Best of Twenty Eleven & A Giveaway!

12.31.2011


Twenty eleven has been a good year to us.
  • This blog was created and I have loved learning and growing with it
  • I started my shop, Sprightly So, which has experienced much success and enriched the lives of others by raising funds for 2 NPO's
  • The Mister Matt graduated with a master's degree and landed an amazing job
  • We moved to sunny Southern California
  • Best of all we made a little baby, however he won't be arriving until 2012 

In review of Along Abbey Road's year in the blogosphere, there were lots of friends made, great outfits, not-so-great outfits, and awesome giveaways. You might be interested to know that the most popular post/giveaway was for the Anthropologie gift card. I mean, who doesn't love Anthro? You're straight up crazay-zay if you don't.

As a thanks to all of you and in celebration of my blog's first successful year, I am wishing you a very Happy New Year with another $25 Anthropologie gift card giveaway.

Yes, I will repeat that again.

Ring in the new year by entering my $25 Anthropologie gift card giveaway!

To enter:
  • Follow Along Abbey Road via Google Friend Connect

Additional entries:
  • Follow Along Abbey Road on bloglovin'
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Like Along Abbey Road on Facebook
  • Visit my online store, Sprightly So, and tell me your favorite item
  • Post about this giveaway on a social network of your choice
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry to my head doesn't explode when the winner is selected)

Giveaway ends Sunday, January 8th at 11:59 pm and the winner will be announced on Monday, January 9th.

You all are awesome. I sure do love ya'. For realsies.

Happy New Year!

Twitter Resolutions

12.30.2011

Blouse: F21. Vest: Ross. Belt: LOFT. Skirt: Thrifted. Tights: F21. Boots: Thrifted. Bracelets: LOFT. Earrings: H&M.

You guys, I have a confession.

I've had a Twitter account for some time now, but I have been stubborn about not wanting to use it. Remember this post? My obsession for Sergio Ramos is so big that I created a Twitter just so I could follow him. And Lauren Conrad. And Justin Timberlake, but that's pretty much it -- I swear. And don't worry, The Mister Matt is totally cool with my stalking Mister Ramos... he does it too.

Don't ask me why I'm such a silly-nilly sometimes. Well actually, I suppose it's because I thought Twitter would be one more complicated thing I didn't need in my life. Then I realized the cyber world was moving on without me, and if I didn't get myself all up in that Twittersphere I would not be able to connect with more peeps. And I like peeps. So why not?

Here is to the New Year. Hello, 2012. Hello, Twitter. Hello, new Twitter friends.

Let's follow one another, shall we?

Dazed And Somewhat Confused

12.29.2011

 Scarf: Sprightly So.
1960's Vintage Ray-Ban Case: Sprightly So.

Vintage World Globe: Sprightly So.

*Just a sneak peek of my favorites from the new vintage items up in the shop


For the last 9 months I have been reading pregnancy forums up the wazoo, or in my case, up the utero (ha! I am totally that person who laughs at their own lame jokes).

One thing I have wondered about the entire time and only bothered to look up now that I'm almost done is all the label business.

I have sat many nights, scratching my head and wondering,

"What the crap is a DH? Designated hitter? What's this DD nonsense? Daisy dukes? I'm missing something huge here"

You see, I have some extremely odd pet peeves. I kind of hate it when people abbreviate words. Like, I hate it a lot. I literally get goosebumps, just as a normal person would when hearing nails on a chalkboard, whenever the people at Little Ceaser's say,

"Ooooonne pep, coming right up!" 

Yuuuuuggggg.
(that's my version of getting the heeby-jeebies)

It's not 'pep'. It's PEPPERONI!!!

Okay, I'm getting off track here, but my point is that I kind of hate stupid, acronym-type abbreviations too. Depending on what it is though. See, I told you it's a weird pet peeve. It's like a selective pet peeve. And even then I find myself saying and doing things I thought I hated. Don't worry, I'm the first to admit that I am a hypocrite sometimes, but c'mon... aren't we all? Just a little?

