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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : April 2013

4.29.2013

Encinitas Street Faire

 (My outfit details) Jacket: H&M. Shirt: LOFT (similar). Pants: Kohl's (similar). Shoes: Converse.

That's right. We go to fairs with an 'e' on the end. We, or I suppose I should say I, like to act crazy and embarrass my family at such public events. We like to eat kettle corn, chocolate covered strawberries, and anything else that clogs the ole' arteries. Dead bats are contemplated as a purchase, because who doesn't need a dried up bat for good luck? Luke likes to pose like a model at any given chance, and then show his dad a thing or two about said modeling. Then traffic laws are attempted to be violated, fits are thrown, and nap time ensues.

And that's the way the Rodriguez family does the Encinitas Street Faire! Ta-da!

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4.25.2013

Safari Park

(What I'm wearing) Shirt: LOFT. Denim: LOFT. Hat: Boutique (similar). Lipstick: NYX Pure Red.

One of the perks of living in the San Diego area is all of the parks, including the famous zoo and safari park! Our friends, Sean and Caroline, treated us to a day with their free guest tickets so our boys could play together and explore all the creatures that this splendorous earth has to offer.

I am fairly certain the petting zoo goats were the biggest hit. And are goats always that fat? These guys were monsters. And so tame. For something with horns that could ram you at any moment's notice, they were quite docile and up for all the ear pulling. There was hugging too, of course. Luke spent most of his time tugging then hugging, tugging then hugging.

And there were elephants! Oh, how I love elephants. They are simply the most adorable animals. I wish I could have a pet elephant. I would paint it like they do in India and ride it everywhere. Also, meerkats. They aren't pictured, but they are like the kittens of the safari. They are just so yittle and cuddly looking! Too bad they bite and would probably make a not so great pet.

If you are down this way, make sure you take a trip to the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park. Especially if you have kiddos! You can never go wrong with animals.

That all being said, hooray for animals, toddlers, and great friends!

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4.24.2013

Just Keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming


Can you guess what's on my brain? Swimming! Beach! Anything wet that involves sunshine! Get in my life, ya hear? Just when we are all geared up and amped to hit the beach all day, eeryday, it decides to go all cloudy and poopy on us. 

So what do I do in the meantime? Search for that perfect retro bikini swimsuit. Which, can we talk about how hard it is to find these in actual stores? Let me know if you've had such luck, because I cannot for the life of me find a single one. 

Let's get to discussing each and every one, because it's only the appropriate thing to do for such an important decision. I've searched long and hard, and I do believe I've found my top picks around the webz. 

Up to bat first (starting from the top left)...

1) The striped retro bikini (top and bottom). Stripes: check. Bows: check. Retro: check. I mean, what else could a girl ask for? This one is a major contender for me.

2) Next we have the adorable retro one-piece. IT HAS BIKES ON IT. Need I say more?

3) She wore an itsy-bitsy, teeny weeny, pink and red polka dot bikini! Seriously, I kind of let out a squeal when I found this one (top and bottom). I'm a sucker for red and pink and I think it would be the sweetest thing for our days at the beach this summer. It reminds me of cotton candy, so that's kind of a win-win in my book already.

4) This little retro floral number is just plain cute. Right?

5) Can I get three cheers for a chevron-printed retro bikini (I am blithely aware of the fact that I have now used the word "retro" to an excessive degree, but that's what I am going for in the swimsuit department!)? I about fell off my chair when this beauty popped up in my face via my newsfeed this morning. Seeing that this one is the lowest price of them all, I just might have to make it mine. High five to you, Kingdom & State!

So, now the trick is picking one. Or two. Maybe three if I'm good? Help me! Which one would you pick? All five of them? Alright, you talked me into it... ;)

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4.22.2013

Arizona


Luke and I ventured our way out to Arizona two weekends ago. The visit reaffirmed all the faith I hold in my heart about the power of family. Life sometimes deals you a mean funk and a lot of times it's only family who can pull you out of that stinky rut. Whether it's burning to death at coach pitch baseball games or working on a 1,000 piece puzzle with a fifth of the pieces missing, it's those seemingly insignificant moments that equate to complete happiness, knowing that you matter to these silly people.

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”  -Jane Howard

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4.19.2013

Let There Be Lace!

 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

I've been humming and hawing over the whole lace trend. Do I get a lace dress? Do I not get a lace dress? Then the sun decided to pop its glorious face out for the world to behold, and I decided a lacey get-up needs to make its way into my overly-stuffed closet.

These are a few of my favorites from around the web. What I like about lace dresses is they can be worn as a day dress with some sneakers and a hat whilst you are out and about brunching and doing all sorts of cute things, or they can be dolled up for a more formal affair with some sparkly accessories and a great pair of heels.

What do you think about lace dresses? Yay or nay?

