Monday, September 30, 2019

Halloween Costumes for Girls

*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 that Halloween is a month away. Well 31 days away, but who is counting? We went to Target the first two weeks of September after seeing everyone post Fall/Halloween stuff and were disappointed because our Target was behind. Nothing was up yet, but the boxes were sitting in the aisles. The second time we went, they had the candy out. Ugh. Anyways, I had wanted to get ahead of everyone and get the girls costumes early, but that didn't happen.

Here are some of the costumes we were considering for the girls:

How cute is this witch costume?
Girls Witch Costume

My favorite princess has always been Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. I recently got the girls into her character when they bought Aurora dolls. The girls would be the cutest Auroras.
Girls Aurora Costume

Another princess favorite of mine is Belle and this costume is just darling. Don't worry, the girls love Belle as well.
Girls Belle Costume

What girl doesn't love Anna and Elsa? My girls have me read A Sister More Like Me every week and they constantly watch Frozen. Plus we are super excited for Frozen 2 in November. this dress is adorable and would be fun to wear after Halloween too.
Frozen Elsa Costume

The girls have been obsessed with all things Toy Story lately and they were very happy when I brought them home Jessie dolls from Arizona. So I know they would love to be Jessie.
Girls Jessie Costume

Speaking of Toy Story, I think they would also like to be Bo Peep.
Bo Peep Girls Costume

What are your kids going to be for Halloween?
Friday, September 27, 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 am glad it is the weekend, that this month is almost over and one of my favorite months is about to start. I am sooo ready for all things Fall and just loving this cooler weather. Bring on the sweaters and boots. 

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. I recently bought a dress from Target for work, Fall and the weekends. I wore it out last weekend on girls night, and it was a huge hit. I only wish I had a cardigan to go over it since it was in between the warm and cold weather. Like too hot for a jacket, but not warm enough without one. I wore a jacket from Nordstrom that I got two years ago and it worked out, but it I had to take it off inside.

This dress is beautiful and really well made. Plus it is only $23.
Target Long Sleeve Dress

TWO. As I said above, I really wanted a long black cardigan to go with it. Especially for work since I always get cold in my office. I had a Nordstrom note burning a hole in my account, so I bought a long black cardigan. I have a few Leith pieces and I find they are good quality. I can't wait to wear the dress and cardigan combo.
Leith Longline Cardigan

THREE. I have been wanting a pair of Rothy's for a long time, but never wanted to spend $125 on a pair. I love the idea of washing the shoes in the washing machine, how comfy they are and classic they look. It wasn't until my co-worker got his wife two pairs for her birthday that I decided to bite the bullet and get myself a pair. It also helped that a friend sent me a $20 off your first order. So I grabbed a pair of the black ones and I am anxiously awaiting them to arrive. 

I have super picky feet. I even had foot surgery on my left foot back in 2002 ish. So shoes are a tough sale for me. I usually stick to the same brands and I don't like to buy them online that often. Or if I do, I want free shipping and returns. But when my co-worker's wife got them and she is a nurse on her feet all day, I knew they would be better for my feet. 

Do you own any Rothy's? You can use my code here to get $20 off your first pair as well.
Rothy's The Flat

FOUR. I am always looking for new recipes to try and this one stood out to me. We love anything Mexican in our house and this seems like something my girls would love. I plan to make it next week. I will let you know what we think. Do you have any recipes that you make weekly that you would care to share?
Easy Beef Burrito Skillet

FIVE. Funnies for the week.

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

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, September 25, 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.

September flew by. I just feel like we were super busy this month. Between football games and travel, we had a lot going on. I am excited about October because that brings Halloween and the start of all things Fall!!!

What's Up Wednesday


Sunday: We had family over for dinner and made Pasta Bolognese with Caprese Salad (using Burrata)

Monday: Homemade pizza night

Tuesday: BLTA's with saute'd Brussels Sprouts 

Wednesday: I have surgery, so whatever Rory and the girls bring me home after swim class.

Thursday: Recovery, so take out.

Friday: Recovery, so take out.

Saturday: Tailgate food! Hoping I can go to the tailgate and game.

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT... Vacation. I seriously can't wait until we go to Mexico again. Ha. I feel like I could just use a break and Mexico is just soooo much fun. We don't go until March and the girls get to go this time, but we are less than 6 months out!

WHAT I'M LOVING... Other than the holidays coming, I am loving how much my girls are progressing in school, dance and swim. It is so crazy to watch them grow into little people. 

