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


Learning Self-Love And Inspiring Words To Live By For 2016

With 2015 coming to a close, this is the time of year where we all take some quiet moments to reflect on what we've achieved, learned, and overcome. Some of the experiences were joyful and exhilarating, while others were painful and unsettling.

I love feeling a sense of connection to these feelings through words. Quite obviously then, my favorite way to seek inspiration and represent said thoughts is through quotes. I've saved myself hundreds of dollars of therapy by finding the perfectly-stated sentiment or enlightening article. (Thank you, Internet!)

"Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing. A memory to someone. A home to a life." – Nayyirah Waheed

"You can't eat beauty, it doesn't sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion, for yourself and those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul." – Lupita Nyong'o

"Being your true self is the most effective formula for success there is." – Danielle Laporte

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world, but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you." – Frida Kahlo

"Love ourselves completely for who we are and not who we think we were or should be." – Satsuki Shibuya

And there it is. After taking inventory of my personal struggles and doubts, my word for 2016 is...


I decided to choose a word to live by and work toward for the new year starting in 2014. That first year's word was intention and 2015 was focus. It was a life-giving decision. Delving in and grasping those words helped me more fully understand myself. Introspection and self-awareness is never an easy task, but it is crucial for growth and leading a content life.

I am now at a place in my life where I need to practice self-love. Somewhere along the way I turned into a people-pleaser, and while it is a wonderful thing to be respectful and considerate of people's feelings, I have neglected my own. And honestly, I have spent the last few months in a place of self-doubt and anger. I allowed my soul and personality to be robbed of its unique traits because I wanted be well-liked by everyone I encountered. Unfortunately, that is impossible. People do not share unifying beliefs or standards, no matter how ideal it sounds. Being unacknowledged or disliked is the crossfire of that truth. But it doesn't mean we are any less—that I am any less. In fact, it means I am true to my personality, including its quirks and weirdness.

Throughout my life I've battled with depression and anxiety, and my perception of that was immensely shifted once I heard that depression is anger turned inward. After picking up the pieces of my brain from my mind being blown, I allowed that statement to grant me absolution and set me free.

Self-love is embracing my distinct characteristics. I want to look at other people's beauty and not doubt my own. I want to give myself permission to experience negative feelings without letting them control my life. I want to say no without feeling guilty or fearful, and I want to say yes without feeling guilty or fearful. I want to listen to my mind and body when it says, "I need a break!" and honor that impression. I want to listen to more music that sets my chest on fire. I want to recognize and celebrate the talents of others and cease from letting my mind fill with envy. I want to practice honest forgiveness. I want to take better care of my body and fill my days with more activity and time spent in nature. I want to fulfill my need to create art and do it with an unrestrained courage. I want 2016 to be the year where I stop criticizing myself, which will help me halt my oftentimes harsh criticism of others, in turn giving power to a pure outward love.

Happy New Year, and may it be full of inspiration and success!

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5 Cheesy Christmas Movies To Watch On Netflix This Week

1. A Christmas Kiss.  This one has a four star rating! It's so cheesy, it's fabulous! I hope you enjoy the awkward smoldering stares and smirks from the main character dude as much as I did. They deserve at least four stars!

2. 12 Dates of Christmas. My go-to Christmas movie with Amy Smart is Just Friends, but since that's not on Netflix, this one is a superb second option. And Zack Morris (I will never acknowledge him by his real name—don't even know it is is, and too lazy to Google) is an excellent second option to Ryan Reynolds!

3. I'll Be Home for Christmas. First things first... JTT! (This is quickly turning into a 90s teen celebrity fan club, for which I am not at all sorry. In fact! YOU'RE WELCOME. Also, this is a great update on JTT should you be wondering to where in the world he disappeared.) Second, this is one of those corny classics Christmas movies you watch as a tween, thinking it is, like, so totally awesome! And then you watch it 15 years later and have this expression plastered on your face the entire time...

4. The Mistle-Tones. Okay, this isn't even funny anymore. Apparently your only option when you are a washed-up 90s teen star is starring in marvelously awful Christmas movies. (I hear ABC Family is the studio preference, but Hallmark isn't a shabby option either.) And sometimes we get lucky and score two stars in one show! Tia and Tori are the dream team!

5. Holiday Engagement. I haven't watched this one yet, but based on the picture above and the terrible acting I just witnessed in the first 30 seconds, it's bound to be a winner!

Have the Merriest Christmas, everyone!

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How To Prevent Baby Fever This Holiday Season

Christmas card photos are officially complete, and that means I've spent my evening editing and comparing photos from past years. How do I have two HUGE boys already?! It's not fair. No way, Jose.

While getting them ready for bed tonight, I dressed Wes in Luke's Christmas pajamas from last year. I remember putting them in the closet a few months ago thinking, There is no way he will fit into these by Christmas! Sure enough, he fits them—and fills them out. Like a tank.

Needless to say, the baby fever is STRONG tonight. (<<< All caps and italics. That's how bad it is, people.) Looks like I better take my own advice in this article I wrote for What to Expect. You hoping the baby fever will skip you this year? You struggling to stay immune? I've got you covered, girl. Grab your how-to guide here.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes for you! ;)

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Homemade Hydrating Face And Body Scrub

Raise your hand if your skin is excessively dry with the cold, wintery weather upon us! I know my face and legs are personally taking a beating, so I've been moisturizing incessantly.

Remember how I talked about dealing with hormonal acne a few weeks ago? Exfoliation and moisturizing are a key component of great skin, so I wanted to share a little homemade recipe I've been using.

It's a hydrating face and body scrub, and it smells like a tropical paradise. Just close your eyes when using it in the shower and you will instantly transport to Bora Bora, where you will be greeted by a glistening cabana boy who brings ever-flowing (virgin) piña coladas and a platter of heart shaped fruits. Yes, it's that good.

The face and body scrub contains three ingredients, which takes only a minute to whip up.


1/4 cup Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions and how to use:

1. Mix the brown sugar (which is a great natural exfoliant) and baking soda (an excellent natural cleanser) into the moisturizer. It will be an oily consistency. Pour into a jar.

2. When in the shower, rub the scrub into your arms, legs and face. Rinse off, and pat dry.

Your skin will be so soft and delicious! I've been using this scrub as an exfoliating moisturizer for my face, and it gives it such a dewy, soft glow. Not to mention that I smell delicious. The Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer comes in three scents, but I recommend Refreshing Coconut Oil. And if you aren't into the whole scrub thing and are looking for a good moisturizer to keep your skin smooth and silky during these horridly cold and dry months, this goodness is for you! You simply apply it to wet skin after showering and then pat dry. It absorbs instantly and locks in all that moisture. Please and thank you!

I've been using Jergens products since my sister introduced me back in my awkward years of puberty, so I sincerely recommend this one. Here is a coupon for $2 off for any 10 oz bottle of of Jergens® Wet Skin ™ Moisturizer so you can make this body scrub. Or having luminous skin. They're both awesome. Choose from Refreshing Coconut Oil, Calming Green Tea Oil and Nourishing Monoi Oil. The coupon is on a first come, first served basis, so you better snag it before it runs out.

Happy moisturizing!

Disclosure: Sponsored by JERGENS® Skincare through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer, all opinions are my own.

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