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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : April 2015


5 Colorful Places I Want To Travel

5 Colorful Places to Travel

1. Procida, Italy. This is a small island off the coast of Naples and it is so beautiful I can hardly stand it. These colors belong in a storybook!

5 Colorful Places to Travel

2. Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We might be taking a trip to this area in the fall, so I have studiously been researching and pinning as much as I can about the area. The buildings and walls all over the cities are gorgeous, and it's right on the beach.

5 Colorful Places to Travel
3. Wroclaw, Poland. This is one of those places I have never thought of visiting, but I have seen it floating around Pinterest and the web more times than I can count. After reading up on it and checking out the city, I gotta go! The architecture here is bananas. (image source)

5 Colorful Places to Travel
4. Aveiro, Portugal. Three cheers for the primary colors! This place looks like a dream. We have plans of returning to Spain, so I think heading over to Portugal for a few days would be a good idea.

5 Colorful Places to Travel
5. Marrakech, Morocco. Ahhhh, the mothership of places so bright and colorful it hurts! I am thinking a trip to Morocco needs to take place sooner than later. I already have Chefchaouen on my list, and it isn't too far from Spain either. Sounds like we just need a good month to travel all over the area!

Image sources 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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Fit Mom Progress Photos (Weeks 1-4)

If you told me a few months ago that I would be working out six days a week, I would have laughed out loud. But, here I am! Going strong on Kayla Itsine's Bikini Body Guide and already seeing noticeable changes!

Here are my progress photos so far. I completely forgot to take my measurements the first week, and the last time I checked my weight was at the doctor. I don't own a scale and I am basing my fitness off of how I feel and look. Even though I don't have the exact marking to tell how much has in fact been lost, I know I have lost at least half an inch off of my belly. It is flatter and the wrinkling and cellulite-looking junk are beginning to melt away.

I would like to add that these photos have made me notice how crooked my shoulders are. I swear I am not leaning to the side. I am just a gimp—my left leg is about half an inch shorter than my right. Are there ways to fix my posture? I feel really awkward when I stand with my shoulders even. Anyway...

These back photos are my favorite for noticing significant changes. (Although, sorry for the colossal wedgie! Ha!) My hips are slimmer and my quads and hamstrings are getting nice and tight. The cellulite on my thighs is decreasing. (Hooray!) Also, my back and arms are toning up and shedding the excess flab and skin.

To take us on out, the side shot! I am not sucking in for these photos, so my belly still sticks out a little, but it is definitely smaller. Also, my hamstrings, butt and triceps are getting more muscle tone.

Overall, I feel amazing. I've had a lot of people ask me if this program is worth it, and I 100% say yes to that. I cannot stand the gym and love the convenience of being able to roll out my yoga mat and do the circuits in 30 minutes. There have been a few days where I thought to myself, I'm tired, I will just do it tomorrow! But that is the path to losing the motivation for working out, and I am so happy I have pushed myself every day.

As for the diet and eating side of things, I am loosely counting my calories and following the basic guidelines of portion control, eating lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains, drinking the recommended 64 oz of water per day, and cutting out excessive sugar in my diet. Here are some simple and healthy meals I have been eating, and here are some yummy detox water recipes!

I am feeling good, and encourage you to start your own fitness journey. Like I said, if I can do it, YOU can do it! Cheers to being healthy and strong!

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Fresh Tangerine Jewelry Giveaway!

Well, hello there! How goes it? The weekend was long but in a really, really good way. We spent it camping by the beach and eating all the marshmallows in sight. (Er, that was really Luke, but we will just pretend it was all of us.)

I kinda sorta had a case of the #mondaze this morning but it turned out to be a wonderful day. I gussied up my face with a set of lash extensions. If you live in San Diego or Southern OC, Ciao Bella is the place to go! It would make a perfect Mother's Day gift to yourself or a mama you know in need of some girl time. 

I painted out all of my laziness and angsty feelings toward this week as well. Aren't those succulents so cute? They are inspired by my newest plants. Someone asked if I could make this baby painting a print available for download, and I just might be able to make that a reality. I aim to please, guys. I aim to please!

Last, but not least, this Monday is ending on a grand high noted because I am also giving away a set of stacking rings from Fresh Tangerine

This is their studio. Isn't it adorable? I automatically love them because they are based in Seattle, and that PNW is in my blood. Man, I miss living there. I swear creativity rises from the pavement and seeps out of the walls. Such a cool place. Oh, and you should check out Love City Love if you are wanting to meet some fellow creative kindred spirits. Simply watching their dance parties makes me giddy. So much goodness all around!