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO... Working, going to football games, taking the girls to ballet and swim, prepping for the holidays and traveling a bit. Mostly Rory has been traveling, but I had a small trip in there.

WHAT I'M DREADING... Nothing really. Ok, maybe bad test results, but let's pray that I get some good test results.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON... Same old, same old. Trying to get ahead on blog posts. I am also working on decorating for the holidays and maybe planning a home renovation. We shall see.

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT... Hopefully today is my last nose surgery. That is more than enough reason to celebrate. And let's hope it goes well today. Send positive thoughts.

I am also excited about everything to come in October, November and December. I love the holidays and I have some good work travel coming up!

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING... Well, I have been slacking a little on the reading front. I read Marriage Lie and Girls Like Us this last month. I need to read more this next month and just not be so dang stressed. I chose tv over reading when I am stressed out.

As for TV, I am sooo happy that all my Fall favorites are back this week...This is Us, Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, etc. I am still watching The Affair (though it isn't as good as previous seasons), Million Dollar Listing New York and Sneaky Pete. I need a new show to binge at the gym though. Suggestions?


WHAT I'M WEARING... I got my LL Bean Flannel in the mail and it is soooo soft and fits perfectly. I can't wait to wear it all Fall.

LL Bean Women's Signature Flannel

I have worn this jacket once and I am always checking out the weather to see when it will cool down and I can wear this baby more often. This weekend it is supposed to be chillier weather, so I hope I can break it out again.

I am constantly wearing my Converse Shorelines. I have them in white and black and wear them everywhere on the weekends and evenings. I always wear them to football games. They are super comfy. Not like normal Converse shoes. If you don't own a pair, grab one. You won't regret it.
Converse Shoreline Shoes
Get them here and here

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND... Well I am recovering from my third nose surgery and hopefully going to the football game. I don't think I will stay the whole game since it is a 7:30 pm start and I don't think I can stay up that late a few days after surgery. Fingers crossed I feel ok to even go to the game. Other than that, I will just be resting and relaxing.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH... I love October. We go to Apple Hill, are knee deep in football, everything Halloween, Nevada Day and I have a work/fun trip to the Dallas, Texas area. October should be a great month!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW...So I got my blood test results back and there are still some abnormalities showing up, so they ordered another more complex test along with a 24 hour urine test. Yes, I have a huge jug that I have to fill. I start in the morning and end the next morning. Oh and I have to keep the urine cold, so if I have to pee in the middle of the night, I have to go get my jug, pee into a bowl (that they provide) and put it in my jug and take it back to the fridge. And I am not putting it in my regular fridge, so I have to go to the garage. Ugh. So not fun. Fingers crossed they figure out what is wrong and fix it or that there is nothing wrong and just some wonky results.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Recipe: Stuffed Shells

I have written about this recipe many times, but I don't think I have actually ever posted the recipe. This is a favorite of my husbands. He requests it all the time. And last week, I made it and actually photographed it. Enjoy.
Stuffed Shells

What You Need:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 box jumbo shells
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pasta cooking water
1 egg
2 cups mozzarella cheese
24 oz marinara sauce (I use Rao's since it is my favorite)
seasonings (I use pepper, garlic salt/powder, onion powder)
9 x 13 inch pan (I use disposable pans)

Stuffed Shells


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook your shells according to the package. Cook them to the pre-bake time. Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
Stuffed Shells

3. Cook your ground beef until it is no longer pink. Drain the fat and stir in your seasonings. I just eyeball it.

4. Stir in the reserved pasta water, parmesan cheese, the egg and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Mix until combined.
Stuffed Shells

5. Pour some of the marinara sauce into the bottom of your pan, so you have a thin layer of marinara sauce. I usually make more than 1 pound of ground beef, so we have leftovers, so I usually have 1 1/2 to 2 pans.
Stuffed Shells

6. Take your cooked shells and spoon in the beef and cheese mixture and place in your pan. Make sure to keep your shells upright. After you filled your shells and used all of your meat mixture, spoon on the leftover marinara sauce on top of the shells. Then add mozzarella on top of the marinara sauce.
Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

7. Cover your pans loosely with aluminum foil and baked your filled shells for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and your shells are warmed through. Remove the foil and broil for a few minutes until cheese is golden. Make sure to watch your shells.
Stuffed Shells

8. Enjoy!
Stuffed Shells

Friday, September 20, 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.

