Journaling

April 16, 2014

I use to journal all the time.  Pre-husbnad, pre-baby, pre-Boston, I have volumes of mole skin notebooks chronicling my 20-somthing life stacked in boxes in my studio.  The journals were mostly self indulgent rants about boyfriends, work, friends, school, etc. but I journaling helped me work out many a problems and the seemingly daily crises, especially when my sister, mom and friends were sick of hearing the same issues over and over again.  That said, they were meant for me and me only.  I should probably burn them before my daughter is old enough to find the collection and cringe and her self-indigent mother, but something keeps me from pitching them.  Perhaps it is honoring that young woman who felt the need to write and vent or perhaps I think there is some wisdom hidden among my spelling errors and bad grammar. Who knows, but as my life got busier with a business, marriage, home and family my writing waned.  I still keep a steady stream of mole skin notebooks, but they mostly consists of lists, projects and reminders than writing and sketching.

As I am expecting my second child, having old journals to flip back through might help me remember all those newborn peculiarities.  How to swaddle, when does “sleep regression” happen, first tooth, and how I “really” felt in those beginning months; joy, fear, exhaustion, or simply just something to look back on those early days of my daughters life  So the buck stops here.  The ladies over at The Everygirl have issued a 30 day challenge to journal for the month of April and I accept  Granted I am jumping in at the half way mark, but I figure better late than never and hopefully I will keep going, even as baby #2 arrives and life gets thrown upside down in that wonderful way all over again.

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Birthday Party Time!

February 7, 2014

Sweet little bébé turned 2 yesterday. (I guess I need to come up with another blog nick name for her as she is not so “bébé” any more.)  We decided to just do a little family dinner at home, but I of course couldn’t help myself with the decorations.  My mother practically burst out laughing when she saw the whole set up of my “low key” dinner, but birthdays are special and I wanted her 2nd birthday to be magical.  Plus as a photographer I am always playing “photo shoot.”

The day before her birthday we got about a foot of snow. School was canceled so we got to bake her birthday cake together.  With a February date, these snow day birthdays may become a tradition and I welcome it.  We stayed in our PJ’s until noon, baking, decorating and playing.  It was so special.

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As I type we are getting pummeled with another snow storm.  It has been snowing non stop since 7 am yesterday morning and it is STILL COMING! So what is a girl to do?  Take a snow day and enjoy, I guess.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I hope after this snow, spring decides to arrive.

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The kids are all right

October 18, 2012

Late last night, as I was perusing my Pintrest boards, I caught sight of a fabulous photograph of a child. We are not talking the Christmas card family photography with which we are all familiar, but a cool, editorial style fashion image. It lead me to my new obsession…the blog Smudgetikka. The site is penned by Linda McLean, fashion director at Junior Magazine, a UK based publication. She blogs about her job, location scouting and all the great editorials she sees for children’s fashion. (What is it about Europeans and great children’s clothing?!?! No cartoon characters and silly princess crap, just darling, age appropriate clothes.)

This now has my mind churning with ideas for a children’s fashion shoot. I adore working with my fashion clients and would love to bring that look to a children’s shoot.

Here are some editorials pulled from Smudgetikka blog.

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I love the magical feel of this woodland themed shoot, by Beatrice Heydiri for Collezioni Magazine.

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And the princess in armor of this one by Emma Tunbridg.

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And Anders Hald for Petit Nord

I love all of them so much! Now excuse my while I go dress up my daughter in a Celtic warrior suit of arms and go photograph her by the water on a cloudy blustery day.

Since my feature in The Everygirl I have gotten quite a few questions about some of my favorite baby items. Now with just 5 month of mothering under my belt, I don’t pretend to be an expert by any means, but I have developed a few items I cannot live with out.

1. Uppa baby Vista stroller

We test drove all the strollers and chose this one for a number of reasons.

  • We need a SUV type stroller for our city living
  • Folds up in one motion, unlike the Bugaboo
  • Comes with a bassinette attachment, which is perfect for when they are newborn. The bassinette attachment can also be put on a stand and used as an extra sleep area (I have it in my studio)
  • I like the all black sleek color
  • The company is based out of Massachusetts and have a stellar customer service reputation should anything break or need attention.

