene magnified by that fact that there was not another soul in site. We dumped our bags in the bedroom, grabbed the SUP and headed straight into a dream.

cabin in the spring // smitten studio swan - silver lake - michigan // smitten studioapple tree orchard // sarah sherman samuelWe also made a point to visit a few of my favorite Michigan spots in the spring. We spotted this gorgeous apple orchard, located around Shelby, on our way to Cherry Point Market, a frequent stop for us with the sweetest owner and the best cherry turnovers. Another must-see place if you are in the area is the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. It’s a little Dubai in Michigan (image below). We usually like to just jump around on the steep dunes but you can also do dune buggy rides or rent ATVs to scoot around on the huge sandy hills.

silver lake dunes - michigan // smitten studiolake michigan beach // smitten studiosilver lake dunes - michigan // smitten studiodesert in MI // smitten studiosup michigan // smitten studioThe best part about visiting Michigan is with all the (usually quite abrupt) weather changes, each trip is completely different and watching the sky over the lake from the cabin is always a treat. I find people who haven’t been to Michigan always underestimate how beautiful it can be. Would you guys be interested in a more in depth guide to all my favorite spots?

Images by sarah sherman samuel (iphone)

463  //  studio update: how I finished my space

a sunny afternoon studio space //  smitten studioIf you’ve been following along on our home renovation, you know that we’ve had to do (and are still doing) A LOT to make the space our own. Luckily for me, the new studio space was almost move-in ready. So far, all we’ve had to do was paint the floors twice, build some shelving and bring in all my green plant friends.  Now, I added a few finishing touches to really put my stamp on the place.

this story is brought to you by vapor-distilled smartwater, who found unique inspiration for their water by looking up to the sky. we hope the change in perspective this piece offers will help inspire you.

a sunny afternoon studio space //  smitten studioI was looking for just the right piece of art to hang in that blank space above the love seat. While I would’ve loved to splurge on something by one of my favorite artists or photographers, our funds are still going into the house, so I created a print from my own archive. I used an image I captured when Rupe and I were galavanting around the poppy fields this Easter and layered over a cloud to create the “head in the clouds” print you see here. Then I had it printed at Staples as one of their 24″ x 36″ engineering prints for a whopping $3.00!

Having your head in the clouds (i.e., not paying attention to reality) can have a negative connotation, but for me, this is a reminder to keep dreaming and ignore the naysayers (and who doesn’t need that as a reminder sometimes?). Also, turning something of your own into art gives added meaning since it comes from your own experience. Every time I see it, I am taken back to that blissful day with Rupert and am encouraged to do some serious dreaming.

a sunny afternoon studio space //  smitten studioa sunny afternoon studio space //  smitten studioOh, and about that lighting! Thanks to Schoolhouse Electric, I finally found the perfect fixture to replace our track lighting. Now all that’s left is adding in some skylights for extra natural light and the chance to catch a glimpse of some additional dreamy cloud views.

To see the rest of my studio space, check here. The DIY shelves are available here, and even more progress can be seen here.

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel 

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462  //  from the weekend: a great loss

English-cottage-gardenThis weekend we had to take an unexpected trip over to England to spend time with family and to mourn the loss of Rupert’s Grandmother. We all know goodbyes are never easy and this one came as a shock as the matriarch of Rupe’s family had (unknown to us) only fallen ill a day before leaving this world behind late last week. Rupe was incredibly close to his grandmother, as she was also a strong mother figure in his life, so we will be spending this week at the family farm in England honoring her. Above is Rupe and his Grandpa sitting on their back porch sharing memories. Time with family is so precious. x

Image by me via instagram/iphone (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)

461  //  cabin bedroom tour + before & after

cabin bedroom before & after // smitten studioSpeaking of Michigan, it has been a while since I shared anything on the status of the cabin. We basically finished up most of our projects here in time to start our home renovation back in LA. Our last trip consisted of some spring cleaning and not much else work-wise, but I was finally able to take some photos of the full finished bedroom. It really has become a lovely peaceful getaway.

cabin bedroom before & after // smitten studiocabin bedroom bunkbeds, before & after // smitten studiocabin bedroom before & after // smitten studioMore images of the space, some side by side before and after photos, and all the sources after the jump.

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460  //  in my bag: michigan

in my bag // smitten studioI know we just got back from the cabin but I am already itching to return. In preparation for the next trip I thought I’d do just a little online shopping to get my summer in Michigan wardrobe up to snuff. My suitcase should be packed in 6-10 days ;).

Crochet Tank from TopShop // Indigo Linen Jumpsuit by Madewell // Natural Tote by Bop Basics // Rib Crop Top by TopShop // Acute Ring from Need Supply // Coral Linen Scalloped Shorts by Asos // Toe Ring Sandals by Sam Edelman // Minerva Maillot (swimsuit) by Kore Swim // Wide Brimmed Straw Hat by TopShop // Combined Wedge Shoe by Zara // Cha Cha Cha Cuff Bracelet by Kate Spade

For more from this series check here.

459  //  from the weekend: backyard babyshower

baby-shower-weekendThis weekend I had the first of hopefully many a party in our backyard. Here is just a peek at the sweet baby shower for a dear friend. I can’t tell you how nice it was to finally be able have friends over and enjoy the space. We had brand new sod laid two weeks ago so it also happened to be the very first day we could walk on the grass! #cuttingitclose ;)

I’ll be sharing photos showing the whole party soon! Hope you had a lovely weekend. x

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