Tuesday, August 30, 2011

48 Hours Till the Freeze

Sept Spending Freeze{image by Kendall Stoy}

We're two days away from the start of The September Freeze, and as crazy as it sounds, I'm kind of excited!  Sure, the no-spending thing will be hard, but I'm looking forward to challenging myself and getting a better handle on my spending.  So far, 20 brave souls have agreed to take on the challenge, and I can't wait to see how each of us makes the challenge unique for our own lives.  If you're participating and you haven't commented or emailed me that "you're in" make sure to do so, asap.  Thursday, I will be posting a master list of participants with links to blogs so everyone can check in on you and your journey.  And if you are still on the fence about the challenge, I say go for it!  Dive in, take a risk, and learn something new about yourself and the way you spend.  Its only 30 days...how bad can it be? :)

And for those of you who are participating, Thursdays are our days to officially post and check in with one another.  I will likely post more often about my progress/tips/tricks/etc, but I think a once a week post is imperitive for reflecting and really engaging around this challenge.  When you post, feel free to use The September Spending Freeze image (posted above) and link back to my blog so people can see a list of all the participants.  This Thursday, I encourage everyone to post their rules for their challenge, remembering its all about making your own rules and making this challenge work for you!

So the official kickoff is less than 48 hours away.  Bring it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Lovelies


Having Matt come down to my new town Friday night for a staff bbq...
I love showing him off :)
Getting up bright and early Saturday for a little volunteer manual labor at our church...
I now consider myself an expert dirt/grass/rock raker...
Seeing a dear friend from college (see above) and feeling like we were back at our favorite OU hangout...
How is it that so much in our lives has changed, yet with old friends, it seems like nothing has changed...
Rocking my "new" utility vest with a maxi dress and leopard belt...
And ignoring the fact that the guys said I looked like I was going on safari...
Loving that fact that so many of you are participating in The September Spending Freeze...
Determination + accountability = SUCCESS...
Chatting with a friend who've I've been playing phone tag with for eight months...
Seriously the longest game of phone tag ever...
Piling my hair on top of my head for most of Sunday and not caring the slightest what it looked like...
Sundays are my "days off" from hair fixing...
Obsessing over the fact that Sooner football starts 5 days...
My excitement is literally uncontrollable...

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Little Help Please...

Header image

Contest header

Happy weekend, readers!  Blog posting is usually light for me on weekends, but today I'm blogging asking for a little bit of help from you.  I recently (at the strong encouragement of my friend Whitney) entered Lucky Magazine's Search for a New Lucky Lifestyle Contributor contest.  This of course would be the opportunity of a lifetime, so I couldn't pass up the chance to enter.  The first few rounds of the competition are based on votes, where online readers across the country weigh in on their favorite entries.

This is where you come in :)

If you have a chance (and feel so inclined) please take a minute to follow the instructions below and vote on my most recent entry.  It quick, painless, and would mean the world to me!

Click HERE to view my entry on my "go-to beauty."

Click on "vote."

You will be redirected to a login page.  If you are already a member of Lucky online, enter your information.  If not, look under the section titled "new user" and click "register."  Its super simple, and don't worry, you won't be hit with a bunch of spam.  Matt registered today and hasn't gotten an email about denim trends, eyeliner, or skincare routines :)

Once you register, go back to my specific entry and click VOTE.  This time, the site will recognize you as an official Lucky user, and your vote will be officially recorded!  Simple and easy!

I am so blessed to have such wonderful readers, as yall are always so encouraging and supportive.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed I get enough votes to go on to the next round!

PS: If you want to share this with friends and family or on your own blog, I will love you forever :)

Friday, August 26, 2011


Become{via pinterest}

What are you doing right now, this evening, and this weekend?  It is in line with the person you dream of being?  If yes, seize it!  If not, rethink it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The September Spending Freeze

Sept Spending Freeze

Next Thursday, I am thrilled to be starting a new adventure here on Smart and Sassy with Sprinkles.  An adventure that I'm nervous about, slightly dreading, but also pretty excited for.  Next Thursday, I'm starting The September Spending Freeze, a month long freeze on everything but non-neccessity items.  The freeze will likely be a bit painful, but its beyond necessary, and now that I've made up my mind to take on the challenge, I'm ready for it!

So why start The September Spending Freeze?  It's a combination of reasons really.  The first is that Matt and I really have to get serious about saving.  We're starting to focus on the future more, wanting to save for a house, and build up a healthy "in case of emergency fund."  And lets not forget, we didn't get these Ph.D's for free.  So thats one reason.  The other reason is that we're failing miserably at sticking to our budget.  Last month, after careful planning and serious promises, we blew past our budget.  And not by a little bit, by a lotta bit.  (Too lotta bit to even share.)  And almost every penny that we blew past fell in one of three catagories: clothes, eating out, or entertainment.  While I like to pretend that I don't shop often, the people at Amex don't lie.  I saw that paper and couldn't find a place to hide fast enough.