*Post sponsored by MissesDressy (www.missesdressy.com/dresses/designers/sherri-hill)

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4.18.2013

What This Outfit Really Says


Shirt: Urban Outfitters. Pants: H&M. Shoes: Converse. Purse: Coach Factory. Hat: Boutique (similar). Sunglasses: Boutique (similar). Heart Ring: c/o Style Lately.

Because changing out of pajamas into sweatpants constitutes getting dressed, hats covering grown out roots and dirty hair is a regular these days, and sunglasses hiding the fact that I didn't bother to put on makeup -- that's what this outfit really says.

AKA I am a mom.

At least I showered today. Do I get a gold star for that?

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4.17.2013

The Perfect Wedding Gift

Cupcake Tin | Paper Liners | Cupcake Mix | Spatula | Dish Towel | Oven Mitt

Tis' the season to go to weddings. Last week Joelle, Lauren, Elisabeth and I came together to bring you ideas for the perfect attire for a spring wedding. Today we have the perfect wedding gift!

When Matt and I tied the knot, my favorite gifts were the ones that came in a sweet package of something I could actually put together, hence the ultimate cupcake gift package. The towel, mitt, and spatula would obviously come in handy for many other uses with newly acquired kitchen gear, and I am pretty positive the Barefoot Contessa mixes are the yummiest, most scrumptious baking mixes known to man. Also, I swear by these paper cupcake cups. I used the yellow ones at Luke's first birthday party, and they are sweet on the eyes as well as the taste buds. 

Be sure to check out the gifts Joelle, Lauren, and Elisabeth put together for more inspiration on the ultimate wedding gift!

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4.16.2013

Goodness Begins With Me


This past weekend I attended the funeral for my sister-in-law's father. The evening of the funeral, our family solemnly received the news that a family friend had also been taken from this world. Then not 72 hours later, tragedy struck in Boston. To say my heart is heavy is a bit of an understatement. From my corner of life, the world is a sad, sad place right now.

But then I got to thinking. 

The funeral was a celebration of an exemplary man's short, but beautiful and wonderfully cherished life. I left it wanting to be a beacon of gladness and joy in this mad, crazy planet like he did. He stared adversity in the face and made the most of every situation, even when it literally could not get any worse.

Instead of being overcome with darkness, I know all of the people that have passed on would want everyone to search for the good in the world, and spread it once it has been found.

If I can't grasp an understanding of why people are taken from this earth, and why people destroy the sanctity of human life, what I can do is love more fully, more deeply, and be a better friend to kin and strangers alike. We are all in this together. From the stranger next to us in line in the grocery store, to your very best friend. That random individual walking past looking solemn and somber is the child, sibling, spouse, and friend to someone who deeply cares for their perils and struggles in life, so why can't I? Even if it is just a meek, but warm smile that says, "I care about you, I love you and I want you to find happiness."

Goodness begins with me. If I want to help the world engulf hatred with love and swallow up chaos with peace, I will slowly be the change, one small smile at a time.

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4.11.2013

Yours, Mine And Ours


1. What we are currently stuffing our noses into for split seconds at the beach or late at night when the world's dozed off.
2. We like our caps around here, especially since it means taking the easy way out and not doing our hair for the day! High five to bed head!
3. Our lifelines. Let it be known that this monstrosity of an Otter Box has saved my phone from its death probably 126 times. My clumsy hands mixed with Luke's throwing baby angst spells for disaster. Isn't Luke's little phone cute (remember the days of snake?!)?

What do the little details look like in your life?

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4.10.2013

A Guide To The Perfect Spring Wedding Guest Attire

From left to right: Joelle of A Charming Occasion | Elisabeth of Bella | me | Lauren of Style Elixer

It's April. Guess what that means? It's wedding season! Let the peony bouquets and mason jar decorations pop up all over the map! Seriously though, I wish I could get married again. It's just a entirely different experience now that Pinterest exists. There is no excuse not to have a wedding worthy of an editorial feature!

Even though I won't be planning more weddings, I will be going to a few this year, and I always find myself standing in front of my closet, scratching my head, and thinking, "What in the Hades do I wear?"

That's where we step in! These lovely ladies above and I have joined forces to bring you our Spring Wedding collaboration! First up: wedding attire!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tZYLvT6EKcU/URrQKvj5UPI/AAAAAAAAH5U/Hmxm2cW3hrw/s1600/artot2.jpg

So I know you've seen this dress before, but I actually think it is the perfect dress for a day wedding. Adding a sassy print to a dress with some color is always a good bet for a wedding because it clearly separates you from any mishaps in being mistaken as a part of the bridal party (my biggest fear when going to a wedding... really, though. I try to find out their colors and everything so I am sure not to clash with their theme). I always try to stay away from white or anything too "bridal." Don't steal that bride's thunder! 

Go check out what Joelle, Elisabeth, and Lauren are wearing to their weddings this season!