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2. Maxi Cosi – Mico Infant Car Seat

Again, we looked at all the car seats out there and chose this one for 2 reasons. One, it is the lightest weight infant car seat available and two, it comes in the least offensive colors. What is it with baby stuff that they insist on making things in the ugliest colors and patterns imaginable?!?! We got the all black one, but they have a magenta and turquoise one that are kind of fun too. I was warned that the base was difficult to install, but I had my local baby store help me install it for the first time (something I would have done with any car seat.) and it helped me figured it out for other times.

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3. Skip Hop: Pronto! changing station

It is the whole diaper bag and changing pad in one little foldable pouch. I can throw it in my cute tote or large purse and not look like I am carrying a huge diaper bag around. Also, comes in cute patterns designed by Johnathan Adler.

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4. Happiest Baby on the Block book

This book was recommended to us by many people and I echo the endorsement. It made sense of those first 3 months and how to soothe your newborn. A must for any new parent. It comes in a DVD too.

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5. Grobag sleep sack or Halo SleepSack

At 2 months old little miss squirmy was busting out of her swaddle and flipping over so I quickly purchased some sleep sacks. (We used the blankets from the hospital to swaddle her up until this point….they were great.) Grobag makes some really pretty patterned ones and Halo has some nice ones too. I just got the two above.

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6. Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby book

This has been very helpful as our little one has developed beyond the swinging and swaddleing of the Happiest Baby on the Block book and into the whole sleep training. I can’t say that we have mastered if by any stretch of the imagination, but it is helping.

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7. Little Castle rocker/recliner

I searched and searched for gliders, knowing this would be a big ticket item for our nursery and I would be spending many hours in it. Sheridan French’s top 10 baby list directed me to the Little Castle brand and after sitting in a few at a local baby show room we were sold. We went with the Buckingham style in beige micro suede and black leather trim. (Our nursery is a safari theme so I wanted a “club chair” look.) I liked that I could choose from so many fabrics. With our small space we opted for the rocker/recliner version, something my husband was ecstatic about since I swore I would NEVER get a recliner. I caved because it looks nothing like the ugly Lazy Boys and is sooooo comfortable. I have been known to sleep on it. It also has a high back and low arms which many do not. My arms fit in it with out feeling as though my shoulders are scrunched up.

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8. Baby Bjorn travel crib

Okay, so this is not exactly cheep for a pack and play but it is soooooo light and can literally be put up in one motion. So worth the extra cost if you find yourself traveling a lot. It also seems a lot softer and nicer than some of the other pack and play and comes in my coveted all black, non ugly, design.

9. Baby Bjorn Babysitter

It is essential to have another place to set your baby, aside from the crib, where you know he or she cannot get out of. I love the Baby Bjorn Babysitter, because it can fold down and get tucked under the sofa when we don’t want our living room to look like kiddie land. It is light weight, easy to move around, and again comes in “non ugly” colors. You can also put them in it as newborns, and you can purchase a cute wooden toy to click on it. We call it Mr. Googly eyes.

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10. L.L Bean swim suits

Their surf shirt and swim suit have UPF 50+ protection and the colors and pattern are adorable and bright. The two piece makes it easy to change a diaper, while not looking like a bikini. (My husband made me throw out the bikini top and just keep the bottoms to go with the shirt…no bikini for our little girl for a LONG time.)

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And one more for fun…

11. L.L Bean Boat Totes

I love love love these monogrammed with the little ones initials. I use a medium size one with long handles as a tote for all her items to go to the beach, kids care at the gym, car rides etc. I have the large one with short handles a her toy box in her room. I adore the super versatility of this classic tote, especially for baby stuff.

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Some other great resources have been the beautiful and talented Miss Sheridan French of The Southern Eclectic blog (she has written three posts about her favorite baby items), and The Baby Guy NYC. You have to follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He posts the funniest pictures of his little nuggets and all the ways poor Sophie the Giraffe has been murdered over the years…Sofie is that inside parent joke…sorry.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer weekend.

