Piperlime Sale

Piperlime is having a 20% off sale ending today using code TREAT, and to sweeten the deal they’re offering free shipping and a 60 day money back guarantee.

Anytime I check out Piperlime, my first stop is “Olivia Palermos Picks”. I absolutely love her style, and she always looks so put together and flawless. Here are a few of her favorites that I’m crushing on:

Mid Rise jeans are very trendy for Spring and Summer, and these distressed Free People pair are perfect for wearing with sandals or heels.

Sam Edelman’s Brina flats in nude will pair well with anything.

DV by Dolce Vita – Starlynn.

I would pair this faux leather skirt with this shirt and heels. Grab an oversized clutch and you’re ready for date night.

Add some spring color to your look with the Ray-Ban Wayfarer glasses.

I’m loving the casual, and comfortable, look of this Vince Pintuck Front Tee. This shirt would also look great tucked into the faux leather skirt, and paired with strappy sandals.My favorite item, these slouchy silk pants by Haute Hippie. These look oh-so-comfortable, and could be easily dressed up or down.

And no look is complete without some jewelry and a gorgeous bag…am I right?!

Add a pop of cobalt this season with this Clare Vivier shoulder bag.

Or stack this turquoise Sam Edelman Chain ID bracelet with your favorite gold watch and bangles.

Happy shopping! XO – Samantha

Rodan + Fields Review

RodanFieldsLogo A few months ago, I was sent free samples of the Rodan + Fields product lines to play with, and I wanted to review the 4 regimens with all of you.

Rodan + Fields was created by the Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, the dermatologists who created Proactiv. Their approach to skincare is basic; “The right ingredient, the right formulations, and used in the right order.”   I tested four regimens, with a one week break between each.

My skin is combination, but tends to lean more towards dry. I get occasional hormonal breakouts, and suffer from dark pigmentation from the sun and natural freckling. My biggest concerns with my skin are aging, dryness (dry patches that are visible after applying makeup), and dark spots. I try to wash my face twice daily, and exfoliate twice a week. I also enjoy using face masks at least once a week, typically for exfoliation and brightening dull skin, or for acne concerns. I am a firm believer in investing in quality skincare, because it’s the only face you’re ever getting.

I will review each regimen individually. As always, my opinions are my own.

“The biggest culprit in aging skin is sun exposure, and your drinking, smoking, stress and sleep habits play a role, too. Skipping sunscreen, imbibing too often, coping ineffectively with stress and sleeping on your side or stomach can all exacerbate and create wrinkled, adult acne and texture changes.Dr. Kathy Field, Ladies’ Home Journal

RedefineRegimen #1: REDEFINE (Anti-Age)

Claims: REDEFINE claims to smooth, visibly firm, minimize, and defend your skin from harmful rays.

I wanted to start with this regimen because it was by far my favorite. The facial cleanser is unique, and is applied like a cream cleanser but left for approximately 2 minutes (or until dry) and then rinsed. It feels similar to a clay mask, and left my skin feeling clean and tightened. I followed the cleansing mask with the pore minimizing toner, and then the day or night creams. I really appreciated the SPF 30 in the daily moisturizer, which prevents any of my dark spots from becoming darker from sun exposure.

It typically takes weeks (sometimes months) before you will see significant changes in your skin when using a new product, and as my samples only lasted 2 weeks, I hadn’t had high hopes of seeing anything major. To my surprise,  I noticed my skin felt plumper, and less dull in appearance. I hadn’t realized how dehydrated my skin had been, and was really amazed at the dewy, radiant complexion that I had after just 2 weeks. I did not see any difference in fine lines, but I did feel as though my makeup was applying more evenly and wasn’t settling into any of the lines around my eyes or looking patchy or dry. I was genuinely sad when I ran out of this sample.

This is a skincare line that I will absolutely recommend to friends and family. I love that Rodan + Fields offers a 60 day money back guarantee, and has reps all over the country who can help you discover the products that will work best for your skin type and needs.

