Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

*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 believe we are through February. I am not sad to see this month go because we have had way too much snow and cold weather. Please mother nature, get your act together and warm up. I am tired of driving in this crappy weather, I am tired of being cooped up inside the house and I am just wanting sunshine again. I think every February, I am over the cold and wanting the warmth, but this month has just been brutal. 

What's Up Wednesday


Sunday: Spaghetti Bolognese

Monday: Magnolia Table's Grilled Raspberry-Chipotle Pork Tenderloin and Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday: Award Winning Chili and Cornbread

Wednesday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Thursday: BLTA's with Sweet Potato Fries

Friday: Going out with my friends, so take-out for Rory and the girls

Saturday: Going out with my friends again, so take-out or leftovers for Rory and the girls


Being pregnant with my girls, their baby shower and their first year. My best friend is pregnant with her first child, a girl, and we are celebrating Nathalie and baby Charlotte this weekend.
28 weeks


I can't say enough good things about my LL Bean Duck Boots. I wear them in the rain (which we have had a lot of lately) and the snow (lots of that too). Make sure you get the ones with the shearling in them because they keep your feet extra cozy.


February has been spent inside a lot or so it seems. We have built a snow slide together and took turns going down that.
We celebrated Valentine's Day by going out to eat at a local restaurant followed by some gifts.

We called and wished Aunt Ashley (my sister) a Happy Birthday!

We went to our friends birthday party at an arcade.

We went to a princess tea party on Sunday!

And we called and wished grandma and papa a Happy Anniversary!


Nothing really. Ok, maybe more snow. I am sooo over the cold weather like I said at the beginning of this post.


My blog and my Instagram like always. And my taxes. I hate doing my taxes. 


Seeing my best friend since it has been way too long. I haven't seen Nathalie since last summer and I am most definitely missing her and not seeing her being pregnant. I can't wait to spend all weekend with her. I am also excited about my work trip to Estonia and Israel in a couple of weeks.


I started reading Verity per everyone and their moms recommendation and let me tell you....just Wow. I loved it. I kept reading it day and night. I had to know what happened. I loved the way it was written and how it went back and forth between present day and the past. But prepare yourself for some pretty graphic reading. Now I am reading The Good Daughter and I have Hidden Bodies in my library. Have you watched or read You? Hidden Bodies is the sequel to You.

As for TV, I have been watching my usuals like Grey's Anatomy, Million Dollar Listing LA, Riverdale, This is Us, etc., but I have recently added in Sneaky Pete (on Amazon Prime), Insatiable (on Netflix) and I am eagerly awaiting The Bold Type.


Just people's fingers typing. It is pretty quite around here.


Boots, sweaters, jeans, jackets, gloves and these warm fleece leggings


I am hanging out with my best friend. She gets into town on Saturday, and I plan on spending my weekend with her. We have her baby shower on Sunday. I am also getting my hair done on Friday and it really needs it. It is looking pretty awful lately. Nothing a fresh cut and color can't help.


March brings warmer-ish weather, my work trip, Rory's birthday, March Madness (go Pack) and lots of fun things with friends.


The girls have their ballet recital coming up in June and we just bought them their costumes....already. They have started working on the performance and it is just so cute to watch.

We have a lot of things planned for this Summer and I can't wait. What we are also working on is planning our Disneyland trip for the girls 5th Birthday. I still can't believe they will be 5 this year.


Well we don't play many board games with the girls yet, but we have played a bit of Candy Land, so I will go with that one.
Monday, February 25, 2019

Bathing Suit Season

*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.

Ugh, the dreaded bathing suit season is coming up. I work out, I try to eat relatively healthy (I do splurge) and I use self tanners (to help hide that cellulite), so one would think I wouldn't be so self conscious when it comes to bathing suit season. But I am. I think most of us are at least a bit insecure in what we see in the mirror. Though we shouldn't be.

But I have been shopping around for bathing suits since vacation is coming up and I need a new bathing suit. I used to shop at Victoria Secret for all of my bathing suits, but then they stopped making them. Now only Pink makes them and my boobs won't fit in those. Plus I have a mom bod now, so I need something a bit more forgiving.