So rather than endure another month of "I'll cut back, I'll do better, I promise," I'm finally fed up enough to go all extreme.  No spending on non-necessity items. At all.  Not ten dollars a week, not a latte here and there, zip, zilch, nada.  A total freeze on buying nonesstentials.

I threw this idea out on my Facebook page earlier this week, and several of you had something to say.  A few said no way, some sent prayers (Melissa, you know me too well), and surprisingly, several of you said you'd be game to join in, woo hoo!

Now let me be clear, The September Spending Freeze is a personal choice.  And with that, comes personal options.  While I'm choosing to apply the freeze to all non-essential items, maybe that's not  quite for you.  Maybe you want to focus on freezing your clothes spending, your eating out, or your beauty buys.  Maybe you just want to kick your habit of Starbucks.  Whatever and however you choose to do, it is totally up to you.  I've already had several questions about whether or not a few "cheats" can be allowed.  And to that I remind you, this is about making your own rules.  If you're still on the hunt for the perfect fall boots, write that in your rules.  If you've got a weekend getaway planned, and you want that weekend to be off-limits, go for it.  This is your September Spending Freeze, you can play it however you like.

So I encourage you to give it a thought.  Whether you're purposely trying to cut back, saving for a special vacation, or just trying to become more aware of your spending, The September Spending Freeze is a great way to get started.  And please, for no other reason, think about joining, so I'm not suffering, err, I mean discovering alone :)

The Freeze starts next Thursday, September 1, and if you want to join me, in any capacity by your rules or mine, shoot me an email.  I'm going to create a master list of Freeze participants.  (Even if that list is me, myself, and I.)  Every Thursday, I'll have a September Spending Freeze themed post, and I'll post the topic ahead of time, so you can join in.  But again, this challenge is about your own rules, so if you don't want to join in on the Thursday posts, no sweat.

Next Thursday's post will be titled "The September Spending Freeze: My Rules, My Way." This is your chance to dictate the rules for your challenge.  What's off limits, what are your cheats (if you have any), and what are the specifics of your freeze.

So that's the challenge if you choose to accept it.  A spending freeze for the entire month of September.  Who's with me? :)

PS: a MAJOR thanks and shout out to my friend Kendall Stoy for creating the fabulous September Spending Freeze logo featured above!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Out of a Hair Rut

For the past 2 months, I've been in a bit of a hair rut.  I desperately wanted something different, yet I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted.  (And I've learned my lesson about when I'm not quite sure about a hair change, I need to wait.  Impulsive hair decisions have not faired well for me.)  I was certain I wanted to keep the length, but I was wanting something different in terms of my color and style.  I was taking my time, slowly looking and inspiration photos, hemming and hawing about what I really wanted.  Then after my NYC trip, I saw a picture of my hair and just about fell over.  My hair looked terrible.  Straw straight, dull color, three inch roots, no body, no shine...good grief, it looked disasterious.

So after seeing that picture, my hair inspriration search took on a new life.  I became a Pinterest addict, I took iPhone snaps of strangers sitting near me who had fabulous hair, and I became "that girl" who constantly talks about her hair, what she wants, blah blah blah.  Last week, I made some good progess in finally nailing down some options.  Colorwise, I wanted more warmth, less blonde, and potential for an ombre effect as my roots grow back in.  Stylewise, loose curls, a middle part (still trying to get used to that), and anything but the straw-like 'do I saw in that NYC photo.


When I showed Matt my inspiration photos, he gave me one of this doubtful, "Are you sure?"  He reminded me how I felt about my hair the last time I went dark...

C19{Christmas in London, 2007}

Crazy, right?!  I went super dark in the fall of 2007 after being forced to give up my beloved tanning beds.  (The warnings are no joke; they really do give you skin cancer.)  So with my new pasty skin, I didn't feel right as blonde, and I tried dark.  I really liked it for a while, but then, I got tired of it, itching for my oh so loved blonde.  But being the fickle person that I am, I now want to find a medium between the two, something that would allow growth to show, resulting in less frequent trips to the salon.

So Saturday, I finally felt prepared enough to give my hair lady a good idea.  I went armed with my Pinterest photos, my three buzz words (warm, caramel, ombre), and the trust that she wouldn't lead me astray.  And this my friends was the final result...