I just want to reiterate that I am NOT being compensated for this review and I am NOT a Rodan + Fields sales rep. I really just loved the REDEFINE regimen, and wanted to share my thoughts on this product.

Paula Bronleewe is my Rodan + Fields representative, and will gladly answer any questions you may have, and guide you in determining which regimen is best suited for you. I  linked back to all the products mentioned in this review if you are interested in reading about the ingredients, pricing, or additional products (masks, macro exfoliator, etc). I’ll be reviewing the other 3 regimens, SOOTHE, REVERSE, and UNBLEMISH, over the next few weeks.

You can email Paula at prbronleewe@gmail.com.

XO – Samantha

Your Beauty Questions Answered

SKINCARE
-How many times do you wash your face daily?

I try to wash twice a day, but if I’m being lazy I’ll at least wash once. (I double cleanse when washing my face. Once to remove makeup and dirt, a second time to remove anything left on my skin.)

-What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo)

Combo. Oily around my eyelids, and nose, but dry everywhere else. When I’m pregnant I turn into a crazy oil slick.

-What is your current facial wash?

Clinique “Take the day off” to remove makeup, and Cosmedix Purity Cleanse.

-Do you exfoliate?

Yes. My sister recently bought me the Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion paste and it’s amazing! I also use the Ren Glycol Lactic mask. My next mask purchase will be the Rodan + Fields microdermabrasion paste. I tried a sample and seriously fell in love with it.

-What moisturizer do you use?

I try to use a combination of products, especially moisturizers. I’m currently rotating Cosmedix Hydrate Plus, Embryolisse (I could not live without this moisturizer), and Josie Maran Argon Oil at night. I also use Cosmedix Rescue when my skin is dehydrated and needs an overnight overhaul, and it’s like a big drink of water for my face.

Do you use eye creams? / What eye creams do you use?

I have really dark, and already wrinkled skin under my eyes, so eye creams are a MUST. I use Opti Crystal at night, and although it’s quite the investment, it lasts a really long time. You literally need less than a pea sized amount; you need a pin-prick amount under each eye. Here’s a little more on the product: “With liquid crystals to replenish damaged, thinning skin around the eyes and growth factors and alpha lipoic acid to dramatically diminish the appearance of eye lines and wrinkles, Opti Crystal (formerly Eye Believe) is the ultimate tool in anti-aging eye care. A chirally correct blend of protective, corrective and cell-stimulating ingredients, this powerful eye serum actively revitalizes delicate skin for a radiant, younger-looking finish.”

I also use Origins GinZing during the day to hydrate and brighten my under eyes. It has a peachy color which helps conceal blueish circles, and makes you look more rested.

-Do you have freckles?

Yes. My entire face is becoming a freckle. :-(

-Do you or did you have acne prone skin?

I get the occasional hormonal breakout, but my skin rarely gets congested unless I’ve been lazy about exfoliating. When I was a teen and into my early twenties I would get breakouts.

-Did you ever have to use Proactiv?

Yes. I thought the product was amazing at clearing breakouts when I was in my early twenties, but it’s too drying for my skin now.

MAKE-UP
-What foundation do you use?

I use a few different foundations depending on what I’m doing that day, or how fair or dark my skin is. My favorites include: MUFE HD foundation (cult classic, and for good reason), Geurlain Lingerie de Peau foundation (a new favorite), Dr. Jart BB Cream, and Revlon Colorstay whipped.

-How about concealer?

I use the Bobbi Brown Color Corrector under my eyes, and layer the Loreal Magic Lumi over it. For blemishes on the rest of my face I prefer the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.

-Do you know your undertone color?

Yes, I am neutral – warm. You can check your undertone by looking at the veins on your wrist. If they’re blue you have a cool undertone, green veins mean you’re a warm/yellow undertone, and both means you’re neutral.

-What brand of mascara do you use?

