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


Ronen Chen Giveaway

We survived our move and I am here to prove that I am alive and well, with only minor injuries. (Luke dropped a ginormous, glass bottle of teriyaki sauce on my pinky toe and I am pretty sure it is broken.) I even managed to swim to the surface of the vast and violent sea of clothing that is my closet right now, and wore this number. This top from Ronen Chen is one of those classic pieces that looks like a million bucks and is an effortless and comfortable top for the summer. It also makes a fabulous nursing cover since it is roomy enough to be a tent for Wes — he approves. ;)

Ronen Chen is Israel's leading fashion designer, and I truly do love all of his designs. I own a few other of his pieces and they are thoughtfully and smartly designed, fit well, and maintain their high quality even after months of wear. And it just so happens they are running a 30% off site wide sale this whole week! Use code 'Fireworks14' at checkout, and if you sign up for their newsletter (in the bottom left corner of the homepage), you will receive 10% off your first order as well!

But wait! We aren't finished quite yet! In celebration of summer, new chapters in life, and freedom, I have partnered with Ronen Chen to give away not one, but two of their scarves! There will be two winners selected — one will win the blue Watercolor Scarf, and the other the orange. They are of supreme quality and the perfect summer accessory, whether you wear it as a beach wrap or to gussy up your shorts and tee. Also, the colors will transition nicely into the fall for when you need a scarf to bundle up in. Rather fabulous giveaway, indeed!

Simply enter as many times as possible in the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced on my Facebook page next Monday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Beach Day Essentials For A Baby

When Luke was a little guy I dreaded the beach because it was messy and complicated. (And goshdarnit, where was he going to take a nap?) Between trying to be on sand eating patrol and figuring out what where to sit him, I was pretty much that person who hated the beach. I mean, I really loathed the mother, and let's face it, nobody wants to be that person — it's supposed to be paradise, for heaven's sake!

Luckily we wised up and discovered the ultimate beach setup, and now we do beach days like champions (cue the Queen performance) with two little hooligans. If you want to have a relaxing time at the beach with your baby and brood, here are the must-have beach day essentials for a baby...

1. KidCo Portable Tent. This is where naps and quiet time happen! Hooray! It zips up so baby is contained and protected from any sun, flying sand or wind.

2. Baby Hat. I am weird about lathering Wes's head in sunscreen. I guess I just don't like the greasy film on his scalp? Anyway, hats are where it's at. We will go out and catch sandcrabs and play in the waves with Luke, and it stays on nice and snug. The key is getting a baby hat with a strap under the chin because it will fly off when a strong breeze comes along, and you don't want to go fishing for it in the waves with a baby on one hip and a toddler on the other hand. Trust me, I know from experience.

3. Turkish Beach Towel. I am a big fan of these towels, and I think they are worth the price. They are lightweight and don't suck up the sand like a regular beach towel, so it makes for quick cleanup and they hold up nicely. Also, they are just pretty to look at and have a resort-esque feel to them.

4. Sunscreen and Baby Powder. The California Baby stuff is the goooood stuff and perfect for sensitive skin, which in my opinion applies to all the babies. And here is a little trick if you aren't a seasoned beach goer: baby powder gets sand off in five seconds flat. Just pour that stuff on like there's no tomorrow and you will have a silky and sand-free child in no time.

5. Beach Umbrella. If you forget the umbrella, you may as well go home. This is the refuge from the beating sun for your little love (and you) and a place for everyone to cool off when the sweltering heat kicks in.

6. KidCo GoPod Seat. I am not exaggerating when I say at least two people ask me where we got this chair every time we are at the beach. It has a snack and drink holder and folds up like a camping chair so it is easy to port around. One word: LIFESAVER.

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Blouse: LOFT
Boyfriend denim: LOFT
Handbag: c/o Emilie M.
Shoes: similar
Watch: ASOS
Necklace: similar
Sunglasses: similar

1. This outfit is proof that I am thinking about finally being a grownup woman. You know in Breakfast at Tiffany's where Audrey Hepburn is talking about how she finds diamonds on women younger than 40 tacky? Well, I think I've hit the milestone in my life of that reverse where it doesn't feel out of touch wearing more classic, womanly pieces. If I could afford it, a pair of Louboutin pumps would feel right. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Forever 21 run, but a part of me is wondering if I am hitting the age cap on shopping there. Which leads me to a very important question... at what age is it no longer acceptable to shop there? Thirty? Forty that looks like 30? Problem is I am pretty cheap when it comes to fast and trendy fashion, so maybe it's really a question of when does the need to be trendy stop? Does it ever? I haz so many questionz.