IMG 0124

Overall, I'm super happy with it.  It's not as drastic as it could have been, and for that I am thankful.  What I also love is that as my roots grow out, it will naturally darken up and take on the ombre effect that I loved in pictures.  I love the middle part with the loose curls, but unfortunately, my stylist wouldn't let me kidnap her and bring her home to do my hair every morning, so I'm still working on how I can replicate that.  But all in all, I'm so happy to be out of my hair rut and into a color that is the perfect warm happy medium for me :)

Does anyone else find themselves in the occasional hair rut?  If so, how do you typically get out?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Happenings

Sangria2{via pinterest}

Getting to sneak out of work 30 minutes early on Friday, which made my 2 hour drive to see Matt that much better...
Enjoying a pizza-and-movie kind of Friday night...
Snuggling with Matt and appreciating being able to physically be next to each other...
Finding the perfect pair of black crop pants, perfect with silk button ups and sky high heels...
Spending a rainy Saturday morning perusing the grocery store...
Watching the past few episodes of the craziness that is Whale Wars...
Padding around in jeans and an oversized button up, my typical weekend uniform...
Whipping up homemade hummus courtesy of this recipe...
Taking advantage of Michael's 60% off custom framing deal and getting Matt's new Ph.D (and my old Master's) framed...
Having a Saturday night family dinner with our friend Norma and her precious dog, Pepper...
Accepting the fact that I'm an old fart and fall asleep by 10:30 pm on weekends...
Lunching and sangria sipping on the patio in what might have been the perfect Sunday afternoon weather...
Phone chatting with my brother as he experiences his first week of college and fraternity rush...
Snagging this fabulous cuff from Ann Taylor after obsessing over it at the NYC fashion show...
Gabbing with friends on my two hour drive back from Chicago...

I've got lots to post this week, so check back for some fun updates (including a new hair color!)  I hope your weekend was fabulous, and may your week be even better!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cheers to Dr. Davis!

This past weekend was a HUGE weekend in our house as Matt graduated with his Ph.D, eeek!  He is officially Dr. Davis! There are no words to describe the joy I felt this weekend watching Matt get his degree.  It has been a long and crazy journey, and I couldn't be more proud of all his hard work, dedication, and success.  Without further ado...pictures of the newest Ph.D in town :)

DSCN5189Me and the oh-so-official Dr. Davis!  This day has been so long in the making, it felt totally surreal!

Matt grad 2Matt getting his degree and his fancypants hood.  PS: It's hard to believe we spend 6 years of our life working on these degrees, and all we get is an oversized piece of paper and a bad, blue velvet drapey hood :)

Matt gradMy favorite four people on the planet :)

DSCN5207Me and Miguel (aka Dr. Cano.)   Neither Matt or I's grad school experience would have been half as fun without this guy!


DSCN5209I love you both more than words and am so so proud of you!  And I'm giving you a month to rub it in my face that you're doctors and I'm not.  Then for the next 11 months, not a dang peep from you two!

Matt grad 3After graduation we headed back to my parents for a graduation bash, complete with friends, family, neighbors, and of course, Texas BBQ!

DSCN5240What's a party without personalized napkins? :)

DSCN5212My best friend Steven and his boyfriend, Jesse, drove in from Austin for the occasion, and I'm so happy we were able to celebrate with them.  They always keep us laughing, and we don't see them nearly enough!

DSCN5220Matt and his celebratory flamingos!  My parents have the most fabulous group of neighbors, who take advantage of every reason to celebrate.  Whenever someone has a big event, the flamingos "mysteriously" arrive in the yard.  This time they were accompanied by some fabulous sidewalk chalking, courtesy of the little girls next door.

DSCN5223Saturday night, after a day of thrifting, lounging, and BBQ leftovers, we headed down to Montrose to eat at Cafe Brasil.  Ryan recommended the spot, and with an apple bacon pizza, how can you go wrong?

DSCN5225Still wearing my turban, even though Matt calls me Rambo and Steven called me Aunt Jemima all night.  Boys seriously just don't get it.

DSCN5232After dinner we headed back for game night, a major event in my family.  And though I am normally an Apples to Apples champion, I lost miserably.  But with two new doctors at the table, I had to let them beat me :)

DSCN5229The winner of the box game, a crazy hilarious game my family plays at every holiday/special occasion.