Anyway, DH (dear husband) and DD (dearest daughter) and all that other stuff kind of fall into that pet peeve list. Unless it is just a bunch of fed-up, pregnant ladies that are referring to their family members with sarcasm. Then I can understand the need to say "dear husband... that I want to punch in the face for doing this to me". If you haven't noticed by now, I have definitely become that pregnant lady who is highly irritable and a little bit mean. Sorry, but I'm just being honest with you all! Let's just blame it on the hormones.

Overall, language these days is getting confusing. I'm having a hard time keeping up, and I consider myself to be a pretty tech-savvy youngster. Poor old folks. Mom and Dad, if you are reading this, I feel your pain. Let's just stick to talking on the phone the old fashioned way, shall we?

Well my DR's (dear readers), it's been fun but I G2G. TTYL! LYL!

;)

Sprightly So

12.28.2011

 
Sweater: LOFT. Shirt: LOFT. Dress: LOFT. Tights: Target, H&M. Booties: Charlotte Russe. Necklaces: Sprightly So, vintage, LOFT. Bracelets: Sprightly So, F21.

I think tight layering is my new favorite thing. 

a) it keeps me warmy when it is chilly outside.
b) it gives me double the tight options for my outfits. hooray.

In other news, I finally opened a real online shop for my jewelry line, Sprightly So! Hooray, hooray.

Have you heard of Storenvy? If you are looking to start a shop, I highly recommend it. Etsy is cool and all, but it is just so overwhelmingly huge now that it's hard to get your product noticed. And they charge you a small percentage for each item listed. Thumbs down. This girl likes free stuff, and Storenvy is free.

Anyway, I really hope you will all go and check it out. I have new items up in the shop, and I have expanded the brand to other accessories and vintage things! There is some wicked-cool stuff. 

You can click on the "shop" tab above to read more about my Sprightly So or just click here to go straight to the store. 

Let me know what you think! I'm thuper-duper exthited :)

A Random Thing Or Two-sday

12.27.2011

animated gif maker
This is what we call the "progression face"...you should totally try it
I am officially deeming Tuesdays on the blog a "A Random Thing Or Two-sday".

Together we are going to learn awesome factoids, secrets, reveal the inner workings of my complicated brain, increase our vocabulary, and possibly discover the cure to something. Anything could happen. 

1) Every time I drive and read the road signs on the actual road, I still read them top to bottom. IE: the carpool lane. It reads like this:

ONLY
POOL
CAR

(remember, we are driving ⇧)

The intended approach to reading it would be "car pool only", but I can't for the life of me train my brain to do that, so instead I read it as " only pool car"...

?
 CAR
 POOL
A
IS
H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS
THE
WHAT

2) Today's dictionary word of the day is...

adventive: not native and usually not yet well established, as exotic plants or animals.

Hmm. Interesting.
3) I think Pinterest needs an app where it formulates all your pins into a book or something. Or at least for the "home" pinboards. I would like it to compile all of the things I would like my house to look like into an actual model home. Wouldn't that be amazing?

4) Guess what? Your turkey will still thoroughly cook if you put it in upside-down. You're probably thinking, "that's nice, but why would I ever do a silly thing like that?" Because, you probably don't have a piece missing like I do. Yes, I admit it. I put our Christmas turkey in upside down, however it turned out nice and moist. Perhaps I discovered the secret to a guaranteed moist turkey! 

 
5) Did you know the architect (Gustave Eiffel) who built the Eiffel tower was afraid of heights? Ha! Oh, the irony!

Rest and Relaxation

12.26.2011

 
Jacket: LOFT. Dress: LOFT. Leggings: H&M. Earrings: H&M. Bracelets: LOFT. Flats: Nine West.

 Thank goodness for 4 day weekends. 

Especially ones that include Christmas.

Everyone is out spending time with their family. The youngsters all have smiles on their faces, assuming Santa paid them a visit, and the parents carry an air of successfully achieved R&R for not having to go back to work immediately and surviving the Christmas mayhem.