I am sharing with you my top picks for this years bathing suit season.
Top Left (Top Bottom)  |  Top Middle (One Piece)  |  Top Right (Top Bottom)
Bottom Left (Top Bottom)  |  Bottom Middle (One Piece)  |  Bottom Right (Top Bottom)

Where do you normally shop for swim wear?
Friday, February 22, 2019

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.

I am sooo thankful that today is Friday even though I have to work a full day since Monday was a holiday. This week has dragged on and I blame the weather. It has been cold. So cold on Tuesday that South Lake Tahoe was negative 13 degrees. Ugh. Winter go away please.

We don't have a ton planned this weekend other than watching the Wolf Pack play against Fresno State, a Princess Tea Party at my twin mom friends house and ballet class. I am ok with a relaxing weekend since the next few will be pretty busy.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. I love Amazon. That is no secret. I seriously buy a lot on Amazon. If the girls need new detangler spray, I buy it on Amazon since I can't find it in stores that often. If I need new laundry washer cleaners, I buy them on Amazon. But what I haven't bought much of on Amazon? Clothes. I have bought a few things, but recently, I decided to buy a couple items from there and see what I thought. First, I bought a "Sherpa" type of sweater. I have been coveting one from the Sherpa Pullover Company but they are $98 (40% off right now though). I bought one this one for $21.99 on Amazon. It is comfy, cute and fits the bill. The only drawback is it sheds a bit, but when you have a dog, that stuff doesn't matter to you as much.
Angashion Womens Long Sleeve Half Zip Fuzzy Fleece Pullover Jacket Outwear Sweatshirt Tops

TWO. I also bought a dress on Amazon because again...amazing reviews. This one has 3/4 sleeves that balloon a bit and it has pockets. Every mom loves pockets in her dresses. I got a small based on reviews. They said to read the reviews and not the size chart. Plus the black one is $23.99.
MEROKEETY Women's 3/4 Balloon Sleeve Striped High Waist T Shirt Midi Dress with Pockets

So far, I like it. I haven't really worn it out in public since it is soooo cold outside, but I can't wait to take it with me to Mexico and maybe even pair it with a blazer for work.

THREE. I was at Target this last weekend and I saw the cutest jacket for Spring. It is $34.99 and I have the Red Card, so I would get an additional 5% off. It comes in pink and navy (totally wishing it came in an olive green) and I am thinking the pink. I tried on the size small and liked the fit, but I am thinking of getting a medium for some extra room. What do you think of it? Anyone have it?
Target Women's Long Sleeve Anorak Jacket

FOUR. I am sharing a recipe next week or the week after that is simple, but really good. We made tri-tip for dinner one night and I used the leftovers to make amazing sandwiches.

FIVE. I want to wish my parents an early, Happy Anniversary! On Tuesday, they will celebrate 36 years of marriage. My dad reads here, so not only is this a wish for an amazing day, but also to remind him. Though I don't think he has ever forgotten an anniversary.

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

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

My Nose Update

So I haven't done an update on my nose in what is probably forever or about a month after my surgery. 

If you remember, I had a severe deviated septum, a bone spur inside my right nostril, collapsed nostrils and no support in the tip of my nose. That is what was mostly wrong with my nose. Here is a before picture.
septorhinoplasty before photos

And here is an after surgery photo.
septorhinoplasty recovery photos

So bad. I had bruising, my nose was huge, but was on the way to being mended. 

Here is my nose 6 days post op.
septorhinoplasty recovery photos

And then I became a bad blogger and mostly stopped taking photos. I took a few after that, but I didn't keep up with it like I planned. I kept going to my appointments...about every 6 weeks to check up on my nose. Basically, after surgery, my right side was still collapsed in and I was still having a hard time breathing out of that side. The left side was great! Amazing actually.

Fast forward to my 6 month appointment and I went in for a check-up. My right nostril is still collapsing in when I breathe in, where the bone spur was is now extra skin, the tip still has some deviation to it and now I have a hole through the septum. So he recommended surgery again. While he is fixing all of those things, he will fix the bridge to smooth it out since the cartilage didn't take very well there. He will have to take cartilage from either my ear or my rib since he used all of the remaining/extra last time. He isn't sure if he will have to break my nose again until he gets in there, but he will have to re-open the incision on my nose to do an open rhinoplasty. So it will be pretty bad again.
This is the current look to my nose. You can see the left side (right on this photo) is normal and the right side is still very small and completely closes when I breathe in.

I am trying to be optimistic about it. I hope this fixes everything and I will be able to fully breathe out of my right side. And then no surgeries for a long time please. 

I have surgery set for April 30th as that was the first available other than when I am in Mexico for vacation (2 weeks before). I am nervous and not excited about the pain, but I am excited about the afters. My nose was finally not swollen and feeling great, but I knew it wasn't fully functional yet. So here's to round number two. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

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.

It's Friday and we are officially half way through February. Time is flying and I am ok with it (kinda) since I am itching for some Spring weather. It has been cold here. I love the snow, but I am not digging the teens to 30 degree weather we have had. I am looking forward to the long weekend. We don't have much planned and that is very welcoming!

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. Rory loves working outside, he loves the outdoors and he loves Birkenstocks. When I saw the "rubber" Birkenstocks, I knew it would be a great gift for him. He can wear them on our Graeagle trip, while he gardens or to the beach. They get amazing reviews and I got them for him for Valentine's Day.
Waterproof Birkenstock Arizona Sandals

TWO. So I bought myself some new work shoes this week. About once a year, I treat myself to a new pair of flats that I basically wear daily to work except during the winter when I wear boots more due to rain and snow. Anyways, a couple of people turned me onto Rothy's pointed flats and their regular flats, so I ordered the pointed ones this time. I ordered a size up from my normal size since that was recommended with the pointed ones. I usually get a size up for pointed shoes. Anyways, I always go with the basic black ones, so that they go with everything.

These shoes are pretty amazing because they are machine washable. That means I can still wear them on my daily walks at work, I don't have to worry about them getting dirty and they are made from recycled bottled water bottles.

If you want $20 off a pair, you can use my code here. Enjoy.

THREE. Yesterday was Valentine's Day and I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw the funniest memes. It was NFL Valentine cards. Here are four of my favorite ones that I saw.
NFL Valentine Card Memes

NFL Valentine Card Memes

NFL Valentine Card Memes

NFL Valentine Card Memes

FOUR. So I had a few people ask me what sweater I got at Nordstrom Rack that was originally $248 and was on sale for $41.98. So I have linked it below. The one available online is the black or mustard yellow one. The one I got was a light blue. It is soft, flattering and has the cutest button details on the shoulder.
Joie Gadelle Button Shoulder Sweater

Joie Gadelle Button Shoulder Sweater

FIVE. When I was also at Nordstrom Rack, I picked up a pair of heels since I didn't have any that are a lower heel and in decent shape. Or they were a bright color. I needed a new pair of black heels. When I saw these Vince Camuto Pointy Heels, I tried them on and bought them right away. They are $39.97 which is less than what I bought them for.
Vince Camuto Jaynita Pointy Toe Pumps

SIX. While browsing for some basic tees (since my beloved Rag and Bone ones are sooo expensive. Anyone have an outlet near them?) online, I found the cutest top for Mexico. And it is one sale for $14.95 with free shipping which is a no brainer.
Eve Rainbow Stripe Tie Waist Tee

Have a great weekend!
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day

*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 hope you have a great day today. Not just because it is Valentine's Day, but because I want you all to have a happy day. I know in the past Valentine's Day has weighed on me whether I had a significant other or not. I feel like the day has Hallmark written all over it and we should celebrate our loved ones everyday.

That sentiment has changed a bit over time as I have had children. I shower them with love everyday, but I get them a little something to make their day more special. We didn't go overboard this year and really never do.

The girls are receiving a Valentine's card, a Valentine Pez dispenser and Pez plus a book each (this one and this one). Simple and sweet. I got Rory a card and something, but I can't share it until later since he reads here.

And we plan to get take-out or cook at home.

What are your Valentine's Day plans?
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Pinterest Recipe Successes and Fails

I go to Pinterest for the majority of my recipes. Either I search out a certain dish or I go with a generic search term like easy weeknight meals. Then I usually find a couple websites that I check often for their new recipes like Pinch of Yum and Skinny Taste. Sometimes the recipes are successes and I make them a lot or sometimes they are just awful. Here are some recent goods and bads.