DSCN5227Fabulous stairstep friends :)

DSCN5206A last picture of me and the graduate.  The weekend was truly special, and I'm so grateful for all the people who made this celebration of Dr. Davis so very special.  A big thanks to my parents, who hosted the party, made a million airport trips, and let all us grown up kids sprawl out all over the house all weekend :)  A big congrats again to my sweet husband, Matt.  What...did you really think I'd start referring to him 24/7 as Dr. Davis?  Please, until I get those big initials next year, he can forget about it :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So its been over a week since I blogged last.  A week and a half if you're counting.  And though I wish I could say I'm back to blogging because I finally got internet hooked up at my house, sadly that is not the case.  (Oh yeah Comcast, I'm giving you the evil eye.)  But since I'm currently parked at Gate 4 awaiting a flight to Texas, I thought I'd take advantage of some free airport wifi :)

This past weekend was my first weekend back in Chicago after starting my new job two hours away, and I was lucky enough to be able to spend it with both Matt and my little brother.  Ryan was in town for Lollapalooza, and though mega-concerts aren't typically my thing, I couldn't pass up the chance to spend Saturday with him at one of the most legendary concerts around.  So Matt and I snagged tickets, quickly got the run down of the line-up, and attempted to not look like the oldest, most unhip people there lol.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from our day at Lollapalooza, most photos courtesy of my brother's oh-so-fabulous girlfriend, Makenna.  (Thanks Makenna!)

281460 1838664017093 1555290160 31446493 7091040 nMe and my not-so-little brother, Ryan.  Though Matt and I only went to Lolla on Saturday, Ryan and Makenna braved the fest for all three days.  Dedication!

DSCN5174Listening to Phantogram Saturday afternoon, just after the rain stopped.  I hadn't heard of Phantogram before last weekend, and since Saturday, I've obsessively had them playing in my car, in my office, and in my room.  They are insanely fabulous!

DSCN5178Our lineup for the day consisted of Phantogram, Black Lips, The Drums, Ellie Goulding (love!), Atmosphere, and Eminem.

223634 1838665697135 1555290160 31446504 1004956 nIf the crowd in front of us doesn't clue you in about the craziness of Lollapalooza, check out the crowd on the screen.  And to realize they had 6 stages going at once...it definitely got a little crazy.

205953 1838664857114 1555290160 31446499 6862032 nOur Lollapalooza crew.  PS: please excuse my totally random and un-hip outfit.  It was humid, hot as hell, and muddy in some places, which for me, translated to no effort left to attempt to look cute.

185349 1838664657109 1555290160 31446497 4739984 nPretty city.

DSCN5170Two of my favorite people in the whole wide world.  They keep me loving life and laughing through most of it :)

251438 1838666057144 1555290160 31446508 7488035 nEminem might have been my favorite show of the day.  Now, let me preface this by saying, I'm not the biggest Eminem fan in the world.  He's a bit too angry and unfiltered for my taste.   That being said, his show was pretty freaking awesome.  It was one of his first shows back since he pulled off the scene a few years ago, and the energy was insane.  He did new stuff mixed in with old stuff which had the crowd pretty crazy.  This picture was taken right after he brought out Bruno Mars for "Lighters."  Awe-some.

281559 1838666017143 1555290160 31446507 1802574 nNot even 90,000 people crowded in Grant Park can distract from what a beautiful city Chicago is.  A day spent in my fabulous city, listening to one-of-kind artists, with a few of my favorite people in the world...it doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Makings of a First Day

Fountain{via pinterest}

Hello friends, happy Monday!  I just wanted to pop in and let you know that my first day of my new job was today, and thankfully, it went off without a hitch!  The program is great, the people are wonderful, and I'm so thrilled to be back doing what I love.  Having the past year "off" from the field gave me a great deal of perspective and really confirmed that this is where I'm meant to be.  And to celebrate my first day, I got ready with tunes from my girl Britney, donned my favorite leopard blouse+black pencil skirt, and gave myself a quick in-the-mirror pep talk.  And to seal the deal, I drove to work belting out my favorite "pump me up and boost my confidence" song.  (It's here in case you need a Tina Turner pump me up jam too.  I swear, you can't listen to it and not feel like you're the best thing since sliced bread!)

After work, I came home, slipped on my fuzzy leopard robe, and turned on my favorite girl power movie, Legally Blonde.    All the makings of a great first day.  (Ok, annnd I ate a couple of mini frozen Snickers.  But it was my first day, so calories don't count.) And several of you have asked about my new job, what I'm doing, what my Ph.D is in, etc. and yes, I'm still being somewhat vague about what I do.  It's just a part of me that for now, I enjoy keeping somewhat private.  But in a nutshell, I work closely with college students on a daily basis and love getting to work with so many incredible young people.

I'm without internet this week (except when I sit outside Starbucks in my car) so I'll be a little sporadic with blogging this week.  I may just take advantage of the down time and catch up on my dissertation or hit the gym.  Oh please, who am I kidding?  I'll probably rewatch Legally Blonde 49 times and obsessively quote every line like its my job.  Because if they offered a Ph.D in Legally Blonde knowledge, you know I'd be alllll over that :)

Have a fabulous week, and thanks again for your continued support on this new journey.  I'm so blessed to have yall by my blogging side through all this!