Here are the amazing women of Fresh Tangerine themselves! How do I snuggle in on that couch? And that rug? Gimme, gimme! Anyway, it's a great company, the jewelry is beautiful, delicate and incredibly well-made—also another great Mother's Day gift idea. (Hint, hint, Matt!)

Be sure to come enter the giveaway on my Instagram here! It ends tomorrow night (Tuesday, April 29)! Good luck, my friends!



Thoughts On Protecting My Children Online

Yesterday Luke was asking all sorts of questions about his "baby Wes" and we started to talk about how Luke was once a little, tiny baby. Tiny enough to fit in my belly! His face lit up and his eyes began to twinkle.

"Do you want to see pictures of yourself when you were a baby and in mommy's belly?" I asked him.

"YEAH!!!" he replied.

So, he sat in my lap and we scrolled through all of my old blog entries—all the way from having a baby bump, to the eensy-weensy newborn pictures, to the first time he started walking. In that moment, I realized I have captured so many incredible moments and firsts I would have otherwise brushed to the side in my mind, where they would collect cobwebs and become hazy memories. I am so grateful I have kept this blog and put the time and energy it takes to photograph all the moments and write out all the feelings.

However, there is a darker side to putting your life out there on the internet. Lately, so many of my blogging friends who are mothers have had their children's photos stolen and used for creepy, fake role-play accounts. And who knows what other hellish ways those photos are being warped and inappropriately used. I cannot even begin to let my mind go there.

But, all of this has me seriously contemplating where I stand on blasting photos of Luke and Wes onto the internet. I find so much joy in sharing our life—the tender and sweet times, and the frustrating, I-want-to-rip-my-hair out times. I love being able to be a voice for issues to which many mothers and women deeply feel and relate, but may be too afraid to say on their own.

Where do I draw the line? When do I pull the plug?

These are questions I ask myself every day. I have thought a grip load about how I can share those personal feelings and moment as a mother, but keep Luke and Wesley's life a little more secure and private. This is after all a mom blog, and obviously I am a mother because of them, but I feel like there is a way to keep the focus more about how I feel about this stage of motherhood, versus it being all about the boys' lives.

Am I making any sense? I feel like this is such a sticky subject of debate. There is the whole side of, "the world is full of ugliness and cruelty, and you shouldn't shelter yourself and your children because of it—share your life if that's what makes you happy and realize life needs to continue on and don't let the junk get to you." And then there is the opposing side of, "the world is too open now and it is your number one priority to make sure your children are not out there AT ALL if you care about them—you are a crap parent if you disagree."

You picking up what I am putting down here? I am so torn. Like I said, I love sharing our life, but the more these gross things happen the more inclined I am to put a halt on that aspect of it. There was a wonderful article written here about how to share your life while keeping your kid's protection in mind, and I really like the points that were made. I am trying to put them into practice and be more mindful of what types of pictures I post to Instagram and here on the blog. I absolutely refuse to post photos of them anymore where they are solely in their diaper or underwear, or without a shirt. I am trying to focus more on taking photos which only partially show their faces if they are the only one in the picture, and I really try to make it a point to be in the pictures with them if we are all smiling and looking at the camera. (Apparently those are less targeted?)

Either way, I care about their safety. I don't want them growing up with some weird complex or hating me for putting their lives out for the world to see without their permission. I am not going to stop blogging or make any hard and fast declarations about never posting another picture of my boys again. But I am going to be more careful about specific things I say about them and be more thoughtful of the pictures I do post of them. I feel good about that in my heart and know it is the right thing to do for our family.

So, I am curious about your thoughts on this. Are you a mom? Do you have nieces and nephews who are out there? How do you feel about children's pictures being shared on social media, even if it is just a private account? I am really interested to know the different viewpoints on this matter, so don't hold anything back! Let's talk about this. It's something that needs to be discussed!

Also, thank you for coming back here to read my blog again and again. I truly do cherish the friendships I have made with you and I love the happy side of this online community. There is much goodness to be shared! Thanks for supporting that. Lots of love and hugs to you, and you, and you!

