Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thrift Trip of the Year

Remember a few weeks ago on Facebook when I mentioned having the most amazing thrifting day ever?  (If you missed that status update, you're clearly missing out on all the thrilling excitement in my life.)  Well, its been almost three weeks and I'm still pinching myself over all the amazing goodies I scored.  My favorite thrift store, Savers, was having a 50% sale, and since I'm never one to miss a good sale, I got up early to beat the crowds.  (For those of you non-thrifters, I am not kidding; there are crowds on thrift store sale days.)  I walked away with 4 skirts, 2 dresses, 2 scarves, and 1 sweater.  And all of the pieces were things I had been looking to add to my wardrobe for fall.  But enough babbling, here are a few quick morning snaps of some of my recent thrift scores...

IMG 0941I snagged this navy and white mid-length striped skirt for $3.  Yes, you read that right, $3.  The length might be awkward for some people, but given my height and love for heels, the skirt hits mid-calf and is a nice change for fall.  I also love the white rope belt, a fun nautical nod for sure!

IMG 0942I also scored this leopard scarf, which is totally different from the other 4 leopard scarves I already own.  Seriously, way different :)  And I finally figured out how to turn standard scarves into infinity scaves, which is making this an even more versatile piece.

IMG 0943I have been loving the bright floral trend for fall, and I've had my eye out for an oh-so-floral dress.  So when I saw this dress, I couldn't believe my thrifting luck.  It was a bit too 80's frilly, but when I paired it with a black blazer, leopard belt, and some big bling, it was just what I'd hoped for.

IMG 0947My scarf collection is always growing, and I loved the bold color and print in this scarf.  It added something extra to an otherwise simple chambray + purple corduroy combo.

IMG 0953This 100% pure silk dress from Talbots was another fabulous find.  The sublte gold and black print is right up my alley, and of course, I added a black blazer, because well, I'm addicted to black blazers.  This dress is actually several sizes too big for me, so I know I always have to wear a belt and blazer with it or get it altered.

IMG 0952So this is obviously not a work outfit (though I do wish oversized sweaters, lounge leggings, and ponytails were allowed at work).  Me and oversized sweaters, well, we kind of have a thing.  So when I saw this dark gray lovely hanging on a rack on the way out, she called to me and the rest was history.  This almost-snuggie ran a whopping $5.  It doesn't get much better than that.

IMG 0965Now might be a good time to mention, I'm already obsessed with the scarf.  I wear it two or three times a week and have to keep myself from wearing it more often.  The skirt is another mid-length skirt.  I think this silhouette works well for me, and though I love me a good pencil skirt, I'm embracing fuller skirts for fall.

IMG 0985And this thrift find is actually from last year, but I scored it during another one of Saver's 50% days.  The plaid is of course classic, and I tried to sass it up with black skinny pants, my beloved Levi's jacket, and oversized gold jewelry.  Oh, and of course, my nerd glasses.  Several people at work asked, "Oh are those new glasses?" to which I replied, "No, I just wear them once in a while."  Translation: they have no prescription and are purely for style purposes.  I may have 20/20 vision, but I don't like to be left out of any accessories :)

So there you have it, the thrift trip of the year!  I'm still working some of the items into my fall wardrobe, and I'll post more pics as I wear things.  I typically have good thrifting karma, but this trip was over the top awesome.  My thrift bar has now been upped.  Bring it, thrifting, bring it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Orleans

It's been over a month since my brother and I roadtripped from Chicago to Texas, and I'm just now posting the pictures from our second stop, New Orleans.  To be honest, I debated whether or not to post these pictures, given the recent destruction caused by Hurricane Isaac.  But then I figured what better way to honor a city than by sharing an authentic experience from a first time visitor.  So with that, here are a few pictures from our stop in New Orleans...

8070962After the six hour drive from Memphis to New Orleans, Ryan and I had one thing on our!  We quickly dropped our bags at our hotel and headed out in search of some good old New Orleans cuisine.

8070963First stop, Bourbon Street for some oh-so-tasty shrimp po' boys and hurricanes.  I had literally been dreaming of this sandwich the entire trip.

8070959My roadtrip navigator and little bestie.  Isn't he adorable? 

8070968With full bellies, we headed out to explore the city, taking a quick stroll down Bourbon Street.  During our short time in New Orleans, I couldn't help but notice the city's mix of high/low, old/new, touristy/authentic, remembered/forgotten.  Normally, I am drawn to this kind of diversity, but for some reason, I found the city slightly unsettling in this way.  I think it was this last pairing, remembered/forgotten that struck me most, and I couldn't help but think of how much this city has gone through the past several years.

8070970Outfit of the day...
Shorts: Lauren Conrad
Tank: Dillards
Hat: Nordstrom
Bolo tie (worn as a necklace): thrifted
Sandals: Target 

8070971How sad is it that this is the only picture I have of us on this entire roadtrip?!

8070974After lunch (and perhaps a quick nap) we headed out to explore a different area of New Orleans, Magazine Street.  The area is known for it's local shops and boutiques, as well as its uber-cool vibe.

P8070979We made a stop at Sucre, an amazing sweet boutique that I discovered in a Southern Living "Best of New Orleans" guide (found here.)  Sucre is famous for their delightful desserts, gelato, and of course their macarons.

8070991Sucre was one of those places where you can't help but squeal upon arrival.  It was adorable, delicious, and just the right amount of prissy.  And the staff was really sweet, letting us sample various things, answering my million questions, and putting up with my incessant photo snapping.

8070994Funny enough, Matt's sister and her family were in New Orleans the same time as Ryan and me.  We hadn't realized our overlap until just a few days before when I posted on Facebook about packing for the roadtrip.  So we met up for a bit, chatting over milkshakes and macarons.  And I have to give Julie a big shout out, as she treated me to an extra sweet graduation present while at Sucre; thank you, Julie!

P8070983These treats were almost too pretty to eat...almost :)  Ryan and I were afraid the box wouldn't make it back to Texas with anything left inside, but thankfully, we managed to have some self-control, and were able to share with our family when we arrived in Houston.

P8070996After Sucre, Ryan and I headed to Frenchmen's Street, known as the local's choice spot for good jazz.  We read in a travel article that the locals invented Bourbon Steet to corral all the tourists and keep them away from their beloved Frenchmen's Street.  Ryan and I enjoyed a low key night, wandering in and out of bars, letting our ears and good jazz guide our wandering.  I'm so thankful several of you suggested this to me, as it was a great way to experience a more authentic side of New Orleans nightlife.

8081005The next morning, we got up bright and early, ready to hit the road.  But of course, a trip to New Orleans is not complete without a stop at the legendary, Cafe Du Monde.

8081003Those little powdered treats were even better than I imagined!  Little did we know that while we were chowing down and dusting powdered sugar off our fingers, my car was being towed!  Apparently, there is some secret parking rule about not parking on the street before 9:00 am, blah...blah...blah, and in short, Ryan and I spent our last two hours in New Orleans navigating the ridiculous ins and outs of New Orleans towing.  But after some stress, several deep breaths, and even a few laughs, we were eager to say goodbye to New Orleans and get back on the road!  Those beignets may have been the most expensive powdered puffs we've ever eaten, but at least they were good :)

Even though our trip was quick, we had so much fun.  It's no secret that I love being a big sister, and getting to spend some quality time Ryan, especially before graduation, was such a treat.  I've got a few more Instagram snaps from the trip coming this week, and you can see pictures from our stop in Memphis here.  Hope everyone has a fabulous week! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I haven't done an Instagram update in a while, so I thought it was about time.  (PS: for further proof of just how long its been since my last insta-update, half of these pictures are from my last month of long hair!)

Aug 13 2012*Wedding dress shopping at Nicole Miller with my friend Christa.  She looked so pretty!
*Last turban of the summer.  (This picture may or may not make me miss my long hair a teeny, tiny bit!)

Aug 17 20121*An oh-so-sweet graduation gift from my fabulous NYC brothers in law.
*Cappuccinos and chocolate, a perfect pairing for a girls day with my dear friend Christie. 

May 30 20125*Matt and I discovered a fabulous Mediterranean resturant by our house.
*I will never be able to enjoy a store bought pita again; their pitas were heavenly! 

Collages*The week before I started my new job, I spent the day wandering around downtown Chicago, popping in and out of shops, stopping for coffee midday.  It was the perfect way to end my "summer break" and kickoff the start of my new job.
*A new BBQ spot opened near our house.  While it's not quite Texas standard, it works in a BBQ pinch. 

Aug 13 20121*So happy to host Ryan and Makenna when they were in town for Lollapalooza, taking them to our favorite Neapolitan pizza place.
*Afternoon chardonnays at Flight 1551

Aug 26 2012*Saturday picnic in the park.
*Strawberry banana pancakes at our favorite breakfast spot. 

Jul 22 2012*My BFF Jordan was in town for work, which meant we got to sneak in some quality lunch, pool, and cocktail time.
*Grande nonfat caramel macciatos are my obsession right now (though I continue to seriously limit my Starbucks intake after last year's September Spending Freeze!) 

May 30 20126*Impromptu picnic with work friends.
*Cocktail night courtesey of GQ.

Las Vegas February 2012*Raspberries are my favorite way to jazz up my water, and I'm soaking up the last few of the season!
*Fun office stationary complete with my new "Doctor Allison" pen, courtesy of my little brother.  He thought about it, picked it out, and paid for it all by himself.  What a thoughtful little guy :)

Hope everyone is having a fabulous week! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A New Look for Smart + Sassy with Sprinkles

If you've been poking around Smart + Sassy with Sprinkles the last few days, you may have noticed that we got a major makeover!  (I say "we" like my blog and I are longtime BFFs; no crazy here!)  As much as I liked my little blog before, I think her new look is quite an upgrade.  An upgrade I owe entirely to the oh-so-fabulous Alivia at Brunch in April.  Alivia and I have been blog friends for a while, and I was so thrilled to have her redesign my site.  The outcome is beyond my wildest dreams, and it was literally as though she got inside my head, making my blog sing all the notes most important to me.  She was super delightful to work with, and she somehow managed to complete this makeover in the midst of a major move.  And since we texted during this blog reno, I think its fair to say we've gone from blog friends to real life friends.  Score!

There may continue to be a few small changes over the next little bit, mostly updating some content on my end, so if there is anything special you'd like to see featured on my blog, don't hesitate to let me know.  Another big thanks to Alivia, I am over the moon happy with the site!  If you're interested in having your blog revamped, spruced up, or made over, definitely give Alivia a shout.  She rocks!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tales of a Haircut

It's been exactly three weeks since the big hair chop, and I can't believe I'm just now getting around to showing pictures from the big day!  I've had long hair for most of my life, except for the one random time my sophomore year when I decided to cut my hair.  (Sidenote: I didn't quite pull off the Reese Witherspoon Sweet Home Alabama look as well as I'd hoped.)  So I was really surprised when this look on Pinterest caught my attention.  And it didn't just "catch my attention," it caught my attention.  So of course, I instantly posted about it on my personal Facebook page, solicited opinions, and then obsessed about it for week.  After a week of obsessing, I texted my stylist, asked her advice, and then committed to the big chop.  And with that, there was no turning back...

IMG 0867Here we are right before the big moment.  It's pretty crazy how long my hair had gotten, and to be honest, I think it needed to go.  Though I'm digging the ombre :)

IMG 0868My stylist, Stephanie, decided to do a quick, first round chop before she did the color.  Bye bye long hair!

IMG 0869And with that...I was ten pounds lighter.  But of course, we still had quite a bit more to go :)

IMG 0871After a good bit of color and a good shampoo/conditioner, we got back to cutting.

IMG 0872At this point in the afternoon, I started to realize there was no turning back.  I was mostly excited, but I won't lie, about 5% of me was freaking out :)

IMG 0875Drumroll please...the final product!  It wasn't quite as short as I had imagined, but I think that ended up being a better fit for me.

IMG 0883Days later, I was still getting used to it, particularly learning how to styler shorter hair.

IMG 0880I was most nervous to see how my new hair would go with my favorite hat, and thankfully, a day at the pool with friends gave me a good excuse to test the combo out.  And to be honest, I think I like my hat even better with short hair!
PS: I recently snagged this black + turquoise Ralph Lauren swimsuit on super sale, and I love it!) 

So there you have it...the big chop!  Now that the whole thing is said and done, I'm reminded, it's just hair. Thankfully, I love the overall look, but even if I didn't, it's a good reminder to take risks and get outside your comfort zone.  Even if it's just with a thing as superficial as hair :)