Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Favorites

* 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 can't even remember what week of quarantine this is. We just have been doing this too long. Anyways, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me, prayed for Walter and kept my family in your thoughts. I had a lot of responses on here and Instagram and it makes me feel like this community is really something amazing. We scroll through people's lives and see most of the good, but when you see something bad, we rally together and help each other out. I just love that. People supporting people. So thank you. Walter has been doing better, but we still continue to monitor him.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. I have been eyeing some new Birkenstock's for awhile now and then a new line came out and now I really want a pair. The ones I really want are $160 and that just seems a bit high. Plus they are not the soft bed kind, so I would rather not pay that much. I found some that are pretty much the same, but they don't have the braided ankle strap. And these ones are only $125 which is still high, but not too bad. Plus these shoes last forever. I have another pair which I will link below as well.
Birkenstock Yara Oiled Sandal

Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor
Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor (the ones I have)

TWO. A blogger that I follow launched a line on Gibsonlook this week. I have seen other bloggers that I follow do a collaboration with them as well, but I never bought anything. Anytime I was in Nordstrom, I wasn't in awe of the line. But I decided to take a look and there were some cute pieces. But I am tall and I worry that some of the dresses would be too short on me. But I did scoop up this maxi (more like a midi in my opinion) for $21 using the code AMANDA25. It is perfect for summer and I can even wear it to work with a blazer or jean jacket.

THREE. So I have talked about massage guns before and how I wanted to try one. Well my in-laws got one recently and I asked them for the brand and how they liked it. They said, why don't you try it out for yourself. We have had it at our house for a few days now and we love it. Once we get to workout again, this thing will be even more useful. Right now, we just use it on our muscles as a relaxation, but I can see how amazing it will be after a hike, a long walk, a big workout, etc. This is the one they have and we just ordered. Way more reasonably priced for the everyday use.

FOUR. We were up in Tahoe last weekend and I captured some amazing pictures. We went to a new-to-us fire lookout and it was beyond beautiful. It was a short half mile or so hike up and then we hiked around the top area. When we were at the top, we sat on a rock wall and enjoyed a picnic lunch and ran into a co-worker (from Las Vegas) there and it turns out that his family lived right next door to our cousin. We hadn't been to the cousins lake house, but we were planning on doing it this Summer. Well, they talked us into going down there to surprise them and I am so glad that we did. We got a tour of their house, made plans for the Summer and hung out for a few hours. Plus the views were amazing!
Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Becky.

Have a great weekend! Even though Monday is a holiday, I will be posting all of the books that I have been reading lately.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Walter Update

Sorry I was absent on Monday. Life was stressful this weekend and I had planned to write a post Sunday, but I was doing other watching my pup. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know a bit of this story already. If you don't, then sit back and read another saga about my dog, Walter.

Saturday, we spent most of the day away from home. We went up to Lake Tahoe to take a hike and then saw some family up there. We thought we would be home by 1 or 2 pm, but we got home closer to 4:30 pm. Walter was acting just fine. I made dinner, we ate, and then I did the dishes. The girls took a shower and then went to bed around 8:30. Walter snuggled beside me under the blanket on the chair and we just caught up on some tv.

Around 9:30ish, Walter started bobbing his head which meant that he wanted to get out from the covers, so I pulled the covers off of him and he kept bobbing his head. Then he was moving around a lot and started panting. I thought he was going to throw up, so I said, "Walter, get up and go outside buddy". I told Rory that I thought he was going to throw up, so we followed him outside to check on him. Since he had his incident in January, we are very cautious about him getting sick.

I had grabbed a flashlight on the way out and Rory turned on the decorative lights outside. We watched him walk around and then he fell over. His body went stiff, he arched his back and started convulsing. His eyes were open, so he never lost consciousness. He didn't bark, he didn't lose his bowels, he didn't foam at the mouth, he wasn't bleeding, he wasn't drooling and he didn't "chew". Side note: I am writing what happened and what didn't happen for others, so in case they experience this, they can see what to look for as I had to turn to google.