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5 Quick, Low-Calorie Meal Ideas

5 Quick, Low-Calorie Meal Ideas

Eating healthy and delicious food is hard when you are first starting off. I feel like I am constantly searching for recipes that are low-calorie, packed with flavor and filling. Yes, filling is the thing I struggle with most. It is probably because I am retraining my stomach and brain on proper portion sizes (I can eat almost an entire pizza by myself) and that takes awhile! Anyway, I thought I'd share five of the meals I currently have on rotation, and bonus! They are quick to make! Like, 20 minutes and under quick, which is also an important thing for me.

1. Avocado Egg Toast. This is one of my breakfast staples. It comes in at about 250 calories with a slice of whole wheat toast, 1/4 of sliced avocado and one fried egg. Best way to start off the day, and it is really pretty to look at. (Because we all like a good Instagram food pic! Ha.)

5 Quick, Low-Calorie Meal Ideas

2. Grilled Chicken with Quinoa and Asparagus. This is absolutely delicious for dinner after a workout, or I even eat it for lunch if I went for a long run in the morning. Grill 1/2 cup of chicken, mix in some grape tomatoes and one tablespoon of feta cheese into your cooked quinoa, and serve it up with grilled asparagus. So many robust flavors! This meal has about 400 calories, and it keeps me satisfied and energized for hours.

5 Quick, Low-Calorie Meal Ideas

3. Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls. Okay, this might be my favorite thing on the whole planet to eat for lunch. I learned how to make these when I was 19 while working at a Thai restaurant, and I am telling you they changed my world. You take two rice papers, lightly soak them and then gently overlay them like a Venn diagram. In the middle where the rice papers overlap, place a good chunk of lettuce, sprouts, basil, shredded carrots, and about 4-5 pieces of large shrimp. Starting from the top, roll the rice paper like a burrito making sure you pull it tightly over the stuffing. Serve it with some sweet chili sauce and bam! You are in heaven. Best thing? You are totally full after eating two of these AND they are only 200 calories. For the both of them! Touchdown!

5 Quick, Low-Calorie Meal Ideas

4. Pesto Shrimp Pasta. I would also like to note this is equally as wonderful with grilled chicken, which is cheaper and most likely on hand. This is my default dinner when I don't feel like cooking up something extravagant (which is 98.3% of the time). Cook 1/4 cup of penne or rotini pasta, thaw out 1/4 cup of shrimp, and mix it all together with 2 tablespoons of pre-made pesto from Costco. Or if you are a superhero, you can mix it in with fresh homemade pesto, but I don't have the time for that or the desire. Although I do like the idea of it freshly made. (Baby steps, Abbey, baby steps!) This is literally one of the most impressive thing you can make in under 15 minutes. I highly recommend. Oh, and the calories for this whippersnapper of a meal weigh in at 275 with shrimp and 325 with 1/2 cup of grilled chicken. Nice!

5 Quick, Low-Calorie Meal Ideas

5. Quinoa Veggie Salad with Naan and Hummus. This is what I eat when I am doing a refrigerator dump and have no energy left to make food because Kayla's resistance training has sucked the life (and hopefully fat) out of me. I like to cook a huge batch of quinoa for the week so I can add it into my meals for a healthy, gluten-free grain. All this requires is 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, any medley of random vegetables in your refrigerator (I have tomatoes, avocado, and mushrooms in mine) and 1 tablespoon of feta cheese to give it some bite. I eat it with a slice of mini naan with a spread of 1 tablespoon of hummus. I think this makes for a light and satisfying lunch, and the calories are about 400. This meal is extra tasty with my infused detox water recipes.

I hope these are helpful if you are looking for new clean eating ideas. I am on week three of my Bikini Body Guide workouts, and I am already noticing a significant difference in my body. My stomach isn't as poochy and everything is starting to tighten up. Obviously, I still indulge in donuts and pizza once and awhile, but within reason now (as compared to every other day before I started this whole fitness journey). I still don't believe in depriving myself and like to reward myself with treats, but eating healthy is a huge staple in getting the fit body I want. And I am proud of myself for sticking with it!

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Forever 21 Twisted Band Wool Fedora Hat
Forever 21 Relaxed Chambray Blouse
H&M Giraffe Print Tank Top
Zara White Denim
Forever 21 Round Sunglasses
Forever 21 Black Ankle Booties
31 Bits Gold Bracelet c/o

1. Being a mom means jumping for joy when you find the perfect everyday button up to wear. And it means you probably shouldn't wear white pants if you like them to stay white. Just sayin'.

