Friday, May 31, 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.

How is today the last day of May? I can say that I am happy June starts tomorrow since June is better weather. May started off beautifully and then massive storms came in and we had rain for basically two weeks. And lots of wind. We were so over it. Plus it ruined our Memorial Day camping trip. We had every intention on camping with my family and then it was supposed to be highs of 50 and lows in the 20s to 30s with rain and thunderstroms. That was bad for Rory and I since we were tent camping while the girls stayed with my parents in their 5th wheel. Hopefully, our Labor Day trip will be better weather!

Anyways, onto Friday favorites and happenings.

ONE. I never did a weekend update this week, so I thought I would share some highlights from last weekend here. Thursday night, it was rainy and cold, so I took the girls to get some soup and grilled cheese while Rory went to play softball. The weather had cleared up a bit while we were eating, so he told us to come down and see him and hang out with some teammates families. So we did.

Not much happened on Friday other than work, getting my hair done, nails, swim lessons and dinner. Saturday morning we got up and made the decision to not go camping since the weather was rainy and crummy. We did decide to go to Squaw Valley Ski Resort for the Made in Tahoe Festival. We bought some things there, walked around in the rain, snow and sunshine, but had a good time.

After Squaw, we drove around Lake Tahoe and then headed home. We grabbed some Thai food and snuggled up at home. I went out with my girlfriends that evening for some drinks and chat.

Sunday we went to Pine State Biscuits per the girls choice and then did errands around the house. The girls napped and then headed over to my in-laws house so we could have a date night. We went to sushi and drinks and then a movie at home. It was the perfect evening. Plus we got to sleep in on Monday.
Pine State Biscuits

Monday we went grocery shopping, made dinner, hung out at home and snuggled in by the fire again.

TWO. I have been in NEED of new work pants. I rarely buy them and always opt for shirts and dresses for work. So this past weekend, I ordered two pairs of slacks from Express (they never let me down in dress pants). I got the Mid Rise Skinny Pant and the Mid Rise Skinny Columnist. I always order online, so I can get the long size. But I got them for half off and will finally have more than two pairs that are still in good condition. Ugh. Adulting sucks sometimes when you have to buy things you don't want to. I would rather buy a new pair of shoes.
Express Mid Rise Skinny Columnist

Express Mid Rise Skinny Pant

THREE. I remember reading a post that Lynn posted recently about drinking more water, taking probiotics and keeping your body and belly healthy. Well Gryph and IvyRose reached out to me to offer me some free products and I chose a chocolate probiotic and a daily embrace shampoo and conditioner for the girls. We haven't tried the shampoo and conditioner, but I have been taking the probiotic and it is amazing. The girls are taking it as well and seem to love it too. Not only does it taste good, but my belly feels better and I am more regular now.

FOUR. Ok I feel like I am the last person on the planet to know this, but I wanted to share it with you all just in case you were like me and in the dark. My co-worker told me about my local library and "renting" ebooks. I have been buying about one to four books a month for my kindle and it is pricey. But I love to read, so I needed a better alternative.

So I went on my local libraries website, signed up for a digital library card and actual library card. Then I downloaded their reader app (overdrive and libby), so I could look up books, reserve them, waitlist a book and then read them when they are available. I added about 8 books that I have been wanting to read and I got two of them within a couple days. I had already purchased a kindle book right before, but I tabled that one and started Pieces of Her. So good. I have another in my que that I want to read and hopefully I can get both finished soon. 

How did I not know about this before?

FIVE. Funnies for the week.

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

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 29, 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.

May has just been a weird month. We were pretty busy with me recovering from my nose surgery, a trip to the Bay Area, dance classes, swim lessons, big meetings at work and camping. I feel like this month just flew by. I am happy we are really heading into the Summer which means beach days, warm weather, fun trips more outdoor time. The sunshine is just good for the soul!

What's Up Wednesday


Sunday: We had date night and went to sushi!

Monday: Spaghetti Bolognese

Tuesday: Pizza. Rory was in Las Vegas for work overnight, so I picked up a pizza for the girls and I.

Wednesday: Pinch of Yum's Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Thursday: Salads. Rory has softball early, so an easy night of salads.

Friday: Grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Saturday: Spaghetti, salad, bread in Graeagle (yep, spaghetti twice in one week, ha).