Anyways, his seizure lasted about 30 to 60 seconds. After he stopped shaking, he tried to get up, but he was very disoriented and his back legs were not working very well. He was very weak in the back legs, so he laid back down. Rory, picked him up and we tried to talk to him and see if he was ok. I seriously thought my dog had passed when this happened and I was crying....hard. Definitely not something you should do. You should remain calm and talk to your dog in a soothing voice.

We tried to put him back down again, but his legs were still weak, so we picked him up again and held him. After trying again, he was able to walk inside. I grabbed his blanket off our bed and Rory cuddled him on the couch while we both searched google for what just happened, if we should take him to the vet and what we should do. I also called my mother-in-law when Rory was holding Walter outside to have her come over just in case we needed to go the emergency vet. She ended up staying the night just in case, and fortunately, Walter was fine.

Now for a few things that we read and confirmed with Walter's vet on Monday. The type of seizure that Walter had was a petite mal seizure. Since his seizure didn't last around 5 minutes, he didn't lose consciousness, he didn't lose his bowels, he came to more quickly and he didn't have another seizure after, it was a petite mal seizure. When your dog has a seizure, it is best not to pick them up unless they are near something that can hurt them. Then they suggest that you move them by their hind legs out of danger. If you can, film the seizure (we were not able to and did not know that you should). Time the seizure, take note of anything that happens (lose their bowels, lose consciousness, foam at the mouth, etc.). Talk to your dog calmly and reassure them that they are ok. If you are inside, turn off the lights or put a blanket over them as light makes it worse. Once it is over, you need to watch your dog. See if his behavior normalizes and he starts to get back to himself. 

We cuddled Walter until bedtime (which was really late that night and I didn't sleep much after that), and then didn't leave his side the whole next day. We monitored him closely for 24 hours (we went outside with him anytime he had to go to the bathroom, followed him around the house, etc.) and then our vet said to make it 48 hours. Once the 48 hours have passed, you are more in the clear. Not to say that it won't happen again, but you will usually see things go downhill or another happen in that time frame.

After everything that has happened in the last few months with Walter, it has definitely made me realize that animal lives are not forever. I can see how Walter's face has grayed over the last couple months. I have seen how he has slowed down, but yet, he is still full of energy and will bust out the dog door to run the length of our backyard. I have seen his demeanor change after this incident, but I know that he is still full of life and love.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday Favorites

* 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.

Anyone else feel like they lost their motivation this week? I only did two blog posts counting this one. I started one for the books I have been quickly reading, but other than that, the motivation just wasn't there. 

We survived another week in quarantine! That makes 9 for us. Last Saturday some of our businesses were able to open up. Restaurants could now offer dine in, but only at 50% capacity. Hair and nail salons were allowed to open up and a few other things opened up. Some restaurants have chosen to stick with curbside pick up and others opened. We are officially in Phase 1 and I am hoping that parks and more outdoor stuff opens up in Phase 2. Along with spa services. I am dying to get a facial and botox. Ha. But I do have a hair appointment today and I couldn't be happier. 

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. During this quarantine, we have tried a lot of new recipes. This week we tried two, Lemon Butter Cheese Ravioli with Garlic Basil Breadcrumbs and Coconut Lime Shrimp. Both were good, but we will definitely be making the Coconut Lime Shrimp one each week. The flavors are amazing. We paired it with brown rice, so you get all the yummy sauce soaked on the rice. It suggests to pair it with roasted broccoli as well, but we did not. Here is how mine looked.
Coconut Lime Shrimp

TWO. Mother's Day looked quite different this year. Things were sort of open restaurant wise, but we just were not sure what to do. Saturday evening, Rory, my FIL and my BIL cooked all of us steaks, baked potatoes and grilled asparagus. Then we had carrot cake for dessert. They planned to get brunch take-out, but everything was so backed up that they just went to the store and got things to make. We had bagels, eggs, bacon, fruit and lattes. It was pretty amazing.

