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


White Pants, You Will Be Missed

 Blazer: H&M | Tee: Old Navy | Pants: Chico's (I ocassionally like to pretend  I am 50 ) | Boots: Flashbacks (local thrift store) | Shades: Free People | Bracelet: LOFT.

After reading this post the other day, I realized I need to get my white pant wearing in before Labor Day. I may or may not be wearing white every day just to make up for those days I missed it (or wore ridiculous amounts of layers wishing fall would come already).

However, since we live in a world where fashion seems to be free of rules nowadays, do you stick to the "no white after Labor Day" rule that is so ardently displayed on the old signs of the opening credits in What Not To Wear (*I was just informed it says white shoes are permitted. But what about pants?!)? Stacy London kind of scares me sometimes, so I don't want to run the risk of being her next target. I can see it now...

"Girl, just say no to the white pants after Labor Day. You have to let go of who you were so you can embrace the new, white pant-less you." (As she is touching every little accessory and thing on my person)

So, my beloved white pants, I bid you adieu. Until next spring, my loves.



Dare I DIY?: Sequin-Block Skirt

Do not fear, my fellow DIY comrades. This project is a no-sewer, although it requires a couple hours of your time to complete. Pop in your favorite movie, and get to gluing (do not watch Larry Crowne; you think it would be phenomenal considering it stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, but it is in fact a terrible movie).

I love me some sequins. Like, a lot of sequins. Since gluing individual sequins is extremely time-consuming, and maybe a bit much to adorn the entire skirt (which I originally had in mind) I wanted to incorporate the famous color-block stripe in a sequin form. Hence, the sequin-block skirt is born.

*For those who asked, I recommend using the fabric glue I used, Aleen's OK To Wash-It. It is from Michael's and adheres like cement, so no worries, the sequins will not fall off. I only did it on the front so it's easier to sit. It wears well and is not awkward to walk in. And as with anything delicately sequined, I would dry clean to be on the safe side.


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Top 10 Picture Books

1. Corduroy by Dan Freeman.
2. Science Verse by Jon Scieszka
3. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
4. Curious George by H.A. Rey
5. Squids Will Be Squids by Jon Scieszka
6. On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
7. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
8. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
9. All Tutus Should Be Pink by Sherri Brownrigg
10. If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff

Around these parts, we like to bury our nose in a book or two. These are our top 10 picture book picks. They are not ranked in any particular order, and I have to admit that many come from my childhood days of reigning best picture books. Half of them are pure wit and humor, but they teach fundamental life lessons too. My personal favorite? Science Verse. We all know Jon Scieszka from his best-seller, The Stink Cheese Man, but his genius definitely didn't stop there! Here is a poem from Science Verse to start out your day, titled "Amoeba":

Don't ever tease a wee amoeba
By calling him a her amoeba.
And don't call her a him amoeba.
Or never he a she amoeba.
'Cause whether his or hers amoeba,
They too feel like you and meba.

Off to the library we go!

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An Evening Gown: Dressed Up And Dressed Down

Evening look | Dress. Clutch. Heels. Earrings.
Daytime look | Dress. Jacket. Scarf. Bag. Platforms.

Finding modest evening wear is probably harder than finding a drop in the sea. Let me rephrase that: finding on-trend, modest evening wear. 

Matt and I attended a gala for his graduation from grad school a couple years back, and I could not for the life of me find anything appropriate to wear. It either had one too many rhinestones on it, or was dangerously close to showing my boohiney. Not my thang. I know, why do I care since it was years ago? Well, about 3 days ago I perused volunteer opportunities and saw they were accepting volunteers at a gala for a local charity event. This led me to think, "what the crap would I wear?"

Other events requiring a gown could be corporate work parties, formal night on a cruise, or if you are lucky, attending the Met or an award ceremony of some sort. You never know when you are going to need that dress.

Enter the LBD of evening gowns (or in the case it stands for Long Black Dress). It is beautiful. The best part? This beauty can be dressed up for a formal night out, or played down with a casual jacket and accessories. 

For those of you that rock the short, little numbers, there are some gorgeous feather-adorned dresses, girly-girl lace gowns, and any type of formal gear you could imagine. They even have designer homecoming dresses which would be phenomenal for those upcoming high school dances for your daughters! Better start preparing now, moms; it will be here before you know it!