Instant Pot Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup

I made this soup last week. The only thing I did different was use a bag of tortilla strips and I think I will make the strips next time. I just didn't have the time, or I thought I didn't have the time. This dish is full of flavor, some heat, you definitely need that squeeze of lime and the cheese. Total winner in my house.

Honey Garlic Butter Glazed Carrots

I made these carrots to go with our Christmas dinner. I let them get the caramelized color and added the herbs at last minute. They were really good and matched our Christmas dinner perfectly. I would make these again.

BBQ Beef Pockets

I made these thinking the girls would love them since they love burritos, they love sloppy joes and they love pie. But these were just not good. I followed the recipe exactly and we didn't like them. They were bland. We will NOT be making these again.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

I have made this about three times since we tried it and that was only a month or so ago. I was really nervous about putting the pesto in it, but the flavors are on point. I had no idea what bulgar was before this recipe, but we love it. And the leftovers are even better!

Mississippi Pot Roast

I heard a lot of good things about Mississippi Pot Roast. I never thought to put peppers into my pot roast, but it just works. This dish is super simple to make and really packs in the flavor. Just make sure to skim the fat off. 

Sheet Pan Mongolian Beef

I have mentioned this dish on here before, but it is soooo good. I have made this a few times and I even doubled the recipe (hello leftovers). The doubling was a bit of a trial and error, but it works. If you want to double the recipe, cook the green beans fully before. Then remove to a cover plate and proceed with the meat. This way you can cook the meat all at once. Then I just combine it on the sheet pan or in another casserole dish for serving. This dish over brown rice is amazing. And don't skimp on the flank steak.

So I have made this twice now. The first time, we thought it was good and the second time we just didn't like it. I made it originally because at a tailgate someone made a similar dish and I couldn't stop eating it. But when I made this one, it didn't taste the same and it didn't caramelize like above. I think that is the biggest problem and I cooked it in a cast iron skillet. I wouldn't make this again.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I have made this twice now and we love it. It is super simple, flavorful and makes for good leftovers. The first time, I used the iceberg lettuce that it called for and the second I used live butter lettuce. Both were great. And make sure you get the sauce. I ordered it online since I didn't find it at Whole Foods or my local grocery store.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Lastly, sloppy joes. My girls and I love sloppy joes. I grew up on Mamwich at school and I loved it. But then as I got older, we realized what was inside that can and now we make ours from scratch. My mom started this as we got older and I used that recipe for a long time and now I use this one. It is very similar to my moms, but this one has a bit of mustard in it. Packs in the flavor. I usually make this when Rory travels for work, but I recently made it for him and he really liked it too.

Do you have any recipes to recommend to me? I love trying new ones.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019


I haven't done a weekend update in a long time, so I thought I would share one with you today. I hoped to have had this done for yesterday, but sometimes life gets in the way and it just doesn't happen.

Friday after work I ran a bunch of errands. I had to go to Sephora, Nordstrom Rack and the dry cleaners. I bought way too much at Sephora and really didn't need anything from Nordstrom Rack. I went in looking for a Rag n Bone t-shirt that I love so much, but they didn't have any. I came out with a sweater that was orginally $224 on sale for $41 and a pair of heels. I wanted to wear heels out for our date night that evening and all of mine are trashed. But then it ended up snowing Friday evening, so I didn't get to wear my shoes out. Whomp whomp.

Friday evening we had our steak dinner that I treated Rory to (since I went on a foreign travel trip). We ate soooo much food, but had a great time.

Saturday morning I was hungry...starving really since I had mostly protein and veggies for dinner. We decided to go to Pine State Biscuit because I wanted their chicken biscuit sandwich and I had worked out hard all week. The girls were with their grandparents.
Pine State Biscuit McIsley

After breakfast, we headed home, built a fire and I read more of my book Verity. Just before the girls got home from their dance class, I had to go meet my sister at the bank to exchange some leftover money from my trip.
toddler ballet

I came home and the girls were just getting settled in and finishing lunch. They went to bed not long later and I read some more. Rory left for the Wolf Pack basketball game which we watched from home. We had plans to go to my friends house for his House Warming Party, but the girls slept longer than I anticipated.

We watched the rest of the game and then headed out to pizza (I know, very gluttonous day). We came home and watched the snow fall and stayed inside with the fire.