I tried to go shopping later in the day to get away for a bit, but none of the stores were open to shop inside, even though they are allowed to. So I headed home, popped some sparkling wine and hung out. Then we went OUT for dinner. I haven't had a good burger in what seems like forever (though the ones we make at home have been pretty good!), so we went to a local upscale burger joint and then got take-out frozen yogurt. It was the perfect evening. And due to Covid-19, my gift still hasn't shipped. Ha. I joked with Rory that it will come in time for Father's Day.
THREE. During quarantine, we have been watching a lot of tv (but also reading a ton) and we just got into Schitt's Creek. I had watched the first season when it came out, but never watched any other ones. Well, I got Rory to watch the first season with me again and we are hooked. We are in season 2 and it is just so funny. I love how lighthearted it is as we have been watching more heavy tv and it is nice to watch something light before bed. 

I am also watching Dead to Me season 2 and Working Moms season 4. 

Another show that I recently started was The Baker and the Beauty. It is sooo cute. If you liked Jane the Virgin, then you will like this show. They both take place in Miami and even have some of the same sets.

FOUR. Monday I posted a Cucumber Watermelon Refresher drink and it has been on repeat at our house. Sometimes with vodka and sometimes without. If you haven't tried it, you definitely should. Plus watermelon has been really good at our stores right now. 
Cucumber Watermelon Refresher Cocktail

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Becky.

Have a great weekend!
Monday, May 11, 2020

Cucumber Watermelon Refresher

* 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.

As I said on Friday, I have been playing around with different drink recipes. I love everything watermelon. I don't know what it is, but watermelon flavored things are refreshing. I bought some cubed watermelon at the store about a week ago and made a recipe from Pinterest. We thought it was pretty good, but definitely too strong and too sugary. It has you make a simple syrup and I feel like you can cut the sugar down and use a sparkling water instead. And add in lime. Anyways, I started playing around with the flavors a bit and created this Cucumber Watermelon Refresher. You could definitely make this without alcohol and I believe it would be just as amazing!

serves 2
Cucumber Watermelon Refresher Cocktail

Seedless watermelon (about 5 one inch chunks)
Cucumber (about 5 slices with the peel cut off)
Watermelon Sparkling Water (I love the Bubly brand)
Cucumber Watermelon Refresher


1. Add in your watermelon, cucumber and fresh squeezed lime juice (I use a whole lime) to a cocktail shaker. Muddle it until the watermelon is all broken up.
Cucumber Watermelon Refresher Cocktail

2. Add in ice to your cocktail shaker. Add in 4 oz. vodka to your cocktail shaker (4 shots). Cover and shake.
Cucumber Watermelon Refresher Cocktail

3. Add ice to your glass and pour your cocktail mix over the ice. Make sure you either have a cover on your shaker so you only get the liquid or use a small strainer.

4. Fill the rest of your glass with the watermelon sparkling water.

5. Enjoy!
Cucumber Watermelon Refresher Cocktail
Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday Favorites

*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.

Week #8 of quarantine is in the books. I can't believe we have been doing this for 8 weeks now. I feel like I am sort of used to working from home, eating at home all the time and in this new routine. I will be glad to be out of it, but I know I will miss the family time and sleeping in. We don't have much planned this weekend. We were supposed to be going out to brunch on Sunday for Mother's Day, but since we can only do take-out (still), we will not be doing that. This Mother's Day is going to look a whole lot different.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. for Mother's Day I treated myself to a new fitness watch. I don't know what happened to my current Fitbit Versa, but part of the screen broke. The glass didn't shatter, but there is a huge black gap that covers up part of my step count, my heart rate and my calories burned. And it keeps getting bigger and bigger. I had this watch for about two years, so I would say I got my use out of it. I was going to get the new Fitbit Versa 2, but I have been eyeing the Garmin Vivomove for awhile now. Since each company is doing $50 off right now, I went with the Garmin Vivomove.
Garmin Vivomove

I was going to get an Apple iWatch, but the fact that you have to charge it each night made me go against it. I love seeing my sleep patterns and I don't want to charge something every single day. I already do that with my phone (or every other day).