I always use “The Falsies” mascara in waterproof formula, and then layer another mascara over the top. I’ve been loving Chanel’s Le Volume mascara which gives false lash looks.

-Sephora or MAC?

Sephora.

-What makeup tools do you use in make up application?

Brushes mostly, and my fingers.

-Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?

Not usually, but if I’m going out at night wearing a lot of eye makeup I will.

-For the face?

Rarely.

-What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)?

Naked 1 Palette. Naked Lunch by Mac. Stilla Kitten.

-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?

Liquid.

-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?

Never. Mascara wand on the other hand…

-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?

Messy.

-Do you use mineral makeup?

Bare Minerals when my face isn’t overly dehydrated. It tends to dry my skin out, so I prefer dewy looking foundations.

-What is your favorite lipstick?

Rimmel’s Airy Fairy - Your lips but better.

-How about lipgloss?

Chanel’s Glossimers

-What is your favorite blush to use?

Chanel Rose Initial

-Do you like drugstore makeup?

Yes. Rimmel is my favorite drugstore brand.

-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?

Not usually, no. Trying to create a cat winged liner, yes.

-Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?

Mostly Neutral. I prefer makeup that enhances your features.

-If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item,what would you use?

Concealer.

-Do you ever leave home without makeup?

Umm yes, I’m a mom.

-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?

Umm, no.

-What is your favorite makeup line?

I’m loving Geurlain recently, and I always love Chanel. Nars has been a longtime love, as has Rimmel.

Phew! That was a lot of questions! I hope I answered some of the big questions that you guys have had lately. Please leave questions below and I’ll answer them all in a future post.

XO – Samantha

Valentines Gift Guide

With Valentines Day right around the corner, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite gifts for the special people in your life. Don’t procrastinate and be a last minute shopper, because we know what a gift from Walgreens looks like. Be thoughtful. Cook him dinner, and romance him over a bottle of wine. Take her out on the town and surprise her with a special gift. Watch House of Cards, and pretend February 14th isn’t a holiday…oh wait, that’s just me and my husband. ;-)

However you celebrate, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1.|| A lighthearted card for your boyfriend/girlfriend. Mulberry Press Co. has great options, and made this custom card – Trust me, you want to press this link...the following card will make you giggle.

2.|| You can buy her jewelry without breaking the bank. Try this C. Wonder kiss bracelet for $38 This makes a great gift for your sister, or BFF too.

3.|| Men don’t buy cologne so that they smell good, they buy it so YOU think they smell good. Pick him out a cologne that you love the smell of. My favorite is Gucci Guilty.

4.|| The perfect V-Day phone case.

5.|| Macarons originated in France…and so did love, so clearly these are a must.

6.|| Lego heart box. Let your kids build it, and then store their valentines candy inside it.

7.|| The Lovers Dictionary for the reader in your life.

jo_L07P_130x1808.|| Jo Malone fragrances are among my favorites, and his products are absolute luxury. Skip the flowers and buy your lover something from his collection; this Rose Bath Oil smells amazing, and it will last longer than real roses too. ;-)

9.|| A couples massage is never a bad idea, even if it’s not Valentines. My favorite local spa is milk + honey, and they’re offering amazing Valentines packages that include services like massage, facials, manicures, pedicures, and more.

10.|| Make a book of memories using images straight from Instagram. Artifact Uprising has books specifically for IG photos, and I know from experience that the quality is great, and one of their books will make your special someone very happy!

XO – Samantha

Current Loves

I missed Friday’s Lust List to bring you guys my daughters “lemonade stand DIY”, so I wanted to roundup a few of the things I’m loving for you guys today.

1.|| This beautiful gallery wall.

2.|| 8 decor ideas that you should be stealing from Instagram

3.|| The sweetest and easiest DIY baby mobile.

4.|| I love this pillow, this pillow, and this pillow (which is HUGE in real life).

5.|| I’m looking for something similar to this artwork for Camryn’s playroom.

6.|| I want everything from this shop.