2. Fact: There are more than 50 species of kangaroos (source).

3. Matt and I get in heated debates about The Bachelorette. It revolves around the issue of Josh. I just feel in my womanly heart that he isn't entirely trustworthy. He may want to settle down, but that still doesn't change the fact that he is a hot ex-baseball player who was probably also a lady player. I mean, why else would he be obsessed with the lie detector situation? He just couldn't leave it alone —red flag, my friends! Matt loves him. He has a bonafide man crush and defends him to the hills and back like they grew up together. And it drives me BONKERS. Don't hate me for saying this, but I really kinda like Nick. He may seem arrogant, but he has a boyish charm about him and I like that he seems a little sarcastic and goes for what he wants. I think Andi needs someone like that with her excessive commanding of "stahhhhhhppp" and her straightforward approach to things.

4. This video goes perfectly with the next question. I started laughing as I was watching it, so Luke walked over and pointed at the people and said, "thas ver-wey naughty." Now we just need to instill that mentality in him until he is at least 20.

5. Would you rather be able to reread your favorite book for the first time or relive your favorite first kiss?

(And here is Luke acting like a dinosaur. New style pose, anyone?)

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Outfit details:
Top: similar
Shorts: Forever 21
Sunglasses: similar
Sandals: Target
Hat: similar
Necklace: c/o ILY Couture

Last week we made the drive up to Newport Beach and spent the day lounging on the beach and walking around Balboa with one of my best gal pals who came down for a visit. If you follow along with my Instagram, you may have already seen some of these pictures, but I wanted to memorialize the day in a blog post because it was one of those perfect summer days and Balboa is downright dreamy. Can't wait to spend more days exploring it once we live in Orange County!

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Pins To Inspire Your Weekend

Here are a few pins to inspire a happy and fantastic weekend...

Just hanging out enjoying life. Via Bits of Pretty.

My two food loves made a baby! Donut ice cream sandwiches are the perfect weekend treat. Via Paper & Stitch.

THIS. Via Pinterest.

Pool floaties! I can practically smell the aroma of sunscreen and coconut body oil mixed with chlorine, and hear the squeakiness of adjusting to the lounging position that is juuuust right. Via Lovely Indeed.

Truly the ideal summer weekend uniform. Effortless and classic! Via Cheetah is the New Black.

This weekend is going to be an especially happy one on the books for us because we get to celebrate Matt's birthday all day tomorrow! Also, you can follow along and see what I am pinning and feeling inspired by on Pinterest here. Have a good one!

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San Clemente Pier

Last Saturday evening, we strolled around the San Clemente Pier with Matt's brother and their little guy. (And I clearly could not refrain from taking 5 bajillion pictures.) If you want to watch a sunset, this is a fantastic place to do it. We're pretty dang thrilled this place is going to be our new hangout spot, because we are moving to Orange County! Next week! Matt landed a wonderful new job, and we are on to a new chapter in our life. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one :)

If my posting is sparse in the next little while, you now know why. And if it is abundant, it's because I am procrastinating the packing/unpacking of it all and posting 5 bajillion more photos of our adventures in our new neck of the woods. Let me know of any places we need to check out!

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5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Breastfeeding

Sometimes I wish life had directional pamphlets for all of its experiences and stumbling blocks. I can picture it now — a HUGE wall (in someplace like Home Depot, preferably next to all the paint color swatches) covered with glossy handouts for all of life's most probing questions. I'd be lined up in the "Mom" section for sure, particularly taking interest in the breastfeeding and toddler instructions.

Welp, consider this post my contribution to the "Mom" pamphlet wall. It goes out to all the new, expecting, and not-yet-but-someday mamas needing to know some basics about breastfeeding that hardly anyone bothers to tell you until it's too late. (And you are in the bitter throes of mastitis!) Come see the whole list over here on What To Expect!

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Top: Vintage 
Pants: LOFT
Shoes: TJ Maxx 
Bag: Home Goods

1. This shirt is probably one of my best vintage thrift scores to date. I love the hand-stitched embroidery on it, and the vibrant shade of yellow for the summer!