Did I mention it also means I get to spend a pure, uninterrupted 96 hours with my hunk of a husband? That's my favorite part.

I think the world would be a happier place if the work week was converted to 4 days, instead of 5. 

Maybe I should run for President with all these good ideas I am coming up with. Then again, I think I might just stick to being a mom.

Yeah, I like the sound of that much better.

Looky, Looky!

12.25.2011

 Today was my most amazing Christmas yet. The Mister got me a DSLR camera. It's a Nikon D40. I have a friend who was selling the whole set -- 2 lenses, bag, and software -- for a ridiculous deal. Let's just say I scored big.

The Mister didn't lose out either. Santa brought him an Xbox 360 after 5 years of begging and pleading. Looks like he was on the nice list this year :)

Here's a few family photos we snapped with the new gadget...

Benny
Max
The Mister
Yours truly
Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve!

12.24.2011


Dress: LOFT. Belt: LOFT. Necklace: LOFT. Heels: Steve Madden.
 Merry Christmas Eve, loves!

Today we are on our way to see the LA Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker, followed by an evening of sipping hot cocoa while visiting the LA temple lights.

Hope you have a magical evening and all your Christmas wishes come true!

From Me To You

12.23.2011

 


Cardi: LOFT. Shirt: Fred Meyer. Scarf: LOFT. Belt: LOFT. Leggings: LOFT. Boots: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange. Glasses: vintage. Earrings: F21. Guard Dog Max: adopted.

I'm a big snoop. I openly admit it. Good thing I live in a time where Facebook, Twitter, and blogging dominate the world. 

It's a snooper's paradise. 

I get to see into the personal space of others. Most times I live vicariously through the charming lives of my peers, via blogs and such, and occasionally I feel sorry for some people (generally via Facebook... living the high school dream is only cool when in high school, not 1, 2, or even 6 years later).

All this being said, there are times I am still left wanting more, wanting to know random facts about my favorite bloggers. If you haven't noticed, I love random things. I think they make life a little more interesting and spicy.

To satiate my own desires to know more about people I admire and follow, I have compiled and completed my own questionnaire. It's chuck-full of randomness and the personal tid-bits you don't generally hear about, yet it's the stuff everyday is made of. Like an episode of Seinfeld. Nothing particularly poignant or stirring, just typical and looking at things in a straightforward way (and hopefully with a sense of humor).

Are you messy, meticulously clean, or neither?
I fall in the middle category. My house is usually tidy, but not sparkling clean 24/7. I hate clutter everywhere, and we live in an apartment, so that happens rather quickly.

How old are you?
I am the ripe age of 23!

Do you always get ready everyday or is it more for the camera?
Yes, I get ready everyday and my outfit posts are things that I actually wear that day. Unless I'm feeling under the weather and then I just lounge around in sweats and over-sized tees.

How tall are you?
I measure at 5'2"... you could say I'm a bit on the shrimpy side!

And your husband? And what is his full name and age?
The Mister is 5'10". His real name is Matthew, but he goes by Matt or Rod. He is 26.

What is your church calling (there are lots of LDS aka Mormon bloggers, myself included)?
Matt and I are nursery leaders, even though I don't go anymore because I don't want to get sick and am about to pop. For those of you who are wondering what the crap I'm talking about, we have positions of service known as "callings" in our church. It's a way to contribute and serve in the church because there are not any paid positions. It's all "lay ministery" work and it's all volunteer based.

How often do you go shopping?
I buy at least one or two new things per month. It's usually a sale shirt or an accessory.

How much money per month do you spend on clothes? No lying or understating.
Generally I spend about $25 a month on clothes and accessories. I refuse paying full price for anything and shop mostly in the sale section, but I will occasionally splurge on a pair of shoes or something fancy--about every 3 months or so.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Utah, but raised in the Pacific Northwest in University Place, Washington. I moved away when I was 18 and met Matt a couple of years later in Utah.