2. Fact: Bubble wrap was originally designed to be used as wallpaper (source). That is hilarious to me. It would actually make great wallpaper at our house since we have a certain one-year-old who crashes head first into the walls at least three times per day.

3. I guess the emoji powers that be WERE listening to me when I requested new ones last week (see #3)! (Insert winky face and smug face emoji.) How are we feeling about the update? Love seeing that they have all races in there for the people. Still no unicorn or bacon, but I guess Rome wasn't built in a day.

4. Speaking of bacon, we went to Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa today with our favorite lady crew and it was everything it was cracked up to be. Bacon maple! Strawberry buttermilk! Girl Scout cookie Samoas! And peanut butter chocolate banana! Oh, there were more, but I will save those for another time. All things in moderation, yes?

5. Would you rather watch a movie with a picture but no sound, or a movie with sound but no picture?

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DIY Body Scrub For Sore Muscles (And A Giveaway!)

DIY Body Scrub for Sore Muscles
I am officially starting Week 3 of the BBG! Honestly, I cannot believe how quickly the time is going, but I have the sore muscles to prove it. They yell at me on a daily basis—especially the ones in my glutes. Oy!

Next week I will be posting my Week 4 progress pictures, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you my body scrub I have been using to rehabilitate from all of those burpees and mountain climbers, AKA workouts from hell. No pain, no gain, right?

DIY Body Scrub for Sore Muscles
I have been using the bath salt crystals from Relax Spa and Bath to soak after a hard workout (which has been pretty much every single day since starting my fitness journey). The one pictured is their Recover crystals from their range of salts specifically made for athletic soak therapy.

DIY Body Scrub for Sore Muscles

To make the body scrub, simply add 2 tablespoons of bath crystals and about 1 teaspoon of water to a small container and mix it into a paste. Draw yourself a steamy, warm bath and scrub yourself down in all those achy places. As you soak for a few minutes, it starts to tingle all over and the relief is A-MAZING.

Aromatherapy Bath Crystals Giveaway You lucky ducks get to enter to win a pack of eight of their aromatherapy crystals! The salts are all-natural and contain a mixture of Dead Sea salt, epsom salt, essentials oils, anti-inflammatories, vitamins, and minerals. I like to use mine in the bath because they help pull out all of those yucky toxins and moisturize my skin, but you can use them in a humidifier or in the laundry too! So many good uses and the scents are delicious.

This eight-pack includes (from left to right in the picture):
  • Tropical Rain to refresh
  • Dream Love Potion to set the mood, if you know what I mean... 
  • Recover for sore muscles (the one I used above and absolutely recommend)
  • Verbena Lime Coconut to awaken the senses
  • Warm French Vanilla for a comforting soak
  • Green Tea to invigorate
  • Eucalyptus Mint to stimulate (it smells so good and is awesome in the humidifier to clear out congestion!)
  • Lavender Palmarosa to calm and relax
Don't you just want to go light some candles and take a nice, long soak in the tub now? I do! I use these as a reward for doing my daily workouts. My inner dialogue sounds something like this... Abbey, 20 more minutes and you get to take an aromatherapy bath! Lavender Palmarosa is just around the bend! Ten more lunges and it's Warm French Vanilla time!

A fit girl's gotta do what a fit girl's gotta do to stay motivated! Now, go enter to win this set in the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. If you are into making your own natural health and beauty products, check out my whipped body butter, lavender facial cleanser, facial exfoliant scrub, insect repellent, and homemade powdered blush!

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The Bookseller Review And Discussion

The Bookseller Review and Discussion

We've been stuck inside for three days now with some gnarly colds and stomach bugs, so reading is one of my two ways to escape my cabin fever. (Netflix is the other one.)

Last month's reading selection was The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson, and it is high time I get to sharing my review and the discussion! Did you read it? Are you planning to? Here are my overall thoughts...

It was a pretty good book. On a five star scale, I would give it a three and a half. It was a fairly quick read, contained plot twists, a little bit of romance, and covered some serious themes. Kitty, the main character, is a single woman who owns a book shop and finds herself living in a very realistic world within her dreams, where she goes by Katharyn and is a wife and mother to three children. It gets to the point where she isn't sure which one is real anymore.

I liked the idea of this plot. Like I said when I announced this book, it kind of has an Inception vibe to it, but in the world of motherhood. It kept me wondering and guessing until the very end which realm was in fact reality. I also love to talk about dreams and their meanings and all of that mumbo jumbo.

