Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday Favorites and Happenings

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes.

Happy Friday all! I had every intention of writing a post for Wednesday and then I went to trivia night instead and didn't get one out. But, I had so much fun at trivia night. I haven't been in years and my coworkers have been trying to get me to go for months. Well, I finally went and now I am hooked. I can't play every Tuesday, but I know I will be going more often.

Anyways, onto Friday favorites and happenings.

ONE. So I have had my Nespresso machine for about a year now. Not quite, but in November it will be a year. But that is beside the point. I love this thing. I had it at home until June when I went back into the office full time. 

So now on weekdays, I have my Nespresso coffee or espresso and on the weekends I treat myself to a latte out or we make coffee in our Moccamaster (another amazing drip coffee maker).

A few of my coworkers even bring in their own vertuo pods and use my maker.

Ok, getting to the point. Nespresso just released their pumpkin spice cake pod and I had to grab some. I am not a pumpkin spice latte fan at all. I will drink a Starbucks pumpkin cold brew, but never a PSL. They are overly sweet and taste fake. BUT these pods are amazing. It tastes like Fall, my moms homemade pumpkin cookies and isn't overly sweet at all. I think it is because it is all in the coffee rather than syrup and spices added onto the espresso/coffee. 

I can't wait to try out the Winter flavors soon as well. I got the Nespresso and my sample pack didn't come with any Fall or Winter flavors, and I was too scared to try the three sleeve pack that was out. 

Pumpkin Spice Cake Vertuo Pod
Pumpkin Spice Cake Vertuo Pods (not an affiliate link.)

TWO. Speaking of Nespresso pods, my favorite flavor by far is the Vanilla Custard Pie. I get them through Amazon (through the Nespresso store), but when I have a big enough order (ie $50 in pods), I will order them through Nespresso's website.

If you have a Nespresso Vertuo and you haven't tried the vanilla custard pie flavor, do yourself a favor and try it. 

Nespresso Vanilla Custard Pie Vertuo Pods

THREE. My coworker went to Trader Joes last weekend and she bought all things pumpkin. And it so happens that my girls asked me to go to Trader Joes this weekend for the mini cones. So now I have to get them mini cones, get me the new pumpkin ginger mini cones and check out all the pumpkin things. 

Do you have any Fall/pumpkin favorite items from Trader Joes?

These are the two new-to-me items that she let me try this week.

Pumpkin Spiced Pretzels
Pumpkin Spiced Pretzels

These are dangerously good. They are small, so I grabbed a few and it was a good thing these were not mine. But I did buy more at Trader Joes. Now to limit myself to a few each time I enjoy them. They are not overly sweet and have a good amount pumpkin seeds on them.

Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

My coworker didn't like these that much. She said they just taste like regular pumpkin seeds that are a bit sweet. She gave them to me. I think they are good. She is right that they don't have a ton of sweetness to them, but just the right amount. The sweet and salty combo is good to me. So I took them and I am enjoy them as a little snack at work.

FOUR. This week we tried the meal delivery service called Marley Spoon. One of my friends had a code for me, and I was tired of making the same items over and over again. So we gave it a try. This week we had BBQ Japanese Pork Tacos with an Apple and Celery Slaw. And we had mini meatloaves with pesto green beans. 

Both items were really good. Ok, I liked the pork tacos a lot more than Rory did because he has a weird allergy or something with raw apples. Now he can eat baked or cooked apples just fine, but something about raw apples makes him feel sick and queasy. I thought since they were marinated in apple cider vinegar, olive oil and spices, he would be fine. But he only ate two tacos and then just had some of the pork alone.

As for the mini meatloaves, the girls even liked it. I think I found my new favorite way to make green beans. Adding pesto to them. The girls were weary about them, but then loved them! I will be making this dish again.

We are trying another set next week and I hope to use this or another meal service a few times a week.

We just needed variety in our lives and this is a great way to do it. Plus I got my first box free and then the next 4 are at a discount. 

If you want to try Marley Spoon, please let me know, and I will send you an email for you to try them out. And you can cancel after one box if you would like.

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

Have a great weekend. I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Family Halloween Costume Ideas

* This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes.

Can you believe that Halloween is a little over a month away? I can't. BUT I have started shopping for our Halloween costumes. We are going to a friends house for a Halloween party on the 30th and needed to start searching for our family costumes. Last year we were characters from Toy Story and this year we will be....

PRINCESSES AND PRINCE CHARMING. I have already ordered our costumes and we have been trying them on to make sure we have the right fit. Here is our costume inspiration. 