2. Fact: Over the course of your life, you will spend an average of six years eating (source). That is unless you are a glutton like me and it's sure to be something more like 10, maybe even 15 ;)

3. How are we feeling about The Bachelorette so far? Did you already cheat and Google who wins? I truly don't know how they keep it under wraps as well as they do. And I still think Andi got the short end of the Bachelor empire stick this year with her selection of guys.

4. I am gearing up to make all of these ice creams, sorbets and refreshing drinks. So many good options and I just don't know where to start! Also, these illustrations are freaking adorable and at a good price (there are select ones on sale at Brickyard Buffalo, even) and I am buying a couple for the boys' room. 

5. Would you rather be trapped in an elevator for multiple hours with your favorite celebrity, or be able to acquire any talent you want and be the best at for the course of a week? 

Last but not least, Matt the Fashion Blogger!

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Freshly Picked Baby Moccasins Giveaway

Raise your hand if you watch Shark Tank. Yes, me too. Matt and I love to hunker down with a bowl of popcorn and tune in whenever we get the chance. I've found that I come away with one of two reactions to the entrepreneurs ballsy enough to flaunt their stuff: 1) trying not to howl in secondhand embarrassment, and completely baffled as to how somebody could waste all of their life savings on such a ridiculous idea, or 2) rooting for the person with an incredible product and smiling like a doofus at the TV because someone's dreams and hard work are legitimately paying off and taking them to bigger and brighter things.

Well, scenario two was the case for Susan's darling baby moccasin line, Freshly Picked. All the sharks wanted her, which is the ultimate jackpot on the show! When I watched it I was beaming for all the wonderful things Freshly Picked had in store.

If you are a reader or follower of mommy blogs and social media, I am positive you have seen these sweet baby shoes floating around the internet for the past couple of years. And guess what? There's a reason there is so much love for them.

Freshly Picked generously sent Wes a pair to try out, and we think they are great! (Even as a teething toy — wink, wink!) I will admit, they are a little spendy, but the leather is so creamy, and every bit of attention to detail is apparent. From the quality of the leather, down to the Freshly Picked logo stamped on the bottom sole, it's a beautiful, well-designed little shoe. If you're going to purchase baby moccasins, this is the place to do it. I ordered a size up so Wes can wear them once he starts toddling, and even though they are a little roomy, they still stay on because of the elastic around the ankles. I always do this so we can get the most out of shoes for our boys, since we usually invest a little more money into one solid pair they wear day in and day out until they are outgrown. If there is one thing I am learning as I age and try to grow up a little, it's that you can never trump quality. It's absolutely worth the extra bit, and these baby moccs are no exception to that ideology.

Lucky for one of you wonderful people, Freshly Picked is giving away a pair of baby moccasins of your choice! There are grip loads of color choices and they run from teeny infant sizes to toddler sizes. This is definitely a giveaway to enter if you have babes of your own or know a little person that would look exceptionally cute in a pair. (And isn't Wes the yummiest? The crossed hands, the chubs, that face! I could gobble him right up.)

Simply enter the giveaway in the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Picture An Hour

8 am: Breakfast a bit later than usual because a certain someone named Luke slept in. (Cue the cheering crowds!)
9 am: Playtime and tot school. This included, but was not limited to, lining up dinosaurs that apparently wanted me to "take a pee-cha."
10 am: Getting ready for the day. Luke getting into the tub of yogurt and dropping it all over the floor while I literally took a one minute shower not pictured.
11 am: Lunch. Leftover pad thai and the most delicious yellow curry.
12 pm: Selecting our weekly book roundup and watching the trains go by from the library.
1 pm: Walking around the shops and boutiques along the 101 in downtown Encinitas. I scored a bonafide, 70's vintage, embroidered peasant top for $10! I call that a success.
2 pm: Grocery shopping and more trains!
3 pm: Discovering this new cafe after dropping by the post office and running errands. It had me at French — can't wait to try it out!
4 pm: Naptime for Luke and some down time with Wes because he slept in the stroller almost the entire day while we were out. Also, he already gives the best hugs.
5 pm: Dinner prep.
6 pm: Keeping it light and healthy for dinner with some cooked ground turkey, baked sweet potatoes and asparagus. (I used this amazing spice blend for the meat, and will be sharing more recipes soon!)
7 pm: Bathtime, storytime, and bedtime.

See my first picture an hour post here.

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