The themes in this books are ripe for long and philosophical discussion, the kind that keep you on the phone for hours or chatting until the the sun comes up. Here are a few of my favorite:

1. Of what significance is it that the novel is set in the 1960s? That Kitty lives in the city, and Katharyn in a suburban neighborhood?

2. Examine what the society of the time expects from, allows, or forbids women. In what ways do various characters push against such definition? What empowers them to do so?

3. At one point in Katharyn’s struggle to understand her predicament she says her mind is playing tricks on her, is “using [her] body as a clever prop.” How do the mind and body work with or against each other in times of distress?

4. Why do we dream? What might be the value of dreaming while asleep? What do powerful dreams have in common with reality?

5. What complexities are introduced with Michael, Katharyn and Lars’s third child? What effects do the 1960s medical theories about the nature and causes of autism have on Katharyn?

6. In a time of great frustration Kitty concedes that, “there is no such thing as a perfect life.” Why is this? How close can we get? What’s most important in our attempt?

7. Kitty’s initial interaction with Lars suggests that very different lives might result for a person simply because of timing, even a matter of seconds. To what extent and in what ways has timing played a role in your life?

8. Of what value is the imagination, that “remarkably clever and hardworking creature”? In what ways might an active imagination become problematic or even unhealthy?

So many great questions to ponder!

As for April's book club selection, it is Just Kids by Patti Smith. I announced it on Instagram a few weeks ago, and I will be sharing my review and discussion on it in May. FYI, I have already finished it and do have to say that it is one of my favorite books I have ever read. Truly. I mean it in every sense of the word. Patti Smith is a genius with words, a true poet, and she lived in a world which I find incredibly fascinating, frightening and inspiring. For me it is a book I will be returning to time and time again, wearing in the pages and marking up the margins. Do me a favor and read it. But, don't read it if 60s culture isn't your thing. Or do because maybe there is something in there from which you will benefit or be enlightened. Either way, I love it, I love it, I love it and recommend it! Be prepared for a to read my novella of thoughts on it! ;)

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We're Going To San Francisco!

San Francisco

We are headed to San Francisco next month for our anniversary and I cannot wait! There is so much beauty and history and it will be my first time going. Obviously, I need all the tips I can get. I have compiled a list, which naturally includes all the main tourist attractions, but I want it to be more than that. Like, where do the locals go? What are the hidden gems people miss?

Our trip will only be for three days, but we are going sans kids and will be free to roam and sightsee and eat! Can I tell you how excited I am to be able to sit in a restaurant without worrying about spilled water and utensils flying through the air? THIS excited!

Here is the list I have compiled. It is in no particular order of importance or geographically mapped out, although I would like it to be when we go. Pretty please suggest, say nay, or embellish on where to stay, what to do and where to eat.


Golden Gate Bridge and National Rec Area. This is naturally the first thing to add to the list because it is iconic!

Sausalito and Tiburon. All the guides I have read say to head to Sausalito and then head to Tiburon after. Is this worth it? I hear it is charming and quaint and the dreamiest little town. PLUS, it's where Sara and Lars live in Serendipity, and we all know how I feel about that!

The Painted Ladies. Full House, guys! I plan on packing my scrunchies, sweatshirts and Keds with socks...wait a minute, isn't that back in style? I will be so hip! ;) (And when did I get so OLD?!) Be expecting many a photo and grams about me having a picnic in the park across the way and pretending to kiss Uncle Jesse.

Haight and Ashbury. Because I am convinced I belonged in the 60s and am a hippie at heart. I don't care if I am living my teenage angsty dreams and reverting back to my obsession with The Doors by going here. It just has to be done.

Fisherman's Wharf. Again, it is my duty as a proper tourist to visit this place.

Chinatown. But not just the main street! (I don't even know the street names to reference to.) I have read that the side alleys are where the real cool stuff goes down.

Presidio. We love to hike so we will spend one of our mornings enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer.

Mission District. I will most certainly be overgrammin' this entire trip, and my wall mural-loving self will be in high heaven at the Clarion Alley Murals! Where are the other must-see bright walls and murals? I am specifically interested in pink houses like the ones in the photo above! Are they everywhere? I don't know these things. Forgive my ignorance and teach me your ways.