First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me after my Confessions post on Wednesday. It means a lot to me. Life has just been tough lately. Thankfully, only with me and not my kids or family.

I don't know what it was, but I just didn't have the time to blog this week. Also, a lot has been going on in my life, so I just put blogging to the side. Sometimes that just needs to happen. But I did get a post out today and I have posts planned for all next week. I already wrote them. Anyways, we don't have much planned this weekend and I am ok with it. I am hoping for good weather and maybe one last Tahoe day. Fingers crossed.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. Lindsay (from Lindsay's Sweet World) did a Fall home tour this week on her blog and I saw the cutest little bats all over her fireplace (well above it) and I knew they would be the perfect decoration for my house. You get 72 bats in 4 different sizes and they seem like pretty good quality. Plus they are 3D and easy to apply to the wall. I can't wait to decorate this weekend!!
3D Bat Halloween Decorations

TWO. So we are taking our yearly family photos soon. We wanted to do them in the Summer time and get some at the lake, but time got away from us again, so we are doing them in the Fall again. I already started planning out outfits. Rory asked if we could do flannel and cowboy boots since the girls got new boots and wear them everyday.

I love a good flannel and LL Bean recently had sales on all of their flannels. All of our flannels are still on sale too. These are the flannels we got. We will pair them with jeans and cowboy boots.
LL Bean Women's Signature Flannel

LL Bean Men's Scotch Plaid Flannel

LL Bean Girl's Plaid Flannel

THREE. I have been shopping Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty deals and tomorrow is what I have been holding out for. My favorite concealer, Tarte's Shape Tape is on sale for 50% off. I have been scraping the inside of my tube to get me through the last week or so. But tomorrow I am picking it up. I get Light Neutral. This stuff covers up my dark circles under my eyes, covers my blemishes and goes on smoothly. This stuff is the real deal. It will be on sale for $13.50.

FOUR. I bought the cutest tee from Nordstrom recently and I love it. I love the cut on the neckline...square cut. I can wear it to work under a blazer or on the weekends. I got the purple which is sold out, but I am considering getting another color to wear with my skirts. And it is one sale for $21 right now. 
Halogen Square Neck Tee

FIVE. Funnies for the week.

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

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, September 18, 2019


I wasn't going to write anything this week since I have been feeling blah. Not sick, but just blah. I have a lot going on in my life and head that I just haven't felt like blogging. So that is probably my first confession.

And here's some more...

- I am scared of what my test results are going to show. I went to my family doctor for my yearly check-up and some of my numbers were off. Basically, we thought I might be anemic (again), but with how fatigued I am, he wanted to do more tests. So back I went and my IMG (a type of antibody) was really high. Like 3 times the normal. And my white blood cell count was really high as well. So he sent me back again and had my proteins and other stuff checked and now I am impatiently waiting those results. Just hoping whatever infection is in me since the C word.

- I am down on Instagram and blogging right now. Even if you put in a lot of work and effort in, the algorithms just kill your engagement.

- I didn't get the promotion I was going for and I got way too upset about it. And mad.

- I am scared about my nose surgery next week and being awake. The smells, sounds and them being all up in my face doesn't sound awesome.

- I have been drinking way too much coffee lately.

- Sour patch kids are my weakness and I walked to the gas station on my work break just to get a bag.

- I work my ass off at the gym just so I can have wine, pizza and all the yummy foods that I shouldn't eat (that much of). The health benefits are good too.

- I wish I could drop another 5 to 10 pounds, but I don't want to give up the things I mentioned above.

- I witnessed an accident last weekend by a drunk driver on a motorcycle. Luckily, she didn't hurt anyone but herself. She blew through a stop sign and almost hit my car, but ran into the curb and was ejected from her bike. She hit a fence, got up and was stumbling around. At first, I thought it was from flying off her bike, but then I heard her talk and knew she was drunk. After talking to a couple of people who saw it and were staying there, I had them call the cops and then headed off after I felt like there was enough people as witnesses for police statements. It was 8 pm on a Friday and she was very hammered. Why do people get like that and get on a motorcycle or in a car? Complete dumbass.

What are your confessions as of late?
Friday, September 13, 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 wasn't really on it this week. I didn't get posts scheduled for Monday and I barely got one out on Wednesday. Things aren't crazy busy at the moment, but my trip to Las Vegas last Thursday threw a wrench in getting a post for Monday written. Oh well. Better than a crappy post being sloppily put together just to get one out.

