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


What To Wear On Your Vacation

Floral swimsuit. Chambray hat. Red stripe coverup. Pink top. Blue ombre dress. Floral shirt. Indigo stripe skirt. Pink stripe summer bag. Floral skirt. Yellow loafers.

We have a bunch of trips coming up in the next few months, and I am gearing up to get some staple pieces with bold colors and patterns that I can mix and match. I just recently discovered Joules, and everything on their site is speaking to me. (Or more like desperately squealing, "Buy meee!") Joules specifically has a beautiful selection in their Vacation Shop, so I've put together a mood board of my favorite pieces that are practical and easy to take on vacation, and that would make for a darling spring and summer wardrobe overall.

Is anyone else eating up the floral trend going on right now? I wish I could wear everything with flowers on it, although then I'd look like a crazy flower lady (which I'm honestly, kind of okay with).  I love the elegant and simple top and skirt. I paired them together to give it the look of a pretty summer dress, but then you can mix them up with a pair of shorts or a basic tee or tank top. And that swimsuit!

All of these fabulous items are low maintenance for traveling and something I could wear effortlessly as a mama who is constantly chasing after little babes. I love it all! They also have clothes for the whole family. Be sure to go check out the Joules shop. I promise you'll love it, too!

*This post is sponsored by Joules. Thanks for supporting our sponsors! 

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Poway Farmers' Market

This last weekend we ventured out to a real farmers' market with our friends since we had lots of practice with our pretend one and had a hankering for some fresh bread and fruit. If you live in the San Diego area and haven't been to the Poway Farmers' Market, you must go! Especially if you have a brood of boys. It is held in the downtown area, where they offer little train rides and a bunch of historic shops and old trains to look at.

The food was delicious. Blueberry scones topped with sanding sugar, basketfuls of warm baguettes, cheese stuffed croissants, fresh berries and greens stacked precisely in woven baskets, and quality jams and spreads. I even got a tub of beet hummus! That stuff is as delectable as it sounds, and it's pink! (So it makes it even better, obviously.)

We will be back to the Poway Farmers' Market soon!

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Make A Market From A Cardboard Box

Every month we receive one of those mammoth boxes on our doorstep from Amazon Prime. (Which, by the way, is the greatest thing in the world — no, this is not a promotional plug, it just rules my world.) After all the contents are emptied, my inner recyclist (it is a word, according to Urban Dictionary) always cringes a bit at not putting it to some sort of use. So, I took a solid three days just staring at it, willing it with my mind powers to turn into something awesome. Before I knew it, the side flaps began to look like signs, and the top flap sat like an awning. Lightbulb! This box was waiting to be turned into a cardboard market for kids! 

This simply requires a few cheap materials, which I happened to have on hand. To make your own fabulous market you'll need:

-a large rectangular cardboard box
-a smaller square box for a stand
-craft paints in colors of your choice
-black chalkboard paint
-red scrapbook paper
-construction paper
-pens and chalk for making signs
-play foods


1. Paint the entire box (except the side flaps) white, or whatever color you would like your market to be. Paint the side flaps with chalkboard paint. Let it dry for 30 minutes.

2. Paint your smaller box whatever color you want. I opted for a bright blue to go with the red stripes on the awning. Make sure you use a primer paint if you don't want the branding on the box to show through like mine did (oops). Let it dry for 30 minutes.

3. While waiting for the paint to dry, cut six strips of red scrapbook paper, which should be about 3 inches wide and the whole height of the paper. Round the edges on the bottom for the scalloped awning look. Once paint is dry, glue them on to the top flap, making sure they are evenly spaced.

4.  Using your construction paper, draw a sign with your shnazzy market name. Remember that marketing and branding is essential to your business, people! ;) Put it up on one of the flaps (I used washi tape to give it some charm and color). On the opposite flap, write out your market items and prices using white chalk.

5. Fill your market with fun foods and all the goods!

Luke makes for a hard-headed business man. If he doesn't like your bartering suggestions, he just throws you and your food out. Guess we've watched "The Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld one too many times ;)

This project was simple and enjoyable to make with Luke because he can paint and there was really nothing to fuss over. After all, it's just a cardboard box! We love any opportunity to turn off the TV and iPad and use our creativity to play and discover. The market is fantastic for teaching kids about healthy foods, and "selling" the food is also a great way to practice math with your older ones.

I hope you get a chance to put your old cardboard boxes to good use and make a darling little market for your kids as well. They will love it! Enjoy!

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Luke And Wesley's Nursery Room

After what seems like almost an entire year of getting Luke and Wesley's nursery together, I finally completed the finishing touches last month. (And am just now getting around to photographing it!) The theme took on a mind of its own and somehow turned into a woodland one. Not really sure when or how it happened, but it did, and I like it. We love spending our days stacking blocks, reading piles of books, and running cars all over the place in their little shared bedroom.