Princess and Price Charming Halloween Family costumes

Here is last year's theme: Toy Story.

Toy Story Halloween Costumes

Ken: Shirt
Barbie: Leotard, Socks, Belt
Bo Peep

And here is a few other family costume ideas:


Flintstones Family Halloween Costumes


Superhero Family Halloween Costumes

Are you dressing up for Halloween? Are you doing a themed family costume?

Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday Favorites and Happenings

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes.

Happy Friday all!

ONE. Lindsay recently shared some of the Amazon Prime purchases that her husband made. Well Rory made two recently and they have been amazing. I just had to share them with you all.

Remember how we had major smoke from the two big fires here? Well it made our houses stink and our air quality just awful. We decided we had had enough when we could smell a campfire in our house (so to speak).

Rory did some research and these are the best. They are from the brand Levoit. We got two of them. One for a large room (ie our living room) and one for smaller rooms (like bedrooms). They have a wifi option in them, so you can download the app and turn them on via the app. This made it so easy to get the house to a good air quality before we got home each day.

If you struggle with smoke, allergies, dust, pet dander, etc., then this is just what you need.

Levoit Air Purifier
Levoit Air Purifier (up to 219 sq. ft.) an extra $30 off right now

TWO. Remember when I posted the Fall Cardigans that caught my eye? Well I bought one of them plus a super soft t-shirt (that I already have in 3 colors). They were both on sale and I had a birthday coupon to use before September rolled around. 

I got them last week and they are amazing. The t-shirts are my favorite because they are stretchy and super soft. And they hold up after many washes. 

I like the length of this cardigan because I can wear it with coats and not have it sticking out of the coat (if I don't want to wear a peacoat). Plus the arm detail is really pretty.

A&F Mid-Length Cardigan
A&F Mid-Length Cardigan (I got a small in this)

A&F Drapey Tee
A&F Drapey Tee (I get a small or medium in these)

THREE. I have a gala to attend in about a week. I am ordering a dress at last minute. Yes, I know. But it has to be a formal dress and you all know how much I love Lulu's. So help me pick which one to order. Or which ones?

Lulus Lovely Navy Dress

Lulus Navy Sparkly Dress

Lulus Velvet Maxi Dress

FOUR. Weekly funnies.

Have a great weekend. I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Weekend Update

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes. 

I haven't done a weekend update in awhile, so I thought I would today.

Last weekend was special in that it was the first home football game of the season (in 2 years that we could attend) and it was 9/11. But let's back up to Friday.

I work from home every Friday and since I was at home, I took the girls to their before school program. It had rained all night, so the girls got to wear their new rain jackets.

I went home and worked until lunch time and then I headed over to my sister's house to watch my nephew and work from there. We played, he helped me work and got bored of my work and fell asleep. Ha.

Then when work was done, I headed to an acupuncture appointment and then home. I picked up the girls along the way and then we did homework. I had to leave in the middle of homework, so Rory helped them finish. I went to meet up with one of my girlfriends for dinner.

She had a concert to go to, so we kept it short (about 2 hours) and then I headed home for the nighttime routine.

Saturday morning, Rory had a golf tournament to work, so I made the girls pancakes and told them all about 9/11. We watched videos on what happened, listened to news stories and gave them a run down of it in my own words. As we watched videos, the girls noticed that I was crying. I told them even though I wasn't there, it still hurts my heart and is tough to remember it all. It changed things like flying on planes, being able to pick up friends and family at the gates and overall security.

The girls and I put up flags in our yard.

Later, we went to lunch with Rory and did a bit of shopping. I got some new candles from Bath and Body Works and some game day gear. Then we took the girls down to my parents house as we had a tailgate to attend.

We grabbed some chick-fil-a nuggets to take to the tailgate and then hung out there before the Nevada vs Idaho State game.

The game was really packed and it was so nice to be back in the stadium after 2 years.

And we won!

Sunday morning the girls were at my parents house still since the game was over after 11 pm. So I did all the household things. I did 6 loads of laundry including all bedding. I folded it all, put the beds back together, went grocery shopping, packed the girls lunches and cleaned the kitchen. Then we went to my sisters house for dinner and to pick up the girls. We had meatloaf (from the traeger), mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans with almonds. It was so good. And then homemade apple pie that the girls helped my sister make.

Then we headed home to get ready for the week ahead which meant showers and hair drying for the girls since Monday was picture day.

Monday morning I made the girls their leftover pancakes and got them ready for picture day. I even straightened their hair and got them all prettied up. Don't they look so grown up here?

