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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : February 2014

2.28.2014

10 Reasons Why Juan Pablo Is The Worst Bachelor Ever





Coat: H&M
Trousers: LOFT
Sunglasses: Anthropologie

Photos by Nathan Petty

If you are a fellow Bachelor watcher, you absolutely have to agree that Juan Pablo is the worst bachelor in its history. I didn't watch the first few seasons, so there may be worse contenders. However, for the sake of recent people to spotlight, JP is downright terrible, especially after following a class act like my boy, Sean. Here are the reasons I want to die (just like Andi does) every time I watch Juan Pablo:

1) He refers to people in the third person when talking directly to them. There's a good chance he may well turn into Jimmy from Seinfeld.

2) The used and abused line of "I dohn't want to dee-sapoint my daughter" as a lame excuse to not kiss somebody he just straight up didn't want to kiss. You weren't fooling anyone with that one, buddy.

3) I understand the whole ESL thing, but I just don't feel that JP is the brightest bulb in the box. His vocabulary consists of maybe 40 words, and I am tired of hearing how "sex-eee" everyone is.

4) Speaking of language barriers, shoving your tongue down somebody's throat is not always the answer for filling awkward silence, Jaunito Pablito. (I'm mostly directing this to you, Sharleen. No wonder you voluntarily elected to go home!)

5) Speaking of kissing and considering three-quarters of this season's airtime is filled with it, JP doesn't seem like a very good kisser, IMO. Too much weird tongue action going on, as previously mentioned.

6) This face.

7) When Juan Pablo is asked what he likes about someone, his first three responses are always something to do with physical appearance, and then maybe he will end the list with something like, "Oh, she's fun." Translation: Juan Pablo is shallow. Andi further validated these findings when she called him out this last Monday on how he never asked what her religious, political, and philosophical views were. This could also be attributed to reason #3 listed above.

8) Juan Pablo is king of all womanizers, possibly even trumping the likes of Casanova, Lothario and Rico Suave. Perhaps it would be more suiting if we refer to him as Don Juan Pablo from here on out. He knows all the tricks in the book. All those tears he sheds? Ultimate womanizing powers of manipulation, right there. The man has it down to a science. There is even a special Spanish word to describe all of his skirt-chasing antics: machismo.

9) I genuinely believe the only reason he agreed to be The Bachelor was to stroke his ego, make money, and gain publicity for his consulting business (kind of how Jef Holm went on solely to promote his trendy water company, because I still maintain he likes boys). As if Don Juan Pablo needs help "finding love." Ha! Dude's a hot, ex-pro soccer player! Preeeettty sure he has no issues nailing down dates with supermodels.

10) He likes Nikki, and Nikki sucks. I'm putting all my chips in that he picks her, even though I think Clare's calculating ways are more up his alley.

Disclaimer: The Bachelor for me is like watching a train wreck; no matter how horrifying it becomes, I just can't look away. This list may seem like I hate Don Juan Pablo, but I don't hate him. I just find his behavior repulsive. But who am I kidding? The whole concept of this show is revolting when you cut down to the bones of it. This article pinpoints all my angsty, feminist feelings perfectly.

So, what say you? Is Don Juan Pablo the worst, or is he the worst?

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2.26.2014

Around The House










1. My blue-eyed boy.
2. Favorite candle.
3. Pompoms and Polaroids.
4. French finger foods cookbook that I desperately need to experiment with, and the wise words of Julia Child ... "People who love to eat are always the best people."
5. One of the few plants I've managed to keep alive. His name is Spike.
6. Evidence of my glass bottle and jar hoarding problem.
7. Trucks and trains everywhere!
8. One more of this little panther that never stops smiling.
9. An excellent quote from Yours, Mine and Ours that stands as a fantastic reminder that homes should be a little messy and uniquely you.


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2.25.2014

A Random Thing Or Two-sday





Jacket: similar
Shirt: similar
Pants: H&M
Booties: Target (on clearance!)
Bracelets: similar
Handbag: c/o Hearts
Sunglasses: similar

Photography by Nathan Petty

1) I had the wonderful privilege of doing a shoot a few weeks back with our friend, Nathan. It was my first time taking photos for this blog with a bonafide professional. I was so nervous — funny how getting in front of the camera with someone shooting other than your husband can be all nerve wracking, but it was actually a boat load of fun, and he paid attention to all the little details that husbands tend to miss! One million bonus points to you, Nathan! If you are a style or fashion blogger in the San Diego area, he is looking to collaborate and you can contact him here. And duh, if you are in need of photos for a wedding, portraits (fellow Mormons, he shot Kirby Heyborne, aka The R.M. and the dude in The Single's Ward!) or anything for that matter, Nathan is your guy. He is laid back, efficient and has been doing the whole photography gig since 1998, which makes him an especially talented uber-professional. Check out his site and work here

2) Fact: All the faces you see in your dreams are actual faces you have seen in real life (source). Basically, your brain is not inventing faces and you have seen that creepy, scary person somewhere before. Eeeeep! Or for the sake of optimism, that certain, mysterious Prince Charming does indeed exist! Yeeee!

3) These photos of figure skaters in mid-jump had me in tears from laughing so hard, and I scrolled through them at least 15 times. Good golly, I love technology's ability to capture the most ridiculous things. So long, Sochi 2014. You were quality entertainment.

4) This baby panther that was rescued down in Florida is Wesley's spirit animal. Literally. If Wes were an animal, he would be this panther! They look like each other! And it is pretty much the most darling little panther kitten I've ever seen.

5) Would you rather belly flop from a 25 foot high dive or hold your breath underwater until right before the point of passing out? 

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2.21.2014

Our Switch From No Co-sleeping To Pro Co-Sleeping



I have some super exciting news! The fabulous parenting website, What To Expect, asked me to write a blog article for them, and I will admit, I had to peel my jaw up from the floor when they reached out. I know I don't write my brains out on here like I could (or perhaps should?), but writing is such a freeing outlet for me and it's my pipe dream (that I hope to turn into a realistic one) to be a legit writer. Obviously, this was is huge to me.

So, what did I write about? Well, when Wes was born we made the change to becoming a co-sleeping family. There's a whole bunch of sentiment and emotions and repressed feelings mixed up in there, and you can read all about it and why we decided to make the switch here.

What are your thoughts on co-sleeping? I know it is a controversial topic in the world of parenting, so I would truly, honestly love for you to share it and leave your feedback!

Also, I just want to give you a big, warm cyber hug for coming back every day to read my blog and build a friendship with me. You hooligans are such a wonderful source of inspiration, and even if I don't get the chance to respond to every comment, please know I appreciate all of your words and I love you!

Have a marvelous weekend, friends!

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2.20.2014

An Arizona Weekend





Last weekend we took a quick weekend road trip for my niece's baptism. I cannot believe Camri is already 8! My sister and her saintly husband were kind enough to let me live with them for a year in Arizona when the Coco Bean was just a wee little babe, and now I have a baby (by the way, doesn't Wes practically look like a teenager in that picture above? sniffle, sniffle) that is the same age Camri was when I lived with them! Craziness, I tell you. Needless to say, that gal holds a dear spot in my heart. It was truly a treat to play the photographer and capture her special day with my family.

We are so proud of you, little lady, and love you so much!

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2.19.2014

Subtle Cat Eye Makeup


images found here.

I tend to keep it simple when it comes to makeup, and mainly stick to the basics of moisturizer, spot concealer, light powder, mascara, liner, and lip balm. One of my favorite ways to turn up the glam when maintaining such a minimal beauty routine is the cat eye. 

Above I've listed my favorite cat eye looks, which include different variations for all occasions. When in doubt, go with a subtle cat eye and a nude lip. It is a timeless and chic look, especially for mamas on the go.

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2.18.2014

Edible Play Dough For Toddlers




Last week Luke and I whipped up a batch of delicious edible play dough. I loved watching Luke's eyes light up as he poured the ingredients into the mixing bowl and stirred them together. He is such a helpful little fellow, and insists on taking chores upon himself, right by my side. Now if I can only instill this love of chores for the next 18 years, then I will have it made!

This is the best sensory tot school activity we've done so far. We rolled out and cut up different shapes and creatures, and dyed our hands a lovely mix of marbled colors as we made a rainbow of hues to pick from. And since Luke is still just a little guy, it was imperative that the play dough be edible. We have the real stuff, but I've been hesitant to pull it out for fear he will eat it and get terribly sick. This solves that problem! As I suspected, he snuck more into his mouth than he left over by the end of our playing session, but I didn't have to worry, especially since the ingredients are healthy and simple.

Now, here are the no-cook, easy-peasy steps to your edible play dough!

Edible Play Dough for Toddlers

1 cup oatmeal baby cereal (or rice cereal for a gluten-free option)
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup apple sauce (one packet of the squeezable kind)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Food coloring of choice

Mix the baby cereal and cornstarch together well. Add in the apple sauce, vegetable oil, and food coloring and knead with hands until the dough is a thick, moldable consistency resembling play dough. Repeat for additional colors. Dough can be refrigerated when not being used for up to 4 days. Simply microwave it for approximately 15 seconds or however long to warm it up to where it is moldable. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here.

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2.13.2014

The Post-Baby Body Complex




When I look in the mirror in my most raw and vulnerable state, staring back at me is a body covered in scars, marks, and fleshy skin. My stomach is not flat and tight, but rather readjusting from stretching itself to take on a different kind of beauty that comes with carrying life. The backs of my thighs are riddled with grooves and dimples, previously preparing a way for my baby to enter the world. My waist continues to hold on to those extra inches, which sustained my body to hold the weight of a growing child in my womb, and my face is still slightly more round, all the more to smile back with to my cooing baby.

I am sick of the tiresome and grueling pressure I feel as a woman to achieve a picturesque body, especially after having a baby. Our society inundates women with images of how we should and should not look — moms should be thin specimens of proof that having a baby doesn't ruin your body; moms should take pride in not "letting go" of themselves (I hate that saying); moms shouldn't be fat and frumpy; moms shouldn't use motherhood as an excuse to not maintain a fit and chiseled body.

I vehemently disagree with all of that nonsense with all the passion my motherly and "flawed" body holds.

One of my favorite quotes is from Eat, Pray, Love, when Elizabeth Gilbert is talking about the unrealistic standards of the female body image, and her final surrender to release herself from its confines.

"Let me ask you something. In all the years that you have ... undressed in front of a gentleman, has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever walked out and left? No? It's because he doesn't care! He's in a room with a naked girl, he just won the lottery. I am so tired of saying no, waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before, counting every calorie I consumed so I know just how much self loathing to take into the shower. I'm going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I'm just through with the guilt. So this is what I'm going to do, I'm going to finish this pizza, and then we are going to go watch the soccer game, and tomorrow we are going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans."

Clap, clap, clap! Bravo, Elizabeth Gilbert! Thank you for putting what we women feel into such delightful and relatable words. Isn't it the truth, though? I have absolutely no interest in being obese, and I certainly have no interest in measuring up, or rather down, to the inches and pounds of models and celebrities tormented with eating disorders. I'm tired of everyone treating sugar likes it's anthrax. I wholeheartedly believe in putting healthy, clean foods in my body, coupled with exercising, but I wholeheartedly believe in balance and enjoying life, too. And in my case, that comes in the form of a double layered chocolate cake.

Like Elizabeth, I am done sabotaging my self-confidence with a deluded sense of self-image. I can confidently say I am at a point in my life where I am beginning to truly love myself, imperfections and foibles included. I love my scars and soft, flimsy midsection. You know, I'm even beginning to love my cellulite if you can believe it. And it's because I am a woman. My body was made to be curvy and stretched and marked in order to give life. And I wear those womanly, motherhood badges proudly.

Be on your hungry way, Post-Baby Body Complex. I don't want you, and I definitely don't need you.

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2.12.2014

Valentine's Day Treats



1. Mini Red Velvet Milkshakes
2. Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treats
3. Chocolate Raspberry Trifle
4. Heart Sandwich Cookies
5. Pink Pancakes With Strawberry Oreos
6. Color Dipped Marshmallows

I've said it once, and I'll say it again — Valentine's Day is the best holiday for making pretty things, and that includes food so darling you almost dare not eat it. But you do, because, hello! Valentine's Day is also the one holiday that heavily celebrates all things chocolate and sugar (yet another reason I love it so!).

Above are some of my favorite Valentine's Day treats I've rounded up via Pinterest. They are quick, easy and guaranteed to make your day extra sweet!

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2.11.2014

A Random Thing Or Two-sday



Coat: similar
Sweater: LOFT
Pants: similar
Shoes: similar

1) These hairs got a nice whackin' put to them and I looooove the freedom and simplicity. My first thoughts about this cut were "I feel so French!" and "Kelly Ripa!" These thoughts were further validated when I saw the the gal from France's figure skating pairs team sporting the same do. Also, Taylor Swift's haircut now matches mine, and you can never go wrong being hair twinsies with ole' Tay Tay. This haircut of mine is old news if you follow me on Instagram, but it wouldn't be right if I didn't give it an official nod on the blog. So there you have it. I highly recommend cutting your hair if you've been considering it, and this post is an excellent source of inspiration, if I do say so myself. On an unrelated note, it was blazingly bright outside when we took these photos, and I always feel like grinning Sailor Moon when I am trying to smile but have to squint.

2) Fact: Norway has won one Winter Olympics medal per every 16,556 residents (source). That's a combined total of 303 medals won (107 of those being golds), and a fun way of reminding us that Norway slaughters everyone during the Winter Olympics. That being said, go USA! ;)

3) If I don't use exclamation points to end at least half of my sentences in emails, I somehow feel like I am coming across as stern and grouchy. I really am an abuser of exclamation point usage ... !

4) I just came across this giveaway for a free lifestyle photo session of your little ones, and thought I'd share the love, because hey, who doesn't love a free photography session from someone who legitimately takes beautiful photos?

5) Would you rather be able to eat only See's chocolates or your favorite Valentine's sugar cookies for the duration of a month? I know, it's a tough one.

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2.07.2014

Scooterin'







We made good use of our church parking lot last week and took Luke on a proper scootering adventure. There was just the right amount of incline for him to get some serious speed for a 2-year-old. There were also a couple of tumbles — he would fall lightly on his bum, and then upon realizing it wasn't nearly dramatic enough, he'd sprawl his body on the concrete and yell like he was gravely wounded (as the above picture illustrates). Maybe acting classes are next on the list?

P.S. There are only a few more days left to enter the $75 BRIKA gift card giveaway, so make sure you pop over here and enter! Also, if you already entered but didn't complete the entry to join their community email list, be sure to do that, because I forgot to mention you get 15% off your first order when you sign up, which will come in mighty handy should you be the lucky one to win the gift card :)

Have a spectacular weekend, my friends!

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2.05.2014

"Will You Be My Valentime?" Printable Watches


For a brief stint in my elementary school years, I picked up the habit of calling a valentine a "valentime." It's not surprising, considering that in my toddler years I called a butterfly a "flutterby" (which actually makes a heck of a lot more sense when you sit down and think about it) and ordered "cheeseboogers" when making my Happy Meal requests. It just all worked itself out in my wee Abbey brain.

To keep up with the tradition, I made a silly little Valentine's Day printable to make with your little ones. These "Valentime" watches can be painted, colored, glittered, bedazzled ... you name it!


We colored ours and added some washi tape to the wrist bands to give it a little color, but I think gluing on some pom poms and heart candies would make for some nice watch bling. Once you are done coloring, just cut out the shapes and glue or tape the bands to the circle and fasten around your Valentime's wrist ;)


Don't I have the most handsome Valentine's in all the land? I'm a pretty lucky mama!




I love that this doubles as a darling prop watch that teaches numbers and assists in learning to read a clock. It was our Tot School activity for the day, even! To access the printable to make your own, simply click here and then print!

Happy "Valentime" making!

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2.04.2014

A Random Thing Or Two-sday





Blazer: c/o Le Tote.
Top: c/o Le Tote.
Pants: similar.
Shoes: similar.
Bracelet: c/o Le Tote
Handbag: c/o Hearts.
Sunglasses: similar.

1) Who else watches The Bachelor? Two things ... A) I think Clare is an incredibly manipulative little stink. She's the type of girl mothers warn their boys about (take notes, Luke and Wes!). You may or may not agree with me, however all I have to say is, run for the hills, Juanito!  B) Juan Pablo's accent and strange "I dunno" frowny lip face are starting to get on my nerves juuust a little bit, buuut then I see he takes his shirt off and I could care less.

2) Fact: When two people in love stare into each others' eyes, their heart rates sync up (source). Awww, that gives me the warm fuzzies!

3) Please show by a raise of hands if you love Netflix. Good, me too! There is now a Netflix for clothes and it is called Le Tote. Basically it is an affordable rental closet, and you get clothes and accessories sent to you every month. Isn't that genius? I was talking about it with my girlfriend and she thought the idea was amazing, too, because sometimes it is just nice to have someone pick things out for you and have items on rotation since things in your own closet can get boring real quick. As for the process, it is simple. You go sign up for which box option you would like and "heart" the items you like. Based on those items that appeal to your taste, Le Tote will select the items for you. The best thing is that you can send things back as often as you would like as long as you pay for the membership, so essentially you could be receiving up to 5 items every single week. For $49 a month, you are getting 20 new pieces of clothing and jewelry in that time span. Do the math. If you are a shopper, you are easily spending that much per month anyway, and chances are it just ends up in a donation bin within in a year. I have been testing it out, and I can say from personal experience it is a really fun concept and I love it.

4) What's the deal with Justin Bieber (said in a Jerry Seinfeld voice)? To deport, or not deport?

5) Would you rather have a lifetime supply of back massages or a guaranteed 2-hour nap everyday for the rest of your life?

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