How many siblings do you have?
I am the youngest of 8! My oldest sibling is 19 years older than me. That makes my parents 65, almost 66 years old. When I was little I used to get mad and cry every time someone assumed my mom was my grandma, which was like 80% of the time. 

How long have you been married?
Matt and I have been married for 2 years and 7 months. We dated for one year before getting married. In Mormon culture, that's like a decade.

Do you have a college degree?
I'm one semester short from my Associate's, and I want to be an RN when I grow up. It took me forever to finish my prereqs because I have always had to work full-time since I left home and put myself through school. Those dreams have been put on hold however, since I am trading in my professional work place boots for mommy boots.

What is your job/career?
I worked as a Co-Manager at LOFT (which explains why everything I own is from there), but like I said, I am now prepping to be a mama bear.

What is your husband's job/career?
Matt is a pharmaceutical sales rep. He sells drugs for people with gout. Yeah, don't worry, I didn't know what gout was either until he started his job. It's a pretty sweet gig. He doesn't have to work from an office and the hours are fantastic. That means more time for us to hang out and do cool stuff.

Where do you live?
We live in Chino Hills, CA. It's about 40 minutes away from the beach and 45 minutes from downtown LA. Quite a fab location if you ask me.

Who is the Kramer in your life?
My friends would probably agree that I am the most like Kramer, or used to be anyway (I suppose I've matured a little). I am the one who randomly does crazy things all the time, that are generally unpredictable, yet unsurprising to all who know me when I do them. That, and I'm really good at raiding people's refrigerators. And I may or may not have a reverse peep-hole on my front door.

I encourage you, my fellow bloggy friends, to fill out this questionnaire or your own, so we can all be snoopy together and get to know each other a little better!

What A Cutie

12.22.2011

I just stumbled upon these and couldn't resist sharing. Isn't my husband the cutest, most handsome and charming man ever?

Yes. The answer is a resounding yes.

Geography Issues And Other Disasters


Striped tee: LOFT. Cardi: LOFT. Belt: LOFT. Beloved maternity pants: Target. Shoes: Target. Earrings: F21.
In my last post I mentioned how much I love maternity pants. Well, here they are in all their maternal glory. Not so bad, right? They are a little baggy through the hips, but that just leaves more comfy wiggle room for moi.

In other news, I suck at United States geography. I realized this when The Mister and I had a contest to see who could draw the best and most accurate map of the United States.

He missed something like 4 states. I missed about 15, maybe even 20. We scanned the pictures onto the computer, but I am too embarrassed to put it out there for the world to see.

Pathetic, I know. I'm hoping I get one of those cool U.S. map puzzles in my stocking. Not even kidding right now. That, and I clearly need to go back to the third grade. Maybe I could even engage in a little game of dodge ball like in Billy Madison, which reminds me of a story you all need to know. Here it goes...

An anonymous acquaintance of mine used to work at the YMCA. They worked for an after-school type program with little elementary kids.

One day a vigorous game of dodge ball commenced. For those of you who have seen Billy Madison, what happens to mouthy kids who talk smack during the game?

They get dominated.

This anonymous person claims they were being "ganged up" on by a group of 8 and 9 year-olds. I suppose the natural response to that was laying bombs on them until they were all tagged out, left crying, and possibly missing some teeth.

A Random Thing Or Two-sday

12.20.2011

Sequin beanie: F21. Belt: LOFT. Sweater: LOFT.


 
I've learned a couple new things in the past week. Though random things they may be, they have been floating through my mind, so I thought I'd share them.

1) 'Whatever' was the most despised filler word this year amongst intellectual, conversationalist adults, with 'seriously' trailing as a close second...
Seriously? Those are some of my faves, but whatever ;)
2) Winco accepts manufacturer's coupons. For those of you not familiar with Winco, it's a mega-cheap mega grocery store. Even though the one where we live is a little scary, the thrill of only spending $50 for an entire cart full of groceries never gets old.
3) Maternity pants are the most comfortable thing in the world. Is it wrong that I want to wear them even after I give birth, strictly based on the fact that they are as comfortable as sweats?
4) Baby powder get sand off and out of every crevice on the body. It's like a magical elixir.

