Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Top 10 Binge Worthy Shows

So I have been playing catch up and reading everyone's posts. Last week, many of my blogger friends posted their Top 10 Binge Worthy Shows and I loved reading theirs and adding new ones to my list. Though many of us had a lot of the same shows.

So here's my list:

1. The Office
I have seen every episode of the Office many times. I even own a couple of season. My girls love watching Michael Scott and often ask to watch it. Maybe that isn't the best idea, but it is just sooo funny.

2. Gossip Girl
I binged this when I was pregnant with the girls and I still love it. I have seen the series three times and I should start it again since they are remaking it. Plus the fashion and Lonely Boy.

3. Friends
Does this even need an explanation? I have seen Friends hundreds of times. I own the series, I watch it all the time and can't get enough of it. I watch it on the road to fall asleep to. Just so comforting and the best lines.

4. Gilmore Girls
I was late to watching this show and binged it after the series was over, but it was still so good. I loved the dynamic between Lorelei and Rory. I watched the mini-series that came out years later and I am hoping for another one as even more questions came about. I definitely need to watch this one again.

5. Parenthood
This was one that I had not expected to like, but I did. Kyle Chandler is amazing in it and so is, well the whole cast. Rory and I watched this together and both loved it. It is for everyone. And the ending. Ugh. So good.

6. Breaking Bad
This is another one that I started late. It was already in season 3 and Rory loved it. I binged the first two seasons and caught up on the third season. This show catches you from the first episode and follows Walter White and his drug making escapades. And then they made a prequel, Better Call Saul which is just as good!

7. Bloodline
This show I found on Netflix and binged very quickly. It also has Kyle Chandler in it and follows a black sheep brother and how he gets his family involved in drugs. The family owns a little beach b&b and has to go to hell and back due to some bad decisions by the black sheep brother.

8. Grey's Anatomy
This show is still on and I feel like the first many seasons are binge worthy. I would totally watch those again. A few of the more recent seasons weren't as good, but last season got better. I am sure you all have at least heard of this show, so I won't go into the details of it.

9. Ozark
Another Netflix show that I fell in love with. Jason Bateman is such a good actor. He is a financial guy who gets brought into money laundering through drugs and has to move his family to the Ozarks. This show is crazy, real and just insane. They are going to release season 3 soon, so binge this one now.

10. Dexter
This is a long time favorite of mine. I watched the first three episodes of Dexter and hated it. This was when it first came out. I couldn't identify with Dexter, so I had a hard time connecting. Then I watched a late episode in season 2 and was intrigued, so I went back and watched it. I still had a hard time identifying with him, but pushed through and it is one of my favorite series ever now. Each season has a different serial killer that we follow Dexter and Miami PD try to catch while Dexter does his own vigilantism.

What are your favorite binge worthy shows?
Monday, August 19, 2019

Recent Reads

*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.

Wow what a crazy month it has been so far. I am checking up on my blog reading, I am answering comments and just trying to get back into the swing of things. I wrote this post on Friday and at that time, I had been home for 4 days out of the last three weeks. Some of it was vacation and some of it was work. But man it feels good to be home.

But when I was away, I did read several books and I am trucking away on another couple as we speak.

It Ends with Us - Colleen Hoover
It Ends with Us - Colleen Hoover

I love Colleen Hoover. I haven't read a book yet that I haven't loved. Here is the synopsis:

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

I went back and forth on who I wanted Lily to be with. I loved reading her journal entries from when she was a child and her relationship with Atlas. The book kept me guessing as to what was going to happen with Lily and how the title, It Ends with Us comes into play. This story is raw, honest and beautiful. Definitely read this one!

Ugly Love

Another Colleen Hoover book that I loved.

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past. 
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated. 
Promises get broken. 
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

I loved Tate from the beginning and I was intrigued by Miles. This book gets going right out the door with Tate coming to live with her brother and bumping into a very drunk Miles at her brother's door. From there you see Tate struggle with an unrequited love towards Miles. Most of the time I wanted to shake Miles so hard and see what was wrong with him. But as the story unfolds you get the reason why he acts this way. It is heartbreaking, UGLY and a good read.

An Anonymous Girl - Greer Hendricks

This book has been on my to read list for awhile. So when it became available through my library, I quickly finished my last book to read this one. I thought this was a good book. I would give it 4 stars out of 5.