Our past trips to Graeagle. I always look forward to this trip even though the weather can be sketchy. Since we do our first trip in early June, the weather can be crazy hot or rainy and cold. You just never know. Fingers crossed the weather changes and we get some warmer weather. I don't want to even imagine what four kids cooped up in the cabin will look like.


My Uncommon James earrings that Rory and the girls got me for Mother's Day.
Uncommon James Baller Earrings

During the Sephora sale, I purchased the Drunk Elephant Rise and Glow Brightening Duo and I love it. I use it every morning before I put on my make-up and right after my moisturizer. I use one small pump from each bottle and I feel like it is hydrating my skin, firming it up and just seems brighter. After using it twice, my coworkers said my face looked amazing and they had no idea what had changed. It was the Drunk Elephant. So worth it.
Drunk Elephant Rise and Glow Brightening Duo

And this Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Brush is another amazing purchase. I use this every morning and now my foundation looks flawless. No more streaks from my beauty blender and no more using my beauty blender for too long (without washing).

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Complexion Brush

This Kimono is beautiful. I wore it to my cousin's memorial service and loved it. It has drawstrings around the waist to sinch it up or you can wear it loose. I wore it with a tee under it, but you can wear it like the model over your bathing suit.
Billabong Sea and Moon Kimono

This mascara primer is simply the best. I have tried many expensive mascaras and this stuff works the best. I use this before my mascara, let it sit for 30 seconds and then put my drug store mascara over it. Right now I am using the L'oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise and it is the perfect combo together.
L'oreal's Voluminous Lash Primer


Well we started the month of with me recovering from surgery, had some friends over during that time and then had a great Mother's Day weekend. Even if my girls were a bit crazy that weekend.

Then we spent the weekend in the Bay Area celebrating Rory's cousins life which tragically ended way too soon. And then we went camping with my family. It has been a busy month!!!


Not much. Maybe the work trips Rory has coming up because the girls always miss their daddy so much, but then again, they are soooo much better behaved when it is only one parent around. #toddlersarecrazy


Summer blog posts, a few collaborations and just making the most out of Summer 2019.


That I am able to breathe again. This is huge. My right side is soooo much more open and it is only going to get better. I do have one more procedure left, but hopefully it is less painful and in an office.

I am also excited about all of our beach days. We love Lake Tahoe and can't wait for days spent up there, dinners on the patio and longer sunny days!!!


Last month I read The Good DaughterThen She Was Gone and Hidden Bodies. I wrote about them last Wednesday and I downloaded a few new ones. What Alice ForgotThe Anonymous Girl and Where the Crawdads Sing.

As for TV, I have been watching my usuals like Grey's Anatomy, Riverdale, Jane the Virgin, the Bold Type. I also started watching the Imposters which is now on Netflix and Good Girls. Imposters is just really good and Good Girls is far fetched but funny. I also binged Dead to Me while I was recovering from surgery and it was really good. I blew right through it. And I am about to download HBO again, so I can watch the second season of Big Little Lies, Silicone Valley and True Detective. And I am very excited about Younger coming back in June!


It is pretty quiet around here.


Some of the items I put up top in what I am loving. But I also bought these recently and love them.

J Crew Midi Stripped Skirt


Going to Graeagle for our annual trip!!!


The girls dance recital is coming up, our Graeagle trip, beach days and birthdays!!!


Not much. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Still Weekending

Since it is Memorial Day and we are off today, we are still enjoying our weekend. I will be back on Wednesday with What's Up Wednesday and maybe tomorrow with a weekend recap. I hope you are enjoying your weekending and remembering what Memorial Day is really about.
Friday, May 24, 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.

Can I just complain for a minute? It is May and this month started off with beautiful weather, but now we are just having crap weather. It has been raining for days and we even had some snow here. No thanks. We are supposed to go camping this weekend and next weekend starts our annual Graeagle trip and the weather isn't looking good. I think we need the weather gods to push these systems out quickly and allow the warmth to come back. I want to have a fun and warm trip.

Anyways, onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. So I have had my Fitbit Versa or about 5 months now and on Sunday evening, it started freaking out a bit. It was scrolling through my steps, calories and beats per minute. It also said I was burning about 4,000 calories a day. That would be nice if it were true. Anyways, I did a soft and hard reset on it, I charged it and let it be for that night.

I put it back on on Monday morning and by the time we were in the car driving to work, it went crazy again. But this time, it started workouts and said my heart rate was at 202 bpm while driving in the car. I was the passenger. By 3 pm, it died completely and wouldn't charge or turn on.