TWO. I have been on the hunt for more shorts. I have a few pairs of jean shorts, but I want the comfy shorts. And I don't want booty shorts either. I bought a pair from Abercrombie recently and they were amazing. Now I am waiting for another pair to go on sale and have free shipping and then I will scoop those up. But I have been searching everywhere online. Where do you get your shorts from? I recently grabbed these from Nordstrom online and I hope they fit well.

THREE. I did take a chance on some American Eagle shorts during a mega sale this week (still going on) and got two pairs of shorts and a tank for about $45.

FOUR. Last weekend we went up to Lake Tahoe to do the Sand Harbor trail walk again. It was so beautiful outside and we made it the whole way. About 6 miles round trip. The girls got a bit tired towards the end, but snacks along the way helped. After walking the trail, we went back to T's Mesquite for tri-tip burritos again. I definitely could get used to doing that weekly. Picnic and all!

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

T's Mesquite Tri-Tip Burrito

FIVE. On Monday, I am posting a yummy cocktail that I have been recently making. I took a recipe off of pinterest and made that one and we thought it was ok. So I started making changes to it and perfected it. I can't wait to share it with you.

I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Becky.

Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

April Amazon Prime Purchases

* 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 bought a lot more this month than last month because I just need things fast that I can't just pick up at the store. Birthday gifts for a drive-by parade, clothes, kitchen tools, etc. And I feel like online shopping has gotten a lot of my money lately. I am buying all the things. Ha. I do try to get most of the stuff on sale other than Amazon.

So what did we buy from Prime this last month?

Prime Purchases
linking up with Tanya

Highlights Kindergarten Big Fun Workbook

I mentioned this in a Friday Favorites post, but I bought the girls these books to help prep them for Kindergarten since we don't know when they can go back to preschool and I want them to be ready for the school year next year. These have been amazing. I do have to sit down and help the girls with them, but they are learning and it is great!

I loved the first Magnolia Table book and this one is even better. This one has way more recipes in it. I didn't have flour for a long time, so I had to hold off on making some of the recipes, but so far it is really good. I need to break it out again and make more.

Cosori Air Fryer

I had been wanting an air fryer for a long time. I did some research on Amazon and bought this one. It had better reviews than the newer version, so I bought this one. And I got it on sale. I have used it to make french fries, onion rings, artichoke hearts and bacon. It is awesome and I need more recipes for it.

BosenKitchen Milk Frother

Since we are stuck at home, I needed a milk frother here as well. I have one at work that I love, but that one wouldn't ship until the end of April and I couldn't wait. I found this one with just as amazing reviews and bought it. I have used it every single day in my coffee.

Shark Steam Mop

I have been wanting a steam mop for awhile now. And once we got the wood floors, I wanted one even more. This one came recommended to me. I used it and it has a small learning curve to it, but once I got going, I did my whole house. It was amazing how dirty the pad got. And you can use both sides of the pad. So worth it!

Hunter Douglas Cord Replacement Kit

This is a random purchase, but the cord on our Hunter Douglas blinds broke and we needed to replace it.

Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser and Sponge

I wanted something that would clean my sink and my stainless steel products without leaving a residue all over it. I think this worked better in my sink than anywhere else, but it still did a great job on all of my kitchen appliances.

Daily Ritual Black Sleeveless Dress

I have this dress now in black and the dusty pink color. I just bought the dusty pink color since I love this dress so much. It is comfy, long enough and doesn't show any cleavage. Perfect for lounging around in during the pandemic and for the Summer.

Stainless Steel Cocktail Muddler

I really needed a muddler since I thought I had one, but I did not. This one works great since it is long and you still have room to muddle in a cocktail shaker.

Oxo Salad Dressing Shaker

I wrote about this salad dressing shaker last Friday and it seems like everyone's mom had the old style one I mentioned and more people are using this one now. It works really well and the dressing only comes out when you push the topper open.

What did you buy this month on Amazon?