Hey, do you hear that? If I'm not mistaken, the sea is calling. It wants me to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Don't mind if I do! And I'm taking my LBD with me ;)


Animal Style

Shirt: LOFT (30% off right now!) Pants: F21. Bracelet: Flashbacks (local thrift store). Necklace & Shoes: LOFT (old).

Anything animal style related is guaranteed to be good. Like this shirt. I will probably wear it 3 times a week for the next 4 months. Anyway, let's write out a list, shall we?

Animals rule. A world without animals wouldn't be a world worth living in. 

What other animal style inspired things do you love?

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

 Shirtdress: LOFT. Platforms: c/o JellyPop Shoes. Shades: Free People (on sale!).

1) I am slowly turning into a beach bum. No makeup, hair thrown in a bun, swimming suit all day, every day kind of thing. The picture above is proof of this evolution.

2) Fact: Your foot is the same length as the distance between your elbow and wrist.

3) Luke is so close to crawling. We are taking bets on if he will be doing the all fours thing by the end of the week. Winner gets a cookie. He also started using his foot, along with his hands, to hold his bottle. Maybe we watch too much Curious George around here.

4) How do you pronounce peony? I've heard pee-oh-nee, pee-ah-nee, and pee-uh-nee (sound it out phonetically). So, which one is it? Or is a to-may-toe or to-mah-toe type of thing?

5) Would you rather drink baby formula for breakfast for the next 5 years or eat chalk for lunch for the next 3 years?

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It's The Little Things

Scrolling through these pictures last night, I found myself getting effusively teary-eyed. 

All of the things I love are found in every part of the photos... The blessing of a healthy and delightful child. Laughter. Furry little critters keeping us entertained. A husband behind the scenes, always there to ensure our happiness and well-being. A warm and inviting place to call home. 

What more is needed?

Tears of empathy and sorrow dripped down my face as I watched a television program last night, showcasing the lives of the elderly with nothing but walls lined with tattered photos for company. All their friends, family and loved ones had passed on or lived half a world away. Can you imagine not even having one person to simply talk with? Day in and day out, staring at the wall, withering away in your body that has slowly become your prison?

Fortunately, the show didn't keep the waterworks flowing, leaving me depressed (usually Netflix documentaries have that affect on me) but spotlighted the group Morningside Village. Based in Manhattan, the founder created the volunteer organization to match people with a senior citizen in need of, well, a friend. This was all a result of witnessing the neglect and over-worked staff in her mother's nursing home, and the point is to help the elderly live and thrive in their homes as long as possible. I was reminded of the power that a simple visit and smile holds.

This show reminded me of the good existing in the world. The people stepping outside of their selfish bubbles and enhancing the quality of life for those who know nothing but despair and misery. It's so easy to get caught up in the hum-drum and "woe is me" track of life, yet it is so pathetic once you experience a paradigm shift on behalf of others and realize your life suddenly isn't so terrible as you imagined. 

The inner dialogue in my brain on such an occasion:

"Crap, I missed the 30% off sale."

"There are children digging through garbage down the road looking for shoes to wear because they have none, you ingrate."

"Shoot! I'm all out brownie mix. Now what am I going to have for a treat?"

"Really? Why don't you donate that $1.89 to UNICEF for a change, to people who don't even have clean water available to drink?" 

"The air conditioning is busted. This heat is killing me."

"Hmmm... how about we talk about those people living without plumbing and not even the faintest idea of how electricity works."

So here I stand, striving to focus a little less on me, and a little more on others. All the while remembering it's the little things in life that count.

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Studdering Abbey

Blazer: Tahari. Tee: LOFT. Boyfriend denim: LOFT. Heels: Nine West (similar). Necklace: Vintage. 

I'm kind of liking the whole punk meets girly look for the fall. These are the shoes I made in yesterday's post and I luuu-huvv them. Bedazzling everything with studs may or may not become my newest hobby.  I can just see it now. Studded bags. Studded shirts. Studded plates. Studded TV. Studded baby. Luke already has a mohawk and high-top Converse. Why not adorn him with a couple of studs? Now say "Sturdy studded Stanley stapled Stewart's stuff" ten times as fast as you can.

Oh and the $25 Madewell gift card giveaway ends tomorrow, so make sure you enter it if you haven't already.

Now go stud yourself :)



Dare I DIY?: Studded Cap-Toe Heels

As I was flipping through the September issue of Lucky Magazine, I noticed everything is either studded, cap-toed, or getting pointy again. I thought to myself, "I like all of those things, but I would like them combined." Thank the high heavens I held on to my Nine West pointed toe heels. In fact, the lady at the consignment store didn't want them. It's okay, lady. Your loss, my gain.