And then I worked the rest of the day. Ha. Oh and made peach pie since we had so many peaches from our peach tree this year.

How was your weekend?

Monday, September 13, 2021

Show Me Your Books - August

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes.

I only read one book in August. I started others, but ran out of time reading them. And then I started another book, but didn't finish it before August 31st. But I did get most of the way through it. I will save that for next month's Show Me Your Books.

So what did I read?

Local Missing Woman - Mary Kubica
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 4 Stars

Local Missing Woman - Mary Kubica

I went back and forth on how many stars to give this one, but I ended up with four stars. I have read several other books by Mary Kubica including The Other Mrs. and Pretty Baby which I enjoyed both. But I feel this book should come with a disclaimer in that parts of it are tough to read. As in if you have a small child, this will freak you out. If I wasn't paranoid before, I am now.

Two women and a child go missing within weeks of each other. First, Shelby Tebow. Then Meredith and her daughter, Delilah. Eleven years later Delilah is found. What happened in those eleven years? You will read about the torture that Delilah goes through and the last months before Meredith and her daughter go missing.

The book goes back and forth between Delilah, Meredith and Kate (Meredith's neighbor) and also present and eleven years ago. It is a very easy read, and keeps you turning the pages, but the twist of the book was a bit of a let down, but part was redeemed at the end.

It is a good book and one I would read, but read with caution.

Here is Amazon' synopsis:

People don't just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find…

What have you read recently?

Friday, September 10, 2021

Friday Favorites and Happenings

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes.

Happy Friday all! It has been a week. I feel like I am still catching up on sleep. Even though I only worked in the office three days this week, it just feels like a really long week. Maybe the seasons are starting to change? Or maybe we just have been really busy lately.

Anyways, we have our first home football game this weekend and I am very excited about it. Last week, Nevada played Cal and we won. Such a great way to start the season. And we just made plans to travel for one of the football games. Hopefully things don't get worse and games are cancelled again.

Onto Friday favorites and happenings.

ONE. Can we take a minute to talk about how 9/11 was 20 years ago (tomorrow)? I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I was a freshman in college and was headed into my first class of the day, Macroeconomics. We arrived in class and I saw the tv was on with the news playing the first airplane crash.

I had wondered why things were quiet when I was walking to class. Basically class was cancelled, but no one could move from their seats. We just sat there watching the news and looking around at our classmates. Some who were not there. Some who were from New York. And we were still in our seats when the second plane hit. 

We were devastated.

After a few hours, I left and went back to my dorm room. There were people around campus crying and trying to get ahold of family. It was so surreal. 

And everything changed from that day on. Nothing was the same. We were not allowed to go to the gate to pick up family, more security measures were taken with flying, hearts were broke and we were at war.

Then several years later my dad was in Afghanistan fighting this war. And now we are dealing with the issues of pulling our troops out of Afghanistan and the uprising that has happened there. I can't help but be scared for tomorrow and what is going on in our country and other countries around the world. I am looking at you Australia and Afghanistan.

Let's all say a little prayer and remember what happened 20 years ago. And let us pray that it doesn't happen again.

TWO. On a happier note, we went to a wedding last weekend and had the best time. The girls were flower girls and they killed it. They were nervous, but I told them when I was about their age, I was a flower girl too. But I did not have a sister to walk with me. 

They practiced and I coached them and they nailed it. They flew flowers beautifully and were just in awe of the ceremony. They stayed for photos and a bit of the cocktail hour, but then they went to the brides sisters house for the reception.

We ate, drank and danced the night away. Here are a few highlights.

THREE. The dress that I ended up choosing from Lulus was a huge hit. I had so many compliments on it and was very happy with the choice. I was a little nervous about it since it is tight, but it has stretchy material which allowed for me to dance easily, move easily and hid the sweat that happened during the ceremony. Ha. 

Overall it is a winner. Now I can wear it for date night or another wedding. Who doesn't love a good little black dress?

Here is the link again for it. I got it in a small. I could have gone to a medium for it to not be as tight, but they were sold out of mediums. And frankly, it fit really well and didn't get all baggy. It has stretch and holds everything in.

Black Ruffle Dress

FOUR. I went to Nordstrom Rack on Friday to look for some holiday decor and look at shoes...just in case. I was going to wear my Vince Camuto point toes heels, but I found a pair of cute chunky block heels from BP that worked out even better.

I am embarrassed to admit that I never broke them in, but fortunately they didn't need it at all. I danced all night in them and never felt uncomfortable. Total winner.

These are the shoes I got.

BP Lula Block Heel Slingbacks

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

Have a great weekend. I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything.