Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry (Belated) Insta-Christmas

I had the best intentions of being a better blogger over the holidays, but the minute I got home and saw my family, that went out the window.  And I'm totally ok with that.  Our time here in Houston has been beyond wonderful.  I've been so cozy and content, that I've broken out Cameron just once, instead relying on my much easier to tote iPhone. Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the past week.

Picnik21. Getting into the Santa spirit after meeting friends for drinks at DOC Wine Bar. 2. My holiday manicure.  I cannot get enough of OPIs Rainbow Connection; it is the perfect glitter polish!

Picnik13. Christmas cookie decorating, a family tradition. 4. A pre-Christmas visit from our friends Jesse and Steven.  Always good to see them!

Picnik45. Finally in Houston and loving the weather.  No coat needed!  PS: I picked up this sweater from Macy's on Black Friday for $20! 6. My attempt at pretty but free wrapping...campus newspaper, gold ribbon, red paper, and tiny rhinestones.  Use what you have, and make it work!

Picnik67. My parents pretty tree, ready for Santa. 8. Christmas Eve story time, The Polar Express and The Night before Christmas.

Picnik59. My sweet doggie, snuggled up in his Christmas sweater. 10. Moscow Mules in our new copper mugs (thanks Josh and Anthony!)

Picnik311. The Clark Griswald of Houston who lives near my parents.  We love this house! (PS: you can watch the video I took with my iPhone here on Youtube.  You know, in case you're still in the holiday mood.)  12. Out for yummy and close-to-impossible-to-get-in-Chicago Mexican food with my mom.

Picnik713. One of my favorite presents of the year?  Matt surprised me with a trip to Las Vegas!  We're planning to go early next spring, eeek! 14. One of Matt's presents from my parents and the hit family game this holiday, Six Word Memoirs.  It's awesome and has been our go-to activity the past few nights!

I hope you have been enjoying time with loved ones, soaking up all the special moments that this holiday season brings.  We're in Texas for a few more days, and I must admit, I'm not quite ready to leave.  I plan to spend the next few days savoring every small moment I can!  Merry (belated) Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmastime in Chicago

Last Christmas was our first year in Chicago, and since we thought we'd only be in the Windy City for a year, we soaked up all the Chicago Christmas goodness and even hosted my family for the holidays.  (See their visit here.)  This year, we're heading to Texas for the holidays, and between my crazy weekly commute and trying to use weekends to rest, we haven't done a whole lot of Christmas stuff.  So this past weekend, we grabbed two of our good friends and headed to enjoy a few of our favorite Chicago Christmas spots!

C180509We love the Christkindlmarket, and since Norma and Jerry hadn't been, we were thrilled to take them.  We also took it upon ourselves to introduce them to all our favorite market yummies, including Gluhwein, latkes, and roasted nuts.

C180512Thankfully this year's visit was much warmer than our two visits last year.  We spent much of Sunday giving thanks for the 40 degree weather and laughing thinking back to the previous year and how cold we were.

C180515We never get tired of The Bean.  Can you spot us?  (Hint: we're almost smack dab in the middle, just above and to the left of the girl with the Santa hat.)

C180517Have I mentioned how happy I am that we live here?  God is so good.

C180519We stopped to take in one of my favorite views of the city and watch the ice skaters in Millennium Park.

PC180522After taking an "extended tour" of the city (we frequently get lost when Matt plays tour guide), we stopped for dinner at Barrio.  I found out about Barrio through Gilt City last week, and since we've been in search of a good Mexican restaurant, we thought we'd give it a try.  And oh my goodness, I'm so glad we did because it was fabulous!  The food, the service, the die for!

PC180523Norma and I's first round of drinks: the Rehab Margarita and the house sangria.

C180524So happy she's in Chicago this year :)

PC180529We did a combination of appetizers and tacos, and there wasn't one thing that disappointed.  (Though Frontera still wins out for the best ceviche in the city.)  We will definitely be back!

PC180533After dinner, we bundled up and headed to Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo.  It's no secret, Matt and I love this zoo (see here and here), but we hadn't yet been to see it decked out for the holidays.

PC180535It was really beautiful to see the zoo so spruced for the holidays.  And though most of the animals were already asleep for the evening, we had fun just wandering around.

PC180536I'm so grateful that we made a point to get out and experience a few of our favorite Chicago Christmas spots (and that we found a new favorite restaurant in the process!)  And of course, sharing the adventure with our friends who are new to Chicago made it even more fun.  The Christmas season can be busy and hectic, but it's the small things that make the difference!

Tomorrow Matt and I are heading to Texas to spend Christmas with my family.  I am SO excited to spend the break curled up in snuggly pajamas, lounging around my parents Christmas tree, laughing with the people I love.  Now, if we could just get there without having to make the drive.  Oh yes, you read that right...we are driving the 18 hours to Houston.  My spending freeze had lessons that extended well beyond shopping.  We just couldn't justify the $1,000 travel cost, and since Matt has a hybrid, we'll spend just a tiny fraction of that.  So we're armed with lots of snacks, caffenated beverages, and books on CD.  Let's hope we survive :)

PS: I'm guest posting over at Lindsay's blog today, sharing my Christmas Happy Lately List.  Pop over and come say hi!

