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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : June 2012


Atelier, S'il Vous Plaît

1. 2. 3.

With the exception of two tees and some cut-off denim shorts, all of my clothes are packed away. I do apologize for the lack of style posts, but moving is the best excuse I can conjure. 

With packing and new digs on the brain, I've been dreaming up interior design possibilities. My wish for dark wood floors and white walls is being granted, and oh are the ideas endless. Thanks to my Pinterest, my treasured home curations can finally take on a form of their own.

I've been pining (not to be confused with pinning) for a charming, little atelier of sorts where my ideas and creations can come to life. The above images are right up my alley and will be reinvented in a similar way. With a new weekly feature in the works, an innovative space is a necessity. This move is bringing a fresh (beach in the backyard anyone?) approach to every facet of our lives, including this little space on ze internets. And boy, is it going to be awesome. 

Send happy vibes to us this weekend as we are huffing, puffing and mumbling & grumbling our way up two flights of stairs with boxes in hand... oh, and eat a box of Oreos for me.



A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Tee: Thrifted. Skirt: Vintage. Belt: LOFT. Platforms: c/o JellyPop Shoes. Lipstick: c/o NYX, Ruby.
 1) Can we talk about that awkward moment when you get a text from a random number and you ask roundabout questions to figure out who it is because you don't want them to know you deleted their number if they still have yours? Yeaahhhh. I am that person. Happens all too frequently and I feel like such a jerk.

2) Fact: One bucket full of water contains more atoms than there are bucketfuls of water in the Atlantic ocean (source). 

3) Why does Magic Mike have to be about male stripping and not something a little more wholesome so I could go see it? Whhhhhyyyy? Then again, it would lose 95% of its appeal, so either way it's a lose-lose situation. Nuts (Freudian slip?).

4) "Queue" is such a strange word. Whenever I spell it I have to sound it out like this, "q-ooo-you." Same thing with the word "friend." I always say "fry-end" out of habit since I always got the e and i backward when I was little.

5) Would you rather have to attempt jumping a 50 foot gap on a bike or jump off a 100 foot cliff? Neither is not an option, but from the looks of it a potential hospital visit definitely is.

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6 Steps To A Fit Post-Baby Body

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

The post-baby bod can be a little intimidating to whip back in to shape. Especially if you aren't a hardcore work-out enthusiast like me. Here are a few of my must-have tips and things I have used to get my pre-baby body back (which is still very far from where it needs to be, but good things take time)!

1. Home body wraps. My friend Jeni is a health and fitness adviser and she sent me one of these wraps to try out. They are becoming quite a big trend, so I am sure you have heard of them. Honestly, I usually am that person that is the big skeptic of at-home fitness products, but these wraps work wonders! They pull in excess bulge and tone up problem areas. I only did one wrap, which took 45 minutes and within a week I lost 3 inches around my lower belly. Apparently my uterus wasn't back to its normal tightness because the wrap sucked it back to shape. Also, my belly had some of that cellulite looking flab (sorry if that's TMI) and it helped decrease the visibility of cellulite and loose skin. The awesome thing about these wraps is you can do them every 3 days and they help cut a few inches with each use! You can use the wraps anywhere on your body too, but for us mommy's looking to get fit, I recommend using the wraps on your tummy. There is also stretch mark cream! That one's a no-brainer. You can purchase the wraps and packages here on Jeni's website. Jeni offers all types of fitness and health advice too, so be sure to contact her! I sincerely recommend trying the wraps out. They are all natural and cheaper than getting a wrap at the spa, so then you don't have to get a babysitter either! Bottom line, skinny wraps are the bomb and you need them in your life, mother or not.

2. Water! Water! Water! I cannot say it enough. I drink about 96 oz a day. I do breastfeed, which is why I drink around 12 glasses per day. It helps flush out extra toxins, drop pounds, and keeps skin bright and clear. That is important since we all know those crazy hormones can cause acne and break outs. No thanks.

3. Cucumbers. This is the best snack for losing weight and keeping your skin and body healthy. This article here highlights the major health benefits of cucumbers, such as assisting in weight loss, hair growth and gum health. I don't know about you, but my gums have taken a beating with the elevated hormone levels and all my hair in the front seems to have fallen out recently. Awesome. Cucumbers, let's be best friends, shall we?

4. Homemade sugar body scrub. This is the easiest scrub in the world. Mix 1 part almond oil with 2 parts brown sugar. I usually mix 2 tablespoons almond oil with 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Apply liberally to stomach, arms and thighs to exfoliate and brighten skin. Almond oil is a great natural topical treatment for healing scarring, so this is perfect for mamas who with c-sections scars!

5. Yoga. Physically, mentally and emotionally stimulating. This is my path to losing my last 10 pounds. Need I say more?

6. Free weights. I officially have flabby, toneless arms. I do deltoid, bicep, and tricep lifts with 5 pound dumbbells once a day after yoga. I don't know if you know this, but the gun shop will be calling soon to get these guns back (insert mental image of me flexing my soon to be buff biceps).

Post sponsored by Wrap Me Skinny

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When Boredom Meets A Stylus

This is what happens when you spend the weekend evenings on the couch watching sports and you get a new stylus for your computer. Portraits by Abbey coming to a store nearest you.


Crouching Baby, Hidden Spit-Up

Once upon a time, in a not so far away land, there lived a young prince named Lucas. Prince Lucas was just a wee little babe, therefore he was beginning to explore the decadent world of fine dining. His royal menu consisted of delicacies such as mushy apples, pears, carrots and sweet peas, which happened to be made from the offspring of the pea found in the bed of a distant princess ancestor, AKA The Princess and the Pea.

Such noble eating required assistance from his royal maidservant, Abbey. Prince Lucas liked to stick his tongue out while eating, making it an extremely messy process. Naturally, the majority of the gourmet baby cuisine ended up everywhere else but his tummy, including the maidservant's favorite striped skirt. The prince possessed magical powers for excreting food in the most mysterious and inopportune places.

One day, these magical powers saved his life, but alas, this is a story to be continued.

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A Priceless Family Heirloom Of Sorts

Top to bottom: 1. Ashley (dad). 2. Ashley (dad). 3. Leon & Jon (uncles). 4. Bessie (grandma). 5. Howard (grandpa).
"Three Mormon Towns" Photographic essay. Dorothea Lange. 1953. Photonegatives via OAC .
About one year ago, Brigham Young University showcased Dorothea Lange's "Three Mormon Towns" exhibit. My grandmother's photograph shown above was featured in the 1953 LIFE magazine Dorothea Lange feature and found its way back to the public 58 years later at the BYU exhibit. My dad excitedly shared this wonderful bit of rich family history with me, and my mouth pretty much smacked into the ground when I found all of the "Bishop Fish Family" photonegatives from her photographic essay journey. The five above are just a few from many of a priceless family heirloom of sorts.

It's remarkable to see such candid, honest photographs of my father's childhood -- captured by the legendary Dorothea Lange no less. The images were taken in Toquerville, a small southern Utah town. My dad was 7 years old. They lived so humbly and beautifully. By today's standards, the rural and raw lifestyle of my dad's youth is a design aesthetic highly sought after, but at the time they were just living simply. It was this simplicity that I believe caught the eye of a master like Lange.

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Maxi: Vintage. Sandals: c/o Jellypop Shoes.

1) Fact: Blind people can dream. Those who were born blind dream in response to their other senses. Those who became blind after birth dream in images up to the extent of their sight (source).

2) After seeing a clip of a cow being killed for the slaughterhouse, I honestly don't think I can eat meat anymore. The poor white cow's eyes were so content and innocent, then BAM! They shot it in the head and slit its throat. Sorry for the graphic mental image, but is was so sad. I guess this moment was inevitable at some point in my life. I've been putting off seeing any images or videos about this very thing because of my love for cheeseburgers and steak, but now that's all been ruined. I am too much of an animal lover and am overly sensitive to the whole "animals have feelings too!" idea. Poor, poor cow. And pig. And lobster being torn away from your monogamous mate and boiled alive. Chickens, I don't care so much for you, so we'll see about that. Shellfish don't count.

3) The "family planning" section of the grocery store we shop at is all locked up, therefore you have to press one of those buttons that sends a store-wide message for the associate to unlock it. As if that isn't sufficiently inopportune, just imagine the teenage bag boy giving you the side look in embarrassment as you pick out your items. It's just not right.

4) If you had to choose between the two, would you rather own the ability to completely end world hunger or disease?

5) Luke's squeals are identical to the sound of a dental drill; ridiculously high-pitched and subtly vibrational. Good thing we like the dentist around these parts...

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An Ode To Fathers


Thank you...

For teaching me how to ride my bike in the cul-de-sac of 59th street. For taking me to Beauty & The Beast, the very first movie I ever remember seeing in theaters.  For spending your weekends letting me help you in the yard and then taking me for a McDonald's happy meal.  For teaching me that the spiritual things in life matter most, not the material. For always thinking I'm funny and appreciating my "quirky" style, and convincing Mom I am not completely insane and that I inherited it from your mother. For always helping me out, especially during the rough patches. For stocking the cupboards with junk food when I was sick of eating healthy. For working your tail off and then some to provide for my wants and needs. For always telling me you love me and ensuring that I know how loved I truly am. You are one swell, heck of a guy. I love you.


Thank you...

For loving Luke so immensely that it brings tears to your eyes. For being that one person for whom Luke will always smile. For being an expert bottle maker and swirling instead of shaking so the bottle isn't all foamy. For already teaching Luke how to love the things you love. For working every day to support our little family of three. For being the perfect example of an honorable and loving husband and father. For choosing me as the one to be the mother of your children-- our children. For being k-u-h-t-e-h. I love you like crazy.

Dear Richard M Nixon



There is something of vital importance that you should know about me -- I am a bit of a history lover, and hope to one day dub myself as a bonafide history buff.

It all started when I began skipping class my sophomore year in high school (shameful, I know, but I think I turned out alright). Generally kids play hooky to escape the grips of academia, but not me. Apparently I just preferred it in the comfort of my own home, string cheese in one hand and crackers in the other. Hours upon hours were spent watching every last show on the History and Discovery channels. In fact, I probably gleaned more knowledge and insight about the world watching television than I did in class. There were always too many distractions, and it didn't help that I had a huge crush on my US History & Economics teacher, or whatever the name of that course was. See that? I can't even remember the name of the class! But, I can tell you all of the important information and dates marking world wars and events that changed the course of this nation. And how the brain functions on a biological level. Thank you, History and Discovery channel. You were mah-velous instructors.

Alright, now that that has been clarified, you can imagine my excitement as we toured the Richard Nixon Presidential Library &Museum. It is located in Yorba Linda, where he was born and is now buried. Isn't that awesome?

A few of my favorites included letters his friends wrote him as a child assuming he would one day be president, letters from children when he ran against Kennedy and lost ("I'm a small Republican... I beat my brains out working for you!"), the dollhouse model of his childhood home (see my bucketlist item #27), and then touring through that actual home. There are so many beautiful antique items, including the bed he was born in! Did you see that patchwork quilt? It's gorgeous! I think I need to make that my next project. And let's talk about that piece of the Berlin Wall. My stomach dropped and I released an audible gasp when I came upon it. For some reason I felt a bizarre emotional connection to it, as if I could feel the terror, hate, sadness and liberation emanating from its concrete core. That's my favorite thing about museums.

All of the exhibits document the entire life of Richard Nixon, but I have to say the Watergate gallery was the most educational for me. It was very informative and intriguing, because let's face it, the Watergate scandal is rather confusing to follow if you don't have all of the facts in front of your face. Don't know what the Watergate scandal exactly entailed? Let's see if I can sum it up for you in one sentence... While Richard Nixon was president, he had a team of people who worked for him steal information from the Democratic party so he could use that information to politically get ahead, and he tried to use his presidential power to cover it up from the FBI, but he got caught and resigned before they could impeach him. The end.

I highly recommend going to a Presidential Library & Museum if you have one in the state you live and you love history like I do. They're the bee's knees.

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Luke Goes Swimming

Swimsuits: Abbey: Downeast Basics (similar). Luke: Target. Matt: Hurley.
Luke's first swim was a success. Although it was full of many surprises and the chilly water shocked his developing senses, he was practically doing the butterfly stroke by the end ;) Do we have a future Michael Phelps on our hands?

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I'll Wrastle Ya' Fer It

Our good friends, Sean & Caroline, came over for dinner the other night with their adorable little guy, Sawyer. He is only a few days older than Luke, however Luke is about 4 inches taller! We loved playing, especially as Sawyer taught Luke the ways of a Viking. The kid is a future Olympian I tell you. He was crawling and downward dogging all over the place.

Cutie patooties, aren't they?

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Skirt (modified from this maxi dress): F21. Shirt: LOFT. // Luke: Romper: Carter's.

1) How come store cookies taste different than homemade ones? Albertson's cookies for the win!  

2) Crouching Baby, Hidden Spit-up should be a weekly feature on the blog where I tell you captivating stories of baby business gone rogue. There is too much good stuff happening over here.

3) Speaking of new features, there will be a new DIY one starting in July! It's time to put these hand-crafting paws to work, especially since our new digs will need some revamping.

4) Did I mention we are moving to Encinitas? This blog is about to get 512,684,973 times cooler now that we will be living in a beach town. Translation: no more boring pictures in our apartment complex :)

5) Fact: On average, a U.S. woman owns 19 pairs of shoes (source). I just counted all of mine. Apparently I own approximately 47 (there were some hiding in the back of the closet I was too lazy to count). Don't know how and when that happened.

Now it's your turn to link away your random thoughts and facts we never knew we wanted to know!

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What Can I Say? He's Quotable!

I can confidently say I am married to the most quotable person on the planet. Here are a few verbal gems, compliments of ze Matthew Rodriguez.

"Nothing on HBO is good after dark."

"He's out like a lamp."

"You look like that one girl from that movie where her brother is marrying her high school nemesis, but you look like she did when she was dorky with the bangs and the glasses... minus the braces." (He is talking about You Again in regards to my reader glasses and crazy bed head.)

"It's not the man of the house, it's the woman of the house. Every woman wears the pants in the relationship."

P.S. I am starting the very first A Random Thing Or Two-sday (ARTOT) linky tomorrow! Get your stupid facts and randomness ready to share!

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Organic Is For Food And Chemistry, Not People

Do you ever tire of hearing the do's and dont's of social media/blogging? Understandably, the ultimate goal is to help improve your blog quality and visibility, but I thought the grand rule of blogging is "to be yourself." I'd say that is the most emphasized piece of advice when working to start a blog. Or anything for that matter. It's an age-old rule that applies to pretty much everything in life.

That being said, how can that be achieved when you have 100 million different people telling you how to do it? I am just getting tired of website articles and other major bloggers telling me what I should and shouldn't do in regard to blogging and managing my social media. That doesn't necessarily sound like "being yourself" when you follow a strict agenda of what is "acceptable" and what isn't. Obviously people like a well-designed blog, big, beautiful photos, and things they've never seen before. That's not rocket science to figure out. But telling everyone how to go about pinning on your Pinterest? No thanks. My Pinterest is for me. It is my curation of the things I find beautiful, inspiring, or whatever I want. And that's just the joy of it. If you like what I pin, fabulous. Follow along if you feel so inclined. Or don't.

As for blogging, if I hear one more mega blogger say their path to blogger fame was one of an "organic" nature... I don't know what I'll do, but it will involve some sort of face-clawing, burying-head-in-pillow-and-screaming action. Yes, there are people in the world that possess a certain magnetism that makes us want to know everything about them. Yes, there are people that have an innate cool factor about them that sets them apart from the typical mold. Yes, there are people that everything they touch turns into something beautiful. Bottom line though, I believe that majority of people that have successful blogs are successful because they work hard at getting their awesomeness out there and seen. Some people catch lucky breaks and happen to be featured or seen at the right place at the right time, but either way it's still getting exposure and advertisement. Anyone out there that says otherwise is full of crap and it's a ploy to maintain an effortless, "organic" appeal. I pity the fool that buys that nonsense (said in a voice akin to Mr. T).

Do you really think major brands just coincidentally got to where they are because they are awesome, and only that? No! Of course they have a great product which is the reason they gain popularity and maintain status. If not, you will crash and burn if you don't change it into something worthwhile, but it's more than that. It's called marketing, people. Look at any of your favorite brands whether it be food or toilet paper.  Their advertising is everywhere. Pepsi is a proud sponsor of major athletic events. P&G is sponsoring the Olympics. In exchange, they get exposure to the world, and in turn grow their product. The same principle is applied to growing your blog.

The "organic" blogger myth has now officially been busted.

The end.

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My Face

A few weeks back a few of you asked me to share my beauty and skincare regime with you. Alas, I give you my daily routine. These are the products that you see on my face in all my pictures!

A little bit about my skin... it is super sensitive and very acne prone these days. Most face washes are even too harsh and I don't like the way they make my skin feel all dry and yucky. Hence, water and a washcloth are my best friend. The alpha hydroxy in the first moisturizer keeps the bacteria at bay and my tinted moisturizer and foundation were formulated by dermatologists for people with skin issues such as moi. If this sounds like your skin, I highly recommend giving these products a try if you are looking for a sensitive makeup base. They are the ay-may-zing.

If you are just looking for a new, natural and simple look, I hope you give my routine a try too! The products can be a bit on the pricey side, but it goes a long way and the quality is superb AKA it doesn't rub or melt off your face like Frosty on a hot day. I have been using these products for years and I absolutely love all of them, so I hope you can find some new favorites as well!



On Becoming A Frumpy Mom

Tee: LOFT. Shorts: LOFT (long skinnies cutoff by me). Bag: H&M. Sandals: Vintage.
Being at this post-baby point is honestly frustrating for me. I feel like I'm stuck in a funk. I am not always perfectly styled, nor do I want to be. Some days, it's even been a struggle for me to get out of bed. My thyroid and hormones are all crazy, and in the past I struggled with depression, leaving me prone to bouts of postpartum.  Learning to deal with my body in the stretched out, widened state on top of that has left me feeling less than enthusiastic when getting dressed every day. Mixing all of that together, it's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. 

Long ago in my late teen years and early twenties, I would size mothers up and down and wonder why the frumpy ones turned, well, frumpy.

Was it really that hard to do your hair? What about that extra 10 lbs? Surely it couldn't be that difficult to drop. And what is with the mom jeans and t-shirt uniform? It's not doing you any favors.

Fast-forward 6 years... I might possibly be on my way to Frumpy Momdom.

For starters, I wish I could travel back in time and punch that Abbey square in the jaw. Second, I have learned that being a mom is challenging in its own unique way. Each mom has their own set of personal struggles and they deal with it the best way they know how.

So what if I wear the mom uniform. Jeans and a tee are really a comfy combo and it's better than wearing pajamas or sweats all day, which is super tempting, believe you me. Mom jeans are mom jeans because those baby-making hips and pouch need to go somewhere, and they certainly ain't fitting into skinny jeans like they used to. Don't get me wrong, skinny jeans can still be cute, but it's okay to accept the fact that your body has changed. Also, it's a practical everyday look when you are being spit up on at least 2 times a day. Luckily, prints and stripes are on trend right now so it can actually be a styled, laid-back look when adding a little belt or some fun bracelets. Thank goodness.

I feel like I am sounding like a hypocrite, because I obviously still do try to wear cute outfits a few times a week. I think it is important for me personally, because I am prone to being that lazy person wearing my sweats like it's my job (Nike, would you like to hire me?) This blog is a way for me, especially now, to get motivated to find the beauty in things whether it be clothes, decor, or just my general surroundings.

There is a life long learning curve with motherhood. Don't be afraid to embrace it, especially those ugly and strange times you are working to find yourself again. In the end they become the best as you approach the silver lining.

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