16th Avenure Mosaic Steps. Again, because I am a sucker for colorful and artistic things and live for photo opps ;)

Bernal Slides. I saw this suggestion and HAD to add it to the list. These slides are HUGE! How cool! Kid at heart, ya know?


Tartine. Apparently this is a delicious alternative to that other popular bakery I don't remember the name of.

And that wraps up the list! Is it a good one? Obviously we still need suggestions for places to eat and a cool hotel to stay in, so please send them my way!

Our countdown for our trip to San Francisco has begun, and I am incredibly excited to share our photos and adventures. Be sure to follow along our journey on Instagram (@alongabbeyroad). I promise it will be full of life and color. Can't wait!

Photo by Anne-Solange Tardy 

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Sheinside Embroidered Dress
Target Sandals

1. I love a good embroidered dress, especially one from Free People. Buuuutttt, those are a little pricey, and I heard a tip from a fellow friend and blogger about how Sheinside basically makes the knock-off versions. Naturally, I thought I'd try it out to see if it was worth it because I am always down for a deal! Here are my two cents: The dress photographs beautifully and is great for a few wears, but the quality is not that great. The material is cheap and I had to trim loose threads on almost all of the embroidered flowers. (Yeah, that's like, 150 flowers.) I have a Free People embroidered dress to which I am comparing it (and I got mine for a steal at TJ Maxx) and I would definitely say save up your pennies for the real deal if you are wanting one for spring and summer, and you plan on wearing it more than four or five times. But, the cheaper version might work for you if you want it for family photos or for a specific occasion. Either way, you will have to twirl in it, because what's a dress good for if it doesn't have twirling capabilities?

2. Fact: The odds of having twins are 1 in 33. The odds of delivering triplets or other multiples shoot up to 1 in 539 (source). Call me crazy, but I would LOVE twins.

3. I've been thinking about emojis a lot lately. (I know, such a deep and complex thing to ponder!) Mostly I have just been thinking how it is time they released a whole new arsenal of emojis. Emoji makers, if you are reading this, please include my wishlist for consideration: unicorn, fingers crossed, middle finger, cupcake, pregnant lady, more clothing and shoe options in general, running girl, bacon, hot dog, CHEESE, a legitimate high five, and a Netflix one for good measure.

4. Yesterday I saw a lady wreck a brand new Lexus. A brand new Lexus that she was TEST DRIVING. She literally was about to make a left-hand turn back into the dealership and then basically totalled the whole front left side of the car. Thankfully nobody was hurt (besides that poor car). But could you imagine? That is always the one thing I have always freaked over in my mind when test driving a car. What if I crash it?! Will I have to pay for it? Will they make me answer phones until it is paid off?! Honestly, though. Would you have to pay for it, or does your insurance cover it? Or does the dealership have insurance? I don't know these things, but I suppose I should educate myself on the matter. Be safe while driving, folks!

5. Would you rather have cotton candy for hair or have licorice-dispensing fingertips?

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3 Slimming Detox Water Recipes

3 Slimming Detox Water Recipes

When you are trying to drink 64 ounces of water every day, it can get a little boring. Fortunately, infused water has come to my rescue and makes my guzzling of the stuff bearable, dare I say enjoyable!

I have been drinking these three slimming detox water combinations for the past few days and it has helped bring down that bulky, bloated feeling when starting a new workout. I don't know about you, but I always feel like I get so much bigger the first few weeks. My fitness guru, Becca, informed me that the reason for this is our muscles are building, which means it is pushing out the fat, and it takes time for that fat to shred. Our muscles are also being torn when doing a new workout, and water draws to them to heal, which causes some swelling and water retention. (I am learning so many new things!) Clearly all of this means the body needs to slim and detox as much as possible and these detox waters make me feel so much better!

3 Slimming Detox Water Recipes

Cucumber and Lime Detox Water

Slice half a lime and about eight slices of cucumber. Place in a small glass jar or water bottle and refrigerate for an hour or more. This one is my favorite for cooling down after a workout. The cucumbers are a soothing and refreshing taste, help with water retention, and have anti-inflammatory properties. The lime helps with digestion and is great for amping up your immune system.

3 Slimming Detox Water Recipes

Grapefruit and Strawberry Detox Water

Slice about one half of a grapefruit and five strawberries, and place in a 32 ounce glass container or bottle. Refrigerate for an hour or more. I like putting this one in a larger container because the grapefruit is larger and gives off a strong, somewhat bitter taste. Could that be called zesty? Not my favorite, but this one is the best for slimming down! Grapefruit is great for your immune system and can help boost your metabolism, which is why so many people call it the "fat-burning" super food. Strawberries contain anthocyanins, which can also prevent fat cells from enlarging and are also a great metabolism booster.