Looking to earn some easy cash, Jessica Farris agrees to be a test subject in a psychological study about ethics and morality. But as the study moves from the exam room to the real world, the line between what is real and what is one of Dr. Shields’s experiments blurs.
Dr. Shields seems to know what Jess is thinking… and what she’s hiding.
Jessica’s behavior will not only be monitored, but manipulated.
Caught in a web of attraction, deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
From the first meeting of Jessica through the twists and turns of this research project, I kept guessing who had an actual part in all of this. I am sure that doesn't make sense, but when you read it, it will. Dr. Shield's is creepy, obsessive and just crazy. I couldn't wait to get to the end to see what happens and it is good. Read this.
The Breakdown - B. A. Paris
I loved the Couple Next Door by this author and I have Behind Closed Doors in my que to read. I read this book just last week on my trip and I really enjoyed it. 
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm, and she probably would have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. Not only that, her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car; if she took her pills; even the alarm code.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
And the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…
This book starts off as described above and then the story starts to unfold. She find outs who was murdered, that she knew her (not really a spoiler) and it just tears her apart. It starts to break her down and then the story unfolds even more and you see why. It is a good read. I would give it 4 stars. I didn't see the end coming and had no idea who was making the silent calls.
Into the Water - Paula Hawkins
I had started this book late into my rental. I got about 20% through and it just didn't catch my eye as much as I thought it would. I have read several of Paula Hawkins books and this one just wasn't for me. I probably would have finished it if I had purchased it, but I only rented it, so I never re-rented it to finish.
What books have you read recently? I am now reading The Switch by Sandra Brown.
Friday, August 16, 2019

What We Have Been Up To

I have been trying to write this post in what seems like forever. No really, my computer wouldn't download the photos, sign into my blogger account, and then write this. It took me way longer than it should have. And now I know that I need to do a major overhaul on my home computer. She runs slow.

Anyways, I have been traveling and super busy, so I thought I would do a little photo dump on what we have been up to.

First up, we celebrated my birthday on Friday August 2nd. I went out with my girlfriends and had the best time.
 Stacey sitting in a child's carseat with their leftover McDonald's. No it wasn't my car. It was Becky's and her leftover auntie duty.

My favorite, an Old Fashion from Death & Taxes

The day after I celebrated my birthday with my husband. Yes, we celebrated the day before, but on Saturday, he took me up to Lake Tahoe for dinner at The Soule Domain.

The next day I left on a work trip to San Diego and Phoenix/Tucson. I can't really say what I did in each place, but know I walked a ton (in San Diego), ate a lot of good food, was really hot, worked out and had a pretty good week.

 San Diego Marina

 Some amazing ramen

 Salt and Straw ice cream

 Really good coffee at Bean Bar by the Padres Stadium

 Del Mar race track

 Del Mar beach

 View from Coronado Island to San Diego

And then I headed to Phoenix and the heat was crazy. It was 109 when I arrived and it stayed that way most of the time. And it wasn't much better at night...well at least the sun was down.

 The best tacos at La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop

 Indian food at a new restaurant, Khazana Indian Bistro

 Sausage meatballs with a spicy sauce at The Sicilian Butcher

 Lunch in Scottsdale

 Mysterious bug bites that I got at the Phoenix airport on the way home.

Then I had breakfast with these beauties the day after I got home. It has been a crazy couple weeks, but it has been pretty good. And I am still busy. I hope to get back to comments to you all on Monday. Fingers crossed. Have a great weekend!

I am linking up with AprilA Little Bit of EverythingMeet @ the Barre and Becky.

Have a great weekend!
Monday, August 12, 2019

Collaboration with Pink Blush

* 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 was recently contacted by Pink Blush to work with them. I have purchased a few items from them over the years and love their clothes. I wish I had known about them more when I was pregnant with the girls. They have the best dresses for maternity photos. But I never got the chance to take maternity photos.

When they contacted me, I was very happy to work with them. Not only do they have maternity clothes, but they have clothes for women too and that is where I fit in. I wanted a new dress for my birthday and for fun nights out with my girlfriends. Enter the Fuchsia Pleated Layered Dress. This dress is fun. It comes in bright pink and green, but pink just suits me more.
Pink Blush Fuchsia Pleated Layered Dress

This dress covers the girls up, is long enough to dance in and is flattering for all shapes. This would work on a pregnant woman as well.

