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


5 Great Movies To Watch On Netflix This Thanksgiving

1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Yes, it is on Netflix, and I consider it to be one of the world's top three most quotable movies. And I watch a lot of movies. No further explanation needed.

2. Sabrina. Remakes of classic movies are hit or miss, but this version of Sabrina is definitely a hit. It's a feel-good love story for the whole family to watch. (And then get excited about Star Wars: The Force Awakens because Harrison Ford's presence will definitely trigger that conversation.)

3. Take Me Out to the Ball Game. I was raised on this movie—I spent the entirety of my childhood summers at the pool practicing synchronized swimming moves in the fashion of Esther Williams because of this movie. I can still clearly recall scanning the VHS section at the library and always ending up with this film in my two-foot tower of books and videos. The feel of peeling plastic covers under my fingers and the distinctive smell of old books come to mind when I watch it, and Thanksgiving is definitely a holiday where happy nostalgia is welcome.

4. Living on One Dollar. This film was a timely reminder for me to look outward beyond my own privileged life, and realize that my banal complaining about my lack of end tables or growing bored of my living space is completely out of touch and self-involved. Since watching it I've been working to realign my priorities by engaging in meaningful and selfless activities, practicing mindful gratitude, and nurturing my relationships with people I love instead of wasting time with materialistic and ungenuine pursuits.

5. Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Film Collection. In other words, all those awesome short films by Pixar. The kids will love it, you will love it, everyone will love it! A great family movie choice for all!

Wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving!

P.S. Here is what I'll be serving at our Thanksgiving feast this year should you need any last-minute ideas. Gobble, gobble!

Image sources 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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10 DIY Holiday Ornaments Kids Can Help You Make

10 DIY Holiday Ornaments Kids Can Help You Make

It's almost that time of year to pull out all your Christmas decorations and deck the halls like you're Buddy the Elf. Unless you're Costco, and in that case Christmas came before Halloween. But that's neither here nor there!

The true meaning of this post is to share some great ideas for making Christmas crafts and ornaments with your kids. We have all sorts of fun activities planned to keep us busy and creative. I'm mostly excited about making these DIY clay ornaments!

Come see the entire list of DIY ornaments in my article on Parenting.com! Happy crafting, kids.

Image via Kelli Murray

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Our Trip To Chicago

Time is truly a thief considering we were visiting Nanny and Papa in Chicago two months ago! Feels like I just stepped off the plane last week. How?! Why?! Is this a good time to watch Interstellar to remind myself it's all relative?

Anyway, here is a friendly photo dump of all of our adventures, which included, but were not limited to:

Playing at Kuiper's farm and barely missing the timeframe for apple picking and pumpkin scavenging. Oh well. At least I got whooped in a game of bean bag toss and ate the best apple cider donut of my life.

Bike rides and sneaking around Matt's high school.


Miss Chitown in all her glory. Chicago really is a stupidly pretty city. I could live there. 

Fishing and freaking out at the slimy nature of those waterbound creatures.

Now when do I get to move the Midwest? I make mighty fine cornbread, and I have an impressive ability to wear local sports team apparel like I am one of their most dedicated fans. I am sure I would fit right in! (Da bears.)

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How Do You Talk To Your Kids?

On Monday I took the boys to a new park as a reward for bravely enduring their annual flu shots. Such an ordeal deserves a prize as grandiose as a shiny new-to-us park, after all.

There we were. Or should I say there they were, zipping down the slides and flinging their army men off the edge of those death trap fire poles. (WHY do they put those in parks for toddlers and young children? Seriously. And would you consider yourself a "park mom"? I don't. I consider myself a "sit-on-the-benches-and-don't-bother-me-unless-you-are-bleeding-because-I-am-reading-a-great-book mom". It's called sanity, people.) I began hearing mom voices with their high-pitched vowels creeping up over the edge of the pages and weaseling their way into my ears.

"Sweetie, we have to wait our turn. No, no, noooo we don't push other people in line."

"Do you want to go on the swings with brother?!

"You turn around and go tell that little boy sorry. You gave him an owie."

"Would that make you happy if mommy played trucks with you?"