7.|| I bought Camryn this shirt, and I can’t wait to see her in it. It cracks me up.

8.|| Freshly Picked is having a big sale today, and clearing out their current moccs to make room for their Spring/Summer inventory. Go grab some, they’re only $45. I’ve got my eyes on the Cobalt ones, and I’m really wanting to grab the Cherry pair (not on sale).

day34Last but not least, this sweet face. This whole “Camryn Daily Project” is no joke y’all. I never realized how hard it would be to take a good daily photo of this girl. She’s getting fast, which makes picture taking nearly impossible! She was a good helper today and cleaned through toys with me, and organized, so she earned this big Valentines cookie (not all of it) as a treat. She wore her ballerina outfit all day, and twirled and twirled on her sugar high for hours.

XO – Samantha

Playroom Organization

Hello Darlings, how were all of your weekends? Mine was spent helping my sister pack, making a quick trip to Ikea (so, not that quick, because it’s Ikea), and watching the Superbowl. I may or may not have gotten bored during the Superbowl and instead played on the computer. On the bright side, I finally made my blog button! Hooray! I love getting to cross things off my to-do list, it’s just so damn satisfying. Fellow bloggers, if you also have that daunting “Create A Blogger Button” task on your to-do list, I will be putting together a step by step tutorial for you ASAP. I spent a few hours compiling all the information needed to create a button, and the steps that I took to create my own, and will put it all into one quick post for all of you. Hopefully I can save you some time and hair pulling. Hallelujah! For any of you that aren’t bloggers, and are wondering what I’m talking about, a blog button is just an image that links back to your blog and allows other bloggers to support you and introduce their readers to you (and vice-versa). Blog buttons are what introduced me to most of the blogs that I’ve been reading for years now.

In other news….

My daughter’s playroom has been overrun by toys, and is in desperate need of a facelift. It needs to be organized, and old toys that are no longer of interest to her need to be donated.

I started by dragging my husband to Ikea to buy 2 of the Expedit shelves in high gloss white.

I ordered 8 of these Rugby Striped Bins to hold small items like cars and trains, puzzles, etc.

She already owns the Ikea Lack side table in high gloss white  which is the perfect size for small art projects, coloring, playing legos, and puzzles.

Kids-Tabouret-Stacking-Chairs-Set-of-2-P14973716I ordered these Tabouret Stackable Chairs in cotton candy to go with her white table.

The large wall in her playroom has multi-colored polka dots on it, so it’s already loud and fun. All I need is a fun piece of art for above her table. I have a few ideas in mind…

I’ll share photos of the room as it becomes less “bomb-went-off” and more “bomb.com”.

XO – Samantha

DIY Lemonade Stand

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As promised, here is my DIY “Market”, which can really be a Lemonade stand, puppet theater, or anything you dream it to be. I decorated ours for Valentines, but you can change the sign or colors to your choosing.

You’ll need:

2 wooden crates – I bought mine at Michaels. Use a coupon!! I bought mine at 40% off for under $20

2 long, thin pieces of wood to hold up a sign. I used scrap wood that was in my garage, but you could use any long piece of wood or even the cardboard roll from inside wrapping paper. Get creative.

Paint (optional)

Nails & Hammer or nail/staple gun

Sew a curtain for a theater or awning, paint a lemonade sign on cardboard, use plywood to make a wooden sign, or paper for bunting.

What you’ll do:

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Spray Paint your crates in your color of choice, or leave natural. I painted mine white.DSC_0468

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I then used leftover chalkboard paint to paint stripes. I figured Camryn would enjoy being able to draw on her market, depending on what she’s selling that day of course. Every other slat, nothing fancy.

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Once your paint dries, nail or staple the boxes together. Nail your side posts on at this time as well.

DSC_0591Camryn wanted to turn our rainy-day-painting into her sign (remember when we were stuck inside for days because of the freezing weather…this was our brilliant work of art that we created during that time). Sing it was a stretched canvas, I had to cut it away from the wood frame, and then use a paper bunting to trace the shape. I cut it up, hung it from ribbon, and ta-da, custom bunting.