I hope you all have had a great week. And Happy Friday the 13th!!

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. A couple weekends ago, I was at the mall looking for new undies for the girls. Carters has the best kids underwear (along with Gap) and the girls needed new ones. I scooped up this seven pack along with this three pack. I hate posting about underwear, especially kids underwear, but these are amazing.
Carters 7 Pack Girl Underwear

Carters 3 Pack Girl Underwear

TWO. Along with getting the girls underwear, we stopped in Levis to look for some jeans for Rory. But then I started trying on jackets and I found the cutest jacket. I got this jacket, but in black on black. I almost scooped this one up, but loved the black one even more. This is a women's jacket, not a kids. Don't be fooled by the color name.
Levis Women's Hybrid Jean Jacket

THREE. Do any of my friends have a local Evereve store near them? And can you see if this sweater in size s/m is in stock? If one of my dear friends has it local and can get it for me, I will paypal, venmo or send you money for it. I would totally appreciate it.
Allison Joy Nubby Pullover Sweater

FOUR. Speaking of sweaters, how cute is this cardigan? I saw it on a fellow blogger and really wanted it. They have it in a sweater form as well. And when I saw it, I immediately knew the person modeling it. I haven't watched The Bachelor/Bachelorette in a few seasons, but I did watch Bachelor in Paradise and recognized Hannah wearing the sweater. Too funny. And also weird. Not sure I was a big fan of hers. Anyways, this cardigan needs to be in my closet.
Confetti Cardigan

Funnies for the week.

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

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, September 11, 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.

This month, I read three books. I made it half way through the fourth book before I had to return it to my digital library. I started it late in my rental, so I didn't get to finish it, but I requested it again and hope to have it in a few days, so I can finish it.

The Switch - Pamela Brown
The Switch - Pamela Brown

I saw The Switch on a must read list and it came up very back logged in my digital library, but once it became available, I quickly read it. This book intrigued and scared me since the premise of the book is about twins. Identical twins. And one of the twins is murdered. This book was good, weird and kept me wanting to know the ending. I would give this 4 1/2 stars.

Here is the synopsis:
Identical twins Melina and Gillian Lloyd haven't considered switching places since childhood. So when Melina proposes that Gillian take her place as a media escort to NASA astronaut Col. "Chief" Hart, she refuses . . . at first.

The following morning Melina receives terrible news: her sister has been brutally murdered -- and Chief, though innocent, is the prime suspect. He and Melina are determined to find the killer, a megalomaniac who's nearly unstoppable -- and out for blood.

Now, with targets on their backs, they must work together to learn the truth behind Gillian's death -- before they become the killer's next victims.

All Your Perfects - Colleen Hoover

You all know how much I love Colleen Hoover books, so I keep adding them to my to read list. This one spoke to me since it has a lot to do with infertility. We experienced infertility and it sucks. We didn't have it as bad as many others I have read, but we had a hard time getting pregnant. Anyways, this book wasn't really like other Colleen Hoover books. I don't know what it was, but it was different. I enjoyed reading it, but I kept thinking that Quinn just needed to open up and talk about it more. I often got frustrated with her and I hate feeling like that since I went through a sliver of what she did. I would give this 3 1/2 stars.

Here is the synopsis:
Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

The Marriage Lie - Kimberly Belle

I was very excited to read this book other than the fact that one of the main characters dies on a plane. That always scares me since Rory and I fly so much for work. Anyways, the book starts off with a couple who is very happily married. Will has to fly to Florida for a work conference, but then a plane goes down on its way to Seattle. Iris is relieved that Will isn't on that plane until she gets a phone call saying he was on the plane and has died. Iris then has to figure out what happened, why he was on the plane when he said he was going to Florida and how she will move on.

I found this book to be very good. At times, I was sure I knew what happened and why he was on that plane, but then I would be proved wrong. I guessed the ending before it happened, but it was literally right before it happened. I liked the very last paragraph of the book. I know some haven't, but it was the punch that the book needed. I give this book a 4 to 4 1/2 stars.

Here is the synopsis:
Everyone has secrets... 
Iris and Will have been married for seven years, and life is as close to perfect as it can be. But on the morning Will flies out for a business trip to Florida, Iris's happy world comes to an abrupt halt: another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board and, according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers. 

Grief stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. Why did Will lie about where he was going? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to uncover what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she finds shock her to her very core.

What did you read this month?