-Sarah

Circus Master

June 1, 2012

I often feel like the master of ceremony of a crazy, and somewhat dysfunctional circus.   I just have too much to do some days.  Work has been getting busier each week, my little one if now four months old and I could stand a few more hours of sleep each night and a few less circles under my eyes.  I am still figuring out that elusive balance.  I know, I know, total “white girl problems.”   I think that is why I love summer so much.  The heat and long days force you to slow down and change your pace.

Life as I know it: photo shoots, video editing, walks with bébé and road trips with the family

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This past Memorial Day weekend you drove up to Maine.  I love my city life, but once summer hits all I want is the smell of trees and the ocean.  I am so lucky to have a sister with a gorgeous home in Maine, just a short walk to the beach.  My sis and her husband were out of town, but we so graciously offered to house sit.  Ha!  It was awesome!

P.S. The house above is not my sister’s, just one of the many gorgeous homes in Maine.

P.P.S. You know you are city folk when your husband gets excited at the prospect of mowing a lawn.

LOVE LOVE LOVE

April 17, 2012

I just finished reading Bringing up Bébé, by Pamela Druckerman and adored it! (A great travel read)  It is a fun mix of self-depreciating humor, an exploration of cultural differences and some actually sociological research thrown in there for good measure.  Most of all it talks about the balance of parenting, raising a happy self-confident child and being able to enjoy a nice dinner out with child in tow.  Makes me want to raise my daughter as a good little gourmet eater who says bonjour, au revoir, s’il vous plaît, and merci…well at least the English equivalent.  Don’t want her sounding too pretentious.

I dogeared many a pages, and am going to try this recipe this weekend.

Baby Steps

March 1, 2012

“I’ve done a lot if things in my life. Most of them inadvertent.” —Michael Feldman 

I read this quote over on Stacy Style’s blog the other day and I find it to be so true.  While I am a very goal oriented person and love digging into new projects, I rarely approach things with a single minded, do or die, attitude.  I usually let my passions, desires and gut steer where I am going.  My love for a man (now my husband) brought me to Boston, which led me to start my own business.  Moving to a new city where I knew no one and trying to start a business led me to meet some of the most wonderfully, creative and inspirational people…well that and my blogs and social media addiction.  Now that I am a mom to the most beautiful baby girl and figuring the whole parenting thing out, I find all these inadvertent things have helped to create this beautiful, beautiful life I find myself leading.  Don’t get me wrong, my to do list is still a mile long and I am lucky if I get a shower and a thank you note a day completed, but I am figuring it out.  I must remind myself it is okay if I don’t have my s*#! together.  Combining being a mother and running a business will take time or as Bob in “What About Bob” put it baby steps.

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Photos from my afternoon strolls in the Public Garden and excursions to Starbucks…

Baby Bliss

February 13, 2012

Hello all!  My week long silence can mean only one thing.  Our precious little bundle of joy finally decided to arrive 11 days past her due date.  I literally started pushing as the Super Bowl ended, and as her daddy says, the Patriots have not lost a Super Bowl in her lifetime!

Photos: Sarah M. Winchester

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In this world of social media, I am still trying to figure out how much to share about baby, so please bear with me.  I can just imagine her as a 13 year old girl, asking me “Mommy what is a blog, and why did you talk about my poop and spit up?”  Haha.  Rest assured I will do a nursery design reveal and photos of out new(ish) apartment.  I am still waiting on a few key pieces on back order…ahem…West Elm headboard that I ordered in October, I am looking at you.  I am also waiting for the crib skirt in which I am having made to be completed.  The seamstress was so convinced I was having a boy, by the way I was carrying, she refused to make the crib skirt until after I delivered…maybe it was the language barrier, but she would not even start on the pinky/coral fabric until confirmation of girl.  Haha

Here is a swatch of the fabric.  I am not a big pink person, but I think this coral goes great with the safari theme nursery and adds a little feminine accent with out being too girly.  I just love it!

Thank you all.  We are so so happy. XOXO

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P.S.  Thank goodness for Fashion Week and the iPad.  They have made those late night feedings much more entertaining. Love it!  Expect a Fashion Week Street Style round-up in the near future.  With my belly slowly going away I am getting so inspired by all the street style looks and SOOOOO excited to dig back into my wardrobe.  Although my boobs are giving Pamela Anderson a slow motion, “Bay Watch,” run on the beach for her money.

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