Sprightly So!

12.31.2012

You guys, it's here. This crazy, looney, fabulous dream of mine to own a clothing shop is an actual reality. Somebody pinch me!

Actually, I would really love it if you would go check out the new and beautifully improved Sprightly So! Tell your friends, sisters, co-workers... even tell your brother's best friend's cousin's girlfriend about it!

Thanks for reading Along Abbey Road over the past (almost) 2 years and supporting my life and aspirations. You guys are a big part of the final push I needed to create this vision into a tangible and wonderful thing.

In honor of the new relaunch and the New Year accompanying it, I am giving 10% off your entire purchase through the middle of January! Just use code "FRESH13" at checkout.

I hope you love it. It is very much a work in progress (labor of love) at this point in time, and there will be much more fabulous merchandise to come, but for now we are keeping it small and hoping to grow, just as all small businesses must do. Be sure to let us know your thoughts and feedback!

Happy shopping!

P.S. An awesome Sprightly So giveaway is around the corner... keep your eyes peeled for some good stuff!

2012, You Were Good To Us

12.29.2012


Another year come and gone, and here we stand at a whole new phase of life. Funny how one year can catapult you from the free-roaming, somewhat irresponsible, carefree side to the mother hen, I-am-suddenly-5 times-more-mature-than-I-ever-thought-possible side. These life altering occasions that seemed so momentous and grand when I imagined them in my head years ago somehow just melted and flowed easily into my world. There were no clear cut lines, no experiences packed into a nicely uniformed box as I like to think of them. Life was fresh, messy, sometimes tearful, unexpected, and beautiful.

Starting the year off right, we welcomed Luke AKA Nugget into the world in January.

February marked the month when after 24 years of life, I had finally found my most favorite outfit in the world.

In March, my parents once and for all admitted they adopted me from the Olsen family. Luke also learned how to suck his thumb.

April came out on top as one of the most fun months. We spent an obsessive amount of time at Disneyland, mini-vacationed in Palm Springs (multiple times), and I got bangs!

The month of May we celebrated our 3rd anniversary and adventured around Coronado.

June was a big month! Luke went for his very first swim, I decided bangs were no longer for me and started growing them out (so fickle, I know), Matt turned 27, got a new job, and we moved to Encinitas! It was all a rather big doozy, but the best kind.

July hurried by in a whirlwind. We unloaded all of our stuff from our move and turned around and went on a very extended vacation to Chicago to see Nanny and Papa, then to Utah to see Grandma and Grandpa (where Luke got his very first and desperately needed haircut)!

Then there was August. I started my Dare I DIY? feature and took lots of outfit pictures.

September was full of tears, mostly because my doc diagnosed me with Celiac's Disease (no gluten) and bread and I were forced to end our love affair of multiple decades. The good news was that we got annual passes to Sea World, so that kind of made up for my loss of all things pasta, cakes, and bread.

Luke's first Halloween happened in October. We visited the pumpkin patch and went trick or treating. That was all kinds of sassy fun.

November is always a favorite month because we get the excuse of eating obscene amounts of food and decorating for Christmas!

December was by far the best month in my book, because hello? My baby's first Christmas (besides January because it wouldn't have been without said baby)!

Phhhewww. That was exhausting fishing through all the archives and selecting my most-loved picks of the year, but 2012 was a marvelous year. Busy? Yes. Stressful? Uh-huh. A little on the chubby side at the top of the calendar? Just a smidge. Footloose and fancy-free? I like to think so. Would I do it all over again? You betcha.

2013, if you are half as great as this last go around of a year proved to be, I welcome you with enthusiastic open arms!

Pops Of Color

12.28.2012

Denim shirt: Sprightly So (coming this Monday! Yipee!) Pants: LOFT. Scarf: Vintage. Watch: Fossil. Bracelet: Gift. Purse: H&M.

Now that Christmas is over, I feel this insane urge for it to be spring already. I suppose the sun shining every day might explain my accelerated craving for florals, flowers, and all things pastel. However, since I am desperately trying to commit to living in the now and not always looking to the future (after all, if I don't stop and look around once in awhile, I could miss it), I shall embrace the rest of this wintery time with the occasional pop of color. Like this outfit.

Well, we are off to spend some time with the dolphins at Sea World and then to Arizona to see my sister this weekend. It's gonna be a fun one. Hope you have a wonderful weekend as well! Cheerio, m'dears.

A California Christmas Day

12.27.2012


Babies are hilarious on Christmas. They either a) show more interest in the tags and paper attached to the gift or b) hyper-focus on one gift out of the heap of stuff given to them because it is their first Christmas. I've witnessed it as an aunt and now as a mom. 

Let me repeat that... as a mom. 

Can I tell you how surreal it is to watch your own child enjoy Christmas morning when you are still replaying your favorite memories of Santa as a little child yourself? Memories of spreading out practically upside down on the stairs trying to sneakily catch a glimpse of the presents from old St. Nick remain crystal clear. That exhilarating, buzzy feeling while staring up at the twinkling lights on the tree as a 7-year old girl, believing in the magic of Christmas and letting myself get swept away in all its enchantment plays over in my mind fondly. 

This year we were lucky enough to be on the other side of those twinkly lights and enchantment, playing Santa for Luke. His curious, chubby face peeking into a ripped open present, wondering what it held was possibly the cutest thing. Ever. Even better was watching him poke at his very own computer, cautiously giving us the side eye because he thought we'd tell him no, and then zealously realizing he could bang on it to his heart's content (except now he thinks it's no holds barred with our laptops... yeaahhh, we will have to work on that one).

Christmas as a parent is daunting, but incredibly exciting. It is somewhat alarming to think that all of our children's hopes and dreams of the Christmas season rest solely upon our shoulders as parents (I mean, think of all the psychological damage we could inflict upon them if we don't say on top of our game!). Matt and I talked about that a lot this year. We experienced a tiny dose of the stress, anticipation, and sheer happiness of sharing Christmas with a kid. And he doesn't even really know who Santa is yet! Gee whiz. Anyway, we came out of this year with a newfound appreciation for the fantastic job our parents did in raising us with priceless traditions and memories. Thanks, Mom, Dad, Mopps and Popps. You pretty much rock in the parental department.

Here's to countless future Christmases full of more family, awe, madness, joy, and love!

A California Christmas Eve

12.26.2012


Oh by golly was Christmas Eve with the Nugget the perfect prelude to Christmas day. Now I know what all the moms singing praises to the joy of sharing Christmas with their kids is all about. Our little family of three created traditions and built the foundation for the Rodriguez clan Christmas festivities.

First check off the ole' tradition list: Chicago style pizza and sparkling cider for Christmas Eve dinner. Mmmm, mmm finger-lickin' good (although I opted for the gluten-free Udi's pizza from Whole Foods... I highly recommend it).

Second tradition: opening our yearly ornament. This is a tradition carried down from Matt's side of the family. We thought it would be absolutely darling (which it was, of course) to make each kid's first ornament with their hand print. Apparently Luke has monster hands because it almost didn't fit in the star cut out that came with the ornament kit. That, and he figured the best way to open a gift is with your mouth. Obviously.

Third tradition: taking a stroll on the beach. I hope we get to the fortune of living near a beach town for a long while (or spending it near the beach if we move away). Bundling up and watching other people scribble "Merry Christmas" in the sand is the cherry on top of a happy Christmas.

Merry Christmas

12.24.2012


Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Love,

Matt, Abbey & Luke

Gluten-Free Christmas Cut-Out Cookies

12.22.2012

 (Frosting cookies obviously isn't a strength of mine, however eating them is a completely different story)

The tradition of grandma's Christmas sugar cookies is one that will not be foiled because of a silly old gluten problem. The chewy, moist deliciousness is unlike any other cut-out cookie out there. I promise. Therefore, I give you the gift of the gluten-free adapted version of the best sugar cookie you will ever taste.

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Recipe adapted the Betty Crocker recipe
Serving size:  2 dozen
Prep time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2  tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream (this is the golden secret!)

Directions:
Heat oven to 425°F. Mix butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla thoroughly. Blend dry ingredients together. Sift them into the wet sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream. Make sure dough is well-floured so it can be handled in your hands without sticking (add gluten-free flour by the tablespoon until you get the right consistency). Divide dough into a small ball; place on well-floured wax or pastry paper, cover it with another sheet of wax paper and roll out to 1/4" thickness. Cut out shapes with desired holiday cookie cutters. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Enjoy!

Fuggedaboutit

12.21.2012

 
 Dress: LOFT. Tights: Target. Boots: Thrifted. Scarf: Target. Purse: c/o PB&J Boutique.

Heelllllooo (said in Jerry Seinfeld voice).

Glad we are all here, safe and sound, free from the attacks of zombies. And fire. Remember how the the end of the world was projected to come in the year 2000 and it didn't? Same old thing. These crazy people and their apocalyptic antics.
 
 To celebrate life not being all doomsdayed, I am doing what any sensible person would and wearing navy, brown, gray and black all in one outfit. Fashion rules you say? Fuggedaboutit.
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