Sunday morning we woke up to almost 10 inches of snow. It was crazy. So we headed out to a quick cheap breakfast and then came home and built a snow slide. We tried making a snowman, but the snow was too soft and wouldn't form into a ball. We built up the slide, took turns going down the slide and kept rebuilding it to be even better. After awhile, we decided to shovel our neighbors sidewalk since they hadn't. Rory had shoveled our driveway and sidewalks, so I did our neighbors. The girls helped me.


 Avery's turn

After sledding, we showered and then went grocery shopping for the week. The girls napped while I was gone since they had to be up early for a birthday party. One of our friends daughters (who is also in the girls dance class) had her birthday party at an arcade place. They played games, ate pizza, cupcakes and ice cream and played all afternoon.

After we left, we made a quick stop to Whole Foods and then went home to make dinner and relax for the evening. I made Pinch of Yum's Red Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower and it was a huge hit in our house. I used a spicy marinara sauce like it suggested and we loved it.
Pinch of Yum's Red Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower

We spent the rest of the evening getting ready for the week ahead. How was your weekend?
Friday, February 8, 2019

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 survived my first week back in the office. Can I just say how hard it has been to get over the jet lag this time? I feel like I was gone just long enough to get used to the 9 hour time difference and then came back and had to get used to my normal time. I was falling asleep at 8 pm several nights, up at 2 am starving and just couldn't get back into my rhythm. I know, I shouldn't be complaining because I got to go on an amazing trip, but it is harder to re-adjust when you have kids.

Anyways, lets get on to Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. Is anyone like me and they have the hardest time remembering to buy new razors? Like I remember when I shave my legs and then I forget once I am at the store. It is total laziness, but whatever. My husband is part of the dollar shave club and I had once thought about joining that or stealing his razors, but then I kept seeing the Billie ads popping up everywhere. I finally bit the bullet last weekend and signed up for it.

Here is the process I went through (and no this isn't sponsored):

You go to and chose get started. Then it asks you some questions. The first is to pick your color of razor.

Then it asks you how often you shave?
 This is sad since I used to shave way more often. But this basically decides how often to send you replacement razors.

Next it asks you if you want any add shaving cream or lotion. I opted for shaving cream for the first time.

And that is it. It adds everything to your shopping cart, you check out and then it charges you monthly, every other month or every three months depending on your needs.

If you want to sign up, you can use my referral here.

TWO. I posted this on my IG stories a couple nights ago, but I just can't believe how amazing my Wolf Pack is playing. They are currently ranked #6 and have pretty much stayed between #4 and #10 the entire season. They are just dominating and have only lost 1 game this year. Let's hope this keeps up. This photo was taken after their win against Colorado State on Wednesday night. They play tomorrow at home against New Mexico which is the only loss that the Pack has. It is hard to play in New Mexico, so hopefully this will redeem that loss.
Nevada Wolf Pack Basketball

THREE. When I was in Paris, I finally bought myself a Longchamp bag/purse. I have wanted one for awhile and since I was in Paris, why not. I originally wanted the extra large tote for my work trips to hold my wallet, my work book, tablet, etc., but I bought myself a Michael Kors bag. So when I walked into the Longchamp store, I didn't think I would buy anything. But then I did. I bought one of the smaller purses that fold up. I bought this because it is also perfect for travel. I bring my huge Michael Kors bag and then need a smaller bag for walking around the cities I visit. This is where this bag comes in. Plus it folds up nicely for travel. And I got it at an even better price buying it in Paris.
Longchamp Le Pilage Small Tote

FOUR. So about a year ago we bought a Leesa mattress and we loved it at first. I still think it is fine, but Rory's back and hips have been killing him for the last month or two. He uses the foam roller twice a day to try to help his back out, but he wakes up every morning with pain in his butt and back. So I am looking for suggestions on a mattress topper, a new mattress or something to fix this situation.

FIVE. I picked up two cute books from Amazon this week to give to the girls as part of their Valentine's Day gifts. I wanted to share them today, so you can order them for your kids in time for Valentine's Day.
The Very Fairy Princess

Pete the Cat Valentine's Day is Cool

I would share Rory's gift on here, but he reads here, so I don't want to spoil it.

Have a great weekend!