5) Santa Clause has an iPhone. How did he ever do it before Siri was there to help him? Seriously.

Eat, Drink, And Be Jolly

12.19.2011

 This last Friday, The Mister and I spent our afternoon and evening in labor and delivery.

It all started with my usual NST (non-stress test) appointment. I go to them twice a week because I have hypothyroidism. Basically they monitor the baby's heart rate, contractions, and finish with an ultra sound to ensure fluid levels are adequate. 

Anyway, I was having contractions about every 10 minutes on the monitor. The nurse was concerned, as I was barely 35 weeks, so she checked to see if I was beginning to dilate and efface. I was only dilated to 1 cm and not effaced, but they still decided to keep me in triage to monitor the contractions. We ended up staying there for 4 hours because at one point the contractions became increasingly strong, about 5 minutes apart for almost an hour. I began freaking out a little, with the increasing reality that we could be going home with a baby when we left. The Mister and I had a moment of fear, excitement, and apprehension all at once. We'd been waiting anxiously for Baby Rod's arrival, but we weren't exactly mentally prepared for what the monitors and contractions were telling us--that he was planning his debut within the next day.

Then, all of a sudden, the contractions stopped. Almost completely. Nurse Sue came in with a dumb-founded look on her face, as she was expecting our little guy to make his debut as much as we were. 

I was relieved to find that he wasn't ready to come out just yet. Even though he weighs 6+ lbs and it would be so fun to finally meet him, I want baby to stay in just a couple of more weeks so he can develop his little lungs and brain better.

I am still having contractions, so they put me on bed rest. It is working on keeping the contractions at bay, but that means I can't stay a busy-bee like I am accustomed too. 

Do you think that stopped us from having our Christmas party this weekend though? Of course not! I always have a way of working around things. That thing is called having The Mister cook and bake. He did ALL of it. Isn't he amazing?


The menu consisted of:
slow-cooked BBQ roast beef sandwiches (recipe here),
chips,
bottled root beer,
and the most amazing spread of
snickerdoodles,
PB cookies,
chocolate crinkles,
and fudge.

He wasn't very happy about me taking his picture, but I had to brag. After all, he is the world's best husband :)

Even though it was a crazy weekend, we ended it by eating great food and spending quality time with friends. Boy oh boy, do I love the holidays!

Moms Say The Darndest Things

12.18.2011

I have a thing for funny auto-correct conversations. Usually I randomly find them via Pinterest, but today I found this one on the increasingly famous site, Damn You Auto Correct (pardon my French). A lot of them are just plain nasty, but I have become an expert at filtering for the appropriate, super-hilarious ones.

The laughter that ensued after reading this little gem almost literally made me pee my pants and induced a contraction or two. Apparently, uncontrollable laughter needs to be added to the list of "Natural Remedies To Induce Labor". I'll take laughter over castor oil any day.

via
You're welcome.

Present Restraint

12.15.2011


I am presently staring (no pun, hehe-haha) at our beautifully wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree. 

It is taking all of my energy to not open the gifts. Here is the kicker though...

I already know what 2 of my 3 gifts are. Shame on me.

 It's not entirely my fault. The Mister left his account open one day and I saw what it was. It's pretty much amazing. I even played with it a little when it arrived, but it's safely snuggled under the tree for now until Christmas morning. I will leave it a surprise for all of you though, as it will directly benefit the quality of this here bloggy. Any guesses?

Does anyone else have a problem of the sneaky-sneaks during Christmas?

Here is the gift I want to open most. But that would probably be weird and we'd have a serious problem on ours hands if I could open it. My mom always says it would be fun to have a zipper so we could pull him out, take a peek, and then put him back for safe keeping. Maybe that's what I'll ask Santa for.

35 weeks. Not that I'm counting or anything...