3 Slimming Detox Water Recipes

Lemon Orange and Mint Detox Water

Slice half a lemon, a couple slices of orange, and a handful of mint leaves and place in a large glass bottle or jar. Refrigerate for a few hours. This one if hands down my favorite. It is the perfect thing to drink all day long and has a subtle, pleasant taste to it. The lemons are great for cleansing out your digestive system, the orange and peel are a great immune system booster, and mint helps soothe your stomach.

3 Slimming Detox Water Recipes

I hope you try some of these out in addition to your workouts and healthy living. Enjoy!

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I Can Be A Fit Mom

This is my body. This is my body unedited, unfiltered and what it looks like after having two kids.

First off, can I just tell you how horrifying it is to post unedited photos of yourself on the internet in your almost-skivvies? But, it is necessary since I want to share my fitness journey and I figure sharing it here on the blog will keep me accountable and help me to stay on track.

I have a lot of feelings about the topic of what it means to be a "fit mom." You see, for the longest time I felt like I was breaking the rules of feminism by writing down what I was eating, counting calories and working out in the pursuit of being thin. I wrote a post about body image as a mother and have mentioned that mindset numerous times. And I guess after preaching about loving yourself no matter how you look, I suppose I cornered myself into feeling guilty about wanting to get so ripped I get a four-pack.

However, after a lot of internal conflicting dialogue, I have come to the conclusion that it's OKAY if I am a fit mom who eats healthy! In fact, I am throwing my hands in the air and thinking Why didn't I do this sooner and more consistently?!

I asked for fitness motivation tips on Instagram (@alongabbeyroad) a couple of days ago, and Lucy pointed out to me that her kids are her motivation for staying fit. It hit me like a ton of bricks! Of course I should be leading a healthy and active lifestyle as an example to them. I have always admired those families who do team marathons but always thought to myself Oh, that will never be me. But that is ridiculous! It CAN be me with Matt, Luke and Wes. (Now, whether or not that actually happens is a different story, but I like the idea of being open to it and realizing it is a legitimate possibility.) Also, I don't want my boys setting up crap eating habits and developing a sugar addiction like I have. (Oh yes, my friends, the sugar addiction is real. I've had splitting headaches and mood swings all week!) My family has a history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, so it is extremely important I take the utmost care of my body and teach Luke and Wes those same guidelines.

So, here I am in my sports bra and shorts (and pantylines ... didn't really think that one through, woops!) on the internet, and I will be for the next 12 weeks. I have decided to do Kayla Itsine's Bikini Body Guide. I am sure you have heard of it because it the latest exercise fad. I am usually not into fitness trends BUT! Have you seen the before and after photos of the women who are participating in the challenge? MIND. BLOWING. There is no wonder why all the ladies are jumping on this bandwagon. And you guys, I am going to be one of those incredible transformations! I am determined!!

I started it on Monday, so this is my first week. I cross my heart, hope I don't die (from all those circuits) it is amazing. As a mom, it works with my schedule since I can do it at home during naptime. I love its accessibility and I love how she literally tells you what to do every single day. I need that. I am horrible at coming up with my own workouts and even worse at getting out of the house to attend a class or spend an hour at the gym. This is the fitness jackpot for me. I am sore, but already feeling sturdier and more solid on day four.

She also offers a day by day food guide, but I am just using her servings guide and making my own meal plans. I am thinking about sharing my food guides each week I post a progress photo, in case you need some inspiration! I will also be sharing some of my meals and workout photos on Instagram, so be sure to follow along here.

Overall, I am excited and feeling strong and motivated. Just because I want to be lean and fit doesn't mean I love myself any less than when I am squishier and curvy. I want to reach my highest potential for an active and healthy lifestyle. I know it will help me overcome my anxiety and depression and help me to be the best version of myself.

I can be a fit mom. I will be a fit mom.