This is Luke's side of the room. You may have seen on Instagram that we recently painted a chalkboard wall on a whim, and it's a whim I'm glad I followed through on. Having a huge, black wall staring at you can seem a bit overwhelming for a small bedroom, but I actually like the contrast it brings to the room. We kept the wall decor simple with a fox print from The Printed Palette, constellation wrapping paper used as a poster from Paper Source, a coonskin cap from a mom and pop shop in Julian, and some hand drawn mountains in chalk. The toddler bed is from IKEA, and my dear mama made Luke's bedding. And we can't forget about Mickey! He gives Luke a pep talk every night before bed.

This half of the room belongs to Wes. I made this mobile — it was super simple! I used felt, stuffing, thread, and a plumbing ring we had on hand and stitched these little darlings up! I like the little imperfections. It keeps things cozy and loving. The stuffed foxes are from IKEA, and the zinc letter above his crib is from Anthropologie. The crib was a gift from my parents. I am thinking I am going to paint it white. Anyone else painted a crib before? Yay or nay? Tips and tricks?

Both of the boys have their first name initial above each of their beds in these zinc letters, in case I forget who goes where ;) We keep a small reading nook and learning corner to the left of Wesley's crib. A framed poster from our trip to Spain serves as the backdrop, and adds a nice pop of color. All of our favorite books stay neat and easy to access in a rectangular wicker basket, and we keep their toys in an awesome printed basket from Target (similar one here). It makes cleaning up a cinch by just loading all the junk into it without worrying if it is neatly shelved and stacked (and it's pretty to look at!). I really recommend baskets for stowing toys. There is an art easel in the corner with the lamp, and it holds all of Luke's materials and art supplies for tot school. Underneath you will find blocks, and every car and truck a little boy could hope for in some sleek, metal utility bins. (Again, containers and baskets in a coordinating color work well for hiding toys in an aesthetically pleasing manner.)

Luke's play table  hosts more books and toys! This is also where he eats lunch from time to time and creates artistic masterpieces. More toys are kept underneath in a basic black basket. The stuffed animals were gifts, the globe is a vintage find (and the paper crown atop it is from Luke's Where The Wild Things Are costume as seen here), the rocking moose and stacking rings are from IKEA (as is pretty much the entire room if you haven't already noticed since I can't justify paying a lot of money for things that will be of no use in a handful of years . . . also, I think it's safe to say we own every toy IKEA sells), and the stacking train, carrier truck and band toys are Melissa & Doug. The rod and curtains are from Target. And that darling backpack we snagged from Swankaroo — Luke hauls around his snacks and doodads in it all the livelong day! You need to check out their shop and get a backpack for your little one if you don't already own one. It keeps my mama bag a little less cluttered and easy for accessing the random stuff toddlers insist they need to tote around.

Trains are Luke's love language, I swear. This wooden set from IKEA (where else?) is his reigning favorite toy. That little train does approximately 576 rounds on the track per day. And the room wouldn't be complete without this dotted rug for a fun mix of print!

Thanks for coming along on Wes and Luke's nursery room tour!

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

H&M basic dress
H&M jacket
Target sandals
Humble Hilo handbag
Forever 21 sunglasses
Revlon ColorBurst Matte Lip Balm, Unapologetic

1. A young, unassuming girl kidnapped Wes in my dream last night. It was like she was part of an Eastern European baby smuggling ring or something. We were standing near the elevator and Wes was propped up in his car seat in the stroller. I turned around to grab something (probably for Luke) and the next thing I caught out of the corner of my eye was this brunette criminal, holding Wes like a football and darting for the elevator. Of course, I started shrieking, "GIVE ME BACK MY BABY!!!" and I couldn't get my foot or hand in the door in time to stop it from closing and laying the smackdown. I jetted for the stairs as fast as possible, but because dreams are tricky and present exaggerated, frustrating obstacles, I could not find the stairs for the life of me. They didn't even exist. I then had a colossal emotional meltdown. It was easily the freakiest dream I've had in a long time — or ever, really. I wonder what it means? Someone interpret it for me, please. All I know is I was so sick with worry and panic and helplessness, and I would never wish anything like that even upon my worst enemy (and I am positive it would feel one hundred times worse in reality).

2. Fact: Cleopatra lived closer in time to the first moon landing than to the building of the Great Pyramids (source). That's nuts, huh?

3. I always feel like a loser when Netflix asks me if I am "still watching." Of course I am! No need to rub it in my face that I have no life, Flix. So what if I watch an entire season of a show in one sitting, while eating shredded cheese out of a plastic baggy like its popcorn, all alone in the dark? (It's pretty much what my alone time looks like after everyone is down for the night.)

4. So, Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez are brothers. Why am I now just learning about this? Looks like I need to brush up on my pop culture family tree knowledge.

5. Would you rather have access to all of the government's top secret, confidential files (you could find out if aliens do in fact exist!) or have the combined intelligence and abilities of Jason Bourne, James Bond, and Liam Neeson's character in Taken?