Pre-labor Of Love

12.13.2011

Today marks the 34th week and 4th day of Baby Rod's life. Non-stress tests have commenced twice a week until delivery. I have hypothyroidism, which is why I have to be monitored. Fortunately, he is nice and healthy and developing just fine.  Actually, I'd say he is developing rather swiftly and enthusiastically, as today's ultra sound revealed he currently measures at about 6 lbs.

Due date wrong, perhaps? That's what I keep thinking. 

Especially now that I have been experiencing cramps, Braxton Hicks contractions, lower back pain, and intense pelvic pressure for the past 8 hours. My relentless hours of Google searching have drawn me to this conclusion...

I am going into pre-labor.

The monitor showed I had two contractions this morning, but the nurse didn't seem too alarmed, and I didn't even know I was having them. Now I'm beginning to think otherwise.

This whole labor/growing a baby experience is really confusing for a girl who hasn't the slightest idea what's going on! All I know is I'm huge, uncomfortable, and getting quite fatigued.

Off to a warm bath and massage I go!

Ever-growing belly.

Ever-growing exhaustion.

Judgment

12.11.2011

video

You ever experience those moments when someone says something that hits straight to the heart, almost as if it was directly intended for you? Today was one of those days.

Passing judgment is something I fall prey to very easily. Many times I find my mind filled with snarky thoughts and assumptions toward people, when I have nothing to base it on but what is happening in the present. The problem with condemning people is that we have no idea what drove those people to their situations and conditions. We only see what is put before our eyes, not the entire story. 

I like to use the analogy of puzzle pieces. If I were to see a small section of a puzzle that was brown and murky looking, I would automatically run to the conclusion that the picture would be one of ugliness with no aesthetic appeal. But, if I stayed a little longer, put some time and energy into completing the puzzle, I would find that it was actually part of something beautiful--a lush, colorful garden perhaps, where the brown was the necessary dirt the flowers grew in.

This same situation applies to our visions of people, at least for me it does. If I just took a little time and compassion on people, I would see them for their beauty and realize that we all have a little dirt in our lives. We all do.

In light of the Christmas season, I am going to strive to be more like Christ. The greatest gift I can give to Him is to love with charity and fullness of heart as he did. That means no more judgmental thoughts and words, and more looking into the lives of others with compassion to see how I can help them.

Funny Stuff

12.06.2011


Baby name picking can be a challenge. 

It's what your child will be identified by for the rest of their life. I for one prefer solid, classic names. However, they can't be too boring or ordinary, because that is not any fun at all and they will have the same name as millions of other people in the world.

I get the whole "I want my kid to stand out and feel like a unique individual" approach as well, but sometimes I think people try wayyyyy too hard in an effort to be original. For example, I was reading a baby name list a few months ago titled, "Unique Names". The lineup included names such as Wethrleah (no, that's not a typo), Braceletto, Westcot, Satchel, and Fairen to name a few. Let's also note these were listed as popular, unique names in the United States. Maybe you like them, but I just think they are ghastly.

 Poor kindergarten teachers. I empathize with you in your attempts to spell your students' names correctly. And for all of those kids with fantasyland names who will one day hope for people to take them seriously when they pass along their business cards.

Anywho, my point in all of this is actually to share the worst name I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. It's so terrible it's funny.

Ready? Drumroll please...

Facebook.

Yes. You read that correctly. Some Egyptian dude named his daughter Facebook, as it was a key instrument used by activists in helping to liberate the people.

True story, people.

And that is all I have to share today. Have a good one!

All I Want For Christmas...

12.05.2011

...is this outfit from Anthropologie.







It's magical, just like this holiday season.

You know what else is magical? The daily holiday giveaway Anthropologie is hosting for 20 Days A'Gifting. 

Happy Monday, loves!

Christmas Favorites

12.01.2011

A vintage Christmas is calling to me this year.

Silver and gold sparkles.
Burlap.
White on white.
Rustic jars and bottles filled with glitter.
Exquisitely wrapped presents.
Charming hot cocoa stations.

I am obsessed.








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