"YAAYYYY! Good job!"

"Ooopsy! It's okay. Ohhhh, it's okkaaaaayyy. Mommy's got youuuu."

Disclaimer: I am not making fun of moms. Okay, yes, I am making fun of moms. BUT! That includes myself. I guarantee I have uttered each of these statements approximately 3,462 times in my short career as a mother. Really, if anyone deserves a trophy in the world of mom voice, it's me! Gold medal, numero uno! Look at my kid in the picture above giving himself the face palm because of my mom voice!

Moving on.

I started silently laughing to myself, because a few weeks earlier I had just watched The BreakWomb video about what it would look like if moms talked to their friends the way they talk to their kids. It had never occurred to me how much we practically morph into another person when talking to kids. Specifically our own.

And it started me thinking. And observing.

Do I talk to my kids like that? Yes, we have already established that concept.

Do ALL moms talk to their kids like that? Are you THAT mom?

(Side story! I just was Googling why moms use baby talk and the science behind it, but look at which suggestions popped up based on popular search. Things like this give me both a sense of incredulity and faith in humanity. I'll tell you why moms hate Caillou. He's a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner of that magnitude. And he's too old to be doing the baby talk thing... wait a minute. I bet you Caillou's mom does the mom voice when nobody is looking! And moms kiss their babies because they smell like pink slices of cake from heaven. I would also like to point out that moms don't hate their sons, they just hate the decisions they are making. The rest of these make me sad and I don't want to talk about them. Moving on AGAIN...)

Alright, as you were, as you were. Apparently science tells us that the term I have so scholarly dubbed "mom voice" is more widely known as "motherese" or "parentese" and it is used for bonding and language development. Mothers naturally tend to do this so they can teach their kids how to connect on a more intimate level.

Now that we have learned it is a maternal instinct to "motherese" the cheeks right off our kids' faces, at what age do we stop? Do you find yourself speaking more directly to your kids and conversing with them in a normal, adult manner from an early age? Six months? One? Five? Personally, my own mom has never been one for the baby talk, and always spoke directly with us and still does with anyone age one and up—er, possibly even four months and up, but who's counting? I appreciate that and try to remind myself to tone it down with the, "Ohhhhh, my little bayyybeee!" Especially since Wes just turned two.

In turn, I have found myself paying more attention to how mothers speak with their children as well. It's incredibly fascinating, don't you think? On a scale of 1-10, how guilty are you of the mom voice?

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Cute Personalized Christmas Gift Wrap

Cute Personalized Christmas Gift Wrap

One of the nine million reasons why motherhood has made me a better person is the necessity for being organized and staying on top of things. Procrastination is something I am alarmingly good at, (if there are any talent shows spotlighting that attribute, let me know so I can snag the blue ribbon!) but I have made huge strides in changing my ways. My biggest area of achievement is tackling the huge Christmas to-do lists.

Cute Personalized Christmas Gift Wrap

Playing Santa is no joke, and we have been busy in our Amazon workshop making toy orders. We've also started our Christmas card planning, and I aim to have those printed and ready to go by Thanksgiving. (Don't worry, I won't be one of those people who mails them out promptly on Black Friday, though. I have the decency to wait until at least December 1.)

Cute Personalized Christmas Gift Wrap

I've already been perusing Pinterest for cute gift wrap ideas, and I was so happy when I found this personalized Christmas gift wrap. I'm going for more of a neutral theme this year, and it fit perfectly. The color is soft and natural, the quality is great, and I love how it looks dressed up with a sweet red bow! The process to order and personalize items on the Tiny Prints website is simple, too. (Like, so simple my mom, who doesn't have a cell phone, could do it.) I highly recommend it!

Cute Personalized Christmas Gift Wrap

As for our Christmas cards, we bought personalized postage to top it all off. I think it adds a charming finishing touch to the whole look. I can't wait to send them out this year. (And stay tuned to see how ours turned out!)

Are you already prepping for Christmas, too? (Or am I the only crazy one?) Be sure to check out Tiny Prints for your holiday cards and greetings!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tiny Prints through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Tiny Prints, all opinions are my own.

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