That’s it. SO EASY!

Camryn is still obsessed with her “market”, and I think we’ll get a ton of play out of this little DIY. I can’t wait to see her sell lemonade from it, or put on a puppet show for Daddy after I make her a curtain. The total project cost me $25 including paint. I already owned the chalkboard paint, staple gun, ribbon, our rainy day painting, and the scrap wood for the side posts.

If any of you make this, please tweet or instagram me a picture (@samanthamhawes on Twitter, and @playdatesandpearls on IG)

XO – Samantha

Around Here Lately

The freezing weather is starting to wear off, and the sun  popped it’s head out for a few hours yesterday, so Camryn and I took full advantage and wandered down to our lake. We have never made the full hike down to our dock, which is just minutes away from our house but down a steep 1 mile long hill, until yesterday. I am so glad we did, because WOW, it’s beautiful. We picked up sticks along the way and sword fought, we walked along random trails and just talked about everything we saw, and we hung our legs off the dock and watched boats buzz by. It was one of those adventures that everything went right for. No fussing, no accidents, no ouches. I think we were both in need of some outdoor, peaceful, mommy-daughter time. It was bliss.

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Seriously, she’s just such a cool kid. What a lucky Mommy I am.

fence

mommyandcammy

…and she loves her Mommy. <3
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field

peacedanceThis was her “Peace Out” dance & song. Never a dull moment with this girl.

I promise I’ll post the DIY market tomorrow, I was just having too much fun playing outside today. :-)

Details about this darling “Wild & Free” tee, and other cute kiddie fashion items can be found here.

XO – Samantha

Hibernating

The indecisive weather here in Austin has forced Camryn and I into hibernation. We’re officially doing nothing that doesn’t involve staying in our jammies all day, snuggling and watching movies, drinking hot cocoa, or playing with toys. I made a “market” which has kept us very entertained.  Her imagination runs wild these days, and it’s just so fun to watch her pretend to be a chef serving Mommy lunch, a “farmers market owner” selling me veggies, or my favorite “I’m just Camryn Reese, Mom!” I can’t wait to reuse our market as a lemonade stand this summer, or as a puppet theater when I make a curtain. Daddy’s favorite use is a kissing booth where he can buy smooches for a quarter. :-) DIY for this SUPER easy stand coming ASAP.

Day27option2Sorry for the crappy iphone quality picture, but tell me that’s not a total cutie hamming it up in her “market”! She got to taste a Crush soda, her first soda ever, which made her grin from ear to ear. I’m going to make little tags that say “I have a CRUSH on you!” to attach to the sodas and give out with our cookies on V-day.

How cute is this “Embrace Messy Hair” sweatshirt from Grey Thread! Messy hair is right.

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We also did mani’s…

Day28Rainbow nails made the freezing weather seem not so bad. Camryn always says “Paint my nails Mommy. I want green.” Always green…always. Rainbow was a nice change, but I’d paint those sweet little baby fingers any color, any day.

That’s pretty much our day in a nutshell. Like I said, we’re hibernating.

XO – Samantha

Travelling with a Toddler

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whattopackMy sweet Camryn took her first flight at age 3 months. It was on my husbands birthday, entirely unplanned, and not a trip for pleasure. My Dad died, so quickly and without any time to plan or be worried about traveling with my teeny tiny baby, we boarded a 5 hour flight and headed to Washington. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was for the first 4 1/2 hours…and then we started our descent. Her ears were clearly bothering her, and I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I should have been. I learned my lesson.

The day before her first flight. 3 months.

The flight home from Washington was a breeze, and I had prepared a bottle for the descent, which helps babies ears pop and prevents discomfort. I was lucky that she was still so young because all she really did at that age was sleep, which made flying a cake walk.

I had time to prepare for our next adventures…and boy have we been on some great trips!