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Spring Flowers

We headed out for an impromptu stroll around Coronado the other weekend, and it turned out being one of those really good days where everything seamlessly flows together and you are left with that overall feeling of contentment. The breeze from the ocean was just right and the temperature and sunshine hit the sweet spot of keeping comfortable in a light tee without breaking a sweat. And the flowers! I was practically in a floral stupor. Perhaps it was my shoes that brought so much luck in the flower department. There is one house in particular that does me in every time — flowers so grand and overgrown they sweep the sidewalks and stand nine feet tall, with vines and colorful plants climbing the walls and fences all the way to the roof! Anyone who has a garden sprouting on the roof is aces in my book.

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Strawberry Honey Butter

Strawberries are being sold by the case on every street corner, so we have an abundance of them — they are practically overflowing in our refrigerator and freezer! Naturally, we will be making jams, butters, ice creams and all sorts of delicious, juicy foods.

I thought I'd start off with strawberry honey butter because I love butter. ("Is butter a carb?" You better believe I take any chance I get to make a Mean Girls plug!) I am convinced it truly makes the world go round. Could you imagine a world without it? The French would cease to be French, and Julia Child would probably never have plunged into the world of cooking. See? It does make the world go round!


1 pint strawberries, hulled
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened


1. In a food processor, purée the strawberries and then transfer to a saucepan.
2. Add the honey and the lemon juice and boil the mixture, stirring until it is thickened. Let the strawberry mixture cool to room temperature. Season with salt, to taste.
3. Transfer to a small bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, begin to cream together the butter and the strawberry mixture until it is blended but not yet smooth.  Beat the mixture for several minutes, until the butter becomes smooth and creamy.
4. Let the butter stand, covered, in a cool place for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes

I put my strawberry honey butter on toast, waffles, crepes, rolls ... whatever needs butter, really! (And in our world, that is basically everything.) Just imagine spreading this stuff over fresh, warm rolls straight from the oven that nearly melt in your mouth because they are so soft. Mmmmm, it's putting me into a food coma just thinking about it!

This butter is a yummy way to give your food a happy flavor lift.  I also think it's really pretty on the eyes, which always makes things even more appetizing, in my opinion. Next enormous crate of strawberries you purchase, you should whip up a batch of this delicious, strawberry goodness! You'll be happy you did. Enjoy!



Easter Egg Decorating Ideas

I know, another Easter egg decorating mood board. Tis' the season, folks. These are a few of my favorite I've rounded up from Pinterest and the web.

1. Confetti dipped eggs. Aren't these beautiful? And they are incredibly easy.
2. Ombre eggs. I love how pretty they look.
3. Paint pen eggs. Don't want to dye your eggs or only have brown on hand? This is a darling alternative.
4. Gold leaf eggs. Possibly the most gorgeous Easter eggs I've ever seen.
5. Naturally dyed eggs. A fun, non-toxic way to dye eggs using vegetables and spices. Yes, please!

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Dress: H&M
Shoes: H&M
Watch: ASOS
Bag: Target
Lips: Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in 'Showy'

1. During the week, I come up with everso brilliant and witty things to include in these posts. It's generally while I'm doing something riveting like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. However, when it comes time to sit down and punch a few words out on the keyboard, I'm totally blank! I suppose I will start keeping a journal of my random thoughts to regale you all with.

2. Fact: Alien abduction insurance literally exists. It even includes coverage for alien pregnancy!

3. Who else is addicted to Buzzfeed quizzes?

4. We are rounding into the toddler phase where Luke talks constantly in the car and says "mom" over and over and over and over and over.

5. Would you rather be able to communicate with walls and have the ability to know everything they know or the ability to time travel?

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Kissy Kissy Giveaway

The clothing from the designer baby line, Kissy Kissy, is as sweet and yummy as it sounds. There is only a a tiny window in which you can dress your baby in those gentle and soft prints and colors reserved for little babes. I think it simply makes them even more babyish and cozy, and Kissy Kissy has a wonderful selection for those darling, itty bitty bodies. Carried in high quality retailers like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's, the quality is top notch and every element is intentionally designed with your baby in mind. The clothing is made from Peruvian Pima cotton, which means it is just as soft as the skin that wears it, and the attention to detail is clear. Get excited, because I've teamed up with them to give away an outfit of your choice today!

Sizes run from preemie to 4T and there are outfits for the everyday cuddling, all the way up to events such as a baby blessing or christening. If I had a little girl, I would be getting this one — so cute I can hardly stand it! We chose this little nautical number for Wes because we spend our days at the beach and it was clearly appropriate (and who doesn't love a baby in a preppy getup?). Now we just need some baby Sperry Topsiders and a trip to the Hamptons and we are golden! ;)

Even if you don't have a baby of your own, I am positive you know someone who is expecting or has their own precious bundle, so this giveaway is a good one for everyone! Simply enter in the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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