And now that your brain is spinning with ideas to wear to all your weddings coming up this season, we have a shnazzy giveaway from Shabby Apple for you! Shabby Apple is an adorable women's vintage-inspired clothing store and they have the perfect dresses and skirts for this wedding season. Enter below to win $100 to their store, which will allow you to pick up one or two of your favorite pieces (I personally love this and this). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4.06.2013

7 Things I've Learned Having A Kid


There is great debate in the world as to whether having children is the right choice for everyone. I get that, I respect that, but kiddos are insanely awesome. It's the type of craziness and happiness bundled into a chubby, pink, tiny human that cannot be explained until you actually have the kid. Kind of a frightening thought, the whole "you break it, you bought it" mentality, although to put it more accurately it would be a "you conceived it, your stuck with it" situation.

So, with my biased views thrown out there, here are 7 highly valuable things I have learned from having a bambino, which translates into 7 reason why I think people should have kids:

1) Love. Like I said, that love is like no other. It's as if your heart jumps out of your body and engulfs itself in this little person, and then multiplies till you think it will burst.

2) Being a parent practically forces you into some sort of organization and cleanliness. Let it be known that a trail of messiness followed my path everywhere I walked before Luke entered the picture. Clutter and all that junk hardly bothered me, and piling things in a closet out of sight felt clean enough. Babies, however, are an entirely different story. They are so sticky and covered with poo and all kinds of weird crap you didn't think could humanly be possible to excrete. Alas, regular cleaning is essential to maintain sanity and you should see my floors these days! Sparkling (almost)!

3) Patience is not a virtue I innately possess, but it is slowly edging its way into my character. Rushing frantically and feeling pressed for time has ceased and I am more gracious in allowing things to happen as they will. 

4) Sometimes I like to have pity parties and feel sorry that my world no longer revolves around me, but then Luke will reach out for comfort and protection and place his darling, fluffy-haired head on my shoulder. Knowing that someone needs you and depends upon you is the grandest, fulfilling emotion. Is it daunting and frustrating some days? Abso-freaking-lutely. But, I am a firm believer that the new-found adapted selflessness of caring for children transcends over into the way you treat and care for others. It's bonkers, and I love it.

5) Babies and kids are funny. That first time they play games with you, laugh with you and do hilarious things makes all the screaming, throwing food, whining, and fake tears seem piddly. 

6) Now, I haven't experienced this next one, but I am banking on it to be one of my all-time, heart-melting-into-a-puddle-of-love, favorite moments in my entire existence... the first time your babe utters those life-altering words, "I love you." Gahhhh. The stuff dreams are truly made of.

7) Figuring out this whole parenting thing with Matt has enhanced our love, appreciation and overall marriage. We've combined forces and we are a team, tighter than ever. For the most-part, we agree on how we parent which I believe is vital. Unmatched parenting styles could spell out disaster, but everyone is different. It's also pretty incredible to see a small version of the man you adore running around. We are more complete, things make more sense, and watching your burning hunk of love take care of your baby is sexy. I mean really, what is more attractive than a dad bonding and playing with their child? That's why people keep having babies. It's a powerful aphrodisiac, I tell you!

What are your thoughts on having kids? Is it for you, for everyone? Why? Why not? Seriously, I want to know!

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4.04.2013

Dare I DIY?: All-Natural Scrub Exfoliant


In an ongoing effort to figure out this whole gluten-free lifestyle, I've learned that it is just as important to be aware of the products that go on your body and not just what is put in. I also am starting to make the shift of using all-natural products, specifically ones that go on my face. There is just this awful mental image in my brain of my face falling off with leprosy in my old age because I was ignorantly lathering my face with radioactive toxins as a young woman, unbeknownst to the FDA. Sounds like the story lines of a comic book series or something silly like that, but needless to say I always feel much better using that natural goodness. I suppose a good rule of thumb to go by is if you can eat it, you can put it on your face... right? Right. And what better place to start than with making your very own, organic scrub exfoliant? 

Unfortunately, adult acne is real and I have it. My skin was virtually pimple-free as a teenager and then I hit 21 and all the acne I missed out on in pubescent years found its way to my face. Lovely.

Enter this exfoliant!


Materials:

1 oz fine pink Himalayan sea salt
1/4 c gluten-free oat bran
1/4 c organic almonds
Food processor
Bowl
Spoon
Small glass jars

Instructions:

Measure out needed amounts of salt, bran and almonds. Chop and grind almonds in food processor until finely ground. Combine all three ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Distribute into glass jars for storage. 

Isn't that the easiest all-natural scrub in the world? The good thing about this one is that pink Himalayan sea salt is a super mineral that cleanses and rejuvenates your face. Almonds are great for nourishing skin, as they are packed with antioxidants and the bran is awesome at sluffing off that dead skin. I prefer to use this scrub on my face and arms about 2 times a week in the shower. Just wet desired area, apply a small handful and rub it liberally all over that gorgeous face and body of yours! You will be softer and all the more glowier for it.

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