For the record, this is the easiest and shnazziest DIY project to bring a boring, old pair of shoes that are headed to the donation bin back to life.  And it costs $3, assuming you already have a glue gun, which I'd be shocked if you didn't and you are the crafty type. Or not. A glue gun is a household staple. 

FYI, studs are super hard to find at craft stores right now since everyone and their pit bull are studding everything. I bought the seasonal Halloween pack from Michael's, which has orange, black, and silver rhinestones and studs in it, however you can find some great studs here and here.

Let's get on to the project!


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That Time Of The Month

It's that very strange time of the month when I let you know that I am accepting sponsors for the month of September! Here are a few deets on what's been happening around here lately.

Current Stats:
12,000-15,000 monthly page views
2,150+ followers via Google Reader, RSS, Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
4-5 post minimum per week
All posts are listed on the above listed social media
Guys, we have a fun time around here, and would love to have you on as a sponsor. Email me at rodriguez.abbey@gmail.com for rates and info about openings!

Life Lessons

Flannel: Matt's | Chambray trousers: LOFT | Shoes: Ross | Earrings. Sprightly So
[Outfit inspiration from this post]

You can't trick the dentist into believing you are a regular flosser by flossing 100 times in the 3 days leading up to your dental cleaning. Just put the floss down and own up to the fact you are lazy and only floss once a week... or once a year.

Crying can indeed get you out of a speeding ticket, but I wouldn't press my luck if you are male.

There is no such thing as holding your baby too much.

Smile often.

Do not ever take "free" items from street vendors unless you like being harassed and chased for 3 blocks.

Always stretch before you run.

Just buy the warranty. Really though.

Tell people you love them when you think it. You never know when it will be your last chance.

Dogs cannot eat onions. I repeat, dogs cannot eat onions. They are more toxic than chocolate.


Do make your bed every single day. It will start your day out on the right track.

Never try to sniff the scent of a candle while it burning. It never ends well.

Buy 3 packs of bobby pins instead of one. Seriously, is there a bobby pin black hole that follows around every girl? They always seem to be disappearing.

Oh yeah, and wear sunscreen.

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

 Dress: c/o JUNIEblake. Boots: MIA. Jewelry: LOFT, H&M.

1) If you weren't already in the know, dressing like a cowgirl is all the rage these days. And acting like a chameleon by blending in with your surroundings. They should make a movie about it. Wait... they already did. It's called Rango. Except it's about a boy chameleon with Jack Sparrow's voice. If we're rating movies in the Siskel & Ebert fashion here, I give it one thumb up and one thumb down, for a grand total of meh.

2) Fact: The opposite of déja vu is called 'jamais vu' (source). What the crap is that? According to my trusty little friend, Wikipedia, whom I overly rely on for everything (didn't your mother ever tell you not to believe everything you read on the internets? So true, but boring nonetheless), jamais vu is the sensation of not recognizing something that you definitely do indeed know. Sounds like my brain after having a baby. Or a fancy name for dementia.

3) When the lady at the flower shop tells you to buy the more expensive flower because it will live longer, she is lying. My hydrangeas that were supposed to live for a week died in a matter of 2 days. Looks like my mom's green thumb is not hereditary.

4) I mentioned this on Facebook and Twitter the other day, but Luke does this strange, hybrid growl cry now. He literally sounds like a baby version of the BYU cougar.

5) Would you rather be half your height or double the length of your feet?

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Sweet, Sleepy Baby

I could just kiss those soft, chubby cheeks for hours. Such a little sweetie poo, that lil' Lukey of ours. I am so grateful that families are forever, and that we get to be with each other for eternity. We love you more than words, little man!

I'll be back in just a bit with a fantastic giveaway that will definitely help beef up that new fall wardrobe you are itching to wear. Stay tuned!

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I Need A Milkshake

Shirt: Anthropologie. Skirt: Old Navy. Shades: Free People. Heart earrings: Sprightly So. Shoes: c/o JellyPop Shoes.
It's 90 degrees outside and I'm wearing this garb. It's silly, really. Guess I'm just getting antsy pantsy to put on 7 layers like it's totally normal. I actually attempted it the other day. Let's just say things didn't end so well.