Luckily, I went on Fitbit's chat that morning to figure out what I can do. My Fitbit is still under warranty because it has a year warranty on it. They asked me a few questions and then sent me an email for my options. I could get a new replacement or 50% off another Fitbit. I chose the brand new one of my Versa since I really do love it. I love how it tracks this accurately, it tracks my sleep, my workouts and it has the best alarm.

So I am without my watch and I feel naked without it. But just know that Fitbit has amazing customer service. This is the one that I have.
Fitbit Versa

TWO. So speaking of camping, we needed a few new items and I thought I would share them here with you all. First, we needed new sleeping bags for the girls. No they won't be sleeping in a tent with us. They get the luxury of sleeping in my parents RV. But they really needed new sleeping bags for our Graeagle trip. The girls sleep on these mattresses (they are amazing. We have taken them everywhere.) and have used their Melissa and Doug sleeping bags in the past, but we need those for the girls recital which is the following weekend. And they need to leave them with the school in the meantime. So we bought new ones. Rory and I did a bunch of research and these seems to be the best fit for us. The only thing that I don't like is they are hand wash. 
The Shrunks Toddler Blow Up Mattress with Sides

The girls currently have these sleeping bags which are perfect for their recital, for cabin camping or sleepovers.
Melissa and Doug Kids Sleeping Bags

And these are their new sleeping bags.
Teton Sports Celsius Junior Kids Sleeping Bags

THREE. And speaking of camping in a tent, Rory and I needed new mattresses or something to sleep on. We traditionally have slept on the queen size blow up mattress which is fine, but not comfortable when you have a 6'2" husband sleeping next to you. Plus it deflates a bit as you sleep on it. So I looked around and we bought ourselves a camping mattress pad each. These got amazing reviews, are long enough for my husband and they are self inflating.
Wellax Ultra Self Inflating Sleeping Pad

FOUR. So I have been trying to be good and not go out and get a latte everyday. It is hard. I love my lattes and I am not the biggest fan of just a cup of coffee. I like it fancified. Is that even a word?

But I need to be better about my coffee drinking, so I went to the local restaurant supply store and bought some vanilla syrup (you can buy it on amazon here). If you have a restaurant supply store in your area, I would go. We get our everyday compostable take-out containers that I use for our lunches there. We also get paper plates (compostable), food and what not. It is like a Costco, but for restaurant and food supplies. Anyways, I got my syrup and a pump there for really cheap along with some more take-out containers.

Ok, back to what I was saying. So when I get to work, we make coffee and then I add a pump of the vanilla to my very large cup of coffee (I am talking my cup is enough for 4 to 5 cups at a time. But I usually do 2 to 3.) and then add cream and then the coffee. But I upped my game even more with a milk frother. I got it on Amazon and it is amazing, cheap and works soooo well. Now I get a coffee latte at work daily and I am not missing my lattes as much. Don't worry, I still get them on the weekends.
MilkBoss Milk Frother
MilkBoss Milk Frother

FIVE. Have you heard about Rocksbox? I am sure you have. But if you haven't, then let me tell you a little about it. You sign up and create your wish list profile. You first answer what kind of jewelry you like and dislike. Then it builds a big list of items they think you will like. You can pick a bunch of jewelry and add it to your wish list. Then they will choose three items to send to you. You can go online before it ships and swap out pieces as well. So if you have an event coming up and you want something specific or fancy, you can add that. They will then ship you out three pieces of jewelry and you can keep them as long as you would like. It is basically like renting the jewelry. Then you send back the pieces that you don't want and you can keep any that you do want. You get your styling credit added back to that purchase (so $21 off) and then they will send you another box.

For my first box, I got two Kendra Scott pieces (a necklace and earrings) and then Avarose earrings. I wore the Kendra Scott necklace the following day and I have plans for the earrings coming up. 

If you want to try it out, the first month is free with my code sparklesandlattesxoxo 


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

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Show Me Your Books

* 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 not linking up with anyone for this, but I do see these posts a lot and I wanted to share what I have read lately. I have talked about a few of them in previous posts, but no ratings or what I thought about them.