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5 Hilarious Things To Watch On Netflix This Weekend

1. Mean Girls. I feel like I should just make this a "5 Things Written by Tina Fey to Watch on Netflix This Weekend" post, but I won't do that. (Be sure to add 30 Rock to your list too, even though I am not officially including it on this list. And make sure you make yourself a sandwich beforehand.) Ahhhh, Mean Girls. The butter to my bread. The frosting to my cake filled with rainbows. Bless you, Tina Fey, you genius. Also, I feel it my duty to note that you should NOT watch Mean Girls 2. DO NOT DO IT. It will ruin all the warm fuzzy giggles you accrue from watching the movies on this list. Also, this.

2. Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe. I feel like Jim Gaffigan is the most quoted person on Father's Day, thanks to this comedy routine. "Do you wanna know what it's like to have four kids? Just imagine you're drowning and someone hands you a baby." There's a good chance you have already seen this routine, but it is a must-watch if not!

3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. YOU GUYS, I was crying from laughing so hard after watching this show. Tina Fey wrote it, so obviously it's a good one. I wish I could be friends with Titus in real life and could talk about it for hours, but I don't want to spoil anything. All that matters is that it is well worth the five hours it takes to binge watch the whole season. PROMISE ME YOU WILL WATCH IT.

4. Zoolander. Raise your hand if you would rather stand in line at the theater for 10 hours to see the sequel than the next YA fanfiction trilogy made into a movie. If you raised your hand, then we would be best friends. (Disclaimer: I do love most fanfiction, but I love to laugh more. Now if only there could be a blend of the two ... I think I'm onto an untapped niche here!) When they announced Zoolander 2 at Paris Fashion Week, I literally hollered out loud (#HOL) and did an incredibly entertaining happy dance. All is right in the world now. Obviously I am elated because I luuu-huuuvv Zoolander.  My favorite things to quote include, "Cool story, Hansel" for when people tell me something pointless (which is funny, because I am usually the one who can't stay on topic in a conversation to save my life and I am full of useless information); "I've never even been to Mount Vesuvius (see previous explanation); Matilda: "I became ... bulimic." Derek: "You can read minds?"

5. Scrubs. I fell in love with Zach Braff after watching Garden State approximately 247 times as an angsty teenager. (That soundtrack is still the bomb, by the way.) Little did I know that he is funny! I was a faithful Scrubs watcher until its very end in 2009. Some tears were shed, some exclamations of "WHYYY?!" shouted to the heavens. Thank you, Netflix, for bringing my beloved pals back.

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Cloth Diapering Your Second Baby

When we decided to first take the cloth diapering plunge, Luke was 18 months old. I was hesitant because I felt like Luke was too old to start, but I was extremely interested in the financial savings and the environmentally friendly aspects. (There is nothing as disgusting as a week's worth of stinky disposable diapers piling up, I tell you!)

For the next four months we cloth diapered regularly. It wasn't until I had Wesley that I switched back to disposables. The idea of cloth diapering both of them sounded nothing short of heroic, and I attempted it for a few days. I about lost my marbles. I couldn't even think about handling an additional load of laundry or constantly scraping out the sticky newborn poop. Adjusting to wrangling two tiny human beings was enough, and we neatly stowed away the cloth diapers for a future time.

Well, that future time arrived a little over a year later. We potty trained Luke and I finally created a smooth laundry system for the first time in my adult life. (You can't win them all.) The idea of cloth diapering Wes sounded like a good idea once again and I have actually enjoyed it. (Is that weird?) Sure, it would have made the most financial sense to cloth diaper while they were BOTH in disposable diapers, but that would have just been too logical now wouldn't it? ;) 

We now do what I like to call hybrid diapering. I use cloth diapers while we are at home. If we go out for an extensive amount of time during the day or on a trip, I will put Wes in disposables. It cuts back about one large box of diapers per month, which saves about $30, not to mention less waste.

If you are wondering or hesitant about cloth diapering your second baby, or third or fourth, my advice is to do what works with your schedule and system. I wish it would have been something that worked for us to do with Wes from the get go, but it just wasn't. There is no shame or guilt in recognizing your limits as a parent, even though that took me some time to work through. And that goes for EVERY aspect of parenting.

If you are curious about how to cloth diaper, this post is all about our cloth diapering routine and the cost breakdown and comparison. Although I would like to mention we exclusively use the snap pocket diapers now. (The ones Wes is wearing above.) They are as easy and efficient to change as a disposable diaper, which is a big deal if you have other kids. This post talks about how we store and wash our cloth diapers in detail, and this post has a ton of cute pictures of Luke as a baby from when I was debating whether or not to go the cloth diapering route. I am happy I did!

Happy diapering!

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