Monday, December 19, 2011



At 6:00 pm today, I gave up.  I was done.  No more energy, no more organized thoughts.  My brain was a fizzled mess.  Though I had a stack of paperwork teetering on the corner of my desk, a million student files to close, and a to do list longer than Santa's naughty list, I called it a day.  I packed up my bag, turned out my office lights, and locked my door.  I took a big sigh, acknowledged that I was leaving a ton undone, and walked out to my car.  And then, just as a got to my car, I thought, I am choosing to be done.  Choosing to ignore all the unfinished things, choosing to be okay with a mile long January to do list.  Choosing to embrace a break.  Because today, at 6:00 pm, my winter break started, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  So I'm choosing to ignore things, instead shouting "hell yeah" for two weeks of no work.  And that feeling is defiinitely worth ignoring a few things for!

PS: Have you entered the Stella & Dot giveaway?  There are just a few short hours left, and its super easy to enter.  Go go go!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ann Taylor Christmas Fun

Most of you know that last year, during the year between me completing my coursework and starting my internship, I had a blast working retail.  I stayed mum about the retailer for most of year, but when a trip to New York came about, I spilled the beans.  I loved my year working for Ann Taylor, and I'm lucky enough to have a boss that lets me work seasonly if I want to.  (Weird fact about me: I love working retail on Black Friday and through the holiday season; the madness is energizing!)  I loved my year with Ann, but more than the clothes or the clients, I loved my coworkers.  They became my Chicago family, particularly since I started at the store two days after our moving truck pulled into Chicago.  Though I'm two hours away during the week, I still try to see the AT girls when I'm home on the weekends.  Two weeks ago, one of the girls hosted the store Christmas party, and it was so fun to get together and get crazy again.  It made me realize how much I miss them!

PC030455Our big happy AT family!  PS: we did a gift exchange at the party, and the gift I brought was that cute leopard cape on Kathy in the front.  I really wanted one for myself, but I showed restraint and stuck with the one :)

PC030435I'm not sure I could ever have a white Christmas tree, but Kasombra's tree was so pretty; I loved it!

PC030450Pretty sure Matt snapped this picture as my gift was "stolen" away from me.  I had initially scored a super cute bracelet, but I knew it wasn't going to last.  Someone snatched it up, which allowed me to "steal" a Starbucks gift card.  Perfect considering my recent ban on Starbucks!

PC030443Terri and Kathy, two of my very favorite people in the whole world!  My AT family has taken such good care of me, even as I've moved on to finish my Ph.D.  I am forever grateful for them and so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of women!

PS: Not sure if you remember the dress I wore in AT's runway show, but it's finally in stores (see it here).  It's been so fun to see it in the window displays and to think I wore it before anyone else!  By the way, a little birdie in New York told me that this was Demi Moore's favorite dress from the campaign she shot!

Also, DON'T FORGET TO ENTIRE MY CURRENT STELLA & DOT GIVEAWAY!  You could win the fabulous "On the Mark" necklace for taking about ten seconds out of your day to enter.  Go do it now; it'll be the perfect way to perk up your weekend!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If You Need a Laugh

Please stop whatever you are doing right now and watch this video.  I am certain you will be overcome with laughter and that your day will improve.  Trust me.  I've seen it four times and still can't stop laughing.  LOVE IT.

Ok, be honest, did that not just seriously make your day a whole lot better? :)

PS: little blonde girl at the 1:40 mark, you are adorable beyond words.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stella and Dot GIVEAWAY!

Stella and dot 21

Today I am thrilled to be hosting a delightful giveaway, and just in time for the holidays!  The fabulousness of Stella & Dot is no secret; they have taken the girly world by storm and have most of us catching our breath at our computers.  I love that they do big, bold baubles and super, sweet delicates; you simply can't go wrong.  And today, I am so excited to share a giveaway, hosted by Sara Michael, an independent stylist for Stella & Dot.

Sara is an Oklahoma based Stella & Dot stylist, whose first love is being a mom to two insanely cute little boys, Canon and Crew.  (Ya'll know I'm not exactly on the baby train, but oh my goodness, her little ones are literally the cutest kids I've ever seen!  Seriously, they're crazy adorable.)  Sara and I actually know each other from our OU Kappa days, and I have to admit, Sara has always been one of those girls that looks cute no matter what.  For reals.  When you live with 96 girls, you see it all, and I kid you not, I've never seen the girl not looking anything but adorable.  She is beautiful on the inside and out, which makes her a perfect fit for Stella & Dot.  She has been able to focus on being a mommy while still sharing her super chic style with girls everywhere.  Everytime I creep on her Facebook, I instantly want every Stella & Dot bauble!

Sara is offering one lucky Smart and Sassy with Sprinkles reader the "On the Mark" necklace, which I am obsessed with!  Simple enough for every day, yet chic enough to make a statement.  To enter...

1. Visit and like Sara's Facebook page and leave her a wall post letting her know what your favorite Stella & Dot piece is.

2. Then come back here and comment below, telling me something you like or want to see more of on my little blog.  I like to know what keeps my readers happy :)
*You must do both steps to be entered in the giveaway.

But wait, that's not all!  Anyone who orders from Sara through my online trunk show will be entered to win a pair of soiree studs. Score!  Annnnd...if you sign up to host a trunk show or be a Stella & Dot stylist through her, you get $75 in free jewelry.  (Umm, yes please!)  If you don't live in Oklahoma, don't worry, because Sara travels up to five hours outside of Edmond, Oklahoma to host shows. Five hours!  So if you're in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, or Arkansas and have been wanting to host a girls night, this is your perfect chance.  And you'll get free jewelry, woo hoo!

To shop with Sara, visit her Stella & Dot site and browse till your bling loving heart is content.  When you're ready to check out, you'll be prompted to create a log in.  Once you do that, it will take you to the page below, asking if you were invited to a trunk show.  Choose Allison Davis from the drop down menu, complete the rest of your check out process, and you'll instantly be entered for a chance to win a pair of soiree studs, courtesy of Sara.

Drop down instruction

I've got a few people left to shop for, and I know I'll be the favorite gift giver with anything Stella & Dot.  (And since I've been a good girl this year, I'm hoping Santa will deliver a little something Stella & Dot in my stocking!)  As soon as I can persuade Sara to head up to Chicago (a little outside her five hour range), I'm gonna host a trunk show of my own.  But until then, I'm hosting blogstyle and hoping someone very special wins this giveaway.  The "On the Mark" necklace is the perfect thing to sweeten up this holiday season!

Entries will be accepted through Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm.  A big thanks to Sara for hosting this fabulous giveaway and for being so dang chic and inspiring!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Collage1*Waking up Friday to the first snow of the season.  Hello Midwest winter, do be kind, please :)
*My favorite kind of weekend outfit: a tunic, leggings, and my favorite leather jacket.

Collage2*Manicure of the week: OPI's Not Like the Movies.
*We tried a new BBQ spot this weekend.  I was hopeful at first, but when the owners said they weren't from Texas, I was skeptical.  When I asked for ranch, and they said, "We don't have any ranch," I knew the place was a miss.  But the fried pickle spears?  They were pretty dang good :)

Collage3*So happy I have a husband who can cook.  And who looks cute doing it :)
*A Starbucks stop during our Saturday Christmas shopping.  Thanks to a gift card from my sister in law, Matt and I were able to enjoy our holiday favorites guilt free.  (Thanks Julie!)

Collage4*Saturday night we went Christmas party, and I wanted to look festive, but not too overdone.  I was smitten with this party dress+motorcycle jacket combo.  And the big earrings, a given for this Texas girl.  PS: wondering why I have an oatmeal canister in my bathroom?  You can read about that here.
*These were an Ann Taylor holiday purchase from last year, and I am so glad I snagged them.  They're over the top sparkly and the perfect addition to any outfit this time of year.

So what's the latest and greatest with you?  How was your weekend?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Weekend Happenings

IMG 0249

Hey there...sorry for the quiet around these parts.  It's almost the end of the semester, which for college students, means its crazy time.  And for anyone that works with college students...crazy time.  So I've been working late and attempting to be productive in the few hours between work and bed.  It's left me feeling a little bit shredded, but luckily this weekend was fairly quiet and peaceful.  Here's a little bit of what I enjoyed this weekend...

Taking Friday off work for dentist and doctors appointments, which aren't fun, but since they allowed me an extra day at home with Matt, I can't complain...
Watching a pretty good Netflix thriller...
Snuggling up under a magic blanket with the fireplace snapping...
Indulging in my favorite five year old cereal, Lucky Charms, and purposefully saving a spoonful of marshmallows till the end...
Deep cleaning our house for six hours on Saturday...
(Did I mention we have a one bed/one bath?!)...
Spending an afternoon at Savers scoring some pretty fabulous thrift finds...
Trying a new-to-me OPI color and loving it...
(Though I can't decide what color it really is)...
Listening to Pandora Christmas nonstop...
Celebrating the holiday season with my AT girls (pictures to come soon)...
Scoring big during the gift exchange with a Starbucks gift card...
(Perfect considering Freeze Lesson number 3)...
Finally renting Water for Elephants after reading the book this summer...
(Does Reese Witherspoon ever age?!)...
Solidifying details for an upcoming giveaway...
Whipping up a quick and easy "throw together" dinner inspired by these yummies...
Treating ourselves to after dinner ice cream treats and remembering how much I love Drumsticks...
Talking about Christmas plans and realizing we'll be leaving for Texas in just two and a half weeks, eeek!

What were you up to this weekend?  Do tell :)