I went back and forth on pairing it with a pair of black or nude heels. I think both work here.

I wore this out for my birthday dinner with my husband and I felt amazing in it. I felt dressed up and confident in this dress.

I can't wait to work with Pink Blush again! Thank you Pink Blush!

And now for the best part. You can win a $75 gift card to Pink Blush by entering below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open internationally and any person who has not won a PinkBlush giveaway in the last 6 months is eligible to win.

Good luck!

I received this article of clothing in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own and are 100% honest and true.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Big Bear Trip

We went to Big Bear Lake, California at the end of July for a family reunion. Rory's dads side of the family holds a family reunion (in a different place each time) every 4 years or so. We were not able to attend the last one as the girls were about 6 months old and I just had umbilical hernia surgery not long before. Some of our immediate cousins were not able to attend, but we had a pretty good crowd there.

We left on Saturday early morning to fly to LAX. It was a lot cheaper to fly into there and on Saturday. After landing, we headed to Manhattan Beach for breakfast at North End Caffe. It was soooo good. I definitely recommend it. I didn't snap a photo as I chowed down too quickly. After eating, we headed to the beach and walked around.

Manhattan Beach

Then we drove up to the Griffith Observatory, but parking was insane and I knew the girls wouldn't walk the mile uphill after parking. So we headed to The Grove for some shopping, sightseeing, cupcakes and for a place to hang out.

The Grove

After shopping and eating, we headed to Philz Coffee in Pasadena since it was close to our hotel. I got an iced coffee with a splash of cream and it was the best coffee I have ever had. Soooo good. And totally worth the hype.
Philz Coffee

We then tried to check into our hotel, but they had a check in at 4 pm instead of the normal 3 pm. So we had to wait around the pool for about 20 minutes which sucked since it was hot, the girls wanted to go into the pool and we were not able to. We wanted to go in later, but they had a wedding out at the pool at 5 pm.

So we got situated in our hotel, relaxed and then went to dinner at Bun Street, a highly rated burger place. After dinner, we stopped at Trader Joes for some water and wine and headed back to the hotel. We all crashed early.

Sunday morning we got some coffee and muffins in Monrovia and then walked around the cute town.

Then we headed to the Ontario Airport to pick up family. We grabbed a quick lunch and then back to Trader Joes for food and drinks for our time in Big Bear. Then we drove up. The road is very windy and we had to stop a few times, so no one would get car sick. But we got to see views like this.

We arrived, got settled into our cabin and then met up with family. We had a huge pasta dinner and hung out with family all evening.

Monday morning they had a pancake breakfast followed by some games and then we spent the day going in the pool, on a boat and just hanging out. That night they had the BEST taco food truck come cater. It was amazing. I soooo want them to come to Reno and cater our events. They had these tacos where they grill cheese, put a meat or veggies in it and then roll it and put it in a tortilla. I had way too much to eat, but it was soooo worth it. Then they did a birthday celebration, but I opted for more tacos and guac.

The kids played on the swings and with their cousins the whole time!

We tried this. It takes like peanut butter. It is really good, but only for one drink. Ha.

I snapped this photo of the girls sleeping.

Tuesday morning we had some coffee and then breakfast at one of the families RV's. We hung out there and then headed back for some family photos.

After photos, we headed to the Alpine Slides at Magic Mountain. We did go-karts, the alpine slides and water slides. Plus some video games for the kids. I haven't done a water slide in forever. It was a ton of fun.

After the slides, we headed back to the cabins where the kids napped and the adult women went into Big Bear for some shopping. We shopped, snacked and then headed back for a bbq dinner. We did some family celebrations and chatted the night away.

Wednesday morning, we got up, got ready and headed back to Ontario. On the way down, several people got car sick, but only Sutton puked. She puked twice and we felt so bad. It was everywhere and in our rental car. We got her changed, most of everything cleaned up and headed back to the airport. It was a rough start to the morning. Then we flew from Ontario to San Francisco where we had a 2 1/2 hour layover and then back to Reno. We picked up Walter, did a bunch of laundry, ate some pizza, got ready for the rest of the week and then went to bed.

It was a short trip, but a good trip. Have you ever been to Big Bear Lake?