A) We live in a beach town. People probably thought I was homeless wearing two shirts, a jacket, and a hat, along with various baubles and jewelry adorning my person.  It was probably a little bit of a culture shock -- clothing is optional around these parts. So optional that we saw a girl walking around with no pants on the other day. True story. B) I was dripping sweat. Inconspicuously of course. C) Layers don't work so well when you add a baby on the hip to the equation. There is no room for them to sit comfortably without it feeling like you are the Michelin Man.

All this talk of layers is making me hot and bothered. Can someone get me a milkshake?

P.S. I'll be back later today. There are some pretty fabulous people I'd like you to meet. And I will be waiting for that milkshake.



Just An Outfit

Shirt, Pants, Bracelet: LOFT. Hat: Target. Platforms: JellyPop Shoes. Bag: Madewell. Tassle earrings: Sprightly So.
Today I have nothing to say other than here is my outfit I wore yesterday. Oh, and I added a whole new line of items to my shop, including the awesome tassle earrings I am wearing above. They are rad. Hey, you should buy some. Use code FALL12 for 20% off your purchase. The end.

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Fall Blue Hues

Bring on the blues, baby! I like blues of any sort. The music, the foods, the fashion; you name it, I like it. I think I am such a blue enthusiast because it is a color that works in any season. It looks awesome with punchy, bright colors for spring and summer and pairs smoothly with earthy tones for fall and winter. 

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Luke is filling in for me on my personal style pictures today. This is what he wore on Sunday. Don't mind my PJ's in the background. What he is wearing // Cardigan: H&M. Shirt: Carter's. Pants: H&M. Bowtie: Made by me.
1) First things first, let's talk about the Spice Girls at the closing ceremonies. Amazing? Yes. Even better than when they were together? Yes. Do I still want to be one of them? Yes. Should they officially reunite? YES! All in favor, say "Hi Ci Ya!"

2) In other important news, Luke officially has his two bottom teeth! My baby is growing up so fast! No wonder people have tons of kiddos. 

3) Fact: Termites will eat wood two times faster when listening to heavy metal (source). All you Metallica and Rammstein lovers, make sure your pest control people are on speed dial.

4) Seeing teenage boys taking an impromptu morning swim in the ocean in their white boxer shorts is always a killjoy to my morning run.

5) Would you rather cry tears that sounded like a marching band as they fell from your eyes or emit a cough that sounded like a terribly off-key opera singer belting at the top of their lungs?

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Mommy At Heart

Tee: c/o Mommy at Heart. Jacket: LOFT. Shades: Anthropologie.
To all my fellow mamas, nannies, big sisters, and caretakers out there:

We assume the title of cook, doctor, maid, activities coordinator, therapist, sanitation engineer, chaffeur, coach, teacher, even CEO of the household to name a few. Hundreds of other titles are still left unnamed on this long list of jobs we take on as mothers and mother figures, and oh how that list could go on for decades. Please pipe in with you favorite one-- they are really quite comical.

Mommy at Heart is a young company with this humorous approach to all the tasks we take on as Supermoms each day. They specialize in graphic tees which proudly display a few of those specialized jobs we'd be getting paid some serious cash monies for if it were out in the work force. I am most definitely a top-notch sanitation engineer with the loads of diapers and laundry I am changing out every single day. If I had a dollar for every diaper I change... oh wait, I give a dollar for every diaper I change.

Since motherhood is messy and expensive, it's a good thing to invest in some comfy tees that can add some amusement to your day. Mommy at Heart offers nine different t-shirts that are perfect for a casual, yet spunky outfit. The best part of their brand is that for every purchase you make, they donate $5 to a Non-Profit Organization which focuses on helping women and children throughout the world. Did I mention these would make awesome gifts? Perfect for baby showers or for the hospital! You can get 15% off your entire purchase using code ABBEYSREADERS090909. And...

Because Mommy at Heart is such a generous and beautiful business, they are giving away a tee of your choice, as well as donating $5 to their NPO of the month for your free t-shirt! All you have to do is hop on down below to enter to win one.

Please join in their amazing cause by entering, even if you aren't officially a mama, and be sure to check out their adorable shop. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Swami's And Family

Brady and Brittany were in town a few weeks back and we lunched at Swami's. If you come to Encinitas, you must stop by for breakfast or lunch. It is the best cafe, ever. Everything is fresh and natural and unbelievably delicious. So good. I recommend the french toast. Fluffiest french toast you will ever eat. 

It's always such a treat to have people come visit. Matt's dad is here right now and my two sisters and their families will be coming in October. Hooray! I am so grateful for family and good friends to share our life with. Couldn't imagine life without them!

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