The Good Daughter
The good daughter

Here is a synopsis of the book from Amazon:

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…
Rating: 4 stars
I really enjoyed this book and the reason I didn't give it 5 stars was it was slow in some parts and a bit too long. This book is graphic. There are parts that will make you feel a bit uncomfortable especially if you have children. But this book is very well written. I read it while I was on vacation and I couldn't put it down. Even through the slow parts.
Then She Was Gone

The synopsis for the book:
Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a cafĂ©, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?
Rating: 5 stars
I really LOVED this book. Sure it was twisted at parts, but it was very well written. I thought I had it all figured out, but then there were things that I had not guessed. I really enjoy crime shows and figuring how what happened and this book is definitely one where you can do this. It also makes you more aware of the things that can happen to your kids and how you can help prevent them. I definitely recommend this book.
Hidden Bodies

The synopsis from Amazon:
Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
I want to start by saying that I had not read the prequel You. I only watched it on Netflix and loved it. It is twisted and I really liked Joe as a character. You shouldn't like Joe, but you just end up rooting for him and then remembering that no you need to dislike him.
Anyways, I just read the spoilers on the book since my co-worker told me that there were some differences in the book and tv show. I don't think they were that crazy different and I figured some of them out as I read Hidden Bodies. 
Anyways, Hidden Bodies follows Joe to LA and his taste for the rich life, his obsession with a new girl and just how far he will go for the ones he loves. It was a really good book and a bit racy. You will definitely read a lot of sex parts. But don't let that stop you from reading this. It is a good book and I really hope Caroline Kepnes puts out another sequel.

What have you read lately? Any books you can recommend? These are the three I plan to take with me on my trips: What Alice Forgot, The Anonymous Girl and Where the Crawdads Sing.
Monday, May 20, 2019


* 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.

This weekend was hard. It was hard because we said goodbye to a relative and the girls were just acting out around us. Around family, they were fine, but around us, they were defiant, wouldn't listen and it was just tough. But we made it through and hopefully this week is better. Fingers crossed.

Friday after work, I got some lunch and then went to Target for some new mascara and body wash. Then I headed home and folded laundry (glamorous) and picked the girls up from school. I got them ready for swim class and then headed there. 

The girls practiced floating on their backs and going under the water for 10 seconds.

After swim, I took the girls to pizza where they saw their classmate and played with them while we waited for our pizza. After eating, we headed home and gave Rory our leftovers. He was golfing with work that afternoon.

Then we did some packing, bathed the girls and went to bed early.

Saturday, we were up bright and early to head to California for a memorial service for Rory's cousin. But first we stopped in Truckee for our favorite breakfast at Marty's Cafe.
This was Rory's burrito. I had grilled ham, a potato cake, a biscuit and eggs.

Then we made our 4 hour drive to the Bay Area for the service. It was pouring when we got there and it didn't stop. Kind of fitting since we were there for a service. We hung out with family, reminisced and grieved.
 The view

 My nephew climbed into the ice cream truck and "drove it". We are now the proud owners of this baby. The girls LOVE it.

Cousin and my niece. She clearly wasn't having it, but she looked sooo cute.

After the service, we stayed and chatted for awhile and then headed to dinner where our hotel was. We ate, watched the Warriors game and then went to our hotel.

Sunday morning woke up and slept in a bit which was nice. Then we got ready and headed to breakfast. Breakfast in the Bay Area is expensive and small. Ha.

Then we went shopping since we were in the area and I really wanted some new Le Creuset cookware. We bought the 5 qt braiser and the 2 3/4 qt dutch oven. We really wanted to replace some of our pots and pans and I have been searching for the perfect ones. I own a bunch of Le Creuset items from our wedding, but the braiser and the dutch oven were on our list. With the braiser, you can saute things, make spaghetti, risotto, pan fried chicken, etc. It is very versatile. And the smaller dutch oven that we got will replace our sauce pan that we use for rice, mac n cheese, pasta, etc.
 Le Creuset 2 3/4 qt dutch oven
Le Creuset 5 qt braiser

We also stopped at North Face, Columbia, J Crew, New Balance and Samsonite.

The girls were having meltdowns, wanted food, wouldn't listen and were knocking things off the shelves. It was a disaster, so we left and headed home.

We drove the remaining 3 hours and stopped once along the way for gas and coffee.

We got home around 4 pm and then unpacked. While unpacking, I went through the girls toys and books since they got a few from their cousins. I packed everything up and took it to the donation place before going grocery shopping. Then I headed home, cooked dinner and then we got ready for the week ahead. And put out a few tantrum fires along the way.

How was your weekend?