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Las Vegas

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South Padre Island

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South Padre Island

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Learning to Walk in Central Park

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Auntie LOVES to put Camryn in funny places for pictures. :-)

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Cabo

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Cabo with Mom & Auntie

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Goodbye NYC

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North Carolina

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Colorado

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Napa Valley

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Sonoma

making friends

Flight Attendants are your FRIENDS!! If they want to walk your baby around to say hi to passengers, let them! :-)

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Our view on our many trips to Washington

All of these trips were when Camryn was a baby, so traveling then and traveling with her now are two very different situations. I no longer need to pack a bunch of diapers, spare clothes, diaper wipes, or bottles. I DO however need to pack snacks, toys, and her Istax 8 mini camera so she can snap pictures of everywhere we go.

Here are my tips on traveling with a baby or toddler:

1.|| Bring the right carry-on bag. This is important! Make sure the bag you’re bringing is large enough to hold all the necessities, which include a spare outfit (because babies love a good blowout in the most inconvenient of times and places), diapers, wipes, food, bottles (you can get any formula or milk through security if it’s for your baby), extra pacifiers and wipes, toys, and extra bags for trash or to hold any “blown-out” outfits….lawd knows you don’t want those loose in your bag. ;-) I used to bring a small purse inside my larger carry-on bag to keep my personal items separate from everything else. Tip: Don’t bring a carry-on that’s too large to fit under the seat in front of you, or else all your necessities will be overhead and out of reach.

2.|| Stroller. Finding the perfect stroller for traveling isn’t easy. You want something light and compact, but functional in all places (you are traveling…). We chose the Maclaren Globetrotter because it fold down quickly, weighs very little, reclines, and was budget friendly. We needed something that would collapse very fast for jumping on and off of trains in Paris, and it did the trick.

3.|| Activities. For those of you with Ipads – AMEN!! That will be your saving grace, especially for long (international) flights. Camryn will watch movies and play games for hours on her ipad! We also really enjoy sticker books, coloring, and plenty of snacks. Target usually has “Play packs” in the $1 section, and they include a coloring book, crayons, and stickers. BUY THEM!

4.|| Other essentials include:

*water (because you do not want an open cup of liquid with a baby or toddler on/next to you)

*hand sanitizer

*stain removing wipes come in handy

*socks for both Camryn and I for the plane ride

*Camryn’s blanket and/or stuffed toy of choice

*facial cleansing wipes for long flights

*wisps (tooth cleansers)

*Extra Ziplock bags for trash or dirty clothing

*Backpack leash, if you’re concerned about busy airports, or if you want to wear your kid out by running around without fear of them getting too far ahead of you. I swore I would never use one of these, but they really are great, and Camryn LOVES hers. She puts all her snacks and toys in it.

We took our first LONG (international) flight in September to France:

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Notre Dame

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Nice, FR

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Chasing birds outside the Louvre

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Monkey Leash

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Gelato Break – Paris

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Cannes, FR

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Waiting on the Metro

The most frequent question I’m asked is “What do you do about the time changes, and jetlag?”. We’ve experienced a few hours time change here and there, but our trip to France was the first time I had ever really had to deal with jetlag and a NINE HOUR difference in time. Our flight left Texas at 4pm, and arrived in Paris at 8am, so we were lucky to start our day off in the morning. We didn’t sleep very well on the plane ride over, so we decided to take a few hours to nap and recover once we arrived to our hotel. We knew that if we slept for too long, we’d be wide awake all night, so we only allowed ourselves about 3-4 hrs. We were all very tired when we finally got up, but the excitement of seeing Paris perked us up. We had an early bedtime that night, and woke the next morning feeling 100%. I packed Melatonin tablets for all of us (safe to use for short periods of time, but check with your pediatrician before giving to a baby or toddler) but never needed them.

I hope this helps any of you getting ready to travel. Please feel free to ask any questions and I will be sure to answer. Happy travels. :-)

XO – Samantha

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